لینکهای قابل دسترسی

یکشنبه ۲۶ فروردین ۱۴۰۳ ایران ۰۱:۴۶

Persian tv weekly highlights 12/29

Reaching Millions of Television Viewers in Iran Each Week

Washington, D.C. December 28 – A surprise attack on Gaza by Israeli forces leads PNN’s coverage of the week. Other top stories include growing expectations in the international community about the Obama administration; emerging details on federal investigations into Iran-affiliated businesses in the U.S.; and more results from a Zogby poll reveal a disparity in American viewpoints on Iran.


News and Views December 27 – After a surprise Israeli air strike in Gaza, PNN spoke with analyst Dr. Bahman Aghaii Diba about the international community’s reaction to the attack. Dr. Diba called the air strikes “a tragedy.” He criticized Hamas for taking the citizens of Gaza hostage through its policy of violence. Switching topics, he brushed aside the idea that talks between the U.S. and Iran would benefit President Ahmadinejad’s government. Speaking about Israel’s request that the U.S. not speak to Iran prior to Iran’s presidential elections, he stated, “Political authorities believe the new U.S. administration’s talks with Iran would benefit Ahmadinejad’s government. This is not true. Mr. Ahmadinejad might get elected anyhow. And the real decision maker is the spiritual leader of that country.” He also said that the West is not the only region concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. Arab concern he said “…shows that Iran’s claim that the West is the only opposing party to their nuclear program is not true.”


48 Hours December 28 – PNN’s weekly review of top stories related to Iran and the Middle East centered on the flare-up of conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. According to analyst Alireza Nourizadeh from London, Hamas’ decision to begin rocket attacks on Israel was motivated by their loss of support in upcoming elections. "Therefore, they instigated this conflict in order to invite Israeli retribution and present themselves as victims in this war…They thought that this would brighten their prospects in the election.” Mr. Nourizadeh also was critical of Israel's overreaction in Gaza and said that "Israel is making the same kind of miscalculation they did in their war with Hezbollah two years ago. They are garnering sympathy for Hamas by causing a lot of collateral damage to the innocent people of Gaza," He also said that Iranian leaders have become more pro-Palestinian than some Palestinians themselves. On the topic of terrorism, Mr. Nourizadeh said that Iran was working closely with Syria to carry out acts of terrorism such as kidnapping in Lebanon. Mr. Nourizadeh also claimed that Iran was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in Iraq every month trying to influence events in its neighboring country. He added that the next president of Iran will inherit many economic problems with the price of oil plummeting below $30 a barrel.


News and Views December 23 – Vice president-elect Joseph Biden said in an interview he is worried about soaring international expectations for the Obama presidency. Biden told CNN's Larry King “I have been contacted by so many world leaders. Their expectation for Barack’s presidency is overwhelming. They are so hungry to have an American leader who they think has a policy that reflects our stated values as well as one they can talk to.” He also said the U.S. expects to remove combat troops from Iraq within two years.

News and Views December 23 – A PNN report on the possible warming of relations between President-elect Barack Obama and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reported that Obama has yet to respond to a letter from the Iranian president and that the President-elect will most likely not correspond with another head of state on an official matter until after the inauguration on January 20. Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) responded to a VOA PNN question on Iran/U.S. relations by saying, “I have talked with Obama and Rahm Emanuel; they clearly want to reach-out... but Obama's selection of his national security team has shown reality pushes away campaign rhetoric... I think the American public will be very, very skeptical of the any threat of the use of military force as an option against Iran... I think you got to start with some very, very small steps start moving forward and I hope that those things continue and will evolve in to more formal meeting."


News and Views December 22 – In PNN’s continued coverage on sanctions, PNN reported that eight American lawmakers have demanded that the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. immediately suspend all financial assistance to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) until it agrees to stop selling gasoline to Iran. The Export Import Bank, or Ex-Im as it is popularly known, has provided two separate loan guarantees worth $900 million, including a $400-million loan by JP Morgan in August 2008. The loan will fund RIL's expansion programs. In a letter written to Ex-Im president James Lambright, the eight Congressmen - Republican and Democratic - allege that RIL’s business dealings with Iran are detrimental to national security interests of the U.S. They also allege that the loan is in direct opposition to U.S. foreign policy on Iran. "Given the apparent lack of consideration of the relationship between Iran and RIL during the approval of the two loan guarantees packages for RIL, we further urge that you take whatever action necessary to secure an understanding with Reliance that before any undisturbed guarantees are released, Reliance will commit to ceasing its gasoline shipments to Iran," the lawmakers said. The four-page letter was signed by Congressmen Brad Sherman, Mark Steven Kirk, Howard L Berman, Edward R Royce, Steve Israel, Steven R. Rothman, Ron Klein and Gary Ackerman.


News and Views December 22 – While in Israel last week, Howard Berman (D-CA), the Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, told Haaretz that the Obama administration should devote no more than about three months to dialogue with Iran. Berman says President-elect Barack Obama's policy of dialogue with Iran should be conducted quickly to prevent the Islamic Republic from attaining a nuclear capability. "If the goal is to keep them from being a nuclear-weapons-capable state you cannot let dialogue become a trap that goes on and on and allows them to enrich and expand their centrifuges and who knows what they are doing with weaponization that is easier to conceal," Berman said. "You cannot talk about a longer dialogue than 8 - 12 weeks." Berman says that if negotiations fail, the United States will have to "buy in for a crippling level of sanctions." Berman said "pulling together key parties" to support sanctions involving bilateral trade and refined oil products would work on Tehran because "it is sensitive to public opinion." He added "It is a lot different than what we are doing now in that certain people can't fly, and minor sanctions on certain kinds of nuclear-related technologies."


48 Hours December 27 –Today’s show examined school textbooks used in schools in Iran followed by an analysis of the publishing industry with respect to censorship. Guests Dr. Houshang Nahvandi and Sadeq Samii joined PNN. Dr. Nahavandi is the former chancellor of Tehran University. Mr. Samii is a publisher based in Iran. The analysis of school textbooks was undertaken by Dr. Nahvandi before the interview. According to Dr. Nahvandi, Iranian history has been grossly distorted by Iranian educational officials in order to dilute Iran's pre-Islamic history. "For instance, Cyrus's liberation of the captive Jews in Babylonia was not mentioned in any book or for that matter the invasion of Iran by Arabs and the forced conversion of the Iranian people to Islam," he said. Mr. Samii said that if Iranian history textbooks are distorted then it is the Ministry of Education that is responsible for the change in content. The discussion then turned to the publishing industry. Mr. Samii said that most memoirs by pre-revolution officials written in exile are totally fabricated. "What they do in Iran as far as distorting history and fabricating personal accounts has never been done in the history of totalitarian regimes including Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia or Pol Pot's Cambodia.” Dr. Nahavandi claimed, “Iran's quest for oil nationalization and other important historical events have also been twisted in order to fit the Islamic ideology.” In closing, Dr. Nahavandi urged young people to seek other avenues to access the truth about Iran's recent history because the version presented by the regime is not to be trusted. He said, “In this day and age with the advent of mass communication and the Internet it is hard to conceal the truth from those who are seeking it.”


News and Views December 20 – In a PNN exclusive, viewers learned of the detention of Farshid Jahendi, who serves as the president of the Alavi Foundation in New York. Mr. Jahendi was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying documents. The documents were required under a grand jury subpoena concerning the Alavi Foundation's relationship with Bank Melli Iran and the ownership of a Manhattan office building. It is alleged that Bank Melli disguised its relationship with the Alavi Foundation by using an offshore entity called the Assa Corporation. Analyst Dr. Bahman Aghaii Diba told viewers, “The Alavi Foundation is supposed to be a cultural and charitable entity. In reality, it is very close to the government of Iran…for example [it] pays for the members of the regime to travel to U.S. The foundation also provides information on Iranians who live in U.S. to the government of Iran.” Dr. Diba explained that the assets of the Assa Corporation have been frozen because U.S. laws, specifically the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, prohibit the exporting of goods and capital to Iran.


News and Views December 25 – In PNN’s continued coverage of U.S.-Russian relations, Russian president Dimitri Medvedev said he is hopeful that Moscow would have a more constructive and stable relationship with the United States under the Obama administration. During a phone conversation he had with President-elect Obama, Medvedev said the two leaders agreed that Russia would be a priority in U.S. foreign policy. The Russian President touched on how Moscow and Washington have tried to improve ties before, although relations have recently soured amid disputes over U.S. missile defense plans and Russia's war in Georgia.

News and Views December 26 – PNN reported that U.S. and Georgian officials are conducting strategic negotiations with the Bush Administration. Georgian officials say they will travel to Washington to sign the treaty during the first week of January. U.S. officials have only confirmed that Washington and Tbilisi are negotiating. Georgian officials called the treaty historic and expressed optimism that the strategic accord will pave the way for Georgia’s integration into NATO in the future.


News and Views December 23 – On January 20th, President-elect Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible President Lincoln used at his first inauguration. The Bible is currently part of the collections of the Library of Congress. Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. President-elect Obama will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.

News and Views December 25 – In a year end wrap of the news, the latest CNN poll reflects that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is shaping up to be the biggest political troublemaker of 2008. In other news, many Democrats believe that Caroline Kennedy would not make a suitable Senator for New York. Although New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of Ms. Kennedy’s greatest supporters, her critics believe that she lacks political experience. Today, President-elect Obama gave a Christmas speech saying, “Our countrymen should rededicate themselves to the notion that they share a common destiny."

News and Views December 26 – President-Elect Barack Obama paid an informal visit to a military base in Hawaii Christmas day. He did not answer reporters' questions, stressing his wish to keep a low profile during the holiday season. His Hawaii vacation with his family and close friends is scheduled to last thirteen days. Meanwhile Tourky Al-Faisal, the head of Saudi Arabia's Intelligence Service for 24 years and a former Saudi ambassador to the United States, wrote an article that appeared in today's Washington Post. In the article, Mr. Al-Faisal outlined the ways the Obama administration should take advantage of the opportunities they have to stabilize the Middle East.


News and Views December 23 –PNN reported that a Zogby International poll released December 22 shows a significant disparity in how the American public perceives the Iranian government and the Iranian people. While 68% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the Iranian government, 51% hold a favorable view of the Iranian people. According to the Zogby data, while 50% of Americans surveyed view Iran as a threat to America, more than 60% oppose military action in dealing with that threat. Moreover, despite the negative attitude toward the Iranian government, 56% of Americans believe Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear technology and a significant majority (64%) believes diplomacy can dissuade Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. Zogby International was commissioned by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) to conduct this telephone survey of U.S. adults. The sample is comprised of 1,003 interviews, in which respondents answered 59 questions.


Roundtable December 25 – An Iranian news agency, Mehr News, reported that parts of the historical tomb of Cyrus the Great were destroyed during reconstruction. The news agency claimed the destruction was a result of using improper tools. The report claimed that a lack of expertise on the project contributed to the destruction. PNN spoke with the project manager of the reconstruction effort, Hassan Rahsaz, who rejected the allegation by Mehr News. Mr. Rahsaz will rejoin Roundtable next Tuesday to discuss the reconstruction efforts.


NewsTalk December 23 – NewsTalk covered the latest news from Iran. The show began with a discussion on how Tehran’s residents are handling the growing pollution problem in the city. Naser Mohamadi joined PNN from London and offered his insight on the situation. He believes the pollution problem could be contained if there was an official program sanctioned by the government. He pointed out that during the past 30 years, few parks and green areas have been incorporated into the city. Heshmatolah Tabarzadi phoned in from Iran to offer his views on the pollution problem. Mr. Tabarzadi serves as Chairman of the Iran Democratic Front. He cited the large urban migration of villagers who settle in Tehran with the hopes of finding a job as a significant factor in the pollution problem. This leads to overcrowding and poverty, which in his opinion adds to the pollution problems. Mr. Tabarzadi also offered his insights on the role of structural power in the United States and Iran.


News and Views December 22 – PNN examined a recent Meet the Press interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. According to excerpts from the interview, Secretary Rice said no one in the Bush administration initially believed Iran wanted to seek nuclear weapons. She highlighted the efforts of international coalitions aimed at deterring Iran’s nuclear activities and pointed out that some nations stopped investing in Iran due to sanctions. At the Council on Foreign Relations on Sunday, Secretary Rice expressed hope that international sanctions and financial pressure compel Iran to change its course. She acknowledged her hopes that upcoming elections might result in more reasonable leadership in Iran. She also said Secretary Rice said President Bush had in principle agreed to the opening of a U.S. interest section in Tehran for the sake of the Iranian people. She also said she confident that promoting democracy through the medium of foreign broadcasting, such as Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, will give people access to information they wouldn't otherwise have.


Roundtable December 24 – PNN took a look at rebuilding efforts in the historic city of Bam, which is still being rebuilt five years after the devastating December 26, 2003 earthquake. More than 26,000 people died as a result of the earthquake. Viewers offered their views on reconstruction efforts. And while some praised the reconstruction efforts of the Iranian government and the international community, others said that only those who had ties to the government received proper help. PNN showed viewers excerpts from a documentary on Bam produced by Till Mayer, who has worked as a journalist and photographer with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement.


Today's Woman December 26 – During Today's Woman, hosts discussed the controversial new book Passionate Uprising: Iran's Sexual Revolution. Viewers were treated to excerpts from the book, written by Iranian-American anthropologist Pardis Mahdavi. According to Ms. Mahdavi’s research, Iran is undergoing a radical change in the sexual behavior of its youth. The hosts discussed the merits of Ms. Mahdavi’s thesis and encouraged young viewers to email or telephone the program with their comments.


News and Views December 20 – The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution expressing concerns about “serious human rights violations in Iran”. The resolution was sponsored by Canada and co-sponsored by forty countries including the United States. The U.S. welcomed the resolution, calling on Iran to respect its human rights obligations and to abolish torture, arbitrary imprisonment and juvenile and public executions. PNN spoke with Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Mrs. Barks-Ruggles said, “This is the seventh year that the resolution is passed on Iran’s continued and deteriorating human rights record.” She pointed out that the resolution was passed with a wider margin of support than in previous years. The resolution “calls upon the government of Iran to improve its record and calls for the secretary general to issue another report next year.”

News and Views December 24 – The U.S. Department of State condemned the closing of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights in Tehran. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Sean McCormack, condemned the closing of the center and expressed concern over the continued detention of Iranian HIV/AIDS physicians. Iranian authorities closed down the civil society organization of Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and briefly detained her on December 21.


News and Views December 20 – PNN shined a light on the importance of winter solstice in Persian culture. In Iran, the winter solstice has been celebrated for centuries. The longest night of the year, which generally occurs on December 21st or 22nd, is called Shab-e-yalda in Iran. Shab-e yalda refers to the birthday or the rebirth of the sun and ceremonies can be traced to the primal concept of Light and Good against Darkness and Evil in the ancient Persian religion. Pouran Farrokhzad, a contemporary Iranian poet and author, took the time to speak to PNN about the importance of this day. He explained that near the winter solstice, the length of the day changes very slowly. For example in London this year, the winter solstice brought only seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight. According to Mr. Farrokhzad, Yalda came to be celebrated on the night before up through the first day of the tenth month, which is named Dey. Subject to seasonal drift, this day may sometimes fall a day before or a day after the actual Winter Solstice. Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam, the religious significance of the event was lost. Like other Zoroastrian festivals, Yalda became a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop.


Roundtable December 23 – PNN interviewed one of the few rock musicians ever allowed official permission to perform in public in Iran. Kaveh Yaghmaii is an Iranian born, classically trained, rock musician and producer. He is famous for his specialty work on the electric guitar. His first album “Matarsak” was the top selling album in Iran for six months. Mr. Yaghmaii now lives in Vancouver, Canada where he released his second album “Sokoote Sard” last year. Before he left Iran, Mr. Yaghmaii started the first and only electric guitar program in Iran at Daneshgah Elmi Karbordi. Mr. Yaghmaii believes Iranian officials need to remove the "cultural attack" stigma from "Western" forms of music that are globally accepted by the younger generation.

Late Edition December 25 – PNN took a look at Toronto-based musician Aram Mosakhanian. The Iranian-Armenian singer and composer was born in Southern Iran but left for Canada in 1999. He is a well known guitar player and musician who has produced various albums in both the pop and instrumental genres. Mr. Mosakhanian was named the best guitar player of 2008 by the CAC Music foundation in New York. The CAC Foundationwas established in 2007 to cultivate understanding and advancement of Central Asian and Caucasian musical culture through programs that engage the music industry and the cultural community. Mr. Mosakhanian spoke about his award and the ceremony, which took place in New York. He said, "I received an unbelievable amount of emails from Iran and Europe… [saying] how humble the interview was, how genuine it was. More than hundreds of emails came from all over Iran.”

Late Edition December 26 – PNN spoke with poet Shida Mohamadi about censorship in Iran. Mohamadi is a journalist who left Iran a couple of years ago because of the difficulties she faced with the cultural ministry. She moved to the United States in order to work freely as a writer and poet. Ms. Mohamadi published her latest poetry collection, which she described as a "snapshot of making love" in underground Iran. She spoke about how the Iranian censors have pushed a tremendous amount of literature underground in Iran. In closing, she spoke about living as an exile and how Persian literature is still alive and well outside of Iran.

Late Edition December 27 – PNN interviewed Dr. Touraj Dareyaee a professor of Persian history at the University of California at Irvine. Dr. Dareyaee spoke about the Persian Center at UCI and emphasized the importance of expanding the program. The professor is a well-known expert of the Tasmanian Dynasty. He spent a few moments reviewing historical facts about the dynasty. He also talked about his latest project "Sasanika," which promotes Persian history and culture in Southern California. He briefly spoke about his latest book "Tasmanian Iran," which was published in English last summer.

Also on PNN…
On the Record December 26 – OTR answered questions from viewers about the upcoming inauguration and change of power in the United States. PNN’s executive editor and ombudsman responded to viewer questions about whether the new president will change and undo what the previous president has done. Dr. Mahmoudi contrasted U.S. transitions with those of a dictatorial regime saying “I assure you that no statue will be brought dawn, no street or square and circle name will be changed. Cities will not be renamed as is the practice in the dictatorial regime.” He explained that the transition date on January 20 is expected to be smooth and easy.
Late Edition December 27 – During Late Edition's Book Club segment, PNN commemorated the life of Harold Pinter. Mr. Pinter died on Christmas Eve. Mr. Pinter has been called the most influential and imitated playwright of his generation. Late in his life he focused his energy on political activism. Late Edition highlighted clips and articles about Mr. Pinter’s life from The New York Times, The Guardian, and BBC News. PNN commented on his life works and his joy in receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. In a later portion of the show, PNN introduced a book written by Bridgett Gauthier, who wrote about Mr. Pinter’s works and style.

This week on the History Channel… The week began with an overview of Mahatma Gandhi who despite his small stature was considered a big threat to the British rulers of India who considered him a dangerous and unpredictable revolutionary. For 350 million Indians he was the leader who brought them independence. He fought a revolution without guns...without violence and his ideas live today in the idea of Passive Resistance. Biography also profiled Charles Dickens, one of the most original, influential, and prolific writers of the 19th Century. Charles Dickens tragic, deprived boyhood included watching his father confined to debtor's prison, and a year as a child laborer in a blacking factor. By his early twenties, he had already achieved popularity as a writer of "serials", leading to worldwide fame of near superstar proportions, heretofore unheard of in Victorian England. The History Channel took a look at another iconic political figure. In August 1980, Lech Walesa – an electrician and father of eight –led a movement which liberated a country. Mr. Walesa was a pivotal figure in the Gdansk shipyard strike for workers' rightswhich in turn inspired a wave of strikes throughout Poland. The authorities were forced to capitulate and to negotiate the Gdansk Agreement of August 31, 1980, which gave the workers the right to strike and to organize their own independent union. Mr. Walesa, as head of the revived Solidarity labor union, began a series of meetings with world leaders. In November 1989 Mr. Walesa’s greatness was confirmed by the U.S. Government when he became the third person in history to address a joint session of the United States Congress, joining the Marquis de Lafayette and Winston Churchill. Last up, a four hour special on the historic Mayflower ship reexamined the first Thanksgiving. Dramatic re-enactments based on original source material bring to life the true story of the Puritan's terrible plight. In 1620 in England, asmall group of men, women and children tormented by religious persecution were exiled from their homeland, embarking on a horrific journey to a hostile land in the hope of a new and better life. Forced to land in New England by harsh December weather, half of the 100 colonists who survived the harrowing Atlantic crossing on the Mayflower, died of starvation and exposure in that first winter. The price the Pilgrims paid for religious freedom was more than many could bear, and the physical and psychological strain of their ordeal drove some to suicide and others to madness. Only the pity and help of the native inhabitants, the famous Squanto and Chief Samoset of legend, pulled them through their terrible ordeal. Although they first saw the Indians as savages, the Pilgrims ultimately acknowledged them as not only fellow human beings but friends.

PNN’s question of the week was “Do you believe Iran's government is suppressing dissent on campus and barring liberal-minded professors from teaching? Out of 7,035 respondents, 6,470 or 92 percent said yes, 449 or 6 percent said no, while 116 or 2 percent 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 newsbreaks 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.


Katayoun from Tehran writes: “Dear Mr. Farhudi: Thank you for your program with Dr. Nahavandi, we thoroughly enjoyed an hour with Dr. Nahavandi & you. It was a great hour and tomorrow, I will discuss with my students about the program.”

A woman from Kashan wrote: “Dear Today’s Woman, Specially Mrs. Aramideh: I do not have enough words to thank you for your great programs. I live in Kashan. When I finish my job and go home, the first thing I do is to turn on the TV and watch Today’s Woman. If you [Mrs. Aramideh] are on, I watch the show, if not I change the channel to a music channel and I wait for News and Views. Every day when I watch Today’s Woman I get surprised with a terrific topic which is taboos here. Your courage to touch these issues is remarkable. Your programs about homosexuality, veil, and social issues are great. I have recently had an eye operation and I barely can see, but I put my glasses on to write this email to you. Best wishes.”

A Today’s Woman viewer wrote: “I am Pouria from Tehran. I am writing with regards to your program about Ameneh who was poured acid on. I am against retribution of the man who did it to her. However, I know that Iran is not ready to abandon this type of punishment. A while ago somebody did something bad to me and I wanted revenge for that person. I could not control my hatred and I asked for retribution. But now I am against it.”

Arian wrote: “I am a 21 year male and I live in Rasht. I approve the statistics about the sexual revolution in Iran. However I am not sure if the pattern of sexual behavior in Iran is a protest against the regime. I think the sexual revolution in Iran in rather an escape from the reality than a protest to the regime.”

A 48 Hours viewer writes: “Mr. Bejan Farhoodi: I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your very fine programmes which you are broadcasting on VOA - TV on weekend by name of DO-ROOZ-AVAL.I was really impressed to see your last Saturday evening programme discussing about book publications in Iran, which was attended by Dr. Houshang Nahavandi and Sadegh Sammie. It was immensely informative as always. I am glad that you had a direct satellite link with Dr. Nahavandi, so I could see him live after more than almost three decades. I know this gentleman very well and he knows me too. He is just a noble man.”
Several viewers responded to the closure of Center for the Defense of Human Rights in Tehran

A viewer writes: “This regime, which calls itself “theocracy” produces no other reasoning than gag. Instead of closing the Human Rights Center in Iran and harassing its founders, the Regime must think, a little bit, about its own performance. Such closure does not end the call for democracy in Iran. The Iranian despotic authorities make a mistake. They assume, wrongly, that by imprisoning of web logger, and banning newspapers, they can stop the nation for moving ahead.After thirty years, still they fear of the student and popular movement.”

Hajar from Tonekabon: “Have a look at the newspapers, and you will notice news about murdering or harassment of female population. Where is the security and safety which the Regime publicizes?”
Saied, a mechanical engineer, writes: “Mr. Khamenei who supports Ahmadinejad for the coming election, should be asked these questions: Is it true that since Ahmadinejad came to power, the inflation, unemployment and economic problems have drastically increased? If it is true is his re-election advisable?”

Amir from Tabriz: “Ahmadinejad has said that he can run the country even if the oil price drops to 5 Dollars per barrel. He is right, because when in a society there prevails oppression, gag, intimidation and terror, everybody can run that society, and there would be no need for meritorious managers and leaders.”

Nima from Iran: “While the factory workers struggle with poverty and destitute, and are shameful in their families, the Iranian government sends 1000 tons aid to Gaza. Are we supposed to pay the penalty of rocket-launching of Palestinians. I ask the government authorities: Are you Arab spies or Iranians?”