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Heard This Week - 04/03/2008

Heard This Week In Iran
on Radio Farda

Leading Economist Says Iranian Inflation Could Reach 40 Percent
April 2 -- Paris-based economist Fereidoun Khavand [audio in Persian] said Iran's annual inflation rate--which, according to official statistics, has surpassed 20 percent--could possibly reach 40 percent by the end of the year if the country maintains its current economic policies.
Interview With Attorney For Jailed Labor Activist On Hunger Strike
March 27 -- In an exclusive interview, jailed labor activist Mohamed Salehi's attorney expressed strong concern [text in Persian] regarding the health of his client, who is currently on a hunger strike. Although Salehi was supposed to be released on March 23, a new arrest warrant has been issued, according to judicial officials, because of messages Salehi sent to thank unionists for their support.

Nobel Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi Questions Legitimacy Of Iranian Elections
March 31 -- Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Committee to Defend Free, Clean, and Fair Elections spokesperson Shirin Ebadi expressed doubts about the legitimacy of the recent parliamentary elections [text in Persian] because they were not held according to the rules set by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, of which Iran is a member.

Worsening Iranian-European Economic Ties Cited In Interviews With Leading Iran Analysts
April 2 -- Radio Farda interviewed [text in Persian] a number of well known analysts and academics about the most significant trends in Iran's foreign policy, including the souring of Iran's economic relations with Europe, Iran's dealings with its Persian Gulf neighbors and Iran's goals in relations with Latin America.

Iran's "New Age Of Prosperity" Challenged During Experts' Roundtable
April 2 -- Following Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's announcement of a "new age of innovation and prosperity" for Iran, Tehran-based journalist Ali-Reza Ahmadi, Rutgers University professor Hooshang Amirahmadi and Mehrdad Mashayekhi of Georgetown University discussed the challenges Iran faces in achieving these goals during Radio Farda's weekly "Viewpoints" program [text in Persian].

RFE/RL Analysis
March 30 -- RFE/RL talks to analysts who doubt that Iran's recent efforts to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will bear fruit any time soon.

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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.