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Iran News Round Up



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Diplomacy

  • Kayhan editor Shari’atmadri questions sovereignty of Bahrain. Question: “In an article you considered Bahrain to be part of Iranian territory, but a few weeks later Ahmadinejad travelled to Bahrain. What is your opinion about this matter?” Shari’atmadari answers: “From my point of view, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s trip to Bahrain must be considered as one of his provincial trips.”
  • Former Iranian diplomat says Iran pursues reactive policy toward U.S., and warns Americans are plotting regime change in Iran.
    • Former Iranian Ambassador to U.N. Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused the United States of scheming a “velvet revolution” in Iran
    • Americans have over the past years been inviting a great number of people from Iran under the pretext of scientific seminars. Attending the events, however, the participants realize the agenda for such events are regime change in Iran. We must pay attention to avoid any velvet revolution in Iran.
  • Kayhan editor Shari’atmadari says Ahmadinejad’s letter congratulating Obama was “premature.”
  • (E) Asian mayors meet in Tehran.
  • Ahmadinejad makes “prophecy” that “the world is undergoing a profound transformation and by the grace of God, and thanks to your [the people of Zanjan] unity, all machinery of injustice is collapsing and the world imperialism is shaking.”
  • Mohammad-Reza Sajjadi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, stresses that the UN needs to be reformed, and says that Iran’s priority is its relations with the UN, the IAEA, and condemning the “crimes of the Zionist regime.”
  • Parliamentarian Behrouz Ja’fari says the “Zionist lobby decides things in the United States and will not allow Obama to realize the change he promised during his campaign.”

Politics

  • Row over appointment of Ahmadinejad’s aide as Interior Minister.
    • Sadegh Mahsouli, a former Revolutionary Guards chief, was narrowly approved by the Parliament to replace former Interior Minister Ali Kordan, who was impeached after his honorary doctoral degree turned out to be bogus.
    • According to Kargozaaran, the voting process did not take place in a fair and transparent manner, and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Banonar is said to have rigged the ballot to ensure Mahsouli’s approval.
  • Inspector General Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi expresses eagerness to run for president.
    • The former Interior Minister called his removal from the ministry by Ahmadinejad as illegal and detrimental to the Iranian nation.
  • Ahmadinejad says three groups “resist the reform attempts of the government”: “Humanists and liberalists…enemies of God…and materialists.”
  • Commentary rejects rift between former president Mohammad Khatami and ex-premier Mir-Hossein Mousavi, both potential presidential candidates representing reformists.
  • Sakineh Ziyayi Ardakani, mother of former president Mohammad Khatami,  says her son has said that he is ready to “sacrifice his life in order to avoid destruction of the country.”

Economy

  • Ahmadinejad answers Rafsanjani’s criticism that the government’s economic reform scheme:
    • “The government has presented an economic reform scheme which aims to reform banking, customs, insurance and subsidies… We are determined to distribute the seventy percent of the subsidies that only serves less than thirty percent of the population. This is justice…Some people are against targeted subsidies and claim such a move is ‘raising beggars.’ Let me tell them this: Targeted subsidies are justice…Don’t insult the Iranian nation. What would you like to see? Subsidies for you whose pockets and stomachs are full? You have distanced yourself from the people. When you talk about the people, you think of your family, your cronies and your party comrades, but these are not the people.”
    • Alef News coverage.
    • Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, echoing Rafsanjani’s criticism, says “One can’t use the method of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee to run the economy of the country.”
  • Ahmadinejad says “usury” caused “economic crisis in the West.”

Trade

  • Iran to export 70 billion cubic-meters of gas to Europe.
    • The Memorandum of Understanding signed between Iran and Turkey will facilitate the export of 35 billion cubic-meters of Iranian gas and transit of another 35 billion cubic-meters of Turkmenistan’s gas to Europe.
    • Turkey plans to invest 12 billion dollars in expansion of Iran’s South Pars Gas Fields and construction of a gas pipeline connecting the southern Iranian district of Asaluye to the Turkish border.
  • (E) Iraqi Kurdistan promotes Iran trade.

Media

  • E’temad-e Melli denies being the official mouthpiece of the E’temad-e Melli [National Trust] Party.
  • Reza Talayi-Nik, general secretary of former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezai’s  Development and Justice party, replaces Amir-Ali Amiri as editor for Tabnak News Agency.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • The Islamic Republic’s exhibit of Ford’s Jewish International causes controversy at the Zagreb Book Fair.
  • Esfandiar Rahim-Mashayi, head of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, says his organization is developing an Iran-Iraq war tourism scheme.

Military and Security

  • Student Basij demands revision of the statute of the Iran Azad University.
  • Ali Shamkhani, former defense minister, says he is the father of the Sejil missile.
  • Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh, Khorasan-e Razavi governor, thanks the internal security bureau of the governorate [the Herasat] for being the “strong arm, sharp eye and advisor of the bureaucratic system.”

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