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Iran News Round Up



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Diplomacy

·        Hojjat al-Eslam Rasoul Ja’farian, commenting on Obama’s victory, says only naive simpletons have an optimistic expectations of his presidency.

o       Reformist theoretician Mohsen Armin warns against too much optimism after Obama’s victory.

o       Kayhan says most Obama advisors are anti-Iranian.

·        Ahmadinejad says the United States is disintegrating: “Your holy struggle and your self-sacrifice is bearing fruit. Don’t think that the Soviet Union collapsed suddenly. God plans matters through certain means. The holy struggle of the Iranian nation was the reason behind collapse of the Soviet Union. The beloved Imam [Khomeini] promised that [the USSR] would collapse. Also the other [the United States] will collapse. I promise you that the second pole of world imperialism is collapsing. They even can’t pretend otherwise and they are conceding that they are in free fall…”

o       Ahmadinejad continues: “There is no one more wretched, more dishonorable and more criminal than the Zionists in the history of the world. They have lately made some retreat. Not even in their heart of hearts do they dare take a step against the Iranian nation. They will receive such a historical slap in the face.”

·        Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: “Positions taken by U.S. statesmen demonstrate that they are not in possession of sound intellectual faculties…their defeats in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran and their attempt to continue policies of the past show that they don’t have significant political intelligence.”

·        IRGC chief Mohammad-Ali Ja’fari: “Over the past two hundred years, large parts of Iran have remained under enemy occupation and were annexed by enemies. [On other occasions] our land was handed over to the enemies and neighbors by kings. But in the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic, despite mobilization of all great powers against the regime, not an inch of our country could be taken from us… Today there is a spirit of unity and solidarity between the people of Iraq and Islamic Iran and all chant the song of Islam which is unbearable for the enemy…today the United States does not even dare threaten Iran verbally…”

·        (E) Gary Sick, Thomas Pickering, others urge immediate talks with Iran.

·        Turkey declares readiness to mediate between Iran and the United States.

·        Kuwait expels Iranian school teachers from Iranian schools in Kuwait.

·        Tabnak News says British are planting the “seeds of discord” among Iranians and Iraqis in Basra.

·        Student organizations to stage demonstrations in front of the Saudi embassy in protest normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations.

·        (E) Iran condemns diplomats’ abduction

Iran in the Afghan Media

·        Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Pakistan. According to Pajhwok, Hashmatullah Attar Zadeh, an Iranian commercial attaché to Pakistan, was kidnapped after unidentified gunmen ambushed his car and killed his Pakistani driver in the northwestern city of Peshawar. 

·        (E) Suicide attacks increasing in Afghan province of Nimroz bordering Iran and Pakistan. Nimroz deputy governor on Tuesday escaped unhurt a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban.

·        Afghan commentary entitled, “Will neighbors help us establish peace,” cautiously welcomes NATO’s initiative to convene a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors in Tajikistan with the aim of exploring ways of tackling insurgency and drugs trafficking in the region. The author, however, questions honesty, capability and commitment of participant countries, particularly Iran and Pakistan. He points out:

o       “Although Iran has supported the ongoing recovery efforts in Afghanistan and has demonstrated little outright confrontation with the U.S. in Afghanistan, there are certain issues that call into question Tehran’s genuine solidarity with the Afghan people. On the one hand, the Iranian state-run media paints a bleak picture of situation in Afghanistan, which discourages the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees… On the other hand, it expels the refugees in the depth of winter and demolishes their shelters under the pretext of infectious diseases, with the aim of exerting pressure and influence over the fledgling Afghan government. It has even not refrained from arming the insurgents.”

·        Afghan paper Hasht-e Sobh examines Obama’s potential rapprochement with Iran to tackle mounting insurgency in Afghanistan. The article accuses Iran of having pursued a policy of double standards in Afghanistan’s western borders, arguing that it has sometimes helped the U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, yet has frequently assisted the extremists as well.

Politics

·        Ayatollah Mohi al-Din Ha’eri Shirazi, representative of the Supreme Leader in Fars and Friday prayer leader of Shiraz: “What is the problem with Mr. Ahmadinejad that so many attack him politically? It is because they don’t desire to see a popular president beloved by all who made everyone content. They [opponents of the president] want to reform the system…”

·        Parliamentarians express worry about Acting Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli’s receipt of large public loans for his various business projects, but Mahsouli denies taking loans.

·        Former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi tells Khatami that Mousavi will run for president should Khatami not announce his candidacy soon.

·        A parliamentary majority passes a law prohibiting investigations of the Guardian Council, Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council.

Economy

·        According to the Central Bank, inflation is up to 24.3 percent.

·        Former president Mohammad Khatami says the Ahmadinejad government is ignoring the Fourth Economic Development Scheme.

o       Labor and Social Affairs Minister Mohammad Jahromi: “According to the Fourth [Economic Development] Scheme, the goal was to bring down unemployment to 8.4 percent… [But] there was no decline in unemployment… This spring the rate of unemployment was9.6 percent, which actually is a slight decline compared with last year’s unemployment rate at 10.7 percent…”

·        Industry and Mining Minister Ali-Akbar Mehrabian says $2 billion more has been allocated to the industrial sector and that the net amount directed to the sector during the past year has been $14 billion.

·        Presidential advisor Ebrahim Azizi says development indicators have tripled under Ahmadinejad.

·        Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nowzari assures the public that there will be no natural gas shortage this winter.

·        According to Energy Minister Parviz Fattah, 95 dam projects will begin simultaneously.

·        Lake Urumiyeh Bridge operational.

·        According to senior presidential advisor Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, a presidential decree has converted currency reserves to gold.

·        Abbas-Ali Noura, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission, tells Radio Farda that certain groups he calls “the import mafia” have monopolized Iran’s import industry.

Trade

·        Direct flights between Najaf and Tehran to begin soon.

·        Tabnak publishes a report on Iran-Qatar rivalry over the South Pars Gas Field.

·        Brazil and China have declared readiness to invest in Iran.

Terrorism

·        Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, speaking on the occasion of the Day of Martyrs, praised ”martyrdom operations” and added that he is not optimistic about the prospects of an Obama presidency.

Military and Security

·        Security and Tranquility War Game.

·        West Azerbaijan general governor Mohammad Raoufinezhad says filtering of undesired elements and deviating thoughts is what characterizes the Islamic Revolution of Iran, demands more censoring to secure the revolution.

·        Law Enforcement Forces chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam says the internal security model of Iran is exemplary.

·        (E) Western spies provoking discord.

Religion and Culture

·        Radio Farda’s weekly program on women’s issues, “The Other Voice,” explores the Islamic regime’s prohibition on women singing in public.

·        Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization defends itself against allegations of improper treatment of the Quran

o       Video which started the controversy shows men playing music, while a woman carries the Quran. 

o       Ayatollah Safi’s attack on the ceremony. 

o       Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s criticism

o       Shi’a News slams the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization’s explanation.

·        UNESCO recognizes the Kamancheh as authentic musical instrument of Markazi province.

·        Question to Ayatollah Behjat: “Does mixing wine with water make wine less haram?” Answer: “No.”

·        Shi’a News elaborates on geographic residence of Imam of the Era during the Major Occultation.

·        Comprehensive library on the Imam of the Era digitalized and accessible through the internet.

·        Tehran University campus to host more mausoleums of the martyrs from the Iran-Iraq war. Student representatives say burying martyrs on campus doesn’t build respect, and that the Ahmadinejad government is trying to create an atmosphere of fear.

Media

·        Turkey to launch a Persian language television.

·        Rafsanjani warns against government monopoly in mass media.

·        Tabnak News Agency condemns two Afghan journalists who say Iran has buried 5,000 Afghans alive.

Human Rights and Labor

·        Saravan Sunni Friday prayer leader killed.

·        58-year-old author Yousef Azizi Bani-Taraf sentenced to five years in prison for disturbing Iran’s internal security after he engaged in a public dispute about ethnic composition of Khuzistan province.

Photo of the Day

·        Ahmadinejad before and after the presidency.



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