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Iran Headlines: Economic Growth, Oman, and the MEK

The front of an Iranian 100,000 Rials (about $10) bank note

ECONOMY

Mehr News Agency reported that during a press conference held at Iran’s Central Bank, Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that after two years of a negative economic growth,“Iran’s economy will grow 1.5 percent this year.”

SOCIETY

According to ISNA, the Deputy Secretary General of Iran’s Anti-Drug Task Force Ali Reza Jazini announced that “87 crystal meth labs around the country have been destroyed.” Jazini also stated that in the first four months of the Iranian calendar year, 94,000 drug traffickers have been arrested and that the figure represents a “30 percent increase in arrests.”

During the Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity Conference in Tehran today, Khabar Online quoted the Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani as saying, “The West thinks that just because our judicial system is based on Islamic law, that we in some way want to hide it. But we are proud of our judicial system, and we even defend death by stoning because it is based on Islamic law.”

NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS

An editorial in hard line Raja News criticized the former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team Hossein Mousavian for “trying to establish diplomatic ties with the United States,” by promoting the idea of bilateral cooperation to resolve regional crises. The writer argued, “After one year of the Rouhani administration, the efforts of the president and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif have only compromised our nuclear facilities, suspended (uranium) enrichment, and even the sanctions still remain.”

OMAN

IRNA reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is en route to Oman today to attend the inauguration of the North-South Corridor. The transnational railroad will link Central Asia to the Persian Gulf through Iran. The foreign ministers of Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will also be on hand for the inauguration.

In an interview with Fars News Agency, Iran’s deputy oil minister of international affairs Ali Majedi said, “Negotiations with Oman regarding natural gas exports are still ongoing but the preliminary agreement has been finalized.” Majedi added that it was “too early to discuss a set price” for natural gas exports to Oman.

GAZA

An editorial in hard line Kayhan lists six reasons as to why Israel has “lost” in its latest conflict with Hamas, while Palestine as a whole achieved “its biggest victory.”  

BAHRAIN

The Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) reported that Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani, member of Parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission said, “Bahrain has marginalized itself among other Muslims with its support of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).”

PHOTOS

Children swim in a portion of the Karun River in the city of Ahvaz.

Iran and Iraq's national handball teams compete at the 14th annual Asian Youth Handball Championships.

Firefighters battled a fire inside a section of Tehran’s grand bazaar.