LATEST: MPs Vote on Three Ministerial Appointments
SUMMARY: Iranian officials will resume talks on Tuesday with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, discussing a new framework for inspection and supervision of Tehran’s nuclear facilities.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi offered the framework to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in a Monday meeting ahead of the talks.
Araqchi was positive about the discussion, saying that the proposals — coming two weeks after high-level talks between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 Powers in Geneva, and just ahead of technical discussions — offered a way forward and that Iran is ready to “respond to all IAEA questions and ambiguities in a short period of time”.
IAEA Says Meeting With Iran “Productive”
The International Atomic Energy Authority and Iran issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying that they planned to meet again on November 11 after productive talks this week, Reuters reports.
MPs Vote on Three Ministerial Appointments
MPs voted yesterday on President Rouhani’s appointments to the ministries of Education, Science, and Sports and Youth.
Former Khatami-era officials Reza Farji Nia and Ali Asqar Fani were approved with broad support as ministers of Sciences and Education, respectively.
However, Rouhani’s appointment to the Sports and Youth ministry, Reza Salehi Amiri, was rejected by overwhelming opposition.
MP Elias Naderan charged Salehi with a series of crimes, such as bribery, “issuing orders for torture,” smuggling, and having a hand in the 2009 post-election protests.
Amiri defended himself, saying “I was never active in economic affairs during my time in the Intelligence Ministry, therefore if any smuggling took place it is not related to me.”
He questioned whether, “there is politics at [play] here in order to destroy my image and character.”
(Hat tip: Iran Tracker)
Reactions to Mousavi Daughters’ Allegations of Abuse by Security Forces
Responding to allegations that the daughters of jailed 2013 presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi were subject to beatings by security forces, MP Ali Motahari has condemned those involved and said, “I must summon the Intelligence Minister to Parliament.”
However, Law Enforcement Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam announced yesterday that “no complaints have been received in this matter from the daughters of the considered individual.”
Deputy Interior Minister to Visit Pakistan to Discuss Attack by Insurgent Group
Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi will visit Pakistan “in the near future” to discuss the recent attack by a Sunni insurgent group near Iran’s southeastern border, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham.
Iranian news agencies reported last week an attack by Iranian insurgents near Saravan which killed fourteen Iranian border guards. The Iranian Sunni insurgent group Jaish ul-Adl (“Army of Justice”), formed last year, since claimed responsibility.
Afkham added, “We want identification of these terrorists and urge the Pakistani government to pursue the case in order to identify and extradite the culprits to the Islamic Republic based on the Memorandum of Understanding (signed by the two countries several years ago).”
Meanwhile, Tehran’s Ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei, has called on the Security Council to make a “proper response to this terrorist attack.”
Khazaei suggested that a firm response by the UN Security Council “will send a strong message to this terrorist group and their supporters that such criminal actions by any group and at any time and place will not be tolerated.”
Talks With IAEA “Serious and Progressive”
Reza Najafi, Tehran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has described Monday’s talks between Iranian officials and the IAEA as “serious and progressive.”
Describing Iran’s proposed approach as “operational,” Najafi said Tehran’s offer to the IAEA is not related to its proposal made in Geneva during negotiations with the P5+1 countries.
Iran Supplying Oil to Syria at 10% Discount
Documents obtained by Foreign Policy magazine indicate that Iran has provided light crude oil to Syria at a 10% discount since May.
The reduction from about $100 per barrel to about $90 may be part of a $3.6 billion line of credit extended by Tehran to the Assad regime this spring.
The 10% discount was confirmed in a letter of May 12 from the Managing Director of Sahand Naft Iran, which co-ordinates Iranian oil and petrochemical distribution, to the President of Syria’s oil company Sytrol.