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Heard This Week - 03/06/2008

Heard This Week in Iran
on Radio Farda

Radio Farda Correspondent Sentenced to Prison for "Spreading Propaganda"
March 2 -- The lawyer representing Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima [text in Persian] said the court convicted his client of working for Radio Farda, even though Iran does not have a law that makes it illegal to work for foreign media: "The court cannot punish my client for an act that the Iranian Parliament has not determined is an offense."
On March 3, Parnaz Azima told Radio Farda that, "as a professional journalist who believes in the... free flow of information, informing people in Iran is my main duty and is in the interest of Iran." Azima also talked about her sentencing during a March 5 video interview posted to RFE/RL's website [video in English], in which she urges reporters outside the country to speak up for the rights of their fellow journalists in Iran.
Radio Farda Interviews Women's Rights Activist Barred from Leaving Iran...
March 3 -- Parvin Ardalan, the founder of the "One Million Signature" campaign calling for an end to discriminatory laws against women, told Radio Farda [text in Persian] that officials removed her from the airplane that was to take her to Stockholm to receive the Olof Palme Award and confiscated her passport.
...Describes Ease of Laundering Money in Iran...
February 29 -- An economist explained to Radio Farda [audio in Persian] that about 40 percent of the economic activity in which the state is directly involved in Iran is "underground, invisible." He told Radio Farda there is no limit to the amount of money one can deposit in a bank or transfer anywhere; as a result, it is easy to launder money in Iran.
...Discusses "Apocalyptic Politics"...
March 1 -- Radio Farda interviewed analyst Mehdi Khalaji [text in Persian] about his recent book, "Apocalyptic Politics: On the Rationality of Iranian Policy." Khalaji discussed the attitudes about the Hidden Imam of Shi'a tradition among Iran's current leaders and the possible impact of messianism on the regime's decision making on nuclear policies.
...Continues Coverage of Shiraz University Student Unrest
March 1 -- A student, who did not want to be identified, told Radio Farda [text in Persian] that 10 of his colleagues who participated in protests at the University of Shiraz had been summoned before the Revolutionary Court and that authorities are harassing the families of more than 30 students in an effort to force their children to stop the protest.

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