Weekly report: Defying US, Iran seeks stronger ties with neighboring countries

March 17, The Iran Project – Leader awards General Soleimani with Iran’s highest military order; Rouhani arrives in Iraq for new phase in two nations’ relations; President after meeting with his Iraqi counterpart: In Iraq, we feel at home; Issuing visas for Iranian, Iraqi pilgrims, tourists to become free; Ebrahim Raeisi named deputy chairman of Assembly of Experts; Iran considering UK’s official note on Zaghari ‘diplomatic protection; Iran to give crushing response to measures against its oil export: Hatami; President Rouhani meets with Ayatollah Sistani; Iran warns about ‘suspicious’ nuclear projects in region; Visit to Iraq a turning point in bilateral ties; Leader urges ‘maximum mobilization’ in face of enemy threats; Iranian official rejects US secretary of state’s ‘fabricated’ allegations’; Journalist reveals US planned to disrupt Tehran power grid; Iran trongly condemns New Zealand mosque attack; Iran calls for OIC emergency session amid New Zealand terror attacks; Zarif says Iranians never forget Iraq chemical attack; Iran, Pakistan urge de-escalation of regional tensions; ‘Iran to unveil new nuclear achievements next month’ and Rouhani says Nobody can disrupt Iran-Iraq ties are among major headlines dominated the country’s media outlets in the past week (March 11 – March 17).

 

Politics

Iran to unveil new nuclear achievements next year: Salehi

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday that new nuclear achievements will be inaugurated during next Iranian year of 1398, which have been made by the domestic experts.

Leader awards General Soleimani with Iran’s highest military order

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has awarded Iran’s highest military order, the Order of Zulfaqar, to IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Rouhani arrives in Iraq for new phase in two nations’ relations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Baghdad this morning to extend congratulations to the Iraqi people and government over successful holding of elections, and to declare Iran’s readiness for continued cooperation and support for the democratic process and reconstruction of the country.

FM Zarif congratulates Gen. Soleimani over receiving special military order

MNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif felicitated Major General Ghasem Soleimani for receiving the Order of Zulfaqar from the Islamic Revolution Leader.

President after meeting with his Iraqi counterpart: In Iraq, we feel at home

Stating that, “In Iraq, we feel at home,” President said, “Relations between the two Iranian and Iraqi nations go back to thousands of years ago, and we are willing to further develop our religious, cultural, historical and regional relations”.

Iran’s new judiciary chief vows to transform legal system

Press TV – Iran’s new chief justice, Hojjatoleslam Ebrahim Raeisi, has pledged a legal transformation to address the country’s changing priorities in the “second phase” of the Islamic Revolution.

President Rouhani: Issuing visas for Iranian, Iraqi pilgrims, tourists to become free

President.ir – After the signing of five memoranda of understanding between Tehran and Baghdad, President announced that the two countries had agreed to make issuing visas for Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims and tourists free.

Rouhani, Al-Halbousi underline boosting bilateral ties

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi in a meeting in Baghdad late on Monday explored avenues for deepening of mutual cooperation.

ISIL formation aimed at sowing discord among ethnic groups in region

MNA – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that enemies were after sowing discord among different ethnic and religious groups of the region by the formation of ISIL.

Ebrahim Raeisi named deputy chairman of Assembly of Experts

MNA – Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi has been appointed as the deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which elects and oversees the performance of the Leader of Islamic Revolution.

London lacks goodwill in recent move to grant “diplomatic protection” to Zaghari

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said “we have been informed about UK government’s recent move to grant “diplomatic protection” to Nazanin Zaghari, and also received a note from the official channels in this regard.”

Another impact of Saddam’s war against Iran removed’: Zarif

“Today, Iran and Iraq released a historical joint statement about their commitment to 1975 agreement and urgent dredging of rivers at the joint border, this will remove one of the other impacts of the war imposed by Saddam Hussein against Iran,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif twitted on Tuesday.

Rouhani: No power can separate unified Ummah of Iran, Iraq

President Hassan Rouhani described bonds between the Iranian and Iraqi nations as strong, saying that they are united in terms of culture and beliefs and no power can separate the unified Ummah.

Dishonesty behind many domestic problems, Iran’s Leader stresses

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei has noted that many problems in Iran, while being an Islamic country, are a result of ‘lack of honesty’.

Iraqi tribes laud Iran support for their country

Iraqi tribes thanked Iran’s support for their country during the fight against Daesh (ISIS) terrorists.

Iran to give crushing response to measures against its oil export: Hatami

MNA – Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami warned that if Israeli regime adopts any measure against Iranian oil shipments, it will be faced with a crushing response.

President Rouhani meets with Ayatollah Sistani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Iraqi Shia Marja’ Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday.

Top security official: Iran to answer any destabilizing attempt with severe, preemptive moves

Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, warned that any attempt to destabilize the country’s borders by any groups or countries will be responded with “severely aggressive” and “preemptive” measures.

Ayatollah Sistani hails “Friendly” states’ role in liberation of Iraq

Senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani in a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lauded the role played by the “friendly” states in victory against the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq.

Top security official: Some in region pursuing suspicious nuclear projects

Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, has warned about the pursuit of ‘suspicious nuclear projects’ by certain countries in the region.

Visit to Iraq a turning point in bilateral ties: Pres. Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani described his three-day visit to Iraq as a turning point in the bilateral relations between the two countries, saying that the talks and decisions made during the trip would benefit both neighboring nations.

Iran holds drill near key strait, tests armed drones

AP — Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency says the country’s Revolutionary Guard is holding a drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz to test dozens of Iranian-made drones, including armed drones.

Joining FATF ‘strategic mistake’, Iran Assembly of Experts statement warns

Iran’s Assembly of Experts has warned the legislative bodies to avoid approving the anti-money laundering FATF-related bills, calling joining the global watchdog a ‘strategic mistake.’

Leader receives members of Assembly of Experts

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei received members of Assembly of Experts on Thursday.

US trying to fuel West Asian tensions by unfounded accusations: FM spox

The Iranian Foreign Ministry rebuked the United States’ anti-Iran policies, saying that the US statesmen are trying to fuel tensions among the West Asian countries by unfounded claims and accusations.

Leader urges ‘maximum mobilization’ in face of enemy threats

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warns that the US and the Israeli regime have been doing all in their power to advance their hostile campaign against the Iranian nation, calling for “maximum mobilization” in the face of enemy threats.

Tehran rejects Washington’s allegations in 2019 ‘human rights’ report

Tehran dismisses the Iran section of the US administration’s annual “human rights” report as untrue and politically motivated, saying Washington has turned into the “biggest violator” of the Iranian people’s human rights by slapping the nation with unlawful economic sanctions.

US officials offered my friend cash to take down Tehran’s power grid

It took a country-wide power outage in Venezuela, whispers of a cyberattack, and smug tweets from US officials to make me suddenly recall the cloak-and-dagger story of a close Iranian-American friend nine years ago.

Iran’s Zarif urges ending Islamophobia

Iranian foreign minister in a message called for ending supporting demonization of Muslims by West.

Iran calls for all-out fight against Islamophobia in West amid NZ attack

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Friday massacre of Muslim people in New Zealand once again highlighted the need for an all-out international fight against Islamophobia fueled by certain Western governments.

Iran calls for OIC emergency session amid New Zealand terror attacks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has censured the “terrorist attack and heinous crime” against Muslims in New Zealand, calling for an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Iran, Pakistan urge de-escalation of regional tensions

Iran and Pakistan have stressed the importance of promoting peace in the region and solving tensions through nonviolent approaches.

Zarif: Iranians not surprised by terror attacks

IRNA – Iranian foreign minister in a message referred to Iranians’ awareness of the consequences of bigotry and hatred, saying they are not surprised by terrorist attacks.

Iran’s Zarif: Afghans have final say in all affairs

IRNA – Iran believes that Afghan people have the final say in all affairs of Afghanistan, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

Iran to unveil 112 new nuclear achievements in April: AEOI

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic will unveil 112 new nuclear achievements in April.

Zarif says Iranians never forget Iraq chemical attack

IRNA – Iranian foreign Minister in a message referred to the chemical attack conducted by former Iraqi regime in Halabja & Sardasht, saying Iranians together with Kurdish brothers will never forget it.

Rouhani: Nobody can disrupt Iran-Iraq ties

IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani said that bilateral relations of the two Muslim, brother and neighboring countries are so strong that nobody is able to disrupt them.

 

Economy

Iran resolved to boost trade with Iraq up to $20bn: Rouhani

Speaking at the Economic-Trade Forum of Iran and Iraq late on Monday, President Rouhani voiced Iran’s determination to increase trade relations with Iraq to $20 billion from the current $12 billion.

Iran, Iraq sign 22 industrial, trade deals

Following talks between Iran’s minister of industry, mines and trade and his Iraqi counterparts simultaneously with President Rouhani’s visit to Iraq, 22 industrial and trade agreements were signed by the two countries.

Iran, Iraq to build railroad, dredge border river

Iran and Iraq have released a final statement in which they have agreed on no-fee visas, construction of border railway connecting the two countries, establishing joint industrial parks, oil and gas cooperation as well as dredging a border river.

3 Iran-Azerbaijan deals penned

Iran secured three deals with Azerbaijan on cooperation in various areas, including establishing an automotive parts manufacturing factory.

Iran to operate 27 South Pars phases by March 2020

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said the country would be recovering natural gas and crude oil from 27 phases of the massive South Pars gas field by late March 2020.

 

Regional Affairs

Senate votes to end US aid in Saudi fight in Yemen

The Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would end U.S. military assistance for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, reproving the Trump administration for the second time over its support of the kingdom.

Gaza rockets land in Tel Aviv after evading Israel’s Iron Dome missile system

At least two rockets launched from the besieged Gaza Strip have landed in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv, bypassing the Iron Dome missile system to mark yet another embarrassing defeat for one of the world’s most expensive military forces.

Twenty-two civilians killed, including children, in north Yemen: U.N.

Air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition killed at least 22 civilians, including women and children, this week in a village in northern Yemen, the United Nations said.

Saudi women activists face ‘bogus’ charges: Rights group

UK-based rights group Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia has leveled “bogus” charges against some 10 women rights activists.

Yemenis downed 19 Saudi Apache copters during war: Army spokesman

Yemen’s army says the country’s air defense has managed to shoot down 19 Saudi Apache helicopters since the outbreak of the war in 2015.

 

Society

Isfahan, Samarkand boast of high capacities for sisterhood agreement

Head of Uzbekistan Center of Islamic Civilizations said that there are great capacities for sisterhood agreement between Isfahan and cities of Uzbekistan, including Samarkand.

Tehran hosts intl. meeting on humanitarian demining

An international meeting on humanitarian demining was held in Tehran this morning with participation of representatives of Asian countries, the Commonwealth and intl. demining organizations.

UNICEF Iran joins the private sector to improve the nutrition of mothers and children in disadvantaged areas

Several years of drought has turned Nehbandan area in Iran’s South Khorasan Province on the eastern border with Afghanistan into dry lands with harsh living conditions affecting the already disadvantaged rural population, mainly dependent on their livestock for their food and income.

Iran airport traffic down 14%

Financial Tribune – Iran Airports Company registered 394,932 takeoffs and landings during the 11 months to Feb. 19, which shows a 14% decrease compared with the similar period of last year.

IRGC seizes 1 million liters of smuggled diesel in South Iran

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy have seized more than one million liters of diesel in coasts of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, before being smuggled.