Hard-line Iranian weekly suspended

An Iranian hard-line weekly that has been one of the most vocal critics of the new administration has been suspended.

The weekly 9 Dey, whose editor is hard-line member of parliament Hamid Rasaei, has received a total of six warnings from the Press Supervisory Board in the last year for violating a number of media laws. The board operates under President Hassan Rouhani’s Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, which is currently headed by Ali Jannati.

Rasaei has responded to the suspension with a series of attacks against the Rouhani administration. On his personal website he published a letter from the secretary of the Press Supervisory Board to the prosecutor in which the stated reasons for the suspension is claims by 9 Dey that Iran’s nuclear scientists have been fired since the Geneva nuclear deal in November 2013. Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, has adamantly denied that any scientists have been fired. Continue reading

Iran rejects latest human rights report by the UN

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.41.09 AM

In a 2-hour press conference, Head of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani rejected the March 17 Iran report by the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, saying that it was biased and filled with inaccurate reports and double standards.

Larijani said that once Shaheed stepped into his position “he was turned into a media actor for propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” and added that Iran “is not against reporting [on human rights] and that we even welcome it [but] we want a reporter without prejudice.” Continue reading

Russian ambassador says Iran will not replace Russia as gas supplier

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.25.41 AM

The Russian ambassador to Iran dismissed analysis that Iran would replace Russia as a gas supplier to Europe, as a result of the crisis between Russia and the West over Crimea.

In an interview with the Iranian Students’ News Agency, Levan Jagarian, who is fluent in Persian, said, “Some Iranian analysts are happy about the existence of challenge between Russia and the West.” But he stressed that  the idea Iran would be able to exploit the current conflict between Russia and the West or that Russia would reduce its export to Europe leaving room open for Iran to replace Russia “was not serious.” Continue reading

Khamenei defends controversial tours to Iran-Iraq war frontlines

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.45.18 AM

Despite high profile fatal car accidents, Iran’s supreme leader has defended tours to the sites of frontlines from the Iran-Iraq war as being necessary for remembering the sacrifices and importance of the war.

Raahian Nour (Path of Light) tours are government sponsored trips to different battle grounds from the Iran-Iraq war near the Iran-Iraq border. The former battle grounds have been turned into educational tourist destinations that are frequented by curious visitors, people who have lost family members during the war and students on school field trips. Continue reading

Iran paper defends choice to doctor photo of Ashton with activists

BidHvwjCIAE-RnM

A hard-line Iranian newspaper has claimed that the erasing of a woman from a photograph of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meeting with women activists in Iran was done to avoid accusations of labeling her a “seditionist.” The woman, Gohar Esghi, is the mother of blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died in police custody. Continue reading