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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)

Economy and Trade

  • The Islamic Republic’s foreign exchange reserve reaches US$220 billion.
  • Afghanistan to import natural gas from Iran.
  • Iran opens Pars vehicle factory in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Egypt supports expansion of banking ties between Egypt and the Islamic Republic.
  • Assadollah Asgar-Owladi, chairman of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce: “The Chinese authorities no longer open trade credit accounts for Iranian businessmen…This harms the economic relations between the two countries.”
  • Demand for U.S. dollar in the Iranian market grows to a new record, 9,500 rials per dollar, even as the Iranian president tries to boycot the Dollar in oil deals.
  • Five oil refineries to be privatized.

Nuclear Issue

  • A French diplomat leaks information about the latest round of EU-Iran nuclear crisis negotiations. He describes the talks a “catastrophe,” says  Said Jalili told EU’s Javier Solana that Iran would not honor agreements between Iran and the EU made by former Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
  • Said Jalili, secretary of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council: “United Nations Security Council not able to stop Iran’s nuclear program with new resolutions.”
  • Ahmadinejad: “We have shown that development is possible without U.S. assistance…There is not going to be a third [UN Security Council] Resolution.”
  • Vice Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Abou-Torabi Fard: “Our victories in the nuclear field, especially after entering the nuclear club, are bigger than our victory in the ‘Sacred Defense’ [the Iran-Iraq war].”
  • Jalili heads to Moscow
  • IAEA approves Russian nuclear fuel for Bushehr.

Diplomacy

Human Rights and Labor

  • Former Iranian parliamentarian Mohsen Armin wonders why not a single member of the parliament protests against the death of the young student activist, Zahra Bani-Yaghoub who allegedly was raped and murdered in police custody. Zahra Bani-Yaghoub’s father is a retired member of the Revolutionary Guards and has started a campaign against the perpetrators.

Religion, Society, and Culture

  • Supreme Leader: “Theological seminaries should train students to propagate Shi’ism in the international arena.”
  • Davoud Ahmadinejad, the president’s brother, who directs the Special Investigative Bureau of the Presidency, said that “World Imperialism has formed a united front against Islam” and said a “committee” in the United States has initiated a work “assassinating the character of the Imam of the Age.”
  • Expanding Kayhan’s conspiracy theories, the radical Ansar says that along with Gooya, reformist E’temad is a CIA-run operation.
  • While Tehran Metro seems to have reached a compromise with Tehran Theater and the theater community of Tehran in the dispute regarding expansion of Tehran metro, Hezbollah  demands that Tehran Metro digs nearer to the Theater with no regard to pre-revolutionary architecture. The artists and art lovers should ”Listen to the words of the Imam [Khomeini] and perform the art of sacrifice… sacrificing their own interests for the benefit of the greater public good.”
  • Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, Friday Prayers Leader of Mashhad and member of Assembly of Experts: “Expedition of Iranian sports women to tournaments abroad is the same as expedition of Iranian women to the path of lust and prostitution…Women’s participation in sports is religiously impermissible.”
  • Mohammad Qouchani, editor of Iranian weekly Shahrvand, says the Iranian student movement is dead, since the students pursue scientific goals, not political ideologies, and leave politics to politicians.

Politics

  • Ali Ahmadi appointed new minister of education.
  • Controversy surrounds parliamentarian’s declaration: “As a parliamentarian, I have the right to criticize Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government. Even if Imam Hossein should return to this world to form a government in Iran, I’d criticize him [Imam Hossein] if he would violate the Constitution. This is my right and duty as a parliamentarian.”
  • Ma’soumeh Ebtekar, U.S. embassy hostage-taker spokesman, says that the reformist camp possesses a Basij spirit stronger than his, especially since he “is ‘blessed’ with a U.S. education.”
  • Terrorism in Iranian Kurdistan.

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