Posted tagged ‘Tehran’

Hikers Fattal, Bauer Detail Iran’s “Ridiculous Lies”

September 26, 2011

This weekend, freed Americans Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer recounted their two years in “a world of lies and false hope” behind the walls of an Iranian prison.

During their press conference, Fattal and Bauer stated that they were held in complete isolation in Tehran’s Evin prison and allowed a total of 15 minutes of phone calls with their families throughout their captivity.

Fattal also said they had to wage a number of hunger strikes in order to even receive letters from their families.

So glad to hear that they are home and appear to be in pretty good shape all things considered!

From CNN:

Wearing green shirts and big smiles, Bauer and Fattal landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport four days after their release by Iranian authorities. In a news conference following their arrival, they described long days held in isolation, the hours punctuated by the screams of other inmates, and their “total sham” of a trial.

“Releasing us is a good gesture, and no positive step should go unnoticed,” Fattal told reporters Sunday afternoon. “We applaud the Iranian authorities for finally making the right decision regarding our case. But we want to be clear that they do not deserve undue credit for ending what they had no right and no justification to start in the first place.”

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer’s now-fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested after straying across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran in July 2009. Shourd was released in 2010, but Bauer and Fattal were freed only Wednesday, after 781 days in captivity and a trial for espionage that Bauer said was based on “ridiculous lies.”

American Scholar Arrested in Iran

July 10, 2009

It appears that an Iranian-American, who was briefly imprisoned in Iran in 2007 on an accusation of endangering national security, was arrested last night in Tehran.

From CNN:

Security forces took Kian Tajbakhsh, a social scientist, from his home in Tehran, the sources said. In addition, the home where he lives with his wife and year-old child was ransacked, and his computer was taken.

The reason for his arrest was not immediately known, and there was no comment from the Iranian government by late Friday. The sources said his family doesn’t know where he is.

His arrest followed weeks of intense, sometimes violent, protests over what the government said was the landslide re-election of President Ahmoud Ahmadinejad — results demonstrators called fraudulent. Protests are continuing, but on a smaller scale.

US Journalist Freed by Iran

May 11, 2009

Great news today! An American journalist jailed for four months in Iran was freed Monday and reunited with her parents after an appeals court suspended her eight-year prison sentence on charges of spying for the United States.

From the Associated Press:

The release of Roxana Saberi, a 32-year-old dual Iranian-American citizen, clears a major snag in President Barack Obama’s efforts to engage Iran in a dialogue after decades of shunning the country. Washington had called the charges against Saberi baseless and repeatedly demanded her release.

Saberi’s arrest in late January, followed by a secretive, one-day trial and a heavy prison sentence, prompted sharp U.S. criticism. Soon after, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials appeared to back off, suggesting the sentence could be reversed.

On Monday, an appeals court reduced her jail term to a two-year suspended sentence, Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, told reporters. Jamshidi said she was free to leave Iran.

“I’m very happy that she is free. Roxana is in good condition,” Saberi’s Iranian-born father Reza Saberi said after her release.

“We had expected her release but not so soon. She will be preparing to leave (Iran) tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” he told reporters at his house in Tehran.

He said Saberi was staying at a friend’s house, where her parents would join her.

Iraqi Shoe Thrower a Hero in Iraq

December 19, 2008

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush has won some hearts in neighboring Iran, where one cleric dubbed the act “the shoe intifada (rebellion).” Iran has opposed the U.S. presence and policies in Iraq and the United States has accused Iran of backing militants in Iraq.

From CNN:

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati — leading Friday prayers in Tehran — hailed journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s now-famous fling last Sunday, when Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were holding a news conference in Baghdad.

His remarks — reported by Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency — reflect the support many Middle East people have shown for al-Zaidi, an Iraqi correspondent for Egypt-based Al-Baghdadia TV.

“The shoe intifada in Iraq should not be overlooked easily,” he said. “Well done to the Iraqi journalist for throwing the shoes at the U.S. president.”

Speaking to worshipers at Tehran University, Jannati labeled the shoes “more valuable than crowns, medals and signs” and believes they should be place in an Iraqi museum.

The government of Iran and the United States have been bitter antagonists for decades.

Jannati said the U.S. was trapped in a quagmire in Iraq and didn’t know what to do about it.

“The shoe hurling by the Iraqi journalist had many messages which the world received and the Iraqi people, too, held demonstrations afterwards. People should support the Iraqi journalist,” said Jannati, who believes shoes should be regular props in the anti-U.S. demonstrations in Iran and Iraq.

Iran Test Fires Missile Capable of Hitting Israel, Europe

November 12, 2008

Iran test-fired a new missile on Monday in the western city of Marivan, near the border with Iraq during a military maneuver. The Samen missile was fired along with artillery and rocket launchers.

Iran also warned American forces in Iraq last week that American helicopters were spotted flying close to Iran’s airspace.

From CNN:

Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry.

He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles, which could easily reach arch-foe Israel and even travel as far as southeastern Europe.

Solid fuel missiles are more accurate than the liquid fuel missiles of similar range currently possessed by Iran.

The official IRNA news agency said the test was conducted Wednesday and television showed the missile being fired from a launching pad in a desert region.

“This missile is a two-stage weapon with two combined solid-fuel engines and has an extraordinary high capability,” the television quote Najjar as saying. He didn’t elaborate.

Najjar said the missile was a defensive weapon and not a response to threats against Iran. He didn’t name any country but Israel has recently threatened to take military action against Iran to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

“This missile test was conducted within the framework of a defensive, deterrent strategy … and specifically with defensive objectives,” Najjar added.

The name “Sajjil” means “baked clay,” a reference to a story in the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in which birds sent by God drive off an enemy army attacking Mecca by pelting them with stones of baked clay.

In a speech coinciding with the missile launch, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that Tehran will crush any power showing audacity or impudence toward Iran.

From the New York Times:

Iran said Wednesday that it successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 1,200 miles, state-run television reported. A senior official said the missile would be used only defensively, but did not identify a potential aggressor.

A television news broadcast said the new missile, called the Sejil, used solid fuel and was more accurate than some other missiles in the country’s arsenal. A British weapons expert, Duncan Lennox, said the missile seemed to resemble an earlier one called the Ashoura. Its claimed range would enable it to strike targets in Israel or the Persian Gulf region, he said,

Iran’s Defense Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najar, was quoted by state-run television as saying the missile was ‘”very fast,” could be produced and stored “in mass” and was easy to prepare for launching. Its launcher could immediately be removed from the firing location, he said.

The state television broadcast footage of Mr. Najar praying before giving the order to fire. The missile was shown rising from a launch pad in a desert area and leaving a white trail in the sky.

Mr. Najar said the test had been planned for months and had nothing to do with any recent international developments.

“This missile gives our military force a new capability,” he said. “It was produced as part of our deterrent policy. It will be for peace and security in the region and we will only use it against enemies who invade the Islamic Republic.” He did not refer to any specific country.

The news of the launching emerged a day after Iranian media said the Revolutionary Guards had test-fired another new missile, known as the Samen, in the western city of Merivan near the border with Iraq on Monday.