Iran news round up – February 2, 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, Farzin Farzad, Diana Timmerman and Warren Marshall. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani highlighted Obama-Congress dispute over nuclear sanctions. IRGC Air Force Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh discussed Iran’s export of defense equipment to Iraq, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated that President Obama “cannot make a prudent decision in the face of the reasonable flexibility of the government and nation of Iran,” “due to internal entanglements and weakness,” in a palpable jab at the President’s fight with Congress over imposing new sanctions on Iran. Larijani also claimed that Obama would be “responsible for the failure of negotiations,” renewing a sentiment popular amongst regime members leading up to previous negotiations deadlines.

IRGC Air Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated that Iran’s “military and defense equipment production has reached the point where we are exporting to friendly and neighboring countries such as Iraq, Syria, [and] Lebanese Hezbollah”; he noted that Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan have “a need to purchase” such material because they “do not have domestic and indigenous security.”

Iran launched the “Fajr”, its fourth domestically-manufactured satellite, into orbit today.

Official Statements

  • Larijani: Obama cannot make a “prudent decision” in the nuclear talks due to domestic issues. Noting President Obama’s recent comments that the US is pressuring Iran to make it accept the terms of the US, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stated, “It is clear that due to internal entanglements and weakness, Mr. Obama cannot make a prudent decision in the face of the reasonable flexibility of the government and the nation of Iran; he wants Iran to surrender their irrelevant demands and the negotiations to fail.”  Larijani noted, “The American president must know that Iran will not give up their demands, and he is responsible for the failure of negotiations with this wrong type of policy in the negotiations.” (Defa Press)
  • 220 Parliamentarians sign commitment to protect Iran’s nuclear rights. Ebrahim Karkhanei, chairman of Parliament’s Nuclear Committee, announced that in recent days more Parliamentarians have signed a legislative plan to “protect Iran’s nuclear rights,” with the proposed plan currently having more than 220 signatures. Karkhanei said the plan will be submitted to the Parliament Board of Directors soon, and added that any comprehensive nuclear agreement must have a complete withdrawal of all sanctions. (Fars News Agency)
  • Firouzabadi: North Sinai attackers were helping Israel. Armed Forces General Staff Headquarter Chief Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi condemned the January 29 attacks on Egyptian army and police in the North Sinai Peninsula which killed 26, stating that attack’s perpetrators are “aiding Israel’s occupation.” (Sepah News)
  • ISNA discusses reaction to revelation of American role in Mugniyeh assassination.Lebanese daily newspaper al Safir published an article by Israeli journalist Yossi Melman reacting to the Washington Post’s report that the CIA and Mossad assassinated senior Hezbollah member Imad Mugniyeh in 2008. Melman purportedly stated that the purpose of the Washington Post’s revelation was that “everyone should know that Israel would not be able to arrange such an operation with the help and role of the US.” (ISNA)
  • IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan praises launch of satellite into orbit. The Minister of Defense congratulated the Supreme Leader, the President of Iran, and the Iranian people for the successful launch of the Fajr, Iran’s fourth domestically-manufactured satellite, into orbit. Dehghan continued to praise advancement by the technology sector, aerospace industry, and Department of Defense, claiming that Iran now has the capacity to design and build a new generation of satellites not only to engage in complex space missions, but also provide services to the aerospace market. (Defa Press) (Fars News)

Military and Security 

  • Hajizadeh: we are exporting defense equipment to Iraq, Syria, and Hezbollah. IRGC Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “the capabilities of our country in the production of military and defense equipment has reached the point where we are exporting this capability to friendly and neighboring countries such as Iraq, Syria, [and] Lebanese Hezbollah.” He noted that, “Countries such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and all the Arabic countries do not have domestic and indigenous security; for the purpose of providing security, there is a need to purchase defense equipment.”   (IRINN)
  • Sayyari: Iran’s maritime capabilities will continue in north Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.Artesh Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari praised the maritime equipment developed in Iran, and stated that Iran’s presence in the north Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman will endure. Sayyari explained the importance of the region in the fight against colonialism and for its strategically important waterways. (Defa Press)

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Foreign Minister travels to Kenya on official visit. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Nairobi on February 1, and will soon travel to Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania. Zarif is expected to meet with his counterparts and high ranking officials in each country to discuss increasing bilateral relations. (IRNA)
  • Abdollahian meets with meets with several African heads of state. Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma. The Arab and African Affairs Deputy to the Foreign Minister also met with several other African Union presidents on the sidelines of the 24thAfrican Union Summit in Ethiopia. (ISNA)
  • Ali Larijani to meet Malaysian counterpart. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani is scheduled to meet his Malaysian counterpart tomorrow in Tehran. The two sides are scheduled to hold talks on expanding economic and parliamentary relations. (Fars News Agency)
  • Iran starts construction on new pipeline to Iraq. The construction of a second pipeline exporting gas from Shalamcheh to Basra will increase gas exports from Iran to Iraq over the next two years. The first pipeline will carry gas to Baghdad starting in May of next year, and will export 4 million cubic meters of gas per day, eventually reaching 25 million cubic meter. Aziz-Allah Ramezani, Director of International Affairs at Iran’s National Gas Company stated seven kilometers of the pipeline still remain to be constructed. The second phase of the pipeline carrying gas to Iraq through Basra will see an eventual export capacity of roughly 35 million cubic meters per day. Ramezani stated that that “unlike Pakistan who has refused its commitments, Iraq is more eager and even before signing the final contract with Iran, Iraq had already begun preparations for an initial pipeline.” Chairman of the Gas and Engineering and Development Company Ali Reza Gharibi stated that approximately $1.5 billion from investments to the various gas projects will be paid back within three years. (IRNA)

By AEI Critical Threat

 
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