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Iran Press Review: 02 Dec.

Politics

  • According to Saeed Jalili, the former Supreme National Security Council Secretary, the house arrest of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi is “not due to the sedition (the name given by hardliners in Iran to the Green Movement and its supports) of 2009,” but an attempt to stop Mousavi and Karrubi to “foment further sedition.”

Foreign Policy

  • Prince Turki al-Faisal comments on relations and diplomacy with Iran:
    • “While Iran continues its intrusion into affairs between Arab countries, it will be considered a hostile country.”
  • Saeed Jalili, a current member of the Expediency Discernment Council, lambasts the UN Security Council over Gaza.
  • According to Al-Khabar News of Yemen, the Islamic Republic has promised to extend a $3 billion loan to the new government in Yemen.
  • Press TV reports: “A senior Iranian official has underlined the need for further cooperation and consultation between Iran and Oman to help promote security and stability in the Middle East. Addressing a meeting of the Iran-Oman Joint Strategic Committee in the Omani capital, Muscat, on Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian referred to terrorism and extremism as common threats facing regional countries and called for closer defense and security cooperation between Iran and Oman.”’
  • World Bulletin reports: “Iran has begun not asking fuel difference fees from Turkish trucks as of Monday Dec. 1 but started sealing fuel tanks of Turkish trucks at the border gates, Iran’s top envoy to Ankara said in a statement on Monday. Iranian customs for transit of Turkish trucks are vital for Turkey’s exports to Central Asia.”

Military & Security

  • Saeed Jalili draws reference to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) chief, Qassem Suleimani:
    • “Presently, along this line, if we look at the design of the cover of Newsweek magazine we find a force with the name of Haj Qassem Suleimani, a man who has arisen from the heart of the villages of this land, and has shown true power to the world.”
    • “Persons like Haj Qassem Suleimani were listed as powerful men in the Newsweek outlet.”
  • Fars News Agency releases a video of Iran’s naval forces successfully test firing a torpedo from the SH-3D helicopter, a model Iran calls “the Sultan of the Sea.”
  • Tasnim News Agency reports that Iranian Mirage jets now are armed with new “300 kilometer cruise missiles.”
    • The report notes that due to sanctions, Iran’s Mirages were previously used for reconnaissance, and were unable to attain Exocet missiles, the traditional weapon for this platform.
    • The report quotes Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister, Mohammad Eslami, as noting: “The Mirages have been updated…and they are equipped with Iranian weapon systems and are ready for operations.”
  • Despite reporting in outlets such as The Huffington Post that “[t]he U.S. is aware of Iranian bombing activity in the same national airspace where planes aligned with the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State,” Iranian outlets such as Fars News Agency deny any coordination. Accordingly, Deputy Chief of Staff for Iran’s Armed Forces Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri notes:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran knows America to be the reason for the instability and problems of Iraq and the terrorist actions of the group DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) and is of the belief that if it wasn’t for America’s planning and support and the reactionary-ness of the region, today the world would not witness the destruction of its cities and villages and the tragic killings of the people of Iraq and Syria by way of terrorists.”
  • Earlier, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s current Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council weighed-in on Iran’s missiles and aerial defense, noting:
    • “Iran’s missile tests and ranges are commensurate with its threats, and there will be no deviation toward unconventional weapons.”
    • On Air Defense: “The Khattam al-Anbiya base has made Iran’s skies safe, and today the atmosphere of the Islamic Republic, is the safest atmosphere for civilian flights.”
    • On missile/nuclear: “Iran’s missile capabilities, like its nuclear capabilities are native, indigenous, self-supporting and self-sustaining, and this capability like the nuclear industry is after peaceful measures.”
  • Reuters reports: “Iranian hackers have infiltrated major airlines, energy companies, and defense firms around the globe over the past two years in a campaign that could eventually cause physical damage, according to U.S. cyber security firm Cylance. The report comes as governments scramble to better understand the extent of Iran's cyber capabilities, which researchers say have grown rapidly as Tehran seeks to retaliate for Western cyber attacks on its nuclear program.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Ali-Akbar Velyati, a former Foreign Minister and current head of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR), comments on nuclear negotiations:
    • “Even while noting that the nuclear negotiations are incomplete, it has a bright horizon, and Iran is after peaceful nuclear energy.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reports that the “explanatory notes of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (AEOI) called the allegations of this organization about possible military dimensions of its nuclear program ‘fabricated.’”
    • Reuters picked up on this story in the English-language press, and reports: “Iran said it has provided evidence to the United Nations atomic agency showing that documents on suspected nuclear bomb research by the country were forged and riddled with errors.”
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, addresses the Nuclear Diplomacy Seminar at Allameh University:
    • “We have not had any roll-back, and the structure of the nuclear program has been preserved. The movement forward of the nuclear program towards industrialized [scale] is continuing, and Iran’s activities in Arak and Natanz will continue...We have gained respect for the state. They respect Iran's behavior, and the calculations of the ill-wishers of the country are in disarray. Their sword is no longer sharp...! Some of our neighbors and the Zionists engaged in a lot of effort for the negotiations not to reach its goals... Doing business with Iran has opened up and financial institutions are lining up to come to Iran. Institutions which a year ago would not allow Iranian companies to participate at their fairs, are now demanding negotiations with Iran... The situation cannot be rolled back to the conditions before, the structure of the sanctions is in disarray and such conditions [sanctions] can't be repeated.”
  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • “In the course of the negotiations - the necessity of which we shall point to [later] - we should not be optimistic with regards to its result. Such a view prevents us from... pursuing different paths... here is evidence that the enemy is trying to transform the negotiations into a war of attrition...and prevent Iranian authorities from identifying other courses of action. In this regard, they [the United States] has not been unsuccessful...The real challenge is in the realm of strength and not behind the negotiation table. Therefore, we must appreciate our own elevated position and our strength...The Islamic Republic has the upper hand in regional and international issues, and no regional development can take place contrary to the will of Iran. The developments in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and the like, testify to that...The enemy is trying to force Islamic Iran to give concessions by referring to a lack of agreement as an economic disaster... but the security services must deal with centers polluted by the U.S. dollar...We must not abandon our true nature, and gaining the trust of the United States is only possible if we do so."

Economy & Trade

  • Tasnim News Agency runs a headline quoting President Hassan Rouhani: “Foreign investors are keen to be present in Iran/Inflation today is approiximately 17 percent.”
  • Gholamreza Kateb, the Spokesperson for the Parliamentary Plan and Budget Committee exclaims: “Next week, the 16th of Azar 93 (December 7, 2014), the President will offer the Parliament an appropriation bill for 94 (starting March 20, 2015) with ’70 dollar oil.’”
  • An editorial in Jomhouri-ye Eslami defends the government’s decision to allow a 30% increase in bread prices, arguing that the fight against inflation is more important than the continuation of an “unjust” subsidies system which benefits the rich more than the unprivileged classes.
  • Tasnim News Agency reports: “Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) for international affairs said the international court of arbitration has rejected Turkey’s gas claim against Iran. Azizollah Ramezani said that the court ruled in favor of the National Iranian Gas Company and rejected the Turkish BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation’s (BOTAS) appeal against Iran.”
  • Azer News reports: “Fluctuations in Iran’s foreign currency market are emotional and transient, Iranian MP, Mohammad Alipour said. Alipour who is a member of Iranian parliament’s Economy Commission told Trend that in the past two years in particular after President Hassan Rouhani took office last year, Iran’s exchange market was stable. He forecasted that the market will return to normal soon and will not face instability in the new future.”

Human Rights

  • Human Rights Watch reports: “Iran’s judiciary should vacate the death sentence of a 30-year-old man who faces imminent execution for Facebook posts linked to his account. On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to hang. The court transferred his file to the judiciary’s implementation unit, opening the way for his execution. A Tehran criminal court had convicted him in August of sabb al-nabbi, or “insulting the prophet,” referring to the Prophet Muhammad, which carries the death penalty. Arabi’s legal team has asked the judiciary to suspend the death sentence and review the case.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency highlighted the “incorporation ceremony” of new military equipment to the Artesh (national army) Navy.