Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Iran Early Bird-Tuesday

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Iranian foreign minister, former Lebanon president Emile Lahoud stressed that Iran, Qatar and Syria were Lebanon's true friends. Lahoud also commented on his meeting with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, noting that their talks would definitely have a positive influence on the Lebanese arena. Iran's ambassador in Lebanon has spoken of Iran's willingness to open a branch of Tehran University in Lebanon.

3. New appointments at the Iranian Foreign Ministry: Mohammad Jalal Firouz Nia, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' director-general for Persian Gulf affairs, has been named Iranian ambassador to Italy; Mahdi Safari, head of the ministry's Department for European Affairs, will take up the position of Iran's ambassador in Saudi Arabia; Majid Bizmark has been named Iranian ambassador to Thailand; and Hosseyn Farahi will serve from now as director-general for ministerial affairs.

4. Ayatollah Janati, secretary of the Council of Guardians of the Constitution, has urged the governors of Iran's provinces to make all necessary arrangements to facilitate the public's participation in next year's presidential election. Janati stressed that the public would participate in the elections only if it was satisfied with its leaders, adding that the majority of the Iranian people supported the regime.

5. Members of the Conservative factions in the Majlis have called on Interior Minister Ali Kordan to resign his post ahead of the no-confidence vote he faces next week.

6. Representatives of the family of Musa Sadar (who went missing in Libya) have agreed to allow Iranian film director Kamal Tabrizi to make a documentary on Sadar's life and disappearance. The film will be called "When Musa Cried."

7. In an address to Iranians living in the United States, Iran's deputy president, Rahim Mashaee, again made controversial statements, commenting: "The Soviet Union fell because of the absolute dictatorial regime; but the United States is not like that and thus it will not crumble and fall."

1. Speaking at a dedication ceremony for a new naval base on the island of Jasek, the commander of the Iranian Army's Naval Corps, General Habibollah Sayari, said that the presence of foreign forces in the waters surrounding Iran had given rise to the need for the establishment of new military bases in the Gulf of Oman. Sayari emphasized that the new base created an additional defensive line in the eastern section of the Strait of Hormuz, adding that if required, Iran would be able to prevent all enemy vessels from entering the Persian Gulf.

2. According to Iran's deputy chief of staff: "We are issuing a warning to the enemies of Iran… They must know that the era of bullying and sanctions against nations has come to an end. They must surrender to the justice and values of the nations. The Iranian Army and IRGC are the regime's two powerful arms and are ready at any given time to defend the Persian Gulf."

3. The head of the security forces' organization that oversees compulsory military service has announced an extension of the deferment period afforded to students, noting that students who are unable to complete their studies in time will receive an extension of up to seven semesters before being drafted into the army.


1. The deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on planning and budgeting has announced that the balance of Iran's Oil Stabilization Fund now stands at $25 billion. The deputy chairman said the drop in oil prices was to blame for the fall in the balance, and called on the country's leaders to reduce Iran's dependency on oil revenues. For his part, Iran's finance minister said that the country's foreign currency reserves were in good shape and that there was no cause for concern in this regard. The minister added that Iran's foreign currency revenues during the first half of the year had totaled some $60 billion.

2. The deputy chairman of the Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the organization is willing and ready to calculate and announce the country's official inflation rate. The deputy chairman clarified that the talks to determine the official source of the inflation rate were continuing and that the changes at the Central Bank had caused the delay in the announcement.

3. Iranian websites are reporting that former interior minister Pour-Mohammadi, who serves today as the government comptroller, has submitted a secret report to the Majlis on the financial and economic misdemeanors and violations of the current regime. The relevant Majlis committees are slated to review the report during the course of the week. Iran's official news agency announced last week that the government had filed a complaint against Pour-Mohammadi, accusing him of submitting false economic data.

4. According to an expert on agricultural affairs who was interviewed by the semi-official Aftabnews website, the drought Iran is suffering is serving as an excuse for senior government officials to cover up their failed performance in the field and reason the rise in the prices of fruit, rice and other agricultural produce. The people who are defining the drought, which was expected, as a crisis are trying to cover up their mismanagement in the field of agriculture, the expert said.

5. The deputy chairman of the Trade Development Organization has announced that Iran's exports over the past year exceeded $21 billion; he stressed, however, that in light of Iran's capabilities, this sum was not satisfactory, and urged action to increase it.

6. In an effort to advance commerce between Iran and the Netherlands, Iran has opened the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran in the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

7. The eighth meeting of the joint Syria-Iran committee on industry opened yesterday in Iran and will continue until the end of the month. The Syrian delegation is headed by the country's industry minister.

8. Iran's energy minister has announced that water and electricity prices will not go up this year.

9. An Iranian economics expert claims that the strike by bazaar storeowners in protest against the VAT increase was prompted by concerns on the part of the storeowners with respect to exposing their revenues for tax purposes.

10. Iranian experts have successfully developed an anesthetic machine for medical purposes. Until now, the machine had been imported.


1. Human rights activists are reporting that over the past few days, the Iranian regime has adopted harsher measures against women's rights activists and the "One Million Signatures" campaign for equal rights, noting that the activists are being subjected to increased duress, threats, arrests and the like. For its part, the Conservative-affiliated Kayhan daily has defined the campaign organizers as a group of clowns with American ties that is being guided by elements from the U.S. State Department.

2. According to reports, student activist Amir Hosseyn Fatouhi is being subjected to intense pressure from his university and has been forced to sign an undertaking to refrain from all political activity. Fatouhi was suspended from his studies in the past after participating in student demonstrations and giving an interview to the Voice of America television station.

3. The Iranian Appeals Court has upheld the 10-year jail sentence that was imposed on Kurdish minority activist Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudwand for setting up an illegal organization. Kaboudwand is still facing two additional charges of manipulating public opinion and disseminating anti-government propaganda.

4. The committee that oversees the publication of journals at Iran's universities has slapped a ban on two Kurdish minority student publications at Zanjan University.

5. In a special raid in Tehran yesterday, security forces seized some 15,000 discs containing "immoral" and "unauthorized" movies.

6. Two drug smugglers were executed this morning in the city of Zahedan.

7. The movie, "Buddha Collapsed out of Shame," by Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf has captured three awards at the Melodist international film festival in Ukraine.

8. An armed robbery took place yesterday at a Tehran department store. The perpetrator was looking to steal "a milk substitute for babies" for his son.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

who compiles the Iran Early Bird?