Rouhani Celebrates Re-Opening of Filmmakers’ House of Cinema
Report: Iranian Forces Launch Missile Attack At House In Baluchistan Region of Pakistan
Prominent Cleric Criticises Rouhani Administration Stance on Facebook
Tehran Calls White House Press Release on Nuclear Agreement “One-Sided”
FM Zarif: “Nuclear Programme Preserved…Sanctions Have Crumbled”

It is a small but notable sign of optimism in Iran after Sunday’s interim nuclear deal — its beleaguered currency is recovering.

The Rial rose another 1.4% on Monday to 28,900:1 vs. the US dollar, nearing its strongest position since the election of President Rouhani in June.

In 2012, amid tension over the nuclear issue and US-led sanctions, the Rial lost 70% of its value. Its official rate at that time was 12,260:1 vs. the dollar, but at times it was above 40,000:1.

Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht, a senior advisor to President Rouhani, said on Monday that the US has already released $8 billion in Iranian assets following the agreement to limit Iran’s enrichment of uranium in return for easing of sanctions.

Rouhani Celebrates Re-Opening of Filmmakers’ House of Cinema

President Rouhani has praised a significant marker of his policy of opening up Iranian culture — the lifting of the ban in September on Iran’s largest organization for the film industry:

The Culture Ministry ordered the dissolution of the House of Cinema in January 2012, after it was accused of amending its founding statutes without consulting officials.

Report: Iranian Forces Launch Missile Attack At House In Baluchistan Region of Pakistan

Pro-Baloch sites are reporting that Iranian forces have launched a missile attack on a house in Kech in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan (click for map). The reports come in the wake of increased attacks against Iranian security forces by Iranian-based Sunni insurgent groups, notably Jaish ul-Adl, in Sistan Baluchestan, along the Iranian border with Pakistan.

According to Balochwarna News, a news website that advocates an independent Balochistan, local sources said that at least three missiles landed on the house of Mullah Umar Baloch in Kolaho near in Tump (click for map) early Monday, killing a three year-old girl, named as Zalekha, and injuring seven others including four women. The purported target, Umer, was not inside the house when the attack occurred. The attack also reportedly destroyed two houses belonging to Umer and one belonging to his brother Qayum. A fourth house, belonging to a neighbor named Arif Salim, was also partially damaged.

In a development which may be related, the Sunni Baloch insurgency is asserting that it downed an Iranian aircraft:

Local sources also said that on November 14, an Iranian military helicopter entered Pakistani airspace from Saravan in Sistan Baluchestan, and flew into the Mashkhail area of the Washuk district, near the border with Iran.

Map showing the location of Washuk (marked with an “A” in relation to Saravan, Iran:

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Prominent Cleric Criticises Rouhani Administration Stance on Facebook

Influential cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has questioned the suggestions of some Rouhani administration officials that the government should lift restrictions on social media websites like Facebook and limit censorshop.

Shirazi argued “Some of these speeches have led to concerns…. Why has it been said that there is no auditing of books or canceling of papers offensive to Imam Ali? And what is the meaning of the insistence on lifting Facebook filters?”

Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi spoke to Parliament’s Cultural Commission, calling it “the most important element of Parliament from a religious view.” However, he voiced his concerns, saying, “I have said this many times. Cultural issues easily become political and economic issues. On the same basis, like it or not, influence on other sections will be the responsibility of this commission.”

At the beginning of November, Culture Minister Ali Jannati declared that “not just Facebook but all social networking websites” should be accessible: “We must reduce the filtering of Internet websites to the minimum and [only based on] necessary positions.”

Tehran Calls White House Press Release on Nuclear Agreement “One-Sided”

Tehran has suggested that the text of the nuclear agreement released by the US government “is a one-sided interpretation.”

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham stated, “What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action (the title of the Iran-powers deal), and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true.”

The White House website published on Saturday what it called a “Fact Sheet: First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program.” Meanwhile, Fars News carries the full text of the agreement.

FM Zarif: “Nuclear Programme Preserved…Sanctions Have Crumbled”

Foreign Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that, even though Iran’s right to enrich uranium was not formally recognized in the Geneva agreement, “The structure of Iran’s nuclear programme was preserved.”

Zarif told nuclear scientists, “The structure of the sanctions [has] crumbled.”

The Foreign Minister continued:

“Has the right to have a nuclear power plant or reactor been written into the accord?

Generally speaking, [a country’s] right does not need to be recognized and it is necessary that other countries respect this right.