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America's Dubious Ally
President Bush is presently deciding on the MKO's final status. But if the MKO does win this next battle - the battle for effective US recognition - there can be no doubt that the White House will have a very difficult job to explain dealing with a blacklisted terrorist organisation in order to win a war against terror. -Institute for War & Peace Reporting - 5/31/03

Time for offensive diplomacy: Iranian daily
Iran Daily' on Saturday suggested that Iran should switch gears from a "defensive" to an "offensive" diplomacy if it wants to convince world public over the need to globally destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and other crucial problems facing the international community - 5/31/03

Iran Disputes U.S. on Actions in Iraq
Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, said today that American accusations of Iranian meddling in Iraq were an attempt to cover Washington's failure to establish order there -New York Times - 5/31/03

Rowhani dismisses US rhetoric againt Iran as psychological warfare
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani said on Saturday that the US has embarked on psychological warfare against Iran - 5/31/03

US would like different kind of regime in Iran
Rice signals US determined to address Iranian threat as Bush says using force in Iran is idle speculation. -Middle East Online - 5/31/03

US posturing on Iran worries India
India is concerned about the George Bush administration toughening its approach towards Iran and warned that opening a new front after Iraq could worsen the situation. -Tribune, India - 5/31/03

Fighting continues in Saddam's heartland
In the weeks since the end of the conflict in Iraq, most American troops have gradually scaled down from combat operations to policing patrols. But in Falluja and a string of smaller towns just west of Baghdad, they believe they are still very much at war. -Guardian - 5/31/03

Hundreds of Saudi clerics 'dismissed'
The Saudi Government has played down media reports that it has embarked on a campaign to reform preaching at mosques following suicide attacks on Western targets in the kingdom earlier this month. -BBC - 5/31/03

U.S-Iran tensions put oil markets on alert
Brewing tensions between Iran and the United States will keep oil markets on alert in coming months, but a direct threat to Iran's crude supply is so far too remote to push prices up, analysts said on Friday. -Reuters - 5/31/03

Iran 'liable' for Beirut bomb
A US federal judge has found Iran liable for the 1983 bombing of a US barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which left 241 marines dead. -BBC - 5/31/03

Kurdish poet finds his voice
He found his voice by stitching up his lips. Yesterday, as a nurse snipped away the coarse green cotton thread, Abas Amini hoped that the world was still listening. -Guardian - 5/31/03

Quake shake central Iranian city of Bafq
An earthquake measuring 3.1 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Bafq in the central province of Yazd on Saturday - 5/31/03

U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed
A growing number of U.S. national security professionals are accusing the Bush administration of slanting the facts and hijacking the $30 billion intelligence apparatus to justify its rush to war in Iraq. -Reuters - 5/31/03

Amanpour: Two governments in Iran
U.S. pressure on Iran is feeding an internal power struggle within that country. For sometime now, there has been a push for democratic change in Iran but the conservative power base is not yielding. -CNN - 5/31/03

Sending a Strong Message to Iran
If any nation is a poster child for the Axis of Evil, it’s Iran. Its government combines repressive Islamic fundamentalism with chemical and biological weapons and robust support for some of the world’s worst terrorist groups, including senior al Qaeda operatives responsible for the Saudi Arabia bombings. -Heritage Foundation - 5/31/03

Iran-US ties should be based on mutual respect: Iranian FM
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Friday evening said that Iran-US talks will be meaningful only when they are based on mutual respect and equality - 5/31/03

Pentagon Eyes Massive Covert Attack on Iran
The Pentagon is advocating a massive covert action program to overthrow Iran's ruling ayatollahs as the only way to stop the country's nuclear weapons ambitions, senior State Department and Pentagon officials told ABCNEWS. -Common Dreams - 5/31/03

Iran's youth seek future overseas
Faced with poor job prospects and restrictive social conditions, thousands are leaving every year, creating alarm among the country's leaders. -BBC - 5/30/03

'Crude' US rhetoric could boost Iran's hard-liners
Critics of Washington's approach to Iran say it would also be a mistake to champion exiled opposition figures or groups that have little support inside Iran. Influential neoconservatives in Washington are promoting Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah, currently living in Virginia, whose only real base of support among Iranians is in Los Angeles. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/30/03

Despite Thin Intelligence Reports, the US Plans to Overthrow Iranian Regime
Here we go again. While postwar Iraq continues to crumble, the Bush administration is now setting its sights on a new target--Iran--in its so-called effort to reshape most of the Middle East and bring democracy to countries ruled by vicious dictators. -Common Dreams - 5/30/03

Please sir, we really didn't
On the old Middle East chessboard, the Iranian bishop and the Syrian knight were nimble allies. Often aided by their little Lebanese pawn, Hizbullah, they thwarted the ambitions of other players, including Iraq, Israel and America. But now the superpower has abruptly changed the game, and is imposing new rules. -Economist - 5/30/03

EU united in continuing engagement with Iran
The European Union was deeply divided over the issue of war against Iraq, but the 15-member bloc is united on the process of dialogue and engagement with the Islamic Republic - 5/30/03

Iran to appoint Portuguese national Antonio Oliveira as new soccer head coach
Pejman Nozad, an internationally well-known expert on Iranian football and contributing writer to Iran Sports Press who leads the negotiation with Oliveira reveals that talks are in final stages and Oliveira will travel to Iran soon to finalize the deal. - 5/30/03

Is Iran next after Iraq?
Is Iran next? That is the question being posed with increasing urgency in Washington, amid rumours of a new tougher stand by the Bush administration - a stand that could conceivably end in an Iraq-style standoff, perhaps even in a war. -BBC - 5/30/03

Rafsanjani stresses Iran's impartiality in Iraq's affairs
Rafsanjani on Friday dismissed British Prime Minister Tony Blair's claim in Basra Thursday that Iran and Syria interfered in Iraq's internal affairs - 5/30/03

ANALYSIS-US pressure makes life tough for Iran's reformers
If Iran's reformist movement was having a tough time before, the recent barrage of U.S. criticism aimed at Iran and rumours Washington may seek to destabilise its Islamic government have certainly not helped the cause. -Reuters - 5/30/03

Analysis: Iran coud change the region
There is no question that a change of regime in Iran would have far reaching consequences for the entire region. The supporters of that change in Washington hope to create a pro-American bloc in the Middle East consisting of Iran, a refurbished Shiite Iraq and the Kurds. -UPI - 5/30/03

Refugee vows to continue hunger strike
The Iranian Kurdish refugee who has been on hunger strike for 11 days over the plight of refugees worldwide has warned doctors that he will fight treatment to the bitter end. -Guardian - 5/30/03

The Case for War is Blown Apart
Tony Blair stood accused last night of misleading Parliament and the British people over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, and his claims that the threat posed by Iraq justified war. -Independent - 5/30/03

U.S. Pressure Feeds Iran's Internal Debate
Reformist and Conservatives Differ Over How to Deter Washington -Washington Post - 5/30/03

UK must not be 'conned' again by the US over Iran, warns Cook
Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook warned Friday that Prime Minister Tony Blair's government must "not be suckered a second time" by the US over Iran as it was over the war against Iraq - 5/30/03

Panel discusses Iran
A panel comprised of experts on Iran addressed a packed room at Stanford University last night during “Iran Unraveled: Temptations of Tradition and Modernity in Iran.” -Stanford Daily - 5/30/03

Interview: Salehiforouz on Iran's South Pars Gas Field
Pars Oil and Gas Company is one of the better known companies to IOCs in Iran. The company commenced operations in early 1999 and is in charge of development of the North and South Pars gas fields. - 5/30/03

Return to Iran? - Popular Uprising, Inc.
Like the Bush administration, I would like to see a popular uprising in Tehran. However, unlike the Bushites, I would like to see that the resultant government be one that the Iranian people put in place themselves without any CIA "help." -CounterPunch - 5/30/03

Rumsfeld pushes for regime change in Iran
Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, is spearheading efforts to make "regime change" in Iran the official policy goal of the Bush administration, but his campaign is meeting with considerable resistance from other senior figures, according to officials and analysts. -Financial Times - 5/30/03

ON TO TEHRAN? - The threat of war is real
What is clear is that we are now entering phase two of the neoconservative plan to effect regional "regime change" and refurbish the Middle East with rulers more to America's and Israel's liking. Get on board the War Train. Next stop – Tehran. Toot! Toot! - 5/30/03

Look Who's Talking Iranian Democracy: Son of the Late Shah
Critics worry that Pahlavi is merely a pawn in the hands of neoconservative hawks pushing for regime change in Iran through diplomatic pressure and even covert action. Pahlavi shares the hawks' assessment that the regime in Tehran cannot reform itself and that it only understands "a message of strength" and should not be engaged diplomatically with the United States. -Forward - 5/29/03

Al-Qaida 'sheltered in shah's lodge'
The tough line on Iran contemplated by the Bush administration is partly driven by intelligence reports that al-Qaida leaders are being sheltered by the Iranian revolutionary guards at one of the former shah's hunting lodges, it emerged yesterday. -Guardian - 5/29/03

EU committed to dialogue and engagement with Iran
The European Union has reiterated its commitment to continue the process of dialogue and engagement with the Islamic Republic of Iran ahead of a new round of EU-Iran negotiations - 5/29/03

Editor who fought Saudi religious zealots sacked
The battle between conservatives and reformers in Saudi Arabia heated up yesterday after the sacking of a newspaper editor who campaigned against religious extremism. -Guardian - 5/29/03

Bush's change of direction
President George W Bush is about to launch into the sort of Middle East peacemaking he had been determined to avoid. -BBC - 5/29/03

Iranian Apathy May Hinder U.S. Bid to Foment Unrest
Iranian analysts warn that any U.S. plan to foment popular unrest in Iran will run up against the same challenge that has stalled the country's struggling reform movement: The careworn Iranian public is steadily disengaging from politics. -Washington Post - 5/29/03

The Iranian Challenge
If Iran escalates in Iraq, refuses more intrusive international inspections of its nuclear facilities or appears to actively harbor al Qaeda, the tougher measures the administration is debating may be necessary. But for now, they are not. -Washington Post - 5/29/03

Three Iranian women to judge world fencing in Tehran
Three Iranian women will be among the judges of World Fencing Championships in Tehran, the Fencing Federation announced on Wednesday - 5/29/03

Iran President stresses need to promote democracy in Islamic states
President Mohammad Khatami on Thursday held talks with Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Mousa on the need for promoting democracy in the Islamic states - 5/29/03

Iranian Resistance Group Says it has Revealed Two More Uranium Enrichment Sites in Iran
The new nuclear accusations come from a group called the National Council for the Resistance of Iran — an umbrella for Iranian opposition organizations which last December provided commercial satellite photos taken over Iran of two secret nuclear sites -Bellona - 5/29/03

On accusations against NIAC: What you deserve to know
We Iranian-Americans have come from half-way round the globe, we have braved hardship, perhaps misery -- even tragedy -- to get here. We have endured insecurity, uncertainty, and fear of the unknown, to embrace possibility. What do we deserve as a reward? -NIAC - 5/29/03

2nd day of OIC foreign ministers meeting in Tehran
The foreign ministers and heads of delegations attending the 30th meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Tehran on Thursday continue dialogues on matters of general interest - 5/29/03

Blair warns Iran not to push Iraq theocracy
Tony Blair on Wednesday warned Iran not to press for installation of a theocratic regime in post-Saddam Iraq and also called on the Iranian leadership to come clean about the country's nuclear programme and links with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. -Financial Times - 5/29/03

The CIA in Iran: The Oily Business of Regime Change
About fifty years ago, in July 1953, the U.S. secretary of state held a press conference in which he stated, "The growing activities of the illegal Communist Party in Iran and the toleration of them by the Iranian government has caused our government much concern." -CounterPunch - 5/29/03

Iran rejects US criticism
Leading Iranians have forcefully rejected US allegations that Tehran is harbouring terrorists, interfering in Iraq and seeking to develop nuclear weapons. -BBC - 5/28/03

Russia presses Iran over nuclear fuel
Russia has responded to US pressure by telling Iran it will not supply nuclear fuel for the reactor it is constructing unless the Islamic republic agrees to intrusive inspections of all its nuclear facilities, say US and European officials. -Financial Times - 5/28/03

Taleqani says Iran will compete in world wrestling event in US
President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF), Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, said on Tuesday that the freestyle wrestlers of the country will compete in the world championship in the United States - 5/28/03

Khatami calls for coalition for peace based on justice
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday proposed a "coalition for peace based on justice" instead of efforts to coax countries into war - 5/28/03

Amnesty: US 'War on Terror' Has Made World Worse
Washington's "war on terror" has made the world more dangerous by curbing human rights, undermining international law and shielding governments from scrutiny, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. -Common Dreams - 5/28/03

Conservatives in Iran Crack Down on Women's Clothing
Iran's clothing stores and factories were issued a written order to stop the production and selling of clothes that are not in line with the current strict female dress code. -Feminist Daily - 5/28/03

US finds evidence of WMD at last - buried in a field near Maryland
The good news for the Pentagon yesterday was that its investigators had finally unearthed evidence of weapons of mass destruction, including 100 vials of anthrax and other dangerous bacteria. -Common Dreams - 5/28/03

Iran press responds to US threats
Newspapers from both sides of Iran's political divide warn that the latest threats from Washington must be taken seriously. -BBC - 5/28/03

Iran named AFC "Futsal Team of the Year 2002"
Iran has been named the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) "Futsal Team of the Year 2002" - 5/28/03

Iran, Russia discuss continuation of peaceful nuclear cooperation
Russian Energy Ministry onTuesday stressed continuing cooperation with Iran in peaceful use of nuclear energy - 5/28/03

FILM: America So Beautiful
The pidginized title of Babak Shokrian's debut feature might suggest an ethnic quirkfest on the order of Bend It Like Beckham, but this slice of Iranian American life circa 1979 is a thoroughly lugubrious affair more interested in preaching the perils of assimilation than evoking multiculti color, quirky or otherwise. -Village Voice - 5/28/03

Iran, EU to hold next round of talks in Tehran
Iranian and the European Union (EU) officials are expected to hold the next round of talks in Tehran on June 1-3, foreign ministry said on Tuesday - 5/28/03

US weighs a tougher Iran stance
The White House is increasingly citing Iran as key source of instability in region. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/28/03

Rumsfeld warns Tehran on Iraq regime
"Iran should be on notice that their efforts to remake Iraq in Iran's image will be aggressively put down," Mr Rumsfeld said in a speech to the independent Council on Foreign Relations, in New York. -Financial Times - 5/28/03

"Empress of the Arts"
Empress Farah's deep interest and personal involvement in the arts have been largely responsible for Iran's many cultural movements and her frequent visits to art exhibitions and performances gave fresh incentive to all Iranian artistic activities. -Darius Kadivar - 5/27/03

Neo-cons move quickly on Iran
Reports that top officials in the administration of President George W Bush will meet this week to discuss US policy toward Iran, including possible efforts to overthrow its government, mark a major advance in what has been an 18-month campaign by neo-conservatives in and out of the administration. -Common Dreams - 5/27/03

Iranian lifters denied visa, cancel Mexico trip
Young weightlifters of Iran postponed their Tuesday's trip to Mexico as the Tehran-based embassy of South American country did not issue their visas - 5/27/03

US officials debate Iran policy
US policymakers are to discuss whether to take new action against Iran amid rising tensions between the two countries. -BBC - 5/27/03

Asylum protester sews up eyes
An Iranian Kurdish man living in Nottingham has sewn up his eyes, ears and mouth in protest at his treatment by the Home Office. -BBC - 5/27/03

US sees renewed role for nukes in military arsenal
Research on low-yield nuclear weapons underscores US shift from a strategy of deterrence to one of preemption. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/27/03

Bush may take first step to Tehran regime change
Bush administration officials today look set to turn up the heat on Iran at a meeting to consider whether to break off diplomatic contacts as a possible first step to regime change in Tehran. -Guardian - 5/27/03

Quake jolts Iran's Khuzestan Province
An earthquake measuring 4.2 degrees on the pen-ended Richter scale jolted Iran's southwester Khuzestan Province on Monday evening - 5/27/03

UCD Iranian students explore heritage
Born in Iran, graduating senior Maral Behnam moved to America when she was 5 years old. Ever since, she said, she has found it difficult to learn about her native country. -California Aggie - 5/27/03

Khatami asks Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting to be neutral in its broadcasts
President Mohammad Khatami on Monday called on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) to be politically neutral towards all parties and groups in the country - 5/27/03

Reza Pahlavi is shooting himself in the foot
Once Iranian people see the picture of Pahlavi with Daniel Pipes, Michael Ledeen and Rob Sobhani then comes the end of the road for Pahlavi. -Kave Pourmand - 5/27/03

Iranian Governors: Respect for votes of people, criterion for national unity
Governors general from across the country in statement on Tuesday said that respect for the people's landslide votes for the president and their representatives to the parliament is the only criterion for 'national unity' - 5/27/03

Pentagon adds to despair of Iran's reformers
The Pentagon's pronouncement that it would seek to "destabilise" Iran's Islamic republic has given the country's clerics ammunition to portray their liberal opponents as traitors. Hardly a day passes without warnings in the official press against reformists accused of sowing divisions. -Guardian - 5/27/03

The Iranian challenge to the US
At a May 21 Washington Institute for Near East Policy luncheon on Iran and Iraq, William Samii, senior regional analyst for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, argued that Tehran is trying to destabilize Iraq. The Iranian government is trying to pull the U.S. into a quagmire to bring about America’s failure in Iraq, Samii said, but claimed Tehran cannot realistically expect a Shia state to take over in Iraq. -NIAC - 5/27/03

Next stop Tehran?
With Iraq beaten, the US is now playing the same dangerous WMD game with Iran -Guardian - 5/27/03

Declaration of Iranian Cultural and Political Activists
We the undersigned, considering the above three points, express our complete dissatisfaction with the rulers in Iran. We believe our country's interest demands a reduction of political pressure in order to create justice and security for the people and to reduce any threats from abroad. In pursuit of the end, we again demand the following... (English & Persian texts) - 5/26/03

U.S. Demands That Iran Turn Over Qaeda Agents
The United States is pressing Iran to cooperate with the investigation into the recent bombings of foreign compounds in Saudi Arabia and to hand over operatives of Al Qaeda believed by American intelligence officials to have been working on Iranian territory, Bush administration officials said today. -New York Times - 5/26/03

Iran rejects US al-Qaeda pressure
Iran has said it has arrested a number of members of the al-Qaeda network, but that they are not high level operatives -BBC - 5/26/03

Iran has shown no leniency towards al-Qaeda members: Asefi
Talking to reporters, he said that any Al-Qaeda member who is caught trying to enter Iranian territory will be arrested, investigated and expelled and that a number of Al-Qaeda members are currently under investigation in the country. - 5/26/03

Iran to privatize some 36 energy firms
Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf said in Tehran on Monday that in line with the Third Five-Year Development Plan and reduction of state role in current affairs, 36 companies affiliated to the Ministry of Energy will be transferred to the private sector in the current Iranian year - 5/26/03

The people should know, daily advises Iran President
Khatami, it may be recalled, won on his promise "to build a civil society, promote social and individual freedoms within the framework of law, equality and accountability in high places," said Iran Daily. - 5/26/03

Iranian detainees in people-for-trade deal
The Australian Greens Party says the federal government is discussing a secret refugee deal with representatives from the Iranian government. -SBS, Australia - 5/26/03

Washington turns up the heat on Iran
It is possible that the leaked information about attempts to undermine the Iranian government is meant as a warning. With his comments about capturing and extraditing al-Qaeda in Iran, UN-ambassador Zarif indicated that the message has been received loud and clear. -Radio Netherlands - 5/26/03

US looks away as new ally tortures Islamists
Uzbekistan's president steps up repression of opponents -Guardian - 5/26/03

HREOC protest over detention of Iranians in Australia
Supporters of 200 Iranian people detained in Australian immigration centres have rallied outside the offices of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in Sydney. -Radio Australia - 5/26/03

Analysis: Iran-US rift widens
Tension is rising sharply in relations between the United States and Iran, with three issues pointing to a possible crisis between the two countries after years of stalemate. -BBC - 5/26/03

Iranian reformists' plea gagged
Iranian authorities have banned the publication of a letter that called on the country's supreme leader to intervene to break the political deadlock holding up the reform process. - 5/26/03

Ambassador for a Silenced Music
Mr. Vahab, a native of Tehran, left Iran for London in 1976, three years before those laws crippled Iran's music community. In 1981, he moved to New York, where he has become a one-man clearinghouse for Iranian-Americans who want to learn about their culture. He lectures regularly at Columbia and New York University, and he has performed at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United Nations and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. -New York Times - 5/25/03

Researcher: Many significant faultlines surround Tehran
A seismographer and researcher, Mehdi Zare, declared in Tehran on Sunday that several major faultlines have been identified in the suburb of Tehran including Eivanki, northern and southern Rey, Kahrizak and Mosha - 5/25/03

On the roads of ruin
Tony Blair vowed that the West would not walk away from Afghanistan. But in a remarkable journey, meeting militia leaders and the heavily guarded President, Peter Oborne found a nation left to fend for itself - and Taliban thugs undeterred -Guardian - 5/25/03

Persian playboy goes shopping
Robert Tchenguiz just can't help attracting interest. The 42-year-old property tycoon was struggling last week to bring together backers for a bid for Selfridges. -Guardian - 5/25/03

Israel narrowly backs peace plan
The Israeli cabinet has backed the latest Middle East peace plan, which envisages the step-by-step creation of a Palestinian state. -BBC - 5/25/03

US hunts al-Qaeda's new terror chief
The prime suspect for the bombings in Riyadh may be operating from Iran. Jason Burke reports on US efforts to link terrorists with the Tehran regime -Guardian - 5/25/03

Yo, Ayatollahs!
Far from being chagrined about the little problem of having no casus belli, and no plan for smoothly delivering Pax Americana to Iraq and Afghanistan, the hawks are hawking the next regime change. If Iraq was not harboring Al Qaeda and going nuclear, then certainly Iran is. -New York Times - 5/25/03

Iranians defend resistance group
A small but vocal group of Iranian-Americans demanded yesterday that an Iranian resistance group be removed from the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations. -Washington Times - 5/25/03

'A tool to disclose beauty' of Iran in Ottawa
The Iranian ambassador's home captures his homeland's traditions, writes Maria Cook. - 5/25/03

Quakes shake several cities in Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the southern city of Larestan on Sunday morning. An earthquake with an intensity of 3.5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Razan, south of Qazvin province, on Sunday... - 5/25/03

Iran's top security chief vows no leniency to al-Qaeda
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Hassan Rowhani in a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in Tehran on Sunday said that Iran will not ease up against al-Qaeda and will continue to arrest and evict suspected terrorists - 5/25/03

Iran tells women to button up
Iran's conservatives are cracking down on women's clothing ahead of the baking summer. -BBC - 5/25/03

Iran reformers in deadlock appeal
Nearly 130 members of the reformist-dominated Iranian parliament have signed an open letter to the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling on him to intervene to break the political deadlock holding up the reform process. -BBC - 5/25/03

U.S. Eyes Pressing Uprising In Iran
The Bush administration, alarmed by intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda operatives in Iran had a role in the May 12 suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, has suspended once-promising contacts with Iran and appears ready to embrace an aggressive policy of trying to destabilize the Iranian government, administration officials said. -Washington Post - 5/25/03

Pentagon sets sights on a new Tehran regime
The Pentagon has proposed a policy of regime change in Iran, after reports that al-Qaida leaders are coordinating terrorist attacks from Iran. But the plan is opposed by the US state department and the British government, officials in Washington said yesterday. -Guardian - 5/24/03

Iran's Parliament to examine draft on membership in anti-torture convention
According to the text of the convention banning torture and any other type of punishment as well as inhuman and humiliating behavior, the member states are required to take effective legal, administrative and judicial steps to block torture in the domain of their legal authorities. - 5/24/03

Iran scraps permanent residence for Afghan refugees
Iran will withdraw from September 23 permanent residence for Afghan refugees as part of the Islamic Republic's plans to gradually repatriate all Afghans - 5/24/03

US blamed for Baghdad tension
Britain says American military failure to secure capital threatens to delay reconstruction -Guardian - 5/24/03

Tense Kirkuk choosing council
A new council is being chosen in the important oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk in a bid to end its simmering ethnic tensions. -BBC - 5/24/03

Living on a Prayer: Persian Melodies
From Iran, Jordan, and Kenya, three Muslim men and women tell their stories of rejection and new-found hope after being diagnosed HIV positive. -Positive Nation - 5/24/03

Against All Odds
Despite Grave Danger, Iran’s Bahais Study at Underground University -ABC News - 5/24/03

First Person: Love in a foreign land
The first time I met Bijan was at my cousin's wedding in Saqqez, a town in Iranian Kurdistan. I don't know what we talked about because I was only five years old. But I always remembered Bijan, who was seven. -Financial Times - 5/24/03

Oregon State artist paints from life
Iranian Tala Madani originally came to the United States seeking an education, but upon her arrival, she found much more, including her passion for painting and art. -Daily Barometer - 5/24/03

Iran wins Takhti Wrestling Cup title, US finishes third
Iran won the crown with 70 points and the two teams of Syria and the United States finished runner-up and third, winning 56 and 26 points respectively. - 5/24/03

Iranian women struggle to catch up with world rights
Women make up 31.5 per cent of the workforce in state bodies but hold less than 3 per cent of management positions. But in October the first group of women will become police officers. There are two female judges. For the fourth successive year female students have outnumbered males, occupying more than 60 per cent of university places. -Financial Times - 5/24/03

US official plays down terror case against Iran
The evidence that Iran may be harbouring al-Qaeda operatives is far less clear-cut than has been claimed by top figures the Bush administration, a senior US official said on Thursday. -Financial Times - 5/23/03

Iran and EU discuss ways of boosting ties
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten met in Paris on Thursday and discussed ways of boosting ties between the Islamic Republic and the European Union - 5/23/03

US punishes firms in Iran and China
The US has imposed sanctions against a Chinese company for allegedly supplying Iran with ballistic missile technology, without providing details of the deal. -BBC - 5/23/03

Short Story: Anti-Memory
There is the sound of footsteps approaching in dark. It gets closer and closer, then it stops and the door flings open with a dry sound. An intense light breaks into the dark room. A woman wearing a black chador is standing at the gate. -Katayoun Riahi - 5/23/03

Iranian, French FMs discuss Iraq, terrorism, nuclear programs
Ties between Iran and the European Union as well as Tehran's nuclear energy plans were discussed between Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin in Paris on Thursday on the sidelines of a conference on drugs - 5/23/03

Christian in Name Only: A Clash of Civilizations?
Take, for example, the case of Iran. Why Iran? Firstly, because Iran illustrates the failure of Christian values. Secondly, because Iran could well become the next target of U.S. aggression. Today, few Americans understand the pivotal role the U.S. government played in Iran in the 1950s sewing the seeds for the Islamic revolution of the 1970s. -CounterPunch - 5/23/03

Director Without Borders
Kurdish Filmmaker Explores Our Dividing Lines in 'Marooned in Iraq' -Washington Post - 5/23/03

The Wrong Direction
To be sure, Iran is still a theocracy, still uses the Koran as the basis of its legal system, and still thinks poorly of America. It is also the only Muslim country in the region that sustains competing political parties and genuinely contested elections. -Eat The State - 5/23/03

Poll: Iran, Syria, Saudis support terror
A growing number of Americans believe that Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are supporting terrorism, a new poll indicates. -UPI - 5/23/03

4.5 Quake shakes Tabas in central Iran
An earthquake with the intensity of 4.5 degrees on the Richter scale shook the desert city of Tabas in the central Yazd province early Thursday morning - 5/23/03

US halts Iran talks over terror claim
The cancellation of the Geneva meeting comes as a debate rages in the Iranian press about the merits of restoring diplomatic relations with the US. This is part of a wider power struggle in Iran that pits the reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, and his allies against conservative clerics defending the country's theocratic system. -Guardian - 5/23/03

Iran will not succumb to 'American chantage' on al-Qaeda, says intelligence minister
Intelligence Minister Ali Younesi said in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Wednesday night that Iran would not submit to American blackmail over the alleged presence of al-Qaeda and demanded Washington extradite terrorist opposition elements in US - 5/23/03

Analysis: End of UN's 'Iraq era'
Fourteen votes in favour, none against, one not present. So ended the Iraq era at the United Nations. Resolution 1483 legitimises the control of Iraq by the slightly sinisterly named "authority". That is a polite euphemism for Washington. -BBC - 5/23/03

Iran's provincial court transferring outspoken journalist to Tehran
A court in the western Iranian city of Hamedan has upheld part of outspoken university professor Hashem Aghajari's 8-year jail term and decided that he serve his sentence in Tehran. - 5/22/03

The Emerging Shiite Bloc
The U.S. lifted the veil on the real face of power in Iraq by bringing down the secular regime of Saddam Hussein. A powerful Shiite Muslim bloc now exists across the Middle East. PNS contributor William O. Beeman probes the religious, social and political reasons for its strength. - 5/22/03

Iran's Parliament Speaker says Iranians would stand fast against threats
Karroubi's comments on the defense against threats was an allusion to the US anti-Iran allegations and hostile rhetoric. - 5/22/03

Iran returns 95-year-old favour to BP
Ninety-five years after BP founder William Knox D'Arcy struck oil in Iran, the tables have turned. -Telegraph UK - 5/22/03

Surveys pointing to high civilian death toll in Iraq
Evidence is mounting to suggest that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the recent war, according to researchers involved in independent surveys of the country. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/22/03

Official: money laundering is 20 percent of Iran's economy
A member of Financial Research Center of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Hossein Heshmati Moulai said the amount of money laundered in Iran has jumped from about six percent of gross domestic product (GDP)in mid 1970's to close to 15 percent in 1980's. - 5/22/03

Why don’t Iraqis come to welcome Coalition Forces!
With such a history behind them, it is not surprising that contrary to the earlier anticipation of Americans, not only the people of Iraq did not welcome the coalition forces, but they used the arms distributed among them to resist these forces. -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 5/22/03

U.S. wrestling team arrives in Iran
Shunning U.S.-Iranian diplomatic tensions, a three-member American freestyle wrestling team arrived Wednesday in Tehran for the Takhti Cup, hoping to take home three medals. -AP - 5/22/03

Khatami lambasts conservative clerics
However, analysts believe that a final showdown is nearing. Threats by the US, which has branded Iran part of the "axis of evil", have inflamed the political infighting. Reformists insist that political reform could deprive the US of excuses to target Iran, while conservatives believe that further reform would lead to foreign dominance. -Financial Times - 5/22/03

Iran says it has arrested several Al Qaeda operatives
Iran has arrested several Al Qaeda operatives in a new sweep and they are now undergoing interrogation, a crackdown that Washington is fully aware of, a senior Iranian official said yesterday. -Boston Globe - 5/22/03

Tehran's Art Scene
Tehran art scene has been flourishing as ever, and this week I really did myself a favor going to many exhibitions and even two Iranians films and here is the account what I saw. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/22/03

Mutual terror accusations halt U.S.-Iran talks
Geoffrey Kemp, a Middle East expert at The Nixon Center, said the contacts should be resumed because of the need to discuss vital issues that include Iraq, nuclear weapons and Iran's support for militant Palestinian and Lebanese groups that impede settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. "It behooves both governments to be imaginative and creative, because the costs of not working out their differences are very high for both," Kemp said. -USA Today - 5/22/03

Suddenly, an Iranian leader is welcome in Beirut
Turkey is no longer such a good friend of the American administration and its ability to intervene in Iraqi matters is very limited. Iran, on the other hand, is developing into an important state, mainly due to the fears of its influence on Iraq and thereafter on the other Gulf states, which have large Shi'ite minority populations, or on Bahrain, which has a Shi'ite majority. -Ha'aretz - 5/21/03

The Undesirables
By the time I was finally able to go for a visit back to Iran in 1995, my grandfather had already surrendered his life for over a decade. I never got a chance to say goodbye to him when I left Iran, as I departed under rather temporary intentions. -Pedram Moallemian, Blanket - 5/21/03

Sayeh Ghanbari
Sayeh Ghanbari, 22, was born in Iran, but fled the country with her family when she was six years old during the Iran/Iraq war. She is now an aeronautical engineer based in London -Guardian - 5/21/03

A Terrorist U.S. Ally?
One of the stranger news items coming out of Iraq these days concerns an Iranian opposition group called the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK). It's a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization that coalition forces first bombed from the air, then signed a cease-fire agreement with - and finally disarmed and protected. -Daniel Pipes and Patrick Clawson - 5/21/03

Tehran's new mayor signed into office
The Iranian Interior Ministry on Tuesday signed Tehran's newly-elected Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad into office, putting an end to speculation that the ministry was dragging its feet on the signing since it was displeased with the appointment - 5/21/03

Iranian reformists, dissidents urge changes
Some 116 reformists, liberal dissidents accuse Iran's conservatives of misusing sacred principles to keep power. -Middle East Online - 5/21/03

US to revise Iraq resolution
The United States has agreed to revise its draft resolution on Iraq's future still further after its first reading at the United Nations Security Council. -BBC - 5/21/03

'Iron hand' cleric issues fatwa amid Baghdad chaos
Baghdad's most powerful Shia cleric warned yesterday that he would use a "hand of iron" to impose an extreme vision of Islam that could seriously challenge America's secular ambitions for Iraq. -Guardian - 5/21/03

Renewed US-Iranian friction
The United States has accused Iran of harbouring al-Qaeda leaders responsible for planning last week's suicide attacks in the Saudi capital Riyadh. -BBC - 5/21/03

U.S. halts talks with Iran because of suspected al-Qaeda links
"The Iranian government is, unfortunately, not a single entity. Some may know about the al-Qaeda presence and others may not. It's important to get at the bottom of this as soon as possible ,"a senior administration official said. -Los Angeles Times - 5/21/03

Amnesty Decries G8's Arms Sale to Nigeria, Others
Human rights body, Amnesty International (AI), has criticized the G-8 countries including the United States of America, the Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Canada, for selling arms to Nigeria and other developing countries, involved in human rights abuses. -Common Dreams - 5/21/03

An Unprecedented Crisis: The Arab Condition
My impression is that many Arabs today feel that what has been taking place in Iraq over the last two months is little short of a catastrophe. -Edward Said, CounterPunch - 5/21/03

Iran is in high-risk region for AIDS
Health Ministry's official said in Tehran on Tuesday that Iran is located in one of the high-risk regions for spread of AIDS - 5/21/03

Iran Parliament approves bill on changing election law
Parliament on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill on changing the election law for parliamentary poll that once enforced would make each province an electoral district - 5/21/03

Does Motherland Really Need You, O, Champion in Shining Armor?
To sit back and accuse the "mullahs" of filling their pockets, ruining the nation, and laughing all the way to their banks in Switzerland, is as maliciously cynical as saying that Reza Phlavi has "sold out" the Iranian people to the interests of Zionists. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/21/03

U.S. Suggests a Qaeda Cell in Iran Directed Saudi Bombings
The United States has intercepted communications strongly suggesting that a small cell of leaders of Al Qaeda in Iran directed last week's terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, and the United States is sending a strong protest to the Tehran government, according to senior Bush administration officials. -New York Times - 5/21/03

Iran government spokesman rules out Khatami's resignation
Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh Tuesday night brushed aside speculation that President Mohammad Khatami may resign in the face of ongoing opposition to bolster presidential powers - 5/21/03

Iran President lashes out at Guardian Council for rejecting reform bills
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday lashed out at the supervisory Guardian Council (GC) for rejecting his proposed twin bills on presidential powers and elections, stressing that he was against the decision - 5/21/03

UK supplying Iran night vision goggles to combat drug spread
Britain is making a further exception to its national arms embargo to provide Iran with more night vision equipment to help border guards combat drug smuggling from Afghanistan - 5/20/03

Saddam's praise singer shot dead as revenge killings start
Two gunmen shot and killed a senior Ba'ath party official who appeared regularly in uniform on Iraqi state television singing anthems praising Saddam Hussein, the Guardian has learned. - 5/20/03

Why militants reject the roadmap
"These attacks will continue in all the territories of 1948 and 1967, and we will not stop attacking the Zionist Jewish people as long as any of them remain in our land." -BBC - 5/20/03

You Let Al-Qaida Off Hook, Bush Told
The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca emboldened the Democrats contending for next year's presidential nomination to launch the most vigorous attack yet on President George Bush's war on terrorism. -Common Dreams - 5/20/03

Iran is "very serious" against al Qaeda
Iran on Tuesday once again rejected the recent US remarks on the presence of al Qaeda operatives inside its territory, and refreshed vows to "seriously" confront the terror network - 5/20/03

Why Religious Wars and the Spread of Empires Go Hand in Hand
From Cyrus the Great down to imperial leaders of the modern age, empire builders have fostered the spread of religion, and empires have ushered in periods of religious warfare. -PNS - 5/20/03

ThyssenKrupp retakes Iran stake
ThyssenKrupp on Monday said it had bought back a stake held by state-controlled Iranian investors following a threat from the US defence department to exclude the German conglomerate from some government contracts. -Financial Times - 5/20/03

The story of the Internet and the frustrated mullahs
On April 19, Hossein Derakhshan, a young Iranian living in Toronto, got an alarming e-mail from a friend of his in Tehran. The friend, Sina Montallebi, wrote that he had been summoned to appear before the religious police. -Globe & Mail, Canada - 5/20/03

The future of the Mujahideen Khalq
The belated disarmament agreement between the United States and the Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) has surprised many analysts both in Iran and the United States. -Mahan Abedin, Daily Star - 5/20/03

Senator Brownback announces Iran Democracy Act with Iranian exiles
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback announced at a press conference on May 19 that he will introduce a bill, the Iran Democracy Act, asking for fifty million dollars to promote democracy in Iran and to fund Iranian opposition groups. -NIAC - 5/20/03

Russia Agrees with US That Iran Poses a Nuclear Threat
Following a whirlwind visit Wednesday to Russia by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Moscow this week finally concurred with western assertions that Iran is operating a covert nuclear programme, and is, in the words of President George Bush's National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a "sponsor of terror." -Bellona - 5/20/03

Self-fulfilling prophecy
US threats make matters worse in Iran. The two countries have interests in common, if they would only see it. A platform for bilateral talks has been established under UN auspices in Geneva. Both sides should make better use of it. -Guardian - 5/20/03

A woman's place
Samira Makhmalbaf set out to make a film about a female president of Afghanistan. The hardest part was persuading someone to play the role, she tells Geoffrey Macnab - 5/19/03

Iran signs drilling contract for South Pars with Japanese company
A contract to drill in South Pars gas field was signed in Tehran on Sunday between National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Japan Drilling Corporation (JDC) - 5/19/03

Khamenei brands American Islam as 'backward'
Iran's supreme leader lashes out at American brand of Islam, accusing it of only serving US interests. -Middle East Online - 5/19/03

Fears grow for Iraqi children
The head of the UN Children's Fund, Carol Bellamy, says a sharp rise in acute diarrhoea is hitting children in Iraq already weakened by malnutrition. -BBC - 5/19/03

Lebanon's 'A-Team of terrorists' valued for social services
Lebanon's Hizbullah organization may be ranked high on the US list of terrorist organizations, but analysts and diplomats here believe that Washington is seriously misguided in delivering sweeping demands for the elimination of the group. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/19/03

First aquarium submarine launched in Persian Gulf waters
The first aquarium submarine named "Kish Star" was launched in the Persian Gulf waters on Sunday - 5/19/03

War leaves Iranian Arabs stranded, homeless in Iraq
hey are the human driftwood of wars that have blighted this region for decades, forced out of their country 23 years ago and now homeless again after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. -Reuters - 5/19/03

Bus runs over teen-aged school girls in Tehran
A bus ran over a number of teen-aged school girls who were waiting at a bus stop in Tehran on Sunday. One student was killed instantly and seven others were seriously injured. - 5/19/03

Police seize 756 kgs of drugs in southern province of Iran
Police in Sistan- Baluchestan province said here Sunday over 756 kgs of illicit drugs were seized the province in the past two days adding that the haul included morphine, hashish and opium - 5/19/03

Old world order
Makhmalbaf, Ruiz, Téchiné... the art-house heavyweights are stealing Hollywood's thunder -Guardian - 5/19/03

Global Exchange Reality Tours to Iran
Our tours to Iran provide Americans an opportunity to explore Iranian civil society in addition to visiting the rich cultural, historical and architectural sites of the country. Such “citizen diplomacy” fosters understanding between our two countries and creates the building blocks of peace. - 5/19/03

Baghdad's Death Toll Assessed
A Times hospital survey finds that at least 1,700 civilians were killed and more than 8,000 injured in Iraq's capital during the war and aftermath. -Times - 5/19/03

An Iranian Girlhood
"Persepolis" will zap you with its story. A memoir of growing up as a girl in revolutionary Iran, "Persepolis" provides a unique glimpse into a nearly unknown and unreachable way of life. -TIME - 5/18/03

My colleague was simply a journalist after a scoop
MInutes before his execution as a spy at 6.30am on Thursday 15 March 1990, Farzad Bazoft said to Robin Kealy, the British consul general in Baghdad: 'I was just a journalist going after a scoop.' None of his colleagues on The Observer ever doubted this - and we are gratified that his innocence has now been conclusively established 13 years after his death. -Guardian - 5/18/03

Iran veteran lifters keep breaking world records
During the competitions in Bahman 22 Sports Complex of Shiraz, Keramat Owlad-Vatani representing the western province of Ardebil in the 45-49 age group set a new 85 kg world record by a total lift of 252.5 kilograms on Saturday. - 5/18/03

1st World Human Rights Charter belongs to Iranians: expert
A senior archaeologist from Khorassan province Cultural Heritage Department, Mahmoud Bakhtiari Shahri said in Mashhad on Sunday that the first `World Human Rights Charter' was drawn up by Iranians - 5/18/03

Accord on three phases of South Pars onshore refinery signed
An agreement was inked on Saturday afternoon on construction of an onshore refinery related to development phases 6,7, and 8 of the South Pars gas field in presence of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and a number of domestic and foreign officials and experts - 5/18/03

Official: Iran Imports Topped 21 Billion Dollars Last Year
Deputy Minister of commerce and Head of Iran Export Promotion Center Mojtaba Khosrotaj said in Tashkent that Iran imports exceeded dlrs 21 billion in the last Iranian year (ended March 20) - 5/18/03

Video Game Mounts Simulated Attacks Against Israeli Targets
The hottest video game for the teenagers of Beirut's southern Shiite neighborhoods is "Special Force," a creation of Hezbollah, the strongly anti-Israel militant organization that is on the United States' terror list. -New York Times - 5/18/03

In Reversal, Plan for Iraq Self-Rule Has Been Put Off
In an abrupt reversal, the United States and Britain have indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly and an interim government by the end of the month. -New York Times - 5/18/03

Iran receives remains of 45 soldiers of Iraqi war
The bodies were delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)'s office in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in exchange for 83 remains of Iraqi soldiers - 5/18/03

Iran dissident rejects retrial
A leading Iranian reformist, Hashem Aghajari, has refused to attend the first day of his retrial for blasphemy in the north-western city of Hamedan. -BBC - 5/18/03

FILM: At five in the afternoon (directed by Samira Makhmalbaf)
Yes, yet another Iranian film about the suppression of women in the Muslim world. Yes, like Kandahar (2000) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the 23-year-old director's father, it tells of the devastation wrought by the war in Afghanistan and the struggle for women to gain their liberation. You might think that we have been here before. But no. - 5/18/03

Proved innocent
Observer reporter Farzad Bazoft was hanged by Saddam in 1990. Now we have tracked down his interrogator who admits: 'He was no spy' -Guardian - 5/18/03

Iran's Secret Quest for the Bomb
What options remain for constraining Iran's nuclear ambitions? If the Bush Administration can rally the international community to condemn Iran and isolate it diplomatically, it may be able to push Iran for concessions. The first would be for Iran to accept the "Additional Protocol" to its safeguards agreement. -YaleGlobal Online - 5/17/03

Afghan plight jolts Cannes
A film about the aftermath of the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan by a young female Iranian director has premièred at the Cannes film festival. -BBC - 5/17/03

Iran declares tripartite accord on Caspian Sea 'invalid'
The Caspian Sea needs a five-nation agreement and tripartite accord announced by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia lacks validity, Iranian special envoy on the Caspian Sea Mehdi Safari said on Saturday - 5/17/03

Talks With Iran Are Overdue
After having no formal relations with the government of Iran for nearly 24 years, American diplomats and Iranian diplomats are having secret negotiations in Geneva on a wide range of issues, USA Today reported this week. That's all to the good. -Day Publishing - 5/17/03

Petrochemical exports hit dlrs. 1.2 billion this year
Exports of various petrochemical products is predicted to hit dlrs 1.2 billion this year while the figure stood at dlrs 940 million last year - 5/17/03

Iran first in `Takhti Cup' Greco-Roman wrestling; US wrestler wins gold
Pitting 57 Greco-Roman wrestlers, Iran collected 67 points to rank first. Syria finished runner-up with 58 points and the two teams of Azerbaijan and the United States stood third and fourth with 37 and 17 points respectively. - 5/17/03

Khatami holds talks in Bahrain
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami held talks with Bahrain's King Hamad Friday after arriving in Manama on the first such visit by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Middle East Online - 5/17/03

Iran's veteran lifters set new world records
Veteran weightlifters of Iran broke three world records on the first day of competitions in Shiraz on Friday - 5/17/03

US new tactic to tarnish Iran's image will backfire: Iranian daily
`Tehran Times' on Saturday said that Washington's latest tactic to have a report falsified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Iran's nuclear programs, will fail like all previous attempts to accuse Iran of violating the arms treaty - 5/17/03

Iranian dissident refuses defense in retrial
Aghajari refuses to defend himself unless there is open court with presence of media, experts, professors. -Middle East Online - 5/17/03

Purge of Saddam loyalists
The move will wipe out the Baath Party, putting "a stake in its heart", a senior official from the office of the new US civilian administrator in Iraq told reporters. -BBC - 5/17/03

Sadr claims leadership of Iraq's Shiite Muslims
Muqtada al-Sadr opens struggle with other two major faction on control of Shiite population. -Middle East Online - 5/17/03

Money exchange case is settled
A money exchange service has agreed to forfeit $1.25 million to the US government for using an Arabic transfer system to illegally exchange US dollars for local currency in Iran, federal prosecutors said. -Daily News, Bahrain - 5/17/03

Costliest UK film takes on epic scale
An action adventure with a cast of thousands about the Persian emperor Cyrus is set to become the most expensive British film ever made. -Guardian - 5/17/03

Letter from Iran: Dreaming of Baghdad
An Iraqi exile in London told me, with a knowing smile, "You know how the Persians are"—hand gesture. "They can be the nicest people to your face, but underneath they might want to kill you. On the other hand, the Arabs, as you know, are straightforward. They say what they mean." -New Yorker - 5/16/03

Hergé's Fanstasy Kingdom: The Land of the Black Pelikan
and its similarities with the "The Land of the Peacock Throne" -Darius Kadivar - 5/16/03

Enough Hypocrisy!
The Iranian people have patiently given more than enough chances to the "rational" factions of the clergy to achieve democracy calmly and peacefully. It may surprise you to know that I was among the very people who not only voted for our figurehead President TWICE, but encouraged everyone that I knew to do the same and strengthen the reform movement by our votes. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 5/16/03

The Woodcutter of Rashomon!
Rashomon narrates, from four perspectives, the story of a murder and a rape. Kurosawa's masterpiece depicts how distortion of memory and play of imagination lead to divergent narratives of the same event. Sasan Fayazmanesh's speciously simplified characterization of MKO in his article "The Good Terrorists?" posted on Counterpunch website is one of such narratives. -Amin Boroumand - 5/16/03

Exhibition on Persepolis opens in Brussels' Royal Museum of Art and History
"In this exhibition we try to show to the people how the landscape and monuments originally were in Persepolis," Dr. Alexander Tourovets, scientific counselor at the museum and scholar of Iranian archaeology, told IRNA. - 5/16/03

The Road To Victory Goes Through Tehran
President Bush has declared the end of "major combat operations" in Iraq, but he has not declared victory in the War on Terrorism--and that's a good thing, because the largest and most important battle in that war still remains to be fought. The road to victory goes through Tehran. -Ayn Rand Institute - 5/16/03

UK exporters can reap rewards in developing Iranian market
A Three-Day trade visit to highlight growing business opportunities for UK exporters in Iran was today announced by the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). -Creditman, UK - 5/16/03

Remains of Toxic Bullets Litter Iraq
The Monitor finds high levels of radiation left by US armor-piercing shells. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/16/03

Saudis face up to life as a soft target of Islamists
Criticism of security precautions taken against al-Qaida attacks by Saudi Arabia and British companies in the kingdom mounted yesterday as the interior minister blamed foreign influences for the violence. -Guardian - 5/16/03

Demystifying Democracy: Workshop on Civic Participation in Sunnyvale, California
What makes certain individuals more influential than others? What makes certain communities more influential than others? How can the Iranian-American community translate its vast resources into influence, in order to defend its civil rights? -NIAC - 5/16/03

Syria drops objections to Middle East 'road map'
Syria on Thursday dropped its objections to the internationally backed "road map" that sets out a detailed timetable for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by 2005. Kamal Kharazzi, Iranian foreign minister, on Thursday told EU diplomats Tehran was not willing to accept the road map until it knew Israel's intentions. -Financial Times - 5/16/03

Iran and Yemen sign seven documents for cooperation
The agreements were signed at the presence of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Khatami who is on the first visit by an Iranian president to Sanna since the 979 Islamic Revolution. - 5/16/03

The oil curse
Iran illustrates this overall pattern - and provides clues as to potential problems in Iraq. Imperial Russia and Britain vied for influence in Persia in the 19th century, manipulating local politics and carving out trade concessions for themselves. In 1901, a wealthy Englishman persuaded the then Shah, Muzaffar al-Din, to grant him an oil concession covering most of the country. This was operated by a company called Anglo-Persian, renamed British Petroleum in 1954. -Financial Review - 5/16/03

The Effects of Iraq war on Iran: Pressures have increased
After the military attack of the Coalition forces on Iraq, Islamic Government of Iran is taking it harder on the opposition; a greater number of university students and writers are imprisoned and compelled to confess in contrived trials; students' gatherings are perturbed more violently and frequently; political activists are re-arrested and newspapers supervised by clergies speak of the foundation of a suicidal group with the goal of attacking Americans and Israelis -Masoud Behnoud - 5/16/03

Iranian woman cyclist Poupeh Mahdavinader arrives in Milan, Italy
Iranian woman cyclist, Poupeh Mahdavinader, who is cycling around the world has arrived in Milan, Italy. She has sent the following notes and pictures to share with our readers. - 5/15/03

New Front Sets Sights On Toppling Iran Regime
A budding coalition of conservative hawks, Jewish organizations and Iranian monarchists is pressing the White House to step up American efforts to bring about regime change in Iran. -Forward - 5/15/03

US ruffled by India's growing ties with Iran
The US shrugged off as harmless an Indian parliamentary resolution last month criticising the invasion of Iraq. The same cannot be said for India's rapidly growing ties with Iran. -Financial Times - 5/15/03

Rebel in exile
Marjane Satrapi's childhood was devastated by the revolution in Iran. Now she has written a 'love story' to her country in the form of a graphic novel. Esther Addley meets her -Guardian - 5/15/03

Remarks by Iran's President Indicate No Sign of Thaw With U.S.
Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, dampened any notion today that relations between Iran and the United States might be warming. -New York Times - 5/15/03

Science and Arts Foundation News: SAF Launches Iran Internship Program
SAF-USA in collaboration with SAF-Iran has launched an internship program. This exciting program will offer young Iranian expatriates the opportunity to spend the summer in Iran learning the language, experiencing the culture firsthand and making connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. - 5/15/03

Iraq: People's Mujahideen Disarming Under Coalition Supervision
A statement from the U.S. Central Command says the group - also known as Mujahideen-e-Khalq - has left their checkpoints along the Iran-Iraq border and are complying with coalition directives. In exchange, the People's Mujahideen's fighters will be treated according to the Geneva Convention. -VOA - 5/15/03

Editor Roshan Tuned Radar as Long Island Teen
Roshan, the 36-year-old publisher and editor of Radar — one of the most eagerly anticipated new magazines to hit the newsstands in years — is talking about being Jewish, Iranian and gay. -Forward - 5/15/03

Over 30,000 HIV victims in Iran: health official
More than 30,000 people have contracted HIV, virile virus which develops into the deadly AIDS disease, in Iran, a health official said in the northwestern city of Zanjan on Wednesday - 5/15/03

Group says Iran expanding its biowarfare program
The group, Mujahideen Khalq, citing informants inside the Iranian government, says the anthrax weapons are the first of a program begun secretly in 2001 to triple the size of Iran's biowarfare program. -Boston Globe - 5/15/03

Iranian refugees driven from their homes in Iraq
Hundreds of Iranian refugees who have lived near the eastern Iraqi city of Kut for more than a decade have been driven from their homes by Iraqis since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the United Nations said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 5/15/03

Persian Culture Night Takes To MCC Stage
The third annual Persian Club Culture Night will bring the sights, sounds, and culture of traditional Iran to University of California at Santa Barbara. -Daily Nexus - 5/15/03

Some in Baghdad Seek Out Hypnotist to Find Missing
On top of worries about security, Iraqis are facing the stunning reality of newly unearthed mass graves and estimates of some five million disappeared or killed under Saddam Hussein's rule. -Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal - 5/15/03

Israeli tanks pour into Gaza
The Israeli army has launched a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip, in what is being seen as a fresh blow to US efforts to push a new peace plan for the region. -BBC - 5/15/03

Asylum seeker handcuffed to bed
An Iranian asylum seeker under guard in a Scottish hospital has claimed his human rights are being violated. -BBC - 5/15/03

Culture via Persian dance
Classical Persian dances, inspired by Iranian poetry and paintings, will be performed in the new Legacy Room at the Weekes Branch of the Hayward Public Library. The show will feature Shahar-Hojat Dehghan, a member of Ballet Afsaneh who recently performed at the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco. -Alameda Times-Star - 5/15/03

The truth about Jessica
Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her. John Kampfner discovers the real story behind a modern American war myth -Guardian - 5/15/03

Iranian Jew Nabbed In L.A. Shul Arsons
Alarmed at a string of recent arson attacks against synagogues and other religious institutions in the affluent San Fernando Valley, residents of this city were relieved last weekend when a suspect was arrested — and then shocked when the suspect was identified as a Jewish immigrant from Iran. -Forward - 5/15/03

ILO: Labor syndicates to get organized in Iran
Director General of the liberalization department of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Bernard Jernigan said in Tehran on Wednesday that labor syndicates are to be organized in Iran based on ILO standards - 5/15/03

US may stoke Asian arms race
A plan to repeal a US ban on nuclear-weapons research could embolden India and Pakistan -Christian Science Monitor - 5/15/03

Iraq: U.S. Forces Disarm Armed Iranian Opposition Fighters
The disarmament of the MKO is the latest in a series of on-again, off-again actions by the U.S. military against the group, which was directly supported by the Hussein regime and often helped it to suppress domestic enemies. -RFE - 5/15/03

Iranian Developing New Security Initiatives To Counter Perceived US Threat
Feeling threatened by the US military presence in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, Iranian leaders are embracing a classic deterrence concept that relies on strategic regional alliances and military preparedness to discourage enemies. -Eurasianet - 5/15/03

Iran Expert to Congressional Staffers: “Talk to Them”
Three prominent figures on the Middle East spoke before a group of congressional staffers at a luncheon Friday, May 9 on Capitol Hill. Guy Dinmore, and Gary Sick offered thoughts on the current political climate in Iran, especially after the Iraq war. -NIAC - 5/15/03

Befriending the Great Satan
Though the power struggle between Iran’s reformers and its conservative theocrats is heating up, both sides seem agreed on improving relations with America -Economist - 5/14/03

Iran's Chief Urges Quick U.S. Exit From Iraq, but Favors Vote
In a speech both defiant and conciliatory, President Mohammad Khatami of Iran called on the United States today to leave Iraq quickly but pledged that his country would support a new, inclusive government there based on one Iraqi one vote. -New York Times - 5/14/03

Khatami Condemns Attacks in Saudi Arabia
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday condemned the terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia that killed at least 34 people and said that despite ``important and big'' policy differences with the United States, the recently disclosed U.S.-Iranian talks in Geneva would continue. -AP - 5/14/03

Bush Is Seeking Newer, Smaller Nuclear Bombs
A dozen years after the Cold War's close raised hopes for an end to the nuclear threat, the Bush administration is embarking on a quest for a new generation of nuclear bombs that are smaller, less powerful — and that the Pentagon might actually use in battle. -Common Dreams - 5/14/03

Pooya Dayanim urges assitance to Iranian Jewish and Iranian-American groups
The following is the Press Statement of Pooya Dayanim, President, Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee, on the arrest of a suspect in the arson attacks on the houses of worship in Encino - 5/14/03

16th Tehran International Book Fair ends
At the ending ceremony of the Sixteenth Tehran International Book Fair on Wednesday, the selected publishers were introduced - 5/14/03

Expatriates flee Saudi Arabia as their compounds prove unsafe
Expatriates began flying out of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after the terrorist attacks punctured their safe havens. Diplomats said flights were fully booked, and the airports were crowded with families queuing to leave. -Financial Times - 5/14/03

Has Iran bartered Hizbullah with US for Iraq-based Iranian opposition group?
Analysts speaking to Al Bawaba assessed that the main reason behind the recent Lebanese visit of Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, was to pressure and curb the Lebanese Hizbullah in its struggle with Israel. -Al Bawaba - 5/14/03

No reason to halt construction of nuclear power reactor in Iran
There is no reason to halt ongoing construction of a first reactor for the nuclear power plant in Iran, Alexander Rumyantsev, the Russian minister of atomic energy, told Tass. - 5/14/03

Iran warns US against 'new crises'
Iran is not interested in escalating tensions in the Middle East and opposes anything that created instability in the region, President Mohammad Khatami has said. -BBC - 5/14/03

Leadership Test for Reza Pahlavi
With all the criticism of the current government in Iran, the regime still enjoys a healthy support. It can easily mobilize millions of people to fight the invaders. Iranians will never allow U.S to walk into their country and install Reza Pahlavi as its puppet. -Shahriar Etemadi - 5/14/03

American Greco-Roman team coach says happy to attend tournament in Iran
The US Greco-Roman team is taking part in the 22nd international wrestling tournament, Takhti Cup, to be held in Sanandaj in Kurdestan province. - 5/14/03

Saddam's fall leads Iran into talks with arch-enemy
Jolted by the swift collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the hardline clerics who rule Iran have been cracking down on dissent at home and talking discreetly to US diplomats abroad in an effort to stave off American pressure. -Guardian - 5/13/03

US State Department Launches Persian Language Website
The Persian site will provide information about the United States to Iranians in their own language. Launched on May 12, the State Department's Persian site has been in development for nearly a year. - 5/13/03

Iranian journalist Sina Motallebi released from jail
The Iranian journalist and cinema critic, Sina Motallebi, was released from jail after posting 300 million rials of bail on Monday, his wife told IRNA. - 5/13/03

NIAC Seeks Meeting with
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) announced today that it would seek a meeting with, the world’s largest online job search and career management company, to establish dialogue that would serve to prevent the company’s new policies from unfairly discriminating against individuals based on national origin. - 5/13/03

Kaveh left us 40 days ago
Today is Kaveh’s 40th day, as tradition has it some family and friends drove up to his final resting place in Afjeh, a village up the hill in Lavasanak, on east of Tehran. His last home is on some solitary grounds where the air is always clean and sun shines across lovely hills all around. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/13/03

Iranian leader angry at US talks
Resuming ties with the United States would be tantamount to surrender, Iran's supreme leader has said. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also accused the Americans of preparing the ground for an invasion of the hardline Islamic state. -BBC - 5/13/03

172 Iranian MPs lambaste IRIB's gross financial misconduct
Some 172 Majlis representatives in a letter on Tuesday to the Majlis Presiding Board called for a probe into the recent report by special Parliament Inspection Commission on the organization's financial offenses and deal with the politically- motivated stance of IRIB's President Ali Larijani - 5/13/03

Iran signs deal to help rebuild Afghan airports, train pilots
Iran has signed an agreement to help rebuild airports in the Balkh and Herat provinces as well as train Afghan pilots, the state news agency Bakhtar cited the country's tourism minister as saying - 5/13/03

Wave of executions in Iran
AN Iranian was beheaded in public and three others hanged, while five more were due to be executed later today for offences ranging from rape and murder to kidnapping women and homosexuality, reports said. -AFP - 5/13/03

Saudi bombing deaths rise
The Saudi authorities say at least 29 people were killed and nearly 200 injured in what appear to have been co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks against Western targets in the capital, Riyadh. -BBC - 5/13/03

Ayatollahs at odds over intervening in politics
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia clerical leader, was greeted by tens of thousands on his return to Iraq after more than 20 years in exile. But it remains unclear how much political influence he will wield despite his Iranian support, a high international profile and an armed wing of 12,000-15,000 men. -Financial Times - 5/13/03

Iran Hostages Seek Suit's Reinstatement
Lawyers for the 52 Americans taken hostage in Tehran a generation ago took their case to a federal appeals court yesterday in a bid to overturn a lower court ruling that dismissed their anti-terrorism suit against Iran. -Washington Post - 5/13/03

BG pips rivals to risky Iranian gas deal
BG Group will today announce it has beaten European oil firms in the race for groundbreaking - but highly sensitive - gas deals in Iran. -Guardian - 5/13/03

Iran to supply India with 5mn tons of LNG, 100,000 bpd of oil
Iran will provide India with five million ton of liquefied natural gas and 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day for a year on the basis of two separate contracts signed in Tehran on Tuesday - 5/13/03

Walk the Talk: Iran needs to show that it is reforming
The stand-off between the United States and Iran has long been a destabilising factor in the Middle East. For 23 years, Tehran has vilified “the Great Satan”, encouraged opposition to US-backed peace moves in the Middle East and funded terrorist groups. -TIMES, UK - 5/13/03

Reed Professor Darius Rejali Named "Scholar of Vision" by The Carnegie Corporation
Darius Rejali, associate professor of political science at Reed College, has been named a "Scholar of Vision" and awarded a grant of $100,000 from the Carnegie Scholars Program. The grant will support the development of Rejali's forthcoming book, Approaches to Violence: A Citizen's Toolkit, to be published in 2005 by Princeton University Press. - 5/13/03

9th Caspian Sea meeting opens in Almaty, Kazakhstan
The 9th special working session to hammer out a legal regime for the Caspian Sea opened in Kazakhstan on Monday - 5/13/03

Ignorance and Folly
First let's play a little bit of Politics. Was Saddam Hussein a fool or an ignorant? What about President Bush? (I do apologize for my imprudence. This is not to hurt the feeling of all those who used to believe in Saddam or now believe in President Bush.) -Roya Monajem - 5/13/03

Should the U.S. Fund the Iranian Democracy Movement and Opposition Groups?
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback has introduced a bill asking for fifty million dollars to promote democracy in Iran and to fund Iranian opposition groups. According to the Financial Times, a big chunk of the money would go to “royalist television and radio stations” in Los Angeles. -NIAC - 5/12/03

Iran: Deputy parliament speaker rules out resignation of MPs
Press last Wednesday quoted a female deputy from Tehran, Fatemeh Haqiqat-Jou, as saying that 50 Iranian MPs were intending to resign en masse in a step which they think could ease up pressures on reformers. - 5/12/03

Recent verdicts in Iran could generate negative publicity for system:daily
`Iran News' on Monday cautioned that the recent verdicts passed on 15 prominent nationalist-religious figures by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court could generate a great deal of negative publicity for the system - 5/12/03

World's largest gas refinery to be built in Iran's Assalouyeh
Iran will sign a contract next week with an international consortium for the construction of the world's largest gas refinery in the southern port city of Assalouyeh - 5/12/03

Growing Iranian influence troubles U.S.
Shiite-run Iran's influence is growing in southern Iraq, as rival Shiite Muslim clerics move to fill the power vacuum created by the fall of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime. And senior U.S. officials express concerns that meddling by Tehran in Iraq's affairs could undermine U.S. goals to create a secular, western-leaning democracy. -Knight Ridder - 5/12/03

Safety top priority for Indo-Iran gas pipeline: Naik
Safety will be the top priority for India while deciding the medium of transportation of gas now being negotiated with Iran, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik said in Teheran on Monday. -Rediff, India - 5/12/03

Time to Pressure Iran
With so much attention focused on Iraq and North Korea lately, it's not surprising that we've been hearing little about the other member of the Axis of Evil. The irony is that, in many ways, Iran is worse than the other two. -Fox News - 5/12/03

US sacks its woman in Baghdad
Washington replaces its team for the anarchy-hit capital after failures -Guardian - 5/12/03

The Oily Americans
Why The World Doesn't Trust The U.S. About Petroleum: A History Of Meddling -TIME - 5/12/03

Shia welcome Khatami to Lebanon
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is in Lebanon for the first visit by an Iranian head of state since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. -BBC - 5/12/03

Iran: IRIB supervisors warn Larijani about anti-Parliament comments
The Parliament Special Inspection Commission on IRIB's Revenues and Expenses in a report last Wednesday stressed that the organization had committed gross financial offenses totalling as much as Rls 525 billion (about Dlrs 656 million) in several cases. - 5/12/03

Iranian Cyclist for Peace Begins Cross-Country Journey on Foot
The City of Angels became a little emptier this morning when Reza K. Baluchi jogged up Figueroa Street, turned on Sunset Boulevard toward the Mojave Desert on his way to Ground Zero, N.Y.. -New York Times - 5/12/03

Leaders shocked after Iranian Jew arrested for series of religious arsons
Leaders of the Iranian Jewish community say they are disturbed that a member of their community is believed to have been responsible for a string of arson attacks that targeted religious institutions, including synagogues. -JTA - 5/12/03

In shift, US disarms Iranian rebel group
A heavily armed Iranian opposition group that the United States has listed as a terrorist organization began handing over its weapons to US troops in eastern Iraq yesterday in exchange for security guarantees. -Boston Globe - 5/12/03

Questionable Loyalties
Mr. Moshfegh's recent note (The Axis of Decay: Pseudo-Nationalism/Xenophobia/Anti-Semitism), mercilessly lambasting Professor Mohammad Sahimi's article, "The Emergence of a New Axis..." is, once again, riddled with clichés and hyperbolae. It is not clear when he last spent some time in Iran to interview and catalogue all those ".prostitutes, junkies, convicted murderers..." who "fill" the streets? -Kam Zarrabi - 5/12/03

Iran, U.S. holding talks in Geneva
Iran's Islamic government is debating re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States for the first time in 23 years and is holding secret talks with U.S. diplomats in Geneva on a range of issues, including the shape of a new government in Iraq, U.S. and Iranian diplomats say. -USA Today - 5/12/03

Iran bans dozens of websites for political, pornographic content
Among those banned are several websites with close links to reformists, such as the Emrouz and Womeniniran websites. -ABC, Australia - 5/12/03

Iran Parliament Speaker vows to lobby in standoff over presidential bills
Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on Sunday pledged to work on finding a solution to the standoff between the supervisory Guardian Council and the government by setting up lobby groups - 5/11/03

Iran Parliament Speaker lashes out at IRIB supremo Larijani for "cursory" comment
The Parliament Special Inspection Commission on IRIB's Revenues and Expenses in a report last Wednesday stressed that the organization had committed gross financial offenses totalling as much as Rls 525 billion (about Dlrs 656 million) in several cases. - 5/11/03

Iranian powerlifters win five Asian medals
Four powerlifters of Iran took two gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the Asian competitions held in Kazakhstan - 5/11/03

Powell urges bold moves for peace
US Secretary Colin Powell has called for immediate action towards ending the conflict in the Middle East. -BBC - 5/11/03

US rivals turn on each other as weapons search draws a blank
One key argument for war was the peril from weapons of mass destruction. Now top officials are worried by repeated failures to find the proof - and US intelligence agencies are engaged in a struggle to avoid the blame -Guardian - 5/11/03

Shia mullahs take charge of hospitals to halt chaos
A new force is emerging on the streets as doctors in Baghdad treat a tide of casualties. -Guardian - 5/11/03

Back-Room Theocrat
Najaf is one of the great spiritual centers of the world's 120 million Shiites because it is home to the tomb of Imam Ali, founder of the Shiite faith and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad. But the true heart of Najaf today, and the place where the political future of Iraq may be decided, is not Ali's tomb; it is a ramshackle building on an alley across the street from the ornate shrine. -New York Times - 5/11/03

Iran's "Religious-nationalists" receive heavy jail terms
The Revolutionary Court on Saturday handed down heavy jail terms to several members of the so-called "religious-nationalist" group for attempting to topple the Islamic establishment, - 5/11/03

Iran's Rezazadeh swoops golds, named Hungarian GP `Champion of Champions'
The strongest man of the world, Hossein Rezazadeh, was announced `Champion of Champions' of Hungary's Grand Prix as he won three golds of the +105 kg category on Saturday - 5/11/03

Bush and the MKO: The Good Terrorists?
There is an old saying that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." But when it comes to the US foreign policy this dictum should read: "One man's terrorist is the same man's freedom fighter." This schizophrenic policy nowhere is more evident than in the case of the recent US attitude toward Mujahedin-e-Khalq-e-Iran (MKO). -Sasan Fayazmanesh, CounterPunch - 5/11/03

Tehran Metro construction put to international tender
Tehran Metro public relations department said in Tehran on Sunday that construction of Metro's 'line 3' has been put to international tender - 5/11/03

US wrestling team due in Iran on May 14
President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF), Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, announced on Saturday that five Greco-Roman wrestlers of the United States will arrive in Tehran on Wednesday, May 14 - 5/10/03

Iraqi cleric gets hero's welcome
The leader of Iraq's best-known Shia opposition group has been greeted by thousands of jubilant supporters on his return from exile in Iran. -BBC - 5/10/03

Iran President to start tour to Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain Monday
The visit is to take place at the invitation of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Yemenese President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. - 5/10/03

A Neighbor's Vision of the New Iraq
Iran has no territorial ambitions and has not invaded any neighboring country for close to two and a half centuries. Thus, while prepared to defend our dignity, we have opted to build strong relationships with our neighbors and will continue to do so. -Javad Zarif, Tehran -NY Times - 5/10/03

Court rejects review of Iran group
A federal appeals court in Washington Friday refused to review the State Department's official designation of an Iranian resistance group as a "foreign terrorist organization." -UPI - 5/10/03

For Zoroastrians, A Luminous Home
Washington's small but growing Zoroastrian community will add to the area's array of international religious buildings with a Persian-style temple located beyond an alley of cedar trees just off Hunter Mill Road in Vienna. -Washington Post - 5/10/03

Book: 'The Dust of Empire:' After the Great Game
For other people, the imperious and imperial George Nathaniel Curzon said, Afghanistan, Turkestan, Persia and the other names of Central Asia might breathe only a sense of remoteness and ''moribund romance''; but ''to me, I confess, they are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for dominion of the world.'' -New York Times - 5/10/03

Blueprint gives coalition control of oil
America and Britain yesterday laid out their blueprint for postwar Iraq in a draft resolution to the United Nations security council, naming themselves as "occupying powers" and giving them control of the country's oil revenues. -Guardian - 5/10/03

Energy consumption in Iran 6.5 times as many as global standards
The Fourth National Energy Seminar, entitled `Energy for Development in the 21st Century', opened in Tehran on Saturday. - 5/10/03

Republic of Iran Broadcasting head scoffs at Parliament report, urges Judiciary probe
Ali Larijani has scoffed at a recent report by a special Parliament inspection commission on the organization's financial offenses, and has urged the Judiciary to open a probe into the issue - 5/10/03

Book: 'Persepolis': A Graphic Novel Recalls the Iranian Revolution
Marjane Satrapi's ''Persepolis'' is the latest and one of the most delectable examples of a booming postmodern genre: autobiography by comic book. -New York Times - 5/10/03

Iran: Washington Seen Pressuring UN On Tehran's Nuclear Program
The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has accused Iran of working to develop nuclear weapons. As RFE/RL correspondent Jeffrey Donovan reports, the U.S. strategy appears aimed at getting the United Nations to declare Iran in violation of a key nuclear treaty. - 5/10/03

Iranian group tests U.S. terrorism policy
Acting on a decision by President Bush, American commanders in Iraq have begun efforts to disarm an Iranian opposition group whose status had been the subject of weeks of review at the highest levels of the Bush administration. -CNN - 5/10/03

Iran hardliners reject reform bill
Iran's conservative-controlled Guardian Council has rejected a key reform bill aimed at giving President Mohammad Khatami greater authority over his cleric rivals. -BBC - 5/10/03

The Axis of Decay: Pseudo-Nationalism/Xenophobia/Anti-Semitism
An article appeared on Payvand site on 29 April, titled "The Emergence of A New Axis: Los Angeles/Tel Aviv/Tehran". The contents of this article made me wonder just how deeply rooted and entrenched the xenophobic and anti-Semitic attitudes in our intellectual community ought to be to lead us to hate America and Israel even more than we love our own nation, as we so often claim. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 5/10/03

Iran: Council's quashing of bill "very unexpected" to Khatami
Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said here Saturday that he was unsure how President Mohammad Khatami would react to supervisory Guardian Council's rejection of a bill to shore up the president's powers. - 5/10/03

U.S., Iran in talks over al-Qaida suspects
The United States is engaged in negotiations for the handover of suspected members of al Qaeda who fled from northern Iraq into Iran during Operation Iraqi Freedom, United Press International has learned. In exchange, the Iranian delegation has asked the United States to hand over members of the Mujahideen Khalq organization captured in operations in northern Iraq. -Washington Times - 5/9/03

Film: Taxi ride crosses cultures
With Ten, Kiarostami has managed to strip things down to an even more basic level, almost to the point where you have to wonder what he's up to. He claims to have forsaken conventional 35mm film, preferring the flexibility and low cost of the new digital format, and it seems he has all but given up directing, too. -Toronto Star - 5/9/03

The wrong direction
Bush Administration attacks, rather than supports, democratic experiments of Iran -Working for Change - 5/9/03

Iranian life finds universal appeal in poignant family drama
The first commercial U.S. release for leading Iranian female filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, whose work has long been known to festival audiences, the picture presents an urban Iran that doesn't look all that different from any number of North American big cities. -Chicago Sun-Times - 5/9/03

Iran's Guardians Council rejects bill to boost Khatami's powers
Iran's supervisory Guardians Council has rejected a bill, approved by parliament, to prop up President Mohammad Khatami's powers against legal violations, and sent it back to Majlis for review on the ground that the bill contradicted the Constitution - 5/9/03

Iranian exile group in Iraq loses Washington's support
The Bush administration, increasingly concerned about the activities of an Iranian opposition group based in Iraq, has decided to actively seek its surrender, just weeks after the U.S. Central Command arranged a cease-fire that allowed the group to keep many of its weapons and maintain its camps. -Washington Post - 5/9/03

A father begs to be reunited with his children
Sarah and Haries, born to an Indonesian mother and Iranian father, are the victims of an appalling set of circumstances that has resulted in both parents being torn from them. -Age, Australia - 5/9/03

Israel may open negotiations with Syria
Ariel Sharon, prime minister of Israel, said on Thursday he was willing to open peace negotiations with Syria, three years after talks between the two countriesbroke down over the Golan Heights, a region of Syria occupied by Israel since 1967. -Financial Times - 5/9/03

The two faces of Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, sat on the board of a company which three years ago sold two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea - a country he now regards as part of the "axis of evil" and which has been targeted for regime change by Washington because of its efforts to build nuclear weapons. -Guardian - 5/9/03

Where are Iraq's women?
Iraq, some women fear, is in danger of becoming a man's world. Efforts to establish an interim government that reflects the country's diverse ethnic and religious character are gathering pace. But where are the women - who make up the majority of the population - in this process? -BBC - 5/9/03

Death in the temple
The liberal cleric Sayed Abdul Majid al-Khoei was the only person who could have bridged the deep divisions in Iraq's Shia community. But last month he was brutally murdered. Patrick Cockburn goes on the trail of those responsible -Independent - 5/9/03

US to call for trade pact with Middle East
President George W. Bush will on Friday call for a US-Middle East free trade area within the next decade, seeking to bring prosperity to a region that is "missing out on the economic progress of our time". -Financial Times - 5/9/03

Containing Iran
But more will be needed to persuade Iran to abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Since a lucid assessment of military options will almost certainly rule out the use of force as anything but an absolute last resort, there may also have to be a US-Iranian dialogue addressing Iran's security concerns. That dialogue could begin with a reminder to Tehran that the United States has just nullified the most proximate threat to Iran's security: Iraq. -Boston Globe - 5/9/03

'Lolita in Tehran' lifts a veil on oppression
Reading Lolita in Tehran, "a memoir in books," is an inspiring account of an insatiable desire for intellectual freedom in Iran before, during and after the 1979 revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power and began a period of fervent anti-Americanism in the country. -USA Today - 5/9/03

IRAN: Afghan repatriation picks up
The daily number of Afghans going home from Iran is increasing, says the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Since the launch of the programme over a year ago, over 400,000 have returned. - 5/9/03

US Seeks Iran Rebel Disarmament in Iraq -Officials
U.S. military commanders have met leaders of heavily armed Iranian rebels in northeast Iraq to negotiate that they disarm, a U.S. official said on Friday. -Reuters - 5/9/03

Iran rules out US dialogue in the face of American pressures
"Although it is not hard to start a dialogue, we must first be assured about whether America wants to have equal relations, based on mutual respect, since it is impossible to hold dialogue while one side is under pressure," he said when asked about chances of any dialogue. - 5/9/03

Iranian monarchist exiles seek pact with US
United by their desire for regime change in Iran and encouraged by the overthrow of the Iraqi regime, exiled Iranian monarchists are developing an alliance in Washington with influential neo-conservatives as well as Pentagon officials and Israeli lobby groups. -Financial Times - 5/9/03

The Unknown Hawk - Neoconservative Guru Sets Sights on Iran
From “creative destruction” to “total war,” the guiding beliefs of the most aggressive foreign policymakers in the Bush administration may originate in the works of an influential yet rarely seen neoconservative. -PNS - 5/9/03

Progress, Obstacles for Iranian Women
Two new reports reveal the changing attitudes toward family planning and reproductive health in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, as well as the changing conditions for women. -Feminist Majority - 5/8/03

Iran News: Referendums beneficial in democratization process
English-language daily `Iran News' Thursday said a strategic glance at Iran's national interests shows that conducting referendums whenever needed is very beneficial in the democratization process - 5/8/03

The challenge of bringing Iranians together
Iranians are among the most successful minorities in the U.S. How can some of this energy be channeled toward our people in Iran? -Mohammad Ala - 5/8/03

U.S. presses for ruling against Iran
U.S. officials are pressing the International Atomic Energy Agency to declare Iran has violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, The New York Times reported Thursday. -UPI - 5/8/03

Tale of the Kurds Comes to Big Screen
It unravels like a comic road movie - Music plays while bombers soar overhead. Romance blooms at the edge of a mass grave. In the divided land of the Kurds, laughter and misery sit side by side like the motorcycle and sidecar that begin the journey of "Marooned in Iraq." -AP - 5/8/03

Another "One Thousand and One Nights" tale from Iraq
With the plot planned by computers, American soldiers have so far been quite successful to remove the lid of the secret treasure box of the legendary Baghdad, the city of "One Thousand and One Nights." There are many legends and miracles hidden in that box since thousands of years ago, and the story of Hassan and his mother is just one of them. -Massoud Behnoud, Tehran - 5/8/03

Photo: Iran's Children of Work
The following poster was published in Iran as part of International Worker's Day events. The poster is about the "children of work painting exhibition" which was sponsored by the "Society to Support Children of Work" and Shahed Negarestan (gallery) in Tehran. - 5/8/03

Faith and freedom
It would be a mistake to imagine that Shias are reflexively opposed to modern, western ideals. In 1906, leading mullahs in Iran campaigned alongside secularist intellectuals for a modern constitution on European lines, and parliamentary rule. Because representative government would limit the tyranny of the shahs, it was a project worthy of the Shia. -Guardian - 5/8/03

Quake shakes eastern Iranian cities
An earthquake, measuring four degrees on the Richter scale, shook the city of Tabas in the eastern Yazd province early Thursday but there was no immediate report of financial damage or probable casualty - 5/8/03

WHO warns of Iraq cholera outbreak
A severe shortage of clean drinking water has left southern Iraq facing a mass cholera outbreak, the World Health Organisation warned today. -Guardian - 5/8/03

State of Engagement
A Foggy Bottom official wants to sit down with Iranian mullahs and Pyongyang’s Dear Leader. -National Review - 5/8/03

'Terror' tag never fit Iran's Mujahideen
The recent cease-fire agreement between the US/coalition forces and the People's Mujahideen, the principal opposition movement to Iran's fundamentalist regime, has aroused debate in Washington. -Mohammad Mohaddessin, Boston Globe - 5/8/03

New U.S. Concerns on Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Arms
The Bush administration is concerned that Iran has stepped up its covert nuclear program, and the government is now seeking broad international support for an official finding that Tehran has violated its commitment not to produce nuclear weapons, officials said today. -New York Times - 5/8/03

Analysts weigh options for change in Iran
Analysts at key think tanks in Washington say the U.S. foreign policy community is actively debating what steps should be taken to promote liberalization and regime change in Iran following the Iraq war.-UPI - 5/8/03

Iran's government confirms crackdown on 'immoral' Internet sites
"The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution has assigned a committee in connection with immoral sites and the telecommunications (company) has apparently started taking practical measures against these sites by blocking access to them," - 5/8/03

On Survival and Progress of Unpopular Minorities in the United States: The case of Iranian-Americans
As recent demographic surveys have demonstrated, the community of Iranian-Americans is a highly educated and prosperous group of people, which enjoys a higher standard of living than many other ethnic groups in the United States. -Nader Habibi - 5/8/03

Iran: Cult Or Opposition Group? A Look At The Mujahedin Khalq
But despite the cease-fire and recruits such as Tarighi, analysts say the outlook for the Mujahedin Khalq has never been bleaker. They say the cease-fire is a temporary arrangement to create security on the ground. And they say it's not likely to lead to broader backing for the group, which ultimately will probably have to disarm or leave Iraq. -RFE - 5/8/03

Iran's Reformist MPs call for restoring relations with US
Some 154 members of the parliament on Wednesday called on the Foreign Ministry to adopt active diplomacy to restore relations with the United States as a "deterrent approach" to possible threats - 5/8/03

Reformists: Open up or face same fate as Saddam
Reformist Iranian MPs made a bold appeal Wednesday to the Islamic republic's powerful and entrenched conservative camp to give way to reforms and normalise relations with the outside world - or else risk the same fate as Saddam Hussein. -Middle East Online - 5/8/03

Next Target: Iran?
With Iraq under U.S. occupation and Syria shaken by a series of high-level threats from the administration here, Iran is now looming as a major target for U.S. pressure. -IPS - 5/7/03

Iran is firm on peaceful use of nuclear energy, official tells UN
Iran's nuclear energy chief here Tuesday presented an exhaustive sketch of the country's nuclear program, reiterating that Tehran was firm in its resolve to make peaceful use of nuclear know-how in the face of western propaganda hype. - 5/7/03

Iran’s Web Log Quandary
Iran is a young country, with 60% of the population being under 25 years old. Iranian youth were introduced to potentials of the internet almost by accident. After election of President Khatami in 1997, the new generation of Iran saw a small crack opening at the gates that had held them back for over two decades and kicked it wide open. -Pedram Moallemian, Blanket - 5/7/03

Selective Intelligence
They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 5/7/03

Iran mourns Iraq's Shia dead
Religious seminaries across Iran are closed on Wednesday in memory of scores of Shia clerics killed by the Iraqi regime. -BBC - 5/7/03

To strike or not to strike Iran
Complete coverage of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference on Iran -NIAC - 5/7/03

Islamic Republic, Ardent Supporter of Terrorism
Sanam Vakil's article published on May 5th , "Cease-fire Hurts U.S. Stance on Terror" is another regurgitation of claims based on unfounded information, politically charged accusation, and outright misinformation. -Amin Boroumand - 5/7/03

Iran for accession to Convention banning discrimination against women: Government official
Vice President for legal and parliamentary affairs Mohammad Ali Abtahi said on Tuesday that the government expects the parliament to study the bill on Iran's accession to Convention banning discrimination against women - 5/7/03

The Future of Iran
The issue we gather here to discuss today is both the most significant source of terrorism in the world as well as the single biggest opportunity for a peaceful democratic revolution in our age. The issue is Iran - and the importance of standing in solidarity with the brave Iranians who are resisting the tyranny and terror of the Islamic Regime to win back their country. -US Senator Sam Brownback, AEI - 5/7/03

MKO 'not be allowed to operate in Iraq', says UK
"The MKO will not be allowed to operate in Iraq," a Foreign Office spokesman told IRNA. He said that he understood 'US forces were in the process of bringing the MKO under control'. - 5/7/03

Ancient Iraqi Shia centre may lure clerics
A reformist cleric in Qom, Hadi Ghabel, believes that following the establishment of a democratic state in Iraq, "it will not take long for Najaf seminary to regain its first rank". In particular, Qom may face a challenge over the concept of the Velayat-e-Faqih - meaning God-given authority for a top religious leader to oversee and sanction all state affairs in the absence of the Prophet Mohammad and infallible imams. -Financial Times - 5/7/03

Peace - Not All Academic
After more than two decades of tensions, United States and Iranian representatives met yesterday and tried to improve relations. But the representatives were college students rather than diplomats, and they gathered in front of video screens rather than at a negotiating table. -Newsday - 5/7/03

To strike or not to strike Iran
Complete coverage of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference on Iran -NIAC - 5/7/03

The Next Nuclear Power: Iran?
It now seems that Tehran is dramatically closer to being able to produce atomic bombs than even Washington suspected -- although the Bushehr reactor and the Russians may actually play a marginal role. -Business Week - 5/6/03

Iranian pollster Hossein Qazian attends court before returning to jail
A key convict, held in connection with a controversial polling which alleged most Iranians favored normal ties with the US, appeared at a court here before returning to jail. - 5/6/03

Phase Two: Syria and Iran
During the 1920s and 30s, there was division within the Japanese elite. On the one hand there were the diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, typically Western-educated, cultured men; and the leaders of the zaibatsu (financial cliques like Mitsui and Sumitomo) who feared boycotts of Japanese products in China. They tended to oppose imperialist war. On the other hand, there were hotheads in the Japanese Army... -Gary Leupp, CounterPunch - 5/6/03

Tehran is next target
It is impossible to win the war on terrorism so long as the regimes in Syria and Iran remain in power. So now what? The short answer is regime change. -Michael Ledeen, Globe and Mail - 5/6/03

A more tangible threat from Iran
The successful fifth test launch of the surface-to-surface Shihab-3 missile at the start of the month represents a turning point in the race against time that Iran is conducting as part of its efforts to improve its strategic regional position. -Ha'aretz, Israel - 5/6/03

White House names team of exiles to run Iraq
The five named include the Pentagon's choice, Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress grouping of exiles, and the leaders of two Kurdish factions who have controlled northern Iraq since 1991, Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani. The others named are Ayad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, whose elder brother heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shia group based in Iran. -Guardian - 5/6/03

Blogging for Revolution
Iranian blogs have become pervasive and popular enough that they are being targeted and watched by the Islamic regime. Blogger Sina Motallebi has been detained by the Islamic regime for his pro-reform statements on his weblog. -Tech Central Station - 5/6/03

One from the Left Field
The article titled "Iran's Reza Pahlavi, A Puppet of the USA and Israel?" that was listed on Payvand site on 22 April is a piece of work, filled with unsubstantiated references to what it claims to be facts on subjects that the writer obviously knows nothing about. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 5/6/03

Low standard of technology blamed for gas exploitation failure in Iran
An Iranian gas industry official Monday regretted failure to fully exploit gas reservoirs due to inferior standards of domestic technology, saying only about 20 trillion cubic meters out of about 26.6 trillion cubic meters were exploited - 5/6/03

Killing prompts new war crime call
The killing of reporters in war zones should be made a new war crime after the death of a British cameraman in Gaza, campaigners say. -BBC - 5/6/03

Iranian court sentences sex gang members to 281 years in prison
A court in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad in Khorasan province, has sentenced 43 members of a gang, who married poor Iranian girls first and then forced them into prostitution in Pakistan, to a total of 281 years in prison and 222 lashes as well as cash fines - 5/6/03

Shiite Clerics Vow to Preach Liberal Islam
Iraqi Shiite clerics heading home from exile in neighboring Iran vowed Monday to preach liberal Islam on their return and not to impose the conservative practices of Iran. -AP - 5/6/03

Iran sends 60-truck aid convoy to Iraq
Farhad Khoda-Bakhshi, the official in charge of the aid convoy, said that the Iranian Red Crescent Society has delivered 815 tons of foodstuff to war-stricken neighboring Iraq thus far. - 5/6/03

US 'shifts stance' on North Korean arms
The Bush administration has accepted it might not be able to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and has shifted its policy towards preventing it selling them abroad, it was reported yesterday. -Guardian - 5/6/03

US troops 'encouraged' Iraqi looters
General Tommy Franks is threatened with a Belgian war crimes trial alleging US troops failed to prevent looting in Iraq. BBC News Online uncovers evidence suggesting his soldiers even egged on some looters. -BBC - 5/6/03

Operation Support Garner
The Pentagon's one-size-fits-all 'liberation' is a disaster in Iraq -Guardian - 5/6/03

Iran's judiciary drafts bill to probe into internet offenses: press
The Persian daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami quoted a deputy post, telephone and telegraph minister as saying that the telecommunications company had shut down certain Internet sites which were involved in churning out 'immoral as well as political material'. - 5/6/03

Berkeleyans Return From Aiding Handicapped in Iran
Sixteen Berkeley residents returned Sunday from a nearly two-week trip to Iran where they distributed 1,200 wheelchairs. A group of city employees, including former City Councilmember Polly Armstrong, joined the Wheelchair Foundation for the trip despite the war in nearby Iraq. -Berkeley Daily Californian - 5/6/03

Iran's Parliament nearly approves outlines of bill on referendum
The Parliament (Majlis) on Sunday nearly approved the outlines of a bill on proceedings for requests to hold a national referendum. The Persian-language daily `Yass-E No' reported that nearly two-thirds of parliamentarians had in a rising vote approved the outlines of the motion. - 5/5/03

Court summons Iranian religious-nationalists to hand down sentences
Some 60 political activists with alleged links to the nationalist-religious group and the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) were arrested in March 2001 on an array of charges including plotting to topple the Islamic establishment. - 5/5/03

Cease-fire hurts U.S. stance on terror
The announcement of the cease-fire negotiated between the United States and the Iraqi-based People's Mujahedeen guerillas is a shocking development that is counter to the U.S. strategy in both the Iraq are and the war on terror. -Sanam Vakil, Baltimore Sun - 5/5/03

To a Legless Man
Two years ago, on one of these days when I was in prison on the charge of writing two articles and was spending a part of my nineteen months of conviction in a solitary cell, Aghajari announced his protest against the imprisonment of thinkers and writers by a government that he considered himself as one of its founders. -Massoud Behnoud, Tehran - 5/5/03

HENRY PRECHT: Heed the Iran-Iraq parallels
The parallels between revolutionary Iran of 1979 and war-worn Iraq today are striking and instructive. Iran's shah and Iraq's Saddam Hussein were autocrats who allowed no space for an opposition and prevented the organization of secular, middle-class groups - the kind that form the foundation stones for democracy. Two options were possible for dissenters: flight into exile or into the mosque. -Christian Science Monitor - 5/5/03

NSEERS Program Scrapped!
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has announced the end of the National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS), the immigration program that required Iranian males to register with the INS on a regular basis. -NIAC - 5/5/03

Appeals Court in Iran approves death verdicts against eight kidnappers
`Qods' further reported that as much as 317 members of different gangs involved in kidnapping and raping women had been arrested in Mashhad over the past Iranian year - 5/5/03

Firm in Florida election fiasco earns millions from files on foreigners
A data-gathering company that was embroiled in the Florida 2000 election fiasco is being paid millions of dollars by the Bush administration to collect detailed personal information on the populations of foreign countries, enraging several governments who say the records may have been illegally obtained. -Guardian - 5/5/03

Iran is called Al Qaeda haven
"Since the war on terrorism began, Iran has been like a Motel 6 for Al Qaeda - they leave the light on for them," said a former senior intelligence officer with decades of experience in counterterrorism and with Iran's militant mullahs.-NY Daily News - 5/5/03

US: 'Saddam Had No Weapons of Mass Destruction'
Senior officials in the Bush administration have admitted that they would be 'amazed' if weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were found in Iraq. -Common Dreams - 5/5/03

Along Iraq-Iran Border, Memories of War Blend With Hope
In interviews in towns along the porous border, it is clear how intertwined the nations are. But it is also clear that longstanding ethnic differences and mistrust remain. -New York Times - 5/5/03

Mosul holds landmark elections
Iraq's third largest city, Mosul, is electing an interim council. Mosul has seen strong anti-American demonstrations, but now the US is claiming it as a model Iraqi city. -BBC - 5/5/03

Iraqis said to be last POWs return from Iran
Fifty-nine Iraqi prisoners captured by Iran in the 1980s war returned to Iraq on Monday in what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said was probably the last handover of captives by either side. -Reuters - 5/5/03

Growing World Urban Populations Threatened by Massive Earthquakes
The emergence of "supercities" has increased tenfold since 1700. Of these, more than 40 are located within 120 miles of a major plate boundary or a historically damaging earthquake, including Jakarta, Indonesia, Tehran, Iran, and Mexico City. Mexico City now has a population of roughly 16 million. - 5/5/03

Petroleum: The Black Curse
The discovery of oil in 1908 in Masjed Soleyman by the British Petroleum marks the beginning quest of the for petroleum in Iran. -Vahid Isabeigi - 5/5/03

Longing for America
Suppressed by religious leaders, some Iranians would welcome a U.S. invasion -Maclean's, Canada - 5/5/03

Iran: Daily urges Tehranis to give newly appointed mayor a chance
Tehran Municipality, because of its size and peculiar conditions, has been regularly facing serious challenges, it said. Its mayors, one after another, have been subjected to all kinds of accusations--inefficiency, corruption, influence peddling, among others. - 5/5/03

Iran's capital Tehran experienced 125 day of air pollution last year
Managing Director of Air Pollution Control Organization Saeed Abolhassani said here Sunday that Tehran experienced over 125 days of unhealthy air pollution during the last Iranian year - 5/5/03

Iranian exiles in quandary
Here is the question now faced by the former clients of Ali Mohseni and thousands of other Iranian Americans: How do you send money back to an ailing grandmother living in a country considered part of the "axis of evil"? -Houston Chronicle - 5/5/03

Truce is wounding diplomatic efforts, US officials say
A cease-fire between American military forces in Iraq and an Iranian opposition group that is on the US ''terrorist'' list has torpedoed a recent overture by Iran's clerics for improved relations with Washington, according to Iran specialists and State Department officials. -Boston Globe - 5/4/03

Iran rebels in Iraq flex muscles on Iranian border
Iranian rebels based in Iraq have deployed heavy weaponry to try to prevent incursions by Iran-based Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim forces, their commanders said on Saturday. -Reuters - 5/4/03

A rocky road to peace
The Middle East 'road map' does not quite match the existing brick and mortar of the old neighbourhood that it is designed to change. What are the potholes ahead? -Anoush Ehteshami, Guardian - 5/4/03

Iran's Culture minister calls for freedom of press
Speaking on the World Day of Freedom of the Press commemorated in Iranian Journalists Association, he added that the challenge interfering the promotion of such a freedom can only be tackled by dialogue and proper analysis of the present status of the press in the country. - 5/4/03

Over 70 prostitutes arrested
IRANIAN police have arrested over 70 prostitutes, some of them infected with HIV/AIDS, in a major three day-long crackdown in and around Tehran, press reports said. -Daily Telegraph - 5/4/03

MP accuses US of making deal with terrorists to confront Iran
MP from Ardal and Farsan Ali Qanbari said in Tehran on Sunday that the United States has made a deal with terrorists to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran - 5/4/03

How Many Iraqis Died? We May Never Know
The world will never know how many Iraqis died in the war to oust Saddam Hussein, in part because the United States adamantly refuses to estimate the number of people it kills in combat and because gathering accurate numbers is all but impossible after the Iraqi government's chaotic collapse. -Common Dreams - 5/4/03

Iran: Daily highlights need to uphold law
Only the persistent pursuit of democracy, freedom, accountability and the policy of detente at home and skillful diplomacy in the country's foreign affairs can move the country to a better future, the daily concluded. - 5/4/03

Veil of Tears: Two Children of the Revolution Look Back at Iran
The transition from childhood to adolescence is bewildering at the best of times. For Marjane Satrapi the process was even more unsettling, because she came of age in 1980s Iran, as her country was mutating from the familiar world of her youth into a totalitarian theocracy. -Village Voice - 5/4/03

Official puts Iran's unemployment rate at 12.8%
An Iranian official said in Tehran on Saturday that a rate of 12.8 percent for unemployment, estimated in last year's `Aban' (October 23-November 21) survey by Iran's Statistics Center, was reliable and valid - 5/4/03

Iran's wrestling chief: US says ready for Takhti Cup
President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF) Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, said the Greco-Roman wrestling team of the United States will participate in the international event `Takhti Cup' - 5/4/03

The lawyer, the Minister and the £125m Iran deal
Tehran's efforts to buy a fleet of British Aerospace jets has raised fresh questions about New Labour's links to business. -Guardian - 5/4/03

Iran: Government urged to severely punish law-breaking groups
The closed door trial of six former security officials accused of committing several murders in Kerman province is currently underway. The defendant aged between 19-22 years were apparently motivated by personal reasons when they allegedly murdered two young unmarried couples. - 5/4/03

Bloggers unite to fight
Iranian Sina Motallebi has been held by the authorities on, so far, unspecified charges and now fellow web users are banding together to press for his release. -BBC - 5/3/03

Iran: Tensions With U.S. Worsen Over Iraq, Though Efforts Made To Ease Pressure
In the wake of Washington's toppling of Saddam Hussein, both Washington and Tehran have new reasons to worry about one other. -RFE - 5/3/03

Farhad Moshiri at London's Leighton House Museum
Moshiri was born in 1963 in Shiraz, Iran, and studied fine arts at CALARTS in California. In America he first started experimenting with installations, video art and painting before coming back to Tehran in 1991. He loves collecting old pottery, and seeks to render the age-old relationship between ceramic form and function by focusing on paint as an expressive visual media. -Tavoos - 5/3/03

16th Tehran International Book Fair opens
Publishers from 35 world countries are putting on display their latest works at the exhibition which is being set up with the motto of "Book, Child and Family". Some 1,963 domestic publishers are also attending the book fair. - 5/3/03

Rumsfeld's soundbites take a back seat as he lashes out at waiting journalists
We were not to be disappointed. The US Secretary of Defence treated the national press to a one-man display of verbal shock and awe at the end of a whirlwind tour taking in Baghdad, Afghanistan and America's allies in the Gulf. -Independent - 5/3/03

Iraq: US/UK Forces Must Protect Refugees
Amnesty International calls on the US/UK coalition forces to urgently address the situation of refugees, asylum-seekers and third country nationals in Iraq. The US and UK should guarantee their protection against attacks, arbitrary arrest and from being returned to countries where they might be at risk of human rights abuses. - 5/3/03

Powell seeks Mid-East shift
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has held what he promised would be "candid" talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. -BBC - 5/3/03

Murdered cleric 'was given £8m by CIA'
The London-based Iraqi cleric killed in the holy city of Najaf last month received as much as $13m (£8m) from the CIA to win over moderate Shia clerics in Iraq, the US newspaper Newsday alleged yesterday. -Guardian - 5/3/03

Shia clergy push for Islamist state
While the US and their Iraqi allies discuss the country's future, Shias have taken control on the ground. The Shia - the majority sect of Islam in Iraq - who were suppressed by Saddam, are running not only hospitals but every aspect of life, including community and cultural centres and police stations. -Guardian - 5/3/03

Multiple Quakes shake Torbat-e Jam in Khorassan province of Iran
Three earthquakes measuring 3.7, 4.8 and 4 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted Torbat-e Jam in the northeastern province of Khorassan on Friday - 5/3/03

Fears over move by Shias based in Iran
Thousands of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia forces have crossed into Iraq from Iran after about 20 years of exile, in a move that could increase US worries about Iranian interference in postwar Iraq. Ayatollah al-Hakim is expected to leave for Najaf, after 23 years of exile, on Wednesday or Thursday. -Financial Times - 5/3/03

The Pentagon's Plan for the Shia: Clerical Error
Last week, the United States confronted a philosophical dilemma. Responding to televised images of angry Iraqis denouncing the United States, a chorus of Arab diplomats and American pundits warned that democracy in Iraq could lead to, well, theocracy in Iraq. -New Republic - 5/3/03

Iranian weightlifter Rezazadeh says will have the final say in world for years
Hossein Rezazadeh, the strongest man of the world in 2002 and 2003, expressed hope to reign the +105 kg weightlifting category for the coming years - 5/3/03

New York's Adelphi University hosts live dialogue between its students and Iranian students in Tehran
Adelphi University is proud to present an unprecedented Tele-Conference Symposium on Monday May 5, 2003, a live dialogue between its own students and Iranian students in Tehran. "We need to start from somewhere," says Shahram Hashemi (organizer), noting that the United States has had no diplomatic relations with Tehran for more than two decades. - 5/3/03

Sina in prision - Day 13
Sina's wife has finally spoken out in her weblog. She's said that Sina needs everybod to be calm so he get out earlier. She has denied all the things that LA-based satelite Persian TVs say about Sina, and has added that she hadn't talked to anyone except to ISNA on the first day. - - 5/3/03

Kurdish party sets out terms for talks with Tehran
Abdullah Hassan-Zadeh, general secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), the leader of Iran's largest Kurdish party has offered to open negotiations with Tehran, provided the Islamic Republic "declared its willingness publicly". -Financial Times - 5/3/03

Few Signs Emerge of U.S.-Iran Thaw
Iran and the United States show few signs of rapprochement in the wake of the ouster of a common enemy, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. -Washington Post - 5/3/03

Workers Protest Ban on Demonstrations
Workers around Teheran who had planned to demonstrate May Day against low minimum wages, now plan to protest because they were not allowed to demonstrate. -IPS - 5/2/03

Is Iran interested to see a Shiite regime in Iraq?
The answer is: Definitely No. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/2/03

Gagging the bloggers
Blogs are everywhere and governments are beginning to sit up and take notice, says technology analyst Bill Thompson. -BBC - 5/2/03

Fast Track to Deportation - Iranian Editor Searches for Missing Subscribers
The editor of a Persian-English bilingual monthly in San Jose, Ca. enjoyed a captive audience of Iranians detained by the Department of Homeland Security -- until one week in March when they suddenly began to disappear. -Pacific News Service - 5/2/03

Weapons of mass distortion
If the first casualty of war is truth, then language itself sustains the heaviest collateral damage, as Orwell used to point out (before "collateral damage" proved his point by entering the vocabulary of poisonous euphemism). The Iraq war has produced its own rich crop of Newspeak, but the choicest of all is the phrase "weapons of mass destruction". -Guardian - 5/2/03

Iranians deported from Australia
More than 100 Iranian asylum seekers in Australian detention centres have been given letters asking them to return home. -Radio Australia - 5/2/03

Authoritarian regimes in Middle East have never felt so vulnerable
The stunning display of American military might that toppled Saddam Hussein has not only achieved "regime change" in Iraq. It is sending shock waves through the Middle East and will transform the regional balance of power, albeit in ways that may not be apparent. -Independent - 5/2/03

`No, no to America! Yes to Islam!'
In the absence of a central leadership in postwar Iraq, prominent members of the resurgent Shi'ite population, some of them returning from Iran, are seizing power -Ha'aretz, Israel - 5/2/03

Timely film explores plight of Kurds in Iraq and Iran
Though "Marooned in Iraq' falls short of greatness, its timing couldn't be more brilliant. Many Yanks ignorant a year ago of the scattered, strong-willed Kurds will probably lose their new awareness of them before the next year passes. The recent war produced the only moment in history with an American audience prepared to understand this world. -Newark Star Ledger - 5/2/03

Najaf's religious leaders stay away from politics
Sistani says men of religion must not get involved in administrative affairs as Shiites mass in Najaf. -Middle East Online - 5/2/03

The Secrets of September 11
The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it? -Newsweek - 5/2/03

Strong-arm tactics leave the world a weaker place
The United States today is discovering what other great powers have found before it, which is that military victories can have results quite opposite to those intended. The world has not been made more pliant and respectful by a demonstration of American might, but is, on the contrary, more recalcitrant, sulky, and difficult than it was before the war. -Guardian - 5/2/03

Israeli raids kill 15 Palestinians
Fifteen Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids into Gaza and the West Bank within hours of the launch of the Middle East "road map" - a peace plan that aims to stem more than two and a half years of violence. -Financial Times - 5/2/03

Iran-Italy trade up 4 percent in 2002
Italian Statistics Center said on Friday that Italy exported 1.797 billion euros worth of goods to Iran last year in exchange for 1.879 million euros worth goods. - 5/2/03

Iraqs Eden: Reviving the Legendary Marshes
The Mesopotamian Marshlands are an integral part of the Tigris-Euphrates river basin shared by Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Some Biblical scholars believe the region to be the site on which ancient stories of the Garden of Eden and the Great Flood are based. -Afshin Molavi, National Geographic - 5/2/03

"America So Beautiful": Babak Shokrian's bitter sweet look on the American Dream
I have just previewed an opening of "America so Beautiful" in Paris UGC Cinema. To this date, rarely has any Iranian movie caught my attention or moved me as a truly cinematographic experience. -Darius Kadivar - 5/2/03

Iran Opposes U.S. Accord With Fighters Based in Iraq
The State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, Cofer Black, said on Wednesday that the cease-fire was a tactical decision by military commanders and that the issue would be addressed in the coming days and weeks. -New York Times - 5/2/03

U.S. Acts to Limit Influence of Iran in Iraq's Politics
The American military has begun to capture suspected Iranian agents and is planning to station military forces along the major routes from Iran to try to stop infiltrations by Iranian-backed forces. -New York Times - 5/1/03

India's Petroleum Minister to visit Iran to seal natural gas deal
India's Petroleum Minister Ram Naik will visit Tehran soon to finalize a deal to import natural gas from Iran in the form of LNG as also seek oil fields for development - 5/1/03

Mideast 'road map' to peace launched
The US and its partners in the international quartet launched a peace plan on Wednesday to end violence in the Middle East and end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -Financial Times - 5/1/03

Terror attacks decline, US says
Terrorist attacks worldwide declined significantly in 2002 but the threat from Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and other extremist groups remains high, the US Government says. -BBC - 5/1/03

Scores killed as quake hits Turkey
At least 84 people were killed and 390 injured today when a strong earthquake rocked south-eastern Turkey. -Guardian - 5/1/03

Satire: CIA: Syria Harboring More Than 15 Million Known Arabs
In an alarming report released Monday by the Central Intelligence Agency, Syria may be harboring upwards of 15 million known Arabs within its borders. -Onion - 5/1/03

Maneuvering for Power
Religious center on edge as Shia clerics return from exile -Newsday - 5/1/03

Iraq: Crunch Time For Kurds, But New Problems On The Horizon
As the United States works toward restoring a semblance of central authority in Iraq, the country's various ethnic, tribal, social, and religious groups are jockeying for representation in the country's future government. -RFE - 5/1/03

Former diplomat highlights Iran's future
The theocratic Iranian regime may celebrate the end of Saddam Hussein, but that doesn't mean it wants democracy to succeed in the new Iraq, a former Iranian diplomat told an audience in Concord yesterday. -Concord Monitor, NH - 5/1/03

Falluja grenade attack injures US soldiers
Seven US soldiers were today wounded in a grenade attack on their base in the Iraqi city of Falluja, where troops have killed at least 15 civilians during protests this week. -Guardian - 5/1/03

Saudis wonder, will they be next?
Syria and Iran are likelier targets for the hawks. But the Saudis see good reasons why they too might be targeted. Chief among these is the Israeli factor - their conviction that, for the Bush hawks, a rightwing Israeli agenda is built in to the American one. -Guardian - 5/1/03

Judiciary confirms reform, to inaugurate first prosecutor May 18
Iran's judiciary on Wednesday confirmed that it had adopted a series of reforms, including by naming the first prosecutor general in Tehran after a lapse of nine years - 5/1/03

Excavations reveal 60 archaeological sites in northern Iran
In recent archeological excavations in Gilan province, 60 archaic sites representing ancient civilizations were unearthed in Farab Amaloui district on the outskirts of Roudbar - 5/1/03

Poem: The block
It is not me, stupid, it is You... -Leylanaz Shajii - 5/1/03

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