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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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March 21, 2014

Iranian Leader Questions Holocaust During Persian New Year Speech

khamenei-nowruz-holocaust

Supreme Leader Khamenei addressing the nation on Persian New Year (March 21, 2014)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made statements questioning the historical reality of the Holocaust during his annual Nowruz, or Persian New Year, address to the nation on Friday.

During his speech, where the leader discussed Iran’s struggling economy and Western cultural encroachments on youth, Khamenei denounced the West for its “strict adherence” to freedom of speech while imposing restrictions on discussing the Holocaust. Emphasizing this point, Khamenei said, “In European countries no one dares to speak about the Holocaust, which it is unknown if the roots of this matter are actual or not, and, if it actually did happen, in what way.”

Khamenei added that the West, and Europe in particular, place high value on free speech, yet, “Opinions on the Holocaust and doubt the Holocaust are considered one of the biggest offenses that they [try to] stop and imprison and prosecute.”

Khamenei also singled out the U.S. and its support for Israel’s requirement for the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “America has been left in a disaster in Palestine. The plans they had for Palestine, and they’ve tried very hard, have not been successful…They want to transform the country of Palestine into a Jewish country, meaning that Palestinians, whether they be Muslim or Christian, will not have the possibility to live in Palestine,” Khamenei said. Khamenei also claimed that the U.S. is plotting to “finish off Palestine in its entirety” by supporting Israel’s preconditions in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

In his 2013 Persian New Year address, Khamenei threatened that if Israel were to “make the mistake of attacking Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

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August 17, 2012

Iranian Leaders Call For Israel’s Annihilation In Anticipation Of Jerusalem Day

At a time of heightened international tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian leaders have been using the occasion of  annual Jerusalem Day demonstrations, taking place today in cities around the world, to amplify their threats against the Jewish state.

  • Speaker of parliament Ali Larijani opened Thursday’s parliamentary session declaring, “God willing, this movement of the Muslims toward the goal of ending and removing this cancerous tumor called Israel will be accomplished.”

    Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

  • Another call to annihilate Israel, made by Iran’s highest authority figure during a speech on Wednesday evening, was broadcast on state television. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the final decision maker on all of Iran’s policies, said, “The illegitimate Zionist state will definitely be eradicated from the face of the world.”
  • In an August 1 meeting with representative from Islamic countries in Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that “Jerusalem Day is the only way to liberate Palestine.” He then added, “It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling over major world affairs; [they] are behind the scenes in the major power circles, in political, media, financial, and banking organizations in the world…”

Such anti-Israel statements from top level Iranian officials usually intensify in the days before Jerusalem Day, a day of protest first started in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against Israel. The day is held on the last Friday of Ramadan and is observed throughout the Muslim world.

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