Iran Daily Brief February 14, 2012 – Full Report

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International Affairs

Iranian ambassador to Moscow: Iran will take action against US interests around the world and has a list of retaliatory attacks – Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow stated, “If the United States attacks Iran, it would be a serious, suicidal mistake. If United States were to attack Iran, Iran would use its power to attack US interests around the world. Iran has already prepared a list of retaliatory attacks, which would definitely cause despair and a feeling of helplessness in the US.

Ahmadinejad: “Resistance is the only way to liberate occupied Palestinian territories” – Ahmadinejad met with visiting (Gaza-based Hamas) Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and said the that the Zionist regime [Israel] and its supporters have acute weak points and that resistance is the only way to liberate occupied Palestinian territories and Holy Qods al-Sharif [Jerusalem]. He said that the Zionist regime [Israel] is a means in the hands of the arrogant power to suppress the Muslims worldwide and that Palestine represents the resistance of all Muslims to the occupying Zionist regime. Ahmadinejad said that humanity is currently going through a critical period and that resistance must withstand the hegemonic powers in order to make justice prevail in the world. More VP: “The Palestinian nation and resistance should know that the Iranian nation always support them and as long as there is resistance, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be beside the resistance and the Palestinian nation.”

Deputy FM: Saudi Arabia’s offer to pass a UN resolution against Syria harms regional security – Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, said this act by Saudi Arabia is in fact repetition of recent resolution proposed against Syria in the UN Security Council, which was vetoed by Russia and China. He said that Iran believes that such hasty measures only served the goals of alien forces. He added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reforms have been warmly welcomed by the public, adding: “In the coming days we will witness the implementation of reforms.” Abdollahian referred to recent terrorist acts in Syria, and said that the terrorist moves are against the Syrian people and government aim to undermine resistance against the Zionist regime [Israel]. Mir- Abdollahian described resumption of Arab League mission in Syria as fruitful.

Iranian engineers abducted while working at Syria’s Jandar power plant released – An informed source at the Energy Ministry said that the Iranians were engaged in construction of the first gas unit of Jandar Combined Cycle Power Plant in Syria before being kidnapped near Homs on December 20.

Iran urges Azeri government to stop the Mossad’s operation against Iran and halt systematic anti-Iran propaganda in Azeri media – The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “Following the movement of the terrorists involved in assassination of Iranian scientists in Azerbaijan Republic and the facilities provided for them to go to Tel Aviv in collaboration with Mossad (Israeli) spy network, Azeri Ambassador to was summoned to Foreign Ministry to hear Iran’s protest.” The Foreign Ministry Director General for the Commonwealth of Independent States and Caucasus delivered a letter of protest calling on the Azeri government to stop anti-Iran operations of Mossad spy networks in Azeri territory. Iranian Foreign Ministry also protested to the Azeri government over inappropriate behavior of Azeri officials towards representatives of Iranian institutions in Azerbaijan, systematic anti-Iran propaganda in Azeri media and stopping Iranian trucks traveling on Astara-Baku highway. It called an end to such unfriendly behavior towards Iran.

Leader’s Advisor for International Affairs: Iran heralds Islamic awakening across the globe – Supreme Leader’s Advisor for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati and the Secretary General for Global Assembly of Islamic Awakening said that “Iran is the flag-bearer of the Islamic awakening in Muslim World… mobilized Muslims across the world to stand against global arrogance“. Referring to the various congresses on Islamic Awakening hosted in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Velayati underlined that the issue has astonished the whole world. “We are determined to pave the path of late Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with much more strength.” Velayati added that the enemies have targeted Iran as the cradle of Islamic awakening which puts much more responsibility ‘on our shoulders.’

Ambassador to Jordan: Americans are strategically incapable of engaging in a long-lasting war in the region – Mostafa said, “Iran favors enhancement of ties and exchange of delegations at different levels between two countries, especially given the fact that reforms and elections are among the government’s policies in Jordan.” Asked about the possibility of the outbreak of a new war in the region by the US, he said that the Americans have prepared the tactical requirements for a war in the region such as bringing warships, but they are strategically incapable of engaging in a long-lasting war in the region. Everyone should come to understand that the main cause of crisis in the region is the Zionist regime’

Interior Minister heads Iranian delegation to international anti-drug meeting in Vienna Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar is at the head of the high-ranking delegation that will attend the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Paris Pact Partners on Fight Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs. Senior officials from 55 countries will attend the meeting slated for February 16 in Vienna.

Military Affairs

Ambassador to UN: “Iran is ready to talk with 5+1 GroupMohammad Khazaee said (NPR) that the Iranian government is ready to hold serious talks with the 5+1 Group, but it will never negotiate its just rights. “Those who suppose that Iran will change its rational and principled behavior are badly mistaken. He stressed, “The Iranian nation has never compromised on its inalienable rights throughout the history… Iran considers Israel as the prime suspect in the field of possessing nuclear weapons and not abiding by the non-proliferation treaties (NPT). The international community should exert pressure on the Zionist regime to join the NPT.” He added that “Iran is not pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program but is merely pursuing a civilian nuclear program… The Zionist regime [Israel] is not in a position to comment on Iran’s nuclear program”. He then added, “Israel has a long track record in criminal acts against the people of the world and also in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, hence it should be considered as a cancerous tumor in the Middle East region… If they [Israel] dare to attack Iran, very dreadful consequences will be awaiting the Zionist regime and those who support it… If Iran’s nuclear sites and Iran’s interests in general will be attacked, Iran like any other country will defend itself with full force.” Head of Passive Defense Organization: “Most enemy threats target our nuclear energy facilities as well as electronic trade and banking operations” – Brig-Gen Gholamreza Jalali said that “Most enemy threats target our nuclear energy facilities as well as electronic trade and banking operations.” Jalali added that in addition to “Stuxnet,” Iran has discovered two espionage viruses, “Stars and “Doku” but that the malware did no harm to Iran’s nuclear or industrial sites. Jalali described “Doku” as “it only spies and gathers information…. Doku has not created any trouble for Iranian industrial organizations.” Jalali also said, “Iranian experts possess adequate knowledge to confront cyber threats. All nuclear facilities in Iran are immune from cyber attacks.” He said all three attacks had been stopped and the viruses cleaned up from systems. “Many viruses are produced in the world every day, and (Iran’s) cyber defense headquarters monitors them. So far there has been no destructive impact inside Iran.”

IRGC Ground Forces Commander: IRGC to stage new ground military drills –Commander of the IRGC Ground Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said IRGC Ground Force have planned to mount a new military exercises by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20). He added that IRGC is completely prepared to strike back at any act of aggression against Iran, and all earlier maneuvers had been successful. He added that said the main purpose of IRGC military drills is to improve the combat preparedness of Iranian forces for any possible military attack. Pakpour classified IRGC drills carried out during the current Iranian calendar year into three levels of tasks, saying the Shohaday-e Vahdat (Martyrs of Unity) maneuvers, which were staged in the vicinity of Khaf city last month, sought to enhance the combat capabilities of IRGC armored forces, and practice asymmetric war tactics against a mock enemy. The IRGC commander also said all the elements of aerial combat were put into practice during the Hamiyan-e Velayat (Supporters of the Just Jurisprudent) military exercises, which ran from February 4 to 5 near Jahrom in southern Iran. Pakpour said the upcoming IRGC drills were meant to strengthen the defensive preparedness of Iranian ground forces.

Economic Affairs

Iran, German traders to participate in int’l forum in Tehran Iranian and German traders are to take part in an international forum in Tehran on February 15. The forum will be held with an aim of making further interactions between the traders and manufactures of the two countries. German international fair managers from different cities such as Berlin are to participate in the Tehran forum.

Turkey resumes gas imports from Iran – Turkey’s Energy Minister said that Turkey resumed the imports of natural gas from Iran after a halt caused by technical difficulties. “There would not be any shortage of natural gas, for the country’s residential as well as industrial areas,” adding the volume of Iran’s gas transfer to Turkey is satisfactory. He said that Iranian technical experts have made the needed repairs to the relevant pump, adding Iran’s natural gas flow to Turkey will increase in stages.

The supply of natural gas from Iran and Azerbaijan to Turkey fell on Tuesday due to technical glitches in both countries’ compressor stations. Spokesman for the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Majid Boujarzadeh, said that Iran is currently exporting 30 million cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey and, “If Turkey’s gas supply network has enough capacity to receive more gas, Tehran is ready to give more gas to Ankara.”

Human Rights

Ongoing persecution of the Christian minority –

Christian converts arrested in Shiraz At least 10 Christian converts were arrestedon Wednesday in Shiraz at a residence that was used as a church. The Human Rights Activists News Agency reports that plainclothes forces raided the home where Christians gathered to observe religious practices and ceremonies. The families of the detainees have not been able to ascertain their location and, so far, have not been informed of the charges against them.

Christian clergyman arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence – Reverend Masis Mossian, minister of a church in the Narmak neighborhood of Tehran was arrested last week. Agents from the Ministry of Intelligence made the arrest at his workplace. It has now become known that he is being held in the Rajaï Shahr Prison and is not permitted to meet with his family.

Christian student suspended from university – Fatemeh Nouri, a Christian student was suspend from studies for one year, on charges that she participated in a Christian ceremony in a church, blasphemy and harming the national security.

Iran denies arresting several members of the Baha’i minority on suspicion that they were involved in the “tension in the foreign currency market” – In response to a journalist’s question about rumors that several members of the Baha’i community had been arrested on suspicion of creating tension in the foreign currency and gold markets, Iranian Prosecutor and Judiciary Spokesman Mohseni-Ejei responded that nobody in Iran is arrested for ideological or religious reasons, and even if some members of the Baha’i minority were arrested in this matter, this has no connection to their belongings to the Baha’i minority. In Iran, only people who have broken the law are arrested, without any regard for their religion. He confirmed that several people, who were, in his words, involved creating tension in the foreign currency and gold markets had been arrested but the investigation was still in its preliminary stages.

Demonstrations in Iran against continued use of contract employees – A group of municipal employees in Tabriz demonstrated in front of the district office to protest non-compliance with the order to stop using manpower companies, and demanded that the employment situation in the municipality be regularized. According to one of the employees, despite the cabinet decision and instructions to sign direct employment contracts with workers, not via manpower companies, the city of Tabriz is still not following the instructions.

Teacher and teachers’ rights activist exiled from her city – The Appeal Court ordered Nabialla Basatan, a teacher from Shahre Kord and activist on behalf of teachers’ rights exiled to another city, Borujerd, for five years after serving a six month sentence.

Ministry of Intelligence summons Kurdish students for questioning – The Ministry of Intelligence summoned three students from the Kurdish minority for questioning at ministry headquarters in Marivan. The three are Jiar Salamatian, Esmaeil Ravangard, and Aziz Tazik. Currently there is no information about their condition.

Blogger meets her family after 24 days – Arrested journalist and blogger Parastoo Dokouhaki has been allowed to meet with her family after 24 days without communications. The meeting was held under the supervision of several security agents.

Domestic Affairs

Students report conspicuous security presence at Tehran University since yesterday – Reports have been received of a massive presence of internal security forces and university guards who are carefully observing all entrances and exits of Tehran University and patrolling the campus. Security forces on motorcycles are patrolling the area in a loud, conspicuous manner, in order to arouse awe and fear in students prior to the anniversary of the protests on February 14 and in response to the call for quiet protests on campus.

Calls of “Allah Akhbar – Allah is Great” return to the streets of Tehran – In advance of the anniversary of the protests on February 14 green student organizations published a call for shouts pf “Allah Akhbar – Allah is Great” in the early morning hours of Monday, as a protest against human rights violations and economic situations in the country, as well as to demand that their fellow students and all political prisoners, including leaders of the Green Movement, be released.

Iran blocks access to e-mail inboxes and important search engines, apparently in preparation for launching the Iranian “inner-net” –

Internet speed in Iran reduced to a crawl – Web users in Iran have reported a sharp reduction in internet speed and a lack of access to several prominent websites. The Entekhab website reports that internet speed has been severely reduced for several hours, access to Yahoo and Facebook have become impossible. The report adds that that in the early hours of last Wednesday morning (February 8), the internet was completely cut off for several hours all across the country. More

Furthermore, Access to internet mail services including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo has been blocked for more than 30 million internet users in Iran. Many Iranian citizens use these e-mail services and have been disconnected from their mailboxes for several days now.

Google isn’t an appropriate search engine for Iranian surfers because it serves the CIA – Mahmood Reza Aghamiri, a member of the committee that develops the list of banned internet content said that he understands and agrees that the filtering of sites is sometimes too conservative and radical. He said that if the Ministry of Communications would provide surfers with clear, transparent information about filtering, it would solve the problem.

Later, he added that uniform, local filtering will soon be implemented with the assistance of the ministry, and all problems will be resolved. Almost all of the bandwidth reaching Iran is unified and filters can screen all incoming and outgoing traffic for illegal content. Sites and content that do not go through the gateway, and which are hosted within Iran, require manual filtering. He related to the disruption of Internet access to search engines and e-mail during the last few days, and emphasized that some sites, especially search engines, do not provide their usual services on particular occasions. In any case, Google never was an appropriate search engine for Iranian surfers because it serves the CIA. This includes Gmail, a service which is very popular among many portions of the population and which may aid those who disrupt the public order, harm security and create trouble.

Conservative Internet sites join Internet protests in Iran – After five days in which Internet service was disrupted, conservative websites have joined those protesting blocking the access of nearly 30,000,000 users to their e-mail inboxes. Since last Thursday, Iranian Internet users have not had access to e-mail servers and all foreign sites have been blocked. Hezbollah cyber activists have published various statements in the last few days, expressing their criticism of this measure taken by the regime. However the government is currently responding to this criticism with an apparent lack of concern. Sites criticizing the blockage include the conservative site Alef, and Asr Iran which said that this is an expression of their regime’s disrespect for the public.

Silence speaks louder than words – Those responsible for Internet service in Iran have been silence regarding the fact Iranians have been disconnected from e-mail services. Mehr News reports that all of its inquiries to the responsible parties about the blockage of foreign sites and e-mail services have gone unanswered. The responsible people are not providing a clear explanation.

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