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Iranian Leader Calls US Officials ‘First-Class Idiots’

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10 Jan 2019 (All day)
Iranian Leader Calls US Officials ‘First-Class Idiots’
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave a fiery speech in Teheran on Wednesday in which he said, among other things, that "Some U.S. officials pretend that they are mad. Of course I don't agree with that, but they are first-class idiots." The speech was followed by a statement Thursday morning by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif that the Islamic Republic would continue its space program, widely assessed to be a cover for the development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, despite warnings from the US and elsewhere that it violates UN Security Council resolutions.

In related news, social unrest in Iran continues to be a major concern of the regime, as unemployment rates have skyrocketed in recent months, according to Omid Ali Parsai, chairman of the Iranian Statistical Center (ISC), who announced this week that as many as 27% of Iranian youth are jobless, including 40% of university graduates. Unofficial estimates are that the unemployment rate in Iran much higher.

Here is a video about sanctions placed on Iran by the EU

Jewish Minors Released to House Arrest
The Rishon Lezion District Court issued a ruling Thursday morning that four of five Jewish minors being held by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on suspicion of their involvement in terror attacks against Arabs, including a stoning attack on a car which resulted in the death of Aysha Rabi last October, are to be released to house arrest. The Shin Bet issued a statement saying that there has been a campaign of slander against it in connection with the case.

Israeli Political Season Creating Drama
The Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began its convention in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat Thursday morning ahead of elections scheduled for 9 April. The party, which currently enjoys a comfortable margin of support in most polls, will be watching as former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz fills out the rolls of his own recently launched political party and another highly popular former IDF COS, Gabi Ashkenazi, continues to be courted by several parties for a Knesset run.

Terrorist Given Reduced Sentence as Part to Pleas Deal
The Jerusalem District Court accepted a plea agreement with lawyers representing 57-year old eastern Jerusalem resident Jameel Tamimi this week which will see him serving an 18 year prison sentence for murdering Hannah Bladon, a 20-year-old British exchange student, by stabbing her as she rode the Jerusalem Light Rail on 14 April, 2017. The sentence was influenced by court-ordered psychological tests which showed Tamimi was mentally unstable.

Arab-Israelis Dissatisfied with Political Representation
A Midgam survey published by Yediot Aharonot on Thursday contained more bad news for the Joint (Arab) List party a day after one of its component factions spllt off and announced it would run independently in upcoming elections. The poll said 46% of Israeli-Arab voters were dissatisfied with the party’s performance in the outgoing Knesset session, while 52% said the party does a poor job of representing the interests of the Israeli-Arab public which voted for them four years ago.

“There is no doubt that these are surprising results which are likely to change the public agenda in Israel's Arab society," Ihab Kadah, manager of Midgam's Arab department, told Yediot Aharonot.

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