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11 Jan 2010 19:39No Comments

Tehran Plans a Major Military Exercise

WSJ | Jan. 4, 2010

Iranian media on Sunday reported Tehran will conduct a large-scale defensive military exercise next month, coinciding with what government officials now say is a deadline for the West to respond to its counteroffer to a nuclear-fuel deal.

The commander of Iran's ground forces, Brig. Gen. Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, said the drill will be conducted by Iran's army, in conjunction with some units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, to improve "defensive capabilities," Press TV, the English-language, state-run media outlet reported.

Iran MPs say parliament probe report 'incomplete'

Parleman | Jan. 10, 2010

A group of Iranian lawmakers have said the probe report prepared by parliament's special committee on the post-election events is incomplete.

According to Parleman News, which is affiliated to the Majlis minority faction, the spokesman of Imam's Path fraction, Daryush Qanbari described the release of the report as "a positive step" however, he added, "given that it contains nothing on some post-election events such as the incidents of Tehran University Dormitory, Sobhan [residential] Complex and the suspicious death of the physician who was in charge of Kahrizak detention centre, it is incomplete"

Qanbari who is the MP for Ilam said: "In general, the Fraction believes the report read out on 10 January has to some extent dealt with a part of the post-election incidents. However, many other cases such as the Tehran University Dormitory incident, Sobhan Complex, attacks against the residence of MPs and the suspicious death of the Kahrizak physician have not been mentioned."

Qanbari added: "From the viewpoint of Imam's Path Fraction, this report lacks comprehension and is incomplete. Some other important issues which the public must be informed of have not been mentioned. Our expectation was much more than what was read today. This report is a positive step; however we do not consider it sufficient."

Five Iranian papers receive warnings

ILNA | Jan. 10, 2010

A press official in Iran has sent warning letters to some conservative and pro-reform papers.

On 9 January, the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) reported that an official from the press supervisory board warned the managing directors of the conservative Jomhurie Eslami, pro-reform E'temad, Bahar, Ruzan, Farhange Ashti and Donyae Ekhtesad by sending warning letters to them.

According to ILNA, Jomhurie Eslami received warning over publishing a report headlined "Views of the sources of emulation on emulating Ayatollah Sane'i [dissident senior cleric]."

ILNA's report maintains that the content of the report had been subsequently denied by the offices of the sources of emulation.

The other five papers were warned over publishing "rumours and untrue reports" by using quotes or statements of others.

Major powers may meet this week on Iran, U.S. says

Reuters | Jan. 11, 2010

Major powers may soon meet to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the State Department said on Monday, adding the talks could take place when U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns travels to Moscow and Madrid this week.

The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly pursuing nuclear arms under cover of its civil nuclear program, last week said it had begun discussing new sanctions to pressure Iran's government to curb Tehran's nuclear program without hurting ordinary people.

"There may well be a P5+1 meeting coming up in the very near future ... it could be part of this trip," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters, referring to a group that includes the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany.

Iran rebuffs British MPs request to visit Tehran

Mehr | Jan. 10, 2010

Iran has not agreed to a request by a British parliamentary delegation to visit Tehran.

The decision was made because of Britain's interference in Iran's internal affairs during the post-election unrest, MP Ali Jani-Abbaspour, who is a member of the Iran-Britain parliamentary friendship group, told Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

Iran to screen all U.S. tourists

Mehr | Jan. 10, 2010

Iran plans to screen all US citizens applying for tourist visas to enter the country in response to the United States decision to screen travellers from Iran, MP Ala'eddin Borujerdi said on Sunday.

The US recently approved a plan to screen foreign visitors from certain countries, including Iran.

Some time ago, Tehran decided to fingerprint US citizens visiting Iran in response to the US decision to fingerprint Iranians entering the United States, Borujerdi told reporters.

"The Majlis drafted a bill and MPs passed it," he stated.

"And the new US decision will compel Iran to respond in kind," he added.

From now on, all US citizens who intend to enter Iran will be fingerprinted and they will be screened if the US screens Iranians attempting to enter the United States.

Afghanistan to get 30 million dollars from Iran to build schools

Hewad | Jan. 8, 2010

The Islamic Republic of Iran will give Afghanistan 30m dollars worth of aid for the construction of schools in Mazar-e Sharif, Kandahar and Jalalabad cities.

This was said by Iran's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister on Financial and Administration affairs, Farhi, during a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta yesterday. [Afghan] Foreign Affairs Ministry's Information and Publication Department reported that while welcoming Iran's commitments in Afghanistan's reconstruction over the last eight years and its hospitality of giving refuge to Afghan refugees, Dr Spanta termed relations between both Muslim countries as friendly. Mr Spanta added: "The Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan have historical, religious and cultural relations."

Meanwhile, Farhi said that given the friendly relations between the two Islamic countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued a decree which allows Afghan refugees in Iran to get higher education in Iranian universities.

It is worth mentioning that during this meeting, Dr Spanta provided information about the London Conference and other regional conferences which are expected to be held on Afghanistan.

Iran's Mehdi Karroubi defiant amid government 'threats'

BBC | Jan. 11, 2010

Leading Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi has said he remains defiant despite threats, and that he and his family are "prepared for any disaster". He also accused Tehran of suppressing people in the name of religion.

Mr Karroubi, who stood in June's disputed presidential elections, also said he survived an attack last week when a car he was in was fired on.

Meanwhile, Iran's top prosecutor called for "strong action" against those behind the "post-election sedition".

Gholam Hossein Mohsen Ejeie said calls by some hardline clerics to put opposition leaders on trial should be answered, Iran's Isna news agency reported.

In a letter on his party's website, Mr Karroubi said that he remained "firm in the path that I have chosen". "I have not faltered on my way in the face of increasing intimidation and threats," he said.

"I have become more determined, and prepared myself and my children for any disaster."

Mr Karroubi and others have faced increasing pressure from the authorities, with some hardliners labelling them as "mohareb" - enemies of God who can be sentenced to death under Iran's Sharia law.

"May God stand witness how they have turned a political dispute into a religious war to suppress people demanding political rights in the name of religion," Mr Karroubi said.
"We were not aware that reclaiming your vote and protesting against political robbery is equal to being corrupt on earth and mohareb in these gentlemen's eyes."

The Week in Green, episode 12: Interview with Dr. Behzad Yaghmaian

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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