Heard This Week in Iran
on Radio FardaU.S. Diplomat Calls New Centrifuges "A Clear-Cut Violation" of UN Resolutions
April 9 -- U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Gregory Schulte tells Radio Farda [text in Persian], "the installation of additional centrifuges by Iran would be a clear-cut violation of four Security Council resolutions." Schulte's statement follows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that his country has begun installing another 6,000 centrifuges as part of Iran's controversial uranium-enrichment program.
Economists Say Unmanaged Oil Windfall Behind Iranian Inflation
April 8 -- Northeastern University economist Kamran Dadkhah says rising Iranian oil revenues are causing a spike in inflation. Paris-based economist Jamshid Asadi notes that the increased revenues alone are not to blame: "The unrestrained way in which Mr. Ahmadinejad spends foreign exchange reserves has led to inflation" [audio in Persian].
Striking Sugar Factory Worker Blames "Sugar Mafia"
April 8 -- A striking worker at the Haft-Tapeh sugarcane factory in southwestern Iran [text in Persian] says the government, by charging a low tariff on sugar imports and turning a blind eye to a "sugar mafia" made up of government officials, is causing a crisis at processing factories that prevents them from paying workers their salaries.
Student Activists Complain of University Mismanagement, Pressure on Reformists
April 9 -- A student activist says colleagues at Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran staged a hunger strike to protest mismanagement of the university [text in Persian]. According to the activist, a number of students are being arrested or expelled from the school for political reasons and prominent nonconformist professors are being forced to resign since the appointment of a new dean.
Rights Activist Rejects Propaganda Charge
April 9 -- Radio Farda talks to "One Million Signatures" campaign co-founder Parvin Ardalan [text in English], who was interrogated at the security branch of a Tehran court after being charged with spreading propaganda against the government. "I reject the charge," she says. Radio Farda also interviews the sister of "One Million Signatures" campaign activist Khadijeh Moghadam following a police raid of Moghadam's house and her arrest on charges of "acting against national security" [text in Persian].
Radio Farda Launches Interactive Listener Discussion Program
April 9 -- Radio Farda launched a new roundtable program, "Your Voice is Farda's Voice." The program invites listeners to discuss a variety of social and political issues, with the goal of increasing interactivity by giving listeners a platform to freely express their views. During the first program [audio in Persian], listeners from Tehran, Shiraz and Kurdistan discussed sanctions and criticized the Iranian government for mismanaging the economy.
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.