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06 Mar 2010 21:211 Comment

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 last meeting of the Expediency Council in 1388 | photos

Radan says 'Rigi sang'

Tabnak | March 5, 2010

Iran's Deputy Police Chief Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Radan said Abdolmalek Rigi, the notorious Jondollah ringleader, 'warbled like a nightingale en route from Hormozgan Province to Tehran'.*

"Following the post-election incidents [in Iran], in order to project an atmosphere of insecurity in Iran, the Americans came up with a new mission for Rigi. In order to brief him, [the Americans] wanted to transfer him to their base in Bishkek," Mehr News Agency quoted Radan as saying on Thursday night.

"In order to keep his identity a secret, the Americans moved Rigi from one country to the next but when they attempted to transfer him from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, our war planes, in a complex operation, took off and forced Rigi's plane to land in Hormozgan."

Turning to the post-election incidents in Iran, he said: "Today the sedition has been countered to some extent and the game played by the seditionists has become clear for the people to some extent. The seditionist started by crying vote fraud and on Ashura they showed the height of their anti-religious fervor."

"In order to make the atmosphere hazy, they send word to a person in prison asking him to get $50,000 and say he had been raped or say he had been sexually abused, if he is embarrassed [to say he was raped]. When we told that gentleman [Mehdi Karroubi?] that this was the truth of the situation [regarding jail rapes] and why did you make such claims [about detainees being raped in jail] he said, "Thank God that this blot was removed from the reputation of the establishment."

* This Persian expression means he gave away the information he had with or without the use of force.

Prison chief: Kahrizak result of negligence

Asr Iran | March 5, 2010

The Head of the Prisons Organization said that the Kahrizak incident was a result of negligence.

"The final verdict must be passed by the judges presiding over the [Kahrizak] case. But the executive officials are of the opinion that the whole incident was the result of negligence," said Gholam Hossein Esmaili.

"The Kahrizak case consists of three parts: the main part is being reviewed at the Armed Forces Judicial Organization; one part is being reviewed by the Council for government employees and the third part is being reviewed at the Judges' court."

On another subject, he said that regulations governing temporary leave from prison would be changed to bar those [convicted of] "crimes such as armed robbery, mugging, snatching, espionage, drug-related offenses, scarring by acid and kidnapping and acting against national security" from taking advantage of it.

Behzad Nabavi granted 5-day leave from prison

Tabnak
| March 5, 2010

Behzad Nabavi was temporarily released from prison on Wednesday night.

According to a website close to the Islamic Participation Front, Nabavi was released on the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet of Islam and he will be returning to Evin Prison on Monday, March 8, 2010.

In late November, Nabavi was released for 10 days after posting an $800,000 USD bail.

The Revolution Court has sentenced Nabavi to six years in prison.

MP: BBC's dorm film had nothing new

Asr Iran | March 5, 2010

The spokesman for the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said the BBC film of the raid on the Tehran University dormitory contained nothing new.

Kazem Jalali said that lawmakers had watched the film and discussed its content.

"After reviewing the film broadcast by the BBC on the Tehran University dorm, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission concluded that it contained nothing in addition to what was announced to the public following the occurrence of the incident," he said.

"At the time authorities probed the Tehran University dorm incident and the Supreme National Security Council and Majlis Speaker [Ali Larijani] tasked lawmakers on the National Security Commission, headed by deputy speaker Mr. [Mohammad Hossein] Abu Torabi, to closely investigate the matter. At the time, reports prepared on the matter were presented to authorities and judicial officials began the legal prosecution process."

Jalali went on to say that airing the film after the 22 Bahman demonstrations and while the country was engaged with its nuclear issue as well as arresting the terrorist Abdolmalek Rigi, was aimed at influencing Iranian public opinion.

"We advise the UK to change its policies, as seen reflected in the BBC [programs], toward Iran."

Judiciary deputy tells of new moral restriction law

Khabar Online | March 5, 2010

The first deputy of the Judiciary said the government had prepared legislation for Majlis that would legalize public surveillance.

The name of the legislation is "a call to virtue and dissuasion from vice."

"The government wants to send this legislation to Majlis as soon as possible because 'a call to virtue and dissuasion from vice' needs a system [to work] and this system is in the form of legislation that, if approved by Majlis, will be a good approach for the country," said Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ebrahim Raiisi.

"What has been done so far to revive 'a call to virtue and dissuasion from vice' was necessary but not enough and we need a system to be presented in order to legalize public surveillance," he said.

Behzad Nabavi granted 5-day leave from prison


Tabnak
| March 5, 2010

Behzad Nabavi was temporarily released from prison on Wednesday night.

According to a website close to the Islamic Participation Front, Nabavi was released on the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet of Islam and he will be returning to Evin Prison on Monday, March 8, 2010.

In late November, Nabavi was released for 10 days after posting an $800,000 USD bail.

The Revolution Court has sentenced Nabavi to six years in prison.

Karroubi's son barred from leaving Iran

Saham News | March 5, 2010

Opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi's [second oldest] son Mohammad-Taqi was stopped at the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) and prevented from leaving Tehran for London.

IKIA authorities confiscated Mohammad-Taqi Karroubi's passport and informed him that he is banned from leaving the country. Mohammad-Taqi Karroubi is a lecturer and the author of one book on international law. He was traveling to London to finish research for his upcoming book.

Ahmadinejad calls Sept 11 'big fabrication'

Reuters | March 6, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the September 11 attacks on the United States a "big fabrication" that was used to justify the U.S. war on terrorism, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West and Israel, made the comment in a meeting with Intelligence Ministry personnel.

Ahmadinejad described the destruction of the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 as a "complicated intelligence scenario and act," IRNA reported.

He added: "The September 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan." He did not elaborate.

Iran summons Italian envoy over arrests

AP | March 5, 2010

Iran's foreign ministry has summoned Italy's ambassador in Tehran to protest the detention of two Iranians accused by Italian police of involvement in a plot to sell weapons to Iran in defiance of an international embargo.

Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the ambassador was asked for an explanation of the arrests, according to state TV.

Italian police said Wednesday that two Iranians and five Italians, including Iranian state TV's Rome correspondent Hamid Masouminejad, were detained in the case, and warrants were issued for two other Iranians. Police described the Iranians as spies.

Italy's ambassador summoned by Iran FM over arrests

Fars | March 5, 2010

Pointing to the arrest of two Iranians in Italy, [Spokesman Ramin] Mehmanparast said that the Italian ambassador to Tehran has been summoned to the foreign ministry.

Fars: The spokesman of the foreign ministry has pointed to the arrest of two Iranians in Italy adding that Rome's ambassador to Tehran has been summoned to the foreign ministry. He said, "the issue is very much on our agenda."

Quoting foreign ministry information and public relations bureau, a Fars correspondent reported that Ramin Mehmanparast has pointed to the arrest of correspondent Masouminejad in Italy, saying, "The news that has reached us is indicative of a new game being played. This game has the objective of causing particular side-issues with an ambiguous bias."

He added, "We have summoned the Italian ambassador with the aim of receiving explanations on the aspects of the matter at hand and we are pursuing the matter with vigor."

Iranian nucleus rounded up in Italy reportedly part of larger network

Corriere della Sera | March 5, 2010

A platoon of businessmen, small companies in the north, four agents -- some under cover -- international contacts, and the eternal Dubai acting as financial back-up. The significant Milan investigation confirms, in every detail, the modus operandi of the Iranian secret services in Italy. The nucleus that has been rounded up is just one of the many nucleuses created by Tehran to get hold of arms and banned technology. A "business" which has been going on -- almost undisturbed -- since the 1980s, and which has its heart in northern Italy.

According to our information, he followers of Khomeini act on three levels, which sometimes collaborate, and which, on other occasions, keep away from each other. The first level is the one which gravitates around Iran's diplomatic offices and institutions. It is very cautious, because it knows it is under observation, although Iran's intelligence agents have, in the past, enjoyed a certain impunity in the name of economic interests. The second level brings together Iranians resident in Italy, small firms run by Italians, and elements close to the pasdaran or intelligence services of Khomeini. For years we have recounted the activities of an individual who has only been caught up in passing in the investigations: an Iranian, called "The Professor," also involved, amongst other things, in a plan to acquire dangerous toxins. The third front is more "political": men who have the trust of the regime -- often traders -- and intelligence agents keep an eye on exiles. It is interesting to note that often the mullahs have built up excellent ties with right-wing and left-wing Italian extremists, in the name of hostility to the US and to Israel. Legitimate ties, which have concealed other ties that are less clear, and less geared towards clandestine operations.

In light of this organization, it is clear that the valuable work of the public prosecutor's office in Milan, and of the Finance Police, has an impact on a world that is as ambiguous as it is important. Thus Italy finds itself in a position already experienced by allied governments. The United States, Britain, France, and Germany have arrested traffickers and hitmen in the pay of Tehran. People caught red-handed. But the ayatollahs do not care. And they immediately took their revenge with the system of hostages. They identify Westerners, they accuse them of spying or backing the reformist movement, and they turn them into pawns in a despicable game. If you want them free -- this is the blackmail -- then release our men.

Iranian foreign minister urges proactive, innovative diplomacy

Press TV | March 5, 2010

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urges the country's envoys to foreign states to adopt proactive diplomacy and innovative approaches in their interactions with other nations.

Addressing the Iranian ambassadors at the wrap-up ceremony of the annual meeting of Iranian envoys abroad on Thursday [4 March], Mottaki lavished praise on the Foreign Ministry's experienced and qualified members, citing them as Iran's major achievement over the past years.

The change in the West's attitude towards Iran's nuclear case which went from the obligation to shut-down our nuclear facilities to the talk of a nuclear fuel swap is an equivocal indication of the country's major foreign policy accomplishment during Tehran's eighth and ninth administration, the foreign minister maintained.

Mottaki also urged the ambassadors to address the problems and issues that concern the Iranian expatriates living abroad.

Japan, US agree to cooperate on Iran nuclear issue


Kyodo News Service
| March 5, 2010

The United States and Japan are "very well coordinated" in dealing with the Iranian nuclear standoff, visiting US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said Friday after his talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, as moves have intensified to impose fresh economic sanctions on Tehran.

On the thorny bilateral issue of where to relocate a US Marine base in Okinawa, Steinberg only told reporters in Tokyo that "both sides are working very productively." Sources close to bilateral ties have said that Tokyo has told Washington that it will not go through with a relocation plan the two countries agreed on in 2006, despite Washington's call to stick to the plan, which took years to reach.

The Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Okada and Steinberg reaffirmed the importance of the Japan-US security agreements and agreed to cooperate on various global issues including the Iranian nuclear standoff as well as in dealing with North Korea.

Before coming to Japan on Thursday, Steinberg and other US officials visited China, where they are believed to have sought China's backing for fresh sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. China has been reluctant to support the move.

Saying Japan has a critical role to play in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue because of its support for the nonproliferation regime and influence over Iran, Steinberg told reporters in Tokyo, "I think we have a very well coordinated and common approach to this critical question." "The international community now expects Iran to take unequivocal steps to come into compliance with its international obligation, so there clearly will be consequences," he also said.

Clinton Fails to Win Brazilian Support for UN Sanctions on Iran

Bloomberg | March 4, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Brazil failed to win support for tougher United Nations penalties on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

While Brazil and the U.S. differ over whether sanctions are the best approach, both countries "do not want to see Iran become a nuclear weapons country," Clinton told reporters in Brasilia yesterday after meeting Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

Brazil, which holds a temporary voting seat on the UN Security Council, has said it takes Iran at its word that its nuclear program is for energy and medical purposes. Like Turkey, which also holds a rotating seat and China, a permanent Security Council member with veto power over resolutions, Brazil has resisted a U.S. and European push to squeeze Iranian commercial and financial transactions as a way to force Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.

"Brazil is a global player with an independent mind, just as the United States is," Clinton said at a later event in Sao Paulo. "Every country has to make a judgment about what is in their core interests, in their security interests."

China, Russia Urge More Iran Talks as France Seeks Sanctions

Bloomberg | March 4, 2010

China and Russia said negotiations with Iran remain the best way to resolve the dispute over the purpose of its nuclear program, after a French envoy said the time has come to adopt tougher United Nations sanctions.

"There is still room for further diplomatic maneuvers," Chinese Deputy Ambassador Liu Zhenmin told a Security Council meeting on Iran's compliance with the previous three sets of sanctions. "The door to contact and dialogue has not closed."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose government has said it is open to supporting new penalties, said there is "still a horizon" for negotiations aimed at an agreement to defuse tensions by enriching uranium for a research reactor outside Iran.

"Time is up," French envoy Nicolas de Riviere said. "We cannot let ourselves be put off. We have no other choice than to seek the adoption in coming weeks of new Security Council measures."

Civilized nations do not need atomic bomb: Iranian president

Press TV | March 4, 2010

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares that nations that possess culture and civilization do not need to make atomic bombs.

"I have repeatedly said that our atomic bombs are our youth and athletic heroes. A nation that possesses determination, intellect, culture and civilization doesn't need to make atomic bombs," IRNA quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying on Thursday [4 March].

"Those who suffer from an inferiority complex and lack a historical background are the ones that claim they need atomic bombs," he added.

Iran: Jail term for president's critic commuted to three years

GVF | March 4, 2010

According to reports received by Green Voice Freedom (Green Voice of Freedom), the initial sentence of reformist economist Sa'id Laylaz has been commuted to three years in prison after an appeal. It was previously nine years, which means that the court has reduced his sentence six years.

Iran grand ayatollah denies fatwa for executions

ISNA | March 5, 2010

Denying the rumor of a Fatwa for the death sentence; Grand Ayatollah Naser Makaram-Shirazi said: those youngsters who have under the influence of [recent] unrest perpetrated acts of violence should benefit from amnesty if they do not belong to corrupt groups.

Grand Ayatollah Makaram-Shirazi has denied having issued a Fatwa for execution spread by some websites.

The office of Ayatollah Makaram-Shirazi pointed to the rumors spread by some websites using recent statements by him to claim that those who acted offensively during the Ashura unrest [27 Dec 2009] would be regarded as "Combatants against God" and thus deserving the death sentence.

He added that there is a wide abuse by typical individuals whom would never lose an opportunity to undermine the sacred institution of the sources of emulation. The views of Ayatollah Makaram-Shirazi are excerpted below:

"We have never given such Fatwa on these individuals [protestors] and this is a mischief by some websites. God-willing everyone will act according to the edicts of Islam and will make no hasty judgements. God shows mercy towards everyone of his flock. We are aware of the fact that some youngsters, under the influence of recent unrest, have resorted to violence. They have to be guided and taught. If they do not belong to any particular corrupt groups belonging to the aliens; they have be granted amnesty."

Ejei: negotiations with Mousavi useless

Asr Iran | March 5, 2010

Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said he tried negotiating with Mir Hossein Mousavi but the opposition leader insisted on his illegal demands.

"Following the riots and the seditionist moves after the election I [tried to] negotiate with Mousavi in order to bring these matters to an end but he continued to persist with his illegal demands," Ejei said at the Crime Prevention Summit held in Mashhad on Thursday.

"A person like Mousavi, who was once the Prime Minister, has today joined the counterrevolutionary movements in order to achieve his objectives with illegal actions."

He went on to say that various groups and academics from across the country had sent petitions demanding that the heads of sedition be brought to justice.

He pointed to the post-election incidents and the actions of the opposition leaders and their cohorts in causing the incidents that followed the 10th presidential election and said, "If a day comes when the establishment is not able to try an individual or individuals for their criminal activities or prosecute them due to their affiliation with certain figures, it [the establishment] has definitely deviated [from the righteous path]."

Alamolhoda: Saying death to SL means disregard for everything sacred

Khabar Online | March 5, 2010

Mashhad Friday Prayers Leader Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Alamolhoda said the enemy was attacking Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khameni because of its inability to attack Islam and the Quran.

In this week's sermon, Alamolhoda said after the passing of the Prophet of Islam and in the absence of the 12th Shiite Imam (Mahdi), the Shia's Just Jurisprudent (Iran's Leader) has the responsibility to disseminate religion

"The enemy who cannot attack Islam and the Quran due to the large number of people who love the Prophet and Islam, attacks the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent (the Islamic Republic's system of governance). This is not a complicated philosophical issue rather it is a matter understandable with common sense."

"The slogan 'death to those against the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent' means death to those against the Prophet of Islam. Imam Ali, Fatimah and Imam Mahdi, which can all be shortened in one sentence because any one against the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent is against all of the above and opposed to being a servant of God. Submission to God is only possible through submission to the Just Jurisprudent."

"Unfortunately, in this country, one political element for his political gains brought on the chants of the slogan of 'Death to the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent' which means death to everything sacred. We must differentiate between those loyal to the Revolution and counterrevolutionaries."

Iran's airport police seize 737 kg of drugs in one year

Press TV | March 5, 2010

Iran's Airport Police Chief Brigadier General Nabiollah Heydari says 737 kilograms of various kinds of drugs have been seized this year.

"Iranian airport police has seized a total of 737 kg of various kinds of drugs in the country's airports this year," IRNA quoted General Heydari as saying on Thursday [4 March].

"There has been a twelve-fold increase in comparison to last year's figures which was just 63 kilograms," he added.

According to General Heydari, the seized drugs included 472 kg of crystal meth, most of which was discovered at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA).

"Some 4,898 people involved in drug smuggling have also been arrested at Iranian airports this year," he went on to say.

"Airport police is to equip the country's airports with 10 body scanners which will help in uncovering drugs and nabbing smugglers," he asserted.

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1 Comment

Time for Apartheid divestment for Iran!

Did ANC have better PR? Seems so, South African Investments were divested 100% in 1980...shantytowns, and racism seem tame when compared to genocide/nukes.

Fortune 50 Companies all in Tehran

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/06/world/iran-sanctions.html?ref=middleeast

Shah / March 6, 2010 10:15 PM