Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Iran Early Bird-Wednesday

Commenting on the recent U.S. military assault in Syria, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said that terror attacks of that kind could not be met with warnings and diplomatic complaints, adding that the only way to prevent further such assaults was by means of a crushing and unexpected response. According to Larijani, the United States must be made to understand that its "treacherous actions" against Islamic countries are not mere "mischief" that will go unpunished. "The United States must take care not to throw itself onto the mine of the holy fighters who are willing to sacrifice their lives," Larijani commented. 2. According to the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' ground forces, General Asadi, "The world will soon witness the melting of the American snow monster." Asadi charged that the United States had invaded the Middle East not only to get its hands on the oil resources but also to prevent the promulgation of the Islamic Revolution.

3. The Roozna daily is reporting that advisors to U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and Dennis Ross, are planning to hold talks with Iran following Obama's election.

4. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation has decided to suspend Iran's National Organization for Wheelchair Basketball until January 2013 in light of Iran's refusal to compete against the United States in the quarterfinals of the recent Beijing Paralympics.

5. In his meeting with Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeid Jalili, former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud stressed Lebanon's intense need for a resistance to stand up to the "treacherous attacks," as he put it, of the Zionist regime.

6. Quoting informed Lebanese sources, the semi-official Mehrnews website is carrying a report on the possibility that Walid Junblat (one of the Druze leaders in Lebanon) will visit Iran in the near future. Also according to the site, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani will travel to Beirut shortly.

7. In a meeting with the spokesman of the Majlis' Conservative faction, Interior Minister Ali Kordan said his resignation would not serve the interests of the regime and thus he had would not take that step. Meanwhile, President Ahmadi-Nejad's media advisor has harshly slammed the decision to hold a no-confidence vote in the interior minister, charging that the move is an illegal one for which its initiators should be held accountable in a court of law.

1. The Tabnak website is reporting that U.S. forces have recently transferred sophisticated military equipment, including satellite systems, to Kuwait for the purpose of setting up a spy base. According to the Tabnak report, the base will serve to boost U.S. surveillance of Iran.

2. The Iranian Defense Ministry's Aviation Industries Organization has signed a contract with Russian company Kamov for the design and production of 50 civilian Kamov helicopters in Iran.

3. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has stressed the ongoing military cooperation between his country and Iran. Commenting on the matter during a television address, Medvedev said that the U.S. sanctions on Russian arms exporter Rosobonexport would have no effect on the sale of the company's products to Iran.

4. IRGC appointments: Ali-Akbar Pour-Jmshidian has been named commander of the Ashura Division; Bayat will serve from now as commander of the Imam Mahdi 2nd Brigade; and Jafari will take up the post of commander of the 60th Artillery Battalion in the Ashura Division.

5. The secretary-general of Iran's Anti-Drug Headquarters has announced that over the past two years, some $600 million have been invested in closing off the country's borders to drug smugglers. Among the measures implemented were the digging of trenches, the erection of concrete walls and the installation of barbed-wire fences along the borders, the secretary-general said.


1. Iran's deputy economics minister has outlined the steps Tehran has taken to minimize the effects of the global financial crisis on the Iranian economy; he also spoke at the same time of the objectives of the conference on the matter that will take place this Sunday in the capital. The deputy minister said eight taskforces on the subject had been set up in various government ministries, and added that despite the global crisis, Iranian banks were reporting significant increases in deposits.

2. The Majlis has given its go-ahead for Iran to join the gas exporters' cartel that will also include Russia and Qatar. The cartel, known as OPEC Gas, held its first meeting a few days ago, with representatives of all three countries in attendance. Meanwhile, a senior Russian government official has announced the postponement of the cartel's next meeting, which had been scheduled for November, in Moscow.

3. The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company has signed a deal with a Malaysian company for the construction of fuel filling stations in Tehran. The initial stage of the deal will involve the construction 22 stations, with 18 mobile stations to be completed in the second stage of the project.

4. The Thai government has expressed interest in immediately striking a "rice for oil" trade deal with Iran. Iran is one of Thailand's biggest rice customers, importing between 600,000 and 1,000,000 million tons of Thai rice annually.

5. Iran's deputy economics minister has announced that six banks and government insurance companies are ready to undergo privatization. The deputy minister named the Tejarat, Melat and Saderat banks, and the Alborz, Dana and Asia insurance firms.

6. President Ahmadi-Nejad's first deputy has conveyed a directive to the Communications and Economics ministries with respect to the privatization of the Postal Company and the establishment of an organization for governmental postal services.

7. Iranian economists are urging the government not to abandon and forget about the law to increase VAT. According to some of the economists, while the law may have threatened the interests of certain groups in society that consequently opposed it, it does serve the interests of the public in general.

8. Some 40 percent of the tires on cars in Iran are imported from China.


1. According to Ayatollah Garami, one of the sources of emulation in Qom, in keeping with Islam, supporters of religions that are not monotheistic have no civil rights. Garami said the Baha'i were considered heretics and affording them full rights would be an offense to God. The Baha'i, he added, should be pressed into "returning to the straight and narrow; and as long as they refrain from converting Islam, they cannot enjoy civil rights."

2. Expediency Discernment Council Chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani: Islam believes in recruiting hearts by means of rational arguments, and "no one has the right to raise the banner of belligerency in the name of Islam."

3. Amir-Reza Ardalan, an international relations student at Esfahan University, has been sentenced to six months in prison for disseminating anti-regime propaganda.

4. In the framework of its program to boost public security, Iran has slapped a ban on the carrying of cold weapons.

5. According to a survey conducted among Iranian conscripts, smoking cigarettes is their primary leisure activity. The survey shows that more than 50 percent of conscripts smoke in excess of 10 cigarettes a day. Just 11 percent of the soldiers dedicate their leisure time to reading books and newspapers.

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