Iran News Round Up March 18, 2014

Nuclear power plant "Kernkraftwerk Emslan...

Nuclear power plant “Kernkraftwerk Emsland” (Photo credit: flokru)

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online. 

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors

Nuclear Issue

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with officials of the rahian-e noor (“Companions of the light”) tour program, a cultural program that takes participants to Iran-Iraq War era battlefields, and praised the program as “a very worthy divine and revolutionary initiative” in familiarizing the youth with the “Sacred Defense.” Khamenei added that visiting battlefields prevents “amnesia” and “distortion.”
  • The Supreme Leader’s official website Khamenei.ir published the results of a poll asking readers to vote the most important sentence uttered by Khamenei in the past year.  The public chose the following as most important: “If they [Israeli officials] make any mistake the Islamic Republic will obliterate Tel Aviv and Haifa [See Iran News Round Up March 21, 2013].”
  • Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced preparations to hold the 2016 Parliamentary and Guardian Council elections “fully electronically” and said, “Electronic elections increase speed, accuracy, veracity and transparency.”
  • The Supreme National Security Council Secretariat filed a complaint against MP Hojjat al-Eslam Mahmoud Nabavian in the Supervision on the Behavior of Representatives Board for his recent criticism of the Geneva Accord at several universities. Nabavian responded that domestic critics of the nuclear deal are “heavily under pressure[from supporters of the accord]” and said that “it seems such individuals do not believe in freedom of speech at all.”
  • Judiciary Branch Human Rights Headquarters Secretary Mohammad Javad Larijani  criticized the recent United Nations human rights report on Iran and said that the purported number of individuals on death row—8,000 according to reports—is not “correct” and that “80%” of those on death row committed crimes “related to narcotics.” He then expressed hope for the release of 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi from house arrest.
  • The Media Supervisory Board issued the edict to shut down the conservative 9-Day newspaper and has referred the case to the Special Clerical Court. The official order claims that the newspaper was shut down for publishing several articles claiming widespread firing of nuclear scientists and criticizing President Hassan Rouhani’s distance with the Supreme Leader’s nuclear policy. Managing Director Hojjat al-Eslam Hamid Rasaei claimed that the media outlet was shut down “due to criticism of Hassan Rouhani’s administration” and wrote retorts to Head of the Expediency Discernment Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (addressing him as “the administration’s primary supporters”), President Hassan Rouhani, and Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Ali Jannati including quotes from each on media freedom.
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member and former senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Esmail Kowsari criticized the closure of 9-Day, calling it “wrong” to shut down a newspaper “from a party” in retaliation to shutting down a newspaper “from another party.” Kowsari added, “If a newspaper violates national security, it is another matter. However, it is different if the newspaper or media criticizes an administration or an individual.”

Military and Security

Economy

  • Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh claimed that Iranian crude oil production capacity has reached 3.8 million barrels per day (mbd) and that crude oil production will surpass 4 mbds in the next Iranian calendar year [2014-2015]. Zanganeh added that natural gas production capacity will increase to 100 million cubic meters per day during this timeframe, with the operationalization of some South Pars gas field phases.
  • Head of the Central Bank Valiollah Seif stated, “The current approach to control inflation will continue in the country and a more appropriate approach will be implemented to guide monetary resources towards production.”

Photo of the Day

read more:

http://www.irantracker.org/iran-news-round-march-18-2014

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