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Iran has opened itself up to the media for th -

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(generated from captions) was good but it has been a

dreadfully hard thing to

police. Iran has opened

itself up to the foreign

media for the first time

since last year's bloody

election when journalists

were blamed by the regime for

inciting violence and told to

leave in some cases after

being arrested and beaten up.

The occasion this time was a nuclear disarmament

conference hosted by Iran

hoping to expose what it

calls the double standards of

the nations that want to put

new sanctions on the regime while they themselves hold

nuclear weapons but as

journalists arrived they

found that anything - sorry,

that reporting on anything

else was forbidden. Our

Middle East cordon Ben Knight

was one of the journalists

who returned to Iran. He

filed this report. This

feels strange. I honestly

thought I would never see

Tehran again. When we left

last June it was in the dead

of knight through streets

crawling with armed police

having been threatened with

arrest if we left our hotel

to film. How different it

looks now. Mind you the

traffic is just the same.

TRANSLATION: Tehran is like

a parking lot. For people

like this driver who make

around $600 a month the

Government subsidies on full

and electricity are crucial but President Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad is gradually

trying to wean the economy

off them. TRANSLATION: I

have a good life, I live in

an apartment but I'm single.

You could not do it if you

were married. Sanctions and

subsidies have combined to

create huge problems with

inflation. It is currently

running at 10% but peaked at

30% last year carrying cash

is not easy. Thank you very

much. This is 20,000 rias

which is worth $2. The

problem being an Australian

with sanctions I can not

access money from a bank or

use my visa card so I have to

carry the cache round. This

is about $300 worth and I

cannot get my wallet closed.

The streets are busy but

calm. Dissent has been

completely crushed here. It

has been months since the

last. The major protest and

there is no sign there will

be another one. The last.

The time we were Lear in the

days leading up to the

election we were relatively

free to roam the city and

talk to people even though

many of the people we spoke

to were wary of putting their

thoughts on camera but that

stopped the day after the vote and since then nothing

has changed. If anything the

regime is even more fimplly

in charge than before. We

have been given press cards

and instructions, we can film

in public but we are not allowed the talk to any

member of the public on

camera. I did Smith a lifts

names of people I wanted to

interview and I was bluntly

told that most were in jail.

As we moved around the city

difficult speak to some

people off camera. They had

only one desire, to Levi ran.

They were young and well

educated. I asked them if the

Government was worried about

losing its best and

brightest. The. "They don't

care. We are the ones that

took the streets and

protested. We only cause them

trouble. They are glad to see

us go". They detest the way

the President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is isolating the country

internationally. They were

disgusted at the nuclear

conference we were here to

cover and they see his

podium-pounding as a

disruption from the country's

domestic problems. How is it

that Iran can talk about

nuclear disarmament when it

has such a poor record on

human rights especially after

the last. The election? People are still in jail and

have been executed for

protesting. TRANSLATION: If

a few thousand people start

to do wrong in your country,

set cars on fire, damages

public property, how would

the police react? Would they

invite them to come to the

streets every week or arrest

them and treat them severely?

In all countries security is

the most important thing. Why

is it while we are in this

country we are not allowed to speak to any member of the public, not allowed to put

them on camera or speak the

people outside this

conference building?. If you

get the chance from you are

allowed to. But we both knew

that was not true. This

conference was a PR exercise

for Iran but in reality it

has done nothing to stop the push for sanctions in the

west. The only thing standing

between Iran and a new round

of sanctions is China with

its veto vote on the UN

Security Council. Part of

the region for China's

support can be found here.

This is the Grand Bazaar

which is said the make-up

around a quarter of all

business activity in Tehran.

You can buy a $200,000

Persian carpet here but

mostly it is cheap household

goods and textiles and all

made by Iran's only strong

friend in the world. This

is made in China?

Yes. All in China?

Yes. It is good? No good.

Very, very bad. China and

Iran have a very strong

relationship and it works

both ways. The people in Iran

need access to the cheap

Chinese goods because of the

state of the economy and

China is a very heavy investor in the Chinese

energy sector. It is a

relationship that works well internationally when Iran

needs help from a powerful

friend on things like sanctions but Iran is a very

proud nation and the idea of

being stow dependent on one

particular country is

something that really sticks

in the Iranian craw. On

sunny afternoons the people

of Tehran Flook to the city's

beautiful parks. In a city

where much of the social life

takes place behind closed

doors sometimes with black

market alcohol and forbidden

music this is where the

people can relax outside.

Young men cruise in groups in Western-style close t young

women push the strict dress

code by letting scarfs slide

back on their heads. You can

see people having BBQs,

picnics playing games, really

no different to any similar

kind of park in Australia you

might think but there are some very important

differences. For a start a

lot of women here would

dearly love to rip their

scarfs off. A lot of the

other people here might have

taken part in a protest or

known some one who has who

may be in prison or has even

been killed but you cannot

protests every day especially

when the authorities have

things locked down so tightly. Tonight, this

evening, they are just out