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April 2, 2014 1

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

The pur­pose of prop­a­gat­ing ‘Iron Dome’ is to intim­i­date oppo­nents and it does not express real­i­ties*
(Fars News Agency – April 1, 2014)

Ismail Kosari, a mem­ber of the Iran­ian parliament’s National Secu­rity Com­mit­tee, said that Israel’s Iron Dome sys­tem is noth­ing more “than a type of psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare.” Kosari added, “Israel’s pri­mary goal in pub­li­ciz­ing the ‘Iron Dome’ is to intim­i­date its opponents…”

Iran­ian envoy slams West for back­ing ter­ror­ists in Syria
(Fars News Agency – March 30, 2014)

Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, the Iran­ian ambas­sador to Ger­many, accused the West of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist groups in Syria dur­ing his speech at an inter­na­tional con­fer­ence on Syria in Munich. “The West had not learned from its past strate­gic mis­takes in Syria by sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusra Front,” Attar said dur­ing the conference.

Senior law­maker describes Ahmed Sha­heed as CIA, Mossad agent
(Fars News Agency – March 29, 2014)

In response to the renewed man­date of Ahmed Sha­heed as the United Nations Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Human Rights in Iran, Iran­ian mem­ber of par­lia­ment Hos­sein Naqavi Hos­seini accused Sha­heed of “work[ing] as an agent for the Zion­ist regime and also the CIA.”

Sayyed Nas­ral­lah tack­les regional devel­op­ments
(Mehr News Agency – March 29, 2014)

Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah gave an inau­gural speech for the open­ing of a cul­tural insti­tute in south­ern Lebanon that saw heavy fight­ing between the armed Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion and Israeli forces in 2006. Nas­ral­lah boasted, “Lebanon’s gold does not exist in the whole world, and with wood, the Lebanese had built the coffins of Israeli sol­diers, and will con­tinue to exist for each occu­pier of this holy land.”

hossein-deghan-iran

Iran­ian Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Deghan

Defense Min­is­ter: Amer­ica has long-term plans for the gov­ern­ment of Saudi Ara­bia*
(Tas­nim News Agency – March 29, 2014)

Fol­low­ing U.S. Pres­i­dent Obama’s pub­li­cized visit to Saudi Ara­bia, Iran­ian Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Deghan lashed out against alleged U.S. “plans” for the sur­vival of the Saudi monar­chy. Deghan also attacked Israel, stat­ing, “In the field of our military’s intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties, we are able to con­front the Zion­ist regime because they do not pos­sess such strength in oper­a­tional mil­i­tary systems.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran infla­tion slows to two-year low, ful­fill­ing Rouhani pledge
(Bloomberg News – March 30, 2014)

Iran’s infla­tion rate has fallen to a two-year low while con­sumer prices rose 23 per­cent from a year ago.

Gin­gerly, Iran begins to rock out
(Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – Mach 30, 2014)

Pop music may still be for­bid­den in Iran, but there are signs that slowly things are changing.

Iran’s chief rabbi passes away over Shab­bat
(Ha’aretz – March 30, 2014)

Iran’s Chief Rabbi Yosef Hamadani Cohen, who led Iran’s Jew­ish com­mu­nity since 1994, died last weekend.

Iran plans to replace U.N. ambas­sador in New York
(Reuters – March 29, 2014)

The cur­rent Iran­ian Ambas­sador to the United Nations will be replaced by Hamid Abu­talebi, a long­time diplo­mat with close ties to Pres­i­dent Rouhani and for­mer Pres­i­dent Raf­san­jani. Abu­talebi is sus­pected of hav­ing been involved in the 1979 U.S. embassy hostage cri­sis; how­ever, this infor­ma­tion is still unconfirmed.

N.Y. tower in suit tied to Iran is for­feited, judge rules
(Bloomberg Busi­ness­week – March 28, 2014)

A U.S. Dis­trict Judge ruled that an Iranian-government owned com­mer­cial build­ing in mid­town Man­hat­tan will be for­feited by its own­ers for vio­lat­ing U.S. embargo and fed­eral money laun­der­ing laws.

Museum items can’t be seized to pay Iran judg­ment
(USA Today – March 28, 2014)

A fed­eral judge in Chicago ruled that Iran­ian ter­ror sur­vivors may not be awarded Per­sian antiq­ui­ties and relics in place of the $412 mil­lion judg­ment against the Iran­ian government.

 

Iran fuel price hikes will be big test for Rouhani
(Reuters – March 27, 2014)

As part of Pres­i­dent Rouhani’s pledge to repair the Iran­ian econ­omy, painful fuel sub­sidy cuts are in store and pose a risk to Rouhani’s popularity.

Con­gress pre­pares sec­ond front on Iran sanc­tions
(Al-Monitor – March 27, 2014)

U.S. Con­gress is work­ing on new sanc­tions tar­get­ing Iran­ian sup­port for Hezbol­lah and sup­port­ers of Syria’s embat­tled Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad.

Sen. Carl Levin gar­ners 23 Dems for softer-toned Iran talks let­ter
(JTA – March 27, 2014)

Sen­a­tor Carl Levin (D-Mich.) cir­cu­lated a let­ter among law­mak­ers urg­ing the White House to con­tinue engag­ing in diplo­macy with Iran.

U.N. extends term of human rights mon­i­tor, anger­ing Iran
(New York Times – March 28, 2014)

Iran­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials expressed anger by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s vote to renew the term for its Iran human rights expert.

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April 1, 2014 2

Anti-Immigrant Movement Pushes State Strategies In 2014

While the push for immi­gra­tion reform at the fed­eral level is cur­rently at a stand­still, the immi­gra­tion debate at the state and local level is in high gear. Con­tin­u­ing the trend of the past few years, law­mak­ers are intro­duc­ing large num­bers of pro-immigrant leg­is­la­tion in states around the country.dc-march-for-jobs-380

In response, the anti-immigrant move­ment is imple­ment­ing a multi-pronged strat­egy at the state and local level with sev­eral key goals in mind.  These include attempts to block leg­is­la­tion at the state level grant­ing in-state tuition to qual­i­fied stu­dents, as well as driver’s licenses and other pub­lic ben­e­fits to Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) recip­i­ents. In June 2012, Pres­i­dent Obama issued the DACA exec­u­tive order, which allows some eli­gi­ble undoc­u­mented youth who were not born in the U.S. but who were brought to the coun­try at a young age to apply for tem­po­rary work autho­riza­tion, and calls for ICE agents to refrain from deport­ing them.

The anti-immigrant move­ment is also going beyond try­ing to pre­vent pro-immigrant leg­is­la­tion. Activists in the move­ment are attempt­ing to get restric­tive laws and poli­cies on the books such as greater voter reg­is­tra­tion restric­tions in the form of voter ID require­ments and English-only laws at the state and local level.

Please see “Anti-Immigrant Move­ment Imple­ments Nativist State Strate­gies in 2014” for more information.

 


El movimiento anti-inmigrante pro­mueve las estrate­gias estatales en 2014

Mien­tras que el impulso a la reforma migra­to­ria a nivel fed­eral está actual­mente fre­nado, el debate sobre la inmi­gración en el nivel local y estatal está en plena mar­cha. Con­tin­uando la ten­den­cia de los últi­mos años, los leg­is­ladores están intro­duciendo numerosas leyes en favor de los inmi­grantes en esta­dos de  todo el país.

En respuesta, el movimiento anti-inmigrante está imple­men­tando una estrate­gia mul­ti­facética a nivel estatal y local con var­ios obje­tivos en mente.  Estos incluyen inten­tos para blo­quear leyes a nivel estatal con­ce­di­endo tar­i­fas de matrícula estatal a estu­di­antes cal­i­fi­ca­dos, así como licen­cias de con­ducir y otros ben­efi­cios públi­cos a quienes cumplen los req­ui­si­tos del Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (Aplaza­miento de Acciones con­tra Menores)(DACA). En junio de 2012, el Pres­i­dente Obama emi­tió la orden ejec­u­tiva DACA que per­mite a algunos jóvenes indoc­u­men­ta­dos que no nacieron en Esta­dos Unidos pero lle­garon al país a una edad tem­prana solic­i­tar per­miso de tra­bajo tem­po­ral  y pide a los agentes del ICE  que se absten­gan de deportarlos .

El movimiento anti-inmigrante tam­bién va más allá al tratar de evi­tar la leg­is­lación pro-inmigrantes. Los activis­tas del movimiento inten­tan imple­men­tar leyes y políti­cas restric­ti­vas tales como may­ores restric­ciones en la inscrip­ción de votantes en forma de req­ui­si­tos de iden­ti­fi­cación de votantes y leyes para que se util­ice úni­ca­mente el inglés a nivel local y estatal.

Para mayor infor­ma­ción, por favor con­sulte “Anti-Immigrant Move­ment Imple­ments Nativist State Strate­gies in 2014”.

 

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April 1, 2014 6

Anti-Semitic Television Series Khaiber Wins Golden Award

Update — April 7, 2014: Khaiber also won the Golden award at Cairo’s Arab Drama Fes­ti­val on April 6. More than 60 TV shows were fea­tured in the festival.

The anti-Semitic tele­vi­sion series Khaiber, which dra­ma­tized the sub­ju­ga­tion of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, was rec­og­nized with a “Golden Award” at the 13th annual Gulf Radio and Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val hosted in Bahrain last week.khaiber-khaybar-golden-award-bahrain

Dr. Samira Ebrahim Bin Rajab, Bahrain’s Min­is­ter of State for Media Affairs, pre­sented the first place award to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Echo Media Qatar, the com­pany that pro­duced Khaiber. The award was for best show pro­duced by a pri­vate pro­duc­tion company.

315 films, tele­vi­sion and radio pro­grams pro­duced in the Arab states of the Per­sian Gulf were sub­mit­ted to the fes­ti­val. The slo­gan for this year’s fes­ti­val was “Youth are the future of our media.” The fes­ti­val is orga­nized annu­ally by the Per­sian Gulf Arab states to pro­mote media coop­er­a­tion and collaboration.

ADL first raised con­cern about Khaiber and its anti-Jewish themes in Feb­ru­ary 2013, imme­di­ately after reports from Qatar revealed the inten­tion of Echo Media to pro­duce the series and con­tract Yusri Al-Jindy to write the script for the series. Al-Jindy is known for his his­tory of anti-Semitic writ­ings. The show, which aired on sev­eral Arab tele­vi­sion sta­tions last sum­mer, con­firmed ADL’s con­cern by pro­mot­ing var­i­ous anti-Semitic themes.

By award­ing one of the more high pro­file anti-Semitic pro­duc­tions last year, the fes­ti­val and its hosts are send­ing a mes­sage that hatred is not only accept­able, but also wor­thy of recognition.

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