Iran Update
Volume: 1 - Issue:  638 July 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).    
Act against barbaric regimes now
Toronto Sun
8 July 2010

Every Monday, for 15 minutes, a young man speaks to his mother through prison glass. She is Sakine Mohammedie Ashtiani, and since 2006 she has been tormented by the government of Iran for "adultery."
Ashtiani was originally condemned to 99 lashes, a sentence which was carried out in front of her 17-year-old son. Now, after re-examining her case, Iranian authorities have decided she should also be stoned to death.
To be clear, these maniacs want to throw rocks at this woman's head until her brains are dashed out.
Treating people like this is evil. Regimes that do such things must be exposed, rattled and, at times, replaced. And in countries fortunate enough not to be subject to such brutality, we ought to recalibrate our priorities from cosy concerns like reality shows and "climate change" to the plight of our fellow human beings.
This struggle is cultural, psychological, military, and economic. Most of all, it is a test of wills. Do we have the strength to call evil by its name and resist, or will we fumble about and find reasons not to until it's too late? Iran is only the most prominent and dangerous among the entities that oppose us, and Ashtiani's story is one of heartbreaking thousands, chronicled by Amnesty International and others.
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Iran's hair crackdown: Just one more rule to break
CBS News
Elizabeth Palmer
7 July 2010

First there was bad hejab for women.
Now there's bad hair for men.
The new recommendations from Iran's Culture Ministry against "decadent, Western" male hairdos are supposed to impose Islamically correct appearance. They won't work.
For Iranian young people opposed to the regime, it's a badge of honor to break the rules, and this is one more rule to break.
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UAE ambassador backs strike on Iran's nuclear sites
The Guardian
Ian Black, Middle East editor
7 July 2010

Iran and the United Arab Emirates are embroiled in a furious new row after the latter's ambassador to Washington publicly expressed support for a US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Yousef al-Otaiba commented bluntly that the benefits would outweigh the short-term costs of military action. "We cannot live with a nuclear Iran," the envoy said at a conference in Aspen, Colorado. "I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the UAE."
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Son pleads for help as mother awaits stoning in Iran
Gena Somra and Mitra Mobasherat
6 July 2010

Sajjad Mohammedie Ashtiani travels to a Tabriz jail in Iran every Monday to see his mother. And for 15 minutes each week, he speaks to his mother, Sakine Mohammedie Ashtiani, through the prison glass that divides them.
Neither mother nor son ever know if the visit will be their last.
Convicted of adultery in 2006, Ashtiani has been sentenced to be stoned to death for her alleged crime.
Originally sentenced to 99 lashes for her alleged "illicit relationship outside of marriage," Ashtiani endured that punishment in front of her then 17-year-old son.
"The authorities asked if I wanted to wait outside. I said no. I could not leave my mother alone."
Sajjad says it is a day he will never forget. But, he says, that day he thought the worst was over.
"I was thinking, OK, they hit her, now it's finished. They told me this process was finished. She's done. She's free to go. "
But then a judges' panel in Tabriz suspected Ashtiani of being involved in her husband's murder and re-opened her case.
She was cleared of the murder charges, but the panel re-examined Ashtiani's adultery sentence, and based on unspecified "judges' knowledge," decided she should be put to death for the alleged affair.
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Sanctions are biting in Iran, exiled group says
Luke Baker
5 July 2010

BRUSSELS, July 5 (Reuters) - Sanctions imposed on Iran over the past four years are having a direct impact on its nuclear programme and causing widespread bank liquidity problems, according to an exiled Iranian opposition group.
Citing intelligence gathered in Iran in the last four months, The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based group that says it has many followers in Iran, said Tehran was struggling to get equipment for its Natanz enrichment facility.
Iran is also short of fuel for domestic use and has run into liquidity constraints at several banks, it said.
The NCRI report, compiled in June, identifies problems in several crucial areas, despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dismissal last week of the fourth round of U.N. sanctions, imposed last month, as "pathetic".
The NCRI, set up in Iran in the early 1980s, is regarded as a fringe faction by the Iranian government and is listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States.
But the group, which operates openly in Europe, has provided accurate information on Iran before. It was the first to expose Tehran's covert nuclear programme in 2002.
In its report the NCRI said that at Natanz, Iran's main enrichment facility, efforts to increase the number of centrifuges have been set back by a lack of high-strength steel once imported from Britain.
"In the current circumstances, we are facing problems with regard to obtaining the required material for building centrifuges," a Natanz director recently wrote to Ahmadinejad.
"In those times, we succeeded in obtaining a large amount of maraging steel from England, but now these amounts are depleted and we cannot replace them."
The NCRI said Iran was having to import 20.9 million litres of fuel a day for vehicles but was struggling to find suppliers and knew costs would surge if it had to import illegally.
On banking, the NCRI report cited an assessment made by senior directors at Iran's oil ministry in March on the impact sanctions were having on the flow of banking funds.
"The biggest issue we face is liquidity ... Currently, even many of the smaller and low-ranking (international) banks are refusing to engage in deals with us," the assessment said
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Thank you for your reading Iran Update. We welcome your comments. 
ISDCI News Group
In This Issue
Act against barbaric regimes now
Iran's hair crackdown: Just one more rule to break
UAE ambassador backs strike on Iran's nuclear sites
Son pleads for help as mother awaits stoning in Iran
Sanctions are biting in Iran, exiled group says
Quick Links
Funding Iran's Nuclear Drive
By David Klein
Putting Human Rights
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 by the UN Human Rights Council. Please support sanctions of economic relations that only benefit Iranian regime's repressive elite, enable its suppressive forces (IRGC), and prolong its illegitimate rule in Iran, and its export of terror and instability to the region and world.