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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance compiling)

Economy and Trade

  • Director of the Research Center of the Iranian parliament: “The government wants the parliamentarians to accept the national budget with closed eyes…What is the government trying to keep secret?”
  • Three executives from the National Natural Gas Company convicted of corruption.
  • Hossein Abdeh Tabrizi of Sarmayeh: “It is probably understandable that, from a political point of view, the government has prioritized private citizens over business and industrial sectors during the current natural gas crisis but, unfortunately, the government has never paid attention to the private sector… As soon as companies shift hands into private ownership, the government increases the cost of raw material needed for production to those companies and cuts subsidies. No attention is paid to the infrastructure, transportation, communications, or anything thing needed by the privatized company… And now, the government’s crisis management follows the same pattern. Without natural gas, how do you expect the private sector to produce?”
  • Salary of public servants to increase 10 percent next year.
  • Price of electronic heaters increase 300 percent.
  • Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran National Bank: “The bank will soon release 10,000 Toman [100,000 rial] bills.”
  • Afghan official: Iranian investment top priority for Afghanistan.
  • World companies unresponsive on Iran sanctions.

Politics

  • Abolqasem Rouhi, parliamentarian: “Despite presidential promises, there is still no natural gas in northern Iran.”
    • In an open letter, an 11-year-old girl from Saqez asks Ahmadinejad to bring natural gas to relieve the cold and suffering in Saqez.
    • Various parliamentarians criticize the government for not addressing the severe shortage of natural gas in the northern provinces. Supporters of the Ahmadinejad government say the critics are “professional pessimists” who make the problems “grander, bleaker, and colder” than the real conditions.
  • At a breakfast meeting with the press, Minister of Housing of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Sa’idi-Kia smiled but did not answer any questions of the press. He had no comment to the question about rumors of government plans to transfer the capital out of Tehran, and did not comment if the government plans to build more housing.

Diplomacy

  • Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham: “The Iranian president is expected to travel to Iraq and to Turkey… why did no one raise the issue of incompetence when it was cold and winter during the Khatami era?… Claims made by Turkmen officials with regard to lack of payments from Iran are untrue…”
  • Aftab-e Yazd claims the U.S. president’s warnings against Iran during George Bush’ Middle Eastern trip signals “U.S. plans to sell more arms to the Arabs.”
  • France claims its naval station to be placed in United Arab Emirate is not oriented against Iran.
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister: “Egypt knows and appreciates the important position of Iran.”
  • Chinese officials lauds China-Iran ties. Beijing-Tehran ties will expand further.

Society, Religion, and Culture

  • Supreme Leader thanks Iranian officials involved in organizing the Iranian contingent to the Hajj.
  • In a smear campaign against the Baha’i faith, Jahan claims a new report has discovered that “the Bahai’s propagate marriage between sisters and brothers among their members.”

Security

  • Rooz Online claims leadership changes in the Basij Resistance Force prepare it to deal with internal opposition to the regime.
  • Jahan says the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization based in Iraq has murdered 25 of its members who intended to flee the camps and surrender to Iran.

Human Rights and Labor

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