Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'


The chief-of-staff of the Iranian president has referred to the disclosures by WikiLeaks as 'lies.' In an interview with the Allgemeine Zeitung, he also commented on the two German journalists detained in Iran: there are to be no espionage charges.


Translated By Stephanie Martin


December 4, 2010


Germany - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Original Article (German)

Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, chief-of-staff and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest aide, has joined the Iranian government chorus that WikiLeaks is really part of an American intelligence operation.  

BBC NEWS AUDIO: 'New York Times' executive editor Bill Keller has justified the newspaper's decision to publish the confidential reports published by Wikileaks, Nov. 30, 00:02:58RealVideo

"These documents can't be authentic," Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, chief-of-staff and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest advisor, tells the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.


According to Rahim-Mashaei, Washington intentionally had the reports published in order to damage Iranís relationship with its Arab neighbors. As stated by the accounts in American Embassy cables which were disclosed by WikiLeaks, Saudi King Abdullah demanded that Washington "cut off the head of the Iranian snake." Rahim-Mashaei, who is a central figure in Tehranís power structure and is considered a possible candidate for the next presidential election, replied: "We donít take this seriously." According to him, the posts on the Internet portal would "certainly not have any negative impact on Iranís relationships with the Arab world.


In the West, the embassy cables have created a considerable stir, because of fears that they might exacerbate the conflict between Iran and other nations in the region. Rahim-Mashaei referred to the reports as being, "part of America's policy against us." He says the Americans have long tried to show that "other countries in the region are against Iran and that they fear Iran."


No Espionage Charges Against German Journalists


In the interview, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei also commented on the German journalists detained in Iran: "We have no evidence that they were working as spies." He said the two Germans had broken the law by entering the country on tourist visas and then working as journalists. But there had never been any mention of espionage charges. According to Rahim-Mashaei, the Iranian government is working to enable both journalists to spend Christmas with their families at the German Embassy in Tehran. "Weíre very optimistic," the presidential advisor said. ††




Global Times, China: WikiLeaks Highlights China's Need for 'Information Defense'

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?

Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists

El País, Spain: WikiLeaks: The Assault on 'Big Brother' Begins

El País, Spain: Cables Expose Nuance of U.S. Displeasure with Spain Government

El País, Spain: Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead

Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran

Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings

Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World

The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking

Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy

Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points

Guardian, U.K.: Leaked Cables Reveal China is 'Ready to Abandon' North Korea

Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False

The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad

Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'

Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment

ANSA, Italy: WikiLeaks: 'No Wild Parties' Says Berlusconi


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Is it time for Islam to set aside punishements like stoning and amputation? Above, a women demonstrates against the sentence of death-by-stoning of Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, near the Eiffel Tower, Paris, Aug. 28.

BBC NEWS VIDEO: French rally in solidarity for Iranian woman sentenced to stoning, Sept. 12, 00:01:27RealVideo

He also said that it isn't clear when the two would be released, and that this was a matter for the judiciary. "But because of our friendly relations with the German government and German people, we're able to take a positive approach." Two days ago, the German Embassy was given consular access to the two journalists for the third time. One of them was able to talk to his family on the telephone and both received gifts from their families.


The two Germans, a reporter and photographer with Bild am Sonntag, were arrested in October in Tabriz, northern Iran, where they intended to interview the son of Sakineh Ashtiari, a woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery [see box, right]. In mid-November, citing the Chief Justice of Tabriz, Iran's Fars News Agency reported that the German journalists were accused of espionage.  


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US December 5, 10:38pm]