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Heard This Week - 09/28/2006

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC -- September 28, 2006) Radio Farda's coverage this week included ongoing reporting on Iran's nuclear program; human rights issues including the death sentence imposed on Kobra Rahmanpour, the torture of jailed student activist Ali Akbar Musavi Khoeini; student activists denied admission to university graduate programs; and coverage of the flight and return home of the World's first female "space tourist," Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari.

>> During the U.S. State Department's Daily Press Briefing on September 21, a Radio Farda correspondent deputy Spokesman Tom Casey a question about the U.S. position on sanctions against Iran's nuclear program in light of the negotiations underway between EU and Iranian representatives. Casey responded that, "There is no change in policy... That said, as you heard from Ambassador Burns the other evening after the P-5+1 dinner, we certainly all continue to support the continued discussions between Mr. Solana and Mr. Larijani. It would be wonderful if the Iranian Government had a change of heart and did decide to accept the very clear and very straightforward conditions laid out in [UN Security Council resolution] 1696 and then proceeded to a path of negotiations. But that hasn't happened yet..." Casey also affirmed that "There's simply no truth to the idea that Iranian officials in [Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali] Larijani's party... were denied visas or otherwise prohibited from coming" to attend the UN General Assembly session, as was reported by some media outlets (

>> During her September 20 speech to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserted that "There is no greater challenge to our values than that posed by the leaders of Iran." Livni also called for greater international vigilance against the security threats that Iran poses. In this regard, Radio Farda broadcast an interview on September 25 with interviewed Johns Hopkins University Iran expert Trita Parsi, who told Radio Farda listeners that Israelis are very alarmed by the rise of Iranian power in the region (

>> On September 26, Radio Farda reported on a meeting between Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Gholamreza Aqazadeh and Sergei Kiriyenko, the Chief of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), that resulted in an announcement by Kiriyenko that Iran's Bushehr nuclear power reactor will begin producing commercial electric power in November 2007 (

>> Radio Farda reported on a September 24 rally in front of the Tehran offices of the UN to protest death sentences issued by the Judiciary against Iranian women Kobra Rahmanpour, Fatemeh Haghighatpajoo, Nazanin Fathehi and Shahla Jahed that was broken up by Iranian Security Police Forces. Radio Farda interviewed human rights activist Mohammad Majidi, who told listeners that he had witnessed how the security forces dispersed, beat and arrested people (
Radio Farda also reported on rallies held in Los Angeles and Paris to protest the death sentence against 18-year old Fathehi and 25-year old Rahmanpour (;

>> Radio Farda broadcast an interview on September 23 with Hadi Kahalzadeh, a member of the central council of the Organization for the Consolidation of Unity (Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat) about Ali Akbar Musavi Khoeini, the former Parliament Member and leader of Iran Students' Alumni Organization who was arrested on June 12. Kahalzadeh told Radio Farda listeners that Musavi-Khoeini has been physically and mentally tortured ( Radio Farda also reported, on September 26, on objections by the New York-based Human Rights Watch to the continuation of Musavi-Khoeini's detention (

>> On September 24, Radio Farda interviewed Abdollah Momeni, the spokesman of the Organization of Educated Iranians, who said that several student activists had been denied admission to graduate programs, despite having successfully passed the national competitive exams ( On September 23, Radio Farda interviewed activist Peyman Aref, who was expelled from the University of Tehran as a result of his activism; he had been a graduate student in the university's Faculty of Law and Political Sciences (

>> Radio Farda listeners have heard several reports over the past two weeks about the exploits of Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari, who on September 19 became the World's first female "space tourist". Ansari and two astronauts traveled to the International Space Station on a Russian "Soyuz" spaceship; Ansari was scheduled returned to Earth on September 28 (;

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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