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Iran Headlines: Khamenei on Iraq, Royal Dutch Shell, and Opium

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks with State Television.

POLITICS reported on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s address today to Iran's foreign diplomats, including Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. In his remarks, Khamenei supported the appointment of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and said he hoped that Abadi would be able to form a new government and “teach the seditionists (ISIS) in Iraq a lesson.” Khamenei also voiced his support for Iran’s negotiating team led by Foreign Minister Zarif as well as the continuation of the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1, but warned of extending the bilateral talks beyond the scope of the nuclear issue.

ISNA reported that while speaking to a group of young political activists, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani discussed his candidacy in the 2013 Iranian presidential election and said, “When I announced that I wouldn’t be a candidate you saw how it worked-up the hard-liners, and when I said that ‘they won’t allow me to be a candidate,’ I had already become one and you know what happened next...the hard-liners true political intentions were revealed.” Rafsanjani added, “The political slogan of ‘moderation’ has become a part of our culture.” ISNA also posted a set of photos of Rafsanjani’s meeting.

According to Mehr News Agency, during a weekly cabinet meeting, President Hassan Rouhani defended Reza Faraji Dana, his administration’s science minister from calls of impeachment in Parliament. “Dr. Faraji Dana is a competent, knowledgeable, educated, managerial, resourceful and an ethical person. I have seen first-hand his moral character,” said Rouhani.

ISNA reported that the third court session of Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi Hashemi will be held in Branch 28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court on Monday, August 19. Mohammad Moghiseh will be the presiding judge.


The Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) reported that in a closed door Parliamentary session, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council gave MPs “the latest regional security assessment, which included the most recent developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.”


In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said, “Bilateral meetings between Iran and the members of the P5 +1 are set for the next round of talks,” and that “we currently are reviewing proposals regarding where and when exactly they should be held.” Araghchi also confirmed that there will be no meetings related to the negotiations in the coming week.


According to Tabnak News, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh revealed that Royal Dutch Shell is ready to pay its $2.3 billion dollar debt stemming from previous oil purchases, “but currently there is no mechanism for repayment as a result of the sanctions,” according to Zangeneh.

Fars News Agency reported that according to the latest inflation report from Iran’s Statistical Center, the inflation rate from late June to late July dropped 2.5 percent in rural areas and now stands at 25.8 percent.


According to ISNA, the Deputy Secretary General of Iran's Anti-Drug Task Force Ali Reza Jazini announced that in the past week, four tons of narcotics have been confiscated with the majority of it being opium. Jazini added, “29 people have been arrested and 22 vehicles have been confiscated during this period.”


Artists of Iranian cinema, including banned director Jafar Panahi attend the eighth annual critics’ choice awards ceremony.

Weightlifters compete in Iran’s Premier Weightlifting League.

The artwork of a number of female artists were featured in a special workshop dedicated to the people of Gaza.