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) Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari speaking in a Cultural ceremony reiterated the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s warning regarding “soft war” and said “The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has on various occasions warned against the hostile moves by the enemies of Iran to damage the country’s cultural values and urged authorities to deal with the issue of cultural onslaught in a wise and calculated manner.” Jafari also underscored a need for a “widespread and spontaneous” move by the nation in order to combat the cultural confrontation.
- Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan met with Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov in Tehran to underline the Islamic Republic’s readiness to fulfill the defensive needs of Azerbaijan and said Iran’s border with its Azeri neighbor is one of “friendship and fraternity.” Dehghan also noted “The regional governments should seriously put the fundamental fight against terrorism, violence, and its elements in the region and in the world on their agenda.”
- Armed Forces General Staff Headquarters Basij Affairs and Defense Culture Deputy IRGC Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri criticized the U.S. policy towards Iran:
- “We are telling the Americans that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces do not accept any unreasonable [nuclear] agreement.”
- “Despite the passage of three decades since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Americans and Europeans still do not understand the dominant discourse of the Islamic Revolution. Unfortunately they interpret and analyze all phenomena in their colonial [worldview], essentially one of the reasons for the failures of the arrogant Westerners against Iran stems from this.”
- Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced Iranian Navy vessels will be equipped with domestically developed cruise missiles and said “Ghadir cruise missiles have been mounted on both destroyers and missile-launching warships of the Navy, and they are also used as coast-to-sea missiles.”
- Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces held a four-day drill in Kermanshah along the Iran-Iraq border. The drill was called “Eqtedar 3” and involved 6,000 forces with the aim of enhancing border guardsmen’s preparedness to counter threats.
- Foreign Ministry Spokeswomen Marzieh Afkham announced Iran’s plans to file an official complaint against the U.S. and said “The move to deny a visa to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permanent representative [Hamid Abu Talebi] and ambassador to the UN is in violation of the international laws and contrary to agreements signed between the UN and the US government.”
- Security and Enforcement Deputy to the Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi announced that “A security working group from the Islamic Republic of Iran will travel to Qatar,” to discuss counter-terrorism measures, anti-illicit immigration patrols in coastal waters, fighting against money laundering and drug trafficking.
- Editorial in the IRGC weekly Sobh-e Sadegh said the U.S. denial of a visa to President Rouhani’s UN appointment, Hamid Abu Talebi demonstrated: “Only resistance and firmness are solution with America and the West; that is all.”
- “This matter demonstrated well that the Rouhani administration has no difference with other administrations with the Americans… Having hope in negotiations and dialogue to resolve bilateral issues is an unrealistic hope.”
- European and American Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi announced that the Foreign Ministry is pursuing the denial of visa by U.S. Congress to Abu Talebi through the UN Relations Host Committee.
- Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Head Ali Akbar Salehi discussed ongoing negotiations with Moscow to construct four nuclear energy plants:
- “God willing, we will begin the first this year and then begin construction on the rest every two years. We will indigenize these as much as possible.”
- To achieve the country’s goal of producing 20 thousand megawatts from nuclear plants, Salehi said “We need an additional 50 thousand centrifuges it is necessary for the Bushehr nuclear fuel to provide for our country… Therefore, we need an additional 30 thousand machines so Natanz can produce fuel only for the Bushehr plant.”
- “One of the best parts of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), now and later, is research and expansion, meaning its critical component. They have not said anything about research and expansion. There are some problems in enrichment; they say that they must determine the levels of enrichment, production and the like. They are attempting to make some compromises in research and expansion, while they must remain committed to the same principles that they agreed in the JPA.”
- “It is our right to enrich from one percent until 90 percent. We will not abrogate this right. It is voluntary if we commit ourselves to a certain level of enrichment, not that it is an acceptance of the opposition’s force. We voluntarily accepted not to enrich more than five percent, for example.”
- “If you go and say that we need 50% enrichment, our boys can get the equipment together in three to four days. We do not have any problems in enrichment. We might have problems in other areas, though.”
- Legal and International Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced thatthe Central Bank of Iran has received the fifth installment ($550 million) of previously frozen funds transferred in accordance with the Joint Plan of Action.
- Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani underscored Iran’s determination to resolve the nuclear issue during an Expediency Council meeting. Addressing the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1, Rafsanjani noted:
- “The world should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran, while reserving its nuclear rights, calls for interaction and dialogue to resolve the [nuclear] matter.”
- “We will defend our legal rights in the course of these negotiations.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member MP Mohammad Hassan Asefari announced that the committee would summon Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the Parliament should the Islamic Republic not file a complaint against the U.S. within the next ten days.
- Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Ne’matzadeh in an interview with a German media outlet announced Iran’s willingness to be a primary gas provider for the EUand said “We have the energy reserves and the cooperation plans to be a reliable, safe and stable supplier…We know that Europe’s gas demands are growing [but] we do not want to compete with Russia.”
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