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August 21, 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

Zionists’ Iranophobia campaign foiled: Zarif
(Press TV – August 21, 2014)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on state television that his country has successfully thwarted an anti-Iran campaign led by Israel. “It has always been on the agenda of the Zionist regime and its supporters as well as certain parts of the US government and some Western countries to portray Iran as a security threat to the world,” Zarif said during the televised broadcast on Wednesday.

Iran worried over race discrimination in US
(Mehr News Agency – August 20, 2014)

Iran’s foreign ministry criticized the U.S. for blasting Iran’s human rights offenses as protests continued in Ferguson, Missouri. The foreign ministry said: “Race discrimination against African Americans by the US police and court system is an indicator of human rights violations in that country despite their claims for supporting human rights and their annual reports of human rights violations in other countries.”

IRGC commander warns Israel of deadly response
(Fars News Agency – August 20, 2014)

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Air Force, threated Israel with retaliation in the event of an Israeli strike against Iran. “The Zionist regime might have a decision to make an aggression against Iran, but it will certainly come to the conclusion that it has taken an immature decision after studying the outcomes and consequences and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s much powerful reaction.”

ebrahim-raeisi-iran

Ebrahim Raeisi

Hujjat al-Islam Ebrahim Raeisi: “Americans have committed some of the worst crimes in the name of freedom”
(Rasa News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Ebrahim Raeisi, the first deputy of the Iranian judiciary, gave a speech in the city of Qom, stating, “The ignorant Americans have committed some of the worst crimes upon humanity in the name of freedom.” The cleric also claimed that the West is promoting the acceptance of homosexuality as a human right and as “a sign of freedom and a characteristic of a civilized, liberal and modern society.”

Iran’s civil, air defense bodies sign agreement to cooperate in defending N. sites
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, announced this week that his organization has signed an agreement with other air defense bases to establish a defense system to protect the country’s nuclear sites. “Our enemy uses intelligent power and we should make use of an intelligent air defense system as well,” Jalali said during the signing ceremony.

IRGC top advisor hails Iran’s missile power
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

General Komeil Kohansal, a top advisor to the IRGC, said during a visit to the northern city of Sari on Tuesday, that, “Today, Iran’s missile systems are ready to respond to any enemy threats.”

Committing crimes now habit for Israel: Top cleric
(Press TV – August 19, 2014)

Senior Iranian leader and former President Ayatollah Rafsanjani said during an anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Tuesday that, “Committing crimes has grown into a habit for Israel, and silence and supporting criminals has become routine in international communities.”

Iran’s integrated air defense system impenetrable
(Fars News Agency – August 18, 2014)

General Ali Reza Sabahifard, the lieutenant commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, boasted to reporters about Iran’s military prowess, stating, “At present, every part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s airspace is connected to the integrated air defense network and the smallest movements cannot go unnoticed by the eagle eyes of the air defense base.”

Israelis control major world banks: Analyst
(Press TV – August 18, 2014)

During an interview with Iran’s English-language propaganda network this week, Kenneth O’Keefe, a London-based virulently anti-Israel activist, spewed anti-Semitic comments when he said: “It is beyond absurdity that treasonous governments have been allowed to actually sign off the power of the people to print their own money through their representative government and instead give it to private bankers. The fact that they happen to be Jewish is not an opinion, it is a fact. And it is that use of that money, that power that has been given to them that they use to be able to dominate the world as I have said buying the media, the police, the military, the courts, the corporation, all of it.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Understanding Iran’s internal divisions
(The Wall Street Journal, Op-Ed – August 20, 2014)

Haleh Esfandiari, the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, wrote that the recent imprisonment of several Western journalists by the Iranian authorities signifies the greater power struggle between President Hassan Rouhani and conservative elements in the regime.

Iran cleric: Westernized Iranians no different than IS
(Al-Monitor – August 20, 2014)

Alireza Panahian, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a ceremony for an Iranian documentary this week, “The Westoxified among us are no different from takfiris and ISIS,” and that Westoxified Iranians are “Zionist fifth columnists.”

Remembering poet Simin Behbahani, the ‘Lioness of Iran’
(The Washington Post – August 20, 2014)

Earlier this week Iran lost one of its most celebrated poets, Simin Behbahani, who was known for her feminist views and poetry that expressed her love for Iran.

One result of the Gaza conflict: Iran and Hamas are back together
(Time – August 19, 2014)

After a falling out nearly three years ago over Hamas’s support for Syrian rebels, the Palestinian terrorist group and its foremost patron Iran appear to be on the path toward reconciliation. The new thaw is purportedly due to Hamas’s ongoing conflict with Israel, and Iranian leaders have begun voicing their support of “the Palestinian resistance in different ways.”

Billionaire named in suit against anti-Iran group
(The New York Times – August 18, 2014)

United Against Nuclear Iran, a leading organization fighting to enforce sanctions against the Islamic Republic by publicizing companies that do business with Tehran, is facing a defamation lawsuit by a Greek businessman. Last year the anti-Iran group had publicized Victor Restis’s alleged business dealings with Iran.

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August 15, 2014

Iran Holds Gaza Exhibition, Cartoon And Caricature Contest

Iran’s House of Cartoon, a professional artist guild sponsored by the municipality of Tehran, announced the opening of an international cartoon contest on the “Israeli war on Gaza,” which has drawn submissions from artists around the world of cartoons and caricatures with anti-Semitic and Holocaust imagery.

The exhibit, called International Gaza Cartoon Exhibit 2014, will run from August 12 to August 28 at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art in the Iranian capital.The exhibit is also promoting  and featuring a cartoon and caricature competition, dubbed “From Adolf Netanyahu to Benjamin Hitler,” that will award cash prizes for the best depiction of Israel’s military offensive against Hamas targets in Gaza. According to Masoud Shojaei Tabatabaie, the director of the House of Cartoon, the competition has received submissions from a number of countries, including Brazil, Cuba, Lebanon, Germany and Spain.

The House of Cartoon’s announcement said that the cartoon portion of the contest will focus on four subjects: “Silence of Media and International Associations, Genocide and Killing Baby in Gaza [sic], Treason and Accompany of Arab League, Great Satan (USA).” In addition, there will also be a caricature contest with themes such as “Adolf Netanyahu!” and “Benjamin Hitler!” as well as caricatures of world leaders Iranian leaders have accused of taking Israel’s side in the Gaza conflict, including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Francois Hollande of France, David Cameron of Britain, and Angela Merkel of Germany.

First prize for the best cartoon and caricature will be an award of $1,500, followed by $1,000 for second place, and $700 for third.

Among the cartoons submitted and published on the House of Cartoon’s website are cartoons equating Israelis to Nazis and Israel to Nazi Germany. Images invoking the classic anti-Semitic canard of a blood libel, including depictions of Israel and Israelis as blood-sucking insects or animals attacking Palestinian children, are also prevalent in the exhibit. Caricatures featured in the exhibit include images of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wearing a swastika armband and images of President Barack Obama aiding Israel in killing Palestinians.

anti-semitic-cartoon-bangladesh

Submission from Bangladesh

anti-semitic-cartoon-iran

Submission from Iran

anti-semitic-pig-cartoon-iran

Submission from Iran

anti-semitic-cartoon-latuff-brazil

Submission from Brazil

anti-semitic-cartoon-turkey

Submission from Turkey

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July 17, 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 raps Israel for slaughter of Palestinians
(Tasnim News Agency – July 16, 2014)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned Israel during a cabinet meeting Wednesday, saying, “Only a regime in support of racial discrimination and apartheid can bring thousands of innocent women, men and children under the barrage of nonstop artillery and tank shells under the pretext of [the] death of three people.”

The international community’s alliance with the Zionists is evident by their silence in countering the Zionist regime’s crimes*
(Basij News Agency – July 16, 2014)

In an exclusive interview with the IRGC-linked Basij News Agency, member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Syed Hussein Naqvi Hussaini, said, “The progress of the criminal Zionist regime and their aggression toward Palestine and Gaza is a continuation of their policy to dominate the region.”

The Gaza disaster must bring Islamic nations and governments together*
(Office of the Supreme Leader Khamenei – July 14, 2014)khamenei-rouhani-cabinet-iran

In a meeting with members of the cabinet and President Rouhani earlier this week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: “The problem of Gaza is really another tragedy, and the Zionist regime has been using the silence of the Islamic world to commit this disaster. The killing of the people of Gaza at the hands of the usurping Zionists must bring the Islamic governments and nations together to get rid of their difference and to be united with one another.”

Iranian legislature asks world parliaments to break silence on genocide in Gaza
(Fars News Agency – July 14, 2014)

Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi sent letters to several allied parliaments condemning Israel’s airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. “Given the extensive dimensions of the Zionist regime’s inhumane crimes against the Gaza people, it is expected from you and other honorable members of your foreign policy commission to adopt proper positions in support of the helpless Palestinians and condemn the Zionist aggressors,” Boroujerdi’s letter stated in part.

IRGC official: All Zionists within range of Palestinian missiles
(Fars News Agency – July 14, 2014)

General Ramezan Sharif, the head of the IRGC’s Public Relations Department, boasted that “The defense capacity and capabilities of the Islamic resistance and Hamas forces has left no safe place for the Zionists in the occupied territories.” Sharif added, “[The] defensive and offensive power of Hamas, Ezzedin Al-Qassam and Quds brigades forces have increased so much that one can dare say that all Zionists are within the range of the resistance’s missiles.”

Iran’s president calls on Islamic states to help oppressed Palestinians
(Tasnim News Agency – July 11, 2014)

In a message to the head of Islamic countries, President Rouhani called for the end of the Zionist regime’s aggressive measures against Gazans. Rouhani also referred to Hamas and Islamic Jihad as “heroic and legitimate” resistance, and expressed confidence that “the Palestinian nation will once again make the Zionist enemy taste the bitter taste of defeat.”

Iran urges international action to rein in Israel
(Press TV – July 10, 2014)

Foreign Minister Zarif appealed to the United Nations, Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to bring an end to Israeli airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza. “Doubtlessly, an explicit condemnation of the Zionist regime’s crimes against Palestinian regions and preventing the continuation of strikes by this regime are responsibilities assigned to all regional and international bodies and assemblies,” Zarif stated.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran’s identity crisis stymies nuclear deal
(Boston Globe – July 16, 2014)

An editorial in the Boston Globe welcomes a possible extension of the July 20 deadline to negotiations, citing Iranian compliance over the past six months that saw a reduction of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium by 80%.

Kerry cites ‘progress’ in Iran talks while gaps remain
(The New York Times – July 15, 2014)

Following rounds of intense talks between representatives from the P5+1 and Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “tangible progress” had been made, but expressed that “very real gaps” remained to be bridged.

Iran outlines nuclear deal; Accepts limit
(The New York Times – July 14, 2014)

As the July 20deadline fast approaches, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with The New York Times that Iran may accept a deal that sees the freezing of nuclear fuel production at current leaders for several years.

Thank Obama for Iran’s growing economy
(The Daily Beast – July 14, 2014)

A new study from the Roubini Global Economic and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies claims that U.S. and Western countries’ gradual easing of sanctions against Iran have allowed the Islamic Republic’s ailing economy to recover.

Americans and Iranians see constraints at home in nuclear negotiations
(The New York Times – July 13, 2014)

Iranian negotiators face recent statements by Supreme Leader Khamenei while the Americans must deal with members of the Senate seek assurances from President Obama that a deal must address core weapons proliferation issues and not lead to the lifting of sanctions instead.

British parliament committee endorses limited uranium enrichment for Iran
(Al-Monitor – July 13, 2014)

The British House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee decided to endorse a deal that would allow Iran to continue limited uranium enrichment.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Zarif employs a disarming charm
(The Los Angeles Times – July 13, 2014)

Western officials regard Foreign Minister Zarif, the Western-trained leader of the Iranian negotiations team, as turning up the charm to make Iran appear non-threatening.

Iran sticks to ‘unworkable, inadequate’ stances in nuclear talks: U.S.
(Reuters – July 12, 2014)

Before arriving in Vienna for talks with Iran, Secretary of State Kerry told reporters, “We are still very far apart on some issues and obviously on enrichment capacity.”

Iran Supreme Leader spills the nuke talk secrets
(The Daily Beast – July 12, 2014)

Supreme Leader Khamenei issued remarks earlier this week, after leading Ramadan evening prayers, divulging highly technical details about remaining disagreements between the P5+1 and Iran.

Open a nuclear fuel bank
(The New York Times, Op-Ed – July 11, 2014)

Sam Nunn, the co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, suggests in this opinion piece that an international fuel bank, owned and managed by the IAEA, would allow countries full assurance that they could access nuclear fuel in the event of an interruption to their supply.

Iran’s aid to Hamas has bearing on nuclear talks, House panel chief says
(The Christian Science Monitor – July 11, 2014)

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee points to Iran’s continuing support for Hamas as another reason for the U.S. to proceed cautiously in negotiating with Iran.

Iran’s central bank loses appeal in terror suit payout
(Bloomberg – July 9, 2014)

A federal appeals court rejected Iran’s Bank Markazi’s appeal to award $1.75 billion to families of hundreds of Americans killed in terrorist attacks sponsored by the Islamic Republic.

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