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Iran Headlines: Nuclear Deal, Ukraine, and Illiteracy

Hussein Shariatmadari, head of the hardline Kayhan publishing group and Iran's most influential conservative commentator, speaks with Reuters correspondents at his office in Tehran (REUTERS/Caren Firouz).

POLITICS

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed senior government officials and ambassadors from Islamic countries and indirectly criticized the Nigerian armed group Boko Haram by commenting on Muslim oppression in Africa. “In an African country, just because someone is a Muslim, they are killed, raped, and persecuted; additionally some people in the name of Islam steal young women and escape (retribution). This is because the message of Islam has not been clearly conveyed to them.” Khamenei’s personal website postedfull text of his speech as well as video clip of his address.

UKRAINE

IRNA reports that Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham commented on Ukraine’s presidential election.  “The Islamic Republic of Iran is hopeful that the selection a new president will end the political crisis in Ukraine and will lead to peace and national reconciliation within the country,” said Afkham.

In an article in entitled, “Crisis Intensifies in Ukraine,” a writer for Alef News reports on the self-proclaimed independence of the People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk writing, “A big issue between the provinces and the autonomous Crimea region involves the hub of Ukraine’s industrial sector…Ukraine’s central government will not allow its entire economic industry join another country's territory. The European Union and NATO also don’t accept the annexation of Ukraine’s industrial sector because it is not in their benefit.”

NUCLEAR

In an editorial in hard-line daily Kayhan, the newspaper’s editor Hussein Shariatmadari criticizes Iran’s nuclear negotiating “compromisers” by applying his own notion of “compromise” to different issues in the Middle East such as Egypt, Syria, and Hizballah.

ECONOMY AND ENERGY

According to ISNA, Deputy Director of Iran's Airports Abraham Shushtari announced, “International flights increased 18.6 percent in comparison to this same period (May) a year ago.”

Hard-line Raja News criticizes recent remarks by oil ministry officials regarding exporting Iranian natural gas to Europe warning oil officials “not to sacrifice national interests,” and that “historically, the relationship between the West, Iran and its oil has not been a prosperous one.”

In a Khabar Online editorial, economist Farshad Momeni asks, “Why is corruption become so widespread in Iran?” In order to address the situation, Momeni recommends focusing efforts towards the “transparency of five fields.” According to Momeni, those fields are: “Decision making and resource allocation in the oil sector, decision making and resource allocation in the banking sector, export and import licensing, implementation of customs code, and public tenders.”

Iran’s oil ministry news website Shana reports that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) looks to invest 11 billion dollars in the construction of 10 new natural gas liquid (NGL) processing plants.  

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Khabar Online compared Iran’s tourism industry with the top tourist destinations in the Middle East. Out of the top five countries, Iran ranks fifth with four million tourists annually, behind Jordan (five million), UAE (nine million), Egypt (ten million) and Saudi Arabia (17 million.)

Dolat News reports that Ali Bagherzadeh, the deputy minister of literacy and education said, “4.5 million Iranian students have either illiterate parents or parents with a low-level of education.” Bagherzadeh also acknowledged that Iran has 20 percent illiteracy rate (15 million people).

PHOTOS

The Mehrnavazan Ensemble and Iranian traditional vocalist Salar Aghili perform a concert at the Afif-Abad Garden in Shiraz.

A traditional thoroughbred Turkmen horse festival in Bojnord.

The head of Iran’s executive, judiciary, and parliamentary branches of government meet with other senior government officials.