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Iranian press – Week in Review

By Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani, The Brookings Institute

Nuclear Negotiations

ISNA reported that during Friday prayers in Tehran today, interim prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said, “The nuclear negotiations are exclusively on the nuclear issue, there are no other issues discussed during the negotiations, and relations with the United States is not discussed, and the United States is still the Great Satan. However these negotiations could be a benchmark to see how they test, and afterwards we can decide in regards to other issues, to which of course until now the Americans have scored poorly and have shown they can’t be trusted.”

Mehr News quoted former diplomat Sadegh Kharazi today as saying, “The United States has no choice but to accept that sanctions be lifted in one stage.”

Fars News reported that during Friday prayers in Mashhad today, prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda said, “Yesterday’s speech by the supreme leader calmed society, while at the same time made our enemies got riled up and anxious.”

On April 9, hard-line Kayhan published an editorial written by editor-in-chief Hussein Shariatmadari, entitled, “Under the skin of the Lausanne agreement.”

On April 9, Khamenei.ir quoted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying, “If I am asked whether I approve or disapprove of the recent negotiations,
I would say that I’m neither for nor against it, because nothing has happened yet.”

On April 9, Fars News reported that during a ceremony marking National Nuclear Technology Day, President Hassan Rouhani said, “Our victory is this, the biggest military and economic power in the world, namely the United States, and its president, acknowledged the reality of a nuclear Iran.”

On April 9, Khabar Online reported that during a television interview, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said, “The Americans have stated inaccuracies about their own fact sheet, especially in regards to sanctions, to which they clearly lied.”

On April 9, Donya-e Eqtesad reported that the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi said, “Iran’s own fact sheet has been prepared and will be published when approved by [Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad] Zarif.”

On April 8, Fars News quoted Judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani as saying, “The negotiating team has a very difficult job ahead and we must support, appreciate and thank them for what they’ve done, so that in the sensitive and critical months ahead, the negotiating team can solve the nuclear issue; of course this support does not conflict with efforts in removing ambiguities.”

On April 7, Digarban reported that Tehran University’s Islamic Students Association wrote an open letter to the head of the IRGC, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firoozabadi. The student group stated that they are “disappointed” that the two men endorsed the nuclear framework agreement in Lausanne, and called their endorsement “a strategic mistake.”

On April 6, a headline in a hard-line Raja News report asked, “Is enrichment symbolic now?”

On April 6, reformist Shargh ran a headline that read, “Parliament’s Delvapasan (the worried) have started [up].”

Yemen

On April 8, ISNA reported that during a joint press conference in Islamabad with his Pakistani counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif called for an “immediate ceasefire,” adding, “We are fighting extremism and we must work with one another to solve this crisis in Yemen.”

On April 8, Mehr News quoted the Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firoozabadi as saying, “Saudi rulers attack Yemen in order to cover up their own domestic disputes.”

On April 7, Digarban reported that IRGC Commander Gholamreza Ahmadi said, “The Saudi government is nearing the end of its life.”

On April 6, ISNA quoted the chairman of parliamentary Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi as saying, “The bombing of the people of Yemen and the killing of women and children is like what the Zionist regime did in Gaza.”

On April 6, hard-line Vatan-e Emrooz ran a front page headline that read, “Yemen: Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam.”

On April 5, hard-line Javan Online published a report entitled, “America’s allies form a coalition [against Yemen] in order to blacken the grey areas of the [nuclear] agreement.”

Economy

On April 8, ISNA quoted the head of Iran’s National Gas Exports Company, Ali Reza Kameli, as saying, “Natural gas exports to Oman require further bilateral negotiations.”

On April 6, the head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, Asadollah Asgharowladi, told Mehr News, “Iran-China relations are based on long-term mutual interests and even if the Europeans enter Iran’s market, China will not lose its place [in Iran’s market].”

On April 6, reformist Shargh published a report entitled, “Iran’s economy after the lifting of sanctions: Management after the sanctions, [will be] tougher to manage than before.”

Photos

Fars News published a photos of a funeral procession in Qom, for seven Pakistanis “martyred while defending the shrine” in Syria.

ISNA posted photos this week of Tehran University professor Sadegh Zibakalam and MP Mohammed Navabian, debating one another at a nuclear-related debate on the “understanding in Switzerland.”

Also from ISNA, photographs of a memorial ceremony for the mother of former president Mohammad Khatami.

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