This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
is observing the thirtieth anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution with
a ten-day celebration that began last Saturday. The nineteen seventy-nine
revolution forced Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi out of power and made Ayatollah
Khomeini the country's leader. The revolution replaced the country's monarchy
with an Islamic religious government. Between two and three million Iranians
left the country during and after the revolution.
The revolution was meant
to end a repressive rule. Yet pro-democracy reformists say the changes have not
brought the freedom and justice for which many had hoped.
The anniversary celebration is
called "Ten Days of Dawn." It comes about
four months ahead of the nation's presidential elections in June. President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seeking re-election for another four-year term.
Also this week, the country
launched its first Iranian-made satellite into space. President Ahmadinejad
reportedly called the satellite launch "a message of brotherhood and peace" to
the world. But the satellite launch caused international concern.
Western nations are concerned that
Iran could use the missile technology to launch a nuclear weapon, which Iran is
suspected of building. Iran says its
nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. The United States government
said it will use "all elements" of its national power to deal with Iran.
Wednesday, diplomats from six major powers met in Germany. They discussed steps to take in dealing with
Iran and its nuclear program. The representatives from France, Germany, the
United States, China, Russia and Britain said they would seek a diplomatic
solution. They also urged Iran to honor the United Nations demands to stop
enriching uranium and open its nuclear program to international inspectors.
Also this week, early results were announced from provincial
elections held in neighboring Iraq. The results
from last Saturday's elections show Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition
won a strong victory over Shi'ite religious parties. Prime Minister Maliki is
Shi'ite. But he has taken action against
religious extremist military groups.
Fourteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces voted
for ruling councils. It was the nation's first election since two thousand
five. United Nations officials were heavily involved in planning the elections,
which took place without any major violence.
The elections are being seen as a vote on Mister Maliki's leadership
ahead of national parliamentary elections to be held later this year.
Washington, President Obama said the provincial elections were very
important. He said they showed that
Iraqis are ready to take over more of their own security.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English,
written by Brianna Blake. Get
transcripts and MP3s of our programs, and watch Special English on TV, at
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.