Iran news round up – February 14, 2013

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.

 

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani delivered an address at the first annual commemoration of IRGC Quds Force commander Brig. Gen. Hassan Shateri, who was killed in Syria en route from Damascus to Beirut. Suleimani discussed Iranian leadership in the Islamic world, popular support for the government, relations with the West, the Islamic Revolution in historical context, and the values of the Iran-Iraq War:Parliamentary and Consular Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashghaviannounced, “The necessary interactions to free the kidnapped Iranian border patrol forces have begun and are being pursued” and expressed confidence in their release. Jaish al-Adl kidnapped five Iranian border patrol forces last week and is holding them in Pakistan.
    • Nationalism in Iran is a lie.”
    • “Nationalism in Iran was formed with the goal of confronting Islam and religion.”
    • Leadership of Islamic world: “Although today a number of Islamic countries claim leadership of the Islamic world and make efforts for it in continuation of previous movements, but no country other than Iran can take this dangerous responsibility.”
    •  “From immemorial time until now the likes of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan claimed leadership of the Islamic world and made great efforts in that regard, but none of them other than Iran is capable of accepting this dangerous responsibility.”
    • “None of these countries are capable of leading the Islamic world due to the lack of two important elements in their Islamic universe, and the Islamic Republic of Iran monopolizes these two elements.”
    • “Supporting Islamic and revolutionary fighters as well as defending Muslims and Islam against the assaults that take place against the Islamic world have allowed Iran to take leadership of the Islamic world.”
    • “It is unlikely for another country other than Iran to take on such a role because [other] Islamic countries do not have this capacity in their foundation.”
    • Western hostility: “The enemies of Islam and the Islamic Revolution are constantly changing their tactics to confront the system but cannot extinguish the revolution’s flame.”
    • “The enemies have continuously shown their insistence on the hostility that they have with the Islamic Republic of Iran during the past thirty-five years of the revolution’s life. The continuity of their hostilities with the Islamic system is due to the greatness of the revolution and its effects in the world.”
    • “The enemies have tested various tactics to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran’s system and the revolution’s importance and grandeur, because they understand the revolution’s nature and its greatness.”
    • “Today the intense hostility of the system’s enemies is becoming more visible, because the greatness of the revolution and the Islamic system is increasing daily.”
    • “More work must be done in the dimension of recognizing the greatness of the Islamic Revolution, and the greatness of the Islamic system has a fundamental effect in increasing hostilities with the system.”
    • Popular support: “The people’s unwavering interest, love and motivation towards the Islamic Revolution have made the enemies intensify their hostilities with the system day by day.”
    • “In no other revolution in the world do we witness a system of governance faced with such popular reception and participation and steadfastly and strongly continue its work, while various hostilities have taken place with its people during the many long years.”
    • “In the history of the Islamic Revolution and the following years of the past few decades, we have witnessed the people’s motivation and love towards the Islamic system. The people’s insistence on maintaining their principles has continuously accompanied the enemies’ anger.”
    • “In no other revolution of previous eras in the world do we witness the people stand by their system like this. If we want to take a look at the revolution’s greatness today, three fundamental matters must be noted.”
    • Islamic Revolution in historical perspective: “The greatness of the Islamic Revolution in the Islamic realm must be discussed in the revolution’s effects on the Islamic world and among Muslims; the revolution’s greatness in the realm of the blessed and dear Shi’a religion; and also the greatness of the people’s movement in the arena of nationality and ethnicity.”
    • “Once these three matters are carefully studied, we discover what an effect Iran’s Islamic Revolution has had in recycling sect, religion and also national matters.”
    • “In the arena of nationality and ethnicity, the revolution’s role has been very important in the dimension of Iran, nation and ethnicities and must be paid attention to.”
    • “Various matters are at the bedrock of this path, and one must know the role that the Islamic Revolution has played in the path of completing Islam.”
    • “In Islam’s history, we witnessed a long era of the Islamic realm’s decline and this religion has taken a degrading path during many long years.”
    • “Since the fall of Andalusia in 1492 and for more than five centuries, the Islamic world continued traversing a downward path with a sharp slope.”
    • “Very widespread transformations took place in the Islamic world in this regard. The fall of the 400 year-old Ottoman Empire took place in this era and this government that managed a large part of Islamic lands was eliminated.”
    • “If we consider the conquering of Andalusia as point 100 and consider the fall of noble Quds [Jerusalem] in 1967 as point zero in the downward slope of the Islamic realm, afterwards the Islamic world has moved alongside this point zero.”
    • “The fall of noble Quds as the second qibla [Direction Muslims face for prayer] of Muslims and the holiest of Islamic places after Mecca took place during this era. Afterwards, any movement that took place in the Islamic world moved below this point zero.”
    • “During the regression line of Islam and the critical condition that the Islamic world was in, suddenly, the Islamic Revolution showed itself with the leadership of a luminous, divine and wise man known as Imam Khomeini.”
    • “The revolution was the result of the Imam’s thoughts and this eternal permeation has altered many global equations to this day.”
    • “Today we are witnessing that in the country of Iraq, Shi’as have taken the right to govern and popular governance and acceptance is also with Shi’as.”
    • “During the struggles of Shi’as and even Shi’a ulamas, we cannot find anything that has had global effects like the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “His Excellency the Imam established a government that was not only based on religion but was also based on the people’s desire and their maximum participation in the scene.”
    • “With the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, many of the world’s freedom-seekers came to themselves and other noble revolutions also took place.”
    • “His Excellency Imam Khomeini gave two fundamental characteristics to the Islamic world, which prevented the very speedy decline of Islam.”
    • “When the Islamic world witnessed that after surpassing a long era of decline, the Islamic Revolution achieved victory and it was from here that Islam’s ascendance began and we witnessed amazing transformations in the Islamic realm.”
    • “Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran system has been very effective in this path of ascendance and all the enemies’ defeat in this path was due to the thoughts that the Late Imam founded.”
    • “The Islamic Revolution has both a religious and national portion. Iran’s role playing has separated from the position of a state during the monarchy period and has reached a country that has the leadership of the Islamic world today.”
    • “Several countries [such as] Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and so on, once claimed the leadership of the Islamic world.”
    • “Revolutionary and administrative committed institutions formed in the country after the formation of the Islamic system. Each of them has had a fundamental role in stabilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran and each were created based on an important position.”
    •  “This is while we witnessed the formation of revolutions in some country in the name of Islam but were not durable.”
    • “In this field, we witnessed the experience of the country of Afghanistan where the Taliban forces entered and established a government based on the Sunni sect and named it Islamic Emirates.”
    • “This government had a life of less than two years and even if external hostilities did not exist, it could not achieve success in continuing its path.”
    • “His Excellency Imam Khomeini married religion and democracy and organized a system that was very unique.”
    • “This continuous system is transforming and growing and is continuing its path well.”
    • “The Islamic Revolution has a virtual arena in reality that is untouchable and this arena is continuously growing.”
    • “The Islamic Revolution has shown its model frameworks well in the two dimensions of the system’s structure and configuration and today the people unimaginably support it.”
    • “The people observe emanation of the Islamic Revolution’s greatness in the models and behaviors of countries in other countries that take inspiration from it, and the world touches these models in various sections every day.”
    • Iran-Iraq War values: “We must pay attention to why the Imposed War and the Sacred Defense era [Iran-Iraq War] transformed to a school for the Iranian people and still to this day do we benefit from its various lessons.”
    • “Sacred Defense today is a model for us. It has portrayed the model of a specific truthful, religious, ethical and managerial behavior in various dimensions.”
    • “It is for this reason that I state the likes of martyrs Bakeri, Shokatpour and Brig. Gen. Shateri are a beautiful, praiseworthy model themselves and discussions about them are higher than a military commander.”
    • “In the leadership dimension, we are witnessing today that the country is managed to the best extent possible and the Supreme Leader has been able to disrupt the enemies’ ominous plans well.”
    • “The interesting point in this section is that while the wise leader of the Islamic Revolution, despite being a skillful and religious leader who is vali-ye faghih [guardian of the jurisprudence], insists on having that same chafiye that he wore during the Sacred Defense era in any official or unofficial meeting, and this demonstrates how important these models are for us.”
    • “The Sacred Defense is a praiseworthy and successful model that must continuously be paid attention to.”
    • “If the Shi’a clergy seeks to demonstrate an exhibition of itself during the long Islamic era, which it has been able to preserve the Shi’a religion well and give Islam hand by hand to the people, without a doubt its best display is the Sacred Defense.”
    • “If the Shi’a clergy seeks to present the result of its efforts in the form of a comprehensive exhibition, the Sacred Defense era must be noted as the best demonstration of this act.”
    • “There is no doubt today that martyrs in the country are considered the strongest and most persistent images. The people live with their images and love their way.”
    • “The models that are victors and lasted after the great martyrs of the revolution and the Sacred Defense era have the highest role in purifying society and exporting the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “Defiance and attention to the religious spirit are fundamental elements forming a revolutionary figure.”
    • On slain IRGC commander Hassan Shateri: “When [IRGC Quds Force commander Brig. Gen. Hassan] Shateri entered Lebanon, he created many constructions. When this martyr witnessed the sorrow engulfing Lebanon after widespread destruction, he took all of his efforts to rebuild the country.”
    • “With the behavior of Brig. Gen. Shateri, Lebanon’s southern areas were transformed in such a way that we do not think anyone could have worked like him in this country and propagate the Shi’a religion.”
    • “Brig. Gen’s Shateri’s work was more widespread than the level of the front and operational area. He brought smiles to the hearts with the truth of his acts and ethics and his greatness was revealed after his martyrdom.”
    • “Christians hold memorial ceremony for very few martyrs in their churches, but during the matter of Brig. Gen. Shateri’s martyrdom, we saw all religions and sects in southern Lebanon holding memorials for him.”
    • “Brig. Gen. Shateri worked with ethics and good behavior in Lebanon. It is for this reason that he was enduring and the people loved him and went to him with their troubles.”
    •  “It is the likes of this martyr who ensure the revolution and the religion of Islam stays eternal in the hearts.”
    • “The spreading of religion and national dimensions of the Islamic Revolution is in reality owned to the efforts of martyr Shateri and his likes.”
    • “Today we witness that not only does the enemy not profit from confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran, but that the high place of the Islamic Revolution has caused Western and Eastern powers to be incapable against Iran.”
    • “The enemies have continuously used their various conspiracies to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran system but have continuously been unsuccessful in reaching their goals.”
  • Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi acknowledged Iran’s economic issues and stated, “The presence of the people in the 22nd of Bahman marches also had an internal message. My imagination is that the people said now it is up to the officials to create an economic epic and open the lock of people’s livelihood with a special key.” Safavi then discussed foreign policy, nuclear talks and Iranian soft power in the region, and claimed that is “guarantor of energy security” in the Persian Gulf:
    • “They expended in Iraq but could not achieve their goals in this country. Today we are witnessing that a Shi’a Parliament and administration has come in this country. In reality, they expended and we reaped the benefits.”
    • “The Americans have weaknesses, which their political and military officials acknowledge. Today, the Americans are in the trap of Iran although the way of the Iranians is a peace-desiring way but the Americans want war.”
    • “America in 2014 is not that same country ten years ago. They were weakened after attacking Iraq and Afghanistan and this weakness is even visible inside [their country].”
    • “They sought a unipolar world but today they themselves claim that the world is headed towards multipolarity.”
    • “The Americans know that they cannot act against Iran like other countries.”
    • Nuclear talks: “The administration must consider the scenarios and possibilities that if the negotiations cease or are defeated, we will plan to manage the country and other matters.” Safavi then reassured the country on preparedness of the armed forces.
    • Iranian influence: “Iraq, Lebanon and Syria are under Iranian influence. These (Americans) cannot fight the power of this influence because this influence is a soft influence, political and cultural power.”
    • “We did not send an army there and our political leadership has been clear. It supports the Resistance, Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestine, whose examples have been the 22- Day and 33-Day wars.
    • “We are the most powerful country in Western Asia from a military perspective. Armed forces, Artesh and IRGC do not need foreign equipment and we produce them domestically.”
    • “Iran is the most stable and powerful country in the Persian Gulf region, while 17 to 18 million barrels of oil pass the Persian Gulf every day. Iran guarantees energy security and, by God’s favor, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an effective deterrent power with the leadership of the Supreme Leader and Commander in Chief.”

Politics

Regional Developments

  • International Affairs Deputy to Speaker of Parliament Hossein Sheikholeslam emphasized the strategic importance of Syria and touted Iran’s “operational” contribution:
    • “Of course we prefer negotiations, but will not neglect operational work for an instant. Thanks to God we are successful in the field and it is natural that we are continuously successful at the negotiations table. One of the operational examples of the Islamic Revolution’s extended models in Syria is to reconstruct the Basij Organization, called Jaish al-Sha’bi, or the national army.”
    • Sheikholeslam also reminded, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies are approved in the Supreme National Security Council, which the Supreme Leader supervises. On this basis, according to the constitution, neither [Foreign Minister Mohammad] Zarif, nor anyone higher than that decides in relation with the ‘Resistance.’ Of course, the general policy of the Supreme Leader is aiding the government because managing the country is truly difficult, therefore if we do not preserve internal strength the enemy will certainly benefit.”

Economy

By AEI Critical Threat

 

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