Iranian ‘Time Machine’ Scientist Outsmarts Media

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On April 6 Fars News reported that Ali Razeghi had created a time machine called the “Aryayek Time Travelling Machine.” Several Western media outlets immediately picked up the story of the man who claimed that his time machine “easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next five-eight years of the life of its users” with 98% accuracy. The story then went viral on social media.

In a second interview, this time with Shargh newspaper, which was republished by Mehr, it appears that the Iranian “Time Machine” scientist has outsmarted both Iranian and Western media.

The 27-year-old Ali Razeghi sat down with the Iranian paper to clarify his original Fars News interview, which has been removed from their website since. The Q&A format of the interview took an almost comical tone, with many incredulous follow-up questions. The Shargh reporter also wrote into the story moments when Zareghi broke into laughter himself.

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Khamenei Advisor: Syria ‘Golden Link in the Chain of Resistance’

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At an “Islamic Awakening” conference in Mashhad Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top foreign-policy adviser said that “today, the arrogant powers have targeted Syria, which in reality is the golden link in the chain of resistance.” Iran believes itself to be in an “Axis of Resistance” with Syria and Hezbollah against Israeli and American hegemony in the region. They also refer to the “Arab Spring” uprisings as “Islamic Awakenings.”

Ali Akbar Velayati, who is also the secretary-general of the World Assembly of the Islamic Awakening, added that the “[arrogant powers] had the goal from the beginning, under the name of “Arab Spring” to overthrow the [Syrian] government, but with the support of Israel and Saudi Arabia, in actuality something else took place.”

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Supreme Leader’s Representative in IRGC Endorses Fars News

Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards has praised Fars News, stating “it is bound by principled beliefs and professionalism”.

Saeidi made his comments in the course of an interview with journalists at Fars’ offices. In a meeting with Nezameddin Mousavi, the executive director of Fars News, Saeidi stated, “that which is very important for a news agency is the trust which readers have with respect to it. This returns to the strategy and operational guidelines and work practices of the media”.

Fars News is well-known amongst English speaking readers for a number of serious journalistic gaffs it has made in the past and which have been covered extensively in the Western media. The most recent being when Fars News‘ English language site plagiarised and took a story in the US based satirical site, The Onion, seriously and posted it on their site.

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Is Fars News Misrepresenting China’s statements?

 

Fars News covers China’s Foreign Affairs Spokesman, Hong Lei’s comments and criticism of the lastest push by the EU to increase sanctions against Iran.

Fars News, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, claims in its headline that Hong Lei dubbed the sanctions “illegal” on the basis of a Reuters report from earlier today. However nowhere in the Reuters report does the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman call the sanctions “illegal”. He states they pose an obstacle to solving the nuclear stand off, but does not call them “illegal”.

Fars News and a number of other Iranian news sites were caught out last month plagiarising a fake poll from the U.S. based satirical news site, The Onion.

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Fars News leaks Ahmadinejad’s ‘confidential memo’

Avaz Heydarpur, MP for Shahrreza, severely criticized President Ahmadinejad on the Majles floor over issuing a circular to a number of executive offices telling them not to cooperate with parliamentarians.

Yesterday Fars News published a scanned copy of confidential instructions to executive authorities across the country in which Ahmadinejad emphasized they resist any any kind of action by MPs to bring pressure for the appointment or deposition of executive managers. Ahmadinejad insists that the power to hire and fire with respect to such offices belongs exclusively to him. Fars News has had a strained relationship with Ahmadinejad of late, with the president going as far as to call it “a media outlet beholden to the security organs” and questioning its reasons for expressing opinions on the country’s political affairs.

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Ahmadinejad bites back

The Reformist daily, Etemaad carries the highlights from yesterday’s controversial press conference with President Ahmadinejad:

“If our presence is very difficult for you, I write one line, and good bye”.

With these comments the president effectively threatened his resignation.

“The position of the Minister of Islamic Guidance regarding Sharq (newspaper) was wrong; it shouldn’t have been closed.”

The Reformist daily Sharq was shut down after featuring a caricature deemed insulting to veterans of the Iran-Iraq war. Ahmadinejad’s own Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Hosseini, was amongst the most vociferous demanding the newspaper’s closure.

“22 people are the head of a ring [responsible for] the recent disturbances in the currency market”.

This comment should be seen in the context of the government’s repeated claims that a small, but powerful cabal are manipulating the currency market for financial gain.

The head of the Inspectorate Organization for the Country has said that he will investigate the matter, but said he was “saddened” by the President’s comments, and added, that “if this is so, the Intelligence apparatus will go into action, and confront this team [of 22 people]”.

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Ahmadinejad Foe Replies to Critics

Former President Rafsanjani at the 12 meeting of the Assembly of Experts

Former President Rafsanjani at the 12 meeting of the Assembly of Experts

The Reformist daily Etemaad and Khabar Online report on the speech of Mostafa Pourmohammadi at the 13th meeting of the Union of Independent Student Societies throughout the country. Pourmohammadi was forced to resign from his position as minister of the interior by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and has since been appointed national chief of the Organization for the Inspectorate. Since the former interior minister’s break with Ahmadinejad, Pourmohammadi has been among the president’s most vociferous detractors, and recently addressed a letter to the Supreme Leader alongside other disgruntled ex-ministers, calling for the president’s executive powers to be transferred to a council. In the course of his speech, Pourmohammadi replied to his critics, many of whom are in government, and accuse Pourmohammadi of acting out of revenge against his former boss. “Those who clash with me and believe that I’m acting politically don’t want the country to have a desirable political atmosphere. They blunt the work of [government] supervision, because unlike my reports they are operating politically.” Continue reading