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July 25, 2014

Iran’s Khamenei Calls Israel’s Destruction The “Only Remedy”

Update — July 26: Shortly following the conclusion of Al Quds Day rallies in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s official Twitter handle posted a graphic, titled “9 key questions about elimination of Israel,” which outlines Khamenei’s vision of destroying Israel and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a referendum, as mentioned in his speech on Thursday, July 24.   

 
“The only remedy is the destruction of Israel,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said to a packed auditorium at Tehran University on July 24.

Khamenei’s call for Israel’s destruction is the latest in the steady escalation of anti-Israel rhetoric from the Iranian regime that remained mostly silent as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas militants in Gaza.

In his speech to university students, which was broadcast live by Iran’s broadcasting authority, Khamenei referred to Israel’s establishment as “illegitimate” and based on the murder of the Palestinian people. Khamenei also repeated the Iranian regime’s call for a referendum to be held in Israel and the Palestinian Territories so that the “residents may choose what kind of governing regime” they want. This suggestion is popular among proponents of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Domestic Iranian print media has also amped up its anti-Israel hostility in anticipation of Friday’s Al Quds Day protests, an annual day of protest against Israel initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, by publishing quotes from various high-ranking officials heaping praise on Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Israeli cities. State-run publications, such as Fars News, have published anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a pool of Palestinian blood in the shape of the Gaza Strip, and images of stereotypical Jewish figures killing Palestinian children. Iranian media published similar anti-Semitic cartoons during Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Ara­bic term for Jerusalem is com­mem­o­rated annu­ally with mass ral­lies and speeches on the last Fri­day of Ramadan. It has tra­di­tion­ally been marked by hos­tile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, includ­ing bla­tant anti-Semitism, at protests held in the Middle East and across cities in Europe and the United States.

netanyahu-gaza-blood-anti-semitic

iran-anti-semitic-cartoon-blood

 

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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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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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