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Iran: Details emerge in journalist arrests
New details have been reported regarding the arrest of more than a dozen journalists in Tehran in the last few days, with the mother of one of the detainees calling the arrest of her daughter "illegal." - 1/31/13

Announcing the Winner of the 2013 Nowruz Banner Contest
Sheida Koufigar, an Iranian-American graphic designer currently studying at California State University, Long Beach, was named the winner of this year's banner contest, which called upon the public to submit designs that visually represent the spirit of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. - 1/31/13

Photos: Iran's Monkey Astronaut
On Monday, Iran launched the Kavoshgar Pishgam (Pioneer Discoverer) rocket, which took a monkey to to the edge of space an altitude of 120 kilometers and returned it to Earth safely. - 1/31/13

Iran: Consolidating Power as Elections Near - Authorities Step Up Targeting of Lawyers, Opposition
Authorities arrested, detained, and harassed some of Iran's most celebrated rights lawyers, and stepped up their assault on critical journalists, bloggers, and their families in 2012, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. - 1/31/13

Iran's one and only Geopark dropped from UNESCO list
After numerous warnings from UNESCO, the geopark at Qeshm Island has been deleted from that organization's list of Global Geoparks. This is yet another example of Iran's mismanagement of environmental and natural parks. -Bijan Rohani - 1/31/13

Another Iranian journalist jailed amid outrage
Ali Dehghan has become the latest journalist to be swept up in a wave of arrests by Iranian authorities, despite widespread outrage over the past few days both inside and outside Iran. - 1/31/13

Fajr International Film Festival opens in Tehran
The 31st edition of the Fajr International Film Festival, Iran's most important event in the film industry, opened during a ceremony at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Wednesday evening. - 1/31/13

Tehran Sends Message To Opposition
As Iran prepares for a presidential election in June, it seems that the clerical regime is sending out a strong signal to anyone who might want to express some sort of dissent -- You will regret it. -Dan Wisniewski, RFE - 1/31/13

Iran Plans Nuclear Equipment Upgrade
Iran is planning to install new equipment at its main nuclear enrichment facility that could refine uranium much faster than its current machines. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes. - 1/31/13

General Court annuls EU sanctions on Iran's Mellat Bank
The General Court annulled on Tuesday the asset freeze imposed on the Mellat Bank of Iran, which had been designated by the EU Council in July 2010 on the alleged charge of engaging in a pattern of conduct which supports Iran's nuclear program. - 1/31/13

Islam and science The road to renewal
A Muslim scientific awakening is under way. And the roots of scientific backwardness lie not with religious leaders, but with secular rulers, who are as stingy with cash as they are lavish with controls over independent thought. -Economist - 1/31/13

Iran crude oil exports rise to highest since EU sanctions
Iran's crude oil exports in December leapt to their highest level since European Union sanctions took effect last July, analysts and shipping sources said, as strong Chinese demand and tanker fleet expansion helped the OPEC member dodge sanctions. -Reuters - 1/31/13

Some Iranian journalists freed after recent arrests
The Mehr News Agency reported on Tuesday that some of the Iranian journalists arrested in recent days have been released. In recent days, 14 journalists were arrested, all of whom work for various reformist newspapers and publications such as Etemad, Shargh and Bahar. - 1/30/13

Iran's Reformist Newspapers Protest Against Arrests Of Journalists
In a rare move, some of the reformist newspapers that were raided by Iranian security officials on January 27 and whose writers were detained have publicly protested against the crackdown. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/30/13

Screen Actors Guild Award lauds Iran's 'Stunt 13' group
Tehran-based 'Stunt 13' team including two stuntmen and a stuntwoman along with some 100 other stunts was hailed for performing some of the more hard stunts in the action flick Skyfall. - 1/30/13

Changes To Iran's Election Law Seen As Attempt To Prevent Ahmadinejad Influence
Iran's new election law is seen by some as the outcome of a power struggle between President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/30/13

Iranian Artists Depict the "Agony of Contemporary Iran" in New Book
Sketches of Iran; Exquisite drawings, some in the unadorned clarity of black and white, others washed in visceral colors, sit side by side with searing commentary by leading Iranian writers, activists, journalists, lawyers, and family members of prisoners of conscience. - 1/30/13

Iran among top 5 cyberspace powers
The Secretary of High Council for National Center of Iran Cyberspace says according to unofficial foreign sources, Iran is among top 5 cyber power of the world. - 1/30/13

Faezeh Hashemi slams MP report of Evin visit
Jailed political prisoner Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani has challenged an MP who recently visited Evin Prison, declaring that his statements about the conditions there were fraught with "lies and delusions." - 1/30/13

Accused former prosecutor removed from position
The head of Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, has rescinded the appointment of Saeed Mortazavi as the Supervisor of the Social Security Fund, also announcing that the Minister of Labour will appear in Parliament on February 3 for questioning about the controversial appointment. - 1/30/13

IRAN: Rights defender Ms. Mansoureh Behkish begins prison term
After years of protesting Iran's human rights violations of political prisoners, Mansoureh Behkish is scheduled today to become a political prisoner herself. Behkish has been summoned by the Iranian authorities to report to the Evin prison in Tehran, Iran on 29 January 2013 to start a six-month sentence for her involvement with the nonviolent Mourning Mothers movement. -WNN - 1/30/13

Renault to maintain services in Iran despite sanctions
French giant carmaker Renault is committed to continue its services in Iran despite international sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, ISNA quoted Gilles Normand, Renault senior vice president and chairman for Asia-Pacific, as saying. - 1/30/13

Pearls of Persian art
Among the roughly 170 pieces of Islamic art that Norma Jean Calderwood and her husband left to Harvard, one in particular hints at the late collector's philosophy: an earthenware bowl bearing, in precise calligraphy, the epigram "Greed is a sign of poverty." -Harvard Gazette - 1/30/13

IAEA Sees No Sign Of Explosion At Iranian Site
The statement by a spokesman of the International Atomic Energy Agency comes after reports in Israeli and other media that an explosion had taken place last week at the underground Fordow uranium enrichment facility and that much damage had been done. - 1/30/13

How to Influence Iran's Foreign Policy Debate
There is still time for diplomacy to work and the Obama administration should pursue it vigorously and comprehensively in its second term while defending its domestic flank from AIPAC and its formidable network of supporters in Congress and the media. -Thomas J. Buonomo, Huffington Post - 1/30/13

Photos: Iran sends monkey into space
The Islamic Republic of Iran has sent a monkey into space on a suborbital flight and returned it to Earth safely. On Monday, Iran launched the Kavoshgar Pishgam (Pioneer Discoverer) rocket, which took the primate to an altitude of 120 kilometers. - 1/29/13

Iran Renews Media Crackdown Ahead Of June Vote
Iran has renewed its crackdown on the press less than five months before the country's June 14 presidential vote. Since January 26 more than a dozen journalists from six media outlets have been detained. - 1/29/13

Photos: Seh Qaleh Desert in South Khorasan, Iran
Town of Seh Qaleh is located about 200 kilometers away from city of Birjand and 24 kilometers from Sarayan in Iran's South Khorasan province. The nearby Seh Qaleh desert with its beautiful scenery is a great place for the nature enthusiasts to hike and camp. - 1/29/13

Iran: Denials, whispers swirl around journalist arrests
Mohammad Hosseiny, the Iranian Minister of Culture and Guidance, has commented on the recent arrest of more than a dozen journalists, saying their charges are not related to the media. - 1/29/13

Iranian election reforms become law
Iran's Guardian Council has passed election reforms despite heavy resistance from the administration and its representatives in Parliament. The new legislation widely diminishes the administration's authority in running elections. - 1/29/13

Cities' Heat Changing Weather in Far-Away Places
The heat that seeps out of leaky buildings and the warmth of cars purring in traffic contribute to the mass of heat that pulses into the atmosphere from urban centers. Scientists are now getting a handle on how that heat behaves in the upper atmosphere and influences temperatures elsewhere. - 1/29/13

Iran's quiet, calm rebel of music
The jail cell where they held composer Farshid Samandari smelled like urine and vomit. But he lay on the carpet and invited his cellmates to use him as a pillow to sleep, he said. He was their leader, after all, and almost a decade older than most, at 28. -Amy Smart, Times Colonist - 1/29/13

Interview: Levinson Lawyer Urges Iran To Investigate Local Contact
Mohammad-Hossein Aghasi, the lawyer for the family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran in 2007, says Tehran should question another American allegedly involved in the case. Mosaddegh Katouzian conducts an exclusive interview with Aghasi for RFE/RL's Radio Farda. - 1/29/13

U.S. Questions Iran 'Monkey Launch'
The United States says Iran may have violated a United Nations resolution if its claims of successfully launching a live monkey to the edge of space are true. - 1/29/13

Iranian officials deny rumours of blast at uranium plant
The Iranian Atomic Agency has denied recent rumours of an explosion at the uranium-enrichment plant in Fordo. A number of media reported on Saturday that an explosion had occurred at Iran's Fordo facility, located underground in Qom's mountainous region. - 1/29/13

Iran Places Pioneer Explorer Satellite Into Space
Iran launched Pioneer Explorer Satellite and placed it into space, taking a giant stride in the field of space bio-research, Public Relations Department at Iran Aerospace Organization said on Monday. - 1/28/13

5 Iranian Newspapers Raided: 10 Journalists Arrested By Order Of New Court
Reports from Tehran indicate that at least 10 journalists were arrested there on January 27 by security forces carrying arrest warrants from the newly established Court of Media and Culture. - 1/28/13

Iran Wins Asian Beach Soccer Championship on Penalties
Iran made history by winning the Asian beach soccer championship for the first time. Iran came back from a 6-3 deficit to secure a 6-6 draw against Japan in regulation time of the final of the Asian qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. - 1/28/13

Iranian workers decry lack of reaction to protest
About 800 workers have entered their sixth day of protests in front of Iran's presidential offices building on Sunday January 27. - 1/28/13

Good Things ...
According to the unofficial "rule of three" in media many stories, from comic strips to dramatic epics, are structured in threes. Blockbuster movies spawn sequels and prequels. - 1/28/13

Iran Likely to Sue Azerbaijan for Polluting Caspian Sea
Deputy Head of Iran's Environmental Protection in Marine Environment Abdol-Reza Karbasi warned on Sunday that Tehran will lodge a complaint with international courts against Baku if British Petroleum (BP), which is in charge of Azerbaijan's oil exploration, continues polluting the Caspian Sea. - 1/28/13

Majlis Surrenders to Ahmadinejad?: Distribution of Cash to People to Engineer Elections
Just as conservative critics of the government and their related media had been predicting, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to distribute cash to the lowest economic strata of Iranian society prior to the upcoming presidential election, a plan that his critics say is an election gesture with the goal of winning over votes for the presidential candidate of his choice. -Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz - 1/28/13

Iran curtails spread of "culture of Valentine"
Iranian customs has issued an order banning all goods that are linked in any way to Valentine's Day. - 1/28/13

Iran establishes first umbilical cord blood bank abroad
Iran has launched the first umbilical cord blood bank in collaboration with Royan Research Institute in Iraqi province of Erbil. - 1/28/13

Iran to stop car exports next calendar year: official
Iran will stop car exports in the next Iranian calendar year, which begins on March 21, ILNA quoted Iranian Customs Administration Director Abbas Memarnejad as saying. He further added that car production in Iran will be decreased in the next year. - 1/28/13

Daniel Davari uninterested in joining Iran football team
Germany's Eintracht Braunschweig keeper Daniel Davari has said that he is not interested in joining the Iran football team at the moment, a report says. The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) recently opened an inquiry into German-Iranian keeper, but he declined the invitation, saying he wanted to concentrate on his club. - 1/28/13

Tehran Bars Energy Exports To EU
Iran has formally banned all oil and gas exports to the European Union, an official said on January 27. - 1/28/13

Israel vexed by Iran-Argentina co-operation
Iran and Argentina, to the chagrin of Israel, have announced that they have reached an agreement regarding the AMIA explosion case. - 1/28/13

Iran pays a high price for cheap Chinese products
Smog in Iran has reached alarming levels. Thousands of people die each year as a result. One factor that has previously gone unnoticed: brake pads containing asbestos from China. -DW - 1/28/13

Economic Sanction: The second international festival of caricature of the Art Center of North Khorasan Province
The festival was held under the aegis of the center and on the subject of economic sanction and with the goal of producing and creating invaluable works on this topic. - 1/27/13

Iran's Farhadi Completes 'The Past' Shooting in Paris
Academy Award-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has completed shooting of his new project The Past in Paris during recent days. As Farhadi's sixth directorial experience, The Past depicts the story of an Iranian girl and a boy of North African origin. - 1/27/13

US Middle East Policy in Obama's Second Term
"The new secretary of state should find a reliable channel to Iran's top leadership and start his own assessment of how to forge a new relationship," Quandt says. "A deal on nuclear capabilities needs to be a part of a larger package. If we could succeed, the benefits would be seen in places such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Gulf region." - 1/27/13

UN Rights Experts Urge Iran to Halt Executions of Five Ahvazi Activists
The five Ahvazi Arab men are said to be founders of the Alhavar (Dialogue) Science and Culture Institute and have been charged with "enmity against God" and other charges. Their death sentences have been upheld without due process, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has called for an independent investigation into the judicial process of the case and allegations of torture, in addition to a halt to the executions. - 1/27/13

Iranian-American Priest Sentenced To Eight Years In Jail
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said pastor Saeed Abedini, who had been detained in Iran since September, was found guilty of "threatening the national security of Iran" by promoting Christian house churches. RFE - 1/27/13

A sharp contrast exists between the treatment of homosexuality in Islamic law and its reflection in Persian literature, particularly poetry (the chief vehicle of Persian literary expression). - 1/27/13

Iranian Official Warns Against Attack On Syria
A senior Iranian official says his country would consider any attack on Syria an attack on itself. The semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying on January 26 that the Syrian regime played a "key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance." - 1/26/13

Syrian Refugees Tell U.S. Officials "Heartbreaking" Stories
Top U.S. aid officials were in the Islahiye Camp in Turkey January 24, spending hours with camp staff and refugees. The United States is a major donor to the humanitarian aid effort to support these refugees and Syrians still in their country needing assistance. In Ankara January 25, the United States announced a further $10 million increase in aid. - 1/26/13

Skiing away from the ayatollahs in Iran
High up in the snowy peaks above Tehran, Iranians enjoy more than winter sports. They enjoy a taste of the Western comforts that have, for all intents and purposes, disappeared from the city below. -Ilan Goldman, Haaretz - 1/26/13

The Aftermath of an Acid Attack in Iran
Just before dawn, Sommayeh Mehri's husband slipped into the bedroom where she slept with her two small daughters and doused their sleeping figures with a bucket of acid. -Azadeh Moaveni, TIME - 1/26/13

Iran's Obama billboard: what it really means
Tehran's latest propaganda offensive shows Barack Obama on a huge mural side by side with a seventh-century Shia villain - 1/26/13

Devil Is in the Details for Iran Nuclear Deal
After a year of fruitless negotiations that are expected to resume soon, Iranian and U.S. experts are urging both sides to show more flexibility and make more concessions on its nuclear programme. -Jasmin Ramsey, IPS - 1/26/13

Iranian politicians call for free elections
A heated debate about who will be allowed to run in Iran's presidential election has erupted five months before the vote, stoking concerns about a repeat of the protests that followed the contested 2009 poll. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 1/26/13

Wikileaks film script leaked to Wikileaks
"It is a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks, the organization (and) the character of my staff," he said, adding that the movie -- the opening scenes of which Assange described as taking place in Tehran and Cairo -- also hyped Western fears over the Islamic Republic's disputed atomic energy program. "It is not just an attack against us, it is an attack against Iran. It fans the flames of an attack against Iran," he said. - AP - 1/26/13

Iranian cancer specialist warns of rising wave
The head of the Iran Cancer Conference says "environmental pollution, rising obesity, a lack of activity and unhealthy living habits" are hitting Iran with a rising wave of cancer cases. - 1/25/13

Turkey Aids Iran Through Gold Trade
Banks in Turkey continue to send gold to Iran despite U.S. pressure to curb a booming gold-for-gas trade, which helps Iran skirt international sanctions. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 1/25/13

Iran's Evin Prison is no "hotel" says jailed reformist
Jailed reformist Mohsen Mirdamadi has issued an open letter from Evin Prison to challenge the recent favourable reports of a parliamentary delegation that visited there. Astara MP Safar Naimi has said that Evin should be referred to as Hotel Evin for the high-quality services that it offers to prisoners. - 1/25/13

Photos: Quake damages houses in Iran's Lorestan province
An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted the town of Sepid Dasht in Lorestan province, Western Iran, on Tuesday. - 1/25/13

Groups rally support for condemned Iranian prisoners
Shirin Ebadi issued a joint statement today with 29 Iranian and international human rights organizations, calling for a halt to the execution of five Iranian-Arab political prisoners on death row in Ahwaz. - 1/25/13

Novel: The Man Who Fooled SAVAK
Douglas Roberts in his debut novel, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, weaves an engaging tale of love, romance and suspense around true events that are even more relevant today as they were 40 years ago in Tehran. When the ebook version was released, the Arab spring had not yet happened. - 1/25/13

Why Is Tehran Procrastinating?
There is both annoyance and frustration in Washington over Tehran's unwillingness to agree on the venue for the next round of talks over Iran's nuclear activities. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 1/25/13

Iranian journalist: 'Every week they try to smear me, discredit me'
Masih Alinejad, who was banned after exposing a bonus scandal in the Iranian parliament, tells of harassment and living in exile -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 1/25/13

Samsung Total strikes Iran oil deal, lured by cheap fuel - sources
South Korea's Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co has revived a contract to buy Iranian oil after a year's hiatus, as thin margins in plastics make the cheap fuel from Iran hard to resist, people familiar with the deal said on Friday. -Reuters - 1/25/13

IAAB and HAND Foundation Launch University Fellows Program For Iranian and Central Asian Student Leaders
Based on the success of IAAB's fellowship program and the HAND Foundation's awards program, both organizations have joined forces to recognize and cultivate a new generation of young Central Asian (Persian-speaking Afghan, Tajik, Uzbek) and Iranian American leaders. - 1/24/13

Hollywood's Terrorist Of The Moment: 'Homeland's' Abu Nazir
Iranian-American actor Navid Negahban is one of the stars of the enormously popular American television series, "Homeland," a show whose plot revolves around CIA agents, an ex-prisoner of war, and terror threats to the United States. - 1/24/13

Iran unveils third generation fighter jets
Reports quoted Ahmad Vahidi as saying; "a new fighter jet to be unveiled soon, is designed as a bomber and performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. It is fully engineered by Islamic Republic of Iran's scientists and is considered a very important achievement for Iran." - 1/24/13

Mamak Khadem Sings the Poetry of Sohrab Sepehri
At Asia Society Texas Center, Mamak will be collaborating with Sahba Motallebi and other performers and instrumentalists from Iran and the West. Mamak hopes to inspire people around the world, particularly the young, to contemplate, observe, and celebrate the value of nature and the environment. - 1/24/13

Iran Denies Access To Slovak Accused Of Spying
Iranian state television aired what it said was a "confession" by Valuch on January 16. In a report titled "The Hunter Trapped," Valuch says he was recruited by the CIA and that he sent secret information about Iranians to a U.S. intelligence agency. - 1/24/13

German puppetry therapist surprised by thirst for knowledge in Iran
The founder of the German Association for Therapeutic Puppetry, Barbara Scheel, began a series of workshops starting January 20 on the sidelines of the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran. - 1/24/13

Iranian Filmmaker Behrouz Ghobadi Released from Prison Following Amnesty Campaign with Hollywood Artists
Amnesty International USA announced today that Kurdish Iranian filmmaker Behrouz Ghobadi has been freed from prison in Iran, following a campaign demanding his release that engaged prominent Hollywood directors, actors and independent filmmakers. - 1/24/13

Iran's Judiciary Chief Defends Public Hanging Of Robbers
The head of Iran's judiciary says the execution of two prisoners convicted of armed robbery was in the "interest of the Islamic society." Alireza Mafiha and Mohammad Ali Sarvari were hanged in public for assaulting and robbing an individual on the streets of Tehran. - 1/24/13

'This is war propaganda, and you are the target': Latest anti-Muslim subway ads get another makeover
The latest installment of anti-Muslim advertisements put out by Pamela Geller have gone up in New York City subway stations. But they have quickly received a makeover, just as the last batch did. -Alex Kane, Mondoweiss - 1/24/13

About 17 million Iranians to receive staple food coupons
About seventeen million Iranians will receive staple food coupons, as the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the parliament have agreed to adopt policies to assist low-income families - 1/24/13

Iran Parliament Receives Notice to Impeach Labour Minister
Iran's Parliament has received the motion to impeach Labour Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami for having appointed Saeed Mortazavi to head the Social Security Fund. - 1/24/13

China to begin importing Iranian polyethylene this month: report
China is set to start imports of Iranian-manufactured polyethylene this month, which became possible because the Islamic Republic partially lifted a ban on the export of petrochemicals late last year. - 1/24/13

Exhibition in Toronto: 20 Walls, 20 Iranian Artists
Nami Iranian-Canadian Centre for the Arts (NICCA), is inviting you to its first group art project titled 'Walls'. The project comprises works of 20 Iranian artists and includes paintings, photographs, installations, sculpture, and video art. - 1/23/13

UN Working Group Calls on Iran to Release the Opposition Leaders
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has issued an opinion "request[ing] the Government [of Iran] to release Hossein Mossavi, Mehdi Karoubi, [and] Zahra Rahnavard," calling their detention "arbitrary (and thus prohibited)." - 1/23/13

Football: Daniel Davari to wear Iran No. 1 shirt
Iranian-German keeper Daniel Davari will be invited to the Iran football team, coach Carlos Queiroz said on Monday. The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has recently opened an inquiry into German-Iranian keeper, who currently plays for Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2. Bundesliga. - 1/23/13

Family says Sotoudeh's furlough cut short
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh has been returned to Evin Prison after she was granted a furlough on Saturday, her first in more than two years behind bars. - 1/23/13

FIFA banns Iran football coach for two matches: report
FIFA banned Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz for two matches for insulting South Korean captain during Iran's 1-0 win over South Korea in October. - 1/23/13

Former Iranian president says reformists must turn to the people
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami expressed grave concern regarding Iran's current situation and stressed that the reformists should turn to the people rather than the establishment. - 1/23/13

31st Fajr International Film Festival: International Lineup Unveiled
The 31st Fajr International Film festival has announced list of the selected movies participating in the international competition section of the festival. Some sixteen productions were selected from 383 movies submitted by filmmakers from 71 countries across the world. - 1/23/13

Iran Currency Falls Further on Concerns Over Bank
Iran's currency, weakened by Western sanctions and economic mismanagement, has fallen further in value over the past few days in an apparent reaction to a leadership problem at the Central Bank that has stirred new concerns about political tensions, money traders and outside economists said Tuesday. -NY Times - 1/23/13

Ahmadinejad: Iran would profit "ten times" oil income from innovations
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran says that Iran would make money ten times as oil income through new innovations in science and technology. - 1/23/13

Iran Suggests Nuclear Talks In Egypt
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has reportedly suggested that the next round of international talks over Iran's nuclear program should take place in Cairo. - 1/23/13

Israeli Election Results Have Regional Fallout
JERUSALEM - Preliminary election results show Israel's right-wing and center-left blocs winning an even split of seats in parliament -- a surprise result that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu working to form a new ruling coalition. - 1/23/13

China's December crude import from Iran 2nd highest in 2012
Official data show Iran's crude oil exports to China soared to their second highest level in December 2012, in spite of U.S.-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic's energy sector. - 1/23/13

Iranian artists hit by sanctions
International sanctions imposed against Iran over its disputed nuclear program are affecting all areas of Iranian life. Lately, inflation and a severely depreciated currency have begun to bite in a segment of society that seems far removed from debates over uranium enrichment and "possible military dimensions": Tehran's artistic class. -Sune Engel Rasmussen, Guardian - 1/23/13

Widely Cited Government Study on Iranian Spies 'Pulled for Revisions'
An official with the Library of Congress says a widely cited but poorly sourced report his office did on Iran's intelligence ministry has been pulled from circulation. -Justin Elliott, Pro Publica - 1/23/13

Accused Tehran prosecutor keeps controversial job
Saeed Mortazavi, the notorious former Tehran Prosecutor accused of causing the deaths of detainees at Kahrizak Prison in 2009, is staying at the head of the Social Security Fund by order of the Ahmadinejad administration. - 1/22/13

Challenging Unchallenged Myths
Reflections on the newly published book, Going to Tehran, Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/22/13

The Iranian American Community's New Year's Resolution
2012 was a historic year for Iranians. Iranians had unprecedented gains within the arts and entertainment fields. Iran claimed its first Academy Award for the best foreign film A Separation. Iranian American entertainers made more television appearances ... -Mana Kharrazi - 1/22/13

Lawyer and Women's Rights Activist Hopes Discriminatory Passport Law Does Not Pass
According to lawyer and women's rights activist Farideh Gheirat the new Passport and Exit Law bill, which will make it mandatory for girls and women to have the approval of their "guardian" to exit the country, is at odds with the Iranian Constitution. - 1/22/13

Teams dispatched to Sirch earthquake site in Iran
An earthquake of 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale rocked Sirch in Kerman Province on Monday night at 11:23 PM. Mehr news agency reports that the earthquake was long and the shocks were felt in Kerman, the capital of the province. - 1/22/13

Iran launches spacesuit production
The head of Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) of Iran told Mehr News that Iran has plans to send human to outer space, and that technology for spacesuit production is hi-tech, attainment of which is very expensive and needs high knowledge as well. - 1/22/13

Ferdowsi's Legacy: Examining Persian Nationalist Myths of the Shahnameh
The Shahnameh, completed by Hakim Abul-Qasim Ferdowsi in 1010 CE, is the undisputable national epic poem of the pan-Persian-speaking world. Composed of nearly 60,000 couplets, its narrative covers Creation to the Islamic conquest of Greater Iran (Iran Zamin) in the 7th century. -Ajam - 1/22/13

Internet Gender Gap Hurts World's Economy, Study Finds
The Internet gender gap is hurting the world's economy as well as millions of women across the globe, says a newly released, groundbreaking study. -Jane Morse - 1/22/13

Iran produces 500bm3 gas from gas field shared with Qatar
Iran has increased gas production from South Pars shared field with Qatar in Persian Gulf to 500bm3. - 1/22/13

IAAB's Persian Language Educators' Symposium
IAAB's Persian Language Educators' Symposium brings together Persian language educators who teach heritage speakers from pre-school through high school. The educators will gather from around the United States to address shared goals, needs, and challenges in a closed, invite-only symposium in New York City from May 24-27, 2013. - 1/21/13

Photos: Prominent Iranian music figure Homayoon Khorram laid to rest
Homayoon Khorram, a prominent Iranian composer and violinist, was laid to rest on Sunday January 20 in the Artists section of Tehran's Beheshte Zahra. Khorram was one of the last remaining students of Iranian music master Abolhassan Saba - 1/21/13

Photos: The Slow Decay of Historical Khaju Bridge
Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran, is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid era. However this historical bridge has been subjected to a slow decay due to moisture expanding the cracks and causing increasing damage. - 1/21/13

Nutz About Big Bad Boo Studios
For children of immigrants, growing up in the United States can sometimes be a difficult juggling maneuver of embracing one's family's culture at home while participating in and adopting the American culture at school and among peers. - 1/21/13

Rahmati withdraws from Iran football team after Federation shows interest in German-Iranian goalkeeper Daniel Davari
The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has recently opened an inquiry into German-Iranian keeper Daniel Davari, who currently plays for Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2. Bundesliga. It seems Rahmati has decided to step down after the Iranian federation showed interest in inviting Davari to the national team. - 1/21/13

Transfer of Iranian Political Prisoner Called "Blatant Violation"
Thirty-nine Iranian political prisoners have written a letter to the head of Iran's judiciary to protest against the transfer of Abolfazl Ghadiyani to Ghezel Hesar Prison, calling it a "blatant violation of the current rules and regulations." - 1/21/13

Iran's Court of Audit says Central Bank Chief got dismissal notice
Iran's Court of Audit announced that Mahmoud Bahmani, the head of the Central Bank, has been given notice of dismissal in connection with issues concerning foreign currencies. - 1/21/13

Humans Of New York In Iran: Street Portraits By Bandon Stanton (PHOTOS)
It's not every day a young American photographer decides to pick up and leave for Iran given the thirty years of raging hostility between the U.S. and Iran - but then again, Brandon Stanton is not every photographer. -Shirin Barghi, Huffington Post - 1/21/13

Iran plans to boost agricultural exports by 11 million tons
Iran's agricultural exports grew last year, with pistachio and saffron sales almost doubling, despite Western sanctions on trade with the country, the Fars News Agency quoted Iran's deputy agriculture minister Jahangir Pourhemmat as saying on January 6. - 1/21/13

Photos: Tehran Street Attackers Hanged In Public
Two men charged with assaulting and robbing a victim on the streets of Tehran were hanged today, January 20, in public. The two were arrested after a video of the assault and robbery was posted on YouTube last month and later aired on public TV in Iran, triggering widespread outrage. - 1/20/13

Iranian Parliament approves probe of Central Bank
Iranian Parliament has passed a motion to investigate the actions of the Central Bank in connection with its management of the foreign currency market and the devaluation of the national currency. - 1/20/13

US denies freedom to Iranian university lecturer
US officials have denied freedom to an Iranian university lecturer who has been arrested since two years ago by US police. Mojtaba Atarodi has been in house arrest in US under the baseless pretext of breaching sanctions law. He has a heart condition, and has twice suffered attacks. - 1/20/13

Iran cyber police uncovers hacking of US bank: Report
The Head of FETA (Iran's cyber police) says the police has identified the source of attack to US Citibank, and denies that Iranians have a role in attack, Mehr News Agency reported from Tehran on Sunday. - 1/20/13

Iran ends fuel subsidies for 1800cc and above cars
Iran has ended supplies of subsidized gasoline for cars with engines of 1,800cc and bigger, ISNA reported on Sunday. Iranians with cars pay 4,000 rials (33 cents) a liter for a monthly allowance of 60 liters and 7,000 rials a liter for larger volumes. - 1/20/13

French multinationals, Iran to team up in Lebanon energy projects
The French multinational energy corporations Total SA and GDF Suez SA have invited Iran to cooperate with them in oil and gas projects in Lebanon, according to the representative of a French company. - 1/20/13

Czech University Denies Admission to Iranian Student, Citing Sanctions
Over the past several months, there have been widespread media reports regarding the negative impact of sanctions on ordinary Iranian citizens including the alarming medicine shortages in Iran and barriers to accessing financial institutions. More recently, students became the newest target of sanctions by being banned from higher education programs and from opening accounts at major US banks. - 1/19/13

"Fresh Air": 5 Iranian photographers in France
The House of Artists in Evreux, Normandy in France is currently playing host to a photography exhibition entitled "Fresh Air". Curated by Brigitte Brulois, the exhibition includes works by 5 Iranian photographers: Navid Reyhani, Katayoun Karami, Shadi Ghadirian, Hamid Ghodrati and Mehrdad Asgari Tari. - 1/19/13

Iran: Defence of opposition leaders stirs controversy
Senior conservative figure Habibollah Asgaroladi has repeated his belief that Iranian opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi are not guilty of "sedition", despite the fact that his comments have given rise to serious controversy in the upper echelons of the Islamic Republic establishment. - 1/19/13

Iran 14th in Middle East broadband ranking
Latest statistics on internet penetration rate in the Middle East show that Iran with 42 million users enjoys the highest number of internet users in the region, but it has 14th rank in broadband internet. - 1/19/13

Premiere Screening of "Beyond the Electronic Curtain" and Policy Panel Discussion
George Washington University will host the premiere screening of the documentary film "Beyond the Electronic Curtain," produced by award-winning broadcast journalist Tara Kangarlou. The screening will be followed by a foreign policy discussion centered on Iran's censorship issues in light of the current sanctions and political climate - 1/19/13

Iran: Dead blogger's lawyer calls for speedy justice
Sattar Beheshti was arrested on October 30 at his home for "propaganda against the Islamic Republic, insulting the values of the regime and colluding against national security", and five days later he was pronounced dead while in the custody of the cyber police. - 1/19/13

U.S. theaters now hosting Iranian film "Modest Reception"
The acclaimed Iranian film "Modest Reception" has premiered at theaters in the United States. The latest work of director/actor Mani Haqiqi went on screen at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York on January 13. - 1/19/13

Huge gas field discovered in northeast Iran
A huge natural gas field has been discovered in northeastern Iran, Central Oilfields Company Managing Director Mehdi Fakour has announced. "Details of the discovery of new natural gas reserves in the region will be announced by the National Iranian Oil Company" - 1/19/13

Photos: Wounded Iranian Eagle Undergoes Surgery
An eagle, shot and injured by illegal hunters, underwent surgical operation Wednesday evening at the Clinc for Animals in Karaj, Alborz province of Iran. The eagle is expected to recover and be released back into the wild. - 1/18/13

Photos: Biking for Environment in Qaemshahr
Residents of the city of Qaemshahr in northern Iran held a group cycling event in order to promote clean air and a healthy living. In recent years pollution has been a recurring problem for major cities in Iran, and this a major source of health concerns for the residents. - 1/18/13

Jailed Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh given first furlough
Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed Iranian human rights lawyer and activist, has been given a furlough for the first time since she was jailed in September of 2010. Her husband, Reza Khadan, reported on his Facebook page that his wife has been given a three-day furlough starting today and is currently with her family. - 1/18/13

Photos: Third day of Fajr Theater Festival in Tehran
These photos show one of the performances that was held on the third day of the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival outside Tehran's City Theater Complex on Friday. The festival opened on January 15 in Tehran and will continue until January 31. - 1/18/13

Iranian MP blames administration for worsening economy
Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli says the Iranian currency has fallen in value by 55 percent in the past year, and he blamed the Ahmadinejad administration's economic policies for exacerbating the economic problems caused by international sanctions. - 1/18/13

Negotiations for Some Seasons
Herman M.G. Nackaerts, the deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived in Tehran on Wednesday January 16, 2013, for intense negotiations with the Iranian officials in order to reach a plan for the resolution of the Islamic Republic's nuclear issue. -Hassan Beheshtipour - 1/18/13

No Sign of Breakthrough After Iran-IAEA Nuclear Talks
Iran denies Western accusations that it is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, saying its program is aimed only at power generation and medical research. - 1/18/13

Debate Roils in Turkey Over Responsibility for Paris Triple-Homicide
While some Kurds claim rogue elements of the Turkish state are behind the slayings, Turkish officials blame the slaying on a feud within ranks of the Kurdish rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while other observers are speculate on the involvement of Iranian and Syrian elements. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 1/18/13

Photos: Historical Fin Garden in Kashan
Fin Garden, or Bagh-e Fin, located in Kashan, Iran, is a historical Persian garden. It contains Kashan's Fin Bath, where Amir Kabir, the Qajarid chancellor, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. - 1/17/13

Free Elections Are the Code for Sedition: Principlists Capitalize on Khamenei's Remark
Immediately after Iran's leader ayatollah Khamenei denounced the on-going public calls for free elections in the country, hardline cleric ayatollah Ahmad Janati echoed the remarks during last Friday prayer's sermon in Tehran and now more than two hundred Majlis representatives have jumped on the bandwagon and declared free elections to mean "following the West's" wishes. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 1/17/13

CIA Agents Arrested In Tehran: Iranian News Agency
Iranian News Agency Mehr News Agency published the following story and photos today claiming that CIA undercover agents have been arrested by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. - 1/17/13

Iran's Supreme Leader Unintentionally Triggers Online Interest In 'Free Elections'
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei shot himself in the foot last week when he called for an end to public demands for free elections. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/17/13

One Judge, 130 cases, 80 prisoners
The Mehr News Agency reports that 900,000 cases are presented to the Iranian judiciary on a monthly basis, which adds up to 11 million cases per year. Iran, however, has only 7,000 judges, and each judge has to handle 130 cases each month. -Naimeh Doostdar - 1/17/13

Iranian car companies warn of dangerous gas mix
The Association of Iranian Car Manufacturers has warned the Environment Organization that using gasoline that is 35 percent methanol can be seriously harmful to people's health and can also cause car fires. Iran's Oil Ministry previously had announced its plan to produce gasoline that is 35 percent methanol. - 1/17/13

Don Quixote, Hamlet to meet on stage at Fajr Theater Festival in Tehran
The Iranian stage director Maryam Motaref will stage "The Knight and the Sword-bearer", a play on a fantasy meeting of Don Quixote and Hamlet, during the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival. - 1/17/13

The Boston Festival of Films From Iran
Celebrate the diversity of Iranian cinema in this annual festival offering varying perspectives on the complexity of Persian life and culture. Eight different short films will be showcased at the MFA throughout the next two weeks (January 19-31), each offering a unique window into life in Iran. - 1/17/13

Exhibition of Iranian artwork in space
The Secretary of the Exhibition of Iranian Artwork in the International Space Station says that Iranian artwork has been exhibited in International Space Station. - 1/17/13

Iran Navy to deploy 24th fleet to Mediterranean Sea: Commander
Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Islamic Republic's 24th fleet of warships will be deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. - 1/17/13

Iran Parliament Mulls New Restrictions On Women's Travel
The national security committee of the Iranian parliament is considering a bill that could place further limits on the already restricted right of Iranian women to travel. Women over the age of 18 need the written consent of their father or guardian to obtain a passport. Married women must receive their husband's approval to receive the documents. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/16/13

Photos: Rayen, world's second largest clay building
Rayen Citadel (Arg-e Rayen) is an adobe castle located in the city of Rayen in Kerman province, Iran. The medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is similar to the Arg-e Bam city which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. - 1/16/13

Photos: Shooting of "The Puzzle of the Shah" begins
The shooting of "The Puzzle of the Shah", a TV series about the life story of former Iranian monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, began during a ceremony in Tehran's Mellat Museum on Tuesday, which was the 34th anniversary of his departure from Iran. - 1/16/13

IAEA Former Inspector: No Evidence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Activity at Parchin
On January 16, the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be back in Iran continuing their negotiations to further inspect the nuclear program of Iran. Now joining us to discuss what's at stake in all of this is Bob Kelley. Robert is the nuclear engineer who's carried out IAEA inspections in many countries, including Iraq. -Real News Network - 1/16/13

Iran Tells Reporters: Quit Working For Outsiders
That's the message being sent to Iranian journalists working outside the country, along with warnings that their reputations, finances, and families are at risk should they refuse to comply. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/16/13

Former Iranian MPs call for direct U.S.-Iran talks
Seven former Iranian MPs who currently reside abroad have issued a letter addressed to Islamic Republic and U.S. leaders, calling for direct talks between Tehran and Washington to resolve their atomic disputes. - 1/16/13

Photos: First day of Fajr Theater Festival
The first day of the 31st Fajr Theater Festival was held outside Tehran's City Theater Complex on Wednesday with performances from local Iranian troupes. This complex is one of the main venues hosting theatergoers during the festival. - 1/16/13

UN Nuclear Experts in Iran for Talks
United Nations nuclear experts are in Tehran for meetings they hope will further their investigation into Iran's controversial nuclear program. - 1/16/13

Groups decry death sentences for ethnic prisoners
Three human rights organizations have issued statements calling for the immediate withdrawal of death sentences for prisoners of conscience in Iran and specifically protested against the imminent execution of five detained Iranian-Arab activists and two Iranian-Kurdish prisoners. - 1/16/13

Call for Entries: 6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival
Submissions are now open for Feature Films, Documentaries, Short Films, and Animations. Films from Iranian filmmakers, films made about Iran or Iranians, and films that include Iranians as part of the cast or crew qualify for submission. - 1/16/13

Khomeini's Granddaughter On Iran's 'Critical Situation,' Sanctions, Facebook
According to Zahra Eshraghi, whose grandfather, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founded the Islamic republic, Iran "is on the edge of the precipice." She said politicians should find a solution quickly to the crisis the country is facing, though it may be too late. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/15/13

Iran: Detained earthquake relief workers sentenced
A group of volunteer relief workers who were arrested at an independent relief camp following last summer's earthquake in northwest Azerbaijan have been handed jail sentences ranging from six months to two years. - 1/15/13

Maryam Mirzakhani Receives 2013 AMS Satter Prize
Maryam Mirzakhani, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, is receiving the 2013 AMS Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize. Presented every two years by the American Mathematical Society, the Satter Prize recognizes an outstanding contribution to mathematics research by a woman in the preceding five years. - 1/15/13

Letter from prison calls for "free elections" in Iran
Jailed reformists have joined with former interior ministry chief Mostafa Tajzadeh to publish another letter from Evin Prison that urges Tajzadeh's peers to give their firm support in the quest for free elections. - 1/15/13

Women enter Iran Riot Police
Commander of Iran Riot Police says Women's Unit in the Riot Police has been operational and that cavalry and SEPKA (Iran Investigation Police Dogs) units are ready for the containing the riots. - 1/15/13

The Chuck Hagel Controversy and the Limits of Secretarial Power
Hagel has historically advocated engagement with Iran and cautioned Washington against "giving them the back of our hand." In 2006, Middle East scholar and policy advisor Aaron David Miller interviewed Hagel for a book he was writing. Hagel's comments about the "Jewish lobby" in Washington generated criticism that Hagel is either anti-Semitic, anti-Israel or completely uninformed -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 1/15/13

Iran to send live monkey into space before mid-February
The Head of Iranian Space Agency (ISA) says that it will launch a living animal capsule into space during Fajr Ceremonies ( a 10-day period starting January 31, which marks the 34th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution). - 1/15/13

New cyber-espionage against Iran, world diplomats
Kaspersky Internet Security Company has said that it has uncovered a massive cyber-espionage campaign targeting world, especially Iranian diplomats. Kaspersky also added the main targets as being countries in Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics and Central Asia. - 1/15/13

Eyewitness Report: Discriminatory Treatment of Iranian Passengers at Doha Airport in Qatar
A Qatar Airways passenger told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he and other Iranian passengers were exposed to discriminatory treatment at Doha Airport in December 2012. "Last December, a group of Iranian passengers had to spend between 12 to 20 hours at Doha Airport in Qatar... - 1/15/13

New Foreign-Policy Leaders In U.S. Congress May Challenge White House
When the U.S. Congress starts its new session this month, two key committees that deal with foreign relations will be headed by lawmakers who could challenge the White House on several foreign-policy fronts, including Iran sanctions and U.S. strategy in the Caucasus. -Richard Solash, RFE - 1/15/13

Iran's latest car: Python
Iman Maghsoodi, contributing member of the weekly "Auto World" and chief designer of Python, said in the unveiling ceremony of concept model that "the car is designed according to global standards and for export to foreign markets. - 1/15/13

Robbery and Double Intimidation: What's Wrong With This Picture?
These days, the subject of violent robberies, usually carried out in public with knives and daggers, has become a hot topic in Iranian public opinion. -Hossein Ghazian - 1/15/13

Iran's non-oil exports predicted to hit $59.5b in next fiscal year
Iran's non-oil exports in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21, 2013, is predicted to hit $59.5 billion, Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Director Hamid Safdel stated. - 1/15/13

The Year We Reckon With Iran
In 2013, perhaps in the next few months, President Obama will face a crisis on Iran. He has categorically ruled out living with a nuclear-armed Iran under a Cold War--style policy of containment. That means either Iran will capitulate to U.S. demands or the U.S. will go to war with Iran. -Fareed Zakaria, TIME - 1/15/13

Photos: The Desert at Touran Biosphere Reserve
These photos show the desert which is part of the Touran Biosphere Reserve located in the eastern part of Semnan province in Iran. This area offers spectacular sceneries and is known as Iran's Africa. - 1/14/13

Iran: Reformist Congress in limbo after government sets tough conditions
According to Montajebnia, all participants in the congress would have to declare that they were not involved in the 2009 election protests and that they did not support the two reformist candidates in the 2009 election who are now under house arrest. - 1/14/13

Iranian MPs line up behind Supreme Leader on election issue
219 Iranian MPs have issued an announcement to express their support for the recent statements of their Supreme Leader and to once again remind people that, as Ayatollah Khamenei has stated, any insinuation that Iran's elections are not free is a boon to the country's enemies. - 1/14/13

Iran unable to get life-saving drugs due to international sanctions
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians with serious illnesses have been put at imminent risk by the unintended consequences of international sanctions, which have led to dire shortages of life-saving medicines such as chemotherapy drugs for cancer and bloodclotting agents for haemophiliacs. -Guardian - 1/14/13

Argo Wins Top Awards at Golden Globes
Ben Affleck's Iran hostage drama Argo and the musical Les Miserables were the big winners Sunday at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, while Steven Spielberg's heavily favored presidential drama Lincolnwon only one major award. - 1/14/13

Iranian Opposition Leaders Musavi, Karrubi Remain 'Seditionists'
I never said [Mir Hossein Musavi] and [Mehdi Karrubi] are not seditionists, I said they're not at the top of the sedition," senior conservative politician Habibollah Asgar Oladi has said in an interview with the semiofficial Mehr news agency. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 1/14/13

Iranian MP says detained opposition leaders must have day in court
Ali Motahari, a conservative Iranian MP, says opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi must be given a chance to speak in an official court. Motahari told the Asman weekly that Mousavi and Karroubi must inform the people of Iran of all that happened, referring to the 2009 election protests. - 1/14/13

Iran-Turkey relations irreversible. Trade may reach $100B: Envoy
The Islamic Republic of Iran Ambassador to Turkey says nothing can reverse Iran-Turkey relation and believes that Iran-Turkey trade volume can reach $100b. He said that Iran-Turkey trade volume has been worth $5b in 2008, $9b in 2009, $12.5b in 2010, $17b in 2011, and more than $21b in 2012. - 1/14/13

Iran imports 897,000 tons of rice in 9 months
Iran imported 897,000 tons of rice, valued at $884 million, during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2012, ISNA reported, citing statistics released by the Iranian Customs Administration. - 1/14/13

Advocating Love for Human Rights
This collaborative advocacy project advocates Love for Human Rights. Please kindly consider sharing this outreach project among family members, friends, and beyond. Your support means the world to us. -12Petals Media Group - 1/14/13

Irandokht: Daughters of Iran
In the autumn of 2005, Najaf Shokri was on his way to work when he made an intriguing discovery in a rubbish bin near his house in downtown Tehran. The bin, outside a branch of the National Civil Registrations Organisation, was filled with old national identification documents, all issued in 1942 and long expired. -Sourena Parham, Guardian - 1/14/13

European Airlines Cut Flights to Tehran
Two European airlines, KLM and Austrian Airlines, have announced that they will stop their flights to Tehran due to a decline in ticket sales. Reuters reported on Saturday January 12 that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which currently flies to Iran four times a week, will halt all flights to Tehran as of April 2013. - 1/13/13

Iranian drug statistics at all-time high
Iranian police statistics reveal that 652 new drug-related cases are created every day and 30 people are arrested every hour on drug-related charges. The Mehr news agency reported on Saturday January 12 on the unprecedented prevalence of drugs in the country, citing the latest statistics released by the police department. - 1/13/13

Fajr Theater Festival announces international competition lineup
The 31st Fajr International Theater Festival announced the lineup for the international competition on Saturday. Twenty four Iranian and foreign troupes will be performing in this section of the festival, which will begin in Tehran on January 15. - 1/13/13

Iran's Mehdi Mahdavikia voted Asia's Most Popular Footballer
Mehdi Mahdavikia of Iran was voted the Most Popular Footballer in Asia amongst currently active players in 2012, according to the results of voting on the website of the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). - 1/13/13

Iranian researchers reconstruct defected mandible using brain death bones, cell therapy
Researchers at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences have reconstructed the mandible using bones from brain death patients and stem cells. Dr. Mehdi Gholami, project manager, told Mehr News about the common procedures for mandible reconstruction and added "for the reconstruction of major mandibular defects, usually the hip bone is used which causes problems when walking. - 1/13/13

Former Israeli PM accuses Netanyahu of wasting billions on Iran-related defense projects
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert accused Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday of spending billions of shekels on unnecessary defense projects related to Iran. - 1/13/13

Kish to host 6th International Tourism, Hoteliering Exhibit
The Sixth International Tourism, Hoteliering and Investment Opportunities will open in Kish Island on Monday and will continue until January 18. The exhibit will present the latest products and achievements pertaining to tourism industry, hotel equipment and relevant industries in an area of 14,000 square meters. - 1/13/13

Iranian Foreign Minister, Egyptian president discuss Syria
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi discussed the Syrian crisis with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a meeting in Cairo on Thursday, which marked the first official visit by a high-ranking Iranian official to the Arab country since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. - 1/13/13

Photos: Today Quake Came!
A strong quake hit the city of Borujen in Iran's Charmahal-Bakhtiari province on Saturday. The quake, measured 5.2 on the Richter scale, caused damage to houses and properties. There are however no reports of death or injuries. - 1/12/13

Iranian activist Mehdi Khazali renews hunger strike
Mehdi Khazali, a jailed Iranian physician and blogger, has begun his sixth round of a hunger strike in Evin Prison. The Kaleme website reported on January 11 that Mehdi Khazali has been refusing food since nine days ago and he has been transferred to solitary confinement by Evin authorities. - 1/12/13

Hardline Iranian cleric calls "free elections" code for "sedition"
The Tehran Friday Mass speaker, hardliner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, told worshippers today that in recent talk of "free elections", the term is really a secret code for sedition and mutiny. - 1/12/13

The Guards' Rational Engineering of Iran's Elections
Two days after a senior Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) official made direct remarks about this military organization's plans to control Iran's upcoming presidential election in June, ayatollah Khamenei representative in the same force also spoke of the responsibility of the Guards to "rationally and logically engineer the elections. -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 1/12/13

Photos: Strong quake hits Borujen, Iran causing damage
An earthquake, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, shook Boldaji region in Borujen township in the western province of Charmahal-Bakhtiari on Saturday. The seismological base of the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University registered the tremor at 06:55 hours local time (0325 GMT). - 1/12/13

DEPTH: Photo Exhibition by Mohsen Shahmardi
"I'm keen on vacant streets, wastelands, meadows and abandoned places which are not necessarily somewhere. When it is dusty and foggy or a sandstorm occurs, I feel as if I'm under the sea or ocean." - 1/12/13

Iranian delegate rejects accusation of "cyberattacks" on American banks
Iranian media reported on Friday January 11 that Iran's permanent UN representative has issued two separate responses to The New York Times and CNN to deny their recent reports about Iran's involvement in cyberattacks on U.S. banks. He stressed that such allegations are really attempts at "poisoning" the atmosphere in the lead-up to the nuclear talks. - 1/12/13

German-French quartet to perform at Fajr Music Festival in Tehran
The Tarkovsky Quartet, a group of German and French musicians, will perform at the 28th Fajr International Music Festival in Tehran in February. The quartet is led by French pianist and composer Francois Couturier, who founded the group in 1977 to pay homage to Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. - 1/12/13

Failure of Syria Talks Signal Conflict May Be Long Struggle
As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators - along with the United Nations peace envoy - again failed to find a breakthrough in Syria talks on Friday, analysts say a solution could be a long time coming. ​ - 1/12/13

Iranian Students in U.S. Hit by Discriminatory Banking Sanctions
Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota have reported that at least twenty-two students have been notified by TCF Bank that their university-linked bank accounts are being terminated. The bank provided no further explanation for the action, but it soon became clear that the students had one thing in common: they are all Iranian. - 1/11/13

Creative Hands of Iranian Women: Embroidered Pateh
"Pateh" is a kind of Iranian handicraft and needlework of colorful wool sewn on women's wear, scarf, and purse. Sewn in the "Toranj" (bergamia), "Sarv" (cypress), and "Booteh" (shrub) patterns (traditional Iranian carpet patterns). Pateh, typically creation of Iranian women and girls, is a spectacular image of colorful flowers and shrubs. - 1/11/13

Iranian police make arrests over music productions
Five people have been arrested for "the production of illegal and underground music for singers in Los Angles and satellite networks", the Iranian police force announced today. - 1/11/13

Photos: The 63,000 Kilogram Soup
On the occasion of anniversary death of prophet Mohammad, in many cities across Iran, a special dish called Ash (Iranian soup) is prepared and distributed among the people, mostly the needy. This year, the city of Shiraz may have broken the record by preparing an Ash which took 63,000 kilogram of supplies! - 1/11/13

Photos: The Mannequins Of Tabriz
A mannequin is an often articulated doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, windowdressers and others especially to display or fit clothing. Iranian clothing stores usually advertise their items to customers using plastic mannequins. Here are some black-and-whites photos by the Iranian photographer AliHamed Haghdust from the mannequins in the city of Tabriz. - 1/11/13

Iranian, Egyptian Foreign Ministers Meet in Cairo
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi held meetings in Cairo Thursday with Egypt's president and foreign minister. Salehi was in the Egyptian capital to discuss the conflict in Syria and improving relations between Egypt and Iran. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 1/11/13

Iran: Father fears "innocent" son to be executed
Intelligence officers arrested Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi in Marivan in Kurdistan Province in August of 2009. They were charged with "enmity against God" for membership in the Kurdish Party "Kumeleh" and collaboration in the assassination of the son of Marivon's Friday Mass Imam. - 1/11/13

Persian for Beginners published in Swedish
Persiska for nyborjare is a step-by-step introduction to written and spoken Persian, which enables students to speak, read, and write the language with ease. It features 23 chapters, which are ideal for both classroom use and self-study. - 1/11/13

Killing of Kurdish Activists Comes as Peace Talks Ramp Up
The execution-style killings of three female Kurdish activists in Paris early Thursday comes just days after Turkish media reported significant progress in talks between a jailed rebel leader and senior Turkish intelligence officials. - 1/11/13

Warnings About a "Colossal" Danger: Iranian Clerics Continue to Complain About High Prices
As prices of daily goods continue their unrelenting climb for ordinary Iranians amid the political battles of the country's ruling elite, ordinary and senior clerics carry on with their complains about this issue and warn that its continuation could turn the masses against the regime. - 1/10/13

Iran's inflation rate hits 27.4%: Central Bank
The Central Bank of Iran announced that the inflation rate in the 12-month period ending the ninth Iranian calendar month of Azar (December 20, 2012) hit 27.4 percent. The figure hovered around 26.1 percent in the 12-month period ending November 20 - 1/10/13

Iranian opposition leader's son given jail sentence
Mohammad Hossein Karroubi, the son of Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, has been sentenced to six months in jail for speaking with foreign media about the alleged torture and death of prisoners in the Kahrizak detention centre in 2009. - 1/10/13

Iran Willing to Resume Nuclear Talks as Sanctions Bite Hard
Iran says it is prepared to return to talks, possibly later this month, with major world powers over its nuclear program. As the country's uranium enrichment program continues, Western countries have tightened economic sanctions against Tehran. -Henry Rigewell, VOA - 1/10/13

Restoring Iran's Heritage of Magnificent Homes in an Age of High Rises
For thousands of years, houses with secluded gardens and courtyards have been a cornerstone of Iranian architecture, which strongly influenced structures like the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal. Similar dwellings are described in literature from Achaemenid times, around 700 B.C., and their old Persian name is the root for the word "paradise." -Thomas Erdbring, NY Times - 1/10/13

Australia Imposes New Iran Sanctions Over Nuclear Issue
Australia has announced an expansion of sanctions against Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear program. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement on January 10 that the new sanctions targeted Iran's financial, trade, energy, and transport sectors. - 1/10/13

Iranian Nuclear Plant Back At 'Full Capacity'
The head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, said on January 9 that the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran was linked to the national grid on January 5 and "reached its full capacity of 1,000 megawatts" on January 8. - 1/10/13

Iranians Freed in Syria Expected Home Thursday
A group of 48 Iranians held hostage by Syrian rebels are expected to fly back to Iran Thursday after being freed in a prisoner swap with President Bashar al-Assad's government. - 1/10/13

Indictment Issued For Mehdi Hashemi, Son Of Iran's Expediency Council Chairman
Mehdi Hashemi, the son of the chairman of Iran's Expediency Council, has been indicted on 12 charges by the Iranian judiciary. An announcement by the Tehran Prosecutor, posted on the Tehran Revolutionary Court website, says that a 125-page indictment consisting of 12 charges has been issued for Mehdi Hashemi. - 1/10/13

28th Fajr International Music Festival to kick off in Tehran
The 28th Fajr International Music Festival will kick off in Tehran in February. Six halls in Tehran will host 57 musical ensembles during the festival, which will be held from February 13 to 19. - 1/10/13

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Mr. Hagel apologize, tongue-in-cheek, of course, for his honest and true statements he had made a decade ago, that he was a United States Senator and not an Israeli Senator, or that jumping into another war in the Middle East (against Iran, this time) would not serve America's best interests, and that he would prefer direct, unconditional negotiations with the Iranians. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/9/13

Iranian MP blames gasoline for cancer rise among children
An Iranian Member of Parliament has warned that the gasoline produced in the country is having many adverse effects on Iranian children, giving rise to numerous forms of cancer at an early age. - 1/9/13

Khamenei Warns Iranians Not To Criticize Presidential Vote
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned Iranians not to criticize the country's June presidential election, saying criticism would help Tehran's enemies. His comments come amid uncertainty about whether conservative clerics on Iran's Guardians Council will allow reformists to be candidates in the election. - 1/9/13

"Seven Nights with an Uninvited Guest in New York": Theater duo Aiish and Nasirian back at Fajr festival
The play is about a man who lives in New York. He is a surrealist intellectual who has reached a complete deadlock with modernity and is on the verge of killing himself. Meanwhile, an uninvited guest of a simple nature comes from Iran to visit him. - 1/9/13

Wife Of Former FBI Agent Missing In Iran Talks About 'New' Photos
The family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing during a March 2007 visit to the Iranian island of Kish, has released new photographs of him in captivity. - 1/9/13

I'm ready to help Memphis Grizzlies win: Haddadi
Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi says he has worked hard over the summer to get in shape. Haddadi has played in just eight games this season, but three of those appearances have come in the last four games, according to Commercial Appeal. - 1/9/13

Hagel Nomination Signals Change at Pentagon
PENTAGON - If he's confirmed, Chuck Hagel - President Barack Obama's pick to be the new defense secretary - will immediately have to deal with cutting the U.S. defense budget by $487 billion or more and the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan. - 1/9/13

Iran: Flight disruptions temporarily remedied
Iran's Oil Ministry has announced that it will resume supplying fuel to the country's airliners so long as the Aviation Organization begins payment on its seven-trillion-rial debt to the ministry within one week. - 1/9/13

French perfume industry approves Iranian rose essence
Head of Natural Essences Research Institute at Kashan University says that the first modern distillation system is made operative in Kashan. "This year the first sample of Damask Rose essence was exported to France and was qualified," he said. - 1/9/13

Iran to set up first national gas refinery costing $1.6B
The first gas refinery in Iran will be built at the cots of $1.6 billion, the Shana News agency reported. The Khatam-ol Anbiya Construction Headquarters will ink a deal by the next month with the National Iranian Central Oilfields Company to start designing processes. - 1/9/13

Syrian Rebels Free Iranian Hostages in Prisoner Exchange
Iranian authorities claim that its 48 citizens who were kidnapped in Syria in August were pilgrims on their way to visit the Shrine of Zeynab near Damascus. The military forces who had captured the Iranians accused them of belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps. - 1/9/13

Bank Hacking Was the Work of Iranians, Officials Say
The attackers hit one American bank after the next. As in so many previous attacks, dozens of online banking sites slowed, hiccupped or ground to a halt before recovering several minutes later. -New York Times - 1/9/13

Iran denies its oil sales down 40 percent
The Ministry of Oil has denied the news of 40 per cent reduction in oil sale and 45 per cent in oil and gas earnings and said "any indirect statistics and quotations of the Oil Ministry and directors are illegitimate." - 1/9/13

Bahrain: Highest Court Upholds Grossly Unfair Convictions
Bahrain's Court of Cassation ruling on January 7, 2013, upholding lengthy prison terms of 13 prominent dissidents appears to confirm the inability of Bahrain's judicial system to protect basic rights. A military court had convicted the dissidents solely for exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly. - 1/9/13

IAAB Announces its 2013 Summer Leadership Institute
IAAB is pleased to present its 2013 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), which is being held from June 27, 2013 - July 10, 2013 in Whittier College outside Los Angeles, California. IAAB's SLI houses its celebrated annual Iranian American high school and middle school leadership camps, Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan, as well as an intensive training program for university student and young professional leaders. - 1/8/13

Dozens Called "Thugs" Arrested In Tehran And Other Cities; Rushed Death Sentences For Tehran Robbery Suspects
A YouTube video was released on December 1, in which a building surveillance camera captured images of four young men on bikes, equipped with a dagger, attacking a passerby on a Tehran street, robbing him of his briefcase before the eyes of passersby. The images showed one of them dealing a blow to the victim's face with the dagger, before the four men fled the scene. - 1/8/13

Interview with Iranian ophthalmologist and inventor of LASIK
Gholam Ali Peyman is an Iranian scientist and a member of Ophthalmology Hall of Fame. His fame relates mostly to his invention of LASIK, an operation whereby people with limited eyesight can retain their vision without glasses. In December 2012 he was nominated for receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for his innovation, LASIK. He will receive the medal officially from the President of the United States next month. - 1/8/13

Exhibition of Rugs by Parviz Tanavoli at Meem Gallery
Meem Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Parviz Tanavoli's recent rugs collection. More commonly known for his sculptures and as one of the founders of the 'Saqqakhaneh School', Tanavoli has for many decades researched, written about, collected and created rugs. - 1/8/13

Supreme Leader: All 34 elections in Iran, free and fair
The Supreme Leader of the Revolution denounced the demands on free elections and added that it is obvious that elections should be fair and free and posed the rhetorical question if all 34 past elections were not free. The Supreme Leader also emphasized that in no other country, are elections held freer than in Iran. "Beware your words do not bring frustration to people," he said. - 1/8/13

Iran's Oil Exports Down 40 Percent Due To Sanctions
A top Iranian official says the country's oil exports have been slashed 40 percent in the past nine months by Western sanctions. Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said on January 7 that the 40 percent decrease in oil sales was also accompanied by a 45 percent decrease in repatriating oil money. - 1/8/13

Bahrain's Top Court Upholds Prison Terms for 13 Dissidents
Bahrain's top court has upheld prison sentences against 13 opposition figures charged with plotting to overthrow the Gulf state's minority Sunni rulers in a 2011 uprising. - 1/8/13

Iranian specialists remove major Peugeot flaw
Iranian researchers in South Khorasan Science Park have improved a part of Peugeot which decreases damage to the engine and increases its power. - 1/8/13

Pakistan To Export Wheat To Iran
Reports said Pakistani grain exporter Seatrade Group would ship the grain by the end of January or early February, but the company noted the amount was only one-tenth of what was originally planned. - 1/8/13

Photos: Cupping and Leeching Alternative Medicine Practices
These photos show the alternative medicine practices of cupping and Leeching in Bojnourd, Iran. Alternative medicine is practiced widely in Iran. In fact, Tehran University of Medical Sciences has a Faculty of Traditional Medicine. Also, there are organizations and websites active in this field including Traditional Iranian Medical Society and the Traditional Iranian Medical Reference Website - 1/7/13

Tehran citizens paying price for failure to address air pollution problem
Heavy smog brought Tehran to a standstill on Saturday, closing government offices, universities, and schools, and consequently disrupting citizens' plans, not to mention the adverse health effects of the situation. - 1/7/13

Mani Haghighi's "Modest Reception" premieres in Tehran theaters
Modest Reception is the fourth film screened recently despite having been banned by Hoze Honari (Artistic Center of Islamic Development Organization), a supposedly non-governmental entity. In an interview with ISNA, Mani Haghighi had some harsh words for Hoze Honari. During the interview, Mani Haghighi said about Hoze Honari: "What role do you have in this country that proudly issue orders for artists? You only own some cinemas. If you are wise, you better go do a good job of running them instead of interfering in other people's affairs." - 1/7/13

Iranian parliament finds Tehran cyber police responsible for blogger's death
The Tehran branch of Iran's cyber police, known as FATA, is responsible for the death of Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian blogger who died in custody on November 3, 2012, a parliamentary report said on Sunday. - 1/7/13

Photos: The Suffocating Air Pollution In Isfahan
The provincial city of Isfahan in central Iran is among the Iranian cities that's grappling with suffocating air pollution these days. The pollution has reached dangerously high levels in some Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, in somce cases causing the closure of offices and schools for days. - 1/7/13

New archeological discoveries in Afraz (Bam fault)
On the eve of the ninth anniversary of Bam earthquake, an expert in the field of world heritage, Dr. Shahriar Adle reported on new discoveries of ancient altars in Afraz (Bam Fault) and the identification of the first layers of Bam citadel (Arg-e-Bam)'s ancient defensive wall. - 1/7/13

Children Of Iranian Opposition Leaders Call For Their Release
The children of Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, the three Iranian opposition leaders who have been under house arrest for close to two years, today demanded that the Islamic Republic authorities end the "violation" of their parents' rights and release them. - 1/7/13

PLAY: Mahmoud in Los Angeles
MAHMOUD is a one-woman show about an aging Iranian engineer-cum-taxi driver, a fabulously gay Spaniard, and a young Iranian-Canadian girl, all trying to get by the day-to-day grind in a big metropolitan city. Iranian born playwright/performer TARA GRAMMY invites us to watch as these characters' stories intertwine over the course of an hour, exploring themes of displacement, immigration, home, and culture. - 1/7/13

Hunger-striking Iranian activist attracts international concern
Twenty days into a hunger strike by jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi, labour organizations in various countries have expressed concern regarding Shahabi's health. - 1/7/13

Outspoken Iranian Activist Faezeh Hashemi Removed From Solitary
Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was transferred to solitary confinement in Evin Prison last week and denied visitation rights, has now been returned to the general ward of political prisoners and allowed to meet her family. - 1/7/13

Obama Set to Nominate Hagel for Defense Secretary
Prominent Republicans signaled Sunday that the 66-year-old Hagel would likely face a tough confirmation process, with a focus on questions about his stances on Israel and Iran. Hagel has opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, while some lawmakers have questioned his level of support for Israel. - 1/7/13

Iranian MPs hear report on death of jailed blogger, call for special probe
Iranian Parliament's national security commission read its report on the death of detained blogger Sattar Beheshti in custody and called for a special probe into the case and prosecution of the culprits. - 1/6/13

Swiss, Iranian troupes to reprise "Tell/Zahhak" at Fajr Theater Festival
Switzerland's Mass & Fieber and Iran's Don Quixote Theater Troupe plan to jointly perform "Tell/Zahhak" at the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival, which will be held in Tehran from January 15 to 31. - 1/6/13

Tehran Stock Exchange 2012 Statistical Digest
The main index of TSE gained more than 55 percent last year. TEDPIX (price and dividend index) was 24403.1 at the beginning of 2012 and closed at 37860.6 at the end of December. - 1/6/13

Iranian MP says U.S. sanctions reaching critical stage
Mohammad Hassan Asafri, a member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said on Saturday January 5: "We need to ask Ban Ki-moon, who claims to be the head of the United Nations, does he not see that the U.S. sanctions are moving toward oil in exchange for food?" - 1/6/13

Iranian gas exports to be quadrupled in two years
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister says that the Ministry has plans to store gas from South Pars field in Iranian independent storage facilities. Javad Owji has unveiled Iranian gas export contracts, and said that within two years, Iranian gas export will be quadrupled. - 1/6/13

Afghan President Meets Iran's Security Chief
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met in Kabul with the director of the Security Council of Iran. Saturday's talks with Sayeed Jaleeli took place two days before Mr. Karzai leaves for Washington, where he will hold talks with U.S. President Barack Obama. - 1/6/13

Quake Hits Sirch in Southeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Sirch in Kerman province, Southeastern Iran, on Sunday. The Seismological center of Kerman province affiliated to the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University registered the quake at 18:54 hours local time (1524 GMT). - 1/6/13

Iran's al-Alam channel jammed on Nilesat
Iran's Arabic-language news channel, al-Alam, has been jammed on the Nilesat, recent reports say.Press TV has learned that al-Alam's signal on Nilesat has been interrupted over the past few days. - 1/6/13

4460 deaths due to Tehran's air pollution
Hassan Aghajani, an advisor to the Minister of Health, said on Saturday there has been an increase of 30% in heart patients visiting hospitals over the last few days. He said in the last Iranian year, about 4460 deaths in Tehran were due to harmful particles in the air. - 1/5/13

Iran allocates $94B for completing semi-finished projects
The administration of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has allocated 1.15 quadrillion rials (about $94 billion) for completing semi-finished national projects, First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi stated. - 1/5/13

Iran Developing 'Smart Control' Software For Social-Networking Sites
Iran's chief of police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, has said that the country is developing software to control social-networking sites. Speaking to reporters on January 2, Ahmadi Moghadam said the "smart control" of social-networking sites is more useful than their complete filtering. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 1/5/13

Jailed Iranian activist warns of "election coup" in the making
With the next Iranian presidential election slated for June of 2013, Mostafa Tajzadeh, a jailed political activist and prominent reformist, has warned of another "election coup" being in the works. - 1/5/13

Iran football coach: "I don't have a magic wand"
Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz says he has no magic wand to create new players. "There are horrible typhoons in front of us. We could have earned the better results in the previous matches but suffered two bitter defeats against Lebanon and Uzbekistan," Queiroz said on Friday. - 1/5/13

Middle East's first natural gas storage facility inaugurated in Iran
The first natural gas storage facility in Iran and the entire Middle East was officially inaugurated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday in the city of Qom. The Sarajeh facility has the capacity to store 3.3 billion cubic meters of gas, ISNA reported - 1/5/13

No charges laid in deadly school fire in Iran
Tavakol Heydari, the head of the Western Azerbaijan justice department, has announced that no one has been charged for the fire incident at a Sheenabad elementary school. - 1/5/13

Iranian cyclist on world tour arrives in Rome
Iranian cyclist Yavar Samadi, carrying the message of environment protection, arrived in Rome on Thursday after pedaling 9000km in Europe. Upon arrival in Rome, Samadi conveyed message of peace, friendship and environment protection of Tehran's Municipality and Iranian government and nation to Italy's government and nation. - 1/5/13

Iranian Police Makes Largest-Ever Morphine Discovery
The Iranian Law Enforcement Police intercepted a large morphine cargo en route from the Southeastern province of Kerman to the country's Western borders and seized over 1.5 tons of morphine. - 1/5/13

Religious Nationalist Grabs Spotlight in Israeli Knesset Race
Six months ago, few Israelis had heard of him. Today, the media calls the former high tech tycoon a "superstar," and everyone knows about Naftali Bennett, leader of the Bayit Yehudi ("Israel Home") Party." -Cecily Hilleary - 1/5/13

Air Pollution Triggers Tehran Shutdown
Officials in Tehran have ordered schools, universities, government offices, and other institutions to close on January 5 because of high air pollution in the Iranian capital. - 1/4/13

2013: Continued Deadlock or New Opening with Iran?
Will the United States be able to turn the beginning of 2013 into a turning point for it strategy toward Iran? The visible signs related to this premise have not been very promising so far. -Mahdi Mohammadi - 1/4/13

Iranian political prisoners call for medical treatment of inmates
Iranian political prisoners have called on the head of Evin Prison to remove the obstacles that restrict the treatment of ailing prisoners. - 1/4/13

Two Iranians sentenced to death for assault caught on film
In early December, a surveillance video recorded how an individual approached a passerby on a busy Tehran street in broad daylight and forced him to relinquish his belongings under threat of a cold weapon. - 1/4/13

Iran Agrees To Fresh Nuclear Talks
Iran says it agrees in principle to resume international talks on its controversial nuclear program later this month. Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Said Jalili, made the announcement on January 4 during a visit to India. - 1/4/13

Iraq Car Bomb Kills at Least 20 Shi'ite Pilgrims
Iraqi authorities say a car bomb has killed at least 20 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims on their way home from a religious procession in the country's south. - 1/4/13

Israel disarmament key to resolve Iran nuclear issue: Turkish President
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has stressed the importance of eradicating nuclear weapons in the region, saying the atomic disarmament of Israel would be the key to resolving outstanding issues pertaining to Iran's nuclear energy program. - 1/4/13

Is A Deal With Iran In The Offing?
It is now almost exactly four years ago since President Barack Obama famously offered Iran America's hand of friendship if Tehran would unclench its fist. Though no one is speaking of friendship today-or even mutual respect-a deal may finally be in the making. Both sides appear to be preparing the ground, in their own ways, for a compromise. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 1/4/13

A 'modern miracle': Navy vet's arm reattached after workplace injury
Reid's left arm was severed in August of 2011 in a workplace accident in Gilmer, Texas. Seven hours had passed before Reid met Dr. Bardia Amirlak, a UT Southwestern plastic surgeon on-call as part of the hand transplant team. -WFAA - 1/4/13

The year of Iran in the White House
There are many indicators to suggest that this year will be the year of Iran in the White House, with all the repercussions that will have on our region. The latest indicator comes in the form of the leaks about the so-called "Iran-Syria deal", currently being considered by the Obama administration, with the aim of moving on both fronts. -Osman Mirghani, Asharq Al-Awsat - 1/4/13

The migratory wild ducks face a dangerous layover in Iran
When the wild ducks of Siberia set foot in Mazandaran, northern Iran, they risk losing their lives! Only if they are lucky they'll survive the 3000-kilometer trip and make it back to Siberia. - 1/3/13

Photos: With Forouzan In The Classroom
Forouzan Hezarehsin lives in the village of Sheikh Shamsoddin in Shushtar, southwestern Iran. Due to a physical disorder, she suffers from a very short height. Forouzan spent the preparatory period in a school for special children. However, since it was concluded that her disability is physical, she was transferred to a regular school starting this school year. -Zohre Oveydi - 1/3/13

Dialogue can pave the way for free election in Iran: Rafsanjani
Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said that dialogue and interaction can prepare the ground for the conduct of a free and competitive election. - 1/3/13

Film: "Snow on Pines"
Peiman Mo'adi is famous for his parts in two of Asghar Farhadi's films, About Elli (2009) and Nader and Simin: A Separation (2011). Before acting, he wrote screenplays for such films as Swan Song, Coma, Thirst, Wedding Dinner, and Cafe Setareh all of which were among bestsellers. -Film International - 1/3/13

Iran's Nationalist-Religious figures advise against U.S. relations
Iranian Nationalist-Religious figures have warned Iran's Supreme Leader against re-establishing relations with the United States, calling instead for greater openness in the national political arena. - 1/3/13

Iran Keen to Import Drugs from India
According to sources, it is understood the Iranian Health Ministry had expressed its interest to import some 28 different varieties of medicinal drugs ranging from tables, capsules, solutions and injectables of variable quantities from the Indian suppliers. - 1/3/13

Iranian president denies rumours of a shuffle
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied rumours that he is planning to remove his vice president and interior minister. Government critics have accused Ahmadinejad's VP Mohammadreza Rahimi of financial corruption and repeatedly called on Ahmadinejad to remove him and allow for his prosecution. - 1/3/13

Iran, Iraq to Launch 1st Passenger Shipping Line
Iranian and Iraqi provincial officials have decided to launch the first passenger shipping line between Iran's Southwestern port city of Abadan and the port city of Basra in Southeastern Iraq, an official announced on Tuesday. - 1/3/13

2012 Predictions of war with Iran that didn't Happen (20th Anniversary Edition)
A new year, with new possibilities, which will probably include more talk of an impending war with Iran. Elections are coming up in both Israel and Iran, opening the door to a range of events that can seriously impact the US and Israel's Iran policy, as well as Iranian foreign policy. And while total peace may be unlikely, one can at least hope that past predictions of war with Iran will be as accurate in 2013 as they have been in the past. -Marsha B. Cohen, Lobelog - 1/3/13

Iran-Iraq alliance and the right price of oil
According to 'Financial Times' and the WSJ, reporting several times in 2012, Iran and Iraq are "strengthening their alliance inside Opec", raising concerns among Saudi-led moderate Arab Gulf producers that pricing discipline inside Opec will be disrupted. -Andrew McKillop, OilVoice - 1/3/13

Photos: The Ameri's House in Kashan
The Ameri family house is a sprawling traditional home in the central city of Kashan, Iran. The house, originally built during the Zand era (1750-94), was rebuilt in the mid 19th century after a series of earthquakes leveled the city of Kashan in the 18th century. - 1/2/13

Dark Sky Park to be established in Iran's Qeshm Island
Iran has plans to establish the first Dark Sky Park in the country's southern island of Qeshm to boost astronomy research and tourism at the area. - 1/2/13

Iran's Ministry of Education Has Criminal Responsibility: Lawyers Comment on Shinabad Incident
On Friday December 28th, Saria Rasoolzadeh, another victim of the fire at a girls school died of burn wounds, following the earlier death of schoolgirl Siran Yeganeh. In early December, a fire broke out at the school in Shinabad village near the Kurdish-populated city of Piranshahr in western Iran, causing severe burns to some 40 ten-year-old students. -Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz - 1/2/13

Senior Iranian cleric defends detained opposition leaders
Ayatollah Dastgheib, a dissident Iranian cleric and member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, has issued a statement saying those who put MirHosein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard under house arrest are "guilty of committing a crime." - 1/2/13

Three Iranians receive human rights grant
Three Iranians are among those awarded Hellman/Hammett grants by Human Rights Watch for 2012. Issa Saharkhiz, Keyvan Samimi and Hila Sedighi are among 41 winning writers from 19 countries. - 1/2/13

Dariush Mehrjuii to Take Comedy Drama to Fajr Festival
The 31st Fajr International Film Festival, Iran's most important event in the motion picture industry, will be screening Dariush Mehrjuii's comedy drama "So Good, You've Returned!" The film is about Farzad, a dental surgeon who returns to Iran after years to take a rest from some of the troubling issues of his life. - 1/2/13

Iran Unveils Toofan 2 Fighter Helicopter
The advanced Toofan 2 fighter helicopter by Iranian Air Industries, has been unveiled and operative by the Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Toofan 2 is equipped by attacking capabilities, precise targeting, digital firing control and night vision, and central smart arms management system. - 1/2/13

Iranian Armenians in Tabriz celebrate New Year
Tabriz, East Azerbaijan province, Jan 1 - Iranian Armenians in Tabriz celebrated the first day of the Christian New Year. The occasion was celebrated in Saint Serkis Church on Tuesday evening and the local Armenians started their new year with prayers. - 1/2/13

Iran's Health Ministry Qualifies 2nd Nano-Based Medicine for Production
Based on the approval of Nanotechnology Committee of Iran's Health Ministry, the second medicine based on nanotechnology was approved for presentation to the market. The medicine, containing nanographite, has been produced under the title Carboncelium Complex by one of the Iranian companies, and it has applications as topical ointment in burn wounds. - 1/2/13

Iran, a Tourist Destination for New Experiences
Eco and adventure tourism are concepts that are on the rise in the international tourism industry. Iran is a country with very diverse nature: mountains, lakes, caves, forests, springs, tropical islands and endemic plant and animal species. All these make Iran a favorite country for those interested in experiencing unforgettable. - 1/2/13

Iran-Turkey trade rises 40%, tops $20.8B
The value of trade between Iran and Turkey surpassed $20.8 billion in the first 11 months of 2012, which was a rise of 40 percent compared to the same period in 2011. - 1/2/13

Iranians seek relief in Christmas celebrations
Gold, red and green gift boxes decorated a large Christmas tree in a popular food court in the Islamic Republic's bustling capital of Tehran. Nativity scenes of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus added color to the windows of shops across this lively city, a small symbol of the growing number of Iranians embracing the Christian holiday. -Tara Kangarlou, CNN - 1/2/13

Iran, Pakistan decide to start special flights for Shia pilgrims: Report
A Pakistani leading news daily on Tuesday reported that Iran and Pakistan have decided to start special flights for pilgrims who visit holy shrines in Iran in the wake of terrorist attacks on Shia pilgrims in Balochistan. - 1/2/13

Photos: New Year Celebration Held 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 2013. During the ceremony, special prayers were said and New Year's bread was distributed among those attending the celebration. - 1/1/13

People Around The Globe Mark The New Year
Cities across the world have rung in the New Year with fireworks and street celebrations. In New York, tourists and locals cheered amid confetti and fireworks in Times Square as they counted down the remaining seconds of the old year. - 1/1/13

Photos: Alpline Ski Competitions at Darbandsar Ski Resort, Tehran
The second round of the International Alpine skiing competitions was held in Darbandsar Ski Resort north of Tehran with the participation of athletes from Poland, Slovenia, India and Iranian clubs. - 1/1/13

Iranian workers speak out against continued wage delays
More than 500 workers at the Safa Pipe factory have begun their fourth round of protests against the delayed payment of wages and other grievances. - 1/1/13

Photos: Tehran's air pollution reaches alarming level
Tehran's emergency air pollution coordination committee held a meeting on Monday to assess the situation and take the measures necessary to reduce pollution. The committee decided to close elementary schools and daycare centers on Tuesday and Wednesday due to heavy air pollution. - 1/1/13

Photos: Iran Test Fires 'Qader' Ground-To-Sea Missiles
Qader Sea Cruise missile has been successfully launched on the 5th day of the Velayat 91 Navy drills. With a long range of 200 km and preparation and rapid response capabilities, Qader is capable of targeting and destroying marine objects such as frigates, warships, as well as on-shore targets. - 1/1/13

Iran: Supreme Leader advises officials to pay due attention to health sector
Vahid-Dastjerdi, the only women who ever served as a minister since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, was dismissed shortly after she publicly criticized the government's response to the shortage of vital medicine and said that not enough foreign currency had been allocated for the import of medicine. - 1/1/13

Iranian Police's Christmas Present to Europeans: A 2-Ton Heroin Cargo Seized
The Commander-in-Chief of Iran National Drug Control Headquarters has said that police has discovered and seized a 2-ton drug cargo destined for Europe. - 1/1/13

Iran Football Coach Carlos Queiroz Laughs Off Red Bulls Link
"Without a doubt, we will talk about consecutive victories in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in the new year. There is nothing to say. I wish you all a happy new year," Queiroz said in a letter sent to Khabaronline on Tuesday. - 1/1/13

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