Appointment of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; IRGC Commander Replaces Ali Shamkhani in National Security Council


The Suffering of the Poor Is Immeasurable

The editorial of Jahan Sanat states that Iran must change its domestic and foreign policies in order to deal with the unfathomable destitution suffered by the people.

It is not clear whether those who run the country care about people’s cries about poverty or not. But mothers and fathers who cannot meet their children’s minimum needs are suffering immeasurably. In the meantime, there are people in Iran who have secured their positions through corruption and bribery and resultantly have amassed huge levels of wealth. Because they have access to financial and forex information and know about changes that are going to take place in Iran’s economy, they have gained hugely from their corrupt businesses. There is nothing more bitter than this level of inequality in the country which makes the situation even more painful for the poor.

All the solutions adopted so far have failed in lessening the level of poverty and the suffering of Iranians. An Iranian politician recently said that 2,020 neighborhoods and 19,700,000 people in Iran are deprived of the basic necessities of life like housing, employment, education, health, food and clothes.

It is no longer enough to talk about the widespread suffering and acknowledging that the Iranian people are in a heartbreaking situation. These days we must talk about fundamental solutions to solve the terrible problems that Iranians are facing. Economists too must go beyond calculating the growth of liquidity and its relationship with the inflation rate. These issues will no longer work, and the roots of the problem must be dealt with.

Two things must happen in foreign and domestic policies to prevent an increase in people’s problems. First, the political arena must be open to all Iranian elites and experts. If this happens, incompetent people from a certain political faction who now hold significant positions will be replaced by qualified people.

Second, Iran’s foreign policy must change and move toward a more balanced position. Iran cannot cut off its ties forever with powerful Western countries that can bring capital, technology and expertise to Iran and can convert the wealth that is within Iran’s land and sea into incomes.

Jahan Sanat

Purge in the Government

The editorial of Arman Melli argues against discarding competent managers from the body of the government in the name of creating unanimity.

Some political movements and factions in the country are after purging the government and recently former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned about this. This kind of purge has its roots in former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government which immediately started to discard experienced managers so that it could appoint its own allies and people close to it to different government positions.

That government held that the structure of the government had to be purged and managers had to go through different filters so that those who did not believe in the government’s policies were discarded.

Ahmadinejad’s government was the first to purge the structure of power in Iran and in the name of creating unanimity within the government, Ahmadinejad replaced experienced managers with those close to him within the executive branch. The losses caused by that government were no less than the cost of the Iran-Iraq War for the country.

Now, Ebrahim Raisi’s government shares the same view about governance and electing managers, and some managers close to his government are appointed to important government positions.

Ahmadinejad and his circle maintained that only managers who thought like them had to run the country. Now, we can see a certain trend in Raisi’s government that believes the same, calling for removing managers who are not in full agreement with the government’s policies. It seems that this belief has now become stronger and many competent managers who were present in different governments have been dismissed.

Regardless of any positive and negative outcomes of these moves for the country, it must be noted that the political faction that is making such changes is fully responsible for the government’s measures and cannot blame its own performance on previous governments.

Arman Melli

Iran’s Oil and Gas Sector Hanged by Russia’s Rope

The editorial of Jahan Sanat argues against bringing Russian gas and oil companies to Iran as they see Iran as their main rival.

It is Iran’s bad luck that it has a neighbor called Russia that is intolerant, cruel and seeks dominance over others. In Iran’s modern history, Russia caused trouble for Iran during the era of the Tsars, Stalin and Putin. During the Qajar period, Russia annexed vast swathes of Iranian territory. Under Stalin, Russia established political parties and groups that damaged Iran through promoting a Marxist ideology.

But during Putin’s rule, Russia has deeply penetrated Iran and intends to harm Iran through different malicious schemes under the guise of friendship. Russia has caused the most harm to Iran’s oil and gas sector. The Russians have begun a clandestine game to distance Europe from Tehran and isolate Iran in the field of energy.

On the other hand, the Russians have made empty promises to Iran about signing long-term contracts with Tehran to develop oil and gas. The latest promise was when Russian energy officials recently came to Iran and made pledges about creating an energy consortium with Iranian and Russian companies to exploit oil and gas resources.

Moscow has betrayed Tehran again and again and sees Iran as its rival in the global gas industry and trade, so if the Russians have access to information on Iran, they will definitely use it to their own advantage and to the loss of Iran. Why should Iranian officials trust these treacherous Russians?

It is self-evident that Russia will not allow its main rival in the gas market to become so powerful that it can surpass it. Experts hold that bringing Russian government companies — that are run by the Russia mafia — to Iran is tantamount to hanging Iran’s gas and oil sector with Russia’s rope.

Jahan Sanat

Zangezur Corridor Is the Bulwark Against Turanism

The editorial of Atrak underlines the significance of the Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute over the Zangezur corridor, stating that it is of utmost importance for Iran’s national interests and strategic depth.

It is self-evident today that defending the territorial integrity of Armenia, particularly in the disputed areas including the Zangezur corridor, is one of the most important issues related to Iran’s national interests and national strategic depth in the northwest of Iran. And regional countries must know that all Iranians, including the Fars, Kurdish, Balochi, Arab, Lor and Turkmen communities, will not compromise over this issue.

Turanism or pan-Turanism is an extremist school of thought which was developed in the era of nationalist ideologies in Eastern Europe and was then recognized by some in Turkey as the origin of pan-Turkism. In Turkey’s political literature, pan-Turanism calls for unifying all those who speak Turkish and their lands. In the opinion of the famous Turanist Ziya Gokalp, Turanism encompasses Ottomans, Azaris, Tatars and Turks in Central Asia.

The Balkan wars and World War II made Turkish politicians forget about the dream of the greater Turan Empire, but recently there have been some moves among supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in this regard which in recent decades started in the form of economic and cultural clout in regional countries. But in recent years, this Turkish influence has expanded to include geographical and military aspects through Azerbaijan on the pretext of the historical conflicts in the Caucasus region.

The recent moves of Azerbaijan backed by Turkey are not just minor regional conflicts, but some politicians in Turkey intend to take over the Zangezur corridor to create a geographical stronghold in order to revive the Turan Empire.

But it must be repeated that today defending Armenia’s territorial integrity is a significant issue for Iran’s national interest and its national strategic depth over which Iranians with different ethnic backgrounds will not make any compromise.


Iran Appoints Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Following the revival of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Tehran eventually appointed its ambassador to Riyadh after seven years of diplomatic rupture between the two countries.

According to Iranian media outlets, sources in Iran’s Foreign Ministry have announced the appointment of Alireza Enayati as Iran’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Prior to this, Enayati served as deputy to the Iranian foreign minister and as director general of Gulf affairs in this ministry. He was also in charge of Iran’s embassy in Kuwait.

Following the attacks launched by affiliates of the Iranian government in 2016 against the Saudi embassy and consulate in Tehran and Mashhad, Riyadh summoned all its political representatives and severed diplomatic ties with Iran.

Appointing ambassadors and diplomatic representatives and reopening embassies and consulates were some of the main issues in the recent political agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which was signed in Beijing with the mediation of the Chinese government.

According to the agreement, both sides had agreed to reopen their embassies within a maximum of two months.

On a different note, on the sidelines of the Geneva Health Forum, the health ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia held a meeting and urged the advancement of regional health diplomacy with the cooperation of both countries and the implementation of health protocols at large-scale religious gatherings, particularly Hajj.

During the meeting, Iranian Health Minister Bahram Eynollahi and his Saudi counterpart Fahad bin Abdurrahman al-Jalajel agreed on forming taskforces to follow up on the mutual agreements.

Other issues discussed included contagious and non-contagious diseases, the exchange of health research, holding joint scientific forums and expanding health tourism.

Mehr News Agency

Independent Persian

“Revolution Is the Only Solution,” Says Iran-based Activist in Reaction to the Execution of Protesters

One of Ali Khamenei’s most vocal dissidents in Iran, Abolfazl Ghadyani, said that under Iran’s current conditions no other way is left but revolution.

Condemning the recent executions of three protesters by the Iranian government, Ghadyani stated that Khamenei should “resign, surrender to people, repent and ask for forgiveness from them, so that people can hold a free referendum to put their desired system in power — which is a secular, democratic regime based on human rights.”

However, Ghadyani added that this is highly unlikely due to the nature of all totalitarian tyrants, referring to Khamenei, “Therefore, the only solution is revolution, but of course a peaceful and non-violent one.”

This 78-year-old activist who has been repeatedly arrested and imprisoned stated, “Sooner or later this revolution will happen, and people will get rid of tyranny.”

Meanwhile, more than 170 Iran-based civil activists signed a statement against the recent executions which were described as “organized, first-degree state murders.” In addition, they demanded the “immediate abolition of all issued death sentences as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience” in the country.

According to the statement, by sentencing and carrying out executions, the Iranian government “has no other aim but creating terror to prevent protests and opposition to its religious tyranny.”

The signatories of this statement also pointed out as a result of these executions “one more page has been added to the dark history of the Islamic Republic regime which started the crackdown and killing of dissidents from the very first days of coming to power.”

According to the statement, thousands of political dissidents and those protesting against poverty and inequality have been killed in different ways by this ruling system. The courts held “show trials” and handed out “dozens of execution sentences against protesters” in recent months after “coercing confessions from them under torture.”

According to Amnesty International, the number of executions in Iran rose by 83% in 2022. Only in the past five months, 209 people were hanged.

Radio Farda

The Arrest of at Least Two Individuals With Eye Injuries Sustained in the Recent Protests

Following the heightening of pressure on “eye victims” in the protests and their families in recent weeks, at least two people have reportedly been arrested.

According to human rights activists, Amir Velayati and Heresh Naghshbandi — two of the protesters who were shot by Iranian government forces and lost one of their eyes in the Woman, Life, Freedom protests — have been arrested.

Vahid Abbasi Peyani, another protester who was shot in the eye, was arrested and has been incarcerated for months.

On the other hand, the pressure on family members of the“ eye victims” has increased, and according to the Instagram account called “Eye for Freedom” which covers the news of those who sustained serious eye injuries in the recent protests in Iran, the brother of Parsa Ghobadi, who lost both eyes after being shot by Iranian security forces, was arrested last week.

Radio Farda

IRGC Commander Replaces Ali Shamkhani in Supreme National Security Council

After announcing the stepping down of Ali Shamkhani from his position as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Iranian media outlets announced the appointment of Ali Akbar Ahmadian to this position.

Ahmadian was born in 1961 in the city of Kerman and is a member of the Expediency Discernment Council. In 1985, he was appointed as the head of the IRGC naval forces’ headquarters by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian Republic.

After the Iran-Iraq War, he became deputy commander of the IRGC naval forces and was later appointed to chief commander.

Ahmadian, who was in charge of the IRGC Strategic Center and Imam Hossein University, was also one of five new members who were added by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the Expediency Discernment Council in 2022.

Shamkhani, who was a senior IRGC commander during the Iran-Iraq War, was the secretary to the Supreme National Security Council for 10 years.

After the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia over improving political relations and reopening embassies, many Iranian media outlets and political figures highlighted Shamkhani’s role in this breakthrough, pointing out that he was directly appointed by Khamenei to negotiate with the Saudi side which meant that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was ignored.

Last year, amid the popular protests, there were reports of Shamkhani stepping down which was denied.

In addition, Alireza Akbari, an Iranian-British dual citizen, who was also a former advisor to Shamkhani, was executed on charges of espionage earlier this year.

After the execution of Akbari, there were reports about the possible stepping down of Shamkhani, which was denied at the time.

Widespread accusations of nepotism related to Shamkhani’s family have made headlines in recent years, including the Indian government seizing a ship belonging to Shamkhani’s son in 2021 and Shamkhani’s nephew’s alleged links to the owner of the Metropol building in the southern city of Abadan which collapsed and killed hundreds of people.

Radio Farda

Independent Persian

Substantial Drop in Iran’s Exports to China Along With an Increase in the Role of Oil Dealers

Statistics of tanker tracking companies reveal an increase in indirect sales of Iranian and Venezuelan oil through Malaysian dealers to China.

The heightening role of oil dealers comes at a time when statistics from China’s Customs Office show that the import of oil from Iran was zero in the first four months of 2023.

Statistics released by China’s Customs Office indicate that there has been an 11-fold increase in oil purchases from Malaysia compared to the same period last year, reaching approximately 14 million tons.

According to the reports of various international news agencies, including Reuters and Bloomberg, Iran is exporting a major part of its oil to China through Malaysian dealers.

Malaysian oil exports to China reached approximately 14 million tons in the past four months, while in 2018 when the US sanctions against Iran were not imposed, Malaysia’s oil exports to China were only 27,000 tons — which is equal to 2% of the oil exported to China in the first four months of 2023.

It is not exactly clear what is Iran’s share in this amount, but according to the statistics of the United Against Nuclear Iran organization, the Iranian government sold roughly 960,000 barrels of oil per day to China in the first four months of 2023, equal to 15.7 million tons of oil.

As such, it seems that a large part of Iran’s oil is sent to China through Malaysia and other Malaysian or Chinese intermediaries.

Prior to this, Reuters reported that Iran gives about a $12 discount on each barrel of oil to Chinese refineries.

China’s Customs Office has also reported that in the first four months of 2023, China’s imports from Iran dropped by 39% reaching $1.5 billion. On the other hand, official statistics show 47% growth in China’s exports to Iran reaching $3.7 billion in the same period.

Radio Farda

Editorial Team