Iranian press today (August 28): 21 fires in one day in Mashhad city and cyber attacks on petrochemical facilities


New scandals loom over Iran’s oil fields as Zangana threatens to expose those opposing him in oil deals
Arman newspaper discusses new M.E. after Erdogan’s rejection of complying with Tehran in Syria crisis.

Break News:
Ahmadinejad and Saeed Jalili both preparing to participate in upcoming presidential elections.
Demands for better relations between Washington and Tehran.

Military news:
Iran’s Presidency requests joint military exercises with Russia
Social news:
Census of public drug abuse in Tehran
University is not a place for police forces.

Avrinsh Newspaper
“Vital Industries”
This editorial handled the crisis of drug industry in Iran. “Iran had suffered a crisis in the drug industry, especially Diabetes and Cancer medications over the past years under the economic sanctions,” the editorial said. It added that after lifting sanctions, we find out that they were not the only problem in drug industry same as other Iranian industries; the biggest problem is the licensing process that goes through complicated routine procedures that might take several years. This issue must be tackled by the government through cooperation with these companies to achieve as many advantages for the country and people as possible. The other problem, according to the editorial is the lack of a systematic process for distributing drugs in provinces due to their sizes and a long way from Tehran, leading to the emergence of a black market that doubles the market price for needy people.”

Arman Newspaper
“New Strategies in the Middle East”
This editorial discusses the new strategies in the Middle East proceeding from the viewpoint of France Press periodical. The editorial said that Turkey, Russia, and Syria are creating a new coalition to take the region out of the American domination. It added, “This view of the French periodical depends on the Western, especially the American keeping up with the Turkish ambitions, which is unlikely to happen. Erdogan, in fact, is looking for using the Arab spring as much as he can through toppling Assad down and creating a loyal Syrian state to regain part of the late Ottoman Empire, which on the contrary, endangers his economic achievements over the past years.” In this situation, according to the editorial, Russia will not remain silent toward the Turkish ambitions although their rapprochement recently; Takfiri groups will find their way to the inside of Turkish territories after cooperation between the Turkish and Syrian oppositions, which was evident through the consecutive explosions in Turkish cities; in addition to an expected cooperation between the Kurdish armed militias in Syria and the Kurdish Labor Party in Turkey. In conclusion, the editorial reflects the Iranian disappointment of Erdogan’s statements about the impossibility of restoring relations with Assad after the Iranian expectations of aligning with Turkey against the Kurdish separatists in coordination with the Syrian president; instead, Erdogan aligned with the Americans and obliged them to renounce their unconditional support to the Kurdish protection forces, and at the same time, approached Russians and Iranians in order to avoid their rejection of going into the inside of the Syrian lands. In fact, Erdogan has achieved many political gains on the local, regional, and international levels after the military coup.

Keyhan Newspaper
“He revolves around himself without avail”
This editorial ridiculed the statements of the Iran’s Minister of Oil yesterday when he warned the critics of the Iranian oil agreements saying that he has a lot to say about them. The editorial said that Iran seems to be at the threshold of a big scandal after that of the inflated salaries, but this time in the oil industry, which means that it will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars rather than hundreds of thousands. This editorial of Keyhan, the conservative newspaper close to Khamenei and its writer Khamenei’s media advisor, said that all newspapers titles were the same as if they were coming from the same source and reported Zanganah’s threats to silence opponents of the oil agreements. Zanganah never mentioned who they were or what information he would release. The editorial wondered if he thinks that those critics would stop condemnation, which means that he is covering big crimes that would question the whole Iranian oil activities. In fact, these agreements cannot remain secrets because they are negotiated with a foreign party that does not hide details of its agreements; consequently, the editorial attacks Zanganah saying, “Why does the respectful minister cover these people since they have outside connections as he stated.” It also referred to the former statements of his about those benefited from the economic sanctions imposed on Iran, and to the releases of some reformist newspapers about collaborators with the Gulf States who put obstacles in the face of the Iranian oil and gas extraction from the shared fields, hinting to Khamenei himself. As a result, the editorial attacked the minister on the Crescent agreement between the Iranian National Company and the UAE Crescent Petroleum Company that ended up with fining Iran tens of billions of dollars to the Emirati Company after taking the case to the International Criminal Court to the Hague, in addition to exporting the Iranian gas to the UAE for lower prices due to the Iranian poor management. The editorial also referred to another disgraceful agreement with the Norwegian Astat Oil Company that was signed after bribing a senior Iranian Oil principal for fifteen million USD, which was acknowledged by former head of the Norwegian company Richard Haberd who said that Horton, an Iranian company located in London and held by a dummy corporation, suggested that he pay off that bribe, which indicates that corruption is rooted in the Iranian Oil Industry.
Moreover, the editorial mentions some other scandals under the administration of Zanganah, Iran’s oil minister such as;
– 1997-2003, opening a bank account called “Siakil” in Lombard Bank in the name of a person called Began Dadfer
– December1998-August 2003, 75 million Euros were deposited in the same account by the French Company, Total that coincided with implementing the second and third stages of South Fares fields in favor of Qatar.
– In 2006, The Herald Tribune acknowledged the Bribes paid by The French Total to the Iranian senior oil officials, which was also acknowledged by the head of Total, Christophe Duma Jory.
The editorial concludes, “Can Mr. Zanganah deny any of these suspicious agreements? Of course, he cannot.” It urges him to allow these critics to check these agreements out in order to avoid any possible crises like those happened in the past under his administration. In fact, the editorial reflects the political struggle between conservatives and reformists over the corruption of the oil industry, which means that each side has its papers to play against the other. Indeed, the response of the editorial writer and Khamenei’s Advisor, Hussein Share’ati ensures that the Leader himself could be involved in the scandals that stormed the Iranian oil industry.

♦ Pakistanis welcome investment in the “Chabahar” Free Zone.

The Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Henrdost, held a meeting with the chairman of the country’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan on ways to boost economic relations and raise the volume of trade exchange between the two nations. The meeting was part of Iran’s continuing pursuit of its objective to facilitate trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan after the nuclear deal.
During the meeting the Iranian ambassador touched on the subject of investment in the Iranian “Chabahar” free trade zone areas, emphasizing that these are positive opportunities for foreign investors, including Pakistanis.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce of Pakistan welcomed the presence of Pakistani investors in the free zone Chabahar.
Source: Abrar Eghtesadi Newspaper

♦ 500 public drug abusers being arrested nightly on Tehran’s streets, one-quarter of them women

The Secretary-General of Iran’s Coordinating Council on the Fight Against Illegal Drugs, Mohammad Reza Azarnia, announced the beginning of the second phase of the council’s program to cleanse Tehran’s streets of public drug abuse, revealing that council personnel detained almost 500 public drug abusers nightly on the capital’s streets.
Azarnia said that the council needs to recruit an additional 6,000 staff to enable it to carry out its duties, adding that 27 percent of the addicts arrested since the start of the program to date are women. Azarnia said that there are around 300,000 drug addicts in Tehran province alone, with 30 percent of these individuals using drugs publicly on a daily basis.
Source: Etimad Newspaper

♦ Rafsanjani: The goal of the attack on Ahmad Khomeini is revenge on his grandfather

The head of the Expediency Council, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has expressed his abhorrence at what he said is a wave of media attacks on the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini. Such attacks are almost constant in all the hostile foreign media, said Rafsanjani, criticizing the mayor of Paris’ decision to hold an exhibition on the executions of MKO members in 1988, which he said was unusual and peculiar.
Speaking during a meeting of the Expediency Council, the chairman further claimed that the primary goal of Iran’s enemies at home and abroad at present in their attack on Khomeini’s son Ahmad and his family is in revenge for the role of Khomeini, who Rafsanjani called a unique figure in contemporary Iranian and global history, adding that it is essential for Iranians to act conscientiously in showing Khomeini’s role at the time so that enemies of the state cannot exploit it for negative ends.
At the same meeting, another council member and legal adviser to the Iranian President, Majid Ansari, asserted that the recent events aim to further tarnish Khomeini’s image of Khomeini, adding that there is an international conspiracy against Iran, which is about to happen.
Source: Fares News Agency

♦ 21 fires in Mashhad city in one day

The executive director of Mashhad city’s firefighting services, Hassan Jafari, reported that firefighters had been called out to fight 21 blazes in the city in the previous 24 hours. Jafari said that most of the blazes had broken out in homes and vehicles, with others breaking out in wheat and straw stores and garbage dump areas. He added that there had been no fatalities in the fires, although four people had been injured as a result of a collision that resulted from a blaze in a car. Jafari further revealed that a total of 1,300 firefighters work in over 45 fire stations in the city.
Source: Tabnak site

♦ Iraq threatens Kurds to sell oil via Iran

Iraq’s Deputy Oil Minister Fayyad Al-Nima announced that if negotiations with Kurdistan region officials on an agreement for sharing oil revenues fail, the Iraqi government will consider the possibility of selling its crude oil via Iran.
The Iranian minister added that the government’s Oil Marketing Organization intends to hold negotiations next week with officials representing the Kurdistan regional government on the export of Iraqi oil through Turkey, adding that if these negotiations fall through the Iraqi government will begin to study the sale of oil via Iran by or through other countries, because it needs the revenue.
Source: Jam-e Jam newspaper

♦ Saeed Jalili and Ahmadinejad prepare for presidential elections

The Iranian political right will not easily reach agreement on a single policy regarding the upcoming presidential election, as clearly shown by the contrasting stances between candidates, especially since some of these candidates believe that the road to success for conservative fundamentalists is to support the best existing or available politicians in the state, viewing the current president, Hassan Rouhani, as the best option. Another group within this political bloc, however, believes that Rouhani will not fight to represent the clerics within Iranian society and that supporting him in the 2017 elections would lead to effectively destroying the conservative bloc’s core identity.
According to Etemad, being either “with Rouhani” or “against Rouhani,” is not only linked to the current political debate among conservatives, with news reports indicating that groups including the Teachers of Hawza, the Qum Association, and the Association of Radical Clerics, will play an effective role in support of Rouhani among the conservative-oriented groups.
This means that Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi and Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani will have separate speeches for the fundamentalists, with no real role for Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, while the President of the Khomeini Education Foundation is also likely to be absent since his presence in the elections would only be possible if he were to stand as an independent among the ranks of the steadfast hardline conservatives.
Aside from these issues, some other conservative groups have said they are determined to play a major role in the municipal council elections, even more so than in 2017 election-related events.
Meanwhile, also in the conservative camp, while neither Saeed Jalili or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have yet stepped up their campaign activities for the 2017 presidency, both have launched fierce and widespread criticism against the Rouhani government.
Source: Aftab newspaper

♦ Ali Yonsei: We should hold military maneuvers with Russia

Ali Yonsei, President Rouhani’s Assistant Secretary for Minorities and Ethnic Groups, said that the government’s decision to supply Russian aircraft fuel at an Iranian military base in order to cope with the threats of Daesh should not be seen as a weakness, but a strength. The senior official stressed the need for military cooperation with all the powerful nations friendly to Iran within the framework of the Iranian constitution and in the interests of Iran’s national security, as well as calling for the establishment of more military alliances.
Yonsei said that when a matter is related to issues of national interest or national security, there are no problems even with engaging in joint maneuvers, adding that this will, of course, be subject to the articles of the Constitution and will be achieved through the proper legal processes.
Source: Etimad newspaper

♦ Minister of Higher Education: University is not a place for police forces

In a speech delivered at the launch of the construction of the University of Semnan, Iranian Minister of Science Mohammad Farhadi responded to criticism over diplomas issued to the members of the Ministerial Council and figures close to the president, explaining that he had announced several times, that Hussein Fereydoon, President Rouhani’s brother, had entered the university after his participation in the exams, obtaining an acceptable and fully legal degree and attaining his diploma only after the completion of the course and passing all the required exams.
The science minister added that according to the documents and available certificates Fereydoon, the president’s brother, had passed comprehensive testing, as well as attaining all the necessary qualifications to qualify for a doctorate, adding that this had already been explained in the public forum of the parliament and that this was the second time he had repeated it.
Farhadi further stressed that the university is not a place where security forces should be present, expressing his desire to make universities a safe environment without their turning into security zones.
Source: Jam-e Jam Newspaper

♦ Cyber attack on some petrochemical complexes

The head of the civil defense organization, Gholam Reza Jalali revealed that another cyber attack had been launched on some petrochemical complexes, explaining that the petrochemical facilities are industrial processing complexes run by control systems and that even under supervisory control system they can still be exposed to cyber attacks and attempts at infiltration.
Jalali said that during recent checks at one of the country’s two main petrochemical complexes, dormant viruses had been detected, with the necessary steps taken immediately to neutralize any possible threat and to defend against future attacks.Jalali also pointed out that some sections in the petrochemical complexes were designed to operate automatically, a feature that could be seriously exploited by any enemy, adding that infiltration in such systems constitutes a major threat to entire complexes. He said that whilst he was conducting tests at two petrochemical complexes, viruses were discovered but were found to be dormant, with the necessary action taken to neutralize and remove them.
Source: Etimad newspaper

Editorial Team