Monitor Mideast

Iran President to Reporter: US Supports Terrorism In Iraq (English Subtitles)

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What would you do if you were a reporter for the New York Times and you’ve just been invited to a news conference where the president of one of the Middle East’s most influential countries just told you that the United States supports terrorism in Iraq and Syria? What if that same president also told you that the United States is involved in a propaganda war (likely involving your own news publication) in supporting and legitimizing that terror in Syria and Iraq? In the case of Thomas Erdbrink, correspondent for the New York Times, those questions were fairly simple to answer. You just invent news. Watch this video to see Rouhani lash out at the United States and how a correspondent for one of the most influential news publications in the world relays his answers to the world.


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Underdog: How Iran’s new President Stifled his Critics, and Won

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Like his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani made a number of prolific performances whereby he was catalyzed into an underdog position. Monitor Mideast translated one of such interviews exclusively into English. Rouhani is seen questioning the IRIB reporter on basis of long-held myths regarding Hassan Rouhani’s track record as a nuclear negotiator.

During Iran’s presidential election of 2013, Hassan Rouhani’s adversaries scorned him for bowing down as a nuclear negotiator, effectively halting Iran’s nuclear program. This video offers an exclusive look at how Rouhani tackled this critique during the election–and ultimately won.
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Iran President: US First to Suffer in Syria War

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran supports any measures that prevent foreign military intervention in Syria, warning against the repercussions of a possible attack against the Arab country.


Speaking in a televised speech on August 10, Rouhani welcomed a Russian plan for Syria’s chemical weapons to be put under international control, saying the plan has lowered the risk of a US attack on Damascus.


The Iranian president warned of the consequences of a foreign military intervention in the region, saying those who are after a war will be the first to suffer.

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Hassan Abbasi Slams Erdogan and Gul Foreign Policy on Syria

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During his appearance last year at the Hezbollah Cyber Summit of 2012, Hassan Abbasi slammed the newly endorsed foreign policy of Turkey’s leaders, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gul.


Abbasi argued that the duo undermined the resistance in the region by openly assisting foreign militants into Syrian territory. Syria is seen as an ally of Iran and a corridor supplier of Hezbollah and various Palestinian groups. The charismatic theorist further argued that Syria, the Palestinian Resistance and the Lebanese Resistance represented a triangular Sword of Damocles.


Abbasi, who is a political scientist and heads the Center for Doctrinal Strategic Studies also said he insisted that the AK-Party had never assumed a coherent Islamic position and that historically speaking, it is not deemed an ally of Iran. Monitor Mideast exclusively translated a segment from the meeting.



The stated aim of the conference referred to as “Syria, the First Line of Defence” is to increase public awareness about what is going on in Syria, in light of the battles waged between government forces and various militant groups supported by the West, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.



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Green Wave Marred by Internal Contradictions

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The Green movement, named after the color chosen for his campaign by Mir-Hossein Musavi, who was initially endorsed by the reformist faction as well as ayatollah Rafsanjani, took shape amidst controversial fraud allegations at the 2009 presidential election. Rejecting institutional channels of mediation (the Guardian Council’s June 18 invitation for discussions, and the June 29 partial ballot recount), defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi asked their supporters to force a revision of the outcome through street demonstrations.
Opposition rallies, starting on June 13, however saw their number of participants progressively decline, while turning increasingly violent. Rioting reached its peak during the religious month of Ashura (December 2009), further alienating religious Iranians. The counter-demonstrations on Quds Day (September 18), November 4 and December 30, sealed the fading of the movement until its recent resurrection attempts.
Deprived of a charismatic leadership, the movement is also confronted with structural contradictions. Its official leaders, who used to be part of the political system, must compose with strong inconsistency on the ideological and sociological levels, since almost the entire spectrum of foreign-based, counter-revolutionary groupings, as well as radicalized segments of civil society, which emanate mainly from the affluent middle- and upper-classes, rushed to rally under their umbrella. This explains the gap between Green leaders’ claims of loyalty towards the present constitution, and their supporters’ slogans such as “Down with the principle of the Leadership of the Jurisprudent (Velayat-e Fahigh)”. On the foreign policy front, slogans like “Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, I shall sacrifice for Iran”, call for abandoning the principled stance of resistance against Israel’s ocupation policies, under the pretext of nationalism.
The Green Movement’s focus on internet-based social networks as a means of political communication is not only an asset, but also one of its weaknesses, since it has resulted in the proliferation of unverifiable claims, and a type of propaganda reminiscent of the west’s outright demonization tactics, where obvious achievements of the Revolution are systematically denied, which in turn cost the Green Movement additional credibility.

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Mousavi’s Green Movement on February 14

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On Monday Iran witnessed a new, albeit small wave of protests in line with the recent toppling of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak as evidenced by their slogans which included “If Egypt can do it, why not Iran?” The protests were also followed by a howling laudation by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praising their courage and simultaneously condemning the Islamic Republic’s “hypocrisy” who, in her understanding, supported protests in other Arab countries yet suppressed their own.

With the all too visible protests in Tunisia and Egypt throughout the previous weeks, one incredible yet disturbing rhetoric from the Western side has been the appeal for calm, not only from the ruling side, but also from the protesting side. This of course has run foul to those who remember the 2009 election protests in Iran whose unprecedented violence left a little over 30 people dead more than half of whom were security officials. Yet despite the violence coming from the protestors and their burning of banks, cars and even mosques, less than twenty protesters were killed. This is in contrast to over 230 people who died in the Tunisian protests, and the near 400 who died in the Egyptian protests.
Despite these appalling numbers, Tunisia’s total death count rarely made it to CNN’s front page and Mubarak, according to US Vice-President Joe Biden was “not a dictator”. However, when it came to Iran, CNN broke its record in the length of coverage it accorded to Iran in 2009, a record which was only put to stop after the death of Michael Jackson. More recently, despite the small protests and the availability of few amateur videos covering the demonstrations, Iran made it to the front page of all major Western media sources in a matter of minutes (taking weeks for Egypt and Tunisia and now years for Bahrain). Iran has supported protests in Egypt and it has outlawed its own, but the nature of these demonstrations are worlds apart. The protests that have been led against the Tunisian and Egyptian governments have not only been economy-based, but they have also been very political where the populations are tired of having foreign-controlled dictators in power who betray their interests to Western corporations.

Why is it that these protests have been negligible in poor countries like Syria? It is because the populations, although dissatisfied with their economic status-quo, still see (at least for the most part) eye-to-eye with their governments when it comes to domestic and foreign policies. They do not see their governments as sell-outs and see them as working for the betterment of their nation, despite the existence of certain short-comings and failures.

This has also been the case with the Islamic Republic of Iran which witnessed tens of millions of people all over the country coming out in support of the revolution and the current ruling elite (an incident which, hypocritically was not covered by most major Western news sources). This is in contrast to the few hundred protestors that gathered recently to vent their anger by causing the death of two innocent individuals, one of whom has recently been identified as Sane Jaleh, a 26 year old student and government supporter. New protests are scheduled for February 20.

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Iranian Monkeys in Space

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Iran has reiterated her intention for a manned space flight by 2021—an inspiring goal for a nation with a nascent space program. This goal has found its fair share of criticizers but fact remains is that between the great things which the detractors deem Iran as being unable to do and those from which Iran is hindered from achieving, the real danger for Iranians is in not doing anything. Iran independently launched her first domestically built satellite in February of 2009 and thus became the eighth nation to do so—a feat indeed for carving out an indigenous program amidst layers of sanctions.

Of course, the rung of the ladder was never meant to rest the foot upon, but to enable one to raise the other higher. Iran intends to launch three domestically-built satellites by March 21, 2012. These will be the “Rasad” (observation), “Fajr” (dawn) and lastly the “Naved Elm-o-Sanat” (hopefulness for science and technology). A “Kavoshgar-4” (explorer) rocket is to be launched around the same period housing new systems and more peculiarly a monkey passenger—a probable prelude to manned flight.

Iranian television has of late shown monkeys, implanted with electronics, housed in capsules and enduring tests. Only yesterday, the Fajr was delivered to the ISA (Iranian Space Agency), mounting a camera for resolution up to 500m for surveying and meteorological research as well as an ability to alter its elevation. On the same day the development of a camera for a 20m resolution was publicized, meant for another planned Iranian satellite, the “Tolou” (rising). Additionally, earlier this same month three indigenous remote-sensing stations for tracking satellites were inaugurated. Whereas, the latest round of advances make evident Iran’s seriousness about her space program, they equally pose new questions for detractors who have viewed it as mere words or more ambitiously, a camouflaged military program.

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