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21st International Khwarizmi Festival held in Tehran: 36 selected projects praised
Dr. Amoli, pointing to the increasing amount of projects received, added: This year with a considerable rise, we received 192 projects from 54 countries. The number of foreign participants has hit a record in the history of Khwarizmi Festival, despite negative advertisements against Iran around the world. - 2/29/08

The White House Agenda on Iran
Kinzer said today: "Continuing to argue over details of whether Iran is or is not complying with each of its commitments to the IAEA leads us to miss the larger point. The more concerned the outside world is about Iran's behavior -- whether about Iran's nuclear program, its support for militant groups in the Middle East, its repression of civil society or other issues -- the more urgent the case for negotiation becomes. - 2/29/08

Camp Ayandeh 2008
Camp Ayandeh 2008, taking place at Emory University on June 22-28, 2008, is open to rising high school sophomores through graduating high school seniors. - 2/29/08

NIAC Memo: IAEA’S Latest Iran Report: Time to Move on
The latest IAEA safeguards report on Iran’s nuclear activities is an important report that brings an end to almost all the technical issues that in the past five years have concerned the IAEA regarding Iran’s declared civilian nuclear program. As such, it provides a good backdrop for the need to move beyond the current deadlock. -Farideh Farhi, NIAC - 2/29/08

Persian New Year Festival in Houston
The fourth Annual Persian New Year Festival will be held on Sunday March 23, 2008 from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Jones Plaza in downtown Houston, Texas. This program is organized by the Iranian-American Cultural Organization of Houston, a non-profit cultural organization. - 2/29/08

Iran's UN Envoy protests US refusal to issue visas for Iranian women
Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Mohammad Khazaei has in a letter to the UN Chief Ban Ki-moon protested the US refusal to issue visas for Iranian women delegation. -IRNA - 2/29/08

Iran: It's time for Clemente to move on
Iran says Javier Clemente will not coach the national soccer team following the Spaniard's no-show at a scheduled meeting in Madrid. -Press TV - 2/29/08

Diplomats: No Vote on New Iran Sanctions Before Saturday
Members of the U.N. Security Council say a vote on a new resolution imposing a third round of sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear program will probably not happen before Saturday. -VOA - 2/29/08

Non-Aligned Movement states support Iran's nuclear stand
Ambassadors of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at IAEA unanimously voted in favor of a communique here Friday in which Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are supported. -IRNA - 2/29/08

OMV to continue South Pars project: CEO
The CEO of the Austrian Oil and Gas Group OMV AG has said that his company will not quit its project in Iran's South Pars gas field. -Press TV - 2/29/08

Afghanistan: 'A Tale Of Two Students' Tells Nation's Fate
Marjan and Malalai have a lot in common. Both are Afghan. Both are girls. Both are 17-years-old. But for all the rest, the teens might as well inhabit different planets. -RFE - 2/29/08

UN: Action Needed Against Unproven HIV/AIDS Treatments
Also in 2007, the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced the discovery of "IMOD" (an abbreviation for "immuno-modulator drug"), an herbal AIDS treatment made from seven local Iranian herbs. -Human Rights Watch - 2/29/08

Nobel Laureate Estimates Wars’ Cost at More Than $3 Trillion
When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration predicted that the war would be self-financing and that rebuilding the nation would cost less than $2 billion. -McClatchy Newspapers - 2/29/08

No reason for Iran file to remain at Security Council: South Africa envoy
South Africa's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has addressed all outstanding questions and there is no reason for keeping Iranian file at the UN Security Council -IRNA - 2/29/08

Oversight group warns world about Iran's banking system
On Iran, the language of the Financial Action Task Force's statement is indirect, in that it simply calls on banks and other institutions to take the risk of the Tehran government's "deficiencies" in controlling money laundering and financial support for terrorism into account and to exercise "due diligence" in dealing with Iran. -IHT - 2/29/08

Iran to export 200 megawatts of power to Iraq: Energy Minister
Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said in Tehran Friday that Iran is to export 200 megawatts of power to Iraq as of next week. -IRNA - 2/29/08

U.S. sends warship off Lebanon coast
Signalling impatience with Syria, the United States has sent its USS Cole warship off the coast of Lebanon in a show of support amid Beirut's political crisis, U.S. officials said on Thursday. -Reuters - 2/29/08

Turkish Military Says Offensive into Northern Iraq is Over
The Turkish military says its troops have pulled out of northern Iraq, after an aggressive assault on Kurdish separatist rebels. -VOA - 2/29/08

A Letter to Google: It's Persian Gulf
It has come to our attention that Google is including "Arabian Gulf" as a synonym or alternative term for the Persian Gulf on its Google Earth maps. -Persian Gulf Online - 2/28/08

Iran: Activists Condemn Workers' Lashing Sentences
Labor rights activists and prominent human rights figures have condemned the lashing sentences that have been handed down in recent weeks to 11 workers in the Iranian province of Kurdistan. -RFE - 2/28/08

Iran, decide for yourself: A video by Germán Vogel, Santiago, Chile
This is a video I did as a Chilean uni student not linked to Iran by anything but my personal choice. As a cultures lover, I became interested in Iran as a nation that develops a uniquely organic society based on family, social cohesion, beautiful traditions and religion. - 2/28/08

Javier Clemente accepts Iran's condition
Javier Clemente inches towards becoming the coach of Iran's national team after accepting the football federation's condition that he should live in Iran. -Press TV - 2/28/08

China Signs Oil Deal with Iranian Company
China is maintaining its position that it does not support actions against Iran that "undermine normal trade and economic cooperation." Even as the United Nations maneuvers toward a vote on expanded sanctions against Iran - which Beijing has reportedly approved - China's main offshore oil and gas company is reported to have signed a $16 billion deal to develop an Iranian gas field. -VOA - 2/28/08

Iran: Authorities must support, not suppress women
The Iranian authorities should cease their harassment of women human rights defenders and take urgent steps to dismantle the discriminatory legislation they are seeking to change, Amnesty International said in a report published today. - 2/28/08

Iran: Activist 'Dynamic Duo' Fight for Human Rights
He's spent almost a third of his life in prison as a political dissident. She's been arrested many times on myriad charges. Together, Taqi Rahmani and Narges Mohammadi are a dynamic duo of political activism -- husband-and-wife "superheroes" fighting human rights abuses by Iran's theocratic regime. -RFE - 2/28/08

Qatar calls for energy ties with Iran
Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani in a meeting with Iran's President Ahmadinejad calls for boosting energy ties. -Press TV - 2/28/08

U.S. Weighs Sanctions On Iran's Central Bank
The Treasury Department is gathering evidence it says shows that the central bank of Iran is helping other Iranian institutions elude U.S. economic sanctions, in what could be a prelude to penalties against the central bank. -WSJ - 2/28/08

Iran's FM sends letter to UN chief, member states on nuclear issue
Foreign Minister of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday criticizing efforts by some countries to raise baseless allegations about Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 2/28/08

Kurdish Teacher Tortured, Sentenced to Death
The Iranian judiciary should revoke the death sentence of Kurdish teacher Farzad Kamangar, Human Rights Watch said today. Kamangar was active in a number of civil society organizations. - 2/28/08

The Iranian alternative
Building bridges -- and pipelines -- with Tehran should be a strategic priority for the EU -Spero News - 2/28/08

Russian UN Envoy: Moscow Could Back New Sanctions Against Iran
Russia's envoy to the United Nations says Moscow could support new international sanctions against Iran if Tehran does not stop its uranium enrichment activities within days. -VOA - 2/28/08

US-Libya Rapprochement Stalls
In 2003, the United States held up Libya as an example of a rehabilitated rogue state after Tripoli renounced terrorism and scrapped its weapons of mass destruction programs. But attempts to forge closer bonds between the United States and Libya have stalled. -VOA - 2/28/08

Time is right for Israel to return to its Asian roots
Age-old political differences matter, but for the average fan on the street World Cup qualification matters more - 2/28/08

Italy's Materazzi eyes coaching Iran's team
Italian coach Giuseppe Materazzi has claimed he has been approached by the Iranian Football Federation to take the national coaching post. -Press TV - 2/27/08

VIVE LE CINEMA !: Iranians Finally Connect with World Cinema in 2007's eventful year
The Year 2007 will certainly be remembered in Iranian Film History equally for both the Diaspora and compatriots back home thanks to the critical and Box Office Success of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parronnaud's animated masterpiece Persepolis. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/27/08

The Clouds are Stalling!
This article was written by Nasim Khosravi in honor of Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelve Javaheri, who at that time, were in Evin Prison. In the article, Nasim Khosravi wonders about who will be the next member of the Campaign to be imprisoned, not knowing that she would be next. - 2/27/08

'Jay' Jalal Jonroy, writer, producer, director: "The Hardest Thing to Do is Comedy"
For those troubled by the seemingly eternal failure to find peace in the Middle East, one solution is suggested in David & Layla, the ecumenical New York sex comedy by the Iraqi Kurd Jay Jonroy, which has been making the rounds of theaters in the US since last July. -David D'Arcy - 2/27/08

Dr S.J. Shahidi's 40th at Dehkhoda in Tehran
I could hardly believe that it has already been 35 days since Dr Shahidi's passing when Shokoufeh Shahidi my friend called to invite me to his 40th ceremony at Dehkhoda, last Thursday from 3-5. Time has passed so quickly despite the cold. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/27/08

Lecture by Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi at UCLA: How the Iranian Constitution Secularized Islam
Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi is an Assistant Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who specializes in transnational and global histories in the Middle Eastern postcolonial context. - 2/27/08

Iran, China close to $16B gas deal
Iran will sign a deal with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) on Wednesday to develop the country's North Pars gas field. -Press TV - 2/27/08

Iran protests US for refusing to issue visas to Iranian women delegation
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini here on Wednesday condemned the US administration's refusal for a second consecutive year to issue visas to Iranian women to attend a specialized meeting on women. -IRNA - 2/27/08

Iran Dismisses Alleged Evidence Of Secret Nuclear Program
A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate released in December 2007 said Iran appeared to have frozen its efforts to build nuclear weapons in 2003. -RFE - 2/27/08

Noam Chomsky: Why is Iraq Missing from 2008 Presidential Race?
In a major address, Noam Chomsky says there has been little change in the conventional debate over a US invasion abroad: from Vietnam to Iraq, the two main political parties and political pundits differ only on the tactics of US goals, which are assumed to be legitimate. -Democracy Now - 2/27/08

West must build on success of Iran-IAEA work plan - US academics
Two American academics on Wednesday praised the success of Iran cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suggested that the west should build upon this rather than seeking more sanctions. -IRNA - 2/27/08

Stopping the New Arms Race
The White House will do everything it can to push its reckless, European-based missile defense plan forward. -The Nation - 2/27/08

Former hostage writes US-Iran negotiation guide
Ambassador John Limbert was one of the 52 US diplomats held hostage at the US Embassy in Iran in 1980. 28 years later he has written a guide for US diplomats on negotiating with the Iranians. -Arash Hadjialiloo, NIAC - 2/27/08

“Taxi to the Dark Side”: Exposé on US Abuses in “War on Terror” Wins Oscar for Best Documentary
Alex Gibney joins us to talk about his Academy Award win for his documentary Taxi to the Dark Side. The film investigates some of the most egregious abuses associated with the so-called “war on terror.” -Democracy Now - 2/27/08

New Propaganda Piece Hits Iranian Airwaves
In the new millennium and in light of incredible advancements in technology from global satellite TVs to internet and blogs, the Iranian regime has found itself searching for ways to discredit any genuine movement for democracy by relying on expectedly absurd conspiracy theories to link any opposition to the American government. -Huffington Post - 2/27/08

Iran reverses ban on water pipes
Iran has allowed water pipes to reappear in tea houses, whose owners complained a recent ban on health grounds was putting them out of business, press reports said on Tuesday. -AFP - 2/27/08

Philadelphia Museum of Art Celebrates Norooz!
Sunday, March 9, 2008 - Make and Take Workshop; Presentation of the Sofreh Haft Seen; Silk Road Dance Company; Babak &Friends- A First Norooz; and more - 2/26/08

Selling Persian Carpets On Italian TV Is A Passion
Germany and the United States are the countries that buy the most Persian rugs, each year taking about 50 percent of Iran's exports. But it is Italy, the third biggest consumer, which seems to love them the most. -Charles Recknagelis, Tea and Carpets Blogspot - 2/26/08

Major Powers Reaffirm Two-Track Iran Nuclear Strategy
Senior diplomats of major world powers, meeting in Washington Monday, reaffirmed a two-track strategy on the Iran nuclear issue. They are pursuing new sanctions in the U.N. Security Council while also offering Tehran negotiations. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 2/26/08

Europe to offer new incentives to Iran over nuclear program
European countries are planning to offer new incentives to Iran if it agrees to halt its uranium enrichment program, according to European diplomats. -IHT - 2/26/08

Iran's Supreme Leader praises Ahmadinejad for "nuclear success"
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here on Tuesday said the Iranian nation's courage, steadfastness and constant presence on the scene accounted for the glory of the system, the country's progress in various spheres and its great success in the nuclear field. -IRNA - 2/26/08

FM: US should confess to its mistake on Iran's nuclear issue
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that the US officials should adopt a factual stands in dealing with Iran's peaceful nuclear program and sincerely confess to their mistakes. - 2/26/08

Iran: Karaj-Chalous Road blocked due to snow storm, avalanche threat
The part of Iran's South-North Karaj-Chalous Road in Mazandaran Province was blocked as of 7 pm Monday till further notice due to heavy snow storm and threat of falling avalanches. - 2/26/08

Iraqi ambassador: MKO presence not permanent
Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majeed al-Sheikh said here on Tuesday that the presence of members of the terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) in Iraq is not permanent. -IRNA - 2/26/08

Poland to invest 1 billion dollars in Iran's oil and gas
and Poland are to start mutual energy cooperation in Iran's different gas and oil fields. -ISNA - 2/26/08

EGYPT: Taking aim at ignorance about HIV/AIDS
Eight Egyptian men who were arrested and forced to undergo HIV tests, and the subsequent torture of the two who tested HIV-positive, has unleashed a storm of controversy in a country where people still know very little about the virus. -IRIN - 2/26/08

Iraqi Kurds Concerned about Turkish Incursion
Turkey's military said they have killed 41 Kurdish rebels Monday for a total 153 rebels and 17 Turkish soldiers killed during fighting in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraq's national security adviser has expressed concern that Turkey's attacks in Iraq may lead to a clash with Iraq's Kurdish security forces. -VOA - 2/26/08

Gazans Form Human Chain Along Israeli Border In Protest at Blockade
Palestinians today formed a human chain in protest at Israel’s blockade of Gaza as Israel deployed thousands of troops and police officers along the border. -Guardian - 2/26/08

US, China Discuss Moving North Korea Nuclear Talks Forward
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is urging China to use its influence to persuade North Korea to move forward with permanently dismantling its nuclear facilities. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing. -VOA - 2/26/08

EU attacks Iran's new penal code
The European Union has criticised the new penal code being drafted in Iran, particularly a section that imposes the death penalty for giving up Islam. -BBC - 2/26/08

A Hidden elegant and Cosy Italian Oasis in North Tehran
We had heard about a new Italian restaurant from our good friends Mario and Fellicetta so with a few other friends we decided to try it out and last night despite the heavy snow showers we went to the Niloo Italian Restaurant which is part of the Niloo Hotel Apartments near Vanak Square. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/25/08

The limit of Obama's imagination
At a time when Obama's moral voice was most needed, the reach of his wings proved to be cautiously perforated on an AIPAC line, writes Hamid Dabashi - 2/25/08

Parthian fortress still watches over Strait of Hormuz
team of archaeologists has recently discovered a large fortress dating back to the Parthian era (250 BC-226 CE) near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf area. - 2/25/08

ElBaradei's report, 90 percent in favor of Iran: Aqazadeh
Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Reza Aqazadeh said Sunday evening that the February 22 report of the chief of the UN nuclear watchdog was 90 percent in Iran's favor. - 2/25/08

Explosion rocksTabriz
The explosion heard in Tabriz on Monday has been caused by disposal of waste ammunition, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said. - 2/25/08

Norouz Celebration at UC Davis
The Iranian Alumni Association, a chapter of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association celebrates Norouz on March 22, 2008. - 2/25/08

Arab states seeking to improve ties with Iran: Amr Moussa
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa traveled to Beirut on Sunday for talks with Lebanese officials in a bid to help resolve Lebanon's prolonged presidential crisis. -MNA - 2/25/08

Sanctions: A Colonizers Tool
Once again the Bush administration is leading the pack to impose a third round of sanctions on Iran although Tehran has cooperated with the IAEA. However, they have failed to prove a negative to the satisfaction of Mr. Bush as reported to him by it would seem, the government's favorite informants, the MEK; a terrorist cult who had a hand in the US embassy takeover in Iran and the murder of American civilians -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 2/25/08

Armenian Protests Continue Amid Arrests And Resignations
Authorities in Armenia have detained several key opposition activists as demonstrations in Yerevan against a contested presidential election continued into their fifth consecutive day on February 24. -RFE - 2/25/08

Immigrants sue to speed citizenship applications
Mohammad Barikbin came to the USA in 1988 and says he has spent every day since then fulfilling the American dream. The Iranian immigrant started a catering business in Philadelphia, then a taxi company and a taxi call center, all while investing in real estate. -USA Today - 2/25/08

Iran ready to export gas to Armenia
Iran-Armenia gas pipeline is now completed and that gas will be supplied upon Armenia demand. - 2/25/08

Tehran, Baghdad municipalities to expand mutual cooperation
Tehran's Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf conferred in Baghdad on Monday with Mayor of Baghdad Sabir al-Isawi on expansion of mutual cooperation between the two capital cities. - 2/25/08

Iran's 'diagnosed transsexuals'
Homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, but the country allows sex change operations and hundreds of men have elected for surgery to change their lives. -BBC - 2/25/08

Oakland East Bay Symphony Celebrates Persian Music
Ever since Western music was introduced to Iran in the mid-nineteenth century, Iranian composers have blended Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions. Due to the political turmoil of the past century, these works are often difficult to obtain and are thus rarely performed. - 2/24/08

Iran's UN Mission issues statement on IAEA report
The latest report of the IAEA Director General on 22 February 2008, which plainly declares the implementation of the Work Plan (INFCIRC/711) and thus resolution of all outstanding issues, serves as the clearest evidence ever coming from the Agency, unambiguously attesting to the exclusively peaceful nature of the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both in the past and at present. - 2/24/08

Preventing Future Nuclear Catastrophes
The bottom line is: Nuclear weapons do not make us safer. US reliance on these weapons sets the standard for the world. Right now the US appears content to promote nuclear double standards, one standard for ourselves and our friends and another for our perceived enemies. -David Krieger and Stanley K. Sheinbaum - 2/24/08

Iranian researchers use computer model to examine impacts of medicine on stuttering
An Iranian researcher in medical engineering has worked out a project examining impacts of medical treatment on patients suffering from expression difficulty, stuttering. -IRNA - 2/24/08

Iran Warns of Retaliation for Sanctions
Iran's Foreign Ministry warns that Tehran will respond if world powers pass additional sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear activities. -VOA - 2/24/08

German dramatist Granz reviews "Crystal Tower" on stage in Tehran
The play "The Crystal Tower" was reviewed on Saturday at the Mehr News Agency venue in a session attended by its author, German playwright Ronald Granz. -MNA - 2/24/08

Iran: Halt Execution of Juvenile Offender
The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, should immediately order a stay of execution for Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who was sentenced to death for a crime that he allegedly committed at the age of 15, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/24/08

Tehran Mayor: Iran ready to reconstruct Baghdad
Visiting Tehran Mayor announced Iran's readiness to reconstruct Baghdad at a dinner party thrown in his honor by Head of Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution of Iraq, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim. -IRNA - 2/24/08

Pakistan: Elections Prove Islam, Democracy Are Compatible, Expert Says
And what of the idea that Islam and democracy don't mix? What of the many dictatorships in the Middle East? What of the call from many Islamists to establish a caliphate run not by the people, but a prince? -RFE - 2/24/08

Annual Press Freedom Report 2008: The plight of journalists in 98 countries reviewed
Reporters Without Borders criticises lack of public commitment to press freedom and expresses fears of anti-media violence in coming months, as it releases its annual report today. - 2/24/08

Calls For Restraint Mount Over Turkish Operation In Northern Iraq
Baghdad says a Turkish military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq this week was not an attack on the country's sovereignty -- but international concern is nevertheless high over Ankara's move. -RFE - 2/24/08

UNHCR deputy commissioner in Iran to discuss refugee issues
United Nations Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Mrs Erika Feller is on a four-day visit to Iran from February 23-27. -IRNA - 2/24/08

DEUX FOIS: Persepolis Wins 2 French Oscars and Enters French Film History!
Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Parronaud's Persepolis Enters French Film History with two Awards at French Oscars known as Les Césars Du Cinéma before Final Oscar Run ! -Darius KADIVAR - 2/23/08

Iran urges Western governments to come to terms
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili on Friday urged the Western governments to come to terms with Iran. - 2/23/08

Iran's first female Olympic taekwondo qualifier in the spotlight
Dubai-based ABC News reporter Lara Setrakian is currently making a documentary about Iranian female taekwondo player Sara Khoshjamal-Fekri, the Taekwondo Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported on Friday. - 2/23/08

Is Iran Winning the Iraq War?
Despite its very public saber-rattling against Iran, however, the United States has spent most of the past five years in a de facto alliance with Iran in support of the Shiite-led (and US-installed) regime in Baghdad. The most powerful component of that regime, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and its disciplined Badr Corps militia, is also Iran's closest Iraqi ally. -Nation - 2/23/08

Iranian Activist Parvin Ardalan Tells VOA Women in Iran Struggle to Obtain Their Rights
Iranian women's activist and journalist Parvin Ardalan told Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN) today that "If you were a woman living in Iran, you would realize soon enough that you have to struggle to obtain your rights." - 2/23/08

Iran: Over 70 percent of parliamentary hopefuls approved
The Guardian Council said on Saturday it will allow more than 4,500 candidates to run for parliament next month but that 2,200 candidates have been disqualified -MNA - 2/23/08

Actress Mahnaz Afshar pays child laborers surprise visit
Actress Mahnaz Afshar on Thursday paid a visit to an organization in Tehran which supports and helps child laborers, and donated part of the money earned from one of her movies. -MNA - 2/23/08

Iran: U.S. Says IAEA Report Bolsters Case For Fresh Sanctions
The United States says a new report by the UN's nuclear watchdog strengthens the case for fresh sanctions against Iran. -RFE - 2/23/08

Iran, Iraq sign deal on revitalizing Algiers Accord
Iran and Iraq signed a deal on revitalizing the implementation of the 1975 Algiers Accord in Tehran on Wednesday. -MNA - 2/23/08

Tehran-Baghdad municipalities agree on 4 working expert groups
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf on Saturday announced that Tehran and Baghdad municipalities are discussing the establishment of four joint working groups. The working committees were suggested by Tehran mayor. -MNA - 2/23/08

What Would It Take to Launch a War With Iran?
Iraq should have cured President George W. Bush of any further itch for starting a war. And yet there comes a rumble for an attack on Iran. Opposing this, the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation sends out emissaries, several of whom visited The Seattle Times. - 2/23/08

Afghanistan: New Party To Focus On Women's Rights
For nearly three decades, Afghans have endured war and foreign occupation, extreme poverty, and the Taliban. Yet some suffer more than others. Not all Afghans are created equal. Fatima Nazari wants to change that. -RFE - 2/23/08

Iran Raises the Heat in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is in a tough spot. The country is reliant on the U.S. and NATO for its security and, at the same time, shares its longest land border with Iran. Afghanistan has long pleaded with the U.S. and Iran not to carry out their longstanding strategic rivalry on its soil. -TIME - 2/23/08

Snake Oil Sellers of the Christian Right?
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs came under heavy criticism earlier this month from Muslim and religious freedom advocacy groups after it invited to a conference three self-professed “former terrorists” with strong links to the Christian right. -IPS - 2/23/08

IAEA Director General issues new report on Iran
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei today circulated his latest report on nuclear safeguards in Iran to the Agency´s Board of Governors, the 35-member policymaking body. The report outlines developments since the Director General´s report of 15 November 2007. - 2/22/08

An extremely cold winter in Iran
During 18 days from 10 to 27 January 2008, the minimum temperature in Tehran was continuously less than -5ºC; the lowest temperature recorded was -11ºC, while the maximum temperature was below 0ºC for 12 days. The lowest temperature recorded in Iran during this period was -32ºC. - 2/22/08

Iran: Mother says she is proud of jailed women rights activists
Raheleh Asgarizadeh and Nasim Khosravi contacted their family members on Sunday February 17, 2008 to inform them that they had been transferred to Evin's public ward 3. - 2/22/08

IAPAC to Hold Northern California Norouz Celebration
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) will hold its biannual Northern California Norouz celebration on March 9th, 2008. The event, entitled "Honoring the Contributions of Iranian Americans to American society," will recognize the accomplishments of Iranian Americans in the fields of arts and entertainment, community service, and government service. - 2/22/08

Diplomacy for War
Reuel Marc Gerecht's opinion piece in the New York Times yesterday titled 'Attack Iran, With Words' advocating diplomacy with Iran may have taken some readers including this one by surprise given his resident fellowship credentials at the American Enterprise Institute. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 2/22/08

Picasso would like Persepolis
Written by an Iranian immigrant to France, Persepolis is the autobiographical life story of the author, Marjane Satrapi, a truly artistic and visionary woman with rare courage. Her ability to take extremely intense and confusing subjects such as Marxism, Leninism, dictatorship, democracy, theocracy, freedom, rebellion, materialism, sex, love, drugs, cultural differences and more, and accommodate them inside a short book of diagrams and a two-hour animated movie, is indeed ingenious......Persepolis is the story of all of us - Mehr “Jay” Shahidi - 2/22/08

Norouz , London, Iran Heritage Foundation
Norouz in essence celebrates the magic of life and acknowledges the balance of forces in nature, while mortals hope that the year ahead would be peaceful, devoid of illness and prosperous. - 2/22/08

Iran increases fishing sturgeons by 40 percent
Iran increased fishing Caspian Sea sturgeons producing black caviar by 40 percent during the current Iranian year -ISNA - 2/22/08

Iran's gas likely to be sent to Europe: Nabucco consortium
Iran could be among suppliers of the required gas for Nabucco pipeline but it is up to countries whether to buy Iran's gas or not, the head of Nabucco consortium declared. -ISNA - 2/22/08

Iraq, Iran Agree to Restore Border Posts
Iraqi and Iranian officials have agreed to restore border posts ahead of the Iranian president's first state visit. The countries fought a bloody war over the border and relations continue to be strained by accusations Iran is supporting Shiite terrorists inside Iraq. -VOA - 2/22/08

UN Diplomats: European Powers Revise Iran Sanctions Draft
Diplomats say Britain, France and Germany have revised a sanctions resolution against Iran and will aim to get the full Security Council to vote on the resolution next week. VOA - 2/22/08

Countdown to Iran-Alborz drilling rig inauguration
The Iran-Alborz semi-floating drilling rig in Caspian Sea will soon be commissioned, said the Oil Minister in Tehran on Friday. - 2/22/08

Iraqi Shi'ite Cleric Extends Cease-Fire with US, Iraqi Forces
Iraqi radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has extended for another six months a cease-fire between his Mahdi army militia and U.S. and Iraqi forces. Daniel Schearf reports from the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. - 2/22/08

Iran makes bid for two Indian oil tenders
Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOECC) participated in two tenders in the offshore sector of India's oil industry, managing director of IOECC announced here Friday. Mas'ud Soltanpur rated each project worth at over 1.1 billion dollars. -MNA - 2/22/08

Iran's Malign Role In Iraq
Admiral Smith told reporters that the message Iran should hear about security in Iraq is clear: We have been as transparent as we can [be] up here publicly with you regarding Iran's malign influence in Iraq over the years. And I would suggest that we'll be equally transparent in our discussions with Iran if and when those talks take place." - VOA - 2/22/08

Iranians spar with Israel at UN
Iran is urging the UN Security Council to stop Israel threatening military action against its nuclear programme. -BBC - 2/22/08

Iran exports to Japan hit $1.4b in January
Japan's Ministry of Finance reported on Friday that the country witnessed a rise in its imports from Iran and a drop in exports in January 2008. -MNA - 2/22/08

Excavations In Iran Unravel Mystery Of 'Red Snake'
New discoveries unearthed at an ancient frontier wall in Iran provide compelling evidence that the Persians matched the Romans for military might and engineering prowess. - sciencedaily.com - 2/21/08

PDF file link: Secrets of the Red Snake - The great wall of Iran revealed
It is longer than Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall taken together. It is over a thousand years older than the Great Wall of China as we know it today. It is of more solid construction than its ancient Chinese counterparts. - www.archaeology.co.uk - 2/21/08

Appeal for an Iranian homosexual refugee seeking asylum in Malaysia
My name is Sepehr [alias used]. I was born and raised in Iran, a country that kills people for falling in love. My government kills homosexuals by asserting we are an enemy of GOD. My president denies us even our existence as human beings when he claimed there are no homosexuals in Iran during his speech at Colombia University. -IRQO - 2/21/08

Journalist sentenced to death in Iran, accused of terrorism
A judiciary spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, told reporters that the journalist, Yaghoob Mirnehad, had been sentenced to death on charges of "membership in the terrorist Jundallah group as well as crimes against national security," according to The Associated Press. The sentence can be appealed to the Supreme Court. - IHT - 2/21/08

Iran: Vetting Exacts Heavy Toll On Reformist Candidates
Nearly one in three aspiring candidates has been excluded from Iran's parliamentary elections next month, including current and former officials and a grandson of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. - RFE - 2/21/08

Group Claims Iran Speeding Up Nuke Plans
An exiled Iranian opposition group (NCRI is the political wing of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran) claimed Wednesday that Tehran was speeding up a program to develop nuclear weapons. "The Iran regime entered a new phase in its nuclear project," said Mohammad Mohaddessin of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran. WP - 2/21/08

Row over Ahmadinejad Imam beliefs
Since Mr Ahmadinejad came to power he has repeatedly spoken of the need to plan for the Mehdi's imminent return - BBC - 2/21/08

Throwaways Children
The phenomenon of runaway children is a very serious problem nowadays, but many of these children are not runaways at all, they are actually throwaways. Throwaway is a term that was recently invented by social workers to describe young children and adolescents who are unwanted or rejected by their families. - Mehr - 2/21/08

Who knows why oil prices are so high?
Things such as the increasing demand from China and India, as well as fears that a stand-off between the US and Iran could interrupt supplies, have been raising oil prices. Alternatively, financial factors may be at work, such as a hedge fund having to sell a particular oil contract so it does not end up receiving a tanker-load of oil - or a trader deciding it would be fun to be the first to trade oil above $100 a barrel. - BBC - 2/21/08

PERCEIVED MIDDLE EASTERN ?! You are in deep trouble by the U.S. Government
I, still with a dim glimmer of hope, had submitted this open letter to every organ of our government, from the White House, to Senate and the House leadership and various government departments, including the Office of the Attorney General. My hope was that perhaps impartial investigation would lead to the refining of our laws (e.g., Patriot Act, FISA, Military Act 2006, etc.) and government policies to safeguard every citizen's legal rights and due process. - PIROUZ AZADI - 2/20/08

Help Cyrus the Great Project
Filmmaker Cyrus Kar was captured by U.S. forces in Iraq on May 17, 2005 and jailed in solitary confinement for nearly two months while filming his documentary "In search of Cyrus the Great" the founder of the greatest and most just Empire the world had ever seen. - 2/20/08

MP: Fundamentalist coalition list more rational than UFF's
Asked why the new fundamentalist coalition was founded, Khoshchehreh replied, "Opinion polls show that people's attitude toward fundamentalists is not what certain figures claim, so we felt it was necessary to form this coalition." - Mehr - 2/20/08

Tehran to host peaceful nuclear activities int'l conference
National and international experts will take part in the conference to examine the next report of the IAEA head on Iran's nuclear program, Iran's full cooperation with the agency and Iranians determination for utilizing peaceful nuclear energy. -ISNA - 2/20/08

JUST WANNA BE YOUR TEDDY BEAR !
Four movies by prominent Iranian filmmakers were screened and competed for the Top Golden Bear Prize and several other categories including for Best Actor in at the 58th edition of the Berlin Film Festival in Germany. - 2/20/08

"Jan-i-Gal" screened in U.S.
"Jan-i-Gal" has been selected to represent Iraq in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the 80th Annual Academy Awards this year. - 2/20/08

Washington Theatre Group - Dirt
Dirt is a powerful, dramatic and gripping melodrama that confronts prejudice and hatred. The award-winning play is directed by David Levin and stars Shahin Shakibi - University of Maryland - 2/20/08

Unforgivable behavior, inadmissible evidence
Twenty-Seven years ago, in the final days of the Iran hostage crisis, the CIA's Tehran station chief, Tom Ahern, faced his principal interrogator for the last time. -IHT - 2/20/08

Iranian fundamentalists preach in cyberspace
Diniblog.com , a website run by the Office of Weblog Expansion, based in the Iranian shrine city of Qom, is championing blogging as the latest state-of-the-art means of upholding and communicating revolutionary values. - Guardian - 2/19/08

As polls loom, Iran takes its battles into the blogosphere
For Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, blogging has become an outlet for the frustration of being in opposition. Every day tens of thousands of reform-minded Iranians log on to his website, one of the few places where they can keep up with the news of political change. FT - 2/19/08

Italian show lauds Iranian cartoonists
Three Iranian cartoonists have won prizes at the 40th edition of the international show of humorous graphics, Umoristi a Marostica, which was held recently in Vicenza, northeastern Italy. - Mehr - 2/19/08

Egypt summons Danish ambassador over cartoons
The Egyptian government has summoned the ambassador of Denmark in Cairo to protest at the reprinting of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. - Reuters - 2/19/08

Iran bans female 'Schumacher'
The 31-year-old sportswoman, nicknamed "Little Schumacher" is a minor celebrity in her native country. She has also become a poster girl for Iranian women seeking to better their lot. - BBC - 2/19/08

Iran allows reformist candidates
The Iranian body that vets election candidates has reinstated another 251 people who had been banned from running in next month's parliamentary vote. - BBC - 2/19/08

Election fever in Iran
By the beginning of February it became clear that nearly 90 percent of independent and reformist candidates wishing to run for the parliament had been disqualified by members of the Supervisory and Executive Election Boards charged with vetting candidates. Although practically everyone across the political spectrum had expected large-scale disqualifications, the scope of rejections surprised even the most hardened observers. - 2/19/08

Iran seek homegrown coach as Clemente drops out
Iran on Tuesday said they were looking for a homegrown coach after Javier Clemente rejected an offer to train the national football team after a row over his insistence on living at home in Spain rather than in the Islamic republic. - AFP - 2/19/08

Iran plans to fire new research rockets into space
Iranian Space Agency President Ahmad Talebzadeh said here on Tuesday that ISA plans to send two new research rockets into space following the successful test of Researcher One rocket on Feb. 4. - 2/19/08

Iraqi Deaths Pain Sharon Stone
The star of "Basic Instinct" and other movies criticized both Arab countries and Israel for failing to resolve their decades-long conflict. She said she also opposes any military conflict with Iran. - AP - 2/19/08

Israel complains to UN over Iranian general's remarks
The Foreign Ministry instructed the Israeli delegation to the UN on Monday to issue a letter of complaint and protest to the president of the Security Council regarding the comments made by General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. - Israel's ynetnews - 2/19/08

Iran launches Islamic radio service in English
Radio deputy manager Hassan Khojasteh, expressing his pleasure over the launching of the English department explained, "The world is in dire need of Islamic teachings to help people find the right path in life, so we must make use of this channel as a source of guidance." Mehr - 2/19/08

Nomadic Felt Carpets Seek A Place In Western Homes
Almost all the space for exhibiting handcrafted carpets at the annual Domotex trade show in Hannover (January 12 – 15) is devoted to woven rugs. But at one stand, an Italian textile design house is displaying something one rarely sees at carpet shows. It is a roughly-textured felt mat as big as a sheet and its surface is brightly painted with an abstract design. The look is similar to a painting in a modern art gallery. -Charles Recknagelis - 2/18/08

WINDS OF CHANGE: Darius Danesh Is Rhett Butler at the New London Theatre
British Iranian Darius Danesh has been cast as 'Rhett Butler' in Trevor Nunn's musical production of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel, Gone With The Wind, which opens at the New London Theatre 22 April 2008, following previews from 4 April – booking (*) to 27 Sep 2008. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/18/08

Iran: Ayatollah Support Women's Right to Inheritance and Abortion
According to Parsine News Agency, Grand Ayatollah Mazaheri, one of the more renowned religious scholars based in Isfahan, has issued a Fatwa allowing unwed mothers to obtain abortions. - 2/18/08

Iranian experts innovate new cardiac pacemakers with nuclear battery
Researchers of Amir-Kabir Industrial University of Tehran have successfully innovated a new type of cardiac pacemakers with long-lasting nuclear batteries, it was reported on Monday. - 2/18/08

The Current State of Affairs in Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rise to the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2005 was the result of at least two interrelated factors: first, the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, which meant that an increasingly isolated Iran could end up as George W. Bush's third target for regime change in the Middle East, thus necessitating the rise to power of a Revolutionary Guardsman -Jalal Alavi - 2/18/08

Iran, Azerbaijan call for expansion of defense cooperation
Visiting Azeri Defense Minister Safar Abiyev conferred on Monday with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar on expansion of defense cooperation between the two countries. - 2/18/08

AFGHANISTAN: Mass deportation from Iran may cause crisis, official warns
The Afghan government has once again called upon the Iranian government to suspend its deportation of thousands of Afghans living in Iran illegally until after winter to avoid a humanitarian crisis. -IRIN - 2/18/08

Iran's space explorer successfully transmits scientific data - IRIB
The explorer, launched in the space earlier this month, has successfully transmitted scientific data back to the space center, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website said. -IRNA - 2/18/08

Iran, UAE stress expansion of ties
The visiting UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and Iran's First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi on Monday underscored the need for further expansion of bilateral relations. - 2/18/08

In the Middle East, women directors unspool social commentary
The Monitor talks to three female filmmakers about the trials and triumphs of moviemaking in conservative societies. -CSM - 2/18/08

Armenian presidential race focuses on economic revival, disputed Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia's location between the energy-rich Caspian Sea region and southern Europe, and its proximity to Iran, make it of strategic importance for the West and Russia. -AP - 2/18/08

Iran guards predict Israel demise
Iran's Revolutionary Guards leader has predicted the imminent destruction of Israel by fighters from the Lebanese movement Hezbollah. -BBC - 2/18/08

Iranian actor Naji wins Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear Award
First leading role actor of Iranian full length feature movie 'Avaaz-e Gonjeshk Haa' (Song of the Sparrows), Reza Naji, won Silver Bear Award of 58th Berlin Film Festival Saturday evening. - 2/17/08

Iran: Human-Rights Activists Concerned Over Prison Deaths, Torture
Zahra Bani Yaghoub seemed to have everything going for her. A 27-year-old graduate of the Tehran Medical University, she was a young doctor with a bright future. - 2/17/08

First phase of Iran oil bourse inaugurated on Kish island
The first phase of Iran's oil stock market started its work on Kish island in the Persian Gulf, southern Iran, on Sunday presenting oil and petrochemical products. - 2/17/08

Ebrahim Yazdi: An Iranian Revolutionary, Dismayed but Unbowed
“Iran is learning democracy,” he said, “because democracy is a learning process. Nobody will learn in a classroom. Democracy is not a commodity to be imported. America doesn’t carry democracy in its soldiers’ rucksacks. Democracy should come from within, through our own challenges and experiences.” -New York Times - 2/17/08

A message to Iranians: In response to the New York Times
A short February 4th, 2008 editorial in the New York Times (NYT) insert of the German "Süddeutsche" newspaper, entitled "How to Deal With Iran," criticizes the U.S. administration for not being resolute in its approach to Iran, i.e. not making a "grand gesture" to Iran, a code phrase for coercing Iran into a compromise, the details of which casually undisclosed. -Kuros Yalpani, Munich/Germany - 2/17/08

Women in the Middle East and North Africa: A Bibliography
Reference Corporation, the premier publisher of area studies bibliographies in the English language, including Middle East Abstracts & Index, is providing its two-volume, 1500-page bibliography on women in the Middle East and North Africa available for free download in two PDF files. - 2/17/08

Iranian silk strung harp revived
Tehrani artist Siamak Mehrdad has renewed the practice of using silk strings for the Iranian harp, a tradition which had been set aside for about 150 years. -MNA - 2/17/08

U.S. says Iran-backed groups using secret arms stores
The accusation comes days after Tehran postponed talks with the United States on improving security in Iraq for "technical reasons", a move that prompted rebukes from U.S. officials. -Reuters - 2/17/08

Iran-U.S. meeting, in the framework of FATF: Economy Minister
Western media had reported the event as secret rare meeting between U.S. treasury department's deputy and senior officials from Iran's central bank and government. -ISNA - 2/16/08

Winners of Fajr International Theater Festival announced
The winners of the 26th Fajr International Theater Festival were announced during a ceremony at Vahdat Hall on February 15. - 2/16/08

"Buddha Collapsed out of Shame" takes Berlin's Peace Prize
"Buddha Collapsed out of Shame" a film by Hana Makhmalbaf, 19, that had won several prizes in different international festivals, has now won Berlin's festival Peace Prize. - 2/16/08

Over 100 artworks sold on first day of "Seven Views"
One hundred and fifteen artworks were sold on the first day of the second edition of the "Seven Views" expo, which opened on February 15 at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center. - 2/16/08

Photos: Migration of birds to Qeshm island in Persian Gulf
Qeshm is an island situated in the Strait of Hormuz off the south coast of Iran and east of the Persian Gulf (26‹50ŒN, 56‹0ŒE). Khouran Strait separates mainland Iran from Qeshm Island. - 2/16/08

Photos: Snowman Festival in Hamedan, Iran
Hamadan or Hamedan is the capital city of Hamadan Province of Iran. It had an estimated population of 550,284 in 2005. Hamedan is believed to be amongst the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. - 2/16/08

CBI governor: Iran too strong to be affected by US sanctions
Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Tahmasb Mazaheri said here Saturday that Iran is too strong and too great to get into in trouble as a result of financial restrictions the US has imposed on the country's banking system. - 2/16/08

Piracy untunes "Santur Player"
The producer of the controversial film "The Santur Player" faced the nightmare of piracy when he saw bootleg CDs of the film on sale in Tehran's black market last week. -MNA - 2/16/08

Washington's lack of firmness postponed Iraq negotiations: Iranian official
"The U.S. was not firm about this issue although they had expressed they were ready, therefore the sides couldn't come up with a final decision on the date," this official noted. -ISNA - 2/16/08

Iraqi FM: Some 200 MKO members leave Iraq
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Saturday that some 200 members of the outlawed grouplet called Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) have left Iraq in recent days. -IRNA - 2/16/08

Afghanistan: Analysts Mixed On Pakistani Elections' Impact On Regional Security
There are no signs of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency abating along the Afghan-Pakistani border. If anything, the run-up to Pakistan's parliamentary vote has seen rising violence in the tribal regions, with scores killed in attacks in the last week alone. -RFE - 2/16/08

Iran: Rafsanjani says GC should provide for broad presence at polls
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Friday advised Parliament's Guardians Council to pave the path for broad presence of Islamic Revolution's supporters at 8th Parliament's elections. - 2/15/08

PAF presents Weaving the Common Thread: Perspectives from Iranian Artists in New York
In its third successful year as an organization devoted to providing a platform for Persian artists and visionaries, Persian Arts Festival (PAF) has joined forces with the Queens Museum of Art (QMA) to present a groundbreaking exhibition, Weaving the Common Thread, that investigates how contemporary Persian art has been influenced and inspired by the post-revolutionary Iranian Diaspora. - 2/15/08

U.S. Tour of Duty: The Iran Talks
The Iran Talks, is a national tour co-sponsored by U.S. Tour of Duty, Peace Action and Fellowship of Reconciliation. - 2/15/08

NIAC Workshops: Learn how to Influence Policy
As the 2008 election season heats up, NIAC is conducting workshops in cities around the country to educate the Iranian American community on how to influence policy makers and impact the American political process. - 2/15/08

A Shia Muslim reflects on her Los Angeles Religious Delegation Mission to Rome, the Vatican, and Jerusalem
The weight of our Muslim Ummah rested on my shoulders as I warmly greeted Rabbi Mark Diamond, the Executive Vice President of Southern California Board of Rabbis who organized our religious and interfaith mission trip to Rome, the Vatican and Jerusalem. -Nur Amersi - 2/15/08

Mujahedin-e Khalq asks to be removed from State terror list
The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) held a large event in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday as part of its lobbying effort to be removed from the State Departmentfs list of terrorist organizations. -Ali G. Scotten, NIAC - 2/15/08

Tehran, Washington talks on Iraq postponed but not called off: ambassador
Tehran and Washington once more postponed negotiations over Iraq, said the ambassador of Iran to Baghdad but emphasized the talks will definitely take place. -ISNA - 2/15/08

Azerbaijan: Washington, Baku Concerned About PKK Cells In Caucasus
Azerbaijan's government has raised concerns with U.S. officials that militants from Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are expanding from northern Iraq into the Caucasus and could be setting up cells in Azerbaijan. -RFE - 2/15/08

Iran Jews celebrate Persian roots, seek to maintain shrinking community
Members of Iran's tiny Jewish minority gathered at the holy shrine of the Prophet Daniel in the southwest of the country Thursday to celebrate their Persian roots and keep alive a dwindling community. -AP - 2/15/08

Anooshirvan Nozad: 1939-2008
It is with regret that we have to announce the passing away of Anooshirvan Nozad, the father of Pejman Nozad. - 2/15/08

French artists to hold theater workshops at University of Tehran
French stage director Fabrice Nicot and choreographer Rejane Douarre will hold workshops at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Tehran this semester. -MNA - 2/15/08

Iran, Syria to form fact-finding team to probe into Mughniyah assassination
An Iranian Foreign Ministry official said Friday a joint fact-finding team will be set up by Iran and Syria to probe into causes of Lebanese senior Hizbollah Commander Imad Mughniyah's assassination - 2/15/08

Syria 'to name Mughniyeh killer'
Speaking after meeting his Iranian counterpart in Damascus, Mr Moualem said the Syrian security services had devoted huge resources to their investigation into "this despicable crime" and would soon unmask the killer. -BBC - 2/15/08

Parvin Ardalan Wins the Olof Palme 2007 award
With great joy and absolute delight, we learned that our dear friend Parvin Ardalan has won the Olof Palme Award for 2007. This award is given for an outstanding achievement in the spirit of Olof Palme, the late Swedish prime minister who was assassinated in 1986. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/14/08

Iran: Women's Magazine Felled By Latest Government Closure
Iranian authorities' decision to shut down an influential women's magazine for "damaging society" and painting a gloomy picture of life in Iran has sparked criticism at home and in the West. -RFE - 2/14/08

Iran jumps two spots in FIFA ranking
Iran moves up two places to 39th in the FIFA ranking, but stands third in Asia after Australia jumped 10 spots to the 38th position. -Press TV - 2/14/08

Iranians Scheme to Elude Sanctions
Tough sanctions haven't brought Iran to its knees, but they're rewriting how business is done in the Middle East's second-largest economy. -FARNAZ FASSIHI, Tehran - 2/14/08

Iran: Women's Activist Wins Human Rights Award
Parvin Ardalan, a leading Iranian women's rights activist, has won the Palme Award for her work and commitment to human rights. Ardalan is a founder and active member of the One Million Signature Campaign, a movement that aims to promote equal rights for women in Iranian society. -RFE - 2/14/08

Iran Postpones Meeting With US About Iraq's Security Situation
The Associated Press news agency quotes U.S. embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo as saying it is increasingly clear that Iran is not ready to sit down for talks. -VOA - 2/14/08

Iranian women win taekwondo title
Iran has taken the championship in the international female taekwondo competitions held in the city of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. -Press TV - 2/14/08

Azerbaijan: Energy-Rich, And Hungry For More
It's an era of prosperity for the former Soviet republic. The country's budget is brimming with oil and gas revenues, and officials are feeling expansive. One billion dollars has been earmarked for defense; another $10 billion is being held for civilian initiatives. -RFE - 2/14/08

Neo-cons on the run
In the post-cold war period, after the collapse of the U.S.S.R when the United States claimed the status of the only superpower and acted as one by unilaterally invading the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, the neocons who were schooled in the art of campaigns against socialism, national liberation and working class struggle in Europe and Asia, found fertile ground in two commanding posts -Ardeshir Ommani - 2/14/08

Weightlifting: Iran's Panzvan captures gold medals
Seyyed Mehdi Panzvan captures three gold medals at the Namjoo International Weightlifting Competition in the 69 kilogram category. - 2/14/08

Putin: Russia Will Target Former Satellites If Necessary
Russian President Vladimir Putin has again warned that Russian missiles will be pointed at Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Poland if those countries allow U.S. missile defense facilities to be deployed within their borders. -VOA - 2/14/08

Iran bans five websites
Iran's ever watchful authorities have long kept close ties on the internet but now they have surpassed themselves by ordering the closure of five websites in a single day. -Guardian - 2/14/08

Iran: Killing of Hezbollah commander exemplifies Israeli organized terrorism
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hossini condemned on Wednesday the assassination of senior Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh as "the blatant example of the Zionist regime's organized terrorism." -MNA - 2/14/08

Persian-speakers to Rally in London
Persian-speakers of Britain are planning to hold a rally in front of the Afghan Embassy in London coming Friday (15 February) in protest against the Afghan Culture Ministry's decision to reprimand a journalist for using Persian words in his report. The rally is being organized by Persian-speaking Afghanistani nationals in London. -Tajikistan Web - 2/14/08

Remembering IR-655: Shot down over Persian Gulf
On Sunday July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655), a commercial flight operated from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai, was shot down by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children, 8 of them less than 2 years old. -Ahmad Nadalian - 2/13/08

Traditional brick work betrayed by mass production, one of the last brick work artists says
Mohammad Qasem Akhavian, one of the remaining brick workers, who has seventy years of experiences in this field, told handicrafts correspondent of Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA: In people's view, there is no money in brick work art. Therefore they have no interest in learning it. - 2/13/08

US National Olympic Committee invites Iranian football team to friendlies
The United States invited Iranian national football team for friendly matches, Secretary General of Iran National Olympic Committee and Chairman of Iran Football Federation Ali Kafashian said on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/13/08

"Iran, Seven Faces of a Civilization" wins acclaim
Producers of the book and film "Iran, Seven Faces of a Civilization" were honored in a ceremony held at the Restoration and Renovation Research Center of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) on Wednesday. - 2/13/08

7th Iran Contemporary Painting Biennial kicks off in Tehran
The 7th Iran Contemporary Painting Biennial was inaugurated at the Saba Art and Cultural Institute on Tuesday. Five hundred artworks by 430 artists have been put on display and 30 veteran guest artists are also participating. - 2/13/08

Oil minister: Iran's Oil Bourse to start operation next week
Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Wednesday that Iran's Oil Bourse is to start operation from next Sunday. -IRNA - 2/13/08

Iran: 22 reformist candidates approved to run for parliament
The Guardian Council has approved the eligibility of 22 reformist candidates whose competence had earlier been rejected by supervisory and executive boards at the Interior Ministry. - 2/13/08

Iran accounts for 13.53% of OPEC supply
For the time being, Iran's oil consumption is 3.752 billion barrels per day, and taking an average growth of 5.6 percent into account per year, the consumption would reach the production by 2025 -MNA - 2/13/08

Celebrate Valentine with David & Layla premiere at Quad Cinema, New York
5 Awards, 21 International Film Festivals (2 in Israel) including Human Rights/Conflict Resolution & Love/Romantic film festivals! - 2/13/08

Clemente's job with Iran in the air as Tehran rejects "remote control" coach
Javier Clemente's job as Iran's new soccer coach appeared to be in jeopardy Wednesday after the Iranian soccer federation insisted he must live in the country full-time, and not just travel there before matches. -AP - 2/13/08

West seeking to undermine Mideast security: Rafsanjani
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has warned of the Western powers' efforts to undermine the security in the Middle East that has been established through regional countries' cooperation. -MNA - 2/13/08

Russia Warns of New Arms Race in Outer Space
Russia is warning of a new arms race if a treaty banning the deployment of weapons in outer space is not achieved. Russia and China have jointly presented a draft treaty to the U.N. Conference on Disarmament that would prohibit the deployment of weapons in space and the threat or use of force against satellites or other spacecraft. -VOA - 2/13/08

Next Iran-US talks on Iraq to be held at expert level: FM
The fourth round of Iran-US talks on Iraq would be held at expert level, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/13/08

Dream of Peace in Persian Gulf: 15th Environmental Art Festival in Iran at the Persian Gulf (January 2008)
On the 26th of January 2008, fifty artists accompanied me and we traveled to the Persian Gulf (Hormoz Island). More than 50 local artists joined us and we realized a new environmental art event. I was responsible to select artists and act as an art director. So far, I was responsible for 15 environmental art festivals in Iran. There were many more event and projects. -Ahmad Nadalian - 2/12/08

"So Simple" scoops top trophies at Fajr Film Festival
The woman-centered drama "So Simple" has won Best Film Crystal Simorgh in the Iranian Films Section at the 26th Fajr International Film Festival. - 2/12/08

Majidi's Sparrow Eye's Berlin Bear
After a critical misfire with moralistic melodrama "The Weeping Willow," Iran's only Oscar-nominated director, Majid Majidi ("Children of Heaven"), returns in "The Song of Sparrows" to dramatic territory he effectively mined in earlier works. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/12/08

IRAN: Fishing In Troubled Caspian Waters
The unresolved issue of dividing the Caspian Sea among its five littoral states has become a sensitive one for many Iranians who allege a concession to Russia may be in the making by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadfs government, in return for supporting Iranfs nuclear policies. -Kimia Sanati, IPS - 2/12/08

It's Official: Clemente to lead Iran's national team
Iran says Spain's Javier Clemente has clinched a final deal to coach the national soccer team that has been without a leader for months. -Press TV - 2/12/08

Iran: Dissidents See Dark Legacy Of 'Glorious Revolution'
Thousands of Iranians have turned out for rallies to mark the day 29 years ago when the U.S.-backed shah of Iran was toppled. It's called the "Glorious Victory of the Islamic Revolution." But not everyone looks back on it as a glorious time for Iran. -RFE - 2/12/08

Many in Iran bear the U.S. no ill will
When the shah ruled Iran, the Westernized elite would enjoy Hollywood movies at a small theater in the center of the city. Today, that theater is an Islamic cultural center and a meeting place for fundamentalists. -IHT - 2/12/08

Iran-US talks on Iraq to be held in Baghdad
Iran's ambassador to Iraq, who attended two rounds of trilateral talks between Washington, Tehran and Baghdad about security in Iraq, said the US has asked for Iran's help to exit Iraq. -IRNA - 2/12/08

Iran's carpet exports down by 80 percent since 1995
The chief of Tehran Carpet Sellers Union said that Iran's carpet exports have dropped by 80 percent during the current year compared with 1995. The values of carpet exports has dropped from 1.6 billion dollar in 1994 to dlrs 450 million now, Ahmad Sadeqi said. - 2/12/08

Iran to launch investment banks
Head of Iran's Privatization Organization Gholam-Reza Heidari Kord-Zangeneh Iran is to launch three investment banks for the first time next month, aimed to bypass US restrictions on the nation's financial sector. - 2/12/08

Berlin's trade stance against Tehran hardens
Germany is cracking down on business with Iran far more systematically than suspected, unpublished figures from the economics ministry showed yesterday. -Financial Times - 2/12/08

Iran's Clerical Old Guard Being Pushed Aside
After Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's followers toppled a U.S.-backed autocracy in Iran, he brought to power a coterie of politically engaged clerics who sought to create the world's first Islamic republic. Nearly 30 years later, a new generation of politicians is sweeping aside those clerics, many of whom had become proponents of better relations with the West and gradual steps toward greater democracy. -Washington Post - 2/12/08

Beijing Opera to stage Persian performances in Tehran
Chinese performers selected from the Beijing Opera arrived in Tehran on Monday. The 23-member troupe, which is to include the Iranian artist Ghaffar Purazar, will be giving several performances. -MNA - 2/12/08

Soccer unites Iranian, German women in documentary
A dogged desire for equality and freedom -- at least for 90 minutes -- is at the heart of a documentary about a football match between the Iranian women's soccer team and a Berlin girls' squad in Tehran in 2006. -Reuters - 2/12/08

When "great" scholars play a deadly role
As I read through the pages of history books, I came to conclude that the advice of "wise men and women," foreign experts on Iran and its politics, had played a role in the decision of the major powers, Great Britain and the US, to bring Mossadegh down. Various names come to mind: Zahner, Wilber, and Lambton. Robin Zahner, who was at Oxford, and fluent in Persian became a major player in this scheme. -Fariba Amini - 2/11/08

Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader by Kasra Naji
Many of you may not know that a new book by Kasra Naji has been published. Kasra, an old friend of ours, has worked as a journalist for major news media such as The Guardian, LA Times, The Economist, BBC, The Financial Times, CNN, ABC and many others about the Middle East and Asia. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/11/08

Pixar's Rat Beats Sony's Princess at Annie Awards
gourmet rat was the big cheese at the 35th celebration, winning 9 Annie Awards. Honoring the best in animation for 2007, the annual gala event was held on February 8, 2008 at UCLA's Royce Hall. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/11/08

The Other Iran
If youfre going to get lost, Esfahan (also spelled Isfahan), a city of 1.3 million about 200 miles south of Tehran in central Iran, is an extraordinary place to do it. Therefs a centuries-old saying that Esfahan is ghalf the world,h meaning it contains fully half of the earthfs wonders. -James Vlahos, New York Times - 2/11/08

Film Society Presents Young Iranian Filmmakers
Special Guests: Mohamad Nazaarizadeh, P. K. Ziainia, Ayda Safaei, Sara Mashayekh and Eslam Anthony Shams -SUNDAY FEBRUARY 17 in Los Angeles. - 2/11/08

Fajr filmfest award winner "Child of the Earth" reviewed
Mohammad-Ali Ahangar's "Child of the Earth" was reviewed during a meeting at the Sahra Cinema on February 10. Screened at the 26th Fajr International Film Festival, "Child of the Earth" was awarded best screenplay in the festival's international section. - 2/11/08

Reza Pahlavi: Neo-Con Asset
Once again the neo-cons have given Reza Pahlavi a platform, but it is not clear who the intended audience is. The feigned altruistic appeal in his speech bears an eerie resemblance to the rehearsed Iraqi appeals before that country was invaded. - 2/11/08

Iran: MP urges Guardian Council to restore hopefuls' rights
In a letter to the Guardian Council, MP Ahmad Tavakkoli has urged the vetting body to make further efforts in studying the petitions of the candidates banned from contesting the elections. -MNA - 2/11/08

Accept That the Regime in Iran Is Here To Stay
Many respectable experts on Iran, prominent among them Americans, Israelis and Iranians-in-exile, believe they know how to replace the theocratic regime in Tehran with something far more benign and friendly...Yet the simplest indication that regime change efforts against Tehran donft work is the fact that for nearly 30 years they havenft worked. -Yossi Alpher, Forward - 2/11/08

My hols: Omid Djalili
Omid Djalili, 42, was born in London to Iranian parents and is now acclaimed as one of Britain’s finest stand-up comedians. -TIMES Online, UK - 2/11/08

China ready to join IPI gas project: report
China has reportedly said it is ready to join Pakistan and Iran in their gas pipeline project if India did not join it, local media reported on Monday. - 2/11/08

Iran sees less threat in exiled MKO militants
Some 100 members of the Iranian antiregime group have left a holding camp in Iraq in recent weeks. Iran says amnesty offer holds. -CSM - 2/11/08

Does Iranian Government Fear Educated Women?
Who's afraid of girls? The Iranian government, it seems. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Iranian girls enrolling in universities and other institutions of higher education. While many governments would see this as a blessing worth boasting about, that's not the case in Iran. -RFE - 2/10/08

Iran replaces Tehran University chancellor after student protests
Iran replaced Tehran University's chancellor, who was the first Islamic cleric appointed by the hard-line government to the post, with a non-cleric economics instructor after allegations of mismanagement, state media reported Sunday. -AP - 2/10/08

Iran to Privatize $90 bln of Energy Assets
Iran plans to privatize 47 firms in its energy sector worth $90 billion and set up a holding company for these assets which it will list on four international exchanges, a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) executive said. -Fars News - 2/10/08

AFGHANISTAN: Government raps emergency response commission as winter death toll rises
Latest figures compiled by the Afghanistan National Disasters Management Authority (ANDMA) show that over 650 people - mostly children and the elderly - have died since December as a result of sub-zero temperatures, snow and cold-related respiratory diseases. -IRIN - 2/10/08

A Strike in the Dark
Sometime after midnight on September 6, 2007, at least four low-flying Israeli Air Force fighters crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a secret bombing mission on the banks of the Euphrates River, about ninety miles north of the Iraq border. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 2/10/08

Caspian's Fereydoun-Kenar, first Iranian port run by private sector
The inauguration ceremony for ceding the state run Casipan port of Fereydoun Kenar to the private sector was held on Sunday morning. The 60-acre port city of Fereydoun-Kenar is located some 238 km north of the capital Tehran. - 2/10/08

Tajik President Wraps up Iran visit
Rakhmon had arrived in Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport on Saturday and was welcomed by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on arrival. He was accorded an official reception by his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday morning. - 2/10/08

Lorca's "Yerma" goes on stage in Iranian theater gala
Federico García Lorca's "Yerma" which was staged at the 26th Fajr International Theater Festival was reviewed at the Mehr News Agency venue on Friday. -MNA - 2/9/08

Iranian scientists produce mouse using stem cells
Scientists of the Royan Research Center has successfully produced a mouse using embryonic stem cells, it was reported on Saturday. -IRNA - 2/9/08

Censure forces withdrawn of "Tambourine" from 26th Fajr Film Festival
The movie which is an entry in the national competition section of the gala was screened once on Thursday at the Felestin cinema hall when it was warmly received by viewers, producer Jamal Sadatian told Mehr News Agency, adding that its Friday screening at the Farhang cinema was canceled by cultural officials. - 2/9/08

Iran has 90 billion barrels oil reserves in Persian Gulf
The managing director of the National Iranian Continental Shelf Oil Company said on Saturday that Iran's oil reserve in Persian Gulf is estimated at 90 billion barrels. - 2/9/08

"A Light in the Fog" highlights waiting: director
The subject of waiting is focused on in "A Light in the Fog", director Panahbarkhoda Rezaii said. "The main themes of the film are waiting and man's loneliness which have been painstakingly depicted in fascinating natural landscapes," Rezaii stated. - 2/9/08

Iran to create ME largest trade, tourist center by 2010
The largest commercial, recreational and tourist complex throughout the Middle East named Khalij-e Fars (the Persian Gulf), costing some 500 million dollars will be inaugurated by the early 2010 in the city of Shiraz, southern Iran, said the managing director of the project on Saturday. - 2/9/08

Iran proposes fresh formula to break logjam over LNG to India
Iran has proposed a fresh formula to break the logjam over the pricing issue of a 25-year contract to supply five million tonnes of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) per annum. - 2/9/08

Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan Up For A Fight, But Armenia Unbowed
EU officials touring the South Caucasus this week were confronted by heated words from President Ilham Aliyev, who told them Azerbaijan is ready to "wage war" with neighboring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. -RFE - 2/9/08

VOA's Persian News Network Coverage of the Anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution
Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN) will feature special coverage throughout next week to mark the 29th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution. - 2/9/08

Gasoline storage capacity stands at 2.5b liters - Iranian official
Iran's gasoline storage capacity stands at 2.5 billion liters, said Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Derivatives Distribution Company Shahnazizadeh on Saturday. -IRNA - 2/9/08

US Official: Iran Has No Need to Build More Nuclear Power Plants
A senior U.S. official says the United States sees no need "at all" for Iran to build additional nuclear power plants. -VOA - 2/9/08

Iran resumes gas export to Turkey
Iran continues to export gas to Turkey, head of the public relations unit of Iranian national gas company said. -ISNA - 2/9/08

Iran: Discovery of one of the ten largest Achaemenid buildings with a structure similar to Persepolis
Have the archaeologists reached the ancient city of Lidoma, mentioned in historical plates? - 2/8/08

INTERVIEW: An Iranian journalist speaks out against censorship
Things haven't been easy for Arash Sigarchi. At the age of 27, he was sent to prison for writing articles criticizing the leader of the Islamic Republic and aspects of life in Iran. He was first sentenced to 14 years, charged with "insulting Mr. Khamenei in his writings, collaboration with hostile governments, giving interviews to foreign media, and incitement of the public mind." - 2/8/08

Fajr Film Festival: Crystal Simorghs presented to international section winners
Winners of the international section of the 26th Fajr International Film Festival were announced on February 7 at the Aseman Cultural Center. - 2/8/08

Iranian Alliances Across Borders' 2nd Annual Essay Contest
The Essay Contest aims to encourage writers and readers alike to think about issues that are important to hyphenated Iranians as individuals, as members of the Diaspora community and as members of the global community at large. - 2/8/08

NIAC Protests Google's Use of Divisive Terms for the Persian Gulf
NIAC has protested Google’s inclusion of the politically divisive term “Arabian Gulf” on its application Google Earth. Historically, the usage of this term for the Persian Gulf has been led by pan-Arab figures such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to rally the Arab masses against the non-Arab peoples in the Middle East. - 2/8/08

Iran-US talks to be held after Feb. 11
Iran's foreign minister said there would be a new round of talks with the U.S. on Iraq after February 11. -ISNA - 2/8/08

Iranian-Americans Seek Least-Hawkish Candidate
Jaded toward their government back home and cynical of the current U.S. administration and the Republicans they historically supported, a new generation of Iranian-Americans appears to be looking to Barack Obama to bring about change, especially with regards to U.S. foreign policy toward Iran. -Omid Memarian, IPS - 2/8/08

Iran to build second nuclear power plant
Iran has started to build the second nuclear power plant. Iranian ambassador to Russia Gholam Reza Ansari said now Iran needs to think of ways for providing the new power plant with required nuclear fuel. - 2/8/08

Iran: 'Hardened Drinker' Faces Death Penalty
The man -- identified only by his first name, Mohsen -- was reportedly sentenced to death after a Tehran court judged him a "hardened and incorrigible drinker." Iranian media reported that a second Tehran court is currently deciding whether Mohsen should be executed. - 2/8/08

A Nuclear-Free Mirage
The Middle East cannot be freed from weapons of mass destruction unless the US turns the spotlight on Israel -Dilip Hiro, Guardian - 2/8/08

Waterboarding Is Legal, White House Says
The White House said Wednesday that the widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding is legal and that President Bush could authorize the CIA to resume using the simulated-drowning method under extraordinary circumstances. -Los Angeles Times - 2/8/08

Multiple quakes hit Oz and Mohr in Iran's Fars Province
No fatality and damage were left from the four consecutive quakes shaking two cities of southern province of Fars from late Thursday until Friday morning. -IRNA - 2/8/08

What next for the Bhutto clan?
Nieman fellow Iason Athanasiadis examines the Bhutto dynasty amid the chaos and foreboding of life in Pakistan, with a focus on Fatima Bhutto, a niece of Benazir Bhutto. What role might she play in her countryfs future? - 2/7/08

Illinois Town Rejects War With Iran by 4-to-1 Margin
By a four-to-one margin, voters in Urbana, Illinois approved on Tuesday a referendum calling on Congress to act to prevent war with Iran. The vote was 5,681, or 81%, in favor, with 1,364, or 19%, opposed. - 2/7/08

HAIL BARONESS AFSHAR!: First Iranian Woman In the House of Lords
The first Iranian woman takes up a seat on The House of Lords crossbenches as a non-party political peer in recognition of her work. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/7/08

Iran: Blessed Food
For many Muslims one of the most poignant rituals connected with the month of mourning, Moharram, is the free distribution of food. During this period, a businessman from Tehran, Haji Loloi, offers food to some 1500 families. - 2/7/08

Iran's Khatami furious over reformist vote 'catastrophe'
Iran's ex-president Mohammad Khatami labelled the mass disqualification of reformist candidates for parliamentary elections as a "catastrophe" which threatens the Islamic revolution, the press reported on Thursday. -AFP - 2/7/08

Iran: Photographer of dessert terrains Nikol Faridani dies
Iranian photographer of dessert terrains Nikol Faridani died on Wednesday at his home, beside his photos and cameras. He was 72. - 2/7/08

Human Rights Watch: Iran's Judiciary Must Prevent Imminent Executions by Stoning
The head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, should immediately revoke the sentences of death by stoning imposed on three persons convicted of adultery, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/7/08

Iran Judiciary chief bans detention without formal charges
It further referred to Ayatollah Shahroudi's decree as saying "Refrain from summoning people without pressing charges. Refrain from holding people under arrest without pressing charges. Refrain from granting bail without pressing charges." -IRNA - 2/7/08

Bold diplomacy needed with Iran
If you want to see why our nation's policy on Iran has failed, look no further than a revealing episode at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. -Senator Dianne Feinstein - 2/7/08

South Africa urges UNSC to admit outcome of Iran-IAEA cooperation
A senior official with South Africa's Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged members of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to avoid discrediting the body by making unmeasured moves concerning Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 2/7/08

Iraqi government not seeking to amend Algiers Accord: envoy
Iraqi ambassador to Tehran, Mohammad Majid Al-Sheik, said here on Wednesday that some Iraqi lawmakers' calls for changing the terms of the Algiers Accord does not represent the government's official stance. -MNA - 2/7/08

Iran Sex Changes Get Mullahs' Money as Regime Persecutes Gays
Nasser didn't think much of Iran's Islamic regime -- until it paid for him to become a woman. -Bloomberg - 2/7/08

Turkey Moves to Lift Ban on Headscarves
Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling Justice and Development party has won the first of two votes in parliament to change the country's constitution to lift a ban on the wearing of religious headscarves at universities. The move is proving deeply controversial with opponents of the reform who argue it threatens the secular foundation of Turkey. -VOA - 2/7/08

US Aid for Russia Linked to Iran
A U.S. program to keep Russian scientists from providing nuclear expertise to terrorists has funded research facilities that have helped Iran build its new nuclear power reactor, a congressional committee says, citing Russian sources. -AP - 2/7/08

Iran, Syria draw 0-0 in World Cup qualifier
Iran and Syria drew 0-0 in a sluggish play on the first leg of World Cup 2010 qualifier on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/6/08

Curtains up on "Theater for All" Fajr festival
Curtains went up for the 26th Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran as the opening ceremony was held at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, on Wednesday with the motto "Theater for All". -MNA - 2/6/08

World can be proud of female Iranian film makers
An executive manager of Australian film festival said on Wednesday, "Iranian women's presence in film making field is an honorable event the world can be proud of." - 2/6/08

Iran sets oil production record: Oil Minister
Iran on February 5 set an oil production record during the post-revolution era by pumping 4.184 million barrels crude oil, Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/6/08

Caspian: Baku-Ashgabat Thaw Could Have Energy Impact
Plans have existed for more than a decade to build trans-Caspian pipelines to bring oil and gas to markets in Europe -- and lessen Western dependence on Russian supply routes. Cool relations between Baku and Ashgabat, among other problems, have prevented those blueprints from becoming reality. -RFE - 2/6/08

UK not convinced at claim MKO has renounced terrorism
Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown says that the British government is not convinced at that the Mujahideen-e Khalq has given up terrorism, saying its forced disarmament by US forces was "entirely pragmatic." - 2/6/08

Terrorism Awareness Indeed
The U.S. State Department officially considers the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) a Foreign Terrorist Organization. While those honors date back to 1994, they’ve been renewed during the Bush years. Indeed in 2003 Foggy Bottom went further, including the National Council of Resistance of Iran — an MEK alias — under the terrorist designation. -Ourfuture,org - 2/6/08

Talabani highlights importance of Ahmadinejad's future visit to Iraq
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Wednesday described the upcoming visit of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iraq as 'unprecedented'. - 2/6/08

Emirate and Bahrain against U.S. "financial terrorism" on Iran: Centtral Bank Director
Bahrain and Emirate protect Iran's banking system against Washington's "financial terrorism," the director of Iran's central bank, Tahmasb Mazaheri said. -ISNA - 2/6/08

Iran blames India for launching an Israeli spy satellite
Iran asked India not to pave the way for any country to spy on Iran, Iranian ambassador to India said. A few days ago India launched the Israeli TecSar satellite. -ISNA - 2/6/08

Iraq, 2nd target of Iranian exported goods - official
In the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (started March21, 2007), dlrs 1.262 billion worth non-oil commodities were exported to Iraq via Iranian land and sea borders -IRNA - 2/6/08

Seventh partner to join Nabucco gas pipeline project
Nabucco is a 3,300-kilometre pipeline to transport gas from the Middle East and Central Asia to consumers in Europe while bypassing Russia. -MNA - 2/6/08

Why the Saudis aren't lifting a finger to ease oil prices
Here's one of the most important puzzles of global oil security: Since the late 1970s, Saudi Arabia has pumped the market with oil, fearing that high prices could hurt global growth, reduce demand for Saudi oil, and anger its protector, Uncle Sam. -CSM - 2/6/08

Mahdokht Khanboluki: A lovely princess with chic silence
One of the best things that happened to me toward the end of the year was to come to know a lady painter who just paints for the love of it. I had seen an example of her work in the restaurant at the Artists Forum and asked for her contact details, and last month I went to meet Ms Mahdokht Khanboluki at her house and was impressed with the warmth of her works. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/5/08

Lecture at UCLA: The United States and Iran: Missed Opportunities and Future Prospects for Reconciliation
A public lecture by Barbara Slavin, United States Institute of Peace. Barbara Slavin is a Jennings Randolph fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she is continuing research that builds on her new book, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation. - 2/5/08

Bank Of The South: A potential new challenge to hegemonic global finance and its monetary terrorism
National identity, along with political and economic democracy are essential ingredients of a society that is sustainable across time and space. On the other hand, economic dependency, political powerlessness and alienation, along with the absence of democracy, create vulnerabilities for internal and external plunder and exploitation. Accordingly, in the post-colonial societies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the struggle today is to maintain a semblance of a genuinely independent socio-economic and political structure. -Mehdi S. Shariati - 2/5/08

Freedom in Love is One-Sided
I enter the Metro station. Like always, I am confused by the many entrances. When I finally find my way, I have to run to make it on to the train. I am so tired, that I am unable to stand. I join a group of other women and we sit on the floor of the women only car -Nafiseh Azad - 2/5/08

Iran Test Launches Rocket Designed to Carry Homemade Satellite Into Space
Iranian state-run television showed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad giving the order to launch the rocket, named Explorer-1. He called it a giant step toward serving mankind and Iranian progress. The television footage showed the rocket blasting off toward the sky. -VOA - 2/5/08

Iran: More reformist candidates have been rejected
"In many of constituencies, a lot of reformist candidates who had been endorsed by the administrative commissions, have been disqualified by the supervisory commissions at this stage," Safdar Hosseini, chairman of the provincial committee of the Reformists Coalition, told the Iranian Students News Agency on Monday. - 2/5/08

Iran launches project to build stealth aircraft
Air Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani said in Tehran on Monday that Iran has launched the project to manufacture stealth aircrafts. -MNA - 2/5/08

“The Myth of a Maverick”: Matt Welch on GOP Frontrunner John McCain
McCain is basically winning the GOP primaries on the back of the antiwar vote, when in fact he would be the most explicitly interventionist president since Teddy Roosevelt, and he certainly makes George Bush look gun-shy by comparison. -Democracy Now - 2/5/08

Rafsanjani calls for moderation in governing the country
"Extremism is the result of prejudice. Our country has suffered huge losses from extremism over the course of history," Rafsanjani told the Reformist Fundamentalist Front in a meeting on Monday. -MNA - 2/5/08

Iran most successful state in acting on its pledges in Afghanistan: Official
Twenty-four countries, including Iran, and international organizations are expected to be present in the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan Development and Reconstruction on February 5-6. -IRNA - 2/5/08

Iran, Iraq call for expansion of energy cooperation
Iraqi Minister of Electricity Karim Wahid Hassan, who is in Tehran at the head of a delegation for talks with Iranian officials, in a meeting with Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah, called on Iran to increase cooperation and investment in the field of power and energy in Iraq. -IRNA - 2/5/08

Iranian internet users number 18 million
The number of Iranians having access to Internet amounts 18 million connecting from homes, universities, or via the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) of cell phones - 2/5/08

US commander: No hostile act from Iran observed in Iraq
The US commander in Iraqi central province of Diyala has said he witnessed no hostile act from Iranian side in the region during the past 10 months, a French weekly reported on Monday. -IRNA - 2/5/08

IRAQ: Government plans massive mine clearance operation
Iraq is planning a huge mine clearance operation in a bid to rid itself of some 25 million unexploded mines in some 4,000 minefields, Environment Minister Narmin Othman said on 3 February. -IRIN - 2/5/08

Iran Dismisses US Concerns Regarding Tehran Space Program
Iranian officials have dismissed U.S. concerns regarding the country's space program after launching a new rocket capable of carrying the first domestically-built satellite into orbit. -VOA - 2/5/08

Journalist/Middle East Author Stephen Kinzer Launches 22-City Tour Against War with Iran in Los Angeles February 7th
Award-winning author and former New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer begins a cross-country speaking tour in Los Angeles on February 7th to warn against U.S. military intervention in Iran. An expert in the history of U.S. foreign policy, Kinzer will join other experts during his 22-city national tour to call for real diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran and for support of the Iran Diplomatic Accountability Act of 2008. - 2/4/08

Iran opens space research center, launches rocket
The country's first space terminal comprises of Omid satellite, Iran's first homemade developed research satellite which has been designed and constructed by the Iranian experts. - 2/4/08

Clemente Ready to Lead Iran's National Team
"My presence in Tehran indicates that I am ready to sign a contract with Iran's Football Federation (IFF)," the much awaited coach Clemente told reporters after he landed at the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) in Tehran late Saturday. - 2/4/08

BOOK: Paris Chic, Tehran Thrills: Aesthetic Bodies, Political Subjects
In this fascinating and unique book, Alexandru Balasescu explores questions of Islamic dress, modernity and public space in Paris and Tehran. How are we to understand the exclusion of the Islamic dress from public space in France if, at the same time, trendy French women and wealthy Middle Eastern tourists shop for designer-label hijab, apparently accepting its conversion into a (depoliticited, deracinated) commodity? - 2/4/08

Kiarostami Gets Operatic!
Abbas Kiarostami will be directing an Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart next July entitled "Cosi fan tutte" aka Thus Do They All de Mozart for the 60th Annual of the International Festival of Lyrical Art in France's d'Aix-en-Provence. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/4/08

A World Without Islam
Imagine, if you will, a world without Islam—admittedly an almost inconceivable state of affairs given its charged centrality in our daily news headlines. Islam seems to lie behind a broad range of international disorders: suicide attacks, car bombings, military occupations, resistance struggles, riots, fatwas, jihads, guerrilla warfare, threatening videos, and 9/11 itself. -Foreign Policy - 2/4/08

Fajr Film Fest: Masumi's "The Wind Blows" harks back to childhood stories
Khosro Masumi, director of "The Wind Blows in the Grassland" attended a question and answer panel on Sunday here at the Sahra Cinema Hall. He expressed his pleasure over having had the opportunity to work on favorite stories from his childhood. - 2/4/08

Looking Middle Eastern? You need not apply, need not travel, and so, need not exist
As we are once again overwhelmed with the barrage of political campaign when the prospective all of a sudden remember there are constituencies to whom they direly depend on for votes, it is fitting to present another perspective on certain government xenophobic discriminatory practices and profiling that have by and large remained uncovered in the "mainstream" media. -Pirouz Azadi - 2/4/08

Fajr Film Fest: Hejazi's debut movie "Amid the Clouds" under spotlight
The director, screenwriter Mohammadreza Gohari, cinematographer Farshad Mohammadi, actor Afshin Hashemi and actress Elnaz Shakerdust attended the session which was held to review the movie screened earlier that day for reporters at the Sahra Hall. The film is an entry in the national competition section of the 26th Fajr Film Festival. -MNA - 2/4/08

Iran President to visit Egypt
The Egyptian president Husni Mubarak has officially invited his Iranian counterpart to pay a visit to Cairo. - 2/4/08

The New and Enhanced Website Aims to Promote Iran as a Top Travel Destination for 2008
Tourism Industry Association of Iran (Irpedia) launched its new and enhanced website to promote Iran as a top travel destination for 2008. New site features, offer more resources for travelers to uncover trip activities and experiences around Iran. - 2/4/08

Iran-Britain plan to boost business ties
Expanding Iran-Britain economic ties was the goal of an Iranian board visiting Britain, the head of Tehran's chamber of commerce Yahya Ale Eshagh said. - 2/4/08

Web of Deceit: Saddam Hussein - The Trial You'll Never See
The horrifying truth is the extent to which we in the west have been complicit. Check out Lando's new book "Web of Deceit" and his blog -Information Clearing House - 2/4/08

Iran-South Korea trade reaches $8B
Iranian Ambassador to South Korea Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari said that the Iran-South Korea trade hit dlrs 8 billion in 2007. - 2/4/08

Play About Persian Folk Tale Delights Young American Audiences
The Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, a showcase for the work of arguably the greatest writer in Western literature, has staged a children's play based on a Persian folk tale. - 2/3/08

Iran-Japan trade reaches 14 billion dollars
Trade between Iran and Japan rose up to dlrs 14 billion in 2007, Japanese Finance Ministry reported. - 2/3/08

Clemente: Iran's national football team has great players
New head coach of Iran's National Football Team Javier Clemente Lasaro said Saturday evening the Iranian team has "great players." - 2/3/08

AFGHANISTAN: Stop sale of children, rights watchdog says
The recent sale of three Afghan girls in separate incidents by parents blaming extreme poverty for their actions has sparked concern about the safety of poor children in Afghanistan and the lack of adequate legal mechanisms to effectively curb such trade. -IRIN - 2/3/08

OIC foreign ministers hold emergency meeting
Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member states opened an emergency meeting in Jeddah to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. - 2/3/08

West Gives False “Democracies” A Pass
Western governments, eager to pursue their political or economic interests, too often reward self-proclaimed and flawed “democracies” that clearly abuse the political and civil rights of their citizens, according to the latest edition of Human Rights Watch’s annual “World Report” released here Thursday. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 2/3/08

Iran's Larijani calls West's push for new UNSC resolution illogical
Former Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Larijani has described Western calls for further sanctions resolutions against Iran an "illogical demand" -MNA - 2/3/08

Iran-U.S. to hold talks over Iraq next week: Iranian official
The fourth round of Iran-U.S. talks over Iraq's issue could be held next week, an Iranian official said. Everything is ready for the talks to be held but its final date has not been set yet, he added. - 2/2/08

"In Memory of Kazem Ashtari" in Berkeley
Kazem Ashtari, the Iranian film director, has died in a car crash, and now Mahin Ashtari, his wife, has to redefine herself after 30 years of marriage. This is a play about empowerment, revenge, sisterhood, and a lot more! - 2/2/08

Iran: Quake jolts suburbs of Hendurabi island in Persian Gulf
A relatively strong earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale hit suburbs of Hendurabi island in the Persian Gulf, southern Iran, Saturday morning. - 2/2/08

Iran: $7-8B needed for gasoline, gas oil imports next year
Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh said in Tehran Saturday that seven to eight billion dollars are needed for gasoline and gas oil imports in the next Iranian year of 1387 (to start on March 21, 2008). - 2/2/08

Iranian-born composer Behzad Ranjbaran to perform at Allentown Symphony Hall
Behzad Ranjbaran, born in 1955 and raised in Tehran, Iran, entered the Tehran Conservatory at the age of nine. He came to the United States in 1974 where he attended Indian University and received his doctorate in composition from The Juilliard School. - 2/2/08

Fajr Film Festival: Reporters gather round "The Green Fire"
discussion session on the movie "The Green Fire" directed by Mohammadreza Aslani was held on Friday at the Sahra Cinema Hall. -MNA - 2/2/08

Iran's Majlis Speaker calls for expansion of ties with Egypt
Iran's Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel here on Saturday called for expansion of ties with Egypt and underlined that his current visit to the country is the best indication of Iran's determination to this end. - 2/2/08

US envoy says Iran's regional power strengthened by invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan
"And I used to tease the (Iranian) ambassador that we have done so much for you in Iraq and Afghanistan, the least you can do is to be helpful to this effort. Otherwise, one day you will get a big bill," Zalmay Khalilzad said. He and the crowd laughed. -IHT - 2/2/08

No rejection for political persuasions: GC spokesman
Guardians Council spokesperson Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaii has said if any parliamentary candidates have been rejected by the administrative commissions because of their political leanings, Guardians Council would bring them back to the election contest. -MNA - 2/2/08

Quake hits Oshtorinan in western Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the city of Oshtorinan in Lorestan province Saturday. - 2/2/08

Giving Israel a Pass
“Iran’s roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth. ... -TruthDig - 2/2/08

Bush Betrays Belligerent Intentions Toward Iran in State of Union
The only noteworthy thing about Bush’s State of the Union address was his unmistakable belligerence toward Iran. -The Progressive - 2/2/08

Iran to build a road network in India
Iran has stepped in to build a road network in India that will shorten the distance between Kabul and the Iranian port of Chahbahar by at least 800 km. -Mathaba, India - 2/2/08

Great Cold and Great Shame
But what has made me absolutely mad despite the roof and snow and traffic was the terrible news that Zanan (Women) Magazine has been closed down. I am not one of their regular readers but I know that it is one the best things in Iran, and as a citizen I am proud that we have such a good magazine. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/1/08

Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year
Nowruz--the Persian New Year--is one of the world's great festivals, a full month of activities celebrating the earth, the arrival of spring, and the rebirth of nature. Most of all, it is a festival for families. Children and adults alike can share in preparing special meals, decorating the house, and performing the many ceremonies that welcome the New Year. This book is a guide to customs thousands of years old yet as vital as ever--enjoyable for families no matter where they live or what their beliefs. - 2/1/08

26th Fajr filmfest off to flying start in Tehran
The 26th Fajr International Film Festival was inaugurated here on Thursday evening at Tehran's National Grand Hall. - 2/1/08

Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats Endorse Barack Obama
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) announced today that its members have voted for the organization to endorse Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary election. - 2/1/08

Photos: Iranian Zoroastrians celebrate ancient feast of Sadeh (creation of fire)
Iran's Zoroastrian minorities gathered at their temples across Iran on Wednesday to mark Sadeh _ an ancient feast celebrating the creation of fire that has been observed since the days when their religion was the overwhelming belief in the powerful Persian empire. - 2/1/08

ADIEU L'ARTISTE!: Popular French-Iranian actor Philippe Khorsand dies in Paris at age 59
Born to a French Mother and Iranian father on February 17th 1948, Philippe Khorsand was a Pensionnaire of the Prestigious Comédie-Française. He started acting at age 15 by taking courses at the Cours Simon and got his first role on film in 1971 in Georges Lautnerfs gLaisse Aller, Cfest une Valseh. -Darius KADIVAR, Paris - 2/1/08

Former Iranian Majlis Speaker Meets Egyptian President
Nateq-Nuri, who currently serves as an advisor to the Supreme Leader Ahatollah Ali Khamenei, told reporters that the meeting was "friendly", and that they had agreed on exchanging more high-ranking delegations between the two countries. - 2/1/08

Iran: Judiciary Chief Seeks Curb On Public Executions
The head of Iran's judiciary is seeking to impose limits on public executions amid a rise in death-penalty cases during President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's 2 1/2 years in office. -RFE - 2/1/08

No need to boost oil production: Iran's Oil Minister
Global markets are fully supplied with oil and there is no need for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members to increase oil production, Iran's oil minister said. -ISNA - 2/1/08

New analysis 'confirms' 1 million+ Iraq casualties
Further survey work undertaken by ORB, in association with its research partner IIACSS, confirms our earlier estimate that over 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have died as a result of the conflict which started in 2003. - 2/1/08

Iran's export to Iraq to reach to 3 billion dollars: Ambassador
Iraqi officials plan to boost Iran's exports to the country which reached to 2 billion dollars in 2007, Iraqi ambassador to Tehran said. - 2/1/08

Azerbaijan mulling natural gas exports to Iran
Azerbaijan studies a project for export of two million cubic meters of natural gas to Iran daily. -IRNA - 2/1/08

Defusing Tension with Iran While Promoting Regional Stability
During his remaining year in office, President Bush has to choose between defusing tensions with Iran while promoting regional stability, or, continuing his bellicose denunciation of Tehran, which could lead inadvertently or by design to violent conflict. -Alon Ben-Meir - 2/1/08

Iran has completed 400 projects in Lebanon since end of War
Head of the Iranian Headquarters for Reconstruction of Lebanon said in Beirut Friday ever since end of last year's Israeli imposed war, Iranians have completed over 400 construction projects throughout Lebanon. -ISNA - 2/1/08
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