LATEST: Government Denounces State Broadcaster IRIB as “Opposition Media”

The Supreme Leader put out another tough message to Washington on Wednesday, declaring, “The Iranian nation has proven its capabilities in different domains and it has proven that it is possible to make scientific and social progress, and also (gain) international influence and political dignity without reliance on the US,”

Ayatollah Khamenei told cadets at a graduation ceremony, “The Iranian nation has chosen the right path and it will continue on its path and the majority of the world is with this nation.”

The Supreme Leader’s statement follows the fourth round of Iran’s talks with the US and other powers on a comprehensive nuclear agreement. The discussions in Vienna were said by both sides to be “difficult” but conducted in a “constructive atmosphere”.

Khamenei chided “bullying powers” and sanctions: “They are trying through these pretexts and pressures to dissuade the Iranian nation from resisting their bullying, but this will never happen.”

He said the US was “infuriated and agitated” by the influence of the Islamic Republic across the world, leading opposition to the “abhorrent and heinous” plans of “arrogant powers”:

This very resistance has attracted the world nations to the Iranian nation and even many governments that lack the courage to stand up to bullying powers enjoy the resistance of the Islamic Republic establishment and commend it.

Today, the majority of people in the world trust the Iranian nation and praise this nation.

Government Denounces State Broadcaster IRIB as “Opposition Media”

Presidential advisor Ali Younesi has criticized State broadcaster IRIB for acting as opposition media against the Government.

Younesi said, “Seda va Sim (IRIB) is supposed to support the president while reflecting the public view regarding the government.”

The Government claimed IRIB blocked the broadcast of President Rouhani’s speech on the National Day of Communications and Public Relations.

Relations between the Government and IRIB have been tense ever since Rouhani’s inauguration. The head of IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami, is seen as an ally of former President Ahmadinejad.

Earlier this year, Rouhani delayed a live interview with IRIB because of a dispute over who would interview him.

Iran Repeats: No Missiles in Nuclear Talks

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, has repeated that Tehran will not accept ballistic missiles on the agenda of the discussions.

“The 5+1 Powers insist on negotiations over the missile program (of Iran) but we have stated to them that our country’s defense systems are not negotiable,” Araqchi told Revolution Guards political officials on Wednesday.

“We have announced it very clearly and explicitly and we have never allowed them to start talks about our defense systems and won’t allow them to do so to the end,” he asserted.

The US and European countries have never confirmed that they are putting missiles on the agenda of the nuclear talks; however, American officials have told Congress of their concern over the weapons, a position strongly promoted by Israel.

Surge in Iran Oil Exports to China in April

Iranian media are celebrating a report that China’s imports of Tehran’s oil in April more than doubled from a year ago, reaching almost 800,000 barrels per day.

China’s imports, added to India’s shipments of about 225,000 bpd and South Korea’s 135,000 bpd, put the purchases of Iranian crude by Asian customer at close to 1.2 million bpd — with Japan yet to report.

China’s crude imports from Iran in April rose 115.3% over the previous year to 799,865 bpd, customs data showed.

The figure was a 44% jump from March’s 555,182 bpd.

China took in 21% more oil in April, compared to 2013, to a record of 6.78 million bpd. Causes include higher seasonal demand and stockpiling.

China’s oil purchases from Iran in the first four months of 2014 were 618,170 bpd, up 54.5% from a year ago.

Iran’s oil exports were crippled in 2013 by US-led sanctions, dropping to a historic low of less than 800,000 bpd. They have rebounded since November’s interim nuclear deal, but are still 40% below the level of 2.2 million bpd at the start of 2012.