The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Military and Security

Diplomacy

  • Commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Ja’fari says the unity and solidarity of Iran and Syria has never been as strong as today.
  • Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers meet in Lebanon.
  • Al Akhbar (Lebanon) claims Walid Jumblatt, who recently demanded the ouster of the Iranian ambassador from Lebanon, has apologized to the Iranian foreign minister. As-Safir publishes a very different account of the encounter: “At the official dinner party which Nabi Berri had hosted in honor of the Emir of Qatar and on the occasion of the election of the Lebanese president, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki faced Walid Jumblatt, and the Iranian ambassador who was in the company of Mottaki, jokingly said that Mr. Jumblatt has demanded that I should be thrown out of Lebanon. Jumblatt answered quickly: ‘Yes, because you send missiles to Lebanon.’ Mottakki answered: Yes but for the Moqavemat [Defense]. Jumblatt answered: ‘We must talk later.” After this both parties withdrew while smiling.” Shahab News concludes that the Islamic Republic should be careful not to make up “fantasy victories.”
  • Raja News, mouthpiece of Ahmadinejad faction, condemns a television program on Danish National Broadcasting, featuring “The most beautiful veiled women.” According to Raja News, the program is yet another provocation which began with the Danish cartoon affair.
  • Nicaraguan president Ortega travels to the Islamic Republic.
  • Rahim-Mashayee, presidential advisor and head of the Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization, protests against Kayhan, which has criticized the Iranian government’s invitation of “CIA agent Hooshang Amirahmadi” to Iran.

Politics

  • With 161 votes against 50, Ali Larijani is appointed the candidate of the Principalist Alliance for the position as the speaker of the parliament, defeating Haddad-Adel.
  • Former president Mohammad Khatami warns against “dangerous innovations which weaken the sovereignty of the people…After the passing away of the Imam [Khomeini], some people who had little regard for him, claimed that the Imam was against the republican element of the Islamic Republic…” Khatami also warned against a “tendency toward barring certain candidates from running for parliament because of their political leanings and inclinations.” More here.
  • Ahmadinejad’s press advisor Ali-Akbar Javanfekr and media advisor Mehdi Kalhor meet university students in Zanjan and defend Ahmadinejad’s performance. The advisors answered questions about why Iran supports Palestinians and the Lebanese, while there is widespread poverty inside Iran, as well as about the state of the press in the Islamic Republic.
  • Following Kermanshah province governor Majid Ghaffouri’s conflicts with the Kermanshah Province Islamic Council which led to the closure of the council, rumors circulate about the dismissal of Ghaffouri, a precinct mayor during Ahmadinejad’s tenure as Tehran mayor.
  • Government spokesman Elham complains of “the obstructions of the [last] parliament,” despite its general compliance with Ahmadinejad’s agenda.
  • Tehran mayor Qalibaf: “One can fight the U.S. by fighting unemployment and corruption.”
  • Mohammad Tavasolli, the political director of the Iran Freedom Movement, welcomes government supervision of the finances of the party, but not before the Iran Freedom Movement has obtained a certificate to operate in the Islamic Republic.

Economy

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Ayatollah Seyyed-Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, Friday Prayer leader of Mashhad and member of the Assembly of Experts: “I don’t know why some mercenaries, and weaklings insist we should not speak of God, and the Imam of the Era, may God hasten his reappearance. There are also those loyal elements who are simpletons, and say ‘You overuse God and the Imam of the Era’. But our country is the country of the Imam of the Era. We have not attributed our defeats to the Imam of the Era, but feel indebted to him when it comes to our victories…”
    • Hoda also attacked the Baha’i faith in Iran: “Baha’ism is not piety, belief, or a religion.” He added that it is necessary to deal with this “phenomenon”
    • “When the Shah was ruling this country, this deviant sect infiltrated his entire administration, and we were forced to debate with them. But today, the country is an Islamic regime, and the country is the country of the Imam of the Era, would the people tolerate an Israeli soldier who kills innocent Palestinian women and children walk freely in this country?” Hoda continued: “This spy network has committed al sorts of security and political crimes in this country, and there is abundant evidence proving this.” He concluded that the Baha’is should face maximum punishment [execution].

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Michael RubinMichael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East ...

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