The Corner

Iran News Round Up

[Thanks to Ahmad Majidyar for his compilation from Afghan Dari and Pushtun websites; (E) signifies English link]


  • Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani says 500,000,000,000 rials missing from government funds to build the metro of Qom is now recovered, but the mayor of Qom remains “vanished.”
  • Representative of the Supreme Leader in Shiraz Hojjat al-Eslam Ha’eri Shirazi speaking on occasion of the Qods Day says “We have been experiencing Islamic socialism for the past three decades. The banking system wants to demand interest rates in exchange for loans to the people. We will not let them do so. And should a couple of banks go bankrupt as a result, so what? …What is worse anyway, closure of factories or banks?”
    • Parliamentary speaker Larijani on the other hand, at a press conference stresses that “Socialism does not solve the inequality problems of the society.”
    • Speaking in Shiraz Ayatollah Mohi al-Din Shirazi demands closure of private banks in Iran.
  • Iranian economists warn of stagnation.
  • According to Aftab-e Yazd, Tahmasb Mazaheri’s letters warning Ahmadnejad about the economy led to his resignation from the Central Bank. See also Donya-e Eqtesad’s analysis.
  • Donya-ye Eqtesad reports on the chaotic proceedings of the Conference Investigating Hindrances to Investment in and Development of the Industrial Sector. Minister of Labor gets support of the industrial sector upon his declared policy of “opening the coffers of the Central Bank.”
  • Iran electricity reserves reduced to zero.
  • Zanjan Chamber of Commerce says increased taxation of profits increases the size and scope of the black market
  • Presidential candidate Hassan Rowhani warns against increasing number of Iranians living bellow the poverty line. More here.
  • The Revolutionary Guard’s contracting arm, Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base, wins €320 million bid for building a natural gas pipe line from Isfahan to Khorasan Razavi.
  • 57 prominent Iranian economists to write a “secret letter” to Ahmadinejad to warn against the consequences of the economic policies of the government. The letter is the third of its kind, but will – opposed to the two earlier letters – not be published in the Iranian press.
    • The earlier letters criticized the government for not abiding by the principles of good governance, worsening of the atmosphere for investments and negative effects of the policies of the government for the labor market and employment, explosive rate of foreign imports, inflationary monetary policy, crisis in the capital market, chaotic state of the banking system, incorrect interventions in the labor market, wrong regional policies, and unhelpful attitude toward the international community.

Nuclear Issue

  • IAEA director general El-Baradei tells a German paper that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability because of the prestige such capability entails.
  • Said Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, dismisses the importance of the latest 5+1 Group’s decision to pursue a new resolution against the Islamic Republic: “This paper has been prepared at a time when the 5+1 Group has called its negotiations with the Islamic Republic constructive and progressive and they have announced that Iran’s questions are logical and that they will discuss and answer them.” Jalili continues: “They make up sanctions because they are incapable of answering our questions…” More here.
  • Sobh-e Sadeq weekly praises the “cautious tone” of the latest IAEA report on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.
  • In reaction to new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the Iranian government cancels Aghazadeh’s (head of Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization) visit to the IAEA.
  • Parliamentary speaker Larijani slams the 5+1 Group’s “declaratory and dual policies” towards the Islamic Republic.
  • (E) Larijani calls new UN resolution folly.


Religion, Culture, and Society

Military and Security

  • Former chief of the Revolutionary Guards Rahim Safavi says ”future maps of the region will not include Israel.”
  • Ali Larijani says Iran’s deterrence capabilities have improved.
  • Assassination attempt on Revolutionary Tribunal prosecutor of Khash fails.
  • Interior minister transfers a 1,000,000 rial bonus to Basij members among the employees of the ministry.
  • Seyyed Al-Shohada Revolutionary Guard Unit Deputy Commander Morteza Shaneh-Saz says Iran’s defense doctrine is being taught at universities [as a role model].
  • Basij Resistance Force launches marketing books and audio-visual materials on the Islamic Resistance of Lebanon and Palestine, the Islamic Revolution, Sacred Defense, millenarianism and ideological issues. More here.
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Chief Habibollah Sayyari says “The Strait of Hormuz is under our total control.”
  • Commander Mousavi appointed human resources deputy of Basij.
  • Pupil’s Basij of Kerman chief Mehdi Ganjouyee says 95 percent of the school children in Kerman – 253,155 total – are members of the Basij.
  • Basij deputy commander in chief Commander Hossein Hamedani speaks of integration of the Basij members within the military structure of the Revolutionary Guards.
  • Former defense minister Shamkhani, commenting the controversial letter of former chief of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai to Grand Ayatllah Khomeini (first published by Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, and afterwards by Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani), says the letter was not meant as an argument for Iran’s accept of U.N. Security Council Resolution 598 ending the Iran/Iraq war, but rather an argument for continued warfare. More controversially, Shamkhani says Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic, was not a traitor, but “became a traitor through cooperation with the Monafeqin [hypocrites; i.e., Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization.]
  • Basirat discusses the relationship between the regular army and the Revolutionary Guards during the Iran/Iraq war.
  • Agah-Sazi publishes interview with former Revolutionary Guards minister Mohsen Rafiqdoust.
  • Hossein Hassani Sa’di, deputy coordination chief of the Joint Armed Forces Headquarters, says the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting does not do justice to the regular Army when it comes to the history of the Iran-Iraq war and the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ground Forces.
  • Unofficial mouthpiece of the Revolutionary Guards analyzes Khomeini’s views on war:
    • “His holiness the Imam considers war as a necessity and welcomed it. His interpretation of the war was positive and considered it as a condition of development and broadening of divine vice regency, since one can’t spread monotheism worldwide without employing the method of war and struggle…
    • This mentality is never restricted to the political geographic boundaries which in essence is imposed on the oppressed nations, and permanently seeks expansion of the power of Islam in the world. It is only natural that the strategy of such government is all out struggle with infidels. It is upon this foundation that his holiness continuously presented struggle with the enemy as a means to expansion of power. 
    • With such characteristics, one can’t consider such strategy racial, national or political power projection since the goal of the governing principle of sch strategy is nothing but expansion of the world wide power of Islam.
    • These words are apparent clearly in the words of the Imam. In the view of his holiness war is an instrument of individual and general cleansing at international level. War is the Bab al-Jannah [the gate to heavens]…”


·        Pajhwok describes an Iranian-sponsored rally in Kabul on Quds Day 

o       As many as 100 children staged a peaceful march in Kabul to show solidarity with Palestinians. They chanted slogans against the killing of children in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

o       The committee officials described the march as a “self-provoked, sentimental act,” but the children said they were organized by Khomeini’s Emdad Committee, an Iranian charitable organization.

Afghan News Agency Pajhwok reports on allegations of ‘mounting Iranian interference in Afghan affairs

o       Afghan security officials accuse Iran of “increased interference” in Afghan affairs, especially in western provinces. (Full text of current news items is available only to subscribers. It could be retrieved from their archive tomorrow, however)

  • Ahmadinejad returns to Tehran, is greeted by Ali-Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader.
  • (E) McCain changes stance on Iran.
  •  [October Surprise Conspiracy theorist and Carter-era NSC official] Gary Sick: “The weak Bush government is interested closer relations with Iran.”


Human Rights and Labor

  • Labor activist Ossanlou hospitalized, handcuffed.
  • Khajeh-Nasir University student activist Hasti Khezravi arrested, to be tried at the Revolutionary Tribunal.
  • Student activists expelled from the universities and barred from academic studies in the Islamic Republic stage a demonstration in front of Ministry of Higher Education.

Photos of the Day

  • Qods Day demonstrations, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


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