Iran News Round Up October 22, 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

  • Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, Guardian Council spokesman, commenting on Mohammad Khatami's potential bid for the 2013 presidential election:
    • "Q. Some politicians believe if Seyyed Mohammad Khatami is disqualified, it could prove costly for the regime. What is the assessment of the Guardian Council in this regard?"
    • Kadkhodaei: "You are asking a difficult question which is not related to me... Our viewpoint has always been that all individuals, groups and factions can participate in the election according to the law, and the Guardian Council reviews their qualifications based upon their behavior."

Diplomacy

Military and Security

  • Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad-Ali Aziz Jafari addresses the Alaviyoun Academy in Qom:
    • "There are some who have lost their composure under these pressures [the sanctions] and express deviating viewpoints... But as we were granted divine victory in the war [against Iraq], steadfastness in the face of pressures will definitively grant us a divine victory..." 
  • Mohsen Kazemeini, Greater Tehran Mohammad-Rasoul-Allah Revolutionary Guards commander, commenting on the Iranian made drone in Israeli skies said: "This issue showed that the Zionists and the Americans should know that they are not safe anywhere." Kazemeini also stressed that the Islamic Republic should "help all those engaged in the struggle against the Zionist regime and the Global Arrogance [the United States]." 
  • Hossein Zolfaqari, Law Enforcement Forces Border Patrol commander, says six "rogues" were killed in the fight with the police in Eastern Iran.
  • An "informed source" quoted by Nasim Online says a "key individual related to the United States and Britain" involved in instigating "street unrest in Iran" is arrested by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization.

Economy

  • Alef News columnist attacks the Ahmadinejad government's economic record:
    • "These days, the people going to the market face bitter realities. Foodstuff has on the average risen by 251% during the first six years of the Ahmadinejad government, which is due to the incorrect and ineffective policies of this government in the economy sector."  
    • "This government was voted into office because of its slogans demanding justice, paying attention to the meek, distributing income in a better way the like, but because of its wrong economic policies and ignoring the warnings of the experts, it has dealt an irreparable damage to the nation..."
    • "Unfortunately, the current government, rather than removing obstacles the domestic producers were facing, chose the easiest way to regulate the foreign currency market: [Increased] imports. The rising oil revenue was a great help to the government. And the parliament, ignoring the repeated warnings of economists, just passed the bills. The situation was so bad that the Ahmadinejad government proudly claimed that it had withdrawn funds from the foreign currency reserve in order to import fruit for the New Year evening. Unregulated government withdrawals from the foreign currency reserve have depleted it. Had the parliament and the government together not depleted the foreign currency reserve, there would have been more than $100 billion in that account, and oil sanctions would not lead to currency problems in the country... Therefore, the government should apologize to the nation for its mistakes..." 
  • Alef News columnist Yaser Sobhanifar discusses Ahmadinejad's earlier claims that the sanctions do not have any impact on Iran's economy:
    • "Why do the Iranian media not announce that our country is currently selling less than one million barrels, and that also with great difficulties? Would the people knowing this reality and other truths not complain less? And would they not cooperate more [with the authorities] when they understand the pressure? Should one not explain to the people that the sanctions are harsher now than during the war [with Iraq], but one must resist...?"
    • "Another policy adopted by some media and authorities is that the sanctions do not have any impact. This is done in order to encourage the public, but would it not be better to say that the sanctions have an impact, and will have an impact, but we need to tolerate them because of these reasons? If we say they [the sanctions] do not have any impact, would the people not discover the doubling of the prices in the market? Would this not lead to the public accusing the authorities of dishonesty...?"
  • Assadollah Asgar-Owladi, merchant and the head of the Iran/China Chamber of Commerce:
    • "The size of our economy is $100 billion, meaning that we need to import between $50-60 billion to which our sources of revenue must be adjusted. It means that we need to have a foreign currency revenue of this size, so that we can cover the imports..."
    • "Our economy suffers from poor management... Two factors have caused the chaos: First, the sanctions, particularly the oil sanctions, and second, poor management."
    • "The oil sanction was a tough one, meaning that we no longer can afford the $60-70 billion imports,... because of restrictions in our oil exports."
    • "Now, we only have two choices: being economical, which is the same thing as 'Resistance Economics,' or retreat and capitulation. There is no third way."
    • "We must plan for the day beyond the $50 billion point [the time when the Islamic Republic can no longer afford $50 billion imports]... We must redirect our production to a direction where the production material is domestic, or does not cost much in foreign currency, produces a high profit and stimulates employment."
    • "If we can't cover the $50 billion [for imports] we must move towards rationing, but it is still early for that."
    • "In order to [cover the] $50 billion for imports, we must at the very least sell 1 million barrels of oil on daily basis... and we must have $20 billion non oil exports."
    • "Our management is poor... I tell the Ministry of Agriculture that there is no necessity for importing apples from Lebanon now that we have the best apples in Oroumiyeh and Mashhad. Why are we importing bananas from Pakistan when we can produce it in Sistan va Balouchestan and Jiroft...? This is 'Resistance Economics.'"
    • "We must also stress that the people minimize their foreign travel... More than $10 billion leaves the country [with the travelers] on an annual basis... One must of course not criticize religious pilgrims, but I will say something. Every year, we have 600,000 to 700,000 people traveling to Saudi Arabia... and 200,000 to 300,000 pilgrims to Iraq... Every suitcase which they bring back contains $4,000 worth of imported goods. Apart from pilgrims, we have 70 to 90 full flights abroad to Europe, the United States, Turkey, Italy, France, Britain and the like. They easily give Iranians visa so they can use their dollars over there. Why do we travel to the United States all the time...? Traveling to the United States costs $10,000 at the very least. The flight ticket alone costs $3,000..."
  • According to Iran Statistical Center, the price of construction materials has increased by 55.11% compared with a year ago.

Photo of the Day