Iran news round up – February 12, 2014

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. 

Politics

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

Economy

  • 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.

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By AEI Critical Threats

 

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