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Iran Press Review: 13 Nov.

Analysis by FDD

  • Executive Director Mark Dubowitz and Senior Fellow Reuel Marc Gercht write in The Wall Street Journal: “Let’s assume the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna fail to conclude a final agreement by Nov. 24, the already extended deadline under the interim Joint Plan of Action signed in January. Iran’s clerical regime has refused to give much ground in key areas, and the Obama administration has, so far, been unwilling to meet Iranian demands. If the White House doesn’t end November with a cascade of concessions leading to a deal, there are four paths forward. None is appealing. Two might be effective—but the president is unlikely to choose either one.”

Politics

  • Seyyed Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] Social Committee, comments on the situation facing the new nominee for Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology:
    • “There is a reason why the Parliament won’t give a vote of confidence to the Ministers of Science and is definitely not without reason.”
    • “Our problem are currents and sects against the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “Danesh-Ashtiani, who is the new choice of the government for the leadership of the Ministry of Science, was of the active members of the sedition of 88 [fitnah – or label given by Iranian hardliners to the Green Movement in 2009 and its supporters], whom God-willing, will not receive votes.”
    • “Danesh-Ashtiani was Moein’s deputy in the reformist administration.”
    • “The method of the Parliament has been to pay attention to the redlines of the system, and Danesh-Ashtiani, based on this method in the Parliament will not receive votes.”
  • Faezeh Hashemi, a noted politician and daughter of former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, comments about the label of “sedition” accorded to the Green Movement:
    • “I don’t believe in using the term sedition to describe the protests in 88 (2009), and I don’t agree [with it] because according article 27 of the constitution, the protests were legal, therefore sedition today has turned into an occupation.”

Foreign Policy

  • Commenting on regional matters, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, an Iranian Foreign Ministry Deputy, notes:
    • “Unfortunately, some countries beat on the drums of war, and play a disruptive and un-productive role in the path of politically solving the crises of the region, notably that which they do in Syria.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani describes his trip to the Republic of Azerbaijan and his meetings:
    • “From last year until now, I have had four meetings and negotiations with the President of Azerbaijan, and in these meetings, step by step, we brought the relations and ties of the two countries closer together.”
    • “The will of the government was for the private sectors of these two countries to become active, and if the field and necessary conditions for investment activities become dynamic, we will witness very good economic relations between both countries.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iranian and Azeri officials in a meeting in Baku inked 5 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in different economic and industrial fields. The Iranian delegation, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, endorsed five MoUs with Azerbaijan on energy, industry, telecommunications and transportation sectors.”

Military and Security

  • Mashregh News runs a backgrounder on General Hadi al-Amiri. The article contains extensive photos of al-Amari in military gear, and as the title suggests, some are alongsideQassem Soleimani, the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF).
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in Iran’s Parliament, states:
    • “The culture of the Holy Defense (the name given to the Iran-Iraq War in Iran) is counted as the most important backer for the country’s progress.”
    • Commenting on the Iranian model of the RQ170: “The Spokesperson for the Pentagon of America said that it was not possible for the Islamic Republic of Iran to gain access to such capabilities. They have an incorrect picture of the capabilities of Iranians.”
    • “Despite the passing of more than 20 years from the end of the Imposed War (another name in Iran for the Iran-Iraq War), our Armed Forces are present in the domain of new military technologies.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency runs a headline quoting Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, saying: “DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) is the protégé of Western espionage services.”
  • Tasnim News Agency reported: “The Iranian Helicopter Company (IHC) announced on Wednesday that the country has purchased a number of US-made helicopters and the training courses to operate the choppers have already been completed. “The four helicopters purchased from the US are currently in operation and the training courses relating to working with them have been completed,” IHC Managing Director Mahmoud Azin told the Tasnim News Agency at the 20th International Exhibition of Press and News Agencies in Tehran.”
  • Fars News Agency reported: “Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced that his forces will stage massive naval drills in the near future.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Islamic Republic News Agency runs a headline reading: “Zarif must show up to the Parliament’s National Security Committee.”
  • Ali Bayani, the Secretary General of the Office for Consolidating Unity (a student group), weighs-in on nuclear diplomacy:
    • “Preserving redlines of the system, is one of the symbols of a good agreement and is part of the expectations of the nation from nuclear negotiations.”
    • “Scientific nuclear progress must not under any circumstance be halted or diminish, negotiations must insist upon continuing research and development and nuclear progress, no one has the right to intervene on nuclear achievements, and officials in relation to the issues and nuclear achievements must have zealotry.”
    • “Preserving the dignity of the nation in negotiations, and not bowing down our heads to the enemies of the system is very important.”
    • “We have built confidence for over a year, and now we await the opposing side to remove the sanctions, the expectations of the people are the same. We say this and we will not be satisfied with anything less.”
    • “The consistency of America’s identity is arrogance, and this has made the work of our negotiating team difficult.”
    • “The Parliamentary representatives must be aware of the process of negotiations.”
  • Assadollah Badamchian, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Islamic Coalition Party, notes:
    • “From the perspective of the nation and officials of Iran, there is no problem with the fundamentals of negotiation with the 5+1, but the main problem becomes visible at a time when the legitimate rights are taken for granted by those countries.”
    • “Iran has no need for negotiations, and the minds behind the scenes in America and in other Western countries must take advantage of this opportunity Iran has created for them.”
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in Iran’s Parliament, states:
    • “The ability to create an RQ170 is an important backer in nuclear negotiations and international domains.”
    • “The negotiations in Muscat were hard and bitter negotiations, and this was because the nuclear team stood against the excessive demands of the West, because the West is after gaining concessions from Iran.”
    • “The volume of enrichment and the repealing of sanctions will at once be the axis of the negotiations of Iran and the countries of the 5+1, and this caused the negotiations in Muscat to end without results.”  
  • Reuters reports: “The U.N. atomic agency has corrected data to lower its estimate of the size of Iran's uranium stockpile, a figure watched ahead of this month's deadline for Tehran and six world powers to settle a dispute over Iran's nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) now estimates that Iran's holding of low-enriched uranium gas is 8,290 kg, 100 kg less than it had said in a confidential report last week, diplomats said on Thursday.”
  • The Hill’s Kristina Wong reported: “Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are warning the Obama administration that they will “act decisively” to toughen sanctions against Iran if they don't approve of any potential nuclear deal. “As co-authors of bipartisan sanctions laws that compelled Iran to the negotiating table, we believe that a good deal will dismantle, not just stall, Iran’s illicit nuclear program and prevent Iran from ever becoming a threshold nuclear weapons state," they said in a statement on Wednesday.”

Economy & Trade

  • Commenting on sanctions in a joint-meeting of the Iran-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, President Hassan Rouhani notes:
    • “The first lesson was that if a nation desires, it can diminish the effects of sanctions down to the number zero, and even in this condition, push forth its economic plans with strength.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Nasco Insurance Group of France opened its office in Tehran as the European firms are competing for presence in Iran after the Geneva nuclear deal. Addressing a number of activists from the Iranian private sector and those engaged in insurance industry in Tehran, Managing Director of Nasco brokerage Gabriel Bejjani voiced optimism about the presence of Iranian insurance activists in the business.”

Human Rights

  • Haleh Esfandiari writes in The Wall Street Journal’sWashington Wire: “Among the endangered species in Iran these days are journalists–and the lawyers who defend them. Only last month two female journalists were arrested for reporting on recent acid-throwing incidents in the city of Isfahan, where women who were supposedly improperly dressed have been disfigured and blinded by being sprayed with acid. Also arrested was the photographer who documented protests against these attacks. These three journalists were soon released, thanks to public outrage over the acid incidents–authorities have yet to arrest anyone–and the arrests themselves. But they were the lucky ones.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Islamic Republic News Agency displays photos of a joint session of the Iran-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan were in attendance.