(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)
- ElBaradei due in Tehran
Politics: March 2008 Parliamentary Elections
- Mousavi Lari from the reformist campaign lambasts the Iran Freedom Movement’s suggestion that an international body should supervise parliamentary elections in Iran: “This is an insult against the nation.”
- In a Qom speech, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “people should not let the parliamentary elections become a tool in the hands of foreigners…”
- Referring to Bush’s declaration of support to “democrats and reformists from Beirut and Baghdad to Damascus and Tehran,” the Supreme Leader urged the Iranian people to: “Also to distance themselves from the servants of the enemy, those who serve the enemy, and those hired by the enemy.”
- Hard line Ansar News, mouth piece of the vigilante Ansar-e Hezbollah group, attacks reformist candidates: “After Mousavian the spy [former Iranian nuclear negotiator accused, and acquitted of espionage], it is Aghajari the mortad [Aghajari was accused of heresy] who intends to run for parliament in the list of the reformists.”
Economy and Trade
- Dairy producers complain about official price control mechanisms. Production costs have risen with 55 percent, but the sale price has been allowed to rise only with 7 percent.
- Ahmadinejad holds session to discuss cold weather problems in Mazandaran.
- Seyyed Mehdi Hashemi, special representative of the president, participates in a meeting about shortage of natural gas in Mazandaran province.
- Tehran residents to pay local taxes for the first time.
- World Bank funding secures a home for 243,000 shanty town dwellers in northern Tabriz.
- Iranian gas flow to Turkey halted.
- By releasing a video of the Hormuz confrontation through the English language Iranian television channel, Press TV, the Islamic Republic claims it has “revealed the conspiracies of the U.S.”
- Persian translation of the communication between the U.S. vessels and Iranian boats here.
- Iranian officials claim the U.S. purpose of “fabricating a video” is to promote “Iranophobia” in the Persian Gulf region.
- Gary Sick and Professors David Stone and Richard Bulliet of Columbia University deny Iranian reports that the university is sending a delegation of professors to “present formal apologies to the Iranian president.”
- Tabnak, close to Mohsen Rezai, former chief of the Revolutionary Guards, says direction of Iran’s policies towards the U.S. is a prerogative of the Supreme Leader. Tabnak’s analysis comes after the Supreme Leader’s speech in Yazd, in which he said that, for the time being, it is not in the interest of Iran to establish normal diplomatic relations with the U.S.
- Iranian press features anti-U.S. flag-burning rally in Ankara, Turkey
- Tehran police seek recruits in an advertisement.
Religion, Culture, and Society
- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warns against “superstitious,” “unwise,” and “unbecoming” behavior during the mourning days of Moharram.
- Police Chief of Zanjan: “We will not tolerate self-mutilation by machetes in the mourning month of Moharram.”
- For the first time in Iran, Tehran municipality installs a condom and syringe dispenser in a public place.
Human Rights and Labor
- Imprisoned labor leader Mahmoud Salehi returned to prison after hospital visit.
- Free Mansour Osanlou website.
- Background on imprisoned independent trade unionist Mansour Osanlou.
Photo of the Day
- Raucous press welcome for ElBaradei in Tehran.