The Corner

Iran News Round Up

Diplomacy

  • Rafsanjani at University of Tehran: “There is little difference between statements of Obama and George Bush…For the past thirty years, you [the U.S.] have desired dialogue with us and we didn’t talk to you. Now you propose conditions?!…Have you forgotten that the Irish McFarlane came here and our authorities were not willing to talk to him and our second and third rate authorities talked to them?…I don’t expect from someone who considers himself of African race and a suppressed black in America to repeat the words of Bush… We don’t want to entangle ourselves with the U.S. and get involved in war. We want to use state of the art science and technology used all over the world. We don’t want your persuasion, and your sanctions can’t derail our effort…”

Media

  • Ayatollah Ja’far Sobhani warns members of the Islamic Journalists’ Association against spreading falsehood.

Nuclear Issue

·        (E) Javier Solana says 5+1 seeks more diplomacy.

·        (E) Hans Blix urges Obama to conduct more creative diplomacy with Iran.

  • EU’s foreign policy coordinator Javier Solana to meet Said Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

Religion, Culture, and Society

  • Qazvin Law Enforcement Forces chief Hedayati issues a decree and enforces gender segregation of buses leaving from Qazvin bus terminal to Tehran.

    • Asked if the Law Enforcement Forces are acting upon any complaints commander Hedayati says there has been no complaints, and adds: ”One must not wait for problems before acting.”

  • Hassan Rowhani, Khamenei’s representative to the Supreme National Security Council and a presidential candidate, says “the Imam [Khomeini] was instrumental in opening the doors to participation of women in social affairs.” 

Iran in the Afghan Media

  • Iran bars Afghan students from university entry exam.

    • Iran’s Higher Education Ministry has officially banned Afghan refugee students’ entry to Iranian universities.

    • Afghan refugees in Iran complain that Iran increases restrictions on them, particularly in the spheres of employment, education and residence.

  •  (E) Saudi uses Taliban as tool against Iran.

    • Riyadh recognized Taliban’s government in Kabul because it saw the Sunni movement as a “natural foe against Shiite Iran in the region.”

  • Iranian expired medicine sold in Afghanistan.

    • The Afghan Ministry of Health has closed down a number of medicine stores in the Afghan province of Herat bordering Iran after expired medicine was found in the stores. The medicine was imported from Iran, Pakistan and India.

  • Iranian parliament approves reform protocol of roads and highways between Afghanistan and Iran.

  • Karzai moving closer to Iran.

    • The Islamic Republic of Iran has tried hard to convince most of regional countries, including Russia, that it can play America’s pawn (Hamid Karzai) against America in Afghanistan.

    • As elections are nearing, President Karzai is harshly criticizing policies of the West. He is trying to demonstrate his independence by speaking against Americans and westerners. This has drawn the Afghan president closer to regional powers.

    • There is reliable information that the Islamic Republic of Iran has asked the leaders of the United National Front [a grand coalition of 18 political parties and ex-Jihadi leaders] to refrain from criticizing Hamid Karzai and to fully support him.

    • The Afghan president has also sent special representatives to regional countries conveying a message that he will drive out Americans from Afghanistan if he receives political and financial support from regional countries.

    • Countries in the region, particularly Iran and Russia, are optimistically investing in this game.

    • America is likely to have asked the president to build closer relations with regional countries to help America easily achieve its goals in the region.

    • It is also possible that Karzai turn his back to these countries after the elections and yet again embrace America.

  • Iranian Ambassador hails relations with Afghanistan.

    • At a trade conference in Zabol City in Iran, the Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan said: “Despite the presence of occupying countries in Afghanistan, there are no diplomatic problems between the two friendly neighbors.”

    • Fida Hussein Maleki also stressed boosting trade between Afghanistan and Iran through Zabol City of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan Province.

  • Iran to convene international conference on Afghanistan.

    • The first International Conference on Afghanistan’s Economic Recovery will be held in Tehran on the 12th of December.

    • Economists and trade experts from the Iranian government and private sector and a number of 150 Afghan businessmen will participate in the summit.

  • Afghan parliament calls a halt to expulsion of Afghan refugees from Iran.

    • The Ministry of Refugee Affairs has expressed the worry that eviction of refugees from Iran in the depth of winter could create numerous problems and urged the Iranian government to halt the process.

  • Afghan Health Ministry provides emergency health services to 3,000 Afghans expelled from Iran to the Afghan province of Nimroz.

Military and Security

Politics

  • Former Parliamentary Speaker Nateq-Nouri says a national unity government is the only way to achieve success for Iran.

    • Rafsanjani, Nateq-Nouri, Ali Larijani, Asgar-Owladi, Bahonar and Habibi all speak of necessity of a national unity government.

    • Seyyed Hossein Mar’ashi in Kargozaran: “Asgar-Owladi, Bahonar and Habibi reached out to the Clergy Association and presented a realistic analysis of the political conditions of the day: ‘The country can’t be managed with this president and his policies, and Ahmadinejad is incorrigible.’”

  • Abdollah Jasbi says the need for a strong party organization is palpable.

Economy

  • Ahmadinejad government tries to implement the economic reform scheme by manipulating proposals for next year’s national budget.

Human Rights and Labor

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