Iran news headlines on Monday include Iran Majlis preventing further mergers by government, Iran’s Alaei brothers helding Health and Human Rights week, Tehran shutting down due to air pollution, US raising spying on Iranian reactor, Iranian legislators following up Nasrin Sotoudeh’s hunger strike, Iran’s Aids sufferers struggling for survival and Iran’s Foreign Minister remarks over Iran direct talks with US.
An Iranian lawmaker says Iran’s Majlis will prevent merging of government’s ministries as the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet provided the parliament with duties of new ministries. Mobed Sadr-Hosseini said on Monday that given the unsuccessful merger of ministries in the past in accordance with Iran’s Fifth Five-Year Development Plan, Majlis would prevent any further attempt by the government in this regard.
With the effort of two Iranian HIV/AIDS specialists, Arash and Kamiar Alaei, a working week was named as ‘Health and Human Rights’. Prominent Iranian AIDS doctors Arash and Kamiar Alaei, who are currently working at the State University of New York, have proposed the university to hold a working week between Dec 1st (World’s AIDS Day) and Dec 10th (World’s Human Rights Day) as the ‘Health and Human Rights’ week.
Iranian capital Tehran is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday due to increasing air pollution, Tehran governor announced. Morteza Tamaddon, governor of Tehran said that Tehran will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday because of air pollution. “All government offices, schools and universities will be closed closed tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,we demand people to cut down on unnecessary city travel,” he added.
The U.S. has significantly stepped up spying operations on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor over the past two months, American officials said, driven by heightened concerns about the security of weapons-grade plutonium after Tehran unexpectedly discharged fuel rods from the facility in October.
Iranian legislators are to visit Tehran’s Evin prison and look into the case of an imprisoned lawyer on hunger strike there amid concerns over her deteriorating condition. Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist, is serving a six-year jail sentence after being arrested in September 2010 on suspicion of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.
As Iran’s economy has faltered and the cost of living has skyrocketed, Iranians living with HIV/Aids are struggling for survival. UN, EU and US sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear programme exempt trade in medicine for humanitarian reasons. But with banking restrictions, high inflation, and the plunging value of Iran’s currency, many drugs are costly and hard to find in Iran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the decision whether the U.S. and Iran should hold direct talks is up to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, IRNA reported. Salehi made the remarks, responding to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks made last week.
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