Iran news round up October 8, 2014

 selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team.

Official Statements

  • President Hassan Rouhani, addressing a cabinet meeting, called the strengthening of “national security” a prerequisite for “fulfilling the government’s goal of economic growth and expansion of domestic and foreign investment and social stability.” He also issued an order to “cleanse” Iranian cities of the “phenomenon of addiction and beggary” stating that “the phenomenon of beggary and addiction is not Islamic.”
    • The country’s environmental protection agency was also present at this meeting to discuss the country’s environmental issues such as drought and water management. (Fars News)
  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghani addressed IRGC support troops in Mashhad and spoke about the influence of the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War] culture on the Palestinians:
    • “If we see that fourth and fifth generation fighters go up against the Israeli army and overcome them, it is because of a culture from the Sacred Defense.”
    • “Due to the situation in the region and changes that have occurred in Lebanon and Palestine, the path of the martyrs continues, and we must cherish their memory.” (Defa Press)
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman and MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi in a news conference with reporters discussed his recent travel to Ecuador and Nicaragua and the implementation of the commitments in that region.
    • “The official visits happened at the invitation of foreign policy chiefs of these countries” and “the parliament speakers (of Ecuador and Nicaragua) invited Prime Minister Ali Larijani to visit before the end of 2014.”
    • Boroujerdi added that the US was referred to as the main cause of the existence of terrorist groups such as ISIS. (Tasnim News)
  • Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham dismissed a recent United Nations (UN) human rights report by Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed. Afkham said the report is “far from reality,” adding:
    • “The report is one-sided…and has been produced without observing regulations relating to the responsibilities of the UN Human Rights Council agents and lacks the necessary legal basis.”
    • “It seems that a political will beyond the UN human rights mechanisms has been involved in producing the report.” (ISNA)
  • Marzieh Afkham released a statement with regards to the humanitarian crisis in Kobani, Syria. Afkham said Iran is prepared to take action:
    • “Kobani is a part of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and if this government makes a request and asks for any assistance, we are ready to help.”
    • “Iran would dispatch humanitarian aid and medicine to people in Kobani as soon as possible.” (IRNA)
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani addressed lawmakers in parliament and discussed ongoing regional crises, calling Iran’s role in combating terrorism “very important.” Larijani added:
    • “Measures adopted by certain regional courtiers have resulted in an increase in the terrorist groups’ scope of influence on the region.”
    • “Some regional countries, which provided support for terrorists, did not know that they were fueling the flames, which can engulf their own country.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Supreme Virtual Space Council Secretary Mohammad Hassan Entezari attended the 2014 International Iran Tele Com Exhibition in Tehran and announced to reporters the council’s upcoming agenda to approve 30 stipulations, the reason for delay in meetings, and also the operationalizing of a “smart filtering software”:
    • “This meeting will be held soon and the reason for delay is the importance of material introduced in this council. On this basis, the National Virtual Space Center (NVSC) is preparing and coordinating a great number of meeting agenda that will be introduced in this meeting.”
    • “One of [the 30 proposals awaiting the President’s stamp] is the national information network supervision system that will soon be issued to the Information and Communication Technology Ministry.”
    • He added that last week’s unveiling of a “smart filtering software” can “refine unwanted sections in internet sites. In other words, this software is a refining system that does not close an entire website and gives the user an ability to access the content faster. In this regard, other research projects have begun in the NVSC.” (Mehr News)
  • Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi met with cyber experts from the Ministry of Defense and discussed the military power of Iran:
    • “In the past before Islam it was usually the army with the largest number of fighters who won, but Islam changed the balance of power. As it says in the Quran, if 20 Muslims go against 200 men, the Muslims will be victorious.”
    • “The most important tool is causing fear in the enemy, Iranian Islamic volunteer martyrs is something the enemy does not have.” (ABNA)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani met with former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in Tehran. The two sides discussed the ongoing Syrian crisis, specifically the Kurdish city of Kobani. Shamkhani said:
    • “The situation… that Kobani in northern Syria is currently faced with, is proof of the ineffectiveness of the coalition…and certain countries in the region under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”
    • “Ignorance of the countries’ right of sovereignty and irresponsible measures by the so-called anti-terrorism coalition and certain regional countries will further complicate the fragile security and political conditions in the region.” (Young Journalists Club)
  • Lebanese Hezbollah released a statement claiming responsibility for planting an anti-tank bomb that wounded three military personnel in the occupied territory of Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon on Tuesday:
    • “The Martyr Haisan Ali Haidar group carried out an operation at 2:22 in the afternoon targeting a Zionist regime military vehicle in southern Lebanon.” (ABNA)
  • The Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fathali met with the Head of the Druze Lebanese Democratic Party Talal Arslan and spoke of Iranian military gifts ready to be given to Lebanon. Fathali expressed hope that these gifts would be quickly given to the Lebanese government through a clear legal process and also mentioned that the Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel would be traveling to Tehran on October 17.  (ISNA)
  • In an interview with Ahlul Bayt News Ageny, Iranian Ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani praised the formation of Syria “popular forces” inspired by Iran’s Basij, the decisive intervention of Lebanese Hezbollah [LH], and the moral support of “millions” of Iranians to defend the sacred shrines, though Sheibani emphasized that “no forces” have been sent to fight in Syria. He then called for “serious cooperation” between regional countries, but without “the meddling” of international forces:
    • “We witnessed that ISIS terrorists faced repeated defeats after the entrance of popular forces to the field of combat.”
    • “[LH Secretary] Hassan Nasrallah’s recent speech emphasized the necessity of regional cooperation to overcome this problem. We also emphasize, in our way, the necessity of this cooperation.”
    • “The popular defense, which in reality is appropriately modelled based of the highly capable Basij in Iran, was able to defend well the sacred shrines in Syria and deflect to a great extent the threats posed by terrorist groups such as ISIS.”
    • “The existence of foreign elements in regional events will only complicate matters, creating a new dimension of threats and problems. We therefore must pay great attention to the lack of meddling by international forces in the events.”
    • “In the Islamic Republic of Iran, many youth announced their readiness to defend the sacred shrines. Although no forces were sent, they were able to serve as a good support for Syrian youth who had the responsibility of defending the sacred shrines.”
    • “LH measures in entering the Syrian crisis and support this country’s nation and government especially the sacred shrines were very successful and effective. If LH had not entered this matter, it would have witnessed ISIS crimes against its own people.” (ABNA)
  • After meeting with the Iraqi Sports Minister Abdolhossen Abtan, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that national unity among Iraqi political groups can prevent “the spread of extremist groups in Iraq.” He also expressed his satisfaction and hopefulness with the establishment of the new government in Iraq, in particular Iraq’s handling of terrorist groups.
    • Larijani concluded that regular dialogue and consultation between the two countries’ political officials and parliamentarians and implementation of the agreements discussed are necessary moving forward.
    • Abdolhossen Abtan also appreciated Iran’s support and said, “The Islamic Republic has always been a supporter of the fight against terrorism and peace in Iraq which will never be forgotten.” (IRNA)
  • Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader’s Representative in the IRGC Maj. Gen. Yadollah Javani, in an interview with IRGC-affiliated news outlet Tasnim News Agency, warned Turkey about ISIL, saying that “if Turkey does not correct its behavior the Syrian and Iraqi crises will undoubtedly become Turkish crises as well and its leaders should not be deceived by America’s displayed actions.” Javani continued to criticize Turkey in its fight against ISIL:
    • “Unfortunately Turkish authorities have no understanding of developments in the world and not only do their actions not provide national and world security but in the near distant future will pose risks for the internal security of their country.”
    • “Turkey has played a key role in mobilizing the terrorist organization ISIL.” (Tasnim NewsAgency)
  • Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that Iran is not in a hurry to reopen the British embassy and that the two countries are slowly going through the process. She also noted that British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s United Nations General Assembly remarks were unacceptable. Afkham also answered a question about Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s potential travel to Riyadh saying that “direct talks and negotiations are on the agenda”.
    • Afkham emphasized that Prime Minister Cameron’s recent remarks were counterproductive, stating that “these talks have had an unacceptable impact on the work environment and we are in no rush to resume diplomatic relations”. (Mehr News)

Nuclear Talks

Trilateral talks between Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Zarif, and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton will take place on Wednesday October 15 in Vienna. They will meet to discuss the framework of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. (ISNA)

By AEI Critical Threats

 

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