Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 04 - A member of Irans Majlis (parliament) today admitted to the systematic use of excess force by security forces against citizens. Fakhroldin Heydari, a Majlis deputy from the town of Baneh (northwest Iran) revealed that two individuals in his constituency were shot and killed by aggressive security forces in the past month alone and a number of others were badly wounded.
Iran Focus: Cairo, Jan. 04 Iraqs Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan rejected the idea of direct dialogue with Iran yesterday, saying that Iran had no interest in dialogue and only sought to destabilise Iraq. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gaith, Shaalan also hinted that Iraq should postpone its January 30th general election if Sunni groups who have threatened to boycott the election were willing to participate in one set for a later date.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 04 - Students from the University of Tabriz (northwestern Iran) have continued their protest on campus following the deans decision to suspend two student union spokespersons.
The demonstration by a large number of students started Monday morning.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 04 - The head of Irans Office to Combat Smuggled Goods estimated that nearly $6 billion of all foreign imports come from the black-market every year and hinted at widespread government corruption as the cause.
Iran Focus Analysis: Tehran, Jan. 03 Candidates set to stand in Irans June 17th presidential elections are seen by many Iran experts as right-wing extremists loyal to hardline Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Several of them, including former heads of Irans Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have announced their candidacy for president.
UPI: Officials of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said Monday they see no justification for Iran's nuclear program and are skeptical about it.
GCC Secretary-General Abdel Rahman Attiya was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Watan as saying, "Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries can't find any justification for such nuclear activity which poses great dangers for all the peoples in the Gulf region."
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 03 - Angry residents in Tehrans 17th district blockaded the main freeway on Saturday protesting against the unsafe conditions which regularly result in fatal accidents.
Protesters stopped all traffic flowing on the Javaneh freeway between the 17th and 19th districts in the Iranian capital.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Jan. 02 Iranian agents are systematically kidnapping Iraqis for ransom in the southern Iraqi province of Missan, local residents say. Iranian terrorist agents kidnap Iraqis on the Ozeys route and take them to Iran, demanding large ransoms for their return, a local Iraqi said.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 02 An Iranian official in charge of combating drugs in Iran stated that there are presently more than four million drug addicts in the country. Moussalreza Servati, a member of the Iranian Majlis Social Committee, said yesterday, At the start of the revolution we had perhaps 150,000 addicts, but presently we are facing four million addicts.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Dec. 02 All schools and kindergartens throughout Tehran and Shahre-Rey, south of the Iranian capital, are closed today due to extreme air pollution in the region. Following an emergency meeting by representatives of Irans Health and Interior Ministries yesterday on Tehrans weather conditions it was announced that all schools and kindergartens would be closed today.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Jan. 01 Iraqs Defence Minister, Hazem Shaalan, accused Iran today of attempting to create a Safavian-style Shiite Crescent stretching from Iran all the way to Syria and Lebanon, engulfing Iraq and bringing about corruption in the country.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 31 - The Iraqi interim-Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, speaking on Iraqi TV today echoed comments made yesterday by Iraqs Defence Minister, about Iranian and Syrian meddling in Iraq. There are countries which host those who are involved in activities that are harmful to the people of Iraq, he said.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 31 The Iraqi Defence Minister announced yesterday that he has fresh information on Iranian and Syrian meddling in Iraq. I have important information regarding the interference into Iraq by these two countries, Hazem Shaalan said. Speaking on Al-Arabia satellite TV channel, Shaalan stated, The Iraqi people will soon see footage of the confessions of one of the perpetrators who has information about the meddling of these two countries in Iraq.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Dec. 31 - Recent studies reveal that fourteen percent of all children in Iran are currently working so as to provide income for their families.
Many of these children are forced into illegal employment such as smuggling, selling narcotics, and prostitution and have to forgo any opportunity of studying in school. Virtually all such children are facing malnutrition and are prone to diseases due to lack of hygiene, according to the latest statistics.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Dec. 30 - The director general of Irans Teachers Union resigned on Tuesday after increased pressure by the Iranian regime on teachers and educational establishments. In the general meeting of the directors of the Teachers Union attended by ten of the fifteen members of the board, Mahmoud Beheshti-Langroudi, handed in his resignation citing personal reasons.