Documents obtained by the Israeli government through a covert operation indicate that the Iranian nuclear weapons program was larger and more sophisticated than once suspected. [The New York Times] 16 July 2018

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Khamenei adviser warns Moscow of ’empty promises’ from US


Maxim A. Suchkov July 13, 2018 – AL MONITOR – Article Summary  – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent his top adviser to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Russian leader’s meeting with Trump, in hopes that Moscow will remain wary of US promises.

MOSCOW — Days before the historic summit in Helsinki between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, each president is honing his negotiation skills. While the US leader has been in Europe arguing with NATO allies, the Russian president is having yet another diplomatic marathon with Syria’s vital stakeholders. No sooner had the Israeli prime minister left Moscow than Putin hosted Ali Akbar Velayati, the supreme leader of Iran’s senior adviser for international affairs, at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and presidential aide Yury Ushakov also took part in the meeting.

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26 sal bere îro Dr. Evdurrahman , Sekreterê Giştî li Vienna Şehîd bu. Bi nave PDK-Bakur bejna xwe li ber şehîd ditewînim û rez digrim. Devlete Îran şermezar û lanetê dikim. Bijî ! Bijî Peşmerge!

USA erwägen Maßnahmen gegen Deutschland wegen Iran-Geldtransfer – Von Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon – 12 July 2018

Präsident Trump handelt richtig: USA erwägen Maßnahmen gegen Deutschland wegen Iran-Geldtransfer

Hochrangige US-Diplomaten und Regierungsvertreter haben berichtet, Spitzenbeamte der Trump-Administration seien darum bemüht, Deutschland daran zu hindern, es dem Iran zu gestatten, im Rahmen seiner Bestrebungen, seine Finanzen angesichts der massiven finanziellen Sanktionen Amerikas aufzubessern, mehr als 300 Millionen Euro in bar nach Teheran zurückzuführen.

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EASTKURDISTAN (IRAN) – Mike Pompeo: Qassem Soleimani is causing trouble in Iraq and Syria … we need to raise the cost for him – US Secretary of State speaks exclusively to The National about America’s commitment to Gulf security

July 10, 2018 – THE NATIONAL – Updated: July 11, 2018 07:41 AM – United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a mission to garner a global coalition to push back against Iran and limit its militant actions in the region. Speaking exclusively to The National in Abu Dhabi, Mr Pompeo said a “global effort” is needed to rein in Tehran and have it act as a “normal country”.

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PDKI Supports The U.S. Department of State’s Statement on Iran’s Assassination of Dr. Ghassemlou

July 9, 2018  – STATEMENT BY PDKI

In a statement, the Executive Board of PDKI welcomes and supports the United States recent efforts to raise international awareness on the global assassination campaign and other terrorist activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1979 to the present. In particular, PDKI welcomes and supports U.S. efforts to remind Europe of the assassination of the Kurdish leader Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou by Iranian diplomats-cum-terrorists in Vienna on July 13, 1989.

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“The Owj Arts and Media Organization:” An Iranian NGO, tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, plays a central role in the struggle for hearts and minds at home and abroad –

Published: 09/07/2018  – Main Argument – The Arts and Media Owj Organization (literally: “climax”) is a non-governmental organization operating in Iran since the spring of 2011. The organization initiates, leads and promotes activity in the spheres of art and culture inspired by the values of the Islamic Revolution and in accordance with the official ideology of the Iranian regime. The Owj organization is tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the content distributed by it is used to promote radical worldviews reflective of the position of the Iranian regime and the revolutionary current in Iran. The productions of the organization reflect a critical position toward the nuclear policy adopted by President Rouhani, deep hostility toward the United States, Israel and recently Saudi Arabia as well. The anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist activism of the organization includes, among other facets, involvement in Holocaust denial and production of movies and television serials that reflect anti-Zionist and even anti-Semitic views.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS BACKGROUNDER IRAN : Rouhani goes on offense against critics, shady interests and ‘culture of opacity’


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is not giving in to conservative and reformist critics in the wake of growing protests over the miserable state of Iran’s economy, instead intensifying his campaign against “shady interests” and a “culture of opacity.”

Rouhani, in an explicit speech June 27, demonstrated his determination to resist and confront his opponents, calling for national unity in the face of rising external pressures. He then addressed conservatives and hard-liners indirectly, saying, “The administration will stand. Those who think that the government is scared and will resign, they are making a mistake,” Rohollah Faghihi reports.

Bijan Khajehpour writes, “There are strong indications that the ongoing economic crisis in Iran is a direct consequence of domestic political shifts that are overlooked due to an overemphasis on external factors such as sanctions. As such, two interrelated domestic processes need to be understood: the pushback by some of the interest groups who feel that Rouhani’s post-nuclear deal reforms are undermining their interests, and the domestic competition over the future orientation of Iran’s international positioning.”
“A number of semi-state entities belonging to military, religious and revolutionary foundations represent a different layer of overlap between political and business interests,” Khajehpour continues. “While these groups have their clear interests, they need to operate in an economy in which the government remains a key player due to its monopoly on oil and gas revenues and its role as the main provider of hard currency. It is clear that in such an environment, the real private sector is overshadowed, and each of the mentioned interest groups — as well as the government — have carved out their own spheres to benefit from the country’s vast economic potential.”
Khajehpour adds, “Such a mode of operation is only possible as long as interests are distributed based on an opaque and informal political culture. That culture has thrived over the decades of external pressure and sanctions, and in many incidences, secrecy and opaqueness were even presented as legitimate and necessary instruments to beat and circumvent sanctions. At the same time, anyone who worked to increase transparency and accountability was sidelined through arrests and harassments. Consequently, major embezzlement cases were facilitated and even tolerated as part and parcel of a culture of opacity.”

Khajehpour continues, “The Rouhani administration has continued to push for more transparency to expose shady interests. The most visible of such moves was the recent publication of the names of entities that had received foreign exchange at the official exchange rate to import mobile phones and the establishment of a committee to document the abuse of hard currency allocations by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. In addition, the Central Bank of Iran has published a long list of entities that have received hard currency at the official exchange rate. In one major corruption case that became public, officials at the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade have stated that the importation process of about 4,500 cars that had been imported illegally had been stopped.”

Rouhani believes he has at least the passive support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and has worked out a kind of quid pro quo with some conservative critics. “In the aftermath of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its impending reimposition of sanctions on Iran, Rouhani has opted not to challenge conservatives on foreign policy and domestic issues, rather adopting a milder position toward his critics and opponents,” writes Abas Aslani. “At a conference of senior government managers on June 27, the president said that he is ‘ready to bow to the opposition and all critics and kiss their hands for unity and cooperation.’ His words were highly welcomed by conservatives. The managing editor of the conservative Kayhan, Hossein Shariatmadari, called the president’s recently expressed positions ‘fortunate and auspicious,’ indicating that any insistence on the president’s resignation at a time when Iran needs unity the most and while Rouhani is cooperating with the broader establishment would be an unnecessary cost for the Islamic Republic.”

“As the United States works to eliminate Iran’s oil revenues, Tehran more than ever before needs engagement with its partners to thwart Washington’s efforts to politically and economically isolate it,” Aslani continues. “Rouhani, who has a long history of leading dialogue — including with Europe — can still be the right man for the job, at least in comparison with anti-West conservatives.”

Absent from the contest for power among Iran’s ruling elites are the Reformists. “Iran’s Reformists, staunch advocates against hard-liner dominance, are being further pushed to the brink by the United States,” writes Saeed Jalili. “Having lost all their tools to influence power, the Reformists teamed up with the centrist Rouhani in the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections. Moreover, in the 2016 parliamentary and 2017 city and village council elections, they pinned their hopes on new faces unknown to many. Although these measures succeeded in winning ballots, the performance of the ‘new,’ elected Reformists has been an additional cause of voter disappointment.”

The desperation of Reformists has been seen on display, even at times seeking common ground with conservatives to oppose Rouhani. “Given the ongoing economic and political crisis in Iran, conservatives and hard-liners have called for early elections and created such an atmosphere that even some Reformists have demanded that Rouhani resign, partly driven by a desire to save the face of Reformism among the public and avoid electoral losses,” Faghini says. “The fact that a number of Reformist figures and lawmakers support the conservatives and hard-liners’ revived plan to summon the president to parliament and question him is proof of this. In remarks that indicate further distancing from Rouhani, Reformist Mohammad-Taghi Karroubi said June 24 that if the president doesn’t intend to confront the hard-liners, he should leave office.”

The Trump administration claims it is not pursuing regime change against Iran. “If the Trump administration is not publicly acknowledging that its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign is intended to lead to the collapse of the Iranian regime, it may be because it is having a hard time persuading wary allies of what its intentions are in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May,” Laura Rozen reports.


 Sertaç Bucak Retweeted PDKI – Saqes (Doğu Kürdistan) şehrinde #Peşmerge güçleri (#PDKI ) Kürdistan bayrağını sabahın erken saatlerinde şehre astı. #TwitterKurds #KDPI

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#Kurdistan’s #Peshmerga Forces raised the Kurdish flag in the Kurdish city of Saghez, eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan, earlier today. #Rasan #Rojhelat #TwitterKurds #PDKI #KDPI #TwitterKurds

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS BACKGROUNDER: Assad critic seizes chairmanship of key Iran parliament commission

EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) –  Ehsan Bodaghi July 4, 2018 – AL MONITOR – Article Summary – Far from a game of musical chairs, the shift in the leadership of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission is set to alter the stances of the body. After 14 years, the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission has a new chairman. Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh will replace Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who has headed the commission since 2005. Although both men are conservatives, they differ greatly in the policies they have adopted in the past. They also diverge in terms of the support they have derived from parliamentary factions. As such, the leadership shift is viewed by observers as much more than simply a game of musical chairs. Indeed, a commission headed by Falahatpisheh will likely experience very different days ahead.

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