» Have Magnitude 7 Earthquakes become Kinder to Iranians?
Ebtekar editorial mulls over the history of earthquakes in Iran, a land where magnitude 7 quakes mean terror, death, and destruction.
The editorial points out to 27 years ago when 7.4 earthquakes hit cities of Rudbar and Manjil in northern Iran killing 35,000. And 14 years ago, the city of Bam in eastern Iran was hit with 6.6 quakes killing 26,000 people. In the 1960s and 1970s, Buin Zahra, Tabas, Qaenat, Dasht Byaz and Ferows were completely smashed to the ground, and more than 60,000 people were killed. Compared to these earthquakes, the recent one in Kermanshah Province, western Iran, was less destructive, with 430 people killed and 7,460 people injured in Sar-e Pol Zahab and Qasr-e Shirin.
The editorial continues: despite the fact that death of even one person in natural disasters is a great tragedy, the recent disaster has a silver lining and that is a considerable reduction of casualties compared to magnitude 7 earthquakes that used to hit Iran before. No rational person can approve of devastation of buildings of Mehr Housing Project, or of 40% destruction of a newly-built hospital in West Islamabad, and the culprits for these deficiencies and shortcomings must be held accountable; nonetheless, going over statistics of human and financial casualties of earthquake in Kermanshah Province shows that condition of urban and rural construction has improved.
The editorialist ends on a hopeful note that the experience of other earthquake-prone countries show that it is not impossible to minimize devastations and casualties. And certainly, with systematization of construction, monitoring, and training, the statistics due to natural disasters, including formidable earthquakes in Iran, can reach zero.
An editorial in Ebtekar on November 15, 2017
» Why We Don’t Learn the Lesson
Jahan Sanat, in its editorial, addresses the recent deadly earthquake which hit western Iran and left hundreds of people dead and thousands injured.
The editorial underscores that the earthquake a natural disaster, which can be seen in different places of the world. But the difference is that in a country like Japan, they are constantly preparing themselves for fighting earthquakes, and before the disaster takes place, they equip themselves with all facilities and depend on up-to-date sciences.
The editorial continues: even though there have been many earthquakes in Iran – with the recent one on Sunday night in western part of the country, killing many and causing a lot of damages – none of these disasters has been instructive, because there is still no training, pre-emptive measures, correct relief and rescue operation, etc. for confronting this natural disaster before and after an earthquake.
The editorialist gives a partial list of the most fatal earthquakes in Iran such as in Buin Zahra, Tabas, Manjil and recently in Bam. He then points out that none of these natural disasters has been taken as an instructive example for preparing the country to confront such disasters.
In conclusion, the editorial urges: confronting natural and unnatural disasters has its own laws and rules. If not prevented, dimensions of disasters can be controlled. Confronting earthquakes requires scientific methods, and should not be left to fate and destiny.
An editorial in “Jahan Sanat” on November 14, 2017
» Banning National Names?
The editorial of Bahar daily considers recent announcement of Iran’s National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR), according to which changing religious names to national and Iranian names are banned.
The editorial points out that with this decision, cultural officials seem to have put a ban on national names, following their decisions for boycotting national occasions in Iran. The editorialist calls this one of the ‘strangest decisions of NOCR’ since its foundation. Previously, national, Iranian names were just disgraced by the state-run TV and radio, IRIB, in which negative, mean characters had Iranian, national names like Cyrus, Darius, Rambod, etc., and good, charismatic characters had religious names, like Hossein, Hassan, etc.
The editorial agrees that given the bearing of names on individuals’ identities, certain names must be forbidden to be used, such as Hungry, Bottle, Mosquito, Mustachio, Dragon, etc. Still, NOCR’s new approach as to banning change of religious names into national names seems to indicate that this organization is incapable of understanding social, political and cultural changes, and is just doing as ordered.
The editorial closes with the implication of changes in name trends: naming trends have meaningful relationships with social, political and cultural changes, and existing realities of changes in these trends point to cultural and social changes within a society. NOCR must have a scientific attitude towards these changes and trends.
An editorial in Bahar daily on November 13, 2017
» Choosing Right Path
The editorial of Bahar daily focuses on significances of recent meetings of Iran’s heads of three branches. In 12 days, they held two meetings – an unprecedented incident ‘showing a change in the relationship of heads of the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches’.
According to the editorial, during former president Ahmadinejad’s government and due to unprecedented increase in tensions among the then president and heads of other two branches, such meetings between heads of branches were not held, and even by decree of Iran’s leader, Ali Khamenei, a council was formed to resolve issues between the branches.
Now, such meetings are held regularly, says the editorial. The truth is the reason for such meetings is not just the ‘spirit of interaction in President Hassan Rouhani’, but also the sensitive conditions in the country. Under current dire conditions when unity and convergence between the country’s officials are required more than any other time, meeting with heads of 3 branches is a way for increasing such convergence.
The other reason for such meetings, the editorial goes on to say, is widespread protests of those who have lost their money in financial institutes such as Caspian Credit Institution. In such cases, the right path is coordination among all 3 branches and paying attention to the fact that without the cooperation of all 3 branches, solving such complicated problems is impossible.
The third and final significance of holding such meetings, the editorialist holds, is the possibility of direct, face-to-face talks among heads of branches. In past months, there were indirect talks full of insinuations among the country’s officials, which created tensions in the country’s political atmosphere.
The editorial concludes that holding such meetings regularly can result in easing political tensions in Iran.
An editorial in “Bahar daily” on November 12, 2017
» Price of Being Candid!
Afkar news editorial deals with seizure of Kayhan newspaper for two days, on a charge of publishing title against national security. Following Yemini missile attack against Riyadh, Karhan’s controversial headline was ‘Ansar-Allah’s missile fires at Riyadh, the next target, Dubai.’
The editorial urges: the fact that a newspaper inside Iran is seized for its headline shows that there is still ‘hope against hope among some people in the country for changing anti-Iran’s policies of White House’. Kayhan, according to the editorialist, quoted spokesperson of Yemeni Ansar-Allah and was giving information about the war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. ‘So which part of it is against Iran’s national security?’
The editorial continues ‘enmity of some people inside Iran against Axis of Resistance’ is not that strange, but what is strange is the ‘severe sentence’ of judiciary system against Kayhan newspaper, which has apparently been issued under overt and covert pressures, on the threshold of Arbeen ceremony, when there is no opportunity for following the issue up and defending oneself.
The editorial goes on to say at the end: Kayhan is probably paying the price of something else: the price of its accurate prediction of U.S. unfulfilling its obligations in JCPOA, or the price of its criticizing the government whose head [Hassan Rouhani] silences the critics.
An editorial in “Afkar news” on November 11, 2017
♦ Jaberi Ansari negotiates with Russia’s deputy defense minister about Syria
Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iran’s senior negotiator in Astana peace process and deputy foreign minister in Arab-Africa affairs, met with Alexander Fomin, Russia’s deputy defense minister, and Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian president’s representative, to talk about Syria. In this talk, which was held in Russia’s defense ministry, recent developments in the Syrian crisis, as well as issues related to coordination of both countries in this regard, were discussed.
♦ International relation expert: U.S. and Europe, unanimous on issue of Iran’s missile
Ali Bigdeli, an expert in international relations, in his own analysis of France’s behavior in the region, said that Iran must change policies with regard to EU, and if it loses this union, it will have no other reliance in the world. He added, EU supports Iran in the nuclear deal (JCPOA), and even has stood up to America in this regard; however, JCPOA should not be expected to resolve the issue of the missile.
Bigdeli asserted that currently, Iran has two problems with the west: one is JCPOA and the other missile issue. Certainly, the missile issue is not agreed upon by EU, and this union is in agreement with Americans regarding missile tests.
♦ Total: We will implement U.S. sanctions against Iran
CEO of Total Patrick Pouyanne said this company will review the consequences of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decisions about reinstating sanctions against Tehran, and in case these laws ban Total from the presence in Iran, this company will follow the law.
Pouyanne added if Iran is committed to the JCPOA, and if EU, China, and Russia believe that the nuclear deal is being implemented, it means that the U.S. must impose sanctions unilaterally. Total CEO explained, ‘we have assets in the U.S., and have recently increased our assets in that country. If because of legal reasons and changes in sanctions regime, we cannot implement our projects in Iran, we will review them.’
♦ 9 million illiterates in Iran
Head of Literacy Movement in Iran Ali Bagherzadeh announced that rate of literacy grew 2.85% during 2012 to 2016, adding that currently there are 8.8 million absolutely illiterates and 11 million people with limited literacy in Iran.
♦ Nekonam: Political games, main cause problems in Iran
Mohammad Ali Nekonam, representative of Iran’s supreme leader in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, said today the main problem of Iran is due to factional political games. Nekonam emphasized that officials of Iran must be accountable in both this world and the next, adding that the country needs a plan, commitment, and wisdom, and officials should not be after political and factional partisanship.
Fars news agency
♦ Lawmaker: Reform of government discussed with Ali Larijani
Zahra Saee, the spokesperson of Social Commission in the Parliament, said the issue of reforming government’s structure was discussed in the meeting of this commission’s members with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. In this meeting, Larijani underscored avoiding any hasty actions in this regard.
Zahra Saee asserted that in addition to separation of Sport and Youths Ministry, Roads and Urban Development Ministry, and Industry, Mine and Trade Ministry, other issues were discussed such as transferring power sector from Energy Ministry to Oil Ministry.
Fars news agency
♦ Number of Army forces killed in an Earthquake
Commander-in-chief of Iran Major General Mousavi said due to the destruction of army’s buildings in borders and in military bases in earthquake-stricken cities, a number of Iranian army forces were killed. He added in these regions, there is a great need for canned foods and other kinds of foods, and the army has used some of its means in the region to help people.
♦ Rezai: 1000 billion Tomans credit needed for reconstruction of quake-stricken houses
Secretary of Expediency Council Mohsen Rezai said more than 1000 billion Tomans credit must be allocated for repairing and reconstructing residential houses of earthquake’s victims. Rezai asserted this incident has had considerable casualties and has mostly caused displacement of people.
Secretary of Expediency Council added so far 30,000 residential houses have been reported destroyed – some of which have been completely ruined – and if each house requires 30 million Tomans, more than 1000 billion Tomans credit is needed.
♦ Iran Ambassador: Cooperation of Iran, Afghanistan, India not in rivalry with other countries
Mohammad Reza Bahrami, Ambassador of Iran to Afghanistan, said, in the ceremony of entrance of India’s donated wheat shipment to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port, that trilateral cooperation of Iran with India and Afghanistan in Chabahar is not only not in competition with any other country, but complements regional, development plans. He added competition in the region must be replaced with participation, and all countries must try to use existing benefits in the region and each country.
♦ Agreement for exporting Kirkuk oil to Iran
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Luaibi announced signing agreement between Baghdad and Tehran for exporting Kirkuk oil in northern Iraq to Iran. According to Iraqi oil minister’s statement, the agreement is signed between the two countries over exporting 30 to 60 thousand barrels of oil per day.
♦ Systematic corruption in Iran
Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Mines Gholamhossein Shafei said corruption in Iran has become systematic. He added that economic actors suffer because of the high level of corruption, and fighting corruption is difficult due to its systematic nature.
♦ Ali Younesi: Zoroastrians were origin of Iranian nation
Ali Younesi, Special Assistant to President of Iran in Ethnic and Religious Minorities’ Affairs, urged that Zoroastrians as non-Muslim Iranians are ‘noble pious citizens who fulfill their responsibilities wherever they are’. Younesi, on his Instagram page, wrote that Zoroastrians are ‘archives and historical documents of Iran, and a major part of Iran’s literature, language and history have been preserved by them’.
Recently, Sepanta Niknam, a believer in Zoroastrianism, was suspended from his elected position in Yazd City Council by decree of the Guardian Council saying religious minorities cannot be representatives of Muslim majority constituencies.
♦ Use of drugs among women on rise
Head of Evaluation Office of Tehran’s Forensic Medicine Organization Arash Salari said conducted researches show an increase in drug abuse among women, mostly because such behavior is not considered bad among women. Salari added alcoholic drink consumption has been on the rise in the society in past several years, and researches show that it is on the rise among both men and women.
Mehr news agency
♦ Reformist activist: Rouhani’s turn to right is tactical, not strategic
Reformist activist Mohammad Javad Haghshenas said with regard to Hassan Rouhani’s turn to the right that from a strategic viewpoint, ‘I don’t see any turn in Rouhani.’ Haghshenas added, today Rouhani is the as 3 years ago, 10 years ago and 30 years ago. According to Haghshenas, Rouhani has gone through a definite path in past 4 decades and is now going in the same direction. He held from a tactical point of view, Rouhani’s 12th government is very different from his 11th government. But, this reformist activist underscored, this was predictable, and those who didn’t expect it must doubt their own analysis.
Haghshenas urged that Rouhani once felt the need for gaining votes of reformists, so he talked in a way that was pleasant to them, but today Rouhani wants to be less subject to challenges which is why he will get closer to sources of power.
♦ Army Chief Commander: Enemies after damaging IRGC-Army relation
Army Chief Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said ‘enemies have been numerously defeated’ due to the relationship between Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Army, and today they are after damaging this relationship. Mousavi added ‘whoever says or writes something that would threaten the relationship between IRGC and Army has knowingly or unknowingly taken the path of anti-revolutionaries’.
Young reporters club
♦ Rasouli: Rouhani is not kept campaign promises
Hassan Rasouli, member of reformists’ supreme policy-making council, with regard to some reformists’ remarks about the fact that changes in the government show distancing from supporters, said that in past two presidential elections, the main election base of Hassan Rouhani was from reformists.
Rasouli stated that after victory in the election, Rouhani promised his colleagues in different levels of government had to be chosen in such a way as to reflect a positive response to 24 million people who voted for him. But, Rasouli added, Rouhani’s administrative decisions show that what is happening now is not compatible with his promises before the election.
Young reporters club
♦ Kharazi to Europe: Stand up to U.S.
Head of Strategic Council of Foreign Relations Kamal Kharazi pointed out to the necessity of Europe standing up against U.S. unlawfulness, saying that preserving JCPOA so much depends on Europe’s resistance.
Kamal Kharazi, who is in Vienna for taking part in Council of Europe summit, met with Wolfgang Schussel, former chancellor and head of UNA-AUSTRIA, to talk about issues in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Kharazi emphasized on preserving JCPOA, saying talks for realizing the nuclear deal have been fruitful, but U.S. behaviors not only violates the spirit of JCPOA but also its stipulations.
♦ Lawmaker: Attacking Iran is dream
Spokesperson of Parliament’s Cultural Commission Ahad Azadikhah said ‘invading Iran is just a dream’ and it will never happen because they don’t dare to do so. Azadikhah added that according to officials’ announcement in Parliament’s closed session, the U.S. has delivered only 7 passenger planes out of 200 aircrafts that had pledged in the nuclear deal. As to U.S. unfulfilling its obligation in JCPOA, he said that the ‘true report’ of what Americans have really done was read in the Parliament’s closed session with the presence of Araghchi and National Security Commission.
♦ 27 Iranian prisoners transferred from Turkmenistan to Iran
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Hassan Ghashghavi declared in the implementation of the 2nd phase of the plan for transferring convicts between Iran and Turkmenistan, 27 Iranian convicts in Turkmenistan’s prisons were transferred to the country. Ghashghavi added in the 1st phase of this plan, more than 27 Iranian prisoners were transferred to Iran and also on occasion of Turkmenistan independence, 6 Iranian prisoners were pardoned by that country’s president.
♦ Iran-U.S. trades drop
Trade between Iran and the U.S., according to U.S. Statistics Bureau, has dropped 21% in the first 9 months of 2017, reaching $140 million. Trades between the two countries for the same period in 2016 was $177.5 million, which has dropped to $140 million for the same period this year. According to this report, U.S. export to Iran from January to September of 2017 was $93.3 million, which shows 18% decrease compared to the same period last year. U.S. import from Iran was reported as $46.7 million in the first 9 months of this year, showing 25% drop compared to the same period last year.