The Inspector General has criticized the government’s economic policies for being predominantly dependent on oil revenues, and called for transparency and accountability in the country’s financial system.
Editorial in Donya-e Eqtesad anticipates Iran’s budget deficit. The author believes that Iran’s economy will inevitably be affected by the global financial meltdown and cautions against overconfidence. He says that the adverse effects are already manifested in double digit unemployment rate beyond 20% engulfing Iranians and in declining oil prices crippling the economy.
Deputy Minister of Commerce Mehdi Ghazanfar describes Iran as one of the greatest financial powers in the Middle East, citing last year’s boom in foreign trade to 140bn dollars and gross domestic product to 480bn dollars.
Iran’s foreign trade index shows European countries’ inattention to the UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran.
67% of Iran’s imports are from Europe. This indicates economic sanctions against Iran have largely been unsuccessful.
Germany, France and Italy are at the forefront of Iran’s economic partners.
Trade between EU and Iran reaches €17 billion ($21.3bn), marking an 8% increase compared to 2007. Main imports from the EU this year have been machineries and transport equipment with an average of 13% rise and food products with 15% increase, while oil has remained the main export with an increase of 5.6% and chemical products with 117%.
Kargozaaran reports on first rift within conservative block in Parliament. First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar has split off from the conservative alliance to form a new “Development and Justice” group. The division has been triggered by former Interior Minister Ali Kordan’s impeachment.
15 parliamentarian demand impeachment of Education Minister Ali Ahmadi.
Seyyed Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi says armed forces’ interventions in politics is contrary to the ideas of Khomeini: “If members of the armed forces desire to enter elections they must first retire from their post, and after the passing of some time, they can participate in elections and politics.
Special clerical tribunal in Qom describes Mojtaba Lotfi’s arrest as apolitical. The court insisted that Lotfi, the press secretary of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri’s Office, was arrested for provision and distribution of illegal documents, false reporting and possession of immoral video CDs. It stressed that the arrest had no relation to Ayatollah Montazeri.
Basij chief Hojjat al-Eslam Hossein Taib warns against the diplomatic postures from the Obama administration: “Those who come with the mask of negotiations are more dangerous…the new power holders in America desire to make tactical changes in their foreign policy to restore their lost power and they are restructuring their efforts from a hard confrontation to a soft invasion…”
Taib continues that the sole source of power left to the U.S. is “media power.”