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Iranian Supporting Institute for Hearing Impaired (ISIHI)
It is always good to discover an organisation in this huge city of ours where dedicated individuals are doing their best for a special group of people. Last week, as part of my work for the Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF) I went with my husband Paul to see Mr Sadeghi, Mr Yekta and Mrs Amir Kaveh who with the help of others run the Iranian Supporting Institute for Hearing Impaired (ISIHI). -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/30/07

Open Letter To The American Chemical Society Members
On behalf of the Iranian academic community and the Iranian American Professional Associations we are writing you to ask your assistance in reversing the unilateral decision of the Board of ACS to terminate the membership of chemists living in select countries, mainly in Iran, and mostly university professors. - 4/30/07

50 Years of Iranian Typography to go on display in Basel, Switzerland
The “Iranian Typography, 50 Years of Calligraphy and Typography in Iranian Graphic Design” exhibition is a platform on which to debate the characteristics that are peculiar to the Iranian and Swiss visual cultures. We hope that it will not hasten the “harmonization” of the two cultures, but will strengthen each in its singularity. - 4/30/07

The Site of the One Million Signatures Campaign Blocked for the Fifth Time
Change for Equality: The site of the "One Million Signatures Campaign" which aims to provide education to the public and collect signatures in support of a petition demanding changes to discriminatory laws against women, has been filtered for the fifth time in less than 8 months. - 4/30/07

Inside the struggle for Iran
A grand coalition of anti-government forces is planning a second Iranian revolution via the ballot box to deny President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another term in office and break the grip of what they call the "militia state" on public life and personal freedom. -Guardian - 4/30/07

Preventing War With Iran
A forum at MIT on Tuesday, May 8th, featuring Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Fatemeh Keshavarz and Niki Akhavan: Why is the US targeting Iran? What are the dangers of a wider war? What can citizens do to prevent the expansion of the US-led war in the Middle East? - 4/30/07

U.S., Iran Could Meet At Iraqi Conference
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she might meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki at an upcoming conference on stabilizing Iraq. -RFE - 4/30/07

Iranian journalist Ali Farahbakhsh sentenced to prison
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran reportedly sentenced journalist Ali Farahbakhsh to three years' imprisonment and a fine of about US$71,000 on 26 March, on charges of espionage and "receiving money from foreigners". He had been arrested on 27 November 2006, when he returned from a conference in the Thai capital, Bangkok, on government and the media, organised by Thai NGOs. -Amnesty International - 4/30/07

In Ahmadinejad's Iran, Jews still find a space
Some 25,000 Jews still live in Iran and many say that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fiery anti-Israeli rhetoric is about politics, not religion. -CSM - 4/30/07

Memories of an American boy
This essay aims to provide some background for the photos taken in Abadan in the late '50s taken by my father, Charles Schroeder. Some general features of the expatriate experience in Abadan will be given here along with some more personal reminiscences. -Paul Schroeder, Iranian - 4/30/07

Referendum or Capitulation?
It has been suggested by some distinguished Iranian figures such as the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi and a few media pundits such as Abbas Milani, that the government of Iran should hold a national referendum on the country’s nuclear program. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/30/07

Persian Gulf plays decisive role in attracting investment
Persian Gulf plays a decisive role in the country's sustainable development and the three free trade zones in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea area are very effective in attracting domestic and foreign investment. -IRNA - 4/30/07

Caucasus: Is Putin's CFE Threat Aimed At The Region?
On one level, President Vladimir Putin's announcement in his annual address to the nation on April 26 that Russia may suspend its compliance with the amended 1999 Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) is nothing new, given that for the past two years, senior Russian diplomats have repeatedly threatened to withdraw from that treaty completely. -RFE - 4/30/07

20th Tehran International Book Fair opens May 1st
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is to inaugurate the 20th Tehran International Book Fair tomorrow. Several publishers, writers, and scientific and cultural celebrities are expected to participate in the opening ceremony. -MNA - 4/30/07

Iran participating in electricity sectors of 10 countries
Iran is coordinating construction of dams, power plants and electricity transfer networks with 10 countries, deputy power minister for legal, parliamentary and logistic affairs said on Sunday. -IRNA - 4/30/07

Iran ban on 'Western' hairstyles
Iranian police have warned barbers not to give men Western hairstyles or use make up on them. -BBC - 4/30/07

Iran to Attend International Conference on Iraq Security
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will participate in the two-day conference, which starts on Thursday in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort. News of Iran's participation came as Tehran's top national security official, Ali Larijani, arrived in Baghdad for talks on the conference. -VOA - 4/29/07

Iranian puppets to appear in Italy's Arrivano Dalmare festival
Iranian traditional puppets are to perform in the 32nd edition of Arrivano Dalmare festival in Italy. (May.01-6) -ISNA - 4/29/07

Restoration of Cyrus' Tomb to be Resumed
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of Achaemenid dynasty who ruled over Persia from 550 to 530 BC, will be restored again with replacing its ceiling stones which have been damaged with new ones. Meanwhile, the lichen will be also removed from the body of the tomb. -CHN - 4/29/07

General says Israel no threat to "powerful Iran"
Major General Alireza Afshar said on Sunday that Israel can never be a threat to "powerful Iran". In an interview with Germany's Focus magazine on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert claimed that Iran's nuclear program could be severely hit if 1,000 cruise missiles were to be fired in a 10-day attack. -MNA - 4/29/07

Three Iranian films in Dokfest festival in Munich
The 22nd edition of Dokfest international film festival will open with 3 Iranian films this year in Munich, Germany. (May.02-10) -ISNA - 4/29/07

Afghanistan: Kabul's Record Criticized At Brussels Forum
The record of Afghanistan's government was questioned today at a high-level international conference in Brussels. The message of several key speakers during the German Marshall Fund's Forum in Brussels was that Afghanistan's democratically elected government may be turning into an impediment to progress five years after the collapse of the Taliban regime. -RFE - 4/29/07

Iran power consumption rate triple world figure
Iran's electricity consumption rate is three times the world's, said Semnan Province Power Transmission Co. managing director on Sunday. -MNA - 4/29/07

EU's Solana Calls On U.S. To Start Talks With Iran
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana has called on the United States to open a direct "channel of communication" with Iran on all subjects. -RFE - 4/28/07

2003 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Shirin Ebadi to Speak at Cal Poly May 1
The Persian Students of Cal Poly will host a talk by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in Harman Hall in the Christopher Cohan Center. - 4/28/07

Parnian to compete in Archaeology Channel Film Festival
In this unusual and haunting drama, Mr. Yaghmaei, an archaeologist excavating in the southern region of Iran with his wife and son, finds the skeleton of a young, pregnant woman containing the fetal bones of her unborn child. - 4/28/07

Iran: Female child offender's death sentence confirmed
Delara Darabi's death sentence has been confirmed by the Supreme Court, according to a 25 April report in the newspaper Etemad. The verdict has apparently been sent to the office of the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, for consideration. -Amnesty International - 4/28/07

Louvre corrects distorted name of Persian Gulf on maps and signs
The Louvre Museum has corrected the distorted name of the Persian Gulf on its maps and signs at the sections of Islamic art and Near Eastern antiquities. -MNA - 4/28/07

Iran, EU Seek Nuclear Deal
The Iranian government's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, says his country and the European Union are edging toward a common view in some areas in their talks to end an international deadlock over Iran's nuclear program. He spoke after day-long talks in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Amberin Zaman has details for VOA from Istanbul. - 4/28/07

Iran should participate in Sharm el-Sheikh conference: former FM
For the benefit of Iraq, Iran should participate in the Sharm el-Sheikh conference, former foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Friday. -MNA - 4/28/07

Prospect of Sharm el-Sheikh meeting for Iran
Despite charging Iran with interference in Iraq's internal affairs, Washington has now increased its attempts to attract Iran's agreement to attend the upcoming meeting of Iraq's neighboring countries in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh. -IRNA - 4/28/07

Envoy: Iran to export two bn tons of gas to Austria for 25 years
Iran's Ambassador to Vienna Seyed Mohsen Nabavi said on Saturday that based on the agreement signed recently between the Iranian and Austrian oil companies, 2.02 billion tons of liquid gas will be exported to Austria for 25 years. -IRNA - 4/28/07

Foreign investors eyeing Assaluyeh
The executive director of the South Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Organization said here on Thursday that negotiations with European banks for investment in Assaluyeh have begun. -MNA - 4/28/07

Former CIA Director Tenet Slams VP Cheney Over Iraq War
The former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is strongly criticizing Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials, saying they led the country into war with Iraq without conducting a serious debate about whether Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the United States. -VOA - 4/28/07

NY Film Festival Salutes Foreign Movies
The sixth annual Tribeca Film Festival has opened in New York with its usual fanfare, hosting the U.S. premiere of "Spiderman 3," the latest installment of the international hit movies based on the comic book character. But beyond the flashbulbs, red carpets and celebrities, the film festival has quickly established itself as one of the world's top venues for documentaries and foreign films. -VOA - 4/28/07

Foreign investment in Iran's oil industry up by 9.1 percent last year
Over dlrs 14.2 billion worth of foreign investments was made in the oil industry in the said period with the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) attracting most of the amount, said an special report on Iran oil industry. -IRNA - 4/28/07

Iran Deporting Afghan Refugees
Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry is expressing concern over the expulsion of Afghan refugees from Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported. -RFE - 4/28/07

Iran: National Security Laws Used to Jail Women's Rights Activists
The head of Iran's Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, should immediately overturn the convictions this week of six women's rights advocates and end the Judiciary's persecution of all such human rights defenders, Human Rights Watch said today. - 4/27/07

A modern Orientalist view of Iran
An article titled "A Nation of Nose Jobs, Not Nuclear War" by Peter Hitchens in Mail on Sunday is only one of many recent audacious pieces that amalgamates two favorite issues used to support the American propaganda machine against Iranian sovereignty: women and the nuclear energy program. -Shirin Saeidi, CASMII - 4/27/07

From Boris Yeltsin's Christian funeral to the war on terror
Boris Yeltsin's funeral and burial in Moscow were remarkable and historic in many profound senses. Yeltsin was the first democratically-elected president of the Russian Federation, which was built on the ruins of the Soviet Empire. -Farhang Jahanpour - 4/27/07

World's first Muslim skydiving school opens in Tehran
PAAviation has recently opened the world's FIRST Muslim skydiving school in Tehran. Due to the fact that we have female instructors, we can uniquely allow Muslim women to experience the thrill and exhilaration of skydiving, in accordance with Islamic regulations. - 4/27/07

Congressmen Moran, Gilchrest and NIAC President call for diplomacy
“All of the options we are currently looking at, even dialogue, are grounded in a context of conflict and hostility,” NIAC President Trita Parsi said Monday at a George Mason University conference sponsored by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. -NIAC - 4/27/07

Crackdown in Iran over dress codes
Thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned over their poor Islamic dress this week and several hundred arrested in the capital Tehran in the most fierce crackdown on what's known as "bad hijab" for more than a decade. -BBC - 4/27/07

McCain Joke Raises Concern
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) today expressed concerns over presidential candidate John McCain's "bomb Iran" joke and his subsequent dismissal of allegations that his comments were insensitive and have the potential to reinforce negative stereotypes concerning Iranian Americans. - 4/27/07

US General Says Iran-Linked Group Attacked US Troops
The top U.S. commander in Iraq says an Iraqi group affiliated with an elite Iranian force carried out an attack last year in which five U.S. soldiers were killed near the Iraqi town of Karbala. The statement by General David Petraeus follows months of suspicion about Iranian involvement in the incident, but the general says he cannot directly connect Iranian agents to the attack. -VOA - 4/27/07

Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji Wins Abbot Award
Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji has won the prestigious House of Commons Press Gallery Speaker Abbot Award for his fight for parliamentary democracy in the Islamic republic. - 4/27/07

EU: Russia, Iran Expected To Top Agenda At EU-U.S. Summit
Concerns over Russia's democratic record will be on the agenda of the twice-yearly U.S.-EU summit -- where, in the words of one senior EU official Russia now occupies a "prominent" place. -RFE - 4/27/07

French stage director Gilbert Tsai to hold workshops in Tehran
Tsai who has a gift for turning unusual places such as a library, a park and an apartment into stage, has previously worked to perform plays with Iranian actors. -ISNA - 4/27/07

Illusions in Struggle: A Note on Palestine and Iran
Two Films, Paradise Now and Offside, Signify Two 'National' Problems -Mehdi Hosseini, Third Script - 4/27/07

Nobel Peace Laureate Calls for Nuclear Referendum
Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is urging the Iranian government to hold a national referendum on the country’s controversial nuclear programme, because it “has a direct impact” on the lives of millions of Iranian citizens. -IPS - 4/27/07

Soros Says Revolutions Don't Build Democracies
Billionaire financier George Soros hardly needs an introduction, especially in Eastern Europe and the CIS. Through his Open Society Institute and national Soros Foundations, he has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to fund philanthropic projects in the region, aimed at promoting the rebirth of civil society. -RFE - 4/27/07

Mr. Bush, Tear Down These Walls!
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" With those six words, President Ronald Reagan cemented his place in history. Uttered on June 12, 1987, with America's "Great Communicator" standing at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, Reagan’s speech is seen by many as signifying the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union’s hold over Eastern Europe. -Scott Ritter, TruthDig - 4/27/07

Sweden's Scania to sell buses to Iran
Scania, the leading Swedish manufacturer of heavy trucks and buses, is to start delivery of passenger buses to Iran this year. -IRNA - 4/27/07

Georgia Divestment Legislation Targeting Iran Fails
Republican Georgia State Senator Judson Hill’s legislation that would prevent public retirement systems from investing funds in corporations with business dealings with Iran failed to pass the Georgia Legislature last week. -NIAC - 4/27/07

Regional powers fight over Lebanon
In the southern suburbs of Beirut, pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, are not an uncommon sight. -BBC - 4/27/07

US Invites Iranian Wrestlers for Pre-Olympic Training
The State Department says Iranian wrestlers are being invited to the United States to train with American wrestlers for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It says efforts are under way to increase the limited sports exchanges between the two countries. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 4/26/07

Iran's Larijani terms his nuclear talks with Solana as "very good"
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani here Thursday assessed as "very good" his talks with the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana held on Wednesday on ongoing standoff over Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 4/26/07

Iranian sportsmen invited to hold warm-up camps in US: Official
Secretary General of Iran's National Olympic Committee Ali Kaffashian said in Tehran on Wednesday that his committee has received three letters of invitations from the US National Olympic Committee. -IRNA - 4/26/07

U.S.: Administration Seeks To Engage Iran, Syria On Iraq
For months, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has resisted the idea of holding talks with Iran and Syria, which he accuses of mischief in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. But this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, urged Iran and Syria to attend next week's talks on stabilizing Iraq. -RFE - 4/26/07

Professor Nadoushan to lecture at University of Toronto on Iran's history and culture
Iranian literary researcher, Professor Mohammad Ali Islami Nadoushan will soon deliver a series of lectures on Iran's history and culture at University of Toronto. -ISNA - 4/26/07

Zebari says Iraq government has decided to expel MKO terrorist group from Iraq
Visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in Tehran Wednesday evening " Iraq government has decided to expel members of the terrorist group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from the country." -IRNA - 4/26/07

Iranian pedalists to carry message of peace to Europe, American continents
Some 14 Iranian pedalists are to embark on a tour of Europe and American continents to convey the message of peace from Iranian nation to the people of the world, caretaker of the group Mehrdad Kazemi said on Wednesday. -IRNA - 4/26/07

A Roundtable in London on Iran's Nuclear Program
In this meeting (on Friday 27 April), organized by Forum Iran, the speakers examine the roots of conflict, the current situation of Iranian nuclear activity, its possible justifications and/or shortcomings and possible effects of a peaceful resolution, economic sanctions and/or a military confrontation. - 4/26/07

Iran's foreign debts reach $23.2 billion by January 2007
Based on the figures released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the country's foreign debts by January 20, 2007 reached $23.2 billion. - 4/26/07

Berlin faces mounting criticism by German firms over Iran financial sanctions
German companies have stepped up their criticism of the German government for backing UN financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying their business interests have been severely affected by the controversial political move. -Saeid Najar Nobari - 4/26/07

UNICEF surveying Afghan children's problems in Tehran
In a meeting on the issue, the Afghanistan Charge de Affaires to Tehran Abdol-Ghafour Arezoo said that during the last three decades three generations of Afghans immigrated to Iran and based on statistics there have been more than one million of them residing here. -IRNA - 4/26/07

Response to McCain
The "Maverick" Republican senator John McCain of Arizona, thinking that he is smart enough to replace George Bush in 2008 has proposed Bombing Iran to continue George Bush's legacy of bombing Iraq in 2001. -Ali A. Parsa - 4/26/07

Iran, EU To Continue Nuclear Talks
Iranian and EU officials plan to hold fresh talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program in two weeks. The announcement came in the wake of talks in Turkey on April 25 between EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana and Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. -RFE - 4/26/07

US Expectations Low for Solana-Larijani Meeting
The State Department said Wednesday there has been no softening of the U.S. position on Iran's nuclear program, and that its expectations for an Ankara meeting between Iranian and European Union envoys are low. EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana is meeting Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in the Turkish capital. -VOA - 4/26/07

Iran's 2006 imports mainly came from 10 states
Iran’s 2006 imports mainly came from 10 states -MNA - 4/26/07

Water Becomes Source of Cooperation in the Middle East
During the 1990s, there was a common belief that the arid conditions in the Middle East would place water at the center of future wars in that region, but U.S. officials helping to coordinate water resource management in the region report that water is more often a source of cooperation than conflict. -USINFO - 4/26/07

Iran holds 55% of world pistachio production
Iran holds 55 percent of world's pistachio production, said the National Conference on Pistachio Processing and Packaging Secretary Nasser Sedaqat in Mashhad, the capital of northeastern Khorassan Province, on Wednesday. -MNA - 4/26/07

Four Iranian films in Aljazeera documentary festival
The third round of this international festival will be held from the 23rd to the 26th of April 2007 in Qatar. -ISNA - 4/26/07

HP printers still best seller printers in Iran
According to latest opinion poll launched in early April, the ICT Activists Club members believe HP printers with 41% of Iran market is still the best seller. -Taliya News - 4/26/07

Role of Women in Middle East Media Grows
Mehrangiz Kar, a journalist and human rights activist from Iran, says that 65 percent of students at Iranian universities today are women, and many of them study journalism. -VOA - 4/26/07

Iran still undecided on Iraq conference
"The participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sharm el-Sheikh is still unclear," Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki told reporters at a joint press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. -MNA - 4/26/07

Iran's Nuclear Programme and Regional Security
The following is an edited version of a talk given by Farhang Jahanpour on 16 March 2007 at a joint Oxford Research Group (ORG) ¨C Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) conference on "How might a UK decision to replace Trident affect key current proliferation concerns? Regional and global perspectives". - 4/25/07

Iran: Crackdown Intensifies On Students, Activists, And Teachers
The Iranian establishment has long been criticized by rights groups for being intolerant toward critics. The country is often described as the biggest jail for journalists in the Middle East and harassment of activists is a routine part of the political scene. -RFE - 4/25/07

Iran welcomes correct, precise talks: Larijani
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani arrived in Ankara Wednesday to hold talks with the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. -IRNA - 4/25/07

RFE/RL Condemns Iran's Treatment of Journalist
RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin has condemned news that the Iranian government plans to keep RFE/RL journalist Parnaz Azima from leaving Iran for up to three years. - 4/25/07

Sale of British made aircraft to Iranian government, brokered by PAAviation
PAAviation has brokered a deal which has resulted in the sale of a Britten Norman Islander aircraft, to the Iranian government. This is officially the first brand new "Western" made aircraft sold to Iran, since the Islamic revolution of 1979. - 4/25/07

Iranian artist displays musical paintings in France and U.S.
An Iranian painter and musician is to represent his paintings along with performance of Persian Instrument, Setar, in France and the United States. Based on an invitation from the Gallery 77 in Paris, Reza Derakhshani will soon hold an exhibition to represent his latest 25 paintings to the public. -ISNA - 4/25/07

UNESCO to Cooperate in Preparing Tehran's Urban Landscape
UNESCO, Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, Tehran¡¯s architecture association, and Tehran¡¯s municipality and city council will cooperate to prepare the map of Tehran¡¯s urban landscape. -CHN - 4/25/07

Iran's Reformers Must Address Economic Problems, Panelists Say
Washington - Iran's democratic reformers must offer solutions for the country's economic problems, which for most Iranians represent the current government's biggest failure, said participants at a recent seminar on the future of democracy in Iran. -USINFO - 4/25/07

The hearts of people meet through music
Dutch documentary filmmaker Frank Scheffer, who is known for the documentaries he has made on some of the world's outstanding composers, is in Iran to participate in a program arranged by Iran's literary monthly Bokhara entitled "An Evening with Frank Scheffer", which will be held in Tehran at the Iranian Artists Forum on Thursday. -MNA - 4/25/07

Iranian Authorities Release Award-Winning Author
Yaghub Yadali, an Iranian writer awarded with a prestigious literary prize, has been released in Iran after spending some 40 days in detention. - 4/25/07

Iranian films can respond to '300': ASIFA president
Iranian president of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA) said that national films and animations can respond to the Warner Brother's historically inaccurate film '300'. -MNA - 4/25/07

Austrian Expert says Iran trustworthy gas supplier to EU
An Austrian expert said on Tuesday that Iran is trustworthy gas supplier to the European Union countries. Lecturer at Vienna University Karin Kneissl made the remarks in an exclusive interview with IRNA. - 4/25/07

Iran should resolutely participate in Iraq conference: official
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran should participate in the Iraq security conference in a resolute way. - 4/25/07

Iran's economic growth in 2006 hit 5.3%
Based on the preliminary figures released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the country's economic growth in the first nine months of the past Iranian calendar year 1385 (ended March 20, 2007) stood at 5.3 percent. -MNA - 4/25/07

Iranian diplomat was kidnapped by U.S. agents: official
"Tehran believes that the U.S. kidnapped Jalal Sharafi," an Iranian Foreign Ministry official said in Tehran on Tuesday. The official, who requested anonymity, added that it is also possible that Iraqi and U.S. agents cooperated in the kidnapping of Sharafi, who was the second secretary of the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad. -MNA - 4/25/07

Armenia/Turkey: Still Divided On Genocide, But Signs Of Warming
Armenians around the world are commemorating the 92nd anniversary of the mass killings and deportations of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Armenians refer to this chapter in their history as genocide -- a term the Turks firmly reject. -RFE - 4/25/07

In Iran, web-savvy clerics reach out to faithful
QOM, Iran -- This has always been a city with one foot in the present and two in the medieval past. A walk down its dusty main boulevard threads through epochs. Fast food chelo kebab stands and souvenir shops, with wallet-size portraits of the 7th century martyr Imam Hussein, crowd outside the colossal gold and blue domes of the Hazrat Masumeh shrine. -Times - 4/25/07

U.S. skepticism mounts over Iranian denials on missing ex-FBI man
The United States is growing increasingly skeptical of Iranian claims not to know anything about a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran more than a month ago and has stepped up diplomatic efforts to find him. -AP - 4/25/07

Iranian Students Protest Against New Rules
More than 2,000 university students are protesting against the tightening of rules on student's behavior and dress, Radio Farda reported. The demonstration began in Shiraz University on April 22 after new rules were announced, including a ban on shorts and tank tops for boys in the dormitories. - 4/24/07

EU's Solana Upbeat Ahead of Nuclear Talks With Iran
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed cautious optimism Monday his talks later this week with his Iranian counterpart in nuclear talks, Ali Larijani, will be positive. Teri Schultz reports for VOA from Brussels. - 4/24/07

NIAC rebuts MKO and FrontPage Magazine¡¯s untruths and fabrications
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has been the target of several erroneous, maliciously defamatory opinion pieces by Kenneth Timmerman and Hassan Daioleslam in Frontpage Magazine. - 4/24/07

John McCain: Statesman, Maverick or Demagogue?
Senator John McCain's recent rock music parody which suggested that the United States "bomb Iran" would have been less offensive had it come from a speaker with no experience of war or violent death. McCain however, is a veteran pilot who flew bombing missions against North Vietnam. -Bob Petrusak - 4/24/07

Iran Journalists Call For Colleague's Release
More than 250 Iranian journalists have called in an open letter to Iran's top judiciary official for the release of jailed colleague Ali Farahbakhsh, Radio Farda reported. - 4/24/07

Anger at Iran dress restrictions
In past years the pressure quickly relaxed - headscarves become perched on the back of heads, while fashionable women in affluent north Tehran wear open-toed sandals, three-quarter length trousers and short skin-hugging overcoats. But this year the crackdown seems more serious. -BBC - 4/24/07

Iran retains world sitting volleyball title
Holder Iran was crowned at the World Under-23 Sitting Volleyball Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday. -MNA - 4/24/07

Iranian regime penalises university activists
Iran's "starred" students - politically active university students barred from continuing with their studies - are desperately trying to obtain the right to go on with their education. Undergraduates who have criticised the government are given one to three penalty points, according to the possible threat they are said to pose. -Guardian - 4/24/07

Larijani: Gates's anti-Iran claim 'a very big joke'
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Monday dismissed as 'a very big joke' the claim of the US Defense Secretary Roberts Gates that Iran assists al-Qaeda, saying it is an escape forward. -IRNA - 4/24/07

Iran's President Says Ready For Talks With Bush
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says he's ready to hold direct negotations with U.S. President George W. Bush. - 4/24/07

Tehran to host Summit of Caspian Sea littoral states
Tehran will host the Summit of Caspian Sea littoral states soon, the deputy foreign minister for Asia, Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) said on Monday. -IRNA - 4/24/07

Iran's 2006 budget deficit neared $16B
Iran's real budget deficit in the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2007), hit Rls.147.554 trillion (15.992 billion dollars). -MNA - 4/24/07

An irritated U.S. says it will protest Austrian gas deal with Iran
Irritated by the prospect of a huge European gas development deal with Iran, the Bush administration said Monday it will argue that such transactions undercut international bargaining power with Iran over its nuclear program. -AP - 4/24/07

Iran's ThyssenKrupp shares worth 600-700 million Euro: IFIC
Iran Foreign Investment Company (IFIC) managing director said on Monday the country's shares in Germany's ThyssenKrupp were valued at 600 to 700 million euros. -MNA - 4/24/07

Iranian FM wraps up Latin America tour, returns home
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki wound up his week-long visit to Latin American states and left Havana, Cuba, for Tehran Monday night. -IRNA - 4/24/07

Britain to rethink relations with Iran in formal protest over hostage crisis
Britain is to protest formally to Iran as part of a "recalibration" of relations with the Islamic Republic since the seizure of 15 sailors and marines in the Shatt al-Arab waterway this month. -Guardian - 4/24/07

Iranians Protest Sivand Dam Project
Around 100 Iranians demonstrated in Tehran today against a dam project that critics say will likely flood the country's grandest archeological sites. Protesters carried banners and symbols from Iran's pre-Islamic Zoroastrian religion and called for the resignation of the top culture and heritage official. - 4/23/07

Rice urges Iran to take part in Iraq Conference: Financial Times
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Iran to take part in the meeting on Iraq on May 5. She told the Financial Times it would be a "missed opportunity" if Tehran failed to attend. -IRNA - 4/23/07

Iran: Supreme Court Upholds Principle Of Morality Killings
Iran's Supreme Court this month issued a ruling that upholds the idea that people may be killed with impunity if they are deemed to be immoral. The case confirms Iranians' suspicions that some people in Iran can get away with murder: religious fundamentalists, individuals associated with shadowy "pressure groups," or those linked to hard-line clerics. -RFE - 4/23/07

Iran, Russia wrap up talks on Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
The talks, in which Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh and Head of Atomstroiexport Sergei Shmatko led the two sides, focused on removal of financial and technical problems on the way of the project. No more details on the talks have yet been released. -IRNA - 4/23/07

Kiarostami Reveals Name of Film With Binoche
In a recent interview with the Persepolis Cultural Association of Toulouse in France, Abass Kiarostami the Famed Iranian Film Maestro and Cannes Palme D'Or winner of 1997 for The Taste of the Cherry confirmed that he will be shooting a film with French Star Juliette Binoche (Oscar winner for the English Patient) who visited Iran last year. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/23/07

Iran: A nation of nose jobs, not nuclear war
For years we in the West have been looking for a new Evil Empire to fill the gap left when Russia - a genuine threat - retired from the job and deprived us of an enemy. What were all those spies to do? How could we justify those missiles and bombs? What should we be scared of now? -The Mail, UK - 4/23/07

Iran stands 23rd among world exporting states
Exporting products worth $75 billion, Iran witnessed a 23 percent rise, WTO said, adding that Iran accounted for five percent of the world's imports in the previous year. -MNA - 4/23/07

Iran Cracks Down On Underground Music
Authorities in Iran have reportedly detained at least six members of underground music bands during the past week and shut down their studios, Radio Farda reported. -RFE - 4/23/07

Iran to export Samand sedan to China
Preliminaries have been done to export 1,000 Samand sedan to China, managing director of ISACO company said on Sunday. -IRNA - 4/23/07

Five kidnapped Iranian diplomats to see their families soon
Through the efforts of the international committee of the Red Cross the kidnapped Iranian diplomats in Arbil will soon be able to see their families. -ISNA - 4/23/07

Iran to start rationing gasoline May 22
The ultimate date for rationing gasoline is May 22, the Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Mohammadreza Ne'matzadeh said in Tehran on Saturday. -MNA - 4/23/07

Discovery of Sassanian Architectural Evidence in Golestan
Geophysical studies in Minoo Dasht led into discovery traces of some architectural evidence dating back to Sassanian dynastic era (224-651 AD) in Iranian Northern Province of Golestan. -CHN - 4/23/07

A generation of street kids hustling in Iran
A decade ago, street children were rare in Iran, with its long traditions of charity for the poor, government aid programs and strong family connections. No more. -Times - 4/23/07

Russian Defense Minister Says U.S. Missile Shield A Threat
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Washington's missile-defense plans could seriously threaten regional and global stability. -RFE - 4/23/07

Central Bank of Iran puts last year's inflation rate at 13.6%
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Sunday said that the inflation rate for the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2007) stood at 13.6 percent. The figure is by far less than those announced by other domestic or international sources, ISNA news agency said on Sunday. -MNA - 4/23/07

What Price for an “Advisory” Timetable? Bar an Unauthorized Attack on Iran
Last time, the Out of Iraq caucus won a commitment from Speaker Pelosi that the provision barring an attack on Iran without Congressional authorization, dropped from the supplemental, would be voted on at a later date. The “later date” is likely to be the defense authorization bill, The Hill reports, with Senator Jim Webb and many House Democrats pushing for a vote on the Iran provision. -Common Dreams - 4/23/07

Bomb explosion across Iran's Embassy in Iraq leaves 1 dead, 4 wounded
A relatively powerful bomb explosion across Iran's Embassy in Baghdad on Monday left one person dead and four others injured. -IRNA - 4/23/07

Iran to unveil Tondar 90 sedan in June
Iran's two major automakers, Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO) and SAIPA, are prepared to roll out their joint product, Tondar 90, in June, ILNA news agency said Sunday. -MNA - 4/23/07

Ethnic spat heats up Pakistan-Iran border
While Tehran stares down Washington and deflects Arab concerns over its nuclear ambitions, it is now also fighting a skirmish with militants across its Western border with Pakistan, fanning concerns that an area already mired in Taliban violence and an ethnic insurgency could be further destabilized. -CSM - 4/23/07

Washington, Ankara face Kurdistan dilemma
Middle Eastern affairs expert Hossein Ruyvaran said here on Saturday that any military action by Turkey in northern Iraq would significantly affect the political situation in the region. -MNA - 4/23/07

Israeli Premier Prefers Diplomacy On Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he prefers diplomacy -- as opposed to a military operation -- in dealing with Iran's nuclear program. - 4/23/07

Iran, Austria sign agreement on LNG sale to Europe
Iran and Austria on Saturday signed an agreement for 2.2 million tons of LNG. The agreement was signed between the National Gas Exports Company of Iran and Austria's OMV Company on the sidelines of the 12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition.-IRNA - 4/21/07

Iran: Arrests of peaceful demonstrators and activists continue
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all those detained in connection with recent peaceful demonstrations by teachers, students and others, to halt all trial proceedings that could result in the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience and to cease harassment of those campaigning to uphold human rights, including trade union and political rights. - 4/21/07

MPs call for prompt release of Iranian diplomats detained in Iraq
Iranian politicians are losing patience about the continued illegal detainment of Iranian diplomats by U.S. forces in Iraq. One hundred days have passed since U.S. troops stormed the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11 and arrested five diplomats under the pretext that they were fomenting violence in Iraq. -MNA - 4/21/07

Award-Winning Writer Yaghub Yadali Jailed In Iran
Yaghub Yadali, an Iranian writer who received a prestigious literary prize, has been jailed in Iran. Yadali's wife, Akram Kabiri, was quoted by Iranian news agencies as saying that her husband has been in prison in the southwestern town of Yasuj for some 40 days. - 4/21/07

US Lawmakers Call on India to Halt Military Cooperation with Iran
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has asked India to cease its growing military cooperation with Iran. New Delhi and Tehran recently stepped up military-to-military cooperation. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, such efforts could spell trouble for the pending nuclear deal between the United States and India. - 4/21/07

SAIS Panel: Road to Democracy in Iran goes through Civil Society and Economic Reform
Iran is facing major cultural and societal challenges, causing the reform movement to lie in a state of dormancy. To make the movement relevant within Iranian society, there must be a revival of ideas geared toward democratic and economic prosperity. -Sara Shokravi, NIAC - 4/21/07

Running on Inferno's Platform
Senator John McCain (R, Arizona) while on a campaign in N. Carolina, was videoed singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann". To this ¡®hero¡¯ of the Vietnam War, the White House means not only prolonging the Iraq war and the death of more Americans and slaughter of Iraqis, which he has strongly endorsed , but also the genocide of innocent Iranians. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/21/07

Mokarrameh's birthplace becomes budding painting village
The Son of the late Iranian artist Mokarrameh Qanbari is convinced that the birthplace of the artist has great potential for being turned into a painting village. -MNA - 4/21/07

Women are free to participate in every field in Iran: MPs
Members of Cultural Commission of Iranian Parliament emphasised that women in Iran are free to participate in every part of social life. The three member Iranian delegation comprising Mrs. Fatemeh Rahbar, Mrs. Fatemeh Alia and Laleh Iftekhari talked to the media persons in the premises of Iranian Culture House in New Delhi -IRNA - 4/21/07

When all else fails, blame Iran
Matters must be really deteriorating in Afghanistan. Why else would the Pentagon brass now be darkly suggesting that Iranian arms have been "captured," supposedly on their way to the Taliban? It sounds suspiciously like the tired old formula; when matters go really bad somewhere in the Middle East, change the subject and blame Iran. -Just World News - 4/21/07

Germany: Founder Of Council Of Ex-Muslims Seeks To 'Break Taboo'
Mina Ahadi, an Iranian-born activist living in Germany, has founded a council of former Muslims who have renounced their faith. Members of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims are immigrants from predominantly Islamic countries. Ahadi, who is now under police protection, spoke with RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari. - 4/21/07

Iraq and the Kurds: Resolving the Kirkuk Crisis
A new approach is urgently needed to settle the status of Kirkuk, where security is deteriorating and an explosion of ethnic tensions could destroy any gains anticipated from the U.S. surge in Baghdad. -International Crisis Group - 4/21/07

More than 3.6 billion barrels of crude oil discovered in south of Iran
Deputy Oil Minister and Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Gholam-Hossein Nowzari said here Saturday that 3.6 billion barrels of crude oil has been discovered in southern Iran over the past 3-4 months. -IRNA - 4/21/07

Mercenary economic
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Praetorian Guard of the clerical regime in Tehran, has become a powerful political force in Iran, its clout greatly enhanced since one of its own, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was elected president in 2005. -Trends - 4/21/07

‘Through Persian Eyes’
National Public Radio host William Everitt left Port Isabel this week with an Iranian visa in hand. His mission: The producer hopes to interview Iranian citizens to learn their feelings toward the United States in his documentary titled, "Through Persian Eyes." -Brownsville Herald - 4/21/07

Latest US Solution to Iraq’s Civil war: A Three-Mile Wall
A wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave in Baghdad came under increasing criticism on Saturday, with residents calling it “collective punishment” and a local leader saying construction began without the neighborhood council’s approval. -AP - 4/21/07

John McCain For War: A deadly "joke"
Saadi, a 13th century Iranian poet, cares about mankind and acts as a global thinker when he talks about oneness of mankind. On the other hand, McCain, a 21st century American politician who wants to spray the world with freedom and democracy, sings: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb" Iran. -Ali Moayedian - 4/20/07

Happy Saadi Day: Oneness of mankind
April 21 marks the National Saadi Day in which Iranians commemorate Sheikh Moleh od-Din Saadi (c. 1213-1291), one of the greatest figures in classical Persian literature. - 4/20/07

NIAC deplores McCain's comments turning US-Iran war into a joking matter
The National Iranian American Council deplores Senator John McCain¡¯s comments earlier today when he turned war between the United States and Iran into a joking matter. At a time when so many Members of Congress and retired military leaders are calling for diplomacy to resolve problems with Iran, the Senator¡¯s words are extraordinarily irresponsible. - 4/20/07

McCain's 'Bomb Iran' joke is moving up YouTube's charts
When reporters asked if the joke was insensitive, McCain said: "Insensitive to what? The Iranians?" -USA Today - 4/20/07

Iran-Europe to resume talks on nuclear issue on April 25
Talks between Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani and Chief of foreign relations of European Union Javier Solana on Iran's nuclear issue are to resume on April 25. -IRNA - 4/20/07

Iran soon to launch an English TV channel
Iran plans to launch an English television and news channel, "Press TV" within 2 months. Targeting at European countries, the U.S. and Asia as the chief audience, the channel reportedly aims at "showing a different side of the story" in comparison to what other English language based media like the BBC and the CNN offer. -ISNA - 4/20/07

Former White House Advisor Says Recent Policy Missteps Have Hurt U.S. Standing in the World
Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served with President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s, says that recent policy missteps -- in particular, those of the past three American presidents -- have tarnished the image and undermined the global influence of the United States. - 4/20/07

Cannes picks Iranian cineaste Karimi for Cinefondation jury
The 60th Cannes Film Festival has selected Iranian actress and director Niki Karimi to be on the jury of the Cin¨¦fondation and the short films section of the event, which will take place from May 16 to 27. -MNA - 4/20/07

Envoy denies US claim on discovery of Iranian weapons in Kandahar
Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Mohammad-Reza Bahrami denied the US claim on discovery of some Iranian made weapons and ammunition in Kandahar province to the south of Afghanistan. -IRNA - 4/20/07

Iran dam opens amid heritage fear
A new dam is due to open in southern Iran amid criticism it will flood an ancient site holding archaeological relics dating back 7,000 years. -BBC - 4/20/07

Iran Ready for Dialogue with U.S. Says Khatami
"If there is a new crisis in the Middle East, Iran will suffer but everyone (else) will also suffer, including the U.S.," Khatami told the Eurasia Media Forum here Thursday. "Today there is a readiness (in Iran for dialogue) but you should pressure your government (U.S.) to resolve issues through negotiation if there is a good will." -IPS - 4/20/07

Central Asia/Caspian: Region's Growth A Mixed Blessing, UN Warns
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has identified Caspian-basin and Central Asian states as Asia's fastest-growing economies. -RFE - 4/20/07

US Skeptical of Iran in Disappearance Case
U.S. officials are expressing skepticism about Iran's disavowal of knowledge about a retired agent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation believed missing in Iran for more than a month. The United States and Iran have had a rare diplomatic exchange on the case, via their Swiss intermediary. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 4/20/07

Time Capsule
It appears that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has found a way to travel in time – the problem is, not everybody is on board with it. And this is where patriotism becomes a double-edged sword. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/20/07

US Fails to Persuade Russia to Support Missile Defense Expansion in Europe
The United States has briefed NATO and Russia together Thursday for the first time about its proposals for expansion of missile defense into Europe. Some European allies have expressed reservations in the past about the plans and the Russians have rejected it as an encroachment on their security. -VOA - 4/20/07

Is Russia Losing Influence in South Caucasus?
Moscow's influence in the South Caucasus region has been steadily waning in recent years. In a recent commentary in "The Moscow Times," Thomas de Waal, the Caucasus editor at the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, argued that the Kremlin -- preoccupied with Russia's resurgence as a world power -- is losing its grip on Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. -RFE - 4/20/07

IAEA Says Iran Making Nuclear Fuel
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran has begun making nuclear fuel in its underground uranium-enrichment plant. - 4/20/07

Iran, Armenia and Russia to open talks on oil refinery
High ranking officials of Iran, Armenia and Russia will soon negotiate on constructing a big oil refinery on the Iran-Armenia border. -ISNA - 4/20/07

IRAN: University Female Students Rebel Against Veil
Female students at Tehran Polytechnic University, where students protested against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a visit last December crying 'dictator go away' and throwing firecrackers, are staging a major protest against new regulations enabling police as of 21 April to arrest women who do not abide by the Islamic dress code. -AKI - 4/20/07

From Iran to These Reunited States
When it came time to pick a site for her high school class's 45th reunion, Clifton's Jan Wood voted for Atlanta. "I knew if they came here I would be the setup person," she joked. Atlanta lost, Washington won and, true to her prediction, Jan helped organize last weekend's reunion of the 1962 graduating class from the Tehran American School. -Washington Post - 4/20/07

Iran: Political and Religious Leaders Play the Nationalist Card
Iranian religious and political leaders are appealing to nationalist sentiments, aiming to bolster Tehran’s ability to resist international pressure in the ongoing dispute over the country’s nuclear program. -Eurasianet - 4/20/07

Iran, China and Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Bush administration says that Iran has “proliferated” WMD. This time Condi will make sure they can find some. -Sanders Research Associates - 4/20/07

Risk to the Petro Dollar from Iraq War and Iranian Crude Oil Echange
Iran has begun to sell its oil in euro currency transactions, already to China , and next to Japan . The gold market should rejoice, when they are actually not paying attention to this grand development. Petro sales outside the US $ realm represent the first of several tectonic shifts in global banking. -Post Chronicle - 4/20/07

Iran: Imprisoned Members of the One Million Signatures Campaign Released
After posting bail, Mahboubeh Hossein Zadeh and Nahid Keshavarz were released, Sunday evening, April 15, 2007. These members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which aims to change discriminatory laws against women, were arrested on April 2nd, along with three others, while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign. - 4/19/07

Damavand Mineral Water Company and UNICEF team up for girls' education in Iran
Iranian Mineral Water Company Damavand and UNICEF Iran launched a new partnership today whereby Damavand will donate a portion of the revenues of its water bottle sales to UNICEF Iran to help finance girls¡¯ education projects. This is the first time in Iran that a share of the sales of a product will benefit a charitable cause. - 4/19/07

India's relations with Iran, China worry US: report
The United States, which is at present negotiating the 123 nuclear agreement with India, has developed sudden concerns that New Delhi could emerge as the proverbial Frankenstein's monster, turning on Washington after the necessary clearances from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been obtained and the bilateral agreement with the US cleared and signed. - 4/19/07

THE IMMORTAL STUNTSMAN : An interview with Hollywood's Persian Stuntman Darren Shahlavi
If there is anything in movies that cannot be faked even despite the great technical wizardry of digital effects its : The Stuntman. A profession popularized in a US TV series of the mid 80's The Fall Guy starring the former Bionic Man Lee Majors, it is without doubt one of the most crucial and yet underestimated professions in the film industry. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/19/07

Iranian National Youth Soccer Team Defeats Jordan 3-0
Iran's National Youth Football Team (under 23) beat host team, Jordan, 3-0 in a qualifier match at Fourth Group of preliminary games for China Olympics, 2008. - 4/19/07

Exchange Rate Management Biggest Challenge In 2007: UNESCAP Survey
Management of exchange rates is the biggest challenge facing Asia-Pacific economies in 2007, UNESCAP said today at the launch of its annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific entitled ¡°Surging Ahead in Uncertain Times.¡± - 4/19/07

Tehran protests London distorting name of Persian Gulf
Iran has issued a formal complaint to the British government over the statement made by Defense Secretary Des Browne in which the name of the Persian Gulf was distorted. -IRNA - 4/19/07

World Publics Reject U.S. Role as the World Leader
A multinational poll finds that publics around the world reject the idea that the United States should continue to play the role of preeminent world leader. Most publics say the United States plays the role of world policeman more than it should and cannot be trusted to act responsibly. - 4/19/07

US tells PKK: Hit Iran and stay in Kandil
American officials have agreed to turn a blind eye to the PKK presence in the northern Iraqi Kurdish Kandil Mountains provided the Kurdish militants stir up trouble inside neighboring Iran. This is behind the American reluctance to move to "finish off" the PKK in Iraq. -Turkish Weekly - 4/19/07

Indian companies seek mega deals in Iran
Indian companies could invest up to Rs 1,500 crores in Iran's energy, steel and aluminum sectors, Iranian diplomatic sources said. Tata group was planning to build a steel plant and another Indian company was interested in setting up an oil refinery. -IRNA - 4/19/07

$250b to pour into Iran's oil, gas sectors over 20 years: Oil Minister
In light of the fact that contracts worth more than $38 billion have been signed in the past 18 months, Iran expects to see over $250 billion in investment in its oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors over the next 20 years, Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said here on Wednesday. -MNA - 4/19/07

Ardabil to Host Nomad Festival
The festival of nomad’s immigration will be held in Ardabil province, northwestern Iran, with presence of 32 nomad tribes from Ardabil and 8 other Iranian provinces. -CHN - 4/19/07

Afghanistan: U.S. Says Iranian-Made Weapons Found
In Tehran, the Iranian ILNA news agency quotes an unnamed official with Iran's Foreign Ministry as calling Pace's remarks baseless and aimed at obscuring U.S. and British failures in Afghanistan. -RFE - 4/19/07

US Defense Secretary Says Diplomacy Working on Iran
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, on a visit to Israel, says he believes diplomatic efforts to isolate Iran for it uranium enrichment activities are working. VOA'S Jim Teeple has details from our Jerusalem bureau. - 4/19/07

Dems Divided over Webb’s Proposal Requiring Approval for Attacking Iran
Supporters of requiring President Bush to secure congressional approval for any preemptive strike on Iran are regrouping for a new push, presaging a difficult vote for Democratic leaders and presidential hopefuls alike. -The Hill - 4/19/07

NATO, Moscow To Discuss U.S. Missile Defense
Officials from the United States and other NATO member countries are set to meet their Russian counterparts in Brussels on April 19 for talks on U.S. plans to deploy parts of its missile shield in Central Europe. -RFE - 4/19/07

Iraqi FM says Iran's participation in Iraq meeting of paramount importance
"Tehran has a critical and fundamental role in all regional developments," Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Tuesday as he underlined the significance of Iran's participation in the international conference on Iraq. -MNA - 4/19/07

PBS - Vangaard of war, occupation and advocate of Richard Perle
Last night several of us watched the series, "America at the Crossroads" on PBS, Channel 2 in Boston. In this segment of the series, they gave Richard Perle, Architect of the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan via his film "The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom." An Iranian-American friend capsulated our reaction succinctly: "Sickening". -Axis of Logic - 4/19/07

Israeli-Iranians: We will never be spies
The announcement Tuesday that Iranian intelligence has been trying to recruit Israeli spies came as no surprise to Israel's Iranian immigrants, many of whom say the efforts have been going on for some time. -Jerusalem Post - 4/19/07

Escalating U.S. Military Spending: Income Redistribution in Disguise
How Escalation of War and Military Spending Are Used as Disguised or Roundabout Ways to Reverse the New Deal and Redistribute National Resources in Favor of the Wealthy -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 4/18/07

Nahid Keshavarz writes from Evin prison: What will they do about the Growing Awarness among female Prisoners and their Guards?
It is Tuesday, April 10, 2007, 3:30 in the afternoon. It has been a good day for both Mahboubeh and I. It¡¯s visitation day. Visitation day is the sweetest of days for prisoners. From the moment they announce your name till the moment you finally see your loved ones, your entire being is filled with anticipation. - 4/18/07

American Chemical Society Expels Iranian members, Misreads OFAC ruling
A recent decision by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to terminate the memberships of thirty-six Iranian chemical scientists once again opens the debate on the issue of the free exchange of academic information and the balancing of scientific and political goals. -NIAC - 4/18/07

Iranian Lawmakers Protest Arrests Of Teachers, Students
Members of the Iranian parliament have protested against widespread arrests of teachers and students. Sixteen lawmakers today called on police and security forces to respect the "legal and professional rights" of teachers and students. - 4/18/07

Iran has signed over dlrs 38 billion oil deals in 1.5 years
Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on Wednesday that Iran has signed more than 38 billion dollars deals during the past one and a half years in the field of oil, gas and petrochemical industry. -IRNA - 4/18/07

Talabani urges Iran to attend Iraq meeting in Sharm al-Sheikh
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi here Monday said given that Iran is a significant regional country, it should take part in the upcoming Sharm al-Sheikh meeting in Egypt. -IRNA - 4/18/07

Estimates put last year's unemployment at 11.1%: Iran's Labor Minister
Iranian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mohammad Jahromi put the nation's unemployment rate at the end of the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 20007) at 11.1 percent. -MNA - 4/18/07

Iran's Army will "cut off the hands" of any invader: Ahmadinead
The Iranian Army will "cut off the hands of any invader", President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said in Tehran on Wednesday. Iran will never oppress any country but will also never tolerate being oppressed, Ahmadinejad stated in a speech at a military parade commemorating Army Day. -MNA - 4/18/07

Iran preparing for celebration of Sadi National Day
The director of the Center for the Study of Sadi, Kurosh Kamali Sarvestani, has given details about the program that will take place in Shiraz on April 21, which is Sadi National Day. -MNA - 4/18/07

Simulated Asian Garden Tour on Exhibit in DC
Visitors to The Smithsonian Museum's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. are experiencing the beauty and splendor of Asian gardens without taking a step outside. The exhibit, called "East of Eden: Gardens in Asian Art," features dozens of artworks depicting centuries of gardens in Asia. -VOA - 4/18/07

Revolutionary Guard Wields Power Inside and Outside Iran
Recent events in the Middle East have put the spotlight on Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Guard naval units seized 15 British service personnel in the waters of the Persian Gulf last month, and Revolutionary Guard agents have been accused of aiding insurgents and terrorist groups in Iraq and Lebanon. -VOA - 4/18/07

Persian Gulf under Iranian Navy's full control: admiral
"The Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz are under Iranian Navy's full control," the Iranian Army Navy Commander Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki said in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/18/07

Iran's Nobel Laureate Says Passport Seizure Illegal
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi says Iranian authorities should return Radio Farda broadcaster Parnaz Azima's passport, Radio Farda reported. -RFE - 4/18/07

12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition opens in Tehran
The 12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition opened at Tehran's International Fairground on Wednesday. 797 domestic and 510 foreign companies from 35 countries are participating at this event. -IRNA - 4/18/07

Iran: U.S. State Department Spokesman Discusses Relations
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack is the principal spokesman of the U.S. State Department. Radio Farda correspondent Parichehr Farzam spoke with McCormack about U.S. policies regarding Iran and the prospects for improved relations. - 4/18/07

Oil Lamps Return To Iraqis' Lives
An oil lamp is a friend of the family and a companion over the generations. It is not known exactly when the first oil lamp was made, but indications are that ancient Iraqis were the first to think of illuminating their caves by fire. -RFE - 4/18/07

Iraq returns to its Persian heritage
Its newly ascendant Shiites no longer have to suppress their Persian roots, which tie them closely to Iran. -Borzou Daragahi, Times - 4/18/07

Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh writes from Evin prison: All Women are Victims, not Just those in Prison
Women¡¯s Rights Activists, Mahboubeh Hossein Zadeh and Nahid Keshavarz, who remain in prison since April 2, 2007 for collecting signatures in support of the "One Million Signatures Campaign" demanding changes to discriminatory laws against women, have recorded their experiences among female inmates. Here is what Mahboubeh Hossein Zadeh has to say. - 4/17/07

Iranian Photography Exhibit Shows Americans a Personal Iran
Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography From Iran tours 11 U.S. cities: The first major exhibition of contemporary Iranian photography in the United States emphasizes the interior life of individuals and families in Iran over journalism or documentary-type photography. -USINFO - 4/17/07

Oldest Inscription of Cyrus Translated to Persian Language
The oldest inscription of Cyrus the Great in which his conquests were carved in Neo Babylonian or Akkadian language chronologically has been translated into Persian language. -CHN - 4/17/07

Iranian Women's Futsal team beats host Amman in Jordan
The Iranian Women's Selected Futsal Team on Monday night faced host Amman Team at Sports Palace Stadium of Amman, beating them 3-0, recording their fourth consecutive victory in a row. -IRNA - 4/17/07

RSF deplores new crackdown on women journalists in Iran
There has been a new crackdown on women journalists since the start of the month, with two being arrested and held for nearly two weeks, five being summoned before the Tehran revolutionary court and one, who works for the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), being barred from leaving the country. - 4/17/07

Iran: Another catastrophe descends on cultural heritage in Hamedan Province
As the Energy Ministry recently began filling the Sivand Dam reservoir in the ancient Bolaghi Valley, the Kalan Dam project is also rubbing salt into the wounds of cultural heritage near Malayer, southwestern Hamedan Province. -MNA - 4/17/07

In Rare Joint Interview, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on Iraq, Vietnam, Activism and History
In a Democracy Now! special from Boston, two of the city's leading dissidents, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, sit down for a rare joint interview. Chomsky and Zinn discuss Vietnam, activism, history, Israel-Palestine, and Iraq, which Chomsky calls "one of the worst catastrophes in military and political history." - 4/17/07

Profile: Fred V. Abadi, Director of Public Works in San Francisco
In March 2006, San Francisco's mayor Gavin Newsom announced Fred V. Abadi, Ph.D. as the new Public Works Director after a national search. - 4/17/07

2007 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced
The Pulitzer board gave special recognition to Iranian photographer Jahangir Razmi, whose 1979 photo of an Iranian firing squad won a 1980 Pulitzer. Razmi had been anonymous until a "Wall Street Journal" article in December identified him as the photographer. -VOA - 4/17/07

Foreign Filmmakers Line Up For Iran's Children Film Festival
Sixty five films from 30 countries are participating in the Hamedan International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults which will take place from April 30 until May 4. -MNA - 4/17/07

Report: Global Internal Displacement Crisis Worsens
A new report finds the number of people displaced within their own countries by conflict increased sharply last year, with the Middle East particularly hard hit. The Norwegian Refugee Council, which has just released its annual global survey, reports nearly 25 million people were internally displaced by conflict in 2006, about twice the number of refugees. - 4/17/07

Iran releases Swedish nationals
Iran on Monday released two Swedish men jailed allegedly for photographing military facilities in the southern Iranian island of Qeshm. The two were arrested on charges of espionage and were sentenced to two years of imprisonment with their term started on March 21, 2006. -MNA - 4/17/07

Iran condemns Virginia shooting
Iranina Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Tuesday condemned killing of students at the Virginia Tech university on Monday. -IRNA - 4/17/07

India and Azerbaijan to cooperate in oil and gas sectors
India and Azerbaijan have agreed to cooperate in several areas including oil and gas sectors and Indian companies are set to play a greater role in the development of Azerbaijan's rapidly expanding oil and gas industry. -IRNA - 4/17/07

Dutch dealer of Saddam's chemicals sentenced to 15 years prison
One of witnesses of France Von Right dossier, related to a Dutch middleman accused of selling Saddam's Ba'thist regime chemicals said here Monday Hague Appeals Court approved of Von Right's 15 years behind bars sentence. -IRNA - 4/17/07

Iranians shake off their fetters
Iran’s post-revolutionary youths are turning away from their state religion to more mystical forms of religious expression. -Iason Athanasiadis, Trends - 4/17/07

Israeli Accused of Spying for Iran
Israel's Shin Bet security agency has questioned an Israeli of Iranian origin suspected of agreeing to spy for Iran, officials said Tuesday, accusing the Islamic republic of stepping up its attempts to recruit visiting Israelis. -AP - 4/17/07

U.S. renews appeal to Iran over missing former FBI agent
The United States has made a third appeal to the Iranian government for information about a former FBI agent who has been missing in Iran for more than a month. -AP - 4/17/07

Israel denies entry to Muslim wife of Jewish Iranian immigrant
Israel has refused entry to the Muslim wife of a Jewish immigrant from Iran. The wife is currently in Turkey but could be sent back to Iran within days, where she is likely to be severely punished. -Haaretz - 4/17/07

Iranian Women's Rights Defenders, Mahboubeh Hossein Zadeh and Nahid Keshavarz, Remain in Prison
Families and Lawyer denied Information and Opportunity to Post Bail - 4/16/07

Islam and Human Rights
The paper examines whether human rights concepts are applicable to Islam or not. It provides a comparative study of the popular perceptions of Islam versus the West, and argues that with a correct understanding of the Koran and Islamic teachings it is possible to defend human rights concepts from inside the Islamic texts. -Farhang Jahanpour - 4/16/07

Head Of Iran's Teachers Union Arrested
The head of Iran's Teachers Union, Ali Akbar Baghani, was today arrested in Tehran while he was teaching. Baghani had also been detained in March and released after spending about two weeks in jail. - 4/16/07

MPs express mixed views on Pelosi visit to Iran
Iranian MPs have expressed mixed views on the possibility of a visit to Tehran by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. -MNA - 4/16/07

Iranian experts debate '300'
In a session held at the Fars News Agency on Sunday, Mehdi Kalhor, cinema expert Majid Shah-Hosseini, and a group of journalists reviewed the Warner Brother's historically inaccurate film. -MNA - 4/16/07

Iranian cartoonist, exclusive winner of Turkey 7-77 competition
Iranian cartoonist, Javad Alizadeh was elected as recipient of the grand prize in the 13th edition of the international 7-77 cartoon competition in Ankara, Turkey. -ISNA - 4/16/07

Iran calls on US to give more information on missing FBI agent
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Sunday referred to the former FBI agent Robert Levinson who is claimed to have disappeared in the southern Kish Island and said that the US should provide more information about him through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. -IRNA - 4/16/07

Iran to host CBR conference in 2009
Secretary of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) headquarters of the Rehabilitation Organization said on Sunday that the international conference on CBR will be held in Iran in 2009. -IRNA - 4/16/07

Group cleared over Iran murders
Iran's Supreme Court has acquitted a group of men charged over a series of gruesome killings in 2002, according to lawyers for the victims' families. -BBC - 4/16/07

FM spokesman condemns murder of five Iranian truck drivers in Iraq
Spokesman of Iranian foreign ministry on Sunday evening strongly condemned the killing of five Iranian truck drivers who were transporting fuel for Iraqi people in the Iraqi city of Baghubeh. -IRNA - 4/16/07

Al-Sadr Bloc Quits Iraqi Government
The political movement of Shi'ite cleric and militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr says its six ministers will leave the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today. -RFE - 4/16/07

Fearing Iran, Arab states seek nuclear power
Two years ago, the leaders of Saudi Arabia told international atomic regulators that they could foresee no need for the kingdom to develop nuclear power. Today, they are scrambling to hire atomic contractors, buy nuclear hardware and build support for a regional system of reactors. -IHT - 4/16/07

Chavez warns US against attack on Iran
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday warned the US that if it attacks Iran, the cornerstones of its empire all over the world will collapse. -IRNA - 4/16/07

Iranian thinkers ignore politics, embrace culture
Iran's intellectuals retreat from the fray Under pressure from conservatives, young writers and thinkers focus on literature rather than politics. -Ramin Mostaghim, Times - 4/16/07

Iran investigating claims that journalist barred from leaving country
Iran said Sunday it was investigating claims made by the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that one of its journalists has been prevented by authorities from leaving the country. -AP - 4/16/07

Iran Pardons, Releases Jailed Swedes
Iran has pardoned two Swedish nationals jailed for photographing military installations last year and will release them today. - 4/16/07

Israel Observes Holocaust Memorial Amid Row With Vatican
Israel is holding a solemn observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day. As Robert Berger reports from VOA's Jerusalem, the annual commemoration comes amid a row between Israel and the Vatican over the Church's role during the war. - 4/16/07

Qobadi's 'Half Moon' shines in Istanbul Film Festival
Iranian filmmaker Bahman Qobadi's Half Moon won the People's Choice Award of the international competition section of the 26th International Istanbul Film Festival, which was held from March 31 to April 15. Unfortunately, Iranian cultural officials accused Qobadi of separatism due to the use of the Kurdish language in the film and refused to issue a screening license for the movie. -MNA - 4/15/07

IAEA Calls On Iran, Israel To Join Nuke Free Zone
The director-general of the UN atomic watchdog agency, Muhammad el-Baradei, has called on Iran and Israel to join a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. -RFE - 4/15/07

Appearance of Meryl Streep in Mokarrameh's film uncertain
Fox Film executives recently announced that the appearance of Meryl Streep in the role of late Iranian artist Mokarrameh Qanbari in the upcoming Fox Film production is uncertain, the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday. -MNA - 4/15/07

Iran to study Pelosi's possible request for talks
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran would study possible request by Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to visit Iran and hold talks with Iranian officials. -IRNA - 4/15/07

Iran plans to build 2 more nuclear power plants
An Iranian nuclear company on Sunday invited domestic and foreign companies and contractors to design, supply equipment and construct two nuclear power plants in the southern city of Bushehr. - 4/15/07

Iran, Italy sign 436M Euro petrochemical contracts
Iranian company Nargan and Italy's Technimont signed the contracts of Mahabad and Lorestan petrochemical complexes on Sunday worth 436 million Euro (each 218 million Euro) with Iran's Bakhtar Petrochemical Company. -MNA - 4/15/07

A War to Spread Terror
Unchallenged, America’s pursuit of global hegemony bears an eerie resemblance to the building of empires in the past. As this Administration expands its international dominance, the dictates of the Athenians to the Melians come to mind in which they are told that their submission to the rule of the Athenians would be of mutual benefit. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/15/07

Iranian researchers produce Pegilated Interferon medicine
Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education announced on Saturday the production of Pegilated Interferon medicine by Iranian researchers. The medicine is used for promoting body immunity system against chronic deceases. -IRNA - 4/15/07

Chinese budget car S21 to hit Iran market early 2008
Iran will start manufacturing the Chinese budget car, S21, early next year provided that the Chinese side Chery agrees with exports of 20 percent of the production. -MNA - 4/15/07

Kurdistan’s Covert Back-Channels
In June 2004, journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker that Israelis operating in northern Iraq under the guise of businessmen were in fact cultivating Kurdish proxies to gather intelligence in preparation for possible future action against Iran. -Mother Jones - 4/15/07

Fund allocated to repair of Iran's monuments abroad
Hashemi noted that this is an extra-territorial project aiming to protect Iran's cultural heritage and repair Iranian monuments situated beyond the country's borders, some of which are subject to destruction and need repair. -IRNA - 4/15/07

Iran's government doesn't believe in information society: Expert
An IT expert said in Tehran Friday expansion of information society (IS) would lead to broadening interactions among people, and result in social solidarity, but the Government does not seem to believe in need to strengthen the IS, unfortunately. -Taliya - 4/15/07

Iraq Conference: Refugees seek a new life to get over the nightmares
UNHCR will host an international conference on refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq and the surrounding region next Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking a continuing global commitment to find solutions. More than 450 participants from at least 60 nations, 37 inter-governmental organisations and 64 non-governmental organisations have registered. - 4/15/07

Quake hits Qal'e Khajeh in Iran's Khuzestan province
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the city of Qal'e Khajeh in the southwestern province of Khuzestan Sunday morning. -IRNA - 4/15/07

Iran: Release Detained Teachers
The Iranian authorities should immediately lift the ban on the Hamedan Teachers Association and release teachers detained as a result of their work with the association, Human Rights Watch said today. - 4/14/07

Caspian Sea: Seal Deaths Highlight Species' Predicament
Hundreds of dead seals have washed up on Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea coast in the past two weeks. The cause is still a mystery, but it is a blow to the already dwindling Caspian seal (Phoca caspica). -RFE - 4/14/07

Iranian Journalist Challenges Supreme Leader
Prominent Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi has challenged Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in an open letter in which he questioned why criticism of the supreme leader's actions and decisions is banned in Iran. - 4/14/07

900 plays submitted for 6th Women's Theater Festival
Nine hundred plays were submitted to the 6th National Women's Theater Festival, the festival's public relations office announced on Saturday. The 6th round of the festival will be held from July 6 to 14. -MNA - 4/14/07

Iran's non-oil exports up 47.2% in 2006
Non-oil exports from Iran in the past Iranian year (ended March 20, 2007) increased by 47.2 percent, hitting over $16.3 billion, Iran's Customs Administration said on Saturday. -MNA - 4/14/07

Iranian-British Standoff Leaves Domestic, International Political Fallout
Iran is embroiled in controversy with the West over issues ranging from Iran's nuclear ambitions to its bid to extend its influence in Iraq and the Middle East. Yet, even at such a sensitive time, Iran detained 15 British sailors who were on patrol in the Persian Gulf and held them for nearly two weeks. -VOA - 4/14/07

Afghani FM: Terrorism, guns and opium are the three challenges for Afghanistan today
Afghani foreign minister, Rangin Dadfar Spanta arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to discuss regional issues with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki calling for closer links with its neighboring country, Iran. -ISNA - 4/14/07

Iran-U.S. negotiations currently will bare no results: Broujerdi
Iran's parliament national security and foreign affairs committee chief said that currently there existed no ground for negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the U.S. -ISNA - 4/14/07

We Cannot Look From The Sides As We Are Led Towards Crisis Over Iran
Bush and Blair Have Spent Four Years Preparing an Onslaught That is About Oil, Rather Than Non-Existent Nuclear Weapons -Guardian - 4/14/07

U.S. Decides Against Freeing 5 Iranian Agents
Administration Resists Tehran's Pressure, State Department Recommendation -Washington Post - 4/14/07

EU Urges Peaceful Solution to Turkey-Iraq Dispute
The European Union has urged Turkey to peacefully resolve its differences with Iraq, following a call by Turkey's top general for a military incursion into Iraq to pursue Turkish Kurd rebels. -VOA - 4/14/07

Azerbaijan Expels Iranian Dissident To Tehran
Azerbaijan has expelled an Iranian dissident, raising fears that he will face persecution in Iran because of his political activities, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported. -RFE - 4/14/07

Iran prevents journalist for U.S.-funded radio from leaving the country, broadcaster says
Parnaz Azima, who is based in Prague where she works for Radio Farda — RFE/RL's Persian service operated jointly with the Voice of America radio broadcaster — arrived in the capital, Tehran, on Jan. 25 to visit a sick relative, the broadcaster said in an e-mailed statement. -AP - 4/14/07

Iranian President To Visit Kabul Soon
Afghan's Foreign Ministry said today that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is due to visit Afghanistan in the near future, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported. - 4/14/07

Happy Attar Day: Looking for your own face
Iranians annually celebrate April 14 as Attar Day to commemorate poet and Sufi Farid ad-Din Attar (1145?-1221?). -MNA - 4/13/07

Iranian-Swedish band The Abjeez to make NYC Debut at IAAB Conference
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) announced this week that as part of its Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, it will be co-sponsoring the New York City debut of The Abjeez in concert. The Abjeez (Persian slang for “sisters”), are led by Iranian-Swedish sisters Safoura and Melody Safavi who redefine the meaning of Persian Pop by mixing Persian music with other world influences, such as flamenco, reggae, and salsa. - 4/13/07

Visiting old friends at Imamzadeh Taher
A few days ago I had a meeting outside Karaj in the west of Tehran, and on my way back I felt like going to say hello to many old friends and national heroes whose final resting place is in Imamzadeh Taher just outside Karaj. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/13/07

India Tests Missile Capable of Carrying Nuclear Warhead to Beijing
India has successfully test-launched a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads across much of Asia and the Middle East. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi that officials say this latest test significantly expands India's nuclear reach. - 4/13/07

Turkey's Military Chief Calls for Strike Against Kurdish Rebels in Iraq
Turkey's powerful Chief of General Staff called on Thursday for military action against Kurdish separatist rebels based in northern Iraq. The statement by General Yasar Buyukanit marks the first time he has publicly called for a cross border strike against the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK. -VOA - 4/13/07

CHTHO protest slows down filling of reservoir of Salman-e Farsi Dam
Officials of the Fars Regional Water Company have slowed down the filling of the reservoir of the Salman-e Farsi in southern Iran's Fars Province following the protest of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) -MNA - 4/13/07

Fugitive says he met missing ex-FBI agent
An American fugitive living in Iran since he murdered an Iranian opposition activist in the US in 1980 has revealed that he met a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent shortly before the latter disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish a month ago. -Financial Times - 4/13/07

UK plotted sale of sailors' stories before their release - report
The Daily Mail reported that it was told by government sources that officials worked out a detailed strategy on how to deal with media bids for articles while the marines were still being held by Iran. -IRNA - 4/13/07

Wheat killer spreads from East Africa to Yemen
A new and virulent fungus that attacks a wide range of wheat varieties has spread from East Africa to Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, FAO reported today. - 4/13/07

Tajikistan: Authorities Exclude Miniskirt, Hejab On Campuses
Just days after Tajikistan's president ordered a ban on students' use of cell phones and private cars, and on lavish parties, Education Minister Abduljabbor Rahmonov has signaled bans on both headscarves and miniskirts for university students. Some young Tajiks are already resisting the latest official efforts to rein them in. -RFE - 4/13/07

Yazd Solar Energy Power Plant 1st in its kind in world - Official
Head of 267 MW Yazd Solar Energy Power Plant (YSEPP) said here Friday from viewpoint of combining a solar farm's energy with a conventional cycle, YSEPP is fist of its kind globally. -IRNA - 4/13/07

Pakistan to welcome Russian role in Iran gas pipeline: PM
Prime Minister of Pakistan said on Thursday that his country would welcome Russian participation in the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. -IRNA - 4/13/07

Pelosi is open to Iran trip
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, just back from a trip to Syria that brought sharp criticism from Republicans and the Bush administration, suggested Tuesday that the two may be interested in taking another diplomatic trip -- to open a dialogue with Iran. -San Francisco Chronicle - 4/13/07

Iran's presence in Iraqi neighbors conference not decided yet
Iran's foreign minister said on Thursday that Iranian participation in the upcoming conference of Iraqi neighboring countries is not decided yet. -IRNA - 4/13/07

Iraq's Parliament Convenes After Deadly Bombing
Iraq's parliament has convened in a special session to condemn Thursday's deadly bombing inside the building, but few lawmakers attended. -VOA - 4/13/07

Symphony composing fever in Iran increasing: musician
Musician Mohammad Sarir is convinced that the passion for composing symphonies is mounting, and that this is leading to the over-looking of Iran's musical values. -MNA - 4/13/07

Iran enrichment 'in early stages'
The head of the UN's nuclear agency has said Iran is only at the early stages of enriching uranium. -BBC - 4/13/07

Kidnapped Iranian diplomat describes his torture by the US forces
Second Secretary of Iran's embassy in Baghdad Jalal Sharafi, who was kidnapped and tortured by the US forces, explained the details of his torture to domestic and foreign reporters in the venue of foreign ministry in Tehran on Wednesday. -IRNA - 4/12/07

Iran May Boycott Iraq Security Conference if Detainees Not Freed
Iran has signaled that it may not participate in an upcoming Iraqi security conference if the United States does not release five detained Iranians. - 4/12/07

Iran's nuclear chief: Natanz to be equipped with 50 thousand centrifuges by 2008
When asked about the threats regarding economic and commercial sanctions against Iran, this official noted that if these threats were to be actualized, Europe should expect a 20 billion dollar fall in its commercial relations with Iran. -ISNA - 4/12/07

Tehran's Medes Fortress Longs for Preservation
Based on recent acts passed by Management Committee of Nazarabad Governor Office, a special budget has been considered for preserving and organizing the most ancient earthen fortress of Tehran province dating back to Median dynastic era (728 BC-550 BC). -CHN - 4/12/07

Iranian official: Preconditioned talks with the U.S. are degrading for Iran
Iran's foreign ministry deputy stated that considering the preconditions set by U.S., Iran-U.S. talks were degrading for Iran and unlikely to bear any positive results. -ISNA - 4/12/07

Tehran's standoff with west sees tourists snub Persian treasures
Industry faces collapse as tension grows over nuclear issue and sailors' detention -Guardian - 4/12/07

U.S. Accuses Iran Of Aiding Iraqi Sunni Extremists
The U.S. military today accused Iranian intelligence agents of supporting Sunni extremist groups in Iraq, and not just Shi'ite militiamen. - 4/12/07

Majlis Museum to be Launched in Tehran
At last after three years negotiations about launching Majlis Museum, the project has come into force in a section of old Majlis building which is also known as Constitutional Building in Baharestan Square in Tehran. -CHN - 4/12/07

Iran's parliament research center says Taliban regaining power in Afghanistan
This center in its recent report has noted that although the current government in Afghanistan has tried to prevent the regaining of power by Taliban, there are signs that this group is once again gaining power in Afghanistan, which is could pose as a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran. -ISNA - 4/12/07

Heroes or Cowards? Neocons Weigh In on Sailors
No sooner had Britain’s 15 “kidnapped” sailors and marines returned from their harrowing “hostage” experience at the hands of Iran than some were lining up to sell their stories to the British press. And no sooner had they been accused of “acting like reality TV stars” than they became a punching bag for U.S. neoconservatives and other right-wing hawks -IPS - 4/12/07

Foreign nationals occupy 400,000 jobs in Tehran: Official
Governor General of Tehran province Kamran Daneshjou said here Wednesday that foreign nationals occupy 400,000 jobs in Tehran province. -IRNA - 4/12/07

Iran may be spinning itself into a corner
Iran's efforts to trumpet its nuclear program are cementing the country's confrontation with the West regardless of whether its claims this week of technological progress are true, several analysts said Tuesday. -Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi, Times - 4/12/07

Baghdad will try to mediate between Mottaki and Rice: Iraq envoy
Iraq's Ambassador to Iran, Mohamed Majid al-Sheikh, has said his country will try to act as a mediator to arrange talks between Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/12/07

Iran's ITC offered 6m SIM cards in 2006
Iran's Telecommunication Company (ITC) supplied subscribers with six million cellular phone SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards in the past Iranian year (ended March 20, 2007), an ITC official said Wednesday. -MNA - 4/12/07

Under siege, Iran ups the ante
ORDINARILY, IRAN's announcement hailing its mastery over "industrial scale" nuclear fuel enrichment should have occasioned neither surprise nor alarm. After all, the Iranian plan to run up to 3,000 centrifuges before eventually installing 50,000 more was well known...And yet, these are not ordinary times. With the United States hell-bent on confrontation, Iran's announcement is being flashed around the world as proof that a nuclear bomb "could" be produced soon. -Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu - 4/11/07

Iran dispute solutions have not proved durable
Iran's release of 15 British sailors and marines on April 4 is welcome news. It has for the moment ended propaganda warfare and potential threats of confrontation and armed conflict in the oil-rich strategic waters of the Persian Gulf. Yet there is no reason to conclude that future disputes over the waters of the Persian Gulf will be prevented, or that they won¡¯t spin out of control and lead to unwanted wars. -R.K. Ramazani - 4/11/07

A Discourse Analysis of Elite American Newspaper Editorials: The Case of Iran's Nuclear Program
This study employs Said’s concept of Orientalism and van Dijk’s concept of the ideological square to analyze three elite American newspapers’ editorial coverage of Iran’s nuclear program. -Foad Izadi and Hakimeh Saghaye-Biria, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - 4/11/07

UN Experts Deeply Concerned About Arrests Of Women's Rights Defenders In Iran
The following statement was issued today (April 5, 2007) by Yakin Ertürk, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences; Ambeyi Ligabo, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and Hina Jilani, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on the situation of human rights defenders. - 4/11/07

UNESCO official to investigate Iran's report on Jahan-Nama Tower of Isfahan
The Culture Program specialist of Tehran's UNESCO office arrived in Isfahan today in order to scrutinize Iran's measures for the modification of the Jahan-Nama Tower located near the internationally famous historical complex of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. -MNA - 4/11/07

Iran Urges World To Accept 'New Reality'
Iran says it will not accept any suspension of its uranium-enrichment activities and urges world powers to accept the "new reality" of the Islamic republic's nuclear program. -RFE - 4/11/07

Kurdish Leader Stands by Warning to Turkey
The Iraqi Kurdish leader has again warned Turkey not to interfere in northern Iraq, saying Iraqi Kurds would retaliate by interfering in Kurdish areas in Turkey if that happened. -VOA - 4/11/07

Delara Darabi's unanticipated file transfer to head of judiciary causes
Yesterday (April 2) Delara Darabi's file was transferred from the city of Rasht to Ayatollah Shahroudi, the head of judiciary of Islamic Republic of Iran and if the verdict is approved by him she could be executed; Iranian newspaper Etemaad reported today. - 4/11/07

Iran: Nuclear Claim Brings Fallout
Tehran's announcement on April 9 of industrial-scale nuclear enrichment is regarded by critics as a further act of defiance by a government that has resisted international pressure to suspend sensitive nuclear work. -RFE - 4/11/07

Hackers Dupe Users with Bogus US-Iran War Spam
A weekend spam run tried to dupe recipients into downloading the infamous "Storm Trojan" by attaching files that posed as fake missile-strike videos. -Computer World - 4/11/07

Iraq: Al-Sadr Tries New Tactics, But Strategy Still The Same
Radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his militia, the Imam Al-Mahdi Army, have long been problematic for both the United States and the Iraqi government. -RFE - 4/11/07

Cambodia Reflected in Iran Waters
When I saw pictures of the British sailors and marines, on the eve of their freedom from Iran, dressed in ill-fitting suits that Iranian tailors had run up for them, memory raced back nearly 40 years when a similar drama was being played out in another country of which the United States then disapproved. -Boston Globe - 4/11/07

Cloak-and-Dagger Occurrences Mark Iran's Relations with United States, Britain
The recent seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran has opened a window on a rapidly escalating Cold War-like contest -- involving Tehran, the United States and Britain and centering on cloak-and-dagger operations in Iraq. -Eurasianet - 4/11/07

Iran's industrial scale fuel production a prelude to talks, says official
"I announce with pride that dear Iran has from today been placed among producers of nuclear fuel on an industrial scale," said Aqamohammadi, adding that Iran is not for concealment of its peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 4/10/07

US Rebukes Iraqi Kurd Leader for Threat to Turkey
The U.S. State Department has criticized Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani for implicitly threatening to fuel Kurdish unrest in Turkey. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed the issue by telephone with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. -VOA - 4/10/07

Moscow Raises Profile At Gas Exporters' Meeting
Representatives of the world's leading natural-gas exporting states have opened a two-day meeting in Qatar to discuss ways to cooperate more closely. - 4/10/07

FM calls for UNSC's immediate action to release Iranian diplomats held by American troops in Iraq
According to Foreign Ministry Media Department report, Mottaki in a message to UNSC asked that the UN body avoid any double standard behaviors in this respect. -IRNA - 4/10/07

Media Talk: Is Iran building a nuclear bomb?
Wed 11th April in London - With Frank Barnaby (Oxford Research Group), Mark Fitzpatrick (IISS), Abbas Edalat (Imperial College London) and Majid Tafreshi (historian and journalist). Moderated by Sheila MacVicar (CBS). - 4/10/07

Iran celebrates nuclear enrichment breakthrough
Iran started celebrating its attainment of uranium enrichment at the industrial level on Monday at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility. -MNA - 4/10/07

US Official: Iran's Nuclear Expansion Marks 'Another Missed Opportunity'
Iran’s defiance of the international community by expanding its uranium enrichment is depriving that nation of current and future global trade and investment opportunities, the Bush administration said. -USINFO - 4/10/07

US Weekly Reports Chinese Missile Testing Accelerating
The aerospace and defense industry publication, Aviation Week, reports new U.S. intelligence findings that China is stepping up its tests of medium and long-range ballistic missiles. The report comes in the issue of the magazine dated Monday. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Washington. - 4/10/07

Secularism, Islam and Democracy - A public lecture by Akbar Ganji at UCLA
Akbar Ganji is an Iranian journalist and writer. He was arrested on April 22, 2000 after he took part in a conference on political and social reform in Iran held in Berlin. - 4/10/07

Iranian Americans Should React to Discrimination and Racism toward Other Ethnic Groups
Unfortunately there is a tendency among some ethnic groups in the United States to focus on the interests and concerns of their own community and ignore the plight of other ethnic groups who are equally vulnerable to racism and discrimination. -Nader Habibi - 4/10/07

Iran to end construction in quake-hit Bam mid-July
Reconstruction of decimated houses in southeastern Iranian city of Bam will come to an end by mid-July, said a Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution official Monday. -MNA - 4/10/07

UN Chief Urges Iran to Stop Uranium Enrichment
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Iran to heed Security Council demands that it stop enriching uranium. VOA correspondent Peter Heinlein reports from U.N. headquarters in New York. - 4/10/07

Gulf 15: the view from Tehran
Iranians distrust the British – and nothing has changed, writes iason athanasiadis from Tehran -First Post, UK - 4/10/07

Iran starts industrial production of nuclear fuel: Aqazadeh
Vice-President and head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Reza Aqazadeh said Monday that Iran's fuel production has now entered an industrial stage and the nuclear fuel cycle has thus been completed in the country. -IRNA - 4/9/07

Iran: Over 1000 political, social and cultural activists sign letter objecting to the arrest of two women's activists
IN AUGUST last year, Iranian women’s rights activists launched a campaign demanding an end to the legal discrimination of women under Iranian law. The campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures to demand changes to the legal system, is a follow-up effort to a peaceful protest that took place on June 12, 2006 in Tehran’s Haft-e Tir Square. - 4/9/07

Three Iranian films tread in Syracuse Film Festival
Three Iranian films are to be represented in the competitive section of the Syracuse (SIF) International Film Festival, U.S.A. (Apr.18-22). "Gilane" directed by Rakhshan Banietemad and Mohsen Abdulvahab, "Nose in the Iranian Style" by Mehrdad Ouskuei and "Gradually" by Maziar Miri will be represented in the event. - 4/9/07

Rumiyat: A Guide to Reading Rumi
Following my article ‘Rumi is the Answer to All Our Problems’ published on Payvand Online, several readers have asked me to introduce some reading materials about the poetry, thought and life of Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi, the great Persian Sufi poet of the thirteenth century and currently one of the best-read poets in North America. -Dr. Rasoul Sorkhabi - 4/9/07

U.S. Support for Terrorism in Iran
Apparently, the U.S. and British authorities have turned so desperate for an alibi that they readily embraced the assertion of an infamous anti-Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) group, listed as a terrorist organization of bandits by Britain, the U.S., and the European Union. -Ardeshir Ommani - 4/9/07

What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?
The debate over Iranian interference in Iraq proceeds without ridicule on the assumption that the United States owns the world. We did not, for example, engage in a similar debate in the 1980s about whether the U.S. was interfering in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and I doubt that Pravda, probably recognizing the absurdity of the situation, sank to outrage about that fact -Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch - 4/9/07

Families of diplomats held by U.S. meet Red Cross rep
representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Tehran, Andreas Schweitzer, said here on Sunday that the Iranian diplomats who were kidnapped in northern Iraq are in good psychological and physical condition. -MNA - 4/9/07

Americans Offered ‘Aggressive Patrols’ in Iranian Airspace
The US offered to take military action on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, including buzzing Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions with warplanes, the Guardian has learned. - 4/9/07

Iran Said To Deny Iraqi PM's Overflight
A senior adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has confirmed reports that Iran refused to allow a plane carrying al-Maliki to cross its airspace overnight on a trip to Japan. -RFE - 4/9/07

Semi-floating Iran-Alborz oil platform to be built by March '08
The building of Iran's semi-submersible oil drilling platform, Iran-Alborz, will end in the current Iranian year (March 20, 2008), said the managing director of Iran's North Drilling Co. (NDC) Sunday. -MNA - 4/9/07

Iran: Bus plunges into river, killing 30, injuring 15
A bloody road accident on Ilam-Chovar road in the western province of Ilam left 30 people killed and 15 others injured Sunday evening. -IRNA - 4/9/07

The real face of Iran
Iran is in the news for all the wrong reasons, but what's it like to go on holiday there? Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler gets a different perspective -Observer - 4/9/07

Iran: Release Women's Rights Activists
The Iranian government should immediately release two women’s rights activists arrested on April 1 and end its harassment and persecution of human rights defenders, Human Rights Watch said today. - 4/7/07

London court decision on Jiroft artifacts violates Vienna Convention: lawyer
A member of Iran's Attorneys Center for the Defense of Human Rights said that London's High Court decision in March that Iran's Jiroft artifacts must be auctioned violates the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. -MNA - 4/7/07

Iran Seeks Goodwill Gesture From Britain
Iran's ambassador to Britain has called on London to respond with goodwill to Tehran's release of 15 British naval personnel it had held captive for two weeks. -RFE - 4/7/07

Persian Gulf historical atlas forum held in Paris
Persian Gulf historical Atlas forum was held here Thursday evening in the presence of researchers and experts from France, Portugal, Germany and Iran. -IRNA - 4/7/07

Iranian cartoonist Karimzadeh honored as Friend of the Untied Nations
In the sideline of the 5th edition of the international Human Rights festival, five cartoonists from France, Lebanon, Algeria, Switzerland and Russia and Hassan Karimzadeh from Iran were awarded with the F.U.N. symbol. -ISNA - 4/7/07

Iranian Diplomat Claims He Was Tortured In Iraq
An Iranian diplomat freed after being abducted in Iraq today said he was "tortured" by his captors, among them U.S. forces. - 4/7/07

Iraq Ministerial Meeting to Take Place in Egypt First Week in May
Iraq's foreign minister says a ministerial meeting between Iraq, its neighbors and world powers will be held in Egypt during the first week of May. -RFE - 4/7/07

Iran, Russia to resume talks over Bushehr power plant Monday
Iran and Russia will resume their third round of talks on financial problem of Bushehr power plant, in southern Iranian Bushehr province, in Tehran on Monday. -IRNA - 4/7/07

Russia Fears US Missile Shield Could Renew Arms Race
The United States is trying to reassure Russia that an American missile defense shield in central Europe will not undermine Russia's national security, but the Kremlin's reaction so far has been deeply skeptical. -VOA - 4/7/07

Graduate Student to Walk from Chicago to D.C. Calling for Peace through Impeachment of Bush & Cheney
Mario Penalver, a graduate student in the Humanities Program at the University of Chicago, is walking the seven hundred miles from Chicago, Illinois to Washington D.C. to demand an end to the Iraq War and in protest of the impending attack on Iran. -OpEdNews - 4/7/07

Pakistan to purchase 1,000MW of Iran's electricity
Iran's Energy Minister Parviz Fattah and Pakistan's Federal Minister for Water and Power Liaquat Ali Jatoi here Saturday reached an agreement on exports of 1,000MW of Iran's electricity. -MNA - 4/7/07

Who called the shots in Iran crisis?
When Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced the release of the 15 British sailors and marines, it was his first major public intervention in the 13-day affair. -BBC - 4/7/07

Journey Across Iran: Creating A Link with Prehistoric Art
On the 20th of March I traveled to Meymand, a prehistoric site near Shahr Babak of Kerman-Iran. The village consists of a number of amazing natural and man made caves that are still used today for housing and shelter. -Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt - 4/6/07

U.S. Open To Talks With Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could be open to direct talks with Iran over its role in Iraq. -RFE - 4/6/07

Persian Fiddler Lights Up Paris
Passion for Classic and Folklore Music seems to play an ever growing part in the lives of Iranian expats of all ages and backgrounds and the regular rehearsals of classic composers of Persian heritage in Paris, London, Budapest or Vienna over the past years confirm the emergence of a confirmed generation of music Maestros who are gaining worldwide recognition from their peers. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/6/07

What We Can Learn From Britain About Iran
THROUGH the capture of and subsequent announcement that it would release 15 British sailors and marines, the Islamic Republic of Iran sent its adversaries a pointed message: just as Iran will meet confrontation with confrontation, it will respond to what it perceives as flexibility with pragmatism. This message is worth heeding as the United States and Iran seem to be moving inexorably toward conflict. -Vali Nasr and Ray Takeyh, New York Times - 4/6/07

Neyshabur to host conference on National Attar Day
A conference on Attar is to be held in Neyshabur, Khorasan Razavi Province on April 14. April 14 is National Attar Day, which commemorates the great Iranian poet and mystic Attar Neyshaburi, who lived from about 1145 to 1221. -MNA - 4/6/07

Blair Says New Dialogue Possible With Iran Following Sailors' Release
British Prime Minister Tony Blair sees the possibility of forging a different relationship with Iran, now that his country's sailors and marines have been released unharmed. And even before the British naval crew landed in London the European Union announced that the EU and Iran have begun discussing a possible reopening of discussions about Iran's controversial nuclear program. -VOA - 4/6/07

Iran: Detainee Release Fosters Hope Of Reinvigorated Dialogue
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said no deal was made in gaining the Britons' release. But at the same time he said "new and interesting lines of communication" were opened with Iran in the course of the crisis and offered the tantalizing possibility that a different relationship is possible if Tehran desires it. -RFE - 4/6/07

Supporting Terror to Destabilize Iran Will Backfire
New reports indicate the Bush administration is encouraging an ethnic Baluchi, Sunni Muslim “militant group” in Pakistan in a campaign of violence against Iran to destabilize that country. -Bahram Rajaee, NIAC - 4/6/07

Western Media's 'Inexcusable Behavior'
Iran's sudden release of 15 Britons arrested 2 weeks ago in the disputed territorial waters inside the Persian Gulf took many in the West by surprise and sucked the wind out of warmongers sail who had used the event to continue their demonization of Iran as a pariah state. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 4/6/07

Rice Could Meet With Iranian Counterpart
The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice does not rule out a bilateral meeting with Iranian counterpart Manuchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of an international conference on Iraq in early May. -RFE - 4/6/07

Archeological Excavations in Pardis Tepe Resumed
Third season of excavation in 7000- year- old Pardis Tepe in Varamin, Tehran province started with attendance of Iranian and British archeologists. -CHN - 4/6/07

Tehran mayor in Switzerland to develop cooperation on metropolis services
Swiss Vice President and Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin conferred on Thursday with Tehran's mayor Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf on expansion of mutual cooperation on urban development, management of disposal of wastes and recycling to prevent degradation of the environment in the large cities. -IRNA - 4/6/07

'We Gathered Intelligence'
The captain in charge of the 15 marines detained in Iran has said they were gathering intelligence on the Iranians. -Sky News - 4/6/07

Republican Congressman Visits Syria After Controversial Pelosi Trip
A Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives has held talks in Syria - one day after the Democratic leader in that chamber sparked controversy by visiting Damascus. -VOA - 4/6/07

Why don't Iranians wear ties?
The male British captives freed by Iran were pictured in government-issued suits and, like president Armadinejad, sported open neck shirts. Does no one in Iran wear a tie? -BBC - 4/6/07

Head of navy defends freed sailors
Admiral Bland's comments followed criticism of the 15 hostages' behaviour by other senior military figures. Colonel Bob Stewart, who commanded British troops in Bosnia, told the Daily Mail he was "very uncomfortable" with the hostages' behaviour. -Guardian - 4/6/07

Microphones, Planes, and Stereotypes: Those behind the Making of '300'
I have been following reactions to the movie ¡®300¡¯ and to my article which appeared on Payvand and in the Orange County Register. Of course each of these venues has their own constituency and so reactions have been somewhat different, to say the least. I am still quite disturbed by the intentions of the film. In fact, it is these scholarly pursuits that make me dig a bit deeper, past the slogans and moralistic hyperbolae. -Touraj Daryaee and Warren Soward, California State University, Fullerton - 4/5/07

The American Chemical Society Terminates the Membership of Chemists from Iran
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has once again pioneered, under its "zealot" interpretation of "embargo" by Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, by terminating membership of its long-time members in Iran; many of these members are past Ph.D. Alumni of American universities. -David N. Rahni - 4/5/07

A Walk in Darakeh
Throughout the Norouz holidays we hoped for fine weather in vain. The sun hardly ever came out and when it did on rare occasions it was for a very short time. For two whole days it poured and we were sitting close to the radiators and wondering what had happened to Spring. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/5/07

Iran-China trade exchanges to reach $16b: Ambassador
The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and China will reach dlrs 16 billion in 2007, Chinese ambassador to Iran predicted on Wednesday. Liu Zhentang said in a gathering in Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines that the figure stood at dlrs 14 billion in 2006. -IRNA - 4/5/07

Release of British Sailors Leaves Unanswered Questions
The end of the standoff between Britain and Iran still leaves many questions unanswered. Chief among them is why Iran took such a deliberately provocative action as seizing British sailors and marines. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, many analysts believe the heart of the matter lies in the struggle between Iran and the United States for influence in Iraq and the Middle East. - 4/5/07

Tehran's 'man of action' mayor keeps his eye on national office
Iran's Mayor Mohammed Baqr Qalibaf has tried to boost city services while showing himself at ease on the world stage. -CSM - 4/5/07

Norouz: San Francisco celebrates Persian New Year
Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi - San Francisco's first elected Iranian-American - were on hand to host the event on behalf of the City of San Francisco and pay tribute to the Bay Area's growing Iranian-American community. -FogCityJournal - 4/5/07

Central/South Asia: The Silk Road Runs Through It
The Silk Road, from the Mediterranean to the Far East, was once among the most important trade routes in the world. It remains an iconic "crossroad" for East-West relations, but the countries it crisscrosses are poorly understood outside the region. -RFE - 4/5/07

Blair Says 15 Britons Freed Without Negotiations
British Prime Minister Tony Blair today hailed the return to Britain of the 15 service personnel who had been held by Iran. Blair told reporters in London that their release had been secured "without any deal" or negotiation. -RFE - 4/5/07

Controversy erupts over Russian role in Odessa-Brody-Gdansk pipeline project
Demands by Kazakhstan to include Russia in the Odessa-Brody-Gdansk pipeline project could overshadow next month's Caspian sea energy summit in the Polish capital Warsaw. -Saeid Najar Nobari, IRNA - 4/5/07

Senate Iraq Supplemental Sidesteps Iran War Debate
Last week, by a narrow 51 to 47 vote, the Senate passed a war supplemental spending bill (HR 1591) calling for the withdrawal of troops in Iraq by 2008. Following the House’s lead, the $123.3 billion Senate bill failed to include any language barring military action against Iran, and proposed amendments to that effect by freshman Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were overlooked. -NIAC - 4/5/07

U.S. Lets Red Cross See Seized Iranians
The U.S. military has allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit five Iranian officials who were detained in Iraq nearly three months ago on suspicion of plotting against American and Iraqi forces. -Washington Post - 4/5/07

Central Asia: Name Debate Reflects Region's Mixed History
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon recently announced a decision to abandon the Slavic-style "-ov" suffix that has been part of his name for all his life. How might the Tajik president's move resonate in a region that spent many years under Russian, then Soviet, domination? -RFE - 4/5/07

The US can learn from this example of mutual respect
The outcome of the crisis between Iran and Britain provides a lesson on how to deal with the wider international standoff -Abbas Edalat, Guardian - 4/5/07

No Record of Arrest of Former FBI Agent, Iranian Official Says
Iran's PressTV reported on its English language Web site Wednesday that Levinson was on Iran's Kish Island to "make contact with persons who could help him make representations to official Iranian bodies responsible for suppressing trade in pirated products, which is a major concern of his company." -Washington Post - 4/5/07

Gas Cartel Gains Traction With Alliance Set to Meet
Western leaders have long had to contend with OPEC, which leveraged control of a large share of world oil trade into geopolitical punch. Now, the West may begin facing a new energy nemesis: a potential natural-gas cartel. -WSJ - 4/5/07

Foreign carmakers may buy Iran Khodro's shares: director
Two major foreign carmakers are willing to purchase stocks in Iran's leading auto manufacturer Iran Khodro Co.(IKCO), the company's managing director stated Wednesday. -MNA - 4/5/07

Britain Hails Release of 15 British Sailors and Marines
British Prime Minister Tony Blair hailed Wednesday the release of 15 detainees by Iran, saying London wanted to peacefully resolve disputes with Tehran. The British navy crew was seized by Iranian forces nearly two weeks ago in what Tehran says were Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. -VOA - 4/5/07

Tehran Likely to Pay Long-Term Price
At a time when five members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps are being detained by the United States in Iraq, Iran's most elite military unit also proved that it can play the tit-for-tat game, experts said. The British were seized by the Guard's naval unit. -Washington Post - 4/5/07

France: Iranian authorities refuse exit door to French academic
France's Foreign Ministry called Wednesday on Iran to "quickly find a solution" so that a French academic barred from leaving the country since late January can return home. -AP - 4/5/07

Israel's protests are said to stall Gulf arms sale
A major arms-sale package that the Bush administration is planning to offer Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies to deter Iran has been delayed because of objections from Israel, which says that the advanced weaponry would erode its military advantage over its regional rivals, according to senior United States officials. -New York Times - 4/5/07

Released British marines meet with Iranian President
In a special ceremony on Wednesday in Tehran, the 15 British marines had a sincere meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and thanked him for the amnesty. -IRNA - 4/4/07

17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema at UCLA: April 7 – May 11
2007 marks the Archive's 17th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema, now in its new home at the Billy Wilder Theater in the heart of Westwood's "Tehrangeles." This year's offerings feature a greater number of films than ever before, including 13 films from Iran and the diaspora. - 4/4/07

President: Iran to free 15 UK marines as a gift to British people
The amnesty was granted on the auspicious occasion of birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad and the Christian Easter festivity. - 4/4/07

CIA hires terrorist group to operate inside Iran: ABC News
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has hired a Pakistani terrorist group that has carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks inside Iran, ABC News has reported on Wednesday. Powerful Iran despite its right to try the military servicemen has pardoned them as a gift to the British people, said the president. -IRNA - 4/4/07

American Chemical Society rescinds membership of 36 Iranian scientists
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has rescinded the membership of 36 Iranian scientists after the society determined that having members in Iran violates U.S. law. -ISNA - 4/4/07

Camelia Entekhabifard - Camelia: Save Yourself By Telling the Truth
Join us for a reading with Camelia Entekhabifard, author of Cameila: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth. A book signing and reception will follow: Friday, April 6th, 2007 at 7PM — Labyrinth Books New York - 4/4/07

Poll Finds Americans Losing Confidence in Military Solutions to Crises
A new poll shows that declining American public support for the war in Iraq is leading to an increasingly negative public opinion of resorting to military force to settle global conflicts. The findings come in the fourth survey conducted jointly by the non-profit organization Public Agenda and Foreign Affairs, one of America's most influential publications on foreign policy. -VOA - 4/4/07

Iranian Public Mostly Supports Detention Of Britons
Iran's extended Norouz (New Year) holidays and a parliamentary recess have resulted in little public comments in Iran about the March 23 detentions of 15 British naval personnel in the Persian Gulf, most politicians and other groups have been supportive of the government's action as the proper response to a perceived violation of Iran's territorial waters. -RFE - 4/4/07

Time for Détente With Iran
To tame the growing power of Iran, Washington must eschew military options, the prospect of conditional talks, and attempts to contain the regime. Instead, it should adopt a new policy of détente. By offering the pragmatists in Tehran a chance to resume diplomatic and economic relations with the United States, it could help them sideline the radicals and tip Iran's internal balance of power in their favor. -Ray Takeyh, Foreign Affairs - 4/4/07

Officials in Rasht preparing for execution of Delara Darabi
Officials in Rasht Preparing to Hang Delara Darabi Despite Khoramshahi's Request for Review of Delara's Case. Before the new year holiday in Iran, Abdolsammad Khoramshahi, attorney for Delara Darabi, filed his objection to the Supreme Court's affirmation of Delara's death sentence, as well as a request for a review of Delara's case by a five-judge panel. - 4/4/07

Iran to get access to diplomats seized in Iraq
"Iran's Embassy in Iraq in cooperation with Iraqi officials and the UN representative, an envoy from Iran's Embassy is scheduled to meet with the diplomats," the official told IRNA. - 4/4/07

No evidence of allegedly missing U.S. citizen in Kish Island, says local official
There is no verifiable proof indicating the alleged disappearance of an U.S. citizen in Kish Island. U.S. high ranking officials and the media have making statements about the supposedly disappearance of the U.S. citizen in Kish Island, a tourist resort and free-trade zone in South Iran. -ISNA - 4/4/07

Salman-e Farsi Dam devouring Sassanid city in southern Iran
Archaeological studies show that a Sassanid city is being submerged in the reservoir of the Salman-e Farsi Dam, which is currently being filled in Fars Province, southern Iran. -MNA - 4/4/07

Informed source comments on release of Iranian diplomat in Baghdad
An informed source said on Tuesday evening that the released Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped in Baghdad in February was seized by Iraq's security forces who work under direct control of the US troops. -IRNA - 4/4/07

UK Tests Iranian Resolve
Iranian armed forces arrested 15 British marines and sailors, including a 26-year-old Leading Seaman, Faye Turney, on March 23 after they illegally entered Iran's territorial waters in the northern Persian Gulf, as was reported by Mehr News Agency. -Ardeshir Ommani - 4/4/07

Iran predicts 10 percent increase in annual gasoline consumption
A National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Co. (NIOPDC) official here Wednesday predicted that gasoline consumption in the country in the new year (started March 21) will soar by 10 percent. -MNA - 4/4/07

Iran Says Bushehr Delay Justifies Enrichment
Iran says that a continued Russian refusal to deliver atomic fuel to its first nuclear power station would justify Tehran's uranium-enrichment activities. - 4/4/07

Dubai to host Iranian art event
A great number of Iranian artists are scheduled to hold a program in Dubai for three weeks, which will begin on May 10. -MNA - 4/4/07

Bush Says US House Speaker's Trip to Syria Sends Wrong Signals
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group urged the Bush administration to open direct talks with Syria and Iran. President Bush has refused, saying again Tuesday that the best way to deal with Syria is in broader, multi-lateral discussions about regional security. -VOA - 4/4/07

Saudi Arabia Says Israel Must Accept Arab Peace Offer Before Talks
Saudi Arabia says Israel should first clearly accept Arab peace initiative before the kingdom would consider talks. A statement from the Saudi cabinet Monday did not directly refer to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's invitation to Arab leaders to attend a Middle East peace conference. -VOA - 4/4/07

Bush Administration Works to Extend Missile Defense to Europe
The Bush administration says it is pressing ahead with plans to extend a U.S. missile defense system to Europe to defend NATO allies from possible future missile launches from North Korea, Iran, and other nations. -VOA - 4/4/07

Oil giants eye Iran's South Pars projects
Giant oil companies have voiced their readiness to participate in tenders on development of phases 22-24 of the South Pars (SP) gas field in southern Iran, an official said in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/4/07

Iran Crisis: 'Deja Vu All Over Again'
The way to exert real pressure on the Iranian government is to drive the price of oil down; but that's not nearly as satisfying as denouncing the seizure of the 15 British sailors and marines ... and then going on to demonstrate how few options we really have. -Ted Koppel, NPR - 4/4/07

Logistical units of Bushehr nuclear power plant begins operation
The logistical units of Bushehr nuclear power plant commenced operation today in the presence of the Iranian vice president, Parviz Davoudi. -ISNA - 4/3/07

Nuclear Program Hurting Iran's Economy, IMF Says
The international community’s confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program already has affected the Iranian economy adversely and could threaten investment and growth further if the crisis escalates, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). -USINFO - 4/3/07

Iraqi government trying to secure release of 5 Iranian diplomats
Iraqi government is intensively seeking release of five Iranian diplomats kidnapped by the US forces in northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11, according to an Iraqi official. -IRNA - 4/3/07

New York Metro Annual Sizdah Bedar Picnic Draws Hundreds of Iranian-Americans
The cirrus clouds turning to drizzling spring shower, a weather in the lower 50's at the Bear Mountain State Park, could not dampen the cheerful enthusiasm of many hundreds of Iranian-Americans who, as in previous years gathered for 2007 Sizdah Bedar for a Day of fun and joy, dance and music, food and drinks, and games and entertainment. -Davood N. Rahni - 4/3/07

Economic News: U.S., main importer of Persian carpets
Iran exported more than 100 million dollars of Persian carpets to the United States during the past Iranian year (ended March 20, 2007), the director of the National Carpet Center of Iran said. -MNA - 4/3/07

Iran, Britain start talks on detained sailors: Larijani
The British government has started diplomatic discussions with the Iranian Foreign Ministry to resolve the issue of the British military personnel, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani said here on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/3/07

Britain Says Next 48 Hours Critical For Iran Standoff
Iran and Britain have reportedly been in contact in an attempt to resolve the row over the capture of 15 British navy personnel by Iranian forces. -RFE - 4/3/07

Iran's Share in Caspian Sea Shipping is Little
Despite all tourism attractions that exist in Iranian northern provinces and Iran's high potential in shipping industry, Iran's share in Caspian Sea voyages and transportation is very limited. -CHN - 4/3/07

Road accidents decreased during New Year holidays: Iran police chief
Last year, 735 people were killed in road accidents during the holiday season whereas 638 were killed in car crashes this year. Iran has the highest percentage of fatal road accidents in the world in relation to its population, with 30,000 deaths per year. -MNA - 4/3/07

Iran's saffron export down
Iran witnessed a 120-ton decrease in saffron export in the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2007) when compared to the figure in its preceding year, said the Head of Saffron Export Promotion Fund Ali Shariati-Moqaddam on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/3/07

U.S. strategy on Iran may have backfired
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Increase the military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to get the country to bow to the international community on its nuclear enrichment program and curtail its alleged troublemaking in Iraq. -Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim, Times - 4/3/07

Has the UK lost its 'edge' in foreign policy?
The recent story of the arrest of 15 British sailors in the Persian Gulf has revealed interesting and often hidden facts regarding the current administration in Britain. -Mohammad Kamaali, CASMII - 4/3/07

‘US Ready to Strike Iran on Good Friday’
The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps “from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6,” according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday. -Jerusalem Post - 4/3/07

Iran: Televised Confessions Raise Questions About British Detainees
Article 38 of the constitution states that "compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value or credence." -RFE - 4/3/07

Afghanistan Joins SAARC, World's Largest Regional Grouping
Iran has applied for full membership of SAARC, but it is considered unlikely to be offered to join until the international row over the Iranian nuclear program is resolved. -RFE - 4/3/07

U.S. Sends Query to Iran About Ex-FBI Agent's Disappearance
The United States sent a formal message to Iran yesterday inquiring into the fate of a former FBI agent who was visiting Iran and has not been heard from since March 8, according to U.S. officials. -Washington Pose - 4/3/07

On Iran streets, diverse views on clash over British captives
As Tehran and London squared off over the capture of 15 British sailors and marines, Iranians were on holiday, largely unaware of the magnitude of the latest international quarrel involving their country. -CSM - 4/3/07

Afghan War May Be Lost: Experts
Two Afghanistan experts painted a sobering picture of the conditions there yesterday, arguing support among Afghans for NATO forces is plummeting, the U.S.-driven policy of poppy eradication is wrongheaded, and the war might not be winnable in its present form. -The Canadian Press - 4/3/07

'The Deja Vu Experience', and the British Malfunctioning Naval Compasses
As the world is following the news and examining the facts, it appears that the issue of British crews caught in the Iranian waters is reminiscent of 'The Deja vu Experience.' -Abolfazl Moghadam - 4/3/07

Saudi Arabia Dismisses Israeli Proposal for Conference
Saudi Arabia has dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's invitation to Arab leaders to attend a Middle East peace conference. -VOA - 4/3/07

Iranians take time out to enjoy nature on 'Sizdeh Bedar'
People all over the country usually spend `Sizdeh Bedar', marked every 13th day of the first month of the Iranian new year, outside their homes in green areas of the country. - 4/2/07

Researcher explains origin of 'Sizdah Bedar'
Head of the Iranology Foundation of the Charmahal Bakhtiari province, researcher and Iranologist, Abbas Qanbari Adivi said here Monday that the ceremonies observed on the 13th day of the New Iranian Year (started March 21), called Sizdah Bedar, date back to old days. - 4/2/07

Iranian scientist creates world's first human-sheep chimera
An Iranian scientist has successfully created the world's first human-sheep chimera through bringing to life a sheep that has half human organs. Professor Esmail Zanjani at the University of Nevada's School of Medicine has successfully created the world's first sheep which has the body of a sheep but half-human organs. -ISNA - 4/2/07

London, Tehran Clash In War Of Images
London says the 15 British sailors and marines captured on March 23 were unlawfully seized in Iraqi waters, while Tehran says they trespassed into Iranian territory. Both sides are producing evidence: Britain with satellite maps, Iran with the "confessions" of the sailors themselves. -RFE - 4/2/07

Iran Says All 15 British Captives Confess to Entering Iranian Waters
Iran says all 15 British sailors and marines in Iranian custody have confessed to illegally entering Iranian waters. The statement was made Monday on a state-run news channel, but the station did not give a source for the claim. -VOA - 4/2/07

Can Rumi save us now?
Life and words of the popular 13th-century Persian poet have special meaning for a 21st-century world torn by war, genocide and hatred -San Francisco Chronicle - 4/2/07

Congress Considers Future of US Nuclear Weapons
Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are considering Bush administration budget requests for building new nuclear weapons, a move supporters say will create safer warheads. Critics say the move could undermine global non-proliferation efforts. -VOA - 4/2/07

MKO hired actors for demonstration in Brussels: German news magazine
The MKO terrorist grouplet hired extras for a demonstration in Brussels on March 8 in a bid to cover up the small number of protestors, the weekly Focus news magazine reported Monday. -IRNA - 4/2/07

Old Crime Partners
Indeed, there is honor among thieves. Given that the US under President Eisenhower delivered a coup against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadeq to appease the British, the British have since been eager to fulfill their obligations towards the Americans. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/2/07

SAARC Foreign Ministers Okay Iran's request for Observer status
The eight foreign ministers of SAARC Summit gave clearance to Iran's request for 'Observer' membership and forwarded it to the head of states' summit to be held in New Delhi tomorrow. -IRNA - 4/2/07

National Iranian South Oil Company awarded Azadegan project
An early production from Azadegan oilfield in southern Iran has been awarded to a domestic company, an Iranian official said on Saturday. -MNA - 4/2/07

'Many Iranians feel proud' in standoff
An e-mail sent to me by an Iranian illustrates how public opinion in Iran has become a factor in the prisoner standoff, potentially complicating a release. -BBC - 4/2/07

US anti-Zionist synagogue gutted
The blaze tore through a synagogue of Neturei Karta near New York and the residence of a senior rabbi. In December, five members of the community attended a conference for Holocaust deniers in Iran and met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -BBC - 4/2/07

Iran Questions EU's 'Illogical' Support For Britain Over Sailors
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini appeared on television March 31, telling the European Union they had the facts wrong and that anyway the EU had no place in the dispute, which is just between Tehran and London. -RFE - 4/1/07

Quake hits Iranian island of Qeshm in Persian Gulf
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted the island of Qeshm in the southern province of Hormuzgan Sunday. -IRNA - 4/1/07

A Racist and Insulting Film: 300 vs. Iran (and Herodotus)
Warner Brothers had been planning a remake of the 1962 film since the late 1990s, based on a novel by Stephen Pressfield entitled Gates of Fire, with Bruce Willis in the role of Leonidas. But that project fell through, paving the way for 300---just in time to help subliminally shape the movie-going public's perception of Persians prior to the attack planned on today's evil empire by Vice President Cheney and his neocon staffers. -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 4/1/07

Bush Says Iran Must Release British Hostages
President Bush says the British sailors were doing nothing wrong and should be released immediately. "The British hostages issue is a serious issue because the Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water. And it is inexcusable behavior. And I strongly support the Blair government's attempts to resolve this peacefully," he said. -VOA - 4/1/07

Iran Complains to UK Over Consulate Shots in Iraq
Iran says it has protested an alleged incident in which British troops surrounded an Iranian consulate in Iraq and fired shots into the air. -VOA - 4/1/07

The feuding camps behind Iran crisis
As negotiations continue between the Foreign Office and Tehran to ensure the release of 15 British sailors, Jason Burke reveals the faction-ridden world of Iran's politics where nothing is as it seems -Observer - 4/1/07

US House Speaker Pelosi Begins Middle East Trip in Israel
A group of senators from both parties visited Damascus in December after the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended greater U.S. dialogue with Syria and Iran in efforts to end violence in Iraq. -VOA - 4/1/07

Iraq's Tal Afar, Civilian Death Tolls Up
The Iraqi government has raised the death toll from a truck bomb attack in the town of Tal Afar on March 27 to 152 -- making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old war. - 4/1/07

Iran snubs UK olive branch
Asked by the Iranian reporter if she had a message for Iran, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said: 'The message I want to send is that I think everyone regrets that this position has arisen. 'What we want is a way out of it. We want it peacefully and we want it as soon as possible.' -Guardian - 4/1/07

'Persians' upset by film stereotype
Released at a time of growing popular dissatisfaction with anti-Western Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Hollywood box-office hit film ÌB" has produced a rare moment of accord between the Iranian people and their government. -on Athanasiadis, Washington Times - 4/1/07
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