A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team.
(E) = Article in English
Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member MP Javad KarimiGhodousi dismissed statements made by Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani. Earlier, Shamkhani had denied accusations that the SNSC did not support the holding of an annual Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) missile drill. Ghodousi said that MPs “were not convinced” by Shamkhani’s explanations. He added, “The IRGC missile drill is the symbol of our national security and strength. The people continuously protested to us why the government has not supported this drill.”
- President Hassan Rouhani invited legal experts to undertake “a careful review” of the Geneva nuclear accord terms and said, “Achievements in the first step of Iran’s nuclear negotiations have been great achievements. These were gained in the ray of the Supreme Leader’s guidance and [this] administration’s policies. They preserved all the values accepted by society and maintained nuclear rights. The Zionist anger is a symbol of these successes.”
- Parliament Vice Chairman Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard praised the Rouhani administration for “taking good steps” in the nuclear negotiations.
- Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Universities Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadian delivered Ayatollah Khamenei’s message to the Independent Students Islamic Societies Union. Khamenei’s message praised the group’s members as “officers of the soft war,” emphasized spiritual values, and warned against the transformation of organizations from “temples” to “idols”:
- “Give my greetings to my revolutionary children and thank their jihadi efforts in spreading and guarding the ideals of Imam [Khomeini] and the Revolution and remind them of these points:
- “1) In addition to learning science and knowledge, utilize the opportunity of youth for self-purification, familiarity with God and deep familiarity with the teachings of the Qur’an and the ahl-e bayt [Family of the prophet].”
- “2) You are young officers of the soft war. This arena of war requires awareness like Ammar [ibn Yasir; one of the most loyal companions of the prophet Muhammad and the first Shi’a Imam Ali] and perseverance like [the loyal companion of Imam Ali] Malek-e Ashtar. Prepare yourself with all your being for this arena.”
- “3) Know the Dominant System [West] with all its dimensions and layers and analyze its true goals and strategies. Utilize all your capabilities to confront it and have confidence in God’s promises along this path.”
- “4) Organizations can be temples, but woe if they transform to idols. Preserve your spiritual values and principles within the framework of organizations and emphasize sympathy and cordiality among members.”
- “5) There is a bright horizon ahead for you, the youth. This country and revolution will have a hopeful future at your capable hands. Increase your efforts and get ahead of one another to reach the peaks of progress and sublimation.”
- Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Ali Jannati announced that “the principle” of having a Facebook account is not a crime. As the website is filtered, however, its circumvention is a crime.
- Jannati denied that any newspapers were forced to cease circulation, except Bahar newspaper in October 2013, after reporters asked why certain newspapers have been shut down despite presidential campaign promises, [See: Iran News Round Up October 30, 2013].
- Jannati then defended the holding of this year’s Fajr Film Festival and stated, “The criteria of [giving awards] were the propagation of a culture of moderation and confrontation with violence and extremism. None of the movies that received awards lacked these criteria…None of the judges thought politically and did not give an opinion based on political views.”
- Senior cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Alavi Gorgani criticized the movie “Resurrection,” shown at the 32nd Fajr Film Festival, for portraying the face of a sacred religious figure on camera and urged the diligence of the Islamic Culture and Guidance Ministry.
- MP Ali Motahari criticized Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for its coverage of the 32nd Fajr Film Festival and stated, “The picture of anyone who criticized was immediately cut…I do not know why friends fear criticism to such an extent.”
Military and Security
- Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi called US military threats a “political bluff” and threatened retaliation against American bases in the region:
- “We are ready for a ‘decisive’ war with America and the Zionist regime.”
- “The enemies of Islam, especially America and the Zionists, must know that the people will be prepared whenever necessary to serve in the army of the [12th Shi’a Imam Mahdi] and will give their answer.”
- “Military threat is a joke. The Americans prepared all of their equipment to attack Iran during the time of Bush but did not dare.”
- “America’s arms caches in the southern countries of the Persian Gulf are not prepared for a war whatsoever. Therefore, the Americans cannot do anything.”
- “If war occurs against Iran we will not leave a field for the enemy and they know this as well. In the past decade they have reviewed the military attack option and brought their forces, but they reached the conclusion that they could not and left.”
- “We give this warning that we will attack all positions belonging to any land where assault against our forces originates from.”
- “When the Americans saw the power of Iran’s penetration in the region, they understood that Iran is the place of lions and tigers, not foxes.”
- “Of course, we have no hostility with regional countries, but if we are targeted from American bases in the region, we will strike them.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Operations Deputy Brig. Gen. Ali Shadmani warned against a “cultural war” waged by the US and announced that “another way” exists to confront the US should diplomacy fail:
- “This time, the Iranian nation’s main enemy—bloodthirsty America—has come to the field. Now we must know what to defend so our conscience is clear: Islamic values or American values?”
- “Danger is in another place. The enemy has decided to break the people with tribal conflicts, cultural slyness and creating economic stagnation.”
- “The enemy seeks to take away Islam from the Muslim Iranian nation by distancing the people from revolutionary values [through satellite networks].”
- “Today there is an intense cultural war and we must stand for confronting the enemy.”
- “Enemies and infidels are destroyed whenever God almighty wills it but has placed this at the shoulder of jihadists. For this reason, if diplomatic talks do not yield results, confronting the enemy will be the way, to fight them to the last blood drop.”
- Head of the pro-Khamenei think tank Ammar Base Hojjat al-Eslam Mehdi Taeb addressed IRGC Material and Logistics Directorate commanders and personnel, touting Iranian military and nuclear achievements at the height of sanctions:
- “Global Arrogance [West] fears Islam today. For this reason all the efforts of the Dominant System [West] have been targeted in preventing the progress and export of Islamic Iran’s revolution to other freedom-seeking countries of the world.”
- “The enemies sought to prevent the progress of Islamic Iran by using the strategy of sanctions as their latest tool, while our progresses in various fields including nuclear and military achievements took shape at the height of sanctions.”
- “The psychological and media operations that have taken shape against the Iranian nation and the sacred Islamic Republic system stem from the height of America and the Arrogant desperation.”
- “The faithful, revolutionary, velayat-centered and aware Islamic Iran youth will prepare the causes of their defeat in the soft-war arena with understanding and identifying enemy conspiracies.”
- MP Mohammad Said Arbabi announced that five Iranian soldiers kidnapped by Jaish al-Adl last week are in Pakistan and that Iranian representatives are consulting with Pakistani government officials and tribal leaders. No communication has been established with Jaish al-Adl yet.
- In separate statements, the IRGC and the Basij Organization thanked the “passionate and glorious” presence of the people at the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution marches yesterday.
- IRGC-affiliated media outlet Tasnim News Agency carried an article commenting on the deployment of two Iranian warships to the Western hemisphere: “These warships may possibly dock at the coast of Venezuela. In military calculations, a logistic warship and combat warship are not considered threats for almost any country but can have psychological and propaganda affects. The docking of Iranian warships at Venezuela’s coast will strengthen bilateral relations and increase Venezuela’s regional power.”
Diplomacy and Regional Developments
- Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro congratulated the 35th anniversary of the 1979 revolution and stated, “In continuing the path of its former leader Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government emphasizes and repeats the statements of Ayatollah Khomeini that the oppressed must emerge victorious upon the oppressors.”
- Lebanese Hezbollah released a statement praising the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The statement read, in part: “The anniversary of the revolution’s victory is a stress on principles emphasized by the revolution, which are independence from the reign of world powers, freedom in decision making and implementing them without foreign interference. [Also] setting up the Islamic Republic system which is the point where God’s realm and the people’s will meet to make the best way of governance.”
- Russian Economy Minister Alexi Ulyukayev plans to visit Iran in April for trade talks.
- Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Jarallah announced that the Kuwaiti Emir is planning to visit Tehran, but the date has not been determined yet. Jarallah also added that relations with Iran are improving despite the differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- National Petrochemical Industries Company Managing Director Abbas She’ri announced that Iran has commenced negotiations with companies from France, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea, but that no agreements have been signed yet.
- Based on the government’s goals in the petrochemical industry, Iranian petrochemical production capacities must increase to more than 100 million tons per year.
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that industry production value has increased from $20 billion to $40 billion per year.
Photo of the Day
- Artists receive awards at the 32nd Fajr Film Festival closing ceremony.
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