The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force division, Qasim Sulaymani spoke to the families of martyrs in the city of Kerman and said, “the enemy (the west) thinks that Iran is similar to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but (the enemy) is unaware that Iran relies on the will of its people, and that (Iranians) are willing to do whatever it takes to destroy the enemy.” Sulaymani also proclaimed, “Our Islamic Revolution over the past 35 years, has been a 500 year long journey, and has been able to transform the Muslim world.”
Head of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, shot down previous reports of the possibility of the European Union opening an office in Tehran. Citing the meeting Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief held with women's rights activists inside the Austrian embassy in Tehran last month, Boroujerdi said, “The foreign and international policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are based on respect, common interests, and non-interference in each other's affairs, but due to Ms. Ashton’s inappropriate behavior and her non-adherence to the rules, there are no grounds for opening an office for the European Union (in Iran).
Masoumeh Ebtekar, one of President Hassan Rouhani’s Vice President’s and head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization traveled to Tokyo and met with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two sides exchanged various issues pertaining to environmental protection and Ebtekar pointed out, "Environmental problems go beyond borders." The two officials also signed a memorandum of understanding to “broaden areas of cooperation which includes reducing air pollution, dealing with climate change consequences, and protecting ponds.”
In a wide ranging interview Tabnak News, Iranian-Azeri artist Aydin Aghdashloo interviewed Abbas Kiarostami, Iran’s most prolific film director and screenwriter. Kirostami talks about his childhood, his youth, politics, and death.
ECONOMY & ENERGY
While speaking to reporters, Rouhani administration spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said, “Even though Iran is known as a major oil producer and has the ability to produce four million barrels of oil a day (bpd), the sanctions (placed on us) only allow the possibility for us to sell one million bpd.” Nobakht also mentioned that the head of Iran’s Statistical Center told him that “as of July and August 2013, inflation was at 42 percent, and now has dropped 31 percent.”
Iran’s Oil Ministry announced that New Year rates for kerosene, furnace oil, and liquefied natural gas have increased from 1500 rial a liter (0.6 cents) to 2000 rial (0.8 cents) a liter.
Khabar Online asks, “Will Tehran’s (Grand Central) Bazaar go bankrupt?” Citing the opening of four giant supermarket chain stores in northern and western Tehran, the photo essay illustrates empty and desolate bazaar alleyways.
According to Reuters News, India's near-monopoly in rice and soymeal exports to Iran could become a casualty of an eventual nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, as a final deal “is expected to pave the way for rival suppliers to boost their trading with the oil-rich country.” According to R.S. Seshadri, director of Gurgaon-based rice exporter Tilda Riceland, "Rice exports to Iran rose as India had an advantage over other suppliers in payment mechanism (by paying in Rupees). As sanctions are easing, India has to become much more competitive to retain the share…Pakistan, Thailand lost share, but they can start grabbing that share again once financial institutions start trade with Iran in dollar terms," Reuters quoted Seshadri as saying.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads a mourning ceremony commemorating the death of Fatima Zahra, the Prophet Mohammad's daughter. Attending alongside Khamenei is President Hassan Rouhani, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, his brother and Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani, Chairman of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, senior foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati, Hassan Khomeini (the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini), as well as other senior Rouhani administration officials.
Former President Mohammed Khatami spoke during a smaller and momre private mourning ceremony commemorating the death of Fatima Zahra.
Women and men pack an outdoor stadium in Asfaran, Iran (Alborz province) to watch chookhe (traditional) wrestling.