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Iran: Some 25 international NGOs present plans for Bam reconstruction
The coordinator of UN and international organizations currently stationed in Bam, Soudabeh Ahmadzadeh said on Sunday that 25 international NGOs have so far presented their plans for the reconstruction of quake-hit Bam city to the government and Kerman province Relief Headquarters - 2/29/04

Drunk teens and Ecstasy
He is at least six feet tall and weighs a good 17 stone. By trade, he is bodyguard to one of the clerics who form Iran's conservative political establishment. But today must be his day off because he is buzzing on Ecstasy and making friends with a tourist. -Financial Times - 2/29/04

Iran's President Khatami Snubs Argentine President: Press
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami refused to meet Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, whose country has accused Tehran of involvement in the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires - 2/29/04

Landowner Sena Zahir helps 700 orphaned in Iranian quake
An Iranian landowner is using his family fortune to provide food, clothing and money for 700 children orphaned in last year's devastating earthquake in Bam. -Telegraph, UK - 2/29/04

Iranian emi nomination for pivotal turn in 'House of Sand and Fog'
Three years ago, Shohreh Aghdashloo was driving up the California coast with her playwright husband, Houshang Touzie, heading to San Francisco with members of their theater company, Drama Workshop 79, to perform one of Touzie's plays. To kill the time, Aghdashloo brought along a copy of Andre Dubus' "House of Sand and Fog," the latest Oprah Winfrey Book Club title. -Los Angeles Daily News - 2/29/04

Film series will focus on women's life in Iran
Life under Iran's Muslim theocracy will be spotlighted in a six-film series starting Sunday and lasting through March 11 at Chandler's Madstone Theater. -Arizona Republic - 2/29/04

Iran poised for terror campaign against Gaddafi
Iran is trying to prevent Libya from disclosing incriminating details of Teheran's top-secret nuclear weapons programme, by threatening to unleash Islamic fundamentalist groups opposed to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. -Telegraph, UK - 2/29/04

Iraqi Kurds demand a voice
This week activists brought a petition to the authorities in Baghdad. They say 1.7 million people have signed up, asking for a referendum on whether to stay within a united Iraq, or to form an independent Kurdistan. -BBC - 2/29/04

SAS joins fresh bid to snare bin Laden
American and British forces have launched a dramatic new effort to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan. -Guardian - 2/29/04

Energy consumption in Iran doubled in last decade
Energy consumption in Iran has doubled in the past decade, said Managing Director of Iran's Energy Productivity Organization Abdolreza Karbasi in Tehran on Sunday - 2/29/04

Iran plays a decisive role in reconstruction of Iraq
A member of the Iraqi delegation attending the meeting on Iraq's reconstruction in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, said that Iran's role in the reconstruction of Iraq and promotion of stability and security there is pivotal - 2/29/04

Iran's government spokesman summoned to court
The Iranian government spokesman, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, has been summoned to court on charge of inciting the public opinion, he told IRNA in Tehran on Sunday. - 2/29/04

UN Human Rights Rapporteur ends Iran visit
Pizarro, who arrived here Friday night, added she held talks with officials from the judiciary, the Center for Women's Participation affiliated to the President's office, the Iranian non-governmental organizations active in migrants affairs and human rights issues as well as the UN-run organizations in Tehran. - 2/29/04

Shohreh's turn: With an Oscar nod, the Iranian actress steps into the spotlight
If it were perfect, the world would have heard of Shohreh Aghdashloo before Jan. 27, 2004. But it's not, so Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, had to tell us: "Shohreh Aghdashloo in `House of Sand and Fog.' " It was the first name in the first category to be called the morning the Oscar nominations were announced. (Not to mention the first Iranian acting nominee ever.) And, as you might expect, Aghdashloo life's was changed irrevocably. But heaven knows it was fine before. -Boston Globe - 2/28/04

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace held a panel discussion on the implications of Iran’s recent Parliamentary elections and its disqualification of over 2,000 candidates. “We couldn’t decide whether to name this session, the struggle for power in Iran: ‘which way forward’ or ‘which way backward’” began moderator Thomas Carothers, director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment. -NIAC - 2/28/04

Iranian MPs approve fund to combat 'US plots'
Iranian parliament on Saturday approved the allocation of funds in the state budget for 'uncovering and defusing the plots of the US government against and its interference in Iran's internal affairs,' - 2/28/04

Questions for Farah Pahlavi: A Life in Exile
Your new memoirs, ''An Enduring Love: My Life With the Shah,'' offer a reverential look at your late husband, Reza Pahlavi, who ruled Iran from 1941 until he was toppled in 1979. -New York Times - 2/28/04

Swiss Human rights delegation visits Iran
A Swiss expert delegation on human rights visited Iran last week following the first round of negotiations between Iran and Switzerland held last October, - 2/28/04

Arabian Knight
Dubai's crown prince is building a very rich empire--on virtually everything but oil. -Forbes - 2/28/04

All Iranian, Iraqi POWs released
Head of the General Information Security Department at the Commander-in-Chief's Office and the POWs Commissions Brigadier General Abdollah Najafi told reporters that there are no Iranian POW in Iraq and no Iraq POW in Iran now. - 2/28/04

Tehran-Ankara trade balance in Iran's favor in 2003
The two neighbors' commercial transactions were up almost 90 percent, finished at dlrs 2.381 billion in the year under study compared to dlrs 1.254 billion worth exchanges in the previous year. - 2/28/04

Syrian Call for Peace Talks with Israel Faces Obstacles
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently called for a resumption of peace talks with Israel. The U.S. administration says Syria should signal its commitment to peace by halting support for anti-Israeli militants both in Syria and in neighboring Lebanon. -VOA - 2/28/04

Blix: I was a target too
The United Nations spying row widened yesterday when its former weapons inspector, Hans Blix, told the Guardian he suspected both his UN office and his home in New York were bugged in the run-up to the Iraq war. -Guardian - 2/28/04

Many Iranians express bitterness over conservatives’ victory
Conservatives took control of Iran’s Parliament this month following a short, troubled political season during which many candidates were barred from running by the conservative Council of Guardians. Though a little over half of the electorate officially turned out to vote, the list of election irregularities was considerable. -Borzou Daragahi, Daily Star - 2/28/04

Iranian MPs demand probe into deadly train explosion
The press on Saturday denounced what they called an irresponsible approach of the related officials towards the accident, with the daily Tosse'e choosing the front-page headline: "No resignation, no apology; what a cheek!." - 2/28/04

U.S. Iranians root for Aghdashloo
Secular Iranians note with wry amusement that gossip among the conservatives back home has already forwarded the contention that Aghdashloo is part of a Western-backed, Bush-driven plan to use women as the spear point for toppling extremist Muslim governments."They think she is a big part of the puzzle, the plan," said one member of the Iranian community in central Ohio. - Alameda Times-Star - 2/28/04

Iran: U.S. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
The Government's poor human rights record worsened, and it continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. The right of citizens to change their government was restricted significantly. Continuing serious abuses included: summary executions; disappearances; torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including severe punishments such as beheading and flogging; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention;... -US Department of State - 2/27/04

Report from Tehran: Nuclear Issue Appears to Unite Iranians
The nuclear issue appears to unite Iranians in the common belief that they are entitled to a non-military nuclear technology program. And despite the fact that it is the IAEA, a part of the United Nations, that is criticizing Iran about some aspects of its nuclear program, much of the Iranian anger about the issue is directed at the United States. -VOA - 2/27/04

Ploughing the sands in Iran
Iran’s recent parliamentary election fiasco seemingly confirmed for Iranian reformists a conclusion that tens of millions of Iranian citizens had reached long ago ­ the country’s Islamic government, as it exists today, is beyond rehabilitation. -Karim Sadjadpour, Daily Star - 2/27/04

Musically blended benefit to aid Iranian earthquake effort
Persian and Western music will come together Saturday at a benefit for earthquake victims in Iran. "Bridge to Bam: An East meets West Musical Benefit" will feature musicians Mahour Mellat Parast and Ken Hoppmann in the Nebraska Union at 6 p.m. - 2/27/04

What Iran Wants In Iraq
Iran's crucial role in shaping the future of Iraq was conveyed in a subtle threat made this week by the country's key power broker, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. -Washington Post - 2/27/04

Iraq's Kurds Demand Vote On Independence
Kurdish activists have collected 1.7 million signatures on a petition demanding a referendum on the future status of northern Iraq's Kurdish region. Organizers want the opportunity to decide whether the region should declare independence or become a part of federal Iraq. -RFE - 2/27/04

New revelations on Iran heighten pressure on Bush
A new report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency suggesting that Iran's secret nuclear programs are more extensive than had been earlier believed adds new pressure on the Bush administration to either increase attempts to overthrow the regime or recognize the power of the country's Shiite ayatollahs. -San Francisco Chronicle - 2/27/04

Central Asia: Rumsfeld Wraps Up Visit To Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
Rumsfeld asked Kazakh officials to become more actively involved in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. He said Washington is committed to ensuring the security of Kazakhstan's portion of the oil-rich Caspian Sea, an area of interest for Washington as it seeks to diversify its crude-oil supply away from the Middle East. -RFE - 2/27/04

Tehran-Ankara to negotiate gas imports from Iran
Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Hilmi Guler is slated to visit Tehran next week to discuss reduction of rates of gas imports from Iran - 2/27/04

Rafsanjani says Iran's parliamentary elections a success, US policies doomed to failure
He said one should know that the US president George W. Bush revealed how successful the Islamic system was in its policies and strategies. Rafsanjani pointed out that Bush had said he had been disappointed by hearing the results of elections in Iran. - 2/27/04

Iran: What Does Conservative Victory In Parliament Mean For Future?
The victory of conservatives in last 20 February parliamentary elections effectively quashed the reform movement in Iran. Where will the country go from here? -RFE - 2/27/04

Iran: Reconstruction still being debated in quake stricken Bam
Two months after a devastating earthquake struck the southeastern city of Bam on 26 December 2003, killing more than 40,000 and leaving some 100,000 homeless, the majority of the survivors continue to live in tents, while the issue of long-term reconstruction remains unclear. -IRIN - 2/27/04

US Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba. -Democracy Now - 2/26/04

Sadegh Hedayat's Annual Literary Award Ceremony
Sadegh Hedayat’s birthday on 17th was celebrated by some of the big literary names in a small ceremony at khaneh honarmandan (the house of the artists) in downtown Tehran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/26/04

Iran dismisses UN nuclear charges
Iran's top security official says Tehran is not obliged to tell the UN's nuclear watchdog of plans to build centrifuges for enriching nuclear fuel. -BBC - 2/26/04

Evidence of possible work on nukes tests Iran's credibility
Tehran says new equipment discovered by IAEA is used to make nuclear energy. But why wasn't the work made public? -Christian Science Monitor - 2/26/04

NIAC’S voter guide to the democratic presidential candidates
The National Iranian American Council has generated detailed responses and positions on policy issues that are of particular concern to the Iranian-American community. - 2/26/04

The Jews Of Iran - An Evening Of Persian Culture Featuring Literature And Music And Delicacies From Iran
The American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House in in conjunction with Congregation Beth Simchat Torah will present an evening (in New York) to celebrate the story of the Iranian-Jewish experience examining its art and history and how these elements became integrated into the culture of the United States. - 2/26/04

C.I.A. Says Iran Elections Portend New Era of Repression
With the victory of religious hardliners in last week's parliamentary elections in Iran, the Central Intelligence Agency is warning of a new era of repression and inflexibility by the country's clerical regime. -New York Times - 2/26/04

Iranians rush to buy mobile lines
Iranians are besieging banks and post offices to buy the latest government issue of mobile telephone lines. -BBC - 2/26/04

U.S. Issues Annual Human Rights Report
A United States government study sees human rights improvements in Afghanistan and Iraq, but says there are continuing human rights problems in the republics of Central Asia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and the Middle East. Concerning Iran, the report said the Tehran's government's poor human rights record worsened last year. -RFE - 2/26/04

Iran, Japan open to U.S. stake in Azadegan oilfield
Iran and Japan are open to eventual U.S. investment in a controversial project to tap the Islamic Republic's giant Azadegan oilfield, a top Iranian oil official said on Thursday. -Reuters - 2/26/04

Why splitting up US international broadcasting isn't smart
It's beginning to look as if the policy of the current US administration is to bombard the planet with more and more stations on more and more frequencies. It's a strategy not dissimilar to the one employed by the old Soviet Union. -Radio Netherland - 2/26/04

Iraq cleric urges year-end polls
The leading Shia cleric in Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called for elections by the end of 2004. -BBC - 2/26/04

Haiti’s Lawyer: US Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries, Calls For UN Peacekeepers
The US lawyer representing the government of Haiti charged today that the US government is directly involved in a military coup attempt against the country’s democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. -Common Dreams - 2/26/04

U.S. must walk a fine line in Iran
The Islamic clerics who rule Iran have trampled on their own limited democracy and lied repeatedly about their nuclear weapons program. The aging revolutionary regime poses what may be the most difficult challenge for American foreign policy. -San Jose Mercury - 2/26/04

Mahan Air Launches New Services To Tehran From Birmingham
Birmingham International Airport has announced today (Monday) that Iranian scheduled airline Mahan Air will commence a twice-weekly scheduled service to Tehran from 2nd July 2004. This will be the only non-stop service outside London to the Iranian capital. - 2/26/04

'Error' caused Iran train blast
Iran's transport minister says the blast on a railway line that killed nearly 300 people was probably caused by human error. -BBC - 2/26/04

Iranian Elections Marked by Apathy
Iran's Islamic hard-liners won a landslide victory in last week's parliamentary election - taking back control of parliament from reformists. The election has been widely condemned as neither free nor fair. But many people are not particularly concerned. -VOA - 2/26/04

US Criticizes Iranian Nuclear Report
The United States says Iran's report to the International Atomic Energy Agency was neither complete nor accurate and Tehran should come clean on its true nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 2/26/04

New political conflict shaping up in Iran: Conservatives vs. hard-liners over economy
Now that hard-liners have seized control of Iran's parliament, they also have assumed the challenge of managing a moribund economy while containing the aspirations of restless Iranians demanding more personal freedom. -Borzou Daragahi, San Francisco Chronicle - 2/26/04

A new wonderful book called Bam
A new book called Bam was published in Iran last week. The book is the work of Iran's very good and hard working photographer and photojournalist Mr. Jasem Ghasbanpour. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/25/04

Iran promises to freeze nuclear project again
Iran appeared to yield to international pressure yesterday by agreeing to freeze its programme of building centrifuges to enrich uranium, which experts fear is intended to equip it to make nuclear bombs -Guardian - 2/25/04

Shirian Ebadi: Human rights have progressed in Iran
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi underlined Wednesday that there is no contradiction between Islam and democracy and urged the EU to continue dialogue and engagement with Iran, IRNA reported from Brussels. - 2/25/04

'I've never seen anything like it'
A crowd surged into the British Council's sculpture show in Tehran yesterday as if there were birthday gifts waiting to be opened. Most of them were trendy-looking art students, some of them were established, middle-aged sculptors and painters, and others were just keen to be seen at the biggest exhibition of contemporary art in Iran since the Islamic revolution 25 years ago. -Guardian - 2/25/04

Iranian Government Press Agency Reports Conservative Majority in Parliament
Speaking at a news conference, Gholamali Haddadadel said the conservatives are not going to go backwards, but they want to make some adjustments to the reformists' timetable. -VOA - 2/25/04

Quakes hits Iran's provinces of Khuzestan and Khorassan
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Muhammad el-Baradei said he hopes it will be the "last time" that Iran fails to fully declare to the agency details about its nuclear program. -RFE - 2/25/04

Iraqi Ayatollah al-Sistani Exerts Powerful Influence in Shaping New Government
As the date approaches for the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq to a fully Iraqi government, debate has been intense about just what that new Iraqi government should be. One of the key players in that debate is reclusive Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani -VOA - 2/25/04

Cultivating Iran's next reform
With the reformers themselves disheartened, and the students and women who supported them disillusioned, a new kind of protest movement must emerge if change is to come from inside Iran. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/25/04

Morocco: Quake rescuers hunt for survivors
Moroccan Health Minister Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah said at least 564 people were killed when the quake struck rural areas around the Mediterranean city of Al Hoceima early on Tuesday morning. -BBC - 2/25/04

Iran's President Khatami to leaves Tehran for Caracas on Thursday
President Mohammad Khatami is to leave Tehran for Caracas Thursday to attend the Group-15 summit to open on the same day - 2/25/04

Iran: 27 candidates in Tehran constituency elected to parliament, 3 to be decided in run-off
At the conclusion of vote counting in the Great Tehran constituency including the capital city, Shahr-e Rey, Shemiranat and Islamshahr here on Wednesday, 27 deputies entered the seventh Majlis and the three remaining seats have to be determined by the secondary round of voting - 2/25/04

Iran Accused Of Not Telling All About Nuclear Program
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency has accused Iran of failing to disclose some possibly weapons-related aspects of its nuclear program. - 2/25/04

NIAC representatives tour Bam, meet with relief organizations
NIAC representatives Dokhi Fassihian and Hadi Ghaemi toured the earthquake-devastated city of Bam on January 22-23. The trip was aimed at assessing the recovery and relief operations being carried out by the organizations supported through NIAC by the Iranian-American community. - 2/24/04

Reaching peace in art: Basic thoughts about diversity in our horrifying times
The Last Supper! Yes, THE Last Supper (shaam-e aakhar, in Persian) is the title of a fine work of art I purchased in Tehran and brought with me 2 years ago, on my way back to the U.S. from a trip I took to Iran, due to the passing away of my mother. It is a small hand-made Persian rug depicting in exquisite detail, the Last Supper. -Moji Agha, Arizona - 2/24/04

Another Nuclear Program Found in Iran
International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have discovered that Iran produced and experimented with polonium, an element useful in initiating the chain reaction that produces a nuclear explosion, according to two people familiar with a report the inspectors will submit to the United Nations this week. -Washington Post - 2/24/04

EU: Foreign Ministers Meeting In Brussels
EU foreign ministers will hold their monthly meeting in Brussels today. The Middle East peace process, Iran, South Asia, and the western Balkans will feature prominently on their agenda. -RFE - 2/24/04

German exports to Iran top 2.5 billion euros in 2003: official
German exports to Iran topped the 2.5 billion euro mark in 2003, the economic daily Handelsblatt quoted the head of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Martin Wansleben, as saying Tuesday - 2/24/04

Power Of One
Iran's elections deliver a big victory to hard-line leader Khamenei and dash hopes for reform -Time - 2/24/04

Iran welcomes UK art exhibition
The first exhibition of British art to go on show in Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979 opens on Tuesday. -BBC - 2/24/04

Iranian-American Group Urges UN to Push for Leadership Change in Tehran
An Iranian-American human rights group is asking the United Nations and Western governments to push for a leadership change in Iran. The National Coalition of Pro-Democracy condemned last week's parliamentary elections in Iran as a sham, citing record low voter-turnout and mass resignations of reformist candidates. -VOA - 2/24/04

Iran: Guardians Council Disputes Voter Turnout
In the wake of the controversial 20 February parliamentary elections in Iran, a dispute is simmering over voter turnout. The Interior Ministry says 51 percent of eligible voters participated in the elections. But the hard-line Guardians Council says the figure is closer to 60 percent. -RFE - 2/24/04

Analysis: What now for Iran?
Iranian politics has taken a turn to the right, with the defeat of the reformists by resurgent conservatives in Friday's general election. -BBC - 2/24/04

Syria and Iran warned over Iraq
United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has accused Iran and Syria of allowing militants to cross their borders into Iraq. -BBC - 2/24/04

Morocco hit by strong earthquake
At least 226 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake in Morocco, and the death toll is expected to rise. -BBC - 2/24/04

The Last Word: Mohammed Reza Khatami
It would have been easy for Mohammed Reza Khatami, 44, to let his brother Mohammed Khatami, the Iranian president, overshadow him. Instead, for the last four years he has led the nation's largest reform party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, and served as a deputy speaker of Parliament. -Newsweek - 2/24/04

Iran's Kharrazi discusses Caspian issues with Turkmen president
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi met in Ashkhabad on Tuesday with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov to discuss issues of interest between the two neighbors, including the Caspian Sea - 2/24/04

Iran's Parliament approves outlines of next year's budget bill
Gross national product is expected to show a modest growth of 7.3 percent while gross domestic product, excluding oil, is expected to grow by 7.7 percent. - 2/24/04

My Beautiful Tehran
I almost felt obliged to share these pictures of the hills and mountains in the northwest of Tehran with you. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/24/04

AIPS elects Iran's Falahati-Nejad Lifter of the Year 2003
Iran's 77 kg weightlifter Mohammad-Ali Falahati-Nejad was picked by the International de la Presse Sportive (AIPS) as the best lifter of 2003 world event in Vancouver, Canada - 2/24/04

Iranian official advocating press freedom deplores closure of websites
Shutting down of two Internet sites, and has caused debate among the officials challenging the action taken by the Judiciary as illegal - 2/23/04

US invites Iran to Titan wrestling events
The United States has invited national freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling teams of Iran to take part in the second Titan bouts in Atlanta in June, said Iran's Wrestling Federation Monday - 2/23/04

Ankara's bargaining over gas price aims to divide Iran, Russia
Ankara's bargaining over the price of gas it imports from Iran aims to divide Iran and Russia and lower the commodity's price to its desirable level, said an Iranian official in Tehran on Monday - 2/23/04

No obstacle to US oil, gas activities in Iran: Deputy oil minister
Iran's Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said in Tehran on Monday there is no obstacle in the way of the American companies to work in Iran's oil and gas industry - 2/23/04

Feminism in The 21st Century
Islamic fundamentalism threatens women all over the world. Wherever they have gained power, Islamists have denied women their essential humanity and dignity. Islamic fundamentalism is not conservative religion but a fascist political movement that aims for world domination. -Washington Post - 2/23/04

8 Die in Clashes over Controversial Iranian Election
At least eight people have died in clashes in southern Iran in disputes over Friday's controversial parliamentary election. -VOA - 2/23/04

In pictures: Tehran job hunt
Mohsen is a 20-year-old with a diploma in mathematics. Like many university graduates in Iran he is unemployed. -BBC - 2/23/04

Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association to hold CA congressional district 12 candidate's forum
The Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association (BAIVOTER), an Iranian-American voter education organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, has announced that on February 25th it will hold a candidate's forum for the California 12th Congressional District primary race. - 2/23/04

Iranian postcards: Wrapped in red tape
Changing money in Iran is supposed to have got easier. You can now pop into any bank and they'll do it for you. Well that's the theory. The reality, I discovered on a recent trip to Tehran, is somewhat different. -BBC - 2/23/04

Clerics kill hope of reform in Iran
Hardliners triumphant in parliamentary elections, ending President Khatami's project of combining democracy and religious rule -Guardian - 2/23/04

The Legal Regime of the Caspian Sea: Any changes in the positions of Iran?
The position of Iran regarding the legal regime of the Caspian Sea was originally a kind of condominium. The idea of condominium was based on the interpretations from the previous agreements of Iran and the Russians (1921, and 1940 treaties) when no other country existed in the coastal lines of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 2/23/04

Pendulum swing heralds another clash
The conservatives, a "government reformist" forecasts, will soon be "feeling the pain of their success at our expense", in the shape of a greater turbulence and popular mobilisation which some believe could lead to another revolution. -Guardian - 2/23/04

EU criticises Iranian elections
The European Union has criticised the recent parliamentary elections in Iran as a "setback for democracy". UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said the "flawed" polls would have an impact on EU trade talks with Iran. -BBC - 2/23/04

Iran: Parliament accepts resignation of MP Haqiqatjou
The Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) here Monday accepted the resignation of Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, an MP from Tehran - 2/23/04

Reform still tops agenda in Iran
Following Friday's vote, moderate conservatives are seen by some as the new standard bearer for reform. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/23/04

Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance writes to SNSC chief on closure of dailies
On Friday, February 22, another daily, Nasim Saba, was also ordered suspended from publication effective the following day by the judicial officials. - 2/22/04

Iran Admits Buying Illegal Nuclear Technology from South Asian Dealers
Iran has admitted that it has acquired some components for its nuclear program from dealers in South Asia, but it stopped short of saying they were part of a nuclear proliferation ring led by Pakistan's top nuclear scientist. The Iranian government says it has reported all of its purchases to the International Atomic Energy Agency. -VOA - 2/22/04

Iran's Vote Likely to Recast Political Scene for Reformers
Conservative politicians, on the other hand, argue that a new breed of pragmatists will emerge from Friday's elections, able to bring about more change than the previous reformist-dominated legislature by pulling together rather than fighting among themselves. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 2/22/04

Iran: Disasters HQ in Damavand holds emergency session after successive quakes
The Natural Disasters Headquarters of the town of Damavand near the capital Tehran jumped into action on Sunday to take necessary measures after the area was rattled by a series of earthquakes in succession - 2/22/04

51 Percent Turnout Reported in Iran's Parliamentary Election
Iran's Interior Ministry says voter turnout in Friday's general election was 50.6 percent, considerably less than 67 percent four years ago, when reformists won a majority in Parliament. The ministry says the turnout in Tehran and surrounding areas was 34 percent. -VOA - 2/22/04

Poll changes streets of Tehran
It is not every day that a foreign journalist with a microphone and a camera can walk up to an ordinary Iranian and ask about their country's political system - then simply walk away afterwards. -BBC - 2/22/04

Iran's leader hails poll results
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said the parliamentary election is a blow to Iran's enemies. -BBC - 2/22/04

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world. -Common Dreams - 2/22/04

Shiite Rising
The defeat of Saddam has unleashed a new religious and political force, which could become a moderate ally of the United States in Iraq—and perhaps spur reform in the larger Middle East -Newsweek - 2/22/04

Quakes jolt cities of Firouzabad and Garmsar in Fars and Semnan provinces
An earthquake measuring 3.2 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the city of Firouzabad in the southern province of Fars on Sunday - 2/22/04

Iran: Conservatives Headed For Election Victory
Conservatives appear headed to an expected victory in Iran's disputed parliamentary election. -RFE - 2/22/04

Iran wins crown of Greco-Roman bouts at Takhti Cup
Iran on Thursday won the crown of Greco-Roman wrestling competitions at the 24th Takhti Cup by grabbing three gold medals with Russia finishing runner-up by winning four golds - 2/21/04

US Expresses Disappointment with Iran Elections
The United States expressed disappointment Friday that many Iranian reformist politicians were barred from running in Friday's parliamentary elections, which the State Department said did not meet international standards for fairness. -VOA - 2/21/04

Iran conservatives 'in the lead'
Early results from Iran's general elections suggest that conservative supporters of clerical rule are heading for a sweeping victory. -BBC - 2/21/04

Iran awards mobile phone licence
Turkcell, Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator, has been awarded a contract to set up Iran's first private mobile phone network. -BBC - 2/21/04

Iranian Kurd filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi reveals daily life of war-torn Kurdistan
In his latest film, Songs of My Motherland (Japan, the 36-year-old director successfully conveys the everyday joy and sadness of the Kurds, a people who have long seemed destined to live amid war in their divided land. - 2/21/04

Breathing Freely in Iran
Restrictions Less Oppressive for Well-to-Do at Iranian Ski Resort - The relaxation could not happen without the knowledge of the country's hard-line religious leaders. Many at the resort told ABCNEWS privately they believe the government is trying to distract them from continuing restrictions on political reform. -ABC News - 2/21/04

To Vote or Not to Vote?
Iran’s controversial parliamentary elections stuttered along as citizens disagreed over whether to boycott the polls in protest over the exclusion of reformist candidates -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 2/21/04

Iranian American Political Action Committee Marks Formal Entry into the Political Arena
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) marks its formal entry into the American political arena with its first five contributions to Congressional candidates. - 2/21/04

EU says dialogue with Iran to continue
The EU expressed Friday its concern about the conditions under which parliamentary elections are being held in Iran, but underlined that the European bloc's policy to engage the Islamic Republic in dialogue has not changed - 2/21/04

James Bill: "Iran and the United States are on a collision course"
Renowned Iran scholar and author of the seminal work The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American Iranian Relations, James Bill, made a rare public appearance at the Middle East Institute to present his observations on U.S.-Iranian relations over the past forty-years. -NIAC - 2/21/04

Iranian Reformers Change Course: Movement Likely To Eschew Politics
In the Wednesday night editorial meeting of a newspaper called Yas-e-No, the final hours of Iran's reform movement played out in characteristic fashion. Men in shirtsleeves shuffled papers and prepared to exercise rights it was not clear they actually had. -Washington Post - 2/20/04

Chemists to accept reports from Iran
A leading scientific society has decided to resume publishing scholarly articles from Iran despite a federal trade embargo that could bring stiff criminal and civil penalties. -Star Ledger, NJ - 2/20/04

Many Iranians flaunt their style
In this milieu, Iranians revel in the forbidden. They drink alcohol and increasingly take drugs, attend promiscuous parties pumping with pop music, and even drag-race their cars while intoxicated, shouting: "This is Iran, where anything is possible!" -Christian Science Monitor - 2/20/04

Iran: Political Impotence
It is now absolutely clear that the majority of people have turned their backs to the present regime. They have stayed in power because of the support of superpowers. And what happened in the past month clearly shows that another (or several) collusion(s) must have taken place behind the curtains. Does this mean that they are sure that no matter how discontent people may be, they are not in a revolutionary state of mind? And the most that will happen is that they will boycott the election? What is the use of a parliament in a dictatorial regime anyway? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 2/20/04

"Project Misplaced": The Rise and Fall of Simon Ordoubadi
Project Misplaced presents the public life of a fictitious first-generation Iranian immigrant, Soleyman (Simon) Ordoubadi. In search of a new identity and a foothold in U.S. society, Ordoubadi seeks fame, fortune and power by imitating the commercial self-promotion he sees all around him. - 2/20/04

Iran, Iraq, and two Shiite visions
As Shiite-run Iran begins its elections Friday, Shiites in Iraq follow a different vision toward their own democratic debut. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/20/04

UN agencies to help in reconstructing quake-devastated Iranian city of Bam
Using earthquake-resistant technology, United Nations agencies will help Iran reconstruct the historic Silk Road city of Bam after the devastating December quake that claimed more than 43,000 lives and destroyed homes, schools, offices and other infrastructure, it was announced today. - 2/20/04

Iran's reformers boost poll boycott with SMS
Cell phones have become the latest battlefield in Iran's parliamentary elections with a brisk traffic in electronic messages urging voters to boycott Friday's controversial polls or turn out massively. -Middle East Online - 2/20/04

Conference on 25th anniversary of the Iranian revolution held in Toronto, Canada
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, a Conference was held in Toronto on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 February 2004. - 2/20/04

Syria and Iran aiding militants, Iraq says
Senior Iraqi intelligence officers believe an Islamic militant group which has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Irbil and a spate of deadly attacks in Baghdad, Falluja and Mosul is receiving significant help from Syria and Iran. -Guardian - 2/20/04

Many of dead were in crews fighting fires at derailment
Anger and confusion erupted as rescue workers attempted to dig for corpses and look for survivors. Residents demanded to know why authorities had not evacuated the area if they knew so many dangerous chemicals were burning. -Borzou Daragahi, San Francisco Chronicle - 2/20/04

Khamenei urges Iranians to vote
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged voters to go to the polls, accusing the country's "enemies" of encouraging a boycott. - 2/20/04

Two-Party Oligarchy: A Possible Outcome of Iran’s Current Power Struggle
Six years ago there were high expectations that Mr. Khatami and his reformist supporters would pave the way towards democracy and respect for human rights. The reform movement tried to fulfill its promise but it was stopped by a strong conservative faction of the Islamic regime that enjoyed the backing of the powerful Supreme Leader. -Nader Habibi, Philadelphia - 2/20/04

White House Concerned About Nuclear Discovery in Iran
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says the Bush administration has "serious concerns" about reports that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have found previously undisclosed equipment in Iran that could be used to enrich uranium. -VOA - 2/20/04

Iran's disappointed women
Many women in Iran say they will stay away from the polls, disappointed with the reform movement they played a key role in launching. -BBC - 2/20/04

Congress reacts to Iran - Condemnation of elections and praise for US aid workers
Two significant resolutions in regard to Iran have been introduced in the House of Representatives. On January 23, Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) submitted H.Res. 501 urging the United States President to use all available diplomatic means to support the Iranian people in their struggles for democracy and their demand for an immediate release of all political prisoners. -NIAC - 2/20/04

Iran: Reformist Newspapers Muzzled Before Election
Iran’s judiciary should immediately reverse its order closing the last two newspapers associated with the country’s reformers, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/20/04

Iran Elections to be Held Friday Despite Charges They Will Be Unfair
Iran will choose its legislators Friday in elections the president and many leading reformers have called unfair. Hundreds of mostly reformist candidates have been disqualified and the hard-line conservatives are seen as having already won. -VOA - 2/20/04

Iran: Conservatives Likely To Regain Majority In Parliamentary Elections
Some 46 million Iranian men and women are eligible to vote in tomorrow's parliamentary elections, but analysts say frustration and disillusionment with the government -- and the mass disqualification of reformist candidates -- will likely result in very low voter turnout. -RFE - 2/20/04

Best analysis on Iran: Trouble in Tehran
Nearly a quarter-century after the revolution, economic failure and a bankrupt ideology have discredited the Islamic Republic. Despite the attention paid to a clash between "reformers" and "conservatives" in the government, the real story in Iran is the growing discontent among the generation born after 1979. This "Third Force" will eventually topple the regime, and the United States should just watch and wait. -Jahangir Amuzegar, Axis of Logic - 2/20/04

Iran shuts down reformist papers
Iran's hardline judiciary has shut two leading newspapers for publishing a letter criticising the Islamic republic's supreme leader. -BBC - 2/19/04

Iranian Reformists Fire Unprecedented Criticism At Supreme Leader
Some observers say the reformist deputies -- who earlier staged a three-week-long sit-in to protest the council's electoral ban -- are now ratcheting up the pressure in an attempt to regain the trust of Iranians disillusioned by the failure of the reformist movement. -RFE - 2/19/04

Analysis: Iran's rail expansion
The Neyshabur train explosion in Iran comes as a severe blow to a country that has been working hard to modernise its rail network. -BBC - 2/19/04

The Education of an Iranian Reformer
Mohammad Reza Khatami's revolutionary credentials are impeccable. Nineteen at the time of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, he was part of the group that stormed the American Embassy and took its diplomats hostage for 444 days. -New York Times - 2/19/04

Religious Freedom Commission Identifies 11 Countries of Concern
The chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Michael Young, said the group has concluded that 11 countries should be given the most serious designation, as countries of particular concern. He said these include Burma, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. -VOA - 2/19/04

Afghan Film Osama Tells of Life Under Taleban Cruelty
Afghanistan's first film since the rise and fall of the Taleban portrays that regime's cruelty toward women - who were not allowed to go outside without a male escort and were forced to wear floor-length veiled dresses called burqas. -VOA - 2/19/04

Why Iraqi women aren't complaining
Their secular family law is about to be overturned and placed under religious control. So where's the outcry? -Guardian - 2/19/04

"The Islamic Republic Died This Month." - Ray Takeyh
“The Islamic Republic died this month,” said Ray Takeyh, director of studies at the Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, at a lecture at the Middle East Institute Wednesday. -NOAC - 2/19/04

Iran: No international assistance sought after train tragedy
The Iranian authorities are not seeking international assistance after a chemical train blast in the northeastern city of Neyshabur killed almost 300 people and injured hundreds more, an official said, adding that the situation was now under control. -IRIN - 2/19/04

New nuclear parts 'found in Iran'
UN nuclear inspectors in Iran have found undeclared components of an advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuge at an air force base, diplomats say. -BBC - 2/19/04

Two Reformist Papers Shut Down Before Iranian Election
Iran's hard-line judiciary has shut down two of the country's main reformist newspapers on the eve of a controversial nationwide parliamentarian poll. -RFE - 2/19/04

Iran buries train blast dead
Stunned residents in Iran's north-east have begun burying more than 300 people killed when a runaway train exploded. - 2/19/04

World: D-8 Summit In Tehran Seeks To Bolster Members' Economic Ties
The Tehran summit is the fourth such gathering of the heads of states of the D-8. The group of eight developing Muslim nations was founded in 1997 on the initiative of former Turkish Prime Minister Necmeddin Erbakan, as a way of boosting regional cooperation. -RFE - 2/19/04

Congressional Candidate Goli Ameri: "I’m proud of my Persian heritage"
NIAC had the chance to catch up with Goli Ameri during her bid to win a seat in the United States Congress to represent Oregon’s First Congressional District. If elected, Ameri will be the first Iranian American serving in Congress. -NIAC - 2/19/04

Iran’s Election Fiasco
I have stopped people in the streets at random, colleagues, family and taxi passengers and asked them if they will vote or not. Only one said may be; the rest said No, and only two hesitated before they gave me their no replies. I know my method was not scientific but overall it seems that after a long time, majority of Iranians, at least urban Iranians, are united in one thing which is boycotting the election. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/19/04

Iran’s Revolution will finally bear fruit: The Nazi-Abbad Kids
The fact is that the democratic process is not ONLY for us educated, westernized Iranians. There are millions who for many different reasons have different time scales. We must use our patience so that the rest join us at the spring of freedom; the day will come but it is not here yet. I just hope we all have the courage to see what is good for the country as a whole, despite shortcomings for ourselves[1] personally. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/18/04

Iranian postcards: The new rich
If you take a drive into Tehran's northern suburbs, you feel as though you are entering a different world. Dotted along the quiet, leafy streets are Hollywood-style mansions set back from the road behind walls and gates. -BBC - 2/18/04

Iranian FM: IAEA informed of Iran's research on centrifuges
Speaking to reporters on the fringes of a forum on the Persian Gulf, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi also described reports about Iran's designs for centrifuges as 'ballyhoo and propaganda against the Islamic Republic'. - 2/18/04

Is Islam the correct target in America's crusade against terrorism?
If the President’s statements were true that the reason for terrorism against America is the hatred for our freedom, democracy and the American values, perhaps we should look into how these values are being interpreted by people around the globe. -Kam Zarrabi - 2/18/04

'Mr Ferrer can't be with us tonight'
Artists from all over the world are being refused entry to the US on security grounds. -Guardian - 2/18/04

Japan, Iran to reach agreement on Azadegan oilfield
Japan and Iran are to reach agreement on on a project for development of the giant Azadegan oilfield located 80 kms west of southwestern city of Ahvaz (Khuzestan province), - 2/18/04

Iraqi Kurds reject coalition's call to disband militia
Kurdish leaders in the northern autonomous area are refusing to disband their military forces, the peshmerga, and are pushing for a veto over any deployment of the Iraqi army in their region. -Guardian - 2/18/04

War Hawks Undermined by Zarqawi Letter
A letter purportedly written to senior al-Qaeda leaders by a key associate, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, appears to undermine a major thesis of hard-core neo-conservatives who led the U.S. drive to war in Iraq. - 2/18/04

Khatami: Iran-Egypt ties beneficial to Islamic, Arab worlds
Talking to reporters after the 4th Summit Meeting of Eight Developing Countries (D 8), Khatami added Iran and Egypt enjoy special status regarding their populations and geographical situations. - 2/18/04

ICFTU condemns killings of 4 workers in Iran
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has sent a letter to Iranian President Seyed Mohammed Khatami, condemning the killings of workers in the Iranian village of Khatounabad and the city of Shahr-e Babak on Saturday 24 January 2004 - 2/18/04

Quake hits Kazeroun, southern Iran
An earthquake with the intensity of 3.9 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Kazeroun, in the southern province of Fars, at 11:16 hours local time (07:46 GMT) Wednesday - 2/18/04

Among Iran's hard-liners, little respect for reform-minded
In the black-and-white world of Iran's hard-liners, the word "compromise" is not part of the lexicon. The term "enemy" dominates instead, and applies as often to profligate fellow Iranians as to purported American spies. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/18/04

Iran's Growing NGO Community Offers Political Activism Where Government Does Not
The number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Iran has increased rapidly in recent years. Activists say the groups have been effective in raising public awareness on environmental and child-welfare issues, and have also given a voice to the country's disenfranchised young people. -RFE - 2/17/04

Campaigns adopt the reform spirit
Reform spirit lives, if only in nooks, days before the election -Borzou Daragahi, Star Ledger - 2/17/04

Khatami Warns Against Low Election Turnout In Iran
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami yesterday urged Iranians to vote in the 20 February parliamentary elections. Khatami warned that a low turnout could mean a minority gaining control of Iran, which would not be in its interests. -RFE - 2/17/04

Reformist shuns Iranian vote plea
leading Iranian reformist MP has challenged President Mohammad Khatami's call to vote in elections this week - BBC - 2/17/04

Khatami's Last Stand
The reformist president, facing a major political defeat, is now more a figurehead than a catalyst for change -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 2/17/04

In Bam, restoring homes and hope
The Iranian mother survived the Bam earthquake, but she needs more than a new house, food, and running water. She also needs to talk and cry, to cope with the extraordinary trauma that has battered families here - CSM - 2/16/04

Muslim 'D-8' Summit Opens with Call for Common Market
The foreign minister said the group's current total amount of imports and exports is nearly $447 billion, or about seven percent of global trade - VOA - 2/16/04

Khatami appeal to Iranians to vote
President Mohammad Khatami has appealed to Iranians to vote in this week's parliamentary election to prevent a minority of hard-liners seizing control of the country's future due to public apathy - Reuters - 2/16/04

Non-oil exports top dlrs 7.3 billion since March
Over dlrs 7.3 billion of non-oil goods and services have been exported in the first 10 months of the current Iranian year - 2/16/04

Regarding Rania
She and her husband, King Abdullah II, teamed up with the WEF and U.S. tech giant Cisco Systems to launch the Jordan Education Initiative - Times - 2/16/04

Mystery death highlights divisions in Iran
Zahra Kazemi returned to her Iranian homeland last summer after living for 30 years in France and Canada...Who killed her, and why? -BBC - 2/15/04

At least 36 Iranians injured in flight accident: press
At least 36 passengers of a flight on which Iranian hajj pilgrims were returning to the Caspian city of Sari were injured and admitted to hospital after their plane suddenly lost altitude due to inclement weather conditions - 2/15/04

Foreign Minister says Iran stands ready to help rebuild Iraq
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi who arrived in Kuwait City on Saturday to take part in a meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries voiced Iran's readiness to get involved in the reconstruction of the war-shattered Iraq - 2/15/04

Iran: Tender of 16 oil blocks attracts interest of major companies
Iran's tendering of 16 oil blocks for exploration has found enormous appeal among world companies, including US firms, which are virtually banned from engagement in the Islamic Republic, a senior oil official said in Tehran on Sunday - 2/15/04

Multi-campus Iranian Awareness Week
As a member of a non-political Iranian student group at UC Berkeley, we seek to celebrate this unbreakable Iranian bond. The Iranian Student Alliance in America has taken the initiative to organize a Multi-campus Iranian Awareness Week. -Pouya Alimagham, Berkeley - 2/15/04

Iran's FM says production of nuclear fuel is 'strictly peaceful'
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi hailed Sunday production of nuclear fuel by Iran as an 'important achievement' but stressed that it was 'strictly' intended for peaceful purposes - 2/15/04

A fish with two tales
With crime and corruption compromising Russian sturgeon stocks, the world's caviar cognoscenti eat only Iranian these days, says Vanora Bennett. But how do you know whose eggs are in your basket? -Guardian - 2/15/04

Iranian Writer in German Exile Looks Back
Since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, around four million Iranians have left their country. Some 100,000 of them now live in Germany, including exiled writer Fahime Farsaie, who fled Iran in 1983. -Deutsche Welle - 2/15/04

Iran Announces Readiness to Sell Nuclear Fuel to International Buyers
Iran's foreign minister says his country may be prepared to sell nuclear fuel to international buyers. The disclosure comes amid increased international scrutiny of Iran's nuclear capabilities. -VOA - 2/15/04

Hundreds more quit Iran election
Iran's crisis-hit parliamentary election has suffered a new blow with the withdrawal of 550 candidates who had been qualified to stand. -BBC - 2/15/04

In Iran, a Quiet but Fierce Struggle for Change
So widespread is the belief that Iran has returned to the repression of the monarchy that for over a year student protesters have been calling Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the spiritual leader and the country's most powerful person, "Shah" Khamenei. A joke in Tehran about Reza Pahlavi, the late shah's son, who leads a political movement from his American exile, goes: "Why don't we need a new king?""We already have one." -New York Times - 2/15/04

Postcards from Iran: Tehran party
In the run-up to parliamentary elections in Iran, Pooneh Ghoddoosi of the BBC Persian Service gives a snapshot of an aspect of contemporary life in the Islamic Republic. -BBC - 2/15/04

19th International fajr Music Festival wraps up in Tehran
The 19th International fajr Music Festival wrapped up in Tehran on Friday night. Over 60 foreign and domestic music groups performed for more than 85 times during the festival which opened in Tehran on February 5. - 2/14/04

NIAC accepts MSNBC Don Imus' public apology to the Iranian-American community
Mr. Imus apologized to the Iranian American community for the offensive remarks he made regarding the crash of an Iranian Kish Airliner in the UAE on February 10th. -NIAC - 2/14/04

U.S. Pressures Tehran Over Reported New Nuclear Findings
A senior U.S. official says there is no doubt Iran is continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. But outside the U.S., other nations are so far reserving judgment. -RFE - 2/14/04

Russia Hopeful About Resolving Deal to Transfer Nuclear Fuel to Iran
The Russian minister in charge of atomic energy says he believes outstanding issues regarding the transfer of nuclear fuel to Iran starting next year can be settled soon. Iran is to use the fuel in its Bushehr nuclear plant. -VOA - 2/14/04

Iran to offer two billion dollars worth of petrochemical projects to bidders
Iran has two billion dollars worth petrochemical projects in which Iranian and foreign entrepreneurs can invest, said an official of Iran`s Industrial Development and Renovation Organization in Tehran on Saturday - 2/14/04

US Official Says Iraq, Afghan Rebuilding Effort Crucial for Democracy in Region
The Pentagon official compared the situation to the old domino theory from the 1950s, which dealt with the threat of one country after another falling to communism. This time, however, he said there is the possibility of a democratic domino effect in which the new democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan set an example that could be followed in nearby nations like Syria and Iran, and even as far away as North Korea. -VOA - 2/14/04

The bloody price of occupation
How far will the US go to maintain its illegitimate primacy in Iraq? -Guardian - 2/14/04

Iran 'ready to sell nuclear fuel'
Iran has announced that it is ready to sell nuclear fuel abroad. Mr Kharrazi said Iran would not give up its nuclear programme, which he called a matter of "national pride". -BBC - 2/14/04

Iran's Parliament Speaker: Mass resignation of MPs cannot be accepted
"According to Article 95 of the Majlis by-law, massive resignation cannot be accepted, because it deprived the parliament of the quorum necessary to go ahead with formal debate," Karroubi pointed out. - 2/14/04

Iran rules out Foreign Minister Kharrazi`s visit to Egypt
Iran on Saturday dismissed as `baseless` a press report that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was intending to visit Egypt - 2/14/04

Leader urges Iranians to vote
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on Iranians to turn out in force for next week's parliamentary elections. He said this would deliver a "slap in the face" to Iran's enemies. -BBC - 2/14/04

Iran: 14th International Conference on Persian Gulf to be held in Tehran
The 14th International Conference on the Persian Gulf will be held in Tehran on February 17-18. - 2/14/04

Europe's nuclear deal with Iran faces collapse
A European agreement with Tehran aimed at settling the Iranian nuclear crisis and hailed as a breakthrough last year is now deadlocked and in danger of collapse. -Guardian - 2/14/04

US Again Accuses Iran of Seeking Nuclear Weapons
The United States Friday again accused Iran of concealing its nuclear activities and of having continued nuclear weapons ambitions. But the State Department said the Bush administration is not yet prepared to try to have the matter referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. -VOA - 2/14/04

Lost for words in traffic nightmare
There is no word that can convey the traffic nightmare that plagues Tehran. But maybe one should be invented, something like clausto-congestion or meta-traffic...Stuck in their cars, passing by posters of conservative candidates, many Iranians will be wondering when the congestion will ease and when the traffic light for democracy will turn green. -Guardian - 2/14/04

Iran's young elite face trial by fire
Iran's youngest female parliamentarian is facing an end to her days in government - and jail time. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/13/04

US Official: Iran Still Seeking Nuclear Arms
The United States accused Iran Thursday of continuing to try to acquire nuclear weapons. U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said it is clear Iran is not complying with a deal it made last year to suspend enrichment of its uranium supplies. -VOA - 2/13/04

Patten calls for long-term constructive EU-Iran ties
European Commissioner for external relations Chris Patten has described Iran as an "enormously important regional player" without whose participation there can be no credible policy for the Wider Middle East - 2/13/04

Foreign Minister renews vows Iran not pursuing nukes
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, speaking in Rome on Thursday, rejected recent allegations against Iran regarding its nuclear energy activities, stressing that the Islamic Republic is pursuing no plan for production of nuclear weapons - 2/13/04

A new spring of freedom? - Iran's 25th anniversary of the revolution
With the impending parliamentary elections, and at the onset of another anniversary of a stolen revolution, I recall the days almost 25 years ago, when hope and freedom were in the air. What was once a country on the rise, and aspiring to build democratic institutions, is now a nation of lost dreams and diminished faith. -Fariba Amini, Washington, DC - 2/13/04

MSNBC's Imus says "Who cares" to Iranian deaths in air crash
On February 10, 2004 Host Don Imus of WFAN and MSNBC’s “Imus in the Morning” show made insensitive and indecent remarks regarding the air crash that morning of an Iranian airliner killing 43 passengers. -NIAC - 2/13/04

UN urges credible Iraqi election
United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said it is "terribly important" for Iraq to have elections but they must be "reasonably credible". -BBC - 2/13/04

Afghanistan: EU Parliament Debate Largely Pessimistic About Country’s Future
Although Afghanistan has been the object of one of the largest international aid efforts, there is little optimism within the European Union regarding its future. -RFE - 2/13/04

Bush Proposes Major New Initiatives To Stop Nuclear Proliferation
In what most observers took as a reference to Iran, the U.S. president further proposed that only states that sign the International Atomic Energy Agency's Additional Protocol on inspections be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programs. -RFE - 2/13/04

America and Iran need to talk
The current political test of wills in Iran has overshadowed a timely, low-key effort by the Bush administration to reopen contacts with Iran's leaders. Putting aside the clumsy characterization of Iran as part of an "axis of evil," senior leaders set the stage for a shift in policy several months ago. -IHT - 2/13/04

Iran's die-hards will dump democracy - if the US helps
Washington looks ready to strike a bargain with the rump republic -Guardian - 2/13/04

Bam fundraising event in New York: "Tonight we are Iranians"
“This earthquake has made the country rise to its feet and come together. Tonight, we are not split as pro-government or anti-government; we are not for the shah or not for the shah; we are not rich or poor—together, tonight we are Iranians,” said artist Shirin Neshat. -By Matthew Ronald Hermann - 2/13/04

Report from Bam, Iran: Unkindness of God and lack of care and attention by his sons
From the "seven gardens of sky” road we arrived in Bam. This was two weeks ago, after nearly six weeks of that devastating quake that shocked this city and left but a huge chunks of rubble all around in every corner that one may turn. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/13/04

Iran: Economy in transition
Iran's parliamentary elections later this month could determine whether the country achieves its potential as a regional economic superpower. -BBC - 2/13/04

Iran: 25th Anniversary Of Islamic Revolution Commemorated Amid Serious Political Crisis
Iran today is marking the 25th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that ended 2,500 years of monarchy and established the world's first modern theocracy. But this year's anniversary is being overshadowed by Iran's political crisis over the disqualification of more than 2,000 pro-reform candidates for parliamentary elections later this month. -RFE - 2/12/04

How Iran's revolution betrayed its women
Within weeks of the triumphant return from exile of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomaini and the collapse of the shah's government on Feb. 11, 1979, the ayatollah issued a declaration ordering all "naked women" -- anyone not observing hijab -- to cover up. -Globe & Mail - 2/12/04

Iran: Prince Charles's Visit Seen As Attempt To Maintain Influence
Britain's crown Prince Charles has just returned from a brief visit to Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The visit -- in particular its Iranian leg -- has generated criticism in the media. It has also raised questions about the rights and wrongs of what is seen as a UK "diplomatic offensive" at a time when Iran's conservatives appear to be gaining the upper hand in domestic politics. -RFE - 2/12/04

A Kinder View of Uncle Sam
As the United States and Iran edge warily toward possible rapprochement, the Iranian public makes no secret of its appetite for restoring relations formally severed in 1980, after militant students took over the U.S. Embassy here. In recent months, Iranians say, the appetite has grown for an unexpected reason: Iranian pilgrims returning from Iraq are spreading admiring stories of their encounters with American troops. -Washington Post - 2/12/04

Iran's Conservatives Retain Much Power 25 Years After Islamic Revolution
As Iran marks the 25th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution, much of the power remains in the hands of the conservative leadership. Popular support for reforms is growing, but observers say so is the hard-liners' determination to preserve the values of the Islamic Revolution. -VOA - 2/12/04

Iran's foreign minister arrives in Rome
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Rome on Thursday for a two-day official visit to take part in special ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Iran-Vatican relations - 2/12/04

Iranian Kurdish delegation visits Iraqi Kurdistan
An Iranian Kurdish delegation visited Iraqi Kurdistan and held talks with the Iraqi Kurdish leader and a member of the Interim Governing Council of Iraq Masoud Barzani on Wednesday - 2/12/04

Quake jolts eastern Iranian city of Zirkouh
An earthquake measuring 3.9 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale hit the eastern area of Zirkouh, near the city of Qaen in Khorassan province Wednesday night - 2/12/04

Halliburton faces Iran inquiry
Halliburton, the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, was last night facing another investigation, this time over possible business dealings with Iran. -Guardian - 2/12/04

Analysis: Iran's uncertain future
Iran is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the revolution which swept away the Shah and gave birth to the Islamic Republic. But the anniversary finds the country deep in political crisis. -BBC - 2/12/04

Biggest solar clock to be installed in Iran's northwestern city of Meshkinshahr
The world's biggest solar clock is to be installed in the northwestern Iranian city of Meshkinshahr in Ardebil province, the mayor announced on Thursday - 2/12/04

New Iran nuclear designs 'found'
United Nations inspectors have found a new uranium centrifuge design type in Iran, officials say. -BBC - 2/12/04

Granting observer status to Iran at WTO discussed in Geneva
The United States' representative at the meeting said that Washington was still surveying the issue and not ready to announce its stand, or joining those favoring Iran's observership request yet. - 2/12/04

As Authorities Frown Valentine's Day Finds Place in Iran's Heart
Valentine's Day has arrived in Iran, much to the chagrin of the conservative Muslim clerics who run the country. The government made the public mingling of unmarried couples illegal when it came to power in 1979. It views a Western holiday dedicated to love and sensuality as decadent and intolerable. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 2/12/04

Aghdashloo's appeal for understanding
Iranian actress and Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo has said she is hopeful her new film House Of Sand And Fog will help understanding of the problems immigrants face when they come to Western countries. -BBC - 2/12/04

Iran, US Relations Starting to Improve After Quarter Century Freeze
Strategic analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies supports the idea of outside pressure to help foster changes inside Iran. But he recently told the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee that a tough U.S. attitude might undercut Washington's ability to encourage reforms there. -VOA - 2/12/04

Belgian FM against inviting Reza Pahlavi for godfather ceremony
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Louis Michel warned Tuesday of a diplomatic row with Iran if media reports were true that a member of Belgium's royal family wanted to invite the son of the deposed Shah of Iran to be the godfather of his newly-born daughter - 2/11/04

Ex-German under-21 footballer Ferydoon Zandi to play for Iranian national team
A former member of the under-21 German national team and starting midfielder of second division squad VfB Luebeck is to play in future for Iran's national team, according to the daily Berliner Zeitung - 2/11/04

Western Press Review: A Rationale For The Iraq War And Fading Hopes For U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement
Writing in "Eurasia View," Washington-based reporter Jim Lobe says a recent U.S. effort to engage Tehran has become "an election-year casualty in both countries." -RFE - 2/11/04

Sole Iranian survivor of plane crash reported in good condition
According to a hospital spokesperson in Dubai on Wednesday the only Iranian survivor of the Tuesday crash of a Kish Airline plane, Navid Khodabakhsh is in good condition - 2/11/04

Germany to allocate 2 million euros for Bam reconstruction
The German government will allocate 2 million euros for the reconstruction of quake-ravaged Bam, the German Development Aid Ministry announced in Berlin on Wednesday - 2/11/04

Car bomb kills Iraq army recruits
car bomb kills up to 47 people in Baghdad - bringing to nearly 100 the number of Iraqis killed in two days. -BBC - 2/11/04

Eyewitnesses tell of Emirates crash
Twisted metal, burnt seats and engine parts were strewn across a residential area, just 3km (2 miles) from the Iranian plane's final destination, Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates. -BBC - 2/11/04

US Public Diplomacy Officials Appeal for Congressional Support in Mideast Efforts
Officials in charge of U.S. information and "public diplomacy" efforts have appealed to Congress to support expanded broadcasting and "outreach" programs to counteract anti-Americanism, particularly in the Middle East. -VOA - 2/11/04

Iran's main focus on improvement in women life style: First Lady
The first lady was speaking at the third session of the Regional Steering Committee for the Advancement of Rural and Island Women for Asia and Pacific Region in Islamabad, Pakistan. - 2/11/04

Iran's President marks 25th anniversary of Islamic Revolution victory
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in a landmark speech to millions of people taking part in a massive march in Tehran - 2/11/04

Iran: 22nd International Fajr Film Festival ends in Tehran
The ceremony marking the end of the 22nd International Fajr Film Festival (February 1-10) was held in Tehran at Vahdat Hall on Tuesday evening - 2/11/04

U.S. freestyle wrestlers to compete in the Takhti Cup in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 19-20
A team of U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers will compete at the 2004 Takhti Cup in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 19-20. - 2/11/04

Iranians mark Islamic revolution
President Mohammad Khatami told a huge rally in the capital, Tehran, that the country faced a "fork in the road". Many of those who attended the Tehran rally were regime loyalists - state employees and their families who were bussed in specifically for the occasion. -BBC - 2/11/04

Iran's revolution at 25: out of gas
Wednesday's silver anniversary marks a peak of political disillusionment. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/11/04

Charles's goodwill visit to Iran
The visit by Prince Charles to Iran - the first by a member of the British Royal Family to the 25-year-old Islamic republic - has political implications whatever the protestations of diplomats. -BBC - 2/10/04

Iran now a land of theocrats and cynics
In a narrow alleyway, the Refah School, incubator of Iran's revolution 25 years ago, continues to pulse with life. The Refah School is where Shi'a Muslim clerics secretly met for years to prepare for the arrival of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who commanded a revolution that introduced Islamic fundamentalism as a force in the world. -Borzou Daragahi, Star Ledger - 2/10/04

Iran stands second at first Asian Indoor Track-and-Field Championships
Iran finished runner-up in the first Asian Indoor Track-and-Field Championships, which ended in Tehran on Sunday night - 2/10/04

That Continual Matter of Iran
Iran has been the siren of the Middle East for successive American administrations. Each presidency, it seems, has brought a new opportunity for influence that ends badly. The question is: Will President Bush follow the examples of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and be lured in, only to run aground on the Iranian shoals? -New York Times - 2/10/04

Iran plane crashes in Emirates
An Iranian plane has crashed near Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates killing at least 40 people. -BBC - 2/10/04

Gore Says Bush Betrayed the U.S. by Using 9/11 as a Reason for War in Iraq
In a withering critique of the Bush administration, former Vice President Al Gore on Sunday accused the president of betraying the country by using the Sept. 11 attacks as a justification for the invasion of Iraq. -New York Times - 2/10/04

Belgian palace says reports on Reza Pahlavi 'press speculation' only
A spokesman for the Belgian royal palace described reports in the Belgian press that Reza Pahlavi, son of the deposed shah of Iran, would be invited to serve as godfather for the daughter of Belgian Prince Laurent as 'press speculation'. - 2/10/04

Bird flu not a threat to Iran
Bird Flu poses not the least threat to Iran under present conditions, said an Iranian immunology expert Vahid Mahruyan in Tehran on Monday - 2/10/04

Iran: Parliament Speaker speaks of 'trap', calls for massive turnout in election
"I ask the people to come to the scene so that our friends in this side (of the political camp) do not fall in the trap of the other side," Karroubi added. A certain camp, he said, is trying to tighten the stranglehold around their rivals in the parliamentary election in order to win it. - 2/10/04

Iran election blacklist revealed
More than 2,500 reformist candidates have been barred from running in Iran's 20 February parliamentary elections. -BBC - 2/10/04

Foreign Office plays down 'diplomatic' talk with Iran's leader
Prince Charles's visit to Iran yesterday was an important diplomatic mission in spite of attempts by his private office and the Foreign Office to play down its significance. -Guardian - 2/10/04

Iran Denies Link With Top Pakistani Nuclear Scientist
Iran is denying it received nuclear technology from top Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who recently said he had passed secrets to Tehran. The denial is the latest twist in a complex story of nuclear proliferation that centers on Khan but the details of which may never become fully clear. -RFE - 2/10/04

Amid the earthquake rubble, prince offers sympathy to Bam's bemused survivors
Royal visit with media retinue distracts bereft families from daily struggles -Guardian - 2/10/04

Fresh Iranian bands ready to rock
Rock, rap and reggae are not the first things that spring to mind when you think of music in Iran. But groups playing all three genres have entered a competition aimed at introducing new talent in the Islamic Republic. -BBC - 2/10/04

Iran: Supreme Leader Dashes Last Hopes For Delay, Appeals In Election Process
Iran's supreme leader has ordered an end to complaints over the disqualification of more than 2,000 candidates for this month's parliamentary elections. The order appears to dash any remaining hopes among reformers to delay the 20 February vote. President Mohammad Khatami says his government will organize the elections as scheduled. -RFE - 2/10/04

Things have changed in Iran
Last night we were in very heavy conversation regarding people’s expectations and their right to such demands, the role of Mr. Khatami in history, requirements for a Civil Society and so on. My current local political affairs class was again very interesting and rewarding. It truly makes me think about why, what and how and even when at times. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/9/04

Iran: Prince Charles visits quake-damaged Bam Citadel
Prince Charles of Britain and his entourage toured the ruins of Bam Citadel which was destroyed in the devastating earthquake on December 26, - 2/9/04

Charles in Iran for visit to Bam
Prince Charles is to visit the Iranian city of Bam, which was devastated by an earthquake last year. The trip marks the first visit to Iran by a British royal since Prince Philip and Princess Anne were there 33 years. -BBC - 2/9/04

Anger grows among children of Iran's 25-year-old revolution
As Iran this week marks the 25th anniversary of the revolution that toppled a monarchy and delivered clerical rule, members of the "third generation" won't be celebrating an event that they don't even remember. -Guardian - 2/9/04

Iranian official says Iran-Egypt set to resume ties
Iran's deputy foreign minister for economic affairs said in Cairo Sunday that Iran-Egypt are set to resume diplomatic ties - 2/9/04

Georgia, Iraq interested in importing vehicles from Iran
Georgia is ready to cooperate with 'Saipa' automobile manufacturing company, Georgian deputy prime minister said in Tehran on Sunday following a visit to the plant's assembly line - 2/9/04

Tucson eyes on Iran
Few expect political crisis to bring big change -Tucson Citizen, Arizona - 2/9/04

Iran: Inflation rises further to 10.6 percent
Inflation in Iran continued its upward trend for the second consecutive year, going up to 10.6 percent in a year to Azar, the ninth month of the Iranian year, with fish, vegetables, fresh fruits, cotton, aluminum and imported medicine becoming costlier - 2/9/04

BAM Earthquake Relief Fundraiser by House of Iran in Mclean, Virginia
Fund raising gala in support and remembrance of the victims of BAM earthquake on Sunday February 15 - 2/9/04

Iraqi refugee camp in Iran closed
One of the largest camps to host Iraqi refugees in Iran closed over the weekend, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed. "It went very smoothly," UNHCR spokeswoman in the Iranian capital, Tehran, Marie-Helene Verney, told IRIN on Monday - 2/9/04

Quake jolts north of Iran's Khorassan province
An earthquake measuring 3.8 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the town of Ashkhaneh in north of Khorassan province Monday - 2/9/04

Petition in support of immediate reversal of US Government Policy on Publication Ban form Trade Embargoed Countries including IRAN
We, the signatories herein, comprised of concerned citizens including members of the scientific community in the USA and other countries, are appalled and outraged to witness the unilateral economic sanctions of 1998 and its ruling by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that effectively prohibits publication of scientific papers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Cuba, all of which are under U.S. trade embargoes. - 2/9/04

Iranian-American community in Virginia to honor Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Urban Search & Rescue Team for their efforts in Bam
Children of Persia & a coalition of Iranian community organizations will be hosting a recognition ceremony on Sunday, February 22 in Fairfax, Virginia to honor The Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Urban Search & Rescue Team & USAID/DART for their efforts to aid the quake victims in Bam, Iran. - 2/9/04

Students protest 'illegal' election
Several hundred students demanded a nationwide referendum on the country's future at a boisterous rally yesterday in the latest sign that a crisis over coming parliamentary elections has begun to shake awake a somnolent Iranian public. -Washington Times - 2/9/04

Prince Charles meets President Khatami, welcomes Iran's views on democracy
Britain's Prince Charles said in Tehran on Monday that Iran's views on promotion of democracy were pleasing as he met President Mohammad Khatami in the first visit of a British royal to the Islamic Republic since 1979 - 2/9/04

Enemies: a love story - Axis of evil meets Great Satan; lots of smiles ensue
I didn't expect to be standing here, by these graves, tears rolling down my face. But then, I didn't expect a lot of things when I came to Iran. I didn't expect Tweetie Bird, platform shoes and nail polish. I didn't expect to see ex-Wildcat basketball player Richard Jefferson on Iranian state TV. I didn't expect motorcycles on the sidewalks, dancing in the aisles or spontaneous cheers of, "We love America!"...Most of all: I did not expect joy. -Judy Carlock, Tucson Citizen - 2/9/04

Power Play
Nearing a crucial election, a new group of pragmatic conservatives has emerged -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 2/9/04

Iran's President: The power holders who don't represent the people use power against them
Speaking in the academic Kharazmi International Festival, the president said that the human community are unanimous on the need to stop complacency of the rulers. - 2/8/04

Iran to formally invite Egyptian president to economic summit
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday that a formal invitation letter would be sent to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to participate in an upcoming summit in Tehran - 2/8/04

Blix doubts on Iraq intelligence
Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has said Britain and the US dramatised intelligence information to bolster the argument for the Iraq war. -BBC - 2/8/04

How spies chose the intelligence that justified war
A little-known book by an-ex CIA officer gives an extraordinary insight into the way politicians are fed data they want to hear. -Guardian - 2/8/04

Persian Gulf Cooperation Council offers a 400-mn dollar loan for reconstruction of Bam
PGCC delegation visiting Iran in a meeting with the Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Abdolalizadeh in Tehran on Sunday declared that PGCC is ready to extend a 400-million-dollar loan for the reconstruction of quake-hit Bam city with a two-percent 25-year reimbursement period - 2/8/04

TMCA director: Major art projects ratified by Iran's Parliament
One percent of the development expenses of the ministries and government organizations have been allocated to purchasing artworks as the first serious measure by the legislation to widely support art. - 2/8/04

Iran's First Lady to chair international ladies conference
First Lady of Iran, Zohreh Sadeqhi, the wife of President Mohammad Khatami will chair international conference of Khawateen Karbala in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday - 2/8/04

Iran stands second at Asian karate meet
Iran finished runner-up to Japan in the 6th Asian men's and women's karate events, which ended in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Saturday - 2/8/04

17th International Kharazmi Festival kicks off in Tehran
The official noted that this year, scholars from 48 states of the world's five continents competed against one another which sets a record within the festival's 17-year history. - 2/8/04

Independent Review Finds Substantial Evidence of Civil Rights Violations During the Implementation of the NSEERS Special Registration
The Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) released results today from an independent review examining the implementation of the special registration program under the National Security Entry-Exit System (NSEERS) by the INS in late – 2002 and early – 2003. - 2/7/04

Female Iranian athletes starring in Asian Indoor Track and Field Championships
Iran took two bronze medals in the women's races of the first Asian Indoor Track-and-Field Championships in Tehran on Saturday - 2/7/04

For Many Muslim Women, Head Scarves A Matter of Personal, Not Political, Conviction
An item of clothing worn by many Muslim women has become a hot political topic in Europe recently, as France prepares to ban head scarves from public schools, along with other overt religious symbols. There's been anger and protests from Muslims around the world. What is the basis for the wearing of the hijab and other forms of Islamic dress? -RFE - 2/7/04

National Iranian Oil Company, world`s 4th major oil company
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) stood 4th in the list of world`s 100 major oil companies in 2002 with its ranking remaining unchanged compared to 2001 - 2/7/04

China tightens net around online dissenters
30,000 web police are thought to be monitoring chatrooms and sites -Guardian - 2/7/04

What's in Name? For a Saudi Insider, Everything
Mrs. bin Ladin, who was born Carmen Dufour, to an Iranian mother and a Swiss father, acquired her name through love. It happened in 1974, when she married Yeslam bin Ladin, son of one of Saudi Arabia's richest men. -New York Times - 2/7/04

Iran cancels participation at Munich security confab: source
Iran will not take part at the 40th Munich Security Conference which opened in Munich on Saturday, a conference spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IRNA. - 2/7/04

Fuad Rouhani, Elected First Secretary General of OPEC, Dies at 96
uad Rouhani, who as the first secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries brought a cool, technocratic approach to oil price negotiations, died Jan. 30 in London. He was 96. -New York Times - 2/7/04

Iranian FM says Iran will help uncover Ron Arad's fate
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Friday that his country would do its best to help determine the fate of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad, although Iran is not part of the official negotiations in the prisoner swap between Israel and the Hezbollah. -Haaretz - 2/7/04

Iran's President Says Election Will Not Be Fair
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami says legislative elections due in two weeks' time will not be fair because of a conservative oversight body's decision to bar more than 2,000 candidates. - 2/7/04

Iran's Karami wins South Korea international taekwondo title
Iran's -80 kg martial art player, Youssef Karami, shone in an international event in South Korea, World Taekwondo Stars, winning the glittering gold Saturday - 2/7/04

Iranian athletes shine at Asian karate meet
Iran won its first gold medal in the 6th Asian karate edition as Hassan Rowhani stood top on Friday. - 2/7/04

Iran president yields over poll
Iran's president has agreed February's general election can go ahead - despite pressing for a delay in a row over the barring of 2,000 reformist candidates. -BBC - 2/7/04

Rezazadeh elected Iran's Sportsman of the Year
The world's strongest man, Hossein Rezazadeh, was again voted as Iran's "Champion of Champions" and "Sportsman of the Year 2003" in Tehran on Friday night - 2/7/04

It isn’t that bad with all this jazz: Cultural Events in Tehran (7 Days, 7 events)
You may find it hard to believe, but life in Tehran can be so busy, and not always very bad either. Too many events take place, many exhibitions here and there, concerts, a ceremony for this and for that; overall lots of good, interesting and at time enjoyable events happen in Tehran. Here are samples of a few things that I had the privilege to attend or go to in the past month or so. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/6/04

Quake shakes central Iranian city of Shahreza
An earthquake measuring 4.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Shahreza in the central province of Isfahan Thursday night - 2/6/04

Iran's Most Wanted: Filmmakers
It's the most low-tech filmmaking imaginable. Director Ali Mantini's films have no crane or tracking shots. The cameraman rides piggyback on the shoulders of a crew member or bumps along on a donkey. The cast consists of nonprofessional actors, some of whom pay Mantini for the privilege of stepping before the camera. -Wired - 2/6/04

Iran Sliding Towards Political Confrontation
Iran is heading toward a showdown between reformists and conservatives that potentially could transform of the country’s political system. Reformist leaders say that an ongoing political dispute surrounding upcoming parliamentary elections could give rise to "despotism." -Camelia Entekhabi-Fard, Eurasianet - 2/6/04

The Dummies Guide to Understanding Iran
I've heard a lot of odd things from Nebraskans about Iran: statements such as, "They all hate us" and "Their women have no freedom" and "Those A-rabs over in Iran better watch it!" So, for those of you who admit to knowing little about Iran, but are interested-which is why I assume you are reading this-here are some facts: -The Gateway, NE - 2/6/04

Menashri Analyzes Israeli-Iran Relationship
Dr. David Menashri, a distinguished professor at Tel Aviv University, analyzed the progression of the Israeli-Iran relationship since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, in ICC on Wednesday. Menashri said he hoped that “one day adults will learn from the youth … to cooperate and work with other groups.” -Hoya, Georgetown Univ. - 2/6/04

Iraq: Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani's Vision Of Iraq's Political And Religious Future
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has emerged as a pivotal figure in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq by demanding direct elections prior to the formation of a sovereign government. Yet even as he dominates the headlines, al-Sistani remains a reclusive personality whose views on most subjects are poorly understood outside his community. -RFE - 2/6/04

Iraq's insurgents are more nihilist than nationalist
Sunni rebels must understand they would lose a fight with the Shia -Guardian - 2/6/04

Musharraf: No Independent, International Investigation into Pakistan's Nuclear Scandal
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has granted a pardon to the founder of the country's nuclear program, who has admitted passing nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. -VOA - 2/6/04

Indifference and Iran’s reformists
Maturity, ecstasy and death come in quick succession in nature, and sometimes in politics. After years of an earnest but incoherent struggle under an unimaginative and timid leadership, Iran’s political reform movement finally balked at the recent disqualification of most of its parliamentary candidates by the right-wing Guardian Council. -Ahmad Sadri, Daily Star - 2/6/04

The Siren Song of 'Crimson Gold'
"Crimson Gold," an Iranian film, opens with shouts, shadows, confusion and two fatal gunshots. Two men lie dead, the casualties of a jewelry store robbery gone wrong. -Washington Post - 2/6/04

Azerbaijan: Aliyev's Moscow Visit Shows Son Picking Up Where Father Left Off
"The foreign policy of the former Azerbaijani president could be described as 'pluralistic.' It was a balance between the U.S. on the one hand, and Russia and Iran on the other hand. Those have been, so to speak, the two main axes of [his foreign policy.] In this regard, there is absolutely no doubt that Ilham Aliyev's visit [to Russia] comes straight from Heidar Aliyev's foreign policy," -RFE - 2/6/04

Protesting Iranian MPs end sit-in on mass disqualification of hopefuls
Over 80 Iranian MPs ended a sit-in protest on mass disqualification of nominees for the 7th Majlis elections at Majlis building on Thursday evening by issuing their final statement - 2/6/04

Tehran ranks among hardest cities for expats
Tehran remains among the hardest cities in the world for expatriates to live despite a slight improvement in the living standards in Iran, according to a new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published Thursday - 2/6/04

Bam earthquake damage estimated at $1.9 billion
An official in Housing and Urban Development Ministry said in Tehran on Wednesday the earthquake which devastated the ancient city of Bam last December is estimated to costs rls 15,000 billion ($1.9 billion) - 2/5/04

Reconstruction of Iranian City Hit by Earthquake to Begin
A senior official of the Iranian Red Crescent says work to reconstruct the Iranian city of Bam can begin, now that the 40 day mourning period for victims of the December 26 earthquake is over. -VOA - 2/5/04

Iran's leader sticks to poll plan
The conservatives are now confident they can deliver the knock-out blow by recapturing control of parliament and re-taking the presidency once Mr Khatami stands down at the end of his second term. -BBC - 2/5/04

Iran to participate in top-notch Munich security conference
The two-day international conference which kicks off on Saturday in the southern Germany city of Munich will also bring together 270 mostly security experts from 45 states, including all defense ministers of NATO for talks on global security policy. - 2/5/04

Iranian FM: Israel is holding 4 abducted Iranians
Israel is holding four Iranians kidnapped during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi alleged Thursday, on his arrival in Beirut for a two-day visit to take part in the preparations for the second stage of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah. -Haaretz - 2/5/04

Iranian sisters suing Ottawa for delayed refugee claim
Three Iranian sisters, now in Vancouver, are suing Ottawa for $4.4 million claiming the federal government botched their refugee claim which led to them undergoing torture in an Iranian jail. -CBS, Canada - 2/5/04

Blair caught in Iraqi arms row
Tony Blair's credibility over his use of intelligence before the Iraq invasion came under fresh assault yesterday when he said that at the time of the war he was personally unaware that Saddam Hussein did not have the ability to fire long-range chemical and biological weapons. -Guardian - 2/5/04

Afghanistan Still an important source for human trafficking - IOM report
A new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) argues that Afghanistan remains an important source country for human trafficking, despite improvements in the conditions of women and girls in post-conflict Afghanistan. - 2/5/04

Muslim stereotypes challenged in US
The US Department of Justice is trying to combat racial stereotypes surrounding the Muslim community since the 11 September terrorist attacks. -BBC - 2/5/04

Pakistan: Top Nuclear Scientist Takes Responsibility For Proliferation
Pakistan's nuclear proliferation scandal took a dramatic turn today when the man at the center of the affair, Abdul Qadeer Khan, publicly accepted responsibility for selling Pakistan's nuclear secrets abroad. -RFE - 2/5/04

Iran produces four million barrels of crude oil daily
Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mehdi Mir Moezi said on Wednesday that the company produces about four million barrels of oil daily - 2/5/04

Iran receives bids for $5 billion in investments
Iran has received applications for investments to the tune of dlrs five billion, said Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance for legal and parliamentary affairs Heydar Mostakhdemin Hosseini in Tehran on Wednesday - 2/5/04

Iran now third richest oil country in the world: German report
Iran's oil reserves rose by 40 percent to 17.2 billion tons, replacing Iraq as the third richest oil country in the world, according to a report released Thursday by the Hamburg-based Association of the German Petroleum Industry (MWV) - 2/5/04

Over 46 million Iranians eligible to vote
The latest statistics released by the Ministry of Interior shows that some 46,351,032 individuals of the entire population are eligible to vote at the seventh parliamentary elections slated for February 20 - 2/5/04

Iran's Supreme Leader: Conflict between executive, supervisory boards not something new
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that conflict between the executive and supervisory boards of the election is not something new and every conflict has a solution - 2/4/04

Iran leader rejects poll delay
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has insisted parliamentary elections due later this month should go ahead as planned. -BBC - 2/4/04

Iran Islamic Participation Front outlines conditions to participate in election
Iran Islamic Participation Front (IIPF), in a bulletin released at the conclusion of its 6th congress in Tehran on Tuesday, said the only way that it will take part in the upcoming 7th Majlis election is for the "the illegal rejection of qualification of the candidates to be overturned," - 2/4/04

Iran's Supreme Leader: Election to be held without delay
"The election is also a manifestation of presence and power of people in administering the country," Ayatollah Khamenei said adding that presence of people in the election will show that the nation is master of "government, Majlis and all officials". - 2/4/04

Iran: Publisher says threatening dailies with closure unconstitutional
Rasoul Montajeb-Nia, the publisher of 'Nassim- Saba', said in Tehran on Tuesday that threatening the print media with closure and writing letters to restrict their activities is against the Constitution, - 2/4/04

Iranian Minister says lab model of Mesbah satellite to be launched
Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ahmad Motamedi said in Tehran on Tuesday that Mesbah miniature satellite is going to be launched into space within the next one year and four months - 2/4/04

Nuclear scientist 'pleads mercy'
The Pakistani scientist alleged to have sold nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea has asked for clemency, the government says. -BBC - 2/4/04

How did we get it so wrong?
With inquiries under way on both sides of the Atlantic, the failure of western intelligence over Iraq is coming under intense scrutiny. Yes, the spies got it wrong, admits former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack, but the politicians also moulded the evidence to fit the case for war -Guardian - 2/4/04

Pakistan: Did U.S. Intelligence Fail On Islamabad's Nuclear Proliferation Too?
umsfeld did not wait until he returned to Washington to reassure the world that Pakistan's government took its nuclear weapons seriously and was not about to use them without good reason -- or share them. -RFE - 2/4/04

First phase of Iran's South Pars gas field to come on stream by March
The first phase of South Pars gas field in Iran's southern province of Boushehr to be put into operation officially by end of the year on March 20 after a 14-month delay - 2/4/04

Showdown or backdown?
The battle between reformists and religious hardliners in Iran has intensified, with the main reformist group announcing a boycott of this month’s elections. But have the pro-democracy campaigners the will to defeat the conservatives? -Economist - 2/4/04

The Year of the Iranian
Iranians are a proud people, but this past year was an exceptional year for Iranians all over the world and reason to be even more proud. By any standard, east or west, Iranians made headlines on a global scale. -Pouya Alimagham, Berkeley - 2/4/04

Iranian students gather at Tehran's Amirkabir university to defend Republicanism
Delivering a speech titled 'Advocating the Republic' at Amir Kabir University, MP Mohsen Armin said that the crisis set off by the mass disqualification of representatives of the people is something different from banning publications, arresting several students and political activists and summoning several MPs for questioning. "Because, today the national sovereignty right is going to be ignored." - 2/4/04

Bam, Iran: Children of a Lesser God
Everyone we saw, met or talked to in Bam had lost relatives and friends, neighbors and loved ones. I asked many people how they could manage to cope with all this? In reply they just turned and with sad eyes mostly said, “It was God’s will” or something to that effect. It was unbelievable and amazing how many times we heard the same statements from everyone; old or young, man or woman, the reply was the same. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/4/04

Showdown over democracy's boundaries in Iran
A quarter century after launching its 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran is facing a political showdown between elected and unelected lawmakers that is set to redefine the parameters of democratic rule in Iran. -Christian Science Monitor - 2/3/04

Protesting Iranian MPs meet Khatami, Karroubi over electoral row
About 70 MPs have met with President Mohammad Khatami and Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi to reiterate their demands that those 'illegally' disqualified from the forthcoming election are reinstated and the poll is postponed - 2/3/04

Election Crisis in Iran Continues to Escalate
Iran's Guardians Council has not yet officially reacted to the government's call to delay parliamentary elections. But deputy Reza Zavareyi of the conservative oversight body said today that Iran's constitution prohibits vote postponements except in the case of war or military occupation. -RFE - 2/3/04

Iranian expats in Berlin plan to build SOS village for Bam orphans
Comprised of Iranian architects, engineers, doctors and journalists, the ambitious Bam orphanage project is coordinated by Iranian architect Vida Amini who along with several other Iranian expatriates founded the 'Bam direct aid' program. - 2/3/04

Kharrazi stresses transfer of Iranian gas to Europe via Ukraine
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Tuesday stressed the importance which Tehran attaches to the plan for transfer of the country's gas to Europe via Ukraine - 2/3/04

Iran's u-23 team beats Singapore 3-2 in football friendly
Iran`s under-23 football side overcame Singapore 3-2 in a friendly at home Saturday. - 2/3/04

Iran's Islamic Republic is 25 - and at a watershed
When Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini flew home from exile in Paris on February 1 1979, so many millions of people lined the streets of Tehran that the 78-year-old cleric abandoned his station wagon for a helicopter. By contrast, the 25th anniversary of the key event in the establishment of Iran's Islamic Republic was a low-key affair on Sunday with few public displays of enthusiasm. -Financial Times - 2/3/04

Quake jolts western Iranian city of Paveh
An earthquake measuring 3.4 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale hit the border areas of western provinces of Kurdestan and Kermanshah near the city of Paveh early on Tuesday - 2/3/04

Iranians Don't Want To Go Nuclear
Do the people of Iran want the bomb? Iran's recent decision to allow for tighter inspection of its nuclear facilities -- which Iran says are for civilian purposes -- was hailed by Iranian and European officials as a diplomatic victory, while analysts and officials in Washington and Tel Aviv continue to be wary of Tehran's intentions. -Washington Post - 2/3/04

Reformers' End Game in Iran
Nearly seven years ago, Mohammad Khatami won an upset presidential election over the candidate favored by conservative mullahs, electrifying an Iranian population fed up with almost two decades of clerical dictatorship. Now, as hard-line clerics maneuver to exclude Mr. Khatami's reform allies from running in this month's parliamentary election, millions of his disillusioned supporters watch passively from the sidelines. -New York Times - 2/3/04

Iranian gunman case criticised
Judges have criticised the home secretary for his handling of the case of a gunman convicted for his role in the Iranian embassy siege in 1980. -BBC - 2/3/04

Bush and the ayatollah
One Iraqi Shia cleric may yet make Washington see sense on free elections and the UN -Guardian - 2/3/04

Pakistan: Experts Unconvinced Islamabad Didn't Know About Nuclear Transfers
Officials in Islamabad say the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program has admitted he transferred nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. -RFE - 2/3/04

World Bank experts survey Bam's need for loan allocation
A group of experts dispatched by the World Bank authorities, in a meeting in Bam on Monday surveyed the extent of the quake-leveled Bam city's need to foreign loan allocation - 2/3/04

Iran on brink of self-sufficiency in missile industry: Official
"There exist bright prospects for the organization in being a national front runner in the area of (access to) modern technologies and launch of light satellites and design of various products," he added. - 2/3/04

US Renews Call for Free Elections in Iran
The United States Monday renewed its call on authorities in Tehran to respect the Iranian people's wish for free and fair elections, though the State Department is taking a cautious approach in its public comments on the political crisis there. -VOA - 2/3/04

Iran: 22nd Fajr Theater Festival concludes work Monday
117 theater groups had 365 performances in 27 playing sites in six sectors of the festival including competitions, out of competitions, international sector, reviews, out-of-door performances and religious plays during the 10-day event. - 2/3/04

Iran skating hall operational after 27 years
The vice-president and head of the Physical Education Organization Saturday inaugurated the skating hall of Azadi Sports Complex, western Tehran, after 27 years. - 2/2/04

Iranian conservative says MPs resignations can be subject to prosecution
Head of Electoral Supervisory Board of Tehran, Shahr-e Rey and Shemiranat Hojatoleslam Ahmad Azimizadeh on Sunday said that given any resignation under the current conditions would be taken as interference with the elections trend, it would be subject to prosecution - 2/2/04

Earthquake Relief Fundraiser by Iranian-Americans in Bay Area a Huge Success
In a first of a kind, collaborative effort that brought sixteen San Francisco Bay Area Iranian-American nonprofit organizations together, a hugely successful fundraiser was held on Saturday January 24th in support of the victims of the recent massive earthquake that devastated the ancient Iranian city of Bam. - 2/2/04

Iranian American Community Rises to the Occasion
They are the biggest Middle Eastern immigrant group in the Washington area, but Iranian Americans generally have kept a low profile. No more. -Washington Post - 2/2/04

Iranian MPs mass resignation draws mixed reactions
The move by the lawmakers has entailed mixed reactions among the Iranian officials. The following are excerpts of comments made by some Iranian officials and parliamentarians concerning the issue: - 2/2/04

Iran purchases 36 passenger planes to raise national air fleet
Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram said in Tehran on Monday that Iran has purchased 36 passenger planes to raise number of its overseas and domestic flights - 2/2/04

Nazarian family negotiating to acquire Discount Bank
Younes and Izak Parviz Nazarian are considered the wealthiest Jews of Iranian origin in the world. -Globes Online, Israel - 2/2/04

Iraqi Kurds count cost of attacks
Kurds in northern Iraq are in mourning after a double suicide bombing at the offices of its main political parties, that killed at least 56 people. -BBC - 2/2/04

US Officials Knew in May Iraq Possessed No WMD
The disclosure that US military survey teams sent to visit suspected sites of WMD, and intelligence interviews with Iraqi scientists and officials, had concluded so quickly that no major weapons or facilities would be found is certain to produce serious new embarrassment on both sides of the Atlantic. -Common Dreams - 2/2/04

Iran's Cabinet insists on need to hold free, fair and competitive election
The presidential press office said the session initially heard reports on the electoral trend presented on by Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi-Lari and the members of the Cabinet's select committee on the upcoming 7th Majlis election following the explicit views expressed by the Guardian Council (GC) on vetting the candidates. - 2/2/04

Mild quakes shake southern Iran
Two quakes with magnitudes, ranging from 3.5 to four richter degrees, jolted southern parts of Iran Sunday night and early Monday morning - 2/2/04

Rafsanjani says recent Iran's political row is a divine test
Rafsanjani, who was implicitly referring to mass resignation of 116 MPs on Sunday in protest to the Guardian Council's move in disqualification of certain would-be candidates, said that the Islamic Revolution will continue its way irrespective of certain rogue elements and the internal and external enemies. - 2/2/04

Iran's President inaugurates Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport
Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport was formally inaugurated by President Mohammad Khatami Sunday - 2/1/04

Iran: Biggest Middle East oil platform to become operational in Soroush field
The offshore platform of Soroush oilfield, the largest in the Middle East, will be put into operation in the near future, said the executive manager of Soroush and Norouz oilfields development plan on Sunday - 2/1/04

Iran produced around 8m tons of steel in 2003
Some 7.9 million tons of steel were produced in Iran in 2003, said Public Relations Department of Mobarakeh Steel Complex in Isfahan on Sunday - 2/1/04

Stampede brings carnage to Hajj
At least 244 people have been trampled to death at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, the minister in charge of the event, Iyad Madani, has said. -BBC - 2/1/04

Twin blasts slaughter Iraqi Kurds
Two suicide bombers have attacked offices of the two main Kurdish parties in northern Iraq, killing at least 56 people, including top officials. -BBC - 2/1/04

Iran MPs resign over election ban
In a speech on behalf of fellow lawmakers - carried live on state radio - Mohsen Mirdamadi spoke of an "ugly body of dictatorship" in Iran. -BBC - 2/1/04

Iran looks at Egyptian delegation make-up at economic summit
A visit by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Iran was ruled out but the level at which Cairo will participate in an economic summit in Tehran later this month still remains to be seen - 2/1/04

Iran's Political Crisis Deepens as 117 Reformist MPs Quit
Iran's political crisis between reformists and conservatives deepened Sunday when 117 members of parliament submitted their resignations. Iran's reformists say they reached a dead-end in the standoff and had no other choice but to step down. -VOA - 2/1/04

Iran's President: Only those yielding to nation's will to survive
President Mohammad Khatami said here Sunday that only those who yield to public will are to survive while those confronting people are sure to be wiped away - 2/1/04

First Deputy Parliament Speaker: Current situation marks end of reform in Iran
First Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohammad Reza Khatami Sunday said that the MPs staging a sit-in believe that holding the February-20 elections under present circumstances would be illegal and that it would somehow mark the end to the reform movement - 2/1/04

List of MPs who offered their resignation letters
Some 116 Majlis (Parliament) deputies have offered their resignation letters in protest to the mass disqualification of nominees for the 7th Majlis elections, slated for February 20 - 2/1/04

FM rejects visit to Iran of some US congress members
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Sunday rejected news published by some US media on visit to Tehran of several US congress members, saying no planning has been made for such a trip - 2/1/04

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