Iran News Round Up December 3, 2012

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh and Ahmad Majidyar. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English  

Politics

  • Ahmadinejad shuffles the cabinet:
    • Ahmadinejad appoints Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei "presidential adviser and the head of the secretariat of the Non Aligned Movement."
    • Ahmadinejad appoints Mohammad-Sharif Malekzadeh as "presidential adviser and the head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization." 
    • Ahmadinejad appoints Ali Nikzad Communications and Information Technology Minister. Nikzad retains his cabinet portfolio as Minister of Housing. 
    • Ahmadinejad dismisses Reza Taqipour from the cabinet and appoints him "presidential communications and information technology adviser."
  • Ahmadinejad slams the new electoral law passed by the parliament which among other things reduces the role of the executive branch of the government in the election process. He also criticizes the undemocratic nature of the constitution of the Islamic Republic. 
    • Policy analyst Sadeq Zibakalam asks if Ahmadinejad has changed since his reelection.  
  • Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Movahedi Kermani is appointed temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader.

Diplomacy

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami slams "dual policies of the US government towards the Islamic Republic of Iran." It says while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expresses a willingness to engage in bilateral negotiations with Iran, the Senate has passed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The newspaper concludes: "One must note that any negotiation between Iran and the United States at the current state means for Iran to give in to US demands. The human rights aspect of the new sanctions too shows that the United States and Obama have defined a much broader circle concerning the Iran related issue..."

Military and Security

  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi, Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Revolutionary Guards, dismisses US offers of negotiations as "deception."

Nuclear Issue

  • [E] A senior Iranian diplomat said that enemies of Iran lack the courage to attack the country's nuclear facilities, but at the same time cautioned that any attack would likely lead to Iran's withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Economy

  • Mohammad-Reza Farzin, Economic Reform Working Group secretary: "The Central Bank deposits 23% of the oil revenue in the National Development Fund... This year, $7.8 billion has been transferred to the National Development Fund... We are among 20 largest funds in the world. Despite the fact that the fund has only existed in two years, we have deposited more than $42 billion which we hope reaches $50 billion... Development of the five phases of the South Pars [Oil and Gas Field] was financed by the fund..."

Religion, Society and Culture

  • Sociologist Ehsan Naraqi passes away at the age of 86.

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