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Iran Press Review: 08 Dec.

Politics

  • Saeed Saeedi, the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Toyserkan unit, exclaims:
    • “In the present situation today, where the enemies are seeking to make the youth deviate from the goals of the Islamic Revolution with extensive anti-Islamic and anti-Iranian propaganda, they will be met with an effort for the institutionalization of the culture of sacrifice and martyrdom and steadfastness against their invasion.”
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei responds to a letter from, saying:
    • “Are the conditions for you three branches (of government) not clear?”
    • “My expectation of the dear sirs is that with or without a seminar (on combatting corruption), decisive and practical decisions without any consideration should take place and [you should] enact it. May you be successful.”

Foreign Policy

  • Sepah News reported that “145 professors of law and political science from universities in the country” wrote Major General Qassem Suleimani, the Commander of Iran’s IRGC Quds Force (IRGC-QF), an open-letter of thanks and appreciation for his positive role in the region.
  • Mohammad Shariatmadari, Iran’s Vice-President for Executive-Affairs, notes:
    • “Iran seeks the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan, and [Iran] knows stability and development in Afghanistan to be stability and development in Iran. From the beginning, the Islamic Republic of Iran sought a consensus of unity in tribes and geographies in this country.”
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, comments on the Syrian crisis in a Press Conference with Walid Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister today:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran has from the beginning emphasized that solving the Syrian crisis is only possible by concentrating on a political solution, which is of the logical and intelligent paths to serious combat extremist terrorist groups and without dangerous and destructive foreign intrusions.”
  • Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former President and current Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council, comments on the regional role of Iraq in a meeting with Ibrahim al-Jafari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister:
    • “Everyone knows that Iraq can play a valuable role in solving the issues of Syria and Lebanon.”
    • “Strengthening the Tehran-Baghdad ties can lead to the strengthening of ties of all regional countries.”
    • “We must use this historical opportunity to correct the mistakes of previous rulers of Iraq and we must pave the way for the mutual traffic.”

Military & Security

  • Jahan News assesses Ash Carter’s views on military action toward Tehran:
    • “Without a doubt it can be said that Carter’s probable strategy about this is in concert with Obama’s policy of diplomacy and threats and [he] sees the military option against Iran alone as incapable and is certain that the military option, or in a more detailed explanation, the military threat must be supplemental alongside the negotiations and sanctions package when facing Iran.”
  • Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council comments on Iran’s defense:
    • “Due to the capability and the worthy capacity of the defense and security systems of the country, military threats are assumed to be least-likely in estimates ahead.”
    • “Steadfast and pervasive security are linked together in an undoubtable manner with equal growth and progression on all fronts.”
  • Qassem Suleimani’s popularity in the Western press continuesto be covered in Iranian media outlets.
  • Brigadier General Farzad Esmaeeli, the Chief of Iran’s Air Defense Forces, discloses that a few months ago
    • “Our air defense system detected an ISAF plane engaged in crimes in Afghanistan, and under the threat of using missile force, forced it to land in Bandar Abbas...We identified and arrested 108 NATO fighters trespassing the country.”
  • Mashregh News releases an “interview” of a member of the 500 man large Iraqi Abolfazl al-Abbas Brigade, which allegedly also was engaged providing the “security of the Zeynab shrine” in Damascus, Syria, but has now returned to Iraq.
  • Fars News Agency reports: “The Iranian Navy's 32nd fleet of warships dispatched to the high seas berthed in Salalah Port on Monday. The 32nd Fleet of the Iranian Navy, comprising Jamaran destroyer and Bushehr helicopter-carrier warship, docked at Salalah port for a friendly visit with the message of peace and friendship after travelling more than 2,200 nautical miles.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “The Iranian Army plans to send its Airborne Commandos to the high seas to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks, a senior Army commander announced on Monday. "Based on a relevant order by Iranian Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi, we are planning to send the commandos of Nohed (Special Airborne Troops) Brigade 65 to a number of Navy operations," Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari told FNA on Monday”
  • Reuters reported: “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will hike military spending by more than a third in the next fiscal year despite presenting a “cautious, tight” budget to parliament on Sunday in response to falling oil prices and punishing sanctions arising from the country’s disputed nuclear program. Rouhani proposed a general budget of 8,400 trillion rials ($312.13 billion at the official exchange rate) for the Iranian fiscal year starting March 20, 2015. This includes the entire the sprawling public sector.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Secretary Ali Shamkhani additionally weighs-in on nuclear diplomacy in a meeting with the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, saying:
    • “Attaining an agreement that provides for the needs and interests of both sides will only be attained by abiding by the law and the needs of the law and without discrimination.”
    • “The nuclear negotiating team are the children of the Revolution and representatives of the Islamic system, which with steadfastness, solely pursue the desire and true will of the people of Iran in negotiations.”
  • Tabnak reports the comments of Reza Nasri, an analyst, whonoted:
    • “One of the important legal battles that Dr. Zarif’s team – contrary to the forecasts of many analysts – exited with success and complete dignity was the battle over including “Iran’s ballistic missile program” in the negotiating agenda.”
  • Fars News Agency reports comments by Mouid Hosseinisadr, the representative of Khoy and Chaypareh, exclaiming:
    • “The representatives of the nation in Parliament have serious and intelligent supervision of the nuclear negotiations.”
  • AP reported: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday an extension of nuclear talks with Iran should be used to further increase pressure on the country to give up its atomic weapons ambitions and capabilities. His comments came as Secretary of State John Kerry cited movement in the negotiations and urged patience while vowing that the process would not continue without "tangible progress." Speaking to the same Mideast policy conference in Washington, Netanyahu and Kerry both pointed to cooperation between moderate Arab states and others in the fight against Islamic State extremists as a potential hopeful sign for defeating the group and improving prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. But, they also noted tremendous hurdles in achieving those goals.”
  • Reuters reported: “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday there was a "less than even shot" of a nuclear deal with Iran but that it was still worth pursuing. Biden, speaking at a forum on the Middle East at the Brookings Institution think tank, rejected calls for more sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program because "this is not the time to risk a breakdown when we still have a chance for a breakthrough."”

Economy

  • Jahan News reports a headline about Iran’s oil diplomacy, reading: “Zangeneh’s (Iran’s Oil Minister) submission without resistance against [Saudi] Arabia/America and Saudi [Arabia] have agreed to a behind the scenes oil deal.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani addresses the “National Health of the Administrative System and the Fight Against Corruption” seminar.:
    • “The people demand a decisive, practical and inconsiderate dealing with corruption... At the parliament, for almost a year we struggled with transfer of [control of] a governmental intelligence bureaucracy [reference to the remnants of the SAVAK] to a military institution [reference to the IRGC]. When the pressure intensified, we asked the Imam [Khomeini]. The Imam said, I’m not of that opinion.' We established a ministry [reference to the MOIS] under parliamentary oversight, and we decided it should not be an armed force, so it could be subjected to [civilian] control... If all the power is concentrated in one institution, even Abouzan and Salman [the pious] will go corrupt. We must solve this problem. Concentration of power in one place means concentration. What was the necessity of separation of the three [branches] of [government] power?”
    • Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, judiciary chief, the other speaker at the event, in an attempt to balance President Rouhani’s statements: “One must not blame the previous government for all the corruption. We are all being tested: The executive, judicial and legislature. We must fight corruption for the sake of God and the people, and one must abstain from propagating a bleak picture of the government.”
    • Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, additionally stressed the need to fight corruption, but also said “it is not all producers who engage in it, only a few received money."
  • Ali Larijani criticizes handing over of oil refineries to the Defense Ministry (MODAFL), and opposes the Martyrs Foundation [Bonyad-e Shahid] engaging in agricultural activities.
  • Mashregh News runs a backgrounder exploring the discrepancies between statements of various authorities of Islamic Republic concerning the “1200 billion Rial” scandal.
  • Akbar Torkan, a Presidential Adviser, discusses the economic plight of the country:
    • “The Rouhani government inherited problems, which almost no other government after the [Iran-Iraq] war faced. Therefore, returning the living standards of the people to its old self is not easy. This means, if we have 5% growth three consecutive years, we can compensate [the losses of the past years]. Now, when can we achieve 5% growth...?! Why have we imported so much? Because there were people with simple minds who believed if they can stabilize the currency, it would help the public...they did not realize that added rates of inflation pushes the price of domestic products... Most banks today, are bankrupted, but this is a hidden bankruptcy!”

Human Rights

  • ABC reported: “A Washington Post reporter detained in Iran has been charged with "unknown crimes" by a Tehran judge, the journalist's family said in a statement on Sunday. Jason Rezaian, the newspaper's bureau chief in Tehran since 2012, was arrested nearly five months ago. The Washington Post on Sunday first reported that the journalist - a dual U.S.-Iranian national — was charged with unspecified crimes in his first court appearance Saturday in Tehran.”

Media, Culture & Society

  • Defa Press reports that “a book about the confrontation of the Mohammed’s pure Islam and American Islam in the view of Imam Khomeini was printed by Nashr-e Ma’aref.”
    • This book excerpts from volume 21 of the multi-volume series on the words and thoughts of Imam Khomeini called Sahifeh-e Imam. (Corrected from e-mail)
  • Reuters reported: “Women in headscarves and men in tatty clothes puff on a glass pipe as smoke swirls around their faces. The pictures published by Iranian media and blogs in recent months are a sign of a new drug epidemic: shishe, or methamphetamine. Shishe means "glass" in Farsi, a reference to the appearance of the drug in some of its purest forms.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Islamic Republic News Agency highlights photos of Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s meeting with Ibrahim al-Jafari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister.
  • Fars News Agency displays photos of Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, meeting and attending a press conference with Walid Moallem, Syria’s Foreign Minister in Tehran.
  • Fars News Agency reports photos of Ala-al Din Boroujerdi, the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee visiting an Air Defense Base.
  • Islamic Republic News showcases photos of Takht-e Suleiman, an archaeological site in Iran’s North-Western environs that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.