– Shargh newspaper called for the development of tourism in Asaluyeh city.
– Etimad handled disparity in Iranian people’s income and its impact on the middle class.
Iranian News Roundup
– Most newspapers handled the denial of Rouhani vice’s meeting with the German Ministry of Economy
– Spies have entered Iran through the nuclear deal
– Khatami can tip the scales for reformists in the upcoming elections
– 50% of the Iranian factories closed down
– French-American talks to remove banking obstacles on Iran
– Iraq is ready to import Iran’s gas
– An Iranian policeman dies in clashes with thugs.
Potentials of tourism development in Asaluyeh
An editorial in Monday’s Shargh newspaper called for the development of Iran’s tourism sector, particularly in Asaluyeh, a predominantly Sunni Arab coastal town best known as a center of the Iranian oil industry.
The editorial points out that while coastal cities elsewhere in the world are large, modernized and thriving, Asaluyeh, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, has been neglected by the regime for decades, with the city suffering from a lack of essential services and massive pollution. Despite the fact that it’s a hub for the oil resources which make up most of Iran’s revenue. The editorialist suggests that a renovation program to clean up the city and attract tourists could, in turn, attract investors to create facilities for these visitors and locals, generating income and bringing new life to the city.
At present, Asaluyeh hosts thousands of oil workers with an average monthly income of around $3,000. As well as being home to many retired oil workers on a monthly pension of around $1,500, with the town’s oil facilities offering rates of pay far higher than those available elsewhere in Iran, such as the oilfields in Abadan and Omidiyeh cities of Al-Ahwaz region. The reason for these higher salaries is the massive pollution in Asaluyeh and the lower quality of life for residents. That matter leads many working there to commute from far away towns and villages like the city of Jam, preferring to drive for long distances than to live in a city where they are exposed to massive air pollution. The editorial suggests that the oil companies, which have now been shipping around $57 million worth of oil from the South Pars fields near Asaluyeh annually for 15 years, can surely invest in clean-up operations to eradicate the pollution and work to combat the pollution there. As well as in establishing tourism, recreation and sports facilities in the city, both to compensate residents and to attract tourists. The editorialist concludes by calling on the government to force the oil companies to commit themselves to reducing pollution by introducing legislation to penalize polluters and to develop tourism in the town.
Notes on income inequality report in Iran
An editorial in Monday’s Etimad newspaper focuses on income disparities between Iranians, and the steady erosion of the middle class, leaving what is effectively a two-tier society of a rich minority and a poor majority. The editorialist cites the latest report from the Iranian National Statistics Centre which mentions the Gini coefficient (a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents), which measures the disparity between the average incomes since 2010 to 2015. The Gini rate in Iran reached 41 in 2010, before falling to 37 in 2011 indicating less inequality, a position it maintained until 2013. Since then, however, the number has risen steadily, showing a return of worsening inequality, the editorial added.
The editorialist suggested that while the government’s direct cash support to some of the poorest in the country may have had a minimal effect in reducing the 2016 Gini rate number compared to the previous year. Moreover, inflation and the rise in the prices of real estate and gold, coupled with poor foreign exchange rates had benefited only the wealthy in society, increasing their income and widening the gap between the classes. If average wages in Iran do not increase by 30 to 35 percent, the editorial warned, there would be further steep increase in the rate of income inequality, with such wage increases unlikely.
The editorialist concluded by warning that there is also currently no adequate investment for balance between the growing wealth of rich people and the growth of wage rates for the majority of Iranian society, predicting that average wages are likely to return to a rate last seen in 2010.
The absurd war in Syria
An editorial in Monday’s Ebticar newspaper voiced rejection of the continuing war in Syria, a highly unusual open criticism of Iranian regime policy, especially the policy of the fundamentalist bloc, with the editorialist asserting that reformists and moderates are increasingly unhappy and vocal in their rejection of Iranian involvement in the war.
The editorial stated that reformists and moderates are now speaking out to condemn Iran’s participation in the war in Syria, as the Iranian death toll continues to mount and the government’s budget continues to sustain massive losses.
There is no clear vision for Syria’s future, the editorialist asserted, particularly following the collapse of the US-Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement and with tensions escalating between the US and Russia to the point of mutual military threats against one another.
The author asserted that the Syrian war is now an aimless debacle with no objective other than reigniting the US-Russian Cold War, with debate already growing over the resurrection of US-Russian tensions, which previously led to the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis and the 1967 Middle East war. It seems that the Western nations’ anger towards Russia over its interventions in Georgia and Ukraine has spilled over into the Syrian theater. The editorialist asserted, with the West unwilling to tolerate the Russian presence in the Middle East and the Russians determined to keep control of West Asia rather than being confined to an Asian-European area.
Because of all these factors, the editorial continued, any discussions of Syria’s future will be directly related to the balance of power between the superpowers and their significant influence on the regional state. Meanwhile, the editorialist asserted, the opposition groups in Syria are each marching to their different drum, with each having its own, often conflicting, objectives, priorities, and alliances. That means that the nations allied with these groups are incapable of wielding any significant influence over the decisions of the opposition, being limited to bargaining with these groups whose alliances are fluid and fast changing. The opposition groups, meanwhile, cannot trust any ally to the extent of being willing to hand over their weapons due to the lack of any satisfactory settlement to the crisis.
All these factors, taken together, and the lack of trust between the various parties and their allies mean that the Syrian war has become a complete absurdity with no solution, the editorialist concluded, suggesting that Iran should cut its losses and abandon it.
♦ Rouhani’s vice denies meeting with the German Minister
In response to Kayhan newspaper’s report titled, “Gabriel’s statement about the warm welcome of first Vice-president Isaac Jahangiri is the government’s reason for national pride,” office of Jahangiri announced that vice-president has never met the German minister, asserting that the meeting was not on the agenda of the first Vice-President.
Source: Arman Amroz Newspaper
♦ Release of the two Iranians arrested in Kuwait
The two Iranians arrested in Kuwait for filming Husseiniahs were published after the untiring efforts of the Iranian consulate in Kuwait. Earlier, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior declared the arrest of two suspicious Iranians because of filming Husseiniahs in Houla province.
Source: Etilaat Newspaper
♦ Iraq is ready to import Iran’s gas
An official in the Iraqi oil sector announced that Iraq and Iran have come to an agreement over importing gas from Iran and its prices. The agreement is to be implemented after the approval of the ministries of oil in both countries, he added.
On the Iranian side, Executive Manager of the Iranian National Gas Company said that Iran had signed two agreements with Iraq to export gas to Basra and Bagdad.
Source: Abrar Eghtisadi Newspaper
♦ Saban: We put pressure on Washington to lift sanctions on Tehran
Iran’s Economic Minister Ali Taieb Nia said in his meeting with the French Economic Minister, Michele Saban that Iran is willing to maintain stable relations with the EU, asserting that all European countries have to stick to their nuclear deal commitments and speed up banking business with Tehran. On his side, the French minister said that his country is exerting pressure on the United States to enhance trading ties with Iran.
Mehr News Agency
♦ Khatami calls Karroubi and Mousavi to repent
About the latest statements of Mohammed Khatami, opposition Joia News Site has reported Khatami’s speech which said, “to resolve the problem of house arrest, we have to take the fears of the high officials into consideration, especially the Supreme Leader’s and help them remove these concerns.” He added, “The two leaders of the Green Movement Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi will not seek revenge, and those who curse, talk about removal of opposition, and do the wrong job in the name of the regime must be excluded.”
Based on that assumption, Joia Site concluded that Khatami seems to be relatively willing to repent and is calling Mousavi and Karroubi to do the same.
“Although, when the Leader was admitted to hospital years ago, he did not allow Khatami to come and visit him,” Joia News added. It continued, “The next step for Khatami has to be calling Mousavi and Karroubi for repentance, which will not be quickly acknowledged.”
Source: Mashrigh Site
♦ 50% of the Iranian factories closed down
Isfahan MP Ahmed Salik Kashani said that the government has received 24 articles of resistant economy three years ago but has started to implement them this year after Khamenei’s persistence.
“The government has formed 11 committees for resistant economy, but no positive impact is being noticed on unemployment and people’s daily living,” Kashani said. He continues, “Half of factories and industries have closed down, and the rest of them operate only 30% of their capabilities,” asserting that in light of banks pressure, taxes, insurance, and the high prices of crude materials this government can do nothing for people.
“Lay off of workers rates is high. The government has to take adequate procedures to bring these factories back to work. They set aside some funds to support these facilities, but asked them to bring certain paperwork that cannot be prepared,” the MP concluded.
Source: Dana Agency
♦ Qasemi: Spies have entered Iran through the nuclear deal
In his meeting with Ahwaz citizens, a member of the Cultural Frontier of the Revolution, General Saeed Qasemi said, “Some confirm that “Influence” is an imaginary issue and stability prevails in the country. But we have noticed how enemies were active in our universities five months ahead of the 2009 edition,” about the Green Movement, urging everybody to be alert and cautious or else, they all fall.
Qasemi added that the joint work plan with the U.S. under the name “Nuclear Deal” means disgrace for those colluded to the international arrogance saying, “We have never seen an influence for the enemy like the Birjam phase (after the comprehensive joint work plan) through sending groups of spies under the name of Trade Commissions after the nuclear deal, which obliges us to review history for a better future for our children.”
Source: Dana Agency
♦ Haidary: Khatami can tip the scales for reformists in the upcoming elections
Tehran’s MP Golam Riza Haidary said that some figures have a significant influence on people during the electoral campaigns through their speeches that attract people to the polls, and if reformists want to win the elections, they have to coordinate with Khatami because of his strong influence on people.
Haidary added that the Expediency Discernment Council represents the honor and image of the regime, and when it is exposed to criticism because of its rejection of some candidates, this means underestimation of the regime itself and its image.
Source: ILNA Agency
♦ Rouhani removes Jannati from office
Some official sources said that President Hassan Rouhani passed a decree during his tour to East Asia at which he dismissed Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati starting from next week after Muharram 9 and 10, which was denied by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Guidance, Hussein Nosh Abadi.
Earlier, Rouhani had criticized Jannati over the cancellation of a concert in the Radaviah Khurasan Province, and kissing the hands of some of Qum’s scholars.
After Jannati Ahmed Masjid Jami’i, former Minister of Guidance during Mohammed Khatami’s second term and now a member of Tehran’s Islamic Council is expected to be Rouhani’s choice.
According to the news site, Ali Muradkhani the Technical Assistant of the Minister of Culture, and Abbas Salehi Assistant of Cultural Affairs of the Minister of Guidance are also expected to be of Rouhani’s choices due to their professionalism in the field of cultural affairs.
Earlier, Shargh newspaper said that chief of the Amid Coalition, reformist MP Mohammed Riza Aref had criticized the performance of some ministers, stressing on the need for a governmental reorganization, which is a better choice than questioning a minister by the parliament.
Source: Iran Wire Site