In response to the shock and enthusiasm of the Iranian media to the Ukrainian street protests that forced out President Victor Yanukovych, Iran’s justice minister has tried to distance the upheaval in Ukraine from domestic Iranian politics by urging newspapers to show some restraint in their coverage. Continue reading
Contradicting his previous statements, Iran’s Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said that President Hassan Rouhani’s administration would not get involved in the effort to release Mir Hussein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavarad and Mehi Karroubi, who are approaching nearly 1,000 days of house arrest.
The head of the Majles’ National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, has told Tasnim News that “in the event of negotiations not yielding results, the West will be the real loser.”
Boroujerdi stressed: “The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t have a problem with the negotiations with the P5+1 yielding results and has always acted in accordance with its commitments in its peaceful nuclear activities.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran in its negotiations with the agency [International Atomic Energy Agency] also has on numerous occasions proven its peaceful nuclear activities and the Agency with repeated inspections and research has reached this conclusion [the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities]. But again the interference of America and its Western allies confronts the Iranian nuclear file with a challenge.”
“The process of peaceful nuclear activity, not only in these last nine months but during the last 10 years have made notable progress and we have attained noteworthy results in nuclear technology.”
“Our expectations from the Western side are that it be prepared to come to the negotiating table with a rational approach, in the framework of its own commitments and without manoeuvring for the benefit of hegemonic countries, and not have a further expectationthan the actual rights of Iran.”
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.
Controversial hardline parliamentarian, Ruhollah Hosseinian, has told Mehr News that two groups are trying their utmost to ensure that President Ahmadinejad’s government comes to an end before his second term officially ends. The two groups in question, according to Hosseinian are the “seditionists”, which is a broad reference for the Green Movement and its Reformist sympathisers, but also “those inside the regime who support the seditionists”, sometimes referred to as the “silent seditionists”, which are said to include Majles Speaker Ali Larijani and his Deputy, Mohammadreza Bahonar, two Principalist politicians who were reported to have congratulated opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi for winning the 2009 presidential election. Other Conservative politicians who are deemed to not have condemned the uprising of 2009 with sufficient severity also fall into this category. He stressed that Ahmadinejad’s opponents endeavour to anger the president, so as to provoke and “abuse” his main “weakness”, his “bad temper” and “stubbornness”, which is not expedient for the country.
Hosseinian also expressed his disagreement with the President being summoned before parliament to answer questions on his government’s role in the on-going economic crisis.
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.
Responses to controversial film continue
Former President Khatami, in a letter to the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, has condemned the making of the controversial video, “The Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked controversy across the Muslim world. Many have held the video to be the chief reason for several attacks against American targets across the region, the most dramatic being the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens.
On the Domestic Front Deputy Speaker, Mohammadreza Bahonar, has claimed it likely that former Majles Speaker and former presidential candidate Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, will run for the presidency in 2013. Bahonar also greeted the prospect of Tehran Mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, running. Nateq-Nouri has long been targeted by President Ahmadinejad and his allies. Most recently, Nateq-Nouri delivered a speech in Mashhad during the month of Ramadan, which was overrun by plainclothes partisans of hardline IRGC ideologue Saeed Qassemi, an act which has been criticized by prominent Conservative establishment figures. Continue reading