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National Geographic falls short on changes proposed to the Iranian-American community
The National Geographic Society announced today changes to the terminology used on its new maps that fell short of those discussed during the past month with the National Iranian American Council - 12/31/04

US meddling in others' affairs contributing to the spread of terrorism: Iranian official
Rowhani further stressed that Iran has been able to successfully stay away from threats, and praised Iran's prudent positions toward world developments. He said US officials have always been looking for pretexts to attack Iran, but voiced pleasure that they have not been successful in this regard. - 12/31/04

Schroeder confident over diplomatic solution to Iran nuclear case
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Friday he was confident that Iran's nuclear energy case would be resolved through diplomatic ways. - 12/31/04

Iran-Italy trade exchange volume continues its rising trend
Iran-Italy trade exchange volume still continues its rising trend and the latest figures show in the first nine months of the year it reached a level above 2 billion and 985 million euros. - 12/31/04

Iran-Turkey commercial exchanges reaches over 2.5 billion dollars
The value of Iran-Turkey commercial exchanges passed 2.5 billion dollars level during the past 11 months of 2004. The figure registered an increase of 17 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, Turkey State Institute of Statistics announced. - 12/31/04

Official: More than 20 thousand people visited Iran's exhibition in Dubai
Deputy in exhibition affairs of Tehran's International Exhibition Joint-Stock Company Hossein Anvari said here Friday, "around 23 thousand people have visited Iran's first exclusive exhibition in Sharjah, UAE." - 12/31/04

Republican Judge Takes Aim at Bush Terror Policies
"Human rights issues are not Republican or Democratic issues," said John Gibbons, whose arguments led to the Supreme Court's landmark June ruling that foreign terror suspects held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba can have access to U.S. courts. -Reuters - 12/31/04

Iraq's Kurds Enjoy Self-Rule and Are Trying to Keep It
Residents in northern Iraq already call the area Kurdistan. The territory, stretching from Kirkuk on the region's southern edge to the Tigris River in the west and to Turkey and Iran in the north and east, is patently a world apart from the rest of Iraq. -New York Times - 12/31/04

Hat or turban both are one and the same in Iran
The turban or the hat? This is the question that Iran's leaders face as they prepare for presidential elections next spring. The question is not fanciful. -Amir Taheri, Gulf News - 12/31/04

UN nuclear chief eyes third term
The deadline for the nomination of candidates for the position of the next head of the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, passes on Friday. -BBC - 12/31/04

Global Analysts Dispute Perceived US Generosity
The US government is contributing $35 million of the half-billion dollars that the world's developed nations are donating to the tsunami relief effort, and many Americans believe -- as President Bush put it earlier this week -- that their country is being its typical ''generous, kindhearted" self. -Boston Globe - 12/31/04

Current Situation & 2005 Projections
The Bush administration may take advantage of the soft energy market to continue their oil imperialism in the Middle East and elsewhere. It appears that the neocons have their sights on Iran. Bush has made some threats against Iran recently, using the excuses of Iranian nuclear potential and alleged Iranian interference in Iraq. -From The Wilderness - 12/31/04

Science and Arts Foundation News: First Bam Anniversary Held
In the aftermath of the tragic December 2003 Bam earthquake, the Science and Arts Foundation planned and implemented a number of programs aimed at both the psychosocial rehabilitation and ICT training of Bam’s children - 12/31/04

Iran Knows What Awaits Tsunami Survivors
The people of Bam, an Iranian town devastated by an earthquake a year ago, know what's ahead for the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami: broken hearts, slow rebuilding and unfulfilled promises of aid. But Bam presents itself as proof of man's capacity to overcome. -AP - 12/31/04

Sultanieh Is Qualified for the World Heritage List
The mausoleum of Oljeitu Khudabanda, Known as Sultanieh Dome, was built in Sultaniya, near Zanjan, in 1304-13 (A.H. 703-13). basic structure is an octagon about 80 feet (24.5 m.) across on the inside and the interior height of the single dome is about 175 feet (about 53 m.). - 12/31/04

International Competition for the Persian Gulf Museum
Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization will put forward an international competition for the building of the Persian Gulf great museum. - 12/31/04

Iranian-American Physician wins Ronald Reagan Award
The Fertility Research Foundation (FRF) announced today that its Executive Director, Masood Khatamee, MD, FACOG, has been chosen as a 2004 Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal Award winner. - 12/31/04

Tehran Stock Market up 30 percent in 2004
Stocks traded on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) continued their growth in 2004, rising by 30 percent, according to an end-of-year review carried out by Middle East Economic Digest (MEED). - 12/30/04

Richardson names Iranian-Canadian as NMSU student regent
Gov. Bill Richardson's office on Wednesday announced his selection for the next New Mexico State University student regent. -El Paso Times - 12/30/04

First Animation of the World Found In Burnt City
An animated piece on an earthen goblet that belongs to 5000 years ago was found in Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran. On this ancient piece that can be called the first animation of the world, the artist has portrayed a goat that jumps toward a tree and eats its leaves. - 12/30/04

Iran signs removal of double taxation agreement with France, Germany
Iranian Cabinet approved a Ministry of Economy and Finance proposal to sign an agreement with France and Germany for removing double taxation on investments and finance - 12/30/04

UN launches initial tsunami appeal, seeks early warning system within year
On day three of the massive United Nations relief effort after the devastating Asian tsunami, senior officials today issued an immediate call for $130 million ahead of a much vaster appeal next week, stressed that coordination was now vital to save hundreds of thousands of lives, and set a 12-month deadline to install an early warning system to prevent a repeat disaster. - 12/30/04

We Need a Real Iran Policy
Has President Bush quietly concluded that the United States can live with a nuclear-armed Iran? If this seems preposterous, recall the president's words at his year-end news conference. -Washington Post - 12/30/04

Iraq's Ailing Banking Industry Is Slowly Reviving
Despite the continuing war and political uncertainty, Iraq's long-suffering financial industry has begun creaking to life. - 12/30/04

Pasargad Memorial Plate Hanged Before Cyrus Mausoleum
Pasargad memorial plate that shows its being registered in the world heritage list was hanged before the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenian dynasty. - 12/30/04

Commerce Minister Investment in Iran's petrochem sector to exceed $3 billion
Investment in the petrochem industry has exceeded three billion dollars in the 2004-05 fiscal and the products are expected to earn the country dlrs five billion in the 2005-06 fiscal, said Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari in Tehran on Wednesday. - 12/30/04

Persian Gulf: What’s Not In A Name
Suppose that the new edition of the National Geographic World Atlas referred to the piece of land with approximate Suppose that the new edition of the National Geographic World Atlas referred to the piece of land with approximate borders of Lebanon in the north, Jordan in the east and Egypt in the south as Israel (Occupied Palestine). -Mehdi Hosseini, Third Script - 12/30/04

National Iranian Oil Company rated 3rd among world's top oil companies
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have moved up from fourth to third in the latest annual league table of the world's top 50 oil companies published by Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW). - 12/30/04

Iran: First Pro-Reform Candidate Joins Presidential Race
Former Science, Research, and Technology Minister Mustafa Moin has agreed to be a candidate for the reformists in Iran's upcoming presidential election. Moin is the first pro-reform candidate to join the race, which is expected to culminate in an election in May or June. -RFE - 12/30/04

Iranian courts issue $2.7 billion judgement against US
Iranian courts have issued rulings based on which the US would pay 2.7 billion dollars in reparation to Iranian citizens, said Judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad in Tehran on Tuesday. - 12/29/04

Achaemenian Engineers Knew Pi
Achaemenian engineers had been using pi number in geometry 2500 years ago. They used this mathematical concept in building the conical stone structures and columns in Persepolis. - 12/29/04

Iran, EU to resume trade cooperation soon
The economic and trade working groups of Iran and the European Union will resume their negotiations in Tehran or Brussels in the next two weeks, it was announced in the Austrian capital on Wednesday. - 12/29/04

German ambassador urges US to back Europe's Iran initiative
Germany's top diplomat in the US said current negotiations between Iran and the European Union stood better chances of succeeding if Washington would be "ready to talk with Tehran bilaterally and multilaterally." - 12/29/04

The Other Middle East Frontline
With the US and Europe fixated on Iraq, where insurgents are trying to stop the masses from adopting democracy, next door in Iran a parallel struggle for democracy remains largely unnoticed. It shouldn't, especially given the West's concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions. -CSM - 12/29/04

Proposal on National Geographic maps considered by NIAC membership
proposal on changes to the National Geographic's maps is currently being considered by the National Iranian American Council and its membership. Discussions between the National Geographic and NIAC have been fruitful and lengthy. - 12/29/04

Asian Disaster Toll Surges Past 55,000 as Relief Operations Stall
Logistical problems hampered a massive humanitarian relief operation along Asia's devastated shores as the death toll from a huge earthquake and killer tidal waves surged past 55,000. -AFP - 12/29/04

Quake jolts Masjed Soleyman, Iran's southwestern oil-rich city
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the oil-rich city of Masjed Soleyman in the southwestern province of Khuzestan on Wednesday. - 12/29/04

National Iranian Drilling Company drills 22,357 meters of oil, gas wells in a month
National Iranian Drilling Company has drilled up to 22,357 meters of oil and gas wells in Azar, the 9th month in Iranian calendar. - 12/29/04

US rebel joins Saddam legal team
Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark has joined the team of Jordan-based lawyers defending Saddam Hussein. -BBC - 12/29/04

AFGHANISTAN: Interview with chief adviser on refugees and returnees
More than three million Afghan refugees have returned home from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran in the last two years. But millions remain in exile and are reluctant to return due to a lack of reintegration opportunities and shelter. - 12/29/04

Persian Gulf Museum Will Be Built In Iran
Persian Gulf great museum will be built along with 9 other museums in a single plan by the Iranian cultural heritage & tourism organization - 12/29/04

Iran, Russia to finalize Zohreh satellite contract
In a meeting between Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Gholam Reza Shafei and Russian Federal Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) chief Gen Anatoly Perminov, the two sides agreed to carry out joint space projects, including construction of satellites and exchange of experience. - 12/29/04

The Neoconnerie: Of Lice and Fleas
Let's see if I've grasped this last neoconservative plot line: After we've "preemptively" pulverized their installations, Iranians, who already "have a very jaundiced view of the United States," will turn on their own rather than on us. - 12/29/04

Iranian Foreign ministry following up issue of distortion of Persian Gulf's name
Iran has called on the National Geographic Society to rectify and compensate for a mistake it made in naming the southern waters off the Iranian coastline. - 12/29/04

Government cites Turkish worries over investment security in Iran
Apart from the two countries' differences, internal bickering within Iran has prevented the Turkish operator from setting up Iran's first private mobile phone network as well as another Turkish entity from building and operating a major airport in southern Tehran. - 12/28/04

Mideast Overtures: U.S. must switch gears in Mideast
Iran: For 25 years, U.S. policy has been based on containing Iran. In pressing Iran to abandon development of a nuclear weapon, the question is whether Tehran will fully cooperate as long as it feels vulnerable living in a nuclear neighborhood and with U.S. troops now a major presence in countries on its borders. -Robin Wright, SF Chronicle - 12/28/04

Oil Minister: Iran to turn into major petrochemical producer
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday Iran will turn into one of the major producer of petrochemical products in Asia and the world. - 12/28/04

UN Report: World Leaders Face to Deal with Nuclear Proliferation Issues
A recent United Nations report on global security says the issue of nuclear proliferation is one of the major challenges facing world leaders today. The report paints a stark picture, saying the international community "is approaching a point at which the erosion of the non-proliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation". - 12/28/04

Pak-Iran FMs call for UN reform on consensus basis
Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Kamal Kharrazi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri agreed on Tuesday that reform of the UN and expansion of the Security Council should be based on a consensus of member states, said a statement issued at the conclusion of Kharrazi's visit to Islamabad. - 12/28/04

Tank girls: the frontline feminists
The disarmed NLA keeps up its training on computers, and the US military police in the camp are their sole protection against attacks by the Tehran-backed groups now moving freely around Iraq. "If the Americans don't protect them, there will be a bloodbath," says Capt Ismael Ibrahim of the Iraqi National Gathering party. -Independent - 12/28/04

Iraq's Top Sunni Party Withdraws from January Election
Iraq's top Sunni Muslim party said Monday it was withdrawing from Jan. 30 elections because relentless bloodshed would keep people from voting in the long dominant Sunni north and west. -Reuters - 12/28/04

Brazil to Explore Oil and Build Cars in Iran
Brazilian exports to Iran have exceeded US$ 1 billion in 2004. This represents a third of all trade with the Middle East, according to the Brazilian Ambassador to Iran, Luiz Antônio Fachini. - 12/28/04

Students' union condemns expulsion of Iranian from French school
The Union of Islamic Student Associations issued a statement in Tehran on Tuesday condemning the expulsion by a French school of an Iranian student 'mojahebeh' (Islamic scarf user). - 12/28/04

Moin announces candidacy in Iran's presidential election
Former minister of science, research and technology Mostafa Moin on Tuesday announced his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election campaign. - 12/28/04

'I come from a land of untold stories'
Bahman Ghobadi has made the first film to come out of post-war Iraq – about children who survive by collecting mines, sometimes with their teeth.-Telegraph, UK - 12/28/04

Iranian reformist MPs to take stance on fictitious name for Persian Gulf
The reformist deputies in the Majlis have issued a strong statement condemning the misnomer of the Persian Gulf and have called on the respective authorities to follow up the issue, said Mehdi Pourfatemi on the sidelines of the Majlis open session. - 12/28/04

Iran threatens to boycott 2006 Doha Asian Games
Iran is threatening to boycott the 2006 Asian Games if the organisers persist in referring to the "Arabian Gulf" instead of the "Persian Gulf", which Tehran insists is the only name for the stretch of water, state television reported Tuesday. -MEO - 12/28/04

The ayatollah & I
SO HOW does a women's rights lawyer from Jerusalem (and a nice Jewish girl originally from the west side of Chicago) come to discuss polygamy with an ayatollah from Iran? -Jerusalem Post - 12/28/04

Iranian Culture Ministry to hold first national Persian Gulf festival
Public Relations Department at Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance reported on Monday that the national Persian Gulf festival will be held in the Persian Gulf from March to April, 2005, in which local and state officials as well as academic and cultural figures and people from various walks of life would take part. - 12/28/04

UN, Iran mark first anniversary of earthquake that devastated Bam cultural area
Calling the Iranian Bam cultural landscape "an outstanding representation of the interaction of man and nature in a desert environment" the United Nations cultural agency today marked the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the area by formally inscribing Bam on the World Heritage List and the endangered heritage list. - 12/28/04

Shiraz Scholarship Fund Supporting Education for Iranians to Award First Scholarship
Scholarships are awarded for post-secondary education, with preference given to students of Iranian birth to attend Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland or University of Maryland at any campus. - 12/27/04

Converging interests
Forget the rhetoric: Iranian-American relations seem set to blossom during Bush's second term of office -Al-Ahram - 12/27/04

Iran’s Developing Military Capabilities
Iran is slowly improving its conventional forces and is now the only regional power that poses a serious conventional military threat to Gulf stability, according to a new report by Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Burke Chair in Strategy. (pdf) - 12/27/04

Iran to set up caviar company
A caviar company is to be established in Iran in mid-2005 in an effort to organize production and export of the expensive seafood. - 12/27/04

US to Take Bigger Bite of Iraq's Economic Pie
The United States is helping the interim Iraqi government continue to make major economic changes, including cuts to social subsidies, full access for U.S. companies to the nation's oil reserves and reconsideration of oil deals that the previous regime signed with France and Russia. -IPS - 12/27/04

Afghan Students Are Back, but Not the Old Textbooks
A team from Teachers College of Columbia University is writing schoolbooks for Afghanistan as it emerges from years of turmoil and ideological repression. The project is an unexpected consequence of the Iranian hostage crisis, which began in 1979. -New York Times - 12/27/04

Iranian FM Kharrazi arrives in Islamabad
Iranian Foreign Minister Seyed Kamal Kharrazi arrived here Monday on a two-day official visit to Pakistan for high level consultations between officials of the two countries. - 12/27/04

Russia reaffirms continued nuclear cooperation with Iran
Head of the Russian Federation's Atomic Energy Agency Alexander Rumyantsev said in Moscow on Monday that his country will continue cooperating with Iran on its peaceful nuclear program without any worries. - 12/27/04

Human Sacrifice Was Common in Burnt City
According to archeological research in the 5000-year-old burnt city, in eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, sacrificing human beings was a common practice in ancient times. - 12/27/04

Zoroastrians remain shrouded in mystery
They are Zoroastrians, but they don't worship Zorro. And even though their name for god is Ahura Mazda, it has nothing to do with Captain Kirk's communications officer or small sports cars. -Inside Bay Area - 12/27/04

Sassanid Engineers Equipped Falak Ol-Aflak Castle With Dehumidifier System
Experts studying the structure of Falak ol-Aflak castle have come to realize that the Sassanid engineers equipped this ancient castle with a dehumidifier system to prevent humidity penetrate into its foundations. - 12/27/04

Bam photo expo underway at Tehran Niavaran Cultural Center
On the anniversary of the devastating quake which struck the southeastern city of Bam, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed-Jamei opened Bam Photo Exhibition (December 25-January 9, 2005) dubbed 'Bam Sprouts' at Niavaran Cultural Center. - 12/27/04

EU to begin trade talks with Iran as US backs engagement
in comments this month, President George W. Bush gave the EU's policy of engagement his strongest support yet and even seemed to criticise his own administration's more confrontational approach. -Financial Times - 12/27/04

Let Down by Iran's Leader, Young Advocates Leave Politics
As repression of political protesters increases in Iran and disenchantment with the change-oriented president, Mohammad Khatami, grows, many of the young foot soldiers in the protest movement have been retreating from politics. -New York Times - 12/26/04

Iran's exclusive trade fair opens in UAE
Over 135 trading companies and institutes are displacing their latest products and services in a six thousands square meter plot of land. - 12/26/04

Iran's Air Force ordered to shoot down any intruding plane: press
Iran's Air Force has been ordered to open fire and shoot down any unidentified aircraft violating its air space, the press on Saturday quoted Air Force chief Brigadier Karim Qavami as saying. - 12/26/04

Three foreign consortia bid for Iran's $1.5bn gas refinery
Three consortia, including British, South Korean, Canadian and Spanish firms, have bid for the construction of Iran's Bidboland gas refinery, worth 1.5 billion dollars, a press report said Saturday. - 12/26/04

First Iranian bank opens in Afghanistan
The first Iranian bank in Afghanistan, Aryan Bank, officially began business in this Afghan capital on Sunday. - 12/26/04

Iranian Parliament Speaker Refuses To Comment About Journalists Arrest
Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel avoided talking about the arrest of some journalists and weblog writers and said that he cannot say anything on the issue without knowing about the offense. - 12/26/04

Iran TV shows blind hatred for Israel
Though the new Iranian TV program Zahra's Blue Eyes does feature plenty of gory operations and heart-wrenching moments, it's no ER. -Jerusalem Post - 12/26/04

Christmas Eve of Destruction
The Bush crowd thought it could get in, get out, scare the Iranians and Syrians, and remove the bulk of our forces within several months. But now we're in, and it's the allies, contractors and election watchdogs who want out. -New York Times - 12/26/04

Iranian Workers Protest against the Sale of a Factory in Arak
Workers protest to the sale of a factory in Arak (a city north-west of the capital) to a single individual, enters its fifth week. - 12/26/04

UNESCO allocates over dlrs four million to rebuild Arg-e Bam
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has provided dlrs 4.5 million to rebuild Arg-e Bam and other historical sites in Bam, southeastern Iran, said an official with the organization here Sunday. - 12/26/04

Survivors recall Iran quake loss
Thousands of people have gathered in Bam to remember some 30,000 victims of the earthquake that flattened the historic Iranian city a year ago. -BBC - 12/26/04

Iran: Lives in the balance: an open appeal to Iran's judicial authorities
The case of Leyla Mafi, who faces execution on account of charges including sexual intercourse with blood relatives, giving birth to an illegitimate child and acts contrary to chastity, flies in the face of justice and human dignity. It also breaches Iran's own obligationsunder international law, Amnesty International said. - 12/26/04

Iranologists condemn deliberate distortion of Persian Gulf's name
Some 100 local and foreign Iranologists on Friday strongly condemned the deliberate attempt to change history by changing the name of the Persian Gulf, stressing the historical basis of the name, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 12/24/04

First phase of world's largest methanol production plant launched in Iran
The first phase of a methanol production plant that could become the world's biggest after completion was inaugurated in Bushehr on Friday by Interior Ministry and other provincial officials. - 12/24/04

Rafsanjani strongly rejects Iran's meddling in Iraq affairs
Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday strongly rejected charges that Iran is meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, and termed remarks to that effect as "the most absurd". - 12/24/04

Bam rises from the rubble but the pain remains
Slow return to normality a year after earthquake killed 30,000 -Guardian - 12/24/04

Russia's atomic energy agency head due in Iran late January
The head of the Russian Federation's Atomic Energy Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev, is to visit Tehran in late January to hold talks on the two countries' continuing nuclear cooperation, a Russian official said in Moscow on Friday. - 12/24/04

Spanish FM to visit Iran
Spanish Foregin Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos will visit Iran late next January - 12/24/04

Russia Says Hopes to Sign Iran Deal in January
Russia hopes to sign a key deal with Iran in January for the start-up of a Moscow-built nuclear reactor, a senior official said, but diplomats were doubtful after signing has already been delayed for years.-Reuters - 12/24/04

Tolerated by Saddam; Targets Under Occupation: Iraq's Christian Minority Loses Its Innocence
This is not a happy Christmas for the country's troubled Christians. Many of the churches have cancelled midnight mass for fear of drawing the attention of terrorists. -CounterPunch - 12/24/04

Bleak future for Kazakh caviar
A quarter of a century ago, Kazakhstan harvested around 1,100 tonnes of caviar each year. Last year, the caviar haul was just eight tonnes - not even 1% of the previous total. -BBC - 12/24/04

Iran: Public Offers Mixed Feelings On Nuclear Issue
According to a poll published in October by Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency, around 80 percent of respondents said they were opposed to halting nuclear activities. More than 65 percent said Iran should continue its nuclear pursuits under any circumstances. -RFE - 12/24/04

Iran: Where Does The Nuclear Debate Go From Here?
Even as the diplomatic initiative by the three European Union nations proceeds, there are signs that a final deal to end the Iranian nuclear crisis could be very hard to reach. -RFE - 12/24/04

A Look At Iran's Christian Minority
Iran is officially designated the "Islamic Republic," yet among its more than 66 million people is a small but important Christian minority. Most of Iran's Christians are Armenians and Assyrians, who remain relatively free to follow their faith. -RFE - 12/24/04

Iran: One year after earthquake, 60,000 helped get back on their feet
More than 60,000 people have been directly assisted by World Vision’s earthquake response in Iran during the past year. Another 33,000 people will indirectly benefit from various projects. -World Vision International - 12/23/04

Iranian President inaugurates Kerman-Bam railroad
By arrival of President Mohammad Khatami in the city of Bam, the Kerman-Bam railroad was officially inaugurated and put into operation on Wednesday. - 12/23/04

U.S. University Offers Help for Earthquake Damage in Bam, Iran
A U.S. university is offering to help restore an ancient city in Iran that was devastated by an earthquake a year ago. The School of Architecture at Catholic University in Washington has conducted a semester-long study of the 2,000-year-old city of Bam and come up with architectural and urban designs that could be used by Iranian authorities to restore the city. - 12/23/04

Iran: Woman sentenced to be buried up to chest and stoned to death
An Iranian woman facing execution by stoning for adultery is believed to still be alive, even though the sentence was reportedly due to have been carried out on Tuesday 21 December. -Amnesty International - 12/23/04

Iran: Tehran Seen As Progressing Along Two Tracks To Develop Nuclear Weapons
The challenge for any country clandestinely seeking to become a nuclear power is how to acquire enough fissile material for such weapons. -RFE - 12/23/04

Is Iran Trying To Develop Nuclear Weapons?
In the wake of the Iraq invasion, there has been a faint but growing drumbeat sounded in Washington by officials who believe the Bush administration should now confront another member of its so-called "axis of evil" -- Iran. -RFE - 12/23/04

5000 Years Ago, Women Held Power In Burnt City
According to the research by an archeological team in the burnt city, women comprised the most powerful group in this 5000-year-old city. - 12/23/04

Dam is threat to Iran's heritage
More than 100 of Iran's potentially most important but least examined archaeological sites, including fringes of Pasargadae, the city built by King Cyrus the Great, will be flooded in the next two years according to the UN, which appealed yesterday to international scientists to try to record what they can. -Guardian - 12/23/04

UNICEF to support children in southern Iran
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in an agreement with Iran's government, is to undertake some supportive programs for children the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, said an official with the UN body. - 12/23/04

Death penalty in Iran 'vice' case
Iranian officials have confirmed that a court has sentenced a young woman to death for prostitution but denied that she is mentally disabled. -BBC - 12/23/04

Iran to extend $75 million loan to Azerbaijan
Iran is to extend $75 million of low interest loan to Azerbaijan, said the Azeri company 'Azar Energy' in Baku on Wednesday. - 12/23/04

Now They're After Rummy: Why the neocons turned on their former 'stud muffin'
Parasites eventually kill their host. The neoconservatives won't be happy until Rummy's dried-up husk is left by the roadside, and their chosen replacement – Wolfowitz? Woolsey? neocon tool "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf? – marches triumphantly into Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and – eventually – Saudi Arabia. - 12/23/04

Iran 'will defend nuclear sites'
Iran's military is on standby in case of an attack against its nuclear facilities, the country's top army commander has said. -BBC - 12/23/04

Iran denies destabilising Iraq
Iran says people are plotting to plunge Iraq into a civil war that would lead to the break-up of the country but has denied any involvement in destabilising its troubled neighbour. -Reuters - 12/23/04

Iraqi citizens residing in Iran to vote for Iraq's national assembly
Islamic Republic of Iran signed an agreement with International Organization for Migration (IOM) based on which Iraqi citizens residing in Iran would take part in their country's nationwide elections, scheduled for January 30th. - 12/23/04

Hawks Plan 'Peaceful' Regime Change in Iran
A heavyweight group of mostly neoconservative hawks has published a new proposal for Iran policy that relies heavily on "peaceful" strategies to achieve regime change, such as those used by Washington since the 1980s in Central and Eastern Europe, most recently in Serbia and Ukraine. - 12/23/04

Iran Lures BNP, HSBC for Loans; U.S. Banks Barred
BNP Paribas SA and over two dozen European, Asian and African banks are vying to arrange an estimated $50 billion of corporate loans in Iran. U.S. policies bar the world's three biggest lenders -- Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. -- from the market. -Bloomberg - 12/23/04

Persian Gulf Eternally Iranian
National Geographic Society (NGS) has positioned itself as the premier American learned organization dedicated to the “better” understanding of world anthropology, geography, history and natural resources. In the 2005-eighth edition-of its Almanac of World History and Atlas of the World, this organization has made a unilateral and potentially “illegal” attempt to amend the legally and historically recognized nomenclatures of certain geographical locations. -Davood N. Rahni - 12/23/04

The Artists' Forum Garden in Tehran
Every time I go to Tehran Artists' Forum place I see that they are working on fixing the forum's garden. The other day I was early for a meeting so I took the time and walked through the garden. I liked it so much that later that afternoon I went back with my new digital camera and took a few pictures which I share with you. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/23/04

Iran Tries to Quell Internet Media Wave
Iran's judiciary has threatened Internet journalists with torture and prison if they do not renounce accusations that authorities abused members of the electronic media and dissidents who were rounded up months ago. - 12/22/04

Iran: Rights Groups Shine Spotlight On Capital Punishment
An Iranian official has confirmed reports published by some media as well as Amnesty International that the country's Supreme Court has approved the death sentence against a woman convicted of adultery. -RFE - 12/22/04

Iran's Nuclear Energy Program. Part V: From the United States Offering Iran Uranium Enrichment Technology to Suggestions for Creating Catastrophic Industrial Failure
(a) We describe in detail the key role that the US played in the 1970s in starting Iran's nuclear program. (b) We then compare what we describe in (a) with the present positions of the US neoconservatives and their sympathizers, which reveal the extent to which they are willing to inflict CIVILIAN casualties and economic damage on Iran to stop it from starting the Bushehr reactor. -Muhammad Sahimi - 12/22/04

Dutch Parliament Gives 15 Million Euro to set up a Persian TV Station
The Dutch Parliament agreed with the proposal for allocating 15 million Euros to set up a television station, which would broadcast in Persian (Farsi) language. -Radio Farda - 12/22/04

Present and Gifts: On the occasion of the coming Christmas and Christian New Year
It is Christmas times and thus all over the world, no matter whether a believer or not, Christians are busy shopping presents for their beloved. -Roya Monajem - 12/22/04

Iran: One Year After Quake, Bam Residents Rebuilding, But Psychological Scars Run Deep
A year ago, an earthquake of a magnitude of 6.6 destroyed the historic Iranian city of Bam and killed more than 25,000 people. Some 75,000 people were left homeless. -RFE - 12/22/04

The Country launches powerful satellite into the orbit of The Planet, The News Agency reported
The Country’s government spokesperson announced yesterday the successful launch of a powerful spy satellite into the orbit of The Planet, The News Agency reported from The Town. This new development has raised concerns among the neighboring countries in the region and The Continent. -Ali Moayedian - 12/22/04

Iran wins West Asian chess title
Iran was crowned at the West Asian men's and women's chess events in Beirut on Tuesday. - 12/22/04

More than 10 spies in Iran's nuclear field arrested: Minister of Information
Minister of Information Ali Younesi said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran's Atomic Energy Organization has successfully conducted its duties in protecting the country's nuclear installations. - 12/22/04

Iranian archaeologists race the clock
Archaeologists are digging against the clock in an Iranian gorge, striving to learn as much as possible about sites around ancient Persia's "Royal Road" before they are submerged by flooding. -Reuters - 12/22/04

Referendum: A movement to end the Islamic Republic
Tomorrow we will lend our collective credibility and political weight to an appeal that calls for a national referendum in Iran under international supervision to draft a new constitution and adopt a new system of government that is in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all its associated covenants by adding our signatures to this appeal -Foad Pashaie & Pooya Dayanim - 12/22/04

Iranian law enforcement officials ban travel to Iraq due to poor security
A ban on the travel of Iranian nationals to Iraq's holy cities has been issued by the Law Enforcement Headquarters in Tehran until the peace and order situation in that country improves. - 12/22/04

Norway condemns Iranian death sentence
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen condemns the planned execution of 19-year-old Leyla M in Iran. -Nettavisen - 12/22/04

Why Iranians Loved the Shah (and Still Do)
I picked up the telephone to talk to a friend right after a French television station aired an hour-long program about the Shah (entitled Le Shah d’Iran: un homme à abattre, by Reynold Ismar, broadcast December 5 on France 5). I asked her how she liked the program and she broke down crying and could not choke out any speech. -Reza Bayegan, FrontPageMagazine - 12/22/04

Interview with Egypt's President Mubarak: 'Foreign Troops Can't Do the Job'
Mubarak thinks that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians could be nearer than we think. But the whole region is at risk. Ongoing violence in Iraq and the question of what the US will do with Iran cast a shadow over the future of the Middle East. -NYT - 12/22/04

Quake hits northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the town of Esfarayen in this northeastern province on Wednesday. - 12/22/04

U.S. is courting Iran's Mujahideen rebels -paper
U.S. agents are trying to stop the People's Mujahideen, an Iranian rebel group, from splintering in order to retain it as a weapon against Tehran, a hardline newspaper said on Tuesday, quoting what it said were two defectors. - 12/22/04

Iran resumes gas transfer to Turkey
Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Hilmi Guler declared in Ankara on Wednesday the resumption of gas transfer from Iran to Turkey. - 12/22/04

Freedom in the World: Iran
Efforts by reformist politicians who control the presidency and parliament to further expand social and political freedoms remained stymied in 2003 as a result of opposition from appointive bodies controlled by hardline clerics. -Freedom House - 12/22/04

"Things Always Get Worse": Bombings and Sectarian Bigotry in Iraq
Claims by the police that some of those arrested had confessed to having links with Iranian and Syrian intelligence agencies will not sound convincing to Shia Iraqis who believe that the bombings were the work of Sunni fundamentalists. -CounterPunch - 12/22/04

U.S. Publishers sought for Iranian literary works
In an effort to encourage and increase the diversity of literary works being published in the U.S., the International Freedom to Publish Committee of the Association of American Publishers is offering U.S. publishers a unique opportunity to bring the work of three gifted Iranian authors to an American audience. - 12/21/04

Iran has no objection to US involvement in nuclear talks
Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hossein Mousavian said on Tuesday that Iran has no objection to the US involvement in the nuclear talks as suggested by the Europeans and their extensive attempts to this effect - 12/21/04

Bam earthquake: one year later, thousands still need psychological support
One year after a violent tremor killed more than 26,000 people and destroyed 85% of the city of Bam, in south-eastern Iran, thousands of residents still suffer from the trauma caused by the devastating earthquake of 26 December 2003. -Red Cross - 12/21/04

A number of former MKO members repatriated to Iran
MKO members who have recently renounced the grouplet in Iraq arrived home in Tehran on Monday. The repatriation was conducted under supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). - 12/21/04

UN support for Bam reconstruction effort in last one year
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Office for Humanitarian Coordination Affairs (OCHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and others have all been active in Bam since the earthquake. - 12/21/04

Iranians celebrate 'Yalda' as longest night of the year
Millions of Iranians all over the world Monday night will celebrate 'Yalda', the longest night of the year and the first night of winter as a token of victory of the angel of goodness over the devil of badness. - 12/21/04

UN: Turkmenistan, Iran Criticized On Human Rights
The General Assembly adopted a resolution for the second year in a row expressing concern about Iran's human rights record. That measure passed by a vote of 71 to 54, with 55 abstentions. -RFE - 12/21/04

Isfahan Subway Won’t Cross Historical Street
Due to the perseverance of cultural heritage news agency and the sensitivity of other media, municipal and Isfahan subway officials have finally agreed with the prohibition of an underground line beneath the historical street of Char-bagh - 12/21/04

EU, Iran to resume Trade and Cooperation Agreement negotiations in January
The European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran are to resume negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in Brussels on January 12, EU sources told IRNA Tuesday. - 12/21/04

Weapons-Grade Paranoia
According to Undersecretary of State John Bolton, "[T]he United States strongly believes that Iran has a clandestine program to produce nuclear weapons, and has been warning publicly about Tehran's weapons ambitions for over a decade." - 12/21/04

In Interview at VOA, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Pledges Continued U.S. Support
Speaking to VOA's Persian-language TV program News and Views, Khalilzad said, "There is now both political and religious freedom in Afghanistan. The people of Iran could learn from Afghanistan. We hope the Iranian people will benefit from the experience of Afghanistan in moving towards democracy. I'm sure that America will not strike Iran but change there will come." - 12/21/04

Why a play prompted violent protest
For 15 years Britain's Sikh population has had a relatively low profile. But the violent protests at the weekend in Birmingham which led to the cancellation of the play Behzti have refocused attention on the community. -Guardian - 12/21/04

FBI Agents Complained of Prisoner Abuse, Records Say
FBI agents have lodged repeated complaints of physical and mental mistreatment of prisoners held in Iraq and Cuba, saying in reports that military officials have placed lighted cigarettes in detainees' ears and humiliated Arab captives by wrapping Israeli flags around them, according to new documents released Monday -Los Angeles Times - 12/21/04

New programme to facilitate women's employment in Afghanistan
Getting Afghan women into the labour market is proving a difficult task - lack of education and skills are holding them back, as are cultural traditions that frown on women working outside the home - 12/21/04

Iran, Europe to discuss the 20 centrifuges: Iranian official
A senior nuclear official Hossein Moussavian said in Tehran on Tuesday that the issue of the 20 centrifuges will top the agenda of the next round of Iran-EU 3 talks. - 12/21/04

Iranian archaeologists believe they have discovered part of throne of Darius
Iranian archaeologists believe they have found a part of one leg of the throne of Darius the Great during their excavations at Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Achaemenid dynasty, the director of the team of archaeologists announced Sunday - 12/21/04

Sparks fly over Iran's $8bn oil price buffer fund
Rivalry between the Iranian government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami and the conservative majority in parliament, is intensifying over the windfall oil revenues generated by high oil prices. -Financial Times - 12/21/04

Iran Shows Persian Gulf Historical Maps
Iran unveiled a collection of historical maps on Sunday in a bid to prove the legitimacy of calling its neighboring sea the Persian Gulf instead of the "Arabian Gulf" as it also is listed in the new world atlas by National Geographic. -CHN - 12/20/04

World-famous Belgian expert on Iran criticizes attempts to change name of Persian Gulf
Professor Ernie Haerinck, a world-renowned expert on Iranian archaeology, has criticized attempts by a western publication to falsify the name of the Persian Gulf. - 12/20/04

China's Thirst for Oil Undercuts U.S. Effort to Rein in Iran
U.S. efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear weapons program through economic sanctions are being stymied by China's increasing reliance on the Islamic nation for oil. -Bloomberg - 12/20/04

EU delegation to arrive in Iran to discuss light-water reactor
A European delegation is to arrive in Tehran within one month to negotiate with Iran's nuclear energy officials on the country's plan to construct a light-water power reactor. - 12/20/04

Iran says it has uncovered spy ring for Israel
Iran said Sunday its intelligence services have uncovered a spy ring that collected intelligence information for Israel, according to a report by Israel Radio's Persian language program. -Ha'aretz - 12/20/04

Cuba Erects Iraq Abuse Billboards Near US Mission
Cuba put up several huge billboards near the U.S. mission on Friday with pictures of abused Iraqi prisoners and American soldiers pointing a rifle at children, in response to a U.S. Christmas display in support of imprisoned Cuban dissident. -Reuters - 12/20/04

Iraq Shia leaders appeal for calm
Iraqi Shia Muslim leaders have warned against revenge attacks following two bombings in the cities of Najaf and Karbala that killed at least 60 people. -BBC - 12/20/04

Iranian judokas return from Moscow
Iran's varsity judo team Monday returned from Moscow where the 17th world student event was held. The four-member team finished seventh as it snatched one silver and one bronze in men's competitions. - 12/20/04

New Archeological Museum Opens in Iran
Iran’s Archeological Institute finally got its own museum, capping 40 years of upheaval struggle to develop archeology in an artifact-rich country - 12/20/04

US Officials: Iraq Elections Must be On Time
Deadly car bomb attacks, combined with the assassination of election workers in Iraq are heightening concerns about security conditions for national elections scheduled to take place on January 30. -VOA - 12/20/04

Doctors discuss family planning in Iran
Rapid population growth's effects on the environment and people's health were the topic of a talk from two visiting Iranian physicians on Friday night. -Times-Standard, California - 12/20/04

Iranian minister upbeat about breakthrough in Turkish deal row
Iran's communications minister said Monday he was optimistic that an ongoing dispute which has hampered a Turkish operator from setting up the country's first private mobile phone network would ultimately be resolved. - 12/20/04

Iran: One day left to save woman sentenced to be buried up to chest and stoned to death
An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning, reportedly by tomorrow (21 Dec) after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. -Amnesty International - 12/20/04

Iran: Judiciary Uses Coercion to Cover Up Torture
The Iranian judiciary is using threats of lengthy prison sentences and coerced televised statements in an attempt to cover up its arbitrary detention and torture of internet journalists and civil society activists, Human Rights Watch said today. - 12/20/04

Iran's credit rating moves ahead of Turkey's
Iran's new credit rating is expected to allow the country to sell cheaper debt in the international capital markets following last week's upgrading by Fitch global agency. - 12/20/04

Second Iranology conference opens in Tehran
second National Iranology Conference opened here Monday with President Seyed Mohammad Khatami as the guest speaker. Over 1,000 domestic and foreign experts are attending the four-day conference. - 12/20/04

HOW NOT TO APPROACH IRAN: Wave Real Sticks and Make Vague Promises of Carrots
The article, How to Approach Iran, by Madeleine Albright and seven former European foreign ministers (The Washington Post, December 13, 2004), as diplomatically well-intentioned as it is, contains numerous errors, inconsistencies and unhelpful conjectures. -Kam Zarrabi - 12/20/04

Two face death after Iran morality trial
Two women convicted of crimes against morality in Iran are facing imminent execution, one by being buried up to her chest and stoned, Amnesty International said last night. -Guardian - 12/19/04

Judiciary spokesman raises ante in Iran's electoral row
A senior official took President Mohammad Khatami to task Saturday for criticizing Judiciary in barring many candidates from standing at Iran's parliamentary elections in February. - 12/19/04

Women resisting repression
The centerpiece of the Shirin Neshat exhibit at the H&R Block Artspace is an ambitious video installation titled “Fervor.” The exhibit also features three of her photographs, including “I Am Its Secret” -Kansas City Star - 12/19/04

Five skeletons dating 2,300 years back discovered
Five skeletons dating approximately 250 years before the birth of Christ were discovered somewhere in the vicinity of Shoushtar in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan, it was announced in Ahvaz on Sunday. - 12/19/04

Persia, Iran, and the Persian Gulf: A Brief History of Names
A campaign has been recently launched. Many Iranians from all stripes, fascists, monarchists, nationalists, reformists, liberals, even some leftists, and some religious hardliners, whether in Iran or abroad, have been swept up by a nationalistic fervor. -Fouad Kazem - 12/19/04

Whither the Persian-Jewish alliance?
There is a romantic suggestiveness to the relations between Persians and Jews that has survived the hostility between Iran and Israel. As comfortable as it may be to remember the heyday of Israeli-Iranian ties as such, there has never been anything romantic about the real-political cooperation they enjoyed before the Iranian revolution. -Trita Parsi, Bitterlemons International - 12/19/04

Persian Gulf included Oman Sea in olden times: Pak expert
A leading Pakistani archaeologist observed on Sunday that the Persian Gulf region in ancient times was referred to by the same name and even included the eastern part of the Hormuz Strait extending to the western and northeastern parts of the Indian sub-continent. - 12/19/04

The Mullahs' Killing Fields
A former political prisoner and the daughter of two slain parents vowed to make sure the voices of Iranians who have suffered under the Islamic fundamentalist regime heard. The two women said they stand by other activists who continue to be arrested, tortured, and executed in Iran for supporting freedom and democracy. -Donna M. Hughes, FrontPageMagazine - 12/19/04

Envoy: British economic delegation to visit Iran
British Ambassador to Tehran Richard Dalton announced on Sunday that a high-ranking British economic delegation will visit Iran soon. - 12/19/04

Iraqi Forces Detain 45 Crossing From Iran
The 45 detainees were captured Saturday at Mandali, on the Iranian border 60 miles east of Baghdad, police said. They had no identity documents but claimed to be Muslim pilgrims from Iran, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. They ranged in age from early 20s to 60s. -AP - 12/19/04

Iraqi bombers target Shia cities
Powerful car bomb blasts have killed and injured dozens of people in the Iraqi Shia cities of Najaf and Karbala. -BBC - 12/19/04

Iran's Zakaria wins world student judo silver, Mir-Esmaeili KO'd
Mohsen Zakaria of Iran finished runner-up in the 17th World Student Judo Championships in Moscow on Saturday. - 12/19/04

Iranian student takes top prize in Italian writing contest
A high school student from the city of Kouhdasht in Iran's western province of Lorestan won the first prize in a writing contest in Italy. Two university students from Britain and the US won second and third place, respectively. - 12/19/04

Iran beats Panama 1-0 in friendly soccer match in Tehran
Iran's Croat manager Branko Ivankovic here Saturday voiced his pleasure at national defenders' performance during the friendly against the lowly Panama. - 12/19/04

The Neo-Cons: Are They Serious About Syria?
Just when it appeared that Syria was complying in earnest with U.S. demands to secure its border with Iraq and even making unprecedented peace overtures to Israel, key neo-conservative opinion shapers are calling on President George W Bush to take stronger measures against Damascus, possibly including military action.-IPS - 12/19/04

Exhibition of Persian Gulf historical maps opens
An exhibition of Persian Gulf historical maps opened here on Sunday in the presence of Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi. - 12/19/04

Fitch upgrades Iran's credit rating to BB- from B+
British rating agency 'Fitch' lowered the risk rating on Iran long-term foreign obligations, government's short-term loans and credit ceilings from B+ to BB- in a report released last week. - 12/19/04

United States Clarifies Embargo Law on Publishing: Encourages publication of dissident speech in Cuba, Sudan, Iran
People in the United States are free to engage in most publishing activities with nongovernment individuals and groups in Cuba, Iran and Sudan, notwithstanding the U.S. economic embargoes against those countries, the U.S. Department of the Treasury says. - 12/19/04

Quest for a conqueror
Searching for a pass called the Persian Gates, where Alexander suffered one of his greatest defeats, he drove into the Zagros Mountains in southern Iran with his driver and a newly made friend, Riaz, a 25-year-old medical school graduate from Geneva whose parents fled Iran during the revolution. - - 12/18/04

Threatening Iran – despite the evidence
Anti-nuclear activists charge that the Iranians can and will produce nukes from plutonium they recover from the reactor's "spent fuel." That's nonsense, of course, but the neo-crazies have echoed that charge. -WorldNetDaily - 12/18/04

Iranian Adulteress Faces Noose or Stoning-Official
An Iranian official said on Saturday he was waiting for orders on whether to stone or hang a woman convicted of adultery, the latest in a chain of death sentences passed against women for "fornication." -Reuters - 12/18/04

Carrots For Iran? Lessons From Libya
This first part of a two-part series on diplomacy surrounding the Iranian nuclear program looks at U.S.-European relations. The second part, to appear in a future PolicyWatch, will discuss the role of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council, with particular focus on Russia and China. -Patrick Clawson, Washington Institute - 12/18/04

Russia voices readiness to build 7 nuclear power plants in Iran
Head of the Russian Federation's Atomic Energy Agency Alexander Rumyantsev said on Saturday that Russia may construct seven other nuclear power plants in Iran. - 12/18/04

The Emperor's Same, Old Clothes
Once upon a time there was an emperor who wanted new clothes. He had ascended to the same throne upon which his father had sat. But for eight long years previously usurpers had ruled. Now they were gone, and the new emperor decreed that everything done in the last eight years would henceforth be considered wrong. From now only the right would prevail. -Boston Globe - 12/18/04

Iran, Germany ink agreements on banking facilities
Seven agreements on banking facilities worth dlrs 1.8 billion have been signed by Iran's banking system and seven German commercial banks. - 12/18/04

Laughing Dragon, Dancing Bear
While President George W. Bush, his “neo-conservative” advisers, and centrist Democrats bask in the glow of America’s status as “the one remaining superpower in the world,” signs are mounting that other major powers do not intend to hunker down and suspend their own efforts to shape history. -Common Dreams - 12/18/04

Turkey's date with destiny
The European Union has a rendezvous with history this week. Turkey will be invited to begin talks over the course of next year that will probably lead to its membership in the European Union within about 15 years. - 12/18/04

Egypt's Mubarak warns U.S. against attacking Iran
The United States would be making a catastrophic mistake if it attacked Iran to destroy the country's nuclear programme, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quoted as saying on Saturday. -Reuters - 12/18/04

Shiite Poll Showing Raises Iraq Concerns
A resounding Shiite victory in next month's elections will bring Iraq closer to Tehran, forming a ``Super Iran'' that could change the face of the Middle East, critics say. -AP - 12/18/04

NIDC to drill 311,000 meters by March 2005
National Iranian Drilling Company has for the first ever set a drilling record of 311,000 meters as its target for the 2004-05 fiscal year, Managing Director of the company Seyfollah Jashnsaz said on Saturday. - 12/18/04

2004 And Beyond: The Year’s Most Dramatic Stories -- In Quotes
The year began where it had left off in late 2003 -- with a massive earthquake in Iran that killed more than 25,000 people. The quake struck the historic southeastern city of Bam on 26 December, but the search for victims and care for survivors went on through January. -RFE - 12/18/04

Iranian dynamics in the Middle East
The fears of Iranian military power have been exaggerated politically by the US and Israel to create demand in the smaller Persian Gulf states for three things: an American military presence, new weapons, and a need for a regional security structure or arrangement that includes Israel and external powers, while keeping the balance of power totally in favor of Israel. -Media Monitors - 12/18/04

Powell Optimistic on N. Korea, Iran
Outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday he doesn't regret being the public face for the Bush administration's international call to war in Iraq. Now diplomacy is making headway in containing nuclear threats in Iran and North Korea, he said in an Associated Press interview. -AP - 12/18/04

UN’s push against Al-Qaida yields results but States need more aid – diplomat
He said Iran had frozen considerable assets in four separate accounts of an individual on the list, namely, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and had apprehended a number of Al-Qaida operatives. - 12/18/04

Explosion of mortar from Iran-Iraq war era leaves two dean and four injured in Mehran
The mortar shell left from Iran-Iraq war era was kept by a citizen at his house in Eslamieh as iron waste. - 12/18/04

World Oil Trade Center to be established in Iran's Kish island in Persian Gulf
The World Oil Trade Center is to be established on Kish Island in Persian Gulf, the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' quoted a press release of the Kish Free Trade Zone Organization on Saturday. - 12/18/04

1,500 Iranian pilgrims held captive in Iraq
An official from Iran's Foreign Ministry in charge of social affairs, Masoud Khaleqi said in Tehran on Saturday that it has lately been learnt that over 1,500 Iranian pilgrims are currently held in captivity in the neighboring Iraq. - 12/18/04

Official : Iran's E-Commerce to reach 12.8 billion dollars in 2006
Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said in Tehran on Saturday that the value of electronic commerce is expected to reach dlrs 12.8 billion in 2006 registering an average growth of 48.6 percent. - 12/18/04

Iran Cracks Down On Independent Internet Journalists
In recent months, several Iranian online journalists and web technicians have been arrested. Observers say it's part of a government crackdown on the Internet. Four of the journalists have now "confessed," saying they were brainwashed by "foreigners and counterrevolutionaries" into writing articles critical of Iran's Islamic Republic. -RFE - 12/18/04

Democrat says embargo reversal is not enough
The Treasury Department has eased trade sanctions to make it easier for authors and scholars from embargoed countries to get published in the United States. But Rep. Howard Berman of California blasted the government's move yesterday as a "desperate attempt to head off mounting legal and political pressure" while still threatening free speech. -Star-Ledger - 12/17/04

Iran's Pasargadae to Finally Get its Museum
Iran at last plans to construct the Pasargadae Museum near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in early 2005, after a quarter of century break - 12/17/04

Australian Party Leader to Join Hunger Strike
The leader of a small Australian political party will begin a hunger strike on Saturday in support of about 20 Iranian asylum seekers held at a rural immigration detention center who have refused food for almost two weeks. -Reuters - 12/17/04

German envoy urges US to hold direct talks with Iran
Germany's Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Ischinger called on America to hold direct talks with Iran on security-related issues, DPA reported Thursday. - 12/17/04

EU leaders support long-term agreement with Iran
Leaders of the 25-member European Union are welcoming the recent agreement reached with Iran on nuclear issues and future cooperation following recent negotiations by representatives of member countries France, Germany and the UK supported by EU High Representative Javier Solana. - 12/17/04

Film production facing crisis in Iran: Kiarostami
Art Film production is facing serious crisis in Iran with authorities imposing controls over independent thought and audience running after commercial films, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami said today. -India News - 12/17/04

Iran Urges UNESCO to Lift its Heritage Ceiling
UNESCO adopted a resolution last year stipulating that each member state is allowed to register just one heritage site on the World Heritage List. Iran unsuccessfully expressed its objection during the voting, arguing it infringes the right of those nations with a long-standing history and civilization. - 12/17/04

Iran, France to cooperate in archaeology
Iran and France signed an agreement in Paris on Wednesday night to cooperate in archaeology. - 12/17/04

8 Ancient Dams Discovered in Iranian Plain
A team of experts from Iran, France and Belgium have unearthed the relics of 8 Achaemenid dams in the Morghab plain, in southern Iran - 12/17/04

Persian Gulf Historical Maps Expo to be held in Tehran
The Persian Gulf historical maps available at the Foreign Ministry archive will be displayed in an exhibition in Tehran. - 12/17/04

Beirut rises from the ruins
The outcome of the US presidential election may mean difficult times ahead for parts of the Middle East, particularly for Syria and the pro-Damascus regime in Lebanon. -BBC - 12/17/04

Iran: Woman to Be Buried Up to Chest and Stoned to Death In The Next Five Days
An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. -Amnesty International - 12/17/04

"Extinct" Vipers, Other Reptiles Uncovered in Iran
During their expeditions to Iran in the mid-1970s, Swedish zoologists Göran Nilson and Claes Andrén of Göteborg University were amazed to find dozens of unknown amphibians and reptiles. -National Geographic - 12/17/04

A series of new dams is submerging archaeological sites throughout Iran
Iran’s cultural heritage is facing almost unquantifiable damage from an ambitious programme of dam building. There are currently 85 dams under construction across the country, part of a programme that the Iranian government promotes with a considerable amount of national pride. -Art Newspaper - 12/17/04

Export of Iranian gas to enhance economic growth in the region
Export of Iranian gas through a proposed pipeline to Pakistan and India will boost the economies of the three countries. The spokesperson of BHP Billiton and the Anglo-Australian Project Delivering Company told IRNA in an exclusive interview that operation of the proposed pipeline will have a strong impact on the economy of the region as well. - 12/17/04

Analysis: Rafsanjani Plots Iran Comeback
Fears that Islamic hard-liners could exacerbate Iran's nuclear standoff with the West, scare foreign investors and worsen social tensions may pave the way for a comeback by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. -Reuters - 12/17/04

Iranian and French musicians to perform joint concert in Tehran
Iranian and French musicians are going to perform jointly in a modern concert in Tehran on December 22-23. - 12/17/04

Iranian Cyber-journalists forced to give false evidence at colleague's trial
Reporters Without Borders today condemned the pressure being put on three newly released cyber-journalists and a fourth still in prison to give false evidence at the trial of the president of the Association of Iranian Journalists, Ali Mazroi. - 12/16/04

A Critique of Academic Reasoning
If our intentions are truly to promote freedom and democracy in the region, why not allow the market forces to open the doors to regional economic developments and increased prosperity, which is guaranteed to weaken, rather than legitimize, the stranglehold of the ultraconservatives? -Kam Zarrabi - 12/16/04

How to Approach Iran
The following article was signed by Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, and by seven former foreign ministers: Robin Cook of Britain, Hubert Vedrine of France, Lamberto Dini of Italy, Lloyd Axworthy of Canada, Niels Helveg Petersen of Denmark, Ana Palacio of Spain and Jozias van Aartsen of the Netherlands. -Washington Post - 12/16/04

Iran's intriquing new weave of tradition and change
On a recent Thursday, the marble-paved courtyards of Qom's 400-year-old Hazrat-e Masumeh shrine were filled with family groups of Shiite pilgrims from different communities. Many were Iranians, but I also heard snatches of Arabic amid the Farsi and saw faces from throughout central Asia and saris from the Indian subcontinent. -CSM - 12/16/04

Businessman admits role in illegal arms ring
A New York City businessman admitted Wednesday that he participated in an arms smuggling ring that investigators say shipped missile and fighter jet components from the United States to Israel and possibly Iran - 12/16/04

Worldwide PC Market To Double by 2010, Forrester Says
The 16 emerging markets analyzed in this report include, in order of population size: China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Ethiopia, Turkey, Iran and Thailand. - 12/16/04

Iran’s top bank chooses BANCS centralised banking solution
Bank Keshavarzi has selected Australian banking solution provider, Financial Network Services (FNS) BANCS solution for new centralised retail and wholesale banking. - 12/16/04

Don't meddle in Iraq, Bush tells neighbors
President Bush yesterday told Syria and Iran to stop meddling in Iraq, as the Iraqi defense minister accused his nation's two neighbors of aiding a terrorist insurgency to disrupt elections set to take place in six weeks. - 12/16/04

Bomb at Shiite Shrine Kills 7 in Karbala
A bomb targeting a prominent Shiite cleric killed seven people outside one of southern Iraq's holiest shrines Wednesday as campaigning began for Iraq's first post-Saddam elections - a vote that is going ahead despite suicide attacks and assassinations by Sunni insurgents - 12/16/04

FBI steps up AIPAC espionage probe
The FBI has stepped up its investigation into alleged Israeli espionage against the US, United Press International reported last week, and in particular the operations of the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, also know as AIPAC. -CSM - 12/16/04

Government Eases Rules on Writers in Sanctioned Nations
The Treasury Department, under fire for regulations that restricted the publication of works from countries under American economic sanctions, issued broad new rules yesterday that will allow United States publishers to work with authors from those countries as long as they are not government representatives. -NYT - 12/16/04

UN refugee agency closes camps in Iran as Iraqi exiles return home
The United Nations refugee agency is closing several camps in Iran following the departure of more than half the 202,000 Iraqis who sought refuge there, most of whom have returned home on their own initiative despite the violence wracking the country. - 12/16/04

2004 And Beyond: Iran, North Korea Nuclear Crises Still Unresolved
The Iran nuclear standoff has entered a suspenseful new stage just as 2004 winds to a close. -RFE - 12/16/04

NIAC Publishes 2003-2004 Annual Report
NIAC is proud to publish its 2003-2004 Annual Report, Moving Forward, a 27-page document listing NIAC's activities and achievements over the past months, as well as its key projects for 2005. The report follows last year's report, Transforming a Community. - 12/16/04

Keeping Faith in Reform, and Islam, in Iran
As Secular Movement Crumbles, Defiant Cleric Spreads Blame With a Smile -Washington Post - 12/16/04

Analysis: How Close Is Iran To The Bomb?
This week, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany and EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana met with Iran's top nuclear negotiator in an ongoing attempt to convince Iran to permanently suspend its uranium-enrichment activities. -RFE - 12/16/04

Man 'living' in airport terminal
In an echo of this year's Hollywood film, The Terminal, a man has been stuck in diplomatic limbo wandering around an airport terminal. - 12/15/04

Iran Exile Leader Accuses EU of Appeasing Tehran
Maryam Rajavi, the self-styled president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political wing of the People's Mujahideen guerrilla movement, was speaking at a private meeting in the European Parliament. - 12/15/04

Iraqi-American Actress Scores Big Off-Broadway
SCENE FROM PLAY: "The mistake is not this war. My god, mistake. Mistake is supporting Saddam all his life. Giving him all these weapons. 'Please go fight this war with Iran, eh?' Every time there was an uprising. And he gassed Halabja, 5000 die in seconds. VOA - 12/15/04

Iran's self-styled rapping aristocrat
Iran has only one official rap musician, dubbed the Dapper Rapper for his smart suits and elegant lifestyle - a far cry from the radical music of the ghetto streets of the US where rap was born. - 12/15/04

Achaemenid Royal Cooks Used 1 kg Saffron Each Day
A tin inscription, apparently a kitchen menu of the Achaemenid monarchy, revealed cooks used about 1 kilogram of saffron each day for their royal dishes - 12/14/04

US to Reach Out to Muslims Under New Law Reforming Intelligence System
Among the many sections and subsections of the September 11th Recommendations Implementation Act are steps to improve the way the United States interacts with key countries in the war on terrorism: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. -VOA - 12/14/04

5 Japanese Cities to Host Iranian Artifacts Exhibit
Iranian and Japanese heritage officials inked an agreement to hold an exhibition of 180 Persian artifacts in the museums of five Japanese cities - 12/14/04

U.S. opposes third term for IAEA chief
The Bush administration is opposing the re-appointment of Mohammed ElBaradei as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency - CNN - 12/14/04

First Iranology congress opens in Spain
first ever Iranology congress inaugurated in Madrid on Monday. - 12/14/04

Mentally-ill girl who was sold for sex faces death penalty in Iran
A teenage girl with a mental age of eight is facing the death penalty for prostitution in Iran. The trial comes only four months after the hanging of another mentally ill girl for sex before marriage in a case that has prompted a human rights lawyer to prepare a charge of wrongful execution against the presiding judge. -Independent - 12/14/04

Spying on El Baradei, Targeting Iran
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith is the neocon Likudnik who was tasked with cooking up the false "intelligence" that President Bush used to deceive the US public into supporting an illegal invasion of Iraq. With the US military now trapped in the Iraqi quagmire, Feith wants the US to attack Iran. -CounterPunch - 12/14/04

EU FMs support negotiating process with Iran
The European Union Foreign Ministers' Council in its meeting in Brussels Monday discussed relations with the Islamic Republic and voiced support to the negotiating process between the EU and Iran. - 12/14/04

Iran May Negotiate With U.S. Over Nukes
Iran is willing to talk with the United States about a nuclear program that Washington alleges is aimed at secretly acquiring the bomb, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Monday - Associated Press - 12/14/04

The History of the Iranian Student Alliance in America
Tired of the apathy and the low level of consciousness regarding the Iranian identity, culture, community, and history amongst the UC Berkeley populace and especially Iranian students, a group of inspired Iranian students moved to create an environment where these important issues could be addressed. They built the Iranian Student Alliance in America in the fall of 2002. -Pouya Alimagham - 12/13/04

Foxes in Iran's Henhouse
As the Bush administration looks at its options in dealing with Iran's nuclear threat, it should consider some little-noticed but significant recent changes in that country's leadership. The assumption in Washington has long been that Iran is ruled totally by a clerical clique headed by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Vali Nasr & Ali Gheissari, NYT - 12/13/04

Iran's first pop revolutionaries
Arian is the first officially sanctioned mixed gender pop group to come out of Iran. The nine-piece band have permission to play, to tour and to publish their music in their native country and are now touring Europe to spread the message of their music abroad. -BBC - 12/13/04

Experts Document 31 Stone Inscriptions
Iranian experts have documented thirty one stone inscriptions, some dating back to seven centuries ago and describing historical and religious events of ancient sites in the central province of Yazd - 12/13/04

Iran releases intercepted Iraqi oil tanker, holds crew: source
Iran Sunday released an Iraqi tanker which it had intercepted last month for navigating in the Iranian waters in Arvand river, but its 10-member crew are still held in custody, an informed source said - 12/13/04

Tehran to Host International Cultural Heritage Film Festival
The Fourth International Cultural Heritage and Tourism Documentary Film Festival titled `Yadegar' (Memorial) will be held in Tehran on May 18-25, 2005, a senior official said - 12/13/04

US Supports Term Limit for IAEA Chief
The White House has made no secret of the fact it would like to see the Egyptian diplomat leave the post when his second term expires next year. -VOA - 12/13/04

Iraq's Hakim terms Jordan king charges against Iran ridiculous
Leader of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq Abdul Aziz Hakim termed as ridiculous the Jordan King Abdullah's recent charges against Iran that it was trying to create a region dominated by Shiites. - 12/13/04

Fischer on Iran: Step by step forward on basis of realism
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Monday that so long Iran's voluntary suspension of enrichment activities continues, the EU commitments also remain valid. - 12/13/04

Human Rights in Iran: An Interview with Dr. Ahmad Alavi
Interview with Doctor Ahmad Alavi, Professor of Economics and Researcher at the Swedish University, about the conference on Human Rights in Iran in Sweden's Parliament -By Saeed Soltanpour - 12/13/04

The Quince Seed Potion, A Novel By Morteza Baharloo
The Quince Seed Potion is an Iranian émigré writer's novel set against the backdrop of Iran's turbulent modern history and spanning the years 1928 to 1981. - 12/13/04

IAAB Announces Call for Papers for Second Annual International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) announces its Call for Papers for its second annual symposium addressing issues related to the Iranian diaspora, to be held on April 23-24, 2005, at the University of Maryland, College Park. - 12/13/04

The U.S. vs. a Nuclear Iran
The Bush administration says the prospect of Iran's obtaining a nuclear weapon is "intolerable," and from the White House to the State Department, officials express considerable skepticism that Europe's efforts to negotiate quietly an end to Iran's nuclear activities will succeed. Yet, though President Bush threatened Iraq before the war there, he has said almost nothing about the possibility of resorting to military action in Iran. -NYT - 12/12/04

25 Years Later, a Different Type of Revolution
Victoria's Secret has arrived in Tehran. So have the Gap, Diesel, Benetton and Black & Decker. A quarter-century after a mass movement inspired by Islam ended 2,500 years of monarchy, Iran's revolutionary society is moving on. Yet, still trapped in transition, the Islamic republic is full of telling and sometimes bizarre contradictions. -Washington Post - 12/12/04

U.S. and Europe Are at Odds, Again, This Time Over Iran
Despite a renewed American effort to repair relations with Europe, a disagreement between the Bush administration and European leaders over how best to persuade Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program has deepened in recent weeks, diplomats on both sides say. -NYT - 12/12/04

Iranian Sculptor to Embark on Alaska Journey
Well-known Iranian sculptor Jamshid Moradian has been invited to Alaska to take part in the International Symposium on Mountains slated for March 2005 - 12/12/04

Iran's international reserves rose in first half
A think-tank said in Tehran on Saturday that although Iran's international reserves dropped by dlrs 309 million in the first half of the last Iranian year (ended March 19), the corresponding figure rose by dlrs 2.025 billion in the same period this year. - 12/12/04

Quake shakes northeastern Iranian city of Sabzevar
An earthquake, measuring 4.6 on the open-ended Richter scale, shook the northeastern city of Sabzevar in Razavi Khorassan province - 12/12/04

Seven-Year Drought Puts Afghanistan on the Brink
Afghanistan remains in the grip of the most debilitating drought in living memory, now in its seventh year. Government and foreign aid officials warn that despite the outside help and a good harvest last year, the country is living on the brink, with nearly 40 percent of the population below subsistence levels. -NYT - 12/12/04

Iranians see right to nuclear program as matter of national pride
From this country's divisive political sphere to its disaffected streets, one thing binds Iranians of all ideologies: a fervent belief in the Islamic Republic's right to its nuclear program. -Boston Globe - 12/12/04

Iran's unemployment rate has dropped to 10.4 percent: official
Head of Management and Plan Organization (MPO) Hamid Reza Baradaran-Shoraka has said that reducing unemployment rate to 8.4 percent of work force during the fourth development plan needs an eight percent economic growth. - 12/12/04

Iran to entertain Panama in football friendly Dec 18
Iran will host Panama in a football friendly in Azadi Stadium in western Tehran next Saturday. - 12/12/04

Iran's San'at Naft retains Asian club weightlifting title
Holder San'at Naft of the southern city of Ahvaz fetched Iran the trophy of the second Asian youth weightlifting event in Tianjin, China, Saturday. - 12/12/04

Fresh Bid by Iran to Register Sultanyeh as Heritage Site
The adobe dome is one of the most unique historical sites in Iran, dating back to the Ilkhanian dynasty (1256-1353 AD). The dossier of the Sultanyeh Dome has been compiled by Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) and been sent to UNESCO to be considered for the 2005 session of World Heritage Committee. - 12/12/04

Bones Unravel Longevity Mystery in Iron Age Tabriz
Comparing bones dug out from two distinct cemeteries in northern and northwestern Iran, experts have concluded Iron Age Iranians dwelling in settlements enjoyed longevity - 12/12/04

FIFA to honor Iran's Ali Daei, world's top goals scorer
World football's governing body, FIFA, plans to pay a tribute to Iranian skipper and best international goals scorer Ali Daei. The international body will honor the veteran striker on December 20 when the World Player of the Year 2004 is named. - 12/12/04

Mystery Cloaks Couple's Firing as Risks to U.S.
May 5, the day that changed Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari's lives, began like most others. They shared coffee, dropped their 12-year-old son off at Cheat Lake Middle School here, then drove to their laboratories at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency that studies workplace hazards. -NYT - 12/12/04

A year later in Bam, ‘hard work having an impact’
Nearly a year after a devastating earthquake struck the city of Bam in Iran, members of the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT) International continue to walk with the survivors of this disaster, responding to needs that are still huge. - 12/11/04

Iran and Russia working out 'technical details' of Bushehr plant
Tehran and Moscow are working out technical details of an agreement to bring a nuclear power plant in the Iranian port city of Bushehr on line in 2006, the Chairman of the Russian Federation Council, Sergei Mironov, said in Tehran on Saturday. - 12/11/04

EU, Iran to resume trade and human rights negotiations
The European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran are set to resume negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) as well as on the subject of human rights. - 12/11/04

So Little Time, So Many Regimes to Change
At the top of the list, as they have been for so long, of course, are Iran and North Korea, whose possession of nuclear weapons is simply ''unacceptable'', as the administration itself has said. But others -- Syria, Venezuela, China, even Russia, and the latest target, the United Nations itself -- are still seen as requiring policies of active containment, if not ''regime change''. -IPS - 12/11/04

International Journalists Discuss U.S.-Iranian Relationship
On this week’s International Press Club, Judith Latham talks with journalists from Iran, Israel, and the Arab world about the U.S.-Iranian relationship and ways to approach the nuclear weapons threat posed by Tehran. -VOA - 12/11/04

Democracy taking root in Iran?
More than seven years have passed since reformist President Mohammad Khatami took over in Iran, a country that changed course in 1979 through an Islamic revolution, seen as one of the most momentous revolutionary upheavals of the 20th century. -UPI - 12/11/04

Iran-China Trade Exchanges To Reach 7 Billion Dollars
Iran-China trade is expected to rake in 7 billion dollars by the end of the current year, an official of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce said in Tehran on Saturday. - 12/11/04

Book Review: 'The Persian Puzzle': Misjudging Iran
''The Persian Puzzle'' deals with the other big country in Kenneth Pollack's portfolio: Iran. To the question is it, too, a brief for pre-emptive war, the answer is a qualified ''no.'' -NYT - 12/11/04

Few options on Iran
Kenneth Pollack, research director at the centrist Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy, said conflicting "hard" U.S. and "soft" EU policies have allowed Iran to play the allies off each other. -UPI - 12/11/04

Iran remains non-committal over ThyssenKrupp's buyback plan
Iran has pledged to fight it out against a decision by German steel group ThyssenKrupp to remove the country's representative from its supervisory board. - 12/11/04

Iraqi Elections: Concern or Opportunity for Neighbors?
Iraqis are moving forward with plans to hold elections at the end of January, but some leaders there are complaining about meddling by factions from outside the country. -VOA - 12/11/04

Will Her Voice Ever Be Heard?
Let's take the bungled case of Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This Iranian dissident is being prevented from publishing her memoirs in the United States because of regulations that prohibit "trading with the enemy." -Washington Post - 12/11/04

Nervous return for Iran's Iraqi refugees
"I lost everything because of disrespect and humiliation at the hands of Saddam Hussein," says 60-year-old Marsh Arab, Jassim Hamidawi. -BBC - 12/11/04

Tripartite agreement between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan results in integrated power network
By signing a tripartite agreement in a meeting here Saturday, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan agreed to synchronize their power grids. - 12/11/04

Iranian women's sports needs European sports expertise: official
Female European sport experts could play a leading role in training Iranian women athletes, coaches and referees inside Iran, the Vice-President of Iran's Physical Education Organization in charge of women's sports, Zahra Ahmadipour told IRNA in Berlin on Saturday. - 12/11/04

New Persian Empire: Iran Strengthens Its Hand Amid War On Terror
Arab media are tracking Iran's emerging strategic importance with great interest, watching as the nation skillfully plays its nuclear and oil cards against U.S. desires for the region. -PNS - 12/11/04

Conservative Presidential Candidates Speak Up In Iran
Two conservative figures have announced their intention to be presidential candidates, although a date for the election has not been announced yet. Continuing controversy over who should or should not be a candidate makes it clear that Iran's right wing is not as monolithic as the conservatives' domination of the February 2004 parliamentary election would lead one to believe. -RFE - 12/10/04

The Voices of Sharon's Little Helpers
Ariel Sharon is surrounded by a coterie of "advisors" who step in to develop, perfect and sell plans for the continued and inexorable dispossession of the Palestinians. -CounterPunch - 12/10/04

Factsheet on the Legal and Historical Usage of the “Persian Gulf”
The Iranian Studies Group at MIT has published a factsheet on the legal and historical usage of the term Persian Gulf". The factsheet refers to standards chosen by the United Nations, the United States, and includes references to more than 19 major maps since the mid 18th century that have used that term alone to describe the 600-mile-long body of water which separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula. (pdf file) - 12/10/04

It is essential to talk to the 'terrorists'
The rhetoric that we in the west are engaged in "a war on terrorism" is so embedded in our thinking that most accept the phrase without question. So people in America and Britain recoil when it is suggested that they are not facing "terrorism" in the Middle East, but something quite different: a sophisticated, asymmetrical, broad-based and irregular insurgency -Guardian - 12/10/04

Iranian Cyberjournalist Fershteh Ghazi Released
Journalist Fershteh Ghazi was released from prison on 7 December 2004 after paying bail of 500 million rials (about 50,000 euros). She was arrested on 28 October for having contributed to reformist Internet sites. - 12/10/04

Madrid to host first Iranology congress
The first congress on Iranology will be held in the Spanish capital on December 13. The outstanding Spanish Iranologists will be gathered at the three-day congress to present their research works and viewpoints on Iran and Iranology. - 12/10/04

Iranian Kurd refugees leave for Sweden; hundreds remain in no man's land
For more than a year and a half, they had lived under tents in the inhospitable desert of the no man's land between Jordan and Iraq. In the early hours of Thursday, waiting for the plane that was to take them to their new life in Sweden, the group of 185 Iranian Kurd refugees at Amman airport could hardly believe their luck. -UNHCR - 12/10/04

Engineers from Iran get help finding work here, as engineers!
Saeed Ziaee is a mechanical engineer. He came here from Iran a dozen years ago. You might say he felt the need for change. He opposed the Shah; he adds, with a rueful laugh, that he was also the first man thrown in jail after the revolution. He now runs a successful business in Toronto -Toronto Star - 12/10/04

Quake hits area in Fars province, southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted the area of Ooz in this southern province on Friday morning. - 12/10/04

Iran to establish news agency for nuclear affairs
Iran is to establish a special news agency for covering nuclear affairs with talks next week between Teheran and the European Union's so-called big three big - Germany, France and Britain - likely to be one of the service's first new reporting jobs. -Expatica - 12/10/04

Iranian film wins Indian honour
Iranian picture Beautiful City has won the main prize at the International Film Festival of India. -BBC - 12/10/04

Shiite Groups Unite to Run in Iraq Elections Next Month
The alliance leaders angrily rejected accusations by King Abdullah of Jordan and President Ghazi al-Yawer of Iraq about the influence Iran is trying to exert on the election. -NYT - 12/10/04

UN concern over Iran's nuclear technology
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has suggested that Iran's nuclear technology represents an effective deterrent that should be dealt with through a security dialogue as well as inspections.-Financial Times - 12/10/04

Zandi in talks with Iran football federation: German official
A spokesperson for German Bundesliga club FC Kaiserslautern said there are ongoing talks between German-Iranian midfield star Fereydoon Zandi and Iran's Football Federation regarding a possible call-up for the Iranian national football team. - 12/10/04

Persian Gulf needs new security framework, says IISS
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Friday called for a new security framework for the Persian Gulf to include Iran, Iraq and Yemen as well as the members of the existing Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. - 12/10/04

EU-Iran to launch long-term cooperation talks
The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani will meet the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany in Brussels on Monday to officially talk on a long-term nuclear cooperation agreement. - 12/10/04

Analysis: The Iranian Nuclear Imbroglio
A year ago, efforts to rein in Iran's alleged nuclear-weapons program looked like a triumph of multilateral diplomacy. Now they look like a diplomatic quagmire with no end in sight. -RFE - 12/9/04

UN official warns of 'enormous task' to prevent natural disasters
After a year of devastating natural disasters, from the earthquake in Bam, Iran, to the recent typhoons in the Philippines, the United Nations' most senior humanitarian official warned today that the world faces an "enormous task" in preventing and preparing for these emergencies while mitigating their after-effects on an increasingly vulnerable population. - 12/9/04

Iran's Caspian caviar business on the rocks
Sturgeon stocks, and a multi-million-dollar industry, could be headed for extinction -AFP - 12/9/04

For Full- and Part-Time Vegetarians
SILK ROAD COOKING: A VEGETARIAN JOURNEY (by Najmieh Batmanglij - Mage Publishers) is like a good novel — once you start, it's hard to put down. It is ideal for those who like to read cookbooks as much as cook from them. - 12/9/04

Aliyev satisfied with economic projects with Iran
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over implementation of joint economic projects with Iran. - 12/9/04

US Congress Moves to Cut Aid to Allies That Support World Criminal Court
Amid persistent tensions between the United States and its allies, the Republican-led Congress is expected to ban tens of millions of dollars in U.S. economic aid to some of its closest friends overseas unless they formally agree to exempt U.S. citizens from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). - 12/9/04

Rumsfeld holds meetings in India
It is the first high-level contact since George W Bush's re-election and comes amid Delhi's concern over US arms sales to Pakistan. -BBC - 12/9/04

Armenia offers Gazprom role in Iran pipeline project
Armenia's government and Gazprom are discussing a role for the Russian gas giant in the construction of the Kadjaran - Ararat section of the gas pipeline between Armenia and Iran. -Interfax - 12/9/04

ThyssenKrupp succumbs to US pressure over Iran's board membership
German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp gave in to American pressure as Iran is to vacate its seat on the corporate's supervisory board, DPA said Thursday. - 12/9/04

Iran, the WTO and the decline of national politics
In mid-December Islamic Iran will put forward its twentieth request to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Its previous nineteen requests were rejected by the WTO, which operates on the unanimous consensus of its nearly 150 member states. -Media Monitors Network - 12/9/04

U.S. starts building pressure on Iran
As U.S. troops battle to stabilize Iraq, some officials in the Bush administration are planning to turn up the heat on Iran, another member of the president's axis of evil. -Detroit Free Press - 12/9/04

EU, China say Iran's nuclear issue should be solved by IAEA
A joint statement issued after the EU-China summit in the Hague Wednesday afternoon said, "China and the EU appreciate their respective efforts in facilitating a political resolution of the Iran nuclear issue. - 12/9/04

Powell: US working with EU on Iran's nuclear programme
The outgoing American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, Wednesday said the US and the European Union were working together to get a complete transparency on Iran's unclear programme - 12/9/04

Elam to Get First Ever Museum
The Archeological Museum is still under construction and is scheduled for inner decoration by mid 2005, if properly funded, announced Ferydon Mahmoodi, head of Elam’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO). - 12/9/04

Women's activist deported to Iran despite fear of persecution
A woman was deported to Iran Tuesday despite her claims that she'll face punishment, possibly even death, for her history as a women's rights activist there. -Global BC - 12/9/04

Iran: Experts to Evaluate Halilroud Civilization in Feb Seminar
An international seminar on the defunct Halilroud civilization, in southern Iran, would be held in Jiroft on February 1-2, 2005 - 12/9/04

New militia divides hardliners in Iran
A new paramilitary group is sparking a skirmish between Iranian hardliners for power and position in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections. -Eurasianet - 12/9/04

U.S. Urges Iran Not To Interfere In Iraq Vote
The United States today urged Iran not to interfere in the Iraqi elections set for 30 January. -RFE - 12/9/04

UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef: Iran Journal, April 25-May 1, 2004
When visa restrictions prevented the president of the University of Tehran from visiting UC Davis, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef decided to take UC Davis to Iran in an effort to reestablish student and scholar exchanges and to promote cultural understanding. - 12/8/04

Iranian Democrats Establish a United Front
After years of bitter internal divisions and a series of crackdowns from the Islamic republic, the Iranian democratic opposition in the last two weeks has organized a united front to push for a referendum on the powers of the supreme leader. -New York Sun - 12/8/04

How Bush's War on Terror Has Helped to Silence Reformers Across the Middle East
One of the first victims of this war was the Iranian reformist president Mohammad Khatami. President Bush's declaration of Iran as an axis of evil in his State of the Union address in 2002 was delivered at a moment when Islamic Republic had supported the American rout of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iran had thrown its full support behind the transitional government of Hamid Karzai. But a reform movement in Iran cannot survive when the Administration continually waves the flag of regime change. -Behrooz Ghamari, CounterPunch - 12/8/04

Iran, France, Malaysia enter Pars LNG deal
Iran, France and Malaysia on Tuesday finalized and signed an agreement, which envisions terms and conditions for implementation of the so-called Pars LNG project. - 12/8/04

Experts Revamp Fort in Yazd
Operations are currently underway to restore a historic adobe fortification of the Iranian central city of Yazd - 12/8/04

Iran's Karimi and Japan's Sawa receive AFC Player of the Year awards
Karimi dazzled everyone, not only with his locks but also his skills as he single handedly demolished Korea Rep. in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup China 2004. - 12/8/04

EU leaders to discuss ties with Iran
The Islamic Republic's relations with the European Union will be on the agenda of the EU summit in Brussels on 16-17 December, said EU sources. - 12/8/04

Young Iranian criminals fear execution day
Instead of celebrating his 18th birthday at home with friends and family this month, Ali Torabi will be wondering if it will be his last. Torabi is one of at least 12 juvenile offenders sentenced to death by Iran's hardline courts and held in detention centres until they are deemed old enough to be executed without attracting international criticism, human rights activists say. -Reuters - 12/8/04

Low rate of productivity blamed for weakness in Iran's industry, economy
Low rate of productivity is a major weakness of the country's mines and industries sectors, said Minister of Industries and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri in Saveh on Tuesday. - 12/8/04

Iran officials held over theater festival
Three officials in the province of Khosestan in southern Iran have been arrested on charges of encouraging corruption by sponsoring a theater festival. -UPI - 12/8/04

Despite Cabinet Shuffle, Neocon Ideology Remains
Whither the neocons was the great question of the Bush campaign. And it was, perhaps, the most important question of the entire 2004 election, because it would define Bush's doctrine of preemption. But it was not answered until last weekend, when Rumsfeld confirmed that he was keeping his job. -Boston Globe - 12/8/04

HIV lessons in madrassahs
The war on terror has heaped much negative attention on Pakistan's madrassahs. But two nongovernmental organizations view the network of religious schools as a potential partner in their effort to bring AIDS awareness and prevention to the country. -CSM - 12/8/04

Israeli Arab held as 'Iran spy'
Israeli security forces have arrested an Arab Israeli citizen on suspicion of spying for Iran. -BBC - 12/8/04

Iran's Parliament to be asked to ratify UN Convention against Corruption
A bill on Iran's membership to the United Nations Convention against Corruption will be presented to the parliament - 12/8/04

The Iran Case: Addressing Why Countries Want Nuclear Weapons
Iran’s possible development of nuclear weapons has now come front and center in U.S. foreign policy, as well as in consideration overall of preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. -Arms Control Today - 12/7/04

Progress made in talks on Persian Gulf between NIAC and National Geographic
Significant progress was made in convincing the National Geographic Society to correct inaccuracies in their current edition of the “Atlas of the World” during Monday’s high-level meeting between NIAC and National Geographic’s executive team, headed by President John Fahey. - 12/7/04

Vanunu: Israeli nukes push neighbor states to get atomic arms
"Iran doesn't need, I think, atomic bombs. Iran doesn't want to fight any state with atomic bombs," he said. "But because the world [is] ignoring Israel, that pushes Iran and other states to try to be equal with Israel." -AP - 12/7/04

Baha'is Face Continuing Harassment In Iran
Some 300,000 Baha'is live in Iran, where their religion was founded in the mid-19th century. Iran is also where Baha'is have long faced harassment and persecution for their beliefs. -RFE - 12/7/04

Record rise in Iran's assets more than matched by liabilities
Iran's deposits with western banks have risen to a record of dlrs 20 billion in the first half of 2004, but the increase has been more than offset by a record surge in liabilities. - 12/7/04

MKO Influence in U.S. Politics
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the President of the United States issued Executive Order 13224. This order ostensibly blocked the assets of terrorist organizations and individuals associated with terrorism. The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organziation (aka MKO, MEK, National Council of Resistance of Iran, NCRI, People's Mojahedin of Iran, PMOI, et al.) is one such listed terrorist organization. -Brad Hernlem - 12/7/04

Total concludes LNG agreement with National Iranian Oil Company
The French oil giant Total announced on Tuesday it has concluded an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), setting the framework of the future Pars Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project and its main commercial terms. - 12/7/04

Iran's Karimi voted 2004 AFC Player of the Year: official
Gifted striker of Iran's football squad, Ali Karimi, was elected as AFC Player of the Year 2004, a Football Federation official said on condition of anonymity Monday. - 12/7/04

Iran: A tumultuous time captured in Isfahan's portrait photography
Hundreds of images and thorough research produce a unique documentary of a nation in transition, 1920-1950 -Daily Star - 12/7/04

Iran's Al-MahdiAluminum Complex to be privatized
Iran's aluminum production giant, Al-Mahdi Aluminum Complex, will be privatized, Deputy Industries Minister and Head of the Mines and Mineral Industries Development and Renovation Organization Mostafa Mo'azzenzadeh said in Tehran on Monday. - 12/7/04

Students heckle Iranian president
Students chanted "Shame on you" and "Where are your promised freedoms?" to express their frustration with the failure of Iran's reform movement. -BBC - 12/7/04

India pushes pipeline plan with Iran
Visiting Indian oil minister made new proposals Monday to nudge forward plans to build a $4 billion gas pipeline to take Iranian gas to India through Pakistan. -CNN - 12/7/04

Inflation in Iran rises further to 12.9 percent
The Central Bank of Iran's (CBI) monthly report listed eggs, chicken, flour, wheat, corn, rooted and leaved vegetables, tomato paste, sugar, sugar beets, cooking oil, benzene, propane, butane, soaps, iron, steel, copper, shoes, rubber and machine-made carpets as the items which cost more. - 12/7/04

British, Iranian Archeologists Excavate Bushehr Sites
A team of Iranian and British archeologists will conduct research for one month in the southern province of Bushehr province, local officials announced - 12/7/04

Iran's Nuclear Energy Program. Part IV: Economic Analysis of the Program
Over the past two years, Iran's program for constructing the complete cycle for producing enriched uranium - the fuel for nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants (NPPs) - has been the subject of intense discussions. -Muhammad Sahimi - 12/7/04

Iran: Torture Used to Obtain ‘Confessions’
Secret squads operating under the authority of the Iranian judiciary have used torture to force detained Internet journalists and civil society activists to write self-incriminatory “confession letters,” Human Rights Watch said today. - 12/7/04

How are Iranians and Greeks portrayed in the Alexander movie?
Hollywood has just released one of the latest of its epic blockbusters: Alexander the Great. Directed by distinguished director Oliver Stone, the movie endeavours to recreate the events of the Hellenic conquests and the downfall of the first Persian Achaemenid Empire. It is important to note however, that simply because a movie is high budget, casts high profile Hollywood actors and is directed by top ranking directors, does not make it flawless. -Kaveh Farrokh - 12/7/04

EU, China to sign several agreements, including one on nuclear cooperation
The European Union and China are set to sign a number of new agreements during their 7th annual summit on Wednesday in The Hague to further boost their strategic partnership. - 12/6/04

Reza Pahlavi of Iran discusses the Persian Gulf with the National Geographic
Reza Pahlavi of Iran was received, on Friday, December 3rd, by John M. Fahey, Jr., President and CEO, of the National Geographic Society for the purpose of bringing clarity to the issue of National Geographic's recent usage of a secondary name (Arabian Gulf) for the Persian Gulf. - 12/6/04

An Islamic Democracy for Iraq?
Is ''Islamic democracy'' really possible? Or is it something meaningless, like ''Jewish science,'' say, or contradictory, like ''people's democracy'' under Communism? -NYT - 12/6/04

Oil Minister: Iran to lay more important role in global energy supply
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Monday that Iran is seeking to play a more effective role in meeting global energy demands. - 12/6/04

Iran Hints It Sped Up Enriching Uranium as a Ploy
Iranian officials have hinted in recent days that they sped up their enrichment of uranium in the past year to put Iran in a better position to negotiate with the West. -NYT - 12/6/04

Ten Iranian sailors die in Persian Gulf storm
Ten Iranian sailors died when their wooden fishing boat was caught up in a severe storm in the Persian Gulf on Saturday night. - 12/6/04

Iranian students heckle Khatami
Students, once the backbone of Iran's reformist movement, have heckled and harangued President Mohammad Khatami, accusing him of lacking the courage to deliver promised democratic reforms in the Islamic state. -Reuters - 12/6/04

Foreign direct investments best suited for Iran
The MP from Tehran said on Sunday that direct foreign investments is the most beneficial and important approach among alternative types of foreign investments. - 12/6/04

Iran's Zanganeh: OPEC not likely to change output quotas in Cairo
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran on Monday that OPEC is unlikely to change oil production quotas in its Cairo meeting on December 10. - 12/6/04

Iranian President Khatami defends his reform program
President Mohammad Khatami on Monday defended his reform program at the 'The Student Day' ceremony saying the Islamic Republic of Iran is the best model for developing democracy in Iran. - 12/6/04

The EU, US, Israel and Iran: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the "Mullahs"
The international community now realizes that Iran--with missiles that can reach London, Paris, Berlin and southern Russia - does not only pose a threat to the security of Israel, but to the security and stability of the whole world. -Sasan Fayazmanesh, CounterPunch - 12/5/04

Iran to invest 70 billion dollars in oil, gas sectors in 4th plan
Deputy Oil Minister Akbar Torkan said in Tehran on Sunday that dlrs 70 billion will be invested in the oil and gas sectors in the fourth five-year economic development plan (2005-10). - 12/5/04

Utah author finds Iran to be ever-evolving
Below the surface: Despite official bans, many young Iranians are in tune with American culture and technology -Salt Lake Tribune - 12/5/04

Alexander the Fake
Several years ago an Iranian filmmaker had produced a TV serial about a certain period of the Iranian history. His version of the history was full of mistakes and he had moved in and out of the story some of the historical events arbitrarily and without any historical documentation or authentication. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 12/5/04

"Women went to war" in ancient Iran
These days Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the football field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield. -Reuters - 12/5/04

Iran determined to increase LNG output
The National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) has stepped up efforts to allocate the required feed and other logistics to three LNG big projects in southern Iran in a determined bid to push Iran's LNG output. - 12/5/04

A Pathetic Charade: Democracy, Bush-style, in Persian Gulf
Bush demands that Iraq should be a democracy within two years of his invasion of the country. He demands that Iran become a democracy right now. Why does he not demand that Kuwait become a democracy right now? -CounterPunch - 12/5/04

Quake rattles southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Gachsaran in the southern province of Kohkilouyeh-Boyer Ahmad on Sunday. - 12/5/04

Price drop prompts oil quota call
Members of the oil exporters' group Opec are pushing to cut back on rampant over-production to halt the fall of oil prices from their recent record levels. -BBC - 12/5/04

Iran's hydropower capacity to reach 5,500 mw before May, 2005
The deputy energy minister for water affairs said the country's current hydropower capacity is expected to reach 5,500 megawatts by the time President Khatami leaves office in May 2005, the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' wrote on Sunday. - 12/5/04

Repentant members of terrorist MKO to receive pardon from Iranian government
Speaking at a gathering of the former members of the terrorist MKO called 'The Salvation Society', Taheri said that the government supports the activities of families of the former members of the terrorist group being made in the context of 'The Salvation Society'. - 12/5/04

Iran rejects US report, pledges cooperation over military sites
Iran brushed aside Sunday a US report that UN inspectors had sought to access two alleged secret military sites, and vowed to cooperate with the world nuclear watchdog to disprove 'the Americans' false claim'. - 12/5/04

At Crucial Juncture, Iran Seeks Edge on U.S.
In an effort to contain U.S. influence along Iran's borders and preempt U.S. action, they said, Tehran is trying to exploit two trump cards -- its influence over neighboring countries and rising international demand for oil. -Washington Post - 12/5/04

Outcry against distortion of Persian Gulf continues
Sadeq Ziba-Kalam, a professor of political science at Tehran University said, "The basic point is that such measures are considered by many Iranians as a kind of transgression into the country's history, civilization and culture." - 12/4/04

Iran's Nuclear Issue
Imagine a pious Muslim faced with a ban on fabricating a certain kind of weapon. He is committed to obeying unquestioningly the fatwas of his religious leader and yet discovers that producing such a weapon, or threatening to do so, is a strong lever for gaining benefits from a powerful group living in the neighborhood. Replace "a pious Muslim" with "Iran," and "a powerful group" with the 25-member European Union (EU), and the above sentences aptly sum up the current Iranian-EU relationship. - 12/4/04

International Crisis Group: Situation in Iran has improved
Four countries including Iran saw their situations improve in November, according to the "CrisisWatch," a monthly brief on current and potential crises published by a Brussels-based think-tank, the International Crisis Group (ICG). - 12/4/04

Iran's Anger Over a New Map Magnifies a Perception Gulf
The use of Arabian Gulf, and the implication that Iran may somehow be losing its historical claims to dominance of the ancient seas, pierced the cultural pride that pervades the land once known as Persia. -LA Times - 12/4/04

Iran's paradoxical yearning for America
During World War II, Allied soldiers occupied Iran, using the country as a way station to transport supplies from the Persian Gulf to the Soviet Union. As opposed to Britain and Russia, who had a long history of meddling in Iranian affairs, it was Iran's first exposure to Americans. "They arrived in our country with a certain innocence," said the respected Iranian historian Kaveh Bayat, "and without any colonial pretenses." -Daily Star - 12/4/04

FM spokesman underlines Iran's undisputed ownership of trio Pesian Gulf islands
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Saturday reaffirmed Iran's 'undisputed' ownership of the trio islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf south of the country. - 12/4/04

Iran lends weight to Iraq elections - 12/4/04

Iran to host 3rd International Conference on Human Rights
The Third International Conference on Human Rights is to be held during April-May 2005 in Qom, Head of Human Rights Studies Department of Mofid University in Qom Ahmad Shakiba said on Saturday. - 12/4/04

Iran to set up Aryan bank in Afghanistan
A license for establishment of an Iranian bank called 'Aryan bank' was issued Saturday in the capital city of Afghanistan, Kabul. - 12/4/04

Schroeder calls demands for Iran to give up nuke program "unrealistic"
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said no country should expect Iran to give up its civilian nuclear program, calling any demand on it to this effect "unrealistic," the daily Die Welt quoted him as saying Saturday. - 12/4/04

World’s Oldest Backgammon Discovered In Burnt City
The oldest backgammon in the world along with 60 pieces has been unearthed beneath the rubbles of the legendary Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran - 12/4/04

EU nuclear deal suits US as well as Iran, says Jane's editor
The European Union's agreement on Iran's nuclear program temporarily suits the US as well as the Islamic Republic, according to the Iran editor of Jane's Sentinel magazine, Alex Vatanka. - 12/4/04

Geopolitics of the Iranian Bomb
On one side of Iran is Iraq, occupied by U.S. troops; on the other side, like two blocks set wobblingly atop each other, are Afghanistan, also partially occupied by U.S. troops, and our ally Pakistan, which, last I heard (and this is something no one writes about anymore either), was doing a pretty good job of sharing base space with our military somewhere over in the direction of the Iranian border. - 12/4/04

The Idealist Intellectual Syndrome
After torturing myself enough with the agonizing nostalgic feeling about my great Motherland, Persia (Cradle of Civilization) , Glorious Past; after years of mourning for all those garden-alleyways, old houses and gardens turning into ugly apartment buildings with their so-called post-modern Roman and even worse their ‘Proletarian’ architecture, after all those restless nights of Islamic Revolution and eight years war with Iraq, and ... -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 12/3/04

Persian Dilemmas: The discouraging lessons of U.S.-Iranian relations
As the debate on Iran now heats up, Kenneth Pollack is at the ready with a new book: The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America. His previous book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, hit the bookstores at precisely the moment when the world was arguing about goals and strategies for dealing with Iraq. -MSN - 12/3/04

Proud to call it Persian
For 2500 Years, the body of water that separates the Iranians from the Arabs has been called the Persian Gulf. Every single person in history, no matter of their origin, who visited this beautiful gulf, has called it that name for centuries. From Alexander, to Marco Polo, even the brutal Arab and Mongol invaders called this gulf the Persian Gulf and not the Arabian Gulf. -Radman Rabii - 12/3/04

Iran Hard-liners Mark 1983 Attack on U.S. Marines
Iranian hard-liners erected a monument Thursday to commemorate a suicide bombing which killed 241 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon in 1983, witnesses said. -Reuters - 12/3/04

Gritty return for Prince of Persia
Still basking in the relatively recent glory of last year's Sands Of Time, the dashing Prince of Persia is back in Warrior Within, and in a more bellicose mood than last time. -BBC - 12/3/04

Iran inanity
ORWELLIAN bureaucratic rules meant to impose sanctions on undemocratic or unfriendly regimes should not be used to silence democrats who oppose those regimes. Yet that is what the Bush administration has been doing in the case of Shirin Ebadi -Boston Globe - 12/3/04

Ideological gulf inflames Iran
IT TAKES a lot to unite the Iranians, but National Geographic magazine has pulled it off. Everyone from the most devout mullah to the most fervent moderniser is unanimous in a furious response to what was perceived as a perfidious attack on the country’s proud civilisation and long history. -Times, UK - 12/3/04

White House getting used to idea of Shia government
As American troop reinforcements head to Iraq, the Bush administration is slowly coming to terms with the realisation that elections scheduled for next month could spell the end of Iyad Allawi, prime minister and the secular US favourite, and usher in a quasi-theocracy. -Financial Times - 12/3/04

International weapons conventions in Iran, Iraq
In no less than hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, our press has tirelessly reported on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, or rather—in characteristic shorthand—on “Iran’s efforts to develop the capability to make nuclear weapons” -Axis of Logic - 12/3/04

IAEA official denies NYT report on Iranian sites
International Atomic Energy Agency's pokesperson Melissa Fleming denied in Vienna Friday an American newspaper report concerning IAEA request for inspecting 'Lavisan II'. - 12/3/04

Rafsanjani says Iran expected to join club of nuclear states soon
Making the remark before thousands of worshipers who had gathered at Tehran University campus for the Friday Prayers ritual, Rafsanjani made it clear that Tehran is in no way going to forsake its legal and international right to gain access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. - 12/3/04

Human rights excluded from EU nuclear deal with Iran, UK confirms
Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons has confirmed that there is no human rights conditions attached to the European Union's diplomatic agreement reached with Iran on its nuclear programme. - 12/3/04

History of Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf is a crescent-shape groove which has demonstrated the encroachment of the Indian Ocean waters (Gulf of Oman) in a span of 900 km long and 240 km wide in the inferior folds of southern Zagros Mountains. The Persian Gulf and its neighboring countries constitute almost one ninth of the 44 million square km span of the Asian continent. -CHN - 12/2/04

Iranian Cyberjournalist Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh Released
Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release of journalist Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh who was freed on 30 November after putting up bail of 300 million rials (around 30,000 euros). She had been arrested on 1st November 2004, for contributing to reformist Internet websites. - 12/2/04

Time to engage Iran?
Iran does not want a clash with the United States. And unlike Milosevic and Saddam, neither of whom wanted a war, either, Iran is determined not to give the neoconservatives the pretext to launch one. -Patrick J. Buchanan, World Net Daily - 12/2/04

Iran’s forbidden voice
Following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, dance and some types of music have been considered illegal by the Iranian government. Female singers are not permitted to have any activities in Iran. After Islamic clerics took power, they declared that female voices corrupted Iranian men. -Al Bawaba - 12/2/04

San Ramon Library adding a dash of culture
Firoozeh Dumas moved from Iran to southern California in 1972 when she was 7 years old. Dumas has been on a journey ever since, a journey of understanding. The author of the best-selling book "Funny in Farsi," which chronicles her family's transition to America, will bring her life lessons to San Ramon tonight. -Tri-Valley Herald - 12/2/04

Arms Inspectors Said to Seek Access to Iran Sites
International inspectors are requesting access to two secret Iranian military sites where intelligence suggests that Tehran's Ministry of Defense may be working on atomic weapons, despite the agreement that Iran reached this week to suspend its production of enriched uranium, according to diplomats here. -NYT - 12/2/04

Iran, Armenia stress expansion of energy cooperation
The Iranian minister is in Armenia to participate in the inauguration ceremony of exchange of electricity and laying down a gas pipeline between the two countries. - 12/2/04

Lawyer in Kazemi case ordered to stay in Iran
The student news agency ISNA said Mohammad Seifzadeh was told he could not leave Iran when he tried to fly out on personal business. -AFP - 12/2/04

Iran arrests 'spy' faking nuclear company
Iran's Intelligence Ministry has announced the arrest of a "spy" accused of setting up a fake nuclear company as part of a bizarre international plot to damage the Islamic republic's reputation. -AFP - 12/2/04

Armed robber publicly hanged in southeastern Iran
An armed robber, convicted of murder and holding illegal fire arms, has been publicly hanged in the town of Saravan in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan. - 12/2/04

Activists Crawl Through Web to Untangle U.S. Secrecy
To combat the Bush administration's penchant for secrecy, U.S. citizens have been forced to unearth new sources for information they once read in their daily newspapers. But thanks to a few dedicated individuals and not-for-profit groups -- and the Internet -- such material is easier to come by than ever before. -IPS - 12/2/04

Columbia University's Hysterical Professor
Others may have sympathized on learning that Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Middle East studies at Columbia University, felt threatened by a graduate student at his own university, but not me. -Daniel Pipes - 12/2/04

Japan calls for expansion of industrial cooperation with Iran
Japanese Ambassador to Iran Hideaki Domichi on Wednesday called for expansion of cooperation with Iran in various fields in line with Iran's economic growth. - 12/2/04

US Penalizes Chinese and North Korean Firms for Missile Aid to Iran
The United States said Wednesday it has imposed sanctions against four Chinese business entities and a North Korean state company for selling missiles or weapons of mass destruction technology to Iran. -VOA - 12/2/04

Why Iran wants its own nuclear deterrent
Iran's declaration Tuesday that suspension of nuclear enrichment is only temporary shows how far European powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remain from substantially slowing Iran's move toward a nuclear bomb. -CSM - 12/2/04

'One cannot expect a drastic change'
Amir Reza, an Iranian who contracted Aids through transfusions for a blood disorder, talks about how he has been managing his illness for the past year. -BBC - 12/2/04

FBI Searches Pro-Israel Lobbyists' Office
FBI agents searched files and served subpoenas Wednesday at the offices of the major pro-Israel lobbying organization as part of an investigation into whether Israel improperly obtained classified U.S. information on Iran. -AP - 12/2/04

201 Iranian lawmakers condemn recent US crimes in Iraq
A statement issued in Tehran on Wednesday by 201 parliament members, condemned the recent US crimes and called upon the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to urge the UN Security Council members take measures to end the occupation of Iraq. - 12/2/04

Iran: Latest Excavations Season to Start Tomorrow in Burnt City
The latest season of archeological excavations in the Burnt City of Sistan-Baluchistan province starts Thursday, Dec 2 mainly in its graveyard in a bid to learn more about its inhabitants’ race, height, sanitation and diet over 5,000 years ago. -CHN - 12/2/04

Conference of Interior Ministers of Iraq Neighbors wraps up in Tehran
The Conference of the Interior Ministers of the Neighboring Countries of Iraq wrapped up on Wednesday after issuing a nine-point final communique. - 12/2/04

U.S., Iran to share library materials
U.S. and Iranian officials have signed an agreement to share library materials, giving scholars in America their first access to such items from Iran since Islamic militants took over the U.S. Embassy there in 1979. -AP - 12/2/04

There are worse things than a nuclear Iran
With so much attention now focused on Iran's nuclear potential and intentions, the bottom-line assumption is that Europe and America cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. But that may not be the worst option. -IHT - 12/2/04

Menar Jonban: The Swinging Minarets of Isfahan
I had heard a lot about Menar Jonban and was so curious to visit the place. So when we finally visited Iran in the summer of 2002, that was a must see on our itinerary. -Ali Moayedian - 12/1/04

Morale issue confronts Iranians in renaming of Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf Organization has received several thousand e-mails in the past week because of the action taken by the National Geographic Society (NGS) to include under “Persian Gulf” an incorrect name in the recently published World Map -Mohammad Ala - 12/1/04

Fundamentalists’ New Aggression
My hopeful heart absurdly believed that they will not kill Mrs. Abbas; never. Still, they killed Mrs. Margaret Abbas too. -Massoud Behnoud - 12/1/04

Iran fights to keep Gulf Persian
Iran has stepped up its campaign to ensure the body of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula is known as the Persian, not the Arabian, Gulf. -BBC - 12/1/04

Iran, China sign MoU on enhanced aerospace cooperation
Iran and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Beijing on Tuesday to consolidate bilateral cooperation in the field of aerospace technology and sciences. - 12/1/04

HIV Infections Mount In Uzbekistan As Prostitution Rises
There are an estimated 32,000 Central Asians between the ages of 15 and 49 infected with HIV and AIDS. In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, nearly one-third of them are women, many of them prostitutes. -RFE - 12/1/04

THE PERSIAN PUZZLE The Conflict Between Iran and America
Now, in his latest book, "The Persian Puzzle," Pollack addresses the United States' relationship with one of Iraq's more troubling neighbors: Iran - a country that has supported terrorism and allegedly pursued nuclear weapons. -IHT - 12/1/04

Iran planning to attract 400,000 German tourists by 2009: official
Iranian vice-president and head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hossein Marashi predicted that up to 400,000 German tourists would visit Iran over the next five years. Marashi who is currently in Germany for an official visit, added last year only 16,000 German tourists visited the Islamic republic. - 12/1/04

Israeli envoy says Iran trying to foil peace prospects
Iran is increasing support for anti-Israel terrorists to jeopardize chances for successful Palestinian elections and a resumption of the peace process after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Daniel Ayalon charged Tuesday. -USA Today - 12/1/04

Bush Takes Conciliatory Tone on Iran
The United States is taking a time-out from browbeating Iran about developing nuclear weapons, giving way - for now, a least - while the Europeans try to sweet-talk Iran's uranium enrichment to a permanent halt. -AP - 12/1/04

Two lions escape Iranian zoo cage and kill guard
Two lions slipped free from a zoo cage in northern Iran and mauled to death their guard, a camel and a dog, media reported on Wednesday. -Reuters - 12/1/04

Red Crescent buys NewSat broadband for Iran aid
Communications provider and distributor Multiemedia has added to a string of Middle East contract wins inking a $1 million deal with the Iranian Red Crescent Society to deliver satellite broadband to disaster recovery and relief operations in Iran. -iTnews, Australia - 12/1/04

Neo-Cons Hop On Extreme Right's Anti-UN Drive
Daunted by setbacks in Iraq and the prospective difficulties in achieving ''regime change'' in Iran and North Korea, neo-conservative hawks have joined the U.S. extreme right in training their sights on a much weaker target, the United Nations, beginning with its secretary-general, Kofi Annan. -IPS - 12/1/04

Red Cross: Guantanamo Tactics 'Tantamount to Torture'
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has accused the U.S. military of using tactics "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay -Reuters - 12/1/04

Quake hits southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the district of Galledar in the southern province of Fars early Wednesday. - 12/1/04

Iran to grant scholarship to Saudi students
Visiting Iranian Minister of Sciences, Research and Technology Ja'far Towfiqi said in Riyadh on Tuesday night that Saudi students will be granted scholarships to study in Iran. - 12/1/04

Iraq: Worried By Kurdish Ambitions, Turkomans Seek Greater Recognition
Iraqi Kurds have long sought to make the northern city Kirkuk the capital of an independent Kurdistan. It's a goal that has raised fears among the more than 3 million Turkomans living in northern Iraq. -RFE - 12/1/04

Iranian Kurd refugees in central Iraq camp face bleak conditions - UN
Nearly 3,000 Iranian Kurds in a camp in central Iraq, cut off for the past two weeks from outside help because of fighting in the region, are facing bleak conditions with no water or electricity although food has reached them, the United Nations refugee agency said today. - 12/1/04

Daei looks to 2006
Record-breaking Iran striker Ali Daei - the first player in the history of international football to score 100 goals - has told the BBC he plans to continue playing for his country until 2006, and potentially the World Cup finals. - 12/1/04

PAKISTAN: First Asia-Pacific Conference on HIV/AIDS and women
Around 300 delegates from different countries, including Nepal, India, Iran, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, China, Bangladesh, and Cambodia are participating in conference. -IRIN - 12/1/04

Sistani pulls main Shia parties together to dominate Iraq poll
Iraq's Shia parties have built a powerful political alliance uniting moderates with extremists and seem likely to dominate next month's general election. The coalition, formed in weeks of private negotiations, will put forward a joint list of candidates. -Guardian - 12/1/04

Bush Wary of Tehran's Nuclear Intentions
U.S. President George W. Bush (left) listens to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin duirng a joint news conference in Ottawa President Bush says Iran's decision to suspend its uranium enrichment program is just a first step and more needs to be done to curtail Tehran's nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 12/1/04

Iranian President expresses concern about terror, insurgency, violence in Iraq
Addressing a meeting of interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring states, President Khatami touched on negative consequences of terrorism, saying terror has spilled over to all the world and regional states with its adverse effects such criminal operations being evident in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. - 12/1/04

UN Persian Website on HIV/AIDS for Iranians
On the occasion of World AIDS Day on Wednesday, the UN HIV/AIDS Theme Group in the Islamic Republic of Iran will launch its bilingual Persian and English Website to allow Iranian women and men to have access to the latest information on HIV/AIDS in Persian. - 12/1/04

NIAC to Meet with National Geographic Executives
The National Iranian American Council is scheduled to meet with President John Fahey and other top executives of National Geographic at their headquarters in Washington, DC on December 6. In a rapid two-pronged campaign, NIAC and other Iranian-American organizations have put intense pressure on National Geographic for its misnaming of the Persian Gulf in its recent World Atlas. - 12/1/04

Five Iranian webloggers jailed
Reporters Without Borders has strongly protested against the Iran's relentless efforts to stifle free expression online after the arrest of five webloggers in less than two months, the latest on 28 November 2004. - 12/1/04

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