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October 2, 2014

Details Emerge On Anti-Semitic Gathering In Tehran

As Iran’s 2nd New Horizon Conference wraps up in Tehran, new information is emerging about conference attendees, who included U.S. and international anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and anti-war activists.

In his opening speech, Nader Talebzadeh, the director of the New Horizon Conference, explained the goal of the conference as, “distributing the articles and thoughts of top intellectuals and philosophers worldwide among Iranian universities and artists,” and that, “The emergence of ideology of criticizing the dominance of the Zionist lobby over the USA and EU, which is going to make some changes in the West, has made it an essential and attractive subject to learn.” Talebzadeh added in an interview on the sidelines of the conference to a Press TV correspondent that, “These are the people [the attendees] that are censored in the West” for their views, which include promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.

Press TV also conducted an interview with Wayne Madsen, a U.S. anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, who claimed that the U.S. government and Congress are under Zionist control, “The Israeli agenda, which the Christian and Jewish Zionists adopt one hundred percent, is what is sold to members of Congress, and that develops into legislation, resolutions; no one votes against anything [the Zionists] put up as far as a resolution.”

Among the speakers on the first day of the conference was anti-Israel journalist Garth Porter. In his speech to the attendees, Porter leveled accusations against Israel, the Mossad and CIA for manufacturing the Iranian nuclear crisis. Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar echoed Porter’s message and predicted that Iran will become more active in world affairs as its stature and influence in the region increases.

On the second day of the conference, Art Olivier, a U.S. 9/11 conspiracy theorist and filmmaker, promoted his upcoming film about the life of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie. The film, Olivier said, will allow young Americans “to see the reality of Rachel’s life which happened 11 years ago and are going to realize the atrocity of Zionist actions against Palestinians and the people of Gaza.” Olivier also promoted the anti-Semitic canard that the U.S. film industry and Hollywood in particular are under the domination of Zionists.

medea-benjamin-new-horizon-conference-interview

CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin interviewed on Iranian state media

Other U.S. participants also gave brief interviews to Farsi-language media during panel breaks, including CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, who told IRIB Channel 1 that some of the topics at the conference addressed U.S. funding for war at expense of providing adequate healthcare for American citizens, and that, “These conferences should lift the pressure off of the Palestinian people.” Also present at the conference was Reverend Stephen Sizer, a vicar in the Church of England who, according to the UK-based Community Security Trust (CST), has been accused of promoting anti-Semitic links on his website.

Some of the notable panel discussions held during the three-day conference included “Zionist fingerprints on the 9/11 cover-up;” “The Gaza war & BDS Movement against the Zionist regime,” which Medea Benjamin was part of; “US-Israeli dual citizens working in the interest of Israel: the case for treachery;” and “The ‘Islamic’ State meme, its precursors, & the US-Israel-Saudi triangle.”

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July 17, 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

Iran raps Israel for slaughter of Palestinians
(Tasnim News Agency – July 16, 2014)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned Israel during a cabinet meeting Wednesday, saying, “Only a regime in support of racial discrimination and apartheid can bring thousands of innocent women, men and children under the barrage of nonstop artillery and tank shells under the pretext of [the] death of three people.”

The international community’s alliance with the Zionists is evident by their silence in countering the Zionist regime’s crimes*
(Basij News Agency – July 16, 2014)

In an exclusive interview with the IRGC-linked Basij News Agency, member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Syed Hussein Naqvi Hussaini, said, “The progress of the criminal Zionist regime and their aggression toward Palestine and Gaza is a continuation of their policy to dominate the region.”

The Gaza disaster must bring Islamic nations and governments together*
(Office of the Supreme Leader Khamenei – July 14, 2014)khamenei-rouhani-cabinet-iran

In a meeting with members of the cabinet and President Rouhani earlier this week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: “The problem of Gaza is really another tragedy, and the Zionist regime has been using the silence of the Islamic world to commit this disaster. The killing of the people of Gaza at the hands of the usurping Zionists must bring the Islamic governments and nations together to get rid of their difference and to be united with one another.”

Iranian legislature asks world parliaments to break silence on genocide in Gaza
(Fars News Agency – July 14, 2014)

Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi sent letters to several allied parliaments condemning Israel’s airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. “Given the extensive dimensions of the Zionist regime’s inhumane crimes against the Gaza people, it is expected from you and other honorable members of your foreign policy commission to adopt proper positions in support of the helpless Palestinians and condemn the Zionist aggressors,” Boroujerdi’s letter stated in part.

IRGC official: All Zionists within range of Palestinian missiles
(Fars News Agency – July 14, 2014)

General Ramezan Sharif, the head of the IRGC’s Public Relations Department, boasted that “The defense capacity and capabilities of the Islamic resistance and Hamas forces has left no safe place for the Zionists in the occupied territories.” Sharif added, “[The] defensive and offensive power of Hamas, Ezzedin Al-Qassam and Quds brigades forces have increased so much that one can dare say that all Zionists are within the range of the resistance’s missiles.”

Iran’s president calls on Islamic states to help oppressed Palestinians
(Tasnim News Agency – July 11, 2014)

In a message to the head of Islamic countries, President Rouhani called for the end of the Zionist regime’s aggressive measures against Gazans. Rouhani also referred to Hamas and Islamic Jihad as “heroic and legitimate” resistance, and expressed confidence that “the Palestinian nation will once again make the Zionist enemy taste the bitter taste of defeat.”

Iran urges international action to rein in Israel
(Press TV – July 10, 2014)

Foreign Minister Zarif appealed to the United Nations, Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to bring an end to Israeli airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza. “Doubtlessly, an explicit condemnation of the Zionist regime’s crimes against Palestinian regions and preventing the continuation of strikes by this regime are responsibilities assigned to all regional and international bodies and assemblies,” Zarif stated.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran’s identity crisis stymies nuclear deal
(Boston Globe – July 16, 2014)

An editorial in the Boston Globe welcomes a possible extension of the July 20 deadline to negotiations, citing Iranian compliance over the past six months that saw a reduction of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium by 80%.

Kerry cites ‘progress’ in Iran talks while gaps remain
(The New York Times – July 15, 2014)

Following rounds of intense talks between representatives from the P5+1 and Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “tangible progress” had been made, but expressed that “very real gaps” remained to be bridged.

Iran outlines nuclear deal; Accepts limit
(The New York Times – July 14, 2014)

As the July 20deadline fast approaches, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with The New York Times that Iran may accept a deal that sees the freezing of nuclear fuel production at current leaders for several years.

Thank Obama for Iran’s growing economy
(The Daily Beast – July 14, 2014)

A new study from the Roubini Global Economic and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies claims that U.S. and Western countries’ gradual easing of sanctions against Iran have allowed the Islamic Republic’s ailing economy to recover.

Americans and Iranians see constraints at home in nuclear negotiations
(The New York Times – July 13, 2014)

Iranian negotiators face recent statements by Supreme Leader Khamenei while the Americans must deal with members of the Senate seek assurances from President Obama that a deal must address core weapons proliferation issues and not lead to the lifting of sanctions instead.

British parliament committee endorses limited uranium enrichment for Iran
(Al-Monitor – July 13, 2014)

The British House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee decided to endorse a deal that would allow Iran to continue limited uranium enrichment.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Zarif employs a disarming charm
(The Los Angeles Times – July 13, 2014)

Western officials regard Foreign Minister Zarif, the Western-trained leader of the Iranian negotiations team, as turning up the charm to make Iran appear non-threatening.

Iran sticks to ‘unworkable, inadequate’ stances in nuclear talks: U.S.
(Reuters – July 12, 2014)

Before arriving in Vienna for talks with Iran, Secretary of State Kerry told reporters, “We are still very far apart on some issues and obviously on enrichment capacity.”

Iran Supreme Leader spills the nuke talk secrets
(The Daily Beast – July 12, 2014)

Supreme Leader Khamenei issued remarks earlier this week, after leading Ramadan evening prayers, divulging highly technical details about remaining disagreements between the P5+1 and Iran.

Open a nuclear fuel bank
(The New York Times, Op-Ed – July 11, 2014)

Sam Nunn, the co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, suggests in this opinion piece that an international fuel bank, owned and managed by the IAEA, would allow countries full assurance that they could access nuclear fuel in the event of an interruption to their supply.

Iran’s aid to Hamas has bearing on nuclear talks, House panel chief says
(The Christian Science Monitor – July 11, 2014)

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee points to Iran’s continuing support for Hamas as another reason for the U.S. to proceed cautiously in negotiating with Iran.

Iran’s central bank loses appeal in terror suit payout
(Bloomberg – July 9, 2014)

A federal appeals court rejected Iran’s Bank Markazi’s appeal to award $1.75 billion to families of hundreds of Americans killed in terrorist attacks sponsored by the Islamic Republic.

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July 10, 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

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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