A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Will Fulton and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj.
- President-elect Hassan Rouhani’s Advisor Morteza Bank announced that British MP Jack Straw may attend Rouhani’s inauguration ceremony and that Rouhani is planning to announce the list of cabinet proposals on the same day.
- Head of the Establishment of the Administration and the Parliament Followers of the Velayat Principlists Faction Moderation Workgroup announced that these workgroups must hold two meetings every week until the announcement of the cabinet proposals.
- Representative of the Supreme Leader in the Central Province said that one of the first priorities of the incoming administration is the maintenance of revolutionary slogans. He said, “This revolution is not recognized anywhere in the world without the name of Imam [Khomeini] and revolutionary slogans….The slogan of Quds [Jerusalem] is [a part of] Islam.” He added, “This slogan is unchangeable until Judgment Day and no one can negotiate regarding Quds, the Palestinian nation or the Resistance….”
- MP Fatemeh Alia said that the Principlists support “the slogan of moderation because [they] have always been moderate and resisted against Reformist extremists.” Regarding President-elect Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, she said, “The most important test of Mr. Rouhani in the moderation arena is his appointment of the eleventh cabinet. Moderation dictates that extremist and seditionist individuals must not be used in the eleventh cabinet. Mr. Rouhani, in his first test, can prove his moderation by not including seditionists and extremists in the cabinet.”
- MP Hossein Mozaffari also echoed this view and said, “We are completely ready in the Parliament for moderation and the environment is a good environment for cooperation.” He added that Rouhani should “introduce moderate individuals, who in this case will face more grace and a more welcoming [attitude], of course [they should be] individuals who are moderate and who accept the new administration’s policies.”
- The Presidential Legal Deputy Fatemeh Badaqi defended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s adherence to the law and said, “One of the biggest charges against the administration is skirting the law. Unfortunately, some of this reasoning is due to lack of information and misinterpretation.”
- Zeinab Society Secretary Azam Haji Abbasi announced the formation of a non-partisan women’s party. She said, “With attention to the meetings between the Zeinab Society with Ayatollah [Akbar] Hashemi Rafsanjani [last month], and also with the consideration of his guidance, we concluded that the precursor for the greater activity of women in various arenas, including increasing the number of female representatives in Parliament, is the creation of a non-partisan party.”
- Zeinab Society Deputy Masoume Rezaei stated, “We have introduced the proposal of [establishing] the Ministry of Women in order to address women’s issues in all arenas, and a Women’s Affairs Department must be established in all ministries.” She added, “We seek the presence of women in the decision-making councils and the Supreme Economy and Money Council and the Supreme National Security Council,” and she expressed hope that the Parliament would give a vote of confidence to the proposal.
- Head of Kerman Province Islamic Propaganda Coordination Council Mehdi Sadafi urged “all Muslim nations to think about a solution for Palestine.” He added, “It is close to sixty-five years that large superpowers and the Global Arrogance [West] have recognized the existence of the usurping Zionists and have occupied this holy Islamic land.”
- National Security and Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Commission Spokesman MP Hossein Naghavi Hosseini announced that an investigative commission into the disruption of Speaker of the House Ali Larijani’s speech in Qom commemorating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on February 10, 2013, indicates that an “IRGC official” was involved in disrupting the Speaker. The commission also discovered that a group called Parto [Lit. translation: Ray], related to Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute and managed by ultraconservative cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, instigated the disruption.
- According to a recent poll, more than 66% of internet users are dissatisfied with and do not trust internet services in Iran.
- Iranian media is reporting serious water shortages in the provinces of Yazd, Gilan and Char Mahal va Bakhtiari.
- An editorial by the Young Journalists Club reads in part, “By reviewing the positions of the leaders of sedition regarding the perseverance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, [which maintains] the arena of Resistance [and] is considered to be the only banner-holder supporting the global oppressed, [one] can realize their concentration on creating an imposed development to establish a environment of reconciliation between the country and the strategic enemies of the Islamic system, especially the usurping Israeli regime.”
- [E] Bahraini opposition party al-Wefaq has condemned the imprisonment and torture of pro-democracy activists including the prominent activist Reyhana al-Mousavi and called for the release of other female activists jailed by the Khalifa regime.
- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman reportedly dismissed the possibility of civil war in Lebanon, describing the “awareness of the Lebanese that war only brings death, [a lesson which] they have learned with a high price from the Lebanese civil war from 1975-1990.” Suleiman expressed his desire that all the factions remember the scars that a civil war would leave behind, necessitating the arrangement of negotiation talks as soon as possible to prevent the risk of sectarian clashes in these decisive moments. Still, Suleiman observed, “the new state must be formed before the negotiations of each side.”
- Iraqi Kurdistan merchants have reportedly increased their importation from Iran in the past few months, recognizing the reason for this as the lower prices in Iran than other countries:
- Of the 7000 members of the Iraqi Kurdistan Importers and Exporters Union, 2000 companies are active in the importation of goods from Iran.
- The equivalent of 4 trillion dinar of Iranian goods have entered Iraqi Kurdistan through Bashmaq Marivan and Parviz Khan customs and the equivalent of approximately 329 billion dinar of goods have been exported to Kurdistan through Hajj Omran customs.
- In the past year, the Union reports that 1,123,605 goods were exported from Kurdistan, the majority of them to Iran, which were mostly dates, hides, fruit, honey and olive oil.
- [E] Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Eragchi condemned the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, describing the verdict as a demonstration of “the unwritten but systematic [discrimination] against racial, religious, and ethnic minorities in US society” and calling on the US government to “abide by the country’s international and human rights obligations.”
Military and Security
- Head of the Basij Women’s Society Minou Aslani announced the formation of “more than 100,000 rings of virtuous sisters” who will “review matters of chastity and hijab every week.”
- Artesh Ground Forces Commander BG Amir Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that the Iranian Army will hold three ground, armored and artillery drills this year and, “In addition, we will hold a drill in the southeast of the country on a scale of a few thousand kilometers.” He added, “We do not have joint IRGC and Artesh drills this year, but a drill is being considered so that after the model drill we would have joint drills with the IRGC.”
- Upon inspecting IRGC Gharb-e Kowsar Construction Base, affiliated with Khatam al-Anbia Construction Base, Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami considered service to deprived sectors of society as “one of the blessings of the velayat-e faghih” system and said, “The people must touch the Islamic system and this will not happen other than providing services to them.”
- [E] Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Eraghchi said that only “serious talks based on mutual respect” will lead to success.
- Qom Seminary Teachers Society member Ayatollah Hassan Mamdouhi said, “Pursuing the nuclear energy matter and insisting on the Islamic Republic’s positions can be evaluated as positive measures of [Ahmadinejad’s] Administration” while “economic inflation and the government’s internal divisions are considered its weak points.” He added, “The Eleventh Administration must consider the positive points and alleviate issues which cause the concern of the Grand Supreme Leader and the people.”
- The National Petrochemical Industries Company Planning Director Ramezan Owladi announced that two new petrochemical refineries will be constructed in Iran, because “in current conditions, constructing and launching oil refineries yields lower economic profits in comparison with petrochemical refinery designs.”
- Health Minister Mohammad Hassan Tarighat announced the production of forty biotechnology and hi-tech pharmaceutical products, “ten of [which] are the latest cancer chemical medicines [that are] at the stage of industrial production.”
By Iran Tracker
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