Iran intelligence ministry: War may be averted with diplomacy

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Jason Rezaian at The Washington Post reported yesterday on a brief “analysis” which featured on the Ministry of Intelligence’s website entitled “The Reasons and Obstacles to an Attack on Iran by the Zionist Regime”. What follows is a translation of the article’s conclusion from the Ministry of Intelligence’s own website:

“We must take heed that one of the important and fundamental options for insuring the Islamic Republic of Iran against foreign threats and military threats from the Zionist regime and their enemy actions, is the serious decrease of internal disagreements and the strengthening of popular bases. We must try to keep the management regime of the country up to date and at a time when the country is confronted with extensive sanctions, increase the efficiency of the government. Of course mentioning this very important subject that any kind of military attack against the nuclear installations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, cannot have any benefit for the aggressors and it is certain that the ability of the Islamic Republic up to a considerable point can respond to them with all its capability and make them regret their ill-considered action. But it is clear that the outbreak of war and resort to force, is so serious and horrendous that the smallest neglect of it, is an unforgivable sin. For the same reason, for the prevention of war different options exist. One of those is the adoption of diplomatic and political policies and utilizing the potential of international forums, which is a necessary course and of course is less-costly. But on the other side, military readiness for confrontation with these hostile actions is also one of the most basic courses for prevention the outbreak of war”.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Intelligence is not responsible for foreign policy decisions, but it is crucial for assessing prospective threats to national and above all, regime security. The report repeats some past appraisals by organs of the regime’s security apparatus, that of Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards being especially noteworthy i.e. domestic dissent and threats have been deemed, at least for the time being, neutralised.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has similarly and on repeated occasions urged competing Principalist factions to work together and avoid their political partisanship from becoming costly for the regime, especially when the country faces economic pressure as a result of Western-led economic and energy sanctions.

What of course is noteworthy is the sombre emphasis on the need to avoid war and use diplomatic means to resolve the current deadlock between Iran and the West over its controversial nuclear programme.

Farda News has reported the statement of “the leader of Jews in Iran”, Rabbi Mashallah Golestani Nezhad, claiming that Jewish law dictates former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, be stoned to death, after “the confession…that the time she was a Mossad spy she [engaged] in illicit sexual relations [with Arab political figures] for obtaining information”. The Times of Israel has rejected the story which has since gone viral in the Arabic-language media and was first published by the Egyptian daily, Al-Masry Al-Youm.

In Domestic News

The neoconservative Raja News which regards Mehdi Hashemi, son of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as “central in the sedition of 2009” [i.e. the post-election unrest of 2009] have alleged that the Rafsanjani family have attempted to orchestrate and fabricate the “atmosphere in the media claiming Mehdi Hashemi’s heart trouble”. Raja News claims to have information that not only was Hashemi’s heart trouble “never serious”, “but this fabricated atmosphere took place with the goal of creating an excuse to stop the process of investigation, freedom and leaving unfinished the case of Mehdi Hashemi”.

Raja News also claims that a hospital employee told them that in addition to the normal hospital meal of chick kebab, Hashemi was also brought two portions of a “fatty” Iranian stew known as “dizi”, as well as potato chips and “pofak” the Iranian equivalent of Cheetos.

Bashgah-e khabarnegaran close to the Revolutionary Guards adds that the results of Mehdi Hashemi’s angiography show no signs of heart trouble or related issues.

Hardline Serat News has attacked Fatemeh Hashemi, daughter of former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for giving an interview to Raha TV, the newly established news channel of controversial French-Iranian businessman and anti-regime political activist, Amir Hossein Jahanshahi. Also of note is that rather than refer to Rafsanjani as Ayatollah, the article refers to him as Hojjat al-Islam, a title which is lower down in the Shi’i clerical hierarchy.

Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, the longstanding head of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office, speaking at a meeting held at the Centre for Jurisprudence of the Immaculate Imams, said that “separating the clergy from the regime is impossible, because the clergy and regime of the Islamic Republic have become mixed [together]”.

Mohammadi Golpayegani added that “this Islamic awakening [i.e. the Islamic Republic’s term for what is often referred to in the West as the Arab Spring] originated in the Islamic Revolution [of Iran] and the preservation of the Islamic seminary, given the role of the clergy in this awakening, is important and sensitive”.

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