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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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March 12, 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

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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May 23, 2013 1

Two AMIA Bombing Suspects Run For Iran Presidency

iran-amia-rezai-velayati

Ali Akbar Velay­ati and Mohsen Rezai

As the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Iran approaches in June, it is note­wor­thy that two can­di­dates with links to the 1994 attack on a Jew­ish cen­ter in Argentina passed the regime’s vet­ting process and are stand­ing as can­di­dates for pres­i­dent of Iran.

The two indi­vid­u­als, Mohsen Rezai and Ali Akbar Velay­ati, have been accused of plan­ning the Argen­tine Jew­ish Mutual Asso­ci­a­tion (AMIA) Jew­ish cen­ter bomb­ing in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 peo­ple and injured over 250.

Rezai, a for­mer com­man­der of the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps (IRGC), is sought by Inter­pol for his alleged involve­ment in the case. He is cur­rently the Sec­re­tary of the Expe­di­ency Council.

In 2006, when Velay­ati was Iran’s For­eign Min­is­ter, Argen­tin­ian author­i­ties accused him of approv­ing the AMIA bomb­ing. He has also been accused by Ger­man author­i­ties of plan­ning the 1992 “Mykonos Assas­si­na­tion” attacks in Berlin that killed sev­eral Iran­ian Kur­dish leaders.

This is not the first time sus­pected indi­vid­u­als linked to the AMIA bomb­ing have run for pres­i­dent of Iran. In 2009, Rezai ran against cur­rent Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad and lost.

Under the pres­i­dency of Ahmadine­jad, Ahmad Vahidi, who is also on Interpol’s Most Wanted List, was named Iran’s defense min­is­ter in 2009. Vahidi has been accused by Argen­tin­ian offi­cials of help­ing plan the July 1994 attack.

In early 2013, the Iran­ian and Argen­tine gov­ern­ments signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) that would bypass Argentina’s judi­cial sys­tem and set up an inter­na­tional Truth Com­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate the bomb­ings. While the Argen­tine Sen­ate gave its approval in Feb­ru­ary, Pres­i­dent Ahmadine­jad only approved the mea­sure on May 19 by side­step­ping a vote in the Iran­ian par­lia­ment. The MOU stip­u­lates that the agree­ment must be sub­mit­ted to each country’s respec­tive legal bod­ies for approval.

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