Subscribe to FDD

Iran Press Review: 06 Oct.

Politics

  • The reformist-inclined former Iranian Ambassador to France, Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi comments on former President Khatami and reformism in Iran:
    • "One in Iran cannot ignore the reformist movement. This issue is not related to parties or persons, but rather returns to the Iranian-ness of this movement. Reformism is a prominent social-intellectual current in Iran."
    • "Mr. Khatami is the leader of reform, and under any condition shall remain [as such]. He has a special place in society, whether we want him to, or not. Khatami believes in the leadership, the constitution, and the Velayat-e Faqih [Guardianship of the Jurisprudent] in the system. He did not approve of many of the events in 2009. He believes in dialogue to resolve conflicts." 
  • Former Intelligence Minister Ali Younesi, dismisses that he has once been known as "Edrisi" while serving as prosecutor in the Revolutionary Tribunal, and explains his record at the ministry:
    • "I started at the Military Tribunal at the time 99% of the prosecution of the members of the Tudeh [Communist] Party was done. I may have prosecuted two or three elements. The 2-300 man large list attributed to me is a total lie. You take a look at the memoirs of the judge at the Military Tribunal, this has been said. Of course, I must say that at the time I was at the Revolutionary Tribunal, I believed that we should not forget our principles when dealing with the enemies and the terrorists." 
    • Answering the question how he started at the Ministry of Intelligence, Younesi said: "I was not trying to become the minister of intelligence. I was not inclined to, but an important event led to it... the serial killings. Of course, during the Khatami presidency it was suggested that I should be the intelligence minister, but he did not accept it... he was told 'he [Younesi] is among the Haqqani School theologians [from Qom] and is a radical'... The Haqqani School theological students had a reputation of being radicals... Mr. Khatami himself is in a way among the Haqqani School theological students and we were related [to each other]... But Mr. Khatami did not know me well. It was Mr. Khoeiniha and Mr. Karrubi who recommended him to appoint me as [intelligence] minister, to which Mr. Khatami had responded that the Haqqani School alumn are radical and did not accept it. Later [the idea] surfaced that I should be the minister, but I left Tehran to Chabahar, to evade responsibility, and told my family not to tell anyone. We were neighbors of Mr. Mohammadi Golpayegani. In the end, during the first time they found me and called, saying come to Tehran right now. I said that I would return next week, but he said, no, come right now. I said there is no flight, but he said 'I'll send a plane...' In the end, I was present in Tehran the next day and went to the Supreme Leader, who said 'we agreed with Mr. Khatami about you, you accept it.' I said, yes... At a meeting with Mr. Khatami, he told me the events extensively. Of course, I was a member of a three man large team to discover the case of the [chain] murders, and we already were in touch. In the end, we found out the roots of the issue within a week. It was nothing complicated to us, which surprised Mr. Khatami... [Question]: 'You, Rabi'i and Sarmadi were members of the committee?' [Answer] Yes. Mr. Khatami said: 'I desired to appoint you earlier, and we committed a mistake, we should have appointed you back then.' In the end he said, 'I'm asking you to accept,' and I did. Then he said, 'I'm having conversations with other ministers about appointment of advisers and deputies, which should take place based on the president's decision.' Here, I cut him short and said that I would not accept it. They tried hard to convince me, but I did not. They even took a letter from the safe. Without even looking at the name of the writer. They said: 'Look, he suggests that I should give the cabinet responsibility to him, he is an important person whom you respect.' From the prose of the letter it was clear that the author was a cleric. The author had made some promises concerning what he would do [as intelligence minister] and had declared that he would accept it with all the conditions. I told Mr. Khatami: Are you doing this to urge me to accept this responsibility? I am not interested in being minister, one must accept this kind of work as a duty. I realized that the Supreme Leader and you have agreed upon it, which made me accept it as a duty. But I'm not ready to be minister, but at the same time accept your conditions. This would mean that you and I will both have competences. Well, I'm not accepting [the job] at all. Mr. Khatami was shocked that I dismissed [the offer] so easily and was frustrated... Mr. Khatami visited His Lordship [Khamenei] and said, 'Younesi did not accept the appointment.' I was contacted, and was told that His Lordship is unhappy, were you not meant to cooperate?' I said, I did not dismiss it, I just dismissed the conditions which they made. In the end, I went to His Lordship the next day. Mr. Mohammadi Golpayegani and Hejazi were there. They said, 'you accepted here, but went over there and dismissed it.' He [Khamenei] did not expect it. I explained that I did not accept the conditions of the president. He [Khamenei] asked what conditions, and I explained such conditions may be right elsewhere, but not at the Intelligence Ministry. I explained, that at the Intelligence Ministry, only the minister is known, and everyone else is anonymous. If the president wants to discuss [the affairs] it should be with the minister, since he does not know anyone else. But should the deputies at the ministry [be appointed by the president]... why should the president consult with the minister? He [Khamenei] liked my argument very much, and said 'this is very true, you go, I'll talk to Mr. Khatami.' The next day Mr. Khatami called... and said: 'I was joking the other day, why did you take it seriously...?' A crisis had taken place, and lack of trust in the Intelligence Ministry had even spread within the regime. They were saying one of the pillars of the regime, meaning the Intelligence Ministry, is killing the citizens. This was the worst thing. The Intelligence Ministry is among the ruling ministries, its main responsibility is to defend the security of the people and the regime. Finally, because of some inappropriate and inhumane behaviors at the interrogations the atmosphere became more chaotic. In those days, the Monafeqin [Mojahedin-e Khalq] terrorist organization too, entered the scene and engaged in assassinations, hoping it could spread insecurity for which others could be blamed. Back then it was said that it is the Intelligence Ministry, which is behind the killings... Even some regime officials believed this...! Back then, we had a meeting at the Supreme National Security Council, which was hit by a mortar. We were all looking at each other in astonishment wondering what was happening. I saw everyone looking at me, and one of the participants said: 'this is the work of the Intelligence Ministry!' This is the degree of mistrust. The intelligence Ministry was burning in the crisis, and was attacked by the terrorists, the Monafeqin. Under such conditions, we had to do something so that the public would regain their trust in the Intelligence Ministry. In the end, in the course of six months, the Intelligence Ministry finished the Monafeqin forever, meaning dealing such blows to it that they never dared to use the military option."
    • Commenting on Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi, the current Intelligence Minister, Younesi said: "The government has not yet totally taken control over the [Intelligence] Ministry... I approve of Mr. Alavi, he has the right ethical approach... Mr. Alavi has an ethical and legal approach, and we must help him so he totally masters his work." 
  • Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel, the current head of the conservative-block in Iran’s Parliament [Majlis] and representative of Tehran comments on the upcoming parliamentary elections:
    • "Given that the future parliamentary elections are the most important elections after the presidential elections all groups will try to participate in the elections in one united list."
    • "From this perspective, I doubt that a split will occur that will cause defeat."
    • "The axis of unity in my opinion is conservatism, and that is sufficient to make the conservatives united."
  • Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf attends a press conference discussing everything from the pollution in Tehran to current projects.

Foreign Policy

  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee notes in his meetings in Ecuador:
    • "The Islamic Consultative Assembly supports the growth of bilateral cooperation with revolutionary countries in Latin America and we can support peace and tranquility in the region by way of multilateral cooperation and we can resist against militant policies."
    • "The revolutionary stances of Ecuador with respect to the issue of Palestine and the imposed crisis of Syria are commendable."
    • "We are completely ready to grow relations with the revolutionary country of Ecuador, and the fields for this growth and completely prepared."
    • Transitioning to speak about the Islamic State (IS or DAESH by its Persian/Arabic acronym):
      • "America, which has been an ally of DAESH for many years…how is it possible that it overnight became against DAESH? Therefore this action by America to create a coalition against DAESH is political theater to respond to American public opinion after the beheadings of two American journalists by way of DAESH terrorists."
  • Speaking briefly about the U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron, Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel exclaims that: "In any event, the statements of Mr. Cameron did not help the relations between Iran and the U.K., and it can be stated that partly some obstacles were created."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai discussed the latest security developments in the region, and emphasized the need for both Tehran and Kabul to strengthen all-out cooperation."
  • Fars News Agency reported that: "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underscored Tehran's enthusiasm for the further expansion of relations with China, and said such ties will improve regional peace and security. In a message on Saturday, Rouhani congratulated his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, government and nation on the country's 65th founding anniversary."

Military and Security

  • Fars News Agency carries reports from the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) that a "fire" in Eastern Tehran had killed two.
  • According to Saham News, an outlet close to Mehdi Karrubi, the fire occurred at the Parchin site. Specifically, the report claims that "a tremendous explosion shook the surrounding areas of the Parchin military site in Eastern Tehran."
    • BBC Persian further reports that "Still, no formal official has confirmed the incident at the Parchin site."
  • According to Digarban, Mohsen Kazemeini, the unit-Commander for the Tehran Mohammad Rasoul-Allah Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while addressing IRGC veterans, for the first time acknowledged the role of Commander Hossein Hamadani as the IRGC's field Commander in Syria. 
  • Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi, the former Iranian Ambassador to France further comments on Iran’s support for Syria:
    • "We supported the majority in Syria. Kofi Anan personally told me that Bashar Asad has the support of the majority of the Syrian people and it is not possible to change this reality by spending money."

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani comments on the Fordow nuclear facility amidst a speech about Iran’s countryside:
    • "Today the village of Fordow is a symbol of our peaceful nuclear technology whose name is recorded in all historical and international documents and records under different titles."
  • Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi further comments on Iran’s nuclear negotiations, saying, "Negotiations are based on two elements: determination and plans."
  • Javad Jahangirzadeh, the representative of Urumia in Iran’s Parliament said in relation to nuclear negotiations:
    • "In one round of negotiations in Vienna, France played the role of the police, but the recent comments by [David] Cameron show that England is preparing to play the role of police in future negotiations."
  • Reuters reports: "Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog will hold talks in Tehran on Tuesday, official media reported, their first since the country missed an August deadline for addressing questions about its suspected atomic bomb research. Diplomats told Reuters last week that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was expected to make a new attempt soon to advance its long-running investigation into Iran's nuclear program."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "A senior delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to arrive in Tehran on Monday night to meet Iranian officials and visit the country's nuclear facilities. The delegation whose main agenda will be talks on remaining issues between Iran and the IAEA will start its negotiations with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) officials on Tuesday morning."

Economy

  • Fars News Agency reports: "The sanctions imposed by the EU on the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) for its alleged role in Iran’s nuclear energy program were scrapped, a senior official announced on Monday. "After the (EU) court issued an initial ruling on the illegality of the sanctions against the NITC, the EU had 70 days to protest at the ruling, and since the EU didn’t use this opportunity, the EU sanctions against the NITC has now been definitely annulled," Managing Director of the NITC Ali Akbar Safayee said in a press conference in Tehran today."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Iran's Sina Bank plans to start talks with EU banking officials to reestablish the SWIFT link between the two sides and set up brokers offices in Europe, managing director of the bank said after the EU court's ruling for the removal of sanctions against Sina Bank came into effect. "Among the advantages of delisting the Bank from the sanctions list is re-establishment of the SWIFT link and the possible setting up of brokers offices in the European countries to remove obstacles to our banking operations," Managing-Director of Sina Bank Kourosh Parvizian told FNA on Monday."
  • Ali Larijani, Speaker of Iran’s Parliament comments on the agricultural situation in Iran, and notes that:
    • "Food security is an important factor in the country."
    • "Perhaps one of the issues that the discussion of resistance economics is emphasized in relation to, is agriculture, and we must support this sector as much as possible."
    • "This year, with the current water situation and poor performance of agriculture we have no option but to pay attention to this sector."

Human Rights

  • The Washington Post reports: "An Iranian journalist detained in Iran since July along with her husband, The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, has been released from custody, a family member said Sunday. While Yeganeh Salehi was freed on bail in the middle of last week, her husband, Jason Rezaian, remains imprisoned, his brother, Ali, wrote in an e-mail."

Daily Picture(s)

  • Pictures of a joint morning processional by Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces, [LEF, or NAJA, their Persian acronym] via Fars News Agency.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, Iran’s Prosecutor-General, attends what Fars News Agency describes to be his “seventieth press conference.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency documents photos from the 15th International Exhibition of Industry, Telecommunications and Information (popularly known as the Iran Telecom Fair).
  • Mashregh News carries photos from Mehr News Agency of the inauguration of “the largest planetarium in the Middle East” today in Tehran.