Iran Update
Volume: 1 - Issue:  10 11 March 2010
Iran Update
Dear Friend,

We are delighted to present you with the current issue of Iran Update, a publication of International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI).
 
International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI) is a public benefit association comprised of members of Parliament, political dignitaries, human rights advocates and organizations throughout the world, as well as different Iranian organisations, associations and personalities.
 
Iran Update endeavours to report on topics related to the movement for democracy, human rights, and freedom in Iran on a regular basis. We invite you to subscribe your friends to this newsletter and contribute articles or ideas related to our work.
 
Iran tops list of jailers of journalists in world 
Associated Press
SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI
10 March 2010
 
Journalists have become a prime target in an Iranian government crackdown on the opposition following last June's disputed presidential election, with 52 of them currently held - making Iran the top jailer of journalists in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The wave of arrests, which has only accelerated recently, has sent a chill through journalists in Iran at a time when the opposition is struggling to maintain its challenge against the government in the face of a heavy crackdown on pro-reform figures.
In response, a sort of "underground" journalism has emerged, said Reza Valizadeh, 32, who used to work for the state-run radio and television but who fled the country amid the postelection crackdown.

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Gates in Saudi Arabia for talks focused on Iran 
Voice of America
10 March 2010
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Saudi Arabia for talks centered on Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Gates flew Wednesday into Riyadh, where he is expected to update King Abdullah on U.S.-led efforts to impose new United Nations sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.  The U.S. has been trying to build international support for possible action against Tehran.
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Two large multinationals pull back from Iran 
The New York Times
Ron Nixon
10 March 2010
 
Royal Dutch Shell and Ingersoll-Rand this week became the latest major corporations to announce that they would cease or cut back business operations in Iran.

The announcements came as the United States and its European allies step up their efforts to win a tough new round of United Nations sanctions aimed at pressing Iran to rein in its nuclear program.

They also came days after The New York Times reported that over the last 10 years, the federal government had given more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits to foreign and multinational American companies while they were doing business in Iran. Among them were Shell and Ingersoll-Rand.
 
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U.S. changing focus of Iran policy 
Los Angeles Times
Paul Richter
9 March 2010
 
After keeping a careful distance for the last year, the Obama administration has concluded that the Iranian opposition movement has staying power and has embraced it as a central element in the U.S.-led campaign to pressure the country's clerical government. Administration officials and some allied governments believe that a combination of domestic unrest and international sanctions targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard offers the best hope for forcing Tehran to yield on its nuclear program, and could even lead to a change in the government.
 
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Iran calls political opponents enemies of Islam 
Associated Press
Brian Murphy
9 March 2010
 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A traditional Islamic concept about protecting the faith and its followers has become a judicial weapon for Iran's rulers: charging opponents as so-called enemies of God with the threat of possible death sentences.
Iran's accusations of "moharebeh" - literally "waging war" in Arabic - have opened deep rifts between ruling clerics and Islamic scholars questioning how an idea about safeguarding Muslims can be transformed into a tool to punish political protesters.
The outcry increased last week after an appeals court reportedly upheld the death sentence for Mohammad Amin Valian, a 20-year-old student convicted of moharebeh crimes, which Iran's legal code defines as "defiance of God" - or the state - and punishable by hanging.
Valian's case has become a new rallying point for the opposition as authorities try to further rattle protesters after crushing demonstrations last month. 

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Thank you for your readership. We welcome your comments. 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
ISDCI News Group
In This Issue
Iran tops list of jailers of journalists in world
Gates in Saudi Arabia for talks focused on Iran
Two large multinationals pull back from Iran
U.S. changing focus of Iran policy
Iran calls political opponents enemies of Islam
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Putting Human Rights
First
We invite you to write to your national government officials to ask them to freeze all commercial and diplomatic ties with the Iranian regime until there is a full stop to repression of protests in Iran, release of political prisoners and respect for human rights as demanded in the recent UN Human Rights Council session.