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Iran News Round Up



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(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance compiling)

Politics: General

  • In an unprecedented move, Ahmadinejad writes a letter to the parliament in which he declares the “Fourth Economic, Societal and Cultural Development Scheme of the Islamic Republic, and the National Budget…in conflict with the Constitution.” Parliamentary speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel says, “the letter seems odd and unprecedented,” to which parliamentarians shout “bravo!” Haddad Adel also adds enforcing the congruence between legislation and the constitution is Guardian Council’s job. Haddad Adel writes letter to Supreme Leader to complain. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
  • Parliamentarian Sa’id Abou-Taleb: “The government [of president Ahmadinejad] is egocentric and paranoid.”

Politics: March 2008 Elections

  • Deputy of the E’temad-e Melli [National Trust] Party, Rasoul Montakhab-Nia says that in some provinces, “such as Fars, reformist candidates have been urged to withdraw their candidacy before they are disqualified by the Council of Guardians.”
  • Ali Afshari at the headquarters for parliamentary elections says: “The shouting and noise [against disqualification of reformist candidates] does not erase their bad reputation.”
    • Mousavi-Lari, spokesman of the Alliance of Reformist Candidates: “With what right does Mr. Afshari intervene in all aspects of the election?”
  • Alliance of reformist candidates launches a new web site: www.baharestaniran.com
  • Reformist candidates in Isfahan launch their home page. www.yaranebaran.com
  • Reformist candidates declare their list for Tabriz.

Human Rights and Labor

  • Advar reports the “Disciplinary Committee of the University of Kerman” has barred four student activists—Mohsen Khosravi, Seyyed Hassan Hassani, Hesam Sa’idi and Mahmoud Hadi—from the next term at the university because of their use of the university tribune of the university to spread political messages.
  • Four leftist student activists released from prison on bail.
  • Asr-e Now publishes more details on the suspicious death of Iranian law student, Ebrahim Lotfallahi, who passed away in the prison of Sanandaj.
  • Judiciary accepts a month of medical furlough for civil society and human rights activist Emad al-Din Baghi.
  • Parents of imprisoned Iranian student activist, Amiri Eliyasi’s open letter to the speaker of the parliament: “Mr. Haddad Adel and members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly! Please tell us according to what legislation our children have been arrested and tortured physically and psychologically for more than 40 days? If there is a piece of legislation allowing such behavior, please tell us. If not, where then, is the Parliament and the Judiciary [to stop it]?”
  • The Swedish branch of Reports Without Borders declares imprisoned Iranian journalist Hossein Adnanpoor winner of it’s 2007 Prize.

Culture, Society, and Religion

  • Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture bans Arya even before the first issue is published.
  • In an open letter to the dean of the university, a group of students at the Department of Economics protest against the ouster Professor Hassaneyni from the university.
  • According to IRNA, only 1.2 million Iranians are addicted to opium.
  • Flooding may destroy Sassanid castle of Bampour.

Economy and Trade

  • Isargaran [Self-sacrificers] to start a private bank.
  • Trained economist and parliamentarian Mohammad Khoshchehreh says the economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran government are contrary to the directions recommended in the 20 year Outlook Plan of the government.
  • Deutsche Welle reports blackouts in Tehran.
  • Metro to connect Tabriz with Julfa.
  • China National Offshore plans to buy LNG from Iran.

Diplomacy

Nuclear Issue

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