Iran Calls for Truce in Syria
Iran hosted representatives from 30 countries in Tehran Thursday to discuss a way forward in Syria, one which the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said must be based on “serious and comprehensive dialogue.” Those in attendance included Russia, China, India, and Pakistan, but with Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia declining their invitation. United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon also failed to attend, but had a statement read at the meeting that criticized Tehran’s ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Salehi argued that the Assad regime would not collapse under foreign pressure, and called for a three month truce so the opposition can negotiate with the Syrian government.
Additionally, Iran’s parliament has summoned Minister of Science Kamran Daneshjoo to explain why female acceptance rates in universities are down, and why some programs are excluding women altogether. This comes after it was revealed that female students in Iran are now barred from civil and mechanical engineering programs, with acceptance rates down 25 percent in other engineering programs and rates down 30 to 40 percent in the humanities. The drop has been attributed to efforts to segregate universities by sex as a long-term reaction to the 2009 protest movement.
Also, President Obama signed new sanctions Friday against Iran’s shipping, energy, and insurance industries after the bill was overwhelmingly passed by congress last week. Coupled with this were sanctions against the Syrian state-run oil company Sytrol for selling $36 million of oil to Iran in April.