Iran News Round Up September 13, 2011

 

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

  • Farda News releases a backgrounder on Sadeq Mahsouli, Islamic Resistance Front leader: "He, who has been a friend and close confidante of Dr. Ahmadinejad since his presence in West Azerbaijan province, is trying to play a role different than the one he played during the ninth presidential election. This time, he has taken the leadership of a group, some of whose members are apparently critics of the current of deviation... Lately, there are some rumors on the relationship between Mahsouli and Ahmadinejad concerning the Resistance Front, which has created serious doubts about the agendas of some of the political and economic founders of this front, but the fundamental question seems to be this: Can Sadeq Mahsouli, known as the billionaire of the ninth and tenth government, become the symbol of principalists some of whom claim to pursue a policy of purification and clarification of the principalist discourse?"

Diplomacy

  • Farda News condemns Turkey's foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East: "The Turks have based their active diplomacy on appearances and attempt to - by making popular gestures in the Arab world - show on the one hand that they do not intend to reach an agreement with Israel so that they can win the hearts of the Arab public opinion... and on the other hand continue their economic and military cooperation [with Israel] in secret."
  • [E] Iran's Revolution court has agreed to release Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal on USD500, 000 bail, their lawyer announced on Tuesday.
  • [E] American sources said that Ahmadinejad was likely to pay a second visit to Columbia University four years after his first appearance.

Military and Security

  • Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi, cultural adviser to the Revolutionary Guards, says "the elements of sedition have tried to topple the regime for the past ten years," and warns against future sedition.
  • Sobh-e Sadeq warns against activities of the reformist opposition in Malaysia.
  • Sobh-e Sadeq depicts protests against drying out of Lake Urumiyeh as "the enemy's scheme."

Nuclear Issue

Economy

  • Mohammad Khoshchehreh calls Ahmadinejad's proposal to triple the cash handouts "suicidal." http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/161378
  • Farda News: "$3 billion embezzlement in Saderat Bank shakes the pillars of the financial sector."
    • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes: "Rather than looking for the money, the mass media discuss how the money was stolen!"
    • Mahmoud Bahmani, Central Bank director, says he had warned the Saderat Bank against "extending any services to Mr. X."
  • Supreme Audit Court head Abd al-Reza Rahmani Fazli says Iran's economy has become "more dependent on oil," warns against increased budget deficit due to reduction in oil production, government debts to the private sector and sanctions. Fazli also complains of lack of government investments in the oil and gas sector which he blames for decreased oil production. Fazli dismissed Ahmadinejad's promise of tripling the cash handout as "an impossibility."
    • Fazli adds: "Less than 42% percent... of the cash handout was the subsidies reform..." The rest was financed by transfers from the Central Bank, the oil revenue, the national budget, and companies subjected to the Oil and Energy Ministry.
    • According to Fazli, the oil revenue used for financing the cash handout amounts to $12 billion.

Trade

  • According to Economy Minister Shams al-Din Hosseini the level of Foreign Direct Investment in Iran reached $3 billion in 2009.
  • Deputy Oil Minister Abd al-Hossein Bayat says Iran plans to triple its petrochemical exports.
  • Hassan-Ali Pakravan says a French company will soon start building of a petrochemical park in Iran, while two Italian companies will start petrochemical projects in Assalouyeh.

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