International Affairs

Advisor to the Supreme Leader at the first ever International Conference on Islamic Awakening: The West has no right to decide the future of Libya; Syria is a major kink in the chain of resistance; the Syrian regime will enact reforms – Ali Akbar Velayati, the Supreme Leader’s advisor on international affairs is serving as Secretary General of the first ever International Conference on Islamic Awakening. On the first day of the conference, he stressed that the issue of Libya has no connection whatsoever to Europe and the West, who have no right to decide the future of the country and its citizens. He strongly criticized the conference held in Europe on Libya and said that the citizens of Libya have made many sacrifices to overthrow their dictator but it is very unfortunate that European countries are having a conference to decide the future of Libya. He added, “Unfortunately Europe believes that the Libyan revolution occurred in order to allow France and Italy to take more oil from Libya. This is a giant plot.”

Velayati also remarked on events in Syria, and said that Syria is one of the major links in the chain of resistance against the Zionist regime, a chain that led two victories over the Zionist regime, which is now trying to harm Syria. He said that it is only natural for the Syrian people to have demands, and according to reports coming from Syria, the Syrian government intends to reform the country. He mentioned that Syrian dissidents had been invited to the International Conference on Islamic Awakening and said that the opinions of anyone who is not connected to foreign influences and does not threaten the resistance, will be heard at the conference. (Simorgh Report)

Ahmadinejad met his Tajik counterpart in Dushanbe – During a meeting in Dushanbe, Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Tajik President Emomalii Rahmon explored ways to increase relations between Tehran and Dushanbe in all spheres. They also discussed the latest developments taking place in the region. The value of annual trade between Iran and Tajikistan is more than USD 200 million. Ahmadinejad arrived in the Tajik capital on Sunday and was officially welcomed by Rahmon. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Energy Minister Majid Namjou, and Presidential Office Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii are accompanying Ahmadinejad in his two-day visit. The president is scheduled to hold talks with a number of Tajik officials during his stay. In addition, the first turbine of the Toodeh 2 hydroelectric power plant, which an Iranian company constructed in Tajikistan, will become operational during his trip. (Tehrantimes, President.ir).

Ahmadinejad: Iran will always stand by the Palestinian nation and the resistance movement – In a telephone conversation with Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashal the other night, Iranian President Ahmadinejad Ahmadinejad said that the international situation has changed in favor of Palestinians. Mashaal said that the Palestinian nation and the resistance movement will always be grateful for Iran’s support (President.ir).

FM: Iran is ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia on removing current misunderstandings in bilateral relations – Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said, “We have asked Saudi officials to come to Iran for talks.” He pointed out that such talks could focus on removing the current misunderstandings in bilateral relations between the countries. Salehi added, “Saudi Arabia is a large and important country that enjoys a special status in Muslim World, especially among Arab nations.” He added holding talks between Iranian and Saudi officials could certainly help to establish stability and peace in the region. “We heard that Saudi Arabia is pulling its troops out of Bahrain and we hope that this trend will continue in the future.” (IRNA)

Majlis chairman’s trip to China and North Korea cancelled – The Ayande website, which is identified with the family of Rafsanjani, reported that this visit of Majlis chairman Ali Larijani to China and North Korea, which was supposed to take place next week, has been postponed. Ayanda reports extensively on the protests against the visit in the Western media, and emphasizes that there is still no information about the reason for the cancellation but it is unlikely that it is related to the issue of sanctions and boycott against Iran. (Ayande)

“Contact with the US is a betrayal of the regime and the spirit of Iman Khomeini” – Hojjatolislam Jafar Shajuni, a member of the central committee of the Association of Combatant Clergy, commented on the steps taken by the “deviant stream” in its presentation on the issue of relations with the US. He said, “Revolutionary Iran has been in a practical struggle with the US for the last three decades. Islamic nations, inspired by the revolution in Iran, are currently fighting puppet governments and mercenaries of the US. In the current situation, where the US is thirstier than ever in for plundering the interests of other countries, raising the issue of relations with the US is a betrayal of the regime and of the spirit of Imam Khomeini. We expect the president to act with vigilance and keep the deviant stream out of his environs, because it does neither him nor the regime any good.” (Javan)

Military Affairs

The nuclear power station at Bushehr is connected to the national grid – The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced on Sunday that the nuclear power station at Bushehr was connected to the national power grid at 11:39 p.m. on Saturday with an output of approximately 60 megawatts. During the coming days, the necessary tests will be conducted to ascertain the complete compatibility of this project with the national grid. (IRNA)

Russian NATO representative to visit Iran and examine its missile program – According to reports of the Russian news agency, the permanent representative of Russia to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Dmitry Rogozin will visit Iran in late September and prepare a report on Iran’s missile program, which he will submit to the president of Russia. (Peyke Iran)

Shalamcheh missiles transferred to Air Defense Headquarters: – In a ceremony held with the participation of Iran’s Minister of Defense, Sardar Ahmad Vahidi, the Shalamcheh air-surface missiles were transferred to the Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defense Headquarters. This is a medium-range missile, which is good for up to 40 km, and one that can also be used for short distance, at very high speeds, close to Mach 3. The missile is resistant to electronic warfare and is equipped with the most advanced technologies. Vahidi explained, “The uniqueness of the Shalamcheh missile is its ability to effectively hit targets, defend against jamming and electronic warfare and use modern technologies. The fact that today Iran is able to produce and hand over such important products by relying on its own specialists shows the growth and dynamism of the defense industry.” (Defan Iran) A video showing the firing of a Shalamcheh missile and radar system.

Air Defense Commander: “If Iran is attacked, its skies, land and seas will be turn into hell” – Amir Farzad Esmaili, Commander of Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defense Base, gave a speech before the sermon during the central Friday prayers, in honor of Air Defense Day. He reported that the Supreme Leader had said that air defense is currently the highest priority. He added, “In only three years since the headquarters were established, we have been able to achieve independence in our air defense needs. We have proven that sanctions do not constitute a threat for Iran, but an opportunity to grow and flourish.” In closing, Amir Esmaili made it ​​clear: “I, as one of the leaders of the Iranian armed forces serving the people, want to send a message to Iran’s sworn enemies. If our enemies are stricken with foolishness and get it into their heads to attack the sacred borders of dear Iran its skies, land and seas will be turned into hell for them. They will burn in the fires of their selfishness.” (Fars)

IRGC starts extensive operations against PEJAK – Over the weekend, the public relations department of the IRGC Ground Force announced the beginning of massive operations in northwestern Iran against PEJAK (Kurdish separatist) groups.

Economic Affairs

Sanctions Watch

Head of the Majlis Economic Affairs Committee: Khamenei methods of bypassing sanctions must not be revealed – Arsalan Fathipur, head of the Majlis Economic Affairs Committee said that “all trade information as well as methods for bypassing sanctions are considered classified and secret, and revealing them to the enemy may create difficulties and prove costly for Iran’s economy.” (Fars)

Managing Director of the Organization for Investment, and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran: Private investment not subject to sanctions – Behruz Alishiri, Managing Director of the Organization for Investment, and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran, said that direct private investments in Iran are not subject to sanctions. He added that the majority of projects subject to sanctions are those over USD 25 million in the oil and gas sector. He went on to say that certain companies were named in the sanction resolutions and banned from doing business with Iran but that foreign investors “have come to an understanding with those who enacted the sanctions” and have started a number of projects in Iran. (Borna News)

China to reduce investments in Iranian gas and oil, according to a secret agreement between the US and China – Quoting Reuters, the newspaper Quds and reported on a secret agreement between China and the US. Under terms of this agreement China will reduce its investments in Iranian gas and oil, and intentionally slow the pace of development in its current projects. Simultaneously, since last June Iranian papers have reported that the Chinese National Oil Company has received two warnings from National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) that it must accelerate the pace of its activity on the South Pars oilfield or it stands to lose the contract, worth several billion dollars. (Quds)

Iran plans to attract USD 25 billion in investments for its oil industry by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2012) – Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Ghalebani stated that Iran’s oil industries have attracted around USD 18 billion of investment in the last Iranian year (which ended on March 20). He said that USD 5.2 billion have been invested for the development of South Pars gas field during the past few months. Earlier in August, Managing-Director of Pars Energy Special Economic Zone Pirouz Mousavi downplayed effects of international and unilateral sanctions against Iran, and said a large number of foreign companies are vying with each other to resume or start activity in the country’s energy sector. “Foreign energy companies are keen to invest in Iran’s oil sector, particularly in South Pars’ downstream and upstream projects,”

Main points from the news conference given by Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Ghalebani

Talks with the Russian company Gazprom on the development of a joint oilfield were unsuccessful even though there was an agreement of principles with the Russian company. In the end, Gazprom did not agree to sign the contract. Instead, it appears that the contract will be signed with a conglomerate of several Iranian companies in the near future. However, if the Russians express interest in participating in the project, talks with them will be given priority.

He explained the suspension of the contract with the Belarusian oil company for developing the Jiroft oilfield: Three stages were established for development of the field but the Belarusian company recanted on its desire to participate in the first and second stages of the project.

The reports that Iran is bartering 50,000 barrels of oil a day are incorrect. The bartering of oil was renewed only recently and has not yet reached this level.

China is delaying the implementation of two large oil and gas initiatives. One of the Chinese companies involved in the enterprise for early production at the Yadavaran oilfield is 11% behind schedule, while another Chinese company is lagging on the development of the South Pars oilfield, stage 11, by several dozen percent.

The national drilling company will be privatized in the near future, under the terms of the Privatization Law. (Mehr)

Renewal of contracts for oil sales Japan and South Korea – Mohsen Ghamsari, International Affairs Manager at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced the renewal of the contracts for exporting of Iranian oil to Japan and South Korea for 2012 and denied news that some Japanese refineries has asked to reduce their crude purchases from Iran. He added that Iran currently exports approximately 450,000 bpd of crude oil to the countries. (Ir Diplomatic)

Iran denies that NIOC are assets frozen in Europe – Payam Bathaei, a Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) denied reports that the company’s assets have been frozen by the European Union. He also claimed that not a single asset or building of NIOC is now frozen Europe. (Mehr)

CBI Governor: India has paid its multi-billion-dollar oil debts to Iran – Mahmoud Bahmani Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor said that New Delhi’s five-billion-dollar debt to Tehran has been fully settled. He noted that India still has unpaid debts to Iran because Iran is continuing supply of crude to Indian refineries, but these are not overdue payments. Bahmani added that although the Indian side was interested in paying its debts through barter, the request was not accepted by Tehran (Fars)

Largest gas contracts in the Persian Gulf signed – Mahmoud Zirakchian, CEO of the Iranian oil company Falat Ghare announced that a contract valued at USD 5 billion would soon be signed for the development of the Farzad B gas field, with a corporation consisting of three international companies from Asia. He added that this is the largest gas contract in the Persian Gulf to involve international companies. (Mehr)

Iranian oil rig made available to Turkmenistan – CEO of the drilling company Shomal, Hedayat Khadami, spoke about the drilling oil wells outside the borders of the Caspian Sea and announced that Iran Khazar drilling platform is now operating at a well drilled for Dragon company from Turkmenistan. (Fars)

Maserati opens an agency in Iran – The Italian manufacturer of luxury cars Maserati has announced plans to open an authorized agency to sell its cars in Iran. Plans are to open the agency, which will be owned by Maserati, in 2012. Its sole business will be importing vehicles. (Asr Iran)

The President bans rice imports – The Governor of Mazandaran Province announced that Iranian President Ahmadinejad ordered that all imports of rice into Iran be halted, in order to support domestic rice production. He stressed that the proclamation requires that all rice imports to Iran must cease by November, and anyone acting on their own accord to import rice from abroad will be severely punished. (Raja)

Plans to increase water prices by 20 percent – Deputy Energy Minister for Water announced that the Department of Energy submitted a proposal for raising water prices by 20 percent to the Office for Subsidy Reform. He claimed that the legislature allows the government to raise prices up to this ceiling. He added that the Department of Energy supports price increases to facilitate the delivery better service to citizens. (Fars)

Approval for investing foreign capital in three major economic initiatives – Chairman of the Association for Joint Iranian and Foreign Capital Investment reported that approvals have been the issued for the investment of foreign capital in three major, economic projects. One of them is a large shopping mall construction project in Kerman Province, where foreign, private-sector investors are making investments worth USD 135 million. One of the foreign investor is from the Persian Gulf. (Quds Daily)

Human Rights

Iran youths arrested for playing water games in more parks – Several dozen young people, from different cities in northern Mazandran province, have been arrested for planning water games in parks last Friday. Using the social network Facebook, they had declared a “Water Day” on that day. As in previous cases, the young people were met by a massive security force that was in place at the predetermined locations well in advance, and many of them were arrested. According to reports from Amol, security forces there violently attacked the young people who came to play water games in the parks and arrested them by the dozen. In Ghaem Shar, security forces searched the young people who came to the announced sites, and arrested anyone who found possessing a water rifle. There were reports on mass arrests in other cities outside the province including Tehran, Mashhad, Hamadan, and others. (Rahe Sabz)

Blogger refuses to sign on the 15 year sentence imposed on him – The Court of Evin Prison is pressuring blogger Hosseyn Ronaghi Maleki to sign on the heavy sentence imposed on him, 15 years in prison. However, there are reports that Ronaghi has, until now, refrained from signing his sentence. Therefore, he was severely beaten by his interrogators and jailers, and is now facing even more intense pressure. The young blogger has undergone two serious kidney operations during his imprisonment and requires medical care beyond what the prison can provide, but the Intelligence Branch of the IRGC has prevented him from receiving leave for medical treatment. (Daneshjoo)

Kurdish student activist arrested – Milad Karimi, a student activist from the Kurdish minority was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence in Sannadaj and arrested. Milad is Secretary General of the Student Union at the Open University in Sannadaj and Deputy Secretary of the Democratic Union of Kurdish students. (HRA)

Fear for the life of lawyer imprisoned in Tabriz – Iranian human rights activists reported that Janid Hootan Kian, a lawyer detained in Tabriz Prison is under heavy pressure and in poor physical condition. He was arrested last October while serving as an attorney for Sakineh Mihammdi (a woman condemned to death by stoning). In the approximately 10 months since his arrest he has been held in isolation, and the pressure on him has been increased significantly following the exposure of details about his case and the torture he suffered at the Ministry of Intelligence. (HRA)

Dervish Committee members hurt after call issued by student of religion – After a student of religion against spoke out against members of Dervish Committee in Kavar, calling them American Dervishes, a group of radicals took independent action against Dervishes in the town, set fire to shops belonging to members of the community and even shot at them. The report also noted the involvement of internal security forces in the clashes, during which several Dervishes were injured. They reported a security and military atmosphere in the town. (HRA)

Domestic Affairs

Iran denies claims about its plans to extract uranium from Lake Orumiya – Ali Nazari-doost, Head of the National Project for the Preservation of Iran’s Natural Resources denied the reports on VOA that Iran is drying Lake Orumiya in order to extract uranium from it. He claimed that salt is the only natural resource produced at the lake and that the organization he heads closely supervises activity around the lake, which is a National Preserve and all mining there is strictly prohibited. He stressed that the only causes of the lake’s drying is the ongoing shortage of rain and uncontrolled pumping. Fars News published a caricature depicting the lake. Ismaeil Kosari of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said that the shrinkage of Lake Orumiyeh is due to the fact that parts of the country and the region were affected by drought in recent years. He also said that the claim made by the United States that uranium can be found on Orumiyeh Lake bed is a big lie. Kosari added that U.S. officials are spreading lies with the aim of making the people of Azerbaijan suspicious of the system for political purposes. (Fars)

Supreme Leader to the government and president: You must keep promises made to the public – In a meeting with members of the government, The Supreme Leader thanked the government for its services and stressed the need for commitment and adherence to the slogans and promises given to the public during election campaigns. The Supreme Leader claimed that the public voted for president in the last two elections because of the attractive slogans he disseminated. He noted that these slogans addressed issues including justice, fighting imperialism, simplicity, and the struggle against economic corruption, etc. He emphasized that these are the most important slogans of the government and it must demonstrate complete commitment to implementing them. (Dari)