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Photos: Iranians Celebrate "Sadeh" Ancient Persian Fire Fest
Thousands of Iranians gathered at dusk against a snowy mountain backdrop to light giant bonfires in an ancient mid-winter festival dating back to Iran's pre-Islamic past that is drawing new interest from Muslims. - 1/31/10

Photos: Jask Villagers Have a Dream --- Water
Many villages in the vicinity of the Iranian port city of Jask still lack safe drinking water. Two tankers deliver water to 60 villages is the area every two months. When the village children see water, they think they've reached heaven... -Photos by Abdolhossein Rezvani - 1/31/10

Iran: Members of Committee of Human Rights Reporters Under Pressure to Make Forced Confessions
Different sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today that the arrested members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters are under pressure to deliver forced confessions about the Committee's affiliation with the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). - 1/31/10

The future of Islam and democracy in Iran
Despite the systematic efforts of many commentators and media outlets to represent what is happening in Iran as a wholesale revolt against everything the Islamic Republic stands for, a sober analysis reveals that we are witnessing the renegotiation of political power in the country. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - 1/31/10

Iran may need fatwa to lift ban on "Journey to Hidalou"
An official from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has said that they may need a fatwa to lift the ban on the premiere of "Journey to Hidalou", a film which was at one time banned because of a sex scandal involving its actress. - 1/31/10

Diplomatic Scandal In Tehran: Love Mails From The German Embassy
The news made headlines around the world: "German diplomats arrested in Tehran." But there were no arrests. German news magazine Spiegel has learned that the true story is one of a German federal police officer who had an affair with an Iranian woman that was uncovered and politicized by the regime. - 1/31/10

Author: Iranians aren't all like their leaders
Iran is not what you think it is. That was the message author Mahbod Seraji had for the more than 750 students and administrators who packed Villanova University's Connelly Center Tuesday night to hear excerpts from his book, "Rooftops of Tehran," this year's selection for the college's "One Book Villanova" program. -Times - 1/31/10

Iran expresses regret over Afghanistan confab in London
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Sunday, the outcome of London's conference statement violates countries independence and national sovereignty. -ISNA - 1/31/10

Karzai Appeals To Taliban To Lay Down Arms
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he would try his best to reach out to the Taliban leadership under a new peace plan aimed at luring militants away from violence. -RFE - 1/31/10

Iran's Opposition Leaders Mousavi and Karoubi condemn executions, invite people to Feb 11th rally
Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi in a meeting that was held in Mehdi Karoubi's home on Saturday morning, while expressing sorrow over the execution of some of the citizens, demanded legal investigations about the situations of the political prisoners. - 1/30/10

Controversy over Tehran Symphony performance in Rotterdam
Iran has sent Tehran Symphony Orchestra to Europe to perform the "Peace Symphony" by Majid Entezami. The performance has stricken up a wave of controversy as domestic musicians questioned the artistic merits of the composition and Persians in exile question the Islamic Republic's intentions in funding a performance abroad under the name of "peace" while it is engaged in executing dissidents in Iran. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 1/30/10

Iran Puts 16 More Protesters On Trial
Iran's state media reports that 16 more opposition activists have been put on trial in Tehran today in connection with postelection protests in late December. The official IRNA news agency says five of the defendants are accused of being "mohareb" (enemies of God) and "corrupt on earth." Both are crimes punishable by death under the Iranian legal system, which is based on Islamic Shari'a law. - 1/30/10

White moderates and greens
The only reason the world at large should take notice of what American pundits think of the Green Movement in Iran is that their self-indulgent pontificating reveals much about the troubled world we live in and that they think they must lead. Indeed, one of the most magnificent aspects of the unfolding civil rights movement in Iran is that it acts as a catalyst to expose the bizarre banality of American foreign policy commentary and its limitations in dealing with the rest of the world. -Hamid Dabashi - 1/30/10

Yasmin Siraj Takes the Silver at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Thirteen year old Iranian American Yasmin Siraj took home the silver medal for junior ladies at the 2010 Figure Skating Championships in Washington. In her perfonrmance, Siraj captivated the audience with her beautiful performance to Rimsky-Korsakov's Song of India. Siraj is a full time student who practices during her lunch break and is also a competitive pianist. - 1/30/10

Anahita Temple avoids destruction
The construction project that caused damages to the Anahita Temple in Kangavar in Kermanshah Province was halted last week. The decision to halt the project was made following publication of a report on the mess at the Parthian era site by the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency. - 1/30/10

Iranian FM in Switzerland: Iran's readiness to buy fuel shows its goodwill
In a meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on the sidelines of World Economic Forum's 40th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Mottaki stressed Iran is ready for interaction with the IAEA and countries which have nuclear fuel although Iran naturally has the right to purchase the fuel. -ISNA - 1/30/10

SourceForge bars 5 nations from open source downloads
Open-source code repository SourceForge.net has begun automatically blocking the internet addresses of users from countries such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, and Syria in an attempt to enforce a policy forbidding them from downloading free software. -The Register - 1/30/10

Hard-line cleric's harsh words aimed at Iranian opposition
A high-ranking Iranian cleric close to both supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sharpened the rhetoric against opposition supporters by giving religious justification for their killings in a fiery Friday sermon. -LA Times - 1/30/10

'You Can't Punish Someone Before He Commits A Crime'
Nineteen-year-old Arash Rahmanipour was executed in Iran on January 28 after being convicted of waging war against God and attempting to overthrow the Iranian regime. The charges against Rahmanipour related to his alleged role in Iran's postelection unrest. His father, Davoud Rahmanipour, told Radio Farda broadcaster Baktash Khamsehpour about what he called an unjust sentence against his son. - 1/29/10

Hardliner Cleric Commends Iran Executions, Wants More
Ayatollah Ahmad Janati told today's worshipers at Tehran's Friday Mass prayers that it is no time to show "mercy" and if we show any "weakness," we will run into difficulties. He called on the Head of the Judiciary to confront "rioters" firmly without mercy. - 1/29/10

Silencing The Opposition: Five More Executions Pending Approval in Iran
Tehran prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced that five Ashura Day detainees have been handed the death sentence and their file is currently at the stage of appeal. Iranian Students News agency (ISNA) reports that Dowlatabadi also announced that the public trial of a number of other people charged on Ashura Day will take place on Saturday. -Zamaneh - 1/29/10

Karroubi and Others Refute Government's Claim of a Compromise
With such strong support from the Green Movement's popular base, and having laid the groundwork for dialogue with his 17th statement, Moussavi has put the ball in the government's court. Either Khamenei must make an overture to compromise in the next week, or commemorations of the Iranian Revolution in early February will witness what many predict will be major clashes between protestors and government forces. -Shayan Ghajar, insideIRAN.org - 1/29/10

Iran: Pace of Political Executions Accelerating
The execution of two men charged with crimes in connection with alleged membership in illegal anti-government organizations, and the announcement of death sentences for nine other persons arrested for protest activities, are part of a growing wave of political executions in the Islamic Republic, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 1/29/10

Actress Fatemeh Gudarzi denies being on Fajr jury
Iranian actress Fatemeh Gudarzi has repudiated signing any agreement for membership on the jury of the 28th Fajr International Film Festival despite the official announcement.Festival organizers have been troubled by refusals of Iranian cineastes to serve on the jury. - 1/29/10

Another Iranian Diplomat Steps Down
Iranian opposition websites and blogs are reporting that a second Iranian diplomat has resigned to protest the postelection crackdown. The diplomat, whose name is said to be Abolfazl Eslami, is reportedly the former counselor of Iran's embassy in Tokyo. -RFE - 1/29/10

Clinton: 'Little Choice' but to Put More Pressure on Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Iran's disappointing approach to big-power offers on its nuclear program leaves little choice but to put more pressure on Tehran. Clinton held meetings on Iran with several foreign ministers on the sidelines of the London conference on Afghanistan. -VOA - 1/29/10

U.S. Senate Backs Sanctions Targeting Iran's Fuel Suppliers
The United States Senate has voted to approve legislation that would allow President Barack Obama to impose sanctions targeting Iran's gasoline suppliers, in a move aimed at pressuring Tehran to curb its nuclear program. - 1/29/10

Iran Accuses Obama of Double Standards on Nuclear Power
Iran is accusing U.S. President Barack Obama of double standards for supporting the building of nuclear power plants in the United States while threatening Tehran for pursuing a similar goal. -VOA - 1/29/10

Iran Hangs Two Sentenced In Postelection Trials
Today at dawn, 37-year-old Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and 19-year-old Arash Rahmanipour were hanged after being convicted of attempting to overthrow the Iranian regime. The two were among over 100 detainees who were put on trial following street protests that erupted in Iran following the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/28/10

Exhibition: Tehran, Virtual and Real - In Memory of "Mehdi Sahabi"
I am incapable of registering what I am witnessing these days. My city and I are intertwined. It is a city that is fighting; and as much as the government crackdown is now widespread, so is the people's struggle. Close to the hours of demonstrations, all mobile phones are disconnected, and all SMS messages are barred. It is a misery to try to find out the news. Despite all that, the progressive Greens are present everywhere and the entrenchments are alive. - 1/28/10

Iran Protesters Must Keep All Eyes On February 11
The recent statement of the sheikh of reforms (as the supporters of Mehdi Karrubi call him) resulted in a situation that has many lessons for all of us. The flap began with an interview Karrubi did with the state-run Fars News Agency on the sidelines of the congress of the Mardomsalari political party. -Saeed Ghasemynejad, RFE - 1/28/10

Norooz Resolution Passes House Committee in U.S. Congress
This March, as millions of Iranians and Iranian Americans celebrate Norooz, they may be joined by an unlikely group: the United States Congress. H.Res.267, the Norooz Resolution, was unanimously approved today (January 27) by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and now awaits final passage before the House of Representatives. -NIAC - 1/28/10

The Trail of Green: A one-day Public Art event for 22 Bahman, Anniversary of the Revolution in Iran
Los Angeles, CA- iGreen presents The Trail of Green. A Public Art event in solidarity with the people in Iran. Thirty years after the revolution, people are still deprived of the most basic human rights in Iran. In anticipation of major protests on the streets of Iran, iGreen will do it's part to support Iranian people's struggle for freedom and justice. - 1/28/10

Detained Mousavi aide accused of espionage
Iran Ministry of Intelligence accused a senior aide of disputing candidate of the presidential elections, Mir Hossein Mousavi, of "espionage." They also announced that during Ashura Day events, on December 27, they also arrested two German diplomats. -Zamaneh - 1/28/10

Saturday Night Live Hires First Iranian-Born Cast Member
Saturday Night Live's first Iranian-born cast member Nasim Pedrad joined the popular late night comedy and variety show last September and has since impersonated celebrities and first ladies including Kathy Griffin, Kim Kardashian and Iran's first lady. -Grace Nasri, Iran Times - 1/28/10

Psyche and Cupid: An Online Exhibition by Rahel Basir at Gallery Mamak
Rahele Basir was born in Tehran in 1980 where she continued to live and study art. In 1995, she was accepted at the Shahed University of Tehran from which she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in painting. - 1/28/10

Conference of Muslim Women Scientists Opens in Tehran
The first International Conference of Women Scientists from the Islamic World kicked off Wednesday at the venue of the Science Ministry. Large numbers of female scientists from 37 Islamic countries have taken part in the two-day conference. -MNA - 1/28/10

Attack on the 'Shark' shakes Iran
As the Islamic Republic continues to grapple with a profound political crisis, the focus of internal wrangling is steadily shifting to the eye of the storm. There is a widespread belief that former Iranian president and a long-time pillar of the establishment, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is at the core of the internal squabbles that are threatening to tear apart the legacy of the Islamic revolution of 1979. -Mahan Abedin, Asia Times - 1/28/10

Detention of 10 Baha'is leads to fears for other prisoners
Concern is growing over the lack of information about the status of 10 Baha'is who were arrested earlier this month in Iran. In addition to worry about their safety, there are fears that charges against these 10 will be used to create false evidence in court against the seven Baha'i leaders who have been held since 2008 and whose trial is set to resume on 7 February. - 1/28/10

NIAC Weighs in on Senate Sanctions Bill
With the Senate expected to approve comprehensive Iran legislation, S.2799, in the coming weeks, NIAC has released a guide offering suggested changes to the legislation that would bring the bill more in line with the Obama Administration's strategy. - 1/28/10

Germany Denies Report that Iran has Detained Diplomats
Iran's opposition figures continue to question the legitimacy of last year's presidential election, as the nation prepares for the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution next month. There are also reports that two German diplomats have been detained in Tehran. -VOA - 1/28/10

Afghanistan Aid Strategy Must Change Say Aid Groups
International aid agencies are calling for restructuring the international community's strategy for development in Afghanistan. They want the focus to be on long-term poverty alleviation rather than political and military incentives. -VOA - 1/28/10

Zahra Rahnavard: We don't compromise or recognize Ahmadinejad's government
Fighting for freedom and peace has always been an integral part of my life. That is why I am not afraid to die. As I said before, we have made a shield of our chests and I am personally ready for any attack or terror. - 1/27/10

Iran: Ayatollah Rafsanjani warns of hardliner "conspiracy"
Akabar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council announced today that from the latest comments of Ayatollah Yazdi and other information given to him, he detects a "conspiracy" afoot. - 1/27/10

Iran's Opposition Leader Karoubi: I will never compromise when it comes to the people's rights
In relation to issues regarding the election, Mehdi Karoubi, the head of the Etemad Meli Party, said: "With the passing of time, I become even more convinced of the extensive manipulations and fraud that took place in the recent elections, as very day we receive new information that demonstrates the regrettable nature in which the authorities handled the trust given to them by the people of Iran." - 1/27/10

Iranina Feminist Attorney, Shadi Sadr, Critiques Mehdi Karroubi's Five-Point Plan
On January 11, 2010, Mehdi Karroubi, one of the two reformist presidential candidates who have challenged the fraudulent June 2009 Iranian election, issued a statement in which he offered five ways for the Islamic Republic to exit the "current extensive crisis." The next day, Shadi Sadr, feminist attorney and human rights activist, issued a critique which focused on the first point of Karroubi's five-point plan. - 1/27/10

First Iranian woman in 2010 Winter Olympics
Marjan Kalhor will be the first ever Iranian woman athlete who is to take part in the Winter Olympics. Iran will participate in the prestigious 21st Winter Olympics with three men and one woman athlete. The event will be held from February 12 to 28 in Vancouver, Canada. -MNA - 1/27/10

What is Happening at Iran's State Radio and Television?
Following the bloody events of June and July 2009, demonstrations took place in front of the state radio and television broadcasting's buildings, with some rumors even pointing to the possibility of the building's seizure by people. Despite the protests and the audible slogans being chanted against the organization, journalists and employees inside continued their usual work: distorting the realities of Iran. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online - 1/27/10

Fajr Film Festival jJury Announced - Many Boycott the Event
A few weeks before the festival began, it was rumored that a number of Iranian cineastes planned to boycott it in protest of the Iranian government's actions toward the opposition. Even some Iranian filmmakers, whose films are participating in the festival, have snubbed the event over the past few days as they have refused to attend press conferences held after the screenings of their films. -MNA - 1/27/10

Global Music Double Fundraiser: PAF Board Member, Fabian Alsultany and Doctors Without Borders
Please join us for a party in support of the health, wellness and recovery of our good friend Fabian Alsultany (GlobeSonic Sound System, Persian Arts Festival Board Member & Inspirational Force). Proceeds from this event will directly raise funds in Fabian's name for "Doctors Without Borders" towards their relief efforts in Haiti. - 1/27/10

Ahmadinejad lashes out at judiciary's move against his government
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke out against what he called the "spirit of dictatorship" in the country's judiciary after his chosen head of IRNA State News Agency was prosecuted and sentenced to imprisonment this week. -Zamaneh - 1/27/10

Interview with Professor Johan Galtung, the father of Peace resear
Johan Galtung, distinguished professor of Sociology, Peace and conflict research and world renowned founder of the academic discipline of peace research and founder of PRIO, is currently director of TRANSCEND, a global peace and development network. -Interview by Behdad Bordbar - 1/27/10

Iran launches production of herbal cancer medicine
"The Iranian scientists have identified the herbal extracts that induce immune cells to produce interferon and activate toll-like receptors," said the head of the technology department at Teacher Training University Iran. -Press TV - 1/27/10

U.S. Says Iran Denies Access To Jailed Hikers
The U.S. State Department has expressed concern about the welfare of three U.S. hikers who have been imprisoned in Iran since July, saying they may be held in "deplorable conditions." -RFE - 1/27/10

FILM: Kick in Iran
Beautiful women beating the hell out of each other is a pretty marketable hook, and when you add the political subtext of "Kick in Iran," what you have is a package. -Variety - 1/27/10

Young Iranian Jews Now Pushing Beyond Old Boundaries
Even as they hew to their Iranian heritage and their parents' culture of hospitality, the Hedvats and other 20- and 30-something Persians, the first to be born in America, are transforming the famously insular Iranian community here in unexpected ways. -Jewish Week - 1/27/10

Strict Prohibition vs. High Demand Forces Iranians to Gamble Online
There are many nations around the world where gambling in some form or another is strictly prohibited by law, but the demand still runs high. One prime example of this situation can be found in contemporary Iran. Many attribute this activity to novelty. -Gaming Zion - 1/27/10

Yemen Rebels Demand Truce with Saudi Arabia
The leader of a northern Yemen insurgency that has spilled into neighboring Saudi Arabia offered a truce on Monday, saying his forces will withdraw from Saudi territory. But the rebel chief added that if Saudi Arabia does not agree to abandon the war, the Houthi rebels will open new battlefronts. -VOA - 1/27/10

Interview: Fatemeh Haghighatjoo on How the United States Should Respond to Iran's Opposition Movement
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo was a member of Iran's Parliament from 2000 to 2004, and a prominent advocate of women's rights and political reform. She resigned in 2004 after a crackdown on reformers and left Iran in 2005. She is now a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. -insideIRAN.org - 1/26/10

Academics Worldwide Condemn Assassination of Iranian Professor and State Violence
On 12 January 2010 Tehran University physicist, Professor Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, was killed by a remote control bomb in front of his house in northern Tehran. This was a clear case of targeted assassination and another example of atrocities taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 1/26/10

IRAN: Much ado about nothing in kerfuffle over Karroubi remarks
A brouhaha kicked up by journalists over comments by opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi may be put to rest after the cleric-politician today issued an unambiguous denunciation of the disputed June 12 elections and subsequent crackdown. -LA Times - 1/26/10

Norooz Resolution Moving Ahead in U.S. Congress
NIAC has confirmed that the Norooz Resolution will move forward to a Committee vote this Thursday. This is the last step before the Norooz Resolution comes before Congress for final passage! Tell your Representative to sign on to this important resolution today so that the Norooz Resolution receives a vote and is passed by Congress in time for the New Year! - 1/26/10

Iran's Bank Melli Rejects Rumors of Bankruptcy
The financial manager of Bank Melli Iran (BMI) has refuted the rumors on declaring bankruptcy by the bank, saying BMI is the largest bank in Iran and across the Islamic world, considering its total assets of around $54 billion. -MNA - 1/26/10

Farhang Foundation and LACMA Proudly Present Gusheh be Gusheh
Farhang Foundation, together with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced today the premiere of Gusheh bé Gusheh, taking place at LACMA's Leo S. Bing Theater on January 28, 2010 at 7 p.m.Gusheh bé Gusheh is a traditional Persian music concert collaboration, led by the renowned European-based Iranian musician and composer Khosrow Soltani whose compositions have rejuvenated traditional Persian music. - 1/26/10

World Premiere of MITHRA by Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran in Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Symphony Music Director Bruno Ferrandis leads the orchestra in a world premiere by award-winning contemporary composer Behzad Ranjbaran on February 13-15 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. - 1/26/10

Iranian hardliner claims Rafsanjani insulted the Supreme Leader
The internal disputes within the Islamic Republic continues as today Iranian Hardliner, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, head of the Society of Qom Seminary Teachers, attacked the moderate Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani for his statements on Saturday. - 1/26/10

Revisiting Iran's Green Movement
Iran's Green Movement is the subject of much controversy these days. While some are of the opinion that it is no more than a civil rights movement in pursuit of specific concessions from those in power, there are those to whom the movement is no less than a revolutionary phenomenon destined to topple the Islamic Republic. -Jalal Alavi - 1/26/10

Iran Weightlifting Federation In Crisis As Fourth Lifter Fails Doping Test
Iranian weightlifter Saeid Ali-Hosseini has failed in his doping test, according to Vice-President of Iran Weightlifting Federation Darab Riahi. Hosseini's B-Sample was positive, but the result has not been published on the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) site. - 1/26/10

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Announces Victory In "Soft War"
Iran Ministry of Intelligence announced they will soon publish "elating news" regarding the victory of the Islamic Republic in the "soft war" against Iran. Deputy Intelligence Minister announced today that "the lengthy files opened up by the enemies of Iran will soon be closed." -Zamaneh - 1/26/10

Haddadi: Grizzlies Coach Doesn't Play Me
Iranian center Hamed Haddadi says he is ready to play for Memphis Grizzlies but the officials haven't given him a chance. Hamed was the Most Valuable Player of last year's FIBA Asia Championship in China after leading the Iranians to a second straight title. Hamed will also compete for Iran at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul - 1/26/10

Russian Envoy: Bushehr Nuclear Plant Is Completed, But Equipment Tests Are Needed
Russian ambassador to Iran Alexander Sadovnikov said Bushehr nuclear power plant has been completed but its apparatuses need to be meticulously tested. "Bushehr nuclear power plant has been fully completed and its pieces of equipment are installed, but it is necessary to test the pieces before uranium processing in reactor." -ISNA - 1/26/10

Secretary of Iranian Academies Masud Kanzi Resigns
Following recent changes in the method of appointment of new directors of specific academies, Kanzi delivered his letter of resignation which was quickly accepted by the directors of the four academies for which he was secretary. -MNA - 1/26/10

Iran Opposition Leaders Drop Demand for New Election
Two of Iran's opposition leaders, Mohammed Khatami and Mehdi Karroubi, appear to have dropped their demand for a new presidential election, saying that while they still believe the vote in June was fraudulent, they accept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the head of state, according to Iranian news services. -NY Times - 1/26/10

Dubai Helps Iran Evade Sanctions as Smugglers Ignore U.S. Laws
Iran's biggest non-oil trading partner provides a stream of household items -- from diapers and mobile phones to laptops and washing machines -- as well as illicit items such as aircraft parts and computer chips that the U.S. says have nuclear and military uses. -Bloomberg - 1/26/10

Iran's Opposition Leader Karrubi 'Recognizes Ahmadinejad'
Opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi has recognized Mahmud Ahmadinejad as Iran's head of government, even though he still maintains that June's presidential vote was rigged to ensure Ahmadinejad's reelection. Karrubi's stand could signal a move toward reconciliation in Iran and an attempt to ease postelection tensions that have plunged the Islamic Republic into crisis. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/25/10

It has been said that history repeats itself: I hope mythology does not
Myths and legends that have withstood the test of time did not sprout out of barren grounds overnight. Some have roots in mankind's fears and hopes, some in misinterpreted observations and some are created out of longing to fulfill unrequited desires. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/25/10

Photos: Turquoise Mine in Neyshabur, Iran
For at least 2,000 years, the region once known as Persia, has remained an important source of turquoise. This deposit, which is blue naturally, and turns green when heated due to dehydration, is restricted to a mine-riddled region in Neyshabur, the 2,012-metre (6,600 ft) mountain peak of Ali-Mersai, which is tens of kilometers from Mashhad, the capital of Razavi Khorasan province, Iran. -Photos by Amin Khosroshahi - 1/25/10

Call for indepndent probe into assassination of Iranian professor
Over 100 academics from universities all across the world have condemned the assassination of physics lecturer, Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in Tehran and called for an independent investigation into his death. -Zamaneh - 1/25/10

Concerns for health of Iranian political prisoner Ebrahim Yazdi
Friends and relatives of Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi have expressed concern over the state of his health and have appealed to international organizations for help in securing his release. - 1/25/10

Merci Monsieur Gurdjieff
As an Iranian translator of Gurdjieff's teachings starting with Ouspensky's In Search of Miraculous (published four years ago), translating all of Gurdjieff's own books exactly in the way he instructs (all waiting to get the required official publication permit), while wandering in a kind of Nietzsche-ian no-where land under Islamic Republic (symbolizing any religious rule with certain nuances), ... -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/25/10

Leon: A chic and friendly small restaurant in downtown Tehran
Fereshteh is an old friend of mine who is very kind. Our mutual friend Papar was here for a short visit and they came to see me at my office and had some tea. I asked where they were going and she said Leon! I had been hearing about this restaurant in Aban street for some time from other people too. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/25/10

Iran Threatens to Produce Own Nuclear Fuel
The Fars News Agency reported President Ahmadinejad said he would have "good news", next month, about Iran's domestic production of 20-percent high-grade nuclear fuel, a long-standing bone of contention between Tehran and the West -VOA - 1/25/10

Ballet Afsaneh to perform "Celebration of Planet Earth" in Mountain View, California
Saturday, February 27, 2010 - Ballet Afsaneh presents an unprecedented alliance of international artists promoting peace and environmental consciousness with breathtaking music and dance performances. - 1/25/10

China: A Short-Term Solution for Iran
China's opposition to adoption of a new resolution against Iran provides it with room to play a more important role in Iran's nuclear issue. Over the past few months, the role played by the other two main parties, namely the EU and Russia has been weakened. -Kayhan Barzegar - 1/25/10

Omid's Shadow: A Novel
Two Iranian women are caught up in revolutions thirty years apart, but it is a third person-the one who connects them-that carries the scars of loss that time has not healed. Omid's Shadow tells the story of an Iranian-American woman, the daughter of one revolutionary and the mother of another. -by Hichkass Hamekass - 1/25/10

Ahmadinejad orders implementation of subsidy reform plan
The goal of the subsidy reform plan is to bring prices to their true market level within a five-year period. The plan mainly targets energy prices.According to the plan, the administration is obligated to reform the energy prices by the end of the fifth development plan (2010-2015). -MNA - 1/25/10

The Shopping Cure
Vali Nasr, in his outstanding new book "Forces of Fortune," shows that Qutb was at least half wrong. Globalization, free trade and market economics aren't a threat to Islam per se. What they are a threat to is the totalitarian vision of Islam that Qutb's followers hope to impose. -NY Times - 1/25/10

Iran To Sell Diesel To Iraq Despite U.S. Sanctions
Iran has secured a deal to export about 19,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel to Iraq this year, industry sources said today. -Reuters - 1/25/10

Photos: 46 Injured as Iranian plane catches fire on landing
An Iranian passenger aircraft caught fire on Sunday morning while it was landing in Mashhad airport in northeast Iran. Miraculously no passenger was killed or suffered major injuries in the air disaster; only 46 passengers who mostly suffered a shock were hospitalized. - 1/24/10

A Starless Fajr Film Festival Kicks Off
The 28th Fajr International Film Festival kicked off at Tehran's Milad Tower Saturday evening in absentia of movies stars and prominent Iranian filmmakers. - 1/24/10

Happy Birthday, Neda
If Neda Agha Soltan were alive, she would have turned 27 on January 23, 2010. Neda was shot and killed about seven months ago during a peaceful protest in Tehran against the reelection of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/24/10

Photos: Iranian political prisoner Mohsen Safai-Farahani, on leave from Evin prision, greeted by activists
A group of political activists visited Mohesen Safai-Farahani, prominent member of the Participation Front at his home. Safai-Farahani was given five days of leave from Evin prison on a heavy bail. - 1/24/10

PAAIA to Host Capitol Hill Briefing on 2009 Survey of Iranian Americans
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) will be holding a congressional briefing on Thursday, January 28, 2010 to present the findings of its 2009 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans. - 1/24/10

Iran: Ahmadinejad Submits Ambitious Budget
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has presented his draft annual budget to parliament, telling legislators that "special attention" has been paid to reducing Iran's dependence on oil revenue but offering few details. Iran's economy relies heavily on oil exports, which supply 40-50 percent of budget revenues. -RFE - 1/24/10

Iran's Rafsanjani Defends His "Silence"
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council, announced today that in view of the unfavorable situation of the country and "inspired by the ways of great religious models," he has chosen to remain silent. -Zamaneh - 1/24/10

Iran's Transport Minister Summoned to Parliament Over Air, Train Accidents
Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani was summoned to the Majlis Development Committee on Sunday to account for back-to-back train and plane accidents. Reza Nakhjavani, the director of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, and Abdolali Saheb-Mohammadi, the director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, were also called along him to the parliament to explain the causes of the accidents. -MNA - 1/24/10

Former Canadian Ambassador to Tehran Admits To Spying For CIA
Canada's former ambassador to Tehran has admitted to spying for the United States and serving as the "de facto CIA station chief" after the U.S. Embassy seizure in 1979. The former diplomat, Ken Taylor, approved the disclosure in a book published this week and confirmed its details for a story in "The Globe and Mail." -RFE - 1/24/10

Why Are Internet Rights Becoming Part Of U.S. Foreign Policy?
In a speech on Internet freedom on January 21, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that "countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century." -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 1/24/10

Iran Judiciary Head Condemns Divisive Movements
Iran's Head of Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani spoke out against targeting of Shiite clerics and Islamic Republic officials and urged the Ministry of Culture to tighten supervision over the media. -Zamaneh - 1/24/10

Iran, World's 16th Steel Producer: Report
The International Iron and Steel Institute named Iran as the 16th largest steel producer in the world in 2009. The institute noted that Iran had advanced three places compared to 2008, Fars news agency reported. -MNA - 1/24/10

China Paper Slams U.S. For Cyber Role In Iran Unrest
China's Communist Party mouthpiece has accused the United States of mounting a cyber army and a "hacker brigade," and of exploiting social media like Twitter or Youtube to foment unrest in Iran. -Reuters - 1/24/10

Another vicitm of torture at Iran's notorious Kahrizak prison identified
Abdolhosein Ruholamini revealed the identity of another Kahrizak torture victim and called for the resignation of Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran Prosecutor. Abdolhosein Ruholamini is the father of Mohsen Ruholamini, another Kahrizak victim. He announced that Ramin Aghazadeh Ghahremani is the fourth detainee who died from the severe injuries he suffered in Kahrizak. - 1/23/10

Photos: Iran train derailment leaves 7 dead, 12 injured
Train derailment in northeastern Iran has left 7 dead and 12 injured so far. The train was traveling from northeastern city of Mashhad to capital Tehran. - 1/23/10

Program in Sunnyvale, California in Support of Iranian Journalists
Saturday, Jan 23rd 2010 - 7:30 to Midnight -- Join Us to Support Iranian Journalists who have been forced to flee their country to escape the relentless repression since the fraudulent presidential election in Iran . We invite you to a special event to benefit Iranian journalists, photographers, and bloggers who are in urgent need as they search for safe refuge. - 1/23/10

Iranian authorities step up pressure on student group
Iranian security officials are pressuring the student organization, Unity Consolidation Bureau (Daftar-e Takhim-e Vahdat) to announce its dissolution. Bahareh Hedayat, Milad Asadi, Mehdi Arabshahi and Morteza Samiari are the detained executive members of the Bureau who are being pressured to make this announcement. -Zamaneh - 1/23/10

Iran's economic growth to hit 2.2% in 2010: World Bank
The World Bank forecasted in its latest report that Iran's economic growth will reach 2.2 percent in 2010. The report stated that Iran's growth in 2008 and 2009 reached 2.5 percent and 1 percent respectively. - 1/23/10

Human Rights World Report 2010: Iran Targets Human Rights Messengers
The 612-page report, HRW's 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major human rights trends in more than 90 nations. Human Rights Watch cited Sudan and China as countries that routinely shut down human rights groups and Iran and Uzbekistan as countries that openly harass and arbitrarily detain human rights workers and other critics. - 1/23/10

Iran's Mahram crowned Dubai basketball tourney champion
Iran's Mahram claimed the title of the Dubai International Basketball Championship on Saturday. In the final match held at the Al-Ahli Indoor Stadium, Mahram beat Al Riyadi of Lebanon 85-67 and finished in first place. - 1/23/10

US General Says Yemen Could Become Iran-Saudi Proxy War
The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, General David Petraeus, says there are indications the domestic conflict in Yemen could become a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Petraeus spoke in Washington Friday at the Institute for the Study of War. -VOA - 1/23/10

Ahmadinejad: Era of tyranny, capitalism and humanism is over
Ahmadinejad has said that the era of tyranny, capitalism, and humanism is over. He made the remarks on Friday at the inauguration ceremony for a new production unit of the Khorasan Steel Complex, which is located in the Mashhad area in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi. -MNA - 1/23/10

Iran's Rafsanjani: Leader most qualified person to resolve problems
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Saturday that the most qualified person to resolve the current problems is Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. - 1/23/10

Lawyer says two Iranian doctors may soon be released on appeal
Two celebrated Iranian AIDS doctors with ties to Boston who were convicted in Iran of trying to overthrow the regime could soon be released from prison on appeal, according to their lawyer. -Boston Globe - 1/23/10

Iran sets condition for attending Afghan confab in London
Iran said Thursday it would take part in a conference on Afghanistan in London providing its viewpoints are fully taken into consideration. -Press TV - 1/23/10

EXCERPT: ‘Forces of Fortune'
It all happened quickly. The Muslim world changed dramatically in the short thirty-two months that separated the Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran on February 1, 1979, and the assassination of Anwar Sadat in Cairo on October 6, 1981. -Vali Nasr - 1/23/10

In Iran, A Fight Till The Bitter End
Speculation is mounting that Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may high-tail it from Iran if protests against his theocracy intensify. An Iranian government memorandum, purportedly leaked by dissidents within Iran's crumbling regime, allegedly states the Supreme Leader's aircraft is ready for a quick departure to Russia. -Jamsheed K. Choksy, Forbes - 1/23/10

Iran's Fajr Film Festival hit by calls for boycott and rumors
The organizers of the 28th edition of the Fajr International Film Festival, Iran's most important film gala, are trying to liven up the event as it seems to have been overshadowed by the post-election unrest. Over the past few weeks, it was rumored that a number of Iranian cineastes plan to boycott the festival in protest at the Iranian government's actions toward the opposition. However, this has not been confirmed by anyone. -MNA - 1/22/10

Families of Iranian Detainees Targeted by Authorities
Leila Farhadpour, journalist and women's right activist, was arrested yesterday at her home by security officials. On Monday, she had gone to Evin Prison to follow up on her detained son's case. Suffering from heart complications, she fainted at the prison and was transferred to the hospital. She was later arrested back at her home. -Zamaneh - 1/22/10

Statement of So Cal Students in Defense of UCI's Center for Persian Studies and Nasrin Rahimieh
"We, a group of students in the humanities and social sciences in southern California, hereby declare our support for the hard work carried out and services rendered by the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. To our dismay, a number of unknown individuals have recently disseminated information concerning the Center which is not only incorrect but actively hostile to it.." - 1/22/10

Iran: No Information About Detained Women's Rights Activist
Hundreds of Detainees in Similar Situation, Disappeared into Prisons --- Iranian judicial and prison authorities have refused to release any information about charges against women's rights activist Somayeh Rashidi (24), who was arrested on 19 December 2009, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported today. - 1/22/10

Another 18 Protesters Indicted by Iranian Judiciary
Iranian judiciary has indicted another 18 detainees of Ashura Day events in Tehran. According to the judiciary report, following the "completion of investigations and based on official reports and detainee confessions," the accused are charged with "assembly and collaboration against national security and propaganda against the regime." -Zamaneh - 1/22/10

UCLA Film & Television Archive: 20th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema
Iran's entry to the 2010 Academy Awards, About Elly, on Feb. 20; Actress Gohar Kheirandish in person on Feb. 7; A new feature from director Bahman Gohbadi on Feb. 6; Director Shalizeh Arefpour in person on Feb. 5 - 1/22/10

Iran 'Facing Tomorrow' By Letting Opposition Participate In TV Debates
In an apparent attempt to address political tensions that stubbornly refuse to go away, Tehran is allowing opposition-minded figures to participate in live televised discussions on the country's postelection crisis. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/22/10

Russian Foreign Minister Regrets Iran's Rejection Of Nuke Deal
Russia's top diplomat today said Moscow regrets that Iran has rejected a draft deal to send abroad most of its enriched uranium. Speaking in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged more talks with Tehran on the UN-brokered compromise... -RFE - 1/22/10

Clinton: US, Allies Will Not Back Down on Iran Nuclear Issue
The fact that China did not send a high-ranking diplomat to a big-power meeting on Iran late last week in New York has spurred suggestions that international resolve on the nuclear issue is fading. -VOA - 1/22/10

Iran students boycott exams to protest disputed election
Students in Iran have been boycotting end-of-term exams as they continue to show their opposition to the outcome of last year's disputed presidential election. -BBC - 1/22/10

Child Foundation joins with Mercy Corps to give aid to Haiti's children
Child Foundation, consistent with its policy of helping children around the world, is teaming up with Mercy Corps to collect aid for the most vulnerable of Haiti's society - the children. - 1/22/10

Iran, Azerbaijan to finalize gas deal
Within 90 days Tehran expects to finalize a long-term deal with Baku to import gas, the head of National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) says. - 1/22/10

Iran Gasoline Stock Surpasses 2.3b Liters
Iran boosted its gasoline inventories by 750 million liters in the first ten months of the current calendar year (began March 21, 2009) compared to the preceding year. It is estimated that the amount would rise to 2.5 billion liters by March 2010. -MNA - 1/22/10

Maz Jobrani hits the big time
Comedian Maz Jobrani has a lot to be excited about. His first hour-long special, "Maz Jobrani: Brown & Friendly," debuted on Showtime on New Year's Eve; it's available on DVD on Jan. 26. He's starring in a sitcom pilot for ABC – and he's finally made the transition from 15-minute club sets to hour-plus headlining theater gigs. -OC Register - 1/22/10

The divide in Iran's green movement
Apparent contradictions in the aims and actions of Iran's opposition can only be understood with reference to Ali Shariati -Guardian - 1/22/10

Iran: Death Sentence Issued for Female Kurdish Political Prisoner
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expressed serious concern regarding the increasing number of death sentences issued for Kurdish political prisoners following unfair trails. - 1/21/10

Militaristic Approach to Political Competition
During the past few months, the Iranian society has been plagued with breathtaking and unprecedented tensions among domestic political factions with each political faction using all at its service to make rivals retreat and have its own way. -Reza Ghabishavi - 1/21/10

Photos: Sandstorm Inundating Village in South Iran
Sandstorm is inundating the village of Saharaki near the town of Jask in Hormozgan province. Saharaki is among 22 villages which is threatened by Sandstorms. -Photos by Abdolhossein Rezvani, MNA - 1/21/10

Statement in Support of National Iranian-American Council
For years such an enlightened and highly educated community did not have a strong voice to express its views and sentiments to the administrations in Washington. That changed in 2002 when the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) was formed with the purpose of helping to improve the relations between Iran and the United States, and presenting the public with the true image of Iran as a dynamic country, and the Iranian-American community as an enlightened, highly educated immigrant group. - 1/21/10

Photos: Migratory birds return to Zayandeh-Rud River in Isfahan
Migratory birds return to Zayandeh-Rud River which passes through the beautiful city of Isfahan, a city considered Iran's cultural center. Zayandeh Rud (life giver river) is the largest river on the central plateau of Iran, Isfahan Province. -Photos by Khosrow Khaleqi, MNA - 1/21/10

More Warnings For Iranian Press
Iran's Ministry of Culture has issued warnings for 15 newspapers for "spreading rumours" and "representing a false image of the country's situation." -Zamaneh - 1/21/10

Iranian American Woman Running for Contra Costa County District Attorney
Elham (Elle) Falahat always knew she wanted to be a prosecutor. The experiences of her youth showed her that in the midst of injustices, the voice of reason and law must be resolute. So when her friends in the legal community called on her to run for District Attorney of Contra Costa County (Northern California), she was ready to go. -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 1/21/10

Portland eye surgeon returns to Iran and gains a new outlook of her own
When Dr. Neda Shamie arrived in the United States at age 12, she had to start life over. She and her family left everything behind when they fled Iran, and Shamie spoke no English. Now a surgeon at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Shamie recently had the chance to return to her homeland to give a speech before Iranian surgeons. -Portland News - 1/21/10

Iranian regime accused of crimes against humanity
Condemning the continuing arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of journalists, many of whom are being held incommunicado for long periods, Reporters Without Borders today accused the Iranian regime of "crimes against humanity" and urged the international community to speak out. - 1/21/10

Documentary on First Female Iranian Olympian to Premiere at Sundance
In 2007 the twenty-year-old Sara became the first female Iranian athlete to qualify for the Olympics. The young athlete and her strong-willed coach, Maryam Azarmehr, had left such a strong impression on Fatima that she abandoned her original plan of action – "why go with three different stories when you have one really interesting one?" – in favor of strictly documenting Sara's journey over a nine-month period -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 1/21/10

Slain Iranian Physicist's Campus Talk Suggests Strong Reformist Ties
Who killed Masoud Alimohammadi, the Iranian physicist who was blown up outside his apartment in Teheran on 12 January by a remote-controlled motorcycle bomb? Emerging details of the professor's scientific and political life have strengthened the accusation by opponents of Iran's regime that the murder was sponsored by pro-government forces and not by foreign intelligence agencies, as Iranian authorities claim. -Science - 1/21/10

3 zeros to be dropped from Iran's currency
The Iranian currency has lost its value in comparison to foreign currencies because Iran has been experiencing double-digit inflation over the past 20 years, partly due to expansionary monetary policies and the efforts to establish a market price economy. -MNA - 1/21/10

Museum row threatens Iran links
The Iranian government has threatened to sever cultural relations with the British Museum in a dispute over a prized clay artefact that echoes the recent souring of diplomatic ties between Tehran and London. The threat will come as an embarrassment to Neil MacGregor, the museum's director, who has made strenuous efforts to establish cultural links with Iranian scholars at a time of rising political tensions. -Financial Times - 1/21/10

IRI in 2009: A Year Filled with Ups and Downs
The year 2009 was a very significant and decisive year for the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, on the 30th birthday of the Iranian revolution (1979-2009) some kind of transformation or rebirth occurred in the scene of internal developments so that for the first time over the past three decades, domestic politics overshadowed foreign policy. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh, Iran Review - 1/20/10

Photos: Yassargachan village children risk their lives for school
The children of the village of Yassargachan located close to the city of Gonbad Kavoos in the northern Iranian province of Golestan have to cross Gorganrood river on an unsafe boat in order to get to their school. The river is 5 meters deep; and the boat, which lacks any safety equipments, is pulled using ropes, by the children themselves, from one side of the river to the other. -Photos by Abolfazl Nessaei, MNA - 1/20/10

Apply to NIAC's 2010 Public Service Fellowship!
NIAC is pleased to announce its fifth annual Public Service Fellowship. This fellowship is the first and only initiative designed to grant Iranian-American students the opportunity to learn first-hand how the US government works by interning on Capitol Hill. - 1/20/10

Iran: Student Activist, Subject of "Men in Hijab" Campaign, Handed Heavy Prison Term
Amir Kabir Newsletter reports that post-election detainee, Majid Tavakoli, has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, as well as five years ban from political activity and ban from exiting the country. - 1/20/10

Khamenei Claims Iran Remains United Against 'Outside' Threat; Ahmadinejad Jogs
Amid growing signs of a rift within his regime, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insists that 'arrogant and unjust' foreign powers will not succeed in shaking the unity of the Islamic Republic. Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was shown on state TV jogging with a crowd of young people in Tehran, in what appeared to be an attempt to bolster his popularity. - 1/20/10

Sorrow and Regret in Iran Courtroom about Mistreatment of Judiciary Founder's Son
Dr. Alireza Beheshti, the top advisor to Iran's green opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and the son of late Ayatollah Beheshti, one of the founders of the Islamic Republic, was seen waiting for a long time in the hallway of the Revolution Court. Beheshti had been brought from Evin prison to the court for interrogations wearing prison pajamas and slippers. He also had a long beard and a disheveled appearance. - 1/20/10

Iran's Khatami: The source of power is people and their satisfaction must be met
Khatami added: "We should try any approach to protect the principles and people's rights and freedoms and prevent the situation to get even more critical even though we are at a crisis and a new cycle of brutality [against people] has started and those in the government in complete protection commit these brutalities and it is only natural that some in the other side also react with violence and this is very dangerous." - 1/20/10

Vintage Fashion in Iran: Photographs from the first half of the twentieth century
There was a time, following the military coup of 1920 when women were forced not to wear Hijab. Here are a few photographs from the first half of the twentieth century, the rise of industrial era in Iran. - 1/20/10

Iranian academics fear more killings
Iran's scientific community is reeling after the assassination on 12 January of Masoud Alimohammadi, a particle physicist at the University of Tehran. Nature interviewed half a dozen scientists in Iran who knew Alimohammadi, all of whom requested anonymity. They are mystified as to why he was singled out. -Nature - 1/20/10

Iran to unveil 3 satellites in February
Iran's Minister of Communication and Information Technology Reza Taghipour said on Wednesday that the country is to unveil new home-built satellites of Toloo (dawn), the engineering model of Mesbah 2 and Ya Mahdi experimental satellite on February 3 on Iran's national day of space technology. -ISNA - 1/20/10

Date set for seven Baha'i leaders' next court session
Iranian authorities have notified the lawyers of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders that the next session of their trial will be held on 7 February, the Baha'i International Community learned today. At their first court appearance, held 12 January in Tehran, the charges were read to the seven, who categorically denied the accusations. -BWNS - 1/20/10

Natural Ventilation: An event in New York by Iranian-American Society of Architects and Engineers
Natural Ventilation: an Architectural tool for sustainable design in the past and the present. Presented by Mr. Mashiyat Ashraf, Principal Architect, New York City Transit. Mashiyat is a graduate of the Fine Art Faculty of Teheran University. His work has taken him to England, India before relocating to US. - 1/20/10

Extremism is Iran's most serious problem: Rafsanjani
"Extremism is the country's most important problem, and those who are concerned about Islam, the revolution, and the system should find a solution," Rafsanjani said during a meeting with a number of university instructors in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 1/20/10

Iran's Parliament Speaker Criticizes Ahmadinejad Government
Iran's Speaker of the Parliament, Ali Larijani, speaking in a meeting with public supervisors and directors of Central Province announced that the management of the country is "flawed" and cannot be conducted through "extremist imaginings." -Zamaneh - 1/20/10

Anniversary of Revolution, next rally call for Iran opposition forces
Iranian opposition forces flooded the web with calls for election protesters to join massive demonstration on the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Revolution on February 11. - 1/19/10

Iran: Khamenei Urges Opposition To Clarify Its Stance
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, criticized the silence of some of the "elite" and called on them to clarify their stance vis a vis those who have "questioned" the elections. He had also said earlier that the silence of the "elite, aids the sedition." -Zamaneh - 1/19/10

Police announce arrest of 40 more Iranian protesters
A police official announced today that with "the cooperation of honest and always alert people of Islamic Iran," they have managed to arrest 40 more people involved in Ashura Day events. He also called on the public to continue assisting the police in identifying "rioters." - 1/19/10

"Speaking of Hayedeh and a God Given Voice"
The documentary film, "Hayedeh, Legendary Persian Diva" ["Sokhan az Hayedeh"], was among the films screened in Sweden at the 9th International Exile Film Festival, in Oct. 2009. On 20th 2010, 20th anniversary of Hayedeh's death in exile, the film has been released on DVD by the Persian Dutch Network in Amsterdam. -Hooman Khalatbari - 1/19/10

The Next Generation of Philanthropists
Among the amazing young change makers who captivated the audience at PARSA's 2009 annual awards event were Darrion Sani, Roz Fazli and Roshan Malekmadani. Their individual commitment to philanthropy and the community from such a young age is remarkable and should serve as an example of what every young person in the Iranian diaspora can achieve. - 1/19/10

World's First Artificial Windpipe Transplant on Human to be Attempted in Iran
Iran is to transplant the world's first artificial windpipe on human by early February, said the President of Beheshti Medical Sciences University Mohammad Reza Razzaghi on Tuesday. -ISNA - 1/19/10

Iran's Humanitarian Aid Arrives In Haiti
Iran's Red Crescent Society says about 30 tones of humanitarian aid including food, tents and medicine in the company of a group of rescuers arrived in Haiti. Iran has also dispatched a group of 30 doctors and rescuers to the tremor-stricken country of Haiti - 1/19/10

The Iranian Nuclear Riddle after June 12
Attempts since 2002 to roll back or at least slow Iran's nuclear ambitions have proven fruitless, imparting a sense of urgency to the issue. Neither threats of punishment nor inducements have worked. -Shahram Chubin - 1/19/10

Georgia Apologizes for extraditing Iranian national to U.S.
The Georgian foreign minister said his country apologizes for extraditing the Iranian national to the U.S., blaming the unfavorable political condition in his country at the time, which led to such a decision. - 1/19/10

German Firm Inks One Billion Euro Gas Deal With Iran
Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) has signed a 1 billion euro ($1.44 billion) deal with a German firm to help improve nation's gas distribution grid, the IGEDC director said here on Tuesday. - 1/19/10

Iran finds traces of terrorists behind Khoy Prosecutor's assassination
An Iranian prosecutor was shot twice in front of his house late Monday by two unidentified gunmen in the city of Khoy in the northwestern province of West Azerbaijan. - 1/19/10

Iran Urges France To Free Engineer Wanted By U.S.
Iran has urged French authorities to free an Iranian student arrested in France for allegedly breaking the trade embargo on Iran. A French researcher, Clotilde Reiss, is currently on trial in Iran for taking part in postelection, antigovernment protests in July. -RFE - 1/19/10

US-China Relations to be Tested in President Obama's 2nd Year
During President Barack Obama's first year in office, he made great efforts to cultivate a good relationship with China and visited the Asian nation in November. -VOA - 1/19/10

Photos: Tent Living - Kahoum Village, Zahedan
The village of Kahoum is located by the hillside of Birak Mountain in the province of Sistan o Baluchestan in southeast Iran. About 40 families live in this village under primitive conditions in tents called kapar. The residents are deprived of schooling, healthcare and clean water. -Photos by Sadeqh Souri, Mehr News Agency - 1/18/10

Iran Demonstrators Facing Death Sentence
Iran will put 16 opposition demonstrators on trial, Monday, and several are to be charged with "offending God and his prophet." Sixty journalists and intellectuals are expressing outrage over use of the charge of being "mohareb", which carries the death penalty. - 1/18/10

Iranian women's activits list their own demands
A group of Iranian women's activists issued a statement listing their own solutions to the current crisis in the country. They maintain that the proposals put forth by opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi "neglect" the demands of women. - 1/18/10

Prominent Iranian reformist Mohsen Safai Farahani handed 6-year prison term
Farahani, a senior member of Islamic Iran Participation Front, a reformist organization that supported the disputing candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the June presidential elections, was arrested on June 20, 2009 and was tried for charges of "activities against national security, propaganda against the regime, insulting government officials and agitating public minds." -Zamaneh - 1/18/10

Iranian Footballer Nekounam Denies Sending Love Emails to National Team Coach
Iran midfielder Javad Nekounam denied sarcastic media fabrication about sending love emails to the national coach Afshin Ghotbi. "We don't have these things in Iranian football. No player has ever sent a love note to a coach. I am too embarrassed to even utter these words," the Osasuna midfielder added. - 1/18/10

Programs across the globe to remember Iran's Montazeri and Bazergan
Programs will be held in January and February in cities in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States to commemorate the 40th day of death of Iran's reformist Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and the the 15th anniversary death of the liberal politician and former primer minister Mehdi Bazargan. - 1/18/10

Iran religious minority members facing 'show trial'
Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to release seven members of the Baha'i religious minority who appear to be facing a "show trial" in Tehran on a collection of spurious charges. - 1/18/10

Iran to take controversial symphony to Europe despite objections
The Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will perform the Peace and Friendship Symphony in five European countries despite objections by a number of prominent Iranian musicians. A number of Iranian musicians including Melal Orchestra conductor Peyman Soltani and TSO Council member Mostafa-Kamal Purtorab are opposed to the composition selected for the concerts. - 1/18/10

Foreign investment in Iran takes a nosedive
Foreign investments in Iran tumbled 96 percent in the Iranian calendar year 1387 (March 2008-March 2009) in comparison to previous year, said the chairman of the Commerce Commission of the Tehran Commerce Chamber. -MNA - 1/18/10

Iran Weighing $20b Foreign Energy Investment
Iran is examining proposed foreign investments of up to $20 billion in its energy sector, Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said on Monday. "We are in talks with some foreign companies which had proposed such investments to finance our energy projects in buy-back or direct investment methods, Mirkazemi added, without giving any further detail on the foreign investors. - 1/18/10

The Future of Iran
While Washington frets over what the Obama Administration should do next, legitimate power is tilting away from the central government toward a confident Green Movement. More and more experts are concluding that it is no longer a question of whether the regime in Tehran will fall, but rather when.Nazenin Ansari and Jonathan Paris, WSJ - 1/18/10

More sentences for post-election detainees in Iran
Tehran Revolutionary Court has issued six more sentences for the protesters detained on December 27, Ashura Day protests. Iranian media also reports that Mohsen Safai Farahani has been handed a sentence after over 200 days in detention. -Zamaneh - 1/17/10

A Farewell to Bahman Jalali
With heavy heart and deep sadness I have just came back from the funeral of Bahman Jalali, the photographer, which was held at the Artists plot at Tehran's Beheshte Zahra cemetery. The ceremony started at Artists Forum in the center of Tehran, where many mourners including devoted friends, students and colleagues as well as many well known faces in art in Iran, along with family members had gathered -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/17/10

Ex-Prosecutor of Tehran Defends Himself Against Damning Report
Saeed Mortazavi, former prosecutor of Tehran reacted to the parliamentary report that found him the chief culprit in the numerous cases of detainee mistreatment in the post election events, in a letter to Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani. He described the report "vague and erroneous" which according to him has created "misunderstandings in the media." -Zamaneh - 1/17/10

Iran's political winds are shifting
The opposition movement is gaining strength, and signs are emerging that the government could collapse. -Iason Athanasiadis, LA Times - 1/17/10

Photos: Residents of Aredebil Townships Waiting For Pipelined Gas
The residents of the Mokhaberat and Dadgostari townships in the provincial city of Ardebil are still waiting for natural gas to be pipelined to their houses. In early 2008 the officials promised delivery of gas to the houses. But the cold winter has arrived without the promises being fulfilled. So the residents have to turn to traditional means to heat their homes and do their cooking. -Photos by Raouf Mohseni, MNA - 1/17/10

Iranian football juggler sets Guinness world record
Iranian football juggler Mehdi Hobbe Darvish set a Guinness world record in Dubai on Friday. He kept a tennis ball off the ground with 144 touches in a minute. - 1/17/10

Major Players Iran Meeting Concludes Without Clarity
But the meeting of the so-called P5+1 group failed to make any decision on fresh sanctions, although an EU official who chaired the meeting said sanctions are "now on the agenda." -RFE - 1/17/10

Iran Stripped of Right to Host Islamic Solidarity Games
Iran has lost its right to hold the 2nd Islamic Solidarity Games scheduled for April. Islamic Solidarity Games Federation (ISSF) located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, asked the Iranians to remove the words "Persian Gulf" from the medals and brochures but they declined. -MNA - 1/17/10

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran Promise More Coordination
Foreign ministers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran say their three countries will increase cooperation on regional issues in the coming months. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki signed a joint declaration Saturday after meeting in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. -VOA - 1/17/10

The Iranian Exile's Eye
One day last June, on the quiet Tehran street where I lived, I noticed a man in a white Peugeot across the street looking at me, straight in the eye, as I started to drive out of my garage. "There she is," he said, and he rushed to start his own car. -Nazila Fathi, New York Times - 1/17/10

Iran's Lavan refinery produces one million liters of gasoline per day
Iran needs to import 22 million liters of gasoline and nine million liters of gas oil per day to meet its domestic demand. Domestic refineries produce some 44 million liters of gasoline and 87 million liters of gas oil per day. -MNA - 1/17/10

Photographer Bahman Jalali, 1944-2010
Ustad Bahman Jalali was an internationally acclaimed photographer and renowned artist. He had a gentle manner that touched all of those that came to know him, he was good hearted, observant, a private and simple man, but an expert in his field. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/16/10

Iran threatens to cut cultural ties with Britain over Cyrus Cylinder
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) director, who is also a vice president, said on Thursday that Iran would cut cultural ties with Britain if they cannot come to an agreement with the British Museum concerning the Cyrus Cylinder loan. -MNA - 1/16/10

Iran Diplomat Who Quit Over Crackdown Hints At More Resignations
A former Iranian diplomat who resigned in protest over the government's crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators in December has told Radio Farda he expects other diplomats to do the same. - 1/16/10

The Persian Kurd: An Online Exhibition by Reza Nosratti
Reza Nosratti was born in Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan, in 1980. He received a BA from Shahed Art University of Tehran in 2006 and an MA from the same university in 2008. His works have been exhibited in over thirty solo and group exhibitions in Tehran and Sanandaj. -Gallery Mamak - 1/16/10

Mahasti Afshar Appointed as PAAIA's New Executive Director
A Harvard Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indo-European Folklore and Mythology, Mahasti brings two decades of experience in top management roles at the Getty Conservation Institute, ARCH Foundation/Austria, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, X PRIZE Foundation, and most recently, the National Geographic Society. - 1/16/10

Iran Education Minister dismisses university protests
Iran's Minister of Education, Kamran Daneshjou in a meeting with university PR managers told reporters that he had no exact statistics regarding disciplinary sentences issued for students but maintained that five to ten percent of post-election detainees are university students. -Zamaneh - 1/16/10

Iran Police Chief Warns Opposition Against SMS, Email Communication
Iran's police chief has warned opposition supporters against using SMS text messages and e-mails to organize antigovernment rallies. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam said spreading word of such demonstrations was a crime that carried a "heavy penalty." -RFE - 1/16/10

Iran's Judiciary Chief: Allegation of fraud, a big lie
Iran's Head of Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, said today that those who have "claimed that the elections were rigged, have broken the law." He added that "this allegation of fraud was a big lie which became the source of extensive damage." -Zamaneh - 1/16/10

"Grand Inquisitor" Not Welcome In Iran
Iran has cancelled the performances of the British play "Grand Inquisitor" which was to be staged by veteran British stage director Peter Brook at the 28th Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran. - 1/16/10

Iranian Dress Exhibition in Tehran
Iran's House of Fashion will be holding dress exhibitions in Tehran first weeks on January 28, 2009 and third week of February. In the main part of the exhibition, fusion and international designs, and creations of master dressmakers of the nation will be displayed. - 1/16/10

China stalls UN effort to sanction Iran over nuclear program
The United States is expected Saturday to push for more sanctions against Iran, as Tehran refuses to discuss its nuclear program. But China signals it will resist the idea, especially if new sanctions will be targeted at agents clamping down on the Iranian protest movement. -CSM - 1/16/10

How Iranians can unite against the Islamic Republic
After years of underground opposition to the regime in Tehran, the Iranian people finally found and grasped the opportunity to voice its profound frustration and sent images of massive anti-government demonstrations that took many western media off guard. -Parviz Tehrani, OpEdNews - 1/16/10

Report: Iran to screen protest e-mails
Iranian authorities will observe and control text messages and e-mails that encourage protesters, an Iranian semi-official news agency reported Friday. -CNN - 1/16/10

Iran opposition leader Mousavi condemns professor's assassination
The disputing candidate of Iran's presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, issued a statement which maintained the assassination of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, physics lecturer at Tehran University, is "part of an extensive plan" orchestrated by "the enemies of the nation." -Zamaneh - 1/15/10

Iranian 9/11 Hero: STEP Act a Mistake
When Shahram Hashemi saw an airplane fly into the second World Trade Center building and smoke spewing from the first tower, he knew it wasn't an accident. So Shahram, a young Iranian university student who had only been in the U.S. for three years, made a remarkable decision. -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 1/15/10

Iranian 9/11 Hero: STEP Act a Mistake
When Shahram Hashemi saw an airplane fly into the second World Trade Center building and smoke spewing from the first tower, he knew it wasn't an accident. So Shahram, a young Iranian university student who had only been in the U.S. for three years, made a remarkable decision. -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 1/15/10

PARSA Call to Action: Support Disaster Relief for Earthquake Victims in Haiti
As the world gears up to assist Haiti after the devastating earthquake on Tuesday, there are many resources becoming available to help donors find the the best ways to help. PARSA Community Foundation has an updated homepage that directs visitors to some of these resources. - 1/15/10

Global Erosion of Freedom and Iran's negative trend
In a year marked by intensified repression against human rights defenders and civic activists, declines for freedom were registered in 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union, representing 20 percent of the world's total polities. - 1/15/10

Unique Zan Foundation: Third Annual Essay Competition
This year's essay theme is: "Unique Iranian Women in History: Drawing Inspiration from the Past." Applicants must be enrolled as students at the time of submission and at the time awards are announced. - 1/15/10

Zahra And Millions Like Her Call For Change in Iran
Zahra is a nurse working at the Beheshti Hospital in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Both Zahra and her husband, Arash, a physiotherapist, work hard, with a lot of overtime, to provide for their two children. They complain about their relatively low income. Zahra, for example, earns 550,000 tumans a month, about $600, and says the abolition of government subsidies, as planned by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, would further reduce their real income. -Abbas Djavadi, RFE/RL - 1/15/10

Kennedy Center: Masters of Persian Music
Sunday, February 28, 2010 - This edition of Masters of Persian Music features two of the most important figures in Persian classical music touring with the next generation of musical masters! Kayhan Kalhor on kamancheh and Hossein Alizadeh on tar are joined by remarkable young vocalist Hamid Reza Nourbakhsh. - 1/15/10

Sanctioning Iran: If Only It Were So Simple
The Obama administration came into office determined to chart a new course on Iran, only to find itself quickly confronted with this same old quandary when the ground shifted suddenly and dramatically. -Suzanne Maloney, Brookings - 1/15/10

Photos: Iranian professor buried in security-laden ceremony
Iranian physics professor, who was assassinated on Tuesday in Tehran, was buried today in a funeral which according to opposition website, Jaras, was guarded heavily with forces in plain clothes. - 1/14/10

Iran: Arrest of 19 Activists from the Women's Movement, Women Journalists and Civil Activists
During the past few days after the incidents of Ashura, large number of activists such as Mansoureh Shojaee, Zohreh Tanekaboni, Badarolssadat Mofid, Mahin Fahimi, Leyla Tavassoli, Noushin Ebadi, Nasrin Vaziri, Nilofar Hashemi Azar, Atiyeh Yousefi (was released), Bahareh Hedayat, Nafiseh Asghari, Maryam Ziya, Mahsa Hekmat, Parisa Kakayi, Forough Mirzayie, Sara Tavsoli, Parvaneh Rad, Zoya Hassani, Negin Derakhshan and many others have been arrested. - 1/14/10

Young Iranian-American Volunteers
Aris Sahba Koumis, Rodd Farhadi and Zaul Moayedian have engaged American civic life in ways and at heights one might expect from politically active adults three times their age. Each has set an example that we can all aspire to and that should be encouraged in all Iranian youth in order to ensure our place in civil society. -PARSA - 1/14/10

Urge Your Member of Congress to Oppose The STEP Act
Congressman J. Gresham Barrett (R-SC/3rd) introduced the Stop Terrorists Entry Program Act (STEP) into the House of Representatives on January 13, 2010, a bill he originally introduced back in 2003. The STEP Act would bar the entry of individuals to the United States from Iran and other countries that are "State Sponsors of Terrorism", as well as Yemen. - 1/14/10

Iran Moves To Cut Popular Economic Subsidies Despite Political Risk
Iran's top legislative body has approved a plan to phase out billions of dollars in state subsidies that currently keep the costs of energy and food low in the country's inflation-struck economy. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 1/14/10

Oakland Youth Orchestra commissioning Omid Zoufonoun
The Oakland Youth Orchestra is proud to announce that we are commissioning an orchestral piece with traditional Persian instrumentation, to be debuted at a free concert on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland . The piece is being composed by award-winning composer, conductor and educator Omid Zoufonoun - 1/14/10

IRGC's Jafari: The Fight In Iran Is Over Two Views On Leadership
Months after many commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Basij paramilitary force under it remained accusatory of the protestors across Iran who challenged the electoral coup of June 12, 2009, as some such as the supreme commander of the force even accused the goal of the protests were the "republican" nature of the regime, Mohammad Ali Jaafari - its current supreme commander - came out with yet another explanation on Tuesday. -Artin Saffari, Rooz Online - 1/14/10

Iran: Prosecute Mortazavi for Detention Deaths
The human rights crimes of a high-ranking judicial official in Iran go far beyond the scope of the parliamentary panel that investigated his role in the abuse of detainees following the June 2009 presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today. - 1/14/10

Iran: Reformist cleric Mohammad-Taghi Khalaji arrested
Mohammad-Taghi Khalaji, Iranian reformist cleric was arrested yesterday by Qom Intelligence Department. His son, Mehdi Khalaji told Zamaneh that his father was arrested at his home and the officials also confiscated his computer, some CDs and documents. - 1/14/10

Photos: Tehran Metro Celebrates "Day of Clean Air" with Gift of Roses
In a symbolic gesture to mark "Day of Clean Air," Tehran Metro greeted the riders on Thursday by presenting them with stems of roses and sweets. -Photos by Youness Khani, MNA - 1/14/10

Students Say Assassinated Iranian Professor Was Government Critic
In their statement, the students condemned the assassination of their professor and expressed their deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Mohammadi. The students also emphasized that the professor's political views were clear to everyone as he had been outspoken in recent months in support for the Green Movement and student protests at universities. - 1/13/10

Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran
An exhibition of more than 60 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran's most celebrated photographers. The exhibition gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, while simultaneously addressing public concerns. - 1/13/10

Iran's Mourning Mothers Released
The mourning mothers, who had been arrested by Iranian security forces on Saturday during one of their weekly meetings at Laleh Park in Tehran, have been released. -Zamaneh - 1/13/10

Language to Deport Iranians from US dropped from STEP Act
Congressman Gresham Barrett's (R-SC) office has confirmed to NIAC that he will drop language aimed at deporting non-immigrant Iranians from the U.S. when he reintroduces the Stop Terrorists Entry Program (STEP) Act today. -NIAC - 1/13/10

On the occasion of Parvaneh Etemadi's art exhibition: Once Upon a Time
It is a long time that going to art exhibitions seems like reading newspapers or listening to the news, that is devoid of any good news. They are more like illustrated pages of history books left for future generation to actually feel the circumstances. For contemporaries, it is like experiencing the same suffocating horrible despairing surrounding air once more now through somebody else's eyes. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/13/10

Featured Organization: Moms Against Poverty
Moms Against Poverty (MAP) is a grass-roots nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was founded in 2008 by a group of compassionate Iranian American mothers who were concerned about the lives and needs of disadvantaged children across the world. - 1/13/10

Iran Named 2009 World Best Futsal Team
Following good results in last year's futsal tournaments, Iran's futsal team has been chosen by Futsalplanet as the best national team of the world in 2009. The "Persian Kings" demonstrated a good performance last year and tied 2-2 with the world powerhouse Brazil. -MNA - 1/13/10

U.S. policy must factor in changed landscape in Iran
The protests in Iran over the past few weeks have shown that the opposition in Iran is not going away. In fact, while the regime is shrinking, the opposition is growing and gaining momentum. For the West, this has significant implications. -Trita Parsi and Muhammad Sahimi, The Hill - 1/13/10

The Middle Class: After Decades Of Disruptions, A Weak Force For Change
There are many people from the Balkans to Russia to Afghanistan who define themselves as middle class, either by their income level or their educational level. But as a social force for change in their societies, this emerging middle class remains noticeably weak. We look at why in this second of our three-part series on the middle class. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 1/13/10

Iran: Guardian Council Confirms Subsidy Bill
The Guardian Council has endorsed the parliamentary ratification on redirecting subsidies, the council's spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaii announced on Wednesday. - 1/13/10

US Defense Spy Chief: Iran Undecided on Nuclear Bomb
In an exclusive VOA interview, the Pentagon's top intelligence official says there is no evidence that Iran has made a final decision to build nuclear weapons. But the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) adds that much about Iran's inner workings remains murky. - 1/13/10

L.A. radio host John Farahi is accused of swindling investors
The host of a popular Persian-language radio talk show was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors out of more than $20 million in a long-running investment scheme that targeted the Iranian American community. -Los Angeles Times - 1/13/10

Iranian opposition leaders react to deepening crisis
Iranian opposition leaders made public statements regarding the country's recent turmoil, listing peaceful and legal solutions to lead the nation out of its current crisis. -Zamaneh - 1/12/10

Tehran Blast Kills Iran Nuclear Scientist
State TV says Tehran sees signs of Israeli and U.S. involvement in what it called an assassination of a "staunch supporter of the Islamic Revolution," although the professor's name previously appeared on a blog of supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi. -RFE - 1/12/10

Iran's 'Mourning Mothers' must be released
The 'Mourning Mothers' are women whose children have been killed, disappeared or detained in post-election violence in Iran since last June, and their supporters. All 33 women are now being held in Vozara Detention Centre, Tehran. -Amnesty International - 1/12/10

Photos: The Wonders of Nature - Varzaneh Desert
Varzaneh desert is located east of city of Isfahan and 30KMs far from Gavkhooni International Wetland. Varzaneh is one of the natures wonders to visit and enjoy the wonderful views of the sand dunes and the scenery. -Photos by Aulieh Sa'adatpour, MNA - 1/12/10

Hundreds held in Iran after Ashoura protests
Two women, Leily Afshar and Atieh Yousefi, and one man, Reza al-Basha, are among hundreds of people believed to be held incommunicado following mass arrests on 27 and 28 December 2009, around the Shi'a Muslim holy day of Ashoura. All of those arrested are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. -Amnesty International - 1/12/10

An Iranian-British Comedienne Follows Childhood Dream
An Iranian-British comedienne whose "Beginner's Guide to Acting English" was published in July says being a comedian was her "childhood dream." It wasn't happenstance that Shappi Khorsandi, who is in her mid thirties, became interested in comedy from a young age. -Grace Nasri, Iran Times - 1/12/10

Trial of seven Baha'i leaders under way in Tehran
The trial of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders began today in Iran. Initial reports indicate that the trial is marked by numerous violations of legal due process. -BWNS - 1/12/10

Politicos Favor Debates on State TV to Clear Up Poll Aftermath
The national TV has embarked on broadcasting a new series of political debates to elaborate on the events that have followed the June presidential election. The debates have attracted a lot of attention from the public and many politicians and analysts have commented on them. - 1/12/10

P5+1 Agree To Talk About Possible UN Sanctions Against Iran
The United States and five other countries have tentatively agreed to meet this weekend to discuss what to do about Iran's nuclear defiance of the UN Security Council. The meeting would bring together political directors from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. -RFE - 1/12/10

Iranian Woman Athlete, Shot Putter Gold Medalist Leila Rajabi, Needs Coach
Iranian shot putter Leila Rajabi complains about not having a coach. The athlete, who is of Belarusian origin and acquired Iranian nationality after marrying athlete Peiman Rajabi, said she trains by herself. -MNA - 1/12/10

Israeli general Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam denies Iran is nuclear threat
A general who was once in charge of Israel's nuclear weapons has claimed that Iran is a "very, very, very long way from building a nuclear capability". -TIMES Online - 1/12/10

Baidu hacked by 'Iranian cyber army'
China's most popular search engine, Baidu, has been targeted by the same hackers that took Twitter offline in December, according to reports. -BBC - 1/12/10

Iran: Detained Grieving Mothers Shuffled Between Emergency Rooms and Detention Center
Authorities transferred nine of the 33 detained members of the Mourning Mothers to emergency rooms following their detention on Saturday, and later took them to Vozara Detention Center in Tehran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said on Sunday. The nine mothers suffer from various illnesses and were taken back to Vozara Detention Center from Sajjad and Firuzgar hospitals in Tehran. - 1/11/10

Congressman Seeking to Deport Iranians
If you are an Iranian in the US on a work visa or a student visa, Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) thinks you are a national security threat and should be deported. Tell Rep. Barrett that you object to the STEP Act, and call on him to reconsider this shameful legislation. -NIAC - 1/11/10

Photos: Najvan Forest Park in Isfahan, Iran
Najvan Forest Park is one of the natural and recreational attractions of Isfahan. Najvan, with an are of 1200 hectares, is the biggest park west of the city of Isfahan. Najvan is composed of "Naj" which means pine in Persian and "van" which means place in Persian. Thus Najvan means a place with lots of pine trees. -Photos by Alieh Se'adatpour, Mehr News Agency - 1/11/10

Opposition Leader Karroubi Delivers Proposal To Resolve Iran's Crisis
Mehdi Karoubi in a letter addressed to the people of Iran while condemning the actions and brutality of plain clothes Basij thugs and security and police forces especially on Bloody Ashura, stated his five step resolution for the current crisis. - 1/11/10

Iranian Professors Speak Out For Persecuted Students
Fifty-six professors at Elm-o-Sanat University in Iran issued a statement in protest to heavy disciplinary sentences given to some students. They condemn the widespread summoning of students by the disciplinary committee, the "illegal entrance of non-university individuals" into the campus and the beating of students. - 1/11/10

Ancient Persian Legacy Still Plays Role in Revolutionary Iran
The crackdown on protesters on December 27, 2009 in Iran, which killed a number of people, touched off unprecedented criticism of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, who is seen as ruling by divine approval. Iran's tradition of divinely inspired rule has often been debated but never before denounced in a mass political protest. This tradition has deep roots in Iranian culture and history. -R. K. Ramazani - 1/11/10

Iran moderates reach out to opposition
"Under the current circumstances, moderates should be in charge of the country's affairs," Ali Motah­hari, a prominent fundamentalist parliamentarian, told Iran-Dokht, a reformist weekly. Mr Motahhari went so far as to suggest Mr Ahmadi-Nejad should also be held accountable for the deaths in Kahrizak and for fuelling the post-election turmoil. -Financial Times - 1/11/10

Iran unemployment rate hits 11.3%
The Statistics Center of Iran announced the country's unemployment rate rose to 11.3 percent in the third quarter of the calendar year (ended December 21, 2009), up 1.8 percent compared to the last year. -MNA - 1/11/10

Iran wins two silvers in Fencing World Cup Held in Kish Island
The two-day competition finished on Sunday with Mojtaba Abedini claiming a silver medal after being beaten by the Hungarian fencer 15-8 in the sabre event, and Ali Yaghoubian seizing silver after losing to the British athlete 15-13 in epee. -MNA - 1/11/10

My Requests to Meet My Clients Ignored: Lawyer for American Hikers Detained in Iran
Following the remarks of the head of the committee on national security and foreign policy of Iran's national assembly the Majlis on Thursday to the effect that the three detained American would not be freed soon, Masoud Shafii, the defense attorney for the detainees told Rooz that his request to meet the Americans in prison had been ignored by judiciary officials. -Omid Memarian, Rooz online - 1/11/10

U.S. Has 'Contingency' Plan To Deal With Iran Nuclear Program
A top U.S. general says Washington has developed what he describes as a "contingency" plan for dealing with Iran's nuclear program if diplomacy and sanctions fail to rein in the Iranian program. -RFE - 1/11/10

Iran to screen all American tourists in response to US plans
Iran plans to screen all U.S. citizens applying for tourist visas to enter the country in response to the United States' decision to screen travelers from Iran, MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Sunday. The U.S. recently approved a plan to screen foreign visitors from certain countries, including Iran. -MNA - 1/11/10

Iran: 30 Members of Mourning Mothers Detained in Tehran
Security forces attacked and detained 30 members of Mourning Mothers in Laleh Park and surrounding streets in Tehran around 4 p.m. local time on Saturday, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. Mourning Mothers is a group of mothers whose children have been killed in recent events. - 1/10/10

Iran's Parliamentary Report Condemns Mortazavi and Judiciary Officials
In the report, Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's former Prosecutor General is found responsible for the events at the notorious detention centre Kahrizak and in conclusion, disputing candidates of the presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are accused of "provoking people's sentiments" and causing the "unpleasant events." -Zamaneh - 1/10/10

Photos: A horseshoer and his workshop in Tabriz
Following photos by Ali Hamed Haghdoust show a horseshoer working in his workshop in the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran. The profession of horseshoeing is one of the traditional professions people are still engaged in at meidan kaah (Kaah square) in Tabriz. But as the times passes, fewer people are choosing this profession. - 1/10/10

Photos: Fires In Iran's Maroon Field Brought Under Control; Oil Spill Impact Unknown
According to a report by Mehr News Agency, the fires at Iran's Maroon oil field located in southwestern province of Khuzestan have been brought under control. On January 2nd, Iran's Oil Ministry reported an accidental release of oil and gas at the Maroon field, one of the largest in Iran with 500,000 barrels a day output. It is said that 50,000 barrels of oil spilled into Jarrahi River as a result of the incident. - 1/10/10

Ashoura protesters at risk of execution in Iran
Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities not to sentence to death protesters arrested during religious commemorations last month. At least five demonstrators arrested during protests on Ashoura, 27 December, have been charged with moharebeh (enmity against God), which carries the death penalty. Amnesty International fears they could be tried imminently. - 1/10/10

Elite Revolutionary Guard's expanding role in Iran may limit U.S. options
A major expansion in the role played by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is giving the elite force new economic and political clout, but it could also complicate efforts by the United States and its allies to put pressure on the Iranian regime, according to U.S. officials and outside analysts. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 1/10/10

Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi Undeterred After Attacks
Opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi remains undeterred from his dispute with Ahmadinejad government the day after his car was swarmed and shot at by a pro-government mob. Back in Tehran, he visited fellow reformist, Emadeddin Baghi, making the trip without any security personnel. -Zamaneh - 1/10/10

Iran's parliament exposes abuse of opposition prisoners at Tehran jail
The report raised the possibility that some officials were willing to sacrifice Mortazavi in an effort to contain further unrest. But it made no mention of Iran's deputy police chief, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Radan, who is said to have supervised torture sessions at Kahrizak, which included spraying prisoners with water and beating them with electric cables. - - 1/10/10

Iran's largest aluminum plant comes on stream in Bandar Abbas
Iran's largest aluminum plant came on stream on Saturday in the southern city of Bandar Abbas. The Hormozal plant has an annual production capacity of 147,000 tons of aluminum and cost 400 million euros and 2 trillion rials (about $200 million). -MNA - 1/10/10

How an Iranian immigrant family's journey of hope ended in heartbreak
A South Pasadena couple whose son, Aydin Salek, died unexpectedly thought of returning to Iran in the aftermath. But they decided to stay to honor his passion for America. -Los Angeles Times - 1/10/10

Iran's Jafar Panahi invited to Berlinale
Previously, Panahi's passport was confiscated at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on October 15 when he was departing for France. Panahi also missed joining the jury of the 11th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) in October 2009. -MNA - 1/10/10

Iran Khodro to boost Samand export to Russia
Giant Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro Company plans to start export of Soren model of Samand equipped with TU5 engine to Russia in the new year. IKCO expanded its after sales services in Russia last year and plans to start TU5 engine Samand cars to Russia in 2010, according to the Mehr News Agency. - 1/10/10

Khamenei Calls for Strong Action Against Protesters
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Saturday the Iranian nation must avoid taking extrajudicial measures so as not to obstruct the path of justice. Ayatollah Khamenei warned that at a time when sedition prevails, action becomes more difficult and determining the truth becomes harder. - 1/9/10

Government Supporters Attack Iranian Reformist Clerics
Government supporters attacked office of Yazd's Friday Prayers leader, Mohammad Ali Sodoughi. who according to Parleman News was also verbally abused by pro-Ahmadinejad forces during Ashura Day protests. Other reformist clerics such as Ayatollah Sanei and Ayatollah Dastgheib have also been target of similar violent attacks in the past weeks. -Zamaneh - 1/9/10

Iran Claims Detainees Belong to Dissident Group PMOI
Tehran Prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced today that the five detainees who have been accused of "moharebeh" (armed attack) are "members of People's Mojahedin Organization." -Zamaneh - 1/9/10

Guarantee Safety of Iran's Opposition Leaders in Wake of Karroubi Assassination Attempt
Today's assassination attempt against Iranian opposition leader and cleric Mehdi Karroubi bears signs of being organized by official structures, which then coordinated with the official Fars News Agency to control information about the crime, according to a member of Karroubi's family, who spoke to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/9/10

Baha'i International Community rejects allegations that arrested Baha'is had weapons in homes
The Baha'i International Community today categorically rejected new allegations by the Iranian government that arms and ammunition were found in the homes of Baha'is who were arrested in Tehran last Sunday. -BWNS - 1/9/10

Iranian singer Nazeri detained overnight, released
Iranian classical singer Shahram Nazeri, dubbed "Iran's Pavarotti," was released Friday after being held overnight for questioning by authorities in Tehran. -AP - 1/9/10

Iran, Russia Hope to Revive Extinct Big Cats Asiatiac Cheetah and Caspian Tiger
Iranian and Russian ecologists have announced ambitious plans to return Caspian Tigers as well as Asiatic cheetahs, which disappeared some half a century ago in their countries, to the wild. -Press TV - 1/9/10

Iran's Larijani: Everyone with differing views is not a dissident
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has criticized the people who made derogatory remarks about Mohsen Rezaii in regard to his recent letter to the Supreme Leader about Mir-Hossein Mousavi's recent proposals. Larijani made the remarks at a meeting with national police chiefs in Qom on Thursday. - 1/9/10

Homecoming for Cyrus the Great Cylinder Postponed
Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, Hamid Baghaei announced that the return of Cyrus the Great Cylinder from British Museum to Iran for public display has been postponed. - 1/9/10

Iran: End Persecution of Peaceful Activists
Members of two groups active in peaceful demonstrations following the disputed June presidential elections have been accused of - and in some cases formally charged with - crimes that carry the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. - 1/9/10

Iran's judiciary takes a military colour
In preparing demonstrators for execution and proposing to revive a judicial police force, the Tehran regime further shames itself -Massoumeh Torfeh, Guardian - 1/9/10

Middle East: Atomic agitation
Just over a month ago, a group of veteran US and Israeli diplomats met at Harvard to play out scenarios for one of the most momentous issues facing the world this year – Iran's nuclear programme. -Financial Times - 1/9/10

Another invite lost in the mail
Subject: You Are Invited to an Iran Conference in Washington, DC --- my main point is to be clear about who is pushing for war with Iran and who isn't. The Israel Project and other like-minded groups want the U.S. to confront Iran, and the main reason they want this is to protect Israel from what they believe (mistakenly, in my view) is a dire threat. -Stephen M. Walt, FP - 1/9/10

Even in exile, Iranian dissident fights on
Dante Alighieri knew the exquisite tragedy of exile when he was banished from Florence, forbidden from ever returning. It is a most particular form of punishment, casting a person into isolation: Far from home, family, friends, forever a stranger in a strange land, whether segregated in an internal gulag, expelled to backward regions of a country or deported beyond borders. -Toronto Star - 1/9/10

Iran fears losing pistachio race to US
Iran has been a pistachio producer since the fifth century BC and the days of the Achaemenid Empire. Aficionados of the Iranian nuts ascribe their dominant position in global markets to superior taste and quality. -Financial Times - 1/9/10

International Symbolic Work Strike For Democarcy and Human Rights in Iran
We, the undersigned, will engage in a symbolic strike on Friday, January 8, 2010, in order to condemn the countless crimes of the Islamic Republic, show our solidarity and sympathy with the Iranian people and the victims of the regime's atrocities, and demand the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran. - 1/8/10

Congressman Introducing Legislation to Bar and Deport Iranians from U.S.
In response to Barrett's announcement, the National Iranian American Council has launched a campaign against the bill, saying it is "offensive to American principles, harmful to US interests, and discriminates against Iranians and Iranian Americans." The group also noted that no Iranian has ever committed a terrorist act on American soil. - 1/8/10

Photos: School for Nomads in Ahvaz, Iran
Following photos show an elementary school, setup in tents and open space, to educate children of nomads living in the margins of city of Ahvaz in southwestern Iran. -Photos by Amin Nazari, ISNA - 1/8/10

Iran's Opposition Leader Karroubi Shot at by Government Supporters
Opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi was once more attacked by a pro-government crowd on a trip to Qazvin. Etemad-e Melli news outlet, Saham News reports that his car was shot at by a group of government supporters in plain clothes. -Zamaneh - 1/8/10

Post-Ashura Iran: Dissidents Outside Consider Organizing With Those Inside to Lead Opposition
The unprecedented violence in Iran seen in the December 27 Ashura protests-which was committed by the regime and the opposition-showcased the emboldened opposition movement's capacity for civil disobedience as well as a decline in both the psychological and physical effectiveness of the regime's repressive security forces. -Tara Mahtafar, insideIRAN - 1/8/10

Iran: War Erupts Over Peace Symphony
Top Iranian musicians are opposing Iran's plan for them to perform the Peace and Friendship Symphony in Europe in the near future. Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO) conductor Manuchehr Sahbaii said last week that the orchestra will perform the symphony in Europe from January 22 to February 4. However, no country was mentioned for the location of the concerts. - 1/8/10

Photos: Snow in Tabriz, Northwestern Iran
These photos, captured by Majid Hamed Haghdoust, show the snow-covered city of Tabriz, located in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan in Iran. The snow blanketed the city on Wednesday. - 1/8/10

Iranian Conservative Lawmaker Resigns in Protest
Ruhollah Hoseinian, an Islamic Republic judge, is also a political and security aide to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His letter states that he believes "Basij and security forces are being demeaned and oppressed by military courts under various pretences." -Zamaneh - 1/8/10

Gravestone Of Slain Iranian Protester Neda Vandalized
The fiance of the iconic slain Iranian protester Neda says her gravestone has been vandalized, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Caspian Makan told Radio Farda from Vancouver that the grave of Neda Agha Soltan was found vandalized on December 31. He said this was not the first time the gravestone had been desecrated. - 1/8/10

Letter of Support from Venezuela's University Students Federation for Iranian Students
Iranian students: This New Year will be the year of the young liberators, openers of a new cycle of life in the world for the welfare of all citizens, and the routing of our way of doing politics in our spaces. - 1/8/10

Some literary awards in Iran are financed by U.S.: cultural official
Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Cultural Affairs Mohsen Parviz said that some literary awards in Iran are financed by the U.S. -MNA - 1/8/10

Iran to unveil new satellite
Iranian Communication and Information Technology Minister Reza Taqipour announced on Wednesday that a satellite designed and built by Iranian university students is scheduled to be unveiled during the Ten-Day Dawn. -MNA - 1/8/10

The Beginning of the End?: The Iranian Regime's Fear of the People
Bloody protests in Iran during the Ashura festival marked a turning point in the conflict between the regime and its opponents. For the first time, demonstrators responded to police brutality with violence of their own. But although the opposition movement is gaining ground, the government's massive security forces are still as powerful as ever. -Spiegel - 1/8/10

Iranian Women Poised to Benefit from Crisis
The election on June 12 will always be remembered in Iran as the day of a coup detat to alter Iran's politics, but it should also be remembered as coup for women. Four years earlier, on June 12, 2005, thousands of people who had participated in a demonstration asking for the elimination of all discrimination against women. -Lili Mansouri - 1/7/10

Iranian Authorities Attempt to Crush Remaining Active Human Rights NGOs
Islamic Republic authorities are attempting to shut down the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, one of the few human rights organizations still active in the country, and to stop the human rights activities of the student alumni group ADVAR, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported on Wednesday. Some members of the groups are being arrested, and others are under intense pressure to halt their work. - 1/7/10

Iranian Crackdown on Journalists Makes Tehran Biggest Press Offender
The Paris-based organization Reporters Without Borders says Iran has earned the dubious distinction of being the number-one assailant of press freedoms in the world, after several sentences were handed down. The rights group says Tehran has at least 42 journalists behind bars. - 1/7/10

Iran: Five Ashura Day detainees may face death penalty
Five people arrested in the protests of Ashura Day, December 27, have been charged by Iranian judiciary with "moharebeh" or armed activities against national security. The charge is punishable by death in Iran. -Zamaneh - 1/7/10

Setting the Record Straight On NIAC
A new battle front has emerged in the war for Iran and this is a battle that Iranian-Americans should pay close attention to. The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a non-profit Iranian-American organization based out of Washington D.C., has been the target of a multi-pronged attack campaign in recent weeks. Below I will analyze the validity of these accusations and why it all matters to you. -Hooman Enayati - 1/7/10

Iran State TV Suggests Neda's Iconic Protest Death Was 'Faked'
Iranian state television has produced a documentary suggesting the shooting death of a young woman whose final moments were captured on video during postelection protests was a fake. - 1/7/10

Think Again: Iran's Green Movement - It's a civil rights movement, not a revolution
"The Green Movement Is Winning." Yes, but over time. The answer depends on what "winning" means. One thing Western observers should have learned from 30 years of second-guessing Iran and Iranians is that second-guessing Iran and Iranians is often a mistake, and predicting the imminent demise of the Islamic theocracy is unrealistic. -Hooman Majd, FP - 1/7/10

Chinese Cyber-Activists Lend Support to Democracy Activists in Iran
Cyber activists in China are throwing their support behind opposition protesters in Iran. The issue is a sensitive one, however, as those supporting protesters in Iran fear they could run afoul of Chinese authorities. -VOA - 1/7/10

To Sign or Not to Sign an Open Letter of Protest
Recently I was invited to sign an open letter that was addressed to Iran's high ranking clerics (Grand Ayatollahs). The letter called on these clerics to condemn the government's violence against the participants in recent political protests. I agreed with the content of the letter and wanted to add my name to the list of signatories. However, I was hesitant because I was afraid of the consequences of signing such a letter for myself and my family. -Nader Habibi - 1/7/10

Iran Diplomat Quits Over Protest Deaths
A spokesman for the Norwegian-Iranian Support Committee says the consul at the Iranian Embassy in Oslo has resigned to protest the "massacre" of demonstrators in Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. The diplomat, Mohammad Reza Heidari, had reportedly worked in the embassy for about three years. -RFE - 1/7/10

Steady Drip of Leaks Corrodes the Core of the Iranian Regime
Beatings, arrests, show trials and even killings have failed to discourage Iranians from taking to the streets in protest. But those same tactics may be taking a toll on the government itself, eating away at its legitimacy even among its core of insiders, Iran experts are saying. The evidence? Leaks. -New York Times - 1/7/10

Abdolkarim Soroush: The goals of Iran's Green Movement
Five major figures in Iran's reform movement issued a manifesto (reproduced below) Sunday, Jan. 3, calling for the resignation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the abolition of clerical control of the voting system and candidate selection. Journalist Robin Wright interviewed for Global Viewpoint one of the signatories, reform-movement founder and scholar Abdolkarim Soroush, about the manifesto -CSM - 1/7/10

As Iran books berth for Asian Cup 2011, coach says Iran's football is political
A convincing 3-1 victory over Singapore secured Iran's berth for the Asian Cup 2011 in Qatar. Iran edged Singapore 3-1 at the Bishan Stadium in the Group E Asian Cup 2011 qualifier on Wednesday; as Iranians fans were chanting for the Green opposition in the stadium - 1/6/10

Widespread Arrest of Students and Protesters in Iran
Government crackdown continues on protesters of Iran's June presidential election that was allegedly rigged to secure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election. Eighty students from Mashad Universities have been detained by Iranian security and intelligence forces and bail for some of them is set at 1 billion rials ($100, 000). - 1/6/10

Seven Extraordinary Iranian Americans Gather To Inspire Future Generations
Some of the most accomplished Iranian Americans in the world will gather at The Orange County Performing Arts Center this month to share their unique success stories to an audience of over 1,700. -PAAIA - 1/6/10

Widespread Arrests of Women's Rights Activists, Female Journalists and Relatives
Numerous women's rights campaigners, female journalists and relatives are being arrested and persecuted as authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran attempt to repress masses of Iranians from advocating for their civil rights in recent weeks, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 1/6/10

Ayatollah Saanei Succeeds Montazeri as Spiritual Guide for Iran's Opposition
In a country as spiritual as Iran, it is impossible to separate religious and political issues. Any political movement or faction must substantiate its views and stances with religious rationale based on the rulings of a qualified Shi'a scholar, or risk appearing marginalized. -Shayan Ghajar, insideIRAN - 1/6/10

Iran: Former Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, Found Responsible For Deaths
Former Tehran Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi has been found responsible for the torture and death of election protesters at the infamous detention centre Kahrizak, according to the Parliamentary Committee report which investigated the post-election events. - 1/6/10

Iran University Protesters Boycott Exams
A group of Tehran Polytechnic University students have boycotted their term exams in protest to the arrest of 12 of their peers. Amir Kabir Newsletter reports the boycotting of 40 term exams that started three days ago. - 1/6/10

Akbar Ganji: My Advice For Iran's Green Movement
The Green Movement has achieved much during the past seven months. It is a stark reflection of the dissatisfaction within Iranian society and, through its creation, it has brought many Iranians together. The movement has demonstrated that transition to a democratic society, based on human rights, is still possible without any foreign interference and foreign assistance. -Akbar Ganji - 1/6/10

Enhanced Airport Security Measures to Affect Travelers to and from Iran
Starting on Monday January 4th, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented new enhanced security screening measures for individuals traveling to the United States from or through 14 chosen countries, including Iran. -PAAIA - 1/6/10

Interview: Embassy Hostage-Turned-U.S. Envoy Compares '79 To Iran Today
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran John Limbert tells RFE/RL that there are similarities between the current postelection unrest in Iran and the events that led up to that country's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Limbert, who was among the 53 Americans held hostage for 444 days after Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 in support of the revolution, talks to RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari about the current crackdown in Iran and the nuclear issue. - 1/6/10

Iran Ban Targets Some 60 'Seditious' Western Groups
A prominent Tehran-based professor of law, Mahmud Akhundi, told Radio Farda that the Intelligence Ministry's list and warning have no legal basis. "It is in clear contradiction with human rights principles and with international principles of law. It doesn't even have any Sharia-based justification," Akhundi said. Nobody has the right "to define an action that has not been defined previously as a crime, as being criminal," he added. - 1/6/10

Trial of seven Baha'i leaders in Iran looms
Recent developments in Iran have raised grave concern about the ultimate fate of the seven Baha'i leaders who are scheduled to go on trial next Tuesday. The seven are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. They were arrested in the spring of 2008 and have been held in Evin prison ever since. - 1/6/10

Turkmen Gas Exports To Iran A Boon For Both Countries
Turkmenistan and Iran have opened a new natural-gas pipeline to much fanfare, but considering its relatively modest capacity, the ribbon-cutting ceremony might have more political significance than anything. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 1/6/10

China Not Ready to Support Iran Sanctions
China's ambassador to the United Nations says he will not support new sanctions against Iran because diplomatic negotiations on the issue need more "time and patience." Zhang Yesui told reporters in New York Tuesday that a peaceful settlement of the issue is the best option. China holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month. -VOA - 1/6/10

Iran Shielding Its Nuclear Efforts in Maze of Tunnels
Last September, when Iran's uranium enrichment plant buried inside a mountain near the holy city of Qum was revealed, the episode cast light on a wider pattern: Over the past decade, Iran has quietly hidden an increasingly large part of its atomic complex in networks of tunnels and bunkers across the country. -New York Times - 1/6/10

Another Iranian Revolution? Not Likely
THE Islamic Republic of Iran is not about to implode. Nevertheless, the misguided idea that it may do so is becoming enshrined as conventional wisdom in Washington. For President Obama, this misconception provides a bit of cover; it helps obscure his failure to follow up on his campaign promises about engaging Iran with any serious, strategically grounded proposals. -Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett, NY Times - 1/6/10

The plight of Iranian Journalists
Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, prominent reformist journalist who has been detained since June 20 following the outbreak of protests against the allegedly fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. His sentence also includes 34 lashes. - 1/5/10

Iranian Reformists Insist on Keeping Protests Peaceful
While rallying behind MirHosein Mousavi's 17th announcement which lists transparency in elections, freedom of assembly and the media as well as release of all political prisoners amongst the solutions for leading the country out of its current crisis, Iranian reformist groups emphasize the importance of maintaining the protests peaceful and free of violence. -Zamaneh - 1/5/10

Farhang Foundation Kicks Off the New Year with Meet Farhang
In continuing its mission to promote the study and research of Iranian art, culture and history for the benefit of the community at large, Farhang Foundation kicks of the year, with its first official Meet Farhang event in Los Angeles, inviting members of the community to join and learn more about the Foundation and its efforts, in an intimate setting, while meeting the featured artists at this event and their work on display, representing the Iranian culture and art. - 1/5/10

Iranian Intelligence Ministry Lists 60 "Enemy" Organizations
Iranian Ministry of Intelligence published a list of 60 organizations which the ministry regards active in the "soft war" against the Islamic Republic regime. Any collaboration with these organizations and media outlets with ties to these organizations is banned by the Iranian government and regarded a crime. -Zamaneh - 1/5/10

Ezzatollah Sahabi's message to the Iranians abroad: Let us not forget our historic experiences
I greet my compatriots abroad and wish them health and success. If only circumstances were such that you, our country's human capital, could spend your energy and your financial and intellectual resources for this country and its long suffering people. But the fact that many of you, although you emigrated more or less long ago, are still longing for your home country and its people and follow the fate and disasters of Iran, is very laudable. - 1/5/10

Witness In Iran Says Police Deliberately Ran Over Protesters
During gatherings to mark the Shi'ite holiday of Ashura on December 27, demonstrations by Iran's opposition Green movement were violently broken up by state security forces. Eight protesters were reported killed. One man in Tehran, speaking to RFE/RL's Radio Farda correspondent Elahe Ravanshad on condition of anonymity, says he witnessed a police car deliberately running over a protester in the capital during the Ashura protests. - 1/5/10

Iranian Officials Close Opposition Ayatollah's Mosque
Iranian authorities have locked the doors of a prominent mosque in the southern city of Shiraz that is the base of an opposition ayatollah, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. It is reportedly the first time a Shi'ite mosque has been closed by the government in Iran. With the Ghoba Mosque shuttered, worshipers have been praying outside the mosque, which is one of the most important in the city. - 1/5/10

Isfahan Metro now threatening Historic Si-o-Se Pol Bridge
A deviation from the correct course in digging the western end of a tunnel for the Isfahan Metro near the Si-o-Se Pol Bridge is threatening the historic Safavid monument. The tunnel-boring machine (TBM) is reported to have deviated from its proper route and bumped into a ramp and a lower part of the bridge. - 1/5/10

Iran to play Singapore in Asian Cup without European stars
Javad Nekounam and Masoud Shojaei will be absent against Singapore after La Liga side, Osasuna, didn't grant permission to them to leave Spain. Victory in the match will surely ease the pressure on Afshin Ghotbi's shoulders for not getting satisfying results in the Qatar tournament last week. -MNA - 1/5/10

Clinton says US to continue dual-track approach of engagement and pressure with Iran
"Iran is going through a very turbulent period in its history. There are many troubling signs of the actions that they are taking. And we want to reiterate that we stand with those Iranians who are peacefully demonstrating. We mourn the loss of innocent life. We condemn the detention and imprisonment, the torture and abuse of people, which seems to be accelerating." - 1/5/10

Women in Iran: Continuities and Discontinuities of Context
Speakers at an event on January 15 at the University of California, Irvine will focus on Iranian Women's issues: Women in Pre-Islamic Iranian History; Women's Rights in Islam; Muslim Feminism and Democracy Movement in Iran; Women in Literary and Cultural Production - 1/5/10

Iran's Regime and Opposition Brace for the Next Round
Faced with escalating turmoil, Iran's newly militarized regime now appears to be turning to the Tiananmen model to ensure its survival. The theocracy has signaled over the past week that it will exercise extraordinary military and judicial powers against opposition leaders, dissidents, street protesters and even sympathizers to end the growing turmoil -Robin Wright, TIME - 1/5/10

Iran uses Internet as tool against protesters
In Iran, the rare move of issuing a public appeal for help via the Internet suggests that law enforcement authorities are overwhelmed by the range of protesters. -CSM - 1/5/10

Iran's Nobel winner: Crackdown strengthens protests
The Iranian government's efforts to suppress anti-government demonstrations will only increase the opposition's will, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told CNN Monday. - 1/5/10

Iranian Intellectuals List Demands Of The Green Movement
Five Iranian intellectuals in exile have issued a statement announcing "the preliminary demands" of the Green Movement. Abdolkarim Soroosh, Mohsen Kadivar, Ataollah Mohajerani, Abdolali Bazargan and Akbar Ganji called for the resignation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and renewed elections. - 1/4/10

Iranian Opposition Threatened With Arrests And Prosecution
The Islamic Republic has responded to the latest mass demonstrations by election protesters on Ashura Day, December 27, with widespread arrests and threats of death sentences for the detainees. -Zamaneh - 1/4/10

Tehran University Professors Condemn Attacks by Basij on Iran's Universities
Eighty eight professors of the engineering faculty of Tehran University have issued an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, objecting to the attacks by regime's forces (paramiliatry Basij) on various universities. - 1/4/10

Iranian Government Goes on Attack, Refusing Reconciliation with Opposition
Key hardline figures in the Iranian government are pushing for severe punishment for opposition activists, with no pardon or reconciliation. Opposition websites indicate more arrests have been made from their ranks. The Iranian government continues to strike hard at the opposition, making more arrests while putting some of the detained activists on trial. -VOA - 1/4/10

Dr Hamid Reza Talakoub - A Wonderful Human and a Great Philanthropist
Dr Talakoub was a Harvard graduate and came from a distinguished family. His love for his beloved mother had him come back to Tehran and stay with her until his death in March. He started Bayan Salis 25 years ago and his utmost ambition was to make it the best place to learn a foreign language, in particular English, in Iran -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/4/10

Graphic Novel: The Blacksmith's revolution - Iranian methodology
Kaveh Ahangar, a blacksmith, is a mythical figure in Iranian mythology who leads a popular uprising against a ruthless foreign ruler, Zahhak. Kaveh is the most famous of Persian mythological characters in resistance against despotic foreign rule in Iran. After losing 18 of his sons to Zahhak's serpents, he rebels against the foreign ruler of Persia and leads the people to overthrow the tyrant king. -Graphic Novel by Ramin Abhari - 1/4/10

Poem: A New Year Resolution For Iran
Why is it that absolute power of the monarchs, the hierarchs, or the autocrats, --- leads to greedy corruption and ostentatious oppression? --- When the inept emperor rationalizes his crimes, --- especially masqueraded with godly disguise. -Pirouz Azadi - 1/4/10

US: More Screening for Travelers from Suspect Countries
The Transportation Security Administration said Sunday that every individual flying into the United States "from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest" will be subject to "enhanced screening." -VOA - 1/4/10

High winds damage 2000 buildings in Iran's Gilan Province
On Sunday, the roofs of some buildings were ripped off by winds of 120 kilometers per hour. The province's weather forecast institute has predicted that the high winds will continue until Monday. Winds of 110 kilometers per hour hit East Azerbaijan Province earlier in the day. -MNA - 1/4/10

Imagine a Free and Prosperous Iran
The amazing recent events in Iran have brought a great deal of hope to the vast majority of Iranians inside the country as well as in the Iranian diaspora. -Parviz Tehrani, OpEdNews - 1/4/10

Iranian Filmmakers Keep Focus on the Turmoil
Iran's government cannot silence the filmmakers. It keeps trying. Films are censored. Directors are prohibited to leave the country and prohibited to return home, forced to cancel projects and threatened with punishment if their films are too probing or too critical of life in the Islamic Republic.But the films keep coming, and so do the filmmakers. -New York Times - 1/4/10

France's Kouchner Cites Threat From Senior Iran Clerics
High-ranking clerics are undermining Iran's government from within, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said. A huge majority of "very high-ranking Shi'ites" disagreed with the government and contested its religious values, he said. -Reuters - 1/4/10

Ahmadinejad Visist Tajikistan
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was welcomed by his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon Monday morning at Tajikistan's presidential office. -ISNA - 1/4/10

Iran: Detained Protesters Threatened with Execution
In apparently coordinated messages, pro-government clerics have publicly called for detained protesters to be executed, placing intense political pressure on the Islamic Republic's supposedly-independent judiciary to act as judicial authorities did in the early days of the Revolution, and attempting to intimidate Iranians from demonstrating for their rights, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran stated today. - 1/3/10

Sohrab Sepehri - A Window to Color
In mid-December we went to one of Tehran's most important exhibitions of the year. The Tehran Museum of Modern Art is holding a retrospective exhibition of the paintings of Sohrab Sepehri from their own collection and a few other collections. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/3/10

Iran: Grand Ayatollah Dastgheyb Prevented from Traveling to Shiraz
last night when Grand Ayatollah Dastgheyb wanted to travel to Shiraz from Tehran to get a hold of situation and comfort his followers, the security forces escorted him out of the plane and did not allow him to travel to Shiraz! - 1/3/10

Keeping the Green Movement Alive in Iran
The Islamic Republic is in dire straits, and deservedly so. Years of economic mismanagement (exacerbated by three rounds of UN-imposed sanctions), political repression, rampant corruption, and international adventurism seem to have taken their toll on the regime. -Jalal Alavi - 1/3/10

Hossein Karubi: Those Who Murdered People Must Run Away
As a government-sponsored rally against the Iranian people's green movement was under way last Wednesday, the government's official news agency claimed that Mehdi Karubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi had fled Tehran. In response to this claim, Hossein Karubi told Rooz: "No, this is untrue and my father is still at his house." -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online - 1/3/10

Turning Point: Where is the Green Movement headed?
The funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on Dec. 21, and the Ashura demonstrations on Dec. 27, marked a turning point for Iran's democratic movement. -Muhammad Sahimi, PBS - 1/3/10

Ban on Iranian Newspaper 'Bahar' Lifted
The reformist newspaper 'Bahar' appeared in print once again on Saturday after the ban on the daily was lifted on the order of the court. -MNA - 1/3/10

Iran: Parliament, Oil Minister Discuss Ways to Counter Possible Gasoline Sanctions
Majlis lawmakers held a meeting with Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi behind closed doors on Sunday. A lawmaker who refused to be named said ways to counter a possible gasoline sanctions against Iran were discussed in the closed-door meeting. -MNA - 1/3/10

How the turmoil in Iran is playing out on social media Web sites
Nearly a week after the bloody weekend crackdown on Iranian protesters, the issue is still generating thousands of posts on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. -CNN - 1/3/10

Afghan Parliamentary Elections Plan Raises Concerns
Afghanistan's election commission has announced that the country's parliamentary elections will be held in May this year. But with the country still stinging from a presidential contest in August that revealed significant shortfalls in its electoral processes, the government will face many of the same obstacles: violence, low turnout, voter fraud, and lack of security in rural areas. -RFE - 1/3/10

Iranian Reformist Cleric, Ayatollah Sanei, Disowned by Hardliners
Iranian hardliners are hard at work discrediting and disowning the prominent figures of the Islamic Republic that have chipped away from the establishment in the post election events to lend their support to the reform movement. -Zamaneh - 1/2/10

Iran Takes Bottom Spot at Qatar Football Tourney
Iran's football team finished in fourth place in the Doha International Friendship Football Tournament despite beating North Korea on Saturday. Iran defeated North Korea, which had already claimed the title, 1-0 at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium. -MNA - 1/2/10

Iran Gives West One Month to Accept Nuclear Deal
Iran says the West has one month to accept Tehran's terms for a nuclear fuel deal, or else Iran will begin making fuel on its own. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the ultimatum Saturday on Iranian state television. -VOA - 1/2/10

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei loves caviar and vulgar jokes, defector claims
A defector from the private guard of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, has given the first comprehensive account of the private life of the secretive figure who has led the country for 20 years. -Telegraph, UK - 1/2/10

From "Donkey Assumption" to Axiom: Kaveh Najmabad at Tehran's Aaran Gallery
Buridan's ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will. It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass, placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and pail of water, will die of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make any rational decision to choose one over the other - 1/2/10

Iran's Parliament Speaker urges efforts to promote spirit of brotherhood
The Majlis speaker has called for efforts to create a spirit of brotherhood as the country is caught in a tense political atmosphere in follow-up to the June presidential election. Ali Larijani made the remarks in Quchan, a city in the northeastern Khorassan Razavi province, on Saturday. -MNA - 1/2/10

Late Cleric's Son Warns Of More Iran Turmoil
Iran's rulers must compromise with opposition figures to avoid a worsening of the political turmoil, the son of the late dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said in comments released today. -Reuters - 1/2/10

Gatherings In Orange County In Solidarity With The People In Iran
We are inviting our fellow Iranians to attend a massive patriotic gathering as a support for the people of Iran and condemnation of violence and murder of the unarmed civilians. This gathering will take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5pm to 7pm - 1/2/10

Candlelight Vigil In New York In Solidarity With The People In Iran
Solidarity Committee for Advancement of Democracy in Iran will be holding a candlelight vigil on Sunday January 3rd at the Union Square in New York to honor Iranians killed during a peaceful rally in Tehran and to support the democracy movement of Iran. - 1/2/10

EU Mission to Tehran Draws U.S. Ire
An 11-person European Parliament delegation is scheduled to visit Tehran next week, drawing a rebuke from U.S. lawmakers concerned the visit could legitimize Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government. -WSJ - 1/2/10

Iran, Iraq don't allow foreign interference in bilateral ties: Envoy
Iran's ambassador to Iraq emphasized that the two countries policy over joint borders is based on good-neighborliness, mutual confidence and commitment to border agreements and they don't allow foreign intervention in bilateral ties. -ISNA - 1/2/10

Mousavi: Says Iran Is In 'Serious Crisis': "I'm not afraid to be one of the martyrs"
Key Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi said today that Iran is in "serious crisis" and called for the immediate release of supporters arrested after the June presidential vote. In a statement appearing on his website, Kaleme, he also said that "harsh remarks" by the government risk creating an "internal uprising." He cited words of the founder of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: "Kill us, we will become stronger." - 1/1/10

New Political Phenomena?!
With every coup d'etat one should expect arrests, torture and persecution, power show, violent suppression, intimidation and of course martial law. The coup d'etat was carried out by rigging the result of election six months ago. Ever since then, the whole world has been watching the violent crackdown of demonstrations, arrests, rape and torture, forced confessions, intimidation acted on this land once called Persia and now Iran, and from this afternoon (the New Year's Eve), the martial law is in force. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 1/1/10

Iran: Student Organization Foresees Fall of Establishment
Iranian student organization, Unity Consolidation Bureau in a public statement condemned the "violent attack" of Mashhad university students last night and the widespread arrest of students across the country, calling these acts "the mark of the instability and fatal fall of the establishment." -Zamaneh - 1/1/10

Iranian Security Apparatus Beefs Up Presence in Tehran
Top security figures are stepping up their threats to prosecute and punish supporters and leaders of the country's opposition movement in what appears to be a calculated attempt to demonstrate that they are still in control of the situation. -VOA - 1/1/10

NIAC calls for Disarmament of Basij Paramilitary to Ensure Security for Iranian Citizens
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) strongly condemns the campaign of intimidation being carried out by the Iranian government against its citizens through the Basij paramilitary. NIAC calls on the Iranian government to disarm the Basij immediately and to end the violent repression of the Iranian people. - 1/1/10

Iranian Cleric Haeri Shirazi: Don't Arrest The Protesters; Kill Them!
In a candid and shocking appearance on Iran's state television, a leading Iranian cleric ayatollah stated that instead or arresting and suppressing the opposition protesters, it would be better to kill them. "The more of them are killed, the more beneficial. If the armed forces kill some of them, it is to our benefit." Ayatollah Mehyaddin Haeri Shirazi said. - 1/1/10

Iran: Hardline Cleric Demands Firm Prosecution of Protesters
Tehran Friday prayers leader, Ayatollah Janati called for a return to the "firm and revolutionary" judges of the early days of the 1979 Revolution rather than the "lifeless" judges of today who have, according to the hardline cleric, failed to deal "firmly" with the recent detainees. - 1/1/10
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