Iranian suspicion grows over Turkey’s regional role.

April 3, 2012


(mfs other) Iranian suspicion grows over Turkey’s regional role. (AlArabiya) A senior Iranian political figure has spoken out against Turkey hosting Iran’s next talks with world powers on its disputed nuclear program, in the latest anti-Turkish broadside from politicians in Tehran, Fars news agency reported late on Monday. Last month Turkey offered Istanbul as the venue for talks expected to take place on April 13, a proposal which appeared to gather momentum last week when Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Istanbul would be “the best option.” Turkey has repeatedly backed Iran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear technology. The United States and its allies suspect Tehran of covertly working on nuclear weapons and have imposed tough new sanctions on its financial and energy sectors. Tehran, which says its nuclear activities are purely peaceful, has agreed to renewed talks with the five permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain — and Germany this month. Once-warm Iranian-Turkish ties have cooled over the past year due to the popular revolt in Syria, Iran’s closest Arab ally and a steadfast backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.“Given the fact that our friends in Turkey have failed to fulfill some of our agreements, the talks… had better be held in another friendly country,” said former presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie, Fars News reported. Speaking to staff of the Economic Cooperation Organization, a regional trade body with offices in Tehran, Rezaie did not specify what Turkey’s failures were, but said that Baghdad, Damascus or Beirut would be a more suitable venue. “Offering Istanbul as the venue for the upcoming talks … might give this wrong impression to the opposite side that Iran has grown weak and is in weak conditions,” he added. Rezaie has been an influential figure in Iranian politics for more than three decades since he was appointed commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, the elite force created to protect Iran’s system of theocratic rule. A critic and electoral rival of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Rezaie is now secretary of the Expediency Council, an influential body that advises Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who directs nuclear policy. His comments are a rare public criticism of neighboring Turkey whose prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, stressed the value of relations with Iran during a visit to Tehran last week.Iranian MP Esmail Kowsari has accused Turkey of being a messenger of the United States and Israel, saying that “it would surely be hated by its own people and other nations in the region because it is hand in hand with the arrogant (Western) powers,” the Iranian Labor News Agency reported on Monday. Kowsari ridiculed Turkey’s hosting on Sunday of a “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting of mostly Western and Arab countries, which he described as only enemies of Syria. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the Istanbul event a “conference to bribe Israel” and said regional nations that described Syria as a dictatorship were no better themselves, Fars reported.Read the full story here.

politics, politics, politics… this Syrian situation sure has soured the relationship


Remembering Khomeini…Without Ahmadinejad

June 4, 2011
0630 GMT: The Ceremony. And with that reference to the brief disturbance caused by the enemy, the Supreme Leader is back to praising Iranian officials and their “great achievements”, with “great security” that has thwarted the enemy. There is economic progress, and scientific achievement of “11- or 12-fold”.
0625 GMT: The Ceremony. The Supreme Leader hits his stride about a “10-year enemy plot” — “I don’t have any specific evidence. This is just my interpretation.”
And now the reference to the 2009 Presidential election: “the enemy was of the conviction that it could have made its plot work.” The passage is somewhat rambling, as the Supreme Leader says “the enemy…created unrest for 2 or 3 months in Tehran”.
This plot, of course, was defeated by the Iranian people, who rallied for the regime on Qods Day and Ashura in 2009. [Ed’s Note: This is a bit of a revision of history, given that the Green Movement had its public high point on Ashura with mass gatherings that even pushed back security forces.]
0622 GMT: A Clerical Intervention. A different type of remembrance of Ayatollah Khomeini yesterday by Ayatollah Dastgheib, as he continues his criticism of the regime — “The Imam didn’t want to be an absolute ruler but guide people to goodness. You have defamed Islam.”
0620 GMT: The Ceremony. Now it is getting a bit more interesting. The Supreme Leader takes aim at those who defy “spirituality” and “distance people from society”, “keeping young people from participating in the political events”.
He continues, “These people have deviated.”
0610 GMT: The Battle Within. Not much happening at the Khomeini ceremony beyond the Supreme Leader’s lengthy tribute, so a quick reminder of last night’s LiveBlog….
Any supposed political truce was rocked on Friday by a series of statements, including the declaration by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi — the former “spiritual mentor” of the President — that the Ahmadinejad camp is “trash” and the attack by a clerical representative of the Supreme Leader upon the Revolutionary Guards and Ayatollah Khamenei’s office.
And this video puts a bit more fuel on the flames. Revolutionary Guards Commander Saeed Qassemi taunts Ahmadinejad, “You released the eight British spies with the help of British Ambassador.”
Qassemi is referring to the detention and release in 2007 of 15 British naval personnel, seized when their boat allegedly strayed into Iranian waters.
0603 GMT: The Ceremony. Ahmadinejad is in the front row of the audience, between Khomeini’s grandson Seyed Hassan and the head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani (and two seats from his rival, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani). He is looking uncomfortable.
Other major Iranian political and religious figures are also present, including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani.
0600 GMT: The Supreme Leader is already speaking in Tehran, paying tribute to Ayatollah Khomeini for making the “Iranian nation believe they are the real owners of the country”.
0545 GMT: Iran’s state media are already featuring today’s ceremonies marking the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, as “millions of Iranians from across the country travel to Tehran to pay tribute to the late leader”. The press and broadcasters are announcing that “Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will address the gathering on Saturday”.
What they are not saying is that President Ahmadinejad will not be addressing that gathering.
In the midst of Iran’s political conflict, Ahmadinejad was rebuffed by the Khomeini Foundation last month. The organisers declared that, as the President had not met the deadline to announce his attendance, he would not be speaking.
The simple but effective rejection was another blow against the President in his contest for power with the Supreme Leader, the Guardian, Parliament, and the judiciary. It was also payback for 4 June 2010, when his supporters shouted down Khomeini’s grandson at the Tehran ceremony.
And there was more embarrassment for Ahmadinejad last night. The President tried to regain ground at a memorial ceremony, but his speech was interrupted by competing chants, as critics denounced his right-hand man Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

it looks like A’jad is in trouble


Mullah vs. Mullah

September 3, 2010

my head hurts… and I feel strange. Next post… Spring Time for Hitler

noahdavidsimon’s posterous

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