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09 Jan 2010 02:22No Comments
karroubicarattack.jpgShots fired at Iranian opposition leader Karroubi | Jan. 8, 2010

Reuters

Unidentified men opened fire this week on leading Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi, an opposition Web site reported Friday.

Karroubi, a defeated candidate in presidential elections last June, was attacked in the city of Ghazvin, 124 km (70 miles) west of Tehran, on Thursday after visiting a cleric, Nasir Ghavami, the Web site Kaleme said.

"While leaving Nasi Ghavami's home the plainclothes men [agents] attacked his car with eggs and bricks and fired two shots which hit the car," Karoubi's son Hossein was quoted as saying.

"One of the two shots hit the windshield and the other hit the back window. Since the car was bulletproof, the glass cover of the back window was broken and the (front) windshield was cracked."

More photos here and here.

Five Iranians facing trial belong to exile group

Reuters | Jan. 8, 2010

Five detainees that Iran plans to put on trial in connection with anti-government protests last month are members of the armed People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), a state news agency said Friday.

"The five accused whose files have been sent to revolutionary court under the charge of 'moharebeh' are members of the counterrevolutionary terrorist group," Tehran general prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was cited on IRNA as saying, in referring to the People's Mujahideen group.

The PMOI is an exile group opposed to Iran's Islamic system of government. Last year the group was removed from a European Union list of banned terrorist groups but it remains on a separate U.S. list.

Iran official urges Mousavi to 'keep door for dialogue open'

Siasate Rooz | Jan. 8, 2010

Commenting on the last sentence of Mousavi's statement which reads "these problems do not need dialogue and talks," Abbas Abdi said, "politicians should always be ready for dialogue and talks; conformism is the beauty of all statesmanship. As he was the adviser to the secretary-general of National Trust Party during the presidential election and the protesting candidates to the election result, Mousavi, over all, has performed well and threw the ball to rival's court."

Commenting on that analysis which considered Mousavi's statement as withdrawal, he said that using the word withdrawal is inappropriate.

This journalist further expressed his own objections to Mousavi's 17th statement and said, "Of course, I have an objection to the last sentence which reads 'these problems do not need dialogue and talks' because politicians should always be ready for dialogue and talks."

Rejecting the analysis that the meaning of the last clause of Mousavi's statement is "talks" before the people, Abdi said, "It does not matter if the talks are held in front of the people or not. The important thing is that the condition of people's life and the conditions of society should become better, no matter what. Rejecting the view that Mousavi's approach is a kind of change of political bargaining which makes the talks open to all, he said, "Regrettably, he was not in favor of talks and basically one of my objections to him is that he always should keep doors for talks open, rather than creating situations for talks."

Iran oil, foreign ministers to face MP questions

IRNA | Jan. 8, 2010

The ministers of oil and foreign affairs, Masoud Mir Kazemi and Manouchehr Mottaki, were to face MPs' questions in an open session of Majlis next week, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Questions by Ahmad Tavakoli put to the oil minister, Ilam Deputy Darioush Qanbari and the foreign minister will be on the agenda of the Majlis next week, IRNA added.

Iran ex-deputy oil minister proposes strategy to avert 'oil migration' to Iraq

BBC Monitoring | Jan. 8, 2010

The former deputy oil minister has warned about the possibility of oil migration from Iran joint oil fields to Iraq in the coming years and has proposed a new strategy for asking compensation for the Iran-Iraq war through the smooth development of the two countries' oil fields.

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Seyyed Hadinezhad Hoseynian expressed concern about the recent oil contracts by the Iraqi government and said, "One of the main reasons for concern about signing the oil contracts by the Iraqi government is that some of these oil and gas fields between Iraq and Iran are joint and by the implementation of these projects, the daily oil production in Iraq will increase up to 1.5 million barrels in three to four years."

While pointing out that so far, 20 oil and gas fields have been discovered on the Iran-Iraq border, most of which are joint, the former deputy oil minister said, "It is unlikely that there is exact data on resources of these oil and gas fields, but most of parts these are definitely within the Iran's largest fields."

He added, "to prevent the Iran's oil migration to Iraq, the two countries should simultaneously start the exploitation of the joint fields."

Iran ready to resume nuclear talks

IRNA | Jan. 8, 2010

Iran's Ambassador to Denmark Morteza Damanpak-Jami reaffirmed his country's readiness to resume talks with the West over the Iranian nuclear program.

Talking to Danish press representatives in Copenhagen, Damanpak-Jami said Iran was still willing to hold further negotiations on the row over the nuclear fuel supply offer of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Tehran research reactor in a bid to reach a final deal.

He stressed Iran's peaceful nuclear program was based on the will of the nation and supported by all political factions.

Iran has set an end-of-the-month deadline for western countries to supply nuclear fuel for Tehran's medical research reactor; otherwise, it would proceed to produce 20 percent enriched uranium fuel.

Tehran has repeatedly stressed the nuclear fuel swap must take place inside Iranian territory.

Iran to launch new satellite

Mehr News | Jan. 8, 2010

Iranian Communication and Information Technology Minister Reza Taqipour announced Wednesday that a satellite designed and built by Iranian university students is scheduled to be unveiled during the Ten-Day Dawn.

The Ten-Day Dawn (February 1-11) celebrations are held across the country to commemorate the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Taqipour, who was formerly the director of the Iranian Space Agency, also announced that some other technological achievements in the areas of communications and information technology will be made public during the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations.

"A number of computer networks and new IT services will be offered to the public as well," he said.

There are some other space achievements that will be announced by President Mahmuod Ahmadinejad himself, he added.

On December 28, Alireza Rahaii, the president of Amir-Kabir University of Technology (AUT), announced that the production phase of the AUT SAT satellite had begun. The AUT SAT has been designed by the resident scientists and researchers at AUT, he said.

The satellites total weight will be between 70 to 80 kilograms, and when it is launched into orbit, it will be used to assess the damage caused by earthquakes, droughts, and other natural disasters and will contribute greatly to efforts to reduce casualties.

Iranian official says sanctions would harm all sides

IRNA | Jan. 8, 2010

Head of Iran's Industries and Mines Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Nahavandian said Friday that sanctions are useless and only encourage a loss-loss scenario.

Speaking to IRNA, Nahavandian said the 30-year experience after the victory of the Islamic Revolution proves that economic sanctions have by no means served goals of those issuing sanctions. "Western plans are totally defeated," he announced.

Israeli ambassador welcomes US official's Iran assessment

Jpost | Jan. 8, 2010

The United States does not want to see confrontation with Iran but is still preparing its military for that possibility, America's top uniformed officer said Thursday. "We've looked to do all we can to ensure that conflict doesn't break out there, while at the same time preparing forces, as we do for many contingencies that we understand might occur," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Mullen's words were echoed by a report in The New York Times this week that U.S. President Barack Obama's top advisers say "they no longer believe the much disputed National Intelligence Estimate" from 2007, which assessed that Iranian scientists ended all work on designing a nuclear warhead in 2003. Israel had long objected to that finding, and questioned the intelligence evaluation behind it. Mullen's comments and those of other US officials bring the two countries more in line.

"I think the Obama administration now fully acknowledges that Iran intends to conduct a nuclear weapons capability program," Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday. "We agree with the administration on the intent of the Iranian regime to acquire nuclear military capability."

Iran literary awards are financed by US

Mehr News | Jan. 8, 2010

Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Cultural Affairs Mohsen Parviz said that some literary awards in Iran are financed by the United States.

"Once, I said that we have two kinds of literary awards in Iran: one group of awards is Iranian and the other is from those who are in service of the enemy," he told the Mehr News Agency. "Some Iranian awards are private and others are supported by the government."

"But I am strongly opposed to those awards which do not come from Iranian origins. These awards may be presented by Iranians but they are supported by foreigners and their financial support is not restricted," he lamented.

He went on to say that for many years, the United States has maintained a secret budget for funding confrontations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in various ways including politically and militarily, but nobody really knows the details of how every single dollar of such a huge budget is spent.

"And now this is my question: who spends this huge budget and where is it spent? I think that the subject is clear and it answers some of the ambiguities about the funding of certain literary awards," he said.

"I believe that the number of [Iranian] literary awards should be increased and we should establish literary awards in different fields to encourage those who are active," he mentioned.

He went on to say that the awards should be authentic and should be funded without exception.

"I should announce here that the Ministry of Culture is the presenter of many of these awards such as the Jalal Literary Awards but they are not funded by the ministry," he said.

"Even the Parvin Etesami Award is approved by the Iran's Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution and is merely presented by the ministry, which is an honor for us," he added.

Parviz said that the main objectives of such literary awards are to encourage authors who are active in particular fields and to introduce new paradigms to enthusiasts.

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.

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