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Iran News Round Up


[Thanks to Ahmad Majidyar for his compilation; (E) signifies English link]

U.S. Elections

  • Iranian analyst describes Iran as chief foreign policy challenge for next U.S. President. Dr. Jamshed Asadi predicts that President-elect Barack Obama will pursue a policy of carrots and sticks to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Obama will favor talks to resolve core differences with Iran,” the analyst suggests, “but he will adopt a tough stance if diplomacy fails.”
  • Editorial in Donya-e Eqtesad foresees U.S. policy shift toward Iran. The author refutes conventional wisdom among Iranian politicians that the transfer of power from Republicans to Democrats will not result in any U.S. policy shift toward Iran and calls for a thorough analysis of potential policy changes toward Iran by Obama’s administration. The author writes:
    • Obama’s victory is an unprecedented, historic triumph in the American domestic politics.
    • The new president will bring changes in the financial system of the United States. He will strive to restore confidence in the domestic financial markets and attract foreign companies’ trust as well. He has to seek solutions to deepening rift between America and Russia and the Arab World, diminishing support among European allies, and antagonism in countries subject to Bush’s aggression, particularly Iran.
    • If the new president backs financial and military strengthening of Israel and Iran’s rival countries in the Arab World, this will inevitably increase pressure on Iran and will impact Iran’s security and military expenditures.
    • Democrats and Republicans use different instruments to advance their foreign policy agenda – Republicans focus on Americans’ will, while Democrats favor international consensus. The first confrontation between Iran and America in the early years of the creation of the Islamic Republic was testament to this fact. The Democratic government of Jimmy Carter strived to resolve the hostage crisis through diplomatic efforts and international pressure on Iran. Having failed through diplomacy, however, Carter came under pressure by the Foreign Policy Council dominated by Republicans to serve the American will, which was later implemented.
    • If McCain had won the presidency, he would try to pursue George Bush’s aggressive policies. However, now that Democratic Obama is going to preside over the White House, there will be a decrease in verbal attacks but an increase in diplomatic measures against Iran.  
  • Article entitled, “Change of Face in White House,” provides a detailed account of Barack Obama’s triumph in the elections. The author says the historic triumph of a black American discredited assumptions that racial barrier would impede Obama’s victory on the Election Day. Issues covered in the article include massive turnout of voters, downfall of conservatives in the polls, the youth as winning card for Obama, world reactions to Obama’s victory, democrats’ majority in the Congress, Obama’s potential cabinet members.
  • Commentary analyzes challenges President-elect Barack Obama will have to deal with as he takes office in January. If the democratic candidate will not face the fate of Lincoln and Kennedy, he will certainly have to battle daunting challenges such as the financial crisis, budget deficit, ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear case, Middle East peace process, global warming, and damaged U.S. image around the world.
  • The American people made history by electing Obama,” hails an article in Kargozaaran.
  • Samayeh comments on analysts’ mixed views about impact of Obama’s victory over Iran’s Stock Exchange.
    • While some economic experts describe Obama’s triumph in the U.S. elections as the main reason behind recent gains in Iran’s financial market, others see no significant impact.
    • The latter reason that although Obama is a new, peace-loving person, his victory will lead to further decline in oil prices and will ultimately make quite a negative impact on Iran’s economy.

Human Rights and Labor

  • (E) Iranian Baha’i leaders mark six-month anniversary of their imprisonment.
    • (E) Baha’i international community statement.
  • Iran executed its latest child offender on October 30. A senior official at Human Rights Watch tells Radio Farda that Iran has no respect for its signature on the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. [Read in Persian]




  • Kargozaaran publishes a detailed account of former Interior Minister Ali Kordan’s impeachment session at Parliament.
    • The minister, who was impeached over forgery of an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, was impeached; 188 MPs voted to sack Kordan, 45 voted against his dismissal and 14 abstained.
    • Despite prior assurance to back the minister at Parliament, Ahmadinejad did not attend the assembly.
    • Kordan made all efforts possible to win the support and confidence of MPs. But they accused him of having told lies, been dishonest with Parliament, forged his credentials, and deceived MPs to secure a government position.
    • Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani refuted Ahmadinejad’s assertion that the impeachment lacked legal basis.
    • MPs also stressed the punishment of the government official accused to having distributed checks to MPs in an attempt to encourage them to withdraw support from impeaching Kordan.
  • Khamenei urges solidarity of Muslims. Speaking about rules and values of hajj pilgrimage, the Supreme Leader said:
    • Hajj is the best opportunity to overcome natural and synthetic divisions between Muslims, and harmonize the hearts and intentions of Muslims in the Islamic world.
    • Hajj provides a suitable platform to reflect the enchanting realities of Iran to Muslims across the world.
    • In Islamic countries and even in non-Islamic countries with Muslim population, Many Muslims have deep love for Islamic Republic [of Iran], Imam Khomeini, and the Iranian nation. However, the enemies are striving to portray Iran as hostile to other Islamic schools of thoughts.
    • God will not forgive those making irresponsible remarks and allegations about the government – referring to negative commentaries and propaganda against the government in the media and also dismissal of Interior Minister Ali Kordan over allegations that he had forged his honorary doctoral degree.
  • Kargozaaran reports on recent amendments to presidential election law

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