23 Apr 2010 23:08
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.
AFP | April 22, 2010
Iran suggests it could accept nuclear fuel swap abroad
Iran is ready to consider an exchange of nuclear fuel on foreign soil as proposed by world powers if it gets "guarantees," the country's atomic chief said on Thursday.
"Iran is always ready to exchange fuel -- the requirement is to have concrete guarantees," Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by the state television website as saying.
"There are many ways to give Iran concrete guarantees. We can discuss these guarantees during negotiations," he said in response to a question on the possibility that an exchange takes place in a third country such as Turkey.
"We are ready to begin negotiations without preconditions," he added, recalling that an "Iranian proposal is on the table."
The US said Monday it was "still interested" in an offer to swap nuclear fuel with Iran, despite seeking a new set of sanctions against Tehran for its defiant nuclear enrichment program.
Azad University students make pornographic film
Khabar Online | April 22, 2010
A group of students at Islamic Azad University have allegedly made a pornographic movie in Bushehr, a matter soon to be investigated by police and legal authorities.
On Wednesday, Mawaj, a Bushehr-based website, described the pornography as a warning sign for the dean of Azad University, Abdollah Jasbi. The website asked Jasbi why he had not paid closer attention to the ethics of his students, and why Azad University did not have campus security to control students and prevent criminals from entering the compound.
Mawaj said Jasbi should be held accountable for appointing incompetent people to take on important responsibilities, and also for the misdemeanors being committed at the educational facility under his care.
Mawaj said a copy of the pornography film had been handed to authorities on Thursday so that the unnamed soldiers of the hidden Imam could look into the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Rasaei: Rafsanjani's fate not tied to his son
Tabnak | April, 22, 2010
Lawmaker Hamid Rasaei said that even though Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani believes that the trial of his son Mehdi is in a way his own trial, the people do not see it that way.
"Mr. Rafsanjani is tying himself to Mehdi Hashemi's fate and his confidants portray the situation in such a way that it appears that prosecuting Mehdi Hashemi is like going after Rafsanjani. However, this is not how the people see it," Fars News Agency quoted Rasaei as saying on Wednesday.
"Mehdi Hashemi will neither return on his own accord nor if Mr. Rafsanjani asks him to return to Iran. We must return him to the country like Abdolmalek Rigi and Shahram Jazayeri."
"If justice is administered, people will not see it that way as was the case of Ayatollah Mohammadi Gilani whose son was an MKO member. He personally tried his son, and after carrying out his death sentence, the people never accused Ayatollah Gilani of the crime committed by his son."
"In 1980 when Seyyed Hossein Khomeini had talked in [Abolhassan] Banisadr's defense in Mashhad and enraged people attacked him, he tried to use his gun [to protect himself] but committee forces (a paramilitary force active after the revolution) managed to get him out unharmed. Afterwards, Imam Khomeini ordered that Seyyed Hassan Khomeini be returned to Tehran under guard and that he be shot if he ever attempts to use his gun again."
Regarding former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's travel ban, Rasaei said, "Mr. Khatami was told not to leave the country or entertain plans to leave the country and he accepted because he was told if he decides to leave the country it will be officially announced [that he is banned from leaving] and the same goes for Mr. [Mir Hossein] Mousavi and [Mehdi] Karroubi."
He then went on to claim that Karroubi's health was in critical condition.
Rasaei said the purpose of Khatami's trip abroad was to attract global coverage. "Due to Mr. Khatami's political standing, international media outlets would be at his disposal to keep the sedition movement alive," he said. "This would be the main objective behind Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami leaving the country."
In response to a question about first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, Rasaei said, "We have not kept silent about Mr. Rahimi's misdemeanors, rather we are waiting for the judiciary to conclude its investigations into the matter. Our stance is that corruption must be dealt with in any rank and naturally if it is proven that Rahimi is guilty of corruption and there is resistance against the administration of justice we will protest it like any other matter."
Mesbah says no hope for Obama's guidance
Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi said there are people in society who knowingly lead others astray and they can never be guided to the right path.
"One example of this is the US president [Barack Obama] who cannot be steered to the right path with admonition or by sending letters."
"Those who out of ignorance and without ill intentions assist seditionists, can be steered to the right path."
He added that if individuals physically or militarily oppose the establishment it is the duty of the government and Muslims to act in defense.
Iran Guards test new speed boat in key oil supply route
AFP | April 22, 2010
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards launched a new "ultra-fast" boat capable of causing high destruction after testing it in a key oil supply route during a three-day military drill that began on Thursday.
The boat, named Ya Mahdi, is "ultra-fast and has high destruction capability," said Ali Reza Tangsiri, spokesman for the exercise. "Since the boat has high speed, it is less detectable by radar."
The naval exercises were described by a senior aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a specific response to Washington's "nuclear threats."
"The most important message from the exercises in the face of American nuclear threats is that we will strongly resist them," the IRNA news agency quoted Ali Shirazi as saying.
The new vessel was tested in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Nearly 40% of world's seaborne oil shipments pass through this waterway.
Tangsiri said that keeping the Strait of Hormuz open and guaranteeing its security was a priority for Iran.
"The Strait of Hormuz belongs to the region and foreigners must not intervene in it. We want to keep it safe and secure," he was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
Iran security forces hand over 22 illegal Pakistani immigrants
APP | April 23, 2010
Iranian border security forces handed over 22 illegal Pakistani immigrants to Taftan administration at Pak-Afghan border Thursday, FIA (Federal Investigating Agency) sources informed this news agency.
According to reports, these Pakistani nationals had entered Iran without having legal documents and were trying to proceed to Europe. The immigrants were handed over to FIA for further interrogation. A case has been registered.
Iran minister says gas exports possible with 'just prices' only
IRNA | April 23, 2010
Minister of Oil Masoud Mir Kazemi said here on Friday [23 April] that expansion of gas exports will be possible in case logical oil prices [meaning just prices] are in effect.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition (23-26 April), Mir Kazemi said, "We would focus on gas injection to oil fields instead if prices for exported gas are not logical."
He said by 2010 or early 2011 Iran will assume OPEC presidency and "Our strategy for expansion of cooperation and promotion of country's oil industry will be developmental."
To this end, he added, Iran will cooperate with the Persian Gulf neighbors to draw up regional energy strategy to adjust supply and demand mechanism and prices, while guaranteeing interests of the suppliers.
He went on to say that today, the energy consumers' interests and the amount of taxes levied on them to be paid out of their energy revenues exceed the OPEC members' total income.
The Minister said his ministry will give the priority to guaranteeing energy security to keep it for future generations and confronting limits and sanctions.
Gasoline consumption to decrease to 65m liters/day this year
IRNA | April 23, 2010
Deputy Oil Minister Nureddin Shahnazizadeh said here on Friday that domestic gasoline consumption will be lowered to 65 million liters a day this year once the target-oriented subsidy law is enforced.
Shahnazizadeh, who is also Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, told reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition (April 23-6) that average gasoline consumption in Iran stood at 64,900,000 liters a day last year, which will rise to 68 million liters a day this year in case of failure to implement the target-oriented subsidy law nationwide.
Iran, Zimbabwe sign 11 accords, open tractor factory
IRIB | April 23, 2010
During the first day of President Ahmadinejad's visit to Zimbabwe, 11 memorandums of understanding, a schedule for the implementation of agreements and a joint statement were signed by high-ranking officials of the two countries in the Zimbabwean capital Harare in the presence of both presidents.
These memorandums include a memorandum on tourism, a memorandum on the abolition of diplomatic visas, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation, a memorandum on cooperation in the field of education, technology and air transportation and a document on the implementation of the decisions of the sixth session of the joint [Iran-Zimbabwe] commission. A memorandum on the repayment of debts by Zimbabwe was also signed between an Iranian bank and the Bank of Zimbabwe.
Following the signing ceremony, the presidents of Iran and Zimbabwe attended a joint news conference. Ahmadinejad noted the collapse of exploitative and evil systems, saying that the future belongs to nations and that signs of global government by nations have appeared.
Referring to the expansion of mutual ties, Zimbabwean President Mugabe described cooperation between the two countries as very extensive. The two countries enjoy very close partnership in regional and international bodies, like G77 countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and G15 countries, Mugabe said.
Iran, North Korea sign cultural cooperation agreement
IRIB | April 23, 2010
Iran and North Korea have signed a document on cultural cooperation. During an official visit to Pyongyang by the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Asia and Oceania, a document on a new cultural exchange programme was signed between Iran and North Korea.
This document was signed at the end of a meeting between Fatollahi and (Chung Yong-jin), the deputy head of the cultural relations committee of North Korea. The document determines the strategy of cooperation between the two countries for the next three years, that's to say from 1389 to 1391 [2010-2012].
During the meeting, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Asia and Oceania and the deputy head of the cultural relations committee of North Korea exchanged views on coordinating the two countries' positions in the fights against threats, hegemony and cultural attacks by expansionist countries.
New Software Could Outwit Tehran's Censors
IPS | April 23, 2010
While the Iranian government has intensified its aggressive efforts to expand Internet filters, Austin Heap, a young programmer in the U.S., says he has developed software that would enable Iranians to evade their censors.
In response to the widespread crackdown following Iran's June 2009 presidential elections, the San Francisco-based Censorship Research Center (CRC) developed a program that provides unfiltered, anonymous Internet access.
Called Haystack, it uses a sophisticated mathematical formula to hide the user's real Internet identity while allowing access to widely-used networking websites blocked by Iran's government, such as Youtube, Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter.
"Now we can launch our efforts to help those in Iran access the Internet as if there were no Iranian government filters," Austin Heap, CRC's executive director, told IPS.
Week in Green
Episode 20: Interview with Akbar Ganji
Week in Green | April 23, 2010
In the twentieth episode of The Week in Green, acclaimed journalist Akbar Ganji discusses the role of nonviolence in the Green Movement, the relation of the movement to the geopolitics of the wider region, and the possible forms and effects of economic sanctions against Iran.