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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Leader’

Iran’s Holocaust Denial Film Strikes Deep Chord

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Iran’s Supreme Leader is once again working hard to incite the haters of the world against global Jewry.

On the day the United Nations marked for commemoration of the world’s worst genocide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei uploaded a three-minute, English-subtitled video denying the Holocaust to his website called “Are the Dark Ages Over?”

The film features audio of a March 2014 speech during which Khamenei claimed that “No one is European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is reality or not.

“Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened.”  Images of infamous British Holocaust denier David Irving and others are featured in the film.

In June, Iran has announced a contest for satirical cartoons relating to the Holocaust as part of the Teheran International Cartoon Biennial. The winner is to be awarded a prize of $50,000 – a sum four times that of the previous year.

Last year, Iran announced a similar Holocaust denial cartoon exhibit just days before the Al Qaeda/Da’esh terrorist attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine in Paris.

Israeli officials and Knesset members expressed their disappointment with France and Italy for inviting and hosting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – of all people – to visit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We all learned yesterday that the president of Iran, who we thought was a cruel and insensitive man who holds Holocaust denial exhibits, is actually such a sensitive person that the statues in Rome were covered in his honor, so as not to offend him,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein noted with sarcasm from the podium.

U.S. President Barack Obama was also blunt about the rising anti-Semitism around the world Wednesday in his speech at the Israel Embassy in Washington DC.

Obama declared that it would be necessary for American to take the lead in fighting the phenomenon. “We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise,” Obama said. “We cannot deny it… I’ve made sure that the United States is leading the global fight against anti-Semitism,” he said.

Ira Forman, the US State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism, told JNS.org, “We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial…and antisemitic speech,” Forman told JNS.org.

Yet in Europe, where Rouhani is being welcomed with open arms, at least some government leaders are still awake enough to warn others about what is coming.

Speaking in Brussels Wednesday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Jewish and European leaders, “It pains me that in today’s Europe Jews again fear for their lives; that they ask themselves ‘will I be safe going to a synagogue, or a Jewish job? Will my children be safe in a Jewish school… some consider leaving Europe for good because they no longer feel safe.”

It is the responsibility of Europe’s leaders to fight the “demons of anti-Semitism… intolerance” he said. “Some deny the Holocaust ever happened, they try to convince us that the pain and loss inflicted on innocent victims are illusions, are lies. What makes me angry every day is that these people are sitting in the parliament here. The Holocaust deniers are electted to the European parliament.”

At the start of January, following reports of the latest cartoon contest in Iranian media, Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-HaCohen wrote to Irina Bokova, director-general of the UN agency, to bring the issue to her attention. “It is time for UNESCO to demand accountability from the Iranian regime with regard to its malicious rhetoric, Holocaust denial and global negative activity.”

Hana Levi Julian

IranDeal Approved in Vote by Iranian Parliament

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Despite the media sword-rattling and threats by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s legislative body approved the Iranian nuclear deal in a vote on Tuesday.

“The bill to implement the JCPOA… was passed in a public session on Tuesday with 161 votes in favor,” reported Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

The parliamentary measure approving the deal, however, insisted that international inspectors will be limited in their access to Iranian military sites, according to the news agency.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Iran’s Rafsanjani Reiterates ‘Israel Will Be Wiped Off The Map’

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Once again, a top Iranian leader is speaking out and vowing the Jewish State will be obliterated. However, in the meantime the West makes a lot of money by taking advantage of its existence, he says.

“The presence of the Israeli regime is temporary,” Iranian Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani assured the Hezbollah-linked Al Ahd news website in an interview on Monday.

“Eventually one day this alien forged existence that has been forced into the body of an ancient nation and an historical region will be wiped off the map.”

Rafsanjani is a former ‘centrist’ Iranian president and is the current head of the country’s Expediency Discernment Council, the advisory body to Iran’s Supreme Leader. He is known to be a longtime friend of current President Hassan Rouhani.

Rafsanjani told the interviewer that “even Tel Aviv knows well that Iran is not after acquiring nuclear weapons,” the Iranian state news service IRNA reported.

However, he said, by preventing an accord between Iran and the West, “the Zionists wish to keep Iran engaged in problems permanently, knowing that the Islamic Republic’s political, economic, cultural and propagation status will all improve after such an agreement.”

Rafsanjani said he believes that one day “the forged and temporary Israeli entity, which is an alien existence forged into the body of a nation and region,” will be “wiped off the map.

“Now when, and how that will happen, depends on the conditions which are rapidly changing. Those conditions can be provided very soon if the usefulness period of Israel will expire,” he said. “It might as well take very long, as both Israel and its supporters are trying their best to extend its existence period till a very remote future.”

He also said, however, that because Israel is a “multipurpose stronghold” those who protect Israel can benefit greatly.

“Of course they spend a lot for protecting Israel, but they are still gaining greater benefits from its existence. One way to be benefited from Israel is that the West is selling arms to the Arab world on that pretext very easily, and pretending it is doing them a great favor,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran’s Supreme Leader Nixing Terms for Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Iranian nuclear scientists are expected to maintain their pace and make good progress in the field – with or without sanctions or a deal for relief – according to a report on state TV.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made it clear Tuesday that he has ruled out any freeze on sensitive nuclear work, state television reported.

The deal being offered by the six world powers (the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Russia and China) offers relief from sanctions imposed on Tehran, linked to verifications by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has halted its sensitive nuclear development program. The deal is to extend over a 10 year period.

In return, the UN is to lift the economic sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy, using a step-down system linked to IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear plants and research facilities.

But Iran’s Supreme Leader has nixed all that, and demands that sanctions be removed immediately as well.

“Freezing Iran’s research and development for a long time, like 10 or 12 years, is not acceptable,” Khamenei responded in a speech that was broadcast live over Iran state television.

“Sanctions should be lifted immediately when the deal is signed and it should not be linked to verification by the UN watchdog body.

“Inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines.

“America is hoping to destroy our nuclear industry altogether. Our negotiators’ aim is to safeguard Iran’s integrity … and our nuclear achievements during the talks.”

It is Khamenei who has the authority to make the final decision on anything dealing with nuclear technology in Iran; thus as it stands now, it is likely that unless he suddenly changes his mind – or the delegation is willing to accept his terms — the deal is likely to be scrapped.

Or talks will again be extended, as they have been twice before.

Negotiations so far are scheduled to end – “one way or the other” – on June 30.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been pressuring the world powers to walk away from “this bad deal” and warning Iran would not keep its end of the bargain. It has already been discovered that Iran was increasing its uranium enrichment production during the nuclear agreement talks, even though it had already committed to halting such production as a good faith measure during negotiations.

Israel maintains that Iran cannot be trusted to fulfill its side of any future deal, either.

Hana Levi Julian

Pressure on Iran Picking Up to Sign a Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

US Senate to Vote on Sanctions If No Iran Deal, EU Sanctions Already Reinstated

The United States Senate has threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not successful in shepherding a nuclear technology deal through talks between world powers and Iran.

The European Union has already reinstated sanctions against 40 Iranian companies, including dozens of shipping firms, in order to increase pressure on Iran to sign on the dotted line.

The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on firms that were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines carrier (IRISL) in January, saying the EU had not proved the IRISL was actively supporting nuclear proliferation.

IRISL attorney Maryam Taher told the Reuters news agency the move was “purely politically motivated and not based on any proper evidence. The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation.”

On Monday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that it could not state definitively that Iran’s nuclear program had no “military dimensions.” Issues meant to resolve suspicions of weaponization work remain, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in his report, despite what he called “good cooperation” from Tehran regarding the November 2013 comprehensive safeguards agreement.

However, he said, “We continue to verify the non-divergence of nuclear material declared by Iran, but we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.”

If international negotiators come up empty-handed this time around (they have already missed one deadline), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at a weekly news briefing “Another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy.”

If an agreement is signed, the lawmakers would pass a bill requiring the president to submit the deal to Congress for its approval. The bill also contains a provision that would temporarily remove Obama’s ability to waive sanctions.

Obama says he will veto both bills.

Negotiators took a break on Friday and reconvene this week as the March 31 deadline inches closer. World leaders will try again to close a deal with a nation whose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for “Death to America,” while its President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that an agreement could still be reached.

Hana Levi Julian

Head of Iran’s Top Clerical Body Dies

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

After lying in coma for months, 83-year-old Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani has died, Iranian media reported Tuesday.

The ailing ayatollah was the head of Iran’s top clerical body, the only entity which has the authority to elect and dismiss the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, whose position is higher than that of the country’s president.

Kani’s death leaves a gap at the top at a time in which the Supreme Leader himself is also in poor health. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei underwent prostate surgery last month but has remained frail ever since.

It is Khamenei who formulate’s Iran’s nuclear policy and he who makes all final decisions regarding any limits the country might accept on its future nuclear development.

He also wields a great deal of authority in deciding where and how to deploy the nation’s elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who are currently fighting alongside Syrian government forces defending President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran also generously patronizes the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization, as well as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria.

There have been only two Supreme Leaders in Iran since the country’s Islamic Revolution took place in 1979.

Hana Levi Julian

A Week after Phone Call, U.S., Iran, Exchange Doubts

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Entangled as he is, in a government shutdown in its fifth day, President Barack Obama devoted only a marginal portion of his interview with the Associated Press Saturday to his diplomatic outreach to Iran, in an attempt to bring an end to Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. A week or so after Obama’s phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani—the first direct talk between American and Iranian leaders in more than 30 years, some of the initial excitement appears to have given way to pragmatism.

“Rouhani has staked his position on the idea that he can improve relations with the rest of the world,” Obama told the AP. “And so far he’s been saying a lot of the right things. And the question now is, can he follow through?”

Obama acknowledged that Rouhani is not Iran’s only “decision-maker. He’s not even the ultimate decision-maker,” he added, alluding to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Israel and other countries have questioned whether Rouhani’s public relations effort represents real change in Iran’s leadership.

The supreme leader Khamenei himself said on Saturday that he supports Rouhani’s attempts at moving closer to the West, but said that the U.S. leader is “untrustworthy, arrogant, illogical and a promise-breaker.”

He could probably win if he ran on a Republican ticket in most southern and mid-western states…

“We support the movement in the government’s diplomacy, including the New York visit, since we hold trust in the government and we are optimistic about it, but some of what happened in the New York visit were not proper because we believe the U.S. administration is untrustworthy, conceited, illogical and unfaithful to its pledges,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing a cadets graduation ceremony in Tehran on Saturday.

Obama was careful to distance U.S. assessments of when Iran might have the capacity to build a nuclear weapon from what Israel is predicting. Israeli officials have been saying that Iran is a mere months away from building a bomb, but Obama said today that Tehran is at least a year away from having that capability.

The president used the same time frame last March, before his visit to Israel.

The Fars News agency reported that, in their phone conversation, Presidents Rouhani and Obama stressed the necessity for mutual cooperation on different regional issues. Then Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary Kerry were commissioned to begin follow up talks between the two countries.

“But after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, the US president made a U-turn, and said that ‘we take no options off the table, including military options,'” Fars complained, saying this “revealed the U.S. administration’s lack of independence and decision-making power.”

Oh, Bibi, Bibi, why must you rule so harshly over poor President Obama…

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-week-after-phone-call-u-s-iran-exchange-doubts/2013/10/05/

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