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Opposition group calls on Iranians to join rally on February 14
The Kaleme opposition website wrote that on the anniversary of last year's February 14th street protests, the Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope is calling on all supporters of the Green Movement to take part in public but silent demonstrations. - 1/31/12

Iran's Cyberpolice Detain Facebook Group Administrators
Iran's cyberpolice say they have arrested four administrators of a Facebook group called "Daaf and Paaf," which had launched an online beauty competition. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/31/12

Iran's Film Community Demands Ban On House Of Cinema Be Lifted
Close to 2,000 members of Iran's film community have voiced their protest against the Iranian government's decision to ban the House of Cinema, an independently run organisation that promotes the film industry. - 1/31/12

Iran: Sunni Parliamentary Faction Objects to Ethnic and Religious Discrimination in Letter to Ayatollah Khamenei
In a letter addressed to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Sunni members of the Iranian Parliament asked for an end to discrimination against Sunnis, an end to religious limitations for Sunnis, and permission to construct a mosque in Tehran. - 1/31/12

Rafsanjani criticizes Ahmadinejad's economic policies
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has slammed the Ahmadinejad administration for failing to reinvest the money it saved by restructuring government subsidies. - 1/31/12

Iran: New Arrests of Labor Activists
Iranian authorities should immediately release dozens of labor and independent trade union activists imprisoned for speaking out peacefully in defense of workers, Human Rights Watch said today. - 1/31/12

Iranian journalist Hassan Fathi released
Fathi was arrested after being interviewed by the BBC about the controversial explosion in one of the Revolutionary Guards' ammunition's depots near Tehran. - 1/31/12

Avoiding a 'Dumb War' With Iran
The media and the punditry have been deliberately misrepresenting facts to persuade the people of the United States to start another war, not unlike in the lead-up to the Iraq fiasco. -Philip Giraldi, Antiwar - 1/31/12

Asians Resist Notion Of Iran Oil Cuts
Several Asian countries are expressing an unwillingness to join the United States and Europe Union in blocking oil imports from Iran in order to pressure Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. - 1/31/12

Iran Launches Spanish Language Satellite TV Channel
Iran launched state-run Spanish-language TV channel dubbed Hispan on Tuesday. The television network would broadcast 24 hour news, entertainment, educational and documentary programs. - 1/31/12

Bahrain Opposition Fears Effects of Iran-West Tensions
Opposition supporters in Bahrain have expressed concern that escalating tensions between Iran and the West may further stifle their calls for democratic reform in the Persian Gulf kingdom. -Phillip Walter Wellman, VOA - 1/31/12

Iran's gasoline consumption cuts by 833m liters
Gasoline consumption in Iran stood at around 18.2 billion liters in the first ten months of the current calendar year, started on March 21, 2011, showing 833 million liters decline compared to the figure for the same period last year, Shana news agency reported. - 1/31/12

Women in Egypt Heed Warning From Iranian Women on Rights
With Islamists winning nearly half of the seats in Parliament recently, some Iranian women caution their Egyptian counterparts to learn from their revolution, after which they say they lost rights with the formation of an extreme Islamic state. -Dina Sadek, GPI - 1/31/12

A talented diaspora presents a new kind of Iranian music
Significantly, there is also a growing wave of young digital composers based in Iran itself who are using new technology to bypass stifling state restrictions on musical forms often deemed to be suspiciously westernised and experimental. -The National - 1/31/12

Photos: Shemshak Ski Resort North of Tehran
With the beginning of ski season, Shemshak ski resort north of Tehran is welcoming ski lovers! Shemshak is situated to the northeast of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range. -Armin Karami - 1/30/12

Parliament criticizes government action on currency market
Iran's Parliament has announced its displeasure with the administration's "unsatisfactory" explanations for recent fluctuations in the value of Iranian currency. Parliament said the government could have prevented the rial's sudden fall through "timely interventions." - 1/30/12

Football: Traktorsazi fans damage 5,000 seats in Tabriz stadium after Estghlal match
In a football match held in Tabriz, the local team Traktorsazi lost to Tehran's favorite Esteghlal 2-0. After the game, Traktorsazi's fans, who were upset by a bad call by the referee, ripped the seats and threw them into the field. - 1/30/12

What You Can Do to Stop a Catastrophic War against Iran
The US, France and UK prodded by Israel are determined to replay their criminal and illegal invasion of Iraq in order to bring about a regime change in Iran this time under the false pretext of the non-existent nuclear weapons programme in the country. -CASMII - 1/30/12

A Question of Methodology: Feminist Studies of Gender and the State in Contemporary Iran
Program at Bernard Center for Research on Women in New York City -- Most feminist studies of post-1979 Iran focus on the legal setbacks that women encountered and their collective strategies for regaining the formal grounds they lost with the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Iran. - 1/30/12

Conservative Iranian MP says Supreme Leader can be criticized
Iranian MP Ali Motahari says: "It is every citizen's right to put questions to the leader in person or through a letter." In recent weeks, a number of Iranian political figures have written letters to Ayatollah Khamenei to criticize the country's political situation. - 1/30/12

U.S. Defense Secretary Says Iran Could Develop Nuclear Weapon Within A Year
Panetta reiterated that the United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. He called this a "red line" for both the U.S. and its ally Israel. "If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps are necessary to stop them," he said. - 1/30/12

India says won't cut Iranian oil imports
India Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced on Sunday that his country will not take steps to cut petroleum imports from Iran despite U.S. and European sanctions against Tehran, the First Post reported. - 1/30/12

Iran will soon cut oil to certain EU countries: Oil Minister
Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has announced that Iran will cut oil exports to certain European countries in the near future in response to the recent oil embargo on the country. - 1/30/12

South Korean President Seeks Alternatives to Iranian Crude
South Korea's president is to visit Saudi Arabia and two other Persian Gulf oil producers in an attempt to secure stable sources of energy. The trip will come as Seoul is considering reducing imports from Iran in line with U.S.-led sanctions. -Steve Herman, VOA - 1/30/12

Iran unveils smart laser-guided projectile
"This ammunition is guided by laser and has been designed and manufactured by Defense Industries Organization's capable and competent experts for the first time in the country," Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said - 1/30/12

Iranian Aircraft Carriers in the Gulf of Mexico [Satire]
The Fars News Agency has confirmed with the Republican Guard's North American Operations Command that a new elite Iranian commando team is operating in the U.S.-Mexican border region. -Tom Engelhardt, - 1/30/12

New York Times Hypes Israeli Attack On Iran
It's an impressive piece of art: the cover of this week's New York Times Magazine. "ISRAEL VS. IRAN," spelled out in charred black lettering, with flame and smoke still rising from "IRAN," as if the great war were already over. -Ira Chernus, Huffington Post - 1/30/12

February 4, 2012: Day of Mass Action to Stop War on Iran
The U.S. government is shaping public opinion to accept military intervention in Iran in the name of "national security." Fabricated stories that claim evidence of Iran pursuing nuclear weapons is being blasted through mainstream media and repeated by almost every mainstream politician. - 1/29/12

Photos: Pilotless Airplanes Design Competition at Tehran's Sharif University
Over 60 teams from universities across Iran participated in the competition. After going through various design phases and producing prototypes, 14 teams made it to the next phase where test flights were held. - 1/29/12

Breaking bread, delivering dreams: The art of hospitality in Iran
If Iranians are known for the excellence of their hospitality the world over, it is not as surprising as they have a long practice and history of guest culture. Ancient Iranian calendars marked numerous festivals and meaningful occasions of merriment in which Iranians had the opportunity to play the good host and the blessed guest. -Maryam Ala Amjadi - 1/29/12

IAEA Inspectors Arrive In Iran
The UN has adopted four rounds of sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's sensitive nuclear activities, in addition to unilateral sanctions by the United States and Europe. - 1/29/12

Iran Vote Delayed On Bill To Cut EU Oil Deliveries
Iranian lawmakers have delayed taking action on a proposed bill to immediately cut oil deliveries to Europe in retaliation for an EU oil embargo. - 1/29/12

Iran: Supreme court upholds death sentence for web programmer
Iran's Supreme Court has approved the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian web developer who has been jailed in Iran since 2008. Iranian authorities accuse Malekpour of launching "obscene websites." - 1/29/12

Iranian scientists produce new drugs
Iran unveiled 6 new biotechnological medicines Sunday in presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The products include two newly-built drugs and four ingredients required for producing medicines. - 1/29/12

Bulgarian cartoonist wins first prize at Tabriz contest
Artist Georgiev Valentin from Bulgaria picked up the first prize at the 11th Tabriz Cartoon Contest 2012, winning a $1500 cash prize, a memorial statuette and a three-day trip to Tabriz. - 1/29/12

Tehran Stock Exchange value hits $127 billion
The Tehran Exchange Market's value has reached some 1,260 trillion rials (around $103 billion), the Securities and Exchange Organization's director announced on Sunday. - 1/29/12

Iran expects $57 billion oil revenues next year
Iran's oil revenues will total $57 billion for the next calendar year, starting March 20, if the average price per barrel trades at $85, as the upcoming budget bill is expected to forecast. - 1/29/12

Iranian FM says Iran optimistic about IAEA visit to Tehran
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Sunday that Tehran is optimistic about the result of negotiations with the IAEA delegation who arrived in Tehran late on Saturday. - 1/29/12

Do Israeli Leaders Really Think Iran Is an Existential Threat?
In sum, whatever you think about President Ahmadinejad (and I think he's pretty horrible), or about what he said or about the sincerity of his subsequent qualifications of what he said, for Barak to say Iran's "strategic goal" is Israel's annihilation is a bit misleading. -Robert Wright, Atlantic - 1/29/12

Iran: Foreign Exchange Rules Tightened by Central Bank
Iran's Central Bank has announced that all money-exchange services in the country must trade foreign currency only within three to five percentage points of the Central Bank rate. - 1/28/12

Sharif University calls arrest of Iranian professor by U.S. "hideous" and "childish" action
Sharif University of Technology in a statement on Saturday lashed out at the US for detaining a prominent Iranian university professor, Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, for buying laboratory equipment, and said the move proves Washington's monopolistic attempts to prevent the spread and growth of science. - 1/28/12

IAEA inspectors travel to Iran
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will arrive in Tehran tomorrow (Sunday) to discuss Iran's nuclear activities. IRNA reports that the IAEA delegation will arrive in Tehran headed by IAEA deputy director general Herman Nackaerts. - 1/28/12

Iran: Guardian Council approves new penal legislation
The Guardian Council has approved the Islamic Penal Code legislation, announcing that it does not contradict the principles of Shari'a or the Islamic Republic constitution. - 1/28/12

Guardian Council announced preliminary list of candidates
Major Iranian reformist groups and figures have announced that they will not run in the elections in protest of the crackdown on reformist politicians that has been ongoing since the last presidential elections in 2009. - 1/28/12

Arab Gulf States Urged to Increase Pipelines After Iran's Oil Threats
As Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz intensify, some energy experts are calling on Arab Gulf states to find alternative ways to export their petroleum. Experts differ, however, on whether proposed pipelines are economically feasible or whether Iran will follow through with its threats. - 1/28/12

Report: US to Send "Mothership" to Middle East
A media report says the U.S. military plans to send a floating base for commando teams to the Middle East, where relations with Iran are tense and other nations are in the midst of political upheaval. - 1/28/12

Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran
Like the imminent prospect of one's hanging, to paraphrase the 18th century British essayist Dr. (Samuel) Johnson, the suddenly looming possibility of war can concentrate the mind wonderfully. -Jim Lobe, Antiwar - 1/28/12

Syrian Insurgents Claim Iranian Hostages
A Syrian insurgent group has released a video claiming they are holding seven Iranian citizens hostage and calling for the government to release a rebel army officer and cease military operations in Homs. - 1/28/12

Pentagon Seeks Mightier Bomb vs. Iran
Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn't yet capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan. -WSJ - 1/28/12

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Urged to Resign After Police Conceal Role in Anti-Muslim Documentary
A coalition of New York Muslim and interfaith groups gathered at City Hall Thursday calling for the resignation of New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and police spokesperson Paul Browne. The protest was held after it was revealed the police department had shown an anti-Muslim film titled The Third Jihad to nearly 1,500 officers during training. -Democracy Now - 1/28/12

US Arrests Iranian Scientist and Sharif University Professor
According to a report by AP, the United States has arrested and charged Iranian semiconductor scientist Mojtaba Atarodi with violating U.S. export laws by buying high-tech U.S. lab equipment. The 54-year-old scientist was detained on December 7 after stepping off a plane in Los Angeles and is being held in a federal prison in Dublin, California. - 1/27/12

Susa, the eternal city of the East
Some six or seven thousand years ago a tribe, whose name is still unknown, speaking a language of which we have no definite record, and coming from a region which has not yet been identified, wandered through the mountains with women and children until they came to an extensive plain not far from the head of the Persian Gulf. -H. G. Spearing - 1/27/12

With the Verve of Words: Learning Foreign Languages in Iran
Dr. Azita Afrashi is an Iranian linguist who is an assistant professor at the Linguistics Department, Center for Humanities and Cultural Studies. She has three books on language and semantics and many research articles in national and international journals to her credit. - 1/27/12

London: Peace Coalition Campaign Against War On Iran
On Saturday, 28 January, from 2pm-4pm, the Stop the War Coalition is launching a campaign against a war on Iran at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The protest will be joined by politicians, academics, students, trade unionists, aid workers, justice and peace groups and church representatives. - 1/27/12

Concern For Iranian Opposition Leader Under House Arrest
The wife of detained Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi reports that she has been completely cut off from her husband, adding that the authorities are now holding him in solitary confinement. - 1/27/12

Women's rugby in Iran suffering
"The axe has finally fallen on this shameful women's sport!" This was a headline reported to have appeared in a Tehran newspaper at the end of last week, reporting the apparent end of Iranian women's rugby. -Scrum Queens - 1/27/12

Death Sentences Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners
The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of two Kurdish political prisoners, local sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/27/12

UN chief calls for restraint over Iran's nuclear disputes
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an easing of tensions over Iran's nuclear program. Ban Ki-moon insisted that "there is no alternative to a peaceful resolution" of the international dispute over Iran's nuclear program. - 1/27/12

Iran Says 11 Of Its Citizens Kidnapped In Syria
Iran's foreign ministry says 11 Iranian pilgrims have been kidnapped by an unknown group in Syria, which has been swept by civil unrest. - 1/27/12

Russia and Turkey support diplomatic solutions for Iran
Russia and Turkey have called for the resumption of nuclear negotiations between the G5+1 and Iran. - 1/27/12

Iranian Guards Reportedly Kill Six Pakistanis
Iranian border guards have reportedly shot dead six Pakistanis and wounded two others after they strayed across Iran's border. - 1/27/12

Reflections on Obama's State Of The Union Address
Am I an incorrigible optimist? Perhaps I am. But, at least based on my track record, you'd better pray I am right this time, too! -Kam Zarrabi - 1/26/12

Iran: New Assault on Freedom of Information - Journalists, Bloggers Arrested Ahead of Elections
Iranian authorities should immediately charge or release at least 10 journalists and bloggers arrested since the beginning of 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests appear to be part of the government's most recent campaign to disrupt the free flow of information ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2. - 1/26/12

Colour of Love - Artists for Hope: Exhibition in support of the Omid Foundations
Iranian artists have come together to put on an exhibition in support of the Omid Foundations. Show your support by purchasing the donated works of art. Despite their past difficulties, and the obstacles still facing them, the young women at the Omid-e-Mehr center have dreams like all of us. - 1/26/12

Dollar to be traded at 12,260 rials: Iran's Central Bank
Iran's central bank announced on Thursday that dollar will be traded at a price of 12,260 rials from Saturday, January 28. - 1/26/12

IAAB Counselor Spotlight: Mazyar Kahali
With the deadline for Camp 2012 counselor applications less than a month away, IAAB's camp planning committee member Sara Mokhtari-Fox spoke with a returning counselor about what the Ayandeh experience means to him. - 1/26/12

Iran Lingers Low On Press Freedom Index
Iran ranks near the bottom of the Press Freedom Index for 2011-2012, which was released today by the press rights organization Reporters Without Borders. - 1/26/12

Ebadi calls for boycott of Iran elections, release of opposition leaders
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate, is throwing her support behind the 39 Iranian political prisoners calling for an election boycott and the release of Iran's opposition leaders from house arrest. - 1/26/12

"Feast Your Eyes" on Ancient Iranian Luxury Metalwork at the Freer and Sackler Galleries
"Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran," on view at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries beginning Feb. 4, explores the beauty, role and function of luxury metalwork in ancient Iran. - 1/26/12

Featured Project: Reviving Iran's Image
The common international image of Iran is that of a backward country supporting terrorism, seeking weapons of mass destruction and violating human rights. This image in turn has fueled anti-Americanism, which has provided one of the pretexts for the political and diplomatic conundrums of the Islamic Republic. -AIC - 1/26/12

Iran, China Trade Ties Up 55% in 2011: Envoy
Iranian Ambassador to Beijing Mehdi Safari underscored Iran and China's eagerness to further expand their economic cooperation, and said the two countries' trade ties have grown 55% in 2011 compared with the previous year. - 1/26/12

Will Israel Attack Iran?
"This is not about some abstract concept," Barak said as he gazed out at the lights of Tel Aviv, "but a genuine concern. The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map." -Ronen Bergman, NY Times - 1/26/12

Iran Pilots Die In Military Jet Crash
In Iran, officials say a U.S.-made F-14 Iranian fighter jet has crashed in the Bushehr province of southern Iran. - 1/26/12

China Says EU's New Iran Oil Embargo 'Not Constructive'
Russia and China, both veto-holding members of the United Nations Security Council, have been resisting moves to impose another round of UN sanctions against Iran. - 1/26/12

UAE Tries to Muffle Critical Human Rights Report
Officials in the United Arab Emirates have attempted to prevent a leading rights group from publicizing a report that criticizes the UAE's record on free speech. - 1/26/12

Iran Ups Interest Rates To Stem Currency Crisis
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has agreed to increase bank interest rates in an effort to halt a fall in the value of Iran's currency. - 1/25/12

Photos: Clearing the Mine Fields in Dehloran, Iran
Iraq and Iran fought a war from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the 20th century. While the war ended in 1988 after much death and devastation, the cleaning of mine fields in Iran is still an ongoing operation. - 1/25/12

Key Reasons against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran
The current US stand-off against Iran, like the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was instigated by the neoconservatives of the Bush Administration based on their doctrine of "maintaining US pre-eminence, thwarting rival powers and shaping the global security system according to US interests" -CASMII - 1/25/12

Photos: Historic Hajij Village Facing A Grim Future
The historic village Hajij is the last village of the border town of Nosoud in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah. 180 families live in the village. But now the village is faced with a grim future. As the construction of the Darian dam which started three years ago is completed, some of the houses in the village will be consumed by water. -Armin Karami - 1/25/12

Iranian Film "A Separation" Receives Two Oscar Nominations
A Separation, the acclaimed film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, has been nominated in two Oscar categories: Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay. - 1/25/12

Don't Turn the Strait of Hormuz into a Turkmanchai-Type Disaster
Those in Iran who are turning the Strait of Hormuz into an issue are perhaps not aware that if the waterway turns into a conflict, its final chapter will be very different from the way the eight year Iran-Iraq war ended by drinking a chalice of poison. -Farzaneh Roostaee, Rooz - 1/25/12

Over 4000 students apply to cooperate with Iran's atomic agency
The students made the decision after Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, a graduate of Sharif University of Technology in chemical engineering and an official at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, was assassinated in Tehran on January 11. - 1/25/12

Obama: Iran 'More Isolated Than Ever'
The president said in an address to the nation Tuesday that he will not rule out any option for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but that the issue can be resolved peacefully. "But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations." - 1/25/12

Preventing a Nuclear Iran, Peacefully
THE debate over how to handle Iran's nuclear program is notable for its gloom and doom. Many people assume that Israel must choose between letting Iran develop nuclear weapons or attacking before it gets the bomb. -NY Times - 1/25/12

Iran to provide ethanol fuel soon
Iran plans to supply ethanol fuel by the end of Iranian calendar year, March 20, after providing the Euro 4 fuel. Iranian officials noted the use of ethanol fuel would be tested by the end of calendar year in the Iranian southwestern city of Khuzestan. - 1/25/12

Sanctions spur surge of Iranians buying luxury homes in Dubai
Iranians once played a key role in the Dubai market. In 2008 they were the fourth-largest group of international buyers in Dubai, accounting for 5 per cent of sales, trailing only India, the UK and Pakistan, according to data tracked by Reidin. -The National - 1/25/12

EU Oil Embargo: Sanctions Benefit Iran's Revolutionary Guards
The EU has banned oil imports from Iran to try and pressure the regime into making concessions over its controversial nuclear program. But even though the Iranian economy is suffering, Tehran is refusing to give ground. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Guards are profiting from the sanctions. -Christoph Sydow, Spiegel - 1/25/12

Iranian Film Wins Oscar Nomination
"A Separation," an Iranian film that won a Golden Globe award earlier this month, has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards. - 1/24/12

Head of Iran's Guardians Council Now The Principal Butt Of Jokes
"Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the powerful Guardians Council, is Iran's oldest man. No one knows when he was born. He is said to have been on planet Earth before all of us, even before Adam and Eve..." That's the gist of numerous jokes that are making the rounds about the senior cleric who is in his mid- eighties. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/24/12

Continuation of US Presence in the Persian Gulf: Islamic Republic Retreats from Strategy of Threats
Soon after the threatening remarks by senior commanders of Iran's armed forces about shutting the Strait of Hormuz, and attacking the US Navy ships should they return to the Persian Gulf, the strong US warning that was communicated to Tehran has forced Iranian military officials to retreat from pursuing their threats -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 1/24/12

Iranian Intelligence Minister warns against election turmoil
Iran's Intelligence Minister has warned the public that the country's "enemies" are trying to disrupt the coming elections. With parliamentary elections slated for March, the Fars News Agency quoted Heydar Moslehi saying: "The enemy's psychological warfare against Islamic Iran takes shape through various dimensions and roots." - 1/24/12

Gothic architecture and Persian origins
The thesis that Gothic architecture owes a good deal to Persian sources is too complex to be stated or tested by a composition of brief and scattered quotations from various reports made by various people -Prof. Arthur Upham Pope (June 1933) - 1/24/12

Russia and Iran: Uneasy Neighbors - Since the 16th Century
Countries without natural borders are like amoebas. Over centuries, they expand and contract, expand and contract. As the Western world wonders why Russia has such a nuanced policy toward Iran's nuclear program, it is important to skip back over four centuries of history. -James Brooke,VOA - 1/24/12

Iranians Rally Against Censorship and Satellite Jamming at World Radiocommunication Conference
Today, Iranian protestors gathered in Geneva, demanding the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency, to take action on the Iranian government's illegal internet and communications censorship. - 1/24/12

Well-known literary translator detained in Iran
Family and friends of a well-known literary translator in Iran are concerned for his well-being after he was detained for unknown reasons nearly two weeks ago. -Sarah Aarthun, CNN - 1/24/12

Iran Threat to Close Strait Could Hurt Economic Recovery
The international community is bracing for the possibility that Iran might attempt to close an important oil shipping lane in response to the European Union's new ban on the purchase of Iranian oil. The oil embargo is part of a wider range of economic sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to be more open about its nuclear program. -Mil Arcega, VOA - 1/24/12

U.S. Sanctions Key Iranian Bank, Hours After EU Moves
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department has slapped sanctions on Iran's third-largest bank and an affiliate for allegedly providing financial services to other entities already sanctioned in connection with the country's sensitive nuclear program. - 1/24/12

Strange Bedfellows in the Conflict with Iran
As the European Union prepared to consider tough new sanctions against Iran on Monday, a group of eminent Americans was cozying up here to an exiled Iranian opposition group that the United States classifies as terrorists. -Harvey Morris, NY Times - 1/24/12

Australia To Follow EU Lead On Iran Sanctions
Australia will follow the European Union and ban oil imports from Iran, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced during a visit to London. - 1/24/12

Iranian Adviser Accuses Brazil of Ruining Relations
Iran's efforts to cultivate political support in Latin America at a time of rising international tension over its nuclear program appear to have encountered a significant obstacle: Brazil, the region's economic powerhouse. -NY Times - 1/24/12

EU Ministers Adopt Iran Oil Embargo
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to ban the import of Iranian oil as part of sanctions designed to pressure Iran to end its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. - 1/23/12

US Aircraft Carrier Enters Persian Gulf Without Incident
A U.S. aircraft carrier has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf, a month after Iran warned the United States not to send carriers to that strategic waterway. - 1/23/12

International Body Should End Iran's Illegal Satellite Jamming
The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the UN regulatory gathering opening today in Geneva, should take decisive steps to end the Iranian government's illegal and widespread jamming of satellite signals, theInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 1/23/12

Detained Iranian journalists held at Tehran's Evin Prison
Reports from Iran indicate that Parastoo Dokouhaki and Marzieh Rasouli, two journalists and bloggers who were recently arrested, are being held in the 2-aleph section of Evin Prison. - 1/23/12

The Idea of Iran: the age of the great Saljuqs
The Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI, SOAS and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford are pleased to announce the ninth annual Soudavar Memorial Foundation Symposium in London. The ninth programme in our The Idea of Iran series will take place on Saturday 4 February 2012 and will focus on the age of the Great Saljuqs (11th and 12th centuries CE). - 1/23/12

Experts discuss hazards of military confrontation with Iran
"We [United States and Israel] are strong powers and we need to think carefully about whether we want to engage in military operations which could have very unpredictable results," said Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, speaking before the Atlantic Council. "We are indeed in a fraught and dangerous situation." -Ardavon Naimi, NIAC - 1/23/12

Deployed Iranian-American Congressional Candidate Saving Lives
Dr. Milad Pooran had a choice to make - continue his campaign to become the first Iranian American Congressman by seeking a deferment on his deployment to Germany or continue with his mission in which he would provide medical services to his wounded comrades in arms. - 1/23/12

With EU On Board With Iran Oil Sanctions, Western Eyes Turn To Asia
The 510,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil that the EU imports from Iran represent less than one-fifth of the more than 2.6 million bpd Iran ships out daily. Still, what the West hopes is that the EU's example will create pressure for Asia's energy-hungry economic giants to follow suit. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 1/23/12

Iran must halt execution of web programmer
Iran must not execute a web programmer sentenced to death after one of his web programs was used to post pornographic images without his knowledge, Amnesty International said today, as the Iranian authorities continue their crackdown on bloggers and other users of the internet. - 1/23/12

Iranian scientist wins world award for best cancer research
An Iranian scientist won a world award as the best researcher in oncology and blood-related cancers. Professor Ardeshir Ghavamzadeh is to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research in 2012. - 1/23/12

Some Reflections on the Iran-US Cold War
A lot of people in the western left continue to misread the situation in Iran and the western powers' posturing toward Iran. We have seen cycles of intensified rhetoric on a regular basis for at least six to seven years now. Every time the rhetoric heats up, the armies of commentators on all sides get into their now familiar routines. -Rostam Rakhshian - 1/23/12

China's crude oil imports from Iran up: Report
China's crude oil imports from Iran have amounted to 28 million tons in 2011, which marks a 30-percent growth compared to the same period last year. - 1/23/12

Iranian currency drops over 10 percent: 1 U.S. Dollar going for 2000 Tomans
Iran's national currency hit a new low on Saturday afternoon trading at 20,000 rials to the U.S. dollar in the black market, ISNA reported. This is over 10% drop compared to prices from the day before. Similarly the price of the gold coin has reached 1 million tomans for a full size coin. - 1/22/12

Iran: Authorities Defiant on Rights Record
Iranian authorities in 2011 carried out more than 600 executions and imprisoned more journalists and bloggers than any other country, Human Rights Watch said today in issuing its World Report 2012 Iran chapter. - 1/22/12

EU Set To Widen Iran Sanctions
The European Union is set to widen its sanctions against Iran when the club's foreign ministers meet in Brussels on January 23. The 27 member states are expected to agree on an embargo against Iranian oil exports and might even agree to impose some sanctions on the country's central bank. -Rikard Jozwiak, RFE - 1/22/12

Another Iranian Journalist Arrested
Journalist and blogger Shahram Manouchehri was arrested this week by Iranian authorities, the latest casualty of a new crackdown on media activists. - 1/22/12

Iran is not Iraq
The response of the Islamic republic of Iran to the latest Western sanctions against it has shown how critical oil revenues are to the survival of the regime in Tehran. Contrary to Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi, events have shown that Iranian leaders realize danger at the right time and retreat, unless an unpredicted event takes place or the country's war-mongering forces see their interests otherwise. -Kazem Alamdari - 1/22/12

Iran: Election nominees approved after initial disqualification
A number of conservative MPs who were deemed ineligible to run in the coming parliamentary elections, with speculation that it was due to their criticism of the current administration, have now been approved as candidates. - 1/22/12

Iranian economy favorable despite sanctions: World Bank
The Iranian economy is set to grow favorably in 2012 despite effects of new sanctions, says the World Bank's latest Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2012. - 1/22/12

17 Die in Boat Sinking Incident in Southern Iran
Seventeen people died in a ship sinking incident off the Iranian coasts in the Persian Gulf. Nine bodies have been recovered and five survivors have been rescued from a passenger vessel that sank off the Iranian coast with 22 people aboard. - 1/22/12

Photos: First Snow Of The Season In Tehran
The first snow of the winter season gave a white cover to Tehran on Saturady. While the snow slowed the traffic and caused some headaches, some people were outdoors to take advantage of the fresh powder - 1/21/12

Photos: A Snow Covered Tabriz
These photos by Mehrvarz Ahmadi show snow covered streets in the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran. Tabriz, the capital of the East Azerbaijan province, is Iran's fourth largest city. - 1/21/12

Rights group denounces arrest of Iranian labour activists
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders has issued a call to action regarding the recent arrest of labour activists in Iran and called for their immediate and unconditional release. - 1/21/12

Sarkozy Warns Attack On Iran Could Unleash 'Chaos'
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned that a military strike on Iran would "trigger war and chaos in the Middle East." - 1/21/12

US Military Chief in Israel to Discuss Iran Nuclear Program
The top U.S. military official held closed talks Friday with Israeli leaders over how to respond to Iran's controversial nuclear program, which both countries fear is being used to develop nuclear weapons. - 1/21/12

Even in death, Iran's Baha'is face persecution
In recent years, there have been dozens of incidents of vandalism, arson, or other problems related to Baha'i-owned cemeteries or efforts by Baha'is to bury their dead. Authorities are currently trying to confiscate and destroy the Baha'i cemetery in Sanandaj, some 400 kilometers west of Tehran. -BWNS - 1/21/12

Jailed Iranian Blogger on Hunger Strike Hospitalized
Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been transferred to hospital in critical condition. Iran's House of Human Rights website reports that Ronaghi Maleki was transferred to Hasheminejad hospital on Thursday. - 1/21/12

False Flag
A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran. -Mark Perry, Foreign Policy - 1/21/12

China Urges Iran To Return To Talks
China has urged Iran to resume talks on its nuclear ambitions. Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong said Beijing wants the issue resolved peacefully through talks and not through sanctions and "military means." - 1/21/12

Iran, Turkey set $30b trade target for 2015
The agreement was made during the 23rd meeting of Iran-Turkey joint economic committee in Ankara on January 18, which was chaired by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Turkish Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdogan Bayraktar. - 1/21/12

Iran exports $3.2B worth of technical services
The head of export development for Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has said more than US$ 3.2 billion worth of technical and engineering services has been exported over past 10 months. - 1/21/12

"A Separation" receives Oscar nomination
A Separation by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been shortlisted for an Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. - 1/20/12

Photos: An American Toy Drone, Made In Iran
An Iranian art group named Ayeh is sending the United States a toy model of the American surveillance drone captured by Iran. The company also plans to sell the models on the market for about $4. - 1/20/12

Tensions Rise as Iran is Hurt by Western Sanctions
Tensions between Western countries and Iran over its nuclear program continue to rise as sanctions threaten the country's economy. Analysts are expressing concern a military confrontation could occur in the Middle East. -Meredith Buel, VOA - 1/20/12

Quake Leaves 230 Injured in Northeastern Iran
At least 230 people were injured when an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit Northeastern Iran on Thursday. Many residents of the city of Neyshabour camped out overnight in subzero weather in streets and parks, fearing further tremors. - 1/20/12

Iranian-Canadians caught in the crossfire
Canada's sanctions against Iran were meant to stop Tehran's ability to build nuclear weapons, but they are also having a devastating impact on Canada's large Iranian diaspora, community leaders say. -Toronto Star -WNN - 1/20/12

The Immortal Song of Freedom: A book talk at UCLA by Parvaneh Bahar, Author
Ms. Parvaneh Bahar, is an Iranian-American author, human rights activist. She will be speaking on her new book which is about her father, Malek o' Shoara Bahar, one of the most popular and respected poets of modern Iran. - 1/20/12

Iran: Human Rights Lawyer Seifzadeh Refused to Participate in Own Trial Due To Revolutionary Court's Incompetence
Mohammad Seifzadeh, prominent lawyer and one of the founding members of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, did not participate in his court trial on 11 January 2012, his wife and lawyer Fatemeh Golzar told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/20/12

Evidence in the murder of U.S. Iranian activist Bagherzadeh still vague
Houston, Texas, U.S.: As the family and parents of 30-year-old Iranian human rights activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh publicly grieve the murder of their daughter and sister at her funeral on Wednesday January 18, details in the case in the murder of the outspoken women's advocate remain unanswered. - 1/20/12

Photos: Iran's Supreme Leader Visits Families Of Assassinated Academics
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei visited the families of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan and Dariush Rezaiinejad, the two Iranian academics killed in terrorist attacks, late on Thursday. - 1/20/12

New U.S. Commando Team Operating Near Iran
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are at a high point, as the Islamic Republic threatens to close off a vital waterway and two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups sit in the seas off the Iranian coast. But across the Persian Gulf, the U.S. has a previously unacknowledged weapon in reserve: a new special operations team. -Wired - 1/20/12

Iran's Press TV loses UK licence
Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act. -Guardian - 1/20/12

U.S. Says Iran Is Helping Syria Evade Oil Sanctions
U.S. officials say they have uncovered an effort by Iran to help its close ally, Syria, evade U.S. sanctions on its petroleum sector. - 1/20/12

Wave Of Arrests Reported Ahead Of Iranian Elections
The wave of arrests ahead of the March 2 parliamentary elections appears to signal attempts by the Iranian establishment to prevent any form of dissent. The regime has also been tightening its grip on the Internet by putting new restrictions in place, in what seems to be an attempt to head off protests similar to those that shook the government two years ago. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/19/12

Former Iranian MP calls for "active criticism"
A former Iranian MP has provoked a variety of reactions from the Iranian establishment by appearing on television to slam the political system's lack of "active criticism" and to call for ways of questioning the Supreme Leader. - 1/19/12

And they saw Golshifteh without a cover!
I love Golshifteh Farahani. When I opened my email in the morning, I saw a message from a kind and thoughtful friend who had sent me a link to the French magazine's website Madame Le Figaro featuring a nude photo by Golshifteh. She was as beautiful as ever, if not more! -M. Bibak - 1/19/12

Iran: President opposes interest rate rise as gold price surging
Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini said on Wednesday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is opposed to a plan which calls for paying higher interest on interest-bearing accounts to encourage people to deposit their savings with banks in a bid to control gold and foreign exchange markets, which are currently in turmoil. - 1/19/12

Iranian Actress Breaks Taboos, Sparks Scandal By Posing Topless
An Iranian actress living in Paris has been praised for her courage and criticized for her indecency after posing topless for a French magazine and posting the photo on her Facebook page. Golshifteh Farahani, who moved to France last year, says Iranian authorities have told her not to return home. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/19/12

Iran Says US Should Be Willing to Talk Without Conditions
Iran says the United States should make it clear that it is ready to hold talks without conditions, and urged other countries in the Middle East to not put themselves in a "dangerous position." Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments Thursday during a visit to Turkey. - 1/19/12

Details of Obama's letter to Iran released
MP Ali Motahhari said on Wednesday, "In the letter, it has been stated that 'closing the Strait of Hormuz is our red line' and they have requested direct negotiations." He went on to say that Obama uttered threats in the first part of the letter and talked about friendship and negotiation in the second part. - 1/19/12

Innovation and Imagination in Persian Manuscripts from Sixteenth-Century Shiraz
Of the many artistic centres in Iran, perhaps none had a longer and more productive history than the city of Shiraz, capital of Fars province. Beginning at least in the early 14th century and continuing into the 17th, Shirazi calligraphers, illuminators, painters and binders produced vast quantities of deluxe manuscripts at a prodigious rate. - 1/19/12

U.S. Navy Says It Rescues Iran Fishing Vessel
The U.S. Navy says it led a rescue operation to help the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing vessel in the Persian Gulf in the third such operation in two weeks. - 1/19/12

Angels Of Iran: Education Under Fire Releases Video Series
The Education Under Fire initiative, in coordination with a coalition of human rights organizations focusing on Iran, has announced the release of seven new "Angels of Iran" videos. These short films are personal stories of courage and resilience in the face of torture, imprisonment, and execution under the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 1/19/12

Activists: Syrian Government Agrees to Truce With Rebel-Held Town
Activists in Zabadani say rebels of the Free Syrian Army and representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to the truce late Tuesday after five days of fighting. The deal calls for pro-Assad forces to withdraw from the town and for rebels to leave the streets. - 1/19/12

Rangers Sign Japanese Baseball Star Darvish
The son of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, Darvish was the most highly sought-after international player in several years. - 1/19/12

The Myth of "Isolated" Iran
D.C.'s aggressive sanctions are really about protecting the dollar and undermining China -Pepe Escobar, Salon - 1/19/12

Iraq issues arrest warrants for 120 MKO members
Arrest warrants have been issued for 120 members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced in a televised interview late on Tuesday. - 1/19/12

Breaking the Embargo on NGOs in Iran
During my last visit to Iran I came across a few grassroots organizations which inspired me to write this short note for Iranians outside of Iran to be informed of the importance of such organizations. -Roksana Bahramitash - 1/18/12

Iran cracks down on journalists
In a new wave of arrests targeting media activists, Marzieh Rasouli has been arrested in Tehran. This week, Parastoo Dokouhaki, another journalist and women's rights activist, was also arrested in Tehran. Mohammad Soleymani-nia, a translator and writer, was also arrested this week. - 1/18/12

Neither War Nor Nuclear-Armed Iran
In his widely published op-ed entitled "Iran on the Warpath", former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has correctly emphasized the consequences of a potential war on Iran. Not only the democracy movement in Iran itself but also the "Arab Spring" would come to an end, Fischer writes. -Dr. Mohssen Massarrat and Dr. Bahman Nirumand - 1/18/12

Scholars, Academicians, Journalists, and Activists Condemn Murder of Iranian Technical and Scientific Experts
On January 12, 2012, a bomb ripped apart a car in Tehran, killing Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his driver, and injuring several others. In the past two years, four other Iranian scientists have been killed in a similar manner. - 1/18/12

Iranians to remain connected to World Wide Web
Iran's Minister of Communications and Technology has announced that current internet services will not be replaced by the National Information Network that's now being developed, but rather the two will exist alongside each other. - 1/18/12

Iran: Death Sentence For Netizen Confirmed, New Arrests
Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that the supreme court has confirmed website designer Saeed Malekpour's death sentence. His family said the court took the decision under pressure from the Revolutionary Guards. A Canadian resident who was arrested on 4 October 2008 while visiting his family, Malekpour, 35, was sentenced to death in January 2011 on charges of anti-government agitation and insulting Islam. - 1/18/12

Iran To Extend Gender Segregation To School Textbooks
Iran's Ministry of Education has announced it will soon publish separate school textbooks for boys and girls, creating another area of gender segregation in the Islamic republic. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 1/18/12

Iranian Film "Gold and Copper" Wins Best Film Award in California Whitehead Festival
Iranian feature film "Gold and Copper" directed by Homayoun Assadian won the Best Film Award of the 15th edition of Whitehead International Film Festival in Claremont, Californian. - 1/18/12

Mysteries deepen in case of Iranian activist shot to death outside Memorial-area townhome
What originally seemed like a neighborhood tragedy in an upscale community near Memorial has now taken on international overtones with the identification of a murder victim as an Iranian women's advocate. -Your Houston News - 1/18/12

Iran Says UN Nuclear Team to Visit This Month for Talks
Iran says senior U.N. nuclear officials will travel to the country later this month to discuss their concerns about Tehran's nuclear program. - 1/18/12

Israel Says Decision on Iran Attack "Far Off"
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says any decision on whether to attack Iran's nuclear program is "very far off." Barak said Wednesday no decision has been made to take such action, as Israel prepares for a visit this week by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey. - 1/18/12

'Iran elections free, competitive': First Vice President
Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi says the Islamic Republic prides itself on elections that are "free and competitive." "Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran, after the revolution [of 1979], have been one of the most essential pillars of democracy," Rahimi said on Tuesday. - 1/18/12

Iranian website on mycology and lichens scores Sylvia Sharnoff Education Award
An Iranian website won 2012 Sylvia Sharnoff Education Award. The website is the first Iranian website on development and localization of mycology and studying lichens in Iran. - 1/18/12

Iran currency hits new low in blackmarket trading
Iran's currency, the rial, hit a record low against the dollar on Wednesday, the ISNA news agency reported, based on rates in blackmarket trading that the government has tried to ban. Iran's currency, the rial, hit a record low against the dollar on Wednesday, the ISNA news agency reported, based on rates in blackmarket trading that the government has tried to ban. -AFP - 1/18/12

Russia says it will block any UN oil embargo on Iran
Kremlin has reaffirmed its opposition to new sanctions targeting Iran's oil exports, warning that Russia would block any possible UN resolution in this regard, RTTNews reported on Tuesday. - 1/18/12

U.S. State Department: 'No Regime Change Policy' On Iran
A senior U.S. State Department official says the Obama administration is not pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran, but remains engaged in a "two-track policy" aimed at engaging and pressuring the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program. - 1/18/12

Report: Global Oil Demand Grows More Slowly
The International Energy Agency says a slowing global economy means demand for oil will not grow as much as earlier thought. Falling demand tends to lower prices, but the IEA says rising tensions with Iran might cut oil supplies enough to cause a shortfall and boost prices. - 1/18/12

Photos: Ice Climbing in Shemshak
The fifth ice climbing festival of Alpine Club of Iran was held at the Hamaloon valley in Shemshak on Thursday January 12. Shemshak is a ski resort situated to the northeast of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range. - 1/17/12

Iran: Concerns Mount Regarding Zahra Rahnavard's Physical Well Being
Almost a year has past since the illegal house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard. During this time, Mousavi and Rahnavard have been deprived of their basic civil rights such as visitation and contact with their family members and loved ones. - 1/17/12

Asghar Farhadi's Violation of "Diplomatic Practices"
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has been on a roll lately winning the Best Foreign Language Film awards at BFCA and the Golden Globe. And he is on his way to the Oscars! And while many in Iran are congratulating Farhadi and celebrating his success, this has infuriated the hardliners! - 1/17/12

Zoosk: An "Only in America" Immigrant Success Story
In true "only in America" fashion, two former students at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran ended up in San Francisco and established a romantic social network that is considered a top destination for singles. Zoosk co-founders Alex Mehr and Shayan Zadeh met in Iran as students back in the 1990s. -Stuart Anderson, Forbes - 1/17/12

Iran says Obama's letter says "nothing new"
Ayatollah Khamenei's aide has told reporters that U.S. President Barack Obama's recent letter about the Strait of Hormuz, which he sent to Iran's Supreme Leader, contains "nothing new." - 1/17/12

Cyberspat Erupts As Baku-Tehran Relations Become Increasingly Strained
Iranian-Azerbaijani tensions -- which have been escalating for weeks -- have apparently erupted into a cyberskirmish that has affected dozens of websites in both countries. Meanwhile, a meeting between Azerbaijani, Iranian, and Turkish foreign ministers scheduled for January 17 was suddenly canceled. - 1/17/12

Iranian women's rights activist slain in car near Galleria in Houston
Gelareh Bagherzadeh was studying molecular genetic technology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was of Iranian descent and was active in promoting Iranian women's rights, Houston Police Department spokesman Victor Senties said. -Houston Chronicle - 1/17/12

US Urges South Korea to Reduce Iranian Oil Imports
A senior U.S. diplomat on Tuesday asked South Korea to reduce imports of Iranian crude oil in support of U.S. sanctions that punish Tehran for its nuclear program. The U.S. State Department's adviser for non-proliferation and arms control, Robert Einhorn, also urged Seoul to cut back its business ties with Iran's central bank. - 1/17/12

Iran's Kiarostami: Golden Globe win comes with 'frustration' after cinema group closed
One of Iran's most prominent film directors said Monday he hoped the Golden Globes award to a fellow filmmaker will help lift the spirits of the country's artistic community after the state-ordered closure of an independent cinema group. -AP - 1/17/12

Iran's handmade carpet exports hit $380 million in 9 months
Iran exported some $380 million worth of handmade carpets in the first nine months of the current calendar year, which began on March 21, 2011, the head of Iran's National Carpet Center said. - 1/17/12

Series of incriminations rips through Iran's conservative camp
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Mojtaba Khamenei, son of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of embezzling from the state treasury, the reformist website Jras reported. -al arabiya - 1/17/12

My rivals set up clash with West, claims Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has accused the country's hardline religious leadership of deliberately provoking a confrontation with the West to weaken his position ahead of forthcoming parliamentary elections. -Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph - 1/17/12

Iran Criticizes Saudi Comments on Boosting Oil Exports
Iran has criticized Saudi Arabia for saying it could increase its oil output if Western sanctions cut oil exports from Iran. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday in an interview with Iran's Arabic language al-Alam television channel that such signals are "not friendly." - 1/17/12

OPEC: Europe's Debt Crisis Could Cut 2012 Oil Consumption
The price of oil has risen about 25 percent since September, to about $100 a barrel in New York trading. The price has been pushed higher in the last month as tensions rise because of Iran's threat to block oil tanker traffic through the Persian Gulf in response to the economic sanctions imposed by Western nations seeking to curtail Tehran's nuclear program. - 1/17/12

Iranian Film Wins Golden Globe
The Iranian film "A Separation" has won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Golden Globe prizes in Los Angeles. The Golden Globes are ranked second in prestige after the Oscars in the annual Hollywood film awards. - 1/16/12

Payvand's top 20 News stories of 2011
With millions of article impressions and thousands of articles on every year, here are the top 20 news stories most viewed, in case you missed any. These viral articles are a reflection of what captured our attention the most in 2011. - 1/16/12

Iranian-American Artist Channels Arab Spring In New Exhibition
Renowned Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat says her new exhibition, a series of photographs inspired by the Arab Spring and a short film about government censorship, is her most political work yet -- channeling both current events and the situation in her native country. - 1/16/12

iPersian: An iPhone and iPad Persian language application for children
Start your child's journey to learn Persian in an interactive way. A simple touch or a drag and drop interface is a very useful way to teach the youngest children. - 1/16/12

Iranian women call for greater representation in Parliament
Iranian women's groups have called on Parliament's Speaker, Ali Larijani, to increase the number of female MPs in the next Parliament, which will be voted on this coming March. - 1/16/12

Former IRGC Commander Says His Article Was Misinterpreted
Former senior Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hossein Alaei, who came under attack over a recent op-ed piece, has said that he did not mean to compare Iran's clerical establishment with the Pahlavi regime. - 1/16/12

Ahmadinejad Aide Convicted For Insulting Iranian Supreme Leader
An Iranian court has reportedly sentenced President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's press adviser to one year in prison for insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 1/16/12

Camp Ayandeh Need-Based Stipends Available
IAAB will be offering an increased number of need-based tuition stipends to dedicated student leaders interested in attending Camp Ayandeh 2012. By offering need-based stipends, IAAB hopes to provide an opportunity to high school students who may not otherwise be financially able to attend Camp Ayandeh. - 1/16/12

Iran to launch satellite into space early February
Iran plans to launch satellite into space and inaugurate military projects early February, said Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. - 1/16/12

Submissions for the 5th Annual Noor Film Festival are now open!
The Noor Iranian Film Festival (NFF), founded in 2005, is an international event, with the goal of educating and informing the non-Iranian community about the culture and heritage of Iranians around the world through the medium of cinema. - 1/16/12

Iran arrests several over assassination of academic
Iran has arrested a number of people in connection with the assassination of the academic, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani told Al-Alam News Network on Monday. - 1/16/12

How Obama should talk to Iran
Just 13 minutes into his presidency, Barack Obama indirectly reached out to Iran in his inaugural address, offering America's hand of friendship if Tehran would unclench its fist. After eight years of the George W. Bush administration's ideological contempt for diplomacy with America's foes, it was a bold move born out of necessity, not desire. -Trita Parsi, Washington Post - 1/16/12

Letter to Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan
I am an Iranian student from abroad. As I was preparing for my PhD defence, and finalizing my plans to move back to Iran, news of your death reached me on January 11th. This is not the first time that we witness the killing of an Iranian scientist through Western and Israeli-led operations. -Shirin Saeidi - 1/16/12

Iran-Armenia Interactions: Outlooks and Relevant Components
Iran's overzealous efforts to develop relations with Armenia will not only have negative effects on Tehran's relations with Baku and Ankara, but also undermine Iran's role in more consequential political equations of the region. It will also weaken Iran's standing among Muslim states and will cause division among Shias. -Elyas Vahedi - 1/16/12

Iran: Former Senior IRGC Commander Comes Under Attack
Hossein Alaei, a former senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), has come under attack by his fellow guards and hard-liners over an article in which he appeared to draw an analogy between the rule of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the last days of the shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was ousted from power in the 1979 revolution. - 1/15/12

'A Separation' by Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi wins BFCA's Best Foreign Language Film award
The 17th BFCA Annual Critics' Choice Movie's Best Foreign Language Film award went to Farhadi's latest production while the Best Picture award was granted to Michel Hazanavicius's Artist. - 1/15/12

Iran's Central Bank tries to control currency market
Iran's Central Bank has announced that anyone in possession of foreign currency without a bank receipt will be put under arrest beginning Sunday January 15. - 1/15/12

Iran says has evidence U.S., UK behind assassination of academic
On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued two protest notes addressed to the U.S. and British governments holding them accountable for a terrorist attack on Iranian academic. - 1/15/12

Iran: Hashemi Rafsanjani under growing pressure
Islamic Republic officials have approved the publication of a book entitled "The 5+1 Group", which describes moderate cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, as the "main supporter" of the mass protests that followed the 2009 presidential elections. - 1/15/12

Iran starts developing vaccine for cervical cancer
Iranian scientists have started developing a vaccine for protecting women from cervical cancer, taking a giant step in preventing the deadly disease. - 1/15/12

Giant Asian States To Keep Iran Oil Imports Despite U.S. Pressures
India, China, Turkey, and Pakistan say they will keep buying Iranian oil and see no reason to follow a new round of United States' sanctions against the Islamic Republic. - 1/15/12

Twelve convicts executed in Shiraz
The Mehr News Agency reported that the executed people had been convicted of crimes that include "kidnapping, rape, armed robbery and drug smuggling." The seven prisoners convicted of drug charges were hanged at Shiraz Prison and the other five were hanged in public. - 1/15/12

China Objects to US Sanctions on Oil Company
China has expressed "strong dissatisfaction" to the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on a state-run oil company that allegedly provided large amounts of gasoline to Iran. - 1/15/12

Report Says Iran Warns Arab Nations Against Increasing Crude Production
Iran's representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is warning his country's Arab neighbors against raising their crude output to replace Iranian oil in the event of Western sanctions. - 1/15/12

Who Assassinated an Iranian Nuclear Scientist? Israel Isn't Telling
Like three previous Iranian scientists ambushed on their morning commute, the latest nuclear expert to die on his way to work was a victim of Israel's Mossad, Western intelligence sources tell TIME. - 1/15/12

Iranian gunboats chase U.S. warship, cutter (Video)
Tensions rising by the day, the Obama administration said Friday it is warning Iran through public and private channels against any action that threatens the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. The Navy revealed that two U.S. ships in and near the Gulf were harassed by Iranian speedboats last week. -HeraldNet - 1/15/12

Farhang Foundation's 2012 Nowruz Banner Design Unveiled
Navid Ghaem Maghami, a San Francisco-based graphic designer, has been selected as the winner of Farhang Foundation's 2012 Nowruz Banner Contest. His winning design, unveiled today for the first time, will be featured on light pole banners on various major streets across Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley - 1/14/12

With 'A Separation' Up For Major Award, Film Festival Links Iran With Western Audiences
Ashgar Farhadi's film has received plaudits in Iran as well as in the international film community after being the first Iranian film to win the prestigious Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival and being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards in the United States. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 1/14/12

Language of a nation: A glimpse of traditional Persian music
Ostaad (Master) Farhang Sharif (born 1931) in Amol, northern Iran is a well-known Iranian musician and renowned taar (Persian lute) player who has spent more than 70 years of his life on this exclusively Persian musical instrument. -Maryam Ala Amjadi - 1/14/12

Europe Debates Iran Oil Sanctions Amid Debt Crisis
Europe is gearing up for a summit later this month on a new set of sanctions against Iran's oil industry, following a similar move by the United States. Analysts say the EU members who are the worst-hit from the euro debt crisis stand to lose the most from any sanctions. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 1/14/12

Iraj Gorgin: 1935-2012
With greatest regret Anjoman Sokhan in Northern California Announces the Passing of Iraj Gorgin - 1/14/12

Iranian men and women shooters win bronzes in Asian Championships
The Iranian 10m Air Rifle Women team claimed a bronze medal at the12th Asian Shooting Championships in Doha, Qatar on Saturday. - 1/14/12

Iran ready to resume nuclear talks
Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iran's Parliament, announced today that Iran is prepared to resume talks with the G5+1 over its nuclear activities. - 1/14/12

Ahmadinejad Has Little to Show After Latin American Trip
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ended a tour of Latin America this week with little to show, but support for his resistance to Western efforts to end his country's nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's last stop was Ecuador. -Jerome Socolovsky, VOA - 1/14/12

Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again
The same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul's inimitable words, "lie their way into invading Iraq" in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran. It is remarkable how many of these war-mongers are former draft dodgers who wanted other Americans to fight the war in Vietnam. -Ralph Nader - 1/13/12

Khamenei Predicts "Public Intervention": Next Elections Will be Lively and Enemy-Busting, with 65% Turnout
At a time when the protestors of the controversial 2009 presidential elections, along with reformist political parties and personalities have been advocating non-participation in the March 2 parliamentary elections, the supreme leader of the Islamic state has called those who oppose participating in the elections "pawns and foot-soldiers" of the "infidel and oppression" front and foresees that the forthcoming elections will be "lively" -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 1/13/12

Minoo Moallem to talk "Carpets and Computers" at the Tech Museum
Minoo Moallem is Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at UC Berkeley challenges the mainstream stereotypical representation of Islam and Muslims as backward, fanatical, and pre-modern by showing how Islamic nationalism and fundamentalism are by-products of modernity. - 1/13/12

Who Assassinated Iran's Nuclear Scientist?
When motorcycle bombers assassinated an Iranian nuclear scientist on Jan. 11, they left behind no clues of who they were. But does the type of operation itself give any hints? RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with Shahshank Joshi, an analyst with the Royal United Services Institute in London. - 1/13/12

Iran: Death sentences and national Internet
The Iranian government's constant repressive policies towards journalists and netizens are being steadily ratcheted up as part of a generalized increase in persecution of dissidents and a reinforcement of online censorship. -Reporters Without Borders - 1/13/12

Can Jennifer Lopez Solve Iran's Nuclear Crisis?
Is Jennifer Lopez the long-sought solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis? And can she improve the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic? We shouldn't discount the power of music and some Latin hip shaking, but one U.S.-based advocacy group has something else in mind. - 1/13/12

Report: Iran's Closure of Waterway Would Provoke US Response
The New York Times is quoting unnamed U.S. officials as saying Washington has sent a message to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, that closing the Strait of Hormuz would provoke a U.S. response. - 1/13/12

Assassinations and Threats of Military Action Portend Serious Violence
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today strongly condemned the assassination of an Iranian scientist in Tehran. The Campaign expressed its serious concern at an increasing climate of violence relating to Iran's nuclear crisis, compounded by recent statements by Israeli officials and a former Obama advisor regarding a pre-emptive strike on Iran. - 1/13/12

Iranian scientist develops new technique to fight cancer
An Iranian scientist Omid Farokhzad managed to create a drug delivery system capable of delivering a great amount of chemotherapeutic drugs to prostate cancer cells. - 1/13/12

Christmas is No Time for an Iranian Revolution
Predicting the future in Iran is a fool's game, as the country and its people have defied expectations for years. But with continuing political turmoil among conservatives, pressure from the West, parliamentary elections in March, and the almost complete crushing of the reformists, it seems that this year promises to be another annus horribilis for both the leadership and the people. -Hooman Majd, Foreign Affairs - 1/13/12

Presenting NIAC's 2012 Ambassador Roster
NIAC's Ambassador Program is a new way of organizing that puts power in the hands of the community. The purpose of the Program is to provide a local liaison who will serve as a bridge between their local Iranian-American community and NIAC's national efforts based in Washington, DC, and empower local communities to form closer bonds and execute unique events. - 1/13/12

NIAC Condemns Assassination Campaign Targeting Iranian Scientists
NIAC condemns the assassination of Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahamdi Roshan. This assassination - the fourth in two years - is an illegal and immoral act that increases the risk of military confrontation and retaliatory acts by Iran. - 1/13/12

Japan Expresses New Caution About Cutting Iranian Oil Imports
Japan's government has backed away from comments by its finance minister about reducing oil imports from Iran in support of U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic. - 1/13/12

Ahmadinejad ally to take helm of Iran's largest university
Islamic Azad University had become one of the main battlegrounds between Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani, and the replacement of Jasbi by an Ahmadinejad ally is seen as a major blow to Rafsanjani and the moderate camp. - 1/12/12

Prominent Iranian director challenges closure of House of Cinema
Prominent Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has written a letter to the Ministry of Culture, calling for a vote on the decision to dissolve the House of Cinema in Iran. - 1/12/12

Iran's Retaliation For Nuclear Scientist's Killing 'Will Extend Beyond Region'
Iranian officials were quick to blame Israel and Western intelligence agencies for the explosion that killed Ahmadi Roshan and his driver. The assassination is the fourth since the start of 2010 targeting Iranian physicists and nuclear scientists. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/12/12

"Feast Your Eyes" on Ancient Iranian Luxury Metalwork at the Freer and Sackler Galleries
"Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran," on view at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries beginning Feb. 4, explores the beauty, role and function of luxury metalwork in ancient Iran. The exhibition features more than 40 works fashioned in silver and gold between the founding of the Achaemenid Empire ca. 550 B.C.E. and the beginning of the Islamic period in the seventh century. - 1/12/12

Russia warns of possible U.S. military attack on Iran
The head of Russia's National Security Council says the threat of a U.S. military attack is "very real" and maintains that the U.S. will do everything in its power to change the Iranian regime. - 1/12/12

Ghazal Games: Poems by Roger Sedarat
As an Iranian American poet, Roger Sedarat fuses Western and Eastern traditions to reinvent the classical Persian form of the ghazal. For its humor as well as its spirituality, the poems in this collection can perhaps best be described as "Wallace Stevens meets Rumi." - 1/12/12

Iranian-Born Vocalist Creates Unique Musical Fusion
When fusion vocalist Hamed Nikpay walks onstage, his audience can expect to hear a soulful, richly layered sound that combines Nikpay's Persian musical traditions with the Latin rhythms of flamenco and the fluid melodies of jazz. -Lauren Monsen, IIP - 1/12/12

US Denies Role in Iranian Nuclear Scientist's Death
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the United States had "absolutely nothing to do" with the blast that killed Mostafa Ahmadi Rosha, and said the U.S. strongly condemns the attack and all acts of violence. - 1/12/12

Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions
As arguments flare in Israel and the United States about a possible military strike to set back Iran's nuclear program, an accelerating covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyberattacks and defections appears intended to make that debate irrelevant, according to current and former American officials and specialists on Iran. -NY Times - 1/12/12

Iran's Leaders Shut Down Independent Film Group
Brushing aside protests by Iranian filmmakers and rights activists, Iran's Culture Ministry on Wednesday formally dissolved the House of Cinema, the only domestic organization that supports independent film, and moved to replace it with a committee that would not deviate from strict Islamic guidelines and politically permissible topics. -NY Times - 1/12/12

Japan Agrees to Cut Iranian Oil Imports
Japan has promised to reduce Iranian oil imports in support of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to end its controversial nuclear program. - 1/12/12

U.S., EU Condemn Iran Nuclear Work
The United States, France, Britain, and Germany have condemned Iran's decision to start enriching uranium at an underground facility after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council. - 1/12/12

Iranian President Denounces Capitalism On Cuba Visit
On a visit to Cuba, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad denounced capitalism as bankrupt and called for a new world order. Ahmadinejad also held a private meeting with President Raul Castro and was expected to meet with Fidel Castro. - 1/12/12

Iran Bazaar Sees Rush to Dump Rials as Sanctions Squeeze Economy
"The run on Iran's currency is significant because it shows the sanctions are having a true impact," said Ted Karasik, director of research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. "Iran, while being extremely clever with skirting around previous rounds of sanctions, is perhaps facing real pressure this time." -Bloomberg - 1/12/12

China Gets Cheaper Iran Oil as U.S. Pays Tab for Hormuz Patrols
As European Union members negotiate an Iranian oil embargo and the U.S. begins work on imposing sanctions to complicate global payments for Iranian oil, Chinese refiners already may be taking advantage of the mounting pressure. China is demanding discounts and better terms on Iranian crude, oil analysts and sanctions advocates said in interviews. -Bloomberg - 1/12/12

Photos: Iranian Official at Natanz Nuclear Site Assassinated In Tehran
An Iranian academic was killed in a terrorist attack in Tehran on Wednesday morning. The academic was identified as Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, a graduate of Sharif University of Technology in chemical engineering. The incident occurred at about 8:20 a.m. local time. - 1/11/12

Bomb Kills Iran Nuclear Scientist, Bodyguard
Iran says the assassination of one of its nuclear scientists in Tehran will not stop the progress of its nuclear program, in the fourth attack targeting an Iranian nuclear physicist in two years. - 1/11/12

US Coast Guard Rescues Iranian Mariners
For the second time in a week, the U.S. military says its forces in the Persian Gulf region have come to the rescue of Iranian sailors aboard a distressed vessel. - 1/11/12

Iranian Judiciary Should Dismiss Ministry Order Against House of Cinema
The Iranian Judiciary should withdraw the Ministry of Culture order to shut down House of Cinema, the country's leading independent film association, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. Authorities should end the unlawful attacks on independent civil society organizations and on freedom of expression and association, the Campaign added. - 1/11/12

Iran: Government critics disqualified from running for re-election
Iran's Ministry of the Interior has disqualified a number of current MPs from running in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. - 1/11/12

Iran: Former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi Sentenced to Eight Years In Prison
Following an eight-year prison sentence for political activist and head of the Iran Freedom Movement Ebrahim Yazdi, his son-in-law Mehdi Nourbakhsh called the ruling cruel in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/11/12

Payvand's top 10 popular books for 2011 organizes hundreds of titles in more than 40 categories in its Iranbooks section. Here is a list of top 10 sellers in 2011, reflecting our state of mind. - 1/11/12

China Insists On Dialogue to Resolve Iran Crisis
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is seeking China's support for new U.S. sanctions against Iran. The Chinese government says it is concerned about reports that Iran is enriching weapons-grade uranium, but is sticking to its position that dialogue, not sanctions, is the way to resolve the issue. - 1/11/12

Jailed human rights activists taken to hospital
Iranian-Kurdish human rights activist Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand, has been transferred to hospital by Iranian prison authorities after spending nearly five years in Tehran's Evin Prison. - 1/11/12

Photos: Ahmadinejad Attends Daniel Ortega Inauguration
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has attended the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for his third term in office. - 1/11/12

Iran achieves cleaner fuel technology
Iranian scientists have achieved the technology of producing higher and cleaner grade fuel by reducing the amount of lead in gasoline through the isomerization process, Press TV reports. - 1/11/12

EU To Hold Meeting On Iran Oil Embargo
European Union governments have agreed to bring forward a meeting of foreign ministers due to decide on an oil embargo on Iran by one week to January 23. - 1/11/12

Iran Elections: Initial report on approved parliamentary candidates for Tehran released
The director of Tehran's election headquarters, Safar Ali Baratlo, announced on Tuesday that the qualifications of 747 out of 1066 candidates who had registered to represent Tehran in next parliamentary election have been approved by the Interior Ministry's executive committees. - 1/11/12

Traders expect Iran's currency to fall further
According to khabar online, reporting from Tehran, Iran's currency rial continued its fall trading at 17,200 to a U.S. Dollar on Tuesday. While the government officials have stated they will bring the currency situation under control, the open market traders are predicting further fall of the currency in the coming days due to the high demand for foreign currencies. - 1/10/12

The Rial Drops, And Iran Blocks The News
The value of Iran's currency, the rial, has dropped again against the U.S. dollar. One U.S. dollar was being traded on the open market at up to 17,000 rials, according to reports by official Iranian news agencies. - 1/10/12

Iranian Judiciary Must Reverse American Citizen's Death Sentence
The Iranian judiciary should immediately rescind the death sentence in the appeals court issued for Iranian-American citizen Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 1/10/12

U.S. condemns Iran death sentence for Hekmati
The United States has condemned the death sentence handed to Amir Mirzai Hekmati, the U.S. citizen of Iranian origin accused of espionage, saying the charges against him are "false." - 1/10/12

Turkey Resists US Sanctions Against Iran Despite US Envoy Visit
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is visiting close ally Turkey to further press international sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear energy program. However, Ankara remains opposed to the new U.S.-led measures. - 1/10/12

No need to wage war against Iran
With tensions running high between the West and Iran over the latter's controversial nuclear program, it is becoming increasingly clear that the two sides of the conflict are on a deadly collision course. -Jalal Alavi - 1/10/12

Military Option is the Worst Possible Scenario
The forthcoming article in Foreign Affairs entitled, "Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option" has had an impact upon the intellectual and policy-making atmosphere of the United States in recent days. -Kayhan Barzegar - 1/10/12

Iran's IAEA Envoy: 'Enrichment in Fordo meant to produce radioisotopes for patients'
Tehran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has brushed aside media commotion over the operation of nuclear activities in the Fordo enrichment facility, saying the purpose of enrichment activities in the facility is to provide radioisotopes needed for cancer patients. - 1/10/12

Iran, Venezuela Leaders Praise Each Other
Mahmud Ahmadinejad has met his Venezuelan counterpart in Caracas on the first leg of a four-nation tour of Latin America by the Iranian president. - 1/10/12

China, US to Discuss Iran, Trade Imbalance
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a two-day visit to China, where he is expected to discuss U.S. sanctions against Iran and the huge imbalance in China-U.S. trade. - 1/10/12

IAEA Confirms Iran Started Nuclear Work In Bunker
The United Nations nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has started enriching uranium at an underground site and said all atomic material there was under its surveillance. - 1/10/12

Iran says Google is a spying tool
Brigadier General Ahmadi Moghaddam, the head of Iranian security forces, told ILNA on Tuesday: "Google is not a search engine; it is a tool for spying." - 1/10/12

Iran's roar shows widening sway of military
Iran looks like a country preparing for war. But Tehran's leaders are already using whatever leverage they can muster - including military displays and threats to choke off Gulf oil tanker traffic - to counter international pressure against the Iranian nuclear program. -AP - 1/10/12

Iran plans to connect power grid to Russia
Iran plans to connect its national power electricity grid to Russia by the next calendar year which will end on March 20, 2013, Iran power generation transmission and distribution management company (TAVANIR) managing director stated. - 1/10/12

War Games: Small video game company linked to American sentenced to death in Iran
Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, the American sentenced to death by the Iranian government, is linked to a small New York company specializing in video games that recreate real-life conflicts in the Middle East and beyond. -AP - 1/10/12

I Beg To Differ! Is Iran Really In The Crosshairs? I Think Not.
Ever since the establishment of the Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran thirty-two years ago, and especially since the harsh rhetoric spewed by George W. Bush during his State of the Union address in 2002, in which he portrayed the Islamic Republic as a member of the Axis of Evil, "containing" Iran and expending efforts toward a regime change by any means short of a direct military engagement with Iran have been the officially expressed policy of the Unites States. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/9/12

Photos: The Underprivileged people of 49-Dargaz village
The people in the village of 49-Dargaz in Iran's southern province of Hormozgan are living in the most primitive conditions deprived of the very basic necessities such as proper housing, water, sanitation, education and health care. Will any help ever arrive for these underprivileged people? -Amir Hossein Khorgoui - 1/9/12

Iran Sentences U.S. Man To Death For 'Spying'
An Iranian court has sentenced an Iranian-American man to death on charges of spying for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The ISNA news agency quotes Iran's attorney general, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, as saying that Amir Mirza Hekmati was sentenced to death for "cooperating with the hostile country America and spying" for the CIA. - 1/9/12

Iran announces arrest of "election disrupters"
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has announced the arrest of several "election disrupters" in Tehran. ISNA reports that on Sunday night, Moslehi said: "The detainees were in contact with people abroad through cyberspace and were arrested after the investigation of their activities was completed." - 1/9/12

Fall of Iran's Currency Strains Airline Budgets
Kish Air has announced that Iranian airlines are faced with cost increases of 30 to 35 percent due to the rial's falling value relative to foreign currencies. - 1/9/12

Iran: Supreme Leader Urges Massive Turnout, Healthy Parliamentary Elections
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined on Monday that all Iranians should contribute their role in holding healthy parliamentary elections through staging a massive turnout. - 1/9/12

Iran's professor designs electronic lenses for blood sugar control
An Iranian professor Babak Amir Parviz from the University of Washington managed to design electronic contact lenses with glucose sensor, capable of monitoring blood sugar levels wirelessly. - 1/9/12

Photos: Shooting Practice of Seminary Teachers
A group of higher level seminaries teachers participated at a shooting practice session at the Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Sunday. -Mohsen Saeidi - 1/9/12

Iranian President Visits Venezuelan Ally
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Venezuela to begin a four-country tour of Latin American nations. - 1/9/12

Iranian teenage girl to compete in Winter Youth Olympics
Iran has been competing in the Winter Olympics since 1956, but never any woman has been sent to participate in the Games, until Marjan Kalhor became the first female Winter Olympian in the history of Iran in 2010. - 1/9/12

U.S. Acknowledges Iranian Gratitude Over Rescue
The United States has acknowledged the Iranian government's statement welcoming the U.S. Navy's rescue of 13 Iranian fisherman from pirates the Persian Gulf. - 1/9/12

Iran's Defense Minister downplays UK decision to send powerful warship to Persian Gulf
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has downplayed Britain's decision to dispatch its most advanced warship to the Persian Gulf, calling the move "unimportant." He made the remarks after a cabinet meeting on Sunday. - 1/9/12

Iran's Sardar Jangal gas field in Caspian Sea to yield 880,000bpd
The huge gas field, named Sardar Jangal, which has been recently discovered in Iran's territorial waters in the Caspian Sea, has the capacity to produce 880,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, MP Asadollah Abbasi says. - 1/9/12

China rejects linking trade and Iranian nukes ahead of Geithner visit to lobby for sanctions
A top Chinese diplomat on Monday rejected linking Iran's nuclear program to trade, adding to tensions with Washington on the eve of a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to seek support for sanctions on Tehran's oil industry. -AP - 1/9/12

Cineastes back Iran House of Cinema in row with Culture Ministry
A large number of Iranian cineastes and cinematic associations have backed the Iranian House of Cinema (IHC) in its dispute with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. - 1/8/12

Iran's Currency Resumes Fall Following Rumors Central Bank Chief Has Resigned
In today's trading in Tehran, Iran's currency rial resumed its fall. According to khabar online, trading opened at 1600 tomans for a dollar, reached 1650 by noon and peaked at 1670 in the afternoon. Among the factors noted for today's fall of rial is a rumor that the head of the Central Bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, has resigned from his post. - 1/8/12

Concern mounts over safety of detained Iranian opposition leader
Fatemeh Karroubi, the wife of detained opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, has expressed concern over the safety of the building where her husband is being held captive. - 1/8/12

Top reformist says Supreme Leader's son in charge of his case
Prominent reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, who was jailed along with his wife in the crackdown on reformists following the controversial 2009 elections, says both their judicial cases are being directly handled by Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. - 1/8/12

Iran to establish permanent station in Antarctica
Managing Director of the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography (INIO) Vahid Chegini said one of the most fundamental technological achievements which would be fulfilled in South Pole is construction of research and logistic ice breaker ships, development of ice transportation technology, ... - 1/8/12

Iran, 5+1 to resume talks in Turkey soon: Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced that Turkey will host new rounds of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) in the near future. - 1/8/12

Iran's Fordo enrichment facility to come on stream soon
The subterranean Fordo enrichment facility, located near Qom, will start operating in the near future, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Saturday. - 1/8/12

Iran's Ahmadinejad Begins Visit to Latin America
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Sunday for a five-day Latin American tour, which U.S. officials have dubbed as a sign of desperation for the country heavily sanctioned over its controversial nuclear program. - 1/8/12

Iran can block Strait of Hormuz easily: Navy Commander
Iran has had prominent role in high seas and tested its missiles capabilities in the waters, he told Iranian state TV adding Iran has staged military drills beyond the Strait of Hormuz and some parts of Indian Ocean and that the Strait of Hormuz was a part of the drill's site. - 1/8/12

The US-Iran economic war
A key amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by United States President Barack Obama on the last day of 2011 - when no one was paying attention - imposes sanctions on any countries or companies that buy Iranian oil and pay for it through Iran's central bank. -Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - 1/8/12

Los Angeles reserve deputy is reluctant -- and private -- hero
Lalezary was working his $1-per-year job as a reserve deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department early January 2. Normally a part-time deputy, the Tehran, Iran, native had been working full time for four days as a spate of arson fires -- more than 50 in all -- had Angelenos on alert. -CNN - 1/8/12

U.S. Announces Rescue Of Iran Sailors From Somalian Pirates
U.S. officials say a U.S. Navy ship has rescued 13 Iranians who were being held hostage by Somalian pirates in the Arabian Sea amid rising tensions between the Washington and Tehran. The Iranians were rescued on January 5 after the U.S. Navy says it received a distress call from an Iranian fishing vessel that had been boarded by pirates more than a month ago. - 1/7/12

Iranian officials confirm sanctions' bite on economy
International sanctions have rocked the balance of Iran's currency, says the deputy head of Iran's Industry and Mining Chamber of Commerce. - 1/7/12

Abbas Kiarostami to return with "Shirin" charity screenings
Several theaters across the capital Tehran will be screening "Shirin" by Abbas Kiarostami, whose films have not been permitted to be shown in Iran over the past 15 years, in order to raise funds for the Kahrizak Charity Nursing Home. - 1/7/12

Iran Welcomes US Rescue of Iranians Held by Pirates
Iran has welcomed the U.S. Navy's rescue of 13 Iranians who were held hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea. The rescue was carried out Thursday by a U.S. Navy destroyer escorting the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, days after Iran warned U.S. warships not to return to the Persian Gulf. - 1/7/12

EU looks at delaying sanctions on Iranian oil
Reuters previously had reported that the EU would formally decide on imposing sanctions on Iranian oil by the end of January. However, reports indicate that a number of EU countries are now pushing for a delay, fearing that rising oil prices would have an adverse effect on their debt-stricken economies. - 1/7/12

Iran Rights Official Calls Homosexuality 'Disease'
The secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights has been quoted as telling a visiting German lawmaker that homosexuality is a disease. - 1/7/12

UN chief calls on Iran, U.S. to ease tension
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on both Iran and the United States to defuse the tension building up between them, according to - 1/7/12

Trita Parsi: Reckless talk of war with Iran makes confrontation a probability
The temperature between the West and Iran has increased dramatically. Escalation by both sides coupled with a reckless discourse that has normalised the idea of war have created an environment where military confrontation is a rising probability. -Trita Parsi, Independent - 1/7/12

Iran, Saudi Arabia sign agreement to develop joint oilfield
Iran and Saudi Arabia have signed a deal to develop the Farzad A gas field, which is shared by the two countries in the Persian Gulf, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced on Friday. - 1/7/12

U.S. warns Latin American countries against relations with Iran
As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared for a trip to Latin America, the U.S. warned Latin American countries to refrain from expanding relations with Iran. - 1/7/12

Turkey's Former Army Chief Jailed on Terror Charge
Turkey's former army chief was arrested on Friday over an alleged plot to topple the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. General Ilker Basbug is accused of leading a terrorist organization. - 1/7/12

As US and Iran Confront Each other, where is the Diplomacy?
The war of words between Iran and the West has reached dangerous proportions, and it may easily get out of hand. It is clear that the majority of people in the West and in Iran do not wish the hostilities to develop into an open conflict, but events - and rhetoric - have a life of their own and have a tendency of getting out of control and leading to unintended consequences that would harm both sides. -Farhang Jahanpour - 1/6/12

Iranian 'Mothers' Ask, 'Who Really Endangers National Security?'
The Mothers of Laleh Park (previously known as the Mourning Mothers of Iran) -- a group of women whose children were killed or detained during Iran's 2009 postelection crackdown -- have issued the names of seven members or supporters who have in recent months been sentenced to prison over their activism. - 1/6/12

Obama and Netanayu's Push for Attack on Iran
Gareth Porter: Well, first of all, it's important to understand that this whole idea of sanctions that are against the Iranian central bank, as well as the oil export sector of Iran, was really an idea that came directly from the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American allies, extreme right wing pro-Israeli neoconservatives clustered around the organization called the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. -TRNN - 1/6/12

Iran's Secret Executions: Findings Challenge Judiciary's False Narrative
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran published the first public list of 101 victims of secret group executions in Vakilabad Prison today. The Campaign called on the Iranian Parliament and judiciary to immediately institute a moratorium on executions and to move swiftly to abolish the death penalty - 1/6/12

The Eternal Caro Lucas: Father of Iran's robotic science
Caro Lucas (1949 - 2010) was a versatile Iranian- Armenian scientist who is regarded as the father of Iran's robotic science. He was honored as an eternal figure by the Iranian Science and Culture Hall of Fame, which is a distinguishing honor offered to Iranian chancellor scholars. - 1/6/12

Analysts Warn of Downside to Sanctions on Iran Oil Exports
Analysts say a possible European Union embargo on Iranian oil may do little to get Tehran to cooperate on its nuclear program, and could possibly contribute to a potentially dangerous standoff with the Middle Eastern nation. -Lisa Bryant, VOA - 1/6/12

Iranian activist gets 20-year jail term
Sohrab Razzaghi, an Iranian activist and a former professor at Allmaeh Tabatabai University, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and a fine of 550 thousand euros. - 1/6/12

Turkish FM carries message from EU's Ashton to Iran
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Thursday that in his visit to Tehran he carried a message from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Iranian officials for a resumption of nuclear talks. - 1/6/12

"Dezfool Prison Inmates Are Treated Like Animals": Source
aeed Saki, a political prisoner and an Ahvaz Arab activist who was previously held in Karoon Prison of Ahvaz, was transferred to Dezfool prison two months ago. According to the source, the Dezfool Prison is in deplorable conditions due to prison overcrowding and poor hygiene, and treatment of the prisoners is abominable. - 1/6/12

As currency crisis and feud with West deepen, Iranians brace for war
TEHRAN - At a time when U.S. officials are increasingly confident that economic and political pressure alone may succeed in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, the mood here has turned bleak and belligerent as Iranians prepare grimly for a period of prolonged hardship and, they fear, war. -Washington Post - 1/6/12

Iranian Film Festival 2012 at Freer Sackler in Washington, DC
The Freer's 16th annual Iranian Film Festival is cosponsored by the ILEX Foundation, with additional funding from the Iran Endowment Fund. It is curated by Tom Vick of the Freer and Sackler Galleries; Carter Long of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Marian Luntz of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. - 1/6/12

Screws tighten on Iran as big buyers shun its oil
Iran faced the prospect of cutbacks in its oil sales to China and Japan as new measures to block Tehran's crude exports over its nuclear program appeared to be driving its economy to the wall. -Reuters - 1/6/12

McGill University law professor Payam Akhavan says Iran holds key to democracy in the Middle East
A McGill University law professor says that Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a "proxy war" for control over large parts of the Middle East. And the impact is being felt in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria. Bahrain, and Afghanistan, where Shiite and Sunni Muslims are often engaged in violent confrontations. - 1/6/12

EU Agrees to Ban Iranian Oil Imports
European Union governments have agreed to ban imports of Iranian oil as part of a Western campaign to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program. - 1/5/12

Culture Ministry's decision to disband Iran House of Cinema is illegal: Asgarpur
Managing director of Iranian House of Cinema (IHC) regards the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance's decision on disbanding the IHC as illegal. Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur made the statement in a press conference held in Tehran, only one day after the Culture Ministry ordered the Iranian House of Cinema to disband. - 1/5/12

Iran Announces New Restrictions For Internet Cafes
Iran's cyberpolice have issued new guidelines for Internet cafes that appear to be part of the Iranian establishment's efforts to tighten its control of the Internet. - 1/5/12

Photos: Three bank robbers publicly executed in Kermanshah
Three men who had been convicted of participating in an armed bank robbery were publicly hanged on Thursday at the Azadi Square of Kermanshah in western Iran. - 1/5/12

Iran To Close Independent Cinema Guild
Iran's House of Cinema (IHC) has accused the country's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of illegally ordering the independent film-promotion institute to close down. The ministry has given the IHC until January 5 to cease its activities in a move critics say is politically motivated. - 1/5/12

Turkey says NATO radar system is not a threat to Iran
The Turkish foreign minister assured neighboring Iran on Thursday that the U.S. radar to be deployed in Turkey as part of a NATO missile defense system is not a threat to the Islamic Republic. - 1/5/12

Group claims kidnap of Iranians in Syria
A previously unheard of group, called "movement against the Shiite tide in Syria," has claimed responsibility for the abduction of Iranian engineers and technicians in Syria and warned Iran of the consequences of supporting Damascus, the Daily Star reported on Wednesday. - 1/5/12

Desperate to Show Unity, Iran's Regime Takes a Critic's Daughter 'Hostage'
Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani found himself living the old cliche about revolutions devouring their own children, Tuesday, when a court in Tehran sentenced his daughter to six months in prison for "spreading propaganda" against the regime. -Azadeh Moaveni, TIME - 1/5/12

Iranian Kurds denounce civilian bombings in Turkey
Iranian Kurds gathered in front of the Turkish embassy on Wednesday in Tehran to protest the killing of Kurdish civilians in Turkey. - 1/5/12

Turkey to Broach Kurdistan Issue in Tehran
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is in Iran for talks that are expected to address the burgeoning political crisis in neighboring Iraq, where Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has fled to the semiautonomous Kurdistan region to escape a warrant for his arrest. - 1/5/12

Iran's Self-Destructive Gamble
Iran's threats to close the Straits of Hormuz in response to the latest American-led sanctions may be empty posturing. Still, Iran's slow march toward a nuclear weapons capability has dramatically increased tensions between Washington and Tehran. -Alireza Nader and James Dobbins, NY Times - 1/5/12

Interview: How Serious Are Iran's Threats?
Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Washington in the strategic Strait of Hormuz following increased sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Iran test-fired missiles and has threatened to close the strait. -CFR - 1/5/12

Italy's Monti Questions Scope, Timing of EU Ban on Iranian Oil
The leader of financially struggling Italy questioned the scope and timing of a possible European Union halt to Iranian oil purchases, raising an obstacle to stiffer sanctions on Iran's nuclear activities. -Bloomberg - 1/5/12

Iran's House of Cinema Shut Down by Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
Iran's Ministry of Culture has announced that the House of Cinema, the professional organization for the Iranian film community, has been dissolved. ISNA reported that the director of the House of Cinema has been notified, and the board is now considering the development. - 1/4/12

Yazd, Bride of Desert
Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province in Iran, and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located 270 km southeast of Isfahan. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd is an architecturally unique city. It is also known in Iran for the high quality of its handicrafts, especially silk weaving, and its sweet shops. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 1/4/12

France Presses EU to Toughen Sanctions Against Iran
Mr. Juppe said France will be pushing the European Union to toughen sanctions against Iran on two fronts, freezing the assets of Iran's central bank and imposing an embargo on Iranian oil exports. Paris wants the EU to adopt the measures by January 30, when European foreign ministers and heads of state meet in Brussels. - 1/4/12

Photos: Iranian Navy's parade in the Strait of Hormuz
Iran ended a 10-day naval drill in the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday with a parade. The last phase of the exercise included parade by all destroyers including Jamaran Destroyer, missile launcher frigates, heavy and light class submarines, fighters and helicopters. - 1/4/12

White House: Iran Warning on Persian Gulf Shows 'Weakness'
The Obama administration is brushing off Iran's warning to keep a U.S. aircraft carrier out of the Persian Gulf, saying it shows the Iranian government's "weakness." White House officials say international sanctions against Tehran are having an effect. - 1/4/12

China Criticizes US Sanctions Against Iran
China is voicing strong opposition to U.S. sanctions against Iran. Authorities in Beijing say Chinese interaction with the Middle Eastern country does not violate United Nations resolutions and therefore should not be affected by the latest sanctions. - 1/4/12

U.S. presence in Persian Gulf 'damaging': Iranian Defense Minister
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Wednesday that the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf is 'damaging' and causes turbulence in the region. - 1/4/12

Reserve deputy who caught arson suspect shuns spotlight
(Iranian-American) Attorney Shervin Lalezary gives a brief glimpse into the arrest of the man accused of setting fires across a swath of Los Angeles County. But he declines to reveal much else about himself. -LA Times - 1/4/12

Iran currency rebounds on pledges of stability after new US sanctions drive it down
Iran's national currency rebounded Wednesday from record lows after the central bank chief acknowledged with rare candor that the "psychological effects" of new U.S. sanctions were partly responsible for the devaluation and said the country might raise interest rates to stabilize the market. -AP - 1/4/12

Turkish Foreign Minister to Visit Iran for Nuclear Talks
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is set to visit Iran for talks on the country's nuclear program. Turkey's foreign ministry says Davutoglu will begin a two-day trip Wednesday that will also include discussion of recent developments in Iraq and Syria. - 1/4/12

PJAK says Iran has violated ceasefire
The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) of Iran says Islamic Republic forces have violated the terms of the ceasefire between the two sides. Last week, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps clashed with PJAK forces in Baneh in northwest Iran. - 1/4/12

Exhibition: Arash Hanaei's 02-blissefullartist-arrivingshoes-empty-earth.psd at Aaran Gallery
This exhibition brings together four different projects: The Blissful Artist/Arriving Shoes/Empty/Earth series are installed as an inhomogeneous collage whose content can correlate at least at one point. These projects together juxtapose different topics in one single domain and are considered either unfinished or in progress. - 1/4/12

The Central Bank of Iran and the Devaluing Rial
The Central Bank is losing its battle with the local Iranian gold and foreign exchange markets. Central Bank governor, Mahmoud Bahmani, has been struggling futilely with market forces for a few months now, to prevent potentially profound devaluation of the Iranian rial. -Amir Naghshineh-Pour - 1/3/12

Social Media Carries Prison Message From Iranian Activist
A well-known Iranian political activist, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, has managed to send out an unprecedented video message from the Rajayishahr prison in which he dismisses Iran's repressive measures aimed at silencing dissent and predicts they will fail. - 1/3/12

Iranian internet users to be cut off from World Wide Web
A member of Iran's Corporate Computer Systems reports that Iran will be cut off from the World Wide Web once the country launches its own national internet network. - 1/3/12

Photos: Mourning Mothers of Iran Remember Opposition Martyr Mostafa Karim Beigi
Mourning Mothers of Iran held a memorial on Tuesday December 27 for Mostafa Karim Beigi at his burial site. Karim Beigi was a 26 year old young man who was shot and killed by security forces during opposition protests in Tehran in December 2009. - 1/3/12

Iran ends 10-day naval drill with parade
On Saturday, December 24, Iran's Navy staged a massive 10-day naval exercise, covering an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. The last phase of the exercise included parade by all destroyers including Jamaran Destroyer, missile launcher frigates, heavy and light class submarines, fighters and helicopters. - 1/3/12

Iran: Faezeh Hashemi sentenced to jail
A Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani to six months in prison and a five-year ban from political, cultural and media activities. Hashemi, the daughter of the moderate cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani, was sentenced for "propaganda activities against the regime." - 1/3/12

Ilam struggles with rising suicide rate
The suicide rate in the western Iranian province of Ilam has risen to a critical level, says a provincial health official. Unemployment is a major cause of suicide, said Ilam MP Daryoosh Ghanbari, who noted last month that his province has the country's highest suicide rate. - 1/3/12

Photos: Modern steel ingot plant inaugurated in Hormozgan province of Iran
Iran's most advanced steel ingot production plant came on stream on Monday in the southern province of Hormozgan. The Hormozgan Steel Company has the initial production capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. But, infrastructures have been provided for boosting the capacity to three million tons in a year - 1/3/12

Is Iran an Existential Threat or a Strategic One?
For more than a decade the United States and some European countries have imposed economic sanctions and threatened military operation against Iran with the goal of stopping its alleged nuclear weapons development program. -Nader Habibi - 1/3/12

Iran waiting for date, venue of nuclear talks
"Mrs. Catherine Ashton's letter for continuing talks between Iran and P5+1 has already been answered and we are now waiting for unveiling time and venue of negotiations by Mrs. Ashton," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday - 1/3/12

Iranian Artists Forum Hosting Parvin Etesami Film Festival
The Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) hosted the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the Parvin Etesami Film Festival on Sunday after a one year hiatus. The festival, named in memory of the Iranian poetess Parvin Etesami, is in its 6th national edition this year. It was elevated to an international event last year. - 1/3/12

Iran Warns US Carrier Away From Persian Gulf
Iran says a U.S. aircraft carrier should not to return to the Persian Gulf, a day after Tehran completed naval exercises near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iranian army chief Ataollah Salehi said Tuesday Iran will not repeat its warning, but did not name the U.S. carrier. - 1/3/12

Photos: New Year Celebration at Sarkis Church in Tehran
Iran's Armenian Christian community held a ceremony at Sarkis Church in Tehran on Saturday night to celebrate the New Year 2012. During the ceremony, special prayers were said and New Year's bread was distributed among those attending the celebration. - 1/2/12

Iran's Currency Slumps on Sanctions Fears
Reports from Iran say the nation's currency has slumped to a record low against the U.S. dollar, two days after U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions that could affect Iran's central bank and financial system. - 1/2/12

Photos: Armenians Celebrate New Year In Isfahan
The Armenian residents of Isfahan, central Iran, celebrated the arrival of the new year during religious ceremonies held on Saturday night. According to estimates, nearly 200,000 Christians are living in Iran. - 1/2/12

Revolutionary Guards chief warns against elections protests
General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, has warned that the "enemy" is planning "street disturbances and social protests" around the upcoming parliamentary elections. - 1/2/12

Photos: Iran's Naval Drill In Strait of Hormuz
The Velayat 90 maneuvers are being carried out by Iran in a large area from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden. The 10-day naval war games which ended today had started on December 24, 2011. - 1/2/12

Iran Announces Missile Test After Nuclear Development
Iran says it has successfully tested a cruise missile, a day after announcing another missile test and a new development in its nuclear program. State media reported the ground-to-sea cruise missile test Monday, the last day of Naval exercises. - 1/2/12

EU open to resuming nuclear talks with Iran
The European Union has announced that it is prepared to accept an Iranian offer to restart nuclear talks. Reuters reports that EU foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann said on Saturday that the EU is open to resuming talks with Iran. - 1/2/12

'Drone's sensors prove U.S. act of espionage on Iran': Iranian Admiral
"A kind of sensor which a drone with an espionage mission on Afghanistan border needs is only a photographing one. This drone, however, is equipped with eavesdropping system, calorimeter sensor, and a spectrometer" he said, adding that such a super advanced drone only belongs to CIA and even the U.S. Defense Department is deprived of having such drones. - 1/2/12

Iran plans to boost output at joint oilfield with Saudi Arabia
Iran plans to increase production at the Forouzan oilfield, which is shared with Saudi Arabia, by 40 percent by the end of the next calendar year (March 20, 2013), Iran Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) managing director said. - 1/2/12

Iran to gain self-sufficiency in vaccine production
Iranian Deputy Health Minister for Research and technology Mostafa Ghanei said Iran would gain self-sufficiency in vaccine production in next two years. - 1/2/12

Bahrain Police Fire Tear Gas, Stun Grenades at Protesters
Witnesses say riot police in Sunni-ruled Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades as they clashed Sunday with hundreds of Shi'ite opposition supporters after the funeral for a 15-year-old protester killed a day earlier. - 1/2/12

Arab League Urged to Withdraw Monitors from Syria
An Arab League advisory body is calling for the immediate withdrawal of league monitors from Syria, saying the unit is failing to prevent the killing of civilians by government forces. - 1/2/12

Iran's Currency Hits New Low
According to khabar online news site, Iran's currency rial dropped further today ending at a record 1600 for a dollar. After the climb today, most exchange traders stopped selling and were only willing to buy, signaling they expect the rial's fall to continue. - 1/1/12

Islamic Republic Officials Acknowledge: Khamenei Ordered The Arrests of Protesters in 2009
By confirming that the arrests of political and civil activists were on orders of ayatollah Khamenei, Herandi, who at one time was the chief editor of the right-wing Kayhan newspaper and is now the advisor to the IRGC commander, said, "The wise view of the leader was that the leadership of the sedition was outside the country. He believed that the channel that connected the seditionists to the outside world had to be discovered." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 1/1/12

Iran Test Fires Missile In Persian Gulf
Iran said Sunday it has test fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. State media reports said the missile was equipped with technology to combat radar-evading targets. The test was part of Iran's 10-day naval exercises, scheduled to end Monday. - 1/1/12

Internet users face spotty service in Iran
Internet users in Iran have been faced with continuous service disruptions and a drop in internet speed in recent weeks. ISNA reports: "In recent weeks, repeated disruptions have tried the patience of customers of telecommunications and private internet companies." - 1/1/12

Iran Tests First Domestically Produced Nuclear Fuel Rod
Scientists and researchers at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran have successfully tested the first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod, Iranian news agencies reported on Sunday. - 1/1/12

Iranian Women's Rights Activist Sentenced To Three Years In Jail
The appeals court in Mazandaran Province, has upheld a three year prison sentence for women's rights and Campaign activist, Fereshteh Shirazi. The sentence was issued in preliminary court hearings by Judge Hassanzadeh in the northern city of Amol. - 1/1/12

Memphis Grizzlies signs Iranian player Hamed Haddadi for another year
America's premium basketball team the Memphis Grizzlies have re-signed Iranian star Hamed Haddadi. Per team policy and terms of the deal were not disclosed, Grizzlies website reported on Saturday. - 1/1/12

Iranian Oil Minister Warns New Sanctions Could Push Oil Price To $200 Per Barrel
"There is no doubt that the price of oil will increase drastically and the international markets will have to pay a heavy price," Qassemi told Saturday's edition of a news weekly, Aseman. - 1/1/12

Iranian, German scientists identify 50 mental retardation genes
An Iranian medical scientist and the Director of Genetics Research Center at Iranian University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences Hossein Najmabadi noted mental retardation includes two or three percents of the whole retardations in the world - 1/1/12

Iran Dismisses New U.S. Sanctions
The head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce has said sanctions against his country "have raised the cost of trade and economic transactions, but it has not managed to change Iran's political behavior." - 1/1/12

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