Iran Press Review: 29 August

Politics

  •  During Friday prayers in Tehran today, Hojjat-ol Eslam val Moslemeen Kazem Sadighi warned the Rouhani government:
    • "The issue of the impeachment of the minister of [higher] education had a message and the government must get the message of this impeachment."
  • Mohammad Reza Bahonar of Iran’s Parliament [Majlis] reportedly exclaimed that: “I am sure that Mr. Rouhani is the same person that he claimed to be during the elections, and Mr. Rouhan’s slogans may have been electoral campaigning but he is the same one he said he was.”

 Foreign Policy

  • Former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki discusses his tenure during the Ahmadinejad presidency and offers hiscommentary on nuclear negotiations on the Shenasnameh TV show:
    • A. "In 2010, we established a special committee in the Foreign Ministry and began [internal] discussions. Our view, was that both parties [the Islamic Republic, as well as the 5+1 Group] both should believe they have achieved something. In reality, the basis is an international agreement. What we would achieve was clear. In the nuclear issue, our position was crystal clear, logical, legal and defensible. The important issue was what the counterpart would achieve..."
    • Q. "How come the nuclear issue was transferred from the Supreme National Security Council to the Foreign Ministry as the eleventh cabinet [Hassan Rouhani's cabinet] came into office...?"
    • A. "I put the idea forward on an occasion or two ... but the decision was not made... In the end I believe the decision was made with the approval of the Supreme Leader and it was the correct decision."
    • Q. "You mentioned that that a decision was made in 2010 the result of which is what we see now... For example direct negotiations with the United States in the nuclear issue..."
    • A. "With regard to our work, my understanding was that the viewpoint of the Leader was to limit the negotiations with the United States to the nuclear issue and the 5+1 Group talks. At that time, there were others who believed cooperation and relations with the United States be parallel with this issue [nuclear negotiations]. I had experienced negotiations with the Americans from Iraq. Back then, that was my responsibility. We negotiated with the Americans in Iraq - in the presence of the Iraqis - on three occasions. At the time, the Supreme Leader stressed in his speech in Mashhad that the negotiations solely for the purpose of the Iraq issue."
    • Q. "In your remarks, you pointed at the agreement in Tehran in the presence of [Turish Prime Minister] Erdogan, the Brazilian president and Mr. Ahmadinejad, the result of which was an agreement called the Tehran Agreement. How come the Americans did not remain faithful to what they apparently themselves had proposed?"
    • A. "Not apparent, it certainly was so. There were two letters, both of which I saw. Mr. Obama had written them to the president of Brazil and to the Turkish prime minister and had said Iranians may not accept [the offer]."
    • Q. "Obama had written the letter himself?"
    • A. "Yes. He had written, it is possible that Iranians would not trust [the principle] of giving [up] 20% [enrichment of uranium] and we should not [in return] give 3.5% [enriched uranium fuel] and I as the president of the United States guarantee that we will. My interpretation is that these two factors made the Americans to deviate from their path: First, they did not believe we would accept exchange of [nuclear] fuel, and [then] began saying: 'In every possible way, we told the Iranians we are ready for an understanding with Iran, but the Iranians did not accept it.'"
    • Q. "Meaning their calculations were wrong from the very beginning?"
    • A. "Yes, meaning that they did not want such an agreement to be reached and they thought Iran's lack of accept could [be used as a pretext to] start a second wave of propaganda against Iran. We however, had a clear position concerning 20% [enrichment]. The very reason behind production of 20% [enriched uranium] was the stubbornness of the foreigners and their lack of selling this fuel to our nuclear reactor in Tehran."
    • Q. "Which served medical purposes."
    • A. "Yes. The second reason, was... that the radical [elements] within the United States began pressing the government of the United States..."
    • Q. "Four years ago, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to the Supreme Leader... Do you recall how the letter reached your hands? And how you gave them to His Holiness?"
    • A. "It was more than four years ago. It was in 2005, in reality at the time the ninth cabinet [the Ahmadinejad government] had been in office for six months that he [President Obama] wrote a letter. He wrote another letter later. This letter was delivered to us by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and he [Islamic Republic Ambassador to the United Nations,] took the letter for him [Supreme Leader Khamenei]. We prepared the translation at the Foreign Ministry and sent it to the Supreme Leader."
    • The interviewer ends the interview by asking Mottaki's opinion about a host of different individuals. Major General Qassem Suleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) Commander is the last person, whom Mottaki showers with lavish praise.

Military and Security

  • Mohammad-Ali Aziz Jafari, the Chief Commander of the IRGC, writes the following in an open letter to the people of Gaza:
    • "Know that we will be on your side and defend your faith, aspirations, dignity, independence, complete freedom, your land in its entirety, your sovereignty over the entire Occupied Palestine, to the very end and will defend this sacred ideals."
  • The Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, Amir Esmaeli, comments on the alleged downing of the Israeli drone:
  • "Israel’s spying UAV, which was one of their highest technologies was destroyed at heights of 3700 meters."
  • "We allowed this UAV to reach its desired area because if we destroyed it near the border, there was a possibility that its carcass and the intelligence in its camera would not fall into our hands."
  • "The Shahab long-range strategic radar had a role in the discovery and identification of this UAV."
  • "The intelligence team of the Armed Forces were able to attain good intelligence after 48 hours of the drone’s downing."
  • Young Journalists Club reports that Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqhan had spoken via phone to Ramezan Abdullah of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Khaled Meshal of Hamas. He reportedly told them: "This victory brought glory and honor for the world of Islam and those who persons who had a role to play in realizing it."
  • Minister of Oil Bizhan Namdar Zangeneh praises the capabilities of the Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base of the IRGC in developing Iran's oil and gas industry. Zangeneh also says that Khatam al-Anbia is not taking projects away from the private sector.
  • Fars News Agency reports: "Senior Iranian military officials announced on Friday that their home-grown version of the Russian S-300 missile defense system, called Bavar (Belief)-373 has already been put into operation and has once shot at a target successfully. Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told the Iranian state-run TV that "Bavar-373 has fired a first successful shot"."
  • According to the Trend report, Jaish al-Adl took to social media to exclaim that Iranian government forces had been behind Rigi’s death.
  • Trend reports: "Iran's rebel Baluchi group, Jaish al-Adl has rejected responsibility for the killing of Abdul Rauf Rigi, leader of another Baluch group, Jaish al-Nasr."

Nuclear Issue

  • Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister is in Moscow and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Reutersreports that in a press conference today, Zarif said: "In that short period of time that is left, we hope that we can reach a positive result."

Trade

  • Assadollah Asgar-Owladi, Iran-Russia Chamber of Commerce president, suggests a replacement for the US Dollar with the Rubel and Rial in Iran/Russia trade relations.  

Daily Picture(s):

  • Friday Prayers held in the Imam Khomeini Musalla were led by Hojjat-ol Eslam val Moslemeen Kazem Sadighi this week.
    •  Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of Iran’s Guardian Councilmakes his way to the assembly.
    • The congregation in prayer.
  • The Speaker of Iran’s Parliament [Majlis], Ali Larijani, visits Qom province and surveys industrial projects.

 

 

 

 

Contributor(s): Ali Alfoneh & Behnam Ben Taleblu 

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