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From Bible to Babylon
Of course, there never was a Persian emperor named Ahasueres. This name is something between the historical Xerxes (Khshayarsha) and Artaxerxes (Artakhshathra, later Ardeshir), and, there is absolutely no historical reference to a queen Esther (today's Hadassah, but more probably a name derived from Astarte or Ishtar). That notwithstanding, the story found its way into the latter chapters of the Hebrew Bible sometime around the second century A. D., during the roman occupation of the region. -Kam Zarrabi - 4/30/03

America signs deal with terror group
AMERICAN forces in Iraq have signed a ceasefire agreement with an Iranian opposition group that the United States lists as a terrorist organisation, a surprise move that has greatly concerned officials in Britain and Tehran. -TIMES, UK - 4/30/03

EU, Iran satisfied after new round of bilateral talks
The European Union and Iran pronounced themselves satisfied with progress made on trade and political issues during a tenth round of bilateral talks, the Greek EU presidency said in a statement released late on Tuesday. -EU Business - 4/30/03

Rafsanjani: US hypocrisy appears with army commander coming to terms with MKO
Rafsanjani said that (with signing an agreement with the MKO terrorist organization in Iraq), the Americans indicated their insincerity in the international campaign against terrorism. - 4/30/03

Kennedy warns on nuclear tests
Senator Edward Kennedy yesterday warned that the Bush administration was preparing to restart the testing of nuclear weapons so it could develop a new generation of bunker-busting bombs and tactical "mini-nukes", potentially triggering a new arms race. -Guardian - 4/30/03

Turkey: Ankara Cuts Russian Gas, Courts Iran
Turkey has stopped buying Russian gas from the recently opened Blue Stream pipeline across the Black Sea, raising doubts about Ankara's policies and whether the $3.2 billion project was ever needed at all. -RFE - 4/30/03

Sheibani appointed as new governor for Central Bank of Iran : report
Born in the central city of Yazd, Sheibani, 54, has a Ph.D. in Economics and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics of Tehran University. He has also served as the CBI deputy governor and secretary general for some 14 years. - 4/30/03

Letter from Saddam: Dear President Bush
Tips for President Bush on understanding and running Iraq from one who, in retrospect, knows. -Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times - 4/30/03

Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq marred by fresh shooting
Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, was on Wednesday facing rising criticism of the way his troops are policing Iraq as he visited the country for the first time in 20 years to mark the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. -Financial Times - 4/30/03

The gaping hole in Iraq
In other words, the US and Britain have ripped a big hole in Iraq and it is Shia Islam, backed in part by Iran, which is stepping through it. General Garner may demand that there be no "out of country" influence on the new Iraq - apparently forgetting that he and his fellow Americans are hardly native-born Baghdadis - but this is the fast-emerging reality. -Guardian - 4/30/03

Workers in Iran protest working conditions, capitalism on May Day
About 2,000 workers from Tehran staged a sit-in at the Tehran Labor House on Wednesday, on the eve of May Day, to protest working conditions, wages and privatization - 4/30/03

Iranian MP to face court over prison claims
Tehran's justice department said it would be forced to act on its "legal duty" if Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeni, a former student activist, failed to answer a court subpoena for spreading "false statements" to a team of UN monitors, newspapers reported yesterday. -Guardian - 4/30/03

Iranian Mujahedin Takes Multiple Hits
The outlawed Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group the State Department has designated as an international terrorist organization because of its close ties to the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, is reeling from the one-two punch delivered by the United States this month. -Kenneth R. Timmerman, Insight - 4/30/03

Dramatic raid on Iranian-born man's house just 'licensing issue,' investigators say
Last week Ali and Nancy Mohseni had just risen from bed and were in the kitchen of their Fort Bend County home when the doorbell rang. "It was not a neighbor selling cookies," Nancy Mohseni, 65, recalled Tuesday. -Houston Chronicle, TX - 4/30/03

Iran's Parliament Speaker sees progress in Guardian Council's okaying twin bills
Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi said on Tuesday that the parliament is working with the Guardian Council to make a breakthrough in ratifying the twin bills President Mohammad Khatami had introduced last year - 4/29/03

Iranian News Channel Makes Inroads in Iraq
As the power gradually comes back on in Baghdad, Iraqis are tuning into television for the first time in several weeks. News is starting to stream into teahouses, barbershops and living rooms, but it is not coming from Iraq, or even America. It is coming from Iran. -New York Times - 4/29/03

Blair warns Tehran over Iraq and Mideast plan
Tony Blair on Monday added his voice to US pressure on Iran's hardline clerics not to undermine the process of building a new government in Iraq or the "road map" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. -Financial Times - 4/29/03

Anger Mounts After U.S. Troops Kill 13 Iraqi Protesters
U.S. soldiers killed at least 13 Iraqi civilians who marched on a school west of Baghdad to demand the troops leave the building and get out of Iraq, doctors and witnesses said on Tuesday. -Common Dreams - 4/29/03

Israeli envoy urges regime change in Syria and Iran
Israel's ambassador to the US called for "regime change" in Iran and Syria yesterday as players in the Middle East staked out their positions before a crucial Palestinian vote that is expected to trigger publication of the American-backed "road map" to peace. -Guardian - 4/29/03

Sex Education for Girls is Iran's New Revolution in the Making
When Iranian health expert Somayeh Faraji began explaining the anatomy of a woman's sex organs, some of the students at Khoshraftar Secondary School covered their faces with their head-to-toe black chadors, others smiled shyly and bit their lips, and the rest blushed. -AP - 4/29/03

US pulls out of Saudi Arabia
The United States has said that virtually all its troops, except some training personnel, are to be pulled out of Saudi Arabia. -BBC - 4/29/03

Entry-Exit program might end
The Bush administration may be ready to end a controversial registration program that has required tens of thousands of foreign visitors from the Middle East and Asia to report to federal immigration offices to be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed, White House officials said yesterday. -San Diego Union Tribune - 4/29/03

Iran: Judiciary takes up reform, appoints prosecutor general
judiciary has adopted a key reform, appointing high-profile judge Saeed Mortazavi as the prosecutor general of public and revolutionary courts in Tehran in order to fend off criticism that the judge also acted as the prosecutor in trials. - 4/29/03

Iraqi Delegates agree new talks on government
The biggest Shia opposition group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which has its headquarters in Iran, sent a low-level group but said it had come to discuss civil administration issues such as security, water, and electricity rather than the formation of a government. -Guardian - 4/29/03

Spain wins world-Asia champions' futsal friendly against Iran
Defending world and Asian futsal champions, Spain and Iran, played a friendly in Santander on Monday that was won by the host side - 4/29/03

Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad appointed new Tehran mayor: press
The Tehran City Council (TCC) has appointed Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad as the mayor of the 12-million-strong megapolis, press said Tuesday. - 4/29/03

How to Mix Politics With Religion
Twenty-four years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini outmaneuvered Iran's religious establishment, his spiritual disciples in Iraq are attempting a similar clerical coup d'etat. In Iraq before Saddam Hussein, as in Iran before the Islamic revolution of 1979, Shiite clerics often had political influence. But they generally respected the age-old Shiite doctrine that clerics should keep their distance from politics. -New York Times - 4/29/03

Monster.com gives NIAC written guarantee on partial retraction of policy
After negotiating with Monster.com on the retraction of their policy, NIAC requested that written guarantees be provided that Monster.com would change the policy of excluding educational experience in Iran from their standard resume forms by the middle of next week. -NIAC - 4/29/03

Iran's stance on Caspian Sea unchanged: Kharrazi
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi stressed in Baku on Monday that Iran's stance on a legal regime to govern disposition of the resources of the Caspian Sea has not changed - 4/29/03

American Forces Reach Cease-Fire With Terror Group
American forces in Iraq have signed a cease-fire with an Iranian opposition group the United States has designated a terrorist organization, and expect it to surrender soon with some of its arms, American military officials said today. -New York Times - 4/29/03

US has no better friend than Iran!: What to do with the MKO cult?
Now that US forces are in Iraq, the big questions is what will be the fate of the Iraq-based People's Mujahedin (MKO), a supposedly Iranian opposition group? -Ali Moayedian - 4/29/03

The Emergence of a New Axis: Los Angeles/Tel Aviv/Tehran
However, President Bush is only half right, because while it is true that an Axis does exist, it does not, in my opinion, consist of Iraq, Iran and North Korea (Iraq is off the axis anyway!). Rather, it consists of the supporters of the Pahlavi dynasty, mainly in Los Angeles; Ariel Sharon and company in Tel Aviv, and the right-wing reactionaries in Tehran. Strange bedfellows? Not really, if we just consider for a moment what these people wish for our beloved Iran. -Dr. Mohammad Sahimi - 4/29/03

'Peaceful' Nuclear Power Fuels Spread of Weapons
North Korea announces it has nuclear weapons and could make more, and analysts say South Korea, Japan and Taiwan could follow. Iran is building a plant to enrich uranium, possibly for a bomb, and experts say Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria and even postwar Iraq, depending on its new government, could be next. -Common Dreams - 4/28/03

Iranian FM visits Baku: Iran and Azerbaijan call for further cooperation
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, heading a delegation, arrived here on Monday on the first leg of a three-nation Caucasus tour which will also take him to Georgia and Armenia. - 4/28/03

US hosts new Iraq meeting
About 300 delegates, representing various religious, political and ethnic groups, are taking part in the conference to discuss the formation of an interim government for Iraq. -BBC - 4/28/03

Commentary: 'Vote Koran'
President George W. Bush applauds the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiite religious demonstrators with their "U.S. Go Home" banners as long-suppressed expressions of religious freedom. We must be careful not to confuse religious freedom with religious enslavement, democratic ideals with autocratic realities. -UPI - 4/28/03

Revealed: How the Road to War was Paved with Lies
Intelligence agencies accuse Bush and Blair of distorting and fabricating evidence in rush to war -Common Dreams - 4/28/03

Youth official says organized "lumpenism" threatening Iran
Director of Iran's National Youth Organization, Morteza Mir-Baqeri, on Sunday cautioned about an increasing threat of organized "lumpenism" among Iranian youth, and called for measures to prevent the dilemma - 4/28/03

Baha'i International Community disappointed over lack of Iran resolution at the UN
The Bahá'í International Community today expressed deep disappointment that the UN Commission on Human Rights failed this year to put forward or adopt any kind of resolution on the human rights situation in Iran. - 4/28/03

Mahdavikia named "Player of the Week" in German Bundesliga
The bi-weekly Kicker Sports magazine named Monday Iranian forward Mehdi Mahdavikia "Player of the Week" in the German Bundesliga following his superb performance in Hamburg's 4-0 rout over lowly Nuremberg - 4/28/03

Iran FM spokesman: MKO issue not a political case
"The United States and Europe should take into account the fact that the issue of Mujahedeen is a military-security case and is not a political one at all as some countries believe," Asefi told reporters at his weekly press briefing. - 4/28/03

Nuclear Dominoes
If North Korea, then why not Iran? That's the geo-puzzler of the week after the Bush administration - with the help of China - finally began talks with North Korea about its not-so-secret nuclear program. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/28/03

IRAN: Special report on the changing role of women
The importance of changes that have taken place for women in Iran under theleadership of President Mohammed Khatami varies depending upon who you talk to in this deeply Islamic country. While some positive steps have been taken much more needs to be done, according to female activists in the nation. -IRIN - 4/28/03

Iran's longest serving political prisoner sent back to jail
Abbas Amir-Entezam, who has spent most of the last 24 years in jail after being found guilty of espionage and treason shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, had been freed on bail to undergo medical treatment over a year ago. -Jang - 4/28/03

Tribunal outraged by Iranian MP's claims that pollsters were tortured
Tehran Justice Department has denounced an MP's allegations about the torture and mistreatment of two pollsters and threatened to take action if he fails to show up in court - 4/27/03

Iranians move in to shape Iraq
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that Iran has dispatched "organized elements" to Iraq in a bid to influence the creation of an Islamist system. -Washington Times - 4/27/03

Israelis in a Shiite Land: Hard Lessons From Lebanon
The Israeli experience in southern Lebanon, where the occupation dragged on for two decades, offers an experience to learn from — however imprecise the parallels are — as Americans seek cooperation from Shiites in southern Iraq. -New York Times - 4/27/03

Iranian cyclist to resume peace tour
Reza Baluchi, the Iranian bicyclist whose world peace tour was interrupted by an immigration arrest in Arizona, plans to resume his odyssey Sunday with a departure from the Phoenix Civic Plaza. -Arizona Republic - 4/27/03

In a land without law or leaders, militant Islam threatens to rule
Liberation from terror will bring democracy, the White House promises. Yet power could go, not to the people, but to the clerics -Guardian - 4/27/03

Expert warns against ecstasy abuse prevalence in Iran
An expert working with the State Welfare Organization on Saturday warned against the prevalence of the ecstasy abuse and polydrug consumption in Iran - 4/27/03

Baghdad prayers show strength of Shia leaders
Local leaders of Iraq's Shia Muslims demonstrated the strength of their influence in Baghdad yesterday as more than 100,000 people attended Friday prayers at one of their mosques in the capital. -Financial Times - 4/27/03

Anti-U.S. Protests After Iraqi Arms Dump Carnage
At least 12 Iraqis died on Saturday when an arms dump exploded on the edge of Baghdad, sending rockets scything into nearby houses. Residents blamed the Americans for the carnage. -Reuters - 4/27/03

Tony Blair's diplomacy of intolerance
Much will depend on what the US does next. As one British official in Brussels says "if the US invades Iran, Syria or North Korea, then Blair really will have an existential choice to make". -Guardian - 4/27/03

Airline fiasco prompts Iranian professor to seek $800,000 in reparations
An Iranian law professor who received an absolute discharge this year after he was convicted of mischief for using the word "explode" on an airplane has asked the provincial justice ministry for $800,000 in reparations. -Gazette, Canada - 4/27/03

Project to computerize Iran's Mashhad city to go on stream
The University of Science and Technology has announced a plan to computerize Mashhad city and make it one of the world's most modern cities, Mashhad Mayor Ahamd Norouzi said here Sunday - 4/27/03

Democracy in Iraq will benefit the entire region: Iranian analyst
"The present circumstances in Iraq creates a historic opportunity for bilateral Iran-Iraq legal ties to be reviewed and reiterated upon," said As'ad Ardalan, an expert in international law who spoke here concerning the legal aspects of the war in Iraq. - 4/27/03

U.S. warns and reaches out to Iran
The U.S. government was scrambling Thursday to bring the principal Iranian-backed opposition group into the fold of a future transition government for Iraq, while warning Tehran not to interfere in the country's internal affairs. -UPI - 4/27/03

Russia to buy back spent nuclear fuel burnt in Iranian reactor
In an attempt to convince the world in its non-proliferation commitments and Russian public in the fact that spent nuclear fuel is a valuable resource, Russian Minister for Nuclear Energy says Russia will pay Iran for the return of spent fuel from Bushehr nuclear power plant. -Bellona - 4/27/03

U.S. Shouldn't Confront Nervous but Open Iran
Any attempt by the United States to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, one of the original members of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," will be counterproductive and harmful to American interests. Instead of threatening, bullying or chastising Iran for developing a nuclear weapons program, the United States should adopt a variation of the North Korean model and seek to engage the Islamic Republic in multilateral talks. -Najmedin Meshkati and Dariush Zahedi, Newsday - 4/26/03

US-MKO deal a breach of Bush's anti-terrorism campaign: daily
`Iran Daily' on Saturday expressed shock at Washington's shocking deal with the shunned Iraq-based terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), saying it is a breach of President Bush's anti-terrorism campaign - 4/26/03

US May Use Mujahideen Rebels in Tensions with Iran
After years of shunning the Iraq-based People's Mujahideen as "terrorists," the United States might use Iran's main rebel group to pressure Tehran as tensions rise between the two countries over post-Saddam Iraq. -Reuters - 4/26/03

The U.S. Should Heed the Lessons of Iran in Iraq
By its widely opposed invasion of Iraq, the United States fulfilled one of the fondest dreams of the late Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - the destruction of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The American military presence could help realize another of his aspirations as well - an Islamic revolution in neighboring Iraq. -- R.K. Ramazani, AScribe - 4/26/03

Initial NIAC victory against Monster.com
On Friday April 25, Monster.com called our office and made an oral commitment to change the policy of excluding educational experience in Iran from their standard resume forms by the middle of next week. We are proud to announce that the pressure has been working, but we believe that more is needed. -NIAC - 4/26/03

Oil Minister says Iran to raise oil output to 5 million barrels a day
Iran will raise its oil production capacity to five million barrels a day in two years from the current level of four million barrels a day, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran on Saturday - 4/26/03

Cleric in Iran Says Shiites Must Act
A religious edict issued in Iran (on April 8 by Kadhem al-Husseini al-Haeri, an Iraqi-born cleric based in the Iranian holy city of Qum) and distributed to Shiite mullahs in Iraq calls on them "to seize the first possible opportunity to fill the power vacuum in the administration of Iraqi cities." -New York Times - 4/26/03

Top Iranian clerics blast US presence in Iraq
Conservative clerics assert Iraqi right to Islamic rule, accuse US of only seeking oil, protection of Israel. -Middle East Online - 4/26/03

US seeks UN backing over Iraq
The United States is working on proposals for a new United Nations Security Council resolution to address the changed situation in Iraq, American diplomatic sources say. -BBC - 4/26/03

Winning peace in Iraq and Iran
The best defense against the Iranian destabilization of Iraq is to help the people of Iran use political means to liberate themselves from their dictatorship. Polls and partially open elections reveal that more than 80 percent of Iranians completely reject the extremist Shi'ite clerical regime. -Washington Times - 4/26/03

North Korea's nuclear boast defies belief
South Korea and Japan expressed disbelief and dismay yesterday at the news that their paranoid, impoverished and belligerent neighbour North Korea had declared itself the latest member of the nuclear weapons club. -Guardian - 4/26/03

Chalk up 'Blackboards' as typical Iranian cinema
Makhmalbaf's naturalistic drama observes two teachers whose paths part after an ominous helicopter flies overhead. The rocky trails have no signs, but this intriguing road movie burdens the peddlers with an awkward metaphor to haul from scene to scene. -Chicago Sun-Times - 4/26/03

Reports of Weapons 'Greatly Exaggerated'
WHY have American and British Forces not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? The most plausible answer is that there are none, in the true sense of the word, even though forces are likely eventually to come across some very unpleasant weapons created by Saddam Hussein. -Common Dreams - 4/26/03

Deadly arms blasts rock Baghdad
At least six people have died in a series of explosions at an arms dump on the edge of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. -BBC - 4/26/03

Iranian MP Mousavi Khoeini may be arrested soon: report
The Persian-language newspaper `Toss'e' quoted an official at the Administrative Court as saying that Mousavi Khoeini had been summoned to answer charges of spreading rumor and slandering a certain state institution. - 4/26/03

MP Mousavi Khoeini: Source of jamming satellites in Iran identified
Deputy chairman of Telecommunication Commission in the Iranian Parliament, Ali-Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, has said that a certain organization has been identified as the source of signals being transmitted from Tehran to jam satellite broadcasts - 4/26/03

Monster backpedals on listings purge
Monster.com, the popular career Web site, has partially backed away from a decision to limit which nations could be listed on résumés and job postings. -CNET - 4/26/03

France, Iran stress UN role in post-Saddam Iraq
Iran and France on Thursday underscored the role of the United Nations in post-Saddam Iraq, with President Mohammad Khatami warning of many problems if Iraq's fate is not immediately left to its people to decide - 4/25/03

Rumsfeld rejects 'cleric-led' rule
In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr Rumsfeld said: "If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen." -BBC - 4/25/03

US accuses Iran of stirring up protests
The US demonstrated its unease at the level of anti-American protests in Iraq yesterday when it accused Iran of fomenting trouble among the country's majority Shia Muslims. -Guardian - 4/25/03

Iran, EU to hold 10th 'comprehensive dialogue' meeting in Athens
The tenth meeting of 'comprehensive dialogue' between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the European Union will be held in Athens on Tuesday under the current EU Presidency of Greece - 4/25/03

Iran angered at possible U.S. deal
The U.S. Central Command on Tuesday did use the words "negotiation" and "ceasefire" when speaking of U.S. troops and the MKO. "However, there's discussion that's ongoing right now to determine exactly what the condition and what the status will be and how we'll handle them. It's premature for me to describe exactly what that will be at this point." -UPI - 4/25/03

Monster.com Draws Criticism For Rule on Sanctioned Nations
Monster.com, the nation's largest online job service, is drawing fire for a policy that bars its job-seeking customers from applying for work in countries under U.S. sanctions and denies its services to residents of those countries. -Wall Street Journal - 4/25/03

IRAN: Focus on family planning
The Islamic Republic of Iran is often perceived by the outside world as a very conservative, closed society when it comes to social issues. However, the country boasts one of the best family planning programmes in the region. -IRIN - 4/25/03

Laughter: The Music of Absurdity of Existence
"Girls should never laugh loudly!" This is one of the first things that our fathers - fearful of their daughter's fate in a third world traditionalist country with its ethics and morality encoded in their 'collective unconscious' or 'genetic pool' no matter how educated and 'modern' they 'think' they are... -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 4/25/03

Analysis: The Iran factor
Tension between Iran and the United States has risen over recent days over allegations of Iranian interference in southern Iraq. -BBC - 4/25/03

America's Goofy plan
This week another dangerous dictatorship has been added to the axis of evil. Forget Syria, North Korea and Iran, the next rogue state on the United States' hit list appears to be France. Colin Powell declared on Wednesday that France will have to "face the consequences" of failing to back the United States on the UN security council and all-out war can now only be a matter of time. -Guardian - 4/25/03

Keep out of town hall, Kut tells US troops
Throughout southern Iraq confrontation between Shia Muslims and the US forces is rising. In Baghdad and most small towns it is still only a battle of words, but in Kut and its province, Wasit, it has gone further. -Guardian - 4/25/03

US Bridles as UN's Kofi Annan Calls It 'Occupying Power'
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called today on the U.S.-led coalition to respect international law as the "occupying power" in Iraq, drawing immediate ire from U.S. officials. -Common Dreams - 4/25/03

Monster.com's Targeting of People with Iranian Backgrounds and Experiences
Iranian-American Executives have urged NIAC to encourage Iranian-American employers and employees to notify Monster.com of a possible boycott in order to prevent Monster’s actions from becoming common practice in corporate America. - 4/24/03

Weblogs Unite to Protest Detained Iranian Blogger
Persian, U.S. blogospheres come together. Another journalist is detained by the Iranian government in Tehran. Seems like the same old story of a crackdown on independent media by a hard-line administration. But this time, the detainee, Sina Motallebi, is different. -Online Journalism Review - 4/24/03

Fundraising Event by Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association (May 18 in San Francisco)
Six months ago, a group of concerned Iranian-Americans got together and established the Bay Area Iranian-American Voter Association (baivoter.org). As a non-partisan, nonprofit, volunteer organization, we set out to encourage and facilitate the informed and active participation of Iranian-Americans in the democratic process. - 4/24/03

After Saddam's fall, Israel ponders how to deal with threat from Iran
Israeli leaders are concerned that Iran could emerge strengthened from Iraq's defeat and continue to promote terror while developing nuclear weapons that could pose a threat to Israel's very existence. -Jerusalem Post - 4/24/03

Turkmenistan to increase oil exploitation in Caspian Sea ten-fold
The Turkmen mass media also quoted Niyazov as saying that besides three Russian oil companies, with which Turkmenistan is signing cooperation contracts, there are Iranian firms with which his country plans to cooperate in exploitation of its hydrocarbon resorts in the caspian Sea. - 4/24/03

Iraq: As Shi'ites Rise, Washington Acknowledges Talks With Iran
Some Iraqi Shiites have been calling for an Islamic state similar to Iran. Washington says it won't allow such a development, but acknowledged yesterday that it is quietly talking with Tehran, which has close ties to key Iraqi Shi'ite groups. -RFE - 4/24/03

Resurgence of the Shias
US and British politicians predicted before the war that indigenous Iraqi leaders would emerge to fill the post-Saddam, post-Ba'athist power vacuum. That process is now indeed gathering pace but with results both unanticipated and potentially inimical to coalition plans. -Guardian - 4/24/03

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil
US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke -Guardian - 4/24/03

Iranians feistier than Iraqis
These events provide insight into which of the two countries, Iran or Iraq, may actually establish a lasting democracy. In Iraq, Saddam was toppled without a popular rebellion. In Iran, there are signs that, with time, the people may bring down the dictatorship. -USA Today - 4/24/03

Pilgrims Threaten Jihad Against American Forces
The Shia pilgrimage to Karbala, one of the most potent and symbolic in recent Iraqi history, took on a strident political and martial note yesterday with demands for the establishment of an Islamic state and threats of a jihad against the "American occupiers". -Common Dreams - 4/24/03

Films of the Iranian Diaspora at Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago
From April 18 through 27, we present the series Films of the Iranian Diaspora. All of the films are Chicago premieres, and two are world premieres, including the short drama CHRYSALIS by Chicago filmmaker Hossein Khandan and THE SACRED CYPRESS by Tandees Tanavoli. Six of the eleven films to be screened are directed by women. - 4/24/03

Eastern skepticism, Western optimism
"... they've become cynics- as cynical a people as I have known in the decade I've spent writing about south Asia and the Middle East. " Christopher de Bellaigue writes about Iranians in his 'Happy new year from Tehran' in Guardian. -Hooman Moradmand - 4/24/03

Monster.com's resume purge draws fire
Job-hunters at Monster.com who happened to go to school in Syria or Iran may be in for an unpleasant surprise on Thursday. -CNET - 4/24/03

Iran's Parliament Speaker: Consensus emerging with Guardian Council on new election law
Karroubi said that the issue will be resolved if the Guardian Council reaches the point that the new election law will serve national interest. - 4/23/03

After that Kaveh Left...
During the last month of Shah's regime, he lost his camera once, and that was when we were summoned to Bagh Shah for an interrogation by an officer who told us that there was going to be a military coup the next day and we were all going to be killed. With a kind of sincerity originating from his professionalism, Kaveh Golestan asked whether he could take pictures of the coming event. -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 4/23/03

Why the Mullahs Love a Revolution
This vacuum is reminiscent of what happened in Iran in February 1979. The 440,000-strong military of the pro-American shah disintegrated quickly, as did the police force and the Savak, the notorious secret police. Into that vacuum stepped the Islamic Revolutionary Komitehs, run by Shiite clerics operating from the local mosques. -New York Times - 4/23/03

NIAC questions monster.com's reading of Iran sanctions
Monster.com, the world’s largest online job search and career management company, will delete the word “Iran,” along with the names of six other countries—Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria—from its standard format for resumes. -NIAC - 4/23/03

Hastert puts Syria and Iran on notice
America’s third-highest elected official issued a stern warning to Iraqi neighbors Iran and Syria from the military’s European headquarters in Germany on Tuesday. -Stars and Stripes - 4/23/03

Paris
The most distinguishing aspect of my grandmother's house was her huge Jasmine flower pots. In the evenings when we cleaned the yard and put carpet on the large bench there to sit and enjoy the evening air and have fresh fruit or tea, the smell of jasmine would take our breath away. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/23/03

Shias stage anti-US protest in Iraq
Protests against the US presence in Iraq have been staged by Shias in the central city of Karbala at the climax of a pilgrimage that has attracted up to one million people. -BBC - 4/23/03

Shiite pilgrims to US: 'Thanks. Please go now.'
But just as Iraq's long-repressed Shiite majority enjoy a religious reawakening, the scale of the event is a show of strength for Shiite clergy who are moving quickly to fill the vacuum left by Mr. Hussein before American forces do. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/23/03

More water flows into Iran through Hirmand river
The recent rainfalls in Afghanistan have raised the water flowing to Iran's border via Hirmand river to over 350 cubic meters per second - 4/23/03

Blix: 'US Undermined Inspectors'
American officials tried to discredit the work of inspectors in Iraq to further their own case for war, the chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has charged. -Common Dreams - 4/23/03

Job Site Drops Disfavored Nations
In what it described as an effort to comply with government regulations, Monster.com will soon begin deleting certain references on users' resumes to nations not in good diplomatic standing with the United States. -Wired - 4/23/03

Replicas of stone tablets from Hamedan Ganjnameh installed
Replicas of two stone tablets in cuneiform belonging to Darius and Khashayar-Shah from Achamenid dynasty known as `Ganjnameh Cuneiform Tablets' were recently installed at Hegmataneh in the city of Hamedan, western Iran - 4/23/03

Analysis: Shia's role in new Iraq
Over the last few days, the sense of exuberance among the Iraqi Shia has been palpable. Comprising some 60% of all Iraqis but long ruled by a Sunni elite, the Shia have long felt themselves to be an underclass. -BBC - 4/23/03

Americans accused of turning blind eye to killings by Kurds
A bitter conflict is unfolding in northern Iraq between two minority communities, with the Americans accused of turning a blind eye to killings and ethnic cleansing. -Independent - 4/23/03

Parsis split over marriage rule
A recent resolution passed by the religious leaders of India's Parsis has divided the community. They have decreed that any Parsi man marrying outside the community will cease to be recognised as one of its members. -BBC - 4/23/03

In a Hotbed of Shiite Passion, Clerics Jockey for Leadership
The Shiites, who account for at least 60 percent of Iraq's population of about 25 million, will play a major, if not dominant role in any democratic system here. Sunni Muslims make up about 37 percent of the population, and Christians and others make up the remaining 3 percent. The United States hopes to win the Shiites' support and block Iranian influence. -New York Times - 4/23/03

Iran's Parliament Speaker hopes Saddam fall will serve a lesson
"How good it would be if the story of Saddam and his pressures on the (Iraqi) people served a lesson to rogue powers who are intoxicated with their force," he said during an open session of the parliament. - 4/23/03

Support for Release of Iranian Pollsters
World research organisations ESOMAR, EFAMRO and WAPOR have this week joined forces in the case of two Iranian survey researchers arrested earlier this month and have addressed the matter to the EU Government, the United Nations, the Iranian Government and other international bodies in order to release the Iranian pollsters. -Daily Research News, UK - 4/23/03

Iran's Reza Pahlavi: A Puppet of the USA and Israel?
The omnipresent neo-conservative kingmakers are at it again, this time with the eloquent and dashing Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the former enigmatic Iranian King of Kings, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who ruled Iran from 1941 until his exile in 1979. The rest, as the clichÈ goes, is a history well known to the world. -John Stanton, CounterPunch - 4/22/03

Iran as Potential US Wheat Market
Late last week, representatives from Iran's flour milling industry met with officers of U.S. Wheat Associates. In the post-Iraq war environment, there's renewed interest among U.S. wheat producers in reestablishing trade ties with Iran as well as Iraq. How reasonable is it to think that the US might succeed in that effort? -DTN - 4/22/03

Iran and the New Iraq: Convergence and Divergence in Interests
Iranians have mixed emotions about the situation in Iraq. Both the government and the people are glad to see the tyranny of Saddam Hussein ended. Besides Iraqis and Kurds, Iranians suffered most from Saddam’s atrocities. However, many concerns and points of friction undermine Iran’s joy about Saddam’s disappearance. -Eurasianet - 4/22/03

UNESCO approves Avicenna international award
Based on the approval of UNESCO executive council, Avicenna international biennial prize will be awarded to the most outstanding achievement made on `Ethics in Science' jointly by Iran and UNESCO. - 4/22/03

Iran signs 25-year contract to sell gas to UAE: official
Iran has signed a 25-year agreement to sell over 14 billion cubic meters of natural gas per day to the United Arab Emirates, a senior official for gas exports said in Tehran on Tuesday. - 4/22/03

French FM arriving in Iran on Wednesday
The French foreign minister, who is visiting the country on the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, will hold talks with high-ranking Iranian officials to broaden and consolidate mutual relations and pursue regional and international consultations between the two countries, Asefi said. - 4/22/03

Voices from the depths of ignorance
As the Persian poem goes, "The ignorant who is ignorant of his own ignorance, remains forever trapped in compounded oblivion." Or, bliss, as I would call it! But, add power to ignorance, and you get a dangerous concoction that, as that power grows, more potentially dangerous it gets. -Kam Zarrabi - 4/22/03

Iraqi Shia pilgrimage nears climax
Hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims have gathered in the central Iraqi city of Karbala for the climax of a religious pilgrimage that has been banned for a quarter of a century. -BBC - 4/22/03

Tensions ease as Syria signals co-operation
Tensions between the US and Syria appeared to ease on Sunday after President George W. Bush said he had seen "positive signs" from the country that it would co-operate in the hunt for fleeing Iraqi officials. -Financial Times - 4/22/03

MSNBC Reveals Facts on Israel's Weapons of Mass Destruction
Here is MSNBC, giving us more information on Israel's weapons of mass destruction (WMD)than I've seen in any left-wing or peace-activist news source. Here is the mainstream U.S. media, that beast we love to hate, giving us a story that gives away the store. -Common Dreams - 4/22/03

Rumsfeld Calls for Regime Change in North Korea
A secret Donald Rumsfeld memorandum calling for regime change in North Korea was leaked yesterday, opening a fresh foreign policy split in the Bush administration. -Daily Telegraph, UK - 4/22/03

US troops kill Baghdad lions
Four starving lions which dug their way out of a Baghdad zoo have been shot dead by American soldiers, the military says. -BBC - 4/22/03

Khatami, Karroubi order action to check jamming satellites in Iran
President Mohammad Khatami and Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi in a directive have called for identifying and taking actions against those responsible for a reported project in Tehran to jam satellite broadcasts, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 4/22/03

Shining a Light Into the Darkness of Iranian-U.S. Relations
Of all the black holes in America’s foreign relations few have been darker than Iran.How to understand a country that overthrew an autocrat in the name of freedom and then produced a theocracy whose human rights abuses make the shah’s look mild?... -By Charles W. Nass and Henry Precht, retired U.S. foreign service officers - 4/21/03

Interview: Mohaddes elaborates on National Iranian Oil Company exploration projects
With nearly 17 per cent of the world's gas reserves and 9 per cent of its oil reserves, Iran lays claim to a large number of untapped and unexplored oil and gas fields, which have the potential to attract international oil companies (IOC) to the country. -Iran Energy Focus - 4/21/03

Iran cleansing policy: Monster.com confuses sanction with censor!
In order for Monster to comply with applicable U.S. federal and state regulations, we will be removing the Sanctioned Countries from the site. Your resume included one (or more) of the Sanctioned Countries. Therefore, your resume will be altered, removing all Sanctioned Countries from your resume(s). - 4/21/03

The National Arts Club presents ECHOES IN BLUE: An exhibition of contemporary Iranian paintings (April 15-29 in New York)
ECHOES IN BLUE is an exhibition of Iranian paintings displayed to introduce the American public to the work of contemporary Iranian artists. - 4/21/03

Iran to participate in world wrestling competitions in US
President of Iran's Wrestling Federation Mohammad-Reza Taleqani said in Qazvin on Sunday that Iran will participate in the World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling in New York in September - 4/21/03

Iran to speed up privatization of airports
Managing Director of Iran Airport Organization Nourollah Rezaei Niyaraki Said in Shiraz, Fars province, on Sunday that with ceding much of airport affairs to the private sector the government's role in the management of airports will be greatly reduced - 4/21/03

Iranian blogger/journalist Sina Motallebi arrested
Sina Motallebi, well-known blogger and journalist was arrested this morning. He is accused of threatening the national security by giving interviews to Persian language radios outside Iran, wrtiting articles both in newspapers and his weblog. -Hossein Derakhshan - 4/21/03

From the streets of Britain, to fighting against Iran
Critics and some former members of the group, which preaches a mix of Marxist and Islamic ideology, have called it a cult which separates couples and families from each other is led by a charismatic woman named Maryam Rajavi, the second wife of the leader Massoud Rajavi. -Scotsman, UK - 4/21/03

To the Wolves?
Iranian immigrants being detained in prisons post-9/11 say the U.S. government is conducting a secretive and unorthodox program of letting Iranian officials interview them--with the hope of sending them back to Iran, where many fear they will be harmed -Metroactive - 4/21/03

US 'to keep bases in Iraq'
The US is planning a long-term military presence in Iraq, in a move which will dramatically extend American power in the region and spread dismay and fear among its opponents across the Arab world. -Guardian - 4/21/03

Jay Garner arrives in Baghdad
Meanwhile Barbara Bodine, the US coordinator for central Iraq who is travelling with Gen Garner, has said the US does not recognise Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi as Baghdad's new mayor. -Guardian - 4/21/03

Iranian Journalist Held Over Interviews
Sina Motallebi was taken to jail after he responded to a summons Saturday to report to a police station for interrogation, Farnaz Ghazizadeh told The Associated Press. She said police promised to release her husband in two days, but she believed he would be held longer. -AP - 4/21/03

Wanted: Arms for young Ali
Doctors treating the badly injured Iraqi boy Ali Ismail Abbas are searching for the best possible artificial limbs to help him regain as normal a life as possible. -BBC - 4/21/03

Antiwar Movement Tries to Find a Meaningful Message
On Tuesday, the leaders of the antiwar coalition Win Without War will gather for a two-day retreat outside New York City to discuss their group's future now that the war has ended. One of the items on the agenda: Should it change its name to Win Without Wars? -New York Times - 4/21/03

Shia Muslims pour into Karbala
The roads leading to Karbala are lined with pilgrims. The columns, sometimes five or six abreast, stretch for at least 100 kilometres (60 miles). -BBC - 4/21/03

Hi-tech site may quit Victoria
A HI-TECH company has been banned from exporting a machine to Iran because it could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction. The banned machine was ordered by the Amir Kabir University in Tehran for research purposes. -Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia - 4/21/03

Iran's Isfahani Armenians commemorate Resurrection Day
At present, around 12,000 Armenian followers of Jesus Christ, reside in Isfahan province, of whom 7,000 live in the ancient historical district of Julfa. - 4/21/03

FILM: A voice in the desert
After six months of being declined a visa to the United States, Kurdish film director Bahman Ghobadi has finally gained entry - to promote his new movie, "Marooned in Iraq," which records Saddam Hussein's atrocities against the Iraqi Kurds through a Kurdish musician's eyes. It opens in New York on Friday. -New York Post - 4/20/03

Exhibition of Iranian paintings receives warm welcome in New York
An exhibition of modern paintings by contemporary Iranian artists that opened in New York on Saturday received an exceptionally warm welcome by New York art enthusiasts on its first day - 4/20/03

Two Dissident Iranian Women Fall by the Wayside
On August 18, 1994, the legendary Iranian singer Marzieh turned her back on her country. As a gesture of protest against the increasingly repressive Islamic regime in Tehran, she joined the armed Iranian armed opposition movement, Mujahideen I-Khalq, throwing in her lot with its leader and commander, Maryam Rajavi. -Debka File - 4/20/03

Tremor jolts Iran's Yazd province
An earthquake with an intensity of 3.5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted Behabad in Yazd province on Saturday - 4/20/03

New role for mosques in Iraq
Northern Baghdad is gridlocked, with thousands of cars blocking the route to one of the city's major Islamic shrines - petrol supplies must be improving at least, even if there is still no electricity or water, and anarchy rules many streets. -BBC - 4/20/03

Iraqis Ponder Islamic State Amid Power Vacuum
What is not clear is how many people support the clerics purely out of a short-term desire for order and how many have a serious interest in establishing Islamic rule like in neighboring Iran, analysts say. -Reuters - 4/20/03

Israeli army accused of targeting TV man killed in West Bank
A TV cameraman for the Associated Press news agency died in the West Bank yesterday after he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. An eyewitness accused the soldier of deliberately targeting a group of journalists, saying he carefully took aim at them and fired a single shot. -Independent - 4/20/03

Give us back our democracy
Americans have been cheated and lied to on matters of the gravest constitutional importance -Guardian - 4/20/03

The Iranian Connection
Tehran’s agents have poured into southern Iraq, where anti-American sentiment is spreading among the Shiites -Newsweek - 4/20/03

Iranian exiles rally for regime change in their homeland
Several thousand supporters of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran gathered on the National Mall, as other Iranian exiles took to the streets in Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Madrid, Toronto, Vancouver, British Columbia, and other cities. -Boston Globe - 4/20/03

Iranian Exiles March in Washington Over Iraq Raids
Some 500 supporters of an Iraq-based Iranian rebel group marched through downtown Washington on Saturday calling on the international community to halt what they said were Iran's attacks on their bases and attempts to infiltrate Iraqi cities. -Reuters - 4/20/03

U.S. Takes on Mujahedeen Militia in Iraq
Several days of bombing killed at least seven fighters, destroyed 15 to 20 tanks, numerous vehicles, equipment and a barracks in the center of Camp Ashraf, Mujahedeen officials said. -AP - 4/20/03

Khamenei: Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting should work in line with public demand
In a meeting with the IRIB Supervisory Board, the Supreme Leader said that the Islamic Republic of Iran takes into account the demands of the people and recommended that the IRIB should appreciate the agenda of the government system in its different programs. - 4/19/03

Outspoken Iranian journalist Aghajari returns to jail after spending leave
Outspoken university professor and journalist, Hashem Aghajari, has returned to jail in the western Iranian city of Hamedan at the end of his prison leave, an informed source at the justice department here told IRNA Saturday. - 4/19/03

Iran: Samira Makhmalbaf's film on Afghanistan confirmed for Cannes
Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf will present her new feature film "At Five in the Afternoon" at Cannes Film Festival to open in May, the press reported here on Saturday. - 4/19/03

Power struggle in Iraqi town
US forces in the eastern Iraqi city of Kut are holding talks with local leaders to try to resolve a dispute over who is in power after the town hall was taken over by an Iranian-backed Muslim cleric. -BBC - 4/19/03

4.0 Quake shakes Isfahan province
An earthquake measuring four degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted Naein in the central province of Isfahan on Friday - 4/19/03

Cleric Assumes a Bully Pulpit
Try as they might, the American military commanders here cannot outfox Sayed Abbas. Mr. Abbas, 52, was the first to arrive at city hall last week after Kut fell to the Americans. A Shiite Muslim preacher, he immediately declared himself the elected mayor of the city, though no election seems to have taken place. -New York Times - 4/19/03

Shia pilgrims head for Karbala
Tens of thousands of Iraqi Shias are making their way towards the holy city of Karbala on a pilgrimage that was banned under the government of Saddam Hussein. -BBC - 4/19/03

Porous Iraq-Iran border poses security risk
Vanished are the men who once guarded the Iraqi side of this border crossing to Iran, Baghdad's historic foe. Their place in the guards' barracks has been taken by a pack of stray dogs. -AP - 4/19/03

Middle East ministers discuss war aftermath
The talks in Riyadh were the first opportunity since the war for neighbouring countries Turkey, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as Egypt and Bahrain, to discuss ties with the future authorities in Baghdad. -Financial Times - 4/19/03

Saddam's Fall May Prompt Conciliatory Measures in Iran
Iranian leaders have come to realize that, barring a serious re-examination of their relationship toward the United States, a confrontation between the two countries may be inevitable. Aside from the most radical elements, most Iranian leaders appear ready to open long-deferred dialogue with the Bush administration – fully aware that they may have to make major concessions. -Eurasianet - 4/18/03

Fall of Hussein Could Lead to a Shift in Center, Focus of Shiite Muslims
The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime is likely to lead to the reemergence of the holiest site in Shiite Islam, the Iraqi city of Najaf, and foster a more moderate form of the religion that could challenge the authority of Iran's Islamic Republic among the world's 170 million Shiites, religious scholars say. -Azadeh Moaveni, Times - 4/18/03

Has war inspired global conciliation?
Apparently nothing succeeds politically like success militarily. The show of America's awesome firepower in Iraq seems to have induced other "axis of evil" potential adversaries to act, or at least talk, in more conciliatory terms. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/18/03

Stigma of Defeat Envelops Hussein's Home Town in Iraq
Not a single picture of Saddam Hussein here in his hometown has been brought down or damaged. His image looms large at every traffic light and intersection in the city, and smaller posters of him hang from lamp posts. His statue, sitting on a horse, is intact in town square. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 4/18/03

Bush Cultural Advisers Quit Over Iraq Museum Theft
Two cultural advisers to the Bush administration have resigned in protest over the failure of U.S. forces to prevent the wholesale looting of priceless treasures from Baghdad's antiquities museum. -Common Dreams - 4/18/03

Chariots of fire
No sooner has Baghdad fallen than our screaming little warmongers are at it again, their blood lust never satisfied - go get Syria, go get Iran, go get Libya. Let's shoot another peacenik in the head. What exactly is their Passover dream - "Next year in someone else's country?" -Ha'aretz, Israel - 4/18/03

Turkmenistan: UN Human Rights Commission Condemns Turkmen Abuses For First Time
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has passed a resolution condemning Turkmenistan for a range of abuses including torture and political and religious repression. -RFE - 4/18/03

Former U.S. Official Says CIA Aided Iraqi Baathists
If the United States succeeds in shepherding the creation of a postwar Iraqi government, it won't be the first time that Washington has played a primary role in changing the country's rulers.-Reuters - 4/18/03

US Readies Security for Shi'ite Pilgrimage in Iraq
The U.S. military said Thursday it would take "appropriate" security measures next week when hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims are expected to converge on the Iraqi holy city of Kerbala in a highly charged pilgrimage. -Reuters - 4/18/03

U.S. Wheat Officials Work Iranian Market
In a renewed effort to do business with the millers of Iran, U.S. Wheat Associates met with an Iranian trade delegation in Toronto. -Crop Decisions - 4/18/03

Anti-US Protest Flares After Baghdad Prayers
Muslims poured out of mosques and into the streets after the first Friday prayers in a U.S.-controlled Baghdad, calling for an Islamic state to be established. Carrying Korans, prayer mats and banners, tens of thousands marched in the city's biggest protest since U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein over a week ago -- a protest unthinkable under the former president. -Common Dreams - 4/18/03

Iranian Nationalists and the Nuclear Issue
There is a hotly debated issue in the Iranian intellectual community these days that have immense implications for the future of our nation. The issue is the Islamic Republic’s stubborn and somewhat secretive efforts to construct and implement nuclear power plants. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 4/18/03

We all lost a friend; his name is Kaveh Golestan
There is nothing one can say to ease the pain. They know we love them and our hearts are with them, and when I sent an e-mail stating this the reply I got from Kaveh's dear sister was this: do not stand at my grave and weep... -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/18/03

Iran hopes peace will prevail: Khatami
"We seek a world with no weapons of mass destruction," Khatami said, adding "Our sensitive region must be free from such weapons through the contribution of all regional countries." - 4/18/03

Iranian exiles present dilemma: If group goes homw, execution likely
An Iranian exile group long protected by Saddam Hussein's regime has agreed to surrender to U.S. forces, raising a difficult question about whether its members will be sent back to Iran. The surrender pact, which was reached Tuesday with U.S. special forces, covers 3,000 fighters and 7,000 relatives. -Mercury News - 4/18/03

One Step Forward, Direction Uncertain
Bush administration officials said yesterday they are pleased by Iran's willingness to cooperate with U.S. requests during the war with neighboring Iraq -- a decision perhaps smoothed by the administration's bombing of Iranian opposition fighters based in Iraq. But it is unclear if this "good behavior" signals a thaw in relations with the Islamic republic. -Washington Post - 4/18/03

Iran attacks US and braces for nuclear dispute
The fear among some western diplomats and analysts is that the increasingly belligerent stance of Washington towards Iran and Syria may backfire and push Tehran to speed up its weapons programme. Mr Khatami yesterday made a point of rallying to Syria's side. -Guardian - 4/17/03

U.S. Bombs Iranian Guerrilla Forces Based in Iraq
A senior American military officer said the United States had "bombed the heck" out of at least two of the Mujahedeen group's bases, including its military headquarters at Camp Ashraf, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. It was not clear today whether the attacks were intended in any way as a thank-you gesture by the United States for Iran's policy of noninterference in the war in Iraq. -New York Times - 4/17/03

President Khatami will not back down on bid to boost power
Last Tuesday, the Iranian parliament gave its final blessing to the last articles of the bill on presidential power, enabling the president to warn any of the three constitutional powers against any violation and mete out punishment if his warnings are not heeded. - 4/17/03

Out of Touch: Back in the Mosque in Tehran!
During my trip to Iran last summer, one of the places I visited was a small mosque in Tehran. A very old distant relative had passed away a week before, and a memorial for her was being held in the mosque. As we headed for the mosque, the other male relatives in the party told me about the plan: We will go in and sit and when the mullah shows up we'll get up and leave! -Ali Moayedian - 4/17/03

Official says investments risk in Iran has been lowered
An official of the Economy and Finance Ministry Ali Khorsandian said in Tehran on Wednesday that research conducted by the ministry points to a lowering of investments risk and an improved atmosphere for investments in the country - 4/17/03

'Smart weapon' of satellite TV can change Iran
A free press -- not tanks and bullets -- is the key to overthrowing the conservative mullahs in Iran and spreading democracy, tolerance and peace in the Middle East. A free press can undermine even the most repressive of dictatorships. -Reza Ladjevardian, Houston Chronicle - 4/17/03

Why Syria is America's new target
Israel's last strategic opponent can turn occupied Iraq into a quagmire -Guardian - 4/17/03

Dancing to Sharon's Beat: The Road to Unilateral Pre-emption
When Messrs. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and their aides decided to make Arik Sharon's foreign, security and military policy America's foreign, security and military policy, they may not have foreseen where this would take us. -CounterPunch - 4/17/03

Iran feeling the heat
To say that Iran has mixed feelings about the U.S.-led victory in Iraq is a considerable understatement. -Globe & Mail, Canada - 4/17/03

Clinton Blasts US Approach to International Affairs
Former US President Bill Clinton blasted US foreign policy adopted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, arguing the United States cannot kill, jail or occupy all of its adversaries. -AFP - 4/17/03

Tough talks loom over Iraq oil
French President Jacques Chirac has said it is up to the UN to decide when and how to lift trade sanctions against Iraq, as diplomatic moves intensify over the future of Iraqi oil. -BBC - 4/17/03

Key Shia leader returns to Iraq
Abdelaziz Hakim is believed to be the first Iranian-backed Shia leader to return to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. -BBC - 4/17/03

Rezazadeh named `Weightlifter of the World in 2002'
International Weightlifting Federation on Wednesday named Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh as `Weightlifter of the World in 2002' - 4/17/03

Iran negotiating probable return of MKO members home: official
The official rang out a clear warning against sheltering members of the terrorist group, calling on world countries to extradite senior leaders of MKO. - 4/17/03

Iraqi dissident residing in Iran chosen as interim Baghdad governor
Muhammad Mohsen al-Zubaidi, an Iraqi dissident who used to live in Iran, was chosen as the head of the interim local government of Baghdad upon his return to Iraq - 4/17/03

The lessons of Iran
WHEN STATUES FALL: Twenty-four years ago, another Middle East dictator was toppled, notes SAEED RAHNEMA , but the outcome wasn't exactly as planned -Globe & Mail, Canada - 4/17/03

Bombing wipes out camps of Iran rebels
COALITION aircraft have destroyed camps in Iraq of the People’s Mujahidin (MKO), the main Iranian armed opposition group, British diplomats in Tehran said yesterday. -Times, UK - 4/16/03

Two children killed in mine explosion in Marivan, Iran
Two Marivani children, Barzan Rahimi, 8, and Mohammad Hassani, 10, were killed at the outskirts of their village stepping on a landmine planted early 1980s by the counter-revolutionary groups who stood up against the central government - 4/16/03

Iranian singer Marzieh among 70 People's Mujahedeen stuck at Jordan border
More than 70 members of Iran's opposition People's Mujahedeen, including a prominent Iranian singer, have been stuck for more than 48 hours in no man's land on Jordan's border with Iraq -AFP - 4/16/03

The nightmare scenario: freedom to choose rule by the ayatollahs
Western diplomats and academics have been warning Washington and London for years that the fall of Saddam could be accompanied by a rise in Shia power. Washington opted to take the risk and may yet have to live with the consequences. -Guardian - 4/16/03

Russian-Turkmen Pacts Mark Strategic Shift for Moscow in Central Asia
Russia and Turkmenistan have reached two deals – one on long-term energy exports, the other on bilateral security – that may have a broad impact on Central Asian geopolitics. -Eurasianet - 4/16/03

Turkmenistan exports of gas to Iran up 18 percent in Q1, 2003
Turkmenistan has exported over two billion cubic meters (m3) of gas to Iran during the first quarter of 2003, registering a 18.3 percent rise compared to the same period last year - 4/16/03

Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers Emerge as Conscientious Objectors
Although only a handful of them have gone public, at least several hundred U.S. soldiers have applied for conscientious objector (CO) status since January, says a rights group. -Common Dreams - 4/16/03

Rising Tensions Between Kurds, Arabs Underscore U.S. Hurdles
Concerns about ethnic cleansing have worried U.S. planners since the beginning of the war. Rising tensions between Kurds, Arabs and Turkomans underscore the challenges ahead for the U.S. as it takes over civil control of this region. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 4/16/03

Iran sends strong message to US about Syria
Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council warns any US action against Syria would be prelude to action against Iran. -MEO - 4/16/03

LOST FOREVER: The National Museum of Baghdad
The National Museum at Baghdad was one of the most important Antiquity museums in the world, if not the most important. The Cradle of Civilization as it is often called, Mesopotamia (meaning between two rivers, present day Iraq) has been the earliest center of urban civilization, and the museum contained some of the most important items signifying the genius of mankind. -Massoume Price - 4/16/03

Iran’s Azeri Question: What Does Iran’s Largest Ethnic Minority Want?
Iranian Azeris, who comprise at least one-quarter of Iran’s population and possibly more, are attracting increased interest from US policy-makers, especially those who are interested in promoting "regime change" in Tehran. Some American analysts view Iranian Azeris as a potential source of instability for Tehran. -Afshin Molavi, Eurasianet - 4/16/03

Referendum on Iran-US ties senseless: Khatami
Pointing to bilateral relations between Iran and the United States, Khatami said, "We are never in favor of tension. The US behaved very badly with Iran and if we feel this trend has changed, a new chapter may open for taking strides toward a better direction." - 4/16/03

Iranian woman Poupeh Mahdavinader to travel around the world by bike
Journey's Motto: In the name of love, friendship and global peace - 4/15/03

"The Wondrous World of Sadegh Hedayat" Iranian Writer, Critic, Intellectual
Who would have thought that a conference on Sadegh Hedayat could be enjoyable, interesting, informative and enlightening all at the same time. The finale of major world events for Hedayat's centenary took place in Oxford England last month. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/15/03

Book: PERSEPOLIS: The Story of a Childhood
Says author Marjane Satrapi, "[Iran] has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half my life in Iran, I know this image is far from the truth... -Pantheon Books - 4/15/03

Isfahan wins world's Robocup third title
The Isfahan University of Technology on Saturday finished third in the world's Robocup entitled `German Open 2003' - 4/15/03

Attar Neishabouri's poems manifest themselves in plastic arts
The exhibition opened at Seemorgh (Phoenix) Culture House in the city of Neishabour, northeastern Iran, on Monday, where 130 artworks are showcased in a row manifesting a group of birds flying towards the mythological Phoenix. - 4/15/03

EVENT: An evening with Dr. Esmail Khoi, a renowned Iranian poet
Sunday, April 20th in Berkeley, California. Esmail Khoi is a leading Iranian poet living in exile. Born in 1938, he was educated in Iran and England, and began his career in Iran as a lecturer in philosophy. - 4/15/03

Iran: Supreme Leader will decide on "blood money" for non-Muslims - Guardian Council
The supervisory Guardian Council (GC) has once again rejected a Parliament (Majlis) bill on equal "blood money", or diyeh, for non-Muslim nationals, stressing that the fate of the issue is yet to be determined by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei - 4/15/03

Are Americans the New Mongols of the Mideast?
In 1248, the forces of the Mongol chieftain Hulagu Khan invaded Baghdad and laid waste to the city. Sumerian, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Ninevehan, Islamic Arab, and other historical relics of Iraq's storied past were destroyed by the invading Mongols. -CounterPunch - 4/15/03

Bush vetoes Syria war plan
The White House has privately ruled out suggestions that the US should go to war against Syria following its military success in Iraq, and has blocked preliminary planning for such a campaign in the Pentagon, the Guardian learned yesterday. - 4/15/03

Armed Shia on streets in first sign of power tussle
But the mobilisation of Shia by the Najaf hierarchy sends a signal to Washington that an organised alternative power structure already exists in Iraq, whatever coalition of exiles and local politicians emerges from meetings this week. Some local Shia clerics made it clear yesterday that they wanted to see Iraq become an Islamic republic. -Guardian - 4/15/03

Iranian MP lambastes Foreign Ministry for failure over UN Resolution 598
"None of the articles of the resolution has been implemented and the ministry should respond to the Iranian nation for this shortcoming," `Tehran Times' quoted MP Elaheh Koulaei as saying. - 4/15/03

Robert Fisk: Would President Assad invite a cruise missile to his palace?
So now Syria is in America's gunsights. First it's Iraq, Israel's most powerful enemy, possessor of weapons of mass destruction – none of which has been found. Now it's Syria, Israel's second most powerful enemy, possessor of weapons of mass destruction, or so President George Bush Junior tells us. No word of that possessor of real weapons of mass destruction, Israel -Independent - 4/15/03

Iraq's post-war future under scrutiny
United States officials are meeting representatives of exiled Iraqi opposition groups and local tribal and religious leaders in a drive to establish a new government in Iraq. But the Iranian-based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), is boycotting the meeting in protest at the US role. -BBC - 4/15/03

Occupational Hazard
Many of the Arab states don't like us. Neither do the Persians in Iran, and for good reason. In the 1950s and '60s, we supported Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, even though he was the Saddam Hussein of his time and ruled by torture and murder. -San Francisco Chronicle - 4/15/03

First unmanned helicopter manufactured in Iran
Iranian inventor Akbar Akhonzadeh has successfully manufactured the first unmanned helicopter in the country - 4/15/03

Iran - Patten calls for "concrete improvements"
The EU has given its strongest indication to date that Iran's slow progress in improving human rights is jeopardising EU-Iran relations. -EU Observer - 4/15/03

Iran's U.S. Policy After the Fall of Baghdad: Khamenei's Hostility Versus Rafsanjani's Pragmatism
While Khamenei continues to make hostile statements about the U.S., former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who currently heads the powerful conservative Expediency Council, took a realistic view of the new circumstances and showed pragmatism. -MEMRI - 4/15/03

Large Protests Greet US-Backed Talks on Post-Saddam Iraq
Around 20,000 demonstrators converged on the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah to protest US-brokered talks aimed at sketching out a post-Saddam Hussein administration. -AFP - 4/15/03

Article 90 Commission report triggers scuffle in Iran's Parliament
A report by the Parliamanet (Majlis) Article 90 Commission on a complaint by Ebrahim Yazdi and several other members of the so-called "religious-nationalist" group on Tuesday triggered a scuffle at the chamber - 4/15/03

So, Who's Next?
The government of Iran has supported terrorism in the past — it is, with Syria, a supporter of Lebanon's Hizballah — and has long coveted nuclear weapons. In principle, the mullahs of Tehran should be quaking in their sandals. Indeed, one State Department official says a debate is emerging within the Administration along the lines of, When do we start shifting our policy toward isolating Iran and toward bringing down that regime as well? The most likely answer is, Not anytime soon. -TIME - 4/15/03

Iran ready to provide electricity to Iraq: MP
"Considering that there is currently a power vacuum in Iraq, Iran is ready to conclude an agreement with the UN or its affiliated organizations to transfer electricity to Iraq," Yari said during a meeting with members of a UN delegation here. - 4/15/03

Lead cleric threatened by radicals
"Total terror reigns in Najaf," said Ayatollah Abulqasim Dibaji, a cleric based in Kuwait. Ayatollah Sistani's aides suggested the faction was trying to rid Najaf of all Iranian-linked Shia leaders. Ayatollah Sistani himself was born in Iran. "They went to his house and told him to leave Najaf because he is not Arab," MrBudairi said. He said other ayatollahs had also been told to leave Najaf. -Guardian - 4/14/03

Iran's economic delegation meets Iranian expatriates in Washington
Iran's economic delegation currently visiting the United States to attend the spring meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) conferred with a number of outstanding Iranian expatriates including economists, tradesmen, technical experts and university professors - 4/14/03

Iran's varsity freestyle wrestling team wins Spanish Grand Prix title
Freestyle wrestling team of Iran's Islamic Azad University (IAU) stood top in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday - 4/14/03

Iran's Judiciary says no Jewish spies released yet
The Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham has said that none of the Iranian Jews who have been arrested on espionage charges have been released yet - 4/14/03

Paradigm Shift in the Middle East in Full Gear
Jubilant, appreciative Iraqi populace have emerged in massive numbers in the urban centers of the country now that they have by and large accepted the passage of one political era with the anticipation of the development of a "modern" replacement governing system. -Davood N. Rahni - 4/14/03

Iran: The Country Next Door
When Saddam developed a nuclear bomb, we responded with total war. How do we respond if Iran does the same? Morley Safer reports from Iran. -CBS 60 Minutes - 4/14/03

Iran ranks second in the 4th Asian Juniors Volleyball
India stole the show in the 4th Asian Juniors Volleyball Championships as it defeated Iran in the final in Vishahkapatnam on Sunday. - 4/14/03

Iran troops and rebel mujahideen clash in Iraq
An Iranian opposition group based in Iraq has lost 10 of its fighters in clashes with Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards who crossed into Iraq, where the group is based. -AP - 4/14/03

Relax! You Might Not Be Next
It seems that these days, people and politicians in most Middle Eastern countries believe that their country is the next target of U.S. regime-change. -Nader Habibi - 4/14/03

Iran will not accept US-led government
Iran will not recognise an American-led government in Iraq and will restrict its relations to trade ties even though it welcomes the change in the Baghdad regime, says a leading member of parliament. -Financial Times - 4/14/03

In Iraq's north, fears that disorder could spur ethnic strife
The night Kirkuk fell, a man named Natham Arif died. He was an ethnic Turkmen. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/14/03

Small successes outweighed
Confusion, looting and tension about Syria overshadow the few achievements of this war -Guardian - 4/14/03

Rout Proves Anti-War Point
Sometimes the United States and its allies are wrong, and the rest of the world is right. -Toronto Star - 4/14/03

No SARS yet reported in Iran: official
An official at Iran's Ministry of Health has said that no case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic has been reported in the Islamic Republic yet - 4/14/03

Siege of Shia cleric ends
Around 50 armed men had gathered at the house of Ayatollah Mirza Ali Sistani on Saturday demanding him to leave the country within 48 hours. -BBC - 4/14/03

Iran to try any possible Iraqi leaders entering Iran
Iran said Monday it will arrest and prosecute any element of Iraq's Baath regime, including its leaders, who possibly cross into the Iranian territory - 4/14/03

Looters plunder in minutes Iraq's millennia-old legacy
Iraq has been called one giant historic site, and for 80 years its national Museum has been the repository of irreplaceable records and collections of ancient art and artifacts from the country's Babylonian, Assyrian, and Mesopotamian past. The ransacking has caused incalculable loss to Iraq's, and the world's, cultural heritage, experts say. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/14/03

UK 'grateful' to Iran's stance during Iraq war, says Straw
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Monday contrasted Iran's position on the US-led war against Iraq with that of Syria, which has been warned by Washington not to harbour fleeing members of Saddam Hussein's regime - 4/14/03

Iranian appeals court commutes prison sentences of pollsters
An appeals court in Tehran has commuted prison terms of pollsters Hossein Ali Qazian and Abbas Abdi, whose publication of a polling to say most Iranians favored normal ties with US, triggered a tumult - 4/13/03

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet: America must keep game in bounds
But perhaps Iraq's most precarious frontier remains its boundary with Iran. Since the rule of the Ottoman Empire from the 14th to the early 20th century, important cities such as Baghdad changed hands numerous times between the Ottoman and Persian Empires...Even if President Bush had not singled out Iran as one leg of the Axis of Evil, that nation would have many reasons to possibly intervene in post-Saddam politics. -Alameda Times-Star, CA - 4/13/03

British Minister flies out to Syria and Iran
Mike O'Brien, the Foreign Office minister, will visit Syria and Iran this week to reassure both countries that they are not next on the list of targets for military action. -Telegraph, UK - 4/13/03

Hidden Knives and Ambition Shroud Killing at Holy Shrine
Rumors and intrigue swirled here today in a crowd of angry men milling around Iraq's holiest mosque two days after a prominent cleric was assassinated, but the truth of what happened remains a mystery. -New York Times - 4/13/03

Shiite Shift in Iran Probable
For 25 years, Iran and its top religious leader, the late Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, have defined Shiite Islam for its 120 million followers and for the world. But the liberation of Najaf -- Shiite Islam's holiest city -- by U.S. forces now threatens to weaken Iran's influence. -Knight Ridder News Service - 4/13/03

Volleyball: Iran eases past China, sets up final clash with India
Defending champion Iran breezed past the Chinese side in the semifinal of the 4th Asian Juniors Volleyball Championships on Saturday, throwing the gauntlet for the finalist India - 4/13/03

Israel to U.S.: Now deal with Syria and Iran
Israel will suggest that the United States also take care of Iran and Syria because of their support for terror and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Israel will point out the support of Syria and Iran for Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers an important target in the war against international terrorism. -Ha'aretz - 4/13/03

Powell dismisses talk of puppet leadership
The Najaf home of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric, has been surrounded by armed members of a radical group who have threatened to attack him unless he leaves the country within 48 hours. -Guardian - 4/13/03

Iran native helps span culture gaps
As a young teenager, Nat Nehdar crossed oceans and continents alone to reach America from his native Iran, which may explain why his public access channel television show is called "Crossing Bridges." -Pasadena Star-News, CA - 4/13/03

Iran's leader urges Iraqis to stop anarchy
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday called on Iraqi people to observe "brotherhood" and avoid lawlessness -UPI - 4/13/03

A civilisation torn to pieces
Baghdad, reports Robert Fisk, is a city at war with itself, at the mercy of thieves and gunmen. And, in the city's most important museum, something truly terrible has taken place -Independent - 4/13/03

Iranian wrestlers win two golds in Spain
Two freestyle wrestlers of Iran's Islamic Azad University (IAU) on Saturday snatched two gold medals in Spain's Grand Prix - 4/13/03

Sharon hints at 'settlement' deal
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has indicated he is willing to remove some Jewish settlements in the West Bank for peace with the Palestinians. -BBC - 4/13/03

Iranian Baluchis bag Belgium taekwondo golds
A team from Sistan-Baluchestan province, southeastern Iran, snatched three gold medals in the 21st international taekwondo Open of Belgium on Saturday - 4/13/03

Syria could be next, warns Washington
The move is part of Washington's efforts to persuade Israel to support a new peace settlement with the Palestinians. Washington has promised Israel that it will take 'all effective action' to cut off Syria's support for Hizbollah - implying a military strike if necessary, sources in the Bush administration have told The Observer . - 4/13/03

Daily profers China model for resumption of Iran-US ties
`Iran News' on Sunday suggested that Iran can use the China experience to end its long-running antagonistic standoff with the United States instead of a plebiscite as recently proposed by Expediency Council (EC) chief Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani - 4/13/03

1,526 Executed in 2002
Amnesty International recorded 1,060 executions in China and 113 executions in Iran, but the true number was believed to be much higher in both countries. Seventy-one people were executed in the USA, up from 66 in 2001 - 4/12/03

Ukrainian delegation in Iran to discuss building aircraft: report
A Ukrainian delegation flew to Iran Friday to discuss more construction of An-140 aircraft in the Islamic Republic despite last December setback for the aviation company in which 44 of its specialists were killed in an air crash during a similar trip - 4/12/03

Iran: Rafsanjani proposes referendum for resumption of ties with US
Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Saturday Iran's resumption of ties with the US could be put to a referendum - 4/12/03

Hard-Liners in Iran Worry About U.S. Influence in Iraq
"Hard-liners want to provoke the United States against Iran," a senior Iranian official said. "If the Americans start seriously threatening Iran, that gives them an excuse to crush reforms." -Times - 4/12/03

Britain withdraws Tehran trade fair backing
The British government has withdrawn official backing for a delegation of companies attending an oil and gas fair in Tehran next week, in a move that highlights its growing fears that UK interests could be attacked in Iran. -Financial Times - 4/12/03

Are tyrants shocked, awed or stocking up on nukes?
The US wants to intimidate 'axis of evil' countries, but the plan could backfire -Guardian - 4/12/03

EU, Iran wrap up second round of political dialogue
European Union and Iranian officials Thursday evening in Brussels wrapped up the second round of a political dialogue with a commitment to deepen cooperation on the bilateral, regional and international level - 4/12/03

Russia tells US officials nuclear coop with Iran will continue
Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has played down US fears that Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran may trigger proliferation and made it clear that Moscow would continue its nuclear cooperation with Iran - 4/12/03

Iran: Supervisory official slams Khatami's bill, vows to block it
An official of the supervisory Guardians Council lashed out Friday at President Mohammad Khatami's bill on propping up presidential powers, describing it dangerously "unconstitutional" and pledging to veto it - 4/12/03

Weapons teams scour Iraq
Britain and the United States have bypassed the United Nations to establish a secret team of inspectors to resume the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It is a sign of the desperation in London and Washington to find a "smoking gun" to justify the war that the Anglo-American team has already conducted three inspections in the past two weeks. -Guardian - 4/12/03

Profile: Ahmed Chalabi - the saviour of Iraq, or a chancer whose time has come?
But the crossfire between the Pentagon of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell's State Department masks competing visions of the future of the entire Middle East and Arab world. For the Pentagon and its neo-conservative outriders, Chalabi is the future. For the State Department, he is a charlatan, the repository of extravagant hopes that will end in tears. -Independent - 4/12/03

U.S. Plans to Run Iraqi Oil for A While
It is uncertain how long the United States would operate Iraq's oil industry, the country's main source of revenue. U.S. officials say they want to turn over Iraqi ministries to Iraqis as quickly as possible. -Common Dreams - 4/12/03

Rising resistance to US call on World Bank
The US administration is meeting rising resistance to its plan to start the international financial institutions working on reconstruction in Iraq, with opposition building among the World Bank's other shareholder countries. -Financial Times - 4/12/03

Briton critical after Israel shooting
A British peace activist shot and wounded during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip is in a critical condition. -BBC - 4/12/03

Mob Kills 2 Leaders at Shiite Shrine
According to Khoei's nephew in Iran, the mob initially intended to kill just Haidar Rafaii, who had been appointed custodian of the mosque by Saddam Hussein. -Times - 4/12/03

R. James Woolsey: War-hungry non-combatant
Former CIA Director beats the drums for World War IV - 4/12/03

Iran's Student Parliament to open today: daily
According to the `Tehran Times' daily, the deputies chosen in a three-phase election by 4 million secondary-level students will swear in today to follow up on the demands of 20 million students. - 4/12/03

The Real War - On American Democracy
In the midst of news of foreign wars, Americans are beginning to wake up to the real war being waged here at home. It is, however, a confused awakening. -Common Dreams - 4/12/03

Robert Fisk: I sat on Saddam's throne and surveyed the dark chamber where terror was dispensed
Did I sit on President Saddam's throne? Of course I did. There is something dark in all our souls that demands an understanding of evil rather than good, because, I suppose, we are more fascinated by the machinery of cruelty and power than we are by angels. -Independent - 4/12/03

Iran hammers Taiwan in Asian volleyball, waltzes to last four
Defending champion Iran drubbed Taiwan on Friday, advancing to the last four of the 4th Asian Juniors Volleyball Championships - 4/12/03

Baghdad curfew 'planned'
American forces in Baghdad want to introduce a dusk-to-dawn curfew to try to put a stop to looting which has swept the city for the past four days. -BBC - 4/12/03

Free to do bad things
On one of the bleakest days since the invasion began, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday shrugged off turmoil and looting in Iraq as signs of the people's freedom. -Guardian - 4/12/03

Azeri Separatist Meets Policy Makers in Washington
The Central Asia-Caucuses Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) presented a panel discussion entitled “Iran, Iranian-Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan after the Iraq-Iran War,” on Wednesday evening. -NIAC - 4/12/03

Iranian woman cyclist touring round the world to promote peace
An Iranian woman, who intends to pedal round the world to promote peace and friendship, met in Vatican City on Friday with Vatican officials in a symbolic gesture of understanding between Islam and Christianity - 4/12/03

US Treasury says aid to Iran may not be effective
The World Bank on Wednesday approved a $20 million loan for Iran. The U.S. representative at the World Bank voted against the loan. The bank has said it plans to lend up to $755 million to Iran in the next two years. -Reuters - 4/11/03

Regimes who worry that they will be next
Fears that Iraq may not be the last American target have been raised by bellicose statements from the Pentagon and US neo-conservatives directed against other members of the "axis of evil" and the so-called "states of concern". -Guardian - 4/11/03

Struggle for Order Begins in Iraq As Rival Forces Jockey for Power
As order struggled to emerge in Iraq's three main regions, north, central and south, the contours of the challenges ahead were emerging as well: What role will returned exiles play in Iraq's future?... -Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal - 4/11/03

A look at Golestan province's internationally protected lagoons
The complex of Golestan province internationally protected lagoons is located in the extensive Torkman Sahra plain near the common border of Iran and Turkmenistan in Dashli-Boroun district. - 4/11/03

The future of America's imperial reach
Show of force in Iraq may lead to more preemptive ventures - or force US into an age of restraint. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/11/03

Fears for the future
Following 24 hours of victory celebrations in Baghdad, there are fears today that the war, far from ending, could simply be moving into a far more intractable low-intensity phase in which bunker-busting bombs and other hi-tech weapons are of little use. -Guardian - 4/11/03

Pro-U.S. Shiite cleric 'assassinated'
Seyyed Abdelmajid al-Khoei was assassinated in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, the report said. On Tuesday, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency carried an interview with Khoei, which was interpreted in the West as a rare conciliatory gesture toward the United States by Iran. -UPI - 4/11/03

Murder of Shia cleric is blow to US plans
US hopes of bringing stable government to southern Iraq suffered a serious setback yesterday when unknown assailants killed Abdulmajid al-Khoi, a prominent Shia cleric who had returned to the holy city of Najaf barely two weeks ago after more than a decade in exile. -Financial Times - 4/11/03

Why Kirkuk is key
Kirkuk is the centre of the country's oil industry and key to the stabilisation of the north of Iraq. -BBC - 4/11/03

Pentagon defends Chalabi but won't 'anoint' him
The U.S. Defense Department defended the credibility of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday but said it did not intend to "anoint" him as the leader of Iraq. -Reuters - 4/11/03

Anti-War Groups Scout Out New Role
The American anti-war movement, which ballooned in recent months to its largest since the Vietnam War, is reevaluating its tactics and revising its message for the end of fighting in Iraq, but many national organizers say it is bound to lose some momentum. -Common Dreams - 4/11/03

Chaos as Mosul falls to Kurds
Widespread looting has broken out in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul, after the Iraqi army abandoned the city to US-backed Kurdish fighters. -BBC - 4/11/03

Saddam Hussein's neighbours fear they may be next in the line of fire
THE fall of Baghdad sent shockwaves through the Middle East, where some of Iraq’s neighbours fear that their regimes could be next. -TIMES, UK - 4/11/03

NIAC Workshop on Civic Participation in Chicago (Sat. April 26)
What makes certain individuals more influential than others? What makes certain communities more influential than others? How can the Iranian-American community translate its vast resources into influence, in order to defend its civil rights? - 4/11/03

Some see victory extending beyond Iraq
While U.S. officials emphasize the enormity of the tasks that need to be completed in Iraq, some administration supporters already are proclaiming the birth of a new historical period and suggesting that regime change in Iraq could be followed soon by Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. -USA Today - 4/11/03

Supreme leader says Iran happy about ouster of Saddam
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Friday said Iranians, like the Iraqis, are happy to see Saddam Hussein ousted, but they strongly condemn the killing of Iraqi civilians by the US-British troops - 4/11/03

Once-Jailed Cleric Seeks Major Changes in Iran
After he spent 18 months in prison for asserting that terrorism has no justification under Islamic law, Kadivar left to study in the United States. Upon hearing of his mentor’s (Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri) imminent release, he made plans to return to the religious center of Qom, Iran. He spoke to EurasiaNet in New York. - 4/11/03

Response to Ms. Azizi "Letter From Iran - Why a Left-Leaning Feminist Backs the Pentagon"
I read your article posted on Pacific News Service. While I understand some of the frustrations you are experiencing, I was horrified by the solution you had suggested, i.e. a foreign military invasion of Iran. Below are my reasons why I think this is a terrible idea. -Ramin Hojati - 4/10/03

EU-Iran political dialogue in Brussels enters second round
EU says negotiations with Iran "constructive and promising" - 4/10/03

Heed lesson of Iraq, US warns
The US administration on Wednesday warned other countries intent on developing weapons of mass destruction - such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea - to "draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq". -Financial Times - 4/10/03

Iran's Kharrazi Says 'Mistake' for U.S. to Run Iraq
Iran's foreign minister has said the United States is making a strategic mistake by putting in place a U.S.-led administration in Iraq. -Reuters - 4/10/03

Central Asia: Efforts Under Way To Bring Region Up To Speed With The Internet
Central Asia lacks much of the infrastructure needed to introduce the public to the Internet. In addition to a simple lack of computers, the region suffers from a poor telecommunications system, and Internet connection costs are prohibitively expensive. -RFE - 4/10/03

Kurds occupy oil city Kirkuk
Kurds later went on a looting spree in the city, she said - and coalition forces are also witnessing widespread looting in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra. The BBC's Rageh Omaar in Baghdad says civil order has broken down - 4/10/03

'Black day' in Arab world
There may be excited crowds welcoming the Americans in Baghdad, but for many in the Arab world this is still a black day. -BBC - 4/10/03

Dances With Wolfowitz
Wolfowitz of Arabia and the other administration hawks are thrilled with U.S. hawkishness. When Mr. Wolfowitz was on "Meet the Press" on Sunday his aides sat in the green room watching the monitor and high-fiving their boss's performance. -New York Times - 4/10/03

Iraq's weapons 'must be found'
In an interview with Spanish daily El Pais, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix hinted he believed Iraq's contended possession of weapons of mass destruction had served as a pretext for a US-led invasion. "There is evidence this war was planned well in advance," he said. -BBC - 4/10/03

Symbolic in more ways than one
The toppling of a giant Baghdad statue of Saddam Hussein, and the part the US played in it, provided plenty to think about, says Brian Whitaker -Guardian - 4/10/03

Robert Fisk: A day that began with shellfire ended with a once-oppressed people walking like giants
The great Lebanese poet Kalil Gibran once wrote that he pitied the nation that welcomed its tyrants with trumpetings and dismissed them with hootings of derision. And the people of Baghdad performed this same deadly ritual yesterday, forgetting that they – or their parents – had behaved in identical fashion when the Arab Socialist Baath Party destroyed the previous dictatorship of Iraq's generals and princes. -Independent - 4/10/03

A foe of Iraq war talks of Iran, N. Korea threat
Howard Dean vaulted to prominence as a Democratic presidential contender by opposing war with Iraq, but yesterday the former governor of Vermont said he would not rule out using military force to disarm North Korea or Iran if they have, or move to obtain, nuclear weapons. -Boston Globe - 4/10/03

Turkey, Iran Both Seek Friendship in Uncertain Times
As American-led troops take control in Iraq, the Turkish government that declined to host them is pursuing alliances elsewhere in the region. Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi paid a sudden visit to Turkey on April 6, following US Secretary of State Colin Powell by four days. -Eurasianet - 4/10/03

IMF sees strong Middle East growth this year
Economic growth in the Middle East will be strong this year despite the conflict in Iraq, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. The fund is expecting Middle Eastern economies to expand 5.1 percent this year, up from 3.9 percent in 2002. -Reuters - 4/10/03

Short Story: The Rain
Gol-Agha lowered the wick of the oil lamp and put it on the stairs. His glance toward the sky broke and fell. Kuchak Khanoum, who had just spread the straw sofreh (table-cloth) on the ground and was sitting next to it, had her hand under her chin. When she saw Gol-Agha, she said, "So you are here." -Akbar Raadi - 4/10/03

Senator asks $50M to aid Iran dissidents
A leading member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to introduce legislation Wednesday authorizing $50 million a year to aid democratic activists inside Iran seeking a peaceful end to that country's regime. -UPI - 4/9/03

REALPOLITIK; Sociology 101B!
For Israel to feel totally secure against any potential aggression from outside, it must remain the region's unchallenged nuclear power. The thought that Iran could someday be in a position to develop nuclear weapons of its own, worries Israeli leaders. If any nuclear parity evolves between Israel and Iran, Israel's invulnerability become neutralized - this, Israel cannot tolerate. -Kam Zarrabi - 4/9/03

Do not read too much into US threats against Iran, says Blair
British Prime Minister Tony Blair Wednesday played down US military threats against Iran and Syria, suggesting that too much should not be read into the warnings to extend the Iraq war - 4/9/03

Iran not next in U.S. firing line - vice president
A top Iranian official said on Tuesday he did not expect the United States to turn its military might on Iran after the war in Iraq was over, but Washington had other ways to put pressure on Tehran. -Reuters - 4/9/03

Iran endorses U.S. claim on Iraqi shrines
Iran has made a rare conciliatory gesture towards the United States by endorsing the U.S. statement that coalition forces had not damaged the Shiite religion's two holiest shrines in Iraq. -UPI - 4/9/03

Bush Sees Limited Role for U.N. in Postwar Iraq
President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain pledged today to grant the United Nations a "vital role" in post-war Iraq, but Mr. Bush described that role as largely humanitarian and advisory rather than one central to overseeing the country and eventually establishing a new government. -New York Times - 4/9/03

Is this the end?
There's looting and celebration in Baghdad, but the battle may not yet be over -Guardian - 4/9/03

US-backed militia terrorises town
Hay Al Ansar, on the outskirts of Najaf in Iraq, was glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party government, when the city was seized by US forces last week. But they appear to be just as terrified, if not more so, of their new rulers - a little-known Iraqi militia backed by the US special forces and headquartered in a compound nearby. -Financial Times - 4/9/03

Exiled leader returning to Iraq
The leader of Iraq's main Shi'ite opposition group, Ayatollah Mohammad-Baqer Hakim, has said he is going to return home after living in exile in neighbouring Iran for more than two decades. -BBC - 4/9/03

FILM: Special Preview Screening of "Marooned in Iraq" by Bahman Ghobadi on April 18 in New York
Asia Society and Asian CineVision Present a special preview screening of Marooned in Iraq, a film by Bahman Ghobadi - 4/9/03

Iranian Students Denounce U.S., Saddam
Hundreds of Iranian students chanted ``Death to Saddam'' as well as ``Death to America'' while throwing eggs, tomatoes and firecrackers at the British Embassy in Tehran before being dispersed by police Tuesday. -AP - 4/9/03

UK troops appoint Basra 'mayor'
The unnamed cleric will head a committee of local people to run Iraq's second city, where the British have overcome most Iraqi resistance. -BBC - 4/9/03

The Pentagon's (CIA) Man in Iraq
Toward the start of the second Persian Gulf War, I found myself in a room with R. James Woolsey, CIA chief during the first two years of the Clinton administration. A television was turned on, and we both watched a news report on the latest development in the North Korea nuclear drama. -The Nation - 4/9/03

Teenager killed in rocket blast in southwest Iran
A 13-year-old Iranian boy was killed Tuesday afternoon after a rocket, apparently fired by either British or US troops, hit a suburb in the southwestern city of Abadan near the Iraqi city of Basra - 4/9/03

Trip to Iran turned into a life's ordeal
Author Betty Mahmoody tells of struggle for freedom -The News Journal, Delaware - 4/9/03

The Future of Regime Change: Wallowing in Hypocrisy
Ayatollahs in Iran must find Saddam's departure at the hands of his erstwhile sponsors a truly sweet form of poetic justice. But they cannot ignore the ticking of the clock. Saddam's departure will soon reduce the membership of the axis of evil to just North Korea and Iran. -CounterPunch - 4/9/03

The Big News
When I hear people defending US military attack on Iraq because of their hatred of Saddam Hussein (and the interesting point is that it seems those Iranians who were not here during Iran-Iraq war appear more revengeful than the majority of us who lived that war), I feel overwhelmed by a feeling of grief. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 4/9/03

Iranian Official says Guardian Council's approbatory supervision against people's rights
The Secretary General of Iran's Mardomsalari (Democracy) Party, Mostafa Kavakebian, here on Wednesday said the approbatory supervision, as practiced by the Guardian Council (GC) for qualifying elections candidates, contradicts the rights of people - 4/9/03

Poem: My brother is on the plane
This poem may speak to the diaspora of Iranians, whose family members/friends are stretched apart in all corners of the world. It is simply about "jaa-e-khaali," as we say, that a person leaves behind; a kind of silence settles then, as we drive a dear one back to the airport, and wave them goodbye. -Leylanaz Shajii - 4/9/03

Iranian cleric says embassy seizures "radical acts" of the past
Cleric and journalist Taha Hashemi has lashed out at what he described as "radical acts" by certain groups during recent anti-war rallies in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, warning that such measures could harm the Islamic Republic - 4/9/03

Quick Iraq War May Presage More Pressure on Iran
Iran's joy at the likely fall of its hated neighbor Saddam Hussein is tempered by the realization that its other arch-foe, the United States, is likely to intensify pressure for change in the Islamic Republic. -Reuters - 4/9/03

Tracing the roots of America's war in Iraq
'Neocon' architects of a muscular US policy eye more regime changes in the region. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/9/03

Time to Rethink US Foreign Policy Towards Iran
American foreign policy has reached a crossroads that obliges us to rethink how diplomatic lines are drawn. The allies we choose today, particularly in the Middle East, will have a pronounced impact on our future well-being and security. Regrettably, we are bypassing a golden opportunity with the most unthinkable of allies - Iran. -Baha Hariri - 4/9/03

Iran-US Relations: A Cold, Fragile Peace
Many analysts say the issue that most bitterly divides the United States and Iran is Israel. Washington accuses Iran of supporting terrorist groups that attack Israel, while Tehran accuses the United States of "blind support" for Israel at the expense of other regional countries. In fact, according to several analysts, the Israel-Iran rivalry will most probably drive Iran-US relations for the foreseeable future. -Afshin Molavi, Eurasianet - 4/8/03

Call to unite in support of House Resolution 59, which calls for the opening of U.S.-Iran relations
I am writing to you with deep concern regarding a debate currently being held in Congress that will greatly determine the future of U.S.-Iranian relations for years to come. What makes this debate so important is that President Bush's policy toward Iran is yet to be decided. Therefore, Congress could potentially have a great deal of influence on the route he takes. -Ali Scotten - 4/8/03

Outspoken Iranian intellectual Hashem Aghajari meets parliament speaker
University professor Hashem Aghajari, who was initially given a death sentence for blasphemy, went to the Parliament in Tehran on Tuesday to thank Speaker Mehdi Karroubi for trying to secure his release from prison - 4/8/03

Iran Stands Trial in 1983 Suicide Bombing in Beirut
Iran did not send a representative to court, a practice it has followed in all such cases. The defense table in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge John D. Bates was empty yesterday, except for a water pitcher and a blank computer terminal. -Washington Post - 4/8/03

Bringing change in Iran requires keeping our eyes on the ball!
After centuries of harboring anti-Jewish sentiments in our hearts and souls and decades of blaming Israel for everything from the price of tea in China to the plague in Europe, it is not enough to deal with this issue in a passive approach. It is incumbent upon us to take some affirmative action to rid ourselves of this intellectual disease. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 4/8/03

Clash of the administration titans
Old rivals Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld square off in a new battle over how to rebuild a post-Saddam Iraq -CNN - 4/8/03

Speculation mounts over Saddam's fate
A warplane has destroyed a house in Baghdad that US officials say they believe was being used by Saddam Hussein and his sons -Guardian - 4/8/03

Exiled Shia leader plans to return
Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, who was tortured and imprisoned by the Ba'ath party regime and was a target for assassination, has decided to move back to Iraq, his spokesman told the Guardian. - 4/8/03

Frostbitten militants give up struggle
Denied entry into neighbouring Iran, scores of Islamic militants who had retreated into the mountains during recent attacks by US forces are trudging through snow and across fields to surrender to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq. -Age - 4/8/03

The postwar challenge will be hardest
In the coming days, the eyes of the world will be focused on the battle for Baghdad. It is impossible to predict the duration and the intensity of the battle but its outcome is certain: ultimately the US and its coalition partners will prevail. But success depends on much more than the result of that military engagement. -Financial Times - 4/8/03

Suspected execution site actually a morgue
An Iraqi warehouse full of skeletal human remains appears to have been a repatriation facility for soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, not a torture chamber or execution site. -Canada.com - 4/8/03

Second journalist dies after hotel strike
The US admitted it had made "a grave mistake" bombing al-Jazeera and said it had opened fire on the Palestine Hotel after coming under attack from snipers. But that account has been dismissed as "absurd" by journalists working out of the hotel. -Guardian - 4/8/03

Robert Fisk: It seemed as if Baghdad would fall within hours
Amid the crack of gunfire and the tracer streaking across the river, and the huge oil fires that the Iraqis lit to give them cover to retreat, one had to look away – to the great river bridges further north, into the pale green waters of that most ancient of rivers – to realise that a Western army on a moral crusade had broken through to the heart of an Arab city for the first time since General Allenby marched into Jerusalem in 1918. -Independent - 4/8/03

Turkey denies shift in foreign policy
Turkey on Monday insisted that a flurry of contacts with Iran and Syria over the war in neighbouring Iraq did not mean it was forming a tripartite grouping with countries viewed with suspicion by the US. -Financial Times - 4/8/03

Letter from an Iranian-American employee of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
am a young Iranian American woman and an employee of ADSF. One of my interests is building ties between the Iranian American and Arab American communities. ADCSF is a civil rights organization working on issues from INS Special Registration, hate violence and racial profiling, to the support of Palestinian people, to organizing efforts against the war. -Bahar Mirhosseini - 4/8/03

It Is US
Despite the seemingly easily available answers, some questions are perpetually asked. Why does a community not grow and reach political maturity? Why do despots continuously rule a nation? I believe the answer is simple; it is us who foster and promote these kinds of unprincipled tyrants to behave the way they do by being apathetic, oblivious, passive, and inactive. -Hamid Zangeneh - 4/8/03

Supervising board criticizes Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting for pro-Iraq reporting of war
The supervising board of state TV has criticized the network for biased reporting of the Iraqi crisis in favor of the Iraqi regime, cautioning that this could threaten Iran's interests - 4/8/03

Women’s rights at stake
A dramatic development shocked most delegates and observers on the last day of the 47th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Only half an hour before the 15-day session was to end, Iran’s representative, supported by delegates from Egypt and Sudan, rose to register his government’s objection to paragraph (o) -Women’s Feature Service - 4/8/03

Israeli and Russian Official Hint Bushehr May Be Targeted During Iraqi War
Of all the middle-eastern thorns currently vexing the side of the US administration, one, in theory, would seem easy to eradicate, especially under cover of the more intense than expected US-led war to bring down Saddam Hussein. That thorn is the Russian-built, $800m light water reactor in the Iranian port town of Bushehr, located just 300 kilometres across the Persian Gulf from the battlefields in southern Iraq. -Bellona - 4/7/03

Iran finishes runner-up in Bulgaria's wrestling `Dan Kolov Cup'
All-star freestyle wrestling team of Golestan, the representative of Iran, stood second in an international tournament, Dan Kolov Cup, held in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, on Sunday - 4/7/03

Message in a movie
No one could sit through Michael Winterbottom's acclaimed film "In This World" without feeling sympathetic to its hero, an Afghan teenager who embarks on an epic journey to London in search of a better life. But will it change anyone's mind about asylum? -Guardian - 4/7/03

US troops storm central Baghdad
American tanks and armoured vehicles have penetrated deep into the centre of the Iraqi capital, raiding President Saddam Hussein's main palace and attacking several other sites. -BBC - 4/7/03

Streets littered with Iraqi corpses as troops close in on the centre of Kerbala
American ground forces closed in on the centre of the Shia holy city of Kerbala yesterday, sending tanks through the streets and directing artillery fire on to sniper positions. Smoke canisters screened infantry advances. -Guardian - 4/7/03

British forces 'find Chemical Ali's body'
British forces today claimed to have found the body of Ali Hassan al-Majid, the man known as Chemical Ali after ordering a poison gas attack that killed thousands of Kurds in 1988. -Guardian - 4/7/03

Robert Fisk: The Allied grip tightens on Baghdad
On the streets, grim evidence of a bloody battle -Independent - 4/7/03

While Many Islamic Fighters Surrender, Kurds Remain Wary
Mr. Talabani said hundreds of militants had been taken into custody by Iranian intelligence officials at border crossings. He said he had asked Iran to extradite them all. -New York Times - 4/7/03

Blind Iranian judoists win two golds in France
Iran's poor-sighted and blind judokas bagged two gold, one silver, and one bronze medals in an international tournament in France on Sunday. In men's team competitions, Iran finished runner-up. - 4/7/03

Iraqi opposition force in S Iraq
The deployment, which is said to have begun on Friday night, will move about 1,000 men to a base in southern Iraq controlled by coalition forces. The force is under the control of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader, Ahmed Chalabi, who will accompany his troops into Iraq. -BBC - 4/7/03

EU says dialogue process with Iran going well
The third round of EU-Iran negotiations on a trade and cooperation (TCA) agreement that begins in Brussels Tuesday will cover detailed discussions on issues related with justice and home affairs and science and technology. - 4/7/03

Quake relief, rescue bases to be set up in Tehran province
Managing Director of Tehran province Red Crescent Society (TRCS) Hamid-Reza Dehqan predicted on Monday that in case of occurrence of earthquake in Tehran, 10 outlets and suburban relief and rescue bases will extend their relief services to the quake-hit citizens - 4/7/03

Iranian MPs lash out at IRIB for "biased" coverage of Iraqi crisis
Still, many believe that the TV, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), has been to a large extent in favor of the Iraqi regime in covering the crisis, with several others regretting that the institution was turning a blind eye to the fact that Iraq had imposed an eight-year bloody war on Iran. - 4/7/03

US fears evil motives over EU links with Iran
The rift between the US and Europe over Iran has seldom been more stark. While Washington warns Tehran of reprisals if it joins the war in Iraq, the EU continues to engage with a country that President George W. Bush has described as part of an "axis of evil". -Financial Times - 4/7/03

Iran's Kharrazi Shrugs Off U.S. Warnings on Iraq
"These warnings from America are nothing new. U.S. policy in the region is, 'You are either with us or against us.' We have heard these warnings from America for years," Kharrazi told reporters after talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.-Reuters - 4/6/03

Karroubi hopes Iran's Parliament will not refer bill on elections to Expediency Council
Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on Sunday expressed hope that the bill on an amendment to the election law would not be referred to the Expediency Council (EC) for arbitration - 4/6/03

Narges Mohammadi's appeal referred to Revolutionary Court: lawyer
Mohammadi, the wife of political dissident Taqi Rahmani, has already received a one-year term for charges of insulting state officials following her interviews with the press about the imprisonment of her husband. - 4/6/03

Australia would not follow Americans into Iran or Syria, says Downer
The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said yesterday that Australia would not be involved in any United States-led military action in Iran or Syria, if Washington chose that path. -Sydney Morning Herald - 4/6/03

U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman Hosts Reza Pahlavi of Iran
"The people of Iran are good people with a rich cultural history, but they are suffocating under a repressive regime that supports terrorism," said Sherman. "The United States needs to lead civilized nations in an organized effort against the clerical regime, for the benefit of human rights, as well as bringing an end to the regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and its support of terrorism." - 4/6/03

The Battle of Baghdad
The Iraqi bodies were piled high in the pick-up truck in front of me, army boots hanging over the tailboard, a soldier with a rifle sitting beside them. Beside the highway, a squad of troops was stacking grenades as the ground beneath us vibrated with the impact of US air strikes. The area was called Qadisiya. It was Iraq's last front line. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 4/6/03

Human remains 'are Iranian soldiers
Human remains found in an abandoned Iraqi military base are those of Iranian soldiers killed in the Iran-Iraq war, an Iranian general has said. -BBC - 4/6/03

British troops advance into Basra
Basra, Iraq's second city, is today facing its biggest assault since the war began, with reports that British troops have reached the Ba'ath party headquarters. -Guardian - 4/6/03

US Undermined Arms Control System That Was Already Deadlocked
The Bush administration's war to disarm Iraq and its increasingly unilateral approach to international disputes, say arms control experts, are helping to paralyze one of the most hopeful products of the post-World War II era: the global arms control and disarmament movement. -Common Dreams - 4/6/03

US defence department will take lead after war, White House insists
The US yesterday relegated the United Nations to a supporting role in the creation of apost-Saddam government in Iraq, leaving it to the US-led coalition to take the lead. -Financial Times - 4/6/03

Iran's outspoken intellectual Hashem Aghajari given home leave: source
Hashem Aghajari, an outspoken university professor who has escaped death sentence once, has gone on temporary home leave from prison in the western Iranian city of Hamedan - 4/6/03

BBC cameraman's last moments
On Wednesday 2 April, BBC cameraman Kaveh Golestan was killed and producer Stuart Hughes injured by landmines near Kifri in northern Iraq. BBC correspondent Jim Muir, who was with them, sent this account of the incident. - 4/6/03

Iran's Parliament empowers president to stop court proceedings
Iran's Parliament on Sunday passed a legislation empowering the president to stop implementation of a verdict or legal proceedings at the court of justice whenever he deems them to be contrary to constitutional provisions - 4/6/03

President voices Iran's concern about Iraq war in meeting with Spanish FM
President Mohammad Khatami and visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio on Saturday exchanged views about Tehran-Madrid relations and the current developments in the region - 4/5/03

Report: Powell Refutes Syria-Iran Claims
Iraq should be ruled by its own people and American forces will not invade Syria and Iran after liberating Baghdad, Secretary of State Colin Powell was quoted as saying in an interview published Saturday. -AP - 4/5/03

Iraq War Prompts Most Central Asian Leaders to Reevaluate US Ties
Concern appears to be growing in Central Asia that US action in Iraq will do more to destabilize the region than to promote prosperity. -Eurasianet - 4/5/03

Some 500,000 Afghan migrants to return home from Iran
The tripartite Afghan repatriation agreement was jointly signed by Iran, Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland on March 3, 2002 and became effective in Iran on April 9. - 4/5/03

Iranian Immigrant Jailed Despite Efforts By Immigration Officials
Masoud Khoshnevis, 41, is a legal immigrant and an engineer for a San Diego road construction company. He has been detained since early February, when Iranian immigrants across the country were told to register at immigration offices, according to the Los Angeles Times. - 4/5/03

Young People Try to Contribute During War
Sarah Abedi, a teen from southern California, is helping raise money for Iraqi families. For Abedi, motivation to help has come partly from stories about war and political upheaval told by her parents, who fled Iran during the revolution there in the 1970s. -Guardian - 4/5/03

Saddam was not always Washington's 'demon'
Evil tyrant" or tactical ally? Saddam Hussein has been both to the United States over the past 20 years, depending on where it saw its interests. -Reuters - 4/5/03

EU reiterates that MKO a terrorist group
The European Union has reiterated that the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) remains a terrorist group - 4/5/03

Iran TV channel targets Iraq
A new 24-hour Arabic-language television channel called Al-Alam - "The World" - is broadcasting to Iraq from neighbouring Iran. -BBC - 4/5/03

CIA Releases More Records From Noah's Ark
Insight has obtained additional records concerning the Freedom of Information Act request it filed three years ago concerning the federal government's "Noah's Ark" file. - 4/5/03

The spectre of Beirut
An "invasion" brings to Arab minds images of Israel, a US ally still occupying Arab lands. Iraqi prisoners of war are compared by Arabs to Palestinians captured through Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. -Financial Times - 4/5/03

Turf War Rages in Washington Over Who Will Rule Iraq
The Bush administration was scrambling to finalize an interim government for post-war Iraq yesterday, amid a turf war pitting the Pentagon and the Vice-President's office against the State Department and Congress in Washington. -Common Dreams - 4/5/03

US forces 'in Baghdad'
The US military said today its troops would continue moving into Baghdad as and when it chose, but that the war against Saddam Hussein's forces was "far from over". -Guardian - 4/5/03

From Baghdad to Damascus
Last Sunday, Rumsfeld predicted that after his warning to the Syrians, “My guess is that they’ll be more careful.” But on Thursday, when asked whether he had seen any signs of change, he replied, “Syria is continuing to conduct itself the way it was prior to the time I said what I said.” -MSNBC - 4/5/03

A tribute to Kaveh Golestan
The ambulance carrying Kaveh Golestan's body snaked into the scenic mountains of Northern Iraq toward the Iranian border yesterday. At the various checkpoints along the way, the Peshmerga guards stepped aside to let our convoy pass and gave salute to a man they did not know. But perhaps they did know one thing: That the journalist had died in honor. He had died while telling the world stories about their people. He had died doing what he loved best. As far as they were concerned, he was a hero and worthy of a hero's salutation. -Farnaz Fassihi - 4/4/03

U.S.: Iran will infiltrate 5 Iraqi cities
Iran's senior leadership decided last month to send irregular paramilitary units across their border with Iraq to harass American soldiers once Saddam Hussein's regime fell, according to U.S. intelligence reports. -UPI - 4/4/03

Iran's President invites foreign investment in Kish projects
President Mohammad Khatami on Thursday called on Iranians living abroad to give the economy a boost by investing in Kish Island's development projects - 4/4/03

Congress, State spar over Iran exile group
A long-simmering dispute between the State Department and dozens of members of Congress broke into the open this week after a report that an Iranian exile group was fighting in Iraq on behalf of Saddam Hussein. -Washington Times - 4/4/03

Mixed Feelings About War on Iran-Iraq Border
For more than two weeks now the battle raging in southern Iraq around the city of Basra, 30 miles away, has shaken the people of Abadan out of their beds, illuminated the night sky with terrifying flashes and sent many fleeing for safety. -Reuters - 4/4/03

Kaveh Golestan: 1950-2003
I first sought out Kaveh's father in 1946 when, as an eager young foreign correspondent, I was having difficulty getting into Soviet-occupied Iranian Azerbaijan, then the top story of the cold war in the Middle East. Ibrahim was the 25-year-old editor of the paper produced by Tudeh, the Soviet-manipulated leftwing nationalist party. -Andrew Roth, Guardian - 4/4/03

A picture of a lost journalist
Kaveh Golestan (pictured), Iran's most renowned photo-journalist, was killed by a landmine in northern Iraq on Wednesday at the age of 52 . He was an artist and inspiration to a new generation of photographers who were not even born when he covered the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Guy Dinmore, Financial Times - 4/4/03

Shell re-starts 60,000 bpd Soroosh field off Iran
Shell had suspended production at Soroosh on March 18, citing worries over the looming war in neighbouring Iraq. Soroosh is close to Iraqi territorial waters. -Reuters - 4/4/03

Kurdish diary: The opposition senses change
These are confusing times for the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein, and I came to Dokan expecting to find the Iraqi National Congress downbeat. The US state department has again been spinning against the INC leader, Ahmed Chalabi, whom they have long resented despite his long-standing backing from the Pentagon and ability to coax financial support from the US Congress. -Financial Times - 4/4/03

Turkey Juggles U.S., Iran and Syria Ties Over Iraq
As the U.S.-led war on Iraq gathers heat, Turkey is juggling its close ties to Washington with high-level contacts with Iran and Syria, both fiercely opposed to the war and deeply mistrusted by the United States. -Reuters - 4/4/03

Iran says US more threatening than Iraq, never wants US victory
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the Islamic Republic is strongly against the ongoing war on Iraq, and voiced concern that the threats posed by the US to Iran are far greater than those by Saddam and the Baathist regime of Iraq. - 4/4/03

Privatise this war!
The following article is reprinted from the journal of the Washington Freedom Association, which has been hugely influential in shaping George Bush's foreign policy due to its uncompromising far-right Republican outlook in easy-to-read large print. -Guardian - 4/4/03

What We Do Now: A Peace Agenda
As the Bush Administration continues its illegal and unjust military invasion of Iraq, we must steel ourselves for the difficult days that lie ahead. We must also recognize that our work for peace has only just begun. -Nation - 4/4/03

Confusion shrouds Shia 'fatwa'
Confusion now shrouds a US claim on Thursday that Iraq's supreme Shia Muslim cleric had issued a religious decree calling on the populace not to impede coalition forces. -BBC - 4/4/03

Clerics' blessing sought for Shia uprising
US military spokesmen in Qatar said the Najaf-based Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the highest Shia authority in Iraq, has issued an official proclamation ordering the local population to [remain] calm and not interfere with coalition forces". -Financial Times - 4/4/03

Hardliners snub plan for free elections in Iran
Iran's hardliners have launched a serious challenge to reformers by rejecting a plan to hold free parliamentary elections. -Financial Times - 4/3/03

Lessons from the fall of ancient Babylon
But it was a prize of unsurpassed richness when, in 539BC, the Persian king Cyrus besieged the city. Herodotus tells us that Cyrus was on the point of giving up when a soldier suggested diverting the Euphrates north of the city until it became so shallow that the Persians could enter Babylon along the river bed under its mighty walls. That was the first capture of Babylon - an example of lateral thinking that the Americans could take heed of as they attack Baghdad.-Financial Times - 4/3/03

Iranian Reformists Back Hardliners Against War
Back in March Mostafa Boroumandi, a self-made tycoon, could not wait for the war in Iraq to begin. For Boroumandi, as for many progressive people in Teheran, this would be a move to break a pattern of repressive regimes in the region. Today he speaks a different language. -IPS - 4/3/03

Caspian: Turkmenistan, Iran Appear To Agree On Approach For Dividing Sea
Turkmenistan and Iran appear to have agreed on an approach for dividing the Caspian Sea that could slow progress toward a five-nation settlement instead of speeding it up. -RFE - 4/3/03

US and EU clash over UN Iraq role
Germany's chancellor, Gerhard Schrôder, told the German parliament today that "reconstruction is much more than repairing buildings, oil wells and infrastructure". "The real reconstruction of the society won't be achieved with a few contracts for companies," he said. "It is vital that reconstruction is organised under the auspices of the United Nations." -Guardian - 4/3/03

Iraqis fear Americans may run country after war
Among the more bizarre elements of US plans is the suggestion that James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, should be considered for the top job in the administration of Iraq. -Financial Times - 4/3/03

ConocoPhillips cuts deal to review of Iran, Syria work
As part of the deal announced Wednesday, Conoco Chief Executive Jim Mulva is charged with creating a plan to ensure his company's activities comply with the letter and spirit of U.S. government restrictions on business activities in "sensitive countries." -Reuters - 4/3/03

Kaveh Golestan, BBC cameraman, dies in Iraq after stepping on a landmine
Mr Golestan was a Pulitzer-prize winning freelance cameraman who worked for the BBC's Tehran bureau. "Kaveh Golestan was an outstanding photojournalist who had worked in support of freedom of expression in his native Iran and elsewhere and was well known to many western news organisations. He is survived by a wife and a 19-year-old son. -BBC - 4/3/03

War memories haunt Turkey's Kurds
In southeastern Turkey, the US invasion of Iraq is viewed with mixed emotions -Christian Science Monitor - 4/3/03

Intel, former employee to face off in high court
Often questioned about why he has kept after Intel, Hamidi views the company's attack on him as an attack on the freedom he sought when he fled Iran in the late 1970s to become a U.S. citizen. -San Jose Mercury - 4/3/03

School Year Opens New World for Afghan Children
For the first time in his young life, Afghan Zabiollah, a one-time refugee, washer boy and carpet maker, is going to school. -Reuters - 4/3/03

Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates
How many children, in how many classrooms, over how many centuries, have hang-glided through the past, transported on the wings of these words? And now the bombs are falling, incinerating and humiliating that ancient civilization -Common Dreams - 4/3/03

Farmer (in California) goes nuts for pistachios
'WHEN I was growing up in Iran," reminisces pistachio farmer Ahmad Dalvi, "we would spend hours sitting around shelling 'green,' or unripe, pistachios. We liked to smash them up and mix them with feta cheese, then eat them spread on lavosh or pita bread. I sell green pistachios because they have a lot of childhood memories for me." -Alameda Times-Star - 4/3/03

Sociology 101A
In a perfect world the ideal and the practical are one and the same. As the species of life evolved on our planet, success in the struggle for survival depended on the effectiveness of each species' tools and methods of control and dominance; whatever worked and by whatever means. There was no good or bad, moral or immoral, legal or illegal, until a self-conscious species showed up on the scene. -Kam Zarrabi - 4/3/03

Traditional symbolic day of Sizdeh Bedar is observed nationwide in Iran
On the 13th day (Sizdeh Bedar) of the New Iranian Year (started March 21), known as the Nature Day, people have been pouring into parks, mountain slopes, recreational centers on Wednesday morning to spend the day in the nature, according to an ancient tradition - 4/3/03

Quiet Cooperation as U.S., Iran Battle Common Enemy
Despite their declared enmity and public clashes over terrorism and nuclear reactors, Tehran and Washington have been quietly cooperating in waging the war on their common enemy, Saddam Hussein. -Forward - 4/3/03

Straw distances UK from threats to Syria and Iran
Britain distanced itself from US sabre rattling yesterday, insisting it would have "nothing to do" with threats from Washington against Iran and Syria and announcing a relaxation of export controls on dual-use civilian and military equipment for Iran. -Guardian - 4/3/03

Renowned Iranian photo-journalist killed in Iraq's Kurdistan
Renowned Iranian cameraman and photo-journalist, Kaveh Golestan got killed while working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Iraq's Kurdistan Province - 4/3/03

The Caspian Sea in the 21st Century
The Persian section of the VOA has recently talked to one of our frequent contributors, Dr. Bahman Aghai Diba regarding his newly published book: "The Caspian Sea in the 21st Century". Here is the translation of the points discussed in the interview, which was broadcasted on four parts on 24th and 25th of Feb. 2003. - 4/2/03

Daughter of Iran Revolution Struggles Against the Veil
When it comes to credentials in Iran's Islamic Republic, Zahra Eshraghi's are cast in gold. Her grandfather was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the cleric who overthrew a king and led a revolution in the name of Islam. Her husband's brother is the reformist president, Mohammad Khatami. And her husband, Mohammad Reza Khatami, is the head of the reformist wing of Parliament. -New York Times - 4/2/03

Straw: UK will not attack Syria or Iran
Britain would have "nothing whatever" to do with military action against Syria or Iran, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, signalled today. "Iran is an emerging democracy and there would be no case whatsoever for taking any kind of action." -Guardian - 4/2/03

Iran ‘terrorist’ group finds support on Hill
Some members of Congress are refusing to drop their support of a Middle Eastern group, even though the State Department says its terrorist fighters are attacking U.S. and coalition troops in southern Iraq. “They’re a combatant,” said Greg Sullivan, a spokesman for the State Department’s Near East Affairs bureau. “They’re being targeted. -The Hill, DC - 4/2/03

Saudis revive exile plan for Saddam
With Arab public opinion enraged by the war and rulers worried that a long conflict would destabilise the rest of the region and fuel a surge in terrorism, all governments are under pressure to appear to be seeking an end to the US-led invasion. -Financial Times - 4/2/03

Wider still and wider: American tactics are helping Saddam
Threatening the neighbours is hardly the best way to rally Muslim support, or at least to elicit Muslim and Arab understanding, for America's cause in Iraq. But in recent days, senior Bush administration figures have gone out of their way to warn Syria, Iran and others of unspecified unpleasant consequences should they in any way interpose themselves between Washington and its objectives. -Guardian - 4/2/03

IRAN: Students enrol for degree in human rights
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has assisted the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Tehran to establish MA and PhD degree courses in human rights, and also to establish the Centre for Human Rights Studies. The facility, which will also function as a national think-tank on human rights issues, was inaugurated in January 2001. - 4/2/03

Spring Production of Les Ballets Persans
The Ballet and Song Concert of La Femme (The Woman) - Stockholm Concert Hall, 4 May 2003 - 4/2/03

British Military Critical of US Troops' Heavy-Handed Style with Civilians
General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the army, drove home the point at a press conference in London on Friday. "We have a very considerable hearts and minds challenge," he said, adding: "We are not interested in gratuitous violence." -Common Dreams - 4/2/03

Restoration of Neishabour historical site
Under the reign of Taherian dynasty, Neishabour was once the capital city of Iran. A myriad of archaic monuments and sites remaining from the historical city, whose population exceeded two million, consist of Ahangaran, Sabz-Poushan, Tarbabad and Madreseh hills as well as Tappeh and Shdyakh canals. - 4/2/03

Iran's Sept. 11 theories and feelings about Iraq
While the U.S. was building up its forces in February for a war with Iraq, I decided to visit my old country, one of Iraq's neighbors, Iran. I had not been back in over 20 years. In so many ways I was a stranger in a place where I was born. Everywhere I went, people wanted me to tell them "the real story" behind the attack on the World Trade Center. -Ramin Talaie, Downtown Express - 4/2/03

Letter From Iran - Why a Left-Leaning Feminist Backs the Pentagon
When does living in a colony look better than life in an independent nation? An Iranian American woman, educated in the West and now living in Tehran with her two children, is rooting for the United States in its war in Iraq. -PNS - 4/2/03

Iran: Tehran Walks A Tightrope In Iraqi Conflict
While officially opposing the U.S.-led war on Iraq, Iran simultaneously appears to have reached a tacit understanding with Washington. RFE/RL looks at what lies behind Iran's practical neutrality in the conflict in neighboring Iraq. - 4/2/03

Iranian Policy-Makers Walk on Thin Ice as War Rages Across the Border
In Abadan, a southwestern Iranian city known for its gentle breezes from the Arvand River, a group of Iranians gather each night to watch the fighting just across the border in Iraq. Meanwhile, in the Iranian capital of Tehran, policy-makers are also watching the war closely – with decidedly mixed feelings. -Afshin Molavi, Eurasianet - 4/1/03

Happy new year from Tehran
If Iranians aren't excited by the prospect of Saddam's fall, it's because they've become cynics - as cynical a people as I have known in the decade I've spent writing about south Asia and the Middle East. The defeat suffered by President Muhammad Khatami's reform movement, illustrated by its terrible showing in last month's council elections, was the last nail in the coffin of Iranian innocence. -Guardian - 4/1/03

Analysis: US warns Syria and Iran
The United States has raised the stakes in the Middle East by warning Syria and Iran not to get involved in the Iraq war, and to follow what Secretary of State Colin Powell called "acceptable patterns of behaviour". -BBC - 4/1/03

Truck smashes into UK's Iran embassy
A pick-up truck has crashed into a compound wall of the British embassy in Tehran, killing the driver. The vehicle, which was carrying two 50-gallon drums of petrol, instantly exploded in flames, according to witnesses. -BBC - 4/1/03

U.S. Anti-War Movement Breaks Ranks with the '60s
Peace vigils and rallies against war in Iraq are taking place out in U.S. towns and cities, drawing hundreds of thousands of participants. Participants in current anti-war protests cut across the spectrum of ages, races and backgrounds and include many who would consider themselves mainstream Americans. -Common Dreams - 4/1/03

US draws up secret plan to impose new regime on Iraq
A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate period after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. -Common Dreams - 4/1/03

Rice lays out US vision on Mideast
Condoleezza Rice, US national security adviser, on Monday reiterated Washington's stern warnings to Syria and Iran, and spoke of President George W.Bush's vision of spreading democracy through the Middle East. -Financial Times - 4/1/03

Berating the Generals: The Siege of Washington
Myers, on two occasions, appeared to differ with Rumsfeld. One was on the issue of Iran's conduct during the war. Myers said Iran had done nothing to make him unhappy. Rumsfeld, however, chastised Iran for supporting and training Iraqi Shia militia in Iraq. In a few days, Rumsfeld obliquely warned both Iran and Syria of the potential for U.S. retaliation against them. -CounterPunch - 4/1/03

Why 2003 is not 1991
Iraq's Shi'ite majority was thought so hostile to Saddam's Sunni-led regime that they would welcome invasion. Reality is more complex -Guardian - 4/1/03

Iran-based Arabic channel wins Baghdad viewers
An Iranian-based Arabic television news station opposed to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraqis drawing viewers in Baghdad where it offers residents analternative to the government's propaganda machine. -Reuters - 4/1/03

Iraqi Shiites in Iran await Saddam's fall
Thousands of Iraqi Shiites who fled into Iran to escape repression by Saddam Hussein are poised to return home if he is dethroned, with some bringing extra baggage: strong anti-American sentiment. -AP - 4/1/03

Momeni Foundation accepting scholarship applications for 2003-2004 academic year
All students of Iranian descent who are planning to attend college, or are currently attending college are eligible to apply. - 4/1/03

Iranian Student Foundation celebrates Norouz
The Iranian Student Foundation brought a further celebration of Norouz, the Iranian/Persian New Year, to the Red Barn on Saturday night through events which involved music, dance, and of course, free Iranian food. -Louisville Cardinal - 4/1/03

EU says dialogue with Iran to continue
The EU Tuesday underlined that the US threats against Syria and Iran will have no affect on Brussels' ties with the two Middle Eastern countries - 4/1/03

Iran rejects Powell's terrorism accusations as baseless
The US unwavering support of Israel's state terrorism is a clear proof of US's double standards on defining, identifying and combating terrorism, Asefi underlined. - 4/1/03

After Iraq, Bush to halt Iran nuke program
When war ends in Iraq, the Bush administration will give "extremely high priority" to halting a secret nuclear weapons program in neighboring Iran, a senior administration official said Monday. -Knight Ridder Newspapers - 4/1/03

Iran hopes US coalition will destroy Mujahedeen
Iran may have condemned the war raging just over the border in Iraq, but it is nevertheless hoping that the US-led coalition forces will knock out the leading Iranian armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen. -AFP - 4/1/03

'Sizdeh-be Dar' -- A symbolic day in history of Iran
"According to stories recorded in ancient books on the 13th day of the New Iranian Year, on such a day Iranians used to pray for spring rainfalls" - 4/1/03
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