Iran Press Review 13 May

FDD Analysis

  • Ali Alfoneh, Senior Fellow, wrote in The Arab Weekly: “President Hassan Rohani’s appointment of Rear Ad­miral Ali Shamkhani as secretary of Iran’s Su­preme National Security Council (SNSC) in September 2013 was initially seen as an attempt by Tehran to mend fences with the Is­lamic Republic’s Sunni Arab neigh­bours, Saudi Arabia in particular. Shamkhani hails from the Arab-majority Khuzestan province in the southwest and is the only ethnic Arab in Iran’s command echelon since the 1979 revolution.”


  • Friday Prayers in Tehran this week will be led by Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani. Fars News Agency reports that Seyyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, is slated to address the congregation regarding Yemen.
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Chief, continues to be visited in the hospital.
  • Tasnim News Agency reports that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, visited the International Book Exhibition in Tehran today.

Foreign Policy

  • Ayatollah Khamenei meets with Iraqi President Fouad Masoum in Tehran, and says:      
    • “With reference to its position, Iraq can absolutely be influential on regional issues and it must use this capacity more than before.”
    • “Present relations between Iran and Iraq is unprecedented when compared to previous years, and this process shows the wisdom and insight of [our] Iraqi brothers, and it must continue as such.”
    • “Amidst Arab and Islamic countries, Iraq is one of the several important countries that has unique privileges.”  
  • Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, pushes back on commentary by U.S. President, Barack Obama:        
    • “The statements of the President of the United States were merely the repetition of previous unfounded accusations and takes place to calm his supporters.”
    • “Washington uses all of its tools to support the interests of its allies.”
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, weighs-in on regional issues:
    • “[Saudi] Arabia’s attack on Yemen is condemned both in terms of international law and in terms of Islamic law, and definitely, [Saudi] Arabia has entered a swamp, and the condition of this country due to the historical mistake it made will be made very difficult in the future.”
    • “Palestine is a fundamental goal for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the policies of America in this regard are opposing us, and America and all the allies it has have suffered defeats from the Islamic Republic in the regional uprising.”
  • Marziyeh Afkham, Spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, says:
    • “The instability in the region has roots in the intervention of foreigners in this region.”
  • Commenting on regional matters during an address in Arak, Iran’s Basij Forces Commander, Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, states:
    • “At present, the Islamic Republic of Iran has turned into a castle for freedom-seekers and an unsurpassed role model of the Muslim world, specifically the oppressed, and it is clearly seen that the enemies wish to get rid of the status Iran enjoys in the region.”
    • “In the present age, countries in the region including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and… by adhering to Iran have driven arrogant counties such as America and Israel out of the region.”
    • “If Western countries have striven to get rid of Iran’s role in the region and uses all sorts of conspiracies, it is because in the near future a shift of power in the world will take place.”  
  • Ali Larijani, Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, travels to Turkey.

Military & Security

  • Fars News Agency cites a report by a Russian analyst about Iran’s missile power amidst commentary on Saudi-Iranian competition in the Middle East:
    • “[Saudi] Arabia has entered a total war, a war wherein a military victory is impossible, since this war requires a long time and large financial investments, and from the other perspective, Tehran enjoys a very high degree of military power and Iran’s missiles have the capability to destroy any target in the land of the Arabian Peninsula.”
  • Somali Al-Shabab pirates hijack an Iranian fishing vessel and take 14 Iranian sailors hostage.
  • An editorial in Kayhan attacks Mohsen Rezaei, former Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who in a television interview with al-Mayadin claimed Iran's arms are “for the defense of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates and the entire world of Islam. I am convinced, should anyone attack Saudi, we will defend the people of this country.”
  • Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) claims it apprehended a fugitive accused of embezzlement who had fled abroad.

Nuclear Issue

  • AEOI Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi, notes:
    • “Many advanced countries which have coalitions with them (referencing to the West and United States particularly) like South Korea cannot engage in enrichment.”
    • “Not only was our enrichment not suspended but it has grown.”
    • “In negotiations we attained our goal of preserving enrichment and the production of material. It makes no difference for us now to have 5 thousand, 6 thousand, or 9 thousand centrifuges for a period of 10-15 years.”
    • “The Heavy Water Production Plant was completely preserved.”
  • Siroos Nasseri, a former nuclear negotiator under the reformist government of Mohammad Khatami, partakes in a debate with Seyyed Yasser Jebreli on the nuclear issue, and the Lausanne declaration in particular, noting:     
    • “It was possible to have prevented the PMD [issue] from entering the agency (referring to the IAEA), but due to the lack of prudence, it was not occur.”
  • Elias Hazrati, Editor-in-Chief of Etemaad newspaper, weighs-in on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy:
    • “We must even thank the Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and his strategy of heroic flexibility; in truth, the Islamic Republic decided to resolve the nuclear file and the President and the Foreign Affairs Minister are proceeding along this path.”
    • “Our dearest ones in the diplomacy of the country’s media capacities more.”
  • Seyyed Reza Akrami, the head of the President’s Cultural Institute, comments on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy:
    • “Nuclear negotiations only deal with the nuclear [related] categories and other issues are not related to the nuclear issue.”
    • “In the relations in negotiations that Iran has with the 5+1 group, it must be said that the two sides have accepted the principle of negotiations, wherein in the end the result of the negotiations must be win-win.”
  • Elsewhere in his speech in Arak, Mohammad-Reza Naqdi notes:
    • “The Supreme Leader has relied on the intelligence of the government officials and the nation in the nuclear negotiations, and based on this, the technical persons are able to, for the advancement of Iran’s goals and by abiding by the delineated redlines, comment on this issue.”
    • “Based on the statements on Western leaders, the [negotiating] sessions of the negotiating team of the 5+1 with Iran are unprecedented in history, and this shows that the negotiating countries follow special goals.”
  • Kayhan attacks Yukya Amano, International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) Director General, who in an interview “in statements contrary to those of Iranian officials,” said “the nuclear agreement gives access to the agency agents to military sights in Iran.”
  • Mohammad-Javad Larijani, Judiciary Human Rights Committee Director, proclaims:
    • “Concerning the negotiations, I’m hopeful, but concerned... Hopeful because the United States in general, and Obama in particular are in need of an agreement with Iran. For the sake of interests of the Americans - be it Republican or Democrat - it is important to reach an agreement with Iran, because their sanctions were not successful in bringing Iran down to its knees. I believe Joe Biden is correct. Therefore, if we resist the sanctions and prevail, we have made the conquest of all conquests.”
    • “I find it interesting that the military option... is not removed from the table... and we too, let their target, Fordow, be exposed for them so they can hit it more easily!”

Economy & Trade

  • Mohsen Renani, a noted economist, states:
    • “Under the present circumstances...everyone fears changed conditions and no individual is ready to run the risk of changing those circumstances... That is also true of the cabinet ministers... who are facing rent seeking and rentiers who defeat any attempt at planning. People, who in the regime and the system, have a rent and share and they do not allow any program to succeed... Under the present circumstances, [economic] planning is a joke...! The train of our development stopped in 2005 [the year Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president].”
    • “Forget about twenty year plans, the government should manage some issues in the next couple of years.”
    • “In the coming years, the Middle East will be transformed to scorched earth and we will become the number one power of the region. We just need to maintain the present circumstances.”
  • Elsewhere: “I’m concerned about the week after a nuclear agreement has been reached, and people sms each other asking ‘how come the [economic] problems are not solved?’ What plans do we have for the post sanctions era?”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Informed sources disclosed on Wednesday that the member-states of the European Union (EU) are queuing up now to purchase Iran's natural gas. "A number of European oil and trade delegations, including some from the EU member-states, have visited Iran and held talks with senior oil industry officials to discuss import of Iran's gas and also investment in industry," an informed source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told FNA on today.”

Society & Culture

  • Mohammad Sattari Vafaei publishes the novel Shekaf [The Gap] which discusses the “sedition of 2009.”
  • Defa Press highlights documentary evidence from Parliamentary proceedings during the Pahlavi-era featuring former Ambassador to the U.S., Ardeshir Zahedi, on the independence of Bahrain.

Daily Picture(s)

  • Asr-e Iran displays pictures of female Basij anti-riot forces