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WORLD
August 20, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Iranian authorities sentenced two Americans arrested and detained along the Iran-Iraq border to eight years in prison, state television cited an unnamed judicial source as saying on Saturday. The men, who have already been held in prison for more than two years in Iran, have 20 days to appeal their convictions on charges of illegal entry onto Iranian territory and espionage. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 28 years old, were arrested along the Iran-Iraq border during what they insist was an ill-fated hiking trip in the scenic mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.
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WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court  branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
WORLD
April 4, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN -- Four Iranian border guards kidnapped two months ago by Sunni Muslim militants along the nation's southeastern frontier with Pakistan have been released in Pakistan, Iranian news agencies reported Friday. A fifth kidnapped border guard was reported executed last month by his captors. His body has been handed over to Iranian authorities, according to media accounts. The case sparked outrage in Iran and inflamed tension between Iran and Pakistan, where the abducted guards were apparently held.
WORLD
February 19, 2014 | By Alexandra Sandels and Ramin Mostaghim
BEIRUT - A new, lesbian-themed music video by expatriate Iranian pop star Googoosh has sparked sharp debate among Iranians and controversy on social media forums in the Islamic Republic. It started on Valentine's Day when the video for Googoosh's latest song, "Behesht," or Heaven, dropped like a bombshell on the singer´s official Facebook page , which boasts more than 1,5 million followers. The video features a lesbian couple and seems to champion gay rights.  “I am scared of this doubt, I am scared of this blind alley,” Googoosh, 64, croons to the backdrop of a video showing a couple played by two well-known Iranian actresses.
WORLD
December 2, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT — The chief of the Tehran police unit charged with investigating online crime has been fired for "negligence and insufficient supervision" of subordinates in the incendiary case of a dissident Iranian blogger who died in police custody, Iranian news media reported Saturday. Iranian news reports identified the police official as Mohammed Hassan Shokrian, who headed the capital's cyber-police branch, known by the Persian initials FATA. Iran's police chief, Brig. Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, dismissed the cyber-police commander in a decree issued Saturday, reported Press TV, Iran's English-language news service.
WORLD
April 22, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Relatives of Iranians jailed on various security charges held a protest Tuesday outside the offices of President Hassan Rouhani , alleging that the prisoners are being detained unfairly. The demonstration came as Iranian officials denied reports of violent clashes last week in the capital's Evin Prison, where dissidents say many political prisoners are held. Opposition websites and relatives of prisoners reported that authorities stormed a cellblock at  Evin and that many inmates were injured.
WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Nine months after taking office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finds himself under pressure from both his reformist supporters and hard-line conservatives as efforts to spur political change and economic progress have stumbled. Rouhani has faced a backlash in recent weeks from the very base that helped get him elected, which now sees a lack of movement to bolster personal liberties or free political prisoners. Meanwhile, both reformists and hard-liners are increasingly frustrated over economic woes.
WORLD
August 28, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pardoned an unspecified number of political activists imprisoned for their part in tumultuous protests over the country's disputed 2009 presidential election, in what was seen as a conciliatory gesture ahead of next year's national elections. The pardons did not cover top leaders of the 2009 demonstrations, including former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who remain under house arrest. State news agencies announced the pardons of 100 "security" prisoners late Saturday night.
WORLD
December 31, 2008 | Ramin Mostaghim and TIM RUTTEN
Plainclothes security officials stormed the private office of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and seized confidential files and records regarding her clients, the human rights lawyer said Tuesday. Ebadi said five men describing themselves as tax inspectors barged into her Tehran office Monday evening and began rummaging through her files. They left with documents and two computers filled with sensitive data, she said.
WORLD
October 6, 2007 | Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi, Special to The Times
tehran -- Iran's president delivered fiery remarks Friday about Israel and his country's nuclear program on Quds Day, the annual event marking Muslim opposition to the Jewish state's control of Jerusalem. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used the occasion to criticize Israel's policies and Western laws that bar questioning the Holocaust. He repeated his suggestion that the West relocate Israel's Jewish population to "somewhere in Canada or Alaska."
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