The Corner

The one and only.

Iran News Round Up


[Thanks to Ali Alfoneh and Ahmad Majidyar for their compilations; (E) signifies English link]


  • (E) Supreme Leader: Early election campaign not in Iran’s interest.
  • General Secretary of the Iranian Hezbollah Front: “[The internal enemies] want to contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity. They want to divert government attention from serving the nation by means of political infighting and political disputation.”
  • Khatami, speaking in Germany, says he is not inclined to run for presidency, but added that the future is unpredictable.
  • Hassan Rowhani (a potential presidential contender) criticizes treatment of the bazaar class with regard to the Value Added Tax issue.
    • Entekhab News Agency reports several authorities and sources of emulation have prohibited presidential contender Rowhani from criticizing the Ahmadinejad government too harshly.
    • Rowhani warns against more expenditure prior to change of government.
    • Hassan Rohani condemns government’s economic policies. Maintaining the current budget through oil revenues is tantamount to squandering the national assets, the former chief nuclear negotiator and a presidential hopeful has said. He proposes a better tax system to deal with the deficit.
  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami attacks Ahmadinejad for choosing Ali Kordan to be his interior minister and asks how the president will answer his supporters in the mosques and in the Basij?
    • Kargozaaran reports talks between Ahmadinejad and Parliament over the fate of Interior Minister ended in deadlock.
      • The two sides discussed resignation or dismissal of Interior Minister Ali Kordan over his allegedly bogus credentials before his impeachment slated for next month.
      • The president said not only would he not remove the minister from the cabinet, but will defend him in the Parliament on the day of impeachment.
      • Kordan is said to have turned down Parliament Speaker Larijani’s offer to resign in order to avoid impeachment.
      • The report points out that Kordan is likely to use his influential lobby power over the parliament and win the support of many opposition MPs by offering promises.
      • “My resignation is not in the interest of the regime,” Kordan has emphasized.
    • Presidential advisor Ali-Akbar Javan-Fekr threatens parliamentarians pursuing impeachment of Interior Minister Kordan.
    • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes: “Those who desire to impeach Mr. Kordan are all supporters of the government who with a surgical intervention desire to free the government of an unfitting element.”
    • Rumors that impeachment of Communications Minister Mohammad Soleimani to follow impeachment of Kordan.
    • Rumors also about the impeachment of Agriculture Jihad Minister Mohammad-Reza Eskandari. More.
  • Prior to president Ahmadinejad’s visit to Khorramabad, local non-governmental organizations issue an open letter identifying inflation, unemployment and industrial underdevelopment as the main problems in Lorestan.
    • Ahmadinejad, speaking in Khorramabad: “It is our duty to struggle for equality, justice and fight against discrimination…Justice has always been the hope of prophets…” More here.
    • Ahmadinejad says he is not happy with the progress in Lorestan. More from Khedmat News Agency.
  • Shahab News Agency discusses two letters signed by the 28-year-old Bazrpash, executive director of Pars Khodro, who transfers of cars produced by a public company to private individuals.
  • Parliamentarian Mohammad-Reza Khabbaz in an open session of parliament attacks those who see “foreign hands” and “Satanic conspiracies” behind every crisis and said: “The average work hours of an Iranian hardly reach 30 minutes per day, but how come public servants manage to make life miserable for the public…? Why is the foreign exchange reserve secret…? When the government came to power, the foreign currency reserve was at least $16 billion U.S. Dollars. Had the government obeyed the law, we would not face crisis now that the oil price declines… Had the government listened to advice and had the government abstained from improper withdrawals, we would also not have faced one hundred percent growth in liquidity…the result of such policies is inflation, which in turn is also contrary to social justice…”
  • Commentary in Kargozaaran discusses recent confrontations between the Guardian Council and former state ministers during Khatami’s presidency. Chairman of the Guardian Council Janati has accused the ministries and intelligence agency during Khatami’s presidency of acting against the Guardian Council and attempting to hinder the election process after Khatami’s term. The reformists, however, see the accusations as ill-founded plots to undermine reformists’ resistance in the run-up to the polls.



  • The Ahmadinejad government’s debt to the banking sector: 51 trillion rials.
  • Iran Postal Service to be privatized.
  • Foreign exchange reserve of Iran is only $25 billion.
  • Kargozaran ridicules Ahmadinejad’s claim that the U.S. dollar is nothing but a scrap of paper: Exchange rate now 10,200 rials to the dollar.
  • Mohsen Rezai, former IRGC chief, says forces outside the government should aid Iran’s navigation through the economic crisis.
  • Marand and Jolfa parliamentarian warns against daily 130 to 200 million cubic meters natural gas shortage.
  • Mohammad Azad, head of Guilds, says 50 percent of the clothes for sale in the Iranian market have been smuggled into Iran.
  • Ja’far Ghaderi, member of the Parliament’s Economics and Finance Committee, says the budget deficit is approximately $7 billion, and is likely to rise because most governmental agencies have doubled or tripled their expenses.
  • Sarmayeh reports a sharp rise in electricity prices. Quoting the Minister of Energy, the report says the state subsidy on housing electricity will be removed within three years, which could result in a seven-fold increase in housing electricity bills.
  • In an in-depth analysis of the effects of the global financial breakdown on Iran’s economy, Donya-e Eqtesad concludes that Iran can surmount the prevailing crisis with oil prices of $65 a barrel.
    • Commentary, entitled “50-dollar oil nightmare,” warns of dire consequences of the global financial crisis on Iran’s economy and accuses the state officials of over-optimism.
      • Although Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani has admitted the government will face at least $54 billion cut in the next year’s revenues, the state officials are not worried about serious implications of the global crisis on Iran’s economy.
      • The recent measures by OPEC to cut oil production have failed to push up prices.
      • Iran requires an average oil price of $86 a barrel to balance its budget in 2009.
  • Commentary in Sarmayeh examines effects of global financial crisis on Iran’s economy.
    • The international financial breakdown stirred two divergent reactions in Iran. Some rejoiced at the crisis and described it as a divine retribution against the United States and the West, while others expressed caution and warned of serious implications of the catastrophe on Iran’s economy.
    • “If they [America and the West] celebrate current problems in Iran, we are also pleased at their difficulties and consider them as divine punishments,” Head of Iran’s Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Janati is quoted as saying.
    • Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Hashemi Rafsanjani, however, advised against exulting over the financial chaos in the West and warned the crisis could adversely affect Iran’s economy, too.
    • In reaction to Rafsanjani’s remarks, an editorial in Keyhan daily said: “The financial meltdown in America and Europe is a defeating blow to our enemies and a reason for joy for Iranians and other Muslim nations.”
    • Experts and analysts interviewed by Sarmayeh described negative implications of the global financial breakdown as a dramatic reduction in oil revenues, annual budget deficit, lessened import capacity, declining stock exchange, retrenched budget for developmental projects, and declining economy.
  • Editorial in Donya-e Eqtesad discusses divergent opinions of Iranian politicians regarding the implications of international credit crunch on Iran’s financial system. The author says that declining oil prices will inevitably affect Iran’s economy, but warns that government officials must not exploit the prevailing crisis in the West to try to convince the people that Iran will too suffer financial breakdown if the government continues with privatization and free market economic policies.
  • Private sector lacks sufficient capacity to implement oil projects, says Mehran Amir Moeini, deputy director of the Institute for International Energy Studies.


Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Tehran schools suffer from crowded classes.
  • Alef News Agency actively urges Iranian internet users to contribute to Persian language Wikipedia pages.
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting to show “30 Documents,” a documentary “proving dependency of the Pahlavi regime to the foreigners.” To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
  • Heavy rains (and flooding) transform Rasht into Venice.
  • Kayhan claims Iranian religious innovator Abdol-Karim Soroush has received $6 million to publish his book.
  • Judiciary chief Shahroudi urges the public to compare crime in Iran with crime in neighboring countries, and not with Iran prior to the revolution of 1979.
  • Amaken [Public Spaces] Police Chief Commander Najafi says the police will stage another round of raids to confiscate water pipes in public spaces and will also target hair dressers to guard the Islamic Republic against decadence.


  • (E) Supreme Leader wants U.S. to apologize again to Iran.
  • Ahmadnejad in Khorramabad: The West “is plundering the countries to secure their own interests. The Federal U.S. government’s debt has reached $10.57 trillion, which means that they have printed false money and are trying to make the nations of the world carry their economic burden… Tthey have plundered $1,500 from every person existing on earth. I wish they would distribute the loot among the needy… The American liars and tricksters have brought the financial crisis upon themselves, but they want to steal from the pockets of other nations not to face the consequences of their robberies and treason.
  • Rumors about Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s trip to Tehran.
  • Kayhan’s analysis of the U.S. strike against Syria: “The U.S. is afraid of attacking Iran.”
    • Ali Larijani, commenting on the U.S. strike in Syria, warned the U.S. against “throwing its weight on the mines of the martyrdom seeking holy warriors.”
    • Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar condemns U.S. airstrike in Syrian territory. Speaking at Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Najjar said:
      • The U.S. air assault in Syria demonstrated that the American presence everywhere would result in aggression and murder.
      • It also indicated that any agreement permitting the American presence in the region would inflame violence and insecurity in the region – alluding to the proposed security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.
      • The incident is a testament to Islamic Republic’s views that the U.S. should leave Iraq as soon as possible, because Americans, when their interests are endangered, resort not only to massacring innocent people but also to attacking neighboring countries.
      • Today we are witnessing widespread hatred toward America in the West, Middle East and East Asia.
      • The Israeli arsenals are crammed with weapons of mass destruction, but no action is taken against it – accusing the western countries of hypocrisy and double standards.
      • The basis of our defense doctrine is to update and advance armed forces’ apparatus and equipment. With this doctrine we will be able to confront enemies’ threats in all fronts – in territorial, aerial, naval and electronic warfare.
  • Article entitled, “Sluggish outlook awaiting Obama,” examines the U.S. presidential race and elaborates on the causes and effects of three assassination attempts on Barack Obama.

Military and Security

  • Islamic Republic Navy Chief says his force is capable of stopping enemy access into the Persian Gulf.
  • General Abdol-Rahim Mousavi, visiting Jask Naval Base: “Today the Army and the Revolutionary Guard have a forceful presence in the region which is a sign of victory of light against darkness… Mastery of the Islamic Republic is reaching the Indian Ocean…today the enemy is watching how a country which they have subjected to thirty years of sanctions…is glittering and has reached growth and blossoming…the time of bullying and unilateralism, encirclement and invasion has come to an end…the sooner they understand this the better, otherwise they have to pay a very high price…”
    • (E) Iran building naval base on Indian Ocean
    • Asr-e Iran discusses reactions of the foreign press to establishment of a naval base in Jask. More, from Fars News Agency.
  • Deputy Army Chief General Mousavi says the enemy troops can reach the Iranian forces like a “computer game.”
  • Kayhan explains the role of the Pupil’s Basij. More from Qods.
  • Armed Forces Central Command Council praises alertness of the Hazrat-e Khatam al-Anbia Air Base.
  • Majid Hedayat, executive director of the Aviation Industries of the Defense Ministry, says Iran has produced a new fighter called Saegheh [Lightening].

Nuclear Issue

Photo of the Day

  • 43rd anniversary of Sangelaj Theater in Tehran.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review