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Iran Press Review: 04 Dec.

Analysis by FDD

  • Ali Alfoneh writes in a Policy Brief: “Addressing high ranking members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Basij on Nov. 27, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei expressed a few words of support for Iranian nuclear negotiators, and stressed: “I’m not opposed to extending the negotiations [by seven months with the P5+1], just as I did not oppose the very principle of negotiating.” The rest of the ayatollah’s speech, however, was filled with vitriol toward the West. The “Global Arrogance,” Khamenei claimed, is trying to erode the dignity of the Iranian nation. He claimed that “the Americans are the most immoral, and the British the most insidious” among the 5+1 Group members, adding that Iran does not need to gain the trust of the United States, and “our people do not trust them.” Should a comprehensive agreement not be achieved, he asserted, the United States would lose most, and it “would not be the end of the world.””
  • Oren Adaki writes in a Policy Brief: “A car bomb exploded early Wednesday morning outside the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Sana’a, reportedly killing three and adding yet another layer of complexity to Yemen’s unstable political and security situations. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility, an apparent retaliatory attack for Iran’s alleged support for the Shi’ite Houthi rebels who have pushed into Yemen’s Sunni heartland since seizing the capital in late September. Wednesday’s bombing shifts attention away from the country’s internal power struggles and highlights Iran’s murky role in Yemen’s affairs.”

Politics

  • Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharrazi, a noted reformist, denies allegations that he will be running for President of the Islamic Republic:
    • “Those who spread rumors don’t know about the friendship and amicable relations between Rouhani and me.”
    • “The government of Prudence and Hope is an innocent government which is the inheritor of many problems and issues, foreign and domestic…and the Neda party (a new party he founded) and all its members believe as such, that, it is the national and religious responsibility of all political actors to support Dr. Rouhani and his servant-like government.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ahmad Salek, the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] Cultural Committee comments on seditions, both past and probable ones in the future:
    • “The opposition that supports that sedition [fitnah] of 78 (1999), 88 (2009), and the sedition of the future moves toward one ideology from abroad and domestically, and they are one and the same, and their final word is to hit the clergy, and overthrow the Islamic government.”
    • “The sedition of 88 had 14 main objectives, which are the overthrow of the government and the Islamic system, the destruction of the place of the Velayat-e-Faqih [Guardianship of the Jurist] in the view of the people were amongst these goals, today, the initiative to support the nation of Iran is in the hands of the Supreme Leader.”
  • Etemaad reports that the parliament passed a bill removing the tax exemption status of the Astan-e Qods-e Razavi charitable foundation [bonyad], the financial and credit institutions of the armed forces, and the Headquarters for Executing the Decree of the Imam. In the future, all these foundations will be required to pay direct taxes as well as the VAT.

Foreign Policy

  • Tasnim News Agency reports: “The head of the Parliament and the head of the National Congress of Pakistan moments ago signed a joint memorandum of cooperation between the Parliaments of Iran and Pakistan.”
  • Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, met with Senator Kozini of the Italian Parliament. Larijani notes that:
    • “It is the Western countries that need Iran, and their need to engage with Iran is greater than our need with them since Salafi Takfiri terrorism is on the rise and sooner or later, it will reach the skirts of Westerners.”
    • “We are confident that discussions with the European Union must again become active, and in this area, Italy as the head of the European Union, can play an important role.”
    • Signing a memorandum of understanding with the Qatari labor minister, Ali Rabii, Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare notes that currently, 18,000 Iranian citizens are working in Qatar.
  • Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Deputy for Arab and African Affairs comments on the terrorist activity in Yemen, saying:
    • “It is obvious that the government of Yemen is responsible for preservation of diplomatic security and diplomatic facilities.”
    • “It is expected of the Yemeni government to speedily identify and punish those who partook in this terrorist action, and to partake in serious action for the freedom of Nour Ahmad Nikbakht, the abducted diplomat of our country.”
  • Reuters reported: “Afghanistan will send a delegation to Iran to ask the government to extend temporary visas to allow 760,000 Afghan refugees who have no documents and risk deportation to stay on for at least a year, an Afghan government spokesman said on Wednesday.There are almost 1 million registered Afghan refugees in Iran, according to the United Nations, most of whom arrived before 2001 when U.S.-led troops toppled the hard-line Taliban Islamist regime.”

Military and Security

  • Minister Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi, addresses an assembly of theological students in Qom:
    • “Today, the war of the armies has come to an end and has been replaced with the war of intelligence and security services. Many of today's wars take place because of the domestic security of states, and there is a huge difference between the war of intelligence services and the war of the armies. In the war of the [intelligence] services, the enemies use individuals within the state against the authorities of that state... In the past, NATO was a military alliance, and today we are witnessing a union [alliance] of intelligence services...The security and intelligence services collect information which is not of use for themselves, and give it to other services which are in need of [that intelligence]. In such a way, they achieve great commercial profit.”
    • “[The war in Syria,] is an intelligence war, and the intelligence services of countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey and at their helm, the Israeli and American services started the intelligence war the result of which was the Islamic State... But the forces of Hezbollah [a non-specific reference, not Lebanese Hezbollah] managed to annihilate the intelligence forces of the Islamic State.”
  • Yadollah Javani, senior adviser to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), states:
    • “Iran's missile program aims at increasing Iran's defense and deterrence power... The idea of controlling Iran's missile capabilities is stupid... The Americans and the Zionist regime would threaten us every once in a while, but never dared to realize their threats because of our deterrence capabilities.”
  • AP reported: “A car bomb planted by al-Qaida militants exploded Wednesday near the home of Iran's ambassador to Yemen, killing two people amid a Shiite power grab in the impoverished Arab country believed to be supported by the Islamic Republic. Iran's ambassador to Yemen, Hossein Niknam, was not at home when the bomb exploded at the residence in the capital, Sanaa, killing a security guard and his son, security officials said. The blast heavily damaged several nearby buildings and punched a hole into the residence. An Iranian flag later lay on the debris.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Major General Mohammad-Ali Aziz Jafari, the Commander of Iran’s IRGC, states:
    • “The strength of our diplomacy in nuclear negotiations owes its inspiration to the Islamic Revolution and the defense and security power of our popular system, not that the security of our Islamic system is the product of the past year of negotiations!”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad, the Parliamentary representative for Dashtestan, notes:
    • “We always supported the nuclear negotiating team of our country and we will continue to, but they must be aware to not propose some false statements that waste the 35 year old achievements of the Revolution and the Islamic system.”
  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • “During the [Iran-Iraq] war, the likes of martyr Tehrani-Moqaddam (one of the founding fathers of Iran's ballistic missile program) humiliated the West, and in the nuclear field, the likes of martyr Shahriari (assassinated nuclear scientist) by producing 20% nuclear fuel, made the enemy understand that they can't stop this revolutionary uprising through force and sanctions. At a sensitive time of nuclear challenges, when all the powers have lined up and try to force us to our knees through threats and bribes, they [the martyred heroes] are our clear role model.”
  • Hashemi Rafsanjani receives the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister:
    • Pointing at Iran’s procurement of helicopters from Italy during the Iran-Iraq war Rafsanjani said: “Of course, we know that you were under pressure and you could not deliver components for which we already had paid."
    • Commenting the “vindictive positions of the Zionist regime concerning Iran's nuclear program,” Rafsanjani said: “If the United States is thinking of [achieving] Israel's satisfaction in the course of the negotiations, it should know that no result can be achieved.”
  • Reuters reports: “Iran will refrain from expanding its testing of more efficient models of the machine used to refine uranium under an extended nuclear agreement with six world powers, according to U.S. experts with knowledge of the issue. Iran's development of advanced centrifuges is sensitive because, if successful, it could enable it to produce potential nuclear bomb material at a rate several times that of the decades-old version now in use. Iran says it is only enriching uranium to fuel nuclear power plants.”

Economy & Trade

  • Bijan Namdar Kord  Zangeneh, Iran’s Minister of Petroleum,notes:
    • “I’m not a pessimist... removing the oil sanctions is removing the most important of all sanctions. Should all the sanctions be removed, the oil sanctions too must be removed. Should the oil sanctions not be removed, it means no sanction has been removed... Certainly, the sanctions have had a cost for Iran, but we will announce the number and the cost of the sanctions in the future. But the price has not been as much as some [people] think.”
  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes:
    • “The president’s trips to the provinces have taken him to Golestan province to inaugurate the railways east of the Caspian Sea which connects the Persian Gulf to Central Asia. Utilizing this international corridor has great importance to regional states and connects Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to each other.”
  • Shafaf News reports an increase of the price of U.S. Dollar on the Iranian market in the wake of extension of the nuclear negotiations. According to the outlet, $1.00 is now 34000 Rials.
    • An analyst at Fararu argues the rise of the Dollar against the Rial also effects the declining oil prices.

Media, Culture & Society

  • Mehr News Agency runs a headline which partially quotes Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Reshad as saying, “Imam Khomeini created the philosophy of Fiqh.”
  • Fars News Agency reportedly opens an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Human Rights

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Abbas Ramezanipour, the Friday Prayer leader for Rafsanjan, demands the expulsion of the Bahai’s, whom he considers “religiously impure” from Rafsanjan.
  • The Washington Post reports: “Iran’s detention of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been extended for up to an additional 60 days, according to his family. Hopes that Rezaian, who has been held without charge at Tehran’s Evin prison for 134 days, might be released soon were bolstered at the end of October, when a senior Iranian official said in an interview that possible charges under review by the judiciary might be dismissed. Instead, his family said, Rezaian was shown a document last week signed by the judge in charge of his case that authorized the extension. The document, dated Nov. 18, said the investigation against him was ongoing.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Mehr News Agency advertises “The potential of a thousand historical works in Zanjan for the attracting of tourists.”
    • The article prominently features pictures of the Mausoleum of the Ilkhanid Emperor Mohammad Khodabandeh (Oljeitu).
  • Islamic Republic News Agency documents Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, on his trip to Pakistan today.