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Iran Press Review: 10 Dec.

Politics

  • In a lengthy interview with Ramz-e Obour published by supporters of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Mohammad Khamenei, brother to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, condemns the “eagerness” of Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to establish secret contacts with the United States in what became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.
  • Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani addresses the Islamic Student Associations at the Nour branch of the Islamic Azad University:
    • “In the course of eight years of Ahmadinejad government, which of their slogans were turned into action? Where are the thieves who were meant to be pointed out to the people and arrested?”
      • According to Jahan News, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani’s speech at Mashhad University had to be canceled as the event was attacked by “students” who were chanting “death to the hypocrite!” and “death to the seditionist!”
  • Mohammad-Baqer Nowbakht, Spokesperson for the Rouhani government, stated:
    • “The president does not get upset with criticism, but malicious content which would honestly make any sincere person upset, does upset him. However, we do not know our critics to be malicious, and they are persons worried about the system, but perhaps they may speak provocatively, at which point they will have to accept responsibility for it.”

Foreign Policy

  • Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, makes comments during the closing ceremonies of the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) Conference, noting:
    • “A special point of this region is that is that the people in this region are Muslim, and the spirit of Islam is against violence.”
    • “With appropriate planning, governments and civil society can create grounds for the removal of violence, by utilizing religious teachings.”

Military & Security

  • Hossein Salami, the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), states:
    • “America could not remove the Zionist regime from its security dilemma, and this regime at present is at the intersection of the army of Hezbollah and Palestinian groups, and its security has turned into a nightmare.”
    • “By relying on our domestic capabilities, in the defense arena we have created missiles that create tremor in the body of Zionists.”
    • “At present, destroying naval vessels of our enemy is no longer a mystery for us. The enemy has understood our power and is after the alteration of their naval strategy.”
  • Shahrokh Shahram, the Administrative Deputy of the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base for the Artesh (national Army), notes:
    • “Air defense plays a key role in all exercises.”
    • Commenting on an upcoming drill: “In this exercise, we will use newly discovered and identified systems, which in the debate about radar, we will be testing the Arsh-2 radar and likewise, fire combat systems, of which the most important are the Mersad and Shalamcheh missile, which will be accompanied with low-altitude missiles and used in this exercise.”
  • Osama Hamdan, Hamas’s International Affairs Secretary, notes:
    • “The visit of a Hamas delegation to Tehran led by Mohammad Nasr, could be the prelude to Khaled Mashal's visit to Tehran... With this visit we are pursuing three goals. First, strengthening of Hamas/Iran relations, which of course everyone knows these relations are strategic and old with a 25 years history. Second, discussing the developments in Palestine, especially in the light of the latest hostile acts of the Zionist regime towards the al-Aqsa Mosque. Third, in order to discuss the coordination of the efforts of the Umma[Islamic community of believers] in the light of the U.S. led efforts to solve the Palestine issue, which unfortunately is being supported by some regional states.”
    • “Concerning Khaled Mashal’s visit to Iran, this is normal, since he has traveled to Tehran before and has good relations with Tehran. Therefore, his traveling to Tehran is normal. We will talk about the timing, and believe it will happen in the not so distant future, and God willing he will visit Tehran in the near future.”
    • Concerning Hamas/Syria relations, Hamdan said: “Our relations with the Syrians is not severed. We have historical relations with Syria, since this country has provided a lot of support to Palestine and the Resistance. We admit this, and still believe Syria is among the important pillars of the Resistance...With regards to the crisis in Syria, from the very beginning we declared it an internal issue and said it must be solved through understanding amongst the Syrian nation and not through external intervention. We opposed foreign intervention in Syria and when the United States decided to attack Syria we condemned this position and emphasized that intervention was wrong, and condemned by the Palestinian Resistance groups, in particular Hamas. This movement has also condemned the recent attack of the Zionist regime against Syria...The general policy and the principle in our relations is based on the positions [of states] concerning the Palestine issue and support to it, and not our intervention in the domestic affairs of states. Therefore, the Hamas movement has always tried to have positive relations with countries supporting the Palestine issue and in support of the rights of the Palestinians...I must explain that the Hamas movement has not left Syria. The children of this movement are still present in camps in Syria, and play a role in helping the Palestinian nation through their presence in this country. What happened is that the political leadership left Syria, since the leadership could not play a role under the present circumstances. The children of the Hamas movement however, are still in the camps, and play a positive role. Of course, they safeguard the policies of the Hamas movement and try not to enter the Syrian crisis.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Alef News republishes a compilation of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s reasons for continuing the nuclear negotiations which previously were released on the Supreme Leader's official website:
    • “1. Iran wants to close the nuclear file, but the Western party does not! 2. The art of agreeing is in continuing the path. 3. This is an exercise in trusting the domestic forces. 4. This [is an act of] supporting the decision of the executive authorities of the state. 5. [It] reveals the enmity of the enemy. 6. [It] normalizes Iran's relations with the IAEA. 7. It counters destructive currents [shaping] the public opinion [against] Iran. 8. [It] emphasizes that [Iran] has no nuclear weapon. 9. [It's] taking the foreign policy initiative.”
  • Hossein Naqavi, the Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security Council Spokesman, provides an account of Abbas Eraqchi’s, report to the parliament:
    • “In Eraqchi's assessment, the gap between the two parties is ‘very large’ and emphasized: ‘In the course of the negotiations after the Geneva accord, a long path was taken and common ground was reached. But there still is a long way and the red lines of the two parties have been preserved. The counterpart has made some changes in its demands and red lines, but the gap is big. This is why the negotiations were extended for seven more months.’ Allegedly, Eraqchi also said: “In this path, many different scenarios and numerous proposals were presented but none of them reached a result and they were not accepted by the parties. Of course, it is agreed upon to reach a general agreement in the course of the next four months, and use the ensuing three months to discuss the details in order to reach an agreement.” According to Naqavi, Eraqchi also told the parliamentary committee: “We were authorized to engage in bilateral and multilateral negotiations and all necessary sessions were held. Naturally, we too believe the work and the conditions will be more difficult if the negotiations are prolonged and pressure on the Westerners is increased. But none of this would make us cross the red lines...Our red lines, and our minimum demands have been defined and we shall under no circumstance cross those...the Muscat talks of course, were very bad and it is natural that we were thinking of terminating the negotiations. Extension of the negotiations took place based on a rational decision. Of course, we believed it was possible to reach the goal and agreement in less than 7 months, but finally, 7 months [extension] was agreed upon...We proved our good will to the international community and consider agreement within reach, an agreement in which our red lines are preserved... Naturally, accepting the Additional Protocol is conditioned upon parliamentary ratification, even should the entire agreement be conditioned on the protocol...The Zionists and some regional states are fundamentally opposed to the agreement and are opposed to any agreement. They do not want the agreement to be reached. They even try to provoke the West against Iran, even militarily. We believe we can defend our nuclear rights through negotiations and will certainly be successful.””
  • An analyst at Fararu attempts to downplay Foreign Policy Magazine’s article on procurement for the Arak Heavy Water Plant:
    • “Iran and the United States are both careful of the present conditions. Both countries are careful not to change the present atmosphere up to the final and comprehensive agreement seven months from now...Until now, Iran's nuclear negotiations with the 5+1 Group has not had any achievement, but at least it has managed - to a limited a degree - to restore the lost trust between Tehran and Washington.”

Economy & Trade

  • President Hassan Rouhani proclaims in a government meeting that:
    • “The decrease in the price of crude oil is not only an economic issue, but rather due to conspiracy and planning by some countries.”
  • Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s First Vice-President for the Rouhani administration, proclaims:
    • “Even if the price of oil reaches 40 dollars we are resolute that by relying on resistance economics and detailed planning, we will still administer the country well and we will provide the grounds for leaving inflation and [attaining] economic prosperity.”
  • Eshaq Jahangiri additionally comments on Ahmadinejad-era corruption:
    • “A lot of foreign exchange has been taken out of the country. There were those who imported products with [subsidized] foreign currency at 10,226 [Rial per U.S. Dollar] but sold the product [in Iran] at [the rate of] 30,600 [Rial per U.S. Dollar]...There were also those who received the foreign exchange [at subsidized rate] but did not import any product into the country...In the course of 18 months, $22 billion was taken to Dubai.”

Media, Society & Culture

  • Mashregh News reports that Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, formally joined instagram and now has an account.

Human Rights

  • The Washington Post reports: “The prison cell that has been Jason Rezaian’s home for most of the past 141 days has no mattress. He has slept on blankets on the hard floor and awakened each morning with back pain, for which he has received no treatment. He suffers from chronic eye infections, which have persisted for so long that his family fears permanent damage to his vision. For more than a month he has been afflicted by a groin inflammation so painful that he sometimes has trouble standing.”
  • The Daily Beast reports: “Today, December 10, marks United Nations Human Rights Day, first proclaimed in 1950 “to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.” Today also marks the 20th day of a hunger strike by 29 political prisoners in Iran’s Orumiyeh Central Prison, which mainly houses Kurdish political prisoners.  Fellow Kurdish prisoners of conscience in other cities across Iran have followed suit.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Defa Press reports pictures from the C4I (Command, Control, Communication, Computer[s] and Intelligence) Conference at Shahid Sattari Air Force University.