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Iran Headlines: Oil Sanctions, 2009 Presidential Election, and Nuclear Negotiating Team

A supporter of defeated presidential candidate and opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi shows a victory sign with a piece of balloon in the signature colour of his campaign tied on a finger during a rally marking Qods (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran (REUTERS/Caren Firouz).

POLITICS

In an interview with Fars News Agency, the head of the Parliamentary Research Center Kazem Jalali discussed factional politics in the upcoming vote to select a new Speaker of Parliament. In regards to the parliamentary faction known as the “Principalist Followers of the Velayat,” Jalali said, “Ali Larijani is our only choice to lead the Parliament,” and added, “We have not sat down and discussed this topic with the other Principalist faction (headed by former Parliamentary Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel).

Khabar Online published the comments of Ismail Kowsari, a member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, regarding his version of events after the final results of the 2009 Iranian Presidential Election were announced. “(After the results were announced) I met Mohsen Rezaei, Mir Hussain Mousavi, Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mehdi Karroubi and Ali-Akbar Nategh Nouri.  When I spoke to Mr. Mousavi, he told me that he didn’t accept the (final) decision of the Guardian Council nor the Ministry of Interior,” said Kowsari.

NUCLEAR

IRNA reports that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammed Reza Bahonar said, “We must all support our nuclear negotiating team.” Bahonar directly referenced the recent “We are Concerned” conference which was critical of Iran’s negotiating team. “Some opponents would prefer that we stop the negotiations, but we do not accept that,” said Bahonar.

In an interview with Fars News Agency, the head of the Parliamentary Research Center Kazem Jalali discussed the ongoing nuclear negotiations and said, “The Geneva Deal (signed in November) did not legally require parliamentary approval, but it seems that a final agreement will need to be approved by the Parliament.” Jalali also discussed parliamentary criticism of Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. “Apparently we (Parliament) like to summon Foreign Minister Zarif every day for questioning and for him to say ‘Death to Israel.’ This is not how the foreign minister should be treated,” explained Jalali.

ISNA quoted Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam Alhoda during today’s Friday sermon. “The negotiating team standing tall against the greedy West is more of a victory for the revolutionary people of Iran than the (signing of the) Geneva Agreement,” said Alhoda.

ECONOMY AND ENERGY

Fars News Agency reports that during a seminar at Imam Sadiq University, Rostam Ghasemi, Iran's former oil minister discussed the oil embargo on Iran’s oil industry and methods in which sanctions were circumvented. “We would deliver suitcases full of money to oil equipment manufacturers,” explained Ghasemi. 

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

According to Mehr News Agency, during a Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani told worshipers, “I deplore the recent trend of people celebrating and creating invitations to attend divorce parties. This is a poison that will kill our society.” Kashani also described the effects of the internet on Iranian youth as “a heavy weight that will lead society to emptiness.”

PHOTOS

Built in 1966, Mohvarid (Pearl) Palace was built by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and commissioned by Princess Shams Pahlavi.

The musical band Chartar performs in the city of Shiraz.