Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda
(Prague, Czech Republic -- October 12, 2006) Radio Farda continued its coverage of the ongoing tensions surrounding the Iranian nuclear program, as well as airing reports on the arrest of a prominent dissident cleric in Tehran.
>> In an interview aired on October 9, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey told Radio Farda listeners that the U.S. intends to solve the nuclear crises involving Iran and North Korea through diplomacy, but will never rule out the military option (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/06/20061006-183000-FRD-program.rm?start=02:15&end=05:42).
>> Political activist Mohsen Sazegara told Radio Farda listeners, in an interview aired on October 9, that North Korea's nuclear test primarily threatens Japan and that the Japanese have already expressed their dissatisfaction. Sazegara added that a second outcome of the test is that the U.N. position will harden against Iran and U.S. influence on that position will increase, even as relates to Russia (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/09/20061009-203000-FRD-program.rm?start=10:25&end=14:05).
>> Radio Farda also aired an interview on October 9 with Ohio Wesleyan University professor Akbar Mahdi. Mahdi told listeners that Washington had not dealt effectively with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and the Islamic Republic. Mahdi added, "Iran and North Korea are not afraid of the U.S. This will cause the U.S. to reconsider its policies." (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/09/20061009-173000-FRD-program.rm?start=10:10&end=13:22).
>> Radio Farda reported that the U.S. State Department and Commerce Department had informed the Congress of their intent to recommend that the Department of Treasury issue a license to a U.S. company that would allow it to export spare parts for Airbus aircraft operated by Iran Air. In this regard, Radio Farda interviewed Patrick Clawson, the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who told listeners on October 5 that, by doing so, the U.S. government is sending a friendly message to the Iranian people, even as it maintains its firm stance towards the Iranian government (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/05/20061005-153000-FRD-program.rm?start=07:31&end=11:03).
As a result of an error in translation, the August 10 issue of "Heard This Week In Iran on Radio Farda" referred to Dr. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh as someone "who is close to the Iranian government". Dr. Mojtahedzadeh is, in fact, a professor of geopolitics at Tehran's Tarbiat Modaress University and chairman of the London-based Urosevic Research Foundation who closely analyzes the actions of the Iranian government in his field of study. We sincerely regret the error.
>> Radio Farda broadcast an interview with Tehran-based journalist Fariborz Sorush on October 8, who described a gathering of supporters of dissident Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Kazemeyni Borujerdi that was broken up by police and anti-riot forces. According to Sorush, Ayatollah Kazemeyni Borujerdi and most of his supporters were arrested and taken from the rally site to an unknown location (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/08/20061008-153000-FRD-program.rm?start=09:45&end=16:20; for more on the story, visit http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/10/95ED53D6-186B-4925-B739-BA70DB729264.html).
>> In an interview with Radio Farda on October 7, Ayatollah Kazemeyni Borujerdi said that he wants to promote traditional Islam, rather than the political Islam that enjoys the support of the Iranian regime (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/07/20061007-193000-FRD-program.rm?start=01:37&end=06:02;).
>> Human rights activist and Radio Farda commentator Mehrangiz Kar, in an interview on October 9 told listeners that the attack on Ayatollah Kazemeyni Borujerdi and his supporters "Shows that freedom of expression is considered a crime not only for the people, but also for clerics who oppose the Islamic Republic." Kar also said that supporters of the Ayatollah say that the separation of religion and state is necessary (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/09/20061009-183000-FRD-program.rm?start=00:43&end=05:27).
>> Hessam Firuzi, a physician who treated student activist Ahmad Batebi, was released after spending two days under arrest. On October 3, Radio Farda aired an interview with his wife, Mahta Bordbar. Bordbar told Radio Farda listeners that it was not clear on what charges her husband had been arrested. She added that Firuzi had been asked to deny that Batebi had any health problems, but he refused (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/03/20061003-203000-FRD-program.rm?start=04:10&end=07:57).
>> Radio Farda aired an interview with Italian radio personality Aldo Forbice on October 6, about a rally in front of the Iranian Embassy in Rome to protest the death sentence against Kobra Rahmanpour. Her sentence is scheduled to be carried out on October 12 (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/06/20061006-123000-FRD-program.rm?start=03:14&end=06:22).
For more on these and other stories about Iran, please visit:
http://www.radiofarda.com -- Radio Farda's Persian-language website
http://www.rferl.org/reviews/farda.aspx -- "Focus on Farda" bi-weekly review
http://www.rferl.org/reports/iran-report/default.asp -- "RFE/RL Iran Report" weekly analysis
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarchive/country/iran.html -- RFE/RL English-language coverage of Iran
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