02 Dec 2009 08:44
Ban on makeup for women, less music on state television
Tabnak | Dec. 1, 2009
The newly reinstated head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting said less music and no makeup are among the new changes to be made at IRIB. Ezatollah Zarghami also said that the state broadcaster would focus on fighting a soft war.
Regarding the reshuffling of CEOs after his reinstatement, Zarghami said, "Changing CEOs is nothing new and has always been done."
He outlined the new IRIB five-year work plan which included: reducing the use of music, protecting women, use of more debates, the training of devoted and experienced staff, creating a revolutionary and ultra-conservative atmosphere throughout the organization, spreading hope about the future of the establishment, raising public awareness about the positive services rendered by the establishment and providing model's of the correct lifestyle with a focus on the importance of family values.
Regarding the topic of music, Zarqami said that while he did not intend to encourage filtering (censorship), there should be vigilance to prevent the occurrence of mistakes.
"The first thing to consider is music," he said. "It appears that too much music is being used in all programs and this must be remedied.... We must sift through the music we have and reduce it [its usage]."
He then touched upon the issue of women, saying that their protection was of the utmost importance. "We must not have presenters who have problems. Also the use of makeup
is religiously and legally wrong and no one must use makeup because it is wrong and not even one instance of it [makeup] must be seen... if there is a female guest on a show it is better to have a female host and radio hosts are not exceptions to this rule."
He added that the IRIB university would see changes to its curriculum and textbooks as well and would move toward becoming more religious and different from other educational facilities.
Mashai is oil consultant to president
Tabnak │Dec. 2, 2009
After being hounded by reporters about Esfandiar Mashai's new position at the Oil Ministry, Masoud Mir-Kazemi finally explained that Mashai has in fact long been Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's oil consultant.
"Mr. Mashai was the president's oil consultant from before," the Oil Minister said.
Despite rejection of this statement by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Mir-Kazemi confirmed Mashai's influence over issues concerning the country's oil sector.
"He [Mashai] accompanies Mr. Ahmadinejad at all the workshops held to review oil projects," Mir-Kazemi said.
Basij Commander: All Tehran residents to join Basij
Tabnak │ Dec. 2, 2009
Basij Commander Hossein Hamadani said the paramilitary force has plans to transform Tehran and that all the inhabitants of the Iranian capital would soon join its ranks.
"We plan to organize things so that all the men and women living in Tehran will soon become members of the Basij," Hamadani told reporters Monday.
According to Hamadani, Basij will draw on its 30-year experience to train experts in cultural and economic fields to counter enemy threats of 'soft war.'
He also touched on the issue of kidnapped Iranian diplomat Ahmad Motevaselian who went missing in Lebanon during the 1980s. "It has been 10,000 days since Motevaselian was captured, but in my opinion it is he who holds his captors hostage."
Iran says that the Israeli army abducted Motevaselian along with three other members of the Iranian consulate.
MP questions Majlis ceremony
Tabnak │ Dec. 2, 2009
Reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian demanded an explanation from Majlis as to why three prominent former parliament speakers were not invited to the "Thanksgiving for Unity" ceremony this year.
"Yesterday's event celebrating National Majlis Day in no way adhered to parliamentary standards, and fell short of the grandeur of last year's ceremony," Kavakebian said on Wednesday.
"The Majlis Presiding Board must explain why former speakers were not invited to the ceremony like last year," he demanded after Mehdi Karroubi, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri and Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani were not invited to parliament.
"These gentlemen could have attended and not delivered speeches but their presence could have helped promote solidarity."
The representative of Semnan province went on to ask the Majlis governing board to introduce a 'Lawmaker of the Year' title based on the number of days an MP was absent and present, as well as [the quality of] questions raised and criticism made in parliament.
Hashemi's absence at Majlis ceremony due to lost invite?
Javan Farda │ Dec.1, 2009
Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani's head of office said the head of the Expediency Council was absent from the "Thanksgiving for Unity" ceremony at Majlis because the invitation arrived too late and Rafsanjani had prior engagements.
Mohammad Hashemi, who is also the brother of the influential cleric, told ILNA on Tuesday that, "Mr. Hashemi received the Majlis letter of invitation on Monday and as he already had other plans was unable to attend the ceremony."
"Majlis was informed that he would not be attending the event," Mohammad Hashemi stressed.
Hashemi's remarks came after reports about not inviting Rafsanjani to the "Thanksgiving for Unity" ceremony were rejected a few times. Mohsen Kouhkan, a member of the Majlis Presiding Board, confirmed the report.
Ahmadinejad absent at Majlis ceremony
Parleman News │Dec. 1, 2009
The "Thanksgiving for Unity" ceremony held in Majlis on Tuesday sparked controversy after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the powerful head of the Expediency Council Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani were no-shows.
When Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi showed up in place of Ahmadinejad, it became clear the Iranian president would be absent from the high-profile event.
After it became clear that Rafsanjani would also not be attending the ceremony, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani pointed out the absence of the influential cleric and the Iranian president and said, "May God remedy this situation."
More than half the seats in parliament were empty. Former lawmakers and other Majlis staff who were previously only allowed to sit in observer seats were asked to fill the vacant seats.
Member of the Majlis Presiding Board Mohsen Kouhkan explained the absence of a considerable number of lawmakers from the ceremony, saying they had accompanied Mohammad-Hassan Abu-Torabi to Kashmar to participate in a memorial for well-known parliamentary figure Seyyed Hassan Modares.
After Larijani's speech, his brother Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of the Judiciary, delivered a lengthy speech.
While the ceremony last year was attended by former Majlis speakers Rafsanjani, Nateq-Nouri and Karroubi, this year many parliamentarians were opposed to extending invitations to the latter two, and there was also talk of not inviting Rafsanjani.
In the end, however, Rafsanjani was invited, in consideration of his position as head of the Expediency Council. A 20-minute time slot was included in the schedule for his speech, but Rafsanjani did not attend the ceremony.
The 199-member guest list included names such as Mousavi and Karroubi but they were ultimately not invited. Former president Mohammad Khatami likewise did not receive an invitation.
Of the 199 guests invited to the ceremony only 30 figures attended the event. Sources of Emulation, the IRGC and police chiefs, and the head of the Islamic Republic Broadcasting (IRIB) were all among the absentees.
The high-profile guests attending the ceremony included Ayatollahs Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani, Mohammed-Reza Mahdavi-kani, Ahmad Janati, Ebrahim Amini, Hojjatoleslams Seyyed Reza Taqavi, Mostafa Pourmohammadi and Abbas Ka'abi; Commanders Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Mohammad-Reza Naqdi; Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi and Housing and Development Minister Ali Nikzad.
Protester killing scenario in the works for 16 Azar
Ghalam Press | Dec.1, 2009
A news report claims that counterrevolutionary agents have imported "poison ampoules" to inject a number of students with on 16 Azar (Dec. 7) and create tension in the country.
According to the Ghalam Press report, the counterrevolutionary plotters aim to kill a number of Mir-Hossein Mousavi's supporters and thereby launch a new blame scenario.
The report says that Western security and intelligence services have used the post-vote experience of protestor deaths in Iran to write the new scenario.
Ghalam Press claims that the "poison ampoules" have been produced in laboratories in a number of Western countries.
The reporter further says this poison can cause partial paralysis and even death.
Makarem-Shirazi: Russia, China not our friends
Tabnak | Dec. 2, 2009
Shia Source of Emulation Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi said the recent IAEA resolution against Iran taught the Islamic Republic the lesson that it is on its own.
"The anti-Iran IAEA resolution had a number of messages for us. One important message was that we are alone in this world and to think that we have friends is wrong because we realized in this affair that even those countries that were politically close with us took a stand against us," the Grand Ayatollah told his students in Qom.
Tacitly referring to Russia and China, Ayatollah Makarem said, "They are not our friends; they are the friends of their own interests. Wherever their interests lie is where they will be."
"Another message this resolution had for us was that we cannot count on anyone and we must rely only on ourselves."
"To think that that with the appointment of a new president, US policies will change is a wrong assumption. Resolutions, sanctions and threats continue and there has only been some change in the language they use but the content [of what they say] is still the
"The third message of the resolution was that with such enemies we must move toward unity hand in hand and set aside our differences."
"The election is over and today we must come together under the banner of the Islamic establishment and the Iranian constitution," said Ayatollah Makarem, adding that "present circumstances make it necessary to forgo personal agendas and keep in mind the overall objectives of the establishment."
Iran to review ties with countries over IAEA vote
Reuters │ Dec. 3, 3009
Iran's parliament will review the Islamic republic's relations with countries that voted against its nuclear activities at the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, the speaker said on Thursday.
"Iran had proper cooperation with the agency's board of governors, but the recent resolution calls for careful studies on the vote in parliament's national security committee," Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.
"Parliament will review Iran's relations with those countries that voted for the recent resolution against us."
The IAEA board angered Iran last week by censuring it for covertly building a second uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, in addition to its main IAEA-monitored one at Natanz, and calling for a halt to construction.
The resolution passed by a 25-3 margin with six abstentions, smoothed by rare backing from Russia and China, which have blocked global attempts to isolate Iran, a trade partner for both, in the past.
"The West's claim that Iran seeks nuclear weapon is a big lie ... the Iranian nation stays firm on its chosen path," state broadcaster IRIB quoted Larajani as saying.