The ‘Washington Post’ Pulls Out of Iran, While the ‘New York Times’ Cashes In

Washington Post editor-in-chief Marty Baron says that moving forward, the Iranian government’s treatment of Post correspondent Jason Rezaian—who was imprisoned for nearly two years on trumped-up charges before his release last month—will definitely affect how his paper covers Iran. “Right now we’re not in a position to be able to put a correspondent there,” Baron told the Voice of America. “We’ve had no discussions with the Iranian government about having another correspondent there, and we would need some good assurances from the government that a correspondent there would not be arrested, as Jason was.”

If Baron sticks to his guns, the Post probably won’t have a reporter in Iran for quite a while—proving that, from the Iranian government’s point of view, holding Rezaian hostage was a smart move. By jailing Rezaian, the regime shaped how every Western media organization with a correspondent or even a stringer on the ground covered Iran for two years—or the entire duration of the public debate over the Iran Deal. If you wanted to keep your reporter from being tortured in Evin prison, you’d better not print news that made the Iranian government angry.

Baron also noted that there are factions within the regime itself. In the standard reading, there are moderates, like President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who oppose hardliners, like the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the office of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. In this reading, the hardliners are responsible for every bad thing that Iran ever does—from funding terrorism to detaining American sailors. The hardliners do bad things because they’re bad guys and because they’re competing with the moderates. They tossed an American journalist in jail to show the Rouhani clique who really calls the shots, which is why Western journalists were so sympathetic to the moderates and took their side against the hardliners. Except it wasn’t the hardliners who put Rezaian in jail, it was the moderates—because that’s how they won the hearts and minds and terrified the imaginations of the Western media, which played a key role in buttressing their position.

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Who Is Betraying the Palestinians?

According to Islamic sources, one of the signs of yawm al-qiyamah (Judgment Day) and redemption is the appearance of the False Messiah, masih dajjal, sent by Satan in the guise of the True Messiah. He is charismatic and powerful, his skin is the color of bronze, his hair is curly and his eyes flash fire. He pretends to do good deeds, drawing people to him and making them blindly follow him.

According to the tradition, the False Messiah sows disaster around the world, marking the stage before redemption. The Qur’an says, “You may love something that is bad for you and hate something that is good for you,” a convenient way of cajoling people into doing things they might find distasteful, such as blowing themselves up.

When U.S. President Barack Obama began his presidency and bowed down before the Islamists at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, we thought he would bring redemption to the Arab world. But his meddling in the Middle East has led to the final dissolution of most of the Arab states. The United States has muscled through a “nuclear deal” that the Iranians will not sign. How could one even expect Iran to sign anything with a country they call “the Great Satan?” Would you?

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Hassan Rouhani wins Iran presidential election

Reformist-backed cleric Hassan Rouhani has won Iran’s presidential election, securing just over 50% of the vote and so avoiding the need for a run-off.

Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was well behind in second place.

Turnout was estimated at 72.2% among the 50 million Iranians who were eligible to vote to choose a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was ineligible to stand again.

Mr Rouhani has pledged greater engagement with Western powers.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is scheduled to ratify the vote on 3 August.

The new president will then take the oath in parliament.

Ayatollah Khamenei congratulated Mr Rouhani on his victory.

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Confident strikes on Syria send a message to the nervous US

NEW YORK – On a visit to the Pakistani capital Islamabad in 2006, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, then a Republican senator from Nebraska, warned that “a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.”

Hagel reiterated that view in November 2007 in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. “The answer to dealing with Iran will not be found in a military operation,” he cautioned.

And it isn’t just then-senator Hagel.

“We’ve thought about military options against Iran off and on for the last 20 years,” former top White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke admitted that same year, “and they’re just not good, because you don’t know what the endgame is. You know what the first move of the game is, but you don’t know what

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Iran May Hang Imprisoned U.S. Pastor

An American-Iranian pastor imprisoned in Tehran since September may face hanging because of his Christian faith, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Saeed Abedini sent a letter to his family Jan. 10 detailing his torture and treatment by Iranian authorities, and the U.S. State Department expressed “serious concerns” about his situation on Friday. Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said: “This is an extremely critical time for American pastor Saeed and his family. We now know with certainty, from his own words, the brutality and life-threatening danger he faces in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.

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Israeli attack on Iran ‘would damage UK economy’

The Defence Secretary said that a “third party attack” on Iran’s nuclear programme could choke oil supplies from the Gulf, driving up oil prices.

That would then have “a direct effect” on the UK economic recovery, he told MPs and peers.

Mr Hammond was giving evidence to Parliament’s joint committee on national security strategy when he was asked about the consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear programme.

He replied: “Firstly, the Government firmly believes we should continue to pursue the diplomatic route in persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear ambtions, but in doing so we should take nothing off the table.”

However, he added, a military confrontation with Iran could have harmful economic consequences.

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Is Egypt about to become the new Iran?

It is not only the anti-government protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square who should be concerned about President Mohammed Morsi’s audacious power grab. Mr Morsi’s claim at the weekend that “God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship” has echoes of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s claim during the 1979 Iranian revolution that his mission to overthrow the Shah enjoyed divine guidance.

Since his announcement that he was granting himself sweeping new powers, Mr Morsi has been trying to reassure sceptical Egyptian voters that he has no ambition to become Egypt’s new Pharaoh. But you only have to look at the violent scenes that have once again erupted in Tahrir Square to see that the majority of Egyptians remain unconvinced.

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