Adviser to Supreme Leader: We will never back down from our rights

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Former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, in an interview with Bashgah-e khabarnegaran, referring to Iran’s position in negotiations with the P5+1 stated, “The positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the nuclear negotiations were completely clear and precise and these positions were consonant with international law and within the accepted global criteria and framework.”

He added, “Our opposing side in the negotiations are the permanent countries of the UN Security Council and Germany; up to now, they have not accepted that the very minimum of Iran’s rights be observed and in the negotiations with Iran have put forward demands extraneous to the international regulations and that which Iran has accepted in the form of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Velayati, who is also chairman of the Global Assembly for Islamic Awakening, continued, “If we look behind the scenes of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, we see that perhaps some of the countries have a different position, but nonetheless the positions of America and its allies and subjects, in relation to the nuclear issue of Iran, they were alike and they say Iran must not benefit from peaceful nuclear technology.”

“During almost the last 10 years we imagined that after this question and answer the problems will be solved, but at every point we witness the P5+1 putting forward new issues … The spread of doubts, negative questions, and accusing Iran and exacerbating negative propaganda against Iran from Western and European governments doesn’t end, but Iran has never abandoned negotiations with the P5+1 or any other institution which has legal authority.”

Finally Velayati concluded, “we hope that the teams negotiating with Iran understand that we will never back down from our interests in preserving the nuclear rights.”

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Ministry of Intelligence Documentary on the Capture of “CIA Spies” Aired on State TV

Numerous news sites, such as Bashgah-e khabarnegaran, Fars News and Farda News, have covered and reported a film put out my Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence which was broadcast on Iranian state television, depicting how alleged “CIA spies” were trapped by the Iranian intelligence services. The fact that the story has been virtually reproduced verbatim on numerous websites is indicative that it has most likely been circulated by the Ministry itself. The name of the documentary is entitled “The Hunter in the Trap”.

“The Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic in its most recent confrontation with the destabilizing actions of Western countries could trap a professional team of CIA spies. This security success last night was broadcast in the form of a documentary by the name of “The Hunter in the Trap” on Sima [i.e. state television]”.

Several foreign nationals are named in the documentary and one by the name of “Matej Valuch”, a Slovakian citizen, claims that he was hired by “Prisma” a front company used by the CIA for intelligence gathering inside Iran in 2009. His contact was a man by the name of “Steven Lugano”, who Valuck later found out was a “senior intelligence official of the CIA who had the intention of implementing a very widespread intelligence project inside Iran”.

The documentary also claims that other foreign nationals, including a South African, “Steven Raymond”, and an American, “Mark Antony Wendiar” were also CIA agents working undercover, and posing as researchers of “biological products”.

These two individuals it is alleged were charged with recognizing the “scientific elite of our country in the sphere biotechnology and placed their names in the control of the American spy services”.

Another individual said to be a national of a country in Central Asia, is also said to have been charged with collecting information vis-a-vis Iran’s nuclear programme on the CIA’s behalf.

The names of a number of other individuals are mentioned who it is claimed acted as CIA operatives inside Iran, one of Moroccan descent and another a Malaysian national.

The documentary features an extensive interview with “Matej Valuch” in which he ‘confesses’ to his contacts with CIA operatives and efforts to establish contacts with Iranian nuclear scientists. Valuck also speaks of alleged CIA operatives desire to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.

Finally he expresses regret if he placed any Iranians in danger as a result of his cooperation with the CIA.

In other news

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, in a gathering of Basijis and Guards in Khuzestan province stated: “We are resolute with all the capacities for the accomplishments of the regime and revolution, like in the past we are watchful and we move forward in this path toward bright horizons”.

“The enemies of the Islamic Revolution are involved in a crisis and they imagine with the transfer of this crisis to other points they can control public opinion in their own nation”.

“Shabby, rundown and tested scenarios of the enemies in confrontation with the nation of Iran will only strengthen the pillars of the Islamic Revolution”.

“In the face of any kind of threat from the enemies, we have predicted severe reactions [in retaliation]”.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the former head of the Iranian judiciary, in the course of a meeting of the governing board of the Assembly of Experts and the specialised Commissions said, “the solution of the economic problems and livelihood of the people is the country’s priority, some are inattentive and don’t take the priorities into consideration”.

“The statements of the respected president and issues in the Majles and the circumstances of the future presidential election, must not deviate us from our original path. Someone who wants to come to the [political] arena in the future election and factions with premature electoral activism, must be careful that the basic issues of the country are not perverted”.

“Differences of opinion must be put forward in the particular framework so it doesn’t result in tension…the nation of Iran will always be present on the scene for its religion and defend its beliefs, in the same way that it did before, and it will do the same in the future”.

Former Foreign Minister: Principalists need mechanism for decreasing number of candidates

Former Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motakki, who is currently the Deputy Chief of the Front of Disciples of the Line of the Imam and Leadership, at the weekly meeting of the Front for the Patrons of Guardianship has said that “a mechanism must be defined for decreasing the number of candidates”. “As in the future election a notable number of candidates put themselves forward, but the reduction of candidates is an important discussion that is put forward amongst organizations and also rational leaders…it is better that before the reduction of candidates a mechanism is defined and on the basis of this mechanism decisions are made and the solution is that the candidates participate in this and the ordering of this mechanism and together reach an agreement”. Continue reading

Head of Majles Foreign Policy Commission on Cairo’s “Anti-Iranian Conference”

Alaoddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Majles’ Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, has an article in Farda News entitled “On the Anti-Iranian Conference in Egypt”. Boroujerdi is one of the most important personalities in Iran’s foreign policy establishment, and is reacting explicitly to news of a conference held in Cairo, while Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, was in town to meet with Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi. The conference addressed the sensitive question of the Iranian Arab population of the southern Iranian province of Khuzestan.

I have provide a translation of the article in full, below.

“The holding of an anti-Iranian conference with the title “The Arabs of Ahvaz” in Egypt, at the same time as Foreign Minister, Dr. Salehi’s trip to this country, is worthy of reflection, and below it is pointed out that:

  1. The timing cannot be an accident and it seems radical Salafi elements were the organizers of this meeting, who usually are vassals of Saudi Arabia and during the Hosni Mubarak era grew in Egypt, and had the aim of ruining the gains of this trip and preventing it. The comments of Ammar Abdolghafur, the advisor to the current president of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi, a radical Salafi element, is a clear reason for this claim.
  2. Saudi Arabia has been defeated in most of the areas of political change in the region. Thus it is struggling to prevent the improvement of the relations of these two countries, Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran, by drawing benefit from economic levers and Egypt’s need for financial help. [Saudi Arabia does this] because it deems these relations as contrary to its interests in the region.
  3. On the other hand, the United States is in serious disagreement with the daily spread of the influence of Islamic Republic of Iran in the region and the establishment of official relations between Iran and Egypt.
  4. The Front for the Freedom for Ahvaz, is an English organization, whose centre was in London and its elements acted as the mercenaries of the policies of England.
  5. The Arabs of Iran or to phrase it better, the Arabic-speaking Iranians, are amongst the best, most pious citizens of this land and the most loyal people with respect to the regime of the Islamic Republic and the sacred and sublime place of Guardianship.
  6. The manner and tradition of respect toward guests dictates that the Egyptian government should not have given permission for holding this meeting, especially contemporaneous with the trip of the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Cairo.
  7. Mr. Mohammad Morsi who today is the helmsman of the Egyptian ship, definitely has this point in mind, that laying the ground for the new Egypt only can be accomplished through reliance on the divine, sacred essence and reliance on the people and the national capabilities of this country. Deference to the arrogant superpowers and reliance on the infidels, in addition to being contrary to divine ordinances, will not have any political or material result for Egypt.
  8. Pakistan has undergone bitter experiences in its relations with Wahhabism during recent decades and the product of this experience has been [a number of] catastrophes, which every so often occur. In this respect Morsi must say to Egypt: “Ponder O Contemplative People, So You May Receive Mercy”.
  9. The final point is that the establishment of official relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is a test confronting the Egyptian revolutionaries, which shows up to what level they can makes decisions beyond foreign pressure, both open and hidden and domestic and foreign, in the direction of Egypt’s national interest and lead and guide this country on the right and principled path.”

 Image via Farda News

 

Website identifies 7 Revolutionary Guard commanders among freed captives in Syria

The foreign-based Persian language site, Digarban, claims to have identified seven of the Iranians who were held captive in Syria as Revolutionary Guard commanders.

It is also claimed that 2,000 imprisoned Syrians who oppose Bashar al-Assad’s government were released in return.

“Abedin Khorram, the guard commander of Urumieh, and Mohammad Taqi Safari, the guard commander of Bushehr, are two members of the provincial [Revolutionary] Guards who accompanied the 46 other persons. Three days ago, they were freed and returned to Iran.

“Karim Hossein Khani, the previous representative of the Guardian Jurist [i.e. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] in the Guards of Urumieh, is another freed member who returned from Syria in this group.

“The site of the Urumieh Guards and some other local sites on Friday, without pointing out the first names of these clerics and Guard commanders, gave news of their return to this city and participation in Friday Prayers.

“From Western Azerbaijan province, 14 people were from this group who Thursday evening entered Urumieh.

“Mohammad Taqi Safari, commander of the Guards of Bushehr, another one of the commanders of the Guards; news agencies announced he had returned to Bushehr  without reference to his position.

“The governor of Bushehr as the highest executive office in the province was present at the airport for the welcoming ceremony of this authority in the Guards.

“The local Jahrom News also announced the complete identity of the freed Guard, ‘Ali Javadian.’

“Mr. Javadian who is stated by Jahrom to be the chief medic of the 33rd ‘Al-Mahdi’ special brigade.

“ISNA and one local site also announced the identity of another three people, Adibi, Elahi and Hemmati, who are said to be members of the Revolutionary Guards.

“In some reports, Sadegh Adibi is stated by Jahrom as a commander and support for the 33 ‘Al-Mahdi’ special brigade.

“The same reports mention Mohammad Elahi and Amrollah Hemmati as the commander of intelligence operations of the ‘Al-Mahdi’ special forces and the deputy chief for human resources.

“From Fars province, seven individuals in this group were present. Information for the identity of another three individuals is not available.

“The authorities of the Islamic Republic have refrained from announcing the names of these 48 individuals, of which only some are retired [Revolutionary] Guards.”

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Minister of Trade and Industry acknowledges sanctions “crippling” Iranian economy

Mehdi Ghazanfari, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has stated in a meeting of the Supreme Provincial Councils that the current sanctions against Iran are different from those of the past and described them as “crippling”.

Ghazanfari also said, “sanctions have pressured the economy of the country and have been an obstacle for our securing its needs, because we haven’t had currency, nor could the Central Bank transfer currency  and nor transport for importing the goods needed by the country”.

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Ahmadinejad replies to the Revolutionary Guards on “electoral engineering”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in what appears to be a swift and frank retort to Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, has warned against the “management of the people” in elections, saying, “Anyone who wants to manage the people, the people will manage him [in turn].”

Saeidi, had said that it is ”the essential duty” of the Revolutionary Guards to “rationally and logically engineer the elections.”

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Khamenei’s representative in Revolutionary Guards: the “rational and logical engineering of the election” is the Guards’ duty

Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards in an interview with the Iranian Students’ News Agency on Tuesday, 8th January 2013, has stated that it is the “rational and logical engineering of the election” is the duty of the Revolutionary Guards, and has asked Principalists to put their differences aside in the future election.

Saeidi continued, “the Revolutionary Guards only explain the framework and criteria, which is not interference in the election, but the rational and logical engineering of the election it is our essential duty”.

Saeidi also rejected the calls for “national unity” which have been advocated by individuals such as former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and in contrast to some Principalist politicians such as Ali Motahhari and Habibollah Asgarowladi, and said he regarded former regime insiders turned opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, as “seditionist”.

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Former Reformist Interior Minister: We will try to free Karroubi, Mousavi and Rahnavard

Former Interior Minister and high-ranking Reformist politician, Abdollah Nouri, in the course of a meeting with members of the Central Council of the Islamic Society of the University of Tehran and Medical Sciences of Tehran, stated that “we will try to free Mrs. [Mehdi] Karroubi, [Mir Hossein] Mousavi and Mrs. [Zahra] Rahnavard and [the other] political prisoners”.

With respect to the prospect of changing the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, Nouri, who is a former member of the Council for the Re-examination of the Constitution said, “the constitution is not a sacred book and was written by the same individuals with the same qualifications, personalities and society and despite germane criticisms it for the prevention of disorder and chaos and the pivot for the movement of all [political] currents in pursuit of comprehensive reform and [who] form a critical front. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic was re-examined at one time and it was also predicted in [the document] that it is reformable. Of course it is not predictable at what time and in what conditions the decision to re-examine the constitution again will be taken. Necessarily, it is deserving of reflection and attention [whether] the civil institutions and defenders of the rights of the nation will have a bigger role and influence or the reverse. It will become clear with time”.

Hossein Shariatmadari, who is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative at the Kayhan institute and editor of Kayhan newspaper, has written a critical op-ed of both the Reformist and the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad government.

In the article Shariatimadari rebuts Reformist politicians’ statements to the effect, that Ahmadinejad’s turbulent relationship with the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, not to mention alleged “economic mismanagement”, confirms their early criticisms of Ahmadinejad. Needless to say, Shariatmadari rejects the Reformist’s conclusion i.e. that Ahmadinejad was always trouble, and defends Ahmadinejad’s disputed landslide electoral victory in June 2009. Shariatmadari is also sure to praise Ahmadinejad’s frontal assault on the “private interests” of the Executives of Reconstruction close to former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (though he does not mention Rafsanjani by name) and the Reformist political elite.

Shariatmadari is also keen to praise Ahmadinejad for “throwing the myth of the Holocaust to the wind”.

Both Ayatollah Khamenei and Shariatmadari himself find themselves in a bind, since they confirmed and defended Ahmadinejad after the unparalleled post-election unrest which witnessed up to 3 million people demonstrate through Tehran’s streets in protest of alleged vote rigging. They had not foreseen that their relationship with Ahmadinejad would also come under strain, as the president sought to consolidate and aggrandise his position and that of his close-knit circle of allies, in the political establishment of the Islamic Republic.

Shariatmadari states that a “deviant circle” has appeared in the midst of the Ahmadinejad government, which has strayed from “some Islamic and revolutionary and popular teachings”. He goes on, “if only Mr. Ahmadinejad had kept guard of the vote of the people and the sanctity of the election of the people and according to the enemy, had not broken the pact of friendship. The people voted for Ahmadinejad in 2005 and not to the deviant current. The trust of the people which is a sacred custodianship in his possession, must not fall to the deviant current. Does Mr. Ahmadinejad not see that the closer he gets to the deviant current, by the same amount he distances himself from the people and the authentic line of the revolution?”

President Ahmadinejad’s press advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who is currently serving an ongoing sentence in Evin jail, has been replaced as head of the Islamic Republic News Agency. In accordance with an order by Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Majid Amidi Sharaki, has been appointed to Javanfekr’s position.

Javanfekr who was previously a special correspondent for IRNA, based in the Supreme Leader’s office, returned to Evin jail, after a stint in hospital and during that time was visited by President Ahmadinejad.

This comes after Ahmadinejad was not permitted to visit Evin prison by the Judiciary in October 2012, which led to a fiery exchange between the president and judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

Javanfekr’s position as government representative to the supervisory council of Seda va Sima, the Islamic Republic state broadcasting service, was also given to government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham.

Gholamreza Kateb, the Spokesman for the Majles Budgetary and Planning Commission, quoting the Minister of Oil, Rostam Qassemi, has said that the sale of oil has decreased by 40% and gas revenues have decreased by 45%, compared with the same time last year.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Ali Akbar Javanfekr in hospital before the latter returns to Evin prison via Fars News

Kayhan Editor claims Saudi Arabia sent money to Green Movement, but foiled due to banking issues

Hossein Shariatmadari, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative at Kayhan newspaper claimed in the course of a meeting in Yazd that “Saudi Arabia sent money for the leaders of the sedition [i.e. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the nominal heads of the Green Movement] but banking issues were an obstacle to its transfer to Iran”. Shariatmadari continued, “if not for the shadow of the [Ayatollah Khamenei], until now the revolution would have been defeated a 100 times and would have seen the country trampled under the feet of foreign militaries…Today our country is in the strongest circumstances since the revolution and the enemy is in the weakest of condition”. Continue reading