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Iran Headlines: Rouhani in China, Iran-U.S. Relations, and Mir Hussain Mousavi

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R), China's President Xi Jinping and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani are pictured before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai (REUTERS/Aly Song).

POLITICS

ISNA published multiple sets of photos of President Hassan Rouhani attending the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China. Rouhani conducted bilateral meetings with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping.  Rouhani also met with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon. In addition, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, as well as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) graduation ceremony today and emphasized "Iranian resilience,” and the nation’s social and scientific advancements “without having to rely on the United States.” Khamenei’s personal website published the complete text of his speech as well as a video clip of the ceremony

ISNA reports that the head of the conservative Principalist faction of Parliament Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel will not be a candidate in next Sunday’s Principalist faction election.

In an interview with reformist Shargh Daily, senior nuclear negotiator Majid Ravanchi discussed diplomatic relations with the U.S. and how the September 2013 phone conversation between President Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama altered the dynamics between the two countries. Referring to the phone conversation, Ravanchi said, “The Americans not only wanted to have a phone conversation, they wanted to physically meet.”

The Islamic Constitutive Assembly (Parliament ) News Agency writes that MP Ali Motahari urged Iran's Judiciary to address the ongoing house arrests of Mir Hussain Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The MP from Tehran also criticized the National Security Council’s (NSC) involvement in the case saying, “In such circumstances the NSC may take actions to deal with rioters such as detaining them for up to 10 to 20 days, but three and a half years of house arrest inside their homes unacceptable.”

Reformist Etemad News reports that former Vice President Mohammad Abtahi who served under former President Mohammad Khatami, recalled watching the 2009 presidential television debate between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mir Hussain Mousavi, in which Ahmadinejad verbally attacked Mousavi for the first time. According to Abtahi, he watched the debate with other members of Iran’s reformist and moderate –leaning political elite. Abtahi recalls how he and others “were shocked” by what Ahmadinejad said during the debate, and attributed the debate as “the first alarm of the 2009 (election aftermath).”

NUCLEAR

ISNA quoted the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi as saying, “If the negotiations fail, nothing will happen.” Salehi added, “We have endured war and sanctions…pressure from our enemies have only made us stronger.”

Referring to the latest (fourth) round of nuclear negotiations, ISNA writes that ultra-conservative MP Hamid Resaei publicly stated, "If Iran’s negotiating team always negotiates like they did (in the fourth round of talks), the nation will support them.”

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

In a “Khabar Online Roundtable,” human rights lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, writer and founder of the Imam Ali Society (Society of Students against Poverty NGO) Sharmin Meymandi Nejad, and popular actress Bahareh Rahnama discussed the social and cultural implications of public executions. The discussants also debated the effectiveness of artists, athletes, NGOs and the media in raising money to pay the “qisas” (blood money) to the families of murder victims, in order to save the life of the condemned.

ECONOMY AND ENERGY

Citing April 2014 customs data, ISNA reports that Iranian oil exports to China have doubled from a year ago to a record of almost 800,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Fars News Agency reports that the head of Parliament’s Budget and Planning Committee Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghadam admitted, “The Rouhani government has been successful in controlling inflation.” He also stated that Iran has not allowed the U.S. to achieve their goals through sanctions, but in order to relieve future pressure "the Iranian economy's dependence on oil must be reduced to nil.”

PHOTOS

Citizen photographers take random photos of scenes of everyday life in Iran.

Life in the village of Baran Abad. The village is located near Bojnurd, in the North Khorasan Province.