English: Location of Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
(E) = Article in English
Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors.
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reacted to recent Syria developments:
- “We hope America’s new position regarding Syria is serious, without deception and a true reversal from their arbitrary and mistaken position of the past few weeks.”
- “Unfortunately, with an incorrect interpretation of not fighting during Hajj [season], some mistaken [individuals] are attempting to undermine the philosophy of establishing the bara’at az moshrekin [Interpretation of Qur’an referring to political activities that take place socially during Hajj pilgrimage], though fighting blasphemy is one of Islam’s most fundamental orders.”
- “Enemies of Islamic society have noticed that conflict within Islamic sects is to the benefit of the usurping Zionist regime. On this basis, by establishing takfiri groups from one side and creating Islamic and even Shi’a looking media to expand divisions from another, they are seeking to make Muslims fight each other.”
- “Shi’a elders, including Imam [Khomeini] and others, continuously emphasized Islamic society’s unity. Therefore, the Shi’ism that propagates from media in London and America with the goal of expanding conflicts is not in the path of true Shi’a.”
- “To reach their self-proclaimed national interests, which are in reality the interests of Zionists and great capitalists, they are even ready to fan the fire and violate the rights of other countries and nations.”
- “We, as a great nation in this sensitive region, must show our grand and humanistic goals that are based on Islam for everyone to see and invite humanity to the achievement of the movement based on Islam with the correct outlook and by using Islamic strength.”
- “The achievement of the movement based on Islam is the construction of the nation’s inner strength that will be achieved with firm faith, peoples‘ unity, officials’ correct behavior, sympathy between the people and officials, and reliance on God.”
- “The movement of the Islamic system in this path and its ever increasing strength will certainly affect regional circumstances, just as it has been until now.”
- National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member MP Javad Karimi Ghodousi credited Iran with compelling the United States to forgo a strike on Syria:
- “When our military commanders introduced Syria as a red line and His Excellency [Supreme Leader] presented enlightening intelligence regarding events in Syria, the Americans noticed that Iran, as the region’s superior power, has the capability to cripple America in the Middle East and that no power can ignore Iran’s red lines.”
- “The Resistance’s will has prevented the implementation of the Americans’ will in the region, and this itself is a great victory for Resistance thought in the region.”
- “Americans know well that Lebanese Hezbollah, as a superior military power, could and can answer the Americans’ military measures and movements. Therefore, the Americans would be facing a big problem called Lebanese Hezbollah in return for attacking Syria.”
- “The Americans knew that in the case of a military attack against Syria, their destroyers and frigates in the Mediterranean would be struck by the missiles of the Resistance. Even the Occupied Territories [Israel] would be struck by missiles from Syria during the early days of the war. Therefore, imagining half a million dead in the Occupied Territories during the early days of war was very difficult for the Americans.”
- “In the early months of the Syrian adventure, Qatar led the terrorists, but the Americans accepted Saudi Arabia’s proposal to transfer the Syrian case from the House of Khalifeh to the House of Saud, and therefore the Saudis became Syrian field commanders.”
- “In the deal that the Saudis had with the Americans, it was planned that in return for transferring the Syrian case to the hands of Riyadh, the Americans would remove the Qatari crown prince. It was on this basis that America and Saudi Arabia entered a deal, and in the end the Syrian case was transferred from Qatar to Saudi Arabia and the Americans also removed the Qatari crown prince.”
- “Competition between the House of Saud and the House of Khalifeh caused the withdrawal of the Qataris from Syrian events and their lack of trust in the Americans.”
- “America’s withdrawal from militarily attacking Syria will have a costly end for Saudi Arabia, more so than others, because they will suffer a heavy defeat in this game for the deal they struck with the Americans.”
- Fars News Agency characterized President Rouhani’s rumored cinema executive appointments, Mohammad Afarideh and Rahman Seifi Azad, as “rumors, the very utterance of which are dangerous, bitter, and intolerable for national cinema enthusiasts.” According to Fars, the two have directed controversial movies that “broke many Iranian cinematic conventions.”
Regional Developments and Diplomacy
- Iraqi Hezbollah Mokhtar Army Leader Watheq al-Battat announce that the group would “strike Saudi Arabia’s economic artery” in case of an American attack against Syria. He also announced the formation of a twenty-three man “martyrdom-seeking” group to attack “American interests in Iraqi and Persian Gulf waters.”
- Iran and Syria signed a “food product and required medical supply” agreement yesterday.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that there are “no plans for meeting directly with American officials” during the upcoming United States General Assembly meeting.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Maziyeh Afkham stated that the official statement of the Gulf Cooperation Council is “interference in internal Iranian issues” and stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran affirms its complete control on the Greater Tonb, Smaller Tonb and Abu Musa Iranian islands… [UAE claims these islands]”
- Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Qazanfar Rokn Abadi stated, “The provocative measures of America and the Zionist regime against Syria is a step toward securing the Quds occupying regime’s security.
Military and Security
- Armed Forces General Staff Intelligence and Operations Deputy Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri announced that a joint IRGC and Artesh military exercise will take place and said, “If the intra-regional enemy wants to threaten us, we will announce that we have prepared ourselves to confront the most supreme weapons and tactics, and the worst scenarios.”
- Tehran Law Enforcement Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Sajedi Nia stated, “Ethical security plans are not closed in the capital and chastity and hijab patrols are active at the city level. We do not arrest regarding this matter, our basis is a warning. Individuals who have an inappropriate hijab will be transferred to police centers and will then exit the police center after speaking with specialists. Based on statistics, 97% of those who were guided into police centers were not arrested [afterwards].”
- The Attorney General Legal Adviser Abdolsamad Khorram Abadi stated, “Facebook was established by a Zionist youth named Mark Zuckerberg. This individual has been considered the fourth most influential Zionist in the world and has friendly and close relations with the Quds occupying regime…. Israelis consider Facebook as the best tool of expanding Zionist peace and believe that Middle Eastern social events will proceed to their liking with Facebook’s aid.”
- President Hassan Rouhani, Head of the Basij Organization Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, and IRGC Mohammad Rasoulollah (Greater Tehran) unit Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazemeini expressed their condolences to IRGC Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani on his mother’s passing.
- The Second Virtual Space Quds Area Cultural Battalion Gathering was held today with the attendance of IRGC Mohammad Rasoulollah Virtual Space Base Cultural Operations Deputy Ali Fallah alongside regional officials, who inspected Basij Quds Resistance Zone cyber performance and provided recommendations and identified issues.
- In his televised address, President Rouhani announced “full readiness” to negotiate with the P5+1.
- Foreign Minister Zarif said that his upcoming meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in New York is to determine the negotiations process and said, “Our framework is determined and Iran’s officials have announced these frameworks…. The opposing side should know that it must give confidence to the Iranian people, because the Iranian people do not trust their behavior. This confidence building must take place from both sides, and if this confidence building is undertaken, just as the Supreme Leader and the President stated, reaching solutions will not be so difficult. We do not want to enter negotiations [for the sake] of negotiations. We want to enter negotiations for solutions. Therefore, it is important to us that the beginning of negotiations is correct and we will emphasize this in our dialogue with Miss Ashton, to the extent that we continue these dialogues based on a strong foundation.”
- In a live televised address, President Hassan Rouhani said, “The Oil Minister has promised to add 30 million cubic meters to [natural] gas production from Southern Pars and other areas by the end of the year [End of Persian year is mid-March], which is a very important step.” He also noted significant budget shortfalls and the administration’s short-term economic plan to “boost production, create jobs and reduce bureaucratic formality.”
- Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh appointed former OIEC Managing Director Rokneddin Javadi as National Iranian Oil Company Managing Director.
Photo of the Day
- President Rouhani and First VP Eshagh Jahangiri in a meeting with cabinet officials.