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July 23, 2014

New EU “Conclusions” on Israel and Gaza

The European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council, comprised of the 28 EU foreign ministers, regularly issues “conclusions” on a variety of international issues.  Yesterday’s “Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process” show greater EU understanding for Israeli positions and an end to the EU’s patience with Hamas in Gaza.

The most significant change from the previous Conclusions of December 2013 is the demand that “all terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm” and the call for “the Palestinian government to take charge of the Gaza Strip.”  The EU wants President Abbas’s so-called “unity” government to replace Hamas and maintain a monopoly on the use of force.

Significantly, the EU condemned Hamas for calling “on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.”  Israel has been highlighting this war crime by Hamas and now the EU has endorsed Israel’s position. EU Flag

The EU noted that Israeli military operations “must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.”  However, the conclusions do not assert that Israel has acted disproportionately or contrary to international humanitarian law.

For the first time, the EU included a paragraph about “events in the wider Middle East [which] pose serious threats to the EU” and warrant a re-statement of the EU’s “fundamental commitment to the security of Israel.”  For too long and in too many European capitals, diplomats promoted the fallacy of Israeli-Palestinian peace as the key to peace throughout the Middle East.  Perhaps the inclusion of regional threats in “conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process” demonstrates a new EU consensus that the Iranian nuclear program, the civil war in Syria, and the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) hinder Israeli-Palestinian peace and not the misguided reverse.

The EU’s “peace parameters” changed with respect to refugees.  The word “realistic” was added and now states that the EU expects “A just, fair, agreed and realistic solution to the refugee question.”  The change seems to be a nod towards Israel and an expression of frustration with the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating position on refugees.

Do the new EU conclusions represent a sea change? No. But the tide may be turning.

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April 9, 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

FM: Iran’s negotiations with Powers not related to economic pressures

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

While addressing expatriate Iranian researchers and university professors in Vienna before the resumption of talks with the P5+1, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “The Iranian nation has opted for negotiations based on its moderate spirit and its tendency for moderation and interactions. He also added, “If anyone thinks that the Iranian nation has chosen negotiations due to the economic pressures, he/she is definitely wrong in his/her analysis.”

Iran’s overhauled warship proves successful in joint drills with Oman

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

Following the completion of joint naval drills with Oman on Monday, Deputy Commander of the Navy for Operations Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said, “[The] Shamshir missile-launcher warship is capable of firing different mid-range and long-range surface-to-surface missiles, including Nour and Qader, or any other type of missile after its recent overhaul.”

Commander raps West for double-standards towards human rights issues

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)ali-fadavi-irgc-iran

In response to last week’s European Union resolution criticizing Iran’s human rights violations, Brigadier General and Commander of the IRGC Ali Fadavi said, “The enemies of the Islamic Revolution consider justice and Human Rights to be in their right places when they serve the interest of company-owners, domineering power and international Zionism.”

Zarif questions EP’s legitimacy to preach on human rights

(Tasnim News Agency – April 6, 2014)

Following the European Union’s resolution against Iran on human rights, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded with: “Given the political weight, laws and the recent history in Europe…, it is obvious that the European Parliament lacks legitimacy and popularity to preach to the others on observing the human rights.”

Ayatollah Kermani: The people of Iran will not permit the Europeans to establish a new den of spies*

(Basij News Agency – April 4, 2014)

Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, one of Tehran’s Friday prayer leaders, responded to the EU’s human rights resolution against Iran by telling the faithful that “The people of Iran will not allow the European Union to open a new spy den in the country.”

IRGC Commander: Iran to give ‘stunning’ response to enemies’ threats

(Fars News Agency – April 3, 2014)

Commander of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force Qassem Suleimani boasted of Iran’s prowess over its enemies. “The enemies do not realize that the Iranian people are able to astound them. Relying on its devoted nation, our country will strongly confront any threat posed by the enemies,” Suleimani said in Southern Kerman province.

Inter­na­tional Media

 

Iran’s supreme leader: Nuclear talks should continue, but without concessions

(Ynet – April 9, 2014)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei confirmed that negotiations will continue; however, he emphasized that “all should know that negotiations will not stop or slow down any of Iran’s activities in nuclear research and development.”

Spain arrests four accused of attempting to export equipment to Iran

(CNN – April 8, 2014)

One Iranian and three Spaniards were arrested by Spanish authorities for secretly trying to export industrial equipment to Iran that could be used to make missile parts or enrich uranium.

Iran’s choice for U.N. post denied entry into the U.S.

(The New York Times – April 7, 2014)

The U.S. Senate voted against issuing a visa to Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations due to charges that he was involved in the 1979 United States Embassy hostage-taking crisis in Tehran.

Chinese man, Iran firms charged in nuclear export case

(Bloomberg – April 4, 2014)

A Chinese national and two Iranian firms were charged with conspiring to export devises that can be used to enrich uranium.

Iran must see ramifications if nuclear talks fail, former advisors say

(The Wall Street Journal – April 4, 2014)

Two former advisers to the Obama Administration call for the White House and Congress to increase the threat of using military force against Iran if talks fail.

Boeing, GE say get U.S. license to sell spare parts to Iran

(Reuters – April 4, 2014)

Boeing and General Electric Co. announced that they had received licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to export some spare parts for Iran’s aging commercial aircrafts.

Iranians avoid bad luck with outdoor festival

(The Sun Herald – April 2, 2014)

A report on the Iranian festival of “Sizdeh Bedar,” the last day of the long Persian New Year celebration.

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July 24, 2013

Iran’s Anti-Semitic Press TV Now Live Streaming On YouTube

Update – September 18, 2013: Hispan TV, Iran’s Spanish-language network, follows Press TV’s example by starting a live stream feature on YouTube

Update – August 8, 2013: Press TV newsroom director Hamid Reza Emadi today announced the creation of a new YouTube channel, one week after Press TV’s account had been suspended by the video sharing website. Press TV’s new channel does not include the live stream feature which appeared on their previous channel.

Press TV, the Iranian government’s English-language satellite news network that promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, has begun to live stream its media content on the popular video sharing website, YouTube. press-tv-youtube-live-anti-semitism

Press TV’s live YouTube feed, which originates from the official Press TV Global News channel, went live on July 23. Links to the YouTube page are promoted on Press TV’s English- and Farsi- language websites.

The stations broadcast on YouTube comes at a time when the United States, the European Union and other in the internationally community are seeking to isolate Iran by blocking satellite transmissions by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Iran’s state broadcaster that produces Press TV.

While users have been able to access Press TV’s live stream directly through the network’s website, YouTube provides the network a popular new platform to disseminate its anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to a worldwide audience.

Since E.U. and U.S. sanctions went into effect, IRIB and supporters of the Iranian regime have tried to bypass sanctions by providing lives feeds through iPhone and iPad apps and through internet streaming directly on the networks’ websites.

ADL has contacted YouTube regarding concerns about Press TV using YouTube as a conduit for the pervasive anti-Semitism the Iranian media outlet is known for.

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