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Iran Press Review: 19 Sept.

Politics

  • Mohammad Esmaeili, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee exclaims:
    • "Those who have not separated themselves from the seditionists (Fitnehgaran – the word conservatives use to describe Green Movement supporters) must not be present in meetings and plans."    

Foreign Policy

  • Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts and current Friday prayer leader for Mashhad notes:
    • "Israel, Daesh (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State – IS), the Taliban, and Wahhabism are illegitimate children of American foreign policy and all these groups are born within America."
    • "Iran is the axis for stability in the Middle East and the goal of enemies was for us to enter our forces into the war so that a space for the freedom of action of Israel would be created."
  • Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh penned an op-ed in The Washington Post today noting:
  • "As the United States begins its campaign to destroy the Islamic State, many voices can be counted on to call for cooperation with Iran. Among those has been none other than Secretary of State John Kerry, who insisted that Iran’s exclusion from the Paris Conference “doesn’t mean that we are opposed to the idea of communicating to find out if they will come on board, or under what circumstances, or whether there is the possibility of a change.” On the surface, this may seem sensible, as both Washington and Tehran have an interest in defanging a militant Sunni group. But we would wise to bear in mind two points: First, Kerry’s proviso on the possibility of change, and second, that the essential axiom of Middle East politics is that the enemy of my enemy is sometimes still my enemy. The ebbs and flows of the war on terrorism should not be allowed to conceal the fact that the theocratic Iranian regime and its attempt to upend the regional order remains the United States’ most consequential long-term challenge in the Middle East."
  • The Los Angeles Times reported that: "President Obama would be open to a repeat of last year’s historic conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at next week’s United Nations General Assembly session, a senior administration official said Thursday. Though no meeting is scheduled during the annual gathering, “the president of the United States is well known to being open to such a meeting," the official told reporters in a briefing. “But the choice is really Iran’s."

Military and Security

  • Alireza Zakani, a member of Iran’s Parliament comments on Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF) and the regional importance of Iran:
    • "If Hajj Qassem reached Baghdad only a few hours later, Baghdad would have fallen much like if the model of Iran was not there, Syria would have fallen. After the victory of Bashar in the elections, Bashar said that instead of congratulating me, go and congratulate the leadership of Iran, it is my honor that I acted by the 11-point letter of the leadership and became victorious."
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Prosecutor General comments on America and the coalition against IS:
  • "The Supreme Leader has commanded that wherever America finds itself, we will not enter because we know them to be our enemy."
  • "Today these countries known as the coalition seek to, with the help of regional power such as Iran, bog-down all in their pre-determined game."
  • "The coalition, which at present was formed to combat terrorism is not a serious issue, and in the past this same arrogant system with this same excuse deployed camps and military forces in the region, whose ulcers they can still witness."
  • "Not inviting the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Paris Conference was a defeated action because Iran fights terrorists and is an important and central regional country. From this, for victory in this struggle we must use all our capabilities, specifically because we are confronted with terrorist groups we must use any possibility for cooperation."
  • "Iran and Iraq have a one thousand and 350 kilometer shared border, and in addition to that have similarities in history and society and geography and economies tie them together. Therefore how can we be victorious in war against terrorists without Iran?"
  • "Truly, this 8 year war was a Holy Defense, it was 8 years of Jihad in the path of Allah and complete purity, and all of that originated from the Imam [Khomeini] and the leadership and the Basiji’s went to the front with love and interest."
  • "This seeking of martyrdom, the sacrifice and overpassing of life was dedication, and is a great storage for our future."
  • "We must also store the Holy Defense (name given to the Iran-Iraq War) as a spiritual reserve."
  • "A youth which becomes acquainted with the Holy Defense will not be polluted and does not sin."
  • "We must also in the greater Jihad guard the blood of the martyrs."
  • Ammar Al-Hakim of Iraq comments on cooperation against IS with specific reference to Iran:
  • Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the current Friday prayer leader for Tehran and Secretary of the Guardian Council drew references to the Iran-Iraq War in his sermon today, saying:
  • Islamic Republic News Agency runs a compendium of quotes by Friday prayer leaders across Iran with specific reference to the Iran-Iraq War, stressing its importance in the Iranian political and religious narrative.

Nuclear Issue 

  • Islamic Republic News Agency quotes Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister as saying:
    • "If the goal is ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, the resolution of this conflict is quite easy. But the problem here is that the American government has drowned in the conversation of sanctions and the American Congress wants the sanctions to remain in place."
    • Speaking about Parchin, Zarif commented: "The Agency (IAEA) has visited this region 2 times, and has sampled its environment."
  • Fars News Agency runs a headline noting the "seventh round of comprehensive nuclear notions today in New York."
  • The Wall Street Journal reports: "The U.S. team negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran were "not very optimistic" about the chances of a breakthrough in the talks, a senior U.S. official said Thursday, but bilateral discussions with Iran over the last 24 hours have been "constructive.""
  • Reuters reports: "Western powers told Iran on Thursday it must step up cooperation with a U.N. watchdog's investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by the country if it wants to get a broader nuclear deal that would ease sanctions."

Economy

  • Trend reports: "Azerbaijan is ready to consider participation possibility in the organization of the Iranian oil supply for Russia via the model of trilateral swap agreements, ITAR-TASS reported Sept.18 with reference to the Azerbaijani ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu."We have already established links in the electricity sector. This is possible, but is not concrete yet," the diplomat said."
  • Reuters reported yesterday that: "Indian imports of Iranian oil rose by nearly half to 271,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January-August from a year ago, when refineries cut purchases due to worries about insurance coverage for processing crude from Tehran, data from trade sources shows."

Human Rights

  • UPI reports: "On the eve of the latest round of Iranian nuclear negotiations, the U.S. renewed its call for the release of American citizens detained in Iran. A senior Administration official, speaking anonymously to reporters per State Department policy regarding the nuclear talks, underlined that while Iranian officials are expected to comment openly about the negotiations, Iran is at the same time restricting the freedom of speech of detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian."
  • BBC News reports: "Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy have been sentenced to up to one year in prison and 91 lashes, their lawyer says. The sentences were suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison unless they reoffend, he adds."

Daily Pictures

  • Islamic Republic News Agency documents Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati leading Friday prayers in Tehran.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency displays a photo from President Hassan Rouhani’s interview with NBC.
  • Javan Online displays a picture from a classic-car exhibition in the city of Mashhad.