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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)

Politics: March 2008 Parliamentary Elections

  • Tehran University professor Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, in the reformist campaign group, says it is important to see more Kurdish candidates for parliamentary elections in order to get Iranian Kurds better represented.
  • Shariatmadari says he does not intend to run for parliament.
  • Kazem Jalali, secreatary of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament urges candidates not to make the nuclear issue the main theme of the elections.

Politics: General

  • Aftab reports on Ahmadinejad’s speech to parliament. Several parliamentarians touched his clothing and then rubbed their eyes and face as if they had touched holy relics. Another member of the parliament took the remaining water in a glass from which the Iranian president had sipped as sanctified water. He poured some on his own suit and drank the remaining as holy water. When Iranian journalists asked questions about next year’s budget the Iranian president said: “We have declared today and tomorrow holiday because of extreme weather. What are you journalists doing here in the parliament? Don’t you have a home and family to care for?” A scuffle ensued between journalists and Ahmadinejad’s bodyguards of the Iranian president.
  • Ayatollah Mohammad Tavassoli declares his candidacy for Assembly of Experts.
  • In an attack against the Iranian weekly Shahrvand, hardline Ansar accuses the editor Atrianfar’s close family members of membership of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and even involvement in the assassination attempt against current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the 1980′s. Ansar also claims Atrianfar was also a member of a group headed by Mehdi Hashemi, Ayatollah Montazeri’s son-in-law, who was executed because he did not reign in and subordinate to the bureaucracy his armed revolutionary group charged with”exporting the revolution.”
  • Khedmat, close to Ahmadinejad, says the government and the bureaucratic elites have “gained a new sense of confidence after the Supreme Leader’s declaration of support for the government.”
  • In Semnan, appointment of native Semnanis in official positions has become a sensitive issue, to the degree, that the representative of the Supreme Leader in Semnan asked the public to hail the Semnani born and newly appointed head of Semnan Province Bureau of Technology and Mining.

Economy and Trade

Diplomacy

Nuclear Issue

Culture, Religion, and Society

Military

  • Foreign Ministry spokesman: “What has happened between Iranian and U.S. vessels is only natural…The vessels intended to identify each other, and this has also taken place before.”
    • The Revolutionary Guards refute any rumor of threatening acts against U.S. vessels near the Strait of Hormuz.
    • Raja describes “demonstration of force” to describe Revolutionary Guards’ confrontation with U.S. vessels near the Strait of Hormuz.
    • Parliamentary Speaker: Incident was orchestrated U.S. propaganda.

Security

Human Rights and Labor

Photo of the Day



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