LATEST: Roozan Newspaper Shut, Political Reporter Arrested


Supreme Leader — Christmas and Jesus Are for Fighting Israel and US Racism

Iran’s military is proclaiming its strength with one of its largest exercises in recent months.

On Friday, the army launched the second phase of “Mohammad Rasoulallah” (Mohammad, the Messenger of God) in southeastern Iran, with tank fire supported by Air Force helicopters, missiles, and artillery units against an “enemy”.

The army also declared that F-4 fighter jets would “disrupt the hypothetical enemy’s communications lines”, and domestically made anti-tank missile systems will be tested on Friday. Warships and destroyers have been deployed in the Sea of Oman.

The Iranian regime has put out daily announcements over the past week declaring how the exercises would show the Islamic Republic’s strength and resistance, amid tensions for Iran in both the nuclear dispute with the US and other powers; crises in countries such as Iraq and Syria; and insurgent activity in southeastern Iran on the Pakistani border.

Roozan Newspaper Shut, Political Reporter Arrested

The Roozan daily newspaper has been shut and its political reporter Yaghma Fakhshami arrested.

The daily, which has published for 20 years, was closed on Monday. Fakhshami was taken to Evin Prison two days later.

The prosecutor’s order did not give a reason for the shutdown and arrest, but Roozan’s director Shamsi PourMohammadi said they were probably connected to an article on Saturday about the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, who was put under strict house arrested when Ayatollah Khamenei became Supreme Leader.

Rouhani: We Will Defeat the “Oil Plot” of Our Enemies

President Rouhani has delivered the regime’s latest claim of a conspiracy behind falling oil prices.

Iranian officials have staged a high-profile campaign this month over the halving of the price since June, implicitly and explicitly blaming Saudi Arabia for failing to curb output.

The drop of the price to about $60/barrel has serious implications for the Iranian economy and the Government budget, which gets its largest share of funding from oil exports.

Rouhani said during a tour in eastern Iran:

Even though the oil plot has reduced oil prices, we will pass through this stage through your [the people’s] support, and the price of oil will not stay at the current level.

Whatever plots they devise, the prospects of our nation are clear, and our nation will be the victor in every scenario.

The President did not explain how the plot would be defeated, but he offered the assurance that inflation has fallen from more than 40% when he took office in August 2013 to about 17% today.