The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Nuclear Issue

Politics: March 2008 Parliamentary Elections

  • Majid Ansari, a reformist, on disqualification of reformists: “Does the Council of Guardians consider us to have even less worth than Jews?”
  • The Council of Guardians publishes the fourth report on qualified candidates to parliamentary elections in Iran.
  • The Principalist Alliance, headed by Rezai, Qalibaf and Larijani, publishes the list of their candidates.
  • Quoting www.5sobh.com, Asr-e Iran says members of the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards not only control senior posts in the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, but also micromanage Iranian television and radio programming in order to prevent reformists from appearing in the media.

Politics: General

  • Iran to issue a stamp commemorating Imad Mughniyeh.
  • Hojjat al-Eslm Hassan Rowhani: “A bunch of political kids want to derail the revolution.”
  • Asr-e Iran reports increased desertions from the Mojahedin-e Khalq’s Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
  • Farhad Rahbar is appointed member of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution in Iran.
  • Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi refutes the first president of the Islamic Republic, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr’s claim that he was against the principle of Velayat-e Faqih, the religious philosophy upon which the theocracy is based.
  • Kayhan editor Hossein Shari’atmadari claims the perception of the Revolutionary Guards intervening in politics is due to “some misunderstandings.”
  • Agahsazi warns against political intervention of the armed forces.
  • Revolutionary Guards commander Javani: “Those who blame the Revolutionary Guards for acting against the recommendations of the Imam [Khomeini] are the very same people who have turned their back to the Imam.”

Economics and Trade

  • The Expediency Council warns the parliament against “discrepancies between the National Budget proposal and the general economic objectives of the country.”
  • A Kuwaiti citizen is tried for selling airplane spare parts to the Islamic Republic.
  • United Arab Emirates is interested in importing natural gas from Iran.
  • Russia’s Gazprom to increase its investments in Iran’s oil and natural gas sector.
  • France freezes $85 million from the Islamic Republic.

Military

Diplomacy

  • Reza Seraj, head of the Student Basij Organization, says the U.S. is engaged in “soft warfare” against the Islamic Republic, which entails attacks against the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij.
  • Asr-e Iran publishes a picture of the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister posing besides a map of Iran depicting the “Persian Gulf,” a name the UAE disputes.
  • Entekhab, which represents the reformist faction, claims Palestinian president Abu Mazen’s family background is “Zionist” and “Bahai.”

Culture, Religion, Society

  • Quoting E’temad, Emrouz reports Law Enforcement Forces in the provinces have confiscated Valentine’s Day gifts.
  • Religious praise singer [maddah] close to the Iranian president and the Revolutionary Guards insults the late Ayatollah Tavassoli.

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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