05 Mar 2010 02:03
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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West pitches new Iran sanctions in Security Council
AFP | March 4, 2010
Western nations made a strong pitch for new punitive measures against Iran in the Security Council Thursday, with Britain urging "smart and effective" sanctions to rein in Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
New sanctions would show that "the international community is united behind a diplomatic resolution to Iran's nuclear issue, and stave off any pre-emptive moves by others to resolve this issue by other means," Britain's UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant told the council.
The proposed new UN sanctions should "be smart and effective" and "target areas with an impact on the regime's policy calculations," he said. "They should show the regime the extent to which the costs of their nuclear program outweigh any dubious benefits," Lyall Grant added. "At the same time, we should reaffirm our willingness to continue to engage with Iran."
'Police' name change halted by Academy of Persian Language
Tabnak | March 4, 2010
The Islamic Republic of Iran Civil Forces known as NAJA issued a statement announcing that the word "police" would not be replaced with "Pas Var."
According to the NAJA website, the reason for this change in decision was cited as the "Leader's change of heart."
"After the announcement that 'Pas Var' would be used instead of the word 'police,' the Academy of Persian Language and Literature (Farhangestan) in a letter to the Leader [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] raised points regarding the name change, which prompted him to revoke his order for the name change."
Iran commander praises Basij performance in post-election events
ISNA | March 3, 2010
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] General Mohammad Ali Jafari in a gathering held at the martyrs' cemetery in Yasuj said that nationalists, hypocrites (monafeqin) and monarchists are persistently seeking to create discord and damage the Islamic Republic by organizing "various currents" but the people have managed to "nullify their plots and disappoint the enemies."
Referring to the post-election events Jafari said, "The supreme leader of the revolution has clearly showed the right way and the principal policies and the people made everything clear on February 10 (Revolution anniversary rallies)."
Referring to the change of structure of the IRGC, Jafari said that "the effective performance of the IRGC and Basij forces after the elections showed the positive effects of these changes."
He added, "The implementation of the Salehin (virtuous) scheme in the Basij force was one of the important moves to prepare Basijis to "confront the soft war by the enemies."
Italian police arrest freelance Iranian journalist in Rome
IRINN | March 3, 2010
In a report quoting Italian police, the official Italian news agency announced that Hamid Masuminejad, the Iranian Voice and Vision's [Iran's Radio and Television organization] freelance reporter in Rome, has been arrested.
They haven't announced an acceptable reason for the arrest. But it appears that this correspondent's reports were are not entirely unconnected to his arrest.
In his latest report which was dispatched yesterday, Masuminejad had talked about the issue of racism in Italy.
Afghan, Iran police launch fresh offensive against drug traffickers
AIP | March 3, 2010
Afghan and Iranian border police have launched an offensive against drug traffickers in the border area between Afghanistan and Iran.
Today [March 3], Afghanistan and Iran border police launched a big offensive against drug merchants in the joint border area between these two countries. As a result of this offensive police have been able to appropriate 140 kg of drugs. Hamidollah Seddiqi, a senior police officer of 4th border police division in the west zone, giving details of the offensive, told AIP that today the Afghani and Iranian border police launched an extensive offensive against drug runners and traders along the Afghan-Iran border area. Iranian police carry on their operation in their soil and Afghani police in theirs. Afghan police have seized 140 kg of drugs in an area of Golran district and arrested two men in conviction to that.
Seddiqi said that the operation is continuing in the area and police might find more drugs.
Days back, Gen Mohammad Daud, deputy minister of interior, during his visit to Herat Province, said that they had launched an offensive against drug traffickers in the border area between Afghanistan and Iran and said that they would launch such operation in the future as well.
Crackdown on Iranian media continues: watchdog
Green Voice of Freedom | March 3, 2010
Reporters Without Borders says that "although a number of journalists and citizens have been freed in the past few days, the crackdown on media and journalists is continuing."
"The daily Etemad was suspended on 1 March and the weekly Iran Dokht's licence has been canceled. At the same time, journalists continue to be arrested in Tehran and many others throughout the country have received summonses," the group adds.
"Journalists held by the intelligence ministry are being subjected to considerable pressure to publicly ask the Revolution's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, for forgiveness."
RSF cites Iran's prosecutor-general, as saying last week that "repentance" was "one of the conditions" for the release of political prisoners.
"Why must these journalists offer apologies when all they did was inform their fellow citizens?" the press freedom organization added. "After arresting 110 journalists and censoring at least 20 media in the past eight months, it is the government that should request the forgiveness of its victims when it releases them."
Iran MP notes importance of freedom of thought, speech
Press TV | March 3, 2010
Principlist lawmaker Ali Motahhari underlined the importance of justice, freedom and cultural independence in helping Iran's Islamic Revolution to thread its path.
"We must put emphasis on justice, freedom and cultural independence for the Islamic Revolution in Iran to thread its path," Ali Motahhari, son of martyred and widely-popular Iranian cleric Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari, said on Tuesday.
"The Revolution will face defeat if we do not pay attention to justice," he went on to say.
The parliamentarian went on to emphasize the freedom of thought and speech.
"The Islamic Revolution in Iran is not comparable with the revolutions in Russia and France. Those revolutions underlined justice or freedom but Iran's Islamic Revolution is an ideological one and contains objectives such as justice, freedom, cultural independence and spirituality," he added.
"Freedom in Islam might have a different meaning than freedom in the West. They talk about animal freedom while we talk about human freedom," he concluded.
Iran frees award-winning filmmaker's wife, daughter
AFP | March 4, 2010
Iranian authorities have freed 14 people arrested at award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi's home but the pro-opposition director remains detained, an opposition website said on Thursday.
Kaleme.com said Panahi's wife and their daughter were among the 14 released late on Wednesday, adding that Panahi and two other people, Mohammad Rassoulof and Mehdi Pourmoussa, were still being held.
According to the website, at least six human rights activists, including women's rights militant Mahboubeh Karami, were among the group of 17 people arrested overnight on Monday.
Apart from Panahi, the other five were identified as Hessam Firouzi, Behzad Mehrani, Navid Khanjani, Mansour Taghipour and Aboufazl Abedini.
Foreign-Policy Sage Urges Nuanced U.S. Stance on Iran
WSJ | March 4, 2010
In an interview, Mr. Brzezinski lays out his formula for U.S. policy toward Iran that includes "Above all: Play[ing] the long game, because time, demographics and generational change aren't on the side of the current regime."
"'This is a country with a growing urban middle class, a country with fairly high access to higher education, a country where women play a great role in the professions,'" he says. "So it is a country which I think, basically, objectively is capable of moving the way Turkey has moved." That is, it can evolve into a country where Islam and modernity co-exist, even if somewhat uncomfortably.
Iran in Its Intricacy
NYT | March 4, 2010
A year has passed since President Obama's groundbreaking Nowruz offer to Iran of engagement based on mutual respect. Iran is now a different country, its divided regime weaker and confronted by the Green movement, the strongest expression of people power in the Middle East and a beacon for the region.
Obama's outreach has achieved this: the unsettling of Iran's revolutionary power structure. That alone was worth the gambit. But the 31-year gridlock in Iranian-American relations endures. Sarah Palin, no less, is now urging Obama to "declare war on Iran" to save his presidency. She's not alone. Daniel Pipes, the conservative commentator, called a recent National Review column: "How to save the Obama Presidency: Bomb Iran."
There's nothing new in U.S. hawks reducing Iran to a nuclear abstraction, its 70 million citizens subsumed into a putative warhead, its civilization ignored and its historical grievances against the United States glossed over -- all in the name of making Persia a U.S. electoral pawn and a threat that demands bombs.