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Iran Press Review: 17 Nov.

Politics

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Mir Taj al-Din, a Parliamentary [Majlis] representative for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), notes with respect to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
    • On Ahmadinejad and parliamentary elections: “Mr. Ahmadinejad will definitely not be a candidate in the parliamentary elections, and in the meetings he had with different associations, and in his opinions, it is not due to the elections, but rather he seeks to retain his connections.”
  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami’s editorial urges the parliament to cooperate with the cabinet to appoint a new Minister of Science, Research, and Technoloy (Higher Education).
  • Shargh's panel discusses the “reformist” – a reference to the group which brought Mohammad Khatami to the presidency in 1997 - camp's strategy for the parliamentary elections.
  • Fars News Agency quotes Mohammad Dehqan, a member of the Parliament’s Executive Board, as saying: “In the past few days, Danesh-Ashtiani (Rouhani’s new nominee) could not find a suitable place in the parliament, and our prediction is that…he cannot attain a vote of confidence in the parliament.”
  • The New York Times reported: “Iranian authorities were caught off guard over the weekend when thousands of people joined spontaneous gatherings around the country to mourn and remember a pop singer who died late last week. The police were called out to deal with the crowds in several cities, and Tehran’s main cemetery was closed Sunday after mourners — mostly young people — assembled there in such large numbers that the singer’s burial had to be postponed.”
  • Reuters reported: “Iran's Supreme Court has banned an ally of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from holding public office for five years over his role in the 2009 deaths of three anti-government protesters, Iranian media said on Sunday. Saeed Mortazavi, who was also barred for life from holding any judicial post, used his position as prosecutor general in Tehran to help stamp out dissent following the disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad in 2009.”

Foreign Policy

  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, the Chairman of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Parliament, weighs-in on foreign policy issues:
    • “The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are strategic relations in order to create stability and peace in the region.”
    • “America’s excessive demands and flawed policies…are the main reason behind the creation of crises in the region, and the continuation of assistance from powerful countries to terrorist groups will do nothing to solve the crisis in the region.”
    • “Solving the Syrian crisis is only possible through political discussions with the presence of all Syrian groups.”

Military and Security

  • Former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander and current Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaie, comments on the city of Susangerd, the Iran-Iraq War, and DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State):
    • “So it appears that an important event had taken place in this city (Susangerd). We must admit that less attention has been paid to the issue(s) of the city of Susangerd. There is space across the country, in locales and in cities, [in] streets or squares to be named after the events in Susangerd, so that we can repay part of the efforts of its people.”
    • “If the Islamic Revolution did not take shape, this war (the Iran-Iraq War) would definitely not have been imposed on us. The Islamic Revolution awakened countries in the region, because Israel and America had created an environment that stood against the true Islamic current. But our Revolution disturbed this issue, and brought forth nations to confront these unclean forces.”
    • “America and Israel found a subservient person like Saddam to commence a war against the Revolution of this country.”
    • “Saddam thought that with the flag of Arabism he could confront the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but some, like Ali Hashemi showed that this was not effective and they rubbed Saddam’s snout into the dirt, and proved that our nation is united and has arisen for God.”
    • On DAESH: “I want Islamic scholars to reveal the great lie of America, Israel, and the little terrorist group DAESH. DAESH tells Israel ‘you sleep well, because we are a great division and we cannot do anything against you.’”
    • “I say to that little group DAESH, that you do not have the capability to remain in Syria, and with the measures that have been thought-up, they will soon be eliminated.”
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, speaks at Imam Ali Officers School, an Artesh [National Army] academy, and states:
    • “Those who seek malice and the bullies of the world, strive to use talent, politics, militarism, and all such tools as an obstacle to prevent hearing of the call of pure Islam, but this [call] has been heard, and its proof is in the growing fears of the arrogant powers.”
    • “The world counts on, and takes seriously the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, because they know that wherever the realm of responsibility and warrior-ness is, the Armed Forces will completely do their best.”
    • “The generation before yours took the message of pure Islam in the fields of battle, politics, and Revolution, and showed this to the world. And you are the inheritors of the great martyrs, and great and worthy men, so that you may offer this message to the world.”
  • Defa Press interviews Dr. Hossein Valivand Zamani, the Commander of the Army Command and Staff School (DAFUS in its Persian acronym) about Iran’s war-fighting tactics. Defa Press named the article containing the interview: “From electronic-warfare and advanced air tactics training to cyber-warfare and modeling regional and trans-regional wars.”       
    • Sheikh Jaber Rajabi, Iraqi Asaib Ahl-e Haqq’s representative to Iran, notes:
    • In an interview with Fars News Agency, Rajabi pledges his loyalty to the Velayat-e Faqih, [Guardianship of the Jurist].
    • Elaborating on the role of his group in the fight against the United States Rajabi said: “An American general, in 2010, at a closed session of the Congress, announced 73% of US casualties were caused by Asaib.”
    • Addressing the Islamic State problem, Rajabi said: “It is not so that we get rid of the Islamic State, but should return to power. We also want to uproot them ideologically and politically.”
    • Commenting the role of Major General Qassem Suleimani, Rajabi said: “The greatest work of Hajj Qassem was to create unity among the fighters... The enemy did not believe that the people of Amerli and Jaraf al-Sakhr would defend the city. Iran of course, provided all sorts of help and did not differentiate [in its assistance to] Asaib, Kata’ib, Hamas, Hezbollah and other [militant Shiite groups.]” Rajabi also said: “Hajj Qassem is in the command headquarters with some other commanders and gives advice, but the real field commanders are Iraqis... Hajj Qassem's presence in Iraq, his travels and plans are coordinated with the Iraqi government... In Iraq, there are many military advisers from Germany and the United States, but Hajj Qassem is the one giving advice in the war room.”
    • Finally, Rajabi accused the United States of arming the Islamic State.
  • According to Kayhan, President Rouhani, in addressing the Supreme Cyber Council of Iran, demanded a hasty development of a national Intranet with “intelligent filtering.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Masoud Borati, an economic analyst, discusses possible outcomes and impact of Iran’s nuclear diplomacy with the P5+1:
    • “In order to analyze the negotiations, we must first identify the international sanctions and their structure, and afterwards go towards the Westerners at the negotiating table.”
    • “In the Geneva agreement, Iran had not been appropriately acquainted with the structure of the sanctions.”
    • “All the laws that have been imposed about Iran’s bank sanctions, must be removed. Absent this, no economic player will be willing to accept the risk or engage in economic activities with Iran.”
    • “If we cannot take effective action in removing the oil and banking sanctions, in practice, we have not attained any achievement.”
  • Mohammad Kowsari, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, exclaims:
    • “The discussion of the conservatives about nuclear agreements, whether during the period of the previous team, or during the period of the current team, is the same, that the interests and rights of the nation of Iran must be preserved.”
    • “We know the success of the nuclear negotiating team to be the success of the Islamic system against the enemy, and God-forbid, it is not like this, that we don’t want them to be successful, since the nuclear negotiating team, by the command of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, are children of the Revolution, and of course, their success is a the success of the Revolution and the system.”
    • “If we did not believe in negotiations, in the previous round we would not have supported the team and worked for an agreement.”
  • Ebrahim Karkhanehi, the Chairman of the Nuclear Committee in the Parliament, attacks the nuclear negotiations in Muscat, Oman, during an interview with Tasnim News Agency:
    • “In an audacious move, the Americans presented an eight pages long document in Muscat, which did away with the calculations of the negotiations. America's eight pages long proposal in Muscat is a nuclear Torkamanchai, which the nuclear negotiators will doubtlessly never accept... The Americans may have thought that the negotiation team is seeking an agreement at any price, but they have forgotten that the secret behind steadfastness of the Iranian nation for the past thirty years, is heroic resistance in the face of excessive demands of hegemonic powers... The nuclear negotiators are now in the post test of heroic flexibility era... The Iranian nation has for three decades challenged and defeated US policies in the region, and in spite of the wishes of the United States and its lackeys, it has now emerged as the primary power in political equations of the region... What the Iranian nation has stressed upon for years, and the declaration which has been signed more than 200 parliamentarians, is total preservation of the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation, continued activities of sites such as Fordo and Arak to achieve self-sufficiency, real self-sufficiency, and not accepting any restriction to Research and Development and not allowing inspections beyond what has been decided by the NPT... The American scheme was to decrease the number of centrifuges to cosmetic spinning and vegetative existence, stopping Research and Development at the level of the old generation [of centrifuges, first generation] and long closure of Arak Heavy Water using the pretext of changing its nature to light water, along with unlimited and unannounced inspection of all nuclear but also military installations... After a year of concentrated negotiations and total stop to the nuclear progress and annihilation of a considerable part of the nuclear stockpile, this is an unjust proposal. The United States has returned the negotiations to zero and in a new game is trying to impose it.”
  • Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, while receiving a Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Member, states:
    • “Iran has shown its good will by living up to its obligations. Should the counterpart have a rational, non-politicizing and reality based behavior, hastily achieving an agreement in the nuclear negotiations is achievable.”
    • “Removing all the unjust sanctions and possessing all the rights within the NPT must be a part of any agreement.”
  • “The negotiations lost momentum as the discussions reached the issue of removing sanctions,” Kayhan writes and continues: “while the different parties reported on concentrated negotiations, John Kerry preferred to visit the Muscat Bazaar for shopping, the photos of which were released to show just how much he cared about the Muscat negotiations...! The sensitivity of the negotiations taken into consideration, there is some speculation on extension of the negotiations beyond November...”
  • The Washington Post reported: “For the six global powers in talks with Iran, the goals have always been clear — blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb while eventually lifting sanctions that have hobbled its economy and caused hardship for the Iranian people. But as negotiators gather in Vienna this week in one last push for a deal, decades of mutual mistrust and years of Iranian obfuscation on its nuclear program may be proving too much to surmount.”

Economy & Trade

  • Defa Press, citing Bloomberg reporting about a trip by Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, notes:
    • “According to plan, Mr. Zanganeh is supposed to meet with high officials of the [United Arab] Emirates and speak with them. This meeting will occur while global oil markets have witnessed severe price instability in the past two months.”
  • As the global price of oil declines, and Iran’s budget deficit grows, Shargh reports that administration is seeking to obtain parliamentary permission to withdraw money from the National Development Fund, and increase the price of fuel and gasoline by slashing subsidies. The government budget is presently structured off of oil priced estimated at $100 per barrel.
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Chairman of Iran Central Insurance Mohammad Ebrahim Amin and Managing Director of Nasco Insurance Group's Brokerage Office in Tehran Gabriel Bejjani voiced their willingness to pave the ground for further development of bilateral ties.In a meeting in Tehran on Sunday, the two sided emphasized the need for both companies to do their best to remove possible obstacles in the way of promoting mutual cooperation.”
  • BBC News reported: “China is set to double its investment in Iranian infrastructure projects, Iran's Mehr news agency reports. China has raised its quota for Iranian projects to $52bn (£33bn) from $25bn the report said, quoting Iran's deputy minister for energy, Esmail Mahsouli.”

Human Rights

  • Etemaad newspaper criticizes the Ahmad Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, on grounds that he has consulted “partisan” informers for his report, as opposed to seeking impartial people as sources of information.

Culture, Religion & Society

  • Kayhan runs an editorial warning the Rouhani cabinet against focusing too much on air pollution whilst “forgetting (about) the poisoning of the cultural air.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency displays pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s trip to the Imam Ali Officer’s School this morning.