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Headlines: Censored, Moi?

06 Aug 2010 12:35No 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.


Comments of Friday Prayer's Leader censored for attack on Mashaei

Jahan | Press TV | Aug 6, 2010

Jahan news reported that IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, had censored parts of Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami's Friday Prayers sermon. The censored parts related to Khatami's strong criticism of Rahim Mashaei, Ahmadineajd's chief of staff. At a recent talk, Mashaei appeared to advocate Iranian identity over an Islamic one. Khatami's criticism of the loose hejab in parts of Tehran and north of Iran [Caspian sea resorts] was also stricken.

The Iranian president's office, managed by Rahim Mashaei, has recently taken charge of IRNA.

'Ahmadinejad aide 'in new row with Iran conservatives

Press TV | Aug 7, 2010

A controversial close aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has incurred the wrath of Iranian conservatives who accused him of making "pagan" remarks about religion, media reported on Saturday.

"There are different interpretations of Islam, but our understanding of the real nature of Iran and of Islam is the Iranian school. From now on, we must present to the world the school of Iran," the president's chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie said at a conference for Iranians living abroad.

"Equating the school of Iran and the school of Islam amounts to pagan nationalism, which the people of Iran have never accepted," said Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, normally a close ally of the president.

Another hardline cleric, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, condemned Mashaie for having "once again made erroneous and inappropriate statements."

'Worse than espionage...'

ISNA | BBC Persian | Aug 6, 2010

The Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Cinematographic Affairs said that depicting the dark side of Iranian society in order to win a prize at a film festival was worse than espionage.

In a meeting with artists in Hamedan province on Friday, Javad Shamghadri said "Certain film creators make movies that magnify dark points of our society in order to get acknowledged in foreign film festivals. This is worse than espionage because the damage of espionage is not permanent, but the images of a movie will stay with the audience for a very long time."

One reason for Washington's big embarrassment in Vietnam, he said, was the publication of war photos. He said cinema, like photography, which it has replaced in importance, was one of the most important art forms, and film directors and screenwriters were the "new diplomats."

Emirates Official Says Japan Tanker Was Attacked

NYT | Aug 6, 2010

Investigators in the United Arab Emirates have concluded that a terrorist attack caused the mysterious damage a Japanese oil tanker suffered last week as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel that serves as a passageway for shipping crude oil from the Middle East to the rest of the world.

If confirmed, the attack would be the first of its kind in the volatile strait, which has long been a focal point for tensions with Iran, just across the water from the Arabian Peninsula. The Emirati claim instantly fanned worries about shipping security in the strait, and the possibility that jihadist groups would begin attacking tankers in an effort to destabilize the international economy.

Earlier this week, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a militant group with ties to Al Qaeda, claimed it had carried out a suicide attack against the tanker, the M. Star.

American military officials declined to comment on the reports of a terrorist attack, but said the Pentagon was assisting in the investigation.


Iranian Justice, Kafak-style

Guardian | Aug 6, 2010

Ebrahim Hamidi, an 18-year-old youth convicted as a juvenile of attempting to sexually assault another male and sentenced to death by a court in East Azerbaijan province. As in many similar cases, the authorities are refusing to adhere to even the minimal procedural safeguards afforded to criminal defendants by Iran's own laws.

According to the advocacy group Gay Middle East, Ebrahim's confession was obtained after he was beaten by police interrogators. And his accuser has admitted to lying and has withdrawn his complaint. Taking note of these procedural irregularities, Iran's supreme court has twice vacated Ebrahim's conviction and death sentence. Yet the provincial court is refusing to comply with the appeal court rulings, leaving Ebrahim on death row.

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