Subscribe to FDD

Iran Press Review: 04 Feb.

Analysis by FDD

  • Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Roubini Global Economics write in a new report about the Iranian economy and oil prices: “Iran has escaped from the severe recession that threatened its economy in 2012 and early 2013. As previous Roubini Global Economics (RGE) and Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) reports have assessed, Tehran has used the sanctions relief from the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) interim agreement, reached in November 2013, and the resulting improvement in market sentiment to stabilize its economy and build up economic resilience against future sanctions pressure. This economic recovery comes as Iran and the P5+1 international negotiating teams are involved in another round of talks, extended for the second time to June 30, 2015, with the goal of reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement. So far, however, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has rejected all of the West’s compromise proposals.”

Politics

  • The head of the Society of Islamic Associations of the Guilds and Bazaar, Ahmad Karimi-Esfahani, notes:
    • “The trust of the people to the Guardianship of the Jurist [Velayat-e Faqih] is the secret to the survival and power of the Islamic Republic.”
  • Members of the Iranian Parliament’s Judicial Committee, including Ali-Asghar Jahangir and Sohrab Soleimani, visitthe notorious Evin prison for a three-hour inspection.
  • Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran’s Judiciary,comments on the Islamic Revolution as its anniversary approaches:
    • “After 36 years, the glorious Islamic Revolution remains dynamic and alive and firmer than before.”
  • Mehr News Agency reports that Ayatollah Emami-Kashani will be leading Friday Prayers in Tehran this week. Mohsen Rafiqdoost, the former IRGC Minister and Seyyed Taqavi Nourbaksh, the head of Iran’s Social Security Organization (SSO) are slated to also offer speeches.
  • While Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, former President Ahmadinejad’s First Vice-President, claims in an open-letter that money was distributed to 170 members of Parliament, Ahmad Tavakoli, a Parliamentarian, revives corruption allegations against Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani.
    • Elsewhere, Tavakoli stated: “Ahmadinejad was a lawbreaker.”

Foreign Policy

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haj Sadeqi, the Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC in Shiraz, notes as reported in a Tasnim News Agencyheadline: “The Islamic Revolution of Iran has globalized the motto Death to America.”
  • Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a former Speaker of Parliament and current head of the Sa’adi Foundation, notes:
    • “We have one sin, and that is we are confident that destiny of Iran must be decided upon in Tehran, not London, Washington, or Moscow.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reports on the Baku’s willingness to increase “cooperation” with Iran.
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iranian and Afghan border guards officials inked a security agreement to expand their cooperation and coordination in administering border-related issues. In a meeting between Iranian Border Guards Commander Brigadier General Qassem Rezayee and his Afghan counterpart Major General Mohammad Shafiq Fazli in the Afghan city of Nimrouz, the two sides voiced readiness to do their best to boost security and tranquility of joint borders.”

Military & Security

  • Elsewhere, Hojjat al-Eslam Abdollah Haj Sadeqiproclaimed:
    • “There was a time when the problems of America in the Middle East were the stones of Palestinian children, but today it is the missiles of the Palestinians.”
  • Sepah News reports on the declaration by the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, which proclaims:
    • “One of the greatest achievements of the Islamic Revolution is the consolidation of the defensive power of deterrence.”
  • The Commander of the Artesh’s [National Army] Ground Forces, Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, states:
    • “The army of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an army that is prepared, dynamic, and operational; which has been able to enhance its power and capabilities in the fields of ground forces, air, and naval.”
    • “Today, we are faced with a united enemy named DAESH (the Persian and Arabic acronym for the Islamic State – IS) and Takrifi groups which are supported and backed by the Global Arrogance (a reference to the United States). Today, DAESH engages in crimes in Iraq on behalf of America.”
  • Defa Press reports that Second Brigadier General Mohammad Marani was appointed to Command the Qods-base of the IRGC Ground-Forces (IRGC-QF) unit in Sistan and Baluchistan province. Reportedly, Marani formely led the IRGC unite of Imam Sajjad in Hormozgan.
  • Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the Deputy Commander of the IRGC, comments on Iran’s missile program and defensive power:
    • “Iran’s missile power and defensive capabilities…are not negotiable in any foreign assembly.”
    • “Wherever it is necessary, we will use our defensive power against bullies.”
    • “Our military capabilities are at the service of defending the Islamic Ummah [nation].”
    • “The era of America’s Superpower-dom has ended.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Sobhani-Nia, a member of the Parliamentary leadership, comments on the recent resolution in Parliament:
    • “The Parliament’s nuclear resolution heightens our bargaining power in negotiations.”
    • “Today, that which we see from Westerners, especially Americans, is consecutive stone-throwing, not having honesty in negotiations and greediness.”
  • Ebrahim Karkhanehi, the head of the Nuclear Committee in Iran’s Parliament, states:
    • “The efforts of the Parliament are to support an back the negotiating team and neutralize the threats of the American Congress.”
    • “The American Congress threatens the negotiating team often, and with the imposition of new sanctions and the threat to increase the sanctions, and placed a mental burden on the negotiations.”
  • Ayatollah Abbas Vaezi-Tabbasi, the Representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader to Khorasan, comments on nuclear diplomacy:
    • “My analysis after surveying a set of issues is this, that nuclear negotiations with the preservation of our stances and the fundamental polices of the Leadership of the system and Revolution, without giving the smallest prize or cost in the area of fundamental issues to anyone, will sooner or later reach fruition.”
    • “But there are some who have taken up pens and attempt to weaken the government and the negotiating team, and I advise them to allow an amount of time to pass, and after we will have the opportunity to critique it or object to it.”
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, the Director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), says that the chances for a nuclear deal are “above 50%.”
  • 173 Parliamentarians pass a bill obliging the government to declare the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) null and void in case the United States imposes new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
  • Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi, an Adviser to the IRGC Commander, accuses President Hassan Rouhani of “being soft towards foreigners,” but “hurling insults at his own kind.”
  • The Iran-e Hastehi [Nuclear Iran] website releases the comments of an unnamed “technical source,” to a February 2nd article by The Jerusalem Post: “US and Iran moving closer to nuclear deal - EU diplomat:”
    • “Sources report the United States has implicitly accepted 9000 first generation [centrifuges] currently working at Natanz, continue their work, but they should enrich at 6000 SWU level. Technical sources told Iran-e Hastehi that this is not at all a good proposal since the [centrifuges] will be working bellow their capacity which will inflict serious damage upon the facilities. Still worse, in order to limit the enrichment to 9000 [6000?] SWU, the work hours of the [centrifuges] will be limited. According to experts, constant turning on and off of the facilities increases the risk for [the centrifuges] crashing. Most importantly, diplomatic sources told Iran-e Hastehi that the US views concerning the most important contentious issue, which is the time table removing the sanctions, has not changed and the still insist upon gradual removal of the sanctions in the course of ten years.”
  • Senator Pat Toomey writes in National Review Online: “As we woke up this morning, the Islamic Republic of Iran was supplying money and weapons to radical terrorist organizations and governments in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere, and it was advancing further down the path toward producing its own nuclear weapons. Since the president began negotiations with the Iranians, their efforts in each of these areas have expanded, not contracted. Iran is playing us for fools, and time is running short before the most dangerous regime in the world has the most destructive weapon in the world. If the White House lacks a sense of urgency about this unfolding nightmare, then Congress must provide it.”

Economy & Trade

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, states in a meeting with business leaders from Kashan:
    • “If we want the economy of the country to be dynamic and move toward a production phase, security must [exist] in society.”
  • Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, Commander of Iran’s Basij Forces, states:
    • “With the managed entrance of the Basij in the arena of Resistance Economics, without even imposing the cost of a single Rial on thje government, by divine grace in the next two-three years, fifty thousand production units will be set-up and one hundred thousand jobs will be created.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “293,595 tons of ingots were produced by three major Iranian aluminum companies in the first ten months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2014- January 20, 2015). The Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) announced on Tuesday that the figure shows an increase of 893 tons compared with the preceding year’s output.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iranian Minister of Economy Ali Tayyebnia and Turkish Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli vowed to do their best to pave the ground for the further development of Tehran-Ankara relations. In a meeting with the Turkish official on Tuesday, Tayyebnia said exchange of visits and views between the two countries can prepare the ground for progress of bilateral ties.” 
  • Reuters reported: “Iran is sweetening the terms it offers on oil development contracts to draw the interest of foreign investors deterred by sanctions and low crude prices, as its pragmatic president seeks to deliver on his promise of economic recovery. Tehran is engaged in talks with world powers about its disputed nuclear program as it tries to strike a final deal to lift the sanctions that have halved its oil exports to just over 1 million barrels per day since 2012 and hammered its economy.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Tasnim News Agency displays pictures of President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Esfahan, where he delivered an address.
  • Tasnim News Agency reports pictures from the fourth day of Iran’s International Fajr Film Festival.