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Photos: The first successful hand transplant surgery in Middle East performed in Tehran
Members of the Tehran's 15th Khordad Hospital surgery team have successfully completed hand transplant surgery during 8.5 hours of breathtaking procedure. "In this transplant operation, the wrist of a 25 years old young brain dead person was transplanted to a 37 years old man who had lost his hand 6 years ago in an accident while using a meat grinder." - 2/28/13

Iran Asks Quick Follow-up on New Sanctions Offer
Iran and world powers have agreed to more talks about the Iranian nuclear program, after negotiators for those nations offered new concessions and Iran responded by asking for a quick follow-up meeting. The significant developments came Wednesday, at the end of a two-day meeting of Iranian and world power representatives in Kazakhstan, where they engaged in their first high-level talks since last June. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/28/13

$595b national budget bill submitted to Iranian parliament
The administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented the national budget bill for Iranian calendar year 1392, which starts on March 21, to the Majlis on Wednesday. The proposed national budget amounts to about 7.3 quadrillion rials (approximately $595 billion), showing a 22 percent rise year on year. - 2/28/13

Vancouver - Canadian Iranian Foundation Norouz Gala and Bazaar 2013
We are delighted to inform you about the upcoming Spring and Norouz Festival on March 10th. 2013. Sunday March 10th, 2013 11:00AM - 6:00PM Norouz Bazaar, Mickey McDougall Gymnasium - 2/28/13

On Iran, try backscratching, not blackmail
If someone threatened to punish you unless you did something you didn't want to do, how would you respond? Unless the threatened punishment was really horrible you'd refuse, because giving into threats encourages the threatener to make more demands. But what if someone offered to pay you to do something you didn't want to do? -Stephen M. Walt, FP - 2/28/13

IRGC responds to Ahmadinejad's public criticism
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps responded to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's criticism of the IRGC for interference in the elections of Iran's Medical Council, saying their intelligence unit has a duty to assure that election eligibility criteria are met. - 2/28/13

Former Tehran prosecutor faces serious charge after all
Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran prosecutor, has been indicted on the charge of "complicity in murder" in the death of Mahmmad Kamrani, one of the three detainees who were killed under torture in Kahrizak Prison in 2009. - 2/28/13

Iran Parliament Confirms Former Military Man New Minister of Communications Within Hour
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet minister nominee for the ministry of information and communications technology Mohammad Hassan Nami, a former member of Iran's military, won the parliament's confirmation within an hour. He received 177 votes in favor from the total 243. -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 2/28/13

Iranian firm wins contract to build Pakistani portion of IP project
'Express Tribune' quoting sources reported that Iranian firm Tadbir Energy has been awarded the contract to construct Pakistan's portion of the gas pipeline. It said the initialisation of the contract took place during a recent visit of a Pakistani delegation to Tehran. The pipeline construction will be formally launched on March 4 on the Pak-Iran border. - 2/28/13

Northern California - Celebration of Eid Nowruz at Islamic Cultural Center
Oakland, Saturday March 16, 2013 4- 8pm -- Main program includes: Socializing, art workshops for families and kids, art show and bazaar, dinner, performance and songs by Andeesheh School's students, poetry, and live music. - 2/28/13

New US Defense Chief: US Can't Dictate to the World
Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was sworn in as defense secretary Wednesday, saying the United States must not dictate to the world. Hagel told Pentagon employees America must engage with the rest of the globe. He said no nation as great as the United States can lead alone. - 2/28/13

Dialogue vs. Debate and Culture of Human Rights
Dialogue is the preferred modus operandi for cultivating culture of human rights. The Culture of Human Rights calls for an active and participatory citizenship. For human rights to be realized, exercised, and upheld, it is essential that dialogue be favored over debate. - 2/28/13

Photos: The Historic Kharanaq Citadel
The citadel has a fascinating labyrinth of little lanes, streets, tunnels and passageways. It is designed as a maze for a very special reason: in case a thief from outside would come to this village to steal something, he would most likely get lost in it, giving time to local villagers to catch him and recover the loot the thief had taken. - 2/27/13

Photos: Celebrations in Tabriz after Traktorsazi defeats Al Jazira in ACL
Iran's Traktorsazi football team kicked off this year's Asian Champions League with a 3-1 win over Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates in Group A on Tuesday. After the game, people celebrated their home team's win in the streets of Tabriz. - 2/27/13

'Positive' Iran Nuclear Talks End In Almaty
Representatives of Iran and world powers gathered in Kazakhstan have ended a two-day meeting on Tehran's nuclear program on a cautiously optimistic note. The two sides agreed on February 27 to meet again in Almaty in April to hear Iran's response to a proposal put forward earlier in the day by the so-called E3+3 group of countries. - 2/27/13

Iran wrestling team invited to New York: Report
The U.S. Wrestling Federation has invited the Iranian freestyle team to participate in the exhibition match in New York's Times Square, the Iranian media reported. The U.S. Wrestling has said that a dual meet will be held in May. - 2/27/13

Political Payback Or Justice For Tehran's 'Butcher Of The Press'?
Years after three young men were tortured to death after being detained for participating in mass protests that followed Iran's 2009 presidential election, the man held responsible has finally gone on trial. Outside observers of the closed-door trial, however, hold out little hope for justice. -Golnaz Esfandiari and Mohammad Zarghami, RFE - 2/27/13

Pakistani President Visits Iran For Energy Deals
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is making a visit to Iran to sign a deal for construction of a $1.5 billion pipeline to bring Iranian gas to his country. Zardari's two-day visit is due to include a meeting with Iranian counterpart Mahmud Ahmadinejad to sign the pipeline agreement and a deal for Iranian help in building an oil refinery in the Pakistani port city of Gwadar. - 2/27/13

New York: 10th Persian Day Parade 2013 and Chaharshanbeh Souri
The colorful parade, with a large number of activities, music bands, dance ensembles, flags, floats, performers, marchers, and dignitaries, will be again an impressive display of Persian Pride. Persian Parade Foundation Inc. would like to invite everyone to participate, attend, and support this Parade. - 2/27/13

Chicago - 4th Annual Nowruz Parade
Chicago Nowruz Parade is an Illinois Not-For-Profit corporation. The principal purpose of this organization shall be cultural education and awareness by facilitation and conduct of a public parade (celebration) on or about the time of vernal (spring) equinox; a Persian Tradition which is known to be observed by many nations and is a registry of UNESCO as "the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". - 2/27/13

Jack Straw (Former British FM): Even if Iran gets the Bomb, it won't be worth going to war
What Iran seeks is twofold. First, it wants its "full rights" under the NPT for civil nuclear power. It can fairly point out that three nuclear weapons states - Israel, India and Pakistan - have always refused to join the NPT, while North Korea, now boasting about its atomic capability, withdrew from the Treaty in 2003. Second, it seeks an end to its international isolation and a recognition (especially by the US) of its regional status. -Telegraph, UK - 2/27/13

The Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Conservatory will give the world's first performance of music by Iranian composer Mehdi Hosseini
On March 1, 2013 in the Glazunov concert hall at the St. Petersburg Conservatory named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov there will be a concert performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Opera and Ballet Theatre of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory conducted by Alim Shakhmametiev, and the music "Hesar" written by the Iranian composer Mehdi Hosseini will be performed for the first time ever. - 2/27/13

New US Defense Secretary Confirmed
The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Barack Obama's pick for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, after a bruising nomination battle that saw widespread Republican opposition to the former Republican senator by a vote of 58 to 41. Hagel will lead the Pentagon as America's war in Afghanistan is winding down, and at a time of U.S. fiscal austerity. -Michael Bowman, VOA - 2/27/13

The Coming Collapse of Iran Sanctions
Western policymakers and commentators wrongly assume that sanctions will force Iranian concessions in nuclear talks that resume this week in Kazakhstan-or perhaps even undermine the Islamic Republic's basic stability in advance of the next Iranian presidential election in June. -Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett - 2/27/13

Wrestling Diplomacy Cuts Tension at Nuclear Talks With Iran
U.S. diplomats found rare common ground with the Islamic Republic at a fresh round of nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers, noting Iran's victory in the freestyle wrestling World Cup held in the Iranian capital last week. -Reuters - 2/27/13

Former Ahmadinejad minister announces run for presidency
Manouchehr Mottaki, a former Iranian foreign minister and deputy head of the Followers of the Path of Imam Front, announced on Tuesday February 26 that he will run in the 2013 presidential campaign. - 2/27/13

Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers
This groundbreaking anthology brings together twenty-seven authors from a wide range of experiences that offer new perspectives on the Iranian American story. The authors in Tremors represent the maturing voice of Iranian American fiction from the vantage point of those who were born and raised in Iran, as well as those writers who reflect a more distant, but still important, connection to their Iranian heritage. - 2/26/13

Photos: Tehran's Laleh Park Hosts Land Art Festival
Tehran's Laleh Park is currently playing host to a festival of land art works. The Tehran Municipality has organized the festival, which commenced on Sunday. "Due to its mission and attraction, the environmental art belongs to the future," festival secretary Ahmad Nadalian said during the opening ceremony of the event. - 2/26/13

Operation Reaction: Argo
Argo, the box office hit and Oscar award winning film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, has caused a stir in the Iranian American community. Scores of articles by Iranian and non-Iranians have been published questioning the film's historical accuracy and its portrayal of Iranians. - 2/26/13

Iran: Harshest charges evaded in Kahrizak case
Saeed Mortazavi, the notorious former Tehran Prosecutor, has been indicted for "participating in unlawful detentions" and "assistance in setting up false reports or encouraging such actions in relevant officials", but formerly mentioned charges of "conspiring in murder and torture" have been dropped from his list of charges. - 2/26/13

Two more Iranian journalists released from arrest wave
Iranian authorities have released Reyhaneh Tabatabayi and Akbar Montakhabi, two more journalist who were arrested in the wave of arrests that swept over employees of reformist newspapers and websites. - 2/26/13

Iran's talks with world powers to resume Wednesday
The Genram News Agency reported that the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: "We have prepared a good and updated offer for the talks, which we believe is balanced and a fair basis for constructive talks." - 2/26/13

New York - Iranian American Society of New York Nowruz Gala
The Iranian American Society of New York (IAS) is a non-profit, non-political and non-religious organization whose charter includes promotion of Persian language, heritage and culture. IAS takes pride in providing humanitarian, medical and financial assistance to needy Iranians. - 2/26/13

New Jersey - Banou's Annual Nowruz Gala 2013
Founded over ten years ago, Banou Inc. ("Banou") is a non-profit, non-religious, and non-political charitable organization whose main mission is to strengthen and contribute to the Iranian-American community, especially among the new generation of young adults, who primarily live in the Tri-State area (New York/New Jersey/Connecticut). - 2/26/13

Iran Seeks Global Gain From Nuclear Talks
U.S. analysts say Iran is trying to use international debate over its nuclear program for political leverage. Alex Vatanka, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, said Iran has had plenty of opportunities to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency with the kind of assurances it wants to hear. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 2/26/13

Michelle Obama's Oscar Dress Too Sexy For Iran's State Media
Iran's Fars news agency has Photoshopped a picture of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama from the February 24 broadcast of the Academy Awards, electronically adding material to her dress to make it less revealing. The dress, a shimmering silver, sleeveless gown by Indian-born American designer Naeem Khan, was widely praised in the U.S fashion press. - 2/26/13

Voice Of Russia Persian Website Reportedly Blocked In Iran
When it comes to official censorship, Iran doesn't appear to distinguish friends from foes. The Persian-language website of "Voice of Russia"-- the international broadcaster financed by the Russian government -- said in a statement that it has been blocked in Iran since February 13.-Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/26/13

Photos: Temple of Anahita at Kangavar
The Anahita Temple is the name of one of two archaeological sites in Iran popularly thought to have been attributed to the ancient deity Anahita. The larger and more widely known of the two is located at Kangavarin Kermanshah Province. The other is located at Bishapur. - 2/25/13

Book: Night Letter
Anahita, a nomadic weaver living in early 20th-century Iran, is kidnapped on the eve of her wedding and thrown into the world of slavery and the mystical Sufi faith. Tinged with the fairytale quality of her award-winning Anahita's Woven Riddle, Sayres weaves details of Persian culture with poetry to create the story of a damsel in distress determined to save herself. - 2/25/13

Washington, DC - 2013 Nowruz Commission
Nowruz Commission's Fourth Annual Gala Event be held on March 16, 2013 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The program will continue the tradition of celebrating Nowruz in Washington DC. - 2/25/13

Argo Wins Academy Award for Best Picture
An excited Ben Affleck - who produced, directed and starred in the movie - thanked those involved in both the film and the operation. "I thank everyone in the movie, on the movie, worked on the movie, did anything with this movie gets thanked," he said. "I want to thank Canada, I want to thank our friends in Iran, living in terrible circumstances right now." -Mike O'Sullivan, VOA - 2/25/13

Khamenei Explains His Views on Art and Cinema to Ammar Organizers: Rooz Talks with Filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad
More details have emerged about the Tuesday meeting that Iran's supreme leader had with the organizers of the Ammar People's Film Festival, an event held in Tehran last week. The speeches and exchanges at the meeting are noteworthy. - 2/25/13

Chicago - Passport to the World: Persia
Experience Chicago's Persian community and participate in Norooz, the most anticipated celebration in the Persian culture. March 14-16 at Chicago Children's Museum. - 2/25/13

More detained Iranian journalists released
Detained journalists Emili Amrayi and Narges Joudaki were released from Evin Prison on Sunday February 24. The two journalists were arrested on January 28 along with at least 10 of their colleagues, all involved with reformist newspapers and publications. While some of the journalists caught in the recent wave of arrests have been released, many remain incarcerated. - 2/25/13

Iranian contemporary artist Farideh Lashai dies at 68
One of the most important and famous Iranian contemporary female artists in Iran and in the world, a translator and writer, Farideh Lashai died on Sunday (February 24), after a long battle with cancer at the age of 68. Despite her illness, she continued her artistic activity until the last days. - 2/25/13

Iranian Navy to sail in Pacific ocean for first time in three decades: Commander
Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in Tehran on Monday that the Iranian warships will be sailing in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in over three decades. The commander told reporters that a number of Iranian warships are to leave the Malaga Bay on Tuesday to continue their ways to the North into the Pacific Ocean. - 2/25/13

Does Obama really want a deal with Iran?
Almaty, Kazakhstan, is in the eye of the volcano next Tuesday, when the P5+1 meet again with an Iranian delegation over Iran's nuclear programme. The record shows that all 16 US intelligence agencies know Tehran is not working on a nuclear weapon. In a real negotiation, there would be a credible US offer on the table. There is none. -Pepe Escobar, Aljazeera - 2/25/13

Iran to revise policy of crude oil export: Oil Minister
Minister of Oil, Rostam Ghassemi, said on Monday that Iran will revise policy of crude oil export to produce high standard petrol and oil derivatives. Ghassemi said Iran can revise its policy of crude oil and gas condensates export and instead build advanced refineries to produce high value-added products. - 2/25/13

A Candid Discussion with David Crist
Dr. David Crist is the author of the book "The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran." Dr. Crist currently serves as historian for the federal government. As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, he saw first-hand the war against Al Qaeda and the confrontation with Iran. -Reza Akhlaghi, FP - 2/25/13

As Iran and Israel trade threats, first Iranian novels appear in Hebrew
The rousing success of two Persian novels published in Hebrew this year - the first to ever appear in Hebrew - indicate a thirst among Israelis to better understand Iranian society. -Samuel Thrope, CSM - 2/25/13

Managing Almaty Negotiations without Capitulation or Escalation of Tension
As the public announcement goes, the new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers will be held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 26, 2013. Before negotiations get underway, it would be helpful to mention a few points which would clearly show how the Iranian side looks upon the negotiations in their totality. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 2/24/13

Iran: Tough questions for president bring an end to broadcast
After live television coverage of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's interview was interrupted by the sudden airing of a series episode, the president's office issued a statement expressing surprise, while the national broadcaster's public relations department claims the interruption was done in coordination with the office of the president. - 2/24/13

Iran ranks fifth in orthopedic sciences
Head of Iranian Orthopaedic Association Gholamali Akasheh Friday said Iran has attained the fifth international place in the field of orthopedic sciences and it is among the superior Asian countries in this medical field. - 2/24/13

Workplace fatalities on the rise in Iran
Iranian media reported on Saturday February 23 that in the past 10 months, according to a report by the coroner's office, 1,517 people have been killed in workplace accidents, which represents a 14-percent increase over similar statistics last year. - 2/24/13

Iran 'Captures' Enemy Drone
Iran's Revolutionary Guards says they have captured a foreign unmanned aircraft during a military exercise in southern Iran. A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards said the drone was traced over Iranian airspace and subsequently brought down. The spokesman did not say if the drone was American. - 2/24/13

Iran's mineral exports up 21% in 10 months
Iran exported $2.233 billion worth of mineral products in the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2012, showing 21 percent rise compared to the same period in the previous year, IRNA quoted Iranian deputy industry minister Vajihollah Jafari as saying. - 2/24/13

The Cyrus Cylinder Tour Of The United States: Washington, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles -- March-December 2013
The Cyrus Cylinder will be on display in an exhibition entitled "The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning." This touring exhibition is organised by the British Museum in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and in collaboration with four other major museums. - 2/23/13

US, Iran Go to the Mat for Olympic Wrestling
The United States and Iran rarely agree on much. But now sports officials in both countries are going to the mat to try to save wrestling as an Olympic sport. World Championship wrestling in Tehran pits the United States against Iran. But the match is about more than victory for one side or the other. For the wrestlers and their coaches, it is the start of a shared struggle. - 2/23/13

Proposed Bill To Limit Iranian Women's Travel Reportedly Canceled
The proposed changes to the country's passport law were introduced in the 290-seat Majlis last year and would have required single women up to the age of 40 to obtain official permission from their father or male guardian before they could acquire foreign travel documents. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/23/13

Sentencing of jailed Iranian lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh surprises family
Fatemeh Golzar, the jailed lawyer's wife, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: "Just when we were expecting that he would be finally released, the court's ruling was reported to us, and he has been sentenced to six year in jail." - 2/23/13

Iran is cooperating in global Human Proteome Project
A researcher of Royan Research Institute said here Saturday Iran is cooperating with 19 developed countries in the global Human Proteome Project (HPP) in the fields of medicine and science. - 2/23/13

Iran to build $4 billion refinery in Pakistan
Iran has agreed to build an oil refinery in Pakistan at an estimated value of 4 billion dollars, a senior Pakistani official says. Asim Hussain, an adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, said that the refinery will be constructed in the port city of Gwadar. The plant will be able to refine 400,000 barrels a day. - 2/23/13

The Phoenix Suns acquire Haddadi
The Phoenix Suns have traded backup point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for center Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick. The 7-2 center became the first Iranian-born player in NBA history when he made his debut with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008-09, according to insidehoops. - 2/23/13

Theft, shoplifting on the rise in Iran
Iran has suffered an increase in petty thefts in recent months, and reports from a single chain department store, Shahrvand, claim it has lost 6 billion rials worth of goods through theft, predominantly food items. - 2/23/13

Iranian Embassy Employee Seeks Asylum In Norway, Lawyer Says
An employee of the Iranian Embassy in Oslo is reportedly seeking asylum in Norway. A lawyer for the Iranian man, who remains anonymous, said he was in hiding with his family while Norwegian authorities handle his application. - 2/23/13

Israel's international fifth column exposed
The shocking story of Ben Zygier, a 34-year-old Australian recruited by the Mossad and quite possibly murdered in an Israeli jail cell in 2010, has exposed Israel's international fifth column to the light of day. This whale surfaces every once in a while. -Justin Raimondo, - 2/23/13

Photos: Iran overpowers US freestyle wrestling team 6-1 at World Cup in Tehran
Defending World champion Iranian freestyle wrestling team in a brilliant performance on Thursday evening overpowered US free style wrestling team 6-1. Iranian team set a shining record on the first day of the international tournament and powerfully won all five teams in its pool. - 2/22/13

Iran wins Freestyle Wrestling World Cup 2013 title
Iran has grabbed the 2013 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup title after beating Russia on the final day of the tournament in Tehran. Russia finished runner-up, followed by the United States on Friday at the 12,000-seat hall of the Azadi Sports Complex in west Tehran. - 2/22/13

NIAC Annual National Day of Service: Saturday, March 9
Join Iranian Americans nationwide in honoring the Iranian New Year (Norooz) tradition of beginning a good year through acts of kindness. During NIAC's Third Annual Day of Service on Saturday, March 9, we look forward to reigning in a wonderful new year by cleaning parks and beaches, serving food to those less fortunate than ourselves, and caring for the ill and elderly. - 2/22/13

IAAB Launches Mentorship Program
Ten years ago IAAB started a movement. A casual conversation between two college students grew into an organization that has impacted thousands of Iranians across the world. Iranians in diaspora have come together to build a community that moves away from cliches, pushes boundaries, learns from its predecessors and prepares for its future. - 2/22/13

New Congressional Push to Prevent War, Establish Diplomatic Envoy to Iran
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and ten of her colleagues are renewing a push to establish a Special Envoy to Iran who would lead efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear dispute, prevent war, and support human rights. - 2/22/13

New Pressure On Iran After UN Report
Iran is facing renewed pressure from world powers after a new United Nations report said Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant. The United States said the Iranian move would be a "provocative step," while Britain called it a "serious concern." - 2/22/13

A proposal for solving the problem of the legal regime of the Caspian Sea
Since the collapse of the USSR, The Caspian littoral states are trapped in a cul-de-sac about the legal regime of the Caspian Sea. The failure to define the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is putting a pressure on the political relations of the littoral states. It also creates a potential for conflict and at the same time it is a hurdle for the economic growth of the region. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 2/22/13

Iranian security forces disrupt dervish protest
Gonabadi dervishes gathered in front of Evin Prison today in support of jailed dervishes and their lawyers. The Majzooban-e Noor website reports that some of the protesters were briefly arrested by security forces, and some reports even indicate the dervishes were mistreated. - 2/22/13

Former Iranian president meets with Mousavi daughters
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and his wife have met with the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, the Iranian opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February of 2011. Kaleme reports that on Thursday February 21, Khatami met with the Mousavi daughters and expressed his concern regarding their recent harsh treatment by Iranian authorities. - 2/22/13

Hacking: Not Just China
Computer hacking by the Chinese has been causing a stir in recent weeks, but experts warn that focusing too much on Beijing could open the door to cyber spies from other countries the U.S. government is monitoring. - 2/22/13

World Powers Ready To Make 'Serious' Iran Offer
A Western diplomat is quoted as saying six world powers are ready to make a "serious" and "substantial" offer to Iran during talks next week aimed at resolving the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program. The unidentified diplomat was quoted by the AFP and Reuters news agencies in reports out of London. - 2/21/13

Iran: Media crackdown continues with journalist's arrest
Another Iranian journalist, Ehsan Mazandarani, was arrested on Wednesday February 20, joining the wave of arrests that began in late January. Meanwhile, Hossein Yaghchi, one of journalists arrested during that time, was released yesterday after three weeks in jail. - 2/21/13

Iran, US strongest ally in wrestling: US national wrestling teams director
The national teams director for USA wrestling says Iran is 'one of the strongest allies' of the US in wrestling, siding with the Islamic Republic in efforts to reverse a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. - 2/21/13

Sassanid Palace Ruins Found In Western Iran
Iranian archeologists have discovered the ancient ruins of a Sassanid palace in the western province of Lorestan. The Mehr News Agency reports that the remains of the 1,500-year-old edifice, possibly a court summerhouse, were discovered 70 kilometres from Koohdasht. - 2/21/13

Securing the Future of Persian Immersion Language Education in the US
Golestan Kids is a nonprofit Persian language immersion school for children in Northern California. Our mission is to promote a strong sense of cultural identity through daily immersion in the Persian language, arts, and traditions. Speaking exclusively in Persian, Golestan's teachers employ a hybrid, progressive curriculum to nurture and promote good citizenship to children... Now we find ourselves at a major crossroads. -Yalda Modabber - 2/21/13

Iranian political prisoner linked to exposing Kahrizak crimes released
Mohammad Davari, the Iranian political prisoner and editor-in-chief of Saham News, was released on Wednesday February 20 after three and a half years in jail. Davari was arrested in September of 2009 and had not been given a day of furlough until his release yesterday, Kaleme reports. - 2/21/13

Fajr International Music Festival announces winners
Winners of the 28th Fajr International Music Festival were announced during a ceremony at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Tuesday evening. Although a few foreign groups including the German-French group, the Tarkovsky Quartet, participated in the festival, none of them groups were among the winners. - 2/21/13

Iran's caviar output projected to hit 3 tons
Iran's caviar output is projected to hit 3 tons in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21, IRNA quoted the Iranian Fishery Organization Director Gholamreza Razeqi as saying. Over one tons of caviar has been so far produced in the current year, some half of it has been exported, he added. - 2/21/13

Babe's and Ricky's Inn: A Tribute to Mama & her life-long Love for the Blues
It was very appropriate that Babe's & Ricky's Inn had its world premiere as the Centerpiece of the Pan African Film Festival on Valentine's Day... Ramin Niami and Behrooz Arshadi, affectionately called "The Persian Blues Brothers", have put together a labor of love that every music lover must see. -Enclave LA - 2/21/13

Cyrus, Ben-Gurion and Ben-Zion
By all accounts. Cyrus was a magnanimous man and the archetype of a wise ruler. The policies that he introduced did indeed promote religious tolerance, and the right for communities to live according to their own laws and beliefs. What Cyrus promoted is a model to be emulated and not criticized. One must be grateful that Neil MacGregor delivered his TED talk, and is allowing the Cyrus Cylinder to tour the United States of America. -Abolala Soudavar - 2/20/13

Iran wins Greco-Roman silver at Wrestling World Cup
Iran had to settle for a silver in the Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup 2013, which was held, in Tehran, after losing to powerhouse Russia in the final. On Wednesday, Russia defeated Iran 5-2 in the gold medal match, which was held at Tehran's Azadi Sports Complex. - 2/20/13

Diplomatic Solution? The US and Iran
On January 30, 2013, The HAND Foundation and Ploughshares Fund hosted a reception and talk titled Iran: Is there still time for a diplomatic solution? Over 150 people attended this event in Redwood City, California. The engaged audience heard former U.S. Ambassador William H. Luers, Lieutenant General Frank Kearney, and Ambassador James Dobbins share their insights about the possibility of reaching a diplomatic solution with Iran on their nuclear program. - 2/20/13

Room for optimism in Iran and the P5-plus-1 talks
Iran and the P5-plus-1, which includes the United States, will meet again on 26 February in Kazakhstan. This is the first time that the two sides will meet in an atmosphere of continuing mutual suspicion since the third round of talks held in Moscow on 18-19 June 2012 ended in stalemate. -Farhang Jahanpour - 2/20/13

Sports brings nations together: U.S. wrestling coach
The United States freestyle wrestling coach Zeke Jones has said that sports bring nations together. In an email interview with the Tehran Times on Tuesday, Jones also talked about the 2013 Freestyle World Cup, which will be held in Tehran from February 20 to 21. - 2/20/13

Iran drops measures to suppress population growth
Iranian Parliament has approved all amendments to the family planning act, doing away will all forms of restrictions on the number of children that working parents can have. In the past year, Iran's Supreme Leader has called on Iranians to have more children, stressing that his earlier message of reducing the number of children born was an error of judgement. - 2/20/13

Top 100 Iranian companies had $215 billion in revenues in 2011-2012
The Industrial Management Organization of Iran has released the list of 400 leading Iranian companies in terms of sales in Iranian calendar year 1390, which ended on March 19, 2012. The total sales of the top 100 Iranian companies amounted to 2.64 quadrillion rials (about $215 billion), which was a 30 percent rise year on year. - 2/20/13

Iran claims BBC hosts "anti-revolutionary" network
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry released a statement on Tuesday February 19 referring to the "discovery of a media network" that, according to the ministry, is based inside BBC News and is linked to several Iranian reformist websites, such as Jaras and Kaleme. Iranian media report that the announcement indicates that recently detained journalists have been investigated regarding this matter and four others have allegedly fled. - 2/20/13

Announcing the launch of, the first-ever line of Persian-inspired stationary is a line of Persian-inspired stationery and wall art dedicated to commemorating special moments with a cultural twist. Golreezan products are made with high-quality paper stock and designed with bold prints and endearing sayings written in both Farsi and English. Designed by Iranian-American graphic designer Afsoon Talai, Golreezan offers greeting cards which include holidays and other occasions - 2/20/13

Wanted by Interpol, Iran's Ex-Intelligence Minister To Run For President
Former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian, one of the most-feared figures of Iran's Islamic establishment, has announced his candidacy in the country's June 14 presidential vote. Fallahian seemed to suggest that if he were elected he would halt Iran's controversial nuclear uranium-enrichment program. "Enough of nuclear. We don't want nuclear enrichment, we have already mastered its knowledge," he said. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/20/13

Pakistan Reaches Out to Iran on Energy, Security
Pakistan is reaching out to its neighbor, Iran, for cooperation on energy and security, despite ongoing international attempts to isolate Tehran for its nuclear program. The latest talks between the two countries on a proposed gas pipeline that could aggravate Pakistani ties with the United States. Sharon Behn, VOA - 2/20/13

Photos: 2013 Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup in Tehran
Iran defeated Turkey 4-3 in the first match of the 2013 Greco-Roman wrestling World Cup in Tehran on Tuesday. The Iranian team next overcame Kazakhstan 6-1 and will wrestle with Hungary and Azerbaijan later in the day. It is predicted that Iran and Russia will face each other in the final. - 2/19/13

More detained Iranian journalists released until trial
Javad Deliri, the detained editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Etemad, was released on bail from Tehran's Evin Prison on Monday February 18. The Etemad daily confirmed Deliri's release on bail today. The Tehran Prosecutor announced on Monday that as the investigation of their cases is completed, the detainees will be released on appropriate bail until their trial dates. - 2/19/13

Without Resolve, Reformists' Path Will Hurt Iran
I believe Khatami is well-intentioned. I believe that he is worried, not about the survival of the present dictatorship as some claim, or his own credibility or reputation, but Iran's survival. But, as Abdollah Nouri, his first Minister of Interior put it, "The government does not feel that it has any problem internally, because there is no domestic organized movement with plans." Nouri is correct. Khatami must recognize that the only language the ruling elite understand is the language of force, exerted by an all-encompassing social/political movement on the ruling establishment. -Muhammad Sahimi - 2/19/13

Reza Odabaee Winner of the Beacon of Light Award
The Immigrant Relations and Immigration Services (IRIS) of the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations announced that Mr. Reza Odabaee is this year's winner of the Beacon of Light Award. The Beacon of Light Awards was launched by IRIS to honor local individuals and organizations that work to protect and advance the human rights of immigrants in Santa Clara County. - 2/19/13

Iranian ministry slams Berlin prize for filmmaker Jafar Panahi
Iran's Ministry of Culture and Guidance has denounced Jafar Panahi's recent filmmaking activities and criticized the awarding of the Silver Bear to his film at the Berlin Film Festival. In fact, the Iranian judiciary has banned Panahi from making films for 20 years and sentenced him to six years in prison. He is basically under house arrest in Iran and barred from leaving the country. - 2/19/13

Iran to Send 6 New Home-Made Satellites into Orbit Next Year
Head of Iran's Space Agency Ahmad Fazeli announced on Tuesday that the country will send 6 new home-made satellites, mostly made by Iranian universities, to the space in the next Iranian year (starting on March 21). - 2/19/13

Iranian Official Rejects Reports on Iran's Ban on Buddha Statutes
An Iranian cultural official rejected some media reports alleging that he has called for a ban on the imports and sales of Buddha statutes in Iran, saying that his remarks have been "misquoted". "Unfortunately, my remarks have been misinterpreted," he said, and further explained, "I just meant the illegal imports of certain cultural works and items and in violation of the customs (rules and regulations)." - 2/19/13

Iran criticizes offer to allow trade in gold in return for closure of Fordo
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has criticized the reported decision by the 5+1 group to offer to ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for Iranian steps to shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment plant. - 2/19/13

West Trying to Kill Two Birds with One Stone in Tehran Talks
Although Iranian officials and the experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) went to the negotiating table in Tehran last week with smiling faces and hope-inspiring promises about agreement on a new modality, smiles were wiped off their hopeful faces after negotiations were over. - 2/19/13

Eurasia is an engine of global economic growth: Iranian FM
Salehi made the remarks in a speech during the Islamic Republic of Iran and Eurasian Cooperation Conference, which opened in Tehran on Monday and closes today. Officials and scholars from a number of countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, and Germany, are attending the conference. - 2/19/13

Iranian Reformists at New Frontiers
So it is not off the mark if we said that Iran's reform movement is suffering from disorganization in leadership and suffers, from an inability to deepen social links, and from creativity. The purpose of this criticism is not to rejoice or condemn the leaders but to point out that what is needed is to review the developments to arrive at a clearer understanding and replace the old views as a way to find a future for the reform movement. -Ali-Asqar Ramezanpour - 2/18/13

Photos: Fourth soil carpet "woven" in Hormuz Island
'Soil carpet' is a sketch of Persian carpet painted on bare soil. The fourth 'soil carpet' was opened to public visit in the Iranian island of Hormuz in Persian Gulf on Saturday. The carpet, measuring 1400 square meters, was created by provincial artists using different colors of natural soil of the Island. Around 40 artists along with another 40 assistants participated in creating this land art. - 2/18/13

Unprecedented fraud case in Iran yields four death sentences
The Tehran Prosecutor General has confirmed the death sentence for four of the people accused in Iran's $3-billion fraud case. Iranian media reported on Sunday February 17 that the Supreme Court of Iran has confirmed the death sentences as well as fines levied against the four top individuals charged with financial corruption in the case. - 2/18/13

Iran's rampant inflation called sixth-worst in world
Reports from The Centre for Research of the Islamic Parliament and news agencies inside Iran claim that, unlike many other countries in the world that have been able to curb their economic difficulties and their double-digit inflation, Iran is shouldering its worst inflation in the past 17 years with the highest inflation rate in the Middle East. - 2/18/13

Iran: Reformists meet with Supreme Leader
The Etemad daily wrote on Monday: "Majid Ansari, a member of the Expediency Council, Abdolvahid Mousavi Lari, who was interior minister in Mohammad Khatami's reformist government, and Eshagh Jahangiri, who was industry minister in the reformist government, are the three who appear to have gone as reformist representatives" to visit Ayatollah Khamenei. - 2/18/13

Photos: Iran launches domestically manufactured dry dock in Caspian Sea
Iran on Tuesday launched a domestically manufactured dry dock at the port of Anzali in the Caspian Sea. The dry dock, which has been designed and manufactured by the experts at the Marine Industries Organization of the Defense Ministry, can be used for testing and repairing various vessels and marine structures weighing up to 2000 tons. - 2/18/13

12,000 foreign students studying at Iranian universities
Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology Rasoul Malkefar said on Monday February 11 that there are 12,000 foreign students studying at Iranian universities nationwide. Speaking to reporters in Bojnourd, he said these students admitted to the Iranian universities attend classes regularly. - 2/18/13

2013 Farhang Short Film Festival's Top 6 Nominees Selected
The Top 6 Nominees of the 5th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival have officially been announced. They are And We Pass By (Iran), Distant Words (Australia), Karbafi (Iran), Khourosh Ali Khan: Jazz Fusion in Iran (USA), Namaki (Iran), and Rostam in WonderLand - Sohrab's Blood (USA). - 2/17/13

Iranian photographer wins awards at World Photo Press
Iranian photographer Ebrahim Noruzi has won two awards at the World Photo Press 2013. The winners of the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest were announced on Friday. Noruzi won the first prize of the Observed Portraits Section for his photo collection "Victims of Forced Love". - 2/17/13

Members of Iranian Parliament apologize to Supreme Leader
In a motion initiated by speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, 265 Iranian MPs apologized to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. ISNA reports that at the end of Sunday's session on February 17, 265 MPs announced that "for our part, we apologize for what occurred in the Islamic Parliament regarding the impeachment [of the labour minister]." - 2/17/13

Iranian Film Wins Best Screenplay Award At Berlin Film Festival
The Iranian film "Closed Curtain" has won the top prize for best screenplay at the 63rd Berlin film festival. The film was co-directed by Kamboziya Partovi and dissident director Jafar Panahi in defiance of a 20-year ban on filmmaking. - 2/17/13

Second Iranian journalist released after wave of arrests
Fatemeh Sagharchi, one of many journalists arrested in the past month in Iran, was released on bail yesterday. Iranian media report that the Jamaran website editor was released from Evin Prison on February 17 on bail of 1.2-billion rials. In late January, 17 journalists were arrested by Iranian security forces, and so far, only Sagharchi and another detainee, Motahareh Shafii, have been released. - 2/17/13

Call For Film Submissions: 6th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco
The 6th 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 2013. - 2/17/13

Iran's recoverable oil reserves increase to 157 billion barrels
Iran's recoverable oil reserves have been increased to about 157 billion barrels up to now in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced here on Sunday. Some 14 billion barrels of crude oil reserves have been discovered since the beginning of the current year, of which 3 billion barrels is recoverable, ISNA quoted Qasemi as saying. - 2/17/13

Iran's non-oil exports to pass $50B this year: official
Iran's non-oil exports will surpass $50 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20), ISNA quoted Iranian Chamber of Commerce official Asadollah Asgaroladi as saying. Non-oil imports are valued at 60-65 billion dollars, he said, adding that non-oil exports would approach the imports. - 2/17/13

Photos: The Making of Bakhtiari Rugs
The Bakhtiari tribe, based in Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari, is well-known for their rugs and weavings. Bakhtiari Rugs are based on a cotton foundation (warp) with a wool weft usually taken from the herds of the producing tribe. This leads to unique carpets that differ depending on the characteristics of each tribe's wool. - 2/16/13

U.S. Wrestling Team To Compete In Freestyle World Cup in Iran
Wrestling is a national sport in Iran, and huge sellout crowds are expected to fill the Azadi Sports Complex all week long. USA Wrestling has a close relationship with the Iranian Wrestling Federation, and U.S. teams have competed in Iran numerous times since 1998, when a U.S. freestyle wrestling team was the first U.S. sports team to compete in Iran after the Iranian Revolution. - 2/16/13

Photos: 10-km cross-city tunnel inaugurated in Tehran
The largest cross-city tunnel in Tehran, with a length of 10,252 meters, was officially inaugurated on Saturday. The Niyayesh tunnel is one of the world's 20 longest road tunnels. The construction of the tunnel, which connects Tehran's east and west, started in 2011 - 2/16/13

Supreme Leader criticizes Iran's president for first time
Iranian media report that Ayatollah Khamenei said on Saturday February 16 in a speech in Tehran: "The head of one government branch brought an unproven accusation against the other two branches of the government, which is an inappropriate action and a violation of the fundamental rights of the people. It was also against Sharia, against morals and illegal." - 2/16/13

Iran Mourns Senior Commander Killed in Syria
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander killed inside Syria was buried Friday in Semnan. Several high-ranking officials, including Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Revolutionary Guards chief general Mohammad Ali Jafari, as well as senior clerics, attended the funeral for General Hassan Shateri in Tehran on Thursday. - 2/16/13

Dutch, Iranian pianists refresh "Persian Hours" in Tehran
Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat and Iranian pianist Aida Sigharian performed French composer Charles Louis Eugene Koechlin's masterpiece "The Persian Hours" (Les heures persanes) at Tehran's Rudaki Hall on Thursday night. The audience was impressed by the duet, which was performed at the 28th Fajr International Music Festival - 2/16/13

Khamenei: Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons, But....
Iran's supreme leader says his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but if it wanted to, no country could stop it from doing so. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters in Iran, said Saturday that Iran supports the elimination of nuclear weapons. - 2/16/13

Photos: Iran inaugurates $590 million NGL plant
Iran inaugurated a $590 million natural gas liquids (NGL) plant on the Persian Gulf island of Siri. It is projected that the Siri NGL plant will have about $500 million of sales annually, the Shana News Agency quoted National Iranian Offshore Oilfields Company Managing Director Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh as saying on Thursday. - 2/16/13

UN Security Council Warns Against Arms Transfers to Yemen
Yemen said its coast guard seized missiles and rockets on Jan. 23 believed to have been sent by Iran. Iran has denied any connection to the weapons, which were found aboard a vessel off the coast in an operation coordinated with the U.S. Navy. - 2/16/13

In this year's address, the issue of Iran was summarized in one sentence: " Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon." and this time there was no mention that all options, meaning a possible military strike, was to remain on the proverbial table. -Kam Zarrabi - 2/15/13

Havaar Launches Campaign to Help Iranians Access Life Saving Medicine
Sanctions against Iran are often presented as a humane alternative to war, but in fact they have caused massive economic hardship and a social crisis in Iranian society that has reached life-threatening proportions. The U.S.-led sanctions regime is strangling the Iranian people, cutting off trade relations, financial transactions, and access to vital goods. - 2/15/13

As NASA's Ferdowsi Inspires, Iranian Visa Obstacles Should Be Cleared
Perhaps of greater interest than reading the tea leaves of Obama's State of the Union remarks on Iran was the attendance of Bobak Ferdowsi, also known as NASA's 'mohawk Guy'. Ferdowsi is the Iranian-American jet propulsion engineer who shot to fame last fall when he led the landing of the Mars Curiosity rover. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 2/15/13

Social History of Iranian Cinema at UC Irvine
Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at UC Irvine and Farhang Foundation Lecture Series in Iranian Studies present "Social History of Iranian Cinema" with Professor Hamid Naficy and Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication, Northwestern University - 2/15/13

U.S. and EU Call For Release Of Iranian Opposition Leaders
The United States is joining calls for the release of two Iranian opposition leaders who were put under house arrest two years ago. The State Department noted Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi have not been charged with any crimes since being detained in 2011. Musavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, a women's rights activist, is also under house arrest. - 2/15/13

Iranian online game nominated for German intl. game contest
Iranian online video game Sky Fortress II has entered final nominee list of a German Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) contest. Iran's Sky Fortress II (Asmandez II) is slated to vie with four other selected games at the eighth edition of the contest. - 2/15/13

U.S., Iran, Russia team up to save wrestling
On the world stage, the U.S. is in dire conflict with Iran and Russia. On the wrestling mat, the three powers in the sport suddenly are in alliance. "I think without a doubt we're together on the wrestling front," says Greg Strobel, two-time former U.S. Olympic wrestling coach and former coach at Lehigh University. "We'll be working together." -Gary Mihoces, USA Today - 2/15/13

Privacy Advocates Prepare New Fight Against US Cyber Bill
U.S. privacy and technology activists are preparing for a new round of fighting against an information-sharing bill they say will let private companies help the government spy on the American public. Supporters say CISPA will help the government defend private companies and federal agencies from cyber attacks from countries like Iran and China, as well as hacker groups like Anonymous. -Kate Woodsome, VOA - 2/15/13

CIA nominee: Iran-bashing good for politicians, bad for US interests
While much attention has been paid to John Brennan's policy on drones during his tenure as chief counterterrorism advisor to President Obama, surprisingly less has been given to his positions on Iran. Slotted to be the new head of the CIA by President Obama, Brennan faced a confirmation hearing in the Senate last week that hardly dealt with Iran. -Sina Toosi, NIAC - 2/15/13

The Day of Women and Earth: The Festival of Spandarmad
Spenta Armaiti was one of the six great Amesha Spentas (holy immortals) who with Ahura Mazda made up the Zoroastrian Heptad that dominated the Zoroastrian cosmology of the Sasanian period. Armaiti means devotion and this female deity represented Holy Devotion and Bounteous. Her task was to guide people to good life and to salvation, and also nurturing of creatures. -Massoume Price - 2/14/13

Cartoons: The Lovers Day
Valentine's Day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards. - 2/14/13

Iran Tightens Controls On Online Expression Ahead Of June Vote
Iran appears to be taking measures to tighten online censorship ahead of its presidential vote. In recent days, a long list of online activities has been designated as criminal, including calling for an election boycott, organizing sit-ins or protests, and insulting presidential candidates. - 2/14/13

Lichen destroying iconic Iranian tomb
The head of Iranian Heritage and Tourism Studies announced on Wednesday February 13 that lichen growing on the Tomb of Cyrus the Great is causing increasing damage to the historical site. - 2/14/13

Has Israel Assassinated An Iranian IRGC Official?
At least two Iranian news agencies and several websites are reporting that an Iranian official in charge of reconstruction efforts in Lebanon has been assassinated by "Zionists." The official, pictures of whom have been posted by the hard-line Fars news agency, is identified as Commander Haj Hassan Shateri. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/14/13

"I AM CYRUS!": A Contest to Celebrate our Iranian Heritage
Cyrus the Great of Persia was the ruler of one of the first multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-religious empires in the world. He promoted religious freedom, respect for humanity, and tolerance. His vision ensured that the people residing in his empire did so under a just and generous rule and were able to celebrate their unique cultures and religions. - 2/14/13

Iranian Opposition Leaders' Daughters Summoned to Evin Prison Again
Kaleme Website reports that Kokab and Narges Mousavi, the daughters of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, have once again been summoned to Evin Prison for questioning. The opposition website reports that Kokab Mousavi is summoned for Thursday February 14 and Narges Mousavi on the following Saturday. - 2/14/13

Medicine at Center of Debate as Iran Sanctions Tighten
Earlier this month, the U.S. government announced tighter sanctions on Iran. In particular, the actions would further limit Iran's access to oil revenues "by restricting Iran's ability to use oil revenue held in foreign financial institutions as well as preventing repatriation of those funds to Iran." -Negar Mortazavi, VOA - 2/14/13

Iran Installs New Enrichment Centrifuges, Holds IAEA Talks
Iran has announced it has started installing a new generation of machines for enriching uranium at its main facility making nuclear fuel. Iranian media quoted Fereydun Abbasi-Davani, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, as saying on February 13 that new centrifuges began to be installed at the Natanz site last month. - 2/14/13

Report: Sanctions Are Primary Cause of Iranian Medicine Shortage
Sanctions imposed by the West are the leading cause of medicine shortages in Iran according to a report published by the Woodrow Wilson Center. While the report points to structural problems in Iran's pharmaceutical sector as well as mismanagement and corruption by the Iranian government as contributing factors, it determines that these are far outweighed by the consequences of American and European sanctions. -Nadia Hakim - 2/13/13

Exhibition: Jewelry With Persian Garden Motifs at Golestan Gallery in Tehran
A collection of jewelry bearing motifs inspired by the Persian garden will be showcased in an art show at Tehran's Golestan Gallery later this week. The collection has been created by Bahram Dashtinejad and Toktam Fazel, a jeweler couple that always draws inspiration from the Iranian garden for their works. - 2/13/13

Bita Daryabari's Pars Equality Center Plans for Expansion in Los Angeles
Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bita Daryabari's Pars Equality Center (a Bay Area non-profit organization, and the first of its kind, providing social and legal support for all members of the Iranian American community, including refugees, asylees and immigrants) opened its second office in San Jose, California in April 2012, and is currently planning expansion into the Los Angeles market. - 2/13/13

Opposition to War with Iran: Lessons of the Last Decade
Hardly any day goes by in which the mass media does not speculate on the possibility of military attacks on Iran. The mainstream media consistently blows way out of proportion the "threat" that the Islamic Republic supposedly poses to Israel and the West, and ignores the decade-long covert war waged by Israel on Iran. -Muhammad Sahimi - 2/13/13

Iranian Alliances Across Borders Is Calling For Ambassadors and Youth Ambassadors
IAAB is pleased to launch its Ambassador and Youth Ambassador Programs for 2013. IAAB's Ambassadors and Youth Ambassadors are our largest grassroots network in the United States and Canada. - 2/13/13

Vote 'No' to dropping wrestling out of Olympic sports
ESPN, leading website in sports, has held poll to elicit the viewers' opinion on which sports should be dropped from Olympic. This comes after decision by IOC to drop wrestling out of Olympic. ESPN has also polled other 26 sports to remain in the list. - 2/13/13

Iranian director vows to go ahead in the face of ban
Iran's Jafar Panahi has defied a 20-year ban on filmmaking to secretly co-direct "Closed Curtain", a multi-layered portrayal of how restrictions on his work and movement have brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide. The movie, in competition at the Berlin film festival, has its premiere on Tuesday, but Panahi was not expected on the red carpet despite festival organizers saying the German government had requested he be allowed to travel. -Reuters - 2/13/13

'High Five' Lands Iranian Diplomat In Hot Water
A"high five" has caused double trouble for two politicians from Germany and Iran. Germany's Green Party Chairwoman Claudia Roth and Iran's ambassador to Germany, Reza Sheikh Attar, joyfully greeted each other at the annual Munich Security Conference earlier this month with a "high five." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/13/13

Iran's Unemployment Rate Hits 11.2%
Iran's unemployment rate in autumn 2012 hit 11.2 percent, down 0.6 percent compared to the figure in autumn last year, IRNA reported, citing the Statistical Center of Iran. The jobless rate was 11.1 percent in spring, according to the report. - 2/13/13

Iran starts turning enriched uranium into fuel
Iran has repeatedly condemned the possession and use of nuclear weaponry, which Mehmanparast reiterated today, saying: "We have to reach a point where no country engages in nuclear military activities and all nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction are eliminated and instead all countries can enjoy the right to exploit nuclear technology for peaceful purposes." - 2/13/13

Ahmadinejad appoints disgraced former minister as advisor
Following the Parliament's dismissal of Abdolreza Sheikoleslami as Iranian Labour Minister, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed him as the presidential adviser on social affairs. On February 3, in a controversial session of Parliament, the Labour Minister was impeached and dismissed in Parliament for appointing Saeed Mortazavi to head the Social Security Fund. - 2/13/13

Obama Details Afghan Troop Drawdown in State of Union Speech
U.S. President Barack Obama says about one-half of American forces still in Afghanistan will leave the country by this time next year. The president made the announcement during his annual State of the Union address, which focused largely on the U.S. economy. - 2/13/13

Iran's flight of fancy as image of new fighter jet is 'faked'
Iranian bloggers were quick to claim that the picture, which purports to show the Qaher-313 jet soaring over a snowy mountain and which was posted on Iranian site Khouz News, had been altered using PhotoShop. The angle of the shot, as well as the reflections of light and shadows on the plane's wings, appear uncannily similar to a publicity shot of the jet taken at its unveiling earlier this month. -Telegraph, UK - 2/13/13

Springtime For Ahmadinejad
Resistance is in the air in Tehran, with calls of "Viva Spring" ushering in the election season and signaling that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad does not intend to go quietly. The slogan, widely seen as an endorsement for the candidacy of Ahmadinejad's right-hand man, Esfandiari Rahim Mashaei, has been used repeatedly by the outgoing president and his supporters in recent days. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/12/13

Iran: UN experts call for immediate release of key opposition leaders ahead of presidential elections
On the second anniversary of the house arrest, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for the immediate release of two key opposition leaders in Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi and their family members. - 2/12/13

IRGC and Basij Units in Readiness Mode: Guards Display Concern As Iranian Calendar Draws to Close
As the Iranian calendar year draws to a close (it ends on March 20th), the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have made fresh announcement about its readiness to deal with all "threats," a reference analysts believe indicates the force's concerns about riots and demonstrations because of the growing economic woes of the public. -Mahshid Boroomand, Rooz - 2/12/13

World War II drama wins best film award at Fajr festival
A film on the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II won the Crystal Simorgh for best film in the national competition at the 31st Fajr International Film Festival. Directed by Ali Ghaffari, "The Restitution" traces the events that led to the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II. - 2/12/13

News of death brings heart attack to jailed Iranian journalist
Jailed journalist Mohammad Davari has suffered a heart attack in Evin Prison after hearing the news of his brother's death. The Kaleme website reports that Mohammad Davari, a teacher and former editor-in-chief of Saham News, suffered a heart attack on February 11 upon hearing the news of his brother's passing. - 2/12/13

Iranian official calls for efforts to prevent removal of wrestling from Olympic games
As it looks to revamp the Games sports program, the International Olympic Committeeˈs Executive Board said in a surprise recommendation on Tuesday that wrestling should be removed from the 2020 Olympic Games. - 2/12/13

Atomic agency about to hold talks with Iran
Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced that Iran and the agency will hold further talks in Tehran on Wednesday February 13. The IAEA wants to inspect Parchin Military Base, but Iran claims that Parchin is not linked to its nuclear program and, because it is a military facility, its inspection could compromise security. - 2/12/13

New York's Lincoln Center featuring "A Close Up Of Abbas Kiarostami"
From sublime shorts and early documentaries and narratives on through a stunning string of films in the 1990s and a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the possibilities of digital video in the new century, the cinema of Abbas Kiarostami stands as one of contemporary cinema's most vital and important statements. - 2/12/13

Daughters of Iranian Opposition Leaders Released
Zahra and Narges Mousavi, the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, have been released after hours of questioning by Evin Prison interrogators. The news of their release was confirmed by one of the Mousavi relatives according to ISNA. - 2/12/13

Despite Offer of Direct Talks, U.S. Intensifies "Sanctions-Centric" Economic War Against Iran
The Obama administration is ratcheting up its economic war against Iran ahead of nuclear talks slated for Kazakhstan later this month. Last week, the White House announced a new expansion of sanctions that pressure countries buying Iran's oil to withhold direct payments and instead force Iran to purchase their goods. The Treasury also widened the sanctions list to include Iranian state media. -Democracy Now - 2/12/13

Professors Ali Khademhosseini and Hua Zhang win 2012 Small Young Innovator Awards
The "Small Young Innovator Awards" were presented to Professor Ali Khademhosseini and Professor Hua Zhang during the recent "Small Science Symposium: Frontiers in Nanomedicine" held in Singapore from 10 - 12 December 2012. Both of them presented their prize lectures to 300 delegates during the symposium - 2/12/13

Organizations Call for Obama to Allow Medicine and Humanitarian Trade with Iran
Twenty-five organizations called on President Obama to ensure that existing U.S. sanctions on Iran do not block access for medicine, food, and basic humanitarian goods for Iranian civilians. In a letter led by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and signed by NIAC and other anti-war, human rights, and humanitarian organizations, the groups urged the President to exempt humanitarian transactions from sanctions against Iran's banking sector. - 2/11/13

Film: Jerry and Me
In her intimate documentary "Jerry & Me," filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeedvafa examines the significant role that Hollywood movies played in her life, both as a young film lover growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran, and as an adult working as a filmmaker and educator in both Iran and the USA. - 2/11/13

U.S. Iran Sanctions Exempt Food, Medicine, Remittances
According to a February 6 press release from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), under U.S. law the sale and export of nearly all types of food and medicine, as well as basic medical supplies, are "broadly authorized," and other types of U.S. humanitarian exports can gain authorization through a license from OFAC. -IIP Digital - 2/11/13

Daughters of Iranian Opposition Leaders Arrested
Zahra and Nargess Mousavi, the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, who are Iranian opposition leaders under house arrest, were arrested on Monday morning February 11. Two weeks ago, the daughters of Mousavi and Rahnavard spoke out once again against the house arrest of their parents, saying their situation is no different than a "kidnapping." - 2/11/13

Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation provides update on the Eastern Azerbaijan earthquake appeal
We are delighted to report that as a direct consequence of your generous response to our Eastern Azerbaijan Earthquake Appeal we have exceeded the target sums and pledged assistance to even greater numbers than initially promised. - 2/11/13

US Medicine Exports to Iran Drops By 50 Percent: Official Data
The release of official US statistics came despite the claims by certain American officials that they "have tried to sanction Iran without unduly harming ordinary Iranians, granting licenses, for example, to US companies that wish to export pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and other humanitarian goods to Iran". - 2/11/13

Bahrain Holds New Reconciliation Talks
The government and opposition representatives in Bahrain have launched a new round of reconciliation talks -- the first such meetings since 2011. The talks began February 10, and another round is scheduled for February 13. - 2/11/13

Fazel Larijani wants Ahmadinejad, Mortazavi prosecuted
Last week, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad turned the impeachment hearing of his labour minister in Parliament into an expose of a video showing Fazel Larijani in conversation with Saeed Mortazavi, a close Ahmadinejad supporter. Based on the video, he accuses Fazel Larijani and his two brothers, who lead the judiciary and the legislative assembly, of corruption and abuse of power. - 2/11/13

Shirin Ebadi: Iran's Judiciary Is a Subsidiary of the Intelligence Ministry
Following the arrest of Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's former press court judge and prosecutor, Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, "The timing and the manner of arrest of Saeed Mortazavi, a suspect in the Kahrizak Detention Center case and the Zahra Kazemi murder case, once again showed that the Judiciary has lost its independence and is not capable of carrying out justice." - 2/11/13

Why the Iranian film industry is like Hollywood before 1969
It may come as no surprise that what international audiences refer to as "Iranian cinema" covers only a small, selective portion of the films produced in Iran. For all the innovative, artistic films that garner attention at festivals, there are many more that never cross the borders. Some of these are accomplished art films in their own right, but the rest, a majority, do not have any artistic pretensions. -Houman Harouni, Guardian - 2/11/13

Iranian Gas Rig Sinks In Persian Gulf; Iran Asks For Help To Recover It
Iran avoided a human tragedy when a fully manned 1,000-ton gas rig sank into the Persian Gulf last week without injuring any of the workers, according to Australia's -Huffington Post - 2/11/13

Ahmadinejad offers condition for U.S. talks
"I say it openly, a change in the manner of speaking is necessary but it is not enough. If you stop pointing the gun at the people of Iran, I will personally begin talks." The statement refers to the U.S. vice president's recent offer to enter bilateral talks with Iran. However, Iran's Supreme Leader scoffed at the offer and said it was being made in bad faith. - 2/10/13

Photos: Iran basketball team clinches WABA title
Iran claimed the title of the 2013 West Asian Basketball Association (WABA) Championship on Saturday. The Persians rolled past Lebanon 100-86 in Tehran's Azadi Basketball Hall. - 2/10/13

Photos: 34th Anniversary of Islamic Revolution marked in Iran
Millions of Iranians from all walks of life held rallies across the country to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Sunday. In the capital, hundreds of thousands of people converged on the streets leading to Azadi Square, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the people. - 2/10/13

Iran: Parliament Speaker Attacked By President's Supporters
Supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked Ali Larijani, the speaker of Parliament, during a speech at the Shrine of Fatemeh in Qom. The report indicates that Larijani was pelted with rocks and shoes and was forced to leave his speech unfinished. - 2/10/13

Iran successfully tests new air-to-air missile: Report
Iran had tested its latest home-made air-to-air missile dubbed as Fakour 90 last week, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister and Head of Iran's Aerospace Organization General Mehdi Farahi said on Saturday night. 'Fakour 90 was fired from F14 fighter jets,' General Farahi said, and added, 'Qader and Nasr air-based cruise missiles will be tested in near future.' - 2/10/13

The Other Modernism: Rediscovering Iran's Avant-Garde
Overshadowed by revolution, sanctions, and outdated notions of the Modern, Iran's vibrant postwar art scene is coming into focus at the Asia Society -Robin Cembalest, ARTnews - 2/10/13

It takes guts to make a film like "Scandal": Iranian Director Masud Dehnamaki
Director of "The Outcasts" trilogy Masud Dehnamaki has said that it takes guts to make a film like "Scandal", his latest film which challenges Iran's official view on Muslim clerics. "Certain people lament that this film would raise people's expectations about the clerics," he said during a meeting held at the 31st Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran on Tuesday to review the film. - 2/9/13

Iran: Clerics and Religious Students Face Accusations
While election posturing is already the preoccupation of many Iranian politicians and "wanna bes", clerics and student followers of influential right-wing cleric ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah, who enjoy connections inside Iran's security-military establishment, are clearly expanding their efforts to tighten their controls over clerics in the country. -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 2/9/13

Kerry: Iran Must Be Serious At Nuclear Talks
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning Iran to come to nuclear talks prepared to deal seriously with world powers regarding concerns over its nuclear program. Kerry said that Iran knows what it needs to do to prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful, as it claims. - 2/9/13

Veteran activist says Iranians still under tyranny
Iranian political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadiyani has issued an open letter from prison, saying the Iranian Revolution failed because "absolute monarchy was reproduced as the absolute leadership of the Faqih (the expert cleric). - 2/9/13

6 Dead in Iran Exile Camp in Iraq
Iraqi officials say assailants have fired rockets on a camp housing Iranian dissidents, killing at least five people and wounding about 40 others. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack near Baghdad Saturday on the site known as Camp Liberty. The camp houses members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, or MEK. - 2/9/13

Iran: Prosecutor questions eight people over scandalous videos
Iranian state media have announced that the prosecutor has summoned eight employees of the Social Security Fund in connection with the scandalous videos of Fazel Larijani and Saeed Mortazavi revealed last week in Parliament and posted on YouTube. - 2/9/13

Iran Releases Slovak Accused Of Spying
A Slovak arrested by Iran and accused of spying for the United States has been released and allowed to return home. Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak appeared on February 8 with 26-year-old Matej Valuch in Bratislava. Lajcak said Valuch was released after "difficult and complicated" negotiations. - 2/9/13

Iranian 'Presidential Candidate' Makes Social Media Splash
Iran has been prominent recently on the popular Reddit social news site thanks to the fact that self-styled presidential candidate Hooshang Amirahmadi made himself available to the site's users on February 7 under the subject line "I am running for President of Iran. My name is Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, ask me anything!" - 2/8/13

Three Iranian artists participating at Florida's "Embracing Our Differences" exhibit
Graphic designs by three Iranian artists Mohammad Afshar, Maedeh Mosawerzadeh and Mona Farsi will go on display at Embracing Our Differences, an outdoor art exhibition which will be held in Sarasota, Florida from March 31 to May 28, 2013. - 2/8/13

Top Former General Warns Against Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Iran War
The former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned on Wednesday that a military strike on Iran would require the U.S. to occupy Iran for "tens of years" and urged instead for a diplomatic solution. - 2/8/13

Iran Claims Footage Extracted from Downed US Drone
Iran has released what it says is decoded footage taken from a U.S. spy drone that Tehran claimed to have captured in late 2011 after it entered Iranian airspace from the country's eastern border with Afghanistan. - 2/8/13

Iran Judiciary Chief Says Will Reveal Nature of Deviant Current
The deviant current is associated with Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii, a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has recently been appointed by the president as head of the temporary secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. - 2/8/13

Ahmadinejad Calls For Strategic Alliance With Egypt
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has called on Egypt to form a strategic alliance with Iran. Speaking on February 6 in Cairo, Ahmadinejad accused outside forces of keeping the two countries from a rapprochement. Ahmadinejad is on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades. - 2/8/13

Brazilian football player Juninho joins Iran's Foolad
Roberto Neves Adam Junior "Juninho" has reached an agreement to join Iranian football team Foolad. The 23-year-old Brazilian will reunite with his countrymen Leandro Padovani Celin and Luciano Pereira Mendes in the Ahvaz-based team. - 2/8/13

Introducing NIAC's 2013 Ambassadors
After two successful years under our belts, NIAC is proud to announce a wonderful team of new and returning Ambassadors to help us better serve NIAC's members and supporters in 2013. We are excited to announce that this year we will have ambassador teams in twelve different cities across the nation, including four new locations - 2/8/13

A New $100K Genius Grant, The Cyrus Prize, Seeks Brilliant Iranians
Noted Menlo Venture investor, Shervin Pishevar, has launched a $100,000 genius grant for Iranian innovators, dubbed, the "Cyrus Prize," named after the Persian King and inventor, Cyrus the Great. The prize will be awarded by the end of 2013 and paid out over 3 years. Asked about how innovators can contact Shervin, he writes, "They don't. We contact them." -TechCrunch - 2/8/13

Iran ready to provide credit line to Egypt: Minister
Minister of Economy and Commerce Shamseddin Hosseini said Iran is ready to provide credit line for purchase of commodities and services to Egypt. Hosseini is accompanying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Cairo for the 12th Summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). - 2/8/13

Washington And Tehran's Perpetual Search For The Upper Hand
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, just poured cold water on the idea of bilateral talks between the US and Iran. Although the Obama administration has sought talks, both Washington and Tehran agree on one point: They are both skeptical about the prospects of future diplomacy and suspicious of the other's intentions and capabilities for peace making. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 2/8/13

Argentinian President Defends Deal With Iran
Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has defended a pact with Iran to set up a "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. - 2/8/13

The Day the Shah Left: "Shah Raft!"
"Shah Raft" captured the victory of the Revolution. It encapsulated history in the making. It ran in bold Persian letters, in size 84 font, across the top of the page. Over a million copies were printed. In Iranian journalism circles, the headline has sparked years of debate: Who wrote it? Who picked it? How did it come about? -Hooshang Assadi - 2/7/13

Iran's Supreme Leader Rejects U.S. Offer Of Direct Talks
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran has rejected an offer of direct talks made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. In a speech to air force commanders on February 7, Khamenei said such talks "will not solve anything." He also said Americans wanted to negotiate while "pointing the gun at Iran." - 2/7/13

Unexposed: Works by 40 Iranian Women artists to be exhibited in Athens and Warsaw
Curator Fery Malek-Madani is happy: "What this exhibition and the time I have spent with each one of these young artists gives to me is hope. The sky is clearing, the hurricane is behind us. Blue skies await the country and this younger generation of Iranians. Above all, what will come after the storm is the rebirth." - 2/7/13

Iran releases decrypted RQ170 surveillance videos
The Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force whose unit brought down the RQ170, the US spy drone last year, said; "some people believe at the time that the US will drop some forces inside Iran to destroy the remains of the downed RQ170 drone." - 2/7/13

US Sanctions Iran's Broadcasters
A U.S. official said those named are involved in censorship, jamming, and using social media to hunt down political activists. The broadcasters are being targeted as a government censor of Iran's opposition movement. Under U.S. law, the Treasury Department can target anyone in Iran it believes restricts the flow of information to the Iranian public. - 2/7/13

Final judgement in the Iran Tribunal published
The final judgement from the Iran Tribunal has been published following the second phase of the people's court process held at the Peace Palace in The Hague between 25-27 October 2012. This judgement has created a legal precedent of state responsibility for crimes against humanity in a breach of international law as defined by the 2002 Rome Statute - 2/7/13

Born In An Iranian Prison -- And Into A Lifetime Of Consequences
A young prisoner sat blindfolded, facing a wall in Tehran's Evin prison. It was April 2010, nearly a year after the disputed presidential victory of Mahmud Ahmedinejad sparked massive street protests and thousands of arrests. The room was silent, but suddenly he heard a voice, closer than he would have expected. -Vahid Pour Ostad, RFE - 2/7/13

Official: Iran Ranks 8th in Nano Science Production
Iran has achieved eye-catching breakthroughs in the field of nano- science and technology, an Iranian official announced on Wednesday, adding that the country is among the first eight countries in the field of nano science production in the world. - 2/7/13

Iran to manufacture drone for other countries: Official
Iranian Deputy Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) says Iran produces more than 20 types of drone defined in three long-range and high, moderate, and short-altitude species. - 2/7/13

The Counterproductive Effects of Leveling Sanctions on Iran
The regime in power rarely feels the effects of sanctions. Instead, it is the average citizen who bears the burden of sanctions. Ironically, the Iranian regime uses the sanctions as a scapegoat, blaming the United States Government for their country's economic woes. -Rich Rubino, Politi Geek - 2/7/13

Budget Woes Mean Only One U.S. Aircraft Carrier Will Watch Iran
The U.S. has eleven aircraft carriers, the ultimate symbol of American military reach, and for the past three years, it's kept two of them near Iran's shores to deter it from doing something rash like blocking a major energy chokepoint. But that was when the Pentagon wasn't facing massive budget cuts. Now the Navy is going back to a one-aircraft-carrier strategy. -Wired - 2/7/13

Reading Chuck Hagel in Tehran
WE'VE heard a great deal about how Washington is reacting to President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, so perhaps it's worth paying some attention to how Hagel is playing in Tehran. -Alireza Nader, New York Times - 2/7/13

Football: Iran defeats Lebanon 5-0 in World Cup qualifying game in Tehran
Javad Nekounam starred with a hat-trick as three-time champions Iran kick-started their 2015 Asian Cup qualifying campaign with a crushing 5-0 victory over Lebanon on Wednesday. The rousing win made Iran early favourites to join Japan, host nation Australia and South Korea, who finished first, second and third in 2011, at the Asian Cup's next edition in early 2015. - 2/6/13

Photos: An Azari Traditional Wedding
Various ethnic groups or people of different regions of Iran have their own traditional wedding ceremonies. These photos show a festive and colorful local wedding held in the Ahar region in Iran's East Azerbaijan province. -Masoume Fariborzi - 2/6/13

Iran repeats accusations against detained journalists
Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has issued a second statement regarding the arrest of a number of journalists in the past week, once again accusing them of having links to foreign media. "The central core of this network is in London with direct collaboration from three workgroups in Brussels, Paris and Istanbul," the ministry writes. - 2/6/13

Controversial former Tehran prosecutor released after arrest
Saeed Mortazavi, the head of the Social Security Fund who was arrested on Tuesday evening, was released after 24 hours. The Fars News Agency reported that Mortazavi was released on February 6, and the Tehran Prosecutor's Office has not yet announced the reason for the arrest. - 2/6/13

"Rule of Accident" wins best film Crystal Simorgh in Fajr International Film Festival
"The Rule of Accident", an Iranian family drama, has won the Crystal Simorgh for best film in the international section of the 31st Fajr International Film Festival. Director/producer Behnam Behzadi received the award during the closing ceremony of the section at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Monday evening. Behzadi also won a Crystal Simorgh for best director. - 2/6/13

Iranian Artist Now Part of MOCA's Permanent Collection
Farhang Foundation announced today that one of the works of celebrated Iranian artist, Ali Banisadr, will officially go on display from February 10 - March 11, 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) as part of the museum's permanent collection exhibition entitled A Selection of Recent Acquisitions. - 2/6/13

Analysts Say Tehran Cloaking Truth In Claims Of New Stealth Fighter Jet
Iran over the weekend presented what it called a "significant achievement in the field of aerospace technology" -- a domestically built fighter jet with stealth capabilities. Some aviation experts, however, believe the tiny, angular fighter jet with stubby wings shown to the world may have been an expensive mock-up and that video footage of the black jet screaming across the sky may actually show a radio-controlled model aircraft instead. - 2/6/13

"Earth and Coral" was made to improve the image of Iran in Afghanistan: Director
The screenwriter of the film, Pantea Tajbakhsh, said that Atyabi changed the screenplay. "The rapist in my screenplay was a Taliban fighter not a U.S. soldier," she noted. "In my screenplay, there was only one reference to the U.S. troops who were respectfully inspecting cars at a checkpoint," Tajbakhsh stated. - 2/6/13

Ahmadinejad Welcomed, Warned On Egypt Visit
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been welcomed by Egypt's president but warned against interfering with Sunnis by Egypt's top Sunni cleric. Ahmadinejad on February 5 became the first president of Shi'ite-led Iran to visit Egypt for more than 30 years, since ties were severed after Egypt reached a peace deal with Iran's rival Israel. - 2/6/13

Iran Says $70 Million Check Was For Housing Project
Iran's ambassador to Venezuela says a check worth about $70 million, seized by German authorities from the luggage of Iran's former central bank chief, was to be given to an Iranian company for its expenses while building housing in Venezuela. - 2/6/13

EU court annuls sanctions on Iran's Bank Saderat
The European Union (EU) has lifted sanctions against the Iranian state-owned Bank Saderat, after Europe's highest court removed it from the list of banned institutions. Last Week, the European Court of Justice also annulled the EU sanctions imposed against Iranian Bank Mellat two and a half years ago. - 2/6/13

Controversial former Tehran prosecutor arrested
The Tehran Prosecutor's office has announced that former prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, who was appointed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to head the Social Security Fund, has been arrested. Mortazavi is the prime suspect in the death of three detainees under torture in Kahrizak prison in 2009, - 2/5/13

Chuck Hagel's Confirmation Hearings: Poor Performance? Let's Wait and See!
I watched the entire eight-hours-long confirmation hearing of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for the new Defense Secretary, at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. I watched it with disgust and delight at the same time. -Kam Zarrabi - 2/5/13

UN To Iran: Stop Journalist Arrests
Several UN human rights experts have called on Iranian authorities to immediately stop a recent wave of journalist arrests and to release those already detained. The experts said in a statement that security forces arrested 17 mostly independent journalists last week and raided the offices of five newspapers. - 2/5/13

New online videos cast suspicion on powerful family
Hours after the arrest of Saeed Mortazavi, the notorious former Tehran prosecutor and the president's recent appointee to the Social Security Fund, a number of video files were posted on YouTube showing Mortazavi and Fazel Larijani engaged in conversations that could be regarded as evidence of abuse of power and corruption on the part of the Larijani family. - 2/5/13

Iran unveils models of two new satellites
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled the models of two new domestically designed satellites, named the Nahid and the Zohre, on Monday during his visit to an exhibition of the country's achievements in the aerospace industry, which is being held on the occasion of the National Space Technology Day. - 2/5/13

Ahmadinejad Offers To Be Iran's First Astronaut; McCain Draws 'Monkey' Comparison
As Mahmud Ahmadinejad enters the twilight of his roller-coaster presidency, and with speculation rife that he intends to cling to influence as best he can, the two-term president and former Tehran mayor continues to shoot for the stars. -Andy Heil, RFE/RL - 2/5/13

Ahmadinejad To Egypt In Landmark Visit
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is heading to Cairo to make the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian head of state in more than three decades. Reports say the president of Shi'ite Muslim-majority Iran may meet with Egypt's top Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, at Al-Azhar University. - 2/5/13

Iran not yet able to cut gasoline imports: MP
Iranian MP Mehdi Mousavinejad has said that cutting gasoline imports in the current time is not feasible, because domestic production does not meet demands. This is while Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the Islamic Republic will become an exporter of gasoline in less than two months. - 2/5/13

Iran, World Powers Set Fresh Nuclear Talks
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says she is hoping for "concrete progress" in a new round of talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear program. Iranian and EU officials announced Tuesday they have agreed to meet February 26, in Kazakhstan. - 2/5/13

Waking Up to Iran's Real History
Americans have a deeply distorted understanding of Iran and what has driven that country's political change over the past six decades. This false history has become the backdrop for a possible new war, as David Swanson notes in reviewing a new book, Waking Up in Tehran. -Consortiumnews - 2/5/13

Iranian Zolfaqar tank rivals Russian T-72S: Iranian Commander
"The upgraded Zolfaqar tank rivals Russian T-72S," Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan said on Monday after Zolfaqar and M60 tanks were unveiled in a ceremony marking the victory in 1979 of the Islamic Revolution. - 2/5/13

CENTRE FOR IRANIAN STUDIES: Scholarships Available In Iranian Studies
The Centre for Iranian Studies Chair Arshin Adib-Moghaddam welcomed the "unique and generous" opportunity that the scholarships provide. The Kamran Djam scholarships are a part of a decisive push for Iranian Studies at SOAS facilitated by the Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute (LMEI). - 2/4/13

Supervisor of Intelligence Estimate Hailed for Preventing War with Iran
Professor Thomas Fingar wins the Sam Adams award for integrity in intelligence, while others warn of an unprecedented crackdown on intelligence agency whistleblowers. Thomas Fingar, now a Professor at Stanford University, oversaw the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran in 2007, during a period when the Bush administration was beating the drums of war. -RNN - 2/4/13

Iran's President, Speaker Clash In Parliament
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has accused the parliament speaker's family of corruption and abuse of power, just months ahead of the country's June presidential election. Ahmadinejad addressed parliament on February 3 to defend one of his ministers against impeachment proceedings. - 2/4/13

Auditor fears public could lose trust in Iran's banking system
The deputy auditor of the Central Bank of Iran has warned that some banks may be involved in serious breaches of regulations that may lead to a widespread lack of trust in the banking system among the general public. - 2/4/13

Iran inflation rises, stands at 28.7%: central bank
The Central Bank of Iran has announced that the inflation rate in the 12-month period ended the tenth Iranian calendar month of Day (January 19) rose by 1.3 percent compared to the 12-month period ended on December 20, 2012 and hit 28.7 percent - 2/4/13

Iranian players are talented: Women's football coach Helena Costa
Iran women's football coach Helena Costa said that the Iranian players are so talented. "The Iranian players are so talented but they need to improve their tactical skills as well," the Portuguese said. - 2/4/13

Report: Iranian Had $70 Million Check
German authorities have reportedly found a check worth about $70 million in the possession of a former head of Iran's central bank. Tahmaseb Mazaheri stepped down as Iranian central bank chief in 2008. - 2/4/13

Over 60 million Iranians to receive cash assistance
Based on the decision, around one million rials will be paid to every individual. Accordingly, some 52 trillion rials (about $4.2 billion) will be drawn out the National Development Fund. The money will be deposited to banking accounts of breadwinners of the families by February 28. - 2/4/13

Iran, world's 10th iron ore producer in 2012: USGS
The US Geological Survey (USGS) announced that Iran was the 10th world iron ore producer in 2012, extracting some 28 million tons of the strategic mineral in the said period. - 2/4/13

Iranian Official Says Israel Will Regret Syria Strike
A senior Iranian official says Israel will regret its "latest aggression" against Syria. Said Jalili, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, spoke on February 4 on a visit to Damascus. - 2/4/13

FBI arrests Malcolm X's grandson as he travels to Iran
In 1997 12-year-old Malcolm Lateef Shabazz plead guilty to charges of manslaughter and arson in connection to the death of his grandmother Betty Shabazz, with whom he had been living with following several disputes with his mother. -Digital Journal - 2/4/13

Let's get the facts straight about Iran's space monkey
Was Iran engaging in monkey business when it claimed on Monday to have successfully fired a primate into space and brought it back alive? Despite several media reports in recent days casting doubts on the Iranian claim, it appears that the monkey has indeed returned from its suborbital flight intact. -Guardian - 2/4/13

"Iranian Mothers for Peace" Alert the World on Sanctions and Shortage of Medicines
"Iranian Mothers for Peace," in an open letter of January 2013 to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, and Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Heath Organization, have alerted the responsible world bodies and human rights organizations to the critical shortage of vital medication due to the US/EU-led sanctions on Iran and their deadly impact on the lives and health of the Iranian population. -Farid Marjai and Mehrnaz Shahabi - 2/3/13

Iranian Labour Minister impeached in fiery session
Today, the issue became a personal dispute between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the head of Parliament, Ali Larijani. Ahmadinejad produced an audio recording, claiming it revealed a telephone conversation between Mortazavi and the parliamentary speaker's brother, Fazel Larijani, implicating the latter in "financial fraud." - 2/3/13

Kayhan Publishes Charges Against Detained Iranian Journalists
Arrests and summons of journalists continue. But no official explanation for the arrests, where the journalists are being held or their conditions have been announced by judiciary officials. In contrast, pro-government newspapers have published their own charges against the journalists accusing them of having contacts with "foreign enemy media." -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 2/3/13

Tehran Says Its Open To Talks With United States Under Certain Conditions
"Each time we have come and negotiated, it was the other side, unfortunately, which did not heed to its commitment," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told an international security conference in Munich on February 3. "We have no red line for negotiations -- bilateral negotiations -- when it comes to negotiating a particular subject." - 2/3/13

Swiss, Iranian play "Tell/Zahhak" honored at Fajr theater festival
Swiss director Niklaus Helbling and Iranian director Ali-Asghar Dashti have won the award for best director in the international competition section of the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival for their joint performance in "Tell/Zahhak". - 2/3/13

Louvre Museum to showcase works by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat
The Louvre museum in Paris is slated to hold an event showcasing a series of photographs and films by Iranian photographer and filmmaker, Shirin Neshat, on February 3, 2013. - 2/3/13

Lecture at UCLA - Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis
Slavs and Tatars are proud to present "Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would've, could've, should've," a selection of the best caricatures and illustrations from the legendary Azerbaijani periodical, arguably the most important Muslim satirical political magazine of the 20th century. - 2/3/13

"Oppression Dehumanizes"
The system of oppression dehumanizes everyone and suffocates humanity. "... we can't say that one person liberates himself, or another, but that people in communion liberate each other." - 2/3/13

Clinton Says Iran, Russia Continue To Supply Weapons, Money To Syria
Hillary Clinton, who steps down as U.S. secretary of state on February 1, says Iran and Russia continue to provide military and financial assistance to the Syrian government. - 2/3/13

Photos: Iran Unveils New Home-Made Fighter Jet Qaher 313
In describing the physical characteristics of the Qaher 313, General Vahidi said; "This is an advance fighter jet, with enhanced profile and a very small Radar cross section (RCS); and fly-by in low altitude is the most important feature of this fighter." He also pointed to the need for short runway for taking off and landing of Qaher 313 fighter as another feature. - 2/2/13

Photos: Carnival stages nomad migration on Tehran street
Nomads from Qom, Fars, Kermanshah, Semnan, Ardebil, Golestan, and several other provinces attended the carnival, who began traveling from Vanak Square to the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds, which is currently hosting a nomadic festival. - 2/2/13

Iran's Behdad Salimi named Best Lifter of Year 2012
Iran's superheavyweight lifter Behdad Salimi was selected as the Best Lifter of the Year 2012 on Thursday. Over 1,300 verified voters took part in the election, which was organized by the International Weightlifting Federation site. - 2/2/13

Biden Says U.S. Ready To Meet Bilaterally Over Iran Nuclear Crisis
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden has said at a major international security conference in Germany that the United States is willing to meet bilaterally with the Iranian leadership over the Iranian nuclear crisis. - 2/2/13

Iranian Filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani Wins Rotterdam's Tiger Award
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani's film Fat Shaker is the joint winner of of the Tiger Awards 2013 at the 42nd Rotterdam Film Festival's Golden Tiger. Fat Shaker is no ordinary film - certainly not by Iranian standards. Its maker, Mohammad Shirvani, is an artist who uses powerful and occasionally absurd images. - 2/2/13

Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz blasts Lebanon for time-wasting
Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz criticized Lebanon for time-wasting ahead of the match against the West Asian team in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification. Carlos Queiroz's team has lost to Lebanon 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in September in Beirut. Iran is scheduled to face Lebanon on Wednesday in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. - 2/2/13

Doubts Mount Over Iran's Space Monkey Claim
Several websites -- including the "Telegraph" and "The Times" of London -- homed in on seemingly contradictory images that Tehran offered as proof of its orbital achievement. Other reports also quote current and former rocket scientists questioning whether Iran has the knowhow to achieve the feat. - 2/2/13

Haddadi: "I miss the Grizzlies fans"
Iranian center Hamed Haddadi said on Saturday that he misses the Grizzlies fans after leaving the NBA team. The Toronto Raptors acquired center Hamed Haddadi and Rudy Gay on Wednesday. - 2/2/13

The U.S. needs a completely different approach to Iran
As Washington and its great power partners prepare for more nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Obama administration and policy elites across the political spectrum talk as if America is basically in control of the situation. -Flynt and Hillary Leverett, Reuters - 2/2/13

A Dialog Between Mahshid Modares and Farzin Hedayatzadeh, An Iranian Leading and Award-wining Sculptor
Farzin Hedayatzadeh: In my opinion visual arts in Iran are in despair. And, I don't judge this abject situation based on my own personal taste. Contemporary art in Iran is funded on a rudimentary basis and a misunderstanding of modernity. -Translator and Interviewer: Mahshid Modares - 2/1/13

Iranian Students Hit by Sanctions on Schools, Banks
Iranian students are facing new obstacles to pay for college tuition and even to enroll in universities in the U.S. and Europe due to increasingly broad sanctions. A university in the Czech Republic recently notified an Iranian applicant that, due to EU sanctions, the school would not be accepting any Iranian students, in a letter publicized last week. -Brett Cox, NIAC - 2/1/13

Two more Iranian journalists caught in arrest sweep
The wave of journalist arrests by Islamic Republic authorities continued today, with Fatemeh Sagharchi and Reyhaneh Tabatabayi as the latest detainees. Since Saturday January 26, Islamic Republic authorities have arrested 17 journalists. - 2/1/13

Experts Discuss Delays and Future Negotiations on Iran Nuclear Issue
With a new round of nuclear negotiations involving the U.S. and Iran facing continued delays, experts analyzed the future of U.S.-Iran diplomacy at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Tuesday. Bijan Khajehpour, managing partner of Atieh International, warned against an overplaying of the sanctions card by the U.S. and its partners. -Nadia Hakim, NIAC - 2/1/13

Iran to launch 3 satellites into space soon
The President of Iran Space Agency (ISA) says Iran will launch Nahid, Qaem, and Fajr satellites on February 2nd 2013, the anniversary of Iran's National Space Technology Day. - 2/1/13

Rafsanjani Stresses Again: Hold Elections With International Standards
Soon after Iran's supreme leader criticized those who have been urging for "free elections" in the country, veteran politician and revolutionary leader ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who has been calling for free elections for many years, spoke out last week and spoke about "logical" elections with "international standards" in the June 2013 presidential race. -Mahshid Boroomand, Rooz - 2/1/13

Iran plan to send man to space before 2020
The news conference in Iran Space Agency Headquarter had special guest yesterday, Aftab, the first monkey astronaut who spent 16 minutes in the atmosphere, and returned safely to earth. The new guest with his naughty sense of humor and passion gave special esprit to the News conference. - 2/1/13

Biden Warns Iran: Diplomacy Won't Last Forever
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has warned Iran that time is running out for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict over its nuclear program. Biden's comments were published Friday in a German newspaper as he began a visit to Germany to attend a security conference in Munich. - 2/1/13

Pentagon Nominee Hagel Says Ready For Military Action If Necessary
U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for defense secretary told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that he was ready to back military action if necessary against Iran or other adversaries. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel told lawmakers he endorsed Obama's stance on Iran's nuclear program, with military force as an option if diplomacy fails. - 2/1/13

FBI pursuit of Stuxnet leaks reignites whistleblower debate
The FBI is ramping up its efforts to find out who leaked information about the Stuxnet worm used to attack Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010, and that has reignited debate over whether the Obama administration's aggressive pursuit of those who leak classified information is trampling privacy rights. -Infoworld - 2/1/13

Britain was wrong to close Tehran embassy, says David Miliband
Britain's former foreign secretary has said it was a mistake for the UK to close down its embassy in Tehran, as it handed a victory to hardliners within the regime and weakened Britain's influence and understanding of Iran. -Guardian - 2/1/13

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