» Macron’s trip to Iran: welcomed or not?
The editorial of Iran newspaper speculates on the possible trip of French President Emmanuel Macron to Iran and its outcome. According to this editorial, the idea of French President’s trip to Iran was suggested first after President Rouhani’s trip to Paris in 2015. Later French Foreign Minister Le Drian went to Tehran to gain information for helping Macron in his trip to Washington. During this trip, President Trump tried to convince Macron to accept his position regarding JCPOA, while the French President tried to talk Trump out of nixing it.
Having said that, the editorialist believes Macron is expected to take a trip to Tehran. However, given his positions –which are somewhat close to those of Trump– this trip might not be welcomed by some in Iran. In conclusion, the editorial refers to long-standing ties between Iran and France, saying Macron’s potential trip to Iran should not be assessed in the light of Trump’s psychological war. What is significant is that this trip can create an opportunity for political consultations at highest levels in which Iran can clarify its viewpoints about JCPOA, producing ballistic missiles and regional politics, while listening to Macron’s views and taking them into consideration.
An editorial in Iran daily on May 1, 2018
» There is no good news!
The editorial of Sedayeh Elslahat, written by the newspaper editor-in-chief, laments the fact that there are no such things as good news taking place in Iran to write about.
According to the editorial, when one takes a look at titles in news websites, all one can see is disease, high expenses, low salaries, unemployment, arrests, rapes, assaults, increase in divorce, child abuse, abusing elderlies, etc. These are typical problems of society and people that are reflected in the media. When the editorialist, as editor-in-chief, had decided to create a column for reflecting good news, it took him hours to find 3 short good stories. Now the question is: why isn’t there any good news? Who is to blame: the journalists and the media, or statesmen and the society? The answer, according to the editorialist, is both. When the society feels good and the government acts in accordance with laws and principles, then the good news such as wedding ceremonies, traveling and tourism will increase. When there is love for life and hope within the society, the journalists will start seeing good news such as coming of the holy month of Ramadan. The editorial goes on to add: how can there be good news when the prosecutor of Islamic Republic is in jail for committing crimes, when the first vice president is imprisoned, and when there is the judicial case against the former president of the country? How can that not affect the spirit and cheerfulness of the society? When earthquake-stricken people in Kermanshah Province are still struggling with difficulties and officials do not care, how can there be good news?
An Editorial in Sedayeh Eslahat on April 30, 2018
» Tell the truth to people, Mr. President!
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani knows that he has lost a great deal of his popularity, according to this editorial penned by reformist academic Sadegh Zibakalam.
The editorialist begins by quoting Hassan Rouhani as recently criticizing his ministers’ hopeless remarks. Rouhani is under the impression that if his ministers sound optimistic and make empty promises to people, the country’s problems will disappear. Some ministers have talked about upcoming drought, lack of budget and poor economy as hurdles Iran is facing.
The editorial continues by posing this question: Why do many people who participated in Iran’s presidential election to vote for Hassan Rouhani regret what they did? In all his speeches and press conferences of his second term, Rouhani has refused to talk candidly to people, while telling the truth is the least duty he owes to his constituents. Rouhani’s administration must answer the following questions: How much is its revenue? How much of that revenue belongs to the state treasury? How much of it is given to other institutions?
Currently, the government is in debt to the social security fund as well as state and private banks, among others. Is it right to hide such issues and pretend no problems exist? The editorialist closes his piece by urging Iran’s President to reconsider his strategies and tell the truth to people.
An editorial in Arman Emrouz on April 30, 2018
» If there WAS no JCPOA… if there IS no JCPOA
This editorial addresses the significance of Iran’s nuclear deal in terms of preventing different kinds of grave crises for the country.
If there was no JCPOA, Iran would face more serious challenges economically, politically and culturally, begins the editorial. Iran’s nuclear deal was signed when international pressure had increased– it was the best measure taken under the worst conditions. If Iran had not signed the nuclear deal, its interaction with the world would have been minimized, its trade businesses with other countries, entirely blocked. The editorialist then elaborates on advantages of JCPOA. First, Iran officially gained the right to access peaceful nuclear energy. Second, sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear case were lifted. Third, soaring inflation in the country was taken under control. Lastly, the rising of US dollar rate, at least in the past two years, was regulated.
Everything considered the editorial deduces that if Iran exits JCPOA, the U.S., along with its allies, would return to pre-JCPOA era, reaching another consensus against Iran in no time.
An editorial in Arman daily on April 28, 2018
♦ Earthquake hits southern Iran, 105 injured
A magnitude 5.2 earthquake rattled the town of Sisakht, in Kuhgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, making people rush out into streets. The town has the population of 10,000. No human casualties have been reported so far, but the number of injured has reached 105.
Iran is prone to near-daily earthquakes as it sits on major fault lines. In November, a magnitude 7.2 quake hit western Iran killing more than 600.
♦ Iran ready to swap Kirkuk’s oil
CEO of Iranian Oil Pipelines and Telecommunication Company pointed out to talks between Iran and Iraq for swapping Kirkuk’s oil. Jafarinasab said Iran is ready to start this project as soon as possible. He urged that all necessary infrastructures are ready in Iran, all existing problems for swapping have been removed, and when Iraq announce readiness, the project will begin.
♦ Iran-Oman banking relations to develop
Islamic Republic of Iran and Oman agreed on the further development of banking cooperation and brokerage relationships. The agreement was signed by the Iranian ambassador to Muscat Nouri Shahroodi and Muscat Bank CEO Abdul Razak Ibn Ali Ibn Issa. In this meeting, they both emphasized on the necessity of continuing bilateral relations and took important decisions with regard to facilitating banking relations between the two countries.
Muscat Bank, one of the biggest banks in Oman, was the first bank to open a branch in Iran after the nuclear agreement and lifting of sanctions.
♦ Iraqi Kurdistan’s MP meets Iranian ambassador
Nechirvan Barzani, Iraqi Kurdistan MP, met with the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, and discussed comprehensive developments in existing relationships, including cultural and economic relations. Other points discussed in this meeting increased in presence of Iranian companies in Iraqi Kurdistan, negotiations for developing trade and investment cooperations, and removing customs barriers in order to create prosperity in production.
♦ Students protest against Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif became present in Amir Kabir University on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. Some students critical of the performance of foreign ministry and its diplomacy apparatus protested against his presence by holding some placards. After Zarif’s speech, some students from Amir Kabir University attacked his car.
There has been a considerable increase in systematic attacks against FM Zarif in these sensitive days when the U.S. president is going to decide on the JCPOA.
♦ Central Bank Governor criticizes Iranians for going on foreign trips above average
Valiollah Seif, governor of Central Bank in Iran, said foreign trips in Iran is much more than average, calling for moderation in this regard. These remarks were made with regard to recent foreign currency policies of the Central Bank, in which maximum foreign currency for traveling abroad has been specified as 1,000 euros.
According to new Central Bank’s directive, foreign currency for traveling would be sold to each passenger once a year in the amount of 1,000 euros. Foreign currency sold to travelers going to neighboring countries and Commonwealth of Independent States (except for countries of former Soviet Russia) will be 500 euros.
After the price of the dollar and other foreign currencies skyrocketed in Iranian market with dollar reaching 6,000 tomans, the Iranian government has adopted new policies in this regard, trying to control this market.
♦ Lawmaker: Rouhani criticizes his ministers to shirk responsibility
Tabriz MP Ahmad Alireza Beigi said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently criticized his ministers for evading accountability and misleading Iranian people. Pointing out to filtering of Telegram messenger, Beigi stated that a very calculated scenario is underway in which they try to mislead people by making them focus on issues which have no significant impact on their destiny and their demands. Tabriz MP urged that controversy over mummified body attributed to Reza Shah, portraying a negative image from filtering Telegram, and the president criticizing his ministers are all to mislead Iranian people.
Beigi emphasized on the government being honest with people, adding that it must admit the failure of JCPOA in improving lives of different groups of people.
Fars news agency
♦ Labor Day in Iran: Police raids workers’ assembly
A number of Iranian workers who staged protests in Tehran on May 1 were arrested, reports ILNA. Following a ban on protests to mark the International Labor Day, workers assembled in front of the parliament, objecting to this decision made by Hassan Rouhani’s government. Iranian workers also held a gathering before the Workers’ House in Tehran. Low wages, lack of job security and temporary contracts were among the major issues against which Iranian workers held rallies. According to labor activists, a number of protesters were arrested in Tehran by police.
♦ Iranian-British student arrested in Tehran
Aras Amiri, a 32-year-old graduate student at the UK’s Kensington College of Business, has been arrested by Intelligence Ministry agents in Tehran, according to Iran Wire.
Amiri, who had traveled to Iran to visit her ailing grandmother, was held in custody on March 14, the day she was returning to London. Her cousin told Iran Wire that Amiri has been held in Ward 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison for the past 50 days.
Aras Amiri, who works for the British Council, has been charged with “assembly and collusion against national security.”
In the past 3 years, more than 30 dual nationals have been detained in Iran.
♦ Khamenei representative resign after corruption charges
The representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader in Fars Province has stepped down after being charged with corruption, reports Iran Wire.
A group of hardline students in the southern city of Shiraz accused Assadollah Imani, the Friday prayer leader of Shiraz and Khamenei’s representative in Fars Province, of corruption in 2016. According to this group, Imani’s campaign had paid “exorbitant expenses” during the Assembly of Experts election and needed to make an explanation in this regard. Imani, however, not only disregarded the students’ demand at the time but filed a complained against them which led to their being sentenced to 3 months of discretionary imprisonment as well as 5-year-ban on any political activities.
Mohammad Naghi Lotfi, the Friday prayer leader of Ilam, and Hassan Turabi, the Friday prayer leader of Boroujerd, who both represent Khamenei, have also been criticized for their aristocratic life.
♦ European companies ready to cooperate with Iran petrochemical industry
Referring to a positive atmosphere in his recent meeting in Paris, managing director of National Petrochemical Industry of Iran said reputable European companies are ready to cooperate with Iranian petrochemical industry under the current conditions. Reza Nourozzadeh urged that in the petrochemical industry, the role of Iran’s nuclear deal (JCPOA) is so much so that it has impacted everything else, adding that most of JCPOA’s impact has been on industries like petrochemical industry.
♦ Zolnour: 3 necessary measures in case the US pulls out of JCPOA
Head of Nuclear committee in the Parliament, Mojtaba Zolnour, pointed out to the possible withdrawal of the U.S. from JCPOA on May 12 and explained three necessary measures that must be taken in response to this move. He said the first measure is to increase installing new and advanced centrifuges. The second measure, according to Zolnour, is to increase the percentage of uranium enrichment. And the third measure, head of the Nuclear committee in the Parliament added, is to increase the level of enrichment.
Zolnour noted, “even though U.S. President Trump is unpredictable, our prediction based on evidence is that he will officially pull out of the JCPOA.”
♦ Lawmaker: Resuming nuclear activities is best for Iran if US, Europe withdraw from JCPOA
Head of the international committee in legal and judiciary commission in Iranian Parliament believes that if the U.S. pulls out of the JCPOA and Europe follows suit, the best possible way for Iran is to get out the nuclear deal and to resume its nuclear activities. Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi said if Iran can preserve the JCPOA and keep Europeans on its side, it will isolate the U.S. and will be to the advantage of Iran. But if Europeans insist on making changes or adding an additional protocol to the JCPOA, then Iranian officials must take a decisive decision against the U.S. and Europeans.
♦ Araghchi: Continuing present condition of JCPOA intolerable
Deputy to Iranian foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, pointed out to the current condition of the JCPOA and the U.S. possible withdrawal from it, saying whether the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear deal or not, a continuation of the present condition isn’t tolerable, and Iran has thought of particular measures in this regard. He added that Iran has prepared itself for all possible scenarios.
♦ Selling Russian helicopters to Iran
Russian Helicopters company announced receiving Iran’s purchase order for two helicopters. According to CEO of Russian Helicopters Company, the negotiations between Russia and Iranian companies are underway, and Iran has given production order for two civilian helicopters.
♦ Ahmadinejad’s suspension order from Expediency Council
According to Tabnak news website close to Mohsen Rezaee, suspension order of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from Expediency Discernment Council has been declared to him.
In two recent letters to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Ahmadinejad had severely criticized the conditions in the country, calling for reforms in certain entities including the Guardian Council and judiciary branch, as well as for armed forces abandoning political affairs and economic activities.
It must be mentioned that Hamid Baghaee and Esfandiar Mashaee, two people close to Ahmadinejad are both in jail now.
♦ Iranian telecommunication minister: Possible problems in filtering Telegram messenger
In the wake of issuing judiciary order for filtering Telegram messenger, contradictory news as to resignation of Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahroomi was published. Azari Jahroomi talked of possible issues in filtering this messenger in Iran as in Russia.
On Monday, the media and culture court issued an order for filtering Telegram messenger, asking internet service providers to implement this order. The media and culture court has announced that decision to filter Telegram was based on this channel creating “disruption in national unity through raising racial, ethnic issues”, “instigating and deceiving people to protest and unrests”, “measures against national security” and “propaganda against” Islamic Republic.
Telegram messenger is one of the most popular social networks in Iran, used by more than 40 million people. A considerable number of Iranian users earn their living through Telegram.
♦ 1 killed, 2 injured in clashes between IRGC and opposition armed forces
Due to clashes between IRGC forces and armed forces of opposition to the Islamic Republic in a border region in Kermanshah Province, one was killed and two injured. The clashes took place in Shoushmei Nosard region in the border of Iraq with Kermanshah province.
So far, none of the Kurdish parties that are opposed to the Islamic Republic has published any reports in this regard. While the Islamic Republic calls armed opposition forces as “terrorist groups” or “anti-revolutionary”, these groups say their goal in armed clashes with the Islamic Republic is defending rights of Kurds.
♦ 18 Iranians killed in Israeli missile attack against Syria
According to Israeli media quoting officials of Syrian opposition forces, 18 Iranians were killed in Israeli missile attack. Times of Israel said that according to Syrian opposition forces, 18 Iranians were among 26 people who were killed in an Israeli attack against cities of Hama and Aleppo. One of them was an IRGC commander.
According to Syrian military officials, a new attack was conducted against military bases in suburbs of Hama and Aleppo. Even though the identity of the attacker has not been confirmed, Syrian media think Israel is most likely responsible for the attack.
♦ Lawmaker: Officials not to think of Bayt-e Mal as personal properties
MP Mostafa Kavakebian said 4% to 5% of people who gain a position or take the office in the country think of Bayt al-Mal as their private properties, which is not right. Focusing on consuming domestic goods by officials themselves, Kavakebian urged that “we shouldn’t tell people to not to use foreign products, while we ourselves use them.”
♦ Zibakalam calls arresting Mehdi Rahmanian unfortunate
Following the arrest of Mehdi Rahmanian, manager of Shargh daily, Sadegh Zibakalam, outspoken reformist academic and activist, wrote: “Arresting Mehdi Rahmanian by his court judge is unfortunate and a wound on the body of the press and writers. I have had the honor of cooperating with him, and I haven’t seen anything but politeness, respect, avoiding radicalism, and unique accuracy in telling the truth.”
Shargh had recently published a report on the murder of a 6-year-old Afghan girl in a poor neighborhood in the holy city of Mashhad. In the report, an official was quoted as saying that this neighborhood was home to several brothels.
♦ Parliamentarian: Widespread immigration from Ahwaz
Ahwaz MP Javad Kazemnasab Albaji said many residents of Ahwaz are migrating to cities of Karaj and Mashhad due to air pollution in this province. He said the main reason for immigration from this province is the issue of dust particles which has taken over this province since 13 years ago.
In recent years, the level of dust particles in Ahwaz Province and some regions in southern Iran has passed the critical level in some cases. Added to the issue of dust particles are the issues of drought and increase in temperature that have been other challenges in these regions.
♦ Latest on cases of Ahmadinejad, Mashaee, president’s brother
Spokesperson of judiciary branch made explanations about latest developments on cases of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee, and the brother of the current president, adding that they are being investigated still. Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said the judiciary branch has tried to deal with these cases without any discriminations, urging that it is the duty of this branch to follow the issues up if there are any private or public plaintiffs.