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Posts Tagged ‘ Iranian economy ’

  • 2 November 2009
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • Events in Iran

Government shuts down business daily Sarmayeh

Citing “repeated violations of the press law,” the Iranian government’s press advisory board shut down Sarmayeh, one of the country’s leading business dailies, today. According to Reuters, further details were not given.

Sarmayeh editor Saeed Laylaz, an outspoken government critic, was arrested shortly after Iran’s disputed election in June.

In August, authorities shut down Etemad-e Melli newspaper of pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karoubi, who came fourth in the poll. He had angered hardliners with his allegation that some detained opposition supporters were raped, a charge officials deny.

Sarmayeh is known for it’s criticism of the Ahmadinejad Administration’s economic policies.

  • 8 October 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • Events in Iran, Sanctions

Iran Plans Cuts in Subsidized Gasoline Quota


Reuters reports that Iranian state television has quoted Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi as saying that the quota of subsidized gasoline in Iran would be reduced from 100 liters to 55  liters per month under a plan to be considered next week by the Iranian Parliament.

Iran imports around 25-33% percent of its gasoline requirements which it then sells at a subsidized price, despite being the fifth-largest crude oil exporter in the world. The Ahmadinejad regime has often been criticized for misuse of Iran’s oil revenue and subsequent destabilization of its economy. Protests erupted in 2007 in response to fuel rationing proposals under which rationed fuel is purchased for 1,000 rials per liter. Larger amounts would be four times as expensive.

Congress has long been considering cutting off Iran’s foreign supply of refined petroleum as a way to impose “crippling” sanctions.  Unsurprisingly, Iran has taken steps to inoculate themselves against just such a move, including making significant investments in their domestic refining capacity, as well as today’s announcement that would limit consumption.

Congress also just recently passed an amendment to an Energy and Water Appropriations Bill stipulating that any foreign company that sells gasoline to Iran will be barred from selling gasoline to the US for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  As Iran makes progress in adapting to Western pressure, measures such as these will be increasingly less effective in making Iran actually feel any financial pinch.

  • 29 September 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • Events in Iran, Uncategorized

IRGC Buys Majority Share of Iran Telecom

The Etemad-e-Mobin consortium, which is reportedly connected to the Revolutionary Guard (though details are scarce about the exact nature of the relationship), bought a 50% plus one share of the Telecommunications Company of Iran on Sunday, worth $7.8 billion. Two of the three companies that comprise Etemad-e-Mobin are reportedly controlled by the IRGC.

The New York Times reports:

The telecom share sold Sunday is part of the government’s project to privatize sectors still in state hands. But reform-minded politicians, and even some conservatives, have complained that institutions affiliated with the ruling system are being awarded stakes in the privatized firms, while the private sector is left out.

…[IRGC] finances are not on the government budget, and are free from any state oversight. The guard is accountable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran.

The move extends the IRGC’s already tremendous influence across political, economic, and social spheres in Iranian society. It is said to control a large portion of the 70% or so of the Iranian economy that is state-run, which has enormous implications for US sanctions measures, given the IRGC’s skill at operating on the black market.

Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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