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Iran News Round Up



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(Compiled with the assistance of Ali Alfoneh)

Sanctions

  • Hezbollah newspaper: “The U.S. is isolated in her attempt to impose sanctions against Iran.”
    • Putin: “Imposing sanctions against Iran is the act of a madman.”
    • Website reflecting former IRGC Rezai’s thinking: “The U.S. sanctions can be neutralized by shifting the foreign currency reserve to other currencies than the U.S. dollar.”

Nuclear Diplomacy

  • Nuclear negotiator Said Jalili and predecessor Larijani upon say Italian president Prodi “some propositions to solve the current crisis which currently are under investigation in Tehran.”
  • Jalili says a European delegation will visit Tehran next week.
  • Heshmat-Allah Falahat, in the parliament’s national security committee, says the EU proposal mirrors a recent Swiss proposal.
  • Larijani: Iranian and European views on nuclear issue begin to converge.
  • Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, says “There is no difference between Jalili and Larijani…The press makes small things seem grand…the brain of the Americans has suffered damage.” In English.

Politics

  • Hackers change Tehran Electricity Company’s homepage to inform public that Iranian minister of energy appoints close family members to top positions in the company.
  • Minister of Education answering the question if his children are enrolled in private schools: “Yes, you can put it this way.”
  • Vigilante group Asar-e Hezbollah’s weekly, Ya Lesarat Al-Hossein discloses a “secret society of foreign educated intellectuals” among “International Relations professors” at Iranian universities. The weekly also accuses them of receiving funding from the Soros Foundation.
  • Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham tells Basij: “Participate in the parliamentary elections in order to neutralize the enemy’s ‘soft warfare’.”
  • Mohsen Mirdamadi, General Secretary of the reformist Participation Front: “All we ask from our statesmen is to avoid adventurism and heroism and to serve the nation.”
    • He adds: “When abroad our president praises democracy that he ridicules at home.”
  • Former Parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karrubi criticizes former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami: “If the reform movement had a leader, the reformists would not be in the current sorry state.”
    • Karrubi threatens to disclose “truth” about [extreme views of] Khatami’s brother, Mohammad-Reza.
  • Mohammad-Reza Khatami: “Those grandees who claim they can mediate did not even manage to stop bans against newspapers.”
  • Ahmad Naghib-Zadeh: “Sound and healthy parliamentary elections impossible as long as no political parties are allowed.”

Military

  • Revolutionary Guards commander in chief, Major General Mohammad-Ali Ja’fari, contradicting previous remarks, claims Basij is not to be incorporated into evolutionary Guards.
  • IRGC and Basij must show “organizational adaptability” to defend the Revolution in changed circumstances.
  • Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani praises the role of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia in securing “internal order and security.”
  • Lebanese Shi’ite cleric Mohammad-Ali Hosseini: “The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are attempting to destroy the Lebanese independent Shi’a clergy… We live in the shadow of assassination attempts of the Revolutionary Guards.”
  • China denies sale of fighter planes to Iran.

Diplomacy or War?

  • Former IRGC chief, now Supreme Leader’s advisor, Yahya Rahim Safavi: “The United States can not afford a ‘World War Three’…The U.S. Army is disintegrating… Current oil price is 100 USD per barrel, which would double in case of conflict between Iran and the United States.”
  • Minister of Interior, Pour-Mohammadi: “A U.S. declaration of war against Iran is the same as the end of U.S. empire.”
  • New book on Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University: “The victory of all victories of our president in Columbia was grander than the conquest of Fao peninsula [during the Iran-Iraq war].”
  • U.S. “pharaonic” nature will ignite war.
  • Jimmy Carter criticizes U.S. policy on Iranian TV.
  • Iran says Cheney is behind everything; he wants to profit from $200/barrel oil.

Economy and Trade

Human Rights and Labor

  • Habib Lotfi, accused of being a leftist student activist, arrested in Sanandaj.
  • Sohrab Razaghi, civil society activist, detained and moved to unknown location.
  • Hermidas Bavand, National Front member and professor at Tehran University, denied travel abroad while attempting to leave Tehran for an academic conference in Qatar.
  • Social Democratic Party of Sweden criticize human rights conditions in the Islamic Republic of Iran in an official letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
    • And, yet, Condoleezza Rice can’t find time to condemn labor crackdown four months after Osanlou’s arrest.
  • Reporters without Borders protests against civil society activist Emad al-Din Baghi’s arrest.
  • Greater Tehran Police Chief: “In our dealings with criminals, we will use tougher tactics.”

Religion

  • Isfahan Theological Seminary to open an office fighting against “superstitious beliefs,” a reference to Ahmadinejad’s encouragement of Messianic beliefs.

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