Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei on Argo

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Mashaei

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, the chief of the Secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement and a controversial ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has defended his recent spate of meetings with foreign leaders, claiming that they were “always in the office of the President”.

Mashaei also commented on the Oscar winner for Best Picture, Argo, claiming that “there is no doubt that in these kinds of things politics has a role, but [to reckon] every action is entirely political is also not the case and it is not possible to judge…I have not seen this film and only heard that it is against Iran, but I have not seen it [to know] what its anti-Iranian dimensions are…If it has questioned Iranian smarts it has made a big mistake. If Iranians did not have a great intelligence, the name ‘Iran’ would now no longer exist”.

In other news

Bashgah-e khabarnegaran has posted an article addressing the reaction to Argo’s win at the Oscars criticizing Iranian actress, Leili Hatami and director Tahmineh Milani’s largely positive reactions toward the film.

It also attempts to point out several technical or historical mistakes in the film, for instance claiming that the scene in which the American embassy is stormed does not entirely resemble its real life counterpart or that the film features contemporary air conditioners and that the skyline resembles present day Tehran, not 1979.

The public relations office of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has confirmed  that its own Intelligence Organisation had a role in vetting potential candidates in the recent election of the Organisation of the Medical Order. The statement was in reaction to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s announcement that the intelligence services and Revolutionary Guards have no right to interfere in the Medical Order’s election.

Commander Ramezan Sharif, who is responsible for the IRGC’s public relations stated vis-à-vis the disqualification of a number of candidates ahead of the election that “the inaction of the Revolutionary Guards in response to the enquiry of legal source in the election of the Medical Order, is considered contrary to the law”.

The government affiliated Iran News Network cited Ramezan Sharif’s statement while also mentioning the controversial comments of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the IRGC, Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, regarding the IRGC’s duty to ensure “the rational and logical engineering” of elections under the Islamic Republic.

Fars News reports US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s recent comments calling negotiations with Iran “useful”. Fars does not comment on Kerry’s comments directly, but merely relays them, without criticism, which in itself is worthy of note.

Baztab-e emruz’s servers have been down for several days because of assaults by hackers. The website claims the assaults against its servers stem from its having published a raft of stories dealing with financial corruption and alleging  links to “some power centres”, often close to the Ahmadinejad government. “Powers centres” which Baztab claims are supporting the “economic mafia” in question, and who in turn are paying for the cyber attacks against the news site. Nonetheless, it stresses that it will continue to publish exposes of financial and political corruption inside Iran.