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Iran News Round Up


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Human Rights and Labor

  • Iran Cracks Down on Minority Journalists. An official with international NGO Reporters Without Borders tells Radio Farda that, of the 11 journalists currently being detained by Iran, 10 are either Kurdish, Azeri or Arab. He says the regime has always been hostile to minorities. [Here]
  • Workers at the Haft-Tapeh Sugarcane Factory in Khuzestan say they have launched a strike with workers at the Pars Paper Mill Factory in order to protest unpaid wages. In addition, an Ahvaz-based journalist says hundreds of truck drivers — several of whom were arrested — staged a strike by lining up their vehicles for a three kilometer stretch along the Khorramshahr road. [Here]


  • Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Iran deny customers financial transactions
  • Editorial in Iran daily expresses concern about lack of transparency in the financial market mechanism that has resulted in “a stagnant capital flow and exodus of cash from the banking system.”
  • The Parliament Planning and Budget Commission accuse the government of overspending.
  • Article by leading Iranian economist, entitled “Alternative proposal for cash subsidy,” lists key measures to deal with current subsidy problems.
  • Report on creation of 54,265 new jobs in the industries and mines projects.
  • Iran’s new central bank governor, Mahmoud Bahmani, introduces his plans to boost the economy.
  • According to Iran Daily, foreign assets of the banking system during the first quarter of the current Iranian year amounted to $138.7 billion.
  • The Parliament Energy Commission warns that the country is very likely to face severe gas shortage in the upcoming winter. The commission notes that the gas agreement with Turkmenistan, due to expire at the end of December, is uncertain to be extended because of Turkmenistan’s demand for higher prices.


  • Article, entitled “Qatar’s fast-track investment in South Pars,” gives an in-depth analysis of Qatar’s growing exploitation of the gas field through four main projects, i.e. design of LNG plants, gas export to neighboring countries through Dolphin Project, gas-to-liquids projects (GTL), and domestic projects (Al-Khaleej). The author expresses the worry that Iran is lagging behind and calls for effective initiatives by the government to compete in the area.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Radio Farda’s weekly women’s magazine, “The Other Voice,” explores the roots of honor-killings in Iran. [Here]
  • The Islamic Republic republishes “Sacred Defense” fiction classics of Rea Amir-Khani, Habib Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad-Reza Bayrami.
  • According to Ya-Lesarat al-Hossein, the drought is due to insufficient religious belief.
  • Asr-e Iran claims the censorship bureaus of the Islamic Republic have degenerated into a system of independent principalities and discusses at length the censorship of the Iranian movie “Kolahi bara-yebaran.”
  • People of Yazd have longest life expectancy in Iran.


  • Khatami Vice President Hojjat al-Eslam Abtahi: “Speaking to the people of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari province, Mr. Khatami has said that his candidacy only makes sense in case it is a step forward and otherwise one must reconsider… I have not had the opportunity to talk to him in person. But if Mr. Khatami’s reference to the past – as I have understood him – is the reform era, I have to say that I don’t know what logic has made him make such statement. I believe that the realities of the past years have demonstrated that one can’t expect a revolution or change of the constitution from the president, and everybody has understood that with the present distribution of power based upon the constitution, one can’t even realize the slogans of that era [1997-2005]…What we desire or what our ideals are is not important. What is important is what the reality is. Inside and outside [Iran] everybody has understood this. With such realities, Mr. Khatami would not be capable to take a step forward in comparison with the reform era…The realists don’t have such expectations…Mr. Khatami, you should not raise the expectations…”
  • E’temad publishes a background article on rumors on Revolutionary Guards commander Ali-Reza Afshar leaving the political deputy’s office at Interior Ministry.
  • Ahmadinejad urges Iranian politicians to “solve the problems of the country and attend to international affairs.” More here.
  • Khatami says he is waiting to be first among equals to run for presidency.
  • So called “Nationalist-Religious” political activist Ali-Reza Rajai: “Improvement of conditions of life is not possible without political institutionalization, and this is what most reformists believe in…Both the left and right agree that Iran’s economy is a rentier economy. Only in an open political atmosphere can such rent [seeking mechanisms] be disclosed truly. Therefore, in order to reform the economy, political development is necessary.”
  • Presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi commenting on rumors that Hassan Khomeini will also run: “Hajj Hassan Khomeini is a lecturer in Qom…Mr. Hassan has good students and God willing, and based upon his studies, a magnificent scientific future awaits him…Hajj Hassan Khomeini is really not interested in this kind of stuff, his family [is] opposed, he himself is also opposed, and I also don’t believe in such a thing since he is lecturing and has a good future…Secondly, whoever becomes a president, even with 40 million votes, would face a lot of problems and in this case the household of the Imam [Khomeini] would be targeted for the sake of breath, meat and health of the public, and I don’t approve of it…Such things [rumors of candidacy of Hassan Khomeini] are politics.”
    • Hassan Khomeini commenting on reformist calls for his candidacy says “the aim of your invitation is similar to [the first president of the Islamic Republic] Bani-Sadr’s when he urged my father [Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini] to become prime minister.”
  • Hassan Rowhani ascribes diminishing public trust to removal of professionals from government positions, resulting in unprofessionalism and inconsistency in the government’s policies.
  • Report that a high-ranking official from Tehran’s Mayor Office has given an unprecedented interview with the opposition publication.
  • Report on a joint meeting of Iranian executive and parliament to discuss key political and economic policies
    • Ahmadinejad described the United States and Israel as declining powers and called on the assembly to “act in unison to fill the vacuum”
    • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called for the government’s maximum efforts to control inflation and increase productivity
  • Text of Khamenei’s speech at an assembly of academics and students. He emphasizes that right of academics and students to analyze and question the government’s policies.
  • Interior Minister Ali Kordan denies knowledge about fabrication of his doctoral credentials and thanks the government for allowing him to clarify the matter with the legal authorities.
  • (E)  Radio Farda listeners responded angrily to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent claim that 98 percent of Iranians support the Islamic regime “For three decades, there has been no referendum. How can Mr. Ahmadinejad say that 98 percent of the public supports the Islamic Republic?” asks one listener. Another says: “As a citizen, I don’t have the right to criticize the government’s policies in Iran’s state media. I live under the worst conditions, because justice and law are only a dream.” [Here]
  • Hojatoleslam Fazel Meybodi, discusses the role of religion in politics in an interview with Radio Farda. [Here]

Military and Security

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force fleet will be equipped with electronic warfare equipment.
  • Basij chief Hojjat al-Eslam Ta’eb says 75 percent of the Iranian population trusts the abilities of the Basij to counter the threats of the enemy.
  • Discussing the recent US military assistance to Israel, particularly the deployment of a missile-tracking radar system to Israel, Jomhouri Eslami praises Iran’s military might and says, “Israel can not survive even with the US armaments.”
  • In an interview with Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante organization’s weekly newspaper Ya-Lesarat al-Hossein, Law Enforcement Forces legal and legislative deputy commander Mohammadi-Far says ”other institutions don’t cooperate with us in enforcing the societal security scheme of the government.”
    • Law Enforcement Forces chief Radan says the societal security scheme will be even stricter in the coming months.
  • Ya-Lesarat al-Hossein publishes biographical information on martyrs of the Iran/Iraq war Fakuri, Kolahdouz, Jahan-Ara, Namjou and Fallahi.


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