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Iranian Revolution Subject of VOA Special Programs on 30th Anniversary

Special reports cover the past, look to the future

Washington, D.C., February 5, 2009 - The Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN) is marking the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution with special programming that highlights the significance of the events of 1979.

"The ramifications of events in Iran 30 years ago are still being felt today," said VOA Director Danforth Austin. "VOA has expanded its audience in Iran, becoming the largest international broadcaster in that country. We will make sure, throughout the year, that we provide the most comprehensive news and information to millions of Iranians by radio, television and the Internet."

In the first of a series of special reports, PNN's flagship television news show News and Views detailed the rupture in U.S.-Iranian relations, President Barack Obama's options and the possibility of future U.S. dialogue with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Segments on a variety of programs will explore topics such as nuclear developments, Iranian youth, women's status and the economy.

February 11, 1979 was the final collapse of the Pahlavi dynasty when rebel troops overwhelmed those loyal to the Shah of Iran. Iranians approved a national referendum on April 1, 1979, making Iran officially an Islamic Republic.

PNN interviews during the week include:

• Dr. Abbas Miliani, from Stanford University, on U.S.-Islamic Republic relations;

• Lebanese Writer Genevieve Abdo on revolution, women and Islam;

• Hassan Shariatamadari, son of a cleric, on the role of clergies in revolution and the clashes among clerics in Iran;

• Dr. Nosratollah Vahedi, professor of physics and nuclear power in Germany from Munich, on Iran's nuclear program;

• Esmaeil Khouie, scholar, philosopher and author, on the Revolution's influence on language;

• Dr. Mehrangiz Kar, author, lawyer and human rights activist at Harvard University, on women and the Revolution under the Islamic Republic;

• Hooshmand Aghili, a traditional Iranian singer, on change in music since the Revolution;

• Dr. Hossein Bagherzadeh, Iranian writer and human rights activist based outside London, on the status of human rights in Iran;

• Abdulreza Karimi, ethnic historian based in Paris, on the status of ethnic and religious minorities;

• Mehdi Sameh, defender of the Revolution and a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI);

• Daryush Homayoun, information minister for the Shah (in a Roundtable discussion with Mehdi Sameh);

• Dr. Mohsen Milani, professor of political science from the University of South Florida, on "exporting revolution" under the Islamic government;

• Iraj Mesdaghi, author and former political prisoner, on youth and revolution;

• Porochista Khakpour, Iranian-American author in New York, on Iranian youth;

• Arash Sigarchi, an Iranian exile and blogger, on "Can the Internet host the next revolution?"

VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. Programs are also streamed on our website, VOA broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24-hour format, and five hours of radio. Broadcasts are available on demand on the Internet.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail