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Iran Press Review: 9 Jan.

Politics

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of Iran’s Guardian Council, proclaims:
    • “The enemy has reached the conclusion that in the future, a Leader is elected [in Iran] who is approved by it, since the enemy has plans for the next 10, 20, 50 and 200 years in the future, but, thanks to divine benevolence has not achieved its evil goals... History shows that the Americans have always pursued their own interests, but they are facing a nation, a state and a Leader who desires a strong Islam. They [the enemies of Islam] don't mind a weak Islam... The enemy knows if it manages to reduce the faith and beliefs of the people, it can achieve all its goals. At that point, it demands we no longer pursue nuclear technology...”
    • “As the time is passing, the enemy is investing more on the Assembly of Experts elections.”

Foreign Policy

  • Major General Mohammad-Ali Aziz-Jafari, the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), states:
    • “Attacking oppression and combating America and the usurping Arrogance are amongst the achievements of the Islamic Revolution that must be preserved.”
    • “Attacking oppression and combating bullies are amongst the achievements (of the 1979 Revolution) that must be preserved, we must keep the axis [lit. front] of resistance alive, and with steadfastness and continuity of slogans, proceed along the path.”
    • Inshallah [God-willing], God will assist us in advancing the goals of the Revolution.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Sedighi, the interim Friday Prayer Leader of Pishva, notes:
    • “America, in the eight years of Imposed War (the “Imposed War” is one of the names given in Iran to the Iran-Iraq War) brought the youth of this nation to martyrdom, and in relation to the war[s] of Israel with Palestine and Lebanon, supported the Zionist regime. And due to this, [we] must pay attention that the knot of the country’s economic problems will not be opened by the hand of America.”
    • “America is not our friend, but rather, our enemy and that is why it has levied unilateral and un-chivalrous sanctions against the nation of Iran, and with the assistance of Israel, martyrs [our] nuclear scientists”
    • “Hosni Mubarak and Mohammad Morsi had no problem with America, but their nation was starving, and you saw what destiny awaited them. And in line with that, America is not a healing prescription for any country.”
  • During Friday Prayers in Arak, Ayatollah Ghorban-Ali Durri-Najafabadi, a former Minister of Intelligence, commented on regional leaders, saying:
    • “The ominous fate of Saddam and Mubarak await the Al-Khalifah (the royal family of Bahrain)
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, weighed-in on the role of Islam in Europe’s development, claiming:
    • “Europeans know their industry, technology and sciences to be indebted to the noble Prophet of Islam.”
  • Elsewhere in his comments, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati notes:
    • “America wants relations with us to be that of a master and servant, and to have two countries in one situation take into account the needs of the two sides and negotiate accordingly, is not at all their in their thoughts.”
  • Interim Friday Prayer Leader for Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, comments on the terrorist attack in Paris, France:
    • “You have nurtured these insects and snakes in [your] sleeve…These terrorists are trained by you and your political support and those of the allies have nourished them.”
    • He additionally notes:
      • “We severely condemn the terrorist attack in France and we are sure that Islam does not allow for the killing of the innocent, whether the blood of the innocent is in Paris, or Syria and Iraq, or Yemen and Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
      • On who supported the killings: “America’s dollars, Britain’s pounds, and the euros of the European union are the agents behind these killings.”
      • “If you speak the truth and are after defending humanity, now that the soap of terrorism has touched your body, the way is this, to stop engaging in these satanic activities.”
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reports that Nicolás Maduro Moros, the President of Venezuela, recently touched down in Tehran.
  • Ali Tayyebnia, Iran’s Minister of Economy, meets again with Kuwait officials, as reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency.
  • Mehr News Agency reported: “Iranian FM, while visiting Muslim Lebanese scholars, asserted that Iran would always support national dialog, understanding and unity in Lebanon and would stand by Lebanon against terrorism and extremism, and Zionist invasion. A group of Muslim Lebanese scholars and the Secretary of Islamic Action Front of Lebanon who have attended the Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, separately met with Iranian FM to congratualte birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and to discuss the last issues concerning Islamic nations.”

Military & Security

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses the public on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad:
    • “Today, both among the followers of the Sunni [Islam] and among the Shi'a, there are hands to separate them from each other. If you investigate those hands, you will reach the espionage and intelligence centers of the enemies of Islam. Not only the enemies of Iran, or Shi’ism, but the enemies of Islam. The Shi’ism which is connected to the British MI6, or the Sunni Islam which is the mercenary of the U.S. CIA: They are neither Shi’ite nor Sunni, but both are against Islam. This is what we have been shouting in the Islamic Republic for the past thirty five years. We not only say it, we also do it in our actions. Most of the aid provided by the Islamic Republic to the Islamic world has for the most part been extended to Sunni brethren. We are standing by the Palestinians, we are standing by the devout people of the countries in the region, and do so because we know the issue of unity is at the top of Islamic issues today.”
    • “I hear some regional states have based their foreign policy on enmity against Iran. Why? This is contrary to reason. This is a stupid thing. Why would human beings commit such a grave error? We on the contrary, have based on foreign policy on friendship, brotherhood and relations with all the Muslim countries and regional countries both neighboring and non-neighbors. This is our policy. We have done so until now and we shall do so in the future.”
    • “It is expedient for our enemy to divide us from each other. To attack one country and receive help from another country. This is expedient for the enemy, and we shall not allow them. Who is the enemy? The enemy is American capitalism and the Global Arrogance on top of which there is the United States and the Zionists. Zionist elements. The Zionist regime in Occupied Palestine is a part of this dangerous network, and this deadly cancer which the Zionists have created in the world. One must resist them, and one must turn to Islam in the face of them, and to reach out to the writings of the Quran... The Quran says: Be harsh to those who show you enmity and are your enemies. Be hard to them. Do not be like soft soil, into which the enemy can penetrate. Be steadfast and remain standing firm... but be loving towards each other [amongst Muslims].”
  • Mohammad-Hassan Asfari, a member of the Executive Board of the Iranian Parliament’s [Majlis] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, proclaims:
    • “America and the occupying regime of Quds [Jerusalem] are the main enemies of Islamic nations,” and that Muslims nations can eliminate the discord between them by focusing on those forces.
  • Mohammad-Reza Naqdi, the Commander of Iran’s Basij Forces, states:
    • “The conquest of Beit al-Moghadas [Jerusalem] will soon be realized.”
    • “The policy of the enemy is not only creating discord between Shi’ites and Sunni’s.”
    • “Today, the blood of Shi’ites and Sunni’s in the defense of truth has been mingled together, and the Sunni martyrs of Sistan and Baluchistan is the prime example of such blood.” 
  • Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah,comments on terrorism and the attack in Paris (by analogy):
    • “Terrorists have advanced from Afghanistan to Syria and from there to Iraq, and at present, has reached those countries which have supported them.”
  • Kayhan newspaper runs a piece by Kamran Ghazanfari with a headline reading: “The role of America in the Imposed War (footnotes).”
  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-linked Javan Online attacks Khabar Online, close to Ali Larijani, Parliamentary Speaker, which had released an article on President Hassan Rouhani's criticism of the economic activities of the IRGC. After the attack, Khabar Online deleted the article from its website:
    • “In psychological operations, one of the methods is to make a lie appear true by constantly repeating it... Khabar Online, which for a long time has shown its enmity to the vanguard of the Islamic revolution and the media expressing the values [of the revolution]... has in a commentary on the statements of the president not only made used libel, but is ridiculing those on whose bodies the scars of holy war is visible... We wish the Islamic Revolutionary Guards was subjected to truthful criticism, but it is as if the hatred, malice and vengeance of those who were slapped in the face by the line of Khomeini... is now beyond the limits and control.”
    • “The Imam [Khomeini] said the Guards should not enter the rank of political factions. Has anyone ever managed to prove [the IRGC is engaged in] the opposite? The Imam's statement is not about entering politics, but engaging in factionalism. The Guards is not an ignorant classical force, which one day must die for the sake of security of those administering the Khabar Online website, but is the balancer of the revolution and fills its vacuums. As the guardian of the achievements of the Islamic Revolution, the Guards considers a part - and not the whole - of the elites of a certain current as counter revolutionaries and is insisting that the regime should distance itself from them. Therefore, it is natural that there are some who consider this as engagement in politics.”
    • “The usual understanding of corruption is such that public funds end in private pockets, and public funds of the Muslims are squandered by like-minded tribes and gangs. If it is so [that the IRGC is doing so] rather than generalizing, show proves of the Guards and the Guardians engaging in it.”
    • “When foreign contractors, ordered by the United States, would abandon projects, the IRGC would enter the scene so that the nation does not lose face in front of the enemy. When the Takfiris... [A reference to Sunni radicals such as Islamic State] emerged and shed blood from the East to Aleppo and north of Samarra, the Guards sacrificed blood so that the likes of editors of Khabar Online could rest in peace next to their wives.”
    • “Now that the Guards are responding to their divine vocation, and are defending themselves against the libel [of corruption,] there are some in the country who are raising the banner of corruption within this protective dam. But the blood of the martyrs of the Guards and the struggle of the unknown children of the nation in this impenetrable bastion of the Islamic Revolution will be its guardian.”
    • “If the management of Khabar Online wants to be a free man, we give them a clear proposal. What would be wrong if the personal wealth of the management [of Khabar Online] is compared with the belongings of 20 commanders of the Guards?"
    • “Believe us: Voice of America [Persian] is more decent than you. After the collapse of the former Soviet [regime] Dr. Hassan Vaezi investigated the reasons [of collapse]. In his research, one of the main reasons was attacks against the credibility of the main organs of this country by the West and media in cahoots with the West. Taking away the credibility of the KGB, the police, the constitutional court, Judiciary and [all] the like were examples of this. In the reformist era (the Khatami presidency), the exact same was done in Iran: attacks against the Guardian Council, the Guards, the Basij, the Intelligence Ministry and Judiciary took place at this time.”
    • “A new mission and a new dissension has begun within the regime. Therefore, it would not be unwise once again to say: The veterans of holy war and martyrdom should be ready!”
      • Digarban releases some parts of Khabar Online’s original article.
      • Esmaeel Kowsari, a Parliamentarian, attacks “opportunist elements within the government... including Khabar Online... who make baseless allegations against various institutions.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Dr. Ali-Akbar Salehi, the Director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), says:
    • “Based on our contracts with Russia... next year (beginning March 21st 2015) we will start building two nuclear power plants.”
  • Fars News Agency picks-up and reports on an article forBulletin of Atomic Scientists by Siegfried S. Hecker and Abbas Milani called: “Ending the assassination and oppression of Iranian nuclear scientists.”
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, additionally noted:
    • “The fundamental issue is that you should do something that the country is not harmed because of the enmity of the enemy. There are ways, and things to do some of which has been done successfully... If we just look at the hands of the enemy, who is saying ‘Sir, if you don't do this, the sanctions will remain,’ it is to no avail. The Americans are shamelessly saying: ‘Even if Iran gives concessions in the nuclear issue, all the sanctions will not be removed at once.’ They are saying this bluntly. This shows that one can’t - just can’t - trust this enemy. I'm not against negotiating. Let them negotiate, for as long as they want! I just believe one must rely on true sources of hope and not to phantasy.”
  • Reuters reports: “The U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers will meet in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear program ahead of a fresh round of talks among Tehran and major powers on the issue, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. The meeting will take place ahead of lower-level bilateral nuclear talks between Iran and members of six major powers expected to start on Jan. 15 in Geneva as well as a collective discussion among the entire group scheduled to resume on Jan. 18."
  • Ray Takeyh wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “This winter, Tehran has been a place of conferences and complaints.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday addressed a conference on the economy and bemoaned that "the economy cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world." Rouhani is not the first president of the Islamic Republic to grumble about the obstructionism of the parliament and the unelected branches of the government such as the judiciary and the security services…A conference in December at the University of Tehran saw purged reformers harshly criticizing the destructive costs of the regime's nuclear ambitions. It has long been the presumption of the Western commentariat that the Islamic Republic's nuclear path enjoys the steady support of the Iranian public. And yet the denunciations of that program by the representatives of the most progressive and popular faction of Iranian politics should testify to the shaky domestic foundation of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's defiant nuclear stance.”

Economy & Trade

  • Mehr News Agency reported: “Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade announced that Iran-Oman economic ties, particularly in the fields of oil and banking, would enter a new phase of extension. At the end of 15th Joint Economic Commission of Iran and Oman, the two countries signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement. Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Iranian Minister, said the participation of 200 Iranian businessmen and producers in this gathering proves Iran’s will to extend its economic relations with Oman.”

Human Rights

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported: “Security forces in Tehran have thwarted efforts by Iranian journalists to stage a demonstration to show solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. Journalists tried to gather on January 8 near the building which had housed the Association of Iranian Journalists before it was shut down by former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s government in August 2009.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Defa Press reports a photograph of “the efforts of a young child to see the Supreme Leader of the Revolution.”
  • Fars News Agency reports pictures of Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami leading Friday Prayers and giving a sermon in Tehran. In the audience was AEOI chief, Dr. Ali-Akbar Salehi.