Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda
(Washington, DC -- October 19, 2006) Radio Farda continued its comprehensive coverage of the nuclear crisis involving Iran as well as of recurring violations of civil and press freedoms by the Iranian government.
>> Radio Farda told listeners about U.S. President George W. Bush's October 11 press conference in the White House, during which he talked about his messages to the Iranian and North Korean governments, and to each country's residents, about their respective nuclear programs. Bush stressed that the U.S. intends to resolve the issues peacefully, saying "that's a better way forward for you; that is a chance, for example, to help your country economically and all you have to do is verifiably to show that you, in Iran's case, suspend your weapons program and, in North Korea's case, that you've got international safeguards on your program� (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/11/20061011-193000-FRD-program.rm?start=04:23&end=12:14).
>> Also on October 11, Radio Farda reported on a congressional briefing held by US. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) about the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran. Noting general agreement that Iran is not an imminent threat to the U.S., Kucinich said: "Our purpose is not overthrowing governments... the U.S. should use diplomacy." Another participant in this briefing, National Iranian American Council President Trita Parsi, told Radio Farda that Iranians are the only people in the Middle East who have a positive view about the U.S. and that a military attack would tarnish this view (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/11/20061011-203000-FRD-program.rm?start=03:46&end=06:10).
>> On October 12, US-based political activist Amir Hossein Ganjbakhsh talked to Radio Farda about the differences between Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs, in the context of U.S. foreign policy (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/12/20061012-173000-FRD-program.rm?start=05:51&end=09:37).
>> Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights activist Roya Toloui, who fled Iran after being released on bail and was granted political asylum in the U.S., was interviewed by Radio Farda on October 14. According to Toloui, she is now considered a counterrevolutionary by the Iranian government and all of her possessions have confiscated. Toloui is alleged by the government to have been attempting to launch a feminist movement in Iranian Kurdestan (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/14/20061014-153000-FRD-program.rm?start=09:39&end=14:08).
>> Kurdestan-based journalist Masoud Kordpour told Radio Farda on October 12 that three Kurdish journalists--Farhad Aminpour, Reza Alipour and Saman Soleimani--have been arrested on unspecified charges (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/12/20061012-143000-FRD-program.rm?start=02:50&end=05:20).
>> Following the arrest of Bushehr satirist Hossein Shakeri on charges of criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government as well as the arrest of the editor of the weekly journal "Safir", Radio Farda interviewed Bushehr journalist and activist Mohsen Barghandan on October 16. Barghandan said that the presence of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr also results in more pressure being applied on the media in that city (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/16/20061016-183000-FRD-program.rm?start=02:46&end=05:14).
>> Radio Farda reported on October 12 that dissident Iranian journalist activist Akbar Ganji, along with Zimbabwe Human Rights Association chairperson Arnold Tsunga, had received the 2006 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders during a ceremony in Geneva the previous day. During an interview with Radio Farda, Ganji told listeners that he had also spoken to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour about human rights violations in Iran (rtsp://realaudio.rferl.org/ch21/2006/10/11/20061011-033000-FRD-program.rm?start=09:46&end=13:07).
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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