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March 5, 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

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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February 27, 2014 1

Major Arab Newspaper Publishes “Anti-Jewish Slogans Are Not Islamic”

The deci­sion to re-publish a cri­tique of anti-Semitism by Al Quds Al Arabi, the third largest cir­cu­lated off­shore pan-Arab news­pa­per accord­ing to the Carnegie Endow­ment for Inter­na­tional Peace, could sig­nal a move toward greater plu­ral­ism and diver­sity of views in the Arab press, which is often dom­i­nated by anti-Jewish and anti-Israel narratives.al-quds-al-arabi-sinem-tezyaparin-jew

Arab jour­nal­ism has been a major plat­form for impor­tant debate and dis­cus­sion about the ques­tion of reli­gious intol­er­ance in con­nec­tion with dis­crim­i­na­tion against Mus­lims and the defama­tion of Islam. So far, how­ever, it has been ret­i­cent to address the prob­lem of reli­gious intol­er­ance more broadly, includ­ing anti-Semitism.

The arti­cle, writ­ten by Turk­ish jour­nal­ist Sinem Tezya­parin in Sep­tem­ber 2013 and titled “Anti-Jewish Slo­gans Are Not Islamic,” appeared on the London-based Arabic-language Al Quds Al Arabi web­site on Feb­ru­ary 24.

Al Quds Al Arabi, pre­vi­ously known for its hos­tile posi­tions toward Israel, report­edly changed its own­er­ship last year and replaced its edi­tor. These changes may explain the deci­sion to repub­lish the article.

In her arti­cle, Tezya­parin argues that anti-Jewish nar­ra­tives con­tra­dict Qur’anic teach­ings and that Mus­lims are obliged to take a stronger posi­tion against anti-Jewish state­ments. “Jews are the descen­dants of Prophets like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon (peace be upon them all),” she writes. “A Mus­lim can­not be silent in the face of those who try to anni­hi­late the descen­dants of Prophets.”

The arti­cle rejects attempts to mis­use some Qur’anic verses to pro­mote anti-Jewish nar­ra­tives and expresses clear sup­port for, “The Jew­ish right to live in the Holy Land,” indi­cat­ing that such a right “is granted in the Qur’an by God. God says; ‘And there­after We said to the Chil­dren of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.’”

It is against the right con­science, and more impor­tantly, it is against the Qur’an to tell Jews to go some­where else,” she writes. In verse after verse, Tezya­parin pro­motes a pos­i­tive mes­sage to con­vey that “Mus­lims and Jews can live side by side in peace.”

Hope­fully the deci­sion by Al Quds Al Arabi to pub­lish Tezyaparin’s arti­cle is a sign that Arab media will find more oppor­tu­ni­ties to fea­ture coura­geous and hon­est voices against all forms of reli­gious hatred, includ­ing anti-Semitism.

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February 26, 2014 1

Iran Press TV Provides Platform To Emerging Anti-Semitic Voices

Iran’s English-language satel­lite news net­work, Press TV, which pro­vides a plat­form for some of the most well-known anti-Semites, con­spir­acy the­o­rists and Holo­caust deniers in the U.S., also enables lesser known anti-Semites to gain expo­sure for their views.press-tv-anti-semitism-holocaust

Bran­don Mar­tinez, a Canada-based free­lance writer who pro­motes Holo­caust denial and anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries, is among the lat­est fringe voices to be pub­lished by Press TV.

Martinez’s arti­cle, pub­lished on Feb­ru­ary 24, 2014, and titled, “Zion­ist excep­tion­al­ism, fears WW2 truth,” is steeped with anti-Semitic claims and bla­tant Holo­caust denial. In his arti­cle, Mar­tinez describes the Nazi death camp Auschwitz as a pleas­ant place where Jews were encour­aged to join in activ­i­ties, such as play­ing in the orches­tra or par­tic­i­pat­ing in “other cul­tural and leisure activities.”

Mar­tinez not only denies the num­ber of Jews who fell vic­tim to Nazi atroc­i­ties dur­ing World War II, but also denies the exis­tence of gas cham­bers and the use of Zyk­lon B in the mass exter­mi­na­tion of Europe’s Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion. To back up these claims, Mar­tinez cites Holo­caust deniers Mark Web­ber and David Irv­ing.

Fol­low­ing the U.S. tem­po­rary waiver of sanc­tions on broad­casts by Iran’s broad­cast­ing author­ity which broad­casts Press TV, this bla­tantly anti-Semitic con­tent is once again more avail­able to audi­ences in the U.S.

Accord­ing to a biog­ra­phy pro­vided on Press TV’s web­site, Mar­tinez writes on Zion­ism, for­eign pol­icy and “decep­tion in media and pol­i­tics.” Press TV has pub­lished Martinez’s arti­cles on its web­site since Novem­ber 2013 when it pub­lished his first piece on Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel. In that arti­cle, Mar­tinez describes Israel as a rogue regime “Born out of ter­ror­ism and eth­nic cleans­ing,” and describes Prime Min­is­ter Harper as “being sub­servience to Israel.”

Martinez’s arti­cles are also found on his per­sonal blog, The Thoughts and Writ­ings of Bran­don Mar­tinez, as well as on con­spir­a­to­r­ial anti-Semitic web­sites like Vet­er­ans Today, and its affil­i­ated site Vet­er­ans News Now.

Below are some exam­ples from Martinez’s arti­cles that have appeared on Press TV and other anti-Semitic websites:

  • Feb­ru­ary 16, 2014:  In an arti­cle titled “Scru­ti­niz­ing Israel role in 2001 anthrax attacks,” Mar­tinez claims that the anthrax attacks imme­di­ately fol­low­ing the 9/11 ter­ror­ist bomb­ings orig­i­nated from Israel’s bio­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal indus­try, and implied the exis­tence of a nefar­i­ous col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Israel and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion to carry out the attacks. Mar­tinez also claims that the Israelis placed the blame for the anthrax attacks on its Arab ene­mies as a pre­text to force the U.S. to go to war against Iraq.
  • Jan­u­ary 26, 2014: In an arti­cle titled “Israeli mil­i­tarism pred­i­cated on 9/11 decep­tion,” Mar­tinez claims that Israel has a his­tory of con­duct­ing false flag oper­a­tions and that the 9/11 attack was Israel’s “grand­est deception.”
  • Jan­u­ary 13, 2014: In an arti­cle titled “Zion­ist per­ver­sion of his­tory threat­ens world peace,” Mar­tinez pro­motes the age-old anti-Semitic con­spir­acy of Zion­ist con­trol over Hol­ly­wood. Zion­ist con­trol of Hol­ly­wood, Mar­tinez alleges, is why Hitler is depicted as a “vil­lain­ous demon,” while in real­ity, “Zion­ist Jews them­selves were Hitler’s most enthu­si­as­tic col­lab­o­ra­tors.” Else­where in the arti­cle, Mar­tinez calls the Holo­caust and the num­ber of Jew­ish vic­tims a “myth” and part of “Zion­ist propaganda.”

Extrem­ists like anti-Semite David Duke, anti-Semitic colum­nist Kevin Bar­rett and Holo­caust deny­ing book pub­lisher Michael San­tomauro, remain fre­quent con­trib­u­tors to Press TV’s web­site and reg­u­larly fea­tured on the network’s programs.

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