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Iran News in Brief – October 25, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 6:00 PM CET

Budget Deficit Reaches 400 Trillion Tomans in the First Seven Months in Iran’s Year 1402

iran budget deficit 2023

Iran’s budget faces a significant deficit, with a shortfall of 400 trillion Tomans (approximately $37 billion) in the first seven months of 1402 [on the Persian calendar]. The head of the Iranian regime’s Organization for Planning and Budget, Davood Manzour, pointed out that government revenues have fallen short by 30% compared to the anticipated figures in the budget law. This deficit is primarily attributed to the failure to meet expected income from oil exports, property sales, and asset transfers. For instance, oil exports have underperformed due to lower prices and domestic market demands.

The 1402 budget law [March 2023- March 2024] projected that Iran would export 1.5 million barrels of crude oil daily at $80 per barrel. However, the actual figures have consistently fallen below these expectations. Additionally, predicted revenues from asset transfers have only realized a fraction of the expected amount, around 10,000 billion tomans. The deficit remains a challenge, and the Raisi government’s financing solutions include borrowing from commercial banks and utilizing excess deposits from state-owned companies.

These measures are driven by a reluctance to borrow from the Central Bank to curb inflation and a lack of reliance on parliament-approved borrowing. The deficit underscores financial issues in the regime, which are not without consequences for its economic stability and overall fiscal health.


If Earthquake Strikes Tehran, Three Million People Are at Risk, Officials Warns

iran payame ma earthquake tehran 3 million deaths

The head of the Organization for Prevention and Crisis Management of Tehran City has described Tehran’s preparedness for an earthquake as “critical.” The director of the “Nazar” Research Center has also criticized the state’s policies for “risk reduction” and warned of the possibility of three million casualties in the event of an earthquake.

Ali Nasiri, the head of the Organization for Prevention and Crisis Management of Tehran City, stated, “My main concern regarding the earthquake is the lack of coordination between responsible authorities and compartmentalization; everyone wants to be in charge.”

He added that a recent study to “assess Tehran’s readiness for an earthquake” has not been conducted, but it is evident that “this preparedness is not high.”

Ali Nasiri had previously stated on October 21, in an interview with the “Khabar Online” website, that the estimates regarding “potential earthquake casualties in Tehran” are confidential and that “in the event of a possible earthquake in Tehran, people will have to rely on themselves for up to three days.”


Teacher Shortage Crisis Persists: Over 10,000 Classes in Iran Lack Educators

iran fararu teacher shortage

Iran is currently facing a critical crisis in its education system. More than a month into the school year, over 10,000 classes throughout the country remain without teachers.

Today, a report from the state-run Fararu Website citing some former education officials, attributes this ongoing crisis to repeated irregularities in the promises made by the Ministry of Education and a lack of precise planning to address these issues.

According to statements from Iranian authorities in recent days, schools across Iran are dealing with a shortage of at least 250,000 to 300,000 teachers, with regional disparities in the magnitude of the problem. In Tehran alone, the shortage is estimated to be around 4,000 teachers, while the Sistan and Baluchestan province, one of Iran’s less-developed regions, requires approximately 15,000 additional educators. This dire shortage has forced some schools to employ retired teachers or use a “two-shift” system with instructors.

Mohammad Hassan Asafari, a member of the regime’s Parliament, recently revealed that over 23,000 classrooms faced teacher shortages since the beginning of this year, and this number has now reached 10,000. While these figures are already concerning, forecasts suggest an upward trend in the years to come. Mohammad Reza Fallahi, a former official tied with the paramilitary Basij, predicted that Iran’s teacher shortage will increase to approximately 400,000 by 2027.


Clerical Regime Is Taking Steps to De-nationalize Oil Sector, Newspaper Reveals

iran hammihan oil private sector

According to a report in the Ham-Mihan newspaper titled “Moving Beyond Nationalization of Oil,” the finalization of the Seventh Development Plan by the government of Ebrahim Raisi signifies that oil will no longer be categorized as “public property.” Instead, it may become the responsibility of stated-affiliated bodies to manage the exploration, development, and utilization of oil fields.

As stated in the provisions outlined in Articles 3 and 15 of the Seventh Development Plan, the government won’t retain exclusive control over other oil fields, allegedly for opening up opportunities for the “private sector” to become involved in these areas, the daily notes.

The government’s approach to oil is shifting from considering it as “public property” to viewing it as a national asset. To address its $100 billion debt, the Raisi government aims to assign its rights to the National Development Fund, which will also have the authority to grant exploration, development, and operational rights of oil fields to private enterprises.

In Iran, the so-called private sector has often been overshadowed by the significant influence of state-related actors, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which extends its reach to monopolize entire sectors of the economy. The IRGC’s pervasive control over key industries and businesses has resulted in a lack of true autonomy within the private sector. This influence not only limits competition and innovation but also raises questions about the genuine nature of private enterprise in Iran.


UPDATE: 1:30 PM CET

White House Calls Iran Complicit in Conflict; Biden Says Aid Isn’t Getting to Gaza Fast Enough

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Some humanitarian aid started coming through the Rafah crossing in Egypt on Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing the Palestinian Red Crescent. Some eight trucks arrived in Gaza late in the day carrying water, food and medicine, Reuters noted.

Hospitals in Gaza have been warning that they would have to shut down if they don’t receive more fuel. Other supplies, such as water, medicine, and food continue to run low.

U.S. President Joe Biden told NBC News earlier Tuesday that humanitarian aid has not been arriving quickly enough.

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Iran Must Safeguard Basic Freedoms and Protect Human Rights: UN Expert

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NEW YORK (24 October 2023) – The entrenched shortcomings in the legal and political framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran significantly limit the ability of Iranian citizens to exercise their right to democratic participation in political and public life, a UN expert said today.

“The problems with the existing constitutional and legal provisions are that they are subject to politically engineered criteria or the application of State ideology, which also results in the failure to engage in democratic dialogue and the inability to introduce incremental reforms,” said Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In his report to the General Assembly, Rehman said the situation had led to widespread public distrust and protests that were violently repressed, with peaceful demonstrators harassed, injured, killed, arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured, and convicted.

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UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET

Khomeinism Is the Root of Conflicts in the Middle East

Aleppo ruines

In a recent television interview, the Foreign Minister of Iran’s regime, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said, “If we don’t defend Gaza today, tomorrow we will have to defend against these bombs in our own children’s hospitals in our cities.” These statements echo the words of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly stated that if there is no war in Syria, Iraq, and beyond Iran’s borders, the regime will have to fight in Iran’s own cities against the “enemy,” by which he means the people and rebellious youth of the country.

Furthermore, acknowledging the Lebanese people’s opposition to their country’s involvement in the war, he added, “Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah [leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah] had a very accurate interpretation.

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How Iran’s Regime Betrayed the Palestinian Cause

Iran Palestine

The relationship between the Iranian regime and the Palestinian cause has been a complex and often controversial one. While the regime has portrayed itself as a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people’s aspirations for self-determination and the establishment of a Palestinian state, its actions have been viewed as a form of betrayal by most of the Palestinians and the international community. Iran pours money and arms into the region to keep Palestine in a constant state of conflict and instability. However, the Iranian regime’s involvement in Palestine has also been marked by political and strategic calculations that have often diverged from the best interests of the Palestinian people. For example, Iran’s ardent opposition to Israel has led it to prioritize its own geopolitical interests over those of the Palestinians.

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The IRGC Intelligence Murdered a 23-Year-Old Man

vahed ghaderi HRM

A 23-year-old Kurdish man named Vahed Ghaderi, a citizen of Saqqez, was killed as a result of a direct shooting by agents of the IRGC Intelligence in Saqqez-Marivan Road on Sunday, October 22, 2023. The IRGC intelligence agents chased the young man, who was a freelance merchant, at 3 a.m. on Sunday, October 22. Vahed Ghaderi was consequently shot in the head and neck near the village of Hasan Salaran and killed at the hands of the IRGC Intelligence agents. During this deadly attack, Mr. Ghaderi’s car overturned, and another citizen was also injured. According to an informed source, the IRGC Intelligence has reportedly put pressure on the family of this young man, warning them against disclosing the news of their son’s murder to the media.

Nilufar Hamedi Elaheh Mohammadi

The Iranian regime’s Judiciary has sentenced two imprisoned journalists to seven and six years of imprisonment.

After more than a year of detention, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, two journalists who had reported on the death of Mahsa Amini, were sentenced to seven and six years of imprisonment, respectively, by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Mizan News Agency, run by the judiciary, wrote about the details of Elaheh Mohammadi’s charges: “Ms. Elaheh Mohammadi has been sentenced to six years of imprisonment on charges of collaborating with the hostile government of the United States, five years of imprisonment for conspiracy and collusion to commit crimes against national security, and one year of imprisonment for anti-establishment propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

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Michigan, USA—October 22, 2023: MEK supporters held an exhibition in support of the Iran Revolution

Michigan, USA—October 22, 2023: MEK supporters held an exhibition in support of the Iran Revolution.


Also, read Iran News in Brief – October 24, 2023