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Iranian-Americans favor US-Iran diplomacy, Berkeley poll shows
Iranian Americans overwhelmingly support dialogue and diplomacy between the United States and Iran, a scientific poll conducted by the University of California Berkeley shows. Support for military strikes against Iran is minimal in the community. - 1/31/08

Dr. Seyed Jafar Shahidi to be commemorated in London
Dr Seyed Jafar Shahidi, the prominent Islamic historian and Persian language and literature expert who passed away in Tehran on 13th January will be remembered in London at a ceremony to be held at the Brunei Gallery, Room B111 (1st floor), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), 10 Thornhaugh St, Russell Square on Tuesday 5th February at 7.00 pm. All are welcome. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/31/08

A flower in the middle of the desert!
On our 3rd day in Tehran, we visited a couple of museums and then went to the House Of Artists. On our way back, we were passing through Fakhrabad, one of the old neighborhoods in central Tehran, when my niece pointed at a glass gallery. The contrast couldn't have been more. -Ali Moayedian - 1/31/08

Soccer: Iran and Costa Rica tie in friendly
Wednesday's friendly between Iran and Costa Rica at Tehran's Azadi stadium ended in a goalless draw. -MNA - 1/31/08

Commission bans Iran's leading feminist magazine
Reporters Without Borders condemns a decision by the Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance on 28 January to suspend the feminist monthly Zanan ("Women" in Farsi) for "publishing information detrimental to society's psychological tranquillity." - 1/31/08

US Envoy to UN Gets Mild Rebuke for Iran Contact
The State Department said Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad did not have advance permission for a joint appearance last week in Switzerland with the Iranian Foreign Minister. -VOA - 1/31/08

On the Hazards of Over-Interpreting Iranian Politics
The relationship between Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and various presidents of Iran has always been a fascinating topic particularly for those looking into Iran from the outside. -Farideh Farhi , NIAC - 1/31/08

British theater troupes to be barred from Fajr festival in reprisal move
Iran plans to bar British theater troupes from participating in the Fajr International Theater Festival and other Iranian cultural events in retaliation for the recent actions of the British Embassy in Tehran. -MNA - 1/31/08

Writing competition in Iran honors deceased journalist
A competition called "In Memory of the Pen" has been organized in Iran in memory of Mehran Ghassemi, an Iranian journalist who died at the age of 30. Last day to apply is Feb 20. - 1/31/08

Khatami calls on reformists to be patient
Former president Mohammad Khtami called on pro-reform movements on Wednesday to wait and see what would be the result of the petitions filed for reconsidering the competence of the rejected parliamentary candidates by the vetting bodies. -MNA - 1/31/08

Iran seeks clarity on China banks
Head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce says a fifth Iranian delegation will head to China to discuss setbacks to banking ties. Four out of ten Chinese banks have lifted the sanctions they originally imposed on Iran. -Press TV - 1/31/08

Iran, Brazil negotiate Caspian oil deal
An Iranian energy official says Tehran has begun talks with a state run Brazilian oil company for exploration work in the Caspian Sea. - 1/31/08

Mubarak: Threatening Iran ineffective
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quoted as saying on Thursday that threatening Iran will be ineffective and bear no fruit, underlining the need for constant negotiations with Tehran on its nuclear case. -IRNA - 1/31/08

Iranian parliament speaker meets Egyptian president
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel held talks in Cairo on Wednesday. The talks mark the first high-level meeting between the two countries after Iran and Egypt cut ties nearly three decades ago over regional policy disagreements. -MNA - 1/30/08

Iran's Judiciary Chief bans public executions
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi on Wednesday issued a decree on Tuesday banning execution in public. "No execution should be carried out in public henceforth," Ayatollah Shahroudi said, according to the Media Center of the Judiciary. -IRNA - 1/30/08

Amnesty International calls for release of Bahai prisoners in Iran
Haleh Rouhi Jahromi, Raha Sabet Sarvestani and Sasan Taqva, all Baha'is (a religious minority), have been detained by the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz since 19 November 2007. It is not clear why they are held. - 1/30/08

World Music Institute Concert in New York: Sacred Kurdish Tanbur Music
The music of Kurdistan, little known in the US, will be performed by Ali Akbar Moradi, the greatest living master of the tanbur. - 1/30/08

Iranian women crucial in Majlis election
More than 7,000 candidates have registered for the Iranian parliamentary election scheduled to be held on 14 March. Almost 600 of them are women. -BBC - 1/30/08

Iran: United Fundamentalist Front's comprehensive plan unveiled
The United Fundamentalist Front (UFF) Tuesday released an 11-point plan which includes the main issues to be addressed by the would-be conservative MPs in the next parliament. -MNA - 1/30/08

Iran supplies 13 percent of China's crude oil
According to the latest statistics, the volume of trade exchanges between Iran and China exceeded dlrs 20 billion in 2007 and there are huge untapped economic grounds which should be further explored. -IRNA - 1/30/08

Bushehr power plant to become operational Oct 2008: Iranian official
Ahmad Fayyaz-Bakhsh, Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and Managing Director of Iran Atomic Energy Production and Development Company added that the Bushehr nuclear power plant project has had a 93.67 percent progress. -IRNA - 1/30/08

Hopes revive on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal
In a major initiative that could culminate in the clinching of the 2,300 km trans-border Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora is likely to visit Pakistan in February first week to sort out issues relating to the transit fee. -IRNA - 1/30/08

Iran, China to expand cooperation on construction of nuclear power plants
New Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Xie Xiaoyan conferred on Tuesday with Majlis Representative and Head of Energy Commission Kamal Daneshyar on expansion of mutual cooperation between the two countries on energy sector. -IRNA - 1/30/08

Special committee to study Ahmadinejad's offers to PGCC
Bahraini Deputy Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak declared on Wednesday that a special team has been formed in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council to study Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's offers for comprehensive cooperation between Iran and the PGCC members. -MNA - 1/30/08

Washington--still in search of a coherent Iran policy
During his January visit to the Middle East, President George W. Bush tried to put any doubts to rest about a dramatic shift in US policy toward Iran as a result of the December unclassified version of a National Intelligence Estimate that stated that Iran "halted its nuclear weapons program" in fall 2003. -Ellen Laipson, Bitterlemons International - 1/30/08

Afghanistan: Tempers Flare In Dispute Over Display Of Ancient Artifacts
Decades of war have decimated much of Afghanistan's ancient heritage. Many historic architectural gems have been damaged or destroyed, and national treasures have been looted from museums or vandalized by the Taliban. -RFE - 1/30/08

Turkish Lawmakers Set to Allow Headscarves at Universities
In Turkey, the ruling Islamic-orientated Justice and Development party has secured the support of an opposition party to push through a constitutional change ending the ban on women wearing Islamic headscarves at universities. -VOA - 1/30/08

LEBANON: Politicised power cuts behind deadly riots?
Deadly Shia riots in southern Beirut protesting over power and water cuts have occurred because these basic services have become part of the country's increasingly tense political stand-off, said protesters and analysts. - 1/30/08

Eight Dead, and Echoes of Beirut’s Bloody History Reverberate Around Its Streets
We are now awaiting the 13th attempt to elect the poor man, all pretending this is a Lebanese problem when they all along know that the violence in this country is dictated by the continuing conflict between Washington and Tehran. Thus is the fate of Lebanon. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/30/08

Eight more students to be released soon: Iran's Judiciary spokesman
Judiciary spokesman Ali-Reza Jamshidi said on Tuesday that eight more university students arrested for taking part in students unrest would be released soon. - 1/29/08

Iranian researchers succeed in creating the most sustainable catalyst for Reforming Methane and Carbon Dioxide synthetically
According to the research reporter of ISNA, the researchers in the Iranian university of Science and Industry managed to synthetically produce a durable catalyst for the process of reforming Methane and Carbon Dioxide. - 1/29/08

The law is written for men
Women around the world still face violence, this ugliest manifestation of discrimination and inequality of rights, in their daily lives. Violence against women is defined as any violent act based on gender which leads to physical, sexual, or mental harm or damage. -Maryam Malek - 1/29/08

The Persian Empire Strikes Back … Again !
MEET THE SPARTANS From the Creators of Scary Movie, Date Movie and Epic Movie soon in the Theaters -Darius KADIVAR - 1/29/08

Parvaneh Masumi to receive lifetime achievement award at Fajr festival
Veteran Iranian actress Parvaneh Masumi is to receive a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming 26th Fajr Film Festival. -MNA - 1/29/08

Iran Says It Is Close to Restoring Ties With Egypt
Iranian Foreign Minister Mahouchehr Mottaki says Iran and Egypt are close to restoring full diplomatic relations, after severing political ties nearly three decades ago. VOA Reporter Aya Batrawy has more from our Middle East bureau in Cairo. - 1/29/08

Letter to the Financial Times: SC Resolutions are not about Iran's nuclear secrecy
The FT report (28/01/08) entitled "UN Pressed for third round of sanctions on Iran" by Harvey Morris and Daniel Dombey, makes serious distortions in relation to the current proceedings about Iran's nuclear programme and the Security Council resolutions. -Mehrnaz Shahabi, CASMII - 1/29/08

Iran: Leading women's magazine forced to close
Iran's most important women's magazine, Zanan, (Women) has been forced to close after 16 years of publication, after being accused of painting a "dark picture" of Iran. -AKI - 1/29/08

Iran jails Bahai 'propagandists'
Iran has sentenced three members of the Bahai faith to four years in jail for security offences and 51 others to suspended prison terms. -BBC - 1/29/08

U.S. scholar tries hand at Iran's Islamic Revolution literature
After rendering several novels in the Sacred Defense literature style into English, U.S. translator Paul Sprachman is currently working on "Esmaeil", a Persian novel that focuses on Iran's Islamic Revolution. -MNA - 1/29/08

Iran-Russia space cooperation is peaceful: ambassador
Alexander Sadovnikov noted presently there is a joint plan for launching two Iranian satellites called "Zohre" and "Mesbah" and emphasized the cooperation is only intended in peaceful and research purposes. - 1/29/08

Iran-made glue to replace stitches
The Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization has used human blood plasma to produce fibrin glue which can replace surgical stitches. -Press TV - 1/29/08

Turkey warned over Iranian banks
A U.S. Treasury Department official urged Turkey on Monday to be vigilant in its financial dealings with Iran, which Washington accuses of bankrolling terror and seeking nuclear missiles. -Business Week - 1/29/08

U.S. Moves to Keep F-14 Parts From Iran
President Bush signed legislation Monday prohibiting the Pentagon from selling leftover F-14 fighter jet parts, a move prompted by security gaps in the military's surplus auction. -AP - 1/29/08

Tehran covered in snow
We all have played with snow when we were kids and had a lot of fun. However as we grow up life takes away many of its simple pleasures and these days when it snows my immediate thoughts are - Will the pipes burst? Will the gas be cut off? Will we have a power cut or how long will it be before the side streets and alleys are so iced up that anyone walking on them has a more than average chance of breaking something? -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/28/08

Norooz may be part of UNESCO heritage
Iran will play host to the final review session regarding the application of Norooz to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list in May. Norooz is the start of the Iranian New Year and marks the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere on March 21st. - 1/28/08

28 players invited to Iran's World Cup squad
After naming Iran's national soccer coach, 28 players have been invited for the first round of South Africa's 2010 World Cup qualifier. -Press TV - 1/28/08

Iran and its Economy
Last year I wrote two articles on Iranian economy, one on the U.S. plans for economic strangulation of Iran and the second on the existing systemic problems in the Iranian economy (Ahmadinejad's Achilles Heel: The Iranian Economy). Since then the U.S. economic pressure on Iran has been increasing steadily. -Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar - 1/28/08

Six Nominations For Persepolis at French Oscars 2008!
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud's Animated film gets 6 major nods including Best film for upcoming Césars -Darius KADIVAR - 1/28/08

Iran advises US to hold talks in context of Group 5+1
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Monday advised his US counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, to hold talks with Iran in the context of the Group 5+1. Mottaki turned down an invitation from Rice in Davos, Switzerland, for conditioning it to a halt to fuel cycle program. -IRNA - 1/28/08

Iran-Europe gas project put out for tender
Under the project, 17 inch pipelines will be laid down on an area of 1,800 kms at a cost of $5 billion and 17 gas pressure stations will be set up on the Build, Operate and Own (BOO) scheme. -IRNA - 1/28/08

Iran to announce date of next round of talks with US later: FM
"US commitment to the results of Iran-US talks on Iraq as well as effectiveness of the talks are Iran's major considerations," he said. -IRNA - 1/28/08

Russia completes nuclear fuel delivery to Iran
The eighth and last nuclear fuel shipment from Russia for Bushehr nuclear power plant arrived in Iran Monday morning. - 1/28/08

UN pressed for third round of sanctions on Iran
Western states today begin the uphill task of persuading fellow members of the United Nations Security Council that a third round of modest economic sanctions would force Iran to come clean about its nuclear ambitions where earlier measures had failed. -Financial Times - 1/28/08

Bita Daryabari wears a Dior gown for the 75th diamond anniversary gala for the opening night of the San Francisco Ballet at City Hall on Wednesday, January 23, 2008, in San Francisco. -SF Gate - 1/28/08

Iran resumes pumping gas to Turkey
Iran has resumed the export of natural gas to Turkey which was halted almost three weeks ago due to an unexpected rise in domestic needs. -Press TV - 1/28/08

Iran's parliament studies reduction of economic transactions with France
The head of Iran's parliament national security and foreign policy commission emphasized Iran should reduce its economic transactions with France particularly in car industry. -ISNA - 1/28/08

Iraq: Kurdish Ambitions Generate Backlash
On January 13, a coalition of 10 Shi'ite and Sunni political blocs announced the formation of a new broad-based alliance called the National Understanding Project that intends to do away with the sectarian quota system and support national reconciliation. -RFE - 1/28/08

Heavy snow in Tehran causes flights delay
Heavy snowfall overnight blanketed the runaway of the airports and the bad weather have caused delay in routine flights from Tehran and some other provinces. -IRNA - 1/27/08

Iran: Khatami, Rafsanjani, Karrubi negotiate over banned candidates
Former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi, former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani held a meeting on Saturday night to study the disqualification of a number of Majlis hopefuls including those in the reformist camp. -MNA - 1/27/08

62 countries to compete at 26th Fajr Film Festival in Iran
62 countries are to enter films in the 26th Fajr International Film Festival which commences February 1st. -MNA - 1/27/08

No case of bird flu in Iran: Health Minister
Minister of Health Kamran Baqeri Lankarani said here Saturday that no case of H5N1 virus has been observed in Iran. -IRNA - 1/27/08

U.S. presence in the region, its Achilles heel: Iranian commander
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad-Ali Jafari announced the U.S. officials know very well that their army is within the gunshot of Iran's long-range weapons. -ISNA - 1/27/08

Ties with US will not remain severed forever: FM
Iran-US ties would not remain severed forever, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday evening. -IRNA - 1/27/08

Iran would supply fuel bank
Iranian presidential advisor Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi said Iran could join a proposed international bank for enriched uranium that would provide countries with safe fuel for nuclear power stations - but only as a supplier. -IRNA - 1/27/08

Iran: Crude price pegged at dlrs 39.6 a barrel under next year's budget
Oil earnings will account for 57.8 percent, taxes for 25 percent and other sources for 17.2 percent of the country's revenues next year. -IRNA - 1/27/08

Iran, Iraq sign agreement on environment protection
Iranian and Iraqi officials signed an eight- article agreement on cooperation in the field of environment protection - 1/27/08

Waving Goodbye to Hegemony
At best, America's unipolar moment lasted through the 1990s, but that was also a decade adrift. The post-cold-war "peace dividend" was never converted into a global liberal order under American leadership. So now, rather than bestriding the globe, we are competing -- and losing -- in a geopolitical marketplace alongside the world's other superpowers: the European Union and China. -NY Times - 1/27/08

Afghanistan dismisses allegation over Iran mines supply to Taliban
Spokesman of Afghan Interior Ministry Zemaira Bashary on Sunday rejected allegation over mines supply from Iran to the Taliban fighting with the Afghan government in western Afghanistan. -IRNA - 1/27/08

Clemente, head coach of Iran's football team, to arrive in Tehran on Jan 30
"The agreement with Clemente has been finalized and the new head coach of Iranian National Football Team will arrive on January 30 or 31." - 1/26/08

Iran, Malaysia sign gas contract
Iran and Malaysia have struck a 1.2-billion-euro deal to build natural gas liquids (NGL) facilities on Iran's southern Kharg Island. - 1/26/08

Do the Democrats have a different answer on Iran?
Noam Chomsky on Democratic presidential race and Iran. Noam Chomsky is a renowned professor of linguistics at MIT. He has authored over 30 political books dissecting U.S. interventionism in the developing world, the political economy of human rights and the propaganda role of corporate media. -Real News - 1/26/08

Iran Reports 7th Shipment of Russian Nuclear Fuel
The Islamic Republic News Agency says the consignment of 11 tons of uranium fuel rods arrived at the Bushehr plant in southern Iran Saturday. -VOA - 1/26/08

Turkmenistan To Allow Independent Survey Of Its Gas Resources
Turkmenistan's leadership has boasted for years about its huge natural-gas fields, and has signed multibillion-dollar contracts with foreign countries for most of those reserves. But no independent assessment has ever confirmed that Turkmenistan actually has the resources to fulfill its end of the deals. -RFE - 1/26/08

Analysis: Iran in from cold?
Given Western Europe's growing anxieties about being increasingly beholden to Russia's energy exports, a most unlikely champion of shivering Europeans has arisen -- the mullahs of Tehran. And their weapon of choice? The Nabucco pipeline project, which earlier this week was declared by many analysts as dead and buried after Russia signed a long-term pipeline project with Bulgaria. UPI - 1/26/08

Sahbaii appointed Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor
Tehran Symphony Orchestra's council appointed Manuchehr Sahbaii as new permanent conductor of the orchestra on Saturday. - 1/26/08

EU: Energy Official Downplays Gazprom Expansion Threat
EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs says there is no reason to fear the recent spate of energy deals Russia has made with EU member states. -RFE - 1/26/08

The One Million Signatures Campaign: Moving beyond Elite Demands
One of the main criticisms against the Iranian women's movement is that it advocates for the demands of elite groups and disregards the demands and needs of women at the grassroots. -Maryam Hossienkhah - 1/26/08

Iran to resume gas export to Turkey: Guler
Turkey's energy minister expects Tehran to resume natural gas exports to Ankara next week ending a 15-day cut forced by a cold snap in Iran. -Press TV - 1/26/08

US Democrats Challenge Bush on Foreign, Domestic Policy
Reid said the U.S. must work to restore moral authority damaged by the Iraq war. He urged the president to make a firm statement against the use of torture in interrogations, and to state stronger support for democracy in Pakistan, and take new diplomatic steps toward Iran. -VOA - 1/26/08

Let’s not bomb Iran
Iran has a lot more oil than we have in the U.S. We envy them that. However, that does not make them an evil empire as President Bush indicated several years ago. -Reed Smith, PWW - 1/26/08

Iran: Children whose father is a foreign national live in a limbo state
After one year from the ratification of the bylaw regarding the status of children with a foreign national father, not one person has managed to obtain an ID card. - 1/25/08

Fajr International Theater Festival Picks First-Rate Jury
Iranian Saeid Keshen-Fallah and Farhad Nazerzadeh Kermani, Kuwaiti Nadir Al-qana, British Aleksandar Dundjerovic and U.S. Vilsoni Hereniko comprise this year's jury. -MNA - 1/25/08

Iran seeks UNESCO year of Ferdowsi
Iran's cultural heritage organization hopes that UNESCO will evaluate naming an international year in honor of the Persian poet Ferdowsi. - 1/25/08

Culture Minister denies influencing selection of Fajr Film Festival entries
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi denies having had any influence in the selection of Iranian entries for the National Competition Section of the 26th Fajr Film Festival. -MNA - 1/25/08

The fall of Israel's ministry of Iranophobia
On January 16, 2008, Israeli outspoken strategic affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned and his hardline Yisrael Beiteinu Party left prime minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government. -Press TV - 1/25/08

Iran, France Foreign Ministers Meet
The foreign minister at the sideline of Davos meeting met with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner and the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliev. -ISNA - 1/25/08

FAO: New avian influenza flare-ups
Recent avian influenza outbreaks in 15 countries demonstrate that the H5N1 virus remains a global threat and requires close monitoring and strong control efforts, FAO said today. - 1/25/08

Iran to blame for delayed talks on Iraq - US envoy
Iran is to blame for the delay in holding more talks with the United States about Iraq's security and it is unclear when the discussions will be held, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/25/08

Khatami: Iran most democratic state in Middle East
Addressing the 38th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Khatami said, "Obviously, opposition against Iran is politically motivated. Extremists in any religion always consider everything black and white and have no tool but violence." -IRNA - 1/25/08

Persian culture at center stage
Shahri Estakhry was looking for ways to improve communication between her English-speaking daughter and Farsi-speaking parents. Her search resulted in the creation of the Persian Cultural Center of San Diego, which will soon enter its third decade serving a growing Persian community with language, dance and theater classes. -UNION-TRIBUNE - 1/25/08

Where Do the Presidential Contenders Stand on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
As the news out of Gaza makes international headlines, we take a look at where the Republican and Democratic presidential contenders stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -Democracy Now - 1/25/08

Afghanistan: Journalist Claims Article That Led To Death Sentence
His pen name says it all: Arash Bikhoda -- or "Godless," in Persian. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, that's a dangerous name. But Bikhoda is an Iranian-born student and Internet journalist who lives in Europe. He's also the author of "The Koranic Verses That Discriminate Against Women," a controversial article that, a world away in Afghanistan, has landed journalist Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh on death row. -RFE - 1/25/08

Looking for Help in Containing Iran
Containment isn't what it used to be. The Government Accountability Office issued a report last week that says the Iran sanctions aren't working — at least when it comes to gas and oil. Since 2003 Iran has signed $20 billion worth of energy deals with foreign companies. -TIME - 1/25/08

Imprisoned professor gives public lecture: Talk slated for Jan. 28
Political philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo, freed in 2006 from imprisonment in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, has returned to the University of Toronto as a professor of political science, a research fellow at the Centre for Ethics and a Massey College scholar-at-risk. -University of Toronto - 1/25/08

ILLA and a unique Persian Garden in Geneva
ILLA (named after a heroine in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh - The Epic of kings) is an organisation that was founded in 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland, to promote Iranian Art and Artists. Their most long term and biggest project is to build a Persian Garden in the City of Geneva and the group has been working on this for the past year and a half. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/24/08

Most Germans want Matthaeus to become Iran's football coach: TV poll
More than 60 percent of Germans want former German nation team captain Lothar Matthaeus to become the next coach of the Iranian national football squad, according to a survey released Thursday by the private German SAT 1 broadcasting network. -IRNA - 1/24/08

Iran refused to receive US message: It's Persian Gulf...
"Iran refused to accept the US government's message due to the appearance of the world `Gulf' instead of `Persian Gulf' in it and rejected it. So, on this basis, no message has yet been received and evidently, once a revised version is received, it would be investigated" - 1/24/08

Questions Remain about Iran Democracy Fund
In a controversial move last month, Congress appropriated $60 million for a package of State Department programs designed to “promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran,” in part, by funding the activities of Iranian dissident groups. -NIAC - 1/24/08

Center Documents 935 False Statements By Top Administration Officials To Justify Iraq War
Leading up to the five-year anniversary of the Iraq war, the Center for Public Integrity has released the first analysis of its kind, "Iraq – The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War." - 1/24/08

Russia Says New Iran Resolution Not Punitive
Russia's foreign minister says a new draft U.N. resolution on Iran over its disputed nuclear activities does not call for any tough sanctions. -VOA - 1/24/08

Course in Oxford: Iran and the West
What are the prospects for better and more stable relations between Iran and the West? This day school will examine this question in the light of Iran's regional role, its internal politics, and its nuclear policy - 1/24/08

Iranian reformists to protest election screening results: spokesman
The electoral supervisory commission of the Tehran constituency has rejected the candidacy of 394 parliamentary hopefuls and endorsed 1,001 candidates out of 1,403 who have registered to run for the 2008 legislative elections. -MNA - 1/24/08

Iran: Parity Rates Unchanged; Exporters Oppose Reevaluation
Parity rates for foreign currencies will remain unchanged in the budget law for the next Iranian year (March 2008-09 fiscal year), announced economy minister. - 1/24/08

Iran blocks reformist candidates
Reformists in Iran says the government has barred thousands of their candidates from standing in forthcoming parliamentary elections. -BBC - 1/24/08

Sixth nuclear fuel shipment from Russia arrives in Iran
The sixth nuclear fuel shipment from Russia for Bushehr nuclear power plant arrived in Iran Thursday morning. -IRNA - 1/24/08

Afghanistan: Journalist Given Death Sentence For 'Blasphemy'
A 23-year-old Afghan journalist has been sentenced to death by a court in northern Afghanistan for blasphemy in connection with an article that people close to the case say he did not write. -RFE/RL - 1/24/08

Iran: Consumer goods, services index up 19.6% Nov 22-Dec 21
Central Bank of Iran said on Wednesday that the index of consumer goods and services in Iran's urban areas (inflation index) rose by 19.6 percent in the Iranian month of `Azar' (November 22-December 21) compared to the same period the previous year. -IRNA - 1/24/08

Tensions at the top in Iran
The recent rebuke by Iran's supreme leader to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may indicate that the clerical establishment is beginning to lose patience with a president whose popularity has been plummeting in recent months amid a worsening economic situation. -BBC - 1/24/08

Bush: Little chance of masterstroke
For the Bush administration, it seems imperative to leave behind at least one bright spot in an otherwise unexceptional, or even dismal, foreign policy legacy, but many believe there is little chance for this to happen. -ISN - 1/24/08

Iranians' love-affair with texting
Young Iranians are texting each other with humorous, subversive or plain saucy messages while the religious conservatives who run their country are slumbering. -Mianeh - 1/23/08

Call for Papers: "The Essential Needs of the Iranian Woman Today"
The19th International Annual Conference of the Iranian Women Studies Foundation: July 4-6, 2008 at the Wheeler Auditorium, University of California, Berkeley - 1/23/08

Satrapi and Parronaud's animated Bio Epic Nominated for Best Animation at Upcoming Oscars -Darius KADIVAR - 1/23/08

Iran: Names of qualified and disqualified Majlis hopefuls released
The Interior Ministry released on Tuesday the names of the parliamentary hopefuls whose candidacy have been either rejected or endorsed by the oversight bodies. -MNA - 1/23/08

Iran ready to pipe gas to the EU
Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has announced that Iran is ready to supply gas for a major European Union pipeline scheme, but added that it is up to the bloc to decide whether it wanted it or not -MNA - 1/23/08

Iran finds new ways to beat sanctions
The Bush administration probably was not thinking about Shrek, Elmo and Spongebob Square Pants when it started warning international banks against doing business with Iran. -Financial Times - 1/23/08

Iran: Nightmares Of Evin Haunt Freed Filmmaker
Night after night, from her cell in solitary confinement, Mehrnoushe Solouki could hear the anguished crying of fellow inmates in Tehran's Evin prison. When the French-Iranian filmmaker asked her guards about it, they were clear: The cries were not from hardened criminals but female activists, artists, and intellectuals locked up for nothing more than their political beliefs. -RFE - 1/23/08

Omid Djalili's Tribute to friend and colleague Heath Ledger after the Star's reported accidental death -Darius KADIVAR - 1/23/08

Iranian MPs rally against Gaza Strip catastrophe
Members of Iran's parliament held a rally in Tehran on Wednesday and protested the crimes committed by Israeli regime in Gaza, ISNA reported from Tehran. The MPs ended their rally by reading a statement in which they emphasized their support for Palestinians. - 1/23/08

Iran allocates USD 3bn to gasoline imports next year
Deputy Oil Minister, Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh, told IRNA that the budget was only allocated to the imports of petroleum and gasoline in the next Iranian calendar year of 1387 (March 21, 2008 - March 20, 2009). - 1/23/08

UN, aid agencies appeal for US$461 million for the occupied Palestinian territory
The appeal by 12 UN agencies, 15 international aid groups and 13 local ones was a "realistic figure" said Max Gaylard, the UN's humanitarian coordinator, noting an increase in poverty rates as well as unemployment. -IRIN - 1/23/08

Iran delayed satellite launch
The successful launch on Monday of an advanced Israeli satellite was delayed in recent months by Iranian sabotage, The Jerusalem Post has learned from Western sources. -Jerusalem Post - 1/23/08

Caspian uncertainty biggest threat to EU gas scheme
Uncertain central Asian gas supplies have emerged as the largest threat to an EU scheme to provide an alternative to Russian gas following a month-long stand-off between Turkmenistan and Iran, analysts say. -Reuters - 1/23/08

The Charade In The Persian Gulf
What if the President had finally come to terms with the futility of his disastrously ambitious crusade he had undertaken or was conned into undertaking? What if he now, perhaps with the help of his Secretary of State and the Pentagon Chief, wants to gracefully change course and avoid being dragged into a bigger hellfire by attacking Iran? -Kam Zarrabi - 1/22/08

First Persian Piano Recital in Amsterdam
For the first time in Amsterdam, on March 1st, 2008, a Persian piano recital will be held. The young Persian pianist and journalist, Pejman Akbarzadeh, who immigrated to the Netherlands in 2006, will perform works by Javad Badizadeh, Mostafa Kasravi, Rouhollah Khaleghi, Homayoun Khorram, Javad Maroufi, Anoushiravan Rohani, Shardad Rohani and Parviz Yahaghi. - 1/22/08

Moving the Goal Posts on Dealing with Iran's Nuclear Issue
Gary Samore, who has a long history of involvements with the US government on matters related to national security and nuclear proliferation, in particular on Iran's nuclear case, recently made outrageous remarks at the Wilson Center in Washington -Nader Bagherzadeh - 1/22/08

Important Change in the Canadian Judicial System brought about by an Iranian researcher
The method adopted by an Iranian expert in computer science, allows an intelligent summarising of juridical and legal texts. This system, the first in its kind, facilitates the reading of long juridical laws and regulations, which is a time consuming and costly procedure. - 1/22/08

World land artists flock to Hormoz Island in Persian Gulf
A group of Iranian and foreign artists are heading to Hormoz Island in southern Iran on January 26 to take part in Iran's 15th Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival. American conservation artist Barbara Roux and German artist and musician Sibyll Kalff are currently in Iran to attend the program - 1/22/08

China Reluctant to Support New Sanctions Against Iran
China has hinted it would not support a new round of sanctions against Iran despite Tehran's continued defiance of United Nations resolutions on its nuclear program. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany are meeting in Berlin to discuss further sanctions against Tehran. -VOA - 1/22/08

The French knew me better: Haj Qorban Soleimani
Late Haj Qorban Soleimani, veteran dotar player from the Khorasan region of Iran once said that French citizens knew him better than his own nation. -MNA - 1/22/08

Bush's Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up
Although nukes and Iraq have been the main focus of the Bush Administration's pressure campaign against Iran, US officials also seek to tar Iran as the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. -Gareth Porter, Nation - 1/22/08

Iran, Egypt Presidents Discuss Gaza Crisis
Iranian President Mahmud Ahamadinejad in a telephone conversation with Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday condemned Israel's massacre of Palestinians and called for lifting the Gaza blockade. -MNA - 1/22/08

Iran, Tajikistan team up to honor Persian poet Rudaki
Iran and Tajikistan will jointly celebrate the 1150th birth anniversary of the Persian poet Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki (858-941) during a series of programs in 2008. - 1/22/08

Iranian MPs to hold rally to echo humanitarian crisis in Gaza
MPs will gather at Palestine Square in Tehran to urge the international community, especially the Islamic states to force Israel to stop disproportionate use of force against Palestinians living in Gaza Strip. -MNA - 1/22/08

Fifth nuclear fuel shipment from Russia arrives in Iran
The fifth nuclear fuel shipment from Russia for Bushehr nuclear power plant arrived in Iran Tuesday morning. -IRNA - 1/22/08

Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival to be held on January 26th
Iran's 15th festival of environmental art focusing on campaign against war and militarization of the Persian Gulf will be commenced in Hormuz island on the 26th of January. -ISNA - 1/21/08

NY Premiere of "Beneath the Veil", a play by Mary Apick
Beneath The Veil is a critically acclaimed play by the Iranian actress Mary Apick. This play will open on Friday, February 15th at Columbia University's Miller Theater. - 1/21/08

Musical Ode To Cyrus The Great In Paris
Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi Guest of Honor For Symphonic Performance of Gioachino Rossini's "Ciro In Babilonia" at The Theater Des Champs-Elysees -Darius KADIVAR - 1/21/08

Iran's classical music needs reform: Mashayekhi
Musician Nader Mashayekhi considers that reformation is essential in the field of Iranian classical and symphonic music. -MNA - 1/21/08

Westminster Committee on Iran launches online discussion forum
The Westminster Committee on Iran today launched an online discussion forum providing a mechanism for academics, parliamentarians and policy makers around the world to discuss issues and share information on the growing standoff with Iran. - 1/21/08

Daum says 'no' to Iranian national team coaching offer
The coach of second division Bundesliga club FC Cologne, Christoph Daum, has rejected an offer to train the Iranian national football squad, the website of the Koelner Express newspaper reported Monday. - 1/21/08

Iran: Reformist candidates not on coalition's list will pull out
The spokesman for the election commission of the reformist coalition, Abdollah Naseri, said on Sunday that the candidates whose names are not included on the reformists' final list will pull out in favor of other candidates. -MNA - 1/21/08

Iran Leader Under Fire for Gas Shortages
Iran's supreme leader Monday reversed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ordered him to implement a law supplying natural gas to remote villages amid rising dissatisfaction with the president's performance. -AP - 1/21/08

Iran: Tehran Under Pressure Ahead Of UN Sanctions Talks
The international spotlight is back on Iran's nuclear program ahead of six-country talks in Berlin on possible new UN economic sanctions against Tehran. -RFE - 1/21/08

Iran attracts $11b in foreign investment in 10 months
Since March 2007, $11 billion has been invested in telecommunications, steel, petrochemicals, agriculture, and small-scale industries by foreign financiers, mostly from Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Germany, France, and Italy, Ahmad Jamali told ISNA. -MNA - 1/21/08

Is US on Brink of War with Iran?
Scott Ritter, one of the former United Nations inspectors who didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, denounced the Bush administration for going to war with WMDs as the primary rationale in March 2003. Now he fears the United States is on the brink of war with Iran. -Daily Tribune - 1/21/08

India launches Israeli satellite
The Israeli press is reporting that the satellite will improve Israel's ability to monitor Iran's military activities. -BBC - 1/21/08

Iranian Football Federation targets Christoph Daum
The coach of second division Bundesliga club FC Cologne, Christoph Daum has received an offer to train the Iranian national football team, FC Cologne manager Michael Meier confirmed to the online site of the Koelner Express newspaper. -IRNA - 1/20/08

Iran: Investigate Detention Deaths
Iranian authorities should investigate the sudden deaths of two people while in custody in northwestern Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. - 1/20/08

U.S. responds to Iran's conditions for Iraq talks
Mohsen Hakim of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) said on Saturday that the United States has responded to Tehran's preconditions for holding new talks over security situation in Iraq. -MNA - 1/20/08

Iran takes delivery of fourth fuel shipment from Russia
Iran took delivery of the fourth shipment of fuel from Russia for Bushehr power plant on Sunday. -IRNA - 1/20/08

Quake hits central province of Yazd in Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale jolted the outskirts of Deihouk in the central province of Yazd early Sunday morning. -IRNA - 1/20/08

Poem: My Martyred Lady
You wanted to enlighten the ignorant Masses, --Who thrive in dirt, blood and killings. -Mali Mostoufi, NY - 1/20/08

Liquidity still on the rise in Iran
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reported here on Saturday that liquidity rose in the country to 37.3 percent, a 15.3 percent rise in comparison to the figure for the beginning of the Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2007). -MNA - 1/20/08

Iran targeting Asian countries for imports
Nine of Iran's top ten target countries for non-oil product imports were Asian countries during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2007), the director of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran announced here on Saturday. -MNA - 1/20/08

Iranian FM concerned over current situation in Gaza Strip
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday drew the attention of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) toward the current situation in Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestine. -IRNA - 1/20/08

The Great Moqtada Makeover
American commanders hope they can turn Sadr's Shiite supporters the same way they have former Sunni insurgents. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 1/20/08

Afghan War Only Just Beginning, Security Group Warns
The war in Afghanistan is only just beginning as NATO forces, far from pursuing remnants of a defeated Taliban, are entering a widening and deepening conflict they may well lose, security NGO said on Saturday. -Sydney Morning Herald - 1/20/08

Canada FM regrets 'torture list'
The Canadian foreign minister has apologised for including the US and Israel on a list of states where prisoners are at risk of torture. -BBC - 1/20/08

Millions of Shia Muslims mourn for Imam Hossein all over the world
Shia Muslims mourn for Imam Hossein (PBUH), the third Imam of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) infallible household, all around the world on the day of Ashoura, the tenth day of Moharram, the first month of the Lunar calender. - 1/19/08

Iran: Detained Student Dies Under 'Suspicious' Circumstances
An Iranian student detained in the capital of Iran's Kurdistan Province has died in prison under circumstances described by his family and human rights activists as "suspicious," Radio Farda reported. -RFE - 1/19/08

Bird flu cases found in northern Iran
Iran's Veterinary Organization has announced migratory and indigenous birds have tested positive for the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus. -Press TV - 1/19/08

US- Iran Relations: Fifty Years of Deceit
Meanwhile, what is happening in the everyday reality of US-Iran relations? Each day we see on TV the gray, menacing US warships sitting just off Iran’s coast at the Straits of Hormuz. What we don’t see is the US threatening buildup in Azerbaijan along the Caspian Sea on Iran’s northwest borders. What we don’t see is the war that the United States and Great Britain have been waging against Iran for at least two years. Actually, for fifty years. -Countercurrent - 1/19/08

India plans to take part in Kish gas project
OVL Indian Company plans to sign an agreement with the Iranian Petro Pars company to participate in Kish's 30-billion dollar gas block project. -ISNA - 1/19/08

Radical left growing as Iran political force
In early December, a surprising scene played out at Tehran University: 500 Marxist students held aloft portraits of Che Guevara to protest President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies. Smaller groups of Marxist students staged similar protests in several other cities. -IHT - 1/19/08

Rethinking Iran
Bush's latest strategy involves trying to contain Iran by arming Sunni counterweights in the region, like Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. Such a strategy is rooted in the cold war mantra that even if a regime was a "son of a bitch," it should be supported as long as it was "our son of a bitch." It doesn't work. -TIME - 1/19/08

Peace pipeline can be stretched to southeastern Asia: Iran's Finance Minister
The Peace pipeline can be stretched to Asian southeastern countries including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Iran's minister for economy and finance said. -ISNA - 1/19/08

Iranian Couple Cycles the World for Peace and Conservation
One young Iranian couple, determined not to leave their country’s public relations to others, is bicycling around the globe to spread a message of peace and environmental conservation. -Indypendent - 1/19/08

Jailed Iranian journalist released on parole
A prominent Iranian pro-reform journalist and rights activist who was jailed for violating national security has been released on parole on health grounds, the student news agency ISNA said on Friday. -Reuters - 1/19/08

The imbeciles who plan war on Iran
Neo-conservatives like John Bolton might actually believe what they say, a more dangerous scenario than if they were merely deceptive -Republic News, Canada - 1/19/08

Why Indian companies must do business in Iran
"We also import and export to America." These words from Iran's Finance Minister Danesh Jafri stunned the gathering into silence at a seminar arranged by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). -Rediff - 1/19/08

Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader
Fresh from a stunning election victory, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's impish new President, set off from Tehran on a mission to enlighten the world. -Kasra Naji, TIMES Online - 1/19/08

Podhoretz: We Should Still Bomb Iran
President Bush should disregard the National Intelligence Estimate’s recent downplaying of the Iranian threat and destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities — or else nuclear war will be “inescapable,” declares neocon commentator Norman Podhoretz. -Newsmax - 1/19/08

US, Iran Collaborate on Scientific Exchanges
Tensions between Iran and the U.S. over Tehran's nuclear program and other issues grab headlines. But this friction belies more amicable overtures taking place between the two nations. Since 1999 an effort has been underway to promote collaboration between American and Iranian scientists in medicine, engineering and technology. -VOA - 1/18/08

How to Prevent War at the Strait of Hormuz?
The recent naval encounter between the US and Iran extended their cold war for the first time to the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Such incidents could escalate into armed conflict, with catastrophic consequences for the world economy, especially the price of oil. To prevent such escalation, Washington and Tehran should establish a "hot line" and an Incident-at-Sea agreement as Washington and Moscow did during the Cold War. -Prof. R. K. Ramazani - 1/18/08

United-States and Iran: The real power struggle
The publication of the National Intelligence Estimate on the Iranian nuclear program has again put the focus on the Iranian policy of the United States. One of the key findings of this report is that Iran stopped the military side of its nuclear program due to "international pressure". -Lionel Bobot and Thierry Coville, Professors, France - 1/18/08

Urgent Action: Amnesty International update on students detained in Iran
All except two of the 20-30 students arrested for participating in the demonstrations for the National University Students' Day on 7 December 2007 are still detained without charge. At least nine other students, including Anahita Hosseini and Bita Naghashiyan, have been arrested in recent days. - 1/18/08

BINOCHE FEMME DANGEREUSE!: Juliette Binoche's Iran Visits Stir Two MPs' Xenophobia
According to Iranian Mehr News Agency two Iranian MPs are worried about the perhaps too frequent travels of Juliette Binoche to Iran. During the last parliamentary session the MPs jointly requested that Iranian officials be cautious about issuing visas for foreign actors to visit Iran. -Darius KADIVAR - 1/18/08

French-Iranian filmmaker Mehrnoushe solouki allowed to leave Iran
Solouki, an Iranian-French filmmaker, arrived in Iran in December 2006 to make a documentary about the eight-year Iran-Iraq imposed war. She was detained by authorities in February of 2007 after interviewing relatives of members of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization. -Press TV - 1/18/08

Bush’s Middle East Trip: Still No Peace
President George W. Bush has been using somewhat stronger language than he has uttered previously about the Israeli-Palestinian situation and has made some optimistic predictions of a peace agreement within a year. Nevertheless, there is little reason to hope that the president is any more serious about or is any more likely to be successful in bringing about a negotiated settlement to the conflict. -Stephen Zunes, FPIF - 1/18/08

Congress Should Investigate Release of Pentagon Iran Video
The story that the Pentagon presented to the world through the news media a week ago about the naval encounter with Iran in the Straits of Hormuz has now largely unraveled. -Robert Naiman, Common Dreams - 1/18/08

Afghanistan Pleased Iranian Plan to Expel Migrant Afghans Halted
The Afghan government is welcoming a decision by Iran to temporarily halt plans to expel more than one million undocumented Afghan refugees. -VOA - 1/18/08

Tajikistan: New Curbs Target Islamic Students
Tajikistan's education minister has extended official strictures on personal and religious freedoms with an assault on deeply ingrained practices at one of the country's major institutions of Islamic learning. -RFE - 1/18/08

Canada puts US on 'torture list'
The United States has been listed as a country where prisoners are at risk of torture in a training document produced by the Canadian foreign ministry. - 1/18/08

Opium Fields Spread Across Iraq as Farmers Try to Make Ends Meet
The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops. -Independent - 1/18/08

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens
A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians. -AFP - 1/18/08

How the Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story
Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the Jan. 6 U.S.-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran’s military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 1/17/08

Oil Minister: Iran not exporting gas
The oil minister Wednesday assured that Iran was not exporting gas to anywhere currently and all the produced gas was being used at home. He told reporters 13.2 million subscribers were using gas and 300,000 had faced cutoff. - 1/17/08

A Chamber In The Balance
America's political future will depend heavily on the Senate elections in 2008 because a surprisingly large number of the upper chamber's 35 races are considered competitive. Each election cycle, a third of US Senators face re-election, and just like the House races described earlier, rarely are incumbent Senators defeated. -Babak Talebi, NIAC - 1/17/08

Iran, China stress enhanced cooperation
Visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Mehdi Safari held talks with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun in Beijing Thursday. -IRNA - 1/17/08

US Says Iran Sanctions Having Some Impact
The Bush administration insisted Wednesday that international sanctions against Iran are having some impact despite a new government report questioning their usefulness. -VOA - 1/17/08

Turkmenistan reneges on its promise
In line with the growing trend of cooperation with its northeastern neighbor, Iran signed an agreement with Turkmenistan in which the country agreed to deliver up to 25 million cubic meters of gas every day to the Islamic Republic for 25 years. -Rahmatollah Yuzbashi, Azad University, Turkmen Port - 1/17/08

Freedom On Decline Around The World
2007 was a bad year for freedom, according to a prominent rights-advocacy organization that has registered a global decline in political rights and civil liberties for the second consecutive year. -RFE - 1/17/08

The Pakistan Conundrum
President Musharraf’s pro-American posturing and the material support Pakistan has provided in the so-called ‘Global War on Terror’ have been decidedly unpopular among the majority of the Pakistani population. Islamabad has always tried to tread lightly when it came to an American military presence on Pakistani soil. -Scott Ritter, TruthDig - 1/17/08

Gaza power cuts leave people cold physically, metaphorically
Israel's decision to cut supplies began after its cabinet in September 2007 declared the Gaza Strip a "hostile entity" due to the Islamic group Hamas's take over of the enclave and Palestinian militants' rocket fire, which targets southern Israel and border crossings. -IRIN - 1/17/08

Iran: Dramatic election season underway
Expect a great deal of drama as reformists and conservatives battle it out ahead of Iran’s pivotal March parliamentary elections. -ISN - 1/17/08

Faulty heaters kill many in Iran
Faulty gas heaters have been blamed for 89 deaths during a cold snap in Iran, according to local media reports. -BBC - 1/17/08

The Opportunity of Congressional Primaries
Many Iranian Americans in states like California, Maryland, and Illinois feel that their votes will not matter in congressional districts that are dominated by one party or the other. However, reality is that even in the most solidly Democratic or Republican districts, Iranian Americans can have a huge impact by turning their focus to the primaries. -Babak Talebi, NIAC - 1/16/08

Iranian Alliances Across Borders Calling All Campers!!
On December 17th, 2007, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) began accepting applications for Camp Ayandeh 2008, which will take place at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia from June 22nd through June 28th, 2008. Camp Ayandeh is a youth leadership camp that strives to create a positive environment where young Iranian-Americans develop a sense of personal culture and feel empowered as a member of a larger community. - 1/16/08

Aristotle's Seven Golden Rules Of Story Telling
Aristotle 384-322 BCE, in his seminal treatise 'Poetics or Poetica' concluded there are seven golden rules of successful story telling. These rules or principles in his days pertained to ancient Greek theatre. -Jan Janroy aka Jalal Jonroy (Director of David & Layla) - 1/16/08

Good Relations Between Iran and Turkmenistan Take Turn For The Worse
In recent days, long-festering strains in the Turkmen-Iranian relationship -- which involves gas, electricity, fishing rights, and water sharing, as well as sensitivities surrounding northern Iran's 3 million ethnic Turkmen -- have been made public. And as Ashgabat and Tehran haggle over gas supplies and other issues, ordinary people in Iran and Turkey are bearing the brunt of the dispute during a winter of record cold. -RFE - 1/16/08

NIAC Guide: Presidential Candidate Positions on US-Iran Relations
As the presidential elections draw near, Iranian Americans are faced with the challenge of gleaning candidate positions on Iran amidst a blur of sound bytes and vague rhetoric. Iran remains a key issue in both Republican and Democratic debates and continues to play a major role in determining who will be elected president. - 1/16/08

Big-Power Ministers Plan Berlin Meeting on Iran Sanctions
Foreign ministers of the five permanent U.N. Security Council countries and Germany convene in Berlin next week for another attempt to finalize new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Efforts to conclude a third sanctions resolution have stalled in recent months. -VOA - 1/16/08

Iran: Child Offenders Face 'Imminent Execution' On Death Row
In most countries, minors under 18 convicted of capital crimes face less severe sentences than adults. There is a broad consensus, reflected in the UN's International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), that minors cannot fully grasp the consequences of all their actions -- and so, are legally less liable for them than adults. -RFE - 1/16/08

No doubt in Iran, Kuwait friendship: Kuwaiti FM
There is no doubt that Kuwait regards Iran as its friend, the Kuwaiti foreign minister, Sheikh al-Salem al-Sabah said during a press conference with his Iranian counterpart. -ISNA - 1/16/08

Sonar was not the cause of Persian Gulf dolphins' death: IUCN
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) experts say Persian Gulf dolphins beaching was a result of fishing and its related factors. -ISNA - 1/16/08

US Lawmakers Renew Opposition to US Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia
51 Democrats and one Republican have signed on so far to a resolution disapproving of the proposed transaction, which is part of a larger $20 billion military sale to Saudi Arabia and Gulf states aimed at countering threats from Iran. -VOA - 1/16/08

The Futility of Sanctioning Tehran
Do facts matter in international relations? One day after the latest US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) established with high confidence that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, President Bush stepped in front of the cameras to declare that the NIE makes it clear that Iran needs to be taken seriously as a threat to peace. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Monthly Review - 1/16/08

President Bush’s Only Achievement in the Middle East is to Increase the Power of Iran
Just as we were all sighing with relief at the end of the Bush years, the lame duck President has waddled into the Middle East to remind us his beak is still nuclear-tipped. With one year to go, he is standing on the sands of Arabia to announce Iran is “the world leading state sponsor of terror” and must be confronted “before it’s too late”. He then quacks a few words about peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the “success” of the surge in Iraq. -Independent - 1/16/08

Iran has stopped expulsion of Afghan nationals, Embassy
The Embassy said in a statement that the plan is currently on hold on humanitarian ground following a request made by the Afghan government to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -IRNA - 1/16/08

Spain's Salamanca University to establish Persian course
An agreement to establish the course was signed this week by Iran's cultural attaché to Spain, Mohammad Khezri, and the dean of Salamanca University, José Ramón Alons. -MNA - 1/16/08

Tourists coming to Iran to be offered insurance
All foreign tourists would be provided with health and accident insurance upon arrival in Iran, an insurance official said on Wednesday. -IRNA - 1/16/08

Iranian-American Influence on the Presidential Primaries
Iranian Americans have a tremendous opportunity to impact the outcome of the 2008 Presidential elections. The key to wielding influence far greater than ones actual numbers is to vote in the primaries, particularly on 'Super Duper Tuesday,' February 5. -Babak Talebi, NIAC - 1/15/08

Iranian NGOs: Sowing the Seeds of Civil Society
After a period of unprecedented growth which coincided with the drive for political reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Iran have entered a relatively low-key period of activity, characterized by less political overtones and concentration on grassroots involvement. -PARSA Community Foundation - 1/15/08

Report: Second Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival
During the last week of 2007 (25 -29, 2007) a new environmental art festival was held on the coast of Hormoz, in the Persian Gulf. More than 80 artists gathered on this beautiful island to create environmental installations and sand sculptures. The festival also included a number of art performances. -Ahmad Nadalian - 1/15/08

Turkmenistan trying to double gas price: Iranian MP
The reason that Turkmenistan has cut gas supplies to Iran is that it wants to double the gas price from 7 cents to 14 cents per cubic meter, Majlis Energy Committee Chairman Kamal Daneshyar said in Tehran on Tuesday. - 1/15/08

Iran: Death by stoning, a grotesque and unacceptable penalty
As nine women and two men in Iran wait to be stoned to death, Amnesty International today called on the Iranian authorities to abolish death by stoning and impose an immediate moratorium on this horrific practice, specifically designed to increase the suffering of the victims. - 1/15/08

US to Sell Precision-Guided Bombs to Saudi Arabia
The Bush administration officially notified Congress Monday of its intention to sell sophisticated precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia. The action, coinciding with President Bush's visit to Saudi Arabia, is part of a broader U.S. effort to bolster Persian Gulf allies in the face of a more assertive Iran. -VOA - 1/15/08

Reformers inside Iran excluded from US support: Zibakalam
The reformers inside the Islamic Republic never enjoyed support from the Bush Administration, university lecturer Sadeq Zibakalam said on Tuesday. -IRNA - 1/15/08

Iran's Nobel Peace laureate condemns election process
Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi hit out Monday at her country's electoral process, saying it could not be free while candidates had to be approved by the government's hardline vetting body. -AFP - 1/15/08

Analysts: Iran Parliamentary Election Crucial For Iranian President
Iran holds parliamentary elections March 14 that are widely expected to be something of a referendum on the policies of the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As VOA Correspondent Gary Thomas reports, they may also give signals as to who is in and who is out in Iran's circles of power. - 1/15/08

Michiana Group Offers New Perspective on Iran
Gustafson-Zook took a chance two weeks ago. She left her family in Goshen behind and headed to Iran. She was joined by 12 other people, all on a mission to promote peace. -WSJV Television, IN - 1/15/08

Iran-Greek Joint Economic Commission to convene in Athens
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister in Europe Affairs Ali Baqeri and Deputy Greek Foreign Minister in Economic Affairs Petros Doukas met in Athens on Monday and agreed on need for establishing Iran-Greek Joint Economic Commission.-IRNA - 1/15/08

Iran produces 35mm anti-aircraft gun
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Tuesday inaugurated the production line of 35mm anti-aircraft gun. -MNA - 1/15/08

French companies to build Total nuclear power plane in UAE
French oil company Total SA, utility Suez SA and nuclear engineering specialist Areva said Monday they are working together on plans to build a civil nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates. -IRNA - 1/15/08

Iran to open 6 petrochemical plants soon
Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) here Monday announced two petrochemical projects have started experimental production and four will come on stream soon. -MNA - 1/15/08

Iran's minister of economic affairs arrives in India
Iran's minister of economic affairs and finance was welcomed at the New Delhi airport by the ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran and some Indian officials soon after his arrival from Colombo, the Capital city of Sri Lanka Tuesday evening. -IRNA - 1/15/08

Teaching English in Tehran airport
When a friend of mine and her husband, who is a prominent scholar of Iran and Islam, arrived in Tehran at midnight last summer, she was not sure what to expect. In the women's customs inspection room, the female customs officer took a look at her passport and asked: "Are you American?" -Fatemeh Keshavarz - 1/14/08

Iran Attacks US Fifth Fleet! American Casualties Reported!!!
"You hear that, Mabel? Come, watch!" Hank calls from the sofa. "Five of them Iranian swift boats like they used to blow up the Cole just attacked the Fifth Fleet! Don't say how many killed. Just – 'We've suffered casualties!' Those damn Arab-Iranian-al-Qaeda-speedboat-sand-devils! Get in here, Mabel! Watch!" -William Wedin - 1/14/08

The countdown for the 2008 Noor Film Festival has begun!
Noor's Mission/Vision: To foster a greater appreciation of Iranian-American culture and its contribution to the American cultural landscape, independent of religious and political ideology, through the medium of cinema. - 1/14/08

Legendary Iranian historian Jafar Shahidi dies
Prominent Islamic historian and Persian language and literature expert Jafar Shahidi died on Sunday in Tehran. He was 89 and had been suffering from pneumonia. - 1/14/08

ALLEZ MARJANE!: No Win for Persepolis at Golden Globes as Oscar Momentum Approaches
Well It is a tough competition after all added to the fact that with the screenwriters on Strike in Hollywood, the annual Golden Globes ceremony was reduced to an official announcement deprived of any glitter and glamour as in previous years. -Darius KADIVAR - 1/14/08

US president's Middle East mission doomed: Iranian FM
Referring to the increasing trend of bilateral cooperation between Iran and its neighbors in the region, Mottaki said that the US officials could not understand the historical, religious and cultural commonalties between Iran and other regional countries. -IRNA - 1/14/08

Bush to Seek Saudi Support for Middle East Peace Talks, Containing Iran
President Bush travels to Saudi Arabia Monday to encourage support for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and U.S.-led efforts to contain Iran. -VOA - 1/14/08

Strike on Iran Would Roil Oil Markets, Experts Say
A U.S. military strike against Iran would have dire consequences in petroleum markets, say a variety of oil industry experts, many of whom think the prospect of pandemonium in those markets makes U.S. military action unlikely despite escalating economic sanctions imposed by the Bush administration. -Washington Post - 1/14/08

Iranian Embassy dismisses Radio Farda report on radioactive cargo
Iranian Embassy in Kyrgyzstan dismissed a report broadcast by Persian language Radio Farda about shipping of radioactive material to Iran as unfounded and for political gains. -IRNA - 1/14/08

Italian parliamentary delegation visiting Iran
The Italian parliamentary delegation comprising members of the Foreign Policy Commission of the Chamber of Deputies left Rome on Saturday for Tehran. -IRNA - 1/14/08

A blind eye to barbarism
For three decades, Iran has systematically violated its citizens' basic human rights. Now it must be held accountable -Fariba Amini, Guardian - 1/14/08

In Voiding Suit, Appellate Court Says Torture is to be Expected
A federal appeals court Friday threw out a suit by four British Muslims who allege that they were tortured and subjected to religious abuse in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a ruling that exonerated 11 present and former senior Pentagon officials. -McClatchy Newspapers - 1/14/08

US Fencing Team Pleased with Iran's Friendly Environment in Kish island
A member of the US national fencing team dismissed West's negative propaganda about Iran, stressing that he and his teammates would never visit Iran for a second time if they observed any hostility instead of hospitality in the attitude of the Iranian people or government. - 1/13/08

Iran: Authorities Target More Student Activists Ahead Of Elections
Universities in Tehran and other Iranian cities have reportedly taken "disciplinary measures" against some 60 student activists amid a crackdown ahead of parliamentary polls in March. Meanwhile, at least 20 leftist students remain in Tehran's Evin prison after being arrested in December during protests on Iranian Student Day. - 1/13/08

Iranian MPs call for defending 1975 Algiers Accord and Caspian shares
By proposing another motion, the deputies urged Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki "to seriously refrain from making remarks which are contrary to the country's national interests with regards to its share of the Caspian Sea resources and following up issues to restore historical rights of the Iranian nation." -IRNA - 1/13/08

PHOTOS: Snowman Festival in Mashhad, Iran
Photos by Mohammad Jahanfar, ISNA - 1/13/08

Five Chinese banks resume deals with Iran
Five Chinese banks resumed their deals with Iran, the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce Head Assadollah Asgarowladi said here on Sunday. "Of the 12 Chinese banks that severed their ties with the country due to political reasons, five restarted their transactions," he said in an interview with Fars News Agency. - 1/13/08

IAEA says agreed to resolve outstanding issues in one month
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday that based on new agreement with Iran, the outstanding issues will be resolved in one month. -IRNA - 1/13/08

Iranian diplomats released from U.S. captivity in Iraq talk about ordeal
"We were only in charge of issuing visa for Iraqi businessmen and patients and had no other activity out of this framework so we were astounded when the U.S. troops started shooting at the consulate at three and a half in the morning," said Mousa Chegini, one of the released diplomats who worked at Iran's consulate in Arbil. -ISNA - 1/13/08

Iran's 9-month non-oil exports exceeded $16.5b
Non-oil exports, if gas condensates included, have fetched Iran $16.561 million in the first nine months of the current year (started March 21), the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) reported in Tehran on Sunday. -MNA - 1/13/08

Iran sent message to US on Iraq talks: FM Spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday that Iran's messages and considerations on Iran-US talks on Iraq have been sent to Washington through Iraqi authorities. -IRNA - 1/13/08

Iran's reformists dismiss any foreign monitoring of elections
In a statement issued on Sunday reformists dismissed foreign monitoring of Iran's parliamentary elections and urged the reinforcement of public supervision of the polls. - 1/13/08

Bush Says Iran Threat Must Be Faced, 'Before It's Too Late'
U.S. President George W. Bush, in a keynote speech in the United Arab Emirates today, focused on hopes for democracy in the Middle East, while harshly criticizing Iran's leaders. -RFE - 1/13/08

Children worldwide invited to enter Tehran's painting biennial
In an announcement released by the Public Relations Office of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), all Iranian and foreign children aged from 3 to 12 are invited to submit paintings to the secretariat of the biennial before February 19. - 1/13/08

Iran President sends message to heads of Persian Gulf littoral states
In the message, President Ahmadinejad also voiced Iran's readiness to materialize the proposals offered to the PGCC. -IRNA - 1/13/08

Edwards’ openness to Iran worries some pro-Israel Jews
In 2004, John Edwards lost the Democratic presidential nomination because he was considered a foreign policy lightweight. He won the vice presidential slot because his social policies had depth. -Jewish Standard - 1/13/08

Tehran's cinemas closed due to gas cuts
Tehran's cinemas have been hit by cuts in gas supplies in the past few days as the result of the current cold weather conditions and sub-zero temperatures. - 1/12/08

US War Plans and the "Strait of Hormuz Incident": Just Who Threatens Whom?
Instigated by the Pentagon, a bungled media disinformation campaign directed against Iran has unfolded. Five Iranian patrol boats, visibly with no military capabilities, have been accused of threatening three US war ships in the Strait of Hormuz. According to a Pentagon spokesman. -Global Research - 1/12/08

Jalili, ElBaradei reaffirm Iranian transparency
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili on Saturday reaffirmed transparency of Iranian nuclear program and the national resolve to remove the outstanding issues with the UN nuclear agency. - 1/12/08

Juliette Binoche's Iran sojourns stir two MPs' xenophobia
Two Iranian MPs are worried about the perhaps too frequent travels of Juliette Binoche to Iran. During the last parliamentary session the MPs jointly requested that Iranian officials be cautious about issuing visas for foreign actors to visit Iran. - 1/12/08

Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad donates film awards in bid to launch charity
Bani-Etemad attached a note to the collection of awards, reading, "I had once decided to put all my awards on sale in an international auction to establish a foundation to help women who run their families alone. I still have this desire, and I ask the Film Museum to help my wish come true as soon as possible." -MNA - 1/12/08

Over 7,000 hopefuls register for Iran's Majlis elections
Some 7,129 applicants registered for parliamentary elections throughout the country, head of Interior Ministry Information Center Mohammad-Hossein Moussa-Pour announced on Saturday. He told IRNA that 1,278 hopefuls out of the total number have registered in the capital Tehran. - 1/12/08

Iran and Qatar soccer teams draw game in Doha
Iran draws 0-0 in a friendly match against Qatar in preparation for the preliminaries of the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa. -Press TV - 1/12/08

Gareth Porter: Official Version of U.S.-Iranian Naval Incident Starts to Unravel
Gareth Porter is a historian and national security policy analyst. His latest article for IPS News analyzes how the official US version of the naval incident has begun to unravel. He joins us now from Washington, D.C. Gareth Porter, welcome. -Democracy Now - 1/12/08

Iran oil reserve fund holds $10b
Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Tahmasb Mazaheri announces that the country has USD 10 billion in its Oil Stabilization Fund (OSF). -Press TV - 1/12/08

The time for threats and insults is past
The recent tension in the Persian Gulf between Iranian vessels and the U.S. Navy, coming on the heels of the disclosures of the National Intelligence Estimate, highlights the failure of the Bush administration to craft a coherent Iran policy. -Mark Brzezinski and Ray Takeyh, IHT - 1/12/08

Bush in Bahrain as Part of Persian Gulf Tour
Beginning Sunday, the president will visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. - 1/12/08

Kuwaiti FM due in Tehran for first economic commission
Kuwaitis' foreign minister and prime minister deputy are due to step into Iran on Tuesday to participate in the first joint economic commission of the two countries. - 1/12/08

Full Speed Ahead: Damn the Small Boats!
Like most of my fellow taxpayers, I spent most of the day Wednesday examining a Pentagon video of the Iranian flotilla in the Strait of Hormuz. There were five of these small boats in all. They reminded me of the rowboats in which I sometimes float downstream, trolling for catfish in the polluted rivers of the Middle West. -Patrick Irelan, Counterpunch - 1/12/08

French banks stop credit for Iran fuel imports
Indian refiner Reliance quit selling gasoline and diesel to Iran last year after French banks BNP Paribas and Calyon stopped offering credit on the deals, four company and industry sources said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/12/08

THE EYE OF THE TIGER: Marjane Satrapi's subversive masterpiece and the Persepolis generation
This year's Cannes International Film Festival mesmerized viewers with a simple black & white animated French produced film by Iranian born Marjane Satrapi entitled Persepolis. -Darius KADIVAR - 1/11/08

Iran: Over 3000 sign up for 8th Majlis elections
Iran's Elections Headquarters said late Thursday that 3,328 people had signed up for the 8th Majlis elections till the closing hour of Thursday. - 1/11/08

IAEA Chief Mohammad ElBradei arrives in Tehran for nuclear talks
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Reza Aqazadeh started his talks with IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei minutes ago in Tehran. The meeting is taking place in the venue of IAEO building here behind closed doors. - 1/11/08

Davoud Rashidi praising his son, professor Farhad Rashidi
In this ceremony held by Parsse Institute a special mention was made of Farhad Rashidi, teacher of Lausanne Polytechnic University in Switzerland, on his considerable scientific achievement for which he was awarded the 2006 Blondel Medal from the French Association of Electrical Engineering. He received the prize from his father Davoud Rashidi. - 1/11/08

Iran's economic growth to be 5 percent in 2008: World Bank
A report released by the World Bank, has estimated Iran's economic growth in 2006 and 2007 to be respectively 4.3 and 4.6 percent reaching to 5 percent in 2008. - 1/11/08

Iran ready to present recorded tape in Strait of Hormuz: navy commander
Iran is ready to broadcast the recorded dialogues between the U.S. warships and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps boats to make clear the concern emerged recently between Tehran and Washington. -ISNA - 1/11/08

Straight Facts
Iran's release of the video taken on the morning of Sunday January 6th in the Straight of Hormuz, clearly debunks Pentagon's hype of depicting a routine patrolling operation by the Iranian Navy as an act of unfathomable aggression against the United States. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 1/11/08

US-Iran stand-off not mere propaganda
It has worrying similarities with the incident in 1988 when, in the same Strait of Hormuz, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, having failed to monitor the radio traffic properly. -BBC - 1/11/08

US doubts over Iran boat 'threat'
An alleged threat to blow up US warships "may not have come" from Iranian speedboats involved in a recent stand-off, the BBC has learned. -BBC - 1/11/08

The Tragic Conditions of Iraqi Christians
Last week Christian communities across the Middle East celebrated Christmas as they have done for centuries. -Nader Habibi, Arab News - 1/11/08

Persian Gulf's Arab nations give Bush administration mixed signals on facing off with Iran
Jittery after a confrontation between U.S. and Iranian naval vessels off their shores, the Persian Gulf's Arab countries have a contradictory message for President Bush: Be tough on Iran — but not tough enough to start a war. -AP - 1/11/08

Tales From the Zirzameen: The story of an American falling in love with Iran
Introduction: For Love of Persia - This chapter explains how I came to love Persian culture and live in Iran and also explores some of the humorous effects of the differences between Persian and American culture from my personal experiences in Iran. -Brian H. Appleton (Aka Rasool Aryadust) - 1/10/08

Gilane (Zeyton): An enjoyable place to eat in Tehran
There are not that many inspiring and good restaurants in Tehran, besides some well-known chelo-kabab ones. So when you come across a decent, nice and a different type of restaurant it is a sort of novelty. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/10/08

Profile: Iranian-American Artist Vahid Reza Ramezani
Vahid Reza Ramezani is an Iranian American living in Rockville, Maryland. He studied applied mathematics and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park and received his PhD from there in 2001. - 1/10/08

U.S. using Persian Gulf incident as propaganda campaign against Iran: Defense Minister
IRGC Deputy Commander in charge of Naval Forces Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Thursday that the US administration needs to make hue and cry to achieve its political goals and cover up the failed visit of the US president to the Middle East region. - 1/10/08

Will Naval Incident Undermine Bush's Iran Message?
It is by now almost routine. With recurring frequency, U.S. leaders tour the Middle East depicting Iran as the region's greatest threat. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 1/10/08

Bush Issues Warning to Iran
President Bush is warning Iran of serious consequences if it attacks U.S. ships in international waters. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush says all options are on the table. -VOA - 1/10/08

Mideast's ire hounds Bush visit
President George W. Bush's first official visit to the Middle East has provided an opportunity for analysts here to examine the U.S.'s policies and ponder whether the lofty goals the president set out early in his tenure -- using Iraq to spread democracy, taming Iran's influence and creating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- have yielded any results. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/10/08

Response to Mr. Ali Raadmand regarding Benazir Bhutto Article and observations on Journalistic Ethics -Darius KADIVAR - 1/10/08

Persian Gulf is authenticated internationally, UK daily reminded
The Iranian Embassy in London has reminded a leading British daily that Persian Gulf is authenticated internationally and not a mere colloquial name for the strategic waterway. - 1/10/08

Iran reaffirms validity of Iran-Iraq 1975 Accord
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that according to the statement issued in Algiers on March 6, 1975, the two nations signed the Accord in Baghdad on June 13, 1975 which dealt with border issues and good neighborly relations and three protocols were annexed to it. -IRNA - 1/10/08

From an Iranian Cook, the Taste of Memory
Mrs. Farokh Mehdian cooks. She makes for her children the beautifully scented, gently spiced foods of Iran, the country where they were born. -New York Times - 1/10/08

Middle Eastern man sues Haverty, alleging discrimination
Cyrus Nowia-Pahlavi claims managers and salesmen at the Atlanta-based retailer's Altamonte Springs store routinely insulted, humiliated, demeaned, belittled and illegally discriminated against him because of his Iranian national origin. -Business Journal - 1/10/08

A Surge in Logic
Before we declare the occupation of Iraq a success, nuke Iran, and/or barge into Pakistan, it might be wise to take a deep breath and think logically about some of the pressing issues of the day. - 1/10/08

US Sanctions Iranian General for "Aiding Iraq Insurgents"
The most prominent target of the new financial sanctions is the Quds Force commanding officer, Brigadier-General Ahmad Foruzandeh, who a Treasury statement said has led "terrorist operations" against U.S.-led coalition forces and directed assassinations of prominent Iraqis. -VOA - 1/10/08

Forget the stereotypes: Iran's women are active and organised
In my country the struggle for empowerment and equality has a long history, says Massoumeh Torfeh -Guardian - 1/10/08

Human rights? Not in Ahmadinejad's Iran
During an appearance at Columbia University in September, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bragged that Iran was one of the freest countries in the world. But a look at the recent wave of arrests and the ongoing harassment of those critical of the regime show that his New York audience had every reason to be skeptical of his claim. -Hamid Khosravi. Times Union - 1/10/08

Touran: A Persian Wild Ass is born at Australia's Western Plains Zoo
Western Plains Zoo is experiencing a baby boom with the arrival of a Persian Onager foal, born in the stormy early hours of Thursday 6 December 2007. The foal has been named ‘Touran', after one of only two protected reserves in Iran where the species still remain. Touran is the offspring of mother Kashan and father Gobi. - 1/9/08

Iran's Oil Minister: No talks with Turkmenistan on gas export price
Minister of Oil Gholam-Hossein Nozari said in Tehran on Wednesday that that no talks will be held on prices as long as Turkmenistan does not resumes its gas export to Iran. - 1/9/08

Kabul Pleads With Tehran To Delay Refugee Expulsions
She's lived in Iran her entire life, but Siddiqa Rezai can't call it home. -Rezai, 20, is the daughter of Afghan refugees who fled war in their homeland 25 years ago. Until now, her family of eight has lived in the town of Boen-Zahra in Qazvin Province, west of Tehran. Rezai and her five siblings were all born there. It's the only home they've ever known. -RFE - 1/9/08

An Ominous Non-Event: The Gulf of Tonkin and the Strait of Hormuz
As the U.S. government continues to demonstrate its inability to learn from history, an alarming report from the Strait of Hormuz was broadcast to the world on January 7. -Robert Fantina, Counterpunch - 1/9/08

Bush Calls Iran's Confrontation With US Navy Vessels a Provocative Act
President Bush says Iran should not confront U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, dealing with Iran is part of the president's agenda for a trip he begins today to the Middle East. -VOA - 1/9/08

LESSONS OF WAR II: We can beat Iran - but not by fighting
In a war game in 2002, Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper of the Marines was called from retirement to lead a surrogate Iranian force defending against a U.S. attack. The general was recruited for his special talent, devising creative ways to fight stronger, technologically superior opponents. -IHT - 1/9/08

Iran's NIPC, Italy's Edison sign deal for exploration of Dayyer oil, gas block
National Iranian Oil Company and Italian power company Edison (EDN.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) on Wednesday signed an agreement for exploration of Iran's offshore Dayyer oil and gas block. -IRNA - 1/9/08

UK daily reporter was not expelled, Iran says
Iran has criticised a leading British newspaper for claiming that its correspondent was expelled from the country without explanation. "Robert Tait's case was not expulsion," the press section of the Iranian Embassy in London emphasized in a letter to the Guardian newspaper. - 1/9/08

Skepticism, Anger Greet Bush in Middle East
U.S. President George Bush is headed to the Middle East for a nine-day visit to press the peace process and to try to convince his Arab allies that Iran remains a threat to regional security. But the U.S. leader will be greeted by widespread skepticism in the Arab world, where public opinion polls show he remains unpopular -VOA - 1/9/08

Bush Opens Major Middle East Regional Tour
.S. President George W. Bush has arrived in Israel for the first leg of a Middle East tour that will also take him to a number of Arab states in an effort to encourage Israeli-Palestinian peace and rally support to contain Iranian influence in the region. -RFE - 1/9/08

Persian Gold PLC - Drilling Report: Positive Results from Second Phase Trenching / Drilling at Chah-e-Zard
Persian Gold (AIM: PNG), the Irish based Iranian gold explorer, is pleased to announce that the second phase of trenching and drilling in the Southern Gold Zone of the Chah-e-Zard project has been completed. - 1/9/08

Two brothers honor their father’s martyrdom in award-winning movie A Cry From Iran
Two brothers, a murdered father and an untold story of pain and forgiveness are the inspirations behind a six times award-winning documentary on the secret death of a prominent evangelical pastor in Iran, Haik Hovsepian. -Assist News Service - 1/9/08

Iranian exports to Germany rose 50 percent last year: Handelsblatt
Iranian exports to Germany were up 50 percent in 2007 to reach 580 million euros, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Wednesday. It cited the German Office for Foreign Trade (bfai) as saying that although German exports to Iran dropped for the second consecutive year, imports from Iran have risen almost 50 percent over the past years. - 1/9/08

Kaffashian elected Head of Iran's Football Federation
Ali Kaffashian has been appointed head of the Football Federation with an overwhelming majority of votes cast in his favor by the Federation members on Wednesday. -IRNA - 1/9/08

What Is This ‘Iranian Provocation’ BS?
Not one news story about this week’s latest chapter in the administration’s ongoing effort to gin up a crazy war with Iran–the so-called “provocation” caused by Iranian naval speedboats approaching within 200 meters of a US destroyer–mentioned that the US, which sits some 7500 miles away from Iran, has sent a whole fully-armed armada into the Persian Gulf just off Iran’s coast. -Common Dreams - 1/9/08

Local Iranians hope 'Persepolis' will open eyes about their homeland
On Mooness Talebnia's first day at Palatine's Fremd High School in 1989, her classmates couldn't believe she'd just moved to the U.S. from Iran. Talebnia dressed just like the other students. She talked like them. She even liked the same kind of music. -Daily Herald - 1/9/08

Snow whitens Loot desert in central Iran
Governor of District of Shahdad in mid-southern province of Kerman said snow today for the first time whitened the central desert of Loot. -IRNA - 1/8/08

Iran: Majlis urges Oil Ministry to reconsider gas deal with Turkmenistan
On the reason for a halt in Turkmenistan's gas exports to Iran, the parliamentarian said the republic claims the halt had been due to technical failure and repair of pipelines but "we believe the repair, if required, should have been made in an appropriate time." -IRNA - 1/8/08

Iranian Film Screening: Survival, Friendship, and Healing Amidst Tragedy
As part of our continued efforts to support reconciliation between the American and Iranian people, we would like to invite you to a screening of a very powerful documentary on Wednesday, January 9 at Washington National Cathedral - 1/8/08

Iran: End Widespread Crackdown on Civil Society
The Iranian government is relying on its broadly worded "security laws" to suppress virtually any public expression of dissent, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. It uses these laws to subject those arrested to prolonged incommunicado detention without charge, solitary confinement, and denial of access to counsel. - 1/8/08

Ahmadinejad loses favor with Khamenei, Iran's top leader
A rift is emerging between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggesting that the president no longer enjoys the full backing of Khamenei, as he did in the years after his election in 2005. -IHT - 1/8/08

Persian Gulf incident part of U.S. psyops: Iran's Majlis speaker
"If one side should charge others of meddling in this region, that side would be Iran, because, unlike the Americans, who came from thousands of kilometers away and stationed their navy ships in the Persian Gulf, we are a natural neighbor of this waterway." -MNA - 1/8/08

NIAC Memo: Iran’s "Unduly Provocative” Act against the US Navy?
No matter which of the possibilities (misunderstanding, Iranian provocation, the Bush Administration capitalizing on a relatively routine encounter) are entertained, the fact remains that the described sequence of events leaves many questions unanswered about the extent of the threat or harassment faced by the US Navy. - 1/8/08

US Secretary of State Warns Iran Against 'Provocations'
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has delivered a stern warning to Iran, urging Tehran to cease what she calls "provocations," after Iranian ships confronted the American Navy in the Persian Gulf. -VOA - 1/8/08

Pakistan says Iran gas pipeline agreement next month
Pakistan said on Monday that agreement on the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan and India (IPI) gas pipeline will be signed next week. The $7.4 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline would run from Iran to India via Pakistan and supply some 90 million cubic meters of Iranian gas to India and 60 million cubic meters to Pakistan every day. -IRNA - 1/8/08

Strait of Hormuz: Keeping the Neocon Iran Attack on the Front Burner
Of course, the Strait of Hormuz is part of Iran — in fact, it actually takes a detour into the country. In other words, this “serious provocation” would be like Iran calling foul if their ships were “harassed and provoked” in New York Harbor. -TruthDig - 1/8/08

Columbia professors plan to visit Iran to apologize to Ahmadinejad
The delegation plans to express regret for the insulting remarks Columbia University President Lee Bollinger directed at Ahmadinejad on September 24 in his introductory speech, the Mehr News Agency correspondent in New York reported. - 1/8/08

India's ONGC Videsh, Hindujas Fail to Clinch Iran Deal
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the Hinduja group could not close a deal with Iran for developing oil and gas fields in Iran in return for Iran getting a stake in an LNG terminal and refinery projects in India. -Fars - 1/8/08

Iran: Criminals Lose Hands And Feet As Shari'a Law Imposed
Five convicted criminals in southeastern Iran have received the seldom-used form of punishment of amputation. -RFE - 1/8/08

Claim to recover national heritage can go ahead
Islamic Republic of Iran v Barakat Galleries Ltd: A claim by a state to recover antiquities which formed part of its national heritage should not be shut out on the ground that an action whose object was to enforce the public law of another state should not be entertained. -TIMES Online, UK - 1/8/08

Morrissey angling for concerts in Israel, Iran
Outspoken British rock star Morrissey may perform later this year in Tehran, Iran, if the country's hardline authorities allow it, Internet sources are reporting today. -Chicago Sun-Times - 1/8/08

Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, visits Iran
Dr Thomas Schelling: There is no known pattern of forcing the governments to control the emission of the greenhouse gases; the impact of the global warming will primarily affect the developing countries. - 1/7/08

Portraits of Ahmad Shamlou
Recently we had the opportunity to see some interesting watercolor portraits of Iran's most well known modern poet, the late Mr Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000) by Mr Hossein Bahmanpour who is from Shiraz. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/7/08

How we flew through the streets of Tehran
For over six years in the 1970s I worked at Kayhan newspaper in Atabak alley, right between Ferdowsi and Lalehzar streets. During this time, I visited Bank Melli in Ferdowsi avenue many times. I also passed the National Jewels Museum many times, but never paid a visit there. But as it's customary, we usually don't get to appreciate things until they are way out of reach! So after 30 years it was finally time to head to the Jewels Museum. -Ali Moayedian - 1/7/08

Tehran shuts down due to heavy snow
The cabinet on Sunday announced that all government offices, universities and schools would be closed in Tehran both on Monday and Tuesday due to 'continued heavy snowfall and drop in temperatures' in the coming days. - 1/7/08

As the regime cracks down, life goes on behind closed curtains
Last week our Iran correspondent was expelled without explanation. In his last dispatch from Tehran, he talks about the country he grew to love and which he found to be at odds with its image as an austere Islamic nation -Guardian - 1/7/08

A PERSIAN ROSE BLOOMS: An Interview with actress Shiva Rose McDermott
Shiva Rose has recently starred in Kurdish American Jay Jonroy's movie David and Layla (2006), a "Political Romantic Comedy" about the sparks that fly when a Jewish and a Muslim fall in love in New York. Her Performance recently her the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at the Fort Launderdale Intenational Film Festival. -by Darius KADIVAR and Parisa DEFAIE - 1/7/08

RayaSchool designs Geography Course for Iranian students
In July 2007 a team of teachers and professional designers started work on designing an e-learning course for 2nd grade Geography curriculum for High Schools. The project was completed in September. -Science and Arts Foundation - 1/7/08

Iran President introduces the budget bill
Addressing a press conference after submitting the rls 2,710 trillion (USD 289 billion) budget bill to Majlis, President Ahmadinejad said the budget bill also features lower share of the petrodollars in document. -IRNA - 1/7/08

Defense Department: Iranian boats harassed U.S. Navy ships in Strait of Hormuz
In what U.S. officials called a serious provocation, Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to blow up the American vessels. -AP - 1/7/08

As Bush Heads to Mideast, Renewed Questions on Iran
President Bush intends to use his first extended tour of the Middle East to rally support for international pressure against Iran, even as a recent U.S. intelligence report playing down Tehran's nuclear ambitions has left Israeli and Arab leaders rethinking their own approach toward Iran and questioning Washington's resolve, according to senior U.S. officials, diplomats and regional experts. -Washington Post - 1/7/08

Nobel winner slams rising executions
NOBEL peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi's rights group slammed the rising number of executions in Iran, including the hanging of a young mother who murdered her husband. -Australian - 1/7/08

New look at foreign fighters in Iraq
The analysis suggests that the bulk of foreign fighters originate from countries with whom the United States is allied – Saudi Arabia, for one – and also offers clues as to how American officials can stem the flow of these terrorists. -CSM - 1/7/08

Brzezinski and Charlie Wilson’s War
Imagine, they made a funny movie about how the US helped turn Afghanistan into a killing field. It’s the film “Charlie Wilson’s War, a ligthearted look of how a skirt-chasing Congressman and a no-nonsense CIA thug helped bring mountains of weapons and money to the fanatic, women-despising “freedom fighters” who gave us 9/11. It’s certainly material for a “laugh riot”. -TruthDig - 1/7/08

Heavy snow blankets Iran, blocks major roads
Heavy overnight snowfalls covered most parts of Iran on Sunday, leading to closure of schools and major roads and cancelled domestic flights. Most of the Iranian cities, particularly those located in the northern parts of the country, were blanketed by non-stop snowfall which still continues. - 1/6/08

Photos: Iranian Christians Celebrate Baptism of Jesus at Sarkis Church in Tehran
Iranian Christians Celebrated the Babtism of Jesus at Sarkis Church in Tehran. Sarkis Cathedral on Karim Khan-e-Zand Street, is an Armenian Orthodox church built in the late 1960s. - 1/6/08

Second Iranian Screen Actors Celebration held in Tehran
Actors and actresses were honored during the Second Iranian Screen Actors Celebration held here in Tehran on Saturday. Many Iranian figures from the world of cinema attended the ceremony which was held in the Arike-ye Iranian Hall. - 1/6/08

Iran awaiting U.S. response on Iraq talks: spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said here on Sunday that Iran is awaiting U.S. response to Tehran's preconditions for holding new talks over security situation in Iraq. -MNA - 1/6/08

Guardian journalist expelled from Iran
The Guardian's Tehran correspondent, Robert Tait, has been expelled from Iran without explanation after nearly three years of reporting from the country. - 1/6/08

The “Hamzanama” was once the most popular oral epic of the Indo-Islamic world. “The Adventures of Amir Hamza” is the “Iliad” and Odyssey” of medieval Persia, a rollicking, magic-filled heroic saga. - 1/6/08

Vandals smash column bases of Susa Apadana Palace
Column bases of the Apadana Palace of ancient Susa in Khuzestan Province have recently been demolished by vandals. The palace's remaining column bases have been broken into two pieces and inscriptions on the artifacts have been obliterated -MNA - 1/6/08

Pakistan, Iran to finalize gas pipeline accord by Jan 25
The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project is one of the most important economic projects of the region, which would bring extensive benefits for the three countries, the envoy told a monthly magazine 'Liberty'. -IRNA - 1/6/08

Will the U.S. have a woman president?
While we rightly eulogize Behnazir Bhutto's violent death it is also appropriate to ask whether America, or for that matter, any place else in the world is a haven for women's equal rights and equal opportunity. The sad reality is that women have always occupied a lower spot in the stage of life. -Ali Parsa - 1/6/08

Iran : The noose keeps tightening
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) strongly condemn the recent executions of 13 persons in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular that of Raheleh Zamani, a mother of two young children. - 1/6/08

Larijani likens US treats on Iran to cries of worried aged women
Supreme Leader's representative in Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said on Sunday that treats made by US President George W Bush against Iran is similar to the cries of worried aged women who create commotion to cover their fears. -IRNA - 1/6/08

Basketball, Iranian Style
Everything was going pretty well for Josh Moore before he stopped off at Papa Pizza, a neon-lit restaurant in Babolsar, Iran. He left feeling sick, and it would take several weeks and one harrowing hospital visit before the New Jersey native was able to get back to doing what he was in Iran to do. -WSJ - 1/6/08

German diplomat expelled by Iran
The Iranian government has expelled a German diplomat. The unnamed person had been carrying out "non-diplomatic activities", a foreign ministry spokesman said. He gave no further details. -BBC - 1/6/08

US Hopes for Improved Relations With Iran
The United States says it hopes recent comments from Iran's leader signify a willingness to improve relations between the two countries. A State Department spokesman on Middle East issues says the United States wants good relations with Iran. -VOA - 1/5/08

Iran loses friendly match to Germany's Hansa
The Iranian national soccer team has lost 2-0 to Germany's Hansa Rostock in Tehran in the team's first friendly match in six months. - 1/5/08

Winners of Third Parvin Etesami Film Festival Announced
The Third Parvin Etesami Film Festival announced its winners here on Friday in a ceremony held at Tehran's Art Bureau. The festival was named in memory of the Iranian female poet Parvin Etesami and this year focused on the central theme of Sacred Defense. - 1/5/08

Iran: Registration of hopefuls for Majlis elections starts
Enrollment of candidates for the 8th Majlis elections, slated for March 14, started Saturday morning throughout the country. Hopefuls will have one week to register for the parliamentary elections. -IRNA - 1/5/08

Why U.S. strategy on Iran is crumbling
'Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos," Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Gulf dignitaries in Bahrain last month. But in reality, everywhere you turn, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia to Egypt, you now see Iranian leaders shattering longstanding taboos by meeting cordially with their Arab counterparts. -CSM - 1/5/08

A football agent on Iran's national team bench!
The transitory committee of Iran's Football has nominated Artur Jorge as the head coach of Iran's national team. His appointment will be finalized by the new board of directors which will be elected next week. But the shocking news was the selection of Vahid Hosseini among the coaching staff of Artur Jorge. Hosseini is unknown to Iranian fans and media. -FOOTBALLMEDIA - 1/5/08

Iran: Two Women's Rights Activists Released From Prison
Two prominent Iranian women's right activists have been released from prison on bail, while the families of students arrested last month say the authorities have agreed to let them visit the students in prison. -RFE - 1/5/08

Quakes hit Haftgol in Iran's Khuzestan province
The city of Haftgol and its nearby villages, in the southwestern Khuzestan province, were once again hit by quake on Saturday. -IRNA - 1/5/08

Iran plans 4th, 5th generations of Saeqe fighter jets
Commander of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic Army Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani said in Tehran Saturday that the Iranian army is to produce the fourth and fifth generations of Saeqe jet fighters which cannot be discovered by radar. -IRNA - 1/5/08

Iran's Bank Saderat says overseas operations still profitable despite U.S. sanctions
The unilateral sanctions of the United States have only influenced a third of Bank Saderat's foreign partners. Out of 600 foreign financial institutions, 200 have stopped their operations with Iran. -ISNA - 1/5/08

Foreign producer to cooperate in production of Iranian film 'Repatriate'
A foreign company would be the producer of Iranian renowned director Ja'far Panahi's new film, 'Repatriate". -IRNA - 1/5/08

Iraq committed to Algiers Accord: Talabani
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has reaffirmed Baghdad's commitment to the 1975 Algiers Accord, calling it an "international treaty". -MNA - 1/5/08

Farewell to Wadi Bua (Benazir Bhutto)
My aunt and I had a complicated relationship. That is the truth, the sad truth. The last fifteen years were not one we spent as friends or as relatives, that is also the truth. But this week, I too want to remember her differently. I want to remember her differently because I must. I can't lose faith in this country, my home. -Fatima Bhutto - 1/4/08

Two Iranian cyberfeminists freed after authorities reduce bails sums demanded
Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release of two women's rights activists who had been held for more than a month in Tehran's Evin prison for exercising their right to online free expression. Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelveh Javaheri were freed on bail yesterday after the authorities reduced the large amounts of bail being demanded for their release. - 1/4/08

Poem: True Love
On the occasion of the Christian New Year, and the fact that New Years are times to spend and share love with Family and Friends: Happy New Year -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/4/08

Three Generations of Actresses Talk About PERSEPOLIS: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, and Danielle Darrieux
PERSEPOLIS is a film about family, so it's fitting that its three leading ladies are, not quite, but very nearly, a family dynasty of French cinematic glamour. Chiara Mastroianni, whose voice brings to life the teenage and adult Marjane Satrapi, is the daughter of Catherine Deneuve, who plays Satrapi's mother. Danielle Darrieux, who plays Satrapi's grandmother, has played Deneuve's mother so often (most recently in François Ozon's 8 Women) that one could be forgiven for believing that they are truly related. - 1/4/08

Iranian-American Influence on the Presidential Primaries
With the support of PARSA Community Foundation, NIAC will be publishing a series of columns expounding on how the electoral process functions, how individuals can impact the process, and how the Iranian-American community as a whole make its mark on the 2008 elections. - 1/4/08

Ibn Sina Cultural Center honors Sirus Shamisa
The eminent Iranian man of letters Sirus Shamisa was presented with a plaque of honor during a ceremony held on Wednesday at Tehran's Ibn Sina Cultural Center. Other leading academics including Bahaeddin Khorramshahi, Hossein Payandeh, Hormoz Rahimian and Saeid Hamidian attended the ceremony. - 1/4/08

Iranian Peace Runner Navigates Maine Roads Enroute to Ground Zero
On Highway 41 in Florida it was crocodiles. Just outside El Paso, Texas, he was arrested, fingerprinted and detained for seven hours before a tobacco chewing police officer learned that Reza Baluchi, 35, by birth an Iranian, did not represent a threat to border security. -Lincoln County News - 1/4/08

Epic Proportions
Iranian-born composer BEHZAD RANJBARAN's work highlights both music's timelessness and timeliness -ASCAP - 1/4/08

Turkmenistan: 'Gas-Rich' Residents Shiver In The Cold
As Russia, Iran, China, and Europe all vie for a piece of Ashgabat's natural-gas pie, many ordinary Turkmen have been left shivering out in the cold -- despite official promises of free gas. -RFE - 1/4/08

Is America Ready for the First Woman President?
The short answer is Yes, with a lot of help. Traditionally, a US president is a red-blooded WASP who has served in armed forces and has a sound record of serving the public for many years- with the exception of the past two presidents who were draft dodger or pseudo national guard serviceman. -Sina Alavi - 1/4/08

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners
Independent journalist Allan Nairn and American Conservative correspondent Kelley Beaucar Vlahos discuss a little-addressed facet of the 2008 campaign: many of the top advisers to leading presidential candidates are ex-U.S. officials involved in atrocities around the world. -Democracy Now - 1/4/08

Pilot study for Qeshm island's Persian Gulf Bridge started
Managing Director of Qeshm Free Trade Zone (FTZ) said here Friday following reaching initial agreement with Austrians, the Austrian side is now engaged in pilot study and investment level estimation phase to construct the Persian Gulf Bridge. - 1/4/08

Book Review: Young Iranian woman's harsh lesson in brutality of regime
The power of Zarah Ghahramani's chilling memoir, "My Life as a Traitor," is in the discovery - hers and ours - that in Iran such routine student activism can have devastating consequences. In riveting prose, she and her co-author, journalist Robert Hillman, tell the story of how Ghahramani was plucked from the street after a protest against the firing of a beloved teacher, and secretly incarcerated in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, without inquiry or trial. -SF Chronicle - 1/4/08

Project to lure Jews out of Iran proves unsuccessful
Following the revelation in October that $10,000 per person was being offered by a Chicago-based Christian-Jewish nonprofit to encourage Jews to leave Iran and immigrate to Israel, organizers of the project in Israel and the United States admitted to being disappointed with the lack of response to their efforts. -Jewish Journal - 1/4/08

Oil Price Hits $100 Per Barrel
Oil prices soared to a record $100 a barrel Wednesday in New York before falling back, as worldwide demand for oil continues to grow. Surging economies in China and India have helped push oil prices higher over the past year -- and tensions in oil producing nations such as Nigeria and Iran have added to speculation that global demand will continue to outstrip supplies. -VOA - 1/4/08

Yo, anyone who fears Iran
George Bush is heading off for a tour of the Middle East. He will not be greeted as a conquering hero -Economist - 1/4/08

Iranian FM meets Musharraf, condoles Benazir's death
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called on President Pervez Musahharf on Friday and discussed with him bilateral and regional matters, the state run television reported. -IRNA - 1/4/08

No More Iranian Weapons in Iraq?
American forces used the specter of an Iranian Shi'ite threat last year to bring Iraq's Sunnis to America's side. Now that those Sunnis are pretty firmly in the U.S. corner, there's less reason to cite the boogeyman in Tehran. -Wired - 1/4/08

Iran-Iraq railway project underway
An Iraqi transportation ministry official has announced Baghdad strongly supports the implementation of Iran-Iraq railway project. The first phase of the project which includes a 15-kilometer line between Khorramshahr to Shalamcheh is near completion. -Press TV - 1/4/08

Portugal's Artur Jorge appointed Iran coach
Iran named Portugal's Artur Jorge as new coach in a long-awaited decision to rehabilitate its national football team. - 1/3/08

Dutch Universities Rejecting Iranian Students due to "Nuclear Threat"
The universities of Enschede and Eindhoven are no longer admitting any students from Iran. They say they are forced to do so by the government, according to newspaper Trouw. - 1/3/08

Iran's Larijani meets Egyptian President Mubarak
Ali Larijani, the representative of the Supreme Leader in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), met on Wednesday with Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. -MNA - 1/3/08

Iran's oil output to hit 4.2 mbpd
Iran's crude oil output will rise to 4.2 million barrels per day by the end of its current year (March 19, 2008), an official says. -Press TV - 1/3/08

Iran's mysteries give its cinema power: Carrière
"Iran is a country full of secrets and mysteries and that is why it has powerful cinema," French actor and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière said in Tehran on Tuesday. He made the remarks during a lecture he delivered during a session with Iranian cinematic figures held at Iran's House of Cinema on January 1. -MNA - 1/3/08

Iraqi delegation to visit Iran
Iranian and Iraqi officials in Baghdad are making arrangements for an upcoming visit of Iraqi delegation to Tehran. The agenda of the talks in Tehran will be implementing articles of the Iran-Iraq Accord signed in Algeria in 1975. -IRNA - 1/3/08

Iran Says First Cloned Sheep Thriving
Iranian scientists said Monday that the country's first cloned sheep is thriving 15 months after birth, eating well and frolicking among a flock of normal sheep. -AP - 1/3/08

Iran warns Shell against deal delay
The Iranian Oil Minister says Royal Dutch Shell must submit its proposal for participation in the South Pars development project by June. Press TV - 1/3/08

The Pistachio War: Tight competition between Iranian and American Pistachios
America is trying to enter the International markets of Pistachio by importing Pistachio of California in packages and tastes like Iranian type. - 1/3/08

Rice and Gates Divided over Iran's Role in Iraq
A State Department official's assertion in late December that Iran had exerted a restraining influence on Iraqi Shiite militia violence signaled a major divergence of views between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defence Robert Gates over how to portray Iran's role in Iraq. -IPS - 1/3/08

Are Iran and the U.S. ready to bite the bullet?
The NIE has provided common ground for both sides to address their concerns, rather than serving as a vehicle for a regime-change policy from the United States or an opening for hostile, anti-West rhetoric from Iran. Despite mutual concerns to save face, the first step in effective diplomacy is direct talks toward amiable diplomacy. Iran and the United States have never needed each other as much as now. -Omid Memarian, SF Chronicle - 1/3/08

Was Benazir's death foolish?
I read Mr. Kadivar's article, "Benazir's Foolish Death" and it bugged me as it almost suggests she had a death-wish of sorts, and it almost puts the blame for her assassination on her. -Ali Raadmand - 1/3/08

Former U.S. official calls for unconditional talks with Iran
Speaking to Alalam Wednesday night, Richard Murphy, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs, said: "We need to cling to new thoughts and approaches." "Talks between the US and Iran should be calm and concentrated on the nuclear issue, without asking for preconditions." -IRNA - 1/3/08

The secret lives of us
From beauty salons to traditional male strongholds, Iranian women are using photography to show their country in a different light. Kate Connolly reports -Guardian - 1/3/08

Experts Agree: Iran Is Not Iraq
Have you heard the news? Iran is not Iraq. On the surface, the two neighboring countries seem similar enough. Iran and Iraq hold the world's 2nd and 3rd largest oil reserves respectively, have Shi'ite majorities, share a long border, and fought a pointless, bloody eight-year war that cost over a million lives. -Arash Norouzi, Antiwar - 1/3/08

ONGC, Hinduja to invest $10 bn in Iran
India's State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Hinduja Group plan to invest $10 billion for developing oil and gas fields in Iran, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma said on Wednesday. -Economic Times, India - 1/3/08

Unlikely forum for Iran's youth
Goodreads, a book lovers' site based in Santa Monica, has become a place to let off political steam. -Los Angeles Times - 1/3/08

PHOTOS: New Year Celebration at Vanak Church In Isfahan
This is the most important and famous historical church in Isfahan from the viewpoint of architecture and decorations values and wall paintings. This splendid church was built in 1015 H / 1605 AD. It has a great dome, tall walls and vaults that is now the residence of Armenian caliphate of Iran and India. - 1/2/08

7th Golshiri Literary Award Ceremony Held In Tehran
The 7th Golshiri Literary Award ceremony took place end of last month at the NGO centre at the corner of Warsaw Street and Villa Avenue, Tehran in front of a large number of guests, who were mainly lovers and supporters of literature and writing in Iran. - 1/2/08

Each in his own right has earned the most Prestigious Film Award for a director: The Palme D'Or aka The Golden Palm at Cannes. Ermanno Olmi for The Tree of Wooden Clogs in 1978 Abbas Kiarostami for The Taste of the Cherry in 1997, and Ken Loach for The Wind that Shakes the Barley in 2006. -Darius KADIVAR - 1/2/08

Designer’s Rainbow Brightens Iranian Women’s Look
For many of the chic and well-to-do here in the capital of Iran, a country where women are required by law to conceal the shapes of their bodies, Simin Ghodstinat’s designs provide a sort of middle way. Her clothes are elegant, luxurious and expensive — all while staying well within the religious authorities’ strictly enforced boundaries of propriety. -New York Times - 1/2/08

Iran Reduces Gas Exports to Turkey After Turkmenistan Cut
Iranian and Western news reports say Iran has cut its flow of natural gas to Turkey, after a halt in supplies from Turkmenistan left some northern Iranian towns without gas in freezing weather. -VOA - 1/2/08

Iranians exchange 147 million SMS messages on Aid-e Ghadir
Mobile Telecommunications Monitoring & Supervision deputy said that Hamraah-e Avval subscribers exchanged 147m SMS messages on the occasions of Aid-e Ghadir-e Khom. - 1/2/08

The Sixth Salt Man: The next victim of disregard for cultural heritage?
The Sixth Salt Man is being damaged due to the Zanjan Industries and Mines Organization's total disregard for the nation's cultural heritage. -MNA - 1/2/08

Plane skids off runway in Tehran's Mehrabad airport
An Iran Air plane carrying 100 passengers, heading from Tehran to the southern provincial capital, Shiraz, at 07:20 hours local time (0350 GMT) skidded off the runway while trying to takeoff. -IRNA - 1/2/08

Iranians' affection for Benazir Bhutto
Iranians responded to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto with shock and grief. Everybody that you talk to says, "I became so sad when I heard the news of her death." -MNA - 1/2/08

The Five Iraqs
It has become a mantra of sorts among the faltering Republican candidates: Victory is at hand in Iraq. Mitt Romney, in particular, has taken to so openly embracing the “success” of the U.S. troop “surge” that it has become the centerpiece of his litany of attacks on the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. -Scott Ritter, TruthDig - 1/2/08

IRAQ: Islamic extremists target women in Basra
One hundred and thirty-three women were killed last year in Basra, Iraq's second largest city, either by religious vigilantes or as a result of so-called "honour" killings, a report said on 31 December. -IRIN - 1/2/08

Iraq Progresses To Some Of Its Worst
Despite all the claims of improvements, 2007 has been the worst year yet in Iraq. -IPS - 1/2/08

Individual Privacy Under Threat In Europe and US, Report Says
Individual privacy is under threat in the United States and across the European Union as governments introduce sweeping surveillance and information-gathering measures in the name of security and controlling borders, an international rights group has said in a report. -AP - 1/2/08

Nader Throws Support to Edwards, Blasts Clinton
Ralph Nader unleashed on Hillary Rodham Clinton Monday - criticizing her for being soft on defense spending and a chum of big business - and expressed his strong support for John Edwards. -Politico - 1/2/08

Achaemenid tablet translation remains unpublished due to lack of funding
The translation of 2586 clay Achaemenid tablets has remained unpublished due to lack of government funding. The tablets, written in cuneiform, were discovered along with a great number of other inscriptions at Persepolis in 1933 by the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute - 1/1/08

Memorable Re-union of Iran Music Generations at 23rd Fajr Music Festival
According to the announcement of the Festival, 70,000 people from various groups of age and musical tastes attended performances. This remarkable record of attracted audience proved the claim that this festival had a variety of new offers for its audience. - 1/1/08

First Alliance of Civilizations Forum to be held in Madrid January 15-16
Author Paulo Coelho, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, Queen Noor of Jordan, Al Jazeera anchor Riz Khan, Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson are among the public figures coming to Madrid on January 15-16 to find new ways to bridge the growing divide between nations and cultures worldwide, and to establish new partnerships to promote global understanding. - 1/1/08

Breaking eggs in Iran
The Iran reporter also faces the vocal power of the huge number of “Iran experts” that inhabit think-tanks, campaign groups and even newspapers in the West. One group, the Mujahidin-e Khalq, a cult previously allied to Saddam Hussein, is resented by every other Iranian I have met. Others are former supporters of the Shah, overthrown by the Islamic Revolution. There are “experts” who have never been to Iran. -Gareth Smyth, British Journalism Review - 1/1/08

Interview with Jelve Javaheri: From a Reading Group to the Campaign for One Million Signatures
Jelve has been in Evin Prison since December 1, 2007 on charges of disturbing public opinion and propagating falsehoods on the Campaign's website, We know her crimes well since many of us are guilty of the same crime: To bring the issue of gender equality in the public's view and consciousness. -Nahid Keshavarz - 1/1/08

Iran's Larijani, Egyptian FM discuss expansion of ties, nuclear issues
Representative of the Supreme Leader to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani conferred on Tuesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on expansion of mutual relations, regional developments and Iran's peaceful nuclear program - 1/1/08

AFGHANISTAN: Multiple humanitarian challenges in 2008 – outgoing UN envoy
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees from Iran and Pakistan, food-insecurity, widespread poverty and conflict-related disasters are some of the main humanitarian challenges that millions of Afghans will face in 2008, Tom Koenigs, the UN Secretary-General's outgoing special representative for Afghanistan, told IRIN on 30 December. -IRIN - 1/1/08

"Great Mid East Plan" was born dead: Iran's parliament survey
"Modern Middle East Plan" shows the fact that the old version of democratizing and reform in the region known as the "Great Middle East Plan" has failed, Iran's parliament political studies bureau said in a research report. -ISNA - 1/1/08

Iran warns Argentina to take legal action with ICJ
Iran on Monday warned Argentina it will take legal action with International Court of Justice (ICJ) over repetition of unfounded allegations over bombing Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1992. - 1/1/08

Turkmenistan to resume gas exports to Iran
Ashkhabad will resume exporting gas to Iran soon, Turkmenistan foreign minister announced. -ISNA - 1/1/08

Iran's parliament survey on the U.S. influence in Central Asia
Iran's parliament political studies bureau says after September 11th attacks, Central Asia geopolitics position in the U.S. foreign policies was highlighted. - 1/1/08

Never Mind the Mullahs: Interview with Iranian exile Marjane Satrapi
MJ: Are you still attached to the country? MS: I have a couple of friends who are Iranian, but I don't think we can call that a community. I have family in Iran, but I don't talk very much about the situation in Iran today because whatever I know is secondhand information. The image that I have of Iran today is mixed so much with my melancholy and my nostalgia that I can't have a fair point of view. -Mother Jones - 1/1/08

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