The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Politics: March 2008 Parliamentary Elections

  • Former president Mohammad Khatami’s trip to Isfahan to campaign for the Alliance of Reformist Candidates delayed for unknown reasons.
  • Mohammad-Reza ‘Aref, Khatami’s first vice president: “With expansion of the disqualifications, the reformist presence in the parliament is in practical terms made impossible.”
  • The Reformist Alliance reports of widespread disqualification of reformist candidates to the Iranian parliament, including: Mohsen Armin, Ebrahim Amini, Elias Hazrati, Behzad Nabavi, Ali Mazroui, Ali Shakouri-Rad, Jahanbakhsh Jankhani, Abdollah Naseri, Zahra Nezhad-Bahram, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Hossein Younesi, Kasra Nouri, Rasoul Montakhab-Nia, Javad Etta’at, Mohammad-Javad Haqshenas, Abolfazl Shakouri, Masoud Soltani-Far, and A’zam Saqati.
    • More disqualified reformist candidates, here.
  • Abolfazl Shakouri-Rad of the reformist campaign headquarters: “Disqualifications for the parliamentary elections reduce the enthusiasm for elections.”
  • The reformist campaign reports that newspapers in Khorasan refuse to publish their ads.
  • Seyyed Mahmoud Hosseini, the only reformist candidate from Isfahan, disqualified by the Council of Guardians.
  • Spokesman of the Council of Guardians changes his mind about the total number of candidates for the parliamentary elections: “Around 7,500 individuals registered their candidacy, 30 percent of whom did not qualify at the screening process at provincial level.”
  • Reformist Abdol-Vahed Mousavi Lari engages in a hard dispute with Abas-Ali Kadkhodayee, spokesman of the Council of Guardians: “There are a lot of military personnel involved in the administration of the election process. Why does the Council of Guardians not intervene to stop such blatant violation of law?”
  • Ayatollah Mousavi Tabrizi, member of the scientific board of the theological seminaries of Qom, reports his disqualification by the Council of Guardians: “[I was disqualified] because of lack of belief in the Constitution and in Islam!”

Politics: General

  • Pro-Ahmadinejad Parliamentarian Fatemeh-ye ‘Aliya: “The people of Iran will nullify the conspiracies of the enemies at the demonstrations of the Revolution Day.”

 

Religion, Culture, Society

  • Former head of the Plan and Budget Organization replaces the controversial Ayatollah ‘Amidi as the dean of the University of Tehran. ‘Amidi was the first clerical dean in the history of the university.
  • Mohammad Maleki, Iranian academic and political activist, warns of “monopolization of Islam in the hands of the few” in Iran.
  • Judiciary increases punishment for those involved in production of pornography.
  • As the Iranian New Year approaches, the minister of agriculture urges Iranians: “Be economical in your consumption of oranges!”

Human Rights and Labor

  • Sugar cane workers in Haft-Tapeh are summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence because of strikes. Akhbar-e Rouz reports of arrest and “violent” interrogation of Jahanshah Qanbari, Khosrow Baqeri and Sirous Mirzaee.
  • A 22-year-old Iranian man sentenced to death after being caught drinking alcohol for the fourth time.
  • 78 university professors sign a petition demanding freedom for imprisoned student activists, Majid Tavakkoli, Ahmad Qasaban and Ehsan Mansouri.

Economy and Trade

  • Iranian economist and parliamentarian, Mohammad Khoshchehreh: “Next fiscal year’s budget does not decrease inflation in Iran.”

Diplomacy

  • IISS says low risk of U.S. military action against Iran, regardless of their nuclear drive.
  • In a meeting with the ministers of mining and industry of Venezuela, Ahmadinejad stresses the role of Iran and Venezuela in resisting the “authoritarians of the world.”
  • Diplomasi-ye Irani elaborates upon stormy French-Iranian relations since the beginning of the Sarkozy presidency.
    • French ambassador in Washington urges U.S. to support global role for Iran.
  • Iran angered by Indian launch of Israeli satellite.
  • ElBaradei urges Arab states to cement relations with Iran.
  • Rafsanjani: China’s stance on Iran’s nuclear issue is important.

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