(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance compiling)
Economy and Trade
- Iranian Parliamentarian Reza Talaee-Nik: “Uncontrolled imports are to be blamed for the level of inflation.”
- Mohammad Jahromi, minister of Labor and Social Affairs, acknowledges for the first time that the level of unemployment has reached double digits: 10.6 percent.
- Armenian minister of energy: “Export of Iranian natural gas through Armenia can’t be ruled out.”
- Germany, Iran to establish joint bank.
- Iran to help Uganda micro-financing.
- Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani runs for Assembly of Experts, expected to challenge Rafsanjani’s chairmanship.
- Speaking at the Department of Theology at the University of Tehran Ayatollah Khaz’ali claimed: “I don’t understand the criticism of the president’s provincial trips… He even brings his lunch from home in order not to take advantage of public funds.”
- SMS campaigning begin in Iran as the country approaches March 2008 parliamentary elections.
Human Rights and Labor
- The Human Rights Organization of Ahwaz reports that several bodies have been dumped in the streets of Ahwaz and in Karoun River which have been identified as ethnic Arab Iranian citizens who were arrested during the October 2007 demonstrations in Ahwaz.
- Students at Isfahan University stage demonstration and sit-in at campus protesting against new disciplinary measures of the board.
- Islamic University Council of Marine Science and Technology University of Khorramshahr suspended by university authorities in the wake of student leader Abdullah Mo’meni’s “blasphemous speech” at the university on the occasion of the Student Day.
- For a later interview with Abdullah Mo’meni in which he deplores the state of “human dignity in the legal system of the Islamic Republic,” see here.
- Abbas Amir-Entezam, spokesman of the interim government of premier Bazargan and the longest serving political prisoner of the Islamic Republic, receives the prize of Human Rights Movement in Iran.
- In an open letter some of the most famous Iranian writers, poets and journalists protest against imprisonment of university students. The list of the signatories includes Simin Behbahani, Ali-Ashraf Darvisihian, Anvar Khame’i, Naser Zarafshan.
- Families of imprisoned student activists meet with Nobel laureate and Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi.
Society, Religion, and Culture
- Isfahan Metro Company ignores the judiciary, begins excavations for metro under the historic Chaharbagh Street.
- Ayatollah Sane’i in a meeting with university students: “You can’t guide a country towards scientific progress with reaction and superstition.”
- Ayatollah Fadlallah, the sometimes-spiritual leader of Hezbollah: “The Christian Church should condemn the crimes of the U.S. against Iran.”
- Tabnak supports Hasan Khomeini in his dispute with Kayhan, mouthpiece of Supreme Leader, which has criticized the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic for lamenting “abuse and monopolization of my grandfather’s political views by a minority.”
- Rafsanjani while visiting a hospital in Mesgarabad in eastern Tehran: “Treatment of special diseases requires specialized knowledge, but the economic burden should not rest upon the shoulders of the public…We could have made dialysis and other treatments a public service, but preferred to see the society get involved.”
- A parcel bomb explodes near the entrance of Khatam al-Anbia VIP hospital on Vali-ye Asr Street in Tehran.
Photo of the Day