Iran Press Review 15 July

Analysis by FDD

  • Clifford May, President, writes in The Washington Times: “On Friday, large crowds in Tehran and other Iranian cities burned American flags and chanted “Death to America!” On Saturday, Iranian media outlets reported that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had instructed university students to “continue the struggle against arrogant powers” – with the United States at the top of that list. On Tuesday, President Obama announced an historic agreement between Iran and the United States. It would be comforting to believe that the last of these developments mitigates the first two – that with an agreement in place, Iran’s “struggle” to bring about America’s demise will begin at least to lose steam. The truth is more likely the opposite. President Obama has always seen diplomacy as an alternative to war. Iran’s rulers, by contrast, have always regarded diplomacy as war by other means. Today, they believe they have achieved victory in a great battle. The evidence suggests they’re correct.”
  • Annie Fixler, Policy Analyst, writes in The Washington Examiner: “Now that a nuclear deal with Iran has been announced, one thing is clear: the agreement's terms seem poised to cripple its viability. The United States and its P5+1 partners caved on enrichment, possible military dimensions and sanctions relief. And provisional readings of the agreement indicate that ballistic missile sanctions and the arms export embargo will be terminated. What's more, the so-called "snapback" sanctions enforcement mechanism will be hampered by two things. First, there is a multi-step dispute resolution process that treats Iran as an equal voting member of the commission charged with looking into violations.”
  • Benjamin Weinthal, Research Fellow, wrote in The New York Daily News: “President Obama’s deal with Iran profoundly misjudged the revolutionary nature of the clerical regime in Tehran. Iran’s rulers have demonstrated over the last two decades an unwavering tenacity to develop a nuclear weapons device. Put simply, the agreement reached on Tuesday merely manages the mullahs’ drive to make their nation into a nuclear-armed power.”
  • Claudia Rosett, Journalist-in-Residence, wrote in PJ Media: “We are about to hear plenty of celebratory remarks about the “historic” Iran nuclear deal reached in Vienna. For those inclined to celebrate, this is supposed to be the big payola, the grand finale of the diplomatic extravaganza that stretched on through half a dozen missed deadlines, across continents, with the American secretary of State finally parking himself for more than two solid weeks at the negotiating table in Vienna — determined to close a deal, whatever concessions that might take.”

Politics

  • Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister and lead nuclear negotiator is scheduled to brief MPs next week on the nuclear deal.
  • Parliamentarians from Fars Province announced the filing of an impeachment process against Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, criticizing the minister’s “inattention” to their input in the recent appointment of the new Fars provincial governor.   

Military & Security

  • Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s Minister of Defense, comments on Iran’s defense industry and capabilities.
  • The Supreme Leader’s Representative in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi, stresses continued Iranian support of Syria:
    • “The matter of Iran’s aid to Syria must not be criticized. The front line in Syria is the front line in the fight against Arrogance [West] and the Zionist regime. If this line falls, the rest of the lines will fall afterwards.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, comments on Iran’s nuclear file:
    • “The nuclear file, as the most important file relating to security, has from the beginning until present been in the docket of the Supreme National Security Council…will remain on the docket of this institution.”
  • Reactions to the nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 by Iranian government officials:
    • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, receiving the cabinet, thanks the nuclear negotiators.
    • Judiciary head Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said: “[President] Obama’s speech for internal consumption and other raised matters are unimportant. What is important is what is on paper and that must be implemented.”
    • President Hassan Rouhani addresses his cabinet:
      • “The agreement which was reached will remain in history, and the future children of this land will be proud of the text of this agreement.”
      • “Even if this agreement does not have any achievements, these negotiations will be considered a legal, political, and technical victory for Iran and shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran can negotiate at a high level…Our decision is to be committed to what has been agreed to in this deal unless the opposing side does not want to be committed.”
    • Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, promises to review the agreement “without a political outlook.”
    • Administration Speaker Mohammad Bagher Nobakht says: “Resources released as a result of sanctions lifting will be used to increase internal production… Our policy in the post-sanctions era is to strengthen production.”
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard, Deputy Parliamentary Speaker, addresses the parliament after chants of “Death to America!”
      • “The parliament will do what it is expected to do concerning the nuclear file.”
    • Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s Minister of Defense, states:
      • “The nuclear agreement proved the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.”
  • Reactions to the nuclear agreement by Iranian newspapers and outlets:
    • Kayhan editorialized: “Obama's interpretation of the Vienna document,... not only differs from, but is fundamentally opposed to the interpretation which the honorable president of our country presented in his televised speech... Just to mention an example,... Mr. Rouhani emphasized all the sanctions, even the [ballistic] missile and arms [related] sanctions, [along with sanctions in the fields of] banking, insurance, petrochemicals, transportation, finance and the like, will be removed at once. He also says the [Arak] heavy water reactor will be completed as a heavy water reactor based on characteristics defined by the agreement... In his address, Dr. Rouhani also pointed at Fordow, the number of centrifuges and the like, which differ from the interpretation presented by Barack Obama... Clearly, and it is not unlikely, that Obama’s interpretation of the Vienna document either is unrealistic or does not conform to the mentioned document. However, since his interpretation as the president of the United States and the main counterpart, one could and should be concerned that we should be facing a process similar to differing interpretations of the Lausanne agreement.”
    • A lead article in Kayhan additionally discusses the opposing interpretations of the Vienna document.
    • Sharq’s Sadeq Zibakalam editorialized with the headline “Historical Turning Point:”
      • “Regardless of the economic opening in the wake of the [nuclear] agreement, economic change... will not be the result. Our economy is an inefficient state [directed] economy which was deteriorated because of the sanctions regime. Removal of the sanctions regime will not by itself make the economy more efficient. Nor will it necessarily reduce [economic] corruption... We must follow the path which many countries like ours followed in the course of the past three to four decades... in their path to industrialization... We must follow the path of economic development and the free market of Adam Smith... The nuclear agreement will also not necessarily bring about political development or any significant liberalization of the civil society... Why we consider the nuclear deal as a turning point? Because it signifies return of pragmatism and a conciliatory view of the world to the foreign policy of Islamic Iran.”
    • The headline of lead article in Sharq on the nuclear agreement reads: “Victory without war!”
    • A headline in Sharq which discusses critics of the nuclear deal, reads: “The concerned ones [Delvapasan] marginalized.”
    • Aftab-e Yazd:
      • “Rouhani’s key [the symbol of Hassan Rouhani’s campaign in presidential election of 2013] turned, Iran laughed!”
    • Aftab-e Yazd publishes the third article in its series on post sanctions economy of Iran.
    • Etemad’s lead article discusses “silence of the critics [of the nuclear deal] and joy of the supporters!”
    • Also in Etemad, Sadeq Zibakalam points out that it is possible that "there is increased [domestic political] repression, in an attempt to persuade the public that nothing has changed because of the nuclear deal.”
    • An analyst in Tasnim News Agency proclaims: “Seventeen red lines of the US were crushed by the agreement!”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency quotes a statement reportedly from Sunni Ulema [religious scholars] in Iraq, as it related to the Iran deal:
  • “Iran’s nuclear agreement is a victory for the Islamic Ummah [nation].”

Economy & Trade

  • Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, speaks to reporters following the earlier cabinet session: “We will add 500,000 barrels to our oil exports immediately following the lifting of sanctions. One million crude oil barrels will be added after 5-6 months...[raising total exports to 2.5 million barrels per day].”
    • “The Islamic Republic will preserve its market and is also responsible for retrieving its lost market.”
  • Ali Tayeb Nia, Iran’s Minister of Economy and Finance, discusses reform: “[The Supreme Leader] emphasized that we must use the opportunities towards structural reform.”
  • Head of Iran’s Central Bank, Valiollah Seif, announces the release of $26 billion in frozen funds from Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and India following the agreement. He is quoted as saying:
    • “$22 billion worth of Central Bank funds will be released [as a result of the nuclear agreement]... However, the Central Bank has also $5 billion in debts... within five to six months, the Central Bank will reintroduce the single exchange rate.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Asian refiners have shown willingness to buy more crude from Iran once they receive word on when sanctions will be lifted, media reports said. "If the nuclear deal permits, we will increase our purchases," an official of India's oil ministry said, according to Economic Times.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency displays a photograph of the signed JCPOA, as initially displayed by the German Foreign Ministry’s Twitter page.
  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani meet following the announcement of the nuclear deal yesterday.
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returns from Vienna.