Iran Press Review 07-08 July

Analysis by FDD

  • Clifford May, President, writes in The Washington Times: “Imagine if, on September 12, 2001, I had written a column predicting that within less than 15 years, the president of the United States would be offering the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism a path to nuclear weapons and tens of billions of dollars. You’d have thought me a lunatic. But that’s what President Obama means to do. What’s gumming up the works? Every time Secretary of State John Kerry thinks he has found a creative way to cave in to some Iranian demand, the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, comes up with a new “red line.””
  • Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director, and Annie Fixler, Policy Analyst, wrote an FDD/CSIF report entitled “’SWIFT’ Warfare” which is available for download, here.
  • Tony Badran, Research Fellow, wrote in NOW Lebanon: “In Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry has been racing to put the final touches on the deal over the Iranian nuclear program. The agreement will include a main text and five annexes, each of which will spell out the details of a specific issue. But there’s also a sixth annex to the deal; a tacit agreement that in some ways is more significant than anything that’s been put down on paper. On Sunday, an unnamed American diplomat involved in the negotiations hinted at its contents when he said: “Obama wants this [deal] as the centerpiece of his legacy, and he believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there.” Based on his view of Iran as a valuable partner, Obama is not only guaranteeing its status as a threshold nuclear state, he is also recognizing its zones of influence in the Levant. This has long been obvious in Iraq, but it is becoming increasingly explicit in Syria, where the White House is serving notice to regional players and effectively announcing its recognition of the Iran-protected regime enclave in western Syria.”
  • Saeed Ghasseminejad, Associate Fellow, and Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, wrote in Business Insider: “As world powers prepare to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran, European businesses are gearing up for a swift re-entry into the Islamic Republic. The potentially impending deal will open Iran — one of the world’s last large untapped emerging markets — to foreign investment and trade. How will Tehran use its windfall? The White House hopes that the bonanza from the deal will moderate, not exacerbate Iran’s harmful regional behavior. The administration’s underlying logic is that a deal will reverse the decades-old animosity between Washington and Tehran, setting them on a new, positive course. In the administration’s view, the economic benefits from the deal are critical to ensuring that Iran renounces its negative ways.”

Foreign Policy

  • Former President, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the current head of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, states in an interview with The Guardian:
    • “Face to face negotiations are better than talking from further away through the media. Iran is very serious. If the opposing sides are just as serious, most defiantly an agreement will be attained. It is good that Iran is directly speaking with America. We have broken a taboo.”
  • Pursuant to a formal invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rouhani of Iran departed Tehran for a trip to Russia, where he is slated to speak at a BRICS conference.
  • President Hassan Rouhani comments on the importance of Quds Day, proclaiming:
    • “Muslim nations, specifically the nation of Iran, will make the voices of the innocent ones of a great nation who have been displaced from their house and huts for 66 years, reach the ears of the world.”
  • Massoumeh Ebtekar, head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization and the spokesperson for the university students which took American diplomats hostage in 1979, is quoted as saying:
    • “With respect to the long history of conflicts, we never thought that relations [between] America and Iran will warm after signing the agreement.”
  • Ayatollah Jannati, Chairman of Iran’s Guardian Council, was quoted in headline pertaining to Quds Day which read: “The enemies must fear Quds Day.”

Military & Security

  • Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) puts out a declaration in support of Quds Day, its present necessity and applicability, and its legacy.
  • Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani of the IRGC weighs-in on the Takfiri threat and challenges in the Middle East:
    • “Despite all the efforts which the Takfiri’s undertook in Syria, when they did not reach their desired outcome there, they did not cease, they commenced their movement towards Iraq, so that with the dragging of the war towards the direction of Iran’s borders, it could realize its goals in providing for the security of the occupying regime of Quds.”
  • Quds Day preparations:
    • Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, head of the Intifada and Quds Committee of the Islamic Propaganda Organization elaborated on the 2015 Quds Day celebrations:
      • “The Iranian nation has demonstrated that concerning the fundamental and strategic issues, the regime’s approach has transcended partisanship and factionalism and has always been uniform and united. This advantage has been there in the nuclear issue and in defense of the ideals of Palestine.”
      • “The prelude to eradication of Israel and the era of the end of the criminal Zionist regime has come. Not only the tens of thousands of missiles of Hezbollah, Hamas and other resistance cells, but also their inner weakness and their internal conflicts... have made the bells toll for the death and collapse of this regime. The world must prepare itself for the post-Zionism crisis.”
    • Mohammad-Ebrahim Rezaei, a parliamentarian, exclaimed:
      • “One of the fundamental principles of the Islamic revolution is the struggle against injustice and defending the meek and the downtrodden... regardless if a nuclear agreement is achieved or not, the path and the principles of the revolution continue... the Islamic revolution will always resist the excessive demands of the West and the overt injustice to which the meek are subjected. In particular, it [the Islamic Republic,] will oppose the injustice which Israel is subjecting the people of Palestine to... The revolution countering the injustice of Israel will continue... One day...the world of Islam will be united enough to uproot the Zionists.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Tasnim News Agency cites a Russian source which claims that Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif told EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, to: “Never threaten an Iranian.”
  • Iran’s Fars News Agency reports on a story initially from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and runs the following as a title pertaining to Israel and Iran’s nuclear diplomacy: “It has been 12 days that Israel is not involved in the process of negotiations.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad, a parliamentarian, comments on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy and the possibility of a deal, saying:
    • “There is a high chance that our negotiating team and the 5+1 will reach a deal, but this agreement must adhere to the red lines.”
  • Mohsen Rafighdoost, the former Chairman of the Bonyad-e Mostazafan, is quoted by Resalat in a headline supporting Iran’s nuclear diplomacy: “We must give encouragement to the negotiating team of our country.”
  • Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, a temporary Friday Prayer leader for Tehran, likens Iran’s nuclear negotiating team to “soldiers of the front[s] of diplomacy.”
  • Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, nuclear negotiator, noted: “From our point of view, there is no such thing as a deadline.”
  • “Issues remain,” commented an unnamed “Iranian diplomat” in conversations with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s press corps.
  • An editorial in Kayhan attacked President Hassan Rouhani’s statements comparing the Islamic Republic’s acceptance of a nuclear agreement with the peace accord of Imam Hassan, the second Shi’ite Imam, and son of Imam Ali.
    • Kayhan quoted a certain Daryoush Sadjadi: “Mr. Rouhani, it was traitors who imposed the peace on Imam Hassan!”
  • Kayhan reported on the remaining differences between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 in their nuclear diplomacy:
    • “One of the points of conflict is the system and removal of the sanctions, in particular the principle of the sanctions removal being irrevocable, and simultaneous sanctions removal along with Iran [living up to its] obligations.”
    • “The other point of dispute is that of Possible Military Dimensions... and the role of the IAEA in inspections.”
    • “The third point of conflict is the time span concerning Iran's nuclear program... which emanates from the differing interpretations of Iranian and Western parties of the Lausanne negotiations.”
  • Aftab-e Yazd discussed the political agenda of the opponents of the nuclear agreement:
    • "They make the claim that 'we, from the very beginning said the negotiations are futile and one can't trust the enemy and the P5+1 Group! You lacked political insight,...' based on this agenda, they are preparing themselves for the parliamentary elections, hoping defeat of the negotiations, would prepare the ground for them to achieve a parliamentary majority... Should a nuclear agreement be reached,... they will depict it as unholy, which is why they make the claim that the agreement will not solve the problems of the country.”
  • Full text of the statement by Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, on the continuation of nuclear diplomacy with Iran, past the previously extended deadline.
  • Full text of the press release by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on the continuation of sanctions relief and the Joint Plan of Action until July 10, 2015.

Economy & Trade

  • Fararu discussed prospects for Iran's economy after the removal of the international sanctions regime:
    • “For a long time, Iran's economy has been suffering from stagflation... Iran's economy is sick and has gone through an eight years long and difficult period which did away with the indicators of development. The sanctions, and pressures - previously called 'scraps of paper' [reference to former president Ahmadinejad's expression] are finally being felt in the structure of the economy... Removal of sanctions could change that... Some parts of the economy directly affected by the sanctions will recover fast in case of sanctions removal... those entities which were not directly hit by the sanctions will benefit in the longer term from the sanctions relief... In certain industries one can expect 20 to 30% growth.”
  • Abbas Abdi, a former U.S. Embassy hostage taker turned reformist politician, stated:
    • “It is naive to believe the economy will immediately improve when the sanctions are removed.”
  • Fars News Agency reported: “Iranian Road and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi announced that representatives of several French firms are slated to visit Iran in September to help renovate the airports of Tehran and Mashhad. Akhoundi made the remarks after his visit to France and his several meetings with French industrialists and tradesmen.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • The equivalent of a Disneyland-style (war-themed) camp in Mashhad: Kids preparing for war against the enemy.