- At the convention of the executive directors of Taxi Driver Cooperatives in Iran, Seyyed Kazem Delkhosh:
- Says the national budget is $280 billion,
- Reports a ten-fold growth in imports
- Claims more than 30 percent of the national budget is transferred to state owned enterprises which otherwise would have gone bankrupt.
- Claimed an approximate of 3 million civil servants serve the state bureaucracy, and said the state could do away with half of them.
- The Islamic Republic increases bank loans to the carpet industry.
- Agah-Sazi reports beginning of 16 development projects in Chabahar.
- According to Agah-Sazi, the Ahmadinejad government has withdrawn $6.1 billion from the foreign currency reserve in the past three years to continue its industrialization schemes.
- Ahmadinejad claims Iran’s development during the past three years equals the country’s development during the previous 16 years.
- Shahab News discloses that during the past week, Ahmadinejad has given three different statistics on increase in electricity production during his presidency and wonders what numbers to believe.
- Deputy petroleum minister Gholam-Hossein Nejabat says the Islamic Republic has attracted $4.5 billion in foreign investments in the petrochemical industry. Nejabat specified that the companies in question are from Japan, Thailand, the Phillipines, Indonesia, Oman, India, Venezuela, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Germany.
- Nejabat also expressed his expectations to raise $14 billion in investments for the Phase 2 of the Assalouyeh petrochemical development scheme. Mehr News Agency also reports signing of a contract between Damavand Petrochemical Company and the Italian WDT company.
- Tabnak’s less optimistic assessment of the development in Assalouyeh.
- (E) Iran denies importing wheat from United States.
- Mehdi Karrubi officially announces his candidacy for the 2009 presidential elections.
- Rafsanjani continues his attacks against the government and demands “informative reporting on policies of the government” from the Ahmadinejad cabinet.
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei receives the entire cabinet, and Agah-Sazi publishes the full text of the Supreme Leader’s speech.
- In an analysis, Agah-Sazi stresses that the Supreme Leader urged the government not to devise policies as if it is the last year of the cabinet in power, but to think 4-5 years ahead.
- Radio Farda has read this as an endorsement of Ahmadinejad’s candidacy for a second term.
- The journalist Mohebbian refutes “the foreign media’s reports on recent declaration of support to Ahmadinejad government as endorsement of Ahmadinejad for a second term of presidency.”
- President Ahmadinejad thanks the “benevolence of the Supreme Leader” towards his government and expresses hopes that the “machinations against the government end.”
Military and Security
- Hossein Ta’eb, chief of the Basij unit of the Revolutionary Guards, says the IRGC fights for the rights of the underprivileged, and praised the efforts of the Ahmadinejad government to eradicate poverty.
- Deputy Political Director of the Interior Ministry and IRGC commander Ali-Reza Afshar accuses the Khatami government of weakening the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic.
- Foreign minister Mottaki explains the Islamic Republic’s proposals for further nuclear negotiations.
Religion, Culture, and Society
- Shahab News publishes the names of the Iranians killed in the airline crash in Kyrgyzstan.
- (E) Supreme Leader: Iran must aim for greater victories.
- (E) Rafsanjani: Iran strongly defends Iraq’s unity.
- (E) Iran’s ambassador to Poland criticizes U.S. missile shield.
- (E) Turkish foreign minister to visit Iran.
Photo of the Day
- Tehran symphony.