Iran Press Review: 8 April

Analysis by FDD

  • Clifford May, President, wrote in The Washington Times: ““The West Capitulates.” That was the headline on an article by Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Lebanese daily al-Akbar. He elaborated: “Victors and vanquished. This is the truth of conflicts in the world since ancient times. Only those who live with their eyes closed believe conflicts end with compromises.” Al-Akbar is an anti-American newspaper, sympathetic to Hezbollah, the terrorist militia funded and instructed by Iran. Still, can one honestly dismiss Mr. al-Amin’s analysis — and his gloating — as unjustified?”
  • Benjamin Weinthal, Research Fellow, writes in The National Herald: “Two items in the March 7 issue of The National Herald, an editorial, “Netanyahu’s Pyrrhic Victory” and an opinion piece, “A National Disgrace: Boehner Undermines the President,” take sharp aim at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 address to a joint session of Congress. The objections outlined in the National Herald to Netanyahu’s speech center on House Speaker John Boehner’s circumvention of protocol. Boehner reportedly failed to inform President Barack Obama prior to inviting Netanyahu. Sadly, the bickering about etiquette has been exploited to obscure discussion of something far more substantial: the danger that Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons poses to Israel, Greece, the United States, and the entire international community.”

Politics

  • Ebrahim Hatamikia, a noted Iranian filmmaker, likens himself to being the “dust” under the feet of Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds-Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF).
  • Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami is scheduled to lead Friday Prayers this week in Tehran.

Foreign Policy

  • Commentary by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in receiving Turkey’s President Erdogan:
    • “Today, the United States and the Zionists are enchanted because of the internal conflicts of some Islamic states. The solution to these problems, is the cooperation of Islamic states and engagement in practical, suitable and constructive work... The power of each country in the world of Islam, is in reality the power of the Islamic community of believers. The general policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that Islamic states strengthen each other and abstain from weakening each other. Strengthening Iran/Turkey relations serves the same end... We constantly emphasize that the Islamic states do not benefit from trusting the West and the United States. Today, everyone clearly sees the result of the deeds of the West in the region, [deeds] which are harmful to Islam and the region... If one does not see the hidden hands of the enemy [behind the rise of terrorism in the region] he is deceiving himself... Many Western governments, and the United States more than any other, are happy about these issues and do not desire to end ISIL... Opposition to external involvement is the position of the Islamic Republic concerning Yemen. The Yemenis must decide their future for themselves... Sorry to see some Islamic governments betraying [the world of Islam] by providing the enemy with money and opportunities.”
  • Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, visiting Islamabad, says Iran and Pakistan both are facing terrorism.
  • Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Marziyeh Afkham, notes that the recent decision by the E.U. court to re-sanction several Iranian shipping firms and a bank is “regretful.”
  • Vahed Ahmedov, a member of Azerbaijan’s Parliament, is quoted in a title by the Islamic Republic News Agency in a headline as saying: “The removal of Iran sanctions is in the interest of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” Ahmedov further cited the Tanap gas pipeline as a possible opportunity for Iran.

Military & Security

  • Major General Seyyed Hassan Firoozabadi claims that the West gave Saudi Arabia a “green light” to commence Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen.

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, weighs-in on Iran’s nuclear martyrs:
    • “The martyr [Shahid] Masoud-Ali Mohammadi was of our pride, an as Commanders of the front-lines of science, knowledge, and development of the country, sacrificed his life in the path of science and knowledge.”
  • Grand Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani, comments on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy:
  • “Iranian diplomats were committed to Islam, and showed its logic to the world.”
  • “The opinion of the Parliament towards the Swiss declaration and the negotiating team is positive.”
  • “This agreement is non-binding.”
  • “Resistance of the Iranian nation against the United States, foiled the strong option of the United States to impose its political will upon the Islamic Republic of Iran... America, which was trying to change Iran's political behavior, itself changed its political behavior. Contrary to its previous ways, when facing our people, it had to forget 'all options on the table,' [which the United States] replaced with the diplomatic path in order to solve the nuclear issue... The great Iranian nation,... will support the front of the nuclear diplomacy and will not allow the deceiving pretensions of the enemy, in particular the United States, concerning the recent negotiations,... to harm the trust between nation and state [in Iran].”
  • “Such an agreement has not taken place, fundamentally inspection of military installations is among the red lines [of Iran] and it will not take place.”
  • Ala al-Din Bourojerid, the Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Parliament [Majlis], notes:
  • Major General Mohammad-Ali Aziz Jafari, the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, addresses the various commanders of the force:
  • “The happiness of the people [in the wake of the nuclear agreement] is a valuable capital for the regime, the officials and the government. We must praise the Lord that he gave us the ability to create public enchantment... Doubtlessly, the Zionist lobbies will do everything in order to prevent the final signing of the negotiations. They will do so by fabricating lies and [spreading] Iranophobia.”
  • Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, dismisses The Guardian’s reporting that the Islamic Republic has agreed to open its military facilities to inspections:
  • Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Judiciary chief, praises the nuclear negotiators.
  • Fars News Agency publishes a lengthy interview on nuclear issues with the Head of the Parliamentary Nuclear Committee, Ebrahim Karkhanehei.
  • Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani receives representatives of various student groups:
  • An editorial in Kayhan condemns the public outburst of happiness as "excited acts of those raised the banner of Euro and the Dollar” in reaction to the agreement over the parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanese Hezbollah General Secretary, praises the nuclear deal.
  • Former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The announced framework for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has the potential to generate a seminal national debate. Advocates exult over the nuclear constraints it would impose on Iran. Critics question the verifiability of these constraints and their longer-term impact on regional and world stability. The historic significance of the agreement and indeed its sustainability depend on whether these emotions, valid by themselves, can be reconciled. Debate regarding technical details of the deal has thus far inhibited the soul-searching necessary regarding its deeper implications. For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests—and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years.”

Economy & Trade

  • Sadegh Kharrazi, a noted reformist and former Iranian Ambassador to France, is quoted in a headline by Islamic Republic News Agency as saying: “Economic reform without political reform is impossible.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Trade exchanges between Iran and the world states amounted to over $100bln in the last Iranian year (which ended on March 20). Iran’s exports and imports in terms of volume totaled 98.416 and 41.234 million tons respectively over the mentioned period, and in terms of value Iran exported $49.744bln and imported $52.477bln.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iran has been experiencing a positive balance in exports and imports of natural gas since March 2014, Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi said on Wednesday. Araqi said that Iran exported at least 2.5 billion cubic meters more of natural gas than its  import which showed positive trade balance over the past year (March 21, 2014-March 20, 2015).”

Human Rights

  • Elham Aminzadeh, a legal adviser to president Hassan Rouhani, states:
    • “There is no need to make the ‘Charter of Citizen Rights’ into law.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency displays photos of the 33rd naval flotilla of Iran’s Artesh (National Army) Navy being welcomed back to Iran, as well as the farewell ceremony for Iran’s 34th naval flotilla of the Artesh Navy, which is reportedly headed to the Gulf of Aden.