The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Politics

  • Sayeh News republishes the Iranian president’s speech in Qom in which he said the United States’ invasion of Iraq was because of the looming re-appearance of the Imam of the Era.
    • Dorri Najaf-Abadi, prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic, claims those who claim to be in contact with the Imam of the Era are foreign agents.
  • According to Sayeh News, acting minister of interior Seyyed Mehdi Hashemi has accepted the Iranian president’s appointment with great hesitation because of presence of “two of his [Hashemi’s] former commanders, commander Afshar and Amir Mohtaj” in the Ministry of Interior. Sayeh News also predicts change of 10 governor generals as a direct result of the appointment of Hashemi.
  • Rafsanjani, delivering Friday sermon in Tehran: “It is the duty of the literati no to let there be a gap between the regime and the people. Those loving the Revolution should serve the people in such way to make them stay in the scene. If God forbid, we should not see enough votes in the ballots, and if the people are dissatisfied with their lot, there will be a gap between the regime and the people and we should avoid such mistake, and not fall into the trap of our enemies…
  • Deposed speaker of the Iranian parliament, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel is appointed head of the parliament’s research institute.
  • Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presents his deputy for parliamentary affairs, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, in the Iranian parliament.
  • Dr. Seyyed-Hassan Arefi, personal physician of Ayatollah Khomeini, publishes his memoirs: “Imam Khomeini was brave and courageous, but he had fears because he feared God. He feared that he should have said things that he had not, or do things that he had not done. Therefore, his deeds were directed by what he [instinctively found] right and he did not fear death. He only feared God.”
    • The doctor stressed that only domestic issues and emotional matters affected Khomeini physically: “Things which we thought would provoke the Imam and affect his health badly did not affect him, since I personally feel that he knew that when we are engaged in war, not only victory, but also defeats were to be expected, and even total defeat was possible, since it is the logic of the war. The Imam had recognized this matter, but we were not aware of it…At the time of the bombing of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] Party…I went to the Imam, said hello and measured his blood pressure and found out it was good. Also his heart beat was good and I found out that his calm was due to his insight. Imam was calm because he knew that in a revolution and such a movement people will at some point get killed. Blows to us were possible, but there is no revolution in the world without fight. Such matters did not affect the Imam in a negative way…The only thing which truly affected the man was at times when he felt there were internal conflicts, which affected him deeply. We were not aware of the affairs, but during the conflict with [Grand] Ayatollah [Hossein-Ali] Montazeri, I visited him on numerous occasions and was on call…After some consecutive nights of visiting the Imam I was told the conflict with Ayatollah Montazeri had affected his physical health.”

Military and Security

  • Basij member Mohammad Al-e-Habib tells the story behind the murder of a Basij member who was killed after he intervened in the intimate affairs of a couple.
  • According to Shahab News, perpetrators of sabotage against the natural gas pipeline to Turkey have been killed in clashes.
  • Ahmadinejad addresses the commanders and executives of the Basij: “We have reports that the current U.S. president has been terrified of scenarios presented to him by his own military commanders with regard to the consequences of attacking Iran… The Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces, the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards will cut off those hands harboring evil intentions against Iran… For some time they are saying to us that the Islamic Republic is an influential regional power, and we [the world powers] must take Iran’s role into consideration in all calculations. But the truth is that the Islamic Republic is a world power…Collapse of the capitalist order will happen much faster than the Marxist and communist orders, and from now on we must prepare our self to manage world affairs…In Lebanon they [The United States] had planned to make some provocations and disruptions and involve Hezbollah in order to – as they themselves describe it – revenge the occurrence of two years ago, but they did not manage to do so…Critics of the government criticize us without studying our policies in detail. They just pick a point and attack us…We face the same problem in our fight against economic corruption…We believe that they [the critics of the Ahmadinejad government] are engaged in a vendetta against the Iranian nation by producing great many lies and by sabotaging the work of the government…”
  • Agah-Sazi publishes the third and fourth parts of Ezzat-Shahi’s memoirs on the formation of Revolutionary Committees in 1979.

Diplomacy

  • Rafsanjani, delivering Friday sermon in TehranThe root cause of all problems in Iraq is the U.S. presence…In the nuclear issue, we cooperated a lot with the IAEA, and they have also recognized this, but recently the Americans have made some claims…The recent reports against Iran is a new trap, and I think that the IAEA will lose credibility if continuing like this…”
  • As relations between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia deteriorate, King Abdullah invites Rafsanjani to Riyadh.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Shahab news reports that a cuneiform inscription on Khargh island has been defaced.
    • The much celebrated ancient inscription reportedly mentions the Persian Gulf.

Trade

  • China to assemble cars in Iran.

Photo of the Day

Michael 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 Quarterly.

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