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July 29, 2014

Photos: Al Quds Day 2014 in the United States

On Friday, anti-Israel demonstrations were held in honor of Al Quds Day, an annual day of protest held on the last Friday of Ramadan. Al Quds means Jerusalem in Arabic and is used to protest Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel and instead call for Jerusalem to be a Muslim city.

These rallies are often some of the more extreme protests against Israel that take place throughout the year. Here’s a virtual snapshot of this year’s protests in the United States:

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

You had the Holocaust don't make another one on us

Chicago, IL

stepping on Israeli flag

Houston, TX

10487292_506486599497050_3348989304725983269_n

New York, NY

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July 25, 2014

Iran’s Khamenei Calls Israel’s Destruction The “Only Remedy”

Update — July 26: Shortly following the conclusion of Al Quds Day rallies in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s official Twitter handle posted a graphic, titled “9 key questions about elimination of Israel,” which outlines Khamenei’s vision of destroying Israel and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a referendum, as mentioned in his speech on Thursday, July 24.   

 
“The only remedy is the destruction of Israel,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said to a packed auditorium at Tehran University on July 24.

Khamenei’s call for Israel’s destruction is the latest in the steady escalation of anti-Israel rhetoric from the Iranian regime that remained mostly silent as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas militants in Gaza.

In his speech to university students, which was broadcast live by Iran’s broadcasting authority, Khamenei referred to Israel’s establishment as “illegitimate” and based on the murder of the Palestinian people. Khamenei also repeated the Iranian regime’s call for a referendum to be held in Israel and the Palestinian Territories so that the “residents may choose what kind of governing regime” they want. This suggestion is popular among proponents of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Domestic Iranian print media has also amped up its anti-Israel hostility in anticipation of Friday’s Al Quds Day protests, an annual day of protest against Israel initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, by publishing quotes from various high-ranking officials heaping praise on Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Israeli cities. State-run publications, such as Fars News, have published anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a pool of Palestinian blood in the shape of the Gaza Strip, and images of stereotypical Jewish figures killing Palestinian children. Iranian media published similar anti-Semitic cartoons during Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Ara­bic term for Jerusalem is com­mem­o­rated annu­ally with mass ral­lies and speeches on the last Fri­day of Ramadan. It has tra­di­tion­ally been marked by hos­tile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, includ­ing bla­tant anti-Semitism, at protests held in the Middle East and across cities in Europe and the United States.

netanyahu-gaza-blood-anti-semitic

iran-anti-semitic-cartoon-blood

 

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July 25, 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 only remedy is the destruction of the Zionist regime*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – July 24, 2014)khamenei-tehran-university-speech

In a meeting with student group at Tehran University on Thursday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “Israel must be wiped out.” Khamenei added that this “remedy” is not meant “to destroy the Jewish people from that region.” Khamenei also repeated that the government’s solution to the question of Palestine is for all the inhabitants of the Holy Land to hold a referendum, “and through this way the illegitimate usurping regime will be removed.”

Iran urges Palestinians, Syrian, Lebanese resistance groups to ink defense pact
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij force, called on regional terrorist groups to sign a defense treaty. Naqdi added, “We ask the resistance forces in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon to endorse a defense pact so that an attack on any of them will be an attack on all of them and if the Zionist regime makes an aggression against any of them, all of them will grow united to confront it.”

Rouhani calls for peoples’ massive turnout in Quds Day rallies
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

President Hassan Rouhani appealed to the nation to come out in larger numbers than before for Friday’s Quds Day rallies against Israel. “The more magnificent this year’s Quds Day rallies are held, the greater support they will indicate for the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

Chants of ‘Death to Israel’ will be said in 770 cities in the country*
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

Ramazan Sharif, the chief of staff of the Coun­cil of Islamic Pro­pa­ganda and Al Quds Intifada, said during a press conference held for the upcoming Quds Day protests: “Calls for peace from all Muslims and freedom loving people will be sent to the people of Gaza who have been waging jihad in the path of Allah during the month of Ramadan against the usurping Zionist regime.”

Iran to launce new home-made destroyer soon

(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

The Iranian Navy announced plans to reveal a new destroyer named “Damavand” and it will be deployed in international waters.

Iran’s Zarif, EU’s Ashton issue joint statement on extension of talks
(Fars News Agency – July 19, 2014)

Following the last round of talks between negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran, Foreign Minister Zarif and EU representative Catherine Ashton released a joint statement stating that talks would continue to November 24, 2014.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran’s leader appears unbending on core nuclear issues, say experts
(The Los Angeles Times – July 21, 2014)

An extension on the nuclear talks signals Ayatollah Khamenei’s possible willingness to compromise, but not on the core question of uranium enrichment capacity.

Iran’s ruling elite embrace Facebook, while ordinary citizens are arrested over it
(Slate.com – July 21, 2014)

Although Facebook is blocked to ordinary Iranians, government officials including President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif enjoy unfettered access to the popular social media site.

Iran eliminates sensitive stockpile under interim nuclear deal: IAEA
(Reuters – July 20, 2014)

According to a monthly update released by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has met the terms stipulated in the initial six-month agreement and has moved to eliminate its most sensitive stockpile of enriched uranium gas.

Iran nuclear talks: Is a comprehensive deal still on the table?
(The Christian Science Monitor – July 20, 2014)

It remains unclear if negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran will be able to bridge significant gaps over what Iran’s nuclear future will look like.

Why Iran believes the militant group ISIS is an American plot
(Time – July 19, 2014)

An article from the Iranian state-run Islamic Republic News Agency claims that there was a joint U.S., British and Israeli plan to “create a terrorist organization capable of centralizing all extremist actions across the world.” Unfortunately for IRNA, there is no mention of such a plan in the documents leaked by Edward Snowden which IRNA claims as its source.

Sanctions nearly halve Iran oil export revenue in two years, OPEC says
(The Wall Street Journal – July 18, 2014)

According to newly released data from OPEC, sanctions have caused Iran’s petroleum export revenue to decrease by 42% in 2013.

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