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Iran, Russia sign 'Zohreh' satellite deal
Iran and Russia here Saturday signed an agreement on the design, consultations, testing and lift off of 'Zohreh' satellite. - 1/31/05

Discovery of brick tablet in Jiroft proves 3rd millennium BC civilization
A brick tablet unearthed in the vicinity of Jiroft proves that the civilization of the area along Halilroud river near the city of Jiroft dates back to he first half of the third millennium BC. - 1/31/05

Quake jolts Iran's Kish island in Persian Gulf
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the open-ended Richter scale shook Kish island in the southern province of Hormuzgan on Monday. - 1/31/05

Florence Symphonic Orchestra performs a piece on Persian Gulf
The Florence Symphonic Orchestra performed a piece on the Persian Gulf in Tehran. The music group is here to participate in the 20th International Fajr Music Festival. - 1/31/05

Iraq Breaks From Past
The crowd began streaming into the polling station near our hotel by 10 a.m. They lined up patiently behind rolls of barbed wire and submitted to being frisked and searched with metal detectors. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/31/05

Aziz to urge Singh to back Iranian gas pipeline to India via Pakistan
Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz will propose that Islamabad and New Delhi agree a series of confidence-building projects (CBPs) including the proposed Iranian gas pipeline project to India via Pakistan - 1/31/05

The Tragedy of American Diplomacy in Iraq
During the summer of 2004, the Historians against the War sponsored a Town Hall Meeting in New York City to discuss how far to the right the Bush administration has moved. -Common Dreams - 1/31/05

From Penniless to Provider
Iranian immigrant who spent first months in America sleeping in car is now head of profitable tax company. -Connection - 1/31/05

Pakistan to jointly launch multi-purpose satellite
A multi-purpose small satellite developed by China, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand and other countries will be launched in 2006. - 1/31/05

U.S. Official: Iran Nuclear Aims a Threat
A senior U.S. official said Monday he was consulting Arab states in the Persian Gulf to coordinate policies in light of the perceived threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions. -AP - 1/31/05

Real Freedom Still Far Off
Will today's elections for 7,785 unknown candidates in violence-racked Iraq mark the dawn of genuine Mideast democracy, as U.S. President George W. Bush claims, or be another step deeper into the bloody quagmire in Mesopotamia? -Toronto Sun - 1/31/05

OPEC Maintains Oil Output Levels
OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has decided to keep crude production at current levels, but will intervene if prices fall after the cold winter spell in the northern hemisphere. - 1/31/05

An election to anoint an occupation
Tony Blair and George Bush were quick to characterise yesterday's election as a triumph of democracy over terror. Bush declared it a "resounding success", while Blair asserted that "The force of freedom was felt throughout Iraq". And yet the election fell so completely short of accepted electoral standards that had it been held in, say, Zimbabwe or Syria, Britain and America would have been the first to denounce it. -Guardian - 1/31/05

For Shiites, a sense of triumph
While Iraq's majority Shiite Arabs also hope for better government and a share of power that reflects their status as Iraq's majority, there seemed to be something cathartic in the act of voting, which combined a rejection of the past with hopes for a safer future. -CSM - 1/31/05

Iran Expects Benefits From Iraq Election
Iran strongly criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein and opposed the American occupation of its neighbor, but with Iraqis voting Sunday for a new government, Iran stands to reap huge benefits. -Guardian - 1/31/05

We can change for better
I went to the gambling-house, witnessed all the losers, but honest and sincere. When I came to this temple, all hypocritical-devouts." -Mali Mostoufi - 1/31/05

Venezuela enlists Iran to steer oil to China
Venezuela has enrolled Iran to help it accelerate a strategy to steer its oil exports to China and away from its traditional market of the US. -Financial Times - 1/31/05

Ancient Millimeter-Precise Ruler Unearthed in the Burnt City
An Ancient ruler with half a millimeter precision was discovered in the Burnt City, Sistan-Baluchistan, southeast of Iran. - 1/31/05

Experts favor engagement over military action to end nuclear showdown with Iran
The increased scrutiny the Bush Administration has been putting on Iran’s nuclear program has sparked a can-do spirit of duty and nationalism amongst the Iranian nuclear physicist core, observed Dr. Ali Nayeri MIT Research Affiliate and Visiting Professor at the University of Florida. -NIAC - 1/31/05

Photos: Afghan fishermen in Kelarr-Abbad, Caspian Sea
In my recent trip to the Caspian Sea shores, I visited Afghan fishermen in Kelarr-Abbad. These fishermen come over for short working spells, and their lives is gray, as was the sea that afternoon. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/31/05

Shamkhani: Defense cooperation between Iran, Lebanon not to harm
Iran's Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said in Tehran on Sunday that the current defense cooperation between Iran and Lebanon is not against the interests of a third country. - 1/30/05

Parliament commission trims down Turkish firm's share in Iran venture
A parliamentary commission Sunday limited Turkish entity Turkcell's share in a major telecommunication project in Iran as part of a solution to a standoff which has held it from setting up Iran's first private mobile telephone network. - 1/30/05

Iraqis vote as attacks kill 22
Iraqis voted in nationwide elections today and insurgents retaliated with attacks on polling stations. Iraqi officials reported a turnout of 72%. -Guardian - 1/30/05

Earthquakeagain hits devastated Bam in southeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the southeastern city of Bam and its surrounding vicinity at noon Sunday. - 1/30/05

Tell Them, 'Because our Fathers Lied'
Many years ago Rudyard Kipling wrote in his Epitaphs of the War: 'If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied.' -Common Dreams - 1/30/05

Halliburton to pull out of Iran
US energy services company Halliburton is to end its operations in Iran after existing contracts come to an end. -BBC - 1/30/05

Egyptian charged as spy for Iran
A Cairo court has charged an Egyptian national with spying for Iran. -BBC - 1/30/05

Pakistan pushes India on pipeline
Better economic relations between India and Pakistan depend on both countries joining forces to build a gas pipeline to Iran, Pakistan's prime minister has said. - 1/30/05

Tehran takes trophy at first Women's Games
Tehran lifted the trophy at the 1st Women Games of the Capitals, Islamic and Asian Countries here Saturday. Winning 84 medals, Tehran outpointed joint runners-up Tehran Municipality and Armenia and third-placed Kyrgyzstan. - 1/30/05

Iranian cyclists stand top at Langkawi Tour second stage
Hassan Maleki and Mehdi Sohrabi from Iran stood first and second at the second stage of international cycling tournament, Langkawi Tour, in Malaysia Saturday. - 1/30/05

Iran's Oil Minister: OPEC agrees to suspend oil price band
Zanganeh said OPEC ministers will decide on a new price target at their next meeting in Iran's central city of Isfahan on March 16. - 1/30/05

Iranian journalist Taghi Rahmani has spent 5,000 days in prison
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the hounding by the authorities of Taghi Rahmani, who since 1981 has spent a total of 5,000 days in prison, sentenced each time in connection with his journalistic work. - 1/29/05

No US plans for military attack on Iran, Rice tells Fischer
The United States has no plans to attack Iran, new American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer during her recent talks in Washington. - 1/29/05

Fajr Film Festival an opportunity for young Iranian filmmakers: Pouran Derakhshandeh
Prominent Iranian filmmaker, Pouran Derakhshandeh, said in Tehran on Saturday the annual Fajr International Film Festival is an appropriate opportunity for young filmmakers. - 1/29/05

Schroeder Urges Iran to Renounce Nuclear Weapons Development
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder addressed the World Economic Forum in Switzerland Friday and endorsed proposals for more assistance for economic development in Africa. The German leader also spoke about Iraq and Iran. -VOA - 1/29/05

Iran Turnout Key To Expat Vote
As expatriate voting for Iraq's national elections began in 14 countries on 28 January, focus shifted to the turnout in Iran, which has the largest Iraqi diaspora. - 1/29/05

Iran's Oil minister arrives in Vienna
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh arrived in Vienna on Saturday afternoon, to participate in an extraordinary meeting of OPEC oil ministers there. - 1/29/05

United States and Europe Differ Over Strategy on Iran
President Bush's second term has barely begun, and Iran is already shaping up as its most serious diplomatic challenge. But conflicting pronouncements by Mr. Bush and his national security team have left Iran frustrated and angry about the direction of American policy, and the Europeans more determined than ever to push Washington to embrace their engagement strategy. -New York Times - 1/29/05

Iran to participate in Saudi Arabia anti-terror conference
Saudi Arabian media announced 14 Arab, 14 Asian, 10 European, six American states, and a number of international organizations will gather together in the conference. - 1/29/05

Oliver Stone's 'Alexander' Stirs Up Controversy
American director Oliver Stone's latest movie, "Alexander," has been met with negative reviews from critics in the U.S. and Europe. -RFE - 1/29/05

Iran-Turkmenistan deals in 2004 exceeded 750 million dollars
Iranian special envoy for Caspian Sea affairs here Saturday said Iran-Turkmenistan deals exceeded 750 million dollars in 2004. - 1/29/05

Watchdog urges patience over Iran
World leaders must not take rash action over Iran's nuclear programme, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, has said. -BBC - 1/29/05

Iranian FM: Mr. Bush had better heed others' advice
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Davos at World Economic Forum on Friday, "Mr. Bush had better heed the others' advice and never repeat the mistake he made in Iraq war's case." - 1/29/05

We are the outsiders: Interview with Khosrow Seif, leader of Mellat Iran Party
Khosrow Seif is a well known opposition figure in Iran. He entered politics at the age of 16 and was the long time political companion of Dariush Forouhar. He became the head of Mellat Iran (Nation of Iran) Party after the tragic death of Forouhar. -Fariba Amini - 1/28/05

PHOTOS: Iran’s Caspian Region, Sehezar road
The next day we had the chance to go to Sehezar road which was down in Cassava’s Khoram-Abbad, where near Ghaal-e-Gardann we saw a beautiful and panoramic view which despite the morning haze was breath-taking. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/28/05

Rice sees diplomatic solution for Iran
The United States believes its row over Iran's nuclear programme can be resolved by diplomacy, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said in an interview. -Reuters - 1/28/05

A Culture Clash with Comedy: "The Iranican Dream"
We have all heard of the American Dream, but what is the Iranican Dream? A new novel by Siamack Baniameri seeks to answer this question by depicting life from the perspective of an Iranian-American man in a post 9/11 America-- with a side-splitting twist! - 1/28/05

Unesco warning on Iran treasure
The UN has urged Iran to show it is taking action to preserve a historic city square threatened by the building of an office block nearby. -BBC - 1/28/05

Next Stop on Drive-By Armageddon
Times are strange indeed. There are some Iranian weasels among us, who would like to lend a hand to the invading rapists. Such Iranians both inside and outside Iran are rubbing their miserable and well-manicured hands together, salivating over the prospects of the rewards for being a US poodle dog. -Rosa Faiz - 1/28/05

There He Goes Again...Reining In Cheney
Quick! Anyone! Who can put the brakes on Vice President Dick Cheney before we have another war on our hands? Current and former intelligence analysts are reacting with wonderment and apprehension to his remarks last week on the nuclear program of Iran and his resuscitated spinning on why attacking Iraq was the prudent thing to do. -CounterPunch - 1/28/05

Key Afghan-Iranian highway opens
The Afghan and Iranian presidents have opened a major road linking their two countries as part of reconstruction efforts aimed at boosting trade. -BBC - 1/28/05

For Iraqi Engineer, A Harrowing Choice: Whether to Vote
With just days to go before Iraq's first democratic election, Ayoub, a 52-year-old civil engineer, can't decide: Should he vote, or barricade himself into his home? -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/28/05

IAEA expects good results from Iran-EU talks
A spokesman for the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) expressed hope on Thursday that the watchdog will receive good news from the nuclear talks between Iran and the EU troika, Germany, France, Britain. - 1/28/05

World Social Forum: Original Venue, New and Improved Methodology for Giant Meet
The fifth World Social Forum (WSF) opened Wednesday in this southern Brazilian city, returning to the birthplace of this gigantic annual civil society meet. -IPS - 1/28/05

Iran keen for strong Shia turnout
Iran's concerns about the elections in Iraq were voiced early on by the country's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -BBC - 1/28/05

UN Nuclear Chief Urges U.S. to Join EU on Iran
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Friday urged the United States to join forces with the EU to persuade Iran to give up atomic processes that could be used to make weapons. -Reuters - 1/28/05

Clinton Urges Diplomacy For Iran
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton urged the Bush administration Thursday to stick to diplomacy to get Iran to abandon its nuclear program, which the United States and other countries fear is part of a plan to make nuclear weapons. -AP - 1/28/05

Zandi sees "very big chance" for Iran to qualify for 2006 World Cup
Iran has a "very big chance" to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, said the latest addition to the Iranian national team, FC Kaiserslautern midfielder Ferydoon Zandi. - 1/28/05

European carrot, American stick
The diplomatic equivalent of good cop-bad cop continues with Britain, Germany, and France on one side and the US and Israel on the other. Both camps strive to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power. -CSM - 1/28/05

Mideast can't afford new military conflict over Iran: Schroeder
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called once again for a diplomatic settlement of Iran's nuclear issue, saying the world could not afford a new military conflict in the Middle East, DPA quoted him as saying Friday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos. - 1/28/05

Polling starts for Iraqi elections in Iran's Khuzestan province
polling of Iraqi nationals residing in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan started simultaneously in three polling stations in Ahvaz and Shush Friday morning. - 1/28/05

Military rumblings on Iran
President George W. Bush began his second term with speculation rising about future military moves against Iran. Last week, Vice President Dick Cheney placed Iran first on the list of world trouble spots and darkly hinted that unless tougher measures were taken to curtail Iran's nuclear program, Israel might launch its own pre-emptive air strikes. -New York Times - 1/28/05

The trials and tribulations of Iran's presidential candidates
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s ninth presidential election will be held in June. Despite political changes, there is no consistent development trend visible as far as the election is concerned. The only constant factor is that the number of prospective candidates increases almost every week. Observers wonder how many of these nominees will stay in the race until election day, and how many will withdraw. -Amir Ali Nourbakhsh, Iran Focus - 1/28/05

US Air Force playing cat and mouse game over Iran
The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said. -UPI - 1/27/05

Relations Between Iran and Afghanistan Growing Stronger
Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Iran today for a two-day visit during which he will officially inaugurate a road linking the Doqarun border region in northeastern Iran with the western Afghan city of Herat. Karzai's Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Khatami, will also participate in the ceremony. -RFE - 1/27/05

Khatami: Iran wants a powerful, stable, free Afghanistan
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a 123-km road which links Iran's Dogharoun region to the western province of Herat in Afghanistan, the president said that opening of Dogharoun-Herat road was a symbol of Tehran-Kabul cooperation which can further broaden in all political, economic, cultural and scientific fields. - 1/27/05

Is Russia rebuilding its Mideast role?
In what some experts believe is an attempt to rebuild its influence in the Middle East, Russia is working with Syria and Iran on several important regional military and economic deals. But this new effort by Russia to become a more important player in the region has raised the suspicions of Israel about Russia's longterm goals. -CSM - 1/27/05

The New Bush Doctrine
President George W. Bush's second inaugural address set forth an ambitious vision of the role of the United States in advancing the cause of freedom worldwide, fueling worldwide speculation over the course of American foreign policy during the next four years. The ideas expressed in Bush's speech thus deserve serious consideration. -George Soros - 1/27/05

US should work with EU on Iran nuclear deal, says Clinton's aide
Gary Samore, adviser on non-proliferation to US former President Bill Clinton believes that the Bush Administration should become actively involved with the European Union in its attempts on reaching a deal on Iran's nuclear programme. - 1/27/05

Arab leaders watch in fear as Shia emancipation draws near
For the first time in centuries, Shias are about to come into their own as the rulers - or at least the politically dominant community - in a key Arab country. -Guardian - 1/27/05

Iran's theocracy has lot riding on Iraqi democracy
As Iraqis brave bombs and bullets to vote in elections Sunday, their Iranian neighbors will be watching a process that in some ways could have almost as much impact here as in Baghdad. -USA Today - 1/27/05

A Demobilized Press in a Global Free-Fire Zone
Here's the strange thing: In a world where Gaia -- the Earth as a single throbbing organism -- is already a cliché; where "globalization" remains a buzzword; and where we happen to be ruled by the greatest geopolitical dreamers and gamblers in our history, our demobilized media treats the world, if at all, as a set of hopeless fragments and just doesn't consider puzzling them together part of the job description. If you want to grasp our world as it is, you might actually have to click off that TV, use your local paper to wrap the fish, and head for the Internet. -Common Dreams - 1/27/05

Officials Fear Calm in Southern Iraq Could be Short-Lived
During the run-up to Iraq's landmark election, the Shia-dominated south has largely been spared from the extreme levels of violence seen in central Iraq's so-called Sunni triangle and the ethnically divided city of Mosul. But Iraqi security forces fear the calm in southern Iraq could be short-lived, and the danger could come from several different directions. -VOA - 1/27/05

Pakistan Sets Up New Military Base to Protect Gas Field Against Terror Attacks
Pakistan's military has established a new base near a gas field in the southwest province of Baluchistan. The resource-rich region has been the scene of bloody clashes between rebel tribesmen and security forces. -VOA - 1/27/05

Bogus doctor jailed for 10 years
A bogus doctor who made £1.5m helping hundreds of asylum seekers remain in Britain has been jailed for 10 years. -BBC - 1/27/05

Bush Goes Looking for More Enemies to Democratize
The most important words spoken on Inauguration Day were not President George W. Bush's impassioned call for an end to tyranny. They were Vice President Dick Cheney's back-handed warning to Iran to desist with its nuclear-weapons program or face possible attack by Israel. -Common Dreams - 1/27/05

Bush Tells Iran to Stay Out of Iraq Vote
``Iranians should not be trying to unduly influence the elections,'' Bush said of Sunday's polls in an interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya, according to a White House transcript. -AP - 1/27/05

Over 51 tons of drugs seized in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province since March
Colonel Hamid Gorizan said that the number of drugs traffickers arrested or killed in shoot-out with the police has been 28 percent higher compared to the same period in the year before. - 1/27/05

TAJIKISTAN: The year in review
Made up of an ethnic mix of Tajiks, Uzbeks and Russians, in 2004 Tajikistan experienced a further relative improvement in its overall humanitarian situation. -IRIN - 1/27/05

Crunch time at Iran nuclear talks
European countries are calling on Iran to cease uranium enrichment permanently because the process could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons. -BBC - 1/27/05

Fiat to produce cars in Iran after 50-year hiatus
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pars Industrial Development Foundation Company said in Tehran on Wednesday that Italian auto manufacturing giant 'Fiat Avio', after a 50-year hiatus will resume car production in Iran. - 1/27/05

American host cuts off Iranian press agency ISNA
Reporters Without Borders said it suspected a political motive after US web host The Planet terminated its contract with the Iranian Student's News Agency (ISNA) on 14 January 2005. - 1/26/05

Iranian, Afghan presidents review expansion of cooperation
Visiting Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his high ranking entourage conferred in Tehran on Wednesday with President Mohammad Khatami on expansion of mutual relations. - 1/26/05

5000-Year-old Cumin Found in Burnt City
Iranian archeologists have found a large amount of cumin along with its fragrant plant in the Burnt City (Shahr-e Sokhteh) in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran. -CHN - 1/26/05

New Pentagon Spy Unit Raises Questions
A newspaper's disclosure that the Defense Department has set up a new clandestine spy unit came as a surprise to many in and out of the secret intelligence world. Such espionage has traditionally been the province of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). -VOA - 1/26/05

Stolen Swords of Mellat Palace-Museum to Return to Iran
Stolen swords belonging to the collection of the mother of the Second Pahlavi King, will return to Iran from neighboring Azerbaijan tomorrow. -CHN - 1/26/05

Iran rejects Mossad nuclear claim
Iran has rejected a warning by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency that it could have a nuclear bomb within three years as "baseless" and misleading. -BBC - 1/26/05

Quake jolts southwestern cities in Iran
A tremor measuring 3.8 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the cities of Izeh and Masjed Soleiman in the southwestern province of Khuzestan on Wednesday. - 1/26/05

Greens Call Bush's Inaugural Vision of Global Freedom and Democracy a Cover for Impending Military Aggression
Greens responded to President George W. Bush's January 20 inaugural address with sharp criticism of his pledge that the U.S., under his second term leadership, will stand with "[a]ll who live in tyranny and hopelessness" and "not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors." - 1/26/05

Will rising Baloch nationalism undermine Pakistan's war on terror?
Recent clashes between ethnic militants and security forces in southwestern Balochistan Province poses a new challenge to Pakistan's central government, which is already engaged in battles with Al Qaeda and its tribal supporters along the country's northwest frontier with Afghanistan. -CSM - 1/26/05

Russia, Iran hold strategic stability consultations
The conversations addressed a "broad range of themes of bilateral cooperation and issues concerning transparency and the peaceful character of the Iranian nuclear program," the ministry official said. - 1/26/05

UN rapporteur on violence against women to visit Iran
United Nations Commission on Human Rights Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Yakin Erturk will visit Iran on an official mission from January 30 to February 6, 2005. - 1/26/05

Iran's Mines and Metals Economic Zone to be renamed Persian Gulf Economic Zone
Minister of Industries and Mines Es'haq Jahangiri said in Bandar Abbas on Tuesday that the Mines and Metals Special Economic Zone in this southern city will be renamed Persian Gulf Economic Zone in a bid to neutralize moves to rename these waters off Iran's southern coast. - 1/26/05

Azeri president arrives in Tabriz
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his entourage arrived in Iran's northwestern provincial capital city of Tabriz on Wednesday. - 1/26/05

UK's Blair: Idea of US planning to attack Iran is 'wild fantasy'
Prime Minister Tony Blair Wednesday dismissed claims that the US was currently planning to attack Iran as a flight of the worst imagination. - 1/26/05

British Foreign Secretary Says U.S. Committed To Diplomatic Approach Toward Iran
U.S. Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice met last night in Washington with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. After the meeting, Straw said Washington supports the use of diplomacy over military action in dealings with Iran and its suspected nuclear-weapons program. -RFE - 1/26/05

A New Museum In Tehran: Home Of Modern Art
Tehran is full of activities, despite the terrible pollution and of course the dreadful, horrendous and never ceasing to amaze traffic. Yet, there are many good events happening in middle of all this mess. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/25/05

MIT Iranian Studies Group Launches the Iranian-American Community Survey 2005
The Iranian Studies Group at MIT has launched the Iranian-American Community Survey 2005, an online survey on the social characteristics of the Iranian-American population. - 1/25/05

Tabriz Metro to pass underneath old quarters
Tabriz metro is going to pass the historical quarters of the city and the archeological site of Kaboud Mosque dating to some three thousand years ago. -CHN - 1/25/05

Should the US bomb Iran?
The debate on the US’s policy options has heated up significantly over the last two weeks...NIAC has prepared four letters to President Bush, each letter adopting a unique perspective and position on how the Bush Administration should conduct its policy vis-à-vis Iran. - 1/25/05

Extra! Extra! Read Nil About It!
George Bush's all-foreign-policy inaugural address offered a globe-enveloping neocon version of a Pax Americana world. -Antiwar.com - 1/25/05

US 'terminates' Iranian website
Iran has accused the US government of ordering an American internet service provider to stop hosting the website of an official Iranian news agency. -BBC - 1/25/05

Iran garners four taekwondo golds at Women's Games
Iran collected four gold medals at taekwondo competitions in the first Islamic and Muslim Capitals' Women's Games in Tehran on Monday. - 1/25/05

What Would A Shi'a Win In Iraq Mean For Mideast?
With Iraq's poll on schedule for 30 January and violence continuing in Sunni areas, the Shi'a majority looks poised to win most of the seats in the new National Assembly. -RFE - 1/25/05

UK still awaiting return of seized boats from Iran
The British government is still awaiting the return of three patrol boats that were detained by Iran after entering their territorial waters seven months ago, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has confirmed. - 1/25/05

Iran: Khamenei says impeachment of ministers not beneficial
In a letter to Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, read by Majlis Vice-Speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar, the leader said, "Thanks God, Majlis in its 7th term has succeeded to adopt a right direction by taking into consideration the demands of the country. - 1/25/05

Iran warns BP over US loyalty
BP has been warned by the Iranian government that it would be overlooked for any future oil and gas deals because of Lord Browne's comments that the energy group would not do any deals in the oil-rich country because that would be "offensive to the US". -Financial Times - 1/25/05

India and China Open First-Ever Strategic Dialogue
India and China have held their first-ever strategic dialogue in the Indian capital. The dialogue marks a significant step forward in bilateral ties between two countries that were at odds throughout the Cold War. - 1/25/05

Quake rattles Saleh-Abad in Iran's western province of Ilam
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the outskirts of Saleh-Abad city in this western province on Tuesday morning. - 1/25/05

Mossad warning over nuclear Iran
Iran could build a nuclear bomb in less than three years, the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency has warned. -BBC - 1/25/05

Reports on Pentagon's New Spy Units Set Off Questions in Congress
members of Congress said Monday that they would seek to determine whether the Pentagon had overstepped its bounds by creating new secret battlefield intelligence units within the Defense Intelligence Agency. -New York Times - 1/25/05

Tehran's Imam International Airport Lies on 3200 Year-old Treasure
Ma’mourin Hill which was the civilization hub of Iron Age 3200 years ago, today finds itself surrounded by the newly built International Airport of Imam. -CHN - 1/25/05

Iranian women, scaling new heights, eye Everest
In May, they hope to be the first Muslim women to reach summit. -CSM - 1/25/05

War on Iran? Madness in High Places
All during the Bush administration's fear-mongering propaganda effort to convince Americans that Saddam and his WMDs were a threat, some of us pointed out that if Iraq's leader actually had such weapons, he'd be crazy to use them against this country. -CounterPunch - 1/25/05

Oil: Soaring Demand, Dipping Reserves, Rising Prices and Looming Conflicts
When oil broke the $50-a-barrel barrier in late 2004, uneasiness rippled through markets and capitals around the world. Some experts in the oil industry said the price spike was merely a taste of what's to come. -RFE - 1/25/05

Rafsanjani underlines Tehran-Baku cooperation
Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and visiting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday underlined the firm determination of Tehran and Baku to upgrade the level of mutual cooperation. - 1/25/05

US 'committed to Iran diplomacy'
President George W Bush is committed to a diplomatic approach to Iran, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said after talks in the US. -BBC - 1/25/05

Solana: EU ready to deepen ties with Iran
EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana praised Iran's decision to suspend uranium enrichment as a "positive step" and underlined the European bloc's desire to boost relations with the Islamic Republic. - 1/25/05

Bush, Cheney Team Up to Soften Americans for War on Iran
Two very different messages about the future of U.S. foreign policy were broadcast to the world on Inaugural Day Thursday, and listeners everywhere could be forgiven for feeling confused about their import. -Jim Lobe, Antiwar.com - 1/25/05

Iran Approaching The Flashpoint
Who stands to gain by perpetuating and intensifying the tension between the Unites States and Iran? It is certainly not Iran; even the staunchest hardliner or religious zealot would prefer to not rule over the dust of a devastated nation. And, it is certainly not the United States of America, whose interests can be much better assured through a rapprochement with a strategically positioned and energy rich Iran. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/25/05

Britain Refuses to Sing to the Same Tune as US Against Iran
In an opinion poll for the Sunday Times 65% of people said Britain should not support US military action against Iran, whereas 16% were in favour of such action. -Radio Farda - 1/24/05

Apolitical Alternative
From the time immemorial, or at least since the emergence of the first religions of the world, humanity’s greatest hope has been the arrival of a savior. What is the root of this ‘emotion,’ ‘approach,’ ‘state of mind,’ or whatever hope is? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/24/05

Shiites in Iraq Say Government Will Be Secular
With the Shiites on the brink of capturing power here for the first time, their political leaders say they have decided to put a secular face on the new Iraqi government they plan to form, relegating Islam to a supporting role. -New York Times - 1/24/05

Photos: Snow in Tehran
Photos of a snowy day in Tehran - Iranian Students News Agency - 1/24/05

Pentagon spy network revealed
A previously unknown intelligence programme set up two years ago by the Pentagon has been operating in states deemed to be "emerging target countries", the Washington Post reported yesterday. -Guardian - 1/24/05

Quake jolts southwestern regions of Iran
A tremor measuring 3.7 on the open-ended Richter scale shook regions between the cities of Boroujen and Lordegan in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari on Monday. - 1/24/05

Bush's global message as a plea to Americans
The president's wide and idealistic optic on America's role, as laid out in his inaugural address last week, may not be the harbinger of new policies or grand new projects, experts and the president's staff say. -CSM - 1/24/05

Iran to Inaugurate Uranium Ore Plant
Iran will inaugurate a uranium ore concentrate production plant near the southern port city of Bandar Abbas within a year, Iran's nuclear chief said. -AP - 1/24/05

Iran's Oil Minister: Global oil supply more than demand
Speaking to reporters after the inauguration of the 13th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Conference in Tehran, the minister told reporters that while oil production and supply in the world market was low it was more than market demand. - 1/24/05

Explosive mix in Pakistan's gas province
Any conflict in Balochistan would involve Iran and Afghanistan, who have substantial Baloch populations. It could also derail the India-Pakistan peace process as Islamabad has accused Delhi of funding and arming the Baloch insurgents - a charge India denies. -BBC - 1/24/05

Are we really going to bomb Iran?
WE followed him into one bloody and pointless war - and now George W Bush is rattling his sabre at Iran. -Mirror, UK - 1/24/05

Iranian President officially greets Azeri counterpart
President Mohammad Khatami accorded his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev an official welcome at Sa'dabad Cultural Complex in Tehran on Monday. - 1/24/05

Iranian and Afghan Presidents to inaugurate completed power project
"The overall capacity of power transmission from Iran to Afghanistan would increase to 60 megawatts with the inauguration of the new transmission line, which covers 212 kilometers and has a 132-kilowatt (power transmission) post," - 1/24/05

Iran tops Straw's talks with Rice, say UK dailies
The British foreign secretary's talks with his upcoming American counterpart in Washington Monday are being followed on Tuesday by Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who along with their French counterpart, have been leading EU negotiations with Iran. - 1/24/05

Shalamberjeh Oil Co becomes operational in Kish Island
In a ceremony held on Kish Island on Monday, the head of board of directors and managing director of Kish Free Trade Zone, Hossein Qassemi inaugurated Shalamberjeh Oil Company. - 1/24/05

Delay in launching Bushehr plant in Iran technical, says Russian ambassador
The causes of the delay in putting into operation the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant are well known and they are all technical, Russia's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Iran Alexander Maryasov said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday. - 1/24/05

Intelligence minister rebuts 'Iran covert operation' claim
"We are eagerly looking for the Americans commandos to come to Iran since they are chicks which would rapidly be picked up by our eagles," he said at a news conference here. - 1/23/05

Road accidents keep Iranians on edge
It's for 16 years that the Iraqi war has ended but Iranians are still at risk of being killed -- this time on roads not on battlefields. - 1/23/05

Japan to donate 112 million yen to rebuild Iran's Arg-e Bam
Japan is to extend a cultural grant of 112 million Japanese yen (9.4 billion rials) to Iran for the reconstruction of the ancient citadel of Arg-e Bam, southeastern Iran, which was ruined by a killer quake in December 2003, it was reported on Sunday. - 1/23/05

GICHD delegation in Iran to inspect mine-infested areas
A delegation of the Geneva-based International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) arrived in Iran on Sunday to inspect mine-infested areas in southern Iran. - 1/23/05

Iranian Aghdashloo pushes cultural boundaries `24'/7
Shohreh Aghdashloo has moved a long way, from the cultural repression of her native Iran to an imagined world of international terrorism. -Boston Herald - 1/23/05

4th unit of Iran's South Pars Gas Field's 4th-5th phase put into operation
Gas injection from the fourth refinery of phases four and five of South Pars gas field development project into the national gas network started on Sunday. - 1/23/05

Iran Won't Let Women Run for President
Iran's hard-line leadership ruled out allowing women to run for president in June elections, denying reports in the state-run media Saturday that it had decided to allow female candidates for the first time. -AP - 1/23/05

Playing Against (Stereo)type
When the creators of ൠ" first approached the Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, whose Oscar-nominated performance in "House of Sand and Fog" in 2003 reignited a film career that had been dormant for nearly 30 years, she turned them away. -New York Times - 1/23/05

Let's attack Iran!
There simply aren't any American troops available to invade Iran, and air strikes will only annoy them. What would really tip the whole area into an acute crisis is a re-radicalised Iran that has concluded that it will never be secure until it has expelled the US from the region. -Gwynne Dyer, ICH - 1/23/05

European expert advises Iran to accede to software copyright
Iran's non-accession to copyright of software is the cause of the international software company's refusal to carry out investment projects in Iran, Peter Schmit, a European software expert said on Sunday. - 1/23/05

Israeli joker in the Iranian poker game
The quotes were accurate but the interpretations were wrong. U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney did indeed say, last Thursday, that Israel "might well decide to act first" to eliminate an Iranian nuclear threat. However, the headlines that claimed Cheney was apprehensive about such a development misunderstood the point he was making. -Ha'aretz, Israel - 1/23/05

Iran-France Cultural Week opens in Tehran
Iran-France Cultural Week opened at Tehran House of Artists on Saturday evening. The inaugural ceremony of the joint cultural week was attended by the French Ambassador to Tehran Francois Nicoullaud and members of Iran-France Friendship Society. - 1/23/05

Persepolis and Bam Citadel to Go Online
If you have not yet traveled to Shiraz or Bam to visit their world-famous historical sites of Persepolis and Bam Citadel, you are now offered new, easily-accessible technologies to reach there. - 1/23/05

Isfahan officials urged to protect magnificence of historical Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Despite the 10-day deadline set by UNESCO to decrease height of Isfahan's Jahan-Nama Tower which is under construction at Naqsh-e Jahan Square, no measures have yet been taken to the effect. - 1/22/05

NATO Chief Urges Europe, U.S. to Agree Iran Policy
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer urged the United States and Europe on Friday to agree a common line on Iran ahead of a summit next month aimed at relaunching transatlantic ties. -Reuters - 1/22/05

Iran, Iraq discuss economic cooperation, debt
The Iraqi economy minister lauded Iran's cooperation in the past and called for finding resolutions on the issue of the loans owed by the country to Iran. - 1/22/05

Iran, Italy sign three MoUs
Iran and Italy signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) evidencing agreements to eliminate double taxation and to cooperate in their small- and medium-size industries, the Persian-language daily 'Abrar-e Eqtesadi' wrote on Saturday. - 1/22/05

ThyssenKrupp official admits to US pressure over Iran leaving board
The chairman of the supervisory board of German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp, Gerhard Cromme, conceded that intense American pressure had forced Iran to give up its seat on the corporate's supervisory board, the daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported Saturday. - 1/22/05

What Could Go Wrong in 2005?
In his 1849 novel, Les Guepes, Alphonse Karr penned the classic line: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." In the case of the United States in 2005, however, the opposite might be true: The more things stay the same, the more they are likely to change…for the worse. -TomDispatch.com - 1/22/05

AT&T Looks Beyond 'Number, Please'
As chief technology and chief information officer, Mr. Eslambolchi is the technological strategist behind AT&T's ambitious turnaround plan to become a data transmission company selling an array of software products like network security systems - with phone calls being just one of many digital services. -New York Times - 1/22/05

Does U.S. Occupation Prevent Civil War in Iraq? Think Again
As the U.S. occupation of Iraq heads toward its third year, there is a remarkable absence of debate over withdrawal, despite the evidence that a clear majority of the American people want out. Many conservatives are uneasy about the occupation but they are unwilling to challenge the administration publicly. -Common Dreams - 1/22/05

28 people die in bus accident in Iran
The accident occurred when a passenger bus skidded off the Haraz mountain road and fell into a 150-meter ravine when the driver swerved to avoid rocks falling from the mountainside Friday evening. - 1/22/05

Death toll from Iran school fire rises to 14 after teacher dies
A teacher who had been sent to Germany for treatment after being severely burnt during a deadly school fire in southwest Iran has succumbed to his injuries, a press report said Saturday. - 1/22/05

Blogs defending free expression to be honoured
Reporters Without Borders invites Internet users to submit outstanding examples of blogs* defending free expression from which a shortlist will be compiled for an online vote to choose the best. - 1/22/05

GC official denies saying Iranian women can run for presidency
He said that no change has been made in the stance of the Guardian Council about the meaning of political and religious personalities 'Rejal'. And the body still believes that Rejal means men. - 1/22/05

PHOTOS: Chalous, Iran’s Caspian Region
Recently I took a few days off with a few friends and headed for Shomal, near the Caspian Sea. The predicted bad weather did not materialize and we had a nice and easy journey. During these few days we experienced such varieties of scenery, views, weather and people. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/21/05

The Democrats and Iran: Look Who's Backing Bush's Next War
By now you have probably heard about the Bush Administration's secret plan to attack Iran and how US Special Forces units have been operating in the country for some time. Seymour Hersh, the maverick journalist for The New Yorker, broke the story earlier this week. -Counterpunch - 1/21/05

Iranian President terms his 7-nation African tour as fruitful
Upon his return from the 10-day seven-nation tour to the African continent, President Mohammad Khatami told reporters at Mehrabad Airport on Thursday night that if the visit had taken place three years ago, its positive impact on Iran's economy, policies and international status would have been evident. - 1/21/05

Cheney says Iran tops US trouble spot list
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says that Iran is at the top of the administration's list of world trouble spots and expressed concern that Israel "might well decide to act first" to eliminate any nuclear threat from Tehran. -Reuters - 1/21/05

International Committee to Save Historical Remains of Tang-e-Bolaghi
The 18 km Tang-e-Bolaghi is located 4 kilometers from the world heritage site of Pasargadae and is considered part of the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty. Scholars believe it has been the kingdom route and the most important road of the country during the Achaemenid time, connecting Pasargadae to Persepolis and Susa. -CHN - 1/21/05

President: Iran will strongly stand up to any aggression
Iran will strongly stand up to any aggression, President Mohammad Khatami said on Thursday asked by a reporter about the military threat the US posed to Iran. - 1/21/05

Bush Bad for Global Peace, US Image, World Believes
The survey of nearly 22,000 people in 21 countries, conducted by GlobeScan with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the University of Maryland for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), found that pessimists about Bush's impact on global security outnumbered optimists by more than a two-to-one margin. -IPS - 1/21/05

BP Avoids Iran Because of U.S. Sanctions, Browne Says
BP Plc, the world's second-largest publicly traded oil company, will avoid doing business in Iran because of U.S. sanctions, focusing instead on Russia, Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, Chief Executive John Browne said. -Bloomberg - 1/21/05

Europe, U.S. in Good-Cop, Bad-Cop Roles with Iran
Iran may be a source of transatlantic tension for now but a shared commitment to curbing its nuclear program could draw Washington and Europe closer in George W. Bush's second term. -Reuters - 1/21/05

Not One Bad News Bearer in Bush's Inner Circle
Can you believe this administration's insanity? Bush intends to rise from the ashes of defeat in Iraq by invading Iran, a country three times the size in population and geography? Does it remind you of Adolf Hitler who, unable to invade tiny England, marches his army off into Russia? - 1/21/05

Iran 'forced' Afghans to go home
The United Nations refugee chief says thousands of Afghans may have been forced to return to Afghanistan because of Iran's policies. -BBC - 1/21/05

Security aspect of Turkcell agreement should be guaranteed by Information Ministry
Information Ministry, in a formal letter, stated eight conditions to be met before it would confirm security for the Irancell consortium, the local partner in the project. - 1/21/05

Smiles for the family, a fiery warning for the world
George Bush began his second presidential term yesterday with a call to American action abroad, committing the US to the spread of global democracy and "ending tyranny in our world". -Guardian - 1/21/05

Iraq: What Would A Shi'a Victory In The 30 January Vote Mean?
In recent days, Iraq's Shi'a politicians have spoken increasingly frankly about the likelihood that the 30 January vote will produce a Shi'a-majority National Assembly. -RFE - 1/21/05

Iran, Iraq explore avenues for expanding trade
Visiting Iraqi Finance Minister Abdil Abd al-Mahdi met with Iran Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari in Tehran on Thursday, discussing ways for expansion of bilateral trade exchanges. - 1/21/05

Bush Starts Second Term Focused On Iraq, Iran, And 'Promoting Freedom'
Bush's foreign policy priorities for his second term include Iraq, Iran and promoting democracy around the world. -RFE - 1/21/05

Second Persian Gulf Aviation Exhibition ends
Under an agreement signed between a Dutch company and an Iranian private sector company, the Dutch company has agreed to construct 25 Fokker planes for the Iranian company by 2007. - 1/21/05

Iranian Journalist and weblogger arrested
Reporters Without Borders has called for the immediate release of journalist Arash Sigarchi who was arrested on 17 January 2005, after responding to a summons from the intelligence ministry in Rashat in the north of the country. - 1/21/05

Iran: Perfect Demography, Lousy Economy
Iran has a demographic profile that some development experts regard as a dream. The high birth rate of the 1980s created an enormous pool of young adults beginning to pour into the labor force. But Iran is no Taiwan or Singapore. The Shia Muslim nation's economy is so strangled by government control and regulation that it produces too few jobs to absorb all those college grads. -Business Week - 1/21/05

US Denies Report of Military Teams in Iran
The U.S. government has strongly denied a report by a prominent American journalist that it has sent small military teams into Iran to identify sites for possible future attacks. But the report and denials have generated a controversy about U.S. policy toward Iran, as President Bush’s second term is beginning. -VOA - 1/21/05

US attack 'madness', says Khatami
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has described as "madness" the possibility of an American strike on his country. "We believe that the probability of America's attack on Iran is very negligible. America faces major problems in Iraq and elsewhere." -BBC - 1/20/05

Iranian delegation holds wide-ranging talks in Paris
An Iranian delegation outlined the country's peaceful nuclear activities and Tehran's role in the Middle East developments in a meeting with several deputies of the French National Assembly and EU representatives in Paris on Wednesday evening. - 1/20/05

Zandi to play for Iran's national football team: German official
"I ultimately see the Iranian offer as a great chance, as a challenge, which is very interesting in view of the 2006 World Cup," Zandi was quoted as saying in the statement. - 1/20/05

Brazil retains top spot of FIFA rankings, Iran remains 20th
World champion Brazil remained top of the FIFA world rankings in the first release for 2005 and 20th-placed Iran did not move. - 1/20/05

US should learn from past mistake, says Iranian ambassador
Iran's Ambassador to Britain, Mohammad Hossein Adeli, warned Thursday that the US should learn that waging war and disrespecting allies only create tension and distrust with other countries. - 1/20/05

Central Bank of Iran governor slams bill on reducing banking rates
Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said in Tehran on Wednesday that the ramification of the bill on reducing banking deposit and interest rates may be favorable in the short term, but it will be bitter in the long haul. - 1/20/05

Bush's Democracy Project
In identifying six "outposts of tyranny" (Cuba, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Belarus, and Zimbabwe), Rice indicates the neoconservative outlook is alive and well (although she specifically said the US has no plan to attack North Korea, while Bush suggested he retains a military option against Iran's nuclear program). -CSM - 1/20/05

The twin pillars
Sitting in his white and blue study at the back of 10 Downing Street, a tired-looking Tony Blair still manages to radiate optimism about the second term of George Bush. There has, he says, been a clear "evolution" of American policy. The prime minister has witnessed this in successive conversations with the president. -Guardian - 1/20/05

Iranian FM: US threats only a psychological warfare
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi termed as mere psychological warfare some recent threats by American officials to attack Iran. - 1/20/05

Karzai Turns Afghan Warlord Into Potential Ally
When Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced his cabinet on 23 December, most observers hailed it as a technocratic team mostly devoid of warlords and other unsavory elements among Afghanistan's powerful personalities. -RFE - 1/20/05

China's risky scramble for oil
Look at this imbalance: The average American consumes 25 barrels of oil a year. In China, the average is about 1.3 barrels per year; in India, less than one. So as the 2.4 billion Chinese and Indians move to improve their living standards, they're going to want more oil - likely more than can be produced. -CSM - 1/20/05

Iran media scorn New Yorker story
Iranian media commentators are refusing to take seriously a claim in the American news magazine The New Yorker that US special forces are operating in Iran targeting military sites as a prelude to a possible military strike. -BBC - 1/20/05

Democrats Delay Final Approval of Rice for State Dept.
Senate Democrats on Wednesday delayed until next week the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, a pointed but symbolic gesture of their skepticism about the administration's plans for Iraq. -New York Times - 1/20/05

Iraq's critical Sistani factor
While it's difficult to predict much about Iraq's election and the country that will emerge, the leading Shiite cleric and the ayatollahs who follow him say that they are not planning to remake Iraq in Iran's image, with direct clerical rule. -CSM - 1/20/05

North Korea Said To Be 'Serious' About Giving Up Nuclear Arms Development
A senior member of the U.S. Congress has returned from a visit to communist North Korea with a relatively optimistic assessment of prospects for ending the international dispute over its nuclear capability. -RFE - 1/20/05

World fears new Bush era
George Bush will be sworn in as president of the United States for a second term today in a lavish Washington ceremony, amid mounting international concern that his new administration will make the world a more dangerous place -Guardian - 1/20/05

Danish Archaeologists in Search of Vikings in Iran
Researchers from the Copenhagen Museum in Denmark have traveled to the coasts of the Caspian Sea, northern Iran, in search of clues of relationships between Iranians and Vikings. - 1/20/05

Why the hawks are circling over Iran
As George W Bush prepares for a second term, his administration is setting its sights on Iran. But, Rupert Cornwell reports, a new foreign policy adventure could be disastrous. -Independent - 1/19/05

US "wrong" about feasibility of EU deal with Iran, says UK's Straw
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Wednesday dismissed reports that the US may be contemplating military action against Iran while saying that Washington was wrong to be skeptical about the EU being able to reach a deal on Iran's nuclear program. - 1/19/05

Iranian Counternarcotics Agencies In Bureaucratic Struggle
Brigadier General Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who heads Iran's national police force, told reporters on 15 January that the authorities have seized more than 200 tons of drugs in the last nine months, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. -RFE - 1/19/05

Fleming denies report on IAEA second visit to Iran's Parchin site
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, on Wednesday vehemently denied the report that the IAEA plans to go back to Parchin military site in Iran after a first inspection last Thursday - 1/19/05

UN seeks return to Iranian site
The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, wants its inspectors to return to Iran's Parchin military site. -BBC - 1/19/05

Afghan refugees in Iran face increasing difficulties - UNHCR
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reiterated its concern over the fate of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees in Iran, who are finding it harder and harder to remain in the host country, which sheltered them since 1979. -IRIN - 1/19/05

Next Stop, Tehran?
"Real men want to go to Tehran." So went the mordant barroom quip--variously attributed to Undersecretary of State John Bolton and other neoconservative hawks--during the --long buildup to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein's ruling clique in Baghdad, it was said, would be only the first in a series of rogue regimes to get crushed under the Bush Administration's heel. -Progressive - 1/19/05

Rice Urges World Unity in Pressing Iran and North Korea to End Their Nuclear Programs
Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice Tuesday urged international unity in insisting that Iran and North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. She said if the current European initiative with Iran falters, the matter should go to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. -VOA - 1/19/05

Iranian FM spokesman advises US not to fall into trap of extremists
Referring to the recent remarks of George Bush and Condoleezza Rice, he said that the US in the past years has kept falling into numerous troubles due to the policies and approaches adopted by the extremist neo-conservatives. - 1/19/05

Iran-China trade exchanges top 7 billion dollars: Chinese ambassador
Talking to reporters, the ambassador said that 50 percent of the above-stated figure was accounted for by crude imports by China from Iran. - 1/19/05

Iran, Calling Bush's Words 'Threats,' Says It Is Not Intimidated
A number of Iranian officials declared Tuesday that Iran would not be intimidated by threats, a day after President Bush refused to rule out military action against Iran if it continued to pursue nuclear weapons. -New York Times - 1/19/05

Iranian President Visits Zimbabwe
Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is holding talks in Zimbabwe with President Robert Mugabe and other senior leaders of the ruling Zanu PF Party. -VOA - 1/19/05

Tremors jolt Iran's Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Khuzestan provinces
Tremors registering 4.6 degrees on the open-endee richter scale jolted here Tuesday the border town of 'Lali' between he southwestern province of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Khuzestan. - 1/19/05

Iraqi Defense Minister Continues Accusations Against Iran, Syria
There has been no abatement of Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim al-Sha'lan's accusations of Iranian and Syrian interference in Iraqi affairs. -RFE - 1/19/05

Bush Says All Options On The Table For Iran's Nuclear Program
Amid growing speculation about U.S. intentions, President George W. Bush yesterday restated his position on the issue of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. -RFE - 1/19/05

Neocons turn their attention to Iran
As a result, new exiled Iranian opposition groups backed by some of Washington's neoconservatives are springing up in the hope of seeing large doses of US funding. One such group the Alliance for Democracy in Iran is taking shape, strategically located in the heart of the capital's think-tank quarter. Activists described it as an opposition umbrella group that would act as a “clearing house” for US taxpayers' money dedicated to advancing the cause of democracy. -Financial Times - 1/18/05

Photos: Fish and Vegetable Market in Chalous, Iran
Last weekend with a few friends, we went to venture in the Caspian area again. I have several picture report for you and this is the first one from the Fish and Vegetable Market in Chalous. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/18/05

Renowned Scholars to Unravel the Iranian Nuclear Threat
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) today announced it will be hosting an educational forum with Dr. Ivan Eland, a national security expert, and Dr. Ali Nayeri, an MIT physicist, on Iran’s Nuclear Issue entitled "Peering through the Fog of Nuclear Proliferation". The forum will be held on Sunday, January 23rd at Faz restaurant in Sunnyvale, California beginning at 5:00 PM. - 1/18/05

Between Iraq’s colonialist and Islamist quagmire the "third way" is hard but possible
Iraq, 18 months after the military occupation, remains a focus of dispute and debate among a large number of political groups, including some on the left. The main challenge is the resistance and anti-occupation movement, and the issue at stake is the nature of this movement and how to deal with it. This question (or questions) has brought about a rift among sections of the left and progressive forces outside Iraq. -Ardeshir Mehrdad, Iran Bulletin - 1/18/05

Iran: Judiciary chief saves four youngsters from death sentence
Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi on Tuesday saved four youngsters from going to the gallows for hijacking an Iranian airliner on a domestic flight in 2001. - 1/18/05

German Chancellor Schroeder "hopeful" on reaching permanent EU-Iran political accord
Asked about America's refusal to join the EU-Iran talks, the German leader said, "The United States has decided not to take part in the negotiations (with Iran) and I have to respect it. But it's not like the three European states are not communicating with their American friends and allies on this question." - 1/18/05

US rebuts 'Iran covert op' claim
The Pentagon has hit back at claims by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that US commandos have been carrying out covert operations inside Iran. -BBC - 1/18/05

2nd international aviation exhibition opens in Iran's Kish island
The second, four-day 'International Aviation Exhibition' renamed 'Persian Gulf Aviation Exhibition' kicked off on the southern Iranian island of Kish on Tuesday. - 1/18/05

OMV Makes First Oil Discovers oil in Iran
OMV subsidiary, OMV Iran Onshore Exploration GmbH, has made its first oil discovery on Mehr Block in the Zagros region of western Iran. - 1/18/05

Iraqi Women See Challenges, Opportunities In Vote
With almost a third of the names on each candidate list, women look set to become a major power in the National Assembly that will be elected on 30 January. -RFE - 1/18/05

Iran: Parliament approves bill authorizing probes into Judiciary's performance
Iran's Parliament (Majlis) on Tuesday approved a bill that would authorize it to conduct investigations into the performance of the Judiciary. The bill was approved by a vote of 223-165 of MPs present in Tuesday's open session of Majlis. - 1/18/05

U.S. Is Punishing 8 Chinese Firms for Aiding Iran
The Bush administration imposed penalties this month against some of China's largest companies for aiding Iran's efforts to improve its ballistic missiles. -New York Times - 1/18/05

Bush Won't Rule Out Action Against Iran Over Nukes
President Bush said on Monday he would not rule out military action against Iran if that country was not more forthcoming about its suspected nuclear weapons program. -Reuters - 1/18/05

Kennedy says Iraq is 'Bush's Vietnam'
Senator Edward M. Kennedy said yesterday that President Bush's Iraq policy is ''ridiculous" and disputed Bush's statement that the 2004 reelection validated the war. Iraq is ''Bush's Vietnam," Kennedy said. -Boston Globe - 1/18/05

Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees likely to return home this year – UN
Hundreds of thousands of the estimated 3 million Afghans still living in exile in Pakistan and Iran will likely return home this year but the pace of repatriation to their war-ravaged country should not be speeded up, according to the head of the United Nations refugee agency. - 1/18/05

Iran rejects US operations claims
Iran has dismissed a report in the US media that US commandos are conducting missions on Iranian territory to identify targets for possible strikes. -BBC - 1/18/05

Iranian Nobel Laureate Follows in King's Footsteps
Almost exactly 40 years after Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, in recognition of his non-violent struggle for civil rights in the United States, another Nobel Peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi, said she was ready to be arrested for refusing to appear before Iran's Revolutionary Court. -IPS - 1/18/05

Price Controls Get Mixed Reception In Iran
"Young physicians in our country live below the poverty line," Dr. Iraj Khosronia, head of the General Practitioners Society, said in a 15 January interview, "Resalat" reported the next day. -RFE - 1/18/05

Now US ponders attack on Iran
President Bush's second inauguration on Thursday will provide the signal for an intense and urgent debate in Washington over whether or when to extend the "global war on terror" to Iran, according to officials and foreign policy analysts in Washington. -Guardian - 1/18/05

Ebadi condemns Iran prison regime
Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi has issued a bold appeal to outlaw the use of solitary confinement in jails. -BBC - 1/18/05

EU underlines that dialogue and engagement with Iran will continue
The European Union Tuesday took a clear distance from the aggressive American approach towards Iran and stressed that the process of engagement with the Islamic Republic will continue. - 1/18/05

Justice Department official ends controversy over summoning human rights activist Shirin Ebadi to court
The controversy over summoning the human rights activist Mrs. Shirin Ebadi to the revolutionary court ended on Monday after the head of Tehran province's Justice Department Abbasali Alizadeh accepted that there has been a private complaint on the ground. - 1/17/05

Iran rejects charges of forced repatriation of Afghan refugees
Iran brushed aside Monday the UN refugee agency head's allegation that it was forcing Afghan refugees to go home, saying the claim is based on 'improper information'. - 1/17/05

Iran's women continue to defy hardliners
The six Iranian women and four men who make up the Mehr-Banoo classical music band are given a warm reception by an enthusiastic crowd in northern Tehran. -Financial Times - 1/17/05

Iran: Samples Will Prove Nukes Peaceful
Iran said Sunday that environmental samples taken from a military complex this weekend by U.N. nuclear inspectors will prove that the country's atomic program is for peaceful purposes and not making weapons, as the United States alleges. -AP - 1/17/05

BATTLE LESSONS: What the generals don’t know
During the early weeks of the Iraq war, the television set in my office was tuned all day to CNN, with the sound muted. On the morning of April 3rd, as the Army and the Marines were closing in on Baghdad, I happened to look up at what appeared to be a disaster in the making. -New Yorker - 1/17/05

Play's opening in Iran may help rebuild trust after war
AN AWARD-winning Fringe play based on the diary of a Palestinian writer is being staged in Iran. When the Bulbul Stopped Singing was adapted by Scotland’s leading contemporary playwright, David Greig, for the Traverse Theatre. The cast and crew travel to Tehran this week to play at the International Fadjr Theatre Festival in a trip backed by the British Council. -Scotsman, UK - - 1/17/05

Analysis: Is Iran next for US military?
With the formal start of the second Bush administration only days away, an article in the latest New Yorker magazine suggests that Iran is now squarely in the US president's sights. -BBC - 1/17/05

As Rice Prepares to Move Up, Diplomacy May Be on Rise, Too
Ms. Rice's goals vary from restoring America's reputation in the capitals of Europe through a vigorous campaign of public diplomacy to actively promoting free institutions throughout the Middle East and renewing involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and include a heightened focus on free trade and economic issues, associates say. -New York Times - 1/17/05

Iran engineers begin training at Novovoronezh center
According to Bekhbudi, in 2005 the Novovoronezh center will conclude training of engineers for work at the first nuclear power plant of Iran. Over 600 engineers have already undergone training here and a total of over 700 specialists will be trained. - 1/17/05

German official denies report on Zandi joining Iranian national soccer team
A spokesman for German Bundesliga club FC Kaiserslautern on Monday denied Iranian media reports about an agreement between German-Iranian midfielder Fereydoon Zandi and the Iran Football Federation on him joining the Iranian national football team. - 1/17/05

Quake panicks residents in northwest Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale shook the city of Bostanabad in East Azarbaijan province early Monday morning, with no report of damage or probable casualties. - 1/17/05

Iran's population growth rate has averaged 1.4 percent
Management and Plan Organization (MPO) said here Sunday that the annual average population growth rate is 1.4 percent. - 1/17/05

THE COMING WARS: What the Pentagon can now do in secret
In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. “Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,’” the former intelligence official told me. “But they say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned—not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there.” -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 1/17/05

Iranian hercules Rezazadeh stands seventh in AIPS rankings
World and Olympic +105 kg weightlifting record-holder, Hossein Rezazadeh from Iran, stood seventh in 2004 rankings of the Association International de la Presse Sportive (AIPS) Saturday. - 1/16/05

Neo-Conservatives at Sea
Jubilant over President George W. Bush's re-election victory just two months ago, neo-conservatives who played a leading role in shaping the radical trajectory of U.S. foreign policy after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks appear increasingly divided on key issues and uncertain of their position in Bush's second term. -IPS - 1/16/05

Good Work Deserves Good Reporting
Dating Iran's cultural history four thoudans years prior to the existence of Iran or the Iranians; or giving wrong figures for the dimensions of a Parthian town, may damage the credibility of an otherwise praiseworthy organization. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/16/05

An Iranian Cleric Turns Blogger for Reform
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a vice president of Iran until his resignation last fall in protest against the new hard-line Parliament, is that rare reformist who has kept alive the movement's promise for open communications with the public. -New York Times - 1/16/05

Punishment sought for those culpable in Iran school fire
Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel demanded Sunday that those responsible for the deaths of 13 children in a fire in southwest Iran be duly dealt with. - 1/16/05

Iran asks citizens to avoid travel to Iraq
Iran on Sunday advised its citizens to avoid travel to Iraq, warning them of the hazardous security situation in the neighboring war-wracked state. - 1/16/05

Iranian Nobel Winner in Danger of Arrest - Shirin Ebadi Will Defy Summons, She Says
An Iranian Revolutionary Court order threatening the arrest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi places all human rights defenders in Iran at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. - 1/16/05

Iran wins Deaflympic football silver
Iran, which came from 1-0 down in Olympic Park, was stunned in the additional time by Britain that grabbed the winner with a free-kick awarded by the linesman. - 1/16/05

Top Iranian lifters boycott Bulgaria camp
National lifters last Tuesday decided to put the national camp on hold as a gesture of protest at sidelining Iranian trainer Bahman Zare'. - 1/16/05

Soldier Serves as Scapegoat in Iraq Prison Scandal While Higher-Ups Duck Responsibility
While the accused Abu Ghraib ringleader, Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr., provides a tempting scapegoat for the widening American POW abuse scandal, no legitimate investigation can stop short of the White House and the Pentagon. -Newsday - 1/16/05

U.N. Mulls Fallout of Less Afghan Military
Eased-up American military operations could persuade former Taliban militants to return home from countries such as Pakistan, the chief of the U.N. refugee agency said Saturday. -AP - 1/16/05

Army base 'has damaged Babylon'
Coalition forces in Iraq have caused irreparable damage to the ancient city of Babylon, the British Museum says. -BBC - 1/16/05

New U.S. Commander Sees Shift in Military Role in Iraq
The American military's main mission in Iraq after the Jan. 30 elections will be to train Iraqi military and police forces to take over security duties, a task that could involve assigning thousands of additional Army advisers to Iraqi units, says the general who will take over next month as American ground commander in Iraq. -New York Times - 1/16/05

Stability in Iraq essential to improving trade ties with Iran
The head of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce said in Tehran on Sunday that efforts to give the Iraqi market a greater share in international transactions would not bear fruit as long as political conditions in the war-torn country does not improve. - 1/16/05

Iraian Nobel Laureate Summoned Before Revolutionary Court For Unspecified Charges
Iran's judiciary has ordered Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, to appear before the hard-line Revolutionary Court for questioning or face arrest. Ebadi has until 16 January to appear before the court. Ebadi's team of lawyers has been involved in several high-profile human rights cases recently, but the reason for her summons is unclear. -RFE - 1/15/05

Quake shakes Khorramabad suburb in western Iran again
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale for the second time jolted the outskirts of Khorramabad city in the western province of Lorestan on Saturday evening. - 1/15/05

Exhibition of 7000 Years of Iranian Art may stay longer in Europe
The exhibition of 7000 years of Iranian art due to return to Iran from Croatia at the end of January, 2005, may stay in Europe as Portuguese cultural officials are in favor of showing 178 valuable Iranian artifacts in their country. - 1/15/05

In Search of Quality Amid a Glut of Oriental Rugs
Oriental rugs have long been valued for their artistry and durability, not to mention their association with taste and gentility. But these days you don't need to be a Brahmin to buy one. There is a glut of affordable Oriental rugs on the market, thanks to the end in 2000 of a 20-year embargo on Iranian textiles and an expanding range of other floor covering options. -New York Times - 1/15/05

Factional Unrest Is Dividing the Shiites of Southern Iraq
This would seem to be a time for rejoicing by the Shiites of Basra as their long-downtrodden majority appears likely, at last, to claim its rightful powers. Major Shiite leaders here express confidence in their prospects, and in their ability to reach out to other groups. -New York Times - 1/15/05

Quake shakes Dehdasht in southwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Dehdasht in this southwestern province Saturday. - 1/15/05

Ebadi: I Won't Obey Iran Court Summons
Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said Saturday she won't obey a summons by the hard-line Revolutionary Court even though she could be arrested, a challenge to the powerful body that has tried and convicted many intellectuals. -AP - 1/15/05

Conditions for the Persian Gulf Museum competition to be announced in February
Hossein Mar’ashi, director of Iranian cultural heritage & tourism organization, said the conditions for the Persian Gulf museum competition would be announced in Feb. 19, 2005. - 1/15/05

Iranian President hits back at US over rights abuse charges
President Mohammad Khatami rejected Saturday US charges of human rights violations in Iran, denouncing Washington's own record in abusing prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. - 1/15/05

Iranian hardliners aim to ban west's advertising icons
The Iranian parliament has taken the first steps towards banning advertisements for imported goods as part of a campaign against foreign cultural influence, newspapers in Tehran said yesterday -Guardian - 1/14/05

School fire kills 13 students in southwestern Iran
In the disaster which took place at an elementary school, seven girls and six boys lost their lives, the governor of the town of Lordegan, Aqajan Alijani added. - 1/14/05

Bush under fire over human rights
America's human rights abuses have provided a rallying cry for terrorists and set a bad example to regimes seeking to justify their own poor rights records, a leading independent watchdog said yesterday. -Guardian - 1/14/05

HSV's Mahdavikia to remain on bench once Bundesliga resumes: coach
Hamburg's reserve forward Mehdi Mahdavikia has not practiced well enough in winter training camp to warrant a return to the starting formation, the kicker sports magazine quoted Hamburg coach Thomas Doll as saying Friday. - 1/14/05

U.S. Panel Sees Iraq as Terror Training Area
The war in Iraq could provide an important training ground for terrorists, according to a government forecast that also says the key factors behind terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. -New York Times - 1/14/05

Israel doubts Iran nuke freeze deal
Israeli officials have voiced serious doubts in public for the first time over European Union efforts to persuade Iran to abandon what Israel and the United States see as a covert quest for a nuclear bomb. -Reuters - 1/14/05

Soros supports mullahs: The left embraces yet another enemy
On Jan. 13, 2005, the pro-mullah American-Iranian Council joined forces with George Soros's Open Society Institute to host Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, to give a talk titled, "The View from Tehran." -WorldNetDaily - 1/14/05

Insurgents, Bent On Ethnic Strife, Kill Iraqi Shiites
Gunmen killed two representatives of Iraqi Shiites' most senior leader this week as insurgents stepped up efforts to provoke ethnic strife ahead of Iraq's Jan. 30 election. At the same time, Shiite leaders weighed ways to include minority Sunnis in a post-election government. -Farnaz Fassihi WSJ - 1/14/05

U.S. condemns Nobel-laureate's harassment
The United States has told Iran it will continue to closely follow actions against Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. -UPI - 1/14/05

Nobel winner queries Iran summons
Iranian Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi has said a judicial order calling on her to appear in court is unlawful. -BBC - 1/14/05

UNDP to implement 10 environmental projects in Iran
Iran's Department of Environment (DoE) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are to jointly implement 10 environmental projects, with each project costing approximately dlrs 25,000-50,000, it was reported here Thursday. - 1/14/05

Iraq's Neighbors View Upcoming Elections From Radically Different Perspectives
All of Iraq's neighbors -- Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey -- say they support national elections scheduled for 30 January. However, neighboring states all have different hopes and fears about the vote. -RFE - 1/14/05

Making Sense of the Policy Process: A Guide for the Iranian-American Community
How can the Iranian-American community become influential? How do issues or ideas get on the public agenda? Who or what grabs the attention of policymakers? What patterns guide the process of transforming an idea into policy? -NIAC - 1/14/05

Iran's Khatami Takes African Tour to Strengthen Ties
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami has started a scheduled seven-nation African tour, with his delegation working on cooperation agreements in Nigeria. - 1/14/05

Human Rights First: End Harassment of Iranian Nobel Winner
"It is not coincidental that this summons should occur the day after EU representatives resumed trade talks with the Iranian government," commented Neil Hicks, Director of International Programs at Human Rights First. "Powerful factions within the government are determined that there should be no normalization of relations between Iran and the West. - 1/14/05

EU, Iran end political dialogue on positive note
European Union and Iranian officials concluded the fourth round of political negotiations in Brussels Thursday afternoon on a positive note. - 1/14/05

Haraz Ghanbari Is NPPA's National Student Photographer Of The Year
The eight-year journey from blurry to award-winning photography has been documented every step of the way. Ghanbari has gathered so many clippings from freelancing for local papers to interning for the Associated Press that it would take a long, rainy day just to flick through them all. - 1/14/05

Human Rights Watch World Report 2005: Iran
Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and opinion, deteriorated in 2004. Torture and ill-treatment in detention, including indefinite solitary confinement, are used routinely to punish dissidents. - 1/14/05

EU, Iran resume political dialogue
European Union and Iranian officials resumed political negotiations in Brussels on Thursday morning. The fourth round of the political dialogue consists of issues such as human rights, regional security in the Middle East, the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. - 1/13/05

Iran garners Deaflympic freestyle wrestling medals, top spot
Iranian freestyle wrestlers completed their fellow countrymen's brilliant performance in Greco-Roman event of the 20th Deaflympic Games, bagging six colorful medals in Melbourne on Thursday. Iran snatched four golds, one silver, and one bronze, standing top with 64 points. - 1/13/05

Fourteen Iranian women climbers to Fourth stage of preparatory test
Participating in the third preparatory camp to review ice skills over Abnik icefall in Rudbar-e-qasran area near Tehran, fourteen women climbers were selected to take part in fourth stage of elementary test for arranging Iranian Women Expedition to Mount Everest. -Iran Mountain Zone - 1/13/05

Iran bags bronze at Deaflympic volleyball meet
Iran trounced the Russian team in three consecutive sets, winning 25-18 25-19 25-18. - 1/13/05

School fire kills pupils in Iran
A fire at a village school in south-west Iran has killed at least 16 pupils, Iranian state media report. -BBC - 1/13/05

Aide to Iraqi Shia leader killed
A representative of Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric has been assassinated along with four bodyguards and his son. -BBC - 1/13/05

US Search for WMD in Iraq is Over: Report
The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ended before Christmas and an interim report by top US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer saying that there are no weapons to be found will likely stand, according to a report in a US newspaper. -AFP - 1/13/05

Victim's Family Pardons Iranian Woman
A woman who spent seven years on death row in Iran has been spared execution by the family of the police chief she stabbed to death and sexually mutilated for trying to rape her. -AP - 1/13/05

Israel's Shimon Peres Speaks To Radio Farda
Peres:: Iran is a problem for the rest of the world, not only for Israel. And we don't want to narrow it to Iranian-Israeli relations. - 1/13/05

Iran-Azerbaijan talks on Caspian Sea positive
Iran's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Republic Afshar Soleymani said on Thursday that the talks between Tehran and Baku on Caspian Sea affairs are following a positive trend. - 1/13/05

Quake jolts city of Behbahan in southwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Behbahan in the southwestern province of Khuzestan Thursday morning. - 1/13/05

Lack of infrastructure and jobs impedes return of Afghan refugees
Lack of infrastructure and livelihood opportunities in the southern belt of Afghanistan, the region of origin of a large majority of Afghans living in Pakistan, has been impeding returns -IRIN - 1/13/05

Soros Group Raises Stakes in Battle with US Neo-Cons
A group of billionaire philanthropists are to donate tens of millions more dollars to develop progressive political ideas in the US in an effort to counter the conservative ascendancy. -Financial Times - 1/13/05

China Goes Beyond Oil in Forging Ties to Persian Gulf
Lured by the world's largest oil reserves and some markets considered too risky by Western companies, China is quickly becoming a major economic player in the Persian Gulf, making deals in transportation and technology, showcasing its consumer goods and shoring up agreements to meet its enormous energy needs. -New York Times - 1/13/05

Iranian President wraps up Nigeria's visit, heads for Senegal
Visiting Iranian President Mohammad Khatami here Thursday was officially seen off by his Nigerian counterpart Olusegan Obasanjo. - 1/13/05

Two quakes shake Khorramabad in western Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale for the second time shook Khorramabad, the capital of the western province of Lorestan on Thursday. - 1/13/05

UNHCR concerned over wave of Afghan refugee arrests in Iran
Hundreds of Afghans have been arrested by Iranian police in a crackdown against illegal migrants, according to press reports. -IRIN - 1/13/05

Iranian rape case woman pardoned
An Iranian woman sentenced to death for killing a police official she said had tried to rape her has been pardoned by the victim's family, officials said. - 1/13/05

Five Iranians in Deaflympic wrestling finals
Five freestyle wrestlers of Iran booked berths in the final bouts of the 20th Deaflympic Games in Melbourne on Wednesday. - 1/12/05

Afghan Poppies Bloom
After three years of ignoring opium poppy cultivation in war-ravaged Afghanistan, the United States has suddenly changed course. -AlterNet - 1/12/05

Ayatollah alarms Sunnis with pledge of security force purge
AN IRANIAN-BACKED Ayatollah tipped to become Iraq’s first elected leader in decades said yesterday that he would carry out a purge of Iraq’s intelligence and security structures if his party wins power. -Times, UK - 1/12/05

Iran denies execution by stoning
Iran has fiercely denied that it executes juvenile criminals or stones people to death, as some human rights groups have alleged. -BBC - 1/12/05

U.S. urges Iran to dispel concerns
The U.S. State Department said Monday the Iranian nuclear program continues to be a cause of concern for the United States. -UPI - 1/12/05

US, Russia Close to Agreement on Portable Missiles
Later Tuesday, Minister Ivanov met with President Bush at the White House. He said they discussed a variety of issues, including Russia's plans to tightly control nuclear fuel that is to be used in a nuclear reactor it has built in Iran. -VOA - 1/12/05

EU,Iran resume trade and cooperation negotiations
European Union and Iranian negotiators resumed talks in Brussels Wednesday morning on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the 25-member European bloc and the Islamic Republic. - 1/12/05

Iran's exports to Austria up 4-fold in 2004
Iran's exports to Austria from January to September 2004 increased four times compared to the figure reported for the same period in 2003, it was announced in Vienna on Tuesday. - 1/12/05

Agreement to export water from Iran to Kuwait not to be implemented
Deputy Minister of Energy for water affairs, Reza Ardakanian, here Wednesday said that the agreement signed between Iran and Kuwait is invalid since it has not undergone the relevant legal formalities. - 1/12/05

Iran: Afghans Reportedly Being Arrested And Deported
Reports say Iranian authorities over the past two weeks have arrested a large number of Afghans and begun deporting them back to their country. -RFE - 1/12/05

Stoning has been dropped from Iranian penal code, spokesman
Stoning has been dropped from the penal code for a long time, the Judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad said on Tuesday. - 1/12/05

EU revives negotiations with Iran after WMD commitment
The EU will today defy the US and resume trade talks with Iran in the hope of opening up one of the world's fastest-growing countries to greater foreign investment. -Guardian - 1/12/05

Iranian government, parliament trying to resolve issues with foreign contracts
Iran in implementing its fourth five-year development plan (March 2005-2010) needs to bolster its trade ties with other countries, the economy and finance minister underlined. - 1/12/05

British Museum to Loan Cyrus Cylinder to Iran for 2 Years
After its renovation process is finished, Iran’s National Museum will be the host of Cyrus Cylinder for 2 years. - 1/12/05

Iran's track-and-field team shining in Deaflympic
Habibollah Kia of Iran outclassed his opponents in the triple jump, winning the second gold medal for Iran. The Iranian athlete set a record of 14.55m in Melbourne's Olympic Park. - 1/12/05

Iranian online journalist Javad Gholam Tamayomi released
Journalist Javad Gholam Tamayomi, who was arrested on 18 October 2004 for contributing to reformist websites, was released between 3 and 7 January. Reporters Without Borders pointed out that weblogger Mojtaba Saminejad remains in prison. - 1/12/05

Iran: Halliburton Involvement May Be Part Of Larger Diplomatic Effort
The involvement of the U.S. company Halliburton in a project to develop oil fields in Iran could be part of the larger effort to convince Iran to abandon any nuclear-weapons program it might have. -RFE - 1/12/05

For Honduras and Iran, World's Aid Evaporated
After the last bodies are counted and public focus shifts, governments stop sending money, pledges are withdrawn, many private relief organizations pack their bags and the poor are left to finish reconstruction projects in the face of the same entrenched systems of corruption and neglect. -New York Times - 1/11/05

Judge: Iranian brothers must be released
A federal judge set a Feb. 20 deadline for the government to free four Iranian brothers who were jailed just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. -UPI - 1/11/05

Architect says 'Superadobe' houses can easily shelter tsunami survivors
Iranian-American architect Nader Khalili envisions villages constructed of sandbags and barbed wire to shelter homeless survivors of Asia's devastating earthquake and tsunamis. -Los Angeles Newspaper Group - 1/11/05

Abbas makes peace offer to Israel
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has offered "the hand of peace" to Israel after his landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election. -BBC - 1/11/05

Italy denies Iran berth in Deaflympic volleyball final
Italy won the pulsating Deaflympic semifinal volleyball match against Iran 3-2 in Aquatic Center in Melbourne on Tuesday. - 1/11/05

Planning group objects to selection by Murphy
Kourosh Hangafarin entered public service to shatter a stereotype. Last month, San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy proposed that Hangafarin have a new opportunity to serve the public when he nominated him for the Port Commission. - - 1/11/05

Iranian hand-woven carpet imports ranked top in Germany
Iranian hand-woven carpet imports to Germany ranked number one during the first 10 months of 2004, the Federal Statistical Office announced Tuesday in the south German city of Wiesbaden. - 1/11/05

EU voices strong interest in closer ties with Iran
European Union diplomatic sources here Tuesday noted on the eve of the resumption of the EU-Iran negotiations for Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on Wednesday that since Iran is a large regional political and economic power with a rapid growing population and a rapid growing economy, obviously there are strong European economic interests. - 1/11/05

Grand Tour
Iranian immigrant dedicates himself to charity work after years of overcoming life's challenges - Island Packet - 1/11/05

IAEA delegation due in Iran to inspect Parchin site
A five-member delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will arrive in Iran to visit parchin military facilities. - 1/11/05

Confab on 'Iran Economy and World Economy: Challenges and Opportunities' to be held in Shiraz
The two-day conference will be held in the capital of Fars province, the historical city of Shiraz on April 16-17, 2005. - 1/11/05

Persian Gulf Chain Museums to Be Built in Southern Iran
Iranian Cultural Heritage & Tourism organization is going to build a chain of museums in the southern provinces of Iran with a focus on the subject of the Persian Gulf. - 1/11/05

Politics & Policies: The Iran dossier
As soon as President George W. Bush brushes the confetti off his lapels and returns to the Oval Office from his second inaugural parade on Jan. 20, he will find a series of "presidential papers" on Iran, requiring his immediate attention, waiting for him. -UPI - 1/11/05

5000-Year-Old Industrial Center Found in Jiroft
Finding the first great industrial center belonging to the Halilrood civilization has confirmed the belief that big industrial workshops existed in Jiroft region and the inhabitants of the area some 5000 years ago were active in the mass production of ceramic, bronze, and stone works. - 1/11/05

India asks Iran to negotiate with Pakistan on gas pipeline
With India, Pakistan and Iran agreeing to prepare the feasibility report within the next two months, the prospects of Rs 18,000 crore Iran-India gas pipeline project have further brightened. -Financial Express - 1/11/05

Iran takes part in nuclear expert meeting in Vienna
Iran took part for the first time in an expert meeting on nuclear fuel cycle in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters. - 1/11/05

Iran sends Dutch packing in Deaflympic football quarters
Iran handed the Netherlands a 4-0 drubbing in the quarterfinals of Deaflympic football event in Melbourne on Tuesday. - 1/11/05

Some MeK members returned to Iran
The State Department said Monday some members of an Iranian rebel group have voluntarily repatriated to Iran from Iraq. -UPI - 1/11/05

Iran's budget for next Iranian year fixed at 171.77 billion dollars
The budget for the next Iranian year 1384 (starting from March 21, 2005) has been fixed at rls 1,546,000 billion (dlrs 171.77 billion) up by 30.5 percent compared with that of the current year. - 1/11/05

Strong Earthquake jolts Iran's northeastern Golestan Province
An earthquake measuring 5.8 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted surrounding areas of Agh Qala City in Iran's northeastern Golestan Province Monday night. - 1/11/05

Iran: Lawmakers Considering Proposal To Introduce National Dress
Iranian deputies are considering designs for a national dress. The idea was first proposed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a way of countering the influence of Western fashion. Supporters -- including Khamenei -- point out other countries have a national dress and that it reinforces pride. -RFE - 1/11/05

Pasargadae Winged Figure: Victim of Cold & Fungi
According to expert documentation, the winged figure, the most intact bas relief in Pasargadae ancient site, shows different damages on its face. - 1/10/05

Iran Set to Boycott Asian Games 2006 over Persian Gulf Abuse
Iran is threatening to boycott the 2006 Asian Games if the organisers persist in referring to the "arabian gulf" instead of the "Persian Gulf", which Tehran insists is the only name for the stretch of water, state television reported Tuesday. - 1/10/05

Parthian Circular City Found in Khorasan
Iranian archeologists have found the architectural plan of a Parthian circular city in Nehbandan castle in southern Khorasan. - 1/10/05

Telecommunications Company of Iran official hopes Turkcell agreement will be approved
Head of the board of directors of the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) Masoud Moqadas hoped that Turkcell agreement will be ratified. - 1/10/05

Iran budget seeks state sell-offs
Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, has unveiled a budget designed to expand public spending by 30% but loosen the Islamic republic's dependence on oil. -BBC - 1/10/05

Book Review: In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran
It is hard to think of a nation that has provoked more anguish and incomprehension in less time than the Islamic Republic of Iran. -SF Chronicle - 1/10/05

Iranian President to start 7-nation African tour on Tuesday
According to the Press Bureau of the Presidential Office, Khatami's visits to the Arican states will be in response to previous visits made to Tehran of the presidents of Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Benin. - 1/10/05

Iran May Resume Uranium Enrichment in March
Iran may resume uranium enrichment -- which can be used to make atomic bombs -- in March if talks with the European Union fail to yield satisfactory progress, a senior Iranian security official said Monday. -Reuters - 1/10/05

Deaflympic Games: Iran defeats Turkey in volleyball; will play Italy in semifinal
Iran will play Italy in the semifinal of the Deaflympic volleyball event Tuesday as it thrashed Turkey in three consecutive sets in Melbourne on Monday. - 1/10/05

Scramble for oil
Rather like panic attempts by some governments to secure oil in the 1970s, Asia has suddenly accelerated its quest for energy security in recent days. Chinese oil companies are expanding their investment horizon to the point of weighing up the purchase of a US major, Unocal. India has followed China into investing in Iranian oil and gas. -Financial Times - 1/10/05

Film-making in the wake of Saddam
Turtles Can Fly, which opened across the UK on Friday, is the first feature film to come out of Iraq since Saddam Hussein took power in 1979. -BBC - 1/10/05

Egypt takes custody of prominent militant
Iran had denied last month reports from an Islamic activist that it had handed over 48-year-old Hamza to Cairo in October in exchange for information about members of an Iranian exiled group living in Egypt. -Reuters - 1/10/05

Iran after security, stability in Iraq: Rafsanjani
Expediency Council (EC) Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Monday that contributing to establishment of security and stability in Iraq is the cornerstone of Iran's regional policy. - 1/10/05

US-Iran Relations Conference: Regional & Global Dynamics (call for papers)
To promote networking, interdisciplinary communications, and sharing of ideas and research findings on part of scholars, institutions, policy makers and citizens, the University of Utah (Middle East & Central Asia Conference Committee), the Middle East Technical University (METU-Ankara, Department of International Relations), and World Security Network are happy to announce the upcoming conference on US-Iran Relations in Ankara Turkey. - 1/10/05

US firm Halliburton awarded major South Pars project in Iran
A US company has been awarded development rights to Phases 9 and 10 of a giant project to develop the world's largest gas field -- South Pars -- in southern Iran, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company said in Tehran on Sunday. - 1/10/05

Persian Parade Iranian Flag: A National Historical Perspective
The Persian Parade Committee unanimously adopts the historical three colored (Green-White-Red) Flag of Iran with the archaeologically inscribed Lion, Sword and Sun emblem as present in Persepolis as the official Flag of the Persian Parade. -Davood N. Rahni - 1/10/05

Iran to Probe Journalists' Torture Claims
Iran's president called Sunday for an investigation into journalists' allegations they were tortured into confessing to charges such as insulting sacred beliefs and endangering national security after publishing articles critical of conservatives in the government - 1/10/05

Speaker: Parliament expected a qualified person as Iran's Minister of Roads
Ahmad Sadeq Bonab, proposed by President Mohammad Khatami as a candidate for the office of the minister of roads and transportation, failed to secure a Majlis vote of confidence. - 1/9/05

Iran lifts Deaflympic Greco-Roman wrestling title
The Iranian team won two gold, two silver, and one bronze medals at Melbourne's Aquatic Center. - 1/9/05

Failing From A to Z
The ongoing violence and pattern of US sanctions against Iran and Syria are conspiring with sky high port prices and delays at border crossings to prevent required foodstuffs from being shipped into a hungry, tired and battered Iraq. -Common Dreams - 1/9/05

Minister's 'advice' on Iran jet deal
A senior minister wrote a personal letter of advice to the husband of Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell on side-stepping a strict US trade embargo against Iran, The Observer can reveal. -Observer, UK - 1/9/05

Syria stagnates amidst fading reforms
When Syrian president Bashar al-Assad took over from his late father amidst a wave of optimism, he promised major political and economic reform. -BBC - 1/9/05

Iranians win world epee bronzes
Iranian fencers, Siamak Feiz-Asgari and Mohammad Rezaei, stood third at the world class A epee competitions in Kuwait Sunday. - 1/9/05

Iranian FM Speaker: King Abdullah II's recent remarks revise Jordan's approach
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Sunday referred to the recent remarks of Jordan's King Abdullah II as an adjustment of his country's former approach. - 1/9/05

Khatami: Charges against Iran on intervention in Iraq baseless
Talking to reporters after the Majlis open-session today in which he submitted his draft budget bill for the next year, he said Iran has repeatedly stressed that it looks at security and stability in Iraq as those of its own. - 1/9/05

Workers Protest against the Sale of a Factory in Arak
Workers protest to the sale of a factory in Arak (a city north-west of the capital) to a single individual, enters its fifth week. - 1/9/05

Iranian Hercules Rezazadeh set to train in Bulgaria
World's strongest man, Hossein Rezazadeh, said in Tehran on Sunday he is going to Bulgaria to get ready for the upcoming international tournaments. - 1/9/05

Khatami: Iran's reform movement to go on even after a new government takes over
Talking to reporters here Sunday after submitting the draft of next year's (1374) budget bill to Majlis, he said the desire for reforms was so deeply rooted in society as to guarantee its continued pursuit by future governments after him. - 1/9/05

Iran squeezes into Deaflympic football semis
The Iranian side, which was one point from the semifinals, held Czech Republic to a 1-1 draw, advancing to the last four on five points. - 1/9/05

Web Log Writers’ Case: Investigation at the Request of Iranian President
The committee, known as the ‘Delegation for investigation and observation of IRI constitution’, has reported to the president that many of the imprisoned members of this case have been under immense pressure and have endured physical and psychological torture while in prison. - 1/9/05

Mullah lite
Twenty-five years after the revolution, Kevin Rushby meets a new generation eager to shake off the fundamentalist legacy -Guardian - 1/9/05

India looks to Russia and Iran for energy
India earmarked two multibillion dollar energy deals with Iran and Russia yesterday, underliningits rivalry with China in the race to secure oil and gas suppliesto fuel rapid economic growth. -Financial Times - 1/8/05

Dinosaur Footprints Moulded In Kerman
In a special project aimed at extending paleontological studies, Iranian paleontologists will identify and mould dinosaur footprints in cooperation with Iran’s Natural History museum. - 1/8/05

Final statement of Jordan meeting incorporates Iran's demands: Iranian Official
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Gholam Ali Khoshrou said in Amman on Friday the final statement issued at the end of a four-hour meeting of Iraq's neighboring states incorporates Iran's demands and views. - 1/8/05

Pentagon to Focus on Iraq, Other Hot Spots
The military will have plenty to do in the four years of a second Bush administration. While the war in Iraq figures to dominate all else, as it has the past two years, other potential hot spots could demand attention. -AP - 1/8/05

German trade official urges expansion of nuclear coop with Iran
The chairman of Germany's Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV), Werner Schoeltzke, on Friday called for expansion of civilian nuclear cooperation between Germany and Iran following the recent EU3-Iran nuclear accord. - 1/8/05

International Softball Federation: Softball Equipment Helping In Iran, More
International Softball Federation (ISF) is in the process of assembling “starter kits” to be sent to Iran, which reports the presence of senior men’s & women’s, and under-17 boys & girls teams, with plans to activate 13 more states in softball. - 1/8/05

UNICEF to implement supportive program in Iran's deprived areas
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is to implement a five-year program in Iran to support children in the deprived areas, said the Fund's representative in Iran on Saturday. - 1/8/05

Iran stutters in Deaflympic volleyball games
Iran failed to extend its winning streak in the volleyball event of the 20th Deaflympic Games, losing to Ukraine 3-1 here Saturday. - 1/8/05

Iran's soccer team defeats Saudi Arabia 5-3 in Deaflympic games
Iran topped Group C thanks to a better goal difference in comparison with Germany, which beat the Czech Republic 2-0 Friday. On Jan 5, Iran and Germany struggled to a 1-1 draw. - 1/8/05

Iran regime change talk revives in Washington
A US advocacy group dominated by Republican Party stalwarts is trying to revive the idea of regime change in Iran. -Jim Lobe, Eurasianet - 1/8/05

Central Bank of Iran declares rate of inflation at 14.5 percent
Central Bank of Iran Governor Ebrahim Sheibani on Friday declared the current inflation rate at 14.5 percent - 1/8/05

Persepolis has eroded by 2 milometers
The steps to the Apadana entrance and the doorway to the 2500-year-old palaces in Persepolis have been eroded by 1 to 2 mm. - 1/8/05

EU, Iran to resume TCA negotiations next week
Iranian government officials are expected to arrive in Brussels next week to resume economic and political negotiations with the European Union. - 1/8/05

In Surprise Move, Realist Gets Nod for Rice's Deputy
Ending weeks of sometimes fevered speculation, Bush administration officials confirmed Thursday that secretary of state-designate Condoleezza Rice's deputy at the State Department will be a confirmed Atlanticist and arch-realist, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick. -Antiwar.com - 1/8/05

Iranian Journalists Receive Death Threats After Testifying
After testifying to a presidential commission about their torture during detention, a group of Iranian journalists have received death threats from judicial officials under Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Human Rights Watch said today. - 1/7/05

Reporters Without Border condemns mistreatment of Iranian cyberjournalists and webloggers
Reporters Without Borders has condemned the mistreatment in prison of cyberdissidents and webloggers after an Iranian committee report concluded that public confessions of two of them, Omid Memarian and Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, were obtained under duress. - 1/7/05

Iranian American Scholarship Fund accepting applications for 2005-2006 academic year
These scholarships are avaiable to qualifying Iranian American students attending universities and colleges throughout Southern California. We recommend that applicants make certain that their attending institute is within Southern California region. - 1/7/05

India, Iran reach agreement over LNG supply
India has reached an agreement with Iran to buy 5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas for 25 years. - 1/7/05

The Bam Earthquake: One Year Later
Immediately following the devastating Bam earthquake, Mercy Corps rushed critical aid to thousands of Iranian children and families. - 1/7/05

Iran pushes OPEC for $40 oil
Iran said Friday OPEC should defend prices at $40 a barrel for U.S. crude, seeking to set a higher threshold for output cuts by the oil cartel. -CNN - 1/7/05

Shell 'disappointed' in delayed handover of Soroush field to National Iranian Oil Company
A spokesman for the British company told IRNA that the 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) field, which is being developed with the adjacent Norouz field, should be ready in a "matter of weeks," once it is up to full production and final checks are carried out. - 1/7/05

Jordan FM assesses ties with Iran as good
Talking to reporters in Amman at the end of a foreign ministerial meeting of Iraqi neighboring states, Mulki said Iran and Jordan enjoy good relations and added differences of opinion should be patched up through dialogue. - 1/7/05

Delivering the promise: aid problems
There is often a difference between aid promised to victims of disasters and aid actually delivered - but the reasons for this are more complex than broken promises. -BBC - 1/7/05

Iranian artifacts confiscated in London to be returned to Iran
Legal and parliamentary deputy head of Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Taha Hashemi said in Tehran on Friday that the historical objects confiscated at London Heathrow airport will be delivered to ICHTO by Iran's Customs Administration on Saturday. - 1/7/05

Chirac Makes New Overture to Bush After Iraq Chill
French President Jacques Chirac made a new overture to President Bush on Thursday to try to repair ties strained by the Iraq war, proposing they work together to make 2005 a year of transatlantic trust and unity. -Reuters - 1/7/05

Talks continue on Pakistan-Iran pipeline
Talks are continuing between Pakistan and Iran about the proposed Pak-Iran gas pipeline megaproject. Officials of the countries hope India will join the discussion. -Oil & Gas Journal - 1/7/05

Forget breathalisers, Iran's drivers facing pee bottles
Iranian bus and truck drivers will soon face being stopped at the side of the road and forced to pee into a bottle as part of a police campaign to weed out drug users. -AFP - 1/7/05

Iran advocates establishment of Asian Bank for Energy Development
Iran advocated the establishment of financial institutions like an Asian Bank for Energy Development, which can effectively back-up energy projects among oil producing and consuming countries. - 1/7/05

Asia rises - even as disaster tests its mettle
China's economic rise has made it something like Asia's sprouting teenager - outgrowing its clothes every few months, and in constant need of new energy supplies. Chinese leaders now tour the globe regularly, cutting new deals in almost every energy market they can visit. -CSM - 1/7/05

Pasargad, Bam registered in World Heritage list
Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Thursday two more cultural heritage sites were added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO. - 1/7/05

Unique Pistachio Trees Preserved in California Collection
Pistachio trees from around the world thrive in America's official pistachio collection managed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Davis, Calif. - 1/7/05

Rice Is Said to Pick Trade Negotiator as Deputy
John R. Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, is expected to leave his current job but not to take a senior job with Ms. Rice. Mr. Bolton is one of the administration's leading conservatives, an advocate of tough policies toward Iran and North Korea and on the general issue of nuclear arms proliferation. -NYT - 1/7/05

Goods Smuggling Highlights Economic Problems In Iran
The chief of Iran's national police force, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, said on 2 January that the problem of smuggling is mounting in the country -RFE - 1/7/05

Repression Of Iranian Internet Sector Continues
Some Iranian online journalists who were arrested in the autumn were released after writing letters of contrition that were published in newspapers. The respite has been short-lived, however, especially for journalists who later described the mistreatment they underwent. -RFE - 1/6/05

Iranian paleontologists discover remains of Homo erectus from one million years go
Iranian paleontologists have found 3 teeth belonging to a 1-million-year human being in Maragheh in eastern Azerbaijan, northwest of Iran. - 1/6/05

UN: Iran Will Allow Access to Suspected Nuclear Military Site
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency says the Iranian government has agreed to give his inspectors access to what had been an off limits military site where the United States believes the country may be developing a nuclear weapon. -VOA - 1/6/05

Section of Tehran-Qom Highway named Persian Gulf
The members of the Tehran City Council (TCC) have named a section of the main highway connecting Tehran and Qom the Persian Gulf Highway. - 1/6/05

Iran's sex-change operations
In a country that has outlawed homosexuality, Frances Harrison meets one Iranian cleric who says the right to a sex change is a human right. -BBC - 1/6/05

Clothes make the mullah
In Iran, home to some of the best-dressed clergy in the Islamic world, looking good is part of the job. -Niloofar Haeri, Guardian - 1/6/05

Volleyball: Iran defeats Japan in Olympic Deaf Games
Iran whitewashed Nippon in their opening volleyball match of the 20th Olympic Deaf Games here Thursday. - 1/6/05

Tsunami Prompts Record Outpouring In Aid -- But Why?
Aid organizations say they are amazed by the enormous public response to the 26 December tsunami disaster in Asia. While governments have pledged around $2 billion, private groups and individuals have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars more. -RFE - 1/6/05

Anti-drug police nab 24 kilos of heroin in SW Iran
Anti-drug police discovered 24 kg of heroin in a special operation in the southwestern city of Andimeshk on Wednesday. - 1/6/05

Niavaran Cultural Center to Host Four Concerts
Four Iranian music concerts are to be performed at the Persian Gulf Hall of the Niavaran Cultural Center in Tehran from January 4 to 7. - 1/6/05

Runner Saeidi hands Iran first Deaflympics gold
Omid Saeidi outpaced his rivals in the 10,000m marathon to bring Iran the first gold of the 20th Deaflympic Games in Melbourne on Thursday. - 1/6/05

First phase of Moqaddam Museum inaugurated in Tehran
On the occasion of he 70th anniversary of Tehran University establishment, the first phase of Moqaddam Museum was implemented in a ceremony on Wednesday. - 1/6/05

Iran: Exporter of Pistachio Since Achaemenid Era
Achaemenid people were the first who grew pistachio in ancient Iran and exported this Iranian fruit to their neighboring countries more than 2500 years ago. - 1/6/05

Iraq's Neighbors Meet To Discuss Elections
Iran's foreign minister is not attending the meeting in protest at comments made by Jordanian officials accusing the Islamic republic of trying to influence the Iraqi vote. -RFE - 1/6/05

Iran's national hero Takhti commemorated
A huge crowd gathered in Ibn Babouyeh Cemetery in the southernmost part of the capital city Tehran Thursday to pay tribute to former world freestyle wrestling champion and national hero Gholam-Reza Takhti in his 37th death anniversary. - 1/6/05

A good next step in Iran: restore diplomatic ties
Iran's moderates have since gained enough power to elect a president, but the conservative clergy limits what he can do. It is in the US national interest that the moderates prevail. The chances for this are better in Iran than anywhere else in the Middle East. This would give Bush what he wanted, but probably won't get, in Iraq, and at a much cheaper price. -Pat M. Holt, CSM - 1/6/05

Iranian Oil Minister, Pakistani PM discuss gas pipeline
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister for Oil, Islamic Republic of Iran called on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad on Wednesday and discussed various options for supply of gas from Iran, it was officially announced. - 1/5/05

Iran willing to re-negotiate LNG deal
India is likely to re-negotiate the issue of importing liquefield natural gas (LNG) from Iran later this week. The two sides had earlier drawn a blank on the matter during their meetings in November and December. -Financial Express - 1/5/05

Iran to allow military site probe
Iran is to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to carry out inspections at one of its most secret military sites. -BBC - 1/5/05

Najaf's growing influence is a key to Iranian moderation
As the Iraqi election looms at the end of this month, the world is witnessing a growing epidemic of Shiite-phobia - fear of the Iraqi majority Shiite community and the role it might play in a future Iraqi state. These fears are overwrought. -Daily Star - 1/5/05

Candidate splits Iran reformists
Iran's former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karrubi has said he will stand as a reformist candidate in presidential elections in June. -BBC - 1/5/05

Nominal capacity of Iran's power plants to hit 36,000 MW by year-end
The nominal capacity of Iran's power plants will reach 36,000 MW, showing s 60 percent increase compared to the similar figure for eight years ago, Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf said in Tehran on Tuesday night. - 1/5/05

First International workshop on Hamoun lake crisis to be held
"Hamoun lake is one of the most significant marshlands of our country, the destruction of whose ecosystems will leave adverse social and economical impacts on Iran, Afghanistan and in particular Sistan area," - 1/5/05

The Iran Factor in Iraq's Vote
A lot could go wrong with Iraq's elections on Jan. 30. But one fear that seems misplaced is that the two main Iraqi Shiite parties, which are likely to be the biggest winners, would take orders from Iran's radical Shiite ayatollahs, imposing pro-Iranian policies on Baghdad or establishing an Iraqi Shiite theocracy. -New York Times - 1/5/05

Rude Awakening to Missile-Defense Dream
On Christmas Eve 2004, the Russian Strategic Missile Force test fired an advanced SS-27 Topol-M road-mobile intercontinental ballistic Missile (ICBM). -CSM - 1/5/05

IAEA Finds Egypt Secret Nuclear Program
The U.N. atomic watchdog agency has found evidence of secret nuclear experiments in Egypt that could be used in weapons programs, diplomats said Tuesday. -AP - 1/5/05

Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan sign transportation agreement
Representatives from Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan signed here the articles of association of a tripartite agreement on transportation cooperation which will provide the Central Asia with access to the international waters. - 1/5/05

U.S. jets buzz Iran airspace: Warplanes said to spy nuke sites, test defenses
U.S. military warplanes flew over Iranian air space, raising Tehran's concerns preparations are being made to knock out its nuclear facilities, according to Iranian news media reports. -WorldNetDaily - 1/5/05

A year after quake, Iran city struggles to rise above the rubble
The palm trees still rise from the Iranian desert in the oasis city of Bam. But their dusty leaves now overlook a shattered city, razed by a devastating earthquake that killed more than 30,000 people in 10 seconds. -CSM - 1/5/05

Gas explosion leaves four killed, many wounded in Tehran
A massive gas explosion ripped through drilling operations in Afsariyeh in southern Tehran Tuesday night, claiming four lives and leaving many people injured. - 1/5/05

Meanwhile: O Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
The question that haunted me upon my arrival in America in 1985 was a highly unusual one. Despite the practical challenges of adjustment, it was perfectly impractical: How are one people so profoundly misunderstood by another? -Roya Hakakian, IHT - 1/5/05

IRAN: Special report on Bam - one year after the devastating earthquake
Twelve months on and most Bam earthquake survivors now live in prefabricated shelters - 1/5/05

Everest 2005: Iranian ladies rock!
Iran Mountaineering Federation has taken a remarkable step towards the development of mountaineering in the country: They are organizing an Everest expedition in 2005, with a very special characteristic for the Muslim country. All climbers will be women. -MountEverest.Net - 1/5/05

My visit to Brugge, Belgium
I was in Brugge because in the last week of November I was one of a number of women delegates who went to Brussels as part of a female initiative program which aims to build bridges of understanding, cooperation and friendship between our two nations (Iran and Belgium). -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/4/05

Iran: Tehran Facing Critical Air Pollution -- Again
A breath of clean air. That's what most Tehran residents long for -- especially when pollution in the city of 12 million people reaches critical levels.-RFE - 1/4/05

Iran, South Korea continue negotiations on gas export
Managing Director of Iranian Gas Export Company (IGEC) Rokneddin Javadi said in Tehran on Tuesday that IEGC and South Korean Gas Company continue talks about annual export of 1.5-2 million tons of LNG from Iran to that country. - 1/4/05

Israel releases first reactor video
Israel has released the first video footage of its Dimona nuclear plant, a television station said on Monday, in an apparent attempt to promote a positive image of what experts believe to be an atomic bomb factory. -Reuters - 1/4/05

Iran: Ex-parliament speaker Karroubi enters the presidential race
Iran's former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, a pragmatic reformist, Saturday joined the presidential foray, with the battle lines being drawn. - 1/4/05

The Big Stories of 2005
As the U.S. gets sucked ever deeper into its disastrous crusade against the Muslim world, it may -- possibly with Israel -- attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure, or invade Syria. An attack on Iran would leave the U.S. garrison in Iraq trapped amid a sea of hostile Shia -- as well as Sunnis. -Toronto Sun - 1/4/05

Quake jolts Iran's northeastern city of Sabzevar
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Sabzevar in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorassan Monday night. - 1/4/05

Quake rattles Iran's northwestern city of Sarab
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Sarab in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Tuesday. - 1/4/05

School closures in Tehran decreases traffic 10 percent
Air pollution in Tehran led to closing of schools for one day and decreased traffic 10 percent compared with days before, the center for supervising and controlling Tehran traffic said. - 1/4/05

Iran considering moves to curb importation of low-quality goods
A senior official of the Iran Standards and Industrial Research Institute (ISIRI) said in Tehran on Monday that ISIRI is considering moves to prevent the importation of of sub-standard goods into the country. - 1/4/05

Talks to start on Iran-India gasline project soon: Indian minister
India's Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar has said that his country desires the proposed gas pipeline to be laid from Iran to India via Pakistan. - 1/4/05

Iran's Conservatives Play Down Their Differences
The divisions within Iran's political right wing are amply demonstrated by the fact that five individuals are vying to be the conservatives' candidate in the 2005 presidential election. -RFE - 1/4/05

Twin US Robot Rovers Keep Rolling on Mars One Year after Landing
The head of NASA's Mars exploration program, Iranian-born Firouz Naderi, says it is part of a long-term plan to eventually return to the Earth rock and soil samples that could contain fossils of martian life. -VOA - 1/4/05

Persian Gulf maps and documents presented in expo
An exhibition on Persian Gulf maps and documents opened at the premises of the Geographical Department of Defense Ministry on Monday. - 1/4/05

Persian Gulf: A Name for All Seasons
The famous Greek mathematician and astronomer of 2nd Century BC, Claudius Ptolemy was a great geographer as well. His world map is in the shape of a vast hemisphere showing at least 8000 places. In this map, the Persian Gulf recorded as Sinus persicus is clearly shown. -Mohammad Gharaguzlu, Shargh Newspaper - 1/4/05

Gathering in Tehran surveys aftermaths of UN resolution on human rights violations in Iran
Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University sponsored a gathering titled 'Aftermaths of UN Human RIghts Violation Resolution Against Iran' on Monday. Speakers at the gathering included 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Head of Center for Defenders of Human Rights Shirin Ebadi and Head of Faculty of UNESCO Human Rights at Shahid Beheshti University Amir Arjomand. - 1/4/05

An Iranian Student Makes His Escape In Face of Charges
In a phone interview last week, Akbar Atri, an organizer of the movement in Iran to win a national vote on the legitimacy of the Islamic republic, said he managed to slip out of his homeland last month despite an open government investigation into his efforts to gather signatures for a petition demanding the referendum. -New York Sun - 1/3/05

No US pressure on Iran gas pipeline: Pakistan
Pakistan said on Monday that there is no pressure by the US government on the country about the plan to get gas from neighboring Iran. - 1/3/05

Ancient Toy Marbles Found in Takht-e Soleyman
More than ten clay marbles from the Ilkhanid era (1251 - 1355) have been discovered in the historical site of Takht-e Soleyman in West Azarbaijan, Northwest of Iran. - 1/3/05

Bayern pust Iranian soccer player Hashemian up for sale
German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich are ready to sell reserve forward Vahid Hashemian at the end of this season, the press reported here Monday. - 1/3/05

Iraq's Shiites rule out Iran model
In a surprise press conference Sunday, leaders of the Shiite-dominated coalition that is expected to prevail in national elections sought to dispel fears that they are under the secret sway of Iran, or have any desire to create an Islamic theocracy. -IHT - 1/3/05

Iran ready to bolster trade cooperation with Afghanistan
Based on a 5-year commitment, Iran is due to donate 50 million dollars annually to the war-torn country, the Iranian envoy said. He added that the total donation will reach 250 million dollars by 2006. - 1/3/05

Iranian Political Prisoner Cells to Turn into a Museum
Qasr (palace) prison in Tehran, one of the oldest Iranian political prisons, will be turned into a cultural complex. - 1/3/05

International Archaeologists to Start Work in Tang-e-Bolaghi
After initial surveys in 129 ancient sites of the 18-km Tang-e-Bolaghi gorge, archaeologists have set priorities for salvage program in this important site which will be washed up by flooding Sivand dam in early 2006. - 1/3/05

US Announces Talks with Turkey, Iraq On PKK Rebels
A top American diplomat is in Turkey, attempting to calm Turkish concerns over Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. - 1/3/05

Iran: Cabinet okays taxation deals with France, Germany
The Khatami administration has decided to conclude separate agreements with France and Germany to avoid double taxation, the English-language paper 'Iran Daily' wrote on Monday. - 1/3/05

Iraqi elections to be held in 6 Iranian provinces: Official
Over 200,000 Iraqi nationals are living in Iran; some 12,000 Iraqis have repatriated to their home country so far. - 1/3/05

National Geographic retreat victory for every Iranian: FM
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday said the retreat of the National Geographic Society in correcting the fictitious name used for the Persian Gulf and the Iranian islands was a victory for every Iranian. - 1/3/05

National Geographic Updates Map in the Wake of Iranian Protests
National Geographic institute deleted the name “Arabian Gulf” in its latest world atlas that had riled the Iranians in the entire world two days before the year 2005 began. - 1/2/05

Iran braces for fresh round of talks with Europeans
Iran and the Europeans will meet in the coming days for a fresh round of 'intensive and comprehensive negotiations' here about Tehran's nuclear program, a senior Foreign Ministry official announced in Tehran on Sunday. - 1/2/05

Iran slams detractors over Iraq issue
Iran Sunday refuted again accusations of interference in Iraq's affairs, stressing that the charge was being made by 'a few individuals with a bad record'. - 1/2/05

32 Sassanid Kings Had 100 Types of Crowns
Studies on over 100 Sassanid coins, bas reliefs, and vessels show that there has been over 100 types of crown in the Sassanid era. - 1/2/05

Pollution alert in Tehran
Schools in the Iranian capital were closed and the elderly, the sick and children advised to stay indoors today after air pollution reached alarming levels -Advertiser - 1/2/05

'You should fear us'
The drawings of Muhammad of the Black Pen have baffled scholars for centuries. Novelist Orhan Pamuk imagines what his characters would say if they could speak for themselves. -Guardian - 1/2/05

Disconnection leaves 'Deserted Station' viewer feeling stranded
The Iranian film "The Deserted Station" barely assembles the pieces needed for an affecting film. -TRIBUNE-REVIEW - 1/2/05

Iran stresses secure, stable Iraq: FM
In a meeting with Secretary General of the Iraqi Islamic Party Mohsen Abdul Hamid, Kharrazi added Iran enjoys a common stance with different Iraqi political parties. - 1/2/05

Iran's oil minister in Islamabad on Jan 5
"We can confirm that Mr Zanganeh will be here on Wednesday for a short visit on his way to India," the Press Section of Iran Embassy in Islamabad told IRNA. - 1/2/05

Armed and Elusive, Afghan Drug Dealers Roam Free
Seen from the air, the Margo desert, which sprawls across the far southwestern corner of Afghanistan toward the borders with Iran and Pakistan, is traced with white car tracks. With its forbidding reputation as the "desert of death," it deters most travelers but is the favored route of drug traffickers taking opium, heroin and hashish produced in Afghanistan to Iran for smuggling to Turkey and Europe. -New York Times - 1/2/05

US fighters violate Iranian air space: report
A US warplane has violated Iranian air space, this time a border edge near Afghanistan in the eastern province of Razavi Khorassan, in the latest spate of such overflights reported by the press. - 1/2/05

Quakes jolt Iranian cities
An earthquake, measuring 3.7 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Amlash in the northern province of Gilan early Saturday. - 1/1/05

Quake jolts town of Khonj in Iran's southern province of Fars
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the town of Khonj in the southern province of Fars on Saturday. - 1/1/05

Deadly Year in Iraq Has Grown Worse as Military Struggles to Adjust Tactics
By key measures of the level of insurgent violence against American forces in Iraq - numbers of dead, wounded and insurgent attacks - the situation has grown worse since summer. -AP - 1/1/05

Oil Steady at Close of Record Year
In the last trading day of 2004, London Brent crude rose 9 cents to $40.46 a barrel -- more than $10 up on the end of last year, but around $11.50 below a record high of $51.94 hit on Oct. 27. U.S. markets were closed for the New Year. - 1/1/05

Relatives of US Servicemen Killed in Iraq to Hold Vigil on Jordan Border
Relatives of US servicemen killed in Iraq and members of anti-war groups announced plans to hold a candlelit vigil on the Jordan-Iraq border to protest US involvement. -AFP - 1/1/05

The 25 Dumbest Quotes of 2004
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -President Bush -AlterNet - 1/1/05

Iran: Expediency Council calls for lower banking interest rates
"The Expediency Council calls for cutting the interest rate to a fair level to boost industrial output and employment. The banks should cut interest rate for both the loans and for the deposits of the people," - 1/1/05

Presidential elections in Iran slated for June 17, 2005
Guardian Council (GC) spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said here Saturday that the GC has agreed with the coming presidential elections to be held on June 17, 2005. - 1/1/05
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