The Corner

Iran News Round Up

Nuclear Issue

Politics

  • Agah-Sazi publishes a leaked report from Tehran Municipality which discloses financial irregularities under Ahmadinejad’s mayoralty, including: “Lack of improvement of the audit and accountant department of the municipality despite earlier orders to do so; transfer of loans to member of the Basij Resistance Force without the knowledge of or authorization from the city council; use of contractors without the knowledge of the city council; disappearance of 310,000,000,000 rials derived from fines; transfer of 1,390,000,000 rials from Tehran taxpayer’s money to emergency and relief operations in Bam without authorization of the city council; transfer of 450,000,000,000 rials to mosques and religious organization without city council authorization; transfer of 7,380,000,000 rials to the poor and needy without authorization of the city council….”
  • The internal bulletin of Mosharekat reformist organization publishes an editorial warning against the rise of “the garrison state“:
    • “‘The Supreme Leader did [will] not allow Khatami to become president, since it is the wish of the enemy’, ‘Disqualification of Khatami in presidential elections is dead certain,’ ‘Abdollah Nouri and Dr. Mohammad-Reza Khatami are also faces which have not left the Guardian Council any window of opportunity to accept their candidacy,’ ‘continuity of the presidency of Ahmadinejad for yet another four years is expedient, and entrance of other Principalists into elections is not a service to the regime, the Revolution or the people….’
  • Number of parliamentarians demanding impeachment of Ahmadinejad reaches 76.
  • Three Grand Ayatollahs, Nouri Hamedani, Safi Golpayegani and Makarem Shirazi, boycott the Ahmadinejad government which they accuse of “ignoring the guidance of the clergy.”
    • The grand ayatollahs are especially annoyed with Ahmadinejad’s indifference towards clerical criticism of vice president Mashayee’s comments about his friendship with the people of Israel.
    • Agah-Sazi’s analyst concludes that clerical unhappiness with Ahmadinejad could cost him in presidential elections of 2009.
  • According to Agah-Sazi, Khatami, in his meeting with former interior minister Abdollah Nouri, disclosed that he will not run in the 2009 presidential elections.
  • Higher education minister Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi discloses that Interior Minister Ali Kordan is not a member of the Scientific Board of the Azad University, but evades the question on authenticity of Kordan’s doctoral degree from Oxford University, saying “Knowing how to read and write is sufficient to function as a cabinet minister.”
    • Interior minister Ali Kordan says he has been a member of the scientific board of Azad University, he has nothing to do with the Crescent bribery scandal, and will explain his academic degrees later.
    • A website supporting cabinet ministers Kordan and Rahimi urges critics to engage in “a fast of silence” in the holy month of Ramadan and let the cabinet do its job.
  • Mohammad-Reza Tabesh, Khatami’s son-in-law, becomes secretary-general of the reformist minority in parliament.
  • Presidential candidate Hassan Rowhani says the Ahmadinejad government lacks a strategic plan for development of the country.
  • A parliamentary majority detaches the Islamic Republic Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization headed by Mashayee from the presidency.
  • Abrar analyzes appointment of American University Professor Hamid Mowlana who was appointed vice president after 50 years of residence in the United States.
  • Tehran City Council gives up plans to name a street in the Iranian capital after Prime Minister Mosaddeq.
  • Moetalefh political faction favors a “clerical candidate” in the 2009 presidential elections.
  • A so-called “Nationalist Group” featuring Adib Boroumand, Abbas Amir-Entezam, Lagha Ardalan, Davoud Hermidas Bavand, Nosrt-Allah Bokhtour-Tash and Changiz Pahlevan among others, slams the foreign and security policies of the Ahmadinejad government.
  • Alef News Agency director Ahmad Tavakkoli offers former nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian an apology since the news agency actively contributed to espionage allegations against the Rafsanjani protégé. The Iranian president’s office slams the apology as a “political alliance” and a “politically motivated move.”
  • Iranian parliamentarians Nader Ghazipour and Fakhr al-Din Heydari engage in a verbal fight in the Iranian parliament while discussing sectarian issues. Ghazipour attacked Heyari’s statements yesterday and claimed “governors of Sardasht and Mahabad and 99 percent of the executives in the southern parts of the province, even deputy chief of the Law Enforcement Forces of the province, are good Sunni brothers.”
    • The heated debate ended with intervention of parliamentary speaker Larijani who warned the parliamentarians against disclosing issues which could harm the national security of Iran.

Media

  • Agah-Sazi reports governmental purge of the news agency IRNA and government mouthpiece Iran.
  • Alef News Agency slams “anti-Iranian movies” on MBC’s Persian broadcasts.
  • The Islamic Republic Television to broadcast “The Infiltrator” about an Iranian citizen engaged in espionage for foreigners.

Diplomacy

Economy

  • Economic Transformation Scheme Group passes a proposal to delete three zeros from the currency.
  • Labor Minister and Central Bank director-general elaborate their differences with regard to economic policies.
  • Parliamentaian Mousa al-Reza Servati says the government hitherto has not produced any written reports on exchange reserves of the Islamic Republic to the parliament, but says the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic claims there is only $7 billion left of what was to be a future fund.
  • Ali-Asghar Arshi, International Affairs Director General of the National Iranian Oil Company, says that during the past five months, Iran has earned $43 billion from oil exports.
    • Kamal Daneshyar, former head of the Energy Committee of the Iranian parliament, says Qatar is exploiting the Assalouyeh oil and gas field and delays on the Iranian side will lead to great loss to the Islamic Republic.
  • Energy minister says he hopes to fill the dams with rain water.
  • Speaking to the Basij of Engineers, Ahmadinejad says there is need for “economic engineering” in Iran.
  • Mosharekat reformist faction releases a very critical report on the economic record of the Ahmadinejad government.

Trade

  • The Islamic Republic signs South Pars Gas Field technical parts repair agreement with South Korean G.S. engineering company.
  • Deutsche Welle Persian says the U.S. and Europe are interested in substituting Russian natural gas to Western Europe with natural gas from Iran.
  • The Islamic Republic interested in strategic relations with Ecuador, signs cooperation agreement in the oil sector.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Husband of Golshifteh Farahani, an Iranian actress barred from leaving Iran, says his wife will wear wig and not display her own hair in the U.S. movie, and that hopefully this will assuage worries of Iranian authorities.
  • In a vague reference to the Crescent bribery case, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi condemns “spread of bribery in Iran.”
  • 15 Iranian pilgrims injured in a car accident on their way to Karbala, Iraq.
  • Iranian poets to convene before Supreme Leader Khamenei.
  • Shi’a News warns against increased “Wahabi activity” in Iran.
  • Ayatollah Khaz’ali says insulting the clergy and sources of emulations is a “sin.”
  • The school year to begin.

Military and Security

Human Rights and Labor

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