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Iran News Round Up



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[(E) signifies English link]

Terrorism

Politics

  • Principalist Alliance now supports impeachment of Interior Minister Ali Kordan, but will seek to convince him to resign.
    • Decision comes after Ahmadinejad promised to be in parliament to support Kordan.
    • Three Basij student organizations, Society of Islamic Students, and the Office of Consolidation of Unity all demand Kordan’s impeachment.
    • Kordan has met the directing board of the parliament to discuss demands for his resignation or impeachment.
    • Kordan tried to convince the parliamentarians that his resignation or impeachment would be bad for the regime.
  • Asr-e Iran analyzes factional fighting between Mehdi Karrubi and Mohammad Khatami who both claim to represent the reformist camp.
    • Mehdi Karrubi says he expects the reformist camp to enter presidential elections with himself as the sole candidate.
  • According to Asr-e Iran, the Principalist factions will support Ahmadinejad’s re-election since, statistically, it is far more likely that a candidate is re-elected than elected the first time.
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Shirazi, representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guard Navy, warns IRGC commanders against a “suspicious and creeping movement which is shaping the new front of discord… There is a group which is attempting to revive the thoughts of the Iran Freedom Movement…they are advancing with carefully planned moves, therefore one must show the greatest vigilance. Why else are they opposing the Ahmadinejad government? Their opposition is due to [their aim of] eradicating the foundations and fundamentals o religious and revolutionary values…” Shirazi also warned against those who want to “make Khatami president so they can do away with the Guardianship of the Jurist principle.”
  • Moetalefeh General Secretary Asgar-Owladi says political struggle is not the struggle between truth and falsehood.
  • Agah-Sazi provides an account of Rafsanjani’s criticism of Ahmadinejad’s economic policies.
  • Ahmadinejad to travel to Lorestan.
  • According to Tehran parliamentarian Ali-Reza Zakani, a new Principalist faction called Rahpouyan-e Enghelab-e Eslami [Path Seekers of the Islamic Revolution] will soon start its activities in Iran.
  • Baztab reports “serial theft” of property belonging to members of the reformist block of the parliament: “First the phone book of Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Hashemian, representative from Rafsanjan, was stolen. Then the phone book of the secretary of the minority faction who is also an employee of the parliament was stolen. Yesterday, the mobile phone of Mohammad-Reza Tabesh, head of the minority faction and parliamentarian from Ardakan, was stolen.

Military and Security

  • Esma’il Ahmadi-Moghaddam, secretary of the Headquarters for the Fight Against Drugs, says Iran has spent more than $600 million to improve border security in the past two years.
  • Commander Naghdi, deputy director of Preparedness, Logistics and Industrial Research of the Supreme Command Council, speaking at the Marine Industrial Seminar in Abadan says 15 percent of the naval  forces of the Islamic Republic have been stationed in the coastal strips of the Persian Gulf and that this trend will continue in the years to come. Naghdi also spoke of choosing a “marine capital” on the Southern coast.
  • Mojtaba Zolnouri, deputy representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guards, says the network of political guides in the IRGC was established five years ago: “Local [political] guides are engaged along with [central] political guides…Soft threats of the enemy are the general threats that the Islamic Republic needs to counter…the enemy today is utilizing the media, internet, satellite [television in order to] create false role models through which the Revolution can be hit…Pills, drugs, and using audio visual means and scripts is the program of the enemy directed against our youth…the Revolutionary Guards uses the Basij to vaccinate the youth [to resist such temptations]…sects are engaged in activities against the regime. Bahais, proponents of Sufism, proponents of inappropriate love and those calling for separation of religion from politics…also associations like Hojjatiyyeh, all plant discord and trouble among the people…”
  • Defense Minister Najjar says Iran will give a crushing response to any enemy interventions.
  • (E) British army interpreter accused of espionage for Iran claims he is victim of CIA plot.
  • (E) Russia to continue arms sales to Iran.

Trade

  • Executive director of the Iranian Telecom says three foreign companies are ready to invest in the company.
  • Iran and Thailand sign agreement to exchange oil for rice.

Economy

  • Exchange rate now 11,180 rials to the U.S. dollar.
  • Iranian stocks in free fall.
  • Executive director of the Mellat Bank says his bank has not provided any loans to the public for the past six months (in effect admitting that he has resisted presidential orders to issue low interest loans).

Diplomacy

  • Majid Bizmark appointed ambassador to Thailand.
  • Foreign Minister Mottaki says the next U.S. president has the last chance to correct the U.S. image in the region.
  • (E) India’s Foreign Affairs Minister heading to Tehran.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Academy of Music to compose epic music commemorating historical events from the 1514 battle of Chaldiran onward.
  • Seyyed Jalal Yahyazadeh, member of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the parliament, says the internet is like a mad dog which the Islamic Republic is now trying to tame.
  • Shokrollah Kazemi, Head of the Alien’s Bureau of Khuzistan, warns against marriages of Iranians with foreigners: “Marriage of [Iranian] women with foreign men especially Afghan citizens is illegal and is socially unaccepted…Illegal [foreign] citizens have no obligations towards daughters of our country because they lack identification papers…Many male foreign citizens leave [Iran] and return to their countries when facing difficulties finding employment in Iran [and in doing so] abandon their wives.”
  • (E) French archaeologist asks Iranians to respect perimeter of Susa [Biblical Shustar]

Human Rights and Labor

  • (E) 2nd independent sugar cane workers union formed.

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