Editor of the conservative newspaper Kayhan, Hussein Shariatmadari has written an Op-Ed in which he slams the European Union for passing a recent resolution that called for all members of the union to “mainstream” human rights in their relations with Iran. Shariatmadari uses sarcasm in his initial critique of the report by exclaiming the seven page report calls for “Freeing the prisoners of the 2009 sedition! Ending the house arrest of the sedition leaders (Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrabul)! Revoke the ban on homosexuality and allow homosexuals to openly have sexual relationships!” He also criticizes the Washington D.C. based think tank American Enterprise Institute, and warned of agents of the 2009 sedition “infiltrating foreign and domestic newspapers in order to influence solutions on how to fix the economy.”
Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani reflected on the divisive nature of the current state of Iranian domestic politics and said, “Reports of robberies after an individual walks outside of a bank and sexual assaults…are a reflection of our political conflicts which has led to the deterioration of nerves.” He also criticized the Rouhani administration’s handling of the economy by saying, "Inflation and unemployment in Iran is a major problem that cannot be solved with a slogan."
ABDUCTED BORDER GUARDS FREED
Four Iranian border guards kidnapped two months ago by a Sunni Muslim rebel group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) have been released and are in Pakistan. Last month, one of the soldiers was executed. Fars News Agency published a cartoon that symbolically illustrates four border guards as pawns of a chess board returning home. Each pawn has wings and are depicted flying towards the country from above. The body of the border guard that was executed last month was recently handed over to Iranian authorities.
After a second day of expert-level talks in Vienna, the Associated Press reports that the P5+1 and Iran will begin drafting a final nuclear agreement next month, according to an unnamed U.S. official.
During Friday prayers, Tehran interim Friday prayer leader and the Supreme Leader’s IRGC representative Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani said, “I have received the (interim nuclear) agreement that has also been made public, but there is one ambiguous line that the foreign ministry and the negotiating team needs to make clear. This line is in English, and until it’s clear we haven’t agreed on anything and there won’t be a (final) agreement.” In response to Ayatollah Kermani’s remarks, an unnamed official close to Iran’s negotiating team said, “If any of our country’s (religious) officials have doubts regarding the Geneva Agreement, prior to them going to an official forum (Friday prayers), they can always ask the negotiating team as we are always ready to answer their questions.”
Bloomberg News reports that Sihai Cheng, a Chinese national from Shanghai, “has allegedly conspired with Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili of Tehran and the Iranian companies Nicaro Eng. Co. and Eyvaz Technic Manufacturing Co. to export devices called ‘pressure transducers,’ which can be used in uranium enrichment.” This is the second case revealed this week in a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on the proliferation of restricted technology, according to the report.
According to the latest inflation report published by Iran’s Statistical Center, although inflation has decreased since this past summer, inflation for the new Iranian calendar year is predicted to be around 25 percent.
Reuters News reports that airplane manufacturing giant Boeing has “received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to export certain spare parts for commercial aircraft to Iran” as stated by the Geneva interim nuclear deal that began to take effect in January. According to Reuters, a Boeing spokesman said “the company received the license this week and would now contact officials in Iran to determine which parts were needed,” and that “the license covered only components needed to ensure continued safe flight operations of older Boeing planes sold to Iran before the 1979 revolution, and did not allow any discussions about sales of new aircraft to Iran.”
Fars News Agency covers the latest report by the International Monetary Fund which concluded “Iran's economy is showing signs of economic stability,” and that Iran ended the last Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2014) with a “negative 1.7 percent growth rate.” In regards to the new Iranian calendar year, Iran’s economy “could grow two percent,” according to the report.
Public art displays and street scenes from the city of Qom.
Chairman of City Council of Tehran, Ahmad Masjed-Jamei toured the city of Rey and mingled with its residents.