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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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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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