Nuclear Program Is "Life Insurance for the Regime"
July 18 -- In advance of negotiations in Geneva over Iran's nuclear program, which for the first time included direct U.S. participation, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told Radio Farda that the acquisition of nuclear weapons is "life insurance for the [Iranian] regime". Bolton added, "I think that the Iranians now with the U.S. at the table will attempt to go into slow motion on these talks and buy time to get past the U.S. presidential election in November and if they can do that and if as the polls now indicate Senator Obama wins, I think all the pressure would be off them" [article in Persian].
U.S.-Iranian Détente Possible?
July 19-- Former Iranian Oil Minister Ali-Akbar Moinfar, Tehran University political science professor Sadegh Zibakalam and political analyst Mohsen Sazegara discuss whether a détente in U.S.-Iran relations is possible in the wake of Geneva negotiations in Radio Farda's weekly roundtable "Viewpoints" [article in Persian].
Iranian People Paying For Leaders' Strategic Blunders
July 23 -- Stanford University professor Abbas Milani, considering Iran's nuclear policies, delineated major differences between diplomacy in Iran and democratic countries, saying that it is not the policy-makers in Iran who have paid for their wrong key strategic decisions in the past 30 years, but the Iranian people; and this is a characteristic of a despotic regime [article in Persian].
Hundreds Protest Death Sentence Against Kurdish Teacher
July 19-- A member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization who attended the protest says about 500 people, including the students of condemned teacher Farzad Kamangar rallied peacefully in front of the Justice Department building in Sanandaj, but no judiciary officials came out to talk to the protestors [audio in Persian].
Alborz Tire Plant Workers Stage Walkout
July 20 -- Labor activist Jafar Azimzadeh says management's refusal to pay workers' wages has become routine over the past 3-4 years and continues because the government does nothing about it: "The only way out of this miserable situation for the workers is organized protests" [article in Persian].
Whereabouts of Arrested Azeri Students Still Unknown
July 22 -- A human rights activist in Tehran says the students seem to have earned the government's ire as a result of their participation in a sit-in protest at Tabriz University in May and support for restoring the rights of ethnic Azeris in Iran [audio in Persian].