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Karroubi condemns Bush's interfering statements on Iran
Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi here Thursday hit out at US President George W. Bush's "weird" allegations against Iran, saying they constituted interference in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs. - 1/31/03

U.S. welcomes release of Iranian cleric
The United States welcomed on Thursday the release of Iran's foremost dissident cleric from house arrest and said it hoped other positive steps would follow. -Reuters - 1/31/03

Official says Forouhar's heirs had spared murderers
An official of the Iranian military court on Thursday said that the family of the slain political activists Dariush orouhar and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari had submitted their written consent to the court to spare the lives of the murderers. - 1/31/03

Congressman Ney meets with Iranian-Americans
On January 29, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), the only Persian speaking Member of Congress, and Iranian-American author Afshin Molavi (Persian Pilgrimages) met with leaders of the Iranian-American community at a fundraiser for NIAC. - 1/31/03

Cartoon: State of the Union Speech
This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead. You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence... -Amirali Parstabar - 1/31/03

Another quake jolts southern Iran
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the southwestern city of Masjed Soleyman on Friday. - 1/31/03

Europe not buying "positive domino theory" on Iraq
A "positive domino theory" that regime change in Iraq could bring about a new political order in the Middle East may have support in the United States, but Washington's European allies aren't buying it at all. -Reuters - 1/31/03

Patten to visit Iran, Turkey and Lebanon
The EU Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten will travel to Iran, Turkey and next week. - 1/31/03

At least 18 dead in Afghan blast
Authorities are blaming Friday's land mine explosion that killed at least 18 people on a bus outside Kandahar, Afghanistan, on remnants of the Taliban and forces loyal to an Islamic fundamentalist warlord. -CNN - 1/31/03

In Time of War, Hope Triumphs in Porto Alegre
The World Social Forum in Porto Alegre was supposed to be about globalization, but talk of war dominated everything. -AlterNet - 1/31/03

US is misquoting my Iraq report, says Blix
Dr Blix took issue with what he said were US Secretary of State Colin Powell's claims that the inspectors had found that Iraqi officials were hiding and moving illicit materials within and outside of Iraq to prevent their discovery. He said that the inspectors had reported no such incidents. -Sydney Morning Herald - 1/31/03

Iran trying to release residents held in US
The interests section of the Islamic Republic in Washington is trying to release Iranian residents who have been detained in that country following the US new migration measures. - 1/31/03

Mandela condemns US stance on Iraq
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has criticised US President George W Bush over Iraq, saying the sole reason for a possible US-led attack would be to gain control of Iraqi oil. -BBC - 1/31/03

Freed From House Arrest, Iranian Vows to Speak Out
"God, who is the master, gave all believers a power of religious authority," he told a crowd of about 600 supporters. "But this power is not absolute, it is limited. Just as I did during my detention, I will continue to talk about issues and to act. It is my religious duty." -New York Times - 1/31/03

Iran Veers Between Admiration and Resentment of American Power
Quietly, as a result of the projection of American power in the region since Sept. 11, Iran has embarked on a pragmatic strategy of pursuing its national interests within the context of America's overwhelming military might. -New York Times - 1/30/03

Caspian Sea: Is The U.S. Losing Interest In Oil Resources?
Regional experts say there is more to the dwindling interest in the Caspian than meets the eye. Some argue in particular that the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is looking to purposely dim the spotlight placed on the Caspian by the previous administration. -RFE - 1/30/03

Kharrazi reaffirms Iran's rights in Caspian Sea
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here Wednesday reiterated Iran's claim to 20 percent of the share in Caspian Sea whose division is disputed by the land-locked waters' coastal states. - 1/30/03

Azerbaijan-Iran Tensions Create Obstacle to Caspian Resolution
Azerbaijan is counting on the development of the Caspian Basin’s energy resources to secure its economic future. Yet a deadlock among Caspian littoral states on a Caspian Sea territorial agreement is viewed as a major obstacle to the development of regional energy exports. -Eurasianet - 1/30/03

Iran: Migratory birds in West Azarbaijan drops by 70 percent this winter
Head of Salmas Environment Department Jafar Mohammadpour said here on Wednesday that the population of migratory birds spending winter at lagoons in the city of Salmas, has dropped by 70 percent. - 1/30/03

Some U.S. Forces in Northern Iraq, Military Chief Says
Over the past several weeks, Special Operations Forces have entered the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq to work with teams of Central Intelligence Agency operatives who are organizing Kurdish opposition groups, military officials said today. -New York Times - 1/30/03

European leaders rally behind US
The heads of eight European countries have called for a unified front against Saddam Hussein, lending much needed diplomatic support to US President George Bush as he builds his case against the Iraqi leader. -BBC - 1/30/03

Four members of rape gang publicly hanged in central Iran
Four members of a gang engaged in kidnapping and raping girls were hanged in Arak, central Iran, on Thursday. - 1/30/03

Bush officials debate release of Iraq secrets
President Bush's top national security aides are debating whether to declassify satellite photographs of suspected Iraqi weapons sites and truck convoys — along with telephone intercepts and interviews with defectors and detainees — to demonstrate that Iraq is defying inspections. -Financial Times - 1/30/03

Supporting Aliyev's Despotic Rule May Turn Azeris into US Enemies
The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan are represented in Washington by some of the best public relations firms and lobbyists money can buy. Nevertheless, their human rights records are so bad that even top-notch American professionals have a hard time whitewashing their tarnished image. -California Courier Publisher - 1/30/03

President Khatami opposed to crackdown on journalists
Another reporter pointing to the metal rods and red ribbons, behind which the reporters were supposed to stand waiting for interviews, said, "Mr. President, a red line is imposed on the media." Once President Khatami replied, "Break the artificial red lines", the reporters pushed aside the obstacles and encircled the president once more. - 1/30/03

Monarchy Iranian Style: Divine Bliss or Demonic Blight?
The events of January 16, 1979 in Iran appeared to herald the beginning of the end of the Pahlavi Dynasty. On that cold, dreary fateful day His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the King of Kings and the Light of Aryans, ... -Karim Mansouri, Persian Heritage - 1/30/03

Iran outraged by Bush speech
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has condemned an allegation by US President George W Bush that Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction. -BBC - 1/30/03

Iran releases dissident cleric
The ayatollah remained defiant towards Iran's hardline judiciary, vowing to "continue to talk about issues and to act," adding that it was his "religious duty" to do so. -BBC - 1/30/03

Top Iran Dissident Free After 5 Years House Arrest
Montazeri, wearing clerical robes and a white turban, left his home to visit a shrine in Qom where a third son, killed in a bomb blast at Islamic Republican Party headquarters in 1981, is buried. -Reuters - 1/30/03

The US must build bridges with Iran
In choosing to tackle Iraq instead of dealing with Iran, the US has made a big mistake. It has ignored the democratic experiment taking place in that country. Rather than build bridges towards the Iranian people, the US administration has dug ditches. -Financial Times - 1/30/03

Iran to use talks with Blair to signal support
Tony Blair will meet the Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, early next month as part of the coalition-building for the looming war against Iraq. -Guardian - 1/29/03

Iranian killers spared death penalty
The Iranian Supreme Court has commuted the death sentences of at least two former secret agents found guilty of the murders of four dissidents in 1998. -BBC - 1/29/03

Fall of Man
Since the day I started reading books, I always had this question that why in contrast to Western literature, our contemporary literary writings (particularly before the revolution) are almost completely devoid of any reference to or quotations from the Holy Book, Koran? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/29/03

Wife, interrupted
She isn't nervous about returning to the tense region, pointing out that she lived in Iran during the "worst of times." She didn't fear Bush Sr.; she doesn't much fear Bush Jr. Not that Mercedeh believes she will be happy in Tehran. She is a permanently changed woman, she whispers, for along with her freedom, the INS has slowly robbed her of her very essence. -San Francisco Examiner - 1/29/03

Cartoon: Play it again George
By Amirali Parstabar, California - 1/29/03

Counting the dead
In the event of war, how many Iraqi civilians will die? And how many will starve, or be displaced? In secret, the UN has been doing the sums -Guardian - 1/29/03

Iran clarifies stand on Kashmir
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi clarified on Tuesday that Tehran's stand on the Jammu and Kashmir issue remains unchanged. -Rediff, India - 1/29/03

The Cold Test: What the Administration Knew About Pakistan and the North Korea Nuclear Program
A piece by Seymour Hersh in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine begins, "Last June, four months before the current crisis over North Korea became public, the Central Intelligence Agency delivered a comprehensive analysis of North Korea's nuclear ambitions to President Bush and his top advisors. The document, known as the National Intelligence Estimate, was classified Top Secret. -Democracy Now - 1/29/03

Bill stops funding for security registration
Republicans say male visitors from certain foreign nations should continue to be registered with the government despite a provision in a recent Senate spending bill that would kill funding for the registration program. -Washington Times - 1/29/03

F.B.I. Tells Offices to Count Local Muslims and Mosques
"This is obviously an indication to F.B.I. field agents that they have to view every mosque and every Muslim as a potential terrorist," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group here. -New York Times - 1/29/03

Oceans of Greed
The great, driving, unceasing pressure for the control of economic resources is the largest single fact in the conflict between political groups, and, unless this conflict can be eliminated or modified, men must continue in the future, as they have in the past, to slaughter one another in the interest of economic advantage … - 1/29/03

President Bush's State of the Union address (full text)
In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. - 1/29/03

From Grass to People of the Wind : A Hollywood Odyssey among Bakhtiary tribeman
Bakhtiary tribes and their yearly migration accross the persian landscapes and their physical and moral endeavors seem to have been fascinating enough to become a subject for two now classic films made by Hollywood Directors. -Darius Kadivar - 1/29/03

Iran says top dissident to be freed
Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said Iran's foremost dissident cleric would be freed from five years' house arrest on Wednesday, as supporters grew impatient for the elderly ayatollah's release. -Reuters - 1/29/03

Modern Medical Views of Persian Physician, Ahavazi
Ten centuries ago, in his famous book "Maleki" (Al-sanatol-teb) that attracted the attention of European medical circles in the nineteenth century, Ahvazi (930-990), the Persian physician, writes on the treatment of lung inflammation: "Cough should be stopped in any possible way." -M.H. Nadjmabadi - 1/28/03

Fashioning a new Iranian revolution
...But in a sign of the continuing relaxation in Iranian society, the first women’s fashion magazine to be published in the country since the Islamic revolution 23 years ago has just hit the news-stands. -The Scotsman, UK - 1/28/03

Iran cleric 'still under house arrest'
In his first interview with a foreign radio station, Ayatollah Montazeri told the BBC he had never asked the authorities to lift his house arrest and would reject any conditions imposed on him. -BBC - 1/28/03

Iran urges India to back pipeline
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has urged India to join in the construction of a multibillion-dollar pipeline that would bring Iranian gas to the subcontinent. -BBC - 1/28/03

Khatami leaves Hyderabad for Tehran
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and cooperation in various sectors of petroleum, including exploration, utilization and transport of compressed natural gas (CNG). - 1/28/03

Iraqi Opponent Says He's Leaving Iran to Plan Takeover
Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi opposition leader, announced today that he intends to travel to Iraq shortly to meet other opposition leaders and plan a provisional government to replace the regime of Saddam Hussein. -New York Times - 1/28/03

Khatami visits Iranian architect-founded Hyderabad
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami Tuesday began a daylong visit to the southern city of Hyderabad which was founded by an Iranian architect around 400 years ago. -Hindustan Times - 1/28/03

The Wartime Deceptions: Saddam is Hitler and It's Not About Oil
Bush thinks that he is the Churchill of America, refusing the appeasement of Saddam. Now the US ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, has compared Saddam to Hitler. "You had Hitler in Europe and no one really did anything about him," Schnabel lectured the Europeans in Brussels a week ago: "We knew he could be dangerous but nothing was done. The same type of person [is in Baghdad] and it's there that our concern lies." -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/28/03

Kashmiri rebels say hurt by Iran president's move
A Kashmiri rebel group accused Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday of hurting the sentiments of Kashmiri Muslims by participating in India's Republic Day parade, a display of military strength. -Reuters - 1/28/03

Israeli officer rapped for blocking raid
An Israeli officer has been removed from his post for obstructing an air attack against the Palestinians. He is said to have described his orders as illegal under international law. -BBC - 1/28/03

Iran Tests Taepo Dong Missile Engine
Iran has tested North Korea's Taepo Dong missile engine and plans to soon launch the missile in its first test flight. -MENL - 1/28/03

Iran plans $1.5b GTL plant
A new gas to liquids (GTL) project estimated to cost Dh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) will be set up in Iran by 2006, a senior government official said yesterday. -Gulf News, UAE - 1/28/03

Bush to Court Moderates
Bush will not repeat the "axis of evil" phrase he applied in last year's address to Iraq, Iran and North Korea, officials said, although he intends to cite all three nations by name and describe the complications they are causing the anti-terror coalition. -AP - 1/28/03

A year in the life of the axis of evil
Bush's axis of evil speech signalled the U.S. was prepared to take pre-emptive action against threats to its interests -CNN - 1/28/03

Iranian student ranks first in gaining PhD scholarship in Netherlands
An Iranian girl ranked first on Monday, among 52 competitors, in gaining a Dutch government's scholarship for the PhD courses in 'Remote Control Monitoring and Geographical Information Systems'. - 1/28/03

U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo: Mujahedin offers hope for a new Iran
In November of last year, 150 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked the State Department to "re-evaluate the democratic opposition in Iran." I was one. For this, the News called me a supporter of terrorists. -Denver Rocky Mountain News - 1/27/03

The Mujahedin and Tancredo: Part II
When we talked to Tom Tancredo about his support for the People's Mujahedin, it was clear he knew little of the group's violent history, ideology of revolution, and cult of personality surrounding Marayam Rajavi, the unelected leader of its front organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. -Denver Rocky Mountain News - 1/27/03

Confusion's the word ("exception" or "explosion")
It is a traveller's nightmare: finding yourself thrown into jail in a strange country because you tried to speak the language but the words came out wrong. That is what 35-year-old Iranian law professor Norouz Barghi says happened to him in Canada this autumn. -Guardian - 1/27/03

Khatami outlines proposals for strengthening ties with India
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami today said the proposed Iran- India gas pipelines project will play a significant role in providing India with "inexpensive and perennial" flow of energy as he announced far reaching proposals for strengthening economic linkages between the two countries. -UNI - 1/27/03

Should Congress Cut the Funding of the INS Registration Program?
McCain amendment may end INS registration of Iranians by cutting its funding -NIAC - 1/27/03

The Nuclear Option in Iraq
The U.S. has lowered the bar for using the ultimate weapon -Los Angeles Times - 1/27/03

Khatami has to resign if his twin bills are rejected: Mohsen Kadivar
prominent Iranian theoretician has advised President Mohammad Khatami to quit power if his two bills, including one to boost presidential prerogatives, are rejected by the supervisory Guardians Council. - 1/27/03

Saudis open door to rights group
An international human rights group has met Saudi Arabian Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul-Aziz on its first visit to the kingdom. -BBC - 1/27/03

Daily deeply regrets rising trend in "brain drain" phenomenon in Iran
`Iran News' in its editorial on Monday deeply regretted the rising percentage of "brain drain" in the country, urging Iranian officials to adopt concrete measures to check this unpleasant phenomena. - 1/27/03

Iran lifts house confinement of Ayatollah Montazeri
"According to the directive, the governors of Qom and Isfahan provinces have been given necessary guidelines about how to deal with the outbreak of probable tensions" - 1/27/03

Court lifts ban on Persian daily Hamshahri
The ban was lifted after the two plaintiffs, Mahjoub and Mohammad Hamze'i -- members of the Labor House -- retracted their suits following the publication of their response in the daily Iran, the official added. - 1/27/03

Khatami bullish on Indo-Iran ties
Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami on Monday emphasised that his country's foreign policy was focused on broadening cooperation with Asian countries among whom, "India occupies a distinguished place." -Rediff, India - 1/27/03

Iran 'to free' dissident ayatollah
Iran's most senior dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, is to be freed from house arrest on Tuesday, it is reported from Tehran. -BBC - 1/27/03

Bahrain Deploys Patriot Missiles
Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, has announced it is deploying Patriot missile batteries to counter any possible long-range missile threats, newspapers reported Sunday. -AP - 1/26/03

Iraqis plea for west to liberate homeland
Among the hawkish chorus backing war against Iraq, there is one voice that is rarely heard; the voice of those Iraqis living in the west who believe the countries they found refuge in can save the country they fled. -Guardian - 1/26/03

'US will work through UN'
Senator Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agreed that it was "embarrassing" that the West had not properly condemned Iraq for its use of WMD against Iran and its own Kurdish community in the 1980s, and he accepted that the West may have inadvertently helped Baghdad develop its WMD programmes. -BBC - 1/26/03

The CIA's Secret Army
Because of past scandals, the agency had largely dropped its paramilitary operations. But the war on terrorism has brought it back into the business -Time - 1/26/03

Iran would shelter 200,000 Iraq refugees
Iran said on Sunday it would provide shelter for up to 200,000 Iraqi refugees on its own soil should a war take place in its western neighbor. -Reuters - 1/26/03

Iran offers gas in ships to skirt pipeline
Iranian officials accompanying President Khatami on Saturday chose against discussing with Indian officials the proposed gas pipeline through Pakistan given New Delhi’s heightened security concerns in the wake of recent attacks by local tribals on Balochistan pipelines. -India Business - 1/26/03

Geopolitics binds India, Iran
The presence of Iranian President Seyyed Mohammed Khatami as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on Sunday is a tribute to the manner in which geography affects politics. -Times of India - 1/26/03

Quietly, Iran welcomes Iraqi opposition leaders planning for the future
More than a dozen exiled Iraqi opposition leaders have quietly entered Iran to prepare their entry into northern Iraq, in a sign of Iran's increasing involvement in planning for its neighbor's future. -IHT - 1/26/03

Bard back in Iran after 26 years
William Shakespeare is back on an Iranian stage for the first time in more than a quarter century, a sign of a thawing in frosty Persian-Western ties. -CNN - 1/25/03

Iranian and German Foreign Ministers meet
Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi and his German counterpart Joschka Fischer met and conferred here on Friday, on the sidelines of 6 Middle East countries' conference on Iraq Crisis. - 1/25/03

Photographer Tells of Iraqi Kurds "In Agony"
National Geographic photographer Reza has devoted his life to documenting the impact of war and poverty with poignant images that illustrate the suffering and the strength of oppressed peoples. - 1/25/03

Iran court lifts ban on provincial weekly Taban-e Qazvin
A court in this northwestern city has lifted ban on Persian weekly Taban-e Qazvin which was closed recently on libel charges. - 1/25/03

Senate Rejects Privacy Project
The Senate voted today to bar deployment of a Pentagon project to search for terrorists by scanning information in Internet mail and in the commercial databases of health, financial and travel companies here and abroad. -New York Times - 1/25/03

Eleven Iranian youth flogged for drinking alcohol: press
Eleven Iranian youth, including several junior students, have been flogged west of this capital city for drinking alcohol, press said Saturday. - 1/25/03

US Churches are Preparing for Civil Disobedience Against War
Designated a place of prayer "for national purposes", Washington National Cathedral is as close as church and state get in the US. It was here, three days after 9/11, that an emotional president rose into the pulpit and declared war. As the Battle Hymn of the Republic rang out, Bush initiated his crusade to "rid the world of evil". -Common Dreams - 1/25/03

Turkish Leader Calls U.S. Hypocritical
Turkey's top politician harshly criticized the United States on Friday, suggesting its drive to disarm Iraq is hypocritical, and said his country would not decide whether to support U.S. military action until the U.N. Security Council weighs in. -AP - 1/25/03

Afghan-Pakistani Tension Prompts Kabul To Develop New Trade Routes
President Hamid Karzai is taking steps to establish landlocked Afghanistan as a trade hub connecting the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. Over the past two months, Afghan authorities have reached trade deals with Iran, India and the Central Asian states – all of which grant major concessions to Afghan goods. -Eurasianet - 1/25/03

Senior Iranian cleric urges sex education
A senior Iranian cleric has rejected speculation that sex education could lead to the promotion of moral corruption, saying it was vital to guarantee the society's health. - 1/25/03

Deportations are halted for 3 Bay Area men
The three men, who had valid visas, were arrested at the San Jose INS office in December and shipped out on a 30-hour, six-stop flight before authorities finally found a place to imprison them in San Diego. After six days in custody, the men were released in San Jose on Christmas Eve. -San Jose Mercury - 1/25/03

U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq
As the Pentagon continues a highly visible buildup of troops and weapons in the Persian Gulf, it is also quietly preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons in a war against Iraq, according to a report by a defense analyst. -Los Angeles Times - 1/25/03

Analysis: Politics And Reform In Iran
There are headlines almost every day about impending war in Iraq and crisis with North Korea, but we hear relatively little about the third member of President Bush's axis of evil. Iran is the biggest of the three, the most populous and, since the revolution of 1979, resolutely anti-American. It's working on weapons of mass destruction, supports terrorist groups and forces women to wear the chador. -NPR - 1/25/03

Iranian primary care produces big results
The Iranian health-care system, which places a heavy emphasis on primary care, has dramatically increased life expectancy and lowered population growth since 1986, according to the vice chancellor of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. -Harvard University Gazette - 1/24/03

President Khatami arrives in New Delhi
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami arrived here on a four-day visit Friday afternoon to discuss economic and political ties between the two countries as well as security in the region with Indian officials. - 1/24/03

Why Blondes Love Sufis
A new novel about America's love for Sufism gets it wrong -MSN - 1/24/03

The message from the Bush camp: 'It's war within weeks'
President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. -Guardian - 1/24/03

Iran and India seek security boost
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is seeking to improve regional security as he begins a four day visit to India. -BBC - 1/24/03

Mid-East states urge Iraqi compliance
The call came at the end of a one day meeting in Turkey, which gathered together foreign ministers from Iran and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as well as the host nation. -BBC - 1/24/03

Alavi Foundation responds to Washington Post article
Recently your web site provided your viewers with a link to an article published by the Washington Post which contained several unfounded accusations and untrue statements about Alavi Foundation's activities. - 1/24/03

Woman deported after dash for freedom
This time there was no great escape. An Iranian woman and her 21-year-old son were deported by Department of Immigration officials yesterday, two days after a wild airport melee allowed the handcuffed woman to break free from her captors. -Globe & Mail, Canada - 1/24/03

Israelis detain hundreds without trial
In the past week, the Israeli military has detained close to 200 Palestinian men in night-time raids or using undercover squads posing as Arabs to snatch them off the streets. -Guardian - 1/24/03

San Francisco Supervisors Reject USA Patriot Act
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday a resolution condemning the USA Patriot Act, making it one of the largest cities in the nation to oppose the Bush administration policy, according to supporters. -Common Dreams - 1/24/03

Bush Prepares For State Of Union Speech With 'Axis Of Evil' Remark Still Echoing
What about Tehran? Shireen Hunter is an Iranian-born analyst at the Center for Strategic and International affairs, a think tank in Washington. Hunter believes the axis-of-evil speech had a more negative than positive impact in Iran, even if some say it helped Iranian reformers... -RFE - 1/24/03

'Gray Lady' Runs Ad for Terrorists
The New York Times has published a full-page advertisement for an Iraqi-based terrorist group (People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran) that boasts of the support the group has received from 150 members of Congress. -Insight - 1/24/03

Iran: Caspian Sea Policy Comes Into Question
Domestic critics have stepped up their attacks on Iran's Caspian Sea policy at a time when reports suggest tentative progress in border talks with Azerbaijan. -RFE - 1/23/03

Patten defends EU-Iran dialogue
The external relations Commissioner Chris Patten has strongly defended the EU's ongoing dialogue with Iran in the face of objections from MEPs and Iranian opposition parties. -EU Observer, Belgium - 1/23/03

Anti-War Movement Grows Louder, Stronger
Activists rally, cities pass peace resolutions in effort to influence policy, avert conflict. -Common Dreams - 1/23/03

Students demonstrate against drug use in Iran's Khorasan province
group of high-school students in the eastern city of Neishabour demonstrated against drug- use here Wednesday. The 200-strong students group chanted slogans "sports is the enemy of addiction" and "illicit drugs never, never," - 1/23/03

Iranian law professor convicted of mischief for incident on Air Canada flight
An Iranian law professor who wanted to learn English in Canada was convicted Wednesday of mischief for telling an Air Canada flight attendant his briefcase might explode if she tried to push it under the seat. -CANOE, Canada - 1/23/03

Opposition to Iraq war widens
China has joined other leading members of the United Nations Security Council to voice strong opposition to an American-led war on Iraq, just days before a key UN debate on the crisis. -BBC - 1/23/03

We the People: The MLK Rally For Peace
How Did Our Oil Get Under Their Sand?" -CounterPunch - 1/23/03

Woman who fled deportation surrenders to police
An Iranian woman who escaped custody at Vancouver International Airport as she was being deported to her homeland has surrendered to RCMP. -Toronto Star - 1/23/03

"War on terror" an excuse for repression-Amnesty
The head of Amnesty International said on Wednesday governments around the world had seized on the struggle against terror as an excuse for domestic repression. -Reuters - 1/23/03

Iranian industrialists, traders, hold seminar in Armenia
Iran and Armenia have embarked on closer trade ties in the recent months. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and Armenia's Presidential Office Head and Chairman of Iran-Armenia Economic Commission Artashes Tumanian inked an agreement on developmental affairs in December. - 1/23/03

The Big Bazar: Hollywood's interpretation of a thousand and one nights
Often situated in geographically uncertain Middle Eastern countries most films dealing with the 1001 nights tales are indifferently either set in Iraq's Old Baghdad (which was actually under Persian rule) or the enchanting city of Isfahan in Persia. -Darius Kadivar - 1/23/03

TURKMENISTAN: New report cautions of growing instability
A new report by a prominent international organisation working on conflict resolution, the International Crisis Group (ICG), has warned of increasing political instability in the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan due to the "increasingly authoritarian and idiosyncratic policies" of its president, Saparmurat Niyazov. -IRIN - 1/23/03

Iran's double-faced soul defies popular catch phrases
Perhaps except for two centuries that Achaemenians became the first ever world- expanding empire, Iran never led the world. Although the Parthians and Sassanians were quite formidable, they just managed to stop the eastward expansion of a mainly busy-elsewhere Roman Empire. -Hooman Moradmand - 1/23/03

Rafsanjani lashes out at US for anti-Iran propaganda
Head of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Wednesday the United States is erroneously following policies to strengthen a secular system in Iran. - 1/23/03

Iran: At the Door of the Global Economy?
Prior to the 2001 terrorist attacks, hardly any other country had challenged U.S. power — and hurt U.S. pride — as much as Iran had. Though the country is still burdened by some die-hard Islamist clerics, religious extremism is not the only problem Iranians face. -Globalist - 1/23/03

President Khatami to arrive in New Delhi on Friday
India's leaders have repeatedly emphasized that the official invitation to President Khatami to participate in the fifty-fourth Republic Day anniversary of India is a signal of the importance that New Delhi attaches to its relations with Iran. - 1/23/03

Curtain up, veils down: Bard builds a bridge with Iran
Paddling palms and pinching fingers are at the heart of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, but none were on display on a Tehran stage last night as the Bard became an ambassador for Britain in a land once synonymous with anti-western sentiment. -Guardian - 1/22/03

Iran court suspends popular daily Hamshahri for 10 days
Hamshahri is the most-widely read newspaper in Iran, which is published by Tehran Municipality. The paper has already run into trouble by having been banned by the Iranian Judiciary from distribution outside the capital. - 1/22/03

Guardians Council rejects Majlis bill to legalize satellite dishes in Iran
The Persian-language `Toss'e' quoted a statement from the GC Public Relations Office as recalling technical reports that it was impossible to simultaneously restrict the public access to satellite programs that harm the Islamic tenets, the security of the society as well as moral and cultural values. - 1/22/03

Reformist group calls for impeachment of Iran's interior minister
A little-known reformist group has called on Iran's parliamentarians to impeach Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi-Lari for dissolving the Tehran City Council which followed its protracted dispute with the 12-million city's mayor. - 1/22/03

Baghdad's neighbours to meet in Turkey
Turkey on Thursday welcomes foreign ministers from all but one of Iraq's neighbours in an attempt to forestall a US-led military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader. -Financial Times - 1/22/03

Iranian press demands ayatollah's release
A prominent conservative newspaper in Iran has urged the authorities to release from house arrest the country's most senior dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hussain-Ali Montazeri. -BBC - 1/22/03

Dreams of a Kurdish State Die, at Least for Now
common and curious sight in northern Iraq is a glossy color map about the size of a doormat on display in many homes and on sale in every bazaar. The map defines a territory beginning at the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea and extending east, north and south, ending more than 200 miles inside Iran. -New York Times - 1/22/03

Khatami's meeting with intelligence ministry officials, significant: daily
`Tehran Times' on Wednesday praised the recent meeting between President Mohammad Khatami and Intelligence Ministry's officials as "significant and noteworthy". - 1/22/03

Protesters in Canada help deportee escape from custody
Protesters attacked a commissionaire at Vancouver International Airport yesterday and freed a woman scheduled to be deported to Iran. -Globe & Mail - 1/22/03

Iran court suspends provincial weekly Taban-e Qazvin
A local court in this northwestern Iranian city has closed down the weekly Taban-e Qazvin on libel charges - 1/22/03

A short note on NGOs in Iran
Doing a good deed and helping your fellow-man, either individually or as group or community, has a long tradition in Iran. Recent times have seen the emergence of a more formal type of help in the shape of Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/22/03

Iran tells EU it needs time to improve human rights
Iran's foreign minister was harangued over human rights by European parliamentarians and protesters in Brussels on Wednesday, but pleaded for more time to reform a culture deeply rooted in tradition. -Reuters - 1/22/03

The History of Children's Literature in Iran
The History of Children's Literature in Iran (HCLI) is a research project undertaken by the Foundation for Research on the History of Children's Literature in Iran (a non-governmental organization). Started in 1997, the project will be spread over 7 volumes. Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 have already been published and work continues on the remaining volumes. - 1/21/03

Iran's mainstream party leader slams court for closing daily
The head of the mainstream Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) Mohammad-Reza Khatami on Tuesday lashed out at a recent court decision which maintained ban on the daily Norouz ahead of its plan to resume publication after remaining closed for six months. - 1/21/03

Pakistan changes pipeline strategy
Pakistan is weighing an alternative route for a proposed $-3.2-billion gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan with an eye on the Indian market, with ADB documents indicate that international lending agencies are set to ‘‘actively pursue India’s involvement as the principal consumer of the gas’’. -Times of India - 1/21/03

Gorgan prison officials arrested over prison fire tragedy
The judge investigating the case of a tragic fire in a prison in the northeastern city of Gorgan has issued warrants of arrest for the prison chief and his deputy to face charges of unintentional killing and violation of prison regulations - 1/21/03

Regime change without war?
World leaders are exploring ideas for exiling Hussein - and the rest of his regime - and reforming Iraq. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/21/03

Doctor continues his mother's zeal to help
Dr. Hamid Taaid, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, has contributed an initial $10,000 to establish the Betty Sabeti Foundation for Global Humanitarian Advancement of Women and Children. -Saginaw News, Michigan - 1/21/03

To fight terror, Montanan builds schools in Asia
Greg Mortenson is waging a personal war against terrorism halfway around the world from a basement in Montana. But he doesn't use guns or bombs; his tools are pencils. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/21/03

AFGHANISTAN: Year-ender 2002 - tenuous nation building
According to a recent World Bank report, an estimated seven million people remain vulnerable and face the risk of famine. More than 70 percent of schools need repairs along with most of the nation's road network. Health concerns include the fact that life expectancy stands at 44 years, one of the lowest in the world. -United Nations - 1/21/03

Seventy percent of the Afghan nation still illiterate
About 70 percent of the Afghan nation, most of whom women, are still quite illiterate, according to an international organization's spokesperson, here on Monday. - 1/21/03

Divisions emerge at UN over Iraq
As the crisis entered a critical week, France and Germany spoke out strongly against military action and the consequences that war could have for global security. -Financial Times - 1/21/03

Iran's science sector grows 600 percent in last decade
Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin said here on Tuesday that Iranian universities have a favorable status worldwide given the 600-percent growth recorded in the science sector in the past decade. - 1/21/03

Short Story: Tomorrow
"From tomorrow, from tomorrow I should have another day." Every night she repeated these words like a prayer and crawled into her warm soft bed and traveled to the land of dreams. -Marzieh Mohammadpour - 1/21/03

Iran Judge Opposes Death for Reformist
A Supreme Court judge reviewing a death sentence imposed on a university professor for insulting Islam said it should be thrown out, according to a news report Sunday. -AP - 1/20/03

Iranian Cleric (Ayatollah Jalaledin Taheri) Denounces Action Against a Dissident (Ayatollah Montazeri)
A high-ranking reformist cleric, in an open letter, called on clerics today to break their silence about the house arrest of a dissident who challenged the authority of Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Internet news site Rouydad reported. -New York Times - 1/20/03

Opponents want to disband IIPF, neutralize reforms in Iran
Secretary General of Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) Mohammad Reza Khatami said here Sunday that opponents of reform want to disband the IIPF, which is broadly popular among the public. - 1/20/03

Afshari terms new sentence as `politically motivated'
The former head of the student group of the Office to Foster Unity (OFU) Ali Afshari has described a new one-year prison term that has been handed to him as `politically motivated and unfair'. - 1/20/03

Judiciary rejects Iran visit of special reporters on human rights
A Judiciary official has rejected the reports that a group of special reporters on human rights will soon travel to the Islamic Republic and visit the Evin prison, the press reported here on Monday. - 1/20/03

Japanese groups buys into Iranian oil deal
A Japanese oil consortium led by Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) said on Monday it had bought a 20 per cent interest in Royal Dutch/Shell's agreement to redevelop the large Soroosh and Nowrooz oil fields in Iran. -Financial Times - 1/20/03

Iran's Guardian Council endorses bills on forex revenue increase, taxes
The government would thus be allowed to draw a cash of dlrs 2.5 billion out of the Forex Reserve Fund to repay matured debts of the years 1999-2002, and prevent further borrowing from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The sum will also be spent on implementing development projects in the water sector. - 1/20/03

Bush should acknowledge Iran's dissenting voices
Spotlighting the Iranian people's struggles would provide an opportunity for Americans to see that there is no inherent conflict between Muslims and Christians or Jews. There is no clash of civilizations. -Reza Lajevardian, Houston Chronicle - 1/20/03

Caught in the Middle
Editor Shahbaz Taheri believed he was being a dutiful citizen when he published government information about the special security registration program for U.S. visitors from certain primarily Muslim countries in his magazine Pezhvak, a San Jose magazine for Iranians. -San Jose Mercury - 1/20/03

Rumsfeld raises prospect of Iraq amnesties
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, on Sunday raised the prospect of granting the "senior leadership" in Iraq amnesty from war crimes prosecution if they were exiled to a third country. -Financial Times - 1/20/03

Saudi and Iran back regional Iraq summit
Saudi Arabia and Iran have backed a Turkish plan to hold a regional summit to discuss ways to avert a U.S.-led war on neighbouring Iraq. -Reuters - 1/20/03

Saddam's chemical victims still suffering in Iran
Esmail Khoshnevisan spluttered like a drowning man, his body shaking violently as he vented his anger against the man who ruined his life. -Reuters - 1/20/03

Political party "amazed" by new ban on Norouz paper in Iran
Judge Saeed Mortazavi on Sunday announced that Norouz (New Day) had to remain closed because of new charges brought against it by several institutions, including police and volunteer Basij forces. - 1/20/03

200,000 People Converge on San Francisco to Protest U.S. War on Iraq
Thousands of people took to the streets of San Francisco to protest the impending war on Iraq by the United States. Here are a few pictures from the event. -Payvand - 1/20/03

Huge Protests for Peace
From San Francisco to Washington, D.C., from Paris to Tokyo, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the world's streets Saturday to protest potential military action against Iraq by the Bush administration and its allies. -San Francisco Chronicle - 1/19/03

Iran, Syria Considering Summit on Iraq
Syria and Iran have indicated willingness to attend a regional summit on the Iraqi crisis proposed by Turkey, the official Iranian news agency reported Sunday. -AP - 1/19/03

IAEA chief satisfied by Russian-Iran nuclear fuel agreement
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed El-Baradei has described as 'good' the agreement between Russia and Iran to return to Russia spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant. - 1/19/03

Interior Minister: Tehran Mayor's status to be clear soon
Tehran City Council that is in charge of dealing with the selection of the Tehran mayor, and replacing him was recently dissolved following a couple of years of internal conflicts by a commission comprised of parliament members, as well as interior ministry and judiciary representatives. - 1/19/03

Road construction work by Iranian engineers almost complete in Afghanistan
Taherian who has recently visited the 114 km highway's project in a telephone interview with us added, "the road in question connects Iran's Khorassan Province with Afghanistan's Herat Province and is therefore of great economic and business importance for us." - 1/19/03

Caspian states to discuss ecology of the sea
The meeting was initially scheduled for the autumn of 2002 but was twice postponed. According to diplomatic sources, it can be held in Baku in February. The draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea will be the main topic of debating. - 1/19/03

Green Party Denounces Mass Arrests of Immigrants
The Green Party of California is outraged over reports that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has detained hundreds of Iranian and Arabic men and boys who voluntarily reported to the INS to be fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated. - 1/19/03

America didn't seem to mind poison gas
Analysis of thousands of captured Iraqi secret police documents and declassified U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with scores of Kurdish survivors, senior Iraqi defectors and retired U.S. intelligence officers, show (1) that Iraq carried out the attack on Halabja, and (2) that the United States, fully aware it was Iraq, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. -IHT - 1/19/03

This Looming War Isn't About Chemical Warheads or Human Rights: It's About Oil
Along with the concern for 'vital interests' in the Persian Gulf, this war was concocted five years ago by oil men such as Dick Cheney -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/19/03

Poetry of a detained Iranian asylum seeker
Mohsen Soltani Zand is a young Iranian asylum seeker who was in detention for four years, first at Port Hedland and at Villawood in Sydney's western suburbs. He was released recently. -Green Left, Australia - 1/19/03

San Diego Democratic Central Committee's Resolution Concerning the Mass Detention of Middle Eastern Immigrants
...THEREFORE, be it resolved that the San Diego County Democratic Party, in the strongest possible terms, opposes the unjust detention of Middle Eastern and Muslim men and boys by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. - 1/19/03

In Europe and America, Peace Gets a Chance
The drift towards conflict may seem inexorable, but a celebrity-packed anti-war movement is finally gaining momentum -Common Dreams - 1/18/03

Anti-war protesters take to the streets
Mass rallies are taking place around the world to show opposition to any war against Iraq. -BBC - 1/18/03

AIA's Campaign to Release Iranian Cyclist From Jail
AIA has been in contact with Iranian bicyclist Reza Khoshvravesh Baluchi's local pro bono attorney in Arizona and we are trying to get Reza out of jail. Reza traveled through six continents on a world tour for peace, but now he rests in an INS jail. -AIA - 1/18/03

Attack against Iran impossible: EU sources
European officials and analysts in Brussels firmly rule out any possibility that after attacking Iraq, the US might turn its guns against the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 1/18/03

Building pressure in Iran
The recent closing of two Iranian newspapers by hard-line courts suggests how partial is freedom of the press under the theocratic rule of the Islamic Republic. More than that, these latest among the scores of publications closed in the last couple of years are like the foam atop a gathering tidal wave, a billowing discontent that threatens to wash away the regime of the ruling clerics. -Boston Globe - 1/18/03

130-year-old Ardebili women in sound physical health
The octogenarian, who lives in Khalilehlou village, has 10 sons and over 200 grandchildren. Her oldest son is 110 years old while her youngest is 61 years old. Like her, both sons are in good physical condition. - 1/18/03

Chicago City Council opposes Iraq war
The Chicago City Council called Saddam Hussein a "tyrant," then voted 46-1 to approve a resolution opposing a unilateral U.S. military strike against Iraq. With the vote Thursday, Chicago joined San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore and Seattle in opposing a "pre-emptive unilateral U.S. military attack" on Iraq. -UPI - 1/18/03

Iran students protest over death of mate in boat mishap
About 300 students held a sit-in in front of the governor's office in the southern Khark island after their mate drowned and two others went missing during a sea mishap in which their boat sank in a storm on Wednesday. - 1/18/03

Oil Hits $34 as Powell Issues Iraq Warning
World oil prices hit fresh two-year highs Friday as Secretary of State Colin Powell forecast that within two weeks there will be a persuasive case that Iraq is not cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors. -Reuters - 1/18/03

Turkey: Reluctant Ankara Takes A Lot Of U.S. Persuading Over Options For Military Action In Iraq
While Turkey is still mulling its participation in any U.S.-led military attack against its southern neighbor Iraq, ongoing preparations to host allied troops indicate that it will eventually, though reluctantly, align itself with the United States. -RFE - 1/18/03

We don't want a war either, says Bagdad, California
Desert town claims president is motivated by oil -Guardian - 1/18/03

U.S. Plan to Monitor Muslims Meets With Widespread Protest
American plans to fingerprint and register visitors from a number of predominantly Muslim countries met with widespread protest and indignation yesterday. -New York Times - 1/18/03

Arab nations tell Saddam: go now and we avoid war
The Saudi government is canvassing a plan to give Saddam Hussein a last-ditch chance to go into exile if the United Nations security council passes a new resolution authorising war against Iraq, western and Arab diplomats have confirmed. -Guardian - 1/18/03

EVENT: 2003 SiliconIran Excellence Awards and Entrepreneurship Workshops
The Second Annual SiliconIran Excellence Awards Gala will be held on February 7, 2003 at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. - 1/18/03

Political Fervor of Iranian Clerics Begins to Ebb
The Shiite clergy -- who a generation ago called for the establishment of a fundamentalist, religious government -- is having second thoughts. Religion, many members are now saying, belongs in the mosque. -New York Times - 1/17/03

God's rule, or man's?
As Iran's power struggle approaches a climax, the contradictions of its hybrid constitution grow ever less sustainable, argues John Grimond -Economist - 1/17/03

Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood
Unlike many ancient civilizations, such as Greece, Rome or Egypt, Persia has hardly been given significant attention in Hollywood. This is mainly due to lack of significant feedback and study on Persian civilization which has never quite penetrated Western popular culture. Only an elite group of Western scholars ponder on the "mysterious" Persian Empire. -Darius Kadivar - 1/17/03

Young director explores metaphors of Kurdish dispossession, baggage
For a filmmaker of any age to have had her first two features in competition at the Cannes Film Festival is a striking achievement. For that director to be under the age of 21 is unheard of - or at least it was before Samira Makhmalbaf. -Boston Globe - 1/17/03

Iran's mixed feelings on looming war
Among both government officials and ordinary people in Iran, there are distinctly mixed feelings about the prospect of an American attack on neighbouring Iraq. -BBC - 1/17/03

Lack of Strong Legal Framework, Corruption Hinder Foreign Investment in Armenia
Despite a number of structural changes and recent strong economic growth, Armenia is failing to attract significant foreign direct investment. Analysts say an insufficient legal framework and corruption are the main reasons Armenia continues to been seen as a risky market. -Eurasianet - 1/17/03

Culture Vulture: Bushism and the evil axis
Right, let's see if we can get this straight. It might be a bit complicated, so stay with me. Politics are always complicated, especially when dealing with international despots and the "axis of evil." -UPI - 1/17/03

Iran sees red over talk of visit by Iraqi minister
Teheran, distancing itself from a regime that is in danger of being toppled, ticks off foreign minister -AFP - 1/17/03

Senate Democrats try to stop Pentagon data-mining project
Senate Democrats, warning of a serious abuse of privacy rights, said Thursday they will try to shut down programs aimed at helping to identify potential domestic terrorists by amassing database information about people's lives. -CNN - 1/17/03

The Mysterious Reappearance of Mr. M
When Maurice Motamed, the sole Jewish MP in the Iranian parliament, arrived in the United States in August 2000, he received a warm welcome from the American Jewish community. -Pooya Dayanim, National Review - 1/17/03

Ayatollah Jannati thanks Judiciary for dealing with "traitors" to people
Substitute Leader of the Tehran Friday Prayers Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said the Iranian people highly observe the founder of the Islamic Republic and the cartoon published in the now banned daily Hayat-e Now was an outrage to the Islamic sanctities. - 1/17/03

Sensitive Turkey to host Iraq meeting
Turkey has said it will invite ministers from five countries -- Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria -- to attend a meeting to discuss ways to peacefully resolve the Iraqi crisis. -CNN - 1/17/03

“The Shah Always Falls” (An Interview With Ralph Peters)
A soldier-historian looks at how the world has changed in the past decade and finds that America is both hostage to history and likely to be saved by it -American Heritage - 1/17/03

Globalization and the Middle East
Probably no area in the world resists--at least explicitly--globalization to an extent equaling that of the Islamic Middle East. -YaleGlobal - 1/17/03

UK sells Iran 'military' equipment
Britain has given the go-ahead for the export to Iran of equipment that can be used in anti-personnel land mines. -BBC - 1/17/03

Pollster, held over survey on Iran-US ties, bailed out: lawyer
Behrouz Geranpayeh, who has been implicated in a controversial polling which claimed most Iranians favored ties with US, was freed on bail from detention Wednesday night, his lawyer was quoted as saying Thursday. - 1/17/03

Tehran still rated as least expensive Middle East capital
Tehran remains the least expensive capital in the Middle East, according to a new cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). - 1/17/03

US Government Extends the Special Registration for Iranians
We have confirmed the truth of the rumors that persons subject to the two expired deadlines for call-in registration--December 16, 2002 (i.e, for Iranians) and January 10, 2003--will be given a new window period to register between January 27 and February 7, 2003. -AIA - 1/17/03

'White' No More - Unlikely Allies Join Under Homeland Security's Harsh Gaze
In Southern California, some Iranian American professionals -- still stinging from recent detention and mistreatment at the hands of the INS -- are listening to Chicanos long used to struggling as second-class citizens. -Pacific News Service - 1/17/03

Azeri, Iranian positions on Caspian coming closer
The two littoral countries positions on the Caspian division are "coming closer", Khalaf Khalafov, the Azerbaijani deputy foreign minister, told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on the results of a regular round of the bilateral talks on the legal status of the Caspian Sea that ended in Baku on Tuesday. - 1/16/03

Immigrants may get more time to register with anti-terror list
``While we welcome this short grace period, the fact is that if it's not publicized, it's not worth anything,'' said Crystal Williams, a government liaison with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. -San Jose Mercury - 1/16/03

Quakes jolt Behbahan and Gachsaran in Iran
A relatively strong earthquake, with a magnitude of 4.6 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale, shook the city of Behbahan and its vicinity in the southern province of Khuzestan on Thursday. - 1/16/03

Turkey calls Mideast leaders for Iraq summit-agency
Turkey has invited five Middle Eastern leaders to Ankara next week for a summit amid Turkish efforts to avert a U.S.-led war against Iraq, the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/16/03

Deceived parties involved in recent problems: Rafsanjani
Hojatoleslam Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Wednesday night that deceived parties were probably involved in the occurrence of recent problems, and "this is not a simple phenomenon," apparently talking about the 1965 caricature that led to the "temporary" closure of Hayat-e-Nou daily. - 1/16/03

Russia in talks to build Syrian nuclear reactor
Russia is in negotiations to build a nuclear power plant in Syria, risking damage to its tighter relationship forged with the West in recent months and triggering fresh concerns over the spread of nuclear weapons. -Financial Times - 1/16/03

Iraqi Exiles Start Reporting for Training
Officials declined to say how many Iraqis will be in the first batch of recruits or where the marshaling centers are. There are estimated to be well over 3 million Iraqis in exile, the largest groups in Jordan and Iran, with a few hundred thousand in the United States. -AP - 1/16/03

Assyrians ready for action
Some estimates put the number of Assyrians living in the San Joaquin Valley at upward of 15,000. It's a population that's attracting attention of U.S. policy-makers and war planners, as the Bush administration mobilizes against Iraq. -Modesto Bee, California - 1/16/03

Makhmalbaf's class act: BLACKBOARDS
The faintly comic sight of men carrying giant blackboards on their backs as they travel along mountainous paths in Samira Makhmalbaf's second film is not unlike the image of prosthetic limbs being parachuted to an Afghani Red Cross station in her father Mohsen's celebrated Kandahar. -Toronto Eye Weekly, Canada - 1/16/03

January 13-20, 2003: A Week of Resistance for Justice and Peace
Say No to War In Iraq; Defend Civil Liberties – No To INS Roundups; Fund Human Needs At Home and Abroad -United for Peace - 1/16/03

Iranian cyclist's peace tour stopped cold in Arizona
Iranian bicyclist Reza Khoshvravesh Baluchi traveled through six continents on a world tour for peace, but now he runs in circles at an INS detention center. -Arizona Republic - 1/16/03

The journey home
Solmaz, 20, came to America by herself when she was 16. She is a senior majoring in Earth and space sciences. She has just made her first journey home to Iran after five years of living in the United States. -The Daily, Univ. of Washington - 1/16/03

Iran: Press Crackdown Intensifies
Human Rights Watch today deplored Iran's closure of two leading independent newspapers on Saturday and called on the authorities to permit them to reopen without delay. - 1/15/03

Alliance of Iranian Americans asks President Bush to eliminate the Special Registration
In our continued effort to encourage the White House to foster a change in its treatment of the Iranian American community, AIA joined a number of prominent ethnic, religious, human and civil rights organizations in sending a letter to President Bush, asking him to eliminate the Special Registration. - 1/15/03

Iranian Americans Finding Success on Capitol Hill
My name is Newsha Moraveji and I am the Press Secretary for the longest serving Democratic Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives. I've only been working in Congress for a few months, but I love my position and enjoy working for an elected body. -NIAC - 1/15/03

Political groups cry foul over dissolution of Tehran City Council
Several political associations, in a joint statement quoted by the press Wednesday, lashed out at an arbitration panel's dissolution of Tehran City Council, describing the move as a "stain" on President Mohammad Khatami's reform government. - 1/15/03

Two more journalists arrested and two newspapers shut down
Reporters Without Borders called today for the immediate release of two journalists arrested and jailed after publishing a cartoon (see below) drawn more than 65 years ago and for the reopening of two newspapers closed by the country's hardline religious rulers. - 1/15/03

Israeli at US Loan Talks Implicated in Sabra and Chatila Massacre
Israel is asking the United States for $8bn (£5bn) in loan guarantees - and has sent to Washington one of the former army officers implicated in the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre of Palestinian civilians to persuade the Bush administration to grant the money. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/15/03

Saudi Arabia's quiet voices of reform start to speak up
Since Sept. 11, Saudi dissidents have increased calls for elections and a new constitution. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/15/03

New Survey Documents Global Repression: U.S. Human Rights Leadership Faulted
Global support for the war on terrorism is diminishing partly because the United States too often neglects human rights in its conduct of the war, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2003. - 1/15/03

Official: 1.9 million Afghan refugees in Iran now
There are still 1.9 million Afghan refugees in Iran which has repatriated 466,000 Afghans on top of the number since March 2002 under a tripartite program with the UN and the Kabul government - 1/15/03

Iran's parliament rejects bill to grant citizenship to Afghans married to Iranian women
Iranian laws allow a male national to apply for Iranian citizenship for his foreign wife and children, but women are not entitled to this privilege. - 1/15/03

EU Commissioner Chris Patten to pay visit to Iran
Patten, respected internationally for his quite and calm diplomacy, is a staunch supporter of engagement and dialog with the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 1/15/03

Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province jolted by strong quake
A relatively strong earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale, shook the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on Tuesday. - 1/15/03

Human Rights Watch World Report 2003: Iran
Human rights progress in Iran was caught in a continuing political power struggle between popularly elected reformers, who controlled both the presidency and Parliament, and clerical conservatives, who exercised authority through the office of the Leader (held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), the Council of Guardians, the judiciary, and the armed forces. - 1/15/03

Buddha's Tears at Multicultural Festival in Australia
Presented by the Shiraz Theatre; Directed y Shala Mirbkhyar & Jamshid Malekpour; Destruction of Buddha's statues in Bamiyan was a tragedy and a cultural crime. But it was first the women and then the statues that were demolished. Buddha's Tears is the story of those women and their painful journey to Australia. - 1/14/03

Suspension of Death by Stoning a Boost for Reformists
Iran's decision to suspend the punishment of death by stoning for adultery, made in response to the ''demands of modern age'' and mounting protests inside and outside the country, signal a victory for reformists. -IPS - 1/14/03

Provincial daily's managing director summoned to court
Managing Director of 'Gilan-e-Emruoz', a daily published in this northern Iranian province, was summoned to court to answer to accusations against his daily by Rasht Friday Prayer leader. - 1/14/03

Event: Iran Today in Historical Perspective (A Panel discussion at UCLA; Jan 22)
To be followed by a RECEPTION where Profs. Keddie and Matthee will sign copies of their new edited book, IRAN AND THE SURROUNDING WORLD: INTERACTIONS IN CULTURE AND CULTURAL POLITICS - 1/14/03

Fateme Hashemi: Misconception about Islam hurts religion's prestige
Head of the Foundation for Special Diseases and Secretary General of the Society to Defend Women's Rights Fatemeh Hashemi, referring to the rights enjoyed by women in Islam, said, "Islam considers men and women as being created equals, and considers equal freedom for both sexes." - 1/14/03

Shiites Pose Threat to Hussein
Critics say the first President Bush encouraged the Shiites to rebel after the last war and then left them to be slaughtered. So, there may be some initial hesitancy to rebel, but once assured that a real change of power is under way, the expected uprising of the south could prove more sweeping than the last. -New York Times - 1/14/03

Ex-Speechwriter Recounts 'Axis of Evil'
Axis of hatred? That's the phrase former presidential speechwriter David Frum says he penned for President Bush's 2002 State of the Union address. By the time Bush delivered the speech, the words had been famously transformed to "axis of evil" and referred to Iraq, Iran and North Korea. -AP - 1/14/03

Iran's Balal oil field starts production
Balal oil field is being developed under a 3-year buy-back contract signed with Iran in 1999. The stakeholders are TotalFinaElf (operator, 46.75%), Italy's ENI SPA 38.25%, and Canada's Bow Valley Energy Ltd. 15%. -Oil & Gas Journal - 1/14/03

Swedish EKN lowers rate of risk for short-term investment in Iran
Swedish Exportkreditnamnden (EKN) insurance company has lowered the rate of risk for short-term investment in Iran to three from four. - 1/14/03

Turks grow wary in easing up on Kurds
A pending war in Iraq is raising fears of separatism, even as a language ban loosens. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/14/03

Diplomats gather over crisis in Venezuela
Top US diplomats and Latin American leaders are due to meet on Tuesday in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, to smooth out differences in the diplomatic approach to resolving Venezuela's deepening political crisis. -Financial Times - 1/14/03

Orlando man (Cyrus Nowia Pahlavi) from Iran thinks he's shah's son
Gary Zarcone, like many adopted children, always wondered who his biological parents were. Now the Orlando furniture salesman says he is convinced he is the son of the former Shah of Iran and says he has a DNA test to back him up. -South Florida Sun-Sentinel - 1/14/03

Short Story: Paper Wishes (by Ali Ashraf Darvishian)
I get up and go to the toilet. When I see the blue sky through the window, I store a piece of it in my eyes and stitch it to my mind to replay over and over again in the cell so that my heart will not decompose due to loneliness and I will have something to connect me with freedom. - 1/14/03

Iranian Women Enter Soccer Stadiums, Once All-Male
"The presence of women makes men behave better and watch their manners," Yousef Nalvandi, a spokesman for Iran-Khodro stadium, Peykan's home ground, told Reuters on Sunday. -Reuters - 1/14/03

Canadian passport 'meant nothing' to U.S. immigration officials
The Farahanis, originally from Iran, moved to the U.S. from Toronto two years ago, lured by a six-figure salary that Farahani was offered as database manager for a big software firm. When Farahani walked into the INS office in San Jose, Calif., he found out he was two days late registering. Within hours he was handcuffed and shackled in leg irons. -CBC News, Canada - 1/14/03

Klagsblad to be Israeli arbitrator in EAPC arbitration
Iran is demanding Israel pay $2 billion for Iran’s share in the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. -Globes, Israel - 1/14/03

Islamic Iran Participation Front blasts anti-reform activists for protest against Hayat-e-No
The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said on Sunday that the anti-reform activists are exploiting every opportunity to strike a blow to the reform movement. - 1/13/03

Taking Shakespeare from Dundee to Iran
Now, more than two decades since the shah’s regime was overthrown and Iran was declared an Islamic republic, actors from the UK are set to tread the boards in the country once again. -Scotsman, UK - 1/13/03

NoRuz Diaspora Tour by Global Exchange
The 1979 Revolution created a diaspora population of Iranians, the majority of whom moved to the United States and Europe. 23 years later, many people of the diaspora and their descendents have never returned, and are left hungry for a better understanding of the country, culture, and people they left behind. - 1/13/03

Daily "Kayhan International" calls for strict vigilance on Iran's "new hypocrites"
"Was it to divert public attention, as well as that of the media, from the opinion polls trial where it was established and also confessed by the defendents that acts of espionage were committed?" asked the daily. Very apparently it was so. The perpetrators, in all probability, selected Hadi Khamenei's newspaper because he happens to be the brother of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 1/13/03

Iran's Kermanshah province jolted by quake
An earthquake, measuring 4.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale, hit Bayangan in western Kermanshah province at 18:09 local time (1439 GMT) Sunday. - 1/13/03

Kurds Face a Second Enemy: Islamic Fighters on Iraq Flank
With its back to the Iranian border and its front facing a quasi-democracy in Kurdish Iraq that the world barely recognizes, the group operates in deep geographic and political isolation. Villages under its control are nearly impenetrable to outsiders. -New York Times - 1/13/03

Opec agrees to pump more oil
The oil producers' organisation Opec has agreed to increase production to try to stabilise the price of oil. -BBC - 1/13/03

Iran-Kuwait water transfer deal to be finalized soon
An Iranian company will soon sign the final agreement on behalf of the Islamic Republic to implement a project to transfer Iran's drinking water to Kuwait - 1/13/03

The perils of Pax Americana
Will Iran, which is militarily far stronger than Iraq, emerge as strategically dominant in the oil-rich Persian Gulf – thereby undoing the reasons Washington supported Hussein in the '80s? And will a US military victory in Iraq have any bearing on the war against terrorism, not the least because al-Qaida detests Hussein's secularism? -The Australian - 1/13/03

Kirkuk: Iraq's northern tinderbox
12,000 Turkish soldiers are poised to intervene if Kurds move to retake the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/13/03

How Muhammad Migrated to America
Vilified by the now-predictably rabid Daniel Pipes, criticised by Time Magazine and the New York Times as too soft on its subject, Muhammad ­ Legacy of a Prophet, shown on December 18th on PBS, was nonetheless widely praised by most commentators and has attracted huge support from the US public. -CounterPunch - 1/13/03

Council Elections, crucial test for political parties in Iran: daily
`Iran Daily' on Monday wrote that the upcoming Council Elections, slated for February 28, is a big challenge facing political parties, success or failure of which in the crucial race will determine the future prospects of socio political developments. - 1/13/03

New lecture series focuses on international interests
Quinn's research deals with historical accounts of the Safavid dynasty that ruled Iran from 1501 to 1722. This dynasty is important to current events because many of the policies instituted by rulers at this time remain as the roots of Iran's modern ways. -The Post , Ohio University - 1/13/03

Diplomatic activity heats up in Iran
Turkish PM arrives in Tehran to discuss Iraq crisis; Syrian president due in Tehran Wednesday; Khatami receives Kuwaiti foreign minister; ... - 1/12/03

Who Will Control Iraq's Oil?
The neoconservatives don't worry about offending potential critics in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Syria because they think of them as enemies who should eventually be swept aside by the installation of a democratic, free-market Iraq on their borders. -New Republic - 1/12/03

Wolfman in Farsi?
Broadcasting Britney Spears to young Iranians may get their ear. But will it capture their minds? -US News - 1/12/03

Talabani says he conveyed no message from US to Iran or response
He told IRNA at the end of his six-day visit to Iran that what he relayed to Iran were quotations from American officials and the Iranian officials said that they hoped the Americans get their evil plan away from Iran and consider the safety of the Iraqi people and not harm them. - 1/12/03

Turkey nervous as war looms
In the run-up to a possible war in Iraq, BBC News Online is running a series looking at regional neighbours' opinions. Here, regional analyst James Ker-Lindsay examines Turkey's position. - 1/12/03

Isolated Iranians slam US policies
Amir Mohebian is a bespectacled Islamic editor fond of analogies, such as this one concerning relations between the United States and Iran: ''We will not grow closer anytime soon. The US is the wolf; Iran is the lamb. Why would the lamb invite the wolf in to eat him?'' -Los Angeles Times - 1/12/03

Three editors of banned daily arrested over controversial cartoon
Three journalists of the now-banned daily Hayat-e No have been arrested in connection with the publication of a controversial cartoon - 1/12/03

Update by Alliance of Iranian Americans on Lawsuit against INS
Yesterday afternoon, at around 4:30 p.m., in Santa Ana, California, District Court Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler, denied our Class Action's Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO"). She stated that she felt she had no power over the Attorney General Ashcroft under the law! - 1/11/03

Iranian teen faces death for drinking
A 19-year-old Iranian man has been sentenced to death by hanging for repeatedly drinking alcohol, local newspapers have reported. - 1/11/03

Hundreds protest INS registration
"When you lie to one of us, you lie to all of us. When you detain one of us, you detain all of us. When you terrorize some of us, you terrorize all of us, " shouted Renee Saucedo of La Raza Centro Legal's INS Watch project, electrifying the crowd. -San Francisco Chronicle - 1/11/03

New INS rule touches off protest here (Tucson, Arizona)
The 30 demonstrators who took to the streets outside Tucson's main INS office, 6431 S. Country Club Road, said the policy has unfairly resulted in the detainment of hundreds who went in to register and didn't come back. -Tucson citizen - 1/11/03

Iran's Rafsanjani says U.S.-backed Iraqi govt doomed
Iran's influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday a U.S. installed government could not last long in neighbouring Iraq. -Reuters - 1/11/03

Washington pulls its punches as a rogue state thumbs its nose
North Korea's announcement yesterday that it is withdrawing from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty put the administration's ideology firmly up against reality. -Financial Times - 1/11/03

OPEC to Open Taps to Control Oil Price
OPEC producers prepared on Saturday for emergency talks that will decide how far to open the oil taps to prevent a price shock as war looms in Iraq. -Reuters - 1/11/03

Dialogue of Murder
In December 2002 the EU opened its talks with Tehran on the basis that it will not sign a proposed trade agreement unless the Islamic republic shows progress on human rights and terrorism concerns. Many Iranians remain cynical. It is all about money they say. -Cyrus Kadivar - 1/11/03

EU Proposes Peaceful Solution on Iraq
The European Union on Friday proposed a diplomatic initiative to avoid war against Iraq and increased pressure on Washington to pursue a peaceful solution to the crisis over Iraq's arms programs. -AP - 1/11/03

600 women NGOs operational in Iran
Announcing this, Director General for Women's Affairs Department at the Interior Ministry Fakhr-al-Saddat Mohtashami-pour said the organizations are engaged in cultural, social and research fields. - 1/11/03

Russian warships on standby to sail to Persian Gulf
Russia has put three warships on standby to go to the Persian Gulf within the next month to protect its "national interests" in the event of an American invasion of Iraq. -Guardian - 1/11/03

US boosts Persian Gulf presence
The United States has announced that it is sending tens of thousands of additional military personnel to Persian Gulf in the biggest deployment yet of its military build-up against Iraq. -BBC - 1/11/03

INS Requires Arab, Muslim Men to Register
Preliminary numbers showed more than 124 foreigners with suspected visa violations were arrested across the country during the second registration period, said Jorge Martinez, a Justice Department spokesman. -AP - 1/11/03

Iranian court bans daily Bahar
A court here Saturday ordered the Persian daily Bahar (Spring) to suspend publication because of several charges brought against the paper, including insulting state officials and inciting public opinion. - 1/11/03

Printing of 1937 US caricature in Iranian daily provokes protests
The protesters, a group of whom in Qom were led by former judiciary chief and former Guardian Council member Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, have found a similarity between the early 20th century US judge in the caricature, and the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini (PBUH). - 1/11/03

Iran reformers under great pressure-vice president
Iran's reformists face great pressure from hardline opponents but believe popular momentum for change will prevail even if the current leadership is thwarted, a top government official told Reuters on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/10/03

Iranian football club admits female fans
Club manager Mahdi Dadras said the decision had been made because Paykan fans did not use foul language, and the women's presence improved players' morale. -BBC - 1/10/03

Iran intensifies diplomatic activity over Iraq
The Iranian capital will see a flurry of diplomatic activity in coming days as the Islamic Republic steps up its efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis, a government official said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/10/03

Talabani: US ready to give security guarantees to Iran
Jalal Talabani, Leader of the Iraqi opposition Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said here Friday that the United States was ready to give security guarantees to Iran against probable consequences of an American attack on Iraq. - 1/10/03

Registration Stirs Panic, Worry
The "special registration" effort -- designed to register, fingerprint and question thousands of male foreign nationals from countries identified as terrorist harbors -- has caused widespread confusion and panic in Muslim immigrant communities across the United States, according to attorneys and advocacy groups. -Washington Post - 1/10/03

Protest INS "Special Registration" Policies (Fri. Jan. 10 in San Francisco)
Endorsed by: National Lawyer's Guild, ADC-SF, INS Watch/La Raza Centro Legal, Chinese Progressive Association and ACLU of Northern California. - 1/10/03

Coalition of Iranian-American Organizations in San Diego (CIAO) formed
Final results of Iranian-American networking meeting of Jan 8, 2003 is attached. It is a statement that was approved unanimously by all non-profit, non-religuous and non-political organizations that were present. - 1/10/03

Jackals Gather Round
Two nights ago in Tehran, President Mohammad Khatami, the pretended reformist who fronts for hard-line ayatollahs, held a meeting with leaders of the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein. -New York Times - 1/10/03

Uzbekistan alliance highlights U.S.' human rights hypocrisy
The United States often cites human rights as its primary motive for action and policy, while always being sure to pay great lip service to the concept whenever it can be used as a secondary justification. -YellowTimes - 1/10/03

ANALYSIS-OPEC self-interest to help West avoid oil shock
The United States may have a vested interest in OPEC opening up the oil taps but Washington and other industrialised powers will have to rely on the cartel's self-interest to prevent an oil price shock, analysts said on Friday. -Reuters - 1/10/03

NIAC’S Congressional INS Campaign Wins Sympathy
NIAC’s call on Congress to launch an inquiry into the INS detentions is winning support. Sympathies on Capitol Hill lie with the Iranian-American community, and Members of Congress have realized that this issue will not disappear. The combination of pressure from the media and the Iranian-American community is keeping this issue on the national agenda. - 1/10/03

Why support terrorism?
It has been a little over a month since one hundred and fifty congressmen came out in support of the Iranian Mujahideen Khalq (MKO), an opposition group both the Bush and Clinton administrations have called a terrorist organization. -Nima Kasraie - 1/10/03

Judge won't bar arrest, deportation of illegal immigrants
A federal judge has refused to bar the arrests and deportation of illegal immigrants who register under a new program aimed at tracking men from countries considered a high risk for terrorists. -CNN - 1/10/03

Slow change for Iran's reformists
Revolution is a word that's out of favor in today's Tehran. Enghilab, its rough translation in Persian, is tied to the country's recent grim past, stirring memories of the upheaval of 1979, the violence in the streets, the abrogation of contracts and the purges that followed. "We want the Mullahs to leave," a business student named Ali tells me. "But we don't want violence." -UPI - 1/10/03

Iran: Foremost Dissident Cleric In Worsening Health
Iran's most influential dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri, is reported to be in fragile health as he remains under house arrest for calling for limits to supreme clerical rule. Montazeri's family says he was visited by doctors this week, who determined that his health is deteriorating as a result of his confinement. -RFE - 1/9/03

Fridays Are Art Days in Tehran
These days many art galleries have their openings on Friday afternoons, and many art lovers and friends of artists go there with lovely flower baskets to say hello, wish them luck and/or buy some of the art works. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/9/03

Rebels (People's Mujahideen) fear Iran using Iraq war to raid their bases
"Taking advantage of the current crisis, (they) are making all-round preparations, politically and militarily, in order to repeat their terrorist attacks...inside Iraq," said the group, which is listed as "terrorist" by the United States and the European Union. -Reuters - 1/9/03

Situation in Iran tense as war on Iraq looms
Religious hardliners may use a US invasion of Iraq as a pretext to crack down on the reformists -Los Angeles Times - 1/9/03

Khatami 'bid to curb hardliners will fail'
But Hussein Shariatmadari, head of the hardline Kayhan publishing group, dismissed warnings by Khatami's allies that failure of the bills could plunge Iran into a crisis that would undermine the foundations of the Islamic system. -Reuters - 1/9/03

Poll ban on Arab Israelis lifted
Israel's Supreme Court has overturned a ban on two Arab legislators standing in this month's general election. -BBC - 1/9/03

One Generation to Save World, Report Warns
The human race has only one or perhaps two generations to rescue itself, according to the 2003 State of the World report by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute. -Common Dreams - 1/9/03

Turkish PM Gul due in Tehran Sunday
Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will arrive here Sunday on a one-day visit, his first to the Islamic Republic since the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power in November, the country's embassy here said Thursday. - 1/9/03

Kharrazi arrives in Athens for talks on EU ties, Iraq
Meanwhile, a British MEP, Baroness Emma Nicholson, has described the Islamic Republic of Iran as a new ally of the European Union. - 1/9/03

The Price of Oil?...War
As troops and equipment pour into the Gulf for a looming war with Iraq, United States military thinkers admit that "defence" means protecting the circumstances of "daily life" - and in the US daily life runs on cheap oil. -CounterPunch - 1/9/03

Iran says war against Iraq unnecessary
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, is planning to lead an EU mission to Arab states including Iran in the next few weeks in a bid to avoid war. -Reuters - 1/9/03

Official Says 10 Billion Dollars Annual Costs of Accidents, Disasters in Iran
Deputy Minister of Health Mohammad Ismail Akbari said the cost associated with natural disasters, and traffic accidents is around Dlrs 10 billion annually. - 1/9/03

Iran...Persia: Sporadic Questions, One Thought
"Unfortunately, ancient Persia is twenty feet under the sand of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Not the most popular places lately." This is part of the dialogue in the action movie 'True Lies' that sums up the impression of the westerners, North Americans in particular, of Iran and Iranian history. -Hooman Moradmand, Canada - 1/9/03

INS may deport Berkeley man (Fereydon Davar) despite ruling
The Immigration and Naturalization Service will attempt to deport a Berkeley dental technician who was detained when he voluntarily appeared to register with the government, despite a judge's ruling that should allow him to stay in the United States, his attorney said. -Oakland Tribune - 1/9/03

Les Ballets Persans struggles to survive
The rebirth of the Iranian National Ballet in the form of Les Ballets Persans ( LBP), based in Sweden is the result of five years of steadfast determination to realize what was once nothing more than a beautiful dream. -Darius Kadivar - 1/9/03

Iran's President sets prerequisites for Iraqi Foreign Minister's visit: press
The conditions were put forth during Sabri's previous trip to Iran but Iraq has not taken any measure in this regard. Naji was scheduled to visit Tehran this week. The visit drew sharp criticism of some MPs. - 1/8/03

Concern expressed about continued solitary confinement of polling case defendants
The Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) on Wednesday expressed concern about the continued detention in solitary cells of three defendants over the polling case and depriving them of the counsel rights. - 1/8/03

Report on AIA Call-in to the White House to Protest the Special Registration and the Mass Arrests
From all the reports, it appears that the Call-in to the White House Campaign has been a complete success. -AIA - 1/8/03

Fear, confusion in INS registration lines
At the heart of the issue is a mandate requiring male visitors over the age of 16, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, to go to their local INS office for fingerprinting, photographs and interviews. Visitors from 13 countries must register by Friday. -Contra Costa Times, California - 1/8/03

Opec jitters send oil prices tumbling
Oil prices have fallen sharply, amid increasing speculation that production cartel Opec is about to step up output. Opec has called an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the current market situation. -BBC - 1/8/03

In Hafez words, "What is wrong with the shadow of the beloved casting over the lover/ we are in need of Him and He longs for us." -Roya Monajem, Tehhran - 1/8/03

Iran's national hero Takhti paid homage
Hundreds of wrestling veterans, champions, athletes, and people Tuesday gathered together in Ibn-e Babeveyh Cemetery, Shahr-e Rey, southern Tehran, to take part in the 35th death anniversary of the national hero and world wrestling champion Gholamreza Takhti. - 1/8/03

The Double Standards, Dubious Morality and Duplicity of This Fight Against Terror
Meanwhile, we are ploughing on to war in Iraq, which has oil, but avoiding war in Korea, which does not have oil -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/8/03

Iran court lifts ban on provincial weekly Name-ye Qazvin
A court in this northwestern Iranian city has lifted a temporary ban on a local weekly which was suspended in November on charges of promoting 'depravity' and discrediting clerics. - 1/8/03

Turkmenistan’s Niyazov Crushes Opposition Movement
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has been derided of late for megalomaniacal behavior, including the renaming of months and days of the week. Yet, at the same time, Niyazov has proven himself a skillful player in the game of political survival. -Eurasianet - 1/8/03

Solana fears widening gulf between EU and US
The European Union's foreign policy chief, or High Representative, is adept at schmoozing, smiling and patting colleagues on the shoulder, reluctant to utter a controversial word. It has been his official image since taking office in October 1999. -Financial Times - 1/8/03

Khoda Hafez to our Iranian brothers
"Khoda Hafez" is Farsi, the language of Iran, for "goodbye." Over the winter break, the Immigration and Naturalization Services arrested hundreds of Iranians and other Middle Easterners in Southern California and elsewhere. -The California Aggie - 1/8/03

Satire: Guidelines for Living in a Secure United States of America
1. Citizens are encouraged to visit their local libraries. But only to see what others are reading! We are interested to know.... -Ali Moayedian, AlterNet - 1/8/03

The Fashions and Styles of Ancient Persia & Mesopotamia
Massoume Motamedi-Price discusses the history of fabrics, designs, jewelry and cosmetics in Mesopotamia and Iran from 3000 BCE to the 21st century. She presents visual comparisons between past and present, and considers the role of gender in fashion. (Feb 2, University of British Columbia) - 1/8/03

First Women's Karate Festival held in Tehran
During the one-day festival, three thousand karatekas from Tehran province performed different movements of 23 styles. - 1/8/03

Iran Elections Draw 225,000 Candidates
Nearly 225,000 candidates have registered for Feb. 28 city and town council elections throughout Iran, including prominent reformists in Tehran aiming to challenge hard-liners. -AP - 1/8/03

US-Iran, through an expat's eyes
After nearly five decades in Iran, this Virginian (Mrs. Louise Firouz) has seen everything from 'death to America' chants to vigils for Sept. 11 victims. -Christian Science Monitor - 1/8/03

Turkmenistan: Russia, Iran Seeking To Protect Caspian Energy Interests
Russia and Iran have both paid visits to Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov in recent days, suggesting new strategies in the decade-old struggle to divide the Caspian Sea. But it is unclear whether the sudden missions are signs of a breakthrough or just more maneuvers in a continuing stalemate. -RFE - 1/7/03

Iran's parliament gives Roads and Transportation Ministry 48-hour to draft plan on air fare
Air fares increased by 35 percent to rls 180,000 on Sunday, triggering reactions by the public and Majlis. - 1/7/03

A not completely crazy case can be made that the most influential thinker in the foreign-policy apparatus of the Administration of George W. Bush during its first two years was not one of the familiar members of the gold-shielded Praetorian Guard—not Dick Cheney or Colin Powell, not Condi or Rummy, not Tenet or Wolfowitz—but, rather, a forty-two-year-old Canadian named David Frum. -New Yorker - 1/7/03

Congressman Bob Ney: Support Freedom and Democracy in Iran, Oppose the Mujahedin/National Council of Resistance and Terrorism
Dear Colleague: I am writing to invite you to join me in supporting a Sense of the House Resolution that expresses support for the Iranian people's non-violent struggle for democracy and freedom. - 1/7/03

Talebani: No compromise with Turkey for entering Iraq's soil
The PUK top official who is in Iran for the second time during the past two months, expressed hope that the excellent relations between Iraqi Kurds and Iran would keep improving regardless of the future developments in Iraq. - 1/7/03

Official says Iran's banks to be privatized soon
Deputy Economic and Finance Minister Mehdi Karbassian here on Monday said that as per a recent cabinet decision all banks in Iran, except Bank Melli, will be privatized. - 1/7/03

Official says fireworks, not bombs, rocked Zahedan
A provincial official here on Monday said that the Sunday blasts in Zahedan had been result of fireworks, not bombs, stressing that no political motivation had been behind the incidents. - 1/7/03

Israel Closes 3 Palestinian Universities
In response to twin suicide bombings that killed 22 people, Israel decided Monday to close three Palestinian universities, intensify raids against militants and bar Palestinian officials from holding key meetings in the West Bank and abroad. -AP - 1/7/03

Bush Putting Together Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq
The Bush administration is putting together a plan for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq that would involve an extended American military presence and use of oil revenues to feed the Iraqi people, U.S. officials said on Monday. -Reuters - 1/7/03

India, Iran, Afghanistan discuss new transit routes
India, Iran and Afghanistan held a trilateral meeting in Teheran on January 4-5 to discuss alternative transit routes to Afghanistan as Pakistan refused to allow India access to the overland route to Afghanistan. -Hindu, India - 1/7/03

Oil scenarios vary should U.S. invade Iraq
If the United States invades Iraq, there could be oil shortages and gas lines ---- or an oil glut and falling prices. -AP - 1/7/03

Let your voice ring out in times of fear
Katy Dawson is upset that immigrants who did nothing wrong now fear deportation. Diane Sjogren is angry that foreign visitors were detained while complying with a new registration requirement. And David Jenks believes the privacy intrusions of some of the homeland security measures smack of Big Brother. -San Jose Mercury - 1/7/03

Clerics fear steamy students may make icy festival sizzle
Iran's hardliners are up in arms over plans to invite thousands of students to a "Snow and Ice" festival in the centre of the country, arguing the event could lead to "debauchery and depravity". -AFP - 1/7/03

Ask Congress to Conduct a Congressional Inquiry into the INS Detentions
Take 2 Minutes and Send your letters to add this issue to the Congressional Agenda for January. The detention of hundreds of Iranians in Los Angeles and around the country by the INS under the NSEERS program has caused protests and outrage by the Iranian-American community. -NIAC - 1/7/03

Iraq War Could Put 10 Million In Need of Aid, U.N. Reports
The United Nations estimates that a U.S.-led military campaign to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could place about 10 million Iraqi civilians, including more than 2 million refugees and homeless, at risk of hunger and disease and in need of immediate assistance -Washington Post - 1/7/03

Iran Charges Lawmaker Over Pro-U.S. Poll
A reformist lawmaker was charged Monday with misappropriating public funds for an opinion poll that showed strong support in Iran for opening a dialogue with the United States. -AP - 1/7/03

Guardian Council's approval of bill will strengthen determination of pro-reform lobbies in Iran: daily
`Iran Daily' on Tuesday wrote that if the powerful Guardian Council (GC) approves the proposed bill that calls for enhancing the powers of the chief executive of the country, it will add to the will and determination of the pro-reform lobbies to push and augment their agenda of change, openness and accountability. - 1/7/03

Iran's parliament to impeach Foreign Minister Kharrazi over Iraqi Foreign Minister's Tehran visit: press
The announcement of an unexpected visit by Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to Tehran on Sunday provoked sharp reactions by Majlis deputies amidst reports that they would prepare a bill to impeach Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, the press reported here on Monday. - 1/6/03

Bitter taste of racism lingers after trip to U.S.
I am an Iranian-born Canadian professor who has lived in Canada for 31 years. As a scientist I frequently travel nationally and internationally, often as an invited speaker. -Fakhreddin Jamali, Associate Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta - 1/6/03

Court hearing held for those in charge of polls institute
The second court hearing for those in charge of the National Institute for Research on Public Opinion was held here on Monday. - 1/6/03

Only Iran and US Apply Death Penalty to Under-18s
Mississippi is due this week to execute a man convicted of murdering a shop assistant at the age of 17, while the supreme court contemplates whether the US should remain almost the last country to execute juvenile offenders. -Guardian - 1/6/03

Lessons in the Culture of Entrepreneurship
Nariman Farvardin (the dean of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering), 46, does not idly preach of the entrepreneurial spirit. Last year he founded a company with three of his PhD students. He has raised $16 million from local venture capital firms. The start-up, named Zagros Networks Inc. after a mountain range in Iran, where Farvardin was born, develops computer chips to help networks run faster and more efficiently. -Washington Post - 1/6/03

The Burden
Yet what word but ''empire'' describes the awesome thing that America is becoming? It is the only nation that polices the world through five global military commands; maintains more than a million men and women at arms on four continents; deploys carrier battle groups on watch in every ocean; guarantees the survival of countries from Israel to South Korea;... -New York Times - 1/6/03

Seattle's Local Iranians back U.S. stand against Saddam
About 30 local Iranians gathered in the University District yesterday to show support for the U.S.' hard-line policy on Iraq, saying the removal of Saddam Hussein will help the citizens of neighboring Iran gain democracy. -Seattle Times - 1/6/03

PUK leader Jalal Talabani to arrive in Tehran Monday
Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jalal Talabani, heading a high ranking delegation of PUK's political officials will arrive here on Monday. - 1/6/03

Four stun bombs detonated in Zahedan
Some four stun bombs went off in Zahedan, the capital city of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, on Sunday afternoon, smashing windows and wounding two people. - 1/6/03

Oil creeps higher despite Opec
Oil prices have remained near two-year highs as a general strike in Venezuela continues to halt supplies, and despite Opec production increases due on 14 January. -BBC - 1/6/03

Alliance of Iranian Americans Announces "Call the White House Hour" to Protest INS Policies
Call the White House Tuesday January 7, 2003, between 11 A.M. and 12 noon Pacific time to ask for the dismantling of the special registration. -AIA - 1/6/03

Saddam's troublesome marsh dwellers left high and dry by drainage
During the past decade the Shias have paid a terrible price. Now, with the US again drawing up plans for a war in Iraq, there is little chance that western troops can count on a coordinated uprising against the Iraqi dictator. -Guardian - 1/6/03

Composer's music resonates across globe
Now working on his first opera, Richard Danielpour traces career to teen years on island. The dark-haired, dark-eyed Danielpour's parents emigrated from Iran to the United States before he was born. He was raised as an American. -Palm Beach Daily News, FL - 1/6/03

Protest INS "Special Registration" Policies (Fri. Jan. 10 in San Francisco)
Endorsed by: National Lawyer's Guild, ADC-SF, INS Watch/La Raza Centro Legal, Chinese Progressive Association and ACLU of Northern California. - 1/6/03

Jewel of Persia: Iranians in Southern California Embark on a Grand Project
After extensive research and planning, a group of dedicated Iranians have established Jewel of Persia to build a Persian Cultural Center in Southern California. Jewel of Persia will promote Persian heritage and serve as a place for the Persian community to come together. - 1/6/03

Hundreds in L.A. protest detention of Middle Eastern men and boys
By Friday, 7,200 men and boys aged 16 and over from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen must step forward. -AP - 1/5/03

Iran: A mountaineer save the lives of six others in northern Tehran Towchal heights
An official of the Red Crescent Organization in charge of harmonizing the life saving operations in mountainous areas said that the amateur mountaineers who had got frozen while climbing towards Towchal Peak were saved by a single weathered mountaineer and transferred to Osoun Hotel, last Saturday. - 1/5/03

Over 377,000 Afghan refugees repatriated this year
According to a World Food Program report this year, Iran is hosting about 2.65 million refugees, 2.35 million of which are Afghans, 203,000 Iraqis and 5,000 nationals of other countries. - 1/5/03

Khosrowshahi parlays Future into biotech
Behzad Khosrowshahi, 33, took over as chief executive of Toronto-based Drug Royalty Corp. last fall, soon after his family acquired the company for about $133-million. -National Post, Canada - 1/5/03

Pacifist Hopes Human Shield Will Halt US March to War
"My intention is to prevent the war," Greene said yesterday. "I am willing to do whatever it takes. I intend to live with the Iraqi people and I hope the fact that 5,000 Americans are willing to do this will deter the war." -Common Dreams - 1/5/03

Israel seeks US aid package
An Israeli delegation is due to arrive in Washington to try to secure an emergency aid package worth $12bn. Israel's economy is suffering from one of the worst crises in the country's history. -BBC - 1/5/03

Iran: Bus accident in Hormuzgan province leaves 15 people dead, 18 injured
Fifteen people were killed and 18 others injured--mostly university students and professors-- after a bus plunged into a valley on Gavbandi-Bandar Lengeh road Saturday night. - 1/5/03

Official: Iran's per capita health expenditures is 155 dollars
Deputy Health Minister for Management, Resources and Majlis Affairs Jafar Qaem-Panah told reporters that the figure compares with dlrs 2,359 in developed countries and dlrs 256 in oil producing states. - 1/5/03

Iranian cleric: Execution by stoning suspended temporarily
Gharavian says it is up to supreme leader to make final decision on whether to stop executions by stoning. -Middle East Online - 1/5/03

Official predicts 5.7 pc growth in GDP for next Iranian year
Moradi also forecast a 5.7 percent economic growth, four percent welfare index, creation of about 28,000 jobs and 16.7 percent unemployment next year. - 1/5/03

Iran's parliament narrows gap with Guardian Council on new election law
Member of Parliament in charge of drafting the bill to amend the election law Mrs Elahe Koulaeisaid that since the bill respects the authority of the Guardian Council to the extent that it exercised before the fourth term of parliament (1992-1996), Majlis believes that the Guardian Council will accept the new bill. - 1/5/03

America's Muslims Never Had to Unite -- Until Now
The divide between Iranians and other Muslim immigrants is particularly telling. Often identifying themselves as "Persians," Iranians in this country have not been highly visible as Muslims. Despite their wealth and great numbers in Southern California, they have built few mosques here. -Washington Post - 1/5/03

Women set to join Iran police
Much time has been spent trying to decide what they will wear. Taking inspiration from Islamic, European and African countries, they have finally come up with the Iranian solution. -BBC - 1/5/03

Iran calls for joint exploitation of Caspian Sea
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Saturday the joint exploitation of the Caspian Sea is the best option to settle the Caspian Sea issue adding that any drawback in this regard should be met through protocols. - 1/5/03

CU student shaken by jail experience
25-year-old Iranian Yashar Zendehdel, the junior economics major from the University of Colorado at Boulder was one of at least six Middle Eastern college students studying in Colorado who were jailed in December for failing to take at least 12 hours of college credit, a violation of their student visas. -Boulder Daily Camera - 1/4/03

Ukraine to put out fourth An-140 jetliner as Iran says plane crash due to human error
No adjustments will be made in the operation of the Kharkov aircraft factory in connection with the land-crash of an An-140 airliner in Iran, said on Friday factory managing director Pavel Naumenko. - 1/4/03

Iran: Reformists Threaten To Leave Government Over Pollster Trials
The trials in Tehran of pollsters who found that most Iranians favor dialogue with the United States is turning into a widening political crisis as hard-liners use the case to attack powerful reformist leaders. -RFE - 1/4/03

Tehran's moral squads fight it hard against 'depraved' parties
Iran's moral squads have dismantled 32 'centesr of corruption' in the past nine months in mostly plush districts of northern Tehran and arrested 138 people, the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps said in a report on Saturday. - 1/4/03

Analysis: Iraq's divided Shiia opposition
Al-Shaalan, like many Iraqi exiles, remembers all too well the words of the current President's father urging Iraqi Shiites to throw off the yoke of Saddam's regime at the end of the Gulf War -- only to be abandoned to their fate by the American military weeks later, when the Iraqi leader used his remaining attack helicopters to put down revolts in the Shiite south and Kurdish north of Iraq. -UPI - 1/4/03

Pakistan and Iran: the future
Whatever the decision the US takes, uncertainty in the Middle East, South Asia and West Asia will follow in the wake of an attack on Iraq. In such an environment, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia are natural allies -Daily Times, Pakistan - 1/4/03

Turkey and Syria work for peace
Turkey and Syria have agreed to work together to try to prevent a war against Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said. -BBC - 1/4/03

Announcing the 2002 P.U.-litzer Prizes
For more than a decade now, the P.U.-litzer Prizes have gone to some of America's stinkiest media performances each year. The competition was fierce as ever in 2002. Many journalistic pieces of work deserved recognition. Only a few could be chosen. -AlterNet - 1/4/03

Sounds of the Silk Road
In 1998, Yo-Yo Ma founded the Silk Road Project Inc. as a non-profit foundation devoted to the study and celebration of the living arts of the Silk Road lands. For two seasons he has also been touring with the musicians of these lands, bringing to cities from Rome to Seattle — and now to Toronto — evidence of the cultural interconnectedness of very different peoples. -Toronto Star, Canada - 1/4/03

Iran: Uncle Sam's secret admirer
Rumors of secret talks between US and Iranian officials should come as no surprise. Best of enemies, the two countries are inexorably tied by a cultural link that has survived nearly 25 years of mutual distrust and demonization. -Middle East Times - 1/4/03

Iran: Police to deploy women officers for first time since Islamic Revolution
The commander of the Kowsar High Disciplinary Training Complex, affiliated to the Police Academy, Mohtaram Masoud-Manesh said, "More than 400 second Lieutenant policewomen will start their activities at different police stations throughout the country as of next September." - 1/4/03

Iran: Legislators Challenge Foreign Minister On Oil Policy
Iran's parliament, the Majlis, has put Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on the spot about the country's policy on Caspian Sea negotiations. Some deputies say the government has made too many concessions on borders, while others say it has been too inflexible, leaving it little room for an effective response. -RFE - 1/4/03

Top Ten Conspiracy Theories of 2002
For these reasons and hundreds of others, the year following September 11 has seen probably the most staggering proliferation of "conspiracy theories" in American history. -AlterNet - 1/3/03

They did it to us: Middle Easterners are conspiracy minded
Well, I know it applies to a significant number of Iranians at least. We all know Iranians who would love to tell stories on how "big powers", including Britain in particular, plotted to do such and such. Britain always plays a crucial role in those stories. -Hooman Moradmand - 1/3/03

Short Story: The Scent of the Fresh Bread
Hearing the key turning in the lock, she was overpowered by a feeling of horror, but as the scent of fresh bread filled the air of the backyard, she breathed a sigh of relief. -Saiid Abaaspour - 1/3/03

Iran boosting naval presence in Straits of Hormuz with new Sina-1 missile frigate
Officials said the navy would launch the missile frigate, identified as the Sina-1, in March 2003. -World Tribune - 1/3/03

Censorship Through Visa: How the INS is Killing Music
These days, the biggest hurdle for international artists who want to perform in the U.S. is getting their passport stamped. Even Grammy-award winning musicians have become prime victims of America's post-9/11 Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. -CounterPunch - 1/3/03

A Doctors' Dilemma Hits Kurdish Patients
Throughout northern Iraq, doctors and patients are confronting shortages and difficult choices in a health care system they worry might soon collapse. -New York Times - 1/3/03

'Axis of Good' for Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela?
with Hugo Chavez, dinner with Fidel Castro. The first day in office for Brazil's new president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, projects the image of a leftist alliance in Latin America -- one that Chavez, Venezuela's president, has already nicknamed the "Axis of Good." -Common Dreams - 1/3/03

Alliance of Iranian Americans calls for demonstrations in Los Angeles (on Saturday, January 4)
Protest the Los Angeles INS using registration to conduct mass illegal arrests and discouraging people from registering as required by law. - 1/3/03

An Arab Israeli pushes Israel's free-speech limit
For some, the banning of Bishara and another Arab Israeli lawmaker has intensified the question hovering over the country since 1948: Can Israel be both a democracy and a Jewish state? -Christian Science Monitor - 1/3/03

U.S. favors Saddam's resignation, but has no plans
The United States thinks Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should consider resigning and leaving Iraq but the State Department said on Thursday it was not aware of any attempt to promote such proposals. -Reuters - 1/3/03

January 3rd: Ferdowsi's Birthdate
No sound tradition regarding the date of Ferdowsi's birth has come down to us. The Muslim custom of recording the date of demise alone on tombstones seems to have deprived those early scholars who wrote on Ferdowsi of the opportunity of obtaining his birthdate from what would otherwise have been a most reliable source. -Dr. Shapoor Shahbazi - 1/3/03

Detentions today remind of yesterday's (Japanese-Americans internment camps)
It could be a page out of Kafka. Or Orwell. . . . Or U.S. history. While many of us were engrossed in pre-Christmas festivities with our families, others here and around the country were trying to figure out just where their husbands, brothers or sons had disappeared to and whether they would ever see them again. -San Jose Mercury - 1/3/03

Customer is First at Tehran International Airport!
At the airport I, and many others, were trying hard to hold back our tears, while at the same time hoping to see our loved ones soon again, here or there. In spite of our emotional state, waiting for my sister to check so we could have tea at the airport café, I could observe a few new things. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/3/03

In Iran - forbidden but tolerated
It is a widely held opinion in the West that clandestine liquor sales are the result of the reforms initiated by President Mohammed Khatami in the past five years. But the laws on the books have not changed much. But the prevalence of drink is one telltale sign, along with teenage sex, satellite dishes, and heroin addicts, that the Islamic revolution of 1979 has run out of steam. -UPI - 1/3/03

MP says foreign participation as only solution to rescue airlines
A member of Majlis Development Commission Mehdi Ayati said here Wednesday that the only way to rescue the airline industry is to have foreign participation in the sector. - 1/2/03

Mosharekat: probability of leaving ruling system, if people's interests disregarded
Iran's leading Mosharekat Party here on Wednesday asked for unity among all political forces in Iran, but not at cost of compromising over national interests. - 1/2/03

Accident fatalities up on average 10% annually on Iranian roads
Dilapidated vehicles, insufficient emergency road assistance, lack of communication facilities to swiftly relay information on traffic-related accidents and inadequate emergency centers on roads are the main causes of the high death toll in road accidents in the country, traffic experts say. - 1/2/03

CBI: Iran's current account balance dlrs 1.138bn in positive
Iran's current account balance was dlrs 1.138 billion in the positive in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2002), showing a drop of 73 percent compared to the figure for the same period last year. - 1/2/03

New Canadians alienated by U.S. travel indignities
By mid-December, roughly 200 Canadians had launched protests with the Department of Foreign Affairs.They allege they had been subjected to unfair probing by U.S. immigration officials on the basis of their country of birth. -Globe and Mail, Canada - 1/2/03

The Veil: Resistance or Repression?
Perhaps no aspect of the lives of women in Islamic societies arouses as much of an immediate, visceral reaction from the Western world as the sight of the veil. -LiP Magazine - 1/2/03

Oil price jumps after US reserves fall
Oil prices have leapt more than 2% as the markets reacted to data showing US reserves have fallen to near 26-year lows due to the month-long strike in Venezuela. -BBC - 1/2/03

Germany denies report on Iraq bloodless coup
The United States wants to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power without the bloodshed or the billions of dollars of a new Gulf war, an Iranian newspaper said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/2/03

Nuclear Cooperation With Iran Strains Russia's Ties With U.S
Russia's plans to intensify non-military nuclear cooperation with Iran, despite plea by the U.S. government to end it, has strained Moscow-Washington ties. -IPS - 1/2/03

US orders more troops to Persian Gulf
The United States is sending another 15,000 troops to Persian Gulf as part of its build-up for possible military action against Iraq. -BBC - 1/2/03

Organizers Welcome 'New Spirit' of Dissent
With war brewing on the other side of the world as a new year is ushered in, Baltimoreans are likely to see more anti-war protesters in 2003 - a sign of what peace leaders say is a new age of mobilization. -Common Dreams - 1/2/03

Iranian reformists renew threat to walk out
IIPF party says ultra-conservative actions has caused Islamic republic's reform camp to lose its legitimacy. -Middle East Online - 1/2/03

U.S. Keeps Close Tabs on Muslim Cleric
Officials Suspect Activist Has Close Ties With Iranian Regime (discusses ties with Alavi Foundation) -Washington Post - 1/2/03

PLAY: Akram The Daughter of A-Ce-Mon
At Rise: Bagher in his underpants seats leisurely on a chair sipping tea. A-Ce-Mon enters with a plate of sweets and places it in front of Bagher. She starts tidying up the room, picking up his trousers and mumbling something under her breath... -Majid Beenteha - 1/2/03

A message from Iranian journalists to American journalists
The Christian New Year starts in a few more days. Reformist Iranian journalists wish a happy new year for their colleagues all around the world with an aching heart though. - 1/1/03

Daily focuses on Sunday's episode in Majlis over Caspian issue
According to the daily Iran News, it turned out that Elahe Koulaie (MP from Tehran and the most prominent of Kharrazi's interrogators) was blocked from raising any questions. She then walked out of the session in protest. Kharrazi is accused of inappropriately divulging certain vital information on the Caspian Sea issue that is feared could harm the government's claim. - 1/1/03

Iranian Court Tries Pollster for Backing U.S. Ties
Geranpayeh was arrested and held in custody after the release of a survey in September which showed three-quarters of Iranians favored resuming talks with the United States. Eight pollsters have faced trial so far, including the five involved in this case. Analysts say more arrests could follow. -Reuters - 1/1/03

Official: 5,000 'drug mules' arrested in Iran last year
Presidential Advisor and Secretary General of an Anti-Narcotics Headquarters Ali Hashemi said in the past two decades Iranian law enforcement organs have arrested over 2.5 million smugglers, agents and dealers who have stretched thin the resources of the country with adverse social ramifications for the nation. - 1/1/03

Pope calls for Middle East peace
Pope John Paul II has used his New Year message to appeal for peace in the Middle East. -BBC - 1/1/03

Iran's government spokesman hopes Information Ministry's study will shed light on polling case
Ramezanzadeh said the head of Tehran Justice Department had provided President Khatami with evidence relating to the case and his excellency had referred certain segments of the report to Information Ministry for expert study on possible espionage and security breaches. - 1/1/03

Riots, arrests as tensions mount in Iranian city
Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz has been hit by widespread rioting following a crackdown on shops selling illegal videos and CDs, an MP told parliament yesterday. -AFP - 1/1/03

Groups Irked on Alien Registration Policy
Muslims, Arab-Americans, civil libertarians and others are urging federal officials to refrain from wholesale arrests if visitors from countries considered high risks for harboring terrorists fail to meet deadlines for registering with the U.S. government. -AP - 1/1/03

Iran: Nation's Air Industry Suffering
Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its air industry was suffering from U.S. sanctions and warned there will be more air disasters if sanctions on purchase of U.S.-made planes were not lifted. -AP - 1/1/03

An Iranian musician's homecoming
Shahin Shahida (of Shahin & Sepehr) is one of the stars of what's often referred to as world music. Although Shahin has made his life and his name in the US, he recently returned to Iran on an extraordinary journey of rediscovery. -BBC - 1/1/03

Civil aviation in Iran suffering from sanctions
Managing Director of Iran National Carrier (Iran Air) Davoud Keshavarzian was quotes saying that after the visit by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to Paris in 2000, Iran Air concluded a contract with the country to buy four Airbus planes, but was prevented from finalizing the deal until 'appropriate conditions are prepared'. - 1/1/03

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