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Heard This Week - 02/01/2007

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC -- February 1, 2007) Radio Farda broadcast an extensive series of reports on bloodless revolutions, timed to coincide with the beginning of the annual commemoration of Iran's 1979 revolution; kept listeners informed about developments concerning Iran's nuclear program; alerted them to the latest charges against and arrests of human rights and opposition activists; and gave listeners the opportunity to hear directly from a survivor about the horrors of the Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day.

>> Radio Farda continued to air this week segments from its special series on "Peaceful Revolutions" during its morning and evening news magazines. The 29-part series sought to provide listeners insights into the manner in which the peaceful transfer of power from despotic rulers was, and was not, accomplished in different countries. The series began with a look at the Prague Spring of 1968 (, the events that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union--with a look at the peaceful fall of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989 ( and contrasting report on the bloody fall that same year of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania ( goes on to examine the developments that led to the so-called "color revolutions" in Georgia (, Ukraine ( and Kyrgyzstan (

>> On January 31, Radio Farda informed listeners that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asserted that Iran's nuclear policies are decided by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the government is obliged to carry out those policies. Listeners were also informed that Ahmadinejad had once again stressed that access to nuclear energy is the "indisputable right of the Iranian people" (

>> Radio Farda's "Human Rights Magazine" on January 24 reported that Iranian National Front spokesman Parviz Varjavand had appeared before a court in Tehran. Varjavand told Radio Farda that same day that the charges brought against him dealt mostly with his interviews and essays and with statements that he had signed. Varjavand told listeners that he considers it his mission to express his concerns about the current situation in Iran and the possibility of a military strike. Radio Farda also interviewed U.S.-based human rights activist Karim Abdian about the execution of four Iranian Arabs reportedly charged with involvement in the October 2005 bombings in Ahvaz (

>> Radio Farda reported on January 28 that three journalists and women's rights activists--Talat Taghinia, Mansoureh Shojaie, and Farnaz Seify--were arrested at the airport in Tehran as they were getting ready to leave Iran for India to participate in a journalism workshop. Radio Farda interviewed journalist Isa Saharkhiz about the arrests, which he considered to be part of a new wave of pressure being exerted on journalists and women activists to keep them from taking part in conferences and idea exchanges. Saharkhiz told listeners that the government thinks such trips are "conspiracies" and "may lead to a velvet revolution" (

>> On January 27, Holocaust Memorial Day, Radio Farda's correspondent in Poland interviewed Holocaust survivor Daniel Bertram. Bertram told Radio Farda listeners he remembered seeing bodies on the ground at every train station he passed while being transported in a freight car to Lviv. Bertram also described how he searched for a lost cousin 20 years after he got out of the concentration camp in which his family was killed. He told Radio Farda that he learned she had been killed in a square, now known as Ghetto Heroes Square, where children would be separated from adults only to have their heads pounded against a wall to kill them as loudspeakers broadcast music (

For more on these and other stories about Iran, please visit: -- Radio Farda's Persian-language website -- "Focus on Farda" bi-weekly review -- "RFE/RL Iran Report" weekly analysis -- RFE/RL English-language coverage of Iran

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