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Iran Press Review: 12 Nov.

Analysis by FDD

  • Clifford May, President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in The Washington Times: ““The revolution is over.” When journalists at The Economist, one of the world’s most influential publications, run that headline on a cover story, “a special report” on the “new Iran,” you assume they have solid evidence to support their thesis. You assume wrong. What The Economist presents instead are unsubstantiated assertions: “The revolutionary fervor and drab conformism have gone.””

Politics

  • Hossein-Ali Amiri, the Spokesperson for Iran’s Ministry of Interior, warns against using the Iran-Iraq War era politically. He notes:
    • “We must never compromise the Holy Defense (the name given in Iran to the Iran-Iraq War) by placing it in political battles, because this is counted as a grave injustice.”
    • “People who step into this valley and seek to use the Holy Defense for political purposes, must be held accountable on the Day of Judgment, and will surely be ashamed in the presence of the martyrs and the Imam of the martyrs.” 
  • Praise continues to be poured on the deceased Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani. Hossein Sheikh al-Eslam, an Advisor to the Chairman of Iran’s Parliament [Majlis], states that Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani:
    • “Does not think of anything but God.”
    • “He was always honest, quick, and clear. In truth, we gave up our heavy-weight.”
  • Commenting on the rejection of President Hassan Rouhani’s proposed Minister of Science, Mostafa Afzalifard, a member of Parliament, notes:  
    • “One of the indicators that the Parliament has considered in the vote of confidence for the nominee for the Ministry of Science, is the lack of presence and support of the seditionists [fitnehgaraan – the term used by hardliners in Iran to describe those who partook in the Green Movement and its supporters] in the year 88 (2009).”
  • Mohammad-Hassan Ghadiri Abyaneh, a noted Iranian politician and an reported “analyst of strategy,” comments on the 2009 election, Green Movement, and role of the seditionists in supporting sanctions:
    • “In the elections in 88, the candidates freely participated in debates and told the others whatever they liked, and the accusations they brought against each other were against the law which were broadcast via media outlets. The outcome of this election was the Ahmadinejad received 11 million more votes than Mousavi.”
    • “Some of the seditionists gave messages to the enemies to sanction Iran economically, and that however much the pressure increases on the people, the ruling faction and the arena will be better prepared for our victory in the future.”
    • “The main factor behind the sanctions was sedition, which made the enemy hopeful.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad-Sadeq Salehi Manesh, the Governor of the holy city of Qom, while calling President Hassan Rouhani “an offspring of the seminary and one of the most prominent clerics,” notes:
    • “The President will, God-willing, travel to Qom in up to 2 months.”

Foreign Policy

  • Commenting on Iranian support to Iraq amidst a meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani relates:
    • “Iran, in combatting terrorism, is beside the nation of Iraq, and it has under no circumstance sought to condition any of its support.”
  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami, in a surprising move, publishes a short article on suppression of Muslims in China.

Military and Security

  • Defa Press quotes Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force as saying in relation to Iran’s RQ-170 prototype(s): “By the end of the year, we have a plan indigenize and enter into missions at least 4 RQ 170s, but engagement in mass missions will commence as of next year.”
    • Commenting on returning the RQ 170 to the United States: “But if the sanctions of Iran against America are removed, we might give one Iranian model to America.”
    • More Iranian drone coverage by the Associated Press (AP): “The Iranian military today released video of what it claimed was the successful maiden voyage of an advanced stealth drone the Islamic nation copied from an American unmanned aircraft that crashed in Iran three years ago. The footage, broadcast on Iranian state television, shows an aircraft with a similar shape to the U.S. Air Force’s RQ-170 taking off and flying at relatively low altitude before an edited portion of the video purports to show it landing back on the runway.”
  • Fars News Agency runs a backgrounder on aspects of Iran’s missile procurement, as part of a conversation with Commander Mousavi, the Deputy of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force. The backgrounder has a sub-section which reads “missile negotiations with China in Thailand.”
  • Ayatollah Haeri Shirazi, a member of Iran’s Guardian Council, comments on Iran’s steadfastness during the Iran-Iraq War, noting:
    • “Our people in the Holy Defense emerged proud from two tests. The first phase was the patience of people during the 8 years of Holy Defense, who received a high marks by standing against the attacks of the enemy.”
    • “The second phase was insight, which just as Imam Hassan decided to make peace with Mu’awiyah…our people by accepting the (UNSC) Resolution (598) by way of the Imam (Khomeini), put well behind them the second test.”
  • Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council comments on security matters:
    • Commenting on the Islamic State’s seizure of arms air-dropped for Kurdish fighters in Iraq, Shamkhani said: “Repetition of this act committed by the so called alliance against the Islamic State, refutes the hypothesis of this act being made by mistake.”
    • “The only way of solving the problems in Syria is by respecting democracy and determination of the people of this country to take their own destiny in their own hands...The first step to establish calm, is by preventing access of foreign terrorists to Syria and stopping the financial and military support to the terrorists...”
    • Commenting on “US pressure on Lebanese authorities to not accept the arms from Iran in the fight against terrorism,” Shamkhani said: “Doubtlessly, this approach cannot be outside of the framework of the policy of supporting the Zionist regime and weakening of the Lebanese Army.”
    • Commenting on the exchange of letter(s) between President Obama and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Shamkhani said: “The correspondence of the US president has had a precedent for many years, and in some cases answers have been given to the letters.”
  • Hassan Qashqavi, a Deputy in Iran’s Foreign Ministry, dismisses reports of an Iranian nuclear scientist being killed in Syria and commented, saying, “No Iranian nuclear scientist has been in Syria.”
  • According to Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, Mahmoud Alavi, several individuals armed with suicide vests were arrested in the holy city of Qom.

Nuclear Issue

  • President Hassan Rouhani touches on the nuclear issue while addressing his cabinet:
    • “I tell the noble nation of Iran that the nuclear negotiating team of our country, much like before, is at the negotiating table based on interests and the rights of people. However, we have considered regional concerns and have had transparent cooperation with the Agency (IAEA).”
    • “If the goals of 5+1 and some other countries is for Iran to fallback from development and seek to create excuses, this is not acceptable, and the nation of Iran will not stop striving in the path of development and its rights. We have the right to benefit from peaceful nuclear technology in the framework of treaties of the International Atomic Energy Agency and regulatory safeguards.”
  • Seyyed Abbas Eraqchi, a senior member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, weighs-in on enrichment:          
    • “Iran will definitely continue its enrichment, but the question here is what will be its enrichment capacity.”
  • Kayhan’s editorial comments on the “deviation of the negotiations:”
    • “For John Kerry, who has not had the least success anywhere but has experienced great defeats everywhere from Ukraine to Latin American capitals, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut to Sanaa, it is a great achievement to have a photo with the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic; a country which correctly considers the United States ‘The Great Satan...’ Which sane person is ready to accept the promise of suspension of four to five sanctions in the course of the next two, seven or even twenty years in return for grand and exorbitant concessions such as dismantling of 4-5000 centrifuges from the total 9600 centrifuges, reducing the 10,000 tons 3.5% enriched uranium stockpiles or exporting parts of it abroad, continuation of the activities at Fordo and the like... Those officials who shake hands [with John Kerry] should wash their hands!”
  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami’s editorial comments on “the bright horizon of the negotiations in Muscat:”
    • “The Muscat negotiations take place at a time when...Obama and the Democratic Party have been defeated in the elections... In order to reduce the risk of further loss of votes, they need to achieve a nuclear agreement with Iran and end a challenge which is harming their prestige both domestically and abroad, and has become a pressure point which the domestic opponents use against them... Therefore, many experts believe the next couple of months provide the administration with a golden opportunity to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran... Now it is America's turn to show its goodwill and solve problems which America itself has created many years ago.”
  •  Iran and Russia reportedly sign an agreement in Moscow, where Russia agrees to build eight more nuclear power plants for Iran.
  • Additional comments by Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council:
    • “Criticizing the “discrepancy between the secret messages and official positions” of the United States, Shamkhani said: “Iran will not accept obligations beyond the NPT.””
  • Reuters reports: “Iran has confirmed it tested a new centrifuge that could speed up its enrichment of uranium but dismissed suggestions the move may have violated last year's nuclear deal with world powers, as suggested by a U.S. think-tank. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham gave no indication that Iran had stopped feeding natural uranium gas into the so-called IR-5 centrifuge. Washington said on Monday Tehran had ceased the activity.”
  • Ray Takeyh wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “As the nuclear talks between Iran and the great powers unfold, there is much concern that a hawkish Republican Senate would derail the negotiations. But no matter what the new Senate does, the Islamic Republic is unlikely to walk away from the negotiating table. Why? Because while the United States sees nuclear diplomacy as advancing the cause of detente, Iran sees it as yet another shield to hide its advancing of ominous policies. Since the exposure of its illicit nuclear program in 2002, Iran's main intention has been to legitimize its expanding atomic infrastructure.”
  • Reuters reported: “Iran has refused five times to let a U.N. atomic agency official, believed to be an American bomb expert, into the country as part of a team investigating its disputed nuclear activities, diplomats said. Iran says it has the right to decide who has access to its territory, adding it had allowed in other International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) staff seeking to advance a long-stalled probe into suspected atomic arms research.”

Economy & Trade

  • Briefly commenting about oil prices, President Rouhani stated in his meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, that “the decrease in the price of oil” was akin to a “conspiracy.”
  • Resalat-News runs a headline quoting Mehdi Agah, an Executive-Board member of the Pistachio Association of Iran saying: “Iran has 50 percent of the world’s pistachio exports.”
  • Tasnim News Agency runs a headline quoting Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, the Commander of Iran’s Basij Forces, saying: “Enhancing production and creating sales markets will put aside [Iran’s] economic problems.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Senior officials from Iran’s Southern Kerman province and Turkey's chamber of commerce explored new avenues for widening and deepening all-out ties, specially Turkish investors' participation in the implementation of the Iranian province's development projects. In a meeting between Head of Kerman Chamber of Commerce Mohsen Jalalpour and Turkish business delegation on Tuesday, the two sides voiced readiness for broadening mutual cooperation in various fields.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iran's largest carmaker, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), exported 1400 sets of cars over the first 7 months of the Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), showing a hundred percent of growth compared to similar period last year. "IKCO's exports show that it exported 1400 cars over last seven months," Deputy Head of Exports and International Affairs of the IKCO Ali Elmi said, the Iranian students' news agency reported.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “A large number of Iranian and foreign companies are due to take part in the international aviation industries exhibition on Kish Island, in the Persian Gulf, on November 18. "100 Iranian and foreign companies will participate in the biennial international air and aviation industries exhibition on Kish Island," Spokesman of the Exhibition Ali Mohammad Khanmohammadi told the state-run news agency on Wednesday.”

Human Rights

  • The AP reported: “Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said Iran's human rights situation has not improved despite President Hassan Rouhani's promises of change. She urged the U.N. General Assembly to approve a resolution criticizing the country's abuses. In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Ebadi said Iran's rights record remains as bad as it was under hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — and in some cases, it is worse.”
  • Stephen Schwartz wrote in The Weekly Standard: “Ayatollah Seyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi has been imprisoned in his native land since 2006. In a statement on November 7, he announced a hunger strike from his cell in Tehran’s Evin House of Detention, notorious for the political and spiritual dissidents held and abused there. Boroujerdi’s meditations appeared on the occasion of Ashura, which recalls the murder in the 7th century of Imam Hussein, grandson of Muhammad and an opponent of the reigning Islamic caliphate, at the Battle of Karbala in Iraq. Ashura and the remembrance of Karbala--a time for mourning rather than a holiday--are especially prominent in Shia Islam.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • CNN displays majestic photos of Iran’s Islamic architecture, taken by Mohammad Reza Domri Ganji
  • Fars News Agency highlights photos (by way of Mehr News Agency) of Mayeli Kohan, the former Head Coach of Iran’s national soccer team, heading to Evin prison.