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Heard This Week - 02/21/2008

Heard This Week in Iran
on Radio Farda

Radio Farda Examines Money Laundering in Iran...

February 16 -- Radio Farda interviewed a U.K.-based Iranian economist [audio in Persian], who estimated that between 12 and 15 billion dollars annually are "laundered" by Iran. Some of the laundered funds are legally granted by the Iranian government to terrorist organizations in the form of "aid to Islamic liberation movements," he said.

...Debates Upcoming Parliament Elections

February 15 -- Former Iranian parliamentarian Saeed Rajaee Khorasani, journalist Mehdi Mahdavi-Azad and former Iran Election Headquarters chief Mashallah Abbaszadeh discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections on Radio Farda's weekly roundtable program "Viewpoints" [audio in Persian], including the disqualification of the grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the political leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Analyst Questions Iran's Sincerity During Radio Farda Interview

February 18 -- Radio Farda interviewed Iran analyst Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute [text in Persian], who said the potential for U.S.-Iran negotiations needs to be judged by whether the "person who offers negotiations has any power to enforce an agreement" and "whether Iran is sincere, or not... The issue between the U.S. and Iran isn't a lack of talk, it's a lack of trust and that's something that has to be tackled head-on."

Radio Farda Reports on Arrest of Women's Rights Activists...

February 19 -- The father of Raha Asgarizadeh [text in Persian], who was arrested with fellow activist Nasim Khosravi-Moghadam in Tehran while circulating a petition for the "One Million Signatures" women's rights campaign, told Radio Farda that he is unable to pay the bail demanded to secure her release.

...Exposes Flogging of May Day Rally Participant

February 18 -- A board member of the Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers told Radio Farda that a worker convicted of participating in a 2007 May Day rally in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province was recently subjected to ten lashes as punishment [text in Persian / in English]. While flogging is often used to punish violators of Iran's morality laws, the punishment is now being used against regime opponents.

RFE/RL Analysis

Human Rights Activists Concerned Over Prison Deaths, Torture

February 17 -- Radio Farda interviewed Iranian lawyers and activists on the recent series of suspicious deaths or tortures while in police custody.

Vetting Exacts Heavy Toll On Reformist Candidates

February 18 -- RFE/RL analyzes the vetting process that led to the disqualification of nearly one in three aspiring candidates in Iran's parliamentary elections next month, including current and former officials and a grandson of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

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