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US State Department maintains Iran on state sponsor of terrorism list
US State Department issued it's annual report on Patterns of Global Terrorism on April 29, 2004. The report maintained the State Department's designation of Iran, Libya and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. Following are excerpts of the report. - 4/30/04

UK makes exception to embargo against Iran for pipeline parts
Britain is making an exception to its continuing arms embargo against Iran to be able to supply pipeline parts that were originally designed and used for military aircraft engines. - 4/30/04

Renowned Iranian humorist Kiumars Saberi Foumani (Gol Agha) passes away
Saberi passed away Friday morning at the age of 63. He was suffering from a blood disorder and had been under medical care at Mehr Hospital here over the past month. - 4/30/04

International Labor Day observed in Tehran
A large number of workers held a rally here on Friday on the eve of the International Labor Day, calling for defending the rights of workers. - 4/30/04

Iraqi Prison Photos Mar U.S. Image
Photos of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners drew international condemnation on Friday, prompting the stark conclusion that the U.S. campaign to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis is a lost cause. -Common Dreams - 4/30/04

US State Department Sees Mideast As Region Of 'Greatest Concern' In Terrorism War
The report maintained the State Department's designation of Iran, Libya and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. -VOA - 4/30/04

About a girl
A young star under the veil dreams of life beyond Kabul in Osama, writes Carlotta Gall. -Sydney Morning Herald - 4/30/04

Iraqi abuse photos spark shock
Images of US soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners at a notorious jail near Baghdad have sparked shock and anger. -BBC - 4/30/04

Iran starstruck by UFO phenomenon
UFO fever is gripping Iran after dozens of Unidentified Flying Object sightings in the last few days. -BBC - 4/30/04

Iranian women protest over polygamy
Around 250 people, mostly women, protested Wednesday against state-run Iranian TV for airing a series that promoted polygamy, saying it was evidence that the hard-line Islamic state was trampling women's rights. -AP - 4/30/04

Iran: Ayatollah Khomeini's Grandson tells VOA Rushdie Fatwa was Wrong
Seyyed Hossein Khomeini, a Shi'ite Islamic cleric like his grandfather the late Ayatollah Khomeini, told the Voice of America had he been in his grandfather's shoes he "would never have taken such an action as issuing the fatwa against Salman Rushdie." - 4/30/04

US scholars woo Iran with return of ancient tablets
The tablets are being returned by the oriental institute of the University of Chicago, which is trying to re-establish relations with Iranian scholars and archaeological sites. -Guardian - 4/30/04

Iranian women hold gathering in Tehran to protest portrayal of women on national television
The Women Cultural Center (WCC) in Tehran along with several other women organizations and groups helped arrange a gathering for those who wished to express their disgust or dismay towards policies for the projection of women’s role on Iran’s National Television Programs. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/30/04

Cleric's torture ban recognises Iran's record
The head of the Iranian judiciary issued an order yesterday banning the use of torture and other abuses: an unprecedented acknowledgement of the regime's record of repression. -Guardian - 4/29/04

Iran: Nation's Youth Warned To Beware Of 'Sharks' While Surfing The Internet
Iranian police are warning the nation's youth about the dangers of the Internet. In a statement, the police praise the advantages of the Internet while also warning young people to beware of immoral websites. -RFE - 4/29/04

Experts Back in Modern Iran to Again Study Ancient Persia
After an absence of a quarter-century, Western archaeologists are trickling back into Iran, encouraged by local officials seeking wider scientific contacts with foreigners.-New York Times - 4/29/04

UN Security Council Adopts Resolution to Prevent WMD Transfers to Terrorists
The United States scored a diplomatic victory at the United Nations Wednesday. All 15 Security Council members voted for a U.S. drafted resolution on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists and other so-called non-state actors. -VOA - 4/29/04

Iran approves foreign bank branches
Iran's Parliament Wednesday approved a proposal to let branches of foreign banks and credit institutions operate anywhere in the country, instead of being restricted as now to free-trade zones, state radio reported. -Daily Star - 4/29/04

US force 'to pull out of Falluja'
US marines have agreed a withdrawal from positions in the flashpoint Iraqi city of Falluja, according to an American military commander. -BBC - 4/29/04

Tripartite Iran, Afghanistan, UNHCR meeting held in Kabul
The tripartite meeting of Iran, Afghanistan and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was held here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of the Afghan Deputy Minister for Refugees and Repatriation Mohammad Naim Ghiacy. - 4/29/04

Iran keen on cooperation with Caspian states on oil shipment
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Thursday Iran is keen on cooperation with neighboring Caspian states for shipping oil to outside world. - 4/29/04

Iranians Captivated by UFO Sighting
The Iranian news agency said that residents in and near the city of Isfahan watched an unidentified flying object with an orange and white glow dance through the skies for about an hour Monday night. Unidentified objects with blinking lights were also reported Tuesday in the skies over several other Iranian cities, including the south-central city of Kashan. -VOA - 4/29/04

Iran's President: Caspian Sea, sea of peace, friendship
Addressing inauguration ceremony of the first phase of a project to pipe oil from neighboring Caspian states to Iranian refineries, he expressed the hope that a lasting legal regime for the sea would be drawn up through cooperation among all the neighbor states. - 4/29/04

Iran: Women at work in Tehran
I was walking in the streets of Tehran yesterday when I saw these young university students doing some field work in the streets. I was so impressed that I could not resist taking some pictures from them. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/29/04

University of Chicago returns ancient Persian tablets loaned by Iran
The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute is returning a set of 300 ancient Iranian tablets, documents that provide details of the inner workings of the administration of the ancient Persian Empire, to the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, the national antiquities department, in the first return of loaned archaeological items there since the 1979 revolution. - 4/29/04

The Iranian Parliamentary Elections and US-Iran Relations
The Iranian Revanchists, known as “conservatives,” have won the parliamentary elections. Some called it a coup as candidates were screened and votes rigged. President Bush expressed disappointment and sent a supportive message to the Iranian people. Ironically, those who express the deepest regret at the results are the same people who boycotted the elections and made every effort to discredit the reformers. It is like shooting a victim and then crying for the dead. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 4/28/04

The Young Flemish Socialist, in Ghent, Belgium honor Shirin Ebadi
My phone rang on Wednesday before the Norouz and my friend Feri from Brussels asked me if I could send her my pictures that I had taken from Bam and which were published in Payvand, to be put on display at an event that was staged and organized by YFSG during which they were to honor Mrs. Ebadi and present her with a cash award for Bam. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/28/04

Iran: Tehran's Public Court issues $600 million verdict against US to pay to Sardasht residents
Tehran Public Court has passed a verdict ordering the US government to pay dlrs 600 million compensation for Iranian nationals from the northwestern town of Sardasht who were the victims of Iraqi chemical attack. - 4/28/04

Leveling the playing field for Iranian-American businesses!
NIAC will follow a two-track strategy that includes petitioning the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to recognize Iranian Americans as eligible for the 8(a) business development program. At the same time, NIAC will assist Iranian-American businesses with their individual applications for qualification to this principal program. - 4/28/04

Film mocking the mullahs is a hit in Iran
A comic film that dares to mock the powerful Islamic clergy has become a surprise box-office hit in Iran's staid theocracy. -Guardian - 4/28/04

UN nuclear chief to visit Israel
A spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he was likely to travel to the country in July although an agenda was not finalised. In December, Mr ElBaradei urged Israel - a member of the IAEA - to surrender its alleged nuclear weapons. -BBC - 4/28/04

European Muslims search for identity
As the European Union gets bigger and more diverse with the entry of 10 new members in less than a week, the question of European identity and minorities will once again spring to the fore - including that of Europe's largest religious minority, the Muslims. -BBC - 4/28/04

Central Asia: Is Uzbekistan The Source Of Regional Extremism?
Mounting concerns about extremism in Central Asia are focusing increasingly on Uzbekistan -- the country where most extremist acts are committed. RFE/RL reports on possible explanations for Uzbekistan's rising role as the hub of Central Asian terrorism. -RFE - 4/28/04

Iran exported 1.1 billion dollars worth of agricultural goods last year
Some 1.1 billion dollars worth of agricultural goods have been exported from the country during the last Iranian year of 1382 (ending on March 19, 2004). - 4/28/04

Minor quake rattles northeastern Iranian town of Qaen
A minor earthquake, measuring 3.3 degrees on the Richter scale rattled the town of Qaen, in this northeastern province Tuesday night. - 4/28/04

US Warns Loopholes in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Creating Crisis
Mr. Bolton called Iran "one of the most fundamental challenges to the non-proliferation regime" and said Iran has concealed a "large scale covert nuclear weapons program for 18 years." In comments to the media later, Mr. Bolton said the Security Council must deal with the issue of Iran or risk losing its credibility. -VOA - 4/28/04

EIU increases Iran's GDP growth forecast to 4 percent this year
For the second successive month, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has upped its forecast of GDP growth in Iran both for the current fiscal year and for 2003/04. - 4/28/04

Needed: A Major Paradigm Shift
There is indeed an urgent need for a major paradigm shift, a meaningful reappraisal of America’s foreign policies, alliances, and choice of friends and enemies. To start, those entrusted with the task of deciding our policies in the Middle East must be selected more carefully and their true allegiances better scrutinized. -Kam Zarrabi - 4/27/04

Cleric flick captivates Iran
A satirical Iranian movie depicting the life of a convicted criminal who disguises himself as a cleric has become a box-office hit in Iran. -BBC - 4/27/04

U.S. aerospace seeks removal of Iranian sanctions
The U.S. aerospace industry has lobbied for the lifting of sanctions that would enable Iran to procure U.S. civilian aircraft and spare parts. -MENL - 4/27/04

Bush on Iran and nuclear weapons
"It's a tough, tough crowd to negotiate with. They've got the classic 'principal-to-non-principal' negotiating strategy available for them. They've got a fellow sitting up on top [Khamenei], probably the decision-maker on most matters, and yet the world goes to Khatami. So you're not really sure if the message is getting totally delivered or not." -VOA - 4/27/04

Iran: 500 kms of Mashhad-Bafq railroad project completed
Some 500 kilometers out of a projected 1,000-km-long railroad project here in Khorassan province, northeastern Iran, has been completed, said a provincial official here Tuesday. - 4/27/04

Iran's Run-off elections to be held in 39 constituencies on May 7
The run-off elections in 39 constituencies for the 7th Majlis are to be held on Friday, May 7, 2004, the elections headquarters announced here Tuesday. - 4/27/04

Analysis: Experts fear Iran acquiring atomic arms
Already writhing with tension and terror, the Middle East is sliding toward a new crisis: As soon as this summer, Iran could be unstoppably on its way to producing nuclear material for its own bombs.-Seattle Times - 4/27/04

Hunger Strike Remembers the Victims of World Bank Policies
“to commemorate the forgotten people in the Bank’s 60-year history, those whose right to development has been violated by the very institution that claims to listen to the voices of the poor.” -Common Dreams - 4/27/04

"Like The Germans, We Don't Want To Know"
Former Meretz Leader Shulamit Aloni has established a reputation for her critique of modern Israeli society. She has also been described as the Grand old Lady of the Israeli peace movement. -Axis of Logic - 4/27/04

US forces battle Shia militiamen
A supporter of the original US-led invasion of Iraq last year, Mr Barzani said the way the post-Saddam Hussein era had been handled had seen US troops move from being an "army of liberation" to an "army of occupation". -BBC - 4/27/04

Oil-Slick Jim Moves In
I'm not one of those cynics who thought Bush sent us into to Iraq for the oil. To me, Saddam Hussein was always a Kurd-killing cockroach with a Hitlerian mustache. I never liked the guy – not even when he worked for George Bush Sr. -Alternet.org - 4/27/04

Iran's trade exhibition to be held in Iraq
An exhibition of Iranian goods will be held in the Iraqi cities of Irbil and Kirkuk in May, Head of Kurdestan Province Commerce Department Bahman Hajali said here Tuesay. - 4/27/04

MPO head says Iranian economy likely to grow by over 8 percent during 4th development plan
MPO head says Iranian economy likely to grow by over 8 percent during 4th development plan - 4/27/04

Haft Seen at British Museum in London
You must all wonder what had happened to me, since I have been pretty silent for the past few weeks, except for two short art pieces that were written before I left Iran for a few weeks to carry on my busy life in some corners of Europe as well as visiting my loved ones. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/26/04

Quake jolts city of Bandarabbas in Iran
A 4.4-Richter quake shook the northern part of Bandarabbas, a city in southern province of Hormuzgan on Wednesday night. - 4/26/04

Suicide raids on oil platforms mark new threat
Three US sailors die as attackers detonate boats -Guardian - 4/26/04

Germany hopes to get Iran's permission to re-open language school
The German government hopes to get Iran's permission to re-open the German language institute in Tehran, a top German Foreign Ministry official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IRNA here Monday. - 4/26/04

Iranian police warns youth againt Internet addiction
Police to Iran's youth: Don't get addicted to being online; don't click onto immoral sites; and don't replace your real friends and family with electronic buddies. -MEO - 4/26/04

Chalabi denies being sidelined
Leading Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) member Ahmed Chalabi has insisted he is not being politically sidelined. -BBC - 4/26/04

IAEA inspectors will work in Iran until end of May, spokesperson
Inspectors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will continue their work until the end of May, spokeswoman Melisa Fleming said on Monday. - 4/26/04

EIU ups Iran's GDP growth forecast
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Thursday increased its forecast of GDP growth in Iran to 6.1 per cent in the fiscal year 2003/04, ending at the end of March. It also upped its prediction of growth in Iranian GDP to 3.6 per cent for 2004/05 and suggested that again it would pick up to 3.8 per cent the year after. - 4/26/04

Iran continue futsal reign
Iran's reign as the kings of Asian futsal continued for a sixth consecutive year as they beat Japan 5-3 in the final of the World Futsal Championship 2004 - Asian Qualifiers at the Pavilhae Polidesportivo Stadium on Sunday. - 4/26/04

Interview with ambassador Javad Zarif, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations
This is the first interview for AIC Insight, and you are the first to speak, and thank you for that. We will focus on US-Iran relations. Let me ask you the first question. Please tell us what you think is the state of US-Iran relations. Where do we stand now? And where do you think we are going? - 4/26/04

In Tehran, the Mullahs Learn Art Is Long, Censorship Brief
When an exhibition of 20th-century British sculpture opened here in February, art critics were delighted. The exhibition was seen as testimony that Iran's cultural life had started to flourish once again, after the experiment in personal freedoms that followed President Mohammad Khatami's election in 1997. -New York Times - 4/25/04

Iran's Parliament approves urgent bill to postpone by-elections in Tehran
Iran's Majlis (Parliament) on Sunday approved double urgency of a bill to postpone by-election in Tehran constituency and instead hold it concurrently with the next presidential election. - 4/25/04

Iran's covert actions in Iraq
On April 4, 2004, Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, a pro-Iranian Iraqi cleric, called on his followers to "terrorize your enemy," meaning the Americans and all those Iraqis cooperating to bring about a constitutional government. -Washington Times - 4/25/04

Iran speeds into Asian futsal final
The five-times champion Iran vaulted into the final of the sixth Asian Futsal Championships here Saturday.Iran extended its winning streak in the semifinal, thrashing the Thai side 6-1. - 4/25/04

France's Total to develop Phase II of Iran's offshore gas field
The French oil giant Total won a bid to develop Phase 11 of Iran's massive South Pars offshore gas field, said a senior Iranian official here Sunday. - 4/25/04

Ancient Persian earthenware sparks debate in Iran
Artefact 90920 is wending its way from the British Museum to Tehran, where it has fired debate between those who see it as a national icon and others who say it represents all that is worst about Iran's pre-Islamic past. -Reuters - 4/24/04

AIC releases Volume One of AIC Insight
The first volume of AIC Insight was released today, a publication dedicated to addressing the murky nature of the US-Iran relations by attempting to establish an indirect dialogue between key policy-makers on both sides. (pdf file) - 4/24/04

UN Members Struggle With Nonproliferation Measure
A U.S. initiative to block the spread of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons to terrorist groups is facing tough scrutiny from UN member states concerned that the UN Security Council is trying to legislate on global arms control. -RFE - 4/24/04

US Admits It Will Still Control Iraq After Transfer
The US has made clear that the transfer of sovereignty to a provisional Iraqi government on 30 June will be a limited affair, and that ultimate authority will reside at a gigantic new US embassy in Baghdad and with the military occupation force. -Common Dreams - 4/24/04

Iranian teenager wins top prize in international caricature contest in Turkey
A caricature drawn by Mohammad Javad Mohammadi was adjudged best from among some 4,000 works sent in by children and young adults from 25 countries all over the world. - 4/24/04

Death by burning: the only escape for desperate Afghan women
Nazir Shah sifts through a pile of magazines for teenage girls. "Look at what our sweet girls are suffering," says Mr Shah, a white-bearded, retired Afghan army officer while poring over the letters pages. "These are real stories about girls who are suffering so much. Look: 'My family's choice of husband is driving me to suicide.'" -Guardian - 4/24/04

The First CAL Alumni Gathering Dinner for Iranian Engineers
On behalf of the Society of Iranian Engineers at Berkeley (SIEB) and Cal Alumni Club of Iran (CalIran) it is our great pleasure to announce the First Cal Alumni Gathering Dinner for Iranian Engineers. - 4/24/04

Iran: International gas conference to open on Sunday in Tehran
According to the secretariat of the conference, 60 foreign companies from 22 countries as well as 92 representatives from 48 domestic companies will be attending the conference. - 4/24/04

Quakes jolt Zarrindasht in Fars province of Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 4.2 and 3.7 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Zarrindasht, in the southern province of Fars. - 4/24/04

France chastises Iran on nuclear inspections
In a hardening of Europe's position toward Iran's nuclear activities, President Jacques Chirac of France has criticized Iran for failing to comply fully with international inspections of its nuclear sites, and suggested that Iran has violated the spirit of an agreement with France, Germany and Britain to curtail its nuclear programs, senior French officials said. -IHT - 4/23/04

Keep out of Najaf, Iran warns US
Iranian clerics have warned the US that a military assault on two holy cities in Iraq would unleash the wrath of Shia Muslims. -Guardian - 4/23/04

UK grateful for Iran’s constructive role in Iraq, says Straw
British Prime Minister Tony Blair thanked Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi Thursday for Iran’s continuing cooperation with regard to Iraq. - 4/23/04

European Parliament welcomes participation of MEPs in dialogue with Iran
The European Parliament has welcomed the fact that, at the invitation of the EU Presidency, Members of the European Parliament participated in the 3rd round of the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue on 8/9 October 2003. - 4/23/04

European Parliament Calls For Tougher Action On Worldwide Human Rights
Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday debated a draft report on the bloc's human rights policy. The draft warns that the fight against terrorism must respect fundamental human rights. -RFE - 4/23/04

Pistachio Consumption Rockets Upward
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week that there has been a surge of 18 percent a year over the last four years. -AP - 4/23/04

Iraqi Baathists to recover jobs
The US says ex-officials in Saddam Hussein's ousted regime could be reinstated, in a major policy shift. -BBC - 4/23/04

Iranian-born doctor returns to LaGrange
After stepped-up security measures delayed his family's return to the United States from Austria for nearly five months, an Iranian-born doctor practicing medicine in LaGrange has been cleared to return. -Ledger Enquirer - 4/23/04

Iraq: Sadr Attacks U.S. with Democracy
U.S. administrators find this hard to believe, but it could be that Sadr is teaching them a lesson or two on democracy in Iraq. -Common Dreams - 4/23/04

Baha'i holy site destroyed in Iran
Government authorities in Iran have destroyed a Baha'i holy site, the Baha'i International Community has learned. -Bahai World News - 4/23/04

Iran may be a US ally again
America has had a devil of a time in picking its friends, especially in the Middle East and even more especially when it came to choosing between Iran and Iraq. -AP - 4/23/04

Iranian to become one of youngest Bundesliga players ever
A 17-year-old Iranian teenager is to become one of the youngest German Bundesliga players ever after being called up into the line-up of first division team Hertha Berlin for its crucial home match against FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday. - 4/23/04

Iranian FM terms talks with European leaders "useful"
Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said here on Thursday that he had held "useful talks" over nuclear issues with British and French officials in his European tour. - 4/23/04

Once Again, the US Makes a Bad Deal with the Wrong Group
Bob Woodward’s latest book, Plan of Attack, exposes the underbelly of the build-up to the US war with Iraq. In it Woodward reveals that the "CIA hired the leaders of a Muslim religious sect at odds with Saddam, but nonetheless with numerous members highly placed in Saddam's security services. The CIA's code name for them: the Rock Stars." -Antiwar.com - 4/23/04

EU-Iran trade hits record $20 billion in 2003
Trade between Iran and the European Union reached a record Euro 16.7 billion ($20 bn) last year, according to figures obtained exclusively by IRNA from Eurostat. - 4/23/04

Washington Extends Suspension Of Sanctions Against Iran
The U.S. administration has extended for 90 days a temporary suspension of some U.S. sanctions against Iran. The sanctions were first eased last year to speed relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Bam. Observers say the move indicates the two might be in the mood to engage. -RFE - 4/23/04

'The female body has been carefully defined, controlled and concealed'
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist whose work examines Islamic culture and its collisions with the West -Guardian - 4/22/04

Bush says Iraqi Democracy Possible, Necessary
President Bush says democracy is both necessary and possible in Iraq. Mr. Bush also spoke out Wednesday about terrorism and Iran's nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 4/22/04

Safavid Artistic Art From Persia in Milan
After its opening at Asia Society in New York, this major exhibition devoted to the golden age of the Safavid dynasty in Persia, "Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Iran 1501-1576", is now on show in Milan. -Art Daily - 4/22/04

UN Commission Calls for Elimination of Death Penalty
Amnesty International says 1,146 prisoners were executed last year, with China carrying out most - at least 726. Amnesty International says Iran, the United States and Vietnam had the next highest numbers of executions, with Iran carrying out at least 108, the United States 65 and Vietnam 64. -VOA - 4/22/04

Muscular Shias return to roots
Shia Islam is typically portrayed by the international media as a creed of intolerance and angry fundamentalism. Journalist Mark Irving travelled to Shah-e-Rey in Iran to see a different face of Shia Islam. -BBC - 4/22/04

5,000 pilgrims cross Iran's Khosrawi border into Iraq daily - police
Five thousand pilgrims cross Iran's western Khosrawi border into Iraq daily for pilgrimage visit, said provincial police commander General Javad Hamed here on Sunday. - 4/22/04

Quake hits suburbs of city of Shiraz in Iran
A 3.1-Richter quake hit an area 39 kilometers northwest of Shiraz at 11:23 (06:53 GMT) hours local time on Sunday, - 4/22/04

Iran Denies Arresting Nuclear Experts
Iran's intelligence minister is denying a report that Iranian agents have arrested two nuclear experts for passing nuclear secrets to foreigners. -VOA - 4/22/04

Bush Would Not Tolerate Iranian Nuclear Weapon
U.S. President George W. Bush says the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran would be "intolerable." -RFE - 4/22/04

Iran's President: Occupiers should refrain from attacking Najaf
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami said here on Wednesday in a press conference that the occupying forces in Iraq should seriously refrain from attacking either Holy Najaf, or Karbala. - 4/22/04

Iran blasts 'non-coherent' US stance after Bush aide rejects dialogue
Iran said on Saturday that a senior U.S. official's dismissal of dialogue between Tehran and Washington was 'another example of contradictory and non-coherent stances in the American policy-making apparatus'. - 4/22/04

International concern over jailed Iranian journalist
In a joint effort, the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) have sent a letter of protest to Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, head of the judiciary in Iran, voicing their concern over a prison sentence handed down to freelance journalist Ensafali Hedayat. -IRIN - 4/22/04

Rafsanjanis Are Iran's Power Brokers for Investors
Twenty-five years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the revolution that toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a dozen families with religious ties control much of Iran's $110 billion gross domestic product and shape its politics, industries and finances, says Ray Takeyh, a professor and director of studies at National Defense University's Near East and South Asia Center in Washington and coauthor of ``The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam'' -Bloomberg - 4/22/04

Iran: Reporters Without Borders outraged at Siamak Pourzand's treatment in hospital
Reporters Without Borders has expressed outrage at the treatment in hospital of jailed journalist Siamak Pourzand. The 75-year-old, who is very seriously ill, is chained to his bed by his feet at Tehran's Modares hospital, where he was admitted on 18 April. - 4/21/04

U.S. Extends Easing Of Iran Sanctions For Humanitarian Relief
Effective March 25, 2004, United States persons[1] are authorized for a ninety-day period to make donations of funds directly to US-based on-governmental organizations (‘NGOs") specifically licensed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to be used in direct support of humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities being undertaken in Iran in response to the earthquake in Bam. - 4/21/04

Health of imprisoned Iranian journalist causes concern, another gets jail sentence
At the same time, the title of "Best Leader of the Year" has just been awarded to Tehran state prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who as head of a "press tribunal" has been responsible for the closure of about 100 newspapers and the arrests of many journalists, and who has been directly implicated in Kazemi's death. -RSF - 4/21/04

Iranian pistachios top in last year's list of non-oil exports
Iranian pistachios topped the country's list of non-oil exports in the last Iranian year sidelining its old rival, the Iranian carpet. - 4/21/04

Iran to provide energy for northern Iraq
Iran will provide electrical energy for some parts of Iraq including north of the country as of late June, an Iraqi radio quoted an official with Patriotic Union for Iraqi Kurdistan On Tuesday night. - 4/21/04

'Proud' Vanunu vows to fight on
To jeers and cheers from a crowd at the southern Israeli prison, he said he was proud of his actions but had suffered "very cruel and barbaric treatment". He said: "Israel doesn't need nuclear arms. My message today to the world is: Open Dimona reactor for inspections." -BBC - 4/21/04

US takes action against illegal beluga trade
The US is taking action to shut down the illegal trade in Beluga caviar - at £80 an ounce (28g) probably the world's most expensive food - because the fish that produces it is heading for extinction. -Guardian - 4/21/04

Deal with Sadr near as tension eases
The US military in Iraq was yesterday on the brink of striking a deal with the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr after two days of secret negotiations. - 4/21/04

Middle Aged Immigrants in LA Stay in Shape Playing Soccer
In Los Angeles, middle aged soccer enthusiasts are still in the game, a little slower than they once were but just as passionate. The multinational group is part of an organization called the Los Angeles Soccer Club. -VOA - 4/21/04

Son of shah advocates democracy for Iran
He returned to Williamstown this week to speak to Williams College students and urge them to join the fight for change in Iran, a change he said could only be achieved through nonviolence and civil resistance to an illegitimate regime. -Berkshire Eagle, MA - 4/21/04

Quake hits southern Iranian city of Minab
An earthquake measuring 3.7 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Minab, in the southern province of Hormuzgan, Wednesday morning. - 4/21/04

US Mistakes in Iraq
This brief addresses three areas. First, what mistakes have been made in the Coalition administration of Iraq, and why? Second, what is the current situation? Third, what steps can be taken to ensure the emergence of a stable and democratic Iraq? -Antiwar.com - 4/21/04

U.S. Renews Easing of Some Iran Sanctions
The Bush administration has extended a temporary suspension of some U.S. sanctions on Iran that were eased to speed relief supplies after a devastating earthquake last December. -Reuters - 4/21/04

Analysts: Iran Continues to Seek Role in Post-War Iraq
An attempt by Iran to mediate an end to the fight in neighboring Iraq between the forces of a radical Muslim cleric and U.S. troops was not successful, but the effort underscores Iran's bid to wield some clout in post-war Iraq. -VOA - 4/20/04

International Friendly Between Los Angeles Galaxy and Iran National Team Cancelled
The international friendly match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Iran national team has been cancelled, the club announced today. - 4/20/04

EU enlargement will broaden EU-Iran cooperation
The entry of ten new states to the EU on May the first will have a positive effect on the EU-Iran relations, according to Iran's ambassador to Brussels, Abolghasem Delfi. - 4/20/04

UN refugee chief expects 1 million Afghans to be repatriated this year
The United Nations expects up to 1 million Afghan refugees to be repatriated from host countries Iran and Pakistan and up to 100,000 internally displaced people to return to their southern and western Afghanistan homes this year, UN High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said. - 4/20/04

Saudi Envoy Promised Bush a Drop in Oil Prices Ahead of Election
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. has promised President George W. Bush the Saudis will reduce oil prices before this November's election to help the U.S. economy, according to Bob Woodward, author of a new book about the Iraq war. -Common Dreams - 4/20/04

GDP growth in Middle East jumps
Despite severe disruption in the Middle East due to the Iraq conflict GDP growth jumped from 3.3 percent in 2002 to 5.1 percent in 2003, the strongest economic performance since 1991, according to a World Bank report. - 4/20/04

Vanunu: Israel's nuclear telltale
The spotlight falls back on Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme on Wednesday, as Mordechai Vanunu, the man who exposed it, walks from jail after an 18-year sentence. -BBC - 4/20/04

Hamas ready to cooperate, but only in Gaza
Behind the cries for revenge, power sharing talks go on -Guardian - 4/20/04

Jordan king signals rift with US
King Abdullah of Jordan has postponed talks with US President George W Bush on Wednesday amid concern over America's support for Israeli policy. -BBC - 4/20/04

Oil and conflict - a natural mix
Oil and what it represents - energy - have always been a source of conflict. -BBC - 4/20/04

AFGHANISTAN: Key business conference
Afghanistan is hosting a two-day meeting of the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). The conference, which started on Sunday, is aiming to boost trade in the post-conflict country and boost economic cooperation in the region. -IRIN - 4/20/04

Iraqi bandits fire RPG on Iranian ship, loot properties
Iraqi bandits fired an RPG on an Iranian passenger ship in Arvandkenar waterway on Monday, inflicting heavy damage. - 4/20/04

Optimism Increases for Caspian Sea Agreement
Hopes are rising that a breakthrough in long-stalled negotiations on a comprehensive Caspian Sea treaty can be achieved. Representatives of the sea’s five littoral states sounded optimistic notes at a recent Moscow conference on Caspian-related issues. -Eurasianet - 4/20/04

3 Peace Prize winners honored
Three Nobel Peace Prize winners were honored by the University of British Columbia yesterday for their non-violent resolutions to world conflict. The Dalai Lama, retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and human-rights activist Shirin Ebadi spoke to a gathering at the university before being granted honorary degrees. -AP - 4/20/04

Quake hits devastated city of Bam once again
A four-Richter quake hit southeastern historical city of Bam at 07:11 (03:41 GMT) hours local time on Tuesday. - 4/20/04

UC Davis administrators to tour Iran
UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef is scheduled to lead a handful of senior administrators on a weeklong tour of Iranian universities. The trip, scheduled from Apr. 25 to May 1, would be UCD's first official visit to Iran in decades. -California Aggie - 4/20/04

Shadows of Tehran over Iraq
The Iranian diplomats left Iraq empty handed. But even the failure of a five-day Iranian effort to defuse a standoff between a firebrand Shiite cleric and US forces lets Washington know that Tehran isn't just a spectator. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/19/04

Iran's 1st carpet exhibition in USA after Islamic revolution
A grand exclusive Persian carpet exhibition is to be staged simultaneously in five large US cities, for the first time after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. - 4/19/04

First Iranian American Diaspora Conference Discusses Achievements And Challenges
The Iranian Alliances Across Borders held the first International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora at Wellesley College and Tufts University; both were sponsors of the event. -NIAC - 4/19/04

Iranian-American Volunteer Alliance (IAVA) of Washington formed: "Rising to the Occasion" event scheduled for April 25
We are pleased to announce the recent formation of the Iranian-American Volunteer Alliance of Washington (IAVA), a small but growing group of concerned individuals who seek to promote the spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism in the local Iranian-American community. - 4/19/04

London-based architect and educator Mohsen Mostafavi is named dean of Cornell's College of Architecture, Art and Planning
Mostafavi, a U.S. citizen who studied at London's Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) and at the University of Cambridge, has served as chairman (equivalent to dean) of the AA since 1995. His Cornell appointment will begin July 1, 2004. - 4/19/04

Iranian Railroad Co. issues communique on train explosion in Neishabour
The Islamic Republic of Iran Railroad Company issued a communique on Wednesday on questions around the February 18 deadly cargo train blast in Neishabour's Khayyam Station. - 4/19/04

Arab leaders say Bush backs Israel attack policy
Many Arab countries yesterday accused the US president, George Bush, of giving Israel the go-ahead last week for continuing its assassination policy. They linked the US to the death on Saturday of the Hamas leader, Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi. -Guardian - 4/19/04

Tremor jolts western city of Marivan in Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.3 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Marivan in western Iranian province of Kurdesan Thursday afternoon. - 4/19/04

Spain sparks Iraq troops rethink
The US says it expects other coalition nations to reassess their participation in Iraq's security forces as Spanish troops prepare to be called home. -BBC - 4/19/04

The Guardian Profile: Mordechai Vanunu
An imprisoned hero, a Nobel prize nominee, a victim, or a traitor: Israel's nuclear whistleblower represents many things to many people. How will he and his country react when the day of his release from jail dawns next week? - 4/19/04

Understanding Sistani's Role
As U.S. forces encircle Najaf to "capture or kill" Moqtada Sadr and disband his militia, the Mahdi Army, it is important that policymakers consider the costs of such an operation. Reining in Sadr and his militia is important to U.S. objectives, but it may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. -Washington Post - 4/19/04

Liberation Eludes Afghan Women
Forced Marriages, Beatings, Suicides Persist Despite Taliban's Fall -Common Dreams - 4/19/04

Iran trounces Indonesia 13-3 in Asian Futsal match
Five-times champions Iran here on Sunday trounced Indonesia 13-3 in the second leg of the sixth Asian Futsal Championships. - 4/19/04

Event: The Illness of Addiction - Famous Iranian singer Dariush to speak at Berkeley
"The Illness of Addiction (The Most Important Societal Problem of Our Time) with Dariush Eghbali and the Recovery Center for Iranians of Southern California." - April 24 at Berkeley. - 4/19/04

Iran retains Asian freestyle wrestling title
Iran retained the Asian freestyle wrestling title in Tehran on Sunday. Winning three gold, two silver, and one bronz medals, the powerful Iranian side stood top on 63 points in the 17th edition. - 4/18/04

Iran's Parliament agrees to withdraw Khatami's twin bills
Iranian MPs on Sunday approved to hand back to President Mohammad Khatami two bills which he had submitted to the parliament two years ago to boost his powers, but to no avail. - 4/18/04

Landmark Economic Conference Opens in Afghanistan
Delegates from 10 nations are meeting in Afghanistan's capital for a landmark economic conference - the first such meeting there in two decades. -VOA - 4/18/04

Iranian MP says his resignation outcries violation of public rights
Former lawmaker Behzad Nabavi said here on Sunday that his resignation decried 'violation of public rights' in Iran. - 4/18/04

Security Problems Prevent Afghan Refugees from Returning Home, says UN Official
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers says lingering security problems in post-war Afghanistan are preventing some refugees from returning. -VOA - 4/18/04

Iran's President introduces two new ministers to Parliament for approval
In a letter to the Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, President Khatami named Safdar Hosseini as the new minister of finance and economic affairs.He also designated Nasser Khaleqi to take over the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs which is now headed by Safdar Hosseini. - 4/18/04

Iran Says U.S. Policy Undermined Its Efforts In Iraq
Iran today blamed the United States for the failure of Tehran's efforts to ease tensions in Iraq. -AP - 4/18/04

Iran's Ministry of Economy and Finance to sell $1.2B participation bonds
Iran's Ministry of Economy and Finance will issue up to rls 10,000 billion (about 1.2 billion dollars) worth of participation bonds this year per a cabinet approval to finance water, transportation and development projects. - 4/18/04

Israeli missile attack kills new Hamas chief
Israeli forces assassinated Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi last night, in what appeared to be the start of a campaign to destroy the organisation before Israel pulls out of Gaza as part of a US-sanctioned deal. -Guardian - 4/18/04

Iran oil minister sees oil price drop in long term
Oil prices are bubbling near 13-year peaks, driven by rising Chinese demand, low U.S. gasoline inventories and concern that violence in the oil-rich Middle East could disrupt oil supplies. -Reuters - 4/18/04

'Nine US troops' killed in Iraq
Five marines died in skirmishes on the Syrian border, according to a reporter at the scene, while four soldiers died in ambushes south and west of Baghdad. -BBC - 4/18/04

Tehran to host a human rights conference
In a one-day conference to be held in Tehran on April 25, numbers of lawyers and prominent activists of human rights from Iran and abroad will participate, including Maria Terresa Doutli, Deputy Secretary General of International Committee of Red Cross in Legal Affairs. - 4/18/04

Iran's National Museum to display Cyrus Charter of Human Rights
Director of Iran National Museum Mohammad Reza Kargar here Sunday said the Human Rights Charter drawn up by the founder of Achaemenid dynasty Cyrus the Great will be showcased in Iran Bastan Museum in 2006 after its restoration. - 4/18/04

Iranian delegation winds up five-day mission to Iraq, leaves for home
Iranian foreign minister's special envoy, Hossein Sadeqi wound up his mission to Iraq and left for Tehran on Saturday. During his five-day stay in Iraq, Sadeqi held talks with Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) members. - 4/17/04

Iran's Parliament approves division of Khorassan province
Members of Parliament (Majlis) approved here Saturday a plan to divide the vast northeastern province of Khorassan into three smaller provinces. - 4/17/04

Experiencing Islam in Iran
When Wally and Evie Shellenberger traveled to Iran three years ago as part of a religious student exchange program, they had no idea of the changes that would soon take place in the world. -Albany Democrat Herald, OR - 4/17/04

US-Iranian Cooperation Initiative on Iraq Falls Apart Amid Iranian Diplomats’ Assassination
An apparent deal between the United States and Iran that would have brought Tehran’s influence to bear on Iraqi Shi’as to end their uprising against US occupation forces has fallen apart amid the assassination of a top Iranian diplomat in Baghdad. A leading American expert on Iran said the deal’s collapse indicates that the Bush administration lacks a coherent Iran policy. -Eurasianet - 4/17/04

Pistachios exports earn Iran 803 million dollars
Minister of Agricultural Jihad Mahmoud Hojjati said here on Saturday that 207,000 tons of pistachios worth dlrs 803 million were exported last year. - 4/17/04

Najaf's residents rip radical cleric
With a massive U.S. military force blocking the main roads, the residents of this holy Shi'ite city have begun to voice strong criticism of Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr, the young cleric whose uprising has brought the threat of an attack. -Washington Times - 4/17/04

U.S. Deaths from Enemy Fire at Highest Level Since Vietnam
The first part of April has been the bloodiest period so far for U.S. troops in Iraq. There were 87 deaths by hostile fire in the first 15 days of this month, more than in the opening two weeks of the invasion, when 82 Americans were killed in action. -Common Dreams - 4/17/04

Anti-Bush Sentiment Busts Out All Over
Writers and others say the sniping now directed at the White House is at least partly a response to the self-censorship they endured for more than a year after the terrorist attacks for fear of being seen as disloyal, and the disenchantment many have over the perception that George W. Bush intentionally misled the nation into war. -Common Dreams - 4/17/04

Diplomatic mission to Iraq another wrinkle in U.S.-Iran relations
The unexpected arrival of an Iranian diplomatic mission to defuse the face-off between U.S. forces and firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is an attempt by Iran to protect its own interests and enhance its standing with the United States, some analysts say. -Chicago Tribune - 4/17/04

Iran's Delegation In Iraq On 'Fact-Finding' Mission
The extent of Iran's diplomatic involvement in Iraq remains unclear. An Iranian fact-finding delegation reportedly visited the holy city of Al-Najaf today, but apparently did not meet with radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. -RFE - 4/17/04

Iran-Turkmenistan to increase trade transactions to one billion dollars
Minister of Road and Transportations Ahmad Khorram said here Saturday that with the implementation of Iran-Turkmenistan economic cooperation agreements and increase in trade transactions, the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries will reach one billion dollar this year. - 4/17/04

US Diplomat Holds Rare Talks With Iranian Official Over al-Sadr Standoff
An American diplomat in Iraq has held a rare face-to-face meeting with an Iranian official seeking to mediate an end to an uprising by Shiite fighters led by a rebel cleric. -VOA - 4/17/04

Strange bedfellows
The neo-crazies want to invade Iran and the loony-lefties want universal nuke disarmament. So, strange as it seems, they have each charged that if the Iranians are "allowed" to begin full-scale operation of their uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz or their nuclear power reactor at Bushehr, Iran will soon be producing "fissile" material with which to make nukes and/or to give to terrorists. -Physicist James Gordon Prather, WorldNetDaily - 4/17/04

UN condemns Israeli settlements
The United Nations human rights body has called on Israel to end settlement activity on Palestinian land and stop work on its barrier in the West Bank. -BBC - 4/16/04

Iraq's neighbours: We told you so, but what now?
America's embarrassed allies, and agitated foes -Economist - 4/16/04

AFGHANISTAN-IRAN: Interview with Ruud Lubbers, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was in Iran earlier this week as part of a nine-day mission to the region focussing on the voluntary repatriation of Afghan and Iraqi refugees. -IRIN - 4/16/04

War and Love
Perhaps one of the most unromantic definitions of love belongs to Nietzche: love as the eternal war (mortal hatred) between the sexes. It can sound even repulsive. Unfortunately though, a glance at what is going on in the majority of the so-called love relationships could testify the truth in Nietzche's definition of love. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 4/16/04

Spurned Blair in plea to Bush
Tony Blair will today attempt to restore British influence in Washington when he warns President George Bush that the Middle East "road map" remains the only viable option for achieving a lasting political settlement. -Guardian - 4/16/04

Quake jolts Zarrindasht in Fars province of Iran
An earthquake shook the town of Zarrindasht in Fars province, southern Iran at 07:19 a.m. local time (0249 GMT) on Friday. - 4/16/04

Earthquake jolts city of Dezful in Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the city of Dezful and suburban areas in Khuzestan province on Friday morning. - 4/16/04

Italian deputy PM: Iran, Italy to broaden ties
Iran-Italy trade exchange in the last year with 4.6 percent boost over 2002 stood at 3.852 billion euros. - 4/16/04

Iran's mullahs influencing resistance in Iraq
We are currently witnessing the most serious uprising by the Shiites against the American presence in Iraq since the invasion, led by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. -Reza Ladjevardian, Houston Chronicle - 4/16/04

Analysis: Iran's influence in Iraq
An official Iranian delegation is in Baghdad at Washington's request to help resolve the impasse between the US occupation authorities and Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr. Middle East analyst Dilip Hiro says this underlies the influence that the predominantly Shia Iran has on the neighbouring Iraqi Shias. -BBC - 4/16/04

Kharrazi says Iran will not mediate between US, Iraqis
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here on Friday rejected as baseless speculations that Iran would mediate between the US and the Iraqis to resolve the crisis in the country. "How can one mediate between the Iraqi people and the occupiers?," Kharrazi stressed in a statement faxed to IRNA. - 4/16/04

Myers: Foreign Fighters Still Infiltrating Iraq through Syria, Iran
A top U.S. military official visiting Iraq says foreign fighters are still infiltrating Iraq through the borders of Syria and Iran and that additional resources may be needed to stabilize the country. -VOA - 4/16/04

Iraq: Iranian Delegation Tries To Help Defuse Tensions
A delegation from Iran is in Iraq as part of an effort to help defuse tensions in that country. Analysts say it is in the interests of both countries to work together in Iraq. -RFE - 4/16/04

Militarization of the Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is not so peaceful as it looks. The Caspian region has the potentials for turning into point of confrontation and conflict. The littoral countries of the Caspian Sea have not solved their problems and they have taken steps in line with militarizing of the region, while issuing declarations to the contrary. Even the countries that have signed bilateral agreements have left many issues unattended. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 4/16/04

Iranian artist participates in international women art exhibition in Cologne, Germany
An exhibition of art works by seven world renowned women artists titled "currents" has opened in Koeln, Germany on March 22. The exhibition displays art works by artists from different countries, including about 116 painting works of Iranian artist, Leila Modarresi. - 4/15/04

Lubbers: 500,000 Afghans to be repatriated by next April
Some 500,000 Afghans will voluntarily repatriate through UN assistance by April 1, 2005 under a tripartite agreement. - 4/15/04

First-Ever Iranian Punk Comp Coming
Some say Iran is part of the "Axis of Evil," though its punk bands are now getting their first chance to help change the world's mind. -Aversion - 4/15/04

Analysts See Profound Perils in a Nuclear-Armed Iran
A nuclear-armed Iran would plunge the Middle East into a destabilizing new arms race, jeopardizing the West's access to Persian Gulf oil and threatening the conservative regimes of Gulf states like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, according to assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies and American and Israeli experts outside government. -NNS - 4/15/04

Khatami opens Life Diversity Museum in Tehran
Addressing the opening ceremony of the museum, located in a large natural park in northwestern Tehran, Khatami pointed to the status of Iran in the list of the world countries with regards to the situation of their life diversity and said though Iran enjoyed a good position in the list, its life diversity was under grave threats. - 4/15/04

Dangerous Liaisons: Are we compromising with the enemy in Iraq?
A team led by top Iranian diplomat Hossein Sadeghi visited Iraq in recent days, but his talks went nowhere. The Iranian regime used Washington and London's outreach not to promote dialogue, but to humiliate the United States at a time our soldiers sacrifice to preserve Iraq's freedom. . -Michael Rubin, National Review - 4/15/04

Bush rips up the road map
President George Bush swept aside decades of diplomatic tradition in the Middle East yesterday, saying it was "unrealistic" to expect a full Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied during the 1967 war or the right of return for Palestinian refugees. -Guardian - 4/15/04

Iran, US exchanging views through Swiss Embassy to help resolve Iraq crisis
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Wednesday that Iran and the United States are exchanging views through Swiss Embassy to help ease tension in Iraq. - 4/15/04

Iran diplomat shot dead in Iraq
First secretary Khalil Naimi was attacked while driving near the embassy. Correspondents have seen a bullet-ridden car with a body inside. -BBC - 4/15/04

Iran Sends Envoy to Iraq to Help Defuse Tensions
A senior U.S. diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said Britain, not the United States, invited the Iranian team to Iraq. At the same time, he said the Bush administration did not object to the British move and is hopeful Iran can uses its considerable influence with Iraq's Shiite community to help calm the situation. -VOA - 4/15/04

Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner to receive honorary degree from University of Toronto
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Toronto at a special convocation May 7. Ebadi, who was awarded the peace prize in 2003 for her efforts for democracy and human rights, will also participate in a panel discussion on the topic of Are Human Rights Universal? on May 8 at U of T's Hart House Theatre. - 4/15/04

US Iran Policy
ZNet IranWatch will be presenting some interviews on US Iran policy in the coming weeks. This interview with Sasan Fayazmanesh, an economist at California State University, is the first of a series. - 4/15/04

ASU West's Afsaneh Nahavandi is Professor of the Year
Afsaneh Nahavandi, who teaches in the School of Management, was named 2004 Professor of the Year by the ASU Parents Association. -Arizona Republic - 4/14/04

Egypt, Iran Could Help Bring Stability to Iraq
Egypt is offering assistance in the effort to rebuild Iraq. Egypt's president has said his country is willing to help train Iraqi police. In the meantime, Iranian officials say there has been correspondence with Washington regarding an Iranian role in helping to bring stability to Iraq. -VOA - 4/14/04

Iran: Many cabinet ministers prefer to quit due to political conditions
Several cabinet ministers prefer to quit their posts due to the current political situation, government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said on Wednesday. - 4/14/04

Iran Khodro to easily capture African market
Director General for African Continent at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Javid Qorban Oqli said here Wednesday that the ministry is now preparing grounds for active presence of Iran Khodro Industrial Group in the African market. - 4/14/04

Iran's Parliament rejects resignation of Isfahan MP
Mazrouei's resignation was rejected by a vote of 92 in favor of resignation (falling short of the 98 votes needed) and 77 against with 5 abstentions. - 4/14/04

Your history of folly in our region
History shows that the west stood against democracy in Iran, but behind the dictatorial regime of Saddam. The reason was a fear of democratic governments coming to power in a domino effect throughout the region. -Mohammad Eskandari, Guardian - 4/14/04

Event: Honoring Iranian Hero Abdol Hossein Sardari
Council of Iranian-American Jewish Organizations (CIAJO) is proud to invite you to two programs in memory of an Iranian hero and savior of lives - 4/14/04

Persian singer shares passion
Famed Persian folk musician, vocalist and composer Amir Vahab helped students release their "celestial bodies" Tuesday. Accompanied by two members of his ensemble, Soroosh, Vahab explained and read poetry about various musical instruments and played his music to a crowd of over 30 at a Silliman College Master's Tea. -Yale Daily News - 4/14/04

US puts pressure on Shia cleric
On Wednesday Iran - a predominantly Shia country - said it had sent a top foreign ministry official to Iraq to help mediate in the crisis. -BBC - 4/14/04

Head of UN Nuclear Agency Hopeful Iran Will Stop Building Nuclear Centrifuges
One day after nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran to verify that the country has stopped all uranium enrichment activities, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed ElBaradei, said he hopes Iran will speed up its cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog group. -VOA - 4/14/04

Leaders distance Iran from Sadr's stance on US occupation
Iran is dismissing attempts by Washington to link it to Moqtada al-Sadr, the young radical cleric whose militia has battled US forces in neighbouring Iraq. -Financial Times - 4/14/04

No epidemic disease in Iran's quake stricken Bam: WHO advisor
An advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), Claude De Ville, said here Wednesday no epidemic diseases have to date been observed in the quake-stricken city of Bam. - 4/14/04

Iran Is Losing Race to Boost LNG Exports From Biggest Gas Field
Iran and Qatar share the world's largest natural-gas field, a Persian Gulf deposit holding a quarter of the world's known resources -- enough to supply the U.S. for more than 70 years. There the similarities end. -Bloomberg - 4/14/04

UNHCR head arrives in Iran
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran on Tuesday, as part of an eight day mission to the region, including visits Afghanistan and Pakistan. -IRIN - 4/14/04

Iran jumps to highest ever FIFA ranking, placed 17th in the world
Football international body FIFA has placed Iran 17th in the world, making it the highest ever position reached by Iran's national football team, the press reported Wednesday. - 4/14/04

Art, science meet in a brush stroke for Iranian-American
Mohsen Janatpour, a professor of physics, math and astronomy at the College of San Mateo, just south of San Francisco, has invented a unique way of combining art and physics in his paintings, which he calls "symvisio." He also brings a modern artistic approach to traditions of his native Iran. -Daily Star - 4/13/04

Iran's President withdraws his twin bills from Majlis
President Mohammad Khatami here Tuesday withdrew his twin bills on amendment of election law and enhancement of presidential power from the parliament. - 4/13/04

Iran's President launches initial construction of 800 houses in Bam
Construction work on 800 residential units in the quake-devastated city of Bam in this southeastern province kicked off here Tuesday in the presence of President Mohammad Khatami. Rls. 120 billion has been allocated for the project. - 4/13/04

Rowhani: Iran is keen on developing relations with neighbors
In a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan, Rowhani said that longstanding cultural affinity between Iran and Armenia contributed to common interests in the field of economy and boosting Tehran-Yerevan cooperation. - 4/13/04

Zam Zam Cola to Brunei
Zam Zam Cola, an Iranian-manufactured soft drink will be available in local supermarkets and groceries by this month. Its Malaysian distributor, Alfajr (M) Sdn Bhd, stated in a statement that apart from Brunei Darussalam, the soft drink would penetrate other markets in Southeast Asia as well. -Bru Direct - 4/13/04

US troops seize Sadr aide
A key aide of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was today detained by US troops in Baghdad, in a sign that the coalition was closing in on the leaders of the Shia insurgency despite warnings of further violence. -Guardian - 4/13/04

Battle for Iraqi Hearts and Minds Suspended in Face of Escalating Resistance
White House maintains business-as-usual facade -Common Dreams - 4/13/04

Iran, Germany hold 1st joint nano-technology confab
The first Iran-Germany Nano-Technology Conference will be held at the University of Science and Technology on May 2-3. - 4/13/04

Rise in Iran's pistachio exports
The monetary value of Iran's pistachio exports rose by dlrs 300 million to 803 million dollars in the last Iranian calendar year. - 4/13/04

Iran takes third title at Asian weightlifting event
Iran finished third at the 36th Asian Weightlifting Championships in the Kazakh city Almaty Sunday. - 4/13/04

Inventors From Iran and Mali Receive WIPO Awards
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has presented two awards to inventors at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions as part of the Organization’s commitment to promoting innovation and recognition of inventors worldwide. -Managing Information - 4/13/04

Iran's Heavy Water Reactor
In about two months, Iran is planning to start construction of a heavy-water nuclear reactor in the city of Arak. Heavy-water reactors provide the best means of producing plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. -VOA - 4/12/04

Iran denies receiving 'strong-worded' message from US: press
Iran has denied receiving a written message from the United States, allegedly warning Tehran against interfering in Iraq's affairs, press reports said Monday. - 4/12/04

Is Iran Provoking the Unrest?
But is Iran actively aiding the revolt against the U.S.? That isn't clear. At the same press conference in which he accused Iran of "meddling," Rumsfeld said he wasn't aware of evidence that Iran was providing direct assistance to al-Sadr's militia. "We're watching it carefully," says a senior coalition military official. "We haven't seen a lot of evidence that suggests that." -TIME - 4/12/04

UN Report: Thousands of Afghans Forcibly Evicted From Their Homes
A special United Nations investigator says thousands of Afghans are being forcibly evicted from their homes by warlords, politicians and land speculators. He says the victims are rarely compensated. -VOA - 4/12/04

Quake hits Iranian city of Borazjan in southern Bushehr province
An earthquake measuring 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Borazjan and its suburbs in southern province of Bushehr. - 4/12/04

Sharon seeks US backing to go it alone
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, flies to Washington today, where he expects President George Bush to back his plan to unilaterally draw the frontiers of an emasculated Palestinian state, a move which could redefine the conflict for a generation or more. -Guardian - 4/12/04

Quake hits Shahmirzad in Iran's northeastern Semnan province
An earthquake measuring 3.4 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Shahmirzad, in the northeastern province of Semnan, on Monday. - 4/12/04

U.S. Seeking Truce with Shi'ite Leader Sadr -SCIRI
U.S. officials are seeking a truce with Shi'ite insurgent leader Moqtada al-Sadr, an official of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said on Monday, adding it was acting as a go-between in talks. -Reuters - 4/12/04

Mine blast severely injures little boy in northwest Iran
Many villagers are injured or mutilated each year in blasts caused by unexploded devices notably mines in Sardasht region. - 4/12/04

UN Inspectors to Determine Whether Iran Stopped Uranium Enrichment Program
The five U.N. inspectors arrived in Tehran to begin the process of trying to confirm whether Iran, among other things, has stopped the construction of centrifuges used to enrich uranium. -VOA - 4/12/04

Nahid Arian’s Exhibition at Tehran's Golestan Gallery
I recently paid a visit to the Golestan gallery where the works of Nahid Arian were on display. Nahid is an Iranian artist living in Paris. This delightful lady has a wonderful way of presenting simple still life into something very grand and majestic. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/12/04

Iran-Turkmenistan Friendship Dam to be operational
The documents to make operational the Iran-Turkmenistan Friendship Dam was inked on Saturday. - 4/11/04

US Criticizes Iran Over Human Rights
The U.S. State Department has released a pamphlet denouncing Iran for human rights abuses. The 16-page brochure, which is also available on the State Department web site, denounces steps by Iran's un-elected clerical leadership that Washington says trample democracy and freedom of speech. -VOA - 4/11/04

Iran's railroads to be linked to Europe's rail network
A new railroad is under construction in the Astrakhan region of Russia the completion of which would connect Iran by rail to Europe, said a visiting offical from Astrakhan region here Friday night. - 4/11/04

Iranian official: 4,900 road accidents involved students last year
A Road and Transportation Ministry official said here last month that traffic accidents claimed over 21,000 fatalities in the Iranian year of 1381 (ended March 20, 2002). - 4/11/04

Iran: Mild quake jolts Bam
A 3.8-Richter quake jolted Bam suburbs in southeastern province of Kerman on Sunday. - 4/11/04

'We Are Your Martyrs'
U.S. forces have long known that Moqtada al-Sadr was trouble, but failed to act. Inside the debate over how to run an occupation. -Newsweek - 4/11/04

Truce bid calms Falluja fighting
There have been sporadic exchanges of fire in Falluja, as efforts continue to bring an end to a week of fighting between US forces and Sunni insurgents. -BBC - 4/11/04

Anti-U.S. Outrage Unites a Growing Iraqi Resistance
A new surge of Iraqi resistance is sweeping up thousands of people, Shiite and Sunni, in a loose coalition united by overwhelming anti-Americanism. -New York Times - 4/11/04

Mennonite couple tells about working in Iran
The Schelle4nbergers recently returned from a three-year exchange program at the University in Qom. While there, they were the only American Christians living in the 1,000-year-old city 90 miles south of Tehran. -Corvallis Gazette Times, OR - 4/11/04

Couple teaches martial arts to home-schooled kids, teens
Marsy Honarbakhsh met her future husband at a YMCA in Oklahoma more than two decades ago. Blacky Honarbakhsh, an Iranian immigrant with a black belt in Thai kickboxing, was teaching a martial arts class at the facility and asked Marsy if she'd be interested in trying it. -Palm Beach Post - 4/11/04

Iranian FM says change in US' policy is key to settle Iraqi crisis
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said here on Sunday that the only solution to the ongoing Iraqi crisis is change in the US' approach, avoiding use of force and pullout from Iraq. - 4/11/04

Iran: Voices Struggling To Be Heard
The Iranian people have a long and sophisticated tradition of expressing their views and their feelings, whether through art, literature, film, news media or the political process. -US State Department - 4/11/04

No Evidence of Iranian Role in Iraq Unrest, says US State Department
"I think we've seen, generally speaking, reports of, suggestions of, Iranian involvement, collusion, provocation, coordination, etc, etc.," he said. "But I think there's a dearth of hard facts to back these things up." -VOA - 4/10/04

Iranian doctor may get residency
An Iranian-born physician employed by the Clark-Holder Clinic in LaGrange, Ga., has been notified by the U.S. Department of Labor that he has been cleared to apply for permanent residency in the United States. -Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, GA - 4/10/04

Iraq Council Demands Immediate Cease-Fire
In a split between U.S.-picked Iraqi leaders and American administrators, the Governing Council demanded an immediate cease-fire across the country Friday and a halt to military operations that punish civilians. -AP - 4/10/04

Tehran supports Sistani calls for calm
Thousands of Iranian pilgrims are converging on Karbala, the shrine city in southern Iraq, for tomorrow's Shia festival of Arba'een, despite attempts by Iranian authorities to restrict crossings of the two countries' 1,000km-long border. -Financial Times - 4/10/04

Quake hits southern Iranian city of Kazeroun
An earthquake measuring 3.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Kazeroun, in the southern province of Fars, early Saturday. - 4/10/04

Iraqi, Iranian Clerics Blame US for Escalating Violence in Iraq
Muslim clerics in Iraq and Iran have lashed out against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, blaming Washington for deepening a crisis in a region already torn by conflict. -VOA - 4/10/04

Iraq waiting for Iran's answer to joint oil pipeline project: Iraqi official
Iraq is waiting for Iran's answer to a Baghdad proposal of setting up a joint oil pipeline between the two countries, an Iraqi oil ministry official told an Iraqi radio saturday. - 4/10/04

Neocons See Iran Behind Shi'ite Uprising
Despite the growing number of reports that depict the fighting as a spontaneous and indigenous revolt against the U.S.-led occupation, the influential neo-cons are calling on Bush to warn Tehran to cease its alleged backing for al-Sadr and other Shia militias or face retaliation, ranging from an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities to covert action designed to overthrow the government. -Antiwar.com - 4/10/04

Iran’s very own Coppola family
Samira Makhmalbaf is just 23, her sister Hana an astonishing 15, yet they are already rivalling their director father’s fame. -Telegraph, UK - 4/9/04

US believes Iran is aiding Iraqi militias
US intelligence officials believe that Iran's hard-line and fiercely independent security services are providing support -- either directly or through proxies -- to outlawed Iraqi militia forces loyal to Shi'a Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that have been clashing with the US-led coalition during the past week, current and former US government officials and analysts said yesterday. -Boston Globe - 4/9/04

Away from home
Polly Curtis investigates the problems overseas students can face when arriving in the UK, and what's being done to address them -Guardian - 4/9/04

So this is free Baghdad
A year ago today, US troops helped pull down a statue of Saddam in Baghdad. But should they have been there in the first place? David Aaronovitch thought so at the time; this week he travelled to Iraq to see if he was right. -Guardian - 4/9/04

Battles grip Iraq on anniversary
A year after the fall of Saddam Hussein US troops are battling gunmen in the old regime's Sunni heartland while unrest continues in Iraq's Shia cities. -BBC - 4/9/04

Iranian films to be screened in Italy in favor of Bam quake victims
Two Iranian films will be screened in Milan, Italy, for three days as of next Thursday to collect financial assistance for the reconstruction of Iran's Bam quake-leveled city. - 4/9/04

Mild quake hits Bam, southeastern Iran
A 3.9 Richter quake hit the city of Bam, southeastern Iran Thursday evening. - 4/9/04

Iranian and British FMs discuss Iraq, nuke issues over phone
Foreign Ministers of Iran Kamal Kharrazi and his British counterpart Jack Straw on Friday discussed the latest developments in the region and Iraq as well as the Iranian nuclear programs. - 4/9/04

Iraq: What Will Be Iran’s Role In The Future?
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iran has frequently stressed its desire for good ties with Iraq. Iran was one of the first countries in the region last year to recognize the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. But not everyone fully believes Tehran's public pronouncements. -RFE - 4/9/04

Still Dreaming of Tehran: Iran now on neocon/Likudnik cross-hairs
The Bush Administration's hawks and their neoconservative allies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and The Weekly Standard are engaged in a high-risk and high-stakes effort to restore their fading power in Washington by pressing for a confrontation with Iran. -Axis of Logic - 4/9/04

Iran: IAEA Chief Says Tehran Has Agreed To Speed Up Cooperation
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday said after meetings with top Iranian officials that Tehran has agreed on a timetable for speeding up cooperation with the agency. However, the United States has reiterated its belief that Iran is not fully cooperating with the IAEA. -RFE - 4/8/04

Bam international reconstruction seminar to be held in May
An international seminar themed "Bam reconstruction" will be held in Geneva in mid-May, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) official said in Tehran onThursday. - 4/8/04

Swiss Probe Money Laundering in Statoil Bribery Case
Swiss authorities are investigating possible money-laundering related to charges that Statoil ASA, Norway's largest oil company, paid bribes to win business in Iran, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office said. -Bloomberg - 4/8/04

Proposed Legislation Promises To Repeal Patriot ACT, Restore Civil Liberties
Responding to a shell shocked American public, the United States Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) on October 25, 2001, just 45 days after the tragedy of September 11. -NIAC - 4/8/04

Fletcher speaker discusses U.S.-Iran relations
Former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Giandomenico Picco called for the United States and Iran to "begin an open dialogue" at his lecture in the Cabot Intercultural Center yesterday morning. -Tufts Daily, MA - 4/8/04

NIAC’s CapWiz Service: Your 'One-Stop-Shop' for the 2004 Elections!
The 2004 Presidential and Congressional elections are heating up! Choosing a candidate that best addresses your concerns and reflects your ideals can be a difficult task. Media outlets often present those running for office in sound bites that fail to provide concerned citizens with a complete understanding of the candidates and their proposals. - 4/8/04

Account of Broad Shiite Revolt Contradicts White House Stand
United States forces are confronting a broad-based Shiite uprising that goes well beyond supporters of one militant Islamic cleric who has been the focus of American counterinsurgency efforts, United States intelligence officials said Wednesday. -New York Times - 4/8/04

Senior Shia cleric criticises US and calls for calm
Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, last night condemned US forces for the way they were putting down a Shia uprising and called for calm on all sides. -Guardian - 4/8/04

Asylum seeker sent back to Iran
AN IRANIAN would-be asylum seeker has been sent back to Iran, the Federal Government confirmed today. The move was described as act of violence by the Uniting Church of Australia. -Australian - 4/8/04

Momeni Foundation accepting scholarship applications from students of Iranian descent
Momeni Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for Year 2004. - 4/8/04

Alcatel to build integrated telecom network for the South Pars gas project in Iran
Alcatel today announced that it has signed a multi-million US dollar contract to provide a fully integrated communication solution to equip, before end of 2006, an onshore gas plant and three offshore platforms of the South Pars gas field in Iran. - 4/8/04

US loses control of two cities
The US military admitted today that it had lost control of two cities to Shia militants as fierce fighting continued to rage across Iraq. -Guardian - 4/8/04

Iranian prodigy wins Asia u-16 women's chess title
Female Iranian chess phenom, Atoussa Pourkashian, celebrated the Asian under-16 title in Tehran on Thursday. - 4/8/04

Iranian and German Forign Ministers discuss ElBaradei's visit to Tehran
In a telephone conversation with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer, the two sides discussed the latest developments in Iraq and the outcomes of the recent visit to Iran of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei. - 4/8/04

Death Penalty: Latest worldwide statistics released by Amnesty International - China, Iran and U.S. at the Top
Amnesty International's report revealed that China, Iran, the USA and Viet Nam accounted for 84 percent of the 1,146 known executions carried out in 28 countries in 2003. - 4/7/04

Iran, IAEA focus on action plan to bring ties on normal track
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Wednesday that it was a good time for the visit to Iran of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei. - 4/7/04

Quakes shake cities of Bam and Semnan in Iran
Two seperate earthquakes jolted the cities of Bam and Semnan, southeast and northeast of Iran respectively, on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, it was reported here today. - 4/7/04

Iranian soccer player Hashemian to earn 1.8 million euroa a year at Bayern Munich
VfL Bochum's Iranian striker Vahid Hashemian is to earn 1.8 million euros a year at Bayern Munich, the daily Die Welt reported Wednesday, releasing financial details of the new three-year deal. - 4/7/04

Iraq: Unrest Sparks New Debate Over U.S. Strategy
Events in Iraq are highlighting the continuing instability there and sparking a sharp new debate over whether Washington's strategy is adequate to cope with the problems. -RFE - 4/7/04

Iranian and German artists to stage painting exhibition in TMCA
A German painter, Gerhard Rischter, and an Iranian artist, Mohsen Vaziri, will stage an exhibition of their paintings at Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Arts (TMCA) in mid-spring, a report received Wednesday said. - 4/7/04

Four Iranian pilgrims shot dead in Iraq by US forces
A vehicle carrying 11 Iranian pilgrims enroute from Najaf to the holy city of Kerbala, was targeted by US military forces, Hossein Vaezi said regretting that the four passengers were killed and three others were injured. - 4/7/04

UN Suspends Convoys of Iraqi Refugees Returning Home from Iran
The United Nations says it is temporarily suspending convoys of Iraqi refugees returning home from Iran because of unrest in southern Iraq. -VOA - 4/7/04

Uprising in Iraq could derail Bush
As US forces suffer another bloody day, Republicans turn on president -Guardian - 4/7/04

The U.S. is sabotaging stability in Iraq
At first, Mr. Bremer responded to Mr. al-Sadr's growing strength by ignoring him; now he is attempting to provoke him into all-out battle. -Axis of Logic - 4/7/04

Who are Iraq's Mehdi Army?
One year on from the invasion, Mr Sadr's movement continues to take on new members, now feeding on dissatisfaction with the coalition among Shia who initially welcomed the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the end to curbs on their faith. -BBC - 4/7/04

Iraq: security concerns interrupt UN refugee agency’s return convoys from Iran
Recent security incidents and tensions in southern Iraq have prompted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to temporarily interrupt its thrice-weekly convoys carrying refugees back from Iran, a spokesman for the agency said today. - 4/7/04

Iran agrees to nuclear timetable
Iran has agreed a timetable for nuclear inspections with the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei. -BBC - 4/7/04

Group allowed to edit articles from sanctioned countries
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers yesterday hailed the decision by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control as a victory for free speech, ending a saga that began more than two years ago. -Star Ledger, NJ - 4/6/04

Iran has highest rate of fatal road accidents in the world
Iran ranks first worldwide in terms of having highest number of road accidents leading to 38,000 deaths and injuries per year - 4/6/04

Iranian FM hopes Tehran summit would achieve closer stances among Caspian Sea littoral states
Kharrazi made the comment in the ongoing meeting of foreign ministers of the oil-rich Caspian Sea littoral states which kicked off in Moscow on Tuesday to resolve various issues affecting the Caspian Sea. - 4/6/04

Iran Pledges to Suspend Assembling Nuclear Equipment
The head of Iran's nuclear program says his country will suspend building and assembling nuclear equipment later this week. Gholamreza Aghazadeh spoke to reporters in Tehran, after talks Tuesday with visiting International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei. -VOA - 4/6/04

Iraqi Minister: Ground paved for Iranians' investments in Iraq
Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IGC) appointed Interior Minister Nouri al-Badran said on Monday, "Based on agreements reached with Iranian officials, the ground is now fully paved for the investments of the Iranian merchants in Iraq." - 4/6/04

Iran blames US for instability
Influential Shia leaders in the Middle East have criticised the US for the continued instability in Iraq. However, they stopped well short of endorsing the young radical Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, whose forces clashed with coalition troops for the second day yesterday. -Financial Times - 4/6/04

Iraq: Populist Cleric Al-Sadr Exploits Growing Discontent Among Impoverished Shi'a
Deadly clashes in Iraq are focusing attention on the young Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The fighting has left at least 90 people dead, including seven U.S. soldiers killed in Al-Sadr City, a poor Baghdad neighborhood that is the cleric's stronghold. -RFE - 4/6/04

Ayatollah struggles to regain initiative from young firebrand
Iraq's leading Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, struggled yesterday to retain his relevance as his call for a peaceful transition to a democratic sovereign Iraq is overtaken by a violent bid for control of southern Iraq by Moqtada al-Sadr, the young firebrand preacher. -Financial Times - 4/6/04

The road to Iraq's riots: A political power play
SUNDAY'S deadly riots look like the worst nightmare of Iraqis coming true: a Shiite uprising that could trigger not only a clash with the forces of occupation but also a civil war in the newly liberated country. -Amir Taheri, NY Post - 4/6/04

Jordan's king puts faith in hi-tech
King Abdullah of Jordan has told the BBC how he hopes to turn the country into the hi-tech capital of the Middle East. -BBC - 4/6/04

German officials deny plans for Berlin-Tehran railway link
German transportation ministry and railway company officials here Tuesday said there are no plans for the construction of a Tehran-Berlin cargo train railway link. - 4/6/04

US to allow publication of articles from Iran
The US government on Monday hinted it has lifted the article banning the publication and editing of articles by nationals of the countries in US sanctions' lists, including, and particularly the Iranian scientists. - 4/6/04

Banking on prosperity
Iran's conservative establishment is hoping that economic success, rather than democratic reform, will maintain its position of power -Guardian - 4/6/04

The League of Extraordinary Men: Leaders of the Caspian Sea littoral states
Look at the countries around the Caspian Sea: Iran, The Russian Federation, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, they are all run by persons who do not believe in democracy. The regimes of these countries have a common sickness with symptoms like dictatorship, corruption, suppression, and violation of human rights. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 4/5/04

Noises Off: Seeking Solace in the Ambient Sounds of the City
Few cinematic careers are as starkly bifurcated as that of Amir Naderi, the 57-year-old director who introduced Iranian cinema to the world with The Runner (1985), and who then moved to New York... -Village Voice - 4/5/04

Republic of Azerbaijan lifts world freestyle wrestling title
Supported by home fans, the Azeri side beat Russia 15-13 in the final to celebrate the title. - 4/5/04

Volume of Iran-Italy trade stands at Euro 3.85b
The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Italy in 2003 stood at 3.852 billion euros, the figure showing a boost of over 4.6 percent compared to the figure in the previous year - 4/5/04

Iran ready to send 10,000 pilgrims to Iraq daily
Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Ali Asghar Ahmadi said here Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to send some 10,000 pilgrims to Iraq per day. - 4/5/04

MKO Terrorist Groups to Be Expelled from Iraq Next Year: Minister
“We accept our responsibility, we have decided to expel the members of the group -the Mujahedin-e- Khalq Organization (MKO)- from the Iraqi soil. But, the execution of the decision is the duty of the coalition forces, it will be carried out by the next year,” said Iraqi interior minister on Sunday. -Tehran Times - 4/5/04

Apaches swoop on Shia militiamen
US helicopter gunships have been firing at targets in a Shia Muslim district of Baghdad on the second day of a revolt across Iraq by a religious militia. -BBC - 4/5/04

Iran's road accident leaves 29 dead, 28 injured
At least 29 passengers of a bus were killed and 28 others injured after the bus collided with a trailer in northeast Iran on Monday. - 4/5/04

10 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraqi Violence
Supporters of an anti-American cleric rioted in four Iraqi cities Sunday, killing eight U.S. troops and one Salvadoran soldier in the worst unrest since the spasm of looting and arson immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein. -Common Dreams - 4/5/04

Kidnapped, jailed, beaten ... over a bloodied T-shirt
His handsome face was seen around the world. The photograph, used on the front of the Economist magazine, showed Ahmad Batebi, his hands holding the bloodstained T-shirt of a fellow student beaten by paramilitaries. His look of indignation captured the mood of young Iranians demonstrating for democracy in the summer of 1999. -Guardian - 4/4/04

Iran's first seminar on gas export to be held in April
The first two-day Seminar on Iran's Gas Export will be held in Tehran in April to present Iran's gas export potentials as well as find new markets for this energy source, it was announced on Sunday, IRNA reported. - 4/4/04

Iran warns EU 'big three' against undercutting nuclear trust
Iran on Sunday sent a veiled warning to Britain, France and Germany after they strongly criticized Tehran for starting up a uranium conversion plant - 4/4/04

Iranian FM to head for Moscow Monday for Caspian talks
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will head for Moscow on Monday to participate at a meeting of his counterparts from Caspian Sea littoral states to discuss the sea's legal status, a senior official said in Tehran on Sunday - 4/4/04

Bush and Blair made secret pact for Iraq war
President George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001. -Guardian - 4/4/04

Protesters die in Iraq firefight
At least 19 people have been killed and around 100 injured in clashes between Spanish-led troops and demonstrators in the Iraqi city of Najaf. -BBC - 4/4/04

U.S. Slaps Sanctions Over Alleged Iran Nuke Supplies
The United States has imposed sanctions on 13 foreign companies because they are suspected of selling equipment to Iran that could be used to build nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. -RFE - 4/4/04

Iran's envoy in Canada says his country's policy would not change following parliamentary elections
Iranian Ambassador in Canada Mohammad Ali Mousavi said on Friday that Iran's foreign policy would not change tremendously following the 20 February parliamentary elections - 4/4/04

Iran denies report on discovery of bomb-grade uranium
Iran on Sunday strongly denied that traces of weapons-grade uranium had been found in its nuclear sites, stressing that the report in the Reuters news agency was 'baseless and false'. - 4/4/04

First Tehran-Berlin cargo train will run this summer
The first Tehran-Berlin cargo train is to become operational within the framework of the North-South road in August, 2004. - 4/3/04

Powell admits Iraq evidence mistake
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has admitted that evidence he submitted to the United Nations to justify war on Iraq may have been wrong. -BBC - 4/3/04

Iraqi police detain 15 illegal Iranian pilgrims in Karbala
Fifteen Iranian pilgrims are being held in police custody in this holy Shi'ite city in southern Iraq on charge of illegal entry into the war-ravaged country, an informed police source told IRNA here Saturday. - 4/3/04

Iran to remove existing tension with IAEA: lawmaker
Head of Majlis Energy Commission Hossein Afarideh here on Saturday said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is extending necessary cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a bid to remove existing tension with the organization. - 4/3/04

Interview: Samira Makhmalbaf
When Samira Makhmalbaf was young - even younger than the 18 years at which she astonished Cannes with her first feature The Apple - her father sometimes woke her at 3am. -Financial Times - 4/3/04

A glimpse at a historical village in West Azarbaijan province of Iran
The historical village of Chours located in the north of West Azarbaijan province is one of the country's most ancient rural areas which has long been known for its rich historical relics and of high appeal to historians. - 4/3/04

Beyond words
Samira Makhmalbaf is 24, and already a veteran film-maker in Iran. She like things difficult, she tells Sally Vincent. For instance, her latest film, set in Afghanistan, is about a woman who sets aside her burka and plans to become president. -Guardian - 4/3/04

Three months after deadly quake, Bam survivors turn on Iranian government
Bereaved, homeless and penniless, time is the one thing Pari has too much of. Three months on from the earthquake that killed her 10-year-old daughter and husband, and levelled her home, Pari sits in a dusty tent pitched by the side of the road.-Guardian - 4/2/04

'Lizard' to go on screen in Iran soon
Producer Mohammadi told IRNA here Friday that some major developments were responsible for the postponement in the screening of the movie, which was originally scheduled for screening at Tehran Esteghlal cinema on March 18, 2004. - 4/2/04

Iran's Parliament to examine draft on Ministry of Science plans, objectives
The draft of plans and objectives set by the the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for the new Iranian year, which has previously been returned by the Guardians Council (GC) to the Majlis, will be on the agenda of parliament when it convenes for its first session following the holidays of the New Iranian Year - 4/2/04

Photographer with a mission to tell the truth
Just a year after Kaveh Golestan died in northern Iraq, his grave at Afjeh, in the mountains above Tehran, is surrounded with springtime cherry blossom. -Financial Times - 4/2/04

Author condemns Iran's social repression
Iranian author Azar Nafisi, who recently published the novel "Reading Lolita in Tehran," addressed her views on the lack of freedom of expression and oppression in Iran at the ASEAN auditorium in the Cabot Intellectual Center last night. -Tufts Daily, MA - 4/2/04

Afghanistan Nets $8 Billion As Donor Conference Ends
Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai says that he is "very satisfied" with the results of an international donors conference for Afghanistan that wrapped up today in Berlin. -RFE - 4/2/04

'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes'
Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent - 4/2/04

U.S. Turns to Mercenaries
Building up a surrogate military force, along the lines of the French Foreign Legion or the Gurkhas, has been the ambition of conservatives for many years. The thinking is that future wars will be characterized by "low-intensity," or guerrilla, warfare. If the fighting is done by a force of irregular surrogates, people won't question their casualties as they would those of regular military personnel. -Common Dreams - 4/2/04

The diplomacy of imperialism: Iraq and US foreign policy
Part nine: American policy after the Iran-Iraq war -World Socialist - 4/2/04

Iran's nuclear facility erodes diplomatic victory
The British government made a tacit admission for the first time yesterday that its much-trumpeted diplomatic initiative to try to prevent Iran securing a nuclear weapon may be in trouble. -Guardian - 4/2/04

Iran pledges $154 million for Afghanistan reconstruction
The Islamic Republic of Iran has pledged 154 million US dollars over the next three years towards Afghanistan's political and economic reconstruction program, an Afghan Finance Ministry press release said here Friday. - 4/2/04

Iraq wants good cooperative relations with Iran, says Zebari
Foreign Minister of Iraq's Interim Governing Council (IGC) Hoshyar Zebari said Thursday that a priority of the country's incoming provisional government would be to develop mutually beneficial ties with Iran. - 4/2/04

Iranian diplomat clarifies policy on foreign presence at Caspian Sea
On the threshold of the Caspian Sea littoral states foreign ministers meeting in Moscow, Iran's ambassador to Russia, Gholam-Reza Shafei, here on Friday, voiced Tehran opposition to the presence of foreigners in the region. - 4/2/04

Los Angeles Galaxy To Play National Soccer Team Of Iran In International Friendly April 28 At The Rose Bowl
The Los Angeles Galaxy announced today that the club will host the national team of Iran, who recently climbed seven slots to claim their best-ever FIFA World Ranking of 24th place, in an international friendly on Wednesday, April 28 (7:30 pm) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. - 4/2/04

Islam in Light of Justice and Global Compassion: Progressive Islam
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 to the Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi has brought the spotlight on a group of thinkers all around the world who are engaging in a profound reevaluation of Islam in light of global concerns about democracy, human rights, and nonviolence. -Omid Safi - 4/1/04

Iran to Begin Operations at Nuclear Facility
Britain, France and Germany have expressed their concern about Iran's plan to begin operations at a uranium conversion facility. Statements Wednesday from London, Paris and Berlin said Iran's announcement Monday about activities at its Isfahan facility sends "the wrong signal" about its willingness to suspend enrichment-related activities. The three nations have demanded an explanation from Iran. -VOA - 4/1/04

"All Men Are Jerks" Book Banned in Iran
Daylle Deanna Schwartz' bestselling book on relationships, All Men Are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise, has been translated into nine languages and distributed in dozens of countries including Russia, Egypt, and Israel, but it won't be appearing in Iranian bookstores anytime soon. - 4/1/04

Maldives Holds S. Korea to Scoreless Draw in World Cup Football Qualifying
The United Arab Emirates played North Korea to a 0-0 tie while Iran defeated Laos, 7-0. Also today, Lebanon defeated Vietnam, 2-0. -VOA - 4/1/04

Iran uranium plant sparks new row
Iran has hit back after European criticism of its decision to set up a uranium conversion plant near Isfahan. -BBC - 4/1/04

NIAC Virginia members meet with Senator Allen
The National Iranian American Council held its fourth Congressional Breakfast Series meeting with Senator George Allen of Virginia on Tuesday. The meeting, attended by fourteen NIAC residents in Virginia, covered a variety of issues of great interest to Iranian Americans. - 4/1/04

Afghanistan: Author Awaits Happy Ending To 'Sewing Circles Of Herat'
The London "Sunday Times" correspondent Christina Lamb arrived in Herat one day after the Taliban regime collapsed and discovered an incredible story at the Golden Needle Sewing School -- a secret front for underground women's literature lectures. -RFE - 4/1/04

Iran: Iraqi refugee repatriation continues
Some 4,836 Iraqi refugees living in Iran have recently returned home under the repatriation programme run by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). -IRIN - 4/1/04

Afghan Army Moves Into Unruly Province Near Iran
Hundreds of men in green berets and combat fatigues, troops of the fledgling Afghan National Army, have encamped in this city (Herat) Afghanistan's border with Iran. -New York Times - 4/1/04

Americans burned and mutilated by Iraq mob
The Bush administration last night condemned as "despicable" the killing of four American civilians working in Iraq, whose charred and mutilated bodies were dragged through the streets in front of a cheering crowd. -Guardian - 4/1/04

Uzbek unrest shows Islamist rise
Militant attacks have killed 42 people so far, rocking a key ally in the US war on terror. -Christian Science Monitor - 4/1/04

Arab leaders avoid democracy debate
The Arab world has been called the least democratic region on earth, dominated by a collection of autocrats, semi-feudal monarchs, and presidents for life. Now, as never before, Arab countries are facing demands for reform. And most of the pressure is coming from the United States. -BBC - 4/1/04

Iraq's Oil Output Is Up, But Pace Of Future Growth Uncertain
Iraqi oil officials say the country's oil sector is now routinely producing close to 2.5 million barrels per day -- about the same amount Iraq produced just before last year's war. -RFE - 4/1/04

Remembering Kaveh Golestan
Today, Thursday April 1, is Kaveh Golestan’s anniversary. One year ago, Kaveh was killed in northern Iraq while doing what he loved most. A Pulitzer award winning photographer, Kaveh was in Iraq offering a different perspective of war to the world through his camera. And then he himself became part of the tragedy of war when he stepped on a landmine. - 4/1/04

Kamran Behrouz: The Iranian Bosch?
When I saw the works of Kamran Behrouz, I immediately thought of a bright, cool Iranian, a descendent of Dali school. I was rather impressed with the works of this young artist that were on display for the first time at Elahe Gallery earlier this month. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/1/04

Iranians mark sizdehbedar festivity
Iranian families spent today, i.e. Sizdehbedar, that is the last day of the new year break, outdoors. On Sizdehbedar, also known in Iran as the national 'picnic celebration', Iranians leave houses and head for parks, beaches and greenspace to celebrate a happy and healthy holiday season by eating traditional food, munching nuts and playing games - 4/1/04
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