Had our authorities devised better policies, our costs would have been reduced....Executing the subsidy reforms was courageous, but they handed out cash to the people, and infused it in the market rather than strengthening production. The money was not used to boost production....And this has some side effects....They should already have thought about it. We hope that the problems people are facing and some are using as a pretext to help the enemy will not be repeated.
"Paying attention to the issue of production, using Iranian products and [supporting] the national production is a necessary [issue], and the order of religion, God and the Quran. God would never be happy with the Muslim community of believers...being in the shadow of infidels. We are a blessed nation, and they should not dominate us economically.
(Hat tip to Iran Tracker)
The IEA reports that exports fell to 860,000 barrels per day in September. Shipments were 2.2 million bpd at the end of 2011.
The report dampened the claim, made last week, that Iranian sales had improved slightly last month to about 1.1 million bpd. Some industry sources expected a rise, or at least a halt to the decline, as customers found ways to get around the European Union's ban on insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil.
"The Asian buyers have shipping issues around deliveries," said a source with a company that used to buy Iranian oil. "If they don't find solutions around shipping, we may see a further decline in exports."
Production in September fell by 220,000 bpd to 2.63 million, the lowest figure since 1988.
Hosseini, in Tokyo for a meeting of the International Monetary Fund, said, "We have had to make changes to our currency system after the strengthening of sanctions on our country. When it comes to reserves, actually we are in a good position. We are having some problems transferring hard currency, and this is putting pressure on our currency market."
What motivates the hegemonic powers to wage war is the sale of arms and cultivation of military industries that depend on capitalists, and the only factor that suppresses such war-waging impulse of power-seekers is the general readiness of the [Iranian] nation and defensive preparedness of the armed forces.
1120 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi takes the podiums today to repeat the Supreme Leader's line that Iran can overcome all sanctions, with officials uniting to solve economic problems.
There was a glimpse of unhappiness with the Government --- support payments to cover higher costs from subsidy cuts should have been made to producers and not only to families --- but Seddiqi's sharpest criticism was for Turkey's actions in the Syrian conflict:
Turkey is following a Western and NATO plan to weaken or destroy an anti-Zionist and anti-American Muslim country which is a thorn in the side of the US and the Zionist regime.
Instead of helping insurgents, it (Turkey) should be trying to convince them (insurgents) so that the initiated reforms can be reinforced and national solidarity is created.
1111 GMT: Currency Watch. Baztab picks up the provocative allegation of an MP that the Central Bank has put $150 million per day in US dollars into the market through currency dealers who have now been arrested.
According to the site, Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani has claimed the Bank gave the dealers the money last year. He said President Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai was involved and that the dealers' names were given to him by the Ministry of Intelligence.
0858 GMT: CyberWatch. Jahanshah Javid, who recently left the iranian.com website that he founded in the 1990s, has launched his new bilingual site iroon,com.
0853 GMT: Drug Watch. Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times publishes a long first-hand profile of Iranian efforts to prevent the flow of illegal drugs:
White watchtowers stood like chess pieces at mile intervals along the Iranian side of the border, facing the complete emptiness of Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The smugglers still can come all the way to Iran; nobody stops them on their side,” [General] Moayedi said as his aviator sunglasses reflected the intense sun. “But we have made it nearly impossible for them to enter our country.”
Squeezed between a tall plainclothes officer and General Moayedi’s personal bodyguard, Antonino de Leo, the Italian representative for the United Nations drug office in Tehran, showered the Iranians with praise — “because they really deserve it,” he said...
At the same time that the Iranians were netting eight times more opium and three times more heroin than all the other countries in the world combined, Mr. De Leo said, his office was the smallest in the region and he had to cut back some programs, like drug sniffer dog training, because Western nations had cut back on financing.
Maritime intelligence publisher IHS Fairplay recorded 980 vessels calling at Iranian ports from Januaryh to early October, compared to 2740 ships for the whole of 2011 and 3,407 for 2010.
The number of visits by container ships --- which carry consumer goods, foodstuffs and clothing --- was 86 so far this year, compared with 273 for 2011 and 378 in 2010.
The world's top container firm Maersk Line said this week it had stopped port calls to Iran, citing the risk of damaging trade opportunities especially in the US.
Only eight refrigerated cargo vessels carrying fresh produce including bananas called at Iranian ports so far this year, down from 16 in 2011 and 36 in 2010. Fishing trawlers unloading their catch have slumped to five from 14 last year and 20 in 2010.
0742 GMT: Human Rights Watch. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, has reported that activists are subjected to beatings with batons, mock hangings, rape, sleep deprivation, and threats that family members will be raped or killed.
The Rapporteur declared the report was "a deeply troubling picture of the overall human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including many concerns which are systemic in nature".
Shaheed also highlighted censorship, "The authorities recently banned domestic news outlets from reporting on the impact of economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Shaheed, a former Foreign Minister of Maldives, has been barred from entry into Iran, but has interviewed 99 people, three-quarters of whom gave first-hand accounts. He said:
In two dozen interviews ... human rights defenders reported being arrested and held incommunicado in solitary confinement for periods ranging from several weeks to 36 months, without charge or access to legal counsel.
Most of them also reported that they were subjected to severe physical torture during interrogations, which were aimed at coercing confessions or soliciting information about other human rights defenders and human rights organizations.
Methods employed reportedly included severe beatings with batons and other objects, mock hangings, electrocution, and actual rape. Other forms of psychological torture allegedly included sleep deprivation, denial of food and/or water, and threats of arrest, detention, rape or murder of family members. Several victims also reported being drugged with hallucinogens.
0733 GMT: Currency Watch. A disturbance breaking the silence on the Iranian currency --- Avaz Heydarpour of Parliament's National Security Committee has accused the Central Bank of issuing up to $150 million in US dollars per day to the market through five traders, all of whom have now been arrested.
Fazli also said he was ready to send "caravans" to Syria and Lebanon, but the "current situation is not favourable".
The tankers, operated by Hong Kong's Titan Petrochemicals Group Ltd, stored Iranian oil for Swiss trader Vitol and shipping firm Glammarine, Reuters reported previously.
Technically, the EU sanctions bar European-based insurers from covering tankers that carry, rather than store, Iranian oil, but North of England P&I Association and Gard, the world's second-largest marine insurer, decided not to risk any breach of the measures.
Titan must now find new insurers to continue operating its floating storage business off Malaysia, one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
0635 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Families of political prisoners gather to praise the resistance of detained reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, seized in 2009 and serving a six-year sentence:
0535 GMT: We are now at the point where meaningful news on the economy has almost disappeared in Iranian media and specialist websites. Press TV has not posted any information in its Iran section since Tuesday's claim that Iran is to export electricity to India and Pakistan --- the last three days are filled instead with regime proclamation and, bizarrely, "Egypt Puppet Down, US Now Eyes Syria". Two of State news agency IRNA's headline story are promotion of the Supreme Leader's visit to a northeastern province; the other two are on Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's trip to Qatar. Fars also leads with Ayatollah Khamenei, while featuring the statement of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claiming responsibility for an Iranian-made drone shot down over Israeli territory this week.
There are a few ripples, elevated in interest because of the regime's pursuit of a blackout. Khabar Online, linked to Ali Larijani, features the Speaker's criticism of the second phase of the Government subsidy cuts programme, now effectively put into storage. Fars, tied to the Revolutionary Guards, dared on Thursday to post a "real" exchange rate for the Iranian Rial, while claiming that all official trade in US dollars had ceased.
With the regime making it to another Iranian weekend, expect a continuing restriction of news and an attempt to play up the Tehran Friday Prayer. However, it might be worth glancing outside the capital --- last week, other Friday Prayers were notable for their criticism of the Government.