Iran news round up October 29, 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 and Marie Donovan.

Official Statements

  • In an exclusive interview with France 24  in Paris, National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Chairman and MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi discussed the US-led coalition against ISIL , regional relations, nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, and human rights:
    • On US-led Coalition: “The very countries that created the Islamic State group are now part of a coalition that … wants to destroy them.”
    • “How can a contradiction like this be resolved? It’s only natural that we cannot trust [the coalition]. We don’t want to enter a political game.”
    • On Iran-Iraq joint efforts: “We will not take any steps without coordination with the Iraqi government. We have openly announced full cooperation with them in confronting terrorists, namely ISIL, because Iraq is an independent country and our neighbor, so we will coordinate with them before taking a single step. At the same time we will act firmly with coordination with Iraq if ISIL gets close to our borders.”
    • On Iran-Saudi Arabia relations: “I think there is a chance for [détente]; it is Saudi Arabia who has pursued and welcomed a climate for improved relations. During Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian’s visit to Riyadh he met with [Saudi Foreign Minister] Saud al-Faisal, he proposed a meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif as soon as possible. So the Saudis are interested in improving relations. As to why their attitudes [criticism] fluctuate, I think that is a question to ask the Saudis.”
    • On nuclear negotiations: “If for any reason there is no agreement, then this path will no longer remain one-way, with us sticking to our end of the bargain, while our opposite numbers deliver nothing.”
    • “If needs be, we will embark on a legal process … to take everything back to square one.”
    • “At the end of the day there are only two possibilities, either both sides will decide to extend the interim agreement, which is a separate topic, or there is acknowledgement that we have adhered to all conditions laid out in the Geneva Agreement.”
    • “There is an expectation from Iran that all sanctions be lifted.”
    • On human rights: “Americans executed 30 people in 2014, two of them were women, [and] there is no negative reaction coming from France or any [Western] country. My comment is more about the human rights situation in Iran and the descriptions… They are completely unjust. Iran is criticized for its treatment of religious minorities and women; they are incorrect our women have roles in all sectors of society, including the Vice Presidency and religious minorities are represented in parliament.” (Tasnim News Agency) (Fars News Agency)
  • Basij Organization Commander Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi spoke to Basij members at the border town of Parsabad in Ardabil province and expressed gratitude for their work and reiterated the need to introduce an Islamic society to the world:
    • “Thanks to the zeal, perseverance, and support of the Parsabad border guards, this part of the country has become one of the safest border areas.”
    • “After the breaking up of the ideas of the East and West, the nations of the world need to be introduced to a new Islamic civilization, Iran works to introduce a model of Islamic society to the world.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed last week’s Iraqi operation in Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad:
    • “The mop-up operation in Jurf al-Sakhar by the Iraqi armed forces and volunteer forces without foreign intervention can serve as the best example for freeing and clearing areas in Iraq and Syria of takfiri terrorists.”
    • “This successful operation proved that the Iraqi government and people defend their sovereignty, independence, national unity, and territorial integrity.” (IRNA)
  • President Hassan Rouhani defended his nomination for the Minister of Science, Research and Technology (SRT) Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi before the parliament:
    • “The main objective of the government and the parliament, the three branches and all of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials is the reformation of society, the establishment of goodness and the clearing out of its moral vices; wherever we are together and joined hand in hand, wherever we are, we agree, we are not touchy, we are of the same heart – this is where we won. In foreign policy, we won; in domestic politics, we won; in the economy we took major steps forward, and we took concrete steps forward not only for the security of the country but for the security of the region.”
    • “Between us and you there is the ruling and the governing of the constitution, and the main referee is the Mighty Allah and public opinion. The public opinion is such that it will judge, and always wants unity. The public opinion of our government does not like distance nor, God forbid, obstinacy… This government is not stubborn; and regarding the parliament’s decision to question and impeach ministers: the votes of the members of the parliament must respect the constitution.”
    • “We need a new doctrine in science education and new planning. We don’t want the university to be the center of political games. We do not want our universities to be the arena for one [political] wing or another…. Moderation should prevail in our university.”  (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani discussed the recent conflict in Gaza and criticized the US approach to disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation:
    • “With no conclusion to the condemnation of the Zionist regime’s actions in the 51-day attack of the people of Gaza… the regime will likely repeat its attacks.”
    • “On the nuclear issue, Iran believes in continuing the negotiations with the P5+1, and in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the enjoyment of all their rights and existing laws; recent as well as past reports show Iran’s commitment to a peaceful nuclear program…Unfortunately, the dual approach of the West towards disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation has not helped. The United Nations should follow the priorities and seriousness of establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.” (Tasnim News Agency)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • An unnamed Iraqi security official claims that IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Badr Brigades Commander Hadi al-Amri are leading the fight to liberate the city of Bayji north of Baghdad. This report comes after a number of photos of Soleimani and Amri were published online (see Iran Tracker News Roundup October 27).  (Bas News)
  • A high-ranking Iranian parliamentary delegation headed by NSFP Parliamentary Commission Chairman MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi traveled to Paris to meet with French lawmakers in order to promote enhanced Tehran-Paris relations. (IRNA)
  • Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Strategic Research Center Ali Akbar Velayati met with Chinese representative Wang Chong on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks and discussed potential improvement in Chinese-Iranian relations:
    • “We can surmise from the remarks of the representative of China that its relationship to the Islamic Republic of Iran and our goodwill with the country of China is recognized and acknowledged.”
    • “In the near future, the President of China will travel to Iran to establish relationships; thus, we felt that china has a great desire to make this trip, and this trip can be a source of transformation in relations between Iran and China on bilateral and international relations.” (Tasnim News Agency)

Domestic Politics

  • Parliament cast a vote of no confidence for President Hassan Rouhani’s nomination of Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi for Minister of Science, Research, and Technology. Parliament previously impeached former Minister Reza Faraji Dana in August. President Rouhani expressed his disappointment and claimed his government is “not being stubborn, voting for Nili is non-partisan.” (Mehr News)
  • Tehran Representative MP Ali Motahari spoke about why President Hassan Rouhani’s nomination for Minister of Science, Research, and Technology was not accepted by parliament:
    • “Parliament is very sensitive after the issues of 2009, and also the government does not have a perfect relationship with parliament or even among its supporters in parliament.”
    • “Since the parliament will be affected by this vote and if the relationship between the two branches were good there could have been a vote of confidence.”
    • “One of the problems of the present government is they lack an adequate understanding of parliament.” (Fars News Agency)

    By AEI Critical Threats

 

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