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20 Apr 2010 19:221 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 news feeds on Twitter.


Basijis protest in front of UN office in Tehran.


Turkey offers to act as Iran intermediary

AFP | April 20, 2010

UN Security Council member Turkey offered on Tuesday to help break a deadlock over an atomic fuel deal for Tehran and insisted that diplomacy is the best way to resolve Iran's nuclear crisis.

"The solution for Iran's nuclear programme is through negotiations and the diplomatic process," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference on a visit to Tehran.

Davutoglu said that Turkey, which has resisted a US push for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran, "is ready to act as an intermediary in the issue of uranium exchange as a third country and hopes to have a fruitful role in this."

"We will continue to try our best to see what we can do for this nuclear fuel swap," he added.

Soltaniyeh to be replaced as Iranian envoy to IAEA

Akharin News | April 18, 2010

Iran will soon appoint a new representative in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh's term as the Iranian envoy to the agency has come to an end.

So far, no possible replacement candidates have been named.


Mashai predicts future again

Aftab News | April 16, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashai predicted that within a half century scientists will manufacture robots that cannot be discerned from human beings.

"Within the next 50 years, man will manufacture humanoids capable of doing everything humans do such as reproduction, giving birth, loving and composing poems," he said. "They will have flesh and blood like real humans."

Mashai has been criticized for making such statements in the past. Many believe that even if his observations have some scientific basis, such as reports that robots being able to reassemble themselves in half a century, he is in no position to express such views and should instead focus on his responsibilities at the presidential office.

Cleric warned Ahmadinejad about quake in Tehran

Tabnak | April 16, 2010

Not long ago the Iranian president announced that a Tehran cleric had told him that the capital city will soon be jolted by an earthquake making it necessary for the people to repent from sin and leave the city if possible.

According to Jahan, a news source affiliated with the IRGC, Ayatollah Khoshvaght, a well reputed cleric who teaches ethics in Tehran, was the person who informed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about the quake. Ayatollah Khoshvaght has reportedly been calling on worshipers at his mosque in Tehran to repent from their sins and leave the city.

On Friday, Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi, Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader, also warned about the possibility of an earthquake in Tehran and stressed that a Tehran cleric had asked him to tell people to collectively repent.

Ayatollah Saddiqi in his Friday sermon said an increase in moral corruption in society was one of the main reasons for [an upcoming] earthquake in Tehran. He asked worshipers to raise their hands in prayer in order to avert the natural disaster.

Ayatollah Khoshvaqt related to Supreme Leader

Akharin News | April 18, 2010

After reports surfaced about Ayatollah Azizollah Khoshvaqt warning Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about the threat of an imminent earthquake in Tehran and stressing the importance of Iranians repenting from sin to avert the disaster, Shia online shed light on the well-reputed ethicist's background.

According to the Shia online report, Ayatollah Khoshvaqt is the father-in-law of one of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei's sons. In a recent sermon he warned people that an earthquake would jolt the Iranian capital and they should repent and leave Tehran as soon as possible.

The 84-year-old Ayatollah Khoshvaqt studied under Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini for seven years and was also a student of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi and Allameh Mohammad-Hossein Tabatabaei

Cleric says adultery is cause of earthquakes

Khabar Online | April 16, 2010

Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Hojjatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi said adultery is the reason behind natural disasters like earthquakes.

"Sin has become widespread in society. Minor sins -- such as some careless behaviors that some women have or youngsters who have wandering eyes on the streets and trouble others [women] or some families that do not observe religious values on trips -- have gotten increasingly out of hand."

"Some attractions that ladies and girls create for themselves outside of their private lives, leads to the youths' hearts being swayed and to their becoming slaves to their whims and becoming defiled by sin. [In this manner] adultery becomes rampant in society."

"Based on Hadith, one of the reasons behind certain natural disasters is this (adultery). When adultery becomes rampant earthquakes will become frequent."

Ahmadinejad population growth plan found inappropriate

Tabnak | April 16, 2010

Lawmaker Gholam-Reza Mesbahi Moqaddam lashed out at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for urging population growth and said the president was not a strategist for the Islamic Republic.

The member of the Majlis Economic Commission said Ahmadinejad was merely in charge of executing the country's overall policies and the policies communicated to him.

"If the president has an idea about increasing the population, he must try to make it into a strategy and not autonomously make a decision about it," Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying.

"The Leadership is in charge of determining the establishment's strategies. His Excellency usually asks the Expediency Council to research an issue and after receiving the Council's views and approval, the policies of the establishment are communicated."

Mesbahi Moqaddam said that the issue of population growth had been discussed during the rule of Imam Khomeini and it had been decided to reduce the growth. He added that in line with this policy the country's population growth which stood at 3.2 or 3.9 percent, based on two different statistics, was reduced to 1.3 percent.

He added that such statements should not be made at a time when much of the youth is struggling with unemployment, financial problems are preventing them from getting married, and a great number of families are unable to provide the minimum needs for their children.

"Therefore such matters do not fall under the responsibility of the president in order for him to personally and autonomously decide about them. "

"The president is not a strategist for the Islamic Republic rather he is the executor of the country's overall policies and the policies communicated to him."

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1 Comment

It is funny how natural disasters cause so much calamity to those who live in poorer parts of the world, usually in 'devout religious' (mostly mix of tradition and superstition) parts of the world. The tsunami caused immense damage to Aceh, Indonesia, Sri lanka and other islands in the Indian ocean but seems to have largely left untouched Diego Garcia where the US naval base is.

If Tehran is considered a 'sinful' city what does the respected Hojj. or Ayatollah Kazemi, think of San Francisco, the gay capital of the world or Las Vegas, with its numerous gambling casinos. Are these not deserving of God's wrath too or is God's wrath selective, he does not mind sinning in SF but can't stand it in downtown Tehran. Of course a better idea would be to build buildings that are earthquake resistant like they do in Japan which is also prone to regular earthquake tremors.
The respected cleric obviously needs educating. This might be a mission for our dear Niloofar!

rezvan / April 21, 2010 4:13 AM