Iran News Round Up - March 26, 2014

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

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed “pilgrims” of the rahian-e noor “companions of the light” tour, a cultural program sponsored by the armed forces, at an Iran-Iraq War era battlefield in Ahvaz province. Khamenei said, “The memory of the Sacred Defense era must be kept alive” and warned against the efforts of “some” who seek to erase the war’s values and historical memory:
    • “The front of the enemies of the Islamic system, meaning these European governments and the American government, encouraged Saddam’s Ba’athist regime to continue the war by providing him advanced capabilities and equipment. This matter caused the Imposed War to last for eight years.”
    • “But God almighty showed his hand of power and crushed the mouths of the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the iron fist of divine tradition and rubbed their noses to the dirt.”
    • “The greatest lesson of the Islamic Revolution to the Iranian nation was that the path of achieving high ideals is fighting, sacrificing and persevering for these ideals.”
    • “Those who wish ill for the Iranian nation and also some [others] are seeking to erase from memory the sacrifices of the Sacred Defense era and its prominent figures. On this basis, they are making efforts to prescript the sacrifices of the Sacred Defense and the path that the great Imam [Khomeini], the wise and sage servant of God, had determined.” 
  • Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani said “Cultural discussions are so important that cultural work must be done for executing many economic changes and designs…Of course, cultural engineering is more than just physical and judiciary confrontation. This matter was explicated and determined well in the statements of the Supreme Leader and all must pay attention to it.”
  • National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission member MP Javad Karimi Ghodousi announced that Judiciary Head Larijani has issued a “warning” to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif regarding the recent meetings between EU officials and Iranian dissidents and that if such meetings occur again, “the Judiciary will directly enter into action.” 
  • President Hassan Rouhani rejected the notion that the administration does not accept criticism and said, “I do not think there has been such times like this where everyone can criticize the President, the administration and its policies with such ease. We accept criticism and consider it beneficial and necessary. Of course, criticism that is constructive, coupled with sympathy and with the goal of reforming affairs…This administration has come to confront extremism. The worst forms of extremism are lies and accusations. The worse extremism is not telling the realities to the people.” 
  • Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Ali Janati defended the closure of 9-Day newspaper, which had criticized the administration’s nuclear policies and said, “The Supervisory Board on the Media has seven members [from various government organs]…The board decided to shutdown 9-Day weekly when multiple warnings were ignored.” 

Diplomacy

Military and Security

Economy

  • The Privatization Organization announced that it has auctioned a total of 1.6 trillion rials [approximately $6.3 billion] in government assets between February 20 and March 6, from which 1 trillion rials [approximately $4.1 billion] were sold in the Tehran Stock Exchange. 
  • Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission member MP Esmail Jalili said that “resistance economy” policies advocated by the Supreme Leader will require  “…serious reform in institutional economic structures, including banking and credit institutions and even the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.”

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