♦ Iran’s New Cabinet: People’s Demands VS Lawmakers’ Votes
This editorial, penned by a reformist Parliament Member, focuses on President Rouhani and lawmakers’ problems in choosing and voting for the 12th cabinet without specifically elaborating on them.
The writer notes that the reason why people’s expectations were not met in the new cabinet chosen by President Hassan Rouhani was the limitations he was facing in this regard. There were considerations behind Iran’s political curtains, which needed to be taken into account and of which people were not aware.
As for the parliament’s vote to Rouhani’s cabinet, lawmakers had their own issues and concerns; for example, they were not sure if they did not vote for a minister, the alternative would be better.
Moreover, some are under the impression that President Rouhani, notwithstanding the support he received from reformists, has not chosen any member of that faction for his cabinet. It should be mentioned that Rouhani is a moderate fundamentalist himself, and never claimed to be a reformist. Nevertheless, there are some well-known reformists in his cabinet.
The editorialist finishes his piece by assuring people that Rouhani will fulfill his slogans through his new cabinet, promising that otherwise, they will carry out their duty as Parliament Members to oversee the executive branch.
An Editorial in ‘Etemad’ Newspaper on Wednesday, Aug. 16th, 2017
♦ Diehard Enemy in JCPOA Negotiations, Bosom Friend in its Benefits
This editorial zeroes in on France’s relationship with Iran before, during and after the nuclear deal.
France used to welcome any sanctions against Iran before nuclear negotiations. Peugeot automaker company, for instance, suspended sales in Iran due to sanctions in 2012, causing serious problems in the country’s car industry. During JCPOA negotiations, France had the most unconstructive positions towards Iran compared to other 5+1 members. And recently, it condemned Iran’s satellite-carrying rocket into space as well.
Ensuing JCPOA, however, Iran signed its most important contract, worth $10.5 billion, with France’s Airbus. Iran also sealed its largest energy deal, worth $5 billion, with France’s Total. Furthermore, Iran in another agreement yielded the highest share of its car industry to French automakers Renault and Peugeot. It should be mentioned that all three agreements were totally confidential.
Finally, the editorialist poses this question: How come a country with the worst behavior towards Iran before, during and after the nuclear deal, is now reaping most benefits from JCPOA? Some might answer that from now on France will have a nice attitude towards Iran because of such investments, which is not true given what France’s Total did to Qatar after its crisis. Therefore, Iran’s Parliament needs to review signed contracts with France and inform people accordingly.
An Editorial in ‘Afkar’ Newspaper on Tuesday, Aug. 15th, 2017
♦ Bad Heritage
This editorial focuses on the marginalization of women in Iranian society.
What happens in society is an outcome of people’s behavior, reflecting what they have learned from their culture and beliefs. Sometimes it is clear where and how they have acquired those learnings. However, there are also some learnings which have been shaped in people’s unconscious and are transferred from one generation to another– one of which is women’s position in society.
We still remember how women had no opportunities for education, employment, and improvement. We have witnessed suppression of women’s capabilities and feelings. Although nowadays we accept the slogan of equal opportunity, our unconscious still sticks to the past beliefs, hence shaping our behavior. In most families, male tyranny still exists and women surrender to it. In society, women are neither trusted as men in doing jobs nor tolerated in higher positions yet. Ignoring women is a legacy passed on to us from preceding generations.
The editorialist maintains that this destructive heritage has led to the marginalization of half of Iran’s population, deducing that the society needs to change its view of women.
An Editorial in ‘Setara Sobh’ Newspaper on Monday, Aug. 14th, 2017
♦ Consequences of US terminating the Iran deal
This editorial centers on the consequences of the U.S. exit from JCPOA and Iran’s reaction in this regard.
The writer begins by noting that the outcome of U.S. unilateral exit from JCPOA was not included in the agreement; however, it was mentioned that if one of the parties left JCPOA, Iran could return to its pre-agreement situation–, which can be a complicated process.
As for other countries’ reaction, the EU, China, and Russia might put the U.S. under political pressure to return to implementation of JCPOA. This is only possible if all the JCPOA’s signatories are in coordination. For instance, England might not show any reaction; China and Russia might not be able to take any measures against the White House; France and Germany cannot do anything per se.
The editorialist’s next question is if the EU will accompany U.S. in imposing sanctions against Iran. Due to the extent of relations, especially banking transactions between the two, the EU has no other choice but to cooperate with the U.S.
As a result, in case the U.S. exits JCPOA, Iran should increase cooperation with the EU in order to mount pressure on the U.S. even though this also depends on the way EU, Russia and China respond to such a measure by the U.S.
An Editorial in ‘Arman’ Daily on Saturday, Aug. 12th, 2017
♦ Iran military boost shows resolve to confront U.S. pressure
Bloomberg website addressed the issue of Iranian parliament voting to “confront U.S. adventurous and terrorist measures”. This legislation, which was passed with overwhelming majority, allows the Iranian government to give $609 million to missile program and IRGC Quds Force. The legislation cited “hostile” U.S. policies against Iran and American “adventurism in the region”.
Ariyan Tabatabei, the expert of Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, holds that this extra funding has a “multifaceted message” from Iranian government for Washington. She said missile program “serves to project military power at a time when the Middle East is very unstable and is geared towards Iran’s regional adversaries like the Gulf countries, as well as ISIS and other terrorist groups.”
♦ Major-General Bagheri underlined military cooperation between Iran, Turkey
Head of Iran’s General Staff of Armed Forces met with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, Turkey, to talk about issues related to security of both countries, security of borders, and confronting terrorism. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri underscored the two countries friendly relationship which has existed for hundreds of years, saying that it was necessary to hold this meeting to exchange views and to have more cooperation regarding different military and regional issues.
According to ISNA, Turkish experts think that one the major issues discussed in this trip would be northern Syria and the issue of Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is clearing Raqqa with the support of the U.S. these days. PYD is expected to occupy the liberated region, which will be a threat for Turkey.
Jam-e-jam online/ ISNA
♦ Lawmaker: Minister must give list of properties
Urmia MP Nader Ghazipour said judiciary system must investigate properties and assets of the president, vice president, ministers, their wives and children before and after their being in charge of positions. He urged that candidates for ministry must present a list of their properties, just as current ministers did before. Ghazipour expressed his regrets that there are no candidates for ministries from East and West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil.
♦ CIA director: Iran, Hezbollah forces are present in Venezuela
Director of CIA Mike Pompeo accused Iran’s and Hezbollah’s forces of being present in Venezuela. In his interview with Fox news, Director of CIA said that Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah are interfering in civil war in Venezuela. Mike Pompeo went on to say that Venezuela can become a serious threat for the U.S. because “Cubans, Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah” are there.
♦ Construction of first Iranian university in Iraq starts
The construction of Iran’s first comprehensive university in Iraq called “Mostafa Al-Amin” started in Kazmain region in north of Iraqi capital. This university will consist of 5 faculties of sciences, humanities and Islamic studies. In the first stage of the project, 3 faculties of literature, Islamic jurisprudence, and law will be launched.
This university will be constructed in an area of 22,500 square meters, and it is expected to have the capacity of accepting 3,000 students in its first phase.
♦ Warfare in military drill
Commander of Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Admiral Sayyari announced Iran will hold electronic warfare in a military drill in next few days. He added that Army’s strategic naval forces hold more than 25 specialized drills in different fields each year, and during next few days, the military drill of electronic warfare will be held in southern fleet and Makran coasts.
♦ 28 members of armed groups killed in Sistan and Baluchistan
Former commander of law enforcement in Sistan and Baluchistan Brigadier-General Hossein Rahimi said that in past 3 years, 28 members of armed groups were killed in this province. He added that more 300 tons of drugs, more than 24 million liters of smuggled fuel, 4080 illegal weapons were also confiscated during these 3 years.
♦ Ukraine can be Iran’s gate to Europe
Marziyeh Shohadaee, deputy oil minister in petrochemical affairs, said due to closeness of Ukraine to European markets, this country can prepare the ground for exporting Iran’s petrochemical products to Europe. After meeting with Sergey Burdilyak Ukraine ambassador to Iran, Shohadaee said this meeting was held following signing the memorandum of understanding between Iran and Ukraine – with one of its provisions as cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy and petrochemical industry.
♦ Lawmaker: one proposed minister married to foreigner
MP Karimi Ghodousi, head of committee investigating dual nationals and green card holders at high ranking positions, said one of the proposed minister is married to a foreign wife, one has an American child, and the other a British child.
Karimi Ghodousi added that the investigations show that 80 senior and high-ranking officials are either dual national citizens or have green cards. He asserted that President Hassan Rouhani was going to introduce some of these people as ministers to the parliament, but he had to change his mind.
Karimi Ghodousi urged that “if we don’t tell these truths, we will one day open our eyes and see that all members of cabinet have two birth certificates and two passports: one Iranian and one American.”
♦ Rouhani warns U.S.: we can pull out of JCPOA in hours
Hassan Rouhani became present in Iranian parliament to introduce the proposed members of his new cabinet. In his remarks, Rouhani talked about the nuclear deal, saying that Iran has been and will be committed to its obligations. But then he warned that if U.S. wants to go back to the experience of imposing sanctions, Iran “would certainly go back in a short time – not in a week or a month, but within hours – to more advanced conditions than before the start of negotiations.”
Rouhani stated that “those who talked for months about tearing JCPOA up are now advised by their consultants that such measures will isolate America on international level, so now they have recently accused Iran of violating the spirit of the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, IAEA has confirmed that Iran has fully implemented JCPOA.”
♦ Deputy chief editor of Etemad newspaper arrested
Sasan Aghaee, deputy chief editor of Etemad newspaper, has been arrested in the newspaper’s office with a sentence from Media and Culture Court. According to Kalameh Web site, security forces first took Aghaee home and searched it, and then later took him to Evin prison. The reason for arresting this journalist is not clear yet.
Sasan Aghaee was arrested in 2009 after protests to the result of the presidential election and was released about 4 months later.
In past few months, more than 10 journalists have been arrested, and some of them including Ehsan Mazandarani and Hengameh Shahidi are still in prison.
Reporters Without Borders has announced that in the world ranking for freedom of the press in 2017, Iran stands at 165 among 180 countries.
♦ Iranian hostages in Turkey released
Two Iranians who were taken as hostages in Istanbul were released and Turkish police arrested one of the hostage takers. This is for the 4th time in past few months that Iranian tourists have been taken as hostages in Istanbul.
In police operation, 3 other foreigners who had been taken as hostages were also released. Turkish police announced that hostage takers were Afghans.
♦ IRGC officer killed in U.S. bombing in Syria
Mostafa Khoosh Mohammadi, retired officer from 45th Javad al-Aemeh Brigade, was killed in Syria. Mohammadi who had been deployed to Syria voluntarily for several times since January was killed in U.S. fighter jets bombing at the border of Iraq and Syria.
♦ Iranian suicide bomber arrested in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s security officials have arrested an Iranian suicide bomber in the city of Khashrood. He was arrested several days ago when a rebel group attacked a border police station in that area. In a clash with the police, three members of this group were killed. In interrogations, the abovementioned person has told the police that one of those killed was his cousin and an Iranian citizen.
Prior to this, a number of Afghan officials had talked of Iranian citizens’ role in insecurities in western parts of the country which has borders with Iran.
♦ Khamenei appoints new head of Expediency Council
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei has appointed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroodi, former head of Iran’s judiciary system, as head of Iran’s Expediency Council for a five-year period. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani headed this council since its establishment to the time of his death.
In Khamenei’s decree, Mohsen Rezaee is introduced as secretary of the Expediency Council. Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reinstated, while Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Ebrahim Raisi, custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, have been added to this council.
In his decree, Khamenei has underlined the necessity of “changes in structure” of this Institute.
♦ Araghchi: Iran is ready for all possibilities regarding JCPOA
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi called unacceptable U.S. making excuses regarding JCPOA, as well as the implementation of sanctions package, stressing that Iran’s missile program is the result of Iranian people’s power and has preemptive and defensive aspects. In his trip to Japan, Araghchi urged JCPOA has a strong international position, enjoying the support of not only 2231 Resolution, but also EU and the international community.
♦ Iran FM: Donald Trump seeks JCPOA abolition
The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Donald Trump is after abolishing JCPOA. “POTUS always wanted to kill JCPOA,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account, “To avoid isolation, he’s trying to blame it on Iran.” He also accused Trump of “bad faith on top of US violating the letter and spirit” of Iran deal.
Zarif’s words came after the U.S. President called the agreement between Iran and 5+1 “horrible”, accusing Iran of not “living up to the spirit” of JCPOA.