Iran Press Review: 05 August

Politics

  • Aftab-e Yazd reports on "increased popular pressure for the young [Hassan] Khomeini to enter [the race for the Assembly of Experts]." 

Foreign Policy

  • Ali Akbar Velayati, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, received the foreign minister of Serbia and reiterated Tehran’s commitment to its regional allies:

    • “Regional events show that the Americans and some reactionary regional states such as Saudi Arabia are trying to increase their interventions in the region... The Islamic Republic is supporting its regional allies, including the legal governments of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and the popular struggle in Yemen, as before and even more than in the past.”

    • “Some may claim that Iran is busy with nuclear related issues which forces it to pay less attention to the region, but I emphasize that the Islamic Republic is active in the region just like in the past... As in the past, the Islamic Republic of Iran is helping its friends to resist foreign aggression for example that of the United States, Zionist elements and countries like Saudi Arabia.”

  • Speaker of Parliament, Ali Larijani, met with Head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Islamic Assembly, Sheikh Ali Bapir. He praised relations with Iraqi Kurdistan and urged the “necessity of solidarity among [Iraqi] political groups to combat terrorists in Iraq.” 

  • Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh, Iran’s charge d’affairse in the United Kingdom (UK), announced that the two states are planning to reopen their embassies soon. 

  • Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei publishedan op-ed in Russian media, discussing the potential for a “bright horizon” of Tehran-Moscow relations and assuaging Russian anxieties of conflicting interests in a post-deal world:

  • “Despite efforts [during the past 25 years], the volume of economic relations have not been proportional with the capabilities of the two neighbors.”

  • “Russia made great strides on Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), but it was unfulfilled due to sanction. With the lifting of sanctions, the obstacle to Iran’s membership in the SCO has been removed. With the transformation of Iran’s status from an observing member to a full member, Iran and Russia can have stronger and more expansive relations within the framework of this organization.”

  •  “Lifting of sanctions against Iran can help the expansion of cooperation between Iran and Russia in the nuclear energy field.”

  • “This imagination is false that that the nuclear agreement causes Iran to distance itself from Russia and move towards the West. Iranian and American policies in regional and global issues are incompatible and contradicting in many instances. Iran has no intention to negotiate with America regarding bilateral, regional, and global issues. Dialogue has only been in the field of the nuclear program.”

  • “The truth is that Iran and Russia have mutual interests in oil and gas sectors, which is preserving the stability of global prices. As exporters of [natural] gas, Iran and Russia can cooperate in adjusting the market.”

  • “Although the lifting of some armament sanctions against Iran have been postponed to five and eight years down the line, this agreement can lead to the expansion of technical-defense relations between Iran and Russia.”

  • “Lifting of sanctions can decrease the third-factor effect in relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Federation of Russia.”

  • “Bilateral relations must be described higher than trade and economic relations.” 

Military & Security

  • Ali Shamkhani, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary, received Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al Moalem, assuring him: “The only way of solving the crisis in Syria is increased struggle to liberate areas occupied by terrorists.”

    • Al-Mayadin News Agency, quoting a “high ranking Iranian official,” disclosed the main points of a plan submitted by Tehran to the United Nations in order to solve the crisis in Syria.

      • Deputy Foreign Minister Abdollahian called the report “media speculation.”

  • Brigadier General Ali Fadavi, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy commander, said U.S. should not lose “extraordinary opportunity” of nuclear deal and dismissed threats of a military attack:

  • “The Islamic revolution has given an extraordinary opportunity to the counterpart. They should be careful not to lose this opportunity.”

  • “Force is the nature of Arrogance [the West]. For years, the Great Satan has reached a complete understanding of the power of the Islamic revolution, but it still claims ‘All options are on the table.’”

  • “Those options have become the laughingstock of the Western media... The United States constantly talks of things which it is incapable of doing, but we, resting on the strength of the martyrs, are capable of answering the slightest action of America so forcefully that it can't answer it..." 

Nuclear Issue

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Ghomi, International Communications Deputy to the Office of the Supreme Leader, called international “recognition of the right to enrichment” a “great achievement.”

  • Assembly of Experts head, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi,said:

    • “It is early to express a certain opinion about the weak points and strong points of the nuclear agreement.” 

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, Assembly of Experts member, voiced his disapproval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):

  • “What is certain is that grabbing the collars of our administration is not correct, but this agreement is utterly not a good agreement and not in our interest.”

  • Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri pushed back against domestic critics of the deal:

                - “Based on opinion polls conducted by credible polling institutes, between 80 to 88% of the people are happy with the result [of the nuclear negotiations] and only 4% are opposed to it... The opponents should speak, but at a level which becomes 4%!”

  • Kayhan editorial warned against trusting the U.S.:

                - “The text prepared in the course of two years of negotiations between us and the United States is not a peaceful one since it speaks bluntly of military attacks. However, even if this was a peace agreement, there would be no reason to trust the Great Satan... This is why American officials say the agreement is not based on trust but on verification.”

Economy & Trade

  • Senior Iranian and Italian officials discuss expanding bilateral relations:

    • President Hassan Rouhani met with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Economic Expansion Minister Federica Guidi:

      • “Transferring capital and technology to Iran and then joint exportation to regional markets are Iran’s priority for expanding economic relations with European countries.”

      • “Today, there are many preconditions to absorb foreign investment in the country especially in the energy, banking, insurance, industrial, transportation, and health care sectors. With attention to the necessary conditions especially educated young forces, we can use the post-deal environment to the benefit of the counterparts and the European Union.”

      • “During the sanctions era, a desirable balance emerged between [Iran’s] non-oil exports and imports. This condition has improved our economic capability to interact with other economies.”

      • “There are no obstacles in the path of expanding cooperation between Tehran and Rome. The two countries can begin a new chapter in joint relations in the various political, economic, cultural, scientific, and tourism arenas.”

    • Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh discussed with the senior Italian officials investments in the Iranian petrochemical sector, petroleum byproducts, and phase three of Darkhovin oil field development plan. 

    • Akbar Komijani, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Deputy Governor, also met with the Italian delegation and discussed strengthening banking and financial ties. He then issued three proposals:

    • “The presence of the Italian delegation in less than two weeks after the nuclear agreement is important and valuable. Fortunately, with the changes and reforms of the eleventh administration, conditions have been created to expand banking relations.

    • Iranian proposals: 1) Establish a joint Italian-Iranian banking committee to facilitate cooperation. 2) Open Iranian branches in Italy. So far, only Sepah Bank has an Italian branch; the two sides agreed to make this branch more active. 3) Strengthen economic cooperation in joint investments especially in areas that can “aid Iran’s exports capability.” 

  • Hamid Reza Massoudi, Director of the South Pars Phase 19 Expansion natural gas field, announced that production from this field is expected to come online by winter, adding 500 million cubic feet of natural gas to the domestic network.

  • CBI suspended 36 million “problematic” accounts including those suspected of fraud and registered without national identification numbers.

  • Reuters reports: President Rouhani has accepted an invitation by Italian foreign ministry to visit Rome. 

Photo(s) of the Day

  • Fars News displays images pf SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moalem in Tehran.