A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Diana Timmerman, and Marie Donovan.
(E) = Article in English
Military and Security
- Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Haji Zadeh said:
- On Iran’s downing of an Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): “After this action, some large countries sent us messages of congratulations… the Israeli aircraft did not post information online; but the information was stored in it, so by destroying it, [the UAV] did not send any information.”
- “This is a spy plane, and usually countries do not comment on these UAVs, but given what we know of them in Syria and in some other places such as Karabakh, we are already familiar with this type of aircraft…”
- “Fighter aircraft are created for carrying out military operations and targeting certain parts of the country, and if we can discover them, we can see the damage; but the spy planes are primarily small and secretive… detection, interception, and destruction of these aircraft is very, very difficult.” (Sepah News) Read the rest of this entry »
(E) = Article in English
- Ceremonies held to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death end in disorder:
- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei indirectly attacks Ahmadinejad:
- “If we stop, we will be pushed back. And if we are arrogant, we will be thrown into the ground. If the authorities of the country become preys to egocentrism, arrogance… we will be dealt blows into the mouth. The path of progress is one of ‘no stop.’ We are still on the mountain slopes and there is a distance to the peak. The day when the Iranian nation reaches the peak, the enmities and evils will end…”
- Ahmadinejad’s speech on the occasion of Khomeini’s death anniversary ends in tumult as the protesters chant slogans against Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei. According to Entekhab, the protesters chanted: “Death to Mashaei,” “Shame on you Mashaei, leave Ahmadi[nejad] alone,” “This entire army has come for the sake of the Leader [who addressed the crowds before the president.”
- As Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic, tried to deliver his speech, the crowds chanted slogans against him: “Death to the opponent of the Guardianship of the Jurist,” “The blood in our veins is a gift to our Leader,” “We are not citizens of Kufa so that the Imam would be alone,” “This entire army has come for the sake of the Leader.”
- Rafsanjani, addressing a group of students from Azad University, attacks Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi:
- “Relying on the people and irreplaceable role of the people in historical events is extremely important. Extremism, on the other hand, is one of the pests dealing blows to the goals of the Islamic revolution. The path of moderation and renunciation of extremism have led to the progress of the revolution. But unfortunately we on some occasions witness some people who did not believe in the struggle against the Shah, or considered that futile or unnecessary, today directly or indirectly lead extremist and radical groups and present solutions [for the problems] of the country.”
- Mesbah Yazdi responds to Rafsanjani’s attack while addressing a group of Revolutionary Guards members from the Imam Ali Center of the Guards based in Isfahan: “At the time of the revolution, there were people who did not consider the Imam [Khomeini] as the ideologue of the revolution and solely considered him an instrument to overthrow the Shah… After the revolution, some of these people gained access to important positions in the regime and are now bidding their time as well… There are today some who are trying to monopolize the revolution to the benefit of their own interests…”
- Mehr News releases the list of provinces in which Afghan citizens are barred from residing, and university courses Afghan citizens are not allowed to attend.
- Iran executes three Afghan citizens and transfers their bodies to families in Afghanistan.
- [E] Ahmadinejad will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Beijing next week just days before another round of talks between Tehran and the world powers in Moscow.
Military and Security
- Khamenei: “The noise and threats that authorities of the usurping Zionist regime make against Iran are because of their fear, terror and powerlessness… The heads of the Zionist regime know that today they are more vulnerable than ever. Any incorrect move of theirs will strike their own heads like lightening…”
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Khamenei: Islamic Revolution source of inspiration for all revolutions – Addressing Iranian Air Force personnel, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran did not claim the Islamic Awakening in the region was initiated by Iran. However, he stated, “no one can ignore the fact that the waves of Islamic Awakening have been inspired by the victory of Islamic Revolution”. He underlined that the latest developments in the region and the Islamic Awakening proved that the Iranian nation is moving in the right path and that the Islamic Revolution has flourished and is dynamically moving forward towards its goals, 33 years after its victory. Ayatollah Khamenei added that slogans of the Iranian nation have prevailed over the region and the nations following global arrogance have now stood by Iran pursuing the same goals.
Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Iran holds the key to the fate of the US president and government – Brigadier General Seyyed Mas’ud Jazayeri said that “Many high level strategic experts believe that the key to the American government is in Tehran’s hands. Thus the ridiculous dance of both war-mongering and peace-making of the White House are meaningless… Iran pays no attention to this ludicrous carrot-and-stick policy and instead thinks about its own ideals and aims.” Jazayeri added that Iran pursues its objectives and causes without considering the US carrot and stick policy adding that Washington’s message of peace or war is worthless to Tehran and lacks meaning for policymaking. He said that the US and the Zionist regime (Israel) are not capable of taking military action against Iran because they know how vulnerable they are to Tehran’s retaliatory measures. Moreover, The US government is in such a pathetic situation that even their people hold street protests against the exploitative nature of the country’s governing system and chant slogans in support of the Islamic Republic.
Iranian authorities blocked a website Wednesday hours after it was launched by the U.S. State Department to be a “virtual embassy” reaching out to people in the Islamic Republic.
“In accordance with the cybercrime law, access to this website is not possible,” read a notice to anyone inside Iran trying to visit iran.usembassy.gov.
The semi-official Fars news agency commented on the blocking of the U.S. website, saying, “A decisive reaction by Iranian authorities has neutralized another sly plot by the Americans.”
The “Virtual Embassy Tehran” website — which makes clear it does not offer consular services — is an attempt by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to give Iranians a sympathetic view of the United States, which is referred to as “the Great Satan” by Tehran’s ruling elite.
The White House condemned the effort by Tehran to control “what the Iranian people see and hear,” and said it remained committed to engaging in dialogue with the Iranian people.
“Through this action, the Iranian government has once again demonstrated its commitment to build an electronic curtain of surveillance and censorship around its people,” it said.
The United States has launched what it’s billing as a “virtual Iranian embassy” in an effort to engage with that country more than three decades after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was closed and diplomatic relations were cut with Iran.
The project’s stated aim is to “enhance outreach and dialogue between the American and Iranian people.” A message by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in English and in Persian, welcomes users to the site. Clinton says she hopes it will provide an opportunity for citizens of the two countries “to communicate openly and without fear.”
“Because the United States and Iran do not have diplomatic relations, we have missed some important opportunities for dialogue with you, the citizens of Iran,” Clinton says. “But today, we can use new technologies to bridge that gap and promote greater understanding between our two countries, and the peoples of each country, which is why we established this virtual embassy.”
In accompanying text, the State Department explains: “This website is not a formal diplomatic mission, nor does it represent or describe a real U.S. embassy accredited to the Iranian government. But in the absence of direct contact, it can work as a bridge between the American and Iranian people.”
Direct contact between Americans and Iranians has been lacking since 1979, the year of Iran’s Islamic revolution and the taking of 52 American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, the embassy — dubbed a “nest of spies” by Iranian revolutionaries — has been closed and Washington has relied on the Swiss government to represent its diplomatic interests in the country.
For much of that time, Washington has been challenging, and sanctioning, Tehran over its secretive nuclear program, which the United States and many international critics claim is hiding a weapons program. Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful. Read the rest of this entry »