Posts tagged iran
Posts tagged iran
Standing up against cruelty and injustice till death, and making the whole world join in her battle against the injustice that was done to her loving daughter [Mehraveh] by the regime, our dear Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike now that legal restrictions against Mehraveh have been lifted. She taught the suffering Iranian people a lesson of hope and resistance. Nasrin Sotoudeh, the lioness of Iran, the pride of every single liberal Iranian. Happy Victory!
The Iranian blogosphere is filled with joy as lawyer and prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh hasreportedly ended her hunger strike after 49 days.
The Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war what they mean for the conflict in Gaza
A lot has happened since the 2008/09 Gaza conflict. While the rebellion in Syria means the Jewish state can expect little substantial interference from one of its long-time adversaries, the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 means Israel can also expect little public support from Turkey. Here’s a look at the geopolitical situation in the region today.
Iranian human rights activist, lawyer and Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on hunger strike for more than four weeks in reaction to the restrictions imposed on her family and the mistreatment of political prisoners by Iranian authorities.
Several demonstrations have been held outside Iran to protest (like this one in Norway) against Stoudeh’s detention.
Tension remains high in Iran after riots break out following currency collapse
Shops in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar stayed shut and police patrolled the area on Thursday as authorities struggled to restore normalcy a day after security forces clashed with anti-government protesters angered by the collapse of the currency.
Traders from the bazaar, whose merchants supported Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, told Reuters by telephone that most stores were closed because their owners had stayed away for safety reasons.
On Wednesday, riot police scuffled with demonstrators and arrested money changers in the area during protests triggered by the plunge of the Iranian rial, which has lost about a third of its value against the dollar over the past 10 days. (Illustration by Gary Clement)
Iran raises toll from Saturday’s earthquakes to 306 dead, over 3,000 injured
Iran raised the death toll from Saturday’s twin earthquakes to 306, a day after rescuers called off the search for survivors, state media reported.
Heath Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi told a session of parliament Monday that the number jumped by about 50 after victims expired in the hospital. More than 3,000 people were injured in the earthquakes, she added in comments broadcast on state radio.
The death toll included some 219 women and children, Dastjerdi said, adding that around 2,000 injured people had been released from hospitals soon after the quake since they had only minor injuries. (Photos: AFP/Getty Images; Reuters; AP Photo)
Footage from Iranian state television shows a successful medium-range missile test. Tehran test-fired an array of missiles, including the short-range Shahab 1 and Shahab 2 and medium-range Shahab 3, which the state news agency Irna pointed out were also capable of striking US ships in the Gulf.
Middle Eastern states were targeted and Iran ordered an emergency review of official computer installations after the discovery of a new virus, known as Flame.
Experts said the massive malicious software was 20 times more powerful than other known cyber warfare programmes including the Stuxnet virus and could only have been created by a state.
It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years.
Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using yber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear programme.
Stuxnet attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.
Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on computer microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and copy instant messaging chats.
The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm that specialises in targeting malicious computer code.
It made the 20 gigabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.
Kaspersky Labs said the programme appeared to have been released five years ago and had infected machines in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
“If Flame went on undiscovered for five years, the only logical conclusion is that there are other operations ongoing that we don’t know about,” Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky security senior researcher, said.
Professor Alan Woodward from the department of computing at the University of Surrey said the virus was extremely invasive. It could “vacuum up” information by copying keyboard strokes and the voices of people nearby.
“This wasn’t written by some spotty teenager in his/her bedroom. It is large, complicated and dedicated to stealing data whilst remaining hidden for a long time,” he said.
World powers including US and China present package to Iran and call for halt to uranium production at underground site
World powers presented Iran with a package of proposals at talks in Baghdad on Wednesday, aimed at defusing tensions over its nuclear programme and fending off the threat of a new Middle East war.
The package was presented by a six-nation group of negotiators, from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, and called on Iran to stop the production of 20%-enriched uranium and halt enrichment at an underground site at Fordow. In return, Iran would receive reactor fuel for making medical isotopes at a research reactor in Tehran, safety guidance and equipment for the Tehran reactor and a nuclear power station at Bushehr, and access to spare parts for its civil airliners, the safety of which has been put in jeopardy as a result of sanctions.
Iranian media reported that the chief Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had put forward a counter-proposal but gave no details. Sources at the talks said that Jalili had talked generally about Iran’s rights and responsibilities under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but did not go into specifics in an initial three-hour session of talks before a late lunch break. The discussions resumed on Wednesday evening, and Iranian media were predicting they would continue on Thursday, although there was no confirmation of that from western diplomats in Baghdad.
A western diplomat said: “We had a detailed exchange this morning. The E3+3 [a collective name used by the six-nation negotiating group] presented our package. The atmosphere was businesslike and meetings will continue this afternoon.”
The talks are taking place at Iraqi government offices in the highly fortified “green zone” in Baghdad, amid high security across the city. The aim of the six-nation group, chaired by the EU high representative for foreign policy, Catherine Ashton, is to begin detailed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme that will yield sufficient results to dissuade Israel from launching military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.
Pictured: Representatives of the five permanent members of the security council (US, Russia, China, Britain, and France) plus Germany were in Baghdad seeking concessions from Iran over its disputed nuclear enrichment activities. Photograph: Iraqi government/handout/EPA
Sanctions have succeeded in bringing Tehran back to the negotiating table, but they are a tactic, not a strategy. Any long-term policy has to aim for a democratic Iran.
TEHRAN — As hundreds of thousands of bookworms converge on this capital, Iranian writers are pleading with the government to loosen its grip and allow a banned publisher into the Tehran International Book Fair.
The 10-day book fair, which kicks off Tuesday at the Grand Mosque Mosalla, bills itself as “the most important publishing event in Asia and the Middle East,” drawing an average of 550,000 visitors a day. Though most publishers come from the Islamic world, the festival also welcomes Western companies hawking scientific or technical titles such as “Bioeconomics of Fisheries Management” and “Succeeding with Technology” — and any other books that abide by “Islamic values.”
That may have tripped up a disputed Iranian company, Cheshmeh, which had its license suspended late last year, halting the presses that printed Western philosophy, Iranian short stories, history books from Cambridge and the Orhan Pamuk novel “My Name Is Red,” among other titles.
Iranian officials haven’t explained why the company was shut down, despite the outcry from writers and publishers. It had been one of several publishers accused of promoting a Western lifestyle.
An online petition that includes writers and translators expressed concern about Cheshmeh’s suspension and absence from the book fair, saying it made the selection of books available in Iran “thinner and weaker.”
The Tehran book fair has clamped down on publishers before: Two years ago the government refused to allow any books into the fair that had been approved for publication before 2005, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president. Iranian officials have confiscated books and shut down stalls in the past.
But even if Cheshmeh and other publishing houses are ultimately shut out of the annual festival, their books won’t necessarily be shut out of Iran. Despite the firm dictates of religious and cultural ministers, a vibrant underground market for banned books and movies exists in Tehran.
Officials: US could agree to limited Iranian uranium enrichment
WASHINGTON – In a major concession, Obama administration officials say they could support allowing Iran to continue a crucial element of its disputed nuclear program if the government in Tehran took other major steps to curb its ability to develop a nuclear bomb.
The officials told the Los Angeles Times they might agree to let Tehran continue enriching uranium up to concentrations of 5% if the Iranian government agreed to unrestricted inspections, and strict oversight and safeguards that the United Nations long has demanded.
Iran has begun enriching small amounts of uranium to 20% purity in February 2010 for what it contends are peaceful purposes, although most of its stockpile is purified at lower levels. Uranium can be used as bomb fuel at about 90% enrichment.
The question of whether to approve even low-level enrichment is highly controversial within the U.S. government and among its allies because of the risk that Iranian scientists still might be able to gain the knowledge and experience to someday build a bomb.
But a consensus has gradually emerged among U.S. and foreign officials that the Iranians are unlikely to accede to a complete halt to enrichment, and that pushing this demand could make it impossible to reach a negotiated deal to stop Iran’s program short of a military attack.
The United States and five other world powers began talks with Iran on April 14 in Istanbul to try to finally broker a deal, amid threats from Israel that it will bomb Iranian nuclear installations if the program isn’t dismantled soon. The talks are scheduled to resume in Baghdad on May 23.
Pictured: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listens to a technician during his visit of the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility some 200 miles south of Tehran on April 8, 2008. Credit: Iranian’s President’s Office / Associated Press
Iran nuclear talks set to begin in Istanbul
Six world powers are to begin talks with Iran aimed at ending the deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Officials from the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany hope the talks, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, halt rising tensions in the region.
Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, but critics suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
Israel has hinted in recent months that it could carry out a pre-emptive strike on Iran to prevent that happening.
On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country was “standing firm on its fundamental rights and under the harshest pressure will not retreat an iota from its undeniable right”.
Pictured: Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu welcomed Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalil, on Friday
It’s the Iranian news year, Nowruz, the ancient Zoroastrian festival marking the spring equinox. Carpets are washed, furniture wiped down, tables set with goldfish on bowls and painted eggs and children are bought new clothes. Family come to visit: there are many faces you get the chance to see only once a year.