Iran news round up – February 13, 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 Farzin Farzad and Diana Timmerman. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

Key takeaway: Mohsen Rezaei reinforced the Supreme Leader’s call for economic sanctions to be removed by the P5+1.

Mohsen Rezaei said that a final nuclear deal must guarantee that all sanctions will be lifted. The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary added: “…anything else would be unacceptable.” Rezaei’s statement underscores a key regime prerequisite for a nuclear agreement with the P5+1.

Iranian ambassador to Beirut Mohammad Fathali said that Tehran is interested in improving its relations with Riyadh, based on mutual respect. The Rouhani administration has made a concerted effort to improve Iranian-Saudi relations.

 

Official Statements

  • Rezaei: sanctions must be removed for nuclear deal. Mohsen Rezaei said that “all sanctions should be lifted in one step, anything else would be unacceptable.” The Expediency Discernment Council Secretary emphasized that political meddling has had a detrimental effect on the economy and added the government should not stray from the policy of the resistance economy throughout the next year. (Fars News Agency)

 

Regional Developments and Diplomacy

  • Iran favors closer relations with Saudi Arabia. Mohammad Fathali said that Tehran is interested in improving relations with Riyadh. The Iranian ambassador to Beirut added: “We seek to establish the best brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia, based on the principle of mutual respect… We see positive indications on the horizon for Iranian-Saudi relations.” (Tasnim News Agency)
  • Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Tehran tomorrow. Wang Yi will meet with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss bilateral relations as well as the nuclear talks. (Fars News Agency)
  • Badr Organization: without Iranian support, “Baghdad would have fallen” in June. Badr Organization Head Hadi al Amiri stated that “…in June…had it not been for Ayatollah Ali al Sistani’s fatwa [for] jihad and also Commander Qassem Soleimani and the support of Iran for the government of Iraq, Baghdad would have fallen…” (IRNA)

Economy

  • Iranian-built cement factory opens in Venezuela. IMIDRO Head Mehdi Karbasian attended the inauguration ceremony of the Cerro Azul Cement Factory with his Venezuelan counterpart Fernando Martinez. Caracas reportedly invested $400 million in the factory. (Tasnim News Agency)

By AEI Critical Threat