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English-language State media continued to push ‘good news’ stories about Iran’s ailing economy on Sunday. After Fars News — close to the Revolutionary Guards — attempted to convince readers that the oil industry was in good shape, State outlet Press TV offers a positive economic message with a heart-warming, nationalist twist:

The chairman of Iran’s National Carpet Center [Mohammad Baqer Aqa-Alikhani] says hand-woven Iranian carpets constitute 35 percent of the global market for the commodity — $427 million out of a total $1.35 billion.

Press TV points out, “Carpets are one of the greatest manifestations of the Persian culture and art.”

But why are they so popular? The journalists explain, “Experts attribute the increasingly lucrative market for Persian carpets worldwide to its quality, color and design.”

And there is more good news — the sales could increase still further via publicity and shrewd diplomacy:

Aqa-Alikhani noted that…the Islamic Republic can further boost its international market by advertising the Iranian carpet and sending commercial delegations overseas in an attempt to identify new markets.

Thus, Iran’s global image corresponds with a solution for unemployment: as Press TV points out:

There is an estimated population of 1.2 million carpet weavers in Iran.

(Featured Photo: Carpet Weavers From Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan Province Transport Their Wares)

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Iran, Syrian State Media Claims Tehran Providing Medical Assistance To Damascus

Syrian State media outlet SANA tweeted on Sunday that Iran is providing medical equipment to the Syrian government. The claim is interesting in the light of Tehran’s complaints that continuing Western sanctions have resulted in a shortage in drugs and medical equipment at home.

Iran’s English-language State outlet, Press TV, said that the medical equipment was part of a larger consignment of aid, and quoted Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to Damascus, Abbas Golrou, as saying that Iran sent “medicines, medical equipment and a few ambulances to Syria”.

Golrou linked Syria’s need for medicines to economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West, noting that: The United States, Europe Union and their allies have imposed sanctions on Syria over the unrest in the country.

Interestingly, Press TV cites Syria’s Deputy Health Minister, Raef Yasin, as also blaming sanctions for a “reduction of medicines for refractory diseases”.

Tehran Police Shut Down Internet Cafes

Tehran Police have shut down 67 internet cafes, citing various violations of city regulations.

Hossein Sajedinia, the head of the Tehran police force, said the cafes — out of 352 inspected — had been shut down as part of “a neighbourhood security project”.

The police chief said the cafes were offering “illegal services” to youth. He added that other cafes had been served a warning and may be closed in the coming days if they do not comply with regulations.

Ex-Ambassador Worries Over 2009 Election

In an interview with Fars News, Iran’s former ambassador to Italy, Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, has fretted over the image of the disputed 2009 Presidential election and the subsequent protests.

Hosseini said the election “had great potential for Iran’s development in the international arena”, with its “integrity” and “credibility”.

However, he opined:

The incidents afterwards and the situation with the seditioncreated a deep scar on Iran’s international reputation. The situation gave hope to Iran’s enemies and brought disappointment to Iran’s friends. Furthermore it gave new life to all of the groups opposed to the Islamic Revolution as well as the hypocritical cult [the “terrorist” Mujahedin-e Khalq].

VP Declares Ahmadinejad Victory With Housing

The campaign by loyalists of President Ahmadinejad to claim a proud legacy continues….

First Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi declared this weekend, “Over 3 Million housing units were launched and… another 1.5 million housing units will be inaugurated during the future [Hassan Rouhani] administration”.

Rahimi asserted,, “The Mehr housing projects is on one of the most successful projects of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government due to its role in providing housing for low-income residents.”