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March 5, 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-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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