» Mr. Nobakht, we are not naïve!
The editorial of Jahan Sanat slams the remarks of Government Spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, in which he has claimed that Iran is not paying the cost of the war in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, but is only responsible for consultation costs. The editorial calls such remarks false.
According to the editorial, when Syria, at the peak of its prosperity, was not able to pay its own expenses and was run with Iran’s money, how come it can pay the costs of running the country at war, and, more importantly, the costs of war itself? Has Damascus had a huge financial support and revenue to pay for the costs of war and running the country at the time of crisis?
The editorial continues: the condition in Yemen is more deplorable, as this country has never enjoyed social and economic stability. Under such conditions, how can such a poor country pay for the costs of war and running the country? How can such a country purchase expensive weapons like missiles from international markets and take them to its own fronts? The same is true about Iraq. Even though this country has a huge wealth like crude oil, it still needs the assistance from other countries.
The editorial goes on to say that Iran is present in these three countries where there is war, and in at least two cases (Syria and Yemen), they don’t have anything to spend on domestic affairs and war expenses. And when the main and probably the only supporter of governments in Sanaa and Damascus is Iran, then the only country that supports the abovementioned countries – both in the military and economic affairs – is Iran.
In conclusion, the editorialist asserts: neither economic mechanism nor international information confirms the remarks of Government Spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht. Does Nobakht think that Iranian citizens are gullible and naïve? Does he himself believe that the expenses of two wars in Yemen and Syria are paid by governments of these countries that need foreign aids and financial support of others even for basic things?
An editorial in Jahan Sanat on January 3, 2018
» Root of anger in society
The editorial of Bahar daily tries to understand the root of protests in Iran, which, on average, has happened once a decade in past 40 years.
According to the editorial, these protests have been usually silenced with the presence of law enforcement and security forces, or have turned into the fire under the ashes. The same destiny of past protests probably awaits the recent one, despite obvious differences compared to past demonstrations. But does silencing these protests mean that the country’s officials, with ease of mind, should continue their past behaviors?
The editorial adds: perhaps if changes and reforms were made to some incorrect procedures when different parts of the society protested, it wouldn’t have gone so far and dissatisfactions wouldn’t have reached this critical stage. By setting aside political and factional interests and listening to people, one can discern that ‘discrimination’ is the root of all these accumulated complains throughout these years.
The editorial goes on to say that economic discriminations, cultural discriminations, political discriminations, etc. are at the root of all protests in past years. Even though any protest can be attributed to adversaries, or it can be claimed that ‘this is foreigners’ doing’, such confrontations have been never successful in overcoming the crisis. People’s complaints go back to discriminations which are rooted in the political and economic structure of the country.
The editorial concludes that it is high time to really look for the root of such protests, instead of calling people’s demands ‘conspiracies’ and highlighting the role of foreigners and terrorist groups in such gatherings.
An editorial in “Bahar” Daily on January 2, 2018
» Investment; from Illusion to Reality
The editorial of Arman Emrouz deals with the reluctance of Chinese companies in investing in Iran, as well as financial difficulties created by the Chinese government for transactions with this country.
According to the editorial, bank accounts of Iranian companies registered in China are being closed one by one, and unlike what is reflected in Iranian news, this is not just confined to students and private individuals. Even those companies registered in China 10 to 15 years ago have been included in new regulations of Chinese banks.
The editorial continues: the Chinese government has almost banned investment of Chinese companies in Iran, and hardly issues permit for investing in this country. Many Chinese companies prefer not to make any purchases from Iran, because making payments is very difficult, as they have to make changes to transaction documents so that they can pay money from their banks.
The editorial adds that since 2010 Chinese state oil company slowed down the project of $5.2 billion investment contract in Azadegan oil field, despite obtaining special concessions from the then government of Iran. Likewise, in all the years that Iran was an observer member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China was the only member of this organization that was against full membership of Iran.
In conclusion, the editorial asserts that due to U.S. enmity, Iran, as the best route for transferring oil and gas from Central Asia and to Europe, was discarded. Losing this geopolitical advantage is bitter, but understandable. But the question is: why has China that benefitted from Iran is setting it aside from transit routes of goods from east to west and north to south? Why is China pushing Iran to the side quietly and subtly?
An editorial in “Arman Emrouz” on January 1, 2018
♦ Naqavi Hosseini: People’s economic expectations must be met
Spokesperson of National Security and Foreign Relation Commission in the Parliament pointed out that in recent days, people expressed their rightful economic problems, adding that right now Iran is ‘facing a counter-revolutionary move and conspiracies of enemies of Iran’. Naqavi Hosseini urged that recent events started from popular strikes and protests in the economic field, and ‘we recognize such protests’. He said people have certain expectations that must be met.
♦ Omid Fraction to Rouhani: Reinforce government’s economic team
Pro-government Omid Fraction in the Parliament issued a statement and asked Rouhani to take measures to bolster the government’s economic team. In reaction to recent unrests in Tehran and other cities in Iran, Omid Fractions asked Iranian president to take the necessary steps in reforming the structure and boosting the economic team of the government.
♦ 150 arrested in Golestan Province
Political-security deputy to Golestan governor said about 150 protesters were arrested in recent unrests in this province. Ali Asghar Tahmasbi attributed these protests to ‘foreign interferences’, urging that there is a difference between ‘rioters’ and those people who have rightful economic demands.
♦ NEDA Party: People’s sufferings undeniable
NEDA Party issued a statement in reaction to recent events in Iran, emphasizing that people’s pains and sufferings are undeniable, and security approach to people’s problems will make it more difficult to find a solution. The statement reads that in recent days, Iran has witnessed people rightfully complaining about the economic conditions, and since they couldn’t see any prospects for improvement in their own livelihoods, they turned to protests. NEDA Party asks people to follow up their demands peacefully.
♦ Lawmaker: Foreign ministry must summon British, Swiss ambassadors
Alireza Rahimi, member of National Security and Foreign Relation Commission in the Parliament, called stance of U.S. president and British foreign minister about recent unrests in Iran ‘promoting riots’, saying that Iranian foreign ministry must summon British and Swiss ambassadors to announce Iran’s formal objection to this issue. He called Trump and Boris Johnson’s stances ‘interference in domestic affairs’ of Iran.
♦ More than 1,000 arrests, 21 dead in Iran’s protests
During past days, there have been protests in more than 70 cities of Iran. Iran’s officials said that more than 1,000 people have been arrested in recent gatherings during past 5 days in provinces of Tehran, Kerman, Alborz, Qazvin, West Azerbaijan, Markazi, Khorasan Razavi, and Golestan. According to official statistics, 21 people have been killed in cities of Tuyserkan, Dorood, Izeh, Shahin Shahr, Ghahderijan. While protests in recent days were held in more than 70 cities of Iran, only officials of a number of cities have announced the number of arrests.
♦ IRGC denies involvement of task forces in confronting protesters
Two senior officials of IRGC said IRGC’s task forces weren’t involved in a confrontation with protesters in recent gatherings. Ramazan Sharif, IRGC public representative, and Esmaeel Kowsari, successor to the commander of Sarallah Base in Tehran, denied that IRGC’s task forces were used in confronting the protesters. Meanwhile, IRGC’s commanders in provinces of Alborz and Kerman announced that a number of protesters were arrested by IRGC members.
♦ Shirin Ebadi to Iranian protesters: Stay in streets
Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi invited Iranian people to civil disobedience against Iran. Ebadi, in a video message, has asked Iranian citizens to stay in streets and continue their demonstrations. She says Iranian establishment has not paid any attention to people’s words, and it is time for Iranian people not to listen to Iran, and not be deceived by its promises. Ebadi, inviting people to civil disobedience, has recommended that people withdraw their money from banks, and stop paying utility bills.
♦ IRGC spokesperson: Sarallah Base is in charge of security in Tehran
Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, IRGC spokesperson, in response to a question as to whether IRGC has joined the law enforcement to quiet the protests, said that, ‘so far, the law enforcement has not asked the IRGC to enter the scene, and the cases have been far too small to require IRGC involvement.’ He added that in some cities, there have been requests for Basij’s help by the Iranian law enforcement. Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif stated that in Tehran, Sarallah Base is in charge of establishing security, and they have thought of necessary measures in this regard.
♦ British Foreign Minister responds to killing protesters in Iran
Boris Johnson, British Foreign Minister, expressed his regrets about killing protesters in Iran, calling on Iran’s officials to observe international obligations regarding human rights. Johnson wrote in his Twitter: ‘We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed.’ According to Reuters, Boris Johnson has written in his Facebook, ‘Britain is closely monitoring events in Iran. We believe that there must be meaningful dialogues about legitimate and significant demands of the protesters.’
♦ Media activists, students arrested during protests in Iran
While Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, in his recent remarks, considered protests as citizens’ right, state organizations have started arresting media activists and university students. According to ISNA, an informed source announced arresting a Telegram campaign manager, as well the several active members, of ‘people’s unity and protest campaign’ in Kerman. These arrests were made just as the officials of Iran filtered Telegram messenger application with 40 million users in Iran.
Students Union in Iran also announced that 4 members of Union Councils of Tehran University, at the end of their meeting with Tehran University president, were arrested by the security forces.
In a statement, Intelligence Ministry announced that a number of people have been identified and arrested so far. The Intelligence Ministry claimed peaceful demonstrations of protesters had turned to riots due to these people’s actions.
♦ 715 university graduates to officials: listen to people’s demands
Following the people’s unrests due to economic condition, 715 university graduates and students wrote a letter to Iranian officials, asking them to become present among people, listen to their demands and take measures for solving their problems as soon as possible. The letter states: it has been a while that people are protesting against the dire condition of living, economic corruption and ignoring people’s rights. In case people’s demands go unnoticed, the letter continues, the protests will become more radical, dragging the country into more insecurity.
Fars news agency
♦ Omid Fraction’s emergency meeting regarding protests in cities
Spokesperson of Omid [Hope] Fraction in Iranian Parliament Bahram Parsaee announced holding an emergency meeting, headed by Mohammad Reza Aref, to deal with recent protests in some cities of Iran. Parsaee added while people’s rights must be respected, the difference between a riot and rightful protests must be observed. Spokesperson of Omid [Hope] Fraction said the Parliament will follow up the demands to prevent inflation, the rise in prices, and people’s political demands from the establishment.
♦ Hassan Rouhani: It is people’s right to criticize and protest
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in the cabinet meeting, urged Iranian people are aware of sensitive conditions in the country, region and the world, and will decide based on their national interests. Pointing out to recent protests in some parts of Iran, Rouhani added it must be clear for all that according to the constitution and citizens’ rights, people are absolutely free in expressing their criticisms and even their protests. The Iranian president said people’s criticism is not just about the economy, but they are protesting against corruption and lack of transparency.
♦ Health Minister: Making people hopeless is treason
Iranian Health Minister Hassan Hashemi pointed out to recent events in Iran, saying that making people hopeless is not only a great sin but is treason against the country and the society. Hashemi added with regard to people’s mental health condition, that given the problem of high prices, recent earthquakes, and recent unrests, the first advice to the media is that taking away people’s hope can create some problems.
♦ Iranian Defense Minister: enemies are determined to create unrests in Iran
Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatimi said all ‘sworn enemies’ of Iran are resolved to provoke people to protests and create unrests. Amir Hatimi added with national solidarity and unity, ‘foreigners’ threats and seditions must be overcome’. He urged that ‘world arrogance and enemies of the country’ are dreaming of an insecure and unstable Iran.