Iran Press Review 31 July

Analysis by FDD

  • Ali Alfoneh, Senior Fellow, writes in The Arab Weekly: “While persuading Iranian negotiators to accept the July 14th Vienna Agreement, and per­haps in an attempt to entice Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) not to oppose the controversial nuclear deal, the European Union has decided to lift sanctions imposed on key figures in the powerful organization and bod­ies linked to it. This is scheduled to happen on the so-called Transition Day, when it will be determined whether Tehran has lived up to its obligations under the landmark agreement.”
  • Ali Alfoneh, Senior Fellow, writes in World Affairs: “While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif celebrate their recent nuclear negotiating triumph, neither they nor their Washington-based fans should pop the Zamzam cola just yet. Back in Tehran, Rouhani and Zarif are encountering increasing resistance. With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in hand, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei no longer needs the duo and is likely to cease shielding them from domestic criticism as he has in their first two years in office. Worse, fearing their popularity, Khamenei may encourage the Islamic Revolutionary Guards to launch a political attack against the president and his allies. Rouhani is perhaps in a better position to defend himself than his “pragmatic” forerunners. Today, team Rouhani is not a one-man operation that emerged from nowhere but the product of the large “technocratic” and clerical network built by his mentor, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani.”
  • Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, wrote on the dismantlement of the Iran sanctions regime in The Tower Magazine. Access full article here.

Politics

  • State-sponsored Friday prayer clerics cautioned against efforts to re-establish links with the West following the nuclear accord:
    • Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Assembly of Experts member and Tehran Interim Friday Prayer Leader responded to U.S. President Barak Obama’s call to his supporters yesterday and sharply warned against an American military attack:
      • “We do not welcome any war and do not seek warmongers. If the Americans want to come and test their luck again, they should not doubt that their fighters come with airplanes but will be sent back to their cities in caskets. We will even pursue the enemy in aerial combat deep into its soil!”
      • “We do not intend to close the country’s gates to other countries. But we request officials to act in such a way to not give this false feeling to Westerners that we need them. They need us.”
      • §  “Some of these ministers from Western countries come and with utmost arrogance insist on their position and say that they should warn Iran about Israel, which [French Foreign Minister] Fabius had clearly said.”
    • Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, Assembly of Experts member and Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader, discussed European “greed:”
      • “We should not immediately open the country’s gate after the accord and permit some to plunder this country in the name of cooperation in resources and the economy.”
      • “Officials should pay attention that the people are looking to the Supreme Leader. The coming of the Europeans who have a record of centuries of stealing from Islamic lands and intend to fill the market with junky goods is not compatible with the Supreme Leader’s resistance economy.”
    • Ayatollah Mohammad Saidi, Qom Friday Prayer Leader, said “We will not trust America even with the agreement’s implementation.”

Foreign Policy

  • Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Reza Bahrami, denied reports that Tehran has coordinated with Taliban to reestablish their relations with Russian officials in order to combat the Islamic State (IS):
    • “Taliban has not place in Iran’s security strategy.”
    • “Iran does not accept the principle that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. It has repeatedly announced that it does not support extremism under any circumstances, because extremism cannot be controlled.”
    • “The file has not been closed on the martyrdom of IRNA reporter and eight Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e Sharif. It is natural for us to have intelligence supervision and control over the Taliban.”
    • “We have strived not to create limitations [with Afghanistan] and use all matters and phenomenon as a field for mutual cooperation. If all these issues are not look as an opportunity, the result will be zero and the game will not end in a win-win matter.”
  • Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait, Ali Reza Enayati, announced Tehran’s “determination” for “serious cooperation with neighboring countries in order to end the region’s crises and problems.”
  • Fars News quotes The New Yorker article in which various personalities connected to the Islamic Republic say they no longer chant “death to America.”
  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's official website releases the second issue of its online magazine: Khat-e Hezbollah [The Line of Hezbollah]. This issue is dominated by a piece on Lebanese Hezbollah and its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

Military & Security

  • A transportation official spokesman announced the cancellation of the Tehran-Ankara railroad until “further notice.” Turkish officials announced that a “bomb” damaged a train between Ankara and Lake Van. All passengers are reported safe.

Nuclear Issue

  • Ali-Akbar Salehi, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head, said Parliament has no need to ratify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
    • “This text, is not yet an agreement, a convention or an international treaty, which is why it is called Joint Plan of Action and within the sphere of competence of the Foreign Ministry.”
  • Brigadier General 2nd Class Yadollah Javani, senior Political Adviser to the Representative of the Supreme Leader in the IRGC, discussed internal government on nuclear agreement and the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy principles:
    • Q. “Can one say that the nuclear agreement has been fully enacted?”
    • A. “The answer is no... in Iran,... Supreme National Security Council must approve of it... and if needed, the parliament too can discuss it and there are no restrictions in this regard... this is why the Supreme Leader used the expression: ‘the text, be it ratified or not.’”
    • Q. “Will the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran... concerning the region, change?”
    • A. “An investigation into the past record of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy and the principles behind it show that the policies adopted are not defined according to passing material needs of the day, which would be changed because of change of circumstances... friendship and enmity, love and hate in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic are rooted in humane principles inspired by Quranic principles and is immutable... Friendship and enmity of materialist regimes is based on material interests. In order to maximize their material interests, they are ready to negotiate about anything and are even ready to thread upon the rights of other nations.”

Economy & Trade

  • President Hassan Rouhani chaired the 119th meeting of the Headquarters for Economy of Resistance Coordination:
    • “Free zones must focus on expanding exports instead of imports [so] the necessary condition is created to use the post-sanctions opportunity.

Photo(s) of the Day

  • Mehr News displays images of Alborz Group symphony orchestra in Tehran.