International Affairs

Iranian president to leave for UN General Assembly in New York on Monday – following his visit to New York, President Ahmadinejad will also travel to Venezuela, Mauritania and Sudan.

Iranian Interior Minister due in Russia today – The Iranian Embassy in Moscow’s anti-drug military liaison officer, Mousa Ali-Mohammadi, said that Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar is due in Russia this week to discuss a joint operation to crack down on drug smugglers along the Afghanistan-Iran-Europe-Russia route. Ali-Mohammadi said that “During his two-day stay in Moscow, Monday and Tuesday, the interior minister will discuss with other Russian officials logistic and practical ways to promote Iran-Russia cooperation on preventing and fighting drug trafficking.” Ali-Mohammadi said that as Secretary-General of Iran Drug Control Headquarters, Najjar would also visit rehabilitation centers for drug addicts while in Russia. (Press TV)

FM: Final decision regarding release of two Americans held by judicial authority – Responding to questions from journalists regarding the release of two US citizens accused of spying in Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the final decision regarding this issue was in the hands of the judicial authority but added that, based on his information, the judicial authority plans to commute the sentence of the two Americans. He called on the US government to show a gesture of goodwill and release Iranians imprisoned in American jails. (ISNA)

BBC employees arrested in Tehran: only two days after publication of reported exposure of extensive network in Tehran of collaborators with BBC’s Persian service – Iranian sources report the arrest of several such people at various locations in Tehran. According to reports, the network comprises people who have provided information, clips, news and secret reports to the BBC in order to tarnish Iran’s reputation.

First international Islamic Awakening conference in Iran attended by officials and intellectuals from Iran and 80 other countries over weekend -

Supreme Leader calls on nations in the region to “never trust the US, NATO and the criminal regimes of Britain, France and Italy” – In the first Islamic Awakening conference taking place in Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appealed to regional nations and said: “Never trust the US, NATO and the criminal regimes such as Britain, France and Italy, which have divided and plundered your land for the longest time ever. Suspect them and never be taken in by their smiles. Behind their smiles and statements lie conspiracies and betrayal.”

Secretary General of the conference: “Palestine, Jerusalem and resistance to Zionist-regime crimes are core issues in the Muslim world” – Ali Akbar Velayati, top advisor to the Supreme Leader on Foreign Affairs and Secretary General of the conference, stressed that the core issue in the Islamic world today is that of Palestine, Jerusalem and the battle against the crimes of the Zionist regime. According to Velayati, this issue has become one of the cornerstones of the Islamic awakening, sparking hope in the hearts of Muslims. (Fars)

Defense Minister:Second wave of Islamic awakening is beginning: the struggle against the Zionist regime”-  Defense Minister Sardar Ahmad Vahidi addressed recent events in the region and said that the Islamic awakening represents a turning point in modern history and a turning point in the history of Islamic nations. According to Vahidi, events in Egypt, including the overthrow of the Zionist regime’s spy ring and the expulsion of the Zionist ambassador, have brought events to a head. He emphasized that “the second wave of the Islamic awakening in the form of the battle against the Zionist regime is beginning,” and expressed the hope that this wave would continue with renewed force. (Mehr)

Tension growing between Iran and Turkey:

Head of Iran-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group: NATO missile shield in Turkey is a conspiracy, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is only interested in protecting US interests in the region – Ali Akbar Aqaei-Moghanjuee said that “The US has deployed the missile system in Turkey only to expand its domination over countries in the region.” He added that the deployment of a missile system would only provide grounds for the eruption of hostilities between Ankara and regional Muslims. He said that “The Turkish nation should know that NATO is only seeking to act against Islamic countries in the region through invading and taking advantage of the country.”

Mehr News Commentary: “Turkey’s defense of rights of oppressed Palestinians in Gaza Strip can be interpreted as pretext paving the way for the establishment of a NATO missile defense system on Turkish territory” – The editorial reads, “Out of the blue, one hot summer’s night, Turkey has decided to allow NATO to set up a radar system on its territory, to become part of NATO’s missile-defense system. This is perhaps the second act in a new regional scenario devised by the Turkish government. The first act began with the unprecedented rise in tension in the country’s relations with Israel over the Zionist regime’s attack on the flagship of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, the Mavi Marmara […] However, many political analysts believe that Turkey’s decision to downgrade the level of its diplomatic relations with Israel is actually a ruse aimed at creating a new situation in the region that will enable Turkey to pursue its old aspirations. In other words, Turkey’s defense of the rights of the oppressed Palestinians of the Gaza Strip can be viewed as a pretext to pave the way for the realization of another objective, namely the establishment of part of the NATO missile defense system on Turkish territory. This will benefit Turkey more than any other country in the region, but will be detrimental to the interests of two major regional powers, Syria and Iran […] It seems that the Turkish foreign policy apparatus has miscalculated the consequences of the decision to allow NATO to set up a radar system on its territory, especially given the volatile situation in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Iran issues a harsh warning to Turkey – According to a report in the Iranian social political weekly, a senior Iranian official has sent Erdogan a harsh warning against so called “new Turkish plots in the region.” The report stated that these Turkish gestures to the US will lead to its downfall. The senior Iranian official further warned the Turkish Prime Minister of crossing any red lines saying that he should not make the mistake of thinking that anyone who becomes an American puppet in the region will be held in esteem by the region.

FM, Majlis Speaker meet visiting Iraqi VP – Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has discussed regional developments and Tehran-Baghdad relations in a meeting with the visiting Iraqi Vice President, Adel Abd al-Mahdi.  Salehi expressed hope that cooperation between neighbors would pave the way for Iraq to play a prominent role in the region. Majils speaker Ali Larijani said that good cooperation between Iran and Iraq can be beneficial to all regional countries and have a positive influence on regional developments. The Majlis speaker also underlined the need for vigilance and increased integration and unity between Muslim people in the region to confront the conspiracies of the major powers. (Press TV, IRNA)

Ahmadinejad: “Recognition of Israel incompatible with talk of justice” – addressing a gathering in Ardabil, Ahmadinejad said, “The peoples of the region should know that if some of those in their countries claim to be pursuing a quest for justice and freedom, their claims should first be verified and their stance on the criminal hegemony of the United States and the Zionists should also be made clear […] It is impossible that someone can claim to be in quest of justice and freedom who does not oppose the Zionists […] Anyone who claims to be a democrat, but behind the scenes recognizes the Zionist regime and the rule of the U.S. in the region, is a dreadful liar.”

Military Affairs

Conclusion of ‘Harime Velayat 3aerial defense maneuvers:

Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army, Brigadier General Abdul-Rahim Mousavi:  foreign aircraft optimized by Iranian experts have improved capabilities compared with their original versions – Mousavi said, “When the countries manufacturing our planes see these fighter jets, they are astonished by these planes’ varieties and capabilities.” The commander said a considerable number of night-operation tactics and plans had been carried out during the maneuvers, adding that several squadrons of F-4, F-5, F-14, Sukhoi SU-24, MiG-29 and C-130, and Saeqeh fighter jets had taken part in the night operations.

Air Defense Commander: Iran seeking ways to intercept incoming guided missiles – Lieutenant Commander of Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defense Base for Electronic Warfare, Colonel Moharram Qolizadeh, referred to the key role of electronic jamming systems in winning electronic warfare, and said Iran is seeking to go one more step in intercepting incoming guided missiles. He said that “When a guided missile is launched by the enemy, it is not possible to destroy it through jamming systems, but only to redirect it in such a way that the missile loses its precision targeting capabilities […] We have a project at hand that is in fact one stage ahead of jamming to ‘deceive’ incoming missiles […] In this stage, we are able to disrupt the transmission of data to the data-processing unit of incoming missiles, reprogram it with our own information, and redirect the missile towards our required target.” He also addressed the enemy’s efforts in using systems such as drones to identify sensitive areas in Iran, and emphasized that “all the activity of these drones is being monitored by us and we can disrupt this activity through jamming systems, even physically damaging them in missions such as mapping and identification”. According to Qolizadeh, Iran’s active and passive radar systems are on constant alert to identify, monitor and destroy any unidentified aircraft attempting to violate Iranian airspace.

IRIAF Commander: new radar systems and equipment will soon launch operation - Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi said that “At present the TACON (Tactical Control) systems and PAR (Precision Approach Radar) which have been designed and built entirely by Iran are ready to start work in operational zones.” He made the remarks during the fourth and final phase of the Air Force maneuvers codenamed ‘Harime Velayat 3‘, adding that the Iranian Air Force used mobile communication centers, mobile watchtowers, mobile digital telecommunication centers and tens of other new domestically produced projects during the exercises (Fars).

IRIAF Iran has successfully test-fired a home-made anti-radar smart missile, capable of destroying even mobile targets with 100 percent precision - Air Force Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Alavi said that  the air-to-ground missile was fired from a Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet during the air drills in Northwestern Iran and destroyed the target with 100 percent precision. He added that the Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) had also tested firing laser, thermal and TV-guided missiles with various ranges.

Ferdowsi University hosts international conference on information security & cryptology – The Eighth International Conference on Information Security and Cryptology was held at Ferdowsi University. Secretary of the conference, Mohsen Kahani, said that the annual event aims to present the latest findings on information security and cryptology. He said that while a large variety of data and information is produced and exchanged via computer networks and systems, overlooking the issue of security is a serious threat. Kahani further noted that the annual conferences of Iran’s Society of Cryptology aim to solve the challenges facing information security and offer approaches that will overcome the problems (IRNA, um.ac.ir).

Economic Affairs

Norwegian company STATOIL ends operations with Iran’s oil industries – Norwegian company STATOIL Hydro has ended all of its oil activities with Iran’s oil industries and will be forced to pay Iran compensation for terminating the contract before its expiration. STATOIL is a multinational oil company that has successfully completed numerous projects in Iran’s oil and gas sector over the past two decades. According to Iran’s Ministry of Oil, STATOIL terminated its cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Company for unspecified reasons and completely folded its Tehran offices six months ago. (Mehr)

Iran soon to be included in list of jet fuel exporters – Oil market experts believe that Iran’s inclusion in the list of fuel exporters will not significantly impact European and Middle Eastern markets. According to these reports, Iranian jet fuel exports will be minimal and cannot affect the market.  The Director General of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company recently announced that Iran plans to use jet-fuel pipelines. (Fars)

US pressing Pakistan to cancel agreement to purchase gas from Iran – According to a Daneshjoos report, energy experts and officials in Pakistan have called on the Pakistani government to adhere to all of its obligations in the gas shipment project from Iran. This appeal came in light of US pressure on the Pakistani government to cancel its contract to purchase gas from Iran. (Fars)

Iranian control of Turkish oil market – In July 2011, Iran exported 2.9 million tons of fuel to Turkey, positioning itself as the largest fuel supplier in the Turkish energy market. In July, Iran supplied 14% of all of Turkey’s fuel imports. (Pana News)

Human Rights

Five Christians Sentenced to PrisonFive Iranian Christians have been sentenced to a total of five years in prison, despite the fact that they were exonerated of all charges by a lower court. They were retried because the prosecutor had objected to the initial verdicts. According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the Appeals Court of Fars Province handed down a one-year prison term for Behroz Sadeq Khanjani, Mohammad Belyad, Nazli Kamarian, Parviz Khalaj and Mehdi Forotan. Mathias Hagh-Nejad who was recently released on a bail equivalent to approximately USD28,000 confirmed the verdicts against these individuals and said, “I am also awaiting trial, and Mehrdad Gharoni, another Christian citizen, is imprisoned behind bars in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in Esfahan.” Yosef Nadarkhani will also be tried in Gilan’s Revolutionary Court, Branch 11, on September 25, 2011. After the new verdicts were issued by the Appeals Court, the five Christians were summoned to serve their prison terms (HRANA). More

Lawyer and women’s rights activist sentenced to six years in prison and ten-year ban on practicing law – The appeals court has sentenced lawyer and women’s rights activist Nasrin Soitudeh to six years in prison. In addition, Nasrin has been banned from practicing law for ten years. Sotudeh is currently imprisoned in Evin Prison and as a result of her and her relatives’ humiliation during the last meeting between them, she declared a ‘meeting strike’ until her conditions are improved and her basic rights met. Sotoudeh’s arrest and trial has been accompanied by an extensive international media campaign.

Fifty Lashes for Somayeh Tohidlou a Ph.D. student arrested during the elections in 2009 - “Be happy, for if you wanted to humiliate me, I confess that I feel my entire body is suffering with degradation.” Somayeh, a Ph.D. student in Sociology, was arrested one day after the fraudulent 2009 elections. Eight men broke their way into her house at 3:00 am and searched her residence for an hour, confiscating her camera, laptop and other belongings. She was sentenced to one year in prison and fifty lashes but was finally released on a USD 200,000 bail. However, her sentence of fifty lashes for insulting the President was not rescinded and was executed last week. After the lashings, she wrote in her popular blog titled “I write, remember and for myself”:

“Be happy, for if you wanted to humiliate me, I confess that I feel my entire body is suffering with degradation. With strength that I do not believe will ever repeat itself, what do I have left? Only those verses, forever. I read them to you, under pressure, when the people in charge struck I read that G-d told Moses, drop your rod and do not fear! You could not sense the sweet flow of this verse as you were occupied with your whip. Although Moses was not there and there was no rod, there was one heart who will not forget this day. Ever. Today I was humiliated, my pride shattered into millions of pieces. But greatness and smallness are in the hands of G-d and He keeps his promise. Otherwise, what would we do without Him in these times?!”

(tahavolesabz, azarmehr.blogspot)

Friday prayer preacher: “Cultural activities do not only consist of reading slogans but also involve whippings and executions” – Conservative Majlis member Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, who served as Friday prayer preacher in Esfahan, said that some claim that they are involved in cultural activities. Cultural activities, however, do not only involve speeches and slogans. “Islam also includes punishments with canings and executions, and there is no reason to lighten a sentence.

First Iranian student ever suspended from studies for smoking cigarettes – A student found smoking on university campus was suspended from studies by the university’s disciplinary committee. The secretary of the central committee of disciplinary affairs in the Ministry of Health addressed the suspension of the student who smoked, claiming that university disciplinary rules prohibit smoking on campus and the punishment for infraction of this rule is suspension from studies.

Three student activists in Sanandaj arrested – Internal security forces recently arrested three student activists in Sanandaj: Suran Daneshvar, Milad Karimi and Mahdi Doagou. The three were members of the Democratic Union of Kurdish Students and were arrested after being summoned to the intelligence headquarters in the city. No information about their condition or whereabouts has been made available.

Senior opposition cleric prevented from meetings – The family of Ayatollah Kazemini Borujerdi has been prevented from seeing him. His family was not allowed to meet with Borujerdi and one prison security officer has told family members that the order to cancel the meeting with the Ayatollah was issued by a special court for clergy. Borujerdi is a cleric opposing the Iranian regime due to his belief in the separation of religion and state.

Special reporter on human rights affairs prevented from leaving Iran – Following an article sent by him, Dr. Mohammad Maleki, a special reporter on human rights affairs, was prohibited from leaving Iran. The travel ban was imposed by the judicial authority, and is apparently not related to previous charges against him. Political prisoner Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first president of Tehran University and senior political activist, sent a letter to the UN reporter on human rights affairs in Iran describing the pressure and torture he had experienced in Iranian prison. In the letter, Maleki even expressed a willingness to meet with the reporter to provide information.

Student activist fired from job due to pressure from security forces – Student activist and head of the Esfahan branch of the Tahkim office, Bahram Esmaeil Bigi, has been fired from his job following pressure applied by security forces. According to the report, the intelligence department in Esfahan ordered security officials in the Esfahan Steel Corporation, where Bigi worked, to fire him due to his political activities. Bigi said that during his last interrogation, his interrogators threatened that he would be fired from his job if he did not abandon his political activities and end his support for the Green Movement. (Rahe Sabz)

Over four people a day executed over the past eleven days – Human rights activists in Iran have reported that over the past eleven days, over four people a day have been executed in Iran. According to official statistics, 53 prisoners were executed during this period, making an average of four executions a day. (HRA)

Domestic Affairs

Iran continues to be occupied by embezzlement case as Central Bank Governor claims no evidence of funneling of billions of dollars outside Iran – The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Mahmoud Bahmani, discussed the embezzlement of three billion dollars from the bank from the Saderat Bank, and claimed that there is no information indicating that the money was funnelled out of Iran. He added that all assets of the Amir Mansour Arie Company, which was involved in the embezzlement, have been frozen and confiscated by the Central Bank with the assistance of the Intelligence Ministry and the State Comptroller. (Mehr)

Ahmadinejad addresses gathering in Ardabil: Government’s silence will not last forever” – Ahmadinejad stated, “The government’s silence on the accusations leveled against it in connection with the 3-billion dollar embezzlement from Saderat Bank will not last forever. Certain people have launched a propaganda campaign and are trying to level accusations against the cleanest government ever […] We have kept silent due to our respect for the beloved Leader and the nation, but the ill-wishers must be aware that the government’s silence will not last forever […] They are accusing the government of helping the main perpetrators escape punishment.” Ahmadinejad also said that making unfounded accusations against the government is a “great betrayal,” emphasizing that even if all ill-wishers unite against him and slander him, he will not capitulate and he will continue defending the nation’s rights. Ahmadinejad called on the Judiciary to deal firmly with all those involved in the embezzlement. (Mehr) More from Radio Zamaneh

Rahim-Mashaii’s Lawyer: ten people sued for defaming Mashaii Ali Asghar Hosseini, lawyer of Presidential Office Chief of Staff Esfandiar – The lawyer of Presidential Office Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii said that he has filed lawsuits against ten people, who have slandered and defamed Mashaii. He said that he cannot release their names before rulings are issued.

President’s brother lashes out at Deviant Stream for looting state treasury – The brother of President Ahmadinejad, Davoud Ahmadinejad, has stated that Western countries have exploited the Deviant Stream’s ideology regarding the coming of the Mahdi in order to mock and ridicule Iran. He further claimed that those belonging to the Deviant Stream are the Devil’s followers. They believe that there is no need for Velayat-e Faqih (Supreme Islamic Jurisprudent) and that they are directly linked to the Hidden Imam. This belief is used by Iran’s enemies, who mock this faith and use it to try and harm the beliefs of young Iranians. The Deviant Stream is essentially the satanic stream. The president’s brother added that the deviant stream uses government funding to plunder government wealth and exploits the treasury to send people to the Majlis who can be told what to do and controlled.

Current Tehran mayor is Supreme Leader and IRGC’s next presidential candidate – Green Movement-affiliated Jaras website reports that for the next presidential elections in Iran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, former IRGC officer and pilot and current mayor of Tehran, will be the Supreme Leader’s and IRGC presidential candidate. According to these reports, the IRCG will support Ghalibaf due to his past as an IRGC officer. In addition, the Supreme Leader has realized that he was responsible for historical mistakes by his support of Ahmadinejad. Iran currently needs a president who will be liked by the younger generation. Ghalibaf was an electoral candidate six years ago. Following Ahmadinejad’s victory, he was appointed Mayor of Tehran. (Rahe Sabz)