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27 Feb 2010 07:007 Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective. You can also follow our news feeds on Twitter.

IRGC cmdr: Tehran Basij districts to increase from 6 in 22

Tabnak | Feb. 26, 2010

The Commander of the Mohammad Rasoul Allah Guards said that the Basij districts in Tehran will be increased from 6 to 22.

Noting the 8.5 million population of Tehran, Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani said, "In order to have Basij encompass the city of Tehran and in order to see its development we needed to increase the number of Basij districts from 6 to 22."

"With this plan we can also help people to come and go in their own districts. The other aim of this project is to enable district commanders to visit [Basij] headquarters and interact with the commanders of these headquarters," he told ILNA.

Rezaei meets privately with Sources of Emulation in Qom

Fararu | Feb. 26, 2010

Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Council, met privately with Sources of Emulation and seminary elders in Qom.

While Rezaei was originally supposed to have a public meeting with seminary elders in the presence of reporters, the meetings were held separately and in private due to certain complications.

Rezaei began his meetings with the Sources of Emulation by visiting Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi. Parts of the meeting were held behind closed doors.

He next met with Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpayegani on Thursday afternoon and held discussions with him behind closed doors as well.

On Friday he visited Qom Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini in the hospital.

Ejei: Leniency for repenting opposition detainees

Khabar Online | Tabnak | Feb. 26, 2010

Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said the high number of clemency orders granted by the Islamic Republic has been drawing national protests.

Regarding the issue of releasing detained journalists and political prisoners for the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, Ejei told reporters on the sidelines of the Medicine and Law conference in Isfahan that Islamic Republic authorities do not want to see anyone in jail.

"Unless they are individuals who are harmful to national interests and the freedom of the people," he added. "If such a person is allowed to walk free they will undoubtedly cause corruption."

"Those who do not fall under this category are allowed to use leave from prison and [can be released] on parole in certain situations... the number of times clemency is granted by the Islamic Republic is so high that it has caused the people to object."

"If the guilty individual shows remorse, repents and does not have a private complainant they will without a doubt be granted clemency or receive a reduction in their sentences."

"The same goes for the recent incidents. If individuals arrested during the recent riots ... truthfully repent and make up for the damages they have inflicted and redeem themselves from their past actions they will be helped in the appeals court."

"The people said two things on 22 Bahman: first they told the enemy that 'propaganda and devious acts will not cause the Iranian nation to fold with regards to your illegitimate demands'.... Secondly, they told those individuals who were deceived or made a mistake to wake up [and realize the truth] because if they do not wake up the people will take another course of action against them."

"One of the demands the people had of the judicial system and other organizations in charge was that they take action against these individuals should they continue with their atrocious, seditionist and illegal acts and the judiciary will definitely deal with them."

He warned the opposition that they have been given an ultimatum and if they continue with their past actions they will be severely punished.

"For instance there have been rumors that in the final days of the current Persian year, some have decided to use this opportunity [Fireworks Wednesday] for certain purposes [staging protests]. But they should know that after all the ultimatums given they will be dealt with relentlessly."

Ahmadinejad meets with Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah

Tabnak | Feb. 26, 2010

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrollah in the Syrian Capital of Damascus.

According to an ISNA report, Nasrollah and Ahmadinejad discussed the latest international and regional developments.

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7 Comments

re: "Tehran Basij districts to increase from 6 in 22"

a) Tehran - urbanisation:
Tehran is the largest city in the Middle East and is the 16th most populated city in the world with a population of approximately 8 million in 2006. Tehran is one of Iran's largest urban areas, i.e. ca. 11 % of the Iranian population live in Tehran city.
The metropolitan region of Tehran is inhabited by about 14 million people (conurbation and commuter towns), i.e. ca. 20% of Iran’s total population live in the metropolitan region Tehran.


b) IRGC - economic impact:
To be emphasized is the exceptional, considerable economic impact and power the IRGC are wielding. The corps dominates both Iran's official and black economies with a market share of a third to nearly two-thirds of Iran. It is impossible to gauge its market share, but western estimates range from a third to nearly two-thirds of Iran's GDP. The IRGC is a corporation, a business conglomerate with guns.

From:
• “The financial power of the Revolutionary Guards”, in: The Guardian, 16.02.2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/15/financial-power-revolutionary-guard


c) IRGC - political clout:
It is obvious that nearly daily/weekly the statements of high-ranking senior members of the IRGC, part of the executive power, are published in/by Iranian media, as if these statemens were instructions imparted by a Supra-Ministry of the Government to the two other powers of a republic, the judiciary and the legislative.


d) separation of powers - governance of a democratic state:
Does a division/separation of the different branches of state power, deserving that term truly in its democratic, republican and Montesquieuan sense, function like that?

Publicola / February 27, 2010 10:56 PM

The IRGC structure will make it very easy to confiscate these assets when the revolution comes.

A De-Privatization of the Bonyads/IRGC with discounted share distribution compensation to original founders, will produce a brain funnel of all exiles and repatriation of intelectual capital.

This revolution will be based on technology and private equity recapitalization....woe to the clerics with their hyper inflationary currency and abacuss.

The economically illterate mullahs will be penniless, if alive.

Shah / February 28, 2010 3:47 AM

Perhaps the more useful question to ask and endeavor collectively to answer is, given how oppressively the police state exerts control over the people's daily lives and the degree of control the IRGC has over Iran's economy, how best to go about detaching these parasites from the Iranian "body"?

Seyyed / February 28, 2010 4:18 AM

Worldwide 2010 Nowruz Events Directory

http://payvand.com/blog/1389/2010/02/09/the-smithsonian-presents-nowruz-a-persian-new-year-celebration/

Nowruz / February 28, 2010 4:34 AM

@ Shah-

Excellent idea, another doctoral-seminar level discourse as usual. Glad you are on the "right" side.

As to the mullahs economic survival, doesn't Khamanei spend some of the $30 billion he's allegedly siphoned off the country's oil revenue on dispensing patronage to pragmatic clerics who
can see on which side their bread is buttered? How else could he keep their support, since some clerics feel he is insufficiently distinguished theologically to be supreme leader?

Seyyed / February 28, 2010 11:37 AM

Hi Guys
I think you are overestimating the IRGC . They are inluencial just because they hav ethe boacking a government that is actually compried from their own elements. So, here we go, a web of spiders.

West dose not need to put any IRGC relate individual or company under sanction list. All what they need to ask themselves is that how iranian government transfers or receives the Oil money from the buyers around the world and stop that flow of money. I am assuming that it is not done with trucks! There ought to be some big banks involved. over 100 Billion $ gets to Iranian government from Oil revenue. If west dose not see that and stop that , then what good dose it gonna have to put IRGC members under any list.
I think west is missing the point , or maybe they want to!

Aloha

PersianTraveler / February 28, 2010 9:58 PM

Aloha - sanctions have always been good for business. Western politicians have got no genuine interest in the welfare of the bulk of the Iranian people. But their kind of politics means they alway need a scapegoat and they need 'holy' wars to make them feel better about themselves but also wars are good for the arms manufacturers. Clinton recently did the rounds of Iran's neighbours to scare the shit out of them over Iran's non-existent nukes (as yet) whilst of course not wanting to talk about the 200 odd nukes (undeclared but accepted by all) owned by Israel, which unlike Iran has a history of committing actual aggression and terrorist offences against its Arab neighbours. But this time it seems her scare mongering efforts have been unsuccessful and no multi-billion dollar arms deals have been signed. Banks are not known to shoot themselves in the foot especially when they are so badly cash strapped. It actually will be no bad thing for sanctions against IRI, the Hamas government and the people of Gaza have survived and continue to thrive in even worse conditions with additional hindrances from their own friendly Arab brethren in Egypt. Iranians are much more cleverer than that and they will find many ways around any sanctions.

rezvan / March 1, 2010 5:21 AM