جمعه ۲۴ آذر ۱۳۹۶ ایران ۰۴:۳۴
Persian TV Weekly Highlights 9/30
Reaching Millions of Television Viewers in Iran Each Week
Washington, DC - September 28, 2008, Live reports from the United Nations General Assembly; President Bush’s speech to the U.N.; analysis of Russia’s cancellation of the next P5+1 meeting, live coverage of the first 2008 U.S. presidential debate and in-depth coverage of the ongoing U.S. financial crisis and it’s effects in the U.S. and overseas, topped PNN coverage this week.
COVERAGE OF U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
News and Views September 23 - PNN reported live from New York on President Bush’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly. The speech was the President’s last before the world body. It was wide ranging and touched on the continuing threat of “violent extremists” around the world. He accused Iran and Syria of continuing to support terrorism. He also urged the United Nations to continue to work to halt nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran. PNN also reported on Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s speech and his meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
News and Views September 24 -PNN reported on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly. Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. of a continued colonial presence in Iraq, and said Israel was occupying Palestinian land. Ahmadinejad insisted that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful, and accused the U.S. of hypocrisy in regards to its own possession of nuclear weapons. PNN also reported on French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s refusal to meet with Ahmadinejad because of his provocative comments regarding Israel. PNN Also covered a Jewish American protest against Ahmadinejad in New York.
News and Views September 24 - PNN reviewed the widespread criticism to Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech at the U.N. on Tuesday. PNN interviewed Hassan Daee, a prominent Iranian analyst, about the agenda of the president. Daee said, "He is trying to win the minds of the public in the USA, bearing this fact in mind that he knows most Americans oppose war, he wants to throw the ball into the Bush administration field by saying that Iran is logical and is against war. And by blaming Israel he wants to derail the attention from Iran's nuclear issue.” He went on to suggest Ahmadinejad wants U.S. citizens to think the U.S. government is not protecting U.S. interests in the region.
PROTESTERS RALLY AT THE U.N.
Today’s Woman September 23 - included a phone interview with political activist Ahmad Batebi live from the United Nation’s headquarters in New York where an anti-Iran protest was being organized. Mr. Batebi said the protests were meant to point out the differences between President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric and the reality of life inside Iran. PNN also interviewed Ms. Rana Karimzadeh, an Iranian woman seeking political asylum in Sweden.
News and Views September 25 - PNN discussed President Ahmadinejad’s Iftar dinner with various religious leaders at the Hyatt Hotel following his speech. The event was sponsored by a coalition of pacifist religious groups as an interfaith dialogue. PNN interviewed political analyst Hassan Daee who said, "The Islamic Republic is trying to use these people as a means of showing off that Iran is searching for peace in America." Mr. Daee also said that President Ahmadinejad’s policies inside Iran have “had detrimental effects on Iran's economy.” Furthermore, he said that the European Union is united against Iran's nuclear ambitions and that U.S. pressures on Iran will intensify after the elections.
IRAN DISCUSSED AT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
News and Views September 26 - Iran was a topic of the first U.S. presidential debate between candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. The senators discussed the current financial crisis and then moved on to international issues. On the topic of holding talks with President Ahmadinejad, debate centered on the meaning of the term “meet without preconditions” something Senator Obama has said he would consider when holding talks with international leaders. Senator Obama said, “I reserve the right, as president of the United States to meet with anybody at a time and place of my choosing if I think it's going to keep America safe.” Mr. McCain responded by saying, “What Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand is that if without preconditions you sit down across the table from someone who has called Israel a ‘stinking corpse,’ and wants to destroy that country and wipe it off the map, you legitimize those comments. This is dangerous. It isn't just naive; it's dangerous. And so we just have a fundamental difference of opinion."
FIRE AT IRANIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON
News and View September 23 - PNN reported on a firebomb attack on the Iranian embassy in London on the evening of the 22nd. PNN reported burning paper contained in a plastic sack caused the small fire. An Iranian embassy official quoted PNN saying, “They have blown it all out of proportion.”
INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS INTENSIFYING
News and Views September 26 - PNN interviewed George Mason University Professor of Government and Politics Mark Katz to determine the relationship between Russia, Georgia and Iran’s nuclear program. Professor Katz said, “Moscow is clearly trying to get American and European acquiescence for the gains it has made in Georgia by threatening to increase Russian cooperation with Iran if this is not forthcoming.” In answer to the question as to why Russia made an about-face decision to join the P5+1 meeting after it was canceled on September 25, Mr. Katz remarked that Moscow wanted to show its willingness to make a concession and to not be an impediment in showing a united front to Iran. He added that Iranian media commentary since the outbreak of the Georgian-Russian conflict indicates that Tehran is uneasy about the conflict's implications for Iran. Further he said, “To the extent that Russian actions in Georgia serve to reinforce Iran's cautious approach toward Russia, it provides an incentive for Washington and Tehran to work together against what is emerging as a common threat to both.” Professor Katz concluded by saying, "Of particular concern to officials in Tehran, Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetian secession from Georgia could stoke separatist sentiment inside Iran, especially among the large Azar minority."
News and Views September 27 - PNN interviewed political analyst Dr, Aghayee Diba about Russia's message to the Iranian government that it should disclose its atomic activities. According to Mr. Diba, “Russia's message to the Iranian government would be that despite the conflict between that country and the U.S. over Georgia, Russia is still concerned with Iran's atomic activity.”
RUSSIA CANCELS P5+1 MEETING
News and Views September 24 - PNN spoke with analyst Dr. Abbas Milani about the long-term impact of the economic and diplomatic crises of the Ahmadinejad presidency. Dr. Milani is the Director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. Of note was the cancellation by Russia of the next P5+1 meeting. “In my opinion,” he said “the Russian action was a tactical one, to express its displeasure with United States action in Georgia.” In the political realm, Dr. Milani believes that whoever is elected as the next American President is unlikely to back down on pressuring Iran; however the extent of dialogue with Iran may be affected.
Roundtable September 22 - PNN analyzed Iran's Reaction to the P5+1 Meeting and IAEA Report in its discussion with analyst Dr. Bahman Aghaii Diba. He said that the P5+1 has been meeting on Iran, yet the problem is that the sanctions need to be tough in order to be effective. In response to the speech by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, where the president said Iran is going to "break the hands of those who want to attack Iran," Dr. Diba noted that those are words that have a specific internal meaning in the Persian language. However, when the world community interprets the words it is interpreted as an attempt by Iran to be provocative.
News and Views September 23 - PNN spoke with Ann Somerset, the spokesperson for the State Department's Near East Division regarding Ahmadinejad's comments that the majority of the world supports their nuclear program, including the Non-Aligned Movement, and that the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) support Iran's position. Ms. Somerset countered this by saying, "The U.N. Security Council, the IAEA, the 5+1 are among those who are concerned about Iran's nuclear programs. Just this week, the IAEA is reviewing the latest development on Iran.” She also said “Iran is acting as an impediment to the Middle East peace process. The Non-Aligned are supporting a peaceful nuclear program by Iranians. It is the government of Iran that is continuing to isolate its people."
LIVE FROM IRAQ
News and Views September 22 - PNN’s stringer in Iraq confirmed Kurdish Peshmerga forces are still in Khanaqin as tension between the autonomous Kurdish Government in Iraq and Baghdad continues to grow. According to sources, the Islamic Republic of Iran sent 110 trained Al Qaeda members back to Iraq to fight with U.S. forces. According to reports, there are hundreds of motorcycle bombs in Iraq, a trend increasingly seen in other countries.
News and Views September 25 - Reporting live from Iraq, Dubai police say the Islamic Republic of Iran has formed terrorist cells to cause unrest in the Middle East. In other news, Iraq’s Parliament has approved legislation to allow provincial elections in most of the country, to be held in January. U.S. President George Bush and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon praised the move, saying it will contribute to Iraq’s reconciliation.
News and Views September 28 - A live report from Iraq confirmed that a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol, killing one soldier. More bomb attacks in Iraq’s Daiyala province killed 3 civilians, and wounded three soldiers. In foreign policy news, Iraq and some regional leaders say the Islamic Republic of Iran is cooperating closely with Al-Qaeda. Coalition forces led by the U.S. say they have arrested 12 militants linked with Iran’s Ghods Forces. Security analyst Shahoo Farazmand says Iran and Al-Qaeda have long relations with each other going back to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
IRAN SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS
News and Views September 22 - In its continuing coverage of education in Iran, PNN reported that schools have reopened after the summer break. Alireza Hashemi, superintendent of the Iranian Teachers Association (Sazemane Moallemane Iran), spoke with PNN about how the educational system is fairing in the current administration. As 14.4 million students and nearly 1 million teachers begin the new educational fiscal year, the minister of education announced that it is facing a budget deficit of 6.6 billion dollars. The superintendent told PNN that the "unscientific" and "ideological" trend of Ahmadinejad's administration has caused problems for the Iranian educational system. Mr. Hashemi said, "The most important issue is that the trend toward education in this ministry was more scientific during the previous administration. Student's Parliament was established and the teachers got the right to elect the deans. But all these rights were taken back during the past three years." Hashemi said further, "Unfortunately the financial situation for teachers is very tough and most of them have two or three jobs at the same time. We have pursued these matters with the authorities, but it seems that they are completely reluctant to help us."
WALL STREET FINANCIAL CRISIS
News and Views September 22 - PNN spoke with Shahriar Shahida, a financial analyst about the current crisis on Wall Street. Ms. Shaida said, “Over-lending through leading investors is a major factor in this crisis. The current proposed plan might help in the short run, but it will take a long time for a full economic recovery.”
News and Views September 25 - PNN spoke with Behzad Tohidi, an official with the U.S. Treasury Department. Mr. Tohidi said, “I am here representing myself and my views should not reflect that of the U.S. Treasury.” Mr. Tohidi went on to explain to viewers how Wall Street underwrote trillions of dollars in loans to homebuyers with bad credit and undocumented incomes from 2002 to 2007. "Investment banks packaged much of that debt into investment pools. Flawed grades on securities that later turned to junk now lie at the root of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
News and Views September 23 - Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director General, called on Iran to cooperate more with the agency’s inspectors and to provide extensive information about its nuclear sites saying, “There are substantial questions about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program which still remain unanswered.” Dr. Elbaradei also said that North Korea has asked the IAEA to stop inspections of its Yongbyon nuclear complex. State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said that President Bush has met with his Chinese counterpart and both leaders emphasized Pyongyoung’s nuclear disarmament.
News and Views September 24 - Foreign ministers of the P5+1 will not meet in New York. Sean McCormick, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, told reporters that the foreign ministers of the P5+1, who were previously scheduled to meet in New York on the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly, have changed direction. Mr. McCormick said the U.S. Secretary of State does not believe the timing is conducive for a meeting with Russians at the ministerial level in the context of P5+1 talks. However, Ms. Rice will meet with her Russian counterpart this afternoon.
News and Views September 25 - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Ms. Rice once again said Russian incursion in Georgia was a mistake, which led to further isolation of Moscow. While the U.S. Secretary of State is in New York, Sean McCormack, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said Ms. Rice might come back to Washington to participate in a meeting in the White House with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sing. Mr. McCormack said that Condoleezza Rice has been in contact with the White House regarding the nuclear agreement between Washington and Delhi.
News and Views September 26 - President Bush met yesterday with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sing. The two leaders discussed the nuclear agreement between the two countries. Both hope the agreement meets full support of both the U.S. Senate and the House. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is still in New York. Ms. Rice said she has met with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (CGC) on the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly. Ms. Rice said that the U.S. has a broad security network in the Persian Gulf and surrounding region, emphasizing that the U.S. will defend its own interests as well as that of its friends and allies in the region.
FOREIGN POLICY AND ELECTION OUTCOME
Late Edition September 26 - Barack Obama and John McCain, in their first U.S. presidential debate, clashed over who could best lead the United States out of its financial crisis, rebuild the troubled U.S. economy and protect Americans from international threats. Meanwhile, on Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2008.
Roundtable September 24 - Analyst Dr. Mehrdad Khonsari said U.S. foreign policy will not be severely impacted by the election of either Senator Obama or Senator McCain as the next U.S. President. Rather he said the most important aspect is that either candidate will implement what is in the best interests of the United States. In this sense he believes that Iranian politicians should understand that American election rhetoric is much different than actual White House politics.
News and Views September 25 - PNN took a closer look at Russia’s cooperation with the new IAEA resolution by interviewing international analyst Dr. Bahman Aghaii Diba on the topic. PNN asked Dr. Diba by phone the meaning behind its message to the Iranian leaders. Dr. Diba said “the speed of resolution shows the international community’s concern of Iran’s nuclear program, despite the differences between the U.S. and Russia. It also shows that Iran has not cooperated with IAEA.”
HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES
Today’s Woman September 22 - In our commitment to women’s rights, PNN’s show included a discussion on a recent report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women entitled, “Progress of the World’s Women 2008: Who Answers to Women?” The report says not enough is being done to advance the status of women. United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon stated, “It is unspeakable that one woman dies each and every minute from pregnancy complications or childbirth.” The next segment included a phone interview with student activist Mahdieh Golru from inside Iran. In recognition of the new school year, Ms. Golru highlighted student activities from the past year contending that university officials are directly working with government police in order to suppress student demands. In looking to the future, Golru stated that student activists want university officials to be accountable for their actions. The last segment discussed the health safety of plastic products for children.
ANTI-BAHA’I PETITION IN IRAN
Today's Woman September 26 - Continuing coverage of minority rights, PNN conducted a phone interview with Mr. Farhad Sabetan, spokesperson of the Baha’i International Community, on the recent anti-Baha’i petition in Iran. A petition was circulated at Friday prayers in Tehran calling for the dissolution of the Bahá’í administration. Mr. Sabetan contended that the Baha’i reject this type of discriminatory measure that would further oppress members of the Bahai faith.
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL EMPLOYMENT TRENDS
Roundtable September 26 - PNN spoke with Dr. Roksana Bahramitash about a study which underscored the lack of attention to the civic, economic, and social rights of women in Iran. Dr. Bahramitash is the Director of Research for the Chair of Islam, Pluralism, and Globalization at the University of Montreal. Dr. Bahramitash noted that being a woman is an obstacle in Iranian society and becomes a barrier to success. Of further note is the disagreement as to what constitutes “employment.” The Iranian government considers housewives as belonging to the employment sector, even if they do not earn a living in the public sector. Dr. Bahramitash believes that "if in Iran, the rights of women equal with their male counterparts is respected, then women could potentially represent 70% of the viable workforce."
LITERARTURE AND SOCIETY
Late Edition September 27 - In PNN’s dedication to showcasing emerging talent, Late Edition introduced a book written by an Iranian-American author, Dalia Sofer.
Ms. Sofer’s “Septembers of Shiraz” is a critically acclaimed novel and the winner of the 2007 Whiting Writers’ Award, which is presented to emerging writers of exceptional talent and promise who deliver a message of peace through their writing. "Septembers of Shiraz" is the story of how a wealthy Jewish family in Tehran deals with the disappearance of a family member.”
ALSO ON PNN…
Today's Woman September 27 - PNN celebrated the one-year anniversary of Today’s Woman. The show highlighted past guests and topics with an emphasis on voices from Iran. The program included comments from our viewers via blogs, phone calls, and e-mails, as well as congratulatory messages from women rights activists Ms. Mehrangiz Kar and Ms. Simin Behbahabi.
On the Record September 26 - PNN’s Kambiz Mahmoudi responded to the question “What is the significance of this year’s American election?” He said, “It is true that we have had before a female candidate for vice president but this time it seems to me that the race and the sex of candidates are not an issue. American democracy has come a long way since its inception to this point.” Mr. Mahmoudi also said, “Societies ruled by dictatorial or ideological regimes are not able to reach such a level.”
48 Hours September 28 - An Iranian scientist recognized by President Bush for a scientific breakthrough was featured on 48 Hours for his outstanding achievement in improving the lives of the physically disabled. Maysam Ghovanloo, an engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed what he calls the Tongue Drive to enable severely disabled and paralyzed patients the ability to control aspects of their own environment with their tongue. The Tongue Drive is essentially a collection of magnets, sensors and wireless electronic equipment that allow a disabled user to make his wishes known to an electric wheelchair or a computer by moving his tongue. Dr. Ghovanloo chose the tongue as his joystick because it is agile, slow to fatigue and rarely affected by spinal cord injury or neuromuscular disease. The tongue is attached to the brain by the hypoglossal cranial nerve rather than via the spinal cord. Dr. Ghovanloo said that such “assistive” technologies are proliferating as researchers realize that extending the abilities of individuals suffering from spinal cord injury by small increments is easier than finding a miracle cure. Dr. Ghovanloo’s ingenious invention, celebrated by patients as one of the first real improvements to mobility and self-control, is a huge step forward for science and medical related technology.
This week on the History Channel - Sometimes the ordinary outweighs the myth. This week’s feature tells the simple story of a simple girl who simply fell in love...with the wrong guy. The myths and speculation surrounding Eva Braun have persisted for decades. Her life, told through uncommonly candid home movie footage; Eva's childhood; teenage years; and love affair with Adolf Hitler are told for what it was: the story of a woman obsessed with a man who promised her the world, but instead took everything in the world from her, including ultimately her life. Continuing WWII coverage, the History Channel also examined the incredibly similar psychological backgrounds of Hitler and Stalin, who some historians cite as the most murderous dictators in the 20th century. This segment focused on the similarities in cruelty, sadism, paranoia, and megalomania of the two dictators, while presenting how both suffered painful childhoods, came from the lower classes, had abusive, alcoholic fathers who beat them regularly. This is the first documentary comparing their lives and drawing a compelling psychological portrait of the two men. As a follow up to last week’s Hollywood biography, exclusive interviews with Hollywood's A-List actors and other figures, including President Bill Clinton, Elton John, Bruce Willis, Dolly Parton, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, Sharon Stone, James Caan, Julianne Moore, Melanie Griffith and more, paint a unique portrait of the Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone. Finally, a look at country music icon Merle Haggard, the “poet of the common man.” This country singer/songwriter and his humble beginnings growing up in a boxcar in Bakersfield, CA, to his election to the Country Music Hall of Fame, is the entertainment feature of the week. Haggard, the composer of such country classics as "Okie From Muskogee," "Mama Tried," and "Branded Man," recalls with rare candor the ups and downs of a life that often sounds like a country song itself. Haggard talks openly about his criminal record, failed marriages, and bankruptcy as well as the joys of success and the new found personal happiness he shares with his fifth wife and their two children.
PNN’s question of the week was “Has Ahmadinejad’s policy of injecting cash into the Iranian economy been able to curb the huge budget deficit, improve the stagnant growth rate, stop the increasing unemployment, and control the soaring inflation?” Out of 6,733 respondents, 8% (537) said yes, 90% (6,042) said no, and 2% (154) did not have an opinion.
The Persian News Network’s television programming complements its radio broadcasts. VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four Iranian households tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. Programs also are streamed on www.voapnn.com.
PNN’s 7-hour program block opens with Today in Washington, a brief look at the latest news developments in Washington, as well as the content of PNN’s upcoming programs. Then we present cultural programming translated into Farsi from A&E Television Network’s The History Channel. We intersperse 30-minutes of news breaks throughout our original programming, which includes the following shows: Today’s Woman, PNN’s newest program, had its debut September 27, 2007. The one-hour program features influential women from around the world discussing a full spectrum of topics, including social, medical, human rights, legal, sports and business. News and Views, PNN’s existing flagship, is now 2 hours in length, and features live news coverage of the latest headlines from Washington, Iran and across the globe. Roundtable with You is a talk show with expert guests, featuring discussion of current events, politics, popular culture and global health. Viewers and listeners from Iran and around the world participate in the show via phone calls and e-mails.
Late Edition begins with a wrap up of the day’s news and a close look at the day’s top story. Targeted to a younger demographic, the show also features segments on health, technology, sports, entertainment and culture. NewsTalk is a new journalists’ roundtable discussion program that features a news update followed by an examination of the day’s top stories and an in-depth look at issues relating to Iran.
PNN INSIDER - VIEWER PERSPECTIVES
Navid from North Iran writes: “I congratulate the anniversary of Today’s Woman program to all of you. I would bravely say that I have watched almost 90 present of your shows and I have enjoyed them. The format of the show and the diversity of the anchors are the key in making an enjoyable show. I wish the best for Today’s Women for the years to come.
Ehsan from Tabriz: “I, as a young Moslem freedom-fighter, would like to say that no foreign country can overthrow this despotic government and the criminal clergy. Let us face it. This government cannot be changed by your campaign, but will be strengthened. I suggest another alternative: We must enlighten the Iranian people and wake them up, so that the people rise against these fundamentalists.”
A Former Employee of the Islamic Republic of Iran writes: “Today’s Woman is one of my favorite programs. Thank you for producing such a good program. I want to let you know that I worked for the Islamic Government and now I am retired. I encourage my daughter to watch Today’s Woman program. I wish you all good luck.”
Melina from Tehran: “I am a woman. My most important right is the right of having social life, to express my views and to write freely. But they broke my pen, and closed the publications; and, instead, they permitted polygamy.”
Mehrgan writes: “Ahmadinejad is a pack of lie. I listened to his speech in the United Nations. While he called the world to morality, and talked about freedom, his interpreter did not dare to translate the questions of the reporters. Is this freedom of speech?”
Fariborz from Karaj: “I think that the United Nations should have not allowed Ahmadinejad to make a speech.”
Arash from Tehran suggests: “It is now a while that the Iranian regime has made hard the telephone communications. First, they threaten the people, and then they arrest and charge them with connection with the foreign media. So the only way to contact VOA is e-mail. Another way is that the viewers leave their phone numbers with their comments and if VOA likes their comments, it may contact them. This is done by BBC with much success.”
Ramin from Tehran: “Yesterday it was the Qods Day in Iran. Only in Iran they celebrated this day, and all Arab media did not make any mention about this day. Why should we be more Catholic than Pope? Why should we pay more attention to Israel-Palestinian dispute than the Arab people?”
Dariush from Gorgan writes: “Dear Ahmadinejad, I want to know how come when our children must get help from others just to provide the school supplies, you spend a lot of money to celebrate Qods rally? Which one is more essential: Taking care of our children or Qods day?”
Babak from Iran (three full pages, abridged): “The report by United Nations has ranked Iran on 144th country, out of 177, in terms of having literacy rate. The Head of Literacy Campaign has attributed this backwardness to the lack of law; but this is not true. Eradication of illiteracy has been expressly provided in the Iranian Constitution. The real causes for this problem are: poverty, class discrimination, social injustice, and oppression.”
A Today’s Woman viewer writes: “Happy anniversary for Today’s Woman program. Thanks to each one of you for the great efforts you have made during the past year. I hope one day we can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Today’s Woman program. I wish the Islamic Republic produced educational programs like yours instead of ridiculous series without content that they produce.”