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Iran Press Review: 05 Nov.

Analysis by FDD

  • Senior Fellow Emanuele Ottolenghi and Associate Fellow Saeed Ghasseminejad write in Policy Brief: “Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani came into office in August 2013 promising better governance and economic reform. His administration launched investigations into corruption, which flourished under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani’s appointees to economic ministries and even publicly owned companies are far more competent and experienced. Domestic supporters have touted his government as driven by “hope and wisdom.” But exactly how much has Iran’s economy really improved since Rouhani took office? Beyond macroeconomic indicators suggesting a modest recovery, a little over a year into his first term Hassan Rouhani has failed to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians. The latest unemployment figures point to a failure to deliver structural change to ordinary citizens.”

Politics

  • Fars News Agency reports that Tehran’s Friday Prayers will be led by Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami this week. They are slated to be followed by comments from Ali Tayyebnia, Iran’s Minister of Economy.
  • Fars News Agency runs a headline noting: “The Ministers of Economy, Communications, and Industry go to the Industry Committee of the Parliament.”
  • Another Fars News Agency headline about Parliamentary inquiries from this morning notes:
    • “Zarif, Tayyebnia, and Nematzadeh will be present on the open floor (of the Parliament) on the 20th of Aban.”

Foreign Policy

  • Mahmoud Vaezi, Minister of Communication and Information Technology tells reporters of an impending trip by President Hassan Rouhani to Baku, Azerbaijan:
    • “This trip will next place at the end of next week.”
    • “In addition to the bilateral meetings which will be held, documents will be signed during this trip; tomorrow or the day after I will be in Baku and I will finalize 10 documents with my counterparts.”
    • “The issue of purchasing electricity from that country, organizing the issue[s] of transportation, gas and energy, and furthermore tourism cooperation are of the issues in this trip and we will also have an increase in the volume of trade.”
  • Commander Mostafa Izadi, a Deputy of the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, comments on regional matters:
    • “Turkey was an Islamic country, and its people are Muslim and interested in an Islamic Republic, and we must pay attention to the viewpoint that our elders, Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution have, which is unity between Muslim countries.”
    • “Our main view must be based on unity, and we must adopt measures that if in Turkey movements arise against [the notion of] unity, they can be reformed.”
    • “The Islamic Revolution has had a global outlook, and pays attention to all Muslims.”
  • Tasnim News Agency reports: “Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham asked parties involved in the political crisis in Burkina Faso to exercise restraint and hand over power to a civilian government in the West African country. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing developments in Burkina Faso and sees as very important the need for the two sides' restraint and their efforts to prevent violence and the killing of people,” Afkham said in a statement issued on Wednesday.”

Military and Security

  • Fars News Agency reports on Iranian warships near Yemen:
    • “The thirty-second fleet of the Artesh [National Army] Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to secure the safety of our country’s shipping lines, have left Banadar Abbas for the Gulf of Aden.”
    • “This fleet, which was deployed on the mission was in the form of two boats [and] consisted of a Jamaran Islamic Republic of Iran Destroyer as the commander, and a Bushehr Islamic Republic of Iran vessel as a supporter.”
  • Fars News Agency cites a report about Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani’s role in Iraq, as noted in an article by the Associated Press this morning.
  • Defa Press reports of promotions in the IRGC:
    • “By way of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the rank of full Brigadier General is bequeathed to Commander Abol-Qassem Foroutan, The Deputy Coordinator for the IRGC Ground Forces.”
    • The report further noted that Foroutan had supported the Fath al-Mobin, and Karbala 4-5 operations during the Iran-Iraq War.
  • Fars News Agency reports on developments from a cabinet meeting led by President Hassan Rouhani:
    • “In this session, the bill to create a Naval Armed Forces Industries Organization was approved.”
  • The Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Mansour Haghighatpour, notes:
    • “The special session of the National Security Committee will be held with the Minister of Interior to investigation national security and the recent events in Sistan and Baluchistan.”
  • The Washington Post reports: “Saudi Arabia and Iran have offered apparently competing aid packages to Lebanon’s small and modestly armed military as it confronts increasing attacks at home by militants with ties to extremists fighting in Syria’s civil war. The pledges total billions of dollars’ worth of mostly light arms and underscore the mounting concern of the Persian Gulf foes about the stability of a country where both have invested significant resources.” 
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iran’s Basij (Voluntary) Force plans to start two days of massive drills dubbed ‘Towards Beit al-Moqaddas’ in Zanjan province on Thursday. "The Towards Beit al-Moqaddas 3 exercises will be conducted by Beit al-Moqaddas and Kosar battalions on November 6-7 in Zanjan province," Commander of Zanjan's Basij forces Abolfazl Tahmasbi said, addressing a press conference on Wednesday.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Gholam-Hossein Dehqani, Iran’s Caretaker Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, comments on Iran’s nuclear compliance:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran has invested a significant amount in its nuclear infrastructure, and has reached many advancements for the usage of energy and nuclear science in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and industry.”
    • “Iran has been committed to cooperation with the Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA), and from last year a new chapter of cooperation with the Agency has begun which has had significant progressions, and based on this, Iran has the necessary political will to continue this path to resolve all issues and ambiguities.”
    • “It is necessary for me to emphasize that Iran completely rejects the idea of the presence of ‘possible military dimensions,’ which is stated without any reason or acceptable documents about its peaceful nuclear program. Iran, based on its fundamental issues, has continued cooperation with the Agency to negate some existing ambiguities, but much like the high-up officials of the country have stated, areas related to national security, such as our defense capabilities, has never and will not at any level be negotiable.”
    • “The substance of the Agency’s activities are essentially technical, but enacting its activities without a doubt take place in a political environment.”
    • “Iran…in the past 15 months, has seriously entered negotiations with the 5+1 countries with goodwill and with the goal of creating trust in relation to its nuclear program, and it is of the belief that the existing differences can only be solved by negotiations.”
  • Hassan Qashqavi, the Deputy for Consular and Parliamentary Affairs in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comments on why Mohammad-Javad Zarif may be missing his parliamentary appearance:
    • “About one month and a half months ago, we agreed with the Board of Executives and Mr. Karimi Qudoosi as the representative of the questioners, that that questions of the representative of Mashhad from Mr. Zarif will be presented and researched on the open floor (of the Parliament) on the 20th of Aban (November 11, 2014).” 
    • “At that time, the exact date of nuclear negotiations of Iran and the 5+1 were not specified, but after it became clear that Sunday and Monday of next week, meaning the 18th and 19th of Aban (November 9-10), the three-way negotiations between Mr. Zarif, the Foreign Minister, John Kerry, the Secretary of State of America, and Catherine Ashton, the Foreign Policy Representative of the European Union would be held, and Tuesday the 20th of Aban (November 11) nuclear negotiations between the 5+1 group and Iran will take place in Muscat, the capital of Oman.”
    • “The Foreign Ministry is prepared to answer the questions of the representatives of the parliament.”
  • Ali Khurram, an Iranian analyst on international affairs issues, comments on nuclear diplomacy:
    • “Obama must use the remaining time to reach an agreement with Iran.”
    • “The understanding between Iran and the 5+1 must reach a conclusion, in this path, those who are naysayers without knowledge, must wake up, since the national interest of the country can be threatened by the lack of an agreement.”
  • Reuters reports: “A U.N. watchdog report this week is expected to show little progress in an investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research by Iran, diplomats said on Wednesday, a potential sticking point in six world powers' diplomacy with Tehran. The quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program, due on Thursday or Friday, is likely to say that Iran has still not provided information that it was supposed to do more than two months ago.” 
  • An Op-Ed in The New York Times notes: “Iran and the international community are approaching the finish line in negotiations to roll back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Even at this late hour, however, American officials are far from unified on Iran policy, with members of Congress communicating deep concern that President Obama’s negotiators will settle for an inadequate deal. Many members of Congress and others are therefore pushing for tough new sanctions that they believe could compel Iran’s capitulation in the next several weeks.” 
  • Fars News Agency reports: “A prominent Iranian legislator categorically rejected the western media reports about dispatch of Iran's enriched uranium to Russia as part of a future deal with the six world powers. "Allegations by the Americans and some western media outlets that Iran will send its enriched uranium to Russia are rejected because we do not need to make such moves," Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour told FNA on Wednesday.” 
  • Fars News Agency further reports: “Senior Iranian cabinet officials said the recent US Senate elections which ended with the Republicans' victory will have no significant impact on the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers. "The victory of the Republicans in the US Senate elections will not leave any effect on the nuclear negotiations," Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.”
  • The Los Angeles Times reported: “The Obama administration has agreed to allow Iran to operate 6,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, up from a proposed ceiling of 4,000 reported two weeks ago, as part of negotiations for a nuclear deal, according to a website approved by the Iranian government. The claim appeared to be the latest sign that the pace of bargaining is intensifying between Iran and six world powers as they face a Nov. 24 negotiating deadline.”

Economy & Trade

  • Islamic Republic News Agency runs a headline reading: “America raised the offer to Iran of creating a direct banking line.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Rajaie, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee, comments on the importance and elements of “resistance economics.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “A senior Iranian economic official underlined on Wednesday that Iran has paved the way for attracting more investments, and called on domestic and foreign investors to seize the current opportunities to expand their partnership in the country's lucrative market. Director-General for foreign investment office of the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran (OIETAI) Abolfazl Koudeyee said that presence of the foreign investors' delegations in Iran has increased eight times this year in comparison with the same period in 2013.”
  • Reuters reports: “Indian refiners completed payment of $900 million in frozen oil revenues to Iran on Wednesday under an interim deal that eased some sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear work, said industry sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Iran and the United States, China, France, Germany, Britain and Russia agreed in July to extend the initial six-month interim accord to Nov. 24 after they failed to agree a final resolution to their dispute before the deadline.” 
  • The Wall Street Journal reported: “As the U.S. struggled in recent years to help prop up Afghanistan’s anemic economy, the American military turned for help to an unlikely partner: Iran. The U.S. has no formal relations with Tehran and American companies are restricted from working with Iran by sanctions over the country’s disputed nuclear activities. Nevertheless, a specialized Pentagon task force sought to engage Afghanistan’s western neighbor for major business ventures it was promoting in the country.”

Human Rights

  • Aaron Reza Merrat writes in The National Interest: “Tehran’s former police chief summed up best the Iranian establishment’s response to a spate of acid attacks by men on motorbikes that have left several women in Esfahan disfigured and one dead. “Highlighting the acid attack incident helps enemies to take advantage of the situation,” said Ahmad Reza Radan, who as police chief oversaw a crackdown on women that fall foul of the state-enforced Islamic dress code. "Exaggerating the acid attacks is worse than attacks themselves.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Islamic Republic News Agency documents a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and veterans and their families.
  • Defa Press highlights photos of IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani, taking part in an evening mourning ceremony attended by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei marking Ashura.
  • Defa Press displays photos from protests outside the former American Embassy yesterday on the anniversary of its storming.