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April 2, 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 pur­pose of prop­a­gat­ing ‘Iron Dome’ is to intim­i­date oppo­nents and it does not express real­i­ties*
(Fars News Agency – April 1, 2014)

Ismail Kosari, a mem­ber of the Iran­ian parliament’s National Secu­rity Com­mit­tee, said that Israel’s Iron Dome sys­tem is noth­ing more “than a type of psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare.” Kosari added, “Israel’s pri­mary goal in pub­li­ciz­ing the ‘Iron Dome’ is to intim­i­date its opponents…”

Iran­ian envoy slams West for back­ing ter­ror­ists in Syria
(Fars News Agency – March 30, 2014)

Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, the Iran­ian ambas­sador to Ger­many, accused the West of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist groups in Syria dur­ing his speech at an inter­na­tional con­fer­ence on Syria in Munich. “The West had not learned from its past strate­gic mis­takes in Syria by sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusra Front,” Attar said dur­ing the conference.

Senior law­maker describes Ahmed Sha­heed as CIA, Mossad agent
(Fars News Agency – March 29, 2014)

In response to the renewed man­date of Ahmed Sha­heed as the United Nations Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Human Rights in Iran, Iran­ian mem­ber of par­lia­ment Hos­sein Naqavi Hos­seini accused Sha­heed of “work[ing] as an agent for the Zion­ist regime and also the CIA.”

Sayyed Nas­ral­lah tack­les regional devel­op­ments
(Mehr News Agency – March 29, 2014)

Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah gave an inau­gural speech for the open­ing of a cul­tural insti­tute in south­ern Lebanon that saw heavy fight­ing between the armed Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion and Israeli forces in 2006. Nas­ral­lah boasted, “Lebanon’s gold does not exist in the whole world, and with wood, the Lebanese had built the coffins of Israeli sol­diers, and will con­tinue to exist for each occu­pier of this holy land.”

hossein-deghan-iran

Iran­ian Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Deghan

Defense Min­is­ter: Amer­ica has long-term plans for the gov­ern­ment of Saudi Ara­bia*
(Tas­nim News Agency – March 29, 2014)

Fol­low­ing U.S. Pres­i­dent Obama’s pub­li­cized visit to Saudi Ara­bia, Iran­ian Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Deghan lashed out against alleged U.S. “plans” for the sur­vival of the Saudi monar­chy. Deghan also attacked Israel, stat­ing, “In the field of our military’s intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties, we are able to con­front the Zion­ist regime because they do not pos­sess such strength in oper­a­tional mil­i­tary systems.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Iran infla­tion slows to two-year low, ful­fill­ing Rouhani pledge
(Bloomberg News – March 30, 2014)

Iran’s infla­tion rate has fallen to a two-year low while con­sumer prices rose 23 per­cent from a year ago.

Gin­gerly, Iran begins to rock out
(Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor – Mach 30, 2014)

Pop music may still be for­bid­den in Iran, but there are signs that slowly things are changing.

Iran’s chief rabbi passes away over Shab­bat
(Ha’aretz – March 30, 2014)

Iran’s Chief Rabbi Yosef Hamadani Cohen, who led Iran’s Jew­ish com­mu­nity since 1994, died last weekend.

Iran plans to replace U.N. ambas­sador in New York
(Reuters – March 29, 2014)

The cur­rent Iran­ian Ambas­sador to the United Nations will be replaced by Hamid Abu­talebi, a long­time diplo­mat with close ties to Pres­i­dent Rouhani and for­mer Pres­i­dent Raf­san­jani. Abu­talebi is sus­pected of hav­ing been involved in the 1979 U.S. embassy hostage cri­sis; how­ever, this infor­ma­tion is still unconfirmed.

N.Y. tower in suit tied to Iran is for­feited, judge rules
(Bloomberg Busi­ness­week – March 28, 2014)

A U.S. Dis­trict Judge ruled that an Iranian-government owned com­mer­cial build­ing in mid­town Man­hat­tan will be for­feited by its own­ers for vio­lat­ing U.S. embargo and fed­eral money laun­der­ing laws.

Museum items can’t be seized to pay Iran judg­ment
(USA Today – March 28, 2014)

A fed­eral judge in Chicago ruled that Iran­ian ter­ror sur­vivors may not be awarded Per­sian antiq­ui­ties and relics in place of the $412 mil­lion judg­ment against the Iran­ian government.

 

Iran fuel price hikes will be big test for Rouhani
(Reuters – March 27, 2014)

As part of Pres­i­dent Rouhani’s pledge to repair the Iran­ian econ­omy, painful fuel sub­sidy cuts are in store and pose a risk to Rouhani’s popularity.

Con­gress pre­pares sec­ond front on Iran sanc­tions
(Al-Monitor – March 27, 2014)

U.S. Con­gress is work­ing on new sanc­tions tar­get­ing Iran­ian sup­port for Hezbol­lah and sup­port­ers of Syria’s embat­tled Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad.

Sen. Carl Levin gar­ners 23 Dems for softer-toned Iran talks let­ter
(JTA – March 27, 2014)

Sen­a­tor Carl Levin (D-Mich.) cir­cu­lated a let­ter among law­mak­ers urg­ing the White House to con­tinue engag­ing in diplo­macy with Iran.

U.N. extends term of human rights mon­i­tor, anger­ing Iran
(New York Times – March 28, 2014)

Iran­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials expressed anger by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s vote to renew the term for its Iran human rights expert.

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March 20, 2014 2

Arrest Demonstrates Influence of Online Terrorist Materials

Nicholas Teausant

A 20-year-old com­mu­nity col­lege stu­dent from Acampo, Cal­i­for­nia, was arrested on March 17th for attempt­ing to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), a ter­ror­ist group for­merly affil­i­ated with Al Qaeda. His alleged activ­i­ties prior to his arrest demon­strate the dan­ger­ous influ­ence of English-language online pro­pa­ganda that is being dis­trib­uted by ter­ror­ist organizations.

The stu­dent, Nicholas Teau­sant, report­edly accessed a vari­ety of online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda includ­ing issues of Inspire mag­a­zine, an English-language pub­li­ca­tion pro­duced by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, and its com­pan­ion “Mujahid Pock­et­book,” which con­tains a com­pi­la­tion of arti­cles designed as a “how-to guide for becom­ing a lone wolf terrorist.”

Teau­sant also broad­cast his views over social media. In a Face­book post dated March 9, 2014, he asserted “the peo­ple you call ter­ror­ist aren’t really ter­ror­ist (sic) they are just doing what your to (sic) afraid to do, the gov­ern­ment fears these peo­ple and that’s why they are called ter­ror­ist.” He also posted mes­sages about car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons in public.

On the photo-sharing ser­vice Insta­gram, Teau­sant allegedly wrote, “Don’t get me wrong I despise Amer­ica and want its down fall…I would love to join Allah’s army.”

Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, Teau­sant dis­cussed bomb­ing the Los Ange­les sub­way sys­tem and pur­chas­ing fire­works and explo­sives prior to his attempt to join ISIS.

Teau­sant had enlisted in the U.S. army reserves in 2007 – seem­ingly prior to his attrac­tion to ter­ror­ism – but appar­ently never com­pleted train­ing because he did not meet the aca­d­e­mic requirements.

His arrest came the same day as that of Moham­mad Has­san Ham­dan, a 22-year-old per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­dent resid­ing in Dear­born, MI, who was arrested for attempt­ing to travel to Syria to join Hezbollah.

Both arrests high­light the con­tin­ued threat of Amer­i­cans trav­el­ing to join ter­ror­ist groups in Syria as the civil war there continues.

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March 5, 2014 0

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-shipment-gaza-hamas-israel

Iranian-made sacks of cement hid­ing Gaza-bound mis­siles.
Source: Israel Defense Force

Assad pays the price for sup­port­ing the Resis­tance*
(Mashregh News Agency – March 5, 2014)

Iran denies any con­nec­tion to recently uncov­ered mis­sile ship­ment to the Gaza Strip by the IDF, and claims, “The weapons ship­ment that the Israeli regime claims to have stopped is not Iranian-built, but rather it is from the Syr­ian armed forces. This issue demon­strates that despite inter­na­tional pres­sures and the trea­son of Arab coun­tries, includ­ing the Pales­tini­ans, Bashar Assad con­tin­ues to sup­port the Islamic Resis­tance [Hamas].”

The gov­ern­ment will not cross the red line/We have been happy with the first steps of the nego­ti­a­tions*
(Mehr News – March 4, 2014)

Pres­i­dent Rouhani affirms that Iran’s nuclear rights will be pre­served and says, “What the Amer­i­cans say is for the pres­sure of their pub­lic opin­ion, extrem­ists and Zionists.”

We are not opti­mistic of the nego­ti­a­tions*
(Fars News Agency – March 4, 2014)

Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Abbas Araghchi claims that, “The prin­ci­ple oppo­nents of the Geneva agree­ment are the Zion­ists and the Zion­ists con­tinue to pur­sue the pol­icy of zero enrich­ment, and if they con­tinue to do this, the agree­ment will fail. You are wit­ness to the influ­ence of the Zion­ist lobby on Amer­ica and its Con­gress, and every time Amer­i­can lead­ers are forced to go along with Tel Aviv and pro­vide comments.”

Leg­is­la­tor: US should pay heavy price for adven­tur­ism against Iran
(Fars News Agency – March 3, 2014)

An Iran­ian mem­ber of par­lia­ment, Moham­mad Esmay­eeli, warned the U.S. that they can­not “attempt their goals by threats” and claimed that the Zion­ist lob­bies influ­ence U.S. statesmen.

Iran raps US human rights report
(Fars News Agency – March 2, 2014)

Iran­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif crit­i­cized the U.S.’s recent human rights report, stat­ing that Wash­ing­ton is respon­si­ble for “mur­der­ing hun­dreds of inno­cent women and chil­dren” and sup­ports the “inhu­mane mea­sures by the Zion­ist regime against the Pales­tin­ian people.”

The Basi­jis await instruc­tions from the leader to lib­er­ate Jerusalem*
(Fars News Agency – Feb­ru­ary 28, 2014)

“The Basi­jis [Iran’s vol­un­teer para­mil­i­tary unit] of the Islamic world are wait­ing for the leader’s com­mand to lib­er­ate noble Jerusalem,” said Moham­mad Reza Naghdi, the head of the Basij organization.

Bor­jourdi: Iran will always sup­port the resis­tance*
(Tas­nim News Agency – Feb­ru­ary 28, 2014)

The head of the Iran­ian Parliament’s Com­mis­sion for National Secu­rity and For­eign Pol­icy said dur­ing a meet­ing with Lebanese Prime Min­is­ter Tamam Salam that Iran “will not aban­don sup­port of the Resis­tance and this is a per­ma­nent prin­ci­ple for Iran.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Israel halts ‘weapons ship­ment from Iran’
(BBC – March 5, 2014)

Israeli naval forces board Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan; claims ship­ment of mis­siles were a “clan­des­tine oper­a­tion” by Iran.

Israel seizes ship with mis­siles head­ing from Iran to Gaza
(Ha’aretz – March 5, 2014) Offi­cial video of IDF naval raid.

Iran’s Guard says it has mul­ti­ple war­head mis­siles
(Wash­ing­ton Post – March 5, 2014)

Iran­ian Defense Min­is­ter Hos­sein Dehghan unveiled four new types of bal­lis­tic mis­siles, two of which are equipped with mul­ti­ple war­heads. “These mis­siles are able to hit and destroy enemy tar­gets with pre­ci­sion, and they meet a vari­ety of the armed forces’ needs,” said Dehghan at the unveil­ing ceremony.

Netanyahu warns on Iran, urges no Pales­tin­ian ‘excuses’
(Reuters – March 4, 2014)

Address­ing the annual AIPAC con­fer­ence, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu lamented that “lead­ing pow­ers of the world are talk­ing about leav­ing Iran with the capa­bil­ity to enrich uranium.”

Iran cut­ting sen­si­tive nuclear stocks, much work remains: IAEA
(Reuters – March 3, 2014)

IAEA direc­tor gen­eral Yukiya Amano released a state­ment on Mon­day that “As of today, mea­sures agreed under the Joint Plan of Action are being imple­mented as planned.”

Rouhani tells Iran gen­er­als to cut hos­tile rhetoric
(Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion – March 1, 2014)

“We must be very care­ful in our cal­cu­la­tions. Launch­ing mis­siles and stag­ing mil­i­tary exer­cises to scare off the other side is not good deter­rence, although a neces­sity in its proper place,” Rouhani stated.

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