» The fate of JCPOA after Tillerson
This editorial focuses on Iran’s nuclear deal following the recent sacking of the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The editorialist opens his piece by referring to disagreements and tensions between the U.S. President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from the very beginning, saying that Tillerson did his best to stand up against “Trump’s erratic foreign policy”, specifically regarding Iran’s nuclear deal. Many analysts believe that Trump has not been able to do any damages to JCPOA so far– despite numerous threats– only because of Tillerson’s support of the deal. As a consequence, his departure can be considered as a signal for JCPOA’s impending doom.
The editorialist holds that Donald Trump has made up his mind about the Iran nuclear deal. Given the dismissal of Rex Tillerson and several others in the U.S. administration who had given warnings about the negative impact of Trump’s decisions on international affairs, it seems that he will soon announce U.S. withdrawal from JCPOA. Especially now that the U.S. Congress has remained silent about this issue.
In the end, the editorial poses a major question regarding Iran’s position in this regard: Will the key decision-makers in Iran’s establishment continue their past policies?
An Editorial in Bahar daily on March 14, 2018
» Zarif is after wind!
The editorial of Javan online explains why Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to Pakistan would be useless while highlighting oil minister’s mistake about exporting gas to Pakistan.
According to the editorial, even though one of the aims of Zarif’s trip to Pakistan was consulting about implementation of Peace Pipeline to export gas to Pakistan, one cannot hope for this trip’s success as Iranian Oil Minister Bizhan Zanganeh who is not interested in exporting gas to Pakistan has not accompanied Zarif on trip to this country.
Zanganeh believes the editorial continues, that Iran has wasted money by investing on this pipeline. But this is not true. In the 10th government, a pipeline was built to take gas from Assaluyeh to Iranshahr, Sistan, and Baluchistan. At the same time, a 500-million-euro contract was signed between Iran and Pakistan according to which Iran was going to help Pakistan in building this pipeline. The loan would be reimbursed through the gas price. IRGC’s Khatam al-Anbiya Headquarter started building the pipeline from Iranshahr towards the border with Pakistan.
The editorial then adds: Zanganeh, in his first days of becoming the oil minister, decided to stop the loan, and then took the contract from Khatam al-Anbiya Headquarter and gave it to other contractors. Unlike what the oil minister says, Iran has made no investment on this pipeline. The oil ministry has never given any money to Islamabad, nor has it invested on exporting gas to Pakistan.
The editorial concludes that one shouldn’t conceal the truth to cover up his own mistakes. By not completing the pipeline towards the border, the oil minister had unofficially announced that Iran is not interested in exporting gas to Pakistan.
An Editorial in Javan online on March 13, 2018
» British Ambassador to be Expelled from Tehran?
This editorial, penned by a former member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, addresses recent breaching of Iran’s embassy in London and offers suggestions on how to react in connection with this incident.
The editorialist holds that the March 9 attack on the Iranian embassy in London needs a decisive and serious reaction from the country’s diplomatic apparatus as it concerns Iran’s dignity in the diplomacy arena. Moreover, the editorialist claims that the organization affiliated with the Shirazis [Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Hossein Shirazi whose supporters attacked Iran’s embassy after his son’s arrest] is militarily equipped at the heart of London, and somehow supported by the British government. Therefore, Iran’s diplomatic apparatus should take a proportionate measure in this regard. Otherwise, Iran’s embassies in other countries might become the targets of such attacks due to the enmity of the governments of the countries where they are located.
The editorialist then infers that the best response to this incident is to expel the British ambassador from Tehran, adding that Iran has never benefited from its relations with Britain and would suffer no loss if it cut ties with this country.
An Editorial in Asr-e Iranian daily on March 12, 2018
» Our Economy!
The editorial of Mostaghel newspaper wryly suggests that Iranian economic theorists must follow the model which exists in “narcotic drug market” to be able to deal with existing economic problems in Iran. And that’s because the economic system of this “informal market” enjoys the order which doesn’t exist in the country’s private and public sectors.
According to the editorial, whereas what the economic scientists suggest for overcoming the “economic crisis in the country” is absolutely academic, Iran needs a practical model to observe the “balance between supply and demand”, to stop “inflation and recession” and to always give “the right to the customers”. It is under such conditions that the editorialist suggests following the model of the narcotic drug market.
The editorial sarcastically continues: in the drug market, there is no delay or lack of coordination in the circulation of money, prices grow logically and gradually so that the dealers and users do not face any crisis, the distribution market is predictable and transparent, buyers and sellers respect each other, etc.
The editorial adds that if those who are in charge of Iran’s disordered economy study the narcotic drug market, they will come to a better understanding of the country’s economy, and they don’t have to spend a lot of their time on gaining useless academic knowledge.
The editorial mockingly concludes that since there are none of the hassles of the official markets in the “illegal drug markets” – such as conditions of the customs office, added-values tax, rent-seeking, and double standards – this market is the most regulated part of the economy in Iran!
An Editorial in Mostaghel on March 11, 2018
» Why Contradictory Behaviors towards Europe?
The editorial of Javan online probes into contradictory behaviors of Iranian diplomatic apparatus towards Europeans with regard to the nuclear deal (JCPOA).
The editorial urges that lack of political stability is conspicuous in the behaviors of Iran’s foreign diplomatic apparatus in confronting the U.S. and particularly Europe. 6 months after Donald Trump became the U.S. president, Iranian foreign diplomatic apparatus was still afraid to admit U.S. violation of the JCPOA. Meanwhile, even though Iran had expressed satisfaction with Europe’s performance for past 33 months, suddenly last week it said the Europeans have violated the JCPOA.
The editorial goes on to say that Europeans enjoy an “integrated, calculated approach” towards Iran’s nuclear case – not fulfilling their obligations, a unified position in announcing Iran as a violator of the JCPOA, and a unanimous attempt to add an amendment to the JCPOA.
The editorial adds after 33 months of expressing satisfaction with the Europeans’ approach to the JCPOA, FM Mohammad Javad Zarif suddenly said, “currently two groups are violating the JCPOA: the Americans and the Europeans – Americans because of Washington’s policy and Europeans due to the U.S. policies.”
The editorial then asks: why did Iranian foreign minister admit that Europe violates JCPOA with the 33-month delay? While the Europeans have continuously violated JCPOA in past 33 months, have kept silent in front of the U.S., and have repeatedly accused Iran of violating the spirit of JCOPA and Resolution 2231, why hasn’t Iran’s foreign diplomatic apparatus followed up the issue within the framework of JCPOA’s joint commission?
The editorial concludes that the unstable behavior of Iran’s foreign diplomatic apparatus can eventually result in accepting U.S. president’s 4 conditions because western countries will see it as Iran’s willingness to stay in the JCPOA at any costs.
An Editorial in Javan online on March 11, 2018
♦ Four defenders of human rights groups called for Iran to stop persecuting families of the dead in prison
Four groups of defenders of human rights accused officials of Iran of “cruel persecution and threats against families of those who suspiciously lost their lives in prisons,” calling for stopping these persecutions.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Center for Human Rights in Iran, and Justice for Iran, in a joint statement, said these mourning families that are after truth and justice in relation to deaths of their loved ones are treated with a vengeance.
In the statement, five people are mentioned who lost their lives in prisons in recent weeks and their families are “forced to silence”.
♦ Students protest heavy sentences, arrests of students
Students of Science and Technology and Allameh Tabatabei universities held gatherings in protests against heavy sentences and arrests of students. In these gatherings, students emphasized on their own support for students. Some students protested against this issue by holding placards.
Tehran revolutionary court has issued heavy sentences of imprisonment for 3 students who were arrested after widespread protests all over Iran against the regime during December 2017. Two of them have also been banned from leaving the country.
♦ Zarif: the U.S. cannot set conditions for us
Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in his Twitter, “I told Hamid Mir (Pakistani journalist) that America is in no position to set conditions for the JCPOA. Trump is used to being unpredictable, and he is not trustworthy for whoever deals with him. If the U.S. signature is valid only for 4 to 8 years, then no one will be willing to have agreements with the White House.”
♦ The murder of the brother of Mahshahr Friday Prayer Imam
Two masked motorcyclists shot brother of Mahshahr’s Friday Prayer Imam and escaped. According to Mashahr’s governor, on Monday night two motorcyclists who had covered their faces had gone to a shop with hunting guns and started shooting, in which brother of Mahshahr Friday Prayer Imam was shot with two bullets. He later died in the hospital.
Early investigations show that the murderers had come from surrounding towns.
♦ BBC asks UN to help stop the persecution of staff by Iran
In meeting on Iran in United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, BBC news network called for international support for its employees in BBC Persian who are being persecuted by Iranian officials.
Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, has said in a statement about this “unprecedented” measure that “BBC is asking help from UN because Iranian officials have paid no attention to efforts of this news network to convince them to stop this persecution.”
Persecutions of BBC Persian’s employees include: “persecuting and arresting the family members”, “pressure for cooperation and espionage for Iran”, “preventing their families from traveling”, and “confiscation of their properties”.
In his statement, Tony Hall writes: “This issue isn’t just related to BBC, as it is not the only media that is being persecuted due to working on Iran,” adding that “in fact, this issue goes beyond and is a story about essential human rights.”
♦ Zarif: Iran, Pakistan stood side by side in tough times
Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a gathering of Iranians and staff of Iranian embassy in Pakistan that “this year we are celebrating 70 years of relationship with Pakistan, and Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan.” He added that “Iran and Pakistan have been beside each other in tough times, and this makes our responsibilities heavier.”
Zarif urged that during past two years the relationship between Iran and Pakistan has had a significant increase, and there has been “unprecedented cooperation” in political, economic and security issues.
♦ Iran’s oil price passes $63 per barrel
The price of Iran’s crude oil increased in March, passing $63 per barrel. The average price of Iran’s light oil reached $63.18 per barrel, with 79 cents increase. The average price of Iran’s heavy oil has been $63.96 per barrel since the beginning of this year.
♦ 28% increase in the budget deficit
According to statistics of Iranian Central Bank, the annual budget had 75 thousand and 700 billion tomans deficit for the first 10 months of this Iranian year, showing 28% increase compared to the same period last year.
The Central Bank’s statistics show that the government has had 109 thousand and 810 billion tomans revenue in the first 10 months, of which 79 thousand and 770 billion tomans were from tax revenue and 30 thousand and 400 billion tomans from other revenues.
♦ The Netherlands to build a shipyard in Anzali
The cooperation agreement was signed in shipbuilding industry between Anzali Free Zone Organization and the Dutch consortium consisting of foreign investors. The CEO of investment consortium Jacobs A. Seawells pointed out to last year’s trip to the region and the resolve of the organization in creating port infrastructure saying that “immediately after signing the agreement, we will start engineering, technological and repairing tasks.” He added that given the good geographical position of the port and its being in the north-south corridor, it can be predicted that “we will witness a lot of trafficking of big ships in the Caspian port, and this increased our interest in investing in this port complex.”
♦ $37.2 billion trade between Iran and China
Deputy head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce said that the trade between Iran and China in last year was $37.2 billion. Majid Hariri pointed out that the total import from China was about $18 billion, urging that it had 27% growth compared to the year before. He added that there was 18% increase in export compared to the year before as well. According to Hariri, China is the biggest market for Iran’s non-oil import and export.
♦ More than 1000 obvious female addicts in Tehran
Police Chief in fighting drugs in Tehran Major Mohammad Bakhshandeh said there are more than 1000 obvious female addicts in Tehran, adding that in past two months about 150 obvious female addicts have been rounded up from streets.
♦ The clash between Basij forces and protesting students in Amir Kabir University campus
A group of students from Amir Kabir University gathered in the university campus in protest to arresting students in December demonstrations against the Iranian regime. The students protested against “heavy sentences and arrests” of their classmate in recent widespread protests.
Published images in social networks show that a number of Basiji forces of Amir Kabir University clashed with the students. An eyewitness told BBC Persian that protesting students had pictures of their arrested classmates in hands, adding that after “kicking one of the protesting girls who was standing on a platform, the clashes between the two sides were intensified.”
The demonstrators asked Hassan Rouhani’s government to seriously follow up the judiciary cases of those who have been arrested. Some students chanted slogans such as “High prices and embezzlement are our today’s sedition”.
♦ Iranian military delegation entered Qatar
A delegation from armed forces of Iran entered Doha, Qatar for taking part in the forum of commanders of naval forces in West Asia. This delegation, headed by General Alireza Tangsiri, deputy commander of IRGC naval forces, will also visit the 6th Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition (Dimdex 2018).
Young Journalists Club
♦ Iranian ambassador to Britain threatened to death
Hamid Baeedinejad, the Iranian ambassador to London, has been threatened to death by supporters of Shiite Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Shirazi. Baeedinejad wrote in his Twitter account that “Hossein Marashi Qazvini of the Shirazi cult has made some allegations against him and has threatened to kill him.”
♦ 40 more lawmakers in Iranian Parliament
Member of Councils Commission in the Parliament announced adding 40 lawmakers to the current number of MPs in the 11th parliament. Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani said in the meeting of this commission this issue and the number of lawmakers has discussed province by province, and eventually, it was ratified to add 40 lawmakers to the current number of MPs.
♦ Ghassemi: Iran knows nothing about Levinson’s destiny
On the 11th anniversary of the disappearance of Robert Levinson from Kish Island, Iran, FBI issued a statement, calling for his return. In reaction to this statement, Iranian spokesperson of foreign ministry Bahram Ghassemi said that Iran has repeatedly announced that this person had traveled to Iran at some point and then left Iran, urging that Iran has no information about his destiny ever since.
Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared 11 years ago while visiting Kish Island, southern Iran. There are unconfirmed reports saying that he has died while in custody. Nonetheless, there are also reports insisting that he is still alive and kept somewhere in eastern Iran, near Afghanistan border.
♦ Lawmaker: We have no exact statistics about detained dervishes
Mohammad Javad Kolivand, head of Council Commission in the Parliament, said committee for probing the events of Pasdaran Avenue in which Gonabadi dervishes clashed with policemen is going to obtain exact statistics regarding the number of those who were possibly killed and everything that took place. As for the number of those who are still in custody, Kolivand said at that time 300 people were detained, but later some were released; there are no exact statistics about those who are still detained.
During the dervishes’ clash with policemen, 5 security forces were killed. Many dervishes were arrested, some of whom died after the arrest, including Mohammad Raji, a war veteran, who was among the detained dervishes.
♦ Telecommunication Minister: Unfiltering YouTube, Twitter requires a decision of 3 branches
Iranian Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said unfaltering YouTube and Twitter needs decision of the 3 branches of the establishment, and Supreme Council of Cyberspace makes the final decision in this regard. Azari Jahromi added unfaltering internet services such as YouTube and Twitter is not directly the responsibility of telecommunication ministry, and this ministry has only one vote in filtering committee.
♦ Summoning Tehran mayor by the judiciary
Following a ceremony in Milad Tower in Tehran on the occasion of Women’s Day in which little girls danced in the presence of men, Tehran Prosecutor announced launching a case in this regard saying that Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi and other people involved in this ceremony were summoned and the mayor was questioned. Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi called this ceremony “obscene”.
Fars news agency