Iran Tests Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile
August 4 -- Doug Richardson, the editor of "Jane's Missiles and Rockets," questions Iranian assertions that a new anti-ship missile that could potentially be used to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz is "completely Iranian-built" and "unique in the world": "We knew in as far back as 2005 that they [the Iranians] were buying a Russian anti-ship missile called 'Club' and it is in that range category," Richardson told Radio Farda. "So you'd think [that for] a planned purchase being announced in 2005, 2008 sounds about right for the hardware being delivered and now being flight tested" [audio in Persian / text in English].
A Breakthrough in the Iran Nuclear Stalemate? Not So Fast...
Aug 2 -- London-based analyst Mark Fitzpatrick believes that the nuclear standoff with Iran will continue "because the Iranian leadership will not be able to come to a decision to take any bold steps that could produce a compromise and a negotiated outcome." He adds that the Iranian leadership is mistaken in its belief that, if they wait for six months, a new US president "may be willing to strike a better deal for them" [text in Persian].
Ebadi: "National Security" Charges An Excuse for Injustice
August 5 -- Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi casts doubt on the legality of many charges filed against Iranian civil activists: "What does 'acting against national security' mean? This is a very vague term often leading to cases of injustice at courts." Referring to those charged with "attempting to start a 'velvet revolution' and 'overthrowing the regime,'" she adds that, "basically, no such offence as starting a velvet, orange or yellow revolution exists in the constitution" [article in Persian].
Baha'is Face Arson Attacks in Iran
July 31 -- Diana Alai, a U.S.-based spokesperson for the Baha'i International Community, says her group is very concerned about the lack of government help in identifying and prosecuting those responsible for a wave of arson attacks on homes and vehicles belonging to Baha'is in Iran [text in Persian].
Juvenile Offender Pardoned from Execution
July 31 -- Following his release, Saeed Jazee tells Radio Farda that he was under such pressure in prison that, for him, "Five years passed like 40 years... Sometimes in the juvenile ward, they announced that they were going to execute someone the next day without saying his name, so those with death sentences would tremble with horror." Jazee was spared execution after being pardoned by the family of a man he was convicted of killing in an incident that occurred when Jazee was 17 years old [article in Persian].