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Iranian press review: Iran bets on a freezing winter in Europe

Meanwhile, legislator reveals details of draft nuclear agreement in Vienna, conservative government attacks conservative media, and deliberate arson burns 50 hectares of protected Anzali wetland
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani waves as he leaves after talks at the Coburg Palais, the venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna on 4 August 2022 (AFP)

Officials in Tehran hope Europe has a cold winter

Officials in Tehran have jibed that any delay in finalising an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear deal would hurt European countries as winter looms, after Russia dramatically reduced gas exports to the EU.

Since August, Washington and Tehran have traded three responses and suggested their demands regarding a draft of a "final text" in Vienna talks; however, on 2 September, the US said that Iran's last negotiation response was "not constructive".

'Iran is ready to provide parts of European countries' requirement, but they themselves cause torment to their own people'

- Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji

Since then, several officials and advisors to Iran's negotiating team have warned the EU about a "cold winter".

"Iran will be patient …winter is approaching and the EU is facing a crippling energy crisis," Mohammad Marandi, a top media advisor to the Iranian negotiating team, told Al Jazeera.

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His comments were acclaimed by conservatives and widely published in Farsi outlets inside the country.

On Twitter, Marandi wrote that Tehran's reasons for not accepting the EU's recommended text were the ambiguities and loopholes that the US left in the text on purpose.

Under the headline "winter will bring the West to its senses", the Iran Daily, which belongs to President Ebrahim Raisi's administration, echoed the same idea.

The daily quoted Iran's Petroleum Minister Javad Owji, as saying: "This will be a difficult winter for the countries importing energy… Iran is ready to provide parts of European countries' requirement, but they themselves cause torment to their own people."

MP reveals details of potential deal in Vienna

Conservative legislator Ali Khezrian has revealed some details of the latest text from nuclear talks in Vienna over which Iran and the US have been trading responses.

In an interview with the Etemad daily, Khezrian criticised the text, saying that the new agreement would be against Iran's interest.

"According to the text, Iran should take steps [in reducing its nuclear activities] before the US removes all sanctions [against Iran]," Khezrian said.

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He referred to the third appendix of a draft of the agreement and stressed that after signing the deal, Iran must stick to its commitments -  however, the US would only "end three executive orders, none of which are related to the sanctions on Iran's petroleum".

Khezrian added that 60 days after the beginning of the agreement, Iran would be allowed to sell up to 50m barrels of oil, "but only to the countries that the US would consent to".

He also said that according to this agreement, over 1,600 Iran business persons and companies would still remain under US sanctions.

Since April 2021, Iran and world powers have held talks in Vienna over a potential revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

In 2018, Washington withdrew from the accord unilaterally and imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran. One year later, Iran gradually reduced its commitment to the agreement and returned to its nuclear programme.

Inter-conservative row heats up

A year after the conservative Raisi took office, the first serious conflict has surfaced among conservatives who supported him, as the government began threatening pro-conservative outlets.

The incident came after when the state-run IRNA news agency accused the pro-conservative Khorasan daily of being at the frontline of criticising the Raisi administration.  

The Khorasan daily responded to IRNA's report by accusing the government of silencing its critics.

"This type of report is more political than media analysis, showing the dangers of [a future] suppression of criticism against the government," the daily added. 

Deliberate arson in Anzali Wetland

Over 50 hectares of Anzali Wetland in northern Iran were burnt in a day-long fire that Farsi outlets have reported was a deliberate arson.

The wetland covered over 15,000 hectares south of the Caspian Sea and was designated as a protected area under international Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1975. However, in recent years, large parts of the wetland have been burnt and dried up.

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Since June, this was the fifth deliberate fire in the wetland, the Aftab daily reported.

According to the daily, local people set fire to the lands on the lagoon's edge to burn the dried wild plants and expand their private properties.

"Some people burn the wetland to add parts of the lagoon to their property," wrote the daily.

Wetlands are protected areas in Iran, yet, due to the authorities' failure to enforce the rule of law, local and well-connected elites have destroyed hectares of nature reserves.

Meanwhile, the Shahrvand daily wrote that farmers owning rice paddies around Anzali Wetland were one of the sources of this year's five fires.

"Since the water level decreased in the lagoon, people's greed increased, and some locals thought of attaching parts of the wetland to their rice paddies," the daily concluded.

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