The Iranian History 2008 AD


Obama Wants Direct Talks With Iran

Feb, 2, 2008 AD

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 17: Ken Alandt attends the occupy Phoenix protest October 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.OWS: Occupy Wall Street Movement started in New York in Sep, 2011 triggering general awakening among Americans that spread accross the world.(FNA) - US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would favor holding direct talks with Iran and Syria in a bid to stabilize the Middle East if elected president.
In an interview with French magazine Paris Match on Thursday, Obama said, "I want to have direct talks with countries like Iran and Syria because I don't believe we can stabilize the region unless not just our friends but also our enemies are involved in these discussions."
He was also quoted as saying he would also hold a summit with leaders of Muslim states to address the growing gap between the West and the world of Islam.
The Illinois senator added that to repair the image of the United States in the world, he would "put an end to the war in Iraq."
"Occupying the country has put the odds against us with the world," Obama said.
Meanwhile, a visiting Iranian official said Thursday in Cairo that Iran and Egypt would work together to resolve the Middle East's top crises such as in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, and that both wanted to upgrade their diplomatic relations, severed nearly three decades ago.
Tehran cut diplomatic ties with Egypt after Cairo signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum for the deposed Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday in Cairo.
"It has been decided that we and Egypt will work together for more coordination on regional issues such Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine," Nategh Nouri said. "Iran and Egypt are key regional nations and have too many things in common."
In May, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered to restore ties with Egypt, a strong US ally. At the time, Ahmadinejad said his country was ready to open an embassy in Cairo as soon as Egypt agreed to do the same in Tehran. (Updated: Jan, 26, 2012)

Rationing Lowers Fuel Imports

Feb, 3, 2008 AD

Iranian technician Majid Afshari checks oil separator facilities in Azadegan field, near Ahvaz. Iran lacked sufficient refining capacity sold imported fuel at heavily subsidized prices. After rationing in effect since 2008, consumption dropped sharply.(FNA) - Iran's daily gasoline imports have fallen about 57 percent since the country introduced fuel rationing last June, a senior oil official was quoted on Saturday as saying.
The world's fourth-largest oil producer lacks sufficient refining capacity, a vulnerability that hostile western countries leaded by US, and UK have targeted by blocking fuel supplies to pressure Tehran over its peaceful nuclear program. Iran used to import large amounts of fuel, which it then sells at heavily subsidized prices. Iran introduced rationing to curb soaring consumption.
On June, 27 2007 riots started in protest to petrol rationing angry mob set fire to at least 12 petrol stations in Tehran,
Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said Iran currently imported 15 million liters of gasoline per day on average, out of total daily consumption of 58.5 million liters.
"The amount of imports in the first three months of this year before rationing began was 35 million liters a day," he was quoted by the state broadcaster as saying, referring to the Iranian year that starts on Norooz: March 21.
"With gasoline rationing, in the current year, more than $4 billion have been saved," he said without elaborating further.
A senior official suggested in October that imports would drop at least 20 percent during the current Iranian year to about $4 billion worth of gasoline. Another official last month said the government predicted $3.2 billion would be needed for gasoline imports during the year starting next March.
The rationing scheme has cut average daily consumption by 22 percent to 59 million liters compared with the same period last year, the state oil refining and distribution firm said in December.
The monthly quota for private motorists was raised by 20 percent to 120 liters on Dec 22.
All gasoline in Iran, whether produced locally or imported, is sold at the heavily subsidized price of 1,000 Rials (about 11 US cents) a liter. This has burdened state coffers.
According to a report in 2011, Iranian gasoline imports slumped by as much as 95 percent over the last four years, according to official government data, as rising refinery capacity and lower fuel subsidies help neutralize western sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of fuel. However, Western hypocrites have some imperialist policy towards Iran in contrast to free market rules of economy that creates comparative advantage; instead they illogically have preferred threats and bullying which has backfired ending with economic recession in Europe and anti-Americanism worldwide. (Updated: Jan, 26, 2012)

Iran Enters International Space Race

Feb, 4, 2008 AD

Iran's first Satellite Carrier ( Safir ) launched from the Semnan Desert CosmodromeIran officially announced her entrance into space race by launching her first space research center and firing the Safir rocket designed to send her first home-made satellite named Omid. The new Iranian space center is located in the province of Semnan. The rocket blasted off from a launch pad in desert terrain and lit the night desert sky swiftly passing the layers of atmosphere. The project for the Omid satellite took the Iranian experts 10 years to accomplish and the satellite itself is designed to function in a low earth orbit system. In February 2007, Iran joined the international space-faring community when it successfully tested a rocket that went into space as part of its drive to launch five satellites into orbit by 2010. Iran has been pursuing a space program for the past few years. In October 2005, Iran's first satellite the Russian-made Sina-1 was put into orbit by a Russian rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
The launch of Safir rocket is aimed to test remote sensing, satellite telemetry, and geographic information system (GIS) technology as well as remote and ground station data processing. The launch of satellite-carrier rocket is considered as a triumph in scientific and technological progress despite increasing international sanctions on Iran leaded by her arch-foe, The United States who was irked by the news: "I saw this morning that Iran, again, tested a ballistic missile. It's unfortunate that they continue to do that because it further isolates the country from the rest of the world," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. The United States has been accusing Iran of aiming to equip its missiles with nuclear warheads as part of a cold war style campaign that followed a US spy network scandal. Iran categorically denies the charges and condemns cowboy policies of the US as a part of imperialistic efforts to keep the country backwards.
The successful launch of Safir shows that Iran has access to the modern technology required to manufacture, launch and track satellites as well as transmit and receive information from them. Iran said it has prepared for the satellite launch by sending a probe into space on the back of a rocket on the mission. (Updated: Mar, 6, 2009)

Iran, Cuba Sign Cooperation Agreement

Feb, 15, 2008 AD

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a doctorate of honor from the Havana University of Cuba  2012. Cuba and Iran signed their first agreement of scientific cooperation to contribute to their economic and social development in Feb, 2008.(FNA)- On Thursday, Feb, 15, 2008, Representatives of Cuba and the Islamic Republic of Iran signed their first agreement of scientific cooperation to contribute to their economic and social development.
The document was inked by Cuban Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment Fernando Gonzalez Bermudez and Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi. Also attending the signing ceremony was State Council advisor to Fidel Castro Diaz Balart.
The document envisages the exchange of scientists, professors and specialized information, the organization of seminars, courses and design and application of research programs in industry, agriculture and other fields, ACN news agency reported.
"We are particularly interested in collaborating in the field of biotechnology and the medical/pharmaceutical industry. However, we have no limit at all to broaden it and cover other fields," Zahedi said.
In 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a doctorate of honor from the Havana University of Cuba. (Updated: Feb, 5, 2012)

Oil And Petrochemicals Exchange Established

Feb, 17, 2008 AD

Iranian Petroleum Technician is seen in facilities at the Azadegan oil field. More than 60 years after Nationalization of Oil Industry, same hostile countries that orchestrated the 1953 coup are pressuring Iran with sanctions and military threats in vein.(Wikipedia) - The Iranian Government established the Oil And Petrochemicals Exchange under directives from the IME Company. The first phase was launched on February 17, 2008.
Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) is a commodities exchange located in Tehran, founded in 2006. IME trades in agricultural, industrial and petrochemical products on the spot and futures markets. It is mainly a domestic or regional market aiming to become international in the future.
Tehran Metal Exchange was established in September 2003 as the first mercantile exchange in the country. Later on, Iran Agricultural Exchange was established in September 2004. Subsequently, Tehran Metal Exchange merged with Iran Agricultural Exchange in December 2006 and formed the Iran Mercantile Exchange Company.
Kish Island on the Persian Gulf is the venue for trading the oil contracts. It is a free trade zone. Iran also wants to encourage local investors to participate in the oil market as it tries to reduce the state’s role in the country’s energy industry based on a general privatization policy.
The Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) is the sole regulatory entity for the regulation and development of the capital market in Iran.
More than 60 years after Nationalization of Oil Industry, same hostile countries that orchestrated the 1953 coup are pressuring Iran with sanctions and military threats in vein. Although most neighboring nations have somehow submitted to those warmongering powers, Iranians have chosen a path that has been inspiring Resistence around the globe. (Updated: Jul, 19, 2012)

Indonesia / S.Africa Oppose UNSC Sanctions

Feb, 29, 2008 AD

An Iranian worker rides a bike in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant Oct, 26, 2010. While Iranians brace for new sanctions imposed by hostile countries, nations are awakening to the fact that greedy corporations are pulling the strings.(FNA) - Permanent Representative of Indonesia Marty M. Natalegawa has expressed fundamental reservations about the new UN resolutions on Iran.
Addressing a press conference at the UN headquarters, the diplomat announced that Indonesia, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, is not convinced that further sanctions on Iran are the best way ahead.
South Africa's envoy to the IAEA Abdul Minty also warned against any action "which can create the risk that Iran reduces or even terminates its cooperation with the IAEA."
He told reporters in Pretoria by telephone conference from Oslo that the latest report by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, showed "increasing confidence that Iran does not intend to use its nuclear program for military purposes."
The US is at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran's independent and home-grown nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head ; one in November and the other one on Friday - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, Russia and China increased resistance to any new punitive measures by the Security Council.
Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin.
Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.
US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East earlier this month, has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.
But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush's allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.
Bush's attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, especially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports. (Updated: Feb, 29, 2012)

Explosion In Shiraz Mosque

Apr, 12, 2008 AD

The entrance to Shah Cheragh Mausoleum in Shiraz during Ashura of 2009. The holy shrine is considered one of the 3 most sacred places in Iran after Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad and St. Masoumeh Shrine in Qom.(Wikipedia) - The 2008 Shiraz bombing was an April 12, 2008 explosion that occurred during prayers at the Hosseinieh Seyyed al-Shohada Mosque in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. Fourteen people were killed and 202 were injured. Around 800 people, which were mostly youth, were gathered at the Mosque to hear sermons.
The deputy governor of the province, Mohammad Reza Hadaegh, told IRIB an investigation was under way. Iranian officials first stated that the blast was not a terrorist attack, but caused by leftover munitions that were on display in the mosque as part of an exhibition commemorating Iran's 1980-1988 war against Iraq. However, in May, Interior Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi said the blast was an act of terrorism and 12 terrorists had been arrested before attacking the Russian Consulate and religious centers in Qom. Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeyi accused United States and Britain of involvement in the bombing and attempted to press charges against the two countries.
An Iranian monarchist group calling itself the Soldiers of the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, (Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran), claimed responsibility for the bombing.
In November 2008, Iran sentenced three men to death after they were convicted of the bombing. One of these men, Mehdi Eslamian, was hanged with four others on May 9, 2010. His brother had previously been hanged for the bombing. (Updated: Sep, 14, 2012)

Iranian Ship Hijacked In Gulf Of Aden

Aug, 21, 2008 AD

Home-made Iran-Arak vessel ready to sail in Hormozgan, as a product of Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex, it has created envy in hostile countries targeting Iranian shipping industries with sanctions and engaging with sea pirates.(Wikipedia) - On August 21, 2008, MV Iran Deyanat, an Iranian ship, owned and operated by IRISL (The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines) was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden by 40 pirates with Kalashnikovs and RPGs. The crew of the ship numbered 29: a Pakistani captain, 14 Iranians including an engineer, 3 Indians, 2 Filipinos, and 10 Eastern Europeans. The ship was freed on October 10, and the crew was unharmed. The ship went underway bound to Oman and then to its final destination at Rotterdam.
The ship's cargo was minerals and industrial products such as iron ore. The Deyanat had departed from China with the intent of selling its cargo in Germany; The ship’s radar had failed to pick the pirates up. The men were firing in the air, and then they threw a ladder fitted with grappling hooks over the side of the ship and clambered aboard. They stormed all cabins and herded the entire crew into a small room, and told the captain to cut the engine. After the hijackers took control of the ship, they used the Deyanat to tow their boats along. They shuttled around unknown locations (purportedly to evade rival pirate groups) before meeting their boss, "Abdul Hakeem," and finally mooring off the coast of Eyl in Somalia which is allegedly the base of a crime syndicate.
In the late 2000s, Eyl became a pirate haven, with more than a dozen ships being held captive by pirate crews. However, by 2010, intensive security operations by Puntland military forces reportedly managed to force out the pirate gangs from their traditional safe havens in the hamlet as well as adjacent settlements, with the pirates now primarily operating from a few towns in the neighboring Galmudug region.
In fact, multiple other pirated ships were moored near the Deyanat. The number of pirates guarding the ship included 50 on shore and 50 on board.
Conditions aboard the ship:
The sailors aboard the ship were limited to two slices of moldy bread and a ration of two cups of water. Though the pirates took $10,000 from the ship's captain and the crew's cell phones, clothes, and possessions, they were allowed to call home for the first two days after the hijacking. The pirates carried guns at all time and negotiations were conducted "at the officer's level," so most of the crew knew nothing of the pirates' demands.
A ransom was set at $2 million, and the Iranian news channel Press TV said that the United States, believing that the ship may contain uranium, offered $7 million to board and search the ship. (US officials reportedly would not comment.) At one point the Sunday Times reported that the IRISL paid $200,000 in the first of a series of ransom payments, but the Iranian company denied the claim. The ship "was supposed to be released, but now they are saying the $200,000 was for facilitation only. They want more money for the ransom," said Andrew Mwangura, of the Kenyan-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme.
According to Lloyd's List, the IRISL ultimately paid $2.5 million to free the ship.
Mysterious contents:
The IRISL, which owns the ship, has been designated for proliferation activity by the U.S. Treasury office, thereby freezing its assets and banning American trade with it, including food and medical supplies, in accordance with US sanctions of Iran. The US accuses the shipping line of falsifying documents and using deceptive schemes to shroud its involvement in illicit commerce. Though the ship carried industrial contents such as iron ore, strange speculations were made. Finally, the ship berthed at the destination listed on its manifest, Rotterdam, unloading food and minerals.
The MV Iran Deyanat arrived at Rotterdam on November, 11 2008. A "multi-disciplinary team comprising inspectors from the port authority, customs and harbor police boarded and searched the ship" and found no hazardous substances on board. The paperwork was in order and the ship was unloaded. Lloyd's List reported that the ship’s charterer—German-based Hinrichs denied any evidence of pirates falling ill during the hijacking. This contradicts the claims, however, that local officials made to sources such as The Times of South Africa and Reuters.
It's been however a well-documented fact that the mainstream western media fabricate content to be used for illicit purposes, some of which pushed nations to war as was the case of WMD in Iraq.
Increasing sophistication of pirate operations, vessels, weapons, and communication have raised serious doubts about state-sponsorship of pirating; especially considering the fact that nations who are hostile towards Iran have a dark history of pirating and slave-trade. (Updated: Aug, 17, 2012)

Aseman Air Crash Kills 68

Aug, 24, 2008 AD

Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895, an Itek Air Boeing 737-219 EX-009 seen at Domodedovo International Airport on 20 August 2008; four days prior to the crash on 24 August 2008 (at 20:30 local time) near Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan.Iran's Aseman Airlines Flight # 6895, an Itek Air Boeing 737-219 Advanced (registered as EX-009), was a charter flight operated on behalf of Iran Aseman Airlines which crashed on August, 24 2008 (at 20:30 local time) near Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan while en route to Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), Tehran, Iran. It crashed while returning to the airport of origin after experiencing technical difficulties.
Reports state that members of the crew reported "technical issues" with the plane shortly after take-off. Within 10 minutes the crew reported a severe loss of cabin pressure. When they attempted to make an emergency landing, the aircraft crashed approximately 2 km from the airport runway and burst into flames. There were 90 people on board (83 passengers and 7 crew members) of whom 68 died. At least 22 are reported to have survived, including 2 crew members. The victims included ten members of a Bishkek high school sports team.
The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) attempted to retrieve data from the flight-data and cockpit voice-recorders, which were badly damaged in the fire which destroyed most of the aircraft. While disassembling the casing, both the mechanisms of the tape recorder and the tape media in the voice recorder were found in damaged condition, but the MAK attempted to read the data from the damaged media.
The MAK has drawn final conclusions. The report claims that the forward left cabin door was not closed completely, and that the person who closed it was an engineer who was not listed among those (in the Cabin Attendant Manual) who were supposed to close the door. The report concludes that the aircraft originally lost cabin pressure due to this error, but that it was just a contributing factor to the crash. The plane could have landed with reduced pressure, but the pilot failed to maintain visual contact with the runway, failed to properly monitor altitude and ignored automated warnings about terrain proximity (TAWS)
It has been reported that both the captain and co-pilot have been sentenced to five years and five years and two months respectively in a penal colony for the crash.
The crashed plane first flew on June 16, 1980 and was delivered on July 1 of the same year to Air New Zealand. In 1995, it changed hands to Copa Airlines, and in 2003 again changed hands to Phoenix Aviation. In 2005, Phoenix Aviation was re-branded as, and in April 2006, it changed hands to Itek Air.
Itek Air, along with all air carriers certified by the authorities with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Kyrgyzstan, is included in a European Union list of banned airlines for safety concerns and is therefore not permitted to fly over the territory of the EU.
In May 2008, EX-009 had passed a full technical inspection.
It's been reported that the United States Air Force stationed at US Manas Air Base sent ambulances and fire apparatus with firefighters and medical personnel from its base at the airport in response to a request for assistance. The US Manas Air Base was mentioned in Iran related news when a notorious terrorist named Abdolmalek Rigi was caught in Iranian air space on Feb, 23, 2010. (Updated: Feb, 25, 2012)

Earthquake In Bandar Abbas

Sep, 10, 2008 AD

Veiled women selling Falafel at a market in Bandar Abbas. Original Bandaris (residents of Bandar Abbas) speak Bandari, a dialect of Persian however the fast growing population is a mixture of Bandaris, Persians, and Arabic speaking people.(Wikipedia) - The 2008 Bandar Abbas earthquake occurred on September, 10, 2008 in the Hormozgan Province, 850 km south of Tehran. Its epicenter was 26.743°N 55.828°E near Noghasha south of the Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf, where an earthquake two years before had caused damage. The earthquake measured 6.1 on the Moment magnitude scale and 6 on the surface wave scale, killing seven people and injuring up to 47. Causing both catastrophic and minor damage, the earthquake devastated up to 200 villages throughout southern Iran, but left the port city of Bandar Abbas almost unscathed. Citizens reportedly panicked when the earthquake hit, emptying into the parks of the city and other open areas.
Iran's earthquake history reaches as far back as 856 AD, and involves at least 29 documented earthquakes. Each sector of the country has experienced seismic activity, varying from minor to great events.
Earthquakes in Iran are almost exclusively confined to the upper lithosphere (crust), placing them relatively near the surface. Iran hosts multiple fault lines; roughly 90% of the country is seismically active. The earthquake had a depth of 15 km.
The earthquake posed a threat to all of Bandar Abbas' oil companies, as well as at least one highly productive and expensive refinery at the time of the earthquake. Because of past earthquakes, including one in 2006, many of the city's homes had been rebuilt and outfitted with seismically engineered designs. The major oil refinery did not sustain damage, according to Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, the vice-president of investment affairs for National Iranian Oil Company.
Damage and casualties
The earthquake occurred at 3:00 pm local time and was followed by up to seventeen aftershocks. The main shock lasted at least 30 seconds. Qeshm Island reported 15 injured; its homes were constructed from earthquake-resistant material. The earthquake was felt throughout southern Iran, causing slight to moderate damage. Mercalli scale ratings of IV (moderate) were assigned to Ajman and Ra's al Khaymah, and intensity III (slight) damage occurred in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. Doha in Qatar also reported the earthquake.
Though major locations held up well against the earthquake, most villages did not. From Qeshm Island came reports of power outage and minor damage; 100 houses in all of Qeshm were damaged between 30 and 50 percent. 200 villages were devastated by the earthquake's velocity. Walls in the Zeynabi Village were leveled; all were reduced by the earthquake to debris. Relief workers were sent to rescue any residents from their homes if they had been caught under debris. (Updated: Oct, 31, 2012)

Milad Tower Inaugurated

Oct, 7, 2008 AD

Tehran's Milad TowerAfter eleven years, the Milad Tower was inaugurated. Milad Tower is a multi-purpose skyscraper. Holding a world record of over 12,000 square meters of infrastructure, the new symbolic building is visible from almost every part of Tehran. It's the 8th tallest tower in the world. Milad Tower has been designed to function as a communication tower for wireless networks alongside creating basis for planned digital TV broadcasts while amplifying existing analog system signals. Helping with many other applications such as weather forecast and traffic control, the tower has already become a touristic attraction center for those who seek a nice view of Iranian capital Tehran.
With 435 meters height from base to the tip of it's antenna, as the tallest tower in Iran, it has already hosted several cultural gatherings and political meetings. Milad Tower is part of Tehran's international trade and convention center with a five star hotel, trade center, IT park, shopping mall and restaurants. The oblong head of the tower has 12 floors accessible by elevators and stairs. The spectacular turning restaurant is one of its kind. Milad Tower has an octagonal base which is a symbol of traditional Iranian architecture.
While the industrial world crumbles in recession and fast growing steel cities rust in disgrace, Iran's ailing economy despite embargo and sanctions enters a new turning point of upheaval marking the 30th year of revolution; thus sending a strong signal to long-term investors. (Updated: Apr, 25, 2009)

Jomhouri Movie Theater On Fire

Nov, 14, 2008 AD

Tehran Jomhouri Cinema burning in Fire / Nov, 14, 2008It was 4:03 am of Nov, 14, 2008 when the fire department was informed that the old Niagara Cinema was on fire. When fire squads from two nearby stations arrived at the scene they noticed large amount of smoke and flames. Extra forces from 6 other stations were quickly dispatched to the scene. After containing the fire from spreading to neighborhood buildings, the fire brigades had to break into the building because there were no keys and no person in charge. Using 10 water pipes, they succeeded in putting off the fire that had already destroyed the main hall and the entrance.
Fortunately, there were no casualties reported except for minor injuries. The Niagara Cinema was built in 1960s and was renamed to Jomhouri Cinema when foreign names were banned after the 1979 Islamic Revolution (Updated: Sep, 21, 2009)

Israel Spy Hanged

Nov, 17, 2008 AD

Iran hangs telecom salesman Ali Ashtari convicted for spying for IsraelIran hangs an Israeli spy signaling a serious intelligence war. Ali Ashtari, who was arrested in February 2007 for cooperation with Israeli intelligence services; Mossad for three years, was sentenced to death in June and was hanged in Tehran on November 17. He was a 45 year old telecom salesman accused of intercepting communications of Iranian officials who were working in military bodies and were involved in its nuclear programs, especially those who were working for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.
He confessed that he had assisted Israeli intelligent service with some secret information from Iranian officials. Mossad gave him 50,000 U.S. dollars to buy internet cables and satellite phones and then sell them to the special customers in the hope of enabling Israel to spy on their communications. He had met his handlers in Turkey, Thailand and Switzerland.
In 2000, Iran had tried 10 Iranians, for spying for Israel. They received jail terms after their charges were proven by the Iranian court. Iranian armed forces have also intercepted terrorists carrying Israeli arms near the Iran–Iraq border. Iran accuses the US of supplying rebel groups in Kurdistan in order to create unrest and destabilize the government. The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program. Iran has denied the U.S. charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only however, the threats have been strong enough to be used as an excuse to crackdown on all political dissidents sometimes accusing them of being foreign elements .
Iran holds world record for capital punishment right after China. (Updated: Mar, 6, 2009)

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