Government extreme generosity at expense of private sector
The Iranian government issued a decision to raise the workers’ housing allowance from five to ten dollars per month. Apart from the fact that this increase cannot ease the cost of living for Iranian working class suffering from a shortage of income; at the same time, it puts significant pressure on business owners, who are already suffering from economic recession problems. Doubling the housing allowance for workers can be considered the final nail in the Iranian private sector’s coffin. Increasing the pressure on employers in the private sector will lead to more unemployment and job loss. Therefore, the question is why Social Security Insurance authorities do not lift this additional burden from the private sector’s shoulder.
An Editorial in Jahan Sanaat Newspaper Nov. 21st 2016
Seriousness of Afghanistan and security strategy for Iran
When the global concern is to deal with “ISIL”, “Al Qaeda” and “Taliban” in the Middle East, these groups have an excellent chance to expand in Afghanistan where the real menace is growing, according to military governor of Kunduz Province in Afghanistan who had come to Kabul to warn the central government. The real reason for the growing risk of these terrorist organizations in Afghanistan might be its central government’s lack of competence, and the vast corruption that exists in the armed forces and the police holds the editorialist. Terrorist groups are now in reconstruction and deployment mode, as the structure of the Afghan government is unimaginably corrupt. Moreover, the ethnic spirit controls the state for the Pashtun tribes; while the Afghan army is successively defeated in areas controlled by “Taliban” and “Al Qaeda” because of the rampant corruption in the military—a fact that is confirmed by the independent international bodies such as International Security Assistance Force.
An editorial in Arman Newspaper Nov. 26th, 2016
Decline in Iran’s rank in World Bank’s report
According to the World Bank report “Doing Business 2017”, Iran has dropped by two spots in comparison with 2016 to rank 120 among the 190 countries included in the report. Iranian Parliament Research Center attributed this decline to egregious errors in sending information to the World Bank, as well as the discrepancy between government performance and impact of state’s rules and laws on Iranian private sector. Parliament Research Center’s report also said that Iran ranked 152 in 2014, but achieved a breakthrough in 2015 and reached 118 — indicating real progress with Rouhani’s government coming to power.
An Editorial in Donyai Eghtesad Newspaper Nov. 27th, 2016
♦ Conservatives Have No Candidates for Election Yet
Iranian conservative politician and former Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said that conservatives had not chosen a candidate for the 2017 upcoming presidential elections yet. Haddad Adel stated that individuals are free to endorse whomever they want. “If some conservatives are after endorsing Rouhani for 2017, they are free to do so; and this is always a possibility, yet conservatives are currently trying to unify behind a candidate for the upcoming election.”
ISNA News Agency
♦ Visa Removal between Iran and Russia
Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ibrahim Rahimbour announced a plan is underway to lift visa requirements between Russia and Iran, saying, “this measure shows there have never been such extensive relations between the two countries throughout history.” Rahimbour referred to Russia’s significant presence in Iran’s International Air Show and stated that strategic relations without security-military cooperation is meaningless. He pointed to the presence of Sukhoi aircraft in Kish Island as well as Russians in professional meetings on aviation as a sign of trust and strategic relations between Iran and Russia.
♦ Varamin impacted by Tehran’s air pollution
Varamin’s Head of Department of Environment, Mansour Golmohammadi, said that major part of Tehran’s air pollution moves towards Varamin due to the direction of air currents, as Varamin is neighboring to Tehran metropolis. He further explained that Varamin’s air pollution also has impacts on Tehran, but to a much lesser degree. Golmohammadi added that car exhaust emissions have a great impact on Varamin’s air pollution, further mentioning that dust is also one of the most important environmental issues in this city.
ISNA News Agency
♦ The need of Zarif equals the need for Suleimani
Mohammad Reza Zaeri wrote on his Instagram page, “Right now I am in Najaf and God willing we are soon moving towards Karbala… Just a few minutes ago, I read something that impolitely complained about the absence of respectable Foreign Minister in the (40 days) Arbaeen’s march. Right, there I intended to go on pilgrimage as his proxy.” He continued, “I take a few steps as his proxy because, unlike some of our friends, I understand that if it were not for his strategic actions and official efforts in international political domains, we could probably be in a different situation. I realize that we need Zarif just as much as we need Major General Suleimani. And if these two were not together, we couldn’t be walking on our path to Karbala peacefully and safely.”
Shakh e-Sabz Daily
♦ New Moroccan Ambassador Presents Credentials to Zarif
After eight years, new Moroccan Ambassador, Hassan Hami, met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and presented his diplomatic credentials, according to ISNA. In 2008, Morocco had suddenly disconnected its international relationships with Iran. Moroccan Foreign Minister at the time, Tayeb Fasi Fihir, had summoned Iranian Ambassador in Rabat, and while criticizing Tehran’s policies towards his country, he announced complete disconnection of Moroccan strategic relationship with Iran. Moroccan authorities at that time had accused Iran of propagandizing Shiism, trying to weaken foundations of Moroccan identity, which is based on Sunni Maliki. Iran has always denied such allegations. Morocco-Iran relationship resumed in early 2015 when Iran’s new ambassador to Morocco presented his credentials to Moroccan Foreign Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar.
ISNA News Agency
♦ Ahmad Khatami: Some are Distressed in Iran with Trump’s election
Hardliner Member of Board of Directors of Expert Council, Ahmad Khatami, said that some people in the world and even in Iran [i.e. Iranian officials] have been worried by election of the new president [Trump] in the U.S., while “Supreme Leader emphasized that we are neither happy nor sad by this election.” He further added that “The Islamic Republic’s” policy has always been because “they [U.S. presidents] are all the same.”
Khabar 24 Website
♦ Pressure Group Demands Maximum Punishment for Saeed Tousi
In a statement, pressure group known as Ansar Hezbollah in Iran has demanded maximum punishment [capital punishment] for Saeed Tousi and trial of his supporters. Ansar Hezbollah has emphasized, “It is necessary for the public prosecutor to ask maximum punishment for Tousi, and bring another case against his supporters in defense of Islam, Quran, and Supreme Leader’s Office.” Ansar Hezbollah also says, following rape claims made against Tousi, “number of teenagers in Quran’s classes in neighborhoods and mosques has dropped down. That is because families do not allow their children to take part in such classes any longer.”
ISNA News Agency
♦ Russia is unreliable
Iran’s Member of Parliament representing Astaneh Ashrafieh, Alireza Ghorbani, emphasized the significance of Russia for Iran and the Middle East, saying when Iran was under sanctions, Russia supported Iran and helped us to have relations with many countries. Another lawmaker representing Urumieh, Nader Ghazipour, opposed the bill on customs cooperation agreement between Iran and Russia and said that Russia is not a country we can always trust. He then mentioned Turkey’s loss after trade relations with Russia: “we are concerned about Iranians’ properties and assets after the enforcement of this bill.”
♦ Police Discovers a Ton of Drugs
According to Fars News, Commander Azizollah Maleki announced that, in past 24 hours, police found 1 ton of different kinds of the drug –including 696 kilograms of opium, 304 kg of hashish and 12 kilograms of heroin.
Hoshdar News Website
♦ Imprisonment Kurdish Young Iranian Filmmaker
Keyvan Karimi, a young Iranian filmmaker who was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the appeal court, was transferred to Evin prison for the execution of his conviction. Karimi was reportedly arrested for making a film about writing slogans and protests on the walls of Iran called “Writing in the City.” In the initial court, he was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment, but later the appeal court commuted the sentence to one year in prison, five years of suspended imprisonment and 223 lashes.
BBC Persian Website
♦ Recent Poll: Decrease in Rouhani’s Popularity, Zarif Ahead
The most recent poll conducted by an academic institute in Iran shows that in spite of a decrease in Rouhani’s popularity, he still has a better chance of winning the presidential election next year. According to this poll, Rouhani has 21% more edge over Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf – the most compelling candidate of conservatives in Iran. The poll also shows that Mohammad Javad Zarif, Hassan Rouhani, Ghassem Suleimani, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and Mahmoud Ahmadijenad are still the most popular among those whose names have been proposed as possible candidates in past months. According to the poll, if the election is held today only between Rouhani and Ghalibaf, 53% of people will vote for Rouhani and 32% for Ghalibaf. But if it is only between Rouhani and Zarif, 34% will vote for Rouhani and 51% for Zarif. The poll also shows that people’s hope for improvement in the economy has now reached its lowest, with 48% of individuals believing that economic conditions are getting worse, and only 37% holding that Iran’s economic conditions are improving.
Alef News Website
♦ 30% of Women Suffer from Neurosis
Deputy of Foundation of Martyrs and Veteran Affairs, Mohsen Ansari announced that mental diseases and anxiety are widespread in the society—with 30% of women and 19% of men suffering from such disorders. Meanwhile, 15% of people, according to Ansari, suffer from post-traumatic mental illness. Deputy of Foundation, mentioning some individuals who had mental disorder during Iraq-Iran war, said, “41 thousand war veterans who are covered by Foundation of Martyrs and Veteran Affairs suffer from mental illness, 4038 of whom are women.”
Arman Emrouz Newspaper
♦ Drug Use Increases Among Young Iranians, Says Official
Deputy Secretary-General of Iran Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) has said that drug use in Iran is growing and need to be addressed. Dr. Hamid Sarami added that the desire to use opium; psychedelic pills and meth have mounted among 15 to 18-year-old teenagers. 23.6 % of the people from 15 to 46 years old suffer from a psychological disorder; such disorders increase the possibility of drug use, DCHQ official added. Unemployment, poverty, inflation and lack of space for young people to discharge their emotions socially are among other causes of drug use. Sarami stated that one of the reasons of desire to drugs among women and girls is their presence in society.
ISNA News Agency
♦ Common Nuclear Training Courses between Iran and Japan
Japanese Ambassador to Iran, Hiroyasu Kobayashi met with Behrouz Kamalvandi–International, Legal, and Parliamentary Deputy Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. According to ISNA, Kobayashi and Kamalvandi exchanged their views regarding the process of developing nuclear cooperation between Iran and Japan, holding common training courses, mutual scientific and technical visits and issues related to JCPOA. Mentioning the considerable capacity of both countries in nuclear industry, Kobayashi and Kamalvandi expressed willingness to interact and cooperate in this regard.
ISNA News Agency
♦ U.S. Treasury gives the green light to Brazilian Banks to Cooperate with Iran
A senior Brazilian official, Roderigo Azeredo, said that U.S. Treasury had assured Brazilian banks that they could secure financial transactions with Iran without worrying about sanctions. The Brazilian diplomat explained, “Even though sanctions against non-American companies dealing with Iran were lifted after JCPOA in January, Brazilian banks are still worried about possible consequences of cooperation with Iran.
Abrar Eghtisadi Newspaper
♦ Administrative and Financial Corruption Spread in all Organizations
Tehran MP, Mahmoud Sadeghi, wrote a letter to Head of Judiciary Sadegh Larijani to responded to his statements, according to IRNA. Sadeghi wrote in the letter that Economy and Finance Minister’s report regarding opening saving accounts on behalf of judiciary branch has created widespread rumors in the media and doubts and questions in public opinions, and it was duty as a member of parliament to ask for clarifications and transparency from both the Economy Minister and Head of Judiciary.
Jahan Sanaat Newspaper
♦ A female student stabbed in front of her Professor
A boy, who had gone to his favorite girl’s university and stabbed her at the class, was arrested by police. According to Mehr News, the 23-year-old boy had entered the class on the pretext of giving some pamphlet to one of his friends and then had suddenly taken out a knife from under his shirt to attack a female student. During interrogations, he told the police he wanted to revenge himself on the girl and her father. The father had apparently rejected the boy’s marriage proposal the very same day. According to the police, the young girl was taken to the hospital, and her conditions are reportedly improving after being treated.
Aftab Yazd Newspaper
♦ Contradictory Statistics for Industrial Growth
One year after the government’s package for moving out of recession was offered, some industrial statistics shows a 5% growth in industries. However, many experts in this field hold that financial supports for industries in last year have only postponed their bankruptcy. Data for facilities paid by the mining industry in the first seven months of Iranian year this year shows 84.6% of it was for providing working capital, and 9.9% for creation and development. Compared to the same period last year, it shows 50% increase in working capital and 2.5% decrease in production and development.
♦ Iranian Submarine, Battleship Ready for Mission
Iranian Commander-in-Chief, Major-General Salehi, in Conference of Navy Commanders, announced that “Tareq” Submarine and “Kharg” Battleship are ready for missions, and will sale in the Atlantic Ocean.