Iran Press Review 12 May


  • Iran’s Minister of Interior, Abd al-Reza Rahmani Fazli, comments on the government’s reactions to attacks against Ali Mottahari, a parliamentarian, who was attacked by vigilante groups on March 9, 2015:
    • “Through a fact finding investigation, we tried to identify the organizations and individuals who influenced [the attack]. This was done, and the list of the wrong doers has been submitted to the President, who has submitted it to the Judiciary. All convicted individuals will be declared [to the public] and they will be dealt with the means of the law.”
    • The reported also noted that several weeks ago, Ali-Akbar Nateq Nouri and Hassan Khomeini had to cancel their trips to Gorgan after Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante group threatened to attack their speeches in a way similar to the attack against Mottahari. Ali Younesi's speech, too, was disrupted by the same vigilante groups.
  • Javad Mansouri, one of the first chief Commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), shares his assessment of the leading personalities of the Islamic Republic:
    • “I believe [Mehdi] Bazargan was not a traitor, but those around him were.”
    • “Hashemi [Rafsanjani] wanted to be friends with everyone: the clergy, the Mojahedin-e Khalq, and this really was his character... Of course, he was closer to the forces of the Line of the Imam, but he did not consider the [Iran Freedom] Movement as dangerous and did not believe in treason of the National Front, but I did.”
    • “Ahmadinejad tried to represent himself as a new [Mohammad-Ali] Rajaei, however, both [characterization of him] as [Abol-Hassan] Bani-Sadr, or a Rajaei is nonsensical. Ahmadinejad is not like anyone. Intellectually, he is not cohesive. He is not himself and is being administered by others. He was not original... I doubt the blows he has dealt to this country can be corrected anytime soon.”
  • Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recounts a dream he had at the time he received his Ph.D. in civil engineering:
    • "Facing the Damavand Peak while driving, and having a certain sheikh whose name I do not desire to mention [reference to Rafsanjani]..., I saw three chairs in the middle of the road. Two of the chairs were occupied by Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader. The third chair was free. I parked the Peugeot somewhere and along with the Sheikh who was with me we walked towards the Imam and Ayatollah Khamenei. I stood aside, but the Sheikh traveling with me constantly tried to sit on the third chair, but Imam Khomeini did not allow him. Suddenly, Imam Khomeini faced me and decisively said: ‘Mr. Dr. Ahmadinejad. Sit on this chair.’ This made the Sheikh move aside and I took the seat next to Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei.”
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, the Chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), is hospitalized after a botched colonoscopy procedure.

Foreign Policy

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif speaks via telephone with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, and discusses the crisis in Yemen. In his conversation Zarif noted that Iran backs unity in Yemen, stressing that “The solution to the crisis in Yemen” is “purely political.”
  • In a lengthy attack against Alan Eyre, Fars News Agency accuses the Persian-language spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State of having masterminded a spy network among Iranians which includes Jason Rezaeian.
  • Davoud Hermidas Bavand, an academic, commenting on the King of Saudi Arabia not participating in the U.S./GCC Summit, writes that the “passivity of the Arabs benefits Iran.”
  • Ali Rabiee, Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, meets in Baghdad with the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Seyyed Ammar al-Hakim. In their meeting, Hakim notes:
    • “The relationship of Iran and Iraq is somehow knit together in the region and therefore the presence of one common approach is needed.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reports that Iraqi President, Faud Masum, has traveled to Tehran.

Military and Security

  • An editorial from Sobh-e Sadeq elaborating upon “constant U.S. threats against Iran,” comments on the prospects for success for the nuclear negotiations:
    • “The chance of success for such negotiations, are smaller than them being fruitless or not reaching an agreement. The United States emphasis on this policy will most likely lead to failure and the Americans themselves are to blame for it.”
    • “Should the Americans think they can stop Iran's nuclear activities by attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, they are badly mistaken...The Islamic Republic is capable of turning the region into hell for the aggressors. Thanks to the decisive reactions of the Islamic Republic and its regional and global allies, things will happen which the aggressors did not even dream of.”
  • Brigadier General Masoud Jazaeri, the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Joint Forces, warns in an interview with Lebanese Hezbollah’s Al-Alam TV, “Attacks against the Islamic Republic of Iran Red Crescent ships ignites the fire of war in the region.” Jazayeri made the statements in response to the U.S. Navy redirecting Iranian ships carrying aid to Yemen to Djibouti.
    • Iran’s cargo ship is being escorted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mojtaba Zolnour, senior adviser to the Representative of the Supreme Leader to the IRGC, proclaims in a panel debate with noted Tehran University Professor Sadeq Zibakalam:
    • “The Islamic Republic is authorized by God to annihilate Israel.”
  • Former IRGC Commander Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi comments on the Iran-Iraq War’s and its controversial ending:
    • “You should ask the political officials of the war such as His Excellency Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani or Mohsen Rezaie about political issues. As a military commander until the last day, I know the war to be a legitimate and rational war. We had one rationale to depose Saddam but some political officials with the Imam (Khomeini) did not accompany [us].”

Nuclear Issue

  • Ruhollah Hosseinian, a member of parliament representing Tehran, comments on nuclear negotiations and strategy:
    • “The people and [the government] officials are not against negotiations, they are not against tactical retreats, accepting temporary flexibility for the rebuilding of power to acquire readiness, we are against negligence and carelessness, and the falling short of principles as a strategic plan.”
  • The Tehran Times reports: “Negotiators from Iran and the 5+1 group of major world powers started a new round of talks on Tuesday on drafting the text of a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi as well as top EU envoy Helga Schmid participated in the talks, Press TV reported.”

Economy & Trade

  • Sharq discusses yesterday’s shareholder protests in front of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE):
    • “Collapsing share values finally led to protests against issues which the shareholders have dubbed ‘corruption and code [messages]’ in this institution. The protesters complained of weak monitoring of the stock exchange, and lack of legal means to use against those who abuse their access to privileged information [when dealing with stocks].”
    • Mohsen Qaderi, financial analyst: “Some of the shareholders who were unhappy with the decline in their share values, protested, and were reportedly arrested... Unfortunately, some notable individuals are among the shareholders who are in control of the main shares and big money is changing hands. Most of their dealings are based on secret information in a market which is not transparent...On May 10, 2015, the symbol of the Iranian Leasing Company was removed [from the Tehran Stock Exchange] on charges of use of inside information and all its dealings were declared void. This was an important and a good event for the Stock Exchange.”
  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • “[The Rouhani government] has accepted that the P5+1 Group equals the world! This bitter realization, which has become institutionalized, is not only about the nuclear negotiations, but is true of all government affairs. For example, there is news of an official from the domestic automobile industry, who has gone to France to negotiate and sign a contract with the Peugeot officials... the country is in the midst of an important and unprecedented historical struggle with its most hardened enemies and France has in recent years on several occasions upset the result of months of negotiations... What logic should make us reward this deceptive enemy with the domestic automobile market?”
  • Fars News Agency reports:
    • “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Bulgaria has the needed potentials to help Iran gain access to the rest of the European countries, specially for energy transfer. "Bulgaria has a superior geographical status in Southeastern Europe and it can act like a bridge between Iran and the European countries in all areas, including transfer of energy," Rouhani said in a meeting with Bulgaria's new Ambassador to Tehran Christo Polendakov on Tuesday.”
  • The Tehran Times reports:
    • “An Iranian bank sanctioned by the UK for allegedly funding Tehran’s nuclear weapons program is suing the British Government for £2.3b – claiming it breached its human rights. Bank Mellat is demanding compensation for lost business and damage to its reputation caused by the Treasury’s decision to impose sanctions against it in 2009 which banned UK firms from dealing with the lender.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Iran’s Shahed cargo ship carrying aid to Yemen.
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits AEOI Chief Salehi at a Tehran hospital.