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August 21, 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

Zion­ists’ Ira­nopho­bia cam­paign foiled: Zarif
(Press TV – August 21, 2014)

Iran­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Moham­mad Javad Zarif said on state tele­vi­sion that his coun­try has suc­cess­fully thwarted an anti-Iran cam­paign led by Israel. “It has always been on the agenda of the Zion­ist regime and its sup­port­ers as well as cer­tain parts of the US gov­ern­ment and some West­ern coun­tries to por­tray Iran as a secu­rity threat to the world,” Zarif said dur­ing the tele­vised broad­cast on Wednesday.

Iran wor­ried over race dis­crim­i­na­tion in US
(Mehr News Agency – August 20, 2014)

Iran’s for­eign min­istry crit­i­cized the U.S. for blast­ing Iran’s human rights offenses as protests con­tin­ued in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri. The for­eign min­istry said: “Race dis­crim­i­na­tion against African Amer­i­cans by the US police and court sys­tem is an indi­ca­tor of human rights vio­la­tions in that coun­try despite their claims for sup­port­ing human rights and their annual reports of human rights vio­la­tions in other countries.”

IRGC com­man­der warns Israel of deadly response
(Fars News Agency – August 20, 2014)

Gen­eral Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the com­man­der of the IRGC’s Air Force, threated Israel with retal­i­a­tion in the event of an Israeli strike against Iran. “The Zion­ist regime might have a deci­sion to make an aggres­sion against Iran, but it will cer­tainly come to the con­clu­sion that it has taken an imma­ture deci­sion after study­ing the out­comes and con­se­quences and the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran’s much pow­er­ful reaction.”

ebrahim-raeisi-iran

Ebrahim Raeisi

Huj­jat al-Islam Ebrahim Raeisi: “Amer­i­cans have com­mit­ted some of the worst crimes in the name of free­dom”
(Rasa News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Ebrahim Raeisi, the first deputy of the Iran­ian judi­ciary, gave a speech in the city of Qom, stat­ing, “The igno­rant Amer­i­cans have com­mit­ted some of the worst crimes upon human­ity in the name of free­dom.” The cleric also claimed that the West is pro­mot­ing the accep­tance of homo­sex­u­al­ity as a human right and as “a sign of free­dom and a char­ac­ter­is­tic of a civ­i­lized, lib­eral and mod­ern society.”

Iran’s civil, air defense bod­ies sign agree­ment to coop­er­ate in defend­ing N. sites
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Gho­lam Reza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Civil Defense Orga­ni­za­tion, announced this week that his orga­ni­za­tion has signed an agree­ment with other air defense bases to estab­lish a defense sys­tem to pro­tect the country’s nuclear sites. “Our enemy uses intel­li­gent power and we should make use of an intel­li­gent air defense sys­tem as well,” Jalali said dur­ing the sign­ing ceremony.

IRGC top advi­sor hails Iran’s mis­sile power
(Fars News Agency – August 19, 2014)

Gen­eral Komeil Kohansal, a top advi­sor to the IRGC, said dur­ing a visit to the north­ern city of Sari on Tues­day, that, “Today, Iran’s mis­sile sys­tems are ready to respond to any enemy threats.”

Com­mit­ting crimes now habit for Israel: Top cleric
(Press TV – August 19, 2014)

Senior Iran­ian leader and for­mer Pres­i­dent Aya­tol­lah Raf­san­jani said dur­ing an anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Tues­day that, “Com­mit­ting crimes has grown into a habit for Israel, and silence and sup­port­ing crim­i­nals has become rou­tine in inter­na­tional communities.”

Iran’s inte­grated air defense sys­tem impen­e­tra­ble
(Fars News Agency – August 18, 2014)

Gen­eral Ali Reza Sabahi­fard, the lieu­tenant com­man­der of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, boasted to reporters about Iran’s mil­i­tary prowess, stat­ing, “At present, every part of the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran’s air­space is con­nected to the inte­grated air defense net­work and the small­est move­ments can­not go unno­ticed by the eagle eyes of the air defense base.”

Israelis con­trol major world banks: Ana­lyst
(Press TV – August 18, 2014)

Dur­ing an inter­view with Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda net­work this week, Ken­neth O’Keefe, a London-based vir­u­lently anti-Israel activist, spewed anti-Semitic com­ments when he said: “It is beyond absur­dity that trea­so­nous gov­ern­ments have been allowed to actu­ally sign off the power of the peo­ple to print their own money through their rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment and instead give it to pri­vate bankers. The fact that they hap­pen to be Jew­ish is not an opin­ion, it is a fact. And it is that use of that money, that power that has been given to them that they use to be able to dom­i­nate the world as I have said buy­ing the media, the police, the mil­i­tary, the courts, the cor­po­ra­tion, all of it.”

Inter­na­tional Media

Under­stand­ing Iran’s inter­nal divi­sions
(The Wall Street Jour­nal, Op-Ed – August 20, 2014)

Haleh Esfan­di­ari, the direc­tor of the Mid­dle East pro­gram at the Woodrow Wil­son Inter­na­tional Cen­ter for Schol­ars, wrote that the recent impris­on­ment of sev­eral West­ern jour­nal­ists by the Iran­ian author­i­ties sig­ni­fies the greater power strug­gle between Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani and con­ser­v­a­tive ele­ments in the regime.

Iran cleric: West­ern­ized Ira­ni­ans no dif­fer­ent than IS
(Al-Monitor – August 20, 2014)

Alireza Panahian, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei, said dur­ing a cer­e­mony for an Iran­ian doc­u­men­tary this week, “The West­ox­i­fied among us are no dif­fer­ent from tak­firis and ISIS,” and that West­ox­i­fied Ira­ni­ans are “Zion­ist fifth columnists.”

Remem­ber­ing poet Simin Behba­hani, the ‘Lioness of Iran’
(The Wash­ing­ton Post – August 20, 2014)

Ear­lier this week Iran lost one of its most cel­e­brated poets, Simin Behba­hani, who was known for her fem­i­nist views and poetry that expressed her love for Iran.

One result of the Gaza con­flict: Iran and Hamas are back together
(Time – August 19, 2014)

After a falling out nearly three years ago over Hamas’s sup­port for Syr­ian rebels, the Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist group and its fore­most patron Iran appear to be on the path toward rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The new thaw is pur­port­edly due to Hamas’s ongo­ing con­flict with Israel, and Iran­ian lead­ers have begun voic­ing their sup­port of “the Pales­tin­ian resis­tance in dif­fer­ent ways.”

Bil­lion­aire named in suit against anti-Iran group
(The New York Times – August 18, 2014)

United Against Nuclear Iran, a lead­ing orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing to enforce sanc­tions against the Islamic Repub­lic by pub­li­ciz­ing com­pa­nies that do busi­ness with Tehran, is fac­ing a defama­tion law­suit by a Greek busi­ness­man. Last year the anti-Iran group had pub­li­cized Vic­tor Restis’s alleged busi­ness deal­ings with Iran.

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July 22, 2014 2

Anti-Israel Demonstrations Call for Boycott of Israel

On Mon­day, July 21, there were at least four anti-Israel demon­stra­tions held through­out the U.S. At these protests, demon­stra­tors held signs with slo­gans such as “Who would Jesus bomb?” and “Stop Israeli occu­pa­tion and apartheid,” while other pro­test­ers spoke out at a local City Coun­cil meet­ing to call for a boy­cott of Israel.

Here’s a round-up of what took place:

Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

A demon­stra­tion against the Chris­tians United for Israel Wash­ing­ton Sum­mit, orga­nized by CODEPINK and the Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Metro Jew­ish Voice for Peace chap­ter, brought out about 50 demon­stra­tors hold­ing signs with slo­gans such as “Who would Jesus bomb?,” “Rap­ture thru death of Pales­tini­ans???,” “Thou shalt not!! Kill #FreeGaza,” and “Netanyahu War Criminal.”

As atten­dees of the con­fer­ence walked inside to attend the evening pro­gram fea­tur­ing Israel’s Ambas­sador to the United States Ron Der­mer, the pro­test­ers chanted slo­gans and deliv­ered speeches. One pro­tester remarked to atten­dees, “Where in the Scrip­tures does Jesus say kill the chil­dren from the air? Where does he say bomb the hos­pi­tal? Where does he say blow up entire fam­i­lies? Where does he say engage in tor­ture? Cru­elty has noth­ing to do with Christianity.”

In addi­tion, some of the pro­test­ers made their way into the event and heck­led Ambas­sador Der­mer dur­ing his speech by scream­ing “free Pales­tine” five times. Those pro­test­ers were report­edly removed from the session.

dc-anti-israel-protest

 

Port­land, OR

Fewer than 50 pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the office of U.S. Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden to con­duct a “die-in.” Some of the par­tic­i­pants laid on the ground with mock tomb­stones placed on top of them, while oth­ers held signs call­ing for boy­cott, divest­ment, and sanc­tions and an end of aid to Israel.

portland-anti-israel-protest

 

Ann Arbor, MI

Three peo­ple report­edly spoke to the City Coun­cil yes­ter­day and urged them to hold a pub­lic hear­ing on a boy­cott of Israel. One of the speak­ers, Mozh­gan Sav­abieas­fa­hani, report­edly told the City Coun­cil that Israel is an “out­law state” and that they have been mur­der­ing Pales­tini­ans “since the begin­ning.” By the end of her com­ments, chants erupted to “Boy­cott Israel, Stop bomb­ing Gaza!”

ann-arbor-anti-israel-protest

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July 21, 2014 3

Weekend’s Anti-Israel Protests Feature More Nazi-Israel Comparisons

Over the week­end, close to 50 anti-Israel demon­stra­tions were held across the United States to protest Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. At these ral­lies, there were com­par­isons made between Israel and Nazi Ger­many and alle­ga­tions that Israel is com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. At one of the ral­lies, a speaker also called for “the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state.”

Please see below for a round-up of the protests:

July 20

Hous­ton, TX

About 75 pro­test­ers were present for a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sity of Houston’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter. Many of the pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Israeli geno­cide, under direct US guide,” “Israel out of Pales­tine now,” “Stop the Pales­tin­ian Holocaust/Genocide,” “The US is com­plicit in geno­cide,” and “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence, then Pales­tine deserves for us to never speak again!”

houston-anti-israel-protest

Chicago, IL

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers par­tic­i­pated in a march and demon­stra­tion with signs that stated “End this Holo­caust,” “I am Amer­i­can and I stand with Gaza because geno­cide is wrong!,” “It’s not self-defense it’s geno­cide.”  Another sign also showed a blood-stained Israeli flag with text that stated “Stop arm­ing the mur­der­ers of Humanity.”

chicago-anti-israel-protest

July 19

New York, NY

An anti-Israel demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine was held in Times Square on Sat­ur­day. This demon­stra­tion brought out a few hun­dred pro­test­ers who held signs with slo­gans like “Zionism=Fascism,” “New York­ers stand with Gaza against Israeli geno­cide,” and “His­tory repeats Itself, Nazism = Zion­ism,” (with the image of a Swastika an equal sign and the Star of David).

Yas­mine Kamel, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion (ISO), addressed the crowd at the protest and called for the destruc­tion of Israel, stat­ing, “This is part of a 66 year-old occu­pa­tion; a 66 year-old his­tory of abuse, of crimes, of mur­der of chil­dren; of an occupation…We have to con­tinue to resist the Israeli occu­pa­tion beyond today and beyond this assault on Gaza. We have to work for the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state and the return of all Pales­tin­ian refugees.”

new-york-anti-israel-protest

Fort Laud­erdale, FL

About 100 pro­test­ers demon­strated at the U.S. Fed­eral Cour­t­house at a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Al-Awda, the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR), the National Lawyers Guild South Florida, Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Palestine-Florida, and the Broward Green Party.

Many of the pro­test­ers were hold­ing signs that read, “This is not war it’s GENOCIDE,” “One Holo­caust doesn’t jus­tify another,” “1948+1967 = PALESTINE,” and “”ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE!” A num­ber of slo­gans were chanted, includ­ing “From the [Jor­dan] River to the [Mediter­ranean] Sea, Pales­tine will be free,” “Hey Obama shame on you! Kids are dying ‘cause of you!,” “Occu­pa­tion is a crime, from Iraq to Pales­tine!,” and “All the walls have got to go, from Iraq to Mexico!”

ft-lauderdale-anti-israel-protest

July 18

Philadel­phia, PA

Approx­i­mately 100 pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate hold­ing signs that con­tained slo­gans such as “Israel praises Moses, but acts like Pharaoh,” “Stop Israeli Holo­caust against Pales­tini­ans,” “No more racism, No more Zion­ism, No more Fas­cism,” and “Do you think that Israel is a vic­tim? Zion­ism = Nazism” (with the Swastika and Star of David shown next to one another).

philadelphia-anti-israel-protest

San Diego, CA

Around 150 pro­test­ers attended a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the San Diego chap­ter of Al-Awda. The pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Stop Gaza geno­cide,” “This Jew does not sup­port Israel’s GENOCIDE,” and “Blam­ing Pales­tine for fir­ing rock­ets at Israel is like blam­ing a woman for punch­ing her rapist.”

Many of the pro­test­ers engaged in chants of “Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with geno­cide!” “From the [Mediter­ranean] Sea to the [Jor­dan] River, Pales­tine for­ever!,” “Long live the Intifada, intifada, intifada,” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall!”

san-diego-anti-israel-protest

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