9 11 We can avoid relegation, says Sardar Azmoun S P O R T S W W W . T E H R 11 Iranian nuclear negotiators to head to Montreux WORLD IN FOCUS A N T I M E S . C O Iran’s first plane lands in Yemen WORLD IN FOCUS M 12 Leader praises “Track 143” A R T & C U L T U R E I N T E R N A T I O N A L D A I L Y 12 Pages Price 5000 Rials 36th year NO.12219 Monday MARCH 2 2015 Esfand 11 1393 Jumada Al awwal 11 1436 Iran denounces Egyptian court for listing Hamas terrorist group Iran looking into developing small reactors TEHRAN — The Energy Organization of Iran plans to build small nuclear reactors, AEOI chief Ali Akbar Salehi has announced. This, according to Salehi, is a new strategy that could decrease the costs and nonetheless increase the proﬁts over the utilization of nuclear energy. “During the recent talks with U.S. negotiators in Geneva, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Washington is also looking into the same strategy,” Salehi was quoted as saying by the Persian-language newspaper Ta’adol. Salehi said the construction of a 1600-megawatt reactor requires an investment of $15 billion. “This is while the construction of small reactors with a capacity of 50-100 megawatts requires much less investment.” Salehi accompanied Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in high-proﬁle nuclear negotiations in Geneva last week in which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Moniz had also participated. Contd. on P. 11 Fund managers on the Iranian frontier Growing optimism that international trade sanctions on Iran will be lifted has resulted in dozens of fund managers visiting the country and carrying out due diligence on Iranian companies. Investors in frontier markets believe the Islamic republic would immediately become Political Desk Atomic NEWS ‘Lengthy talks has convinced world that Iran’s nuclear work is peaceful’ TEHRAN — The Political Desk director of the Strategic Research Center at the Expediency Council has said that the lengthy nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers have led that the public opinion in the world to realize that Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful. Ali Akbar Velayati made the remarks during a meeting with the visiting Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Sunday. However, Velayati said a “prolongation of talks” is both “harmful and useful”. “The beneﬁt of talks was that the world’s public opinion recognized the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention but peaceful use of nuclear energy which is any nation’s right,” he stated. Velayati, a former foreign minister, said that nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers in Vienna and Geneva have proven that Iran’s demands are based on international law. He said that Iran seeks nuclear activities based on international law including the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Elsewhere in his remarks, he said the “strategic” policies set by the Supreme Leader would beneﬁt both Iran and Europe. The Italian foreign minister expressed hope that Iran’s nuclear talks would bear a “favorable” result. Talking to reporters after the meeting with Velayati, Gentiloni said a nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers would beneﬁt the international community. one of the more developed markets available to them if it were opened up to foreign investment. Turquoise Partners, a Tehran-based investment, brokerage and advisory ﬁrm, says it has hosted more than 80 foreign investors on visits to Iran over the past year. Dominic Bokor-Ingram, portfolio adviser at Charlemagne Capital, the London-based emerging markets specialist, says: “A breakthrough on sanctions could provide one of the most interesting investment opportunities we have seen for a very long time.” Contd. on P. 4 Shamkhani says it’s possible to reach ‘good’ nuclear deal IRNA/Amin Jalali see page 2 Netanyahu’s U.S. speech a ‘blessing’ for Iran talks? With two missed deadlines last year, and another one due at the end of March, negotiators are racing against time to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran. Adding urgency to the talks is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech before the U.S. Congress, which is viewed by political observers as a lastditch eﬀort to block a ﬁnal deal. But as the clock ticks, foreign policy observers said Netanyahu’s plan could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Washington and Tehran to achieve a historic breakthrough. Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the Iran Initiative at the non-partisan think tank New America Foundation, said Netanyahu’s “ill-advised” decision to bypass U.S. President Barack Obama, in arranging a speech before the opposition-led U.S. Congress, has only “weakened” his case against a possible deal with Iran. “There’s no doubt that Netanyahu’s message will play well with those who oppose any deal,” DiMaggio told Al Jazeera. “But there is very little chance that his appearance in Washington will derail the negotiations.” Netanyahu’s not-so-secret feud with Obama could also make it easier for Tehran to approve a deal, Iran expert Barbara Slavin wrote in a Voice of America online piece. Even Netanyahu’s former Mossad spy chief, Meir Dagan said that, “the person who has caused the greatest strategic damage to Israel on the Iranian issue is the prime minister”. Netanyahu has been ada- Environment Protection Organization director visits Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company’s pavilion Anti-cancer and eco-friendly Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Holding Company’s board of directors’ member: Holding Companies’ Status is Unknown in Iran See Page 2 mant in making the speech despite the White House’s protest. He said the proposed nuclear deal is a “bad agreement that is dangerous for the state of Israel”, and it is his duty to block it. The White House said Netanyahu, who is facing a re-election on March 17, is politicizing U.S. diplomacy. Tensions between the White House and Tel Aviv over Iran have further escalated in recent days, with the White House accusing Netanyahu’s government of leaking details of the negotiations to derail a deal. “What is there to hide” if the U.S. has a “good deal”, Netanyahu asked recently. Obama’s top national security aide, Susan Rice, replied that Netanyahu’s action is “destructive” to U.S.-Israeli relations. At a U.S. Congress hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is on top of the talks in Geneva, also questioned Netanyahu’s judgment, recalling the prime minister’s support of the invasion in Iraq. As the U.S.-Israel row drags on, the ﬁve permanent members of the UN Security Council, Britain, China, France, Russia, and the U.S. plus Germany, known as P5+1, are continuing to work on a deal. But all eyes are now on Iran and the U.S. negotiators as talks enter their ﬁnal phase. The aim of the deal is to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, while allowing it limited and veriﬁable number of centrifuges for energy and medical purposes. In exchange, Iran gets relief from international sanctions that have strangled its economy for years. While no deal has been reached yet, Netanyahu said he has seen what’s in the draft, and he found it objectionable. He insisted that a deal must prohibit all of Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity. But according to analysts, what Netanyahu, and his allies in the U.S. Congress and American foreign policy circles are demanding, is unrealistic. “It’s more of a delusion than anything else,” said Mohsen Milani, head of the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida. “I’m afraid that the train has left the station, and is very unlikely to return,” Milani told Al Jazeera, referring to the international understanding that Iran has the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, and keep some of its nuclear centrifuges. “It’s very important to remember that the essence of any negotiations is give and take,” Milani said. “Iran has already given major concessions to the P5+1.” Instead of out-rightly opposing a deal, Netanyahu and his allies should oﬀer an alternative to the negotiations, foreign policy experts said. “Those people who insist that Iran should absolutely have no nuclear program, should also tell us how they seek to achieve this goal,” Milani said. “What are the alternatives? Are they willing to go to war with Iran, if Iran does not agree to this demand?” However, opponents of the deal continue to suspect that Iran is still intent on building a nuclear weapon. DiMaggio pointed out: “All in all, I’d say the alternatives to a diplomatic agreement are very bleak.” She added that a failed nuclear talks could trigger “escalation of hostilities” that could lead to calls for military action, “stoking the ﬂames for a wider regional conﬂict”. Returning from a recent trip to Tehran, Jim Slattery, a former U.S. Congressman, said that Iran is ready to sign a deal, and that the U.S. should “not miss an historic moment” in getting it through. “The failure to complete an agreement right now and the failure to improve this relationship with Iran, I think has very dangerous consequences for the U.S. and for Iran,” he told an Atlantic Council forum in Washington DC. By insisting on delivering his speech before the U.S. Congress, Netanyahu is “showing disrespect to the oﬃce of the president”, Slattery said. “I am afraid that it’s not going to be beneﬁcial for Israel.” On the streets of Tehran, Iranians are still holding out hope for a deal, despite initial disappointments when talks failed to produce a deal last November, journalist Ruhollah Faghihi told Al Jazeera. “Nobody likes to see this country sanctioned. The majority of people want to see this deal signed,” Faghihi said, while acknowledging public anxiety about what “Israel and Arab countries” would do in preventing a deal. “In my view, the people of Iran don’t like to be pessimistic, that’s why they try to be optimistic and hopeful about a nuclear deal, which leads to lifting all of the sanctions.” (Source: Al Jazeera) 2 Majlis approves issuing $5.5b in bonds to fund development projects TEHRAN — Iranian parliament (Majlis) on Sunday approved a bill, according to which the administration will be allowed to issue 150 trillion rials (about $5.5 billion) to fund national development projects. The fund will be used to implement oil and gas projects as well as complete semi-ﬁnished development plans. The development of joint oil and gas fields, the expansion of public transportation fleet, the establishment of water and wastewater treatment facilities as well as power plants, and the construction of sport complexes have been prioritized. In June 2014, Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht said the administration of President Hassan Rouhani needs $400 billion to complete semi-ﬁnished development projects across the country. There are 2,906 projects semi-ﬁnished nationwide, Nobakht added. “We will allocate the lion’s share of the national development budget to completing the projects which are done by over 80 percent,” he said. Economic Desk The NEWS Obama would veto bill to give Congress say on Iran deal Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the U.S. and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday. “The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council. The U.S. and five other major powers are seeking to negotiate an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would require the submission to Congress the text of any agreement within ﬁve days of concluding a ﬁnal deal with Iran. The bill would also prohibit Obama from suspending or waiving sanctions on Iran passed by Congress for 60 days after a deal. Meehan said the U.S. “should give our negotiators the best chance of success, rather than complicating their efforts”. Negotiations between the U.S., Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran have reached a crucial stage, with a basic framework agreement due by the end of March. Republican senator Bob Cor k er, on e of t h e bipa rt is a n groups of sponsors of the bill, said it was “disappointing that the president feels he is the only one who speaks for the citizens of our country”. (Source: Guardian) 2 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY MEDIA MONITOR TEHRAN — A number of Iranian MPs have prepared a bill to investigate the performance of the Department of Environment in dealing with dust storms which have lately turned into a controversial issue in Iran. According to Keyhan newspaper on Sunday, the MPs found fault with the department’s head Masoumeh Ebtekar by saying that instead of dealing with the problem, she engaged in factional propaganda. Abadan representative in Majlis, Mohammad Said Ansari, said that the department’s performance has not been satisfactory at all. Majlis sensitive about energy carriers’ price hike: Larijani TEHRAN — Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says that the Majlis is sensitive about increasing the prices of energy carriers. His remarks concerned a part of the next year’s national budget bill proposing to increase energy carriers’ prices, Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday. “We are trying to prevent a leap in prices,” he stressed, adding that if the government’s revenue falls due to low oil prices, attempt will be made to make up for the deﬁcit through tax income. Morad Enadi appointed Jam-e Jam managing director TEHRAN — Morad Enadi, who has been deputy managing director and editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times since the mid2014, has been appointed as the managing director of Jam-e Jam newspaper. Aﬃliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Jam-e Jam is a Persian-language daily newspaper published in Iran since April 29, 2000. Enadi, a political analyst who has a PhD in political science, will replace Bijan Moqaddam. Jam-e Jam has one of the highest circulations among Iranian newspapers. TEHRAN TIMES TASNIM KEYHAN MPs offer bill to investigate Department of Environment’s performance N A T I O N MARCH 2, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / p o l i t i c s Shamkhani says it’s possible to reach ‘good’ nuclear deal TEHRAN — Ali Sham- Po l i t i c a l D e s k khani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, has said that it is possible that Tehran and the major powers reach a “good” nuclear agreement based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty. He made the remarks during a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Tehran on Sunday. It is possible to reach a “good” agreement which “respects Iran’s nuclear rights” within the framework of the NPT if the negotiating sides have “seriousness” and “honesty”, he stated. Shamkhani highlighted the necessity of removing all the “illegal” sanctions and taking “trust building” actions by the other side in response to Iran’s goodwill and cooperation. Elsewhere in his remarks, he called for expansion of political, cultural and economic cooperation. In an indirect reference to military and ﬁnancial support to the so-called moderate groups in Syria by certain Western and Arab countries, Shamkhani said “foreign intervention” and “instrumental use of armed groups” are not so- lution to the scourge of terrorism. For his part, the Italian foreign minister said that terrorism is the most serious threat to the world. Fighting against terrorist groups and establishing peace and stability in the Mideast region can be done through a “collective will at the international level”, he stated. Gentiloni expressed hope that Iran and the 5+1 group (the ﬁve permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) would reach a comprehensive agreement. He also stated that Italy attaches great importance to ties with Iran. Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani also met with the Italian foreign min- Iran denounces Egyptian court for listing Hamas terrorist group TEHRAN — Iran strongly condemns Po l i t i c a l D e s k a verdict by an Egyptian court which on Saturday labeled the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas as a “terrorist” organization. “The Tel Aviv regime is the illegitimate and terrorist regime, which is incapable in the face of the resistance, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad (another Palestinian resistance movement),” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Aﬀairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday. “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms anywhere, including in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Africa, and Europe,” Press TV quoted Amir-Abdollahian as saying. Hamas, in a statement, described the court’s decision as “shocking and dangerous.” Environment Protection Organization director visits Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company’s pavilion “The Egyptian court’s decision to list the Hamas movement as a terror organization is shocking and is dangerous, and it targets the Palestinian people and its factions of resistance,” the statement added. The court had also claimed in a lawsuit on January 31 that the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, was involved in recent attacks against Egypt’s security forces. An Egyptian court also on Saturday handed down death sentence to four members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement while condemning 14 others to life in prison. Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater along with former lawmaker Mohammed el-Beltagy, party head, Saad el-Katatni, and his deputy, Essam el-Erian, were among those who received life in prison. ‘Brotherhood is part of Egypt’s reality’ Amir-Abdollahian told the Al-Sisi government that “the Muslim Brotherhood is part of the existent reality in Egypt.” He called on Egypt to adopt “a realistic perspective” on the issue of terrorism. “Any side that takes terrorist measures would be hated by the entire world.” The Egyptian government has been cracking down on any opposition since Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power. Sisi has been accused of leading the suppression of Morsi supporters, as hundreds of them have been killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces over the past year. Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Holding Company’s board of directors’ member: Holding Companies’ Status is Unknown in Iran Anti-cancer and eco-friendly he ﬁrst international conference of the top holding companies of Iran provided an opportunity to conduct an interview with Dr. Mohsen Najjarnia, the board of directors’ member of Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Holding Company as well as a pharmaceutical entrepreneur of Iran, who was honored in this conference. The following interview conducted with him is about the status and role of holding groups in the industry and development of pharmaceutical objectives of the country. Najjarnia, with three pharmaceutical and industrial units, ﬁrst thanked the organizers of this conference and then elaborated on the objectives and signiﬁcance of recognizing, analyzing and investigating principles of establishing holding companies as well as investigating methods and models of such companies and their diﬀerence with investment companies, role and status of related organizations, legal barriers and oﬀering successful model through comparison with other countries. He said that issues about holding companies such as legal investigations, management, trade and investment will not be materialized in Iran just through holding such gatherings, adding, experts sessions should be held for evaluation and investigations of the performances afterward, because it is a new action and if the issues are not followed up seriously, no acceptable results will be obtained from such conferences. “We should not hold International Conference of Holding Companies in Iran like the other various conferences which are held every year in a ﬁxed way with the same programs such as granting trophy and plaque of honor.” Najjarnia commented. He went on to say that the eﬀective strategies for removing the barriers faced with the holding groups, which are noticed by the organizers of this conference, can be materialized just through beneﬁtting from the international experiences as well as exchanging ideas among economic experts and also the modern science. He said successful holding groups are those groups that their companies have a single management in a special industry. Elsewhere in his remarks, the board of directors’ member of Kharazmi Pharmaceutical T r. Masoumeh Ebtekar, director of Iran’s Environment Protection Organization, visited the pavilion of Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company, a renowned producer of anti-cancer drugs, in the International Environment Exhibition of Iran, which was held in Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds. It was the ﬁrst time that Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company participated in this exhibition. In her visit to the company’s pavilion, some explanations were oﬀered about periodical control of the systems for measuring and controlling air pollutants and wastewaters as well as controlling noise pollution and wastewater management as the factors eﬀecting health of the personnel especially in the pharmaceutical industries. The explanations were highly interesting to Ebtekar. In this visit, which was also participated by the managing director and shareholders of Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company, Dr. Shahla Nikpour, technical director of the company, said Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company as an international pharmaceutical brand is always completely aware of and committed D ister on Saturday. He highlighted the importance of expanding parliamentary ties between the two countries. No power can deprive Iranians of their legal nuclear rights In a separate meeting with Gentiloni on Sunday, Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that no power can deprive the Iranian people of their legal nuclear rights. “We are very serious in restoring our right and no power can deprive the Iranian people of their right, because we believe that we should use the knowledge [nuclear knowledge] to improve the people’s lives like all the other countries that have this technology,” he stated. He denounced Western countries’ policy of imposing sanctions as “strategic mistake”. He also noted that Iran has not sought and will not seek to build nuclear weapon. For his part, the Italian foreign minister stated that the lifting of sanctions on Iran will pave the way for expansion of ties. to its environmental responsibilities and pays attention to this issue that what huge damages environmental pollution can make specially to the pharmaceutical industries. She noted that it is why directors of the company pay special attention to complying with the integrated management system and commitment to prevention from air pollution, saying: “We know exactly how to manage environmental factors as well as consumption of electricity and other items in our planning.” Nikpour mentioned observing environmental factors as the main priority of the company’s directors in the process of producing drugs especially anti-cancer drugs, which requires precise control of wastewater, and said: “While these controls and supervisions have made high costs for the company, they have boosted credit of our produced drugs among domestic and foreign experts. * Environmental plans of Kharazmi Pharmaceutical Company, the anticancer drugs producer in Iran, were welcomed by Dr. Ebtekar and other visitors of the company’s pavilion in the International Environment Exhibition of Iran. Dr. Najjarnia: Subsidiaries and the scope of activities and investments of the holding groups should be paid attention correctly and knowingly in the governmental planning. Holding Company complained that if the process of paying no attention to the positive objectives of holding groups continues, the results will damage economic structures of these groups severely and show the weaknesses in the legal and management knowledge of holding groups and lack of necessary management, legal and ﬁnancial structures for establishment and management of these groups. In this wrong way, the holding groups will be deprived from the support of the related legal and management organizations and just a sensitive company will remain that could be damaged with any little problem, he noted. He went on to say that ﬁrst of all, the most important economic entities of the country should evaluate and prioritize the holding groups. It requires receiving real information about these groups. It is told that there are over 500 holding groups in Iran at present, while there are a few entities and organizations that have correct information about the performance and activity of them. On the other side, senior managers of holding groups should be appointed precisely, in a way that the senior manager knows and guides all subsidiaries of the holding group and in the next stage, he should oﬀer strategies for strengthening the eﬀect of holding groups in economic development of the subsidiaries and it could be materialized through beneﬁting from the new knowledge of the international holding groups, Najjarnia explained. He went on to say that pharmaceutical companies as some knowledge-based units have become very prominent now in terms of applying latest technology in the country and maybe they can reach selfsuﬃciency specially in terms of producing expensive drugs, but, unfortunately some wrong decisions are made in this sector, so the government should support the producers and renowned brands in pharmaceutical industry and take some essential steps in this due. Legal and management system of the subsidiaries of industrial holding groups should not be challenged, he noted. He further complained about not issuing single permit for successful pharmaceutical units and said related policies, which have led to more costs and problems for the people, should be revised. If ideas of the pharmaceutical holding companies were asked before enacting and implementing these economic plans, the strategy for going out of the economic recession, which is the main pivot of the international conference of Iran’s holding companies, would not become so bold, he commented. In terms of his suggestions to the government and the ministry of industry, mine and trade, Najjarnia said: “If industrial and pharmaceutical even economic and service-oﬀering holding groups are evaluated correctly by the oﬃcials in the framework of the government’s programs, the capital of these groups can be applied in the way speciﬁed by the government and also all of their machineries, facilities and achievements will be used in this way to help the government.” h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l INTERNATIONAL MARCH 2, 2015 Egypt’s ‘terrorist’ labeling of Hamas prompts protests Protests have broken out in the Gaza Strip against an Egyptian court’s decision to declare Hamas a “terrorist” organization, just weeks after the Palestinian group’s armed wing was given the same designation. A judicial source told AFP news agency that the court issued the verdict on Saturday, a ruling seen as in keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamist groups by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Palestinians throughout refugee camps and cities in Gaza held demonstrations in protest at the decision. The verdict resulted from two separate private suits ﬁled by two lawyers against Hamas, the de-facto rulers of Gaza, a 360 square kilometers enclave. Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman in Gaza City, denounced the ruling as “a desperate attempt to export Egypt’s crisis”. “The Egyptian court decision ... is shocking, critical and targets the Palestinian people and Palestinian resistance forces,” he said. Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian politician, told Al Jazeera that the verdict “is a very unwise decision” that carries political complications. “Hamas is part of the Palestinian national unity movement, and this decision is not useful,” Barghouti said. String of attacks Saturday’s ruling comes just days after Egypt adopted a new anti-terrorism law allowing the authorities to close the premises of any declared “terrorist” or- ganization, and to freeze its assets as well as those of its members. The relationship between Egypt’s authorities and Hamas has soured since the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi as president in July 2013. Hamas is an oﬀshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt also banned after the military coup in 2013. Since then, Egyptian authorities have accused Hamas of aiding armed groups, who have waged a string of deadly at- tacks on security forces in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. In January, an Egyptian court also declared Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades a “terrorist” group. The case was based on allegations that al-Qassam staged attacks to support the Muslim Brotherhood, and carried out deadly operations in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, allegations that the group denied. Armed groups in Sinai have killed reported, as local media said both leaders discussed “bilateral relations and regional developments.” Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait are the main ﬁnancial backers of Sisi’s government, having pledged around $12 billion to it UN: Iraq violence kills at least 1,100 in February The United Nations mission to Iraq said on Sunday that violence claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians. The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement that 611 civilians were among 1,103 people killed last month, with the rest hailing from the security forces. It said at least 2,280 people were wounded, including 1,353 civilians. January’s death toll was at least 1,375. The most violent city was the capital Baghdad, with 329 civilians killed and 875 wounded, it said. The UN numbers do not include the third of the country held by the Islamic State In Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremist group. UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov blamed the deaths on the ISIL terrorist group, government forces and pro-government Shia volunteers. “Daily terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIL continue to deliberately target all Iraqis,” Mladenov said in the statement. “There are also concerning reports of a number of revenge killings by armed groups in ar- scores of policemen and soldiers since Morsi’s overthrow, pledging revenge for a crackdown on his supporters that has left more than 1,400 people dead. Most of the attacks, however, have been claimed by the armed group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Supporters of the Holy House, or Ansar Jerusalem, Supporters of Jerusalem), which has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group. (Source: Al Jazeera) since he came to power. In an interview with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel ahead of the visit Sisi insisted that bilateral relations with Riyadh were strong and never “turbid”. His visit coincides with that of Erdogan, who on Saturday visited the Muslim holy city of Mecca to perform the minor umrah pilgrimage. There was no immediate indication that the two would meet. Sisi said the visit by both leaders to the kingdom was a “coincidence.” But he also urged Turkey to “stop interfering in Egypt’s internal aﬀairs”, in the interview with AlArabiya. Turkey, along with Persian Gulf member Qatar, have been accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement of Morsi, blacklisted by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. (Source: AFP) Ukraine military: Rebels using truce to regroup eas recently liberated from ISIL,” he added. He called on Iraq’s fractured leaders to reconcile, saying “an exclusively military solution to the problem of ISIL is impossible.” The statement came a day after series of attacks targeting public places and Shia volunteers’ checkpoints in and around the capital killed at least 37 people. The deadliest, near the city of Samarra, saw two suicide car bombers attack checkpoints manned by Shia volunteers, killing 16 Shia ﬁghters and wounding 31. Hours later, the ISIL terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Samarra attacks in a statement posted on an account used by the terrorist group. The ISIL terrorist group and other insurgents seized control of much of western and northern Iraq last year. According to UNAMI, last year was the deadliest in Iraq since the peak of the country’s sectarian conﬂict in 2006-2007, with a total of 12,282 people killed and 23,126 wounded. (Source: Reuters) Ukraine’s military said on Sunday that a cease-ﬁre had been fully observed in eastern separatist territories overnight, but warned that rebels were using the truce to regroup for new attacks on government positions. A drop in violence and moves by both sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the front line had raised hopes that a shaky two-week-old ceaseﬁre could hold. “In order to mislead OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) representatives, the rebels are moving military equipment from the front line ... and bringing it back at night,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. “There are signs the enemy is preparing for further oﬀensives,” he said, naming as major targets government-held Mariupol, a strategic port city, and Artemivsk, north of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk. While there was no shelling in the night, rebels shelled government troop positions 34 times Saturday, wounding eight Ukrainian soldiers, Lysenko said. On the other side, rebels said Ukrainian forces had ﬁred mortar rounds and rockets in the Donetsk area 26 times in the past 24 hours, according to separatist DAN press service. Senior rebel commander Eduard Basurin said on Sunday separatists continued the process of withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line under the eye of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, DAN reported. The OSCE, which is monitoring the implementation of the peace deal, said on Saturday it had monitored the pull back of rebel equipment in parts of the Donetsk region and would check daily to see if the weapons remained in the areas they had been pulled back to. It said it had also observed the withdrawal of two convoys in Luhansk (Lugansk) region, but separatists had “prohibited the special monitoring mission from following either of these convoys to their endpoints.” (Source: Reuters) ISIL driven back from Baghdadi Iraq’s defense ministry says the military, with the support of volunteer forces and pro-government tribes, has managed to fully purge the western town of Baghdadi from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group. According to Iraqi media reports, the defense ministry in a statement added that the forces are now moving toward the city of Hit, northwest of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, expressing hope that the city would be liberated soon. Following Baghdadi’s liberation, its residents celebrated the victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The ISIL terrorist group captured most of Baghdadi, which is located about 85 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi, on February 12 after besieging it for months. It is home to an airbase that houses hundreds of U.S. Marines. Anbar Province, which borders Syria, is regarded as a major stronghold of ISIL. 3 Thousands march in Moscow to mourn Nemtsov Leaders of Egypt, Turkey in Saudi Arabia Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi arrived on Sunday in the Saudi capital Riyadh, as his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is accused of backing the Cairo-banned Muslim Brotherhood, also visited Saudi Arabia. It remains unclear if both leaders, whose relations have been strained ever since the overthrow of Sisi’s predecessor Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, would meet in Riyadh. Sisi’s visit comes after a satellite television aired in February an audio recording in which he apparently suggests that Persian Gulf monarchies have more money than they need and that Egypt should have some. Sisi swiftly initiated telephone conversations with his allies in the Persian Gulf who reassured him on the strength of their ties, including with Saudi King Salman who told him relations with Cairo are “strategic.” On Sunday the Saudi monarch greeted Sisi upon his arrival, the official SPA news agency INTERNATIONAL DAILY The terrorists control parts of northern and western Iraq as well as eastern Syria. The terrorists have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians. Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen are engaged in joint operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have under control. (Source: Press TV) Tens of thousands of people marched through the Russian capital Moscow in memory of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down in the capital on Friday night. More than 70,000 people turned out in central Moscow on Sunday, many carrying Russian ﬂags and slowly marching through an avenue alongside River Moskva, one of the organizers said, but police estimated the crowd at more than 16,000. Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, who is reporting from Moscow, said security is very tight for the rally. On Saturday, thousands of people laid ﬂowers and lit candles on a bridge near the Kremlin where Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was shot to death. National investigators who answer to the Russian President Vladimir Putin say they are pursuing several lines of inquiry, including the possibility that Nemtsov, who was 55, was killed by extremist attackers or that the opposition killed him to blacken the president’s name. Putin’s opponents say such suggestions show the cynicism of Russia’s leaders as they whip up nationalism, hatred and anti-Western hysteria to rally support for his policies on Ukraine and deﬂect blame for an economic crisis. “It is a blow to Russia. If political views are punished this way, then this country simply has no future,” Sergei Mitrokhin, an opposition leader, said of Nemtsov’s murder. Putin has described the killing as a “provocation”, and told Nemtsov’s 86-year-old mother, Dina Eidman, that the killers would be found and punished. He also promised to do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for Nemtsov’s killing. “Everything will be done so that the organizers and perpetrators of a vile and cynical murder get the punishment they deserve,” Putin said in a telegram to Nemtsov’s mother published on the Kremlin’s website. He said Nemtsov’s death was an irreparable loss and that he had “left his trace in Russia’s history, in politics and public life”. Nemtsov was one of the leading lights of an opposition struggling to revive its fortunes three years after mass rallies against Putin failed to prevent him from returning to the presidency after four years as prime minister. Putin has now been Russia’s dominant leader since 2000, when ailing President Boris Yeltsin chose the former KGB spy as his successor, a role Nemtsov had once been destined to play. Many opposition leaders have been jailed on what they say are trumped-up charges, or have ﬂed the country. Nemtsov had hoped, however, to start the opposition’s revival with a march in Marino on the outskirts of Moscow on Sunday to protest against Putin’s economic policies and what they see as Russia’s involvement in the separatist war in east Ukraine. The Kremlin denies any role in the ﬁghting. Nemtsov had said in an interview that he feared Putin may want him dead because of his outspoken criticism of Russia’s role in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Nemtsov had told him about two weeks ago that he planned to publish evidence of Russian involvement in Ukraine’s separatist conﬂict. “Someone was very afraid of this... They killed him,” Poroshenko said in televised comments shown in Ukraine. (Source: Al Jazeera) Egypt court declares part of election law unconstitutional An Egyptian court on Sunday ruled as unconstitutional a clause in the election law that draws voting districts, a verdict that is almost certain to delay parliamentary elections scheduled to start later this month. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a statement that he has ordered the government to adopt the “necessary legislative amendments” within a month to comply with the Supreme Constitutional Court’s ruling. Another court is likely to rule later this month on whether the election should be delayed, but a date for the new vote would be decided by the Supreme Electoral Commission, which went into an emergency meeting on Sunday following the verdict. Egypt has not had an elected legislature since 2012, when the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the lower chamber was not constitutionally elected. Supporters of then-President Mohamed Morsi besieged the court ahead of a hearing in which it was expected to issue a similar ruling against the upper chamber, preventing the judges from reaching their chambers. The forthcoming election is the third and ﬁnal step in a road map announced by el-Sissi when he ousted Morsi in July 2013 amid massive protests against the leader’s yearlong rule. The ﬁrst two steps were the adoption of a new constitution by referendum in 2014 and a presidential election that was comfortably won later that year by el-Sissi, who has ruled by decree since coming to oﬃce in June. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood swept the ﬁrst free parliamentary elections after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The group is now oﬃcially considered a terrorist organization, and thousands of its members, including most of its top leaders, are in jail. (Source: Reuters) 4 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY NEWS Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline not abandoned: Pakistani minister The Pakistani commerce minister says the country has not abandoned the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, which is scheduled to provide Pakistan with Iranian natural gas. Pakistan will pursue the IP project after the removal of anti-Iran sanctions, the Express Tribune quoted Khurram Dastgir Khan as saying in a Saturday report. “A gas pipeline that is going to be laid from [the Pakistani port city of] Gwadar to [the port city of] Nawabshah can be extended by 11 kilometers to Iran,” the minister said. Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement for the construction of the gas pipeline in 1995. Later, Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, an accord between Iran and India was signed. But due to the U.S. pressure, India withdrew from the project in 2009. Iran has already built its 900-kilometer share of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be built. The IP pipeline aims to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages. The United States has long been threatening Islamabad with economic sanctions if it goes ahead with the plan. (Source: agencies) IKCO plans to produce environmentally friendly cars Iran Khodro Industrial Group has planned on maximizing the production of fuel eﬃcient engines and diversifying its fuel portfolio with the purpose of environmental preservation. “Producing fuel eﬃcient, turbocharger and hybrid engines are some of the environmental preservation programs that IKCO has targeted,” said IKCO CEO and President, Hashem Yekehzare. As some of the main measures taken by this company, the CEO referred to improving design process, creating fuel portfolio, upgrading emission test labs and cooperating with scientiﬁc centers to carry out environmental researches. “All IKCO cars meet Euro IV standard while car production process has been upgraded to meet this standard as well,” declared Yekehzare and added, “by doing so, fuel consumption has decreased by 5 to 7 percent and our cars’ emissions has dropped by 50 percent.” IKCO production statistics indicates 72% growth in the past eleven months, which is 233,847 sets more than the sum of cars manufactured in the same period last year. The fulﬁllment of the company’s new plans has resulted in this production boost. TEHRAN STOCK EXCHANGE Index Value Main Board Change -44.5 -0.09 53467.8 -84.2 -0.16 63860.1 -90.8 -0.14 Free Float Index 72825.6 11.6 0.02 Secondary Index 123942.7 -325.3 -0.26 Index Industry Index Overall Index 47295 Percent OVERALL INDEX DETAILS First 63950.9 Max Value 63956.3 Min Value 63858.9 Closing 63860.1 Variety (90.8) Change end of year(%) 701.61% Historical highest 89500.6 (2014/01/05) E C O N O M Y Iran says a new deal has been finalized with Peugeot for production of cars in the country. Iran said on Sunday that an agreement has been finalized with the French auto major Peugeot for the production of cars in the country. Hashem Yekke-Zare, the managing director of Iran Khodro Industrial Group, has told reporters that the agreement with Peugeot has “exceptional terms” that cannot be compared with any previous deals with foreign auto makers. “Based on the deal with Peugeot, a joint venture will be established with Iran Khordro,” Yekke-Zare has been quoted as saying by Mehr news agency. “Peugeot will accordingly have to export 30 percent of the products that are produced in the joint venture,” he added. Yekke-Zare further emphasized that once the agreement with Peugeot is made operational, Iran and France will create a hub for the exports of cars in the Persian Gulf region. He also said Iran Khodro is at the same time negotiating with a non-Asian partner whose Contd. from P. 1 Mr. Bokor-Ingram has visited Tehran twice in the past 12 months to meet companies in which he might invest if sanctions put in place as a result of Iran’s nuclear programme are removed. Sam Vecht, manager of the BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust, has also been planning a trip. “It has a strong middle class and an active stock market,” says Mr Vecht. Michael Levy, investment manager of the Baring Frontier Markets fund, adds: “Iran displays many of the characteristics we look for when investing in frontier markets, such as a young population and rising demand for consumer goods and healthcare.” With a market capitalization of $106 billion, about 500 listed companies and daily trading of $80 million-$100 million, the Tehran Stock Exchange is about the same size as that of Dubai. It is currently trading at about 5.5 times earnings, against 10.5 times for the MSCI Frontier Markets index, and provides dividends in the low teens. However, sanctions have isolated Iran from the international banking system and damaged its economy, which suﬀers from high unemployment and inﬂation. Low oil prices have caused further pain in recent months. US dollar 1 34240 British Pound 1.543 53000 *The free market rates To U.S. Dollars To IR. Rial* UAE dirham 0.272 9380 EURO 1.119 38790 Currency (Sources: Mehrnews.com & xe.com) MAJOR COMMODITIES Light Crude $ / barrel 49.76 Silver $ / troy ounce Gold $ / troy ounce 1,213.10 Platinum $ / troy ounce Copper $ / pound 2.69 Wheat ¢ / bushel 16.56 1,185.60 513 Source: cnnmoney.com Should sanctions be lifted, Iran could increase daily oil exports from 1 million barrels to 3.5 million barrels using existing capacity, providing an immediate economic boost, believes Mr BokorIngram. He says: “Iran has one of the highest oil and gas reserves of any country in the world, but overall its economy is not nearly as dependent on oil and gas as its peers in the Middle East.” Charles Robertson, chief economist at Renaissance Capital, the investment bank, adds: “Iran is, surprisingly, the most diversiﬁed economy in the world — it exports every item in the IMF classiﬁcation of exports. “Its agricultural and manufacturing base may be more competitive if energy prices are low and the currency therefore is relatively cheap.” Hopes were dashed in November of an immediate deal between Iran and major world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, but they are now seeking to reach a framework agreement by the end of March that would then be ﬁnalized by June. Any such deal would involve the opening up of Iran’s economy in exchange for guarantees of its nuclear program remaining peaceful. “People in Iran are desperate for a deal to be done,” says Mr Bokor-Ingram. ExxonMobil admits $1b lost from anti-Russia sanctions The contracts with Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft damaged by the West’s anti-Russian sanctions have cost ExxonMobil $1 billion, the company said in its annual report. “In 2014, the European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector. In compliance with the sanctions and all general and specific licenses, prohibited activities involving offshore Russia in the Black Sea, Arctic regions, and onshore western Siberia have been wound down. The Corporation’s maximum exposure to loss from these joint ventures as of December 31, 2014, is $1.0 billion,” the report said. Rosneft and ExxonMobil established projects to conduct China bans ivory carving imports for one year NEWS IN BRIEF To IR. Rial* name will be announced in the near future. Iran Khodro is the leading Iranian vehicle manufacturer with the current capacity of producing 600,000 vehicles a year. (Source: Press TV) Fund managers on the Iranian frontier MAJOR CURRENCIES To U.S. Dollars h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / e c o n o m y Iran finalizes “exceptional” new JV deal with Peugeot Source: tse.ir Currency MARCH 2, 2015 exploration and research activities in 2013 and 2014. The European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector in 2014, prohibiting any activities that involve offshore work in the Russian Black Sea and Arctic regions, and onshore in western Siberia. The two companies began an exploration project in the Kara Sea in August despite the sanctions. Oil reserves in the Kara Sea could be as high as 13 billion tons, which is more than in the Gulf of Mexico or the whole of Saudi Arabia. Another joint venture known as the Sakhalin–1 Consortium in Russia’s Far East uses Berkut, the world’s largest oil platform and is producing 27,000 tons of oil a day. (Source: RT) Beijing has imposed a one-year ban on imports of ivory carvings, but questions remained on its eﬀect on rising Chinese demand, which critics say could push wild African elephants to extinction within a generation. The move comes days ahead of a visit to China by Britain’s Prince William, who has campaigned against illegal wildlife traﬃcking and is expected to speak on the issue during a stop in the southwestern province of Yunnan next Wednesday. Nissan North America chief confident in overtaking Honda Investors appear equally keen. Mr Bokor-Ingram would look to banks as an initial investment if sanctions were to end, but would also explore manufacturing, healthcare, petrochemical and engineering companies. Ramin Rabii, chief executive of Turquoise Partners Group, agrees that banks would be a fertile area for initial investment. “If the country opens up, the lowhanging fruit is hotels and services. Everyone will want to come and we don’t have enough rooms at the moment,” he adds. Investors are also keen to move into Iran’s consumer goods sector, and say the country could become a much bigger exporter, especially to other countries in the Persian Gulf region, given the relatively high quality of its consumer products. Potential pitfalls for investors include state involvement in the economy, which includes price controls. “There is still state involvement in many sectors, but the trend of liberalization is growing quickly,” says Mr Rabii. He adds: “Iranian regulations are very bureaucratic. It can be diﬃcult to operate in this country because the bureaucracy is complicated.” The stock exchange can be volatile and in some cases illiquid, as is the case with other frontier markets, but it does have a separate regulator and central depository, Mr Rabii notes. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seeking to carry out a series of social and economic reforms, including greater supervision of the banking system. Despite these obstacles, both emerging and frontier markets managers are expected to move rapidly if sanctions end, although it would take time for indices such as the MSCI Frontier Markets index to add Iran. Turquoise announced in January that it would launch Iran’s ﬁrst exchange traded fund tracking a stock market index. “As soon as ﬁnancial sanctions are eased, we would expect emerging and frontier investors to start making oﬀindex bets, so perhaps before the end of the year,” says Mr Robertson. The boost to both the currency and markets provided by a lifting of sanctions would reward investors able to enter the market early. Much of the infrastructure for international investment is in place, Mr Bokor-Ingram points out, such as a custody and settlement system based on the U.S. Nasdaq market. “Iran would become a signiﬁcant part of any frontier markets fund very quickly,” he says. (Source: Financial Times) Rio Tinto energy chief’s job cut may signal coal exit MELBOURNE (Reuters) — In its latest eﬀort to slash costs as commodity prices fall, Rio Tinto is letting go its energy chief and rolling its coal and uranium businesses into two other units, a move that could signal its intention to divest its coal assets. The world’s second-largest mining company said it will fold its coal mines in Australia into the copper division while its smaller uranium business will be added to the diamonds and minerals group, leaving the company with four product groups, including iron ore and aluminium. Energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney, a 25-year veteran of the company, will leave immediately and the company said that is also cutting some other corporate jobs. Rio makes about 80 percent of its earnings from iron ore while its coal Nissan Motor Co.’s North American chief vowed to overtake Honda Motor Co. in U.S. sales, helped by the introduction of its Titan fullsize pickup truck. “By saying overtaking them, I don’t mean overtake them for one month or two months, I mean overtaking them consistently every month,” said Jose Munoz, executive vice president for Nissan’s business in the region. “We have more presence in more segments, just to mention simply the full-size pickup truck Titan we are going to launch for a big segment, which is more than 2 million cars.” division was lossmaking last year. “This could be the ﬁrst step in a longer term exit from coal for Rio. There would be buyers of these assets if Rio wants to sell,” analysts at Jeﬀeries said in a note. Jeﬀeries puts the net present value of Rio’s coal division at around $3.6 billion. “These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company and deliver sustainable value for shareholders,” Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh said in a statement. The focus of most mining companies has switched from a race for growth and diversiﬁcation in the boom years up to 2011, to simpliﬁcation and cost-cutting more recently. South Korean central bank restrained by record debt Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju Yeol says the “sharp increase” in household debt was one of the reasons the Bank of Korea held interest rates this month, even as central banks from China to Australia loosened policy in response to slowing growth. Data this week showing household debt hitting a record 1,089 trillion won ($992 billion) at the end of 2014 escalates the potential negative sideeﬀects of any rate cut. A rise in mortgage lending led to the 29.8 trillion won increase in the OctoberDecember quarter. h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m MARCH 2, 2015 ADVERTISEMENT INTERNATIONAL DAILY 5 6 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY INTERNATIONAL By Mirco Keilberth and Christoph Reuter A N A LY S I S Why ‘Jihadi John’ Mohammad Emwazi is not the victim as some claim By Shashank Joshi T here are some men whose cruelty only seems comprehensible with the aid of a jocular epithet: Comical Ali, or Uncle Joe. We can add Jihadi John to that list. He may have been unveiled on Thursday as the Londoner Mohammad Emwazi, and “cold, sadistic, and merciless” in the words of one hostage he guarded, but the incongruous, cartoonish nickname seems likely to stick. Cage is a British organization that “campaigns against state policies” towards “communities impacted by the war on terror”. It was in contact with Emwazi until 2012 and portrays him as an “extremely gentle, kind” and “beautiful young man” who was radicalized under relentless and arbitrary pressure from the government. Emwazi, it argues, is a tragic victim crushed by the power of Any defense of an overweening security state. This narrative is self-serving, dis- ‘Jihadi John’ ingenuous, and highly selective. is not only The story starts in 2010, Cage self-serving, said in a press release, when Kuwait canceled Emwazi’s visa disingenuous and — allegedly under British pres- highly selective sure — and he was prevented from returning to the country but deserves an of his birth. This is presented as outpouring of unprovoked harassment, borne scorn for blatantly of MI5’s sadistic compulsion to target the Muslim community attempting to as a whole. humanize a But Cage left out the back story, which may help us under- barbarian whose stand why Emwazi was on the cruelty knows no government’s radar in the ﬁrst bounds place. In 2009 he had traveled to Tanzania to go on “safari”. He was refused entry, deported, and questioned by MI5 oﬃcers, who reportedly accused him of seeking to join Al Qaida’s Somali aﬃliate, Al Shabab. Contd. on P. 11 “H ave you ever seen a Libyan that tall?” one asks. And what about the professional camera work? “A major power has to be behind it.” And how could Sirte, the hometown of former dictator Moammar Gadhaﬁ, suddenly come under ISIL? The release of the video on Sunday, Feb. 15, shortly before the fourth anniversary of the insurgency against Gadhaﬁ, has led many Libyans to react reﬂexively with desperate denials of reality. The truth is that Libya is well on its way to becoming a failed state -- making it the perfect prey for ISIL. Furthermore, Libya is close to Italy, has plenty of oil and oﬀers a possible corridor to Boko Haram in Nigeria as well as to Islamists in Mali and in the Sahara. Indeed, if ISIL succeeds in solidifying its presence here, the terrorists could pose a threat to Southern Europe in addition to destabilizing all of North Africa. The site of the executions appears to be a beach located near the Mahari Hotel in the center of Sirte. The prisoners were reportedly held in the hotel, where a number of foreign jihadists are thought to reside. Several cameras were used to make the professionally produced video. Indeed, it is highly possible that ISIL propagandists with technical expertise and training from Syria or Iraq produced the Sirte video. It’s no coincidence that the executions took place in Sirte, either. The city is the ISIL’s new center of power in Libya. A short time ago, the terrorists took over TV and radio stations here, which have since been broadcasting jihadist songs and speeches given by ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammed alAdnani. In addition, oﬃces of the authorities have been occupied, oil terminals attacked and foreign workers beheaded. Just recently, government employees were even forced to publicly apologize for having worked for the Libyan state. No one dares criticize the new rulers with one witness reported that many are just happy to still be alive. The “massacre is a warning to Europe, but also a show of force aimed at us Libyans.” Last autumn, the Libyan terror MARCH 2, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l A threat to Europe: ISIL’s dangerous gains in Libya group Islamic Youth Shura Council in Derna joined forces with ISIL, but that port city is surrounded by government troops, limiting the group’s movement. The terrorists in Sirte, on the other hand, are free to move to the west and into the Sahara. They’ve also gained supporters in Benghazi and Tripoli. Meanwhile, members of militias are also defecting to ISIL. Libya has in fact become the caliphate’s most important colony in North Africa after Egypt. Fighters from around the world are trained here, with some getting deployed locally and others being sent to Syria or Iraq. The Christian massacre has the potential give the country a ﬁnal push into open civil war in which everyone is ﬁghting against each other: enemy militias, their foreign supporters and the jihadists. But the dissolution of Libya started long before. In parliamentary elections last summer, Islamist parties associated with the militias in Misrata, an important trade city, fared miserably and have been unwilling to accept their defeat. Under the leadership of the Libyan Dawn, the militias captured the capital city of Tripoli. They deposed the newly elected and internationally recognized parliament and reinstated some members of the previous parliament, leading the elected members to ﬂee to Tobruk. Since that split took place, the country has eﬀectively become home to two parliaments, but also two governments and two armies. Both sides have been ﬁghting each other since last autumn, attacking airports, oil terminals and cities. On the side of the oﬃcial Libyan government, General Khalifa The bloody power struggle is leading to Libya’s collapse. Oil production has fallen dramatically, from over 1.6 million barrels a day to under 500,000. Haftar is waging war against the Islamists, with military support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The bloody power struggle is leading to Libya’s collapse. Oil production has fallen dramatically, from over 1.6 million barrels a day to under 500,000. Revenues are still suﬃcient to cover the salaries of government workers and to subsidize gasoline, but there isn’t enough left over to maintain hospitals or cover necessary infrastructure repairs. ISIL strategists “ISIL strategists have been waiting for precisely this kind of chaos for some time now,” says Libyan security expert Mohamed Garbi. He says the conﬂict has weakened the state to such a degree that is easy to capture. ISIL, for its part, would like see this vulnerability persist. In the video, one of the militants stands with a knife in his hand and says, “We will conquer Rome, by the will of Allah.” But the Christian massacre was more likely aimed at Geneva peace talks, where delegates of most of the factions in Libya managed to negotiate a ceaseﬁre in January during discussions facilitated by UN Special Envoy Bernardino Léon. It appears that the beheadings represent an eﬀort on the part of ISIL to dismantle that success. Should intense conﬂict erupt once again in Libya, the jihadists would beneﬁt from the power struggle by constantly shifting its loyalties. It is a strategy that worked well in Syria, even allowing it to militarily outmaneuver stronger rebel groups such as the Nusra Front. ISIL, after all, had an advantage that the others did not: unity. Such unity has been lacking in a Libyan society that has drifted apart since the victory over Gadhaﬁ. One of the initial failings of the government after the revolution was that it attempted to reintegrate the ﬁghters into civilian life by paying them good wages, but without providing them with prospects of training or jobs. By doing so, it unintentionally provided support for the militias. Just after Gadhaﬁ’s fall, Libya’s Warriors Aﬀairs Commission counted around 60,000 revolutionaries, a ﬁgure that had already grown to 200,000 a year later. There were 500 militias. Contd. on P. 11 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l MARCH 2, 2015 INTERNATIONAL Afghan democracy and Western hypocrisy British politics: Old ideas, tired slogans By Rafael Behr By Davood Moradian A from the toppling of the democratic governments in Chile and Iran during the Cold War to their enduring partnership with the autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Supporting democratic aspirations The West’s record in supporting democratic aspirations of the Afghan people also reﬂects the contradiction between the West’s rhetoric and their actual policies. The enlightened Afghan King Amanullah (1919-1929) was a pioneer of the constitutional government in the Islamic world and introduced many visionary social and political reforms in the early 20th century. Then the British colonial power in the sub-continent became his sworn enemy and helped instigate his toppling from power. Almost one century later, in 2014, the British were alarmed by the prospect of an outcome of the Afghan presidential election that could be unfriendly to Pakistan’s interests and sensitivity, including London-Islamabad’s shared objective of returning the Taliban to power. To their credit, the British were transparent about their true objective in Afghanistan. Unusual for a senior British politician to speak his mind publicly, then British Defense Secretary Liam Fox made it clear: “We are not in Afghanistan for the sake of the education policy in a broken, 13th-century country. We are there so the people of Britain and our global interests are not threatened.” Democracy has also not been on Washington’s order of priorities. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the most radical Afghan groups became Washington’s main allies, alongside Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and Arab mujahideen. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the ensuing American intervention in Afghanistan, democracy was submerged into Washington’s immediate security and military objectives. Washington’s disregard to democratic politics became obvious in the early 2002, when former President George W Bush’s special representative, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, forced the Loya Jirga (a traditional gathering of prominent Afghans) to withdraw their decision to elect King Zahir Shah as the head of the interim government. Other presidential envoy Instead, he imposed the thenmalleable Hamid Karzai on the delegates. Washington’s other presidential envoy, late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, tried the opposite in the 2009 presidential election, when he came with the explicit mandate of denying presidency to the now assertive Karzai. Washington’s main objective in the 2014 presidential election, again, was not democratic aspiration of the Afghan voters. It was ensuring the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement which secures basing rights for U.S. military presence in the heart of Asia. Furthermore, Washington allowed itself to be convinced by Britishthinking about the criteria of a good Afghan president, including his ethic background and the degree of his pro-Pakistani/Taliban credential and potential. The European Union’s transatlantic solidarity prevailed over the muchpublicized EU’s democracy-promotion propaganda, as it refused to disclose the full report of its election monitors of Afghanistan 2014 presidential election and its ensuing silence over the report and the election. Consistent with the UN’s records in Afghanistan and many parts of the world, the UN became a tool and a legitimiser of anti-democratic Afghan elites and the West’s complicity and hypocrisy. Anti-democratic Afghan The anti-democratic Afghan elites and their Western supporters’ engineering of the Afghan presidential election took the country on the edge of a major catastrophe, producing a highly fragile national unity government. More importantly, it has left huge scars. Public trust in democratic politics, process and institutions has signiﬁcantly been undermined. The eventual success of “ethnic entitlement” over “democratic mandate” had widened ethnic tensions, particularly among the political class. The Afghans’ conﬁdence in the credibility and reliability of the West as their democratic partners has gravely damaged. Healing these scars requires a collective recognition, particularly by those who played a role in causing this betrayal. We are at a time that the idea of democratic governance and principles is losing its universal appeal, particularly in the Islamic world. Islamic societies are confronted with two choices: autocratic rule or being terrorized by ISIL and its like-minded groups such as the Taliban. Alongside Tunisia, Turkey, and Indonesia, Afghanistan can present a democratic alternative to the Islamic world. To this end, Afghan democracy needs more Afghan democrats and committed democratic partners. Davood Moradian is the directorgeneral of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies and former chief of programs in President Hamid Karzai’s oﬃce and chief policy adviser to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs. (Source: Al Jazeera) Fugitive prince: Is there a rift between Sonia and Rahul? By Amulya Ganguli T here may be a deeper and more unsettling reason for Rahul Gandhi’s present farewell to active politics than the explanation that he has gone away to mull over the factors which led to the Congress’s recent electoral reverses. Even the reticent and reclusive heir apparent cannot be unaware that a spell far away from the madding crowd will not be long enough for him, or anyone else, to understand why the party is facing an “existential” crisis, to quote one of the 44-year-old prince’s acolytes, Jairam Ramesh. Arguably, Rahul Gandhi may want to pore over the various points which he imbibed during his prolonged sessions with party functionaries from the time of the party’s crushing defeat in last year’s general election. An atmosphere of peace and quiet is undoubtedly necessary to sort out the many inputs. Even then, what the sabbatical implies is a mentality which is not typical of politicians, who are all invariably extroverts and revel in an environment of bustling activity. Only thinkers seek solitude. However, there has been nothing to show in the period when Rahul Gandhi has been in active politics that he is of an introspective bent of mind. This is borne out of the fact that there is nothing out of the ordinary in the idea of organizational elections that he favors for a revamp of the 130-year-old party. Nor in his castigation of the fact that most parties, including his own, are run by closed coteries. If Rahul Gandhi really wants to do away with such selfserving groups — his father called them “power brokers” — he should have begun by not accepting the vicepresident’s post. It is possible, therefore, that in addition to the instincts of a haughty loner, which is the result of a privileged upbringing, Rahul Gandhi is chaﬁng against the curbs he is apparently facing 7 COMMENT What remains unrecognized is the West’s complicity in denying Afghan democratic aspirations fghanistan’s third democratization experiment continues to be threatened by two issues that derailed them: a power struggle among the elites and external powers’ antidemocratic agendas. Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential election revealed an impressive Afghan democratic constituency across all social, political and ethnic communities and the signiﬁcant progress in the democratization of Afghan political class and discourse. On the other hand, the election revealed new challenges and old obstacles. The Afghan electoral system was not suﬃciently responsive to the reality of a multicultural, conﬂicted and transitioning polity. The technical and institutional deﬁciencies were, however, overshadowed by a segment of Afghan elites’ unwillingness to embrace democratic politics. Their fear of not having a democratic mandate prompted them to rely on the notions of a self-claimed “ethnic entitlement” and an exaggerated “technical competency”. The combination of fear and entitlement profoundly diverted Afghan voters’ enthusiasm and courageous participation in the electoral process from an inclusive democratic path to a compromised political outcome, in the form of the government of national unity. Denying democratic aspirations However, what remains unrecognized is the West’s complicity and hypocrisy in denying Afghan democratic aspiration and choice. Promoting democracy has been propagated as one of the key objectives of Western military interventions in recent years. The opponents of democracy, according to this myth, are nonWestern nations’ inherent antidemocratic characteristics, such as their ancient religion, tribal conﬂicts and patriarchal culture. Another prominent Western perspective on democracy is the Euro-centric view which believes in the exclusivity of democracy for Western societies. Interestingly, the Salaﬁsts and groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) concur with the Euro-centric’s cultural construction of democracy and ﬁrmly believe in the incompatibility of the democratic system with Islamic values. However, democracy as a normative system rooted in universal principles such as equality, social justice, people’s sovereignty and the rule of law have a transcultural basis. The other perspective charges the West’s instrumentalization of democracy as a tool in the pursuit of political and economic ends. They point to abundant examples; INTERNATIONAL DAILY in the implementation of his ideas. A hint of his approach was available from the observations of the Congress general secretary, Digvijay Singh, when he said that Rahul Gandhi wanted to “run a Kejriwal-type campaign: open the party up, allow people to come in, put a greater emphasis on mass contact, but unfortunately he was not allowed to give a new direction by the establishment”. It is not easy to make out who Digvijay Singh referred to as the “establishment”. To outsiders, the Congress establishment or high command comprises Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. It is their word which is law. Or is this assessment an oversimpliﬁcation? Do the “power brokers” still exist? Have diﬀerences arisen as a result between the mother and the son over the running of the organization? Ironically, there have been suggestions, notably by Congress MP Kamal Nath, about a replay of the Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh diarchy in a new form involving the party president and vice-president. Contd. on P.11 O n the campaign trail, Labour candidates congratulate people in marginal seats as the lucky holders of a “golden vote”. It is a way to express the importance of those races where the ballots of a select few can swing the national outcome for the many. The big parties’ morale is sustained by the hope of power secured with a well-targeted mailshot, nudging the right household to the polling booth. A great fuss is made of electors in Telford or Pudsey, as if they have found a Willy Wonka golden ticket, but instead of a lifetime supply of Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight they get to choose between ﬁve years of Ed Miliband or David Cameron as prime minister. Grant Shapps, the Conservative chairman, claims that his party can win a majority if just 11,200 people in 23 seats turn Tory on May 7. But this would only be true if every single other person could be relied upon to vote exactly as they did in 2010. (They will not.) This postcode privilege is a familiar feature of Britain’s ﬁrst-past-the-post electoral system, but it feels doubly perverse this year. Opinion polls show little traﬃc between Labour and Tory camps, while smaller parties shape the national landscape by diverting votes from one of the big two. Away from the doorstep, candidates fume after encounters with voters intent (as they see it) on throwing away their golden tickets: Green supporters whose Leftist protest will abet Cameron; Ukippers inadvertently aiding Miliband. Then there is the irony of locally popular Liberal Democrat MPs avoiding a deadly deluge in constituency lifeboats carved from the electoral system they wanted to scrap. The distribution of seats in parliament after the election will be an even worse replica of the will of the electorate than the current one. Reform of the voting system should obviously then be on the agenda. Westminster and obvious have a troubled relationship. It was obvious in 2010 that money from lobbyists was scandalous But Westminster and obvious have a troubled relationship. It was obvious in 2010 that semi-idle MPs taking money on the side from lobbyists was scandalous — so much so that Cameron declared it “the next big scandal” after MPs’ expenses. It was also obvious that the House of Lords is ridiculous: An unelected legislature, stuﬀed so full of sine curists it is second in size only to the Chinese People’s Congress. Five years later, a Lobbying Act has been passed that is really a partisan swipe at campaigning charities and trade unions. Lords reform was killed in coalition crossﬁre. A Tory backbencher tells me he now regrets his sabotage of Lib Dem plans to redesign the upper chamber. (“The worst vote of my career,” he said.) The rebellion gave Nick Clegg a pretext to kill oﬀ changes to parliamentary boundaries that might, if enacted, have added 20 seats to the Conservatives’ likely election score. But the principle of reform is also harder to dispute. Footage of Jack Straw, ﬁlmed undercover, advertising to a fake lobby ﬁrm potential uses for a peerage he has not yet oﬃcially got prompts even the stuﬃest constitutional preservationist to think the system needs freshening up. Similarly, the complacency induced by a safe Commons seat was well expressed by Malcolm Riind — caught in the same sting operation — boasting of boundless leisure time, unimpeded by constituency duties or the pressures of chairing the Commons intelligence and security committee. He has now been forced to relinquish both functions. Straw and Riind embarrassing themselves in grainy undercover TV pictures provokes a nauseating deja vu. It was at around the same point in the run-up to the last election that Patricia Hewitt (who was eventually exonerated), Stephen Byers and Geoﬀ Hoon were busted in the same way. The whole episode adds to the pall of stagnation hanging over British politics: the deadlock in opinion polls, the war of attrition on the ground, the repetitive, unenlightening arguments between the main parties. Tories attack Labour for having spent too much in government; Labour accuses Tories of planning gruesome butchery of public services. There is a budget deﬁcit to clear, with the left ﬂinching squeamishly from the task and the right sharpening its axe with unseemly relish. In the background Greece is at the centre of a Eurozone crisis. It is not 2010 repeated — we know history never does that — but it is a kind of historical tribute act, covering ﬁve years in which things that were meant to be ﬁxed stayed broken. There isn’t even a decision yet on whether Heathrow should have another runway. Politics is ﬁnding adaptation to the 21st century painful and slow, with the biggest players struggling to renew themselves. Cameron’s modernisation of the Tories stalled. Now his re-election bid is run by Lynton Crosby, architect of Michael Howard’s 2005 campaign. It will be more coherent than the 2010 eﬀort, but likelier to project the old callousness that provokes allergic recoil in many voters. Miliband promised to “turn the page” on the Blair-Brown years, but he hasn’t illustrated the next chapter in colours that capture the public imagination. Even when the opposition message is delivered by fresh-faced shadow ministers, neither “old” nor “New” Labour, they look marooned between repudiation of what their party once was and conﬁdence in what it should be instead. It is wrong to say that British politics is rotten, although it does a regular line in stupid grubbiness. The air over Westminster is not foul with corruption but it is deathly stale. The choice between Labour and Tories at the next election is stark, with great consequences for the country, yet they are drifting into a campaign that feels in some ways eerily like the last one, only more desperate: Groundhog Day as it might be adapted for TV by the Parliament channel. Questions that were already urgent at the last election will need addressing all over again, from the state of public ﬁnances to the probity of politics and the ﬁtness of an archaic constitution. And this time parliament will be more fractious and the public less patient. The prime minister, whether Cameron or Miliband, will lead a ragged government stitched together from a few golden votes, with a clear majority of the electorate feeling unheeded and unrepresented, his mandate as ﬂimsy as fudgemallow. He will not feel like a lucky winner for long. (Source: The Guardian) 8 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY NEWS IN BRIEF Omega-3 not preventing osteoporosis in SCI patients TEHRAN (ISNA) — Iranian researchers have found that Omega-3 has failed to prevent osteoporosis in people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), but acts eﬀectively in boosting physical responses. Hadith Sabour, the lead author of the study said the study investigated eﬀects of ﬁsh oil and Omega-3 in treating osteoporosis in people suﬀering SCI. 82 people suﬀering the disease were investigated for 14 months, and received one gram Omega-3 daily. The results showed that the drug failed to recover the patients. “However, it proved eﬀective in recovering physical response and depression in the patients. Osteoporosis frequently seen in people suﬀering SCI, she said, adding because this group of people does not have considerable physical activities and is not on useful diets. Big Bang, deflated? Universe may have had no beginning If a new theory turns out to be true, the universe may not have started with a bang. In the new formulation, the universe was never a singularity, or an inﬁnitely small and inﬁnitely dense point of matter. In fact, the universe may have no beginning at all. “Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be inﬁnite,” said study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. The new concept could also explain what dark matter — the mysterious, invisible substance that makes up most of the matter in the universe — is actually made of, Das added. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe was born about 13.8 billion years ago. All the matter that exists today was once squished into an inﬁnitely dense, inﬁnitely tiny, ultra-hot point called a singularity. This tiny ﬁreball then exploded and gave rise to the early universe. (Source: Live Science) Artificial cartilage could protect runners from arthritis Every 45 seconds, a patient in the United States undergoes knee replacement surgery -- and it’s only getting worse. By 2030, that number is expected to jump nearly 400 percent, to almost half a million patients a year. Many patients who visit our clinics for treatment are avid runners and exercisers, who, over the years, begin to experience knee pain. What we ﬁnd is that these runners are commonly injuring their meniscus -- the cartilage pad between their thigh and shin bones. Because of the seriousness of this injury, their activity levels can take a huge hit. Not only does the meniscus not repair itself, but over time, it gets worse. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for these patients. Once the meniscus is damaged, pain sets in and can ultimately lead to arthritis and knee replacement surgery. In fact, I recently saw a patient who underwent three surgeries to shave oﬀ the damaged part of the meniscus, but even afterward, he still experienced pain and still could not run. (Source: U.S. News & World Report) SUBSCRIPTION FORM W W W . T E H R A N T I M E S . C O M INTERNATIONAL DAILY Tehran Times subscription form First name: ................................................... Family name: ............................................... Company: .................................................... 12-month subscription: 1,600,000 rials 6-month subscription: 800,000 rials 3-month subscription: 400,000 rials Phone No.: .................................................... Fax: .............................................................. Address: ...................................................... Postal code: ................................................. E-mail: .......................................................... ATTENTION: The money can be deposited into Tehran Times account number 6973086221 in Bank Mellat at any branch. Send the subscription form along with the deposit receipt to No. 18 Bimeh Lane, Nejatollahi Street, Tehran, or fax to number 88808895 (special for Tehrani citizens). Interested individuals in other cities can contact the subscription oﬃce at 8880-3025 M E D & S C I MARCH 2, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m ‘Frozen zoo’ may save world’s endangered species Scientists at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are working on a project that, they hope, may be a last chance solution for many of the planet’s endangered species. Their “frozen zoo,” as it has been called, contains cell samples from thousands of creatures. The complicated technology that researchers are reﬁning converts animals’ skin cells into stem cells. These, in turn, will become the egg and sperm necessary for in-vitro fertilization in a surrogate mother of a similar or related species. Theoretically, the The zoo process would eventually result maintains that in new oﬀspring of the endanthe well-being gered animal. But now scientists are focused of all its animals on a bigger target: the northis a priority, but ern white rhinoceros. Only ﬁve northern white rhinos remain that humans in the world, and friends of the also have an animal kingdom are desperate to obligation to keep the species from dying out. Nola, a northern white rhino save endangered who lives in the Safari Park, is animals if at all nearing 41 years old – the equivalent of about 80 in human years. possible. “She’s at the end of her life,” said zookeeper Jane Kennedy. Rhinos in the wild are being driven to extinction by human poaching, a practice which, scarily, seems to be on the increase. In 2014, a record 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers, an increase of over 20 percent from the previous year. Rhinos are hunted mainly for their horns, which many mistakenly believe have medicinal values. The “horn is made out of keratin, the same thing as your ﬁngernail,” said Kennedy. “If rhino horn cured cancer, then all you’d have to do is chew on your ﬁngernails and there would be no more cancer in the world.” Breeding programs While some breeding programs have been successful, scientists hope that if they perfect this new method of saving endangered species, some might even be introduced back into the wild. “Our focus, our mission is to save these animals through science,” said Barbara Durant, director of reproductive physiology at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. The plan, of course, has encountered some op- Common food additives may be making us fat Science has given wary consumers another reason to avoid some of those tongue-twisting ingredients listed on the packaging of countless products in the average American grocery store. In a study published this week in Nature, researchers say they’ve found evidence that two commonly used emulsiﬁers in processed foods may be linked to the rise in obesity and to certain chronic digestive disorders. The team of researchers, led by two scientists at Georgia State University, wanted to see what impact the synthetic emulsiﬁers polysorbate-80 and carboxymethylcellusose might be having on the trillions of bacteria that make up the gut microbiota and are essential for healthy digestion. Both emulsiﬁers are found in a slew of products—most notably ice cream and other frozen dairy desserts— but they can also crop up in everything from canned soup and salad dressing to frozen entrees and cream cheese (and even sunscreen and hemorrhoid cream, but we won’t think about that). The scientists fed the emulsiﬁers to mice at doses comparable to what your average person might consume. What they found was that the gut bacteria of the mice that were given the emulsiﬁers were altered in a way that made the digestive tract of the animals more prone to inﬂammation—which is linked to the onset of metabolic syndrome, a group of common obesity-related disorders that can lead to type 2 position. “What zoos need to focus on is improving the conditions for the animals who are already in their care, not pouring millions and millions of dollars into a futile eﬀort to clone animals, for whom there is no natural habitat left on earth,” said Brittany Peet, Deputy Director of captive animal law enforcement at PETA. The zoo maintains that the well-being of all its animals is a priority, but that humans also have an obligation to save endangered animals if at all possible. “If we don’t do something as a human species, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will never see these animals,” Kennedy. (Source: National Monitor) U.S. and Liberia begin clinical trial of Ebola experimental drug ZMapp diabetes, as well as heart and liver disease. In mice genetically predisposed to inﬂammatory bowel disease, the changes to their gut bacteria appeared to trigger the disorder. That would seem signiﬁcant, as public health experts have struggled to thoroughly explain the alarming spike in obesity rates in America and in other developed countries. While many say that overeating and a relative lack of physical activity are leading factors, they argue those issues alone are not enough to explain the obesity epidemic and the proliferation of related health problems. The “dramatic increase in these diseases has occurred despite consistent human genetics, suggesting a pivotal role for an environmental factor,” Dr. Benoit Chassaing, one of the study’s lead researchers, says in a statement. “Food interacts intimately with the microbiota, so we considered what modern additions to the food supply might possibly make gut bacteria more proinﬂammatory.” We may not give much thought to the estimated 100 trillion organisms that call us home, but when it comes down to it, we’re more bacteria than human. Bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, and scientists are increasingly coming to understand that messing with all those tiny organisms may be causing a host of big problems. (Source: takepart.com) WASHINGTON (India Gazette) — The United States has joined hands with Liberian government to start a new clinical trial of ZMapp as a treatment for the Ebola virus, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) stated Friday. At the height of the epidemic, which has taken toll of around 8,800 people mostly in Africa, ZMapp was given to nine infected aid workers on an experimental basis. The drug will now begin clinical testing in Liberian treatment centers, U.S. health authorities said. Scientists from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) will also play a role in the evaluation. “Although ZMapp has been used to treat several Ebola-infected patients in recent months, we cannot determine if the drug actually beneﬁted those patients because it was not administered within the context of a clinical trial,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This clinical trial will help us determine if ZMapp and other treatments are safe and eﬀective for use in the current devastating outbreak in West Africa as well as in future outbreaks,” Fauci said in a prepared statement. The trial will enroll Ebola patients at Liberian treatment units, as well as infected aid workers returning to the United States -- or anyone who ac- quires an infection through secondary transmission, oﬃcials said. The FDA-regulated research protocol for the study is currently under ethical review at the infectious disease Institutional Review Board (IRB) at USU. The research is designed to test best available therapies in an adaptive trial design, starting with a comparison of ZMapp monoclonal antibodies to an enhanced standard of supportive care. ZMapp, developed by San Diegobased Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., is designed to prevent the progression of Ebola virus disease within the body by targeting the main surface protein of the Ebola virus. The antibodies comprising ZMapp are produced in tobacco plants specially bioengineered to produce large quantities of these proteins. Studies in non-human primates has demonstrated that ZMapp has strong antiviral activity and rescued the animals from death as late as ﬁve days after infection with Zaire Ebola virus, the NIAID stated. During the clinical trial, patients who consent to participate will be divided into two groups -- one group that gets the drug, and a control group that does not. Their outcomes will then be compared statistically to determine whether the treatment, which consists of three intravenous infusions, resulted in fewer deaths. Pacific and Atlantic oceans are causing global warming slowdown According to a new study, the slowdown in global warming over the last decade may be linked to a natural variation in the Paciﬁc and Atlantic Oceans’ surface temperatures. However, the scientists have warned that the phenomenon is set to end soon so global warming will continue its course. Researchers from the Penn State University have come up with a new study that states that the latest slowdown in manmade global warming over the past decade is a ‘false pause’ and is a direct result of the oﬀsetting by cooling from natural cycles in the Paciﬁc and Atlantic oceans – an eﬀect that will reverse in coming decades and see increase in global temperatures. The researchers have attributed the slowdown in climate warming to natural oscillations in the climate, which are internal to the climate system and which necessarily do not signal any slowdown in human-caused global warming. Michael Mann, climatologist, geophysicist and a professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, and the lead author of the study, said, “Internal multidecadal variability in Northern Hemisphere temperatures likely oﬀset anthropogenic warming over the past decade.” (Source: Daily Science Journal) Second Announcement TABRIZ PETROCHEMICAL COMPANY (PLC) Tender invitation Tabriz petrochemical company intends to procure its required materials as per below mentioned table for it’s plants from reputable & reliable producers and suppliers of said products. Interested suppliers should submit their request to below email or fax no. in order to get tender documents till March 08, 2015. Deadline for submission of Commercial offers for tender is: April 11, 2015 Email: [email protected] Tel. No.: +98-41-34282587 &+ 98-41-34282594 Fax.: +98-41-34204863 Tender TENDER No Quantity 1 BUTYL CHLORIDE PVS-9341345 18 MT 2 ZINC STEARATE PVS-9341347 184 MT 3 POTASSIUM PEROXY DISULFATE PVS-9341349 18 MT 4 N-METHYL PYRROLIDONE PVS-9341340 10 MT Public Relations Tabriz Petrochemical Company MARCH 2, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / s p o r t s S P O R T S We can avoid relegation, says Sardar Azmoun 9 FOOTBALL Roma coach plays down scudetto, but not Juve win Iranian international striker S p o r t D e s k Sardar Azmoun hopes he can help his new team Rostov to avoid relegation. “I accepted moving to Rostov to work under Kurban Berdyev again. He convinced me to join Rubin Kazan in 2012. Rostov is currently in the relegation zone and I’m focusing on the remaining games this season to help them avoid relegation,” Azmoun told ISNA. Rostov, which is currently at the bottom of the Russian Premier League and facing relegation, has won the Russian Cup last season. Azmoun then spoke about his ambitions in the future and stated that he has a dream of playing in the English Premier League. “My ultimate goal is to be a successful player in European football. I have a contract with Rubin Kazan until the end of the next season but I’m not sure I will be playing in the Russian League next season. I’m a fan of Real Madrid but I’m in love with English Premier League and it would be a dream to play in England’s top division,” Azmoun added. Azmoun produced solid performances in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, where he scored two goals against Qatar and Iraq. Sirous Taherian takes charge of Iran water polo team Sirous Taherian has been named head S p o r t D e s k coach of Iran water polo national team on Sunday. The Iranian swimming federation had already negotiated with Montenegro water polo coach Ranko Perovic. Iran has been chosen as host of the 5th FINA World Men's Water Polo Development Trophy. The competition will be held in Tehran’s Shahid Shiroudi Stadium from May 24 to 29 with the participation of 12 teams. With less than four months remaining, Taherian has to prepare Team Iran for the prestigious event. Taherian assisted Stanislav Pivovarov in the 14th FINA Men's Water Polo World Cup 2010, where Iran ﬁnished eighth out of eight teams. Guinea reject Nations Cup move to accommodate Qatar 2022 Hosts Guinea have ruled out switching the dates of the 2023 African Nations Cup ﬁnals to accommodate the Qatar World Cup, their sports minister said. Domani Dore contradicted a statement by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, who said last week that the 2023 Nations Cup would be pushed back six months to June from its usual January date. With the 2022 World Cup now sched- INTERNATIONAL DAILY uled for November/December, Valcke said that hosting the Nations Cup just one month later would be unfeasible. He added that it had been agreed with the Confederation of African Football to move the 16-team tournament to later in the year. Guinea, however, say they will refuse the new dates. "We cannot accommodate the Nations Cup in June, it is the rainy sea- son," Dore told Guinea television. "CAF needs to take care to seek the advice of Guinea that we as a state decide which dates the tournament will be played. We understand the problem around the World Cup and a clash with the Nations Cup. "But CAF needs to take care to ask our opinion. In June, we cannot accommodate a Nations Cup tournament. It's not possible," Dore added. (Source: Reuters) David Ferrer downs Kei Nishikori for fourth Mexico title Carlo Ancelotti: Isco is non-negotiable Milan (AFP) — Roma coach Rudi Garcia has played down his side's title hopes but insists the Giallorossi can hand Juventus only their second defeat of the season on Monday to reinforce their grip on second place. Roma started the season hoping to be challenging for a ﬁrst scudetto since 2001 but a run of six draws in seven league games has seen Garcia's men slip steadily out of the title race. Juve travel to the capital on Monday with a nine-point lead which, if they prevail, could see the defending champions put one hand on their fourth consecutive championship. With Napoli only three points further adrift in third, Garcia admits ﬁghting to hold on to second spot is now Roma's priority. The ﬁrst step, he said, is handing Juventus only their second league reverse of the campaign ﬁve months after a 2-1 defeat to Genoa in October. "For us the only things that counts now is this game, we want to win it. We have to do everything we can to maintain second spot and from there we can take aim at ﬁrst place," said Garcia. "But even if we win, for the league title our destiny is not in our hands any more." Asked about his early season proclamations about winning the title Garcia admitted: "Perhaps there is a mysterious deity who wanted to punish me for this sin. If I committed any sin, it's one of pride," said the Frenchman. "I did it to combat an overriding sense of pessimism. "They weren't the declarations of a fool who doesn't think about the consequences. To maintain motivation and ambition, maybe that's what you need to do." Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has been coy about his side's title chances all season, and despite beating Roma in Turin in the ﬁrst half of the campaign, he insisted: "There’s still a long way to go in the league. "After tomorrow's game we'll have another 13 matches and 39 points to aim for, Napoli are closing in and are capable of ﬁnishing the season well." While Roma will be missing strikers Seydou Doumbia and Victor Ibarbo through lack of ﬁtness, Allegri indicated that midﬁelders Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal will join Andrea Pirlo on the casualty list after he hobbled oﬀ the 2-1 Champions League last 16 win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek with a calf injury. Allegri said he is conﬁdent in the deputies who will step in, namely Claudio Marchisio, Stefano Sturaro and Simone Padoin. "I'll assess their ﬁtness this afternoon, but there’s no emergency - I have Marchisio, Sturaro, Padoin," said the Italian. "Otherwise we’ll operate with one or two fewer central midﬁelders. It won't be a new system, we’ve often played with an inside midﬁelder who was almost a second attacking midﬁelder in support of the striker." Awesome Roger Federer floors Novak Djokovic to triumph in Dubai Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that Isco’s place in the Real Madrid line-up is "non-negotiable" ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Villarreal in La Liga. The attacking midﬁelder has ﬂourished as a deep-lying player in Luka Modric’s absence, and the coach admits the young Spaniard has given him a selection dilemma, with the former Tottenham star close to returning from a long injury layoﬀ. “[Luka Modric] is not in the squad. He’s almost ready but still needs work. I’ll consider him for the match against Schalke,” he said at a press conference. “[Sergio] Ramos and Modric both return at the most important point of the season. The squad is in good physical condition. “[Gareth Bale] has shown a very good attitude, ﬁghting, winning and sacriﬁcing himself for the team. “He gave a very important perfor- mance last week and will continue in the manner that I need him, with a positive attitude. “It’s hard to say what position is best for [Isco] because he’s done well in any position. “He has a defensive attitude and good positioning, but we have to use his attacking characteristics more than his defensive ones. “[Isco’s] presence in the team is nonnegotiable, if he continues to play well. “For us, [Toni] Kroos is very important in his current position. It’d be difﬁcult if we replaced him with a player who wasn’t used to our style. “Lucas is an extraordinary playmaker and both accurate and quick in his passing. “[Marcelo’s] found consistency and improved defensively. His conﬁdence has helped the team a lot.” (Source: FootballEspana) David Ferrer won a record-equalling fourth Mexican Open title with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Kei Nishikori in the Acapulco hardcourt ﬁnal. The Spanish world number nine's triumph put him level with Austrian Thomas Muster with four Mexican titles having also won the tournament three times from 20102012 on clay. It was Ferrer's third title this year after Doha and last week's win in Rio de Janeiro and 24th of his career, ending a run of ﬁve defeats to the Japanese top seed. Nishikori now leads Ferrer 7-4 in their meetings. "I played very aggressive, without mistakes. I'm very happy. To win here a fourth time is a dream," Ferrer was quoted as saying on the ATP website. "In important moments, he made more mistakes and I took my chances. I feel very conﬁdent with my tennis now. I've won three tournaments this year and we've only began the season." Ferrer was dominant almost throughout the match with Nishokori, set to rise to world number four after reaching the ﬁnal, on the back foot and 3-0 down in the second set after twice being broken by the Spaniard. However, the 2014 U.S. Open ﬁnalist fought back to 4-4 then 5-5 as the players exchanged further breaks before Ferrer clinched it in one hour and 49 minutes. Swiss Timea Bacsinszky won the women's crown beating Caroline Garcia of France 6-3 6-0 in the ﬁnal. (Source: Reuters) Totti: Roma are ready for late title assault Francesco Totti is conﬁdent that Roma can close the gap on Serie A leaders Juventus and salvage their wavering title challenge. The Giallorossi, who last won the Scudetto in 2001, have been victorious in just one of their last seven league matches which has seen them fall nine points adrift of the table-topping Bianconeri. On Monday, at 20:45CET, Roma and Juve will go head-to-head at the Stadio Olimpico and the veteran striker is adamant that his team can rediscover their ﬁnest form and put the pressure back on Massimiliano Allegri's league leaders. "We are convinced that we can get back on track in the league, reopening the title race which people are already claiming is over," Totti wrote told Corriere dello Sport. "We are preparing well for this match, as we did for the one against Feyenoord. We have not had a great vic- tory at the Olimpico in a long time, so it would be nice to see the fans in celebration, rejoicing with us. "With the recovery of our best form and the return of Juan Manuel Iturbe, and the contribution that Seydou Doumbia and Victor Ibarbo will soon provide, we can go back to being the team that the entertained the fans. "These last few weeks have not been easy, we are so sorry to have disappointed the supporters, but I’m conﬁdent and I think the worst is over. We have a good, united group. There is still time left this season and many matches to play. Roma's ready to do our part." The 38-year-old also shared his ambitions for the Giallorossi in the Europa League and expressed his pleasure at seeing four other Serie A teams reach the last 16 too. "We had prepared every detail before playing Feyenoord, because we knew how important it was for us, and our fans, to go through. We did not want to go out of Europe, because in this competition we can go all the way," Totti added. "In the knockout stages of the Europa League we will meet Fiorentina in an all-Italian derby. I am happy that ﬁve Italian teams have made it to the knockout stages. It’s a good sign for our football and is important in the Uefa coeﬃcients." (Source: Goal) Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 in the ﬁnal of the Dubai Championships as the Swiss veteran’s awesome serving brought down the world number one. The 33-year-old’s serve is the least praised of his repertoire but it was his awesome delivery that blunted Djokovic’s baseline game, taking his career ace haul past the 9,000 barrier with 12 more, several at vital moments. Federer went into the match with a 19-17 winning record against Djokovic, although the Serb beat him in last year’s gripping Wimbledon ﬁnal. The match proved to be a tale of chances taken and chances missed -- Federer converting his two break points with clinical eﬃciency, while Djokovic failed on all seven of his. “We get the best out of each other,” Federer said in a courtside interview after winning an 84th tour singles crown. “I’m pleased I did some good serving when I had to. I deﬁnitely won the big points tonight.” Djokovic had two set points to level the match in the second set but both times Federer was rescued by his serve. “If you don’t use these opportunities against Roger, then, you know, he ﬁres back,” Djokovic told reporters. “Small margins, really. Nothing to really worry about. I thought it was a good week overall.” The 17-time grand slam champion began with the same tactics that helped trounce teenager Borna Coric in the semiﬁnals, charging the net at every opportunity. Djokovic was wise to that, passing Federer in successive points, ﬁrst with a lob and then with a forehand that arrowed into the corner. The Serb, for his part, dragged Federer from side to side, seeking to pin the Swiss to the baseline. Djokovic had two break chances with Federer serving at 1-1 in the ﬁrst. The Swiss saved both, yet still looked the more vulnerable. From the deuce court, Federer regularly sliced his serve wide to pull eight-times grand slam champion Djokovic out of position before skipping forward to despatch any short return. The ﬁrst set’s decisive moment came with Djokovic serving at 3-4. Federer advanced to blast a forehand down the line for the Swiss’s ﬁrst break point, which he converted when Djokovic clubbed a forehand long. That put Federer 5-3 up and he served out to clinch the set. In the second, both players became more comfortable on serve, the score racing to 3-3 without a single deuce. Serving at 3-4 and 15-40 down, Federer despatched two aces and two service winners to hold. The Swiss world number two repeated the trick again, serving at 15-40 and 4-5 down, he made another two aces and a service winner to save two set points and square the set. A cross-court winner gave Federer a break and 6-5 lead and although he ﬂuﬀed his ﬁrst match point on serve, he set up another with a second serve ace that he converted with a powerful forehand oﬀ a weak Djokovic return. (Source: Reuters) 10 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY FOOD FOR THOUGHT S O C I E T Y MARCH 2, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / s o c i e t y Autism and the difficulties of the autistic society in Iran By Zahra Azizi * I If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company. Jean-Paul Sartre LEARN ENGLISH Talking About Failure Akiko: How did your presentation go over this morning at the meeting? Gerry: It was a complete flop! Akiko: I don’t believe it. You spent weeks working on that presentation. Gerry: It wasn’t the presentation that bombed. It was my big idea. Leona called it a retread of what I presented last year, and she was not in the least impressed. Akiko: Ouch, that’s pretty harsh. What did the others say? Gerry: Overall, the response was dismal. Everyone else was trying to be tactful, but it boiled down to the fact that they thought it was pathetic. Akiko: I’m sure that’s not true. And if they didn’t jump up and down about the idea right away, they’re bound to come around after you give them more details. Gerry: I don’t know… Akiko: Come on, aren’t you the same guy who told me that you didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit’? Gerry: That was before this morning’s presentation. Akiko: Are you giving up on your great idea? Gerry: No, I guess not, but it’ll take some reworking… Akiko: Good, then you won’t give up? Gerry: I guess not. What the heck? I’m only risking more humiliation and failure, right? Akiko: That’s the spirit! (Source: eslpod.com) Words & Phrases go over: (in this dialogue it means) how did people like the presentation?, how was it received? flop: a failure. bomb: to fail. retread: something that uses ideas, stories, etc., that have been used before. not in the least: not at all, not in any way. harsh: unpleasant, unkind, cruel, or more severe than is necessary. dismal: very bad. tactful: careful not to say or do anything that could upset someone. boil down to something: If a situation or problem boils down to something, that is the main reason for it. pathetic: causing feelings of sadness, sympathy, or sometimes lack of respect, especially because a person or an animal is suffering. jump up and down: to be very excited about something. to be bound to: to be certain to happen, something very likely going to happen. didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit’: it means Gerry is never going to quit, he is going to continue on. rework: to change a speech or a piece of writing in order to improve it or make it more suitable for a particular purpose. what the heck: It doesn’t matter! humiliation: is when you are very embarrassed by something or someone. that’s the spirit: that is the right attitude and preferred evidence of high motivation. W O R D O F T H E D AY scaremonger DEFINITION (noun) a person who spreads stories that cause public fear Examples In direct military menace terms, his scaremongering is completely farcical. Of course none of this has happened, and their rhetoric and scaremongering has been exposed as a sham. Some economists criticized him for scaremongering by even raising the subject, triggering a spate of articles in the media on the subject. first came to know autism when I decided to write my MA thesis in Linguistics on the speech disorders of the autistic children, and as a result entered their society through research. During my presence at special schools for autistic children in the two cities of Shiraz and Mashhad in Iran, I came to know about the shortcomings from which they were suffering both at school and home. Since there is not much public information about the autistic children and their difficulties in Iran, I thought it would be informative for the public to know about some of my experiences with these children and their difficulties so that due attention could be paid to them. What is autism? Autism is a complex, multi-faceted disorder which affects neurodevelopment during the early stages of life and for many lingers throughout adulthood. Inherent features, to name but a few, include dificulties or defcits in communication, social interaction and cognition, and person-to-person behavioral coordination and recall. Autism impacts the affected individual, his/her family, and in some cases the localized community. Among the factor that can contribute to autism are heredity and genetics as well as biological, biochemical, and environmental factors such as air pollution, use of certain medicines, nicotine and alcohol during pregnancy, and also exposing of the children to these damaging factors during the early stages of their lives. In order that the autistic children’s speech and communication, social interaction and cognition, and person-to-person behavioral coordination be improved, they need improving measures such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, play therapy, music therapy, art therapy and medical therapy; treatments that can be undertaken together or individually at public or private school and clinics. All of these methods can increase the children’s power of communication, improve their social behavior, and boost their self-confidence. These therapies can also help autistic children make safe and helpful contact with their therapist as well as with other people. The autistic children in Iran are only partially supported by the government and society. There are no “foundations for special diseases and disorders” allocated to these children. As a result, the autistic children in Iran are rarely provided with the necessary facilities for their therapy and improvement, whether at school or home. I will enumerate some of the shortcomings with regard to the care for and improvement of the autistic children in Iran in the following. Speech pathology Speech pathology studies the nature of language and speech disorders, and also develops the methods of diagnosis and therapy for these disorders. Autistic children need the services of a speech pathologist, but there are not enough therapeutic sessions for them at school. In order to improve their speech and language, they need to attend about three or four therapeutic ses- sions per week given the severity or weakness of their speech and language disorders. However, they are only given a twenty-minute session per week. As a consequence, their speech will not improve. Occupational therapy Occupational therapy is a method of skillful therapy which helps damaged people regain or obtain their basic mental and physical abilities such as use of hands for the different activities of everyday life. The occupational therapist helps autistic children to improve some of their skills such as writing, putting their clothes on, moving around safely in society, communicating with other people, and a host of other personal and social skills. Although occupational therapy is important for autistic children, there aren’t enough therapeutic sessions for them at school; and it is to be mentioned that at some schools there is no occupational therapist at all. Play therapy As well as being one of the effective methods for the child’s mental/ social development and evolution, playing is an efficient method for curing a number of mental disorders in children. Using playing methods in order to cure the mental disorders of the child is called play therapy. In this method, a playing situation is employed to make contact with autistic children so that they can release their hysteria and make emotional and intellectual contact with their instructor. But play therapy, as a therapeutic method, follows a set of specific principles without the consideration of which it won’t be effective. The games that are typically used in this kind of therapy need special safe rooms and specialized instructors. However, the rooms that are allocated to play therapy at most schools in Iran aren’t safe and suitable; and neither is the time allocated to each autistic child enough for their improvement. Music therapy Music therapy is a highly effective method for the improvement of the speech of autistic children who typically demonstrate weak or severe deficiencies in their verbal behavior. Music therapy can in a systematic way improve the speaking abilities of the autistic child. Music can specially be helpful in curing the autistic children’s auditory problems because it strengthens their auditory comprehension. Nevertheless, in the schools that I visited there weren’t any programs for music therapy, due to two reasons: first, there is no budget allocated for such kind of a treatment; second, there are few therapists specialized in this field in Iran. Art therapy Art therapy is one of the most successful methods for curing autistic children all over the world. As it activates the emotional and communicative sensors of autistic children, art therapy is generally useful for the improvement of their five senses, specially their visual sense. But again, like music therapy, there is a shortage – or even lack – of budget and specialists for this method of therapy at schools in Iran. Medicine Therapy Although there is yet no special medication for curing autism, specialists usually use specific medicines in order to relieve the autistic children of their seizures, temporary periods of unconsciousness, body convulsions, unusual movements, or staring spells. If autistic children don’t receive that kind of medication, it can cause severe seizures in them. Most of the medi- Autism is a complex, multi-faceted disorder which affects neurodevelopment during the early stages of life and for many lingers throughout adulthood. Inherent features, to name but a few, include dificulties or defcits in communication, social interaction and cognition, and person-to-person behavioral coordination and recall cines used for this purpose, which are also used for other mental disorders with similar symptoms, are special and expensive. As a result, it is difficult and sometimes even impossible for most of the autistic children’s families – who are usually from the lower ranks of society and have economic shortcomings – to provide them with the necessary medication. Economic problems of the autistic children’s families The majority of the therapeutic methods that I mentioned in this article are expensive. While the families of the autistic children, like any other families, are classified in the three levels of “poor, ordinary, and rich”, most of the families that I came to know proved to be poor. Consequently, these families can’t even provide their children with their most vital necessities such as nourishment, clothing and stationery. This economic disability prevents these families from having access to the better services of the private centers for autistic children. As the facilities and programs in public schools in Iran prove inadequate and insufficient, autistic children never get any appropriate cure and training, and therefore always remain disabled. Conclusion Autistic children are not necessarily devoid of any ability. While it is not advisable for the parents of autistic children to expect their kids to be on the same level of learning with an ordinary kid, it is a fact that autistic children have special talents that can be utilized in order to improve their general condition. For instance, most autistic children have a special talent in art, and if this talent is improved in them, they can even be better artists than a typical child. However, this is impossible unless necessary and sufficient facilities are provided for these children, both at school and home. By improving their talents, autistic children can have better lives both as individuals and members of society. Helping these children will release them from the prison in the making of which they themselves had no hand. * Zahra Azizi is a Linguist and specialist in language disorders Vitamin D supplement for senior citizens Program will be extended to high school students TEHRAN — Director of Health S o c i a l D e s k Ministry’s Department for the Improvement of Nutrition said on Saturday that senior citizens will receive vitamin D supplements in the next Iranian calendar year which starts on March 21, IRNA reported. Zahra Abdollahi was making the remarks in a workshop on salt in Semnan province which was attended by nutrition and drug experts from 14 universities. She said that the elderly and the middle age group will receive 5,000 units of vitamin D per month through healthcare centers across the country. The dose of 5,000 units of vitamin D is suﬃcient for body and prevents major deﬁciencies [usu- ally caused due to lack of exposure to sun], she explained. Since the beginning of the current academic year, which started on September 23, providing supplements for some female high school students went into eﬀect with a budget of seven billion rials (nearly $205,000), she added. The plan will be extended to all female high school students across the country and is scheduled to be implemented in the high schools for boys as well. The National Nutrition and Food Technology Institute ran a trial of adding vitamin D to enriched ﬂour (with folic acid and iron) successfully, she added. Abdollahi further explained that the process of adding vitamin D to enriched ﬂour will be conducted throughout the country in the coming year. h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l Kurdish militants on Sunday described as “historic” a call by their jailed leader to hold a disarmament congress and said Turkey must now take concrete steps to keep the peace process on track. Abdullah Ocalan, who still exerts inﬂuence over the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from his prison cell, on Saturday called on followers to meet in the spring and agree to lay down their arms. Ocalan’s call has been lauded by both sides as a crucial step in Turkey’s eﬀorts to negotiate an end to a 30-year insurgency that has killed 40,000 people, mostly Kurds. “Such a goodwill statement presents a very important foundation and opportunity to democratize the state and government and resolve the Kurdish issue and Turkey’s basic problems,” the PKK said in a statement. “The government should take sweeping, concrete steps and have a serious political response,” it said. President Tayyip Erdogan, who has expended considerable political capital to try to resolve the long-running conflict, on Saturday cautiously, welcomed the state- Kurdish rebels call disarmament move historic, want Turkey to step up reforms ment, saying the rebels must now follow through. His ruling AK Party faces a parlia- Iran looking into developing small reactors Contd. from P. 1 It was for the first time that Iran and the U.S. were bringing a nuclear chief and an energy secretary into Iran nuclear talks. Not much has come out on the exact topics of discussions but Iran and the U.S. have already emphasized that some positive steps had been taken during the course of the talks, according to Press TV. Salehi told Iranian media on WORLD IN FOCUS MARCH 2, 2015 Thursday that “very useful results” had been obtained during technical negotiations with the U.S. team. He also said some “long steps” have been taken over some key technical issues that had previously hit a deadlock in the course of Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany). mentary election in June and is keen to keep violence at bay heading into the campaign. “Using this historic goodwill declaration by our leader as election propaganda would be an example of great injustice and irresponsibility for our people,” the PKK warned. The rebels said they also wanted to speak directly with Ocalan to ensure the peace process progressed. Currently, lawmakers in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) shuttle between Ocalan’s island prison near Istanbul and the mountainous region of Qandil in northern Iraq, where the PKK’s leadership is based. The European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, called Ocalan’s statement “a positive step forward”. “We hope that all parties will seize the opportunity to make decisive progress towards reconciliation and democratization,” an EU statement said on Saturday. The PKK took up arms in 1984 to carve out an independent homeland in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, but has since scaled back its demands to greater political and cultural rights for the country’s estimated 15 million Kurds. (Source: AP) Iranian nuclear negotiators to head to Montreux TEHRAN — Iranian Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is heading a high-ranking diplomatic and expert team to Montreux, Switzerland, on Monday to hold talks with negotiators from the 5+1 group (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany). Zarif will be accompanied by his deputies Seyyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi as well Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akbar Salehi. Political Desk Foreign The talks will ﬁrst be held at the level of deputy foreign ministers and then followed by talks between the foreign ministers. Reports say that Iran will hold bilateral talks with 5+1 states as well as collective talks with all sides participating. The countries wrapped up four days of intense talks last Monday. The negotiating parties have agreed to reach a political understanding by the end of March and a comprehensive nuclear deal by July 1. U.S.-Israel ties fraying over Netanyahu speech, Iran talks By staﬀ and agency As relations between President Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu hit a new low over the Israeli prime minister’s planned speech to Congress and a looming deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, there are growing signs it could damage the broader U.S.-Israeli alliance, Reuters reported on Sunday. Already there has been some fraying of the usually strong relationship amid the frosty personal ties between the two leaders and a deepening divide over the Iran talks. U.S. oﬃcials are fuming over what they see as an aﬀront by Netanyahu over Obama’s Iran diplomacy ahead of an end-of-March deadline for a framework nuclear agreement. U.S. oﬃcials last month even went as far as accusing the Israeli government of leaking information to the Israeli media to undermine Iran negotiations and took the unusual step of limiting further sharing of sensitive details about the talks. A U.S. oﬃcial, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the “politicized” nature of Netanyahu’s visit threatens “what undergirds the strength of the relationship”, though he said there was shared interest in keeping the alliance strong. People on both sides, including current and former oﬃcials, U.S. lawmakers, independent experts and Washington lobbyists, expressed concern about a broader fallout on ties. Iran shrugs oﬀ Netanyahu’s bid Iran on Saturday shrugged oﬀ a bid by Netanyahu to abort a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers by lobbying opposition in a speech to the U.S. Congress. “I believe this eﬀort is fruitless and it should not be an impediment to an agreement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a joint press conference with his visiting Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni. “It is unfortunate that there is a group which sees its interests in tension and crisis,” AFP quoted Zarif as saying. Netanyahu’s bid was “an attempt to utilize a fabricated crisis to cover up realities in the region, including occupation, the suppression of Palestinians and the violation of their rights,” he said. “It is an on old policy to intimidate and spread lies … in order to prevent peace in the region,” said Zarif. Iranians’ annual online shopping to hit $18b Iran’s first plane lands in Yemen Iran said on Sunday Political Desk that its ﬁrst ﬂight had landed in the Yemeni capital only a day after the two countries signed a landmark aviation deal. Iran’s ISNA news agency reported that a plane from Iranian airliner Mahan Air had taken a cargo of humanitarian aid – mostly medicine - for Yemen. The cargo was contributed by the Red Crescent of Iran. “The ﬂights between Tehran and Sana’a are meant to transport passengers,” an unnamed oﬃcial has told ISNA. “Considering that Iran wanted to take a message of peace to Yemen, it was decided to dedicate the ﬁrst ﬂight to the country for transporting a relief cargo of medical supplies.” The ﬂight was the ﬁrst between the two countries in many years. TEHRAN — The Political Desk E-commerce development center managing director says that by the end of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 20), Iranians will have conducted annual online shopping worth $18 billion, ISNA reported on Sunday. Based on statistics by the Central Bank, online shopping had added up to about $9 billion by the end of Shahrivar (September 22), and the number is expected to reach $18 billion by the end of this year, Mohammad Garkani Nejad stated. He added that the expected number will indicate 229 percent growth compared to the previous year, ISNA news agency reported on Sunday. Over 250 Assyrians killed by ISIL in Syria Younathan Betkolia, Iranian Assyr- Political Desk ians’ representative in the Majlis, says that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed around 250 Assyrians in Syria in a recent raid on religious minorities in the country, Mehr news agency reported on Sunday. The MP said, “I would like to tell the world, speaking from this tribune, that we are in an Islamic country where we have been living peacefully next to our Muslim brothers for 1400 years.” “The atrocities carried out today by terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria constitute misusing the name of Islam. All those who know God will disapprove of these acts.” Betkolia thanked the Islamic Republic for sending humanitarian aid to around 1000 families of Assyrian refugees now in the northeast Syrian city of alHasakah. Why ‘Jihadi John’ Mohammad Emwazi is not the victim as some claim Contd. from P. 6 This is entirely plausible. Why? Because British court papers and other accounts identify Emwazi as a member of a network of extremists connected to Somalia. This network had been in contact with a 7/7 bomber, and one key member, Bilal Berjawi, also tried to go on a “safari” earlier that year — eventually ending up ﬁghting in Somalia, and later dying in a drone strike. It’s also worth noting that Emwazi, in his incarnation as Jihadi John, was “obsessed with Somalia” and forced hostages to watch Al Shabab videos. So if you think that Emwazi was really going on safari, I have some free advice: make sure you do not confuse reputable travel agencies with well-established extremist networks. Such networks are close-knit, communications savvy, and diﬃcult to penetrate. And as encrypted communications become commonplace, dependence on human intelligence sources will grow. It would thus have been negligent of MI5 had it not attempted to question, monitor, and recruit Emwazi. Cage also quotes Emwazi as complaining that “I feel like a prisoner … in London. A person imprisoned and controlled by security servicemen.” This is nonsense. It doesn’t seem that Britain barred Emwazi from going abroad. After all, he travelled to Tur- key en route to Syria in 2013. British authorities may well have passed on to Kuwait their suspicions about the risk posed by Emwazi, and critics may argue that it is wrong for the state to single out citizens who have not been convicted of any crime. Reasons to be skeptical But what if Emwazi was refusing to give a complete picture to police? Cage alleges that Emwazi “sought to ﬁnd redress within the system”. Perhaps this is right. But in light of his previous story of safari-going, we have reasons to be skeptical. Finally, Cage complains that Emwazi’s story shows how “virtually entire communities” are being targeted. This is untrue. Most Muslims in west London do not associate with extremists and do not try to join Al Shabab. Emwazi was an outlier. That is why he came on to the radar of our security services. Jihadi John is a one-dimensional cartoon that personiﬁes our fears of Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) and our inability to comprehend the organized, institutional nature of their breathtaking violence. But Cage’s portrayal of a ﬁne young man pushed to barbarity in a matter of months is no less cartoonish. It is worthy of our scorn. (Source: The Telegraph Group Limited) I N T E R NAT I O NALDAI LY 11 JUMP A threat to Europe: ISIL’s dangerous gains in Libya Contd. from P. 6 Given the amount of distrust they had toward the new government, they didn’t put down their arms. Instead they took up the hunt for criminals themselves -- or took up illicit activities. For two years, the militias have had the upper hand in the country, extorting parliament and even driving a prime minister out of the country. Only days after the modest success attained in Geneva, an ISIL commando stormed the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, where foreign ﬁrms and the illegitimate government had hunkered down. The attack, which claimed nine lives, further stoked already considerable distrust between the parties in the conﬂict. In Tripoli, many believed the government in the east had been behind the attack. And now comes the video, a precisely calculated composition of horror in which even the ocean was colored blood red to augment the eﬀect. Pulling Egypt into conﬂict After the video’s release, the Egyptian air force conducted air strikes on jihadist positions. Six of 12 ISIL bases in Derna were reportedly been hit. It’s the kind of response ISIL might even have desired in the hope that it could draw Egypt into the civil war and further heat up ﬁghting between the factions. A military intervention in Libya could have disastrous repercussions for Egypt. Already, the policies of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has denounced virtually all opponents as terrorists, are driving the opposition underground -- possibly even into the hands of ISIL. Meanwhile, the fact that ISIL in Sirte released kidnapped foreign workers of the Sunni faith and chose to only murder Christians could further exacerbate conﬂict between Egyptian religious groups. But there are other factors at play, too, like the 200,000 Egyptian workers still believed to be in Libya and whose return home could spark domestic tensions. Or the fact that other Egyptians are also believed to have been kidnapped. ISIL is already expanding its reach to the south. In the city of Sabha, a ﬁrst meeting took place the week before last between commanders with several Islamist militias to discuss the possible establishment of the Fezzan Province of the ISIL. If that happened, it would place the smuggling routes for refugees, weapons and drugs in ISIL hands and create a corridor for the group to other Islamist groups south of Libya. The group reportedly receives its ﬁnancing from Abdul Wahhab al-Gayed, a former member of Libya’s parliament. As the head of the Border Guard, he received around €250 million from the government in mid-2013. However, the money never went where it was supposed to. It is believed that al-Gayed used it to procure weapons for his militia, which could now be on the verge of joining forces with ISIL. Islamists in the coastal regions have also armed themselves. “There are thousands of Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and tons of munitions ready for deployment in Derna and Sirte,” says one former anti-Gadhaﬁ activist who is well-connected there. The source says the extremists obtained money for the purchases through kidnappings of business people. There have been other criminal eﬀorts to raise money as well. In October 2013, members of the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group robbed a central bank money van in Sirte that was reportedly carrying €39 million. Now it appears that Ansa al-Sharia is merging with ISIL. Last Wednesday night, residents in Sirte observed a long ISIL motorcade in the city. “Nobody knows where so many ﬁghters and weapons suddenly came from,” says one journalist living in Misrata who asked not to be identiﬁed. He worries his home city may become the terrorists’ next target. If that happens, ISIL would make good on the announcement it made in December that it would establish three provinces in Libya -- one in the east, another in the west and a stronghold in the south. (Source: Spiegel) Fugitive prince: Is there a rift between Sonia and Rahul? Contd. from P. 7 Learning from the AAP It is necessary to remember that ever since the Aam Admi Party’s (AAP) success in December 2013, Rahul Gandhi has spoken of learning from the ﬂedging party. The AAP “involved a lot of non-traditional people,” he said, “and we will learn from that and will better it in a way you cannot imagine.” Was he thinking of opening up the party? The point, however, is whether his shock tactics will bring the Congress into line with his views or whether his escapism will discredit the dauphin more than the royal family. The answer will lie in his favor if he can come out with a clear formulation not only for breathing new life into the party but also in giving it an ideological direction in sync with the present-day world. As of now, the Congress is seemingly leaning towards a return to Nehruvian socialism. If it wants to do so, the party must be forthright about it and not hedge its bets by an occasional reference, as by Digvijaya Singh, to the needs of the “aspirational” generation along with the pursuit of a Left-of-centre line. Clarity of vision is the hallmark of a leader. But it also has to be of the right kind. Otherwise, it can lead the party to the edge of a precipice, as in 1977 and again at present. Doubts may arise over Rahul Gandhi’s outlook not only because of his Left-leaning ideas but even more so because one of his heroines is Indira Gandhi. A combination of his grandmother’s Leftism — her ideology was derisively called Left-of-self-interest — with her authoritarianism will be a fatal mix. It is not only the Congress which will wait eagerly to hear Rahul Gandhi’s articulation of his vision when he comes out of his hideout to become the party president. The country, too, will be equally interested in knowing whether he has ﬁnally grown up — or remains the dilettante that he appears to be. (Source: IANS) b Poem of the day I N T E R N AT I O N A L D A I L Y Our intention was advice and we gave it. We recommended thee to God and departed. Sadi http://www.tehrantimes.com/culture SINCE 1979 No. 18, Bimeh Lane, Nejatollahi St., Tehran, Iran P.o. Box: 14155-4843 Zip Code: 1599814713 “Power” bridge between art and industry TEHRAN — Art expert Morteza D e s k Kazemi says that Iranian sculptor Masud Akhavan builds a bridge between art and industry in his latest collection “Power”, which is currently on display in an exhibition at Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Center. “The displayed works are distinguished and unique. For his part, the artist himself possesses an artistic mind, is quite familiar with principles of art and has gained experience in industrial design,” Kazemi stated at the opening ceremony of the exhibitions on Friday. “As he has earlier noted, Akhavan has been quite familiar with industry since early in his career and his innovations are quite admirable. He is one of the famous figures in our industry. This exhibit enjoys high signifSculptor Masud Akhavan poses beside icance in today’s contemone his works at Tehran’s Niavaran porary world, in which art Cultural Center on February 27, 2015. and industry are linked,” (Honaronline/Saeid Rabiei) he added. Kazemi, who is also the culture minster’s advisor on art, proposed that investors put their money into artworks, and said that these types of works help the visual art market to flourish. Art expert and former director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Alireza Sami-Azar, who was also attending the opening ceremony, called the exhibit successful. “Mr. Akhavan has been able to conduct a detailed analysis of figures and forms of man and animals. He has also been able to decrease the forms into a series of lines and achieve a kind of powerful aesthetics in his works,” Sami-Azar explained. “In the contemporary world of sculpture, techniques and usage of materials are connected, and in the past two decades, materials and high-tech speak first, and this is the first time we can see works incorporating high technology and made from steel,” he concluded. The exhibit will be running until March 14. NEWS IN BRIEF Iranian films to compete in Parisian festival Three Iranian ﬁlms will compete in various sections of the 37th Creteil International Women’s Film Festival in Paris during March. Director Narges Abyar’s “Objects in Mirror” and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s “Mainline” will be screened in the main competition section and Marjan Riahi’s “Iranian Ninja” will be shown in the documentary section. Also known as “Films de Femmes”, the annual event will be held from March 13 to 22. Iran ready to help rescue Iraqi cultural heritage The director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Organization, Masud Soltanifar, has said that Iran is ready to help rescue the Iraqi artifacts threatened by the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). “In a letter, which we will send today to Iraqi oﬃcials, we wrote that Iran is ready to help Iran transfer the artifacts in peril to a safe haven in Iran,” Soltanifar stated on Sunday during the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of Iranian archaeologists that was held at the National Museum of Iran. ISIL released a video on Thursday screening its militants storm Mosul’s central museum and demolishing statues and artifacts that date back thousands of years. Tehran exhibit to display Persian handicrafts Prayer Times Noon:12:17 Printed at: Kayhan - ISSN: 1017-94 Evening: 18:18 Dawn: 5:09 (tomorrow) Sunrise: 6:32 (tomorrow) Leader praises “Track 143” NEWS Art Managing Director: Ali Asgari Chief Editor and Deputy Managing Director: Morad Enadi Editorial Dept.: Tel: (+98 21) 88895450 Fax: (+98(21) 88808214 [email protected] Switchboard Operator: Tel: (+98 21) 88800293-5 Advertisements Dept.: Telefax: (+98 21) 88896970-71 [email protected] Public Relations Oﬃce: Tel: (+98 21) 88805807 Subscription & Distribution Dept.: Tel: (+98 21) 88808895 Webmaster: [email protected] An exhibition of Persian handicrafts will open tomorrow at the Qasr Garden Museum in Tehran. The exhibition will run until March 9 at the museum located on the eastern end of Motahari Ave. Art TEHRAN — “Track 143”, the D e s k acclaimed Iranian drama about a great maternal sacrifice, received high praise from Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei during a meeting with the cast and crew of the film on June 16, 2014. In his speech, which was published on his website Khamenei.ir on Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei said “I watched the ﬁlm. It was a very good ﬁlm.” “I am not a ﬁlm expert, but as a member of an audience, I can reach a judgment. Considering the story, the ﬁlm enjoyed an engaging and appealing story, (since) one of the major shortcomings of our ﬁlms is a lack of engaging and appealing stories. “It also had an intricate plot, which was beautifully resolved in the movie,” He added. In his speech, the Leader also expressed admiration for director Narges Abyar and actress Merila Zarei for their work in the ﬁlm. The ﬁlm tells the story of Olfat, a woman who is waiting for her son, who has been missing in action since the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, to return home. Merila Zarei, Mehran Ahmadi, Gelareh Abbasi, Yadollah Shademani and Javad Ezzati star in the ﬁlm. The ﬁlm was widely acclaimed at the 32nd Fajr TEHRAN — A r t D e s k “Crazy Face”, director Abolhassan Davudi’s acclaimed drama about the abuse of the internet in modern Iranian society, is scheduled to be released during the Noruz holiday. The film was named best film at the 33rd Fajr Film Festival, which was held in Tehran in early February. It also won the best director award for Davudi. Alireza Raisian’s romance drama “The Love Age” and Masud JafariJozani’s comedy “Iranburger” are the other movies that have been selected to hit Iranian theaters during the holiday season. The films are selected by a council Merila Zarei acts in a scene from “Track 143”. International Film Festival in Tehran in February. Zarei won a Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress at the festival for her portrayal of Olfat in “Track 143”. Abyar received the special jury prize and her ﬁlm was selected as the Audience Favorite Film at the festival. “Crazy Face” set for Noruz release Saed Soheili (L) and Tannaz Tabatabaii act in a scene from “Crazy Face”. PICTURE OF THE DAY By Mostafa Bazri /Honaronline composed of representatives of distributors, cinema owners and the Cinema Organization of Iran. Two other films will also be chosen from among Majir Esmaeili’s “The Little Black Fish”, Kamal Tabrizi’s “The Sweet Taste of Imagination”, Bahram Tavkkoli’s “I Am Diego Maradona” and Behruz Afkhami’s “Fox”. “Fox” and “The Little Black Fish” have a good chance of being selected. It is crucial for Iranian distributors and producers that their films are selected for release during the Noruz holiday when Iranian people have enough time to go to the cinema. “More Than Two Hours” named best short film at Chilean festival — The director Ali Asgari’s “More than Two Hours” was crowned best short ﬁlm at the 11th Rengo International Film Festival, which was held in Chile from February 2 to 7. The ﬁlm tells the story of a boy and a girl wandering in Tehran at midnight in search of a hospital but things are much tougher than they thought. In addition, the best director award went to Chilean ﬁlmmaker Tomas Arcos for his “Acuario” and French writer Aurelien Laplace received best screenwriter award for “First Step”. The festival also awarded an honorable mention to Iranian ﬁlmmaker Babak Habibifar for “The Fish and I”, a short ﬁlm about a blind man who tries to save the life of a ﬁsh. “The Fish and I” has previously received an audience award at the 8th Short Story Film Festival in Providence, Rhode Island in the United States. The 11th edition of the Rengo International Film Festival was organized in association with the Department of Culture of the Rengo Municipality. Art Portraits by Mehdi Vishkaii are on display in an exhibition at Ashian-e Naqsh-o-Mehr Gallery in Tehran on March 1, 2015. The exhibition displaying a collection by pioneers of contemporary Iranian painting will run until March 4. Islamic Research Foundation up to 33 percent in book publication TEHRAN — Director of Islamic Research Foundation of Astan Quds Razavi Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Ellahi Khorasani stated Islamic Research Foundation of Astan Quds book publication has risen to 33 percent in 2014. He said Research Foundation have published 143 books in the current Iranian year. Ellahi Khorasani noted research foundation have provided many efforts worthy of appreciation such as more than 90 scientific works in festivals and Research Foundation, 115 meetings with top officials Over 30 years. “Also six congress and seminar and more than 85 scientific and professional meetings have been held by the Research Foundation publication,” Director of Islamic Research Foundation of Astan Quds said. He added some of the Research Foundation of Astan Quds chosen books in many festivals are eight titles in the Islamic Republic evolution, six books and dozens of books in the province of Qom Seminary Selected, Student book of the Year, the best Quranic book, a book of children’s books. TEHRAN D e s k Iranian Celebrated Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal dead at 91 ISTANBUL (Reuters) — Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey’s greatest writers who celebrated the lives of the downtrodden and whose works were translated into 40 languages, died on Saturday. He was 91 years old. An ethnic Kurd, he was born Kemal Sadik Gokceli in a village in southeastern Turkey, only weeks before the Turkish Republic was founded upon the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Kemal’s birthplace, the fertile Cukurova plain, was the setting for most of his stories, including his best-known work, “Memed, My Hawk” from 1955, about a bandit hero who exacts revenge on a cruel overlord. The novel eventually earned him a nomination for a Nobel Prize in 1973. “No writer can be a great novelist without their own Cukurova,” Kemal once said. Tragedy touched his life at an early age. When he was ﬁve, he witnessed his father’s death at the hands of an orphan the family had adopted. This served as the basis of his 1980 novel “Salman the Solitary”. A middle-school dropout, Kemal was a farm laborer and factory worker before he acquired a typewriter and eventually became a journalist. His literary inﬂuences included Tolstoy, Chekhov and Stendhal.
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