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July 25, 2014 1

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 only rem­edy is the destruc­tion of the Zion­ist regime*
(Office of the Supreme Leader – July 24, 2014)khamenei-tehran-university-speech

In a meet­ing with stu­dent group at Tehran Uni­ver­sity on Thurs­day, Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei said that “Israel must be wiped out.” Khamenei added that this “rem­edy” is not meant “to destroy the Jew­ish peo­ple from that region.” Khamenei also repeated that the government’s solu­tion to the ques­tion of Pales­tine is for all the inhab­i­tants of the Holy Land to hold a ref­er­en­dum, “and through this way the ille­git­i­mate usurp­ing regime will be removed.”

Iran urges Pales­tini­ans, Syr­ian, Lebanese resis­tance groups to ink defense pact
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

Moham­mad Reza Naqdi, the com­man­der of the Basij force, called on regional ter­ror­ist groups to sign a defense treaty. Naqdi added, “We ask the resis­tance forces in Pales­tine, Syria and Lebanon to endorse a defense pact so that an attack on any of them will be an attack on all of them and if the Zion­ist regime makes an aggres­sion against any of them, all of them will grow united to con­front it.”

Rouhani calls for peo­ples’ mas­sive turnout in Quds Day ral­lies
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani appealed to the nation to come out in larger num­bers than before for Friday’s Quds Day ral­lies against Israel. “The more mag­nif­i­cent this year’s Quds Day ral­lies are held, the greater sup­port they will indi­cate for the oppressed Pales­tin­ian nation.”

Chants of ‘Death to Israel’ will be said in 770 cities in the coun­try*
(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

Ramazan Sharif, the chief of staff of the Coun­cil of Islamic Pro­pa­ganda and Al Quds Intifada, said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held for the upcom­ing Quds Day protests: “Calls for peace from all Mus­lims and free­dom lov­ing peo­ple will be sent to the peo­ple of Gaza who have been wag­ing jihad in the path of Allah dur­ing the month of Ramadan against the usurp­ing Zion­ist regime.”

Iran to launce new home-made destroyer soon

(Fars News Agency – July 22, 2014)

The Iran­ian Navy announced plans to reveal a new destroyer named “Dama­vand” and it will be deployed in inter­na­tional waters.

Iran’s Zarif, EU’s Ash­ton issue joint state­ment on exten­sion of talks
(Fars News Agency – July 19, 2014)

Fol­low­ing the last round of talks between nego­tia­tors from the P5+1 and Iran, For­eign Min­is­ter Zarif and EU rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton released a joint state­ment stat­ing that talks would con­tinue to Novem­ber 24, 2014.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran’s leader appears unbend­ing on core nuclear issues, say experts
(The Los Ange­les Times – July 21, 2014)

An exten­sion on the nuclear talks sig­nals Aya­tol­lah Khamenei’s pos­si­ble will­ing­ness to com­pro­mise, but not on the core ques­tion of ura­nium enrich­ment capacity.

Iran’s rul­ing elite embrace Face­book, while ordi­nary cit­i­zens are arrested over it
(Slate.com – July 21, 2014)

Although Face­book is blocked to ordi­nary Ira­ni­ans, gov­ern­ment offi­cials includ­ing Pres­i­dent Rouhani and For­eign Min­is­ter Zarif enjoy unfet­tered access to the pop­u­lar social media site.

Iran elim­i­nates sen­si­tive stock­pile under interim nuclear deal: IAEA
(Reuters – July 20, 2014)

Accord­ing to a monthly update released by the Inter­na­tional Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has met the terms stip­u­lated in the ini­tial six-month agree­ment and has moved to elim­i­nate its most sen­si­tive stock­pile of enriched ura­nium gas.

Iran nuclear talks: Is a com­pre­hen­sive deal still on the table?
(The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – July 20, 2014)

It remains unclear if nego­tia­tors from the P5+1 and Iran will be able to bridge sig­nif­i­cant gaps over what Iran’s nuclear future will look like.

Why Iran believes the mil­i­tant group ISIS is an Amer­i­can plot
(Time – July 19, 2014)

An arti­cle from the Iran­ian state-run Islamic Repub­lic News Agency claims that there was a joint U.S., British and Israeli plan to “cre­ate a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion capa­ble of cen­tral­iz­ing all extrem­ist actions across the world.” Unfor­tu­nately for IRNA, there is no men­tion of such a plan in the doc­u­ments leaked by Edward Snow­den which IRNA claims as its source.

Sanc­tions nearly halve Iran oil export rev­enue in two years, OPEC says
(The Wall Street Jour­nal – July 18, 2014)

Accord­ing to newly released data from OPEC, sanc­tions have caused Iran’s petro­leum export rev­enue to decrease by 42% in 2013.

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June 18, 2014 1

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

Iraq, Syria and Pales­tine vic­tims of Zion­ist sedi­tion
(Mehr News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary ses­sion, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the city of Mash­had accused the U.S. and Israel of being “behind all these sedi­tions” in Iraq, Syria and Pales­tine, while Iran, he main­tained, “seeks unity among all Mus­lims of the region and whole world.”

Iran is not pre­pared to work along­side Amer­ica; Even Hitler never com­mit­ted such inhu­mane crimes as ISIS has*
(Mehr News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Sec­re­tary of the Expe­di­ency Coun­cil and for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mohsen Rezai made claims that “ISIS is a pro­gram of the Zion­ists and reac­tionar­ies in the region who are try­ing to redi­rect the Islamic Awak­en­ing [Arab Spring] away from Amer­ica and Israel and toward Islam instead.”

Basij com­man­der blames US for volatile sit­u­a­tion in Iraq
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Moham­mad Reza Naqdi, the head of the Basij, said dur­ing a speech dur­ing a visit to a north­ern province that the takeover of large parts of Iraq by ISIS is “the result of the United States’ behind-the-scene attempts to sow dis­cord and they are cer­tainly the main mas­ter­mind of these events.”

Report: US train­ing ISIL mil­i­tants in Jor­dan
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Cit­ing an online Ara­bic news site, Fars claims that a Jor­dan­ian offi­cial dis­closed that “Amer­i­can forces trained the ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Lev­ant] recruits in a secret mil­i­tary base in Jor­dan in 2012.”

Iran­ian speaker: Ter­ror­ists strength­ened by US incor­rect approach
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

While address­ing a forum in south­ern Iran, Speaker of Par­lia­ment Ali Lar­i­jani said that America’s mis­man­age­ment and the “incor­rect strate­gies of the west­ern­ers, espe­cially the Amer­i­cans, in con­fronting the phe­nom­e­non of ter­ror­ism,” have in real­ity “strength­ened the ter­ror­ists in some cases.”

hossein-firouzabadi-iran

Hos­sein Firouzabadi

No pres­ence of Iran­ian forces in Iraq; There has never been coop­er­a­tion between Iran and Amer­ica*
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

In a speech dur­ing the funeral of a well-known IRGC com­man­der, Major Gen­eral Hos­sein Firouz­abadi, the head of the armed forces, said, “There are no Iran­ian forces present in Iraq and coop­er­a­tion between Iran and Amer­ica will never hap­pen and has no meaning.”

Iran, Pow­ers con­tinue work on draft­ing final deal in hec­tic day of diplo­macy
(Fars News Agency – June 17, 2014)

Speak­ing to reporters fol­low­ing a full day of meet­ings between Iran­ian and West­ern nego­tia­tors, Iran­ian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Abbas Araqchi said the meet­ings were “con­struc­tive and positive.”

Seyyed Has­san Nas­ral­lah: With the lead­er­ship of Aya­tol­lah Khamenei out holy sites are secure*
(Kay­han – June 17, 2014)

Speak­ing at an anniver­sary event in Beirut, Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah reit­er­ated that “Hezbol­lah is ready to fight a war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq.”

Com­man­der: Iran’s ene­mies weaker than ever
(Fars News Agency – June 12, 2014)

IRGC Com­man­der Gen­eral Hos­sein Salami said dur­ing a speech while vis­ing the north­ern province of Sem­nan last week that Iran “is more pow­er­ful than ever before,” and its ene­mies are at their weak­est position.

Offi­cial: Iran’s aid help Pales­tin­ian Resis­tance over­come prob­lems
(Fars News Agency – June 11, 2014)

In an inter­view with Fars News, for­mer Hamas advi­sor Youssef Rezqeh said, “The relent­less sup­ports of the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran and its stances in sup­port­ing the Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment in the Gaza Strip in the last 7 years have helped the gov­ern­ment to over­come many prob­lems and obsta­cles. Rezqeh added, “The Pales­tin­ian resis­tance move­ment has always thanked Iran for its sup­port for Pales­tine, espe­cially after the (Israeli) 2009 and 2012 wars.”

Pas­sage of leg­is­la­tion on “Polit­i­cal Crimes” by judi­cial par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sion*
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

New leg­is­la­tion passed in par­lia­ment will pro­vide a broad spec­trum of what will con­sti­tute “polit­i­cal crimes,” which will include indi­vid­ual or polit­i­cal groups against the sys­tem of gov­ern­ment, any move­ment to “reform” the sys­tem of the Islamic Repub­lic, and defam­ing or insult­ing the heads of the three branches of government.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran­ian leader vows to pro­tect holy sites in Iraq
(The New York Times – June 18, 2014)

Speak­ing on Iran­ian tele­vi­sion, Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani warned that the Islamic Repub­lic would take the nec­es­sary steps needed to defend Shi­ite holy sites in Iraq from ISIS. “Regard­ing the holy Shia shrines in Kar­bala, Najaf, Kad­himiya and Samarra, we announce to the killers and ter­ror­ists that the big Iran­ian nation will not hes­i­tate to pro­tect holy shrines,” Rouhani said.

Saudis give appar­ent warn­ing to Iran: don’t med­dle in Iraq
(Reuters – June 18, 2014)

The Saudi For­eign Min­istry warned Iran to refrain from inter­ven­ing in the Iraq con­flict as Iran­ian author­i­ties have threat­ened to pro­tect Shi­ite holy sites at all costs.

The United States should not coop­er­ate with Iran on Iraq
(The Wash­ing­ton Post Op-Ed – June 17, 2014)

Michael Doran and Max Boot write in their opin­ion piece that “The idea that the United States, a nation bent on defend­ing democ­racy and safe­guard­ing sta­bil­ity, shares a com­mon inter­est with the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary theoc­racy that is the No.1 state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism in the world, is as fan­ci­ful as the notion that Neville Cham­ber­lain and Adolf Hitler could work together for the good of Europe.

With war at doorstep, Iran sees its Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards in a kinder light
(The New York Times – June 17, 2014)

Atti­tudes toward the IRGC are chang­ing as the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in neigh­bor­ing Iraq increases.

Iran is not an ally in Iraq
(The Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute – June 17, 2014)

Michael Singh, the man­ag­ing direc­tor of The Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute, argues that an Iran-America alliance to fight ISIS could actu­ally make con­di­tion worse in Iraq.

Iran, U.S. sig­nal open­ness to coop­er­a­tion on Iraq
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – June 16, 2014)

Ear­lier this week, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry hinted that the U.S. has not ruled out pos­si­ble coop­er­a­tion with Iran in pro­tect­ing the Iraqi gov­ern­ment against ISIS.

Iran eases con­straints on aca­d­e­mic con­tacts with West
(The New York Times – June 15, 2014)

Pres­i­dent Rouhani’s admin­is­tra­tion has begun lift­ing some restric­tions on uni­ver­sity col­lab­o­ra­tion with for­eign pro­fes­sors. The U.S. Trea­sury Department’s Office of For­eign Assets Con­trol has sim­i­larly eased eco­nomic sanc­tions to allow Amer­i­can col­leges to estab­lish part­ner­ships with their Iran­ian counterparts.

Soc­cer breeds nation­al­ism and anti-regime protests in Iran
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – June 15, 2014)

Iran’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the World Cup Games has wor­ried offi­cials that cit­i­zen may use the oppor­tu­nity to stage anti-regime protests, and have there­fore banned large game view­ings in cities.

Iran’s Zoroas­tri­ans cel­e­brate Per­sian roots
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – June 15, 2014)

The Zoroas­trian reli­gion, the monothe­is­tic reli­gion of ancient Iran prior to the Arab inva­sion, is expe­ri­enc­ing a revival of reli­gious life in Iran. Zoroas­tri­ans gath­ered last week at Chak Chak, a holy site, to cel­e­brate their Per­sian roots and pray in remem­brance of a princess who fled the sev­enth cen­tury Arab invasion.

Moham­mad Javad Zarif: Iran is com­mit­ted to a peace­ful nuclear pro­gram
(The Wash­ing­ton Post Op-Ed – June 13, 2014)

For­eign Min­is­ter Zarif wrote an op-ed express­ing his country’s com­mit­ment to a peace­ful nuclear pro­gram while warn­ing that “Illu­sions have in the past led to missed opportunities.”

Build­ing nuclear weapon would take years, no months, Iran says in report
(The New York Times – June 12, 2014)

The Iran­ian gov­ern­ment released a study detail­ing how long it would the­o­ret­i­cally take its sci­en­tists to assem­ble a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s Deputy FM: If nuke talks fail, we’ll resume enrich­ment
(Ha’aretz – June 12, 2014)

Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Araqchi said dur­ing a con­fer­ence in Rome last week that “Iran will return to 20 per­cent enrich­ment if a deal can­not be reached… fail­ure to reach a deal will be a dis­as­ter for everyone.”

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