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Iran Press Review: 18 Sept.

Analysis by FDD

  • Merve Tahiroglu, a Research Associate focusing on Turkey writes that: "The Turkish daily Taraf published a blockbuster article Tuesday alleging that Iran has been blackmailing Turkey. Turkey has been pressuring Iran, one of its major sources of oil and natural gas, to lower its export prices for natural gas. According to Taraf, Iran is now using potentially damaging documents that allege Turkish corruption and financial crimes to blackmail Turkey’s leadership to drop its demands."

Politics

  • Mohammad-Reza Aref (a noted reformist who ran for president in 2013 but dropped out) states that with respect to parliamentary elections:
    • "I have said time and again that we will have serious participation and our efforts will be to encourage people to participate more than in past elections until God-willing [Inshallah] we will gain the majority [of seats] in the parliament."
  • Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi accuses Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of having financially supported the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) before the victory of the 1979 revolution. Mesbah Yazdi's accusations were released a few days after Rafsanjani's claim that Mesbah Yazdi was opposed to struggling against the Shah's regime, indicating why Ali Khamenei did not speak with him from 1969 to 1979. 

Foreign Policy

  • The National Interest ran a transcript of Mohammad-Javad Zarif’s meeting in New York City with an editor of the publication. 
  • Fars News Agency further picked up on Zarif’s visit to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
  • Mohammad-Baqer Nowbakht, a spokesperson for the Rouhani administration comments on Rouhani’s United Nations General Assembly schedule:
    • "No schedule has been organized for a meeting with Obama." 
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi of the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee exclaims that: "America’s request to work with Iran to combat Daesh (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State/IS) is only a political game and a display of anti-terrorism."
  • Ayatollah Mesbah Yazi proclaims that: "God is sufficient for [the] Islamic government, and this government with trust in the Almighty God has no need for East and West."

Military and Security

  • Rahman Al-Jazaeri, the Secretary-General of K’taib Hezbollah, or the Hezbollah Brigades of Iraq notes in an interview with Fars News Agency:
    • "The Kurds have turned to military cooperation with the Americans, and this is against the national interests of Iraq, and we assert that whomever acts against us, and does not have Iraqi nationality, is not from us. Our only request is the liberation of Mosul from Daesh, not to take it away from its people."
    • "The soldiers of Hezbollah are ready for any kind of sacrifice, and all are sons of Iraq and of the followers of Imam Hossein and act in the framework of a popular defense and based on Fatwa’s of religious leaders [Marja] of Iraq. And a plan is at hand where 20 thousand soldiers based on their specialties and function will join the security and military systems."
    • "Hezbollah of Iraq respects the strategies and issues of Iran and Lebanon towards Iraq and the support that they bring to this country, and does not act against it.”
    • "Iran and Hezbollah with the leadership of Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah of Iraq and all soldiers and regional combatants can dry the roots of the Zionist regime in the region."
  • Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Deputy for Arab and African Affairs proclaims: "We have no trust in America for leadership in combating terrorism."
  • Basij Force Commander Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, addresses Basij members from Iran’s tribes during a recent exercise:
  • Speaking about the most recent conflict in Gaza: "This humiliating defeat of the Zionists shows that the Israel regime is weaker than the house of a spider. These victories are the repeated results of lessons of resistance and unity of tribes and soldiers of Islamic Iran."
  • "That which has causes an equipped army and the fourth military power of the world to humiliatingly incur defeat was faith and unity that soldiers and strugglers [Mujahedan] and tribes of Iran showed the world."
  • In linking Khomeini’s desires during the Iran-Iraq war regarding "the conquest of Palestine" Naqdi noted: "Today we are witnessing that this desire of the Imam (a reference to Ayatollah Khomeini) is closer than ever before, and the Iranian nation is resolute for the freedom of Jerusalem [Quds]."
  • Commenting on the exercise: "This exercise will be a successful model for enacting the real operation for the freedom of Jerusalem from the fork for the Zionist regime and arrogance."
  • Vice News reports: "Iran's president and foreign minister said on Wednesday that America could not defeat Islamic State (IS) militants using only airstrikes, even as US President Barack Obama stressed that he would not deploy military personnel in combat roles. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said bombing could play a part in beating IS, but that more troops and greater "sacrifice" would be required."

Nuclear Issue 

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes:
    • "The recent years' palpable reality from the negotiations with the Westerners is that the counterpart has excessive demands, and requires Iran conceding its inalienable nuclear rights. It does not respect equal rights of the both parties and is no believer in a 'win/win situation.' Otherwise, the comprehensive agreement could have been reached before the November deadline. [An agreement] which both respects Iran's nuclear rights, and addresses concerns about the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities." 
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) says
  • "Currently, the research and development work is in progress... with the exception of production of 20% enriched uranium which has been stopped during the nuclear negotiations. Installation of some major equipments of the Arak reactor has been suspended, or gotten slower... We have an agreement with the Health Ministry to build 10 centrifuges with 40,000 rounds. In the future, we will also build up to 80,000 round [centrifuges]... Building new centrifuges is our right, and based on the Geneva Agreement, research and development is not restricted. The latest generation of our centrifuges which we presented to the IAEA, meaning the IR-9, has 24 SOU. It has been subjected to mechanical tests, but we have not yet infused gas into it. This would need presidential authorization... For the time being, the government has authorized us to build two [more] nuclear power plants. We are trying to sign the agreement for building the two power plants before the meeting between [President Hassan] Rouhani and Putin... Within a few days, the Iran Atomic Energy Organization deputy will leave for Russia."
  • "There has been no halt in building of and completion of the Arak reactor until now. We are continuing our activities according to the plans and schedule decided by the Atomic Energy Organization, and based on the agreements and commitments within the framework of the JPOA (the Geneva Accord). The sole issue which has been halted, is the one agreed upon in the JPOA agreed upon by Iran and the 5+1 group. Among those are two cooling pumps in the reactors... We cannot reach the declared date for activating the IR-40 reactor...but 90% of the job is done." 
  • Comments by the lead of the effort to build the Heavy Water reactor at Arak on its progress: 
  • Reuters reports that: "Western powers told Iran on Thursday it must step up cooperation with a U.N. watchdog investigation into suspected atomic bomb research if it wants to get a broader nuclear deal that would ease sanctions on the oil producer. The United States and the European Union said they were concerned about the slow headway so far in the U.N. atomic agency's long-running inquiry into allegations that Iran has worked on designing a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charge."
  • The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that: "Hassan Rouhani won world leaders’ warm embrace a year ago when he arrived at the United Nations General Assembly in New York as Iran’s new president, speaking of reconciliation and offering a new era in relations between his nation and the West. But when Rouhani arrives next week for this year’s U.N. session, diplomats will be pondering a different question: What went wrong?"

Economy

  • Resalat-News ran a headline quoting the president of Iran’s tea organization as saying: "The status of [tea] producers is in a critical state."
  • Fars News Agency reports that: "Iranian Agricultural Jihad Minister Mahmoud Hojjati in a meeting with Azeri Industry and Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev on Wednesday called on Baku to cooperate with Tehran in transiting its agricultural exports to Russia."

Religion, Society, and Culture

  • Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamadani notes: "Today the enemies of Islam, Taliban-style Islam, the Takfiri Daesh, and in one word they created American Islam to relegate pure and true Islam to the corner and get rid of it." Picking up on a sectarian (Shi’ite) concept, Ayatollah Hamadani proclaimed: "You must propagate the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt in Islamic society and arise to confronting them."

Human Rights

  • Fox News reports: "A United Nations panel this week blasted Iran's continued imprisonment of American citizen Saeed Abedini, who is serving an eight-year prison term in the Islamic republic for practicing his faith."
  • The Washington Post reported yesterday that: "A senior Iranian official said Wednesday that Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter detained in Tehran nearly two months ago, is being interrogated on unspecified charges by judicial authorities. “He is facing interrogation in Iran for what he has done as an Iranian citizen,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with NPR."

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency documents a military exercise presided over by Basij Commander Mohammad-Reza Naqdi entitled Towards Jerusalem [Ila Bayt al-Moghadas] featuring Iran’s tribes:
  • Kurd
  • Arab
  • Turkmen
  • Bakhtiari
  • Islamic Republic News Agency documents a meeting between Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s First Vice-President with the Kuwaiti Minister of Health.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency provides photos of the first shipment of American F4-Phantom jets in 1968 to what was then called the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) on this day in history.