Iran Update
Volume: 1 - Issue:  3026 April 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).    
'Persian Cats' filmmaker resists the oppression of his Iranian homeland 
The Washington Post
Ann Hornaday
25 April 2010
...No One Knows About Persian Cats," which opens in Washington on May 7, simultaneously inveighs against the Islamic regime that routinely censors and disrupts what it deems "decadent" artists, and celebrates the ingenuity with which Iranians circumvent authority. The film also marks a departure from Ghobadi's usual quiet, austere style. Shot over 18 frenetic days in the lively world of Tehran's underground music scene, the movie features real-life musicians -- playing everything from jazz and blues to heavy metal and hip-hop -- pursuing their art in the city's basements and bootleg studios, avoiding arrest or the destruction of their instruments by police. The film stars the indie-rock duo Negar Shaghaghi and Ashkan Koshanejad, whose real-life search for backup musicians and exit papers parallels the story in the movie, although Ghobadi added the fictional conceit of a Shakespearean ending... 
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Iran's technocrats disillusioned, turn against regime
Washington Post
Joby Warrick and Greg Miller
25 April 2010

Iran's political turmoil has prompted a growing number of the country's officials to defect or leak information to the West, creating a new flow of intelligence about its secretive nuclear program, U.S. officials said.
The gains have complicated work on a long-awaited assessment of Iran's nuclear activities, a report that will represent the combined judgment of more than a dozen U.S. spy agencies. The National Intelligence Estimate was due last fall but has been delayed at least twice amid efforts to incorporate information from sources who are still being vetted...
Some observers say the Tehran government has been unnerved by the defections and point to the death of an Iranian physics professor more than three months ago as a sign that it has begun a crackdown designed to frighten would-be spies.
The professor, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed Jan. 12 when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded as he passed nearby. Iranian officials accused Israeli and Western intelligence operatives in the killing, but news accounts indicated that Mohammadi had been sympathetic to the opposition movement and had attended anti-government demonstrations. The day before his death, Iranian intelligence agents had searched his home and confiscated documents and notes, according to a report by the NCRI.
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Iran strikes secret nuclear mining deal with Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime 
The Sunday Telegraph
Itai Mushekwe and Harriet Alexander
24 April 2010
The agreement was sealed last month during a visit to Tehran by a close aide to Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president who last weekend celebrated 30 years in power, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
In return for supplying oil, which Zimbabwe desperately needs to keep its faltering economy moving, Iran has been promised access to potentially huge deposits of uranium ore - which can be converted into the basic fuel for nuclear power or enriched to make a nuclear bomb.
"Iran secured the exclusive uranium rights last month when minister of state for Presidential affairs, Didymus Mutasa visited Tehran," said a Zimbabwean government source. "That is when the formal signing of the deal was made, away from the glare of the media."
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Amnesty International's urgent action appeal to prevent imminent execution in Iran 
PMOI Website
21 April 2010

Amnesty International released an URGENT ACTION APPEAL on April 21, 2010 to prevent executions of two Iranian Kurds in Iran who are feared to be at imminent risk of execution.
The URGENT ACTION APPEAL partly reads:
"Hossein Khezri, a 28-year-old man, and Zeynab Jalalian, a 27-year-old woman, both members of Iran's Kurdish minority, are feared to be at imminent risk of execution.
Both were convicted of "enmity against God", in separate cases, for membership of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan. 
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Family unfairly sentenced to death 
Spero News
21 April 2010
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has reported that three members of one family (husband, wife, and their son) and two of their close friends have been sentenced to death after being arrested in Iran's postelection crackdown.
The rights group said the death sentences were issued following an unfair trial during which only weak evidence was presented. The five have been charged with sending videos and pictures to an exiled opposition group, the Mujahedin Khalq Organization, which is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.
A campaign spokesman, Aaron Rhodes, said that the death sentences were aimed at "intimidating" the protest movement.
A lawyer who represents political prisoners has told the group that when the authorities accuse political prisoners of being members of opposition groups such as the MEK (People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran), it becomes impossible for the Iranian media, human rights lawyers, and defendants' families to publicize their cases.
"This gives the authorities a free hand to use such punishments to terrify government critics and dissidents," the lawyer said. 
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Thank you for your reading Iran Update. We welcome your comments. 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
ISDCI News Group
In This Issue
'Persian Cats' filmmaker resists the oppression of his Iranian homeland
Iran's technocrats disillusioned, turn against regime
Iran strikes secret nuclear mining deal with Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime
Amnesty International's urgent action appeal to prevent imminent execution in Iran
Family unfairly sentenced to death
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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.