The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Politics

  • Senior presidential advisor Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh says Ahmadinejad probably will run for presidency again.
  • Ali Larijani is elected speaker of the Iranian parliament with 237 votes; Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi is elected deputy speaker with 177 votes and Mohammad-Reza Bahonar second deputy speaker with 126 votes.
  • Association of Professor and Scholars at Elmiyyeh Theological Seminary warn against “assaults against the democratic achievements of the nation.” The criticism of the seminary is focused on election engineering and barring of critical voices from entering the parliament.
    • Mohammad Khosh-Chehreh delivers a detailed interview on the Iranian government’s elimination of critics from politics.
  • Rafsanjani indirectly criticizes the Ahmadinejad government: “The strategy of Imam Khomeini… was continuity of Islamic regime with presence of, and by resting upon the people. Anything else is neither Islamic nor humane nor even successful.”
    • Rafsanjani also warns: “If the Islamic Revolution, God forbid, thinks that it is possible to advance her goals by security and military means, it is wrong, since Islam has to do with the hearts of people… If the people have become alienated from the regime, or have some claims against the regime or consider the promises of the regime impractical, they see no reason to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the regime. At the very minimum, they will remain indifferent, and at maximum they will do some other things.”
  • Seyyed Hassan Khomeini refutes rumors on his candidacy for presidential elections, and warns against “Talebanism” in Iran. He also stressed that his grandfather’s political decisions were made upon reason and not “dreams or by bibliomancy [estekhareh].”
  • Hossein Khomeini recalls his grandfather’s views on various issues.
  • Tehran mayor Qalibaf explains why he hates politics, and the “dirty political scene.”

Economy

Trade

Religion, Culture, and Society

Media

  • Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, media advisor to the Iranian president, complains about the Iranian press which shows no interest in accompanying the Iranian president during his trips to the provinces. Elham, government spokesman, answering why journalists critical of the Iranian president are not allowed to join the president on his trips to the provinces, advises the press to travel to different destinations in Iran on their own, in order to become more familiar with their country.
  • Zarghami, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, has ordered production of a documentary “demonstrating acts of treason of [Dr. Abol-Hassan] Bani-Sadr,” the first president of the Islamic Republic.
    • Mohammad Qouchani publishes his critique of the memoirs of the first president of the Islamic Republic, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr.
  • Fars News Agency shut down for three days by the Islamic Republic’s press authorities on unclear grounds.

Military and Security

Nuclear Diplomacy

Diplomacy

  • Ahmadinejad at press conference in Rome: “Despite his greatest enthusiasm, Bush will never be able to attack Iran, and he will end his term with this sorrow…” Answering a question on why he calls the United States “the Great Satan,” the Iranian president says: “This is the truth. Today, the head of the U.S. government is selling out the honor of the American nation. Who else [than Satan] is to answer for the thousands of deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon? Is it the deed of anyone else than Satan?” The Iranian president concluded the press conference by declaring his readiness to participate in a direct debate with the next president of the United States.
  • The EU’s Javier Solana to visit Tehran.
  • Sobh-e Sadeq considers the Irano-European bank of commerce as a proof of U.S. defeat in attempts at isolating Iran.
  • The Iraqi ambassador to Tehran’s press conference delayed for two hours because of electricity shortage. In his speech, the Iraqi ambassador thanked the Islamic Republic for electricity exports to Iraq.
  • A powerful explosion near Iran’s embassy in Baghdad wounds several embassy guards.
  • Speaking in FAO, the Iranian president attacks “arrogant world leaders who don’t think about the food security of the poor.”
  • Speaking to foreign emissaries visiting the Islamic Republic on the occasion of Khomeini’s death, the Iranian president said “Israel will disappear from geography.”
  • Rafsanjani at the Convention of Islamic Sects in Mecca: “[B]efore attending ecumenical conventions and starting dialogues with other religions, we must talk among ourselves in an atmosphere of reason and rationality…We must not allow the world of Islam to weaken because of disagreements among us, an it is our duty to strengthen the world of Islam and the Islamic Umma [community of believers.]…Muslims constitute one fourth of world population, which is very important… 20 percent of the wealth of the world is also in Islamic countries. Also the most geopolitical locations in the world, straits and waterways and the best geographic areas on earth and the great productive market are in the realm of the Muslims and its universities also grow rapidly…
    • We don’t want to bully anyone, but we don’t want to hand over the rights of the people to others so easily…The problems in Islamic countries is first and foremost because of themselves. Because of poverty and underdevelopment extremism has flourished and the greedy imperialists plunder our resources…Zionism is a very dangerous pawn in the hands of the unbelievers and faces the Islamic Umma and Islamic states. We must engage in many activities to protect the great capital that God has granted us, and this convention can be a prologue…Palestine is an exhibition of the face of the criminals, and Lebanon is a victim of disunity and real problems.
    • Iraq is occupied and the occupiers pose dangers to other countries. The Americans even contemplate long term security arrangements with this country [Iraq], but Allah willing, this will not materialize, and the nation and the Islamic Umma will not allow the Americans to impose capitulations on an advanced Islamic country…Iraq has enormous resources. We must be vigilant, and we all must help Iraq to rid herself of this imprisonment, this slavery, and unofficial colonialism…
    • The colonialists have partitioned Afghanistan, and it is unknown what tens of NATO member states want in this country, since the security of this country deteriorates and narcotics spread to Islamic countries. NATO could prevent this, but they don’t.”

Human Rights and Labor

  • Il Reformista suggests renaming a street in which the embassy of the Islamic Republic is situated into Ali Nikounesbati Street, an imprisoned Iranian student activist.
  • Declaration of Iran Teachers’ Trade Associate in support of Farzad Kamangar, Iranian Kurdish teacher condemned to death.

Photo of the Day

  • Law Enforcement Forces, Basij militia and student activists skirmish in front of Dutch embassy. More.

 

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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