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Spotlight on Iran (Week of April 18-25, 2012) (IICC) Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)Source: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_e165.htm Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (IICC Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (IICC Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Highlights of the week

Iran steps up demands for the West to lift sanctions ahead of new round of nuclear talks in Baghdad

For the first time in three years, president takes part in meeting of Expediency Discernment Council, headed by Rafsanjani

Cyber attack on Iran’s oil industry

Iranian diplomat’s involvement in sexual abuse in Brazil causes media storm.

Pictures of the week: Supreme Leader visits ground forces of Iran’s regular army.

Iran steps up demands for the West to lift sanctions ahead of new round of nuclear talks in Baghdad

Tehran’s Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati has warned Western countries this week that persisting with a policy based on sanctions and pressure on Iran will spell failure for the nuclear talks. During his weekly Friday sermon, the top cleric said that the West must lift the sanctions imposed on Iran to gain the trust of the Iranian people.

Jannati’s demand to lift the sanctions was echoed this week by other Iranian clerics and top officials. Mohammad Sa’idi, the Friday prayer leader in the city of Qom, said that it is now up to Western countries to demonstrate their good intentions towards Iran by lifting the sanctions. Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, the Friday prayer leader in the city of Tabriz, stated that the Iranian people believe that if Western countries do recognize the rights of their country, they must lift all sanctions and revoke all resolutions passed against it.

Majles Speaker Ali Larijani also discussed the continuing sanctions on Iran, saying that they are intended to stop the country’s development. In a speech given in Tehran, Larijani noted that claims about the economic sanctions having been imposed on Iran for its nuclear activity are strange and perplexing coming from the United States, which supports a “Zionist regime” that has several hundred nuclear warheads. Last week Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also called on the West to alleviate the economic sanctions imposed on Iran as nuclear negotiations are about to continue in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Rostam Qasemi threatened this week that, unless European countries lift the sanctions imposed on the Iranian oil sector before nuclear talks resume in Baghdad on May 23, Iran will stop exporting oil to all European countries. Similar threats were heard this week from Mohammad Reza Naqdi, chief of the Revolutionary Guards’ Basij wing, who called for a cessation of imports from Western countries in response to the economic sanctions. This week the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee added two members of the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force and an Iranian company to the sanctions blacklist for their involvement in an attempt to smuggle weapons into West Africa in 2010.

In addition, an E.U. official said last weekend that in the next two months the bloc will review the resolution passed in January 2012 to impose an oil embargo on Iran, due to concerns that such an embargo will lead to a collapse of some E.U. countries. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Western diplomats stressed, however, that the West has no intention of easing the sanctions on Iran until it shows willingness for meaningful concessions in the nuclear talks.

For the first time in three years, president takes part in meeting of Expediency Discernment Council, headed by Rafsanjani

Last weekend, for the first time in three years, President Ahmadinejad took part in a meeting of the Expediency Discernment Council. The president, considered a member of the council, has been absent from its meetings in recent years due to his strong differences of opinion with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has been recently appointed by the Supreme Leader to another five-year term as the council’s chairman. In recent years the president has accused the council of trying to undermine the work of his government and acting against the law.

In his opening remarks during the recent council meeting, held on Saturday, April 21, Rafsanjani thanked Ahmadinejad for taking part in it and expressed his hope that the president will become a regular participant in the council meetings.

The president’s participation in the council meeting was widely covered by Iran’s media. In an editorial published by the reformist daily E’temad, intellectual and political commentator Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam analyzed the reasons behind the president’s decision not to boycott the council meetings anymore. In the article, Zibakalam, considered one of Rafsanjani’s allies, argued that the president is trying to endear himself with Rafsanjani in view of the escalating differences of opinion in the conservative bloc, which peaked during the Majles election campaign. Zibakalam argued that Ahmadinejad is interested in creating a new political coalition by building closer ties with Rafsanjani, a move motivated by the division in the conservative bloc and the presidential elections coming next year. The top political commentator estimated, however, that the president’s overtures would not succeed since he has nothing in common with Rafsanjani politically, economically, or socially, and because Rafsanjani does not stand to gain anything from such an association.

The daily Siyasat-e Rooz argued that the president’s participation in the council meeting was the result of a statement recently made by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who stressed the need for all council members to take part in its meetings. The daily praised the president for resuming his participation in the council meetings, saying that it makes the council stronger at a time when some political figures are attempting to weaken its position. The daily was hinting at the controversial statement made last week by Gholam Hossein Elham, the president’s legal advisor, who said that a number of council members had been appointed by the Supreme Leader to keep them from becoming unemployed. In an interview given by Elham to the Raja News website, he said that the differences of opinion between the council and the government, as well as its hostile attitude towards the executive branch, had undermined its efficiency. This week Elham claimed that his statement was distorted by his political opponents. Cyber attack on Iran’s oil industry

Ali-Reza Nikzad, a spokesman for the Petroleum Ministry, confirmed on Monday, April 23, that in recent days the information systems of the Petroleum Ministry and the National Petroleum Company have been under a cyber attack. He said that the virus, which attacked the computers for the purpose of deleting the information they contained, burned the motherboards of computers connected to public servers and deleted some of the information. He stressed, however, that the most important information of the Petroleum Ministry was intact, since the public servers attacked operate separately from the main servers, which are not connected to the external internet network.

Iranian news agencies reported that servers used by the Petroleum Ministry and a number of related companies had been attacked by a virus dubbed “Viper”. As a result of the attack, Iran’s main oil terminal in the Persian Gulf island of Kharg was disconnected from the internet to avoid further damage. Also cut off were all the internet systems in the Petroleum Ministry, the National Petroleum Company, the National Gas Company, and several other companies associated with the oil sector and petrochemical industries. According to the Iranian media, the cyber attack caused no damage to oil production and export and did not disrupt the country’s gasoline supply systems. Following the cyber attack, the Petroleum Ministry established a crisis headquarters.

Fars News Agency said that the cyber attack is yet another expression of the economic war waged by the West against Iran, whose main objective is to hit the strategically important oil sector. Western countries, according to Fars, are trying to carry out a cyber attack against the oil sector due to the failure of the economic sanctions they have imposed on Iran.

The Supreme Leader has recently issued a directive on the establishment of a “Supreme Cyber Council” for the integration of efforts to prevent cyber attacks. The new council was instructed to promptly establish a “National Cyber Center” to take charge of issues pertaining to cyberspace in Iran and elsewhere, including software, hardware, and internet content.

Iranian diplomat’s involvement in sexual abuse in Brazil causes media storm

The involvement of an Iranian diplomat in sexual abuse in Brazil has Iran’s media in a frenzy. Hekmatollah Ghorbani, 51, a diplomat stationed in the capital of Brazil, was questioned by police in Brasilia last weekend on charges of molesting two girls aged 9 and 14 at a local swimming pool. He was released under diplomatic immunity.

The Iranian embassy in Brazil denied the allegations against the diplomat, claiming it was a misunderstanding which resulted from “cultural differences” between the two countries. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denied the allegations as well, saying that the media reports in Brazil are not indicative of reality and are not consistent with the diplomat’s past background.

The incident and the Foreign Ministry’s reaction drew strong criticism from some media in Iran. The conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami said that the reaction of the Foreign Ministry does not answer the question of whether the diplomat was actually present at a mixed- gender swimming pool. The newspaper demanded explanations from the Foreign Ministry about the issue, and wondered why it does not control the behavior of its employees. The Tabnak website, too, expressed surprise over the reaction of the Foreign Ministry, saying that the reaction causes damage to Iran’s reputation. The website compared the Foreign Ministry’s handling of the incident to President Obama’s strong reaction to his bodyguards’ involvement in a nightclub brawl during his visit to Colombia several weeks ago.

Mehr News Agency also harshly criticized the Foreign Ministry for its reaction to the incident, saying that it reflects the problematic and inappropriate conduct of the Foreign Ministry and Iranian diplomats stationed abroad. A commentary article published by the agency cited several examples of past incidents as evidence that the Foreign Ministry does not exercise sufficient control over the conduct of diplomats in other countries.



Iran steps up demands for the West to lift sanctions ahead of new round of nuclear talks in Baghdad

Tehran’s Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati has warned Western countries this week that persisting with a policy based on sanctions and pressure on Iran will spell failure for the nuclear talks. During his weekly Friday sermon, the top cleric said that the West must lift the sanctions imposed on Iran to gain the trust of the Iranian people and convince them that the West is no longer interested in being hostile. Speaking about the nuclear talks in Istanbul, Jannati said that the talks had been successful since the West agreed to officially recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and accepted the Supreme Leader’s statement that manufacturing nuclear weapons is forbidden in Islamic religious law (Fars, April 20).

Jannati’s demand to lift the sanctions was echoed this week by other Iranian clerics and top officials. Mohammad Sa’idi, the Friday prayer leader in the city of Qom, said that, with Iran having demonstrated its good intentions towards the West, it is now up to Western countries to demonstrate their good intentions towards Iran by lifting the sanctions. The world must realize that the Iranian people do not understand the language of power, Sa’idi said. Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, the Friday prayer leader in the city of Tabriz, stated that the Iranian people are still not convinced that the West recognizes the nuclear rights of their country, and believe that if Western countries do recognize Iran’s rights, they must lift all sanctions and revoke all resolutions passed against it (Fars, April 20).

At a speech given before the Friday prayer in Tehran, Majles Speaker Ali Larijani also discussed the continuing sanctions, saying that they are intended to stop the country’s development. He noted that claims about the economic sanctions having been imposed on Iran for its nuclear activity are strange and perplexing coming from the United States, which supports a “Zionist regime” that has several hundred nuclear warheads. While the U.S. president declares that the security of Israel is the security of the United States, his country imposes sanctions on Iran, whose Supreme Leader has issued a ruling that bans the manufacture, possession, and use of nuclear weapons. According to the Majles speaker, the pressure exerted by the United States on Iran results from the failures it suffered in the region over the last decade, which it blames on Iran.

Last week Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also called on the West to alleviate the economic sanctions imposed on Iran as nuclear negotiations are about to continue in Baghdad. In an interview to ISNA News Agency, Salehi said that the West needs to initiate trust- building measures ahead of the talks. Esma’il Kowsari, deputy chairman of the Majles Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, also announced that the next round of talks between Iran and the West should focus on lifting the sanctions and the non- proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world (Fars, April 21).

Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Rostam Qasemi threatened this week that, unless European countries lift the sanctions imposed on the Iranian oil sector before nuclear talks resume in Baghdad on May 23, Iran will stop exporting oil to all European countries. Qasemi said that Iran has so far officially stopped exporting oil to Britain and France, but that it still supplies oil to refineries in Greece, Spain, and Germany. He added that the Iranian petroleum company had signed new contracts with a number of customers to prepare for the possibility of having to terminate the export of oil to all of Europe (Mehr, April 19).

Similar threats were heard this week from Mohammad Reza Naqdi, chief of the Revolutionary Guards’ Basij wing, who called for a cessation of imports from Western countries in response to the economic sanctions. Speaking about Iran’s decision to become self-reliant in gasoline in response to the sanctions imposed on it, Naqdi said that, instead of waiting for more sanctions to make such decisions, Iran needs to boycott Western countries right now and deny them access to Iranian markets (Fars, April 21).

This week the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee added two members of the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force and an Iranian company to the sanctions blacklist for their involvement in an attempt to smuggle weapons into West Africa in 2010. Azim Aghajani, Ali-Akbar Tabataba’i, and the Behineh company were involved in the smuggling attempt, exposed by Nigeria in October 2010. In addition, an E.U. official said last weekend that in the next two months the bloc will review the resolution passed in January 2012 to impose an oil embargo on Iran, due to concerns that such an embargo will lead to a collapse of some E.U. countries. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Western diplomats stressed, however, that the West has no intention of easing the sanctions on Iran until it shows willingness for meaningful concessions in the nuclear talks.

For the first time in three years, president takes part in meeting of Expediency Discernment Council, headed by Rafsanjani

Last weekend, for the first time in three years, President Ahmadinejad took part in a meeting of the Expediency Discernment Council. The president, considered a member of the council, has been absent from its meetings in the past several years due to his strong differences of opinion with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has been recently appointed by the Supreme Leader to another five-year term as the council’s chairman.

The Expediency Discernment Council has the final say in the occasional disputes between the Majles and the Guardian Council and also serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader on various issues pertaining to state affairs. In recent years the president has accused the council of trying to undermine the work of his government and acting against the law. In January 2011 Ahmadinejad sent Majles members a letter accusing the council of collaborating with the heads of the legislative and judiciary branches in an attempt to change the constitution and the way state affairs are handled. The president claimed that the council interfered with the government’s responsibilities and overstepped its authorities in an attempt to weaken the executive branch. He noted that the council had no authority to approve draft laws that go beyond the authority of the Majles, that the authority to resolve disagreements between the three branches of government was held exclusively by the Supreme Leader, and that the council could not intervene in issues on which the branches were in disagreement and which were transferred to the Supreme Leader to decide. The president argued that the council acts in a way that leads to changes in the constitution when it has no permission from the Supreme Leader or the Iranian people to do so, and that it is not authorized to interpret the constitution, since that power belongs exclusively to the Guardian Council.

During the last council meeting, held on Saturday, April 21, the council discussed a number of issues and heard a report from Sa’id Jalili, chairman of the Supreme National Security Council, about the nuclear talks recently held in Istanbul. In his opening remarks, Rafsanjani thanked Ahmadinejad for taking part in the meeting and expressed his hope that the president will become a regular participant in future council meetings (Mehr, April 21).

The president’s participation in the council meeting was widely covered by Iran’s media. In an editorial published by the reformist daily E’temad, intellectual and political commentator Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam analyzed the reasons behind the president’s decision not to boycott the council meetings anymore. In the article, Zibakalam, considered one of Rafsanjani’s allies, argued that the president is trying to endear himself with Rafsanjani for several reasons, particularly the escalating differences of opinion in the conservative bloc which peaked during the Majles election campaign.

Zibakalam argued that Ahmadinejad is interested in creating a new political coalition by building closer ties with Rafsanjani, a move motivated by the division in the conservative bloc and the presidential elections coming next year. Another possibility, in Zibakalam’s opinion, is that the president has come to the conclusion that his behavior towards Rafsanjani since the 2005 presidential elections has been inappropriate, and he is trying to make up for it as his presidential term is coming to an end.

The top political commentator estimated, however, that the president’s overtures would not succeed since he has nothing in common with Rafsanjani politically, economically, or socially. Ahmadinejad is a populist who does not take into account Iran’s best interests on the international scene and only thinks about the reactions he will get at home. In contrast, Rafsanjani is just the opposite. Zibakalam argued that Rafsanjani does not stand to gain anything from an association or coalition with Ahmadinejad, which is why he will not seek a rapprochement with the president (E’temad, April 22).

The government daily Iran, however, said that portraying Ahmadinejad’s presence at the council meeting as a sign of thawing relations with Rafsanjani is a “big lie”, and that the differences of opinion between the two top officials go beyond politics and are evident in all fields: society, foreign policy, economy, and culture (Iran, April 23).

The conservative daily Siyasat-e Rooz argued that the president’s participation in the council meeting was the result of a statement recently made by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who stressed the need for all council members to take part in its meetings. According to the newspaper, the president’s absence from the council meetings in recent years resulted in council members being unaware of the government’s views and proposals, which led to problems in the implementation of the council’s and government’s missions. The daily praised the president for resuming his participation in the council meetings, saying that it makes the council stronger at a time when some political figures are attempting to weaken its position (Siyasat- e Rooz, April 22).

The daily was hinting at the controversial statement made by Gholam Hossein Elham, the president’s legal advisor, who said last week that a number of council members had been appointed by the Supreme Leader to keep them from becoming unemployed. In an interview to the Raja News website, Elham, the spokesman and minister of justice in Ahmadinejad’s first government, said that the Supreme Leader is trying to take advantage of all political figures in the country— particularly those unlikely to be elected to the Majles—to keep them from becoming unemployed, which may cause damage to the regime. He added that differences of opinion between the council and the government, as well as its hostile attitude towards the executive branch, undermined its efficiency during recent years. In response to criticism provoked by his remarks, Elham claimed this week that his statement was distorted and that there is nothing wrong with criticizing such individuals as Rafsanjani, who took an inappropriate stance after the 2009 presidential elections, or the performance of the Expediency Discernment Council (Raja News, April 23).

The Raja News website, considered one of Rafsanjani’s strongest critics, also discussed this week the president’s presence at the council meeting, and said that despite differences of opinion that have emerged between the president and the council in recent years, Ahmadinejad has come to the conclusion that his absence is detrimental to the government, and therefore decided to resume his participation in its meetings after the beginning of his new term and in light of the Supreme Leader’s statement about council members being required to take part in the meetings (Raja News, April 21).

Cyber attack on Iran’s oil industry

Ali-Reza Nikzad, a spokesman for the Petroleum Ministry, confirmed on Monday, April 23, that in recent days the information systems of the Petroleum Ministry and the National Petroleum Company have been under a cyber attack. He said that the virus, which attacked the computers for the purpose of deleting the information they contained, burned the motherboards of computers connected to public servers and deleted some of the information. He stressed, however, that the most important information of the Petroleum Ministry was intact, since the public servers attacked operate separately from the main servers, which are not connected to the external internet network. He added that all the ministry’s information is backed up (Fars, April 23).

ISNA News Agency reported that servers used by the Petroleum Ministry and a number of related companies had been attacked by a virus dubbed “Viper”. According to the report, the attack began last month and peaked earlier this week. The news agency reported that the cyber police started investigating the incident (ISNA, April 23).

Mehr News Agency reported that, as a result of the attack, Iran’s main oil terminal in the Persian Gulf island of Kharg was disconnected from the internet to avoid further damage. The terminal is used for the export of about 90 percent of Iranian oil. In addition, all the internet systems in the Petroleum Ministry, the National Petroleum Company, the National Gas Company, and several other companies associated with the oil sector and petrochemical industries have been cut off as of Sunday. According to the news agency, the cyber attack caused no damage to oil production and export and did not disrupt the country’s gasoline supply systems. (Mehr, April 23).

Following the cyber attack, the Petroleum Ministry established a crisis headquarters. Hamidollah Mohammadnejad, the head of Passive Defense Committee at the Oil Ministry, reported that the headquarters was established to prevent the attack from going any further and investigate whether it was carried out from inside Iran or from elsewhere.

Fars News Agency said that the cyber attack is yet another expression of the economic war waged by the West against Iran, whose main objective is to hit the strategically important oil sector. Western countries, according to Fars, are trying to carry out a cyber attack against the oil sector due to the failure of the economic sanctions they have imposed on Iran. Fars said that the defense infrastructure should be enhanced to better cope with cyber attacks, arguing that proper management can turn most crises into opportunities. The cyber attack has shown, the news agency said, that even though the minister of telecommunications called on government ministries to relocate their computer servers and internet infrastructure into Iran, many government organizations’ servers still rely on infrastructure located abroad (Fars, April 23). In the past, Gholam-Reza Jalali, the head of Passive Defense Organization, said that Iran’s energy sector is a main target for cyber attacks and called for strengthening the Oil Ministry’s defense infrastructure against cyber threats.

The Supreme Leader has recently issued a directive on the establishment of a “Supreme Cyber Council”, whose responsibilities include the integration of efforts to prevent cyber attacks. Headed by the president, the council members include the Majles speaker, the chief of the judiciary, the head of Iran Broadcasting, the ministers of telecommunications, Islamic guidance, intelligence, and science, the chairman of the Majles Culture Committee, the chairman of the Islamic Propagation Organization, the chief of the Revolutionary Guards, the commander of the internal security forces, as well as seven experts on internet and information technology. The new council was instructed to promptly establish a “National Cyber Center” to take charge of issues pertaining to cyberspace in Iran and elsewhere, including software, hardware, and internet content.

Iranian diplomat’s involvement in sexual abuse in Brazil causes media storm

The involvement of an Iranian diplomat in sexual abuse in Brazil has Iran’s media in a frenzy. Hekmatollah Ghorbani, 51, a diplomat stationed in the capital of Brazil, was questioned by police in Brasilia last weekend on charges of molesting two girls aged 9 and 14 at a local swimming pool. He was handed over to police following complaints from the girls’ parents, but was released under diplomatic immunity.

The Iranian embassy in Brazil denied the allegations against the diplomat, claiming it was a misunderstanding which resulted from “cultural differences” between the two countries. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denied the allegations as well, saying that the media reports in Brazil are not indicative of reality and are not consistent with the diplomat’s past background (IRNA, April 19).

The incident and the Foreign Ministry’s reaction drew strong criticism from some media in Iran. The conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami said that the reaction of the Foreign Ministry does not answer the question of whether the diplomat was actually present at a mixed- gender swimming pool. The newspaper demanded explanations from the Foreign Ministry about the issue, and wondered why it does not control the behavior of its employees (Jomhuri-ye Eslami, April 21).

The Tabnak website, too, expressed surprise over the reaction of the Foreign Ministry, saying that the reaction causes damage to Iran’s reputation. The website wondered what the diplomat had been doing in such an establishment, and whether Iranian diplomats do not abide by regulations that apply to those who represent the Islamic republic abroad. The question of whether the reports published about the incident are true or false is less important, according to Tabnak, than the reactions to the reports, which affect international public opinion.

The website compared the Foreign Ministry’s handling of the incident to President Obama’s strong reaction to his bodyguards’ involvement in an incident during his visit to Colombia several weeks ago. The American reaction to the incident was severe, and the bodyguards, who were involved in a prostitute scandal at a nightclub, were sent back to the United States even before the president’s visit was over (Tabnak, April 21).

Mehr News Agency also harshly criticized the Foreign Ministry for its reaction to the incident, saying that it reflects the problematic and inappropriate conduct of the Foreign Ministry and Iranian diplomats stationed abroad.

A commentary article published by the news agency cited several examples of past incidents as evidence that the Foreign Ministry allegedly does not exercise sufficient control over the appointment and conduct of diplomats in other countries. The problematic conduct of Iranian diplomats can be seen, for instance, in the defection of Mohammad Reza Heydari, the Iranian consul in Norway, and Hossein Alizadeh, chargé d’affaires at the Iranian embassy in Finland, after the riots that broke out following the 2009 presidential elections. Another instance of inappropriate conduct by Iranian diplomats was in 1989, when Iran’s ambassador to Romania was involved in arranging a visit in Tehran for Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu shortly before he was apprehended and executed. As a result of criticism from the Majles about the Foreign Ministry’s handling of the affair, the then foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati impeached Jamshid Gohari, the ambassador in Bucharest, claiming he had not provided Tehran with any information on the unstable internal situation in Romania on the eve of Ceausescu’s visit.

A similar incident took place during last year’s riots in Libya, when Iran’s ambassador to that country, Ali-Asghar Naseri, was on vacation during the anti-Gaddafi uprising. At the time, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry denied media reports about the issue; however, shortly afterwards, an Iran Broadcasting correspondent sent to Libya reported on his Facebook page that the staff of the Iranian embassy in Tripoli had been on vacation for six months. Following the report, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi went to Libya and removed Naseri from his position.

The conduct of Hamid Baqa’i, President Ahmadinejad’s emissary for Asian affairs, sparked a controversy when, during a conference held in Tehran in August 2010, he discussed the massacre committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians during World War I, which instigated a serious diplomatic incident between Iran and Turkey.

According to Mehr, the most prominent example of the problematic conduct of Iranian diplomacy could be seen in former foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki’s dismissal by President Ahmadinejad during the former’s visit to Senegal in December 2010 (Mehr, April 22).


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