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
- Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi called the recent Geneva Accord an “ultimatum” and proof of Western deception and responded to recent US statements condemning the ongoing house arrest of opposition leaders Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi. He also reiterated Iran’s unwillingness to surrender and implored the Rouhani administration to proceed with caution:
- “The Western arrogant system began various wars in the region so they could- in their own words- form a new Middle East. But the will of the Supreme Leader and the people stood against the West, and today we are witnessing that Iran is the undisputed regional power. In reality, all measures in global equations will be defeated without Iran’s presence and this is the present undeniable reality.”
- “The Iranian nation made the world understand that it is a nation of rational dialogue but will never be a nation of compromise and surrender. The Supreme Leader’s statements based on the West’s lying and oath-breaking was proven correct after the Geneva Accord.”
- “It was necessary to give this opportunity to the West so it could sit at the negotiations table with Iran, and the righteousness of the system and Supreme Leader would be proven in action.”
- “Officials must have received this message from the Iranian people and Supreme Leader, that if they seek to enter diplomacy with the West they must negotiate with a rational position and avoid compromise and retreat from the Revolution’s ideals.”
- “America, with its unilateral sanctions, sought to prove to regional countries that the only country that stood in the region has been defeated, surrendering to Western desires. But the people’s presence in supporting the system and the Supreme Leader demonstrated that the arrogant have fallen deep in the slumber of ignorance.”
- “The front of the Dominant System [West] has understood that if a confrontation arises, the Ashuraei Iranian nation is always prepared to take action.”
- “The people gave a firm answer to America and its allies and said that we ostracize anyone who plays in the enemy’s field in the sensitive situation and supports the Dominant System during sensitive times [referring to Mousavi and Karoubi].”
- “With the twofold behavior of the West, the Supreme Leader’s statements on not being optimistic to the negotiations were affirmed. In reality, giving the field to our country’s diplomats was an ultimatum with the West.”
- “Another matter was the reminder of this truth to the enemies that we were not afflicted with self-defeat during difficult circumstances, rather we demonstrated the art of our management.”
- “Some claim that living and economic problems are critical but they are not. The nation that has stood against bullies for thirty-five years has demonstrated its capability to manage itself. By placing the principle of economic resistance, we will strengthen the system’s internal structure.”
- “If we were going to surrender then we would have never revolted. We revolted to achieve our political and economic independence and it is natural for imperialist and autocratic powers to take action against the Islamic Republic. But with God’s favor, we will surpass these difficult terrains like in the past.”
- “Being placed under sanctions and against the West has only proven Iran’s dignity and glory, rather than an incapable image.”
- IRGC Navy Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi extolled Iranian naval strength and announced Tehran’s commitment to guaranteeing energy security in the Persian Gulf region:
- “The options that have advanced the Islamic Revolution are commitment to the holy law of Islam, obedience to the Supreme Leader and unity.”
- “In surface, sub-subsurface and the air this force is Iran’s military superiority in the Persian Gulf. Our intelligence and operational capability has caused the fear of foreigners present in the Persian Gulf.”
- “America has come to the Persian Gulf with the goal of dominating the world, because this is the vital region for oil production in the world and is a strategic region for maintaining global security. But the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a divine power, seeks to preserve regional peace and stability while providing security in the Persian Gulf.”
- “Countries inside and outside the region today consider the Islamic Republic of Iran as the most important guarantor of security in the Persian Gulf. They are certain that if any one greedy country seeks to challenge regional security it will confront the deterrent measure of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
- IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami wished success for the Islamic Republic’s diplomacy efforts and lauded Iranian power:
- “We were able to free the strategic regional spaces from the enemy’s control. Our enemies are no longer effective in the eastern Mediterranean and northern Africa. No strength is left from the infidel front to weaken the Syrian government.”
- “We have not wanted to use our most powerful instruments to the fullest extent possible like the enemy, because we have wanted the world to be peaceful. The field of our effect is more than what is imagined.”
- If we want to create ebb and flow, the situation of our enemies will be much more different, which this movement is at the border of high peaks and the shores of great wishes.”
- “Our struggle with the enemy today has taken a powerful diplomatic aspect to it, which we have to defend the greatness and dignity of the nation and the system just like the Sacred Defense era [Iran-Iraq War].”
- “Today we have surpassed the border of deterrence and our enemies knows this.”
- Qom Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Hashem Hosseini Bushehri discussed the Islamic Republic’s position during the nuclear negotiations and stated, “The Arak heavy water reactor is a red line of the Islamic Republic and must be observed. We must not retreat in the negotiations. The number of centrifuges must not be reduced, research activities must not cease and [we] must not retreat from the Islamic system’s defense matters.” Bushehri then reiterated Iran’s commitment to its agreements with the West, “which has been approved by the Supreme Leader and is one of the principles of the Islamic Republic during negotiations….”
- Supreme National Security Council Secretary Maj. Gen. Ali Shamkhani warned the West that “The window of interaction and cooperation” is not open forever and stated, “Future negotiations will show that the West had no choice but to choose the nuclear negotiations table against Iran.” He added, “Members of the negotiations team represent the system’s political will for constructive interaction in the international arena, and they will continue on this path with complete seriousness and with the goal of completely securing the Iranian nation’s rights.”
- Tehran Friday Prayer Leader and Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati criticized the US and stated, “For example, they give messages that we must back down in the nuclear matters and cease missile plans. What right does America have to meddle in the country and what do Iran’s missile programs have to do with America? We must have defensive strength. But must we reduce our defense security so you (American government) can assault us whenever you want?” Jannati then condemned this week’s attack against the Iranian culture mission in Beirut, calling it “a work of the takfiris.”
- Aseman newspaper was shut down and its managing director arrested, after six days of operations, following the publishing of an editorial that called the Islamic punishment law “inhuman” earlier this week.
- MP Hamid Rasaei called Aseman newspaper, “An example of literates supported and praised by Mr. Rouhani.”
- MP Ali Motahari criticized the closure of Aseman news paper, saying “Such behavior of the prosecution with the media that immediately ceases and arrests the managing director is appropriate for times of war not for times of normality.”
- Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani issued orders to various parliamentary commissions on the implementation of economic resistance policies, ratified by the Supreme Leader earlier this week.
- Friday Prayer leaders throughout the country emphasized “the fulfillment” of the Supreme Leader’s economic resistance policies.
- Head of the Religious Endowments and Charitable Affairs Organization Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Mohammadi stated, “The down with America [slogan] that the Iranian nation says during the thirty-five years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution is like the ‘I take refuge in God from the accursed Satan’ [prayer].”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- The 15th Joint Iran and China Economic Cooperation Commission began in Tehran earlier today. Discussions will take place within the framework of the following four committees: Investment, Capital Procurement, Economic and Trade Affairs, and Provincial Cooperation.
- Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif will visit Tehran soon to discuss increased bilateral relations.
- Iran and Pakistan announced the formation of a committee to track the five Iranian border patrol guards kidnapped by Jaish al-Adl earlier this month. They are suspected to be in Pakistan.
- Lebanese Hezbollah buried member Mousa Mohammad Taliyeh AKA Fajr, who was killed in Syria. Prominent Lebanese Hezbollah military and political officials, including an MP, attended his funeral, alongside followers of the Islamic Resistance movement and the Imam Mahdi Scouts group.
- Engineering Affairs Deputy to the Oil Minister Amad Hosseini announced negotiations with multinational oil companies, simultaneous with the nuclear negotiations, to attract direct foreign investment in Iran, particularly in the South Pars gas fields.
- The Oil Ministry released a statement requesting the transfer of $1.5 billion in blocked Iranian oil revenues from India, based on the Geneva Accord. If New Delhi accepts, India would be the third country after Japan and South Korea to transfer parts of blocked Iranian oil revenues.
- Energy Minister Hamid Chit Chiyan announced the increase of water prices and electricity tariffs in the next Persian New Year [beginning mid-March].
- Editorial in Jomhouri-ye Eslami news paper discussed the meaning of “economic resistance”: “Economic resistance means a method to confront sanctions against a country or region under sanctions, while imports and exports are prohibited for that country. This economy means identifying pressure arenas and taking measure to control their effects. In ideal situations, such pressures transform to opportunity. Also, in achieving economic resistance foreign dependencies must decrease and domestic production and self-sufficiency must be emphasized.”
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