02 Mar 2010 04:40
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. You can follow our
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The media supervisory committee in its Monday meeting banned three publications, approved permits for 30 publications and issued a warning to the hardliner Kayhan daily.
According to Fars News Agency, Iran Dokht, a weekly, Etemad, a daily, and Sina, a provincial publication, were banned and referred to the judiciary.
The committee said that based on articles 6 and 9 of the media law, which highlight "allegiance to the constitution," the permits for Iran Dokht and Hamadan Province's Sina would be revoked. Iran Dokht was owned and operated by Mohammad-Hossein Karroubi.
The committee banned Etemad based on Article 6 of the media law for "exceeding the boundaries of journalism" as well as insisting on and repeating its past. Etemad's case was referred to the judiciary as well. Etemad was owned and operated by Elyas Hazrati, who is known to have close ties with the Reformists.
The media supervisory committee also issued Kayhan a "stern warning" for using a religious expression in a satirical manner.
The Asr-e Mardom daily also received a warning for not paying enough respect to religious rituals in its content.
IRIB presenter banned from television
Khabar Online | | March 1, 2010
A well known actor and IRIB presenter has been suspended for expressing his political views after the presidential vote.
According to Atinews, Vahid Jalilvand had also voiced his objection to the post-election incidents in the country and expressed them in his personal blog.
Faezeh Hashemi explains father's political stance
Fararu | March 1, 2010
Faezeh Hashemi, a former Majlis lawmaker and a daughter of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, explained her father's views in an interview with a foreign-based Persian-language media outlet.
Regarding her arrest on June 20, 2009, Faezeh Hashemi said, "I was arrested along with my daughter Mona and two of my cousins and one of my second cousins. That they [authorities] said that my arrest was for my own protection is a lie and I was in detention for nearly 30 hours."
When asked if her release had to do with the fact that she was related to Ayatollah Rafsanjani, Faezeh said, "Yes, there is the possibility that they let me go because of my family relation to him [Rafsanjani]."
She went on to say that the reason for the attacks on herself and her brother, Mehdi, was because of Ayatollah Rafsanjani's position and influence.
Faezeh Hashemi said that the reason her father no longer led Friday Prayers was to prevent a situation where people could be harassed and hurt.
She said that some people accuse Rafsanjani of compromise but that it was not true.
"His actions and the history of the Revolution, before and after the Revolution, show that Mr. Rafsanjani will not make concessions when it comes to the rights of the people," she said. "Because if it was this way, he would not be under so much pressure. Just look at the media."
Regarding Rafsanjani's true position, Faezeh said, "Mr. Rafsanjani stated his position in that well-known Friday prayers sermon."
When asked if "Mr. Rafsanjani could be considered one of the Greens," Faezeh said, "As the Green Movement has a number of demands that correspond with Mr. Rafsanjani's views, we can consider him one of the Greens. Of course, Mr. Rafsanjani's person and actions are usually above such categorizations."
Citing 'heavy workload,' university cancels Haddad-Adel's classes
Asr Iran | March 1, 2010
Tehran University officials moved to quell rumors that Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel's classes were canceled at Tehran University due to student disinterest.
According to the Tehran-e Emrouz daily, a university official announced that due to his heavy workload, Dr. Haddad-Adel has been unable to teach any courses in the new semester.
The official added that Haddad-Adel was busy with the dissertations of his post-graduate students, who he is supervising.
Nowruz schedule for 'trackless' train announced
Tabnak | March 1, 2010
While sufficient evidence shows that the Isfahan-Shiraz railway is far from ready to become fully operational, the railroad company has announced the Nowruz schedule of these trains.
According to ILNA, even nine months after the Isfahan-Shiraz railway was symbolically inaugurated, the train tacks have yet to be properly secured and prepared to carry the weight of the trains that will be traveling on them.
It now appears that authorities are trying to cover up the symbolic inauguration of the railway by allegedly offering fake statistics about the number of tickets sold and passengers traveling by train.
The procrastination of Transportation Ministry officials in inspecting the tracks, which Hamid Behbahani promised reporters on August 11, was another reason indicating that the tracks were not fully operational yet.
On June 3, 2009, the first train to travel the distance between Shiraz and Isfahan began its journey with a speed of 30 km/h. The train went as far as 100 km outside Shiraz. The slow speed at which the train was traveling was enough, however, to bend the tracks out of shape.
Despite repeated rejections by railroad authorities, authorities have used measures such as reducing the number of cars per train and train speed, to justify keeping the railway operational.
Sources hold private meetings with Ayatollah Safi-Golpayegani
Khabar Online | March 1, 2010
Two of the Shia Sources of Emulation in Qom have privately met with Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpayegani to discuss recent developments in the seminary and country.
According to Mehr News Agency, on Monday morning Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani paid a visit to Ayatollah Safi-Golpayegani at his home. In the meeting that was held behind closed doors the two Sources exchanged views on a number of issues.
Ayatollah Sadeq Shirazi visited Ayatollah Safi Sunday evening to discuss seminary issues as well as the issues of the Iraqi Shiites.
Rafsanjani reps visit Ayatollah Amini in hospital
Tabnak | Feb. 28, 2010
After Qom Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini was hospitalized, head of the Expediency Council and Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani sent his representatives to visit him in the hospital.
Hojjatoleslams Nouri, Shahroudi and Alami Hosseini visited Ayatollah Amini in the hospital on behalf of Ayatollah Rafsanjani and conveyed his wishes for a speedy recovery.
Ahmadinejad says Iran a 'good' super power
Fararu | March 1, 2010
In a Monday meeting with the governors of Iranian provinces, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has become a 'good' super power in the world.
Ahmadinejad said categorizing people into groups and classes is what stupid people do.
"The people of Iran are 70 million pious, God-fearing individuals loyal to the establishment. We must not view people in classes and categories -- but tending to needs of the deprived and impoverished is a primary goal," he said.
"Those who think that the power of the Iranian nation has been damaged have realized today that the Iranian nation's might has increased compared to previous years and the world is in awe of the splendor of the Iranian nation."
"Today, Iran is a good cultural and humanitarian super power and not a domineering and oppressive super power."
"No one in the world can use the ability and position of the Islamic Republic of Iran to further their arrogant policies."
Ahmadinejad described the solidarity of the country as exceptional.
"The level of unity and solidarity in our country today is much higher than previous years," he said.
Kayhan: Americans exchanged Rigi for 3 hikers
Khabar Online | March 1, 2010
The hardline Kayhan daily today addressed rumors about Abdolmalek Rigi's arrest.
"They say that they [Americans] gave us Rigi in exchange for the three American spies [hikers] arrested in Kurdistan [province]," Kayhan wrote. "The baseless nature of this rumor will become clear when a few days or weeks pass and the spies [three US hikers] are not released."
Saffar-Harandi: I have not witnessed virtues of Mashai
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance said he has not witnessed any of the positive characteristics the Iranian president says Esfandyar Rahim Mashai possesses.
Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi was asked if he had been removed from his position for speaking against Mashai at the weekly Monday meetings of the Ansar Hezbollah.
"The person responsible for this matter [my removal] is not present here today and it might not be right for me to speak in general terms," he replied. "But the orders [for our removal] came at a time when in the previous cabinet meeting some of our colleagues in the government cited the Leadership's written order about Mr. Mashai's appointment [as first vice president] and raised some issues."
In response to a question about the people around the president, Saffar-Harandi said, "I can't have a judgment about certain figures. Those individuals whom there are serious questions about, it is not good to have them present in governments that are the accumulation of the people's beliefs."
"When Mr. Ahmadinejad speaks about Mr. Mashai, he has a long list of positive characteristics to recount, but we haven't come to realize any of the virtues attributed to Mr. Mashai. But this is the opinion held by the president."
"Of course there is a possibility that Mr. Mashai can make a sacrifice and considering the present issues [raised about him and] do something himself."
Iran releases 6 journalists, opposition activists
AP | March 1, 2010
Iranian media say six journalists and opposition activists held for suspected involvement in the country's postelection turmoil have been released on bail.
Hundreds were arrested following the disputed June presidential election and in the ensuing crackdown on opposition supporters claiming President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by fraud.
Reports on Monday in the Bahar daily and other newspapers said the released included journalists Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, Abdolreza Tajik and Mohammad Javad Mozaffar.
Some post-election suspects to be released before Iranian new year: prosecutor
IRNA | Feb. 28, 2010
Tehran's Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi said on Sunday [28 February] that a group of suspects arrested in post-election riots would be released before the coming Iranian year (to start on 21 March).
According to Dowlatabadi, suspects with minor charges or those who got completed investigations would be released before the Iranian new year.
The official added that the suspects would be released as a result of the "Islamic forgiveness" of Iran's Islamic establishment.
"They will be free as they have realized that they made a mistake and expressed repentance," Dowlatabadi said.
Dolatabadi says detainees to be gradually released
Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said after Ashura a tough stance was adopted toward protesters, but 22 Bahman changed things so that detainees were dealt with Islamic compassion.
"After Ashura and as the beliefs of the people were disrespected by some individuals we adopted tough policies and this caused the detainees of that day [Ashura] to realize that they will be dealt with decisively."
"However, after the 22 Bahman demonstrations and given the mass participation of the people in the demos we tried to use Islamic compassion in dealing with these people [opposition detainees] and therefore those whose cases were complete and did not have heavy crimes will be gradually released."
"Some consider this decision of the judicial system to indicate its weakness but I have to say we released the defendants because of our position of strength. Because these detainees expressed their regret themselves and we hope that anyone who was arrested during the Ashura period and before and after it, and even on 22 Bahman is released so that people can have their loved ones next to them during the New Year celebrations."
"Just like past Fireworks Wednesdays (Chaharshanbe souri) we will have a judge on shift in all judicial institutions and we have asked the police to identify and arrest those distributing and selling explosive material..."
Dolatabadi went on to add, "We consider people's celebrations to be different from acts disrupting public order and we will definitely take action against those individuals who create huge explosions, or close-off roads and damage public property."
Iran may take legal action against states sponsoring Rigi
Spokesman for the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission urged taking legal action against countries which supported Abdolmalek Rigi.
Kazem Jalali told reporters on Sunday that Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi had appeared before parliament to explain the methods used to arrest Rigi.
"It seems necessary that the Foreign Ministry files suit against the countries that supported this terrorist [Rigi]."
"Even though in the international court, the same powers that supported Rigi have influence, the Islamic Republic must file a lawsuit against the supporters of the terrorist group ringleader."
Iranian rebels pick new leader
Al-Jazeera | Feb. 28, 2010
Iran's most prominent rebel Sunni movement, Jundullah, has named a new leader to replace Abdolmalek Rigi, following his capture by security forces earlier this week.
According to the SITE monitoring agency on Sunday, Muhammad Dhahir Baluch was appointed to head "the People's Resistance Movement in Iran".
Rigi, Iran's most wanted fugitive, was seized on Tuesday after Iranian warplanes reportedly forced a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan to land in Iran.
Iranian state media alleged on Friday that the United States had offered to provide him military aid to battle the Shia Islamic state.
Rigi said in a taped statement, made after he was taken into custody and broadcast on Iran's state-run English-language Press TV, that "they (the Americans) said they would cooperate with us and will give me military equipment."
Iran police seize 420 kg drugs southeastern province
IRINN | Feb. 27, 2010
Iranian police have busted a gang of eight armed men and seized 420 kg of drugs in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the provincial TV reported on 27 February.
The report quotes the provincial police chief as saying that eight gunmen arrested and 420 kg of opium were seized following clashes at the gunmen's hideouts in Iranshahr and Dalgan townships. The confiscated arms included a Grinyov machine gun, a Kalashnikov assault riffle, pistols, a large number of ammunition as well as two vehicles and three motorbikes, according to the police commander.
"One of detainees participated in a clash in 2006 in which then police commander of Iranshahr township, Col Jafari, was martyred," the provincial police chief stressed.
That was a war council in Damascus
The National | March 1, 2010
The three-party meeting that took place in Damascus on Friday gathering the Syrian president Bashar al Assad, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah was a war council to devise counterattack plans and assign tasks in the event of an Israeli offensive on one or all parties, wrote Abdelbari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds al Arabi.
"The timing of the meeting, the way it was undertaken and the ensuing press conference that was held at its conclusion, all point to a strategic coalition being reinforced. This is the build-up of a new front that will spearhead the confrontation with the US-Israeli alliance and whichever Arab countries that may, expressly or implicitly, be affiliated with it."
The Iranian president said he expects war to break out somewhere between spring and summer of this year. Meanwhile, the Hizbollah chief vowed to strike the Israeli capital, its airports and power stations if Israel dared to attack Beirut's critical infrastructure.
Iran makes inroads in parts of Africa
Deutsche Welle | Feb. 28, 2010
Looking back at the last decade, Iran has improved relations with African countries by turning to them for investment and trade as it has become more isolated by the West.
In Africa, Iran has engaged in economic and development projects in a number of countries: in Senegal where Khodro, Iran's largest car manufacturer, opened an assembly line in 2007; Nigeria with which it has agreed to share nuclear technology for the production of electricity; and it enjoys good relations with South Africa (a regional leader) where its support of the ANC during the apartheid era has meant that South Africa has remained a true friend.
However, nowhere is the success of Iran's investment quite as clear as in Sudan. "Iran has been successful in strengthening ties with Sudan because the two countries have an ideological link. They are standing up against the West and imperialism," Sanam Vakil, an expert on Iran at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, told Deutsche Welle.
As a result of its isolation from the world (particularly the West), Iran has had to turn to Africa in an effort to gain more relevance in global affairs.
"By strengthening its relationship with African countries, Iran is trying to overcome its de facto isolation," Walter Posch, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, told Deutsche Welle.
The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition Launches IraniansCount.org
Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition | March 1, 2010
The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition (ICCC) is continuing its proactive role to ensure that the Iranian American community's statistics are accurately reflected in the upcoming 2010 Census. Currently comprised of 30 organizations spread throughout the U.S., ICCC today launched the website Iranianscount.org as an informational resource for the community, along with two Public Service Announcements (PSA), produced by the Coalition, with the help of some of the faces of the community, to help raise awareness about the importance of participation in this campaign by the Iranians / Iranian Americans who reside in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status.
These efforts are extremely important since the 2010 United States Census (the "Census") provides the Iranian community in the United States the opportunity to stand up and be counted.
Mandated by the United States Constitution, the Census is an official count of everyone residing in the United States that occurs every 10 years and includes people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups regardless of citizenship status. The Census is used as a benchmark for businesses, professional organizations, and government officials in determining how social services are allocated, the influence of a minority community, and funding for critical community programs. According to the 2000 Census, only 338,000 individuals were classified as Iranian Americans while the actual number is believed to be at least two or three times larger.
By uniting and mobilizing for the 2010 Census, the Iranian American community will achieve greater prominence while also gaining a better understanding of its unique needs.
The Iranian American 2010 Census Coalition includes national and regional organizations Iranian American organizations.
Please visit www.IraniansCount.org/Partners.html for an up-to-date listing of the participating organizations and for information about joining.