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March 12, 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

Lebanon and Palestine’s vic­tory over the Zion­ist regime rep­re­sented a glimpse of the IRGC’s power*
(Defa­Press – March 5, 2014)

Gen­eral Ramezan Sharif of the Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps boasted of the IRGC’s mil­i­tary prowess and sup­port for ter­ror­ist groups in Lebanon and Pales­tine. “A glimpse of the IRGC’s [power] was the aid to the vic­tory of Lebanon and Pales­tine in transna­tional areas which the enemy itself is well aware of… Today the Islamic Repub­lic will bring the largest dam­age to Amer­ica for the small­est mis­take. The enemy knows well that it is unable to pro­vide secu­rity for the Zion­ist regime and this is the bless­ing of the IRGC’s power in the area of defense.”

Supreme Leader: Arro­gant pow­ers Spoil­ing from inside

khamenei-iran-anti-west

Supreme Leader Khamenei meet­ing with mem­bers of Iran’s Assem­bly of Experts 

(Fars News Agency – March 6, 2014)

In a meet­ing with mem­bers of Iran’s Assem­bly of Experts, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Khamenei stated, “The super­fi­cial tran­quil­ity of the arro­gant pow­ers and the con­ven­tional pow­ers rul­ing the world are being destroyed and one of its signs is the eco­nomic cri­sis in Europe and the US and the signs of their eco­nomic bank­ruptcy is becom­ing visible.”

Iran­ian envoy blames Israel for Syr­ian tragedy
(Fars News Agency – March 6, 2014)

Iran’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Lebanon said in a meet­ing with Lebanese Prime Min­is­ter Fouad Sin­iora, that “the Zion­ist regime” is assist­ing rebel groups in Syria and car­ing for those injured in Israeli mil­i­tary field hospitals.

The Iran­ian nation will bury the hopes of Amer­ica and Israel one by one*
(Tas­nim News Agency – March 6, 2014)

IRGC Deputy Com­man­der Gen­eral Hos­sein Salami said in a state­ment in response to the AIPAC con­fer­ence last week in Wash­ing­ton D.C., “The same way that we buried the enemy front in the past. Today, too, the Iran­ian nation will bury the hopes of the Amer­i­can lead­ers who are by the side of their Zion­ist friends. Be sure that the enemy is unable to do any­thing greater than it has done in the last 35 years. They did every­thing they could do and they have been faced with defeat.”

Tehran, Ash­ton pushes focus on nego­ti­a­tions with top Iran­ian offi­cials*(Kay­han – March 9, 2014)

In response to EU for­eign pol­icy chief Cather­ine Ashton’s offi­cial visit to Tehran, Ali Akbar Velay­ati, a for­mer Iran­ian for­eign min­is­ter and spe­cial advi­sor to the Supreme Leader, crit­i­cized U.S. offi­cials and their threats against Iran. Velay­ati said, “Instances of these types of [unpro­duc­tive] com­ments [regard­ing sanc­tions] by John Kerry and the Pres­i­dent of the United States are against Iran and are due to pres­sure from the Zion­ists,” Velay­ati said at a press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing his meet­ing with Ashton.

Al-Zahar: Iran, Hamas to fur­ther deepen rela­tions soon
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

Mah­moud Al-Zahar, a senior Hamas offi­cial in Gaza, spoke of improv­ing rela­tions between the Islamist mil­i­tant group and Iran, “The Hamas move­ment and Iran have taken spe­cial mea­sures and we will see many changes in these rela­tions soon.”

Pres­i­dent Rouhani: Regional peace, sta­bil­ity impos­si­ble with­out Iran’s part­ner­ship
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

In a meet­ing with fam­ily mem­bers of Iran­ian sol­diers killed dur­ing the Iran-Iraq war, Pres­i­dent Rouhani com­mented, “If the enemy once thought in the early days of the (Islamic) Rev­o­lu­tion that Iran was a weak coun­try and could be destroyed by mil­i­tary attack, today it is obvi­ous to every­one that Iran is the most pow­er­ful and mighty coun­try in the region.”

Leader’s Aide: Islamic Ummah to con­tinue sup­port for Pales­tine, resis­tance against Israel
(Fars News Agency – March 10, 2014)

Address­ing a gath­er­ing of the High Coun­cil of the Islamic Awak­en­ing World Forum this week, Velay­ati, the spe­cial advi­sor to the Supreme Leader, pledged con­tin­ued sup­port for Pales­tine against Israel. “The enemy is attempt­ing to mar­gin­al­ize the Pales­tin­ian issue and draw it off the Mus­lim world’s priorities…The Islamic Ummah will con­tinue its sup­port for the oppressed Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and resis­tance against the Zion­ist regime,” Velay­ati said to the gathering.

Our fin­ger is on the trig­ger to destroy the Zion­ist regime from a dis­tance of 1,400 kilo­me­ters*
(Tas­nim News Agency – March 10, 2014

Address­ing a sem­i­nar on the Role of the Mus­lim World on Tues­day, IRGC Deputy Com­man­der Gen­eral Hos­sein Salami said, “From a dis­tance of 1400 kilo­me­ters, our fin­ger is on the trig­ger to destroy the Zion­ist regime. It is Islam that has given us the power and expan­sion to dom­i­nate the hearts of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple from such geo­graph­i­cal dis­tances. Islam gives us hope and force, which allows us to be able to use the nec­es­sary force and capac­i­ties to destroy the Zion­ist regime, and until that day comes, our fin­ger will remain on the trigger.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Israel’s ‘cam­paign between the wars’ with Iran (Al-Monitor – March 7, 2014)

Last week’s Israeli naval inter­cep­tion of Gaza-bound mis­siles from Iran poses the ques­tion whether Pres­i­dent Rouhani was involved in the plan­ning and/or exe­cu­tion of the shipment.

Iran pres­i­dent con­demns hard-line media crack­down
(Wash­ing­ton Post – March 8, 2014)

In a meet­ing with the nation’s news­pa­per man­agers, Pres­i­dent Rouhani crit­i­cized the clos­ing of two reformist-leaning news­pa­pers in recent months. “Stop­ping the oper­a­tion and clos­ing (news­pa­pers) is the last solu­tion – not the first one,” Rouhani said. He added, “Why today is some media absolutely free and some oth­ers have lit­tle share of this free­dom? Gov­ern­ment crit­ics and oppo­nents are free and will be free but let government’s sup­port­ers also enjoy the same free­dom and secu­rity as well.”

Mercy and social media slow the noose in Iran
(New York Times – March 8, 2014)

As exe­cu­tion by pub­lic hang­ing has steadily risen since Pres­i­dent Rouhani’s elec­tion in June 2013, Ira­ni­ans increas­ingly resort to social media to spread awareness.

Will Iran’s ‘end to extrem­ism’ take hold?
(Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – March 9, 2014)

Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani met with Cather­ine Ash­ton, the Euro­pean Union’s for­eign pol­icy chief, in her first visit to the Islamic Repub­lic since her appointment.

Iran tells EU’s Ash­ton nuclear deal pos­si­ble ‘in months’
(BBC – March 9, 2014)

Dur­ing a meet­ing with EU for­eign pol­icy chief Cather­ine Ash­ton in Tehran, For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif stated that a nuclear deal could be reached “in four or five months and even shorter.”

Thwarted, for now, Iran’s bid to tar­get all of Israel from Gaza
(Times of Israel – March 10, 2014)

An analy­sis of Iran’s endeav­ors to arm mil­i­tant groups in Gaza and Lebanon with far-reaching mis­siles that can strike any­where in Israel.

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June 19, 2013 0

Where Calling Someone A Jew Or An Israeli Is The Ultimate Insult

nasrallah-billboard-jew-lebanon-hezbollah

Nas­ral­lah bill­board in Tripoli, Lebanon

A bill­board in the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon, insult­ing Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah demon­strates how even an enemy of the Jew­ish peo­ple like Nas­ral­lah is sub­ject to attack by his ene­mies as being a tool of the Jews.

The bill­board, appar­ently placed last week in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port of the Syr­ian government’s ongo­ing fight with Sunni rebels, shows Nas­ral­lah with the Star of David on his tur­ban, blood around his mouth and wear­ing a black eye patch, an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the iconic image of Israeli mil­i­tary leader Moshe Dayan. The script below the image said “Your mask fell off, oh you mur­derer of chil­dren and women.”

The bill­board is a reflec­tion of a larger schism within the Mus­lim world between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Both sides are invok­ing accu­sa­tions of being a Jew or Israeli against the other as the ulti­mate insult.

Tripoli, a city with a major­ity of Sun­nis, has expe­ri­enced esca­lat­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port for Syr­ian pres­i­dent Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his troops, which have been fight­ing Sunni rebels in Syria for over a year.

Images of the Nas­ral­lah bill­board have been widely shared on social media by those sym­pa­thetic with the Syr­ian rebels as well. Sev­eral Twit­ter users explic­itly accuse Nas­ral­lah of being a Jew, some claim­ing all Shia Mus­lims are allied with the Jews. It is a clas­sic exam­ple of blur­ring the the line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism propaganda.

Last Feb­ru­ary ADL issued a press release denounc­ing a sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­ory in the Mid­dle East, which claimed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was secretly allied with Jews.

This past month, videos posted on YouTube showed demon­stra­tors in Syr­ian cities chant­ing “Shia Shia oh you Jews… The army of Muham­mad will return.” The slo­gan is a take­off on the anti-Semitic slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago.

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February 7, 2013 0

Hezbollah Military Branch Offers Free Podcasts On iTunes

The mil­i­tary branch of Hezbol­lah, The Islamic Resis­tance (“Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya”), offers a col­lec­tion of free Farsi and Ara­bic lan­guage pod­casts on iTunes that pro­mote both the ter­ror­ist group’s and the Iran­ian regime’s mil­i­tant propaganda.

The col­lec­tion of 20 pod­casts, appar­ently uploaded between Octo­ber 2010 and Decem­ber 2012, includes speeches by Hezbollah‘s leader Has­san Nas­ral­lah, speeches of Iran­ian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and mil­i­tant songs and other record­ings prais­ing the Lebanese-based U.S.-designated ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion and its ter­ror­ist operations. 

The Farsi descrip­tion of the pod­cast states that the audio has been uploaded from the Iran­ian sec­tion of The Islamic Resis­tance website.

In one of the avail­able pod­casts, titled “Sanc­tion­ing Israel,” Khamenei deliv­ers a Farsi ser­mon hail­ing efforts to attack Israel in the Arab world, describes Israel as the “Can­cer­ous Gland,” and pre­dicts the destruc­tion of Israel.

Another pod­cast, titled “The Resis­tance Essay,” mixes Jihadist songs, mil­i­tary chants and ser­mons by Iran­ian and Hezbol­lah lead­ers. In one part, Khamenei says, “After the great and tremen­dous vic­tory of Hezbol­lah in Lebanon [against Israel], America’s strat­egy in the Mid­dle East faced a destruc­tive earth­quake. The dev­ils of arro­gance rushed to treat their drub­bing and repair their defeat.”

Last year, Hezbol­lah used iTunes to deliver mobile access to con­tent from its satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, al-Manar.

Hezbol­lah has been impli­cated in numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks against Israeli and West­ern tar­gets since 1982. Most recently, Hezbol­lah mem­bers were impli­cated by Bul­garia in the July 2012 bomb­ing of a bus of Israeli tourists in the resort city of Bur­gas. Hezbol­lah and its main inter­na­tional spon­sor, Iran, have also been linked to a spate of attacks and attempted attacks on Israeli diplo­mats and other tar­gets abroad in 2012.

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