‘Islamic Awakening will be victorious’

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the new movement that has begun in the Middle East and North Africa “will definitely be victorious.”

“I announce that… that a new movement has begun in the region, this is the movement of Muslim nations, with the slogan of moving towards Islamic objectives, and [therefore] it will definitely be victorious,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in his speech on the occasion of Nowruz in the holy city of Mashhad.

“Events which have recently taken place in the region, in Tunis, Libya, Egypt, and Bahrain are very important events… a fundamental development is taking place in the Islamic-Arab region which indicates the awakening of Muslim nations,” the Leader said.

“The Americans were baffled by these events…They could not analyze the events correctly and because they lacked an accurate analysis of these events they adopted contradictory stances,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader added that the US has always thrown its support behind dictators. “They defended [ousted Egyptian dictator] Hosni Mubarak until the last minute and when they no longer needed him, they threw him away.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said Mubarak’s fate should be a lesson for US-backed rulers and “they must know that when their expiration date arrives and they lose their usefulness they will be thrown away like a used tissue.”

“The real hypocrite is the US. With regards to Egypt they said we are with the [Egyptian] nation but they lied. They cooperated with the nation’s enemy until the very last moment. They said the same thing about Tunis, that we support the people. Now the US president sends a message to the Iranian people that we support you,” the Leader said, referring to US President Barack Obama’s message to the Iranian people on the occasion of Nowruz.


Iran: Saudi invasion threatening


Iran’s defense minister warns that Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Bahrain will increase tension and dent stability and security in the entire region.

“Should such miscalculated and legally-unjustified actions become a norm, the region would turn into a center for incendiarism, hostility and conflict,” Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.

Led by Riyadh, Bahrain’s fellow members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council — Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar — have dispatched armed forces to the Persian Gulf island to assist Manama in its crackdown on nationwide protests against the Sunni-led monarchy’s suppression of the majority Shia population.

‘Regional uprisings, cry for freedom’

The Iranian Parliament (Majlis) has condemned the violent crackdown on protesters in regional countries.

Iran’s Parliamentary Friendship Groups say the recent popular uprisings in the region are in the interests of Muslim nations as they are based on Islamic values.

“We believe that the current developments are rooted in the historical demands of Muslim nations to be freed from colonialism and despotic governments, and to be saved from tyranny,” the secretariat of the parliamentary groups said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Many old issues of the region such as terrorism, violation of the rights of Palestinian people, and economic and industrial backwardness are the results of this situation and creating real democratic governments are the only solution to these problems,” the statement said.

It added that the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North African countries are a “fatal blow” to the United States and Israel.

They warned about the interfering of Western countries, particularly the US, for confiscating the popular revolutions in the region.

The group also voiced concern over the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The statement comes as people in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been protesting against their governments.

The uprisings followed revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt that overthrew former rulers Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak respectively.

Iran MP: US shocked by ME revolutions

Senior Iranian lawmaker Hossein Ebrahimi

Amid sweeping developments in the Middle East and North Africa, a senior Iranian lawmaker says the US is adopting an unwise approach towards the ongoing events.

“The US is bewildered by current developments in the Middle East,” said Deputy Chairman or Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Hossein Ebrahimi on Saturday.

“The US despotism is declining. However, the country’s statesmen are using every means possible to regain its power,” he added, Majlis news agency (ICANA) reported.

The Iranian lawmaker noted that US officials, who are afraid of the ongoing events in the Middle Eastern and North African countries, have demonstrated a contradictory reaction towards each country.

“This reflects the American imprudence,” Ebrahimi went on to emphasize, pointing out that US politicians cannot accept the popular, Islamic and independent revolutions in the region.

The United States has no option but to modify its policies, the lawmaker further stated.

‘Experts vote shattered enemy hopes’

Senior Iranian cleric and Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani

A senior cleric says the enemy’s hopes of taking advantage of the elections for a new Assembly of Experts chief and making political gain from it were shattered.

In his Friday sermon, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani referred to the candidacy of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council, and Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi-Kani for the head of the Assembly of Experts.

“The names of two people were mentioned the election, but Hashemi Rafsanjani said if Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani is a candidate I will not nominate myself,” said Ayatollah Emami-Kashani, emphasizing that the post was passed over to Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani in an air of absolute friendliness.

“Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani are two illuminated figures of the country and respected by the nation.”

“On Tuesday when the election within the Assembly of Experts was held, the enemies were left empty-handed because they thought that two opposite camps would be formed in the Assembly Experts and they could create a media frenzy out if it (the vote result),” he said.

Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani was elected the new chairman of the Assembly of Experts by a 63-vote majority on Tuesday. Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has presided over the body since 2007, declined to renew his candidacy for the position and instead endorsed Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani.

The assembly of the religious scholars, directly elected to an eight-year term in a nationwide vote, convenes twice a year to review major national issues, and every other year to appoint a new chairman.

Ayatollah Emami-Kashani reminded that the Islamic Republic is a role model for other nations and, thus, its ethical values have to be better preserved.

Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers leader also criticized un-Islamic behavior from a number of radical elements and called for moderation and tolerance among supporters of different political parties.

‘UK resolution, a diplomatic failure’

Iran's permanent envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh

Iran’s permanent envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has denounced a British draft resolution as a diplomatic failure for London at the agency’s Board of Governors, noting that unresolved legal issues have been left unanswered in the proposal.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh made the remarks after IAEA’s Board of Governors approved the Nuclear Fuel Assurance Plan despite a series of unresolved legal and technical questions related to the British draft proposal as well as the lack of any assurances for supplying the fuel, a Press TV correspondent in Vienna reported.

A US proposal on the establishment of a Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank run by the IAEA was approved at a board meeting in December while a similar project was already launched in Russia.

The new proposal, approved by 26 votes in favor, eight abstentions and one absence, does not involve the setting up of a uranium reserve that states could tap into in case their fuel supplies were cut off.

Under the plan, governments of the supplying country and the receiving state would sign a bilateral agreement with the consent of the UN nuclear body in order to guarantee that shipments of fuel would not be interrupted due to non-commercial reasons.

The idea, purportedly, seeks to reduce the risk of proliferation, but some developing countries such as Iran that have already mastered the fuel cycle process, have opposed the move, arguing that it would restrict their progress in the field of nuclear technology and thereby violate the right to a full access to the nuclear fuel cycle.

Meanwhile, Soltanieh reiterated that the voting in the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors was a “diplomatic failure” for Britain, and further turned the spotlight on a series of unanswered questions and ambiguities raised by 131 members of the Group 77.

“In spite of the fact that the majority of member states of Group 77 and NAM (the Non-Aligned Movement) have expressed serious questions and concerns, the UK did not give enough chance this time for further discussion in order to remove ambiguities,” Iran’s IAEA envoy told Press TV on Thursday.

“In fact, today, we were witnessing another, in fact, scene of polarization and politicization of the Board of Governors, and in spite of the wish of the United Kingdom, the UK was not able to get the consensus and there was a serious failure for the United Kingdom by pushing for the vote, the proposal,” Soltanieh added.

“Fortunately, a total of 130 member states of the Group 77 in a statement at IAEA’s Board of Governors reiterated on the indisputable rights of all countries in choosing fuel-cycle option, including uranium enrichment,” he noted.

He went on to say that it is high time for the Board of Governors to focuses on assurance of supply by initiating sincere negotiations to come up with a legally binding measure on assuring access to a fuel supply, a view that is also shared by many analysts.

“The western countries which posses nuclear weapons want this proposal to be a proof so that they can keep their control over the uranium monopoly,” Ali Heydar Yurtsever of Anadolu newspaper told Press TV

Soltanieh had also urged all member states to participate in productive negotiations without running the risk of further polarization among members.

S Pars gas production at record high

A gas refinery at the South Pars gas field

The monthly production of South Pars gas field has hit a record high of 7.280 billion cubic meters from January 21 to February 20.

The production manager of Pars Oil and Gas Company told IRIB on Sunday that the monthly gas production of the joint field passed 7.2 billion cubic meters in the Iranian month of Bahman, marking a record since the exploitation of the field nine years ago.

Farrokh Alikhani further noted that the average daily gas production of South Pars gas field is 242 million cubic meters, which constitutes roughly 40 percent of the total gas production of the Islamic Republic.

The official underlined that the executive operations are currently underway for 17 phases of the gas field, and over 300 other gas wells should be drilled in the Persian Gulf in order to develop the remaining phases of the field.

Earlier on Friday, a high-ranking Ukrainian trade delegation visited South Pars gas field in the southern port city of Assalouyeh, and expressed Kiev’s interest in increasing its participation in Iranian oil projects, particularly in South Pars.

Known as the world’s largest gas field, South Pars holds an estimated 50.97 trillion cubic meters of in situ gas and some 50 billion barrels of condensates.

The gas field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, of which 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) is in the Iranian territorial waters and 6,000 square kilometers (North Dome) is in Qatar’s territorial waters.

Iran discovered 13 new oil and gas fields with in-place reserves of 14 billion barrels of oil and 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas between August 2009 and August 2010, according to the Iranian Oil Ministry.

Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.

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