Iran Press Review 04 June

Analysis by FDD

  • Patrick Megahan, Research Analyst for Military Affairs, and Behnam Ben Taleblu, Iran Research Analyst, wrote in The Hill: “Iran has a long history of disrupting maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, but should a recently resurrected deal between Russia and Iran for the S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) bear fruit, Tehran could soon project the same hostility into the skies. Despite assurances from Russia’s Foreign Minister that “[t]he S-300 is exclusively a defensive weapon,” the system gives Tehran much more than just deterrent capabilities. Therefore, Washington must invest in ways to prevent the SAM’s sale from altering the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. To date, Iran has not received the air-defense system it had ordered from Russia in 2007. In 2010, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 threw a wrench into the transaction. Despite a loophole in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Russia – likely under Western and Israeli pressure – appeared to take note and paused the deal. However, after the recently declared framework for a comprehensive nuclear accord with Iran, Russia ended its voluntary embargo on the S-300. Recent reports indicate plans to provide Iran with newly produced missiles as opposed to existing inventories, perhaps prolonging a delivery date.”
  • Clifford May, President, wrote in The Washington Times: ““Creating facts on the ground” means changing reality through actions rather than diplomacy. China’s rulers have gone further: Over the last 18 months they have been creating ground: over 2,000 new acres of islands more than 600 miles from China’s coast, many built atop rocks and reefs claimed by their neighbors, including the Philippines, an important American ally. In recent days, the Chinese have been installing landing strips, helipads, harbors, radar installations, artillery pieces and other weapons. What makes this real estate so valuable? Location, location, location. The South China Sea is home to some of the world’s busiest and most strategic shipping lanes, a rich fishing area, and possibly large undersea oil and natural gas reserves. China apparently intends to assert its sovereignty and control over all this --- and maybe over the airspace above as well. Just last week, a US Navy surveillance plane flying above the areas was told by the Chinese Navy to “Please go away …to avoid misunderstanding.” (The pilot did not comply.)”
  • John Hannah, Senior Counselor, wrote in Foreign Policy: “I've held a number of discussions with people who have direct knowledge of the conversations that took place at this month’s Camp David Summit between President Obama and leaders from the GCC. thought it might be useful to relay some of the highlights of what I picked up — understanding full well that what was relayed to me is neither the complete picture nor necessarily a fully objective one. 1. According to my sources, Obama went out of his way to stress his understanding of the threat that Iran poses to the region. Rather than contest the Gulf states’ gloomy assessment of Iran’s nefarious intentions, the president largely agreed with them. He fully acknowledged that Iran has been dangerously expanding its influence, particularly through the use of proxies like Hezbollah. He repeatedly expressed appreciation for his guests’ concerns that Iran would try to use any sanctions relief from a nuclear deal to spread further havoc in the Middle East. But he countered that the best way of meeting that challenge is through a two-pronged strategy: First, a verifiable agreement that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons; and second, a unified U.S.-GCC position that builds the capabilities necessary to block Iran’s regional expansion.”

Politics

  • The head of the Policy Planning Council for Friday Prayer Leaders, Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Reza Taqavi, states:
    • “Planning the issue of the Velayat-e Faqih [Guardianship of the Jurisprudent] in the country was a talent of the Imam Khomeini.”
    • “The Late Imam (reference to Ayatollah Khomeini) was a superman that, with influence in the hearts of Shi’ites and people of the world, constructed a lasting Revolution upon the original principles of Islam.”
  • Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Assefi, the Representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader to Najaf, passed away this morning.

Foreign Policy

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ebrahimi, the Representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader for Afghan Affairs, states:         
    • “Today Iran has reached [such] a station that no news in the global media is more important than the news about Iran, and no meeting is more important than the meeting of the nuclear negotiating team of our country with the global superpowers.”
    • “Today, one speech by the Supreme Leader shakes the world, and whether or not a nuclear agreement takes place or doesn’t, Iran will retain its dignity and authority.”
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, Iran’s former Foreign Minister, and currently advisor to the President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), speaks with Ismaeil Haniyeh, senior Hamas official, over the phone. Haniyeh called to offered his respects for the 26th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, as well as inquire about Salehi’s health due to his recent hospitalization.
  • Ghazanfar Rokn-Abadi, Iran’s former Ambassador to Lebanon, comments on the situation in Syria, noting:
    • “The crisis in Syria has no solution other than a political solution, which must come at the hands of the Syrian people themselves.”
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses the public on the occasion of the twenty sixth anniversary of the passing of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founding-father of the Islamic Republic:
    • “Re-reading the documented principles of the school of thought of the Imam is the sole way of dealing with distortion of the personality of that honorable personality. Principles like consolidation of the pure Islam of Mohammad and refuting American Islam. Trusting the divine promises and distrusting the Arrogant. Trusting the resolve and power of the people, and opposing the centralized government. Earnest support to the unprivileged and opposing the aristocracy. Supporting the meek of the world and overtly and without consideration of the international bullies. Independence and refuting hegemony, and emphasizing national unity.”
    • “Unlike those who try to make him a man of his time, the honorable Imam was the symbol of the great and historic movement of the Iranian nation. Naturally, distortion of his personality results in great damage in continuation of this movement and one must be very vigilant in this regard.”
    • “The Global Arrogance and bullying powers are still trying to prey on Iran as a large, rich and important country in the region.”
    • “The threat of distorting the personality of the honorable Imam, God bless him, is important in this context and must serve as a serious warning to the authorities, theoreticians of the revolution, old students of the Imam, the lovers of continuing the path of the Imam, the youth in general and the wise and academics and the theologians... Ever since the beginning of the revolution, when the Imam was alive, the enemy was trying to depict him as a harsh and violent revolutionary without flexibility and emotions... The Honorable Imam, be he blessed, had a decisive and unshakable character when facing the Arrogant powers, but was simultaneously the symbol of emotions, softness, love and care when facing God and the creatures of God, in particular the dispossessed classes... Even when he was alive, there were those who would say whatever pleased them about the Imam, but none of those things had anything to do with his personality... After the passing of the Imam, be he blessed, this trend continued to the degree that some depict the Imam as a Liberal minded individuals who has no principles in his political, intellectual and cultural thoughts. This is totally wrong and contrary to reality.”
    • “The principles of the Imam are consistently expressed in the statements of the Imam... These statements must not be chosen and quoted selectively…experts can extract the principle views of the Imam based on the fundamental principles.”
    • “Until the very end, the Imam believed America is the Great Satan.”
  • Asadollah Badamchian, the Deputy of the Islamic Motalefeh Party, comments on the legacy of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, and notes:
    • “The thought and ideas of Imam Khomeini caused the awakening of the nation of Iran and resistance against the Pahlavi regime, and with the wise leadership of the Late Imam, the Islamic movement of the Iranian nation bore fruit.”
    • “Today, the dignity and authority of Islamic Iran is indebted to the thinking and ideals of the Late Imam, which was able to allow Iran to become a power in the world.”
    • “The Islamic Awakening which we are witnessing in the region today, emanates from the thoughts of the Late Imam.”
  • Fars News Agency reports that Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, met with his Chinese counterpart while in Moscow today.

Military & Security

  • Commenting on regional security issues, Mohammad Dehqan, a member of Iranian Parliament’s Board of Executives, proclaims:
    • “The Takfiri current has been created by the Americans themselves, and the teaching of Wahhabbism is of the teachings of the Americans, and they are in the service of the Americans.”
  • Commenting on Ayatollah Khomeini and his legacy, Sheikh Naim Qassem, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, states:
    • “Iran has supported our resistance in the liberation of the land of Lebanon. Iran was generous with us and did not take anything from us. Today we are with Iran, and [are with] Imam Khamenei and Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah and will be with anyone else who is going towards the truth of the Leader.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Senior Nuclear Negotiator, Seyyed Abbas Eraqchi, weighs-in on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy:
    • “We had many advances in the text of the final agreement, but specifically, its enclosures have not had much progression, work continues as such.”
    • “Nonetheless, we have several weeks’ time and we are hopeful to complete the work by the deadline or even earlier.”  
    • “That which was noted in the framework of the Additional Protocol, is the discussion of ‘managed access’ to nuclear installations.”
  • Elsewhere, Mohammad Dehqan says:
    • “If we want the negotiations to reach a conclusion then the sanctions must be lifted, and the nation of Iran and the government of the Islamic Republic is with vision and is firm, since Iran is never after pursuing the creation of an atomic bomb.”

Economy & Trade

  • Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s Minister of Oil, comments on prospective Iranian oil production in the event of a final nuclear deal:
    • “Immediately, one month after the sanctions are repealed, we will inject half a million barrels of oil into the [global] market, and after 6 to 7 months we will reach one million, and I don’t think that with the maturity that exists in OPEC, that this increase will have a bad impact.”  
  • Fars News Agency reported: “The Iranian officials participating in the Fourth World Gas Conference in Paris are due to confer with their French counterparts on joint ventures in Iran's gas projects. Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi announced that Tehran and Paris will discuss investment in Iran's natural gas projects and gas exports to Europe during the conference.”

Human Rights

  • The Guardian reports: “The first authoritative study into female genital mutilation in Iran has found the practice is being carried out in at least four major provinces while officials are silent on the matter. According to research by social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady released on Thursday, FGM is more prevalent in the southern province of Hormozgan and its nearby islands (Qeshm and Hormuz) than in any other parts of the country.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Tasnim News Agency displays a political cartoon mocking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recent biking accident.
  • Fars News Agency displays an old photo (from 1989) when Khomeini’s son, Seyyed Ahmad, mourned his death.