The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Economy

  • Ahmadinejad promises single digit inflation.
  • Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi warns of a “miserable generation” in case poverty is not fought forcefully.
  • Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: “Telling the truth is not equal to weakening the government. Rising housing prices are hitting people very hard.”
  • A member of the parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee: “This year, the housing prices will soar even more.”
  • Army chief: “Sanctions made us self-sufficient.”

– Authorities claim sanctions will not affect development of South Pars gasfield.

Donya-ye Eqtesad’s analyst warns against downplaying the sanctions threat against the Iranian gas sector.

– British prime minister Gordon Brown: “Sanctions against Iran will be more severe in the coming months.”

  • Donya-ye Eqtesad warns against the immaturity of thought among the Islamic Republic’s economic planners and draws parallels with the mismanagement of the Dutch disease during the 1970′s.
  • Central Bank publishes its strategy plan. More.

– Analysis of the Central Bank’s announcement of flexible interest rates to counter inflation.

  • Eliyas Naderan, member of the Economics Committee of the Iranian parliament, warns against the Iranian government “unauthorized” withdrawal of $840 million from the foreign exchange reserve. More.
  • General Director of the National Bank is not invited to Ahmadinejad’s meeting with directors-general of publicly-owned banks.
  • Mahdavi Kani’s harsh criticism against Ahmadinejad’s blame of others for economic failures is the front page of E’temad.

E’temad criticizes the president’s speech in Qom in which he blamed everyone but himself for the economic ills of Iran. “Who is responsible if not the president?”

Sarmayeh comments on Ahmadinejad’s speech in Qom: “Is the Iranian president representative of the government or of the opposition?…The oil income is directly under the control of the government, and the foreign exchange is directed into the coffers of the government. How come this government which has been in power for the past three years has continuously talked about the oil mafia but has not done anything about it, and has not even mentioned the names of those who belong to this gang?…With regard to the banking sector this government changed all the executives of state owned banks, and it is the board members of the banks who hand out loans to companies, and the smaller branch executives who hand out interest free loans to the public. Now, who are those who steal from the public under such circumstances as the president suggests?”

Jomhouri-ye Eslami commenting the Iranian president’s speech in Qom: “World leadership is not the responsibility of Mr. Ahmadinejad.”

Trade

Politics

Military, Paramilitaries, and Security

Religion, Culture, and Society

Human Rights and Labor

Diplomacy

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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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