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April 9, 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

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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February 28, 2014 0

U.S. Highlights Anti-Semitism as a Human Rights Concern

Yes­ter­day Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Coun­try Reports on Human Rights Prac­tices, a com­pendium of the world’s worst human rights vio­la­tions, includ­ing Bashar Al-Assad’s bru­tal­ity against his own peo­ple in Syria and crack­downs on fun­da­men­tal free­doms in places like Rus­sia, Egypt, and Ukraine.

The report high­lighted another major human rights con­cern that man­i­fests in just about every region: the per­sis­tence of anti-Semitism, whether pro­moted by offi­cial media, polit­i­cal par­ties, or ped­dled on the streets in the form of graf­fiti or harassment.

 

Anti-Semitism also remained a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem in 2013. Accord­ing to a sur­vey of eight Euro­pean mem­ber states by the Euro­pean Union Agency for Fun­da­men­tal Rights, harass­ment of Jews con­tin­ued, with one-quarter of respon­dents stat­ing they expe­ri­enced some form of anti-Semitic harass­ment in the 12 months before the sur­vey. In the Mid­dle East, media occa­sion­ally con­tained anti-Semitic arti­cles and car­toons, some of which glo­ri­fied or denied the Holo­caust and blamed all Jews for actions by the state of Israel.

Threats to reli­gious prac­tice also emerged dur­ing the year. For exam­ple, the Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly of the Coun­cil of Europe passed a non-binding res­o­lu­tion imply­ing that reli­gious male cir­cum­ci­sion – as prac­ticed by Jews and Mus­lims, and other reli­gions – is a human rights violation.

 

These reports are cause for con­cern but they also point to the increase in U.S. report­ing on anti-Semitism as a human rights prob­lem.  ADL has called for rig­or­ous U.S. mon­i­tor­ing as an indis­pens­able tool in spot­light­ing the prob­lem and sup­ported enact­ment of the law requires U.S. embassies to report trends in anti-Semitism as part of their core human rights work.

Today, the num­ber of coun­tries in which the State Depart­ment is doc­u­ment­ing inci­dents of anti-Semitism has more than dou­bled since that new law was enacted.  The increased cov­er­age of anti-Semitism in these annual reports reflects a greater aware­ness of what anti-Semitism is and how it threat­ens human rights.  Indeed, the reports have grown increas­ingly atten­tive to the issue of how anti-Semitism in the pub­lic dis­course puts Jews at risk, as well as how hos­til­ity toward Israel and Jews is too fre­quently commingled.

The State Department’s Report details infringe­ments on human rights around the globe, includ­ing but not lim­ited to government-sponsored per­se­cu­tion, bias and big­oted por­trayal of minor­ity groups in the media, anti-Semitic inci­dents, attacks on the LGBT com­mu­nity, and the mar­gin­al­iza­tion of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. Sec­re­tary Kerry high­lighted, in yesterday’s press con­fer­ence, the nearly 80 coun­tries that crim­i­nal­ize homo­sex­u­al­ity around the globe, and the strug­gle that those of the LGBT com­mu­nity face to sur­vive, even in coun­tries where homo­sex­u­al­ity is not criminalized.

This rou­tinized and required scrutiny of anti-Semitism and the full panoply of rights vio­la­tions is accom­pa­nied by increased aware­ness and enhanced engage­ment by America’s diplo­mats.  And we know that under­stand­ing the nature and mag­ni­tude of a prob­lem  is an essen­tial jump­ing off point for pre­ven­tion. When there is data, there is aware­ness; where there is aware­ness, there can be action.

 

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December 10, 2013 1

Promoting Human Rights on the 65th Anniversary of the Historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On Decem­ber 10, 1948, the United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly adopted the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights (UDHR), the first ever global asser­tion that “all human beings are born with equal and inalien­able rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms.” The world cel­e­brates annual Human Rights Day on Decem­ber 10th each year.  This Decem­ber, ADL hon­ors the UDHR’s 65th anniver­sary by con­tin­u­ing to fight for the rights enshrined in that momen­tous dec­la­ra­tion and by teach­ing new gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren to learn about the prin­ci­ples it reflects.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Human Rights Declaration

Human Rights Day has par­tic­u­lar mean­ing for ADL because anti-Semitism and the per­se­cu­tion of Jews was the touch­stone for the cre­ation of some of the foun­da­tional human rights instru­ments in the after­math of the Holo­caust.  ADL is com­mit­ted to edu­cat­ing youth about the lessons of the Holo­caust and how big­otry and exclu­sion can lead down a slip­pery slope toward unspeak­able atroc­i­ties, and our web site fea­tures a short list of books for chil­dren on the UDHR and how it relates to the rights of chil­dren globally.

ADL is engag­ing activists in pro­tect­ing the rights cham­pi­oned by this his­toric doc­u­ment whether it is by pro­tect­ing the right of all chil­dren to an edu­ca­tion, free­dom of reli­gion and belief for all, or free­dom to asso­ciate and to seek asy­lum from per­se­cu­tion. This month, our pri­or­ity human rights issues have put the spot­light on:

Today, through our activism and rais­ing aware­ness, we honor the spirit of the mov­ing words of, one of the UDHR’s authors, Eleanor Roo­sevelt, who asked:

Where, after all, do uni­ver­sal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they can­not be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the indi­vid­ual per­son; the neigh­bor­hood he lives in; the school or col­lege he attends; the fac­tory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal jus­tice, equal oppor­tu­nity, equal dig­nity with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion. Unless these rights have mean­ing there, they have lit­tle mean­ing any­where. With­out con­cerned cit­i­zen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

 

– Eleanor Roo­sevelt, “In Our Hands” (1958 speech deliv­ered on the tenth anniver­sary of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights)

 

 

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