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March 12, 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

Lebanon and Palestine’s victory over the Zionist regime represented a glimpse of the IRGC’s power*
(DefaPress – March 5, 2014)

General Ramezan Sharif of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boasted of the IRGC’s military prowess and support for terrorist groups in Lebanon and Palestine. “A glimpse of the IRGC’s [power] was the aid to the victory of Lebanon and Palestine in transnational areas which the enemy itself is well aware of… Today the Islamic Republic will bring the largest damage to America for the smallest mistake. The enemy knows well that it is unable to provide security for the Zionist regime and this is the blessing of the IRGC’s power in the area of defense.”

Supreme Leader: Arrogant powers Spoiling from inside

khamenei-iran-anti-west

Supreme Leader Khamenei meeting with members of Iran’s Assembly of Experts 

(Fars News Agency – March 6, 2014)

In a meeting with members of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated, “The superficial tranquility of the arrogant powers and the conventional powers ruling the world are being destroyed and one of its signs is the economic crisis in Europe and the US and the signs of their economic bankruptcy is becoming visible.”

Iranian envoy blames Israel for Syrian tragedy
(Fars News Agency – March 6, 2014)

Iran’s representative to Lebanon said in a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, that “the Zionist regime” is assisting rebel groups in Syria and caring for those injured in Israeli military field hospitals.

The Iranian nation will bury the hopes of America and Israel one by one*
(Tasnim News Agency – March 6, 2014)

IRGC Deputy Commander General Hossein Salami said in a statement in response to the AIPAC conference last week in Washington D.C., “The same way that we buried the enemy front in the past. Today, too, the Iranian nation will bury the hopes of the American leaders who are by the side of their Zionist friends. Be sure that the enemy is unable to do anything greater than it has done in the last 35 years. They did everything they could do and they have been faced with defeat.”

Tehran, Ashton pushes focus on negotiations with top Iranian officials*(Kayhan – March 9, 2014)

In response to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s official visit to Tehran, Ali Akbar Velayati, a former Iranian foreign minister and special advisor to the Supreme Leader, criticized U.S. officials and their threats against Iran. Velayati said, “Instances of these types of [unproductive] comments [regarding sanctions] by John Kerry and the President of the United States are against Iran and are due to pressure from the Zionists,” Velayati said at a press conference following his meeting with Ashton.

Al-Zahar: Iran, Hamas to further deepen relations soon
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, spoke of improving relations between the Islamist militant group and Iran, “The Hamas movement and Iran have taken special measures and we will see many changes in these relations soon.”

President Rouhani: Regional peace, stability impossible without Iran’s partnership
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

In a meeting with family members of Iranian soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war, President Rouhani commented, “If the enemy once thought in the early days of the (Islamic) Revolution that Iran was a weak country and could be destroyed by military attack, today it is obvious to everyone that Iran is the most powerful and mighty country in the region.”

Leader’s Aide: Islamic Ummah to continue support for Palestine, resistance against Israel
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

Addressing a gathering of the High Council of the Islamic Awakening World Forum this week, Velayati, the special advisor to the Supreme Leader, pledged continued support for Palestine against Israel. “The enemy is attempting to marginalize the Palestinian issue and draw it off the Muslim world’s priorities…The Islamic Ummah will continue its support for the oppressed Palestinian people and resistance against the Zionist regime,” Velayati said to the gathering.

Our finger is on the trigger to destroy the Zionist regime from a distance of 1,400 kilometers*
(Tasnim News Agency – March 10, 2014

Addressing a seminar on the Role of the Muslim World on Tuesday, IRGC Deputy Commander General Hossein Salami said, “From a distance of 1400 kilometers, our finger is on the trigger to destroy the Zionist regime. It is Islam that has given us the power and expansion to dominate the hearts of the Palestinian people from such geographical distances. Islam gives us hope and force, which allows us to be able to use the necessary force and capacities to destroy the Zionist regime, and until that day comes, our finger will remain on the trigger.”

International Media

Israel’s ‘campaign between the wars’ with Iran (Al-Monitor – March 7, 2014)

Last week’s Israeli naval interception of Gaza-bound missiles from Iran poses the question whether President Rouhani was involved in the planning and/or execution of the shipment.

Iran president condemns hard-line media crackdown
(Washington Post – March 8, 2014)

In a meeting with the nation’s newspaper managers, President Rouhani criticized the closing of two reformist-leaning newspapers in recent months. “Stopping the operation and closing (newspapers) is the last solution – not the first one,” Rouhani said. He added, “Why today is some media absolutely free and some others have little share of this freedom? Government critics and opponents are free and will be free but let government’s supporters also enjoy the same freedom and security as well.”

Mercy and social media slow the noose in Iran
(New York Times – March 8, 2014)

As execution by public hanging has steadily risen since President Rouhani’s election in June 2013, Iranians increasingly resort to social media to spread awareness.

Will Iran’s ‘end to extremism’ take hold?
(Christian Science Monitor – March 9, 2014)

President Hassan Rouhani met with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, in her first visit to the Islamic Republic since her appointment.

Iran tells EU’s Ashton nuclear deal possible ‘in months’
(BBC – March 9, 2014)

During a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Tehran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that a nuclear deal could be reached “in four or five months and even shorter.”

Thwarted, for now, Iran’s bid to target all of Israel from Gaza
(Times of Israel – March 10, 2014)

An analysis of Iran’s endeavors to arm militant groups in Gaza and Lebanon with far-reaching missiles that can strike anywhere in Israel.

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March 5, 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

iran-shipment-gaza-hamas-israel

Iranian-made sacks of cement hiding Gaza-bound missiles.
Source: Israel Defense Force

Assad pays the price for supporting the Resistance*
(Mashregh News Agency – March 5, 2014)

Iran denies any connection to recently uncovered missile shipment to the Gaza Strip by the IDF, and claims, “The weapons shipment that the Israeli regime claims to have stopped is not Iranian-built, but rather it is from the Syrian armed forces. This issue demonstrates that despite international pressures and the treason of Arab countries, including the Palestinians, Bashar Assad continues to support the Islamic Resistance [Hamas].”

The government will not cross the red line/We have been happy with the first steps of the negotiations*
(Mehr News – March 4, 2014)

President Rouhani affirms that Iran’s nuclear rights will be preserved and says, “What the Americans say is for the pressure of their public opinion, extremists and Zionists.”

We are not optimistic of the negotiations*
(Fars News Agency – March 4, 2014)

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi claims that, “The principle opponents of the Geneva agreement are the Zionists and the Zionists continue to pursue the policy of zero enrichment, and if they continue to do this, the agreement will fail. You are witness to the influence of the Zionist lobby on America and its Congress, and every time American leaders are forced to go along with Tel Aviv and provide comments.”

Legislator: US should pay heavy price for adventurism against Iran
(Fars News Agency – March 3, 2014)

An Iranian member of parliament, Mohammad Esmayeeli, warned the U.S. that they cannot “attempt their goals by threats” and claimed that the Zionist lobbies influence U.S. statesmen.

Iran raps US human rights report
(Fars News Agency – March 2, 2014)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the U.S.’s recent human rights report, stating that Washington is responsible for “murdering hundreds of innocent women and children” and supports the “inhumane measures by the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people.”

The Basijis await instructions from the leader to liberate Jerusalem*
(Fars News Agency – February 28, 2014)

“The Basijis [Iran’s volunteer paramilitary unit] of the Islamic world are waiting for the leader’s command to liberate noble Jerusalem,” said Mohammad Reza Naghdi, the head of the Basij organization.

Borjourdi: Iran will always support the resistance*
(Tasnim News Agency – February 28, 2014)

The head of the Iranian Parliament’s Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy said during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam that Iran “will not abandon support of the Resistance and this is a permanent principle for Iran.”

International Media

Israel halts ‘weapons shipment from Iran’
(BBC – March 5, 2014)

Israeli naval forces board Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan; claims shipment of missiles were a “clandestine operation” by Iran.

Israel seizes ship with missiles heading from Iran to Gaza
(Ha’aretz – March 5, 2014) Official video of IDF naval raid.

Iran’s Guard says it has multiple warhead missiles
(Washington Post – March 5, 2014)

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan unveiled four new types of ballistic missiles, two of which are equipped with multiple warheads. “These missiles are able to hit and destroy enemy targets with precision, and they meet a variety of the armed forces’ needs,” said Dehghan at the unveiling ceremony.

Netanyahu warns on Iran, urges no Palestinian ‘excuses’
(Reuters – March 4, 2014)

Addressing the annual AIPAC conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu lamented that “leading powers of the world are talking about leaving Iran with the capability to enrich uranium.”

Iran cutting sensitive nuclear stocks, much work remains: IAEA
(Reuters – March 3, 2014)

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano released a statement on Monday that “As of today, measures agreed under the Joint Plan of Action are being implemented as planned.”

Rouhani tells Iran generals to cut hostile rhetoric
(Thomson Reuters Foundation – March 1, 2014)

“We must be very careful in our calculations. Launching missiles and staging military exercises to scare off the other side is not good deterrence, although a necessity in its proper place,” Rouhani stated.

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