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April 2, 2014

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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