Archiv für den Tag 19. Mai 2012
The following is a survey of attitudes about Iran’s controversial nuclear program in 21 countries. The poll by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project was released on May 18, 2012, just days before the second round of talks between the world’s six major power and Iran in Baghdad. The poll found “widespread opposition” to Iran acquiring the world’s deadliest weapon. But the poll also found serious differences in attitudes about both applying sanctions and using force as means of pressuring Iran to cooperate with the international community. The following is an excerpt with a link to the full report at the bottom.
Omid Kokabee, an Iranian graduate student who has been imprisoned in Tehran for the past 15 months, was sentenced to 10 years on Sunday for allegedly conspiring with foreign countries against Iran.
Judge Abolghasem Salavati of Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolution Court — who is famous for his harsh sentences — tried 10 to 15 people in the same trial, under the collective charge of collaborating with Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad.
Kokabee, a graduate student who previously worked on the physics of optics at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona, Spain, and more recently at the University of Texas in Austin, was arrested in Tehran in February 2011 on charges of “communicating with a hostile government” and “illegal earnings” (see ‘A year in jail without trial for Iranian student accused of spying‘).
Close contacts of Kokabee in Iran have lamented the fact that no proof was presented at the trial to justify the sentence. Whereas other prisoners in the group declared themselves guilty in a television broadcast on the evening before the trial, the physics student has consistently denied all charges and refused to speak in court. (Faces are obscured in the broadcast, but Kokabee may be the person who appears at 24 seconds in a blue shirt.) He plans to appeal the sentence, according to his contacts. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Source: Radio Zamaneh
Jailed Iranian human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has been transferred to Zanjan Prison. The Melli-Mazhabi website reports that Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders of Iran, was transferred to Zanjan Prison from the Evin Prison infirmary in Tehran.
Taghi Rahmani, another Iranian activist who is currently abroad, reported this transfer, saying: “In view of the dire situation of provincial prisons, this transfer is a continuation of the harassment approach the authorities have taken with regard to Nargess Mohammadi.”
Mohammadi was visited by her family on Tuesday May 8. She is reportedly being interrogated regarding unspecified new charges that have not been communicated to her lawyer.
Mohammadi had been taken to Evin infirmary a few days earlier for serious health complications. Mohammadi was arrested after the controversial 2009 presidential elections, when human rights activists became a chief target of the government’s crackdown.
She is charged with “assembly and collusion against national security, membership in the Centre for Human Rights Defenders of Iran and propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic regime.”
Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel Peace laureate and a founding member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, has written to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urging her to use all of her influence to get Mohammadi out of prison.
Source: Radio Zamaneh
Tehran University has announced that the Sobh-e Farda student newspaper has been shut down after publishing an article in support of Shahin Najafi, the controversial Iranian rapper.
The Fars News Agency reports that, according to the university administration, the newspaper was immediately banned after the publication of the article, and its editor-in-chief and writer have been summoned by the university’s disciplinary committee.
The report indicates that 100 to 150 copies of the newspaper were published, and one copy has to be sent directly to the administration. Once the article was deemed problematic, all copies were immediately collected from the campus.
The article has reportedly criticized the Fatwa issued by Shiite leaders against Najafi for his song “Naghi”, referring to provisions of the Human Rights Charter to argue against the Fatwa.
Najafi had settled in Germany and is now in hiding, after Shiite leaders condemned his song “Naghi”, which is addressed to the tenth Imam of the Shiites. The song has been seen as an insult to the holy figure and worthy of an execution sentence.
Najafi is now under police protection in Germany and has cancelled all his concerts.
Editor-in-chief of Sobh-e Farda has rejected the charges against his newspaper and insists that the article contains no insults.
The university administration states, however, that the decision will rest with the disciplinary committee. If the intention to insult is established, the students will be expelled from university.
The “morality police” in Tehran has stepped up enforcement in the capital city. Mostly women are the targets as they are stopped, questioned, or detained by the police for “improper” clothing or makeup.
The only way to save the world from conflict is to starve the people of Iran.
At least that’s what a new op-ed by several prominent Israeli and American political figures proposes. “Total Sanctions Might Stop Iran“, published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, lays out a grand proposal for further sanctions on Iran with a stern warning: “Our near future carries the risk of a military conflict with Iran, or a nuclear arms race in the already-volatile Middle East.” The sanctions are composed of four steps:
A) Cutting off Iran’s access from international banking system absolutely and completely;
B) Making it impossible for companies to operate in Iran by requiring them to disclose business and investment transactions, exposing them to the risk of “reputational harm”;
C) Prohibiting all international cargo shippers from servicing Iranian ports and cutting Iran’s access from international shipping. This could be accomplished by US and European Union laws for a 10-year entry ban on any tankers or general cargo vessels that have docked at Iranian ports in the past 36 months;
D) Prohibiting Iranian insurers and reinsurers from doing business in the EU and US. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
1622 GMT: Claim of Day. Hamed Saleh-Abadi, a journalist for the reformist Donya-e Eghtesad, reports that former President Mohammad Khatami has expressed regret for his decision to vote in March’s Parliamentary elections.
According to Saleh-Abadi, Khatami said, “The political atmosphere daily becomes more restricted. My vote must have shocked society. I accept criticism for it.”
Before the election, Khatami had set the conditions for participation of freedom for political prisoners, adherence to the Constitution, and free activity of political parties. Many reformists and members of the opposition refused to vote on the grounds that those conditions were not met.
1340 GMT: Playing the Saudi-Bahrain Card. Four of Press TV’s top nine stories in its Iran section are actually about Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, such as “US, Saudi Arabia Seek Access to Bahrain Bases for Anti-Iran Purposes“.
The most provocative article? “Saudi Wahabis Pay USD500K for Assassination of Iran Sunni Cleric“:
A report says Wahhabi circles in Saudi Arabia had paid around USD 500,000 for the assassination of an Iranian Sunni cleric in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan earlier this year.
Two of the individuals recently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of Molavi Jangi Zehi have confessed that they received the sum from Saudi Wahhabis, the report said on Friday.
Jangi Zehi, the Friday prayers leader of Iran’s southeastern town of Rask, was assassinated by terrorists after saying prayers in the evening, as he was on his way home in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province on January 20, 2012.
Over the past year, the late Iranian cleric publicly expressed his belief that revealing the crimes of the Riyadh and Manama regimes is a religious duty of the Sunni scholars in Iran.
Italy’s oil imports from Iran have increased by 6 percent in March in comparison to the previous month, despite the European oil embargo on the Islamic Republic.
According to Italy’s oil refining industry body Unione Petrolifera (UP), the European country raised crude imports from Iran to 425,200 tons in March from 401,600 tons in February.
Italy’s oil purchases from Iran in the first three months of 2012 were 1.69 million tons, while the country imported about 1.44 million tons of Iranian crude in the January-March period of 2011, UP data revealed on Wednesday.
Everything OK, then? Not quite. Press TV changed one phrase when it modifed this report from Reuters:
Italy raised crude oil imports from Iran by about 6 percent in March from February ahead of the planned new sanctions against Tehran.
“Ahead of” — in other words, Italy, which takes more than 10% of its oil from Iran, is stockpiling before the European Union’s ban on imports from Tehran takes effect on 1 July.
1235 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Ayatollah Mahmoud Amjad has derided “death fatwas”, such as those issued against writer Salman Rushdie in 1989 and rapper Shahin Najafi this month, as foolish and dangerous.
Amjad, who taught in Qom and Tehran, left Iran in protest against the regime’s oppression after the disputed 2009 Presidential election. He is now in Malaysia.
1020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Mahdieh Golroo has been released after 30 months in Evin Prison.
1010 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch (Nuclear Edition). Shahin Dadkhah, a member of Iran’s negotiating team on the nuclear issue during the Khatami Government, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for “contacts with a hostile government“.
0952 GMT: Ahmadinejad Propaganda Watch. “Hard-line” media analyst Abbas Salimi-Namin has accused State broadcaster IRIB of using archive photos to give a misleading impression of “success” of President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Mashhad in northeastern Iran earlier this month. He claims that witnesses said far fewer people were present than were shown in the pictures.
0950 GMT: Currency Watch. Looks like the Central Bank is still worried about the stability of Iran’s currency — it has forwarded a list of illegal exchange offices to security forces and declared that 620 official offices must report their trade to the Central Bank’s data centre.
The Iranian Rial, which weakened last week after a bounce-back earlier in the month, stands at 16900:1 vs. the US dollar in the open market. The official rate is 12260:1.
0630 GMT: We begin with a 21-nation survey by the Pew Research Center of attitudes around Iran. Pew’s headline is “A Global ‘No’ To a Nuclear-Armed Iran”, but we are more interested in the political dimensions of the outcome.
The survey offers bad news for the regime’s projection of an “Islamic Awakening” following the path of Iran’s 1979 revolution and the next 33 years:
Iran is…unpopular in many predominantly Muslim nations who are its neighbors. Roughly six-in-ten Lebanese (61%) give the Islamic Republic a negative rating, although views are sharply divided among the country’s major religious communities. About nine-in-ten Lebanese Shia Muslims (91%) hold a positive view of Iran, compared with just 5% of Sunni Muslims and 32% of Christians.
In Turkey, where diplomatic tensions with Iran have increased over the last year, 55% of the people have an unfavorable opinion about Iran, while only 26% express a favorable view.
Jordanians (79% unfavorable) and Egyptians (76%) give Iran especially poor marks. Moreover, ratings for Iran have declined precipitously since 2006, when 59% of Egyptians and 49% of Jordanians expressed a positive view.
There is also a generation gap on this question in some countries in the region. Young people in Tunisia, ages 18-29, are 16 percentage points more likely to have an unfavorable view of Iran than are people 50 years of age and older. In Turkey the generation gap is 14 points, while in Lebanon it is ten points. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags