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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)

Diplomacy

  • Ahmadinejad and the White House are closer to a rapprochement, writes Tabnak, close to former IRGC chief Rezai.
    • Ahmadinejad says he received “secret messages” from the United States.
  • Ahmadinejad refutes criticism of his recent trip to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Summit in Doha, which ended in a communiqué supporting the United Arab Emirates’ territorial claims against Iran: “There are those who criticize just about anything, even the sun, despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with the sun.”
  • Saudi foreign minister: “We are ready to expand diplomatic relations with Iran.”
  • Sarkozy: Iran-Israel war is likely.
  • Incoming Chinese ambassador meets with Iranian foreign minister.
  • Ahmadinejad to go to Egypt after restoration of diplomatic relations.

Religion, Society, and Culture

  • Oliver Stone’s visa processed; director to visit Iran.
  • Former president Khatami delivered a speech before 5,000 students at the University of Tehran on the occasion of the Day of Student. Some students chanted “Death to the dictator,” but most chanted “Long Live Khatami.”
    • Khatami said: “The religious traditionalist and the anti-religious thinkers both agree that religion is irreconcilable with freedom… But tradition alone can’t mobilize the young population and anti-religious thought alienates the majority.”
  • Ahmadinejad to become a “Hajji,” planning pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • Sixty non-Iranian theological students celebrate their marriage in the holy Shi’ite city of Qom.
  • RAJA reports of crack down against “communist cells at universities in Iran.”
  • Said Hajjarian, Khatami’s former strategist, commenting upon suppression of Sufis in the Islamic Republic: “Suppression of the Sufis in Iran endangers Shi’a minorities in the Muslim world.”

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to visit to Yazd province.

Military

  • Rafsanjani, commenting the controversial issue of the reasons behind the Islamic Republic’s accept of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 598 which ended military hostilities between Iran and Iraq in 1980: “Saddam thought we accepted the ceasefire because of weakness, but we did so because of our wisdom and because we wanted to avoid chemical bombardments of our towns.”
  • Baqer Zolqadr appointed deputy of Armed Forces Joint Command with the Basij Resistance Force.
  • Commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Ja’fari: “Imam Hossein University plays a crucial role in the future of the Guards.”
  • Commander in Chief of the Iranian Army: “Not a single movement in the region evades our attention… No one in the region can harm Iran.”
  • Representative of Supreme Leader Khamenei to the Revolutionary Guards: “There is no doubt about the things that Imam Khomeini has said about the [non-intervention of the] Guards [in politics in his Divine and Political Testament], but on another occasion he has stressed that the Guards should bar impermissible people from taking over the control of the regime.”

Economics and Trade

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