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Culinary Paradise - Festival of Persian Food
In SARABAN Greg and Lucy Malouf take us on a journey through modern-day Persia, uncovering a land where the rich diversity of climate, countryside, architecture and poetryprovide a fitting background for an equally varied and richness of cuisine. - 1/31/11

Keshavarz's Circumstance Wins Audience Award At Sundance
The Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Circumstance, directed and written by Maryam Keshavarz,in which a wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession. - 1/31/11

Photos: The Festival Of Fire (Jashn-e-Sadeh) in Kerman
Jashn-e Sadeh was observed in Kerman, Iran Saturday afternoon. Sadeh is a mid-winter festival celebrated with grandeur and magnificence by Zoroastrians since ancient times. - 1/31/11

Photos: Mountain Climbing at Alvand
Alvand mountain is located about 10 kilometers from Veshnaveh village south of city of Qom in Iran. With a snow-covered peak in the winters, Alvand offers many natural beauties for the climbers to enjoy. - 1/31/11

Photos: Protests in Egypt
The 2011 protests have been the largest demonstrations seen in Egypt since the 1977 Egyptian Bread Riots and "unprecedented" in scope, drawing participants from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and faiths. - 1/31/11

Iran's Green Movement Still Inspires
In a televised interview broadcast just a few days ago, University of Michigan History Professor Juan Cole described the Tunisian uprising as not only "the first popular revolution since [the Iranian revolution of] 1979," but also "something that other Arab countries might well look to -- the publics, at least -- for inspiration" -Jalal Alavi - 1/31/11

Message of Zahra Bahrami's execution to the world
Zahra Bahrami, an Iranian-Dutch citizen, was executed in Tehran on Saturday January 30. She had been arrested 13 months earlier, during massive protests against the presidential elections on the Day of Ashura, a Muslim Holy Day. December 27, 2009 has became known as "Bloody Ashura" because so many protesters were killed, wounded and arrested. -A. Adibzadeh - 1/31/11

Photos: Embryonic Twin Found In Stomach Of A Young Man
A 22-year-old young man in Kerman province, southeast Iran, suffering from stomach pain was found to be carrying his embryonic twin, according to a report by Mehr News Agency. -Khosrow Parkhideh - 1/31/11

Egyptian Protests Inspire Opposition in Iran
Egypt's uprising has captivated the Arab world, but in Iran-fresh from its own outpouring of antigovernment unrest-backers of the regime and supporters of the beleaguered opposition are competing for credit for inspiring the demonstrations in Cairo. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/31/11

Egyptian Protests Inspire Opposition in Iran
Egypt's uprising has captivated the Arab world, but in Iran-fresh from its own outpouring of antigovernment unrest-backers of the regime and supporters of the beleaguered opposition are competing for credit for inspiring the demonstrations in Cairo. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/31/11

Iran: Opposition Leader's Son Interrogated for Six Hours
Hossein Karoubi, prominent pro-reformist cleric Mehdi Karoubi's eldest son was released from top security Evin Prison after six hours of interrogations. This is the second time in two weeks Mr. Karoubi was summoned to Evin and interrogated. -Leyla Tayeri, Rooz - 1/31/11

Who Stands With Iran's Opposition?
Excruciating new problems never nullify the old ones. In the case of Iran's potential nuclear threat, Egypt's gathering implosion - joined by some new elements of concern - is only more bad news for the West. -NY Times - 1/31/11

Iran to send 2 million litres of gasoil to Afghanistan daily
Iran plans to send 2 million liters of gasoil to Afghanistan daily after the country stopped gasoil transit from Iraq's Kurdistan region to Afghanistan. - 1/31/11

Two Iranian Americans Make Historic Run for Chicago's City Council
Mahmoud Bambouyani and Bita Buenrostro are two prominent Iranian Americans who are campaigning in the 38th and 43rd wards, respectively, for the honor of representing their local district in Chicago's city council as alderman. -PAAIA - 1/30/11

Panel Presentation in Washington, D.C. on 2011 OFAC Update: Iran Sanctions
On February 17th, 2011, the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) will host an informative panel discussion entitled, �� OFAC Update: Iran Sanctions." This event, which will be held at Venable, LLP, will feature a panel of legal experts and officials from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). - 1/30/11

Photos: Iran inaugurates largest space test laboratory center
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday inaugurated the largest laboratory center for testing space structures and systems. The center is considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East. - 1/30/11

Puppet character Kolah-Qermezi to return in Noruz
Popular Iranian puppet character Kolah-Qermezi will be returning to the screen during the Noruz holidays. The 4th edition of the Iranian TV series "Kolah-Qermezi", by director Iraj Tahmasb, will be broadcast on state TV channel 2 to entertain children during the Iranian New Year - 1/30/11

Netherlands freezes contact with Iran over hanging of Zahra Bahrami
The Netherlands froze diplomatic ties with Iran following the execution of Iranian-Dutch woman yesterday for drug charges after initially arresting her for participation in anti-government protests. -Zamaneh - 1/30/11

Why Are Oil Markets So Nervous About Egypt?
Egypt produces about 600,000 barrels of oil per day and it consumes almost every barrel of domestic production. Yet the oil markets reacted nervously to the Friday unrests in Egypt and price of crude rose despite indications of rising supply in the US. -Nader Habibi - 1/30/11

I will never forget nightmarish Korea defeat: Iran keeper
Iran football keeper Mehdi Rahmati has said that he will never forget the nightmarish defeat against South Korea in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. -MNA - 1/30/11

Egypt's Crisis: Tehran Sees Potential Benefit But Nervously
Iran is the only country in the Middle East to have no diplomatic ties with Egypt. Nevertheless, the protests rocking the region's most populous nation could carry monumental implications for Tehran. -TIME - 1/30/11

Iran Arrests 20 Over Chabahar Terrorist Attack
Iranian security forces have detained 20 suspects in connection with a bloody terrorist attack in Iran's eastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, a senior Iranian judicial official says. - 1/30/11

Iran's Parliament Backs Nuclear Chief As Next Foreign Minister
Iran's parliament has officially endorsed the country's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, as the next foreign minister. Salehi's candidacy was backed by 146 of the 241 Iranian lawmakers who voted in the conservative-dominated parliament today. -RFE - 1/30/11

Report: Iran Hangs Dutch Woman Detained In Election Unrest
Reports out of Iran say an Iranian-Dutch woman detained after participating in protests against Iran's disputed presidential election in 2009 has been hanged. -RFE - 1/29/11

Statement by Iranian Opposition Leader Mousavi Regarding The Events Unfolding In The Middle East
Mir Hossein Mousavi in a statement while reviewing the events happening in the Middle East, called the rightful uprising of the people in some Arab nations as part of the struggle of the nations to eliminate the oppressive regimes that are ruling the area and the outcome of the negligence of the governments in honoring people's right to determine their own destiny. - 1/29/11

Video: Protests By Iran Khodro Workers
Workers hold emotional protest following a tragic accident at an Iran Khordo Plant last week which resulted in the death and injury of a number of workers. The accident was reportedly caused by workers' fatigue during mandatory over-time. - 1/29/11

Photos: A Dream Bridge For A Village
Village of Yassargachan is located close to the city of Gonbad Kavoos in the northern Iranian province of Golestan. A dream was finally fulfilled for the residents of the village when a bridge was built to allow them to easily cross Gorganrood river. -Aboutaleb Nadri - 1/29/11

Egyptian Uprising and the Middle East
Amjad Atallah: Egyptian people shaking the foundations of US policy in the Middle East -RNN - 1/29/11

Hashemi Rafsanjani: I Pursue My Own Positions
As the March 8 and 9, 2011 gathering of Iran's Assembly of Experts on Leadership, which at least on paper is responsible for monitoring the performance of the supreme leader of the country, approaches, verbal attacks by individuals from the ruling circles of power on the head of the Assembly Hashemi Rafsanjani once again are picking up momentum. -Mahshid Boroomand, Rooz - 1/29/11

Iranian hardliner says Islam at heart of Arab protests
"The uprising of the Arab nations is an Islamic movement and the west is trying to downplay the Islamic content of these protests," Iranian hardline cleric told worshippers at Tehran's Friday Mass Prayers. -Zamaneh - 1/29/11

Shahdad Rohani preparing Tehran Symphony Orchestra for Fajr festival
The U.S.-based Iranian composer Shahdad Rohani has returned home, preparing the Tehran Symphony Orchestra for the 26th Fajr International Music Festival. - 1/29/11

Iranian women's rights activist arrested in Qom
Iranian security forces arrested Fatemeh Masjedi, an Iranian women's rights activist in Qom. She was arrested while travelling from Qom to Tehran by unidentified government officials, We-change website reports. -Zamaneh - 1/29/11

Iran non-oil exports in 9 months surpass $19B
Iran exported $19.18 billion of non-oil goods (excluding gas condensates) in the first nine months of current Iranian calendar year (ended December 21, 2010), the Director of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Hamid Safdel said. - 1/29/11

Fajr Film Festival Announces Jury Members
The 29th Fajr International Film Festival announced members of a jury for different sections. - 1/29/11

A Region in Turmoil: How Far Will the Unrest Spread?
Saudi Arabia, along with other oil-rich Gulf states such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, are generally less susceptible to Tunisian-style uprisings because the population benefit from the spoils of natural resources. -Independent - 1/29/11

Photos: Sarein hot springs, A tourist's city in northwestern Iran
Sarein springs is heated by inactive volcano in mount Sabalan, Iran's second highest mountain. Its water contains sulphur particles and it is believed that it is good for bone and joint pains. - 1/28/11

Shirnameh: Iran's Real Green Revolution Crushed?
A few weeks ago, a Siberian tiger, loaned to Iran by Russia, mysteriously died at the Tehran Zoo. While the Tehrani residents were speculating about this unfortunate death, they heard an even more shocking news. 14 brave lions had been gunned down at Zoo! This has sent shivers down the spines of Tehrani residents and animals alike! Everyone wants to know who's behind these killings, and more importantly who's next in the line of fire? -M. Bibak - 1/28/11

Beauty and Censorship Show in Festivals Celebrating Iranian Films
Washington - The lights are going down, and the images of Iran are going up at museums in several U.S. cities as Americans take another look at what Iranian filmmakers have to say about that country. -Jeff Baron, - 1/28/11

How Are The Protests In Egypt, Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution Being Viewed In Iran?
"The Islamic world is ripe with major new developments and Khomeini's Islam is the engine of these events," Iran's hard-line daily "Kayhan" wrote in a January 27 commentary devoted to the recent wave of protests in the Arab world. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/28/11

Iran outlaws Khatami's Baran Foundation
Iranian interior ministry announced that Baran Foundation, founded by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, is an "illegal" entity and its activities must be banned. The statement appears to be the latest in the wave of government attacks against the reformist president, who is considered one of the top three leaders of the post-election protests in Iran. - 1/28/11

Iran: Rafsanjani accused of interfering with Ahamdenjad government
Ahamdinejad's legal adviser says Ayatollah Rafsanjani chairman of Iran's Expediency Council is "the lead manager of the moves against the government." -Zamaneh - 1/28/11

Caspian Sea Exclusive Zones: solving the problem or creating a new one?
While the Iranian and Russian officials are discussing how to implement the decisions of the Baku Summit on setting a 25 mile excusive Zone in the Caspian Sea, the differences of the Caspian coastal states on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is still far from resolved or even in a commonly acceptable track. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 1/28/11

Iran's Bushehr Reactor Ready By April
Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) says the nuclear plant in the southern city of Bushehr will join the country's power grid in early April. In an interview with ISNA, head of Iran's nuclear body Ali Akbar Salehi insisted that having a safe facility is more important than rushing to the production stage. -Press TV - 1/28/11

Quake hits Iran's Kerman province for 3rd time Thursday
An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale shook Mohammadabad and its outskirts in Rigan section of the southeastern province of Kerman Thursday, IRNA reported from Kerman. - 1/28/11

Mass Anti-Government Protests Rock Egypt
Tens of thousands of protesting Egyptians flooded into the streets after Friday prayers in mounting demonstrations calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. -VOA - 1/28/11

Ahmadinejad: Iran on 'Universal Justice' Mission
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has moved past the West and is on a "mission" to establish peace and justice across the world. - 1/28/11

Iran's Amin Motevasselzadeh wins World Fair Play Trophy
Amin Motevasselzadeh has won the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy on Thursday night. The Iranian striker won the prize for his outstanding act of sportsmanship during an Iranian football match in January 2010. - 1/28/11

IAAB Presents Camp Ayandeh 2011
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) is proud to present two sessions of Camp Ayandeh at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California this coming summer. Both sessions are open to high school students and will be held June 16th-23rd and June 29th-July 6th. - 1/27/11

Leader's Remarks at Qom's Special Session: Ahmadinejad Indeed Obedient
Nearly three months after Iran's supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei made a weighty trip to Qom, where the country's senior ayatollahs reside, Rooz has obtained the full text of the talk that he delivered at the second meeting with the Qom Theological Seminary Teachers Association. -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz - 1/27/11

Iran: Deepening Crisis on Rights
The Iranian government's high rate of executions and targeting of rights defenders, particularly lawyers, in 2010 and early 2011 highlights a deepening of the human rights crisis that gripped the country following the disputed June 2009 presidential election, Human Rights Watch said in issuing its World Report 2011 Iran chapter. - 1/27/11

Daughter of Iranian-Dutch Prisoner on Death Row Pleads For Help
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, daughter of imprisoned Iranian-Dutch citizen, Zahra Bahrami who is facing the death sentence on charges of drug trafficking, expressed that the charges waged against her mother are not true, and that her mother has made confessions against herself under duress. - 1/27/11

Dervishes' Lawyers Jailed In Iran, Rights Group Cries Foul
Three Iranian lawyers who recently defended Sufi dervishes have been sentenced to jail in a case an international rights group says highlights mounting pressure on human rights lawyers -RFE - 1/27/11

Persepolis finishes 4th in Matchworld
Persepolis lost 3-1 to Zilina from Slovakia at the Al Maktoum Stadium. The Iranian team beat Sparta Prague 3-0 in its first match but lost 2-0 to Zenit St. Petersburg, the 2010 Russian Premier League champion. -Tehran Times - 1/27/11

Can Turkey Reconcile Iran and U.S?
Obama has stated that Turkey can be an important player on Iran's nuclear program. Is the U.S. president indirectly asking Turkey to mediate between Iran and US? -Iranian Diplomacy - 1/27/11

Medical Tourism in Iran: Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges with MADM Approach
This study aims to define the challenges and opportunities of medical tourism industry in Iran and propose some mechanisms to make Iran prosper with this new Industry. -Medwell Publishing - 1/27/11

Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil
Egyptian security forces have deployed en masse across the capital, Cairo, Wednesday amid calls by protest leaders to continue demonstrating despite a ban. - 1/27/11

Iran's allies gain clout and possible softer edges
From the Afghan badlands to the Mediterranean, evidence of Iran's reach is easy to spot: a mix of friend and foe for Kabul leaders, a power broker in Iraq, deep alliances with Syria and a big brother to Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza. -AP - 1/27/11

Stoning case steals focus from other imprisoned dissidents, Iran activists say
A sentence of death by stoning has propelled an illiterate Iranian woman convicted of adultery to international fame, with Hollywood stars, French intellectuals and Western governments calling for her release. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 1/27/11

International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed in Iran for first time
International Holocaust Remembrance Day was created in a UN General Assembly decision, deeming January 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated, a universal day for Holocaust commemoration. -Haaretz - 1/27/11

Photos: Facebook curly-hair community gather in Tehran's park
MooFerferia (curly-hair in Persian) Facebook community has about 8000 members worldwide, and for the first time gathered in Tehran's Nation Park in January 2011 for a few hours before they were asked to leave by park police. There are still ongoing debates to find out if curly hair cools or heats the brain better than straight hair! - 1/26/11

International cultural figures call for release of Iranian political prisoners
Over 130 writers, intellectuals and university professors from around the world have called on Iran's Supreme Leader to release Iranian political prisoners including Ebrahim Yazdi, the aging secretary general of the reformist party, Freedom Front of Iran. -Zamaneh - 1/26/11

Endangered Iran Cheetahs
The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity and invited the world to take action to safeguard the variety of life on earth. Unfortunately, though, it is seldom completely clear what should be safeguarded. - 1/26/11

Director of "Hedda Gabler" in Tehran accused of ties to foreign elements
Vahid Rahbani, director of the recent production of Hedda Gabler in Tehran was accused of ties of to foreign elements and the Iranian opposition abroad by Keyhan columnist, Payam Fazlinejad. -Zamaneh - 1/26/11

The Regional Influence That We Squandered
At the core of the dire situation in Afghanistan lie the tense relations between Iran and the United States. As long as this statement holds true, radicalism will not be eradicated the way the international community wishes it to be, but will continue to reinforce its position and expand its sphere of influence. -Iranian Diplomacy - 1/26/11

Cyrus Cylinder draws about 190,000 visitors to National Museum of Iran
About 190,000 people visited the Cyrus Cylinder exhibit at the National Museum of Iran (NMI). The artifact was loaned by the British Museum on September 10, 2010 to the National Museum of Iran for a four-month show that ended on January 10. - 1/26/11

EU's Ashton Too Racy For Iranian Newspapers
The shirt of EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton at her Istanbul meeting with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Said Jalili, was apparently too revealing in the eyes of Iranian officials and official media. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/26/11

Eight Workers Killed At Iran Khodro Plant
8 workers died and some others were injured after a Hovo truck hit them at an Iran Khodro plant on Tuesday January 25. -ILNA - 1/26/11

Iranian Workers Stage Protests Over Nonpayment Of Wages
The most recent such protest, reported by the ILNA agency, was in Tehran on January 24. Employees of the Pars Metal Company gathered in front of the Iranian parliament. They staged a similar gathering last summer in front of the presidential office after having not been paid for five months. - 1/26/11

Egypt Police Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protesters
Egyptian police fired tear gas and beat anti-government protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square Wednesday, after the largest demonstrations in years against President Hosni Mubarak's decades-old rule. -VOA - 1/26/11

New Iranian bunkering center in Persian Gulf
Iran has sold some 2 million tons of furnace oil and gas oil through its bunkering centers in the Persian Gulf from the beginning of current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2010). - 1/26/11

Javad Nekounam says no rift with Ghotbi
Iran football captain Javad Nekounam denied ever being at odds with coach Afshin Ghotbi in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. - 1/26/11

U.S. Official Says Iran Relying On 'Soft Power' To Influence Iraq
A top U.S. State Department official says Iran's efforts to exercise "hard power" in Iraq have failed, prompting Tehran to try to influence its western neighbor through the use of "soft power," or more indirect means. -RFE - 1/26/11

Iran not working on bomb: Israel intelligence head
Iran is not currently working on producing a nuclear weapon but could make one within "a year or two" of taking such a decision, Israel's military intelligence chief said on Tuesday. -AFP - 1/26/11

Venezuela to Resume Gasoline Shipments to Iran, EIG Reports
Venezuela will resume gasoline shipments to Iran after a pause of more than two years, Energy Intelligence Group reported. - 1/26/11

Farhang Foundation's 2011 Nowruz Banners Revealed
Farhang Foundation announced in December that Nasrin Beyraghdar was the winner of its 2011 Nowruz Banner Contest. The contest had invited the public to submit original designs for Farhang Foundation's annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) celebration at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This year Nowruz at LACMA will be held on March 13, 2011. - 1/25/11

Thousands attend memorial serivces for Alireza Pahlavi in Maryland
A memorial service for Alireza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah of Iran was held on January 23, in Maryland with Iranians of different political convictions standing side-by-side to express their sympathies for the grieved family. - 1/25/11

Iranian Filmmaker Siahpour and the Power of Collaboration
Making films is inherently a collaborative process involving people from many different disciplines, but for Iranian filmmaker and writer Farangis Siahpour, collaboration is a way of life as much as a mode of artistic expression. -Howard Cincotta, - 1/25/11

Photos: Zayandeh Rud comes back to life with return of migratory birds
With the return of migratory birds to Zayandeh Rud in Isfahan, the river has once again come to life and made a stroll by the historical siosehpol bridge even more enjoyable! -Khosrow Khaleghi, MNA - 1/25/11

Theater - The Persian Quarter by Salt Lake Acting Company
SLAC proudly presents the World Premiere of The Persian Quarter by Kathleen Cahill -- "This play is actually trying to look inside myself. To look at an experience that I had 35 years ago. When I was 22, I went overland to Iran for adventure and to teach English. I didn't know anything about Iran. Nothing. Zero. I didn't even know how to count to ten in their language." - 1/25/11

Iranian Activists Welcome Access To Google Software, Call For More
Amid the unrest that followed Iran's 2009 disputed presidential vote, Amir Hossein Etemadi depended on Google's Chrome browser to surf the net, update his opposition website, and spread the latest news from the streets. - 1/25/11

Get A Paid Summer Fellowship In Washington, DC
Each year, NIAC brings Iranian-American students interested in government and public policy to our nation's capital for hands-on learning opportunities. You get direct work experience by interning in Senate or House offices on Capitol Hill or at NIAC's headquarters for three months between June and August. - 1/25/11

Outspoken Iranian Reformist Released Again
Ali Shakourirad, a senior Iranian reformist figure and member of Islamic Iran Participation Front, who was arrested in December for a second time in the past year, was released today after 48 days in prison. -Zamaneh - 1/25/11

Iran Heritage Foundation looking for an Executive Director
The Iran Heritage Foundation, a non-political charity with the mission to promote and preserve the arts, languages and cultures of Iran and the Persians, seeks to appoint an Executive Director to lead its operations. The new ED will lead a small team and work with the trustees to implement the Foundation's objectives. - 1/25/11

Iran's Persepolis loses to Russia's Zenit in Dubai
Iranian football team Persepolis lost to Zenit St Petersburg of Russian in the Dubai Matchworld Cup. Persepolis, after defeating Sparta Prague 3-0 in its first match, lost 2-0 to the 2010 Russian Premier League champion at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Monday night. -MNA - 1/25/11

Ahmadinejad lashes out against Expediency Council
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Iran's Council of Expediency of "straining the country's management" and criticized the heads of legislature and judiciary of supporting the Council in these efforts. - 1/25/11

Lebanese Lawmakers Back Hezbollah PM Candidate
On Monday, Sunni lawmakers accused Hezbollah of carrying out a "coup" aimed at forcing an Iranian form of religious government on the Lebanese people. -VOA - 1/25/11

Photos: Memorial of Alireza Pahlavi
Iranians came from around the world to attend Sunday's memorial service, many wearing large round badges showing pictures of Alireza and Leila Pahlavi, and others wearing lapel pins of the Iranian imperial flag. -BBC - 1/25/11

Two Post-elections Political Prisoners Hanged
In a telephone interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Jafar Kazemi's wife said that when she went to visit her husband at Evin Prison a few hours ago, she was informed that he had been executed earlier this morning. "They executed him without informing us or his lawyer." - 1/24/11

Sanctions Dull Tehran's Image
When Turkish reporters asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently what impact international sanctions were having on Iran, he replied, "What sanctions are you talking about? If you come to Iran today, people will tell you that sanctions have had no impact on their lives or on their country's development." -Farshid Alyan, IWPR - 1/24/11

Spirituality, Religion, and Richard Dawkins
The human species' proclivity to appeal to unknown supernatural sources of power and wisdom for guidance, protection and to seek answers to perplexing questions about earthly existence and the hereafter, has nothing to do with religious training or indoctrination. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/24/11

To War?
Every few months the specter of a new American war in the Middle East is raised, and just as predictably, time passes without the firing of guns on a new front. So it has been since 9/11 ushered in the era of "war on terrorism" or better put, "permanent war" -Hooman Majd, Iranian Diplomacy - 1/24/11

Iran culture minister says protests against Hedda Gabler unfounded
Iranian minister of culture says most criticisms of the recent production of Hedda Gabler in Tehran are unfounded. ISNA reports that Mohammad Hosseini said if the artists have violated any regulations they will be reprimanded and there is no need to take the matter to higher levels of authority. - 1/24/11

Stuxnet of concern for Iranian health ministry
Islamic Republic health ministry warned that Iranian medical systems may have been infected with the Stuxnet worm. Mehr news agency reported today that the research and technology branch of the health ministry announced that the Stuxnet worm could cause medical imaging systems to dysfunction. -Zamaneh - 1/24/11

Iranians unite in grief at service for shah's son
Opponents of the late shah of Iran stood side-by-side with former regime officials at a memorial service in Maryland for his son Alireza Pahlavi, who killed himself earlier this month. -AFP - 1/24/11

Shooting To Kill On the Iran-Afghan Border
Crowds of Afghans have demonstrated against Iran in Kabul and Herat this month over what they say are Tehran's oppressive policies toward their country. -RFE - 1/24/11

Iran's Petrochemical Exports To Europe On Rise
Head of Iran's Petrochemical Commercial Company says Iranian petrochemical exports to Europe will hit $2 billion by the end of the current Iranian year. - 1/24/11

Iran To Deploy Destroyer In Mediterranean
Iranian Navy Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem BighamA top Iranian Navy commander says the Islamic Republic will dispatch a destroyer as part of a naval fleet to the Red and Mediterranean Seas in the near future. -Press TV - 1/24/11

Iran's NITC to be World's Third Biggest Tanker Company by 2013
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) expects to become the third-largest oil-tanker company by 2013, and possibly the second-biggest, when it takes delivery of 22 very large crude carriers and expands its fleet by 72 percent, an executive said. -Moj News - 1/24/11

A Dictator Dispatched
President Ben Ali and his family ran a 'mafia state,' until an uprising drove them out. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 1/24/11

Chronology of Controversy: Who is Esfandiar Mashaei?
Interestingly, throughout these years, disillusioned Principlists -and not Reformists- have been the chief critics of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, regarding him as a blot on the landscape of Ahmadinejad's career. Alluding to an Iranian myth, the tale of Esfandiar -who like the Greek hero Achilles was invincible but from both eyes- some refer to him as "Esfandiar of the Government". -Iranian Diplomacy - 1/23/11

Sustainable Transport Award cities: Tehran
Iran's capital city Tehran, with a population 8 million, stands out as a model city in the region for its aggressive policy to expand and implement new mass transit options. The city has developed a comprehensive public transport policy, which is embedded into the city's vision of improving quality of life by having integrated, available, safe, easy, comfortable and clean transportation system, delivered within limited resources. - 1/23/11

Iranian Plan To Move Workers From Tehran Flounders
Iranian officials say only about 1,000 workers have moved out of Tehran under a new law that transfers state employees to other parts of the country in an effort to reduce congestion and pollution in the capital -RFE - 1/23/11

PAAIA Members Elects New Board of Directors
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce the results of the election of its Board of Directors by the organization's members. In these elections, from a list of 22 highly-qualified and dedicated candidates from across the country, our members elected the following 18 persons to represent them in leading PAAIA, overseeing its affairs and directing its policies. - 1/23/11

Leader pays surprise visits to families of martyred nuclear scientists
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei paid surprise visits to the families of the two martyred scientists Majid Shahriari and Masoud Ali-Mohammadi on Thursday. -MNA - 1/23/11

Iran Says It Is Open To More Nuclear Talks
Iran says it is open to holding further talks with six world powers over its nuclear program. President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said that "if the other side is determined and committed to justice, law, and respect, one can hope that suitable results could be achieved in future sessions." -RFE - 1/23/11

Afshin Ghotbi Says Goodbye To Iran's National Football Team
Afshin Ghotbi left Iran football team after being in charge for 21 months. Ghotbi replaced football legend Ali Daei on April 23, 2009 in order to lead the Iranian team in the three remaining matches of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. - 1/23/11

Ahmadinejad proposes Salehi as new foreign minister
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad introduced Ali Akbar Salehi as his new foreign minister to the parliament. Salehi, who has been filling the shoes of the former foreign minister as the caretaker of the foreign ministry for over a month, will become the official foreign minister if the parliament gives him a vote of confidence. -Zamaneh - 1/23/11

Iran's Asian Cup Dreams Shattered After Loss To South Korea
South Korea shattered Iran's dream of regaining Asian Cup title. Iran lost the quarterfinal game 1-0 to South Korea in a close game that went into overtimes on Saturday in Doha, Qatar. South Korean midfielder Yoon Bit-garam scored the winning goal with a shot from the edge of the penalty box at the end of first half of extra time. - 1/22/11

Art Gallery: Cocoon, Abstract Human Body by Laleh Ardestani
Laleh Ardestani, following a period of expressive show casing of humanly bodies full of emotion, has now taken up a more abstract view. - 1/22/11

'Iran open to talks, no preconditions set': Official
A senior Iranian official says Tehran is ready for further talks with major world powers provided that its rights are not violated, refuting claims that it has set preconditions. -Press TV - 1/22/11

EU parliament adopts resolution on Iran and case of jailed lawyer
The case of jailed Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh and the situation of human rights in Iran were included in the resolutions adopted in the first 2011 plenary session of the European Parliament yesterday. - 1/22/11

Children Of Student Activist Deprived Of In-Person Visits For Eight Months
Fatemeh Adinehvand, wife of Abdollah Momeni, a prisoner of conscience and former Spokesperson for Tahkim-e Vahdat Student Organization, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her children have now been deprived from visiting their father in person for eight months - 1/22/11

Iran: Basij Militia Infiltrated by Anti-Revolutionaries
Ever since protesters were brutally suppressed in Iran because of the demonstrations against the results of the 2009 presidential elections, discontent among the various layers of the military and police personnel regarding the deployment of the forces against protesting civilians has been on the rise. -Bahram Rafiee, Rooz - 1/22/11

'Disappointing' Iran Nuclear Talks Wrap Up In Istanbul
Iran and six world powers have failed to break the impasse on Tehran's nuclear program at a new round of talks in Istanbul. -RFE - 1/22/11

Interview: 'Authoritarian Governments Have Immensely Benefited From The Web,' Author Says
Evgeny Morozov, a noted specialist on the use of new communications technologies to promote democratic values, has a new book titled "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom." In it, he argues that hype about "Twitter revolutions" and the enormous potential of the Internet to promote open societies and roll back authoritarianism is naive and overblown. -RFE - 1/22/11

China Renews Deal To Buy Iran Crude
China has renewed its annual contract to purchase and import Iranian crude despite the US-engineered UN sanctions that block transactions with the Iranian banks. -Press TV - 1/22/11

Iranian Daily Show, Meet 'The Daily Show'
If you had told Kambiz Hosseini 10 years ago, when he was a poor immigrant pumping gas in a small Oregon town, that one day Jon Stewart would bound eagerly into a greenroom looking for him and asking, "Where are my dudes?!" - he would have given you a blank look. -Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post - 1/22/11

Noam Chomsky urges Iran to release captive Americans
World-renowned scholar and MIT professor Noam Chomsky released a video message calling on Iran to release two Americans detained on suspicions of espionage. -Raw Story - 1/22/11

Iraqi Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iran
An aide to the anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says he has returned to Iran after arriving in Iraq a few weeks ago. -VOA - 1/22/11

Leading Diplomats, Experts and Organizations Call on Obama to Reinvigorate Diplomacy with Iran
On the eve of talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Istanbul a diverse group of diplomats, arms control experts, Iran experts, democracy and human rights defenders, and leading Iranian-American, Jewish, and pro-peace organizations issued a statement urging the Obama Administration to reinvigorate diplomacy with Iran. - 1/21/11

Iran, Six World Powers Begin Nuclear Talks
Representatives from Iran and six world powers are meeting in Turkey to discuss Tehran's controversial nuclear program. -VOA - 1/21/11

IABA And Partner Organizations File Amicus Brief in United States v. Banki
On August 16, 2010, Iranian-American Mahmoud Reza Banki was sentenced by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to two and a half years in prison and ordered to forfeit $3.4 million by a judge who noted that Banki did not support terrorism or funnel money to Iran's government. - 1/21/11

The U.S. and Iran's Nuclear Consensus
While "confidence-building" is the most important factor in the course of any nuclear negotiations which hope to succeed between Iran and the P5+1 group, the United States is talking about a new round of coercive sanctions against Iran. -Kayhan Barzegar - 1/21/11

Persian Letters: In Iran, Exposed Legs Spark 'Cultural Scandal'
"A cultural scandal." Those are the words Iranian hard-line website Reyonline has used to describe a drawing class at a cultural center in the city of Rey. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/21/11

Photos: Ahmadinejad In Yazd on provincial Tour
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in central province of Yazd on Wednesday morning as part of his regular provincial tours. -Mehdi Ghasemi, ISNA - 1/21/11

Sentenced Dutch-Iranian Woman Allowed Visit In Tehran Prison
A Dutch-Iranian woman sentenced to death in Iran on multiple charges has been allowed a visit from her daughter in Tehran's Evin prison, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/21/11

UPDATED: Public theaters Airing football matches NOT closed to Iranian women
Iranian authorities have forbidden women from viewing football matches in public screening rooms. Khabar on line reports that Iranian public theatres are to refuse women patrons from attending public screenings of football matches from now on. - 1/21/11

Turkey's Status Buoyed As Six Powers, Iran Arrive In Istanbul
Turkey's yearning for recognition as a vital player on the global stage will reach fulfillment today as Iran and six world powers gather in the apt setting of Istanbul for the latest leg of the byzantine negotiating process over Tehran's suspect nuclear program. - 1/21/11

Exiled Iranian coach aims for historic goal
For a man who had spent the first 13 years of his life growing up in pre-Revolution Iran, Afshin Ghotbi's first job in Iranian football was all about going back to basics: He had to relearn his mother tongue, Farsi, almost from scratch. - 1/21/11

World Powers Gather in Turkey for Iran Nuclear Talks
The Turkish city of Istanbul will host the second round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5-+1 countries to discuss its controversial nuclear energy program. The Turkish hosts will be looking to play some role in the two days of talks that begin Friday. -VOA - 1/21/11

Iran's New Asalouyeh Gas Field 'Worth $60B'
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says the newly discovered gas field in the country's southern city of Asalouyeh holds over nine trillion cubic feet of gas. - 1/21/11

A Sign Of Anger In The Iranian Winter
Most probably, the last time you remember hearing about "Death in the Dictator" chants in Iran was in the summer of 2009 and the unrest that followed Iran's disputed presidential election. - 1/21/11

Iran, Iraq's Kurdistan plan visa waiver
Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan plan a visa waiver to facilitate cross-border travels as part of stepped-up cooperation between the two sides. -Press TV - 1/21/11

Iran-born Hanif Bali elected to Swedish Parliament
Hanif Bali's family fled from political persecution in Iran, but the protection in neighbouring Iraq was short-lived. When the second Gulf War broke out, Hanif's parents sent him to safety in Sweden with human smugglers. He landed in Stockholm, exposed and alone. - 1/20/11

Iran defeats UAE 3-0 and heads to Asian Cup quarterfinals
Iran has defeated the United Arab Emirates 3-0 to finish first in Group D of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup with a perfect 3 wins. The two teams met at the Al Rayyan Stadium on Wednesday in their last group stage match. - 1/20/11

Mowlana, Poet of Life's Dance
Each year on December a religious celebration is held at the site of Rumi's tomb, to which tens of thousands of pilgrims come. In the shrine there is a silver plated step on which the followers of Mowlana rub their foreheads and place kisses. This area is usually cordoned off but is opened for these devotional actions during the December pilgrimage festivities. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 1/20/11

Why Tunisia Can But Iran Can't
The surprising rapidity with which Tunisians unseated President Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali has been watched keenly in Iran, not least by the political opposition known as the Green Movement. -Ali Reza Eshraghi, IWPR - 1/20/11

Video App Honors Imprisoned Filmmakers, Offers New Way for World to Support Human Rights
Spurred to action by the recent imprisonment and filmmaking ban imposed upon two pro-democracy Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, a new human rights organization and film foundation is offering a revolutionary way for the world to protest human rights abuses. - 1/20/11

U.K. Law Groups Call For Release Of Jailed Iranian Lawyer
Two lawyers' associations in Britain are calling on Iran to release a prominent human rights lawyer who was jailed for 11 years earlier this month, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/20/11

Ban of "Hedda Gabler" denounced by Iran's theatre community
Iranian theatre and art community lashed out against the recent shut down of Hedda Gabler in Tehran as the House of Theatre and Association of Drama Actors issued statements describing the ban illegal in view of the fact that the production had an official license issued to it by the Supervision and Evaluation Council. - 1/20/11

Vodka, Islam, Tsunami and a Divine Voice: HAYEDEH
A couple of days after the revolution she was, along with many others, summoned by the revolutionary court of Tehran. But Hayedeh was no longer in Iran. Frank Sinatra had called her voice magical. The female voice was forbidden. She had blown life into the dead body of music. -Afshian Ellian - 1/20/11

Iranians, Given No Choice, Adjust to Soaring Prices
Iran's plan to save money by significantly cutting subsidies for fuel, electricity and basic food items has had an unexpected response: many Iranians, cushioned from the impact and threatened with arrest if they complain, are quietly adjusting to the rising cost of daily living. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 1/20/11

IRAN: Mysterious deaths of big cats at Tehran zoo captivate nation
The Tehran zoo remained closed Tuesday as a mystery surrounds the killing of several big cats, stunning the city and leaving angry mourners demanding answers from authorities amid accusations of politics and environmental bungling. -LA Times - 1/20/11

Iran's Chief Nuclear Negotiator: 'We Have to Be Constantly on Guard'
The general secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, talks to SPIEGEL about allegations that Israel assassinated nuclear scientists in Tehran, the dangers of waging cyber warfare against Iran's nuclear facilities and the West's false expectations for upcoming negotiations in Istanbul. - 1/20/11

Google Goes Back To Iran
Working with the US government, the computer giant Google has announced it will again begin distributing its products in Iran. Will this make the web safer for Iranian web users? - 1/19/11

The 3rd International City Complexities Cartoon Contest
Cartoonists from 62 countries will compete at the 3rd edition of the International City Complexities Cartoon Contest held by Iran's Cartoon House. Air pollution, urban traffic, unstructured expansion of urban areas, street children and beggars are the main themes of this edition of the festival - 1/19/11

Berlin Festival To Honor Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi
In support of the convicted Iranian director Jafar Panahi, the Berlin International Film Festival is launching a number of initiatives at the upcoming Berlinale. In his films, Jafar Panahi critically explores the social situation in his homeland. His conviction violates the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the arts. - 1/19/11

Iran successfully test fires upgraded "Hog" missile system near nuclear plant
Iran successfully test fired mid-range surface-to-air upgraded Hog missile system to protect its sensitive areas. The operation was carried out near Khondab nuclear center in central Iran. -ISNA - 1/19/11

Tehran Stock Exchange's Index Hits Record High
Tehran Stock Exchange's index reached 20,075 on Wednesday as an all-time high this Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2010). Its previous record was set on January 3, 2011, when it hit 19,000. - 1/19/11

Afghans Seek New Fuel Source As Warm Relations With Tehran Turn Frosty
First domestic fuel became scarce, sending prices soaring just as winter began to bite. Then protesters took to the streets chanting, "Death to Iran," and, "Death to [President Mahmud] Ahmadinejad." -Robert Tait, RFE - 1/19/11

Iran's Crude Reserves Up By 9 Percent
Iranian OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi has announced that the crude oil reserves of the country have increased more than 9 percent to 150 billion barrels. - 1/19/11

Middle East, Role of Iran and New Global Equations
Due to various political, cultural and economic reasons and in view of its rich energy resources, the Middle East is considered one of the most important geopolitical and geostrategic regions on international chessboard. -Behzad Khoshandam - 1/19/11

Ahmadinejad takes over Iranian official news agency
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "promoted" the official news agency of the Islamic Republic (IRNA) to a sub-organization of the president's office, thus increasing its budget and preparing it for "history-making media battle on an international level." - 1/19/11

Iran's UN Envoy Says Obama Policy On Engagement Has Failed
Iran's UN ambassador has accused U.S. President Barack Obama of failing to live up to his promise made two years ago to engage with Iran. Mohammad Khazai said Obama is repeating some of the mistakes of his predecessor, George W. Bush. - 1/19/11

Iranian Embassy Dismisses Reports on Halting Fuel Shipments to Afghanistan
The Iranian embassy in Kabul in a statement denied reports that Iran has stopped fuel shipments to Afghanistan, and announced that Tehran has exported 71,501 tons of fuel to its Eastern neighbor in just less than a month. -FNA - 1/19/11

Former Iranian Deputy Culture Minister Accused Of Financial Abuse
The accusation against Mohammad Ali Ramin was made by the former head of the ministry's foreign press department, Mohammad Hossein Khoshvakht. -RFE - 1/19/11

Ten more people executed for drug charges in Iran
Iranian judiciary issued a statement announcing the names of the prisoners and details of their charges of possession and use of heroine, opium, hashish and crack -Zamaneh - 1/19/11

Murdering Scientists
In one of his regular Reflections dated 6 January 2011, the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, explores the possibility that the recent assassinations of Iranian scientists could have been carried out by Israel's secret service, the Mossad, with the connivance of American and British intelligence. -Chandra Muzaffar, Countercurrents - 1/19/11

Iran: Expediency Council to look into workings of central bank to defuse row
Expediency Council will examine the disagreement between the Majlis and the Guardian Council over the makeup of the central bank general assembly and its independence from the administration, announced EC Secretary Mohsen Rezaii. -Tabnak - 1/19/11

Iran-Germany trade grows despite sanctions
German exports to Iran rose 2.6 percent to 3.5 billion euros ($4.7 billion) from January to November, according to provisional figures provided by the national statistics office Destatis, AFP reported. - 1/19/11

Photos: Lake Urmia-Iran, the third largest salt water lake on earth
Lake Urmia has 102 islands, the second largest island, Kaboudi, is the burial place of Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. One of the early mentioning of Lake Urmia is from the Assyrian records from 9th century BCE. - 1/18/11

Iran Hostage 30th Anniversary Meets WikiLeaks -- All-Star Panel in New York
January 20 marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the Iran Hostage Crisis, when students and militants imprisoned 52 Americans in Tehran for 444 days. The event will occur two days before the anniversary, on Tuesday, Jan. 18th at the NY Society for Ethical Culture. - 1/18/11

Iran releases Mehregan, Khandan and Rais Dana on bail
Iran released Keyvan Mehregan, the political editor of Shargh newspaper and Reza Khandan, husband of jailed human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh yesterday evening. According to Iran Green Voice, Fariborz Rais Dana, was also released on Monday on a $30,000 bail. -Zamaneh - 1/18/11

Iran: Two Imprisoned Women Journalists Released
Two jailed Iranian journalists were released today after over a month in prison. Farzaneh Roustayi, editor of international service of Shargh newspaper was released on a $10,000 bail, and Reyhaneh Tabatabayi, Shargh newspaper reporter, was released after 36 days in custody. -Zamaneh - 1/18/11

Thank You Mr. Obama for Loving the Iranian People!
Isn't safe traveling and surviving a trip a sure component of human rights? Are passenger planes which carry ordinary people counted among forbidden weapons which threaten international peace and security? -Ja'far Mohammadi - 1/18/11

Iran: Karroubi says protests rooted in 20 years of errors
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi says Iranian protests are rooted in 20 years of monopolizing power and omission of effective intellectual movements in the Islamic Republic. Karroubi critiqued the Iranian political situation in an interview published on Saham news website. - 1/18/11

Khamenei's "Historic" Friday Sermons: From the "Humble" to the "Disabled"
Iran's semi-official Rajanews news agency has launched a review of seven of Friday sermons that the leader of the Islamic republic ayatollah Khamenei has delivered. It calls this selection the "historic" sermons. -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz - 1/18/11

The Dynamics of Tunisia's Street Revolution
Just as the Iranian revolution surprised the world three decades ago, the events in Tunisia came as an unexpected shock to many experts and intellectuals. Those who follow the political and economic developments of the Middle East generally believed that Tunisia was more stable than other countries in the region. It was even showcased as an example of economic success under authoritarian rule. -Nader Habibi - 1/18/11

Iranian American Scholarship Fund Accepting Applications
Criteria: Iranian heritage, US citizen or permanent resident, full-time enrollment, 2011-2012 sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate status, 3.5+ GPA, financial need, community service. - 1/18/11

Iran's Baha'is Targeted In Arson Attacks
The Baha'i International Community has sounded the alarm over a recent spate of arson attacks on Baha'i-owned businesses in the city of Rafsanjan in south-central Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/18/11

Gearing up for change in Iran
One word alone can explain why, in 1979, Iranians from all walks of life took to the streets of Tehran and other major Iranian cities to take part in what later became known as the Islamic Revolution: Freedom, that is to say, freedom from the chains of an autocratic regime that had, for so long, undermined their attempts at democratization at both the political and economic levels. -Jalal Alavi - 1/18/11

Asian Cup: Japan thumps Saudi Arabia 5-0
Japan has crushed three-time champion Saudi Arabia to cruise to the next round of the 2011 Asian Cup along with Jordan as the second team of Group B. - 1/18/11

Iran Researchers Find New Method For Princer Nail Surgery
Iranian researchers found a new method for surgery of princer nails for the first time in the world. -ISNA - 1/18/11

Iran's Gold Imports Reaches $4.8B in 9 months
The Islamic Republic of Iran has imported 186 tons of gold in the first 9 months of the current Iranian calendar year (March-December, 2010). -Moj News - 1/18/11

14 lions killed at Iran zoo over infection fears
Authorities put down 14 lions at the Tehran zoo that had been diagnosed with an infectious bacterial disease that could affect visitors, a local newspaper reported on Monday. -AP - 1/18/11

Three distinct cheetah populations, but Iran's on the brink
The Earth's rapidly dwindling cheetah populations are more distinct than scientists had previously believed, a new genetic analysis of the cats finds. -USA Today - 1/18/11

Women political prisoners in dire situation in Iran
Situation of women political prisoners in Iranain prisons is cause for grave concern, families of Iranian political prisoners say in a statement that reports on the conditions of jailed female activists in the quarantine section of Evin Prison. -Zamaneh - 1/17/11

Photos: A Snow-Covered Isfahan
Snow covered the historic city of Isfahan in Iran on Saturday. Isfahan, located about 340 km south of the capital city Tehran, is the capital of Isfahan Province and Iran's third largest city. -Alieh Saadatpour - 1/17/11

Photos: A Snow-Covered Qazvin
Snow covered the city of Qazvin on Sunday. Qazvin is located some 165 km northwest of the capital, Tehran. It is at an altitude of about 1800 meters above sea level, and is a city with a cold but dry climate being south of the rugged Alborz range. -Hamideh Shafieinia - 1/17/11

Photos: A Snow-Covered Tabriz
Snow covered the city of Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan province Sunday. Tabriz sits at an altitude of 1,350 meters above sea level. With a population of about 1.6 million, Tabriz is Iran's Fourth largest city. -Ali Abbaspour - 1/17/11

Tehran Breathes Sigh of Relief
Health officials in the Iranian capital are beginning to count the costs as the city begins recovering from its worst ever recorded bout of air pollution. -Sahar Namazikhah, IWPR - 1/17/11

Who killed the Iranian physics professors?
In March of 1990, a Canadian ballistics expert by the name of Gerald Bull, who was suspected of being involved in developing Iraq's missile system, was murdered in Brussels, after being warned by a friend that the Israeli secret police, Mossad, was planning to kill him. To this day we do not know who killed Gerald Bull. The same fate might await the resolution of a number of cases in the past few years, where Iranian physics professors and scientists have been attacked and, in some cases, killed. -Sasan Fayazmanesh - 1/17/11

Iran on "Execution Binge;" Immediate Moratorium Urged
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called on the Iranian Parliament and the Judiciary to immediately institute a moratorium on executions and to move swiftly to abolish the death penalty, in the face of skyrocketing executions following unfair trials and opaque judicial proceedings. - 1/17/11

What now for Lebanon?
Informed Congressional sources in Washington DC today are confirming that the White House has informed Congressional Committee Chairpersons and American allies that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will indict Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for issuing the order to assassinate Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. -Franklin Lamb - 1/17/11

Iran suspends death penalty of Sakineh Ashtiani: Top MP
An Iranian top Parliament Member Zohreh Elahian said death penalty of an Iranian woman accused of killing her husband was suspended. -ISNA - 1/17/11

Iranian models take the hijab to the catwalk
In a fashion studio in Tehran, many Iranian girls can be seen learning the tricks of the trade. Under the expert eye of modelling coach Forouzan Shahkoupa, the girls perfect their walk as they sashay down the catwalk. - NDTV - 1/17/11

Politically Confident, Iran Cuts Subsidies on Prices
After months of false starts, dire warnings and political wrangling, Iran has embarked on a sweeping program of cuts in its costly and inefficient system of subsidies on fuel and other essential goods that has put a strain on state finances and held back economic progress for years. -New York Times - 1/17/11

Tunisia's Popular Uprising Sends Ripples Across Eurasia
The popular uprising that swept Tunisia's longtime leader from power last week is sending ripples across other regions known for their autocratic rulers. Events in Tunisia have also been closely watched in Iran, which saw its own mass street protests following the disputed presidential election in June 2009. -RFE - 1/17/11

Report: 2011 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Iran's economy as repressed - 171 out of 179 countries
Iran's score has decreased from last year, driven by lower scores in freedom from corruption, trade freedom, and labor freedom. Heavy state interference in many aspects of private economic activity has resulted in economic stagnation in Iran's non-oil sector and a serious lack of overall economic dynamism. A restrictive business and investment environment continues to hamper private-sector development. - 1/16/11

Thousands Of Iranians Join Online Protest Against Sanctions
About 25,000 Iranians have reacted to last week's crash of Iran Air flight 277 by joining an online protest against sanctions that prevent Iran from purchasing new aircraft and spare parts. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/16/11

Husband of jailed Iranian lawyer arrested
Iranian judiciary arrested Reza Khandan, the husband of jailed human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh who was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison. -Zamaneh - 1/16/11

Photos: Foreign Diplomats Visit Nuclear Plant in Arak, Iran
Foreign diplomats on Sunday visited Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz on the second day of a two-day tour of the country's nuclear sites. - 1/16/11

Iran: No justification for fuel swap if due time passes
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Chief Ali Akbar Salehi said there will be no justification for fuel swap offer if the scheduled time passes. -ISNA - 1/16/11

Report: Israel Tested Stuxnet Worm Linked To Iran Nuclear Troubles
A U.S. news report says experts at an Israeli facility were involved in testing a computer worm that is believed to have sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges and disrupted Tehran's potential to develop an atomic weapon. - 1/16/11

Iranian Parliament defends its right to impeach ministers
The disputes between Iranian parliament and the government continue as the head of parliament, Ali Larijani assured MPs that they have the right to question government ministers despite recent warnings from the head of Guardian Council to avoid imposing on the time of ministers with talks of impeachment. -Zamaneh - 1/16/11

Iran announces massive gas field discovery
A new onshore gas field in the southern part of Iran has been newly discovered which could be worth $50 billion, Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said on Sunday. -MNA - 1/16/11

Western Afghans Protest Over Iran's Fuel Blockade
More than 500 angry demonstrators have gathered in the western Afghan city of Herat to protest Iran's decision to bar fuel tankers from entering their country. They also accused Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's government of mistreating Afghan refugees. -RFE - 1/16/11

Iran defeats North Korea 1-0 to book berth in Asian Cup knockout stage
Iran qualified for the knockout stage of the 2011 Asian Cup with a victory over North Korea on Saturday. Iran, which defeated Iraq in the opening match of Group D, edged past North Korea 1-0 at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium. - 1/15/11

Foreign Envoys Begin Nuclear Tour In Iran
Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), Group of 77 and the Arab League arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day tour of the country's nuclear sites. The delegates represent more than 120 countries - 1/15/11

Who Is Afraid of Talking about Iran's Human Rights Crisis?
As the latest round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group is about to resume, the ongoing human rights crisis in Iran is once more being overshadowed and ignored by the international community. -Hadi Ghaemi and Aaron Rhodes, Huffington Post - 1/15/11

Iran to Dominate Middle East Offshore Capex
The Persian Gulf producers Iran and Saudi Arabia will lead offshore investments in the Middle East region over the next few years, according to Infield Systems. -Moj News - 1/15/11

Iran Factory Workers Strike Again Over Wage Arrearsn
Workers at the factory in Eslamshahr, 10 kilometers outside of Tehran, reportedly received only 50 percent of their back pay, which still includes four months' worth of salaries and a New Year's bonus from last year. - 1/15/11

Iran, world's 12th top economy in 2015, says Ahmadinejad
Iran will be the world's top 12th economy of the world by the next five years, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated. Iran's economy is currently in the 17th place in the world, the president said, adding by 2015 (the end of the fifth five-year development plan) the country would be in the 12th place. - 1/15/11

'IRGC to display intercepted US drones'
A senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps says the US spy drones downed over the Persian Gulf are in IRGC possession and will be displayed in due course. -Press TV - 1/15/11

Iran denies ban on works of Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho
On Monday, Coelho issued a statement in his blog saying that Arash Hejazi, his editor in Iran had informed him that the Iranian ministry of culture had banned all his books. -Zamaneh - 1/15/11

Lebanon Political Parties Gridlocked
Two days after the Lebanese government collapsed, Lebanese political parties remain locked in opposition over the international court investigating the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. -VOA - 1/15/11

2011 Sundance Film Festival Presents Circumstance by Maryam Keshavarz
Teenagers Atafeh, and her best friend, Shireen, are experimenting with their burgeoning sexuality amidst the subculture of Tehran's underground art scene when Atafeh's brother, Mehran, returns home from drug rehab as the prodigal son. - 1/14/11

Stanford Distances Itself From Professor's Discriminatory Remarks
Stanford University has distanced itself from controversial remarks made by a faculty member regarding the prospects for Iranians to be admitted to the school. -NIAC - 1/14/11

Iranian NCAA Player Shoots for the NBA
When Iranian basketball national team star, Arsalan Kazemi, enrolled at Rice University in the fall of 2009, he became the first Iranian to play major college basketball in the United States. -VOA - 1/14/11

North Korean football team makes life difficult: Iran's Coach
Iran as leader of Group D will face North Korea at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium at 1615 (local time) on Saturday. Iran and the East Asian team will clash for the fourth time in the history of the AFC Asian Cup. - 1/14/11

Iran's Ebadi: Rights Crackdown Shows Govt 'Fear'
Iran's Nobel peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi, says the ongoing crackdown on activists and lawyers shows the extent to which the regime fears human rights defenders, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/14/11

Author Advocates US-Iranian Alliance
With the ongoing war in Afghanistan and a diplomatic tussle with Iran over its nuclear program, the Middle East remains at the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda. A new book claims America is making the wrong friends in the region - and calls for a radical rethinking of policy towards the Middle East. - 1/14/11

Hollywood shines light on director Jafar Panahi's sentencing in Iran
Paul Haggis urges stars to wear white ribbons in support of directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, sentenced to six years in prison. Iranian directors speak out on Iran's actions. -Los Angeles Times - 1/14/11

'Siberian Tiger Did Not Catch Fatal Virus In Iran'
Iran says a Siberian tiger that died in Tehran two weeks ago was already infected with a fatal respiratory disease when delivered by Russian officials. -Press TV - 1/14/11

Humanitarian Tragedy in Iran Yet Another Wakeup Call
This past weekend an Iranian Boeing 727 crashed in northwestern Iran while attempting an emergency landing, taking at least 77 lives. Headlines regarding fatal plane crashes in Iran have become all too common in recent years, and the increasing number of innocent people killed in these incidents draws attention to the worst effects of US sanctions against Iran. -NIAC - 1/14/11

Ahmadinejad's Chief Of Staff Under Investigation
At a press conference yesterday, which received extensive news coverage in the Iranian media, across the political spectrum, hojjat-ol-Islam Ebrahim Nikoonam criticized the statements that Mashai as the president's chief of staff had made and which ranged from his comments on the free role of music in the country to his ideas on the Iranian political school of thought - 1/14/11

US agencies say Iran not building nuclear weapons
Pressure on the Obama administration to consider military options against Iran were eased as the most recent US intelligence reports indicate that Iranian leaders have no definite plan on building nuclear weapons. -VOA - 1/14/11

US Sanctions 26 Companies for Iran Trade
The United States has extended sanctions to more than two dozen companies it says have been operating as fronts for Iranian businesses involved in Tehran's missile programs. - 1/14/11

2011 Pathways to Success: Iranian American Women's Leadership Conference
The Executive Director of the Coastline Foundation, Mariam Khosravani, states that the purpose of the Pathways to Success Women's Leadership Conference is to provide connectivity between women in the community by bringing them to one place to discuss hot topics, as well as provide them a place to network and find support from peers.: - 1/13/11

Production Of Ibsen's 'Hedda Gabler' Comes Under Fire In Iran
A production of Henrik Ibsen's classic play "Hedda Gabler" has been suspended by Iranian authorities following protests by hard-liners who have described it as vulgar, immoral, and contrary to Islamic principles. They claim the play promotes nihilism, hedonism, and polygamy. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/13/11

Ebadi urges UN action regarding jailed Iranian lawyer
Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Nobel Peace laureate called for United Nation High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay to take action in case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, jailed Iranian human rights lawyer who was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison. - 1/13/11

SF Common Wealth Club Event: The Shah, the Ayatollah and Iran's nuclear program, Double-talk or Double-standards?
The Commonwealth Club will be hosting Abbas Milani in San Francisco. Abbas Milani, Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project and author of The Shah, will reveal the complex and sweeping road that has brought the U.S. and Iran to where they are today. - 1/13/11

How Is Washington Pressuring Iran?
It has been about two years since Washington launched a new round of obstructive efforts against Tehran's nuclear program, particularly against the Iranians' defiant plan to achieve nuclear fuel cycle technology. -Hossein Ala'i, Iranian Diplomacy - 1/13/11

Istanbul talks may be West's last chance, Tehran says
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh has advised the West to grasp the "historic opportunity" of the upcoming talks with Iran, implying that the talks could be the major powers' last chance. - 1/13/11

Special team formed to protect Iranian scientists
Vice President for Scientific Affairs Nasrin Soltankhah announced on Wednesday that a special team has been formed to protect the country's scientists. - 1/13/11

Azerbaijan, Iran Sign Natural Gas Agreement
Baku and Tehran have signed a five-year agreement on the supply of Azerbaijani natural gas to Iran, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. The agreement envisages the export of 1 billion cubic meters of gas to Iran during 2011, beginning February 1. - 1/13/11

Indian delegation to visit Iran for talks on oil payment
An Indian delegation is to arrive in Tehran on Friday for talks on oil payment crisis. The Indian team seeks finding an amicable solution to resolve crude oil payment which can disrupt India's oil supplies from Iran. -ISNA - 1/13/11

Obama Meets With Hariri; Lebanese Government Collapses
The government of Lebanon collapsed Wednesday, shortly after Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with President Barack Obama at the White House. Top U.S. officials have condemned the move by Hezbollah and its allies to bring the government down. -VOA - 1/13/11

New International Nuclear-Fuel Bank Likely To Find Few Customers
When Russia's quasi-commercial, quasi-strategic nuclear monopoly Rosatom announced the opening of a nuclear fuel bank in remote Siberia last December, it was a milestone in the nuclear age. The goal of the fuel bank is to offer a nuclear fuel supply of last resort to a country denied access to nuclear fuel. -Gregory Gleason, RFE - 1/13/11

Photos: The Play Hedda Gabler in Tehran's City Hall Theatre - stopped for moral review
Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play premiered in 1891 in Germany to negative reviews, but has subsequently gained recognition as a classic of realism, nineteenth century theatre, and world drama. -Ehsan Rafati - 1/12/11

Detained Iranian Woman's Health Reportedly Deteriorates
The physical condition of a supporter of the Mourning Mothers of Iran women's group is reported to have worsened during the month since her arrest, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/12/11

Event: Passing The Torch Of Success - Houston, Texas, Sunday February 20, 2011
Passing the Torch of Success is an ongoing series of educational and inspirational events aimed primarily at youth and organized by members of the PAAIA Board and local Chapters. We put the spotlight on highly accomplished Iranian Americans in different fields who share their career experiences and the secrets of their success with the audience from the stage - 1/12/11

Iran's Spy Chief Denounces Alleged Israeli Plot Against Nuclear Scientists
Iran's Intelligence Minister, Heydar Moslehi, says there is a vast assassination plot behind the attacks on Iranian nuclear physicists last year. - 1/12/11

Clerical Elites Not Supportive of Iran's Supreme Leader
A conservative party group exposed the sense of fear and doubt among the elites in the aftermath of last year's protests and complained that this fear had driven them into "silence and fear so much that they could no longer defend the supreme leader". -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 1/12/11

Iran Says EU Snub Will Not Derail Istanbul Talks
Iran says it will not let the European Union's rejection of an invitation to tour Iranian atomic plants affect upcoming talks with world powers concerned about its nuclear program. -VOA - 1/12/11

US intervention has undermined Lebanon's stability: Iran envoy
"U.S. intervention has resulted in the failure of efforts made to bring peace and stability to Lebanon," Roknabadi told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday in response to the news that the Syria-Saudi Arabia initiative aimed at restoring stability in Lebanon has failed. - 1/12/11

Iranian railroad assists queers acclimatize to Toronto
Parsi is the founder and executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR). The organization does such things as co-ordinating English classes for queer Iranian refugee claimants in Turkey, and advocating on behalf of claimants at hearings. The small agency even manages to provide financial assistance to queer Iranians seeking asylum. -Torontoo Oserver - 1/12/11

Iran gas exports to Turkey up 50%
Iran exported some 8.25 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey in 2010, showing around 50 percent rise year on year, National Iranian Gas Export Company reported. -MNA - 1/12/11

Iran raps breach of broadcast rules
Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has criticized the "unjust policies" governing the global media," demanding an end to discrimination on accessing the information technology. - 1/12/11

Iranian MP challenges Guardian Council support for government violations
Ali Motahari, Iranian conservative MP challenged the latest statements of Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of Iran's Guardian Council, against the parliament and urged the hardliner to refrain from "belittling and weakening" the parliament. -Zamaneh - 1/12/11

Iran hopes ships seized in Malta, Hong Kong be freed
Chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Mohammad Dajmar expressed hope the two ships seized in Hong Kong and Malta will be released by next month. -ISNA - 1/12/11

Iran Defeats Iraq 2-1 in Asian Cup
Iran defeated defending champion Iraq 2-1 in their first game of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup on Tuesday. -MNA - 1/11/11

Leading Iranian Publishers, Writers Accused Of Attempting To Overthrow Islamic Establishment
Several of Iran's leading publishing houses have been accused of attempting to overthrow the Islamic establishment, suggesting that the government might be expanding the reach of its effort to counter the "soft war" it alleges is being waged against the Islamic republic. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/11/11

In Search Of Identity In A Mythic Past!
Many Iranians, especially those from the upper crust of the Iranian society in Iran and abroad, have developed an understandable disdain for what they see as a radical Islamification of the nation's affairs. Restrictions of civil rights, imposition of certain anachronistic Islamic codes of justice, draconian measures against democratic reform movements, etc, have all been blamed on an alien and imposed religious system that is regressing away from modernity into a dark and non-Iranian past. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/11/11

Ten years in jail approved for Iranain activist
Iranian judiciary approved the ten-year imprisonment sentence handed to Emad Bahavar, head of youth branch of the reformist party, Freedom Movement. -Zamaneh - 1/11/11

Happy Birthday Negin!
Zahra Rahnavard - writer, university professor and wife of Iran's Green opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi - along with a group of families of political prisoners celebrated the birthday of Negin - the young daughter of Green Martyr, Shabnam Sohrabi - and comforted her in absence of her mother. - 1/11/11

Appeals court increases jail term for Iranian student activist
Mohammad Darvishi, jailed Iranian student was handed an increased sentence of five years and six months in prison by an Iranian appellate court. -Zamaneh - 1/11/11

Iran: Opposition Leader Mousavi Defiant In Face Of Government Attacks
Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iranian opposition leader expressed defiance in the face of recent threats from Islamic republic government figures and warned the establishment that such propaganda would only backfire. -Zamaneh - 1/11/11

On Orders of Iran's Security Officials: Mohsen Pezeshkpour Buried in Secret
The body of Mohsen Pezeshkpour, the founder of the Pan-Iranist party, was buried yesterday in secret on orders of ministry of intelligence officials at Beheshte Sakine cemetery in Karaj, as security agents had cordoned off the area. -Parastu Sepehri, Rooz - 1/11/11

Photos: Iran mourns plane crash victims
77 people lost their lives in a tragic plane crash which occurred on Sunday, January 9, 2010 near the city of Orumiyeh in northwestern Iran. In a funeral held today at Baq Rezvan cemetery in Orumiyeh, 27 of the victims of the crash were buried. -Majid Rostami & Esfandiar Asgharkhani - 1/11/11

Lecture in London: Special Maps of Persia
A lecture by Dr. Cyrus Alai, focusing on the history of the political maps of Persia up to the early parts of the 20th century. -27 January 2011 - 1/11/11

Iran, Iraq reach deal on joint oilfields
Iranian and Iraqi oil officials have reportedly reached an agreement to develop their joint oilfields on border areas to increase their crude output. -Press TV - 1/11/11

SPIEGEL Interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi
It has been three months since two German journalists were detained in Iran -- and they still haven't been released. SPIEGEL spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi about their ongoing detention, when they might be released and Iran's justice system. - 1/11/11

Paulo Coelho says Iran bans his books
The Alchemist author, whose sales top 300m in 150 countries, urges Brazilian government to intervene -Guardian - 1/11/11

77 killed, 33 injured in Iran plane crash
77 passengers were killed and 33 were injured in the Iran Air Boeing 727 crash on Sunday night near the city of Urmia in northwestern Iran, announced West Azarbaijan Governor Vahid Jalalzadeh on Monday. -MNA - 1/10/11

Top Iranian Lawyer Unjustly Sentenced to 11 years in Prison
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called the 11-year prison sentence of leading human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh a "gross miscarriage of justice" and said that it should be overturned by an appeals court. Sotoudeh was sentenced to 11 years in jail, and banned from practicing law and traveling for 20 years. - 1/10/11

Opposition leader calls for release of Iranian political prisoners
Iranian opposition leader Zahra Rahnavard issued another letter to Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, head of Iranian judiciary, to once more call for the release of all political prisoners. - 1/10/11

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival 2011 Submissions Deadline Is February 10, 2011
Now in its third consecutive year, the Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival 2011 has officially opened to the community at large. We are looking forward to receiving your submissions of short films visualizing an aspect of Iranian arts, history, culture, crafts, geography, cuisine, or lifestyle that will inspire and spark the audience's interest in learning more about Iranian art, history, and culture. - 1/10/11

Muted Response to Iranian Subsidy Cuts
The launch of cuts to food and fuel subsidies in Iran went off more smoothly than anyone expected, the only excitement coming as people rushed to the bank to access the one-off payment they received by way of compensation. -Yasaman Baji, IWPR - 1/10/11

Photos: First Snow in Tehran and Mount Tochal
Mount Tochal is a mountain in the Alborz range and a ski resort adjacent to metropolitan Tehran, Iran. The mountain has a 12 km long ridgeline. The highest peak, also called Mount Tochal, is at an elevation of 3,964 m (13,005 feet). - 1/10/11

Iran Says It Arrests Israel-Linked Spy Network
Iran says it has arrested spies with links to Israel's Mossad intelligence service who were behind the murder of an Iranian nuclear scientist a year ago. -RFE - 1/10/11

Ahmadinejad Criticizes Parliament Ratifications, Rise Of Slander
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed disapproval of two recent Majlis ratifications calling for the creation of a new ministry and the revision of the process to select a central bank governor. - 1/10/11

Iran's university ranking published
The Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) has published a list detailing the ranking of top universities at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science, Research, & Technology. - 1/10/11

Nuclear Iran A Falsehood
The United States makes false claims of nuclear weapon threats in other nations because US government officials and others do not understand nuclear materials' and weapons' production technology and are unwilling to rely on information from those who do. -Clinton Bastin, Veterans Today - 1/10/11

New pipeline to link Caspian Sea to Persian Gulf
Iran plans to construct an oil pipeline which links the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, the deputy oil minister and director of the Iranian National Oil Company says. -Press TV - 1/10/11

Clinton: Sanctions Slowing Iran's Nuclear Efforts
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says international sanctions have made it "much more difficult" for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 1/10/11

Afghans Strained by Shortages as Iran Tightens Flow of Fuel
The price of fuel has risen sharply in parts of Afghanistan as an Iranian-imposed slowdown on tanker traffic at key border crossings has stretched into its second month, Afghan officials say. -New York Times - 1/10/11

Photos: Plane Crash in Orumiyeh, Iran
An Iranian passenger plane with 105 passengers aboard has crashed near the northwestern city of Orumiyeh. According to Mehr News Agency, so far 70 of the passengers have lost their lives. - 1/9/11

Passenger plane crashes in NW Iran near Orumiyeh
An Iranian passenger plane with 105 passengers aboard has crashed near the northwestern city of Orumiyeh, head of Iran's State Emergency Center Gholam-Reza Masoumi says. "So far no deaths have been reported but 50 of the people aboard have survived the crash," Masoumi said. - 1/9/11

Crackdown Anniversary: Khamenei Launches a 10-Day Assault on the Green Movement
The website of Iran's supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that for 10 days it would be publishing the leader's remarks and directives on the post-election events in Iran under the title, "Thoughts and Lessons" as a way to commemorate the violent and bloody crackdown of post-election protestors that took place last year, which it proclaims as the victory over the seditionists, the term officials use to describe the Green Movement and pro-reform supporters. -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah - 1/9/11

Mir Hossein Mousavi's abstract paintings
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh (born March 1942), was the last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989, and later he developed his passion for painting and writing poetry. Mousavi served as the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts until 2009 when conservative authorities removed him due to his 2009 election candidacy and protest. - 1/9/11

Photos: Tehran's First Snow Of The Year - Part II
The arrival of the first snow of the season has given a white decoration to the capital city Tehran. -Saman Aghvami & Khodabakhsh Malmir - 1/9/11

Photos: Tehran's First Snow Of The Year - Part I
The first snow of the winter season has given the capital city Tehran a white cover. Children and adults are welcoming the occasion by delivering snowballs to their friends! -Abolfazl Salmanzadeh & Youness Khani - 1/9/11

Iranian weblogger sentenced to 7 years in jail
Nasour Taghipour, director of Nasour website, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by the Iranian judiciary for the charge of membership in the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). - 1/9/11

Four years in prison for Iranian rights activist
An Islamic Republic appellate court has approved the four year imprisonment sentence of Iranian women's activist, Shiva Nazar-Ahari. - 1/9/11

Rebuilding the Image of Basij
This should be viewed as the first time officials of the Islamic republic have formally presented the nature and extent of the presence of the Basij militia in the violent suppression of demonstrators after the presidential election, thus confirming its active intervention in the turmoil. -Mohammad-Ali Tofighi, Rooz - 1/9/11

Issue of German journalists can be resolved: Iranian FM
Acting Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said the issue of the German journalists who were arrested in October in Iran can be resolved through negotiation. - 1/9/11

Iran has spiritual influence over regional nations: Leader
Commenting on the political unrest that occurred after the June 2009 presidential election, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "By God's grace, the people were awakened and entered the scene and were able to foil a major plot." - 1/9/11

Top US Diplomat Heads to Persian Gulf for High-Level Talks
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is en route to the Persian Gulf region seeking Arab support for tougher penalties against Iran for its nuclear activities, and to help bolster the new Iraqi government. -VOA - 1/9/11

Art Gallery: Passion for Perfection, Islamic art from the Khalili Collections in Amsterdam
De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Amsterdam will present highlights from one of the world's most renowned collections of Islamic art. Passion for Perfection will include some 500 objects from the collection of Professor Nasser D. Khalili. - 1/8/11

Iran's 20% Enriched Nuclear Fuel Stockpile Stands at 40kg
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Saturday that the country has, thus far, produced almost 40kg of 20-percent-enriched uranium to supply fuel to the Tehran research reactor. -FNA - 1/8/11

The Suicide Of Alireza Pahlavi: A Revolt Against Forced Exile
Alireza didn't stay so we could have helped him. We weren't aware until he left. But to prevent our other sisters and brothers from destroying themselves we have no other way than to put an end to coercion. We have to fight it in order to have a happy and human life. The end of coercion is the beginning of life. -Sibestan - 1/8/11

Iran Arrests Dozens of Evangelical Christians
Iran has reportedly arrested dozens of Christians, many of them converts from Islam, in a crackdown that began around Christmas. An Iranian official is accusing Protestant evangelical groups of causing a cultural invasion. -VOA - 1/8/11

Iran: Post-Election Protestor in Danger of Imminent Execution
Jafar Kazemi, 46, a lithographer of textbooks at Amir Kabir University Press, was arrested on September 18, 2009 in Tehran. He was transferred to a solitary cell inside Ward 209 of Evin prison where he remained for 74 days before being transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison. Previously, Jafar Kazemi had served time in prison from 1981 to 1989. - 1/8/11

Iran's job in the Asian Cup is not easy: Ghotbi
Iran football coach Afshin Ghotbi said that the Persians have a difficult task to do in the AFC 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar. Iran, who has been grouped with title holder Iraq, North Korea and the UAE in Group D, will play Iraq on Monday. -MNA - 1/8/11

Iran's Karrubi Meets Family Of Activist Sentenced For Cleric Interview
Baghi, 49, was sentenced last year to seven years in prison, including six on charges of "propaganda against the system" over an interview he recorded with the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri that was broadcast by BBC Persian after the cleric's death in 2009. -RFE - 1/8/11

Iran's Fajr Festival To Screen Films By World's Prominent Directors
The 29th edition of the Fajr International Film Festival will dedicate a special screening section to films by the world's prominent filmmakers this year. The names of the filmmakers were not given in the press release. - 1/8/11

Reformists slammed in Tehran Friday Mass
Iranian hardliner, Ahmad Jannati continued slamming the reformists in the Friday Mass Prayers in Tehran today. The head of Iran's Guardian Council ridiculed Mohammad Khatami's conditions set for the participation of reformists in the elections and said: "The people do not believe in you. Who would vote for you?" - 1/8/11

EU Says Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume on January 20
EU officials said Friday that Iran and world powers are set to meet on January 20 in Istanbul for talks on Tehran's controversial nuclear program. -VOA - 1/8/11

Iranian Official Confirms Arrest Of Alleged U.S. Spy
Iranian officials have confirmed this week's media reports that an American woman has been arrested on spying charges after illegally entering the country. -RFE - 1/8/11

Persia's Little Prince
When 44-year-old Alireza Pahlavi, the youngest son of the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, took his life on Tuesday, it was undeniably attributable in part to a demoralizing malady, chronic depression, which he may have inherited from his father. But it was also an undeniable aftershock of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, whose reverberations are still being felt today. -Karim Sadjadpour, FP - 1/8/11

Afghan demonstrators protest against Iran's fuel blockade
Iran has linked the ban on the fuel trucks with the recent cutting of government subsidies on energy in Iran. Afghan analysts have suggested that Tehran fears that the fuel trucks will be delivered to NATO forces, but NATO and Afghan officials have rejected this statement and insist that the fuel is for civilian use. -Zamaneh - 1/8/11

Photos: Iran weaving world's next largest carpet
A group of skilled Iranian craftsmen are weaving what will be the world's next largest carpet in the country's northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province. -photos by Amin Khosroshahi - 1/7/11

Iranian-Dutch citizen sentenced to death in Iran
Iran has issued a death sentence on drug-related charges for Zahra Bahrami, the Iranian-Dutch citizen who was arrested in the protests of December 2009. The court sentence also includes "confiscation of her possessions, car and house." -Zamaneh - 1/7/11

Child Foundation: Mahsa's Story
One night when Mahsa was staying with her grandparents, her parents died in a gas leak accident. Her grandparents are financially poor, and they had a hard time making ends meet. Now Mahsa had been added to their family too. - 1/7/11

Zahra Rahnavard: "We will not back down"
Zahra Rahnavard - writer, university professor and wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi - met with family of Green Martyr Sohrab Arabi and in response to recent attacks and propaganda against Green leaders from official platforms by totalitarians stressed: "We are not afraid of threats, slanders and insults and will not back down." - 1/7/11

Iran Targets Christians With a Wave of Arrests
Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of Christians in the two weeks since Christmas, the latest challenge to the Mideast's small but vibrant Christian communities. -WSJ - 1/7/11

EU 'Will Reject Iran Invitation' To Nuclear Sites
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says the European Union welcomes Iran's invitation to visit its nuclear facilities but that the task should be carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -RFE - 1/7/11

Why the Pahlavi Dynasty Still Haunts Iranians
The tragic suicide of Alireza Pahlavi, the Shah's youngest son, this week in Boston has stoked great feeling among Iranians everywhere. -Azadeh Moaveni, TIME - 1/7/11

Canada to probe killings of Iranians: FM
The Canadian foreign ministry has announced Ottawa's plan to launch a "transparent" investigation into the murders of three Iranians killed in Canada. - 1/7/11

Oxford University Press Apologizes to Iran for Persian Gulf Misnomer
The Oxford University Press in a letter extended an apology to Tehran for its mistaken use of a false name to refer to 'the Persian Gulf' in its Bright Star Pupil's Book 4, stressing that any reference will be deleted in future prints. -FNA - 1/7/11

Website: Iranian Authorities Detain Reformist Former Minister
A report says that a prominent Iranian reformist who was close to former President Mohammad Khatami has been arrested. - 1/7/11

Iran to hike oil output
An official of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) said Hendijan oil field will be developed by digging eight new wells increasing oil production by 20,000 to 25,000 barrels a day. -MNA - 1/7/11

Death Of Former Iranian General In Question
The mystery surrounding a former Iranian general believed to have defected to the U.S. or Israel has taken an even more puzzling turn. In late December, the claim emerged that he had died in an Israeli prison cell. But the reliability of that information is now in question. -NPR - 1/7/11

Anti-American Shi'ite Cleric Al-Sadr Returns to Iraq
Anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has urged his supporters to "exercise discipline" while celebrating his return to Iraq after a nearly three-year absence. - 1/7/11

Photos: Quake Aftermath in Mamasani Villages in Iran's Fars Province
These photos show quake damage in villages around town of Mamasani in Iran's Fars province. An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit the city of Sepidan in Fars province on Wednesday morning, injuring at least 16 people. -Sajad Avarand, ISNA - 1/6/11

With New Show, Sarah Shahi Is Ready for Her Close-Up
Sarah Shahi says she never has had a master plan for her acting career. "I have no idea what is in store," she said. "I just hope that, whatever it is, I keep surprising people in a good way. I know that I've been attracted to the roles before the money, and I hope that that attitude will take me to where the two will combine nicely." -Jeff Baron, - 1/6/11

Persian Letters: Open Wounds
Last week, participants at an event at Tehran's Allameh Tabatabai University found printed copies of the online opposition newspaper "Kaleme" placed on their seats, according to at least two people who were present at the event, including a lecturer. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/6/11

U.S. Woman Said Detained In Iran On Spy Charges
The "Iran" daily claimed the 55-year-old woman -- identified as Hall Talayan -- had spying equipment on her body when she was detained on entering Iran from Armenia without a visa. - 1/6/11

Iranian prince battled depression, brother says
Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi, the 44-year-old son of the former shah of Iran who apparently took his own life inside his South End home Tuesday, suffered from depression brought on in part by the tumultuous events of the Iranian Revolution, his brother said yesterday. -Boston Globe - 1/6/11

Iranian jailed activists allowed visitors
Behareh Hedayat and Mehdieh Golrou, the two jailed student activists who were barred by Iranian judiciary from having any visitors were finally allowed a prison visit from their husbands yesterday. - 1/6/11

Iranian parliament denied role in Central Bank leadership
Iran's Guardian Council rejected new bill giving parliament a say on the appointment of the head of the Central Bank. -Zamaneh - 1/6/11

Massive Saudi-US Arms Deal on Track
Saudi Arabian media are reporting that a massive arms deal with the United States -- the largest ever single U.S. arms sale -- is on track and in the final stages of negotiations. -VOA - 1/6/11

Photos: Ali-Reza Pahlavi 1966-2011
Ali-Reza Pahlavi was born on 28 April 1966. He lived in the U.S. where he received a Bachelor's degree from Princeton University, a Masters of Arts degree from Columbia University, and studied at Harvard University as a Ph.D. student in ancient Iranian studies and philology - 1/5/11

Farhang Foundation to Host Opening Night and Reception� of the "UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema" on Feb 4, 2011
"We are thrilled to support the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema by hosting its opening night and private reception," said Ali C. Razi, chairman of Farhang Foundation. "We are grateful to the UCLA Film & Television Archive for its continued efforts to celebrate Iranian culture through the cinematic arts." - 1/5/11

Iran Lifts Ban On Reformist Weekly "Chelcheragh"
According to Mehr News Agency, an Iranian court has lifted a ban on the leading reformist weekly Chelcheragh, while keeping at least a dozen more off the streets in a crackdown dating to the disputed 2009 presidential election. Published on Saturdays, the weekly has been popular among youth for its articles on culture, art, and sports, and its cartoons and satire. - 1/5/11

Hardliner says Iranian elections need no reformists
Ayatollah Jannati, Chairman of Iran's Guardian Council which supervises various aspects of Iranian elections from determining eligibility of candidates to ballot counts and announcement of outcomes, told reporters yesterday: "With the activities that the leaders of sedition have carried out, it is better that they stay out of the political arena and wait for the Americans." -Zamaneh - 1/5/11

NIAC Calls for Stanford to Address Professor's Discriminatory Anti-Iranian Remarks
NIAC has called on Stanford to take disciplinary measures and to clarify the university's position regarding racially discriminatory remarks made about Iranians by a professor. - 1/5/11

Child Foundation Receives $60,000 in Grant Funding
Child Foundation is proud to announce that it received two major grant awards totaling $60,000 from Parsa Community Foundation and the United Nations UN Habitat Youth Fund in 2010. These grants will provide new opportunities for children living in poverty in Iran and Afghanistan to improve their lives. - 1/5/11

Quake strikes town of Sepidan in Iran's Fars province, 16 injured
An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit the city of Sepidan in Fars province on Wednesday morning, injuring 16 people. - 1/5/11

NIAC: Our 2011 New Year's Resolutions
Welcome back from the holiday break. As we begin 2011, we at NIAC stopped to reflect upon the years past and brainstorm about the year ahead. A strong nine years in, we have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. We've crossed many roads, jumped many hurdles and we've only just begun. - 1/5/11

Iranian parliament wants say in choosing head of Central Bank
The head of the Central Bank which was up till now proposed by the president, then approved by the bank's General Assembly and appointed by the order of the president will now have to meet the approval of the parliament before being appointed to the post. -Zamaneh - 1/5/11

Photos: Public Hanging Held In Tehran
A convicted murderer was hanged in public in Tehran early morning on Wednesday. The execution was carried out in Kaj square which had been the scene of the crime 69 days earlier. - 1/5/11

Iran Says Foreign Powers Should Leave Iraq
Iran's state-run media says acting Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (who is visiting Baghdad) has told Iraqi officials that foreign powers must leave their country as soon as possible. -VOA - 1/5/11

Iran ships held in Singapore released
Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari says three Iranian vessels impounded in Singapore due to "financial problems" have been freed. -Press TV - 1/5/11

'G-Zero' Seen As Greatest Global Risk
G-Zero -- a world without a clearly defined superpower -- tops the geopolitical risk scale for 2011. That's according to a forecast released by Eurasia Group, a New York-based political consultancy firm. -RFE - 1/5/11

Alireza Pahlavi, Son of Former Shah of Iran, Commits Suicide
Alireza Pahlavi, 44, the youngest son of the former Shah of Iran, died Tuesday morning at his home in Boston, Massachusetts, a suicide, according to family's spokesman Ahmad Oveyssi. - 1/4/11

Photos: First 2011 Solar Eclipse In Iran
The first eclipse of the Sun in 2011 has begun in the skies over the Middle East and Europe with the Moon veiling the star in the solar system. - 1/4/11

Reaction to Iranian Government's Subsidy Reform Program
As an economist I always believed and continue to believe that the replacement of wasteful price subsidies with direct income assistance for the low income families is a good policy for Iran. Yet everywhere that I spoke to people I heard mostly negative comments and strong criticism. On a few occasions that I rode the public bus or shared a taxi with other passengers I heard negative comments from strangers. -Nader Habibi - 1/4/11

Hoda Saber's Wife: "Nobody Is Accountable"
The wife of Hoda Saber, journalist and a Nationalist-Religious activist told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she has no knowledge about the reasons for her husband's recent arrest. - 1/4/11

Iran: Swiss Envoy Summoned By Foreign Ministry Over Iranian Woman Imprisoned in Florida
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss envoy over United States' inhumane treatment of an Iranian woman who has been held in a US prison for three years. Ahead of New Year's Eve, Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan's twin children pleaded for their mother's release. - 1/4/11

Iran Confirms Invitations to Tour Nuclear Sites
Iran has confirmed that it has invited foreign diplomats to tour its nuclear facilities, but apparently did not include any from the United States. -VOA - 1/4/11

Tehran Stock Exchange's Index Hits Record High
Tehran Stock Exchange's index surpassed 19,000 on Monday as an all-time high this year (to end March 21, 2011). Its previous record was set on October 9, 2010, when it hit 18,937. -MNA - 1/4/11

WikiLeaks: Iran Can Attack Israel With Less Than 12 Minutes Warning
U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal that Israel believes it would have 10-12 minutes' warning should Iran launch a rocket attack against the country. -VOA - 1/4/11

Sufi Dervishes Reportedly Arrested In Iran
The International Committee to Protect the Rights of Dervishes and Students in Iran said police and security forces arrested five members of the Nematollahi Gonabadi Sufi Muslim community in the central town of Foulad Shahr on January 2. -RFE - 1/4/11

Iran's Greens: Not Dead Yet
Indeed, the issue of whether to arrest Mousavi, Karroubi et al. has become a political football in the ongoing contest between various Iranian factions, especially the struggle between Ahmadinejad and his conservative opponents in and out of parliament, led by the Larijani brothers, including Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament. -Robert Dreyfuss, Nation - 1/4/11

Iran denies storing oil on tankers
The National Iranian Oil Company's managing director denied the rumors that Iran has stored 21 million barrels of oil on supertankers. Ahmad Qalebani added that, "Iran has neither decreased its oil production nor halted oil exports." -MNA - 1/4/11

Photos: New Year 2011 at the Vank Christian Church in Isfahan - Iran
The Vank Cathedral was one of the first churches to be established in Isfahan by Armenian immigrants settled by Shah Abbas I after the Ottoman War of 1603-05. - 1/3/11

Iran's Karrubi 'Ready For Trial,' As Long As It's Open
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi says he is prepared to stand trial over the deadly unrest that followed the disputed June 2009 presidential election on condition that the proceedings be open. - 1/3/11

Photos: Rain Brings Relief for Smog Covered Tehran
Rain on Sunday brought relief for Tehran residents by clearing the air from the dangerously high level of pollution and making the magnificent Damavand peak visible once again. The capital city has been engulfed in critically high levels of smog in the last few weeks. Low quality of locally produced gasoline and lack of pollution control devices in the Iranian made cars are mentioned as the reason for the current crisis. -Photos by Amin Jalali - 1/3/11

Iranian People's Struggle for Freedom, the 1953 MI6 - CIA, Coup in Iran
I am convinced that the 1953 MI6/CIA coup had the most massive, irreversible and destructive impact for all of the countries of the Middle East as well as the United States. The damages are so profound and so horrific that its unintended consequences will never be simply buried in history books. I will tell you the truth as best as I can and you are the judge. -Abbas Sadeghian - 1/3/11

Javad Nekounam leads Iran past Angola in football friendly
Iran and Angola met together on Sunday in Doha after nearly five years, where two teams shared points in the 2006 World Cup group stage. - 1/3/11

Iranian women MPs attack Rahnavard
Women MPs of the Iranian parliament have called on the judiciary to prosecute Zahra Rahnavard, one of Iran's opposition leaders. -Zamaneh - 1/3/11

Photos: New missile systems join Iran Navy
The Iranian Defense Ministry has delivered new naval cruise missile systems to the Navy in yet another move to boost the nation's defense capability. - 1/3/11

'Mossad behind Iran scientist's murder': Expresso Weekly
A Portuguese publication has revealed that Israeli intelligence service Mossad was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari. -Press TV - 1/3/11

Iran's Culture minister regards cinema as major concern of Ahmadinejad government
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini has said that cinematic and cultural issues are major concerns of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his second term in office. -MNA - 1/3/11

Two More Iranian Ships Seized Abroad
One month after three Iranian ships were seized in Singapore, Islamic Republic Shipping confirmed that two other ships were seized in Malta and Hong Kong. -Zamaneh - 1/3/11

Photos: Saint Stepanous Church in Jolfa, Iran
Saint Stepanous church is another old church located at an intersection west of the Marand-Jolfa highway and east of the Khoy-Jolfa road. Also having a pyramidal dome, it is, nevertheless, quite beautiful and far more pleasant to behold than the Saint Tatavous church. -Amir Pourmand, ISNA - 1/2/11

Photos: Women Farm Workers in Fasa, Iran
This photo report is about the women in Fasa, a town in Iran's central province of Fars working in the the cotton fields. According to a report by ISNA, due to bad supervision or none at all, many women in the villages around Fasa face hardships. These women get engaged in various activities including farm work in order to make a living. But the income from these activities will only cover a portion of the expenses of their families. -Hemmat Khahi, ISNA - 1/2/11

Commander says Iran has shot down two spy planes over Persian Gulf
A senior Iranian commander says Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has so far shot down two Western spy planes in the Persian Gulf. He said that the country has reversed engineered the drones it has shot down. - 1/2/11

Iran: Guardian Council blocks change in Central Bank
Iran's Guardian Council challenged the parliament's move to change the composition of the Central Bank's General Assembly. Iranian parliament had passed a bill to remove the president from the governing body of the Central Bank and introduce a group of experienced economists in it instead. -Zamaneh - 1/2/11

Operations to rescue trapped Iranian miners continue
Kerman Coal Mining Company announced they are continuing operations for the rescue of three trapped miners with the construction of a new tunnel. ILNA reports that the company is to dig a vertical tunnel from above at the location where the experts have determined the mine caved in. - 1/2/11

Condemned Iranian Woman Tells Journalists 'Leave My Case Alone'
An Iranian woman whose stoning sentence sparked international outrage has appeared before journalists, urging them not to interfere and saying "many people" had exploited her case, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 1/2/11

Leila Shams Super Freak Spring/Summer 2011 Lookbook
Leila Shams, talented fashion designer unveils her latest Super Freak Collection Lookbook. Leila Shams latest collection looks exciting and absolutely dazzling. This collection includes glam prints and eye-popping looks that are highly fashionable. -Fashion Fame - 1/2/11

Iran: Suspended jail sentence for government newspaper head
A court has handed a suspended jail sentence to the managing editor of Irannewspaper accused of smearing former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's son. - 1/2/11

Iran's EU exports up despite sanctions
Iran's exports to EU member states rose by 55 percent during the country's fourth five-year development plan (2005-2010), the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) of Iran has said. - 1/2/11

Four hanged in southwestern Iran
Four people were hanged in Zahedan Prison in south western Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan for "corruption of the earth and enmity against God." Fars news agency reports that these individuals had engaged in "armed kidnapping and murder of citizens." -Zamaneh - 1/2/11

Mehran: A True "World" Musicia
Mehran's soloing covers a lot of ground, but even in the quickest passages, it's melodic. The solo on "Korean Soup" mixes his Flamenco skill with jazz harmony where he solos flawlessly over nice changes. -Vintage Guitar Magazine - 1/2/11

Iran's Grieving Mothers Not Deterred by Armed Suppression
A year and a half after the mothers of victims of the presidential election protests in Iran formed the group Grieving Mothers (aka Mothers of Laleh Park), they are now under growing suppression. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 1/1/11

Sinaii family members show off talents in art
Filmmaker Khosrow Sinaii together with his art-loving family members are displaying their artworks for the public in a group exhibition that opened on Friday December 31 at Tehran's Rah-e Abrisham (Silk Road) Gallery. - 1/1/11

Iran denies altercation between Ahmadinejad and Guards chief
According to a leaked US cable, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards slapped Ahmadinejad in early 2010 while the country was dealing with the aftermath of disputes over the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Zamaneh - 1/1/11

Iran's quest for peace
The date - January 6, 5 B.C- As the kneeling servant put a final buff on his master's soft, leather boots, the master, a young man aged about 25, rose to his full height. Placing his tall, serrated felt cap on his head, the young man, Hormizdah (who is known to Western tradition as Caspar), gazed into the distance. -Tahereh Ghanaati, Press TV - 1/1/11

Iranian NGOs request Cyrus Cylinder show extension
A number of Iranian cultural NGOs have asked that the showcase of the Cyrus Cylinder be extended for about three months at the National Museum of Iran (NMI). The artifact was loaned by the British Museum on September 10, 2010 to the National Museum of Iran for a four-month show that ends on January 10. -MNA - 1/1/11

Family Of Detained Iranian Journalist Allowed First Visit
Nazanin Khosravani, who was detained on November 3, had had no contact with her family since the arrest, except for a brief phone call to her mother during which she was able to say she was being held in solitary confinement in Branch 209 of the notorious Evin prison located outside of Tehran. -RFE - 1/1/11

Iran revamps education system to strip out Western influence
Iran is overhauling its education system to rid it of Western influence, the latest attempt by the government to fortify Islamic values and counter the clout of the country's increasingly secularized middle class. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 1/1/11

'Daily Show'-type satire finds an audience in Iran, and a big enemy
Operating out of Voice of America's Persian News Network, Kambiz Hosseini and Saman Arbabi have started a weekly program, "Parazit," that has drawn comparisons to Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" for its satiric take on Iran's news of the day. -Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post - 1/1/11

For Jafar: A New Year's Wish for Two Artists Imprisoned in Iran
I've named this piece For Jafar as a tribute to both the unjustly imprisoned Jafar Panahi and HBO's brilliant documentary For Neda, which took us beyond the political and social symbolism of Neda Agha Soltan's tragic needless death and straight to Neda's heart and life as told through her family, friends and the relics of Neda's left behind... -John T. Simpson, Big Hollywood - 1/1/11

Iran Reaches Self-Sufficiency in Blood Plasma Production
Iran announced on Saturday that it has reached self-sufficiency in producing blood plasma, which is the base material for producing a wide range of blood products. -FNA - 1/1/11

Iran assumes OPEC's presidency
Iran has officially taken over the presidency of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the first time in the past 36 years. -Press TV - 1/1/11

Security in Iran's Sistan-Balouchestan province to be handed over to locals: IRGC chief
"Security is important for the development of infrastructure in the region and we have taken measures in cooperation with people, specially tribes and ethnic groups in southeast of the country," Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said during his trip to Zahedan, the capital city of Sistan-Balouchestan province. - 1/1/11

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