Missiles Defend Borders, Not the Economy; Controversy Erupts in Iran Over “Islamic Neighborhood” Construction



Attack on Iranian Consulate Will Not Go Unanswered

AsreIranian newspaper on Tuesday featured an opening editorial highlighting comments made by Vahid Jalalzadeh, the head of the Parliament’s Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy in Iran, regarding the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate. Jalalzadeh described the assault on the consulate in Damascus as “a Zionist terrorist attack.” He stated that “such actions demonstrate the defeat of the Zionist regime in Gaza and the West Bank. The provocative attack on the Iranian consulate indicates that the Zionist regime, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is at a standstill in the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the West Bank. As a result, the regime is seeking to escalate the conflict by involving other actors in the region.” Jalalzadeh emphasized that “Iran will respond to the attack at the appropriate time and place, refusing to let it go unanswered.”

He underscored the importance of the stance that the international community, particularly the UN, should take regarding the attack. “According to international law, consulates and embassies of all countries are immune and should be protected from any form of attack in any capital worldwide. The attack by the Zionist regime is classified as a terrorist attack under international covenants and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This violation not only breaches human rights conventions but also extends to the violation of international covenants, making it an anti-international covenant treaty regarding the immunity and protection that embassies of countries should have globally.”

Jalalzadeh further stated that “the brutal attack signifies the failure of the schemes by Americans and Zionists to destroy the Palestinian struggle against occupation and ethnic cleansing.” He called upon the Iranian armed forces to retaliate against the Zionist regime in retribution for the killing of Iranian IRGC commanders, leaders, and advisors. Jalalzadeh reiterated “Iran’s unwavering support for Palestinian armed factions, promising that support will not falter and will continue to expand.”

He said, “The attack reveals the outrage of the Zionist regime toward the Iranian Islamic Republic for welcoming Palestinian resistance groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who visited Iran last week and made significant decisions for the present and upcoming situation.” In closing, Jalalzadeh characterized the attack as a terrorist act and guaranteed that “it would definitely receive a proportionate response at the right time and place.”


Missiles Defend borders, Not the Economy

Amirreza Etemadi discussed in his editorial titled “Missiles Defend Borders, Not the Economy” the analysis of Iran’s foreign trade in the year 1402 and its potential impact on the upcoming year, 1403. He emphasized the importance of approaching this analysis with a positive outlook and an earnest assessment.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the private sector over the past year, Etemadi pointed out the significant increase in Iran’s foreign trade, particularly in non-oil exports, which saw a rise in compensation policies for raw sales compared to the previous year. Despite a modest 1.6% increase in non-oil exports, amounting to over 90 million tons valued at more than $32 billion in the first 8 months of 1402, he noted that the potential for growth remained untapped.

Etemadi highlighted various governmental policies, particularly concerning currency exchange, taxation, duties, pricing and production licenses, which have posed challenges for economic actors and manufacturers. He stressed the need for reforms in these policies to facilitate economic activity and boost productivity.

While noting the positive diplomatic achievements of 1402, such as the resumption of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, Etemadi underscored the importance of aligning these diplomatic successes with economic diplomacy and foreign trade objectives. He emphasized the necessity of opening avenues for the private sector’s participation in economic exchange, particularly concerning currency exchange issues and banking system reforms.

In discussing Iran’s export formula over the past 12 years, Etemadi highlighted the dominance of “clearance” transactions over currency payments, attributing this trend to financial sanctions and Iran’s non-membership in the FATF. He highlighted the challenges faced by Iranian businesses in accessing international financial and credit networks.

Etemadi concluded by emphasizing the positive impact of strengthened diplomatic relations, particularly with countries in Asia, Africa and Oceania, on Iran’s economic diplomacy efforts. He noted the potential for increased sales of oil and gas and the development of mutual economic ventures to enhance Iran’s business landscape amidst challenging international circumstances.

Tahlil Bazaar

Judiciary Confirms Arrest of Sara Tabrizi Following Her Suspicious Death

The judiciary confirmed the prior arrest of Sara Tabrizi, illuminating her mysterious death. Reports emerged on Farvardin, 10, 1403, March 29, 2024, about her possible extrajudicial killing, with claims that she died after being summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence. Her father reported her passing in Shahryar city, Tehran Province, refuting summons during 1402-1403.

Following the unsettling news of the “suspicious” death of Tabrizi, a young woman, the judiciary has confirmed her prior arrest, shedding new light on the case.

In the second week of Farvardin 1403, reports surfaced regarding the circumstances surrounding Ms. Tabrizi’s untimely demise at her father’s residence, sparking widespread concern on social media platforms.

Some sources alleged that the 20-year-old had passed away after being summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence earlier in the year.

Confirming these developments, the Judiciary Media Center announced on Friday, Farvardin10, that Tabrizi’s father had reported to the police station in Shahryar city, Tehran Province, on the 5th of Farvardin, stating that his daughter had not woken up and appeared to have passed away.

The judiciary has refuted claims of any summons issued to Ms. Tabrizi by security or judicial institutions during the final days of 1402 and the beginning of 1403.

Radio Farda Persian

Iran in Dispute Over Construction of an “Islamic Neighborhood”

Alireza Zakani’s proposal to construct a mosque in Tehran’s gardens elicited widespread interest, prompting scrutiny from both local and international media. Critics questioned the necessity of the project, given the presence of nearby mosques. Tehran Municipality’s defense failed to assuage public discontent. Furthermore, the concept of “Islamic neighborhoods,” introduced by Sardar Hassanzadeh, aiming to develop the Basij forces’ mosques within the city’s neighborhoods, added another layer to the debate. This initiative, discussed between commander Mohammad Rasulullah Division and the mayor of Tehran, seeks to enhance neighborhood surveillance and bolster the Basij forces’ role, potentially through commercializing mosque spaces for financial self-sufficiency.

According to Didban Iran, the statement made by Alireza Zakani, Tehran’s mayor, regarding the construction of a mosque in the gardens during a government delegation meeting, quickly sparked widespread interest, making it one of the most talked-about topics of the day.

The news rapidly circulated through domestic news agencies and gained traction in foreign media outlets, leading to questions about why this particular development, amidst the Nowruz holidays and Ramadan, captured such attention.

This report delves into the various dimensions of this news and examines the reactions from both proponents and detractors.

While the construction of a mosque in Tehran might not typically provoke negative public sentiment, the controversy surrounding the proposed mosque in Qaytarieh Bostan can be attributed to Mayor Zakani’s contentious response to journalists’ inquiries during the government meeting. Instead of providing a clear answer reflective of his position as the city’s urban administrator, Zakani’s dismissive tone and insistence on pursuing his agenda left many bewildered and triggered a backlash.

This initial interview with the mayor set the stage for a complex narrative. Critics and citizens questioned the necessity of building a mosque in Qaytarieh Park, particularly given the presence of numerous mosques nearby. Tehran Municipality’s Spokesperson Abdul Mutahar Mohammad Khani attempted to justify the decision by citing the distance between Qaytarieh Park and existing mosques, as well as citizens’ purported unfamiliarity with the area’s layout.

However, these explanations failed to quell public discontent. In fact, comments from Tehran Municipality’s spokesperson on social media only served to further incite anger, with citizens denouncing what they perceived as arbitrary actions by urban management.

Another point raised by the spokesperson of Tehran Municipality was that the presence of vacant mosques in the city cannot serve as a justification for halting the development of new mosques.

Critics of the project strongly objected to this stance, questioning why the municipality opted to allocate financial resources toward constructing a new mosque in Qaytarieh rather than investing in the restoration and reconstruction of existing mosques in the vicinity. They argued that such investment would have been more beneficial to the Qaytarieh Park area.

In addition to the ongoing controversy, another potential approach to implementing such projects in the city involves the creation of “Islamic neighborhoods.”

The concept of “Islamic neighborhoods” was first introduced by Sardar Hassanzadeh, commander of Mohammad Rasulullah Division, following protests a few years ago.

The plan entails the development of Basij forces’ mosques within the neighborhoods of the capital.

Details of this initiative were discussed during a meeting between the commander of Mohammad Rasulullah Division and the mayor of Tehran. The mayor pledged cooperation in this endeavor to address civil unrest by enhancing neighborhood surveillance and traffic monitoring to quell dissent.

Under this plan, the construction of mosques aims to bolster the role of the Basij forces, with a portion of the mosques being commercialized to ensure self-sufficiency in terms of income and expenses for these forces.

Didban Iran

Iranian Consulate in Damascus Targeted, Guterres Warns of “Wider Conflict” in the Region

Following an airstrike, believed to be Israeli, on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, causing casualties including high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members, Iran summoned the Swiss Embassy’s charge d’affaires, representing US interests. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian denounced US support for Israel, while the UN secretary-general condemned the attack. Israel’s defense minister indirectly addressed the incident, reiterating Israel’s proactive stance. The United States informed Iran of its lack of involvement. Iran’s Supreme National Security Council convened, and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed retaliation. President Ebrahim Raisi labeled the attack as “blind terror.” Reports hint at potential retaliatory strikes by Iran-backed militias in Syria amid escalating tensions.

By summoning the Swiss charge d’affaires, Iran’s Foreign Minister Abdollahian, announced via social media that a significant message had been conveyed to the US government, denouncing its support for the Israeli regime and emphasizing its accountability for the attack.

The UN secretary-general condemned the assault on Iran’s diplomatic facilities in Damascus, urging restraint from all involved parties to prevent further escalation in the conflict-ridden region.

Meanwhile, Israel’s defense minister indirectly responded to the attack, asserting Israel’s proactive stance against its adversaries without directly acknowledging involvement in the incident.

Reports from Axios suggest that the United States informed Iran of its lack of involvement or detailed information regarding the Israeli attack, expressing concern that such actions could escalate regional tensions.

Additionally, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council held a meeting, chaired by President Raisi, where “appropriate decisions” were made in response to the attack.

The airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus claimed the lives of several IRGC officers, including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander. Iranian officials have condemned the attack as a breach of international law, calling for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.

Supreme Leader Khamenei mourned the loss of Mohammad Reza Zahedi and vowed retaliation against Israel for the attack. President Raisi labeled the assault as “blind terror,” warning Israel of the consequences.

While Israel typically refrains from confirming or denying such attacks, reports suggest heightened vigilance for potential retaliatory strikes by Iran-backed militias in Syria.

Radio Farda Persian

Editorial Team