» Iran-Russia ties: tactic or strategy
This editorial deals with Russia’s policy towards Iran following the U.S. nixing the Iran nuclear deal.
The editorialist argues that Russia has taken political advantages from Iran, adopting three approaches. First, Russia has allowed Israel to take any measures regarding Iran’s military bases in Syria. This happened after the recent trip of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s to Russia. Second, Russia has asked foreigners—namely, Iranians—to immediately leave Syria. Third, Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to raise their oil output to compensate for Iran’s decreasing its production due to the U.S. sanctions, hence preventing the rise of oil price.
The editorialist continues that Russia pursues opening negotiations with United States and the West to put an end to its international isolation after the Ukraine crisis. Actually, Russia did its utmost to use Syria in order to liaise with the West, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is advancing its own specific interests.
In conclusion, the editorialist says that Iran should not rely on Russia and China in the wake of the U.S. exiting the JCPOA as both Russia and China have no plan to stand up against the U.S. sanctions.
» Preventive measures needed to deal with child abuse
The editorial of Arman Emrooz is about the sensitive issue of child abuse in Iran and why preventive measures need to be taken to fight it.
The editorial starts with the recent story of group rape at a boys’ high school in western Tehran. According to the story, one of the school officials sexually abused a group of students, which led to the protest of the children’s parents.
The editorial continues: nowadays schools are no longer a place for students’ gaining knowledge; but for inflicting damages to them. Today, many incidents – including physical, sexual, and mental punishment of children – take place at schools. There are no exact statistics regarding sexual harassment of children. In many of these cases, the story is not divulged, even though its release can raise awareness about the issue among students, parents and school officials.
The editorial adds that in Iran’s educational system, people are employed without any exact psychological assessment or necessary training. In most cases, the people who suffer from mental and sexual problems inflict damages to children, the fixing of which is very difficult. Even issuing the maximum punishment for the perpetrators of such crimes cannot compensate the incurred damages.
The editorial closes with the fact that laws in this regard have not been successful. Victims prefer to remain silent in cases of sexual harassment, particularly at schools where children see themselves as less powerful than teachers. The editorialist hopes that investigating the abovementioned case and similar other cases might be effective in preventing perpetrators of such crimes.
» Iran staying in JCPOA: A good decision?
This editorial questions if Iran’s decision not to exit the nuclear deal is in the country’s interests.
The editorial opens by the aftermath of the U.S. leaving the JCPOA, focusing on Iran’s options in this regard. First, Iran can file a complaint against the U.S. for violating the nuclear deal, utilizing the JCPOA’s dispute resolution mechanism. Even so, Iran can only file the complaint to the JCPOA’s Commission, without being able to follow it up, because America— as a permanent member of the UN Security Council— can veto it.
The second question involves the European countries, continues the editorialist. Regardless of the fact that Europe can remain in the JCPOA, most of European private companies do not follow their governments, being merely accountable to their shareholders. The only hope is that the European governments decide to become responsible for the companies’ losses related to the U.S. sanctions. However, the policy of European countries in this regard is not clear yet.
Despite all the aforementioned, concludes the editorialist, Iran’s exiting the JCPOA would not be a wise option as it would lead to returning to the pre-JCPOA era when the whole world reached a consensus against Iran.
» Inflation no longer under control
This editorial addresses the rising inflation rate in Iran which is threatening the country’s economy more than ever.
The editorialist states that the inflation rate reaching 7.22 percent in Iran has jeopardized the greatest achievement of the 11th government. In addition to the inability to control the currency market, one of the government’s major problems is the absence of a plan for economy, resulting in a severe increase of inflation.
The editorialist then sheds light on the lack of foresight in the administration’s decision making about economy, saying it would bring more chaos in this regard. While some decisions may tackle small problems, they can create bigger hurdles. For instance, following the recent strike of truck drivers in Iran, the government decided to raise their cargo fees from 10 to 20 percent. This will lead to a long chain of consecutive increase in prices, which would eventually harm consumers.
To sum up, the editorialist believes that Iran’s economy can only be saved through extensive production, and warns that if inflation fails to be controlled immediately, the government will have no choice but encountering irreparable problems.
» Europe pursuing security interests with JCPOA
This editorial, penned by a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security Commission, focuses on the fate of JCPOA in the hands of Europeans.
The editorialist starts by saying that regardless of the fact that Europeans have announced their adherence to the JCPOA and guaranteed to continue economic cooperation with Iran, European companies are currently suspending their contracts in Iran and leaving the country. European authorities have repeatedly stated that Europe and the region have become safer since the Iran nuclear deal. Therefore, it seems that Europe mostly pursues its own security interests from the JCPOA, rather than the economic ones. However, since Iran gives equal importance to both matters, this can be considered as an area of disagreement between the two countries. It should also be added that after the JCPOA, Europe’s obligations, such as developing banking relations with Iran and making investments in the country have not been fulfilled.
All things considered, the editorialist believes that Iran should return to the negotiation table, but needs to be more cautious in its negotiations with Europe because Europeans have been on the same page with Americans about Iran’s human rights issues, regional policy and ballistic missiles.
» Khamenei’s double standard for dealing with child abusers
Following the news of sexual harassment of students in a boys’ high school in western Tehran by the school vice principal, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei issued an order asking the head of judiciary to “enforce sharia laws” with regard to the suspects after trial as soon as possible.
In a similar case, when a person close to Khamenei was accused of child abuse, he not only didn’t issue any orders, but senior members of his office stopped investigation of the lawsuit. In that lawsuit, Saeed Toosi, Quran reciter close to Khamenei, was accused of sexually harassing children. At first, Toosi was condemned to four years of imprisonment, but was later exonerated of all charges.
♦ Swiss bank stops financial transactions with Iran
PCB bank of Switzerland announced that following the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal, it has stopped its financial transactions with Iran and is currently cutting its activities with this country considerably. According to Reuters, this Swiss bank has announced that since May 8, it has stopped all new financial transactions with Iran at the same time that U.S. announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA.
At the same time, several German banks such as DZ Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Commerzbank have implicitly or explicitly announced stopping financial transactions with Iran in recent weeks.
♦ Iran, Finland to sign document of comprehensive agricultural cooperation
Representatives of Iran and Finland have decided to sign a document of comprehensive agricultural cooperation between both countries in near future.
In a meeting held between Keijo Norvanto, Finland Ambassador to Tehran, and Hooman Fathi, director general of office of international affairs and specialized organizations, both sides stressed expanding relationship between the two countries in agricultural sector. In this meeting, the cooperation between private companies of both countries was emphasized.
♦ IRGC command prevents sending report of Yasuj air crash to judiciary branch
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that supports the CEO of Asseman Airline and operation deputy of this company has prevented sending the report of Tehran-Yasuj air crash to the judiciary branch. Sources close to CEO of Asseman Airline say that in the report of investigation committee, two people are named as main culprits for the air crash of Tehran-Yasuj flight, and the judiciary branch is asked to punish them.
The two culprits are Brigadier-General Hossein Alaee, CEO of Asseman Airline, and retired IRGC pilot, Mehdi Vafaee, who are identified as responsible for human errors in the air crash.
♦ Ansari: Europe to offer decisions, obligations in integrated package to Iran
Iran’s Deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, Gholamreza Ansari, has said that Europeans’ obligations and decisions with regard to the nuclear deal will be offered to Iran in form of an integrated package, and it is for Iran to decide whether Europe’s decisions are implementable or not. He added so far, Iran has witnessed that other parties in the JCPOA are determined to adhere to the accord, and even countries like India that were not members of JCPOA are determined to preserve the deal.
♦ Objection to membership of people in Soroush messenger without their knowledge
Some Iranian users of social networks have said that, by using their names and numbers,
Soroush messenger has made profiles for them without their knowledge, and now they are considered as users of this messenger. Many of social network users have called for accountability of Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahroomi and manager of Soroush messenger Meisam Seyed Salahi in this regard.
Following widespread unrests in many cities of Iran in December 2017, popular Telegram messenger was filtered by Iranian government, and officials urged Iranian people to use domestic messengers like Soroush instead.
♦ Two terrorist groups arrested
Brigadier-General Mohammad Yazdi of IRGC announced that two terrorist groups that intended to create insecurity in the anniversary of Khomeini’s death were arrested. Khomeini’s death is observed each year on June 4.
♦ Zarif: India’s political will to cooperate with Iran
Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said as Indian foreign minister has announced, Indian government doesn’t recognize unilateral sanctions against Iran, and both sides are determined to develop relationships in all fields. Zarif urged that recent discussions show that the international community is willing to preserve the nuclear deal, adding “our trade partners emphasize that they need the nuclear deal, and if they can give necessary guarantees to Islamic Republic, JCPOA will continue its life.”
♦ Lawmaker: North Korea not destroyed facilities for building nuclear bomb
Spokesperson of Councils Commission in the Parliament, Asghar Salimi, pointed out to the destruction of nuclear lab in North Korea as precondition to talk with the United States, saying “North Korea has achieved the technology to build nuclear bomb, and if they destroy their laboratory facilities, it is to gain U.S. trust as a precondition.”
Salimi urged that North Korea has certainly not destroyed its facilities for building nuclear bomb, saying that North Korea, given U.S. reneging in JCPOA and contracts with other countries, will look at issues more carefully and will not take any risks.
Spokesperson of Councils Commission stated that unlike Libya and other countries, North Korea will not give up all its facilities for the U.S. policies without gaining anything.
Parliament news agency
♦ Hacker group arrested in Isfahan
Isfahan public and revolution prosecutor, Hassan Rahimi, announced that members of a hacker group that intended to disrupt the banking system were arrested. He said a hacker group, along with two employees of one of the banks in Isfahan, intended to infiltrate, sabotage and embezzle from clients’ accounts. Members of this group were arrested before taking any measures. In this regard, 9 people have been arrested.
♦ Golpayegani: European JCPOA can’t resolve livelihood, economic issues
Member of Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Fazel Golpayegani, urged that European JCPOA cannot solve the livelihood and economic issues of the country, saying that given the 40-year experience of with the West, Iran cannot trust Europeans’ words. Pointing out to taking necessary guarantees from Europe for continuing JCPOA, Golpayegani said that “European JCPOA cannot solve Iran’s economic problems unless the main provisions of this agreement are fulfilled, but the European countries that haven’t done anything yet are retreating after U.S. pullout, while our economy must deal with these companies and banks.”
♦ Araghchi: If we feel Europeans wasting time, we will not continue talks
Political deputy of Iranian foreign ministry, Abbas Araghchi, said if “we feel that negotiations have become corrosive or wasting time, naturally we will not continue the talks” with Europeans. According to Araghchi, European countries have been asked to take measures for meeting Iran’s demands in JCPOA without the U.S., and offer their proposals and operational solutions along with respective guarantees to Iran for making the necessary decisions.
Araghchi urged that Islamic Republic has not decided yet to stay in the JCPOA, and any decision in this regard depends on talks in next few weeks.
Parliament news agency
♦ Six Airbus helicopters join Iranian air fleet
Six “air ambulances” from Airbus joined Iran emergency air fleet. These helicopters can cut the time of a rescue operation from two hours to about half an hour in crowded cities of Iran.
The helicopters have air ICU and can hold eight people along with the pilot. They are used in rescue operations the outskirts of cities and in road accidents. Each helicopter can hold three patients.
♦ Increase in Iran-US trades
Statistics of Iran’s customs office show that despite turbulent diplomatic relationship between Iran and the U.S., there has been increase in trade with this country. According to Iranian customs office’s report, the volume of Iran’s trade with the U.S. during the first month of Iranian year (starting from March 21) shows that the export to the U.S. and official import from this country has had a considerable increase.
In the meantime, the tension between Iran and the U.S. has been escalating after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran.
♦ Swiss company suspends billion-euro contract with Iran
A few weeks after signing contract between Stadler company with Iran, this company has announced that there is no prospect for implementing the contract due to U.S. pulling out of JCPOA, and probably Chinese competitors will replace this Swiss company. The contract was for delivering 960 metro wagons to Iran, worth 1.1 billion euros.
Persian news network
♦ Building two marine regions in Jask, two marine bases in Makran
Coordinating deputy of Army’s Navy of Iran, Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, announced building two large marine areas in the strategic region of Port of Jask, adding that currently building infrastructures are underway, and very soon equipment, vessels, and air units will be transferred to this sensitive region. Kaviani also said two marine bases will be established and organized in Makran coasts.
Fars news agency
♦ Defense minister: Iran heading fast to self-sufficiency in missile and defense fields
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami urged that Iran has made progress in all fields by relying on high capacity within the country, as well as on human, scientific, infrastructural, and industrial capacities. Hatami emphasized that sanctions will have no impacts on the military and defense fields, and Iran will move forward fast.
Iranian defense minister asserted that Iran will certainly not negotiate with anyone in the defense and missile field.
♦ Aref has doubts to run for speaker of parliament
Member of Omid [Hope] Fraction, Abdulhamid Khedri, said that Mohammad Reza Aref, head of this reformist fraction in Iranian Parliament, has doubts about running for speaker of the parliament in the upcoming election in the parliament’s board of directors.
According to internal regulations of Iranian Parliament, members of board of directors consisting of 12 people would be elected for a year according to the majority of votes. Currently Ali Larijani is the speaker of the Parliament.
♦ Boroujerdi: joining FATF on condition of incorporating right to set condition
Head of Commission of National Security in Iranian Parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said ratifying the legislation of Iran joining Convention for Suppression of Financing Terrorism in the commission and by the Parliament depends on the condition of incorporating the right to set condition.
According to IRIB news agency, Boroujerdi, after the meeting of Commission of National Security with representatives of organizations involved in the legislation of Iran joining the Convention of Financial Action Task Force on Money (FATF), considered joining the international convention for fighting financing terrorism in alignment with global conditions for having transaction with international banks.
Head of Commission of National Security emphasized that America, Israel, Saudi Arabia and many other countries are after imposing more restrictions on us in this way, but Iran, according to its constitution, supports the liberation movements in the world. “We believe that there is certainly a difference between terrorist groups financially supported by America and its allies like ISIS and political and military formations that defend their own territorial integrity.”
IRIB new agency
♦ Zarif: Talks with European vague
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the negotiations between Iran and Europeans have not been “black or white” so far, and it is not clear what the Europeans will eventually offer to Iran. He added, “we present the results and raised issues in the talks in the country, and then the decisions will be made, but we don’t know what they are going to offer yet.”
Zarif urged that Iranian authorities must see if what the European Union, Russia, China and other countries offer is enough for continuing the JCPOA. He also denied the news of talks over missile capability and Iran’s influence in the region, adding that “we have said repeatedly that we only negotiate over the JCPOA, and we have nothing to say outside the framework of the JCPOA.”
♦ Maher Center warns about malware
Maher Center warned against the probable danger of a malware, known as VPN Filter, in the upcoming days in the country. This malware has had more than 500,000 victims all over the world so far. The hackers are using VPN Filter malware to target small office and home office routers. VPN Filter is able to render small office and home office routers inoperable.
Fars news agency
♦ US sanctions Iranian airline companies
U.S. administration added names of several Iranian individuals and companies to its sanctions list. U.S. Department of Treasury also added 31 aircrafts of Mahan, Meraj, Caspian and Pooya Air airlines to it sanctions list. Five aircrafts belong to Meraj, nine to Caspian, five to Pooya Air, and 12 to Mahan.
Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of Treasury, issued a statement saying that Office of Foreign Assets Control has added names of nine individuals and companies for providing U.S. products to the Iranian airlines under sanctions.
♦ Hacking Mashhad’s airport
Mashhad governor office confirmed that the official website of this city’s international airport was hacked by a group called Tapandegan. Advertisement TVs and monitors of Mashhad Airport were hacked, and images of November 2017 unrests were shown on them.
In November 2017, unrests and protests were launched in more than 100 cities of Iran, whose starting point was in the city of Mashhad. These protests started with people’s slogans about economic and livelihood issues, but very quickly the slogans turned against the Islamic Republic regime.
♦ Rouhani to go to China, Switzerland, Austria
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will go to China, Switzerland, and Austria. During his trip to China for taking part in Shanghai Summit, he is set to have a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Mahmoud Vaezi, chief of staff of Iranian president, both Austria and Switzerland have invited Rouhani— and necessary preparations for these trips are underway.
♦ Tehran’s IRGC website: Filtering Telegram failed
Official website of Tehran’s IRGC announced the failure of the government and the regime in filtering Telegram messenger and guiding people to using domestic social networks. Basij Press wrote that “gradually Telegram is going back to its previous conditions, thanks to using VPNs and inadequacy of domestic messengers for people’s demands.” This website openly said that the government’s filtering plan has failed.
Javad Tabatabaee, member of scientific board of Ardestan Azad University, said in this regard that domestic social networks are not enough to meet the people’s communication demands.
♦ Lawmaker: Government not to give false hopes to people regarding talks with Europeans
MP Ehsan Ghazizadeh Hashemi said Iranian government and the negotiating team must not give false hopes to people regarding talks with Europeans and should tell the truth to people. He added that negotiations with Europeans are political-legal, and not economic, just as the JCPOA (nuclear deal) was a political-legal agreement because the negotiations are being held with countries and not with the companies.
Ghazizadeh Hashemi said today that big companies of the world are private and are thinking of their own benefit and loss; they do not follow their governments’ decisions and they act independently. He urged that if the U.S. sanctions them, they will most certainly consider their own interests and not the decisions made during talks.