Iran Press Review: 28 August

Politics

  • Fars News Agency (FNA) reports comments by: Hojjat-ol Eslam Abdollah Haji Sadeghi, the Supreme Leader’s Deputy to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC):
    • “With the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the two camps of truth and falsehood became clearer, the camp of disbelief [Kufr] with the vanguard of America and oppressors [Mustakberin], and the camp of truth with the leadership of the Islamic Republic were charted...”
    • “It is important that we discern which axis the enemy in the opposing camp has concentrated on…” 
    • “Today the strategy of the Basij is the strategy of cultural Jihad, and the meanings, requirements and how-to of implementing cultural Jihad must be taken into account.”

Military and Security

  • Hossein Naqavi, the Parliamentary National Security Committee Spokesman states:
    • "The Islamic Republic of Iran certainly provides comprehensive support to the axis of resistance, and is to be considered the main victor of this field. Even the newspapers and supporters of the Zionists write: 'ceasefire means Iran's victory and the defeat of the Zionist regime...' Of course, we did not at all engage militarily in the resistance, but provided - and will provide - comprehensive support to the resistance in spite of the fact that we were not even allowed to provide medical aid to the encircled people."
      • Mardom Salari reports that a certain Abou-Mojahed, the Spokesman of the Popular Palestinian Resistance Committees, in an interview with al-Ahd News, claims that Gaza "won with Iran and [Lebanese] Hezbollah's help... Our fingers are on the trigger for the next confrontation." 
  • IRGC Navy (IRGC-N) Commander Ali Fadavi exclaims: “A division of labor has occurred between us and the Artesh (national army), and the IRGC is directly responsible for the Strait of Hormuz [in] the Persian Gulf and the Artesh is responsible for the Sea of Oman and free waters, and of course the IRGC-N is active in the Chahbahar area and has vessels in this area.”
  • AP reports: “An Iranian general said Wednesday that a purported Israeli drone shot down near a nuclear facility in the Islamic Republic flew in from a northern country that once was part of the Soviet Union.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes:
    • "What happened Saturday near Natanz [reference to the downing of an Israeli drone] clearly demonstrated the importance of the Fordo nuclear installations, which enjoy natural protection. [The event] also clarified the reason behind insistence of Western regimes on Iran disregarding these installations. The Fordo installations show the intelligence of the Islamic regime. The West is sensitive about Fordo because it cannot be targeted and because the West does not desire Iran to have secure nuclear installations. The event in Natanz taken into consideration, it is clear that insistence upon closure of Fordo reflects the aggressive nature of the enemies of Iran." 
  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, the Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) comments:
  • "The Arak Heavy Water reactor is being "redesigned" in order to counter "nuclear sabotage." 
  • Commenting on centrifuges, Salehi said: "The centrifuges at the disposal of the hospitals are old and dysfunctional since the countries providing the centrifuges did not help Iran because of the sanctions. Therefore, the [Iran Atomic Energy] Organization produced the first centrifuge and delivered it to the Ministry of Health Ministry. We have a contract with the Health Ministry to produce 10 centrifuges with 40,000 rounds. In the future, we will manufacture [centrifuges] with 80,000 rounds... Building and manufacture of new centrifuges is our right, and based on the Geneva agreement, there are no limits to to research and development. We have presented the IAEA with the latest generation of our centrifuges, - the IR-8... The mechanical tests are done, but have not yet infused gas into them since it requires presidential authorization."
  • Commenting on sabotage against Iran's nuclear facilities, Salehi said: "We did not desire to discuss the details of this issue, but since a German newspaper published it, it requires attention. Some Germany companies would send their components to New Mexico in the United States, and there, the components were tampered with - which is a very fine and precise work. Of course, some of the tampering slipped through our hands, but the impacts were not very serious... They did not manage to achieve their goals... Stuxnet was meant to cripple everything in Iran's nuclear industry, but they did not manage to do so. Sabotage in a different industry led to explosion and fire, and a disaster was imminent."
  • "In 2005, they [IAEA] twice asked for permission to inspect Parchin. They collected samples, and now they want to inspect it. Of course, we have no problem with this, but it is contrary to national sovereignty, since Parchin is a military site, and they can't visit it whenever they desire to." 
  • Reuters reports that “Iran has conducted "mechanical" tests on a new, advanced machine to refine uranium, a senior official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, a disclosure that may annoy Western states pushing Tehran to scale back its nuclear programme.” This is reportedly believed to be the IR-8 centrifuge.
  • Reuters further reports that the Russian Federation remains optimistic that Iran will experience sanctions relief the P5+1 and Iran will be able to meet the November deadline.

Economy

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami notes in a headline today: “Oil Minister: Iran will be ahead of Qatar in South Pars in up to 3 years.”
  • Homayoun Haeri, the Managing Director of Tavanir, a notable Iranian power generation firm claimed that “Iran has become the largest producer of electricity in the Middle East.”
  • Resalat-News reports that “In the first five months of this year [Persian New Year begins in late-March], Iran’s foreign trade has surpassed 41 billion dollars.” The exact figure provided was 41 billion, 620 million dollars. The report also notes the rise of Iran’s non-oil related exports.
  • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that “The U.S. gave European satellite companies Intelsat and Eutelsat Communications SA another six months to win back Iran's business lost after lawmakers barred them from transmitting Iranian programming.” The WSJ report additionally quoted the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’s Executive Director Mr. Hadi Ghasemi as saying that “There is no justification to renew this waiver. …The reason for sanctioning IRIB has not changed. Iran is still stopping signals from reaching their recipients. They use the broadcasts for their own propaganda purposes, while stopping Iranians from viewing international broadcasts.”

Human Rights

  • Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former minister and Presidential Adviser to Mohammad Khatami who has been imprisoned in Evin Prison since June 2009, writes an open-letter to Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Expediency Council Chairman:
    • "As you are well aware, I and other political activists who are opposed to the transformation of the Islamic Republic into a personalist regime ... were arrested on June 9, 2009... and imprisoned at the torture chamber of 2 A at Evin Prison. In the course of the interrogations, we were subjected to the harshest pressures... so we would make statements to the liking of the gentlemen incriminating Your Excellency... The interrogator... tried to force me to confess to having had expansive and secret relationship with Mr. Mehdi Hashemi [Rafsanjani] so they could prove their claim concerning a 'velvet revolution,' later renamed 'velvet coup,'... allegedly a treacherous scheme of yours involving the gentlemen [Mir-Hossein] Mousavi, [Mehdi] Karrubi, [Mohammad] Khatami and other individuals arrested... In the course of the interrogations, they did not make a secret that their intention was to fabricate a case against Your Excellency, and the gentlemen Mousavi and Khatami, as a pretext to arrest of these grandees..."
    • Demanding a free trial at which he can defend himself, (though such a trial is highly unlikely), Tajzadeh concludes: "I prepare this letter as a testimony to the center of power, wealth and communication's [reference to the regime] intent to silence the last independent and critical voice which leads the movement against personalist and absolute rule in society."

Society

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) reports that Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, a prominent Shi’ite Source of Emulation [Marja-e Taqlid] recently called into question the usefulness of 3G and high-speed internet saying, "Authorities should not merely think about the financial earnings of this program, and consider it as a type of religious intellectualism and academic freedom." RFERL further notes that that Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi reportedly called such technical amenities “un-Islamic.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • A young boy kisses the shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh in Qom, Iran, amidst a sea of pilgrims. 
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touches down in Ankara, Turkey, for Erdogan’s inauguration as President of the Turkish Republic.

Contributor(s): Ali Alfoneh & Behnam Ben Taleblu 

Click here to subscribe