- Publications Removed from Tehran Book Fair as Supreme Leader Visits
- IAEA Head Indicates Challenge to Iran Over Inspections of Military Sites
- President Rouhani Welcomes Iraqi Counterpart Masum in Tehran Visit
The deputy head of Iran’s armed forces has issued a challenge to the US and Saudi Arabia over Tehran’s attempts to send “aid” to Yemen amid that country’s civil war.
Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri said in a televised interview that an attempt to halt an Iranian ship, purportedly with humanitarian supplies, will “ignite the flames of war” and “will start a fire which they cannot put out”.
“I clearly announce that the self-restraint of the Islamic Republic of Iran has its limits,” Jazayeri added.
Fars News, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, steps up the rhetoric this morning with “Breaking News“:
[The] Iranian destroyer Alborz locked its missile systems on an invading vessel in the Gulf of Aden after a high-speed boat left Yemen’s coasts and rushed to attack it.
The Iranian destroyer’s missile systems locked on the target after an invading high-speed boat appeared on the monitor screens of the radar systems in Alborz operations room.
According to reports, the invading vessel changed course and returned to the coast after the Iranian destroyer warned it would target the vessel in seconds.
Iran says it is sending aid to assist victims of the Yemeni conflict, in which a Saudi-led coalition began bombing in late March to halt the advance of the ruling Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement into the south of the country. The US and Saudi Arabia claim that Tehran is sending weapons and other military assistance to Ansar Allah.
An Iranian cargo ship, purportedly containing 2,500 tons of much-needed aid such as food, medical supplies and tents, left the southern port of Bandar Abbas for Yemen on Monday.
Admiral Hossein Azad said a destroyer and logistics ship, which have been manoeuvring near the Gulf of Aden, could escort the cargo vessel to “demonstrate Iran’s navel might, insure the security of international shipping lines, and defend the country’s interests”.
A Pentagon spokesman said the armed escort is “absolutely unnecessary”. Another official said information was that the cargo ship did not have weapons but added that it should change course and head to Djibouti in east Africa, where the UN is supervising humanitarian deliveries.
Tuesday’s exchange is the latest spat between Iran, the US, and Saudi Arabia over naval moves off the Yemeni coast. After the Iranians positioned their destroyer and logistics ship in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait last month, the US said it was sending warships to encourage withdrawal, effectively blocking any Iranian deliveries to Yemen.
The Pentagon later said that the Iranians had withdrawn the ships, but Tehran denied that any movement was connected with the American intervention.
On April 28, Saudi Arabia enforced an aerial blockade, forcing an Iranian cargo plane to return without landing.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian signaled a test of the restrictions on Tuesday, sayingthree cargo planes will be dispatched to Yemen within the next 24 hours.
Publications Removed from Tehran Book Fair as Supreme Leader Visits
Security forces from the Culture Ministry have confiscated two publications from the Tehran Book Fair.
One of the offending books, Why Nations Fail, was translated by political prisoners Mohsen Mirdamadi and Mohammad Hossein Naimipour, and includes a preface written by fellow detainee Alireza Beheshti Shirazi. All backed Mir Hossein Mousavi, who “lost” the disputed 2009 Presidential election to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and were arrested and imprisoned after the vote.
The books were reportedly seized even though approval had been obtained from the Culture Ministry for display. No reason was given.
Written by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail presents a new political economic theory to explain why some nations are poor and others are rich, looking at how prosperity, poverty, health, disease, food, and recreation sets countries apart.
Shiva Arastoui’s novel Me and Shirin and Mustafa was also removed, even though it too had been given permission for display.
IAEA Head Indicates Challenge to Iran Over Inspections of Military Sites
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, has indicated that he will challenge Iran over its refusal to allow unrestricted inspections of military sites:
In many other countries from time to time we request access to military sites when we have the reason to, so why not Iran?
If we have a reason to request access, we will do so, and in principle Iran has to accept it.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said they will not agree — either with the IAEA or in nuclear talks with the 5+1 Powers — to unlimited access. They have offered a one-off inspection of the Parchin site, where Western countries have long claimed that experimentation for nuclear weapons took place, to resolve any doubts.
Amano insisted on Tuesday that the IAEA can request access, clarification, or a “short-notice inspection” whenever “there is any inconsistency [or] abnormality” in Iran’s declaration of its nuclear work or facilities.
Iran and the 5+1 (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) are holding the second day of talks in Vienna on Tuesday, seeking a comprehensive nuclear agreement by June 30.
President Rouhani Welcomes Iraqi Counterpart Masum in Tehran Visit
President Rouhani has officially welcomed Iraqi counterpart Fuad Masum on his three-day visit to Tehran.
Masum’s talks began with a ceremony on Wednesday morning.
By EA WorldView