Iran news round up – February 28, 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.

 

Military and Security

  • Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi addressed armed forces participating in the “Ala Beitol-moghaddas” [Toward Jerusalem] military exercise and claimed “The enemies must know today that the Basijis are continuously ready and are counting down to the time when the order of liberating Jerusalem is issued.”
    • Naghdi also emphasized that military exercises can only achieve so much “When today we are confronting a widespread cultural invasion and an imposed economic war.” He said, “Cultural and training activities, familiarity with martyrs, holding Followers of the Light tours [taking participants to Iran-Iraq War era battlefields] and connecting with the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution and the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] are important matters that must be taken more seriously every day.”
    • “Basij activities in the resistance economy arena will multiply next year [2014-2015] and these measures must be expanded rapidly.”
    • The existence of the “civilian actors unit” in the Pentagon, “Whose main goal is identifying deceived individuals in targeted countries and sending them to the field as America’s infantry.”
  • IRGC Saheb al-Amr Division (Qazvin Province) Commander Brig. Gen. Salar Abnoush indirectly criticized the Rouhani administration and discussed soft war:Armed Forces General Staff Headquarter Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi called the Supreme Leader’s “resistance economy” policies a “Road map for setting up an Islamic economy, and the most important feature of this economy is that economic progress comes hand-in-hand with social justice.”
    • “Arrogance [West] has designed satellite programs in a way that the Iranian youth are not immune. They sanction our country to capture the education and ingenuity of our youth; this is the art of soft war.”
    • “In the [2009] sedition, Saudi Arabia injected cash. Seditionists turned their backs to Imam [Khomeini] and the blood of martyrs, and we will never forget this stigma.”
    • “Why must individuals who had a hand in previous seditions as well as the [2009] sedition reach power and responsibility today? You and I have seen many such individuals and will not be deceived.”
    • “If we are companions of the Revolution, [then] Reformist and Principlists have no meaning. Some only carry the sign of these currents. Today the sign of moderation has also emerged, and such phrases and partisanship will not allow the Revolution to reach its rightful place.”
    • “A martyr is the symbol of anti-Arrogance. Until the time that martyrs and martyrdom persevere in Iran, the enemy cannot get close to us.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani addressed IRGC Navy Forces and discussed deterrence and establishing dominance in the Persian Gulf:IRGC-affiliated media outlet Tasnim News Agency published an article detailing the arming of a number of IRGC Navy Forces Area One helicopters with radar evading Nasr missiles. The missile’s latest model can reportedly strike targets within a 35 kilometer radius and is reportedly capable of destroying targets of up to 3,000 tons.
    • “This military power and high deterrence capability of ours do not permit the enemy to cast a greedy eye on our country.”
    • “We must establish our dominance in this region, and this duty in the seas is usually placed on the shoulders of navy forces.”
    • “Whenever our armed forces are certain that an order is issued by the Supreme Leader, they will be ready for any sacrifice and will stand against the enemy.”
    • “Equipment alone cannot make us successful and it is this sacrificing and mujahidforce that will lead to  success in any field.”
  • Interior Ministry Spokesman Hossein Ali Amiri responded to Jaish al Adl’s threat of executing one of the five kidnapped Iranian border guards and said, “We have the necessary information in this regard; measures are taking place which cannot be divulged.”
  • Head of the Iran and Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship group Gholam Ali Assadollahi recommended the use of Baluchi tribes in securing their release. He added that Islamabad should permit Iran to pursue Jaish al Adl inside Pakistan if “it cannot truly defend its borders.” The border guards were kidnapped earlier this month.

Politics

  • Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda criticized the Rouhani administration for its confrontation with the Aseman newspaper controversy [See Iran News Round Up February 21, 2014] and for being connected to an outlet that “Has claimed Baha’ism is [a] religious minority.” He stated, “This matter means secularism will grow in moderation. One must ask whether this administration truly wants to be the bedrock of secularism. The second matter is that atheists seek to tie the matter of human rights with political matters and affect the Vienna nuclear meetings. Is this administration indifferent to them? These are America’s mercenaries and want to act against the system’s expediency…”
  • President Hassan Rouhani briefed reporters at the end of his three-day Hormozgan province tour:
    • He expressed hope that Jasak port will commence exporting oil during his administration and added that the inflation rate will decrease from 33% to 25% in 2014-2015.
    • Rouhani also urged increased participation of women at all levels of management.
    • He then announced, “Instead of fighting and looking into each other’s records, let us stand against corruption.”
  • Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami discussed the “resistance economy” and criticized the Rouhani administration for appointing “seditionists”:
    • “’Resistance economy’ will nullify all sanctions and the head of the three branches answered [the Supreme Leader] well. We hope to see the answer in the execution of resistance economy policies.”
    • “With attention to the Supreme Leader’s statements, we say with perspicuity that the [2009] seditionists were extremists, which some of them handsomely get an official government post. On the other side, they call the proud [men] who have stood against their velvet coup d’état ‘extremists.’”
    • “If you seek unity, avoid similar words. If you think that you can run out religious proud [men] from the scene, [then] you are mistaken, because the religiously proud receive their orders from the Supreme Leader and will not be affected by your media.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani commented on the nuclear negotiations and said, “In the final agreement [with the P5+1], nuclear achievements must be preserved…All of our nuclear sites are active under the [International Atomic Energy Agency] and the enemies are seeking political adventurism in this field …They are upset that a country in the region has stood against their bullying and they want Iran to change its behavior.”
  • Parliament Vice Chairman Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi Fard discussed the nuclear negotiations and the Geneva Accord:
    • “If we view the matter fairly, the nuclear negotiations are a sign of the Islamic Republic’s strength in the global scene; albeit we could have certainly entered from a more superior position of strength.”
    • “Today, America’s position has changed 180 degrees from its previous position. If anyone evaluates these negotiations, they understand that Iran is victorious. The opposing side has reached a joint measure with the Islamic Republic, which has these capabilities and its sites are active.”
    • “Currently, we do not need uranium above 5%. This is one of the system’s policies and has existed before as well. In this regard, we will use the amount of 20% enriched uranium that is needed for the Tehran reactor and will reduce the rest to less than 5% enrichment.”
    • “The message of this part of the accord is that our nuclear activities at the current level have been officially recognized.”
    • “The administration is responsible for executing the system’s broad policies. The negotiations framework is determined in the Supreme National Security Council.”
    • “The P5+1 requested inspections higher beyond the NPT. The information that will be given to them in these next six months is beyond the NPT. But the primary matter for them is to reach an agreement within these six months, which will take place with attention to our system’s position. In the true sense of the word, we are in a position of strength.”
    • “This matter gives the message to the negotiations side that the system’s strategy is not dependent on these conversations. If they are honest in this discourse, [then] they should behave in such a way that creates trust. In addition, it has a message for our people that they should not tie their destiny to these negotiations.”

Diplomacy

Economy

By AEI Critical Threat

 

The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.