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Heard This Week - 03/22/2007

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC -- March 22, 2007) Listeners to Radio Farda and visitors to heard New Year's greetings from a wide variety of well-wishers in the U.S. and Iran. They were also kept informed about the latest developments concerning Iran's standoff with the U.S. Security Council over its uranium enrichment program and informed about yet another death sentenced passed down against an alleged "anti-revolutionary" collaborator.

>> As part of its special coverage of Norouz, or Iranian New Year on March 20, Radio Farda offered listeners messages of greeting from U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (
Radio Farda also posted and broadcast a Norouz message from Iran's political prisoners, made by the imprisoned Secretary General of National Front Union, Amir-Heshmat Saran, as well as a message from Farah Pahlavi, the former Queen of Iran (
Poet Simin Behbahani, film director Khosro Sinaee, writer Ali Ashraf Darvishian and music composer Houshang Kamka were among the prominent Iranian artists to share with Radio Farda listeners Norouz congratulations and their hopes for the future (

>> On March 21, Radio Farda informed listeners that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had announced Tehran will pursue illegal nuclear activities if the UN Security Council insists that Iran stop its uranium enrichment program. "Until today, what we have done has been in accordance with international regulations," Khamenei said. "But if [the UN Security Council] takes illegal actions, we too can take illegal actions and will do so." Khamenei warned the United States that Iran will "use all its capacities to strike" if his country is attacked (

>> The March 19 edition of Radio Farda's weekly "Viewpoints" discussion program presented a debate on Iran and the UN Security Council resolution. Tehran-based professor of international relations Davoud Hermidas Bavand said that this resolution will undoubtedly have a negative impact on Iran's economy, but more than anything else, it has a political significance; that is, the U.S. will use it to legitimize its future measures. Turaj Atabaki, Senior Research Fellow at Amsterdam's International Institute of Social History contended that foreign pressure on Tehran may lead to a drop in support within President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government for the nuclear program, given the differences that exist between the various political factions over this issue. Political analyst Alireza Haghighi told listeners the stagnation that will hit the Iranian economy following implementation of the resolution may convince Iran's economic decision makers to show more open opposition to the government's nuclear policies (

>> On March 16, Radio Farda reported that the Revolutionary Court in the city of Urumiyeh had sentenced political activist Hossein Foruhideh to death. In an interview with Radio Farda, Foruhideh's father, Gholam Hossein Foruhideh said his son had been arrested four months ago in Kurdestan and charged with collaboration with so-called "anti-revolutionaries." Foruhideh also told Radio Farda his son had been severely tortured and was not allowed to have a lawyer (

>> Radio Farda reported on March 14 that more than 300 political activists in Iran had issued a statement asking the country's highest authorities to accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's proposal for a mutual suspension by the UN Security Council of its resolution against Iran and of its uranium enrichment program by Iran. According to the statement, this is a wise proposal that can prevent sanctions and a possible war and will lead to a win-win policy. Criticizing the government's tension-creating policies, the signatories of this statement emphasized that an open, transparent dialogue between Tehran and Washington is one of the best solutions for preventing bloodshed and mayhem in the region (

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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