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Iran Press Review: 17 Feb.

Politics

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami comments on Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's call for limiting the powers of the Guardian Jurist and establishing a "leadership council":
    • "In the Constitution, there is no such thing as supervision of the Leader, and fundamentally there is talk of continuation and of possessing the conditions for being Leader... Experience has shown that one can't administer the country by a council. Of course, there is great consultative body called the Islamic Consultative Assembly [the parliament] with its specific responsibilities as codified in the Constitution... We had a Judiciary Council, which lacked the efficiency and was made into the Judiciary. The Imam [Khomeini] saw if the [Leadership] is made into a Council, the same problems would prevail, and it was a strategem of his to do away with a Leadership Council."

Diplomacy

  • Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Judiciary chief, responds to the United States government's call for releasing Mehdi Karrubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi from house arrest:
    • "Based on the blood of the martyrs, and the insights the people demonstrated on February 11th, we once more tell the United States Department of State and the president of that country: You can't do a damned thing...! We believe the case of the seditionists must take place within the framework of secular and religious laws, and the State Department should know that their misplaced recommendation is nothing but prate. We shall continue the path which we have hitherto taken, which is an accurate, legal and judicial path with no problem..." 

Military and Security

  • Fars News quotes Al-Hayat's report on the alleged meeting of Major General Qassem Suleimani, IRGC QF chief, and Khaled Mashal, Hamas leader, in Turkey in the Summer of 2014, a few days after the latest war in Gaza. Allegedly, Mashal had asked Suleimani for renewed arm transfers to Hamas. 
  • Mohammad-Hadi Zolfaqari, photographer and likely IRGC QF member, was reportedly killed in Samrra, Iraq, as he ran into an ISIL booby trap. 

Nuclear Issue

  • Mohammad Saffar Harandi, Expediency Council member:
    • "Based on public opinion polls conducted in the latest weeks, 72% of the people are in favor of a [nuclear] agreement and removal of sanctions, but they are not in favor of dismantling of nuclear technology... Based on this poll, between 60% and 70% are in favor of such an agreement since they believe one must not pay a heavy price in order to get rid of the sanctions..." 
  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • "[As the European Union annulled the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL Group)], the technical/commercial deputy of the IRISL Group predicted... 'It is unlikely that the EU once again sanctions Iranian shipping companies.' However, this happened, and on February 10th, based on a new legal basis - sanctions based on secret proof which can not be submitted to the court - were added to the 'body of the sanctions...' According to the Geneva Plan, one of tne of the most important obligations of the United States and the European Union was not to add new sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program. This has again and again been violated by the United States, and according to one estimate, 100 new sanctions have been added to the previous sanctions. However, our nuclear negotiation team not only abstained from officially protest against the violation of the agreement, but Mr. Zarif appeared on TV and said the new sanctions are not 'new,' or 'violating' te agreement... This is the model the Europeans are now emulating... America's behavior in the past year since the Geneva Agreement has demonstrated that the way of receiving concessions from the enemy, is not through giving it concessions. The [sole] path of negotiating with the enemy, is persistence and insistence on legal rights..."