Iran Protests US Drones, Conservative site warns of Greater Kurdistan

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Fars News does a profile on the US Scan Eagle drone, which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces claim to have intercepted in the east of the country. It also provides video of the drone under a banner quoting the revolutionary state’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, proclaiming “We will trample upon the US.”

Fars continues:

“This is the umpteenth time that American drones have entered the Islamic Republic of Iran’s borders to gather information, and every time they are confronted with the armed forces of our country.”

Furthermore, “a while ago the Islamic Republic of Iran sent an official letter to the United Nations, while condemning American drone violations of our country’s skies, and asked that these actions [by the US] be prevented.”

Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Cmdr. Hossein Salami, in the course of a ceremony for the introduction of the new regional commander of Arak, has claimed that “the repeated defeat of America in drone spy operations shows Iran can easily disrupt all of America’s plans.”

Salami added, “the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic from the time of the revolution’s victory until now has been under sanctions, but it turned these sanctions into an opportunity. If America was sanctioned in this way it wouldn’t withstand the pressure for more than a day.”

Sepah News, the Revolutionary Guards’ official news agency, reports the comments of Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in reaction to the alleged drone interception: “We have previously protested to the Americans in this regard, but they claimed they do not have a presence within our borders. This drone in our control is proof we will use for the legal pursuit with international authorities regarding the Americans’ violation.”

Serat News, close the state affiliated Kayhan Institute, has an article arguing that “the sinister project for “Greater Kurdistan” has begun.” The claim is made on the basis of recent tensions between the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government. Serat also attempts to make the case that Saudi Arabia by means of its news outlet Al-Arabiya, has shown enthusiastic support the prospect of a “Greater Kurdistan” and Iraq’s eventual dismemberment into three separate Shiia, Sunni and Kurdish states. The basis for this accusation was Al-Arabiya’s Persian Service’s coverage of some recent statements emanating from Iraqi Kurdistan rejecting federalism in favour of secession.

Serat then goes on to lay out the US’s “great plan for the Middle East,” of which these developments are a part:

“The implementation of projects of this kind can be interpreted as along the lines [set down] by the [powers of] arrogance [i.e., the West]. Because the independence and formation of the independent Kurdistan is one of their longstanding wishes, and on that basis and in accordance with the great American plan for the Middle East, Kurdish populated regions such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey will be recognized as independent countries.”

Domestic Affairs

Jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh has broken her hunger strike after 49 days, reports Kaleme, affiliated to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Sotudeh began her hunger strike in protest of the travel ban imposed by state authorities on her 12-year-old daughter and finally broke it after the ban was lifted. Her husband, Reza Khandan, alongside other women’s rights activists had petitioned Iranian MPs, who passed their concerns along to the respective heads of the Majles and judiciary.

Banned opposition group the Islamic Iran Participation Front has claimed in a statement on Kaleme, the website affiliated to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, that “inside the ruling establishment no determination exists for holding a free, just, healthy and legal election.” It has also called for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to be freed from house arrest, referring to it as “the first condition for trust-building.”

The Minister of Industry, Mehdi Ghazanfari, has admitted that, “On the basis of indications we have in our hands, the Central Bank is unable to secure all of the currency the country needs.” Moreover, last year the sanctions only included specialist and maritime banks, but now trade has also ended.”