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Heard This Week - 11/08/2007

Heard in Iran This Week
on Radio Farda

(Washington, DC--November 8, 2007) Radio Farda covered the following stories and more:
* The arrest of a student spokesman
* The ongoing detention in Iran of a French-Iranian filmmaker
* A suspicious death in custody
* The anniversary of the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis

Radio Farda Reports Arrest of Student Spokesperson...
November 8 -- Radio Farda aired an exclusive interview [text in Persian:] with the brother of Ali Nikunesbati, the public voice of Iran's largest pro-reform student group the Office to Foster Unity who was arrested today; the family was not told what charges Nikunesbati faces or where he is being held.

...Interviews French-Iranian Filmmaker Still Trapped in Iran...
November 5 -- During an exclusive interview with Radio Farda [audio in Persian: / text in English:], filmmaker Mehrnoushe Solouki said "Every moment, I feel like I'm in a state of limbo between life and death." Solouki revealed that she was detained after stumbling onto a mass grave of regime opponents summarily executed in 1988. Her lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi told Radio Farda [audio in Persian:] the regime's sensitivity about the 1988 killings may be the reason for her arrest.

...Organizes Online Forum With Former U.S. Hostage...
November 4 -- To mark the 28th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran that began the 444-day hostage crisis, Radio Farda organized an online forum [text in Persian] with former hostage John Limbert. During the forum, Limbert wrote, "While what happened to us was difficult and frightening, I believe that what happened to the Iranian people, as a result of those events was many times worse... If there is any apologizing to be done, it should be from those responsible to the Iranian people." Radio Farda also interviewed former hostage Barry Rosen [text in Persian:].

...Covers "5+1" Meeting on Sanctions...
November 2 -- During an exclusive interview after a meeting in London of officials from the "5+1" countries [text in Persian:], U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told Radio Farda, "The United States believes... we need to see an acceleration of the diplomatic efforts, especially by China and Russia, to agree to a third [UN] Security Council resolution" on sanctions. Radio Farda also interviewed academics Mohammad Reza Jalili of the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva [audio in Persian] and Reza Taghizadeh of the University of Glasgow [audio in Persian:].

...Looks Into Suspicious Death in Custody...
November 6 -- Lawyer and Radio Farda contributor Mehrangiz Kar said [audio in Persian:] the suspicious death of student Zahra Bani-Ameri 48 hours after her arrest in Hamedan in October was clearly not natural, but either a suicide or a murder.

...Examines Government Refusal to Return Vindicated Lawyer's Passport.
November 2 -- Prominent human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani told Radio Farda [audio in Persian:] that personal documents, including his passport, that were confiscated more than 2 years ago have yet to be returned, despite his acquittal in May 2007 on espionage-related charges.

RFE/RL Analysis

Tehran's Proposal for Iraq Finds Few Takers at Conference
November 6 -- RFE/RL looks into the failure of Iran to offer new proposals for stabilizing the security situation in Iraq and reports in Iranian media that Tehran may realize the only way to improve security in Iraq is to resume direct talks on security with Washington.

Dissidents Debate Merits Of U.S. Democracy Aid
November 2 -- RFE/RL interviews Iranian dissidents on both sides of the debate over U.S. funding to support of Iran's pro-democracy movement.

For more on these and other stories about Iran, please visit: -- Radio Farda's Persian-language website -- "RFE/RL Iran Report" weekly analysis -- RFE/RL English-language coverage of Iran

Radio Farda, a joint project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and
Voice of America (VOA), is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news service.