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Iran Press Review: 6 Jan.

Analysis by FDD

  • John Hannah, Senior Fellow, wrote in Foreign Policy: “There are lots of reasons to be skeptical that 2015 will see a diplomatic breakthrough in efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons bid. But one of the more compelling is that there’s virtually nothing in the historical record to suggest that the Obama administration’s current negotiating strategy can succeed. Though rarely referenced, the United States actually has substantial experience in successfully curbing the nuclear ambitions of states, like Iran, that to varying degrees can be described as authoritarian, anti-American, and rogue. The number of cases isn’t huge, but there’s certainly enough to offer policymakers useful food for thought on what has worked in the past.”
  • Patrick Megahan, Research Analyst, wrote in Military Edge: “Iran continues to develop an expanding fleet of homemade unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Tehran announced its latest “suicide drone” on the heels of a massive military exercise last month. But a new, high-tech weapon developed by the United States Navy — one that can swat drones from the sky — could render Iran’s new aerial threat obsolete. Aboard the USS Ponce, which is permanently stationed in the Persian Gulf, the Navy deployed its first working laser weapon system, or LaWS, as the Navy calls it. The system is right out of a science fiction film. Unlike previous lasers used by modern militaries, this 30-kilowatt direct-energy can do more than just paint targets for precision-guided missiles and bombs. It can disable them.”

Foreign Policy

  • Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), meets with Hanif Atmar, an advisor to the President of Afghanistan. YJC reports that this is their “second meeting.”
  • Fars News Agency publishes an open letter by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) on the occasion of “unity week.” The letter promised to combat foreign attempts to cleave the Islamic world into sects.
    • On enemy plans: “The world of disbelief [Kufr] always fears unity between Shi’ites and Sunni’s and the entire Muslim world, and it well knows that this unity will lead to the honor and greatness of the Islamic world. Therefore, they attempt and invest in creating discord between Muslims, specifically between Sunni and Shi’ite brothers.”
    • “While congratulating the birthday of his Excellency the Holy Prophet and Imam Ja’afar Sadeq, the Ministry of Intelligence, in accordance with its inherent obligation and with detailed information about of the satanic schemes of the enemies of Islam, insists upon unity between Shi’ites and Sunnis, and will combat any projection of differences between Muslims.”
  • Reza Zarrab, the Iranian/Azeri business in Turkey enmeshed in a corruption scandal, sits down with Tasnim News Agency for an interview, where he stated:
    • “I had no relationship with the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad, and I have done nothing for the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad.”
    • “I have not convert and transfer one Rial for the Central Bank.”
    • “I have not done any illegal work…We have taken money and we have given back money.”
  • Tasnim News Agency reports: “Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian highlighted the importance of Africa and the African Union in Iran’s foreign policy. “The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches significance to cooperation with the African Union, especially the AU’s Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology,” Amir Abdollahian said Tuesday in a meeting with Paul Martial Ikunga, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology.”

Military & Security

  • Fars News Agency reports on “the equipping of a Jamaran Destroyer with a missile counter-measure system.” A photo of the platform’s chaff can be seen here.  
  • Grand Ayatollah Nouri Hamdani comments on DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State), notes:
    • “Today in Bahrain, Qatar, and many other Islamic countries, the enemies are after creating discord.”
    • “The enemy strives to create more DAESH-types, and the awakening and unity of the Islamic Ummah [nation] must be important for Muslims.”
  • Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, mocksthe military threats against Iran:
    • “All this cooperation and faith and support of the Velayat by [our] forces has caused the enemy to only use “the military option” as a slogan.”
  • Seyyed Ammar al-Hakim, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq’s Chairman, weighs-in on Iran’s role while in Qom, noting:
    • “The role of the Islamic Republic in military advisory and assistance in removing the dangers of the Takfiris is quite good and commendable.”
    • “The Iranians were not in secret operations rooms, but rather its advisors were on the front lines providing [assistance]. Commander Taqavi was martyred in these very fronts while he was providing advice to Iraq.” 
  • The late Commander Hamid Taqavi who was killed in Samara, Iraq, is commemorated in Tehran. In addition to Qassem Suleimani, the IRGC Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) Commander, the attendees included; Esmaeel Qaani, IRGC-QF Deputy, Morteza Qorbani, Armed Forces Joint Force Adviser; Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr, Judiciary Deputy; Ahmad Vahidi, former IRGC-QF chief currently head of the Strategic Defense Studies Director; Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani, Hadi al-Ameri, Iraqi Badr Corps Commander, Kazemi Qomi, Iran’s former Ambassador to Baghdad, chief commander of the Sraya al-Khorasani Iraqi militia, Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Alavi, Intelligence Minister, and Ammar Hakim, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, the Supreme Leader’s Representative to the IRGC-QF additionally attends the commemorative service.
  • Tasnim News Agency releases footage of Taqavi in action in Iraq.
  • Shafaf News releases a “documentary” on Major General Qassem Suleimani’s fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
  • Additional statements made by Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, the Commander of Iran’s Basij forces, during his responseyesterday to Hassan Rouhani’s claim that “our ideals are not centrifuges”:
    • “Anyone who does not subscribe to these ideals, and has done away with them in the name of rationalism and declares the struggle for finished, should sincerely admit he is not a revolutionary.”   
  • Press TV reports: “The commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces says Iran has marked a 40-km red zone into the Iraqi border to warn terrorists of any infiltration attempt into Iranian territories. Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan said Tuesday that the Iranian army warned the ISIL about any potential movement toward the Iranian border since the very beginning of the terrorist group’s incursion into Iraq.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, speaks during an open session of Parliament today:
    • “I give you confidence that the government and negotiating team has not followed any political or factional goal in the nuclear negotiations and will not.”
    • “Today in negotiations we under no circumstance speak to under about the principle of enrichment. This has appeared in the Geneva agreement, and in all our negotiations, in contrast to all the analyses which appeared after the Geneva agreement, where I and my co-workers kept silent and stay silent and will be silent due to the national interest, against all those analyses today, nobody is talking about enrichment outside of Iran, today, nobody is talking about the principle of enrichment, the only talk of today is about the amount of enrichment, since today enrichment and moving towards industrial-scale enrichment is proven to be a certainty, an people no longer doubt that, and all of this is thanks to the resistance of the people, the striving of nuclear scientists, and the pure blood of the nuclear martyrs.”
    • “Today nobody speaks of suspending enrichment, today nobody speaks of shutting down Fordow or Arak. Our technicians in the technical negotiations with their counterparts in the 5+1 group are busy with minute technical discussions about the details.”
    • “Today, even American and Western leaders, in speaking about Iran in relation to Iran’s opposition to weapons of mass destruction, insist upon on the clear Fatwa of the Supreme Leader. The idea of Iran striving to attain nuclear weapons was a great delusion and scaring lie in support of the Zionist regime.”
    • “Our side in the negotiations today has well understood that Iran committed to negotiation and is tired of abjection. We are a people of argumentation, and we do not accept unaccountable words.”
  • Fars News Agency quotes Abbas Eraqchi, Foreign Ministry Deputy and Senior nuclear negotiator, in its headline, reading:
    • “The new round of negotiations with Iran and the 5+1 on the 18th of January in Geneva/Bilateral consultations with America and Russia.”
  • Matthew Kroenig writes in the National Review Online: “As our lawmakers return from their winter recess, the Iran nuclear negotiations will be high on the foreign-policy agenda. The impetus in the new Republican-controlled Congress will be to immediately pass tough new sanctions legislation, but there is a better way to turn up the heat on Tehran while making it clear to everyone that the obstacle to a successful negotiated settlement is Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not Republicans in Congress.”

Economy & Trade

  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia and President of the Islamic Development Bank Ahmad Mohamed Ali in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday underlined the need for the enhancement of economic and financial cooperation between Tehran and the IDB. "I hope that the problems hindering further cooperation between Iran and the Islamic Development Bank will soon be removed in a bid to enable the Iranian companies and projects to utilize IDB resources," Tayyebnia said during the meeting.”
  • The Times of Oman reports: “The five-day Iranian products exhibition, organized by Oman Expo in collaborating with the Iranian Embassy in the Sultanate with the aim of enhancing reciprocal trade between the Sultanate and the Islamic Republic of Iran was opened at Oman International Exhibition Centre today. The opening ceremony was held under the auspices of Dr. Ali bin Masud al- Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry in the presence of Eng. Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Iranian Minister of Industry and Trade with the participation of more than 100 Iranian companies. The exhibition is considered one of the specialized exhibitions.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency displays photos of Mohammad-Javad Zarif in Iran’s Parliament for an open session.
  • Mehr News Agency and Farhang News highlights photos from the commemoration service of the late Hamid Taqavi in Tehran, while Sobh-e Sadeq displays photos from the funerary procession.