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May 21, 2014 0

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 Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion cre­ated two polit­i­cal mod­els against the world infi­dels*
(Basij News Agency – May 20, 2014)

In a speech, IRGC Brig. Gen­eral Hos­sein Salami said: “Today, even Amer­i­can intel­lec­tu­als clearly acknowl­edge that in any place they have tried to plant democ­racy, the heart of Islam sprouts, and the Islamic Repub­lic has tested [this] and been suc­cess­ful in this model.”

seyyed-mahmoud-alavi-iran

Iran­ian Min­is­ter of Intel­li­gence Seyyed Mah­moud Alavi

The Min­is­ter of Intel­li­gence warns of new enemy move­ments against Iran*
(Fars News Agency – May 20, 2014)

Seyyed Mah­moud Alavi,  Iran’s min­is­ter of intel­li­gence, said in a state­ment: “In the last five years, polit­i­cal ana­lysts, even inside the Zion­ist regime and with Zion­ist view­points, have pre­dicted that this regime [Israel] is on the decline after it was slapped in the face by Hezbol­lah and the Pales­tin­ian resis­tance [Hamas] … Five years ago, var­i­ous Islamic groups, such as Hamas and Hezbol­lah, were stand­ing beside Syria united and were often capa­ble of slap­ping Israel in the face.”

We have not shut down any­thing up till now; Keep­ing in accor­dance with our red lines, we con­tinue nego­ti­a­tions*
(Fars News Agency – May 20, 2014)

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Iran­ian Atomic Agency, said dur­ing a meet­ing with sem­i­nary stu­dents that “West­ern coun­tries have no choice but to inter­act with Iran,” espe­cially con­cern­ing his country’s nuclear program.

Rouhani hopes for suc­cess­ful nuclear nego­ti­a­tions
(Mehr News Agency – May 19, 2014)

In a meet­ing with gov­ern­ment offi­cials, Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani said, “The Islamic Repub­lic of Iran has never intended to tell lies and seeks to gain peace­ful nuclear tech­nol­ogy and will pur­sue it as an undis­putable right for Ira­ni­ans, it also wants a deal on [the] Tehran nuclear pro­gram which ben­e­fits all.”

Al Sisi’s vic­tory in the elec­tions is con­ceiv­able; They want to return Egypt to the Mubarak era*
(Basij News Agency – May 19, 2014)

Has­san Hadizadeh, an Iran­ian jour­nal­ist on Mid­dle East affairs, said regard­ing Egypt: “The Egypt­ian gen­er­als’ soft coup d’état received help from the West and Saudi Ara­bia, and the West­ern­ers arrived at the con­clu­sion of the pos­si­bil­ity of estab­lish­ing democ­racy in their own accord and secur­ing the safety of the Zion­ist regime, while the gen­er­als are sub­or­di­nate to the West and Liberals.”

Mil­i­tary and defense equip­ment are insur­mount­able red lines for Iran*
(Basij News Agency – May 19, 2014)

IRGC com­man­der Jaza­y­eri stated, “With the knowl­edge that the issue of [dis­cussing] mil­i­tary and defense equip­ment con­sti­tute an unbreach­able red line for Iran, Amer­ica aims to pres­sure the Iran­ian nego­ti­at­ing team and to black­mail them rather than dis­cussing nuclear issues.”

Iran con­demns Argen­tine court rul­ing on AMIA probe
(Press TV – May 16, 2014)

In response to an Argen­tine court rul­ing on the 2013 signed Mem­o­randa of Under­stand­ing between Iran and Argentina, Iran’s For­eign Min­istry Spokes­woman Marziyeh Afkham said: “The Iran­ian gov­ern­ment believes that the mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing was a proper solu­tion and oppor­tu­nity for dis­cov­er­ing the fact regard­ing the AMIA tragedy and the set­tle­ment of dif­fer­ences in that respect, but the mea­sure by the Argen­tine court deprived both sides of that oppor­tu­nity. There­fore, the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran expresses regret and dis­con­tent over this decision.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Young Ira­ni­ans arrested for being too ‘Happy in Tehran’
(The New York Times – May 20, 2014)

Six Ira­ni­ans were arrested and made to give con­fes­sions on state tele­vi­sion for their role in cre­at­ing and start­ing in an Iran­ian cover of singer Pharell Williams’s song, “Happy.”

Iran­ian ana­lyst: ‘Who entrusted Iran with destroy­ing Israel?’
(Al-Monitor – May 19, 2014)

Sadegh Zibakalam, a Tehran Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor known to hold cen­trist views, has pub­licly crit­i­cized Iran­ian offi­cials’ state­ments and rhetoric on Israel. “Iran has explic­itly stated many times that it wants to destroy Israel. None of the other coun­tries that have a nuclear pro­gram have state that they want to destroy a coun­try. I don’t know who entrusted Iran with destroy­ing Israel,” Zibakalam said dur­ing a speech at an uni­ver­sity in the city of Mashhad.

Iran’s for­got­ten pris­on­ers of con­science
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – May 19, 2014)

Robert P. George and Kat­rina Lan­tos Swett, two mem­bers of the U.S. Com­mis­sion on Inter­na­tional Reli­gious Free­dom, wrote an opin­ion piece detail­ing the con­tin­u­ing state-sanctioned per­se­cu­tion of Iran’s Baha’i community.

8 Days in Iran
(60 Min­utes – May 18, 2014)

Reporters from 60 Min­utes were granted per­mis­sion to visit Iran and meet with elected offi­cials and ordi­nary citizens.

Tehran poll: 60% believe media has lit­tle or no free­dom
(Al-Monitor – May 16, 2014)

A poll con­ducted by Iran’s Min­istry of Cul­ture and Islamic Guid­ance found that the major­ity of cit­i­zens liv­ing in Tehran “believe the media does not have free­dom of express or has very lit­tle free­dom of expression.”

Ira­ni­ans ‘least anti-Semitic in Mid-East’
(BBC – May 16, 2014)

An arti­cle pub­lished by the BBC dis­cusses the sur­pris­ing find­ing from ADL’s Global 100 sur­vey that the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran is the least anti-Semitic coun­try in the Mid­dle East and North Africa region.

Iran pays Afghans to fight for Assad
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – May 15, 2014)

Iran amps up efforts to save the Assad regime by offer­ing $500 a month and Iran­ian res­i­dency to thou­sands of Afghan refugees to help Assad in his blood war against the Syr­ian people.

Iran: Oil exports con­tinue to decline
(The New York Times – May 15, 2014)

The month of April saw the con­tin­u­ing decline of Iran­ian oil exports, down from 1.58 mil­lion bar­rels a day in Feb­ru­ary to 1.11 mil­lion bar­rels a day in April.

Iran­ian real­ity check
(The New York Times – May 15, 2014)

Opin­ion colum­nist Roger Cohen urged Iran to reach a deal and avert prospects of war.

Mak­ing Iran come clean about its nukes
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – May 14, 2014)

David Albright and Bruno Ter­trais write that “A pre­req­ui­site for any final agree­ment is for Iran to address nuclear-weapons ques­tions raised by inspec­tors of the Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency.”

No, sanc­tions didn’t force Iran to make a deal
(For­eign Pol­icy – May 14, 2014)

Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iran­ian Amer­i­can Coun­cil, writes that “Sanc­tions are nei­ther the rea­son for the break­through, not the impe­tus behind the gov­ern­ment of Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani’s open­ness to talk;” rather, it was Rouhani’s cam­paign­ing suc­cess and high voter turnout that enabled Rouhani to come to power.

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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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March 28, 2014 0

Hezbollah Is Still Trying To Broadcast Messages To Your Handheld

Hezbollah’s media arm Al Manar launched free mobile appliAl Manar Appcations on iTunes and Google Play this month, the satel­lite station’s sec­ond attempt to spread their hate mes­sages to iPhone and Android users.

In July 2012, ADL exposed the first app launched by Hezbol­lah, which was also avail­able on Apple and Google Play, and the app was sub­se­quently removed. ADL swiftly noti­fied Apple and Google about the new apps this time as well. The iTunes ver­sion has already been removed but the appli­ca­tion is still avail­able on Google Play.

The iTunes app, called LCG, is a less advanced app than its pre­de­ces­sor but still had the abil­ity to pro­vide live stream­ing to Al Manar’s tele­vi­sion sta­tion. Al Manar broad­casts Hezbollah’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda, and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to its view­ers. The new app also pro­vided access to fea­tured videos of senior offi­cials of both Iran and Hezbollah.

Hezbol­lah is a U.S. des­ig­nated For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, and Al Manar was listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist” by the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury in 2006.

The repeated attempts by Hezbol­lah to estab­lish a pres­ence and pro­vide access to its con­tent via users’ cell­phones under­scores the high pre­mium the ter­ror­ist group gives to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy. In Jan­u­ary 2014, Al Manar launched a What­sApp pro­file pre­sum­ably in an effort to pro­vide a faster and more direct way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with its users.

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