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09 Jul 2010 06:36No Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. Click on the link to the story to read it in full. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow other news stories through our Twitter feed.

Iran reviewing woman's stoning death sentence

AFP | July 9, 2010

Iran was reviewing a sentence of stoning to death against a woman accused of adultery, a rights official said, but her lawyer warned Saturday there was no guarantee the execution would be halted.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, Iran's top human rights official, said late Friday that the verdict of death by stoning against Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani is being reviewed by the judiciary.

"She was sentenced to 90 lashes by one court and stoning by another. The verdict is under revision," Larijani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

He said the chief of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, was of the opinion that it was preferable to use another penalty instead of stoning "and that is true for Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani."

Iran to close government offices amid heat wave

CNN | July 10, 2010

Iran will close government offices in Tehran and other areas because of sweltering weather, the nation's semiofficial Fars New agency reported Saturday.

Offices will be closed Sunday and Monday in at least 17 provinces, the agency said.

On Saturday, temperatures were about 40 C (104 F) in Tehran.

Iran bans girls' football team from Youth Olympics over uniform

CNN | July 10, 2010

An Iranian official has rejected the new uniform for the girls' football team, saying it's too "inappropriate," the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported.

Marzieh Akbarabadi, the head of the Physical Education Organization, deemed the new uniforms as "inappropriate" after being presented with the new gear, ISNA said Thursday.

"I had not seen this uniform before. The Physical Education Organization does not approve of it, neither does it approve the head covering of the uniform," Akbarabadi told ISNA.

The Iranian girls' football team was scheduled to play in Singapore for the Youth Olympics in August, but only on the grounds that they would be wearing a uniform in line with Iran's Islamic dress code.

FIFA finally approved the uniform after it first rejected Iran's official uniform of a full headscarf and banned the team from participating in the games.

The new uniform swaps the headscarf for a cap that covers the hair, but not the ears and neck.

Iran Allocates $160 Billion to Build Border Walls

BBC Persian | July 8, 2010

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Iran's interior minister, said the country would seek to block off its borders through the use of walls, canals and barriers. On Thursday Mr. Najjar, said that "given that in this country (Iran) we have eight thousand kilometers of land and sea borders, attention to border security is especially important."

The Interior Minister said that the main reasons for building the border walls are drugs and human smuggling and that $160 billion would be spent on borders in Iran's West, Northwest, East and South-East.

Smugglers in Iraq Blunt Sanctions Against Tehran

NYT | July 9, 2010

Even as the United States imposes new sanctions on Iran, one of the biggest gaps in the American strategy is on full display here in Iraq, where hundreds of millions of dollars in crude oil and refined products are smuggled over the scenic mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan every year.

Day after day, without formal authorization from Baghdad, more than a thousand tankers snake through this town on Iraq's border with Iran, not only undercutting recent American sanctions but also worsening tensions with the Iraqi government over how to divide the country's oil profits.

A senior Kurdish government official said that the benefits from a business he described as "elaborate" and "huge" went to the region's two governing parties and affiliated companies, and that officials and politicians in Baghdad were involved as well.

UAE Ambassador Backs Strike on Iran's Nuclear Sites

AP | July 7, 2010

Iran and the United Arab Emirates are embroiled in a furious new row after the latter's ambassador to Washington publicly expressed support for a US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Yousef al-Otaiba commented bluntly that the benefits would outweigh the short-term costs of military action. "We cannot live with a nuclear Iran," the envoy said at a conference in Aspen, Colorado.

Tehran hit back swiftly with a warning from a leading MP of a "teeth-breaking" response to these "harsh and crude" remarks and a possible ban on Iranian travel to the Gulf state, which does billions of dollars of trade annually with Iran.

Iran May Cancel Tours to UAE

PRESS TV | July 9, 2010

Iran might cancel tours to the UAE due to the Persian Gulf littoral state's "humiliating behavior" towards the country's tourists, an Iranian official says. Iranian passengers traveling to Dubai often complain of strict body search procedures upon arrival in the Arab state.

On Wednesday, Kazem Jalali, Rapporteur for the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, called for the cancellation of tours to the UAE. The calls came after provocative remarks made by the UAE ambassador to the US regarding a military strike on Iran.

Iran Cuts Oil Prices as Sanctions Bite

IWPR | July 8, 2010

As international sanctions mount, Iran is finding it increasing hard to find buyers for its oil, and is being forced to offer discounts in order to shift as much as it can to a falling number of customers. There are no precise figures, but the discounts are believed to be running at between three and seven US dollars per barrel.

It also depends on the market - prices listed in the oil ministry's daily bulletin show that the remaining few European customers for Iranian crude are paying at least three dollars less than those in Asia. According to Akbar Torkan, formerly a senior oil ministry official now at Iran's Centre for Strategic Studies, "Our current concern is selling oil, not the price."

Announcements

The Frontline Club in London is hosting a discussion on the three American Hikers on July 21st with Shane Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey

The Henry Jackson Society in London will host U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Dr.Tamara Wittes to discuss "U.S. Middle East Policy, Human Rights and Democracy" from 1 - 2 pm on July 14th at the House of Commons.

The Henry Jackson Society in London will host U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns to discuss ""The U.S. Perspective on Afghanistan and Iran" from 6:30-7:30pm on July 14th at the House of Commons.

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