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August 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

Zionists’ Iranophobia campaign foiled: Zarif
(Press TV – August 21, 2014)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on state television that his country has successfully thwarted an anti-Iran campaign led by Israel. “It has always been on the agenda of the Zionist regime and its supporters as well as certain parts of the US government and some Western countries to portray Iran as a security threat to the world,” Zarif said during the televised broadcast on Wednesday.

Iran worried over race discrimination in US
(Mehr News Agency – August 20, 2014)

Iran’s foreign ministry criticized the U.S. for blasting Iran’s human rights offenses as protests continued in Ferguson, Missouri. The foreign ministry said: “Race discrimination against African Americans by the US police and court system is an indicator of human rights violations in that country despite their claims for supporting human rights and their annual reports of human rights violations in other countries.”

IRGC commander warns Israel of deadly response
(Fars News Agency – August 20, 2014)

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Air Force, threated Israel with retaliation in the event of an Israeli strike against Iran. “The Zionist regime might have a decision to make an aggression against Iran, but it will certainly come to the conclusion that it has taken an immature decision after studying the outcomes and consequences and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s much powerful reaction.”


Ebrahim Raeisi

Hujjat al-Islam Ebrahim Raeisi: “Americans have committed some of the worst crimes in the name of freedom”
(Rasa News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Ebrahim Raeisi, the first deputy of the Iranian judiciary, gave a speech in the city of Qom, stating, “The ignorant Americans have committed some of the worst crimes upon humanity in the name of freedom.” The cleric also claimed that the West is promoting the acceptance of homosexuality as a human right and as “a sign of freedom and a characteristic of a civilized, liberal and modern society.”

Iran’s civil, air defense bodies sign agreement to cooperate in defending N. sites
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, announced this week that his organization has signed an agreement with other air defense bases to establish a defense system to protect the country’s nuclear sites. “Our enemy uses intelligent power and we should make use of an intelligent air defense system as well,” Jalali said during the signing ceremony.

IRGC top advisor hails Iran’s missile power
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

General Komeil Kohansal, a top advisor to the IRGC, said during a visit to the northern city of Sari on Tuesday, that, “Today, Iran’s missile systems are ready to respond to any enemy threats.”

Committing crimes now habit for Israel: Top cleric
(Press TV – August 19, 2014)

Senior Iranian leader and former President Ayatollah Rafsanjani said during an anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Tuesday that, “Committing crimes has grown into a habit for Israel, and silence and supporting criminals has become routine in international communities.”

Iran’s integrated air defense system impenetrable
(Fars News Agency – August 18, 2014)

General Ali Reza Sabahifard, the lieutenant commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, boasted to reporters about Iran’s military prowess, stating, “At present, every part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s airspace is connected to the integrated air defense network and the smallest movements cannot go unnoticed by the eagle eyes of the air defense base.”

Israelis control major world banks: Analyst
(Press TV – August 18, 2014)

During an interview with Iran’s English-language propaganda network this week, Kenneth O’Keefe, a London-based virulently anti-Israel activist, spewed anti-Semitic comments when he said: “It is beyond absurdity that treasonous governments have been allowed to actually sign off the power of the people to print their own money through their representative government and instead give it to private bankers. The fact that they happen to be Jewish is not an opinion, it is a fact. And it is that use of that money, that power that has been given to them that they use to be able to dominate the world as I have said buying the media, the police, the military, the courts, the corporation, all of it.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Understanding Iran’s internal divisions
(The Wall Street Journal, Op-Ed – August 20, 2014)

Haleh Esfandiari, the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, wrote that the recent imprisonment of several Western journalists by the Iranian authorities signifies the greater power struggle between President Hassan Rouhani and conservative elements in the regime.

Iran cleric: Westernized Iranians no different than IS
(Al-Monitor – August 20, 2014)

Alireza Panahian, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a ceremony for an Iranian documentary this week, “The Westoxified among us are no different from takfiris and ISIS,” and that Westoxified Iranians are “Zionist fifth columnists.”

Remembering poet Simin Behbahani, the ‘Lioness of Iran’
(The Washington Post – August 20, 2014)

Earlier this week Iran lost one of its most celebrated poets, Simin Behbahani, who was known for her feminist views and poetry that expressed her love for Iran.

One result of the Gaza conflict: Iran and Hamas are back together
(Time – August 19, 2014)

After a falling out nearly three years ago over Hamas’s support for Syrian rebels, the Palestinian terrorist group and its foremost patron Iran appear to be on the path toward reconciliation. The new thaw is purportedly due to Hamas’s ongoing conflict with Israel, and Iranian leaders have begun voicing their support of “the Palestinian resistance in different ways.”

Billionaire named in suit against anti-Iran group
(The New York Times – August 18, 2014)

United Against Nuclear Iran, a leading organization fighting to enforce sanctions against the Islamic Republic by publicizing companies that do business with Tehran, is facing a defamation lawsuit by a Greek businessman. Last year the anti-Iran group had publicized Victor Restis’s alleged business dealings with Iran.

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May 7, 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

Zarif: We have taken away Netanyahu’s comfort*
(Mehr News Agency – May 6, 2014)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared before a parliamentary commission on Tuesday over his remarks on the veracity of the Holocaust. Zarif, who stated in several international interviews that the Holocaust did happen, told the commission, “I have spoken to [the Supreme Leader] personally about his speech on the Holocaust and he has condemned the killing of the Jews and has refuted his statement on the issue.”

Iran rejects restrictions on nuclear facilities ‘free transfer’
(Mehr News Agency – May 6, 2014)

In a meeting with the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York, Reza Najafi, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, said, “All countries have the right to set their national agenda for accessing full nuclear fuel chain and should be respected.” Najafi also rejected measures to restrict and ban the transfer of nuclear facilities.

Supreme Leader meets with officials of Society of Midwifery
(Office of the Supreme Leader – May 5, 2014)

 In a speech marking the International Day of the Midwife, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed Iran’s need for population growth in accordance with his Persian New Year message from March. “A country without youth means a country without innovation, progress, excitement and enthusiasm. Therefore, the vital plan of increasing population should be followed up in a serious way.”


Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan

Israel disarmament a demand by all nations: Minister
(Mehr News Agency – May 5, 2014)

Iran’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, said during an official visit to China this week, “The disarmament of such warmonger a regime as the Zionist regime is a demand by all nations in the region which should set a priority to international organizations.”

Iran’s influence has reached the Mediterranean*
(Fars News Agency – May 2, 2014)

Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a former commander of the IRGC, addressed a ceremony commemorating a military operation from the Iran-Iraq war, and said: “Certainly, the strategy of America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the European countries for the overthrow of Bashar Assad has faced defeat. This defeat is a strategic failure for the Western front, the Arabs and Zionists, and was a great victory for the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Safavi added, “Iran’s influential power stretches from the axis of Iran, Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean, and this is the third time that Iran’s influence has reached the Mediterranean. Our line of defense is no longer Shalamcheh. Our border defense is southern Lebanon with Israel and our deep defensive strategy has reached the Mediterranean above Israel’s head.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Iranian FM: I won’t allow official Holocaust denial
(The Times of Israel – May 6, 2014)

During his questioning in parliament over his recent comments on the Holocaust, Foreign Minister Zarif said that he will not allow Iran’s reputation to be damaged with statements about “Holocaust Denial.” Zarif also added, “We shall not allow the Zionist regime – who is illegally in possession of chemical and nuclear weapons and is the biggest violator of non-proliferation laws – to portray Iran as a danger.”

The right way to press Iran
(The New York Times, Op-Ed – May 6, 2014)

Kenneth Pollack from the Brookings Institute writes that the Obama administration should focus on “conducting intrusive inspections, designing a mechanism to easily reimpose sanctions if Iran cheats, and extending the duration of the agreement.”

International inspectors to visit two nuclear facilities in Iran
(The Christian Science Monitor – May 4, 2014)

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit two nuclear sites in Iran, fulfilling a series of demands made by the nuclear watchdog agency. “Following the visit, Iran will be able to say that the seven-agreed measures struck between the Iran and the agency have fulfilled,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic department, said to reporters.

Iran bans WhatsApp due to ‘Jewish ownership’
(Haaretz – May 3, 2014)

The Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content announced that it is banning the popular mobile phone app, WhatsApp, and “the reason for this is the adoption of WhatsApp by the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is an American Zionist.”

Beatings, torture, and imprisonment: It’s not easy being a journalist in Iran
(Vice News – May 3, 2014)

The leader of the “World’s Most Prolific Jailer of Journalists” was announced this week during World Press Freedom Day. Replacing Turkey, who has claimed the title for two years, is the Islamic Republic of Iran with its current imprisonment of 35 members of the press.

Politics, markets complicate Rouhani’s rescue of Iran economy
(Reuters – May 1, 2014)

Iran’s national currency continues to suffer, adding pressure to President Rouhani’s plan to rescue Iran’s faltering economy.

White House says it has ‘wide range of options’ if Iran talks fail
(The Jerusalem Post – May 1, 2014)

Jake Sullivan, the deputy assistant to President Obama, told the Jerusalem Post, “If talks break down, and if Iran is not negotiating in good faith, we are prepared to work with Congress to impose more sanctions.”

Brain drain blights Iran’s economy as investors wait in wings
(Bloomberg – April 28, 2014)

According to Iran’s National Elites Foundation, over the past two years at least 40 percent of top-performing Iranian students in science and engineering have left Iran. Most students end up leaving for greener pastures in Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden.

Ahmadinejad denies return to politics
(Al-Monitor – April 28, 2014)

During a recent visit to the city of Mashhad, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated that he does not plan to reenter politics. “I do not intend to enter politics,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd of supporters.

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