Rouhani

Iran news round up- January 14, 2015

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 Marie Donovan, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Diana Timmerman and Warren Marshall. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: President Rouhani welcomed constructive criticism and reassured the domestic audience that Iran’s negotiations team will not compromise national interest, while Intelligence Minister Alavi praised the administration for strengthening national unity and promoting government transparency.

President Hassan Rouhani underscored the adverse effects of sanctions on the economy and stressed the importance of advancing Iran’s nuclear technology in an effort to become a “power plant-manufacturing country.” Pointing to the P5+1 nuclear negotiations, Rouhani said that it is difficult to reach a consensus with six parties, adding that the door is open for constructive debates and criticism.. Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi, meanwhile, hailed the administration for being inclusive and not marginalizing its opponents. The Ministry of Intelligence Head highlighted the government’s concerted effort to combat state-level corruption and addressed Rouhani’s critics among the elites with entrenched economic interests: “From the first day this administration entered [office], some attacked them. The administration’s crime was that it went after economic corruption and now that corruption is exposed and it is clear that this did not occur under this administration.” Alavi’s statement reinforces the administration’s position against elite conservatives whom Rouhani blamed for draining the treasury, during  his highly charged speech on August 7, 2014.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva, ahead of the January 18 nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1.

Official Statements

  • Alavi praises administration’s efforts to combat economic corruption. Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi said that, through negotiations, oil exports increased, a number of banks released Iran’s frozen assets, and now the whole country is now stocked with basic commodities that can meet our needs. The Head of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security added:
    • “International pressure has been broken, Western negotiators are kneeling to Iran. Iranian negotiators are trying to defend our national rights. The Supreme Leader has also explicitly supported the government.”
    • “14 or 15 years ago, the government marginalized the other side, then the next government [did the same], and the work was entrusted to the hands of few; but now the government, regardless of specific factions, tries to take all sides into account and use the capacity of the people to advance [progress].”
    • “Our Revolution happened so that people are free to express their views; the government has come to restore morality and compassion, virtues that were compromised at one time in this country.”
    • “From the first day this administration entered [office], some attacked them. The administration’s crime was that it went after economic corruption and now that corruption is exposed and it is clear that this did not occur under this administration.” (Fars News Agency)
  • Rouhani discusses the nuclear program and the P5+1 talks. President Hassan Rouhani said Iran must make further advances in its nuclear program while also breaking the effects of sanctions on the economy:
    • “We are the first country in the region to have nuclear power plants, and with the commissioning of two additional power plants our peaceful use of nuclear technology will be expanded even further.”
    • “Iran has paid a heavy cost for the use of this technology because of others’ plots; thus we must further harness its benefits and become a power plant-manufacturing country in the future.”
    • “Know that those negotiating for us today in the nuclear talks understand the national interest and the policy framework and respect the country’s independence.”
    • “We are negotiating with six world powers [the P5+1], which is not an easy task.”
    • Regarding criticism of the government: “Of course I don’t believe that someone who has criticism shouldn’t speak, but we must criticize respectfully and offer better solutions.”
    • “We must diversify our revenue sources; we cannot rely on one source.” (President.ir) (IRNA)
  • Kowsari calls reformist Parliamentarian “delusional.” Mohammad Esmail Kowsari responded to Tehran Representative Ali Motahari’s criticism of hardliners; Kowsari said that, Motahari is “delusional” his opinion insignificant, and that the country has outstanding economic problems that need attention. The National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member added: “Mr. Motahari thinks that, because his honorable father [Morteza Motahari] was an Islamic scholar, he is also a scholar of Islam and has a legal duty to define and determine obligations of legal entities.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • IRGC Deputy Commander calls for new trauma centers. IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami called for the construction of trauma centers mentioning that these centers would be essential for national security by providing support during national emergencies. Salami added that joy, happiness, and peace come from safety, security, and health. (Sepah News)
  • Arrogance is the cause of friction between today’s world and Islamic Revolution. IRGC Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri spoke about strengthening the spirit of the Islamic Revolution and emphasized the importance of the legacy of the Sacred Defense. Jazayeri emphasized the use of soft power against the arrogant powers of the West and said soft power is the key to the success of the Revolution. (Defa Press)
  • New approach to passive defense. Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, Head of the Passive Defense Organization, stated that a new emphasis will be placed on “cultural defense” as part of the passive defense. Jalali stated that Iran faces threats from three main sectors: people-oriented threats, technology-based threats, and intimidation. Jalali asserted that a cultural defense approach along with cyber, economic, and public defense will protect the country against new threats. (Defa Press)
  • Reformist official reveals meetings with Rafsanjani. Jamshid Irani, head of the Moderation Front’s electoral committee, announced that his group had met with Expediency Discernment Council President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and head of the Supreme Leader’s Inspectorate Office Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri regarding the 2016 parliamentary elections. According to Irani, Rafsanjani was his group’s favored candidate in the 2013 presidential race before his disqualification by the Guardian Council. Irani added that former President Mohammad Khatami would lead the group’s activities in future presidential elections. (Mehr News)
  • Amoli Larijani on the West’s double standards regarding terrorism. The Judiciary Head, referring to the recent terrorist attacks in France and their condemnation, said that the West acts as if there were a “bad” and a “good” type of terrorism and terrorist crimes; he noted that In reality, all terrorism is bad and should be treated in an honest manner. Sadegh Amoli Larijani added that certain countries, in particular Israel, are determined to spread Islamophobia across the world, and after recent incidents, attacks against Muslims, Islamic centers, and mosques have increased. In another part of his speech, Larijani referred to the country’s anti-corruption campaign and said, “The most important way to enhance public confidence in investment and to increase domestic production is to tackle corruption and increase supervision.” (Fars News Agency)
  • MP Hossein Naghvi Hosseini on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait’s role in oil prices. National Security and Foreign Policy (NSFP) Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini referring to the President’s speech yesterday at Bushehr and said that oil producers should form a united front against the two countries. Referencing Saudi Arabia’s $1.1 trillion annual loss in oil revenue, Hosseini asked what country would take actions to harm themselves other than for political objectives? (Fars News Agency)
  • Rouhani’s Chief of Staff says countries are ready to have economic relations with Iran. Mohammad Nahavandian expressed optimism of the attainment of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 and said that the parties are waiting for an outcome that will benefit all, specifically he said; a final nuclear agreement will benefit Iran’s economy. Nahavandian also noted that many foreign companies are preparing for the establishment of economic relations with Iran. (Tasnim News Agency)

Nuclear Talks

  • Zarif and Kerry meet in Geneva. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry met for the first time since their November 2014 session in Vienna. Zarif said that Iran’s negotiating partners must relinquish their unwarranted “red lines” and show the political will necessary to solve the nuclear disagreement, which would open the door to addressing other issues in the region. (IRNA)
  • Rouhani discusses the nuclear program and the P5+1 talks. President Hassan Rouhani said Iran must make further advances in its nuclear program while also breaking the effects of sanctions on the economy:
    • “We are the first country in the region to have nuclear power plants, and with the commissioning of two additional power plants our peaceful use of nuclear technology will be expanded even further.”
    • “Iran has paid a heavy cost for the use of this technology because of others’ plots; thus we must further harness its benefits and become a power plant-manufacturing country in the future.”
    • “Know that those negotiating for us today in the nuclear talks understand the national interest and the policy framework and respect the country’s independence.”
    • “We are negotiating with six world powers [the P5+1], which is not an easy task.”
    • Regarding criticism of the government: “Of course I don’t believe that someone who has criticism shouldn’t speak, but we must criticize respectfully and offer better solutions.”
    • “We must diversify our revenue sources; we cannot rely on one source.” (President.ir)

By AEI Critical Threat

 

The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.