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November 1, 2011

Iran News Roundup 11/1

Michele Bachmann claims that Iran threatened US and Israel with nuclear attack
Guardian: Iran expected to play role of the spoiler in Istanbul conference on Afghanistan
Iran economy minister survives impeachment vote over bank scandal
Iran suspends 2 soccer players for ‘immoral’ goal scoring celebration
Ilan Berman: Why engaging with Iran is still a bad idea
Iran expresses hope that Assad stays in power despite unrest
Michele Bachmann claims that Iran threatened US and Israel with nuclear attack
In an interview with Christina Amanpour, Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann falsely claimed that Iran has in the past threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and Israel.  Correcting her Amanpour pointed out that Iran denies having a nuclear weapon, and as such, has not made any threats to attack either country with a nuclear weapon. (Lobelog 10/31)
Guardian: Iran expected to play role of the spoiler in Istanbul conference on Afghanistan
With Iran-Turkish relationship experiencing difficulties over disagreements on Syria and Turkey’s decision to host a NATO missile defense system, the Guardian newspaper is reporting Iran is unlikely to play a productive role in the upcoming meeting on Afghanistan.   Rather than focusing on steps to stabilize the country the article reports that Iran is probably going to focus primarily on the removal of foreign troops from the country. (The Guardian 11/1)
Iran economy minister survives impeachment vote over bank scandal
In a 141-93 vote the Iranian parliament chose to keep the embattled economy minister in place after the recent $2.6 billion bank scandal.  The vote came after pleas from Iranian president Ahmadinejad to allow the minister to keep his position as removing him would be a setback for the government in their fight against international sanctions. (Washington Post 11/1)
Iran suspends 2 soccer players for ‘immoral’ goal scoring celebration
Two players from Iran’s professional soccer team where indefinitely suspended for a goal scoring celebration where one player “squeezed the backside” of another player.  In addition to being banned from playing soccer, both players are barred from entering sports stadiums. (Washington Post 10/31)
Ilan Berman: Why engaging with Iran is still a bad idea
Responding to a piece by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that criticized President Obama’s current Iran policy as “the same as Bush’s” and called for renewed engagement, Ilan Berman writes in Forbes that the U.S. should not attempt diplomatic engagement because it would most likely  fail and because the Arab Spring could spread to Iran and achieve our goals (didn’t the U.S. have diplomatic relations with every single state impacted by the Arab spring…?).  (Ilan Berman Forbes 11/1)
Iran expresses hope Assad stays in power despite Syrian unrest
In the first public display of support for Syrian president Assad, Iranian foreign minister Salehi says that he wants to see Assad remain in power.  With over 3,000 deaths reported in Syria since the beginning of the protests, Iran has been hesitant to voice its support for Assad and this statement marks a noted change from their previous unwillingness to comment on the Syrian leader. (Haaretz 11/1)

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