Iran News Round Up January 9, 2012

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
 
(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addresses the people of Qom: 
    • "For a long time, there have been great efforts on the part of proponents of disbelief and arrogance and their lackeys both inside and outside the country… to decrease popular participation in parliamentary elections, but thanks to divine benevolence and wisdom, popular presence in this coming [parliamentary] election will crush the enemy."
    • Supreme Leader in Tehran: "…the people's presence in the upcoming parliamentary elections which is a manifestation and an instance of people's partnership in (deciding) the country's fate will be synonymous with an enthusiastic and enemy-defeating presence."
  • According to Abbas Salimi-Namin, head of the Historical Studies Center, Ahmadinejad has on numerous occasions ignored Khamenei's orders to participate in Expediency Council meetings.

Military and Security

  • Professor Sadeq Zibakalam discusses Iran's responses to total oil embargo: "Should the Islamic Republic reach a point where its oil exports are stopped, it will choose other options, one of which is closure of the Strait of Hormuz. Another option is making life difficult for the Americans and the Europeans in Iraq, Afghanistan, where ever Iran is capable of doing so. I do not think that the government of Iran will sit on its hands and just sustain the Western pressure. But all these activities will make the conditions more tense and dangerous."
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saidi, Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Revolutionary Guards, says "the reformists have not boycotted the upcoming parliamentary election," and predicts participation will reach 65%.>

Nuclear Issue

  • According to Fereydoun Abbasi, Iran Atomic Energy Organization director, a number of Iranian nuclear scientists are not willing to contribute to Iran's nuclear program. According to Abbasi, the scientists are eager to "preserve their international contacts." Abbasi likened the scientists to "deserters" during the war with Iraq. 

Trade

  • Ala al-Din Boroujerdi, parliamentary National Security Committee chairman:
    • "Should the European Union realize its decision to embargo Iran's oil, Tehran will create disorder in Western countries... If the European Union has committed the strategic mistake of embargoing Iran's oil, we will take measures which will seriously harm them..." 
  • Zibakalam:
    • "Contrary to what is being said, in case of oil embargo against Iran the oil price will not reach $200, because Libya's oil is entering the international oil market and Saudi Arabia too will compensate for the embargo against Iran's oil..."
    • "Another source of concern is the election in the United States... The Republican candidates... are promising to behave differently towards Iran. Therefore, in order not to lag behind the Republicans, it is possible that Obama increases pressure against Iran in the coming year."
    • "The urban middle class will suffer most [from the sanctions]... In the short term, the sanctions will benefit the military organizations which will result in greater closure of the political atmosphere..."
  • Mehr News Agency reports that Iran has established a Headquarters for Special Economic Measures to manage the impacts of the sanctions regime against Iran and in order to evade them. 
  • Foreign Ministry deputy Hossein Qashqavi: "Around 18% of Iran's oil exports are directed to Spain, Italy, Greece and some 2.8% is exported to France...The European Union is still looking for alternatives to Iran's oil..."

Media

  • Communications Minister Reza Taqipour says increasing the speed, reducing the cost, and increasing the security of the Internet are three important goals of the national Information Network, which he says will be operational in six months.

Economy

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