The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance compiling)

Politics: General

  • Hashem Aghajari is to deliver a speech at the political saloon of Abdollah Nouri, the impeached minister of interior of former president Mohammad Khatami.
  • Iranian political activist and former political prisoner, Akbar Ganji at a meeting in Toronto: ”We can call the Islamic Republic a lot of things, but not reactionary.”
  • Editor of Ansar: “Hossein Mousavian, former nuclear negotiator accused of espionage for Great Britain, is ready to give an apology for his treason.”
    • Mousavian files a complaint against Ansar after its allegations that he “receive[ed] money from Great Britain” and “perform[ed] espionage for the enemies of Islam.”
  • Ansar “reveals” proof of treason by studying an interview made by the technocratic allies of former president Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who, according to the agency, recently described the “Zionist problem” as the “conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
  • Ayatollah Mojtaba Tehrani, a former student of the late Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, criticized Ahmadinejad: “Those who are chosen to perform a duty should resign if they do not see themselves fit to serve the nation.” 

Politics: March 2008 Parliamentary Elections

  • Mojahedin-e Enghelab complains of “misbehavior” in the course of parliamentary elections in an open letter to the Supreme Leader.
  • The Islamic Republic’s minister of intelligence warns “anyone who chooses to follow the path of the enemy” in the course of parliamentary elections will face “severe punishment.”
  • Mohammad Rafsanjani, brother of Hashemi Rafsanjani, explains his abstention from candidacy to the parliament by referring to “irregularities in the screening process of the candidates.”
  • 394 of 1403 candidates do not pass the Guardian Council’s screening process.
  • Khedmat launches its negative campaign against reformist candidates by “exposing” the names of parliamentary candidates from the 6th parliament who are attempting to run once again for the Iranian parliament.
  • 20 current parliamentarians do not pass Guardian Council screening to run for re-election.
  • Spokesman of the supervisory body of the parliamentary elections in the Islamic Republic claims 750 candidates have “an open legal dossier.”
  • Hassan Rowhani, former nuclear negotiator of the Islamic Republic, and a protégé of Rafsanjani says he has chosen not to run for the parliamentary elections after performing estekhareh (a prayer process to seek God’s guidance).

Human Rights and Labor

  • Mohammad Hashemi and Arash Khandel, members of the Islamic Student Council of the University of Lorestan, summoned to the Revolutionary Court.
  • The Islamic Student Council of Amir Kabir Polytechnical University condemn imprisonment of student activists, Ehsan Mansouri, Ahmad Ghassaban and Majid Tavakoli despite the fact that the judiciary has found them not guilty of conspiracy against the Islamic state.
  • Student activists called to “interview” with the disciplinary committee at the University of Shiraz after they allegedly invited the father of an imprisoned student activist to give a speech.

Religion, Society, and Culture

  • Ahmadinejad “most displeased with the severity of police [action] against the mourners [who were self-mutilating during ‘Ashura].
  • The Ministry of Education head of textbooks section says “school books for boys and girls should be separated.”

Nuclear Issue

Diplomacy

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs returns a U.S. official letter on the incident in the Persian Gulf to the U.S. government because the letter mentions “The Gulf,” and not the correct name: “The Persian Gulf.”
  • Reformist journalist and editor, Mashallah Shams al-Wa’ezin: “Ahmadinejad has brought about a qualitative change in Iran’s foreign policy…Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy is much more successful than Khatami’s.”
  • Ma’soumeh Ebtekar, former spokeswoman of the hostage-takers at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and later Khatami’s vice president: “I know there are some demonstrations in front of a couple of embassies nowadays, but that was a single incident which will not be repeated.”
  • Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, upon his return from Tehran, says the Islamic Republic is ready to soften its position on Persian Gulf territorial disputes.
  • An Iraqi newspaper reports several hundred thousand Iranians visit Najaf, and 200  Iranians are buried each day in the holy city.
  • Sa’id Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic, delivers a speech in the European Parliament.  
  • Foreign Ministry Spokesmen: “The West is just waiting for any excuse to sabotage our nuclear activities.”
  • Turkish gendarmes arrest 42 Iranian smugglers.

Economy and Trade

Military

Public Health

  • Tabnak warns against “contagious disease” after blackouts and phone disruptions in the wake of natural gas crisis 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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