» Messages and goals of Russia’s new strategic change in Syria
Editorial of Ebtekar news deals with Russia’s recent strategic change towards Syria, following the recent meeting of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. While prior to this meeting, Russia’s stance towards Syrian crisis was “independent and basically against America’s”, now Russia has accepted the U.S. suggestion to confront ISIS and impose the last the defeat on this terrorist group.
The Editorial holds that Russia’s unexpected decision in accepting the U.S. suggestion means a change in Russia’s strategy and also a rift in Russia-Syria front. And more significantly it means that Russia does not believe in “permanent friend or enemy in its foreign policy”.
According to this editorial, Russia’s decision proves that the main goal of this country in Syria was not resolving the crisis in this country and keeping Bashar Assad in power, but this country is after “reviving the Russian Empire”, and playing a more active role in the region. That is why Russia is constantly walking out of or joining new alliances in alignment with its “instrumentalist approach”, not caring which political actors will be “sacrificed to its instrumentalist, opportunistic” policies.
Ebtekar Editorial holds that “in Russia’s new game, Syria and even Iran have been sacrificed to Russia’s instrumentalist greed.”
An Editorial in “Ebtekar” Newspaper on Sunday, Jul. 9th, 2017
» A note on Babak Zanjani’s court
Iran Newspaper editorial deals with new development in Babak Zanjani’s case, as the trial of his “accomplices” has started in a new court. The suspects are accused of “fraud, money-laundering, collaboration in fraud of 1.2bn Euros from National Oil Company, and forged LCs [letters of credit].”
The editorial continues that the court claims that the suspects’ measures had culminated in officials trusting Babak Zanjani. Through their connections with different institutes, these people have been able to introduce Babak Zanjani to three economic ministers and the Central Bank as a successful person for selling oil.
What is surprising, according to the editorial, is that in the biggest financial complex in the country – i.e. economic ministries and more importantly the Central Bank – the words of these people had been accepted, stopping them from probing Zanjani’s alleged means, while, as the head of the court has stated, “if they had researched a bit, it would have become clear that Babak Zanjani doesn’t own 2 banks at all.”
The editorialist wishes the court had summoned the three economic ministers and Governor of Central Bank to explain how they had trusted the two suspects of the case, without investigating their claims. The question is how come they had “blindly” accepted the suspects’ claims about Zanjani’s two banks in Tajikistan and Malaysia – while in the age of global village, a simple Internet search could have proved otherwise.
An Editorial in Iran Newspaper on Monday, Jul. 11th, 2017
» More and more ambiguities
The editorial of Bahar Daily addresses the issue of Kahrizak Detention Center in which many young people who were protesting against fraud in 2009 presidential election were tortured and raped. It starts with the fact that Iranian-style politics creates more and more ambiguities, and officials create more ambiguities with their clarifications, instead of transparency.
Recently, a former police officer has described Kahrizak Detention Center in such a way that as if those who were transferred to Kahrizak had “died out of happiness.” In explanations of this former official, the editorial says, there is no sign of “beating and torturing” or “terrible conditions of that horrible detention center which was meant to be for thugs.”
Bahar editorial asks while the inspector of Islamic Republic police believes that no one was even beaten, how come that two people were sentenced to death in this regard? “Is this former police official joking, or does he want to add salt to the injury of the survivors?”
The editorialist holds that “perhaps if there had been a serious, decisive confrontation with Saeed Mortazavi who played the main role in sending the protestors to a detention center which was meant for thugs, then we wouldn’t see that in less than 10 years after that tragedy, the officials would completely deny it.”
An Editorial in “Bahar” Daily on Tuesday, Jul. 11th, 2017
» Iran’s economic profits from defeating ISIS
Arman Daily, in its editorial, highlights economic significances of defeating ISIS in Mosul. The editorial sees Iraq as one of the most important and largest markets in the region while considering ISIS demolishing in Mosul as a good opportunity for Iran’s economy.
According to the editorial, Iran has continuously increased its export share in Iraq market during past years, but with the intensification of ISIS activities in Iraq, a major part of this country’s budget and resources was spent on fighting this group, thus stopping many projects that could be implemented in that country.
As such, defeating ISIS in Mosul is seen by Arman editorial as a “fortunate incident” because once again the Iraqi government can focus on reconstructing the country, now that this “rebel group” is driven out of that region. It is predicted that Iraqi government needs $100bn to reconstruct Mosul, which will improve the market for Iranian goods, and the export of construction goods, cement, and other items are expected to increase.
According to Arman editorial, Iran’s export has already had 5% increase compared to last year, and it is predicted to increase 30% by the end of this year. And it is necessary to use “all capacities of the country for having a significant economic and cultural presence in Iraq market”.
An Editorial in Arman Daily on Wednesday, Jul. 12th, 2017
♦ Iran Parliament elects head of Hajj and Pilgrimage Fraction
Election for directing board of Hajj and Pilgrimage Fraction in Iran’s Parliament was held, and Ahad Azadikhah was chosen as the head of this fraction. In this election, Ghassem Jasemi was elected as first deputy, and Javad Hosseinikia as the second deputy. Also, Hossein Hosseini Shahroodi was chosen as spokesperson of Hajj and Pilgrimage Fraction.
♦ High risk of trades with Iran
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has released a list of 9 countries, including Iran, that have not taken the necessary measures against financing terrorism and money-laundering. FATF has warned against any financial transactions with these countries.
This group, which is active in supporting international financial system against money-laundering and terrorism, has listed Iran and North Korea as high-risk enough to warrant a “call to action.” This means that FATF has asked all its members throughout the world to take special measures against risks of economic cooperation with these two countries.
♦ Iran ready to cooperate with Interpol, Argentina about AMIA bombing case
Abbas Araghchi, Deputy for Legal and International Affairs of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, met with Jurgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol, who has gone to Tehran for taking part in a summit. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister said in this meeting that Iran is ready to cooperate with Interpol and Argentina regarding AMIA bombing case.
AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) was attacked in 1994 in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds injured. Argentine justice accused Tehran in 2006 of being behind the attack, allegedly because of Buenos Aires’ decision to suspend a nuclear material delivery and technology transfer.
Fars news agency
♦ Ansari: IRGC has big role in Iran
Iran’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Majid Ansari said during past 4 years, some people have tried to create a confrontation between Rouhani’s government and Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), calling such efforts “media mischiefs”.
Majid Ansari pointed out that IRGC has existed since the beginning of the revolution as a military institute, and has played a big role in the country. He added that the government, according to the law, would continue to support all armed forces to strengthen the defense foundation of the country.
♦ Oil contract with South Korea expected to be signed by end of year
Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Kazemi urged that even though currently oil refineries are not economically justified, these refineries’ profitability will increase with signing new renovation contracts. As for signing contracts with international companies in the refinery sector, he said that the $3bn contract of Abadan Oil Refinery was signed with Chinese companies last February. Kazemi added that Isfahan Oil Refinery has signed a $2bn contract with a South Korean company which is not finalized yet.
♦ Attacking Tehran municipality’s agents, one killed
A group of anonymous people attacked a municipality car with a cold weapon in Tehran Zone 6 for unknown reasons, due to which the driver was killed in the hospital.
♦ Iran’s letter to Canada for extraditing Khavari
The diplomatic relationship between Iran and Canada is not favorable. What seems to be conspicuous more than anything else in the relationship between Iran and Canada is a lack of possibility for Iran in using Interpol capacities for extraditing Mahmoud Reza Khavari. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, Khavari, despite his dual nationality, was appointed as the director of Bank Melli Iran and escaped from the country at the heat of 3,000 billion tomans embezzlement in Iran.
Ali Reza Rahimi, the reformist member in the Parliament’s National Security Commission, announced the correspondence of Iran’s Ambassador to the UN with the Canadian government to follow up Khavari’s case. This letter was sent to the Canadians through Swiss government, and so far, there has been no diplomatic reaction to it.
♦ Indian companies interested in providing Chabahar Port cranes
An Indian official said two big Indian companies have offered their proposals for providing pier cranes in Chabahar’s strategic port in Iran. Their proposals are being evaluated and the final result will be announced soon. India is willing to expedite the development of this port in Sistan and Baluchistan, Iran, so that it can have easy access to the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Indian cabinet has agreed with the allocation of financial resources for developing this project. Nitin Gadkari, Indian Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, had said before Indian government hopes that the first phase of this project will be completed in 2018.
♦ Committee for assessing performance of Reformists Supreme Policy-Making Council
In the latest meeting of Reformists’ Supreme Policy-making Council, committees for interaction with the government and assessing the performance of the Council were formed. MP Mohammad Reza Aref pointed out to recent attacks against Hassan Rouhani, saying that while the atmosphere in the region is tense, there is the undeniable necessity of unity and coordination of people and all institutes and branches of power in the country. Aref added that Reformists’ Supreme Policy-making Council will do anything to achieve the conditions for the cooperation of all capacities in the country for the success and boosting the pillars of the regime.
♦ Iranian Ambassador met with Syrian Financial Affair Minister
Iranian Ambassador to Syria Javad Torkabadi met with Syria’s Financial Affairs Minister Mamon Hamdan to go over boosting and expanding the financial and economic relationship between the two countries. Torkabadi emphasized on longstanding relationships between the two countries, saying that the power of the two countries has “manifested itself in their standing together in defense of truth”.
Torkabadi expressed his happiness with Syrian Army’s victories, adding that “these victories overcame the enemies’ conspiracies for dividing the region”. Iranian Ambassador asserted that agreements between the two countries have been created in the right direction and are being implemented.
♦ Iran and Turkey move towards free trade
Heads of Iran-Turkey Joint Economic Commission reached an agreement over free trade. Iran Telecommunication and Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi as head of this commission met with Turkey Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in Tehran. In this meeting which aimed at increasing commercial trades between the two countries, the ministers of the two countries agreed on reaching free trade through preferential trade. Mahmoud Vaezi said, “We are trying to reach $30bn annual commercial transactions, which is what the presidents of the two countries have in mind.”
♦ Hamid Baghaei was arrested
Hamid Baghaei, one the people close to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and vice president in charge of executive affairs in the 10th government, was arrested. Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the media adviser to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, confirmed the news, saying that Baghaei was arrested in front of his house and taken to the court.
♦ Sadegh Larijani: We don’t accept false red lines
Head of Judicial System Sadegh Larijani, in a live TV program, talked about the performance of the Judicial System in Iran. In response to a question about violations in the recent presidential election, he said a great number of cases have come to the judiciary regarding violations in the election and they will be investigated.
Addressing the issue of corruption, Larijani said that organizations in the executive branch such as ministries, banks, and financial institutes are “bottleneck of corruption”, stressing that “we must be careful not to let corruption happen at all.”
He confirmed that there are pressures on the judicial system in political and economic cases, but the judicial system will not give in to them. Larijani added that they would not accept any false red lines in this regard.
♦ Iranian Central Bank warns depositors in the Caspian Credit Institution
Only 80 branches of Caspian Credit Institution whose names are available in the website of Iran’s Central Bank are permitted to reimburse the deposits. In response to the claim that when depositors in Caspian Credit Institution go to their branches, only 50% of their deposits is reimbursed to them, Abbas Kamare’I, head of supervision over banks by Central Bank, said that, according to Central Bank announcement, deposits up to 20 million tomans have been returned to depositors. As for deposits up to 50 million tomans, people can go to their branches and get reimbursed.
♦ Joint industrial venture between German Volkswagen and Iran
Volkswagen will launch a joint venture with Mammut Khodro, Iranian automotive company, for exporting its vehicles to Iran. Deputy Industry Minister Mohsen Salehnia said with the realization of this project, both companies will jointly produce vehicles, which will be one of JCPOA’s achievements.
Public Relation of Volkswagen company officially announced entering Iranian market. Mammut Khodro will be in charge of sales and after sales services of Volkswagen vehicles in Iran.
♦ Iran Government policy: close relations with IRGC
The government’s decisive policy is to have close relations with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a revolutionary institution, said Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology. Referring to those who plan to sow discord between IRGC and government, Vaezi said such confrontation would only lead to “weakening the country” and “the Revolution’s ideals.”
Communications Minister also emphasized the necessity of launching a private Internet TV for presenting the government plans and policies. “It is not possible to tolerate monopoly in todays’ world”, said Vaezi referring to Iran’s state broadcasting network (IRIB).
♦ Iran, EU to escalate trade relations
The European Union’s imports from Iran has reportedly increased 5 times in the first four months of 2017, compared to the same time last year, according to Khabar Online. Moreover, the EU’s exports to Iran from January to April 2017 has reached to 3.144 billion euros, with a 44 percent growth compared to last year.
Following official negotiations between Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) director and his counterpart at the European Union in Brussel, the two countries planned to expand cooperation.
♦ 27 ISIL-affiliated arrested in northeastern Iran
Hassan Heydari, deputy prosecutor of the city of Mashhad, says the number of individuals related to ISIL arrested in Razavi Khorasan province has risen to 27. Iran’s security forces have arrested dozens of suspects since Tehran’s terrorist attacks.
♦ Tehran terror attack planned in Syria, says Iran official
Ambassador Gholam Ali Khoshroo said Tehran June 7 terrorist attack had been organized in Deir Ezzor region in Syria. In an interview with Press TV, Khoshroo added ISIL has not been able to do any significant operations in Iran due to the group’s incapability.
Khoshroo urged that Iran’s “counseling” position in Syria for fighting ISIL is different from its missile attack against the terrorist group. “We are in Syria in accordance with this country’s [Syria] wish, advising the Syrian army to create stability in their country,” said Iran’s U.N. Ambassador, adding, “it is the Syrian government which determines the priorities and policies.”
♦ Antibiotic consumption in Iran, 5 times more than Europe
Dr. Mohammad Sistanizad of Shahid Beheshti Medical Sciences University warned against growing antibiotics consumption in Iran. He added that while consumption of antibiotic shows 20% decrease in European consumption from 20 DDD (defined daily doses) in 2006 to 15 DDD now, the level of antibiotic consumption in Iran is 102 to 103 DDD – 5 times more than Europe.
♦ Iran’s ambassador in Moscow: Rouhani has extensive plans for developing relations with Russia
Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaee announced Hassan Rouhani, in his second term of presidency, has extensive and comprehensive plans for promoting a level of relationships between Tehran and Moscow. In a cultural-social conference of Iran and Russia which was held in the city of Ufa, the center of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Sanaee emphasized that holding such conferences will create the grounds for dialogues between governments and people of both countries.
Sanaee pointed out to numerous achievements in the relationships of the two countries in all fields in recent years, saying that all infrastructures and factors necessary for extending comprehensive relationships between Iran and Russia.
♦ Iranian cars to be produced in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 3 months
Iranian Ambassador to Baku Javad Jahangirzadeh said the first joint production of cars between Iran and Azerbaijan will start in September. The inauguration ceremony of the joint car factory of Iran and Azerbaijan was held by Aziorocar Co. and Pars Car Co. in Neftchala District, Azerbaijan in mid-2016.
He also underscored the high level of cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan, saying that the economic relationships between the two countries will be increasingly enhanced.
This car company has the capacity of producing 10,000 cars in year and will produce Iranian cars Dena, Rana, Soren, Samand. This joint project is worth $15mn.
♦ Iranian police operational teams engaged with armed smugglers
Sistan and Baluchistan chief of police pointed out to police operational teams’ conflict with armed smugglers in the southern east of Iran. Brigadier-General Hossein Rahimi added that in this operation, two armed smugglers were arrested, and more 1.5 ton of opium was seized.