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Heard This Week - 11/29/2007

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC -- November 29, 2007) This past week Radio Farda reported on the following issues and more:
* Iran's role at the Annapolis summit
* Iran's nuclear objectives
* Violence against Iranian women
* Harassment of Iranian journalists and bloggers

Radio Farda Assesses Annapolis Peace Summit�
November 27-- Iran experts interviewed by Radio Farda [audio in Persian: rtsp://] expressed a variety of opinions concerning the Annapolis summit. One told Radio Farda the summit would achieve nothing more than a "mild declaration about how [Israel and the Palestinians] are going to negotiate from now." Another analyst called it the beginning of negotiations between the two sides, while a third said that Syria's involvement in the summit could be used to undermine Iran's relations with both Hizbullah and Hamas.

�Looks in Depth at Iranian Government Claims Regarding Nuclear Program...
November 23 -- Former UN weapons inspector David Albright [audio in Persian: rtsp://] said more sanctions will be imposed on Iran, as the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report shows Iran has not been cooperative and that, despite the assertions of Iranian leaders, Iran's nuclear file is not yet closed.

�Airs Exclusive Series Documenting Violence Against Women�
Radio Farda aired a series of reports documenting violence against women:
* November 23 -- Lawyer Nemat Ahmadi [text in Persian:] told Radio Farda it is highly unlikely Dr. Zahra Bani-Yaghoub committed suicide when she died while being held by police in the city of Helmand.

* November 26 -- Germany-based women's rights activist Maryam Satvat [text in Persian:] told Radio Farda that authorities are putting more pressure on her colleagues in Iran, such as imprisoned activist Maryam Hosseinkhah.

* November 27 -- Radio Farda interviewed John Terry [audio in Persian: rtsp://], the lawyer representing the son of murdered Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who said the Iranian justice system is highly political and unfair.

...Covers Continuing Crackdown on Bloggers, Journalists...
* November 28 -- Radio Farda reported on the arrest of blogger Reza Valizadeh, who published details about the reported use of four bomb-sniffing dogs in President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's security detail [text in Persian / in English:].

* November 29 -- Radio Farda interviewed Khalil Bahramian [audio in Persian: rtsp://], one of the lawyers defending two jailed Iranian-Kurdish journalists, who said authorities had barred him from leaving Iran to attend the presentation of an international journalism award to the jailed journalists in Rome.

...Hosts Roundtable on Ebadi's 'Peace Committee'
November 25 -- Radio Farda's weekly "Viewpoints" program [text in Persian:] featured guest analysts Houshang Amir Ahmadi, Taghi Rahmani and Mohammad Sahimi discussing Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi's new U.S.-Iran "provisional peace committee."

RFE/RL Analysis

Questioning Iran's 'Urgent Need' For Nuclear Energy
November 29 -- Over the past week, senior Iranian officials have repeated the claim that Iran, despite its massive reserves of natural gas and oil, desperately needs to develop nuclear energy. It's an argument that some independent energy analysts find bewildering.

Book Censorship the Rule, Not the Exception
November 26 -- The swift move by Iran's Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister to ban a newly published novel by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez has once again put the spotlight on the phenomenon of censorship in Iran.

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

Radio Farda, a joint project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and
Voice of America (VOA), is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news service.