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Iran's inner and outer circles of influence and power
The power of Shiite Muslim clergy has eroded in favor of various competing groups within a unique religious, civil, social and bureaucratic framework. -Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times - 12/31/07

BOOK: Iran and Its Place among Nations
Iran and Its Place among Nations takes a bird's-eye view of where Iran has been in the international community, where it is today, and where it may ideally end up in the future. -Authors: Alidad Mafinezam and Aria Mehrabi - 12/31/07

The Filmmakers talk about PERSEPOLIS
Interviews with Co-Writer and Directors Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, Art Director Marc Jousset, and Composer Olivier Bernet - 12/31/07

Iran, Malaysia to sign Golshan, Ferdowsi downstream deal in 6 months
Malaysia's SKS Ventures managing director Sunday said the contract on the downstream sector of Golshan and Ferdowsi fields and their LNG systems would be signed within the next six months. -IRNA - 12/31/07

Iran not to forgo its Caspian Sea share: FM Spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran on Monday that according to the "principle of justice", Iran's share of the Caspian Sea resources will be around 20 percent. -IRNA - 12/31/07

Tehran mayor insists on decentralization in management affairs
Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf said on Monday that the country's major problems originate from weak management and blamed "administrative-political structure" as one of the reasons behind underdevelopment in the country. -MNA - 12/31/07

An American in Iran
Imam Khomeini International in Tehran looks much like any big new airport, except that its long corridors bear posters declaring this the Year of National Unity and Islamic Solidarity, rather than ads for lipstick and perfume. Still, it does not take long for an American passport-holder to meet with deeper differences. -New York Review of Books - 12/31/07

The BBC Persian Service 1941-79
The Persian Service radio, originally launched during the final years of the Second World War, has played a major role in relations between the UK and the Persian-speaking world at crucial political conjunctures. -Massoumeh Torfeh, CASMII - 12/31/07

Iran gives early date for reactor
Iran says its Bushehr nuclear power will start working in mid-2008. -BBC - 12/31/07

Iran's annual software exports at $40m
Iran's software exports will reach $40 million by the end of its current year (March 19), predicted deputy commerce minister here on Monday. -MNA - 12/31/07

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art to showcase Riccardo Zipoli photos
Zipoli is a professor of Persian language and literature at the University of Venice where he himself studied. Iranian photographer Seifollah Samadian is acting as secretary of the event. - 12/30/07

British company purchases copyright of Iranian film "Banana Rind"
The movie narrates the story of a young man named Hamid who slips into a coma after an accident. He finds himself in purgatory where his ghost falls in love with the ghost of a young woman. -MNA - 12/30/07

Iran: Conservatives trying to convince Larijani to run for parliament
Efforts are underway in the conservative camp to convince Ali Larijani, the former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, to run for the March 2008 parliamentary elections. -MNA - 12/30/07

Exhibition: Paintings of Koroush Shishegaran in New York
Koroush Shishegaran, the famous Iranian painter who has been awarded in various national and international painting competitions, is going to display his paintings in New York. - 12/30/07

Winners of fifth Tehran Sculpture Biennial announced
The winners of the fifth Tehran Contemporary Sculpture Biennial were announced during a ceremony held at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesday. -MNA - 12/30/07

Iran denies altering 1975 Algiers agreement
Iran's ambassador to Baghdad regarding Labid Abavi's remarks explained an Iraqi board would come to Iran but only to discuss the implementation of Algiers agreement. -ISNA - 12/30/07

Tehran's Astronomy Center to hold space exhibition
Cosmonaut Georgi Grechko, an active member of the International Academy of Astronautics, accompanied by Russian-based Iranian astronomy scholar Cyrus Borzu, has traveled to Iran to attend the event. - 12/30/07

Egypt to import wheat from Iran
Egypt's Ministry of Commerce and Industries announced on Saturday that talks are underway with Iranian officials for signing an agreement to purchase 200,000 tons of wheat from Iran. -IRNA - 12/30/07

Critic calls international section of Fajr Film Festival a big joke
The international section of the Fajr Film Festival has been described as a big joke by Iranian critic Ali Mo'allem. "The section is merely disseminative, it has been a big joke," he told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday. - 12/30/07

First cargo shipping line launched between Iran, UAE
The first shipping line was established between this Iranian island in the Persian Gulf and the United Arab Emirates to transit different cargos between the two sides, a local official said on Sunday. -IRNA - 12/30/07

Iran's steel production reaches 12 million tones
Iran has increased steel production reaching a 12-percent escalation in private section and a 4-percent growth in state companies. -ISNA - 12/30/07

Call for journalist's release after he has double heart attack in Tehran's Evin prison
Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried about the health of journalist and human rights activist Emadoldin Baghi, who was rushed to hospital after suffering a double heart attack in Tehran's Evin prison on 26 December and was returned to a general wing of the prison yesterday evening. He has been held in Evin for the past 74 days. - 12/29/07

Iran summons 50 footballers for World Cup qualifiers
Mansur Ebrahimzadeh, a Sepahan coach, who was picked as an assistant of future manager, announced the 50-strong list as his first move. -ISNA - 12/29/07

Despite benefits, few Iranian Jews want to live here
Surprisingly enough, there are few real restrictions on immigration from Iran. It's relatively simple, traveling through a third country. And to make it even easier, the agency pays for potential Iranian immigrants to come to Israel and see it for themselves before taking the plunge. -Haaretz, Israel - 12/29/07

Iran basketball player dies in car accident
Aidin Nikkhah-Bahrami, a member of Iran's national basketball team, was killed in a car accident Friday. -MNA - 12/29/07

Former Iran President: Non-tolerance of criticisms unjust
"Justice, democracy and deciding their own fate are not blessings bestowed to the public by power holders -- the things which they (the power holders) refuse to do. People should gain them themselves," said Khatami. -IRNA - 12/29/07

Iran saffron exports down 70%
Iran has witnessed a 70 percent drop in saffron exports in the first seven months of the current year (started March 21), said the head of the Saffron Exports Promotion Fund here on Saturday. -MNA - 12/29/07

New page turned in Iran-Bahrain ties: Iranian FM
Iran's foreign minister visited the Bahraini prime minister Sheikh Khalifah Bin-Salman Al Khalifah during his trip in this country and the two sides talked over ways to expand bilateral ties. -ISNA - 12/29/07

Iran and Libya sign 10 cooperation agreements
Iran and Libya come to 10 economic, trade and cultural agreements during Iran's vice president trip to Tripoli. The two countries' cooperation will go beyond Africa by expanding the cooperation in Latin America. -ISNA - 12/29/07

The Right Way to Engage Iran
As the year draws to a close, it's important to note that the U.S. debate on Iran is stalled, trapped between "regime changers" vs. "arms controllers," "hawks" vs. "doves," and "idealists" vs. "realists." -Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani, Washington Post - 12/29/07

You are Not Alone!: An exhibition by Mina Momeni
Mina Momeni is one of Iran's most promising young women artist photographers who combines intellect, sorrow and the art of her time through her photographs of ladies. At her latest exhibition at the Elahe Gallery we met her and had a chance to talk to her. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/28/07

UK held secret nuclear talks with Iran 30 years ago
Britain entered into secret negotiations in 1977 to build 20 nuclear reactors in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, according to newly declassified official documents. - 12/28/07

Romeo and Leila & the Enigma of Time: Thought provoking Science Fiction Relates the Concept of Time to Current Events
Author Bizhan Karimi makes a liberal statement regarding the existing USA -Iran conflict in Romeo and Leila & the Enigma of Time - 12/28/07

Sean Penn's Last Frontier
In the American Wilderness, Hollywood's Angry Man, signs a desperate tribute to a real life quest for Freedom and Happiness -Darius KADIVAR - 12/28/07

Benazir's Foolish Death
I learned the news of Benazir Bhutto's death as something of a Dťjŗ Vue. I was shocked but not as surprised as I read through the various news sources on the assassination of one of Pakistan's iconic figures whose family like the Kennedy's in the US or the Gandhi's in India will be for ever associated to some kind of eternal morbid malediction. -Darius KADIVAR - 12/28/07

Dubai's powerful Iranian business community is hurt by international sanctions
As the sun sets, the sky slowly turns a deep orange rose over Dubai. Crates of merchandise ó food, clothes, General Electric appliances, Hewlett-Packard computers ó are loaded onto dhows, the traditional wooden vessels that still ply the ancient routes to Iran about 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the north. -AP - 12/28/07

Iran's elite military force fears security threat from within
It has been accused of playing a role in arming Shia militia in Iraq and threatened with being labelled a "terrorist organisation" by the US, but Iran's Revolutionary Guard - the country's elite military force - believes that domestic security threats represent a much greater danger to the country than the international crisis surrounding its nuclear programme. -Financial Times - 12/28/07

Second consignment of Bushehr nuclear plant fuel arrives in Iran
Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ahmad Fayazbakhsh told IRNA on Friday that the amount of the delivered fuel is the same as the first consignment. - 12/28/07

Iran's Ambassador says Talabani adheres to Algiers Agreement
Iran's ambassador to Baghdad, after holding talks with Iraqi president here on Friday afternoon, said President Jalal Talabani underlined that Algiers Agreement was an international treaty. -IRNA - 12/28/07

Iranian in India encourages dialogue
"I've lived here on and off for two years, with imprisonment in between." Ramin Jahanbegloo, an Iranian philosopher, described his Indian sojourn this way, and even as he agreed to an interview this month on the condition that he not be asked to talk about his home country, which imprisoned him last year, it kept creeping into the conversation, quite uninvited, like a gnome. -IHT - 12/28/07

Benazir Bhutto is Killed in Pakistan
The growing volatile circumstances in Pakistan will once again confirm the far overdue, nonetheless, meritorious and urgent need to rethink our strategy in the region as a whole. -David N. Rahni - 12/28/07

UN, EU Envoys Comply With Afghan Expulsion Orders
A UN and an EU diplomat have left Afghanistan after they were expelled by the government in Kabul, which accused them of meeting with insurgents in the southern Helmand Province. -RFE/RL - 12/28/07

Zoroaster commemoration ceremony held in Tehran
On the occasion of the anniversary of Zoroaster's death, the Zoroastrians of Tehran held a commemoration ceremony, praying and praising this ancient Iranian Prophet. - 12/27/07

Research: Globalization, Imperialism, Militarism, Social Imperialism and The U.S. National Debt
This paper examines US national debt and proposes that its causes are to be found in the political and military imperatives structured into the accumulation dynamics of global capitalism. To that end four historically overlapping and essential components of the accumulation process; globalization, imperialism, militarism, and social imperialism will be analyzed. -Dr. Mehdi S. Shariati - 12/27/07

Company run by Iranian-American on Time Magazine's top ten list
Panacea Pharmaceuticals' lung cancer diagnostic test, LC Detectsm, has been named one of Time Magazine's Ten Biggest Medical Breakthroughs of 2007. Panacea is headed by Hossein A. Ghanbari, PhD. Dr. Ghanbari co-founded Panacea and serves as Chairman, CEO & Chief Scientific Officer. Two other Iranian-Americans are on the Board of Directors of Panacea - 12/27/07

Love From Stockholm: Beauty Of Nature
These pictures have an amazing message, a message of love & peace in the world. The beauty of nature should bring us closer together. It should help humans reach understanding and unite us to work for our safety and environment. -Jahan Arash Chaginy, Stockholm - 12/27/07

Iraqi president recants remarks on Algiers Accord
The 1975 treaty known as the 'Algiers Accord', was signed by the then Iranian and Iraqi officials to settle territorial disputes between the two countries. -IRNA - 12/27/07

The Case for Talking to Tehran
Israel is in state of strategic paralysis. Its longstanding policy on Iran ó depict Tehran as a global threat, pressure Washington to prevent Iran from going nuclear, and evade an American-Iranian dialogue ó has been dealt a severe blow by the recently released National Intelligence Estimate. -Trita Parsi, Forward - 12/27/07

Tehran to host boxing tournament
The Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, quoted Fariborz Shams as saying that after the adult boxing team returns from the United States, a tournament will be held for the national boxing team during which they will fight their counterparts from Armenia, Tajikistan and Turkey. -IRNA - 12/27/07

Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Assassinated
Police and aides say a suicide bomber fired gunshots at Ms. Bhutto just moments before blowing himself up, killing at least 15 others. -VOA - 12/27/07

No tension in Egypt-Iran ties: Egyptian FM
Gheit added that Iran and Egypt were holding serious talks to reach an understanding about all issues of mutual interest in order to restore full diplomatic relations between the two capitals. -IRNA - 12/27/07

Iran, Bahrain sign MOU
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and his Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa signed a memorandum of understanding at the first Iran-Bahrain Joint High Committee meeting. -MNA - 12/27/07

CIA Torture and Other War Crimes
The embrace of illegal detentions and torture are among the truly horrific decisions that can be attributed to the Bush White House. -Huffington Post - 12/27/07

Main Squares of Tehran will Congratulate the Christmas
Municipality of Tehran has planned billboards of Vanak, Tajrish, and 7th Tir squares to congratulate on Christmas. -CHN - 12/26/07

Juliette Binoche gets to know Iranians
French Oscar winner Juliette Binoche is in Tehran for the second time, she says to know Iran and Iranians better. -ISNA - 12/26/07

Interview with Marjane Satrapi - Director/Author of Persepolis
Do you miss Iran? Of course. It's my homeland and always will be. If I were a man, I'd say France is my wife, but Iran is my first love and will always linger with me. Obviously, I can't forget all those years when I'd wake up with a view of an 18,700-foot high, snowcovered mountain that dominated Tehran and my life... - 12/26/07

Iran says the Algiers Agreement is unchangeable
The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying the revocation of the Algiers Agreement by the Iraqi government is "illegal" and insisted that Iraq should "abide by the agreement". -MNA - 12/26/07

Iran, Malaysia sign $16 billion gas deal
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Malaysia's SKS Ventures on Wednesday signed a dlrs six billion gas deal to develop Golshan and Ferdos gas fields and over dlrs 10 billion worth of deals at downstream section to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG). -IRNA - 12/26/07

Ancient city of Bam trembles on anniversary of killer earthquake
Suburbs of the ancient city of Bam in southeastern Kerman province were hit by an 4.2-magnitude earthquake Tuesday evening on the anniversary of a devastating quake which killed tens of thousands of people four years ago. - 12/26/07

Iran Should Not Underestimate Israelʼs Military Superiority
The government of Iran will make a grave mistake if it underestimates the military superiority of Israel. Israel is and has been a fully mobilized war machine for more than six decades and the government of Israel has dedicated itself to military strength as its top national objective. -Renad Ihab - 12/26/07

Iranian inventor's gadget makes books audible
Iranian inventor Ramin Sedighi made a small device that turns silent books into speaking ones. The gadget is a useful computer system that pronounces, translates and explains pictures and words of a book located on it when its electronic pen touches them. -ISNA - 12/26/07

FM: Iran calls for expansion of all out ties with PGCC
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday that Iran is determined to broaden all-out ties with the Persian Gulf littoral states. Mottaki made the remark at a joint press conference with his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. - 12/26/07

Iranian playwright Akbar Radi dies at 68
Iranian playwright Akbar Radi died of cancer on December 26 at Tehran's Pars Hospital. He was 68. - 12/26/07

Persepolis eliminated from League Cup
Persepolis conceded its first defeat in the season and was eliminated from League cup with a 3-0 loss to Pas in Hamedan, western Iran, Monday. -MNA - 12/26/07

Iranian Jews rebuff alleged organized departure
Head of Iranian Jewish Society Siamak Mareh Sedq and Member of Parliament from the Jewish community Morris Motamed in a joint statement on Wednesday rebuffed alleged organized departure of Iranian jews. - 12/26/07

Drought and desertification in Iran
Desertification means land degradation in arid, semi- arid and dry sub- humid area resulting from various factors, including climate variations and human activities.-Morteza Aminmansour, Scoop - 12/26/07

Turkey Carries Out More Air Offensives in Northern Iraq
Turkish warplanes have struck suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq for the fourth time in five days. There are no immediate reports of casualties. -VOA - 12/26/07

Iranian Christians Celebrate Christmas
On the eve of the auspicious birthday of Jesus Christ (PBUH) when all Muslim and Christian believers extend best wishes to each other on the onset of the New Year, IRNA colleagues also wish peace and prosperity for the world community in New Year 2008. - 12/25/07

Iran welcomes French president's possible visit to Tehran
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, said on Tuesday Tehran would welcome a visit to Iran by the French president if the visit leads to further international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities. -IRNA - 12/25/07

Judge can decide to hold public court hearing for Mousavian: Judiciary Spokesman
Minister of Justice Gholam Hossein Elham said on Wednesday that member of the negotiating team with the European Union Hossein Mousavian has not been acquitted yet. -IRNA - 12/25/07

Maragheh hosts conference on ashiqlar
The third conference on ashiqlar opened Monday in Maragheh, East Azarbaijan Province. - 12/25/07

Jailed Iranian students to be freed on bail
Three students jailed for up to three years on charges including insulting Iran's Supreme Leader have been granted release on bail of about $85,000 each, their lawyer said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 12/25/07

Tajikistan: Government Reacts To Economic Crisis By Banning Witchcraft
Amid a spike in unemployment and energy prices, the Tajik government in recent months has moved to curb civil liberties. Its latest target, however, is an eye-catcher: witchcraft. -RFE - 12/25/07

Iranians absent at Bicentennial Seminar on Iran-France Relations
Seminar on 200th Anniversary of Iran-France Relations was held in the absence of the Iranians on Friday, December 21st at French Senate Palace. - 12/25/07

A Christian Christmas in Snowy Iran
Yep. That's Iran. Tehran, Iran. The Hub of Human Evil. According to American hate radio, anyway. Snowy Tehran on a peaceful winter day. Makes you think of Boulder, don't it? Surrounded by snow-covered mountains? Those are the Alborz Mountains. And they are higher than the Rockies. They are the highest peaks in Asia west of the Himalayas, in fact Ė with skiing on the upper slopes all year round. -William Wedin - 12/24/07

Guitarist Lily Afshar gives solo performances at Fajr fest
Iranian head of guitar studies at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, Lily Afshar gave a solo performance on Saturday at the Honar Cultural Center. - 12/24/07

Guarded optimism about next round of Iran-U.S. talks over Iraq
It appears that the United States and Iran will hold a meeting to discuss the situation in Iraq in the near future. Commenting on the issue, international affairs expert Mohammad-Ali Ramin told the Mehr News Agency that regardless of the U.S motives, it is incumbent upon Iran to participate in the next round of talks with the U.S. over security in Iraq. -MNA - 12/24/07

Ordeal leaves Iranian dissident with doubts
After 40 days in a notorious Tehran prison, a student activist wonders if he should have heeded his father's warnings to avoid politics. -Los Angeles Times - 12/24/07

Iran welcomes U.S. logical approach: FM
Iranian officials welcome the U.S. respectful and logical approach to this country, the foreign minister said. -ISNA - 12/24/07

Iran's Peace Museum: the reality vs. the glories of war
In the soil of an Islamic state long defined by war and martyrdom, some Iranians are planting a new seed of peace, by opening a museum that showcases the horrors of war. -CSM - 12/24/07

Funding Democracy or War?
The 'Iran Democracy Fund' was recently warded $60 million. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to this re-appropriation, especially since more than two dozen Iranian American and human rights groups appealed to Congress to eliminate the program given that the program had backfired, undermining democracy efforts in Iran and leading to wider repression of activists. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 12/24/07

Rocking Lolita in Tehran
Iranís underground music scene has more followers than ever, largely because Iranian musicians are performing on a new stage: the Internet -In These Times - 12/24/07

US Official Says Iran Restraining Shi'ite Militias in Iraq
A U.S. official says Iran has reined in the Shi'ite militias it supports in Iraq, contributing to a sharp drop in sophisticated roadside bomb attacks. -VOA - 12/24/07

Court hearings held for managing editors of banned Iranian dailies Etemad and Nassim Saba
Court hearings were held for managing editors of the Persian language dailies Nasim Saba and Etemad at the Branch 76th of Tehran's Criminal Court on Sunday. -IRNA - 12/24/07

Bush Still Spinning Nukes in Iran
The unanimous conclusion of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, that Iran ceased pursuing a program of nuclear weapons in 2003, has dealt a severe blow to the Bush-Cheney agenda of forcible regime change in Iran -Marjorie Cohn, Common Dreams - 12/24/07

ICRO to set up Persian cyber-faculty
A Persian language and literature cyber-faculty is to be set up for overseas students in the near future, the director of the Persian Literature and Language Development Department of ICRO, Abbasali Vafaii, announced this week. -MNA - 12/24/07

No confirmed bird flu case detected in Iran: Health Minister
Health Minister Kamran Baqeri Lankarani on Monday announced that no confirmed case of bird flu has been detected in the country since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year beginning on March 21, 2007. - 12/24/07

Iran to buy $1b passenger jets
Iran's Supreme Council for Management and Economic Planning issued the permit for purchasing passenger aircraft up to one billion dollars. -MNA - 12/24/07

Iraq, Afghanistan War Costs Top Vietnam
Congressí approval Wednesday of $70 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean the twin conflicts are now more costly to American taxpayers than the war in Vietnam. -One World - 12/24/07

Persepolis to open across U.S. on December 25
Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. - 12/22/07

London court rules in Iran's favor on historical artifacts
A London Appeal Court ruled on Friday in Iran's favor on the case of 18 historical artifacts smuggled to Britain from Jiroft historical site in southeastern Iran. -IRNA - 12/22/07

Iran studying date of next round of talks with US on Iraq
Government spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, said on Saturday that Tehran is studying the existing proposals for holding the fourth round of talks with US on Iraq situation. - 12/22/07

Analysts Say Arab World Retreated from Democratization in 2007
Analysts and activists in the Middle East say the year 2007 in some Arab countries was marked by backtracking from the tentative moves toward more democratization and openness that had been seen in 2005 and early 2006. -VOA - 12/22/07

Iran's FM to visit Bahrain next week
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is to visit Bahrain next week, Iran's Ambassador to Manama, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Friday. - 12/22/07

Iran exporting 280,000 tons of wheat
Iran's deputy commerce minister announced here on Saturday that an LC was opened for export of 280,000 tons of wheat. - 12/22/07

Dutch children decorate ministry with Persian-style tableaus
The main entrance of the new building of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will be decorated with tile-work tableaus reflecting the style of Persian miniatures. -MNA - 12/22/07

Saudi Officials Foil Suspected Terror Plot as Hajj Comes to a Close
Authorities in Saudi Arabia said Friday they arrested several members of an al-Qaida-linked group suspected of planning to carry out terrorist attacks during the annual hajj pilgrimage. -VOA - 12/22/07

No information to confirm missing of American citizen: Iranian official
Government spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, said on Saturday that Tehran had no information confirming that a former American agent went missing in Iran. -IRNA - 12/22/07

Tonight is Yalda, Iran's longest night
Iranians throughout the world will celebrate the longest night of the Iranian calendar year, Yalda, in a tradition welcoming the birthday of the Goddess of Love, Mitra. - 12/21/07

Yalda, the victory of light over darkness
On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness. - 12/21/07

Bayan Salis: An international bookshop in Tehran
Valiasr Avenue is the longest thoroughfare in Tehran and runs from Tajrish in the North to the main railway station in the south. In this most amazing and diverse avenue, once in a while you come across a small place that is a sparkling gem that can brighten your life and bring joy to your heart and a smile to your lips. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/21/07

23rd Fajr Music Festival kicks off in Tehran
The 23rd Fajr International Music Festival commenced on Friday in Tehran. Overall eighty-eight groups are participating in the national competition, international and non-competition sections of the gala. -MNA - 12/21/07

Dubai gets the message as US steps up Iran sanctions pressure
Mention sanctions to Iranians and their answer is, often, Dubai. As the US has tightened the squeeze on financial dealings with Tehran and other countries have slowly followed, Iranians have sought to do business through neighbouring Dubai, an open, free-wheeling emirate and transhipment hub that has long welcomed them. -Financial Times - 12/21/07

Rice Says Differences Remain on Iran Sanctions Resolution
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is conceding continued differences among world powers on a proposed third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program. Senior diplomats of the five permanent Security Council member countries and Germany had another inconclusive telephone discussion of terms of a new resolution Thursday. -VOA - 12/21/07

Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
Just a few days before the release of the National Intelligence Estimate (pdf), in a discussion with Trita Paris, Executive Director of NIAC, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee estimated the probability of a US war on Iran of being about 50%. Parsi, the author of Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States, still believes that "no peace -no war" is unsustainable. -Omid Memarian, Huffington Post - 12/21/07

French Documentary on History of PHotography and Cinema in Iran - - 12/21/07

Ahmadinejad and King Abdullah meet in Mina
Iran's president and Saudi Arabia King met in Mina to emphasize on further cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh. -ISNA - 12/21/07

Iranian-Russian Women Friendship Association established
According to Iran's Cultural Attache in Russia, the Association was established thanks to the efforts made by, and cooperation of a number of Russian Iranologists, the wife of Iran's Ambassador to Russian Federation Shahin Karbala'ie, and Ms. Raziyeh Bazzazan, on behalf of the Iranian women. -IRNA - 12/21/07

Iran/Azerbaijan: Faith, Oil, And Power Threaten Historic 'Brotherhood'
In this village 45 kilometers outside Baku, the capital's boulevards crammed with boutiques give way to a labyrinth of winding, dusty streets. Instead of billboards advertising Gucci fashions or SUVs, there are political slogans daubed in paint on the village's sandstone walls, some praising Ayatollah Khomeini, others proclaiming "Death To America and Israel." -RFE - 12/21/07

Establishment of Rumi foundation proposed
Iran's programs marking Rumi's 800th birth anniversary were brought to a close with the celebration Śu Days with Molana" on December 19th at Tehran's Vahdat Hall. -MNA - 12/21/07

India targets gas from IPI pipeline by year 2011
Though there has been an inordinate delay in Iran, Pakistan and India signing deal on Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, petroleum secretary M S Srinivasan said, India is still targeting that gas will flow through the pipeline by 2011. -IRNA - 12/21/07

U.S. authorities in Iraq release Iranian diplomat
U.S. authorities on Tuesday released another Iranian diplomat, kidnapped almost three years ago in Kurdistan, Iraq. -ISNA - 12/21/07

Truth, Lies, Errors and Bullshit About Iraq and Iran
In his thought provoking little book, On Bullshit, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University, Harry G. Frankfurt, cites an exchange between Fania Pascal and the renowned philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein: "I had my tonsils out and was in the Evelyn Nursing Home feeling sorry for myself. Wittgenstein called. I croaked: 'I feel just like a dog that has been run over.' He was disgusted: 'You don't know what a dog that has been run over feels like." -OpEdNews - 12/21/07

Hamas Leader Appeals For Truce With Israel
On IslamĀfs most important holiday, the leader of GazaĀfs Hamas government appealed today for a ceasefire with Israel and said his people - battered by Israeli military strikes and international sanctions - are greeting this yearĀfs feast with Āgtears in our eyes.Āh -AP - 12/21/07

Interfaith Peace Committee Call for Talks With Iran
Now that we know that Iran is not making nuclear weapons, the God of peace and justice calls on Americans and Iranians to choose a full peace with each otherónot dither any longer between peace and war. For as the Prophet Elijah cried out, "How long will you keep hopping between two opinions? Choose!" -Interfaith Peace Committee - 12/20/07

Iranians celebrate "Yalda" as longest night of the year
Millions of Iranians all over the world Friday 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. - 12/20/07

Iranian Nuclear Plant May Be Ready By Late 2008
The director of the Russian company building Iran's nuclear power station at Bushehr says the facility will not begin operations before the end of 2008. VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from Moscow. - 12/20/07

Iran after the NIE report: exploring the issues, exploding the myths
The 2007 National Intelligence Evidence report (NIE) was seen by some as a fatal blow to the military planners arguing the need for military intervention against Iran. However, in its analysis, the Westminster Committee on Iran conclude that the NIE could be used to strengthen rather than weaken the case for military action against Iran and that diplomatic efforts to increase dialogue between Washington and Tehran should be intensified. - 12/20/07

New light shed on underworld of Assassins at Alamut Castle
A team of archaeologists has stumbled upon two cellars in the Alamut Castle, which was built near the northern Iranian city of Qazvin during the Seljuk era. -MNA - 12/20/07

Iran's rep for Oscar race to compete in Palm Springs festival
The Iranian war-related drama "M for Mother" will be competing in the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which is to be held from January 3 to 14, 2008. -MNA - 12/20/07

DNC Passes Resolution in Support of Ethnic Data Collection in 2010 Census
On November 30, 2007, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) passed a resolution urging the U.S. Census Bureau to implement more specific identification choices concerning race and ethnicity in the upcoming 2010 census. - 12/20/07

Regime-change fears drive Iran's vice crackdown
In one of the most far-reaching drives since 1979, enforcement has spread beyond criminal offenders to academics and young women whose dress is deemed 'un-Islamic.' -CSM - 12/20/07

Major Powers Confer Again Thursday on Iran Sanctions
Diplomats of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany are to confer by telephone Thursday in another try at agreeing on further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. U.S. officials say chances for a third sanctions resolution by year's end are nil. - 12/20/07

Amnesty International concerned about health of Iranian trade unionist Mahmoud Salehi
Mahmoud Salehi, spokesperson for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was reportedly admitted to hospital, unconscious, on 11 December, after repeatedly collapsing in prison between 4-10 December. During an earlier hospitalisation, on or around 4 December, the authorities placed restraints on his bed. He may not be receiving adequate medical care. - 12/20/07

Iran: Women excluded from sports in the name of Islam
The vice president of the Iranian Olympic Committee, Abdolreza Savar, has announced new rules to fight what he defines as the sport's "subjugation to western customs and practices" -AKI - 12/20/07

Tehran's mayor blames mismanagement for Iran's major problems
Tehran's mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf said on Wednesday that most of the problems in Iran stem from inefficient management. -MNA - 12/20/07

Iran: Woman's execution postponed
The execution of Raheleh Zamani has reportedly been postponed until around 2 January 2008. She had been due to be hanged in Evin Prison, in the capital, Tehran, on 19 December 2007 (not 20 December as previously stated) for the killing of her husband. -Amnesty International - 12/20/07

Giuliani opens door to talks with Iran
Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani Wednesday said he would be open to diplomatic talks with Iran but only if certain preconditions were established. -CNN - 12/20/07

India builds important road-link joining Afghanistan with Iran
India is building a 217-kilometer Zaranj-Delaram highway, perhaps the most important road-link in land-locked Afghanistan. - 12/20/07

Interview with Alinoush Tarian, the first woman physics Professor in Modern Iran
The first Iranian woman, teacher of physics, the founder of the first solar telescopic observatory in Iran, was graduated from Sorbonne University in Paris, and after teaching for 30 years in universities is now resting in an elderly house; her best memories regards the successful students who are today professors. - 12/19/07

A Persian Phantom Unmasked
An Interview with Ramin Karimloo on Lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" -Darius KADIVAR - 12/19/07

An Encounter With Morality Police In Tehran
On the third day of our visit to Iran, I, my wife and my relative Mina, a young woman, took a taxi to Enghelab (revolution) square by Tehran University. There are many bookstores there that are frequented by book lovers. That brought some old memories back. My wife told us how she had been arrested in the very same spot years back during the early years of revolution. Perhaps that was a moment for her to reconcile with the past? I had my own event to remember. -Ali Moayedian - 12/19/07

Iran: Internet Cafes Shut Down In Drive Against Un-Islamic Behavior
Police in Tehran have raided more than 430 Internet cafes and other shops during the first days of the latest campaign against what they say is inappropriate and un-Islamic conduct. -RFE - 12/19/07

We favor international nuclear fuel bank: Iran'a Larijani
The former secretary of Iran's supreme national security council Ali Larijani announced, "we back the idea of establishing an international nuclear fuel bank." -ISNA - 12/19/07

Did Bush Get New Iran Intel Last Winter?
White House officials have now admitted that George W. Bush was told that the intelligence assessment on a covert Iranian nuclear programme might change last August, but they have avoided answering the question of when the president was first informed about the new intelligence that led to that revised assessment. -IPS - 12/19/07

Rising sea levels could lead to political tensions in Middle East - report
Rising sea levels predicted as a result of global warming could have severe environmental, economic and political implications for the already water-stressed Middle East, a new study published on 10 December warns. -IRIN - 12/19/07

Second, third stages of IRGC Navy exercises held in Persian Gulf
The second and third stages of Iranian Navy exercise called 'Courage 86' was carried out in an area of 7,000 nautical miles in the Persian Gulf. -IRNA - 12/19/07

Germany's Hansa Rostock planning test match against Iranian national team
German Bundesliga club Hansa Rostock is planning to play a test match against Iran's national football in Tehran, Hansa club spokesman Axel Schulz told IRNA on Tuesday. -IRNA - 12/19/07

Muslim Pilgrims Pray at Mount Arafat
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is performing the Hajj this year, the first time an Iranian president has ever participated. -VOA - 12/19/07

UK MPs urge US to open unconditional talks with Iran
The British parliament is being called upon to press the US administration to change its belligerent policy towards Iran. -IRNA - 12/19/07

Iraq's other Kurdish rebel group
While the US wants the Iraqi government to comply with Turkey's demands and drive PKK fighters from the Kandil mountains, where they have been launching attacks on Turkish military targets, the PJAK continues to operate against Iran from the Iraqi side of the border, and the Iranian government alleges it does so with American financial support. -BBC - 12/19/07

Interfaith Festival Joins Muslim, Jewish, Christian Communities
More than 250 members of the Jewish, Islamic and Christian communities in Frederick shared a meal together at the second annual Hanukah, Christmas and Hajj Festival. Dinner was served potluck style -USINFO - 12/19/07

Nearly 90 nations have reported on Iran sanctions, Security Council told
Nearly 90 Member States have reported to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions imposed against Iran, the chairman of that panel said today. -UN - 12/19/07

Russia's LUKOIL resumes work in Iran's oil field
LUKOIL resumes its operations in an Iranian oil field in defiance of the US attempts to prevent foreign firms' activities in the country. -Press TV - 12/19/07

India test fires two nuclear capable "Akash" missiles
After its three successful trials last week, India on Wednesday test-fired two indigenously developed surface-to-air nuclear capable Akash missiles from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea, 15 km from Balasore in Orissa. -IRNA - 12/19/07

Iran: Release Women's Rights Activists Immediately
Iran should drop politically motivated charges against two women's rights activists facing trial this week because of their participation in a peaceful protest, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should release Jelveh Javahari and Maryam Hosseinkhah without delay. - 12/18/07

Three exhibits open at Saba Art and Cultural Institute in Tehran
Exhibitions of Iran's traditional arts ("Forgotten Treasuries"), paintings and photos of architecture designed by Mir Hossein Musavi, and Kyrgyz artists' paintings opened at the Saba Art and Cultural Institute on December 17. - 12/18/07

Iranian Artist Pouran Borders Exhibits in NYC
The Agora Gallery (530 West 25th Street, Chelsea, New York, NY, 10001) is proud to present Pouran Borders in The Rapture of Form. Scheduled to run from January 8th through January 29th the collection will feature a captivating selection of Pouran's urban sceneries. - 12/18/07

Iranian women take on stereotypes in first U.S. novels
The 1995 teen movie "Clueless" introduced us to Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd, but first-time novelist Porochista Khakpour remembers it for another reason: It injected Iranian Americans into the U.S. pop-cult consciousness. -Los Angeles Times - 12/18/07

Iran: Urgent Action on behalf of Raheleh Zamani
Raheleh Zamani, a mother of two children aged five and three, is facing imminent execution for the killing of her husband. According to reports received by Amnesty International, she is due to be hanged on 20 December. - 12/18/07

Bush: Iran Has No Need to Enrich Uranium
President Bush says now that Iran has received an initial shipment of nuclear fuel for its Bushehr power plant from Russia, there is no need for Tehran to enrich uranium. -VOA - 12/18/07

Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq at ambassador level: FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said here on Sunday that the talks between Iranian and U.S. officials over security situation in Iraq would be held at the ambassadorial level at the highest. "There is no need to raise the level of talks," Mottaki told Al-Alam News Network. -MNA - 12/18/07

Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Immigration Enforcement Legislation
We, Iranian-Americans, are writing with profound concern and deep urgency to ask you not to support or cosponsor immigration enforcement legislation (SAVE Act) which has been recently introduced by Rep. Health Shuler (D-NC), and has been cosponsored by, among others, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO). - 12/18/07

Iran receives nuclear fuel in blow to U.S.
The United States lost a long battle when Russia, as it announced on Monday, delivered nuclear fuel to an Iranian power plant that is at the center of an international dispute over its nuclear program. Iran, for its part, confirmed on Monday plans to build a second such plant. -IHT - 12/18/07

German city honors Iranian neurosurgeon Majid Samii
German-based Iranian neurosurgeon Majid Samii received the "World Physician' award by the north German city of Hanover, news reports said Monday. -IRNA - 12/18/07

Letter from Iran's UN envoy to UN Secretary General regarding Iran's Nuclear Program
I have the honor to bring the following to Your Excellency's attention with regard to the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of November 2007, which clearly shows that the US long-standing allegations against the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been entirely groundless - 12/18/07

2007 Marks a Year of Russian Muscle-Flexing
2007 was a year in which Russia deployed new weapons, withdrew from a major European security treaty, and held a widely criticized election campaign, all while continuing to enjoy economic growth and a stronger currency. VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky looks at a year of Russian muscle-flexing. -VOA - 12/18/07

Is Bush Stopped in His Tracks on Iran?
The release of the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iranís nuclear status marks the latest in a series of assaults by the Pentagon and the intelligence community against the war posturing of the Bush administration. -Philadelphia Inquirer - 12/18/07

Dubai: Iran's Hong Kong
Dubai is to Iran's theocracy what British-ruled Hong Kong was to China's Communist overlords -- a gigantic entrepot. Today, some 500,000 Iranians are residents of the United Arab Emirates; 400,000 in Dubai alone out of a population of more than 2 million. -UPI - 12/18/07

Mr. Ahmadinejad's fight for survival may have just begun
As the "nuclear celebrations" for a stunning political "victory" scored against the West, and the U.S. in particular, wind down in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad must now prepare for his next big confrontation. -D. H. Rouzbeh - 12/18/07

Construction operations of Tehran's Milad Tower project advancing as planned
Tehran's deputy mayor for technical and development affaires, pointing to the progress of building of Tehran's Milad Tower, said the works are carried out without stopping. He said: The glass elevations of the central shaft of the tower have been installed up to the height of 40 meters. - 12/17/07

Through Afghan Eyes
Fardin Waezi is one of the most outstanding photojournalists working in Afghanistan. Born in Kabul 26 years ago, he started photography with a box camera along with his father when he was only seven years old. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran - 12/17/07

Gas supplied to SP phases 9 & 10 obtained from 24 wells in Persian Gulf
Director of the project on development of Phases 9 and 10 of South Pars gas field south of Iran Morteza Emami said on Monday that gas needed for the two phases is obtained from 24 wells 3,500 meters deep under the ground in the Persian Gulf. - 12/17/07

Russia ships nuclear fuel to Iran for Bushehr power plant
Russia has delivered the first Bushehr power plant nuclear fuel shipment to Iran, announced Russia's atomic energy agency and the country's foreign ministry. -VOA - 12/17/07

Deneuve Wants To See
It seems that French Stars are drawn to the Orient in recent years. Juliette Binoche is to team up with Abbas Kiarostami in an upcoming film by the Iranian film Maestro and Marjane Satrapi's film Persepolis includes a prestigious cast of French actors including French Star Catherine Deneuve. -Darius KADIVAR - 12/17/07

Iran-China sign commercial letter of understanding
Following imposed banking restrictions, the joint Iran-China chamber of commerce dispatched a number of business delegations to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and some constructive talks were held. -ISNA - 12/17/07

De Burgh to be first global star to rock Iran since 1979
His folksy middle-of-the-road rock and schmaltzy balladry may have opened him up to much mockery over the years. But not in Tehran. Chris de Burgh is to capitalise on his inoffensive image and not inconsiderable following in the Islamic republic by becoming the first major western artist to perform live since the 1979 revolution. -Guardian - 12/17/07

Iran should create soft power to change international relations: Professor Molana
The Iranian professor of the American Washington University Hamid Molana believes that independent countries should shift international concepts from power and security to justice. -ISNA - 12/17/07

Biggest Mid East solar power plant to be built in Iran
Iran plans to utilize new sources of energy and according to the potentials of Yazd city in central Iran, the biggest solar power plant of the Middle East will be built in this city. -ISNA - 12/17/07

US showing interest in 4th round of talks with Iran: Iraq's Hakim
Washington is showing interest in the fourth round of talks with Iran, political advisor to United Iraq Coalition Mohsen Hakim said in Tehran on Monday. He told IRNA in an exclusive interview that in his talks with the US officials in Washington, they showed eagerness to hold dialogue with Iran. - 12/17/07

Iran Protests to Azerbaijan Over Spy Trial
The Iranian foreign ministry has summoned Azerbaijan's ambassador over what it calls "baseless" accusations that Iranian agents helped plot a failed coup against the Baku government. - 12/17/07

Austria's OMV in gas transfer talks with Iranian party
Chairman and Chief Executive of Austrian Oil and Gas Group (OMV AG) Wolfgang Ruttenstrofer said talks are underway on a project on transfer of liquid gas from Iran to Austria. -IRNA - 12/17/07

Iran ready to buy 130 Tupolev airplanes from Russia
Russia announced here Monday that Iran is ready to purchase 130 Tupolev 214 and 334 from Russian Garbonov Company. -IRNA - 12/17/07

Iran, Egypt discuss promotion of ties
Head of Iran's interest section in Cairo, Hossein Rajabi, discussed Tehran-Cairo relations with speaker of the People's Assembly of Egypt Ahmed Fathi Sorour on Sunday. -VOA - 12/17/07

Iran President in Saudi Arabia for Haj
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Medina west of Saudi Arabia Monday. The Iranian president is in Saudi Arabia at the official invitation of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz. -IRNA - 12/17/07

Russia Deploys New Strategic Missiles
Russian news reports say the military has deployed another batch of intercontinental ballistic missiles. -VOA - 12/17/07

Russia ignores West's Iran fears
The delivery by Russia of nuclear fuel to Iran probably says more about Russia's attitude towards Iran and the West than it does about Iran's nuclear intentions. It appears that Russia is unconcerned about Western fears over Iran. -BBC - 12/17/07

NIP (National and International Projects)
Teams of Iranian students and teachers have been working on international projects for number of years. Among these are iEARN projects, Think quest and Mondialogo. As these projects are in English and our language is Farsi, many teachers and students find it difficult to participate in these projects. This led a group of teachers to get together to find a way to overcome this language barrier and to enable teachers and students to participate more actively in these international projects. - 12/16/07

Senior Western Politicians Call for Reorienting Iran Policy
The key finding of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) by 16 American intelligence agencies released earlier this month has triggered an overdue rethinking of the West's Iran policy by stating that Iran has no nuclear weapons programme. Senior policymakers from key European countries have since called for a diplomatic offensive. -CASMII Germany - 12/16/07

Envoy: No date set for Iran-US talks on Iraq security
Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi said on Sunday that no date has been set yet for the fourth rounds of Iran-US talks on Iraq's security. -IRNA - 12/16/07

Foreign Secretary: India attaches great importance to ties with Iran
Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon conferred on Sunday with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on expansion of relations between the two countries. -IRNA - 12/16/07

Britain Hands Control of Basra Province to Iraqi Forces
The British military has handed over security control of Iraq's southern province of Al-Basrah to Iraqi government forces in a major step toward a full and final withdrawal from the country. Al-Basrah, 550 kilometers south of Baghdad, was the last province under British military control. -RFE - 12/16/07

Turkish Warplanes Hit Kurdish Rebel Targets in Iraq
Iraqi Kurdish officials say Turkish airstrikes hit several villages early Sunday morning, killing a woman and forcing villagers to flee. The raids took place in the Qandil mountains, about 100 kilometers south of the Turkish-Iraqi border. -VOA - 12/16/07

NIAC 2008 Public Service and Journalism Fellowship Program
NIAC is accepting applications for its fourth annual Public Service and Journalism Fellowship. The NPSJ fellowship is the first and only initiative designed to grant Iranian-American youth the opportunity to witness first-hand how democracy works in America. The program provides outstanding Iranian-American college students with internships in political and media organizations in Washington, DC through a paid fellowship. - 12/15/07

CODEPINK launches Cities for Peace in Iran!
When Leslie Angeline started her fast to get a meeting with Senator Joseph Lieberman to talk to him about his belligerent comments about Iran, little did she know that she would be unleashing a new campaign to stop the next war now. But that's precisely what has happened. - 12/15/07

Another City Council Passes Resolution Opposing War with Iran
By 10 pm on Monday night, only the most faithful members of the crowd remained waiting in the halls of Palo AltoĀfs City Council building to speak to their elected officials about the prospect of war with Iran. -Shabnam Sahandy, NIAC - 12/15/07

Nobel Prize winner Schelling to visit Tehran's Sharif University
Winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics Thomas Schelling is to visit here on Dec. 24. "Professor Schelling has accepted our invitation," Sharif University of Technology Graduate School of Management and Economics Director General Mas'ud Nili said in a state television program. -MNA - 12/15/07

Iran-Iraq-US talks to be held after Haj ceremony
Fourth round of trilateral talks among Iran, Iraq and the US on Iraq's security has been postponed until after Eid-e Qorban (Feast of Sacrifice) which commemorates the end of annual Haj ceremony, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Saturday. -IRNA - 12/15/07

Russia Warns US Shield Could Provoke Response
Russia's top general has accused the West of turning the arms control system into a political tool, warning that a launch of a U.S. interceptor missile in Europe could trigger a Russian ballistic missile strike. -VOA - 12/15/07

A Case for Impeachment Hearings
On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin. -Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) - 12/15/07

Gharibpur to stage "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at Fajr festival
Iranian veteran stage director Behruz Gharibpur will be staging the anti-slavery themed novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe at the 26th International Fajr Festival. -MNA - 12/15/07

De Burgh 'will play gig in Iran'
Lady In Red star Chris De Burgh will be the first Western artist to play a concert in Iran since the country's 1979 revolution, according to reports. -BBC - 12/15/07

Iran to set up power transmission lines to Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan
Two electricity transmission lines to Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will be set up by March 20, which marks the end of the current Iranian year of 1386, based on a policy to expand links with neighboring states. - 12/15/07

Israel fails to convince U.S. of Iran threat
Israel has failed to convince the United States that Iran's nuclear programme poses a serious and immediate threat, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Saturday, following publication of a U.S. intelligence report. -Reuters - 12/15/07

New 'Great Game' for Central Asia Riches
In the past few years, Chinese fruit, vegetables, TV sets, T-shirts and tires have flooded markets along the old Silk Road in former Soviet Central Asia. Each day, all along the Chinese border, hundreds of tractor-trailers rattle west. -AP - 12/15/07

UN Rights Envoy Suspects CIA of Guantanamo Torture
A United Nations investigator said on Thursday he strongly suspected the CIA of using torture on terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, suggesting many were not being prosecuted to keep the abuse from emerging at trial. -Reuters - 12/15/07

Iran: Urgent Action needed for students at risk
Between 20 and 30 students, including those named above, are being detained without charge mostly in Tehran but also other cities, following scores of demonstrations and mass student sit-ins linked to Iran's national University Students' Day, 7 December. -Amnesty International - 12/14/07

Iran: Wrapping Up For Winter, And The Morality Police
This week in Tehran and other cities, officials began a fresh crackdown on women -- and men -- who violate rules for winter garb, such as sporting overcoats that are too short or hats instead of head scarves. Police in Tehran have set up mobile centers and stationed cars in busy areas, such as bustling Valiasr Street, to implement a new phase in the enforcement of the dress code. -RFE - 12/14/07

Bay Area Iranian Americans raise $125,000 to Prevent War
Iranian Americans in the Bay Area got together on December 1 to raise their voices in opposition to war between the US and Iran. More than 180 participants overwhelmingly supported NIACís anti-war stance and activities by donating tens of thousands of dollars to the cause. -Vahid Naraghi, NIAC - 12/14/07

Persepolis & Ratatouille Tie For L.A. Critics Award
A Very Encouraging News for the animated film Persepolis was released last Sunday. Marjane Satrapiís animated Bio Epic autobiography about her childhood growing up in fundamentalist Iran was awarded the L.A. Film Critics Award for Best Animated film along with the Pixar Animated blockbuster Ratatouille distributed by Disney. -Darius KADIVAR - 12/14/07

Officials Postpone US, Iranian, Iraqi Talks on Iraqi Security
A U.S. State Department spokesman says U.S., Iraqi and Iranian officials have postponed plans to meet next week to discuss security in Iraq. -VOA - 12/14/07

Russia to Resume Iranian Nuclear Plant Construction
Russia and Iran have agreed on a schedule to finish building Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr. -VOA - 12/14/07

Iran waiting for U.S. to change strategies: Larijani
The Supreme leader's representative to the supreme national security council denied claims over Iran's former governments' mistakes regarding the nuclear issue adding that Islamic Republic of Iran has always aimed at using nuclear energy in a peaceful way. -ISNA - 12/14/07

How Iran's president is being undercut
It is clear that the Bush administration's policy of sanctions and tacit threat of war toward Iran has lost all credibility. This became evident as soon as the National Intelligence Estimate released this month contradicted the White House depiction of the Iranian threat. But the report isn't a total win for Iran. -Vali Nasr and Ray Tayekh, CSM - 12/14/07

UK urged to publish own assessment on Iran nuclear programme
"The time is also ripe for US allies in Europe, especially those who have their own independent analysis, to publicise their assessments," Iranian Ambassador to London Rasoul Movahedian said. -IRNA - 12/14/07

Iranian FM: All-out expansion of ties with Russia strategic plan
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Moscow Thursday that all-out expansion of relations between Iran and Russia is a highly strategic plan. -IRNA - 12/14/07

Iran police destroy terrorist group in Sistan-Baluchestan
Police forces identified and killed 12 members a terrorist group and captured 10 in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan on Thursday. -IRNA - 12/14/07

US, Russian Officials Discuss Controversial Missile Defense Plan
A U.S. arms control official says Washington's planned missile defense system for Europe remains necessary despite reports that Iran abandoned its nuclear arms program several years ago. Stefan Bos reports for VOA from Budapest where U.S. and Russian officials have been holding talks on the issue. - 12/14/07

Egypt and Saudi Arabia make new overtures to Iran
Are US Arab allies playing 'good cop' with Ahmadinejad to US 'bad cop'? -CSM - 12/14/07

Interest-free bank starts operation in Iran
Mehr Interest-Free Bank, the first of its type, was inaugurated across Iran Thursday. -MNA - 12/14/07

Minister: Iran's Unemployment rate at 11.2%
Iran's Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mohammad Jahromi said in Tehran Friday that Central Bank of Iran has put the unemployment rate in the month of Mehr (September-October), the seventh month in the Iranian calendar, at 11.2 percent. -IRNA - 12/14/07

PARSA Community Foundation Announces 2007 Mehregan Grantees!
A core element of PARSA CF's mission is to strengthen entrepreneurial individuals and nonprofits that serve the Persian community. To that end, PARSA CF just completed the second of its two semi-annual grant cycles with $100,000 going to twelve powerful ideas, bringing its total number of grantees to twenty. Youth leadership, preservation of Persian arts, promotion of cultural understanding and public service are common themes. - 12/13/07

Controversial Film 'The Kite Runner' Hits Movie Screens
Novelist Khaled Hosseini's international best-seller set in 1970s Afghanistan and present-day America has been made into a Hollywood studio movie. Alan Silverman spoke with the author and cast members for this look at "The Kite Runner:" -VOA - 12/13/07

New Poll Reveals How Unrepresentative Neocon Jewish Groups Are
A new survey of American Jewish opinion, released by the American Jewish Committee, demonstrates several important propositions: (1) right-wing neocons (the Bill Kristol/Commentary/ AIPAC/Marty Peretz faction) who relentlessly claim to speak for Israel and for Jews generally hold views that are shared only by a small minority of American Jews - 12/13/07

China tops Iran investor list
China has been the biggest foreign investor in Iran during 2000-2007 followed by France and Germany, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) data on foreign investments in the Islamic state by major industrial countries. China, Iran's largest trade partner, invested at least $101.74 billion in the country during the seven year. - 12/13/07

Iran-Russia trade volume doubled in 2007: Envoy
Volume of Iran-Russia trade and business transactions was equal to 2.294 billion US dollars in the first nine months of 2007, that was doubled compared to the same period in the year 2006. -IRNA - 12/13/07

Iran, Russia sign economic agreements
Iran and Russia on Thursday signed five agreements on expansion of cooperation in various fields of economy and commerce. The agreements were signed by the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Russia's Atomic Energy Chief Sergei Kiriyenko, co-chairing the 7th session of Iran-Russia Joint Economic and Commerce Commission, held in Moscow. -IRNA - 12/13/07

No evidence MKO given up terrorism, says Brown
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Thursday defended his government's decision to refuse to deproscribe the anti-Iran Mujahideen-e Khalq Organisation (MKO), saying that it was still a terrorist group. -IRNA - 12/13/07

Iran: Terrorist Freed In Germany Is Welcomed By Tehran
The infamous "Mykonos Operation," which shone an unprecedented light on the Islamic republic's campaign to assassinate critics in the Iranian-exile community and sparked a diplomatic crisis between Europe and Iran, is back in the headlines. -RFE - 12/13/07

Iran, IAEA end talks on source of contamination
Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended their talks Wednesday on the source of nuclear contamination in a technical college in Tehran. -IRNA - 12/13/07

Code Pink To Take Aim at Democrats in 2008
Leaders of the antiwar group Code Pink, frustrated by the ineffectiveness of Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, yesterday said they are mobilizing a campaign for regime change within the party in the 2008 elections. -Washington Times - 12/13/07

Mahak Ė A True success story and now a way of life
Mahak Ė the charity for children with cancer - is a well known name in many Iranian homes and they are right to claim that a large proportion of people in Tehran and in other cities know their name and what they do. - 12/12/07

Construction operations of Milad Tower project advancing as planned
Tehran's deputy mayor for technical and development affaires, pointing to the progress of building of Tehran's Milad Tower, said the works are carried out without stopping. He said: The glass elevations of the central shaft of the tower have been installed up to the height of 40 meters. - 12/12/07

Winners of 8th Tehran Cartoon Biennial announced
The winners of the 8th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial were announced at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday. Over 600 works were selected to compete in the money, freestyle, comic strips, and caricature sections, and a Luciano Pavarotti Special Prize was also awarded. - 12/12/07

Urge Congress to Reprogram the Iran ďDemocracyĒ Fund!
In the coming hours, two key congressional leaders will make a decision that will affect millions of people in Iran and in the US. The decision will be whether to allow the State Department's botched Iran "democracy program" to be funded by Congress, or to reprogram this money for much more useful purposes. -NIAC - 12/12/07

Why Write?
The following are from notes the author used when coaching graduates for their final thesis films at Graduate Department of Film & Television: Tisch School of the Arts at NYU- New York University. -Jalal Jonroy - 12/12/07

Book Review: Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran: The Outset of the Diaspora
I had actually read the original Persian version of the book, Comprehensive History of Jews of Iran years ago; nonetheless, it was quite enlightening now to re-read it in English with nostalgic reminiscences. -David Rahni - 12/12/07

Iran's Mashhun to receive FIBA Oscar Award
The world governing body is to give the award for Iran's recent successes including championship in the Asian meet in Japan, qualification for 2006 Olympic Games in China, and championship in the first indoor games in Macau. - 12/12/07

White House Fought NIE Over an Old Charge
The reported White House resistance to the National Intelligence Estimateís conclusion that Iran had abandoned a nuclear weapons programme in 2003 was an effort to save a political tactic the George W. Bush administration had been using since early 2004, despite the absence of an intelligence analysis to support it. -IPS - 12/12/07

Rafsanjani: NIE report, neither against Iran nor benefits U.S.
Chairman of the Experts Assembly Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Wednesday that the very important report issued by 16 US intelligence agencies is neither against Tehran nor benefits Washington. - 12/12/07

Iran's former president rebukes hard-line clerics, backs pro-democracy students
A popular former president has accused hard-line clerics of blocking progress in Iran by disqualifying reformists from parliament elections and suppressing student voices. -AP - 12/12/07

Tehranís Mood Swing
Iranís President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has paid a political price for his nuclear-fueled rhetoric. In February he compared Iranís drive for nuclear energy to a runaway train with ďno reverse gearĒ (Reuters), remarks that drew fire from Iranian moderates fearful he had done serious damage to Tehranís diplomatic standing. -CFR - 12/12/07

Calling on Congress to Stop a War
Personally, the NIE (and its roots in the findings of the IAEA inspections) came as no surprise. In my 2006 book ďTarget IranĒ I framed precisely the same argument using data virtually identical to that contained in the NIE. -Scott Ritter, Truthdig - 12/12/07

Situation ripe for direct talks between Iran and 5+1: analysts
Russia and China's emphasis on negotiations creates a proper situation for holding direct talks with the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, international affairs expert Ali Khorram said Tehran on Tuesday. - 12/12/07

Iran Market Overview: October 2007
After three months of consistent and strong growth, the Tehran Stock Exchange cooled down a little in October as sellers outpaced buyers on the market. One of the major reasons behind the rise in the supply of shares was the privatization of 20% of the National Iranian Copper Industries Company (NICIC) in September which was purchased by a consortium of domestic institutional investors all active in the market. -Turquoise - 12/12/07

Lee Hamilton: Washington's bipartisan power broker
Need to get bitter political rivals talking? Need the ear of an ayatollah? He's the go-to guy in crises. -CSM - 12/12/07

Newly Found Old-Persian Cuneiform Inscription of Kharg Island Deciphered
Rasool Bashash, linguist and expert in ancient inscriptions of ICHHTO's Research Center on Linguistics, Inscriptions, and Texts reports on his latest findings regarding the Cuneiform Inscription found recently in the Persian Gulf Island of kharg. -CHN - 12/11/07

Are we ready for democracy? Great Iran Survey 2008
Just imagine, all Iranians could express their opinion about the political and cultural situation in our country publicly and online. Not tomorrow or in a few years, but right now. -Schahram Schamsawary, Germany - 12/11/07

Iranian-American Alum Gives $17M to USC Viterbi Dept.
Sonny Astani, whose soaring high-rises and philanthropy are remaking downtown Los Angeles, has given $17 million to name the USC department of civil and environmental engineering. - 12/11/07

Iranians claim to have built Opteron-based supercomputer
Use of processors by research center would run afoul of U.S. trade sanctions; AMD says it hasn't authorized any shipments to Iran, 'directly or indirectly' -Computerworld - 12/11/07

CIA has recruited Iranians to defect
The CIA launched a secret program in 2005 designed to degrade Iran's nuclear weapons program by persuading key officials to defect, an effort that has prompted a "handful" of significant departures, current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation say. -Los Angeles Times - 12/11/07

Military Intervention against Iran? Implications of the National Intelligence Estimate
The findings of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which state "with high confidence" that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 clearly represent a major set-back to those arguing for military intervention against Iran in the coming months. -Westminster Committee on Iran - 12/11/07

US, Iranian Officials to Discuss Iraq Security Issues
The State Department says U.S. and Iranian officials will meet next week in Baghdad to discuss Iraq security issues. U.S. officials say attacks in Iraq thought to be Iranian-supported have declined in recent weeks. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. -VOA - 12/11/07

Iranian official expresses regrets on the death of French citizen in Isfahan
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini expressed regrets over the death of French citizen Julien Van Waesberghe in Isfahan. -IRNA - 12/11/07

Kharrazi urges Iran's government to implement SFRC proposals
Former Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said that the Strategic and Foreign Relations Council (SFRC) acts as a consultative organization for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. -MNA - 12/11/07

Iran Economy Overview: October 2007
One of the main topics of discussion in the public sphere and one of the major concerns about the Iranian economy has for a long time been inflation levels in Iran that have remained relatively high for the past three decades. -Turquoise - 12/11/07

Soccer: Troussier a candidate to coach Iran
Iranian officials have approached former Japan coach Philippe Troussier for the vacant managerial spot of the country's national team. -Press TV - 12/11/07

To believe in a European utopia before Muslims arrived is delusional
In October, a promising young Iranian-German footballer, Ashkan Dejagah, refused to go to Israel to play for the German under-21 team in a European qualifier. Dejagah, who was born in Iran and came to Germany as a child, claimed if he went to Israel he might be denied entry into Iran. -Guardian - 12/11/07

Iranian citizen released from German prison, arrives in Tehran
Iranian citizen, Kazem Darabi, who was in a German prison for 15 years for alleged involvement in the Mykonos Affair, was released on Monday and arrived here early Tuesday morning. -IRNA - 12/11/07

Intelligence Agencies Put Brakes on Bush's Iran Plans
A high-level report that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 marked a sensational reversal for the US intelligence community. Conservatives like John Bolton are calling it "politics disguised as intelligence," but the report also raises the question of whether Bush lied to Americans. -Spiegel, Germany - 12/11/07

US debates whether now is the time to meet Iran at the table
Intelligence findings that Iran stood down on nuclear weapons development have sharpened the debate in Washington as well as the presidential campaign over whether U.S. officials should talk directly with Iran after shunning its leaders for a generation. -AP - 12/11/07

Meet 'The Decider' of Tehran. It's Not the Hothead You Expect
The supreme leader is an enigma even to most of Iran's 70 million people. In fact, he's far more cautious, conservative and pragmatic than the bellowing Ahmadinejad. Khamenei wants a "Goldilocks" kind of Islamic Republic -- not too hot, not too cold. He's reluctant to tilt too far in any one direction and keen to keep squabbling factions on board. -Vali Nasr, Washington Post - 12/11/07

Chess in Iran Ė Nigel Short's illuminating report
"I am still slightly baffled as to how I, an oenophile, atheist Englishman, became Iranís national chess coach," writes Nigel in this eminently readable Times article. Multiple sojourns in this country, currently in the international media focus, have led to insights that the wine-loving (oenophile) English grandmaster freely shares with the Times readers. -Chessbase News, Germany - 12/11/07

Tehran, Paris art schools to implement joint illustration project
Sixty students from Tehran and 60 from Paris will begin to create individual illustrations of a Persian literary text in Tehran in late January, the director of the Graphic Art Department of Tehran University's Faculty of Fine Arts told the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday. -MNA - 12/11/07

Iran mulls ending gasoline rationing
Nematzadeh's remarks follow after Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari announced that the gasoline quota for each motorist will increase from 100 to 120 liters per month starting December 22. -Press TV - 12/11/07

Larijani calls for direct talks between Iran and 5+1 group
Former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani suggested here on Monday that Iran and the five permanent members of United Nations Security Council plus Germany should hold face-to-face talks so that the 5+1 group can directly ask questions about Iran's nuclear program. - 12/11/07

Analyze This: Attack Iran? Tell it to the Marines
Last week, in a Time magazine article titled "Why the Pentagon is happy about the NIE," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was among the US military heads cited as being relieved that the release of the National Intelligence Estimate declaring that Teheran is not now developing nuclear weapons had seemingly taken the military option off the table. -Jerusalem Post - 12/11/07

Iran's Supreme Court annuals verdict issued by primary court on Zahra Kazemi
One of Zahra Kazemi dossier lawyers said here Monday Supreme Court has annulled the verdict issued by Primary Court on Zahra Kazemi's case. -IRNA - 12/11/07

On Iran, U.S. stumbles and Europe grumbles
Every debacle has its core of black comedy. For a hoot, here's Condoleezza Rice's version of the Bush administration's strategy on Iran, now that U.S. intelligence agencies say the mullahs halted the weapons-development segment of their nuclear program in 2003: It's "recommitment to our two-track approach," she said. -IHT - 12/11/07

Club World Cup: Iran's Sepahan exits after loss to Japan's Urawa Red
Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds has clinched an easy 3-1 victory against the Iranian outfit Sepahan at the Club World Cup in Japan. -Press TV - 12/11/07

In Iraq, U.S. base eyes Iran border
Behind a maze of concrete blast walls rising from a desolate desert landscape that once was the scene of pitched battles between the armies of Iran and Iraq, a new American base is springing to life. -Chicago Tribune - 12/11/07

The 53 Places to Go in 2008
18. IRAN: What Axis of Evil? Upscale tour operators are tiptoeing into Iran next year, offering trips that explore the ancient country's Persian treasures and olive-green desert plains. Next spring, the luxury cruise liner Silversea will make stops in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on its Dubai to Dubai cruise. -New York Times - 12/11/07

Sensing that the new attitude in Washington might defuse these tensions, the Israeli regime and its Zionist supporters here are simply not going to sit still and watch as Washington employs IranĀfs cooperation, long in the offering by Iran, in settling the troubling dilemmas in the region. -Kam Zarrabi - 12/10/07

Profile: Philanthropists Yasmin Sanie-Hay and Tina Roshdi
Driving 10,000 miles of rugged, alien territory in a tiny car that frequently broke down turned out to be more than a thrill-seeking passion for Iranian-American MIT student Yasmin Sanie-Hay. It inspired her to start her own philanthropic project and business venture. -PARSA - 12/10/07

Delay in treatment of migraine can cause serious brain damage
Dr. Nouchine Hadjikhani, an Iranian professor's research in Harvard University, reveals for the first time, the difference in the sensory zone of the cortex layer in brains of patients with migraine symptom with ordinary patients. This could open new horizons in diagnosis and cure of this mysterious illness. - 12/10/07

Iranian Actor Garsha Raufi dies at 74
Iranian actor Garsha Raufi died of heart failure on Wednesday, December 8 at the age of 74. He had been suffering from kidney problems for several years. - 12/10/07

Iran Country Overview: October 2007
Two major developments during the month of October have been the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tehran and the United States government's unilateral sanctions imposed on some of the major Iranian banks and companies affiliated to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). -Turquoise - 12/10/07

In Iran, Ahmadinejad's bold gambits boost presidential power
The firebrand leader has succeeded in grabbing more control despite wide criticism at home and abroad. -CSM - 12/10/07

Iran, The NIE, And The Empire
Although the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on Iran, made public this week, is already an old story, the reasons for its public disclosure remain to be discussed and understood. The report: stated "Öthat in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program" and "that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons" in the future. -Ardeshir Ommani - 12/10/07

Oman proposes $2b investment for development of gas field in Iran's Kish island
Oman has proposed a $2-billion investment in development plan of gas field in Persian Gulf island of Kish, the managing director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) announced on the southern island on Sunday. -IRNA - 12/10/07

The Secret Dealings of Israel and Iran
NIAC President Trita Parsi published a book on Israeli-Iranian relations earlier this fall. "Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US" is the first book in more than 20 years to directly address the nature of the relations between Iran and the Jewish state. -NIAC - 12/10/07

IGTC ready to transmit 0.5bn cu. m of gas daily
Iran's Gas Transmission Company (IGTC) chief Mostafa Kashkouli voiced his company's readiness to transport 500 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. - 12/10/07

Home is Where Someone is Waiting for You
Those who fear for their lives and safety on reaching the borders of Iran are not all scholars like Mrs Esfandiari working for American research institutes. They belong to all sorts of political backgrounds and walks of life. -Reza Bayegan - 12/10/07

CNN a Casualty of Iran NIE
CNN was ready to help lead the march to attack Iran with its special ďWe Were Warned Ė Iran Goes Nuclear.Ē The two-hour show was to air December 12. - 12/10/07

Iran: Protests Lend Momentum To Students' Struggle
They may not be quite like the heady student protests of years past. But fresh rallies and a flurry of arrests in Iran suggest that the country's student movement is gaining steam for yet another push for change in the Islamic republic. -RFE - 12/9/07

The winners of First Gol Aqa Comedy Film Festival announced
The winners of the first edition of the Gol Aqa Comedy Film Festival, named after the satirical magazine established by the late Kiumars Saberi, have been announced. - 12/9/07

Iran, China's Sinopec ink Yadavaran oilfield development contract
Iran and the Chinese company Sinopec here Sunday signed a buyback contract on the development of giant Yadavaran oilfield. -IRNA - 12/9/07

Iran must fulfill FIFA regulations: Safaei Farahani
The interim chairman of Iranian Football Federation (IFF), Mohsen Safaei Farahani, said Iran will face problems if FIFA regulations are not met in IFF elections. - 12/9/07

International energy developments conference starts in Tehran
The 12th International Energy Developments Conference entitled "Energy Geopolitical Developments and Role of Natural Gas" kicked off in Tehran in the presence of oil minister and managing directors of main and affiliated companies of Petroleum Ministry on Sunday. - 12/9/07

UN Nuclear Experts to Examine New Area of Iranian Activities
Iranian media say a team of U.N. nuclear experts is in the country to examine a new area of Iran's past nuclear activities. Iranian media say the International Atomic Energy Agency delegation arrived in Tehran Monday and will begin talks with Iranian officials Tuesday. -VOA - 12/9/07

Rafsanjani: US officials obstinacy on Iran nuclear program reveals hostility
Chairman of Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Sunday that obstinacy of the US officials towards Iranian nuclear program indicated their hostility toward Iran. -IRNA - 12/9/07

Historical name of 'Persian Gulf' in oldest Iran map
The historical name of 'Persian Gulf' is seen in the oldest color map of Iran, which is held in the National Northwest Documents Center in Tabriz. - 12/9/07

Iran's oil revenues mostly in currencies other than US dollar: Oil Minister
"Iran's crude revenues are converted into hard currencies other than the dollar so as to check the impact of the decline in its value," Nozari told reporters on the sidelines of the 12th International Seminar on Oil and Gas, held at the International Energy Studies Institute on Sunday. -IRNA - 12/9/07

Russia Announces Successful Ballistic Missile Test
Russian media say the country's Strategic Missile Forces have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. -VOA - 12/9/07

New Iran-U.S. talks before end of 2007
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabagh has said tat Iran and the U.S. are to hold their fourth round of negotiations over security situation in Iraq in December 2007. -MNA - 12/8/07

Analysts: New Intelligence May Spark Change in US, Iran Policies
For months, Bush administration officials have said Iran was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program and called on collective international action, including sanctions, to force Tehran to stop. But a new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and that as of mid-2007, at least, had not restarted it. -VOA - 12/8/07

Iran Accuses US of Espionage; US Says Iran Remains a Threat
Iran has accused the United States of using espionage to compile a report about Iranian nuclear activities. -VOA - 12/8/07

Israel Considering Strike on Iran Despite US Intelligence Report
Senior Israeli officials warned today they were still considering the option of a military strike against Iran, despite a fresh US intelligence report that concluded Tehran was no longer developing nuclear weapons. -Guardian - 12/8/07

Iran's annual share of world oil/gas investments to reach $15.7B
Predictions show that the world will invest 8.2 trillion dollars in the oil and gas sectors until 2030 and the National Iranian Oil Company's share will be 15.7 billion dollars per annum. -IRNA - 12/8/07

Pentagon Plans Unchanged by Iran Report: General
Sattler told reporters at the Pentagon he would not talk publicly about any U.S. military contingency plans but he said: ďThere has been no course correction, slowdown, speedup given to us inside the Joint Staff based on the NIE.Ē -Reuters - 12/8/07

WB to finance Iran energy projects: Energy Minister
Iran's energy minister on Friday announced that the World Bank (WB) will finance some projects in Iran. -IRNA - 12/8/07

In 'Azerbaijan's North Korea,' Journalist Crackdown Continues
Authorities in Azerbaijan's exclave of Naxchivan are continuing a strict crackdown against opposition journalists in the region. -RFE - 12/8/07

White House & Press Spinning Iranís Centrifuges
Those who know about the centrifuges used to refine uranium tell me they must spin at an almost unrivaled velocity-almost unrivaled, because Bush administration statements are being spun at equivalent speed by White House and corporate media spiders. -Common Dreams - 12/8/07

Iran's Sepahan at Club World Cup quarters
Iran's Sepahan has advanced to quarterfinals of the Club World Cup after defeating New Zealand's Waitakere United in the opening match. -Press TV - 12/7/07

Iran: Female band to perform at Fajr Music Festival
"This is the first time all-female bands are competing with each other in the International Fajr Festival," said the manager of the 'Orkideh' group Orkideh Hajivandi - 12/7/07

Persian American Shiva Rose in Valentine opening: David & Layla, New York
Award-winning Persian American Hollywood actress Shiva Rose (Layla) is currently the most consistently praised Iranian American actress working in America. See high praise showered on Shiva Rose in over 20 reviews - from Variety & Washington Post to U.S. city papers. - 12/7/07

Tough Times for Persepolis at European Awards!
French Bio Epics Persepolis and "La Mome" lose to Rumanian Drama ę 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days Ľ at European Oscars -Darius KADIVAR - 12/7/07

Conference in Paris: Iran and France: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow
For the bicentenary of the Franco-Iranian relationships (1807-2007), the European Institute of Strategic Research on Iran and the University of Tehran organise an international conference - 12/7/07

Fishing interactions, the cause of dolphins death in Persian Gulf
Most of the 79 dolphins had fractures in their skulls and muzzles showing that most probably the cause of death was fishing, but it was not recognizable whether industrial or traditional, Antonio Fernandez said. -ISNA - 12/7/07

Squandering Our Heritage
Iran's cultural heritage is in danger. This is a warning that, over the years, particularly in the last one or two years, has been issued by admirers of Iran's ancient culture and civilization. However, these warnings seem to be falling on the deaf ears of all three branches of the government: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. -Shahram Rafizadeh, Gozaar - 12/7/07

Tehran: Why I Live Here
I walk out of the front door of the house and into the garden, stopping for a moment to smell a hot pink rose standing tall and proud next to her multi-colored sisters. The fragrance reminds me of my grandmotherís tea cookies, the ones that are dyed with bright yellow saffron. I continue on, opening the gate hinged on the high wall surrounding the house, a throwback to the days before the Revolution, before all the houses were commandeered by the Regime. -Tara Ebrahimi, Divine Caroline - 12/7/07

Photo Gallery: Through the Lens of Six Iranian Women
"Made in Tehran" is the name of a new exhibition of young Iranian female photographers. The six photographers were all born after or just before the Iranian revolution in 1979 and many of the photographs reveal the tension between modernity and tradition. -Spiegel, Germany - 12/7/07

Is Iran NIE a Blessing in Disguise for Israel?
The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate's assertion that Iran currently does not have a nuclear weapons programme has caused much frustration in Israel. Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh referred to the report as a lie at a recent breakfast in New York, and Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer reportedly "doesn't buy" its findings. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 12/7/07

Iran's gasoline imports drops 50% in 8 months
Iran has witnessed an over 54 percent drop in gasoline imports in terms of weight and value in the first eight months of its current year (started March 21, 2007), reported an Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) official in Tehran on Friday. -MNA - 12/7/07

Petraeus Has Rare Praise for Syria, Not Sure About Iran
The top coalition commander in Iraq had some positive things to say Thursday about Syria and other countries and factions that have contributed to instability in Iraq in the past. But U.S. General David Petraeus says it is not yet clear whether Iran has also changed its policy, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees. -VOA - 12/7/07

Fajr fest must combine top Iranian musicians with first-rate foreign bands: jury member
Jury member of the 23rd Fajr International Music Festival, Dariush Pirniakan believes that the participation of prominent Iranian musicians alongside first-class foreign bands would lend prestige to the event. -MNA - 12/7/07

Iran: Execution of child offender Makwan Moloudazdeh is a mockery of justice
Amnesty International condemns the execution, on 4 December 2007, of Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurdish child offender, following a grossly flawed trial for an offence he allegedly committed at the age of 13. - 12/7/07

New Intel on Iran Offers a Chance to Rethink Policy
The presidentís policy toward Iran - harsh, threatening and dismissive of any chance at negotiation - was supposedly founded on the belief that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons and had to be stopped. All options, including force, had to be on the table to prevent that calamity from occurring. -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - 12/7/07

Bush sends N. Korea leader a personal letter
It was Bush's first direct communication with the reclusive dictator, whom he once dismissed as a "pygmy" and a man he "loathed." Bush had also described North Korea as part of an "axis of evil," along with Iran and Iraq. -Boston Globe - 12/7/07

Oil price above $90 on Iran fears
Oil prices are back above $90, as the US government seeks to sustain pressure on Iran over its nuclear plans. -BBC - 12/7/07

Inaugural Persian Community Foundation Gala Raises $599,000 for U.S. Nonprofits
PARSA's Gala Celebration of Persian Heritage and Philanthropy Helps Fund Grants for Arts, Culture, Education and Civic Integration - 12/6/07

Mahak Charity's Second Music Festival
The Second Mahak Music Festival commenced on Thursday November 29th with a concert conducted by the famous Armenian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian, who is celebrating his 70th birthday this week. -Paul Sanford, Tehran - 12/6/07

16 days in Iran: Welcome to Tehran!
We visited Iran five years ago after being away for over 20 years. That was an eye-popping experience. We went back again last August and stayed there for 16 days. It was another interesting experience, full of surprises. This is how I would summarize what I observed and felt during this trip: Iran is a land of contrasts, from the landscape to the people... -Ali Moayedian - 12/6/07

Iran: Women Rejecting The 'Little Miseries'
Of the "little miseries" of a woman's life in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Gisoo knows all too much. As a college student some 20 years ago, Gisoo briefly fell in love -- and got married. Yet there was no honeymoon. Shortly after the wedding, her husband made her quit studying and stay home. -RFE - 12/6/07

Iran's nuclear file must now return from UN Security Council to IAEA
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, issued on December 3, refutes the US and Israeli accusations that Iran has a covert nuclear weapons programme. -CASMII - 12/6/07

Spinning the NIE Iran Report
The Rashomon-like battle to interpret the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran is well under way. All sides of the Iran nuclear dispute are working hard to make their own reading of the report the accepted one, and to emphasize the findings that best suit their agendas. -TIME - 12/6/07

OPEC keeps output steady as forecasted by Iran
Iran's prediction came true as OPEC on Wednesday decided to keep oil supplies unchanged. The OPEC oil ministers' meeting in Abu Dhabi comes at a crucial time, with oil prices down from their record near US$100 a barrel levels established last month but still up nearly US$40 from the beginning of the year. -IRNA - 12/6/07

Can the NIE Evade the Risk for War?
The NIE report that was released on December 3 regarding Iranís nuclear program will obviously be greeted with a sigh of relief by many who have been worried about the U.S. hardlinersí push for military action against Iran. -Farideh Farhi, NIAC - 12/6/07

Iran to respond to FIFA in two days
The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has agreed to respond in two days to FIFA and AFC's concerns over the upcoming IFF elections. -Press TV - 12/6/07

Case of Missing American Citizen Robert Levinson
American citizen Robert Levinson, who disappeared during a business trip to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, has now been missing for almost nine months. Mr. Levinson's wife Christine, their son Daniel, and other family members plan to visit Tehran to press the Iranian government on his case later this month. -U.S. State Department - 12/6/07

Programs of 23rd Fajr Intl. Music Festival announced
Groups from Austria, France, Romania, Norway, India, Turkey, the United States, and other countries will be performing at this year's festival. -MNA - 12/6/07

Former CIA Officials: Bush Iran Claims "Preposterous"
Four former CIA officials who provided intelligence information to past presidents described as preposterous President Bush's claim that he was unaware until very recently that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. -Huffington Post - 12/6/07

Iran Report Raises Questions About White House
The new National Intelligence Estimate is raising questions about what the White House knew ó and when. The estimate judged that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. President Bush has recently portrayed Iran as a nuclear threat and pressed for international sanctions against Iran ó even while the White House was already aware of new intelligence. -NPR - 12/6/07

US Intelligence Review Directly Contradicts Bushís Line On Iran
Despite the White House spin that the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) supports its policy of increasing pressure on Iran, the estimate not only directly contradicts the George W. Bush administrationís line on Iranian intentions regarding nuclear weapons, but points to a link between Tehranís 2003 decision to halt research on weaponization and its decision to negotiate with European foreign ministers on both nuclear and Iranian security concerns. -IPS - 12/6/07

"Substantial Progress" in Global Avian Flu Response, Report Says
The world community has made progress in its response to avian influenza, according to a new United Nations-World Bank report whose results were announced in New Delhi December 4, the first day of the New Delhi International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza. -USINFO - 12/6/07

President Bush's "Great Discovery": Reflections on the Administration's foreign policy u-turn
Washington's sudden policy reversal toward Islamic Regime in Tehran is a stunning admission of failure of a foreign policy that has, in recent years, been largely defined and shaped by special interest lobbies. -D. Rouzbeh - 12/6/07

ONGC Videsh, Hinduja eye Iran energy assets-sources
India's ONGC Videsh Ltd will join up with the Hinduja Group in a bid to develop two major oil and gas assets in Iran, a senior company source said on Wednesday after its board agreed the move. -Reuters - 12/6/07

US Proposes Nuclear Dialogue with China
The United States has proposed starting a dialogue with China on nuclear weapons and strategy. VOA's Al Pessin reports the proposal came during an annual meeting between senior U.S. and Chinese defense officials at the Pentagon, which included military officers responsible for each country's nuclear weapons. - 12/6/07

Iran needs $150-$160 bln oil, gas investment
Iran needs $150-$160 billion investment in its oil and gas sector to boost output capacity over the next seven years, Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 12/6/07

The Iranians Have Disappointed Us
Gosh, what a disappointment. You canít even trust the CIA anymore. Imagine, all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Where is George Tenet when we need him - to give us a slam dunk or whatever we asked for? Or Saint Colin Powell who would vouch for the war program after some sobbing. -Common Dreams - 12/6/07

Prayer rugs, Persian cats and the L.A. Times
What did we have to say back at the beginning of the United States' very complicated modern relationship with Iran? -Los Angeles Times - 12/6/07

Is Iranís missing general the source for the new NIE intel?
Remember him? He was my main beat for a few weeks in March. He went missing in Turkey in February, was soon thereafter reported to be in U.S. custody, whereupon debate raged for a good month about whether heíd come to us willingly or had been snatched. -Hot Air - 12/6/07

Iran's Nuclear Energy Program. Part VII: Are Referral of Iran's Nuclear Dossier to the Security Council and Resolutions 1696, 1737, and 1747 Legal?
A major goal of the series has been refuting the "argument" that the US neoconservatives have been making for a long time, namely, that given Iran's vast oil and gas reserves; it does not need nuclear energy. The neoconservatives and their allies in the Israeli lobby, as well as their minions among exiled Iranians are the only ones who are still clinging onto such absurd arguments. -Muhammad Sahimi - 12/5/07

Iran in the eye of the storm: A Study on U.S.-Iran Crisis
The Iran crisis has become a synonym for escalation dangerously tending towards confrontation. Tehran therein is accused by the U.S.-led West of developing nuclear weapons. This in fact is an alerting highlight in the tense history of U.S.-Iranian relations since World War Two, as we clearly hear the war bells ring. -Ali Fathollah-Nejad - 12/5/07

The "Great Game": Eurasia and the History of War
History is often self-repeating. Those who are oblivious to the lessons of history are, by virtue of ignorance, doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Samuel P. Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations," is an outright camouflage, an ideological instrument used to reach geo-political objectives. This "conflict notion" is part of a broad strategy which has been used throughout history to divide, conquer, and rule. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya - 12/5/07

Cheney Tried to Stifle Dissent in Iran NIE
A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheneyís militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers. -IPS - 12/5/07

The "Photo of the Year" exhibition in Iran Artists Organization
This year the memorial photo was taken by Sasan Tavakoli, who arranged the artists to stand together from the highest level of the building down to its entrance, trying to embrace all the 500 artists inside the image. - 12/5/07

US intelligence on Iran's nuclear program should spur talks, says IAEA's ElBaradei
A recently-released United States intelligence report concluding that there has been no ongoing nuclear weapons programme in Iran since the fall of 2003 tallies with the findings of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA), its Director-General said Tuesday in Vienna, calling for all parties concerned to enter into negotiations. - 12/5/07

Iran Seizes On U.S. Nuclear Turnaround
Rare is a U.S. intelligence report that seems to strike joy in the hearts of Iranian leaders. But a new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concludes that Iran is not currently at work on a nuclear weapons program, appears to have done just that. -RFE - 12/5/07

Persian Arts Festival Revives Shab-e She'r Poetry Night at New York's Bowery Poetry Club
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Persian Arts Festival (PAF) marks the revival of Shab-e She'r, A Night of (Persian) Poetry, at the Bowery Poetry Club (BPC). The program will continue every third Wednesday of the month through May 2008. - 12/5/07

US Democratic Presidential Contenders Reject Bush View on Iran
The Democratic presidential contenders criticized President Bush Tuesday for his administration's approach toward Iran. The Democrats condemned Mr. Bush's assertion that nothing has changed regarding Iran despite a new U.S. intelligence assessment that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program back in 2003. -VOA - 12/5/07

NIE Report: Inventing Facts
Many have been quick to characterize yesterday's National Intelligence Estimate report [1] on Iran's nuclear program as a long overdue "Honest Intel" [2] that will suck the air out of warmongers' sails because it clearly states "with high confidence that in fall of 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program". -Daniel M Pourkesali - 12/5/07

Iranian president claims US report as a victory
The jubilant Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today said the US intelligence report confirming his country had abandoned its nuclear weapons programme was a "declaration of victory" for his people. -Guardian - 12/5/07

Winners of 8th Mehregan Literary Awards honored
The award presentation ceremony of the 8th Mehregan Literary Awards was held at the Honar Cultural Center in Tehran on Monday evening. - 12/5/07

Largest Persian Gulf topside installed in Salman oilfield
Khouf Production Platform (KPP) of Salman field in southern Iran, the largest topside in the Persian Gulf, was installed by FLB124 barge, using float-over method. -IRNA - 12/5/07

Iran: Prevent Execution of Juvenile Offender
The Iranian government should prevent the execution of Makwan Mouloudzadeh, who was sentenced to death for crimes allegedly committed when he was aged 13, Human Rights Watch said today. - 12/5/07

Iran says Crescent gas deal with UAS will take effect mid-2008
The Crescent project, Iran's gas export to the United Arab Emirates, will kick off next Iranian year (to start March 20, 2008), said Iranian Offshore Oil Co. (IOOC) Managing Director Mahmud Zirakchianzadeh in Tehran on Tuesday. - 12/5/07

Washington unwilling to hold direct talks with Iran: Galloway
British MP George Galloway says there is no indication that the U.S. is willing to enter talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Iran and the U.S. have held three rounds of talks in Baghdad to improve the security situation in Iraq. A fourth round of talks between the arch foes is also imminent. -MNA - 12/5/07

Iran's 2006 economic growth stood at 6.2 pct
Iran witnessed 6.2 percent and 8.5 percent economic and industrial growth respectively in its previous year 20, 2007), reported the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on Tuesday. -IRNA - 12/5/07

China questions UN Iran sanctions
China's ambassador to the UN says a new US intelligence report on Iran's nuclear programme raises questions about the need for new sanctions. -BBC - 12/5/07

US Intelligence Says Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program in 2003
A new U.S. intelligence estimate says it is not clear that Iran is determined to produce nuclear weapons. The estimate says Iran stopped nuclear weapons development four years ago, but adds that Tehran is keeping its options open. -VOA - 12/4/07

US Democrats want rethink on Iran
The Democrats in the United States have called for a rethink of policy on Iran. It comes after a major new intelligence assessment suggested the government in Tehran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons at present. -BBC - 12/4/07

International Society for Iranian Studies condemns the arrest and detention of Emadeddin Baghi
We are writing to express our grave concern regarding the arrest of Mr. Emadeddin Baghi on October 14, 2007, and his continued detention. Mr. Baghi is best known internationally as a prominent Iranian journalist, author, and intellectual, and as a leading human rights defender inside Iran as well as the founder (in 2003) of the Association for Defending the Rights of Prisoners in Iran - 12/4/07

Men from Various Civilizations: A book by Shahrnush Parsipur
The Sialk Hills civilization had many members. One of these was a man who played the tar and loved his profession very much. This man's house was located on the western side of the hill. - 12/4/07

Experts: Instability in Iran, Iraq Threatens Persian Gulf Oil Supply
A panel of oil experts, including an ambassador from a producing nation, warned this week growing militancy in the Middle East poses a threat to world oil markets. The forum, hosted by a conservative think tank in the U.S. raised concerns about the continued flow of Persian Gulf oil, not only to America but also to the rest of the world. -VOA - 12/4/07

America's Current and Impending Wars: From Campus to the Middle East
Last year, a group of UC Berkeley students and faculty members organized a teach-in about Israel's war on Lebanon. Attended by hundreds of students, faculty, and community members, the event was an opportunity to challenge assumptions and consensuses. The teach-in on December 6 is a follow-up event to last year's, stemming from our concern about the direction of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and increasing campaigns against critics on U.S. campuses. - 12/4/07

Iran presents 12 proposals at PGCC summit
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad submitted 12 proposals meant to "reinforce brotherly ties" and "promote cooperation" among Persian Gulf littoral states at the 28th summit of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha on Monday. -MNA - 12/4/07

Fact-Based Intelligence Prevails on Nukes and Iran
For those who have doubts about miracles, a double one occurred today. An honest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iranís nuclear program has been issued and its Key Judgments were made public. With redraft after redraft, it was what the Germans call ďeine schwere GeburtĒ ó a difficult birth, ten months in gestation. -Ray McGovern, Common Dreams - 12/4/07

Iran Expels Canadian Ambassador to Tehran
Iran has expelled the Canadian ambassador to Tehran after Ottawa refused to accept Iran's proposed envoys to Canada. -VOA - 12/4/07

Iranians should be careful about Anti-Arab sentiments
Unfortunately, some secular Iranians who are resentful of Islam and the current Islamic regime, openly express anti-Arab sentiments. Some exiled nationalists who broadcast anti-regime propaganda from their Los-Angeles or London based TV stations, have made it a habit to blame the Arabs for Iranʼs decline after seventh century. -Renad Ihab - 12/4/07

Tehran's City Theater Complex wins battle to move metro station site
Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway Company has been persuaded to relocate the site of a metro station which they had planned to build directly in front of the City Theater Complex. -MNA - 12/4/07

Iran's top nuclear negotiator meets Russian counterpart
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili met with his Russia counterpart Valentin Sobolev on Tuesday. -IRNA - 12/4/07

The Iran Agenda: A Talk in San Jose by Author and Veteran Foreign Correspondent
Foreign correspondent and author Reese Erlich presents his new book, The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis. -Tuesday, December 4th, 6:00 pm at First Unitarian Church - 12/4/07

China banks restrict trade credit to Iran firms-report
Iranian traders have faced difficulties in the past week in opening letters of credit with Chinese banks, restricting a key instrument in trade that could harm business ties, an Iranian official was quoted as saying. -Reuters - 12/4/07

Nuking Iran
In a discussion about risks to growth, filled with well-worn phrases about uneven development and rising inequality, the US diplomat dropped a bomb. Mr Blackwill artfully linked Iran, a country Indians have warm feelings for, with the detonation of India's booming economy, which the population regard as a towering achievement. -Guardian - 12/4/07

Saudi firm to build power plant in Iran
Saudi Arabia has signed a half billion-euro deal with Iran to build a power plant in the country's northwestern province, East Azarbaijan. - 12/4/07

Leslie and I have fallen in love with Iran and the Iranian people!
We have just returned from Iran as part a Global Exchange "Citizen Diplomacy" Delegation. The fourteen of us traveled throughout the country for a little over two weeks. What Leslie and I discovered was not at all what we were expecting. The Iranians we met were warm, welcoming, generous, and MOSTLY CHILDREN! -Jes & Leslie - 12/3/07

Iran: Woman activist Jelve Javaheri Arrested, Maryam Hosseinkhah Remains in Prison
Jelve Javaheri, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, and a regular writer for the site of Change for Equality, was arrested earlier today, Saturday December 1, 2007, after an interrogation session at the security branch of the Revolutionary Court. -Change for Equality - 12/3/07

Profile of an Iranian artist: Shahram Entekhabi
Shahram Entekhabi, born 1963, is an Iranian-born artist and architect whose work has been the subject of many exhibitions all over the world, currently living and working across London, Berlin and Tehran. Shahram's practice is framed within an urban setting and diffuses the idea of the urban space being a reserve for the practice and performance of the white, middle class, heterosexual male. - 12/3/07

Profile of an Iranian-American philanthropist: Ali Saberioon
One journalist described Ali Saberioon as "a humble man with a huge heart." Saberioon emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1976. He credits his parents with instilling the values of community and benevolence in him. -PARSA - 12/3/07

Tabriz hit by three consecutive quake
The northwestern city of Tabriz was hit by the third consecutive quake in the past nine hours on Sunday morning. -IRNA - 12/3/07

Young woman doctor who fell foul of Iran's 'love police' was strangled
Nothing about Zahra Baniyaghoub's life suggested she would have wanted to end it. With a flourishing career as a doctor and a stable relationship with a man she loved, she seemed to have everything to live for. -Guardian - 12/3/07

Iran's Nuclear Negotiator to Visit Moscow
Iran's Foreign Ministry says chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili will travel to Moscow Monday to discuss Tehran's disputed nuclear plans with Russian officials. -VOA - 12/3/07

Iran ranks 13th, US first in term of emission of carbon dioxide
Regional Manager of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Saeed Ferdowsi said on Sunday that according to a report released by UNEP during 2007-2008, the United States of America ranked first while Iran ranked 13th in terms of emission of carbon dioxide. -IRNA - 12/3/07

Iranian gymnasts bag 10 medals in Asian games
Iran's Youth Gymnastics Team bagged 10 medals in the Asian Gymnastics Championship which concluded in Damascus, Syria, Friday evening. -IRNA - 12/3/07

Iran Khodro to produce Peugeot Pars in Egypt
Minister of industries and mines has announced that the production line for Peugeot Pars, a sedan made by Iranian automaker Iran Khodro, would soon be launched in Egypt. - 12/3/07

Standard forced out of Iran by Americans
American pressure has forced British bank Standard Chartered to sever its links with Iranian banks, despite connections with the country that go back to shortly after the Second World War. -Guardian - 12/3/07

Turkey Claims 'Significant' Gains in Attack on Kurdish Rebels in Northern Iraq
Turkey says its military has inflicted significant losses in an attack on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, and it warns that such attacks across the border may continue. -VOA - 12/3/07

Iranian Racing Authorities Stall Woman's Fast-Track Career
A pacesetting Iranian woman has had to put the brakes on her professional motor-racing career for something she says her male counterparts get away with all the time. -RFE - 12/1/07

How the Face of Iranian-Americans is changing in the Bay Area on the eve of War
On December 7th, 2007, Beyond Persiaóin collaboration with ANARó is hosting a concert highlighting famous Iranian-American Musicians at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco. The event's honorary Host committee is made up of San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, as well as Iranians, Supervisor, Ross Mirkarimi, Dr. Elahe Ensani and Ahsha Safai, among others. - 12/1/07

Iran advances to Asian hockey semifinal
The Iranian men's inline hockey team defeated India and tied Chinese Taipei 2-2 to reach the semifinal round. -Press TV - 12/1/07

Metro station construction threatens Tehran's City Theater Complex
The outlook of Tehran's most important theater venues, the City Theater Complex, is being threatened by the construction of a metro station directly in front of its yard. - 12/1/07

Iranian paintings enjoying fame and fortune: Darroudi
On the occasion of the "Seven Views" exhibit underway at Isfahan's Museum of Contemporary Art, Darroudi said that painting is gradually turning into a profession in Iran and people are now able to make a living through their artistic endeavors. - 12/1/07

The Iran Threat
Given that there are radicals who support terrorism with the possibility of gaining access to nuclear bombs in a country that is currently under emergency rule, common sense demands that world leaders turn their attention to Pakistan. Yet, inexplicably, the United States continues to hand out aid to its 'ally' Pakistan while quietly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island of Diego Garcia in preparation for a military assault against Iran. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 12/1/07

Iran's Samand automobile gaining foothold in Belarus
A top Belarusian official says that Iran's national automobile Samand is expected to flood into the former Soviet republic's auto market. -Press TV - 12/1/07

Iran starts transporting largest oil platform in Persian Gulf
The offshore transportation of processing platform of Salman oilfield, the largest oil topside in the Persian Gulf, started on Sadra Island, southern Iran. -IRNA - 12/1/07

British MP's Condemn Anti-Iranian Media Bias
A new report published today suggests that the portrayal of Iran in the British print media is overly negative and frequently misleading. Among the key findings of the report are that, in one week from 29th October to 5th November 2007, there were 112 articles that mentioned Iran in the national press and of those 89% were deemed to be "overly negative". - 12/1/07

Iranian couple ride for peace
NISKAYUNA - An Iranian couple who are riding bicycles around the planet to encourage peace and a clean environment stopped in this suburban town this week. -Albany Times Union, NY - 12/1/07

Allianz's Dresdner Bank closes accounts of customers with Iranian ties - report
Allianz SE's banking unit Dresdner Bank AG shut down the accounts of more than 100 customers with ties to Iran at its main Hamburg branch to safeguard the company's business ties in the US, Stern magazine said in its online edition, citing sources familiar with the matter. -CNN Money - 12/1/07

Biden's warning to Bush: Bomb Iran and face impeachment
Sen. Joe Biden, the loquacious long-shot Democratic presidential candidate, warned President Bush Thursday that he would move for impeachment if the president unilaterally authorized a military strike against Iran. -Raw Story - 12/1/07

It's time to talk about Israel's nukes, and ours, too
Many months ago Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, let slip a reference to Israel's nuclear weapons. While it embarrassed him, it was no surprise to the rest of the world. It has been known for decades that Israel has nukes. -San Francisco Chronicle - 12/1/07

Lifting MKO ban 'not a good precedence' for UK, warns Jalili
Britain would be setting a terrible precedence if it proceeded to lift a ban outlawing the anti-Iran Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) sect as a terrorist organisation, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili has warned. -IRNA - 12/1/07

How to beat the caviar crisis
Overfishing in the Caspian Sea has decimated sturgeon numbers. Last year, trade in most wild caviar was banned, yet quotas are still ignored, illegal fishing continues and the future for the fish does not look good. -Telegraph, UK - 12/1/07

Senator Kennedy supports dialogue with Iran
"Unfortunately, President Bush's recent talk of World War III and Vice-President Cheney's aggressive language are reckless and do nothing to improve the situation. Such talk is ill-advised, when our armed forces are already stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, and when dialogue may still solve the situation with Iran." - 12/1/07

McCarthyism Comes to Iraq: Dententions of Those Accused of "Iran Connection" on the Rise
Detentions have become commonplace in Iraq, but now more than ever before people are being detained after being accused of membership in "militias supported by Iran." -AlterNet - 12/1/07

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