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Selected Headlines

11 May 2010 18:26No 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.


Rahimi: If I'm found guilty I will chop off my hand

Tabnak | May 11, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's parliamentary deputy Hojjatoleslam Mir Tajeldini said the deputy vice president is willing to cut off his hand if found guilty.

On Monday, Mir Tajeldini attended a meeting for the Tehran Preachers Society and responded to a question about the allegations leveled against Mohammad-Reza Rahimi.

"Mr. Rahimi said in a cabinet meeting that if even one of the charges brought against him is proven he is willing to chop off his hand," said Tajeldini.

The Islamic punishment for theft is cutting off the hand of the culprit. Rahimi has been accused of widespread financial corruption.

Karroubi writes letter to prosecutor Dolatabadi

Tabnak | May 10, 2010

Opposition cleric Mehdi Karroubi objected to an investigation of the case of Saham News' editor-in-chief, Mohammad Davari, in a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari- Dolatabadi.

According to BBC, in his letter Karroubi reiterated his past claims and told Dolatabadi that Davari had been forced to confess that the jail rapes following the post-election unrest were fabricated.

Appeals court confirms post-election detainee verdicts

Tabnak | May 10, 2010

The appeals court handed out the final verdict of a number of post-election detainees.

Abdollah Momeni was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison.

Feizollah Arabsorkhi was sentenced to six years in prison.

Haleh Sahabi, who had been found guilty of propagating against the establishment and participating in illegal gatherings, was sentenced to two years in prison and a $300 fine in lieu of lashes.

Mehdi Kelari was sentenced to three years in prison and a $100 fine.

SBU students protest Ahmadinejad visit

Parleman News | May 10, 2010

Shahid Beheshti University students gathered to protest President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unannounced visit to SBU.

Ahmadinejad went to SBU to participate in a ceremony held at the Abu Reyhan Hall to honor prominent professors and top students.

Students gathered near the hall and chanted slogans against Ahmadinejad. Campus security prevented students from getting close to the President.

Parleman News reported heavy police buildup outside the campus.

According to students, Abu Reyhan Hall was filled with unfamiliar faces starting from a few hours prior to the president's unannounced visit.

Last week, Ahmadinejad paid an unannounced visit to Tehran University to participate in the conference held to honor Ayatollah Motahari, which also sparked student protests.

Elham might return to the government

Tabnak | May 11, 2010

Tehran Emrouz reported that Gholam-Hossein Elham is being seriously considered for the position of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's executive deputy.

Elham's term in the Guardian Council will end before July. It remains uncertain whether he will be chosen to serve another term as a legal representative at the powerful constitutional organization, or tapped by Ahmadinejad to fill the position of executive deputy.

Tehran Emrouz said that when Elham was leaving the government, Ahmadinejad said that he would like to use him in the 10th administration, increasing the possibility that he will return to the government.

Universities get mandate to fight bad hejab

Fararu | May 11, 2010

An "informed source" said that a directive has been sent to the Science Ministry's head security office, giving the go-ahead to combat improper hejab.

The source said that issues pertaining to the lack of hejab in universities, and in particular Tehran University, was common knowledge. "An organized movement began to creep its way into the universities following 22 Bahaman last year," he said.

"This movement has been identified by the central security office of the ministry, and university authorities have been ordered to take action against such behavior."

When asked by the Jahan reporter why no action had been taken so far against students who showed disregard for hejab, the source said, "before these issues were publicized by the media, the members of the disciplinary tribunal of universities and the cultural councils had no power to take action. But now that this issue has become a matter of concern for lawmakers and found its way into the media, these gentleman have been forced to show themselves as proponents of fighting bad hejab."

Police to clamp down on deviations from the norm: interior minister

Mehr | May 11, 2010

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has said police will deal firmly with those who violate socially accepted norms, including disregard for the Islamic dress code.

"As the president has ordered and the people have demanded, police will take firm action against those who break the norms and those organized networks (which seek to undermine the Islamic rules)," Najjar said on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting with provincial governors.

The current administration is determined to resolve cultural and social ills and has allocated $1.5 billion for cultural issues, he added.

The police has announced that it will enforce culturally and religiously-accepted social behavior just ahead of summer.

Hengameh Shahhidi's family meets with Rafsanjani

Tabnak | May 11, 2010

The family of detained journalist Hengameh Shahidi met with the head of the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. According to Aftab, Shahidi's mother Nahid Kermanshahi met with Ayatollah Rafsanjani and stated her complaint about the six-year prison sentence handed to her daughter.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani said Kermanshahi should "practice patience" and expressed sorrow over Shahidi's situation.

Ahmadinejad: Clinton was terrified at UN

Khabar Online | May 10, 2010

In an unannounced visit to Shahid Beheshti University, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed that the US Secretary of State was terrified when addressing the UN general assembly.

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was terrified during her speech before the UN general assembly. They had launched a propaganda campaign to belittle Iran at the UN and they had taken measures to this effect, but during my speech you witnessed that they were the isolated ones and everyone applauded for us," he said.

"Whoever in the world thinks that by lifting a stick they can force the Iranian nation to retreat must know they are mistaken. This will never happen. Those who want to negotiate with Iran must come down from their high horses and engage in dialogue like civilized humans."

"About an Israeli attack, I have to say that when the regime's master [the US] is afraid of attacking Iran, this regime will not be able to accomplish anything."

$1 USD fine to be levied against tardy ministers

Asr Iran | May 10, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's parliamentary deputy Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Mir Tajeldini said ministers will be fined $1 dollar for every minute they are late to cabinet meetings.

Last Wednesday, Mir Tajeldini visited Fars News Agency and conducted an interview with the Fars parliamentary reporter.

When asked if any punitive measures were taken against ministers who did not come to meetings on time, Mir Tajeldini said, "Yes, we have recently decided to fine those individuals who show up for meetings late."

"Based on the new directive, any member of the cabinet who is not on time will be fined 1000 touman ($1 USD) for every minute they are late. For example, if a minister is 30 minutes late, they will be fined 30,000 touman ($30 USD). The fine will be issued and announced then and there."

"The fines we receive are used to pay for the snacks and refreshments served during the meeting. Previously ministers took turns paying for these snacks but now we use the delay fines for this purpose."

Shariatmadari found not guilty

Tabnak | May 10, 2010

The Press Jury found Kayhan editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari not guilty of any of the charges brought against him.

According to Fars News Agency, Shariatmadari's case was heard by Judge Siamak Modirkhorasani in the presence of the Press Jury.

The Press Jury found Shariatmadari not guilty of any of the charges against him but advised Shariatmadari to exercise more caution in reporting and to only publish reports after confirming their credibility.

Prophet's daughter will ensure no quake in Tehran

Tabnak | May 10, 2010

Shia Source of Emulation Khalil Mobbasher Kashani addressed rumors of an imminent earthquake in Tehran and said the Prophet's daughter would prevent it from happening.

"If this rumor has any truth to it, the mere existence of Fatimah Zahra will avert it [the earthquake from happening]. We are sure that Fatimah Zahra will keep Tehran safe with her prayers."

"From the point of view of hadith, an earthquake is possible in Tehran. In the past some of the elders had been told in revelations where an earthquake would take place in Tehran. In another revelation, they saw Fatimah Zahra lift her hands toward the heavens and say 'God please avert disaster from the people of Tehran because these people mourn my Hossein.'"

"Now that we are in the days before the anniversary of Fatimah Zahra's death, people must hold grander mourning ceremonies and God-willing the possibility of an earthquake will be averted. Of course, as I mentioned before, Fatimah Zahra's prayers have guaranteed the security of Tehran and there is no need to worry."

Dissolved parties trying to work within framework of NGOs

Javan | May 4, 2010

Participation Party and Organization of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution have issued a new code of conduct for their provincial forces. Following the announcement of the Article 10 Committee of Parties' about the suspension of Participation Party and Organization of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution's activities due to various illegal behaviours, the nature of activities of these two bodies' have been assessed under new conditions.

A reliable source has told Javan: "After a number of provincial forces of these two organs resigned in protest to the adopted policies by the central councils of the two bodies, this issue was discussed in various meetings." The source also said: These meetings have emphasized prevention of the wave of resignation and an abrupt reorganization of the remaining forces within the framework of NGOs for continuation of their activities.

This reliable source further said that based on the adopted decision, a number of well-known individuals belonging to the two bodies have contacted the young members of these two bodies on phone to carry out their activities in the framework of NGOs.


Pakistani ambassador in Tehran attacked

Reuters | May 11, 2010

Pakistan's ambassador was attacked and injured in his car in Tehran on Tuesday by an Afghan, officials said.

A Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman said in Islamabad the assailant had tried to stab envoy Mohammad Bakhsh-Abbasi. "The ambassador is slightly hurt but he is out of danger," he said.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman told Iran's Arabic language al-Alam television the attacker had been arrested.

"The ambassador was attacked in his car and he was injured. The attacker, who was an Afghan citizen, has been arrested and is being interrogated now," he said. There was no immediate word on the motive for the assault.

Iran will support freed businessman to complain of US - Spokesman

IRINN | May 10, 2010

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly news conference that it was clear from the start that Majid Kakavand was not guilty, Iran's state news network channel IRINN reported.

Mehmanparast said "It was a plot designed by the US against our [Iranian] citizens in various countries". He added "Iran also appreciates the French Judiciary for carefully researching Kakavand's case and issuing a not guilty verdict".

Mehmanparast concluded: "If someone is guilty, it is the US officials, who imposed pressure, and their judicial system, which tried to set a trap for our citizens. If Mr Kakavand decides to lodge a complain against the US political or judicial officials, it is his right and we will certainly support him".

Majid Kakavand was arrested in March 2009 by the French police at the request of the United States. He was accused of buying electronic parts and exporting them to Iran.

U.S. Says ABN Turned 'Blind Eye' to Evade Sanctions

Reuters | May 11, 2010

U.S. prosecutors have accused ABN Amro, now largely part of Royal Bank of Scotland, of turning a "blind eye" to U.S. laws, using special procedures to bypass U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran and other countries.

RBS, part of a trio of banks that bought ABN in 2007, said on Monday the consortium had agreed to a $500 million fine as part of a final settlement with U.S. authorities. The payment was covered by the provision made before ABN was bought.

In the latest of a series of fines levied by the United States on banks in connection with money laundering offenses, ABN was charged with one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and a second of conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating laws including the Trading with the Enemy Act.

It involved transactions on behalf of customers from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and other sanctioned countries.

"ABN Amro facilitated the movement of illegal money through the U.S. financial system by stripping information from transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.

Oklahoma Legislature Stands With Iranian People

NIAC | May 11, 2010

On Monday, May 10, the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously passed HR 1090, "encouraging the U.S. Congress to craft legislation to support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people by enhancing their ability to access the Internet and communications services."

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