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Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, Supreme Leader Khamenei’s representative in the Khorasan Razavi province, said in a January 14, 2020 memorial ceremony for the victims of the Ukrainian airliner, which aired on Khorasan Razavi TV (Iran) that Islam is about to take over the world and “cast a shadow over Planet Earth in its entirety.” He claimed that hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were “turned to dust and ashes” by the missiles that Iran launched at the Americans’ Ayn Al-Asad base in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani. In addition, he said that Iranians who collaborate with the U.S. are a fifth column who should be court-martialed and executed and that the Iranian protesters who refused to walk on the flags of the U.S. and Israel are actually Americans and Israelis. Furthermore, Ayatollah Alamolhoda said that England’s ambassador to Iran, who he said leads English and American spies, should be “chopped into pieces.” For more from Ayatollah Alamolhoda, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 7102, No. 7498, No. 7586, No. 7282.

Kuwaiti TV Host Fajer Alsaeed said in a January 12, 2020 show on Scope TV (Kuwait) that Zeinab Soleimani, the daughter of IRGC Qods Force commander General Qasem Soleimani who had been killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier in the week, had spoken in Arabic at a Friday sermon in which she held a weapon and said she wanted to pray in Jerusalem. Alsaeed said that Zeinab had spoken in Lebanese-accented Arabic, but that she should have spoken in English if she wanted to threaten the Americans or in Farsi in if she wanted to inspire Iranians. In addition, Alsaeed said that she used to think Iran was a strong country until she saw how it retaliated against the U.S. for the killing of Qasem Soleimani. She added that she has realized that Iran is “nothing but talk.”

Yemeni journalist Ahmed Al-Musaibily, an advisor in the Yemeni Ministry of Information, said in a January 5, 2020 interview on Suhail TV (Yemen) that even though Israel is the Arab world’s number one enemy, it at least doesn’t aim to convert people to Judaism in the same way that Iran tries to convert people to Shia Islam. He said that Iran is destroying the Arab world, but not for the sake of Sunni Arabs, and he claimed that it is doing so in agreement with Israel. He argued that there is no enmity between Iran and Israel and that no Iranian has ever carried out any attacks against Israel. He also said that the Houthis and Hizbullah, which are backed by Iran, haven’t carried out operations against ISIS or Al-Qaeda because terrorism and Israel are “two sides of the same coin”. Al-Musaibily also claimed that there are economic connections between Israel and Iran that might even include joint gas and oil projects.

In a panel about the downing of the Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane and the recent protests in Iran, Dr. Mohammadsadegh Koushki of Tehran University said that the protesters “who claim to mourn” the downing of the plane, are the same people who mourn the attacks on the U.S. bases in Iraq. Dr. Koushki claimed that the protesters were acting at the behest of “American devils.” He continued to say that the mission of the protest organizers is to create more bereaved families like in the November 2019 protests. He accused Iranian celebrities and artists of support for the protests. Dr. Koushki lamented: “Do we have to experience the sweetness of our victory over America coupled with the recurrence of the November (2019) incidents?” Dr. Koushki added that U.S. President Trump fantasized about attacking 52 places in Iran, but he couldn’t do it so he sent his “soldiers on Instagram and Twitter” to set those places on fire in his stead. Nader Talebzadeh, an Iranian TV host and filmmaker, said that they are protesting the turnout at Qasem Soleimani’s funeral and the “mighty” Iranian retaliation against the U.S. killing of Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani. The show’s host, Amir Hossein Sabeti interjected by saying that the protesters want to “exact revenge for this epic week”. Sabeti was the former head of the student Basijis at Tehran University faculty of Law and Political Science. Talebzadeh continued to say that even if there will be 10 more incidents similar to the downing of the Ukrainian plane, this would not compare to the magnitude of the “main event”, i.e. Soleimani’s funeral. The host, Sabeti, added that if Iran had really wanted to cover up its role in the incident, it could have claimed that the Americans “messed” with the American Boeing aircraft. The show was aired on January 11, 2020, on the Iranian Ofogh TV, which is considered to be affiliated with the IRGC.
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In an interview with the Iranian IRINN TV, aired on March 10, 2016, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force said that low-ranking operators have full permission to launch air defense missiles at their own discretion. On January 11, 2020, following the Iranian downing of a Ukrainian Airlines plane, which was mistaken for a cruise missile, General Hajizadeh appeared in a press conference, which was aired on the Iranian Ofogh TV. In the press conference, General Hajizadeh said that he heard about the "heart-wrenching incident" of the downing of the Ukrainian plane and that when he ascertained that "the incident had indeed taken place," he wished he were dead. He added that the IRGC Aerospace Force accepts full responsibility for this incident and will abide by any decision made by the senior officials. General Hajizadeh explained that the "poor guy" who was operating the air-defense system that night failed to do his duty and contact his superior officers to confirm the identity of what appeared to be a cruise missile. General Hajizadeh continued to suggest that this was due to a communication system malfunction, whether because the communication system had been jammed or was overloaded. General Hajizadeh added that the fact that it took several days to make this incident public is not because someone was trying to hide anything but due to the inquest. General Hajizadeh said that "ultimately, this (incident) is the outcome of America's provocations and measures in the region." He continued to say that while he was in the west of the country overseeing the missile attack on the U.S. base in Iraq, "other dear people" were in charge of closing off the Iranian airspace and they should have done so. However, due to the high tensions that night, "the ground was paved for one individual to make this huge mistake."

Laya Joneydi, a legal deputy to Iranian President Rouhani, said in a December 31, 2019 interview on IRINN TV (Iran) that the current economic sanctions on Iran are harsher than they have been in the past and that joining the FATF AML/CFT conventions is likely to prevent the situation from getting worse by removing suspicion from Iran's trade deals. She said that joining the conventions would enable Iran to use national currencies and prevent the American sanctions against Iran from becoming global sanctions. Joneydi argued that an economy as large as Iran's cannot be severed from the international banking system, and she pointed out that the additional risk in banking with Iran might prevent China, Russia, and other countries that support Iran from trading with it if it does not join the AML/CFT. The interview aired few days before the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

On January 12, during the second day of protests in Iran following Iran's acknowledgment of shooting down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, students at Beheshti University in Tehran refused to walk over giant American and Israeli flags drawn on the ground. They booed people who did, and shouted at them that they had "no honor." The video was uploaded to Twitter.

Sheikh Salem Salameh, member of Hamas Legislative Council and Deputy Head of the Palestine Islamic Scholars Association, said in a December 26, 2019 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that it is inconceivable to Muslims that there are other Muslims who recognize and normalize relations with Israel. He said that this constitutes betrayal of God, of Islam, and of the Muslims, and that Palestine and Jerusalem are Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims in the world. He claimed that U.S. President Washington had warned the Muslims and killed Native Americans because they were Muslims who had mosques. In addition, Sheikh Salameh said that the U.S. passes rulings that allow the Jews to kill the Palestinians.

On January 3, 2020, at 6:00 AM, IRINN TV (Iran) aired an announcement about the United States' killing of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani earlier that morning at Baghdad International Airport. Quoting the Quran, the anchor said: "Indeed, to God we belong and to God we shall return. The soldier of the Jurisprudent Ruler and of the Islamic nation, the military commander of Islam, the Revolution, and Iran, Hajj Qasem Soleimani, was martyred in an attack by American helicopters [after] a life full of Jihad. " The anchor explained that Soleimani had "hastened to meet his Creator" with gratitude for "years of Jihad that were full of pride and honor." He added that Soleimani had been "awarded martyrdom" along with PMU Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

During a morning prayer in the Iranian city of Rahim Abad in the Gilan Province, which was aired live, on January 3, 2020, on channel 1 of the Iranian TV, the preacher broke the news about the killing of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, by the U.S. The worshippers burst into tears and chanted "death to Aemrica." The preacher congratulated Soleimani for achieving what he had wished for and told the worshippers that Soleimani was an agent of unity between Sunnis and Shiites and between Muslims and Christians and Jews.

Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich said in a December 18, 2019 interview on Al-Jadeed TV (Lebanon) that there has been more occupied land in Lebanon after the 2006 Lebanon War than there was before it and he elaborated that Lebanese land is occupied by both Israel and Iran. When asked whether he viewed Israel as Lebanon’s enemy, Koteich refused to answer, saying that he will not succumb to any sort of extortion when it comes to his patriotism and that he does not "give an 'F-Word'” if people accuse him of being a collaborator or a traitor.

In a speech delivered on November 27, 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the fuel hike that sparked riots in Iran were agreed upon in a meeting between President Rouhani, the Interior Minister and the country’s Security Council. Rouhani said that he gave instructions for the fuel hikes but instructed them to leave him out of the loop. He added that he did not even know what day the plan was supposed to be implemented and heard about it just like the rest of the Iranian people on that Friday. Rouhani’s speech was delivered at a project dedication in East Azerbaijan Province and aired on IRINN TV (Iran).

Ayad Jamal Al-Din, a Shiite who has previously served as a member of Iraq’s parliament, said in a December 10, 2019 interview on ANB TV (Iraq) that Iran has been brainwashing Shiites with its “industry of holiness” and the notion of its sanctity, but that these notions, which he described as Iran’s most important weapon, have collapsed among Iraqi Shiites for good. He said that this is evidenced by the fact that people in Najaf, Iraq destroyed pictures of Khomeini and burned down the Iranian consulate. He encouraged people to curse Iran and applauded the destruction of the Iranian embassy, saying that its destruction should be celebrated annually the same way Iran celebrates the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In addition, Al-Din predicted that Iraq’s corrupt government will not fall until the Iranian regime falls. He added that shari’a law governs personal matters and that Iraq should be ruled by man-made laws that respect every religion like legal systems in the West do.

Iraqi researcher Hashem Al-Kindi said in a December 8, 2019 interview on Dijlah TV (Iraq) that the United States is trying to exploit the protests in Iraq in order to transfer US troops and families of terrorists into Iraq. Claiming that the U.S. is mobilizing ISIS cells throughout Iraq and diverting security forces away from their main mission, he said that the U.S. had similarly exploited protests in western Iraq in 2014 and gave rise to ISIS. Al-Kindi added that the Americans are cooperating with the Baathists, with ISIS, and with the enemies of the Iraqi people.

On December 15, 2019, New Lebanon Online published a report about a statue that was removed from Martyrs’ Square in the heart of Beirut at the behest of Beirut’s governor, Ziad Chbib. The statue, which was made of several large squares of metal, was removed because of a viral photo that showed that it looks like a Star of David when viewed from a specific angle. Expressing his disapproval of the fact that some people do not understand art and culture, the reporter emphasized that Israel is Lebanon’s number one enemy and criticized Lebanon’s media for spreading lies and misinforming the public. The statue, by British artist Nathaniel Rackowe, was installed in Beirut Martyrs' Square in July 2018.

IRGC General Hossein Dehghan, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s advisor on defense affairs, said in a December 16, 2019 interview on Al-Alam TV (Iran) that Iran does not view the recently confirmed American plans to send 7,000 additional troops to the Middle East as an indication that there might be a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran. He said that Iran is ready to retaliate tenfold against any American action and that more American troops in the region make for an “easy target” for Iran. He added: “Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, the most sensitive issue for the Americans has been the bearing of human casualties.”

In his commentary for Vesti Nedeli on Rossiya-1 TV (Russia), pro-Kremlin presenter Dmitry Kiselev criticized gender politics in Hollywood. "In this regard: women shoot and women judge. From now on, everything should consist of at least 50% women, according to the order. That is, gender becomes the number one issue," Kiselev stressed.

Kiselev then commented on the new 2019 Hollywood action movie "Charlie's Angels", written and directed by Elizabeth Banks, stating that this new installment in the Charlie's Angels film series shows how gender politics ruined the quality of movies. Kiselev stated: "[The previous Charlie's Angels movies] were successful and popular comedy movie projects created by mean for men and for women. And then a woman got down to business. I wouldn't stress it if Elizabeth Banks herself didn't emphasize her gender and nonstandard orientation. And what's the result? Today's Charlie's Angels features a lesbian heroine played by Kristen Stewart, a true lesbian… When it comes to men, according to the script, they are either villains or morons. The women [i.e. the three Charlie's Angels] brutally deal with them during the film, by either killing them or by cynically using them… It isn't funny, but brutally serious. The women are at work. Their work is to punish men."

Kiselev concluded stating that the movie was a flop in Russia and in the entire world. He then stressed that, nevertheless, Elizabeth Banks blamed "for her own failure" not herself, but "men". Kilesev said: "Everything's simpler. Men are just people. They don't want to watch a mediocre movie. And if mediocre cinema is filled with lesbians and queers, then this fact alone doesn't make the picture more talented in the eyes of men."

He then assessed: "Is it politically incorrect? Problably. But we aren't here for this."

The video was translated into English by Vesti.

Jordanian MP Mansour Saif Al-Din Mourad recounted in a December 9, 2019 interview on A One TV (Jordan) that he had carried out a high-profile terrorist attack that claimed the lives of several Mossad agents in Athens, Greece on December 27, 1969. He said that the Mossad compound he attacked had been disguised as a newspaper booth adjacent to an El Al office, adding that the Israeli agents “dropped like leaves in the middle of fall.” Explaining that the attack was carried out in broad daylight because that was when it was least expected, Mourad said that he had adhered to international law by issuing a warning to the Greek government that the compound would be targeted. He also explained that he had been inspired by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s mantra that what is taken by force can be regained only by force and that he had made the decision to avenge the blood of Muslims and Arabs that had been shed by the "occupying and invading murderers." It is unclear what terrorist attack Mourad was referring to. There was an attack on El Al flight 253 in Athens a year earlier, on December 26, 1968, but Mourad's name is not listed among the perpetrators.

Tehran University sociologist Dr. Hossein Kachoian, a member of Iran’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, said in a November 25, 2019 interview on Ofogh TV (Iran) that those who are unable to turn Iran’s Internet into intranet, or who are preventing this from taking place, are traitors because they are leaving Iran completely exposed to the enemy. He also said that the United States attacked Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a strategy of surrounding Iran and ultimately striking it and that the “swamp” in Iraq that “swallowed” the U.S. had been prepared by Iran in order to foil America’s plans.

Tunisian politician Seif Eddine Makhlouf said in a November 27, 2019 interview on IFM Radio (Tunisia) that any form of contact with Israel constitutes treason. He said that he could never cooperate with people who believe in the Zionists’ right to Palestinian land and that Gaza is the only free place in the Arab world. In addition, Makhlouf said that he wishes to die as a martyr in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that he would give up his political career to do so.

Former Egyptian ambassador to Palestine and Yemen Ashraf Abd Al-Wahhab ‘Aql said in a November 11, 2019 interview on Palestine TV that global Zionism works methodically to achieve its political, ideological, and economic goals of influencing politicians, controlling the world media, and controlling money and banking. He added that the Jews already control the media, that Israel assassinated Yasser Arafat, and that Israel will continue to be powerful until Allah’s promise is fulfilled. For similar statements from Al-Wahhab, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7614.

On December 1, 2019, Al-Masirah TV (Yemen) aired a video of Houthi militants displaying a downed Chinese-made Wing Loong drone and its missiles, hardware, and cameras. One of the militants explained that the drone was downed in the Hayran District by Yemen's air defense system, and he said that the drone's still-intact hardware will be reactivated. In a warning to the Houthis' enemies, one of the militants said that they are waging Jihad for the sake of Allah and that they can strike targets deep in enemy territory. The militants brandished their rifles and chanted: "Allah Akbar! Death to America! Death to Israel! May the Jews be cursed! Victory for Islam!"

In a November 25, 2019 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia), Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammad Al-Hajj Ali Al-Amili criticized Lebanese Shiites for acting as if they are still part of the political opposition in Lebanon even though they are in power. He said that the recent demonstrations in Lebanon have positive implications for Lebanese citizens of every sect, including Shiites, and that a modern, democratic state is in everybody’s best interest. He also said that Shiites in Lebanon and Iraq are disappointed in the Shiite Islamic movements.

On November 26, 2019, Al-Iraqiya Network (Iraq) aired a report about Ashwaq Haji Hamid, a Yazidi girl who had been held captive by ISIS, and Abu Humam, the ISIS terrorist who had held her captive and brutally raped her. Hamid recounted that she had been 14 years old when an ISIS gang abducted her and took her to Mosul with 300 or 400 other Yazidi women who were above the age of nine. She said that she was separated from her family and sisters and that the Yazidi women were sold off or given as gifts to ISIS members in Iraq or Syria. She described how Abu Humam selected her and violently raped her several times a day. Abu Humam, who has since been captured and is being held by Iraqi intelligence services, was also interviewed, and he described how he was given Hamid as a slave girl after casting lots with other ISIS members, how he raped her and beat her several times a day, and how he registered her under his name before an ISIS judge. Later in the report, Hamid was brought before the captured Abu Humam and tearfully confronted him, saying: “Why did you do this to me?... Do you have any feelings? Do you have any honor?” While speaking to him, Hamid fainted. Hamid and a group of other girls had escaped from ISIS captivity by drugging their captors.

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Exploring the Middle East and South Asia through their media, MEMRI bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends. Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. MEMRI's main office is located in Washington, DC, with branch offices in various world capitals. MEMRI research is translated into English, French, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Hebrew. These video clips are provided as a public service to an international viewing audience to bridge the language gap and better educate and inform. Material about the statements of terrorists and extremists is provided to alert the public to threats and in no way constitutes an endorsement of such activities.