Friday, December 27, 2002

CNN: Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said on his return from Tehran on Friday: "Iran is using nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes.
"There are no programmes to create nuclear weapons or develop sensitive nuclear technologies."
Rumyantsev signed the deal with the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, on Wednesday, setting out the plan to build the plant.
Agreements on the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia and the possibility of another plant being constructed have yet to be reached, The Associated Press reported.
Bearing in mind Iran’s investments in offensive and defensive projects, it’s extremely hard to believe that Mullahs are not looking for nuclear arms. Nearly half of Iran’s budget has been spending to develop weapons and army facilities for several years. Iran is one of the rich countries in oil and natural gas resources and making a gas power plan is much more economic and safer than nuclear one.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

ABC Newsonline: Iran has abolished stoning as a form of capital punishment, an Iranian newspaper reported today, in an apparent bid to ease European Union human rights concerns ahead of a possible breakthrough trade agreement.
The daily newspaper Bahar quoted Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, the former intelligence minister who heads the Supreme Administrative Court as saying, "The practice has been stopped for a while".
The newspaper also cited a reformist parliamentarian as saying the head of judiciary had sent a directive to judges instructing them to stop issuing death verdicts by stoning.
"To the best of my knowledge, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi has ordered that execution by stoning should be stopped," said Jamileh Kadivar.
It seams that European Union members were only worried about stoning and Iran’s rulers had to solve the problem unwillingly. Now there are no other concerns and they can improve their relationship with mullahs. They are not much concern about innocent dissidents being kept in jails under terrible circumstances or banded newspapers or the obvious poverty, which causes crime and prostitution. They are just looking for their benefit and some issues like human rights is used as an efficient weapon to get more advantage of their contracts with Iran.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Reuters: "Students have staged almost daily gatherings demanding the release of political dissidents as well as major political reforms in a country where President Mohammad Khatami's efforts to improve democracy and social freedoms have been blocked by powerful conservatives at the heart of the state.
An opinion poll by the Iran Student Polling Centre published in the Etemad newspaper on Monday found that 78 percent of Tehran citizens thought Khatami should take a tougher line with his political adversaries.
The poll also found that 47.5 percent thought Khatami's reform programme would fail."

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Newsweek: Though Khatami has addressed students every year on Student Day since his election in 1997, he did not attend Saturday’s student rally at Tehran University, nor did he offer a reason. The only official statement addressing his absence came from Mohammed Ali Abtahi, vice president of cultural affairs, who said: “The president did not come in order to show his support for the student protests and his opposition to the current situation.”
The students, many of whom are frustrated with the slow pace of reform, weren’t buying it. Hundreds of students spilled out of the rally chanting “Khatami resign” as they marched toward the university’s main entrance. “The student movement evaluates Khatami’s presidency in terms of what he has accomplished- 80 reformist newspapers were closed, many intellectuals were imprisoned and people are more hopeless than ever. That’s why the students are asking for his resignation,” says Mohammed Safiri, 42, executive editor of the reformist Hambastegi newspaper. “The current situation is beyond frustration. We’re sitting on a time bomb.”
Khatami is much more concern about Palestine than Iran. Last week he attended in a stupid rally in Tehran, called Ghods (Jerusalem) day’s rally and chanted death to America and Israel in the company of conservative groups but he refused to involve himself in student day’s rally. The funny thing is that he has claimed that his absence in rally was kind of support for the student protest and his opposition to the current situation.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Iran's Islamic republic "has reached a dead end," the son of the late shah said Tuesday, and the country should not be put on hold while the world deals with the crisis in Iraq.
Reza Pahlavi encouraged western nations to provide moral support to Iranians seeking change.
"Many ranking elements who are supposedly on the regime's payroll are losing their faith and their belief in the system," he told a gathering of reporters in the French capital.
Pahlavi, 42, has been pressing a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience in Iran from his base near Washington D.C. He backs a secular democracy for his homeland and proposes an eventual referendum so Iranians can choose a system of governance.
Pahlavi conceded that it is difficult for the world to gauge the underground protest movements. But he said that increasing shows of defiance and his own contacts inside Iran make clear there is a "visible trend" building against Iran's rulers.
"What we are seeing is the tip of an iceberg," he said. "Today, I feel we are approaching the end." FULL STORY...