Iran News Round Up March 26, 2013

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

(E) = Article in English

Regional Developments

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi condemned the Syrian opposition's alleged use of chemical weapons and requested UN measures to prevent the repetition of such events in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Diplomacy

  • Fars News reports that a U.S. State Department official has expressed concern that Iran may be able to weaken European financial sector sanctions by pursuing a lawsuit through European courts. According to this report, the European Supreme Court told European governments in January to unfreeze Bank Saderat and Bank Mellat assets due to lack of sufficient evidence linking the Iranian banking sector to the nuclear program. European governments reportedly possess the evidence but will not disclose them to the Court due to their classified nature.
  • According to Mehr News, Iranian Liquified Natural Gas Company has filed a lawsuit against the European Union in an international court for "one-sided and irrational sanctions" against the first Iranian LNG production company. ILNG expects the company to be omitted from the list of sanctions because of lack of European evidence presentation. The Iranian company has announced that it has hired multiple consultants and an international law firm but has not detailed their names.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in an interview that the most ridiculous events that Iran faced in 2012 were "some Zionist regime officials claims...because they are facing many serious issues and do not have the capability to pay attention to their own internal issues but are making grand claims regarding Iran." He added that the past year was positive for the Islamic Republic's international relations.

Military and Security

  • A 40th day mourning service has been held for slain Quds Force commander BG Hassan Shateri in southern Lebanon. Lebanese Hezbollah was reportedly the organizer of the service. Attendees included Head of Hezbollah's Executive Council, Hashem Safi al-Din, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, and Shateri's family.

Economy

  • Fars News reported on an oil deal reached between Iran and Iraq last in previous months in which Iran will export 2-4 million liters per day from its Bandar-e Abbas refinery to Iraq. Iran will also build SNG fuel stations and provide HSE oil refinery training for Iraq.
  • Deputy Oil Minister Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr announced a $20 billion investment plan to establish a "new petrochemical pole" in Chabahar.
  • Head of Iran's Trade Expansion Agency, Kiumars Fatollah Kermanshahi, said Iranian non-oil exports were $59 billion and added, "we hope this year the goal of equalizing imports against exports will be reached."
  • Deputy Foreign Minister for Middle East and African Affairs Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian traveled to Iraq where he is scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials to discuss regional developments, Bahrain and Syria specifically.
  • [E] Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini met with his Iraqi counterpart, Farhan al  Dulaimi. The two ministers signed an agreement to expand cooperation in cultural and cinematic fields. Hosseini also held separate meetings with Iraqi Minister of Higher Education and Research Ali Muhammad al Adib, Head of ISCI Ammar al Hakim, and Iraqi ulema.

Photo of the Day

  • Officials attend BG Hassan Shateri's Arbein ceremony in Southern Beirut.