بسم الله الر حمن الر حيم
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says political developments in Iran and the region indicate that the Islamic Revolution has brought the US to its knees.
“The Great Satan, the US, from the beginning of the [Islamic] Revolution, brought its military, financial, propaganda and political [campaign] empire to the scene to defeat the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian nation but the realities of the political arena of Iran and the region indicate that the US has come to its knees in front of the Islamic Revolution,” Ayatollah Khamenei said Tuesday.
The Leader referred to analyses on the failure of US strategies in the Middle East and said, thirty years ago, the Great Satan just lost one of its corrupted cronies, the Pahlavi regime, but today the US is witnessing that more regimes dependent on it are collapsing one after another.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the isolation of the US and the revival of Islam were indications of the realization of God's promises and added that the US failure in the Palestinian issue was yet another indication of US failure in the international arena.
The Leader also said that the Islamic Revolution was on a higher status compared to thirty years ago and called on the Iranian nation and officials to remain steadfast and vigilant in the face of Western plots.
Iran has condemned US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan for an airstrike in Helmand Province, which claimed the lives of a group of women and children.
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement on Monday that the spread of extremism, return of violence, boom in narcotics production and murder of civilians are the outcomes of the continuing foreign military presence in Afghanistan after nearly 10 years of war.
The senior Iranian official also said the recent civilian deaths increase Afghan calls for a full withdrawal of foreign forces, who marched into the Asian country under the pretext of establishing security there.
Mehmanparast pointed out that the pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan, and the full transfer of authority to Afghans would secure the establishment of security and stability in the war-battered country.
At least 14 civilians, including 12 children, died on Saturday after US-led NATO warplanes targeted two civilian houses in the Nawzad district of Helmand Province.
In reaction to the NATO airstrike, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the US military on Sunday to avoid operations that kill civilians, saying it was his “last warning” to Washington.
“The president called this incident a great mistake and the murdering of Afghanistan's children and women, and on behalf of the Afghan people gives his last warning to the US troops and US officials in this regard,” a statement issued by Afghan president's office read.
The statement added, “The president said that US and NATO troops have been repeatedly told that their arbitrary and unnecessary operations cause the deaths of innocent Afghans and such operations violate human and moral values.”
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.
Civilian casualties have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and US-led foreign forces. The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has dramatically increased anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.
The surge in violence comes despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops in the country that claim to be engaged in a so-called war on terror. The US-led war in Afghanistan has become the longest war in US history.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni says the Islamic Republic of Iran has pledged its support for Dhaka's candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2016-2017 term.
"Iran will support Bangladesh in the election of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2016-17 term. Iran has confirmed us on the issue," Moni told Bangladesh News 24 online newspaper on Sunday.
The top Bangladeshi diplomat added that she held talks with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asian and Oceania Affairs Mohammad Ali Fatollahi in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Sunday and discussed the issue while the two sides exchanged views on bilateral and international matters.
The remarks come as Bangladesh is seeking to draw regional support in order to secure non-permanent membership of the UNSC for the 2016-2017 period.
The UNSC consists of five veto-wielding permanent members -- including China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States -- and 10 elected non-permanent members.
The ten non-permanent members of the UNSC are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms and are not eligible for immediate re-election.
The number of non-permanent members was increased from six to ten by an amendment of the UN Charter, which came into force in 1965.
The current ten non-permanent members of the UNSC include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa.
Iran and Armenia have inked memorandums of understanding (MoU) to expand economic ties in the fields of energy, trade, banking and transportation.
The MoUs were signed at the end of a two-day intergovernmental summit between ministers of the two countries in Tehran, a Press TV correspondent reported on Monday.
Upon signing the MoUs, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi noted, “In 2010, trade between Iran and Armenia increased by 38 percent, bilateral trade between the two sides currently stands at 270 million dollars and we are now the fourth biggest economic partner for Armenia. Now considering the potentials the agreements will help boost trade and particularly a railway project that we agreed on.”
A $110 million project to build a third electricity transmission line for Armenia, the construction of a hydroelectric dam along the border of the two countries, and a 500 km railroad to link the two countries were among the most important topics discussed between the officials of the two neighbors.
For his part, Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movisian said, “Iran plays an important role in the region and we are aware that Iran considers what's best for the region especially regarding the Karabagh issue. As far as this economic commission is concerned we are happy with the agreements that we have made in different fields including transportation.”
The tenth intergovernmental meeting comes as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to visit Armenia in June.
The Iranian president is scheduled to hold talks with his Armenian counterpart and other senior officials of the country, Fars news agency reported.
Previously, President Ahmadinejad paid a state visit to Armenia in 2007 and held talks with top officials of the country. At the end of the visit, the two sides signed four memoranda of understanding and issued a joint communique on the expansion of bilateral cooperation.
Iran and Armenia have taken major strides towards promoting mutual relations in the past few years. The bilateral trade volume between the two states stands at nearly $270 million, a figure that is expected to climb, according to officials.
An Egyptian delegation, comprised of social, cultural and religious figures, has arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on a five-day visit.
The 45-strong delegation includes social, cultural and revolutionary figures as well as clerics from Egypt's al-Azhar University, IRIB website reported Tuesday.
Iran and Egypt have expressed readiness to resume ties following the ouster of Egypt's US-backed ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday that Tehran and Cairo were taking steps to resume diplomatic relations but stressed that the improvement of ties should be pursued “with patience.”
The Islamic Republic and Egypt have not had diplomatic relations since 1980. Iran severed ties with Egypt after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to Iran's deposed dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
As part of efforts to resume diplomatic ties, Salehi and his Egyptian counterpart Nabil al-Arabi met last week on the sidelines of the 16th conference of foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement on the island of Bali in Indonesia.
Salehi said better Iran-Egypt ties would benefit the entire region and called on the two countries to clear any possible misunderstandings.
Al-Arabi, for his part, expressed his country's readiness to enhance ties with the Islamic Republic.
Iran has announced it will host another two-day conference in the capital, Tehran, to unite efforts for the nuclear disarmament across the globe.
The second international conference on nuclear disarmament entitled "Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None" will run from June 12 and 13, 2011 in Tehran. The event is expected to be attended by some 50 researchers on nuclear arms control and non-proliferation, Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.
Tehran hosted the first international “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None” conference on April 17 and 18, 2010.
Iran was among the original countries to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and was also the first nation to propose the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
The treaty, which came into force in 1970, is one of the international community's main set of rules regarding nuclear disarmament and the prevention of proliferation.
There are 190 signatories to the treaty. However, Israel, along with India, Pakistan and North Korea, has refused to endorse it.
Since 1958, when Israel began building its Dimona plutonium and uranium processing facility, it has secretly manufactured scores of nuclear warheads, earning reputation as the sole owner of such weapons in the Middle East.
According to Jane's Defense Weekly, Israel has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads; most of them are probably being kept in unassembled mode but can become fully functional "in a matter of days.”
source : presstv
Iran became a unique Islamic republic in 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and religious clerics assumed political control under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
The Iranian revolution put an end to the rule of the Shah, who had alienated powerful religious, political and popular forces with a programme of modernization and Westernization coupled with heavy repression of dissent.
Persia, as Iran was known before 1935, was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world, and the country has long maintained a distinct cultural identity within the Islamic world by retaining its own language and adhering to the Shia interpretation of Islam.
In 2002, US President George W Bush declared Iran as part of an "axis of evil" . While Mr Bush's successor, Barack Obama, has softened his tone, Washington continues to accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran, which has built its first atomic power station - at Bushehr, in the south of the country - with Russian help, says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful. President Ahmadinejad says Iran has an "inalienable right" to produce nuclear fuel.
In 2010, the UN voted to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over the issue. Two months later, Tehran announced that engineers had begun loading fuel into the Bushehr plant and described this as a milestone in the country's drive to produce nuclear energy
The country has an abundance of energy resources - substantial oil reserves and natural gas reserves second only to those of Russia.
Iran has been led by a conservative elite since 1979, but appeared to be entering another era of political and social transformation with the victory of the liberals in parliamentary elections in 2000.
But the reformists, kept on the political defensive by powerful conservatives in the government and judiciary, failed to make good on their promises. Former President Mohammad Khatami's support for greater social and political freedoms made him popular with the young - an important factor as around half of the population is under 25.
But his liberal ideas put him at odds with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and hardliners reluctant to lose sight of established Islamic traditions.
The elections of June 2005 dealt a blow to the reformists when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tehran's ultra-conservative mayor, became president.
Mr Ahmadinejad's controversial re-election in June 2009 and the violent suppression of subsequent opposition protests has further widened the rift between conservatives and reformists within Iran's political establishment.
Supreme leader: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The Supreme Leader - the highest power in the land - appoints the head of the judiciary, military leaders, the head of radio and TV and Friday prayer leaders. He also confirms the election of Iran's president.
Moreover, the Supreme Leader selects six members of the 12-member Guardian Council, an influential body which has to pass all legislation and which can veto would-be election candidates.
The Leader is chosen by the clerics who make up the Assembly of Experts. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was appointed for life in June 1989, succeeding Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic. He previously served two consecutive terms as president in the 1980s.
He has intervened on behalf of conservatives, coming into conflict with former president Mohammad Khatami and other reformists.
Ayatollah Khamenei endorsed the results of the disputed presidential election of June 2009, which gave a landslide victory and a second term to his ally, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
However, the unprecedented defiance by opposition supporters to his call for an end to street protests against the result is thought to have undermined his authority.
There were further challenges to his authority during the violent protests that followed the death of leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri - a prominent critic of Ayatollah Khamenei - in December 2009.
President: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected as Iran's president in June 2009, amid a bitterly contested poll result which led to the most serious internal unrest seen in the country since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Official results from the 12 June election said that Mr Ahmadinejad had won 62.6% of the vote, while his closest challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, received 33.8%.
Amid claims of fraud and vote-rigging, opposition supporters took to the streets. Around 20 people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested in the wave of protests that followed.
As tensions escalated, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his weight behind Mr Ahmadinejad, while the powerful Guardian Council confirmed the result and ruled out any annulment. He was sworn in for his second term in August 2009.
The Iranian authorities claimed foreign interference was stoking the unrest, and singled out Britain for criticism.
The ultra-conservative Mr Ahmadinejad served as Tehran's mayor before winning a run-off vote in elections in June 2005, defeating his rival, the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to become Iran's first non-cleric president for 24 years.
Much of his support came from poorer and more religious sections of Iran's rapidly growing population, particularly outside Tehran.
Promising an administration of "peace and moderation", he said his government would press on with Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
His outspoken style and hard anti-Western line have often caused outrage abroad, most notably in 2005, when he made a controversial statement in which he envisaged the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state, and described the Holocaust as a "myth". He denied implying a threat to Israel.
Local elections in December 2006 - his first major test at the polls since coming to power - saw his allies trailing moderate conservatives and reformists.
But parliamentary elections in March 2008 - in which many pro-reform candidates were disbarred from standing - saw a strong showing not only by the president's supporters but also by more pragmatic conservatives who oppose his confrontational style of dealing with western countries.
Mr Ahmadinejad has faced mounting criticism of his handling of the economy, with hardship on the rise as a result of falling oil prices and the UN sanctions imposed in response to Iran's nuclear programme.
His sacking of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in December 2010 was seen by analysts as part of a power struggle within the ruling conservative bloc - between the president and his pragmatic conservative opponents in the Iranian parliament.
Born near Tehran in 1956, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a former provincial governor and Revolutionary Guards officer. He was actively involved in the Islamic revolution and was a founding member of the student union that took over the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. But he denies being one of the hostage-takers.
The struggle for influence and power in Iran is played out in the media.
The relatively free press, a tangible achievement of former President Khatami's government, has been targeted by conservatives. Many pro-reform publications have been closed and reformist writers and editors jailed. The conservative judiciary has also campaigned against the liberal media.
There are some 20 major national dailies, but few Iranians buy a newspaper every day. Sports titles are the biggest sellers.
Broadcasters are more restricted than the press. Despite a ban on owning dishes, foreign satellite TV channels are widely watched; this is largely tolerated by the authorities.
State-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting - IRIB - operates international, national and provincial networks.It launched an English-language satellite station, Press TV, in 2007. President Ahmadinejad
said its mission would be "to stand by the oppressed of the world".
Television is very popular, with more than 80% of Iranians being regular viewers. The most-watched network is the third state channel, the youth channel.
IRIB's radio channels include a parliamentary network and Radio Koran. The Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, an external radio service, broadcasts via shortwave and the internet.
By December 2009, there were 32.2 million internet users, comprising nearly 50% of the population (InternetWorldStats.com). The web is the main forum for dissident voices. Access is easy to arrange and affordable for middle-class households.
News sites often have strong political leanings. There are tens of thousands of weblogs, with bloggers active both in Iran and among the diaspora. Officials, including President Ahmadinezhad, have launched blogs.
The authorities exercise technical controls (filtering, limiting bandwidth) and implement legal and regulatory curbs. Censorship extends to political and human rights sites. Blocked sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube. Bloggers and online activists have been arrested.
Foreign broadcasters target Iranian audiences. They include BBC Persian TV, whose satellite broadcasts have suffered from deliberate interference from within Iran following disputed elections in June 2009.
•Tehran Times - English-language daily, published by state-run body
•Iran Daily - English-language, published by official news agency IRNA
•Iran News - English-language
•Aftab-e Yazd (Sun of Yazd) - reformist daily
•Kayhan (Universe) - conservative daily
•Resalat (Message) - conservative daily
•Jomhuri-ye-Eslami (Islamic Republic) - conservative daily
•Jaam-e Jam (Jam's Cup) - large-circulation daily, published by IRIB, reflects broadcaster's editorial line
•IRIB - state-run, operates four national networks, provincial and international services
•Press TV - IRIB's English-language satellite channel
•IRIB - state-run, operates eight national networks, provincial services and an external service
•Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) - state-run
•Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) - English-language pages
•Fars News Agency - affiliated to Revolutionary Guards, English-language pages
•Mehr News Agency - affiliated to Islamic Propagation Organisation, English-language pages