In his latest denunciation of the “West”, Iran’s Supreme Leader has proclaimed that the “lack of spirituality and divine values” is behind its shortcomings and frailties.

Meeting students in Tehran on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei acknowledged the economic and scientific strength of the US and Europe, citing “its great materialistic advances”, but maintained these “must be accompanied by supreme spiritual values”.

He claimed that the West, particularly the US, is marked by the collapse of family institutions, increasing violence, and suicides.

Commenting on a specific issue, Khamenei said gun control could solve a rising murder rate; however, he explained that US officials will not pursue this:

The Supreme Leader offered an example of his own morality, telling the students that he returns medals given to him because their value is “more spiritually rather than monetarily”.

Writer Freed From Prison After Detained Husband’s 72-Day Hunger Strike

Writer Golrokh Iraei has been freed from prison, on the 72nd day of her detained husband Arash Sadeghi’s hunger strike.

Sadeghi, who is serving a 19-year sentence for charges such as “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national security”, had gone without food since October 24 to protest the arrest of his wife in early November over one of her unpublished stories.

Iran Feature: MPs Call for Attention to Situation of Political PrisonersIran Feature: Imprisoned for 6 Years…for Writing an Unpublished Story

Amir Raeisian, the lawyer for both detainees, said Iraei was released on $130,000 bail and will initially be on leave for five or six days. However, in anticipation the the furlough will be extended, Sadeghi has ended his hunger strikes and is going to hospital for treatment.

The case of Sadeghi and Iraei began to draw international attention after a campaign, #SaveArash, topped Twitter’s trends.

Iranian MPs circulated a letter last week calling for the regime’s attention to the demands of political prisoners, amid the hunger strikes of Sadeghi and Ali Shariati, who is serving a 5-year sentence and stopped eating on October 31.

Iraei after her release:


Sadeghi and Iraei before their detentions:


Parliament Ends Ahmadinejad’s Flagship Housing Project

Parliament has shut down the Mehr housing project, a flagship program of the Ahmadinjead Administration until it left office in 2013.

President Hassan Rouhani has blamed the project for inflation that reached more than 40% when he took office in August 2013.

The Majlis voted on Tueday for the reallocation of Mehr’s money to other programs, ordering that no more houses should be built.

The target of the project, which started in 2007, – was 17 new cities with about 1.5 million housing units for poor families. Funds were withdrawn from the Central Bank and additional money printed with banks giving out loans of $10.2 billion by January 2011, fuelling inflation. Rouhani claimed that 40% of Iran’s liquidity was eventually tied up in the scheme, with a 800% increase in the price of houses.

The housing blocks were also criticized for substandard designs and materials and their location in remote areas with poor or non-existent infrastructure.
Some units have been left half-complete as costs rose.