Russia pushed back Tuesday at U.S. efforts to threaten tough new sanctions if Iran fails to prove its nuclear program is peaceful, a setback to the Obama administration’s desire to present a united front with Moscow.
After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow believed that such threats would not persuade Iran to comply and that negotiations should continue to be pursued.
“At the current stage, all forces should be thrown at supporting the negotiating process,” he told reporters at a joint news conference with Clinton. “Threats, sanctions and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive.” [continued…]
For two months Ehsan Maleki traveled around Iran with a backpack containing his cameras, a few pieces of clothing and his laptop computer, taking pictures of the reformist candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi during the presidential campaign. He did not know that his backpack and his cameras would soon become his only possessions, or that he would be forced to crawl out of the country hiding in a herd of sheep.
Mr. Maleki, 29, is one of dozens of reporters, photographers and bloggers who have either fled Iran or are trying to flee in the aftermath of the disputed June presidential election. Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based organization that promotes press freedom and monitors the safety of journalists, said the number of journalists leaving Iran was the largest since the years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The wave of departures reflects the journalists’ anxiety over the retribution many of them have faced for reporting on the government’s violent suppression of the post-election protests. As bloody clashes unfolded in the streets of Tehran, the government went to great lengths to restrict the flow of information to the outside world. Foreign journalists were banned, and local reporters and photographers were warned to stay at home. [continued…]