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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his help compiling)

Economy and Trade

Diplomacy

Politics

  • Reformist parliamentarian Emad Afrough explains why he does not intend to run for the next parliament: “Our political behavior does not enjoy a firm theoretical foundation and strategy. I think we have put all our eggs in the basket of politics… Besides the practitioners of politics there is a need for theoreticians who study the theoretical dimensions of politics… The problems of our society will not be solved by politics alone, but by criticism in the public sphere. The more deeply informed the public is, the better armed it is to defend their rights. [Such a public] will prohibit violation of its rights in the name of religion in the realm of power…We really need to increase the courage of the public….”
  • Ansar, representing the views of the Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante group, engages in character assassination against former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai, who sponsors Tabnak. According to Ansar-e Hezbollah, Rezai is no longer a revolutionary and “principalist” candidate.
  • The Iranian parliamentarian who drank the remaining water from the Iranian president’s half empty glass of water as if it was holy water explains: “I was thirsty, I saw a glass of water and I drank it.” Sudani also refuted earlier reports that he threw the rest of the water on his suit.
  • Vali-Allah Ra’iyat, member of the Iranian parliament: “Mr. President, you talk of social justice, but why are the people of Qaem-Shahr, Joybar, Shirgah and Kiya Kola paying the price for the poor management and incompetence of the Ministry of Petroleum?… Have you any idea of the hardships of the people in the cold winter months without natural gas or other means of warming the houses?”
    • Referring to Ahmadinejad’s promise to distribute a share of the oil money among Iranians, Ra’iyat said: “We don’t want the oil money. Just give us natural gas.”
    • Ahmadinejad promises that the natural gas shortage in the northern provinces will be “solved by Tuesday.”

Politics: March 2008 parliamentary elections

  • List of reformist candidates registered for elections:
    • Hezb-e E’temad Melli [National Trust Party]: Rasoul Montakhab-Nia, Esmai’l Gerami-Moghaddam, Javad Eta’at, etc.
    • Hezb-e Mosharekat [Participation Party]: Mostafa Taj-Zadeh, Ahmad Khorram, Ali Soufi, Ali Mazrou’i, etc.
    • Sazeman-e Mojahedin-e Enghelab [Organization of the Holy Warriors of the Revolution]: Mohammad Salamati, Mohsen Armin, Behzad Nabavi, Morteza Haji, Hashem Aghajari, etc…
    • Kargozaran [The Technocrats]: Eshaq Jahangiri, Isa Kalantari, Jahan-Bakhsh Khanjani, etc…
    • Reformers who are not running: Hassan Rowhani, Mousavi Lari, Mohammad Hashemi, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, A’zam Taleqani, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

Nuclear Issue

  • All outstanding nuclear questions will soon be resolved.

Human Rights and Labor

  • Joint Declaration of Islamic Student Associations of 37 universities in Iran against a new wave of suppression of student activists: “The Islamic Student Association at the University of Khorramshahr is victim of false accusations after the speech of Abdollah Mo’meni… Student activists at the University of Kerman are being persecuted… Hunger strike at the University of Isfahan praise worthy… Islamic Student Association at the Medical Department of University of Shahr-e Kord is dissolved… Student activists are called to disciplinary committees from all over Iran….”
  • In an open letter to Judiciary chief Ayatollah Shahroudi, family members of student activists Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Qassaban and Ehsan Mansouri of Amir Kabir Technical University, protest against the fact that the judicial system has acquitted the students of guilt, yet prison authorities deny them freedom.
  • Brother of Behrooz Karmizadeh, imprisoned Iranian student activist attempts suicide. His mother says the entire family is going into pieces.
  • Wife of Emad al-Din Baghi, imprisoned civil-society and democracy activist: “There is still no response to our petition for a furlough from prison to Baghi.”
    • Baghi has suffered from two heart attacks while in prison.

Society, Religion, and Culture

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