- (E) Russia rejects sending S-300 missiles to Iran.
- Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar hails Iran’s improved capability of manufacturing Global Positioning System (GPS) and communication and electronic military equipment.
- Sardar Ali Fadavi, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guards navy, says unmanned naval vessels controlled by the Revolutionary Guards will have a great impact on the Persian Gulf.
- (E) Radio Farda’s Paris-based reporter Mirasli Hosseini has an exclusive interview with Bernard Kouchner on Iran’s nuclear program. Kouchner says “our problems with Iran’s uranium enrichment persist … situation is getting increasingly dangerous … we are in favor of dialogue, but the Iranian side makes it impossible … all negotiations with Iran have lead to Iranian statements that are completely empty … and they don’t react to questions and don’t clarify doubts and problems…”
- Commentary in Iran daily critically analyzes the U.N. Resolution 1835:
- The author claims that the fourth U.N. resolution against Iran’s nuclear program has reached an impasse due to lack of cooperation by Russia, China and Germany.
- It quotes British diplomats as describing the resolution as a failure rather than a success.
- The aim of the United States to pass a new resolution against Iran, the author claims, is to influence the upcoming presidential elections by calling into question the legitimacy of the current regime.
- The fourth resolution, the writer points out, has further damaged the prestige and reliability of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and could lead Iran to reconsider its cooperation with the agency.
- The commentary says China will not support any punitive actions against Iran in the future.
Human Rights and Labor
- Government Quotas Keep Women Out of College.
- Mahdieh Golroo, who took part in a rally in front of the Iranian Parliament organized by students banned from university because of their views, says “[the police] beat me and another female student with batons and called us names… Parliament members passed by without taking the slightest notice.” [read in Persian]
- Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, one of the most influential Iranian clerics, describes the idea of establishing a U.S. think tank in Tehran as a “new conspiracy by Americans.” He urges the government to be vigilant about new conspiracies and warned against any concessions to be offered to the United States. He also cautioned that economic downturns could have dire social and political consequences.
- Reflecting on the British ambassador to Afghanistan’s recent comments about likely failure of the Afghan mission, Tehran ambassador to Kabul ascribes the failure to American and NATO’s wrong policies and urges for a review of the Afghan strategy.
- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warns against western government’s behind-the-scenes deals with the Taliban:
- Speaking to the inaugural session of Executive Council of Asian Parliaments, Larijani attributed the triumph of terrorism and dramatic rise in drug production in the region as “consequences of the so-called western anti-terrorist policies.”
- “Why did you resort to the mass killings in the region if you could easily enter into negotiations and deal with the terrorists,” asked Larijani.
- Expediency Council Chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani has called on the Iraqis to act in unison to overcome the challenges and threats posed by the enemies. “The Occupiers exploit prevailing differences in Iraq to their own benefit and the only way for the Iraqis to thwart the enemies’ plots is through unity and national cohesion,” Rafsanjani emphasized in a meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi answers journalists’ questions:
- He rejected the fourth U.N. Security Council resolution and reiterated that Iran would not stop uranium enrichment.
- Describing Ahmadinejad’s trip to the U.N. general assembly as “a diplomatic triumph,” Qashqavi pointed out that “the defamatory language of the U.S. media was now changed to a careful listener.”
- Alluding to Iran’s siding with Russia in the Georgian conflict, he denied claims that Tehran made any deals with Moscow to seek Russia’s support for Iran’s nuclear program. He also emphasized “the Bushehr nuclear power plant project would face no further obstacle and would be completed as planned.”
- Responding to Kuwait’s interior minister’s call on Iran not to “harbor terrorists from Al-Qaeda and not to serve as a launch pad or safe passage for terrorists,” the spokesman said the allegations were being investigated and stressed Iran had no ties with the group.
- Commentary in Kargozaran calls on former president Mohammad Khatami to run for the presidency to be able to deal with the daunting political and economic challenges prevailing in the country.
- Parliament censures Ahmadinejad’s announcement of the subsidy plan:
- The president on Tuesday made public the government’s economic plan that included removing subsidies from some products such as electricity and instead paying citizens a monthly cash package.
- The parliament set up a special commission to review the government’s subsidy program and criticized the president for having announced the plan prior to approval by the parliament.
- “Based on what calculations has the president promised money to people? Is there any money at his disposal that the parliament is unaware of? If so, why does he not repay his loans to the Central Bank? Why does he not pay outstanding salaries of education sector’s employees,” asks spokesman for the Parliament’s Economic Commission Mohammad Reza.
- Editorial in Donya-e Eqtesad questions feasibility of Ahmadinejad’s subsidy plan. Estimating the plan will require a budget of $53bn, the author describes the proposal as impractical and accuses the president of playing a “political game,” and trying to “defame the parliament in the eyes of the people.”
- Kagozaran reports on spiraling inflation engulfing the Iranians.
- Iran and Ecuador sign four economic agreements.
- (E) India will be Iran’s top oil customer in 2009, ahead of China and Japan.
Photo of the Day
- (E) Ahmadinejad holds office hours on his second day in North Khorasan.