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Photos: 10 years after quake, Bam Citadel yet to rise again
Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel) was the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in the Kerman Province of southeastern Iran. On December 26, 2003, the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake. In the days after the quake, the Iranian government announced that the Citadel would be rebuilt. However, this architecture jewel has been ignored and neglected... - 12/31/12

Iran: Faezeh Hashemi, outspoken daughter of Rafsanjani, placed in solitary at Evin
Faezeh Hashemi, the jailed daughter of Iran's Expediency Council chief, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been sentenced to three weeks in solitary confinement and barred from any visits for "insulting the leader" and "disrupting prison order." - 12/31/12

Iran's Opposition leaders denied attending funeral of Rahnavard's father
Zahra Rahnavard was allowed 15 minutes away from her house arrest on Saturday December 29 to visit her father Sadegh Kazemi, who had just passed away at a hospital in Tehran. - 12/31/12

Iranian researcher finds 73-million-year-old fossil near Kermanshah
Ronak Geravandi, a doctoral student and member of Scientific Board of Geology Department at Razi University of Kermanshah, has discovered a fossil belonging to Cretaceous period in 73 million years ago. - 12/31/12

Iran: Reports of sexual crimes on the rise
Criminal Task Force Deputy Hadi Mostafayi said that in the past nine months, a new policy encouraging victims to file charges and the deployment of female officers in order to protect the victims' identity have led to the large increase in the number of sexual assault cases reported. - 12/31/12

IRGC Concerned About Iran's 2013 Elections: Commanders Continue to Talk of "Seditionists"
Last week, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander declared that the protests and demonstrations against the officially-announced results of the 2009 presidential elections that took place that very year were more "dangerous than the 8-year [Iran-Iraq] war" and added that the Guards were preparing themselves for "days of scheming and interference by the enemy in the [2013 presidential] elections." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 12/31/12

Iran denounces WSJ article nuclear scenarios as Iranophobia
Iran responds to an opinion piece by the Wall Street Journal on the threshold of a new round of talks between Tehran and the six major world powers (P5+1), asserting the country's "inalienable right" to the nuclear fuel cycle. - 12/31/12

Iran tests latest missiles in drills near Strait of Hormuz
As the Velayat 91 drills continued in southern Iran, new missiles and torpedoes developed by Iranian experts were successfully tested today. On the fourth day of the Velayat 91 drills, short-range Nasr Cruise missile successfully has been fired and hit the target. - 12/31/12

Iran's House of Music officially objects to UNESCO registration of tar for Azerbaijan
Iran's House of Music has officially objected to UNESCO's decision to inscribe the art of craftsmanship and tar playing on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for the Republic of Azerbaijan. - 12/31/12

Scorcher from Iran
With her killer looks and a ramp-scorching walk, one would expect nothing but diva-like behaviour from Iranian beauty Parto Gohari. It might come as a surprise, therefore, when you speak to her and find her to be sweet and effervescent. The young catwalk queen has been cementing her reputation as one of the top female models in the city even as she juggles a degree in literature. -Anusha Vincent, Deccan Chronicle - 12/31/12

In Iran, new movies boost wobbly film sector
Iran's acclaimed movie industry is the latest sector to suffer the effects of economic sanctions over the country's uranium-enrichment program. But as filmmakers warn that they might pause production because of lagging funds, two controversial new releases are breathing life into the domestic cinema scene. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 12/31/12

Iran increases daily oil output by 150,000 barrels: Source
Iran has increased its oil production by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 3.25 million bpd, an informed source told the Fars News Agency on Sunday. "Sanctions at the beginning of 2012 sharply cut Iran's oil output, but the situation is being improved, so that it is hoped to boost the output ever more and expand exports as well in 2013." - 12/31/12

The Frontier Mentality: On Killing Children (and Others)
Whether Americans are paying attention or not, their government, their elected officials, continue to make sure that the U.S. remains out and about across the globe, projecting the nation's power via guns and sanctions, and thereby helping to lower the world's burgeoning population in the most negative of all possible ways. -Lawrence Davidson, Counterpunch - 12/31/12

Photos: Lightning by the Caspian Coast in Northern Iran, and more!
Here are some amazing photos of Iran published by the National Geographic magazine in 2012. Among them is a breathtaking photo of lightning by the Caspian Sea in northern Iranian. - 12/30/12

The Women's Ward for Prisoners of Conscience in Mashhad, Iran
Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad was thrust into the spotlight when news emerged that secret mass executions were carried out there over the past two years. However, in this same institution a number of prisoners of conscience are serving sentences whose names have never appeared in the media. -Kyan Sabeti - 12/30/12

Iran: Police announce more arrests around currency crisis
The Tehran Police force has announced that 88 "gold and foreign currency brokers" have been arrested, as disputes have intensified between the Iranian government and the Central Bank over handling the crisis in the currency and gold markets. - 12/30/12

American plane made emergency landing in Iran, 10 or 20 days ago!
Iranian authorities say a U.S. plane made an emergency landing at Ahwaz Airport in southwestern Iran after experiencing technical difficulties. - 12/30/12

In Memory of Majid Tehranian (March 22, 1937 - December 23, 2012)
Majid was born in 1937 in Iran. He came to the United States at the age of 17 when he was selected to serve as a delegate to the 1955 New York (International) Herald Tribune Forum and to meet President Dwight D. Eisenhower. - 12/30/12

Iranian physicists' 40-year-old dream comes true
Farhad Ardalan, a precursor of Iranian scientists cooperation in CERN research, has called the cooperation as the fulfillment of the 40-year-old dream of Iranians to participate in the International Laboratory For Particles Research. - 12/30/12

MesoCity Tehran Workshop: Art, Ecology and the City
Tehran is the biggest city between Istanbul and Mumbai, a city of 13 million in the desert. Like all other cities in Iran it was positioned strategically at the foot of a mountain in order to source water. But all this is forgotten today, and the urban sprawl has come to erase the memory of the underground water irrigation network: the qanat. -Sara Kamalvand, Nafas Art Mgazine - 12/30/12

Liquidity in Iran exceeds $338B by mid-October
Liquidity in Iran surpassed 4.15 trillion rials (over $338 billion) by the end of the seventh calendar month of Mehr (Oct. 21), compared with 402 billion rials ($328 billion) in its preceding month, the Mehr news agency cited reports by the Central bank of Iran. Liquidity has grown by over five folds since seven years ago, according to the report. - 12/30/12

19 Muslim Pilgrims Traveling to Iran Killed in Pakistan Blast
Officials in southwestern Pakistan say a bomb blast has hit a convoy of three buses, killing at least 19 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims. - 12/30/12

Is Iranian Leadership Softening On Opposition Leaders Musavi, Karrubi?
In what appears to be a significant softening of tone, a hard-line Iranian cleric, Mashhad Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, has said that it is wrong to consider opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi as "seditionists." - 12/29/12

Studying Lupine Wildlife In Iran
Director of the Iranian Cheetah Society announced the launching of studies into the pack life of wolves in Iran and said that a smaller number of wolves live in a pack in Iran. - 12/29/12

32 Iranian artists to raise funds for World Food Program
Thirty-two Iranian artists have donated some of their works to the United Nations World Food Program to raise funds to fight hunger. The works were unveiled during a ceremony in an exhibit at the Diplomatic Gallery of the ECO Cultural Institute in Tehran on Wednesday evening. - 12/29/12

Photos: Khalvat-e-Karim Khani, Golestan Palace, Tehran
Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residence of Karim Khan Zand. Nasser-ol-Din Shah was fond of this corner of Golestan Palace. He is said to have spent much time here in rest and repose- smoking his water pipe in quiet reflection. - 12/29/12

Iran's Environmental Official Warns Of Rising Cancer Incidence
Massomeh Ebtekar, the head of the Tehran Environmental Committee, announced that patients are being diagnosed with cancer at a younger age. Ebtekar told ILNA: "Air and soil pollution and the effects of [electromagnetic waves] are all contributing to a rise in diseases." - 12/29/12

Iranian researchers take giant leap forward prostate and lung cancer treatment
Researchers in Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Unit, have developed a method for prostate and lung cancer treatment through combining nuclear, radio-isotope and nano-technology. - 12/29/12

Concerns Raised About Health Of Iranian Political Prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh
The health of Iranian political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh in Evin Prison is of grave concern, a group of political prisoners' families has warned. Their statement, posted on the Kaleme website, describes Tajzadeh's situation as extremely "worrisome." - 12/29/12

Iran Football Coach Shortlisted for New York Red Bulls Job: Report
Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz is a candidate to take charge of New York Red Bulls, MLS Soccer reported. - 12/29/12

Iran's non-oil trade exceeds $71B in 9 months
Iran conducted $71.2 billion in trade of non-oil goods with other countries during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, according to Iranian Customs Administration Director Abbas Memarnejad. - 12/29/12

Obama enacts anti-Iran bill for the Americas
President Barack Obama has signed a law to counter Iran's alleged influence in Latin America, through a new diplomatic and political strategy to be designed by the State Department, the AFP news agency reported. -Aljazeera - 12/29/12

Photos: Nature, Thieves and Vandals Leave Their Mark On The Historic Persepolis Ruins
Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site. -Mohsen Tavaro - 12/28/12

Photos: The 3rd "Sculpture Biennial for Urban Spaces" in Tehran
The 3rd Sculpture Biennial for Urban Spaces kicked off on December 16, at Barg gallery, Ein-o-Doleh building in Tehran and will go on for 45 days. The event showcases some 180 works by 172 artists which have been selected by a group of veteran artists. - 12/28/12

Iranian political prisoners at Evin decry pressure over blogger's case
Forty-one Iranian political prisoners have issued a statement in protest against the "pressure" and "restrictions" imposed on inmates in ward 350 of Evin Prison. - 12/28/12

Khamenei Page Prompts Calls For Iran To Unblock Facebook
Thanks to a Facebook page in the name of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supporters and opponents of Iran's supreme leader now agree on one thing: Iran should free up access to the social-networking site. "Khorasan" last week published an opinion piece titled "Why Don't They Unblock Facebook?" in which the conservative daily's editor-in-chief praised Khamenei's debut on that network earlier this month. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/28/12

Photos: Iran Navy Starts Naval Exercises In Strait Of Hormuz
Iranian Navy started 6-day 'Velayat 91′naval exercises in Iran's southern waters on Friday. Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told reporters that it covers international waters in Gulf of Oman, Hormuz Strait, North of Indian Ocean, Aden Gulf and Bab el Mandeb Strait. - 12/28/12

Iran: School fire incident claims second life
Sariya Rasoulzadeh, another victim of the fire that injured 22 students earlier this month, died today, December 28, at Sinai Hospital in Tabriz. Prianshahr MP Rasoul Khezri reported today that Rasoulzadeh passed away due to respiratory and kidney complications. - 12/28/12

Iran: Senior political figure defends opposition leaders, cleric
Habibollah Asgaroladi, a senior Iranian political figure, has expressed his support for Hashemi Rafsanjani, adding that the Islamic Republic government should not easily give up on the opposition leaders Mir Hosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. - 12/28/12

Persian Rugs and the Iranian Everyday: Photographer Jalal Sepehr in Yazd
Jalal Sepehr's Knot series (2011) is comprised of 12 images all including a Persian rug (1m x 70cm) taken in the historic city of Yazd in central Iran. Contrary to initial intentions, some of the images in Knot make use of the historic scenes and examples of architecture found in Yazd. -Ajam MC - 12/28/12

More Than Just About Hagel
Hagel's detractors appear to be motivated by two factors. First, vengeance over Hagel's push to have the U.S. leave Iraq and end the neoconservatives' pet project. Second, fear that Hagel's independence and insistence on asking tough questions and ensuring that force is only used as a measure of last resort will complicate the neoconservatives' other pet project: preventive war with Iran. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 12/28/12

Russian pilot blamed for Taban Air Flight 6437 crash
Taban Air Flight 6437 was a scheduled domestic flight that crashed on landing at Mashhad's Shahid Hasheminejad Airport on January 24, 2010. All 170 people escaped from the burning aircraft without loss of life. - 12/28/12

Iranian Health Minister Dismissed for Critical Remarks
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on December 27 dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticized her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines. - 12/27/12

Photos: Sultan Amir Ahmed Historic Bathhouse in Kashan
Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, also known as the Qasemi Bathhouse, is a traditional Iranian public bathhouse in Kashan, Iran. It was constructed in 16th century, during the Safavid era; however, the bathhouse was damaged in 1778 as a result of an earthquake and was renovated during the Qajar era. The bathhouse is named after Imamzadeh Sultan Amir Ahmad, whose mausoleum is nearby. - 12/27/12

Opposition Leaders Must Be Released: Former Iranian president
Mohammad Khatami has called once more for the release of the Iranian opposition leaders during a visit with Mir Hossein Mousavi's daughters. - 12/27/12

New figures highlight Iran's road safety problem
The Mehr News Agency reports that, according to the statistics, in the first eight months of the current Iranian year, 14,000 people were killed in road accidents. - 12/27/12

Iran: Dispute escalates between MP, senior cleric
Iranian MP Hamid Resayi has once again attacked Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Council, in Parliament, accusing the senior cleric of power mongering and being in line with enemies of the system. - 12/27/12

Iran unveils domestically-made container ship
Iran unveiled on Wednesday its newest domestically-made container ship, named Iran-Shahrekord. The ship has 2200TEU capacity and has received all the necessary certificates from international institutes. - 12/27/12

Iran's annual exports to Azerbaijan projected to hit $600m: Envoy
Iran exported around $384 million worth of goods to Azerbaijan during the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, Iranian Commercial Attache in Baku Faraj Shahidi said, adding that the figure is projected to reach $600 million by the end of the year. - 12/27/12

Photos: Bam Quake Victims, Nine Years After
The Bam quake (in December 26, 2003) damaged or destroyed 42,000 housing units, rendering some 200,000 people homeless. Nine years later, the promises of the officials to provide housing for the quake victims hasn't been fulfilled yet. There are still people who are living in temporary housing in primitive conditions deprived of basic necessities. - 12/26/12

Economic survey reveals Iran's slowdown
Iranian Parliament's Research Centre has announced that a survey of 98 economic organizations from across the country reveals that production at these organizations has fallen by 40 percent in the past year. The 40-percent drop is accompanied by a 36-percent increase in job losses in the same period. - 12/26/12

Movies line up for Edinburgh Iranian Festival
Five Iranian films will be screened during the Edinburgh Iranian Festival, which is scheduled to be held in Scotland from February 1 to 10. - 12/26/12

Hundreds of workers on strike in Iran
300 workers at the Fajr Petrochemical factory in Mahshahr have gone on strike in protest against the lack of job security. - 12/26/12

Iranian Navy to stage war games in the Strait of Hormuz
The Iranian Navy will hold a 6-day naval exercise in an area covering about one million square kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz to the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the commander of the Iranian Navy announced during a news conference on Tuesday. - 12/26/12

Scientists Produce Novel Solar Cell Plates in University of Isfahan
Researchers from University of Isfahan, Central Iran, succeeded in the production of novel plates of solar cells based on organic materials and inorganic semiconductors. - 12/26/12

Former Revolutionary Guards Commanders Respond to Ahmadinejad
Last week, the head of Iran's government Mahmoud Ahmadinejad counseled the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to sell its acquisitions and real estate assets to meet its budgetary and financial needs. This week, Guard commanders responded by saying no. -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 12/26/12

Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro says no longer dependent on Peugeot
Iran Khodro CEO Javad Najmeddin told Fars that after 23 years the company has managed to manufacture Peugeot 206 and Runna cars without the need to be supported by Peugeot. On November 27, ISNA reported that several car companies in Iran have halted their production, which caused a decrease in the number of car brands in Iran. - 12/26/12

Tehran Denies Russian Women Working at Nuclear Power Plant Get 'Hijab Payment'
Iran is denying complaints that Tehran pays a special fee to the Bushehr nuclear power plant's Russian female technicians in order to adhere to the country's Islamic dress code. - 12/26/12

Turkey Struggles to Contain Fallout of Syrian Conflict
As the Syria conflict grinds on, neighboring Turkey is struggling to deal with the multiple threats of a refugee crisis and a resurgence in Kurdish militant activity sparked by the Syrian uprising. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 12/26/12

Tehran: Where angels don't fly!
In one night, 28 out of 30 angel shaped statues have been mysteriously cut from their bases. 23 statues are lying down on the ground and 5 others have disappeared. - 12/25/12

Photos: Minaret of historic Qazvin Jameh Mosque heavily damaged by fire
One of the two minarets of Qazvin Jameh Mosque was heavily damaged by a fire in the early hours of Saturday December 22. While thecause however has not been determined, the investigators believe that the fire was set by the building's electrical wiring. - 12/25/12

Iran's Supreme Leader Ordered Opposition Leaders Held: Official
The head of Iran's Security Forces said today that the house arrest of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and their wives has been carried out under the orders of the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. - 12/25/12

Bahrain Rulers Warned: The Island Should Return to Motherland Iran
In an article published by Mehr News Agency, Bahrain rulers are reminded that Bahrain is part of motherland Iran and they are warned not to continue insulting Iranians or they will have the same fate as Saddam's. - 12/25/12

Fate uncertain for Iranian reformist congress
Mohammad Khatami has called on Islamic Republic authorities to allow reformists to hold their congress. The website of the former Iranian president published a statement on Monday saying: "This congress could be a sign, however small, from the government that it is willing to allow for all choices in the coming elections." - 12/25/12

70 countries expected to participate in 8th Tehran Animation Festival
With the announcement of the programs and call for the eighth Tehran Animation Festival, now representatives of 70 countries with 930 works are preparing to attend the festival. - 12/25/12

Iranian MP Says Russian Women At Bushehr Not Wearing Hijab
An Iranian lawmaker is complaining that Russian women technicians at the Bushehr nuclear power plant are being paid to adhere to a strict Islamic dress code, but are routinely violating that code. - 12/25/12

Iranian Authorities Say 'Cyberattack' Worm Brought Under Control
Iranian officials say they have brought under control an Internet virus that attacked computers at industrial sites in southern Iran. - 12/25/12

Iran, Armenia set $3b annual trade target
Iran and Armenia have set the target of $3 billion in their annual bilateral trade, IRIB quoted Iran's East Azarbaijan Province's governor general Ahmad Alirezabeigi as saying. - 12/25/12

Photos: Christmas Shopping in Tehran, Iran
These photos show Tehran's Christians residents doing 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. -Zahra Mehdizadeh - 12/24/12

Iran's Currency Rial Tumbles Once Again
The Iranian currency has plunged against the dollar once more, reaching 33,500 rials to the dollar. That constitutes a fall of 3,000 rials since last Monday. - 12/24/12

Photos: Iranian Activists Mark Birthday of Imprisoned Student Zia Nabavi
A group of Iranian activists held a gathering on the night of December 21 in Tehran to mark the birthday of imprisoned student activist Zia Nabavi. Among those in attendance were former political prisoners, starred students and student activist. This is the forth year that the activists dedicate the night of Yalda to Zia. - 12/24/12

Professor Gholam A. Peyman is a recipient of National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Iranian-American Professor Gholam A. Peyman has been named as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. - 12/24/12

Iran: Official's jailed daughter slams prisons in letter
Faezeh Hashemi, the jailed daughter of the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has published a letter criticizing the management of the country's prisons, writing: "They cannot take away the tools of the political prisoner; if their thoughts and their pens could be controlled, Mohammadreza Pahlavi [Iran's last monarch] would never have fallen." - 12/24/12

Tehran prosecutor announces probable cause of blogger's death
The Tehran Prosecutor said on Monday December 24: "The most probable cause of the jailed blogger Sattar Beheshti's death, is a blow, or blows together with mental stress." He added that the case was examined by "a commission of 11 pathologists and other physicians and they more or less confirmed this statement." - 12/24/12

Ahmadinejad: Government will help realize people's will in 2013 election
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the administration will help pave the way for the realization of the people's will in the 2013 presidential election. - 12/24/12

Iranian men's snooker team named world second team
According to data released by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF), Pakistan is the world's snooker champion team with 172 points. Iran, moving two places up in the latest IBSF ranking, is in the second place with 144 points. It is followed by England with 142 points. - 12/24/12

Iran warns citizens against 'precarious' US travel
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman has recommended that Iranians avoid unnecessary travels to the United States following the suspicious death of an Iranian national after interrogation by US airport officers. - 12/24/12

Iran's House of Music asks CHTHO to submit tar for UNESCO registration
The chairman of Iran's House of Music board of directors has asked the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) to submit the Iranian tar to be registered on the UNESCO list. - 12/24/12

Progress was made at Iran-IAEA talks: Yukiya Amano
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano has said that progress was made during the most recent meeting between the agency and Iran, which was held in Tehran on December 13. - 12/24/12

US and Partners Prepare Modest Offer to Iran
Weeks of deliberations among the United States and its fellow negotiators have produced an offer to Iran very similar to the package Iran rejected last summer, casting doubt on chances for breaking the long stalemate over Iran's nuclear program. -Barbara Slavin. Al Monitor - 12/24/12

Release rumored for Ahmadinejad's jailed aide after he is hospitalized
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has visited his press aide, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, who was recently given a furlough from Evin Prison at a hospital, amidst rumours that Javanfekr may be released. - 12/24/12

What happened when a travel writer flew to Iran with no tourist visa or return flight
Australian travel writer Nate Robert is definitely not the first Western tourist to visit Iran. What makes Robert's trip noteworthy is what he didn't do: secure a visa before arriving, or even book a return flight. -Washington Post - 12/24/12

Top Iranian University Sharif Among New Sanction Targets
The EU has imposed sanctions on Iran's top institution of technology, Sanati Sharif University in Tehran. Sanati Sharif University is among the 18 new institutions and companies sanctioned by the European Union. - 12/23/12

New Iran Sanctions Could Derail Upcoming Negotiations
"The time is ripe for a deal, and wrong for more sanctions," according to analysis last week from former Representative Lee Hamilton, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and General Anthony Zinni. - Brett Cox, NIAC - 12/23/12

Photos: Little World Champion, Iranian Girl Motahare Asadi, Has Big Dreams
Motahare Asadi from Iran won the gold medal of the World Youth Chess Championships 2012 on November 19. In the competitions held in Maribor, Slovenia from November 7-19 Asadi finished at the first place in the U8 Girls section where she collected 10.5 points. - 12/23/12

Jailed Iranian lawyer allowed to attend mother's burial
The We-change website reports that Safouri Fakhrian, the mother of jailed lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, was laid to rest on Saturday December 22, and her daughter was allowed to attend the occasion for three hours. - 12/23/12

Iran: Polotical Prisoners Heshmatollah Tabarzadi Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand Get Furlough
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Iranian political prisoner, has been given a furlough after three years in jail. Tabarzadi was last arrested in December of 2009 in the severe crackdown on political dissidents that followed the 2009 presidential election. - 12/23/12

Photos: Gohar Zamin Iron Ore Plant in Sirjan, Iran
On September 3, a large iron ore concentrate production unit was inaugurated in Iran's southeastern Kerman province. The plant, located in Gol Gohar, Sirjan, has the capacity to produce two million tons of iron ore concentrate per annum. - 12/23/12

Cafe Tehroon organizes Literary Tour for Tehran citizens
Cafe Tehroon, a Persian website which organizes cultural tours in Tehran, has arranged a half-day tour for December 27 to familiarize visitors with some literary figures of the city. - 12/23/12

Infants in full health after PGD at Avicenna Clinic in Tehran
Dr. Mohammad Hussein Modarresi, Geneticist and member of the specialist team at Avicenna Recurrent Abortion Clinic, stated that the first healthy infant was born from parents with thalassemia minor in 2009 via PGD methods, and the second was born in 2011 in Avicenna Subspecialty Clinic, both in full health now. - 12/23/12

Deaths from alcohol soar in Iran
In the past seven months, 102 people have died in Iran due to alcohol poisoning, Iranian media report. - 12/23/12

Most common surnames in Iran: 1. Mohammadi, 2. Hosseini, 3. Ahmadi
"Mohammadi is Iran's most common surname with 723,166 records." Head of the National Organization for Civil Registration's Identification Documents Office said. Mohsen Karam added "Hosseini with 496,593, and Ahmadi with 467,725 records stand next." - 12/23/12

Sanctions: Silent War - Iranian Artist's 'Pill Protest' Highlights Harmful Side Effects Of Sanctions
Young Iranian artist Sanaz Sohrabi has a mission: to raise awareness of the impact crippling international sanctions are having on ordinary Iranians, especially those living with illnesses. She took the first step this week, setting up a small performance-art protest across the street from UN headquarters in New York. -Courtney Brooks, RFE - 12/22/12

Officials to Obama: Act Now to Reach Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program
In a letter to President Obama, a group of twenty-four experts and former senior officials are calling on the White House "to direct your team vigorously to pursue serious, sustained negotiations with the Iranian government on an arrangement that guards against a nuclear-armed Iran." - 12/22/12

Daniel Pipes wants to take down Iranian-American group so he can get a war
The right-wing Middle East Forum has the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in its sights for one reason: it wants a war on Iran, and NIAC is trying to stop that from happening. -Alex Kane, Mondoweiss - 12/22/12

Environmental leader warns of deaths from pollution
The head of the Environmental and Sustainable Development Organization in Tehran says 45,000 Iranians die each year from complications caused by air pollution all across the country. - 12/22/12

Iran to unveil new domestically manufactured satellite
A new domestically manufactured satellite, named the Nahid, will be unveiled on February 2, 2013, which is National Space Technology Day, Director of Iran Space Agency Hamid Fazeli announced on Saturday. - 12/22/12

Lifter of the Year 2012: Vote for Iranian weight-lifting giant
International Weightlifting Federation has announced the voting for the best weightlifter of the year for 2012. Behdad Salimi, Iranian weight lifter in +105kg category, is the only Iranian representative among the candidates. - 12/22/12

Almost 8 million Iranians to be booted out of cash subsidy plan
Some eight million wealthy Iranians have been identified who are not eligible to receive cash subsidy, the Fars News Agency quoted the national economic reform working group's spokesman Mohammad-Reza Farzin as saying. - 12/22/12

Persepolis coach Manuel Jose resigns: report
Persepolis coach Manual Jose has resigned, Iranian media outlets reported on Saturday. Last week, Yahya Golmohammadi replaced the Portuguese coach following poor results in the Iran Professional League. - 12/22/12

Sanctions cause problems for Iranian satellite channels
The Spanish satellite company Hispasat has stopped airing Press TV and Hispan TV as of Friday December 21 and ordered Overon, another satellite company, to follow suit. - 12/22/12

Putin Calls EU Heads 'Wrong' on Energy Policy
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks with European Union officials at a summit in Brussels, discussing contentious issues such as energy, trade, human rights and policy on Syria. - 12/22/12

Ashton spokesman: 5+1 committed to another round of talks with Iran
Michael Mann, Spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, says 1+5 is committed to another round of talks with Iran. - 12/22/12

Photos: Mesr Desert
The hot villages in the central desert are one of the favorite types of ecotourism in Iran, visited by many Iranian and foreign tourists every year. Khour, Mesr and Garme are the widely known areas located in the southern part of the desert which deserve more attention. - 12/21/12

Khaneye Doost (Friend's House)
I am always surprised by how few Iranians know or have even heard about Golestan Kids. While Golestan is located in Berkeley, on a busy stretch of galleries, independent pottery studios and shops, many Iranians are not familiar with this growing and creative organization. -Salomeh Keyhani - 12/21/12

Stop Targeting and Harassing BBC Journalists' Families in Iran
The Iranian Judiciary and Intelligence agencies must immediately stop harassing the family members of journalists working abroad and ensure that security forces put an end to extrajudicial mistreatment, intimidation, and official misconduct, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said on Thursday - 12/21/12

US Hopes to Resolve Iran Nuclear Standoff in 2013
Resolving Iran's nuclear standoff with the West is one of the major foreign policy challenges facing the second Obama administration. Sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union have hit the Iranian economy hard enough to possibly push Iran toward a diplomatic solution. -Guita Aryan, VOA - 12/21/12

David N. Rahni, Pace Chemistry Professor with a Wide-Ranging Career, Named Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Pace University Provost Uday P. Sukhatme announced today that Dr. David N. Rahni, professor of chemistry and environmental science on the Pleasantville, NY, campus, has been named Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs effective Jan. 15, 2013. - 12/21/12

Statues of 17 Islamic figures unveiled at Tehran center
Statues of 17 Islamic figures were unveiled at Tehran's Eshraq Cultural Center on Thursday. The statues, 12 of which are busts, have been crafted from bronze by Sivash Salimi. He spent 15 months creating the artworks, which have been installed in various sites at the center. - 12/21/12

Nosratollah Tajik describes detention in UK as 'ruining my life' and 'political game'
Former Iranian ambassador to Jordan told reporters that he will sue UK and US governments for his illegal arrest. Ś years of house arrest ruined my and my family life," added Tajik. - 12/21/12

Canada puts Iran's Qods Force on terrorist list
Canada says it has dropped the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from its terrorist list and added the Qods Force, the international arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, to the list. - 12/21/12

Concluding 2012, Afghanistan's Neighbors Gird for 2014
As Kabul prepares to take over its security ahead of international combat troops pullout, China, Iran and Pakistan focused on regional relations. -Sharon Behn, VOA - 12/21/12

Happy Yalda: The longest and darkest night of the year!
Yalda Night as called in the Persian solar calendar is a night with especial ceremonies. Families get together on Yalda Night at the home of the elders until after midnight. They are served with dried fruits, nuts, and winter fruits like pomegranates and watermelons, which are said to symbolize the red color of dawn in the sky. - 12/20/12

Iranian national dies after 'Harsh Interrogation' by US custom officers at Dulles
Daryoush Sarreshteh , an Iranian national and former mayor of Tabriz, died from heart attack days after he was investigated by the customs officers in Dulles Airport, Virginia after a long absence on his way back from Tabriz, Iran. Sepideh Sereshteh, a nurse in Falls Church, said that they had treated her father like a dog and killed him. - 12/20/12

Iranian-American Pastor Reportedly Jailed
A Iranian-American pastor, Saeed Abedini, has reportedly been arrested and charged in Iran while visiting his family. Reports say the 32-year-old Christian convert has been detained in Tehran's Evin prison since late September. The charges against him are not clear. - 12/20/12

Jailed Iranian lawyer transferred to hospital
Abdolfattah Soltani, a jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, has reportedly been transferred to Sinai Hospital in Tehran for treatment of complications in his digestive system. - 12/20/12

Voices raised against barring of Afghans in Iran
Hossein Ebrahim, the Friday Mass Imam for Anar in Kerman Province, has been approached by residents to take action against new legislation that bars Afghan immigrants from living in certain Iranian provinces. - 12/20/12

UN General Assembly To Vote On Iran Rights Resolution
In a report in October, the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Iran said the Islamic republic continued to execute hundreds of people each year, and conditions were worsening in the country for religious and ethnic minorities, women, and homosexuals. - 12/20/12

Iran: Rafsanjani Demands Response to "Insults"
Hamid Resayi, a conservative MP, was protesting against the release of Mehdi Hashemi, the son of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, from prison when he referred to him as "the root of all corruption" and "the main protagonist in the sedition" against the leadership. - 12/20/12

Tintin to appear on stage in Tehran
Iranian director Arvand Dashtarai plans to stage an adaptation of Georges Remi's "The Adventures of Tintin" in Tehran in February. The play entitled "Tintin and the Secret of Moundas Castle" will be performed at the Iranian Artists Forum's Iranhshar Hall, the forum announced on Wednesday. - 12/20/12

Iran and Turkmenistan Strike New Gas Deals
Tehran, Ashgabat have inked new deals, according to which Iran will resume gas imports from Turkmenistan in exchange for supplying oil and gas industry equipment to its northeastern neighbor. - 12/20/12

Syrian VP's Remarks Suggest Regime in Dire Straits
Syria's Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa is drawing attention for becoming the first senior Syrian official to publicly acknowledge that his government cannot win its battle against a 21-month rebellion. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 12/20/12

Congress to Probe Iran 'Presence' in Latin America
In a 386-6 vote, the House of Representatives has called for the US State Department to launch an immediate investigation into Iran's diplomatic and business interests in central and South America. -Jason Ditz, - 12/20/12

Photos: Chitgar artificial lake in Tehran getting ready for water
Chitgar Lake is being built next to Chitgar Park and will have a volume of between 9.5 and 11 million cubic meters. According to the master plan of the 22nd district of Tehran, the area of the whole lake and the surrounding ground covers 330 hectares and the lake itself has an area of 220 hectares. It is said that Chitgar will be the biggest artificial lake in the Middle East. Also, luxury apartment complexes are being built next to the lake. - 12/19/12

Photos: Mine Blast Kills 8 Miners in Tabas, Iran
A coal mine collapse in Tabas buried 8 workers, but the rescue work was successful in pulling out the bodies. 4 workers reportedly were dead early hours after the blast. 4 others were suffocated by lethal gasses from the blast. - 12/19/12

Afghan Workers and Unemployment in Iran
Yashar Darolshafa, a young activist-thinker with a Master's degree in sociology, recently began serving a 5 and one half year prison term at the notorious Evin prison. Like many other young activists, he was convicted of "promoting propaganda against the government." Below are excerpts from one of his many articles. - 12/19/12

Iranian MP calls for apologies in the case of blogger who died while in detention
Ali Motahari, an Iranian conservative MP, has called on the Interior Minister and the head of the security forces to "apologize to the family of Sattar Beheshti, the people and the leader of Iran" for the blogger who died in custody a few days after his arrest by cuber police. - 12/19/12

Turkey, Iran Relations Remain Strained
Turkey's foreign minister has criticized Iran for its reaction to a NATO decision to deploy Patriot missiles on the border between Turkey and Syria. The NATO decision has added to tensions between Iran and Turkey, whose relations are already strained over the Syrian crisis. - 12/19/12

Iran discovers massive gas and oil reserves
While global hydrocarbon reserves are increasingly coming to an end, yesterday Iran announced that its scientists have discovered massive oil and gas reserve in Gulf of Oman, larger than total oil and gas reserves of the country. - 12/19/12

Iranian movie 'Alzheimer' grabs award for best playscript in Asia-Pacific Festival
The film 'Alzheimer' directed by Ahmad Reza Motamedi won the award for the best playscript in the 55th edition of Asia-Pacific Film Festival which was held in Macau, China, from December 13-16. - 12/19/12

"Prophet Mohammed": Hollywood, Arabs versus Iranian director
With the historical representation 'Prophet Mohammed' in its post-production stages, some Arab countries and Hollywood has launched the production of a movie on the Prophet Mohammed to bring the rivalry of Iran and Arab countries to a new spectacular highs. - 12/19/12

Navy Commander: Iranian Navy controls all movements in Caspian Sea
The powerful Iranian Navy is monitoring all movements in the Caspian Sea, Navy Commander Rear-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said on Wednesday. Addressing the provincial officials in Sari, nothern Iran, Sayyari said the Iranian Navy monitors movements by radars throughout Caspian Sea region. - 12/19/12

Commentary: Seek deal with Iran, not new sanctions
As Congress prepares to tighten the vise around Iran with new sanctions, American leaders need to ask what previous measures have accomplished and whether additional ones would help or hurt efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. -Lee Hamilton, Thomas Pickering and Anthony Zinni - - 12/19/12

Iraqi President Improving After Stroke
Deputy Health Minister Issam Namiq said Wednesday that medical teams from Germany and Iran have arrived to help with the Mr. Talabani's care and that a British team was on its way to Iraq. - 12/19/12

Iranian Supreme Leader 'Likes' Facebook
Not to be outdone by the Pope's creation of a Twitter account, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has joined Facebook, a site off limits to most Iranians due to internet filters imposed by the state. - 12/18/12

Amirahmadi launches bid to be Iran's next president
A committee formed by prominent Iranian businessmen has nominated Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi to contest next summer's presidential elections in Iran. A highly-regarded academic, Amirahmadi holds a Ph.D. in economic planning and international development from Cornell University and is a professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. - 12/18/12

Deadly mine explosion in Tabas, Iran
Four miners were killed and another four are trapped after a mine explosion near the northeastern city of Tabas on Tuesday December 18, Iranian media report. - 12/18/12

Artworks convey personal stories of persecution
Works of art by a group of Australian-Iranians are highlighting the issue of religious persecution in Iran. A new exhibition here includes works by artists all of whom have family or friends who have faced oppression and imprisonment by the Iranian regime, in particular for their membership of the Baha'i Faith. - 12/18/12

Iranian-Americans: Bridging the Divide
For over three decades, official political antagonism between the U.S. and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has obscured the deep bonds between the two peoples. This deadlock and the mutual demonization has worked to marginalize the sizeable Iranian-American community, hindering its attempts at integrating fully into the fabric of America's civic life. -Alidad Mafinezam - 12/18/12

Ahmadinejad Now Targets the Armed Forces: Sell Your Assets, Pay Taxes
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose administration has resorted to raising taxes to meet the loss of oil revenues and budget shortages, has now asked members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and the regular military to sell their assets and real estate to meet their own budgets. -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 12/18/12

"Kahrizak: Four Views" wins special jury prize at Dubai filmfest
"Kahrizak: Four Views", a four-episode documentary on a charity center, has won the special jury prize at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival -- Four directors of different ages and levels of experience, each present a view of the Kahrizak Charity Centre, introducing us to fascinating characters and rituals, and a reflection on life and death itself. - 12/18/12

Potential Presidential Candidate Says Iran Needs Moderates
Mohammad Reza Aref, who has been mentioned as a possible reformist candidate in the 2013 presidential election, has said that the country is in need of moderates. - 12/18/12

3rd International Conference on Health Tourism opens in Mashhad
The third Conference on Health Tourism in Islamic Courtiers kicked off in Razavi Hospital in the northeastern provincial capital city of Mashhad on Tuesday. - 12/18/12

World largest petrochemical complex goes into production in Asalouyeh
An official figure in the Iranian National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said that world's largest ethylene producer has been launched in Asalouyeh. He also added that the West Ethylene Pipeline will begin operation. - 12/18/12

Former Iranian diplomat to arrive in Tehran after his extradition from UK to US denied
Former Iranian diplomat Nosratollah Tajik, who recently won a British High Court battle to avoid extradition to the United States and was set free on December 13 after six years under house arrest, will arrive in Tehran early on Wednesday. - 12/18/12

Iranian scientists use microchips to help spinally impaired walk
Scientists at the Neural Technology Center of the University of Science and Technology of Iran made standing and walking possible for patients with impaired spinal cord by producing a microcomputer. - 12/17/12

Iran: Voices raised to stop abuse of political prisoners' families
117 Iranian journalists have called on the head of the judiciary to stop prison interrogators from threatening and bullying the families of political prisoners. - 12/17/12

Photos: Weaving Kurdish Kilims
These photos show weaving of Kurdish design kilims in Iran's North Khorassan province. The term kilim originates from the Persian gelim where it means 'to spread roughly'. Various forms of the word are used in other languages. - 12/17/12

Why Iran-US Relations Have Hit a Deadlock?
Interview with Shahir ShahidSaless: Let us begin with some basic questions. In your opinion, what is the main cause of the ongoing contentions between Iran and the United States? Why there is no perspective for reduction of hostilities on the horizon? What obstacles stand on the way of reestablishment of ties between the two countries? - 12/17/12

Iran's football coach: It's time to be united
Iran failed to qualify for the semifinal round of the 2012 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship. However, Queiroz insisted on Monday that he took advantage of the game and would pick up some young players for the World Cup qualifier. - 12/17/12

IRGC Responds to the Mounting Economic Crisis in Iran: We Are Only at the Start of the Road; Must not Negotiate with US
Even as various reports indicate a worsening of economic conditions in Iran and parliamentary representatives have spoken of a 40 percent drop in oil revenues in the first six months of the year, two Revolutionary Guard officials insist on continuing to reject "talks with the US" -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 12/17/12

Son Of Iranian Ex-President Rafsanjani Released On Bail
The son of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been released from prison after spending more than two months in detention. - 12/17/12

Iranian President Cancels Turkey Visit
Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency says Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has canceled a planned visit to Turkey's central Anatolian Konya Province. The cancellation was announced amid tensions between Turkey and Iran over the Syrian conflict and other issues. - 12/17/12

120 billion cubic meters of gas produced in Iran since March 2012
Since start of the current Iranian year, some 120 billion cubic meters of gas has been produced in Iran, Director of Dispatching Department of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Hassan Montazer Torbati, said on Sunday. - 12/17/12

Photos: Snow Arrives at Quake Hit Areas in Northwestern Iran
The snow has finally arrived in the quake hit areas of Varzaghan and Ahar in Iran's northwestern province of East Azarbaijan. This only adds to the hardship of the quake victims who are still living in tents. -AliHamed Haghdust - 12/16/12

Football: Iran eliminated from WAFF despite defeating Yemen
Iran defeated Yemen in the 2012 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship on Saturday but the team failed to book a place in the semifinals round. Iran defeated Yemen 2-1 in the match held at the Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium in Kuwait City. - 12/16/12

Conservative Iranian MP slams anti-opposition statements
Conservative Iranian MP Ali Motahari has spoken out against recent statements by the head of the Guardian Council, who said that people who took part in the 2009 election protests will not be eligible to run in the upcoming presidential election. - 12/16/12

Photos: Snowfall in Tabriz, Northwestern Iran
A light snowfall covered the city of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan province, northwest of Iran, on Saturday night. Tabriz is the capital of the East Azerbaijan province, and with a population of about 1.6 million, it is Iran's Fourth largest city. - 12/16/12

Ayatollah Khomeini's pro-democracy granddaughter: I fear arrest
A granddaughter of Iran's first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has attacked the current regime's "deviation" from the goals of his revolution, criticised leaders for failing to allow democracy to flourish, and said she fears arrest and jail. -Telegraph, UK - 12/16/12

Panel in San Jose, California on Impact of US Sanctions on Iranian-Americans
January 10, 2013, 6:30-8:30 PM - This past October, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made sweeping changes to many of the regulations concerning the trade embargo on Iran. - 12/16/12

Iran ready to dispatch living creatures to space
Pointing at latest updates on the conditions of the dispatching of living creatures to the space by Iran, head of the Iranian Aerospace Organization said: research on the bio-freight has completed and the cargo will be launched into space. - 12/16/12

'The Iranian Americans' review: It's a start
The Iranian Americans: Documentary by Andrew Goldberg. 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on KQED. Iranian Americans are among the more misunderstood segments of the population, in part because of their adopted nation's complicated history with Iran, and because of a sea of misinformation about them. -David Wiegand, SF Chronicle - 12/16/12

Iranian FM says West will not topple Assad
Iranian state media report that Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview: "The action of Western countries and a number of countries in the region against Syria is nothing but the blatant violation of agreements as well as divine and earthly values; they are hostile and one-sided actions against the government and people of Syria." - 12/16/12

Photos: Qoroq Forest Park in Northern Iran
Iran's Qoroq Forest Park is located about 25 kilometers east of the city of Gorgan along the Gorgan-Mashhad road in the northern province of Golestan. The park which is the habitant for about 40 deer is one of the main tourist attractions of the northern province. -Abutaleb Nadri - 12/15/12

Ahmadinejad slams corrupt hoarders of wealth: "The Iranian 1%"
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 60 percent of his country's wealth is controlled by just 300 people in Iran. He stressed: "The main problem is deferred bank payments: that means some people have borrowed money and refuse to return it." - 12/15/12

Photos: Rutabaga harvest in southeastern Iran
These photos show harvesting of Rutabaga in the city of Sirjan in Iran's province of Kerman. Rutabaga is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between cabbage and turnip. The roots are prepared for food in a variety of ways, and its leaves can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable. - 12/15/12

Iran Says Patriot Missile Deployment Threatens 'World War'
Iran's military chief says the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles on the Turkey-Syria border could lead to a "world war" that engulfs Europe. - 12/15/12

Iranians to pay much more for electricity
Iran's deputy power minister warns electricity rates will skyrocket in the coming year, because the current prices can no longer be sustained. - 12/15/12

Dates set for entry into race for Iranian Presidency
The Iranian Interior Minister announced today that registration of presidential candidates for the 2013 election will begin on May 7 and last for five days. The Interior Minister added that the Articles 31 and 35 recently put before Parliament were "in violation of the constitution and in contradiction of the separation of the branches of power." - 12/15/12

OPEC Chief: Figures show Iran has not reduced oil production
The secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says figures show that Iran has not reduced its oil production. Abdullah al-Badri said that figures provided by Iran show that the country is producing about 3.7 million barrels per day - 12/15/12

Filmmakers from 71 countries line up for Fajr festival
Filmmakers from 71 countries have submitted 383 works to the 31st Fajr International Film Festival. The filmmakers have applied to participate in various sections of the event, festival secretary Mohammadreza Abbasian said in a press release on Thursday. - 12/15/12

Iran and the bomb: The legal standards of the IAEA
In 1967 -- ten years after the United States and Iran signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement as part of America's Atoms for Peace program -- Iran debuted its first nuclear facility in Tehran, a 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor, supplied by the United States and fueled by highly enriched uranium. Today, 45 years later, the country's nuclear program is no longer so simple... -The Bulletin - 12/15/12

Iran: Security forces descend on service for dead blogger
Iranian state security forces attacked and arrested a number of people attending a memorial service held for Sattar Beheshti, the jailed blogger who died within a week of his arrest by the cyber police. - 12/14/12

Tehran: An Urban History of Revolutions - A Lecture by Talinn Griggor
The Hammer Museum and the Farhang Foundation present Tehran: An Urban History of Revolutions, a lecture by the architectural historian Talinn Grigor on Thursday, January 3, at 7:30pm at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. - 12/14/12

Iran: Activists Fleeing Assault on Civil Society
The space in Iran for civil society has been shrinking since the crackdown following the disputed presidential election in 2009, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Three-and-a-half years after government forces brutally suppressed largely peaceful anti-government demonstrations, hundreds of activists have sought temporary refuge and an uncertain future in neighboring Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan in the face of harassment and detention at home. - 12/14/12

Human Rights for Everyone and Everywhere: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The history of human rights is a long one, filled both with incredible triumphs of human respect and dignity, but also with debilitating and often violent regresses - the product of division, short-sightedness, and hatred. This history has shown us that human rights are not merely something given to mankind from above... - 12/14/12

Progress Reported in Iran Nuclear Talks
The United Nations' chief nuclear inspector says talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are expected to lead to an agreement, next month, on how to conduct an investigation into Iran's controversial nuclear program. - 12/14/12

An Insider Father And His 'Deviant' Son
They are like day and night. Ayatollah Abolghassem Khazali is an insider. He is a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body that is tasked with monitoring the work of the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khazali's son Mehdi is an opposition activist, a blogger, and a staunch critic of the Islamic establishment. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/14/12

Iran: Cleric wants protesters barred from election
Senior Cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati says those who protested against the 2009 presidential election result in Iran should not be allowed to participate in the 2013 election. - 12/14/12

UN Welcomes Caspian Sea Commitments
The United Nations has welcomed as "an important step" the renewed commitment of the five states bordering the Caspian Sea to protects its marine environment. - 12/14/12

Iran plans to boost annual exports to Iraq to $12b: Envoy
Annual exports from Iran to Iraq is projected to reach $12 billion in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, IRNA quoted Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaeefar as saying. The figure stood at around $11 billion last year, he noted. - 12/14/12

Russian Official Acknowledges Syria's Assad Losing Control
A senior Russian official has acknowledged for the first time that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing control over his country and may be toppled by rebels. - 12/14/12

If all else fails, US will hit Iran in 2013, say former top advisers to Obama and Bush
At Washington Institute gala, Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams and outgoing US ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey insist the president will strike next year if diplomacy doesn't succeed -Times of Israel - 12/14/12

Memories of Tehran International School
Before the revolution in 1979, the Tehran American School was the place to be for international education in the Iranian capital. Children of expats as well as small numbers of Iran's elite were educated in English and taught by American teachers. When things took a turn for the worse politically, the year prior to the revolution, the school was shut down. -Holly Dagres - 12/13/12

Iran held by 10-man Bahrain in WAFF
Iran football team failed to beat 10-man Bahrain in the 2012 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship on Wednesday. In the match held at the Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium in Kuwait City, Iran was held to a goalless draw against Bahrain in Group B. - 12/13/12

Iran Demands the Release of University Lecturer by US
A statement by the Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged US to take actions to release Mojtaba Atarodi, lecturer of Sharif University of Technology. The statement said that one year passed now since US judiciary and police arrested Mojtaba Atarodi, a distinguished professor of Sharif University of Technology, on baseless charges. - 12/13/12

Iranian activists tell colleagues to stand up for rights
Six Iranian human rights activists in Iran have called for resistance against all forms of human rights violations in the country because of the "widespread problems" they cause. Their statement calls on all activists to put in "greater effort to spread an understanding of human rights and the protection of human dignity in society." - 12/13/12

Photos: World's 2nd longest city road tunnel in 2012 in Iran
Niyayesh city road tunnel (10252m) designed to cut down the traffic jams in the Tehran metropolis, is the second-longest under-construction city-road tunnel in the world in 2012 after China's Baotashan city road tunnel (10480m). - 12/13/12

Iran Blasts 'Tar' Listing as Azerbaijani Cultural Heritage in UNESCO
Pirnyakan gave an account of the history of Tar in Azerbaijan and added: "the registration of tar is not the last thing they falsely claimed for themselves. According to history, Azerbaijan is a misnomer, since Caucasus has been separated from Iran according to Golestan and Turkmanchai Treaties in the time of Fathalishah and Abbas Mirza. - 12/13/12

UN Nuclear Inspectors Visit Iran, Seek Access to Parchin Military Base
The delegation headed by Herman Nackaerts, the deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has expressed hope that the group will be allowed to visit Parchin Military Base, a point of recent dispute with Iran. - 12/13/12

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2012: A cry for justice and freedom in Iran
By awarding the Sakharov Prize to two Iranian activists, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi, the European Parliament acknowledges their plight and their outstanding efforts in their incessant struggle for human dignity, fundamental freedoms and political change in Iran, said President Martin Schulz at the Sakharov Prize award ceremony - 12/13/12

Iran Indicts 18 Current, Former U.S. Officials
Iran's deputy judiciary head has confirmed that Tehran has indicted 18 current and former U.S. officials for alleged criminal acts against the Islamic republic. Deputy judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi says Iran is determined to publicly release "valid documents" that confirm their crimes. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/13/12

EU ordered to remove Iranian bank from sanctions list
Europe's highest court has ordered the European Union (EU) to lift its U.S.-engineered sanctions against Iranian private bank, Sina, following legal action by the bank against the restrictions. - 12/13/12

Iran's 'YouTube' Stumbles Out Of The Gate
Those looking for another avenue to watch Persian cat videos or cute antics by Iranian toddlers have been left disappointed after the launch of Iran's new and much-hyped video-sharing website went awry. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 12/13/12

The Cyrus Cylinder - Ancient Persian Declaration of Freedom As a Human Right Being Brought to the United States
Farhang Foundation is proud to be the financial sponsor and community organization working with the Getty Museum to ensure the success of the Cyrus Cylinder tour in its last and most anticipated stop, Los Angeles, home to the largest Iranian community outside Iran. - 12/12/12

US Consulate In Dubai Announces A New Non-Immigrant Visa Application Process
Starting January 6, 2013, applicants will work, online or by phone, with a service provider to schedule an interview, pay the visa application fee, and arrange for the delivery of documents and passports. - 12/12/12

Photos: School fire victims in Urmia Hospital
A number of girl students burned in a fire at an elementary school in the village of Shin Abad in the city of Piranshahr, northwestern Iran, on December 5, are receiving medical treatments in Urmia Hospital, West Azerbaijan Province. - 12/12/12

Jailed Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh thanks supporters for solidarity
Nasrin Sotoudeh has relayed a message from inside Evin Prison, thanking all activists and organizations that supported her during her hunger strike against the violation of her rights. - 12/12/12

Pars Equality Center's Christmas Appeal
One of the things that Pars Equality Center does is to bring this same kind of joy to the lives of the kids and new comer familes in our care, with the backing of supporters like you. A joy that most of them have never experienced before in their lives, before coming to the USA. - 12/12/12

LOOK: New series of photographs and video by Newsha Tavakolian
"This time, closer than ever and in my own house, I fixed my camera on a tripod; in front of the window where I'd watched the same view of the city for ten years, a city that I don't know if I love or not. A window that opens on to many other windows that are all closed and I cannot see into." -Newsha Tavakolian - 12/12/12

Animation of Hushang Moradi Kermani's "The Big Clay Jar" produced
An animation series based on Iranian children's author Hushang Moradi Kermani's "The Big Clay Jar" has recently been produced. The 13-epidosod series was produced by the Saba Art and Cultural Institute, which is affiliated with the Iranian Academy of Arts, the institute announced in a press release on Monday. - 12/12/12

Iran's press board rules against newspaper
Iran's Press Supervisory Board has found the Maghreb Newspaper in violation of press regulations for publishing a cartoon of the Iranian president looking pleased that he will no longer be called for questioning by Parliament. - 12/12/12

Middle East's largest thermal power plant comes on stream in Iran
A thermal power plant, with a generation capacity of 2.8 gigawatts, was officially inaugurated on Tuesday in Pakdasht, a city near Tehran. The project started in 2003 and cost 270 Euro million plus 5 trillion rials to complete - 12/12/12

No sizable rise in crude oil demand expected for next year: Iran's OPEC Governor
Iranian governor to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has said that there is no rise in crude oil demand is expected as U.S. and Europe are grappling with economic downturn. - 12/12/12

The Impact of Sanctions on Iranian Society and Artists
Economic sanctions are not only shattering the lives of the Iranian people but also strangling Iran's social and cultural development. Iran is headed for a humanitarian catastrophe unless steps are taken to avert it. -Mehrnaz Shahabi, UK - 12/11/12

Tehran museum restoring royal robe of Tajolmoluk Pahlavi
A luxurious robe of Tajolmoluk Pahlavi, the queen consort of Reza Shah and mother of Iran's last monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, is currently being restored by a team of experts at Tehran's Sadabad Cultural Historical Complex. The robe is kept at Sadabad's Art and People Museum. - 12/11/12

Concern grows for detained Iranian opposition leaders
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has expressed grave concern regarding the health of Iranian political prisoners, including the condition of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since February of 2011. - 12/11/12

Khana't Caravansary: History living in the Capital
Khana't Caravansary in Amin-ol-Sultan Square is like history living in the heart of Tehran. It is not known when it was built exactly, but on the first map of Tehran implemented by the order of Naseraldin Shah in 1302HG, its location is marked by the name Roghani Sara sounding like a small bazaar selling oil which is somehow related. - 12/11/12

Iran: 5000 Years of Clothing, Jewellery and Cosmetics
This book is the first in the Culture of Iran Series intended for general public and the first of it's kind to cover the history of clothing, jewellery and cosmetics in Iran from 3000 BCE to the present time with high quality images. - 12/11/12

US Options on Iran
The most catastrophic choice, argued for by neoconservatives, is a military attack on Iran. This policy rests on the assumptions that sanctions will never work, that the Iranian regime is menacingly pursuing a nuclear weapon, and that a nuclear-armed Iran would be uncontainable and dangerous. - 12/11/12

Iranian officials deny second student death
A local MP is denying reports that Elham Esmailpour, one of the students who suffered burns in a school fire last Wednesday in Sheenabad in Western Azerbaijan, has become the second student to die from the mishap. - 12/11/12

The War on Gaza and Iran-US Talks
The debates on the necessity of holding direct negotiations between Tehran and Washington, which had started just before the recent presidential elections in the United States by American political and journalistic circles and were even supported by such renowned analysts as Henry Kissinger, have been marginalized for a while. -Afsaneh Ahadi - 12/11/12

Tehran Prosecutor Reports Arrest of "Anti-Revolutionary" Elements
Tehran's Prosecutor General said on Tuesday that 28 individuals have been arrested for collaboration with "anti-Revolutionary networks." - 12/11/12

Three Worries About Next Iran Talks
Sometime in the next few weeks, the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) will meet with Iran to pick up diplomacy from where it left off last summer. So far, neither side has shown much appetite for compromise. Both sides have insisted on maximalist objectives; consequently, progress has been absent. -Trita Parsi, Al-Monitor - 12/11/12

Number of jailed journalists sets global record
Large-scale imprisonments in Turkey, Iran, and China helped lift the global tally to its highest point since CPJ began conducting worldwide surveys in 1990, surpassing the previous record of 185 in 1996. -Committee to Protect Journalists - 12/11/12

Tehran Temporarily Shuts Herat Consulate In Afghanistan
Iran has reportedly shut down its consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat, after protesters attacked the mission's compound. - 12/11/12

U.S. citizens warned to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. - 12/10/12

Iranian activists call for Education Minister's resignation as second student dies
Eighty Kurdish political and civil activists in Iran have called for the resignation of the Minister of Education after a fire accident in an elementary school injured scores of students and, according to reports, has so far claimed two lives. - 12/10/12

"Biruni" 2013 Graduate Student Research Award
Iranian American Physicists (IrAP) Network Group is announcing 2013 Biruni Graduate Student Research Award to promote and recognize outstanding research by a physics graduate student of Iranian heritage who is currently studying in one of the institutions of higher education in USA. - 12/10/12

Iran's female shooting team wins silver medal
The Iranian female shooting team became vice-champion of trapshooting in India's clay pigeon shooting competitions by winning the sport event's silver medal, the secretary of Iran's Shooting Federation said. - 12/10/12

Iran ranks 2nd in World Taekwondo Championships in Colombia
Iran ranked second in the seventh WTF World Taekwondo Poomsea Championships 2012 in Tunja, Colombia. The Iranian national team managed to win one gold, three silver and five bronze medals. - 12/10/12

Iran launches its version of YouTube
Iran has launched a video-sharing website called Mehr, referring to it as "the Iranian YouTube." The Iran Central News Agency reported: "From now on the public can make small packages of their favourite films that might be difficult to access." - 12/10/12

Iran: All Data of Captured US RQ-170 Drone Decoded
A senior Iranian commander announced that the country has extracted all the data and information existing in the intelligence gathering systems of the United States' highly advanced RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was captured by Iran last year. - 12/10/12

Iran: Student burn victim succumbs to injuries
Siran Yeganeh, a 10-year old student who suffered severe burns in a school fire accident in the northwestern Iranian village of Sheenabad, has died from her injuries. - 12/10/12

Iran Blames NATO for Increasing Drug Production, Trafficking in Afghanistan
Iran on Monday once again lambasted the NATO forces in Afghanistan for increasing drug cultivation, production and trafficking in Afghanistan, saying almost all the world opium production is done in front of the eyes of the foreign troops in Afghanistan. - 12/10/12

Protesters Attack Iranian Consulate In Herat
Reports from Herat say some 200 demonstrators tried to storm Iran's consulate in the western Afghan city in protest at the alleged killing of Afghan immigrants by Iranian security forces. - 12/10/12

Tehran gallery hangs works of three generations of female Iranian painters
Works of three generations of female Iranian painters were put on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Mellat Gallery on Friday evening. One hundred works by 47 artists have been selected for the exhibit entitled "Alternative View", the gallery announced in a press release on Sunday. - 12/9/12

Iran's Education Minister takes heat for accidents
Iran's Education Minister appeared in Parliament to apologize for the recent fire at an elementary school that left 32 students with serious burn injuries. Some media outlets have interpreted the Education Minister's apology as "tongue in cheek" but he has rejected such interpretations. - 12/9/12

Photos: Golestan National Park in Autumn
The arrival of autumn has brought beautiful sceneries to Golestan National Park in northern Iran. The park is situated in Golestan Province between the eastern parts of the Alburs Mountains and the western fringes of the Khorasan-Kopet Dag. -Abutaleb Nadri - 12/9/12

Football: Iran, Saudi Arabia play out goalless draw
Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia was able to produce a goal in the first group match of the 2012 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship. - 12/9/12

Conservative figure raises return of Iranian opposition leaders
A senior member of Iran's conservative faction says the Islamic Republic system is prepared to accept opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi if they recant from the position they took following the 2009 elections. - 12/9/12

Photos: 18th international Elecomp exhibit kicks off in Tehran
The 18th International exhibition on Electronics, Computer and E-Commerce (Iran Elecomp 2012) kicked off at Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds on Sunday. Some 386 Iranian and foreign exhibitors from countries such as China, Portugal, and the Netherlands have taken part in the event. - 12/9/12

Iranian official laments German press propaganda about Iran-DAAD cooperation
An official of Iran's Science, Research and Technology Ministry has lamented the German press propaganda about collaboration between Iran and the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst -- DAAD). - 12/9/12

Iran seizes over 10 tons of opium
The Iranian police have seized a large shipment of illicit drugs weighing 11 tons and 39 kilograms in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan after a 36-hour clash with smugglers, the commander of Iran's National Border announced during a press conference on Saturday. - 12/9/12

Iran exports $492m worth of pistachios in 8 months
Iran exported 61 million tons of pistachios, worth $492 million, in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20. Pistachio exports accounted for two percent of Iran's total exports in the mentioned period. - 12/9/12

Mr President, tear down this wall
A newly re-elected Obama must rethink his strategy with Iran if he ever hopes to break down the wall of mistrust. -Pepe Escobar, Al Jazeera - 12/9/12

800 housed in tents after deadly quake in eastern Iran
Eight people have been killed in a moderate earthquake that struck eastern Iran on Wednesday and hundreds have been displaced because their homes were destroyed or seriously damaged. - 12/8/12

Photos: Carpet Washing Ritual in Mashhad Ardehal
Qalishuyan (carpet washing) rituals (registered on the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) are practiced in Iran to honour the memory of Soltan Ali, a holy figure among the people of Kashan and Fin. According to legend, he was martyred, and his body found and carried in a carpet to a stream, where it was washed and buried by the people of Fin and Khaveh. - 12/8/12

Iranian Health Minister calls for medication money
The Iranian Health Minister has called on the Central Bank to provide the necessary foreign currency to import urgently needed medical drugs and equipment into the country. - 12/8/12

Photos: Artists take puppet show to quake-stricken children
A group of Azerbaijani artists visited the quake-stricken areas in Arasbaran region on Friday and held puppet shows to help create a lively and fun atmosphere for the children. The artists also distributed gifts among the children. - 12/8/12

Big drop in Iranian oil exports: Report
According to Reuters, Iran's oil exports will fall to its lowest level since the EU and U.S. sanctions on Iranian petroleum sector took effect in July of 2012. The report adds that Iran's oil imports in November were 1.8 million barrels and in December they are predicted to fall to 834,000 barrels. - 12/8/12

Iranian officials differ on approach to nuclear talks
The head of Iran's Basij organization has urged the country's leaders to avoid emphasizing the easing of sanctions during nuclear negotiations with the world powers. - 12/8/12

French festival honors Iranian documentary "The Last Days of Winter"
"The Last Days of Winter", an Iranian documentary directed by Mehrdad Oskuii, has received a special mention at the Traces de Vies Documentary Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France. "The Last Days of Winter" is about seven Iranian boys talking candidly about their lives in a youth detention center. - 12/8/12

Racist Against Ourselves: The Negative Impact of Ethnic Jokes
I'm sure most of you have heard of the typical Iranian jokes that are exchanged at family gatherings, between friends and neighbors. Have you ever paid attention to the content of these jokes? Who are they referring to? To us, Iranians. But they are always targeting a certain ethnic minority. -Danyal Lotfi - 12/7/12

Photos: Rain Brings Relief From Pollution For Tehran Residents
Rainfall in Tehran has brought a much needed relief from the extreme pollution that had engulfed the city in recent days and caused major health concerns. -Rouhollah Yazdani - 12/7/12

Activists unite to call for student freedom in Iran
The Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi has joined with Amnesty International, Justice for Iran and the Advocacy Council for the Right to Education to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including jailed student activists, on the occasion of National Students Day. - 12/7/12

Iran, Israel and International Law
The trite old phrase 'What's Sauce for the Goose is also Sauce for the Gander' means quite simply that if a person does something that is approved by society, then another person should not be criticized or penalized for doing exactly the same thing. That seems fair enough. But it doesn't apply in international affairs, in which sauce-allocation is the privilege of the powerful. -Brian Cloughley, Counterpunch - 12/7/12

Iranian company vying for French refinery
The Iranian company Tadbir Energy is bidding to buy the Petit-Couronne oil refinery from the French company Petroplus, which has gone into insolvency. - 12/7/12

The Making of Kings in Saudi Arabia
As they advance in age, one Saudi leader after another faces the same tough decision: should the crown continue to be passed from brother to brother - the sons of the Kingdom's founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud? Or has the time come for a new generation of leaders? -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 12/7/12

U.S., Iraq Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement
American and Iraqi officials signed a memorandum of understanding December 6 in Baghdad that will make it easier for the two countries to work together. - 12/7/12

Did Iran's Cyber-Army Hack Into the IAEA's computers?
Amateur hackers or Iranian pros? Clues suggest the most recent cyber-attack on the International Atomic Energy Agency may be more than a prank. -Daily Beast - 12/7/12

Did Iran just down a US drone by 'spoofing'?
Iran claims it captured a US drone in its airspace, which the US denies. If true, Iran may have brought the drone down by jamming signals and reconfiguring its GPS coordinates. -Whitney Eulich, CSM - 12/7/12

Photos: Death and Destruction After Quake Hits Iran's South Khorasan Province
The 5.5-magnitude earthquake which hit Zohan in this eastern province Wednesday evening left six dead and 14 wounded, a provincial official said on Thursday. - 12/6/12

Photos: Deadly Earthquake Strikes Northeastern Iran
An earthquake in the city of Zahan in northeastern Iran near Afghanistan border has left eight people dead and 30 injured. ILNA reports that 12 towns have suffered damage and are calling for emergency aid. - 12/6/12

Photos: Basij goes face to face with Pollution in Tehran
A group of Basij members daringly confronted Tehran toxic pollution on Thursday. Sort of! They paraglided right into it! - 12/6/12

Iranian NGO receives Red Ribbon Award for AIDS work
The 2012 Red Ribbon Award prize of dlrs 10,000 was handed over to Afraye Sabz Association for its outstanding work in response to HIV at the community level. - 12/6/12

US has to confirm Iran's capture of American drone sooner or later: IRGC Official
An official of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Thursday that the US military officials will have to confirm, sooner or later, that the drone captured by Iran two days ago belongs to them. The IRGC officials further advised the US officials to carefully count their drones once again. - 12/6/12

Iranian Election Reform Could Favor Establishment Candidates
A controversial election-reform bill working its way through parliament contains measures that could prevent undesirables from running while granting the clerical establishment greater control over the election's outcome in June 2013. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/6/12

Jailed Iranian Journalist Couple Denied Visit
Iranian prison authorities have not allowed Jila Bani-Yaghoub and her husband Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi visit each other in four months. Kaleme opposition website reports that despite repeated attempts by the family, the judiciary has refused to allow the two jailed journalists to meet. - 12/6/12

Iranian Opposition Leader Treated by Family Doctor
Mehdi Karoubi, the Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest since February 2011, has been allowed a visit with his family physician, his son reported on Thursday December 6. - 12/6/12

The Rare 'Feeling Of Getting Your Rights From The Islamic Republic'
Prominent Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike earlier this week after the authorities reportedly removed a travel ban they had imposed on her young daughter. Her husband, Reza Khandan, reported the news on his Facebook page on December 4. - 12/6/12

Iran Shows Signs Of Resilience Ahead Of Potential Bilateral Talks
A key foreign policy consequence of President Barak Obama's reelection is the growing possibility of face-to-face talks between the United States. and Iran. -lobelog - 12/6/12

Iran Claims Capture of US Drone, Displays Video as Proof
Iranian state television showed images Tuesday of uniformed officers examining what Tehran claims is a U.S. intelligence drone it recently captured in its airspace. -Sean Maroney, VOA - 12/5/12

Iranian Writers, Poets Call For End To Book Censorship
More than 100 Iranian writers, poets, and translators have called for an end to book censorship. The call was made in an open letter published on December 2 on the Pendar website that calls for an end to the requirement that writers obtain authorization from the Culture Ministry before publishing. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/5/12

Iranian Activist Ends 49-day Hunger Strike
After 49 days on hunger strike, Nasrin Sotoudeh has ended her hunger strike today, December 4. On his Facebook page, Reza Khandan, the human rights lawyer's husband, wrote at 8:00 p.m. Tehran time that Sotoudeh "ended her hunger strike when the judicial restriction on Mehraveh was lifted." Reza Khandan thanked all those who were following the news about his wife's health. - 12/5/12

Photos: 37 Iranian students injured in school fire accident
A fire accident in an elementary school in Piranshahr, Iran's Western Azerbaijan Province, injured 37 students on Wednesday December 5. ISNA reports that 8 of the burn victims have suffered burns of over 40 to 50 percent of their body and are in critical condition. - 12/5/12

Photos: On the occasion of Iran's National Student Day
Iran's Student Day is the anniversary of the murder of three students of University of Tehran on December 7, 1953 (16 Azar 1332 in the Iranian calendar) by Iranian police in the Pahlavi era. Every year there are local demonstrations at many Iranian universities organised by students to mark the occasion. - 12/5/12

Iran's State Prosecutor Says Blogger Was Beaten
Iran's state prosecutor has told reporters that blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died in police custody last month, had been beaten. Beheshti was taken into custody on October 30 and died in Evin prison on November 3. - 12/5/12

NATO to Deploy Defensive Missiles to Turkey
NATO has authorized the deployment of a missile defense system to Turkey in response to the continuing violence in Syria and concern its government might resort to using chemical weapons. Alliance foreign ministers formalized the decision in Brussels on Tuesday. -VOA - 12/5/12

Inside the mind of Iran's Khamenei
Deep inside an old Tehran political prison, three turns off a dark corridor and through a small gap, lies a bleak cell for solitary confinement. Too narrow for a prisoner to extend his arms, it was once the cell of the man who today holds the official title in Iran, "God's deputy on earth." -Scott Peterson, CSM - 12/5/12

Iran's subtle, persistent voice for environmentalism
Mohammad Darvish, 47, is Iran's green gladiator, engaged in a quixotic, often lonesome quest to elevate his homeland's environmental IQ. In a nation where security and economic concerns overshadow threats to a varied and fragile ecosystem, he even dares to oppose nuclear power, sacrosanct to Iran's leaders. -LA Times - 12/5/12

Photos: Tehran shuts schools, offices amid pollution
It's a typical scene these days in Tehran, where air pollution has forced the government to shut down schools, universities and offices for at least two days. Some blame the government for not fulfilling its environmental responsibilities. Others blame dilapidated cars, substandard fuel and polluting industries. - 12/4/12

2012 Farhang Heritage Award Presented to Bahram Beyzaie
On Saturday, December 1, 2012, Farhang Foundation recognized the incomparable Bahram Beyzaie, the Daryabari Visiting Professor of Persian Letters at Stanford University, with the 2012 Farhang Heritage Award in recognition of his devotion to art, his enduring scholarship and contribution to the range of Iranian theatrical forms, and his love of the aesthetic and cultural legacy of Iran. - 12/4/12

Women Activists Meet With Iranian Judiciary Officials About Nasrin Sotoudeh
Scores of Iranian women's rights activists have once again descended on the offices of the justice department, calling on the judiciary to respond to the demands of jailed lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike since October 17. - 12/4/12

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi on shortlist for Oscar nomination
Jafar Panahi's documentary This is Not a Film, made in collaboration with Mojtaba MirTahmasb, has been shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for January's Oscar nominations. - 12/4/12

U.S. Navy Denies Iran 'Captured' Drone
The U.S. Navy has denied that any of its unmanned spy planes is missing in the Middle East, despite reports that Iran has "captured" a U.S. drone. - 12/4/12

Photos: One Student Killed, Sixteen Injured In Bus Accident In Mashhad
One student died and sixteen were injured as a bus carrying students in Mashhad, northeastern Iran overturned. This is the third such accident involving students in recent weeks.. - 12/4/12

Larijani Dismisses Concerns Over Iranian Election Bill
Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani has dismissed concerns over the election reform bill that was adopted on December 2. The bill introduces tougher prerequisites for those looking to contest in the country's presidential election. - 12/4/12

Germany asks banks to ease up on Iran
The German Foreign Ministry has called for banks to allow transfers to Iranian accounts for humanitarian purposes, which are not banned by EU sanctions, it was reported on Sunday. - 12/4/12

Figures reveal extent of Iranian sex-change surgeries
State medical records indicate that from 2006 to 2010, 1,366 Iranians acquired permits to undergo sex change operations. - 12/4/12

Diaspora Blues: Why the Iranian Diaspora in the United States Disappoints Me
As I write this, Ali tells me about his housekeeper in Esfahan, "She has breast cancer, and the chemotherapy medication and all the other medications prescribed for subsiding side effects are not attainable... In general, there's a medicine shortage. Try to see if you can get someone's attention, lots of people are dying." -Holly Dagres, Huffington Post - 12/4/12

Pentagon Plans to Expand Intelligence Gathering
A leading U.S. newspaper says the Defense Department has an "ambitious" plan to assemble an espionage network, rivaling the Central Intelligence Agency in size. - 12/4/12

Iran: Women's Right Activists Demonstrate in Tehran for Nasrin Sotoudeh
Scores of Iranian women's rights activists gathered in front of the Tehran Prosecutor's Office on Sunday December 2 to call for proper handling of the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed lawyer who has been on a hunger strike for close to 50 days. - 12/3/12

Photos: Rallies held in Tehran For and Against Controversial Film "I Am Mother"
The premiere of a movie, which is alleged to contain un-Islamic scenes and dialogue, has provoked controversy in Tehran. Opponents and proponents of "I Am a Mother", directed by Fereidun Jeirani, held gatherings in front of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance on Saturday morning. The opponents, which are led by Ansar Hezbollah, also organized a demonstration on Friday. - 12/3/12

PBS: THE IRANIAN AMERICANS premieres December 18, 2012
THE IRANIAN AMERICANS chronicles the underreported history of a group of immigrants finding refuge, overcoming adversity and ultimately creating new lives in the United States. Even though Iran is in the news virtually every day, many Americans have little knowledge of the story of the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who live in the U.S. - 12/3/12

Photos: On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3rd, 2012 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world's population, live with some form of disability. These photos show some of the disabled Iranians who have had the opportunity to be engaged in various professions. - 12/3/12

Photos: Air pollution approaching critical stages in Tehran
The head of Tehran's air-quality control announced on Monday that the capital's air quality has reached the warning stage, and the section of the city known as Shahr Rey, with the most polluted air today, is steps away from reaching emergency levels. - 12/3/12

Snake Tale: How Venom Binds U.S., Iran
Relations between Iran and the U.S. are poisonous, with one exception: an antidote for snake bites. In a surprising-and irony-rich-byproduct of the Afghan war, the Pentagon finds itself dependent on a scientific research arm of the Iranian government to treat bites by Oxus cobras, Haly's pit vipers and other snakes peculiar to the battlefields of southwest Asia. -WSJ - 12/3/12

Iran says Supreme Leader will decide on talks with U.S.
The Iranian Foreign Minister has responded to Hillary Clinton's recent declaration that the U.S. is prepared to hold bilateral talks with Iran, saying: "Topical discussions between Iran and the U.S., about Iraq and Afghanistan for instance, have already happened, and there are no obstacles to repeating them." - 12/3/12

Cash Is King: Over $42.8b in Iran's National Development Fund
The National Development Fund (NDF) of Iran has over $42.8 billion in cash, the NDF managing director announced on Sunday. Iran transfers 20 percent of its oil revenues to National Development Fund. - 12/3/12

White House opposed new Iran sanctions
The White House announced its opposition to a new round of Iran sanctions that the Senate unanimously approved Friday, in the latest instance of Congress pushing for more aggressive punitive measures on Iran than the administration deems prudent. -Josh Rogin, FP - 12/3/12

Iran to raise oil production to over 5 million barrels per day: Oil Minister
Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said on Sunday that Iran has the capacity to raise its oil production to over 5 million barrels per day by the early 2016. - 12/3/12

Iran starts developing gas field shared with Turkmenistan
Iran has started drilling the first exploratory well at the Afshar-1 gas field, which is shared with Turkmenistan. The Iranian section of the gas field measures around 9 square kilometers in area, equaling half the total area - 12/3/12

What Iran and Pakistan Want from the Afghans: Water
Water is a critical issue in Afghanistan-and for countries like Iran and Pakistan that are dependent on four of the five river basins that flow out of Afghanistan to irrigate their territories. Meanwhile, though the Afghans currently have enough water for their own needs, any perception of abundance is illusory, experts say. -TIME - 12/3/12

Painting exhibit explores changing identity of Tehran
Young painter Alireza Adambakan has depicted the changing identity of modern Tehran in his latest collection "My Figures No. 3", which is currently on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Asar Gallery. - 12/2/12

Ahmadinejad Slams New Rules For Presidential Candidacy
The approval of new regulations for presidential candidacy has drawn fierce criticism from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president spoke out against Parliament and the Expediency Council for approving regulations that, according to him, "go against the constitution of the Islamic Republic." - 12/2/12

Photos: Camp Ashraf visited by international reporters for the first time
Reporters from Iran and a number of other countries visited Iraq's Camp Ashraf for the first time on Tuesday. Members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) used to live in the camp, but an agreement reached between the United Nations and the Iraqi government in December 2011 called for their relocation to Camp Liberty (Hurriya), a former U.S. military base near Baghdad. - 12/2/12

Cabinet Shuffle by Ahmadinejad Seen as Prelude to Election
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has shuffled a few members of his cabinet and office staff in a move that some have interpreted as prepping his allies for the coming presidential election in June of 2013. - 12/2/12

"Alvin Lucier is sitting in the East Art Gallery" in Tehran
Tehran's East Gallery is currently hosting a sound installation performance based on "I Am Sitting in a Room", by the American composer of experimental music and sound installations Alvin Lucier. - 12/2/12

Iranian Reformists Call For Open Political Atmosphere
The reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front has called for the opening of the political atmosphere and the release of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi and all political prisoners as the first step toward building confidence in the election. - 12/2/12

Report: Iran Court Suspends Death Sentence Against Programmer
Authorities in Iran have reportedly suspended the death sentence handed down to a computer programmer for allegedly operating an adult-content website, according to Iran's Mehr news agency. - 12/2/12

Update: AP Issues Clarification
Chalk up another win for media accountability. Thanks to everyone who took action at to call out the Associated Press for its misleading article, "Graph Suggests Iran Working on a Bomb," we once again succeeded in stopping the pro-Iran war narrative in its tracks. -Jamal Abdi - 12/2/12

Continued Killing of Unarmed Cross-border Couriers: 9 Killed and Injured Within 9 Days
The local source told the Campaign that the recent shooting of couriers was not only carried out by Iranian forces, but that Turkish military aircrafts also bombed the Iraqi Kurdistan-Iran border region in the early morning hours of November 7. The bombing led to the death of two Kurdish couriers - 12/2/12

AP's dangerous Iran hoax demands an accounting and explanation
Although it was intuitively obvious that the graph trumpeted by AP as scary and incriminating of Iran's nuclear program was actually a farce, there is now new, overwhelming, very compelling scientific evidence that is the case. - Glenn Greenwald, Guardian - 12/2/12

Report: Iraq Is Major Weapons Route to Syria
A report in a prominent U.S. newspaper says the air corridor over Iraq has become a main supply route for weapons for the beleaguered government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. - 12/2/12

Hollywood Iranian Filmmakers Association launch party and screening
On November 18th, the Hollywood Iranian Filmmakers Association (HIFA) had their launch party and red carpet event in West Hollywood, where they screened some of their members films. - 12/1/12

New Sanctions Are Incremental Step to Iran War, Include No Medicine Fix
NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement regarding the Senate's passage of new Iran sanctions as part of the Defense Authorization: This is not the total embargo that hardliners were pushing, but is another incremental step towards the full exhaustion of sanctions and to a military endgame. - 12/1/12

Photos: Tehran's air pollution reaches unhealthy level
The director of Tehran's Air Quality Control Company has said that air pollution in the metropolis of Tehran has reached an "unhealthy" level. And according to forecasts, air pollution in Tehran will increase in the coming days due to the inversion effect, Rashidi added. - 12/1/12

U.S. open to bilateral talks with Iran: Clinton
The United States is open to bilateral talks about Iran's nuclear program if Tehran is "ever ready," Reuters quoted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying on Friday. - 12/1/12

Event at UCLA: Myths in Bahram Beyzaie's Works
Born in Tehran in Dec. 1938, Bahram Beyzaie is a well-known Iranian critic, researcher, teacher, playwright, stage director (and producer), screenwriter and filmmaker (director, producer and editor). He was first introduced to western audiences at the age of 25, when his play was staged at the Festival du Theater des Nations in Paris, 1963. - 12/1/12

Tehran's Cyber Police Chief Fired Over Blogger's Case
The head of the Tehran Cyber Police was dismissed today by the Commander of the Islamic Republic Security Forces for "shortcomings in the supervision and handling of the case" of Sattar Beheshti, the jailed blogger who died in police custody last month. - 12/1/12

U.S. Senate Approves New Sanctions On Iran
The U.S. Senate has approved new sanctions on trade with Iran's energy, port, shipping, and ship-building sectors. The Senate voted 94-0 on November 30 to make the new sanctions part of an annual defense-policy bill. - 12/1/12

U.S. calls for release of Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
The United States has called for the immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed Iranian lawyer who has been on a hunger strike since October 17, as well as other female political prisoners held in Tehran. - 12/1/12

Iran Football Federation named Asia's best
Iran Football Federation (IFF) was chosen as the AFC Member Association of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at a glittering ceremony on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Iran's futsal team was also selected as the best team in Asia. - 12/1/12

Drastic fall in Japan's use of Iranian crude
Japan reportedly reduced its Iranian oil imports by 60 percent in October of 2012 compared to the same month last year. - 12/1/12

German FM expresses regret over attack on Iranian Embassy
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has expressed regret over the recent attack on the Iranian embassy in Berlin. - 12/1/12

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