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May 28, 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

‘New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence’ is a protest to Zion­ist thought and essence*
(Basij News Agency – May 28, 2014)

Clau­dia Moti, a “philoso­pher and for­mer pro­fes­sor at an Amer­i­can uni­ver­sity,” gave an inter­view express­ing dis­ap­point­ment in the can­cel­la­tion of Iran’s anti-Zionist con­fer­ence, New Hori­zon. In the inter­view, Moti said: “The New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence is a protest against Zion­ist thought and essence, and I was sur­prised that it was not held. [The con­fer­ence] had an impor­tant role in expos­ing the roots of Zion­ism. It is not only the Pales­tini­ans but the whole world that is try­ing to save itself from the clutches of Zion­ism, and the New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence has the abil­ity to help in this issue.”

No political-security equa­tion in the Islamic world is pos­si­ble with­out Iran’s sat­is­fac­tion*
(Fars News Agency – May 28, 2014)

Dur­ing a speech address­ing a swear­ing in cer­e­mony for Basij vol­un­teers, IRGC Com­man­der Hos­sein Salami said, “The Imam [Khome­ini] com­manded that Amer­ica can’t do a damn thing [against Iran], and this has become a real­ity that Amer­ica today can’t do a damn thing in the world.” Salami added, “If these eco­nomic sanc­tions, which Amer­ica has imposed on this coun­try, were to be imposed on the peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of Amer­ica, they would not be able to per­sist; look how this sanc­tions have not changed a thing in our coun­try except for accel­er­at­ing and advanc­ing the econ­omy just as the legit­i­mate suc­ces­sor of Imam Khome­ini has said.”

Anti-Shi’a and anti-Iran are tools of the Arro­gant front for the pro­tec­tion of the Zion­ist regime*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 27, 2014)

In a speech before ambas­sadors and offi­cials from Islamic coun­tries, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei said, “It is the expec­ta­tion of the Islamic nations, and the elite in par­tic­u­lar, to cor­rectly rec­og­nize the fronts of the ene­mies of the Mus­lim ummah [that sup­port the Zion­ists] with clar­ity and insight.”

khamenei-parliament-iran

Aya­tol­lah Khamenei address­ing the Iran­ian parliament

Thought on the ‘con­tin­u­a­tion of resis­tance’ against the Arro­gant front will gov­ern the dig­nity of the nation/ The­o­riz­ing sub­mis­sion and com­pro­mise are trea­son*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 25, 2014)

In a live broad­cast speech to the Iran­ian par­lia­ment, Supreme Leader Khamenei said: “All offi­cials of the coun­try in the var­i­ous sec­tors, from eco­nom­ics, sci­ence and cul­ture, to the pol­icy mak­ers and direc­tors of for­eign nego­ti­a­tions, must know that we are in a state of resis­tance and we will con­tinue on this path for the sur­vival of the Islamic sys­tem.” Khamenei also added that resis­tance and jihad will not end, “because Satan and the satanic fronts will always exist, but it is pos­si­ble in cer­tain cir­cum­stances to dis­tin­guish the meth­ods and styles of jihad and resis­tance. This resis­tance will come to an end when human­ity is able to lib­er­ate itself from the evil Arro­gant front, which Amer­ica is at the head of and had its claws spread over the body, soul and thought of humanity.”

Araqchi quotes Zarif as say­ing West wants to dis­man­tle Fordo through talks after fail­ing to hit it by bunker-busters
(Fars News Agency – May 24, 2014)

In a meet­ing with IRGC polit­i­cal direc­tors, Abbas Araqchi, the deputy for­eign min­is­ter, quoted For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif as telling the Euro­pean part­ners of the P5+1, “You intend to close Fordo because you can­not hit it then move to hit Natanz which is 20 meters under the ground.”

Iran mounts air-to-air, air-to-surface mis­siles on drones
(Fars News Agency – May 24, 2014)

Ahmad Reza Pour­das­tan, the Com­man­der of the Iran­ian Army Ground Forces, boasted of Iran’s new line of drones dur­ing mil­i­tary exer­cises in Isfa­han. Pour­das­tan said, “We will use all our drones which have recon­nais­sance, online imag­ing and sui­cide (attack) capa­bil­i­ties as well as the air-to-air and air-to-surface mis­siles mounted on them.”

West­erns seek to secure the safety of Israel*
(Fars News Agency – May 22, 2014)

Esmail Kosari, a law­maker in the Iran­ian par­lia­ment, said, “The West­ern­ers are stress­ing today that we should limit the range of our mis­siles to 500 kilo­me­ters. The goal of this talk is to keep the safety of Israel, and they are seek­ing to solve this issue while they them­selves have bunker buster missiles.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Briton among eight jailed in Iran for web insults
(The Guardian – May 27, 2014)

Eight peo­ple have been sen­tences to jail in Iran on charges that include blas­phemy and insult­ing the Supreme Leader on Facebook.

Prison terms in Iran hint of new reins on Inter­net
(The New York Times – May 27, 2014)

Although Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani pledged to ease inter­net restric­tions and fil­ter­ing of social media web­sites, recent prison sen­tences and an order for Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg to tes­tify in a law­suit point toward an increase in restric­tions and prosecutions.

Iran hangs key fig­ure in bank­ing scan­dal
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – May 24, 2014)

Maha­farid Amir-Khosravi, a key player in Iran’s biggest bank­ing scan­dal, was exe­cuted on Sat­ur­day. Amir-Khosravi and his co-conspirators were accused of embez­zling $2.6 billion.

Oper­a­tion Whole­some Sea: Iran coast guard forces women off beaches
(The Daily Beast – May 24, 2014)

Gen­der seg­re­ga­tion and strict dress code laws effec­tively pre­vent Iran­ian women from enjoy­ing the beach. Oper­a­tion Whole­some Sea will hire “women from other orga­ni­za­tions such as the Basij” to help the coast guard enforce adher­ence to the country’s laws.

Iran cleric con­demns ‘satanic’ divorce par­ties
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – May 23, 2014)

Tehran’s Fri­day prayer leader con­demned the grow­ing “West­ern” phe­nom­e­non of hold­ing par­ties to cel­e­brate divorce. “Men and Women who hold divorce par­ties are def­i­nitely satanic… Dis­in­te­gra­tion of fam­ily and lech­ery are related to the dis­grace­ful West­ern civ­i­liza­tion… Western-style free­doms are wrong,” Aya­tol­lah Khashani said.

Iran cuts nuclear stock­pile, engages with bomb probe: IAEA
(Reuters – May 23, 2014)

The Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced last week that Iran has cut its most sen­si­tive nuclear stock­pile by 80 per­cent in accor­dance with the interim agree­ment with the P5+1.

Rouhani offi­cial vis­its syn­a­gogue, endorses pre-revolutionary flag
(Al-Monitor – May 22, 2014)

A senior advi­sor for eth­nic and reli­gious minor­ity affairs in the Rouhani cab­i­net recently paid a visit to a syn­a­gogue in the south­ern city of Shi­raz. The visit has come under crit­i­cism by con­ser­v­a­tives because the offi­cial defended the Jew­ish community’s use of Iran’s pre-revolutionary flag.

Iran hotels fill up as Rouhani’s rap­proche­ment lifts tourism
(Bloomberg – May 21, 2014)

Tourism is up in Iran thanks largely to the elec­tion of Has­san Rouhani and his efforts to mend ties with the U.S. and Europe.

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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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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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