July 8, 2013 |
TEHRAN - Iran on Monday denounced the military coup that toppled Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, signaling a shift after days of guarded and cryptic commentary on the crisis. “The interference of military forces in the political scene is unacceptable and concerning,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Monday , according to Iran's English-language Press TV. Iran has called for reinstatement of the democratically elected Morsi and said that elections, not “the streets,” should determine who is Egypt's leader - an indication that Tehran sees an Islamist government, however flawed, as its best hope for an ally in Cairo.
October 24, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Rome for seven hours Wednesday evening, double-billed as discussions on Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Headed into the meeting , both leaders appeared to agree in their concern that Iran must not be able to develop a nuclear weapon and that diplomatic means were the best way toward achieving this goal. Welcoming the change of tone and diplomatic opening offered by Iran's new leadership, Kerry stressed that the U.S. will need to know that actions are being taken to make it "crystal clear, undeniably clear, fail-safe to the world" that whatever nuclear program Iran pursues is a peaceful one. These actions, according to Netanyahu, must involve complete dismantling of Iran's uranium-enrichment capabilities and removal of amassed fissile material from the country, as well as halting the country's plutonium track.
May 29, 2013 |
TEHRAN -- Iran hosted a peace conference on Syria on Wednesday titled "Political Solution, Regional Stability. " The Iranian news media dubbed the gathering in Tehran the "Friends of Syria Conference," a term used by a coalition of Western and Arab states that support the Syrian opposition forces fighting against forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. It came as Russian and U.S. officials are trying to organize a peace conference on Syria in Geneva next month. Iran, Assad's key regional ally, has yet to be invited to the Geneva conference, spurring some observers to believe Wednesday's conference was a move by Tehran to portray itself as an important player. Iranian media reported that officials from 40 countries and representatives from regional and international organizations were to take part in the conference.
April 23, 2014 |
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
February 26, 2013 |
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been doubling down on his hard-line message that all but rules out the possibility of direct talks with the United States. In the lead-up to the latest round of the so-called six-party talks on Iran's nuclear program, which begin in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, Khamenei enumerated his reasons in a Feb. 16 speech. Calling Western suspicions of Iran's nuclear program "illogical," "disingenuous" and "insulting," Khamenei characterized the latest efforts by the Obama administration to negotiate directly with Iran as "a marketing ploy" designed to convince Islamic countries around the world that if the Islamic Republic, with its long history of resistance and endurance, finally relented and negotiated, then what hope would they have standing up against the West.
September 20, 2013 |
In an autumn ritual, an Iranian president is once more coming to New York for the United Nations' annual meeting of the heads of state. Media frenzy is likely to follow, as the smiling visage of President Hassan Rouhani dominates the airways next week. Beyond vague pledges of cooperation and lofty rhetoric about turning a new page, the question remains how to assess the intentions of the new Iranian government. The early indications are that Rouhani has put together a seasoned team that seeks to both advance and legitimize Iran's nuclear program.