Iran news round up – October 22, 2014

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Diana Timmerman, and Marie Donovan.

Official Statements

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed students and athletes to  stress the importance of science and the economy:
    • “Iran has to rely on its resources of intelligence and young talent to run the country, and should not rely on volatile revenue sources and underground oil.”
    • “Scientific motion should not be interrupted, because any interruption causes progress to go backwards.”
    • “Countries that have such an economic plan [of relying on oil] have a clear future. Instead of relying on oil revenues Iran should rely on our dynamic resources, meaning intelligence and young talent to produce scientific advancements and knowledge, in this way no other power on earth will be able to catch up with the economy of this country.” (Leader)
  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke at a closing ceremony for a Quran recitation competition for members of the IRGC Air Force and their families and warned how enemies are targeting the youth:
    • “The enemies seeks to change the faces of our youth into symbols of Satan. The enemies have declared their intention to influence the hearts of our youth in order to change their very nature and attract the youth to them, so now we need to adhere to the Quran more than ever.”
    • “The Quran provides clear examples of all parts and walks of life, it shows our history and our direction for the future.” (Defa Press)
  • Armed Forces General Staff Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi spoke at a meeting of the Supreme National Defense University concerning upcoming mourning ceremonies in the month of Muharram. These ceremonies commemorate the Battle of Karbala where Shi’a Imam Hussein ibn Ali was killed by the forces of Umayyad Caliph Yazid:
    • “On the eve of the mourning ceremonies of the month of Muharram we celebrate Hussein. These ceremonies celebrate the victory of blood over the sword.”
    • “Today all of ISIL is Yazid (Umayyad Caliph)…and all the religions of Hussein should stand against them.” (Defa Press)
  • Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Amoli Larijani spoke on the 2009 Green Movement at a meeting of the judiciary which recalled the late Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani’s efforts to build an Islamic university:
    • “We will not allow the sedition again which they want to unfold and cause trouble. The judiciary shows no fear of the attacks which are constantly escalating…”
    • “There have been efforts made in this regard, but results must be reached, because we have so much to say to the world.  [This] education is divine and their brilliance, and should therefore not fear the “isms”, but instead you must fight against the invading cultures.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham addressed the press about nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 and said expert-level negotiations are underway in Vienna. Afkham also discussed sanctions and said:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s position in the nuclear negotiations and reaching a final comprehensive deal that removes sanctions is clear.”
    • Afkham rejected reports claiming that Iran was interested in a deal that would partially lift sanctions: “None of the speculations, which are made in some foreign media usually with certain ill-intentions regarding the details of the negotiations, are true.”
    • On the Foreign Minister’s upcoming trip: “Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the fourth regional conference on Afghanistan hosted in Beijing.” (Fars News Agency)
    • “Regional issues are among the subjects under discussion by the two countries; although the two countries don’t have identical views on the regional issues, good and constructive talks are underway between Iran and Turkey on such topics.” (Mehr News)
  • President Hassan Rouhani nominated Dr. Mahmoud Nili Ahmad Abadi as the Minister of Science, Research and Technology. Dr. Abadi is a Metallurgy professor at and the Chancellor of the University of Tehran. (IRNA)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman and MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi met with the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries and spoke of strengthening ties with Turkic speaking countries and stated that terrorist groups in the region are receiving support from the West:
    • “Given the historical connection between Turkic speaking countries and neighboring Iran, suitable actions should be taken in politics, economics, and culture to benefit both nations and regional stakeholders.”
    •  “The strength of terrorist groups in the region is the result of strategic mistakes made by Western powers and their allies.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi:
    • “The government and the people of Iran stand with the people and the government of Iraq in all circumstances, and will support them in every possible way.”
    • “In helping the government and the people of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not give the terrorist groups permission to endanger and threaten the security, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq.”
    • “The formation of a new government in Iraq has been a sign of the intelligence of Iraq’s politicians.”
    • “Using the economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities of Iran could help solve many of Iraq’s economic problems.”  (Tasnim News Agency)
  • President of the Strategic Defense Studies Center and former Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi discussed Iran aiding the Lebanese military:
    • “Iran’s military aid to Lebanon is within the Lebanese Army’s current needs and problems.”
    • “These countries [Israel and the US] often declare that they will give arms to the Lebanese Army, and will strengthen it; however, until now such actions have not occurred, and they wish the Lebanese army to be weak.”  (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi traveled toQom to meet with senior Shi’a clergy. (Tasnim News)
    • Al-Abadi also met with former head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and current member of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. (Asriran)
  • Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah discussed ongoing regional crises and ISIL:
    • “Now is a golden opportunity to destroy the takfiri… The security situation is largely under control.”
    • “Today the axis of resistance is victorious.”
    • “I reassure the warriors that we are in a very good situation and that we are very much advanced and strong in preparation.”
    • “The takfiri elements are too debilitated to attack Beqqa [Lebanon], because they are besieged, chaotic and unorganized… They have two options, either they die from the cold or casually dress and disguise themselves and go to Syria or Lebanon.”
    • Pointing to the US-led coalition against ISIL: “The war against Syria is not to just overthrow President Bashar al-Assad it is to draw a new regional order.” (ABNA)

Military and Security

  • Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam discussed Iran’s border security and said:
    • “As long as terrorist groups have freedom [of movement] in neighboring countries, attacks on Iranian territory are not far-fetched.”
    • “Sealing border roads and deployment of border (guards) units in the remaining parts will be completed this year and if the parliament approves a good budget, the job will be accomplished in one year.” (IRNA)

    By AEI Criminal Threats

 

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