» Benefits of Iran Joining Palermo Convention
The editorial of Jahan Sanat deals with advantages of Iran joining Palermo Convention. This convention, which aims at promoting cooperation in fighting transnational organized crimes, was ratified on November 15, 2000, by General Assembly of United Nations and was signed by member countries in December of the same year in Palermo Italy.
The editorial adds that Iran conditionally joined this convention on January 25, 2018. Iran joining this convention has created doubts and disagreements from some political currents in the country, mostly by principlist current that thinks of Iran joining Palermo convention as ‘humiliating’, ‘incompatible with reality’, ‘treasonous’ and ‘against security and independence of the country’.
The editorial continues that Iran joining this convention in not only not humiliating, but an opportunity for acquitting Tehran from allegations of financial helps to terrorism. What is more, Iran will have the opportunity to play more role for fighting organized crimes. The reality is that currently, crimes such as drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal smuggling of immigrants, smuggling cultural and historical works and the revenues of such crimes put Iran’s security more in danger.
The editorial concludes that Iran joining this convention will certainly help to reduce the dangers of organized crimes, which means that Iran, given its national security assumptions, requires such cooperation. The most evident result of this cooperation and fighting organized crimes such as money laundering is that Iran can even score points over challenging issues like JCPOA (the nuclear deal of Iran and P5+1).
An Editorial in “Jahan Sanat” on January 31, 2018
» Necessity of Criticizing Revolution after 40 Years
The editorial of Arman Emrouz addresses the need for critical assessment of Iran’s 1979 Revolution 40 years after its victory to see to what extent the its promises and slogans have been realized.
According to the editorial, no such critical assessment has ever happened in these years. Each year Iranian media have just broadcast a series of old and new slogans, instead of inviting experts from different fields of politics, economy, culture, education, etc., to come and express their views about what has happened during these 40 years. If this had happened, it could have been assessed if issues like justice-seeking, political freedoms, and eradication of discriminations have come true. But now the questions remain: Has social justice increased decreased? Has freedom, in the true sense of the word, increased or not? Has the constitution, with all criticisms one might have against it, been put into practice? Have social damages such as divorce, addiction, murder, embezzlement went down?
The editorial goes on to say: today, Iran’s economy is suffering from inflation and recession. The question is why after 40 years, these issues have not been resolved. Why is there fluctuation in foreign currency market every day, making some people rich and some poor overnight? Why are people investing in gold coin market, and drawing their money from banks?
At the end, the editorial says: the biggest issue in the country is a brain drain. Why are Iranian youths so much infatuated with going to the U.S.? “How come that we are chanting ‘death to America’ in streets, but our graduate youths stand in line to go to the U.S.?” Who is responsible for all these? How come that all officials act as if they are oppositions and not accountable for what is happening in the country?
An Editorial in “Arman Emrouz” on January 31, 2018
» Europe’s Future Position on JCPOA
This editorial centers on the position Europe will take on Iran’s nuclear deal under the U.S. impact.
The editorialist maintains that the U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to convince his European allies to exit JCPOA. Moreover, European countries, such as Germany, England, and France, have issued a statement saying that they support some of the U.S. positions regarding the region.
The editorial continues that it is not clear whether Trump can succeed in persuading Europe to make some changes in JCPOA or Europe will not succumb to the U.S. President pressure in this regard. However, it seems that Europeans have shown some inclination towards the U.S. The recent sanctions against Iran if implemented, would hinder other countries from extensive economic interactions with Iran. France’s Total, for instance, has already somewhat withdrawn from its deal from Iran, waiting for upcoming results.
The editorialist ends by saying that Europe has seemingly changed its original positions regarding Iran’s nuclear deal and is ready to satisfy the U.S. by offering a few concessions.
An Editorial in Arman daily on January 28, 2018
♦ Amnesty International objects to ‘ruthless’ execution convict charged at adolescent
Amnesty International strongly objected to the execution of Ali Kazemi – a convict who had committed murder at the age of 15 – and called it ‘extraordinarily ruthless’. According to this organization, Ali Kazemi was executed in Bushehr on January 30.
At 15 years of age, Ali Kazemi was charged he had stabbed another man to death. He was then sentenced to death and was executed at the age of 22.
Amnesty International says ‘the sentence, in contradiction to Iranian laws, was implemented without informing Ali Kazemi’s lawyer.’ Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at International Amnesty, said: ‘By carrying out this unlawful execution, Iran is effectively declaring that it wishes to maintain the country’s shameful status as one of the world’s leading executors of those who were children at the time of their crime.’
♦ Lawmaker: Iranian frozen assets not released
Member of Parliament’s board of directors, Mohammad Hussein Farhangi, said the issue of releasing Iranian frozen assets is one of the violations in the nuclear deal (JCPOA) and the other side has not fulfilled its obligation in full in this regard, and if it has ever happened, it hasn’t been in an organized, systematic way.
Referring to recent remarks of Iran’s deputy foreign minister as to JCPOA enhancing Iran’s position in the region, Farhangi said enhancing Iran’s position in the region is the result of different causes and goes beyond JCPOA, adding that ‘our foreign policy, along with defending Resistance Front and Iran’s successes in the region, has had a decisive role in boosting Iran’s position.’
He added that despite JCPOA’s shortcomings, one of its positive effects has been convincing politicians and the public opinion at the global level that unlike what was propagandized, it was Iran that recognized the negotiations, while the other side sabotaged the talks and delayed implementing JCPOA.
Fars news agency
♦ People still homeless after Kermanshah’s earthquake
More than two months after 7.3 earthquakes in western Kermanshah Province, people of cities of Sarpol-e Zahab, Gilan-e Gharb, Qasr-e Shirin and Salas Babajani are still suffering from serious issues. People in earthquake-stricken regions of Kermanshah Province are still waiting to receive conexes, amidst officials denying this.
Earthquake-stricken people in this province are struggling with the cold weather these days and are bewildered by officials promises and denials. It has been said that tenants in these areas do not receive conexes, so that these people are forced to abandon these cities and move to other places.
♦ Another girl takes off hijab in Tehran
Before the recent unrests in Iran, a woman had stood on a platform in Enqelab Street in Tehran, thus becoming one of the symbols of these protests. Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh had announced that this woman who is 31 years old and mother of a 19 months old infant had been arrested and later released.
Pictures were recently published in social media showing that another girl was standing on the same platform that the first girl stood in protest to compulsory hijab in Iran and took off her headscarf while holding a white flag.
Many social network users appreciate this move as ‘courageous and heroic’. This kind of protest is becoming popular among Iranian girls and women, as others are following suit. Since the beginning of Iranian Revolution, Iranian women have been forced to wear hijab in public places.
♦ Zoroastrian citizen, wife sentenced to imprisonment, confiscation of properties
The Center for Defending Human Rights has reported that Zoroastrian citizen Karen Vafadari and his wife Afrin Neissari have been sentenced to imprisonment and confiscation of properties. Lawyer and Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi confirmed the news, saying that this couple have been charged with ‘measures against national security’.
According to the Center of Human Rights Defender, Afrin Neissari, manager of an art gallery “N”, has been sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment, and her husband who has Iranian-American dual nationality to 27 years of imprisonment and confiscation of all their properties.
♦ Kadkhodaei : Guardian Council to review joining Palermo conventions
Spokesperson of Guardian Council Abasali Kadkhodaei said, according to current procedure of Guardian Council, joining Palermo conventions, fighting financing terrorism and Financial Action Task Force on Money (FATF) will be conformed to sharia laws and the constitution.
With regard to legislation ratified by Iranian Parliament about Iran joining UN convention for fighting transnational organized crimes – called Palermo convention- Kadkhodaei said there are different viewpoints in this regard and security officials have certain concerns about it. According to Spokesperson of Guardian Council, some believe that if FATF continues its former procedures, ‘we will have many problems under these economic conditions.’
♦ Banking consultation between Iran, Switzerland
Governor of Central Bank Valiollah Seif, in meeting with Swiss ambassador, expressed happiness about banking relationship between the two countries, calling for the cooperation of Iran’s Central Bank with the supervisory institute in Switzerland to expedite the process of issuing permits for establishing branches of Iranian banks in Switzerland.
In this meeting, Seif emphasized that Iranian banks are operating within the framework of international laws and have taken long steps to conform to global standards.
♦ Exporting 700 thousand tons of iron and steel to Oman
Abbas Abdolkhani, trade consultant of Iran in Oman, said according to statistics of Iran’s customs office, 700 thousand tons of iron and steel products worth $200 million have been exported to Oman within the first 9 months of the years, which shows an increase compared to the same period last year.
♦ Parliament voted against 2018 Budget Bill
After reviewing 2018 Budget Bill, the lawmakers disagreed with 2018 Budget Bill with 83 votes in favor, 120 against, and 12 in abstention. Those who were against the Budget Bill announced their reasons as an increase in participation bonds, drawing from National Development Fund, incompatibility of the budget with the 6th development plan, and lack of attention to livelihood issues of teachers.
The Budget Bill was offered to the Parliament in December 2017. In this Budget, the government had demanded an increase in fuel price for creating employment, drawing from National Development Fund to be allocated to the defense budget and environmental issues, and also dropping a large number of those who receive subsidies.
♦ Dolatabadi: Mossad spy convicted
Tehran Prosecutor Mahmoud Jafari Dolatabai said in electric power industry division, a suspect had created contact with foreign intelligence services, and after at least 14 meetings with Mossad intelligence officers, had given a lot of intelligence to them regarding electric power and nuclear industry of the country for 140 thousand euros. Dolatabadi added that this individual has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment on the charge of espionage.
♦ 80% growth in exporting raw steel
According to Society of Steel Producers in Iran, in the first 9 months of the year, the amount of production of raw steel reached 16,073,000 tons, which, compared to the same period last year, shows 16% increase, and it has had 80% growth in export as well. In the first 9 months of the year, the amount of export of raw steel was 4,614,000 tons, while it was 2,565,000 tons for the same period last year.
♦ Oil Minister: Iran overtakes Qatar in gas production
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh pointed out to the 11th phase of South Pars coming to fruition, saying that now ‘we are ahead of Qatar in producing gas in South Pars.’ Zanganeh added that daily production of South Pars, with 83 million cubic meters increase, has reached 553 million cubic meters this year. He said, ‘we opened 6 phases of South Pars in 2017 with 150 million cubic meters per day, and for the first time, our gas productions surpassed Qatar, which is a great achievement.’
♦ Details of IRGC conflict with ISIS in western Iran
According to the statement of Najaf Ashraf Headquarter, IRGC ground forces along with forces of intelligence ministry have engaged with a 21-member team of ISIS terrorists in western Iran. Commander of IRGC Ground Forces Brigadier-General Pakpour said in this regard that 16 ISIS terrorists were arrested, and several were killed. He added two other operatives fled the scene of conflict but are now surrounded by forces of Najaf Ashraf Headquarter. According to Commander of IRGC Ground Forces, 3 members of Najaf Ashraf Headquarter were killed in this operation. Pakpour said the terrorists intended to carry out operations in border and central cities of Iran.
Fars news agency
♦ Mohsen Rezaee: Expediency Council can reform Iran’s budget planning
Supervisory Commission of Expediency Council held a meeting headed by Mohsen Rezaee, secretary of the council, to go over the issue of adjusting 2018 Budget Bill with general policies of the regime. Mohsen Rezaee said the council entering the domain of supervision is an opportunity for essential reforms in budget planning in the country, adding that reforming economic behaviors of the government and banking and monetary policies can be the beginning of changes in the country’s economy.
♦ Rouhani’s special assistant: We will follow up conditions of detainees in recent unrests
Shahindokht Molaverdi, the special assistant to Hassan Rouhani in citizens’ rights affairs, said they will use any opportunity to follow up conditions of detainees and those who were killed in recent unrests. She added if the measures taken are not reflected in the media, it doesn’t mean nothing has taken place in this regard.
In recent popular protests in Iran, more than 20 people were killed, and more than 3,700 people were detained.
♦ Intelligence Minister: Officials’ duties to attract people maximally
Mahmoud Alavi, Iranian Intelligence Minister, said it is the duty of Iranian officials to maximally attract the people to Iran’s regime, adding that officials ‘humble efforts’ will result in people’s consent. Pointing out to recent protests in Iran, Alavi said even though these issues were not deep, the ‘enemies blow them up as if it is widespread all over the country’. He added that Iran could neutralize the ‘enemies’ conspiracy’ in 4 or 5 days.
♦ Bahonar: Official platforms, main cause of recent unrests
Chairman of Front of Followers of Line of Imam and Leader, Mohammad Reza Bahonar said the main cause of recent unrests was official platforms, adding that while national media slammed the government, lawmakers too complained and objected from the Parliament’s platform.
Mohammad Reza Bahonar stated that today ‘Iran enjoys security, regional influence, power, and defense capability,’ adding that ‘we have reached the peak of defense capability – a large part of which is due to the leader’s thoughts and management.’
♦ Former defense minister: Turkey must be careful
Iranian former defense minister Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi said with regard to recent regional developments and Turkey’s measures in Syria that the U.S. illegitimate presence in northern Syria has caused recent incidents in Syrian border, emphasizing that Turkey must be careful about sensitive issues in the region. Vahidi urged that ‘we have always defended Syria’s territorial integrity and legitimacy of the regime that rules the country and will not approve of any moves without coordination with the Syrian government.
♦ Sarvari: Some managers hide their nationality
Chairman of Society of Pathseekers of Iranian Revolution, Parviz Sarvari, said more than 100 managers are said to be hiding their nationality. With regard to the fact that according to one of the lawmakers, 100 officials have dual nationality and green cards, Sarvari said unfortunately 40 years after the victory of Iranian Revolution, ‘instead of going in a direction where the country’s officials are proud of being citizens of Iran, apparently our managers are in love with other countries’.