This column features excerpts from news articles, editorials, commentaries, and interviews of the leading Iranian newspapers and websites.
TAFAHOM: Cash subsidy to Iranian expatriates to be cut
JAVAN: Defending the country against military threats is not IRGC’s only duty, says Brigadier General Jafari
HEMAYAT: London engulfed in fire and blood
KHORASAN: Absolute negativism or positivism should be avoided, Leader says
JAME JAM: Science Ministry reacts to elimination of 13 university majors
TEHRAN-E EMROOZ: Blood money payment may be set at 560 million rials ($53,000)
HAMSHAHRI: Central bank gives green light to importers
DONYA EGHTESAD: Tehran Stock Exchange eying world markets
SHARQ: Khatam-ol-Anbiya Construction Base should replace giant foreign corporations, says oil minister
MELATEMA: Iran-China trade to surpass $40b
JAVAN, in a news report, quotes Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qadami as saying that drought has affected more than 74 percent of the country’s lands. Pointing to the fact that drought is threatening the country, he said decrease in rainfall and the climate change has compounded the problem of drought, thus extra efforts should be made to better manage the country’s water resources. Qadami added that 42 natural disasters have been identified in the world so far, 32 of which occur in Iran. He went on to say that the losses that drought has inflicted on the country are ten times more than the losses that Iran has incurred from earthquake and storm. Qadami also said that 82,000 billion rials (775 million dollars) have been allocated to relevant organizations in the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21) to take measures necessary to prevent natural disasters.
HEMAYAT, in a news report, says Golestan National Park is the biggest natural park in Iran which covers an area of 90,000 acres. This national park is home to 20 percent of plant and 40 percent of animal species. Golestan National Park has greater species diversity than a number of countries such as Britain and Australia. After widening the road which passes through the park, a cement factory, located 20 kilometers away from the park, was launched. Mehran Jahanshahi, an official at Golestan Province’s environment organization, says that the cement factory is situated 35 kilometers away from the boundary of the national park, so there is no cause for concern about species living in the park. However, the report says, the cement factory will affect areas within the radius of 20 to 30 kilometers away from the park. In addition, Mazdak Darbiki, a university professor, says that cement plants are one of the greatest sources of pollution.
In an interview with TEHRAN-E EMROOZ, MP Ali Abbaspour-Tehrani, who represents Tehran in the parliament, said it has been more than three months that a number of lawmakers have been warning that deviationists have launched campaign for the March parliamentary elections. Some senior officials have also cautioned against the possibility of the government’s allies’ interference in the elections, he said. In fact, deviationists and certain people close to the government are making attempts to court the people’s votes through making hollow promises, he stated. Abbaspour-Tehrani added some are saying that the possibility of the government’s interference in the elections cannot be ruled out because it has been quite a while that the government has been trying to drum up support through giving people false promises, such as the allocation of a 1000-meter land to every family. Even the government itself is only paying attention to payment of cash subsidies and is using funds allocated to other sectors to pay subsidies, neglecting the fact that the industry and agriculture sectors are going down the drain, he said. The MP went on to say that the activities that the government have been carrying out these days can be regarded as electoral activities which, if proved, should be dealt with by those supervising the elections. He also said the deviant current enjoys good facilities as well as the support of the government. In other words, the deviationists have power and wealth, he added. He added the State Inspectorate Organization, the Guardian Council, and the supervisory bodies shoulder great responsibilities for halting the electoral activities of this current. Abbaspour-Tehrani also called on the Judiciary to deal with those who are seeking to court the people’s votes through abusing their wealth. In addition, MP Seyyed Reza Akarami told TEHRAN-E EMROOZ that the deviant current is seeking to buy the people’s votes. Akarami added efforts should be made to prevent certain people from abusing their wealth and power. Unfortunately, the deviant current has overshadowed a number of issues, including employment, housing, and inflation, he concluded.
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