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May 7, 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

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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May 2, 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

The IRGC’s missiles are in desirable readiness*
(Fars News Agency – April 30, 2014)

In a meeting Wednesday with the IRGC Council of Ashura Commanders, IRGC Commander Mohammad Jafari said, “In terms of military and security readiness, our missiles are in very good shape; however, the IRGC’s primary objective is to be prepared in faith, and this factor makes the IRGC the superior among the world’s armies.”

P5+1 negotiations with Iran have been breathless*
(Fars News Agency – April 30, 2014)

Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said during a press conference on the status of the nuclear negotiations that, “The future of the negotiations at present are heading toward the direction of a comprehensive [settlement], and talks are sensitive, because the primary issues have not yet been resolved. For now, we cannot directly assess the final outcome of the talks.”

Iran is not after creating tensions in the region*
(Fars News Agency – April 30, 2014)

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani said during a speech marking National Persian Gulf Day, “The Persian Gulf is a very important issue, and if we and our neighboring countries have the correct approach, we could earn a lot of interest from it… Today, the presence of foreign ships [in the Gulf] have created implications.” Larijani added that Iran has “not been after any tensions in the region and we will not be. The security and calm of the region is of benefit for all, especially for Iran.”

ayatollah-noori-hamadani-iran

Ayatollah Noori Hamadani

America does not dare attack Iran due to its fear of the IRGC*
(Basij News Agency – April 30, 2014)

Ayatollah Noori Hamadani, a senior cleric from the city of Qom, said during a meeting with commanders and representatives of the Supreme Leader, that, “The policies of the IRGC have frightened America and the world, and we must promote the spirit of jihad and martyrdom-seeking in society, especially among the youth.”

September 11 was an excuse for America to get closer to the region*
(Mehr News Agency – April 30, 2014)

Nader Talebzadeh, secretary of Iran’s annual International Resistance Film Festival, praised the 2012 film “Operation Terror” by former California mayor Art Olivier, as presenting the “truth” about the 9/11 attacks. During a review panel of the film, Talebzadeh said, “In the first sequence of this film, the September 11th events [orchestrated] by the American government are disclosed…”

Iran welcomes Fatah-Hamas Deal
(Fars News Agency – April 26, 2014)

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham released the following statement on recent Palestinian reconciliation efforts: “The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the Palestinian groups’ solidarity against the Zionist regime and any national reconciliation which leads to Palestinian unity and adoption of decisions in line with the materialization of that nation’s valuable causes against the expansionism and aggressions of the Quds Occupying Regime (Israel).”

Inter­na­tional Media

A bold move
(The Economist – April 30, 2014)

The long awaited second round of cuts to subsidies on gasoline and electricity have been implemented by President Hassan Rouhani. Gasoline prices were raised by 75%, from $0.16 to $0.28 per liter.

U.S. targets Chinese businessman, says he supplied parts for Iranian missiles
(CNN – April 29, 2014)

New sanctions and criminal charges were announced by the U.S. against a Chinese businessman accused of supplying the Iranian military with parts for ballistic missiles.

Tehran book fair to feature works by anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers
(Access ADL – April 29, 2014)

An annual book fair in Tehran will include domestic and foreign-published anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying books available to the public.

Iran to target decoy US aircraft in drills
(The Washington Post – April 27, 2014)

Admiral Ali Fadavi of the IRGC’s Naval Forces announced that Iranian forces should “target the [mock-up U.S. aircraft] carrier” in upcoming war games training. Fadavi added that the exercise will allow the IRGC to “learn about weaknesses and strengths of our enemy.”

Meaningful progress with Iran
(The New York Times, Editorial Board – April 26, 2014)

A look into the successes, and shortcomings, of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West as the July deadline for a final agreement approaches.

Iran general urges Tehran to make new UN pick
(The Washington Post – April 19, 2014)

Officials from the Iranian military have urged the foreign ministry to name a new envoy to the United Nations after the U.S. block granting a visa to the Islamic Republic’s original ambassador over alleged ties to the 1979 U.S. Embassy hostage crisis.

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April 9, 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

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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