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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘IRNA’

A Compendium of Recent Iranian Foreign Policy Proposals

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Yigal Palmor of the Israeli Foreign Ministry sent me a compilation of recent Iranian ‘foreign policy proposals’. Useful to have them all in one place. I don’t know about you, but to me, they just don’t sound reasonable.

–”President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East…. ‘You want a new Middle East? We do too, but in the new Middle East … there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists’ … President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Quds Day Address, 17 August 2012; Reuters

–”The Israeli regime is a tool in the hands of Zionists to control the Middle-East and the entire world, Ahmadinejad stated. The Iranian president further stated that the International Quds Day is the day of unity among all human beings to remove the Zionist black stain from the human society.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Quds Day Address, 17 August 2012; Fars News Agency, Iran

–”President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad … said the very existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to the humankind and an affront to all world nations … The Iranian President further described the World Quds Day as an occasion for the unity of all human communities to wipe out this scarlet letter, meaning the Zionist regime, from the forehead of humanity.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Quds Day Address, 17 August 2012; IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency

–”Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei…. noted that liberating Palestine from the grip of Israel and its allies is a religious duty for all Muslims across the world.” Ayatollah Sayyid Khamenei – Statement made during a meeting with hundreds of veterans from the Iraq-Iran war, 15 August; Fars News Agency, Iran

–”General Amir Ali Hajizadeh … said if the Zionist hooligans embark on practicing their verbal threats, they will provide the best opportunity for the destruction of Israel because then the forged regime will be wiped out of the map and thrown into the trash bin of history for ever.” Commander of the Aero-Space Forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Bridadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh – Interview with IRNA; IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency

–”He [Ahmadinejad] added: ‘Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.’” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Speech to ambassadors from Islamic countries ahead of Quds Day, published on Ahmadinejad’s website on 2 August 2012

–”Zionists understand only the language of force, Ayatollah Khatami reiterated. He further noted that the Zionist regime will meet destruction through unity in the Islamic world.” Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami – Address to a large congregation of worshippers on Tehran University campus, 17 August 2012; Fars News Agency, Iran

–”Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami underlined the importance of this year’s International Quds Day (August 17, last Friday of the Ramadan) rallies, and said that ‘The nations of the region, which have toppled dictators, also have the power to annihilate the Zionist regime (Israel).’” Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami; Iran Daily Brief; Published: 14 August 2012

–”Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, said on Wednesday that the liberation of Palestine was top on the Islamic world agenda and predicted that ‘the fake Zionist regime would soon fade away from geography and every inch of the occupied territories be returned to Palestinians.’ Ayatollah Sayyid Khamenei -15 August; DPA and the Associated Press

–”Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an annual anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Friday that the Jewish state was a “cancerous tumour” that will soon be excised….’The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour,’ he said. ‘The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land…. A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,’ he said.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Quds Day Address, 17 August 2012;

–”Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said on Sunday that noble Quds and Palestine are the main issues of the world of Islam … Elsewhere in his address, the Ayatollah referred to ignorance of Muslim nations and governments for years and rule of the hegemonic powers over their fate as well as creation of the cancerous tumor of Zionism in heart of Muslim world … Zionism is a danger for entire humanity … “  Ayatollah Sayyid Khamenei – Address to officials and others, including ambassadors of Muslim states in Tehran, 19 August 2012;  IRNA – Islamic Republic News Agency

At Least 260 Dead, More than 2,100 injured, in Iran Earthquake (Updated)

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Two strong earthquakes struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing 250 people and injuring more than 2,000, with many buildings being reduced to rubble, and completely destroying 6 villages according to Iranian officials.

Thousands are fleeing their homes and staying outdoors, fearing more damage from aftershocks – at least 20 of which have hit the region.

Casualty figures will probably continue to rise, say Iranian officials, since many of the injured are in critical condition, and many civilians are still trapped under the rubble.

Iran is situated between two major fault lines and has endured a few devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 which demolished the southeastern historic city of Bam and killed at least 25,000 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured Saturday’s first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). A second quake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth.

Tabriz is a major city and trading hub far from Iran’s oil producing areas. Though buildings in the city are substantially built, homes and businesses in Iranian villages are often made of concrete blocks or mud brick that can crumble and collapse in a strong quake.

A second quake struck near the town of Varzaghan. “The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear,” the Fars news agency reported.

About 210 people in Varzaghan and Ahar have been rescued from under the rubble of collapsed buildings, the official IRNA news agency said, quoting a local official.

“So far 73 bodies from Varzaghan and Ahar have been handed over to the coroner’s office,” IRNA quoted Bahram Samadirad, a provincial official from the office, as saying.

He added, “Since some people are in a critical condition and rescue workers are still trying to rescue people from under the rubble, unfortunately it is possible for the number of casualties to rise.”

Indian Police: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Behind Attack on Israeli Diplomat

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The Delhi Police has concluded that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) was behind the February 13, 2012 bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat, according to a report by the Times of India.

The Delhi Police investigation report states that the suspects began planning the attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and other countries in January 2011 with the help of a local Indian journalist named Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, in apparent retaliation for the as-yet unsolved assassinations of a number of Iranian nuclear scientists. Kazmi, a veteran freelance journalist who worked part-time for Iran’s news agency IRNA, was the first person arrested in connection with the attack. The report revealed that Kazmi had established relations with the individuals – and by extension the IRGC – almost 10 years prior to the attacks, suggesting that the Iranian regime has established a significant covert network in India.

In the attack, Tali Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry’s representative to India, was injured when a motorcyclist attached a magnetic bomb to the embassy car in which she was driving in.

The report identifies five IRGC members in the car bombing, and while Delhi Police passed the details on to Iran in the hopes of obtaining more information, Iran has thus far been uncooperative. Houshang Afshar Irani, the central suspect, was the motorcyclist who attached the bomb to Yehoshua-Koren’s car, and he stated on his tourist visa that his profession in Iran was in building construction.

Sedaghatzadeh Masoud was accused by the Delhi police of being the operational head of the cell, and of planning not only the Delhi attack but the thwarted attack of the same nature on the same day in Tbilisi, Georgia and the botched attack against Israeli diplomats in Bangkok the following day. His profession was listed as sales employee in a commercial company in Iran.

The other suspects are Syed Ali Mahdiansadr, Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi, and Ali Akbar Norouzishayan. The investigation concluded that the five suspects entered the country on tourist visas and left immediately after the attack.

The police report also found that the cell extended beyond the five IRGC members, to include an Iranian woman – identified as Leila Rohani – who is suspected of playing a supporting role in the attacks in Delhi, Tbilisi, and Bangkok. The police allege that Rohani assisted the IRGC cell in the Bangkok attack of February 14 by finding them an apartment, and absconded to Tehran before police could arrest her.

At the time, Israel blamed Iran for the “coordinated series of attacks.”

World Powers Begin New Round of Iran Talks with Little Hope for Progress

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Another round of nuclear talks began on Monday in Moscow, with diplomats representing the six-nation ‘P5+1′ (US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany) pessimistic that a breakthrough will occur in the ongoing stand-off with Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Heading into this the third round of negotiations since talks resumed in April, EU spokesman Michael Mann said: “We haven’t seen engagement on the Iranian side yet. We’re not prepared to talk for the sake of talking, we need to drive things forward.”

Western diplomats continue to accuse Iran of foot-dragging and obfuscation, noting that the five-point proposal presented by the Islamic Republic in Baghdad last month calls for discussions on matters that are tangential to the nuclear issue. Yet the P5+1 continues to hold out hope that Iran will finally “engage seriously” the proposal that the six-nation bloc made last month. The proposal calls on Iran to stop enriching its uranium to 20% – which brings it close to the threshold of weapon’s grade. It offers Iran badly-needed spare parts for civilian airliners, medical isotopes, and nuclear safety cooperation as incentives to agreement. Iran’s negotiator, Saeed Jalili has already rejected these these terms as insufficient, and is demanding an immediate easing of current economic sanctions and suspension of the onerous sanctions set to be imposed by the EU next month. It appears the sides are headed for another fruitless round of talks though, as the EU indicated it has no intention of to postponing the sanctions.

An Iranian diplomat accompanying the Iranian delegation in Moscow told Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA that Iran would not even acquiesce to another round of negotiations unless the P5+1 accepts its proposal. The diplomat also elaborated on the uncompromising stance Iran would take in the negotiations: “The least expected by Iranian negotiators [...] is acknowledging Iran’s right to uranium enrichment. If they do not admit Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment in Moscow, therefore the talks will surely fail… Iran does not fear the failure of negotiations anyhow.”

The Obama administration is facing increasing pressure to break off with the Islamic regime in the face of continued Iranian intransigence. 44 senators sent the President a bi-partisan letter on Friday demanding actual concessions from Iran to continue negotiations.”It is past time for the Iranians to take the concrete steps that would reassure the world that their nuclear program is, as they claim, exclusively peaceful. Absent these steps, we must conclude that Tehran is using the talks as a cover to buy time as it continues to advance toward nuclear weapons capability.”

The letter, coordinated by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), calls on Iran to implement the steps proposed by the P5+1 in Baghdad, which they said is the “absolute minimum” required to “demonstrate a level of commitment by Iran to the process and could justify continued discussions beyond the meeting in Moscow.” The letter is signed by, among others, Charles Schumer (D-NY), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Meanwhile in Israel, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon Yaalon told Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Friday that if Israel has to choose between Iran having a nuclear bomb and bombing Iran, it will opt for the latter. He also said that Israel is not bluffing when it comes to decisive action to stop Iran and does not need an American ‘green light’ for a military strike. He predicted that the Iranian crisis will culminate in the coming months.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/world-powers-begin-new-round-of-iran-talks-with-little-hope-for-progress/2012/06/18/

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