The US called for an emergency UN Security Council met yesterday, 5 January 2018, to discuss the unrests in Iran. The meeting ended with no clear conclusions and it was declared that the recent protests did not endanger regional or international security.
President Hassan Rouhani called President Macron of France Tuesday evening to wish the government and people of France a Happy New Year. He expressed hope that the good relations between the two countries will persevere and deepen in 2018.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has reacted to the recent protests in Iran. He tweeted: “Iran’s security and stability depend on its own people, who – unlike the peoples of Trump’s regional “bffs” have the right to vote and to protest. These hard-earned rights will be protected, and infiltrators will not be allowed to sabotage them through violence and destruction.”
From Thursday 28 December last week, protests broke out in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city and spread to other cities in a domino effect. Initially, demonstrators protested the rising food and fuel prices by shouting “no to rising costs”. But, this took on political aspects where anti-regime slogans were heard at some of the demonstrations.
In a New Year’s message for 2018 to Armenian Iranians, President Rouhani underlined: “We are proud of an Iran that is home to Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. We respect all divine religions as taught to us by Islam.”
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, in his first reaction to the recent protests in cities of Iran by pointing out to the fact that some of the economic problems facing the country are related to previous years and some to current times, also said: “However, people’s criticisms are not about the state of the economy; people are also complaining about corruption and they are demanding transparency and say that all issues should be transparent.”
Protests have been sweeping across Iran, now in its fourth day, against the troubled economy and rising prices. Unrest began in its second largest city, Mashhad, on Thursday 28 December 2017, where people gathered outside the City Council in “Shohada” Martyrs’ Square, shouting slogans about rising food prices and the state of the economy in the country. Protests took place on the same day in Neyshabur, Yazd, and Shahrud.
In reaction to the killing of one of its citizens by the Canadian police, the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said: “Sadly, we have been informed that an Iranian citizen named “Babak Saeidi” resident in Canada has been killed by the Canadian police. He suffered from an illness.”
In a message to Pope Francis, the Iranian President has sent his greetings for Christmas and the New Year, saying: “I hope that in the New Year, we will witness the eradication of all evil, ugliness, discrimination, and poverty for humanity.”
In a press conference of the Judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, Judiciary spokesperson of Iran, has explained Nazanin Zaghari’s situation.
In answer to a question about the British delegation’s trip to Iran and their willingness to negotiate the release of a number of prisoners and whether the Judicial system has any plans for the exchange of prisoners, including Nazanin Zaghari and Kamal Foroughi, he said: “The judiciary did not meet with the British delegation and we have not made any decisions regarding this subject. But, this is a matter for the Judiciary.”
Following the consensus reached between Iran, Russia, and Turkey for the Syrian peace process, the Russian Foreign Minister has proposed an alliance between the three countries to find solutions for global disputes.
An Iranian expert of international affairs believes: “The main challenges of Iran’s foreign policy in the next Iranian calendar year has more domestic than international roots, particularly in economic issues and increasing poverty.”
An expert of Iran’s housing market believes: “Iranians will spend a larger amount of their money to buy property in other countries and survive political and economic risks if dollar fluctuations increase in the next Iranian calendar year (to start on 21 March 2019).”
Christie’s has been auctioning works for some Iranian artists for a number of years now. This year, on its 25th anniversary in Dubai, Christie’s will be holding an auction titled "Modern and Contemporary Art in the Middle East" on 23 March 2019 in which twelve Iranian artists will be participating with eighteen works.
An Iranian professor of economics believes: “During the next Iranian calendar year (1398 HS), there will be severe price hikes on the forex and goods markets; considering the highly possible intervention of security and government forces in potential social and economic unrests, security will be intensified.”
The CEO of the Performing Arts in Iran has announced that traveling theater troupes will soon leave for flood damaged areas to help cheer up the residents, especially the children, who have been caught up in the disaster.