Iran Press Review – 01.12.2014

  • Reuel Marc Gerecht writes in The Weekly Standard: “Predictably, President Barack Obama and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have decided to extend again the Joint Plan of Action, the interim nuclear deal they concluded in November 2013. Unlike the last extension, which was for four months, this one is for seven months; the “political” parts of the deal, Secretary of State John Kerry assures us, should be done by March, while further “technical and drafting” details may take until July. This is an odd situation: Obama agreed to the first, shorter extension last July, when little progress on the big issues had been made. Yet after 10 rounds of negotiations and numerous side meetings, in which, per Secretary Kerry, “progress was indeed made on some of the most vexing challenges that we face,” we now need a longer extension? This is necessary, the secretary suggests, because the great progress made is just so “complex” that it requires, as he put it, an “incredible amount of rigorous technical analysis of concepts.”
  • Benjamin Weinthal writes in The Jerusalem Post: “Since the world powers reached an interim agreement to slow down Iran’s nuclear weapons program last year, there has been an astonishingly fast-paced change by some European countries and institutions to ignore the Islamic Republic’s wretched human rights record. Put simply, a topsy-turvy situation is unfolding where an abnormal regime in Tehran is being mainstreamed as normal.”
  • Emanuele Ottolenghi wrote in Real Clear World: “The deadline for a nuclear deal came and went Monday with no agreement – just a seven-month extension of the interim agreement. Public comments by Western and Iranian officials, as well as media reports, suggest that enough progress has been made since Iran and the six world powers signed the interim agreement in Geneva last year to justify carrying on talking. After 11 years of inconclusive negotiations, there is only one possible final outcome: Unless the West folds to Iran’s demands, there is no chance that an agreement will be reached.”

Politics

  • Ali Larijani, Iran’s Speaker of Parliament [Majlis], exclaims:
    • “The most painful period of the Parliament’s closure is related to the dissolving of Parliament at the hands of [Mohammad] Mossadeq, who with a referendum and with the excuse that the Parliament is not cooperating with the government…took place, and its result was the coup of the 28th of Mordad (August 19, 1953) which occurred two weeks after the dissolving of Parliament, since the government, with its own hands, destroyed the most important supporter of a national government. But in the remainder of years, Iran did maintain a Parliament, until the fifth and to some extent the sixth rounds there were nationalist and religious figures, but during the dictatorship of Reza Shah [Pahlavi], there was nothing left of the Parliament other than its structure.”
    • “After one hundred years, one or several strong parties still cannot be seen in accordance with the name and reputation of [Seyyed Hassan] Modarres’s interpretation.”
  • Fars News Agency prepares a press package of interesting statements by Iranian politicians. The package quotes Mr. Mousavi Tabrizi, a noted reformist politician, on Ayatollah Khomeini’s earlier revolutionary activity:
    • “Those with a revolutionary background correctly know that the Imam [Khomeini] in the year 42 (1963/1964) wanted to reform the affairs of the country…he time and again stated that he didn’t want the Shah to leave the country. Even if he wanted it in the bottom of his heart he never expressed it.”
    • “The text of the letters the Imam wrote to the Shah and with the terminology with which he addressed the Shah were quite obvious that this Marja [Source of Emulation] for the Shi’ite world is after reforming the government and society, but when the Imam’s explanations and expediencies did not work on the monarchy, he stood against the un-reformable government.”
    • “The Imam wanted the Shah to respect the laws of the constitution, to remain, but not to rule.”

Foreign Policy

  • President Hassan Rouhani offers glad tidings to the nation of Mauritania, which also is an Islamic Republic, on the anniversary of its independence.
  • Mashregh News runs a piece with the title: “Do Turkey and Iran have one goal in Syria?”
    • The article notes: “Turkey is seeking to realize the illusion of empire and exacting revenge on Bashar Assad and his political system, but Iran believes the Syrian regime to be in need of political reform and knows Bashar Assad to be more honorable than all Arab and Islamic leaders that Turkey cooperates with to promote terrorism in Syria.”
  • Tehran’s Friday Prayer Leader on November 31, 2014, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani, commented on the spread and development of Takfirism:
    • “The development of this fanaticism and ignorance and deviance from Islam has grown and Wahhabism was formed.”
    • “They at that time with the power that Saudi Arabia, which is the founder of the government of the Al-Saud were associated and this thinking went to Arabia and to Egypt.”
  • Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamadani, a noted cleric, weighs-in on the appeal of Iran’s Islamic Revolution:
    • “The Islamic Revolution was a model that other countries have used, and this Revolution arose from the prudence of the Velayat, which is why it has remained until now.”
  • Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, commentson the situation in Iraq:
    • “Stability, security, development, and the progress of Iraq are the priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in this process we will not hesitate to spare any effort.”

Military & Security

  • Hadi Farhan Abdollah Al-Ameri, the Commander of the Badr Corps, praises the role of Major General Qassem Suleimani, the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds-Force (IRGC-QF) in Iraq.
    • Jahan News additionally carries coverage of the praise of Al-Ameri for Suleimani, noting: “The strategic operation of Jurf al-Sakhar took place with the cooperation of all resistance groups and Iranian friends, including Haj Qassem Suleimani.”
  • Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamadani also commented on Suleimani, noting:
    • “Our country is honored to have many Qassem Suleimani’s, Qassem Suleimani is not just one man but rather Iran is full of these types of politicians, and the greatest wish of John Kerry and Barack Obama is to see Qassem Suleimani, because wherever this politician is, the conspiracies are condemned to defeat.”
    • Another source quotes Ayatollah Hamadani as saying:
      • “We have many Commander Qassem Suleimani’s in Islamic Iran, which have excited the eyes of the enemy.”
  • Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President and current Chairman of Iran’s Expediency and Discernment Council, offers strategies to combat terrorism.
  • Fars News Agency provides commentary on additional procurements and developments for Iran’s Navy. It notes that “All of these platforms strengthen the fist of the Artesh[national army] in this year’s excersises.”
  • During the Friday Prayer Sermon on November 31st, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani also praised on Iran’s Navy:
    • “We know how much the naval forces of this country have served, and in the early days of the Imposed War (another name given to the Iran-Iraq War in Iran) they crippled Iraq’s naval forces.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei,addressed members of the Basij on November 27th regarding the extension of the nuclear agreement:
    • “We do not have any problem with America as a geographic entity, or a nation or a group of human beings. It’s a state like all other states. Our problem with the United States is that of American arrogance, pride, bullying, making excessive demands, [just like] what they said in the course of the nuclear negotiations. Take a look: They negotiated for months, and have now extended, after which they have begun making statements as before.”
    • “Let me say a few words about these issues. First of all, I’m not opposed to extending the negotiations, just as I did not oppose the principle of negotiating. We did not oppose the principle of negotiations, and explained the reason to the people. I explained the reasons at a speech, and now we don’t oppose extending the negotiations. Apart from this, let me say that our negotiation team, to be fair and just, is hard working and serious. They withstand, speak reasonably and do not submit to injustice. They are working. Let everyone be aware of this. Now, when it comes to the details and what is happening at the talks, most people are not aware of it. But no, they are working seriously, reasonably and out of love and their work is logical. On the other hand, the counterpart, mostly the United States, say something [new] every day. At private meetings and in letters they say one thing, and in their public statements they speak differently. Today they say one thing, and retreat from it the next day. When there is no clear and righteous path, this is what happens. They want to use the negotiations to solve their domestic problems. Therefore, they speak in this or that way. It is not so with our delegation, which with firmness and reason, is facing them. Of course, among the negotiators and the few who are facing Iran, Iran is alone and they are an army. Several countries behind each of which there is an army of diplomats, public relations people, photographers, analysts and the like. The most immoral of the Americans, and the British are the most insidious. Well, now they have extended the talks, but everyone should know – both parties to the negotiations and those who are concerned about this domestically and are following these negotiations. If the negotiations do not reach their goal, we will not be those who will lose most, it will be the Americans. We are honest with our nation. We will tell the truth to the nation, and we will say to them – and they have until now understood, and one can convince them with many reasons and proofs – that the real aim of the West and The Arrogance [the United States] with the talks is to stop the ever growing dignity of the Iranian nation. The nuclear issue is a pretext, and there are also other pretexts.”
    • “Some time ago, member of the negotiation team said something well. He said, if we don’t reach an agreement, heaven will not come to earth and it would not be the end of the world. Well, let it not happen. This was right. We will not lose as much as they think. They thought, if this happens, that would happen, but no, there are solutions, one of which is ‘Resistance Economics.’”
    • “However, they work in arrogant ways. Listen to their recent statements from the past couple of days. They say, ‚Iran should gain the trust of the international community.‘ They call themselves the ‚international community.‘ The United States, Britain, France and a couple of other arrogant states have now become ‚the international community.‘ Is this the international community? The 150 states and the Non Aligned who met in Tehran two years ago are not the international community…? When they say ‚gain the trust of the international community‘ it means ‚our,‘ meaning trust of the Americans. We do not want to gain the trust of the United States. We fundamentally do not need the United States to trust us. We do not need your trust. You trusting us has no significance for us, and we too do not trust you and your people do not trust you.”
    • “And then they say, Israel’s security must be preserved. First, Israel will be more insecure by the day regardless of reaching a nuclear agreement or not. You should know that Israel will not be secured, be there a nuclear agreement or not. But since you say Israel’s security must be preserved, I am telling you that this is a dishonest statement. The real issue for the statesmen and women of the United States, Israel’s security is not the fundamental issue. The real issue is something else. For the excellencies, the real issue is to keep the Zionist network happy which has the lifeline [of American statesmen and women] in its hands. This is their issue. Let Israel be or not, what significance has it to them? They have given their lifeline to the network of Zionist capitalists, those who both bribe and threaten them. They bribe them with money. They give them money, and they accept money. They give them positions, and promise of positions, and if they don’t deal with those who have the life line of American economy in their hands, they can’t reach high positions such as the presidency, cabinet ministers and the like. This is their issue. They also make threats. If they act opposed to the inclinations of this dangerous network, they will threaten them, threaten them with forced resignation or will scandalize them. You have seen all this in American life in the past years. One is condemned, the other one loses his name, a third faces a sexual corruption case, a fourth resigns, and another is assassinated. They have assassinated some of their chiefs, their hands are open! This is what you fear, and this is what you care about. The issue is not that of Israel’s security, the issue is your [personal] security. They are arrogant, those who speak like this, and we can’t deal with the arrogant. Well, if they have a reasonable word, we don’t mind, we accept reasonable words and accept just and reasonable deals, but where there is bullying and excessive demands, no! The Islamic Republic, from top to bottom, and the people, will not accept such responsibility. Know this!”
  • Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament on the extension:
    • “Extending the negotiations was a wise move.”
  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security Committee, states:
    • “Should the negotiations not reach their goal…the parliament will enter the process…but not in an uncoordinated way.”
  • Kayhan’s editorial notes:
    • “He [the enemy] only understands the language of power and strength. This power cannot be achieved in corridor negotiations. If the enemy shows enmity, one must deal blows to it, be it symmetric or asymmetric. This is how the most evil enemies can come to reason.”
  • Reuters reports: “Iran will convert more of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel under an interim nuclear deal with six world powers, making the material less suitable for building atomic bombs, a diplomatic source said on Monday. Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia failed to meet a Nov. 24 deadline for resolving their dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. They gave themselves until the end of June for further negotiations.”
  • Aaron David Miller wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “In the late 1960s, the Rolling Stones recorded one of their classic tunes: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The song’s philosophical message — to the extent Mick Jagger and Keith Richards thought about it — seemed to suggest that there are times in life when you can’t get what you want (most everything). But you just might get what you need (less than everything but still pretty darn good). Based on my years in and around Middle East negotiations, that tune pretty well summed up the approach to successful negotiations too. In every negotiation that worked, nobody got everything they wanted, no one got 100%. But they at least received what they really needed to make the deal. In short, the perfect was not allowed to become the enemy of the good.”

Economy

  • Bloomberg reports: “The “shock therapy” of a steep drop in crude prices, which have fallen to a five-year low, is no solution for OPEC’s loss of market share to U.S. shale producers, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude declined 10 percent after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Nov. 27 to keep its production target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. Prices at this lower level are no guarantee of a significant reduction in U.S. shale output, Zanganeh said in an interview in Tehran on Nov. 28, after arriving from the OPEC meeting in Vienna.”
  • Mehr News Agency reported: “On the sidelines of COMCEC Summit, Iranian economy minister submitted President Rouhani’s invitation letter to the president of Turkey. Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia visited Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) and discussed current issues and improvement of bilateral ties in economic fields. He also submitted President Rouhani’s invitation to the Turkish president to visit Tehran.”
  • Mehr News Agency reported: “The deputy head of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIOPDC) has said Iran will stop gasoline imports next year. Shahrokh Khosravani told Mehr News that with the operation of new refinery in Isfahan and the first phase of Persian Gulf Star refinery, Iran would stop imports of gasoline completely.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Defa Press highlights a picture of Ayatollah Khamenei alongside a photo of Ayatollah Sistani on a vehicle reported to be “on the frontlines of the resistance against DAESH” (the Persian/Arabic acronym for the Islamic State).
  • Defa Press displays photos of Supreme Leader Khamenei meeting with Commanders and officers in the Artesh Navy.

Source: 

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