Weekly report: Iran Army, IRGC hold joint air defense maneuvers

January 01, The Iran Project – Iran Army, IRGC holding joint air defense maneuvers, Iranians marking 2009 pro-establishment rallies, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem visit to Iran and meeting with senior Iranian officials, President Rouhani receiving credential of new ambassadors and Iranian Christians celebrating Christmas dominated the country’s media outlets in the past week (Dec 26 – Jan 01).

Politics

Iranian Army launches air defense drill in south of country

The first stage of the massive and joint air defense drill called ‘Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 7’ started in the presence of Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli on Monday in South of country.

Iran wants security guarantees from Riyadh to send pilgrims to Hajj rituals

Caretaker of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Hamid Mohammadi said on Monday that Iran’ main condition to resume sending pilgrims to Hajj rituals is to get security guarantees from the Saudi government.

JCPOA secures nuclear propulsion for Iran

AEOI spokesperson has said Iran will be able to develop nuclear propulsion technology under provisions of JCPOA.

Iranian Army successfully testfires mid-range missile

Iranian Army successfully testfired mid-range missiles against hypothetical enemies that invaded some sensitive sites in southern parts of the country.

Presidential elections headquarters to start work in Tehran prov next week

Presidential elections headquarters is to start its activities here next week, Tehran’s Deputy Governor General for Social and Political Affairs Shahabeddin Chavoshi has announced.

Iran drills: Missile defense systems deployed against mock hostile aircraft

Iran’s large-scale air defense drills have entered their final stage in the country’s southern belt, with the enlisted forces deploying missile defense systems against mock hostile aircraft as per schedule.

Say hello to my S-300 friend! Iranian military tests its new anti-air weapons

Elite Iranian military and Islamic Revolutionary Guard units took part in a large scale military exercise in the southwestern region of the country, employing S-300 surface-to-air missile systems recently purchased from Russia.

Indian FM looks into Narges Ashtari case

On Thursday, in a tweeter text message Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, stated that she will look into the case of Narges Kalbasi Ashtari.

Women to become candidate in Iran’s presidential elections

Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei said here on Saturday that women could become candidate in the upcoming presidential elections in Iran.

Economy

Iran, EAEU may sign temporary deal for future free trade zone

The president of Iran has shown interest in signing a temporary deal with the EAEU, leading to the creation of a free trade zone, according to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

Asia’s Nov imports of Iranian oil more than double from year ago

Imports of crude oil by Iran’s four major buyers in Asia in November more than doubled for a second straight month from a year ago, with purchases by India and South Korea more than four times higher.

Daelim wins major Iran refinery deal

South Korea’s construction giant Daelim Industrial Company says it has won a major deal from Iran to expand a central oil refinery.

A tally of Iran sanctions relief includes more than $10 Billion in cash, gold

In the three years since a preliminary nuclear deal was struck with Iran, Tehran has received more than $10 billion in sanctions relief from around the world in the form of cash and gold, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Putin approves MoU with Iran on economic cooperation

Russian President, Vladimir Putin has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran to support the bilateral investment.

Regional Affairs

UN Syria envoy hopes ceasefire to contribute to Syria talks

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the implementation of the Syria’s ceasefire agreement will save civilian lives, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Syria, and pave the way for productive talks in Astana.

Four million in Damascus without safe drinking water: UN

The UN has warned that four million people in the Syrian capital city of Damascus have been deprived of safe drinking water supplies for over a week after springs outside the city were deliberately targeted.

Iran’s president warns of bids to boost terrorists during Syria truce

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic welcomes Syria’s nationwide ceasefire, but warned against the strengthening of terrorists during the truce time in the Arab country.

UNSC unanimously adopts Russia-Backed draft resolution on Syrian ceasefire

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a draft resolution submitted by Russia and Turkey on a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis, including the ceasefire regime and political talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Astana, Kazakhstan in January 2017.

At least 35 killed in New Year gun attack at Istanbul nightclub

At least one gunman shot his way into an Istanbul nightclub packed with hundreds of New Year’s revelers on Sunday, killing 35 people and wounding more than 40 in what the provincial governor described as a terrorist attack.

Society

Images of homeless living in graves shock Iran

Images of homeless drug addicts living in empty graves just outside the Iranian capital have deeply shocked the public and prompted reactions even from President Hassan Rouhani.

Master of popular Iranian puppet character Kolah Qermezi dies at 49

Donya Fannizadeh, the master of the most popular Iranian puppet character, Kolah Qermezi, (the One with the Red Hat), has passed away after a long battle against cancer.

Farshchian art university to open in February

Farshchian University on traditional arts and handicrafts, proposed several years ago by master of Persian painting and miniature Mahmoud Farshchian, 86, “will hopefully open in February 2017,” said Mohammad Hussein Imani Khoshkhou, head of the University of Science and Culture, affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.

Work begins on Pasargadae’s archeological map

A project to draw up an archeological map of Pasargadae, an ancient city and world heritage site in Fars Province, has begun.

2500-Year-Old Iranian carpet kept in Russia’s Hermitage Museum

According to a Farsi report by YJC, a room in Hermitage Museum, one of the world’s largest museums of art and human culture, is decorated with the most ancient carpet of Iran and the world.