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WORLD
June 28, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
The young men and women enter Haft Tir Square tentatively. Their pace slows as they discreetly glance around. They spot the club-wielding uniformed security officials and plainclothes Basiji militiamen, scan the square for other would-be demonstrators. A woman in a form-fitting mini-coat looks left, then right. There is safety in numbers, but there are few of her kind here for the scheduled gathering, so she quietly moves along, glancing at the shop windows.
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WORLD
August 12, 2012 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - - More than 180 people were reported killed and 1,300 injured Saturday when twin earthquakes struck mountainous northwestern Iran, sending entire villages crashing to the ground. The earthquakes, one of them measuring magnitude 6.4, struck the sparsely populated region Saturday afternoon, and as rescue efforts continued through the night, some officials said the number of dead could rise markedly. Naser Zagar, who heads the coroner's office in the town of Ahar, near the epicenter, told Iran's official news agency IRNA that 35 people had been killed there and that the toll could rise to 40 times that number.
WORLD
August 5, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
It was first reported as a grenade, then a bomb and finally a harmless firecracker. But whatever was tossed toward Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's motorcade Wednesday, news of the incident went viral across the Internet as his government quickly denied it was an assassination attempt. Discounting speculation that swept the country, Iran's state-run Press TV said that a source in the president's office "rejected as false the reports of a grenade attack" on Ahmadinejad.
WORLD
February 14, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Dozens of wrestling greats and their agitated fans gathered Thursday in Tehran to lament the elimination from the Olympics of the sport, which has a storied past in Iran. Olympic officials decided Tuesday to cut wrestling from the 2020 Games, jettisoning a staple that had been part of the international competition for more than a century. Backers of the sport will have a chance in May to try to get it restored, but chances are seen as slight. The decision stunned athletes and fans around the world.
WORLD
January 24, 2012 | By Henry Chu and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Europe slapped a boycott on Iranian oil Monday, signaling that the Islamic Republic's second-largest market is likely to dry up as part of a U.S.-led sanctions campaign that has already inflicted serious damage on Iran's economy and sharply increased tensions. The value of Iran's currency is falling dramatically, prices are rising and Iranians are stocking up on supplies in fear of worse to come. Iran, which receives an estimated 70% of its revenue from oil sales, has threatened to retaliate by choking off the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz at the southern end of the Persian Gulf.
WORLD
August 9, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
The alleged French spy stood at the lectern in Tehran on Saturday and described her dastardly act of collusion. Clotilde Reiss, a pale, soft-spoken 24-year-old who had been teaching French in the central Iranian city of Isfahan when she was arrested, confessed to sending a single e-mail to a colleague in the capital. In it, she described the unrest unfolding in Esfahan after taking part in a couple of peaceful protests against the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
WORLD
January 20, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - A pair of thieves caught in the act on a video posted to YouTube were executed at dawn on a residential street Sunday by a method dating back beyond medieval times: hanging. The handcuffed men, convicted of the crime of moharebeh (waging war against God), were strung from twin cranes placed side by side in the upscale district. They were then hoisted aloft in front of a crowd of nearly 100 onlookers, with the crane operators, in effect, serving as executioners. Their sentence was widely viewed as a get-tough message from Iranian authorities alarmed about reports of escalating street thuggery amid an economic downturn driven by escalating international sanctions.
WORLD
June 5, 2009 | Ramin Mostaghim
Minutes before President Obama was to speak, English teacher Hengameh Khamoushi called her husband and beseeched him to come home to watch. Siavash Saadat, doing inventory at his pharmacy, politely declined. But Khamoushi, like many educated, middle-class Iranians, adores Obama. She gathered her daughters and in-laws. "He is perfect," said Khamoushi, 46. "Educated, eloquent, gentlemanly, a man of family, good-looking, disciplined in daily life -- he even dances perfectly."
WORLD
April 9, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demoted a controversial aide Saturday, Iranian news agencies reported, amid rising calls for political change throughout the Middle East. Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, was not only his top advisor, but also an in-law and comrade during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. He will retain his lesser posts. Mashaei's unorthodox views about religion, including the role of the clergy and the preeminence of ancient Iranian cultural values over Islam, earned him the mistrust of hard-liners in the Iranian establishment but also won Ahmadinejad no friends among a seething opposition movement opposed to the president and his agenda.
WORLD
February 11, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim
In some of his most conciliatory remarks to date, Iran's president said Tuesday that Tehran is prepared to talk with the United States but gave no indication that negotiations might yield changes to the Islamic Republic's nuclear program or support of militant groups opposed to Israel. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling his nation "a superpower," spoke at what observers described as a huge rally at Tehran's Freedom Square commemorating the 30th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution.
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