Monday, January 14, 2008

Michael Rubin at NRO With An Iranian Roundup

Michael Rubin, with the help of Ali Alfoneh, has posted a great roundup of Iranian news at NRO. This from their site:

Economy and Trade

Bread prices increase between 200-700% in northern Iran; bread shortages in Tehran as the governments transfers bread from Tehran to the north.

German Handelsblatt discusses the role of United Arab Emirates as a "huge hole in the wall of economic sanctions against Iran."

Electricity shortages in Lahijan.

Five Chinese banks resume deals with Iran.


Brigadier General Rahim Safavi, former commander in chief of the Revolutionary Gaurds: "The key to regional security is in the hands of Iran...The United States has not achieved its goal - establishment of a secular government - in Iraq."

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander says no senior Guards member has travelled to Iraq recently.

Hosseini, spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The U.S. should apologize because of the "campaign of lies they have started to misinform the public mind about Iran in the Hormuz Strait incident."

U.S. creating “Iranophobia.”

U.S. fencer in Iran for tournament speaks to Iranian media.

Ahmadinejad sends invitations to the Persian Gulf emirates to expand ties.

In English.

Ahmadinejad says Turkmenistan's decision to stop natural gas export to Iran was a conspiracy, and "at the behest of some people from inside Iran whose names I can't mention out of respect for the regime."

Iranian parliamentarians worry that visits by foreign actors can backfire by corrupting youth.


Reformist parliamentarian Emad Afrough explains why he does not intend to run for the next parliament: "Our political behavior does not enjoy a firm theoretical foundation and strategy. I think we have put all our eggs in the basket of politics... Besides the practitioners of politics there is a need for theoreticians who study the theoretical dimensions of politics... The problems of our society will not be solved by politics alone, but by criticism in the public sphere. The more deeply informed the public is, the better armed it is to defend their rights. [Such a public] will prohibit violation of its rights in the name of religion in the realm of power...We really need to increase the courage of the public…."

Ansar, representing the views of the Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilante group, engages in character assassination against former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai, who sponsors Tabnak. According to Ansar-e Hezbollah, Rezai is no longer a revolutionary and "principalist" candidate.
The Iranian parliamentarian who drank the remaining water from the Iranian president's half empty glass of water as if it was holy water explains: "I was thirsty, I saw a glass of water and I drank it." Sudani also refuted earlier reports that he threw the rest of the water on his suit.

For background, see Iran News Round Up, Jan. 9, 2008.

Vali-Allah Ra'iyat, member of the Iranian parliament: "Mr. President, you talk of social justice, but why are the people of Qaem-Shahr, Joybar, Shirgah and Kiya Kola paying the price for the poor management and incompetence of the Ministry of Petroleum?... Have you any idea of the hardships of the people in the cold winter months without natural gas or other means of warming the houses?"

Referring to Ahmadinejad’s promise to distribute a share of the oil money among Iranians, Ra'iyat said: "We don't want the oil money. Just give us natural gas."

Ahmadinejad promises that the natural gas shortage in the northern provinces will be "solved by Tuesday."

Politics: March 2008 parliamentary elections

List of reformist candidates registered for elections:

Hezb-e E'temad Melli [National Trust Party]: Rasoul Montakhab-Nia, Esmai'l Gerami-Moghaddam, Javad Eta'at, etc.

Hezb-e Mosharekat [Participation Party]: Mostafa Taj-Zadeh, Ahmad Khorram, Ali Soufi, Ali Mazrou'i, etc.

Sazeman-e Mojahedin-e Enghelab [Organization of the Holy Warriors of the Revolution]: Mohammad Salamati, Mohsen Armin, Behzad Nabavi, Morteza Haji, Hashem Aghajari, etc...

Kargozaran [The Technocrats]: Eshaq Jahangiri, Isa Kalantari, Jahan-Bakhsh Khanjani, etc...

Reformers who are not running: Hassan Rowhani, Mousavi Lari, Mohammad Hashemi, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, A'zam Taleqani, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

Nuclear Issue

All outstanding nuclear questions will soon be resolved.

Human Rights and Labor

Joint Declaration of Islamic Student Associations of 37 universities in Iran against a new wave of suppression of student activists: "The Islamic Student Association at the University of Khorramshahr is victim of false accusations after the speech of Abdollah Mo'meni... Student activists at the University of Kerman are being persecuted... Hunger strike at the University of Isfahan praise worthy... Islamic Student Association at the Medical Department of University of Shahr-e Kord is dissolved... Student activists are called to disciplinary committees from all over Iran...."

In an open letter to Judiciary chief Ayatollah Shahroudi, family members of student activists Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Qassaban and Ehsan Mansouri of Amir Kabir Technical University, protest against the fact that the judicial system has acquitted the students of guilt, yet prison authorities deny them freedom.

Brother of Behrooz Karmizadeh, imprisoned Iranian student activist attempts suicide. His mother says the entire family is going into pieces.

Wife of Emad al-Din Baghi, imprisoned civil-society and democracy activist: "There is still no response to our petition for a furlough from prison to Baghi." Baghi has suffered from two heart attacks while in prison.

Society, Religion, and Culture

Archeological sites and historical buildings are handed over to the private sector to take care of restoration and in order to "attract tourists and infuse foreign exchange into the economy."

Ten Iranians die of carbon monoxide poisoning trying to heat houses lacking of natural gas.

Parliamentarian Omidvar Rezai, "The children of Masjed Soleiman, where natural gas was first excavated in Iran, are freezing to death."

Photo of the Day

Snow in Arak.

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