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May 7, 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

Zarif: We have taken away Netanyahu’s com­fort*
(Mehr News Agency – May 6, 2014)

Iran­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif appeared before a par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sion on Tues­day over his remarks on the verac­ity of the Holo­caust. Zarif, who stated in sev­eral inter­na­tional inter­views that the Holo­caust did hap­pen, told the com­mis­sion, “I have spo­ken to [the Supreme Leader] per­son­ally about his speech on the Holo­caust and he has con­demned the killing of the Jews and has refuted his state­ment on the issue.”

Iran rejects restric­tions on nuclear facil­i­ties ‘free trans­fer’
(Mehr News Agency – May 6, 2014)

In a meet­ing with the Prepara­tory Com­mit­tee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Con­fer­ence in New York, Reza Najafi, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, said, “All coun­tries have the right to set their national agenda for access­ing full nuclear fuel chain and should be respected.” Najafi also rejected mea­sures to restrict and ban the trans­fer of nuclear facilities.

Supreme Leader meets with offi­cials of Soci­ety of Mid­wifery
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 5, 2014)

 In a speech mark­ing the Inter­na­tional Day of the Mid­wife, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei stressed Iran’s need for pop­u­la­tion growth in accor­dance with his Per­sian New Year mes­sage from March. “A coun­try with­out youth means a coun­try with­out inno­va­tion, progress, excite­ment and enthu­si­asm. There­fore, the vital plan of increas­ing pop­u­la­tion should be fol­lowed up in a seri­ous way.”

hossein-dehqan-iran

Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Dehqan

Israel dis­ar­ma­ment a demand by all nations: Min­is­ter
(Mehr News Agency – May 5, 2014)

Iran’s Defense Min­is­ter, Brigadier Gen­eral Hos­sein Dehqan, said dur­ing an offi­cial visit to China this week, “The dis­ar­ma­ment of such war­mon­ger a regime as the Zion­ist regime is a demand by all nations in the region which should set a pri­or­ity to inter­na­tional organizations.”

Iran’s influ­ence has reached the Mediter­ranean*
(Fars News Agency – May 2, 2014)

Major Gen­eral Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a for­mer com­man­der of the IRGC, addressed a cer­e­mony com­mem­o­rat­ing a mil­i­tary oper­a­tion from the Iran-Iraq war, and said: “Cer­tainly, the strat­egy of Amer­ica, Saudi Ara­bia, Turkey, Qatar and the Euro­pean coun­tries for the over­throw of Bashar Assad has faced defeat. This defeat is a strate­gic fail­ure for the West­ern front, the Arabs and Zion­ists, and was a great vic­tory for the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran.” Safavi added, “Iran’s influ­en­tial power stretches from the axis of Iran, Iraq and Syria to the Mediter­ranean, and this is the third time that Iran’s influ­ence has reached the Mediter­ranean. Our line of defense is no longer Sha­lam­cheh. Our bor­der defense is south­ern Lebanon with Israel and our deep defen­sive strat­egy has reached the Mediter­ranean above Israel’s head.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran­ian FM: I won’t allow offi­cial Holo­caust denial
(The Times of Israel – May 6, 2014)

Dur­ing his ques­tion­ing in par­lia­ment over his recent com­ments on the Holo­caust, For­eign Min­is­ter Zarif said that he will not allow Iran’s rep­u­ta­tion to be dam­aged with state­ments about “Holo­caust Denial.” Zarif also added, “We shall not allow the Zion­ist regime – who is ille­gally in pos­ses­sion of chem­i­cal and nuclear weapons and is the biggest vio­la­tor of non-proliferation laws – to por­tray Iran as a danger.”

The right way to press Iran
(The New York Times, Op-Ed – May 6, 2014)

Ken­neth Pol­lack from the Brook­ings Insti­tute writes that the Obama admin­is­tra­tion should focus on “con­duct­ing intru­sive inspec­tions, design­ing a mech­a­nism to eas­ily reim­pose sanc­tions if Iran cheats, and extend­ing the dura­tion of the agreement.”

Inter­na­tional inspec­tors to visit two nuclear facil­i­ties in Iran
(The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – May 4, 2014)

Offi­cials from the Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit two nuclear sites in Iran, ful­fill­ing a series of demands made by the nuclear watch­dog agency. “Fol­low­ing the visit, Iran will be able to say that the seven-agreed mea­sures struck between the Iran and the agency have ful­filled,” Behrouz Kamal­vandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic depart­ment, said to reporters.

Iran bans What­sApp due to ‘Jew­ish own­er­ship’
(Haaretz – May 3, 2014)

The Com­mit­tee for Deter­min­ing Crim­i­nal Web Con­tent announced that it is ban­ning the pop­u­lar mobile phone app, What­sApp, and “the rea­son for this is the adop­tion of What­sApp by the Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, who is an Amer­i­can Zionist.”

Beat­ings, tor­ture, and impris­on­ment: It’s not easy being a jour­nal­ist in Iran
(Vice News – May 3, 2014)

The leader of the “World’s Most Pro­lific Jailer of Jour­nal­ists” was announced this week dur­ing World Press Free­dom Day. Replac­ing Turkey, who has claimed the title for two years, is the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran with its cur­rent impris­on­ment of 35 mem­bers of the press.

Pol­i­tics, mar­kets com­pli­cate Rouhani’s res­cue of Iran econ­omy
(Reuters – May 1, 2014)

Iran’s national cur­rency con­tin­ues to suf­fer, adding pres­sure to Pres­i­dent Rouhani’s plan to res­cue Iran’s fal­ter­ing economy.

White House says it has ‘wide range of options’ if Iran talks fail
(The Jerusalem Post – May 1, 2014)

Jake Sul­li­van, the deputy assis­tant to Pres­i­dent Obama, told the Jerusalem Post, “If talks break down, and if Iran is not nego­ti­at­ing in good faith, we are pre­pared to work with Con­gress to impose more sanctions.”

Brain drain blights Iran’s econ­omy as investors wait in wings
(Bloomberg – April 28, 2014)

Accord­ing to Iran’s National Elites Foun­da­tion, over the past two years at least 40 per­cent of top-performing Iran­ian stu­dents in sci­ence and engi­neer­ing have left Iran. Most stu­dents end up leav­ing for greener pas­tures in Canada, Aus­tralia, Ger­many and Sweden.

Ahmadine­jad denies return to pol­i­tics
(Al-Monitor – April 28, 2014)

Dur­ing a recent visit to the city of Mash­had, for­mer Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad reit­er­ated that he does not plan to reen­ter pol­i­tics. “I do not intend to enter pol­i­tics,” Ahmadine­jad told the crowd of supporters.

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