Iran Press Review 22 June

Analysis by FDD

  • Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director, and Annie Fixler, Policy Analyst, wrote in an FDD Policy Brief: “Under the emerging Iran nuclear agreement, there is an inherent asymmetry between an expanding Iranian nuclear program and diminishing economic leverage. Tehran over time will develop an industrial-sized nuclear program with zero-breakout and a strong economy increasingly immunized against future economic pressure—and the United States will increasingly lose peaceful economic leverage to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The emerging deal does not link the sunset of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities to a broader conclusion by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is not engaged in any undeclared nuclear activities and its program is entirely peaceful in nature. The IAEA issues these so-called broader conclusions for states whose nuclear programs pose no proliferation concern because there is “no indication of diversion of declared nuclear materials from peaceful nuclear activities” and “no indication of undeclared nuclear material for activities.” On June 10, the IAEA issued the key findings from its latest safeguards implementation report and noted that the agency had reached a broader conclusion for 65 countries.”
  • Ali Alfoneh, Senior Fellow, wrote in The Arab Weekly: “While the United States has pinned its hopes for a ne­gotiated solution to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme on Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s government, the “shadow govern­ment” run by the Islamic Revo­lutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is actively undermining his authority and preparing to reassert its power. This power struggle, being played out behind the scenes in Tehran, centres on the IRGC Intel­ligence Organisation’s attempts to subvert the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and thus weaken Rohani.”

Politics

  • Resalat-News reports that the campaigning period for the upcoming elections will be limited to a period of 14 days.
  • Ramezan Sharif proclaims the 19th of Tir [July 10, 2015] to be the date for this year’s “world Quds-day,” an event featuring rallies and parades, as well as speeches by Iranian government officials commemorating the holiday established by Ayatollah Khomeini, founding-father the Islamic Republic.
  • Dowlat-e Bahar, an outlet close to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, releases the former president's address to a group of clerics on the occasion of the month of Ramadan:
    • “[The United States] has contacted anyone who in their view could be related to the Imam of the Era [the Mahdi]. They interrogated them, and according to a friend they have completed a dossier in order to arrest the Imam of the Era, they just need his photo. They know that the only fundamental threat to their hundreds year-old empire is the Imam of the Era.”
  • Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council, former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, addresses officials in Dezful, and ridicules Ahmadinejad's references to the Imam of the Era while blaming “the clergy” for supporting Ahmadinejad.
  • Ayatollahs’ Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mesbah Yazdi continued accusing each other of distorting the words and world views of Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Doaei, Rouhollah Khomeini’s ambassador to Iraq until the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980, shared information about Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Khomeini:
    • “One of my hopes was that this dear legacy of the Imam, should absolutely learn one or two foreign languages. I insisted that he should study languages. Luckily, he accepted, and he learned English along with his honorable wife, who has a BA degree in English... Since our ambassador is a lover of the Imam, good conditions were created for him [Hassan Khomeini] in South Africa. For six months, he stayed at a pension at the embassy and has developed a firm command over English.”
  • According to Kayhan, one of the Saudi Foreign Ministry documents leaked by Wikileaks, is an account of the Saudi Embassy in London financing the Ph.D. education of the son of Ata-Allah Mohajerani, a former Minister of Culture who lives in exile in London.

Foreign Policy

  • According to Alef News, Ambassador Hossein Mousavian’s address at the National Defense University was very well received by the military audience.
  • Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli, Iran’s Minister of Interior, comments on ties between Iran, Iraq, and Syria:
    • “The three countries which are active in the arena of resistance against Israel, combatting terrorism, violence, and extremism, have grown their cooperation and provided for areas of shared activities.”
  • Aftab-e Yazd reported on visit of an American academic delegation to Iran.

Military & Security

  • Hamid-Reza Moghaddamfar, a cultural and media advisor to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), comments on the Quds-Force in Iranian security policy, amongst other issues:
  • The Interior Ministers of Iran and Syria sign a memorandum of understanding concerning safeguarding Syria’s internal security.
  • Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the Commander of the Artesh (national Army) Navy, states:
    • “The presence of the 34th naval flotilla in Bab al-Mandeb was a strong fist to the mouth of those who speak absurdities.”
  • The Bandar Abbas support vessel and Alvand destroyer, which make-up the Artesh Navy’s 35th naval flotilla, reportedly went out into open water today to “provide security for the shipping lanes of the country.”
  • According to Etemaad, Wikileaks’ disclosure of thousands of files from the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia is because of the work of hackers from “the Cyber Army of Yemen.”

Nuclear Issue

  • President Hassan Rouhani comments on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy, and proclaims:
    • “This important work has progressed and will progress within the framework of directives of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution, the Supreme National Security Council, and the constitution.”
  • Ayatollah Khatami, an interim Friday Prayer leader for Tehran, and member of Iran’s Guardian Council, states:
    • “Condemning the negotiators is wrong; for they are the real soldiers of the system.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Nasrollah Pejmanfar, a member of parliament from Mashhad, comments on the issue of inspection of military facilities and claims that they “have no meaning.”
  • Sharq discusses the role of Ali Larijani, parliamentary speaker, in watering-down the parliamentary bill concerning the Islamic Republic’s nuclear achievements. “We must not tie the hands of the Leader... It is the Supreme National Security Council which is in charge [of the nuclear diplomacy],” Larijani said to the parliamentarians.
  • Kayhan editorializes:
    • “By saying things such as ‘The United States is the head of the village,’ ‘the treasury is empty,’ ‘the drinking water problem and environmental problems will be solved as the sanctions are removed,’ along with the great mistakes he committed prior to the negotiations, he dealt great blows to the negotiation powers of the government.”
  • The parliament passed a bill clarifying under what conditions “the result of the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 Group would be valid:”
    • “1. Complete and simultaneous annulment of the sanctions on the day Iran acts upon its obligations... 2. The IAEA is authorized to engage in ordinary inspections of the nuclear sites. Military, security and sensitive non-nuclear sites will not be within the reach, so is access to documents and nuclear scientists... 3. No limits to achieving peaceful nuclear knowhow and research and development is acceptable.”
  • Fars News Agency surveyed the results of the Geneva Joint Plan of Action and concluded the sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic is intact:
    • “Continued sanctions against the financial sector have barred the automobile industry to develop.”
    • “Financial and shipping restrictions have created great obstacles in the path of trade [in the field of importing basic goods].”
    • “Transfer of foreign currency when exporting petrochemical goods is facing problems.”

Economy & Trade

  • According to Sharq, a “30,000 page long report” on “mismanagement” in the Martyr’s Foundation under Masoud Zaribafan, its previous director, is meeting resistance in the Social Affairs Committee of the parliament and is not likely to be subject to open debate in the parliament.
  • Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ezhehi, spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, says the courts will soon issue Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani’s ruling.
  • Fars News Agency reported: “The Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) announced that around $263mln of various commodities weighting over 465,000 tons were traded in its domestic trading and exports halls in the last working week (June 13-17). Approximately 4,225 tons of sugar, 46,320 tons of maize, 4,300 tons of rice, 340 tons of oilseeds Meals and 295 tons of barely were traded in the IME agricultural trading hall during the past working week.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • IRGC Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) Commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, pictured in Iraq.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency displays photos of celebrations in Tehran after the victory of Iran’s national volleyball against the United States.