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We can live with a nuclear Iran
The intense concern about Iran's nuclear energy program reflects the judgment that, should it turn to the production of weapons, an Iran with nuclear arms would gravely endanger the United States and the world. -New York Times - 2/28/06

Rationality factor and Iran's nuclear technology program
Recent and not so recent accusations and cries of foul play levelled against Iran by the US and the European Union lead-countries have, amongst other things, more to do with Western mindset than the irrefutable cold facts currently seen on the ground. -Ali Baharlou, Australia - 2/28/06

Iranian cinematographers express their views on recent developments
Seven Iranian cinematographers expressed their views on recent developments in their field to the Persian service of ISNA on Monday. Asghar Rafiei-Jam believes that the field of cinematography has experienced a decline in Iran over the past few years and that the situation is getting worse and worse. -Mehr - 2/28/06

UN watchdog refuses to give Iran clean bill of health in nuclear row
The head of the world's nuclear watchdog declared last night that he could not give Iran's nuclear programme a clean bill of health, blaming Tehran for frustrating almost three years of inspections and detective work by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency. -Guardian - 2/28/06

Alarming Increase in Executions in Iran
Hojat Zamani, a member of the opposition Mojadehin Khalq Organization outlawed in Iran, was executed on February 7 at Karaj’s Gohardasht prison, Human Rights Watch said today, after a trial that did not meet international standards. - 2/28/06

Exclusive Interview: Iran's Foreign Policy Chief Talks with TIME
Ali Larijani, Iran's foreign policy chief and top nuclear negotiator, sees hope in the Russian proposal to help end his country's nuclear standoff with the West, but insists that Iran won't halt its research program to get a deal done. -TIME - 2/28/06

Two strong quakes hit Orzouyieh and Jiroft in southeastern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 5.8 and 5.6 on the Richter scale jolted the cities of Orzouyieh and Jiroft in the southeastern province of Kerman, respectively, on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/28/06

Iranian Foreign Minister In Japan For Nuclear Talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki, who served as Iran's ambassador to Japan from 1995 to 1999, will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso during his visit. -RFE - 2/28/06

Russia, Iran to Continue Talks on Nuclear Compromise Proposal
The head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency, Sergei Kiriyenko, has returned from from Tehran, saying talks about a compromise to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program will continue later this week in Moscow. -VOA - 2/28/06

China terms talks with Iran "useful"
China on Tuesday assessed recent talks between Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Lu Guozeng and Iranian officials as "useful." -IRNA - 2/28/06

AFC calls for football promotion in Isfahan
Secretary General of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Peter Velappan, on Tuesday called for promotion of the world's most popular sporting field in this central capital. -IRNA - 2/28/06

Iranians begin reconstruction operations in Samarra
Head of the Reconstruction Organization of Holy Shrines in Iraq, Mansur Haqiqatpur, said here on Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has sent the first active group for launching reconstruction operations in Samarra, Iraq, where the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi and Imam Hassan Askari were bombed last Wednesday. -Mehr - 2/28/06

Danish Cartoons: Racism Has No Place on the Left
I've just about had it. I cannot watch one more episode of the Daily Show which makes racist jokes about Arabs and Muslims. I am sick and tired of people who see themselves as part of the left writing articles that put a liberal gloss over what is, in essence, a right-wing "clash of civilizations" argument. -Monthly Review - 2/28/06

Hollywood's new politics
The scene is the back room of a shop in Tehran. A middle-aged American is making a delivery - but there is a hitch: one half of his lethal cargo disappears, at gunpoint, behind a curtain, in the hands of a man whose language he does not understand. -Guardian - 2/28/06

Iran’s Supreme Leader’s Hand Seen behind Russia-Iran Agreement
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, played a pivotal, behind-the-scenes role in producing a tentative Russian-Iranian deal on uranium enrichment. The tenuous compromise, however, could still collapse, Iranian observers say. -Eurasianet - 2/28/06

Interior Min: Monday blasts conducted by remainders of past saboteurs
Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said here on Monday night that the people who plotted Monday bomb blasts in Dezful and Abadan (in Iran's southwest Khuzestan province) were remainders of saboteurs that conducted such explosions in the past. -IRNA - 2/28/06

A Way Out for Iran? China may have it
The Bush-Cheney Pentagon is reportedly putting finishing touches on a plan to preemptively nuke Iran for insisting on its inalienable right – guaranteed by (a) the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, (b) the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and (c) their Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA – to enjoy the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. -Gordon Prather, - 2/28/06

Event at University of California, San Diego: Stop the war against Iran before it starts!
Alternatives to War: March 8, 2006 at UCSD- Talk and Discussion with Abbas Edalat, founding member of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) - - 2/28/06

March 20-26, 2006: Iran/USA - Release of global world crisis
The Laboratoire européen d’Anticipation Politique Europe 2020 (LEAP/E2020) now estimates to over 80% the probability that the week of March 20-26, 2006 will be the beginning of the most significant political crisis the world has known since the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, together with an economic and financial crisis of a scope comparable with that of 1929. - 2/27/06

Chaos in Iraq Sends Shock Waves Across Middle East and Elevates Iran's Influence
Shortly before the American-led invasion of Iraq, Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, warned that the attack would "open the gates of hell." Now, three years later, there is a sense in the Middle East that what was once viewed as quintessential regional hyperbole may instead have been darkly prescient. -New York Times - 2/27/06

There is No Iranian 'Crisis'
The leaders of the former Soviet Union would have been envious of how the U.S. mainstream media fall into line on international issues. In their coverage of the current concocted "crisis" with Iran, the U.S. corporate media have committed two major sins: 1) failure to put events into a historical and political context, and 2) unquestioning parroting of the U.S. government line. -Daily Camera - 2/27/06

Moscow Says Much Work Ahead In Iran Talks
Russia today sought to downplay any progress it had made in three-day talks with Iran over Tehran's nuclear program. -RFE - 2/27/06

Four People Hurt In Blasts In Iranian Cities
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, says two small bombs exploded in the southern Iranian cities of Dezful and Abadan today, wounding four people. - 2/27/06

Iran's Petropars plans to develop oilfield in Venezuela
Iran's Petropars in collaboration with a Venezuelan oil company is planning to develop an oil field in Venezuela. -Mehr - 2/27/06

Iran Aims For Foreign Markets in CeBit 2006 Service: Information Society
Iran's aim for participating in CeBit 2006 is expanding export and the participation of Iranian companies is world markets. According to ISNA, the participating companies have been selected trough their export products, service management and their abilities. -ISNA - 2/27/06

Iran expecting a positive report by ElBaradei: nuclear official
ElBaradei's report will be made available to 35 member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday (today) or Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/27/06

Iran loan may fund upgrade of utilities
Lebanon may seek a soft loan from Iran to rehabilitate water and electricity plants, Energy and Water Minister Mohammad Fneish said Friday. -Daily Star - 2/27/06

Mild quake jolts Saveh in central Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale jolted the vicinity of Saveh in Markazi province Monday afternoon. -IRNA - 2/27/06

IRAN: No more mixing for men and women at internet cafes
Iranian police officers are visiting internet cafes throughout the country to explain new rules to separate men from women in internet cafes. Cafe owners will be given fifteen days after the visit to create separate spaces so to prevent their male and female clients from surfing the web in the same room. -AKI - 2/27/06

Israel Rejects Hamas Conditions for Long-term Truce
Israel has rejected the conditions of the Islamic militant group Hamas for a long-term cease-fire. A Hamas leader ruled out recognition of Israel or peace with the Jewish state. -VOA - 2/27/06

Quake hits Qeshm island in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale hit the outskirts of Qeshm Island in southern Hormuzgan province on Monday. -IRNA - 2/27/06

Moment of Truth: Neocons jump ship
One has only to look at the headlines coming out of Iraq to see that the moment of truth has arrived: the Iraqi government is warning of an "endless civil war" mosques across Iraq, including the "Golden Mosque" in Samarra, were targeted in a wave of sectarian attacks, and 60 were killed in just one day, including two U.S. soldiers - 2/27/06

Iran's football team optimistic on World Cup chances: German weekly
The report pointed out although Iran had a tough time to find strong teams to prepare for the World Cup, the mood within the team is "optimistic" only 100 days before the start of the global football event. -IRNA - 2/27/06

Diplomacy About Iran's Nuclear Program Shifts from Moscow to Tokyo
Iran's foreign minister has arrived in Japan for talks expected to focus on easing concerns over the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions. Manouchehr Mottaki's three-day visit begins a day after Iran and Russia announced an agreement to establish a joint uranium enrichment venture, in the hopes of averting United Nations sanctions. -VOA - 2/27/06

Good, Great and Fantastic Restaurants in Tehran: Entrecote
The first place we were invited to was Entrecote, which I was told by the manager Mr. Salehzadeh is a branch of the famous Paris restaurant. This was the first time we had been there. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/27/06

Anicée (ALVINA) Shahmanesh: France's Sex Icon of the 1970's
The beautiful and talented actress Anicée Shahmanesh, was born on the 28th of January 1954 to a French mother and Persian Father at Boulogne –sur-Seine in Paris FRANCE. She had a short career which nevertheless left a mark in French nouveau or avant-gardist movies. -Darius KADIVAR, Paris - 2/27/06

Iran: Is There a Way Out of the Nuclear Impasse?
Diplomacy can still defuse the Iran nuclear crisis if both sides pursue a realistic compromise.Iran: Is There a Way Out of the Nuclear Impasse?,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, starts with the reality that European diplomacy has so far not persuaded Iran to drop its uranium enrichment ambitions - 2/26/06

Khatami: Putting pressure on Iran will benefit no one
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami in an exclusive interview with the Qatari-based al-Jazeera news network Saturday evening elaborated on major regional and international issues as well as latest developments in Iran. -IRNA - 2/26/06

Worrying trends in use of death penalty in Iran
Amnesty International today expressed grave concern about the rate of executions reported in Iran and said it feared for the lives of a number of political prisoners, some of whom are reported to have been on death row for several years. - 2/26/06

Playwright Eve Ensler, Others Encourage Women to Embrace Their Unique Beauty
Faced with the unattainable beauty standards promoted by the entertainment and advertising industries, many women have become unhappy with the way they look. They are constantly dieting and trying to alter one part of their body or another. But there is a growing movement to encourage women to accept their bodies as they are and to look beyond the commercial definitions of beauty. - 2/26/06

Cartoons, caricatures and civilisations
Muslim anger over the Danish cartoons of Mohammed signals a deep political problem – to which Islam has the solution in its rich heritage, says Farhang Jahanpour. -Open Democracy - 2/26/06

Iran almost self-sufficient in nuclear medicine
An expert with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fathollah Shahidi said on Saturday that the country is almost self-sufficient in nuclear medicine. -IRNA - 2/26/06

Iran and Russia agree in principle on proposed enrichment plan
Russian news media on Sunday reported that Iran and Russia reached agreement in principle on Moscow's enrichment proposal. -IRNA - 2/26/06

Iran: Qeshm Airport to Receive International License
Qeshm Airport will receive an international license from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) by the end of winter to further enhance its activities in the Persian Gulf region. -CHN - 2/26/06

War of the Mosques
Reprisal raids follow an unholy attack on a revered shrine, sparking fears of all-out civil war. A report from the streets—and a worried Washington. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, ... Newsweek - 2/26/06

Iranian official warns Europe may lose Iranian market
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe and American Affairs Saeed Jalili, currently in Switzerland upon an invitation of Swiss officials, made the remarks at an interview with the French-language daily Le Temps. -IRNA - 2/26/06

Reconcile ego and ideology between the U.S. and Iran
Indeed, what looms large between Iran and the United States is not a clash of interests, but a collision of hardened egos and divergent ideologies. Reconciling the two is the Rubicon impeding U.S.-Iranian relations. -Sanam Vakil, Daily Star - 2/26/06

Iran: Tender documents for establishment of two nuclear power plants ready
Tender documents for establishment of two 1000-megawatt nuclear power plants in Bushehr have been prepared and will be released in a month, said head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh on Sunday. -IRNA - 2/26/06

Meryl Streep to play role of Iranian artist Mokarrameh Qanbari
Meryl Streep has agreed to play the role of recently deceased Iranian artist Mokarrameh Qanbari in an upcoming Fox Film production, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday. -Mehr - 2/25/06

AFGHANISTAN: Efforts against bird flu insufficient - FAO
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that efforts by Afghan authorities and the donor community to mitigate the risk of a potential outbreak of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu, have been insufficient. -IRIN - 2/25/06

Is Iran Building a Nuclear Bomb?
The International Atomic Energy Agency, or I.A.E.A., is expected to meet early next month to discuss Iran's nuclear program and refer that issue to the United Nations Security Council. -VOA - 2/25/06

Bush: World Will Not Allow Nuclear Weapons in Iran
President Bush says the international community will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The president is asking Congress for $75 million to help bring about democratic change in Iran. -VOA - 2/25/06

Society of Iranian Architects honoring Kamran Tabatabaii Diba, designer of Tehran Museum
The Society of Iranian Architects and Planners is holding an exhibition and a commemoration ceremony for prominent Iranian architect Kamran Tabatabaii Diba at the Iranian Artists Forum which opens tomorrow, ISNA reported on Friday. -Mehr - 2/25/06

Perseverance and honor: Interview with Abbas Amir-Entezam
He opened the door courteously and led me into his living room, a far cry from his usual dwelling in the most infamous prison of Iran, Evin; a place where he has spent twenty-six years of life; a place where he has lived for almost three decades; a place where many have gone, never to return. He is now on a leave of absence, a brief interlude in his lengthy and trying sentence. -Fariba Amini - 2/24/06

Stop War on Iran
The neoconservatives and their warmonger allies are preparing the public for a war on Iran. They are the same people who deceived the public about Iraq, a country that, despite having a terrible regime, was no danger to the US and the rest of the world. It is now clear what has been happening in Iraq - 2/24/06

Persian Dreams: Iranian-Born Author's New Novel Explores Lives of Persian Women
This March Hats Off Books is releasing author Maryam Tabibzadeh's fascinating family saga of life in Persia/Iran. Spanning the 20th century, Persian Dreams follows the individual lives of family members across generations, exploring the intimate details of life in Iran during this period. - 2/24/06

Iran: Russian, Chinese Officials To Discuss Nuclear Standoff In Tehran
The visits by Russian Atomic Energy Agency chief Kiriyenko and Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Guozeng to Tehran comes just over a week before a key International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting on 6 March. -RFE - 2/24/06

Destruction of Holiest Shia Shrine Brings Iraq to the Brink of Civil War
In a number of respects civil war in Iraq has already begun. Many of the thousand bodies a month arriving in the morgues in Baghdad are of people killed for sectarian reasons. It is no longer safe for members of the three main communities ­ the Sunni and Shia Arabs and the Kurds ­ to visit each other's parts of the country. -Independent - 2/24/06

India, Iran to carry on with pipeline, LNG deal
India and Iran on Thursday sent a clear message across that despite New Delhi's vote against Tehran on its nuclear programme, the two countries would continue to deepen ties and carry on with bilateral projects, including the tri-nation pipeline and a multi-billion dollar gas deal. -Indo-Asian News Service - 2/24/06

Russia/Georgia: Tensions Reach Record High
Addressing reporters on 22 February during a visit to Azerbaijan, Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned the political leaders of neighboring Georgia against seeking enemies abroad. -RFE - 2/24/06

IRAN: Tehran has exploited the gap between Washington and Europe
Over the last four years, and especially under radical new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran has done its best to live up to President Bush's 2002 declaration that it is part of an "axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world." -Los Angeles Times - 2/24/06

Looking Middle Eastern? You Are a Prime Suspect
As we approach the fifth anniversary of September 11, when the US mainland was attacked by an act of terrorism and suffered the loss of nearly 3,000 innocent lives, the tens of millions of European and American citizens of Middle Eastern ancestry have been devastatingly caught between "a rock and a hard place." -Pirouz Azadi, Counterpunch - 2/24/06

Analysis:U.S. dusts off old plans for Iran
Following Rice's appearance on Capitol Hill, senior administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, outlined what one of them called "pieces of the package to promote democracy (in Iran) and to expand our ability to get the message out to the Iranian people." -UPI - 2/24/06

Iran: Petition to save Nazanin
The year that has just begun has been marked in Iran by news of a death sentence handed down to a girl, Nazanin, for murder. -Hands Off Cain - 2/24/06

Trilateral accord on Iran gasline in May
Framework agreement on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is to be signed in May this year. Pakistan's top economic newspaper "Business Recorder" in its Friday issue wrote that the agreement would be signed after trilateral talks in Tehran in May. -IRNA - 2/24/06

Iranian reformist speaks out against sectarian violence
Mehdi Karrubi, Iran’s former parliamentary speaker and a veteran of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has criticised Shia Muslim radicals who last week destroyed a religious building belonging to Islamic mystics in the holy city of Qom. -Financial Times - 2/24/06

Iran: No Welcome For President's New Elite
Iranian parliamentarians are accusing the country's president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, of replacing many serving government officials with individuals from the security and intelligence community. Lawmakers have been particularly critical of Ahmadinejad's selection of provincial governors-general. -RFE - 2/24/06

China, Iran Poised to Proceed on Oil Deal Despite Nuclear Impasse
China and Iran appear ready to go ahead with a multi-billion dollar deal to develop the Yadavaran oil field in western Iran, despite an impasse between Iran and other nations over Tehran's nuclear intentions. Analysts say the deal would test China's role as a responsible stakeholder in the region and the world. -VOA - 2/24/06

US marines probe tensions among Iran’s minorities
The intelligence wing of the US marines has launched a probe into Iran’s ethnic minorities at a time of heightened tensions along the border with Iraq and friction between capitals. -Financial Times - 2/24/06

Detained Iranian journalist Elham Afroutan denounces hue and cry in foreign media
An Iranian journalist under temporary detention for allegedly insulting the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, denied news that she attempted to commit suicide in an interview with IRNA on Wednesday, and decried the hue and cry created by the Western media over her arrest. -IRNA - 2/24/06

"The Persian Warrior" Master Mehrdad Khan Moayedi to fight Rick "The Jet" Roufus
Sponsored by Tiger Beer, Shin Do Kumaté IX, “Battle of the Warriors,” is slated to be the biggest and most action packed event in the short 4 year history of MKM Knockout Promotions, Inc. Headlining the fight card is the Heavyweight Main event “The Persian Warrior” Master Mehrdad Khan Moayedi, who is an 8th Dan Blackbelt and current SDK Heavyweight Champion against six-time World Champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus. - 2/24/06

Americans Say Iran Is Their Greatest Enemy
More Americans consider Iran the United States' greatest enemy today than any other country, according to Gallup's annual World Affairs survey. -GALLUP - 2/24/06

The Iranian Century?
Saddam Hussein's demise has positioned Iran to dominate the Gulf, at least in theory. What could foil fundamentalist President Ahmadinejad's ambitions is his own economic mismanagement –Business Week - 2/24/06

Going to Iran? Giving a Talk?
Every year, many Iranian scientists go to Iran for family visits without having an opportunity to interact with the universities there. Having thought about this issue and with the objective of promoting collaboration of Iranian academics living abroad with the scientific community in Iran, a group of us established a non-profit organization, Knowledge Diffusion Network on December 2003 which was registered in Canada last year. - 2/24/06

Shaparak Khanom flies to Los Angeles and Santa Clara
After 9 successful performances in Berkeley California, young Iranian/American actors of Javane Theater are presenting Shaparak Khanoom, a musical adaptation of the play by Bijan Mofid, in Orange County, Los Angeles and Santa Clara, CA. - 2/24/06

The Turban, the Veil, and the Sword
The controversy surrounding the cartoons addresses three troubling, but interconnected issues. First, they reflect the social drama unfolding within Europe itself, mainly the presence of a large number of Muslim immigrants within its tightly knit communities. Secondly, the cartoons draw attention to the most volatile issues of concern within the Islamic community itself: violence, the representation of Islam in the West and gender relations. And lastly, they focus on three of the most contentious symbols of strife between the Islamic and the Western worlds: the turban, the veil and the sword or its modern counterpart, the bomb. -Farzaneh Milani - 2/23/06

International Women's Day Celebration in Orange County
With Support from Iranian Women Study Group of Orange County & Iranian Cultural Center of Orange County - 2/23/06

Israel Concerned Over New Hamas-Iran Alliance
Israel is tightening the financial squeeze on the Islamic militant group Hamas, which won Palestinian parliamentary elections last month. Hamas has struck a deal to receive financing from Iran. -VOA - 2/23/06

Quake jolts Qazvin in northwestern Tehran
An earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale hit the western outskirts of Abyek city in Qazvin province, 148 kilometers northwest of the capital Tehran, early Thursday morning. -IRNA - 2/23/06

EU Spokeswoman Says No Nuclear Talks Under Way With Iran
On 21 February, Radio Farda correspondent Fariba Mavaddat spoke with Christina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, about the previous day's meetings in Brussels between EU leaders and Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki. - 2/23/06

Reaction to Hamas victory is gift to Iran's leaders
Its regional influence fortuitously boosted by the US invasion of Iraq and the advent of a Shia-dominated government in Baghdad, Iran's leadership is contemplating another unintended gift from Washington: the chance to become a power in Palestine. -Guardian - 2/23/06

Iran: Arvand Free Trade Zone goes on stream in Khuzestan province
According to a memorandum issued by the Khuzestan customs, commodities worth some USD 300 million will be imported into the province through the zone starting at the end of the Iranian current year -IRNA - 2/23/06

Human Rights First Releases First Comprehensive Report on Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody
Human Rights First's new report, "Command's Responsibility: Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan," provides the first comprehensive accounting of the U.S. government's handling of the nearly 100 cases of detainees who have died in U.S. custody since 2002. - 2/23/06

Iran leader faces Holocaust case
An Israeli lawyer, Ervin Shahar, says he has asked Germany to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with denying the Holocaust. -BBC - 2/23/06

Iran: Playing The Bargaining Game To The Full
Fariba Mavaddat of RFE/RL's Radio Farda turned for a Russian perspective on Iran's negotiating policy to Aleksei Arbatov, the co-chair of the nuclear nonproliferation program at the Carnegie Moscow Center and formerly a liberal deputy in the Russian parliament and chairman of the State Duma's Defense Committee. -RFE - 2/23/06

German bank to finance Siah-Bisheh dam, power plant in Iran
A German bank is going to offer 152 million euros worth of financing for Siah-Bisheh dam and power plant project in Mazandaran Province -Mehr - 2/23/06

China Sends Envoy to Iran to Discuss Nuclear Impasse
China's announcement that it is sending Vice Foreign Minister Li Guozheng to Tehran came Thursday after Beijing said there is still time to resolve the standoff between Iran and other nations. -VOA - 2/23/06

Are Uzbekistan And Iran Seeking Rapprochement?
Since gaining independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has been cautious about the possible religious influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and maintained a rather reserved policy toward Tehran. -RFE - 2/23/06

Special Tourism Security Measures being implemented in Iran
Deputy of Iran's Police Department announced implementing of special security measures for the domestic and foreign tourists. According to the special program of Tehran's Police Department, security measures will be provided in different cities according to the number of tourists to these cities. -CHN - 2/23/06

Were Russia-Iran Talks in Moscow Just About Uranium Enrichment?
Russian-Iranian nuclear consultations ended on 21 February in Moscow with both sides giving seemingly conflicting appraisals of their outcome and agreeing to meet again. -RFE - 2/23/06

Reconstruction of Bam Citadel Needs Time and Patience
Mike Corfield, a heritage science and conservation consultant from Britain, who was previously the Chief Scientist for English Heritage, came to Iran by the invitation of UNESCO office in Tehran to reconsider the situation of Bam Citadel and the reconstruction process after the earthquake. -CHN - 2/23/06

WWIII or Bust: Implications of a US Attack on Iran
Witnessing the Bush administration’s drive for an attack on Iran is like being a passenger in a car with a raving drunk at the wheel. Reports of impending doom surfaced a year ago, but now it’s official: under orders from Vice President Cheney’s office, the Pentagon has developed “last resort” aerial-assault plans using long-distance B2 bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles with both conventional and nuclear weapons. -Common Dreams - 2/23/06

Signs of Life In Iran's Reform Movement
A close look at the numbers of Iranians supporting reform makes it clear that change is still possible. -Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Alternet - 2/23/06

Iran, Jews and the Holocaust: The beneficent legacy of Persia remembered
Iran's history, like the history of many other nations, is not free of the blemish of anti-Semitism. But for every anti-Semitic blight, there are many more bright spots where Iranians have shown the wisdom to swim against the dark tide of rancor. -Abbas Milani, SFGate - 2/23/06

How Neo-Cons Sabotaged Iran's Help on al Qaeda
After the Sep. 11 attacks, U.S. officials responsible for preparing for war in Afghanistan needed Iran's help to unseat the Taliban and establish a stable government in Kabul. Iran had organised resistance by the "Northern Alliance" and had provided arms and funding, at a time when the United States had been unwilling to do so. -IPS - 2/23/06

Science and Arts Foundation: Empowering Youth In The Information Age
With the onset of 2006, we present to you a review of SAF's activities in 2005 along with highlights of programs, projects and achievements since its establishment in March 1999. -SAF - 2/22/06

Iran-China Oil Deal Reflects Geostrategic Realities
The Yadavaran oil field has crude oil reserves estimated at three billion barrels. That appears to be an irresistible statistic for China, whose oil-hungry economy is slated to grow another 9 percent this year. -RFE - 2/22/06

Iranian expats in Germany rally in support of Tehran's civilian nuclear
Iranian expatriates rallied in two southwestern German cities - Wiesbaden and Mainz - over the weekend to voice support for Iran's right to have a civilian nuclear program, the Iranian Consulate General in Frankfurt announced on Monday. -IRNA - 2/22/06

2006 World Cup may be cancelled, if bird flu pandemic hits Germany: official
The 2006 World Cup could be called off, if there is a bird flu pandemic in Germany, a senior German politician and a leading expert of the World Health Organization (WHO) were quoted as saying in the press on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/22/06

Iran offers Hamas financial aid
Iran has offered to help finance the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority governed by the Hamas militant group. -BBC - 2/22/06

Iran, Oil and Euros: The War Scenario
Here’s the scenario. On March 20 Iran opens a new “bourse” (exchange) on which countries all over the world can buy and sell oil and gas not only for dollars but also for euros. It also establishes a new oil “marker” (oil pricing standard) based on Iranian crude and denominated in euros, in open rivalry to the existing West Texas Intermediate, Norway Brent and UAE Dubai markers, all of which are calculated in US dollars. -Gwynne Dyer, Arab News - 2/22/06

Tajikistan, Iran, Afghanistan Sign Deal On Electric Power Line
Tajikistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have concluded a trilateral agreement on the construction of a power line to carry electricity to Kunduz and Herat in Afghanistan, and to Mashhad in Iran. -RFE - 2/22/06

Bush, Congress in Conflict Over US Ports Management Deal
Defying a veto threat from President Bush, Democrats and Republicans in Congress are vowing to block a U.S. government plan to turn over management of six key seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates. President Bush is emphatic in insisting he will reject any attempt by legislators to hold up the deal. -VOA - 2/22/06

Mideast: U.S. Secretary Tries To Solidify Support
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is embarking on a trip through the Middle East, hoping to enlist the support of regional governments for Washington's campaign to isolate Hamas and the Iranian leadership. -RFE - 2/22/06

New anti-war march plans unveiled
An anti-war march and rally is to be held in London as part of protests across the world to demand that US and UK troops pull out of Iraq. Protesters in London will demand the immediate withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. And they will urge America not to attack Iran. -BBC - 2/22/06

China Urges Iran to Suspend Uranium Enrichment Activities, Seek Compromise
China is urging Iran to stop all uranium enrichment activities while hope remains for a compromise arrangement with Russia that would meet Iran's peaceful nuclear energy needs. But Germany's foreign minister says the West cannot rule out sanctions against Iran if - as the West suspects - Iran is really after nuclear weapons. -VOA - 2/22/06

Would Someone Please Interfere in Our Elections?
President Bush's Middle East policy is without rhyme or reason.According to Bush and his neoconservatives, the only way to make America safe from terrorists is to force democracy upon the Middle East. Only ideologues completely ignorant of the Middle East could come to that conclusion. -Paul Craig Roberts, Counterpunch - 2/22/06

Iran criticizes Europe double standards on human rights issue
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that in his recent talks with representatives of the European Parliament, he criticized EU double standards on human rights issue. -IRNA - 2/22/06

Iranian American runs for Cngress in Dallas
Amir Omar, a first generation American of Iranian and Palestinian descent, is running for a seat in US Congress in District 30 of Texas. -NIAC - 2/22/06

Sorush delaying release of Farhat's Persian Gulf Symphony
"If the Sorush Institute continues delaying the release of the Persian Gulf Symphony, I will release it without lyrics through another company," composer Shahin Farhat said on Tuesday. -Mehr - 2/22/06

Iran Was on Edge; Now It's on Top
The Islamic government in neighboring Iran watched with trepidation in March 2003 when U.S.-led troops stormed Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime and start remaking the political map of the Mideast. -Los Angeles Times - 2/22/06

Iran: Theological scholar denies rumors, says Islam forbids use of nuclear weapons
Hojatoleslam Mohsen Gharavian, a scholar at Qom Seminary, on Monday rejected rumors appearing on some websites quoting him as saying that the use of nuclear weapons is allowed according to the Islamic tenets. -IRNA - 2/22/06

IAAB Develops First Leadership Camp for Iranian-American Students
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) announced this week its plans for an Iranian-American Leadership Camp, to be held at Thompson Island, Massachusetts the week of June 25 – June 30, 2006. - 2/22/06

Iran: Televison Controversy Reveals Domestic Political Struggle
A conflict between the executive branch and the state broadcasting agency over a popular television series demonstrates that Ahmadinejad's policies do not have unanimous approval -- not even among the groups in Iran known for their conservative viewpoints. -RFE - 2/22/06

7-Day Visa Issuance for Foreigners in Two Airports of Iran
In order to provide facilities for foreigners who wish to visit the southern provinces of Iran, Iranian cabinet ministers have agreed with issuing of 7-day visas in Bushehr and Asalouye airports. -CHN - 2/21/06

Iranian fatwa approves use of nuclear weapons
In yet another sign of Teheran's stiffening resolve on the nuclear issue, influential Muslim clerics have for the first time questioned the theocracy's traditional stance that Sharia law forbade the use of nuclear weapons. -Telegraph, UK - 2/21/06

The Legal Framework of Free Speech
What is the relationship between freedom and the law? From a high-level perspective, freedoms are divided into civil and public freedoms. Civil freedoms are those that are not constrained by the law. There are no limitations here and the citizen is entitled to get his rights anyway he wishes. -Abdol-Karim Lahiji, Rooz - 2/21/06

Two To Be Executed In Iran For Ahvaz Bombings
Two men have been sentenced to death in Iran for their role in a deadly double bomb attack carried out in January in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. -RFE - 2/21/06

Iranian Lecture Series at Georgetown University: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian history 1500-1900
The Iranian Cultural Society of Georgetown University, Washington, DC, will hold a most interesting lecture by Dr. Rudi Matthee, Professor of Middle East History at University of Delaware and recent author of "The Pursuit of Pleasure, drugs and stimulants in Iranian history, 1500-1900". - 2/21/06

Iranian Foreign Minister Urges End to Violent Protests Against Prophet Cartoons
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has called for an end to violent protests against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. -VOA - 2/21/06

Under the Gun
For three years, a Journal reporter in Baghdad tried to work and live normally -- as the war closed in. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 2/21/06

Millions View Holocaust Cartoons On Iranian Website
Iran's semiofficial Mehr News Agency says a website jointly organizing a competition of cartoons satirizing the Holocaust has received 14 million visitors during the past two weeks. -RFE - 2/21/06

Controversy Deepens Over Iraq Prewar Intelligence
One of the puzzling questions hanging over the Iraq war is: how did the intelligence turn out to be so wrong? Critics of the Iraq policy have charged that intelligence was manipulated by Bush administration officials to win public support for going to war. -VOA - 2/21/06

Iran: Moscow Talks Are 'Constructive'
Russian and Iranian officials have ended two days of talks in Moscow about a proposal to resolve Iran's nuclear standoff with the West. -VOA - 2/21/06

Iran: New Lobbying Effort Fails To Sway EU In Nuclear Standoff
Iran has launched a diplomatic offensive in what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to avoid action by the UN Security Council over its nuclear activities. -RFE - 2/21/06

Iran: Six giant petrochemical projects to be operational soon
Six giant petrochemical projects valued at six billion dollars are slated to come on stream by spring of 2006, deputy in charge of petrochemical projects at National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said here Monday. -Mehr - 2/21/06 Friendship, Charity and Education
Doostan Social Club is a UK-based club that was founded in December 2000 as a gathering of Iranian friends of various backgrounds, professions and interests. The club encourages its members to socialise, network and assist each other. The club also aims to promote education in the far reaches of Iran. - 2/20/06

An Iranian journalist may have made prison suicide attempt
Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about a journalist on the weekly Tamadone Hormozgan, Elham Afrotan, imprisoned since 23 January 2006, after some reports obtained by the organisation said she was in a coma after a suicide attempt. - 2/20/06

Iran: Why Return To Revolutionary Values Is Temporary
The clash between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear program has entered a new phase since Mahmud Ahmadinejad won a surprise victory in presidential elections in June 2005. -RFE - 2/20/06

Last Chance for Diplomacy?
After a toughening of postures by the Western powers, reflected in a vote against Iran a fortnight ago at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Moscow meeting can still work to avoid taking Iran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council. -IPS - 2/20/06

Restoration of Cyrus Tomb Resumed
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Achaemenid King who ruled over Persia from 550 to 530 BC, was surrounded again by scaffolds so that the process of restoring its stones may be resumed. -CHN - 2/20/06

Military Strike Against Iran Under Discussion
The United Nations Security Council is expected to take up the issue of Iran's nuclear program next month. The debate will focus on how to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. Some experts and officials are hinting at one option: a military strike against Iran. -VOA - 2/20/06

Iran: Budget Controversy Reflects Deputies' Local, National, And International Concerns
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is facing his second crisis in the Iranian parliament. His budget for the Iranian calendar year 1385 (March 2006-2007) is being criticized by both right- and left-wing deputies. -RFE - 2/20/06

Concern for Iranian journalist Elham Afroutan
Amnesty International is seeking urging clarification from the Iranian government regarding Iranian journalist Elham Afroutan who has been held incommunicado since 29 January 2006, amid unconfirmed reports that she may be in a coma or has died in custody. The organization said it was extremely concerned for her safety. - 2/18/06

Cartoon casts shadow over World Cup
A German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel, published a cartoon Feb. 10 showing four members of the Iranian football team that will compete in this summer's showcase lined up on the touchline with dynamite strapped to their chests. Next to them stand four nervous looking German troops, one with a soccer ball tucked under his arm. -Toronto Star - 2/18/06

Iranian Woman Faces Existential Angst & Mdash;Not A Lack Of Gasoline!
Iranian films of the past decade or so, particularly Abbas Kiarostami’s, exist in a lulling limbo-state between simple life reflections and metaphorical and allegorical undercurrents. -VUE Weekly, Canada - 2/18/06

A bid to foment democracy in Iran
With Poland's Solidarity movement of the 1980s as its model, the Bush administration wants to boost support for opposition groups inside Iran as a way to counter the actions of the Tehran government. -CSM - 2/18/06

Factional Fighting in Iran Complicates Nuclear Diplomacy
The crisis over Iran’s nuclear program is exacerbating divisions within the country’s political hierarchy. -Eurasianet - 2/18/06

Poland to Bar Iranian Team from Auschwitz
Polish officials say they will not admit a research team Iran reportedly plans to send to Auschwitz, the notorious World War II Nazi death camp. -VOA - 2/18/06

Iranian director withdraws film from Danish festival
Iranian director Jamil Rostami has withdrawn his film "Requiem of Snow" from the Buster-Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth, which is scheduled to be held in the Danish capital in September 2006. -Mehr - 2/18/06

A War on Iran
With dreams of remaking the Middle East, it just might be too much of a honey pot for Bush's hawkish neocons to resist. -Seattle Weekly - 2/18/06

Germany: Iran Has Crossed Nuclear 'Red Line'
The leaders of Germany and Britain have discussed ways to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted British Prime Minister Tony Blair for talks in Berlin Friday. -VOA - 2/18/06

The Mad is Not Out of the Question
Stopping the War on Iran, Before It Starts -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 2/18/06

Should the US fund Iranian TV and opposition groups?
Tell YOUR Congressperson how to vote on Secretary Rice's proposal! Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has requested that Congress allocate $75 million dollars to support Iranian dissident groups and to reach out to the people of Iran via TV and radio. -NIAC - 2/18/06

Iran director combines soccer with women's rights in Berlin festival film
Director Jafar Panahi's Offside, a comedy that uses soccer mania to highlight the struggle for women's rights in Iran, premiered Friday at the Berlin film festival - one of two Iranian competitors in a year that has seen tensions spiral between Tehran and the West. -AP - 2/18/06

Activists Call For Information On Iranian Journalist
The media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) today said it is concerned over the fate of a jailed Iranian journalist. -RFE - 2/17/06

US House Condemns Iran, Urges Sanctions Over Nuclear Issue
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution condemning Iran over its nuclear program, and calling for international sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. -VOA - 2/17/06

Iran: Chabahar Free Zone begins building international airport
The construction works aimed at building an international airport in Chabahar Free Trade Zone began on Thursday. The modern airport covering 1,400 hectares of land is slated to become operational within a period of three years. -Mehr - 2/17/06

A Perfect Geopolitical Storm Taking Shape
The ingredients: Iraq, Iran, Hamas, and blasphemous cartoons - 2/17/06

Concerns Mounting Over Fate of Iranian Jewry
With international tensions at a fever pitch over Iran's nuclear ambitions and the violent reaction in Tehran to the European cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad, concerns are rising about the fate of the Iranian Jewish community after its departing head took an unusual public swipe at the president of the Islamic Republic. -Forward - 2/17/06

A Policy to Topple the Mullahs
The good news is that the Bush administration has finally understood that talking about freedom is not enough. The United States must devote serious assets to helping pro-democracy forces inside Iran, if there is to be any hope of a long-term resolution to the nuclear crisis with Iran. -Kenneth R. Timmerman, FrontPageMagazine - 2/17/06

The nuclear complex: America, the bomb, and Osama bin Laden
The twin ambitions of American empire and radical Islamism could bring nuclear catastrophe to the world. A different ethical and political project is urgently needed, say the Pakistani scholars Pervez Hoodbhoy & Zia Mian. -Open Democracy - 2/17/06

Bush Plans Huge Propaganda Campaign in Iran
The Bush administration made an emergency request to Congress yesterday for a seven-fold increase in funding to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government, in a further sign of the worsening crisis between Iran and the west. -Guardian - 2/17/06

India seeking 'closer Iran ties'
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says India wants to strengthen its ties with Iran. Mr Singh told parliament that India's support for a resolution reporting Iran to the UN Security Council did not detract from its close relations. -BBC - 2/17/06

Radical cleric's influence grows in Iraq
Late Saturday night, on the eve of a crucial vote to choose Iraq's next prime minister, a senior Iraqi politician's cellphone rang. A supporter of the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr was on the line with a threat. -New York Times - 2/17/06

Iran renames Danish pastries
Iranians love Danish pastries, but now when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they have to ask for ``Roses of the Prophet Muhammad." -AP - 2/17/06

Cuban offers support to Iranian on nuclear issue
Cuba's parliament speaker on Thursday offered support to his visiting Iranian counterpart in an escalating international dispute over the Middle Eastern nation's use of nuclear power. -AP - 2/17/06

'Merkel=Hitler' say demonstrators in Tehran
Some fifty members of the Iranian students' movement DTV held a peaceful protest demonstration at the German embassy in Tehran against the cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed and against a cartoon of the Iranian national football team. -Expatica - 2/17/06

Iran calls for UK Iraq pull-out
Iran's foreign minister has called for the "immediate withdrawal" of UK troops from Basra, in southern Iraq. Manouchehr Mottaki claimed the presense of the British was "destabilising" security in the city. -BBC - 2/17/06

Tabriz 2 hours away from Europe as Turkish Airways flight kicks off
THY (Turkish Airways) commenced its Istanbul-Tabriz-Istanbul flight on February 15 reciprocating similar connection initiated by Iran Air from Tabriz several months ago -Mehr - 2/17/06

State Department Wants $75 Million To Promote Democracy in Iran
The State Department plans to request a $75 million supplemental appropriation during 2006 to support democracy promotion activities in Iran, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Congress February 15 - 2/17/06

Attacking Iran
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that there is a looming crisis brewing over Iran. The true “whys” and “whats” of the issue, however, are clouded to the American public due to our modern press and to the nature of the underlying stakes involved. -Ramin Davoodi - 2/17/06

Iran: New government fails to address human rights
Six months after Iran's new president came to power human rights violations remain widespread and the new government has failed to take any action to address the situation, Amnesty International revealed in a report published today. - 2/17/06

Iran: Qom Authorities Crack Down On Sufis
In what observers say is an unprecedented crackdown, authorities in the Iranian city of Qom have arrested over 1,000 followers of the mystical Sufi tradition of Islam. -RFE - 2/17/06

Teamsters Demand Release of Imprisoned Iranian Bus Drivers
Dozens of Teamsters participated in an International Day of Action at the Iranian Interest Section to demand the release of hundreds of imprisoned Iranian bus drivers. The drivers were arrested after police brutally cracked down on a planned January 28 strike. - 2/17/06

Who Will Blow the Whistle Before We Attack Iran?
Anyone who has been near a TV in recent weeks has heard the drumbeat for war on Iran. The best guess for timing is next month. Let’s see if we cannot do better this time than we did on Iraq. Patriotic truth tellers, we need you! -Ray McGovern, Common Dreams - 2/16/06

Deadly avian flu strain detected in wild birds in northwestern Iran
The killer strain of avian influenza known as bird flu has been detected in dead wild birds in northwestern Iran, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). -IRIN - 2/16/06

Petrodollars and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Understanding the Planned Assault on Iran
Iran has been in the gun-sights of George W. Bush and his entourage from the moment that he was parachuted into the presidency in November 2000 by his father’s Supreme Court. -Global Research - 2/16/06

Russia voices strong opposition to sanctions against Iran
Russian Foreign Minister voiced Wednesday his country's strong opposition to any possible sanctions against Iran. Sergei Lavrov who is in Austrian Capital for talks with the European Troika -France, Britain and Germany- said in a press conference that sanctions have never resolved any row. -IRNA - 2/16/06

3.6b cu. ft. of gas per day to be produced at North Pars
Mehdi Elahi, director for project planning and monitoring at Pars Oil and Gas Company said on Wednesday 3.6 billion cu. ft. of gas per day would be produced in three phases of the North Pars gas field. -Mehr - 2/16/06

Senators Ask Rice Tough Questions On Iraq, Iran, Hamas
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been harshly questioned by some members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on American policy toward Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinians. -RFE - 2/16/06

Iranian, Venezuelan parliaments call nuclear arms int'l threat
Iranian and Venezuelan Parliament Speakers in a joint communique issued in Caracas on Wednesday in which they have condemned the manufacturing, stockpiling, and proliferation of nuclear weapons, called such moves as threats against international peace and security. -IRNA - 2/16/06

Rice Says US Will Confront Aggressive Iranian Policies
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told senators Wednesday the United States will actively confront what she said are the aggressive policies of the Iranian government. At the same time, she called for sharply increased U.S. spending to try to promote political freedom in that country. -VOA - 2/16/06

1,000 arrested after police and Sufis clash in Iran
Iranian police have arrested around 1,000 people in the central seminary city of Qom after violent clashes over the closure of a house of worship used by mystical Sufi Muslims, city officials said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 2/16/06

Khatami: I hope Europe will not make a mistake about Iran
Former President Mohammad Khatami said on Wednesday he believes Iran should adopt a wise strategy in regard to its nuclear issue while insisting on its nuclear rights. "There's no doubt about the fact that the West has adopted a bullying attitude toward the Islamic Republic," he told the students news agency ISNA. -Mehr - 2/16/06

Swiss bank welcomes Iranian trade
A Swiss bank has said it is willing to take on Iranian clients, discarded by larger rivals because of concerns about security and other business risks. -BBC - 2/16/06

Iranian Foreign Minister visits Beirut
Islamic Republic of Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki arrived here for an official two-day visit on Wednesday night to hold talks with Lebanese political and religious officials. -IRNA - 2/16/06

Iran - Déjà Vu All Over Again
In case you missed it, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has restarted his country's Uranium enrichment program. No doubt, the Bush Administration is planning an attack conveniently timed to occur this fall, just before the mid-term elections. -Common Dreams - 2/16/06

Iran: Centrifuges And Political Spin?
On 7 February, Fatemeh Aman of RFE/RL's Radio Farda asked David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C. if he believed Iran's claim to have 50,000 centrifuges. -RFE - 2/16/06

Iran: Religion and Love
For Iran's young population, celebrating a solemn religious holiday while also gearing up for the excitement of Valentine's Day created an enthralling cultural dichotomy on the streets of Tehran last week. -PBS - 2/16/06

Caspian: Oil Reserves Will Last But Export Routes Urgently Needed
With global worries about the stability of Mideast oil supplies, industrial powers are increasingly exploring the opportunity of a safer supply in the Caspian Sea region. But export routes are urgently needed. This is one of the conclusions of the International Petroleum Week symposium in London that focuses on the sustainability of production in the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). -RFE - 2/16/06

Encyclopaedia Iranica May 2006 Gala in San Francisco
"The next fundraising gala for the Encyclopaedia Iranica will be held on May 13th, 2006 in San Francisco, California. I am pleased to announce that a group of prominent Iranian-American philanthropists of Northern California have joined together to undertake this grand event with Mrs. Maryam Rahimian serve as the Chair of the Fundraising Committee." Professor Yarshater said. - 2/16/06

US House of Representatives Approves Resolution on Hamas
The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing any new U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas revokes its call for the destruction of Israel. -VOA - 2/16/06

Islam vs. Democracy Is A Useless Debate
The Muslim uproar against the publication of offensive cartoons has elicited calls from respectable Western opinion to defend freedom of the press. Empathetic voices here have gone further and suggested that Muslims should concentrate on educating Christians and others about their culture, rather than retaliate. -Rostam Pourzal - 2/15/06

Iran's Foreign Minister to Visit Japan to Discuss Growing Nuclear Debate
Japan, hoping to play a mediation role in the debate over Iran's nuclear program, has invited the Iranian foreign minister to Tokyo at the end of this month. -VOA - 2/15/06

Role of Love in Human History
The Persian month of Bahman – when the Pahlavi regime fell and Islamic Republic was born as the result – has a very peculiar kind of nostalgia. It is different from the typical Persian nostalgia arising mainly from the thought of past glories and splendor of this country. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 2/15/06

Iran Confirms It Has Resumed Small-Scale Enrichment
The deputy secretary of Iran's Supreme National Council, Javad Vaidi, announced today the resumption of the small-scale enrichment of uranium at the country's main enrichment facility at Natanz. -RFE - 2/15/06

Bleak Iran film puts social pain before politics
As Iran occupies the world stage over its nuclear ambitions, a bleak new film deliberately turns the spotlight on the mundane reality of everyday relationships, unemployment and failure in the country. -Reuters - 2/15/06

Iran's artists wonder how far they can go
Rock stars are a brash, in-your-face breed, often charging their audiences with lyrics of defiance. But here, they are all that, and a bit scared, too. -New York Times - 2/15/06

France, Russia: Iran Should Stop Uranium Enrichment
Russia and France are calling on Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The two countries issued their statement Tuesday during a visit to Moscow by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. -VOA - 2/15/06

German Government Divided Over Military Action Against Iran
While Iran seems resolved to stick to its uranium enrichment program despite international protests, lawmakers on both sides of Germany's governing coalition are increasingly divided over how to react. -Deutsche Welle - 2/15/06

Why Iran's enrichment rattles the West
To begin enriching raw uranium into fissile material, as Iran now may have done, is to take a fateful step down the path of nuclear capability. -CSM - 2/15/06

Iran confirms bird flu outbreak
The first case of bird flu has been detected in Iran, officials there say, but it is unclear whether it is the deadly H5N1 strain. -BBC - 2/15/06

Iranian FM discusses Terhan-Yerevan ties with Armenian president
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, currently on a visit to Armenia, discussed latest bilateral and regional developments with Armenian President Robert Kocharian in Yerevan on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/15/06

Fmr. Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami Debates Outspoken Professor Norman Finkelstein on Israel, the Palestinians, and the Peace Process
What happens when a former Israeli Foreign Minister debates a scholar known as one of the world's foremost critics of Israeli policy? The answer is not what you may expect. -Democracy Now - 2/15/06

Official: Humans not infected by H5N1 bird flu in northern Iran
No cases of human infection by the H5N1 bird flu has been detected in Iran's northern province of Gilan where a number of wild migrant swans were found dead by the disease, said a health ministry official on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/15/06

Latin America's leftist regimes get cozy with Iran
Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia want stronger ties with Iran, but all face internal hurdles. -CSM - 2/15/06

Olmert Says Hamas, Iran Seek Israel's Destruction
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will not negotiate with the incoming Hamas leadership of the Palestinians as long as the group remains committed to Israel's destruction. -RFE - 2/15/06

Inside Iran
The fanatics in charge in Tehran have increased their hardline rhetoric in response to domestic as well as international pressure. This is opportunity as well as danger for the west, says Nasrin Alavi, author of "We Are Iran". -Open Democracy - 2/15/06

Iranian and Israeli break down the barriers
A friendship between two bloggers - an Israeli and an Iranian - is doing its part to combat the anti-Israel incitement and nuclear rumblings coming out of Teheran. -ISRAEL21c - 2/15/06

Iran's uranium enrichment at Natanz only for research: Official
Iran is carrying out uranium enrichment at its Natanz facility only at research level, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh, said in Tehran on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/15/06

Iran vs the United States - again
Washington's confrontational rhetoric and wishful thinking about "regime change" is fuelling the power of Tehran's own hardline rulers, says Fred Halliday. -Open Democracy - 2/15/06

Demystify Iran
When a work of documentary ambitions tries to prove a point, there is good reason for skepticism. In Mystic Iran (, a recent PBS documentary, Ms. Ariana Farshad returns to Iran after over two decades of living abroad. -Third Script - 2/15/06

Iran: Consequences of a War
This briefing paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which would be extensive. -Paul Rogers, Oxford Research Group - 2/14/06

Iran demands apology from German daily for printing insulting football cartoon
The Iranian Embassy in Berlin on Monday has demanded a full apology from a Berlin-based newspaper for depicting Iranian national football team players in an insulting cartoon. -IRNA - 2/14/06

Annan And Bush Discuss Mideast, Sudan Crisis
Annan said Iran must change its public stance before the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, meets next month to decide whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. -RFE - 2/14/06

Photo: Iranian peasant and his wolf
In an unprecedented event, a young Iranian peasant, Habib Mirzaee, lives with a wild wolf at his house in 'Alleh-Hashem' village near the northwestern city of Khalkhal in Ardebil province. -IRNA - 2/14/06

Sanction the IAEA Board, Not Iran
You probably heard that – as a result of extreme pressure brought by the Bush-Cheney administration – a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors was convened last week to discuss what to do about the "gravest" threat to develop to "our" national security since the end of the Cold War. -Gordon Prather, - 2/14/06

Subaru plans to export 2,000 sedans to Iran
Iran's authorized dealership of the Japanese auto maker Subaru is planning to import about 2,000 of its Legacy models into Iran. -Mehr - 2/14/06

Iran: Is Russia's Offer Just A Diplomatic Device?
Iranian and Russian diplomats were supposed to meet on 16 February to discuss Russia's offer to enrich uranium for Iran, a move that would allay fears that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has now delayed that meeting, but Russia's offer remains on the table. -RFE - 2/14/06

Boom town
The fastest-growing city on earth, Dubai is spending mind-boggling sums on construction and is about to swallow up P&O in its bid to be a global maritime power. Given the scale of its ambition, could it become the most important place on the planet? -Guardian - 2/14/06

Australian in Iran cartoon 'hoax'
One of Australia's top cartoonists has said his drawings were illegally entered in a cartoon competition in an Iranian newspaper about the Holocaust. -BBC - 2/14/06

Basra cuts off relations with British
Basra officials have suspended relations with the British following the latest claims of abuse of Iraqis by UK troops, with two purported victims coming forward to demand compensation from London. -Guardian - 2/14/06

Iran confirms enrichment resumed
A senior nuclear negotiator has confirmed Iran's resumption of small-scale uranium enrichment work, saying it began at Natanz last week. -BBC - 2/14/06

As Biotech Crops Spread, E.U. Is Found to Stand in the Way
About one-third of all agricultural land in America is now planted with genetically engineered crops -- about fifty million hectares. Soybeans are the biggest crop. Others include corn and cotton. Millions of hectares are also planted in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada and China. -VOA - 2/14/06

Iran tells BBC to change its "anti-Iran" stance
Iran said on Monday it would continue to block the BBC's Persian-language Web site until Britain's public service broadcaster changed its "anti-Iranian tendency" and treatment of Islamic issues. -Reuters - 2/14/06

Iranian Intelligence Minister says perpetrators of Ahvaz bombings arrested
Intelligence Minister Qolam-Hossein Mohseni Ejeii announced on Monday that all the perpetrators behind the bombings in the southern city of Ahvaz have been arrested. -Mehr - 2/14/06

An Iranian top Commander: We will Never Stand Down
Islamic Revolution Corps Guard Commander, Brigadier General Seyyed Yahya Rahim Safavi, called judgments on Iran's nuclear program not only political but as an excuse to curtain recent U.S and Israeli scandals and defeats in the region. -ISNA - 2/14/06

U.S. Believes Diplomacy Can Address Iranian Nuclear Threat, Rice Says
The United States believes the international community is united in its determination to use diplomatic means to prevent Iran's development of technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in two television news interviews February 12. - 2/14/06

Iran can progress despite enemies, president says
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to USA TODAY's Barbara Slavin in an hour-long interview Saturday that touched on U.S.-Iranian relations, the Holocaust and Iran's nuclear aspirations. - 2/14/06

Fear of torture: Iranian journalists arrested over satirical article
Elham Afroutan and up to six other journalists working for the provincial weekly newspaper Tammadon-e Hormozgan (Hormozgan's Civilization) were arrested on 29 January following the publication of a satirical article. -Amnesty International - 2/14/06

Akbar Ganji among Nominees for the Martin Ennals Award 2006
Akbar Ganji is in prison for having expressed publicly his opinion for democratic reforms and having denounced state crimes. He has been tortured and ill-treated. Since 2000 he has been charged with "undermining national security and propaganda against institutions of the Islamic State". His supporters fear for his life. - 2/14/06

Iranian Jewish Leader Criticizes President For Holocaust Denial
The head of Iran's Jewish community, Haroun Yashayaei, has sent a letter complaining to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad over his Holocaust denial comments. Yashayaei said the remarks have shocked the international community and struck fear within Iran's small Jewish community. -RFE - 2/14/06

Out-hawking Bush on Iran
Saber-rattling Evan Bayh has joined Hillary Clinton in running to Bush's right on Iran. Will this tough stance pay off in 2008 -- or backfire? -Salon - 2/14/06

Iran: The Next War
Has Tony Blair, our minuscule Caesar, finally crossed his Rubicon? Having subverted the laws of the civilized world and brought carnage to a defenseless people and bloodshed to his own, having lied and lied and used the death of a hundredth British soldier in Iraq to indulge his profane self-pity, is he about to collude in one more crime before he goes? -John Pilger, - 2/13/06

IEEE's Iran Section Gets Busy Once Again
A new year brings the promise of a new beginning. That certainly is true this year for the IEEE Iran Section, which is working to rebuild its membership after the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) ruled in May 2005 that the IEEE can recognize the section as one of its official units. -IEEE - 2/13/06

Iran: Nuclear Talks With Russia Postponed
Iran has postponed talks on a Russian offer to enrich Iran's uranium in Russia. The decision comes a day after Iran's president warned Tehran could withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. -RFE - 2/13/06

Government Spokesman: Iran will not wait for IAEA's next session
Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said on Monday that Iran will not wait for the next session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors before proceeding in its nuclear program. -IRNA - 2/13/06

Iraqi prime minister tied to anti-U.S. party
A bitter internal struggle among Shiites to decide on a new prime minister has exposed the growing power of anti-American fundamentalists within the new Iraqi Parliament. -IHT - 2/13/06

Quake jolts Sepidan in Iran's southern province of Fars
An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale jolted the vicinity of Sepidan city in Fars province in the wee hours on Monday. - 2/13/06

Where the United States imprisons journalists
Today Reporters Without Borders called on the US government to free two journalists it said were being unjustly held at a US prison in Iraq, and at the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba. - 2/13/06

Prime Minister Says Denmark a Scapegoat for Muslim Frustrations
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen says his country has moved diplomats out of three Muslim countries for security, not diplomatic, reasons. -VOA - 2/13/06

Yellow Cake and Green Salt: Tale of Two Countries
Long, long ago, Shahrzad 'ghesse goo' told stories - for 1001 Nights she spun tales to stay alive. Long, long passed. And so today, in Washington neo-cons are spinning tales to take lives. And the stories go like this: Yellow Cake to attack and kill Iraqis, Green Salt to attack and kill Iranians... -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 2/13/06

For Americans, It Can Pay to Play in Iran's Court
Making himself as inconspicuous as a 7-foot-2 black man can be in Iran, Garth Joseph sidled up to the store counter. His air was at once playful and furtive. "Give me that good stuff," he whispered. -Washington Post - 2/13/06

Rice Says Cooperation Needed to Solve Iran Nuke Problem
Secretary of State Rice says if the international community stands together, the Iran nuclear problem can be resolved. Speaking on the CBS television program Face the Nation, she cited the unity shown by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in preparation for a full council meeting next month. -VOA - 2/13/06

Conference: Discourses of Memory In Iranian Languages
This international conference, the first to focus on this field, brings together specialists working on aspects of memory, oral history and oral tradition in Iranian languages, whose disciplines include anthropology, history, literature, psychology, and religious studies. - 2/13/06

Book: The Last Shah of Iran - By Houchang Nahavandi
A philosopher of the ancient world once wrote that "political revolution is the best part of bad literature," but Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, bore an entire nation towards hopes and works, which would have inspired Persia's finest poets, and honoured Darius and Cyrus-the-Great, forever. - 2/13/06

US Prepares Military Blitz Against Iran's Nuclear Sites
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb. -Sunday Telegraph/UK - 2/13/06

The New Brinksmanship: Iran's Nuclear Threat
Iran's attempts to restart its nuclear program in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency is a game of nuclear chicken, says Joseph Cirincione, the director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. -NPR - 2/13/06

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Sometimes a Weapon in the Hands of a Fool
Remember Salman Rushdie’s best-selling book, “Satanic Verses”, which caused international controversies two decades ago? The book made this Indian/British fiction writer of little renown an overnight celebrity in the West, and a target of criticism in the Islamic World. -Kam Zarrabi - 2/13/06

Why striking bus drivers in Tehran are the real defenders of Muslim rights
For three weeks, there have been demonstrations across the planet about a great injustice done to Muslims... Since you ask, I am not talking about the global menace of Scandinavian cartoonists that has so terrified our fearless free press, but mass arrests in Iran. -Guardian - 2/12/06

Graves with Ascent Designs Discovered near Salasel Fortress
Archeological boring pits in the southern shell of Salasel Fortress in the city of Shustar in Khuzestan province resulted in the discovery of an Islamic graveyard belonging to the middle Islamic period (1050-1450 AH). -CHN - 2/12/06

Israel Criticizes Russian Invitation to Hamas
Israel has sharply criticized Russia's decision to open a dialogue with the Islamic militant group Hamas, following its victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections last month. Israel is seeking an international boycott of Hamas. -VOA - 2/12/06

'New populists' vs. the West
Can the leaders of Iran and Venezuela forge a political counterweight to US power? -CSM - 2/12/06

Students stage protest gathering outside French embassy in Tehran
A group of Iranian students demonstrated outside French embassy in Tehran on Sunday in protest at cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) published in some European dailies. - 2/12/06

Shiites Nominate Jafari to New Four-Year Term
The leading coalition of Shiite Muslim parties in Iraq nominated the country's incumbent prime minister, Ibrahim Jafari, to a new four-year term in an internal election decided by a single vote, the group's leaders announced at a news conference Sunday afternoon. -Washington Post - 2/12/06

Iran Jews express Holocaust shock
The chairman of Iran's Jewish Council has strongly criticised the country's hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for saying the Holocaust was a myth. -BBC - 2/12/06

Shiraz to Be Registered in UNESCO's City of Literature
UNESCO's national commission has chosen the city of Shiraz in Iran's Fars Province to be registered in the list of UNESCO's City of Literature. UNESCO's Creative Cities aims at creating a network of cities which are creative in the fields of literature, cinema, music, folk arts, design, media art, and gastronomy. -CHN - 2/12/06

Is Iranian power the Arab world's worst nightmare?
Last year, when the prospect of Iran's United Nations Security Council referral was still an over-the-horizon threat, two former high-ranking Iranian and American diplomats got together to cross swords over their interpretations of Gulf security. -Iason Athanasiadis, Daily Star - 2/11/06

All Eyes on Khuzestan: A U.S. War Plan?
John Pilger notes that, while the Pentagon cannot seriously plan to occupy Iran, it may be that "it has in its sights a strip of land that runs along the border with Iraq. This is Khuzestan, home to 90 per cent of Iran's oil. 'The first step taken by an invading force,' reported Beirut's Daily Star, 'would be to occupy Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province, securing the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and cutting off the Iranian military's oil supply.' -Counterpunch - 2/11/06

Polls: Anti-Iran Propaganda Working
The escalating crisis over Iran's nuclear program appears to have persuaded the U.S. public that Tehran now poses a greater threat to the United States than any other country, or even al-Qaeda, according to recent surveys. -Jime Lobe, - 2/11/06

Russia Confirms Missile-Systems Deal With Iran
Russia confirmed on 9 February that it has signed a deal to sell Iran air-defense missile systems. Officials in Moscow say the systems are meant to be used exclusively for defense purposes and that they are not negotiating any further weapons deals with Iran. -RFE - 2/11/06

Smoking Laptop
Since February, 2003, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei and his inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency have been conducting intrusive investigations into Iran’s Safeguarded nuclear programs. -Gordon Prather, - 2/11/06

Iran's ex-leader sees new Islam
The former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, has told a conference that the Muslim world is ready for a major transformation. Mr Khatami blamed the West for fuelling Islamic radicalism. -BBC - 2/11/06

Armenian, Azerbaijani Presidents End Karabakh Talks
The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Robert Kocharian and Ilham Aliyev, today ended talks aimed at ending the 18-year-old territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. -RFE - 2/11/06

Denmark Pulls Envoys From Syria, Iran
Denmark has temporarily withdrawn its ambassadors from Syria, Iran and Indonesia because their safety was at risk in the wake of a Danish newspaper's publication of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. -AP - 2/11/06

Khatami: Those who have insulted Holy Prophet must apologize
Iran's former president and Head of International Institute for Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations Mohammad Khatami said insulting others is not compatible with democracy and those who have insulted Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) must apologize for their shameful act. -IRNA - 2/11/06

Iran 'could quit nuclear treaty'
Iran could abandon the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if forced to limit nuclear activities, its hardline president says. -BBC - 2/11/06

Ashura Commemorated throughout the World
This year, the Ashura festival is being held differently in Iran compared to the previous years. Every street in the capital city of Tehran and other Iranian cities narrates the tragedy of Ashura through images, flags, and drama plays called Ta'ziehs. -CHN - 2/11/06

Iran -- The Media Fall Into Line
Despite even this, despite everything that has happened, Western journalists are once again falling obediently into line as the British and American governments begin the long, arduous process of demonizing another oil-rich target. -Dissident Voice - 2/10/06

No Military Options
The same neoconservative pundits who campaigned for the invasion of Iraq are now beating the drums on Iran. Urging us this week to keep military options open, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said Iran’s “nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return.” -Joseph Cirincione, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - 2/10/06

Film Highlights Human Rights Abuse in Iran
A recent documentary film focuses on the lack of human rights in Iran. "A Few Simple Shots - a Documentary on Human Rights Violations in Iran" was produced by independent Iranian filmmaker, Joseph Akrami. -VOA - 2/10/06

Former Iranian nuclear chief warns of Iran's isolation
Former Iranian nuclear chief Hasan Rowhani has warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Iran's international isolation due to the ongoing nuclear dispute, the news agency ISNA reported Thursday. -Web India - 2/10/06

Katrina inspires Iranian director to stage "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Discrimination against racial minorities in housing and the slowness in delivering relief after the destructive Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and other parts of the U.S. South have inspired Iranian director Behruz Gharibpur to make plans to stage "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in Tehran in the upcoming year. -Mehr - 2/10/06

Annan Urges Iran to Suspend Enrichment Program, Resume Negotiations
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is urging Iran to suspend its nuclear activity and allow talks with Russia to move forward. -VOA - 2/10/06

Danish Newspaper At Heart of Controversy Rejected Drawings Lampooning Jesus Christ
JYTTE KLAUSEN: The government has been deeply engaged in a project of Danish moral restoration. The definition of—shop definition of Danish values, which they say are Christian values. And the Danish People’s Party, members of the Danish People’s Party, two of them are in fact pastors in the Lutheran church, have repeatedly stood up in parliament and said that Muslims are a cancer on Danish society. -Democracy Now - 2/10/06

Major Iranian cleric calls on cartoon protesters not to attack embassies
Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami called on the cartoon protesters not to attack embassies. "The religious zealots are demanded not to attack embassies as a sign of protest and anger," said Khatami in an address to large groups of worshipers attending this week's Friday prayers congregation at Tehran University campus. -IRNA - 2/10/06

Politics Takes Front Seat At Berlin Film Festival
Films with serious social and political themes dominate the offerings at this year's Berlin film festival. There are various theories as to why that is, but most observers agree that the trend away from "popcorn blockbusters" looks set to continue. -RFE - 2/10/06

Call for a renewed mobilization effort to obtain the release of American journalist Jill Carroll
Reporters Without Borders called once again for the release of journalist Jill Carroll following the airing of a new videotape on Thursday, February 9, by a Kuwaitian TV channel. - 2/10/06

Iranians face stringent background checks for World Cup
Iranians seeking visas for Germany ahead of this summer's football World Cup could face heightened background checks and some might be barred from entering the country, German politicians warned yesterday. -Financial Times - 2/10/06

Cartoon row editor sent on leave
Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, got the order after saying he might print Iranian cartoons of the Holocaust. -BBC - 2/10/06

Iran may need force, warns Hurd
Former Foreign Secretary Lord Hurd has said Britain cannot "realistically" rule out using military force against Iran over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 2/10/06

Europe in diplomatic drive to repair cartoons damage
Religious and political leaders stepped up efforts to defuse the growing tensions between Muslims and Christians, as demonstrations continued across the Islamic world against the cartoons of Muhammad. -TIMES Online - 2/10/06

Evil deeds in Iran? British are suspects No. 1
The idea that Britain is behind much of what goes wrong in Iran is not just another conspiracy theory, but rather a prism through which many domestic events are often viewed. Indeed, America - the Great Satan itself - is often portrayed as merely a hapless, muscle-bound child manipulated by smarter, craftier, more deceitful forces in London. -IHT - 2/10/06

We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs
Nasrin Alavi’s book, "We Are Iran: the Persian Blogs" presents a clear picture of the dissent of youth in Iran. In this expressive chronicle Iranian bloggers denounce their government, critique American films and discuss politics. -Toward Freedom - 2/10/06

Iranian exporters fear sanctions
If sanctions were applied over Iran's nuclear programme it is possible Iran's non oil exports will be affected. Iran's exporters have been there before. -BBC - 2/10/06

February 15: Day of Action for Imprisoned Iranian Bus Drivers
The AFL-CIO, the Solidarity Center, and the DC Metro Labor Council will join with other labor and human rights organizations around the world in a solidarity demonstration with striking bus drivers in Iran on February 15th, International Day of Action on Iran. - 2/10/06

Over 200 NGOs and parliamentarians appeal for peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue
Non-governmental organizations that have signed the appeal include International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Greenpeace, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF),the Association of World Citizens, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and Abolition-2000, a network of over 2000 NGO's calling for a worldwide ban on nuclear weapons. -IRNA - 2/10/06

Analysis: Iran's Government Spins Nuclear Crisis As Elites Question Tehran's Efforts
It is a good time for the Iranian government to appeal to nationalist sentiments. The country is marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, devout Shi'ite Muslims are commemorating Ashura, and there is an ongoing furor over the Danish newspaper publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. But Tehran is reluctant to leave anything to chance. -Bill Samii, RFE - 2/10/06

Parallels Between Iran and Pre-War Iraq
Iran is not Iraq, and the year 2006 is not the same as year 2003 for George Bush; but one cannot stop wondering about the uncanny similarities between Iraq at the verge of war, and the present state of affairs in Iran. Parallels are abound -Rasool Nafisi, Washington DC - 2/9/06

Rice Accuses Syria, Iran of Inflaming Muslim Sentiments Over Cartoons
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Syria and Iran have deliberately inflamed Muslim passions over cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad that have sparked massive protests. Condoleezza Rice spoke in Washington at a joint news conference with Israel's foreign minister. -VOA - 2/9/06

Russian MP Says US To Attack Iran Late March
A top Russian parliamentary leader has told Ekho Moskvy radio station that an attack on Iran is inevitable and that it will occur on March 28th. The leader of the Liberal Democrats Vladimir Zhirinovsky also believes that the Muslim riots were orchestrated by the US to garner European backing for the military strike. -Prison Planet - 2/9/06

Bush, King Abdullah Urge End of Violent Protests Over Cartoons
President George Bush is calling for an end to violent protests by Muslims who have been enraged by cartoons that depict the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. -VOA - 2/9/06

Thanks, Iran, for the reminder
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has done more to ensure that the green revolution moves forward than a dozen presidential speeches or a score of low-carbon targets. -IHT - 2/9/06

India committed to Iran pipeline: Deora
Petroleum minister Murli Deora on Wednesday said that India would continue to pursue dialogue on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Putting to rest to apprehensions that India was having second thoughts on the pipeline, after it voted against Iran at International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr Deora said India stays committed to the pipeline and that the "deal is still on." -Asian Age - 2/9/06

Democracy Not an Export Item
In a new film, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, comedian Albert Brooks is dispatched to South Asia by humorless Bush administration officials to look for, well, comedy in the Muslim world. - 2/9/06

12 killed in blasts in Muharram procession in Pakistan
At least 12 people were killed and several others injured in a series of bomb blasts during a Muharram procession in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) on Thursday, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said. -BBC - 2/9/06

State Department Sees Exodus of Weapons Experts
State Department officials appointed by President Bush have sidelined key career weapons experts and replaced them with less experienced political operatives who share the White House and Pentagon's distrust of international negotiations and treaties. -Knight Ridder - 2/9/06

Afghanistan: Are Some Manipulating Rage Over Cartoons To Advance Their Own Agenda?
At least 11 people have been killed across Afghanistan during three days of violent demonstrations over the publication of newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. -RFE - 2/9/06

The Adulation of Ignorance
It is extraordinary that after admitting to erroneously starting a war, Bush wants to do it all over again – this time against a more formidable foe, Iran. - 2/9/06

There Is No Justification for Violence in Response to Offensive Cartoons
The Muslim world's anger at the European newspapers that have published offensive caricatures of Prophet Mohammed is understandable. This anger, however, does not justify the violent attacks on European diplomatic missions that we have witnessed in recent days. -Nader Habibi - 2/9/06

Iran: Cartoon protests in front of UK embassy in Tehran
More than 300 people protesting insult to the Prophet Mohammad in some European press gathered on Wednesday in front of British embassy in Tehran. -IRNA - 2/9/06

Iran: Self-Immolation Of Kurdish Women Brings Concern
The Kurdistan Human Rights Organization is expressing concern over the self-immolation of Kurdish women in Iran's Western Azerbaijan Province. The organization has published the name of more than 150 Kurdish women who have committed suicide in the past nine months, the majority of them by setting themselves on fire. -RFE - 2/9/06

International Community Faces Decision Over Iran's Nuclear Program
The International Atomic Energy Agency has voted to refer Iran's nuclear file to the United Nations Security Council. In this report from Washington, VOA Senior Correspondent André de Nesnera looks at the next steps facing the international community and discusses one option: a military strike against Iran. - 2/8/06

The Discreet Iranian sidekick: Philippe Khorsand comic Portrayals seduces French
Philippe Khorsand is certainly a discreet yet talented presence on the French TV arena for the past 30 years. Born to a French mother and Persian Father, his classic training has allowed him to play in some of the great French repertoires as varied as Molière or Feydeau. -Darius Kadivar - 2/8/06

Danish Businesses Count The Cost Of Cartoon Dispute
Danish businesses see years of work destroyed as the boycott of Danish products spreads across the Muslim world. -RFE - 2/8/06

Iraq calls for strengthening of ties with Tehran
Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Saad al-Hayani called for more coordination between Iranian and Iraqi foreign ministers to bolster mutual cooperation. -IRNA - 2/8/06

Iran: Fear of UN Sanctions May Prompt Nuclear Policy Change
This new orientation by Iran, according to insiders, appears to be brought about through the maneuverings of one man: former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key rival of current President Mahmood Ahmadinejad. -Eurasianet - 2/8/06

Will Iran dispute push oil to $130?
While the U.S. imports no Iranian crude, worries about Tehran's nuclear program are boosting prices. It could get a lot worse if the spigot is shut off. -CNN - 2/8/06

Iraq's Oil Sector Faces Tough Times
A new scandal foregrounds the problem of corruption in the Iraqi industry -- but corruption is but one of the industry's many problems. -RFE - 2/8/06

Partners in War: The Hillary and George Show
There aren't many elected officials in Washington who want to throw the gantlet down on Iran more than Hillary Clinton. The New York Senator believes the president has been too soft on the militant Islamic country, claiming that Bush has played down the threat of a nuclear-armed Tehran. -Counterpunch - 2/8/06

Poll: Iran a Growing Danger, Bush Gaining on Spy Issue
Public concern over Iran's nuclear program has risen dramatically in the past few months. Today, 27% of Americans cite Iran as the country that represents the greatest danger to the United States. In October, just 9% pointed to Iran as the biggest danger to the U.S., while there was far more concern over Iraq, China and North Korea. -Pew Research Center - 2/8/06

Sa'adi's Viewpoints to be Published in Britain
One World Publication, a private publication in Oxford University, is going to publish a book entitled "Sa'di: The Poet of Loving and Living" on first of March 2007 in English language. -CHN - 2/8/06

Iranian-Born Composer To Highlight Allentown Symphony's Exploration Of "Life's Journeys"
Songs of Eternity by Iranian-born, American composer Behzad Ranjbaran will highlight the February 11 and 12 concert by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. - 2/8/06

CND peace campaigner says West tactics on Iran 'counter-prod uctive'
Veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent says that the nuclear power states should first put their own houses in order regarding their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rather than driving Iran 'into a corner'. - 2/8/06

Iran's Salt Desert Explored after 100 Years
A five-member group from Southern Khorassan's Ecosystem Network with three camels and two camel-drivers explored the Khor-Tabas Route in Salt Desert near Qom after a hundred years since Son Hedin, a Swedish explorer, walked through this desert. -CHN - 2/8/06

Strong Leads and Dead Ends in Nuclear Case Against Iran
Iranian engineers have completed sophisticated drawings of a deep subterranean shaft, according to officials who have examined classified documents in the hands of U.S. intelligence for more than 20 months. -Washington Post - 2/8/06

Iran to assemble Samand cars in Belarus: Iran Khodro official
Iran Khodro Industrial Group Managing Director Manuchehr Mantaqi and his counterpart at the Belarussian Younison Company signed on Monday an agreement to assemble Samand cars in Belarus. -IRNA - 2/7/06

The Persian bomb: forbidden by all
Apparently, China maintains a circumspect and responsible position on the Iranian nuclear issue even at the price of serious harm to its relationship with Iran. It is reasonable for China to keep a distance from the position of other big powers, but this does not mean China will insist on a different position in the future. -bitterlemons - 2/7/06

EU criticizes Iran's trade boycott on Denmark
European Commission criticized Tuesday trade boycotts on Denmark for publishing the offensive cartoons saying it is not the appropriate way to deal with the issue. -IRNA - 2/7/06

Those Danish Cartoons
Don't Be Fooled This Isn't an Issue of Islam versus Secularism -Robert Fisk, Counterpunch - 2/7/06

Shirin Neshat: Ambiguity of Boundaries in Islam
In her work the photographer, film and video artist Shirin Neshat concentrates on the ambiguity of boundaries in Islam – boundaries between men and women, the sacred and profane, and reality and magic. - - 2/7/06

A Letter to Neocons
Dear Neocons, It is show time over Iran. You are in a bind of your own making and, boy, am I glad to see that! -Baltimore Chronicle - 2/7/06

IRAN: Concern about possible coup in Syria
The Iranian Republican Guard has reportedly been put on alert to forestall a coup in ally Syria by military figures loyal to former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam, currently in exile in France. -AKI - 2/7/06

Tensions rise in Denmark-Iran row
Denmark says it holds Iran responsible after its Tehran embassy was attacked by hundreds of people protesting about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. -BBC - 2/7/06

Iranian paper to run Holocaust cartoons
Muslim protesters infuriated by cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad raised the diplomatic stakes last night as Iran's best-selling newspaper announced it would retaliate by running images satirising the Holocaust. -Guardian - 2/7/06

Iran's nuclear challenge
It goes without saying that a pre-emptive strike against Iran's uranium enrichment facilities by the US, Israel, or both acting together, similar to the Israeli attack in the early 1980s against Iraq's Osiraq nuclear project, would be a dangerous decision with unpredictable consequences. -Ramin Jahanbegloo, - 2/7/06

U.S. International Broadcasting Budget Targets War On Terror
For fiscal year 2007, the budget proposal calls for a 13% increase for Middle East Broadcasting Networks and a 5.3% increase for Voice of America. -BBG - 2/7/06

Iran-India pipeline uncertain
India's decision to vote to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council puts into doubt the future of a gas pipeline the two countries were looking to build through Pakistan. -UPI - 2/7/06

Tallahassee Community College Announces Largest Gift in School's History from Ghazvini family
Tallahassee Community College (TCC) announced that it has received a $2 million gift, the largest, non-corporate individual gift in the college's history. Contributed by the Ghazvini family, this gift will enable TCC to enhance its soon-to-be-built Center for Health Education into a state-of-the-art training facility. - 2/7/06

US Grapples With Arab Elections that Produce Islamist Victories
In his latest State of the Union address, President Bush urged the Arab World to embrace democracy and free elections. The recent Egyptian, Iraqi and Palestinian elections show that democracy in the Arab World can unleash political forces that are not friendly to the United States. -VOA - 2/7/06

Gravest Threat – Not
John Negroponte, our first Director of National Intelligence, gave his first threat assessment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week. -Gordon Prather, - 2/7/06

US Senator Urges UN Sanctions on Iran over Nuclear Issue
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has called on the U.N. Security Council to impose tough sanctions on Iran if it fails to comply with arms agreements and Council resolutions. Senator Richard Lugar made comments in a speech to Council ambassadors at U.N. headquarters in New York. -VOA - 2/7/06

Worries Over Iran's Nuclear Program Stir Munich Security Conference
The international security conference that ended in Munich on 5 February was billed as a chance to discuss the future of the NATO alliance. But news events at times seemed to overtake the proceedings and the focus shifted rapidly to Iran's controversial nuclear program. -RFE - 2/7/06

Amnesty International: Iranian Human Rights Defender at risk
Abdolfattah Soltani, a lawyer, has been detained without formal charge in Tehran's Evin prison since 30 July 2005. He is said to be detained in connection with disclosing information in a nuclear espionage case in which he is acting as defense counsel. - 2/7/06

Hawks have warplanes ready if the nuclear diplomacy fails
IT IS the option of last resort with consequences too hideous to contemplate. And yet, with diplomacy nearly exhausted, the use of military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme is being actively considered by those grappling with one of the world’s most pressing security problems. -TIMES Online - 2/7/06

Fitch (UK) Changes Iran's Outlook To Negative
"The Negative Outlook balances the improvement in many of Iran's external indicators, due to current high oil prices, against a deterioration in political risk manifest both in weaker macroeconomic policy settings and the escalation of the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, which heightens the risk of damaging sanctions being imposed," says Richard Fox, Head of Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings at Fitch (UK). - 2/7/06

The Iran Crisis: 'Diplomacy' as a Launch Pad for Missiles
The current flurry of Western diplomacy will probably turn out to be groundwork for launching missiles at Iran. Air attacks on targets in Iran are very likely. Yet many antiwar Americans seem eager to believe that won't happen. -Norman Solomon, - 2/7/06

Angela Merkel's Bad Analogy
Isn’t it ironic that the leader of the country from which the Nazis originated is using the term “Nazi”, and all the horribly negative connotations associated with that word, to describe the so-called “threat” from Iran, the country whose people at one point freed the Jews from bondage and helped them return to their home land? -P.S. Razi - 2/6/06

Government spokesman: Iran to stay with NPT
Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham on Monday stressed the peaceful and transparent nature of Iran's nuclear activities and said Tehran does not intend to leave the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). -IRNA - 2/6/06

LEBANON: UNIFIL mandate extended in south
Amid rising tension along the southern border with Israel last week, the UN Security Council announced a six-month extension of its peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and called on Beirut to exert more control over the south. -IRIN - 2/6/06

The gullibility that led us into the last war could yet bring us a new conflict
Our leaders were never trustworthy, yet many people were only too willing to believe them - and they may do so again -Guardian - 2/6/06

India Marxists denounce Iran vote
Key Communist allies of India's ruling coalition have denounced the government for voting against Iran at a meeting of the UN's nuclear agency, the IAEA. -BBC - 2/6/06

Palestine: Who Will Finance A Hamas-Led Government?
With Hamas refusing to renounce violence and recognize the state of Israel, the Palestinian Authority will find it hard to gain funds from traditional donors. -RFE - 2/6/06

Iran calls for OIC emergency session to discuss Islamophobia in West
Iran on Monday called on foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to hold an emergency session to discuss Islamophobia in West. -IRNA - 2/6/06

Russia Calls on Iran to Answer Concerns About is Nuclear Program
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is urging Iran to provide answers about its nuclear program in order to allay international concerns. He says Russia will continue seeking a diplomatic solution to the stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 2/6/06

Prepare for Perpetual War: The real State of the Union
The Bizarro World illogic started right off the bat when George W. Bush intoned that what we need more of in public life is "a civil tone." This from a man who has repeatedly impugned the patriotism of his opponents, and just the previous week declared that critics of the Iraq war are giving "comfort to our enemies." - 2/6/06

For Iranians, religion relates to the nuclear issue
"It is a symbol of freedom, of emancipation," said Hesam Banaeain, 40, who marched with his 10-year-old son. "We will not submit to slavery. It is like freedom and fighting for the freedom of Islam." -New York Times - 2/6/06

Analysis: How Solid Is The New 'Afghanistan Compact'?
The international community and Afghan delegates emerged from the two-day London Conference with a clutch of documents. They include a five-year "Afghanistan Compact" that assures continued global support for Afghanistan until 2010. -RFE - 2/6/06

Will Israel Strike Iran?
The X Factor: Israel's military planners say they know how to forestall Tehran's nuclear schemes. The options—and their cost. -Newsweek - 2/6/06

A consumer society not ready for sanctions
Yet many Iranians are unconvinced. Much as Mr Ahmadinejad likes to hark back to the revolution's halcyon early days, that was then - this is now. Even within a tight Islamic straitjacket, times in Iran have changed. -Guardian - 2/6/06

Poll shows 85 percent of Iranian favor continuation of nuclear activities
Some 85.4 percent of Iranian citizens believe the best choice for Iran's nuclear case under present circumstances is continuation of nuclear activities, according the results of the latest opinion poll. -IRNA - 2/6/06

Iran and the bomb - A strategy of delay
Behind the diplomatic maneuvering, many of the diplomats and nuclear experts involved in the Western effort acknowledge that a more realistic goal is to delay the day that Iran joins the nuclear club. Stopping the program cold, they say, is highly unlikely, and probably impossible. -New York Times - 2/6/06

Iranian President orders suspension of NPT Additional Protocol
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter to the head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) ordered here today the rescinding of the voluntary suspension of the Additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other related cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA). -IRNA - 2/5/06

Chegini grabs gold, Iran stands third at Hungary boxing bouts
Iran took the third title at an international boxing tournament in Debrecen, Hungary, as Noureddin Chegini snatched the gold Saturday night. -IRNA - 2/5/06

Iran 'still open for negotiation'
Iran has said the door is still open for talks on its nuclear programme, a day after the UN nuclear agency voted to report it to the Security Council. -BBC - 2/5/06

Rumsfeld Calls for Diplomatic Efforts to Halt Iran's Nuclear Program
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has called for diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program, as the International Atomic Energy Agency said it would report Iran to the U.N. Security Council. Mr. Rumsfeld made the remarks at an international defense conference in Germany. -VOA - 2/5/06

Caricature Row: Western Governments Protest As Embassies Burn
Western governments condemn Syria for failing to stop the torching of their embassies, as Denmark's mission in Lebanon becomes the latest to be set ablaze. -RFE - 2/5/06

Iraq errors show West must act fast on Iran: Perle
Richard Perle, a key architect of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, said on Saturday the West should not make the mistake of waiting too long to use military force if Iran comes close to getting an atomic weapon. -Reuters - 2/5/06

Islamic Radicals Rise Via the Ballot Box
"You want democracy -- and we will give you democracy," was the taunting comment by a Hamas supporter, as he joined thousands of demonstrators celebrating the stunning victory of the radical Islamic party in Palestinian elections last week. -IPS - 2/5/06

'The new Afghanistan is a myth. It's time to go and get a job abroad'
As British troops prepare to tackle the Taliban's remnants, hundreds of thousands of jobless Afghan refugees who returned home to start a new life are queueing up to leave again -Guardian - 2/5/06

Music is treated like a stepchild in Iran: musician
Musician and university professor Dariush Pirniakan said that insufficient attention is paid to music in Iran and it is treated like a stepchild. Speaking at the 4th annual session of the Iranian Musicians' Center, he pointed out that it is a pity the youth are not familiar with their traditional musical instruments in a country with such an ancient culture. -Mehr - 2/5/06

McCain Starts Bombing Run on Iran: "Lights Out in Tehran"
Senator John McCain is on track for another rhetorical bombing run. In Munich, he's been squaring up to Iran, gravely telling the allies that the military option can't be ruled out if diplomatic efforts fail to stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb -Counterpunch - 2/5/06

IAEA's vote against Iran: A dark day for the international community
The vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors approving the European Union resolution to send Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council marks a dark day in the history of the West and the international community. -Mehr - 2/5/06

Devoted and Defiant
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he doesn't want nuclear weapons. The world is suspicious. How dangerous is he? -Newsweek - 2/5/06

Iran's Nuclear Society: Iran's nuclear challenge rooted in past
Iran's Nuclear Society in a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan Saturday said that the recent challenge facing Iran in its nuclear program is rooted in the past and that it has nothing to do with transparency of the country's nuclear activities. -IRNA - 2/4/06

Kenneth Timmerman's Iranian "Democracy" and the "Intelligence" Summit
While George Bush, the man who controls the trigger of the world's greatest nuclear arsenal, expresses his fear that a "non-transparent" and nuclear Iran might use its non-existent nuclear weapons to blackmail the world... -MRzine - 2/4/06

Iran grasps at regional dominance
Now Iran, the world's only Shiite Islamic government, is reaching across the divide, hoping to unite Arab Muslims, the vast majority of whom are Sunni, and draw them beneath an over-arching banner of Islam to fight common enemies in Israel and the West. -New York Times - 2/4/06

It's the Water, Stupid!
There is a school of thought that holds America’s hostilities and unforgiving stance towards Iran stem from the U.S. embassy takeover – an era which clearly emasculated the United States. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 2/4/06

Iran reported to Security Council
The United Nations nuclear watchdog has voted to report Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear activities. -BBC - 2/4/06

Bush 'Plotted to Lure Saddam into War with Fake UN Plane'
George Bush considered provoking a war with Saddam Hussein's regime by flying a United States spyplane over Iraq bearing UN colours, enticing the Iraqis to take a shot at it, according to a leaked memo of a meeting between the US President and Tony Blair. -Independent - 2/4/06

Iran to halt snap nuclear checks
Iran has said it will no longer allow snap inspections of its nuclear sites, after the UN nuclear watchdog voted to report Tehran to the Security Council. -BBC - 2/4/06

President Bonkers Bolton
Why is President Bush hell-bent on getting Iran’s alleged violations referred to the UN Security Council before March? Perhaps it’s because John Bolton is President of the Security Council this month. -Gordon Prather, - 2/4/06

AEI PANEL: Regime Change Only Solution to Nuclear Row
"Only a fall of the Islamic Republic will lead to an end of the Iranian [nuclear] program," argued Patrick Clawson, deputy director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, at a panel discussion titled “Next Steps: The Iranian threat” held today at the American Enterprise Institute. -NIAC - 2/4/06

Full text of IAEA Board Resolution on Iran
The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution requesting the IAEA Director General to report to the UN Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to the implementation of safeguards in Iran. - 2/4/06

Grounds ready for Iran to Withdraw from Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
European Trio and United States’ desire to haul Iran before the Security Council has no legal basis in any of the international conventions, NPT Treaty in particular. It is a recipe for Iran to withdraw from the Treaty and ask IAEA staff to leave the country. -Ali Baharlou, Australia - 2/4/06

Iranian Activist Challenges Western Assurances On Security Council Referral
But outside the closed-door diplomatic meetings, an organization formed recently to oppose possible sanctions or military intervention targeting Iran warns that referral to the Security Council could lead to a war in the Middle East. RFE/RL spoke to a co-founder of the Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), Professor Abbas Edalat. -RFE - 2/4/06

Amnesty International calls for release of Iranian bus workers
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to release immediately hundreds of Tehran bus workers who were detained last week apparently to pre-empt threatened strike action. - 2/3/06

Senator Brownback calls for Iran democracy fund, reconsideration of MKO terrorist listing
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KA) said at a policy conference today that the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s status as a terrorist organization should be reappraised. -NIAC - 2/3/06

US Intelligence Official: Al-Qaida Remains Top Threat
The U.S. National Director of Intelligence says the al-Qaida terrorist network remains the top concern of the intelligence community, followed closely by the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea. -VOA - 2/3/06

Iran 'will face Security Council'
The UN's atomic watchdog will refer Iran to the Security Council when it meets to discuss Tehran's nuclear programme on Friday, diplomats say. -BBC - 2/3/06

Iran: The Room For Diplomatic Maneuver
Shahran Tabari of RFE/RL's Radio Farda asked Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, to sketch out what the international community might do in the months ahead to persuade Iran to compromise. - 2/3/06

Quake hits Lar in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale jolted the outskirts of Lar city in the southern province of Fars in the wee hours of Friday. -IRNA - 2/3/06

Tehran urged to agree to 10-year nuclear freeze
The UN's chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, is calling on Iran to freeze nuclear fuel production for up to 10 years as a way of defusing the escalating confrontation between Iran and the west. -Guardian - 2/3/06

A Treasonous Camarilla: AIPAC espionage case points to larger spy scandal
Franklin is taking the fall for higher-ups, including Feith. As law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the circumstances – and government personnel – that surround the AIPAC spy case, the evidence clearly points in a disturbing direction. - 2/3/06

Why the U.S. Probably Won't Attack Iran
Jimmy Carter presented Iran with 52 hostages. George Bush has done a lot better, sending 130,000 Americans across the ocean as guarantees of his administration's good behavior toward the Islamic Republic. -Counterpunch - 2/3/06

Iran 'has negative role in world'
Iran is the country most widely viewed as having a negative influence in the world, with the US in second place, a new poll for the BBC suggests. - 2/3/06

Iran envoy to IAEA calls for nuclear disarmament
Addressing the emergency meeting of the Board of Governors, Soltanieh said Iran and other peace-loving and like minded developing countries have expressed serious concerns about development and employment of new advanced nuclear weapons by the United States and the United Kingdom. -IRNA - 2/3/06

Iranian MPs condemn West threats against Iran nuclear program
Majlis deputies in a statement on Friday condemned pressures and threats leveled by the Western countries against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. The statement, signed by 212 MPs and presented to Majlis Presiding Board, was read before Friday prayers sermons. -IRNA - 2/3/06

U.S. Instigated Iran's Nuclear Program 30 Years Ago
U.S. statements about Iran's nuclear program don't fit the facts, the writer says, and conveniently fail to mention past U.S. efforts to promote a nuclear Iran. William O. Beeman is professor of anthropology and Middle East studies at Brown University. He is author of "The 'Great Satan' vs. the 'Mad Mullahs': How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other" -Pacific News - 2/3/06

The Big Bad Bullies message to Iran: Get the bomb now or submit to our will!
The Bully3 (aka EU3 - Britain, Germany and France) along with US continue to threaten Iran to forgo her rights to nuclear technology. For the last several years, the Bully3+US have continuously made blunt threats against Iran. Just some recent news pieces show where these bullies stand. -Ali Moayedian - 2/3/06

Rafsanjani says Iran UNSC referral a big mistake
The Europeans will commit a big mistake if they send Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council, Tehran's substitute Friday Prayers Leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Friday. - 2/3/06

Sadeh Festival, Celebrating the Birth of Fire
Sadeh is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before Nowruz (Persian New Year) on 30th of January. It is the celebration of the birth of fire, the fire that never dies in our hearts. -CHN - 2/2/06

Our fears over threats to Iran
We Iranian-British academics and anti-war campaigners wish to express our deepest concern about the decision by the UK, France, Germany, US, Russia and China to report Iran to the UN security council. -Prof Haleh Afshar, Abbas Edalat, Gholam Khiabany, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, ... -Guardian - 2/2/06

Iran: Seven provincial journalists arrested for insulting Ayatollah Khomeini
Reporters Without Borders today condemned the imprisonment of Elham Afrotan and six other journalists employed by the provincial weekly Tamadone Hormozgan, who were arrested on 29 January for "insulting Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic" and who face heavy prison sentences if not the death penalty. - 2/2/06

On Iran, the French are from Mars and the Americans are from Venus
We need a new international regime to supervise our nuclear capacities and everyone should submit to it -Guardian - 2/2/06

A Zooarcheology Center to be Established in Iran
The first center for research and archive of animal studies in archeology will start its work from the coming spring in Iran's National Museum. -CHN - 2/2/06

Iraq's Shias Head for Uncertain Govt
Six weeks after parliamentary elections, occupied Iraq is still struggling for a viable government, as violence and instability worsen. -IPS - 2/2/06

'America wants Iran to be dependent on it and Iranians don't want that'
Cries of "marg bar Amrika" (death to America) no longer fill the air, but in the shadow of the Den of Spies - formerly known as the US embassy - echoes of an equally atavistic anti-Americanism still resonate. -Guardian - 2/2/06

IAEA Draft Resolution on Iran
Below is the complete text of the draft resolution on Iran's nuclear program discussed by the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors on 2 February. - 2/2/06

Nuclear watchdog to vote on Iran
Board members of the UN's nuclear watchdog are preparing to meet in Vienna to decide whether to report Iran to the UN Security Council. -BBC - 2/2/06

Britain Tells Iran to Stop Making Threats
Britain has told Iran it should not ignore the world's demands to freeze its nuclear program. London also is urging international unity in dealing with the Iran issue. -VOA - 2/2/06

Indian PM for 'diplomacy' on Iran
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he hopes the Iran nuclear dispute can be resolved without being taken up by the UN Security Council. -BBC - 2/2/06

Experts tell House Committee US lacks intelligence on Iran
At a hearing yesterday, experts told the House Armed Services Committee that preventive military action against Iran will have uncertain consequences mindful of the US’s lack of intelligence. -NIAC - 2/2/06

Iran's message to the west: back off or we retaliate
Iran's foreign minister yesterday threatened immediate retaliation over a move to refer its nuclear weapons activities to the United Nations security council in comments which deepen his country's confrontation with the international community. -Guardian - 2/2/06

Iran: Kurdish Women's Rights Activist Claims She Was Tortured In Prison
Roya Toloui, a prominent Iranian Kurdish women's rights activist, who was recently released from prison on bail, says she was tortured and forced to make confessions while confined. Toloui, the editor in chief of the monthly "Rasan" magazine and the founder of the Association of the Kurdish Women Supporting Peace in Kurdistan, was arrested last August following unrest in several Iranian Kurdish cities. -RFE - 2/2/06

Iran proposes joint security meeting with British forces
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Wednesday called for a meeting between British and Iranian security forces to discuss last week's bombings in Ahvaz, which killed at least nine people. -IRNA - 2/2/06

Iran pledges another $100m aid to Afghanistan
Iran vowed at the end of Conference on Afghan Reconstruction to donate another $100 million aid to Afghanistan from the beginning of the next Iranian year (to start March 21, 2006). -IRNA - 2/2/06

Nuclear Standoff with Iran Discussed on Capitol Hill
U.S. lawmakers have been discussing the standoff with Iran, which is facing referral to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear program. -VOA - 2/2/06

Iran: Military Options Considered As Nuclear Crisis Escalates
The decision by foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), plus Germany, that Iran should be reported to the council for its nuclear activities, is not as extreme as a referral to the council. Effective action will not be possible until after the March meeting of the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -RFE - 2/2/06

Iranian-British academics condemn UN referral threat
Iranian-British academics Thursday joined anti-war campaigners in condemning plans led by the US and UK to report Iran's nuclear file to the UN Security Council. "This is a step towards an international crisis which can lead the US to embark on another doomed military `solution'," the academics from universities across the UK warned. -IRNA - 2/2/06

Tehran's Winter Art Report: Two very interesting yet different artists
I discovered the works of Shahab Mousavizadeh who had an exhibition at Artists' Forum Morteza Momayez gallery a while ago. He is a well established artist both in Iran and in Germany where he has been living for many years. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/1/06

Iran: Release Workers Arrested for Strike - Hundreds Detained for Planning Protest
The Iranian government has responded to a strike planned by Tehran's bus drivers for January 28 by preemptively detaining hundreds of drivers, including several union organizers, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/1/06

Bush Highlights Concerns Over Iran in State of the Union Speech
President Bush used his State of the Union address to reaffirm American opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions. The president also had a message for the Iranian people. -VOA - 2/1/06

German exports to Iran rose sharply in 2005: official
German exports to Iran were up sharply in 2005, reaching 4.1 billion euros during the first 11 months of the past year compared to 3.6 billion euros during the whole year of 2004, DPA quoted a leading German trade official as saying on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/1/06

Iran Confrontation in the Cards
Now that the Western powers have reached a deal with Russia and China to refer Iran's nuclear activities to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a serious escalation of tensions with Tehran is in the cards. -IPS - 2/1/06

Shirin Ebadi to present Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture at Rice University: Human Rights and Islam & the West"
Shirin Ebadi was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Peace for her tireless efforts to promote human rights, in particular, the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. - 2/1/06

UN health agency to send team to check on bird flu in northern Iraq
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said in Geneva on Tuesday it will send an expert team to Iraq to examine reports of a fatal case of avian influenza, or "bird flu," in the war-ravaged country. -IRNA - 2/1/06

Clark to Iran: We need to talk!
At an event sponsored by the New America Foundation, former Democratic Presidential candidate Wesley Clark emphasized the need to immediately open up a dialogue with Tehran before referring the Iranian nuclear dossier to the Security Council. -NIAC - 2/1/06

Democracy Isn't For Our Friends Only
Oh no, not more democracy again! Didn't we award this to those Algerians in 1990? And didn't they reward us with that nice gift of an Islamist government -- and then they so benevolently canceled the second round of elections? Thank goodness for that! -Robert Fisk - 2/1/06

Iran issues inspections warning
The nuclear agency has confirmed that Iran has started preparations to resume producing enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. Tehran also warned on Tuesday that it will resume uranium enrichment if it is reported to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions. -BBC - 2/1/06

Terrorism Expert: Al Qaeda larger threat than nuclear Iran
Terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna argued against taking military action against Iran over the nuclear issue, given the recent move by the US, the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council. Instead, he advocated diplomacy by stating that “the Iranian nuclear threat is secondary to the Al Qaeda threat” that would arise inside of Iran during an invasion. -NIAC - 2/1/06

US Prods Lebanon Towards Civil War
Since the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in March 2005, the U.S. Administration has played an increasingly imperious role in Lebanon, exacerbating divisions in an already fiercely sectarian country. -Counterpunch - 2/1/06

Iranian Defense Minister: Air Force fully ready to defend country
Speaking to reporters at the end of his visit to an airbase in the southern city of Bushehr, home to the country's first nuclear power plant, the minister expressed satisfaction over the high capability and readiness of the country's air force. -IRNA - 2/1/06

Straw to meet Iranian counterpart
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is telling his Iranian counterpart that Tehran has a last chance to show its nuclear programme is peaceful. -BBC - 2/1/06

A messy compromise on Iran
Russia and China, which had hitherto been opposed to reporting Iran to the UNSC, have taken a pragmatic decision to step back. Their intention, presumably, is to fight another day, in a battleground where they can exercise their veto power. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 2/1/06

Being Princess Shams
French Star Mathilda May Talks about her portrayal of Princess Shams the Shah's elder sister in successful European TV production Soraya -Darius Kadivar - 2/1/06

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