» Wrong Target
The editorial of Bahar daily deals with how die-hard supporters of former president Ahmadinejad, head of 9th and 10th government, are distancing themselves from him in reaction to his recent critical remarks and actions against Iranian judiciary system.
The editorial starts with the fact that as a result of too much focus on Ahmadinejad and his circle of close friends, the main supporters of head of 9th and 10th government who brought him to power are not being criticized, and these supporters are trying to pretend that they haven’t done anything wrong by backing the former president. But by looking at the past, one can see that hardline, principlist current in Iran used any leverages for confronting critics of Ahmadinejad, and they even went so far as to say that any disagreement with his government is against the totality of the political regime in Iran.
The editorial continues: what happened after 2009 presidential election, in which Ahmadinejad was reelected, was more because of the behavior of strong supporters of Ahmadinejad’s government than the performance of that government itself. And with regard to heavy financial corruption cases during the 9th and 10 governments, it should be said that poor performance of supervisory institutes in Iran cannot be easily ignored.
The editorialist goes on to stress that if hardline, principlist Parliament and other centers responsible for supervising the government’s performance had done their jobs, then such unprecedented violations wouldn’t have happened during that 8-year period of Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
At the end, the editorial asserts that these days hardline principlists try to shirk their responsibility with regard to imposing Ahmadinejad on the country by labeling him as “deviant current”. Nevertheless, no matter how much they try to separate themselves from the former president, their support for Ahmadinejad is not forgettable.
An editorial in “Bahar” Daily on December 5, 2017
» Risk of Changing Structure of Foreign Ministry
The editorial of Shargh daily considers FM Mohammad Javad Zarif’s plan for creating changes Iran’s Foreign Ministry during next 4 years.
In the beginning, the editorial mentions important features of the Foreign Ministry, which make it unique among ministries. First of all is that activities of this ministry are within the framework of the country’s goals and objectives in international and foreign relations, so they do not just reflect the government’s policies. Besides, any of this ministry’s decisive measures, given their impacts on the country, must be approved by high-ranking decision-making institutes such as Supreme Council of National Security, the president, and in some cases the leader of the regime.
The second feature of this ministry, the editorial goes on to say, is its non-partisanship. The law stipulates that diplomats of the foreign ministry, just like the military officials, cannot be members of political parties. The third characteristic of this ministry is that it enjoys a professional organization, which means senior diplomats cannot be replaced with managerial decisions.
The editorial adds that FM Zarif is after creating changes in this important ministry during next 4 years. But it is said that the majority of the body of the Foreign Ministry – particularly those in managerial level and senior diplomats, as well as 650 advisors – are against the new formation. If such a disagreement exists, then the question is how can Zarif’s plan be realized?
In conclusion, the editorial states the veteran diplomats of Foreign Ministry are concerned about how this plan, called by some as “explosive changes”, will be implemented, adding that prior to ‘big surgeries’, there are usually a lot of studies and consultations about possible scenarios. The risk of such changes is very high.
An editorial in “Shargh” daily on December 4, 2017
» Sit-in in Shah-Abdol-Azim Shrine; What Do They Have in Mind?
The editorial of Ebtekar newspaper deals with the implications of the sit-in in Shah-Abdol-Azim Shrine, organized by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his men.
The editorial starts with a comment on the transition of power in democratic political structures where after two successive 4-year terms, the presidents are prevented from running for office to stop ‘reproduction and institutionalization of despotism’. The presidents of such countries, after their terms come to an end, would go after charity activities, as well as scientific and research projects, or would publish their own memoirs to be used by people, elites, and historians.
The editorial continues: But in countries like Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan, the culture of abandoning power has not been institutionalized, and former presidents constantly try to return to their former positions. The editorial then deals with the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s team that has been the focus of Iranian political atmosphere during past few weeks. In their recent move, they staged a sit-in Shah-Abdol-Azim Shrine in objection to the ongoing judicial process against them in Iran.
The editorial, at the end, poses some questions in this regard: what are those people after with staging a sit-in in Shah-Abdol-Azim Shrine? What is their motive? Are they the most sincere forces in the society? Or are they a power-seeking group with a cult structure consisting of leader and followers? If so, then who is their leader?
An editorial in “Ebtekar” on December 3, 2017
♦ Turkmenistan to go to arbitration court over gas dispute with Iran
After almost a year of negotiations and not reaching an agreement over a gas dispute between Iran and Turkmenistan, eventually, Turkmenistan government agreed to refer the case to International Arbitration Court.
The official website of Turkmenistan government announced that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, after meeting with the head of state-run company “Turkmen Gas”, issued an order to refer gas dispute with Iran to International Arbitration Court, since during past year, there has been no progress in negotiations between Iran National Gas Company and Turkmen Gas.
♦ 1.5 million Iranians in line to immigrate from Iran
Hossein Abdoh Tabrizi, the economic expert and advisor to Minister of Road and Transportation, said he had information showing that 1.5 million Iranians are in line to immigrate to Australia and Canada, calling it a ‘terrible number’. He asserted that currently there is no money in Iran to hope for positive growth in investment, adding it seems that $20 billion investment has left Iran.
♦ Zarif called US Supreme Court decision ‘sad’
Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a new tweet about the U.S. Supreme Court measure to go along with Trump’s executive order, wrote: ‘US Supreme Court defends and allows Trump’s Muslim Ban to go into full effect, giving bigotry full license U.S.A. Sad!’ The U.S. Supreme Court, in a verdict contradicting its previous one, allowed the executive order to be fully implemented, banning travels from 6 mainly Muslim countries including Iran to the U.S.
♦ Kharazi: Popular Mobilization Forces guarantees stability in Iraq
Kamal Kharazi, head of Strategic Council of Foreign Relations, said Iraqis are proud of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and these forces guarantee stability in Iraq. Kharazi urged that Europeans are not allowed to talk about dissolving PMF, adding that Iraqi people are interested that PMF enters this country’s Parliament. Kharazi also emphasized that Iran is ready to participate in the construction of Iraq after ISIS.
♦ Iran, China negotiate to eliminate dollar in bilateral transactions
According to an Iranian economic newspaper, governments of Iran and China are determined to find ways to avoid using dollars in their bilateral transactions. In a meeting between officials of Iran’s Central Bank and one of the senior political advisors of the Chinese government, the issue of eliminating dollar from bilateral transactions was discussed.
It must be mentioned that Iranian officials intend to drop dollar from their commercial transactions, and are after signing contracts with several countries for doing transactions with them using national currencies. According to Valiollah Seif, Governor of Iran’s Central Bank, bilateral monetary contracts in rial and yuan can have a significant role in increasing commercial transactions between Iran and China.
♦ Salehi hopes JCPOA survives
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the nuclear deal (JCPOA) is an operational contract, even though some people wanted to damage it. Salehi added ‘we hope that just as Europeans, Russia, and China resisted with regard to JCPOA, the nuclear deal survives, because it is to advantage of Iran and the international community, and it also helps to strengthen Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said of the regional developments that these regional crises are artificial and will soon come to an end.
♦ Salahshoori: Khatami is honor of Iran
Tehran MP Parvaneh Salahshoori said Iranian judiciary branch must go to those who are corrupt, but instead they go to the youths who only talk and fight against injustice. With regard to the issue of the house arrest of leaders of Green Movement [Karroubi, Mousavi, and Rahnavard], Salahshoori said: ‘Why should we see Mrs. Rahnavard, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and Karroubi under house arrest?’ Tehran MP added ‘former president Khatami is the honor of Iran, so how come his images are banned from the media?’
Salahshoori said of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that during his presidency, all kinds of thefts and embezzlements took place, while he used to call his own government the ‘cleanest’.
♦ Telecommunication cooperation between Iran and Russia
Iranian Minister of Telecommunication and Technology met with his Russian counterpart Nikolay Nikiforov in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, saying Iran is ready to create joint companies with Russia in the field of ICT (Information and Communications Technology). In this meeting, they discussed and exchanged views about the development of information technology, expanding relations of both countries regarding internet search engines, security and manufacturing electronic parts.
♦ New warship ‘Separ’ for Iranian Navy
The newest missile launcher ship called Separ [shield] joined the Navy of the Army of Iran. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami took part in the inauguration ceremony of the vessel.
♦ Pakistan, Iran speakers of Parliaments negotiated
Pakistan’s speaker of Parliament Ayaz Sadiq met with his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani in Moscow and discussed important issues of mutual and regional cooperation. Ali Larijani and Ayaz Sadiq who were both in Moscow to take part in the international conference to fight drugs talked about security issues such as fighting terrorism and drug trafficking as two significant international challenges ahead of both countries.
♦ Iranian bank accounts closed in Turkey, UAE, Britain
Heads of Joint Chambers of Commerce announced that ensuing new regulations regarding transparency in financial transactions by Financial Action Task Force (FATF), bank accounts of non-resident Iranians in Turkey, UAE and Britain have been closed.
Ebrahimi, head of the Iran-Turkey joint council, said bank accounts of those who used to go to Turkey to open bank accounts and do nominal activities have been closed. Ebrahimi added Turkey took this measure to stop transaction of black money.
Massoud Daneshmand, head of Iran-Emirate Joint Chamber of Commerce, said some restrictions have been created in some bank accounts, and accounts of those Iranians who are not residents of UAE have been closed.
Ali Naqi Khamooshi, head of Iran-Britain council said in this regard that previously there were rumors about closing Iranian bank accounts in China, which was just about Iranian citizens in China.
♦ Bagheri: Commander-in-chief wants enhancing combat capability
Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces urged that Iran’s Commander-in-chief Ali Khamenei had two requests from each and every commander of armed forces: enhancing combat capability and combat preparations. Major General Mohammad Bagheri said every time a report is given to the leader, he says, ‘I am not satisfied with this much progress because you have more capacity.’
♦ Naqavi Hosseini: Conditions of Iranians jailed overseas deplorable
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesperson of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission in Parliament, made some explanations about conditions of Iranian imprisoned overseas. Naqavi Hosseini emphasized that conditions of Iranians jailed in some countries are deplorable, saying that Iranian prisoners suffer from miserable conditions in southeast Asian countries.
♦ Commander of Army’s Navy: Iranian warships to go to US coasts
In the first half of the next year, Iranian warships will approach the U.S. coasts. Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, commander of the navy of the republic said Iran’s flotilla will head towards the Gulf of Mexico next year. He added that the army’s flotilla will berth in some friendly ports in the Gulf of Mexico.
♦ Iran after selling heavy water
Head of Parliament’s Nuclear Committee said Iran has consulted with some countries for selling heavy water. Mojtaba Zolnour pointed out to the U.S. not purchasing Iran’s heavy water, saying this U.S. measure is not against the nuclear deal but is in contradiction to its spirit.
Zolnour continued that as buying Iran’s heavy water by the U.S. is not stipulated in JCPOA, Iran must do marketing for selling its heavy water.
♦ Shahroudi: Missile is our nation’s right
Head of Expediency Council Mahmoud Shahroudi, in his meeting with Syrian Ambassador to Tehran, pointed out to the U.S. not fulfilling its obligations in the nuclear deal (JCPOA). Shahroudi said the U.S. has violated the agreements in the JCPOA, and by proposing the issue of missile and defense which is Iranian people’s right and has nothing to do with JCPOA, it has put sanctions on IRGC.
Fars news agency
♦ Velayati: No negotiations over defense power
Ali Akbar Velayati, the senior advisor to Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, said with regard to westerners’ remarks about negotiating over Iran’s defense and missile power that ‘Iran will not ask permission for enhancing its own defense capability’. Velayati added that since the beginning of the revolution, the westerners have tried to decide instead of Iranian people, but if Iranian people wanted others to make the decisions, they would not have made a revolution.
Fars news agency
♦ Lawmaker: Rouhani’s report not convincing
Hamid Reza Haji Babaee, head of Velaee Fraction in the Iranian parliament, said regarding Hassan Rouhani’s report about the first 100-day performance of the 12th government that Rouhani’s report wasn’t desirable, and the report couldn’t convince the audience. Haji Babaee urged given the statistics and numbers published by the president, it was expected that he would have a better report to present to the people.
♦ Parliamentarian: France won’t abandon U.S. for Iran
Hossenali Haji Deligani, member of Parliament’s Budget and Planning Commission, believes French and U.S. president have formed an alliance based on common goals against Iran, so they will never give up their stances against Iran. He urged that the U.S. and France are ‘made of the same fabric, so they follow the same goal, as a result of which France will never abandon the U.S. for the sake of Iran’.
Parliament news agency
♦ Alamolhoda: No European JCPOA!
Ahmad Alamolhoda, Mashhad’s Friday mass prayer leader, warned Iranian nuclear negotiators and officials not to replace American JCPOA (the nuclear deal) with the European one. Alamolhoda urged that the ‘JCPOA was a costly mistake’, asking the official not to make the second mistake. He added, ‘Europeans are now betraying [Iran], and are backing the U.S., talking about our defense capability; do not create European JCPOA with these betrayers.’
♦ Rouhani: We want friendly relations with neighboring countries
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is not in competition with other neighbors for development but is interested in cooperating with them, urging that ‘we are interested in having friendly relations with all the regional countries.’
Rouhani added that currently, Iran’s relationship with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Oman are better than ever. He urged that if some countries have distanced themselves from Iran, it is their faults, adding, ‘we don’t want to have distances between Iran and the regional countries.’