Iran News Report of the day

Publié le par JSS

1.      Iranian FM: European governments should revive their independence - Speaking during a meeting with Finland’s ambassador in Tehran, Mottaki said: "We hope that European governments will revive their independent and fair role in the international arena… The violent and unilateral policies of the former U.S. officials must change in practice and not just in words and tone." 
2.      Iranian parliament speaker says authentic changes in U.S. policies should manifest themselves in the form of defending the rights of the Palestinians rather than equipping Israel with destructive weapons - Ali Larijani said that the Iranians were monitoring the actions of the U.S.administration to see “whether the slogan of change was only a game of rhetoric or had an authentic essence. According to Larijani, “The contemporary world strongly detested the hegemonic and violent conduct of the U.S. and the Zionist regime that basically belonged to the era of colonialism… Authentic changes in the U.S. policies should manifest themselves in such practical measures as decreasing sanctions against Iran, stopping violent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and allowing the two nations to determine their own destiny, as well as defending the right of the oppressed Palestinian nation vis-à-vis Zionism, which has a nature similar to that of a wolf, instead of equipping it with destructive arms… Islamic vigilance in the region would never allow the western political turmoil and economic chaos to adversely affect the nations.”
 3.      Head of parliament's Foreign Policy Commission says U.S. eager for ties with Iran - Alaeddin Boroujerdi said: "If a change takes place in U.S. foreign policy, we will declare our position in keeping with that change.” Concerning the meeting   between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh and U.S. envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrook at the Hague international conference on Afghanistan, Boroujerdi said: "The U.S. eagerness for establishing relations with Iran's envoy at the Hague conference was plain to see.”  
4.      Iran construction projects in Lebanon include academic, religious and medical centers, bridges, rural infrastructure facilities and power stations – Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad-Reza Sheibani held talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Iranian assistance in Lebanese reconstruction operations. Sheibani said that Iran would go ahead with providing assistance in Lebanon's development and reconstruction projects, adding that the Iranian Headquarters for Reconstruction in Lebanon was launched in 2006 and that since the end of the Second Lebanon War, more than 400 construction projects in Lebanon had been completed. The Iranian Headquarters, he added, had undertaken to complete around 600 construction projects, including academic, religious and medical centers, bridges, rural infrastructure facilities and power stations, of which some 70 percent were already completed. Iran has also undertaken to rebuild 375 kilometers of damaged highways and roads in Lebanon, 200 kilometers of which, or 55 percent of the work, has been completed.
5.      Iranian FM meets UNICEF's representative and lashes out at Israel - UNICEF's new representative to Iran, Paul Hulshoff, met (April 5) with the Iranian foreign minister and submitted his credentials. Referring to the destructive impact of the bombardment of children in Gaza, Mottaki said that he expected “the international organizations to seriously deal with such inhuman crimes.” 
6.      Ahmadinejad in Kazakhstan – Iranian President Ahmadinejad left Tehran this morning (April 6) on an official visit to Kazakhstan.
 
Domestic Affairs
          7.      Upcoming elections:
          a.       Karoubi says his withdrawal from presidential race won’t serve the Reformists – Responding to rumors regarding his withdrawal from the presidential race, Mehdi Karoubi, the secretary-general of the National Trust Reformist party, stressed that his withdrawal, or the withdrawal of Mir Hossein Mousav, would not serve the interests of the Reformist stream. “I will remain in the election arena until the very end,” Karoubi said.
 
b.      Conditional support for Mousavi – The Mosharekat Reformist party has announced its conditional support for Mousavi. Party members will meet during the week with Mousav and present him with their conditions. Meanwhile, the son of Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani has confirmed that his father met with Mousav before the New Year holiday; he refused, however, to reveal any details about the meeting.
 
8.      Election preparations continue – The head of Iran’s central elections headquarters, Kamran Daneshjoo, has announced that experts from the Council of Guardians have approved the computerization of three stages of the upcoming presidential elections – the registration of candidates, the recording of voters’ identity numbers, and the counting of the votes. Daneshjoo said there were 46 million eligible voters in the country.
 
Security Affairs
 
9.      Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base speaking during the pre-commissioning of the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr: Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani: "If the enemy dares to invade our country, the air defense base will be the first center to act to confront the attack.” Mighani termed the past Iranian year (ended 20 March) as a successful year for Iran's air defense programs and activities, adding, "We spent several months of the last (Iranian) year at 100-percent level of (military) preparedness.” He also commented that his unit has expanded its operations several times in the last year, adding that the air defense base had staged a successful maneuver during the pre-commissioning of the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.
 
10. Assassination of religious schools head – Unknown gunmen have assassinated religious figure Hajat al-Islam Abadi, the head of the religious schools system in the city of Khash.
 
Human Rights, Religion and Social Affairs
11. Execution of minors continues – Delara Darabi, a young artist who confessed to a murder she did not commit at the age of 17 and has been in prison for the past five years, has informed her lawyer that she has heard talk of her pending execution, despite the fact that her case is still under legal review.
12. International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called (April 4) on the Iranian government to immediately and unconditionally release all detained students. The students are being held in detention in Tehran, Rejaee Shahr and Isfahan. Members of the campaign have expressed serious concerns for their safety and high risk of torture.
13. Bloggers letter to Khamenei about the death of colleague, Omidreza Mirsayafi - A group of bloggers has written to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "As you know, a young blogger by the name of Omidreza Mirsayafi was charged with insulting you, spent two and a half years in prison and died a few days ago in detention. The Reporters without Borders organization, based on evidence, has pointed the possibility of his murder… Before going to prison, Mr. Omidreza Mirsayafi protested about his sentence and called it unjust and believed that he did not insult you, and even the court decision did not clarify what the insults were… His trial was held in camera, despite the fact that he had requested an open court.” At the end of the letter the bloggers asked a number of questions and demanded a response. The letter was signed by numerous Iranian bloggers.
 
14. Execution of Sunni religious figures – Two Sunni-minority religious figures have been executed in the city of Zahedan. The two were convicted of possessing arms and efforts to oppose the Islamic regime.
 
15. Student who protested against Ahmadinejad summoned to Revolutionary Court – Salman Yazdan-Panah, an international relations master’s degree student at Tehran University and prominent human rights activist, has been summoned to the Revolutionary Court. The reason for his summoning remains unknown. Yazdan-Panah has been suspended from his studies in the past following his participation in a demonstration against Ahmadinejad’s visit to the university.  
 
16. Mother arrested on arriving to visit son in prisonThe mother and sister of political prisoner Mohammad Nik-Bakht were arrested on arriving at the Isfahan central prison. The two have been transferred to an unknown location. It appears they were arrested as part of the Intelligence Ministry’s effort to apply more pressure to political prisoners.
         17. Kurdish-minority film director’s jail sentence approved – The Appeals Court has upheld the three-year jail sentence handed down against Kurdish-minority film director Mohammad Ehsani, 34. Ehsani was one of four accused in the case known as “the quiet revolt.” He was arrested nine months ago on his return from abroad.
18. Arrest of Kurdish-minority human rights activist – Interior Security Forces in the city of Sanandaj have arrested Mahialdin Azadi, a prominent Kurdish rights activist in Iran.
19. Censorship at teachers’ seminar in Tehran – Security forces at the teachers’ seminar in Tehran have prevented the distribution of the Sangar student publication at the facility. The move led to a clash between students and security forces that went on for several hours.
20. Anti-government slogans on Tehran's walls - In recent months, graffiti has been appearing on walls in the eastern sections of the capital, especially in the Tehran-Pars neighborhood. Municipal workers are busy repainting the walls. The same is taking place in Farjam Street and 169th Street in the same area. Most of the slogans are directed at leader Ali Khamenei. Tehran's municipal workers in the Fourth District spray paint the walls most days but by nightfall, they are again covered in graffiti. In order to stop the phenomenon spreading to other parts of the city, municipal employees have been instructed to post warnings on the walls, informing violators that they will be arrested immediately by the mullahs' police. 
 
Economic Affairs
 
21. Swiss company starts another gas project In Iran – A gas deal for the renovation of Iran’s gas refineries has been put into effect; the deal was signed last month between the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) and Switzerland’s Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg (EGL). The project is designed to reduce gas consumption in power plants and gas pressure boosting stations by 30-40 million cubic meters per day, thus increasing efficiency in such facilities. The Swiss firm previously signed a 25-year deal valued at 22 billion euros with the National Iranian Gas Export Company in June 2007 to deliver 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe via a pipeline that will join existing pipes running from Iran through Turkey to new lines running from Greece, via Albania, to Italy.
 
22. Venezuela to invest in southern Pars gas project – A spokesman for Iran’s Oil Ministry has announced the Venezuela has agreed to invest and become a partner in the development of Stage 11 of the southern Pars gas project.
 
23. Inflation reaches 19 percent in Iran last month – Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Behmani has predicted an inflation rate of 19 percent for the last month of the Persian year. Although the rate was high, he said, a gradual fall in inflation had begun – thanks both to external factors and the efforts of the Central Bank and other government institutions. Behmani forecasts an inflation rate of 15 percent for the first six months of the current Persian year.
 
24. $170 billion in Iranian market – According to a Central bank report, the amount of cash in the economy during the last quarter of the past Persian year increased 11.9 percent in relation to the same period the year before, reaching a total of $170 billion.
 
25. Foreign currency reserves in last quarter total $100 billion – The same report also notes that Iran’s foreign currency reserves in the final quarter of the past Persian year totaled $100 billion. The Central Bank’s total assets in the period amounted to more than $128 billion.
 
26. Subsidy streamlining – The spokesman for the economic reforms taskforce, Reza Farzin, has announced that the government and Majlis will begin a debate tomorrow on the proposal concerning the streamlining of national subsidies.
 
27. Local produce – The Majlis has approved a decision to support locally produced dairy products and meat and to encourage capital investments in the field. According to the decision, the government is obliged to set dairy and meat import tariffs such that it would pay Iranian citizens to purchase locally made produce rather than imported products. Meat and dairy price hikes are expected.
 
28. Trade with the Americas – The head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohammad Nahavandian, has announced the final approval of a decision to set up joint trade committees with American countries. According to Nahavandian, under the current economic crisis, there is no support for sanctions and economic restrictions and there is a need to refrain from involving politics in trade and economic ties.
29. FIVB cancels referee course in Iran – The International Volleyball Federation has cancelled an international refereeing course that was scheduled to take place in Tehran next month due to a lack of foreign participants in the event. The only foreign representatives who expressed interest in participating were from China, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Bosnia.
 
Upcoming events
 
30. April 6-7: Iranian sources claim that Obama may meet Khatami in Turkey. U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Turkey on April 6-7. Obama has been invited by Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend the Alliance of Civilizations summit in Istanbul, April 6 and 7, which is aimed at fostering dialogue between the West and the Muslim world.Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami will also attend the summit.
31. April 28 to May 5: The Iranian national table tennis national team will leave for Yokohama, Japan, on April 26 to participate in international matches. The team is made up of both men and women.

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