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Iran News Round Up



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Politics

  • While at Sharif University, Rafsanjani answers a student question about his relationship with the Supreme Leader: “In Iran you don’t find two people who are as close to each other as the Supreme Leader and myself… Mr. Khamenei is my love. We have been friends for more than fifty years and don’t hold any secrets from each other. We consult with each other in all affairs. But, naturally, it is also possible that we sometimes have different opinions…But he is the Supreme Leader and it is my legal and religious duty to follow him….” More here.
  • Mohsen Rezai, former IRGC chief, worries about disagreements among the Principalists
  • Rezai says he will not run for president.
  • (E) Khatami unlikely to run for president.
  • Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, brother of the former president, says he may run for president as an independent.
  • Ahmadinejad promises to “look into the Mousavian affair,” after the Rafsanjani protégé was acquitted of espionage charges.
  • Former President Mohammad Khatami: “One can’t reduce divine justice in the field of economics to alms, for this would be disloyalty towards religion… Political reforms toward democracy have been the desire of the people for the past hundred years, but the quest has been subjected to much injustice… Religion has been subjected to abuse… All this abuse has existed, but what I want to say is that it has nothing to do with the true nature of religion. It is abuse of religion…”
  • Agah-Sazi publishes a background article on the Sazeman-e Mojahedin-e Enghelab-e Eslami [Mojahedin of the Islamic Republic Organization] and the revolutionary groups which formed the original core of the organization: Mansouroun, Ommat-e Vahedeh, Movahedin, Fallah, Badr, Saf, and Falagh.
  • Ali Mottahari, deputy speaker of parliament, says the Guardianship of the Supreme Jurist as a philosophy of government does not mean abandonment of reason.

Diplomacy

  • Ahmadinejad speaks of the defeat of “the enemy,” the “strong will of the Iranian nation,” and the Iranian leadership’s ability to manage the country well ”even if they [the world] doesn’t buy our oil.”
  • Ahmadinejad says that the only result of international sanctions is “that during the past three years, the country has had as much development as the cumulative development of the past fifty years.”
  • (E) Lebanon’s president Michel Suleiman arrives in Tehran.
  • (E) ‘Change’ can resume U.S.-Iran talks.
  • (E) Turkish MP, member of Erdogan’s party, endorses Iran’s nuclear rights.

Military and Security

  • The counter-espionage chief in the Intelligence Ministry says the Revolutionary Tribunal has found Ali Ashtari guilty as Mohareb [waging war against the Islamic Republic] and condemned him to death. According to Fars News Agency Ashtari has been involved in espionage for Israel and responsible of delivering contaminated technical parts to the Iranian nuclear energy industry.
  • Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad-Ali Ja’fari says the IRGC has made arrests in an “Israeli nuclear espionage network in Iran” thanks to “the benevolence the Imam of the Era.” More here.
  • Revolutionary Guards commander Ali-Reza Afshar, a former Basij chief, comments on the role of the Basij: “Both with participation in elections and demonstrations people connect to the regime, but the Basij provides a more comprehensive opportunity for popular participation… The Basij is not a governmental organization, but also not a non-governmental organization. One can say the Basij is the most popular institution… Therefore, when you go to the Basij bases, you find that the people have joined the Basij because of their love and personal devotion and not because of greed for money and longing for power and so on. From the other side, the resistance bases [of the Basij] are connected to the Revolutionary Guards which in turn is the connection of the regime with the people.”

Trade

  • Iran and Turkmenistan agree on price for Iranian purchases of Turkmen natural gas.
  • Khorasan-e Razavi governor says the Islamic Republic is ready to invest in the Afghan mining sector.
    • (See Afghan treatment of subject in subsection on ‘Iran in Afghan media’ below).

Economy

  • Ahmadinejad says he can run the country with oil price as low as “$5 per barrel.”
  • Expediency Council member Majid Ansari: “[The government] has abused a single reference to an [academic] article from an American journal in the Fourth Economic Development Scheme to present the entire program as ‘American.’ But can we refute a development scheme in its entirety just because of a single reference…? What right has the government to abandon totally a development scheme which has passed the parliament and has been elevated to law…? The gentlemen [politicians] ridiculed experts and called them ‘timid’ and described the development scheme as ‘American’, or the ‘proposal of the International <onetary Fund’ but, today [under these politicians’ tutelage], we see the result of infusion of the oil revenue into the market: Tripling of the liquidity, and inflation…”
  • Ahmadinejad inaugurates three major development projects in Khuzistan.
  • Seyyed Mohammad Jahromi, minister of labor and social affairs, criticizes earlier Central Bank policies which he say damaged production.
  • In a special report on Iran’s housing crisis, one Radio Farda listener asks, “How can one buy a house in Iran with skyrocketing prices and meager incomes?” Ahmad Alavi, a professor of economics, adds that the situation will likely get worse: “Plummeting oil revenues are likely to drive up housing prices,” he says.

Iran in the Afghan media

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    • Iranian police have expelled more than 12,000 of  14,000 Afghan refugees arrested over the past month for lack of legal residence documents.
    • Massive arrests and forced repatriation of Afghan refugees with legal documents are also reported from the Iranian city of Zahedan.
  • Afghan paper slams “Iranian attempts to undermine Pashto language.”
    • The author accuses Tehran of plotting to remove Pashtun officials from government departments and to wipe out the Pashtun culture and language, citing historical examples and recent protest rallies by Kabul university students in which the protestors demanded Kabul University’s name be changed from Pashto to Dari language.
    • He also ascribes recent “anti-Pashtun” activities by certain Afghan politicians to Iranians’ conspiracies to “tarnish Afghanistan’s historic prides,” particularly actions by former Shiite presidential candidate Abdul Latif Pedram, who had advocated federalism and secularism in Afghanistan, demanded a name-change for the country, and recently insulted former Afghan King Zahir Shah.
  • Iran to assist Afghanistan’s mining industry.
  • (E) Karzai seeks Iran’s assistance. The Afghan president visited Iranian Embassy in Kabul, requesting assistance in electricity and fuel supplies to Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan now rivals Iran as region’s largest saffron exporter.
  • Iran, Afghanistan and U.N. stress joint counternarcotics efforts.
    • In a conference hosted by the Iranian embassy in Kabul, entitled Finding Effective Ways for Combat against Drugs, the Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan assured the U.N. and Afghan representatives that Tehran would strengthen security along the borders to curb drugs trafficking.
  • France discusses Afghanistan with Iran.
    • French Foreign Ministry Spokesman has announced a plan to convene a high-level conference of Afghanistan’s neighbors to explore ways of tackling security, drugs and economic challenges engulfing Afghanistan.
    • Talks with Iran over preparations for the conference have already begun.
  • Iran to launch warships, submarine.
    • Iran’s Naval Commander Habibullah Sayyari has announced a plan to launch two new missile-carrying ships and a submarine on the occasion of Iran’s Navy Day on November 27.
  • U.N. committee condemns Iran’s right abuses.
    • A U.N. human rights committee issued separate resolutions to criticize Iran, Myanmar and North Korea on their human rights violation records.

Human Rights and Labor

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