Iran Weekly: Selected News & Developments » ADL Blogs
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March 19, 2014

Iran Weekly: Selected News & Developments

ayatollah-khamenei-iran

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

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

The principle events of the Islamic Revolution and the Holy Defense are exposed to being harmed and distorted*
(Mashregh News Agency – March 17, 2014)

In a meeting with officials from the Raahian-e Nour (Path of Light) tour guides that lead trips to different battle grounds from the Iran-Iraq war, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned, “Today the ruling powers are trying the same lowly tricks to make [the world] gradually forget how the native people of the cities and villages of Palestine were pushed out. We must not allow the events of the Holy Defense to also be forgotten.”

Rafsanjani criticizes world powers for ignoring Muslims’ rights in Palestine, Myanmar
(Fars News Agency – March 17, 2014)

Former Iranian President and Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Rafsanjani met with a delegation from the International Crisis Group. During his meeting, Rafsanjani said, “The super powers’ green light to Israel and sometimes their weaponry and political assistance to the usurper regime has doubled the oppression against the oppressed people of Palestine.”

Official reveals new details of sabotage acts against Iran’s N. facilities
(Fars News Agency – March 17, 2014)

Asqar Zare’an, the deputy chief for nuclear protection and security for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, revealed that the Arak nuclear facility had come under attack. “Intelligence inspections of the nuclear facilities indicated that some pumps of the second circuitry of Arak’s IR40 project had undergone mechanical operations in a bid to disrupt the routine work of the power plant,” Zare’an said last Saturday.

Khalid Mashaal is coming to Iran*
(Fars News Agency – March 16, 2014)

According to reports by the Egyptian daily Al-Yom Al-Saba’a, Hamas Politburo Chief Khalid Mashaal is expected to visit to Tehran soon.

The nuclear team has no right to discuss non-nuclear issues*
(Kayhan – March 16, 2014)

A statement signed by 222 members of the Iranian parliament this week stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, in its capacity as a founding member of the NPT, which it has up until now adhered to and has not produced nuclear weapons in accordance with the treaty, seeks to use its full legitimate right of nuclear power for peaceful purposes as stated in Article 4 of the treaty.

The Palestinians’ missile capabilities have increased by 1,000 times*
(Fars News Agency – March 15, 2014)

Defense Minister Hossein Deghan boasted, “The Resistance’s [Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad] operational abilities against the Zionist regime have increased 1,000 fold and it is something we have been doing until now. With these calculations, the Resistance’s missile response can be fully understood.”

Iran raps Al-Jazeera claim about involvement in 1988 Lockerbie bombing
(Fars News Agency – March 13, 2014)

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs accused Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab Qatari news network, of embarking on a campaign on behalf of Israel. Hossein Amir Abdollahian called Al Jazeera’s report connecting Iran to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing a fabrication “in line with the Zionist regime’s lies.”

Hezbollah vows to give crushing response to Israeli aggressions
(Fars News Agency – March 12, 2014)

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem issued a series of threats against Israel after an aerial attack on Hezbollah sites by the Israeli Air Force. “We will pursue the issue of Israel’s continued aggressions, including reconnaissance flights and land aggression, through international law and the UN Security Council, laws of big countries and all those who claim that Israel is neither an occupier nor an aggress,” Qassam said during his interview with Fars News.

The next meeting of the Supreme Islamic Awakening Council will be in Baghdad/The West is in fear of Islamic thinking and awe*
(Fars News Agency – March 12, 2014)

Ali Akbar Velayati, the special advisor to the Supreme Leader, said during his speech at the Supreme Islamic Awakening Council, “Our hope is for the liberation of Palestine and we are hopeful that one day we will pray behind the Supreme Leader in the Al Aqsa mosque.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Netanyahu orders IDF to prepare for possible strike on Iran during 2014
(Haaretz – March 19, 2014)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon continue to prepare the Israel Defense Force for a possible military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

West sees unity on Iran despite crisis in Ukraine
(New York Times – March 18, 2014)

As representatives from the P5+1 and Iran gather in Vienna for negotiations, the specter of the crisis in Ukraine cause tensions between the West and Russia.

Iran doesn’t expect deal in coming nuclear talks
(Washington Post – March 16, 2014)

Prior to the latest round of negotiations with the P5+1, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed doubt that a deal would be reached “in this round of talks,” and that the sides “have agreed to discuss a number of issues in this round.”

It’s a sabotage: Iran’s hard-liners are using mass executions to undermine the nuclear deal
(Foreign Policy – March 14, 2014)

A spike in the number of executions is seen as attempts by hard-liners to derail President Rouhani’s diplomatic efforts.

Iran’s oppressed Christians
(New York Times – March 14, 2014)

A look into the hardships Iran’s Christian minority faces under the rule of the Islamic Republic.

Rouhani has not stopped Iran suppressing human rights: U.N. envoy
(Reuters – March 14, 2014)

United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed, criticized President Rouhani’s “baby steps” to improve human rights in Iran. Shaheed also stated that the Islamic Republic is holding 900 political prisoners, “including people persecuted for religious activities, lawyers and journalists.”

In Iran, a battle over control of media and culture is heating up
(Washington Post – March 13, 2014)

Tensions rise within Iran’s establishment as the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance hint at the possibility of relaxing some of the “ridiculous” policies Iran has adopted since the Islamic Revolution.

Iran hosts Syria conference of Assad sympathizers
(Chicago Tribune – March 12, 2014)

Iran hosted a conference in support of Syria’s Assad regime in which participating nations endorsed Tehran’s call for elections to “determine the destiny” of Syria.

Iran hard-liners protest at Austrian Embassy
(Washington Post – March 12, 2014)

Iranian authorities staged a protest in front of the Austrian Embassy last week over a meeting EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton held with activists during her high-profile visit to Tehran.