The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Politics

  • Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda, the Friday Prayers leader of Mashhad: “To those who follow Rousseau and stress the sovereignty of the people, I can only say that they are polytheists, since it is not man who is to decide but God…”  
  • Khamenei claims the “foreign enemies of Iran are trying to depict the economic problems grander than they are… Discipline, self-sacrifice and fight against waste is the key to solve such problems.”
  • Abdol-Reza Sheikh al-Eslami, head of the office of the president, says there has been no presidential decree with regard to appointment of a new minister of interior. According to E’temad, this is a sign that the departure of Pour-Mohammadi has been suspended. Analysis
    • Presidential advisor Mahsouli says changes on the way in the Ministry of Interior, but he does not know who will replace Pour-Mohammadi.
  • Entekhab News publishes a report of the Iranian president’s meeting with the citizens of Tehran. More here.
  • Morteza Tammaddon soon to be appointed Ahmadinejad’s parliamentary advisor.
  • Jalal Jalalizadeh delivers an analysis of election participation in the Kurdish areas of Iran.

Military and Security

  • Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking to the various branches of the Iranian Armed Forces in Shiraz: “The enemies of Iran dare not attack this great and ancient nation…”
    • “This consolidated bastion must be strengthened for every day by the means of ingenuity and innovation…”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohamadi Golpayegani, head of the Office of the Supreme Leader: “The importance of the armed forces in all societies throughout all history is clear to everyone…Any government or regime which does not possess the force to defend its thought is doomed to failure.”
  • Ansar News claims that after the ”martyrdom of Mahallati, representative of then Supreme Leader Khomeini, Mohammadi Eraghi was appointed as representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guard.”

Nuclear Issue

Religion, Culture, and Society

Human Rights and Labor

  • Tehran mayor Qalibaf celebrates International Labor Day and says Tehran’s progress is due to the efforts of the workers in the Iranian capital.
  • Due to prohibition of public gatherings, no May Day commemoration.
  • Daryoush Ghanbari, representative of Ilam in the Iranian parliament, demands ousting of the provincial governor of Ilam after the armed forces gunned down demonstrators who had staged a demonstration against rigged election results. “This incident was a conspiracy and those responsible behind it should be punished.”

Diplomacy

  • Iran takes credit for blocking Jewish NGO ahead of UN conference.
  • Speaking to an assembly of religious leaders in Sri Lanka, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says “The bullying powers are collapsing fast, and the corrupt criminals will soon be gone…Justice, friendship, love and worship of God as the common denominators of all religions and sects will become global.”
  • Speaking to workers, the Iranian president said he welcomes “sanctions since they bring divine blessings upon us…”
    • Ahmadinejad also said that the “capitalist order is collapsing…the problems of workers will be solved soon.”
  • Tabnak News discloses how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has become a family business:
    • Tahereh Nazari-Mehr, wife of the minister of foreign affairs, is appointed general director of the Women and Human Rights Directorate of the ministry. 
    • Wife of a deputy minister who earlier functioned as a school head mistress has also been engaged in the ministry. 
    • Wife, daughter and son of the minister travel to Syria and Lebanon with a special plane of the ministry
    • Both the minister’s children are, according to the ministry, engaged in different projects for the ministry.
    • Tabnak also reports of employment of twelve graduates from Indian universities in the ministry. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs is himself a graduate from an Indian university.
  • Ahmadinejad at a press conference in India: “I don’t think they will let Obama become president.”
  • A source close to the Syrian president says even in case of a deal between Israel and Syria, Syria will not sever relations with Iran.

Economy

  • Despite earlier reports of raising the National Bank’s interest rate to 14 percent, the loan interest rate remains at 12 percent
    • Donya-ye Eqtesad warns says politicized regulation of interest rate would be catastrophic.
      • Also explains the newspaper will cost more because of inflation.
  • According to Hassan Rowhani, the Expediency Council is preparing a bill to prohibit the government from withdrawing funds from the foreign exchange reserve.
  • Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Haddad Adel faces unpleasant questions from the press when he claimed the eighth parliament will be a parliament fighting against inflation.
    • Journalist: You reigned over an absolute majority in the seventh parliament, how come the seventh parliament did not attend to the inflation problem? And why should we believe the eighth parliament will do so?”
    • Second journalist: “It is widely believed you are good at mathematics. Could you please help a family with five members by doing some additions and subtractions? Their total income is 2,500,000 rials per month, and they pay 1,500,000 rials in rent. How should such a family make a living with just 1,000,000 rials per month?”
    • Third journalist: “Do you know the price of meat in the market?”
      • Haddad Adel answered “more or less, but you should ask the butchers.”
    • Fourth journalist: “For water, electricity, natural gas and phone one needs to pay 500,000 rials per month, meat is 90,000 rials per kilo, chicken 30,000 rials per kilo, rice is 20,000 rials per kilo and fruit has become prohibitively expensive for the people. They can’t even dream of lime, which is 30,000 rials per kilo.”
      • Haddad Adel : “There is no need to offer your guest lime, which is not a necessary commodity.” 
  • Ebrahim Nazari Jalali, deputy head of the Labor section of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs: “Income of the workers only covers 46 percent of their living costs.”
  • Head of Judiciary Shahroudi says the “State-run economy is umm al-fesad [mother of corruption].”

Trade

  • Iran presses ahead with natural gas cartel.
  • Despite earlier government decisions, no petroleum company has been privatized.
  • The Islamic Republic’s minister of industry and mining: “No one has the right to resist the government’s price control mechanisms.” 
    • The minister also said that the cigarette mafia mentioned in the Qom speech of the president was just a “hypothetical example”.

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.

Recommended

The Latest