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Heard in Iran: Radio Farda Reporter Denied Entry to UN Food Summit

Radio Farda Reporter Denied Entry to UN Food Summit...

June 3 -- Correspondent Ahmad Rafat says [text in Persian / in English], "I think my reports about the protests over Ahmadinejad's trip to Italy and the fact that no political force or official is willing to meet with him... are the only issues that could have caused this reaction... I haven't done anything but write." On June 5, RFE/RL posted Rafat's detailed description of the incident on its website.

...After Reporting on Italian Boycott of Ahmadinejad

June 2 -- In an interview with Ahmad Rafat [text in Persian], Italian journalist and former Senator Antonio Polito says Europe has the right and the duty to ask Iran to endorse peace in the Middle East, avoid any attempts to achieve nuclear weapons and respect human rights. Polito called on Italian leaders to refuse to meet with President Ahmadinejad during his visit to Rome for the UN food summit.

Former Weapons Inspector Calls For U.S. Engagement on Enrichment

June 3 -- David Albright, a former IAEA weapons inspector who currently heads the Institute for Science and International Security [text in Persian], says negotiation should not be considered capitulation as the U.S. tries to keep Iran from pursuing its nuclear enrichment program. "Most people, most governments do not want a military confrontation, they want to settle diplomatically and they want the U.S. to take the leadership, they want the Bush administration to start negotiations with Iran without preconditions... you want to argue for what you want."

Student Hunger Strike Enters Third Day

June 3 -- A student activist at Tarbiat Moallem University reports [text in Persian] that two female students participating in the strike suffered convulsions, but are not being allowed to seek hospital care by security forces that have surrounded the university.

Economic Chaos Creating Tensions Within the Government

May 29 -- Analyst Fereidoun Khavand says [text in Persian] Iran's economic crisis is making President Ahmadinejad more isolated than ever, even within his own circle of advisors--most of whom have no expertise, especially in economics.

Two Baha'is Arrested for Burying their Dead

May 29 -- Farhod Sabetian, a spokesperson for the Baha'i International Society says [text in Persian] two Baha'i members were arrested for trying to bury deceased family members at a Baha'i cemetery closed by the government. "How can we live in a society where we even do not have the right to bury our dead?," he asked.

Outlook for the New Parliament

May 30 -- Former parliamentarian Ghasem Sholesadi, Tehran-based academic Sadegh Zibakalam, and journalist Mehdi Mahdavi-Azad discuss why previous Iranian parliaments achieved nothing and the new parliament may suffer the same fate during Radio Farda's weekly roundtable "Viewpoints" [text in Persian].

Released Activist Faces 10-Year Deprivation of Social Rights

June 4 -- Activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi says, following his release after serving a seven-year sentence, that his additional punishment of ten years of deprivation of social rights amounts to "being confined to his home" [text in Persian].