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Iran Press Review: 14 Oct.

Analysis by FDD

  • FDD Iran Research Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu writes in a Policy Brief: "Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is at it again. Following a recent unsuccessful probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the supreme leader’s website has released another infographic codifying Iran’s new nuclear redlines. The graphic reiterates key points long held sacred by Khamenei with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, of the 11 points, five can be traced to a previous infographic from April. Those demands, such as nearly endless nuclear research and development, the need to "be vigilant" and not allowing officials "to bargain over nuclear achievements," are more rooted in Khamenei’s political psyche than nuclear physics."
  • FDD Research Fellow Benjamin Weinthal writes in The Jerusalem Post: "The award of this week’s Nobel Peace Prize to Taliban victim Malala Yousafzai refocused attention on Iran’s gutting of human rights and its link to a nuclear agreement. On Thursday, Amnesty International, invoking the award to Yousafzai, posted an appeal from 28 winners of the Nobel Physics Prize to Iran’s supreme leader demanding the release of "prisoner of conscience Omid Kokabee.""

Politics

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sedighi commented on possible conservative political unity: "Unions always produce a result."

Foreign Policy

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addressesthe public on the occasion of the Ghadir-Khum festival:
    • "Sectarian conflicts amongst Muslims - Shi'a as well as the Sunni, but also sects within the two main branches of Islam - has been one of the main points of attack of the enemies of Islam... Conflict amongst Muslims directs work of the Muslims... towards internal strife, rather than paying attention to their external enemies. For years, and ever since the victory of the Islamic revolution and establishment of the Islamic Republic, this has been the main policy of imperialism... They have invested in separating the world of Islam from the Islamic Republic."
    • "The Takfir issue which has emerged in Iraq and Syria and other regional countries, and in reality all Muslims are facing it and not only the Shi'a, is the product of the imperialists. They created something called Al-Qaeda, and something called DAESH (Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) in order to counter the Islamic Republic, in an attempt to counter the Islamic Awakening, but now it is attacking themselves..."
    • "It is the duty of Muslims - Sh'ia as well as the Sunni - not to provoke each other’s sensitivities... since the enemy will benefit from it." 
  • In responding to Saudi comments about Iran’s regional activities, Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, the head of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Parliamentexclaims:
    • "I believe that these comments were made due to Mr. Saud al-Faisal’s old age and sickness."
    • "Our role in the past 4 years has been resistance against terrorism and Iran is the leader in the fight against terrorism. In addition to that, our country has been sacrificed the most due to terrorism."
    • "The role that we played in Iraq according to Iraqi officials was a constructive role."
  • Fars News Agency reports comments by Mohammad Shariatmadari about the possibilities to "grow relations" between Iran and Vietnam.
  • Mashregh News relates that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif is slated to meet with the Foreign Minister of Austria this afternoon.
  • The AP reports: "Iran's Foreign Ministry warned Saudi Arabia on Tuesday that comments calling it "part of the problem" in the Middle East may damage diplomatic ties, the country's state news agency reported. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni powerhouse, and Iran, the dominant Shiite force in the Middle East, long have viewed each other with suspicion. However the two countries have recently tried to get closer ties through bilateral meetings and visits. "

Military and Security

  • Fars News Agency runs a backgrounder about Iran’s various intelligence agencies and their legal grounding/roles:
    • "From its inception up until now, the Islamic Republic of Iran due to a broad-range of threats sensed the need to create intelligence apparatuses [lit. systems] in various units of the army and police."
    • "The Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Artesh [National Army] Intelligence, Prime Minister’s Intelligence and…had the responsibility to follow-up on security and law-enforcement files in various sectors at the beginning of the Revolution."
    • "According to the law of the establishment of the Minister of Intelligence in 1362 and the law of the Centralization of Intelligence Act of the Expediency and Discernment Council of 1368, at present serve as the legal foundations for intelligence activities in Iran. The intelligence intuitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran are comprised of ‘The Ministry of Intelligence’ as the main structure and parent, ‘The Intelligence Unit of The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran,’ ‘The Intelligence Unit of the Artesh of the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ ‘The Intelligence Unit of the Law Enforcement Forces,’ [and] ‘Intelligence Security of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran.’ However, due to the past two decades, newer intelligence and security institutions were created, and at present the number of intelligence-security institutions of the country has increased to 16."
  • Ali Larijani, the current Speaker of Parliament notes with respect to U.S. efforts to combat the Islamic State (IS/DAESH):
    • "We believe Obama’s comments stating that we will eliminate DAESH to be a joke, recent events have shown that America does not have the capability and prudence to manager such projects, and after a time in which they have realized their inability, they will let go of this terrorist group."
  • Qassem Rezaie, the Commander of the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) Border-Guards notes:
    • "DAESH does not have the courage to come near Iran’s borders."
  • Fars News Agency reported: "A fleet of Russian warships berthed in the Caspian Sea port of Anzali in Northern Iran to pave the ground for more cooperation between the two countries' navies. The fleet carrying massage of "peace and friendship" was welcomed by Iranian officials, Trend reported."
  • Bloomberg reports: "In the fight against Islamic extremists, the commander of Iran’s secretive special forces is turning into an unlikely celebrity. Iranian television published last week a picture of Quds Force Major General Qassem Suleimani on an Iraqi battlefield surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. That photograph, widely shared on Twitter and other social media, is the latest of Suleimani to appear since the fall of the city of Mosul to Islamic State. Even in the constrained Iranian media, Suleimani sightings, which once were rare, are now common."
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports: "A former Iranian minister of intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, has added his voice to the growing number of hard-line critics of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group (IS) in Syria and Iraq. In an interview with Fars News, a news outlet affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Moslehi said the coalition was a "bazeecheh" -- a Persian word meaning a "plaything" or a "trifling amusement." Islamic State, Moslehi said, was created by "the triangle of Mossad, MI6, and the CIA," a reference to the Israeli, British, and U.S. intelligence agencies."

Nuclear Issue

  • A new round of nuclear negotiations begins in Vienna. From Iran, Abbas Eraqchi, and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi participate, as Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif departed Tehran for Vienna, Austria.
  • Zarif delivers statements at press conference upon his arrival in Vienna:
    • "Reaching an agreement in the course of these negotiations is most unlikely, since the remaining issues most be solved and there are many such issues... As the president of our country explained, there is agreement concerning the general issue. What has been discussed in the latest rounds is the details. Issues such as the volume of enrichment, the mode and timing of sanction removal, both of which are very important and vital..."
    • "We hope that the counterpart, by accepting the regional and international realities, and by [accepting] the realities of Iran's nuclear program which is an advanced peaceful nuclear program, manages to reach a solution benefiting all."
      • According to Mehr News, Hamid Baidinejad, political and international affairs director general, Davoud Mohammadnia, adviser to the foreign minister, Mohammad Amiri, IAEA treaties director general, and Pezhman Rahimian, Iran Atomic Energy Organization, Amir-Hossein Zamaninia, legal adviser, will participate in the meetings.
  • President Hassan Rouhani delivers a TV interview on the occasion of the Ghadir holiday:
    • "In the first step, we managed to achieve a temporary agreement and we have another great work in front of us, which is the final agreement. This truly is a great work. You know, this issue has been the main discussion between Iran and the great powers of the world for the past twelve years... and can't be resolved within a day or two. But we have taken the good steps. In general, we have a shared view with the 5+1 Group. The details of course are very important, [I'm not saying] the general issue is important and not the details: we still have many important discussions concerning the details. Today, the 5+1 Group has accepted to recognize the nuclear issue and Iran's right. This is not what we discuss. The discussion is about for how many years and under what limited circumstances..."
    • "There is no conflict of views concerning removal of sanctions. The issues are, which [sanctions], when it [removal] should begin and when it should end. These are the issues the generalities of which we agree upon. Concerning enrichment in Natanz and Fordow remaining a center for Iran, are above discussion. We need power plants, but what type is being discussed... No one says Iran should not enrich [uranium]. This issue is forgotten, had ended and is removed [from the negotiations]. There is no discussion that Iran should have a power plant in Arak for radiological medicine. Even Iran having other modern nuclear technologies is one of our issues with the 5+1 Group. There are countries amongst the 5+1 Group, ready to shared modern technology with Iran, as soon as the agreement is reached..."
    • "At the visit to New York and the negotiations which we had with the French president, this issue was discussed. He himself said 'We want to have nuclear cooperation with Iran and provide Iran with modern technology.' Today, enrichment is not the sole issue. The issue is that Iran should have all modern technologies at its disposal."
    • "It is our resolve and we believe that the remaining issues can be solved in the course of the remaining 40 days. I want to tell the Iranian nation that the world has accepted that Iran should have nuclear technology, and has recognized that this issue must be solved through negotiations. Everyone accepts that an understanding is a win/win for all."
  • The Wall Street Journal reported: "Lost in the chaos of the Middle East is that the United States and Iran are fast approaching next month’s deadline to strike a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. This has been teed up for years as the crown jewel of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacy. On current course, it’s more likely to end up as another setback to U.S. security. President Obama’s insistence on consulting largely with himself on the world’s most complex issues is well known. Most troublesome for the outcome with Iran is his rejection of needed support from Congress."

Economy

  • Mashregh News reported President Hassan Rouhani’s comments from a televised interview where he spoke on Iranian economic issues, saying:
    • "For the first time unfortunately, unemployment insurance in the country has increased, therefore unemployment has increased and requests for new insurance by employers has increased."
    • "From the beginning of the government we faced recession and inflation which simply could not be resolved."
    • "The first sector which left a recession was the oil [sector] which perhaps is where the recession first took place."
    • "Our oil production last winter shows an increase, furthermore, our imports have increased by 22.2 percent, in the raw materials sector by 16.4 percent and in the sector[s] of investment, plants and machinery we have had 32 percent growth."
    • "In the first three months of the year [13]93, we have witnessed good mobility in economic sectors; such as in the sector of tourism we had great growth and we witnessed a doubling of growth from the first season of last year (Persian calendar year)."
    • "In the production of cars, in the first three months of the year when compared to the first three months of last year, we have had 80 percent growth."
    • "However, oil has also grown about 6.1 percent relative to the first three months of last year. Furthermore, we have witnessed growth in the services sector and in the agricultural sector we have had about 3.3 percent growth."
  • The Wall Street Journal reports: "Next month marks the anniversary of the Geneva interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program. In exchange for a freeze on some of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities, the Geneva deal eased sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions relief, the Obama administration assured Congress, would be limited and reversible in case talks fail. In the words of Secretary of State John Kerry: "Iran is not open for business." Many businesses seem to think otherwise. Consider the Europe-Iran Forum, scheduled to be held in London on Oct. 15 and 16. The forum brings together global law firms (Dentons Europe), business consultancies (FTI), marketing firms ( WPP ), auctioneers ( Sotheby’s ) and telecom providers (MTN), among many others, to "prepare" and evaluate the post-sanctions trade framework and investment opportunities" in Iran, according to its brochure."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Jagarian called for broader cooperation between Iran and Russia to nullify the impacts of the US-led western sanctions against the two countries. "We can remove the problems caused by the western sanctions against Iran and Russia by increasing the trade exchanges between the two countries," Jagarian told FNA on Monday."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil, and India preferred to offer their high-quality agricultural products to the customers of Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) in a bid to expand their presence in the country's lucrative market. Russian barleycorn, Brazilian and Ukrainian corn, Indian canola, and Argentinian Soya were main products traded in the agricultural products hall of the IME on Sunday."

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency documents photos of Minister of Defense Hossein Dehqan (left) at the grand-opening of the Islamic Republic’s first lithium battery production plant.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency provides pictures of its interview with the Managing Director of Iran’s Social Security Organization (SSO).
  • Fars News Agency further carries photos from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s address on the day of Ghadir-Khum.