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June 18, 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

Iraq, Syria and Palestine victims of Zionist sedition
(Mehr News Agency – June 18, 2014)

During a parliamentary session, a representative from the city of Mashhad accused the U.S. and Israel of being “behind all these seditions” in Iraq, Syria and Palestine, while Iran, he maintained, “seeks unity among all Muslims of the region and whole world.”

Iran is not prepared to work alongside America; Even Hitler never committed such inhumane crimes as ISIS has*
(Mehr News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Secretary of the Expediency Council and former presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai made claims that “ISIS is a program of the Zionists and reactionaries in the region who are trying to redirect the Islamic Awakening [Arab Spring] away from America and Israel and toward Islam instead.”

Basij commander blames US for volatile situation in Iraq
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the head of the Basij, said during a speech during a visit to a northern province that the takeover of large parts of Iraq by ISIS is “the result of the United States’ behind-the-scene attempts to sow discord and they are certainly the main mastermind of these events.”

Report: US training ISIL militants in Jordan
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

Citing an online Arabic news site, Fars claims that a Jordanian official disclosed that “American forces trained the ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant] recruits in a secret military base in Jordan in 2012.”

Iranian speaker: Terrorists strengthened by US incorrect approach
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

While addressing a forum in southern Iran, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani said that America’s mismanagement and the “incorrect strategies of the westerners, especially the Americans, in confronting the phenomenon of terrorism,” have in reality “strengthened the terrorists in some cases.”

hossein-firouzabadi-iran

Hossein Firouzabadi

No presence of Iranian forces in Iraq; There has never been cooperation between Iran and America*
(Fars News Agency – June 18, 2014)

In a speech during the funeral of a well-known IRGC commander, Major General Hossein Firouzabadi, the head of the armed forces, said, “There are no Iranian forces present in Iraq and cooperation between Iran and America will never happen and has no meaning.”

Iran, Powers continue work on drafting final deal in hectic day of diplomacy
(Fars News Agency – June 17, 2014)

Speaking to reporters following a full day of meetings between Iranian and Western negotiators, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the meetings were “constructive and positive.”

Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah: With the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei out holy sites are secure*
(Kayhan – June 17, 2014)

Speaking at an anniversary event in Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah reiterated that “Hezbollah is ready to fight a war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq.”

Commander: Iran’s enemies weaker than ever
(Fars News Agency – June 12, 2014)

IRGC Commander General Hossein Salami said during a speech while vising the northern province of Semnan last week that Iran “is more powerful than ever before,” and its enemies are at their weakest position.

Official: Iran’s aid help Palestinian Resistance overcome problems
(Fars News Agency – June 11, 2014)

In an interview with Fars News, former Hamas advisor Youssef Rezqeh said, “The relentless supports of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its stances in supporting the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip in the last 7 years have helped the government to overcome many problems and obstacles. Rezqeh added, “The Palestinian resistance movement has always thanked Iran for its support for Palestine, especially after the (Israeli) 2009 and 2012 wars.”

Passage of legislation on “Political Crimes” by judicial parliamentary commission*
(Fars News Agency – June 10, 2014)

New legislation passed in parliament will provide a broad spectrum of what will constitute “political crimes,” which will include individual or political groups against the system of government, any movement to “reform” the system of the Islamic Republic, and defaming or insulting the heads of the three branches of government.

Inter­na­tional Media

Iranian leader vows to protect holy sites in Iraq
(The New York Times – June 18, 2014)

Speaking on Iranian television, President Hassan Rouhani warned that the Islamic Republic would take the necessary steps needed to defend Shiite holy sites in Iraq from ISIS. “Regarding the holy Shia shrines in Karbala, Najaf, Kadhimiya and Samarra, we announce to the killers and terrorists that the big Iranian nation will not hesitate to protect holy shrines,” Rouhani said.

Saudis give apparent warning to Iran: don’t meddle in Iraq
(Reuters – June 18, 2014)

The Saudi Foreign Ministry warned Iran to refrain from intervening in the Iraq conflict as Iranian authorities have threatened to protect Shiite holy sites at all costs.

The United States should not cooperate with Iran on Iraq
(The Washington Post Op-Ed – June 17, 2014)

Michael Doran and Max Boot write in their opinion piece that “The idea that the United States, a nation bent on defending democracy and safeguarding stability, shares a common interest with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a revolutionary theocracy that is the No.1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world, is as fanciful as the notion that Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler could work together for the good of Europe.

With war at doorstep, Iran sees its Revolutionary Guards in a kinder light
(The New York Times – June 17, 2014)

Attitudes toward the IRGC are changing as the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in neighboring Iraq increases.

Iran is not an ally in Iraq
(The Washington Institute – June 17, 2014)

Michael Singh, the managing director of The Washington Institute, argues that an Iran-America alliance to fight ISIS could actually make condition worse in Iraq.

Iran, U.S. signal openness to cooperation on Iraq
(The Washington Post – June 16, 2014)

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hinted that the U.S. has not ruled out possible cooperation with Iran in protecting the Iraqi government against ISIS.

Iran eases constraints on academic contacts with West
(The New York Times – June 15, 2014)

President Rouhani’s administration has begun lifting some restrictions on university collaboration with foreign professors. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has similarly eased economic sanctions to allow American colleges to establish partnerships with their Iranian counterparts.

Soccer breeds nationalism and anti-regime protests in Iran
(The Washington Post – June 15, 2014)

Iran’s participation in the World Cup Games has worried officials that citizen may use the opportunity to stage anti-regime protests, and have therefore banned large game viewings in cities.

Iran’s Zoroastrians celebrate Persian roots
(The Washington Post – June 15, 2014)

The Zoroastrian religion, the monotheistic religion of ancient Iran prior to the Arab invasion, is experiencing a revival of religious life in Iran. Zoroastrians gathered last week at Chak Chak, a holy site, to celebrate their Persian roots and pray in remembrance of a princess who fled the seventh century Arab invasion.

Mohammad Javad Zarif: Iran is committed to a peaceful nuclear program
(The Washington Post Op-Ed – June 13, 2014)

Foreign Minister Zarif wrote an op-ed expressing his country’s commitment to a peaceful nuclear program while warning that “Illusions have in the past led to missed opportunities.”

Building nuclear weapon would take years, no months, Iran says in report
(The New York Times – June 12, 2014)

The Iranian government released a study detailing how long it would theoretically take its scientists to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s Deputy FM: If nuke talks fail, we’ll resume enrichment
(Ha’aretz – June 12, 2014)

Deputy Foreign Minister Araqchi said during a conference in Rome last week that “Iran will return to 20 percent enrichment if a deal cannot be reached… failure to reach a deal will be a disaster for everyone.”

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April 9, 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

FM: Iran’s negotiations with Powers not related to economic pressures

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

While addressing expatriate Iranian researchers and university professors in Vienna before the resumption of talks with the P5+1, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “The Iranian nation has opted for negotiations based on its moderate spirit and its tendency for moderation and interactions. He also added, “If anyone thinks that the Iranian nation has chosen negotiations due to the economic pressures, he/she is definitely wrong in his/her analysis.”

Iran’s overhauled warship proves successful in joint drills with Oman

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)

Following the completion of joint naval drills with Oman on Monday, Deputy Commander of the Navy for Operations Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said, “[The] Shamshir missile-launcher warship is capable of firing different mid-range and long-range surface-to-surface missiles, including Nour and Qader, or any other type of missile after its recent overhaul.”

Commander raps West for double-standards towards human rights issues

(Fars News Agency – April 9, 2014)ali-fadavi-irgc-iran

In response to last week’s European Union resolution criticizing Iran’s human rights violations, Brigadier General and Commander of the IRGC Ali Fadavi said, “The enemies of the Islamic Revolution consider justice and Human Rights to be in their right places when they serve the interest of company-owners, domineering power and international Zionism.”

Zarif questions EP’s legitimacy to preach on human rights

(Tasnim News Agency – April 6, 2014)

Following the European Union’s resolution against Iran on human rights, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded with: “Given the political weight, laws and the recent history in Europe…, it is obvious that the European Parliament lacks legitimacy and popularity to preach to the others on observing the human rights.”

Ayatollah Kermani: The people of Iran will not permit the Europeans to establish a new den of spies*

(Basij News Agency – April 4, 2014)

Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, one of Tehran’s Friday prayer leaders, responded to the EU’s human rights resolution against Iran by telling the faithful that “The people of Iran will not allow the European Union to open a new spy den in the country.”

IRGC Commander: Iran to give ‘stunning’ response to enemies’ threats

(Fars News Agency – April 3, 2014)

Commander of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force Qassem Suleimani boasted of Iran’s prowess over its enemies. “The enemies do not realize that the Iranian people are able to astound them. Relying on its devoted nation, our country will strongly confront any threat posed by the enemies,” Suleimani said in Southern Kerman province.

Inter­na­tional Media

 

Iran’s supreme leader: Nuclear talks should continue, but without concessions

(Ynet – April 9, 2014)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei confirmed that negotiations will continue; however, he emphasized that “all should know that negotiations will not stop or slow down any of Iran’s activities in nuclear research and development.”

Spain arrests four accused of attempting to export equipment to Iran

(CNN – April 8, 2014)

One Iranian and three Spaniards were arrested by Spanish authorities for secretly trying to export industrial equipment to Iran that could be used to make missile parts or enrich uranium.

Iran’s choice for U.N. post denied entry into the U.S.

(The New York Times – April 7, 2014)

The U.S. Senate voted against issuing a visa to Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations due to charges that he was involved in the 1979 United States Embassy hostage-taking crisis in Tehran.

Chinese man, Iran firms charged in nuclear export case

(Bloomberg – April 4, 2014)

A Chinese national and two Iranian firms were charged with conspiring to export devises that can be used to enrich uranium.

Iran must see ramifications if nuclear talks fail, former advisors say

(The Wall Street Journal – April 4, 2014)

Two former advisers to the Obama Administration call for the White House and Congress to increase the threat of using military force against Iran if talks fail.

Boeing, GE say get U.S. license to sell spare parts to Iran

(Reuters – April 4, 2014)

Boeing and General Electric Co. announced that they had received licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department to export some spare parts for Iran’s aging commercial aircrafts.

Iranians avoid bad luck with outdoor festival

(The Sun Herald – April 2, 2014)

A report on the Iranian festival of “Sizdeh Bedar,” the last day of the long Persian New Year celebration.

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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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