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July 25, 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 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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August 2, 2013

Iranian Regime Amps Up Anti-Zionist Rhetoric For Al Quds Day Protests

Hassan Rouhani, president-elect of Iran, while viewed by many as a “moderate” leader willing to work with the West, is a life-long regime insider. However, Rouhani’s election apparently does not signify any change in the regime’s antagonism toward Israel and the West. khamenei-facebook-al-quds

This fact has been plainly presented this week in the run up to International Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day, a day of protest against Israel first established by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Throughout the course of the week, state leaders and officials have made a series of hostile and threatening remarks against the Jewish state, which have also been echoed in state-run newspapers and social media.

The following are some examples of anti-Israel rhetoric made by Iranian government officials and newspapers leading up to this Friday’s Al Quds Day demonstrations:

  • In an August 1 interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Hossein Naqavi-Hosseini, the spokesman for the Parliamentary National Security and Policy Committee, called upon all Muslim nations to “support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian nation and to fight this cancerous tumor [Israel] that’s in the Islamic world.”
  • State-run newspapers on Thursday featured Jerusalem Day articles and op-eds denouncing Israel and Israeli policies. An article published in Kayhan, the official mouthpiece of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed that the Arab Spring, dubbed the Islamic Awakening by Iran’s leaders, has ended “the dream of America and the Zionists of creating ‘Greater Israel’ from the Nile to the Euphrates.”
  • A pre-Jerusalem Day post on the official Facebook page of Ayatollah Khamenei called on supporters to “defeat the enemy & force it to retreat” by participating in demonstrations. The post was accompanied by a graphic accusing Israel of committing genocide and infanticide.
  • In a July 31 interview with Fars News Agency, Ramazan Sharif, the head of the Council of Islamic Propaganda and Al Quds Intifada, said that Iran supports all “Palestinian jihadi resistance movements,” and that there will be no regional peace and security so long as the “usurping Zionist regime is present in the region.”

During last year’s Jerusalem Day protests, Iran’s Supreme Leader and several government officials openly called for the Israel’s annihilation.

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