Iran news round up – November 25, 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, Marie Donovan, Warren Marshall, and Dianna Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

 

Key takeaway: Supreme Leader praised the regime’s perseverance in nuclear negotiations with the P5+1, while President Rouhani said sanctions and pressure against Iran have proven to be ineffective.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the US and its European allies were unsuccessful in bringing Iran to its “knees” in Vienna. Khamenei also reiterated his call to arm the resistance in Palestine, arguing that the West Bank must be armed and “… Just as [Iran] aids Shi’a Hezbollah in Lebanon, it aids Hamas and [Palestine] Islamic Jihad, and other Sunni groups in Palestine; it will continue these aids.” Ali Akbar Velayati, moreover, echoed the Supreme Leader’s message and said that Iran will continue to aid Palestine against Israel.

Responding to the extension of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 President Hassan Rouhani said  that Iran’s centrifuges will “never stop” and that  its nuclear rights will be preserved, safeguarding the regime’s redline against reversal of its nuclear capabilities. Ali Larijani, called the extension a “wise” move, underscoring Iran’s commitment to reaching a deal that removes sanctions. The Central Bank of Iran, meanwhile, announced receipt of $2.8 billion in previously frozen assets, per the second phase of the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action.

 

Official statements

  • Khamenei hailed the Iranian nuclear negotiations team and reiterated call to arm Palestinian resistance groups. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised perseverance in the nuclear negotiations, called for “total confrontation” with “takfiri” groups at the “World Assembly of Takfiri Movements from the Perspective of Islamic Ulama” In Tehran:
    • “In the nuclear matter, America and colonialist European countries gathered and did all they could to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not and will not.
    • “In reviewing this dangerous movement [ISIL], it is noted that the primary matter is total confrontation with takfiri movements that encompasses more than the group called ISIL. ISIL in reality is a manifestation of this treacherous movement.”
    • “The Zionist regime is seeking to capture Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock and weaken Palestinians. All Islamic nations and ulama must request their governments to pursue the Palestinian matter.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran, with divine grace, has not become prisoner of sectarian limitations and divisions. Just as it aids Shi’a Hezbollah in Lebanon it aids Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other Sunni groups in Palestine and will continue these aids.”
    • “Just as it was said earlier, the West Bank must be armed and ready to defend. This will be certainly done.” (Office for the Preservation and Publication of the Works of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei)

 

  • President Rouhani reacts to P5+1 talks. President Hassan Rouhani discussed the latest round of nuclear negotiations in a televised interview and said:
    • “Negotiating parties know that sanctions and pressure on Iran is futile.”
    • “The centrifuges will never stop and the [conditions] of the people will get better.”
    • “Iran will continue negotiations and dialogue to reach an agreement based on logic and reason.”
    • “We had a great victory, one in which is more important than what happens in the negotiations, and that great win is that the situation today is not like previous years…”
    • “No one says more sanctions and pressure needs to be placed on Iran, rather they say more time is needed to reach consensus.”
    •  “The first goal [of the next round of negotiations] is the preservation and continuation of [development] of nuclear technology; the second is the removal of sanctions. In the meantime, we continue with our technology, meaning I promise the Iranian nation that the centrifuges will always spin, and will never stop.”
    • “Today, no one in the world doubts that Iran needs nuclear technology, including enrichment on its own soil; and no one doubts that sanctions should be lifted.” (Fars News Agency)

 

  • Ali Larijani welcomes extended talks with P5+1. The Parliament Speaker said extending the timeline for negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is a “wise” move, because there are still unclear dimensions and disagreements in the negotiations. (Mehr News)

 

  • The 2013-2014 budget bill assuming the continuation of Sanctions goes to Parliament.Minister of Economic Affairs Ali Tayeb Nia said given the results of Monday’s nuclear negotiations, a budget bill assuming the continuation of sanctions has been submitted to the parliament. Tayeb Nia added that the budget assumed about a 30% percent decrease in the price of oil as well as a 42% increase in tax revenue. (Alef)

 

  • Negotiations mark historical turning point. Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi stated that the West is challenging Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy. The AFGS Chief reiterated the Supreme Leader’s call to “strengthen from within” in order to counter foreign influence. Firouzabadi added that negotiations are not likely to solve the problem, but Iran should try to get as many positive outcomes as possible through negotiation. (IRNA)

 

  • 7th meeting of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Awakening Conference announced. Ali Akbar Velayati stated that the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening was founded after the wave of Islamic Awakening “in the Arab world [2011 Arab Spring]… with the permission of the Supreme Leader.” The Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader pointed to Yemen, Iraq, and Syria as indicators that the “Islamic Awakening hasn’t stopped.” (ISNA)

 

Nuclear Talks

  • Zarif cancelled trip to Tehran during final stretch of nuclear negotiations. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reported that the plan to consult with senior officials in Tehran was circulated by foreign media outlets. According to an Iranian source, Zarif cancelled his trip because he believed that if he returned to Vienna without consent to make a final deal, the West would blame the Supreme Leader. (Fars News Agency)

 

 

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Foreign Ministry: Iran and Turkey are not competing in the region. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Turkey’s Director General for Bilateral Political Affairs, Ümit Yalçın to discuss the ongoing Syrian crisis. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister, Abdollahian said that the US is not sincere in its fight against ISIL. Abdollahian added that, “Given the circumstances in the region, Tehran and Ankara can play a leading political role in settling the crises…” (ISNA)

 

  • Iran will continue to aid Palestine. Ali Akbar Velayati said that Israel is plotting to destroy the Islamic holy sites. The Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Supreme Leader added: “Just like the dear Leader of the Revolution advised, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s aid to Palestine shall continue.” (IRNA)

 

  • Central Bank of Iran receives deposits from blocked assets. The Central Bank of Iran received $2.8 billion in blocked assets as a part of the second phase of the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action. Also under the agreement $4.2 billion in oil revenues were received in 8 installments. (Tasnim News Agency)

 

Domestic Developments

  • Assailants in Oct 8 attack on Sistan va Baluchistan province outpost arrested. Gen. Abdollah Eraghi, Deputy Commander of the IRGC, announced the arrest of all the assailants responsible for the October 8 attack on the Aspich outpost in Saravan, Sistan va Baluchistan province on the Iran-Pakistan border(Tasnim News Agency)

 

  • Management changes in Ministry of Economy and Finance. Minister of Economy and Finance makes several new appointments: Ministerial Office Director-General Mohammad Sharafshaei was transferred to the ministry’s Resources and Management Development Directorate, replacing outgoing Ahmad Sadeghi Golmakani. Seyyed Hosseini will replace Sharafshaei as Director-General. (Tabnak)

By AEI Critical Threat

 

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