Iranian Press (August 30): Rouhani is hesitant to run for a second term and denials of foreign spy allegations


_ Why Iran needs to make deals with international oil companies, which are refraining from engagement in the Iranian market.
_ Assessing Russo-Iranian relations in light of new developments.

Break News:
_Rouhani advisor stressed the importance of concluding the nuclear agreement.
_Rouhani hesitation in entering the presidential contest next year.

-Dutch airline KLM to resume direct flights to Iran.
– Reviving banking relations between Iran and Lebanon, Iran joins the Nice Agreement.

Sharq Newspaper
“Iranians’ Evaluation of Rouhani’s performance”
This editorial focused on the Iranian people and politicians’ evaluation of Rouhani’s performance over the past three years through responding to the Iranian public opinion’s stimuli about the Iranian political future and the role of the moderate government. According to the editorial, the Iranian political currents are divided into three trends:
Reformists loyal to the government. This current reorganized by the end of Ahmadinejad’s era and sided by Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hassan Rouhani. It sought confrontation with Conservatives who enjoyed an absolute power over eight years and took the Iranian community off the rails of moderation. As a result, they both joined forces and came up with Omid list. Although Rouhani has excluded reformists from ministerial positions over the past three years, they announced their positive attitude toward his performance hinting at him being their first choice in the upcoming elections in May 2017.
Moderate opposition represented by Moderate Fundamentalists. This current supported Ali Akbar Vilayati against Rouhani in the previous elections but then welcomed the winning of Rouhani who included some of its members in his cabinet. Moreover, the bad experience of this current with Nejad and confrontation with Natiq Nouri made it break up with the extremist fundamentalists and join Moderates, which contributed to the winning of Rouhani of a parliamentary majority. Consequently, this current holds the presidency of the parliament, Expediency Discernment Council, and some other political organizations. This alliance between them and Rouhani is expected to continue in the upcoming elections.
Conservatives. This current does not oppose only Rouhani, but also all other Reformist Moderates. Persistence Front represents the heart of this current that enjoys tremendous financial capabilities gained from the high oil revenues during Ahmadinejad’s eight-year presidency. This current revolves around rejecting the Nuclear Deal and defamation of Rouhani’s government, which means standing against him in the next elections. In fact, the editorial reflects Rouhani’s supporters’ fears of the impact of the conservatives on the Iranian public opinion during the next period through the focus on the points of weaknesses of Rouhani’s government, leading to undesirable results of the upcoming elections.

Resalat Newspaper
“A question with no Answer”
This editorial asked a question about Iran’s need to sign agreements with international oil companies for oil extraction although the Iranian experiences in this field for more than 100 years. The editorial shed light on the new oil agreement designed by oil minister Began Zanganah and opposed by Khamenei, which is now being discussed by the parliament, where there is a state of mutual accusations of corruption between the minister of oil and conservatives. The editorial added, “During the last days of the cursed Riza Pahlavi, Iran was producing six million barrels per day; today, after 37 years of the Iranian Revolution, Iran Produces only four million barrels per day, which raises a big question about the need for such agreements with the availability of three big oil companies in Iran; the National oil company in the south that produces 80% of Iran’s oil, Oil Company of the Continental Cliff, and Oil Company of the Central Areas.” The editorial also added, “After 100 years of oil production, Iran is still importing part of its needs of gasoline and cannot search in the sea of Oman and the shared fields with the Arab countries; meanwhile, a country like Brazil that does not have any experiences in oil extraction searches thousands of kilometers deep in the Atlantic Ocean.” According to the editorial, if someone says that Iran does not have qualified personnel or insufficient capital, then it’s untrue, asserting that if half of the generous advantages given to the foreign companies are given to the Iranian companies, they can extract oil in record time, and we wouldn’t have heard anything about corruption of “Crescent” and bribes of “Istas Oil”. In conclusion, the editorial criticized the new contracts, saying that oil is not only a wealth, but also a security, political, and diplomatic weapon that can be used by Western companies to exert pressure on Iran whenever they want, which was evident when the American and European companies suddenly stopped their work with Tehran with no obligations after the economic sanctions that might happen again. After all, it can be said that the reason of all obstacles facing the Iranian oil industry is directing the Iranian money to war in Syria, Iraqi Public Mobilization Forces in addition to the tens of terrorist groups spread all over the world, depriving the Iranian people of their right of developing their oil sector.

Etilaat Newspaper
“Strategic Notifications with Russia”
This editorial shed light on the Iranian-Russian correlations proceeding from the saying, “Countries choose their friends but have to coexist with their neighbors in harmony.” The editorial said that the Iranian-Russian relations have gone through many ups and downs. Since many call them strategic, then they have to be re-evaluated precisely. First of all, Iran and Russia were hostile to each other over history that should not be repeated after they both have reached a state of political maturity and enjoy mutual interests although their differences in religion, language, knowledge, culture, and international Positions. The editorial added that with the continuation of the current circumstances, a new model of correlations can be established through military cooperation as the ground base for strong relations between them. Although, the editorial raises a question about the future of these relations in case of political change in Russia and the succession of a Western proxy government, which confirms the Iranian fears and lack of confidence in long-term relations with Moscow. As a result, the editorial rejects the so-called strategic relations, saying that Iran enjoys political stability on both internal and external levels, meanwhile Russia does not. It concluded, “There is a big gap in military and technological capabilities between both countries, in addition to the Russian expansionist ambitions in Quorum Peninsula, Abkhazia, Ostia and other territories, which are evidence that the Iranian-Russian correlations can’t be called strategic, and have not gone beyond military and security cooperation.”

♦ Restoring a billion Tomans of astronomical salaries

Talking about the latest scandal over massively inflated salaries paid to some state officials, an Iranian government spokesman, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, said that the case has been investigated, with the managers involved identified, and 13 of them dismissed from their positions so far.
Nobakht said that over one billion Tomans (US$570,000) of payments made either in the form of aid or in salaries and bonuses had been recovered, adding that the relevant departments have been called upon to install surveillance equipment to ensure no recurrence of such corruption in the future.
Source: Tejarat newspaper

♦ KLM Royal Dutch to resume flights to Tehran

Dutch airline “KLM Royal Dutch” will resume flight to the Iranian capital, Tehran from October 30, after a three-year break in the service since 2013.
The announcement comes as many international airlines seek to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in Iran following the implementation of the nuclear deal. “British Airways” is set to introduce direct flights to Iran from July 14 next year, offering six flights per week.
Source: Tejarat newspaper

♦ Iran joins the Nice Agreement

Iranian MPs have approved Iran’s adoption of the Nice Agreement concerning the international classification of goods and services in order to register trademarks. The vote was approved by 155 MPs, with 16 deputies voting against, and 9 abstaining from a total of 234 deputies who attended the session.
It should be noted that international treaties and agreements and documents must be approved by the Iranian parliament before they can be implemented in Iran, in accordance with Article 77 of the Iranian Constitution.
Source: IRNA News Agency

♦ Foreign Ministry spokesman: It is known that the alleged ‘spy’ was from the banking system

News of the arrest a few days ago of an alleged spy who was part of the nuclear deal negotiating team has caused widespread speculation across media, with many state officials, including Mashhad MP Javad Karimi Kaddosi, issuing blistering criticism. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has categorically denied any such charges against the official in question, with ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi stating that the accused individual, Mr. Dari Isfahani, was released after questioning following phone calls from senior figures.
Ghasemi said that Isfahani’s detention was related to judicial and security issues, explaining that the ministry had clarified the facts as quickly as possible, and adding that the ministry had clearly stated when the reports accusing Isfahani of being arrested for spying first emerged that there was no spy involved in the negotiations for the ‘Joint Comprehensive Action Plan’. Ghasemi further stated that the individual arrested came from a background in the banking sector and had been involved in the negotiations in discussions of economic and banking issues. The individual who was detained had been released temporarily, and after completion of investigations by the relevant judicial system, Ghasemi added, stating that the Foreign Ministry will reveal the facts of the case to the people as soon as possible.
Source: Sharq Newspaper

♦ Parliament approves Iran-China cooperation in criminal cases

During a public meeting on Tuesday, the Iranian parliament decided to include a study of the items listed in a treaty between Iran and China concerning legal assistance in criminal cases, on the agenda of the parliament’s open meeting.
151 of the 225 deputies attending the meeting approved the decision, with 12 opposing it, and eight abstaining. This list of items includes an introduction and 24 articles, which have been submitted by the government to the parliament in order to settle the issue of judicial cooperation between Iran and China.
Source: Mehr News Agency

♦ The need to return the Iranian economy to pre-sanctions levels

In an interview with Sharq newspaper, the presidential adviser for economic affairs, Masoud Nili, said, “We all know that in order to find a solution to the country’s economic problems we need to see far greater economic growth. In order for our economy’s long-term growth process to return to what it was before the end of the imposed war, it is necessary to ensure that our economy will grow by more than 6.5 percent over the next five years. So we see that the damage was done to our economy in the years 2012 and the first half of 2013 was very large and will be compensated by involvement in the exchange of a large number of resources.”
Nili went on to say that it is unlikely that the losses sustained by the industrial sector can ever be recovered from, warning that there is a possibility of a permanent decline in the growth rate of Iran’s manufacturing sector. He added, however, that the country’s service sector is less affected, managing to account for 50 percent of Iran’s GDP and playing the role of an economic “shock absorber” during the recession.
Source: Sharq Newspaper

♦ Reformists fear their names being published in property distribution list
A member of Tehran City Council’s Cultural and Social Commission, Mojtaba Shakeri, has claimed that some reformists are afraid to see their names published in a distribution of municipal property list. Speaking in an interview with state news agency Tasnim, Shakeri stressed that the City Council’s presidency will remain under the control of conservatives, adding that contrary to rumors the reformists have not yet been able to control the general direction of the council and that things have changed.
The senior official emphasized the need to deal with any violations or thefts from the Islamic money house via the rule of the judiciary, and not on the basis of a specialist’s opinion.
Mojtaba added that any effort by other parties to adopt a strategy aimed at exposing conservative council members would be pointless, concluding by reiterating that the city council would remain in the hands of the conservatives.
Source: Siasatrouz Newspaper

♦ Mohajrani: Rouhani was reluctant to declare his candidacy for a second term, but recently became convinced of the need for participation

Iranian journalist Masih Mohajrani, the head of the ‘Islamic Republic’ newspaper since the early 1980s, said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is currently under massive pressure. Even after making many sacrifices in his first term, Mohajrani said, Rouhani would continue to face similar in the event of his being elected to a second term due to the determination of a number of political movements to continue their staunch opposition to his administration and their efforts to prevent him from implementing his programs to the fullest. The veteran journalist said that he had stressed during a meeting with Rouhani three years ago, he had stressed that Rouhani’s decision to stand for election had been the right one and that he should remain for a second term, since failing to do so would result in the loss of all the accomplishments he attained during his term in office.
Mohajrani further stated that while Rouhani had been reluctant to stand for election for a second term, he had been persuaded of the need to do so since the speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, and others thought that Rouhani should continue in the presidency in the next phase.
The distinguished journalist further revealed that based on credible information from Guardian Council members, he has concluded that while the Guardian Council may wish to deny Rouhani the opportunity to stand for the next election, its members lack a convincing justification to oppose his doing so
Source: Etimad Newspaper

Editorial Team