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03 May 2010 20:34No Comments
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Iran, US take their nuclear dispute to UN stage

AP | May 3, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought his nuclear showdown with Western powers to New York on Monday, turning a U.N. treaty conference into a stage for the long-running confrontation over Iran's uranium enrichment program.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, opening the monthlong review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), directly challenged Tehran.

"The onus is on Iran to clarify the doubts and concerns about its program," the U.N. chief told the delegates from 189 nations.

He called on the Tehran government "to fully comply with Security Council resolutions" demanding that it halt enrichment, which Washington and others contend is meant to produce the nuclear fuel for bombs in violation of Iran's NPT obligations.

MP: Ahmadinejad trip to NYC not US business

Khabar Online | May 2, 2010

The Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission spokesman, Kazem Jalali, said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's trip to New York has nothing to do with Americans.

"The trip made by Iranian authorities [to the US] is in the form of an international trip and all members of the UN have the right to visit its headquarters and attend its assemblies," Jalali told reporters on Sunday.

"The remarks made by American officials about this trip shows that they are either unaware of international regulations or seek to please the Zionist lobby with their comments."

"The country that is hosting an international institution does not have the right to have an opinion about the heads of different states participating in the assemblies of that institution."

Iran state firm offers to help curb oil spill

AFP | May 3, 2010

An Iranian state firm offered on Monday to avert an "ecological disaster" by helping to curb the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which is moving towards the shores of the United States.

"The oil drilling specialists of our country can act to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil rig and prevent the ecological disaster in that region of the world," said Haidar Bahmani, managing director of National Iranian Drilling Company.

"Iran's drilling specialists are capable of controlling the most complicated spills in any part of the world," he was quoted as saying on the Iranian oil ministry's website, SHANA.

Hollywood filmmakers urge Iran to free Jafar Panahi

ANI | May 3, 2010

Hollywood movie makers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese have requested the Iranian government to release filmmaker Jafar Panahi. Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford and Francis Ford Coppola jointly issued a statement opposing Panahi's arrest that happened on March 1.

"We stand in solidarity with a fellow film-maker", the petition read. According to the petition, the group of actors and moviemakers "strongly urge the Iranian government to release Mr Panahi immediately." Panahi's son Panah told reporters last month that his father was arrested when plain-clothes police broke into his family home.

Putin Welcomes Gift Leopard From Iran

ABC | May 3, 2010

The leopard growled, flashed its teeth and lunged at the fence of its new enclosure at a national park in Russia's near the southern city of Sochi.

Standing on the other side of the fence was Russian prime minister, and animal lover, Vladimir Putin, who smiled broadly.

The rare Persian leopard is one of two that Iran recently gifted to Russia in exchange for two Amur, or Siberian, Tigers. Putin was on hand to open an enclosure for Russia's new cats, the second of which was too ill to come out, according to Russia Today.

Russia hopes to start a breeding program to revive the Persian Leopard population in the Caucasus region which has largely disappeared because of poaching and a shrinking habitat. At the same time, Iran is looking to re-introduce Amur tigers to the Islamic Republic, decades after they became extinct in the country.

national

Reformist ex-official stabbed at Iran university

AP | May 3, 2010

An Iranian pro-reform website says that a former government official, known as a supporter of the opposition, was stabbed at a Tehran university.

The Rahesabz website says Ahmad Motamedi was wounded in the assault at Amir Kabir University, where he holds a faculty position.

A university official confirmed Monday's attack and said Motamedi was hospitalized with wounds to his chest. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of rules that ban giving information to media.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

Two more baseless death sentences for protesters

GVF | May 3, 2010

The death sentences of another two prisoners arrested during the post-election protests have been confirmed after appeal.

Branch 36 of the court of appeal in Tehran has confirmed death sentences for Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei and Jafar Kazemi.

The two were initially sentenced to death by Judge Moghiseh on charges of "Moharebeh" (being an enemy of God) and "propagating against the [Islamic] system."

They were arrested on 18 September when they were protesting the results of the rigged June 2009 presidential election.

The lawyer representing Haj Aghaei and Kazemi has not had any access to his clients and was even notified about the appeal court's ruling with delay.

Informed sources have told the Green Voice of Freedom, that Masoumeh Yavari, another protester arrested following the June election also faces the threat of execution and her case too is being handled by the Judge Moghiseh. A trial will take place on 5 May in order to review the prosecutor's request for a death sentence.

IRGC reacts to Kuwaiti espionage allegations

Asr Iran | May 2, 2010

The head of the IRGC public relations office dismissed Kuwaiti reports of having discovered an IRGC espionage ring in the country and said the Guards' popularity was the reason behind such rumors.

Brig. Gen Ramezan Sharif stressed that the enemy is concerned about the growing popularity of the Islamic Revolution and its Guards Corps among the people of the Middle East region.

"Claiming to have uncovered an espionage ring is in line with the IRGC-phobia project," he said. "Since the beginning of the new Persian year, Zionist media and their regional affiliates have resorted to fictional accounts in order to overshadow the popularity of the Islamic Revolution among the people of regional countries."

He pointed to the allegations of money laundering in Bahrain, the accusations leveled by UAE officials and Kuwaiti claims of uncovering an espionage ring and said, "It is a known fact for all that the Guards Corps, as the guardian of the revolution, is always in the frontline of safeguarding national interests and this very authority that it enjoys has caused the enemies of the establishment to struggle to make baseless allegations and prevent its increasing growth."

"All surveys and polls show that just as the popularity of the Islamic Revolution is growing among the people of the region and especially its youth, the popularity of the IRGC is also increasing due to its objectives and efforts," Fars News Agency quoted him as saying.

Sharif went on to note the popularity of the IRGC among Palestinian and Lebanese youth and said it was because the Guards had a reputation of being freedom seekers.

"A clear indication of this popularity can be seen in the number of youth joining Hamas and Hezbollah," he said.

IRIB Presenters Joining Govt One By One

Khabar Online | May 2, 2010

IRIB 3 evening news anchor Mohammad Hossein Ranjbaran was appointed as the head of the Welfare Ministry's public relations office.

According to the news report, Ranjabaran had established close ties with the officials of the ninth administration and had gone on to become the first journalist to report on the cabinet's internal meetings. With the insistence of Sadeq Mahsouli, Ranjbaran was accepted into the welfare ministry.

Ranjbaran had apparently received a number of offers by various government organs and economic institutions. The reason why he chose the welfare ministry is still unclear.

Earlier, IRIB 5 presenter Seyyed Qasem Biniyaz was appointed as the head of the Transportation Ministry's public relations office.

Sending IRIB reporters--such as Kamran Najafzadeh, Azizi, Mohammad Kazem Rouhaninejad--to take on international reporting for Iran seems to be emptying Seda-o Sima of reporters.

Mohammad-Najjar's Impeachment To Happen With 35 Signatures

Parleman News | May 2, 2010

A proponent of the plan to impeach Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said 14 lawmakers have signed the proposal and the Majlis presiding board would be informed once signatures reached 35.

"The proposal will be handed to the Majlis presiding board once the signatures reach 35," Sanandaj representative in Majlis Amin Shaabani said.

He added that lawmakers were planning to lobby for more signatures on the impeachment motion on Tuesday.

"The militarization of the Interior Ministry, the appointment of military men to key posts, disorder in the councils and not considering competence in appointing managers are among the reasons for Najjar's impeachment."

"The proponents of the impeachment of the Interior Minister belong to the different factions of Majlis."

"We will not rush to hand over the signed proposal to the Majlis presiding board and we will present the presiding board with the motion once 35 lawmakers have signed it."

Iran works on anti-cruise system

UPI | May 3, 2010

The Iranian military is working on a weapon system that can destroy incoming cruise missiles, the Iranian defense minister announced.

Iranian Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told the semiofficial Fars News Agency that his ministry was working on a weapon to confront a variety of military threats.

"The system has been produced to confront military threats flying at low altitudes such as cruise missiles," he said.

He added that experts at the defense ministry had developed a short-range, air-defense system that can fire 4,000 rounds per minute.

Kayhan to distribute Shariatmadari defense CD

Tabnak | May 3, 2010

Kayhan announced that a CD of Hossein Shariatmadari's defense in response to Shirin Ebadi's complaint will be distributed soon.

Following Shariatmadari's court hearing and the airing of the trial on television, scores of Iranian citizens reportedly contacted Kayhan requesting a copy of the defense plea.

Kayhan said that enthusiasts in provinces could contact local Kahyan offices to obtain their personal copy.

missing busts

British behind serial theft of Tehran busts : Fars

Fars News | May 3, 2010

A senior cultural heritage expert Hassan Mohammadi accused the British of being behind the serial theft of bronze statues in Tehran.

"Considering the UK's track record in stealing historical and valuable artifacts from different nations, and its record in plundering the religious and national possessions of our country over the past 200 years, there is a strong belief that British experts and dealers who usually have a hand in gathering and stealing historical valuables, are the main culprits in the case of statues disappearing from city squares in Tehran."

"While it might appear easy at first to steal the statues that are in plain public view but due to the size of these statues and the difficulty in pulling off the theft and transporting the stolen goods, they [the thieves] must have a think-tank and special organization in order to be able to make the best use of these statues."

Mohammadi went on to say that the UK acted faster in purchasing stolen goods compared to other European countries and that "usually these items appear in British museums after 100 years as historical artifacts."

He predicted that if it is proven that the UK is behind the thefts, Iran would lodge a complaint against them to UNESCO and other international cultural centers.

"Plundering the cultural heritage of nations, and in particular Muslim countries, is always on the agenda of European states, especially the UK. Therefore the organs safeguarding the cultural resources of the country as well as municipalities must redouble their level of vigilance."

Iran police work on solving missing busts case

Fars News | May 3, 2010

A Tehran police chief said the theft of bronze statues in Tehran is not the work of ordinary individuals, and that a number of suspects have been identified in connection to the thefts.

Abbasali Mohammadian told Fars News Agency that the best detectives on the police force had been assigned to the case.

"Given the nature of the thefts and the stolen goods, it appears that these thefts are not the work of ordinary thieves, as such thefts require special equipment."

"The stolen statues are of no use to ordinary people, and this has guided investigations to a special direction."

"So far we have a few suspects and locations that the members of this band [of thieves] may try to hit next, or where they might stash the stolen goods have been indentified."

Colonel Mohammadian urged citizens to inform the police if they encounter individuals who intend on stealing such items.

Avicenna joins growing list of missing busts

Asr Iran | May 3, 2010

The Avicenna statute was stolen from the Behjatabad Park bringing the total of missing busts in Tehran to 10.

So far, the police has found no lead in the case of the missing busts.

Lead found in case of missing busts

Day Press | May 2, 2010

The CEO of the Municipal Beautification Organization of Tehran, Mohammad Javad Shoushtari, said traffic control cameras have recorded the theft of one of the stolen bronze busts.

"The recording of this footage and the follow-up activities by the Tehran municipality will greatly help in solving the mystery behind the theft of Tehran's bronze busts," Shoushtari told Mehr News Agency.

He went on to add that the municipality's complaint had been officially written and submitted to the police along with documented evidence.

The theft of the bronze busts from across Tehran started during the Nowruz holidays. So far nine busts have gone missing, including the busts of Shahriyar, Sattar Khan, Baqer Khan and Sanei' Khatam.

According to official data, over 60 percent of the statues in Tehran are made of bronze, making them all targets for the thieves in pursuit of busts in the capital city.

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