Iranian parliamentarians staged a demonstration on Wednesday to protest Israel’s continued and barbaric attacks on the oppressed Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
During the rally, the MPs condemned the Zionists’ crimes against the defenseless Palestinian people in Gaza, Fars News Agency reported.
They also chanted ‘Down with the US’ and ‘Down with Israel’ and other anti-Zionist slogans.
The lawmakers voiced the Iranian nation’s readiness to defend the Palestinians.
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and head of Egypt’s Interests Section in Tehran were also present among the demonstrators.
Gaza Attack, Israel’s Miscalculation
The Majlis speaker said the Israeli regime has made a miscalculation by launching a war on the Gaza Strip.
“There are different remarks about this (Israel’s motive to attack Gaza), but there is a common viewpoint, i.e. the regime entered this hell by making a miscalculation,” Larijani said on the sidelines of the rally on Wednesday.
“Following recent developments in the region that led to the isolation of the Zionist regime, they (the Israelis) thought that they could get themselves out of the isolation and harm the resistance movement by attacking the Gaza Strip,” he added.
Larijani said, however, that Palestinian fighters will give a ‘firm response’ to Israel’s aggression and added there is no doubt that the Tel Aviv regime will suffer ‘serious damage’ in its new adventurism against Gaza.
He also voiced Iran’s support for the people of Gaza and said Majlis will stand by the Palestinians in the harshest conditions.
“We declare proudly that we have supported the Palestinian nation and Hamas and we have the honor to declare that we will stand beside the Palestinian people in the hardest and most difficult conditions,” Larijani said.
“We are proud that our assistance to the Palestinian people included financial and military aspects,” the speaker reiterated.
The Iranian official also called on Arab countries claiming to be concerned about the situation to offer real support to the Palestinians.
Hamas Missile Power Lauded
The speaker also extolled the missile power of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, saying it can easily overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield.
“What has happened in this war [on Gaza] seems incredible to the leaders of the Zionist regime because the Palestinian people have high spirit, and are firm in their resistance. The Palestinians’ missile power has given them a strategic [source] of power,” Larijani said on Tuesday.
“They are all children of the [late founder of the Islamic Republic] Great Imam Khomeini...and the Zionist regime should understand that the power of combat as well as arms and defense equipment are just the tip of the iceberg of the capacities possessed by the great nation of Iran,” he added.
“Having waged this war, the Zionist regime is pursuing several objectives, [including] to get out of isolation and continue a minimal life, boost its regional prestige, and deal a blow to Hamas if it could,” Larijani said.
Israeli Channel 10 said on Saturday that the Zionist regime’s Iron Dome has so far been able to intercept only about 300 out of over 900 missiles fired from the Gaza Strip into the occupied lands.
The Israeli military is now planning to deploy more Iron Dome systems to intercept Palestinian missiles and rockets.
Israeli airstrikes and shelling on the Gaza Strip, which started on November 14, have left at least 139 Palestinians dead and over 1,000 injured. Some of the injured are in critical condition.
No Halt in Bushehr Plant’s Activities
Amano Report Denied
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoun Abbasi categorically denied claims by the Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, about a halt in the activities of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
In his report on Iran’s nuclear program on Friday, Amano said that Iran unloaded nuclear fuel from its first nuclear power plant last month and transferred the fuel assemblies from the reactor core to a spent fuel pond.
It came some two months after Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the long-postponed plant was operating at full capacity.
Speaking to Fars News Agency at the end of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Abbasi rejected the claim saying, “Do not believe any of these (claims).
“Projects are advancing and everything is okay.”
Iran’s ambassador to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh also said Iran had unloaded fuel from its first atomic power plant as part of a normal technical procedure linked to transferring responsibility for the plant from Russian engineers.
The report, submitted to IAEA member states late on Friday, did not give a reason for the fuel removal at the 1,000-megawatt reactor near the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr.
Soltanieh suggested the fuel move was linked to the gradual transfer of responsibility for operating the plant from Russia to Iran.
Bushehr nuclear power plant construction was started by Germany’s Siemens before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed shah, and it was taken over by Russian engineers in the 1990s.
The Bushehr nuclear plant is a symbol of Iran’s peaceful nuclear ambitions, disputed by the West, and any new hitch would probably be seen as an embarrassment both for Tehran and Moscow.
It was plugged into Iran’s national grid in September 2011, a move intended to end years of delays in its construction.
Earlier this month, Abbasi announced that Iranian experts will operate the country’s first nuclear power plant in the next three months after they receive control of the plant from the Russian contractor.
“We will start the preliminary launch of this project by Iranian experts early next year after conducting different tests in the Bushehr (nuclear) power plant,” Abbasi told reporters.
P5+1 to Mull Improving Offer
Six world powers are expected to make a ‘more creative’ and sweetened offer to Iran to persuade it to scale back its uranium enrichment activities, diplomats said.
The gathering of the P5+1--Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany--will ‘see if there are ways on which we can improve on the offer (rejected in June in talks in Moscow) to Iran’, one senior western envoy said Tuesday, AFP reported.
“We want to try to give Iran incentives to meet its obligations, but Iran will also have to take steps as well. We will see what they are willing to do,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
“It is looking to see what we can do to help bring Iran back to the negotiating table to negotiate seriously ... There is the pressure side of it, but we also want to see what it is we can do to bring them back to the negotiating table.”
In high-level talks in May in Baghdad the P5+1 made an offer to Iran, calling on it to suspend some activities, close its most important nuclear facility and ship abroad fissile material.
Iran rejected the proposals in June since the six powers stopped short of offering significant and immediate enough relief from sanctions that have started to hit the Iranian economy in recent months.
Diplomatic efforts were then put on hold during campaigning for the US presidential election, won on November 6 by Barack Obama, and diplomats and experts say they expect a new round of talks with Iran early next year or perhaps sooner.
“I think most parties are coming to the table with the realization that we have to consider what is on offer. I think we have realized that with what was on offer, and what Iran was prepared to accept, there was no meaningful middle ground,” a second western envoy told AFP.
“We need to find that middle ground. I think that everyone is coming in with their eyes open, I think the (six powers) are realizing that they have to do something more creative.”
On Monday, Tehran’s ambassador to Russia Ambassador Reza Sajjadi said that Iran is ready for new talks with global powers on its nuclear program but the United States and others seeking to rein in its uranium enrichment activities must be more constructive. Sajjadi said senior Iranian officials had conveyed Tehran’s readiness for new negotiations to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov last week, but his remarks appeared to set a firm tone for any new round.
“We hope that in the next talks, the six nations--instead of (applying) a double standard, would approach these talks more constructively,” Sajjadi told a news conference, speaking through an interpreter.
Three rounds of talks since April have failed to resolve the long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which western powers say is aimed at developing a secret nuclear capability. Iran denies this, saying its program is for generating peaceful energy only.
But neither side has been willing to abandon dialog, in part because a total breakdown could heighten the risk of military conflict in the region.
The six nations leading diplomatic efforts with Iran--permanent UN Security Council members met on Wednesday to discuss negotiating strategy.
Palestinians Provided With Missile Technology
From Page 1
Fajr-class rockets, Fajr-5 (Dawn 5) in particular, are known and described by the world military experts, as a weapon system appropriate for asymmetric wars, where the military power of the conflicting sides differs significantly.
The two-stage version of Fajr-5 rockets are the most effective and longest range of the Fajr-class rockets and can be used against enemy targets such as command and control centers, logistics, radar, communication, airports, plants and economic and political centers.
Syria Meeting Sought To Initiate Dialog
An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the Syria National Dialog meeting in Tehran was held with the aim of ending violence and paving the way for the initiation of a political process in the Arab country.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab-African affairs, made the remark in an interview with Al-Alam television network on Tuesday night.
Iran wrapped up the two-day meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups on Monday with the participants unanimously opposing foreign interference and calling for a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict.
Representatives from nearly 40 active Syrian political parties, including 130 figures from inside Syria and 40 Syrian and non-Syrian figures from other countries, took part in the meeting. Members of the Syrian opposition were also among the participants. Amir-Abdollahian said Iran maintained, from the very beginning, that the solution to the Syria unrest lies in national dialog, adding that the Tehran meeting provided an opportunity for the Syrian figures from different groups, ethnicities and parties to come together to talk.
He said that the meeting had certain achievements. “The first achievement was that Syria’s national dialog eventually took place with the participation of the opposition and the representatives of the Syrian government.” He further said that the meeting managed to make a connection between the opposition and the government in Syria. The official said the second achievement of the meeting was that a committee was formed to set up to pursue the talks in Syria in the near future.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011 and tens of thousands of people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country. Damascus blames western countries and some of their regional allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the opposition and fueling the crisis in the country, as reports indicate that a large number of insurgents fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said in August that the country is engaged in a ‘crucial and heroic’ battle that will determine the destiny of the nation. Iran has repeatedly rejected foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs, calling for national dialog as the only way out of the country’s prolonged impasse.
Muslim States Must Support Gaza
From Page 1
“The US, Britain and France did not even frown at the stone-hearted and merciless Zionist regime [of Israel] and by supporting, encouraging and strengthening these criminals showed how far the brutal and hated enemies of the Muslim Ummah are from humanity and morality,” the Leader said. Ayatollah Khamenei said the reaction of Muslim and Arab states to the Gaza crisis was not suitable as some merely used words to denounce the Zionists while others did not even offer a verbal condemnation.
The Leader further noted that the message of the Gaza war for the Muslim Ummah is that they should “boost their material and spiritual power and to strongly resist the enemies of Islam.”
More than 150 Palestinians have lost their lives and 1,200 others have been injured as the Tel Aviv regime continues deadly airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel launched its latest round of attack on the besieged enclave on November 14 drawing global condemnations.
Ayatollah Khamenei also asked the lawmakers not to question President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country needs calm situation.
“Up to this point, the plan to question the president has been positive because of the sense of responsibility of parliament and the readiness of government officials,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“But if this issue goes any further, it will be what the enemies want and so I ask the honorable representatives not to continue with it,” the Leader added. After the Leader’s speech, the parliament called off the plan to grill President Ahmadinejad.
Lawmaker Avaz Heydarpour of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said that the lawmakers who signed the document to impeach Ahmadinejad withdrew their signatures. Earlier this month, 77 MPs were reported to have signed a document to pave the way for questioning Ahmadinejad regarding the economic problems.
Turbulence in the foreign exchange market, problems gripping the industrial sector, mismanagement in the mining sector, and also problems facing poultry and egg production were among the major reasons for the impeachment move.
Police has disbanded 35 drug-trafficking and dealing rings and discovered 10 tons of narcotics in the northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi in the past eight months, provincial police chief Bahman Amiri Moqaddam said on Wednesday.