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Iran Press Review: 15 Oct.

Analysis by FDD

  • Associate Fellow Saeed Ghasseminejad and Senior Fellow Emanuele Ottolenghi write in a Policy Brief:
    • "A wave of U.S. and EU financial sanctions aimed at Russia following its annexation of Crimea in the summer of 2014 have brought Russia and Iran closer. However, Russia is not the only economy that Iran is sounding out for closer ties. Tehran has also turned to China, as a means to elude sanctions and thus, reduce Western leverage in negotiations."
  • Director of Policy for Canada Sheryl Saperia and Iran Research Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu write a rebuttal in The Montreal Gazette:
    • "In a recent op-ed, Sergio Marchi and Ken Lewis assert that Canadian government and industry should be preparing to re-engage with Iran. Iran’s economic landscape, they suggest, requires significant foreign investment, and Canada should oblige (“Iran wants to re-engage, Canada should start preparing” Opinion, Sept. 15). On the contrary, Ottawa must not diminish its leverage or abandon its commitment to international security and Iranian human rights by returning to that country at present. The Canadian government must set re-engagement with Iran on its own terms — specifically, terms that benefit the Iranian people and pressure their government to change course."

Politics

  • Kayhan reports:
    • "Some time ago, [Dr.] Michael Ledeen, whose theories and practical advises to the seditionists of 2009 are well known, once more stressed upon the need for the Zionist regime to invest in these domestic forces. The famous American theorist in his statements to the American Frontpage Magazine said; 'Israel has still the capacity to support the Iranian opposition and is capable of supporting them in order to overthrow the regime in Iran.' In his statements, Ledeen claimed Israel should start a global propaganda assault against Iran revolving around the human rights and women rights issues and it should create create Internet based means of communication to bypass the firewalls. The famous American theorist added Israeli and United States support to the opposition would not weaken the opposition to the Islamic Republic, but would strengthen their position. Previously, he had called [Mir-Hossein] Mousavi, [Mohammad] Khatami and [Mehdi] Karrubi deadly faces for the Islamic Republic regime who should be supported more in order for them to overthrow the Islamic revolution! Of course, such statements concerning the relationship between the seditionists and the foreign planners of the sedition, meaning the triangle of the United States, Israel and Britain, is hardly new. At the time of the American/Israeli sedition of 2009, [Prime Minister] Netanyahu called the seditionists 'Israel's greatest investment in Iran!'"
    • "The Al-Hadi institute's building in Tehran hosted a small gathering of the remains of the sedition of 2009. At this political meeting, which was organized under the cover of the meeting of the Tehran branch of the Etemad-e Melli Party, the speakers praised the heads of the sedition, and demanded their immediate release! Rasoul Montajabnia, Mohsen Rahami, Hadi Ghaffari, and Elias Hazrati defended the American/Israeli sedition of 20009. Khatami, one of the heads of the sedition of 2009, too declared his support to the seditionists by sending a message to the seminar."
    • "In the course of the sedition of 2009, Michael Ledeen expressed the idea concerning demands for a referendum. A few days later, Khatami presented this viewpoint as his own proposal, which was exposed by Kayhan, but to which Khatami did not respond." 
  • Noted reformist Mohammad-Reza Aref, who ran for president in 2013 but withdrew his candidacy (and currently serves on Iran’s Expediency and Discernment Council) comments on Iran’s political situation:
    • "At any point in the Revolution, a label has been created and we have beat each other with sticks."
    • "If we want the values of the Revolution to prevail, we must produce knowledge at universities until we can reach wealth."
  • Asr Iran reported that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founding father.
    • "Various people in the country must, in relation to the sedition of 88, be subject to the opinion of the Supreme National Security Council."
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Fallahian, a former Minister of Intelligencecomments on the "sedition of [13]88" (sedition, or fitnah, being the term conservatives use to describe the events labeled as the Green Movement of 2009 and its aftermath):

Foreign Policy

  • Fars News Agency reports that Ali-Akbar Velayati, the current head of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) met with the First Deputy of the Prime Minister of Vietnam today.
  • Esmaeil Kowsari, a member of the Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee reacts to the reported statements of the Saudi Foreign Minister:
    • "Saudi Arabia fears its own collapse, and tries to counter its defeats in the region and lack of trust in it with such statements. The Saudis try to depict Iran as the culprit who can be blamed for their defeats... Saudi Arabia should give us any sign of Iranian presence in Syria and Iraq and we will take them out. Iran has no forces outside the borders of the country... Iran intellectually and practically helps the government and nations of Syria and Iraq but has under no circumstances deployed military forces abroad... The Saudis are angry because of Iran's regional influence... The people of Yemen began a movement against their dictator and had the Islamic Republic of Iran as their role model. This is why Saudi Arabia is angry. Rather than telling Iran what to do, Saudi Arabia should recall its troops from Bahrain."
  • Former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with Julius Haus, the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran relates:
    • "We have a bright horizon in Iran’s relations with the West."
    • "A diplomatic attitude requires that we remain committed to our agreements, because turning-back on promises burns the roots of trust."
    • "If the gas-pipeline is created, it will forever be an investment in the direction of security for Europe."
    • "We know of the domestic problems of America and pressures of their hardliners, but to solve the issue of change, words are not enough, actions must support words."

Military and Security

  • Fars News Agency picked up on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Qassem Soleimani’s Western press coverage by way of a report in The Guardian.
  • Intelligence Minister Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi states:
    • "We exchange intelligence with and have shared interests with many intelligence organizations of many countries... We take action against servies such as the Mossad and the MI6 who are pursuing negative goals in Iran. Such services use the Internet. We identify and manage their agents. Should they pass secret information, we will take the necessary measures."
    • "Step by step, we informed the authorities concerning their [the Islamic State's] actions so timely action could be taken against them. Otherwise, Iraq and Syria would have been in a different situation today..."
  • Defa Press praises the deceased Commander Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam due to his decision to "reverse engineer" Scud missiles during the Iran-Iraq War.
  • Esmaeil Kowsari of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee notes with respect to recent events in Sistan and Baluchistan province:
    • "The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament will discuss and research the recent events at Saravan and the martyrdom of some Law Enforcement Forces personnel in it during a session next week."
  • Tasnim News Agency reports: "Iran’s Navy has set up its newest base at the coastal area of Pasabandar in the country’s southeastern waters on the coast of the Sea of Oman, a commander announced. Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Wednesday, Head of the Iranian Navy's Industrial Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization Rear Admiral Ali Gholamzade said construction of the Pasabandar base is over and it has been furnished with the necessary equipment."

Nuclear Issue

  • Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament states that:
    • "Nuclear negotiations are presently underway, and currently Mohammad-Javad Zarif and his team are busy negotiating."
    • "At present there is a difference of opinion with respect to centrifuges, and I think that bargaining-behavior is not beneficial for these negotiations and it will not solve any problem."
    • "For the resolution of several other differences of opinion, during these negotiations, ideas must grow closer to each other."
    • "I think that an agreement in the nuclear issue is in everyone’s interest, and this agreement has the capacity to help created stability in the region and we must know that with the current regional situation, time is not one the side of countries."
    • "Naturally, the nuclear issue and regional issues have a clear and straight relationship with one another, but confidence-building in different issues are linked together."
  • The Christian Science Monitor reports: "US and Iranian negotiators are putting on a brave face during a new round of nuclear talks in Vienna this week, with positions still far apart despite years of haggling and less than six weeks before a deadline to strike a deal. Top diplomats sought to raise hopes that failure was not imminent, at least, in talks that aim to ensure Iran’s nuclear program will never produce a weapon."
  • AFP reports: "Ensconced for hours in a Vienna hotel room, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart tried Wednesday to resuscitate troubled talks about limiting Tehran's nuclear programme. Iran and six world powers have less than six weeks, until November 24, to strike a comprehensive accord meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons under the cover of its civilian atomic programme, in exchange for eased sanctions."
  • William Luers, Thomas Pickering and James Walsh write inThe National Interest: "Iranian and American nuclear negotiators moved closer to a comprehensive agreement in their recent round of talks. To meet the November 24 deadline, the P5+1 and Iran must hammer out solutions where serious differences remain. Both sides are warning that if the other side does not make more concessions soon, the negotiations will fail. This is to be expected in the final phase of tough diplomacy. The time is rapidly approaching when the leaders in Tehran and Washington must decide on the deal."

Economy

  • Citing Mehr News AgencyResalat-News reports comments by Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament about the oil industry saying:
    • "In the country’s oil industry, there is not even one domestic company that is strong and international."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Iranian Deputy Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade Mojtaba Khosrowtaj declared the contents of a trade agreement signed recently between Tehran and Moscow. "Setting preferential tariffs for some goods, exports guarantee permits and visas for businessmen are among the topics of our agreement with Russia," Khosrowtaj said, addressing the Iran-Russia Trade Conference in Tehran on Wednesday."
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Chinese car manufacturing companies are not of much help to the progress of Iran's car industry, President of Iran's largest carmaker, Iran-Khodro Company (IKCO), Hashem Yekehzare said, adding that his company has limited cooperation with the Chinese to a maximum 10 percent. "The share of the Chinese products in IKCO's cart will not exceed 10 percent in the next 3 to 4 years," Yekezare told FNA on Wednesday."
  • Hellenic Shipping News reports: "Italian oil giant Eni SpA took delivery of what is believed to be the first tanker of Iranian oil to Italy in two years in July as part of an existing exemption agreement, according to a person familiar with the matter. The move underscores a slight easing in heavily restricted trade between Iran and the West following an interim nuclear agreement in November 2013."

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency documented an exhibition by Iranian auto-maker Iran Khodro.