Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

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Saberi released earlier this week

May 13, 2009

This is tremendously good news, but before one gets too ecstatic, Glenn Greenwald pens a sobering reminder of how the US treats journalists who aren’t working for access to the Pentagon. Check it out here.

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Iranian-American journalist on hunger strike

May 5, 2009

You’ve likely noticed the several posts here about Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on espionage charges. Apparently, over the past two weeks, Saberi has been on a hunger strike, and when Iranian officials denied this, she went full on and stopped drinking water too and has since been hospitalized.

Although it’s somewhat less noticeable now, when Saberi was initially arrested, we heard too few calls of support from the mainstream press. It’s true that Reporters Sans Frontiers are now staging protests outside the Iranian Embassy, but initially, concern was coming either from Saberi’s family or diplomatic circles. This, as a wry friend observed, was because she’s professionally part of the pariah class, the freelancer.

Here’s more from the Washington Post.

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Iranian-American journalist sentenced to 8 years

April 18, 2009

From the NYT:

The sentencing of Ms. Saberi, 31, could complicate political maneuvering between Iranian and American leaders over Iran’s nuclear program, an issue that kept relations icy during much of the Bush administration. President Obama recently made overtures to Tehran about starting a dialogue over the nuclear program, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran responded positively.

Ms. Saberi’s sentencing appears to set the case apart from other recent detentions of people with dual citizenship. Two Iranian-American scholars, Haleh Esfandiariand Kian Tajbakhsh, were arrested in 2007 on accusations that they tried to overthrow the government, but they were released on bail before their trials began. Ms. Esfandiari was allowed to return to the United States, and Mr. Tajbakhsh is allowed to leave Iran when he wants.

More here.

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Obama’s approach to Iran

April 15, 2009

The New York Times has a piece elaborating on the Obama Administration’s decision to allow Iran to continue with its nuclear program as the US enters negotiations. Granted, the story’s two days old at this point, but seeing as how it’s continuing policy, it’s one to be aware of:

The proposals, exchanged in confidential strategy sessions with European allies, would press Tehran to open up its nuclear program gradually to wide-ranging inspection. But the proposals would also allow Iran to continue enriching uranium for some period during the talks. That would be a sharp break from the approach taken by the Bush administration, which had demanded that Iran halt its enrichment activities, at least briefly to initiate negotiations.

The proposals under consideration would go somewhat beyond President Obama’s promise, during the presidential campaign, to open negotiations with Iran “without preconditions.” Officials involved in the discussion said they were being fashioned to draw Iran into nuclear talks that it had so far shunned.

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Sunday Items

April 12, 2009

Bird flu, less virulent, perhaps more contagious. From The Independent.
The intersection of politics and technology in Moldova via Foreign Policy Journal.
Death of an Iranian blogger from Haaretz.

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News of jailed Iranian-American journalist

April 6, 2009

In the Washington Post we find the government of Iran has agreed to allow Roxana Saberi’s parents to visit her. Apparently the State Department has already made some slight, but significant, inroads. From the Post:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last week that the United States had given a letter to Iranian officials during a meeting in the Netherlands, seeking Iran’s help in resolving Saberi’s case, as well as those of Robert Levinson and Esha Momeni, two other Americans missing or detained in Iran.

Levinson, a private detective probing cigarette smuggling, went missing in 2007 during a visit to Iran’s Kish island. Iranian officials have repeatedly denied that Levinson is in their country. Momeni, an Iranian American student at California State University at Northridge, was detained in Iran in October for supporting a campaign for women’s rights. Momeni was later released, but she has not been allowed to leave the country.

More here.

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Sunday items

March 22, 2009

Two things on Israel and Gaza: First from The New York Times, a soldier’s account of the military’s attitude toward killing civilians, and, from The Guardian, a follow-up piece on a group that’s interviewed a number of Israeli soldiers.

A piece on The Democratic Republic of Congo and a photography exhibit on the women of Congo.

For those of you who missed it, here’s AP on Iran’s response to Obama’s holiday message.

And finally a Wall Street Journal piece on the man who could take Karzai’s place in Afghanistan.