News/Events Update: 8/1/11

IRANIAN WOMAN STOPS ‘EYE FOR AN EYE’ PUNISHMENT, AT THE LAST MINUTE

Tehran, Iran (CNN) — (See Full Article)

Ameneh Bahrami - before/after

A woman blinded in an acid attack seven years ago said Sunday she stopped the “eye for an eye” punishment for her attacker because “such revenge is not worth it.”

A physician was to drop acid — under legal supervision — into the eyes of Majid Movahedi on Sunday, according to Fars News Agency, to punish him for throwing acid in Bahrami’s face. The act disfigured her face and blinded her.

“I never intended to allow Majid to be blinded,” Ameneh Bahrami told CNN. “… Each of us, individually, must try and treat others with respect and kindness in order to have a better society.”

Bahrami stopped the punishment minutes before it was carried out, she said, adding that Movahedi already had been given anesthetic.

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ABC News:  Verdict for American Hikers in Iran Will Be Issued Within One Week, Judge Announces

By OLIVIA KATRANDJIAN
July 31, 2011

3 US hikers accused of espionage by Iran

Iran’s Revolutionary Court announced today that a verdict will be issued within one week regarding the arrest of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, Americans who were captured hiking near the Iran-Iraq border with their friend Sarah Shourd two years ago.

Today marks the second anniversary of their arrest.

The Muslim tradition of pardoning prisoners for the holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week, is thought by some to be a good omen for their release.

“…We have very high hopes. This gives us hope that the trial will be the end of this nightmare,” said Shourd to ABC News “This Week.”

But when no outside cameras were allowed in the courtroom this morning, that was thought to be a bad sign.

“We have heard from Shane and Josh’s lawyer, Mr. Masoud Shafii, that the judge announced in court that he will issue his verdict within one week. Mr. Shafii said Shane and Josh both appeared to be well and in good spirits. They again testified to their innocence, both verbally and in writing, and their lawyer had the opportunity to present their defense. The hearing lasted for about four hours,” said Fattal and Bauer’s families in a statement.

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Washington Post: U.S. accuses Iran of aiding al-Qaeda

See Full Article Here

By Joby Warrick, Published: July 28

The Obama administration said Thursday that Iran is helping al-Qaeda funnel cash and recruits into Pakistan for its international operations, the most serious U.S. allegation to date of Iranian aid to the terrorist group.

Documents filed by the Treasury Department accuse Iran of facilitating an al-Qaeda-run support network that transfers large amounts of cash from Middle East donors to al-Qaeda’s top leadership in Pakistan’s tribal region.

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WSJ:

Iran Redistributes Wealth in Bid to Fight Sanctions

See Full Article Here

By Wall Street Journal Columnists:
JAY SOLOMON AND FARNAZ FASSIHI

TEHRAN—Iran’s Islamist government may be public enemy No. 1 at the White House. But in the halls of the International Monetary Fund a few blocks away, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being hailed as an economic reformer.

In the face of mounting international sanctions, his government has embraced over the past seven months what the IMF calls one of the boldest economic makeovers ever attempted in the oil-rich Middle East.

Tehran has cut price subsidies on most energy and food products since December in a bid to shave about $60 billion or more off the government’s expenses annually.

See also: Iran’s Pick for Oil Post Signals Power Shift

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Asia Times:
IRAN EXPLORES RUSSIA’S PLAN TO END THE IRAN NUCLEAR STANDOFF WITH THE WEST.

See Full Article Here
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

After some hesitation, Iran has decided to adopt a positive attitude toward Russia’s new “step-by-step” proposal to end the Iran nuclear standoff. The so-called “Lavrov plan”, named after Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s resourceful and pragmatic foreign minister, was submitted to Tehran on Monday by a special envoy and welcomed at the Iranian foreign ministry.

According to reports from Iran, the Lavrov plan calls on Iran to expand its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), envisaging a scenario whereby for every proactive Iranian step to resolve an outstanding issue with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, a reciprocal action would follow to lighten the sanctions and other punitive impositions that have been placed on Iran. Iran has been accused of developing a nuclear weapon, a charge it denies, saying its nuclear program is for civilian use only.

In other words, the plan calls for the international community to grant Iran limited concessions, such as freezing some sanctions, for each step it takes toward meeting the demands to clarify its nuclear intentions.

The US has been cool toward the Russian initiative so far, a reflection of a widening gap between Moscow and Washington at odds with each other over human rights in Russia, events in Libya and a number of other regional and international issues.

Moscow has been critical of the recent spate of unilateral Western sanctions on Iran, and in contrast to the US’s coercive approach is considerably more interested in exploring avenues to restart the dormant Iran multilateral talks with the “Iran Six” nations (ie, the UN Security Council’s Permanent Five – the US, France, China, Russia and the United Kingdom – plus Germany).

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NPR: Killing Focuses Attention On Iran’s Nuclear Program

By: Peter Kenyon

July 26, 2011

Iran says a scientist killed in Tehran over the weekend was not connected with the country’s nuclear program, but the daylight killing and recent announcements by Tehran of nuclear advances have renewed scrutiny of the country’s nuclear effort.

Iranian media said 35-year-old Darioush Rezai-Nejad was a promising graduate student. Officials speculated that his assailants — gunmen on motorbikes — may have confused him with a nuclear scientist with a similar name.

Relatives and friends mourn over the coffin of Darioush Rezai-Nejad in Tehran, Iran. Rezai-Nejad was killed in a deadly shooting on Saturday. Iran said he was a university student — not a nuclear physicist.

Photo from APRelatives and friends mourn over the coffin of Darioush Rezai-Nejad in Tehran, Iran. Rezai-Nejad was killed in a deadly shooting on Saturday. Iran said he was a university student — not a nuclear physicist.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned the killing as a “U.S.-Zionist terrorist act.” Similar condemnations followed attacks on a number of Iranian scientists in recent years.

Attention On Nuclear Program

The latest killing follows Tehran’s announcement that it is installing a new generation of centrifuges to enhance its uranium enrichment program.

Mark Fitzpatrick, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, says that if Iran’s claim is true, the number of more efficient, second-generation centrifuges may have increased from 20 to 164.

Fitzpatrick says that while that’s a cause for concern, it’s also a sign of how hard it is for Iran to replace thousands of older centrifuges.

“They have limitations on the amount of carbon fiber that they can import or produce, and there may be limitations in other components that restrict their capability to have many more than 164 [centrifuges],” he says.

Iran’s insistence that its program is entirely peaceful is widely doubted, Fitzpatrick says. But this year, Arab uprisings and international economic crises have dominated world leaders’ attention. That has left sanctions as the primary tool for dealing with Iran, Fitzpatrick says, though additional U.N. sanctions are unlikely in the near term.

 

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About rahavardenglish

Rahavard Journal of Persian Studies is a prominent print publication, circulated by subscription, to influential Iranians and those interested in Iran-related issues around the globe. It was first published in 1982, and has since been one of the Iranian diaspora's most reputable publications. Editor in Chief: Sholeh Shams-Shahbaz Contact us at english@rahavard.com
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