Addressing the Assembly of Experts on Thursday, the Supreme Leader reasserted his authority, declaring Iran’s strength and chiding the “enemy”:
Until the time that the Islamic system and the Iranian nation are committed to the principles of Islam, the Revolution and independence, the enemy will not abandon its hostility; therefore you must not neglect the enemy.
The front of Arrogance has a deep grudge towards the Iranian nation. Today you can see the depth of the enemies’ grudge in their statements.
The enemy is incapable in confronting the Islamic system and the Iranian nation despite deep hatred. It is due to this incapacity that it has turned to sanctions and they themselves know that the instrument of sanction has been useless since the beginning of the Revolution until now.
Yet Ayatollah Khamenei’s declaration of the greatness of Iran’s people, with its “religious and revolutionary young generation”, may have tipped off his worries.
The Supreme Leader spoke repeatedly about the need to implement the “resistance economy” to “overcome the sanctions and the enemies’ ploys”, amid continued issues over recovery, US-led sanctions, and the nuclear talks. He added, with debates over the approach of the Rouhani Government towards political and social affairs, “I am concerned about cultural issues.”
And well-placed sources report that Ayatollah Khamenei spoke after an unprecedented challenge by the 86-member Assembly. Some of the experts, who appoint the Leader and can remove him, expressed concern over Khamenei’s past support for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — blamed for economic difficulties — taking advantage of a more open political atmosphere after the election of President Rouhani. There were even rumors about discussion of a successor to the Supreme Leader.
(Hat tip to Iran Tracker)
Polish Foreign Minister Censored by Iranian Media Over Freedom of Speech and Human Rights
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has publicly expressed shock over censorship of his remarks by Tehran’s media as he met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Speaking last Saturday at a joint press conference with Zarif, Sikorski raised the issue of Iran’s restrictions of the Internet:
I mentioned to the minister that yesterday from Isfahan I tried to log onto a website of a major Polish newspaper and, unfortunately, I could not do it. I was told that the website was blocked by censorship. For us, coming from a country that fought for freedom of speech, this came as a shock.
Sikorski also said he had emphasized dialogue on human rights, mentioning the recent rise in executions in Iran.
The remarks, later released by the Polish Foreign Ministry (see below), never made it on Iran’s airwaves. Instead, the press said Sikorski “voiced his country’s interest in improving cooperation with Tehran, especially in the fields of medicine and the food industry.”
On Thursday, Sikorski expressed his displeasure on Twitter:
— Radosław Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 6, 2014
The Polish Foreign Ministry’s video:
Iran State outlet Press TV’s coverage:
Economy Minister: Inflation Will Fall Below 15%
Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia has asserted that the Government will bring inflation below 15% next year “with the continuation of current trends” and policies.
The Rouhani Government inherited an inflation rate of more than 40% when it took office last August.
Revolutionary Guards: We Never Supported Ahmadinejad
The head of public affairs for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Ramezan Sharif, has distanced the IRGC from the departed Ahmadinejad Government.
Sharif said Ahmadinejad “was not our choice”, blaming his election in 2005 on “the performance of the reformist administration” of his predecessor Mohammad Khatami.
Leaked audio and PowerPoint after Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009 pointed to an IRGC plan to ensure that he retained office, including the manipulation of the vote and intimidation and suppression of the opposition.