Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iran Early Bird-Tuesday

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has defined the security agreement between Iraq and the United States as "an illusion," charging that it creates many problems for the region and the Iranian people. Meanwhile, quoting an informed source, the semi-official Fars News Agency claims that the United States is planning to carry out a number of bomb attacks in Baghdad to undermine stability and prompt the Iraqi parliament into approving the agreement.

2. Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps spokesman Qashqavi has harshly slammed the British foreign minister, who called recently on the Arab states to impose restrictions on Iran. Qashqavi labeled the British minister "an Israeli" whose political leanings are plain to see.

3. Speaking during a meeting with visiting Lebanon President Michel Suleiman, Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad noted "the numerous achievements" of the Second Lebanon War for the Lebanese people, stressing that Iran will always stand by Lebanon. For his part, Suleiman requested military aid from Tehran. The meeting, commented Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Sheibani, was "very important and strategic for Iran, Lebanon and the region."

4. Defining "the crimes of the Zionists" in Gaza as a shameful stain on human history, the head of Iran's Judicial Authority has called on international bodies and organizations that claim to be concerned with human rights to speak out against these actions.

5. The Islamic Students Union at Tehran University has initiated a seminar under the title, "The Contemporary Joseph at the Well," which will discuss various aspects of the life and character of Imam Mousa Sadr (the senior Shia religious figure who disappeared in Libya).

1. Iranian websites are carrying extensive reports on the international and Israeli media's coverage of the exposure of "the Israeli spy network" in Iran.

2. Some 15,000 members of the Basij Forces began their show of strength throughout Tehran this morning, with IRGC naval commando and ground force units also taking part in the exhibition. Iranian President Ahmadi-Nejad and senior military commanders attended the opening ceremony. Click here for pictures from Basij Week.

1. The deputy governor of Iran's Central Bank has announced a failure to reach the required consensus for the purpose of setting up a monetary and credit committee. According to the deputy governor, when the government reaches an agreement on the matter, the Central Bank will establish the panel.

2. Central points from Central Bank Governor Behmani's address at the bank's annual general meeting:

· Even if the Majlis repeatedly rejects the law proposal to withdraw $15 billion from the country's foreign currency reserves for the purpose of repaying the government's debt to the banks and increasing the bank's financing powers, he will continue to submit the bill until it is approved.

· Ten foreign banks have submitted requests to set up branches in Iran.

· The amount of money in the economy is decreasing from year to year.

· Banks will put a ceiling of 19 percent on interest offered to customers so as to make the rivalry between the government and private banks uniform.

3. Commenting at the same conference on the role of the Central Bank, Ahmadi-Nejad stressed that the bank must work towards implementing ongoing control over the banking system and promoting the use of electronic banking.

4. According to a report on the Rooz Online Opposition-affiliated website, the government has banned the Central Bank from publicly announcing the inflation rate as it undermines "social interests."

5. Rohani, the representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the Supreme National Security Council and head of the Center for Strategic Studies, has stressed that maintaining the government's current agricultural policy and upping exports in the field undermines Iran's desire for independence and self-sufficiency and makes the country more dependent on foreign states. Rohani called on the government and the Majlis to devote maximum attention to the field of agriculture and provide aid to the country's farmers.

6. Iran's ambassador to Turkmenistan has announced that the two counties have agreed on a formula to calculate the price of gas and that over the coming weeks, a final agreement on the price will be reached. Thereafter, the ambassador added, the heads of the two countries' gas companies would sign the gas export deal.

1. The commander of Tehran's Internal Security forces has announced that the new stage of the program to boost security in society will begin next week. Details of the new stage of the program would be made known at a press conference beforehand, he added. The commander stressed that the upcoming stage was designed to boost social order and would also include a fight against crime, enforcement of the Islamic dress code and combating drug traffickers.

2. According to an announcement from the office of Iran's general prosecutor, in most cases involving wives who murder their husbands, the main motive behind the crime is the man's drug addiction problem.

3. Fatemeh Haqiqat-Pajouh, who killed her spouse after he raped her daughter, has been transferred to solitary confinement ahead of her execution.

4. Student websites are reporting that Internal Security forces and undercover agents this morning surrounded the Literature College at Alame University after four students who were suspended from their studies holed up in the building. The four were subsequently arrested.

5. Abolfazi Abedini, a journalist and workers' rights activist, has been summoned to the Revolutionary Court to face charges concerning his involvement in the strike at Iran's sugar cane plant last year. Abedini has also been accused of disseminating anti-regime propaganda.

6. In an interview with Iran's official news agency, IRNA, the director of the Rasht city hospital has denied recent rumors about the birth at the medical center of a baby who began talking and making prophesies just a few minutes after he was born, and then died immediately thereafter.

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