[This video is meant to allow people from around the world to see the beauty of Iran]

noticias : Oriente :: IRÁN


Poet Hashem Shaabani - a human rights activist- executed for 'waging war on God'

Death sentence carried out on ethnic Arab Hashem Shaabani, accused of being an "enemy of God" and a threat to security.
An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani, has been executed for being an "enemy of God" and threatening national security, according to local human rights groups.
Shaabani and a man named Hadi Rashedi were hanged in unidentified prison on January 27, rights groups have said.
Shaabani, who spoke out against the treatment of ethnic Arabs in the province of Khuzestan, had been in prison since February or March 2011 after being arrested for being a Mohareb, or "enemy of God".
The watchdog said Shaabani, 32, was put to death on January 27. An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included "waging war on God."
In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.
It said his death illustrates that Iran continues its violent repression of ethnic minorities and that human rights have not improved under President Hassan Rohani's rule.
Shaabani was an Iranian of Arab origin and a founder of the Dialogue Institute, which promoted understanding of Arabic culture and literature in Iran.

... more in AlJazeera - Poetry Foundation - Freedom House - The Freethinker - Human Right Voices - The Huffington Post - Radio Free Europe - Haaretz
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Iran’s dead poets society: The execution of Hashem Shabaani shows dictators are scared of the word
For writing poetry, a pacifist, father and carer, was accused of ‘spreading corruption’ and executed

In Iran, there should be a Dead Poets Society. Or perhaps a Martyred Poets Society, with its newest member a certain Arab-Iranian from Ahwaz, in the far south-west of the country, on the Iraqi border.
He has been hanged for “spreading corruption on earth”, one of hundreds put to death by the Islamic revolution since 1979. Everything about Hashem Shabaani cries out in shame against his executioners: his pacifist poetry, his academic learning, his care for his sick father – a disabled soldier seriously wounded in the 1980-88 war against the Iraqi invaders of his country – and his love for his wife and only child. Already, of course, he has become a political corpse. His killers, the Iranian interior ministry and a revolutionary tribunal judge called Mohamed-Bagher Moussavi, must be the first culprits...
... read Robert Fisk's article in The Independent


: The son of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been detained after returning from exile in London, accused of inciting post-election unrest in 2009.

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani arrived in Tehran late on Sunday having spent three years in Britain following the widespread protests at the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The 43-year-old presented himself at court to hear the charges and face questioning. His lawyer was not allowed to be present, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported. His 50 years old sister, a former MP, was also sentence by the "Revolutionary Council" to six month in prison.
Mr Rafsanjani was then transferred to Tehran's Evin prison after the court issued a temporary detention order, news agencies reported.
Analysts say his return could indicate a deal has been agreed with authorities to resolve the charges, and may signal a revival in the political fortunes of his father, a grandee of Iranian politics whose star has waned since the election.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a close aide to the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has held most of the Iran's top political positions, including parliament speaker, armed forces commander and president from 1989 to 1997.

...more in The Telegraph - El Pais - The Guardian - BBC - AlJazeera
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Iranian activist Zhila Bani-Yaghoub packs her bags and heads to prison: an award-winning journalist and women's rights activist, has been sent to Evin prison to serve a one-year sentence... [+]

Turkey and China are helping Iran to evade UN sanctions by providing them with secret banking facilities to purchase goods, according to Western security officials. Iran is helping Syria dictatorship to massacre citizens who want freedom

In an attempt to escape the effects of the wide-ranging sanctions imposed over Iran's illegal nuclear programme, Iran's central bank is using a number of financial institutions in China and Turkey to fund the purchase of vital goods to keep the Iranian economy afloat.
According to Western security officials China, which is Iran's largest oil trading partner, is playing a major role in helping Iran to avoid the sanctions.
Instead of transferring payments to Iran owed from oil purchases, Chinese banks are using the money to buy goods on behalf of the Iranians and then shipping them to Iran.
"It is like an old-fashioned barter mechanism," explained a senior security official. "The money Iran earns from oil sales goes into banks in China and is then used for Iranian purchases of other goods and materials. It is a very good way of getting round the sanctions." Security officials have also identified a number of financial institutions in Turkey that are helping Iran to evade sanctions.
Turkey, which maintains good diplomatic relations with Tehran, is particularly useful to Tehran because of its close trading ties with Europe.

...more in The Telegraph - Al Jazeera


Iranian opposition student groups condemn storming of British embassy
Tahkim Vahdat and Advar Tahkim claim the Tehran attack was carried out by those associated with the Islamic regime

Two opposition student organisations in Iran have condemned the storming of the British embassy, claiming those behind it were associated with the Islamic regime.
Tahkim Vahdat and Advar Tahkim, groups with some influence among Iranian students, have issued separate statements criticising the attack that triggered one of the worst crises in bilateral ties between Tehran and London since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"The office of Tahkim Vahdat condemns the attack at the British embassy – the attackers were not true representative of Iranian students, they were affiliated with the authorities in power," the statement said, according to, a website close to the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
"The [local] media portrayed the attackers as a group of students but people associated with pressure groups and some forces from the revolutionary guards were seen among them who have no affiliation to students," it added.
Tahkim Vahdat was originally created in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution as a conservative Islamist student organisation aimed at combating secular movements. At the time, many of its members were involved in the seizure of the US embassy and the hostage crisis.

...more in Al Jazeera - BBC - The Guardian - France 24 - El Mundo - Die Spiegel - La Repubblica

Iranian opposition calls for fresh protests over pair killed during rally

Move comes after Iranian regime launches harshest crackdown on Green Movement since post-election unrest in 2009.
Iran's opposition has called for fresh street protests to commemorate the death of two pro-democracy youths killed during anti-government rallies held last week.
The move came after the Iranian regime launched a new campaign to silence the leaders of the Green Movement in what was seen as the most rigorous crackdown on the opposition since the post-election unrest in 2009.
Opposition websites reported that the rallies are aimed at fighting religious dictatorship and voicing support for former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
"In response to the brutal suppression and killing of the supporters of the Green Movement, we will go out in streets in major squares [of Tehran and other big cities] on Sunday which will mark the seventh day after the death of our martyrs," the official website of Mousavi,, said.
Mousavi and Karroubi came under fire after they issued a call for renewed street protests in solidarity with demonstrators in Egypt and Tunisia. The Iranian regime has been criticised by the opposition for hailing the Arab revolts abroad, while refusing to give permission for a peaceful demonstration at home.
...more in The Guardian - Al Jazeera - The Independent - France 24 / And in the web
Read also:
Karroubi dares Tehran to try him: Opposition leader, who is currently under house arrest, says people should get to know the truth.
Two Iranian navy vessels are approaching Egypt's Suez Canal

Iran funeral triggers new clashes.
Government supporters and opposition activists clash at funeral procession for student killed in Tehran.

Clashes have broken out between supporters of the Iranian government and apparent members of the opposition at the funeral for a student killed in recent protests, state television has reported.
"Students and people participating in the funeral of martyr Sane'e Zhale in Tehran Fine Arts University are clashing with a few apparently from the sedition movement," the website of broadcaster Irib said on Wednesday.
Zhaleh was shot dead during an opposition rally in Tehran, the capital, on Monday, a killing the government blamed on anti-government protesters. But opposition groups say it was carried out by security forces.
The violence broke out during the funeral procession from the art faculty at Tehran university, where Zhaleh was a student, Irib said.
The broadcaster added that government backers were chanting "Death to Monafeghin", a reference to an outlawed opposition group, which "forced them [opposition supporters] out of the scene".
However, Iranian bloggers reported that loyalist forces were brought into the campus who then took over the faculty, while riot police were deployed across the city.
Others have also written on social networking site Twitter that some roads in the city have been blocked and that thousands of people were out on the streets of Tehran, demonstrating both for and against the government.
There are also reports that authorities have blocked foreign media from working.
...more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - BBC

Iran protester's death 'hijacked by regime'
Saane Zhaleh, who was killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, is being falsely described as a pro-government militia member, according to his family

The Iranian regime has been accused of hijacking the death of a young pro-democracy protester killed during rallies in Tehran on Monday.
A family member of Saane Zhaleh, a 26-year-old theatre student at Tehran University of Arts, told the Guardian that the Iranian authorities had launched a campaign to depict the pro-opposition protester as a member of the government-sponsored basiji militia who had been killed by what they described as terrorists.
"They [security forces] have killed him and now they want to hijack his dead body and exploit his funeral for their own purposes. His family is totally devastated and inundated in sorrow," said the family member, who asked not to be identified.
Opposition websites reported that two protesters were killed in clashes between security forces and thousands of defiant protesters who marched in a banned rally organised by the leaders of the green movement on Monday.
Iranian state news agencies later identified them as Zhaleh, a member of Iran's Kurd and Sunni minority, and 22-year-old Mohammad Mokhtari, but blamed the opposition for their death.
Iran's semi-official FARS news agency published a basiji identity card that it said belonged to Zhaleh, but the opposition immediately questioned its authenticity. In response, activists sympathetic to the green movement published a photo of Zhaleh on social networking websites that showed him in a meeting with grand Ayatollah Montazeri, a leading opposition figure who died in 2009.
Authorities staged a funeral at the Tehran University of Arts but did not permit Zhaleh's family to attend. Witnesses told opposition websites that the hundreds of basiji members who were bussed in to the university to participate in the funeral outnumbered the students and clashed with them.
According to the family member, Zhaleh's parents and siblings – who live in the western city of Paveh in Kermanshah province – were asked not to attend the funeral in Tehran and were threatened that Zhaleh's body would not be handed to them if they spoke to foreign media.

...more in Al Jazeera - The Guardian - The Independent - BBC - La Repubblica - France 24 - El Mundo

Massive protests in Iran, brutally repressed in the name of "Allah" by the religious supreme fuhrer.
s A Iranian official confirms two deaths during Monday's clashes but police blame an outlawed group for them.

Two people were killed at a banned opposition rally in Iran, a member of parliament has told the Iranian Student's News Agency.

"At Monday's rally ... two people were martyred and many were wounded; one person was shot dead," said Kazem Jalali.
It's unlcear how the second protester died.
So far, Iranian police have confirmed that one person was killed during clashes and blamed an outlawed group for shooting into the crowd.
"One person was martyred by Monafeghin [the People's Mujahedeen of Iran - PMOI] in the shooting at yesterday's events," said Ahmad Reza Radan, deputy police chief of Iran on Tuesday, adding nine security forces were injured.

Earlier, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that a bystander had been shot dead and several wounded by protesters.
But the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which includes the PMOI, denied the allegations on Tuesday, saying "those in power crushed the demonstrators, firing live rounds and tear gas at them".
The Associated Press news agency had quoted witnesses saying that at least three protesters had been injured by bullets while dozens more were hospitalised after being beaten.
Dorsa Jabbari, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran, confirmed reports that security forces used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against the protesters.
As with other foreign media, she was prohibited by government order to witness the demonstrations.

...more in Al Jazeera - MSNBC - BBC - The Guardian - The Independent - France 24 - Publico - El Pais - El Mundo - La Repubblica - Die Spiegel

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Former elite officers reveal tensions in Iran regime: Men describe measures taken to crush popular protests that erupted in the wake of last year's presidential elections...
Another former guard accuses the government of filling the ranks of the guards with young men from the countryside willing to carry out brutal assaults which more senior officers would not countenance. "The majority of these recruits ... have no idea of right or wrong," he says. The regime "hands them weapons and these young people come into the streets and commit acts of murder".


Shirin Ebadi
The Iranian lawyer, judge and human rights activist discusses the work that won her the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

Shirin Ebadi's pioneering efforts for human rights and democracy, especially in her birth country of Iran, were awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.
As the first Muslim woman and Iranian to ever receive the prize, she has continued to promote a more just world since then through her collaborative work with fellow sister laureates by co-founding the Nobel Women's Initiative in 2006.
In addition to being an internationally-recognised advocate of human rights, she has established many non-governmental organisations in Iran and has served as a lawyer, judge and university professor.
Following a law degree from the University of Tehran, she became the first woman in Iran to preside over a legislative court in 1975.
Through discrimination, exile, threats and campaigns, Shirin Ebadi has always courageously stood for the rights of women, children and refugees worldwide.

...more in 'One on One' Al Jazeera

"Hanno estorto le loro parole": Sakineh: "Ho peccato, non voglio aiuto" In tv le 'confessioni' di figlio e giornalisti.

"Sono una peccatrice" ha detto Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, la donna condannata alla lapidazione per adulterio in Iran, durante una trasmissione andata in onda ieri notte sul canale della tv pubblica iraniana 'Channel 2' che affrontava l'intera vicenda. Il suo volto era coperto e sfumato, parlava in lingua azera ed era sottotitolata in farsi. "Non conosco chi vuole farlo, non devono sostenermi", ha proseguito riferendosi alle organizzazioni per i diritti umani che si sono mobilitate per la sua salvezza e, forse, anche ai suoi avvocati.
Prima della sua apparizione in video, le autorità hanno presentato Sakineh accusandola di omicidio, ma tralasciando la condanna alla lapidazione comminatale in primo grado nel 2006. Nella 'confessione' Sakineh ha attaccato soprattutto il portavoce del Comitato internazionale contro la lapidazione, Mina Ahadi, accusandola di aver voluto strumentalizzare la sua vicenda per fini personali. Ma Ahadi ha negato con forza ed è sicura che la 'confessione' le si stata imposta.
...more information in La Repubblica -

Iran theocracy seeks to 'block opposition participation'

Mehdi Karroubi, an opposition leader in Iran, has said his house was surrounded by Revolutionary Guards to prevent him from participating in al-Quds day on September 3. His website claims that his house was attacked by a mob, which smashed windows and beat up a member of his security. Last year opposition figures used the rally to protest against the government. Speaking to Al Jazeera, Potkin Azar-mehr, an Iranian blogger in London who has been in touch with sources in Iran, says the attack is not the first.
...more in Al Jazeera - and in the blog For a democratic and secular Iran

The Listening Post [Al Jazeera]: Richard Gizbert interviews journalist Maziar Bahari

In the second part of our show we talk in depth to Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist who worked for Newsweek magazine in Tehran. We have extensively covered the state of the media in Iran, especially since the disputed election last year that led to a major clampdown on the media. One of the measures taken by the Iranian authorities was to jail journalists who they considered to be spreading dissent. Bahari was one of those journalists. During his 118 days in prison he says that he was constantly interrogated and even tortured. We caught up with him after his speech at the annual awards ceremony for the Index on Censorship. He gave us his thoughts on the state of the media in Iran, the impact of new media there, his time in jail and the fake news show his captors thought was real.
...more in Al Jazeera

La policía iraní agrede a los líderes de la oposición Karrubi y Jatami: Miles de reformistas se habían congregado con motivo de las celebraciones. El punto de reunión era la plaza donde Ahmadineyad pronunciaba un discurso. Detienen a una nieta de Jomeini, al hermano de Jatami y al hijo de Karrubi. Los actos para conmemorar el 31º aniversario de la Revolución iraní empezaron de manera violenta este jueves por la mañana en Teherán. Miles de manifestantes reformistas (conocidos como 'la marea verde') se habían congregado en los alrededores de la plaza de Azadi en la capital iraní, donde Ahmadineyad pronunciaba un discurso como punto central de las celebraciones. Los opositores tenían previsto celebrar los festejos, a la vez que protestar contra el presidente Ahmadineyad. Sin embargo, según las páginas web de los reformistas, las protestas no pudieron apenas desarrollarse, ya que "las fuerzas de seguridad abrieron fuego contra los manifestantes en el centro de Teherán y arrojaron gases lacrimógenos".
... Entre los ataques de la policía iraní, destaca el que sufrió uno de los líderes reformistas, Mehdi Karrubi.
"Karrubi fue atacado por las fuerzas de seguridad en el centro de Teherán. La policía rompió las ventanas de su coche. Afortunadamente, no está herido grave", se podía leer en la página web 'Jaras'. La misma página informaba de que el ex presidente y también reformista Mohamad Jatami había sufrido asimismo una agresión.
Varias personas han sido detenidas, entre ellas, Zahra Eshraqi, nieta del ayatolá Ruhollah Jomeini, su marido, Mohamed Reza Jatami, hermano del ex presidente Jatami, así como el hijo de Karrubi.
Por la ciudad circulaban centenares de motocicletas con milicianos 'basiyis', armados tanto con palos, como con cadenas e incluso armas de fuego, según contaban los testigos.
...más en El Mundo - Factual - El País - The Guardian - The Independent - BBC - AlJazeera - France 24 - MSNBC


Iran's clerical regime is facing open revolt as riot police clash with huge crowds accusing them of fixing the vote that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Mousavi and another 100 reformists leaders have been arrested...:

The capital, Tehran, has seen its most violent street disturbances for a decade as demonstrators protested over Mr Ahmadinejad's surprise defeat of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the reformist challenger. Mr Mousavi claimed he had been the victim of "fraud" and "manipulation" after he gained just 33.7 per cent of the vote, compared to Mr Ahmadinejad's 62.6 per cent. In the run-up to the campaign, polls had put both men neck-and-neck, with some suggesting that Mr Ahmadinejad was in for a shock defeat because of his poor economic performance and aggression to the West. While there has been no proof of rigging, many Iranians voiced open disbelief that he could have achieved victory by such a wide margin. The prospect of Mr Ahmadinejad having another four-year term in office is potentially disastrous for US President Barack Obama's efforts to bring Iran in from its 30-year diplomatic isolation from the West. Washington had hoped that a Mousavi presidency would have led to Iran coming to the negotiating table over its disputed nuclear programme, currently seen as a major threat to regional peace in the Middle East. ... America's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the United States was monitoring the outcome of Iran's election and hoped the results reflected the will of the Iranian people. Former US president Jimmy Carter said he expected no major change in Iran's policies with Mr Ahmadinejad's reelection. "I think this election has bought out a lot of opposition to his policies in Iran, and I'm sure he'll listen to those opinions and hopefully moderate his position," he said. Commentators on the Right share the view that the US may be better off with Mr Ahmadinejad still in office. "It's not a surprise and I don't think a Mousavi win would have made as big a difference as some people think," said Richard Perle, the conservative hawk and veteran of several administrations. But on the Left there was a growing concern that his victory would make it much more difficult for Mr Obama to persuade Congressional sceptics that dialogue with Iran was worthwhile. ...

...more in BBC - France 24 - MSNBC - CCN - El País - El Mundo - la Repubblica - Al Jazeera - The Times - The Guardian

- The Telegraph - The Washington Post - Le Figaro - Le Monde

Iran elections: Mousavi speaks to Al Jazeera
Mir Hossein Mousavi, the leading reformist candidate in Iran's presidential election, speaks to Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview. He details his views on issues such as nuclear technology, Israel and the role of the religious police to Teymoor Nabili. ... Iranians are set to vote in the most tightly contested presidential elections the Islamic republic has seen for years. Polls indicate Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist candidate, is running head to head with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent, following an increasingly bitter campaign. The stakes are extremely high for Iran as the new leader must decide how to respond to the US president's offer for dialogue after a nearly 30-year diplomatic chill. But observers doubt that a change of leadership will bring sweeping changes in Iran's foreign policy or its alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability as the policies are effectively controlled by ruling Islamic clerics. ...

Iran campaign enters final day before election of a new president: The four candidates in Iran's presidential election are making a last-ditch attempt to woo voters on the final day of campaigning. Huge crowds are expected at rallies on Wednesday for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president, and his main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, a reformist and former prime minister. Hundreds of thousands of supporters of the two men have turned out for campaign events in the capital, Tehran, in recent days as the race has become increasingly bitter. During a series of televised debates, Ahmadinejad accused the reformist candidates and their allies of lies and corruption. Mahdi Karroubi, a reformist and former parliamentary speaker, and Mohsen Rezai, a former commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guard, are also standing in Friday's election.
...It was open insurrection, a rebellion of a sort seldom seen in the 30-year history of the Islamic Republic, an eruption of pent-up rage against the repressive Government of President Ahmadinejad.

“Death to the Government,” chanted the several thousand Iranians packed into a football stadium in Tehran. “Death to dictators,” roared the young men and women, draped in green shirts, ribbons, bandanas and headscarves to signal their support for Mir Hossein Mousavi. “Bye-bye Ahmadi,” they sang as they waved a sea of banners for the man who hopes to topple Mr Ahmadinejad in the presidential election on Friday. “Don’t rig the election,” they added for good measure.

Women have suffered particularly badly under Mr Ahmadinejad, and twentysomethings sporting sunglasses, make-up and dyed hair beneath their mandatory headscarves shouted themselves hoarse as speaker after speaker promised an end to repression, despair and the “empire of lies”. ...more in Al Jazeera - The Times - El País - France 24 - The Guardian - The Telegraph - MSNBC - CNN
/ And more information in Farsi in the webs and

Inside Iran: It’s a place cloaked in mystery, a country that has seemed on a collision course with the U.S. for decades now. How much do we really understand about Iran? Dateline NBC’s Ann Curry obtained rare access to this nation of contrasts and contradictions. ...We're in Iran, and as we make our way, we're expecting what most Americans probably would expect. A place of rage----especially toward the West, which is increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions; where freedom of expression is non-existent. But we soon discover there is another side to this Islamic Republic beyond those chants of death to America. There is an Iran unknown to most Americans. Young people singing for joy at a rally for a presidential candidate.
We are, you know, we are human, we are not terrorists!!
A woman--who used to be a man-- her sex change operation approved by the Iranian government. A place where there's a proactive government policy to prevent AIDS.
Dr. Minoo Mohraz: I like you too, if you listen to me, don't worry, okay?
Where a Muslim cleric kisses a Jewish leader in friendship. And where women have more options than you might think. Now, a journey into a country of contradictions, at a significant moment in world history. In Iran, voices of a new generation are beginning to be heard. Everyone answers to a religious cleric known as the supreme leader. But there is also an elected president who runs the day-to-day government. And later this week, voters here will go to the polls to choose their next president. And the fiery Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is facing a serious challenge. Could the results alter the course of U.S.-Iranian relations? ...
Watch the full hour video documental here.

...more in MSNBC

Time in Tehran -

"La tinta del intelectual es más santa que la sangre del mártir"
"El que se arrepiente es como el que no ha pecado"
"La verdadera riqueza de un hombre consiste en el bien que hace en el mundo."
"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow."

I'm warning I will not surrender to this dangerous charade. The result... will jeopardise the pillars of the Islamic Republic and will establish tyranny.
Mir Hossein Mousavi, reformist candidate in presidential election 2009

Evidently the results and the institution coming out of such a vote count is illegitimate and unacceptable.
Mehdi Karroubi, reformist candidate in presidential election 2009

noticias : Oriente :: IRÁN


Riz Khan, journalist at Al Jazeera, speaks with former president Mohammad Khatami: Viewed as a reformer during his eight years in power, Mohammad Khatami, the former Iranian president, is seen as contrasting starkly with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran's current president. With Iranians going to the polls in June, many are wondering what is in store for the country's reformers and how a new occupant in the White House might offer an opportunity for better relations between the US and Iran. Khatami will be running for re-election as president of Iran after a gap of four years. If the reformist became president again, could he be the leader to improve Iran's strained relations with the US and the West? the interview here

...more in Al Jazeera - and in the web of The International Institute for Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations

Iran responds to Obama: Obama's unprecedented greeting to Iran is met with an unprecedented response by Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mohammad Khatami withdraws from Iranian presidential race in favour of former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi: The former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, the country's leading reformist politician, has confirmed speculation and dashed the hopes of his supporters by withdrawing from forthcoming presidential elections. In a statement, Khatami said he had decided to stand aside in favour of another reformist, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who entered the race last week. "I announce my withdrawal from candidacy," the statement, issued by his office, said. "I believe that Mr Mousavi has the necessary competence to change the current situation." The decision followed a day of speculation about Khatami's intentions, fuelled by leaks that he had already decided to stand down after a meeting with Mousavi on Sunday to avoid splitting the pro-reformist vote. The news triggered desperate efforts by supporters to get Khatami to change his mind. The attempts included a letter signed by 1,118 activists and journalists and posted on his campaign website. A group of youth supporters also wrote to Khatami, saying they would not support Mousavi if he withdrew from the race. Many backers of Khatami argue that Mousavi, 68, who has played little active role in politics over the past 20 years, is stuck in the values of the past and will do little to advance their ideals of democracy and social freedom. However, after a meeting last night with the moderate Association of Combatant Clerics, which had also urged him to stay in the race, Khatami appealed to his supporters to back Mousavi. "Despite the differences in our opinions and actions, the important thing is that [Mousavi] … seriously defends and will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms [of people] and … the country's international reputation," Khatami's statement said. Before his announcing decision to become a candidate last month, Khatami had earlier said either he or Mousavi would stand for the reformists in June's elections. His withdrawal appears to have been based on a calculation that Mousavi would be less likely to antagonise leading conservatives in the Islamic regime and could also be capable of winning over fundamentalist voters. "The right wing doesn't want to see Khatami president of the country again," Saeed Leylaz, a Tehran-based analyst, said. ...more in The Guardian - El País - El Mundo - France 24 - The Times - The Independent - MSNBC - ABC News - Al Jazeera - And visit the web of The International Institute for Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations - Official website of (in Persian)


Miedo en el campus iraní. La represión contra los estudiantes alienta la protesta en las universidades: Dos noches antes la policía ha detenido a Ali Nikunesbati, uno de los líderes de las recientes protestas estudiantiles en Irán. Así que dos de los tres universitarios convocados por EL PAÍS para que expliquen sus quejas, excusan su asistencia. Tienen miedo. Sólo Bahareh Hedayat se presenta a la cita. "Ha pasado el tiempo de la apatía. Protestamos porque el Gobierno está restringiendo nuestra libertad", dice. Según sus datos, al menos 60 estudiantes han sido detenidos desde el inicio del año iraní (el 21 de marzo). Hedayat ha sido una de esos detenidos. En verano pasó 30 días aislada en una celda de Evin por conmemorar las protestas del 9 de julio de 1999, cuya represión dejó un estudiante muerto. Sus padres tuvieron que pagar una fianza de 500 millones de riales (unos 38.500 euros, lo que supone hipotecar la casa familiar). Ahora está pendiente de juicio. Pero esta recién licenciada en Administración de Empresas que, como la mayoría de los activistas estudiantiles, es miembro del Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, la Oficina para la Consolidación de la Unidad (de signo reformista), se niega a capitular. "Las últimas manifestaciones eran por las condenas a tres estudiantes de la Politécnica y la expulsión de la universidad de varios más, pero el origen de nuestro descontento es el mismo que el de la sociedad", declara Hedayat. Admite que tras la desilusión con el reformista Mohamed Jatamí hubo un momento de apatía. "Sin embargo, ahora la sociedad está reaccionando a las malas políticas del Gobierno de [Mahmud] Ahmadineyad", añade antes de resumir éstas en "unas relaciones internacionales que no favorecen nuestros intereses y el aumento de la pobreza a pesar de los ingresos del petróleo". ...más en El País

El mundo mira a Teherán otra vez: Teherán se convirtió en un hito de la historia moderna hace 64 años, en plena II Guerra Mundial, cuando se reunieron allí los jefes aliados. El soviético Josef Stalin, el estadounidense Franklin D. Roosevelt, y el británico Winston Churchill -en la foto, de izquierda a derecha- decidieron en la capital iraní el reparto de Alemania, pusieron a Polonia en el mapa y sentaron las bases de la ONU. La reunión de los presidentes Vladímir Putin y Mahmud Ahmadineyad vuelve a situar a Teherán en el epicentro de la política. Han echado un pulso a Occidente: el iraní poniendo en marcha un programa nuclear; y el ruso apoyándolo. ...Putin advierte en Teherán contra una acción militar de EE UU en la región. El presidente ruso asegura que el programa nuclear iraní tiene objetivos pacíficos. ...El presidente ruso, Vladímir Putin, advirtió ayer a EE UU contra la utilización del territorio de las ex repúblicas soviéticas para atacar a Irán. Con ese respaldo, el presidente iraní, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, logró que el compromiso se estampara en la declaración final de la cumbre de países ribereños del mar Caspio celebrada en Teherán. Los cinco participantes, que además de Irán y Rusia incluían Azerbaiyán, Kazajistán y Turkmenistán, respaldaron también el programa nuclear iraní. Putin aseguró que dicho programa tiene "objetivos pacíficos" y que, por tanto, esas actividades deben ser respetadas. ...más en diarios El País - El Mundo

Ex mandos militares de EEUU piden a Blair que evite un ataque de Bush Jr. a Irán:Tres destacados ex militares estadounidenses han pedido al primer ministro británico, Tony Blair, que utilice su influencia sobre el presidente de EEUU, George W. Bush, para evitar una acción militar contra Irán. En una carta enviada y publicada en el dominical 'The Sunday Times', los militares afirman que una guerra contra Irán por sus ambiciones nucleares sería "desastrosa". La misiva está firmada por el teniente general Robert Gard, ex asistente militar del Departamento de Defensa de EEUU; el general Joseph Hoar, ex comandante en jefe, y el vicealmirante Jack Shanahan, ex director del Centro para la Información de Defensa. En la carta, Gard, Hoar y Shanahan piden al Reino Unido que busque la vía diplomática para resolver las tensiones con Teherán. "Un ataque contra Irán tendría consecuencias desastrosas para la seguridad de la región, las fuerzas de coalición en Irak y empeorará las tensiones regionales y globales", indican. ...más en diario El Mundo - información sobre la película en la web

SAVE Mrs. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtinania
and all those senteced to death

Sign the petition:

To the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Those citizens of the world who, as I do, admire Iran and the Persian culture as a peak of civilization to the benefice of the whole mankind; those of us who respect the Koran as a Holy book where Allah shows how much He cares for each human being and teach us by His compassion and mercy with our shortcomings, it is utterly appalling that a great county as Iran lead by religious leaders who should give a living example of the mentioned attributes of Allah himself, as any good Father should do with his children, make the horrible mistake of putting to death a fellow human being, despite any failures in which a particular person might had fallen.
Therefore I beg of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran to show mercy, honouring thus Allah, respecting every human life as His creature, and giving example by your kind leadership of the best traditions of such a great and ancient country.
Thanks for your consideration and for a kind response.
Dr. M A Meizoso
[Write your name instead and your own petition if you wish]

Petition on the following websites:

and in The International Campaign to abolish death penalty

Para informaciones sobre los conflictos mundiales en Oriente (Israel, Palestina, Iraq, Afganistán, Siria, etc.) recomendamos (en inglés) la columna del galardonado periodista Robert FISK en el diario The Independent y las entrevistas en Democracy Now (con resúmenes en español). También la web dedicada al periodista - Y por supuesto en Haaretz y en Al Jazeera

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