During the first judiciary press conference of the new Iranian calendar year, the spokesman for Iran’s Judiciary Mohseni-Ejei said that three individuals and one financial director who was close billionaire sanction buster Babak Zanjani have been arrested. In addition two individuals who work in the banking industry have also been arrested. Ejei also commented on the ongoing case against Mehdi Hashemi, the son of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani who faces a number of charges including fomenting unrest after the 2009 presidential elections. According to Ejei, evidence in Hashemi’s case is still currently “being translated” and the process will “soon come to an end.” Ejei finished by saying whatever sentence Hashemi receives, “it will be carried out.”
Conservative Raja News reports that during a ceremony hailing Iran’s nuclear achievements at Amir Kabir University, which was attended by former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Fereydoon Abbasi, the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), a group of hardline pro-Jalili students began to chant “(Mir Hussein) Mousavi and (Mehdi) Karroubi should be executed!” Mehr News published photos of the event which reveals a scuffle breaking out among the male students.
ECONOMY & ENERGY
AFP reports Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh saying Iran could be a "reliable, secure and long-term supplier of gas to Europe.” Nematzadeh continued, "We don't want to compete with Russia. But we know that Europe's demand for gas is increasing and would like a share in this,” said the minister.
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh outlines a number of methods in which Iran will be able to reduce its “excessive energy consumption.”
Iran’s Statistical Center announced a breakdown of unemployment rates in the last Iranian calendar year. The unemployment rate for Iranian men was 8.6 percent, while for Iranian women the unemployment rate of 19.8 percent. The average overall unemployment rate was 10.4 percent.
Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister Hooshang Falahatian announced a 4.6 percent megawatt increase in its cross border electricity exports in the last Iranian calendar year.
On Sunday April 13, the website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published a chart of six “(nuclear) negotiation red lines,” The number one red line is, “The advancement of nuclear science should not stop.”
Head of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani met with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, and told Zarif that “from the right perspective,” the negotiations “are a great achievement that has prevented the widening sanctions and has given people hope for a boost in the economy.”
In an interview with IRNA, Ali Khorram expressed optimism towards the current status of the nuclear talks. According to the former envoy to Iran’s United Nations mission in Europe, the optimism and the current “success of the talks” are the source of the “coordinated extremist views” that have been recently expressed regarding the European Union’s resolution on Iran’s human rights abuses.
Reuters News reports that the Canadian manufacturing company Lee Specialties Ltd, has been charged with violating international sanctions by trying to export Viton O-rings. “Viton is a brand of synthetic rubber that can withstand high temperatures and corrosive chemicals, making it useful in both oilfield and nuclear applications.” According Canada's Special Economic Measures Act, this item is “prohibited from being shipped or sold to any person in Iran.”
A number of Iranian Air Force jets train and prepare aerial maneuvers ahead of Iran’s Armed Forces Day which is held on Friday April 18, 2014.
Commanders of Iran’s Armed Forces visit wounded war veterans at a center for veterans in Mashhad.