Iran News

Publié le par JSS

Diplomatic Affairs
1.      Ahmadinejad: G-20 source of problems – “By relying on the strategies that have led the world to this situation, nobody will be able to get rid of the present situation prevailing in the world. The G20, or whatever it may be called -- they want to pursue the same old way that has created these problems for the world. The consequences are evident already - it is a total failure and is aggravating the situation. What they do is like pouring water with little buckets in a well that has no end to it… Today, we know that capitalism, despair, and disappointment prevail… We are happy that the capitalist system has reached the end of the road - this is the end of selfishness and egoism and the beginning of a new order for mankind… Iran and Venezuela are building a new world, and we two are determined to travel this path.”
2.      UK boycotts Iranian fencing team – The British Embassy in Tehran has refused to issue visas to members of Iran’s youth fencing team. The team had planned to participate in the Youth World Championships taking place in Ireland.
3.      Friday's prayers across Iran:
a.       Obama brings no change: Ultra-hardline Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami - Obama brings no change, only “words and diplomatic maneuvers”: "Over the past 50 years, the United States has not stopped to conspire against us; we have not seen something new on the part of the new administration; Over the past few months, since the new U.S. government came to power, we have observed nothing but words and diplomatic maneuvers… Former U.S. President George W. Bush was unjust. Now, however, (President Barack) Obama has been less unjust; albeit, we have not been witnessing any change in the behavior. Meanwhile, the new U.S. president has in his Nowruz greeting accused our nation of supporting terrorism."
b.      Controversy over Iran-UAE territorial dispute - Commenting on last week’s Arab League summit at which the UAE was said to own the trio of Iranian islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, Khatami said: "Raising such repeated and old claims in the summit's final statement, that the trio of Iranian islands belonged to the UAE, is highly regrettable, at a time when Palestine and Gaza are the prime issues of the world of Islam. The trio of islands were, are and will remain Iranian forever."(IRNA, April 3, 2009)
c.       Severing of Iran-US ties resulted in Iran's development - Hojjat ol-Eslam val-Moslemin Mahdavi, the interim Friday prayer imam of Esfahan, said that the severing of Iran-U.S. ties had resulted in the country's development and growth in the past three decades and had helped the country to break its dependency on foreign countries in all fields. (Esfahan TV, April 3)
4.      Iran and Venezuela promote energy ties, condemn "Zionist regime:” Ahmadinejad due in Caracas in May – TheIranian and Venezuelan presidents have issued a joint statement underlined joint cooperation in OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and coordination with other oil-producing countries to protect the rights of exporting and importing countries, especially in setting a fair price for oil in international market. The two also condemned "the barbaric attacks and invasion of the Zionist regime against the oppressed people of Palestine in Gaza” and called all Palestinian groups “to unite to determine their own fate as well as bringing the criminal leaders of the Qods-occupying regime to international tribunal".
5.      President Ahmadinejad due in Kazakhstan (April 6).- The Iranian president is scheduled to  meet with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
(IRNA, April 4)
6.      Majlis delegation to attend IPU conference in Ethiopia (April 5-10) - An Iranian parliamentary delegation flew to Addis Ababa to take part in the 120th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting to be held from April 5 to 10.
 Domestic Affairs
 7.      Upcoming elections:
 a.        Former interior minister to run for presidency - AbdollahNouri will run for president.  Atrianfar, Hojjati, Khorram, Leylaz, Teyebani and Nili will act as his campaign officers after the official declaration of his candidacy. 
b.      Tehran mayor won’t run – Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has stated he currently does not intend to run in the upcoming presidential election. Qalibaf came fourth in the 2005 presidential election, shortly after which he was appointed mayor of the capital.
 News Agency, April 4)
c.       Support for Ahmadinejad’s candidacy – Bijan Nobave, a member of the Islamic Revolution Conservative faction in the Majlis has announced that his faction supports Ahmadinejad in the upcoming presidential elections. Nobave said that at the start of the Majlis’ work in the New Year, the faction would convene and announce its position officially, adding that the faction would also try to enlist the support of the other parties in the parliament. 
8.      Majlis launches English-language news portal – The English-language news portal of the Majlis has been launched. It includes news, as well as copies of speeches and parliamentary approvals. The Majlis also plans to launch an Arabic-language portal.

Security Affairs
 9.      Iran to celebrate third National Day of Nuclear Technology, (April, 9) a new generation of centrifuges is to be tested, and a fuel manufacturing plant is expected to be officially. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, together with a number of other high-ranking officials, is scheduled to take part in special ceremonies that are due to be held in Isfahan. According to what the head of Iran's National Atomic Energy Agency, Reza Aghazadeh, had said about yet another piece of "nuclear good news," during the inauguration ceremony of the initial phase of the Bushehr atomic power plant, a fuel manufacturing plant is expected to be officially inaugurated in the city and a new generation of centrifuges is to be tested the same day as well. Rosatom chief added that the "Bushehr nuclear power plant will be comleted by the end of 2009.
10. Iranian new sources quote reports on U.S. policy – Iranian media outlets are quoting a report published in the British Financial Times under the headline, “The U.S. appears to have given in to Iran’s nuclear objectives.” The report claims that U.S. officials are weighing the option of ceding to Iran’s desire to continue its uranium-enrichment operations.
11. Omid satellite still active – According to Asghar Ebrahimi, a space science and technology researcher, the mission of the Omid Satellite came to an end but it will stay in orbit for another month. He stressed that the satellite would remain in space for at least another month, adding, “The satellite's orbit is oval shaped - but close to a circle. At the lowest level, the satellite will be 235 and at its peak it will be 305 kilometers from the earth. Experts and researchers in the field of space sciences and technologies have reported that certain extra missions have been given to the satellite. At present, according to the information received from the satellite, researchers have started to conduct studies in connection with the change in the satellite's orbit and its fluctuation in orbit.”
12. Iran-Iraq joint de-mining commission formed - On the occasion of International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced the establishment of a joint Iran-Iraq demining commission. Najjar noted that Iran had managed to demine a large section of areas in cooperation with the Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and 50 private companies. (IRNA, April 5)
13. Iran surprised by Iraqi bid for F-16s – Iranian analysts have expressed surprise about the Iraqi air force chief's request for F-16 fightersto counter "the Iranian threat.”
14. Cooperation with Indian Navy – Three Indian navy vessels docked on Saturday in Bander Abbas for a three-day visit. The vessels are Indian Navy officer training ships, the crews of which will meet with their Iranian counterparts and participate in naval exercises.
 Economic Affairs
 15. Iranian-Russian cooperation in the fields as oil, gas, power plants and satellites – Addressing (April 4) a gathering of students and lecturers at Moscow State University, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi said that the two states were cooperating in significant fields such as oil, gas, the construction of power plants and satellites. He added that certain big powers were worried about the growing ties between independent countries such as Iran and Russia. (IRNA, April 4)
 16. Iran-Venezuela: 
a.       Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhoseyn Nowzari and his Venezuelan counterpart, Rafael Ramirez, reached an agreement to boost bilateral relations in the oil and gas sector. The agreement came during the seventh meeting of the Iran-Venezuela Joint Energy Commission in Tehran on Saturday (April 4). The Iranian Petropars Company will develop an oil field in Venezuela and two petrochemical complexes will be established in Iran and Venezuela. The issue of a methanol production unit with an output capacity of 3.2 million tons for Asian and European markets was also discussed in the meeting. Nowzari said that a company for oil tanker building had also been registered, adding that a joint company in Spain had been formed with the task of handling the two countries activities in other countries.
(Mehr News Agency, IRNA, April 4)
b.      Joint Iranian-Venezuelan bank – A joint Iranian-Venezuelan bank was opened in Tehran during Chavez’s visit to the capital. With capital equity of $200 million, the bank will be investing in joint projects.
17. Correct consumption habits – The Majlis will today (April 5) discuss ways to implement the “correct consumption habits” in the fields of energy and natural resources. The parliament will review the positions and opinions to be submitted by the professional committees and the Majlis Research Center and formulate a comprehensive plan on the matter.
18. Criticism of government’s decisions on gasoline and diesel prices – Mohammad Hosseyn Farhangi, a member of the special Majlis committee on economic (picture in the right) reforms says that the government’s decision to approve fuel prices in the framework of the Budget Law was a hasty and inappropriate one. According to Farhangi, following the approval of the law proposal to streamline national subsidies, there will be no alternative but to once again change the fuel prices.
19. Special energy committee – According to Oil Minister Nowzari, the decision to streamline national subsidies is the biggest decision in the history of Iranian economics. The minister stressed the urgent need to establish a special energy committee under the supervision of the president, noting that the subsidies decision was a direct continuation of the government’s decision regarding fuel budgeting. Without the fuel budgeting decision, he said, Iran would have been forced to import 45 million liters of fuel a day.
20. European involvement in economic projects – Akbar Torkan, deputy Iranian oil minister, has announced that stages 11, 13 and 14 of the southern Fars gas project have been suspended. The stages were supposed to have been implemented by the Shell and Rapsol companies. According to Torkan, the companies were not performing properly in the framework of the projects.
21. Gas exports to Armenia – The CEO of the National Gas Exporting Company, Reza Kasaei-Zade, has denied reports regarding a suspension of the export of gas to Armenia, stressing that export operations have yet to begin due to the fact that the pipeline on the Armenian side is not ready. In light of recent talks with the Armenians, he added, the pipeline will be ready soon for operation.
22. Iranian deposits in foreign banks – In its latest report, the Bank for International Settlements says that Iranian deposits in foreign banks totaled $46.7 billion in the third quarter of 2008 – an increase of $3.5 billion in relation to the previous quarter. Iran’s debts to foreign banks in the same quarter dropped to $22.4 billion, the reports notes.
23. Steel industries – The CEO of the National Iranian Steel Company, Mohammad Reza Najm Olsadat has announced that in light of the fact that Iran has achieved independence in the field of steel industries, it could now export the relevant technology to neighboring states. According to Olsadat, Iranian technology in the field can compete with the most modern international technology and also meets all the relevant engineering and ecological standards.
24. Economic growth – In its forecasts for 2009, the World Bank predicts that the Iranian economy will grow over the coming year by 3 percent – despite the negative growth expected in the world economy.
25. Iran-Armenia – The Iranian and Armenian transportation ministers have reached an agreement on the construction of a rail line between the two countries for the transportation of cargo and goods.
Human Rights, Religion and Social Affairs
26. Student abducted by security forces, classmate detained - A student told Radio Farda that a classmate, Shabnam Madadzadeh, was  abducted by Iranian security agents. He said Shabnam's brother was told that she was being held in Evin prison; however, when he went to visit her, he, too, was detained.

27. Members of the One Million Signatures Campaign arrested -   Several members of the One Million Signatures Campaign were
arrestedin Tehran while visiting the families of political prisoners. Five campaign members were
summoned to the Revolutionary Court after being released on bail a few days ago. The five are: Nafise Azad, Parastou Allahyari, Nahid Keshavarz, Sara Imanian, Mahboube Hosseyn-Zade.
28. Death penalty – The death sentence handed down against Shahla Jahed has been finally approved. Jahed, whose trial was widely covered in the media, was convicted of murdering the wife of one of Iran’s national football stars. Jahed, 39, did not appeal her sentence, but in a talk with the general prosecutor who visited Evin prison, she said that she had not committed the crime and also discussed what she termed as the numerous legal problems in the case.
29. Political prisoner – Kurdish minority political prisoner Kave Ahmad-Zade has been slapped with a visitations ban. Ahmad-Zade was arrested some seven months ago and sentenced to two years in prison for cooperating with opposition parties. He has been banned from meeting with his family for the past three weeks, and his request for a New Year holiday was also rejected. No political prisoners were granted leave for the holiday.
30. Talk about constitution or human rights forbidden - The lawyer of jailed journalist Massoud Kordpour told Radio Farda that his client had written an open letter to the government asking whytalking about the constitution or human rights -- even in prison -- is forbidden. Kordpour was arrested last summer on charges of "spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic through interviews with the foreign media." Masoud is a human rights and environmental activist and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency of Kordestan. On Friday, August 8, 2008, he was arrested after being summoned to the headquarters of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security in the Bookan Province. Several human rights organizations are calling for his quick release.  
Kurdish writer released – Kurdish writer and scholar Abas Jalilian, who was arrested some two months ago by Intelligence Ministry agents, has been released on bail of $100,000.For a long period prior to his arrest, Jalilian was frequently interrogated about literary activities and his trips outside Iran.
32. Banned music on Iranian radio stations – The Iranian Judicial Authority conducted an investigation into complaints from numerous citizens regarding the playing of banned music on official Iranian radio stations. The inquiry revealed that the music had not come from the stations themselves but from music players connected to car radios by means of a small electronic device.
33. Books – The XX publishing house has announced that some 54,000 books on various subjects were published in Iran over the past year – in a total of some 211 million copies. Some 12,000 of the total number of publications were books that had been translated into Farsi, while the others were original publications. One-fifth of the books were about religion.

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