Fund managers on the Iranian frontier

We can avoid
relegation, says
Sardar Azmoun
Iranian nuclear
negotiators to head
to Montreux
Iran’s first plane
lands in Yemen
Leader praises
“Track 143”
A R T & C U L T U R E
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Iran denounces Egyptian court
for listing Hamas terrorist group
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
‘Lengthy talks
has convinced
world that Iran’s
nuclear work is
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
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
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
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.”
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
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.
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
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
“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)
Majlis approves
issuing $5.5b in
bonds to fund
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
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
Economic Desk The
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
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)
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
Abadan representative in Majlis,
Mohammad Said Ansari, said that
the department’s performance has
not been satisfactory at all.
price hike:
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
Jam-e Jam
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.
MPs offer bill
to investigate
Department of
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
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
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
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
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
In this visit, which was also
participated by the managing director
Pharmaceutical Company, Dr. Shahla
Nikpour, technical director of the
company, said Kharazmi Pharmaceutical
pharmaceutical brand is always
completely aware of and committed
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.”
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
On Sunday the Saudi monarch greeted Sisi
upon his arrival, the official SPA news agency
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
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)
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline
not abandoned: Pakistani
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
The United States has long been threatening
Islamabad with economic sanctions if it goes ahead with
the plan.
(Source: agencies)
IKCO plans to produce
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
“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
“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.
Main Board
Free Float Index
Secondary Index
Industry Index
Overall Index
Max Value
Min Value
Change end of year(%)
Historical highest
89500.6 (2014/01/05)
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
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
US dollar
British Pound
1.543 53000
*The free market rates
To U.S.
To IR.
UAE dirham
(Sources: &
Light Crude $ / barrel
Silver $ / troy ounce
Gold $ / troy ounce
1,213.10 Platinum $ / troy ounce
Copper $ / pound
Wheat ¢ / bushel
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
“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.
established projects to conduct
China bans
ivory carving
imports for
one year
To IR.
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
To U.S.
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
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
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,
engineering companies.
Ramin Rabii, chief executive of
Turquoise Partners Group, agrees that
banks would be a fertile area for initial
“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
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
“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
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
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
By Mirco Keilberth and Christoph Reuter
Why ‘Jihadi John’
Mohammad Emwazi is not
the victim as some claim
By Shashank Joshi
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Afghan democracy and
Western hypocrisy
British politics: Old ideas,
tired slogans
By Rafael Behr
By Davood Moradian
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.
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
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
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
immediate security and military
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
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
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
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
The eventual success of “ethnic
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
(Source: Al Jazeera)
Fugitive prince: Is there a rift between Sonia and Rahul?
By Amulya Ganguli
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
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
combination of fear and entitlement
profoundly diverted Afghan voters’
participation in the electoral process
from an inclusive democratic path to a
compromised political outcome, in the
form of the government of national
Denying democratic aspirations
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
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;
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
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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.
“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
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.
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
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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
We can avoid relegation, says Sardar Azmoun
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-
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
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
"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
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
"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)
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 *
If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad
Jean-Paul Sartre
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
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!
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.
a person who spreads stories that cause public fear
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
mentary election in June and is keen to
keep violence at bay heading into the
“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
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
(Source: AP)
Iranian nuclear negotiators
to head to Montreux
TEHRAN — Iranian
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
Poem of the day
Our intention was advice and we gave it.
We recommended thee to God and departed.
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
The exhibit will be running until March 14.
Iranian films
to compete
in Parisian
Three Iranian films will compete in various sections of the
37th Creteil International Women’s Film Festival in Paris during
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
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
Prayer Times
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Leader praises “Track 143”
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An exhibition of Persian
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.
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,
In his speech, which was published on his website 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
The film was widely acclaimed at the 32nd Fajr
A r t D e s k “Crazy
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
Zarei acts
in a scene
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
“Crazy Face” set for Noruz release
Saed Soheili (L) and Tannaz Tabatabaii act in a scene from “Crazy Face”.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.