Iran News Round Up March 1, 2012

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei‘s speech on Tuesday. Video:
  • Abd al-Hossein Rouh-al-Amini, Development and Justice party general secretary whose son was killed in police custody in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election: “Ahmadinejad was not without guilt in the post election events.”
  • Mashreq runs a backgrounder on parliamentary elections in Iran since 1980.
  • Shafaf News runs a chronological backgrounder on the formation of the United Principled Alliance.
  • News stories about the Islamic Resistance Front:
    • Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi addresses members of the Revolutionary Guards:
      • “We were under circumstances in which the elected president in reality acted against Islam, the Imam [Khomeini] and the interests of the state. He was even guilty in shedding the blood of hundreds of innocent martyrs… Despite the president being elected by the people, [the voters] did not know him and were deceived by his appearances… One can’t say there was electoral fraud and that he came to power by fraud. There was no fraud. However, there was lack of knowledge. After that some events took place and we understood that we were mistaken [in our support to Ahmadinejad].”
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Mojtaba Mesbah Yazdi officially begins his political career by speaking at the last Islamic Resistance Front seminar prior to the parliamentary election. Mojtaba said: “Opposing the Resistance Front is opposition to original Islam.”
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Morteza Agha-Tehrani calls the existence of the Islamic Resistance Front “a divine act of benevolence.”

Diplomacy

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes:
    • “The al-Khalifa must have realized that with the present conditions Bahrain’s crisis will not end. The crisis will only end when the popular will is realized. The majority of the Bahraini people do not consider the present regime a legal regime, demand its resignation and want free elections. Foreign governments, too, contribute to the crisis in Bahrain and prevent the victory of the people. In the Bahrain issue as well it is the Saud clan which plays a major role in debilitating the popular struggle of the Bahrainis. The Saud clan fears that establishment of a popular regime in Bahrain in which the majority of the people are Shi’a would create problems to the Saudi society and the regime in Riyadh. They fear that the revolution would spread to Saudi Arabia. Under any circumstances, such attempts can’t prevent the victory of the popular revolution in Bahrain in the long run and with the present trend the autocratic regime of Bahrain too will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

Military and Security

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.”

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3 Executed by Militants for Helping U.S. in Yemen

Yemen division 2011-7-7

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By REUTERS  Published: February 12, 2012

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) — Islamist militants in southern Yemen said they executed three men on Sunday for giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes in the area.

Residents of the towns of Jaar and Azzan said two Saudis and one Yemeni were beheaded at dawn by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.

A spokesman for the group later said none of those executed were Saudi citizens, but all three had been working for the intelligence services of the kingdom, a close ally of the United States.

A number of important figures in Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen are Saudi militants wanted by the authorities in Riyadh.

The United States has been launching drone strikes against militants in the south. Last month, at least 12 people were killed in one such attack. Continue reading

Understanding Israel: Cyber Warfare

North Africa and the Persian Gulf: Lingering Tensions, Different Stakes | STRATFOR

English: An effigy of Moammar Gadhafi hangs fr...

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Despite its proximity to Europe and its status as a major African oil producer, Libya‘s sparse population and relative isolation from its neighbors make the stakes of civil unrest much lower than in other regions of the Arab world

Libya returned to the headlines Saturday when a protest in front of the headquarters of the National Transitional Council (NTC) turned violent. A group of demonstrators in Benghazi broke into the building, vandalized and looted the property and reportedly drove NTC head Mustafa Abdel-Jalil to flee through a back exit. A leading member of the council has since resigned, and Abdel-Jalil has warned that the country risks heading toward civil war if protests continue to intensify. The euphoria many Libyans felt at the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi last October has faded, and though elections for a constituent assembly are scheduled for June, it is hard to see a stable, democratic government on the horizon in Libya. Continue reading

Saudi to US: Give us Predator drones to use in Yemen

RQ-1A Predator

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Saudi to US: Give us Predator drones to use in Yemen By Guest September 6, 2011 at 12:23 AM This is a guest post by Paul Mutter. U.S.-Saudi military cooperation in Yemen (which I reported on for The Arabist a few months ago) have not been without controversy. While the U.S. conducts it own drone strikes in Yemen against suspected al Qaeda targets and provides extensive funding, intelligence and training to government forces, it also provides satellite imagery to the Saudis, who conduct airstrikes and ground offensives against suspected al Qaeda targets and anti-government Shia militias. Continue reading

As 9/11 anniversary approaches, San Diego officials ask residents to be on alert

A small fence separates densely populated Tiju...

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With the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaching, San Diego political and law enforcement officials Wednesday launched a campaign to warn residents to look for signs of terrorist planning.

Al Qaeda and others have always had a fascination with significant dates in history,” Keith Slotter, special agent in charge of the San Diego office of the FBI, said at a news conference. Continue reading