The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his assistance)

Diplomacy

  • Iran wants “savage U.S. attacks” in Iraq to stop as a precondition of further talks.
  • Speaking to 20,000 academics and students in the Fars province, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stresses the necessity of unity in the face of the “conspiracies of the United States…which has mobilized all her efforts to weaken the revolution.”
  • 200,000 people in Tabriz demonstrate in favor of keeping the name “Persian Gulf” against international and Arab attempts to call it “The Gulf” or the “Arab Gulf.”
  • Salah Obeidi, Moqtada al-Sadr spokesman attacks the five-man Iraqi delegation visiting Tehran: “The aim of the alliance governing Iraq, by sending such a delegation to Iran, is to make people believe decision-making of the Sadr movement emanates from Tehran, and the problem of the Iraqi government with this group should be solved in Tehran…”
    • Obeidi added: “Members of this delegation are Iranians to the bone…Ali Adib is Iranian to the bone, and has even Iranian citizenship…Hadi Ameri is a former commander in the Revolutionary Guards…and Sheikh Khaled Atiyeh is Iranian to the bone as well.”
  • Iran seeks to be a pan-regional power—moving “into big leagues.”

Trade

  • The economic attaché of the Islamic Republic in Madrid, Mehdi Rownagh says “27 European countries are competing to invest in Iran…The fiercest competition seems to be the one between Italy and Spain…which tries hard to outbid Italy.” Rownagh also adds Iran/Spain economic relations are increasing, and reached €3.17 million in 2007. According to Rownagh, a Spanish economic delegation is on its way to Tehran to investigate avenues for further economic cooperation.
  • Iran-Bahrain trade up 200 percent.

Economics

Nuclear Issue

  • Boroujerdi, chairman of the national security and foreign policy committee of the Iranian parliament asks Russia to “wake up to the new nuclear realities of Iran.” Boroujerdi also warned that both “East and West take advantage of our nuclear issue.”
  • Donya-e Eqtesad claims the policy of pressuring Iran has suffered a blow after the London summit which presents the Islamic Republic to a new incentive package in the nuclear issue.

Military and Security

  • Commander Saffari, head of the Revolutionary Guards Navy says: “The very existence of a threat is a blessing for us…When the military threats of the enemy are imaginable for us, we stimulate our culture of Jihad and martyrdom-seeking and our youth get more prepared….”
    • Saffari differentiated between “soft, semi-hard, and hard” threats.
    • “Due to the anti-imperialist nature of the Islamic Revolution as a movement, the fundamental threat has been there, is there, and will be there and will never cease. As long as there is history, such threats will also be there, but their complexity varies. In different times, the severity [of the threat] varies and also depends on the atmosphere.”
  • Islamic Republic of Iran authorities deny that a bomb exploded at the Ma’soumeh mausoleum in Qom.

Politics

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • On the occasion of Tehran International Book Fair, the Islamic Republic’s minister of culture and Islamic guidance says 10 percent of manuscripts delivered to the ministry for approval of the censors are “problematic” and are never published. In total numbers, 10 percent amount equals 5,000 manuscripts on annual basis. In addition to this, the head of Tehran International Book Fair explains that around. 300 volumes have been removed from the Book Fair despite the fact that they have achieved publication permit by the ministry.
    • According to E’temad, 280 books which had already been published and had received a distribution permit from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance have been “cleansed out of the Tehran Book Fair due to their display of pornographic pictures, immoral content and failing to live up to bureaucratic procedures.”
  • Ayatollah Yazdi elected new general secretary of the Theological Seminaries of Qom by consensus. The members of the general secretariat are Ayatollah Reza Ostadi, Morteza Moghtadayi, Mohammad Mo’men, Mohammad Yazdi, and the Hojjat al-Eslams Seyyed Hashem Hosseini Boushehri, Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, Mahmoud Rajabi, Mahmoud Abollahi and Seyyed Mohammad Gharavi.

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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