In Brief


Iran Focus: The news in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran on Friday, Aug. 26 – Ban on Music Day
Brothers Esmaeili
Ahmadinejad shuns journalists
“19-year-old girl kidnapped my 21-year-old son”
New crackdown in Tehran
14,205 street children rounded up in Tehran Iran Focus

The news in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran on Friday, Aug. 26

Ban on Music Day
Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, banned newspapers from declaring any day of the year as “Music Day”. Hard-liners consider music as un-Islamic.

Brothers Esmaeili
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has chosen two ultra-Islamist brothers for two key government posts. Mohsen Esmaeili, a young jurist on the powerful Guardian Council, has been earmarked to become cabinet secretary and government spokesman. His brother, Parviz Esmaeili, will be the new head of Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

Ahmadinejad shuns journalists
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took all his newly-confirmed ministers to the Shiite holy city of Mashad to hold the cabinet’s first meeting in the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth saint of Shiite Islam. Domestic journalists waiting at the mausoleum to interview the president were turned back and he only gave an interview to the state-run radio and television. When asked by a reporter why he was not talking to other journalists, Ahmadinejad said, “That’s odd. It’s the first time I hear such a thing”, and walked away.

“19-year-old girl kidnapped my 21-year-old son”
A man in Tehran filed a complaint in Tehran’s criminal court, accusing a 19-year-old girl of abducting his son. He said the girl befriended his son during private guitar lessons and they decided to get married. When their families opposed this decision, the boy left the girl, according to the man. “But the girl came to our house, called my son, and abducted him”, he wrote in his complaint. The prosecutor ordered the police to follow up the matter.

New crackdown in Tehran
Tehran’s chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi announced that a new wave of crackdown would commence to root out “troublemakers”. The hard-line daily Kayhan earlier quoted Mortazavi as saying, “There are various methods to ensure public security and peace. Combating troublemakers is an important such method”.

14,205 street children rounded up in Tehran
The semi-official daily Jomhouri Islami earlier quoted the director of the Social Ailments branch of the Tehran Mayor’s Office as saying that his organisation had rounded up 14,205 homeless children from the streets of Tehran over the past year. Oil-rich Iran has an estimated 100,000 street children.

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