0436 GMT April 19, 2019
“Already, one of the problems facing the people is the closure of many small and big manufacturing units,” Tasnim News Agency quoted Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying during a meeting with the Governor General of Hamedan Province Mohammad Nasser Nikbakht.
Ayatollah Rafsanjani also said that government officials and banks should increase their cooperation to help manufacturing units resolve their problems.
Nikbakht said that his office and provincial banks paid back about 4,000 billion rials (around $133 million) debt of manufacturing units shut down in the previous administration.
IRGC rejects rumors about Major General Soleimani
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) strongly dismissed the rumors spread by certain Israeli media outlets that senior IRGC commander Major General Qassem Soleimani lost his life in Syria.
The head of the IRGC’s public relations office, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, said late on Monday that Major General Soleimani is alive and well, wjc.ir reported.
“Often, the Israelis write down their dreams in the form of news and spread them through their media in the cyberspace,” he said. “The fake news about Major General Qassem Soleimani’s martyrdom is of this sort.”
Soleimani has been advising the Iraqi and Syrian forces in the battle against the Takfiri terrorist group of ISIL. The assistance has been met with the appreciation of the violence-scarred country’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, among others.
Israeli media outlets had several times published fake news about Soleimani.
‘Roknabadi’s DNA sent to Saudi Arabia’
Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said on Tuesday that Iran has sent the DNA of former envoy to Beirut Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who went missing in the deadly stampede at this year's Hajj pilgrimage, to Saudi Arabia.
Talking to reporters after a meeting about the ex-ambassador’s fate at the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Qashqavi urged Saudi officials to prepare the ground for a visit by Roknabadi’s family to Saudi Arabia.
“I personally believe that the possibility of Roknabadi abduction is very slim,” he said, adding the Foreign Ministry will continue effort to determine the fate of the 49-year-old former ambassador.
Roknabadi was feared to be among the 465 Iranians killed in Mina.
Cartoonist detained in Tehran
A prominent press cartoonist was arrested at work in Tehran by security forces who provided no explanation, reports said on Tuesday.
The Tabnak news website site said Hadi Heidari was taken into custody for “unknown reasons” while at work at “The Shahrvand”, a daily newspaper that is owned by Iran’s Red Crescent Society.
Tasnim News Agency also quoted Saleh Nikbakht, Heidari’s lawyer, as confirming his detention. Nikbakht, however, did not give details about the prominent cartoonist’s arrest.
Several journalists were detained on security charges in recent weeks.
Iran prepared to confront terrorist threats
Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari on Tuesday highlighted the country’s readiness to counter terrorist threats including those in the cyberspace.
In response to a question about the launch a Persian-language channel by the ISIL terrorist group on Telegram massaging application, Ashtari told reporters that Iran’s security forces have good intelligence supremacy over the cyberspace and its threats, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“A number of those behind channels launched for terrorist purposes have been identified,” he said, adding that most of the suspects are living outside the country.
“If anyone inside the country gets engaged in these channels and networks, they will first receive cautions, and if they intentionally continue their activities, they will face harsh responses,” the police chief warned.
“Our Armed Forces are totally prepared to strongly respond to any terrorist threat,” he reiterated.