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May 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

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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