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May 2011

Ahmadinejad resists judiciary increase in blood money

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told his Minister of Justice not to implement the 100-percent increase in the price of blood money requested by the judiciary.

ILNA reports that the judiciary had set June 6 as the date for implementing the increase in blood money. “Diyeh” or blood money is part of the Islamic Penal code and refers to the compensation assessed against an assailant when he kills or maims a victim. » read more

Longtime Iranian politician Sahabi dies at 81

Ezzatollah Sahabi, the head of Iran’s Nationalist-Religious Coalition, died this morning at the age of 81 in Moddares hospital in Tehran. » read more

Iran keeps Merkel waiting in midair for two hours

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to India was delayed when the Islamic Republic refused to let her plane enter Iranian airspace. » read more

Debate surrounding Iran's first blinding-by-acid sentence

In the past month, the Iranian media has been awash with news of the first blinding-by-acid sentence issued by the Iranian judiciary. Majid Movahedi, an Iranian man, was convicted of throwing acid on the face of Amaneh Bahrami, an Iranian woman who rejected his marriage proposal. Bahrami was left blind in both eyes and severely disfigured by the attack and her assailant has been in prison for the past seven years. » read more

Iranian judiciary to revoke license of detained lawyer

Jailed Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been hauled before the disciplinary tribunal of Iran’s Bar Association, after the judiciary called for the cancellation of her lawyer’s permit. » read more

Iranian diplomat mistakenly arrested in Egypt: Iran

Iranian diplomat Ghassem Hosseini was released after a mistaken arrest by the Egyptian government, says Iran’s Intelligence Minister. » read more

Iranian Leader calls on officials to get along

Iran’s Supreme Leader is calling on government officials to put the good of the country ahead of their own differences. » read more

Iranian women political prisoners speak out against sexual threats

Female political prisoners in the quarantine section of Iran’s Evin Prison have issued a letter for Iranian Women’s Day, saying they have suffered repeated sexual threats by their interrogators. » read more

Iran hangs two rape convicts in public

Two men, convicted of rape, were publicly hanged this morning in the northwestern Iranian city of Kermanshah. » read more

Ahmadinejad loses ground with Revolutionary Guards

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came under more fire today from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Supreme Leader’s representative at the Corps. » read more

Ahmadinejad advisor denies allegations of financial fraud

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s executive deputy is denying allegations of financial wrongdoing. » read more

Iran intelligence minister insists bin Laden not killed by US forces

Iran’s Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi is once again contending that Osama bin Laden was not killed by U.S. forces but in fact had died from disease some time ago. » read more

Rafsanjani says false claims won’t regain people’s trust

Akabar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, says the establishment must make every effort to rebuild the people’s trust in elections. » read more

Detained Iranian reformist finally gets hospital check-up

Iranian political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh has finally been allowed to be taken to hospital after repeated demands by his family. » read more

Child Abuse

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant to start operation

The governor of Bushehr announced today that the Bushehr Nuclear Power Station will soon begin production, with an opening ceremony that will include Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, representing Russia, either Dimitri Medvedev or Vladimir Putin. » read more

No change in situation of opposition leader under house arrest

The son of Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi reports that his father has not been allowed to leave his home once during his 100-day house arrest. » read more

Iran prepared to continue talks with G5+1

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Iran is ready to continue negotiations with the G5+1 on the basis of “the third Geneva package and the Istanbul talks.” » read more

Ahmadinejad administration to be probed for suspect fund distribution

The Iranian parliament has approved a plan to investigate why the government distributed funds to people prior to the 2009 presidential election, under the pretext of paying interest on Edalat (fairness) shares. » read more

Iran: Detained spies have confessed

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi announced that the confessions given by recently detained “spies” will soon be broadcast by the ministry. » read more

Toys

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Rights group says secret hangings continue in Iranian prison

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says 70 people have been executed at Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad in the past two and half months. » read more

American Muslim figures urge Iran to release US detainees

A number of prominent Muslim figures in the U.S. have called on Iran’s Supreme Leader to release Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the two Americans detained in Iran since summer of 2009. » read more

Iranian MPs: Hasty opening caused explosion

Iranian MPs are blaming the government for today’s explosion at the Abadan oil refinery in southwestern Iran. » read more

Iran: EU sanctions diversion from internal problems

Iran says the recent EU sanctions against the country is part of a policy to divert attention from Europe's internal crises. » read more

Explosion at Iranian oil refinery as Ahmadinejad visits

Iran’s largest oil refinery, in Abadan, was rocked by an explosion just as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was visiting. » read more

Iranian media name five US blacklisted officials

Iran’s Mehr news agency has revealed the names of five of the 26 U.S. officials to be blacklisted by the Islamic Republic. » read more

Increased pressure on Iranian political prisoners

Twenty-six Iranian political prisoners are reportedly under pressure from the Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran Prosecutor’s office to withdraw an official complaint they have filed against their interrogators. » read more

Ahmadinejad will not attend OPEC meeting

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not attend the June OPEC meeting, despite naming himself the interim caretaker of Iran’s oil ministry, IRNA reported yesterday. » read more

Iranian opposition advisor recalled to prison

Ghorban Behzadiannejad, the chief aide to Iranian opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi, was recalled to Evin prison just one day after former president Mohammad Khatami urged the Islamic Republic establishment to move toward a national reconciliation by releasing all political prisoners. » read more

Iran to blacklist 26 US officials for rights violations

Iran is planning to impose sanctions against 26 US officials for “human rights violation”, an Iranian MP announced yesterday.

Kazem Jalali, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said yesterday: “Twenty-six US officials who have committed human rights violations across the world, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, and supported terrorism and engaged in drug smuggling, will be sanctioned by the Islamic Republic." » read more

Ahmadinejad still caretaker of oil ministry

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s legal deputy said Sunday that the president is still at the helm of the oil ministry. » read more

Former president says end political arrests and incarcerations

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami marked Iranian Women’s Day today by calling for the release of all political prisoners. » read more

Academic staff of Baha'i distant education university arrested in Iran

Iranian security forces have shut down a science and research centre operated by the Bahai’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) at Iran’s Open University and arrested a number of its staff and faculty members. » read more

Senior public servants amongst spying suspects: Fars

Several Iranian civil servants are among the recent detainees linked to a CIA spying network, Fars news agency reports. » read more

150 professors to be dismissed or forced into retirement

150 professors from the humanities departments of Iran’s Allameh Tabatabai University are to be fired or forced into early retirement. » read more

Constructive Criticism

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Iranian filmmaker wins Cannes directing prize

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof won the Cannes Film Festival prize for best director in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival for his film Be Omid-e Didar (Goodbye). » read more

Woman blinded by acid attack calls for delay in blinding sentence

Amaneh Bahrami, the Iranian woman who was blinded in an acid attack by a spurned suitor seven years ago, has requested a delay in the blinding sentence of her assailant, Majid Movahedi. » read more

Iran announces arrest of 30 individuals on spying charges

Iran arrests 30 individuals accused of being CIA agents and announces the “collapse of a spying network” in the country. » read more

Iranian hardliner rallies public to act as morality police

Iranian hardliner Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda has called on people to confront and stop violations of Islamic dress code in public. » read more

Iranian oppostion leader may be moved to different location

Iranian security forces have agreed to allow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi and his wife, who have been under house arrest since February, to move to another location, media sources close to the opposition leader report. » read more

Ahmadinejad vice-president banned from public service

Iranian executive vice-president Hamid Baghai has been suspended from public service for four years in yet another blow to embattled president Mahmoud Ahamdinejad. » read more

Guardian Council rules Ahmadinejad cannot head oil ministry

In another indication of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s shrinking support in the Islamic Republic establishment, Iran’s Guardian Council, which is charged with guarding the constitution, announced today that the president cannot act as caretaker of the oil ministry, Fars news agency reports. » read more

EU to expand sanctions against Iran

The European Union indicated yesterday that it will increase sanctions against Iran in response to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities. » read more

Rose for the Executioner

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Iran denies dealings with North Korea

Iran’s Defence Minister denies there has been any munitions trade between Iran and North Korea. » read more

Attacks against Ahmadinejad top aide intensify

Iranian hardliners have targeted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s closest aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, with fierce criticism as the struggle intensifies over who will shape the next government. » read more

Iranian universities to reduce intake in humanities programs

Iran will reduce the number of students enrolled in humanities programs at universities across the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology has announced. » read more

Iranian judiciary: Medical reasons delayed blinding sentence

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has announced that convicted assailant Majid Movahedi has not yet been blinded by acid only because certain “medical arrangements” must be made before the sentence is carried out. » read more

Al Jazeera reporter Homa Parvaz released

Al Jazeera reporter Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz was released today by Iranian authorities, following a three-week news blackout that left the outside world clueless about her situation. » read more

Travel ban on Iranian filmmaker lifted

Iran has lifted the travel ban that has kept filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof from visiting the Cannes Film Festival, where his “Be Omid-e Didar” (Goodbye) is being shown. » read more

UN special rapporteur can visit Iran: Larijani

The head of Iran’s Human Rights Council says Iran has no objection to the United Nation’s special rapporteur visiting Iran. » read more

Two brothers executed in Esfahan

Two Iranian brothers, Abdollah and Mohammad Fathi, were executed today in Esfahan, says the Campaign to End Capital Punishment in Iran, citing the father of the two young men. » read more

Iran says Al Jazeera reporter committed "violations"

The Iranian Foreign Ministry is accusing Al Jazeera journalist Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz of three visa violations. » read more

Iran Supreme Court approves death sentence for political prisoner

Iran’s Supreme Court has approved the execution sentence for political prisoner Habibollah Latifi, the Campaign to End Capital Punishment in Iran reports. » read more

Former Iranian president calls for national reconciliation

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is urging the Islamic Republic leadership and the people to forgive each other and reach out to each other for the sake of the country's future. » read more

Recently released prisoner's request from Iranian Leader

Mohammad Nourizad, the persecuted Iranian journalist and filmmaker who was recently released from prison, has called on Iran's Supreme Leader to rule that each day a prisoner spends in solitary confinement will shave 10 days from his or her sentence. » read more

Iranian Bahrain bound boats ordered back

Iranian “solidarity convoy” bound for Bahrain to deliver aid and moral support for government protesters was ordered back to Iran, according to Iran’s English news network, Press TV. » read more

Jailed student activist denied visitation rights

The mother of jailed Iranian student activist Ashkan Zahabian has expressed her concern for her son’s well-being after she was barred from visiting him in prison. » read more

Justice Seekers

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Ahmadinejad takes over oil ministry

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has temporarily assumed the role of oil minister after merging the ministries of oil and energy. » read more

Ahmadinejad appoints caretakers for two ministries

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed caretakers for the ministries of industry and social affairs in a move that has been interpreted as acquiescence to parliamentary demands. » read more

Ahmadinejad criticized by his chief supporter amongst clergy

Senior Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has publicly blasted the behaviour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling his actions unnatural. » read more

Concern over political prisoner on hunger strike

The families of a number of Iranian political prisoners have expressed grave concern over the well-being of Mehdi Mahmoudian, a jailed journalist who is on a dry hunger strike. » read more

Ahmadinejad terminates ministry positions without Parliament approval

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly dismissed three ministers without seeking the prior approval of Parliament, despite earlier reports in the Iranian media that Ahamdienjad had agreed to obey Parliament’s demands around ministry mergers. » read more

Another four prisoners executed in Iran for drug charges

Four people found guilty of drug offenses were hanged today in the Iranian province of Kerman, ISNA reports, after the judiciary refused to commute their sentences.

They were charged with possession of between four to eight kilos of heroin or crack.

This is Iran’s second round of drug-related executions this week. On Tuesday, eight people were hanged in Orumiyeh and Miandoab in northwestern Iran for drug-related offenses.

The number of executions in Iran has surged dramatically in the past year, following the controversial presidential elections of 2009. » read more

Ahmadinejad bows to Parliament's demands: Iranian MP

Iranian media report that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ended his dispute with Parliament and accepted its decision over the merging of ministries according to Ahamd Tavakoli. » read more

Path of Violence

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

2 million euros to stop blinding sentence by judiciary

Iranian daily Rouzegar reports that Amaneh Bahrami, a victim of acid throwing has said that for 2 million euros she will forego the sentence of “eyes for eyes” issued for her assailant. » read more

Ahmadinejad dealt more blows by Iranian clergy

Iranian hardliner Ayatollah Jannati used the tribune of Tehran Friday Mass Prayers to once more condemn the so-called “deviant current” around Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. » read more

Iran to initiate "Islamic Human Rights Charter"

Iran's human rights chief has announced plans for an "Islamic Charter of Human Rights" that will be prepared jointly among some Islamic countries. » read more

Rights group calls on Iran to release Al Jazeera reporter

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is calling for the immediate release of Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz, the Al Jazeera reporter who was deported to Iran by the Syrian government. » read more

Iranian authorities send prison whistleblower to solitary

Mehdi Mahmoudian, the Iranian political prisoner who had written a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader about the prevalence of sexual abuse in Rejai Shahr Prison has been reportedly transferred to solitary confinement. » read more

Ahmadinejad disputes with parliament deepen

The dispute between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian parliament deepened today as a senior member of the government announced that the Guardian Council ruling regarding the merging of ministries is not valid. » read more

G5+1 rejects resumption of nuclear talks

The G5+1 says a recent letter from Iran inviting the resumption of nuclear talks with the West is unconvincing and will not lead to a rapprochement. » read more

Women's rights activist arrested in Shiraz

Women’s rights activist Maryam Bahreman was arrested yesterday in Shiraz.

Kaleme website reports that Iranian security forces arrived with an arrest warrant at Bahreman’s home and spent three hours searching and confiscating books, documents and a computer before finally arresting her for “activities against national security.” » read more

Guardian Council backs parliament in dispute with Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad administration received another blow from the Guardian Council today when Ahmad Jannati announced that the merging of ministries cannot be carried out without approval of the parliament. » read more

Syria says Al Jazeera reporter extradited to Iran

Iranian-American journalist Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz has been handed over to Iranian authorities by Syrian security forces, Al Jazeera reports. » read more

Iran postpones trial of American detainees

Trial of the American detainees in Iran was once more postponed today after prison authorities failed to transfer Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal to court. » read more

Eight people executed on drug charges in Iran

Eight people convicted on drug charges were executed yesterday in the northwestern Iranian cities of Orumiyeh and Miandoab. » read more

Film by condemned Iranian filmmaker to screen at Cannes

A film made in semi-secrecy by persecuted Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is to be screened at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. » read more

Viva...!

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Iran says ready for nuclear talks based on "respect"

Iran says it is prepared to resume nuclear talks with Europe, so long as the renewed co-operation is based on “respect for the rights of all nations” and “avoids any pressures.” » read more

Jailed Iranian reformist moved to solitary

Iranian political prisoner Hamzeh Karami has been moved to solitary confinement in Evin Prison, the Kaleme website reports. » read more

Jailed Iranian blogger allowed temporary leave

Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who is sentenced to more than 19 years in prison, has been temporarily released. » read more

40 Tehran University attackers sentenced

Forty suspects in the attacks of Tehran University dormitories have been given judicial sentences, according to Iran’s Prosecutor General and spokesman for the judiciary. » read more

Opposition reports dreadful conditions in Iranian prisons

Iran’s dire prison conditions are being highlighted in the media due to recently released reports of sexual harassment and critically poor sanitation. » read more

Iranian "morality police" to work overtime this summer

Iranian authorities have announced that “morality police” will hit city streets in greater numbers this summer to confront violations of the Islamic dress code and other public transgressions. » read more

More pressure on jailed human rights lawyer

Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been cut off from her family for the past ten days, her husband reports. » read more

Jailed journalist released after weeks on hunger strike

Iranian filmmaker and journalist Mohammad Nourizad was released today after nearly two years in prison. » read more

Sentenced to Death

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Moslehi: Bin Laden had already died much earlier

Iran’s Minister of Intelligence has accused the U.S. of fabricating its account of Osama Bin Laden’s death, alleging that Bin Laden had died much earlier from health complications. » read more

Supervisory group established to oversee coming elections

The Principalists, the chief conservative faction of the Iranian establishment, have organized a group to prevent any possible “illegal” interference in next year’s parliamentary election by the government. » read more

Iranian activists condemn arrest of prominent journalist

More than 200 Iranian social and political activists have issued an announcement condemning the “illegal arrest” of Alireza Rejai, a senior member of Iran’s National Religious Council and the Iranian Journalists Association. » read more

Ahmadinejad government to establish sports ministry

A proposed Ministry of Youth and Sports, which has been a point of contention between the president and the Supreme Leader, will now be established, according to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s deputy for Development and Human Power. » read more

Iranian universities to implement new curricula aligned with "Islamic principles"

Iran's Ministry of Science says the course content of 36 university programs has been altered for the academic year that starts this fall. » read more

Al Jazeera reporter of Iranian descent in Syrian custody

Homa Parvaz, an Al Jazeera correspondent of Iranian descent, has been in the custody of Syrian security forces since April 29. Aftab news agency reports that Parvaz left Qatar for Syria on April 29 to cover the recent unrest. She was detained at the Damascus international airport upon arrival. » read more

Jailed labour activist taken to hospital

Jailed Iranian labour activist, Mansour Osanlou has been moved to hospital following a critical decline in his health in prison. » read more

Hardliner attacks Ahmadinejad chief of staff

Hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami dealt Mahmoud Ahmadinejad some harsh criticism for his failure to heed the decisions of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. » read more

Islamic Republic authorities raid home of jailed reformist

After senior reformist figure Behzad Nabavi was returned to prison following medical treatment, Islamic Republic security forces raided his home and confiscated a series of documents, writings and his computer. » read more

Iran announces support for Syrian reform plans

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has expressed its support for the “reform programs of the Syrian leadership” and that country’s response to recent uprisings. » read more

Iranian lawyer hopeful for verdict in US detainees case

A lawyer for three Americans who were detained in Iran in summer of 2009 for illegal entry says he is “hopeful” the court will finally issue a verdict next week, despite reports that Sarah Shourd, the one defendent which was released on bail and returned to the US, will not attend the trial set for May 11.

Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were detained in the border regions of Iran and Iraq in the summer of 2009 for illegally entering Iranian territory. » read more

Ahmadinejad appeals to leader in dispute with parliament

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dispute with parliament has intensified with the possibility that the Supreme Leader may once again intervene in one of the president’s decisions. » read more

Iranian activist released on bail after 14 months

Ali Malihi, a senior member of the student organization Danesh Amoukhtegan (Tahkim-e Vahdat Alumni) , has been released on bail after a 14-month wait in jail. » read more

Islamic Republic tightens grip on political prisoners

Another year has been added to the 11-year prison term handed to Iranian journalist and human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini. » read more

Tehran Prosecutor challenges health minister

Ten detained hospital workers say they were just following orders from their superiors when they abandoned three patients in a remote area for failing to pay for medical services, according to Tehran’s prosecutor. » read more

Zeidabadi awarded UNESCO press award in absentia

Jailed Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi was awarded UNESCO’s Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in absentia on Tuesday in Washington. » read more

Iran continues clamp down on student activists

Iranian authorities are continuing to clamp down on student activists by restricting their activities and throwing more activists in jail. » read more

Health minister says needy patients not denied medical services

Iran’s minister of health has denied recent reports that medical services are being withheld from patients who can’t pay for them. » read more

More! More!

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

Iran accuses foreign conspiracy for unrest in Syria

Iran has announced its support for Syrian government reforms and once more cited foreign interference as the cause of unrest in that country. » read more

Iran responds to news of bin Laden's death

Iran welcomes the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, saying foreign powers will no longer have an excuse for their military presence in the region. » read more

Ahmadinejad supporter arrested by Iranian authorities

A close associate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and of his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai has been arrested by Iranian authorities. » read more

Rights group wants execution of Iranian political prisoner halted

Human Rights Watch wants the Iranian judiciary to commute the death sentence of Shirkooh Moarefi and call off his execution. » read more

Possibility of delays in trial of American detainees in Iran

The trials of the three Americans charged with espionage and illegal entry into Iran may be delayed once more due to the absence of one of the accused, a defence lawyer reports. » read more

Call for release of Iranian opposition leaders from European socialist parties

The European socialist parties have called for the release of Iranian opposition leaders MirHosien Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and all Iranian political prisoners. » read more

Ahmadinejad ends "boycott" of official duties

In an apparent show of capitulation to the desicions of the Supreme Leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finally attended a cabinet meeting today after over a week of absence from official duties.

Earlier Iranian media reported that the president will chair a cabinet meeting today after a nine-day boycott of all official activities. IRNA cited a knowledgeable source to report the afternoon cabinet session will be convened and chaired by Ahmadinejad. » read more

Redemption- For Siamak Pourzand

caricaturist: 
Mana Neyestani

19-year-old Iranian suspected of terrorist activities in Germany

German Police have arrested a 19-year-old German-Iranian man and two Moroccans suspected of planning a terrorist operation in German territory. » read more

Detained Iranian activist denied hospital visit with father

Tehran’s prosecutor has refused to allow detained Iranian activist Haleh Sahabi to visit her father in hospital. » read more