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Iran Press Review: 20 Oct.

Politics

  • Mohammad Baqer Nowbakht, the Spokesperson for the Rouhani government states the following during a meeting honoring the month of Muharram:
    • “No person in this country or government can go past the policies and lines that the Supreme Leader has outlined.”
  • Fars News Agency reports of the possibility for a meeting between the following prominent Ayatollah’s: Movahedi-Kermani, Yazdi, and Mesbah. The report quoted Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Jalali, a representative from the office of Ayatollah Mesbah who stated: “If this meeting does not take place next week in Mashhad, it will be held in Qom after the Ashura-Tasua [the ninth and tenth days of the holy month of Muharram] of Hossein.”

Foreign Policy

  • Kayhan runs a headline quoting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organization as exclaiming “Iran was absent from the reconstruction conference for Gaza, but is present in the Gaza strip.”
  • In a meeting this morning between former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the current Chairman of the Expediency and Discernment Council, and Ramezan Abdullah, the Secretary-General of PIJ, Rafsanjani stated:
    • “The recent victories differs between all other victories in Lebanon and Palestine.”
    • “Political and military analysts look at how in those 50 days the declining power of Israel was commenced in history with awe and wonder.”
    • “Insecurity had gripped the government and country of Israel so much that many of its people lived in basements and refuges during the war.”
    • “The Iron-Dome and brutal evils of the Zionist soldiers could not return security to the people of Israel.”
    •  “The world learned that the killing of students, the elderly, and women in this arena has not made people tired or hopeless.”
    • “They saw that the forces of resistance, without fighting directly, were able to target any point that they like with their missiles.”
  •  Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister states:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran stands next to the resistance of the people and army of Lebanon, and is completely prepared for any kind of political, security, or intelligence cooperation in order to combat extremist and terrorist groups.”
  • Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament [Majlisstates with respect to the follow-up on the terrorist issues in Iran’s South-Eastern frontier:
    • "We have taken-up the issue of the terrorist action in Saravan with the Senate of Pakistan.”
  • Asghar Ab-Akhzar, the Deputy of the Islamic Propagation Cooperation Council comments on the significance of the hostage-taking of the U.S. Embassy in 1979:
    • “The 13th of Aban (November 4, 1979) was the day of a clear response to the absurdities of the Global Arrogance (Istikbar Jahani – a reference to the United States).”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Secretary of Russia's National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev will arrive in Iran tonight to discuss the latest developments on the regional and international scenes, and exchange views over enhancement of Tehran-Moscow relations, Russian Envoy to Tehran Levan Jagarian said. Jagarian said Patrushev's trip will take place at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is due to arrive in Tehran on Monday night to confer with senior Iranian officials on the latest regional developments, and explore new avenues for the promotion of all-out ties, the Iraqi envoy to Iran said. Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh said that the Iraqi premier will be accompanied by a high-raking economic and political delegation, including ministers of electricity, energy, oil and trade.”

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani comments on regional matters during a ceremony honoring Martyr Shushtari:
    • “We believe that whether it is the actions of America, or the actions of the terrorist-like DAESH are condemned to defeat due to the lack of truth.”
    • “Their strategy will not be victorious, and we saw what actions they took in Syria but it yielded no result.”
    • “The victories of Islam and the Islamic Republic are due to their inner truths.”
  • Hossein Dehghan, Iran’s Defense Minister states with respect to recent support to Lebanon:
    • “We are prepared in the future to again help equip Lebanon against DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State – IS) and [other] terrorist currents.”
    • “That which we place at the disposal of Lebanon’s army is one strong action for a response to a possible threat.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Hashem, the head of the Artesh’s [National Army] Ideological-Political Directorate comments on Iran’s armed forces:
    • “Today, self-sufficiency in military and defense equipment is a great achievement of the Holy Defense [Defa-e Moqadas – or the name in Persian given to the Iran-Iraq War] and by the grace of the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s Artesh has been turned into a regional military power.”
    • “The retirees of the Artesh of the Islamic Republic are the symbol of courage and manliness.”
    • “In the beginning days of the 8 year war (a reference to the Iran-Iraq War) there was not an appropriate situation with respect to equipment and features in our country, but by the grace of the Artesh of the Islamic Republic, we have presently reached self-sufficiency in many features.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Sedighi, a temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader comments on the importance of security in society.
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri urged Pakistan to stop terrorists' cross-border attacks from its soil, warning that the Iranian military will take action to crush such terrorist groups if Islamabad continues its present heedless attitude. "We hope to be able to prevent terrorist actions with the help of the regional governments, specially the Pakistani government and army," General Jazayeri told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony held in Tehran on Monday to commemorate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) martyred commanders.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Kayhan reports comments from Mohammad Esmaeili, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee saying:
    • “Mr. Eraqchi was the guest of the Committee and answered questions about the trend of the negotiations with the 5+1.”
    • “We must await the remaining 40 days to see if the agreement is achieved or not.”
    • “One issue in the trend of the negotiations is exists about the issue of enrichment…which seems like an agreement on them will be difficult.”
    • “The Western side must amend their positions until a deal can be made.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined the financial and environmental benefits of Bushehr nuclear power plant for the country, saying that the power plant will save Iran $1bln worth of fossil fuel each year. "About 7bln kw/h electricity is being generated annually at Bushehr nuclear power plant which saves $1bln worth of fossil fuel which will be followed by the same level of decrease in air pollution," Salehi said, addressing a meeting with Iranian legislators at the parliament's Energy Commission on Sunday.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined the country's rapid progress in nuclear technology, including the building of high-velocity centrifuge machines, and said Tehran would use the achievement as a Bargaining Chip in the upcoming talks with the world powers. Araqchi, who is also the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, said on Sunday that production of high-velocity centrifuge machines by the Iranian nuclear scientists are the country's latest achievement in this arena.”
  • Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence wrote in The New York Times: “Israel is deeply concerned about the trajectory of the ongoing negotiations concerning Iran’s nuclear program. The talks are moving in the wrong direction, especially on the core issue of uranium enrichment. Although Iran has modified its tone recently, there have hardly been any changes of substance since the soft-spoken president, Hassan Rouhani, took over the reins from his aggressive predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”
  • David Sanger wrote in The New York Times: “No one knows if the Obama administration will manage in the next five weeks to strike what many in the White House consider the most important foreign policy deal of his presidency: an accord with Iran that would forestall its ability to make a nuclear weapon. But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it.”
  • Dennis Ross wrote in Foreign Affairs: “It is no accident that hardly anyone involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations has expressed optimism about meeting the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive agreement. The Iranian and U.S. governments are continuing to meet regularly -- most recently last week in Vienna -- but there are few signs of meaningful progress. Indeed, the essence of the deal that has always made most sense -- a rollback of the Iranian nuclear program in return for a rollback of sanctions -- seems increasingly beyond reach. Instead, the Iranians have been insisting on a rollback of the sanctions in return only for limited transparency on their industrial-size nuclear program. But Washington has insisted for a long time that, given Iran’s past violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), limited transparency won’t be enough. Further, it has already stated that it will not accept an industrial-scale program, although it is prepared to agree to a limited-enrichment capability.”

Economy

  • Mohammad-Baqer Nowbakht, the Spokesperson for the Rouhani government relates:
    • “Before the sanctions, we had a 110 billion dollars of oil revenues, but today in the budget of the country, less than 48 billion Tomans of this can be used, however, the entirety of this amount is not available to the government, and only 25 billion dollars is used by the government, however, the enemies have sought to influence the price of oil and to lower it.”
    • “However much the Islamic system becomes successful in its economy, those who think that they can bring the nation of Iran to its knees with sanctions will receive their answer.”
  • Bloomberg reports: “Iran, which faces sanctions on crude exports, sees no need for OPEC to hold an emergency meeting, a sign that markets may need to wait a month before the world’s biggest producer group responds to falling prices. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has consulted with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about political and economic reasons for the collapse in prices, the ministry’s news website Shana reported today. No emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is necessary to discuss the price slide, Shana said. Rouhani told Zanganeh to use the “oil diplomacy tool” to try to prevent a further decrease, the state-run Mehr news agency said yesterday, without elaborating.”
  • Reuters reports: “India will float a company to develop Iran's Chabahar Port, a government statement said on Saturday, as New Delhi aims to take advantage of a thaw in Tehran's relations with world powers. The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India's efforts to circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri announced that based on an agreement cut by Tehran and Yerevan, Iran will construct hydroelectric power plants in Armenia. "We have agreed to launch the third power transmission line and also build hydroelectric power plants for Armenia," Jahangiri said in a joint press conference with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan in Tehran on Monday.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency displays photos of a ceremony attended by IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani (right) and IRGC Commander Mohammad-Ali Aziz Jafari (center-left) in honor of the IRGC’s Ground Forces. The event also hosted Brigadier General’s Jazayeri and Salami (center and left, respectively).  
  • Fars News Agency documents the meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and the Prime Minister of Armenia in Tehran.
  • Fars News Agency captures snow in the city of Ahar, in East Azerbaijan province, Iran.
  • Mashregh News highlights a compendium of photos from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei visiting the holy city of Qom.