ISIS IN IRAQ
During his speech to supporters at a ceremony marking his first year in office, ISNA quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying, “Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and I will hold an immediate meeting to review the ongoing developments in Iraq.”
Tasnim News Agency reports that while speaking to reporters, Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said, “Saudi Arabia and Qatar have made big investments to upset the situation in Syria… due to their failed plots in Syria, they have decided to open up a second (war) front in Iraq to restore morale.” Saeedi also argued, “Ayatollah Sistani, the Iraqi people, Iraqi tribes, and the Iraqi government should unite to ward off the threat of the enemy.”
Strategic affairs expert Dr. Reza Saraj told hard line Javan Online that the activities of ISIS in Iraq “should be examined from multiple angles,” and that the actions of ISIS amount to an “American coup.” Saraj explained, “Israel has helped these terrorists as well as the remnants of the Baath Party in order to design and implement a coup to destabilize Iraq. Their goal is to split the country, change the strategic balance in the region, and incite religious conflict in the Muslim world.”
Tabnak News reported on the comments of an Iraqi security expert who recently said, “People who saw the terrorists that attacked Mosul have said that some of them (ISIS) didn’t even speak Arabic.”
In an article published by Tasnim News Agency, an Iranian analyst examined the “global implications of the developments in Iraq” and wrote, “Iraq's future is faced with three options: A coup in which a centralized structure is headed by a totalitarian dictator, federalism in which both Arabic and Kurdish regions will be formed, or ‘Balkanization’ (of Iraq) resulting in the formation of Kurdish, Sunni and Shia regions.”
As President Hassan Rouhani took part in a ceremony today marking his first full year in office, hard line Raja News criticized Rouhani for organizing an “election atmosphere event,” in addition to “hypocritical” comments he reportedly made before last year’s election victory when he said, “I’m telling the youth of our nation, if I win the election, I have no interest in taking part in victory celebrations because I want to (quickly) improve the lives and welfare of the working class.”
Iranian state television news broadcasted Hassan Rouhani’s one-year anniversary ceremony and address to his supporters. The 12-second mark of a video clip taken from a segment of the broadcast reveals that the audience chanted, “Greetings to Mousavi, Viva Rouhani," in reference to political opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi who remains under house arrest.
ISNA reports that former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to over 200 supporters at a ceremony marking the birth of the Imam Mahdi, known as the 12th Imam. ISNA noted the “continued absence” of Ahmadinejad’s close confidant Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei at public events. In addition, Ahmadinejad supporters reportedly chanted, “No compromise, no surrender, we are waiting for you.”
Fars News Agency reports that after meeting with the European Council on Foreign Relations in Rome, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said, "Negotiations are now at a very critical stage… we need creativity and work hard to eliminate gaps. A deal is within reach.” He added, “We all want to reach an agreement by July 20.”
Iranian Kurds compete in traditional horse games in Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan Province.
Fighting between students broke out today during a speech given by reformist politician Mohammed Aref at Shiraz University. A different set of photos published by Fars News Agency of the event reveals female students holding up pictures of former president Mohammed Khatami.