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15 Apr 2010 23:00No Comments

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 news feeds on Twitter.

young.JPGMahsouli: Prayer best way to avert earthquakes

Fararu | April 15, 2010

Labor Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said the best way to prevent an earthquake in Tehran is to pray and seek repentance.

Referring to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent remarks about the possibility of an earthquake in Tehran, Mahsouli said, "We can't invent a machine to prevent earthquakes from happening but God has invented such a machine and that is abstaining from sin, prayer, repentance, helping the impoverished, charity, altruism and forgiveness."

"This formula is the best formula for averting disasters. In other words, by becoming Islamic we can have the power to cause change."

Photo: Mahsouli and pal Ahmadinejad in the throes of prayer.

MP: People make out in parks in plain view

Gooya | April 15, 2010

Mohammad Taqi Rahbar, the head of the Majlis Clerical Council, said that the group had called on police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moqaddam to appear and offer explanations about the performance of the civil force in cultural sphere.

"We will also have a meeting regarding cultural issues with the president in order to determine what the government plans to do regarding the fight against cultural decline and the promotion of culture in society," Rahbar told Mehr News Agency.

"Cultural invasion can take place right in front of our eyes," he said. "But no visible movement is taking place to fight it."

"If there are problems with projects such as the morality police ... it must be resolved; the project should not be abandoned."

"As the clerics of Majlis, we believe that the banner of Islam has been entrusted to us and therefore we must be the ones to become the forerunners and demand accountability from authorities. "

"We have invited police commanders and interior ministry officials to attend the council's meeting and explain what they propose to do in order to prevent the distribution of decadent CDs and films, drugs; theft and lack of proper hijab in the country. Today we see [couples] making out on park benches and it has become a custom. This is a threat to society and must be countered. "

Petronas halts fuel sales to Iran as sanctions loom

Reuters | April 15, 2010

Malaysia's Petronas PETR.UL has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran, a company spokesman said on Thursday, as the threat of U.S. sanctions on oil firms with supply ties to the Islamic Republic looms large.

Iran is the world's fifth biggest crude oil exporter but U.S. sanctions mean it has suffered from lack of investment in refineries, forcing the OPEC member to import some 40 percent of its gasoline needs.

Malaysia's state oil firm has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran since the middle of March, the Petronas spokesman told Reuters.

Petronas gave no reason for the pullout but an industry source in Dubai said the company wanted to safeguard its business exposure in the United States.

Several of the world's top oil companies and trading houses have already curbed sales to preempt potential penalization of their U.S. operations.

LUKOIL, Russia's No. 2 oil company, this month joined a growing list of international oil and trading firms that has stopped gasoline sales to Iran.

In March, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) announced that it had stopped gasoline supplies to the Islamic republic, joining two of the world's largest independent trading companies, Glencore and Vitol, who had taken similar decisions.

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