The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance in compiling)

Politics

  • Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani expected to challenge Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts.
  • Applicants for “forms” for writing petitions to the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stormed and broke the windows of the city Islamic council in Iranshahr despite the fact that rumor of the president’s trip to Iranshahr has not been confirmed.
    • On the black market, the forms are sold for 5,000 tomans (~$5). Those writing letters to the Iranian president are believed to receive between 5,000 and 50,000 tomans from the special funds of the presidency.
  • Rafsanjani to lead the prayers at Tehran University this Friday.

Economy and Trade

  • Alef demands the president address the sale of petrochemical products through middlemen which raises the price for Iranians.
  • Deputy Pakistani minister of petroleum to enter Iran to negotiate natural gas imports.
  • Delkhosh, member of the Economics Committee of the Parliament: “The government should not wash off the responsibility for inflation on the parliament.”
  • Austrian firm OMV negotiates import of natural gas from Iran.
  • Bushehr commercial port to open in 55 days.
  • Assadollah Asgar Owladi, head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce: “Iran-China banking relations to normalize within the next 10 days.”
  • Iran to set up oil investment fund.

Nuclear Issue

  • Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency chief, Aghazadeh: “Bushehr nuclear plant to be included in the energy package of next year [and so in operation].”
    • “Iran adamant on uranium enrichment.”

· Larijani: “Enrichment of uranium continues.”

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Ayatollah Sobhani: “University students should be taught to be Islamic.”
  • Tehran Police Chief Radan: “Wearing boots is prohibited for ladies, even if the boots are covered by trousers.”
    • Seyyed Mostafa Tajzadeh of the reformist Participation Front: “Politicians wearing boots should be prohibited, not ladies wearing boots,” alluding to intervention of Revolutionary Guards officers in domestic politics of the Islamic Republic.
  • Raja reacts to Iranian political scientist Hossein Bashiriyeh’s decision to take an academic position at the Syracuse University by quoting the founder of the Islamic Republic, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini: “The claim there is brain drain. Let the brains drain. To Hell with this drainage. These brains were not scientific brains, these brains were treacherous brains.”
  • Alef evaluates activities of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, the highest body of cultural engineering in the Islamic Republic.
  • Rafsanjani: “Generating wealth in a legal way is a value in itself.”
  • Molavi Street to be cleansed of unauthorized bird sellers.
  • 25 internet cafes shut down by the police in Tehran; 23 people are arrested.
  • Supreme Leader’s address to Hajj pilgrims.

Diplomacy

· Former secretary of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani: “Pharaoh-ism of the Americans is defeated, along with their will to fight.”

· Iranian political analyst Mohammad Jamshidi: “President Ahmadinejad’s pilgrimage to Mecca is a golden opportunity to counter U.S. attempts at containing Iran through sectarianism in Islam.”

· Hardline Ansar accuses former Iranian nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani and former president Mohammad Khatami of “fueling the fire of hostile Arab newspapers against Iran.”

· Ahmadinejad arrives in Mecca.

· Iran Diplomacy analyzes the “ingratitude of the GCC towards Iran,” referring to the final communiqué of the GCC supporting the United Arab Emirates territorial claims against Iran.

· Iran and Nicaragua expand media cooperation.

Military and Security

  • New war games start.
  • Asr-e Iran delivers a lengthy account of the group Forqan, which it says is responsible for terrorist acts in southeastern Iran.
  • China rejects reports it’s selling jet fighters to Iran.

Human Rights and Labor

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