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Iran Press Review: 27 Oct.

Politics

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, in discussing matters pertaining to the Chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts states:
    • “The by-laws of the Assembly of Experts is a clear [set of] by-laws. In the Assembly of Experts, there is a First Deputy and a Second Deputy, and when Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani was hospitalized, the sessions of the Assembly of Experts were led by the First Deputy, and also, the First Deputy until the election of a successor, administered the Assembly of Experts.”
    • “According to the by-laws, in the first session of the Assembly of Experts after the passing of one its board members, his successor will be elected.”
    • Commenting on Rafsanjani: “As I know, his excellency Mr. Rafsanjani had said in some sessions that he has no desire for the chairmanship…”
    • On Shahroudi: “Elections in our country differs from that of other places, and until the night of the election, it cannot be predicted. Mr. Hashemi Shahroudi at present is the First Deputy and by the grace of the jurisprudents he is accepted by all and he had a good speech in the last session about the Guardianship of the Jurist [Velayat-e Faqih] which garnered attention, but again, it cannot be exactly foreseen that he will gain votes.”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ahmad Salek-Kashani, commenting on the procedure to review President Rouhani’s new nominee for Minister of Science, Research, and Technology (Higher Education), Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi notes:
    • “The clerical faction of the Parliament [Majlis] will commence a session tomorrow, Tuesday (the 6th of Aban), in order to review to qualifications and stated positions of the proposed Minister of Science.”
  • Fars News Agency cites reports from President Rouhani’s Parliamentary Deputy and reports that:  “Hassan Rouhani, the President, will be present at a public meeting of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) on Wednesday the 7th of Aban of this week to defend the programs of Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi the proposed Minister of Science, Research, and Technology.”

Foreign Policy

  • Fars News Agency reports that: “A delegation of the Iran-Georgia Parliamentary Friendship Group traveled to Tbilisi today (Monday) to meet and speak with parliamentary and government officials of Georgia.”
    • A parliamentary representative from Khoy, Mouid Hosseini Sadr, reportedly led the delegation.
  • In a meeting between Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and the Republic of Turkey’s new Ambassador to Iran, Reza Hakan Tikin, Zarif states:
    • “The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to remove [the] barriers with cooperation and engagement with Turkish officials.”
  • On Sunday, Fars News Agency cited statements by Mehdi Sanai, the Islamic Republic’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation who stated that Sorna Sattari, the current Deputy Director of Science and Technology to the president (of Iran) would be traveling to Russia.
    • Fars News Agency further reported: “Sanai stated that the Deputy of the president will be accompanying a group of university chancellors.”
    • Sanai additionally noted that: “The Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group composed of six representatives from the parliament and a delegation from the province of Hamadan led by Nikbakht, the governor-general of Hamadan have entered Moscow today (Monday).”  

Military and Security

  • President Hassan Rouhani comments on regional matters, saying:
    • “The sickness of terrorism and extremism is much more dangerous than the sickness of Ebola, and the only way to combat this threat, is consultation, coordination, and cooperation with countries, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared for this [and] specifically to coordinate effectively with all countries.”
  • Defa Press, amidst touting the reported success of the Iraqi military in combating DAESH (the Persian/Arabic acronym for ISIS) in an operation named “Ashura” to take back the city of Jurf al-Sakhar, proclaims:
    • “General Haj Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the IRGC Quds-Force who these days is seen on the front lines was seen in the city of Jurf al-Sakhar.”
      • A seated photo of Suleimani surrounded by military officials was displayed on the site.
  • Gholam-Reza Jalali, the Commander of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization exclaims:
    • “The Ministry of Intelligence has apprehended a group of Senegalese which were purchasing information on our telecommunications infrastructure.”
    • “Serious threats still exist; but its priorities have changes. But with our actions we did something so that a military threat is not given priority.”
    • “We must design such a system that threats [against it] reach zero.”
  • Mashregh News runs a headline reporting: “With the ‘Rad,’ Iran has become the tenth producer of polymer arms in the world + pictures.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Mashregh News reports a trip by members of Iran’s Foreign Ministry to several nuclear plants:
    • “Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister of our country visited the enrichment sites of Fordow and Natanz and the workshops in these centers on Monday.”
    • “Seyyed Abbas Eraqchi, the Legal and International Affairs Deputy of the Foreign Ministry, Hamid Baidnejad the Political and International Affairs Director-General of this Ministry, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, the Deputy for Europe and America, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the Spokesperson and Deputy of the Atomic Energy Organization, [and] Eshaq Ahl-Habib, the Director-General for Ministerial Affairs of the Foreign Ministry accompanied the Foreign Minister on this visit.”
  • President Hassan Rouhani, while commenting on nuclear diplomacy notes:
    • “The Fatwa of Supreme Leader of the Revolution knowing the building and use of weapons of mass destruction to be haram [forbidden] is the most important assurance of the peacefulness of Iran’s nuclear program.”
    • “If serious political will is present in both sides of the negotiations, they can reach a comprehensive final agreement in the time remaining which has a win-win outcome for both sides.”
    • “We expect that the European Union will play a more productive role, and Brussels, the seat of this Union can play a role in realizing ideas and movement towards productive and lasting engagement.”

Economy

  • Houshang Fallahatian, the Deputy Minister of Energy states:
    • “There must be greater cooperation between the Ministry of Oil and the Ministry of Energy to determine an appropriate price for power-plant fuel that are supposed to export electricity.”
    • “A satisfactory amount of money is given to the country from electricity exports, and yearly, this amount is between 900 million dollars and one billion dollars.”
  • Seyyed Kamel Naqdi-Nejad, the Managing Director of Bank Sepah relates:
    • “Important and strategic projects in Fars province are being administered by Bank Sepah.”
  • Reuters reports: “OPEC is unlikely to reduce its production ceiling when the group meets in November, Iran's oil ministry news agency Shana cited Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs of National Iranian Oil Company, as saying on Monday. OPEC meets on Nov. 27 to decide on its output policy amid calls by some members of the producing group to cut output to support oil prices which have lost quarter of their value since June. Brent was trading below $85 a barrel on Monday.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “Iran plans to considerably increase the output of its power plants next year, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Energy Commission Ali Marvi announced on Monday. "A sum of 15 percent of the Middle East's electricity output will belong to Iran by 2015," Marvi said, addressing the 29th International Electricity Conference in Tehran today.”  
  • Reuters reported: “An international financial watchdog said on Friday member states should take action to ward off risks emanating from Iran and North Korea, which it said had failed to tackle money-laundering and financing of terrorism. The Financial Action Task Force, made up of 37 countries as well as the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council, said financial institutions should give special attention to business deals and transactions with Iran and North Korea.”

Human Rights

  • The New York Times reported: “An Iranian photojournalist was reported to have been detained on Friday, two days after his images of protesters deploring acid attacks on women in the city of Isfahan were published by news organizations around the world. The arrest of the photographer, Arya Jafari, was reported by BBC Persian, a news service staffed by Iranian expatriates that is officially banned inside Iran but still widely seen there.”
  • The Economist reported: “There is much to be unhappy about in Iran. Depression, drug addiction and cancer are at record rates, while divorce is nearing Western levels. But most worrying are new attempts to control women. Restrictions in Iran may not rival Saudi Arabia—Iranian women are permitted to drive and openly socialise with male friends—but a political debate has broken out about how they should conduct themselves in public. It has gained more urgency after a spate of acid attacks against women in Isfahan, Iran’s third city, this month, apparently for not conforming to Iran’s Islamic dress code. In another blow, on October 25th Iran said it had executed Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old woman who killed a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her.”
  • CNN reported: “An Iranian woman convicted of murder -- in a killing that human rights groups called self-defense against a rapist -- was hanged Saturday, state news agency IRNA reported. Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.”
  • Reuters reported: “Iranian security forces have released leading human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was detained after leading a protest against what she called unfair legal practices in the Islamic Republic, she said on Sunday. The lawyer and activist was picked up along with several friends on Saturday on their way back from a sit-in outside Tehran's Bar Association in Tehran. They were freed after a brief background check, leaving only Sotoudeh in custody.”
  • AP reports: “Tehran says it has banned the U.N.'s envoy for human rights in Iran from visiting the country, accusing him of political bias. Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior judicial official, on Monday called U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmad Shaheed a "media actor" and accused him of issuing politically-motivated reports.”
  • AP reports: “At least 130 people, most of them students, were hospitalized after inhaling a toxic gas in the southeastern city of Zahedan, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday. The report by Haft-e Sobh quoted Zahedan provincial Gov. Abbas Ali Arjmandi as saying the gas was released after a worker from a private company dumped unspecified amounts of expired pesticides into a wastewater canal on Sunday morning.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Fars News Agency provides a spread of photos from train stations and tracks in northern Iran.
  • Fars News Agency displays photos from a Taziyeh, or passion-play, commemorating the first nights of the holy month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.
  • On Saturday, Fars News Agency ran a small backgrounder and highlighted images of the “Arsh,” or what is reported to be “the IRGC’s deadliest sniper-rifle for helicopter hunting.”