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News | Prize Set to Find 'More Criminal' State than US; Ahmadinejad Backs Down


03 Nov 2012 05:03Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Farsi and Arabic press and excerpts where the source is in English. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Any views expressed are the authors' own. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the stories in perspective. You can follow breaking news stories on our Twitter feed.

GeneralNaghdiWalking.jpgPrize Package of the Decade

Over half a million dollars staked on unique research project

Basij chief Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi offered an award of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of gold to anyone who can prove that another government on Earth is "more criminal" than that of the United States. The commander of the Islamic Republic's national paramilitary organization made the remarks at a ceremony held to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran.

"We will give a prize to any historian or researcher who can prove there is a more criminal country in the world than the U.S.," Naghdi said, adding that analysts seeking the prize would have until the Persian calendar year 1400, which begins in March 2021, to make their case.

The general concluded, "These researchers have ten years to research this topic and prove it, and we know they will not be able to perform this task because no matter how much we researched the matter we could not discover anyone more criminal than the U.S."

In Friday trading, gold closed in the New York market at $1,676.90 per ounce, making the Basij international legal affairs research prize worth approximately $590,000 at press time.

Quote of the Day

"The administration fully welcomes your notice [and] won't engage in domestic quarrels and disputes, and will patiently tolerate all unkind behavior as before."

-- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, posted on the president.ir website a day after the Supreme Leader declared the airing of political conflicts ahead of next June's presidential election to be "treason." Ahmadinejad has been in a heated dispute with judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani, who denied the president permission to visit his incarcerated press adviser, Ali Akbar Javenfekr, in Evin Prison. In his letter to Khamenei, Ahmadinejad pledged to focus on resisting what he characterized as the West's "full-fledged economic war" against the Islamic Republic.

Video of the Day

Tape of a conversation between Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and President Lyndon B. Johnson that took place on May 18, 1965. In the recording, recently released by the Johnson Library, the two leaders discuss the Shah's escape from an assassination attempt the previous month.

Statistic of the Day


-- Number of illiterate Iranians above the age of six, according to Literacy Movement Organization of Iran chief Ali Bagherzadeh. Out of that 15 percent share of the total population, about 3.5 million people are between the ages of ten and 49, considered the economically "productive" range.

Preconditions of the Day

Renounce Israel, disband CIA, and Iran might talk

Despite his conviction that there is no more criminal nation on Earth, General Naghdi declared that Iran is ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the United States, so long as it meets a few conditions first.

The Basij commander said that the United States must demonstrate that it has foresworn its "beastly nature," close its military bases in 50 countries, bring home its warships from the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, and disband the Central Intelligence Agency so that it can no longer stage coups around the world against governments that are not to its liking.

"The U.S. must publicly announce it will no longer support Israel [and] close its prisons at Guantánamo Bay and other parts of the world," Naghdi added. If the United States takes those steps, he said, "it can finally prove its worthiness to have relations with the wise Iranian nation."

The general went on to say that the United States has repeatedly been defeated in what he called its "plotting" against the Islamic Republic. "If they do not believe in the power of God and the transcendent," he stated, "they can believe in the experiences they have gained in their encounters with the Iranian nation."

Link of the Day


-- Farhang News says that the female host of a Qur'an show on the state-run Seda o Sima radio network is "causing a stir" by advising callers on proper scriptural pronunciation "in a seductive manner." Scroll to the bottom of the Farsi website's report for an audio clip.

Social Studies of the Day

Hojatoleslam Hossein Dehnavi, described as a professor and "expert on family issues," talks with Raja News about gender relations in the West (hojatoleslam is a clerical rank just below that of ayatollah):

In the Western lifestyle, girls and boys become girlfriend and boyfriend for two to three years and afterward, if they feel they are suitable for one another, they become engaged without informing their families -- because family is not that important in the West. Then they remain engaged for a few years, and because they have no religious restrictions they have all sorts of relations with one another.

Of course, after the age of 18 they also do not have any legal restrictions and after a few years of engagement they decide to get married, but because in the West the law is on the side of women -- in other words, their social classification is women, offspring, dog, and then men, and the feminists have exerted a lot of pressure in this regard -- consequently they don't get married and they only live together. And they might live together for the rest of their lives because they cannot officially wed to due to the legal ramifications.

I feel I have to point out here that some people say our divorce rate is higher than the Westerners'. [This] is 100 percent wrong. It is not the case because in the West [often] no marriage takes place to be registered and [still they] compare their divorce rates to ours.

For example, a serious problem that they have [in the West] is the problem of children without guardians. In other words, the children conceived through unislamic and inhumane relations -- when they are born, they [the parents] hand them over to the state and their government is therefore faced with a serious problem.

Another one of the problems of the Western lifestyle is the illegitimate relations that young boys and girls have in their roommate stage. In this stage, they have no commitment to one another; therefore women have all sorts of relations with other men and men with other women.

An official with the Tehran City Council Health Commission stated in August that Iran now has the fourth-highest divorce rate in the world. Earlier this week, Hemayat daily ran a feature on how the Iranian divorce rate has quadrupled over the past 15 years. According to a study published in 2009 by Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University, 90 percent of nonarranged, or "love," marriages in Iran end in divorce, compared to 15 percent of those arranged under parental supervision.

Photos of the Day


Images from Tehran's 19th International Exhibition of Press, News Agencies, and Information Websites, continuing through Saturday.

Copyright © 2012 Tehran Bureau

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