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Iran President says NGO to oversee Bam reconstruction, lauds nations on quake aid
Speaking at a press conference with domestic and foreign reporters he also hinted that the NGO will include the President himself, and several domestic and foreign personalities. - 12/31/03

Global politics of quake relief
"The response has been incredible," says Ted Pearn, manager of the United Nations coordination office in Bam. "The number of rescuers and medical people and support staff has been absolutely phenomenal." -Christian Science Monitor - 12/31/03

Inside a group caught between three powers (3 parts)
Mujahideen-e Khalq, an Iraq-based group founded to fight Iran's regime, may be expelled from its base this week. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/31/03

Powell: US Open to New Dialogue with Iran
The Powell comments were echoed here by State Department spokesman Adam Ereli, who said U.S.-Iranian contacts on earthquake assistance and Tehran's nuclear inspection promises, are positive and encouraging signs that are worth noting. -VOA - 12/31/03

Iranian quake exacted harsh toll on local man
Jahangir Khorasani Bam, who lives in Tucson, Arizona may have lost 90 relatives in the earthquake that has devastated Bam -Arizona Daily Star - 12/31/03

Khatami: Quake Aid Won't Alter US-Iran Political Differences
Speaking to reporters Monday, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said that while he welcomed aid from the United States, only a profound change in U.S. policy would settle political differences between Iran and the United States. -VOA - 12/31/03

Former British manager of Iran's national soccer team joins Bam appeal
Farrell said he wants to do all he can to help the people of the country that made him and his wife Ann so welcome while managing the national side between 1974 and 1976. - 12/31/03

Iran: German and British rescue workers return home from Bam
Some 50 German search-and-rescue workers arrived in Frankfurt Tuesday evening following the end of their recovery efforts in the quake-hit Bam region. - 12/31/03

OFAC expected to make decision on fast-track licensing for Iran quake help within the week
United States Office of Foreign Assets Control met today with representatives of other government departments in regards to establishing a fast-track licensing system for the NGO's wishing to help the earthquake victims in Iran. - 12/31/03

Israel announces Golan expansion
Israel has unveiled a $60m plan to build homes for thousands of new settlers on the occupied Golan Heights. Syria has reacted angrily, saying sovereignty should be resolved by international law, not military power. -BBC - 12/31/03

Death toll in quake may reach 50,000
Government officials in Iran warned yesterday that the number of people who perished in Bam could reach 50,000, the highest toll from any earthquake for more than 25 years. -Guardian - 12/31/03

2003, an eventful year in EU-Iran relations
Ties between the European Union and the Islamic Republic took off with a good start in 2003, faced some turbulence in the middle of the year which is now ending on a promising note - 12/31/03

International school of art, philosophy to be set up in Iran's quake-hit city of Bam
Iranian film director Abolfazl Jalili said in Tehran on Wednesday that an international school of art and philosophy will soon be established in the quake-hit city of Bam in Iran's southeastern Kerman province. - 12/31/03

IRAN: Desperate search for the living continues
"Someone heard moaning - last night, they heard moaning!" a man shouts and waves his arms as he runs up to the foreigners in the fluorescent suits. He is panting and beads of sweat have collected on his upper lip. -IRIN - 12/31/03

Bush signals softer line on Iran
The American move would mark a significant change in a policy that has been in place since formal ties were broken following the seizure of its embassy in Tehran 24 years ago. The US official, who declined to be identified, said that American humanitarian assistance in response to the earthquake had accelerated discussions within the administration on its policy to wards the Islamic republic. "The earthquake kind of brings it to a head," the official said. -Guardian - 12/31/03

US airmen provide aid to Iran
American airmen and Iranian soldiers worked side-by-side forming a human chain to unload the 20,000 pounds of badly needed material into waiting trucks. The supplies were then trucked into Bam a little more than 100 miles away. -Air Force Link - 12/30/03

US Quake Relief Aid Flowing Into Iran
Official and unofficial aid from the United States is flowing into Iran as part of international assistance efforts in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. The U.S. government is sending in relief supplies, and non-governmental groups and private citizens are also adding their support. -VOA - 12/30/03

Why did so many have to die in Bam?
The Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday managed to get to Bam, three days after the earthquake which may have killed 30,000 of his fellow Iranians. The president, Mohammad Khatami, followed soon afterwards. Khamenei had words of dubious comfort for survivors when he told them that "we will rebuild Bam stronger than before". -Guardian - 12/30/03

Iran earthquake: How to help
Global aid agencies have launched urgent appeals for donations to help those affected by the earthquake in Bam, Iran. -BBC - 12/30/03

Japanese FM says to visit Iran on Jan 6
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi will travel to Iran for a two-day visit starting on January 6 to discuss issues of interest between the two countries as well as other topics - 12/30/03

Afghanistan: Loya Jirga Adjourns Amid Disputes Over Constitution
Delegates at Afghanistan's Constitutional Loya Jirga had been due today to ratify the country's new constitution. But the vote has been postponed after delegates demanded last-minute changes to several articles. -RFE - 12/30/03

Top German MP urges government to broker out new US-Iranian dialogue
A leading parliamentary deputy of the conservative opposition, Christian Democrats, called on the German government to broker out a new political dialogue between Iran and its arch-foe the United States - 12/30/03

Tweets of canaries save lives of their young owners in Bam
The twittering of two canaries, entrapped next to two children under the rubble in a destroyed house in Bam, has led relief workers save the lives of their young pet-owners - 12/30/03

UK rescue team in Iran finds former colleague among dead
A British traveller and former fireman who was killed in the Iran earthquake was given a solemn send-off in Bam yesterday by former colleagues who, in an extraordinary coincidence, were part of the international rescue team combing the devastated city. -Guardian - 12/30/03

Iran's sports community aiding the quake victims
Golrizan started Monday afternoon at Tofiq Jahanbakht Hall, south of Shahid Shiroudi Sports Complex where scores of sportsmen, coaches, artists, and officials gathered to donate and collect the benevolent people's aid for the victims of the killer earthquake. - 12/30/03

Tending to Iran's shattered city
"Getting the homeless sheltered, making sure they are warm, they have got access to safe water and they have got access to food and so on, is now the priority." More must be done, and quickly, to avoid a further humanitarian crisis for those who are left behind. -BBC - 12/30/03

Letter by MESA's Committee for Academic Freedoms in the Middle East and North Africa regarding the persecution of publishers and translators in Iran
The following letter, regarding the persecution of publishers and translators in Iran, was drafted by The Middle East Studies Association of North America's CAFMENA (Committee for Academic Freedoms in the Middle East and North Africa). It was sent to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on December 23, 2003. - 12/30/03

Rebuilding `brick by brick': Houston Iranian will donate his money and skills
Among Houston's Iranians who are eager to help earthquake victims in their native land, Mahmoud Olya may be taking the most hands-on approach. Olya, 52, said Monday that he will spend $30,000 of his own money to build two one-bedroom houses for people who lost their homes. - Houston Chronicle, Texas - 12/30/03

Iranian community in Vancouver, Canada appeals for help
Miss Canada 2003 Nazanin Afshin-Jam will emcee a Jan. 17 concert to raise relief funds for the earthquake-devastated Iranian city of Bam. -Vancouver Province - 12/30/03

Powell Sees Chance For Dialogue With Tehran
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says recent conciliatory moves by Iran could lead to restoring a dialogue between the two countries. -RFE - 12/30/03

Iran quake toll could reach 50,000
The death toll from Friday's earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam could rise to 50,000, national and regional officials said on Tuesday. Some 100,000 people are homeless in the city. -BBC - 12/30/03

After the Quake, Tremors in U.S.-Iranian Relationship
The earthquake that devastated the Iranian city of Bam is also shaking the politics of Iran's relationship with the world. Both inside and outside the Islamic republic, the catastrophe has triggered commentary in the online media that the natural disaster transcends politics and highlights the need for the United States and Iran to settle the differences that led President Bush to condemn the country as part of a global "axis of evil." -Washington Post - 12/30/03

U.S. Warms to Prospect Of New Talks With Iran
The United States is open to restoring a dialogue with Iran after "encouraging" moves by the Islamic republic in recent months, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday. -Washington Post - 12/30/03

US Ready to Provide Additional Aid for Iranian Earthquake Victims
The United States has sent more than 80 disaster experts to Iran and committed some 70 tons of relief supplies. And the Bush administration is making clear it is prepared to provide additional help if needed, despite the two countries long-standing political differences. -VOA - 12/30/03

Iran's sports community starts Golrizan to raise fund for quake victims
Golrizan ceremony sponsored by the sports community started in Tehran on Monday afternoon to raise fund for the quake-stricken people of Bam; Iran's National Orchestra to perform in interest of quake victims; Iranian lifters, wrestlers to raise fund in Kish; ... - 12/29/03

Emma Nicholson: Help the Iranians with what they want, not what we want
There is a powerful urge to help, but the big challenge is to do so in a way that doesn't make life even more difficult for those on the receiving end, in a way which doesn't add to the administrative burden. -Independent - 12/29/03

Israeli group hopes to aid Iranian earthquake victims despite rebuff
Despite Iran's willingness to accept aid from any country other than the "Zionist regime" of Israel, the Tel Aviv-based relief organization Latet hopes to send emergency supplies to survivors of the earthquake that ravaged the town of Bam on Friday. -Jerusalem Post - 12/29/03

Iran battles to cope with disaster
The enormity of the challenge that lies ahead is daunting. The scale and suddenness of the devastation means thousands of survivors have lost not only their homes, but everything else they had. -BBC - 12/29/03

Quake Aid Pours Into Iranian City; Hopes for Survivors Fade
International relief workers poured into this earthquake-devastated city on Sunday, finding rotting bodies and whole parts of town ruined. They struggled to provide water, shelter and medical supplies to desperate survivors of a city that now barely exists. - 12/29/03

'I was digging and felt hair'
A British woman caught up in the Iran earthquake has described digging her way out of a collapsed hotel and then trying to find survivors. -BBC - 12/29/03

Toronto's Iranian community unites to give aid
Toronto's Iranian community is uniting under one mantle to raise money to help survivors of the devastating earthquake in Bam. -Toronto Star - 12/29/03

Iran: Ex-hostages claim have no information on kidnappers' identity
The newly released German and Irish hostages, who were officially handed over to their related authorities at Tehran International Airport said Monday they had no information on the identity of the hostage takers - 12/29/03

US Wrestling Federation sympathizes with Iranian nation
The United States Wrestling Federation has sent a letter of condolence to the Iranian federation Monday, expressing its deep grief on the terrible quake in Bam - 12/29/03

Iranian Americans' Hearts Are Miles Away
For Iranian Americans in the Washington area, who number around 23,200, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, it has been three days of shock and sadness as televised images of the quake's victims pour in. -Washington Post - 12/29/03

The Jewel of Kerman, Arge Bam, a brief history
The southern half of the ancient province of Carmania (modern Kerman) was considered by the Greek geographers to be fertile and prosperous. It contained gold and silver mines, a river and a major trade root going through its territory. -Culture of Iran - 12/29/03

Relief continues to pour in for Iran's quake victims
Berlin allocates additional 200,000 euros for Bam quake survivors; UK loaning two transport aircraft to ferry Bam relief; Japan to send 2 SDF transport planes of relief aid to Iran; Norway sending field hospital to aid Bam relief efforts; Prince Abdullah orders field hospital to be set up in Bam - 12/29/03

Earthquake search teams face up to the cruel truth
After 48 hours of unremitting horror, trawling through the debris of what used to be Bam, and coping with the stench of death that now hangs over it, Rolf Zipf-Marks felt a sudden tingle of hope. -Guardian - 12/29/03

Quake aid may open door for US and Iran
For the first time in more than a decade, four American military aircraft landed in Iran Sunday in a gesture between two countries more noted for acrimony than mutual aid. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/29/03

Iran vows to rebuild quake city
Iranian state radio reports that the bodies of 25,000 people have now been buried - 19,500 by municipal workers in Bam and 5,500 by people in surrounding areas. -BBC - 12/29/03

Our hearts are aching for Bam’s quake victims
Yesterday was a strange day all over Tehran as people kept coming and going in the streets trying to buy or find things to send to our countrymen whom the god had taken no mercy on. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/29/03

Iran's minorities hail approval of law on equal blood-money
Iran's announcement on Saturday that it had approved equal blood-money for Muslims and non-Muslim nationals was cheerfully acclaimed by the country's religious minorities - 12/29/03

Iranian economy raced ahead last year due to favorable policies
The Iranian government said in Tehran on Sunday that due to oil revenues, the gross domestic product (GDP) rose from five percent in Iranian year of 1379 (2000-2001) to 3.3 percent in the following year - 12/29/03

We should have been ready for this, say Iranians
Shock within Iran over the scale of the tragedy in Bam is giving way to anger and frustration at how a country that is prone to earthquakes could be so ill-prepared for dealing with such a disaster. -Guardian - 12/29/03

Official says over 25,000 bodies of Iran's quake victims buried
The bodies of over 25,000 victims of the killer quake in Bam, a historical city in southeastern province of Kerman, have been buried until Monday morning, said Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani in Tehran on Monday - 12/29/03

Apocalypse in the night that laid waste to a city
Just before she went to sleep on Thursday evening, four-year-old Nazenine Karimi gave her father a drawing and kissed him four times. 'Why four times?' Mohamed, 30, asked her. 'Maybe I won't see you again,' his daughter replied. Eight hours later, at 5.26am, the earth beneath the ancient Iranian city of Bam began shaking. -Guardian - 12/28/03

National Iranian American Council to coordinate material assistance to Iran with Mercy Corps
NIAC is coordinating efforts with Mercy Corps to get material support to Iran. However, aid organizations prefer financial assistance over material help. NIAC has raised more than $23,000 for the victims in just two days. - 12/28/03

Crucial test for mullahs
The symmetry is striking. In the years before the revolution of 1979 there was a series of earthquakes in Iran. The Shah and his acolytes remained aloof, the administration was incompetent and it was the Islamic groups that led the humanitarian effort - and boosted their popular support massively as a result. Now, of course, it is the Islamic groups that are in power, facing the daunting task of rebuilding a city from the ground up. -Guardian - 12/28/03

Iran: 1,000 people buried under rubble rescued alive in Bam
Rescue workers have managed to save the lives of more than 1,000 inhabitants of Bam, who had been buried under rubbles in historical city of Bam, which was rocked by a strong earthquake early Friday morning - 12/28/03

Persian Center of Berkeley, California issues bulletin on Iran quake relief efforts
Persian Center is hosting a fundraising dinner to raise money for earthquake relief efforts. Persian Center will be collecting NEW Medicine & Medical Supplies; Also, Medicine Drive in San Jose; Fundraising by Iran House in Los Angeles... - 12/28/03

Iranian Jews and Armenians to aid the quake victims
Iranian Jews set up fund-raising centers for quake victims; Iranian Armenians ready to assist quake-stricken people. - 12/28/03

Iran press lambasts quake efforts
Lack of preventive measures and the government's coordination of relief efforts following the Bam earthquake are receiving short shrift in the Iranian press. -BBC - 12/28/03

Tragedy overwhelms quake city
The Iranian regime is already being criticised for the chaotic rescue effort. Until the arrival of Western teams, the authorities had only a few drug-sniffing dogs to look for survivors. -Guardian - 12/28/03

Some 11,000 victims of Iran's quake have been buried by now
Over 400 college students among victims of killer quake in Bam - 12/28/03

US aids 'axis of evil' Iran
The United States has put aside political differences to send help to the earthquake-hit area of Iran. In Washington, the Bush administration made a rare direct contact with Iranian officials to offer assistance. Two US planes carrying food and other aid landed in Kerman, the provincial capital, early on Sunday - the first US aircraft to land in Iran for a decade. -BBC - 12/28/03

European hostages freed in Iran
Three foreign pedalists taken hostage in southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan of Iran were freed, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Sunday - 12/28/03

Iran: Quakes jolt towns of Zarrindasht and Bardsir in Fars and Kerman provinces
Quake jolts Zarrindasht for second time in a day; Mild tremor jolts Kerman - 12/28/03

Persian Cultural Center of San Diego helping Iran's quake victims
The Persian Cultural Center is working with local Iranian Stores to collect Funds, Medicine (with at least one year expiration date), Tents and Blankets. Monetary contributions are of course most efficient in helping the victim as needed. - 12/28/03

Iran welcomes foreign aid due to depth of killer quake
UNICEF rushes over 40 tons of relief aid to Bam quake region; UNHCR makes urgent donation of emergency aid to Bam; Switzerland sends 2 aid consignments to quake-stricken Bam; 45 foreign planes land in Iran - 12/28/03

Hopes fade for Iran quake victims
Rescue workers digging through the rubble in the Iranian city struck by a massive earthquake say hope is fading of finding many more survivors. -BBC - 12/28/03

VIEWPOINT: Iran quake policies made of hot air?
Ben Wisner is a research fellow at the Development Studies Institute in London and co-author of “At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters” (Routledge). -Reuters - 12/27/03

International medical teams head for Iran to help with quake relief efforts
Medicines Sans Frontieres team to head for Bam; French Red Crescent to send rescue team to Iran; ICRC sends relief items for disaster of Bam; German medical team en route to Bam; No visas needed for foreign relief workers. - 12/27/03

Relief effort for Iran's quake victims continues
Official says Bam airport has handled 500 flights so far; about 10,000 patients have been airlifted from Bam to other cities. - 12/27/03

Iran: 7,000 policemen on duty in Bam carrying out rescue operations
Field hospital set up in Bam, doctor says; Sniffer dogs save lives of 20 people in Bam; 110 reporters, photographers dispatched to quake-stricken region - 12/27/03

Iranian-Americans organize help for devastated relatives
Panicked Iranians throughout California and the Bay Area prayed, donated and tried desperately to reach overseas family members Friday, as news spread of earthquake devastation and more than 5,000 dead in the ancient city of Bam. -San Jose Mercury - 12/27/03

World responds to quake-stricken Iran's calls for help
EU to send emergency aid to Iran; Japan to extend dlrs one million to Iran for Bam's quake victims;Belgium to send financial aid; Italian PM calls Iran to immediately declare its requirement for quake-stricken region - 12/27/03

U.S. rescuers will aid search for Iranian earthquake survivors
Two elite rescue teams with experience searching for survivors amid the wreckage caused by terrorist attacks and natural disasters were headed to Iran on Saturday to aid the search for victims of a devastating earthquake. -USA Today - 12/27/03

'There is nothing but debris and devastation'
It was 26 minutes and 52 seconds after five o'clock in the morning when the earth shook. American seismologists at the World Data Centre measured "the event", as they call it, at 6.5 on the Richter scale and located it at 28.9 degrees north, 58.2 degrees east. -Guardian - 12/27/03

Earthquake 'tests' Iran - media
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Bam, angry commentators in Iran's reformist press ask why the government has failed to adopt safety measures common in other earthquake zones. -BBC - 12/27/03

EC approves bill on equal "blood-money" for non-Muslim Iranians
The Expediency Council (EC) on Saturday approved a Majlis bill on equal "blood-money", or diyeh, for Muslim and non-Muslim Iranian nationals - 12/27/03

Iran: People in Tabriz form one km queue for blood donation
People in northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz have formed a one kilometer queue for blood donation for those injured in Bam quake - 12/27/03

In minutes, Bam's 2,000 years of history and its hopes for the future were left in ruins
For two millennia the tawny walls of the ancient citadel at Bam rose from the vast Dasht'e Kavir desert, drawing traders and pilgrims towards the lush oasis. But in just a few minutes yesterday morning, those centuries of splendour vanished as one of Iran's greatest archaeological treasures was levelled. -Guardian - 12/27/03

Foregin teams arriving in Iran to help with quake rescure efforts
British search, rescue team arrives in Iran; Swiss relief team leaves for quake-hit Kerman province; Slovakia sends relief aid to Bam's quake victims; UAE to send first batch of relief workers; Japan sends rescue teams, relief aid; - 12/27/03

Italy ready to help reconstruct Iran's historic Bam quarter
Italy on Saturday announced its readiness to help reconstruct Arg-e Bam, the historic quarter of the southeastern city of Bam which has been destroyed as a result of the Friday killer quake by over 90 per cent - 12/27/03

Saddam's downfall changes Iran-Iraq relations
Religious, political shift favors ties between Baghdad, Tehran -Borzou Daragahi, Star Ledger - 12/27/03

Iranian earthquake 'kills 20,000'
At least 20,000 people have died in the huge earthquake which struck south-eastern Iran, according to officials. -BBC - 12/26/03

Over 90 percent of Iran's quake victims in critical condition
Over 90 percent of victims of the 6.3-Richter scale earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam who were taken to capital city of Kerman are in critical condition - 12/26/03

Bam: Jewel of Iranian heritage
The Iranian city of Bam is best known for its historic citadel, which is believed to have been founded some 2,000 years ago. -BBC - 12/26/03

Iran earthquake kills thousands
A huge earthquake has killed at least 15,000 people in south-eastern Iran, government sources say. -BBC - 12/26/03

Scots earthquake rescue effort
Volunteers based in Scotland are travelling to Iran to help search for survivors after 4,000 people died in a powerful earthquake. -BBC - 12/26/03

Iran's historical Arg-e Bam edifice leveled to ground
Devastating and killer quake in Kerman has destroyed some 90 percent of the buildings in the city of Bam, including the historical brick edifice of Arg-e Bam, it was announced on Friday - 12/26/03

Actor Kingsley Masters Farsi Language
Actor Ben Kingsley Stuns Colleagues on Set of 'House of Sand and Fog' by Learning Farsi Language -AP - 12/26/03

Bush: US to Help Victims of Iranian Earthquake
President Bush says the United States will help the victims of Friday's earthquake in southeast Iran. The death toll from the disaster is continuing to rise with some Iranian officials putting it at over 20,000. President Bush says he was greatly saddened to learn of the earthquake, the deaths and the damage left behind. -VOA - 12/26/03

Iran: Quakes shake central city of Ardestan and southwestern city of Masjed Soleyman
An earthquake with an intensity of 3.6 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Ardestan in the central province of Isfahan on Friday. Another earthquake measuring 4 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the southwestern city of Masjed Soleyman in Khuzestan province on Friday morning. - 12/26/03

Iran's Red Crescent Society calls on people to urgently aid quake victims
The special account no. 702070 in Bank Melli has been dedicated for those Iranian living abroad to aid the victims - 12/26/03

Visa rules ensnare scholars
Iranian physicist M. Hadi Hadizadeh was looking forward to returning to his alma mater, Ohio University, as a visiting professor. But a seemingly routine request for a US visa launched him on a 17-month nightmare, he contends, because of three words: "Iranian nuclear physicist." -LA Times - 12/26/03

Ayatollah Khomeini's daughter asks President Chirac to annul law against Hijab
In Mostafavi's open letter, that is also addressed to a group of scientific, cultural, academic and political personalities and officials of certain Islamic and non-Islamic countries, she has expressed deep surprise over the French government's move in that respect, that is in direct contrast with personal liberties always propagated in France. - 12/25/03

Iran renames street after Muhammad Dura
Tehran's Municipality plans to change a street's name from Khaled al-Islambouli, assassin of late Egyptian President Saddat, to Mohammad Dura, the Palestinian boy killed at Netzarim Crossing in September 2000, the London-based daily al-Hayat reported. -Jerusalem Post - 12/25/03

Most Inspiring of the Year Award: Shirin Ebadi (finalist)
In May 2000, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi was arrested and served almost a month in solitary confinement for opposing Iran’s hard-line clerics. She had been collecting evidence that some of the clerics were ordering attacks on people working for freedom of speech and other reforms. -Belief.net - 12/25/03

9th Razi festival kicks off in Tehran
The ninth Razi festival on medical sciences research started in Tehran on Thursday with President Mohammad Khatami's inaugural speech. - 12/25/03

Iran: Tremor jolts Tehran, Karaj
Two relatively strong earthquakes of 5 degrees on the Richter scale that jolted Qom, south Tehran, and Markazi province, central Iran, earlier Wednesday also shook certain parts of the capital and the city of Karaj - 12/25/03

Iran-Turkey trade exchanges to reach 5 billion dollars
The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey will rise from 1.2 billion dollars to five billion dollars, said Iran's Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram in Tehran on Wednesday - 12/25/03

President Khatami unveils details of Iran's budget bill for 1383
Iran's budget bill for the next calendar year of 1383 (to start March 20, 2004) stands at 1,069,532 billion rials, registering a growth of 10.5 percent compared to that of 1382, President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Tuesday - 12/24/03

Israeli Sends Signal to Iran Over Airwaves — In Persian
When Israel's defense minister chatted on-air with radio listeners last week about the possibility of a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, he did more than just send a warning to the leaders in Tehran. -Forward - 12/24/03

Iranian rebels protest Iraq expulsion
Relatives of around 5,000 Iranian anti-government insurgents who have been ordered to leave occupied Iraq have appealed to the United Nations to intervene to stop the expulsion going ahead. -Reuters - 12/24/03

FM: Al-Qaeda threats against Iran has no link to Saddam's capture
The official further noted that given Iran has been constantly threatened by the terrorists and Al-Qaeda in the past, there is nothing new about it. - 12/24/03

Iran tightens security around Western embassies
Iran has stepped up security around the British, Turkish and Swiss embassies in Tehran after receiving warnings of possible attacks, a government official said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 12/24/03

Pakistan admits it may be source of Iran's nuclear expertise
Pakistan yesterday admitted for the first time that it may have been the source of sensitive nuclear know-how and equipment for Iran's uranium enrichment programme, a sophisticated and extensive project which has been kept secret for 18 years. -Guardian - 12/24/03

Earth-like carpet woven in northeastern Iran
A unique Earth-shaped carpet has been woven by a couple of weavers in the city of Birjand in the northeastern province of Khorassan in Iran - 12/24/03

On the street where you live... in Iran, which Mubarak abhors
Within the next few days, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is expected to decide whether to visit Iran. According to Egyptian and Iranian sources, his decision depends on a symbolic move by the leadership in Tehran. -Amir Taheri, Gulf News - 12/24/03

House of Sand and Fog Director Drew on Own Refugee Past
As soon as Vadim Perelman read House of Sand and Fog, a complicated 1999 best-seller about the American dream gone awry, he knew he had to make the film. -National Geographic - 12/24/03

Iran vows to revive Iraq sports, says Mehralizadeh
Iran's physical education chief made the remark in a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports, Ali Faeq, at his office in Tehran. - 12/24/03

Defending Shirin Ebadi: Being Careful and Skilled is Vital
The Iranian right wingers do not like the fact that their counterparts in the U.S. and Israel similarly do not like Mrs. Ebadi. The same applies to the other two. None of them like their hypocrisy exposed, when their supposed political "enemies" take a stance identical to theirs. -Moji Agha, Arizona - 12/24/03

Shamkhani: Iran to strike back severely if attacked by Israel
Iran's Minister of Defense and the Armed Forces Logistics Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said on Wednesday that Iran will give strong response if Israel ventures to attack Iranian nuclear installations - 12/24/03

Quake shakes Iran's central city of Qom
An earthquake with an intensity of 5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the central city of Qom on Wednesday - 12/24/03

Iranian DJ Brings Persian Influence to Washington Night Scene
Euphonious rhythmic beats began to surge, reverberating throughout Diva Nightclub just blocks from the White House in downtown Washington, D.C. During a performance here recently, Rateshtari, or DJ Dariush, as he is called, did not have to ask the mixed Persian and American crowd if his style of dance music was resonating. Their enthusiastic response said it all. - 12/24/03

Khatami upbeat about fruits of Iran-Egypt negotiations
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami said Tuesday he hoped negotiations held between him and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Geneva about two weeks ago would put an end to years of estrangement - 12/24/03

Iran launches probe into jails
Iran has launched a probe into conditions in its jails, President Mohammad Khatami said Tuesday, adding that he hoped "the day will come when we no longer have political prisoners." -AFP - 12/24/03

Iranians take cue from West
A new era of pool halls, paintball, and pet dogs is dawning on politically repressed Iran. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/24/03

Khatami hopes talks with Egypt 'will bear fruit'
"Both sides want and intend to overcome the problems in their way and put an end to the relations cut. There are currently negotiations underway, and we hope in future they would bear fruit," he told reporters. -Middle East Online - 12/23/03

Sniffer dog finds over four kilos of heroin in Iran's Isfahan province
A sniffer dog Tuesday helped police in Shahreza, central Isfahan Province, seize more than four kilograms of heroin stashed at the shoes of five Afghan children, aged seven to 10 - 12/23/03

Unjust desert
In humanitarian terms, the front line in Afghanistan is the Yellow Desert, where thousands of refugees live in flimsy tents in a barren, cold, inhospitable landscape. Illness is rife and the only hope of staying well for many is treatment provided by the charity Médecins sans Frontières. -Guardian - 12/23/03

Civilian Violence in Iraq Up Sharply Since Hussein's Capture
Violence against Iraqi civilians worsened in the week following former dictator Saddam Hussein's capture, and many Iraqis and American occupiers are worried about where it's headed. -Common Dreams - 12/23/03

Analysts Say Libya's Decision On WMD Inspired By Economics, Worries About Succession
Analysts say a number of political and economic factors are behind Tripoli's decision, which has been praised by Arab states, Israel, and other countries around the world. -RFE - 12/23/03

Iran, Afghanistan and UN sign $4.3m telecommunications deal
The Islamic Republic of Iran, under the agreement, was bound to provide Afghanistan with the necessary budget to construct a training center for telecommunications in the capital of the war-torn country, Kabul. - 12/23/03

Quakes shake towns in Fars and Khorassan provinces of Iran
A relatively strong earthquake wit an intensity of 4.5 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the town of Zarrindasht in Iran's southern province of Fars on Tuesday for the second time - 12/23/03

Expelling the MKO is a test for Iraqi sovereignty
The Iraqi Governing Council’s unanimous decision on Dec. 9 to expel the Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq by the end of the year was long awaited. The fate of the MKO has been a bone of contention between Iraqi political forces and the US occupation authorities since the downfall of Saddam Hussein. -Mahan Abedin, Daily Star - 12/23/03

Iran, Turkey ink investment agreement on Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport
Imam Khomeini Airport has been constructed on a 15,000-hectare area in Fashafouyeh near Shahr-e Rey along Tehran-Qom freeway. It's scheduled for inauguration on Februrary 11, 2004. - 12/23/03

Iran urges French scarf rethink
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has called on France to review its proposed ban on overt religious signs, such as headscarves, in schools. -BBC - 12/23/03

Pakistan suspects nuclear 'greed'
Pakistan has said a probe into possible nuclear technology transfers to Iran has shown some of its scientists may have been "motivated by greed". -BBC - 12/23/03

Iran's inflation rate rises further to 16.5 percent
Inflation in Iran continued its upward trend for the second consecutive year, going up to 16.5 percent in a year to Aban, the eighth month of the Iranian year, with manufactured goods and foodstuff becoming costlier - 12/23/03

Iran and Human Rights: Talk Is Cheap
Alarmed by the polarization between the West and the Muslim world, the judges of the Nobel Peace Prize chose Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, as this year's Nobel peace laureate because she represents what it called a "reformed Islam" that sees Islam and human rights in harmony. -Elahé Sharifpour-Hicks - 12/23/03

Iranian media draw parallels with Saddam
Sharg, a reformist daily newspaper, faintly praised the wisdom of Muammer Gadaffi - a ruler "once similar to Saddam Hussein [of Iraq] and Slobodan Milosevic [former Serbian president]" but now one who could see both men in detention in a world where "the US can do what it likes". -Financial Times - 12/22/03

Israeli army refuseniks condemned
Thirteen reservists from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit wrote to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saying they would not be part of a "rule of oppression". -BBC - 12/22/03

Arab-Americans Becoming an Increasingly Stronger Political Force
The Arab population in the United States has nearly doubled over the course of the last two decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's first report ever on the Arab-American population. The doubling of the population means that Arab-Americans have finally become a political force to be reckoned with. -VOA - 12/22/03

Russian-Iranian trade turnover to reach $1 bln in 2003
Russian-Iranian trade turnover will total $1 billion in 2003, Yevgeny Primakov, president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told a roundtable session of Russian and Iranian businessmen. -Interfax - 12/22/03

Libya faces early nuclear checks
Libya's pledge to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programmes followed nine months of secret negotiations with Britain and the United States. -BBC - 12/22/03

If Libya can do it, why not Israel?
We can no longer turn a blind eye to the fifth largest nuclear power -Guardian - 12/22/03

The Iranian complex
Reflexive, knee-jerk, and programmed. These words describe the reactions of some to the idea of monarchy in Iran. I am still dumbfounded by the almost religious nature of such people, one that is oblivious to facts and events. -Amir K. Sheibany - 12/22/03

Foreign Minister confirms al-Qaeda bombing threats against Iran
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday confirmed bombing threats made by al-Qaeda against Iran to avenge what has been rumored as Tehran having given tips to capture former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein - 12/22/03

Pakistani-Iranian experts to discuss gas pipeline by year end
The multi-billion dollar project would be from Iran to Pakistan and at later stage, if New Delhi agrees, will be extended to that country. - 12/22/03

Less than one percent of Iranians active in stock market
Speaking at a gathering on 'Developments in Capital Markets,' the analyst said Tehran and Istanbul stock markets, due to proximity to the European Union (EU), will experience a favorable growth in the next decade. - 12/22/03

Iran's President laughs off Israeli threat to hit nuclear facilities
"He made a damn mistake," the Iranian president retorted with a smile, when asked to comment on the statements made by Shaul Mofaz who had been cited as saying that 'the necessary steps will be taken if a decision is made to destroy Iran's nuclear capability'. - 12/22/03

Nuclear Program in Iran Tied To Pakistan
Evidence discovered in a probe of Iran's secret nuclear program points overwhelmingly to Pakistan as the source of crucial technology that put Iran on a fast track toward becoming a nuclear weapons power, according to U.S. and European officials familiar with the investigation. -Washington Post - 12/21/03

Rezazadeh, SAIPA lift Asian Club Weightlifting title for Iran
The world's strongest man, Hossein Rezazadeh, and SAIPA of Iran won the gold medals of the 4th Asian Club Weightlifting Championships in Shenyang, east of China, Saturday - 12/21/03

Iran President calls for fight against terrorism, unilateralism
In a meeting with his Kyrgyz counterpart Askar Akayev, Khatami laid emphasis on the importance of efforts to establish stability and security in the region, and strengthen economic, scientific and technical ties. - 12/21/03

Iraq: A legacy of limited vision
Indeed, Saddam's biggest legacy for many Iraqis may have been an inability to see, or rather, a selective vision that allowed Iraqis to ignore hypocrisy, corruption and brutality in favor of nationalist fantasies. -Borzou Daragahi, Star-Ledger - 12/21/03

Capture of Saddam Hussein
I woke up Sunday morning to hear about the capture of Saddam Hussein. Because of time differences, people in other parts of the world had heard about the news before us. I benefited from reading their comments. -Mohammad Ala - 12/21/03

No flights in Iranian air space: ADF
The Australian Defence Force said today RAAF surveillance planes had not flown over Iran, but did not rule out their spying from outside Iranian air space. -Age - 12/21/03

The Bridge To Iran
A black hole in the U.S. commitment to transform the greater Middle East hovers over Iran. An attentive newspaper reader can describe the goals that President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser, have in mind with respect to Iraq, Palestine and the Arab political order. On Iran, the jury of two is still out. -Washington Post - 12/21/03

Iran's Prosecutor General: MKO's transfer will cost Europe, US dearly
Addressing a press conference, Namazi said protection of the MKO members by any system would entail many political, economic and security consequences. - 12/21/03

Revealed: Who Really Found Saddam?
But just how did that endgame come about? Indeed, who exactly were the key players in what until then had been a frustrating and sometimes embarrassing hunt for a former dictator with a $25 million (£14m) bounty on his head? -Sunday Herald, UK - 12/21/03

Arabs push for Israel to disarm
Arab states have responded to Libya's pledge to abandon its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes by demanding that Israel to do the same. -BBC - 12/21/03

Iran warns Europe to make good on nuclear promises
Iran sent a veiled warning to Europe on Sunday to meet its pledges towards Tehran, which has just inked an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - 12/21/03

Al-Ahram urges Egypt and Iran to learn from European unity
Egypt's state-run paper al-Ahram has appealed to Egyptian and Iranian authorities to learn from European unity and proceed to form Muslim integration, and called for the immediate exchange of ambassadors between Cairo and Tehran - 12/21/03

Iran President officially welcomes Kyrgyz counterpart
President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday officially welcomed his Kyrgyz counterpart Askar Akayev who arrived here Saturday night on a two-day visit to explore avenues for promoting political, economic and cultural relations - 12/21/03

Mofaz tells Iran that Israel won't allow it nuclear capability
An operation to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities if necessary is under consideration, according to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. Speaking in Persian last week on Israel Radio, Mofaz said that if the need arises to destroy Iran's nuclear capability, "the necessary steps will be taken so that Iranian citizens will not be harmed." -Haaretz, Israel - 12/21/03

Women in Iran Deem Rape Laws Unfair
In Iran, a woman awaits a new execution date for killing the man she says tried to rape her. There, if a woman is raped, she can be charged with adultery. If a woman kills her attacker, she can be charged with murder. Both are punishable by death. -Women's Enews, NY - 12/21/03

Iran's Parliament amends bill on joining UN anti-torture convention
Iran's parliament (Majlis) on Sunday amended a bill calling on the government to sign up to a UN convention that bans torture by including in the bill that UN will cover the administrative costs for joining the convention - 12/21/03

Embargo ruling leaves engineer club in a tizzy
Wary of breaking tough U.S. laws against "trading with the enemy" -- a policy whose history predates the War of 1812 -- the IEEE angered Iranian scientists last year by curbing their membership privileges and ceasing to publish their scholarly papers. -Newark Star Ledger - 12/21/03

Germany, Iran sign 111M Euros petrochemical plant deal
A subsidiary of Germany's engineering firm Thyssen Krupp, Krupp UHDE, and Iranian company Sazeh have signed a 111 million euro contract to build a medium and high density polyethylene plant in Iran, the Iranian embassy announced in Berlin on Saturday - 12/20/03

Man faces death for car sticker
"The era of arrogant rulers is over." The accused, a 27-year-old taxi driver named Ali Akbar Najafi, was arrested in Tehran in June, said Dadkhah, noting that while his client had made up the slogan, it wasn't aimed at Iran's clerical establishment. -WorldNetDaily - 12/20/03

Examination of dissident Aghajari's situation on Iran parliament's agenda
The parliament is to read out at a public session Sunday a report prepared by the Article 90 commission of the parliament for the file case of Aghajari, said Jamileh Kadivar, Rapporteur of the Commission on Saturday. - 12/20/03

FILM: Tragic 'House' built on solid foundation
"House of Sand and Fog," a wrenching new drama starts with an "if only" worthy of Thomas Hardy: If only Kathy Nicolo opened her mail. -Star-Ledger - 12/20/03

Court to rule on Israeli barrier
The World Court has said it will hear arguments about Israel's construction of a controversial West Bank barrier to separate Israelis from Palestinians. -BBC - 12/20/03

Central Asia/North Africa: Both Regions Face Growing Islamism, Strongmen
The five nations of the Maghreb region of North Africa and the five republics of Central Asia have much in common. They are Muslim nations threatened with, or actually facing, religious extremism. -RFE - 12/20/03

Saudi airliner to fly to 4 Iranian major cities
Saudi airliner is to start flying to Iranian cities of Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad and Isfahan from the Shiite dominant port city of Dammam - 12/20/03

Iran 'genuine' in verifying nuclear programme, says UK's Foreign Secretary
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says that he is convinced that Iran is sincere in opening its doors for verifiable inspections of its nuclear programme - 12/20/03

Minor quake hits Genaveh in Bushehr province of Iran, causes panic
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, hit Bandar Genaveh in Bushehr Province, south of Iran at 21:02 hours local time (17:32 GMT) on Friday, causing panic among local residents - 12/20/03

Iran President praises endeavors, personality of American Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye
President Mohammad Khatami in a message on Friday praised the American Iranologist, Professor Richard Nelson Frye, for his hard endeavors and works in Iran studies, IRNA reported from New York. - 12/20/03

Over 8,000 candidates for 7th parliament elections in Iran
More than 8,000 people have signed up for candidacy for the 290-seat Majlis, elections for which will be held nationwide on February 20, 2004 - 12/20/03

Visiting Iran
am a 50-year-old woman who has wanted to go to Iran for many years. As an American, my concern is safety. What advice do you have regarding such a trip? -New York Times - 12/20/03

Iran peels back nuclear secrecy
Analysts said the decision to sign the Additional Protocol of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in Vienna was the most "momentous" made by the Islamic Republic since agreeing to a 1988 cease-fire to end the Iran-Iraq War. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/20/03

AGHDASH...WHO?
IT doesn't trip lightly off the tongue, but Oscar pundits are fast learning how to pronounce Shohreh Aghdashloo's name. -NY Post - 12/20/03

In Iran, hopes for democracy dwindle
Once seen as the most vigorous democratic impulse in the Islamic world, Iran's reform movement is battling for political survival. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/19/03

Global Freedom Gains Amid Terror, Uncertainty
According to the survey, 88 countries are Free, representing 2.8 billion people (44 percent of the world's population). Their inhabitants enjoy a broad range of rights. Fifty-five countries are considered Partly Free, representing 1.3 billion people (21 percent). Political rights and civil liberties are more limited in these countries, in which corruption, dominant ruling parties, or, in some cases, ethnic or religious strife are often the norm. The survey finds that 49 countries are Not Free, representing 2.2 billion people (35 percent). Inhabitants of these countries are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties. - 12/19/03

EC head says ball now in court of others over Iran's nuclear plans
Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Friday that Iran's signing the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has put the ball in the court of others - 12/19/03

Analyst: US, Iran engaged in cautious pas de deux
The considerable influence that Iran has over Iraqi Shiites has prompted the United States to take a more guarded approach toward the Islamic republic, a Tehran-based analyst who is closely monitoring the situation in Iraq said Thursday. -Daily Star - 12/19/03

American, Iranian counter-elites mirror each other
Exiles and children of broken homes have much in common. Some, like Iranian-American exiles, find themselves victims of a bad divorce, citizens of two of the world’s most antagonistic and least popular nations. -Ahmad Sadri, Daily Star - 12/19/03

Iran's Ebadi critical of France's headscarf ban
French plans to forbid headscarves in state schools will only promote Islamic extremism, This year's Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi said in Paris on Thursday criticizing French plans to forbid hijab (Islamic dress code) in state schools - 12/19/03

US Welcomes Iran's Agreement on Nuclear Inspections
The United States has welcomed Iran's signing of an International Atomic Energy Agency protocol for tighter nuclear inspections. But the State Department says much more remains to be done to assuage U.S. and other international concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. -VOA - 12/19/03

The women of the year
Esther Addley applauds those we loved in 2003 ... In a year when far too many journalists died while doing their jobs, the death of Zahra Kazemi was one of the least public, but one of the most scandalous. -Guardian - 12/19/03

National Iranian Drilling Company says 95 oil wells to be drilled this year
Jashnsaz told a press conference that more than 1,800 wells have been drilled and repaired from 1979 to 2002. - 12/19/03

US warns Israel over 'separation'
The United States has warned Israel against taking any unilateral measures to separate itself from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. -BBC - 12/19/03

Two Novice Gumshoes Charted the Capture Of Saddam Hussein
The capture of Saddam Hussein began with four names Maj. Stan Murphy scribbled on three pieces of paper and ripped from a small green notebook. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/19/03

Iran to Gainesville - educational journey
The uncommon trek from Iran to Gainesville has become familiar to the Shirazian family. That's because a Gainesville-based education is a family tradition. -Gainesville Sun, Florida - 12/19/03

State Dept. Report on Religious Freedom Criticizes Some US Allies
The State Department's annual report on religious freedom was issued Thursday and it includes strong criticism of a number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including regional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. -VOA - 12/19/03

EU, Russia Welcome Iran's Signing Of Nuclear Protocol
Russia and the European Union have welcomed Iran's signing of an agreement allowing the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency to conduct unscheduled inspections of Iranian nuclear complexes and research facilities. - 12/19/03

Yalda Celebration 2003 at the Persian Center in Berkeley, California
Persian Center cordially invites you to spend the Longest Night of Year with us! - December 20th at 7:30 p.m. - 12/19/03

Acquaint your palate with the aromatic flavors of Iran
In Iran, the longest night of the year is cause for celebration. From this night forward the days grow longer, the nights shorter: reason enough — as any cold, wet, Seattleite will agree — to rejoice. -Seattle Times - 12/19/03

Iran and the big picture
Iran's formal agreement to allow shortnotice UN inspections of its nuclear facilities marks a welcome advance for global non-proliferation efforts. But goodwill is required if yesterday's deal is to stick. -Guardian - 12/19/03

Shab e Cheleh /Yalda Festival
Yalda, a Syriac word imported into the Persian language by the Syriac Christians means birth (tavalud and melaad are from the same origin). It is a relatively recent arrival and it was very likely refereed to the birth of Jesus Christ (Melaad e Massih) in the past. It is used interchangeably with ‘Shab e Cheleh’, a Zoroastrian celebration of Winter Solstice around December 21st. -Culture of Iran - 12/19/03

Male Artists in Tehran
It is true more women work as painters these days. It is also true that since women in this society face more challenges, their work becomes more interesting, as individuals and as a group, to observe and note the development of their work within newfound self-expressions. Nevertheless, no doubt, there are many talented men artists who are just as good and appealing to observe, at least as individuals, in the art scene here. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/18/03

Aid Agencies Leaving Iran Due To Administrative Obstacles, Government Pressures
The UN's refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, says about half of the international NGOs operating in Iran have been forced to leave the country because of administrative obstacles, government pressures, and funding problems. - 12/18/03

Iran or Persia? Farsi or Persian? Which Ones Should be Called ?!
Until a few decades ago, in the English language (which is now international) and in international circles, our country was called "Persia." Unfortunately, however, in 1935 the then government of Persia requested all countries in the world to call Persia by its native name, "Iran," ... -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 12/18/03

US Conditionally Welcomes Expected Iranian Nuclear Agreement
While welcoming Tehran's intention to sign the additional International Atomic Energy Agency protocol, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters that step in itself will not be enough to assuage U.S. and other international concerns about its nuclear program -VOA - 12/18/03

Iran giving 'huge' assistance to Iraq's reconstruction,says Talabani
Member of Iraq's Interim Governing Council Jalal Talabani Wednesday praised Iran's contribution to the post-war efforts to rebuild Iraq despite the billions in compensation owed to Iran for Saddam Hussein's eight-year war during the 1980s - 12/18/03

Iran’s Nobel laureate under attack from the most fanatic friends and enemies of Islam
Ms. Ebadi has come under criticism from several sources. The most severe of these came from Islamic fundamentalists within Iran who see in this award a threat to their hold on power. Their criticism revolves around Islamic symbols such as head cover and hand shaking with men. -Jamshid Naghizadeh - 12/18/03

IAEA board urges Iran to implement NPT additional protocol
Head of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Antonio Nunez Garcia-Sauco said in Vienna on Thursday that the IAEA board expects Iran to immediately implement the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after its signing - 12/18/03

Iran 'owed billions for Saddam war'
The head of Iraq's Interim Governing Council says Iran should be paid reparations for the war that Saddam Hussein waged against it in the 1980s. -BBC - 12/18/03

Quake shakes southern city of Kazeroun in Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.9 degrees on the Richter scale, shook the southern Iranian city of Kazeroun in Fars province with no immediate report of damage - 12/18/03

Iranian-American Group Accuses Teheran of Widespread Rights Abuse
An Iranian-American human rights group says the arrest and torture of pro-democracy dissidents in Iran is on the rise. The National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates called upon Western governments and the United Nations to condemn the Islamic fundamentalist regime at a news conference in New York City on Wednesday. -VOA - 12/18/03

Iran signs up to nuclear checks
Iran has signed an agreement with the United Nations which will allow tougher inspections of its nuclear industry. -BBC - 12/18/03

Iran: The Significance of Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize
I believe that Ms Ebadi would not have won the prize if she were not a woman or a Muslim. The fact that she is Iranian was not that significant, in hindsight. Once the heat of the moment passed, I had time to sit and think things over. The fact that she addresses herself as a Muslim so often is because she is. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/17/03

Iran says will sign NPT protocol on Thursday
President of Iran`s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran will sing the Additional Protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) tomorrow - 12/17/03

Fate, Accident, Choice?
It is as though everything in my life worked in such a way as to prevent me from becoming not only an ideal, a hero, an artist, a scientist, but even an exemplary daughter, mother, woman, not even an ordinary human being. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 12/17/03

15 Years Too Late: Saddam will Continue to Haunt Iraq for Years
Was this really the man with whom I shook hands almost a quarter of a century ago? I've spent 24 hours looking again and again at those videotapes. The more I look, the more Saddam turns into a wild animal. -Robert Fisk, CounterPunch - 12/17/03

Iran, Spain celebrate 600 years of ties
Iran and Spain in a ceremony in Madrid on Tuesday celebrated the 600th anniversary of the establishment of ties between the two countries - 12/17/03

Iran Foreign Minister wraps up Madrid visit, returns home
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi wrapped up a two-day visit to Spain to attend the conference of Dialogue Among Civilizations and returned home early Wednesday - 12/17/03

Work Related
Watching the images of a puffy-eyed, disheveled Saddam Hussein, I was reminded of Abu Ahmad, an Iraqi engineer-turned-mechanic I knew in Tehran. -Afshin Molavi, New Republic - 12/17/03

Iran, Germany in joint shipbuilding venture
Deputy Head of Iran`s Industrial Development and Renovation Organization Abdolhossein Fahmi said in Terhran on Tuesday that the first Iran-German ship will be delivered to Islamic Republic of Iran`s Shipping Lines in April 2005 - 12/17/03

UN facilitates return of hundreds of Iraqi refugees from Iran
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is helping hundreds of exiled Iraqis return from Iran to their home country, a spokesman for the agency said on December 16 - 12/17/03

Iran signs $1.5 bn water pact with Kuwait
Iran and Kuwait have signed an agreement worth $1.5 billion for supplying fresh water to Kuwait city. -Reuters - 12/17/03

How Saddam could embarrass the West
A trial of Saddam Hussein would primarily bring forth evidence of his crimes, but he might also use the forum to remind the world that he once had his supporters outside Iraq - in the former Soviet Union, in the Gulf States and in the West. -BBC - 12/17/03

In Arab World, Response Generally Positive, If Muted, To Hussein's Capture
The reaction of Iraq's neighbors to deposed President Saddam Hussein's capture has been generally positive. But some observers say regional leaders should consider new strategies if they want to avoid the same fate. -RFE - 12/17/03

Iran's Supreme Leader: Legitimacy comes from ballot boxes
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that legitimacy of the Islamic Republic comes from popular votes which is the essence of religious democracy - 12/17/03

Iran says studying Japan`s request to extend deadline on Azadegan oil field
Iran said on Wednesday it is studying a request by Japan to extend a deadline to bid for the development of its giant oil field of Azadegan - 12/17/03

Iran: Khatami Says Tehran To Pardon Many Mujahedin Khalq
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (pictured) says that Iran is ready to pardon most members of the Mujahedin Khalq, an armed opposition group set to be expelled from neighbouring Iraq. -RFE - 12/17/03

Iran's clerics under pressure
Iran's clerical rulers are nearing the 25th anniversary of their Islamic revolution under greater pressure than ever from "Great Satan" the United States, as they watch another neighbour swamped with American troops and feel the heat over its nuclear programme. -AFP - 12/16/03

Khatami: Iran ready for cooperation with Iraq in all fields
Iran on Tuesday offered its hand for cooperation with Iraq following the capture of Saddam Hussein who led a destructive war between 1980 and 1988 against the Islamic Republic - 12/16/03

Russia, Iran will not sign deal on return of spent nuke fuel this year
Russia and Iran will not sign an agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant till the end of this year, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said. - 12/16/03

Iranian reporters seek access to Saddam
Iranian reporters who say they broke the news of Saddam Hussein's arrest are asking the United Nations to set up an interview with him. -UPI - 12/16/03

Inside Saddam’s Hideout
Rotten fruit, Lipton tea bags and religious tapes. The detritus of the dictator’s life on the run—and the intelligence that caught him -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 12/16/03

Eleven killed, 12 injured in Iran bus accident
At least 11 people were killed and 12 others injured Tuesday morning when a bus rammed into a lamp post after swerving on a slippery road near the western city of Malayer in Hamedan province - 12/16/03

Iran 'doing its best' on terror
Asked in a news conference whether fighters in Iran are crossing the border to Iraq, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said, "We certainly will do our best to not allow any terrorist elements to use Iranian territory. -CNN - 12/16/03

41 Iranians reunited with families upon return home after released in Iraq
Some 41 Iranians taken captive by the US forces have been released and arrived home on Tuesday, to be reunited with their families, IRNA reported from Shalamcheh, Khuzestan province. - 12/16/03

US remains Iraq resistance target
Iraqi militants have ambushed a US convoy and demonstrations in support of Saddam Hussein in some flashpoint towns near Baghdad have turned violent. -BBC - 12/16/03

We Finally Got Our Frankenstein... and He Was In a Spider Hole!
Thank God Saddam is finally back in American hands! He must have really missed us. Man, he sure looked bad! But, at least he got a free dental exam today. That's something most Americans can't get. -Michael Moore - 12/16/03

Quakes rattles parts of Isfahan and Fars provinces in Ira
A relatively moderate earthquake shook parts of the central Isfahan province Tuesday afternoon. Another earthquake measuring 4.6 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Zarrin Dasht in the southern Province of Fars on Tuesday morning. - 12/16/03

Iran, Sweden to promote trade ties
Swedish Consul in Tehran Soren Lundvall on Tuesday encouraged Iranian tradesmen and industrialists to visit Sweden and attempt to present their products on its markets - 12/16/03

U.S. relationship with Iran is clouded by suspicion
There is mistrust on both sides, with Baghdad in middle -Seattle Post Intelligencer - 12/16/03

Iranian American; What Does That Exactly Mean?
Patriotism as an American, Iranian American, or an Iranian in self-exile in America, does not mean buying into whatever the Administration wants to pursue; that would be true in totalitarian regimes, not in a democracy. Furthermore, objecting to America’s foreign policy in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iran, is for more than its detrimental effects on our former or current homeland; it is, many of us feel, counter to the best interests of our adopted land, the United States of America, as well. -Kam Zarrabi - 12/16/03

Dr. Houtan - Iranian-American Philanthropist
“Knowledge makes a good person better,” asserts Dr. Mina Houtan, founder of the Houtan Scholarship Foundation, which grants scholarships to graduate students pursuing academic study in Iranian language and culture. -NIAC - 12/16/03

Iran's GDP growth set to ease to 3.5 per cent next year - EIU
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) predicted Tuesday that Real GDP growth in Iran would ease next year, mainly as a result in a downturn in oil prices, after reaching 6 percent in the year ending March 2004, higher than previously forecast - 12/16/03

After 2 Visits to the Hangman, More Horror for Iran Dissident
Ahmad Batebi, a student activist, ran so afoul of the government that he received a death sentence in 1997. It was never carried out, but he languished in jail until on one recent day he was given the luxury of a 20-day leave. -New York Times - 12/15/03

Structural cause and security repercussions for Iran
The wording of the anti-Iranian resolution adopted on September 12 by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which demanded Iran's discontinuation of nuclear activities and set a deadline for Iran's unconditional acceptance of the additional protocol came as a surprise attack on Iran's national security. -Abumohammad Asgarkhani, Tehran - 12/15/03

Heydar Aliev
Former president of Azerbaijan whose term in office was dominated by the sell-off of Caspian oil and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh -Guardian - 12/15/03

Iran says Saddam must be put on trial
Iran demanded on Monday that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who led a destructive war against the Islamic Republic between 1980 and 1988, is tried at an international court, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/15/03

Saddam the prisoner
Iraqi leaders were last night insisting on the right to put Saddam Hussein on trial inside Iraq, in what would be the most extraordinary war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg at the end of the second world war. -Guardian - 12/15/03

Astray anti-aircraft shells kill 2, leave 13 wounded in Iran's Bushehr province
An astray anti-aircraft shell landed on a minibus in Iran's southern province of Bushehr Sunday afternoon killing two passengers and leaving 13 wounded - 12/15/03

Iran's road accident rate 21 times that of developed countries
An official of the Road and Transportation Ministry said last month that road accidents claim 60 lives daily. Deputy Minister for road maintenance Ahmad Majidi said that 80 percent of the dead are between 20-30 years of age. - 12/15/03

Iraqi leaders demand Saddam trial
Iraqi leaders say they want Saddam Hussein put on trial in Iraq for crimes against humanity following his capture.-BBC - 12/15/03

Iran draws up Saddam war charges
"I hope this [the capture] will be a lesson for all those who do not listen to the will of their own people," said the Iranian Government spokesman - representing the reformists. -BBC - 12/15/03

Poem: My Fancy Dream (to Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Laureate)
I am in the house of fancy dreams. There is no sign of mine... -Suri Dalir - 12/15/03

Iran's latent GSM potential at the threshold of energizing regional landscape
As bidders prepare to submit their pre-qualification documents for Iran's second GSM license on December 15, 2003, the country's true GSM potential is revealed. -MENA - 12/15/03

Iran's President stresses further cooperation with Iraq
President Mohammad Khatami stressed the need to further expand cooperation with Iraq and voiced Iran's readiness to help Iraq with its reconstruction according to its people's demand - 12/15/03

Iran reformists may boycott poll
The main reformist party in Iran has said it may boycott the country's general election if too many of its members are barred from standing. -BBC - 12/14/03

Japan's Tomen to quit talks on development of Iran's Azadegan oilfield
Japan's Tomen to quit talks on development of Iran's Azadegan oilfield - 12/14/03

Iranian garners Spain kyokushin matsushima titles
Iranian karateka Arash Sharifi scooped up the coveted gold and three trophies at an international kyokushin matsushima tournament in Spain Sunday - 12/14/03

The Saga of Iran's Alleged WMD
To follow the saga of USrael's attempt to use Iran's alleged WMD to overthrow the Iranian government, I will chronicle below a sample of news reports that have appeared since July, 2003, on Associate Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Reuters, Agence France Presse (AFP), and some newspapers. -Sasan Fayazmanesh, CounterPunch - 12/14/03

Iran kidnapped Westerners 'okay'
The government in Iran has said three Western tourists - one Irishman and two Germans - are "physically okay" 10 days after they were kidnapped. -BBC - 12/14/03

Iran holds US troops responsible for abducted border guards
A top military official said in Tehran on Sunday that US troops in Iraq are responsible for the fate of four Iranian border guards abducted by the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), IRNA reported. - 12/14/03

Saddam Hussein arrested in Iraq
Ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is in US custody following his dramatic capture by US forces in Iraq. -BBC - 12/14/03

Movahhed appointed Iran freestyle wrestling manager
Abdollah Movahhed was installed as the new manager of Iran's freestyle wrestling team, said Mohammad-Reza Taleqani Sunday. - 12/14/03

Some 200,000 Iranian researchers active worldwide
Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology Hossein Shafi'ie said in Zanjan on Sunday that over 200,000 skillful Iranian researchers are involved in research worldwide - 12/14/03

Winter Song by Iranian director Mehranfar, best children film in the world
The Winter Song, directed by Farhad Mehranfar, on Saturday was awarded by Athens' International Children's Film Festival as the best film of the year 2003 throughout the world - 12/14/03

Iran's population to increase by one million next year
Iran's population is expected to increase by one million to 67,500,000 in the next Iranian year (to start on March 20) from 66,500,000 this year - 12/14/03

Iranian Rebels Urge Pentagon Not to Let Iraq Expel Them
Representatives of an Iranian opposition group are appealing to the Pentagon to overrule an order this week by the Iraqi Governing Council that would expel its members from Iraq by the end of the year, possibly to Iran. -New York Times - 12/13/03

Iran cleric's Web site gives behind the scenes view
Armed with a sharp wit and a concealed camera Iran's Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi is offering Internet users a daily behind-the-scenes peek into the corridors of power in Iran. -Reuters - 12/13/03

Andre Agassi "regrets" speaking no Farsi: German weekly
American-Iranian tennis star Andre Agassi always wished he had been able to speak Farsi, the weekly Bunte magazine quoted him as saying Saturday, IRNA reported from Berlin. - 12/13/03

Syria under US sanctions threat
US President George W Bush has approved economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria over its alleged support for terrorism. -BBC - 12/13/03

Former Azerbaijan president dies in Ohio clinic, aged 80
Mr Aliev created one of the first post-Soviet dynasties in the region when earlier this year he engineered his succession by his son Ilham, a reformed playboy. -Guardian - 12/13/03

Human Rights Watch: Hundreds of Civilian Deaths in Iraq Were Preventable
Hundreds of civilian deaths in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq could have been prevented by abandoning two misguided military tactics, Human Rights Watch said in a comprehensive new report - 12/13/03

Toll from Iran quake put at five injuries
Press on Saturday put the toll from Thursday's earthquake in the southern Iranian city of Masjid-i-Soleyman at five people injured and about 142 houses damaged - 12/13/03

2003 & Beyond: For U.S., Iraq Likely To Remain A 'Long, Hard Slog'
Nine months ago, when U.S. cruise missiles and precision bombs began raining down on Baghdad in the war's first salvos, the United States might never have imagined where it would be today -- mired in a bloody quagmire, with no easy exit in sight. -RFE - 12/13/03

Hashemian rules out return to Iran's national soccer team: daily
VfL Bochum striker Vahid Hashemian will decline an invitation by Iran's head coach Branco Ivancovic to rejoin the national team, the daily Frankfurter Rundschau said Saturday, IRNA reported from Berlin. - 12/13/03

IIPF head: No international supervision is needed for Iran's 7th Majlis elections
Head of Islamic Iran's Participation Front Mohammad-Reza Khatami on Saturday ruled out any need for international supervision over Iran's 7th Parliamentary elections, insisting that there had been rare cases of fraud in polling in the past 25 years - 12/13/03

Iran fined $10,000, one fan-free match by Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation Friday fined Iran 10,000 dollars and banned it from playing its next national match in front of home fans for the crowd trouble on Nov 12 - 12/13/03

Iran's Nobel winner doesn't make the news at home
The thin media coverage points to the difficulties Ebadi faces as her profile rises in Iran's relentless, rough-and-tumble political battlefield. -Christian Science Monitor - 12/12/03

"FARSI" or "PERSIAN"? What Is the English Name of Our Language?
Some days ago an article was published in payvand.com (in English) where the writer used the word "Farsi" instead of "Persian" for the official language of our country. -Pejman Akbarzadeh, Tehran - 12/12/03

Iran's 10 million tons of wheat surplus brings one billion dollars in saving
Iran's Minister of Agricultural Jihad Mahmoud Hojjati on Thursday boasted a booming harvest season for wheat that yielded more than 10,300,000 tons of surplus, thus saving the country one billion dollars - 12/12/03

184 MPs call for extradition of Iranian convicts from Kuwait
The letter says, "The Iranian noble laborers have been enjoying a good status in the neighboring Arab countries, specially Kuwait, over the recent years. - 12/12/03

British Foreign Secretary says Iran agreement 'good illustration' of EU foreign policy
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw suggested Thursday that the agreement with regard to Iran's nuclear programme was a good example of the future cooperation to achieve a common EU foreign policy as proposed by the UK - 12/12/03

Commemoration for Roshanak Daryoush at Goethe Institute in Munich
Roshanak Daryoush, Iranian writer and translator, passed away in exile in Munich on 1 November 2003. A commemoration meeting for her will be held at the Goethe Institute (Munich), 16:00 – 18:00 hours, Saturday 13 December 2003. - 12/12/03

Iran President says dialogue of Islam with Christianity "inevitable"
Khatami, in an address to the World Summit on Information Society, said the international community can promote religion to its real status through mutual understanding and liberality. - 12/12/03

Iran's president defends web control
Speaking in Geneva, Iran's President Mohammad Khatami insisted that the country only blocks access to 240 "pornographic and immoral" websites. -BBC - 12/12/03

Veiled threat
France is set to ban the hijab in schools. But forcing girls not to wear it is as bad as forcing them to, says Iranian exile Marjane Satrapi -Guardian - 12/12/03

Williams College Museum of Art Presents: Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image
Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) will present Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image, an exhibition that offers a glimpse of turn-of-the-20th century Iran through the eyes of one of that nation’s most creative photographers, Antoin Sevruguin. - January 10 to May 2, 2004 - 12/12/03

Iran President stresses free dissemination of information
President Mohammad Khatami said in Geneva on Thursday that democracy would not be achieved in the absence of free dissemination of information - 12/12/03

Iran: Ebadi Becomes First Muslim Woman To Receive Nobel Peace Prize
Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in an award ceremony held today in Oslo. The award comes in recognition of Ebadi's work promoting the rights of Iran's women and children. -RFE - 12/11/03

Laurels for an Iranian Revolutionary
Today my friend of more than 25 years, Iranian human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi, is to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Predictably enough, when the honor for this remarkable woman was announced in October, forces that control her country's most powerful state organs were infuriated. -Mehrangiz Kar, Washington Post - 12/11/03

Iranian Human rights activists honor Ebadi's landmark speech
Public opinion and the intellectuals advocating human rights honored the landmark speech of Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi to the prestigious award ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/11/03

Iranian bloggers rally against censorship
Iranian internet users have been venting their frustration at online censorship on a website devoted to the UN's digital summit in Geneva. -BBC - 12/11/03

2003 & Beyond: Iranian, North Korean Nuclear Crises Remain Open Issues
This year saw two major nuclear weapons crises. One, in Iran, found a temporary solution following a showdown between Tehran and the UN's nuclear inspections agency. The other, in North Korea, continues to simmer with no solution in sight. -RFE - 12/11/03

Iran President says information exchange must revive dialogue
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami has called on world nations to turn information exchange into a chance for dialogue and bridging divides among societies, IRNA reported from Geneva, Switzerland. - 12/11/03

Iran President renews call for pivotal UN role in Iraq
President Mohammad Khatami met with UN chief Kofi Annan in Geneva on Thursday on the fringes of a global summit on information societies, where he reiterated Tehran's call on the United Nations to play a pivotal role in Iraq - 12/11/03

An Iranian ‘no’ to imposed democracy
On June 13, United States Congressman Brad Sherman introduced legislation into the Committee on International Relations and the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives for the purpose of “fostering democracy and freedom in Iran.” -Mehdi Noorbaksh, Daily Star - 12/11/03

Iran to play three home soccer matches in fan-free stadium: AFC
Iran was banned from playing in front of home fans in its three future international games, Mehr News Agency quoted the Asian Football Confederation as saying Wednesday - 12/11/03

Quake hits southern Iranian city
An earthquake measuring 4.1 degrees on the Richter scale hit parts of the southern Khuzestan province Thursday, with no immediate report about probable property damage or casualties - 12/11/03

New Activist Network Slams Growing Abuses Under Bush
Key U.S. civil liberties and social justice groups marked International Human Rights Day Wednesday by launching a new ”U.S. Human Rights Network” dedicated to raising awareness about international human rights standards and focusing attention on the U.S. failure to enforce them. -Common Dreams - 12/11/03

Iran official confident of 8% economic growth rate in 4th 5-year plan
An Iranian key economic figure solemnly believes that the country will manage to meet an economic growth rate of eight percent in the fourth five-year economic development plan (2005-10), saying it is not a dream or inaccessible goal - 12/11/03

Hall of Reflections: Remembrances of the Iranian Immigrants of Northern California
A permanent installation from Hall of Reflections at Persian Center and the launch of the web project: Reflections and Remembrances. Saturday: December 13, 2003, 6pm – 9pm at Persian Center in Berkeley. - 12/11/03

In Speech, Nobel Winner Rebukes the U.S.
Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, received the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize here Wednesday, declaring that the prize would inspire women across the Muslim world to fight for equality in oppressive, patriarchal societies. -New York Times - 12/11/03

Egypt and Islamic Iran mend ties
The presidents of Egypt and Iran have held their first talks since the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. -BBC - 12/11/03

Iraq to expel Iranian militants
The US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council has decided to expel an Iranian opposition group this month. -BBC - 12/10/03

Political group 'Association of Technocrats' emerges in Iran
Secretary General of the Association of Technocrats Khosrow Nassiri-zad told reporters that he believes the group will secure at least 110 seats in the parliament. - 12/10/03

Six children die in fresh US blunder
The US military announced today that six children and two adults were killed during a US attack on a weapons compound in south-eastern Afghanistan, the second bungled operation in the country to leave child victims in as many days. -Guardian - 12/10/03

Consitutional Debate Rages in Lead Up to Afghan Council
A day before Afghanistan convenes the Loya Jirga, or grand council, debate is still flaring over the consitution’s basic elements. -Camelia Entekhabi-Fard, Eurasianet - 12/10/03

Iran, Azerbaijan to continue talks on gas exports in 2004
Tehran and Baku will continue their talks next year on the export of an annual volume of 350 million cubic meters of natural gas to Azerbaijan's autonomous republic of Nakhichevan - 12/10/03

Iran welcomes EU envoy Solana's planned visit to Tehran
Iran on Wednesday welcomed a planned visit by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to Tehran in early 2004 as a 'positive' gesture, but reiterated its position that the country would not accept any pre-conditions in its foreign ties - 12/10/03

Iran announced 3-0 winner of Asian qualifier vs N Korea: report
The Asian Football Confederation has announced Iran as the 3-0 winner of the second-leg Asian qualifier against North Korea, IRNA reported from Tehran quoting the leading Farsi sports daily Abrar-e Varzeshi Wednesday. - 12/10/03

Nobel winner blasts rights abuses
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has criticised states for infringing human rights "under the cloak of the war on terrorism". -BBC - 12/10/03

Iran President heading to Geneva for IT summit says information unilateralism is dangerous
President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Wednesday that unilateralism is not harmful just in political aspects rather it could entail more dangers in information areas - 12/10/03

Iran garners AFC awards for 2003
Iran's national winger Mahdavikia, Iran's futsal team, and judge Massoud Moradi were elected the AFC Player, Team, and Referee of the Year for 2003 at Imperial Sheraton Hotel in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur Wednesday - 12/10/03

Generation Gap Widening in Iran As Conservatives Try To Enforce Islamic Social Codes
Conservative authorities in the Islamic Republic are taking steps to shut down Western-style establishments that proved popular gathering places for young Iranians. But social experts say such moves may only end up widening the value gap between conservatives and Iran's young majority. -RFE - 12/10/03

The Nobel Peace Prize 2003 - Shirin Ebadi, Iran
Presentation Speech by Professor Ole Danbolt Mjøs, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Oslo, and acceptance speech by Shirin Ebadi - 12/10/03

US Calls on Iran to Hand Over al-Qaida Members
The Bush administration renewed its call on Iran Monday to hand over, either to the United States or their countries of origin, members of al-Qaida it has in custody. But the State Department denied suggestions the United States has offered to exchange Iraqi-based Iranian opposition figures for members of the Osama bin Laden terrorist group. -VOA - 12/9/03

Oil exports from National Iranian Continental Shelf Oil at 148 m barrels in 7 months
National Iranian Continental Shelf Oil Company exported over 148 million barrels of crude oil over a period of seven months starting on March 21 - 12/9/03

LECTURE: Islamic Feminism and Fondamentalism
A lecture by Professor Haideh Moghissi, York University, Toronto. December 12, 6:00 PM, at Concordia University - 12/9/03

Basra revenge killings increase
Revenge killings have been increasing in Iraq's second city, Basra. The southern province has seen a sharp rise in the number of former Baath Party members being gunned down. -BBC - 12/9/03

Iraqi Air Force Jets Head to the Junkyard
``We're also selling to scrap dealers in Lebanon, Turkey and Iran, but some of this ends up as cooking containers for Iraqis,'' -AP - 12/9/03

Iraq's Shi'a Leaders Press For Direct Elections To Transitional Assembly
For the past several weeks, politicians in Iraq have been debating the details of a plan proposed by Washington and endorsed by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council that outlines a transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis next summer. -RFE - 12/9/03

Iran, Italy to jointly produce cars, auto spare parts
Iran and Italy are to enter into joint ventures for production of cars and auto spare parts, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/9/03

EU FM's Council conclusions on Iran
The Council requested the High Representative to visit Tehran early in 2004 to discuss the modalities of taking forward the EU's dialogue with Iran in all areas. - 12/9/03

Women Play Major Roles in Middle East Film Industry
Women in the Middle East have been involved in filmmaking since 1926, when a female director gave Arab cinema its first feature-length film. Today, they struggle past censorship and shallow comedies to get their stories heard. -Women's Enews, NY - 12/9/03

Iran's viewpoints crucial in drafting Caspian Sea legal regime
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Tuesday that no agreement on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea can be finalized unless it includes Iran's viewpoints - 12/9/03

161 Iranian MPs honor 16th Azar, academic Aghajari
The MPs said in a statement read out by MP Ebrahim Amini at the end of the formal session of the parliament that the student movement has maintained its vanguard role in political and social development of the country and despite all the pressures exerted on them they remain the flag-bearer of advancement in social and political fields. - 12/9/03

Anniversary of serial murder victims Mokhtari and Pouyandeh held in Iran
The fifth anniversary of two of the serial murder victims, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, was remembered in Tehran's Emamzadeh Taher cemetary on Friday December 5, 2003, the Iranian Student News Agency reported. - 12/8/03

Kidnapped girls flee dad, setting off culture clash
Two young girls who escaped from their father after he abducted them and took them to Iran have found themselves at the center of a potentially explosive international dispute as two cultures and two very different legal systems struggle over the girls' fate. -San Francisco Chronicle - 12/8/03

WSIS Summit attendants come to terms
Secretary of Iran's High Information Council and representative to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), Nasrollah Jahangard, declared in Geneva on Sunday that after 12 hours of deliberations among the UN member states, agreement was finally reached on the final text of the declaration of principles. -Irib - 12/8/03

Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns
As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire. -Common Dreams - 12/8/03

US military apologises after nine children die in bombing meant for Taliban chief
American military commanders in Afghanistan who have been hunting renegade Taliban leaders yesterday apologised for an air strike which killed nine children. -Guardian - 12/8/03

Mexican Cultural Festival opens in Iran's historical city of Isfahan
Mexico's cultural festival was inaugurated in Isfahan on Sunday evening in a ceremony attended by Mexico's ambassador to Iran and some local artists - 12/8/03

A New Era of Nuclear Weapons as Bush's Buildup Begins with Little Debate in Congress
Reversing a decade of restraint in nuclear weapons policy, Congress agreed to provide more than $6 billion for research, expansion and upgrades in the country's nuclear capabilities. -Common Dreams - 12/8/03

Iran's Karami wins France taekwondo silver, Athens ticket
Youssef Karami snatched a silver in -80 kg category of the international taekwondo in France Sunday night, booking a spot in 2004 Athens Olympic Games, IRNA reported from Paris. - 12/8/03

Iranian American Technology Council Gala Raises 30K for NIAC
Over 430 people gathered on Thursday evening to recognize the outstanding contributions of Iranian Americans at a gala dinner and awards ceremony sponsored by the Iranian American Tech Council (IATC) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. - 12/8/03

Iranian official says institutions determined to confront MP's assailants
A senior official of the central province of Yazd said on Monday that all the relevant security institutions of the province as well as the Judiciary are determined to strongly confront those who assaulted MP Mohsen Mirdamadi in provincial capital Yazd last Friday - 12/8/03

Iran's Foreign Minister stresses role of Caspian Sea security in stabilizing peace in Caucasus
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday stressed that Iran regarded security in the Caspian Sea as a part of its whole national security - 12/8/03

Western tourists abducted in Iran
Iranian Government sources have said there are three missing people, two German and one Irish. They say the tourists were abducted as they cycled between the city of Bam and Zahedan near the Pakistani border - a notorious drug-smuggling area. -BBC - 12/8/03

Isolation Play: Will UN weapons inspections thwart American attempts to isolate Iran?
The U.S. failure to find weapons of mass destruction after the war in Iraq has dealt a severe blow to the Bush administration in its attempts to take a hard line on Iran at the United Nations. -American Prospect - 12/8/03

Iran President says Iran for peace, stability, development in Caucasus
The 11th International Conference on Central Asia and the Caucasus focusing on the issue of "security in South Caucasus" opened in Tehran on Monday. - 12/8/03

A note from Tehran: Thank you all!
Dear Readers, It is more than a year since I first started to write for Payvand. This was a real change for me as not long before that, I had never been even tempted to put anything down on paper like this. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/8/03

A critique of unreason
I have seen Mr. Sobhani in many, actually too many, television interviews where, cashing in on his Iranianness, he portrayed himself as a savvy observer of the Iranian affairs. -Kam Zarrabi - 12/8/03

Jordan Promoting U.S.-Iran Contacts
Jordan's King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender about 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials. -Washington Post - 12/7/03

Tehran University students stage meeting to mark 16th Azar
The Islamic Association of Tehran University Students on Sunday held special ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-US protests in which three students were martyred - 12/7/03

Iran President calls for prosecution of those resorting to violence
President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday called for bringing to justice those involved in violence against individuals advocating freedom and the authorized meetings which are on the rise with approach of the parliamentary elections slated for February 20 - 12/7/03

Iranian, Japanese firms sign agreement on production of TV sets
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran on Sunday between Iran's 'Aria' electronic company and Japan's Supra company for production of color TV sets and household appliances - 12/7/03

How a Shady Iranian Deal Maker Kept the Pentagon's Ear
When clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranian dissidents were first revealed last summer, the Bush administration played down the importance of the contacts, particularly with one participant — a discredited Iranian deal maker who had played a role in the Iran-contra affair in the late 1980's. -New York Times - 12/7/03

The Shiite Hit List
A warning went out, but it didn’t stop an ayatollah’s assassination. Who done it, and who might be next? -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 12/7/03

Iran ready to assist in formation of Afghanistan's national army
Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific affairs Mohsen Aminzadeh on Sunday conferred with Afghanistan's First Vice President and Defense Minister Marshal Mohammad Fahim Khan on matters of mutual interest - 12/7/03

Iran condemns presence of extraterritorial forces in Caspian Sea
Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Sunday condemned presence of extraterritorial forces in the Caspian Sea and stressed that the security of the region should be provided by the littoral states themselves - 12/7/03

As Iranian Elections Approach, Voters Lose Faith in the Reformers
In 1997 Lida Salehi enthusiastically worked on the presidential campaign of Mohammad Khatami, the reformist candidate. She even talked her parents, who had not cast a ballot since the referendum in 1979 that turned Iran into an Islamic Republic, into voting for him. -New York Times - 12/7/03

North Van's Miss Canada crowned World's princess
With a global television audience of two billion people watching, a Canadian beauty was crowned yesterday. -Vancouver Province - 12/7/03

US lobbyists tune in for regime change in Iran
With a touch of under-statement - "we are trying something a little out of the ordinary today" - one of America's most influential neo-conservative lobby groups this week started broadcasting a live radio chat-show out of its Washington headquarters and into Iran, featuring interviews with opposition activists in both countries. -Financial Times - 12/6/03

Congress eyes funds for Iran dissidents
For the first time, Congress is set to approve government funds openly earmarked to help undermine the Islamic government of Iran by providing money for dissidents inside the country, according to US officials and specialists. -Boston Globe - 12/6/03

Germany eyes new record exports to Iran: official
A senior German economic official predicted that German exports to Iran could surpass the historical record mark of 4 billion euros within the next two or three years, should Iran's economic growth continue - 12/6/03

Iran: Four Reported Dead In Clashes Between Protesters And Police
Four people have been reported killed in clashes with the police in southeastern Iran. Parliamentarian Jafar Kambuzia said the clashes erupted yesterday in the city of Saravan, in Iran's Sistan va Baluchistan Province, after police shot and killed a local driver. -RFE - 12/6/03

University Students Day' (16th Azar) observed in Iran
The Students Committee of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) on Saturday held a special ceremony in Tehran to mark the 50th anniversary of the University Students Day (16th Azar or December 7) - 12/6/03

First phase of Iran's South Pars gas field project to come on stream soon
The first phase of South Pars gas field development project in Assalouyeh is due to be commissioned soon - 12/6/03

Iranian offer for NZ 'missile'
A NEW ZEALAND engineer who made world headlines with his home-built cruise missile said yesterday he had received "very serious" offers from an Iranian company to invest in the project. -Melbourne Herald Sun - 12/6/03

Arts, Sports, and Olympics Seminar to open in Tehran Dec 7
The National Olympic Committee in association with the National Olympic Academy is to play host to Arts, Sports, and Olympics Seminar, which will open in Tehran on December 7. - 12/6/03

Iraq keen to legally import medicine from Iran
Head of Iraq's Pharmaceutical Association Ahmad Ali Ibrahim declared in Baghdad on Saturday that an agreement has been inked between the association and its Iranian counterpart to import medicine from the neighboring Iran - 12/6/03

A very Georgian coup
The people are the biggest losers in the 'democratic revolution' -Guardian - 12/6/03

Iran's incoming tourists via Mehrabad airport up by 24% in Oct-Nov
The number of tourists arriving in Iran via Tehran's Mehrabad airport has shown a 24 percent increase to 263,278 in the first two months of fall, according to Mehrabad customs office - 12/6/03

Don’t overestimate the impact of Iran’s parliamentary elections
Iran’s forthcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for February 2004, will undoubtedly fuel factional rivalries. While the results are difficult to predict, whatever the outcome of the elections, they may not be as important as many have made them out to be. -Mahan Abedin, Daily Star - 12/6/03

Iran launches mass jab campaign
The biggest ever immunisation campaign for measles, mumps and rubella has been launched in Iran. -BBC - 12/6/03

Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam is First Runner Up at Miss World Contest
Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Miss World Canada 2003, took the second place (First Runner Up position) at Miss World Contest held on the tropical island of Hainan in China. - 12/6/03

Relatives Break Silence on 11 Missing Iranian Jews
After years of silence, families and friends of eleven missing Iranian Jews have decided to launch a public campaign pressuring Iran to free their loved ones. -IsraelNationalNews - 12/5/03

Iran official: 400 state-owned firms to be priced for sale
Director of Iran Privatization Organizations (IPO) said in Tehran on Thursday that by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20) over 400 state-owned companies will be priced for sale, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/5/03

Iran court sentences journalist Baqi to 1 year in jail
Iran's Revolutionary Court Thursday sentenced journalist Emadoddin Baqi to one year imprisonment on charges of propagating against the Islamic establishment, - 12/5/03

Iran forces quell massive uprising
Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Guard forces under the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly killed a 10-year-old boy in the country's minority Baloch region yesterday, touching off a massive uprising against the Islamic regime countered by a deadly crackdown and imposition of martial law, according to sources on the scene. -WorldNetDaily - 12/5/03

Tehran Outmaneuvers Washington For Now'
From the beginning, Iran's decision to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest stipulations on its nuclear research program was an attempt to politically outmaneuver Washington. -PINR - 12/5/03

EVENT: Anatomy of a Coup: The CIA in Iran
December 5 in San Rafael, California - The 1953 coup transformed Iran into a dictatorship and set the stage for the Islamic Revolution in 1979. On the 50th anniversary of the coup, and with Bush renewing threats against Iran - 12/5/03

Allies at odds over how to fight Afghan drugs boom
Poppy growing areas in the country doubled between 2002 and 2003 to a level 36 times higher than under Taliban rule, according to figures released by the US last week. -Guardian - 12/5/03

http://www.foreignaidwatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=531&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
On December 3, 2003, the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Azerbaijan for a meeting with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and its defense minister, Gen. Safar Abiyev. According to an article in The New York Times, the Secretary is seeking help in order to block a terrorist route. The article states that the secretary wants to "work with Azerbaijan to improve its ability to secure its territorial waters". -U.S. Foreign Aid Watch - 12/5/03

Qom and Najaf: the politics and culture of Shiite seminaries
The recent reports that Ayatollah Ali Sistani was playing a central role in defining how a future Iraqi government and constitution would be chosen highlighted once again the profound importance, and paradoxes, of the Shiite clergy in Iraq and Iran. -Majid Mohammadi, Daily Star - 12/5/03

Iranians everywhere can sign up for the State Department's green card lottery
It was difficult and expensive enough trying to get a green card prior to September 11th, the Patriot Act, and the perception that people from the Middle East are no longer welcomed in to the U.S. Now, for most Iranians, obtaining a green card is not only difficult, it’s that much farther out of reach. -Shahriar Afshar - 12/5/03

IRAN: Interview with Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention
During a visit to the desolate border area with Afghanistan and Pakistan, senior Iranian officials told Antonio Maria Costa, the director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, of the battle the Iranians were facing against drug trafficking. -IRIN - 12/5/03

Belgian and Iranian FMs discuss embassy refugee case in Iran
Belgium's Foreign Minister Louis Michel in a phone contact with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi on Thursday called on the Iranian government to help resolve the problem of two Iranian-Belgian girls that have taken refuge at the Belgium Embassy in Tehran in a family dispute - 12/5/03

The Fall of Shevardnadze: The Implications for "Democracy in the Middle East"
The neocons shaping U.S. Middle East policy have insisted all along that they want "democracy" to arrive in the benighted Middle East. -CounterPunch - 12/5/03

November Art Scene in Tehran
Female artists, specially the younger generation, are beginning to come out of their social and self-imposed shell of constrains. They dare to be and express themselves. They present the inner world of their lives for what it is. I have no doubt that this exhibition would not be allowed even a couple of years ago, or even today if it was to take place in a more well-known place. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/4/03

EU appreciates Iran's efforts to combat drug trafficking
Iranian and European Union officials met in Brussels Wednesday to discuss ways and exchange suggestions to improve and strengthen joint efforts to combat the scourge of drug trafficking - 12/4/03

Washington tunes in to Iranian radio
A conservative American think tank has joined up with an opposition Iranian radio station to broadcast into and out of Iran. -BBC - 12/4/03

Blind women face lot of hardships in third world countries: expert
In the Third World countries, blind women face lots of hardships and have few opportunities and is difficult for them to begin personal life, said Dr Najleh Khandagh of Tehran University in New Delhi on Thursday - 12/4/03

Belgian girls plead to leave Iran
Two young girls with joint Belgian and Iranian nationality have taken refuge in the Belgian embassy in Tehran in a bid to be allowed to return to Europe. -BBC - 12/4/03

Iran and Azerbaijan inching closer on Caspian Sea legal regime
Deputy Azerbaijan foreign minister said in Baku on Wednesday that Tehran and Baku are inching closer on Caspian Sea legal regime - 12/4/03

Transcript: U.S. OK'd 'Dirty War'
New evidence suggests that Henry Kissinger gave the Argentine military 'a green light' in its 1970s-80s campaign against leftists. -Common Dreams - 12/4/03

Iran boosts export of shrimps to US
Export of Iran's shrimp to the US over the first eight months of the current year doubled to 1,000 tons compared to similar period last year. - 12/4/03

Torture victim seeks to sue Iran for $3.2M
An Iranian-Canadian man is asking the Ontario Court of Appeal to let him sue Iran for torture he suffered in that country. -Toronto Star - 12/4/03

India Set to Expand Presence in Central Asia
Energy-hungry India is set to put its economic muscle to work, as it strives to make inroads into Central Asia. -Eurasianet - 12/4/03

Iranians Offer Neighborly Advice
Many Cite Theocracy's Shortcomings as Iraqis Ponder Shape of New System -Washington Post - 12/4/03

Responsible Iranians should applaud Rob Sobhani for his bravery
A “responsible Iranian” will not get offended by Mr. Sobhani offer to hand over disputed Caspian territories to Azerbaijan or better say to the oil companies. That would be a sign of weakness or madness! -Ali Moayedian - 12/4/03

Iran making room for its spiritual minorities, but one religion still faces unapologetic persecution
Among its population of 70 million, Iran has about 25,000 Jews, 100,000 Christians and 60,000 adherents of Zoroastrianism, which was the religion of the Persian Empire before the Muslim conquest in the seventh century. -San Francisco Chronicle - 12/4/03

Iran, Syria Not Promoting Terrorism, says Former US Official
The former national security director for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq says neither Syria nor Iran is actively promoting terrorist activity in Iraq. The former official, Walter Slocombe, has discussed the Iraq security situation at a lecture in London. -VOA - 12/4/03

New Ways Considered For Tackling Growing Drug Use Among Young People in Iran
Despite its best efforts, Iran's drug problem has worsened over the years, with the number of addicts rising, their ages decreasing, and more and more narcotics being seized in the country. -RFE - 12/4/03

Iran: Hard-Liners Stop Nobel Winner's Speech
group of hard-line Iranian Islamists today prevented Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi from giving a speech at a women's university in Tehran. -RFE - 12/3/03

Quake shakes northern town of Qaemshahr in Iran
An earthquake with an intensity of 4 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the city of Qaemshahr in northern province of Mazandaran on Tuesday night - 12/3/03

Straw says unaware of any Iranian interference in Iraq
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Tuesday that he was "grateful" for Iran's cooperation in occupied Iraq and that he was not aware of any Iranian interference that was causing insecurity in the country - 12/3/03

Korea-Iran Cooperation in IT
South Korea's Vice Information and Communication Minister Byun Jae-il will visit Iran today to forge closer cooperation in the information-technology (IT) sector between the two countries, government officials said on Wednesday. -Korea Times - 12/3/03

U.S. gets tough over WMD trade
The Bush administration says the U.S. and its allies are willing to use "robust techniques" to stop so-called rogue nations from getting materials to make weapons of mass destruction. -CNN - 12/3/03

'We're air force pilots, not mafia. We don't take revenge'
Israel's F-16 and Black Hawk refuseniks say why they could not obey illegal orders and kill innocent Palestinians -Guardian - 12/3/03

US-Israel row over Mid-East plan
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said he intends to meet the authors of an unofficial peace plan for the Middle East, despite opposition from Israel. -BBC - 12/3/03

Iran's Emani-Rad brands reformists 'Zionist' agents
Iranian conservative MP accuses some reformist MPs of supporting counter-revolutionaries, sparking their anger. -Middle East Online - 12/3/03

UN study finds people with disabilities can help with agricultural projects
An Iranian case study organized by the United Nations food agency has found that people with disabilities “can make a significant contribution” to agricultural projects when they receive adequate training to do the work. - 12/3/03

U.S. warns Iran over nuke plans
The United States says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it discovers any more violations of nuclear non-proliferation agreements -- a step that has so far been opposed by U.S. allies in Europe. -CNN - 12/3/03

Agriculture employs 27 percent of labor force in Iran
In related news, Head of Tehran province Agricultural Jihad Department said here Tuesday that the agriculture sector recorded a 10 percent growth in the last Iranian year (ended March 20). - 12/3/03

Aid agencies facing too many hurdles to work in Iran, UN refugee agency says
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) trying to help refugees in Iran are meeting frequent administrative obstacles, despite official statements of welcome, the United Nations refugee agency said today. - 12/3/03

FILM: Review of House of Sand and Fog– An Iranian perspective
DreamWorks new movie for the holiday season, House of Sand and Fog, based on Andre Dubus III bestselling novel with the same title, is poised to intrigue Iranian-Americans due to its Iranian-American lead characters, its complex portrayal of Iranian cultural traits, and it being one of the first Hollywood productions in which Middle Easterners are depicted as multifaceted individuals and not one-dimensional shooting targets. -NIAC - 12/3/03

Iran President meets member of Iraqi Governing Council Ahmad Chalabi
Member of Iraqi Governing Council Ahmad Chalabi met with President Mohammad Khatami in Tehran on Tuesday - 12/3/03

Iraq welcomes Iran's participation in reconstruction projects
Member of Iraq's Governing Council Ahmad Chalabi said in Tehran on Tuesday that Baghdad welcomes Iran's participation in reconstruction of the war-torn Iraq - 12/2/03

Special Registration Requirements Suspended
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the immediate suspension of re-registration requirements for male nationals of selected countries on non-immigrant visas previously registered in the National Security Entry and Exit System (NSEERS). -NIAC - 12/2/03

Polo on comeback trail in Iran
Islamic republic is rediscovering its national heritage -Borzou Daragahi, Star Ledger - 12/2/03

Iraqi Freedon's Friend
THOSE making Iraq policy in Washington appear to have found an easy way to explain, and explain away, whatever snag that their changing and contradictory plans may hit at any given time. It consists of one phrase: the Sistani logjam. -Amir Taheri, NY Post - 12/2/03

U.S. drops registration program set up after 9/11
Federal immigration officials said Monday they are suspending a program that required young males from countries with suspected links to terrorism to register annually while in the United States. -CNN - 12/2/03

Body bag count puts strains on coalition
A weekend of bloodshed across Iraq saw November chalk up new and grim records, including the highest number of casualties among coalition troops and the deadliest single month for America's armed forces since the 1991 Gulf war. -Guardian - 12/2/03

Kuwaiti energy min: My comments on Arash oil field misinterpreted
Kuwait's Energy Minister Ahmad al-Fahd said in Kuwait City on Monday that his recent comments on Iran and Kuwait's shared off-shore oil field Arash (Ad-Dowrah) have been misinterpreted by journalists. - 12/2/03

Iraqis Deny US Accounts of Fierce Fight with 'Guerrillas'
"All the people here are fed up and angry. They want the Americans out of town ... They [the Americans] have to respect our feelings and traditions and customs, but we see the opposite." -Common Dreams - 12/2/03

Blair welcomes cooperation in relieving Iranian nuclear concerns
Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday welcomed the cooperation from the UK's European Union partners in relieving concerns over Iran's nuclear program but denied that it was an example of collective diplomacy standing up to US unilateralism - 12/2/03

Iran strongly condemns US sacrilege in Iraq
Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi on Monday strongly condemned the US sacrilege to holy places in Samarra of Iraq and called it as 'unjustifiable.' Some 50 civilians were killed in the city of Samarra in clashes with US invaders. One Iranian pilgrim was among the victims of the incident. - 12/2/03

Kabul/Teheran: 1979 ff: A festival with films from Afghanistan and Iran
The event 'Kabul/Teheran: 1979 ff' consists of a ten day film series that is accompanied by a lecture programme. It is taking place within the framework of the ErsatzStadt/SubstituteCity project that deals with urban everyday life on a global scale. Venues are the Berlin Volksbuehne and the Filmkunsthaus/Film Art House Babylon. - 12/2/03

Iran's Rezazadeh among AIPS nominees for 2003 Best Sportsman title
World's +105 kg weightlifting champion, Hossei Rezazadeh, was officially announced by the Association International de la Presse Sportive Tuesday as one of the hopefuls for 2003 Best Sportsman title - 12/2/03

Iran's Nobel laureate hails approval of better child custody rights
Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi on Tuesday congratulated Iranian women for driving home their demand for improved child custody rights in the "patriarchal" Iranian society - 12/2/03

Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam guaranteed a spot among the Top Twenty Finalists at Miss World Contest
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Miss World Canada 2003, today (November 30, 2003) won the Fitness and Sport Training Pre-Event at this year's Miss World Contest. This victory guarantees Ms. Afshin-Jam a place among the pageant's Top Twenty finalists. - 12/1/03

Tehran's Child beggars
We usually witness in Tehran’s streets, at the traffic lights, a barrage of small children, teenagers, young and old men and even women dressed often in rags and tatty clothes, selling or rather forcing people to buy something from them; or even worse they just beg the people, with a very sad and pleading voice, to give them something for their dinner! -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/1/03

Iran's drug users face Aids risk
In Iran, drug use and Aids are closely intertwined, as the majority of Aids patients have contracted the disease by sharing needles. The country has 2 million drug users, with around 200,000 injecting themselves intravenously. -BBC - 12/1/03

2nd International Nuclear Sciences Congress to be held in Shiraz, Iran
The second International Nuclear Sciences and Technology Congress with cooperation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be held in Shiraz, southern Iran, on 27-30 April - 12/1/03

A new era in Azerbaijan
Washington needs to send a very strongly worded letter to the Iranian government stating that the U.S. will not tolerate any interference in Azerbaijan's internal affairs, including the intimidation of companies exploring for oil in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea. -Rob Sobhani, Washington Times - 12/1/03

Crocodile Teardrops
Bush sheds a tear for the troops – but what about those two Iraqi girls they may have killed? -Antiwar.com - 12/1/03

Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali
The death of Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali aged 77 marks another step on the road towards reforms and the recognition of human rights in Iran. -Haleh Afshar, Guardian - 12/1/03

U.S. Deploys Military Reconstruction Team In Province of Herat in Afghanistan
The United States has established a military reconstruction team in the western Afghan province of Herat bordering Iran. -RFE - 12/1/03

Concert to be held in Tehran to support Iran's AIDS patients
HIV-AIDS, an affiliated-UN working group based in Iran, is scheduled to hold a concert on Wednesday December 3 in Tehran to support AIDS patients - 12/1/03

Iran rejects violation of OPEC quota
Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mehdi Mir-Moezzi on Sunday rejected reports that Iran has violated the production quota of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - 12/1/03

Iran Girl's Murder Spurs Debate over Blood Money
The case of a murdered 11-year-old-girl has focused attention on "blood money" provisions in Iranian law that value a woman's life at half that of a man's. Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi is arguing the case for the victim's family. -Women's Enews, NY - 12/1/03

Exhibition: VEIL at Modern Art Oxford
The exhibition presents the work of a wide range of international artists and film-makers. It addresses the cultural significance of the veil in all its complexity and ambiguity, challenging any single or fixed cultural interpretation. - 12/1/03

Iranian smugglers fill their pockets on Shia devotion
Business is brisk along Iran's border with Iraq - and the hot ticket is for an unauthorised trip to the holy Shia shrine in Kerbala. -Guardian - 12/1/03

National Iranian Oil Company, International banks sign $1.75B deal for financing South Pars projects
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed an agreement with a consortium of international banks to provide as much as 1.750 billion dollars in finance for the development of phases 9 and 10 of the South Pars gas project, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/1/03

Iran insiders
Not many Americans are heading to Iran these days, but four Goshen residents toured the country in October. Bill and Phyllis Miller, Marlin Jeschke and Ervin Beck were part of a Mennonite Central Committee study tour to one of the three countries President Bush called the "axis of evil." -eTruth, Indiana - 12/1/03
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