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Magic Of Persia's Magical Nights Dubai 2012
March 2012 sees Magic of Persia once again presenting their eagerly anticipated Magical Nights in Dubai, taking place during both Art Dubai and the Iranian New Year Celebrations in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan. - 2/29/12

Asghar Farhadi's Films Raise Questions about Man-Woman Relationships and Class
Why has this film drawn so much attention? Many Iranian and international film critics have pointed out that this film in particular and Farhadi's films in general are preoccupied with ethical quandaries and the search for truth. Other critics have singled out Farhadi's ability to present complex characters and the complexity of human relationships in general. No character is portrayed as entirely heroic or entirely evil. -Frieda Afary - 2/29/12

Clinton: Internal Power Struggle in Iran Over Nuclear Weapons
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that there is an internal power struggle in Iran over the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Secretary Clinton says the U.S. intelligence community believes Iran has not yet decided to produce a nuclear weapon, in part, because there are deep-seated disagreements among its leaders about whether it is the right thing to do. - 2/29/12

New Centre for Iranian Studies established in Canada
Concordia University, Montreal, has announced the creation of a new Centre for Iranian Studies, the first at a Canadian university. - 2/29/12

Warnings to Iran's Security and Intelligence Leaders: Concerns Over Differences in the Armed Forces
As differences and dissatisfaction among members of Iran's armed services have been growing, particularly after such events as the disputed tenth presidential elections in 2009, new international sanctions and serious military threats, the head of Iran's military justice organization expressed his concerns on this and issued a warning. -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz Online - 2/29/12

Iran confirms "Clean Internet" plans
Iranian authorities are restating their commitment to launching their own parallel internet, an alternative to the World Wide Web that they call "Clean Internet." - 2/29/12

Iranian Kurdish groups call for boycott of elections
Four Iranian Kurdish political parties at a gathering in Soleymanieh have called on the people of Kurdistan and Iran to boycott the parliamentary elections and stay home on Friday March 2. - 2/29/12

Iranian Culture Minister shares in "A Separation" Oscars victory
Iran's Minister of Culture and Guidance says the permit issued by his ministry was key to the international success of Asghar Farhadi's celebrated film "A Separation". Mohammad Hosseiny is credited with closing Iran's House of Cinema in January 2012 - 2/29/12

Sanctions-Hit Iran To Accept Payment In Gold From Trading Partners
Sanctions-hit Iran has announced it will take payment from trading partners in gold instead of dollars. The sanctions have made it harder for Iran to be paid for its main export, oil, and to purchase imports. - 2/29/12

Iran Sees 'Creeping Zionist Influence' In Caucasus
Iran's state media reported February 28 the Foreign Ministry summoned Azerbaijani Ambassador Javanshir Akhundov to explain Azerbaijan's purchase of some $1.6 billion of weapons from Israel. - 2/29/12

Don't let Iran be a second Iraq
Just as with the lead-up to the Iraq War, the pathway to war with Iran will be paved with false assertions, self-fulfilling saber rattling and political weakness that might seem insignificant now, but will in retrospect turn out to be disastrous. -Jamal Abdi and Trita Parsi, The Hill - 2/29/12

Navy Seals Say False Flag to be Blamed on Iran May Happen at Anytime: Ed Asner
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on Monday, Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner said Navy Seals have told him military action against Iran is forthcoming and will be preceded by a false flag attack. - 2/29/12

Iran: Khamenei's Son Calls On Opposition Leader To Back Down
Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, met with opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi about a month ago and asked him to back down on his opposition to the regime because of the "very critical condition" the country is facing, according to a recent report by an Iranian opposition website. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/28/12

Iran: New Report Finds Surge In Repression Of Dissent
Iran's crackdown on freedom of expression has dramatically escalated in the run up to this week's parliamentary elections, Amnesty International said today. The 71-page "We are ordered to crush you": Expanding Repression of Dissent in Iran details how, in the wake of protests called by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi in February 2011, the Iranian authorities have steadily cranked up repression of dissent in law and practice, launching a wave of arrests in recent months. - 2/28/12

PAAIA Brings Nowruz to Elementary Schools Nationwide
For young children born and raised in the US and celebrating every American national holiday, explaining the concept behind Nowruz, a tradition basked in over 2500 years of history, can be a daunting task. Similarly, parents keen to share their history and heritage with their American friends and other parents don't always have the tools and resources to do so. - 2/28/12

Latest US Sanctions Reflect Ongoing Tensions With Iran
JURIST Guest Columnist Sasan Fayazmanesh, Professor Emeritus of Economics at California State University, Fresno, says that President Obama's latest sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program are part of an escalating trend in US foreign policy that began in the 1980s... - 2/28/12

Iran's Hard-Line News Agency Tries To 'Nuclearize' Farhadi's Oscar Speech
Fars news agency, which is said to be affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was apparently not happy with Farhadi's eloquent speech, which rose above politics. So the news agency -- which some Iranians refer to as "False News" -- added its own nuclear flavor to the speech. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/28/12

Two imprisoned Iranian journalists and a blogger released
Jailed Iranian journalist Sahameddin Bourghani and detained poet and blogger Nama Jafari were released on bail on Monday by Islamic Republic authorities. Also, Marzieh Rasouli, a jailed Iranian journalist, was released on Monday in Tehran. - 2/28/12

Land artists gathering on Persian Gulf island again
Persian Gulf Land Artists House on Hormoz Island in southern Iran is currently hosting the 36th Land Art Festival. - 2/28/12

Iranian researcher discovers factor of stem cell disorder
Phd student in Hematology at Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran, Naser Ahmad Beigi told ISNA that mesenchymal stem cells are powerful tools in cell therapeutic and tissue engineering because of their special specifications. For the same reasons stem cells derived from them are used effectively in experiment. - 2/28/12

Iran has the most successful human rights record in Muslim world: FM
Iran has the most successful record in terms of human rights among Muslim countries in the contemporary world, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday. - 2/28/12

Iran Cyber Army Hacks Former President's Websites
The two targeted websites belong to the Association of Combatant Clerics, a reformist organization under the leadership of former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, and the Baran Foundation, another organization linked to Khatami. - 2/28/12

Iranian movie "A Separation" wins best foreign language Oscar
"At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy," director Farhadi said while accepting the Oscar. "At a time of tug of war, intimidation and aggressions exchanged between politicians, the name of their county, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics." "I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment," he added. - 2/27/12

Rare Spotting of Persian Leopards in Taleghan Heights
For the first time, experts and monitors of the environmental protection agency in Alborz Province of Iran have been able to capture photos and films of a pair of male and female Persian Leopards, an endangered mammal, in Taleghan heights. - 2/27/12

Tehran Calls Oscar Win A Victory Over Israel
An Iranian filmmaker has won the country's first Oscar, taking the prize for the best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, and Tehran has celebrated by touting it as a victory over its archenemy. - 2/27/12

EXHIBITION: SNAC - Social Network Art Competition for Iranian Artists
The top 30 winners of the Social Network Art Competition for Iranian Artists (SNAC) will be on display at ABRA Gallery in Los Angeles from March 8 to March 31st. The opening reception will be held on March 10, 5pm - 9pm. - 2/27/12

Iranian Lawyers Need Independence
February 26th marks the 58th anniversary of the Iranian Bar Association's independence. In February 1954, after a tireless campaign by some prominent lawyers, Iran's legislators passed a law recognizing the independence of the Bar. - 2/27/12

PAAIA Launches Capitol Hill Internship Program
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce the launch of its Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP), which aims to promote increased civic participation by young Iranian Americans. - 2/27/12

Call For Papers: International Journal of Automotive Engineering
Iranian Society of Automotive Engineers (ISAE) as a member of FISITA is proud to announce the successful publication of its journal entitled "International Journal of Automotive Engineering (IJAE)" published quarterly started from January 2011 with 5 published issues. - 2/27/12

Iranian, Pakistani Filmmakers Win Oscars
In a rare gesture of approval toward the country's renowned movie industry, Iranian state-run television on February 27 described Farhadi's win as a victory over arch-enemy Israel. Israel also had a film, "Footnote," in the best foreign-film competition. - 2/27/12

5+1 discusses how to reply to Iran's letter: report
The 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) has recently discussed how to reply to Iran's most recent letter regarding talks about its nuclear program, the Iranian news website reported on Sunday. - 2/27/12

Jailed Iranian blogger Parastoo Dokouhaki released
Jailed journalist and activist Parastoo Dokouhaki was released on Sunday in Tehran. Dokouhaki, who was arrested by Iranian security forces in January, was released on bail yesterday, reports from Iran indicate. - 2/27/12

Haleh Anvari Video and installations Exhibition: Beautiful Plateau
This is Zibadasht. Zibadasht is my home. Zibadasht has many walls. Zibadasht walls are full of colour. Zibadasht walls have fishes... - 2/27/12

Israelis flock to see Iranian film
Israeli newspapers warn daily of the Iranian nuclear threat, but for the past week and a half, Israelis filmgoers have packed movie theatres to watch a drama set in Tehran. -Sky News - 2/27/12

Oscar Awards to Be Handed Out in Hollywood
In the best foreign language film category, the front-runner is Iran's A Separation. Directed by Asghar Farhadi, it tells the story of the difficult lives of a couple seeking a divorce. The movie has already won numerous awards this year. - 2/26/12

Senior Iranian cleric decries "damaged" state of Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Dastgheib, the Iranian senior cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts, says: "The essence of the regime is now under question; the people have distanced themselves from religion and God and are now completely pessimistic about it." - 2/26/12

Former Pentagon, IAEA Officials Say Diplomacy is Key to Resolving Iranian Nuclear Dilemma
Washington, DC - Top former officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense emphasized yesterday that sustained diplomacy is the only realistic means for the U.S. and international community to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. - 2/26/12

Carlos Queiroz's wants Iran to go all out against Qatar
Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz has said that he wants his team to go all-out against Qatar in the 2014 World Cup qualifier. Iran is scheduled to play Qatar on February 29 in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. - 2/26/12

Despite Rafsanjani's objections, Farhad Daneshjou appointed president of Iran's Islamic Azad University
Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Kamran Daneshjou signed a decree on Sunday appointing his brother Farhad Daneshjou as the president of the Islamic Azad University. Farhad Daneshjoo will now replace current chancellor Abdollah Jasbi, an ally of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani. - 2/26/12

Detained Iranian blogger's fate remains unknown
The fate of Nama Jafari, the editor of the 35anj website, remains unknown more than 10 days after his arrest, according to reports from Iran. Jafari, an Iranian poet and blogger, was arrested by security forces in Tehran on February 14. - 2/26/12

1st Triennial Iranian Studies Conference in Oslo
The Scandinavian Society for Iranian Studies (SSIS) is pleased to announce the program for the 1st Triennial Iranian Studies Conference. The Conference will take place March 30 at the University of Oslo, Norway. - 2/26/12

Artist Talk: A Conversation with Parviz Tanavoli
27 February 2012 at Asia Society in New York -- Parviz Tanavoli, one of Iran's foremost artists, will be speaking with Melissa Chiu about his journey as Iran's first significant modern sculptor. - 2/26/12

Flesh-eating bacteria inspire superglue
A bio-inspired superglue has been developed by Oxford University researchers that can't be matched for sticking molecules together and not letting go. Iranian graduate student Bijan Zakeri worked with Dr. Mark Howarth on this research. - 2/26/12

Israel: Iran to Top Agenda at White House Summit
Israel's leader is gearing up for a visit to Washington amid growing tensions with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran's nuclear program will top the agenda when he meets U.S. President Barack Obama March 5 at the White House. - 2/26/12

Iran election campaigners seek refuge in Islamic rhetoric
"There is no election this time," said a second Tehran-based analyst who asked not to be named. "This is the coldest election ever. There is no competition and this election is not about the voters. It is about those counting the votes." -Zahra Hosseinian, Reuters - 2/26/12

Iran's average crude oil price hits $120
The average price for Iranian crude oil hit $120 per barrel on February 22. Iranian light crude was traded at $122.17 per barrel in Asian markets and $118.17 in Mediterranean markets, while heavy crude oil traded at between $116.72 and $120.65 - 2/26/12

Israeli, Iranian filmmakers participate together in pre-Oscar panel
The Israeli and Iranian filmmakers whose movies are vying against each other for an Oscar sat together on a panel discussion. In light of Tehran's policy of no contact between its citizens and Israelis, there was some quiet concern that an incident might mar the occasion. -JTA - 2/26/12

"A Separation" wins France's Cesar Award
Asghar Farhadi's A Separation has won the Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film as selected by members of France's Academie des arts et techniques du cinema. - 2/25/12

Iranian Student Who Sewed Lips Together In Protest Arrested
Dariush Jalali, a student at Iran's Yasuj University who had sewn his lips together to protest the pressure he had been facing over his activism, has reportedly been arrested. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/25/12

Iranian MPs Criticizes Government's Economic Policy After Iranian Currency Hit Hard
Two economists who are running as MPs for the March 2 parliamentary election, have strongly criticized the government's economic record, particularly the sharp fluctuations in the currency markets. Ahmad Tavakoli and Elyas Naderan made their views known during a question and answer session late on Friday in Tehran. - 2/25/12

'100-Percent Iranian' Kentucky Fried Chicken Opens In Iran
Amid growing tension between the United States and Iran and sanctions that ban U.S. companies from doing business with the Islamic republic, an outlet of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has opened in the Iranian city of Karaj. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/25/12

Pentagon Boosts Strength In Persian Gulf
The Pentagon has notified U.S. lawmakers of plans to boost U.S. strength in the Persian Gulf in response to Iranian threats to close the Straits of Hormuz. Tehran vowed to cut off shipping routes through the straits if Western states went ahead with plans to impose more sanctions against Iran. - 2/25/12

IRGC releases details about BBC activities inside Iran
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' center dealing with organized crimes issued a statement on Saturday releasing details about the BBC's ill-intentioned activities inside Iran. - 2/25/12

"Evolution" wins Grand Prix at 100 Intl. Film Festival
The Iranian animation "Evolution" by Mehdi Alibeigi won the Grand Prix of the animation section of the 8th 100 International Film Festival. The winners of the festival, which was held on February 23 and 24, were announced during a ceremony in the Andisheh Hall on Friday. - 2/25/12

UN Nuclear Watchdog Says 'Major Differences' With Iran
The United Nations nuclear watchdog says it has "major differences" and "major concerns" with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. The comments Friday came after U.N. inspectors said that a visit this week to Tehran, aimed at gaining greater access to key nuclear sites and scientists, ended in failure. -VOA - 2/25/12

Iran not trying to build nuclear bomb, 16 US intel agencies say‎
16 U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Iran is not trying to build an atomic bomb, the Los Angeles Times reported. - 2/25/12

Iran Nuclear Tensions Boosting World Oil Prices
The price of oil on world markets jumped again Friday amid growing tensions over the West's attempt to halt oil-producing Iran's nuclear program - 2/25/12

Iranian workers in Tabriz facing layoff
The threat of a possible layoff hangs over the heads of 1,300 workers at Tabriz match factories due to rising energy costs and an increase in the smuggling of substandard matches. - 2/25/12

UAE, Qatar, Oman to buy $2b electricity from Iran
Iran will export up to $2 billion of electricity to the UAE, Qatar and Oman via subsea cables, Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad has said. - 2/25/12

Iranians Told To Vote, Not Vote, In Next Week's Election
The head of Iran's Basij force, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, has congratulated Iranians on their "epic" turnout in the country's parliamentary elections. The only problem is that the elections aren't until March 2. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/24/12

Iranian-American Woman Follows Dream to Wealth and Success
"If you have a crazy idea and other people tell you it is crazy, then you know that you are on the right track." That advice to aspiring entrepreneurs comes from an Iranian-American woman who has made a fortune starting and running technology companies. -Phillip Kurata - 2/24/12

Iranian opposition group calls for boycott of elections
Members and supporters of the dissident political group Freedom Movement of Iran have called for an "active boycott" of the March 2 parliamentary elections. - 2/24/12

New York Moviegoers Relish Iranian Documentary Films
On a recent February evening, movie enthusiasts gathered in a theater in lower Manhattan, New York, not to take in the latest Hollywood blockbuster but to get a rare glimpse into the world of Iranian cinema. - 2/24/12

Photos: Iranian Parliamentary Election Campaign Begins
A weeklong election campaign by more than 3,400 candidates running in Iran's March 2 parliamentary polls began on February 23. Analysts predict a comfortable victory by the ruling conservative faction loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. - 2/24/12

Iranian engineer develops system to control wheelchair with tongue
Maysam Ghovanloo, an Iranian engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), has developed the "Tongue Drive System" (TDS), a wireless, wearable device that allows the user to operate computers and control electric wheelchairs with movements of the tongue. - 2/24/12

Niki Karimi's "Final Whistle" wins three awards at French festival
The Iranian film "Final Whistle", on social and private life interactions, won three awards at the 18th FICA - Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema. - 2/24/12

Dozens of Iranian Mountain Climbers Arrested for Unknown Reasons
Sanandaj Police's Intelligence Unit raided a meeting of mountain climbing group Chel Cheme in the village of Hassan Abad outside Sanandaj and arrested dozens of meeting participants on 17 February, a local human rights activist told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. It is unclear why these individuals were arrested. - 2/24/12

Vesta Monitor's Iran Economic Report: January 2012
The beginning of a larger economic crisis: It all began when economic pundits warned Ahmadinejad of his potentially disastrous economic policies. Without paying any attention, he continued and occasionally denied and ridiculed economic theories. He attributed these theories to western economics. - 2/24/12

US Condemns Reports Death Sentence Upheld for Iranian Christian
The United States is condemning reports that an Iranian court has upheld the death sentence for an Iranian Christian pastor convicted of apostasy, or abandoning the Muslim faith. - 2/24/12

A U.S.-Iran Conspiracy?
Tehran and Washington have discovered a surprising common bond: to pretend that they might be heading toward serious negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear capacity. What's more, they are pretending for the same reason: to ward off an Israeli attack on Iran. -Leslie H. Gelb, Daily Beast - 2/24/12

Photos: Satellite Dishes Come Under Attack In Tehran!
Security forces in Tehran province stormed houses in east Tehran province and confiscated satellite dishes and other material deemed un-Islamic and immoral. This activity was performed as part of a plan to "elevate society's security." -Armin Karami - 2/23/12

US General: "Iran a Rational Actor", but is US one?
General Martin Dempsey is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show Sunday morning and he spoke about Iran. Here's a little bit of what he had to say. - 2/23/12

Iranian opposition is boycotting and calling for free and fair elections
United4Iran, a nonpartisan human and civil rights nonprofit organization, has issued a statement today outlining deep concerns about the escalating crackdown by the Iranian government on expression and assembly ahead of the March 2, 2012 parliamentary elections. - 2/23/12

Persian Carpet
The Iranians were among the pioneer carpet weavers of the ancient civilizations, having achieved a superlative degree of perfection through centuries of creativity and ingenuity. The skill of carpet weaving has been handed down by fathers to their sons, who built upon those skills and in turn handed them down to their offspring as a closely guarded family secret. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 2/23/12

Iran's unemployment rate drops to 11.8 percent
Iran's unemployment rate stood at 11.8 percent in the third quarter of the current calendar year, ended on December 21, 2011, marking a 0.3 percent decrease on the figures for the same period last year, the Statistical Center of Iran reported on Wednesday. - 2/23/12

Israeli Iran attack? What goes around comes around
Be forewarned, Israel and the US. We are entering a dangerous stage in which Iran feels it must respond in kind to attacks against it. When two nations engage in patterns of attacks and counterattacks, it's much easier for a mistake or misjudgment to lead to disaster. -Muhammad Sahimi and Richard Silverstein, CSM - 2/23/12

UN Telecommunications Body Requires Iran to Stop Satellite Jamming
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today welcomed a new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regulation requiring governments take "necessary action" to stop jamming of satellite broadcasts from within their jurisdiction. - 2/23/12

Iran: Candidates launch campaign for parliamentary seats
Iranian parliamentary candidates began their one-week campaign today for the ninth parliamentary elections, but practically all opposition groups have boycotted the elections to protest the continued house arrest of the opposition leaders, as well as the detention of political prisoners after the last presidential elections. - 2/23/12

Supreme Leader: "The Iranian nation has never sought and will never seek nuclear weapons"
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the Iranian nation will shatter the delusions of grandeur of the hegemonistic powers that are reliant on nuclear weapons. - 2/23/12

Iranian Taboo Opens February 24th in Los Angeles and Other Cities
Iranian Taboo, a documentary by Reza Allamehzadeh, will begin screening in Los Angeles from February 24 to March 1 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and in DC, San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Montreal, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco and Seattle in the following days. - 2/23/12

Equality, Freedom and Respect
Permeable to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reads: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." - 2/23/12

Composer Mehdi Hosseini's "Monodies" in concert POST SCRIPTUM
Presenting "Post Scriptum" Monday, March 12th 2012 in the Chamber Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory. Iranian composer Mehdi Hosseini's "Monodies" will be performed by the New music ensemble Sound Ways under the direction of American conductor Brad Everett Cawyer. - 2/23/12

Japan may reduce oil imports from Iran
A Japanese newspaper reported that Japan may be on its way to decreasing its Iranian oil imports by 20 percent. - 2/23/12

US on War With Iran: Irrational All Around
The pretext for war with Iran is that its nuclear enrichment program may have a military dimension to it. Embarrassingly for the hawks, there is a broad consensus throughout the military and intelligence community that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has not demonstrated any intention of doing so. -John Glaser, Antiwar - 2/23/12

Iranian opposition leader sends defiant message
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has told his children in a telephone conversation that he still stands by his former political stance and has in no way retreated from his criticism of the government. - 2/22/12

Khamenei's Nuclear Narrative
Despite the ever-louder drum beat of war, for the first time in more than a year Iran declared in a letter last week that it was ready "for dialogue at the earliest possibility," and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed the letter as "an important step." -R.K. Ramazani - 2/22/12

Cyrus and that part of Iranian-Jews History keep echoing, resonating, reverberating.... They want to attack their old homeland Yahudieh (literally meaning Jewish quarter, the village that gave rise to Esfahan, after the advent of Islam, where they settled down after their migration from Egypt -Exodus)?!? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 2/22/12

Iranian Authorities Introduce Uniforms For Female Civil Servants
Iranian news agencies report that the uniforms will be designed according to religious and cultural criteria, and that the main colors of the clothing will be navy blue and dark grey. - 2/22/12

Dance, Play and Feast Your Way into the Persian New Year at the Freer Sackler on March 4
Visitors will dance, play and feast their way into the Persian New Year at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler galleries' fourth annual Nowruz celebration, Sunday, March 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. This year's program features free entertainment and activities for all ages as well as delicious traditional food, all centered around newly installed galleries devoted to the arts of ancient Iran. - 2/22/12

Iran's National Internet Gets Late Spring Launch Date
Iran's so-called "national Internet" will be launched in either in late May or June, according to an announcement by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/22/12

IAEA Visit Ends Without Access to Iranian Military Site
The U.N. chief nuclear inspector says a two-day visit to Iran has ended with his team unable to visit a key military site and without an agreement with Tehran on the way forward. - 2/22/12

House of Commons' motion to rule out use of force: First crack in western hawkish alliance against Iran
The first major crack in the western alliance against Iran has now surfaced in the UK's House of Commons by a rebellious Conservative back bencher who has for the first time in a western country proposed a motion against the hawkish western Iran policy. - 2/22/12

Woman Activist On Trial In Tabriz
Iranian women's rights activist Faranak Farid went on trial today in Tabriz as several women writers, poets, lawyers and other activists attended. - 2/22/12

Panel discussion at UCLA: Secularism and Gender in Iran of Today
Sunday, March 04 -- Panel Participants will discuss: "Secular State as the Alternative to the Present State in Iran" and "Woman's Body, a Symbol of Political Changes in Contemporary Iran" - 2/22/12

Iran, Israel Among Contenders for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
This year films submitted from 63 countries were narrowed down to the five nominees by a diverse committee of the Motion Picture Academy. The winner, chosen by the entire Academy membership, will be revealed along with the other Oscars in the global telecast on February 26. -Alan Silverman, VOA - 2/22/12

Iran: Free prisoner of conscience to visit ailing son
The Iranian authorities should immediately free jailed journalist and human rights defender Mohammad Sadigh Kabudvand and allow him to visit his gravely ill 22-year-old son, said Amnesty International on February 17th. - 2/22/12

US Talking to Iranian Oil Buyers About Cutting Imports
The United States is negotiating with major importers of Iranian oil, including South Korea and Japan, about reducing their purchases as part of sanctions targeting Tehran's central bank. - 2/22/12

Iran: February 14 political detainees on hunger strike
The RAHANA Human Rights House of Iran website reports that 10 detainees who were arrested during the scattered protests of February 14 and are currently being held in Evin Prison have taken up this hunger strike. - 2/21/12

Iranian internet users cut off from email again
Iranian internet users are once again unable to access their email today. The Khabar-on-line website reports that users are again cut off from their email, and no one is willing to take responsibility for it. - 2/21/12

Iranian journalist sentenced to jail
Iranian journalist Mahsa Amrabadi has been sentenced to a prison term for the second time in the past two years. - 2/21/12

U.S., EU Want Sustained and Productive Talks with Iran
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed Iran's apparent offer to resume talks with the United States and its partners in the P5+1 as "an important step" and said the offer is being closely analyzed. - 2/21/12

EU Urges Halt To Iran Execution Of Canadian Resident
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has renewed calls for Iranian authorities to halt the execution of an Iranian man with Canadian residency. Ashton said in a written statement on February 21 that she was "extremely saddened and concerned about reports that the execution of Iranian software designer Saeed Malekpour may be imminent." - 2/21/12

Iran's researchers build machine to rehabilitate hand muscles
The researcher of the project Mohammad Javad Sadeghi said rehabilitation at home, localization and proper price are some specifications of the machine, adding it can be used in some diseases including stroke which leads to weakness in hands, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and injury in different incidents. - 2/21/12

Candidate List Announced For Iran Elections
The powerful Iranian body that vets election hopefuls has approved 3,444 candidates to run in that country's parliamentary polls on March 2. More than 5,000 people had applied with the clerically dominated Guardians Council to run in the elections. - 2/21/12

Oil Price Hits Nine-Month High in New York
The price of oil is rising, hitting a nine-month high on the New York market as traders worry about the disruption in Iranian oil exports. - 2/21/12

Iran plans to change Tehran reactor's core
The Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi said the core of Tehran reactor would be changed in coming months. - 2/21/12

Correspondent's Voice Was Critical to Understanding the Middle East
Anthony's voice was critical to our understanding of the Middle East. His absence at such a historic juncture in the Arab Spring is a monumental loss. I believe no other journalist out there possessed the same dedication and commitment. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 2/21/12

Iran: Gas extraction and power project contracts valued at $3.8B signed off
The Iran Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) struck a $3.8 billion deal on Tuesday with Iran's Power Projects Management Company (MAPNA) for the development of the Persian Gulf's Forouz B gas field and an associated gas-fired power project. - 2/21/12

Iran to export electricity to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
Iran plans to start the first phase of power export to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in May, said Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad. - 2/21/12

Photos: Dust Storm Hits Ahvaz
A severe dust storm hit the city of Ahvaz in Khouzestan province in southwestern Iran on Saturday causing health concerns for the residents. In recent years, dust storms have become a common thing for the western cities in Iran. -Borna Ghasemi - 2/20/12

Iranian Student Who Publicly Confronted State Officials Sees 'Fire Under The Ashes'
"There is fire under the ashes," says student activist Payam Olad Azimi about the situation at Iran's universities where, he believes, the increased state repression of the last two years has not managed to silence dissenting voices. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/20/12

IAEA Inspectors Arrive In Iran
Inspectors from the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have arrived in Iran for two days of talks about that country's nuclear program, including signs of possible work on atomic weapons. -RFE - 2/20/12

Opinion response to Peter Jenkins interview article
The interviewers should be commended for this informative discussion. It provided a valuable insight into the mindset of a diplomat who was involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations and participated in making decisions that profoundly affected the lives of so many Iranians. - 2/20/12

We've seen the threats against Iran before
Here we go again with the Iran hysteria. It is tempting to think this time will be just like previous periods of sabre rattling against Iran. But there are significant new dangers. -Phyllis Bennis, Al Jazeera - 2/20/12

Iran Postpones Launch Of "National Internet"
Iran's Minister of Communications has announced that the launch of the "national internet", which was scheduled for February, has been postponed to June. - 2/20/12

Eight Iranian Baha'is Arrested In Mashhad
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that on Friday, security forces raided the home of a Baha'i citizen where a craft show was being held. The report indicates that after searching the house and interrogating participants, the forces took eight people into custody. - 2/20/12

Iran builds satellite, hopes to predict earthquake
Iranian researchers aim to build a satellite dubbed Ayat (Signs) to help predict the time of earthquakes for the first time in the country. - 2/20/12

Neocon Arguments For Iran War Are Tired Cliche
In short, millions have been killed in wars that were based on faulty premises and lies. Happily, on the other hand, the ultimate war (a U.S.-Soviet war that might have ended civilization) did not come to pass because policymakers on both sides decided to contain the respective nuclear threat rather than blow up the enemy. -MJ Rosenberg, Foreign Policy Matters - 2/20/12

Iranian Warships Dock At Syria Port
Iranian media report that two Iranian navy ships have docked in the Syrian port of Tartous on a reported mission to provide training to Syrian naval forces. - 2/20/12

Iran to produce non-carcinogenic docetaxel medicine
Docetaxel is a very expensive drug used to cure lung, head and neck, and breast cancers. The medicine is said to cost 40 percent lower comparing to its foreign version. - 2/20/12

Iran: Outgunned in the Gulf
Iran has threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz - a "choke point" in the Persian Gulf through which about 20 percent of the world's oil passes - if the West imposes sanctions against Iran's petroleum exports. This threat is not without historic parallel. -Rex Wingerter, - 2/20/12

"No Oil For You!": Iran Stops Crude Export To Britain, France
Iranian Oil Ministry Spokesman Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar said the country has stopped oil export to Britain and France. - 2/19/12

Iran wins Asia Greco-Roman wrestling championship
Iran's Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 2012 Asian Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships, held in Gumi, South Korea, on February 17, 2012. - 2/19/12

Behind the Assassination of Iranian Scientists: The Original Sin
To avoid restating the obvious, or repeating what others have already established, I take these facts as givens: that the main perpetrator of the assassination of Iranian scientists has been the Israeli spy agency Mossad, assisted by various covert operations agencies of the United States and its allies -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 2/19/12

Congress Pushes Iran Regime Change Over Diplomacy
Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making." - 2/19/12

Iran to increase oil export to China to 500,000 bpd in 2012
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has reached an agreement with the International United Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (UNIPEC) to increase oil exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). - 2/19/12

Esteqlal cruises to AFC Champions League group stage
Esteqla has defeated Al-Ettifaq Club from Saudi Arabia 3-1 in the play-off round of the AFC Champions League to win one more slot for Iran in the finals of the competition. - 2/19/12

Trial Opens In Billion-Dollar Iran Bank Fraud
A Tehran court has begun hearing the trial of dozens of defendants in a $2.6 billion fraud case. The chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, on February 18 read the indictment against the 32 accused at the opening session at the Revolutionary Court, which deals with cases involving security and organized crime. - 2/19/12

Photos: Permanent Islamic fashion exhibit established in Tehran
A permanent exhibit opened for Islamic Iranian fashion and costume design in Tehran last Monday. The showcase is located on No.38, Nasser valley, off Vali-e Asr Ave. - 2/19/12

Iranian Warships Enter Mediterranean
Iranian warships have passed through Egypt's Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea, in a move likely to be watched closely by Israel. - 2/19/12

Teach-In: The Geopolitics of War and Sanctions Against Iran
Saturday February 25th at University of Toronto -- "Washington and its allies are using the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] document to threaten all-out war. Weeks before the report was released, the U.S. and Israel were already threatening a military strike as a direct response to the supposedly secret document." - 2/19/12

Iranian Political Prisoner Mehdi Khazali Collapses After More Than A Month On Hunger Strike
Iranian political prisoner Mehdi Khazali has collapsed from heart complications on the 41st day of his hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison. - 2/19/12

Iranian Workers Barred From Running In Elections
Alireza Mahjoub, the head of Iran's House of Workers, says the new election law prevents workers from becoming representatives and getting into Parliament. - 2/19/12

What would happen if Iran had the bomb?
Even as Tehran signals an interest in nuclear talks, many experts have already envisioned what the world would look like if the country got nuclear weapons. It wouldn't be as dire as many fear, but it would unleash new uncertainties - and perhaps a regional arms race. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 2/19/12

NIAC Congratulates the 2012 Summer Fellows
Each year, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) connects talented Iranian-American students with Congressional offices and Committees through our Summer Fellowships Program. Having gone through a rigorous selection and interview process, NIAC is proud to welcome our newest round of enthusiastic students. -Cavan Kharrazian - 2/17/12

Iran's President Blames West For 'All' Region's Problems
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has lashed out against foreign interference in the region, saying outsiders are responsible for "all the problems" there. He was speaking at a joint press conference in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, following summit talks on February 17 with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts, Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai. - 2/17/12

Special Film Screening Of "Dog Sweat" in San Jose
Hossein Keshavarz, "Dog Sweat" film director, is coming to San Jose, California on February 23rd for a special screening of his film. He will hold a question and answer discussion with Audience after the screening. - 2/17/12

U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Iranian Intelligence Ministry
The U.S. Treasury Department has slapped sanctions on Iran's main intelligence organization, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups, committing human rights abuses, and backing the Syrian government's lethal crackdown on its citizens. - 2/17/12

Iran: Death sentence proceeds for software designer
The Human Rights House of Iran (RAHANA) reports that Malekpour, a software designer charged with creating indecent and pornographic websites, is now in imminent danger of being hanged. His lawyers have reported that his sentence has been delivered for execution - 2/17/12

Iran Developing Cult Of Personality Around Slain Nuclear Scientists
On January 11, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan became the fourth Iranian nuclear scientist to be assassinated in two years -- the latest victim of an apparent covert war aimed at slowing Iran's nuclear program. Roshan and the other dead scientists are very much alive, however, to the Iranian regime, which has begun evoking their tragic fate in state-orchestrated events. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/17/12

US Senators Warn Latin America on Iran Ties
U.S. senators are warning Latin American nations against deepening financial and military ties with Iran, pledging heightened U.S. vigilance of Iranian activities in the Western Hemisphere. The Senate's Foreign Relations Subcommittee took a close look Thursday at Tehran's dealings with Latin America. - Michael Bowman, VOA - 2/17/12

India Treads Lightly Amid Accusations Against Iran
Indian police have yet to locate a suspect in a bombing attack on an Israeli vehicle that Israel blames on Iran. There are no easy options for India for getting tough with Iran. - Kurt Achin, VOA - 2/17/12

Intelligence Minister says Iran facing full-fledged war
Iran's Intelligence Minister says a full-blown and multifaceted war is being waged against the Islamic Republic, and the "enemy" is now taking a new approach. - 2/17/12

Panetta: Iran is Not Developing Nuclear Weapons
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that Iran is enriching uranium in a peaceful nuclear program but that Tehran has not decided to develop an atomic bomb. - 2/17/12

Shipping executive: Picking up Iranian crude 'is like getting leprosy'
Russian steel, Ukrainian maize, tea from India, palm oil from Malaysia -- myriad products are shipped through the Gulf emirates. Iran wants and needs them all. But in the last few months, the growing web of U.S. and European sanctions has begun to paralyze its ability to import and export key products. -CNN - 2/17/12

Iran's censors wage web war against Ahmadinejad as elections loom
Iranian censors have blocked access to a number of news websites sympathetic to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, adding further fuel to a high-level power struggle at the heart of the Islamic regime. -Guardian - 2/17/12

Ebrahim Golestan's View on Farhadi's Nader and Simin, A Separation
Farhadi's Nader and Simin, A Separation winning the Golden Globe Award was a pretext to interview Ebrahim Golestan, author and filmmaker. Golestan is mostly famous for his documentary and featured films. - 2/16/12

Iranian Regime Exposes its Fear of People Again
The major streets of Tehran were heavily populated with the police and security agents because of the calls by green movement activists to hold protest demonstrations. Security forces began to position themselves on Azadi and Engelab avenues around noon but were soon joined by plain-clothes -Arash Bahmani & Keyvan Bozorgmehr, Rooz - 2/16/12

Photos: Iran unveils domestic nuclear fuel rods
Iranian-made nuclear fuel rods were loaded into the the core of the Tehran research reactor on Wednesday, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looked on. At the same time, the Natanz nuclear facility was outfitted with the latest generation of centrifuges, which are now in operation. - 2/16/12

Sanctions Could Not Force Iran to Negotiate: Interview with Peter Jenkins, the former British Ambassador to IAEA
I was a British diplomat for 33 years. As UK Permanent Representative in Vienna from 2001 to 2006 I had to handle the Iranian nuclear question in the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Board of Governors. I am now a trained mediator, working as a partner for the consulting group ADRg Ambassadors. -Farid Marjai and Cyrus Safdari - 2/16/12

Panel in Washington, DC: The Iranian Nuclear Dilemma: Risk of an Iraq Sequel?
Less than a decade after allegations of Iraqi weapons programs pitted the Bush Administration, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the international community in a high stakes drama that ended in a devastating conflict and occupation, war again appears on the horizon-this time with Iran. - 2/16/12

US Downplays Iranian Nuclear Advancement Claims
The United States has downplayed Iran's claims of advances in its nuclear program, saying Tehran is feeling the pressure of international sanctions and wants to distract from its growing diplomatic isolation. - 2/16/12

Basij Commander Addresses New Poem To 'Great Satan'
On "Persian Letters," we've previously reported about the artistic skills possessed by the head of Iran's Basij force, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, who, along with cracking down on opposition activists, appears to be a budding poet. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/16/12

Iranian State Radio Tries Playing Catch-Up With RFE/RL's 'Pas Farda'
Modeled after "Pas Farda," Radio Pariruz is an attempt by the Iranian authorities to counter what "Pas Farda" has been providing Iranians for the past two years: a platform to challenge the limits of political discourse in Iran through satire. - Deana Kjuka - 2/16/12

Tehran warns responsibility for oil embargo will rest with EU
Dismissing the news reports saying that Iran has halted oil exports to a number of European countries, Tajik said, "Oil exports have not been halted yet, and we have made efforts to... inform European people of the fact that European governments will be responsible for the consequences of the decision." - 2/16/12

EU studying Iran's letter on nuclear talks
Foreign policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic announced on Wednesday: "We have received the letter from [Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili today, in reply to the letter [EU foreign policy chief Catherine] Ashton sent to him in October 2011." - 2/16/12

Israel Calls for Additional Sanctions on Iran
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak has called for increased sanctions on Iran, a day after the United States said Tehran is feeling the pressure of international measures meant to push it to stop enriching uranium. - 2/16/12

Bahrain Authorities Block Anniversary Protests
Activists in Bahrain say authorities have made arrests and prevented protesters from gathering at the site of a landmark roundabout in the capital, Manama, on the first anniversary of the country's pro-democracy uprising. -Phillip Walter Wellman, VOA - 2/16/12

A vibrant election will give enemy a punch on the mouth: Iran's Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the Iranian nation will land a punch on the enemy's mouth on March 2 with their massive turnout for the parliamentary election. - 2/16/12

UN Secretary-General Urges Iraq To Start Camp Ashraf Relocation
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Iraqi authorities to begin the relocation process of members of the Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from Camp Ashraf. - 2/16/12

Iran: Widespread arrests reported on day of protest
Tehran saw some sparks of protest on February 14, and accounts of scattered demonstrations in other large cities, like Shiraz and Esfahan, were relayed through eyewitness reports, since all independent and international coverage of the protests was prohibited by the authorities. - 2/15/12

Iranians Across The Globe Declare Support For Green Opposition Movement
In support of the Green Opposition calls for protests on February 14th, Iranians living abroad also held various programs and demanded all political prisoners be freed including the opposition leader who have been under house arrest for over a year. - 2/15/12

Iran places indigenous fuel rods into Tehran reactor
Iran has placed the first indigenous fuel rods into the heart of Tehran Research Reactor as President Ahmadinejad unveils the country's latest nuclear achievements. - 2/15/12

Iran activates 3,000 new centrifuges
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran has added 3,000 new generation centrifuges to its Natanz facility, increasing the production of 3.5 percent enriched uranium by 50 percent. - 2/15/12

Wife and child of Iranian political prisoner abducted
The Baran website reports that Iranian security forces have abducted the wife and daughter of political prisoner Mehdi Khazali. - 2/15/12

Photos: US actor, director Sean Stone converts to Islam in Iran
American actor and documentary filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam during a religious ceremony in Iran. Stone became a Shia Muslim and chose to be known by the Muslim first name Ali as announced at the ceremony held in the Iranian historical city of Isfahan on February 14. - 2/15/12

Iran to launch National Computing Grid
Technological and scientific Undersecretary of Iran's President, Nasrin Soltankhah said the country would launch National Computing Grid by March 20. Soltankhah Told ISNA Iran would launch the national computing grid through connection of computing grid centers. - 2/15/12

Iran to launch satellite by home-built carrier
There would be a new round of space progression in Iran by 2013. The country would launch Toloo and Fajr (Dawn) satellites and improve satellite carriers by efforts made by experts in this regard. - 2/15/12

Revolution Anniversary March Without Portraits of Ahmadinejad: The Infighting Continues
On the very day that the media was focusing on the absence of portraits of Ahmadinejad in the march commemorating the victory of the Islamic revolution in 1979, the minister of energy of Ahmadinejad's administration said, "People understand by looking at the faces of officials whether the statistics they provide are true or not." - Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 2/15/12

Iran says Israel seeking to damage Tehran-Bangkok friendly ties
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast dismissed on Tuesday Israeli claims that Iran is behind three explosions that rattled the Thai capital of Bangkok on the same day. - 2/15/12

U.S. Carrier In Strait Of Hormuz
The U.S. aircraft carrier "Abraham Lincoln" has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz, for the second time in recent weeks. The vessel was protected by a U.S. cruiser and destroyer. - 2/15/12

Can Obama avert war with Iran?
The contradictions of Obama's policy toward Iran went unnoticed in the US, but not in Iran and Israel, writes Porter. -Al Jazeera - 2/15/12

Jail Term Confirmed For Iran President's Aide
Iranian media reports say that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's press adviser has been sentenced to six months in jail. The case appears to be part of an ongoing power struggle between Ahmadinejad's backers and Khamenei loyalists. - 2/15/12

Experts say Iran has "neutralized" Stuxnet virus
Iranian engineers have succeeded in neutralizing and purging the computer virus known as Stuxnet from their country's nuclear machinery, European and U.S. officials and private experts have told Reuters. - 2/15/12

Reports of scattered street demonstrations in Tehran
Islamic Republic security measures are tightening all across Tehran while reports of groups chanting "Death to the Dictator!" have been reported in Takht Tavoos Street in Central Tehran. - 2/14/12

"Occupy Tehran": Security forces prepare for opposition rally in Tehran
Reports from Tehran indicate the city is lined with security forces in anticipation of people responding to the opposition rally to join a silent march today on the anniversary of the last opposition demonstration, which led to the house arrest of Iran's opposition leaders. - 2/14/12

Iranian Activists Demand Release Of Opposition Leaders
More than 400 Iranian political and civil activists are calling for the release of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard. - 2/14/12

Love It (Or Hate It), It's Valentine's Day
​​RFE/RL journalist Mania Mansour says Valentine's Day has grown in importance in Iran, mainly among middle-class youths. Mania says there is a thriving Valentine's Day industry in Iran and that it is not unusual for more affluent Iranians to splurge on lavish gifts, which can range from name-brand goods to automobiles. -Eugen Tomiuc - 2/14/12

Azerbaijan Rejects Iran's Israel Spy Claim
Azerbaijan has denied Iranian claims that Baku has been collaborating with Israel's spy services and helping assassins who killed Iranian nuclear scientists. - 2/14/12

Turkmenistan's Ruler Wins New Term With 97% Vote
Turkmenistan's authoritarian President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has cemented his rule in the Central Asian state, winning a new five-year term with more than 97 percent of the vote. - 2/14/12

Bombers Target Israeli Embassy Staff In Georgia, India
Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India have been targeted by bomb strikes that Jerusalem is blaming on archenemy Iran, which has denied any involvement. - 2/14/12

Iran says BBC is making false claims
Manouchehr Mohammadi, an aide to Iran's Foreign Minister, has declared as "false" the recent statement by Persian BBC claiming the families of its staff are persecuted in Iran. - 2/14/12

Why Israel's rattling sabers
If Iran strikes Israel with a nuclear weapon, every member of my family living throughout Israel and Palestine could be killed or injured and my place of birth and ancestral homeland would likely be rendered uninhabitable. The scale of loss for me personally, and for humanity, would be immeasurable. Yet I have little fear. -Yousef Munayyer, Al Jazeera - 2/14/12

Bahrain More Divided One Year After Unrest
Clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in Bahrain have intensified as the first anniversary of the country's uprising draws closer, signaling that limited efforts toward national reconciliation are failing. -Phillip Walter Wellman, VOA - 2/14/12

Iranian public warned against joining opposition rally
The Tehran Governor has announced that the authorities are prepared to confront any attempt to hold public demonstrations on February 14. Morteza Tamaddon dismissed the opposition's call to rally demonstrators on February 14 as a mere "promotional show." He said: "Tehran is equipped with all forms of security systems." - 2/13/12

Photos: Fajr Master Cup 2012 in Zanjan, Iran
Fajr Master Cup, the first International Sport Climbing, took place in Zanjan, Iran, from February 1-5. The event included all the three disciplines of Bouldering, Lead, and Speed for both male and female athletes. - 2/13/12

U.S. Officials Must Cut Ties with Confirmed Iranian Terror Group
In light of confirmation by U.S. officials that the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) continues to engage in terrorism, despite the groups claim to have renounced violence, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on all former officials who have taken part in the MEK's lobbying and PR efforts to immediately cut ties with the organization - 2/13/12

Iranian MP denounces internet service disruptions
Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli says the recent blocking of internet and satellite services, causing sudden and unexplained disruptions, is creating widespread discontent that could be "very costly" for the regime. - 2/13/12

IRANIAN TABOO: A documentary exposing the Islamic regime's attacks against the followers of the Baha'i Faith in Iran
Iranian Taboo, a documentary by Reza Allamehzadeh, will begin screening in Los Angeles from February 24 toMarch 1 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and in DC, San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Montreal, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco andSeattle in the following days. - 2/13/12

Concern grows for health of Iranian opposition leader
Fatemeh Karroubi told the Jaras opposition website that she is greatly concerned about her husband's health under house arrest, given that opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is being treated by "physicians trusted by the state security services." - 2/13/12

Iranian company sends replica of spy drone to Obama
An Iranian toy company has sent a pink replica of the US RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone captured in December to the US President Barack Obama. The replica, made by the Iranian Ayeh company, is about one-eightieth the original size and is marketed as a toy carrying a $4 price tag. - 2/13/12

Stop the Hysteria Before War Erupts With Iran
All the parties involved are shamelessly playing to domestic audiences in this election year. Israel keeps issuing threats it will attack Iran's nuclear power installations, though some of its senior security officials downplay an alleged threat from Iran. -Eric Margolis, Common Dreams - 2/13/12

China Urges Iran To Do More On Nuclear Standoff
Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu called on Iran to work more closely with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ma is in Iran on a two-day visit focusing on Iran's nuclear program. - 2/13/12

"Richard III" rules at Iranian theater festival
Atila Pesyani's adaptation of the Shakespeare's magnum opus "Richard III" grabbed the Grand Prix of the 30th Fajr International Theater Festival. The Best Director Award of the International Section of the festival also went to Atila Pesyani for the play and the Best Actor Award in the section was awarded to the play's leading actor, Saber Abar. - 2/12/12

Photos: Enjoying Snow in Yazd
During the winter season, and especially on weekends and holidays, the mountain heights at Sakhvid village in Yazd province of Iran attract many snow lovers from across the province. -Ali Golshan - 2/12/12

Patriot of Persia: Interview with Christopher de Bellaigue
Mohammad Mossadegh - Iran's charismatic Prime Minister-and the coup that brought him down in 1953 stand at the center of modern Iranian history. British journalist and writer, Christopher de Bellaigue, has written a new book on this remarkable figure titled Patriot of Persia, which counts as the first real biography of Mossadegh in English by a non-Iranian. -Fariba Amini - 2/12/12

Iran scraps stoning, capital punishment for minors
The death penalty for minors and death by stoning have been omitted from the Islamic Republic's penal code after years of review and reform of the penal laws. - 2/12/12

Ali Shirazi's Persian Calligraphy Exhibition Warmly Received
Master Ali Shirazi's collection of calligraphic-paintings sold out fast on the opening day at Tehran's Shirin Gallery, bringing back a glimmer of hope to artists and art dealers. - 2/12/12

Iranian scientist discovers new power source
An Iranian researcher Associate Professor, Dr Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, has discovered a new power source. The breakthrough was made jointly with other researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and RMIT University in energy storage and power generation. - 2/12/12

Iran discovers large oilfield
Iran has found a large oilfield with considerable in-situ reserves, the deputy oil minister announced on Sunday. An official with the National Iranian Oil Company has said that the country's oil output would rise by one million barrels per day by 2015. - 2/12/12

US Lawmakers Approve Pentagon Request to Improve Bunker-Buster Bomb
U.S. lawmakers have approved a Pentagon request for more than $81 million in funding to make improvements to a massive bomb designed to penetrate deeply-buried enemy facilities. - 2/12/12

Iran will firmly stand by Palestinian nation: Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks during a meeting with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya in Tehran on Sunday. - 2/12/12

Iran: Anniversary demonstrations on 14 February must be allowed to take place peacefully
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to respect freedom of assembly and allow peaceful demonstrations in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran on 14 February 2012, amid fears that the authorities may once again use excessive use of force to quell protests, as has happened in previous years. - 2/11/12

Severe Internet Disruptions Reported In Iran
Severe Internet disruptions and increased censorship have been reported in Iran this week by Iranians who have complained on social media websites and via messages and telephone calls to RFE/RL's Persian Service, Radio Farda. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 2/11/12

Iran Marks Anniversary Of Islamic Revolution
On February 11, Iran's state TV also showed tens of thousands of pro-government demonstrators rallying across the country to mark the 1979 events, which toppled Iran's pro-west monarchy and brought Islamic clerics to power. - 2/11/12

Explainer: Iran's National Internet
Reports that Iran has stepped up its Internet censorship in recent days -- as evidenced by a general slowdown of the web, Internet blackouts, and the blocking of sites such as Google -- has raised speculation that the country might be testing its controversial "national Internet." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/11/12

Iran's Parliament Speaker Defends Himself In Advance Of Elections
In another display of infighting in the Islamic Republic's political arena, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani has rejected recent statements accusing him of having vested interests in Qom that would disqualify him from running for a seat in the next Parliament. - 2/11/12

What Happens After an Iran-Israel War?
And while research institutions have conducted interesting exercises to try to figure out the military, diplomatic and economic repercussions of a confrontation between Israel and Iran, the dictum that no military plan survives the contact with the enemy applies also here -Leon T. Hadar, Huffington Post - 2/11/12

India rejects EU call to boycott Iranian oil
European Council President Herman van Rompuy has called on India to use its influence with Iran to convince it to resume nuclear talks with the G5+1. - 2/11/12

Buck Fever: Crosshairs on Iran
We all like to believe that we have a firm grasp on reality, that what happens in the world around us and how we perceive it are in perfect harmony; that not much "gets by us." A now famous psychology experiment, available on YouTube, demonstrates how faulty this belief is -Travis Kelly, Antiwar - 2/11/12

Gaza Hamas Leader Arrives In Iran
The prime minister of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, has arrived in Tehran at the start of a three-day visit. - 2/11/12

Ahmadinejad to visit China
Following trips to China by Western world leaders trying to persuade the Chinese to reduce their oil imports from Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will soon travel to China, and a Chinese envoy will visit Tehran in the next couple of days. - 2/11/12

Quake jolts eastern Tehran province
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale jolted the village of Kilan of Damavand district in eastern Tehran province on Friday, Head of Rescue Team Operation of Iran's Red Crescent Society, Mahmoud Mozaffar said. - 2/10/12

Call for Presentations: IAAB's 2012 International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora
IAAB is proud to announce the 5th IAAB International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora to take place October 13-14, 2012 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Proposals are now being accepted for presentations and workshops at the 2012 Conference. - 2/10/12

Iranian authorities threaten daughters of opposition leaders
The daughters of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have been threatened with arrest by Islamic Republic security forces, the Kaleme Website reports. - 2/10/12

Iranian Studies Program Launched at USC
Since its inception in 2008, the Farhang Foundation has focused on promoting and celebrating Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. We at Farhang Foundation have appreciated the significance of Iranian Studies programs which enable students to learn about Iran, its history, culture, and of course, the Persian Language. -Sheyda Monshizadeh-Azar, NIAC - 2/10/12

Israel vs. Iran: The Truth Slips Out
For decades, American voters have been inundated with news stories reporting supposed threats to Israel's security as if they were objective fact. Rarely do our mass media allow any questions about, much less objections to, the myth of Israel's insecurity. At least two questions are urgent now... -Ira Chernus, Common Dreams - 2/10/12

Iran to Send Heavy Satellites into Orbit
Iran plans to send heavy satellites into orbit and is setting up a new launch base for this purpose, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said. - 2/10/12

Iran Expands Naval Fleet with New Submarines
The Iranian Navy expanded its naval fleet after two new home-made submarines joined the force on the occasion of the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. - 2/10/12

Teatro Potlach's "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" play goes on stage in Tehran
The family of the Italian ambassador in Tehran missed seeing the Italian play "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" because of the hordes of people at the entrance of the hall here on Monday. - 2/10/12

Iran increasingly controls its Internet
Whenever Maysam, a prominent Iranian blogger, connects to the Internet from his office in the bazaar, he switches on a special connection that for years would bypass the Islamic republic's increasingly effective firewall. But recently the software stopped working. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 2/10/12

Iran: Christian converts arrested in Shiraz
At least 10 Christian converts were arrested on Wednesday in Shiraz at a residential home that was used as a church. - 2/10/12

Harsher IAEA Report on Iranian Nuclear Program Expected Next Month
Leaked statements claim the report will allege an Iranian effort to develop a nuclear warhead for a ground-to-ground missile - 2/10/12

China Sends Envoy To Iran For Nuclear Talks
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters that "dialogue and cooperation is the only right way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue." - 2/10/12

Iranian engineers kidnapped in Syria released
Seven Iranian engineers who had been kidnapped in Syria in December last year have been released, an informed source at the Iranian Energy Ministry announced on Friday. - 2/10/12

Iran: Supreme Leader Directly Responsible for Illegal Detentions of Opposition Leaders
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, should immediately release the three opposition leaders who have spent the last year under illegal house arrest and stop using extrajudicial and inhumane methods to silence political opponents, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 2/9/12

Photos: Historic Taq-e Bostan in Kermanshah
Taq-e Bostan is a series of large rock relief from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia, the Iranian dynasty which ruled western Asia from 226 to 650 AD. This example of Sassanid art is located 5 km from the city center of Kermanshah in western Iran. -Mohammad Shahbazi - 2/9/12

Iran Was Pioneer in Wetland Conservation in 1971
Iran can be proud of the role it played in the creation of the first international agreement to preserve the world's wetlands, says an American wildlife conservationist whose research in Iran in the late 1960s helped draw attention to the importance of Iran's wetlands habitat. -Louise Fenner - 2/9/12

Iran: Their Elections and Our Elections
Our elections have their own standards. The demand for these conditions is tied to the will and demands of every Iranian citizen. Until elections are held with international and accepted standards of fairness, freedom and openness, any such exercise shall remain "theirs" and not "ours." The elections they are holding are shows and theater which are masked with democratic facades. -Morteza Kazemian - 2/9/12

Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group (the People's Mujahedin of Iran) that is financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran's leaders. - 2/9/12

Information Sessions on Iran Sanctions in Berkeley and Santa Clara
Get the latest information and advice on the Iran Sanctions Regulations and ensure you are in compliance with the law. Panelists will discuss a range of topics, including transferring funds to and from Iran for family transactions, importing and exporting, purchasing and selling property, and managing inheritances and investments. - 2/9/12

Sanctions on Iran: Iranians face shortages of rice, corn, and cooking oil
More evidence is emerging of the crippling impact of new sanctions on Iran, with international traders saying Tehran is having trouble buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people weeks before an election. -CSM - 2/9/12

Iran's Oil Exports to India Up by 37.5% in January
Media reports said on Thursday that Iran's crude exports to India have increased to 550,000 barrels a day in January which shows a 37.5% growth compared with the same period last year. - 2/9/12

Iranian Movie 'A Separation' Gets Oscar Buzz, Political Flak
Asghar Farhadi's 'A Separation' won a Golden Globe, is nominated for two Academy Awards, and has garnered worldwide support, but reactions among Iranians range from absolute praise to conspiracy theories, a non- political movie to a film in support of the Green Movement, or even a pro-Islamic Republic film. Which one is it? -Daily Beast - 2/9/12

Trial date set for U.S. citizen accused in plot
A U.S. federal court says the trial of Iranian-American Mansour Arbabsiar will be held on October 22. Arbabsiar, 56, is accused of taking part in an assassination plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. - 2/9/12

Ex-Marine sentenced to death in Iran needs U.S. intervention, lawyer pleads
A former U.S. Marine sentenced to death in Iran for allegedly spying for the CIA could be saved if the Obama administration would consider a prisoner swap, his Iranian attorney said Wednesday. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 2/9/12

Iran: Envoy Says Pope Welcome To Visit Iran
The Iranian ambassador to the Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI is welcome to visit Iran. Ali Akbar Naseri told reporters in Rome on February 8 that "if the pope decides to come, we will welcome him in an excellent way and with enthusiasm." - 2/9/12

Turkey Wants International Conference on Syria
The Turkish government has close ties with many North African and Middle Eastern countries, and Davutoglu, who said he already laid the groundwork for a broad meeting, speaking in recent days with his Italian, Qatari and Iranian counterparts, is flying to Washington Wednesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials. - 2/9/12

Sister Act From Iran Promotes Pop Music in Era of Repression
The sisters Melody and Safoura Safavi blend Iranian soul rhythms with reggae, rock, ska, and flamenco, singing in their native Farsi, plus English, Spanish and Swedish. Their lyrics, at once humorous and rebellious, speak of love and politics. -NY Times - 2/9/12

Photos: Memories of Shah's Secret Service SAVAK at Tehran's Ebrat Museum
Iran's Ebrat Museum was once a prison of the shah's secret police, SAVAK. The museum displays and exhibits the documented atrocities of SAVAK including prison cells, interrogation rooms and torture chambers. -Armin Karami - 2/8/12

Newsha Tavakolian At British Museum's Exhibition "Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam"
Journey to the heart of Islam will be the first major exhibition dedicated to the Hajj. Coinciding with the exhibition, "The Fifth Pillar", a book showcasing photography of Newsha Tavakolian, published by Gilgamesh Publishing U.K will be launched worldwide. - 2/8/12

Iranian Intelligence Minister: "Enemy seeking to stoke election tension"
"According to credible information which has been gained the enemy is trying to create tension and dispute in process of elections and this requires extra vigilance of security bodies and the brave and revolutionary nation," Moslehi explained. - 2/8/12

Ahmadinejad prepared for questioning
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that he is prepared to be questioned by Parliament in advance of the March 2 parliamentary elections. - 2/8/12

Turkey Debates Role in Possible Syria Intervention
Turkey is hardening its stance against the Syrian leadership and its Western allies are increasingly looking to Ankara for efforts to help unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There is debate in Turkey over whether international sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Syria could lead to military intervention and what role Ankara should play. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 2/8/12

The Economic Crisis in Iran
During the 10 years that the U.S. Army positioned itself next door to Iran, in neighboring Iraq, and Afghanistan, the people of Iran never seriously feared an attack...These days however, with the U.S. military evacuating Iraq amid plans for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, there is palpable fear of a possible attack. -Masih Alinejad, Huffington Post - 2/8/12

Former Clinton adviser calls "Nazi" comparisons unproductive
Comparing Iran to Nazi Germany is excessive and unconstructive, says Robert Malley, a former U.S. national security adviser to the Bill Clinton administration. - 2/8/12

Islamic Unity International Conference kicks off in Tehran
The 25th Islamic Unity International Conference kicked off in Tehran Wednesday as attended by 271 members of World Assembly of the Islamic Faiths Approximation and Islamic scholars. - 2/8/12

Iran, IAEA to meet in Tehran on Feb. 20-21
Iranian and International Atomic Energy Agency officials will hold a meeting in Tehran from February 20 to 21, the IAEA said in a press release on February 7. - 2/8/12

US Urges Iranian Dissidents in Iraq to Move to Transit Center
The Obama administration is urging a group of Iranian dissidents living in northeastern Iraq to make a decision about moving to a new transit center near Baghdad as part of a U.N.-backed process of resettling them in third countries. - 2/8/12

Is The Past The Future? The News Dissector Reports From and on Iran
The TV series House of Lies is about business but it could as easily be about government and foreign policy. In a recent episode, one of the management consultants pitches a company about the need to launch a new product. She recounts the story of the Polaroid Company known as the Apple of its day, widely admired for the cool design of its instant cameras. -Danny Schechter, Common Dreams - 2/8/12

Abducted Iranian pilgrims released in Syria
The 11 Iranian pilgrims recently kidnapped by Syrian opposition forces have been released. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says the pilgrims were released "with the aid of friendly countries." - 2/8/12

Obama's Super-Bowl Fumble on Iran
Before President Barack Obama's interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu probably hoped that, if Obama discussed Iran, he would give him the strong backing that Israeli leaders crave, freeing them to lash out at Iran -- militarily, if they so choose. -Ray McGovern, Common Dreams - 2/8/12

Sanctioned and isolated, Iran boldly bans the Simpsons
Following a ban on Barbies, Iran's ban on the Simpsons is part of a soft culture war that can mean only one thing. We're just not sure what it is. -Scott Baldauf, CSM - 2/8/12

Photos: Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute
Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute is known as one of the oldest and most reputable scientific centers in Iran. This Institute began its activities in the 1925 with producing vaccine against Rinderpest under the supervision of Ministry of Agriculture. Rinderpest at the time had caused large casualties in the cattle population of the country -Mohsen Saeidi - 2/7/12

Iran: Call for Protests on February 14 - "Silent Protest" Returns to Streets
As the anniversary of the 25 Bahman (February 14) protests approaches, several social media outlets have called on people to take to the streets. Meanwhile, the coordination council of the Rahe Sabz Omid ("Green Path of Hope") has issued a statement calling on people to participate in a "silent protest" on the February 14 anniversary. - 2/7/12

Iran's 'Cardboard Khomeini' Faces Criticism, Condemnation
Iran's "Cardboard Khomeini" is fueling a firestorm of criticism in the Middle Eastern country after cutouts of the Islamic republic's founder appeared at a number of events, and photos mocking the mock-up went viral. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/7/12

Zanyar and Loqman's Execution Imminent: Key in the Hands of Friday Prayer Leader
Marivan's Friday prayer leader, Mamusta Mostafa Shirzadi, who is a main player in the twisted case of Loqman and Zanyar Moradi, is not willing to make any public comments about the case of the two young men who have been sentenced to death. Shirzadi tells Rooz, "I don't think it wise to speak to the media; not now, not ever." -Kaveh Ghoreishi - 2/7/12

Exhibition at MGMoA in Oklahoma: Persian Pictorial Rugs
A rare assemblage of pictorial rugs from the Middle East, this exhibit features several rugs from private collections in the United States, primarily from that of M. Mehdy Douraghy, and two rugs from the museum's collections. - 2/7/12

Iran Dismisses New US Sanctions
Iran has dismissed new U.S. sanctions targeting its government and central bank, calling the measures "psychological war." The White House said Monday the sanctions have had a "significant impact" on the Iranian economy and have helped worsen tensions among Iranian leaders. - 2/7/12

Photos: Iran launches biggest Mid East water channel lab
Defense Minister Vahidi stressed the laboratory dubbed "Kowsar" has been designed and manufactured by scientists of Malik Ashtar University of Technology affiliated with Defense Ministry and is among the 5th top laboratories in the world. - 2/7/12

The Deaf And The Mutes: Scupltures of Reza Hosseini Eshlaghi at Aaran Gallery
At age of 25, Reza Eshalghi is among the most promising sculptors of his generation. His latest series is a depiction of Court of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar ( 1831-1896 ). A fresh look at ugliness and beauty, a parody to show repetition of history. Raising the question: Is anything new under this ancient Blue sky. - 2/7/12

Iran's ninja army is made up of 3,500 women
Somewhere in the eastern hemisphere, thousands of female ninjas are being trained for battle. And no, it's not in Japan - or in a new Quentin Tarantino project. -Washington Post - 2/7/12

World's 2nd factor VII factory launched in Iran
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched the production line of antibody products at AryoGen factory on Monday which produces biotechnological medicines and is the second factory in the world producing blood factor VII, IRIB News Agency reported. - 2/7/12

Blunt Instrument: Sanctions Don't Promote Democratic Change
Some scholars have found in sanctions limited success. A widely cited study by Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, and Kimberly Ann Elliot holds that of 116 cases of sanctions since 1914, only 34 percent have been successful.1 Scrutiny of those cases, however, suggests an even lower rate. -Natasha Bahrami and Trita Parsi, Boston Review - 2/7/12

Iran starts oil production at Yadavaran field
The field is projected to produce 30,000 barrels of crude per day. The oilfield is estimated to hold around 12 billion barrels of in-situ crude oil, some 12.5 trillion cubic feet of associated gases, as well as nearly 1.9 billion barrels of condensates. - 2/7/12

Iran's Parliament Summons Ahmadinejad To Explain Economic Policies
Lawmakers in Iran have summoned President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to respond to a long list of complaints, particularly concerning his handling of the economy. - 2/7/12

Iran's Middle Class on Edge as World Presses In
One measure of the profound anxiety now coursing through Iranian society can be seen on Manouchehri Street, a winding lane at the heart of this city where furtive crowds of men gather every day like drug dealers to buy and sell American dollars. -Robert F. Worth, NY Times - 2/7/12

Iran ready to complete gas pipeline to Pakistan ahead of schedule
Iran is ready to complete and inaugurate the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project ahead of the due date, the vice president for international affairs said in Islamabad today. - 2/7/12

Am I Being Naive?
In the face of this well-orchestrated, nonstop, media frenzy, is it any surprise that over 50% of Americans, as the surveys show, would support a preemptive attack on Iran. -Kam Zarrabi - 2/6/12

Pacific Symphony to Celebrate the Iranian New Year, Nowruz
Pacific Symphony, in its ongoing quest to discover new musical landscapes through its acclaimed American Composers Festival (ACF), this year celebrates the Iranian New Year festival of Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring and has been celebrated since ancient times. - 2/6/12

Photos: BASE Jumping from Tehran's Milad Tower
A group of skydivers did jumps from Milad Tower in the capital city Tehran on Monday. The divers were wearing T-shirts with the picture of Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan who was recently assassinated in Tehran. - 2/6/12

Will Women Participate in Iran's Parliamentary Elections?
The ninth parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in the week leading up to International Women's Day, March 8. Iranian women, especially young women who are the majority of Iran's female population and the main protagonists in the arena of struggle for equal rights, will keep protesting against discriminatory laws, knowing full well that they have a long struggle ahead of them on the path to equality. -Khadijeh Moghaddam - 2/6/12

Iranian dissident sentenced to 14 years in jail
Iranian dissident Mehdi Khazali has been sentenced to 14 years in jail, 10 years in exile and 90 lashes. The director of Hayan Publications as well as a dissident blogger, Khazali received this sentence after more than 27 days on a hunger strike and he is in critically poor health. - 2/6/12

Iranian activists call for release of their peer
A group of 52 Iranian student activists has issued a statement calling for the release of Saeed Razavi Faqih. The former student activist was arrested in December upon his return to Iran. He is reportedly being held in an undetermined state and is probably being subjected to high-pressure interrogations. - 2/6/12

Israeli Cabinet Mulls Response to Iran Threat
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the Cabinet meeting by referring to a statement last week by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who described Israel as "a cancerous tumor that must be cut off." -Robert Berger, VOA - 2/6/12

Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a very British Coup - Public Lecture and Book Launch in London
On August 19, 1953, the government of Muhammad Mossadegh, Iran's nationalist prime minister, succumbed to an Anglo-American coup in favour of the Shah. How did this happen? What combination of forces worked against the septuagenarian prime minister as his dream of a truly independent Iran collapsed around him? - 2/6/12

Obama: Israel Has Not Made Decision on Possible Iran Attack
U.S. President Barack Obama says he believes Israel has not made a decision about whether to take military action against Iran's nuclear program. - 2/6/12

Obama Signs Executive Order Freezing Iranian Assets
The executive order prevents any assets deemed to be in U.S. control -- including in foreign branches of U.S. banks -- from being transferred, paid, or withdrawn. - 2/6/12

Widespread arrests in southwestern Iran
Iranian security forces have arrested 50 people over the past two weeks in the Arab neighbourhoods of the southwestern province of Khuseztan. Two of the detainees were killed while in custody, writer and human rights activist Yousef Azizi Banitaraf told Zamaneh. - 2/6/12

Iranian-built drone equipped with co-pilot, GPS Tracking
The manager of the project, carried out in International Imam Khomeini University in central city of Qazvin, Ali Farzan told ISNA the drone which is equipped with 55cc two-stroke engine is 220cm long and enjoys wings that are 260cm long. - 2/6/12

Turkish FM : Iran nuclear issue could be resolved 'in a few days'
"If there is strong political will and mutual confidence being established, this issue could be resolved in a few days," Davutoglu said at the Munich Security Conference. "The technical disputes are not so big. The problem is mutual confidence and strong political will." - 2/6/12

Iran seeks change to international conventions to prevent scientists killings: FM
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the Mehr News Agency on Monday that the Iranian Foreign Ministry is seeking a revision of relevant international conventions to prevent the assassination of its scientists. - 2/6/12

Photos: Mass Wedding at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran
A mass wedding ceremony for students was held at Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University on Friday, 300 couples tied the knots. This was the 15th time such a program was being held. -Hemmat Khahi - 2/5/12

Iran: More Arrests Ahead of Elections
While the condition of recently detained journalists remains unknown, more journalists are arrested ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. In the latest instance, Reza Jelodarzadeh, editor-in-chief of the recently banned "Sobh-e Azadi" magazine was arrested. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online - 2/5/12

World Wetlands Day celebrated in Bandar Anzali
World Wetlands Day was commemorated in the port of Bandar Anzali, in the northern province of Gilan, during a ceremony on Saturday. World Wetlands Day occurs on February 2 every year. - 2/5/12

Iranian scientist's method protects immature cancer boys' fertility
An Iranian scientist managed to develop a new method to propagate human spermatogonial stem cells from small testicular biopsies to obtain adequate number of cells for successful transplantation for 18000-fold in vitro, leading to protection of the fertility of immature boys suffering from cancer. - 2/5/12

It's time for a regional security framework for the Middle East
"Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding," Einstein once said. A sober assessment reveals that the policies adopted to date towards the Middle East, by and large, are not conducive to regional stability, or capable of resolving some of the region's most thorny issues, from the Syrian crisis and the Arab-Israeli conflict to Iran's nuclear program. -Sam Sasan Shoamanesh - 2/5/12

Saudi Arabia Blocks Website Of Iran's Supreme Leader
Iranian news websites report that Saudi Arabia has blocked the official website of Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which is available in a dozen languages, including Arabic. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/5/12

Iran: What's Next?
Unilateral preemptive war of aggression has and continues to be futile not only for the American's long term strategic interest, but also because it devastates the people inflicted with such catastrophe. -Freeman Ure - 2/5/12

Cabinet approves bill to cut four zeros off Iranian currency
Ahmadinejad's cabinet has finalized a bill to slash four zeros off the national currency, rial, the vice president for planning affairs announced on Sunday. Davood Manzoor said the bill will soon be submitted to the parliament for ratification. - 2/5/12

Russia, China Veto UN Resolution on Syria
Russia and China have once again blocked an effort by the U.N. Security Council to condemn the on-going violence in Syria. The two powers used their vetoes to defeat a resolution on Saturday that would have also endorsed an Arab League plan to help end the bloodshed. - 2/5/12

Iran's Gasoline Imports Decline as Nation Adapts to Sanctions
Iran has adapted to tightened sanctions by decreasing its dependence on imported refined petroleum products, as the U.S. stepped up penalties on foreign firms involved in Iran's energy industry, according to two reports released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. -Bloomberg - 2/5/12

Persepolis Tablets Threatened By Senate Sanctions Bill
New Iran sanctions are targeting Persian artifacts in U.S. museums and universities, making it easier for lawyers to seize and auction off priceless Persian antiquities. Send a letter below to tell your Senators to protect our cultural heritage! - 2/4/12

Iran's Navid (Promise) Satellite Orbiting the Earth
Director of Iran Space Agency Hamid Fazeli told IRNA on Saturday that using the upgraded Safir satellite carrier rocket to launch the Navid (Promise) research satellite into orbit was a great scientific achievement for the Islamic Republic. - 2/4/12

Rights groups urge international community to press Iran to end violations
Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights urge the international community to take a much firmer stance on respect for human rights in Iran by raising this essential issue in the talks currently under way with the country's authorities. - 2/4/12

Photos: A Snow White Ardebil
Heavy snow fall continues in Ardebil province of Iran, with some areas receiving over 50cm of snow. These photos by Vahid Moghaddam show the snow-covered Ardebil city. - 2/4/12

Photos: Iran's Zafar Naval Cruise Missiles
In a ceremony on Saturday, the production line of a new domestically manufactured naval missile system, named the Zafar (Victory), was officially launched and the first batch of the missile system was delivered to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Naval Force. - 2/4/12

NYPD Muslim Spy Scandal Grows With Newly Revealed Plan to Target Shiite Mosques
They make note of the number of Iranians who live in the northeast and then they talk a little bit about the makeup of Iran and the political nature of Iran, and then they list a bunch of recommendations. And the recommendations go from the obvious -- we should try to recruit more sources who speak Farsi, to things like we need to be increasing our intelligence gathering at Shiite mosques. -Democracy Now - 2/4/12

Obama's Drift Toward War With Iran
In the last two years, the U.S. Congress has passed resolution after resolution condemning Iran, urging the president to do something hostile, and warning him against negotiations... Only great ingenuity and political talent could extricate an American president today. And while this was passing, how has Barack Obama been spending his time? -David Bromwich, Huffington Post - 2/4/12

Iran dismisses claim it considering attacks in U.S.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast has strongly denied the claim made by U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper saying that Iran could launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil if it feels threatened. - 2/4/12

Iran to stop oil exports to some European countries
Iran's Oil Minister announced today that Iran will "definitely" halt the sale of crude to a number of European countries. He did not, however, identify any specific countries. - 2/4/12

China refuses to join the sanctions bandwagon
China has announced once more that it will not join with the West in imposing sanctions on Iran, emphasizing that talks and cooperation are the only correct and effective path to resolving nuclear disputes with the Islamic Republic. - 2/4/12

Lawmakers, 'Experts' Spin Tales of Iranian Terror in Latin America
Through its ties with Venezuela and other nations in Latin America, Iran is building an anti-US alliance in the Western Hemisphere that poses a direct, imminent threat to the United States, an influential US lawmaker said Thursday. -Charles Davis, Antiwar - 2/4/12

More than 200 Dead After Shelling in Syrian City
Human rights activists say Syrian armed forces have killed at least 217 people in the city of Homs in a surge of violence that began Friday, as the United Nations gets ready to vote on a resolution intended to stop the bloodshed. - 2/4/12

Photos: Miankaleh Wetland in Iran's Caspian Region
There are several national and international wetlands in Iran in which Miankaleh is on of the most important one and is considered as a wild life sanctuary and was listed as a preserved area in 1969. Furthermore, regarding its ecological characteristics, this wetland has been chosen as a maternity site by many endangered animal and herbaceous species, specifically aquatic migrant birds. - 2/3/12

Iran launches newest satellite into space
Iran successfully launched a new domestically manufactured satellite into orbit on Friday morning. The research satellite, called Navid-e Elm and San'at (Promise of Science and Technology), has been manufactured by Iran University of Science and Technology. It was sent into space aboard the Safir rocket. - 2/3/12

Iran: Stop Holding Reporters' Relatives Hostage
"Detaining a BBC reporter's relative seems to be part of a wider campaign to harass Iranian journalists by putting pressure on them and their families," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. - 2/3/12

2nd Annual National Iranian American Day of Service
In the spirit of the Iranian New Year, Norooz, we will be organizing teams of volunteers in cities throughout the U.S. to participate in a variety of service projects. This is our chance to give back to those communities in which we live and work, while also sharing a piece of our rich culture and philanthropic spirit. - 2/3/12

Cultural Highs And Lows For Iran
International recognition of Mr. Farhadi's work comes at a tense time for many filmmakers and other artists in Iran, who have been subjected to government censorship for decades. - 2/3/12

BBC Reporter Interrogated Online By Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Security officials with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have used the Internet to interrogate an employee of the London-based BBC Persian service, according to a February 2 report on the opposition website "IranGreenVoice." - 2/3/12

Iran's Baha'i community targeted with more arrests
The Human Rights Reporters Committee announced on Friday that several Baha'is were arrested at their homes today in Shiraz. Details of the arrests have not yet been released, except that the arrests were carried out during sudden and simultaneous raids on the homes of the targeted people. - 2/3/12

Passing the Torch of Success Rocks San Diego
Billed as an event which would educate, inspire, and empower, the PTT in San Diego more than delivered. As one audience member noted: "What an incredible panel of inspiring...everyone left empowered with an amazing sense of pride as Iranian Americans." - 2/3/12

EU's Ashton says 5+1 is ready for talks at venue suggested by Iran
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has announced that the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) is ready to hold talks with Iran at any venue suggested by the Islamic Republic. - 2/3/12

Iran, IAEA to meet again in Tehran Februaray 21-22
Meetings between the IAEA and Iran were held in Tehran from 29 to 31 January 2012, aimed at resolving all outstanding substantive issues. Another meeting will take place in Tehran from 21 to 22 February 2012. - 2/3/12

Petition: "No To Military Strikes Against Iran"
The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) invites citizens of the world to join a global campaign aimed at averting a colossal catastrophe in West Asia. - 2/3/12

Scrappage scheme, subsidy cuts slash gasoline consumption in Iran
A scheme launched in 2005 to dispose of old and inefficient vehicles has contributed to the reduction of gasoline consumption in Iran by around 3.4 million liters per day, an official with the Fuel and Transportation Management Organization said. - 2/3/12

An SOS from the people of Iran to the people of Israel: Two former top diplomats take a stand against war
In an interview earlier this month, former Iranian Ambassador to the U.S. and former Iranian Foreign Minister, Ardeshir Zahedi, vehemently opposed any military strikes against Iran -Sheda Vasseghi, WorldTribune - 2/3/12

How Obama became vulnerable on Iran
By downplaying his diplomacy, he undermines a peaceful solution and encourages the false charge of weakness -Trita Parsi, Salon - 2/3/12

Security Council Members Consider New Syria Resolution
Members of the United Nations Security Council are considering Friday a new draft resolution to end the bloodshed in Syria, with an amendment designed to overcome Russian objections. - 2/3/12

Iran: Wave of arrests in run up to parliamentary elections
Amnesty International is concerned that an ongoing wave of arrests of media workers and bloggers is intended to limit freedom of expression in the run up to parliamentary elections in Iran scheduled for 2 March 2012. - 2/2/12

Photos: Zoroastrians Celebrate Sadeh Festival in Kerman
Sadeh festival was celebrated by the Iranian Zoroastrians in Kerman on Monday night. Sadeh is an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated 50 days before Persian New Year Norouz. - 2/2/12

Iran: Political Prisoners's Ward at Evin Prison Raided by Security Forces
Following this illegal act that took place in the presence of the special prosecutor's assistant, the prisoners broke out in slogans such as "Ya Hossein... Mir Hossein" , "Mahmoud the Traitor" and "Death to the Dictator" and sang the national anthem "Ey Iran" and other songs such as "Yareh Dabestani". - 2/2/12

Death penalty announced for "disruptive" currency traders
The head of Iran's judiciary announced on Wednesday that the courts will readily "issue death penalties" to the "disruptors" of the country's foreign currency market. In recent weeks, Iran's foreign currency and gold markets have experienced sharp fluctuations, which many analysts have linked to the intensification of international sanctions against Iran. - 2/2/12

Cardboard Khomeini Returns To Iran From Exile
Iranians have been faced with many unusual and absurd events in the past three decades of the rule of the clerics. The February 1 ceremony, however, may have topped them all. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/2/12

UN Nuclear Experts Plan Another Visit to Tehran
The United Nation's nuclear agency's chief inspector says he had a "good" visit to Iran and plans to make another trip in the "very near future" to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program. - 2/2/12

Revoke Execution Sentence of Iranian Web Programmer
Iran should immediately suspend the death sentence for web programmer and Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour and investigate allegations of his torture, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 2/2/12

"A Separation" wins two awards in JIFF
Asghar Farhadi's A Separation has won the Golden Camel award for the best director at Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF). - 2/2/12

NYU to Host "Iran on Film: A Forum on Culture, Politics, and Daily Life in Iranian Documentary Cinema"
New York University will host "Iran on Film: A Forum on Culture, Politics, and Daily Life in Iranian Documentary Cinema," an event, in partnership with independent broadcaster Link TV, featuring excerpts of four documentary films and a panel discussion, on Thurs., Feb. 9 - 2/2/12

Iran denounces UN human rights rapporteur
The head of Iran's judiciary has denounced the United Nation's special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, saying Ahmad Shaheed's report is all "lies." - 2/2/12

US Lawmakers Propose Tougher Sanctions on Iran
U.S. lawmakers have proposed tighter economic sanctions on Iran, as senior intelligence officials say measures already in place are having an effect. - 2/2/12

Call For Film Submissions: 5th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco
The 5th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco, a showcase for the independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians from around the world, is inviting the filmmakers from all over the world to submit their films to the next edition taking place September 2012. - 2/2/12

Ahmadinejad presents budget to Parliament after delay
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented Parliament with his budget for the next Iranian calendar year after a delay of nearly two months. Iranian media report that more than 46 MPs spoke out against the president's lengthy delay. - 2/2/12

Divining the Truth About Iran
Watching top U.S. intelligence officials present the annual "Worldwide Threat Assessment" before the Senate Intelligence Committee, I found myself wondering if they would depart from the key (if politically delicate) consensus judgment that Iran is NOT working on a nuclear weapon. -Ray McGovern, Antiwar - 2/2/12

The Ongoing War on Iran
The way in which the growing confrontation with Iran is being sold by the US, Israel and West European leaders is deeply dishonest. The manipulation of the media and public opinion through systematic threat exaggeration is similar to the drum beat of propaganda and disinformation about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction that preceded the invasion in 2003. -Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch - 2/2/12

Iran and the US: from words to war
Judging by recent rhetoric, and implied threats, from Washington, predictably echoed in London, anyone would think they wanted any excuse for a military conflict with Iran. -Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian - 2/2/12

Hawkish Group Report Pushes for Military Action Against Iran
A report released today from the neoconservative Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Project calls for stepped-up rhetoric and military actions against Iran. -Common Dreams - 2/2/12

Photos: Ayatollah Khomeini Returns To Tehran, Again!
The return of Ayatoollah Khomeini to Tehran was reenacted in Tehran's Mehrabad airport on Wednesday. On the Air France flight on his way to Iran, Khomeini was asked by ABC News reporter Peter Jennings: "What do you feel in returning to Iran?" Khomeini answered: "Hichi" (Nothing). - 2/1/12

Iranian Opposition Group Calls For Silent Rallies
An Iranian opposition group has called for silent rallies to be held in Tehran and other Iranian cities on February 14, accusing the government of wasting the country's interests and resources. - 2/1/12

Chief UN Nuclear Inspector Says More Work Needed With Iran
The United Nations nuclear agency's chief inspector says there is "still a lot of work to be done" with Iran after three days of "intensive" talks about its atomic energy program. - 2/1/12

Senior Iranian Cleric Calls For Release Of Opposition Leaders
Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib, a senior Iranian cleric and a chief critic of the Islamic Republic's recent domestic policies, has called on the establishment to end the house arrest of Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the two opposition leaders who have been detained since last February. - 2/1/12

Photos: Iran's Zoroastrians Celebrate the Sadeh Festival
Sadeh was the national festival of ancient Persia when Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion, before the conquest of Islam in the 7th century. Now it is mostly celebrated just in the homes and temples of Iran's about 60,000 remaining Zoroastrians. - 2/1/12

Actress Katayoun Riahi assigned Iran charity ambassador
The award-winning Iranian actress Katayoun Riahi has been assigned as the new ambassador of the country's Mehrafarin Charity Society. Mehrafarin Charity Society also introduced Tehran Wind Instruments Orchestra as the Co-Ambassador at the event. - 2/1/12

Iran reserves: $120 billion in cash, 907 tons of gold
Iran has $120 billion stored in its foreign exchange reserves and possesses 907 tons in gold reserves, according to the chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce. The chairman said: "We don't have any shortage of foreign currency or gold to meet the local demand". - 2/1/12

US Intel Chiefs Assess Iranian Threat
America's top intelligence official says Iran is increasingly willing to conduct attacks in the United States or against U.S. interests overseas, but does not appear to have decided to build a nuclear weapon. -Michael Bowman, VOA - 2/1/12

Iran actress wins Henri Langlois award
Renowned Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria has been awarded at the 2012 edition of Annual Prix Henri Langlois's International Awards in France. - 2/1/12

EU denounces clampdown on Iranian journalists
The European Union has added its voice to the international chorus denouncing the Islamic Republic's crackdown on Iranian journalists. - 2/1/12

US Muslim group asks Iran government for clemency for Iranian-American sentenced to death
An American Muslim group has appealed to Iran's top leader to show clemency for an ex-U.S. military translator with dual citizenship condemned to death on accusations of being a CIA spy. -AP - 2/1/12

Iranian establishment questions international success of "A Separation"
Iranian filmmaker Jamal Shurjeh, a staunch supporter of the Islamic Republic regime, has criticized the internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, saying Farhadi's latest creation is in line with U.S. and Israeli policies. - 2/1/12

US Navy Rescues Iranian Dhow In Persian Gulf
The U.S. Navy says the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group responded at mid-day Tuesday to a distress call from a fishing boat carrying nine Iranian mariners. - 2/1/12

UN certifies that new camp for Iranian exiles meets international standards
United Nations refugee and human rights officials said today that they have confirmed that the infrastructure and facilities at a new camp in Iraq for residents of the settlement formerly known as Camp Ashraf meet international standards, as stipulated in last month's agreement on voluntary relocation between the UN and the Iraqi Government. - 2/1/12

Iranian ophthalmologist uses new technique for silicone oil removal
Iranian ophthalmologist Khalil Ghasemi Falavarjani managed to push out the heavy silicone oil from the sclerotomy without using any suction pump. - 2/1/12

As Syria Wobbles Under Pressure, Iran Feels the Weight of an Alliance
As antigovernment forces in Syria's violent uprising have increased the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to step down, Iran, his main Middle East supporter, also finds itself under siege, undermining a once-powerful partnership and longtime American foe. -NY Times - 2/1/12

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