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May 28, 2014 0

Iran Weekly: Selected News & Developments

The fol­low­ing is a selec­tion of news reports and com­men­tary from Iran­ian media and main­stream pub­li­ca­tions on devel­op­ments per­tain­ing to Iran. This weekly update includes a sam­pling of pub­lished reports from Iran’s Farsi-language media*as well as rel­e­vant arti­cles from the inter­na­tional press.

Iran­ian Media

‘New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence’ is a protest to Zion­ist thought and essence*
(Basij News Agency – May 28, 2014)

Clau­dia Moti, a “philoso­pher and for­mer pro­fes­sor at an Amer­i­can uni­ver­sity,” gave an inter­view express­ing dis­ap­point­ment in the can­cel­la­tion of Iran’s anti-Zionist con­fer­ence, New Hori­zon. In the inter­view, Moti said: “The New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence is a protest against Zion­ist thought and essence, and I was sur­prised that it was not held. [The con­fer­ence] had an impor­tant role in expos­ing the roots of Zion­ism. It is not only the Pales­tini­ans but the whole world that is try­ing to save itself from the clutches of Zion­ism, and the New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence has the abil­ity to help in this issue.”

No political-security equa­tion in the Islamic world is pos­si­ble with­out Iran’s sat­is­fac­tion*
(Fars News Agency – May 28, 2014)

Dur­ing a speech address­ing a swear­ing in cer­e­mony for Basij vol­un­teers, IRGC Com­man­der Hos­sein Salami said, “The Imam [Khome­ini] com­manded that Amer­ica can’t do a damn thing [against Iran], and this has become a real­ity that Amer­ica today can’t do a damn thing in the world.” Salami added, “If these eco­nomic sanc­tions, which Amer­ica has imposed on this coun­try, were to be imposed on the peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of Amer­ica, they would not be able to per­sist; look how this sanc­tions have not changed a thing in our coun­try except for accel­er­at­ing and advanc­ing the econ­omy just as the legit­i­mate suc­ces­sor of Imam Khome­ini has said.”

Anti-Shi’a and anti-Iran are tools of the Arro­gant front for the pro­tec­tion of the Zion­ist regime*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 27, 2014)

In a speech before ambas­sadors and offi­cials from Islamic coun­tries, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei said, “It is the expec­ta­tion of the Islamic nations, and the elite in par­tic­u­lar, to cor­rectly rec­og­nize the fronts of the ene­mies of the Mus­lim ummah [that sup­port the Zion­ists] with clar­ity and insight.”

khamenei-parliament-iran

Aya­tol­lah Khamenei address­ing the Iran­ian parliament

Thought on the ‘con­tin­u­a­tion of resis­tance’ against the Arro­gant front will gov­ern the dig­nity of the nation/ The­o­riz­ing sub­mis­sion and com­pro­mise are trea­son*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 25, 2014)

In a live broad­cast speech to the Iran­ian par­lia­ment, Supreme Leader Khamenei said: “All offi­cials of the coun­try in the var­i­ous sec­tors, from eco­nom­ics, sci­ence and cul­ture, to the pol­icy mak­ers and direc­tors of for­eign nego­ti­a­tions, must know that we are in a state of resis­tance and we will con­tinue on this path for the sur­vival of the Islamic sys­tem.” Khamenei also added that resis­tance and jihad will not end, “because Satan and the satanic fronts will always exist, but it is pos­si­ble in cer­tain cir­cum­stances to dis­tin­guish the meth­ods and styles of jihad and resis­tance. This resis­tance will come to an end when human­ity is able to lib­er­ate itself from the evil Arro­gant front, which Amer­ica is at the head of and had its claws spread over the body, soul and thought of humanity.”

Araqchi quotes Zarif as say­ing West wants to dis­man­tle Fordo through talks after fail­ing to hit it by bunker-busters
(Fars News Agency – May 24, 2014)

In a meet­ing with IRGC polit­i­cal direc­tors, Abbas Araqchi, the deputy for­eign min­is­ter, quoted For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif as telling the Euro­pean part­ners of the P5+1, “You intend to close Fordo because you can­not hit it then move to hit Natanz which is 20 meters under the ground.”

Iran mounts air-to-air, air-to-surface mis­siles on drones
(Fars News Agency – May 24, 2014)

Ahmad Reza Pour­das­tan, the Com­man­der of the Iran­ian Army Ground Forces, boasted of Iran’s new line of drones dur­ing mil­i­tary exer­cises in Isfa­han. Pour­das­tan said, “We will use all our drones which have recon­nais­sance, online imag­ing and sui­cide (attack) capa­bil­i­ties as well as the air-to-air and air-to-surface mis­siles mounted on them.”

West­erns seek to secure the safety of Israel*
(Fars News Agency – May 22, 2014)

Esmail Kosari, a law­maker in the Iran­ian par­lia­ment, said, “The West­ern­ers are stress­ing today that we should limit the range of our mis­siles to 500 kilo­me­ters. The goal of this talk is to keep the safety of Israel, and they are seek­ing to solve this issue while they them­selves have bunker buster missiles.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Briton among eight jailed in Iran for web insults
(The Guardian – May 27, 2014)

Eight peo­ple have been sen­tences to jail in Iran on charges that include blas­phemy and insult­ing the Supreme Leader on Facebook.

Prison terms in Iran hint of new reins on Inter­net
(The New York Times – May 27, 2014)

Although Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani pledged to ease inter­net restric­tions and fil­ter­ing of social media web­sites, recent prison sen­tences and an order for Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg to tes­tify in a law­suit point toward an increase in restric­tions and prosecutions.

Iran hangs key fig­ure in bank­ing scan­dal
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – May 24, 2014)

Maha­farid Amir-Khosravi, a key player in Iran’s biggest bank­ing scan­dal, was exe­cuted on Sat­ur­day. Amir-Khosravi and his co-conspirators were accused of embez­zling $2.6 billion.

Oper­a­tion Whole­some Sea: Iran coast guard forces women off beaches
(The Daily Beast – May 24, 2014)

Gen­der seg­re­ga­tion and strict dress code laws effec­tively pre­vent Iran­ian women from enjoy­ing the beach. Oper­a­tion Whole­some Sea will hire “women from other orga­ni­za­tions such as the Basij” to help the coast guard enforce adher­ence to the country’s laws.

Iran cleric con­demns ‘satanic’ divorce par­ties
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – May 23, 2014)

Tehran’s Fri­day prayer leader con­demned the grow­ing “West­ern” phe­nom­e­non of hold­ing par­ties to cel­e­brate divorce. “Men and Women who hold divorce par­ties are def­i­nitely satanic… Dis­in­te­gra­tion of fam­ily and lech­ery are related to the dis­grace­ful West­ern civ­i­liza­tion… Western-style free­doms are wrong,” Aya­tol­lah Khashani said.

Iran cuts nuclear stock­pile, engages with bomb probe: IAEA
(Reuters – May 23, 2014)

The Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced last week that Iran has cut its most sen­si­tive nuclear stock­pile by 80 per­cent in accor­dance with the interim agree­ment with the P5+1.

Rouhani offi­cial vis­its syn­a­gogue, endorses pre-revolutionary flag
(Al-Monitor – May 22, 2014)

A senior advi­sor for eth­nic and reli­gious minor­ity affairs in the Rouhani cab­i­net recently paid a visit to a syn­a­gogue in the south­ern city of Shi­raz. The visit has come under crit­i­cism by con­ser­v­a­tives because the offi­cial defended the Jew­ish community’s use of Iran’s pre-revolutionary flag.

Iran hotels fill up as Rouhani’s rap­proche­ment lifts tourism
(Bloomberg – May 21, 2014)

Tourism is up in Iran thanks largely to the elec­tion of Has­san Rouhani and his efforts to mend ties with the U.S. and Europe.