Iran News Round Up March 29, 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

Politics

  • Tehran Interim Friday Prayer leader Hojjat al-Eslam Mohammad Kazem Sadighi said, "the number of [presidential] candidates should decrease" and candidates should "form a coalition with those who have have better circumstances and criteria."
  • Tehran Mayor and presidential candidate Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said, "we do not see damage from sanctions as much as we see damage from our incorrect decisions." He added, "economic stability has roots in jihadi management," which means "preferring the revolution's goals and the nation's success over [one's] own desires."
  • Vice-Chairman of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar said in a meeting with reporters that "effects of sanctions were 20 to 30 percent of the country's economic issues and the rest were because of internal decision making issues."

Regional Developments

  • [E] The Saudi Supreme Court accused Shia opposition cleric Sheikh Namr al-Namr of instigating unrest and meddling in the foreign affairs of the kingdom.
  • Ahlul Bayt World Assembly released a statement condemning the Saudi Supreme Court's pursuit of the death penalty against Sheikh Namr al-Namr and expressed its serious concern regarding his fate.
  • According to Fars News, the United Arab Emirate Business Society believes that the implementation of sanctions against Iran are damaging the UAE's economy. It also argued that the UAE's trade with countries that seek to increase sanctions against Iran have suffered.

Diplomacy

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi announced Iran will host the "Culture and Civilization in Asia" conference next month and urged high levels of member-state participation. Salehi also met with Tajikistan's president in Dushanbe to discuss expanding Iran-Tajik energy sector cooperation. 

Nuclear Issue

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "the West prevents Iranian student education in degrees related to nuclear energy due to fear of Iranian access to the world's advanced technologies."

Photo of the Day

  • IRGC-funded construction of the world's largest concrete dam begins in Lorestan province.