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Iranian Opposition Annual Convention in France Calls for Regime Change


Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), takes part in a rally in Villepinte, near Paris

Paris– Iranian opposition held its annual convention 2017 in auditorium in Villepente Exhibition Center, near Paris, on Saturday in a massive expression of support urging the world to adopt a firm approach toward the regime in Iran.

Hundreds of prominent political figures and activists from all over the world attended the convention.

President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi delivered a speech saying: “the regime’s overthrow is possible and within reach, and a democratic alternative and organized resistance exists that can topple it.”

Whereas Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said Iranian opposition on French soil is a moot point in Tehran-Paris ties.

Participants criticized Iran’s regional and international behavior and announced their support for the opposition in toppling the regime.

Mujahid-e Khalq hoisted Iranian flags with lion and sun logos on it.

Mujahid-e Khalq is one of the prominent opposition parties calling for regime change in Iran. The organization was formed in 1965 and was part of the factions that toppled the former regime.

Rajavi said that toppling the regime is crucial to ensure security and peace in the region.

“The only solution to free the people of Iran and establish peace and tranquility in the region, is the overthrow of the Iranian regime,” declared Rajavi.

She said that the ruling regime is in disarray and paralyzed as never before, adding that the Iranian society is simmering with discontent and the international community is finally getting closer to the reality that appeasing the ruling theocracy is misguided.

Speaking about the recent presidential elections, Rajavi stated in fear of a repeat of the 2009 uprising, Khamenei had to back down from his plan in the presidential election sham to bring the name of Raisi, the executioner in charge of the 1988 massacre.

“The regime is not capable of reform because the so-called reformists who were in office for more than half of this regime’s rule, did nothing but serving the Welayat-e Faqih. This regime cannot be contained, because more than three decades of West’s concessions did not bring about any change in this regime,” NCRI leader said.

Rajavi highlighted the plight of Iran’s population under the current regime, and commended Iran’s political prisoners for supporting the gathering “from the depths of the regime’s torture chambers.”

Rajavi added that the international community must recognize the resistance of the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and evict it from the entire region.

NCRI’s President underlined the Iranian Resistance’s unwavering belief in the people’s free choice, the separation of religion and state, women’s active and equal participation in political leadership, and the autonomy of various ethnic groups in the framework of Iran’s territorial integrity.

She added, “As I have reiterated, repeatedly, we want neither money, nor arms. We urge you to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship.”

Addressing the conference, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies Prince Turki al-Faisal called for Iranian Supreme Leader and Iranian officials to be brought to justice for their “crimes against the Iranian people,” who he described as the “first victims” of the Iranian regime.

Prince Turki explained that what made Arabs and Iranians brothers, was “not only geography, but the humanitarian relationships.”

“All the (Gulf Cooperation Council) GCC countries and their neighbor Iran have always been living in harmony until the Khomeini revolution came into being in 1979,” Prince Turki added.

He said there was an “external strategy… to replace the concept of stability with the concept of coup and conflict.”

Faisal stressed that the Iranian elections are undemocratic and illegitimate because Khamenei appoints the candidates adding that the behavior of the Iranian regime does not qualify it to be a democratic system.

Former UN ambassador, John Bolton said during the Grand Gathering that the outcome of the US policy review will determine that the regime will not last.

Bolton added that Tehran must not be allowed to control the arch from Baghdad to Damascus to Lebanon. Iran’s regime is not only a nuclear threat but also a conventional threat to peace and security.

Tehran regime does not change its behavior, so the only solution is to change the regime, stated Bolton, adding that the US declared policy should be regime change and there is a viable opposition in this room.

Former NY Mayor, Rudy Giuliani said the only way for stability in the Middle East is through a regime change.

“You, I, my government and your leadership, we see Iran in exactly the same way. The regime is evil and it must go. Free Iran,” said Mayor Giuliani.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed regret that the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) has been given permission to carry out its activities in France.

“The presence and activities of the MKO in France are regarded as “a moot point” in relations between Tehran and Paris,” Zarif said in an interview on Saturday.

“During our talks with the French officials, we raised this issue as a moot point in our relations and they also emphasized that they have no connection with this group (MKO),” he said.

He added that the MKO’s terrorist nature is not hidden to anybody, saying all regional and European countries are aware of the group’s acts of terror.

“Allowing activities of a group notorious for Iranians and has terrorist background, a group which had cooperated with Saddam’s regime and we have witnessed their terrorist attacks and their efforts for terrorist attacks in Iran is the only dark point in history of countries cooperating with the groups,” Zarif warned.

Zarif further continued that reactionary regime of the regime are making investment on the group one more time as they did in the past.

(Source / 02.07.2017)

The upcoming Iranian elections you haven’t heard about

Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. Posted July 26, 2017

Candidates are gradually beginning to register to run in Iran’s upcoming city council elections, which are to be held concurrently with the May 19 presidential vote.

The contest for the powerful Tehran City Council has always been one of the most controversial in Iran. During the past decade or so, the conservatives have been able to hold the majority, but this year, Reformists and allied moderates are determined to seize power by focusing on the weak spots of the ruling council.

The Tehran City Council elects the Tehran mayor, who oversees the Tehran municipality — the largest, most wealthy and influential municipality in the country. For instance, the Tehran municipality budget in 2015 was $5.73 billion, while the corresponding budget for the country’s second largest city, Tabriz, was a mere $924 million. As such, it should be noted that in the past decade or so, the mayorship has been used as a stepping stone to launch bids for the presidency — by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, and by incumbent Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf in 2013.

The conservative-dominated Tehran City Council has in recent months come under increasing fire over events that are blamed on mismanagement and corruption on the part of the Tehran municipality, which is headed by Ghalibaf.

In August, confidential documents leaked to the media showed Tehran municipality’s “illegal” generosity toward Tehran City Council members. According to a confidential report by Iran’s Inspection Organization, which answers to the judiciary, Tehran municipality had been selling property below market value to a number of conservative Tehran City Council members and other high-ranking municipality officials. At first, Ghalibaf dismissed the report, but then claimed that the underpriced homes were sold to officials who would otherwise not be able to afford them. The statement of the conservative mayor, who has held his position since 2005, may have been true, but the fact of the matter remains that most of those who bought the underpriced homes are close to Ghalibaf and the conservatives. In the end, the judiciary entered the fray and announced that a large number of the contracts to sell the properties had been entered illegally. In this vein, several people were summoned by the judiciary. However, the Reformists couldn’t really pounce on Ghalibaf further as the Tehran City Council was still in the hands of the conservatives.

Moreover, in January, the first modern high-rise in Tehran collapsed, with more than 20 firefighters perishing under the debris. The public backlash over the disaster spiked as media reports said Ghalibaf was in the holy city of Qom, meeting with senior clerics to get their attention ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, when the Plasco building caught fire and then collapsed. In addition, reports surfaced that the Tehran municipality had failed to enforce safety codes that could have prevented the tragedy.

Meanwhile, the presence of athletes on the Tehran City Council has encountered opposition from the media and public, particularly as some of the sportsmen — who once were celebrated national champions — are accused of corruption and of taking sides after receiving financial incentives. Prominent artists and athletes still appear eager to try their luck at entering the Tehran City Council, assuming that they will win, but public reactions to corruption allegations suggest that the incoming Tehran City Council will be void of athletes and artists.

As such, it seems that the competition between conservatives, on the one hand, and Reformists and moderates politicians, on the other hand, will be particularly tense. In this vein, the latter are confident that the outcome of the February 2016 parliament elections, which saw Reformists and moderates take all 30 parliamentary seats in Tehran, will be repeated May 19.

Unlike the parliamentary and presidential elections, in which candidates are vetted by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council, City Council candidates are only vetted by the government, which is now controlled by a Reformist-moderate coalition. In this vein, it can be anticipated that far fewer Reformists will be disqualified from running in the City Council polls.

Given that the Tehran City Council elects the Tehran mayor, the next person tasked with running the capital could end up being a Reformist or a moderate, breaking the conservatives’ hold on the important position.

In this vein, it is noteworthy that Mohsen Hashemi, the oldest son of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died in January, is one of the possible candidates to head the Tehran municipality. In 2013, when moderate Hassan Rouhani won the presidential elections, Hashemi narrowly lost an attempt to oust Ghalibaf — the runner-up in the presidential vote — by only three votes.

(Source / 24.03.2017)

Khamenei and Iran’s Difficult Days

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei finally broke his silence and dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s “threats” on missile tests, saying the president “showed the real face of America.”

Khamenei asked the Iranians to respond to Trump’s threats on Friday during the anniversary of the revolution.

“We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” he told an audience of military commanders.

Khamenei’s description of an “easy life” contradicts statements made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

“I believe Trump will push for renegotiation. But Iran and European countries will not accept that,” Zarif told a local daily on Tuesday. “We will have difficult days ahead,” he added.

He added that Iran and other signatories don’t want to reexamine the deal.

So, who should we believe? the Supreme Leader or the Foreign Minister?

We should keep in mind that the Supreme Leader was not friendly in the early stages of the presidency of Barack Obama, who sent letters to Khamenei. But as we all know, things ended with Iran signing the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other western countries.

Today, we are facing a new status quo, after Trump started to issue warnings to Iran.

Probably, the clearest warning came when Trump said that Iranians won’t be receiving the same special treatment they got from Obama. This prompted the Supreme Leader to break his silence by stating that the new president confirmed “what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U.S. ruling system.”

Khamenei’s criticism was directed at the same country which Tehran had signed the nuclear deal with under his blessing.

Therefore, the latest U.S. political statement and those of Khamenei on Washington and Trump suggest the Iranian FM is probably the most accurate on his “difficult days” assessment.

With Trump, things may be easier for the Supreme Leader and the Iranian extremists to continue with their oppression and enforcing more restraints in Iran. But, things definitely won’t be easier politically, economically or militarily for the Iranian regime.

Trump’s stances are not the only hurdle to Tehran, which has to deal with the positions of other countries in the region.

Things are out in the open now, and only few are fooled by Iran as opposed to the situation few years ago, especially before the so-called “Arab Spring.”

There aren’t any real allies for Iran in the region.

Hence, and after the statement of Khamenei, a war of words officially erupted between Tehran and Washington. The countdown for Iran’s tough days began, and who knows! The coming days may reveal Iranian attempts to open backdoor channels with Trump’s administration. Tehran’s loud voice is usually a cover up for a new trick.

(Source / 08.02.2017)

Revolutionary Guard Spokesman Warns Dangers of Iran’s ‘Inner Enemies’


The IRGC spokesman, Ramezan Sharif

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Spokesman Ramezan Sharif warned from the spreading deprivation and corruption describing them as “Iran’s inner adversary” that could widen the rift between the people of Iran and the ruling authority.

Even though Sharif acknowledged the widespread poverty, corruption and deprivation, other officials saw it as appropriate to label Iran “the safest in the region, overcoming challenges on a daily basis,” Iran Tehran based Mehr news agency reported.

Sharif attempted dodging criticisms directed against national Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on the unwarranted interference of his proxy bodies in government departments saying that it was only “Khamenei’s support and guidance that enabled the government to provide services to Iranian citizens.”

The IRGC spokesman held rivals plotting against national interest accountable to the popular discontent registered nationwide. He said that the schemes aim to drive a wedge between Iranians and local authorities. Sharif said that the people of Iran will be the core defense standing in the face of those conspiring “plans”.

Khamenei’s uncle Hassan Mirdamadi also relayed a message calling for his nephew to alter course before it is too late and end his reign, knowing that the nation’s best interest is at stake.

Mirdamadi demanded that Khamenei issues a release order for prisoners held captive for the sole reason that is their belief system, in addition to ending the house arrest of former presidential candidates and leaders of the «green movement» Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard before it is too late, reported ‘al-Kalima’ (Arabic for the Word) reformist website.

In his message Mirdamadi also criticized Khamenei’s unwarranted and controversial alteration in verse reading at the Rafsanjani funeral prayer last week.

(Source / 20.01.2017)

If Not in Syria, We Should Have Fought Takfiris in Iran: Leader

رهبر انقلاب نخبگان

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Iran could have fought a war inside its borders if the enemy threats had not been thwarted in Syria.

“If the ill-wishers and seditionists, who are the puppets of the US and Zionism, had not been confronted (in Syria), we should have stood against them in Tehran, Fars, Khorasan and Esfahan,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks published Thursday.

The Leader made the remarks this week during a meeting with the families of Iranian commandos killed in Syria, in which he paid tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives in the battle against Takfiri terrorists.

“Not only the army, but also the entire nation is proud of these martyrs,” said Ayatollah Khamenei, whose remarks were reported by several Iranian news agencies, Press TV reported.

Earlier Thursday, a senior military commander said Iran’s armed forces are capable of thwarting any US threats due to the Islamic Republic’s achievements in enhancing the country’s military might.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the second-in-command of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), touched on US strategies against Iran during the imposed Iran-Iraq war in 1980s.

“They (the US) sought to undermine us in the war, but we managed to build an immense missile and marine power and an endless ground force,” he said in the Iranian city of Yazd, adding Iran has built up so much power that has made it “capable of overcoming the US.”

“Today, no one talks about overthrowing the (Islamic) establishment and military invasion of Iran, because the more the enemy fought with this nation, the stronger the Iranian nation became,” he added.

Salami pointed to Iran’s awareness of the extent of Washington’s real power. “We know that the capacity of the US, Europe and their regional allies for the dominance over the Muslim world is diminishing.”

The commander said US attempts to undermine Iran’s influence in the region have prompted the Islamic Republic to promote its weight in different parts of the Muslim world, including in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

“In Iraq, we witness what kind of power has been created. The Americans are not capable of taking action in Iraq, but the Iraqi popular mobilization forces, inspired by Iran’s Islamic Revolution, have now taken the initiative in Iraq’s field developments,” Salami added.

Another IRGC commander praised Iran’s military prowess. Speaking at a conference in Fars Province in southern Iran, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh elaborated on Iran’s success in achieving self-sufficiency in its defense industry.

“Today, we are capable of designing and manufacturing any missile and aircraft that we need,” Hajizadeh said.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other states that its military might poses no threat to other countries since the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is based entirely on deterrence.

(Source / 06.01.2017)

Iran: After Aleppo, we will intervene in Bahrain, Yemen

The leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched provocative statements against the Gulf states threatening to intervene in Bahrain and Yemen

The leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched provocative statements against the Gulf states threatening to intervene in Bahrain and Yemen.

The comments were reported by Iranian media after what they described as a “victory in Aleppo,” upon the massacres, starvation and displacement against civilians. Aleppo was considered as one of the strongholds of the opposition; however, the Syrian regime took a hold of it with the help and support of Iranian and Russian military troops.

In this context, the deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami told the official Iranian news agency Islamic Republic News Agency that “The victory in Aleppo will pave the way for liberating Bahrain,” pointing out that Iran has an expansion project that will extend to Bahrain, Yemen and Mosul after the fall of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Salami said that “the people of Bahrain will achieve their wishes, the Yemeni people will be delighted, and the residents of Mosul will taste victory, these are all divine promises,” as he put it.

He also pointed out that Iran is still providing unlimited support for the Houthi group, highlighting that Iranian missile could destroy the enemy targets in any area.

Salami described the control of the Syrian regime forces on the Syrian city of Aleppo, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians as “a conquest.”

The comments of the spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Ramadan Sharif reveal the intentions of Tehran to expand geographically through bloody wars and military interventions in the Arab World.

Sharif noted that the Iranian forces and its sectarian militia from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Hezbollah with the support of Russia played a “fateful and very influential role” in the battles of Aleppo.

It is noteworthy that Iran’s hostility against Bahrain and the Gulf states has escalated since the Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May, vowed her country’s support for the Gulf States in the face of Iranian terrorism.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran in protest against Theresa May’s remarks during her speech on the 7th of December, at the Summit of Gulf Cooperation Council, where she declared: “We need to work together to address Iranian regional hostilities whether it is in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, or in the Gulf itself.”

(Source / 16.12.2016)

Iran’s Cabinet votes to change national currency

A money changer holds Iranian rial banknotes as he waits for customers in the business district of Tehran, Iran, Jan. 7, 2012

President Hassan Rouhani’s Cabinet voted on Dec. 7 to approve a bill that proposes to change Iran’s currency from the rial to the toman, and to remove one zero, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. The measure was proposed by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and needs parliament and Guardian Council approval to take effect.

The move came less than a month after Abolfazl Akrami, director general for economic affairs at the CBI, told the semi-official Iranian Student News Agency that the CBI had no plans to slash zeros from Iran’s national currency. On Nov. 14, he stressed, “If inflation rate remains below 10%, if we manage to unify multi-tier exchange rate and if economic growth remains stable, then we can remove [a] zero from the national currency.” Iran currently has two exchange rates; the CBI fixes the official one, and the other is the informal open market rate.

Meanwhile, the deputy governor of the CBI, Akbar Komijani, on Dec. 8 told the IRNA that the move should not be considered as the implementation of “monetary correction” in the country, but to “respect the public and accept the currency that they use on a daily basis.”

The rial has been Iran’s official currency since March 23, 1932. Nevertheless, apart from officials and due to the sharp fall of the rial’s value in recent years, Iranians in their daily lives use the toman, which is equal to 10 rial. Neither “rial” nor “toman” are Persian words, but have Turko-Mongol and Spanish-Portuguese origins, respectively, with “rial” deriving from “real” (royal).

It is not the first time Iranian authorities proposed a program to eliminate zeros from the national currency. In 1993, the CBI worked on a plan to remove three zeros from Iran’s currency, but officials never reached an agreement on the proposal. Then on Jan. 20, 2010, the proposal was in the spotlight again when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his administration would remove three zeros from the national currency — that plan was never implemented either.

Analysts believe that the unknown outcomes of such plans are the main reasons administrations avoid removing several zeros from Iran’s currency. The Reformist Shahrvand newspaper in a Dec. 8 article published the viewpoints of various economists on the recent decision to change the official currency.

The daily quoted Hadi Hagh-Shenas, an economist and former member of parliament, as saying that “nothing will change” in Iran’s economy by slashing one zero from the national currency. “It has been a long time since the public used the toman to trade. The official market has also been working with the toman. Today, the rial has no meaning in our country.”

The daily Etemad also said that removing one zero from the currency will not resolve Iran’s economic issues. “Facilitating daily trade, simplifying accounting operations, and reducing the expenses of issuing banknotes were the main reasons to remove zeros from the currencies in other countries,” wrote the daily. “If we remove only one zero from our currency, none of those goals can be met.”

Meanwhile, the government-run newspaper Iran warmly endorsed the move and led its coverage of the bill with “Toman: The New Currency of Iran.” The daily quoted Mohsen Bahrami Arze Aghdas, a member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, as saying, “This will be a good move in favor of our national economy.”

(Source / 10.12.2016)

Iran Considers Naval Bases in Yemen, Syria


TEHRAN – Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen or Syria in the future, as distant footholds might be more valuable militarily than nuclear technology, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on Sunday.

“We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen or Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases),” said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper.

“Is having distant bases less than nuclear technology? I say it is worth dozens of times more,” added Baqeri, who was speaking at a gathering of naval commanders.

Gen. Bagheri added that setting up naval platforms off the shores of those countries requires “infrastructures there first.”

He said Iran is also able to set up permanent platforms for military purposes in the Persian Gulf and roving ones in other places.

Gen. Bagheri did not elaborate but said “When two-thirds of the world’s population lives near shores and the world economy depends on the sea, we have to take measures. Though there is a need for the time for these [steps].”

This is the first time that an Iranian military official has spoken of setting up naval bases in another country in the region.

No Middle Eastern country is known to have a formal naval base in another Mideast country.

Iran regularly sends its warships to the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy. It also conducts occasional naval manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

(Source / 28.11.2016)

Iran Sinks in Social Crises

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Imam Ali shrine in Najaf

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq, July 19, 2013

London- Many analysts see that while Iran is claiming that it enjoys stability amid a region full of crises, on top of them ISIS, it is actually neglecting a bigger and more dangerous enemy which is the social crises in its community.

In 2005, the Iranina President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad promised that Iranians will have a share of oil revenues; however, the country ended up entering the toughest phase due to challenging the international community’s will.

According to experts, what led to the aggravation of social crises was the administration neglecting civil society assemblies, marginalizing citizens and their needs and disregarding the cultural differences among Iranian regions.

Reza Malekzadeh, deputy health minister, warned in a news conference last week that critical and psychological diseases are spreading due to economic pressures on citizens. According to him, 10% of eighty million Iranians have diabetes and the rate is expected to rise to 25% during the upcoming ten years.

Up to 50% suffer blood pressure when reaching the age of 50 and 50% of death causes are health and brain strokes, revealed the deputy health minister. Twelve percent of Iranians use drugs which is the main reason behind cancer and aids cases in Iran, continued Malekzadeh.

In the same context, human rights activist Karim Dahimi said that after the nuclear agreement, the Iranian administration focused on building its military arsenal—this actually was on the expense of supporting new projects, the fact that increased unemployment levels therefore poverty, added Dahimi.

Ten months after the nuclear agreement became applicable and despite the lift of sanctions on Iran and the return of Iranian oil to the international market, there are still no indicators that give any hope to citizens. They are actually disappointed that their wealth is being exported to militias.

(Source / 06.11.2016)

Iran’s parliament gives green light to Rouhani’s new ministers

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference near the UN General Assembly in New York, Sept. 22, 2016

The Iranian parliament’s vote of confidence to the three new ministers in President Hassan Rouhani’s Cabinet dominated the front pages of newspapers in Iran on Nov. 2. Conservative outlets downplayed the confirmation of the Cabinet reshuffle, while Reformist media hailed it as a victory.

Reza Salehi Amiri, Saeed Soltanifar and Fakhreddin Ahmadi Danesh Ashtiani won votes of confidence to take over the ministries of culture and Islamic guidance, youth affairs and sports, and education, respectively, only seven months before Iran’s next presidential election.

Observers believe that the votes were a direct outcome of the parliamentary elections in February when Rouhani’s allies won a majority of the seats.

The Reformist daily Shargh praised Iranian lawmakers’ support for the president. “The first vote of confidence in [the 10th] parliament was clearly different from the previous ones,” Shargh reported. The daily compared the vote with other voting sessions in parliament and stressed, “[This time] there was no room for the endless accusations against the government and smears to undermine its ministers.”

The front page of Arman, another Reformist newspaper, read, “February [parliamentary] elections bear fruit.” The daily assessed the parliament’s approval vote as “The day when moderation and rationality triumphed over extremism.” It added, “This is the same parliament in which conservatives claimed to have a majority. Now the same parliament has invalidated those claims.”

On the other hand, conservative outlets have kept a close focus on Rouhani’s speech to parliament in support of the new members of his Cabinet.

With the headline “If there is corruption, we should not exaggerate it,” Resalat daily quoted Rouhani’s speech on its front page. The paper also published a short interview with the deputy secretary-general of the Combatant Clergy Association, Reza Taghavi.

“I keep asking myself why those who did not win votes of confidence in the previous parliament have again been introduced as ministers [by Rouhani],” said Taghavi, referring to Rouhani’s proposed Cabinet in 2013. Back then, the three newly approved ministers were introduced to the then conservative-dominated parliament for different ministerial positions — only to be rejected.

Tasnim news agency argued that parliament’s approval of the Cabinet reshuffle occurred because Rouhani’s first term is coming to an end. Tasnim’s headline read, “Parliament shows leniency toward nine-month-long ministers,” referring to Iran’s upcoming May 2017 presidential elections.

Meanwhile, conservative daily Javan chose the headline “[The president] came, called [his] critics witless [and] went.” The daily also published interviews with Iranian artists, asking them what they want from the new minister of culture and Islamic guidance.

“[The minister] must halt all projects that are producing thoughtful and critical movies,” film director Alireza Raeisian sarcastically answered. “He should only listen to those who hold power. … In this way, he will be a decent and stable minister.”

In other news, the ISNA news agency on Nov. 2, reported that Saeed Mortazavi, former prosecutor general in Tehran, has been sentenced to 70 lashes for misappropriation of public goods and 65 lashes for negligence and waste of public goods. The reported offenses date back to his time as head of the Social Security Organization, to which he was appointed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2012.

In 2010, Mortazavi was suspended from his judicial post due to the deaths of protesters held at the Kahrizak prison in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential elections. Only two years after being appointed as head of Iran’s Social Security Organization, he was banned from holding any state office.

(Source / 03.11.2016)