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July 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

Dif­fi­cult days ahead for the occu­piers*
(Basij News Agency – July 9, 2014)

Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iran­ian Armed Forces Mas­soud Jaza­y­eri said in response to the esca­lat­ing vio­lence between Israel and Hamas mil­i­tants, “Dif­fi­cult days lie ahead for the occu­piers [Israel] and the Pales­tin­ian resis­tance has once again cast the Zion­ist war machine into the mud.” Speak­ing about recent events that occurred lead­ing up to the renewed fight­ing, Jaza­y­eri added, “The mar­tyr­dom of the Pales­tin­ian teenager, after he was tor­tured and set on fire alive, [was done] with the excuse of the kid­nap­ping of three Jew­ish set­tler youth, and this has inflamed the world’s opin­ion against the hang­man exe­cu­tioner Zionists…”

Head of the judi­ciary crit­i­cizes incor­rect state­ments made by some cul­tural offi­cials*
(Rasa News Agency – July 9, 2014)

Aya­tol­lah Sadegh Lar­i­jani, the head of Iran’s judi­ciary, claimed that Amer­ica and its allies are sup­port­ing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), claim­ing, “One the one hand, the Amer­i­cans claim that they are against ISIS, and on the other, it’s observed that America’s lack­eys are the pri­mary sup­port­ers of the ter­ror­ists in the region and they give money, weapons and sup­port to them.”

marziyeh-afkham-iran

Marziyeh Afkham

Iran strongly con­demns inten­si­fied Israeli crimes against Pales­tini­ans in Gaza Strip
(Fars News Agency – July 8, 2014)

Iran­ian For­eign Min­istry Spokes­woman Marziyeh Afkham con­demned Israeli “aggres­sions” against the Gaza Strip, claim­ing that Israel is using the recent tragic mur­ders of three Israeli teenagers as cover for its airstrikes against Hamas tar­gets: “Surely, the sav­age aggres­sions and killing of the defense­less peo­ple which started on the false pre­text of abduc­tion of three Israeli set­tlers and have con­tin­ued for more than two weeks now and the mur­der of the mar­tyred Pales­tini­ans teenager (Moham­mad Abu Khdeir) which is a rem­i­nis­cent of the crimes com­mit­ted by the ter­ror­ists in Syria and Iraq show inca­pa­bil­ity and des­ti­tute of that regime vis-à-vis the resis­tance of the heroic peo­ple of Pales­tine [sic].”

FM: Iran not to strike final deal with world pow­ers at all costs
(Fars News Agency – July 8, 2014)

Speak­ing on the side­lines of the lat­est round of nuclear nego­ti­a­tions tak­ing place in Vienna, Iran­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif said, “We do not accept to reach a solu­tion at all costs as we insist on our rights while try­ing to find an accept­able, log­i­cal and long-term solu­tion.” Zarif added, “I hope that the other side will be ready to see the real­i­ties, take our word seri­ously and accept that the Iran­ian nation has never with­drawn under pressure.”

Amer­ica and ISIS are both lack­eys of the Zion­ists*
(Rasa News Agency – July 8, 2014)

Speak­ing dur­ing a ser­mon after prayers, Aya­tol­lah Hos­sein Moza­heri, a senior cleric from the Esfa­han province, claimed, “ISIS and Amer­ica are the lack­eys of the Zion­ists. Amer­ica and Zion­ism have com­bined forces to get rid of our pre­cious Islam.”

Regional events have no other result than ‘the final con­quest of Jerusalem’*
(Fars News Agency – July 6, 2014)

Head of the Basij Vol­un­teers Orga­ni­za­tion Moham­mad Reza Naqdi, stated dur­ing a speech that “The name of Hezbol­lah is one con­sid­ered like a mis­sile force in the world that shakes Israel’s iron limbs. In Pales­tine we also see that the calls of the Imam [Khome­ini] are awak­en­ing them, and the peo­ple who stand against the occu­piers of Jerusalem with sticks and stones can deal a response to Tel Aviv with rockets.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Open the files on the Iran coup
(The New York Times, Op-Ed – July 9, 2014)

Op-ed con­trib­u­tor Roham Alvandi writes that now is the time for the U.S. and Britain to dis­close their roles in Iran’s 1953 coup, and that this admis­sion will help mend the “open wound in Iran’s rela­tions with the West.”

Iran’s supreme leader calls for more ura­nium enrich­ment capac­ity
(Newsweek – July 8, 2014)

In a state­ment pub­lished online, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei stated that Iran must have 190,000 cen­trifuges, call­ing this “the country’s absolute need.”

Iran’s hand in Gaza
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – July 8, 2014)

A recent United Nations report indi­cat­ing Iran’s role in pro­vid­ing weapons to Pales­tin­ian mil­i­tants goes unnoticed.

Khamenei: Nuclear team ‘will defend Iran’s rights’
(Now Media – July 7, 2014)

Speak­ing after break­ing the Ramadan fast, Supreme Leader Khamenei expressed his sup­port for Iran’s nuclear nego­ti­at­ing team ahead of the lat­est round of talks in Vienna.

Iran weighs U.S.-trained econ­o­mist as its new UN envoy
(Bloomberg News – July 6, 2014)

An American-educated econ­o­mist may be selected by the Rouhani admin­is­tra­tion to serve as Iran’s next UN ambassador.

Iran’s mes­sage: We can make his­tory
(YouTube – July 2, 2014)

For­eign Min­is­ter Zarif released a YouTube clip appeal­ing to the West to forge a nego­ti­ated set­tle­ment to the Iran­ian nuclear issue.

As dead­line nears for an Iran nuclear pact, the fin­gers are point­ing
(The New York Times – July 2, 2014)

As nego­tia­tors for the P5+1 and Iran pre­pare to ham­mer out an agree­ment before the July 20 dead­line, both sides are reit­er­at­ing red lines they can­not cross.

Iran­ian nuclear deal still is pos­si­ble, but time is run­ning out
(The Wash­ing­ton Post, Op-Ed – June 30, 2014)

Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry writes that Iran has a chance to end its “eco­nomic and diplo­matic iso­la­tion and improve the lives of their peo­ple” if the Ira­ni­ans show flex­i­bil­ity and reach an agree­ment with the P5+1.

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May 22, 2013 2

State Department’s Religious Freedom Report Recognizes Severity Of Global Anti-Semitism

jewish-cemetery-desecration

Des­e­cra­tion of Jew­ish cemetery

On May 20, 2013, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry released the State Department’s annual Inter­na­tional Reli­gious Free­dom Report for 2012, describ­ing the U.S. assess­ment of the sta­tus of reli­gious free­dom in every coun­try. The report cov­ers gov­ern­ment poli­cies vio­lat­ing reli­gious belief and prac­tices of groups, reli­gious denom­i­na­tions and indi­vid­u­als, and U.S. poli­cies to pro­mote reli­gious free­dom around the world.

This annual report demon­strates the Amer­i­can com­mit­ment to the fun­da­men­tal demo­c­ra­tic right to prac­tice one’s reli­gion with­out inter­fer­ence from gov­ern­ment and sig­ni­fies and under­scores the role gov­ern­ments must play in pro­tect­ing that right.  It shines a light on a num­ber of impor­tant issues specif­i­cally related to the per­se­cu­tion of reli­gious minori­ties, includ­ing gov­ern­ment spon­sored dis­crim­i­na­tion, reli­gious big­otry and hatred prop­a­gated by the media, and vio­lence directed at spe­cific reli­gious denominations.

While address­ing all forms of reli­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion, the U.S. government’s role in mon­i­tor­ing and com­bat­ting anti-Jewish expres­sions around the world is an impor­tant fea­ture of the report. It high­lights inci­dents of anti-Semitism on the gov­ern­men­tal level, in pol­i­tics and within the media, and doc­u­ments acts of van­dal­ism and vio­lence directed at Jews. These include:

Iran — The government’s con­tin­ued Holo­caust denial and prop­a­ga­tion of anti-Semitic stereo­types, includ­ing pro­nounce­ments by Pres­i­dent Ahmadine­jad regard­ing “Zionists…ruling the major world affairs” for some 400 years.

Egypt — Senior Mus­lim Broth­er­hood offi­cials, includ­ing Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei, fre­quently issue anti-Semitic state­ments, while the media airs anti-Semitic pro­gram­ming, includ­ing the TV series “Horse­man with­out a Horse” based on the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery “The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion.” The wide­spread hatred and vio­lence directed at Egypt’s Cop­tic Chris­t­ian com­mu­nity is also mentioned.

Venezuela — Anti-Semitism is quite preva­lent in the gov­ern­ment con­trolled media, par­tic­u­larly in opin­ion pieces and edi­to­r­ial car­toons. The recent pres­i­den­tial can­di­dacy of Hen­rique Capriles, a Catholic of Jew­ish descent, was a main focus of the media’s anti-Semitism. 

Chile - There has been an increase in the num­ber anti-Semitic pub­lic state­ments, par­tic­u­larly across social media plat­forms. Inci­dents of anti-Jewish van­dal­ism are on the rise, and a num­ber of phys­i­cal attacks against Jews were doc­u­mented, includ­ing an assault on a 14 year-old by a group of Neo-Nazis.

The State Department’s report also makes a num­ber of ref­er­ences to ADL’s work in high­light­ing and com­bat­ing global anti-Semitism, par­tic­u­larly in Europe. These include:

Aus­tria – ADL’s train­ing projects with the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion on Holo­caust education.

Greece – ADL’s state­ments call­ing on gov­ern­ment author­i­ties to do more to counter the anti-Semitic rhetoric and vio­lent actions of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn polit­i­cal party.

Hun­gary – ADL’s state­ments call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to enforce a new law that would hold mem­bers of par­lia­ment legally account­able for espous­ing hate­ful remarks. This law was in reac­tion to an anti-Semitic state­ment by a mem­ber of country’s neo-Nazi Job­bik party, who called on par­lia­ment to “assess how many MPs and gov­ern­ment mem­bers are of Jew­ish ori­gin and who present a national secu­rity risk to Hun­gary.” The report also cited ADL’s sur­vey on anti-Semitic atti­tudes in Hun­gary which showed a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion har­bor­ing anti-Semitic attitudes.

Turkey – ADL’s state­ment crit­i­ciz­ing a cos­met­ics com­pany for fea­tur­ing Adolph Hitler in a sham­poo com­mer­cial that ran on state television.

The State Department’s Inter­na­tional Reli­gious Free­dom Report for 2012 can be found here.

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