Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Latest from Iran (29 November): Regional Interventions

0810 GMT: At the Movies. Minister of Culture Mohammad Hosseini has said Iranians should not worry about the wave of closures of cinemas, struggling in the economic conditions, as "there is always television".

0605 GMT: Iranian politicians and diplomats continued campaigns on Wednesday to re-assert Tehran's prominence in the Middle East --- the top six stories in Press TV's "Iran" section are all about foreign matters.

Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani continues to lead the way. Having moved through Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey earlier in the week, he is now on a high-profile trip to Iraq, meeting prominent clerics and politicians. On Wednesday, he used an address to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq to warn of "plots aimed at fueling sectarian divisions between Shia and Sunni Muslims", favouring "the Zionist enemy" as it tries to break its "isolation".

On the Syrian front, Iran condemned Wednesday's twin bombing in Damascus that killed 34 people while pressing its objection to the placement of Patriot missiles on Turkey's border with Syria. 

The Foreign Ministry was looking farther afield. complaining about "the objectifying of human rights and its use as a tool against independent states". The cause of its concern was a United Nations Human Rights Committee resolution on Tuesday that criticised the Islamic Republic for abuses such as torture, use of the death penalty against juveniles, and repression of human rights activists, lawyers, and journalists.

Amid the international declarations and manoeuvres, there was a moment for regional black comedy. Having declaring the death of Saudi King Abdullah, the Islamic Republic had to face the uncomfortable truth --- following the King's appearance on television on Wednesday --- that the monarch was very much alive. The solution to the problem? Declare a conspiracy: "the eldest son of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has been releasing images of the king to imply that he is still alive".


from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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