The Corner

Iran News Round Up

(Thanks to Ali Alfoneh for his compilation)

Politics

  • Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, teaching his ethics class at Imam Sadeq University, answers a question about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech in Mashhad, which was delivered more than a month ago, but broadcast only recently:
    • “Mr. Ahmadinejad should not say such things [speak about the Imam of the Era], because he alienates the public from the Imam of the Era… If the Imam of the Era is tasked with executive leadership of this country [as the Iranian president claims], how come he can’t destroy the [economic] mafia [which the Iranian president blames for all the ills of the Iranian society]? How about rice prices which has risen to 50,000 rials per kilo? Is this also a result of the management of the Imam of the Era?” Mahdavi Kani also stressed that Imam of the Era “does not face anyone, is not present in anyone’s presence, and does not directly give messages to any person or personality during his major occultation.”
    • Mahdavi Kani concludes: “Those who face difficulties, laziness, or trouble should not seek refuge under the cloak of the Imam of the Era, or utilize the religion in order to defend their political and economic mistakes, or explain mundane inadequacies to religious beliefs, which they sacrifice in the slaughter house of their cultural, political ad economic mistakes.” 
    • Mahdavi Kani also said: “Imam Khomeini, in all his majesty, never said anything like this.”
  • Ayatollah Tabasi warns against “Salafist tendencies” and urges the clergy to assume ”precisely the same political leanings as those of the Supreme Leader.”
  • Ahmadinejad does not accept the resignation of government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham.
  • Ahmadinejad calls major press conference for Tuesday.
  • Ali Larijani gives interview to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
  • Office of Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says the comments regarding Rafsanjani’s resistance to the Velayat-e Faqih principle during the making of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic published in his interview book with Sadeq Ziba-Kalam, are not the words of Rafsanjani, and their publication is due to a lapse in the editing process.  More.
  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei visits Tehran International Book Fair
  • Kargozaran claims Mir-Hossein Mousavi, former prime minister, is planning to run for presidency.

Economy

  • Entekhab reports major changes in the ministry of economics and finance.
  • Petroleum minister Gholam-Hossein Nowzari confesses in the Iranian parliament: “In 1386 (2006/2007), the government, illegally used $2 billion from the National Iranian Oil Company to import gasoline.” In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran government had decided to curb gasoline consumption through rationing and import a maximum of $3.8 billion, but in practice, and without authorization or information of the parliament, $5.7 billion worth of gasoline was imported and the efforts to reduce consumption were neutralized.
  • Abdol-Reza Mesri, minister of social security and welfare: “There is no person living under the line of poverty in this country!”
    • Adds: “We pay those who ask for support 250,000 to 500,000 rials per month.”
    • Asr-e Iran asks: “Can anyone live on 250,000 to 500,000 rials per month? How much does the minister himself make…? Could the honorable minister kindly inform us how we can satisfy our need for calories with the amount the minister mentions?” More.
  • Foreign exchange reserve reaches $81 billion.
  • Bayazid Merdouchi, one of the founding fathers of the Petroleum Reserve Account, says the Iranian president’s dissolution of the board equals to dissolution of the account.
  • Sheibani, former director general of the Islamic Republic of Iran National Bank, discusses the chaotic economic policies of the Ahmadinejad government.

Trade

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad-Hassan Rastgou, director of the Pedagogical Center of the Theological Seminary in Qom, attacks the children’s program “Fitileh, Jom’e Ta’tileh” because of presence of both boys and girls in the program, and because the children clap and cheerfully shout hurrah. 
  • Wikimapia becomes a battle ground between the Shi’as and Sunnis, since Sunni users delete mentions of long destroyed Shi’a sites in the map of Mecca, while the Shi’a try to reconstruct the maps.
  • Iranian religious innovator Abdol-Karim Soroush and Ayatollah Ja’far Sobhani continue their polemics on the nature of divine revelations to the prophet Muhammad. Is the Quran the word of God, or the word of Muhammad?
  • Ayatollah Seyyed-Mohammad Taher Khorram-Abadi passes away.
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran to provide loans to hermaphrodites to conduct sex operations.

Diplomacy

Photos of the Day

  • Khamenei at Tehran International Book Fair.  Here and here.

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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