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Heard This Week - 11/22/2007

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC -- November 22, 2007) This past week Radio Farda covered the following stories and more:
* Latest IAEA report
* Nobel prizewinner's new "peace committee"
* Fresh arrests of activists and rights defenders

Radio Farda Analyzes New IAEA Report...
Radio Farda provided listeners comprehensive coverage of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest report on Iran's nuclear program:
* November 15 -- Radio Farda aired highlights of the IAEA report and reaction to it by the White House [text in Persian:] as well as a report on a 10-page list of questions concerning Iran's nuclear program presented by the U.S., Britain and France IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei [text in Persian:].

* November 16 -- Radio Farda aired an exclusive interview with U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Gregory L. Schulte [text in Persian:], as well as interviews with leading experts such as Udo Steinbach of the University of Hamburg, University of Stockholm law professor Saeed Mahmoudi [audio in Persian: rtsp://] and Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London [audio in Persian: rtsp://].

* November 18 -- Radio Farda's weekly "Viewpoints" program featured a debate on the impact of the report on Iran with guest analysts Rasool Nafisi, Sadegh Zibakalam and Alireza Haghighi, who said the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran would play a decisive role in the attitude of the West towards Iran's nuclear program [text in Persian:].

...Airs Exclusive Interview with Senator Brownback...
November 20 -- Radio Farda aired an exclusive interview with U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), who rejected unconditional negotiations between the U.S. and Iran and said Iran should be dealt with "through diplomatic means and through sanctions if the government continues to support people fighting against our troops on the ground in Iraq" [text in Persian:].

...Interviews Nobel Laureate on US-Iran "Peace Committee"...
November 19 -- Radio Farda interviewed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi on her efforts to create a "provisional peace committee" to find ways to decrease tension between Iran and the U.S. [text in Persian : / in English:].

...Covers Latest Arrests of Activists...
* November 15 -- Radio Farda interviewed the brother of arrested journalist Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, who provided information to news outlets including Radio Farda about labor unrest at the Haft-Tapeh sugarcane factory in southern Khuzestan province [audio in Persian: rtsp://].

* November 18 -- Radio Farda talked to the husband of arrested women's rights activist Maryam Hosseinkhah [text in Persian: / in English:].

* November 21 -- Radio Farda interviewed lawyer Farshid Yadollahi on the arrest of colleague Mostafa Daneshju, who represents Sufi Muslims whose house of worship was recently destroyed in the city of Karaj [text in Persian: / in English:].

RFE/RL Analysis

Clashes Highlight 'Demonization' Of Sufi Muslims
November 16 -- RFE/RL looks at the increasing "demonization" of Sufi Muslims in Iran. Sufism is growing in popularity in predominantly Shi'ite Iran, though officials and conservative Shi'a clerics have said it is a deviation of Islam.

As One Door Closes In Nuclear Dispute, Others Open
November 19 -- As China, and possibly Russia, seem to be closing the door on Washington's hopes for imposing sharper sanctions on Iran at the UN Security Council, the United States moves along a parallel path to create a coalition of countries willing to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Female Doctor's Prison Death Causes Public Outcry
November 23 -- The October 13 death of Dr. Zahra Bani Yaghoub in a prison in the western Iranian city of Hamedan--following her arrest by Iran's morality police while walking with her fiance in a Hamadan city park--has sparked worries in Iranian society about basic civil liberties and personal safety.

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

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