- Ahmadinejad to Basij commanders: ” Islamic culture and the Basij operating according to the teachings of pure Muhammadan Islam is the only path of salvation and happiness of mankind…We can provide the mankind with correct ways of managing world affairs to mankind…my dear ones, outside the line of the Imam [Grand Ayatollah Khomeini] and Velayat [Guardianship of the Jurist, Supreme Leader Khamenei] there is no beauty or blessing in the world…Whenever a cat is killed under the wheels of a municipal truck in our country, they issue hundreds of human rights resolutions, but they ignore Gaza where the people don’t have access to bread, medicine and energy… This shows that they have distanced themselves from the path of divine prophets, monotheism and this is a parting from the line of the Imam and Velayat. In your presence I tell this to the colonialists and criminals: It is enough! For the past one hundred years you have committed so many crimes that it equals all crime in the entire history of mankind. You have stepped upon human dignity. It is enough. Return to the path of God, to the path of divine prophets, the path of purity. It is to your benefit.”
- Ahmadinejad says: “The nations of the world, wave after wave are joining the enlightening line of the Basij.”
- Foreign Minister Mottaki attacks the British foreign secretary and says “the British have not learned from their past mistakes and are sailing the wrecked ship of wrong policies.”
- (E) Tajikistan’s president meets Ahmadinejad.
- (E) Zagreb book fair incident (condemnation of Islamic Republic for displaying anti-Semitics books) shows overarching reach of Zionists.
- Peyman Forouzesh, vice chairman of the parliament’s Economics and Finance Committee, contradicts Ahmadinejad’s claims that Iran is immune to the global economic crisis: “More than seventy percent of the national budget is based on the oil revenue and only thirty percent on taxes and the like… It would be very illogical if there is no consequence…Despite attempts at reducing oil dependency, our dependence on oil revenue has not only not been reduced but has actually increased… Fluctuations in the oil market will affect the destiny of our country.”
- Economist Mohammad Khosh-Chehreh, contradicting Ahmadinejad, says “administering the country with an oil price as low a five U.S. Dollars per barrel means nothing but living like the poorest of poor and stopping all development projects…It is unimaginable.” More here.
- Economist Leylaz says it may be possible to administer the country with “$5 barrel oil, but the Ahmadinejad government can’t do it.”
- Ali Borougheni, member of the Parliament’s Budget and Planning Committee, commenting oon Ahmadinejad’s statement that Iran can function with “$5 oil” and says a non-oil revenue-based national budget is “unimaginable.”
- Chief Inspector Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi: “As long as our economy is an oil economy, we are all rentiers.”
- The Central Bank issues “Participation Bonds” with an 18 percent interest rate, encourages the public to invest.
- Eqtesad-e Iran publishes a background article about the Tehran Stock Exchange. More here.
- Energy shortages this winter?
- Chahar-Mahal va Bakhtiari governor Rajab-Ali Sadeghi says oil exploration in his province improves regional employment.
- Aftab-e Yazd reports black marketeering of gasoline and oil.
- Arvand Economic Development Zone executive director Javad Ma’soumi warns against economic development schemes in southern Iraq and lack of proper planning for concurrent development in Iran.
- Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham says the Central Bank probably won’t recover $20 billion used for subsidized lending; three months ago, Mahmoud Bahmani said that the money used for subsidized lending was as much as $40 billion. More here.
- Sulaymaniyah (Iraqi Kurdistan) and Kermanshah governors inaugurate exhibition of Iranian goods in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan.
- Turkey announces $12 billion investment in Iran’s natural gas fields.
- Petrochemical Trade Company executive director Davoud Shad-Del predicts a $2 billion decline in petrochemical exports.
- Iranian experts to participate in development of copper mines in Afghanistan.
- Companies in Germany seek to bolster trade ties.
- Tehran mayor Qalibaf has opened his provincial campaign offices for the 2009 presidential campaign.
- Former president Mohammad Khatami rests at home because of back problems.
- Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani dismisses rumors that his brother, former president Rafsanjani, will be a candidate in presidential elections.
- Rafsanjani’s worry about “health of the presidential elections” reflects the concerns of all reformists.
- Aftab-e Yazd editor discusses internal divisions of the reformist camp.
Human Rights and Labor
- The Islamic Republic abolishes minimum wage; officials claim it is only a temporary policy.
- Sobh-e Sadeq publishes imprisoned Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan’s confession.
- History Professor Hashem Aghajari, convicted of apostasy by the Judiciary in 2001 and, prior to commutation of his sentence, condemned to die for criticizing Shi’i clerics demanding blind obedience (taqlid) by masses of believers, says at the Conference on Freedom of Ideas and Rights of Religious Minorities:
- “Those who want to create uniformity through force instead of persuasion, and sometimes in the guise of the law, are standing in opposition to the logic of the Qur’an. Nowhere in the Qur’an do we find authorization for force to impose an idea. People are created different and they think differently. Everyone is seeking the truth but no one can impose his truth or belief on others through compulsion to create uniformity.”
- “Why must we force women to wear the hijab [Islamic veil] while in other societies women freely choose to wear the hijab? Where in history do we find that the endurance of a faith is achieved through lashes, force, and hangings? Shouldn’t those in power revise their policies and know that these actions are one of the main reasons for people running away from Islam?”
Military and Security
- Tehran public prosecutor Said Mortazavi explains details about arrest of “three Mossad agents” by the counterintelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards.
- Demands death penalty.
- Intelligence Minister Ezheh’i says the arrest of “Israeli spies” means “the Zionists have given up the military option against Iran.”
- (E) Israel to bomb Iran through Turkey?
- Kayhan says the U.S. implements “soft regime change policy” methods against Iran and seeks to stage “orange revolutions.”
- (E) Iran bans horses on border with Iraqi Kurdistan.
- (E) Students urge Muslims everywhere to form resistance cells.
- Seyyed Hassan Firouz-Abadi, Armed Forces Joint Command Chief: “Supreme Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief [Supreme Leader Khamenei] has told chiefs of each branch of the armed forces that I demand preparedness from you in the face of these threats. Don’t get caught by surprise…Should the Americans face you, your might should fell them. They ask us why we stage war games? We stage war games so the enemy sees our might and power. This is our Quranic and religious duty… Today the Guards are at its peak of material and organizational force. Composed of five forces, ten bases, several missile bases, both air and sea, it is organized in 31 provincial forces. This force is capable of encountering any threat as defined by the enemy…”
- Revolutionary Guards chief: “Along the southeastern and southwestern borders, there is some potential insecurity and the enemy is planning for the parts of the Islamic country of Iran. But the popular Basij presence in different areas such as security, societal and the reconstruction neutralizes such conspiracies…the Basij presence in Bam after the earthquake enabled us to de-escalate the crisis. The Construction of the Basij is also active in fighting poverty and deprivation in dispossessed areas of the country…Iran is an Islamic, mighty, independent and self sufficient country….”
- Sobh-e Sadeq reports establishment of the fourth operational zone of the Revolutionary Guards Navy, based at Assalouyeh near the Strait of Hormuz.
- Sobh-e Sadeq’s analyst considers Basij to be Iran’s strategic depth.
- Sobh-e Sadeq discusses the centrality of the Basij in the passive defense doctrine.
- Defense Minister Najjar: “Today, from Latin America to Africa and all over the Middle East, we see the influence of the Basij and the Basijis. It is this phenomenon which made the miracle in Lebanon and defeated the Zionist regime which was armed to the teeth…The government’s economic reform scheme most certainly needs the Basij to aid its execution because it is based on Basij mentality. The Basij members must be the vanguard in the economic field…Today the Basij members must think of establishing a great Islamic government. The Basij is not limited to Islamic Iran and resistance cells must be formed all over the world against both East and West.”
- Supreme Leader Khamenei: “Thanks to the benevolence of God, and our belief in God and his will and by the means of all the sacrifices Iran has become a regional power to the degree that even the enemies confess it.”
- Basij Force chief Hojjat al-Eslam Ta’eb says: “When it comes to social affairs, I predict greater Basij intervention…Today the Supreme Leader considers defending the government a duty and we also consider ourselves responsible to defend a Principalist government.” Ta’eb also says the Basij will deal with “pessimism” which is the “instrument of the enemy and the enemy’s psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic.” More.
- Revolutionary Guards chief Ja’fari says the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq “only served the purpose of forcing Iran into defensive.”
- According to Kayhan the Islamic Republic has launched a rocket into space. Sobh-e Sadeq publishes a background article about the role of the cultural bureau of the representative of the Supreme Leader in the Revolutionary Guards.
- Agah-Sazi’s analyst claims Israeli and U.S. spy agencies are planning to ‘stress’ the counterintelligence of the Islamic Republic.
- According to Alef News, Iran receives another submarine. More here.
- (E) Navy can strike well beyond Iran’s coast.
- Revolutionary Guards chief praises the role of the Basij in preserving law and order in society.
- Law Enforcement Forces kill 15 outlaws in clashes in Taybad.
Religion, Culture, and Society
- Arrest of an ethnic Arab leader who claims divinity in Khuzistan
- Mohammad Qouchani becomes editor of Ayandeh-ye Now, which will hit the news kiosks in ten days.
- Reza Aghazadeh, head of the Iran Nuclear Energy Organization, says “5,000 centrifuges are operating at Natanz.” Aghazadeh also says the heavy water plant in Arak also produces more than its capacity, expresses hope that the Bushehr nuclear energy plant will operating in early 2009.
- (E) Non-Aligned Movement backs Iran’s nuclear program.
Photo of the Day
- Old soldier, young kids.