LATEST: Weekly Newspaper Shut Down for Publishing MP’s Letter About 4-Year House Arrests of Opposition Leaders

Iran maintained its campaign of warnings on Tuesday to Israel, nine days after an Israeli airstrike killed Iranian and Hezbollah commanders inside Syria.

The head of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, declared, “The blood of our martyrs combined with the martyrs of Quneitra [in southwest Syria, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights] suggests….that the freedom of Jerusalem will happen soon….The Quds [Jerusalem] occupying regime is making its last moves and it knows that it is nearing its end.”

Jafari maintained that Israel had been defeated “in several areas”, including its war in Lebanon in 2006, because “the Zionists are afraid of us”.

Iranian commander Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, several other Iranian personnel, two Hezbollah commanders, and Hezbollah fighters were among the casualties when Israeli helicopters fired two missiles on two vehicles on January 18. The Hezbollah-Iranian convoy was reportedly considering the establishment of a Hezbollah missile site near the Golan Heights.

A day after the attack, Jafari promised “destructive thunderbolts” on Israel in response.

See Iran Daily, Jan 20: Head of Revolutionary Guards — Israel “Should Expect Destructive Thunderbolts”

Deputy Commander Hossein Salami pronounced on Tuesday, “I say to the Zionists that we will take our revenge, but its time, place, and severity are yet to be determined. Be ready at every time and place and go to your best shelters, because the IRGC [the Guards] and Hezbollah do not speak idly.”

And the Foreign Ministry joined the campaign: Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Iran sent a message to the US through diplomatic channels “that the Israeli air strike was a red line for Iran and that Israel should expect to feel the consequences of its actions”.

The warnings have been complemented by PR showcasing high-level meetings with Palestinian “resistance” groups. On Monday, the Supreme Leader hosted Ahmed Jibril, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

See Iran Daily, Jan 27: Supreme Leader – “We Stand Firm By Palestine”

As the Supreme Leader’s military advisor Yahya Rahim Safavi denounces Israel’s “lies” and said it is “scared”, Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi of Tehran University contributes to the regime’s PR campaign:

It’s inevitable that Iran will hit back at the Israeli regime, but the timing is something that the Iranians would definitely want to be keeping to themselves. The very fact that the Israelis are showing such reactions shows how vulnerable the [Israeli] regime is and how foolish it is.

(Hat-tip to Iran Tracker for translations)

Weekly Newspaper Shut Down for Publishing MP’s Letter About 4-Year House Arrests of Opposition Leaders

The Setareh Sobh weekly has been shut down by the Culture and Media Court for publishing MP Ali Motahari’s letter to the head of the judiciary demanding action over the 4-year house arrests of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard.

Earlier this month, Motahari was jostled by hardline MPs as he tried to speak in Parliament about the detentions. His speech was cut short and he was chided by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

The head of the judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, told Larijani that the arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi — candidates in the 2009 Presidential election “won” by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — and academic and activist Rahnavard are legal because they are being carried out by the Supreme National Security Council.

The three opposition leaders were shut away in their homes in February 2011 amid regime fears of a renewal of mass protests.

Convicted 1st Vice-President Lashes Out at Ex-President Ahmadinejad: “He Turned His Back on Me”

Former 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, serving a sentence of more than 5 years for fraud, has lashed out at former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for distancing himself from the affair.

On Monday, Ahmadinejad’s office put out a statement saying Rahimi’s corruption had nothing to do with the Ahmadinejad Goverenment, as the multi-million-dollar insurance fraud occurred before Rahimi was named Vice President in autumn 2009.

Rahimi said in a letter on Tuesday that Ahmadinejad was being “equivocal” and had turned his back on his former Vice Preisdent.

Rahimi said that he had been unwilling to take the post due to certain “political grudges” aimed at tarnishing his reputation, but had accepted it and carried out his duties faithfully.

He declared that he is paying the price for Ahmadinejad’s “stubbornness” and his acts to tarnish others’ image.