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Iran: Students attacked in Mashhad Open University
Iranian cities keep dissipating further into lawlessness as security forces step back and watch groups in plain clothes attack protesters. A peaceful gathering of students at the Open University of Mashhad was attacked by about 500 pro-government forces from the Ansar-e Hezbollah group wielding knives, clubs and machetes. At least eight students were hospitalized as a result of this attack. -Zamaneh - 12/31/09

Born a Painter: Parvaneh Etemadi at Tehran's Mah Gallery
Without a doubt Parvaneh Etemadi is Iran's leading lady artist and has been so for many years. She is one of the rare artists in Iran I know who has been reinventing herself over and over again throughout her career. I have loved the intensity of her work, the great sense of beauty that I feel when I look at them and the thoughts that rush into my mind... -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/31/09

Regime Wages a Quiet War on 'Star Students' of Iran
Behind the drama unfolding in the streets of Iran, the regime is quietly clamping down on some of the nation's best students by derailing their academic and professional careers. In most places, being a star means ranking top of the class, but in Iran it means your name appears on a list of students considered a threat by the intelligence ministry. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/31/09

Iran Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesters, Opposition Says
Iranian police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of antigovernment protesters who had gathered in central Tehran, an opposition website reported today. "Supporters of opposition leader [Mir Hossein] Musavi clashed with police in Haft-e-Tir Square and police fired two rounds of tear gas to disperse the protesters," the Jaras website said. -Reuters - 12/31/09

UN human rights chief shocked by violence in Iran, urges government to rein in security forces
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday she was shocked by the recent violence leading to deaths and injuries in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and called on the Government to curb excesses by security forces. - 12/31/09

Iran: Office of Reformist MP Set on Fire
According to a report by Parleman News, the office of Nasrollah Torabi, one of the reformist members of the parliament and representative of the people of ShahreKurd (west of Iran), was set on fire on Wednesday night. - 12/31/09

Iran: ARTICLE 19 Launches Azad Tribune, an Online Platform to Encourage Free Expression
Azad Tribune will host articles from writers based in and outside Iran. It will also provide a platform for debate about freedom of expression and will provide information and other resources that will support civil society campaigning against censorship in that country. - 12/31/09

Their Myths -- and Ours: A Response to Abbas Milani's "The Great Satan Myth"
Ever since the fraudulent Iranian elections of June 2009, the increasingly desperate Islamic regime has blamed America for the ensuing protests and turmoil. As human rights conditions in Iran have worsened considerably, many are looking to the United States to speak out more forcefully on the crisis, while others caution against that move. -Arash Norouzi, Mossadegh Project - 12/31/09

Obama On Iran Crackdown
President Barack Obama said, "the United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions, injuries, and even death." -VOA - 12/31/09

Britain Opens 30-Year-Old Files on Iran
Archive files released by Britain shed new light on that country's relationship with Iran in 1979, when the Shah fled the country and Ayatollah Khomeini returned to be the supreme leader of the new Islamic Republic. -VOA - 12/31/09

Revealed: Iran's involvement in Britons' Baghdad kidnapping
The five British men kidnapped in Iraq were taken in an operation led and masterminded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, according to evidence uncovered during an extensive investigation by the Guardian. - 12/31/09

Iranians re-enacted in front of the eyes of the whole world more or less what humanity went through in the course of its past history, from prehistory to dark ages and religious rules, to renaissance and reformation. The whole population of the planet watched in detail in one life-time the rise and fall of spiritual and earthly idols. The Pyramid of Pharaoh is now standing on its head. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 12/30/09

Photos: Iranian Conservatives Hold Mass Pro-Government Rallies
Iranian conservatives are taking part in pro-government rallies in several major cities, in a show of strength against Iran's opposition movement. The government gave all civil servants and employees a day off to attend the rallies and organized buses to transport groups of schoolchildren and supporters from outlying rural areas to the protests. - 12/30/09

"We Will Act if Regime Can't": Iran's Reformist Leaders Threatened with Assassination
Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) yesterday released a statement referring to the massive Ashura protests as "defiance by disturbers beholden to foreigners and foreign enemies," adding, "The new line of conspiracy and disturbance has neared its end and its planners and organizers must sooner or later pay the price of insulting the holy beliefs of the Iranian nation." -Bahram Rafiee Rooz Online - 12/30/09

Iran Police Announces End of "Leniency"
Police Commander, Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam told reporters at a press meeting that protesters have been "taking advantage" of police "leniency" toward them. Commander Moghaddam became defensive when a reporter referred to a video clip posted on the internet that showed a police car running people over on Ashura Day. -Zamaneh - 12/30/09

Year In Review: Election Dispute Challenges Iranian Establishment
This summer, a 24-year-old student took to the streets of Tehran to protest what he believed was a stolen election. At the time, Hossein was merely demanding a repeat of the contentious vote that handed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory in the first round despite a strong showing by his main challenger, opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi. Hossein, who declined to provide his full name out of security concerns, says he now wants more -- much more. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/30/09

Release Emadeddin Baghi and All Arbitrarily Arrested Iranians
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called for the immediate and unconditional release of leading human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi, who was among numerous journalists and reformists detained on 28 December along with over 1,000 others, in the wake of violent crackdowns on Ashura protests. - 12/30/09

In Search of a Silent Scream
In the wake of Congress's reference to the recent Iranian protests in its illegitimate "moral" justification of the recent sanctions on the Iranian people, the Iranian Diaspora again faces the question of its subjective representation in the wake of the hegemonic construction of "Iran" by the global neoliberal sociopolitical complex. -Pooya Shoghi - 12/30/09

Students, militia clash on Tehran university campus
Students clashed with pro-government Basiji militiamen on the campus of a Tehran university Tuesday and security forces continued to round up dissidents as Iran reeled from the aftershocks of last weekend's deadly protests. -LA Times - 12/30/09

Iran Calls Report Of Secret Deal To Buy Kazakh Uranium 'Baseless'
Iran has described as "baseless" a report that it is seeking to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan. -RFE - 12/30/09

March in Washington DC to Demand an End to Violence Against Iranian People
On January 3rd, 2009, we will gather to show our solidarity with the movement for democracy in Iran. We will address the international community and the U.S. government and demand that they use all diplomatic leverages on Islamic Republic of Iran to end the violence on the streets and in prisons. - 12/30/09

Iran opposition leader's nephew buried after riots
The nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi was buried Wednesday, three days after he was killed in anti-government demonstrations. -CNN - 12/30/09

Change Iran at the Top
Nothing could better symbolize Iran's 30-year-old regime at the limit of its contradictions. A supreme leader imagined as the Prophet's representative on earth — Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's central revolutionary idea — now heads a militarized coterie bent, in the name of money and power, on the bludgeoning of the Iranian people. A false theocracy confronts a society that has seen through it. -Roger Cohen, NY Times - 12/30/09

Is this Iran's Berlin Wall moment?
This is not yet a counter-revolution. And the new "green movement" is a coalition of disparate factions — from former presidents to people who have never voted at all — who view the issues through vastly different prisms. Yet the pattern of public outpourings since the disputed election six months ago is setting historic precedents. -Robin Wright, TIMES Online - 12/30/09

A Father Mourns His Son: Ali Mousavi Was Killed by Iran Security Forces on Ashoura Anniversary
Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi visited her sister's house on Monday and expressed sympathy with the mourning family of Martyr Seyyed Ali Habibi Mousavi Khamene. Midday on December 27 during the commemoration of the anniversary of Ashoura, Ali Mousavi, the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was killed during the bitter events that took place in Tehran. - 12/29/09

Iran: End Slide to More Bloodshed
Amnesty International today condemned the further and wholly avoidable loss of up to 8-15 lives in Iran during the 'Ashoura religious commemorations. The organization called on the authorities to ensure that those attending funerals and commemorations in the coming days and weeks are guaranteed the right to assemble peacefully and to express their opposition to the current government. - 12/29/09

Immediate Global Response Condemning Intensified Violence in Iran
Within hours, thousands of Iranians and non-Iranians internationally mobilized to condemn the violence and stand in support of people of Iran. Demonstrations have been organized in at least 20 cities, including in Brussels, the Hague, Frankfurt, Rome, Munich, Berlin, and Washington DC, where the demonstrations were held in front of embassies and consulates. -United4Iran - 12/29/09

Iran's Protest Movement Must Prepare for the Morning After
After December 20th Iran's protest movement has entered a more violent and unpredictable phase. One of the many possible courses of events in the next few months is a sudden regime collapse which can plunge the country into revolutionary chaos. The Green Movement must draft a plan for governing the country during a temporary transition period after such an unexpected regime collapse. -Nader Habibi - 12/29/09

Where Are Those Who Truly Care About Iran?
The old Persian anecdote, Doostyeh Khaleh Kherseh, or the mama bear's affection for her cub, deserves repeating. Mama bear noticed a wasp sitting on baby bear's nose. To keep the wasp from stinging her cub, she lifted a large boulder and smashed the wasp right on top of baby bear's face! That did the job on the wasp, alright. -Kam Zarrabi - 12/29/09

Obama Condemns Violence In Iran, Urges Release Of Detainees
U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the Iranian government's violent crackdown on protesters, referring to the bloodshed and arrests that have taken place as an "iron fist of brutality." - 12/29/09

Iranian MPs Rally Against Opposition
The majority hardline faction of the parliament held a rally on Tuesday against the opposition protests which took place on Sunday in Tehran and other cities. Government is blaming the protesters for violating the sanctity of Ashoura. The MPs first rallied in the parliament hall and then outside around the building to voice their support for the government. -Photos by Hamid Forootan, ISNA - 12/29/09

Iran: Fatemeh Karroubi Condemns Attacks Against Her Family
A statement from Fatemeh Karroubi, wife of opposition leader and disputing candidate of Iran's June presidential elections, Mehdi Karroubi, was issued today denouncing the attacks against her family. - 12/29/09

Ketab: A Short Film by Ana Lily Amirpour Is Going to Tribeca
Ana Lily Amirpour is working on her next project: a short film called KETAB, about a lonely young guy in Tehran who goes to buy a book. On the surface, it appears to be a very basic story, but as it unfolds, a much more intricate world is revealed, one that touches on the current dichotomies faced by Tehrani youth and their fight for basic freedoms. - 12/29/09

Iran Denounces US, British Criticism of Protest Crackdown
Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani read a statement from lawmakers Tuesday saying U.S. President Barack Obama is disgracing himself by praising the Iranian opposition. Iran's state-run Press TV also quotes Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying Britain will receive a "punch on the mouth" if it does not stop its "nonsense," as he put it. -VOA - 12/29/09

Could the Mullahs Fall This Time
As protesters poured into the streets of Iran in the biggest and bloodiest demonstrations since June, Trita and Rouzbeh Parsi say this time could be the breaking point. -Daily Beast - 12/29/09

IRAN: Story of martyr Imam Hussein fires the protest drama
It was a political slogan soaked with Iranian history, religion and cultural identity. "This month is a month of blood. Yazid will be defeated," they chanted on the streets of Tehran last weekend in a popular uprising that roiled the Iranian state and spurred a massive ongoing crackdown. -LA Times - 12/29/09

Laureate Ebadi's Sister 'Detained' In Iran
Reports from Iran say authorities have detained the sister of Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. A statement from Ebadi carried on an opposition website said Nushin Ebadi, a lecturer, was detained on December 28 at her home. -RFE - 12/29/09

Iran: Parliamentary Committee to Investigate Ashura Unrest
MP Mohammad Karamirad has said that the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss Sunday's sporadic anti-government protests in Tehran and several other Iranian cities. -MNA - 12/29/09

Mousavi supporters say Iran ordered murder of his nephew
A spokesman for Mir Hossein Mousavi, the former presidential candidate and Iran Green Movement leader, charged that the murder of Mousavi's nephew on Sunday was a targeted assassination designed to send a message to the political reformist. -Iason Athanasiadis, CSM - 12/29/09

Iran protesters: the Harvard professor behind their tactics
Iran singled out Harvard professor Gene Sharp as a key inspiration for protesters' 'velvet coup.' Sharp's manual on nonviolent protest shaped opposition movements in Czechoslovakia and inspired activists in Burma. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 12/29/09

The Tipping Point in Iran
The past six months show that the democratic movement is here to stay. That movement now needs a coherent plan and more structured leadership. -Abbas Milani, WSJ - 12/29/09

Arrests Continue As State TV Confirms Eight Killed In Iran Protests
Iranian security forces today are continuing to arrest protesters and opposition members who took part in two days of deadly demonstrations in Tehran and other cities. Iranian police said they have detained some 300 protesters so far. -RFE - 12/28/09

Iranian Opposition Groups: Police Arrest 5 Prominent Activists
Iranian opposition groups say authorities have arrested at least five prominent reformists as part of a new crackdown on anti-government protests. Opposition Web sites say three advisers to Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi were detained Monday, including his top aide, Alireza Beheshti. They say authorities also arrested human rights campaigner Emad Baghi and opposition activist Ebrahim Yazdi, a former foreign minister in Iran's first post-Islamic Revolution government. -VOA - 12/28/09

Iran: Ali Mousavi's Cadaver Disappears From Tehran Hospital
The remains of Ali Mousavi, nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, has "disappeared" according to Parleman News. Ali Mousavi was killed yesterday from a gunshot wound in Tehran and police has described his death as "suspicious." -Zamaneh - 12/28/09

Ashura Violence Marks Turning Point For Iran's Opposition
As Iranians gathered to celebrate the Shi'ite holiday of Ashura on December 27, Tehran witnessed some of its worse violence since just after the disputed June 12 presidential contest that plunged the Islamic Republic into crisis. Some Iran observers believe the events, in which clashes between opposition protesters and security forces resulted in protesters' deaths and injuries on both sides, mark a turning point in the months-long political crisis. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/28/09

In Pictures: Ashoura Protests in Tehran
These photos by Arash Ashoorinia are from the protests held by the Green Opposition Movement supporters in Tehran on Sunday, December 27. Protesters were on the streets to mark Ashoura, the martyrdom of Imam Hossein in 680 AD at the battle of Karbala, and to express their support for the opposition. - 12/28/09

Iranian Regime Critic Kadivar: 'I Am Convinced that the Regime Will Collapse'
In a SPIEGEL interview, Iranian Ayatollah Mohsen Kadivar, currently a visiting research professor at America's Duke University, discusses the recent death of opposition leader Hossein Ali Montazeri, the frustrations Iranians have with their regime, the future of the green movement and the prospect of an escalation." - 12/28/09

Iranian-American Groups NIAC and PAAIA Condemns Violence against Iranian Protestors
Two of the leading Iranian-American organizations have issued statements condemning the violence against the protesters in Iran and expressing support for their democratic demands. - 12/28/09

Iran State Media Paint Different Picture of Protests
Hardliner media have made every effort to discredit election protesters who had announced they would take to the streets on Ashura Day to voice their dissent. State media however was hard at work portraying the protests to the government's advantage. Fars news agency reported that Mousavi and Khatami supporters have "burned copies of the Holy Quran." Iran network, IRNA's television network, reported that "a car at Azadi Street ran over and killed three people," adding the car belonged to one of the "rioters" and that it has been "identified." -Zamaneh - 12/28/09

A Bright, Young Iranian Woman in Need of Bone Marrow Transplant: Message from Mona Zarei
I am a 26-year-old graduate of Sharif University in Tehran, currently a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at the Florida International University. Unfortunately after only four months living in America, in November 2007 I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder which has gradually led to bone marrow failure. - 12/28/09

Photos: Ashoura Mourning Ritual in Bijar, Iran
The following photos by Sina Shiri are from the Ashoura mourning ritual held on December 27 in the town of Bijar in Kurdestan Province of Iran located in the western part of the country . Bijar's estimated population as of 2006 is 46,156. With an elevation of 1883.4 meters, Bijar is called the Roof of Iran. - 12/28/09

Photos: Ashoura Mourning Ritual in Khusf, Birjand
The following photos by Amir Hossein Heydari are from the Ashoura mourning ritual held on December 27 in town of Khusf located west of provincial city of Birjand in South Khorasan province of Iran. As part of this ritual, the men raise their shovels in unison and call the names of the Shi'ite saints. - 12/28/09

Iran Erupts in Holy Day Clashes
Tens of thousands of Iranian protesters clashed with security forces nationwide, as a major religious holiday was convulsed by what appeared to be the worst street violence since antigovernment demonstrations broke out more than six months ago. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/28/09

U.S., France, Italy Condemn Iranian Violence
The United States, Italy, and France have all come out with statements condemning violence by Iranian security forces against civilian protesters. The White House said it "strongly condemns" what it described as the "unjust suppression" of civilians by the Iranian government -- and said the United States is on the side of Iranian protesters. - 12/28/09

Soccer: Qatar edges Iran in Doha
Magid Mohamed's late goal sealed a sweet victory for Qatar against Iran in the Doha International Friendship Football Tournament on Monday. -MNA - 12/28/09

Reports Of Deaths Mount In Iran Clashes
Unofficial sources claim that at least four protesters have been killed, including a relative of opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, and many others injured as thousands of opposition supporters clashed with security forces in central Tehran. But Iranian police said no deaths had occurred. - 12/27/09

Nephew of Iran's Opposition Leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's Killed During Tehran Protests
According to Parleman news web site, Seyed Ali Habibi Mousavi, the son of Mir Hossein Mousavi's sister, was killed during the Ashoura protests in Tehran on December 27. Ali Mousavi was 35 and father of 2 children. According to the report, a bullet pierced Ali Mousavi's heart during the protests around Revolution square. He later died at Ebn-Sina hospital. - 12/27/09

Photos: Ashoura Protests in Tehran
These photos by Arash Ashoorinia are from the protests held by the Green Opposition Movement supporters in Tehran on December 27 on the occasion of Ashoura. According to reports by the reformist web sites, four people were killed during these protests when the security forces fired live ammunition at the protesters. The nephew of the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is said to be among the dead. - 12/27/09

Iran: Basij Militia Attack Imam Khomeini's House During Speech by Opposition Leader Khatami
According to, over fifty members of Basij and plainclothes militia attacked the prayer hall in Imam Khomeini's house in Tehran using chains, batons and pepper spray, interrupting a speech by former president Mohammad Khatami. - 12/27/09

Videos: Ashoura Anti-Regime Protests in Iran
Following videos show opposition protesters in Tehran and Isfahan on December 27. According to reports by reformist web sites, at least four protesters, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, died in Tehran when security forces opened fire on them. Reports also indicate that another four people died in the northwestern provincial city of Tabriz. - 12/27/09

Payvand's Top 10 Flickr Photos of 2009
Flickr is one of the best online photo management and sharing applications on the net. This year we have looked over hundreds of photos and here are our top ten photographs posted on Flickr in 2009. It will be fun to see what has attracted viewers in 2009. - 12/27/09

Iran protesters killed, including Mousavi's nephew
Opposition sources in Iran say that at least eight protesters have been killed in violent clashes between anti-government crowds and police. The nephew of former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was among four killed in Tehran, while the others died in the northern city of Tabriz. -BBC - 12/27/09

New Year's Resolution for Congress: Get Smart About Iran
Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are busy sending signals that they are ready to ramp up the wrangling with Iran. But their ill-thought and ill-timed sanctions initiatives -- which have raised concerns inside the Obama White House and across the international community -- are unlikely to further the legitimate cause of disarmament and could end up strengthening the hand of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Nation - 12/27/09

IRAN: Chronicling the choreography of Tehran's political theater of the streets
Stay on the wings and watch history unfold, or better yet, score a backstage pass and sit next to the director as he nervously watches his work unfold. That's how journalists sometimes do their jobs. -Borzou Daragahi, LA Times - 12/27/09

Clashes Reported As Iran's Opposition Holds Fresh Protests
Iranian security forces are reported to have clashed with opposition protesters using a religious ritual to stage fresh antigovernment demonstrations. Witnesses told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that police and Basij militia were out in force in Tehran and other cities, including Mashhad, Qom, Hamedan, and Najafabad and preventing protesters from congregating in large numbers. -RFE - 12/26/09

Iranian security forces clash with anti-government protesters in Tehran
Iranian security forces clashed with anti-government protesters in a district of northern Tehran on Saturday following a speech there by opposition leader and former president Mohammad Khatami, one day before a scheduled larger protest at the climax of a major Shiite religious commemoration. -Washington Post - 12/26/09

Photos: Muharram Mourning in Kang Village, Mashhad
Kang village is located abotu 28 Kilometers west of the city of Mashhad. The architecture of Kang is close to that of the famous village of Masouleh in Iran's Gilan province; and hence Kang is known as the Masouleh of Khorasan. -Photos by Amin Khosroshahi, ISNA - 12/26/09

Photos: Muharram Mourning in Ziarat Village, Golestan Province of Iran
This village, which is a popular tourist destination, has a different culture and architecture compared to other villages in the province. Ziarat in Persian means pilgrimage. But it seems the name of the village has nothing to do with an Islamic shrine located in the village. Rather, based on ancient ruins and historic data, it seems this village has been one of the centers of worship for the Buddhists who would gather there from all over Asia. -Photos by Aboutaleb Nadri, MNA - 12/26/09

Photos: Muharram Mourning in Kerman, Iran
Photos presented here are from the Tasoua mourning ceremonies in the city of Kerman. Kerman is the center of Kerman province, one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Located in a large and flat plain, this city is located 1,076 km (669 mi) south of Tehran, capital of Iran. Kerman city had an estimated population of 533,799 in 2005. -Photos by Yaser Khadishi, ISNA - 12/26/09

Photos: Muharram Mourning in Zanjan, Iran
Photos presented here are from the Tasoua mourning ceremonies in the city of Zanjan located in the northwest Iran. Zanjan is the center of Zanjan province, one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Zanjan province with an area of 36,400 km² has a mostly rural, population of 1.7 million. -Photos by Youness Khani, MNA - 12/26/09

Iranian student protester Neda Soltan is Times Person of the Year
Neda Soltan was not political. She did not vote in the Iranian presidential election on June 12. The young student was appalled, however, by the way that the regime shamelessly rigged the result and reinstalled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ignoring the pleas of her family, she went with her music teacher eight days later to join a huge opposition demonstration in Tehran. - 12/26/09

Memorial Service and Tribute to Grand Ayatollah Montazeri in Oakland, California
Program: Recitation of Quran, talks by Dr. Ali Sadeghi Tehrani, and Dr. Mohsen Kadivar (live video conference) - 12/26/09

Iranian Cleric Warns Opposition Not to Use Religious Ceremony to Protest
A top pro-government cleric is warning Iranians Friday not to take advantage of one of Shi'ite Islam's most sacred holy days to create a free-for-all protest against the government. He also told Christians around the world that they should behave more like Christ. - 12/26/09

The Ashura Of My Younger Years
When I look back now on the Ashura of my youth, I would say that maybe the idea of losing yourself in a spirit of devotion or sacrifice for an ideology or religion was there in our culture and religion, but it was something private. It was not politicized or instrumentalized for the benefit of a political ideology, group, or individual. -Abbas Djavadi - 12/26/09

Iran not opposed to nuclear fuel swap in a third country
Iran's top diplomat announced late Thursday that Tehran is not against a simultaneous exchange of its low-enriched uranium for a higher enriched fuel in another country. -MNA - 12/26/09

Iraqi and Iranian forces in oil well standoff
Iraqi and Iranian forces are dug in on either side of a disputed inactive oil well in the sensitive border area, with Iraqis vowing to fight if necessary to fend off another occupation of the well by Iranian soldiers. -Reuters - 12/26/09

Iran Is United, Ahmadinejad Tells West
"The Western politicians think something happening in Iran and Iran has become weakened. That is a mistake. They do not know Iran. The people of Iran are united and they would certainly defend rights and interests," Ahmadinejad explained. - 12/25/09

Death of Dissident Cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri, Keeps Iran Politics Volatile
The death of prominent dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri continues to occupy Iran's political scene as people try to organize memorial services against the will of the government and hardliners try to downplay the importance of the senior religious leader. -Zamaneh - 12/25/09

Tehran protesters clash with Iranian security forces
Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Tehran on Thursday and clashed with security forces in the latest round of unrest over Iran's disputed June presidential election, according to witnesses and amateur video posted on the Internet. -LA Times - 12/25/09

Iran Confirms Bin Laden's Daughter Is At Saudi Embassy
Iran has confirmed that a daughter of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has recently turned up at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran seeking permission to leave the country. "We do not know how the individual they referred to as Bin Laden's daughter entered the Saudi Embassy and Iran in the first place," Iran's Foreign Minister said. -RFE - 12/25/09

New US stance on Iranian protests: stress human rights violations
Instead of expressing support for participants in Iranian protests, which the regime could use against them, the Obama administration is focusing on Iran's human rights violations. -CSM - 12/25/09

New Clash Reported In Iran's Northwestern City of Zanjan
Security forces in northwestern Iran reportedly forcibly dispersed mourners and sealed off a mosque after a local cleric encouraged participation in a memorial to the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, an eyewitness told RFE/RL's Radio Farda. The eyewitness claimed "heavy clashes" ensued when security and plainclothes forces tried to keep people away, including locking the mosque in Zanjan's doors. - 12/24/09

Iran: Reformists Establish Headquarters For Organizing Ayatollah Montazeri's Services
Reformist website, Jaras announced the establishment of "the headquarters for the organization of Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral and memorial services." The announcement says that the organization has been established in response to the "government's ban on memorial services for the leading Shiite cleric." -Zamaneh - 12/24/09

Iran: The Leadership Void
Every good political movement has a leader. South Africa had Mandela. India had Gandhi. Even 1979 Iran had Khomeini. When protests broke out after the Iranian presidential elections this past June, that leader was supposed to be Mir Hossein Mousavi. But as time went on he was trumped by Mehdi Karroubi, who dared to speak out against abuses in prison such as torture and rape. Six months later, Karroubi has become less visible... -H. Graham Underwood - 12/24/09

Iranian Court Sentences Prominent Reformist Abdollah Ramezanzadeh to 6 Years in Jail
Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a prominent reformist, had been charged by the Revolutionary court with acting against Iran's national security. Iranian media did not say when his sentence was issued. Ramezanzadeh was a government spokesman under Iran's reformist former President Mohammad Khatami, who served from 1997 to 2005. - 12/24/09

Iran: End Violence Against Mourners
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran denounced attacks on followers and admirers of the late Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri today, as police used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters in Isfahan. - 12/24/09

The Persians: A Great Book For The Holidays
Once in a while one gets hold of a book that tells it all and one cannot put it down and despite the weary days and tired eyes one keeps reading it through to the end. I received what I consider the best read of the year in December and wish to share it with all of you: The Persians – Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran by Dr. Homa Katouzian -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/24/09

Beyond the Clamor of Tehran
ABOUT 250 miles north of Tehran lies the city of Gorgan. Nearby is the Great Wall of Gorgan, a defensive barrier built some 1,500 years ago, which stretches for roughly 120 miles. -New York Times - 12/24/09

Deep South calls in Iran to cure its health blues
In ground-breaking project, one of America's poorest communities is turning to the Middle East to try to resolve its crisis. With Congress acrimoniously debating the reform of healthcare, it is to Iran that one of America's poorest communities is turning to try to resolve its own health crisis. -TIMES Online - 12/24/09

Iran must allow peaceful gatherings during 'Ashoura
Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to ensure that freedom to gather peacefully is assured during 'Ashoura religious celebrations this month. - 12/24/09

Iran protests spread in heartland
Iranian authorities are clearly alarmed by the spread of the protests. Mojtaba Zolnour, a mid-ranking cleric serving as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative to the elite and powerful Revolutionary Guard, acknowledged widespread unrest around the country. -LA Times - 12/24/09

Iran Rules Out Visit by US Senator John Kerry
A senior Iranian lawmaker says Tehran does not take rumors of US Senator John Kerry's proposed visit to Tehran seriously. The American bimonthly, Foreign Policy magazine on Friday reported that Kerry had "offered" to travel to the Iranian capital to broker "a last-ditch agreement" with Tehran over its nuclear program. -Press TV - 12/24/09

US: Iran Increasingly a 'Police State'
A U.S. State Department official says "Iran is increasingly showing itself to be a police state" in its harsh treatment of opposition protesters. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Wednesday that Iran is using its security forces to try to "stamp out" the "aspirations of the Iranian people." -VOA - 12/24/09

Iran: Who Is Afraid of Relations with the US?
It is not difficult for any Iranian to see why Iran's national interests and the public good call for immediate restoration and expansion of ties with the United States. To say only some of the things that relations with the USA may bring for Iran -Bahman Aghai Diba - 12/24/09

Iran's Academy of Arts Deputy Resigns In Protest to Mousavi's Dismissal
In protest to the dismissal of Mir Hossein Mousavi from his government position as the head of the Academy of Arts, Deputy Chief of the Academy, Mohammad Mehdi Heydarian has resigned. -Zamaneh - 12/24/09

Iran 'to invalidate' banknotes defaced by slogans
Iran's central bank has said defaced banknotes are to be made invalid, after the appearance of opposition slogans on money, local media report. -BBC - 12/24/09

Iran: Clashes Accompany Fresh Montazeri Memorial in Isfahan
Heavy clashes have been reported outside an Isfahan mosque where a memorial ceremony was due to be held in honor of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a founding architect of the Iranian Revolution and spiritual father of Iran's opposition Green Movement. - 12/23/09

Iran: Pro Government Rally In Qom Fails To Attract The Crowds
Pro government forces, after prior announcements and with the approval of the authorities, gathered in Qom on Wednesday. This rally was a response to the massive gathering by the opposition forces on Monday during the funeral for Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. However, the photos distributed by ISNA show the rally failed to attract many. - 12/23/09

Iran Intelligence Minster "identifies" 80 dissident groups
In a meeting with the nation's provincial premiers he announced that these organizations were involved in the post-election "sedition" and one of them even has a 1.7-billion-dollar budget. -Zamaneh - 12/23/09

Iran to unveil new generation of 'national satellite'
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Wednesday that Iran will unveil a new generation of the "national satellite" called Tolou (dawn) in early February. -MNA - 12/23/09

Iran on top of 2009 Global Restriction on Religion Report
The study examines restrictions on religion which originate from both government policies and social hostilities undertaken by private individuals, organizations and social groups. - 12/23/09

Iran's Opposition Leader Mousavi Stripped of Academy of Art's Post
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was dismissed on Tuesday from his government post as the head of the Academy of Arts. Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, fired Mir Hossein Mousavi in their Tuesday meeting. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interrupted his trip to Shiraz in order to attend the meeting and later returned to Shiraz. -Zamaneh - 12/23/09

Khatami denies reports claiming he wrote letter to Supreme Leader
At a meeting with university students and graduates in Tehran, Khatami said some people have claimed that he wrote a letter to the Supreme Leader and Ayatollah Khamenei took a certain stance toward what he allegedly wrote. -MNA - 12/23/09

Diane Sawyer Interviews Iranian President Ahmadinejad
In an exclusive interview with ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer in Copenhagen, Denmark, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed nuclear weapons, the U.S. hikers being detained in Iran and the United States. -ABC News - 12/23/09

West should allow Iran to solve its own problems, says opposition leader
If Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who died last weekend, was the spiritual leader of the so-called Green Movement, Mr Karroubi, 72, has been its most defiant and outspoken political leader since he and Mir Hossein Mousavi were defeated by Mr Ahmadinejad in hotly disputed elections in June. -TIMES Online - 12/23/09

Bin Laden's Family Under House Arrest in Iran
Bin Laden's son reiterated his thanks to the Iranian Government for what it has provided for his brothers and sisters "but now and after eight and a half year, the changes in the situations, and since there are several places where they wish to move so as to be with their families and mothers, we want to reunite the family and need to rally together the efforts by several parties so as to fulfill this dream." -Asharq Al-Awsat - 12/23/09

Iran Government Supporters Rally Against Opposition
Tuesday, an opposition Web site says members of Iran's Basij militia attacked the office of another pro-reform cleric, Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei. The site, Norooz, said plainclothes militia members broke windows and beat up members of Sanei's staff. - 12/22/09

Iran: Pro-government Crowd Threatens Ayatollah Montazeri's Home
Pro-government forces have indicated that they will demonstrate in Qom against the mourners of Ayatollah Montazeri, the senior reformist cleric who passed away on Sunday, and there is grave concern that his residence will be attacked again. - 12/22/09

Arash Ashoorinia's photos of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's Funeral's Arash Ashoorinia has taken some very amazing photos from the house of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and the funeral procession held on Monday December 21st. - 12/22/09

Why Iran's Green Movement Will Prevail
It has now been almost six months since those fateful days in June when the people of Iran shattered the false image that the government of Iran had cast of them-that stark image of women clad head-to-toe in black chadors, and bearded zealous men punching their fists into the air chanting slogans of death to the world and holding Americans hostage. -Iran News Now - 12/22/09

Photos: Ahmadinejad Receives Cold Reception In Shiraz
Mahmoud Ahmadinjad visited the provincial city of Shiraz in Fars province on Tuesday December 22nd where he gave a speech to a crowd at the local stadium. Photos distributed by ISNA show a lackluster attendance. Many of the people present were carrying signs about their various needs and demands. -Photos by Alireza Sotakbar ISNA - 12/22/09

No Military Solution To Conflicts
The nature of the current wars in the wider western Asian area reveals a disturbing trend: next to sources of conflict between states there are an increasing number of conflicts within them. In Yemen, the civil war has had a ripple effect throughout the Persian Gulf region provoking the military intervention of Saudi Arabia and a humanitarian crisis that has remained largely unreported. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - 12/22/09

Iran's Karate Federation bans women's Shukokai style due to hijab unveiling
Iran's Karate Federation (IKF) has banned the Shitoryu Shukokai Union style for women after the youth athletes unveiled their hijab (Islamic covering) in the tournament held in Germany two weeks ago. -MNA - 12/22/09

Pentagon Developing Options to Deal With Iranian Nuclear Program
The United States' top military officer says the Pentagon must be ready with military options against Iran's nuclear program in the event the president calls for them. -VOA - 12/22/09

Iran to produce 20-percent fuel if West violates commitments: FM
"Iran will choose its final option to produce 20 percent-enriched fuel if the West does not live up to its legal commitments and refuses to accept the two choices discussed for Tehran research reactor fuel," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said a press conference in Lebanon. - 12/22/09

Iran lifts travel restrictions on actress Motamed-Arya
Iran has removed travel restrictions on actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said on Tuesday. However, restrictions still remain in place on filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, he added. "Reports we received about these persons convinced us to forbid them to travel abroad," he stated. - 12/22/09

Iran opposition energized by Montazeri funeral in Qom, say eyewitnesses
The death of Iran cleric Montazeri "is also a blessing – it brought people out again," said an engineering student, one of hundreds of thousands who turned out. Eyewitnesses report pro-regime basiji and mourners in verbal clash inside Qom shrine. -CSM - 12/22/09

White House Statement on Ayatollah Montazeri's Death
Statement on passing of Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri by National Security Spokesman Mike Hammer - 12/22/09

Opposition Cleric Ayatollah Montazeri Laid to Rest as Hundreds of Thousands Attend Funeral
Reportedly hundreds of thousands of people attended the ceremony, many of which had spent last night in the streets of Qom awaiting the ceremony. Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had gone to Qom last night to pay their respects to the deceased cleric. Reportedly government forces repeatedly stopped buses that were carrying mourners to the ceremony from different cities of the country. By some accounts some people were even arrested. -Zamaneh - 12/21/09

Photos: Funeral Of A Revered Ayatollah, Hossein Ali Montazeri
Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, who died on Sunday, was buried in Massoumeh's Shrine in the city of Qom besides his martyred son's grave. Hundreds of thousands of grieving people packed the streets of Qom chanting slogans praising the revered Ayatollah and the opposition movement; they also chanted against a government they see as illegitimate. - 12/21/09

Iran's Independence and the Nuclear Dispute
The nuclear dispute between Iran and the United States is heating up. Iran made its proposal on December 12, having been in negotiation with the US and other powers since October 1. Iran proposed exchanging 400 kilograms of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium for an equivalent amount of 20 percent enriched uranium to be used in its medical reactor in Tehran. -R.K. Ramazani - 12/21/09

Iran's Top Dissident Cleric Montazeri Laid To Rest Amid Protests
Monatzeri, once considered a successor to the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had become one of the fiercest critics of the Iranian clerical establishment. In recent months, Montazeri had become the spiritual father of Iran's opposition Green Movement. -Golnaz Esfandiari RFE - 12/21/09

Iran Opposition: Huge Turnout for Cleric's Funeral
Opposition forces in Iran say tens of thousands of people turned out for the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. The dissident cleric died Sunday, and supporters immediately took to the streets in mourning. - 12/21/09

Cleric's Death, Torture Case Jolt Iran
Iran's opposition seized upon the death of one of the Islamic republic's founding fathers -- a revered ayatollah who was also a fierce critic of the nation's leadership -- to take to the streets in mourning. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/21/09

Video: Interview with Ayatollah Montazeri
In this historic interview, conducted by Radio Zamaneh in early 2009, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri talks about his opposition to the mass executions ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini in late 80s. This ultimately resulted in Montazeri falling out of favor with Khomeini and being set aside as the next Supreme Leader. - 12/21/09

Iran: Woman Activist Somayeh Rashidi Arrested
Somayeh Rashidi, women's rights defender and Campaign activist was arrested earlier today, Saturday December 19, after appearing for interrogation at the Revolutionary Courts. -Change for Equality - 12/21/09

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani Meets Mubarak in Cairo
After the talks, Larijani told reporters that the meeting was positive and constructive. Also before entering the talks he had told reporters in Egypt, "there is a good ground that aids perusing Iran and Egypt ties and attempts to support the ties." -ISNA - 12/21/09

Iran's Capital Dipped in Polluted Air
Iranian authorities cautioned that the cold season has deteriorated the condition of air pollution in the capital Tehran, saying that the high level of poisonous gases has posed a great danger to the citizens' lives. -FNA - 12/21/09

Iranians Mourn Reformist Cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri
Iranians are mourning dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, following his death overnight at the age of 87. Montazeri, an architect of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution who is considered the spiritual father of the present reform movement, is to be buried on December 21 in the Shi'ite holy city of Qom. - 12/20/09

Photos: Shopping for Yalda - Iranians to mark the 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. Yalda is the last night of autumn and the beginning of winter. -Raouf Mohseni, MNA - 12/20/09

Iran: Mousavi and Karoubi Declare Monday National Day Of Mourning
Following the announcements made by a number of Grand Ayatollahs inviting public to mourn the departure of the great shia scholar and noble combatant, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, in a joint statement Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi declared Monday to be a national mourning day and invited the grieving public to attend Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral on Monday. - 12/20/09

Iran Admits 3 Killed at Prison Holding Election Protesters
Prosecutors are charging three people directly involved in repeated beatings that led to the deaths. Iranian state media say officials admit that prison officers beat three people to death at a facility holding detainees arrested in post-election unrest earlier this year. - 12/20/09

Death of Iranian Cleric Could Set Off New Protests
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri of Iran, a plain-spoken senior Shiite cleric who became a fierce critic of the country's hard-line rulers, died Sunday, and the news quickly became a rallying cry for opposition leaders who called on mourners to converge on his funeral.-New York Times - 12/20/09

Report: Iran Detains Filmmaker Mohammad Nurizad
Recently, Nurizad has written to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticizing the management of the country, especially after its disputed June presidential election. - 12/20/09

Four Iranian newspapers land in trouble with Ministry of Culture
Iranian Ministry of Culture issued a warning to four daily newspapers for their "inadequate" coverage of Friday's pro-government demonstrations which was organized by the State to condemn the "desecration" of the Ayatollah Khomeini's picture. -Zamaneh - 12/20/09

Opposition leader slams Iran Head of Judiciary
Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi lashed out against Sadegh Larijani, head of Iran's judiciary claiming he has compromised his status in the legal system by interfering in political matters. Last week, by referring to leaders of the post-election protests as "leaders of the riots," Sadegh Larijani threatened opposition leaders that the judiciary has ample evidence to prosecute them. - 12/20/09

Obama Administration: Iran to Face 'Consequences' Over Nuclear Program
The Obama administration says Iran will face consequences from an increasingly-united global community if it continues to rebuff multilateral efforts to ensure the peaceful application of its nuclear program. - 12/20/09

Iranian Hercules Fighting New Battle: Rezazadeh vows to fight doping
Newly-appointed caretaker of Iran Weightlifting Federation Hossein Rezazadeh vowed he will eradicate doping in the sport in Iran. Rezazadeh nicknamed "The Iranian Hercules" won the gold medals in the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic games. -MNA - 12/20/09

Iran, Iraq FMs discuss oil well misunderstanding
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari have stressed the importance of establishing an arbitration commission to settle the dispute over the ownership of an oil well located on their shared border. -MNA - 12/20/09

Iraq Says Iranian Troops Withdrawn from Oil Well, Still in Iraq
Iraqi officials say Iranian troops have withdrawn from a disputed oil well on their border, but remain on Iraqi territory. -VOA - 12/20/09

Interview With Father Of "Suicide" Doctor: No One Has Courage To Tell The Truth
Hours after one member of the special Majlis committee to investigate post-election events announced that the "Death of Kahrizak detention facility's doctor does not need investigation," speaking to Rooz, the family of the doctor, Ramin Pourandarjani, criticized the treatment and contradictory statements of officials. They insisted that this young doctor absolutely did not commit suicide but that no one has the courage to say the truth -Fereshteh Ghazi - 12/19/09

The Doctor Who Defied Tehran
At the height of Iran's bloody civil unrest this year, a young doctor named Ramin Pourandarjani defied his superiors. He refused to sign death certificates at a Tehran prison that he said were falsified to cover up murder. He testified to a parliamentary committee that jailers were torturing and raping protesters, his family says. He told friends and family he feared for his life. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/19/09

Aydin Salek, Tragedy Hits Home
It was Sunday evening that I heard the sad and heartbreaking news about Aydin Salek. Aydin died in the earlier hours of Sunday December 13th, one day short of his 18th birthday. -by Elahe Amani - 12/19/09

Iran threatens unlicensed films' cast and crew with punitive action
The remark was made by Culture Ministry's Supervision and Evaluation Office (SEO) Director Alireza Sajjadpur after the film "The White Meadows" by Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof won two accolades at the 6th International Film Festival on Wednesday. - 12/19/09

Iran must release student pictured 'dressed as woman'
Amnesty International has called for the release of an Iranian student leader whose arrest and detention have inspired men to cover their hair in an online solidarity photo campaign. Majid Tavakkoli was arrested in student protests on 7 December and was later pictured wearing female clothes in an apparent attempt to humiliate him. - 12/19/09

Mothers Of Detained Americans In Iran Say 'Christmas Won't Be A Celebration'
The jailed Americans are reportedly being treated well but have been held incommunicado since October 29. RFE/RL correspondent Nikola Krastev spoke in New York with Nora Shourd, the mother of Sarah Shourd, and Cindy Hickey, the mother of Shane Bauer. - 12/19/09

Iran: "Drug poisoning" caused death of Kahrizak physician
The suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Ramin Pourandarjani, the young physician who examined some of the victims of torture in Kahrizak Dentention Centre during Iran's post-election events, was once more in the country's newspaper headlines as Massoud Pezeshkian, member of Iranian Parliaments Health Commission announced that his death was due to "poisoning from the drug, Inderal." -Zamaneh - 12/19/09

Iran rejects reports of oil well seizure in Iraq
Iran rejects reports that its forces have taken over an oil well within Iraqi borders, while a Baghdad official admits the site is in a disputed border area. Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi has also described the reports as a futile campaign to harm Tehran-Baghdad ties. -Press TV - 12/19/09

Kristol Clear: The Source of America's Wars
Americans feeling let down by Barack Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan should take careful note of those who welcomed yet another "surge." It might help them to identify the source of their seemingly endless wars. -Maidhc O Cathail - 12/19/09

Acetaminophen codeine best-selling drug in Iran
Acetaminophen Codeine is the best-selling medicine in the country, Iran's deputy health minister for food and medicines said here on Friday - 12/19/09

Ahmadinejad: Reiss release depends on France behavior
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the release of a French academic arrested on charges of espionage depends on France's approach and behavior. Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Iran was willing to release Clotilde Reiss but that it depended on the "approach and behavior" adopted by French officials. -Press TV - 12/19/09

Mohammad Khatami: Imam Hossein fought for reform in the Islamic society
Seyyed Mohammad Khatami by pointing out the beginning of the month of Moharam (in which on the 10th day, Ashura, Imam Hossein (the third Imam of Shias) was martyred along with 72 of his loyal allies and some members of his family in an unjust battle with the oppressive ruler of the time) said that the story of Ashura has always been a role model for our nation and made us to resist and be more patient when facing the problems, and we also learned to always fight for good. - 12/18/09

Exhibition: Fataneh Dadkhah's Balouchi Brides
Balouchi Brides is a series of photographs taken in Balouchestan. Candlestar is delighted to present two photographs by Iranian artist Fataneh Dadkhah. The two photographs (below) are part of Dadkhah's beautiful Balouchi Bride series, and can be commissioned exclusively from Candlestar as limited edition prints. - 12/18/09

Fallout of 2009 Iran Protests to Carry Over into New Year
2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Shah of Iran and the establishment of a new Islamic Republic to replace the monarchy. But a questionable presidential election in 2009 also sparked the largest anti-government demonstrations in Iran since that revolution. - 12/18/09

Moderate Cleric Montazeri Accuses Iranian Authorities of Defaming Revolution Leader
Ayatollah Montazeri, the most outspoken critic of the Iranian government condemned what he called the "strategic use" of tearing Ayatollah Khomeini's picture by the establishment. "By doing this you are defaming him and saying that people would tear Imam Khomeini's picture. If anything, you should have kept it silent! "he maintained. -Zamaneh - 12/18/09

Imprisoned Iranian Journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi Awarded Golden Pen Of Freedom
An imprisoned Iranian journalist has been awarded the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom award for 2010 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). - 12/18/09

Iranians Rally to Protest Khomeini Photo Burning
Thousands of Iranians turned out for a state-organized rally in Tehran Friday to protest the burning of an image of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. Opposition members say the defacement was staged by the government as an excuse to further its crackdown against them. - 12/18/09

Iran's scientists condemn instances of plagiarism
The Iran chapter of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, speaking for the country's academic community, deplores the recent cases of alleged plagiarism by Iranian scientists -Nature - 12/18/09

Amir Oveissi Launches Social Networking Site for Politicos
In today's fast paced world, it seems no profession or industry has been left unbitten by the social networking bug. Enter DistrictFile, an exclusive social networking site targeting those working in politics. Created by Oveissi in September 2008 - 12/18/09

US Signs Nuclear Deal with UAE
The United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a landmark agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation. The new deal, which was finalized Thursday, allows the United Arab Emirates to receive sensitive information and materials from the United States to help create the Arab world's first civilian nuclear power industry. -VOA - 12/18/09

Iraq Says Iranians Cross Into Disputed Oil Field
Iranian soldiers crossed into Iraqi territory today and took up positions at a southern oil field whose ownership is disputed by Iran, a senior Iraqi official said. -Reuters - 12/18/09

Photos: Gavmish-Abad neighborhood in Ahvaz, Iran
Gavmish is Persian for buffalo. Gavmish-Abad is a neighborhood at the southeastern boundaries of the city of Ahvaz in southwestern Iran. The underprivileged people in this neighborhood, who are deprived of adequate welfare and health resources, earn their living by raising buffalos, cattle and horses. -Photos by Seyyed Ali Mousavinezhad - 12/17/09

Iran's elections topped Twitter's list of most popular topics of 2009
Twitter grabbed the spotlight in June when it became a primary source of news and communications as Iranian citizens took to the streets to protest the disputed election. It should be no surprise that in Twitter's analysis of keywords the topic that came up most in 2009 was Iran. - 12/17/09

Iran: Ayatollah Rafsanjani Condemns Government's Scare Tactics
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the most powerful figure in the Islamic Republic establishment who has sided with post-election protesters, slammed his protractors today saying those who think they can resolve issues "by scaring people and exerting pressure are mistaken." He maintained that these policies may resolve issues on the surface, but "in a short while, the same issues will surface in more widespread form." -Zamaneh - 12/17/09

Iranian Police Restricts Religious Processions of Muslim Month
Some of the Iranian election protesters who have been staging recurrent rallies throughout the country in the past seven months to protest the allegedly fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have announced that they will continue their protests in the month of Muharram. -Zamaneh - 12/17/09

Exhibition: Falnama – The Book of Omens
At the Smithsonian Institution: Whether by consulting the position of the planets, casting horoscopes, or interpreting dreams, the art of divination was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world. The most splendid tools ever devised to foretell the future were illustrated texts known as the Falnama (Book of omens). - 12/17/09

The Revolution Will Be Mercantilized
SOME YEARS back on a research trip to Iran, I met a young man who had been conscripted into the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Commenting on his obviously secular upbringing, I was both intrigued and sympathetic. Yet contrary to all expectations, I found him not only sanguine but also somewhat relieved. He explained that the Guards were not what he had expected. -Ali Ansari, National Interest - 12/17/09

Report: Global Restrictions on Religion
A new Pew Forum report gauges the level of religious restrictions in 198 countries due both to government actions and to acts of violence and intimidation by private individuals, organizations and social groups. -The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life - 12/17/09

Iran: Basij member describes election abuse
A defecting member of the infamous Basij militia, the men who wounded and killed in the aftermath of the Iran elections in the summer, talks to Lindsey Hilsum about what he witnessed. "I've lost my world and I've lost my religion" - the words of a former Iranian Basij militia member who says he witnessed killings and tried to stop rapes -Channel4, UK - 12/17/09

NIAC Efforts to Reform Sanctions on Internet Tools for Iranians Successful
The National Iranian American Council welcomes the decision by the Obama Administration to waive provisions of US sanctions that have kept important tools for online communication out of the hands of the Iranian people. - 12/17/09

Ahmadinejad in Denmark: Blames Capitalism For Climate Change
Ahmadinejad has described capitalism and materialism as root causes for the world's environment crisis. Addressing a UN sponsored climate change conference in Copenhagen, he said that the capitalism is based on interfering in nature and encouraging people to use natural resource more than they need. - 12/17/09

Iran's Nobel Peace Laureate Praises 'Men In Hijabs' Campaign
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has praised those men who have in recent days worn the Islamic hijab to express support for jailed student Majid Tavakoli, and to protest against the hijab becoming compulsory for women in Iran after the 1979 revolution. - 12/17/09

Efforts for principlist-reformist unity underway: Iranian Lawmaker
A senior lawmaker announced on Monday that two groups -- a six-person group from the Expediency Council and an eight-member group from somewhere else -- have started efforts to broker unity among principlists and reformists. Mohammad Reza Bahonar also blasted harsh criticism against Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. - 12/17/09

Images of Tehran Before the Turmoil
"Tehran Without Permission," a documentary shot furtively on a cellphone in Iran's capital in 2008, appears to offer outsiders glimpses of the private lives of Iranians, which are not consumed entirely by politics, as news coverage of the public demonstrations for and against the government there since June's disputed presidential election might led some to believe. -NY Times - 12/17/09

Credit Suisse to Pay $536 Million in US DOJ Settlement for Deals with Iran, others
Credit Suisse AG, a Swiss corporation headquartered in Zurich, has agreed to forfeit $536 million to the United States and to the New York County District Attorney's Office in connection with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and New York state law. The forfeiture is the largest ever entered against an entity for IEEPA violations. - 12/17/09

Jews Recall, Record Memories of Iran
Cohen was among nearly 100 local Iranian Jews participating in Our Legacy Project, an initiative sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Iranian Jewish organization 30 Years After to record the community's memories of life in Iran, from fond to painful. -Jewish Journal - 12/17/09

US Lawmakers Approve Sanctions Measure Against Iran
US lawmakers have criticized Iran's government for continuing its uranium enrichment program as House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation that, if passed by full Congress and signed by President Barack Obama, would expand existing sanctions targeting Iran's refined petroleum infrastructure. -VOA - 12/16/09

Iranian Judiciary Head Cites 'Proof' Of Opposition Leaders' 'Plot'
The head of Iran's powerful judiciary has hinted at evidence linking opposition leaders to a seditious "plot" in an apparent escalation of the simmering dispute over June's presidential election. "[W]e have enough proof about the leaders of this plot against the system," Reuters quoted judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani as saying in a report by official IRNA news agency. - 12/16/09

Iran Test Fires Improved Long-Range Missile Sejil-2
Iran has test-fired what it claims is an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile, Wednesday, amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program. Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi says the Sejil 2 is intended to defend the country against outside attack. -VOA - 12/16/09

70 Percent of University Students Oppose the Government: Iranian Official
The increasing frequency of student protests in universities across the country, especially since December 7, point to the university administrators' loss of control over the university atmosphere. Even for a while prior to the Student Day, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters had lost the chance to speak at university campuses, their speeches or question and answer sessions often being interrupted by student protests. -Rooz - 12/16/09

Iran: Attacks on Rafsanjani continue as he is accused of fomenting dissent
The moderate cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani has been the target of heavy hardliner attacks in the aftermath of National Students Day protests which have persisted over a week after the date. Last week Ayatollah Rafsanjani, Chairman of the Expediency Council of Iran criticized the government's treatment of election protesters. - 12/16/09

Pour Un Instant: LA LIBERTE!
Austrian-Iranian film director Arash T. Riahi signs an outspoken film on the plight of Iranian refugees fleeing their homeland for freedom --- Probably one of the advantages for Iranian Diaspora filmmakers today, is to work in their country of adoption. Be it in Europe or the United States, independent films benefit from a freedom of expression which at worst would be only challenged by financial limitations but never truly by any form of political or artistic censorship. -Darius KADIVAR - 12/16/09

THE PERSIANS: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran
In recent years, Iran has gained attention mostly for negative reasons - for its authoritarian religious government, disputed nuclear program, and controversial role in the Middle East - but there is much more to the story of this ancient land than can be gleaned from the news. This authoritative and comprehensive history of Iran, written by Homa Katouzian, an acclaimed expert, covers the entire history of the area from the foundation of the ancient Persian Empire to today's Iranian state. - 12/16/09

U.S. House Passes Iran Gasoline Sanctions Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help supply gasoline to Iran, a move lawmakers hope will deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program. -Reuters - 12/16/09

Iran: Karoubi Blasts Ayatollah Yazdi, Guardian Council Member, For Insults Against Opposition Leaders
In response to the insults made by Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi against the reformist leaders, Mehdi Karoubi in an interview with Tagheer website addressed Yazdi and said: "regarding your remark and your concern about me being a "joke" I should remind you that those who are briefing you, are telling you jokes; that's why you have this illusion that the political turmoil and the critical situation of the society is like a joke [to you]! - 12/16/09

Claim of Hidden Imam's Appearance After Ahmadinejad
While Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the current head of his office Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei have repeatedly made pronouncements about the hidden Shiite Imam (Mahdi) and the time of his appearance, some supporters of the administration have begun to criticize such remarks. -Rooz - 12/16/09

Exhibition: Rostam in The Dead Of Winter
In his most political work to date, Fereydon Ave, uses the images of a wrestler wondering among creatures of darkness in the dead of winter. The series is about dying and resurrection and the Chivalry that is dying in the land of Rostam. - 12/16/09

Iraq orders Iranian exiles to vacate camp, raising fears of bloodshed
With loudspeakers mounted on pickup trucks and riot police offering backup, Iraqi troops on Tuesday ordered a group of Iranian dissidents here to vacate their sanctuary, which has become an irritant in Iraq's relationship with Iran. -Washington Post - 12/16/09

Iran: University Students Continue Anti-Government Protests
On December 14th, a large number of students at Industrial University of Isfahan gathered in front of the Amphitheater building around noon. The gathering led to a violent clash that included intervention and assault from Basij forces. - 12/15/09

Iran's Opposition Leaders Request Demonstration Permit
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi announced that together with his fellow disputing candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, he will request a permit from the Ministry of Interior for a street demonstration. He added that should the request be turned down, they cannot take responsibility for the "self-directed presence of people" on the streets. - 12/15/09

Homa Sabet Tavangar's "Growing Up Global" named "Best New Parenting Book" by Scholastic Magazine
Homa Sabet Tavangar, an Iranian-American mother of 3 living near Philadelphia, has received wide recognition for her book Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Random House, 2009). Tavangar's book has been named "Best New Parenting Book" by Scholastic Magazine (recognized leader in the area of parents and schools). Global Giving, the eBay of philanthropy, partners with Growing Up Global for its holiday promotion - 12/15/09

NIAC Lauds Introduction of Bills Helping the Iranian People
The National Iranian American Council welcomes today's introduction of H.R. 4303, the Stand with the Iranian People Act, in the House of Representatives, and applauds the bill's sponsors Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and William Delahunt (D-MA). - 12/15/09

Tehran University Students Hold Gathering: The Aroma Of The Greenest Season Is In The Air
Islamic Association of the Students of Tehran University, after getting the necessary permission, held a gathering in the school of Engineering for the Student Day on December 14, after a week delay. This gathering, titled Swear to every moment of these Red days that the aroma of the Greenest season is in the air, was held under heavy security measures and in protest to the brutal crackdown of the students and insulting the dignity of the university in several events - 12/15/09

Scandal Over Torn Khomeini Portrait Fuels Iran's Postelection Fire
Who would dare tear up images of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini? That's the question being asked in Iran, after state television broadcast footage showing the tattered remains of a portrait of the founder of the Islamic Republic that was allegedly defaced during an opposition protest last week. -RFE - 12/15/09

Tell Congress to "Stand with the Iranian People!"
For decades, Iranians have lived under the double burden of repression by their government and unintended hardship caused by US sanctions. Even now, Congress is rushing to pass the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA), which will only contribute to the Iranian people's suffering by seeking to restrict Iran's supply of heating oil and gasoline. -NIAC - 12/15/09

Iran Is Likely To See A Harsher Crackdown
There are fears that the Iranian regime may intensify the crackdown on the opposition in the next few weeks. Six months after a rigged presidential election wherein Mahmud Ahmadinejad was hastily confirmed the winner, the resistance has not disappeared despite tear gas, beatings, and hundreds of detentions, torture, imprisonment, and even killings. -Abbas Djavadi, RFE/RL - 12/15/09

National Organizations Unite Against Harsh Sanctions
Today, NIAC joined with twelve national organizations in urging leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives not to pass H.R. 2194, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA). The House is set to vote on the bill tomorrow, which if passed, would expand broad sanctions on Iran. -NIAC - 12/15/09

Clinton Rejects Iranian Spy Charges Against American Hikers
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday rejected as totally unfounded spy charges against three Americans held in Iran since June after they apparently strayed into Iranian territory while hiking in northern Iraq. Clinton also lamented the lack of progress in efforts to engage Tehran over its nuclear program. -VOA - 12/15/09

Middle East Studies Association's letter to Iranian authorities
I am once again writing to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA). This time, we write to you in regard to the December 7, 2009, national Student Day anniversary in Iran, which was marked by large-scale violence carried out against protesting students across the country by the Iranian security forces. - 12/15/09

Tehran Dismisses Report On Nuclear Program As Psyops
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has dismissed a report that claims Tehran is working on a key component of a nuclear bomb, calling it a psychological warfare scenario devised by the West. - 12/15/09

100 top Iranian brands
The second brand-choosing festival ended in Tehran on Tuesday by choosing 100 top brands. Moj news agency reported that in this festival and among 24 industries and 350 brands in the fields of foodstuff, carpets, financial services, education, industry and mines and pharmacology the best brands were chosen. - 12/15/09

Photos and Videos: December 13 Protests by Iran's Opposition Students
The students are protesting what they call a staged act against the students and the opposition movement by the regime which has been using the state TV, its propaganda machine, to repeatedly broadcast a suspicious footage of tearing up a picture of Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, and accusing the students and the Green movement of being behind it. The students see this suspicious act by the regime as a precursor and excuse for harsher crackdowns of the Green movement and its leaders. - 12/14/09

Hardliners Step Up Attacks Against Iranian Opposition
The harshest attack against the reformists was issued today from the Supreme Leader's representative with the Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnori. He announced that the foundation for the publishing of Ayatollah Khomeini's work is the hub of "anti-revolutionaries." He added that the foundation supports "leaders of the riots." - 12/14/09

Iran's Opposition Leader Mousavi: The condition for completing the Green path is patience and tolerance
In a meeting with representatives reformist parties and groups of Fars province, Mousavi talked about the current circumstances of the country and reminded that main goal of the revolution was to consider the demands and expectations of the people. He added that if people's requests are met then there will be sense of collaboration in the country. - 12/14/09

Iran's Supreme Leader Lashes Out at Opposition and Threatens Action
As the Iranian government wages a media campaign against the opposition for allegedly burning a poster of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has raised the gauntlet against movement leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Calling them "former brothers," Khamenei warns them to dissociate themselves with the picture burners. - 12/14/09

Ayatollah Or Hojjatoleslam? Will Iran's Powerful Hashemi Rafsanjani Be Set Aside?
A directive from the deputy news director of Iran's official news agency IRNA reportedly calls on the agency's news sections to refer to Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an ayatollah and a rival of Iran's current president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, as hojatoleslam, which is a lower religious title. - 12/14/09

Iran's Opposition Leader Khatami: "Protesting to oppression is our religious, revolutionary and national duty"
Khatami said that the common demand of people in all social movements since the Constitutional Revolution (more than hundred years ago) until now has been the demand for real freedom and people were tired of tyranny and dictatorship, and they demanded to be free from the foreign colonialism and have independence. - 12/14/09

Majid Tavakoli Becomes a Symbol of a Growing Student Movement in Iran
Majid Tavakoli, an Iranian student leader who had been imprisoned twice for his defense of human rights, was violently arrested on December 7 after he gave a speech at a gathering of students at Amir Kabir University (Tehran) to commemorate Students' Day. Three years earlier in December 2006, he had been among students who protested Ahmadinejad's speech at Amir Kabir University and called him " a source of prejudice and corruption." - 12/14/09

A Poem in Honor the Green Movement of People of IRAN
Out from my window of LOVE, the world is Green -- I am in LOVE and the universe is Green -Ali Khalili - 12/14/09

Iran: 3 American Hikers to Go on Trial
The Iranian foreign minister says the three American hikers held in Iran after crossing the border with Iraq will stand trial. The three U.S. citizens were detained on July 31 for entering Iran illegally, after they apparently strayed across the border while on a hike in northern Iraq. -VOA - 12/14/09

Iran Arrests Protesters Over Torn Khomeini Photos
Iran has arrested several protesters for allegedly tearing up a photo of the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Tehran prosecutor Jafari Dolatabadi said Monday those arrested remain in detention and have confessed to tearing up the photo of Ayatollah Khomeini during protests on December 7. - 12/14/09

Iranian Nuclear Scientist Jailed in US Continues Hunger Strike
Amir-Houshang Sanjari, who has been on hunger strike for the past six months, was found guilty of failing to support his children following his divorce 10 years ago. -Press TV - 12/14/09

L.A. Iranian Americans driven to protect young celebrators
When 25-year-old Daniel Levian was killed in a 2008 drunk driving accident, news of the sudden loss jolted the city's tight-knit Iranian American community. Word spread at popular Westside eateries and synagogues, and through Persian-language radio. -LA Times - 12/14/09

3rd well drilled in Kish gas field
Iran has drilled the third exploration well in the Kish gas field, at a depth of some 4,050 meters into the Persian Gulf waters. The drilling operation was conducted in eight months, the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network reported. - 12/14/09

Iran eyes $85 billion investment to up gas exports
Iran, which has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, seeks to invest 85 billion dollars within a decade to bolster gas exports, Kayhan International newspaper reported on Sunday. -AFP - 12/14/09

Weak Judiciary Pushes Some Afghans To Taliban
When Kabul's mayor was sentenced to four years in prison on corruption charges this week, officials were quick to paint the sentencing as evidence of the "serious steps" being taken to eliminate graft and bribery in Afghanistan. -RFE - 12/14/09

Iran opposition leader puts supporters on red alert
Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi expressed concern over the suspect circumstances surrounding the tearing of Ayatollah Khomeini's picture and cautioned his supporters to be aware of possible government retaliation against them. -Zamaneh - 12/13/09

Iran: Khamenei Issues Stern Warning to Protesters
Iran's supreme leader has accused the pro-reform opposition of trying to undermine the Islamic system and insulting the Islamic Republic's founder. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday the opposition's relentless protests were disrespectful. - 12/13/09

Photos: Basij Students Protest Insult to Ayatollah Khomeini
A group of Basij students from Tehran Azad University gathered at Jamaran Hussainieh on Sunday to protest the burning of photo of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, which was allegedly done by students during the Student Day protests in Tehran University. - 12/13/09

Adopt a Library and Donate the Book "Ancient Iran"
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce the selection of the award winning children's book "Ancient Iran" by Massoume Price to be placed in city, public, town and school libraries across North America, or to be given as gifts this holiday season. - 12/13/09

Photos: Qom Clerics and Seminary Students Protest Desecration of Khomeini's Photo
A large group of clerics and Seminary students held a gathering in the city of Qom Saturday to protest the burning of photo of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, which was allegedly done by students during the Student Day protests in Tehran University. The protest was led by the firebrand cleric Ahmad Khatami who is staunchly against anti-opposition. - 12/13/09

Iranian American to Start White House Internship
Combiz Abdolrahimi always knew he wanted to work in government and policy. While other Iranian-American children were grooming themselves to pursue careers in law, medicine, architecture and engineering, Combiz was debating grown adults as a third grader. -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 12/13/09

U.S. dismisses Iran's proposal for Uranium Fuel Swap
An unidentified senior U.S. official said Iran's proposal on Satruday was inconsistent with the "fair and balanced" draft agreement proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in consultation with the U.S., Russia, and France. -VOA - 12/13/09

Iran Copper Exports Up 60%
The National Iranian Copper Industries Company (NICICO) announced that in the first eight months period of the Iranian calendar year (ending November 21) exports of copper from Iran reached 315,706 tons. The Mehr News Agency reported that this amount of copper was sold for $688.2 million. -MNA - 12/13/09

Kim Jong-il guided North Korea against Iran in World Cup qualifiers: Official
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il has had a key role in helping his country's football team qualify for the 2010 World Cup, according to the officials. The official said Kim Jong-il personally guided the team at the stadium during the crucial draw with Iran in April last year. -MNA - 12/13/09

U.S. says Iran not behind conflict in Yemen
"Many of our friends and partners have talked to us about the possibility of outside support to the Houthis," U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told a regional security conference in Manama late Friday. -MNA - 12/13/09

Iran: Students Continue Protests, Condemn Insults to Khomeini as Regime Conspiracy
University Students and the opposition movement's leaders are denouncing the tearing down of Ayatollah Khomeini's photos and calling it a hoax and a suspicious act. Furthermore, Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of Islamic Republic, has denounced state TV for broadcasting the images, describing them as "distorted." - 12/12/09

WARNING to Iran's Opposition: Beware That An Event Is Unfolding!
Following the planned scenario for disgracing Imam Khomeini and accusing the Green movement and the students of this act, since yesterday official pro-Ahmadinejad media have started a heavy propaganda with a hidden agenda, and based on the information available it seems that they are preparing for some harsher crack downs of the opposition movement. - 12/12/09

Iranian men dress as women in support of detained student activist
Hundreds of Iranian men published pictures of themselves wearing headscarves and chadors in support of Majid Tavakoli, the detained Amir Kabir University student who was arrested on December 8 after giving a speech during the National Students Day protests in Iran. -Zamaneh - 12/12/09

Interview: Imprisoned Iranian-American's Mother Describes His Postelection Plight
Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh was arrested and put on trial in the course of the crackdown that followed mass protests over the results of Iran's June presidential election. When he was given a 15-year prison sentence, his mother says Tajbakhsh and his family were shocked. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari, Farideh Gerami talks about her son's plight. -RFE - 12/12/09

Iran ready to exchange nuclear fuel on Kish Island
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has disputed the Western claims that Iran has rejected the proposal to exchange its low-enriched uranium for 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor. Mottaki said Iran is ready to exchange 400 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. -MNA - 12/12/09

Iran's post-election committee report not to be publicized
Some of the members of this committee have been accused by the opposition of being party to the violations committed against protesters. Reformists therefore maintain that these individuals are also trying to destroy the evidence of the post-election crimes. -Zamaneh - 12/12/09

The regime's ramparts are shaky
Having previously played their hand quite skilfully, the Islamic Republic's leaders face an acute dilemma. Each act of brutality, though perhaps effective in the short run, erodes the credibility of a regime that prides itself on being close to God. Each time the security forces arrest more people or inflict cruelties behind the doors of Iran's prisons, more and more people are confronted by the ugly face of the Islamic Republic fighting for its survival. -Economist - 12/12/09

Clinton Cautions Latin American States About Iranian Influence
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday urged Latin American countries to "think twice" about establishing links with Iran, which she said is the world's leading promoter and exporter of terrorism. Clinton also expressed concern about democratically-elected leaders in Latin America who later move to undermine democratic institutions. -VOA - 12/12/09

OFAC Regulations Governing Trade with Iran
Trade between the United States and Iran is subject to certain restrictions under U.S. law that even make it difficult for goods and services relating to humanitarian assistance to be exported to Iran. U.S. economic and trade sanctions on Iran are administered and enforced by the United States Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and penalties for violating the OFAC Regulations, even for humanitarian activities, is steep. - 12/12/09

The Lobby Versus Science
It is incomprehensible that even though Washington has full knowledge that Iran's pursuit of nuclear program is for civilian purposes, and the two countries have cooperated in medical research, the lobby had demanded that Iran be hauled to the UNSC, and it is now calling for further sanctions to be imposed on Iran. Is there any doubt that they are pushing for an eventual war? -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 12/12/09

Iran Rattled by Spy Wars
U.S. intelligence is poised to reap big rewards from Iran's continuing political turmoil. Already the CIA has harvested at least two important defectors from the regime. -Huffington Post - 12/12/09

Khazei Loses Bid for Ted Kennedy's U.S Senate Seat
While receiving a series of high profile endorsements from former presidential candidate Wesley Clark and the Boston Globe, Alan Khazei placed third with over 88,000 votes (14%) in the Democratic Primary to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy. - 12/12/09

Fears of Eurabia: How Much Allah Can the Old Continent Bear?
Switzerland's recent vote to ban the construction of new minarets has shocked and angered Muslims around the world. But the controversial move also reflects a growing sense of unease among other Europeans who have trouble coming to terms with Islam's increased visibility. -Spiegel, Germany - 12/12/09

Iraq seeks stronger Iran presence in energy sector
Iraqi Electricity Minister Kareem Waheed called for Iranian private sector to participate more actively in Iraq's energy projects. - 12/12/09

An Iranian Mother's Story: "One of my sons is buried, the other one is in Prison"
On December 7th as Kamran Assa, the brother of Kianoosh Assa who died recently, tried to enter Elam va Sanaat University to participate in Student Day events, he was arrested by law enforcement agents. This is the university where Kianoosh was working for his Master's degree in petrochemicals. On Student Day, students of this institution wanted to commemorate Koanoosh and so had invited his family members to join them. -Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, Rooz Online - 12/11/09

San Francisco Joins the International Day of Solidarity in Support of the People of Iran
As Iran witnesses its largest protests since last June's contested elections, artists and activists outside Iran have organized a celebration of the civil rights movement. On Saturday, December 12th, people from around the Bay Area will be joined by thirty cities worldwide to support the students and activists on the street of Iran by taking part in Arts United 4 Iran. - 12/11/09

Photos: Christmas Shopping in Tehran
Tehran's Christians residents have embarked on their shopping for the holiday season. While Iran is officially designated the "Islamic Republic," among its more than 66 million people is a small but important Christian minority. Most of Iran's Christians are Armenians and Assyrians, who remain relatively free to follow their faith. -Photos by Raouf Mohseni, MNA - 12/11/09

Iranian Women Campaign to End Discriminatory Laws against Them
Women are no longer allowed to wear make-up on Iranian television. "It's illegal and against Shari'a law," the head of Iranian state television, Ezatollah Zarghami, was quoted in the Iranian media last week. Although the issue of make-up is surely trivial, it does reveal how the Iranian establishment treats a woman's right to make her own decisions. In fact, the legal rights of women in Iran have been eroded since the Islamic Revolution there 30 years ago. -VOA - 12/11/09

Ayatollah Rafsanjani slammed by Iran's Minister of Intelligence
The Minister of Intelligence expressed outrage that "Mr. Hashemi in one of his statements claims that three million educated students are against the system and also claims that Velayat-e Faghih (leadership of an expert cleric, now represented by Ayatollah Khamenei) should only be there as long as people want it. And if people don't want it, it would have to go." -Radio Zamaneh - 12/11/09

Thousands Flee Iran as Noose Tightens
Sadegh Shojai fled Iran after government agents raided his Tehran apartment, seizing his computer and 700 copies of a book he published on staging revolutions. He's part of a small but spreading refugee exodus of businesspeople, dissidents, college students, journalists, athletes and other elite Iranians that is transforming the global face of Iran's resistance movement. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/11/09

Actress Hedyeh Tehrani Holds Photo Exhibition
Cineastes, artists and fans flocked to the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition by superstar Hedyeh Tehrani here on Wednesday at the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF). Abbas Kiarostami, Tahmineh Milani, Marzieh Borumand, Seifollah Samadian, Habib Rezaii and Amir-Hossein Seddiq were seen among the visitors who came to see the first exhibit of the actress. - 12/11/09

Rights Groups Appeal to Iran Judiciary to Stop Persecution
The Asia Pacific Forum today, along with other Asian human rights organizations from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Japan, sent an appeal to the Head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, expressing concern over the persecution of members of the Iranian student alumni group ADVAR, many of whom have been arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted and sentenced in recent months because of their views. - 12/11/09

Dr. Nader Vadiee Named New Mexico Professor of the Year
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute's (SIPI) Dr. Nader Vadiee of the Advanced Technical Education Department has been named New Mexico's 2009 Professor of the Year. -Arsalan Barmand, NIAC - 12/11/09

France Leads Push For Iranian Sanctions At UN
France has asked its fellow members on the United Nations Security Council to start work on a new round of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to verify the peaceful character of its nuclear program. -RFE - 12/11/09

Support for Iranian Journalists
At least 100 journalists and bloggers have been arrested since the disputed 12 June presidential election and 23 are still being held. At the same time, around 50 have been forced to flee the country to escape the relentless repression. Your donations will help to pay for their air tickets and other forms of travel, and for food, lodging and medical care. -RSF - 12/11/09

Iran's Bourse Deal Revoked
The biggest bourse deal in Iran during the last calendar year (ended March 20, 2009), valued at $1.5 billion, was annulled. The transaction was related to buying a 30.5 percent block of the state-run Khuzestan Steel Company by a private businessperson named Mohammad Jaberian -MNA - 12/11/09

Photos and Report of Student Day Protests at Tehran's Honar University
The Student Day program at Tehran's Honar University started at around 10 AM on Monday December 7 with students singing "my schoolmate" song in the grounds of the university. From the beginning of the program, the students gathered behind the main gate of the university and chanted slogans such as "death to the dictator," "ya Hossein, Mir-Hossein," "political prisoner must be freed," and so on. - 12/10/09

Protests of students at Tehran and Sharif Universities
According to reports, today the students of Sharif University also held a rally and protest. The arrest of at least 7 students of Sharif University and other universities including Tehran University on December 7 and 8 has been announced as the reason for this protest. Sharif University students rallied inside the university, chanted slogans and gathered in front of the university's main entrance. - 12/10/09

Iran intel chief warns of extent of opposition
"Shockingly, Rafsanjani expresses the same ideas that come in the statements of (opposition) leaders," Moslehi said. The minister accused Rafsanjani of supporting the idea that the supreme leader should quit if the people do not support him. Under Iran's system, the supreme leader is answerable only to a body of clerics, and hard-liners believe his power comes from God. -AP - 12/10/09

Hottest Student Day in Iran's History
Last Monday the anniversary of Student Day in Iran led to bloody clashes as anti-riot police fired bullets into air, used teargas and arrested numerous protestors in their efforts to disperse university students in the country. -Rooz Online - 12/10/09

For Atefeh or for All the Prisoners?
For whom should I write? For prisoners in Sistan and Baluchestan? For prisoners in Azarbaijan? For prisoners in Kurdistan? I am supposed to write for Atefeh. Dear Atefeh! Should I write for you or for Zeinab Jalalian? For Zeinab who on a daily basis senses the presence of the noose that is to be put around her neck? -Jila Golanbar, Change for Equality - 12/10/09

Artists for Iran, a Celebration of the Arts and Human Rights
Los Angeles's Levantine Cultural Center presents an extensive roster of artists and performers in "Artists for Iran," a celebration of the arts and human rights in conjunction with, which is coordinating related programs in 27 cities worldwide. - 12/10/09

Iran Intelligence Minister Hits At Rafsanjani
Iran's intelligence minister has lashed out at former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in comments underlining deep establishment rifts in the Islamic Republic after its disputed June election. -Reuters - 12/10/09

In Iran, Protests Gaining a Radical Tinge
That message has grown increasingly common in recent protests, as demonstrators have made it clear that their target is not just President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the disputed election that returned him to power in June, but the entire foundation of Iran's theocracy. -New York Times - 12/10/09

Human Rights Day: 10 December 2009
Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay: The concept of non-discrimination lies at the heart of human rights. For this reason, it has been designated the official theme of this Human Rights Day, which occurs every year on the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. And for this and many other reasons it should be an unofficial theme every day, every year, for everyone. - 12/10/09

Plagiarism scandal grows in Iran
Nature has uncovered further instances of apparent plagiarism in papers co-authored by government ministers and senior officials in Iran. The spate of new examples raises questions about whether such incidents are symptomatic of conditions also common in other developing countries -Nature - 12/10/09

Iran: Falling Energy Investment Threat
A recent study in Iran has shown that the country is in dire need of investment in its energy industry, without which it may suffer grave consequences. A leading official think-tank affiliated to Iran's parliament, the Majlis Research Centre, issued a report in October 2009 saying that Iran needed at least 4.5 billion US dollars of investment in its energy industry. - 12/10/09

Iran Releases List of Iranian Citizens Abducted by U.S.
The names of Iranian nationals who are held in U.S. captivity were released in Tehran on Wednesday. Some of them have been abducted in the United States and others by its agents in other countries. - 12/10/09

Gas Exporting Countries Forum opens in Qatar
Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) 9th ministerial meeting opened Wednesday morning in Doha, Qatar. Stabilizing natural gas prices in 2010 and appointment of the forum's Secretary General are the key discussions of the meeting. - 12/10/09

Iran: Seismic Station in Turkmenistan Built for 'Spying'
An Iranian official has criticized the building of a seismic monitoring station in neighboring Turkmenistan, saying the facility is designed to spy on Iran's nuclear program. -VOA - 12/10/09

Saudi Arabia Says It Searched for Missing Iranian Scientist
On Tuesday, Iran charged that Saudi Arabia and the United States worked together to abduct scientist Shahram Amiri after he traveled to Saudi Arabia in May for an Islamic pilgrimage. -VOA - 12/10/09

Iranian Student Activists Condemn Arrest of Their Peer
Islamic Association of Amir Kabir University Students condemned the arrest of Majid Tavakoli and expressed their full support for him despite state efforts to ridicule him. - 12/9/09

Write Mehrnoosh! The "Truth is Your Salvation"
They have told your mother that their investigations are not yet complete. Shocked, your mother asks, "what has Mehrnoosh done that two weeks are required for investigations about her work?" Write Mehrnoosh. Write on the interrogation forms marked with "Truth is Your Salvation." -Nafise Azad - 12/9/09

Sohrab Aarabi 'Freedom Warrior of Iran' will be Memorialized in Bronze
San Francisco City Supervisior Ross Mirkarimi will unveil renown sculptor, Paula Slater's bronze portrait sculptures of Sohrab ‘Freedom Warrior' and Neda ‘Angel of Freedom' on December 12th in San Francisco as part of "Arts United 4 Iran". - 12/9/09

Iran: As Student Protests Continue, State Foments Civil Strife
As Iranian students vow to continue protests, Iranian authorities are stoking the flames of civil strife by pitting pro-government Basiji militiamen against students who are demanding reform, a policy that could ignite into a wider conflict, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported today. The Campaign is also deeply concerned that over 130 students who are still detained following demonstrations may be ill-treated and tortured in prison. - 12/9/09

Iran's Renowned Santur Virtuoso Faramarz Payvar Dies at 77
Renowned Iranian musician and santur virtuoso Master Faramarz Payvar died on Wednesday. He was 77. Payvar had a stroke eleven years ago and was not able to continue his career afterwards. - 12/9/09

Iran releases 86 detainees
Tehran Prosecutor's office announced the release of 86 of the 204 election protesters who were arrested during December 7 National Students Day protests. The judiciary claimed the 86 had expressed "regret" for having attended the "illegal" gatherings of December 7 and for this reason, they have been released. - 12/9/09

Protesters Ready to Stand Up to Security Forces
A recent demonstration in Tehran that went further than before in targeting the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has shown a new level of bravery from protesters ready to stand up to the security forces. -Yasaman Baji - 12/9/09

Fresh Opposition Protests, Clashes Persist In Iran
Reports from Iran say protesters have clashed with supporters of the regime on university campuses for a second straight day. RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports that the protests started at a Tehran engineering school, where members of the hard-line Basij militia attacked students with tear gas. - 12/9/09

Iran: Opposition Leader Karroubi Cautions Authorities Against Clashing With Students
Mehdi Karroubi, Iranian opposition leader warned Islamic Republic authorities against "violent confrontation" with people especially students. In an interview published on Tagheer website, Mr. Karroubi describes university students as the "thermometer" of society and urged the establishment to heed the legal demands of the people. - 12/9/09

Rice's Arsalan Kezemi breaks through, from Iran to Division I
Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, the son of an Iranian diplomat, played on his country's first Olympic basketball team, in the 1948 Summer Games, and shortly thereafter became the first known Iranian basketball player to enroll in an American university. -Sports Illustrated - 12/9/09

The Apocalypse, Messianism Define Ahmadinejad's Policies
In a recent speech in the central city of Isfahan, Ahmadinejad said: "With those [U.S. troops] who came to occupy Iraq, the appearance was that they came just to exploit the oil. In reality, though, they know that something will happen in this region -- a divine hand will come soon to root out the tyranny in the world." "And they know," he added, "that Iran is paving the way for his coming and will serve him." -Abbas Djavadi - 12/9/09

A Threat with Unpredictable Consequences
Since the Iranian nuclear crisis has hit the headlines up to the present time, some Iranian politicians, experts, analysts, and journalists supporting Iran's positions have frequently recommended that Iran should quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty or do it if there were continued and heightened pressure from the United States and the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or the United Nations Security Council. -Majid Tafreshi - 12/9/09

Engagement with Iran: An Assessment of Options
Middle East Progess talks to Karim Sadjadpour -- Middle East Progress: The Iranian government has yet to agree to the IAEA proposal for enrichment of Iran's low enriched uranium in a third country. What do you think are the aims of the government with regards to the proposal? - 12/9/09

Amid student protests, Iran widens net against opposition
As students in Iran launched fresh protests, authorities vowed an end to 'leniency' – a point underscored by the arrest of activist Parastou Forouhar, whose dissident parents were killed by government agents in 1998. -CSM - 12/9/09

Iran denounces trial of national in U.S.
Iran has strongly denounced the trial of its citizen Amir Hussein Ardabili in the United States, calling his trial a politically motivated move which shows U.S. contempt for international law. - 12/9/09

Iranian university students under attack
Violence has broken out in two major Iranian universities today. According to Amir Kabir Newsletter, Revolutionary Guards and Basij forces have entered the campuses of University of Tehran and Shahid Beheshti and engaged in beating the students with the assistance of university security. - 12/8/09

Justice Denied: The Saga of Iran's Political Prisoners
The issuance of harsh verdicts for political prisoners and journalists continues. In the latest instance, journalist and economic analyst Saeed Leilaz was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. Rooz discussed these harsh verdicts in interviews with families of several political prisoners and journalists, including Saeed Leilaz and Abdollah Momeni's wives. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online - 12/8/09

Iran's Green Warrior Confronts Government Forces
Kalameh website reports that the plain clothes forces were trying to impede Mir-Hossein Mousavi's exit form the building but he approached them and urged them to "complete the mission" they had been sent to accomplish. According to Kalameh, Mir Hossein Mousavi addressed them saying: "You have a mission, then do it. Kill me, hit me, threaten me!" - 12/8/09

Iran judiciary threatens protesters with fierce confrontation
Today, a day after the widespread arrest of protesters during National Student Day events, Iran's Prosecutor General Gholamhosein Ejei threatened protesters and their families in a press conference. He told families of protesters that from now on, once protesters are arrested, "families won't be given the right to complain." - 12/8/09

Iran Student Day: 5000 Students Join Protest March at Azad University in Qazvin
Once again, the students at Qazvin's Azad University turned the grounds of the university campus into a protest arena against the regime. On December 7, the Student Day, despite the intense security measures put in place by the authorities, the students held a huge rally followed by a march. It is estimated that about 5,000 students participated in the protests. - 12/8/09

Journalists write to UN about situation of Iran's journalism community
We, the undersigned journalists, are deeply concerned and troubled about the fate of Iran's journalism community. Long before but especially since, the elections of June 2009, the regime in Tehran has clamped down on freedom of press and assembly. - 12/8/09

Iranian forces attack student protesters on second day of demonstrations
Thousands of members of the pro-government Basij paramilitary organization stormed the grounds of Tehran University on Tuesday and attacked a group of protesting students, several witnesses said, as unrest continued in the capital for a second day following "Student Day" demonstrations Monday. -Washington Post - 12/8/09

Iran: Reformist Daily "Hayate No" Banned
The Iranian reformist daily Hayate No (New Life) has been shut down by the country's press supervisory body. The daily was banned "for working outside the regulations" of the press law, the Fars news agency reported on Monday. - 12/8/09

International Human Rights Day event at George Washington University to bring Iran awareness
December 10 coincides with the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being accepted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Concurrency of this event with the suppression of the freedom movement of the Iranian nation indicates the long and difficult path ahead for Human Rights activists in that country to achieve its goals. - 12/8/09

Parastoo Forouhar Banned From Leaving Iran
Iranian security forces have confiscated Parastoo Forouhar's passport restricting her from leaving the country. Parastoo Forouhar is the daughter of Dariush Forouhar and Parvaneh Eskandari two prominent political activists who were assassinated by Iranian Intelligence forces over ten years ago. - 12/8/09

Iran Should Release Americans
The news that Iran has released 5 British yachtsmen who had inadvertently wandered into Iranian waters in November is most welcome. Several Americans who have been detained by Iranian authorities, however, have not been so fortunate. - 12/8/09

Iran says missing scientist in US custody
An Iranian scientist who went missing in Saudi Arabia in June has been handed over to officials in Washington, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. - 12/8/09

Iranian Students Clash With Police
Thousands of people rallied against the government on Monday at universities across Iran, defying a wide-ranging effort to suppress the protests and bringing a new ferocity to the opposition movement's confrontation with the state. -NY Times - 12/8/09

Iran To Lift Visa Regime For Azerbaijanis
Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mammad Bagir Bahrami told a press conference in Baku on December 7 that any Azerbaijani citizen will be able to travel to Iran without a visa and stay there for one month. - 12/8/09

Russia to Help India Build 4 Nuclear Reactors
Indian PM Manmohan Singh says Russia will help his country build 4 new nuclear power plants. Mr. Singh made the announcement after meetings in Moscow with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. - 12/8/09

Photos: Iran Students Stage Nationwide Protests
Iranian students turned the Student Day (Azar 16 -- December 7) into another show of force by the opposition which continues its protests following the June disputed presidential elections. The university students held nationwide protests across Iran chanting slogans against the regime and for the opposition leaders. Even with all the threats and security clampdowns, including many arrests leading to Monday, the students came out stronger than ever - 12/7/09

Iranian Police Clash With Protesters
Iranian police have fired tear gas and used batons to disperse opposition protesters chanting antigovernment slogans in central Tehran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Critics of the country's disputed presidential election had vowed to use today's commemoration of Students Day, when officials traditionally stage anti-Western public displays, to show that Iran's reform movement is still strong. - 12/7/09

The Morning of Monday 7th December in Tehran
Last night the weather turned very dark and cold and it was raining for many hours. We had to turn the heating up as we were all feeling the cold. I was wondering what tomorrow will be like. This morning my heart lit up as I opened the curtains and saw the sun shining and it was a new beginning. -A Citizen Journalist - 12/7/09

Iranian Students Stage Protests on 'Student Day'
Witnesses say hundreds of police used batons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators gathered in the streets of central Tehran. Thousands of Iranian students have turned out for protests against the government. Iranian security forces tried to block access to the rallies, but clashes with noisy protesters erupted at several sites. - 12/7/09

Videos: Iran Students Stage Nationwide Protests
Thousands of students held nationwide protests across Iran on Monday to mark the Student Day. This year the protests were a show of force against the regime and a president they see as illegitimate. The protesters were chanting slogans against the regime and for the opposition leaders. Even with all the threats and security clampdowns, including many arrests leading to December 7, the students came out stronger than ever - 12/7/09

Iran's Supreme Leader Blames West for Student Protests
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the United States and other Western countries for stirring up trouble inside Iran, a day before students are expected to hold peaceful demonstrations on university campuses across Iran. - 12/7/09

Obama Should End Silence on Human Rights Abuses in Iran
Frustration is growing among the Iranian people over the Obama administration's silence on human rights abuses in Iran. Condemnations of Tehran's abhorrent treatment of its people have been few and far between. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 12/7/09

Iran's Opposition Leader Mousavi Issues Statement on "Student Day"
It his statement, Mir-Hossein Mousavi stressed that: "Student Movements are signs of realities greater than themselves. Our society is now experiencing the strangest changes. Who can deny this fact after the events that the society witnessed over the past few months? What is the real nature of these changes? This is the biggest question for us and for our opponents. - 12/7/09

Iranian Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act Hurts Iranian People, Undermines International Unity on Iran
The National Iranian American Council is deeply concerned that the House of Representatives' plan to bring H.R. 2194, the Iranian Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA), to a vote the week of December 14, 2009 is a move in the direction of punishing the Iranian people instead of the Iranian government - 12/7/09

Iran to drill Caspian Sea for oil soon
Iran is to start exploration drillings in the Caspian Sea by the end of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2010), an official at Khazar Exploration and Production Co. (KEPCO) says. - 12/7/09

US National Security Adviser: 'Clock is Ticking' on Iran
The U.S. national security adviser says Washington is still open to nuclear negotiations with Iran, but the picture is not a "good one." Jim Jones said Sunday the "clock is ticking" toward the end of the year, when President Barack Obama plans to review U.S. diplomatic efforts with Iran. - 12/7/09

Iran Police Surround University To Head Off Protest
Iranian riot police have reportedly surrounded and cordoned off Iran's largest university in an effort to thwart opposition plans to disrupt a state-organized rally, eyewitnesses report. Critics of the country's fiercely disputed presidential election have vowed to use the annual commemoration of Shah-era student killings to show that Iran's reform movement is still strong - 12/7/09

Grieving Mothers Arrested in Tehran
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that 15 members of Grieving Mothers have been arrested in Tehran. Grieving Mothers is a group formed by the mothers of post-elections protesters who were killed in the events following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's allegedly fraudulent re-election. - 12/6/09

Rafsanjani: Basij and Revolutionary Guards should not have stood against people
Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Head of the Expediency Council and head of the Assembly of Experts, in a meeting with students in the city of Mashhad in answer to some of the criticism regarding his silence about the events after the election said: "I am not quiet but we are in a situation that discussions are not tolerated…" - 12/6/09

Iran Student Day: Origins and Legacy
The history of Iranian student political protests began in 1941 with the abdication of Reza Shah and occupation of Iran by the allied forces. At this time, Tehran University became the main base for the student campaign against authoritarianism and foreign interference. -The Mossadegh Project - 12/6/09

Iranian Reformist Behzad Nabavi Returns to Evin Prison
Behzad Nabavi, one of the prominent reformist figures that had been released for ten days from prison returned to Evin prison today. His lawyer confirmed that he has been transferred to a hospital under the supervision of the Revolutionary Guards. Mr. Nabavi suffers from a heart condition and is scheduled to be operated on in the near future. - 12/6/09

Iran Opposition Leader Says Reform Movement Alive
Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi has said the reform movement is alive in the Islamic Republic despite pressure from the clerical establishment to end it, his website reported. -Reuters - 12/6/09

A Rich November in Tehran
The cold wind keeps coming and playing with the Tehran citizens; as soon as we turned all the heating on and put on our woollies, we have had an outburst of a wonderful Indian summer which was short-lived but much appreciated as the air is clean and sky is bright and life, despite the notorious Tehran traffic, becomes a little more bearable; and we can even get a glimpse of my beloved Mount Damavand! -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/6/09

Haddadi improved in NBA: Grizzlies Coach Hollins
Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said that Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian player in NBA, has improved a lot and has a good future in the league. Hollins answered the questions of Tehran Times' correspondent via e-mail, in which he talked about Hamed Haddadi for the first time since the Iranian joined the NBA team. - 12/6/09

Police Prevents Security Forces from Intervening in Mokhtari-Pouyandeh Memorial
On Friday the security and police forces, whose number was way more than previous years, had cordoned Emamzadeh Taher cemetery to prevent the memorial program from taking place. The police told Mokhtari and Pouyandeh families that if the people do not leave the area speedily, they will be dispersed by the security forces. - 12/6/09

Iran women team wins gold in Bahrain Badminton tourney
Iran women's doubles claimed the gold medal of the Bahrain Air Badminton International Series 2009 on Sunday. Sahar Zamanian-Nejatzadeh and Negin Amiripour defeated the team from Bahrain 2-1 in the final game played at the Khalifa Stadium, Isa Town. - 12/6/09

Massive Student Protests Inside Iran Set for December 7
Students inside of Iran are set to hold major protests throughout the country on December 7th. In a global expression of solidarity and support for the civil rights movement in Iran, on December 12, 2009, events organized under the banner of ArtsUnited4Iran will focus the world's attention on the grave situation of human rights in that country. - 12/5/09

We Are All Iran: A Literary Reading to Mark the 6-Month Anniversary of the Iranian Elections
Bay Area writers from the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) will share their literary work at a reading at the San Francisco Public Library's Koret Auditorium on Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 2-4:00 pm. The event will bear witness to the extraordinary courage of the Iranian people on the six-month anniversary of the contested elections, which took place on June 12, 2009. - 12/5/09

Four Iranian Newspapers Threatened by Authorities
In another chapter of the government's post-election crackdown on Iranian media, four Iranian daily newspapers have been handed a written warning by the Ministry of Culture against publishing "divisive" material. - 12/5/09

New Book Says Middle Class Values Have Power to Transform Muslim World
The author of a new book believes capitalism and middle class values can transform the Muslim World economically, culturally and politically. Vali Nasr, an Iranian-American, is a professor of international politics at Tufts University. His views on the Muslim world are based on observations during visits to Muslim countries. - 12/5/09

Last Resolution with ElBaradei Still in Office
There are many viewpoints as to the recent resolution adopted by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. From the viewpoint of those countries which voted in favor of the resolution, it aims to chide Iran because members of IAEA Board of Governors maintain that Iran has not accepted their demands for suspending uranium enrichment... -Davoud Hermidas Bavand - 12/5/09

Giving A Voice to the People of Iran
In the midst of the fallout following the June 12th presidential election in Iran, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators went to work trying to devise a strategy to help the people of Iran. The result of this combined effort was the Victims of Iranian Censorship Act (VOICE). - 12/5/09

Court in Netherlands to Hear Case of Iranian Students on December 10
Since July 2008, the Dutch Government has banned Iranian citizens, as well as Dutch citizens of Iranian descent, from parts of certain university graduate programs. In addition, five locations have been designated as forbidden for the latter group. - 12/5/09

National Board of Review Names Iran's Song of Sparrows Among Top Five Foreign Films
The US National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (NBR) has listed Iran's Oscar-nominated Song of Sparrows among its best foreign language film. Majid Majidi's feature-length production, which represented Iran at the 81st Academy Awards, was selected along with The Maid, Revanche, Three Monkeys and The White Ribbon. - 12/5/09

In Iran, death by poison salad and a hair-cream overdose
Iranian whistleblower Dr. Ramin Pourandarjan was killed by a poison salad, says prosecutor, in the fourth explanation of his Nov. 10 death. It's not the first bizarre death in Iranian political circles. -CSM - 12/5/09

Iran's Election Protesters Threatened with "Homelessness"
Tehran Friday's prayer was a throng of warnings to elections protesters who have used every opportunity to demonstrate and express their protest to Ahmadinejad's government which they believe stands on the shoulders of a fraudulently elected president. - 12/5/09

Russia to join IPI Peace Pipeline construction: Gazprom Rep
Russia has signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with India and Pakistan to join construction of Peace Pipeline in the two countries, said Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom representative to Tehran. - 12/5/09

Iran's Larijani Sees Ulterior Motives Behind West Nuclear Hype
Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker explains why the UN nuclear watchdog is making a scene over Tehran's nuclear work despite knowing that there is nothing to worry about. - 12/5/09

Tehran police warns against gatheirngs on December 7
Tehran's Security Forces have issued a public statement to the effect that police will not tolerate any "illegal" gatherings on December 7, the National Day of the Student. In Iran the National Day of Student is annually observed with numerous student gatherings in universities. - 12/4/09

Hashemi Rafsanjani: Iran's political disputes are grave!
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council spoke of Iran's internal crisis today claiming: "Today there is no room to hide the matter. The difficulties presented by the political disputes are grave!," ILNA reports. - 12/4/09

Iran: Neda's Mother Condemns Street Reenactment of Her Death by Basij
Mother of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman who was shot to death on the streets of Tehran during protests to the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke out against Iranian government's efforts to portray her daughter's death as a foreign conspiracy. - 12/4/09

Iran's Green Movement and the Myth of Shame of the Middle Class
A new movement called the "Green Movement" has recently been born in our country. This newborn movement has its own specific demands, its known representatives and ideological leadership, and a vast and specific network of executive forces and activists. It also has certain technological and digital capabilities and its specific mechanisms to connect its members and mobilize them. -Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani - 12/4/09

Iranian American Farid Khavari Running for Governor of Florida
The first thing Farid Khavari PhD, a proud Iranian American running for Governor of Florida, would tell you is that he is not a politician: he is an economist. "I love this country. I'm going to live here in Florida until I die. I am running for governor to change this situation." - 12/4/09

Tehran Art Scene: Interesting Works of Masoud Sadeddin at Homa Gallery
I was delighted simply because someone - man or woman - had changed the emphasis of their work to men. Life for any kind of women, let alone a modern one in Iran, has not been easy in the past few decades and yes, we did suffer and still do, but who says that men do not as well? -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 12/4/09

Boston Globe Endorses Alan Khazei for U.S. Senate
With less then a week to go before the Senate primary election in Massachusetts, community activist and social entrepreneur Alan Khazei has recently received a series of high-profile endorsements from former presidential candidate Wesley Clark to the Boston Globe. Khazei, an American of Iranian and Italian descent, is one of four Democratic candidates running for the late Senator Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. - 12/4/09

Israel's Patience with Tehran Wearing Thin
Iran's leaders continue to reject compromises over their nuclear program and are rebuffing the IAEA. The West is likely to respond with tighter sanctions, but that is unlikely to satisfy Israel, which has attack plans already drawn up. -Spiegel, Germany - 12/4/09

Connecticut Iranian American A Symbol for Civic Participation
Although Nina Mohadjer's bid for a seat on the Connecticut Board of Education was 110 votes short, she has since turned her full attention to another cause, one that she has been involved in for over two years. The American Cancer Society's (ACS) Relay for Life - 12/4/09

Farokhi's Bid for Atlanta City Council Falls Short
In a hard fought battle for the Atlanta City Council's Post 2 At-large seat, Amir Farokhi's bid to become the first Iranian American elected to public office in the State of Georgia fell just short in Tuesday's runoff election. -PAAIA - 12/4/09

New U.S. Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy Aims To Take Fight To Al-Qaeda
Obama dedicated parts of his speech to Washington's relationship with Islamabad, saying, "our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan." But while highlighting the threats posed to Pakistan by extremists, his speech was mute on the specifics of how the strategy would affect Pakistan, where he said Al-Qaeda's leadership had established a safe haven. - 12/4/09

Iran: Top Student Leader Arrested
With the approach of the National Students Day, December 7, the authorities have stepped up persecution and prosecution of student activists throughout the country, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said - 12/3/09

New Revelations about the Horrific Karhizak Detention Facility in Tehran
In the latest developments related to the suspicious death of Ramin Pour-Andarjani, Karhizak detention facility's resident doctor, the coroner's office announced that his cause of death was "poisoning." - 12/3/09

Iranian Crackdown Goes Global
In recent months, Iran has been conducting a campaign of harassing and intimidating members of its diaspora world-wide -- not just prominent dissidents -- who criticize the regime, according to former Iranian lawmakers and former members of Iran's elite security force, the Revolutionary Guard, with knowledge of the program. Part of the effort involves tracking the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity of Iranians around the world, and identifying them at opposition protests abroad, these people say. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 12/3/09

Whence Came all This Hatred and Cruelty in his Eyes?
November 4th 2009 - I am near the 7th Tir Square to visit a friend. A young woman and a young man are accompanying me. I am not sure if I am looking after them or they are protecting me. When we reach the square, I see protestors running, some with green tokens.-Farzaneh Taheri - 12/3/09

Exhibition in Shiraz by Five Iranian Photojournalists, with a focus on Social Issues
Five Iranian photojournalists are holding an exhibition at Shiraz gallery. The focus of the exhibition is social issues ranging from the June presidential elections, immigrants, survivors of the Iran-Iraq war, and women. - 12/3/09

War: An Online Exhibition by Haedeh Zarrinbal
Haedeh Zarrinbal was born in Tehran, Iran in 1946. She received her primary school education in Iran's oil rich city of Ahvaz after her family was transferred there due to her father's work. She then went on to graduate from the Tehran College of Fine Arts in 1970. She spent the following seventeen years of her life teaching at various Iranian universities and institutions. -Gallery Mamak - 12/3/09

Statement from Christine Levinson: December 3rd Marks 1000 days that Robert Levinson has been missing in Iran
Today, Thursday, December 3rd, marks the 1,000th day since my husband, Robert "Bob" Levinson, went missing in Iran. To put 1,000 days in perspective... 1,000 days ago our youngest son was 13; today he turns 16 years of age. It is not a happy birthday.‪ - 12/3/09

Celebrating Iranian Women Poets
December's Shab-e She'r (Poetry Night) in New York will celebrate Iranian Women Writers on December 9 from 6-7:30pm. This special evening will feature Farnoosh Fathi and Soraya Shalforoosh! - 12/3/09

Captured British Sailors Tell Their Stories About Time in Iranian Detention
Five British yachtsmen who were detained by Iranian authorities for nearly a week after their boat drifted into the country's waters say their situation was dealt with in a professional manner. - 12/3/09

Iran: Time to Leave the NPT?
Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledges the "inalienable right" of non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) to research, develop, and use nuclear energy for non-weapons purposes. -Nader Bagherzadeh and Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 12/3/09

Iran Heritage Foundation appoints Dr Ladan Akbarnia as new Executive Director
A highly regarded arts administrator and dynamic educator with extensive curatorial experience, Dr Akbarnia joins Iran Heritage Foundation from the Brooklyn Museum where she was Hagop Kevorkian Associate Curator of Islamic Art. - 12/3/09

Shohreh Aghdashloo and Houshang Touzie to perform "An Iranian in Heaven"
In 2009, Iranian American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her role as the wife of Saddam Hussein in House of Saddam. The actress, was also nominated for an Oscar for the 2003 feature film House of Sand and Fog. - 12/3/09

FM voices Iran's opposition against increasing troops in Afghanistan
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki reiterated the countries opposition against increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan saying it will not resolve the crisis in the country. - 12/3/09

Iran: "Unity Session" at Parliament Highlights Deep Divisions
Iran's Parliament (Majlis) held the 2nd annual Unity Session on Tuesday. But based on the photos of the gathering, and based on the remarks of the Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, this session actually highlighted the deep divisions in the political establishment and the society at large that have surfaced since the June presidential elections. - 12/2/09

Another Heavy Jail Term for an Iranian Journalist
Saeed Leylaz, Iranian journalist and leading economist was sentenced to 9 years in prison. Mr. Leylaz was arrested in the post-election protests to the alleged fraudulent victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections. He was the editor-in-chief of Sarmayeh daily newspaper which was banned recently. Mr. Laylaz has been an outspoken critic of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policies. - 12/2/09

Students Invite Iran's Opposition Leaders to Tehran University
Over three thousand students of Tehran University have signed a petition inviting opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, to attend Day of the Student ceremonies at their institution on December 7. - 12/2/09

Iran Ranks 99 out of 140 in Global Peace Index 2009
"Positive Peace" is to identify which structures and institutions create and maintain peace. The GPI is a first step in this direction; the index is calculated on the basis of 23 indicators measuring conflicts, societal security and militarization. 2009 GPI was calculated before Iran's election, and Iran ranks as 99 out of 140 countries. - 12/2/09

Iranian Commander: The Infiltrators Killed Protesters; We Did Not!
Until now commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have been giving dissimilar explanations of the role of para-military Basij forces in the post-election crackdown in the country. But two days ago Hossein Hamedani, the recently appointed commander of Tehran's Mohammad Rasool-Allah brigade spoke of a role that infiltrators in the Basij played in the shooting incidents and announced that "twelve" individuals had been arrested in this regard. - 12/2/09

Shima Esfandiyari's deep and powerful drawings at Mah Gallery
Last Friday, with a couple of fun friends, we set off gallery hunting. Mah Gallery, which is very close to where we live, was our last stop. We spent a long time there enjoying the spacious gallery, the good tea and shirini (sweets), as well as the delight of seeing the owner/manager Ms. Shahnaz Khonsari. She introduced us to the lady painter whose works were on display which we enjoyed as we moved around the large gallery rooms. - 12/2/09

Iranian Reformist Cleric Ayatollah Montazeri Slams Government Policies Against Protesters
Ayatollah Hoseinali Montazeri, leading Iranian Shiite cleric announced today that "people will not be satisfied with anything less than their rightful demands." The moderate cleric praises the Green Movement's emphasis on a peaceful form of struggling for people's violated rights. He also adds that by "paying a heavy price", the Movement has been able to "reveal the violent nature of the extremist and oppressive faction." - 12/2/09

Iran's writers' associations to pay homage to assassinated colleagues
Iran's writers' associations will be paying homage to Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh, on the 11th anniversary of death of these writers, by holding a gathering on Friday December 4th at Emamzadeh Taher cemetery at Mehrshahr in Karaj. The two writers were killed 11 years ago in what has been dubbed as "serial murders" by Iran's Intelligence Ministry agents as part of a plot to eliminate intellectuals and political personalities. - 12/2/09

Iran Releases 5 Detained Britons
A statement from Iran's Revolutionary Guards said that after investigation it reached the conclusion that their illegal entry was a mistake. Britain's Foreign Office confirmed the release and said the yachtsmen are being towed to international waters, and were expected to head to Dubai. - 12/2/09

Iran Plans to Protest International Atomic Energy Agency Rebuke
Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency rebuke of Tehran's nuclear program and expressed displeasure with those U.N. member countries that voted in favor of it. - 12/2/09

Rumi in Performance by Shahram Shiva in New York
Shahram Shiva is a performance poet, award-winning translator and scholar of Rumi and author of several books. He is known for his rich and entrancing concerts of Rumi, the 13th Century Persian mystic poet. - 12/2/09

FIFA Invites 3 Iranians to Play in World Futsal Team
Three Iranian futsal players were invited by FIFA to play in the world 'All Stars' against Brazil's national futsal team in late December. Mostafa Nazari, Mohammad Taheri, and Vahid Shamsaei are the three Iranian National Futsal Team members chosen by FIFA to play in World Futsal Team against the world champions Brazil. - 12/2/09

Fears of Dubai Default Eased, But Global Financial Problems Remain
Dubai World is the state-run conglomerate which is largely responsible for transforming the small desert emirate of Dubai into a playground of the super-rich. That just made the shock all the greater last week when the company announced it is asking creditors for a standstill on repayment of billions of dollars in debt. The total owed to investors is estimated at some $59 billion. - 12/2/09

Iran's Plan to Phase Out Subsidies Brings Frenzied Debate
The outside world may be focused on Iran's intensifying confrontation with the West over its nuclear program. But at home, Iranians are more concerned with an ambitious and risky new effort to overhaul the country's troubled economy. -NY Times - 12/2/09

NIOC World's 2nd Largest Oil Company: Report
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) ranked the second in the list of the world's 50 largest oil companies published by Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW). The PIW's ranking is based on operational data from over 130 firms. - 12/2/09

Calif. insurers say $12 billion invested in Iran
California's insurance commissioner said Tuesday he will push insurance companies doing business in California to divest up to $12 billion in indirect investments in Iran's defense, nuclear, energy and banking industries. -AP - 12/2/09

Iran: Majlis Speaker Larijani Supports Hashemi Rafsanjani
Following weeks of silence, Hashemi Rafsanjani who heads the Expediency Council and the Experts Assembly on Leadership finally spoke his mind publicly about what he thinks of the state of the country, and just like the Friday prayer sermon on July 17, 2009, he criticized the existing conditions in the country. And this criticism came with support from non other than the Speaker of Majlis, Ali Larijani - 12/1/09

Tehran Prosecutor: Kahrizak physician died from "drug poisoning"
Tehran Prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced today that investigation into the death of Ramin Pourandarjani, physician at Kahrizak Detention Centre where allegedly post-election detainees were tortured and killed, so far has revealed that he died from "drug poisoning." - 12/1/09

Iran crude exports may stop if embargo continues
Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi warned the world powers Iran may stop exporting crude oil if they continue economic sanctions on the country. - 12/1/09

NIAC President Trita Parsi Wins Grawemeyer Award
NIAC President Trita Parsi has won the prestigious 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for his 2007 book, Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US. - 12/1/09

Iran Warns of Tough Action Against 5 Detained British Sailors
In a Monday statement, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says the crew was en route from Bahrain to Dubai when the incident occurred. Tehran warned on Tuesday that it will take strong action against five detained British sailors if it is proven they had "bad intentions" - 12/1/09

Ahmadinejad Criticized For "Oppression of Dissidents"
In an open letter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nargess Mohammadi, deputy director of Defenders of Human Rights Council criticized his government's pressures on social activists and oppression of dissidents in Iran. - 12/1/09

AIDS Rising In Iran
There was an increase in number of infected cases with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the pathogen that causes AIDS, in the Mediterranean region including Iran, head of infectious diseases department of the Health Ministry said in Tehran on Tuesday. - 12/1/09

Analysts Say Ahmadinejad Is Bluffing About New Enrichment Sites
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad left no doubt about Iran's ambitions. "We need to spread out to numerous sites to produce nuclear fuel for us. We shall build 10 new uranium enrichment plants," he said on state television on November 29. Ahmadinejad's announcement surprised even seasoned Iran watchers. - 12/1/09

Iran Successfully Tests Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
"A 250 bar (atmospheric) pressure test has been successfully carried out at the Bushehr nuclear plant," Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Mohammad Ali Salehi said at a press conference with visiting Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko in Tehran. - 12/1/09

Report of Alliance of Iranian Americans Meeting with Clippers' Lawler and Smith on Haddadi Incident
On November 29, 2009, Cyrus Hadavi and Sam Sotoodeh, Directors of Alliance of Iranian Americans and Babak Sotoodeh, its President, met with the Clippers organization and Clippers' play-by-play announcer, Ralph Lawler and color analyst, Michael Smith to discuss their recent comments made about Grizzlies' Center, Hamed Haddadi, that led to their one game suspension. - 12/1/09

What Iran Is Losing To Get Nuclear Energy?
Oil: Iranian economy depends on oil exports. However, Iran's oil industry is a house of cards. It is neglected, crumbling and underinvested. Many of its oil and gas fields are in dire need of foreign technical expertise. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 12/1/09

US Ambassador Warns Nuclear Plans Will Further Isolate Iran
A senior U.S. official says Iran's announcement it intends to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants in defiance of the international community's demands it halt such activities will further isolate that country and could put it on the path to more U.N. sanctions. - 12/1/09

Iran loses clout in Arab world
Nearly six months after a contested presidential election that has riven the country more than at any time since the birth of the Islamic theocracy, a new narrative is arising around the Arab world in which Iran is no longer a political demigod. -CSM - 12/1/09

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