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June 10, 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

Rouhani: Iran, Turkey share view­points on lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine, Holy Quds
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence while on an offi­cial visit to the Turk­ish cap­i­tal, Pres­i­dent Rouhani said, “I am con­fi­dent that the two coun­tries (Iran and Turkey) have com­mon views on issues related to Iraq, lib­er­a­tion of the Holy Al-Quds and the return of the Pales­tini­ans to their homeland.”

IRGC Com­man­der: World pow­ers attempt­ing to weaken Iran but in vain
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

IRGC Com­man­der Hos­sein Salami claimed dur­ing a speech in the west­ern city of Ker­man­shah, that due to Iran’s resis­tance, the “enemy is now with­draw­ing” from its pre­vi­ous posi­tions of threat­en­ing Tehran.

Deputy FM: Iran ready to remove G5+1’s “Right­ful Con­cerns”
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

In a meet­ing with the Croa­t­ian deputy for­eign min­is­ter, Iran­ian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Morteza Sar­madi said, “The Islamic Repub­lic of Iran is ready to remove the legit­i­mate con­cerns of the other side.” Sarmadi’s state­ment came after the lat­est round of bilat­eral meet­ings between Iran­ian and Amer­i­can negotiators.

ali-fazli-basij

Ali Fazli

Com­man­der sees Per­sian Gulf as bat­tle­field of pos­si­ble Iran-US war
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

Lieu­tenant Com­man­der of the Basij Forces Ali Fazli said in a speech at the port city of Ban­dar Abbas that “The US has always tasted defeat and with­drawal in the Per­sian Gulf’s waters and has directly wit­nessed the brav­ery and prowess of the Mus­lim fight­ers; there­fore, it hasn’t and doesn’t dare even to leer down the Islamic Iran’s holy borders.”

Pales­tin­ian groups’ unity is tac­ti­cal; the future is the con­tin­u­a­tion of resis­tance*
(Basij News Agency – June 10, 2014)

Mehdi Shak­ibai, an expert on Pales­tin­ian and Lebanon, wrote an op-ed explain­ing what the Hamas-Fatah rec­on­cil­i­a­tion agree­ment and the new Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment means in regards to Israel: “The future is still the con­tin­u­a­tion of resis­tance and jihadist groups in Pales­tine, which are a cause for fear and anx­i­ety to the Zion­ist regime in the region, and it may be pos­si­ble to see with this rec­on­cil­i­a­tion agree­ment the return of Hamas’s pres­ence in the West Bank, and this prospect has made Israel very worried.”

Israel and Amer­i­can were the losers of the Syr­ian elec­tions*
(Basij News Agency – June 10, 2014)

While vis­it­ing the port city of Chaba­har, head of the Basij orga­ni­za­tion Moham­mad Reza Naqdi said: “The Zion­ists are in fear today over the sit­u­a­tion of the Syr­ian peo­ple, because the peo­ple are vol­un­tar­ily stand­ing and fight­ing against the ter­ror­ists. They [the Zion­ists] had come to destroy Syria but were unable to do this; the Amer­i­cans have also suf­fered defeat a num­ber of times and they should reach the con­clu­sion that they don’t have a place among the nations of the region and the only losers of these elec­tions were Amer­ica and Israel.”

Unveil­ing of the Zion­ist regime’s new pres­i­dent, a ‘car­ni­vore in veg­e­tar­ian cloth­ing’*
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

A pro­file on Reuven Rivlin, the new pres­i­dent of Israel, describes the Israeli politi­cian as being “known as a sup­porter of occu­py­ing all the lands of Palestine.”

The Amer­i­cans want peo­ple from inside to stand against the Islamic Repub­lic*
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

Has­san Firouz­abadi, the Chief of Staff of the Iran­ian Armed Forces, said dur­ing an induc­tion cer­e­mony that “Today, the Amer­i­cans are pro­pa­gan­diz­ing that Iran is an enemy and that it is against us and it’s a global prob­lem… They say that they are a super­power and Iran is just a coun­try, while at the same time they admit and accept that super­power Amer­ica is on its knees before Iran.”

Zara’i: The Syr­ian cri­sis is a result of the Israeli Wino­grad Com­mis­sion*
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

Refer­ring to the offi­cial com­mis­sion report fol­low­ing Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbol­lah, Saidol­lah Zara’i, a Mid­dle East affairs reporter, claimed: “Israel’s Wino­grad Com­mis­sion was estab­lished with eight peo­ple fol­low­ing the 33 day war, and this com­mis­sion worked for a year and a half and ulti­mately reflected the impor­tance of seek­ing revenge for their [Israel’s] defeat by Hezbol­lah by going after Syria due to its impor­tant and effect sup­port of Hezbol­lah in the 33 day war.”

The crimes com­mit­ted by Amer­ica and the Tak­firis are like those com­mit­ted by the Umayyads*
(Mehr News Agency – June 3, 2014)

In a meet­ing with the Ahl al Bayt Cul­tural Group in Qom, Aya­tol­lah Hus­sain Nuri Hamedani com­pared crimes com­mit­ted in the Syr­ian con­flict to his­tor­i­cal Sunni-Shi’a griev­ances from the 7th cen­tury: “Muawiyah com­mit­ted many crimes and today Amer­ica, the Zion­ist regime and the Tak­firis are com­mit­ting these crimes wor­thy of Bani Umayyad, and if we were to show this to the world, the world would shake.”

An attack on the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran means the destruc­tion of Tel Aviv and the con­tin­u­a­tion of the war inside the United States*
(Basij News Agency – May 30, 2014)

Mas­soud Jaza­y­eri, the Deputy Com­man­der of the Iran­ian Armed Forces, said in reac­tion to Pres­i­dent Obama’s West Point speech: “If Amer­ica and its allies were to have the abil­ity to attack Iran, moments later they will regret their bar­baric oper­a­tion. They know that an attack on the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran means the destruc­tion of Tel Aviv and the con­tin­u­a­tion of war inside the United States. There­fore, the child­ish words and hopes of the pres­i­dent of the gov­ern­ment of Amer­i­can will not be realized.”

Zarif: We will not sub­mit to sanc­tions and threats; we don’t have any­thing to hide and sci­en­tific advances and the rights of Iran are not sub­ject to nego­ti­a­tions*
(Fars News Agency – May 29, 2014)

On the side­lines of the Non-Aligned Movement’s meet­ing in Alge­ria, Iran­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif said, “The mem­ber states of the Non-Aligned Move­ment should have a com­mon posi­tion and empha­size with­out a doubt the Pales­tini­ans’ rights and to cre­ate an inde­pen­dent coun­try with Jerusalem as its cap­i­tal to ensure sta­bil­ity and peace.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran ques­tions nuclear deal dead­line as talks ‘hit wall’
(Reuters-UK – June 10, 2014)

France, one of the states in the so-called P5+1, stated that nego­ti­a­tions with Iran have “hit a wall,” while French For­eign Min­is­ter Lau­rent Fabius said Iran should drop  its demand to have thou­sands of ura­nium enrich­ment cen­trifuges. Fabius added, “We say that there can be a few hun­dred cen­trifuges, but the Ira­ni­ans want thou­sands so we’re not in the same framework.”

Sur­prise Iran nuclear talks: Why US sends in top US-Iran deal­maker
(The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – June 9, 2014)

In a bid to move the nego­ti­at­ing process along, the U.S. State Depart­ment dis­patched Deputy Sec­re­tary William Burns to sur­prise talks with senior Iran­ian offi­cials in Geneva. Burns’s dis­patch has added a hint of urgency as nego­ti­a­tions between Iran and the P5+1 are set to resume next week.

Cul­ture min­is­ter likens Iran’s fear of Inter­net to fear of fax machine
(Al-Monitor – June 9, 2014)

Ali Jan­nati, Iran’s Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Islamic Guid­ance, urged the gov­ern­ment to accept new tech­no­log­i­cal changes, and likened the government’s pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies pre­vi­ous failed poli­cies. “There was a time we had prob­lems with video. There was a time we had issue with the fax machine,” Jan­nati said in a meet­ing with Iran’s Cham­ber of Commerce.

Iran­ian pres­i­dent vis­its Turkey to bol­ster ties
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – June 9, 2014)

Pres­i­dent Rouhani made a two-day visit to Turkey, where sev­eral eco­nomic coop­er­a­tion agree­ments were signed between the two regional pow­ers. Ten deals were signed on energy and trade in total.

Tehran’s Chi­nese mis­sile man
(The Daily Beast – June 9, 2014)

A Chi­nese busi­ness­man who helped Iran develop its bal­lis­tic mis­siles and vio­lat­ing inter­na­tional bans on trad­ing with Iran has a $5 mil­lion bounty on his head.

Urged to mul­ti­ply, Iran­ian cou­ples are dubi­ous
(The New York Times – June 7, 2014)

As Iran’s author­i­ties embark on ful­fill­ing the Supreme Leader’s com­mand that Ira­ni­ans should have more chil­dren, for an increas­ing num­ber of young, middle-class Ira­ni­ans, hav­ing chil­dren is not a pri­or­ity at the moment.

Saudi Ara­bia and Iran reach out ten­ta­tively
(The New York Times – June 6, 2014)

Sunni Saudi Ara­bia and Shi’a Iran have been show­ing signs of thaw­ing their decades old rivalry.

Open­ness on Israeli issues seen in sur­vey of Ira­ni­ans
(The New York Times – June 6, 2014)

A recent Israeli com­mis­sioned sur­vey of Iran­ian pub­lic opin­ion indi­cates that 40 per­cent of Ira­ni­ans would be will­ing to give up any abil­ity to pro­duce nuclear weapon in return for the full removal of sanc­tion. 40 per­cent of respon­dents agreed that Iran should rec­og­nize Israel if Israel reached a peace accord with the Palestinians.

In Iran, a dis­pute over heaven
(The Atlantic – June 5, 2014)

Hard-liners in the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment have taken Pres­i­dent Rouhani to task over state­ments he made on how far the government’s influ­ence on cit­i­zens’ lives should extend.

$21 Mil­lion for sell­ing parts to Iran
(The New York Times – June 5, 2014)

A Dutch aero­space com­pany and Pen­ta­gon con­trac­tor has agreed to pay $21 mil­lion in penal­ties to set­tle accu­sa­tions that it repeat­edly vio­lated Amer­i­can sanc­tions on sales of air­craft parts to Iran and Sudan.  

Iran’s leader says Obama has removed mil­i­tary option
(The New York Times – June 4, 2014)

In what is seen as a response to Pres­i­dent Obama’s West Point speech, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei boasted, “They real­ized that mil­i­tary attacks are as dan­ger­ous or even more dan­ger­ous for the assault­ing coun­try as they are for the coun­try attacked…They have renounced the idea of any mil­i­tary actions.”

Hap­pi­ness in short sup­ply in Iran
(Gallup World – June 3, 2014)

A Gallup poll reveals that Iran’s rank­ing of pos­i­tive emo­tions stands at 93 on a list of 138 coun­tries. The poll also reported that Ira­ni­ans have the high­est neg­a­tive emo­tions in the world, sec­ond only to Iraq.

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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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