President Rouhani has begun his first provincial tour with a three-day visit to Khuzestan in southern Iran.
Speaking to enthusiastic crowds, he talked in Arabic about economic conditions: “We need migration from bad living conditions to desired conditions; migration from inflation, stagnation, high prices and unemployment to occupation; migration from a society where others have created divisions among us to a united society.”
Far more controversial, at least outside Iran, will be this comment about the interim nuclear deal, whose implementation was agreed with the 5+1 Powers on Sunday:
The Geneva accord means the great powers’ surrender to the great Iranian nation.
The Geneva accord means the acceptance by the world of Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology that we achieved in the shadow of the efforts and self-sacrifice of young scientists. The Geneva accord means breaking the dam of sanctions that was unduly imposed on the dear and peace-loving Iranian nation.
Rouhani continued, “We will defend the nation’s rights by relying on divine strength, preserve this country and national interests as soldiers of the front line, and adjust our relations with the world based on the nation’s interests.”
FM Zarif Meets Syrian President Assad on Wednesday
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in Damascus for a meeting with Syrian President Assad.
Zarif is visiting Syria after discussions in Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan and will go to Russia after today’s conversation with Assad.
Iran has been seeking a place at the top table at the January 22 conference in Switzerland to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Larijani: “We Have Extensive Plans in Area of Human Rights”
Senior judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani has told an Irish delegation that Tehran rejects Western demands on human rights as imposition: “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s affinity for human rights is rooted in its Islamic and cultural principles and we don’t accept the Western-imposed human rights (principles) which want to change our way of life.”
Larijani assured, “We have extensive plans in the area of human rights and establishment of Iran’s Human Rights Council with such a structure and extent (that it) shows its importance for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Poets Freed From Prison
Poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Mousavi were released on bail on Tuesday afternoon.
The two were detained in early December as they were about to travel abroad.
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