» Government of Partnerships and Generals
With Trump’s announcement of choosing the head of ExxonMobil’s council management, Rex Tillerson, for the position of Secretary of State in his upcoming administration, Americans’ and world public opinion’s anticipation and speculation came to an end as to who will be heading US diplomacy in the period to come.
Regardless of news about the good relationship between the chosen Secretary of State and Russian president Vladimir Putin, picking such a personality came as a big surprise to monitors and experts because Tillerson is one of the managers and economists in charge of a giant oil company.
An Editorial in “Ebticar” Newspaper Dec. 14th, 2016
» Racial segregation as a habit
Iran is more like a puzzle made up of dozens of divided pieces of religious, sectarian, ethnic and linguistic minorities; therefore, the religious, sectarian and ethnic diversity of Iran can be both a threat and an opportunity. Because of this diversity, one of the biggest threats to Iran is the issue of racial discrimination, despite Iranian officials repeatedly saying that no such discriminations exist in the country. One of the discriminations in Iran is about dwelling places where a minority is living in areas deprived of government services with deteriorating standards of living. Of course, this group would feel segregated and discriminated against, especially if there are from ethnic or conscience groups.
An Editorial in “Ebticar” Newspaper Dec. 15th, 2016
» White House has violated nuclear deal officially
Finally, as expected, U.S. President Barack Obama joined the violators of the nuclear deal, as he did not sign (ISA) draft, thus helping in turning it into a legal Act. In this regard, White House spokesperson Josh Ernest said that U.S. president refused to sign Iran Sanctions Act, allowing it to become law. Ernst added that Obama has sufficient powers to reduce the sanctions imposed on Iran and its nuclear program.
According to U.S. Constitution, after ten days of U.S. Senate endorsement of a draft, U.S. president may sign, veto, or allow it to become law “without signing it.”
An Editorial in “Resalat” Newspaper Dec. 18th, 2016
♦ Shipbuilding contract with South Korea: Act of treason
Khamenei’s representative in Kayhan Daily and its managing editor called Iran government’s contract with South Korea for building 10 ships as “new conspiracy and act of treason”. In an editorial, Hossein Shariatmadari accused Rouhani’s government of following the project of surrendering Iran to America. Previously, Ebadollah Abdollahi, Commander of IRGC “Khatam al-Anbia” Construction Headquarters, had asked President Rouhani to rescind the contract with South Korea, saying that his headquarters was ready to carry out the project itself.
Radio Farda Website
♦ Iran’s first VP reacts to criticism of IRGC
Iran’s first vice president supported the government’s international contracts against harsh remarks of the commander of IRGC “Khatam al-Anbia.” Eshaq Jahangiri said that credit volume of ongoing projects of “Khatam al-Anbia” Construction Headquarters currently reaches 120 billion Tomans: “The headquarters should not drive private sector into a corner, and should be present only in those fields where the private sector cannot be active.” Jahangiri called unemployment the most important challenge facing the country.
♦ Rouhani: Some think it is good to build wall around Iran
In the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani talked about the significance of using new technology and global experience in agriculture, saying, “Some believe that it is good to set up a wall around the country, while our “Prophet” taught us that believers should seek knowledge.”
♦ Official warns: 2 new provinces might be formed in Tehran suburbs
Head of Transportation–Civil Commission of Tehran said that two new provinces might be formed in southeast and southwest of Tehran. Ahmad Donyamali added that unfortunately, population growth follows no rule in Tehran and suburbs. For instance, he said, Tehran had a population of 5,300,000 people in 1976, 4 millions of whom resided in Tehran. While now statistics show that Tehran’s population is 13,000,000, 8 millions of whom live in Tehran. So far 60 villages in Tehran suburbs have turned into cities, and the potential danger is that, if not controlled, these cities will turn into provinces.
ISNA News Agency
♦ IRGC’s commander: U.S. enmity proved in the JCPOA
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that the U.S. hostility towards the Iranian nation is “quite obvious”, and those who had doubts realized the enmity after JCPOA. Jafari added that as “Islamic Revolution” moves forward, animosities would increase. IRGC’s commander said, “Polls and studies indicate that most countries see America as their enemy.” Mohammad Ali Jafari stressed the necessity of recognizing domestic enemies “as in all revolutions in the world, they are the ones who inflict most damages.”
♦ Iranian high official’s son implicated in $60 million bribery
Published documents by the U.S. Justice Department show that French Total Oil Company has bribed millions of dollars to a former manager of National Oil Company. In a letter to Iran’s General Attorney, Former MP Ahmad Tavakoli has called for a probe into the case of Total’s bribery in Iran. Documents attached to the letter show that Total paid out $60 million in bribes to a person with initials of M.H. [Iranian high official’s son] to be present in South Pars Gas Field and Siri Oil Field. The existing documents show that Total asked M.H. to establish a consultation company as a ploy to hide the French company’s corruption. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that the investment cost in South Pars Phases 2 and 3 has been approximate $2 billion, but according to 2012 documents, this project cost more than $4.7 billion for Iran.
♦ Iran to build a satellite with Russia’s help
Iranian Minster of Communication and Information Technology announced signing a bilateral agreement to build a satellite with Russians cooperation. “The agreement for building remote sensing satellite signed on Dec. 14th, and its construction will start soon,” said Mahmoud Vaezi. In closing ceremony of Joint Commission for Cooperation between the “Iranian Republic” and Russian Federation, Vaezi also announced progress in cooperation between private sectors of both countries, urging that two significant projects with $2.5 billion investment would be signed in this regard.
Mehr News Agency
♦ Rouhani asked to focus more on domestic economy
A spokesperson for Combatant Clergy Association asked President Rouhani to pay more attention to domestic capacities, as 80% of Iran’s economy is domestic and only 20% is foreign. Mesbahi Moghadam said, “domestic capacity is not taken seriously.” He advised the government to seize the remaining opportunity to solve problems of people’s livelihoods. “Unemployment and recession are soaring, and prices are constantly skyrocketing,” said Mesbahi.
♦ Iranian official: Prove my relatives’ corruption on public
Head of Supreme Leader’s inspection office has said that whoever has any proofs about his relatives’ economic corruption, he publish it. Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri said: “I have two sons and have told them not to work either in governmental organizations or engage in trade activities,” ILNA reported. He added favoritism has led to increasing of smuggling in Iran. Nategh Nouri referred to the Corruption Perceptions Index, saying: “Our rank in fighting corruption is very humiliating,” said Nategh Nouri, “we have fallen from 87 to 136 which is the end of the chart.” Nategh Nouri, who has also served as Iran’s Interior Minister and Parliament Speaker, stated that despite the positions he has held since the beginning of the revolution, he cannot get a ten-million-toman loan for someone, while another person gets a 350-billion-toman loan without collateral.
♦ Iranian passport loss of ranks under Rouhani
A Parliament Member stated that after making the Iranian passport honorable again, it has reportedly dropped 12 ranks; meanwhile, Americans and the British insult Iran. Nasser Moussavi Larkani harshly criticized the British Prime Minister’s “offensive remarks” about Iran in the parliament’s open session. He also said that despite agreements, the U.S. Secretary of Defense insulted Iran again a few days ago, to which “Rouhani must respond.”
♦ Former MP: Iran’s 11th government more corrupted than the previous
Former Iranian lawmaker went to court for his remarks about financial and administrative corruptions in Rouhani’s government. After the court session, Alireza Zakani told the press that the corruption in this government is much more than before, but nobody knows about it, as the government is very confidential and secretive in this regard. He said that corruption in [Rouhani’s] government is several times more than Babak Zanjani’s and, in certain cases, some individuals have received discounts up to $8 per barrel of oil.
♦ Salehi: Iran to decide on level of enrichment for nuclear propulsion
Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, in a press conference, addressed the issue of uranium enrichment level for nuclear propulsion engines, saying, “Usually the enrichment for such engines is between 5% to 90% depending on the type of engine, as well as the time and purpose.” Ali Akbar Salehi called these specialized issues, adding “but we will carry them out within JCPOA framework and within [IAEA] safeguards agreements, and will not do anything outside these frameworks.” Emphasizing that these issues are tough to decide, Salehi said, “we have 3 months to do the initial studies in this regard, and then report to the president.”
♦ Rezaei: youth unemployment more dangerous than ISIL
Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council in a short note on his Instagram page wrote about the deplorable condition of unemployment, calling it as the main factor in corruption and social problems. Mohsen Rezaei continued, “Any official who sees unemployment and still sleeps well at nights is an enemy of people and revolution.” He added, “Everybody knows that unemployment is the main factor in poverty, insecurity, divorce and major problem in young people’s marriages. But then again our capable youths go back home jobless and ashamed—too embarrassed to even look at their families.” He asserted, “All slogans and actions taken to create jobs and elimination of unemployment have been in vain.”
♦ Shariatmadari to Iran’s government: burn JCPOA in response to Obama
Kayhan’s editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari said that extension of sanctions by the U.S. is not just violating JCPOA, but is tearing it apart, urging that Iran’s response should be nothing but “burning” it. Pointing out to the U.S. president Barak Obama not vetoing the 10-year Iran Sanctions Act, Shariatmadari said that Obama’s emphasis on extension of sanctions against Iran shows that JCPOA did not alleviate “U.S. resentment against Iran”, but made it more intense. “This is contrary to [Iranian] government’s perception that JCPOA would remove ominous shadow of war from over the country.” Shariatmadari urged, “Producing nuclear propulsion system is a necessary act, but not an appropriate response to the U.S. transgression. The government should openly relaunch some discarded parts—for example, discarded centrifuges in Natanz should be relaunched.”
♦ Warning against slum dwelling, poverty, unemployment
Head of Iran’s Welfare Organization, Anoshirvan Mohseni said that unreasonable growth of slum dwelling, poverty and unemployment are most significant threats to the society. Mohseni also expressed his concern over growth in using the synthetic drug, pointing out to the decrease in average age of drug abuse. He added that currently, 2,650,000 families live in the country– with 1,800,000 women whose husbands are dead, 350,000 women whose spouses are either imprisoned or disabled, 250,000 young divorced women, and 150,000 unmarried girls with ages between 35 to 40 who live alone all by themselves. Head of Welfare Organization also warned against women’s increasing role in social damages, saying that this will increase other damages including divorce and addiction.
ISNA News Agency
♦ Dutch foreign minister summoned Iranian Ambassador
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders summoned the Iranian Ambassador Alireza Jahangiri and the Russian Ambassador Alexander Shulgin over recent events in Aleppo. Dutch foreign ministry strongly condemns “current situations”, calling for the immediate evacuation of Aleppo civilians from east of Aleppo.
♦ Mogherini: impossible to renegotiate JCPOA
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that American critics of the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 should forget about bringing any changes in the deal. President-elect Donald Trump, in his elections campaign, first promised nullification of the deal, but then retreated and promised to renegotiate some of its provisions.
Mogherini stated in an interview with Wall Street Journal “JCPOA is an international agreement in the framework of the United Nations. There is no way the agreement can be reopened bilaterally.” She added, “It is in the interest of the United States that the deal continues to be implemented.”
♦ Iran reacts to U.S. renewal of Sanctions Act
Iran Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said that Iran will “adopt a proportionate behavior” against the sanctions bill which recently became law by the U.S. Senate. Larijani said in a press conference in Golestan Province that the issue has been posed in Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. He added that a number of decisions have been made, “some of these decisions were proposed by President Rouhani, and will be adopted in the course of time.” The U.S. Senate voted to extend Iran sanctions for another 10 years on December 1st.
♦ The White House: Iran Sanctions Act ‘entirely consistent’ with JCPOA
Following Iran sanctions extension act, the White House has issued a statement saying, “an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, while unnecessary, is entirely consistent with our commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” The statement also asserts, “The Administration has, and continues to use, all of the necessary authorities to waive the relevant sanctions, to enforce those that are outside the scope of the JCPOA, and to re-impose sanctions if necessary in the event that Iran should fail to perform its commitments under the JCPOA.” It continues: “Ensuring the continued implementation of the JCPOA is a top strategic objective for the United States and for our allies and partners around the world.” The White House statement concludes, “As long as Iran adheres to its commitments under the JCPOA, we remain steadfastly committed to maintaining ours as well.”
Fares News Agency
♦ British is a source of evil and misery in our region, says Khamenei
Iran’s Supreme Leader said that the British “with utmost indecency” has recently called Iran the “threat in the region”. “But everyone knows that despite these charges, it is the British who have always been the source of threat, corruption, danger and misery for nations of the region in past two centuries,” added Ali Khamenei. He also said “jihad with enemies of “Islam” and humanity” can be “military”, “political” or “under certain conditions, cultural or even scientific.”
♦ British Bankers Association backs banking relations with Iran
Director of Financial Crime of British Bankers Association (BBA) announced this organization’s support for those British banks that are interested in expanding financial cooperation with Iran. Justine Walker said in a conference called “Prospect for British-Iranian Trade and Investment” that many member banks of BBA are willing to increase their relations with Iran, which is why BBA is trying to give them consultations within the framework of legal cooperation with Iran.
♦ 136 thousand Iranian students exposed to addiction
According to remarks by the head of Education Ministry office for the prevention of social damages, 136,000 Iranian students are at risk of using drugs, with 3,600 having used narcotic drugs for at least once. Some statistics indicate that more than 1% of the Iranian students are addicted, which, if true, the number of addicted students would be much more than the announced number. A while ago, Ali Moayedi, deputy secretary general of Drug Controls Headquarters, was quoted in the media saying, “In past few months, we decreed that statistics of students’ addiction must not be announced in media under any circumstances, but should be sent to Education Ministry confidentially and in written form.”
Arman Emrouz Newspaper
♦ Unemployment tsunami in Iran until 2021
Labor market expert Faramarz Tofighi referred to statistics from Statistics Center and lack of any policy-making for solving unemployment crisis, saying, “Unemployment tsunami and silent death of poor workers would be due to decrease in general level of incomes and not providing [families’] subsistence baskets.” He added that according to statistics, only 22 million people out of Iran’s 78 million and 600 thousand population are working, which means each working individual should provide for 2.5 individuals other than himself. Tofighi further stated that studies show, at best, the number of unemployed in Iran will reach 5 million by 2021.
Fras News Agency
♦ Dherghami: America not fulfilling its commitments in JCPOA
Member of Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution pointed out to the U.S. as not fulfilling its commitments in the JCPOA, saying, American officials including John Kerry have clearly stated that if Iran’s behaviors did not change, Iran should not expect fulfillments of JCPOA’s commitments. Ezatollah Dherghami said that Americans, in their initial remarks and actions, pretended to implement the nuclear deal, but from the very beginning, there were some serious problems and they tried to conceal their violations of JCPOA. “Unfortunately, some [Iranian] officials by retelling their [Americans’] justifications to our people, acted as U.S. proxy spokesmen– seeking to justify Americans’ not fulfilling their commitments.”
ISNA News Agency