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Iran Press Review: 17 Dec

Politics

  • Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran’s Minister of Justice, weighs-in on the future of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi:
    • “The Supreme National Security Council decides with regard to the end of the house arrest [of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi].”

Foreign Policy

  • Hassan Firoozabadi, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces comments on Iran’s oil diplomacy and Saudi Arabia:
    • “[Saudi] Arabia, by increasing its oil production for America and the West, which represent the super-capitalists of the world, reassured [them] that…with the decline in the price of oil, and consequently, the loss of revenues of anti-terrorist countries in the region which stand and fight against DAESH (the Persian and Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) will be under financial pressure.”
    • “Today the treachery of the leaders of America and the West against all the people of the world has been made evident, and such conspiratorial actions cannot prevent the decline of the power of America, England, and their other allies, and the people of America and other Western countries with the steadfastness and resistance against their super-capitalist representatives and have rung the bell of the West’s empty power.”
  • Kayhan reports quotes by Abdul-Malik al-Houti, Yemen’s “Revolutionary leader” on regional issues:
    • “However many die in Yemen, it will not fall under the power of [Saudi] Arabia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
    • “Iran is an Islamic country that is the axis of resistance against the forces of global arrogance led by America and Israel.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani states in a meeting with Salim al-Jabouri of Iraq:
    • “Even though the nation[s] of Iran and Iraq have two independent governments, but they benefit from one set of roots and the high-culture of Islam and the great-Prophet of Islam.”
    • “The great nation of Iraq alongside its army has well been able to combat the terrorists and invaders, and has cleaned-up a big portion of its country of them, and this is impressive.”
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always looked at the nation of Iraq as a united nation and has looked upon it like a brother, and today looks upon it as such.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani also meet with Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Republic’s Foreign Minister, and notes:
    • “Today Tehran and Ankara in the field of combating terrorism consider the preservation of the territorial integrity and the establishment of stability and security of [our] neighbors, and are able to be effective through consultation and discussion in this path.” 
    • “Close cooperation of the two countries (Iran and Turkey) can help with the establishment of stability and security in the entire region (the Middle East).”

Military & Security

  • Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifar, the Deputy Commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base states (as captured in a Defa Press headline): “The joint air-defense plans of theArtesh (national Army) and the IRGC has changed the behavior of the enemy.” He further praised this cooperation in his remarks.
  • Reporting on the annual meeting of the Khatam al-Anbiya (KAA) Construction Base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC):
    • Abdollahi, Khatam al-Anbiya Chief, provides an overview of the work of the base under his command.
    • Mohammad-Baqer Nowbakht, a Vice-President for Presidential Planning and Strategic Oversight, states: “Those who do not know, or who willfully imagine the Base, whose great potential has served development of the country since the development of the country, is the rival of the private sector, are either ignorant or tendentious provocateurs.”
    • Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, notes: “The parliament is interested in the Base' proposals concerning how to deal with decreased development budgets. [For example, by] creating new sources [of income,] revitalizing the mines, or taking over unfinished projects.”
    • Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s Oil Minister, proclaims: “The scope and quality of the activities of the Base are beyond that of the private sector, and the Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Base is by no means the rival of the private sector... Vast oil, gas and petrochemical markets in the regional countries exist, and one must pay attention to those in the future.”
  • Mohsen Rezaie, a former Commander of the IRGC and current Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council weighs-inon KAA Construction Base, and defends it in relation to Iran’s threats:
    • “The Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Base is an institution adapted from the Islamic Revolution, which was formed to guard the values of the Revolution.”
    • “The enemies have focused their planning on the future of Islamic Iran, and seek to economically prevent Iran’s progress.”
  • Brigadier General Kiyumars Heydari, the Deputy Commander of the Artesh Ground-Forces, states:
    • “Today we have a forceful presence on all maritime, land, and aerial borders, and we will stifle all threats.”
  • Ali-Akbar Velayati, a former Iranian Foreign Minister and current head of Iran’s Center for Strategic Research (CSR), states in relation to the terror-attack in Australia:
    • “The hostage-taking events in Sydney was a vulgar plan enacted by the Australian security services in adhering to America.”
    • “This was a crazy-person who was in the hands of the Australian security services and Western countries.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Fars News Agency runs a quote by Hossein Shariatmadari, the Editor of Kayhan in its headline, who said: “The statements of the proponents of reform about the nuclear program encourage the government to commit treason.”
    • Fars News Agency summarized the context, noting that he was referring to statements by Zibakalam and Shirzad at Tehran University.
  • Kayhan reports comments by Abbas Eraqchi, a Deputy Foreign Minister, on updates to the negotiations:
    • “In this meeting all issues were present, specifically the issue of sanctions, where detailed discussions were took place at the technical and deputy-level.”
    • “In some areas some solutions exist, and some stages requires more effort and discussion.”
    • “The environment of the sessions is very good, but there still is some space in order to reach a solution.”
  • Reuters reports: “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday nuclear talks with major powers were being conducted in a good atmosphere, "good steps" had been taken and more would follow. U.S. and Iranian diplomats began a two-day meeting in Geneva on Monday to pave the way for resuming broader negotiations involving Iran and six world powers there on Wednesday.”
  • Emily Landau writes in The National Interest: “The objective of the P5+1 in their negotiations with Iran over a comprehensive deal is to keep Iran at about a year from what is known as “breakout”—the ability to quickly assemble one nuclear device. The logic of the P5+1 stance is that with some modifications to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and an “ironclad” verification regime, twelve months will be enough time for an Iranian violation to be detected and for the international community to respond before Iran is able to move to a weapons capability.”

Economy & Trade

  • Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad, a member of the Parliament’s Energy Committee, comments on the price of oil, the OPEC meeting, and Iranian dependence on oil revenues:
    • “Zanganeh (Iran’s Oil Minister) should have left the OPEC meeting instead of cooperating with [Saudi] Arabia.”
    • “Iran’s energy diplomacy in the debate over the decrease in the price of oil cooperated with the plans of America and [Saudi] Arabia.”
    • “On this basis, the pricing of oil at 72 dollars per barrel in the budget legislation for the year [13]94 (2015-2016) is illogical. We must choose an appropriate price for crude oil, and absent this, the government will face a budget shortage in the year [13]94 and won’t realize its goals.”
    • “Perhaps given this condition, government officials will come to themselves and act seriously in relation to reducing the dependence of the economy on oil and look after alternative sources of income.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “India imported about 38 percent more oil from Iran in the first eleven months of the current year in comparison with the same period last year, trade sources said. An eventual deal between Iran and the six major world powers would remove sanctions on Tehran and likely lead to another jump in Iranian exports, the Hindu Business Line reported.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iran and Singapore underlined that expansion of their banking cooperation will not only ease their commercial transactions, but can also pave the ground for the further enhancement of their joint investments. In a meeting between Iranian Deputy Trade Minister Valiollah Afkhamirad and Head of Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) and Singaporean Industries Ministry's Director General for Middle-East Francis Chung in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, the two sides welcomed any proposal which would guarantee reinvigoration of bilateral relations. Afkhamirad said that Iran is ready to expand its cooperation with Singapore in banking sector and investment project, and said that Singapore's delegations can invest in Iran's mining, hotel construction and transport sectors.”

Media, Society & Culture

  • Fars News Agency showcases a short-documentary (available on YouTube) contrasting the lives, houses, and cars of residents in downtown and uptown Tehran.
  • CNN reported: “When Thomas Cristofoletti walked into the Hyperstar supermarket in Shiraz, Iran, he was stopped at the door. He had his camera over his shoulder, and the international-style grocery store was built inside a large mall with a strict policy against photography. "They almost wouldn't even let me bring the camera inside," Cristofoletti recalled.”

Human Rights

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports: “An Iranian human rights body has urged the United Nations to allow its inspectors to travel to the United States to investigate the rights situation there. Ahmad Esfandiari, the head of Iran's International Human Rights Center, told Fars news agency on December 17 that he made [t]he request in a letter to the UN.”
  • The New York Times reported: “Relatives of a former Marine imprisoned in Iran for more than three years said Tuesday that he had begun a hunger strike, and they released an open letter he had written to President Obama urging him “not to forget me” as the United States intensifies negotiations with the Iranians on their disputed nuclear program. Those negotiations, which have already been extended twice and are now facing a July deadline, resumed on Tuesday in Geneva between Iran and the group of six big powers, including the United States, that have been seeking guarantees of Iran’s peaceful intentions for its nuclear program.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Defa Press reports pictures of Major General Qassem Suleimani, the Commander of Iran’s IRGC Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) during the 11th KAA Construction Base Conference.