Analysis: Iranian media on Russia; Basij publish report on US human rights abuses; CCDOC stands by decision to filter Facebook; Previously banned book issued permit

Analysis: Iran's Media on Russia 

Russia’s strategic goals in post-revolutionary Iran have vacillated in starkly different directions, moving between supporting Iraq in the devastating Iran-Iraq war, to selling billions of dollars in arms to Tehran in the 1990’s, to its present involvement in developing Iran’s nuclear program, while simultaneously refusing to sell Iran advanced air defense systems.

Persian Cyberspace Report January 1st-15th  

Headlines circulated cyberspace focused on the Narenji bloggers, tragic movie set accident, and cancellation of the 40cheragh Yalda party.

Iran’s Basij Launch U.S. Human Rights Watch
On January 27th, Iran's paramilitary Basij published a report about human rights in the United States, which named the U.S. one of “the main violators of human rights in the world.” The report, released in both English and Arabic, was unveiled at a ceremony at Tehran University in response to annual U.S. reports on the state of human rights in Iran. In the report, the Basij identify a number of human rights violations perpetrated in the U.S. in 2013 including: breach of privacy in cyberspace, racial discrimination in U.S. culture and the legal system, executions, and violations of minority rights.

CNN Journalists Visit Former U.S. Embassy in Tehran
A group of CNN journalists were permitted to visit the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, which closed in 1979. Members of the team, which included CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo and Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto, arrived in Tehran on January 23 to report on Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1.

Banned Book to Receive New Publishing Permit
Amir Farzollahi was recently reissued a publication permit for his book Iranian Contemporary Cinema. Banned at the publication phase four years ago, the book discusses the history of Iran’s art and culture sectors, specifically the history of the movie industry over the past 35 years.

Request to Open the Association of Iranian Journalists and Iran’s Writers Association Meeting Canceled
Over 700 journalists wrote an open letter to President Hassan Rouhani, urging him to reopen the Association of Iranian Journalists. In their letter, journalists referenced Rouhani’s campaign promise to reopen the organization, writing that they still expect the president to expedite the process. 

Two weeks after Hassan Rouhani pledged to ease restrictions on artists, the Iran’s Writers Association’s monthly advisory meeting was cancelled due to pressure from security forces. Iran's Writers Association issued a statement which questioned how Rouhani could “speak of artistic freedom when the Writers Association’s activities, which have fought for the freedom of expression for half a century and believes that freedom is necessary for literature and creative art, are banned?"

Filtering Committee Stands by Its Decision to Filter Facebook and Twitter
In a phone interview with the television program "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow," Secretary of the Committee Charged with Determing Offensive Content (CCDOC) Abdolsamad Khorramabadi stated that it is wrong for government officials to use social networking websites deemed harmful and filtered by the CCDOC. Samadabadi added, “If our young generation knew the Zionist nature of Facebook, they would stop using it themselves.”

New Player Joins Iran’s Cyberspace Surveillance Team
In a meeting with Makarem Shirazi, a marja who supports filtering Facebook, Hojatoleslam Mehdi Khamooshi, the head of Iran's Islamic Development Organization (IIDO), stated that the IIDO, an organization primarily involved with art and information technology, is planning to take a more active role in monitoring and filtering the Internet.

Government’s Agenda: Ethnic Minorities to be Taught Mother Tongue
Ali Younesi, the president's special advisor for ethnic and religious minorities, announced that the Ministry of Education is considering allowing ethnic minorities to be educated in their mother tongues. The Iranian constitution names Farsi as the country’s official language and states that all official documents and educational materials must be in this language. Local and minority languages are currently permitted for use in local media and the teaching of literature.

Persian Speakers can use Google Calendar with Persian Dates
On January 27th, Google announced it can now support both the Gergorian and Solar Hejri calendars.



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