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Iran: Focus on child labour
Every day, seven days a week, Hamid stands in the middle of four lanes of unrelenting, heaving Tehran traffic, waiting for the lights to go red. He then weaves his way through the fumes and noise, tapping on the sides of cars. If he is lucky, a driver will lean out of his window and pluck from his hand a small sheet of paper - a poem written by the great Persian poet Hafez - in return for the equivalent of 15 US cents. -IRIN - 5/31/04

Foriegn Minister hopes IAEA would meet Iran's reasonable expectations
Visiting Foreign Minister Dr. Kamal Kharrazi expressed here his optimism that Iran's full cooperation and consultations with the IAEA would merit realization of its meritrious expectation for normalization of ties with the nuclear watchdog. - 5/31/04

China lifts world junior weightlifting title, Iran stands 6th
China proved too powerful for other 40 teams as it was crowned here Sunday night at the World Junior Weightlifting Championships on high points difference. - 5/31/04

Iran: Quake inflicts no damage to historical Gazorkhan Castle in Qazvin
Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO) Director-General Nader Mohammadzadeh said here Monday that the powerful earthquake in this northwestern city inflicted no damage to the historical Gazorkhan Castle. - 5/31/04

Quake jolts city of Masjed Soleyman in Iran for second time in a day
An earthquake measuring 3.3 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Masjed Soleyman in the southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan for the second time on Monday. - 5/31/04

Iran manufactures first anti-ship missile
The Islamic Republic of Iran has manufactured for the first time ever an anti-ship missile named "Kosar" in line with its strategy to reinforce its defensive capabilities, it was announced here Monday. - 5/31/04

N.Y. Times apology feels hollow
For those of us who have questioned the coverage all along, who are part of that unpatriotic "minority" who questioned the invasion of Iraq and even Afghanistan, who read international and independent news, we are left with the haunting sense of living in a twilight zone. A twilight zone, because we have been calling and writing letters not just to the Times but to NPR (National Public Radio), FOX and CNN since Sept. 11 to demand that a greater diversity of sources and experts be allowed to speak. -Toronto Star - 5/31/04

Rift delays Iraqi president talks
A meeting of Iraq's Governing Council to finalise the composition of the interim government has been postponed. -BBC - 5/31/04

Karachi tense over cleric killing
Thousands of Pakistani troops have been deployed to tighten security on the streets of Karachi following the killing of a Sunni Muslim cleric. -BBC - 5/31/04

Violence expected to drive oil prices higher
The message likely to be taken by world oil markets from this weekend's attacks is clear: that al-Qaeda's new targets are western oil workers in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter. -Financial Times - 5/31/04

Kerry Says Bush's Focus on Iraq Has Made U.S. 'Less Safe'
Issuing a new broadside against President Bush's national security policy, Senator John Kerry said that Mr. Bush's "almost myopic" focus on Iraq had made Americans "less safe" by giving North Korea and Iran the time and opportunity to speed toward the construction of nuclear weapons. -New York Times - 5/31/04

Iranian Official: Relief goods transfer to quake-stricken regions underway
representative of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in the northern quake-stricken town of Marzan-Abad Sunday that second phase of sending relief consignments to the areas struck by Friday's earthquake is underway at a quick pace. - 5/30/04

Iranian "Devoted Villager" Riz Ali Khajavi is no longer a tenant
Villager Riz Ali Khajavi who saved the lives of passengers of a train in the Iranian year 1341 (1962) when a landslide brought down rocks from overlooking mountain on a railroad is no longer a tenant. - 5/30/04

Iran is important, but don't mistake its noisy rhetoric for reality
Iran is an exasperating country. The British government, whenever it gets a word in edgeways with the Bush administration, argues in favour of dialogue with Teheran, instead of threats and isolation. And where has this got the British? Good question. -Telegraph, UK - 5/30/04

Exiled Allawi was Responsible for 45-Minute WMD Claim
The choice of Iyad Allawi, closely linked to the CIA and formerly to MI6, as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 30 June will make it difficult for the US and Britain to persuade the rest of the world that he is capable of leading an independent government. -Common Dreams - 5/30/04

Iran protests to Jordan for hosting widow of defunct shah
Iran said Sunday it had protested to Jordan for inviting the widow of the defunct shah to the wedding of Crown Prince Hamza. - 5/30/04

Volleyball: France and Austraila qualified for Olympic, Japan defeats South Korea
While first-place France won all seven of its matches to book a spot at this summer's games, Australia claimed an Olympic berth as the top Asian team based on point percentage though it had an identical 5-2 record with third-place China. - 5/30/04

Iran wins Italy's wrestling crown
Iran won four gold and three silver medals and the title of an international freestyle wrestling tournament, Sassari Cup, in Italy Saturday. - 5/30/04

Friday quake damaged over 3,800 buildings in Mazandaran province of Iran
At least 3,879 buildings ere damaged as a result of the Friday powerful earthquake in this Caspian Sea Province, inflicting 123.5 billion rials of damage, said the office of the provincial governor general Sunday. - 5/30/04

Tehran faultlines not cause of Friday's quake in Iran's capital city
An earthquake expert said here Saturday that the Tehran faultlines were not the cause of the Friday's quake in the capital city. - 5/30/04

Islamic art gallery to rival Saatchi
London is to become home to what is thought to be the most extensive and valuable private collection of Islamic art in the world. The billionaire Nasser Khalili is planning to put his spectacular art works on permanent exhibition in the capital, after a decade of false starts. The powerful Iranian-born financier and fanatical collector has revealed he is searching for a venue for a major national museum -Guardian - 5/30/04

Iran: Rescuers work to help quake victims in north
Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) rescue teams worked throughout the night following a violent earthquake which shook northern Iran on Friday, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale. -IRIN - 5/29/04

Volleyball: Japan loses 5th straight, France claims Olympic berth
Iran (3-3) routed Algeria 3-0 and Canada (4-2) sent South Korea to its fifth defeat in a 3-1 victory. - 5/29/04

British-educated surgeon is new Iraqi prime minister
A British-educated neurosurgeon who spent 30 years in exile in Britain, and who has close links with both the CIA and MI6, was named as Iraq's new interim prime minister last night. -Guardian - 5/29/04

How Chalabi and the White House held the front page
When the full history of the Iraq war is written, the most scandalous chapter may be about how American journalists, in particular those at the New York Times, allowed themselves to be so easily manipulated by both Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi exile with his own virulently pro-war agenda, and the Bush White House. -Guardian - 5/29/04

Iran rescuers aid quake victims
Rescue efforts have been going on through the night in Iran following a violent earthquake which shook much of the north of the country on Friday. -BBC - 5/29/04

Vanunu 'wanted to avert holocaust'
The former technician jailed for 18 years for leaking Israel's nuclear secrets has said he was trying to prevent a nuclear holocaust. -BBC - 5/29/04

Iranians sign up for Iraq attacks
Hundreds of protesters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, have been signing up to carry out suicide attacks against coalition forces in Iraq. -BBC - 5/29/04

Iran's Judiciary: Aghajari close to having death sentence quashed
Jailed dissident Hashem Aghajari is close to having his death sentence on apostasy charges quashed, a deputy judiciary chief told IRNA reporters here Saturday. - 5/29/04

Governor of Iran's quake-stricken Qazvin province dies in chopper crash
The governor of the northwestern Qazvin province, Massoud Emami, was killed when the helicopter carrying him to affected areas in Friday's earthquake went down Saturday evening. - 5/29/04

Another quake hits city of Bam in Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.6 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Bam in the southeastern province of Kerman Saturday morning. - 5/29/04

Iran: Quake leaves 81 people injured in Karaj
Friday's relatively strong quake which hit a large part of Iran left 81 people injured in Karaj, a city 35 kms west of Tehran, Head of the Natural Disasters Headquarters Ali Jahanbakhshi said here on Saturday. - 5/29/04

Iran quake toll: At least 24 dead, 270 injured
At least 21 people were killed and 250 others injured in the Caspian province of Mazandaran in a relatively strong earthquake which shook almost half of Iran Friday. - 5/29/04

My trip to Iran's quake stricken Bam in May
There was still a haze in the air everywhere we went, like a touch of dust, blocking the view. Generally speaking small scale works have been done or are under way, but nowhere big enough or fast enough. There were big queues in front of government offices during the working days. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/28/04

US Accuses Tehran of Trying to ‘Intimidate’ IAEA
The United States Thursday accused Iran of trying to "intimidate" the International Atomic Energy Agency. The comments follow an Iranian threat to resume uranium enrichment and end snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, if the IAEA does not acknowledge its cooperation with the agency. -VOA - 5/28/04

Volleyball: Unbeaten France beats struggling Iran in Olympic qualifiers
France's volleyball team grabbed its fifth consecutive win with a victory over challenging Iran in the final qualifying tournament for 2004 Athens Olympic Games here Friday. - 5/28/04

Bush & Sharon: The Oil Connection
On its face, President George Bush¡¦s recent endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon¡¦s land grab in the occupied territories makes little sense. The plan, under which Israel would abandon Gaza while permanently annexing most of the West Bank, has met with almost universal condemnation. -Foreign Policy in Focus - 5/28/04

Iranian Oil Ministry official says will lodge complaint in Statoil case
Mehdi Hashemi, a ranking official in Iran's Oil Ministry, Wednesday said he will lodge a complaint with Iranian Judiciary and international courts within the next month against the bribe charge linking him with Norway's giant Statoil. - 5/28/04

Briton says he was held in Israeli dungeon
Peter Hounam was detained on Wednesday by the Israeli security agency on suspicion that he had obtained classified information from Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli technician who was jailed after revealing Israel's nuclear capabilities to the world. -Guardian - 5/28/04

Making Do With Lemons
Chalabi posed three problems for U.S. lemonade makers. The first was that by steering many economic portfolios to his allies, he had gathered too much power over the nascent Iraqi economy. -Washington Post - 5/28/04

Beyond blocking -- U.S. and open source censorship slims the Net
Let's say you're a Chinese or Iranian citizen with the good luck to have access to an Internet connection. If you were interested in finding out about democracy, grass-roots political organization or privacy by using that connection, you'd have a tougher time than necessary because of an Internet filtering service sponsored by U.S. tax dollars. -NewsForge - 5/28/04

Quake hits western Iranian city of Doroud
An earthquake measuring 4 degrees on the Richter scale hit Doroud in Lorestan province, west of Iran, Friday morning. - 5/28/04

Iran: Police clash with protestors, arrest 2 trying to attack British embassy in Tehran
Police in riot gear in Ferdowsi street clashed with angry protestors who hurled stones at the British embassy here on Friday. - 5/28/04

IAEA to Circulate Report on Iran's Nuclear Ambitions
The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna says it will soon circulate a new report on Iran's nuclear ambitions, but says this might not close the file as Tehran wants. -VOA - 5/28/04

Obsessed With Iran
Bush policymakers and spies have made fear of Iran a driving -- and highly distorting -- force in the continuing war in Iraq. They now resemble the LBJ-era Cold Warriors who were so intent on defeating China and the Soviet Union in Vietnam that they lost sight of the stakes and dynamics of the real war they were fighting. -Washington Post - 5/28/04

Laipson: US must see "promise and potential" of Iran
Speaking on the topics of regime change, containment, and engagement, Henry L. Stimson Center president Ellen Laipson argued that there is a real cost to not developing a sustainable foreign policy toward Iran in a presentation at the World Bank. -NIAC - 5/28/04

The Fox and the Elephant, Part II
Ahmad Chalabi and his Iran connections may serve as a convenient diversionary tactic at this time to take the focus away from the real culprit. The real culprit is the shrewd fox that has been riding on the elephant’s back, guiding and prompting it to step on and destroy its long list of enemies and antagonists. This fox has no incentive or intention to rest until all its detractors are somehow defused and rendered powerless, no matter at whose expense! -Kam Zarrabi - 5/28/04

Amnesty International Report 2004
This Amnesty International Report documents the human rights situation in 155 countries and territories in 2003, and summarizes regional trends. It reports on areas of work being prioritized and developed by Amnesty International -- such as violence against women; economic, social and cultural rights; and justice for refugees and migrants – and celebrates the achievements of activists in these and other areas. - 5/27/04

Conservatives Dominate New Iranian Parliament
Iran's new conservative-dominated parliament took office today, three months after controversial elections that were criticized due to the massive disqualification of pro-reform candidates. -RFE - 5/27/04

Iran 'anti-cleric' film to hit US
A US judge has ruled against an Iranian film distributor who tried to block the release of a controversial Iranian film in America. -BBC - 5/27/04

Nuclear Weapons in Iran: Plowshare or Sword?
A recurring fear haunts the West's increasingly tense confrontation with Iran: Is its work on civilian nuclear power actually a ruse for making a deadly atomic arsenal, as has been the case with other countries? -New York Times - 5/27/04

The Bush orthodoxy is in shreds
At a conservative thinktank in downtown Washington, and across the Potomac at the Pentagon, FBI agents have begun paying quiet calls on prominent neoconservatives, who are being interviewed in an investigation of potential espionage, according to intelligence sources. Who gave Ahmed Chalabi classified information about the plans of the US government and military? -Guardian - 5/27/04

Nazarbayev considers oil pipeline to Persian Gulf via Iran
Kazakhstan would like to construct a pipeline through Iran to the Gulf as the main outlet for its natural resources, the country's president said. -Financial Times - 5/27/04

Coalition 'to honour Najaf truce'
The US-led coalition appears to be giving its support to negotiations to end fighting with a radical Shia cleric in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf. -BBC - 5/27/04

Source: No document found on Iranian side's involvement in Statt Oil financial scandal
An informed source told IRNA on Wednesday that no document has been found to prove the Iranian side's involvement in Norwegian Statt Oil Company's financial scandal. - 5/27/04

Iran's Interior Minister presents report on 7th Majlis elections
Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari here Thursday presented a report to the 7th Majlis on the trend of parliamentary elections held on February 20. - 5/27/04

The Iranian Spy in the House of Bush
The truth is that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-conservatives are personally responsible for the delivery of our most precious national security secrets into the hands of Iran, a nation that has believed itself to be at war with us since the Carter administration. The method of that delivery, this Iraq invasion and occupation, has made the entire world a more dangerous place by orders of magnitude. Thousands are dead, and more will certainly die, because of this. -Truthout - 5/27/04

Iranian President: Reforms based on realities will keep going
President Mohammad Khatami here Thursday stressed that reforms would not be stopped if it is based on understanding realities of the society. - 5/27/04

China Keen To Pursue Oil Projects With Neighbors
China has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan to build by 2005 an oil pipeline to help meet its booming economy's soaring demand for fuel. -RFE - 5/27/04

Iran imports an average of 22 million liters of gasoline daily
An official with National Oil Derivative Distribution Company said here Wednesday that currently Iran imports, on average, over 22 million liters of gasoline daily. - 5/27/04

Iranian Leader Declares Day of Mourning for Iraq
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq of deliberately attacking Shi'ite holy sites and he declared Friday a national day of mourning for Iraq. -VOA - 5/27/04

Who deserves most? A question to expatriate Iranians
Two years ago I was visiting my relatives in Mashhad. During this period my mother suffered from a spinal injury which required urgent surgery. The surgeon was a young doctor who was going to operate on my mother's spinal column and remove some damaged intervertebral disk tissues. -Akbar Nouruzi, Australia - 5/27/04

Iran Warns IAEA about Future Nuclear Cooperation
Iran has warned that it may halt snap inspections of its nuclear sites if the International Atomic Energy Agency does not acknowledge Tehran's cooperation with the U.N. body. -VOA - 5/27/04

Iran: Majlis reformists take on the money launderers
Legislation to combat money laundering in Iran was submitted to the Majlis on 8 October 2002 by Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri.The issue has attracted more attention from observers of Iran outside the country than from the Iranian public. Yet the decision to counter money laundering is of economic, domestic and foreign policy significance for Iranians. -Amir Ali Nourbakhsh, Tehran (Iran Focus) - 5/27/04

Chalabi 'boasted of Iranian spy link'
Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi leader accused by the CIA of passing US secrets to Tehran, claimed to have close links with Iranian intelligence seven years ago, according to a former UN weapons inspector. -Guardian - 5/26/04

Report from Science and Arts Foundation’s Bam IT Center
On April 12, 2004, the Science and Arts Foundation (SAF) launched an ICT training program in their computer training site in the center of the earthquake-devastated town of Bam. - 5/26/04

UN Officials: Gender Equality Promotes Peace and Democracy
Would this be a more peaceful world if there were greater equality for women? Iranian Nobel Peace Price winner Shirin Ebadi and two key U.N. officials told a recent symposium in New York that ensuring women's rights would lead to greater democracy and promote peace. -VOA - 5/26/04

Iran-China trade exchange stands at 4 billion dollars a year
Iran exported dlrs 2.5 billion worth of crude oil and dlrs 225 million worth of non-oil commodities to China last year, said Deputy Minister of Commerce for International Affairs Abdolhossein Vahaji here on Wednesday. - 5/26/04

Iran pistachio exporter dismisses EU cancer fears
EU ports have blocked several pistachio shipments from Iran, the world's top producer, but an Iranian exporter dismissed fears about traces of a cancer- causing chemical contaminating the nuts as scaremongering. -Reuters - 5/26/04

Shaky ground in the developing world
Scientists warn that the world is heading for a catastrophic earthquake that will kill at least 1 million people. -Mercury News - 5/26/04

Horse Museum opens in Tehran
The first phase of Horse Museum is scheduled to open here Friday jointly by Iran's Equestrian Federation and Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO). - 5/26/04

Iran has mastered up to 70 percent of nuclear fuel cycle: official
Iran has mastered between 60 and 70 percent of the technology needed for the production of nuclear fuel, a former Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. -AFP - 5/26/04

Iraqi Shia holy shrine 'damaged'
One of Iraq's holiest Shia Islamic shrines has reportedly been damaged in clashes between US troops and the forces of militant cleric Moqtada Sadr. -BBC - 5/26/04

This Made Ashcroft Gag
etails of a Florida drug case may well shed light on the claims of an FBI translator who says the agency covered up evidence warning of the 9-11 attack. -Village Voice - 5/26/04

The trouble with joint intelligence
Any Iranian plot to dupe the CIA will affect Britain for the worse -Guardian - 5/26/04

Washington, Tehran Exchanging Views On Iraq
The U.S. government says it has exchanged messages with the government of Iran regarding Tehran's concerns about Iraq. -RFE - 5/26/04

Spain attaches great importance to Iran: Spanish PM
In a meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Zapatero expressed satisfaction over bilateral relations with Iran and voiced his country's determination to promote all-out ties and cooperation with Iran. - 5/26/04

Iran's 6th Parliament wraps up its activities
The sixth Majlis officially ended its tenure here Wednesday with an open session in which six reports by Research and Auditory Commission of Majlis were read out. - 5/26/04

The trail to Tehran
He was Washington's favourite Iraqi, a prized intelligence source and a dream post-Saddam leader. Now his former CIA masters are rubbishing him, saying he helped Iran trick the US into war. No one, says Iraq expert Andrew Cockburn, should be surprised -Guardian - 5/26/04

Iran: Women’s NGOs & CSOs Coordinating Committee for Restoration of Bam
I went to Bam earlier this month as part of my responsibilities in Bam Zanan Group, a coalition of 44 Women NGOs that was formed immediately after the earthquake in Bam, last December. We went there to seek the help of city officials to grant us a piece of land so that we can take our project to the next phase. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/25/04

US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war
An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday. -Guardian - 5/25/04

4th Iran-EU human rights talks to open in Tehran
The fourth round of talks between Iran and the European Union on human rights will be held in Tehran on June 14-15 in the presence of Iranian and European intellectuals, university instructors and legal and human rights experts. - 5/25/04

Friend of US and Iran has too many enemies
Ahmad Chalabi, Iraq's plausible former opposition leader now regarded as loose cannon in Baghdad -Guardian - 5/25/04

Global Refugee, Asylum Seekers Total 12 Million
According to the survey totals, the West Bank and Gaza, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and Tanzania together host more than 40 percent of the world's refugee population. Iran and Pakistan together topped the list of refugee host countries last year with nearly three million Afghan refugees. -VOA - 5/25/04

Volleyball: China nets struggling Iran
China extended its winning streak by beating Iran 3-1 in the men's volleyball final qualifying round for 2004 Athens Olympics here Tuesday. - 5/25/04

Iraq Speech: Bush Offers Nothing New Except Prison
Launching a new effort to stem the plummeting loss in public confidence in his Iraq policy, U.S. President George W Bush reiterated his commitment to bringing ''freedom'' and self-government to Baghdad and warned that U.S. failure will ''only mark the beginning of peril and violence''. -Common Dreams - 5/25/04

Oil price soars despite Saudi vow
Opec ministers have said they will not be pressured into upping production despite Saudi Arabia opting to go it alone and raise its output. -BBC - 5/25/04

Iranian, British universities ink cooperation agreement
Chancellor of the Iranian university, Ali Khaki Seddiq and his British counterpart from Kingston University, Peter James Mason, signed the document in a meeting in Tehran Tuesday morning. - 5/25/04

Bush can't win this election now. Kerry can only lose it
Whoever said that misfortunes come in threes must have had George Bush in mind these past few days. First the US president falls off his mountain bike and grazes his face. Then Michael Moore's anti-Bush movie gets the top prize at the Cannes film festival. And now, to cap a lousy weekend, it looks as if Bush is going to lose the election in November. -Guardian - 5/25/04

Iran: Supreme Leader appoints IRIB's ex-head as his representative to SNSC
Khamenei, in a decree issued here Tuesday, appointed Ali Larijani as his representative to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for a three year term. - 5/25/04

Iran to get non-cleric as speaker
The conservatives who dominate Iran's parliament have nominated an academic to be the its first non-clerical speaker since the Islamic revolution. -BBC - 5/25/04

War Returns with a Vengeance as Allies Fail the Afghan People
George Bush and Tony Blair made grand promises when they took on the Taliban. They sound hollow now. What does it all mean for Iraq? -Common Dreams - 5/25/04

Chalabi, Iran Reject Espionage Charges
Ahmad Chalabi, the president of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a former exile group, yesterday denied charges he had passed to Iran classified U.S. information about the occupation of Iraq. -RFE - 5/25/04

Iran's entrepreneurs see calm future
With a new conservative-dominated parliament set to start work in Iran at the end of May, there are concerns over the future of economic reforms begun by President Mohammad Khatami. -BBC - 5/25/04

Iranian physicist locked out of laboratory by US energy department
Shahram Rahatlou has been unable to work at this Stanford lab for more than a year. His supervisor believes he will be one of the achievers of tomorrow, he has just won an award from the American Physical Society - and he has been banned from his lab for more than a year by the US Department of Energy (DOE). -ZOMBIE - 5/25/04

Stumbling in the dark
Iran expelled me, but its press restrictions play into the hands of the west's fantasies about Islamism -Guardian - 5/24/04

Feminine Insecurity
The biological basis for women's insecurity is their relative physical weakness. This together with their major biological role as the gender responsible for the survival of the species used to make them totally incapable of effective self-defense in the face of the stronger sex. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 5/24/04

Iranian American Political Action Committee's Spring Gala
The Iranian American Political Action Committee will be hosting a star studded Spring Gala fundraiser on May 27, 2004 in Washington, D.C. This event is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of Iranian women, with distinguished guests Mahnaz Afkhami (CEO of the Women's Learning Partnership), Mehrangiz Kar (human rights attorney), and special visiting guest of honor, Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi. - 5/24/04

Iran admits regular contact with Chalabi
The strange decline in relations between the US military and its one-time Iraqi ally, Ahmad Chalabi, took a new twist yesterday when Iran admitted having had regular dialogue with the former Pentagon favourite. -Guardian - 5/24/04

A Killer With No Remorse, And Little Respect for Women
I strangled her," an ordinary-looking man says evenly, his eyes fixed on an interviewer to the left of the camera. The confession is not extracted but volunteered. The man, Saeed Hanaei, is a serial killer, and pleased. This is going to be bleak. -New York Times - 5/24/04

Relief as Saudi Arabia reduces oil pressure
The Group of Eight leading industrial countries reacted with relief yesterday to an announcement by Saudi Arabia that it would sharply raise oil production in an effort to put the lid on booming prices.-Guardian - 5/24/04

Oil Minister: Iran wants to send positive signal to oil markets
Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Amsterdam on Sunday that the Islamic Republic was ready to do its part in calming the current turbulent situation in in the world oil market. - 5/24/04

Iranian President inaugurates power plant in Abadan
Khatami said the power plant would add some 500 Megawatts of electricity to the national capacity, saying Khuzestan province accounts for 25 per cent of the national power generation. - 5/24/04

Photos: Workers Repairing Ark Citadel in Bam
The following photos show the workers repairing the surrounding areas of Ark’s historical citadel in Bam. I took them during my recent visit to Bam. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/24/04

Iran says will not send fencers to US
The US has invited Iran to participate in the GP, which will be held on June 10-13. But the federation has decided to boycott the event as a gesture of opposition to the US occupying forces` crimes and esecration of the holy sites in Iraq. - 5/24/04

155 Iranian MPs voice concern over summoning students to judicial courts
Some 155 members of parliament said on Sunday that the disciplinary committees of the universities are empowered to examine charges against students and called on Judiciary to stop sentencing the students to prison terms. - 5/23/04

Iran celebrates first win over South Korean volleyballers
Iran is on cloud nine as it crushed South Korea for the first time in its history in the volleyball qualifying match for 2004 Athens Olympic Games here Sunday. - 5/23/04

Gaza political storm hits Israel
The Israeli justice minister has infuriated cabinet colleagues by saying the army offensive in Gaza reminded him of his family's woes in World War II. -BBC - 5/23/04

Iran chides Spain for hosting defunct royals at prince wedding
Iran sternly admonished Spain Sunday for inviting the son and widow of the defunct shah to the wedding of Crown Prince Felipe. - 5/23/04

Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Wins Top Honor at Cannes Film Festival
American filmmaker Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," a scathing indictment of White House actions after the Sept. 11 attacks, won the top prize Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. -Common Dreams - 5/23/04

US battles militia in two cities
There has been an upsurge in fighting between US-led coalition forces and Shia militia in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf and nearby Kufa. -BBC - 5/23/04

Iran Denies Ahmad Chalabi Spied on Its Behalf
Iran has denied accusations made by some U.S. officials that Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi passed secret information to the Iranian government. -VOA - 5/23/04

Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes
British and American troops are to be granted immunity from prosecution in Iraq after the crucial 30 June handover, undermining claims that the new Iraqi government will have 'full sovereignty' over the state. -Guardian - 5/23/04

Iran rules out expulsion of British ambassador
Iran Sunday dismissed a demand made by a group of anti-war demonstrators to expel the British ambassador, Richard Dalton, in protest at the emerging prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq. - 5/23/04

Iran tells US to pull out of Iraq
The Iranian foreign ministry has sent a warning message to the US, criticising its policy in Iraq. -BBC - 5/23/04

Iranian passenger plane makes emergency landing in Kuwait
Mohammad Soltani, the head of the flag carrier Iran Air office in Kuwait, said the aircraft was forced to turn around 15 minutes after takeoff when the pilot noticed a technical problem in one of its engines. - 5/23/04

Nobelist sees Bush blunders on Iraq democracy
Speaking at a news conference on the Stanford campus, Shirin Ebadi said Bush should withdraw U.S. soldiers from Iraq as quickly as possible while the United Nations oversees Iraq's transition to a post-Saddam Hussein government. -San Francisco Chronicle - 5/23/04

Iran tells EU to keep out of Iranian islands' dispute
Iran said Sunday it had told the European Union (EU) to stay out of a 'misunderstanding' between the country and the UAE over the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf. - 5/23/04

Iranian wrestling teams not to take part in Titan contests in US
Iranian wrestling teams will not take part in Titan international contests due to be held in Atlanta, the United States from June 19-20 in protest at practices of US occupation forces in Iraq. - 5/22/04

Iran's MPO head predicts a dlrs 5 bn boost in hard currency deposits
Head of Management and Planning Organization (MPO) Hamid-Reza Baradaran Shoraka here Saturday said that given the global oil price, the hard currency deposit account is expected to increase by 4-5 billion dollars in the current Iranian year (started April 20). - 5/22/04

Iran submits nuclear declarations to IAEA
The Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted the the declarations of its nuclear programs to the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iran's Ambassador to the UN's nuclear watchdog Pirooz Hosseini here Saturday. - 5/22/04

Canadian free-style wrestling due in Tehran on Tuesday
Canadian free-style wrestling team is to arrive here on Tuesday for a series of friendly bouts with Iranian wrestlers. - 5/22/04

US Officials: Chalabi May Have Passed Secrets to Iran
U.S. officials say Ahmad Chalabi, the man some American officials had considered a potential leader of post-war Iraq, may have passed secret information to the Iranian government. -VOA - 5/22/04

Opec defers oil output decision
Opec oil ministers have ended their meeting in Amsterdam without reaching a decision on increasing production. -BBC - 5/22/04

Iraqi militia to leave Karbala
Fighters loyal to the radical Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr, have agreed to withdraw from the centre of Karbala. -BBC - 5/22/04

Senator Hollings Is Right: It's all about Israel
Isn't it funny how politicians have to wait until just before going into retirement to say what they really think about Israel and its influence over Washington policymakers? - 5/22/04

Wife of Late Shah Calls for More Freedom for Iranians
Farah Pahlavi, the wife of the late Shah of Iran, told the Voice of America (VOA) today that Iranians need to gain their freedom now, and once they gain that freedom, the people should decide what type of government Iran should have. - 5/22/04

Gulf War III
American Likudniks have been "examining" the consequences to our national security of an Israeli "pre-emptive" strike against certain Iranian facilities and programs, all now subject to an International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards Agreement. -WorldNetDaily - 5/22/04

Women in Iran Protest Their Images on State TV
Iranian film may be renowned for its sympathetic, nuanced portrayal of women, but the country's state television has come under sharp criticism for promoting polygamy as an acceptable practice and reinforcing sexist stereotypes. -Women's e News - 5/21/04

The Truth About Ahmed Chalabi
Why the US Turned Against Their Former Golden Boy -- He was Preparing a Coup! What He Did as a Catspaw for Tehran: How He Nearly Bankrupted Jordan; the Billions He Stands to Make Out of the New Iraq -CounterPunch - 5/21/04

Correspondent for The Guardian expelled from Iran
Reporters Without Borders has protested against the expulsion of Dan DeLuce, correspondent in Tehran for the British daily The Guardian. - 5/21/04

Iran, Afghanistan sign telecommunications MoU
The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Government of Afghanistan signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) here Friday aimed at supplying Afghanistan with telecommunications facilities. - 5/21/04

Hostilities Force Bush into Deep Hole: Strategy Pushing US into 'Abyss'
The Pentagon was attempting the difficult task of digging itself out of the hole dug by the Abu Ghraib prison outrage when it suffered yet another potentially serious setback in Iraq. -Guardian - 5/21/04

'US soldiers started to shoot us, one by one'
Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise -Guardian - 5/21/04

Brown joins call for cheaper oil
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has urged the Opec oil cartel to lower the cost of crude oil as world prices bubble near record highs. -BBC - 5/21/04

CIA: Chalabi Possibly Spied for Iran
Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, once a darling of the American government, may have passed classified U.S. information to Iran, Fox News has confirmed. - 5/21/04

Iran's youth turn to self-help books, workshops for sustenance
Young, restless population tire of aging clerics, seek new role models -Daily Star - 5/21/04

Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia to set up consortium to build new railway
The railways chiefs of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran agreed Thursday to set up a consortium for building a regional railway line of the North-South International Transportation Corridor, reported Itar-Tass. - 5/21/04

Iran to submit a comprehensive report on its nuclear activities to IAEA
Iran's former representative to IAEA and an advisor to the foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi, here Friday announced that a comprehensive report on Iran's nuclear programs will be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the coming days. - 5/21/04

Iran, a peaceful land, embraces visitors
"Why Iran at this time?" asked a border officer at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Somewhat taken aback, we guessed he must be wondering why we would risk our lives to visit a dangerous place near Iraq, where there is bombing and killing almost every day. -China Daily - 5/21/04

Sanitary Facilities in Iran’s quake-stricken Bam
One of the biggest problems that people have in Bam, in the city and especially in the camps, is sanitation; clean public toilets, a place where people can have a good and real shower, and a place to wash their clothes. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/21/04

Iran: Normality slowly returns to Bam
Three hookah water pipes rattle in competition, the smell of perfumed tobacco is in the air. Green apples vanishing in grey light clouds. Behind palm twigs time stands still. At Mohammed’s place you find sweet tea, cool shadows and rest. -IFRC - 5/20/04

Goli Ameri wins a strong victory over her GOP rivals in Oregon
In the 1st District race, Goli Ameri won a strong victory over her GOP rivals after a campaign in which she built name recognition by touting her efforts to help kill the Legislature's tax hike. She now will challenge Democratic Rep. David Wu in the fall. -AP - 5/20/04

Ambassador Miller on Iran: I believe in dialogue
Ambassador William Green Miller, a senior policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, spoke optimistically at the Center Monday about the possibilities of improving relations between the US and Iran. -NIAC - 5/20/04

IRAN-TURKEY: Special report on Iranian refugees from Iraq
Dressed very smartly in a black suit and a pale pink shirt, Hamid (not his real name) started to tell the story of how he fled Iran in 1990 due to his political activities and lived in northern Iraq until 2002. -IRIN - 5/20/04

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi to Speak in Chatham, Va.
Iranian legal and human rights activist and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi will speak May 26- 27, 2004, at Chatham Hall in Chatham, Va. - 5/20/04

Israel intensifies Gaza offensive
Israeli forces have pushed deeper into southern Gaza, a day after the United Nations condemned Israel for killing at least eight Palestinian protesters. -BBC - 5/20/04

Nobel laureate: Get out of Iraq
Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi lived up to her reputation for courage in the face of controversy during a visit to Tucson on Tuesday by firmly stating that the United States needs to get out of Iraq. -Arizona Daily Star - 5/20/04

Wise After All
The "wise men" once fell out of favor; time they fell back in -American Prospect - 5/20/04

U.S. Ends Payments To Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress
The U.S. government will not renew a program to support the Iraqi National Congress (INC), a group of Iraqi exiles that for years pressed Washington to take the lead in overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Some elements of the administration of President George W. Bush, including senior Defense Department officials, favored the group. But others, including the State Department, reportedly distrusted the INC. -RFE - 5/20/04

How Trustworthy Is Iran?
At a time when Muslim fundamentalists are busily trying to export Islamic revolutions around the globe, they might want to take a good close look at Iran. -Insight - 5/20/04

U.S. State Department Issues Report Examining Government Record On Promoting Rights
The United States says advancing human rights and democracy around the world reflects its values and promotes its interests. The recent scandal involving U.S. troop abuse of detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghurayb prison has been a blow to Washington's image as a human rights standard-bearer. -RFE - 5/20/04

Weill Cornell establishes stem cell research center with $15 million gift from Iranian-Americans Shahla and Hushang Ansary
Weill Cornell Medical College has established the Ansary Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics with a $15 million grant from Shahla and Hushang Ansary, prominent Houston philanthropists. - 5/20/04

UNESCO to register Naqsh-e Jahan, Bam citadel, world heritage
Two Iranian historic sites are to be enlisted by UNESCO in June, said deputy head of Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Mohammad Beheshti on Thursday. - 5/20/04

Tehran expels Guardian reporter
The Iranian government is expelling the Guardian correspondent in Tehran, Dan De Luce, for making an unauthorised reporting visit to Bam after the earthquake there. -Guardian - 5/20/04

Arrests of journalists and press freedom violations continue unabated in Iran
Two more journalists arrested, a managing editor banned from doing his job, and two newspapers suspended. Iranian courts persist in serious press freedom violations. -Reporters Without Borders - 5/20/04

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Making a Bid for Increased Power
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the military force that has served as the main pillar of support for the Islamic republic, is seeking to play an independent role in the country’s domestic political life. The entry of the Revolutionary Guards into the political fray can have many unintended consequences, including the rearrangement of Iran’s policy-making process. -Eurasianet - 5/20/04

US officials bar 'brilliant' Iranian physicist from lab
The US Department of Energy (DoE) is barring a prize-winning Iranian physicist from working in his lab. Shahram Rahatlou had worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) for six years but was told in February 2003 that he was no longer allowed entry. -Nature - 5/20/04

Don't push Iran too hard
There is one force that could rescue Iran's hard-line ayatollahs from the dustbin of history: America. -IHT - 5/20/04

Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi Calls for Freeing Political Prisoners in Iran, Removal of U.S. Troops from Iraq
Large turnout from Iranian community in Los Angeles greets feminist human rights activist. -UCLA - 5/19/04

I finally got to see the Iranian film Marmolak (The Lizard)!
My friend Rana called before lunch to see if I could go with her in the afternoon to see the film, as she knew I was busy for the evening. I guess by now you all know about the recent successful film Marmolak (the Lizard) which is being screened in the Iranian cinemas. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/19/04

Tehran court to try case of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist on July 17
The head of the Tehran Justice Department, Abassali Alizadeh, said here Wednesday that a court will hear the case of Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi starting July 17. - 5/19/04

U.S. on Iran's nuclear activities
The U.S. Congress has voted overwhelmingly to condemn Iran for its covert nuclear activities. In a three-hundred-seventy-six to three vote, the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution that expressed "the concern of Congress over Iran's development of the means to produce nuclear weapons." -VOA - 5/19/04

Israelis fire on crowds in Gaza
At least 10 Palestinians are reported killed as Israeli forces fired on a crowd in Rafah in southern Gaza. -BBC - 5/19/04

Homes Wrecked, Lives Destroyed: Israeli Tactics That Fuel the Intifada
Israel was accused yesterday of committing a war crime by its destruction of more than 3,000 Palestinian homes in Israel and the occupied territories since the intifada began three and a half years ago. -Common Dreams - 5/19/04

Campus Hosts Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke to a full house at Campbell Hall on Monday night about democracy, human rights and gender-based discrimination. -Daily Nexus - 5/19/04

World Bank participates in Iran's agricultural projects
A World Bank (WB) official on Wednesday announced that the bank is intent on participating in Iran's agricultural development projects in the current year. - 5/19/04

Biggest wind power plant joins Iran power network
The first phase power generators of the biggest wind power plant in the country joined Iran's electricity network in Binalood in this northeastern province on Wednesday. - 5/19/04

Thousands in Tehran anti-US march
Thousands of Iranians have marched on the streets of Tehran to protest against US and UK policy in Iraq. -BBC - 5/19/04

One year in an Iranian prison cell
The plight of two Barnet residents who were thrown into an Iranian jail one year ago this week has been marked by family, friends and the MPs who have supported the fight for their release. -Barnet Times - 5/19/04

Iran's navy to launch 5 war games in Persian Gulf's territorial waters
The Islamic Republic of Iran's Navy will launch five war games in various parts of the country to mark the liberation anniversary of southwestern city of Khorramshahr on May 23. - 5/19/04

Iranian filmmaker: Culture, art are key to democracy
While critics have often slammed Iranian directors for making overly lyrical and allegorical works that appeal primarily to art house audiences in the West and fail to depict life as it is in contemporary Iran, Panahi has never shied away from this. -Daily Star - 5/19/04

This is supposed to be a police state?
I had just about convinced myself that Iran is not a police state - and then the authorities detained me for a second time. The first time was in Isfahan, for committing journalism. The police apologized and let me go after 30 minutes when my papers were found to be in order. -IHT - 5/19/04

Shirin Ebadi speaks at University of Maryland Comcast Center, College Park, MD
She spoke for one hour, with conviction and determination. She was direct and talked from the heart on human rights, democracy, the war, religion, and her commitment to build a better society in Iran. Shirin Ebadi, this year's Nobel Laureate has been touring the United States and Canada, taking her message of Peace to the world. -Fariba Amini - 5/19/04

Iran's Antidemocratic Forces - Part I: Their Treatment of Shirin Ebadi
The die-hard royalists - these "champions" of democracy - called on people, using their radio and satellite TV stations in Los Angeles, to demonstrate against her! Many of these short-sighted political dwarfs who are hungry for power, had never ever heard of Nobel Peace Prize before Shirin Ebadi received this Prize! -Mohammad Sahimi, Los Angeles - 5/19/04

Iranian Judiciary Chief's Measures Aim To Satisfy The Public
Hashemi-Shahrudi issued a directive on 28 April instructing police, judicial officials, and security agents to refrain from physical abuse when interrogating suspects and to avoid the kinds of practices that human-rights activists associate with dictatorships. -RFE - 5/19/04

Girls’ School in Bam, Iran
Here are some pictures I took from a girls’ school (Addab) during my recent trip to Iran’s quake stricken city of Bam. There were some classes inside the trailers and some in the open space. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/19/04

Tehran Airport Closure Becomes National Embarrassment
Members of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) closed Tehran's International Imam Khomeini Airport on 8 May, its first scheduled day of operations. -RFE - 5/18/04

Iran's Hercules Rezazadeh says Norway gold doubled his motive
World's +105 kg weightlifting champion, Hossein Rezazadeh, said the gold medal he won in the Norwegian grand prix has greatly raised his spirits for 2004 Athens Olympic Games. - 5/18/04

Iran's Darkhoein field to yield 50,000 to 160,000 barrels of oil per day
Darkhoein oil field, 45 kms north of Abadan, in southwestern Khuzestan province, will yield 50,000 to 160,000 barrels of oil per day once a two-phased project for its development is complete. - 5/18/04

Spanish company to build a large fun park in Tabriz, Iran
A Spanish company is to build a large entertainment complex in a place currently used as a city park in this northwestern capital city, it was reported here Tuesday. - 5/18/04

Incendiary 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Fires Up Crowd at Cannes
As promised, Michael Moore lit a powder keg Monday at the Cannes Film Festival: His incendiary "Fahrenheit 9/11' riled and disturbed audiences with a relentless critique of the Bush administration in the post-Sept. 11 world. -Common Dreams - 5/18/04

Quake jolts towns in Khorassan and Kerman provinces of Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.1 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the city of Qoochan in the northeastern province of Khorassan on Tuesday morning, IRNA reported from Mashhad. - 5/18/04

The Sarin-Laced Shell: Major Discovery Or A Curious Relic?
The United States went to war with Iraq because, according to U.S. President George W. Bush, President Saddam Hussein refused to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction. More than 13 months after Hussein's downfall, no large stocks of these weapons have been found. -RFE - 5/18/04

Iraq handover on course, alliance insists
Senior British and US political figures today insisted the transfer of power to an interim Iraq authority would go ahead as planned next month despite the recent upsurge in violence. -Guardian - 5/18/04

Iran's Parliament upholds maximum punishment for human trafficking
The legislation clarified human trafficking as importing or exporting human being for financial purposes or marriage, slavery, selling organs of the victims or forcing them to prostitution. - 5/18/04

Library of Congress Kluge Center to Present Conference on Tehran May 27
The Tehran Conference will bring together an international panel of scholars, architects and planners to discuss the cultural, social and political evolution of the city. Presented in Conjunction With Meeting of International Society of Iranian Studies. - 5/18/04

Iran: The Mideast's Model Economy?
Not long ago, it was a basket case. But now growth is strong as oil prices soar and Tehran eases restrictions -Business Week - 5/18/04

Iran's Balal oil field inaugurated
Development project of Balal oil field in Lavan Island, in the Persian Gulf, was officially inaugurated in the presence of First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref and Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Sunday. - 5/17/04

Judokas hand Iran seven berths at Olympic Games; Iran wins Italy wushu title
Iranian judokas won maximum seven tickets to 2004 Athens Olympic Games. - 5/17/04

Iranian President: US should apologize for profaning holy sites in Iraq
President Mohammad Khatami said here Sunday evening that Washington should apologize for the destruction and absence of respect it has shown on holy Muslim sites in Iraq. - 5/17/04

Curtain falls on Iranian comedy
Iran's government has banned a wildly popular film which gently mocks the country's powerful Islamic clergy, the film's director said yesterday -Guardian - 5/17/04

Kuwait moves to grant women vote
The government in the conservative Gulf Arab state of Kuwait has embarked on a new effort to grant women full political rights. -BBC - 5/17/04

Nobel laureate champions democracy
Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke at Royce Hall on Friday, sharing her views on achieving equality for Iranian women and spreading democracy, including to Iraq. -Daily Bruin - 5/17/04

Suspicious sanctions
President Bush finally got round to imposing sanctions on Syria last week, much to the delight of Israel. "This is an important decision that proves, once again, the resolve of the United States to wage all-out war - not just against terrorist groups, but also against the countries that harbour them," a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said. -Guardian - 5/17/04

Baghdad blast kills Iraq leader
The current head of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council has been killed in a car bomb blast near the headquarters of the US-led coalition in Baghdad. -BBC - 5/17/04

Shirin Ebadi's Speech at Detroit Economic Club
Ms. Shirin Edadi attended a dinner meeting held by Detroit Economic Club recently. She was kind enough to give her speech to us for publication in our newsletter (in Persian) - 5/17/04

President Putin's visit to Iran viewed as a significant event
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov in a meeting here Monday termed the upcoming visit of President Vladimir Putin to Iran as significant. - 5/17/04

Bam, Iran: The Little Gardens of Sorrow
I felt almost an urge to go Bam's cemetery during my recent visit to this town which was devastated by a deadly quake in December 2003. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/17/04

The works of Maryam Kazerouni at Tehran’s Golestan gallery
Once in a while when I go to see exhibitions at one of the many art galleries in Tehran, I find a new gem which makes all that driving and finding the time truly worthwhile. This was indeed the case when I recently visited Golestan gallery and saw the works of an artist, Maryam Kazerouni, whom I did not know previously. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/17/04

Iran's Rezazadeh wins Norway GP crown
World`s +105 kg champion, Hossein Rezazadeh, lifted 450 kg and Norway`s grand prix title Saturday. - 5/16/04

Iraq clashes near Shia shrines
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the spiritual leader of mainly Shia Iran, was quoted as saying the US incursions in Najaf and Karbala were "shameless". The ayatollah said Iraqis and Muslims around the world would not remain silent in the face of such aggression. -BBC - 5/16/04

Iran bags wo golds at Italy wushu meet
An all-star wushu team of Iran snatched two glittering gold medals at an international tournament in Italy Sunday. - 5/16/04

Religious groups crucial in worldwide vaccination campaigns – UNICEF
Partnering with religious groups is crucial to the successful implementation of vaccination programmes worldwide, according to a new guide launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) highlighting the increasing importance of community organizations in global public health initiatives. - 5/16/04

Islam and Democracy: The Lesson from Turkey
After Abu Ghraib, the Bush administration's insistence that its misadventure in Iraq has anything to do with promoting democracy should by now come across as grossly fraudulent to any half-thoughtful, non-self-deluding adult. -CounterPunch - 5/16/04

Israel 'to step up demolitions'
The Israeli army has said it plans to destroy hundreds more homes in the Gaza Strip, after Israel's Supreme Court said demolitions could go ahead. -BBC - 5/16/04

Waiting for freedom
Mohsen Soltany Zand's voice is initially soft, the words coming reluctantly as we speak on the phone. He doesn't really want to talk about the past - it is not a benign thing, full of pleasant memories, but dark, sharp and equipped with teeth. -Sydney Morning Herald - 5/16/04

Iran more secure than USA: FM Spokeman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said here Sunday that Iran is surely more secure than the United States even for American nationals. - 5/16/04

Iran slams sacrilege of holy sites in Iraq, warns of consequences
Iran on Sunday strongly condemned US forces for entering the Iraqi cities of Karbala and Najaf and warned the United States of the `consequences` of breaching the sanctity of holy places. - 5/16/04

US Congressman Ron Paul: Don't Start a War With Iran Now!
I rise in strong opposition to this ill-conceived and ill-timed legislation. Let's not fool ourselves: this concurrent resolution leads us down the road to war against Iran. It creates a precedent for future escalation, as did similar legislation endorsing "regime change" in Iraq back in 1998. - 5/15/04

Iran close to ratification of international torture act
Parliament was expected Saturday to address reservations held by a supervisory body about Iran's ratification of the International Convention Against Torture and in doing so, apparently remove the last hurdle. - 5/15/04

Tehran cinemas to cut short screening of smash hit "the lizard"
Cinemas at this sprawling capital are intending to remove blockbuster 'The Lizard' from their screens although the most commercially successful movie in Iran's history still continues to attract audience in droves. - 5/15/04

A promise not kept
In 1954, the US supreme court outlawed segregated schools in a landmark case that gave rise to the civil rights movement. Fifty years on, Gary Younge visits Milwaukee, the most divided city in the US, to examine its legacy -Guardian - 5/15/04

US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal
The Bush administration is pursuing its campaign to protect Americans from International Criminal Court jurisdiction even as it deals with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal that may involve some of the very war crimes the court was created to handle. -Reuters - 5/15/04

Najaf's hallowed cemetery
The sight of tanks prowling along a cemetery's paths and gunmen crouching behind tombstones would be alarming in any circumstances but it has a special resonance in Iraq's great burial ground of Najaf. -BBC - 5/15/04

Iran, Armenia sign agreement on gas export
Iran and Armenia signed an agreement in Yerevan on Thursday to construct gas pipelines that will tranport Iranian gas to Armenia. - 5/15/04

Suddenly, everyone's listening to Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi has long spoken out about human rights in the Islamic world. It just took the Peace Prize to get anyone to listen. -Baltimore Sun - 5/15/04

Lawyer confident Iran's Supreme Court will quash death for Aghajari
The attorney of jailed dissident Hashem Aghajari says he is confident Iran's Supreme Court will again quash the death sentence, reaffirmed on his client. - 5/15/04

Iran, China sign contract on 4th Tehran metro line
Iran and China signed a contract for the construction of the fourth Tehran metro line in a ceremony here Saturday which was attended by Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, head of Tehran City Council, managing director of Tehran Metro Co and Chinese ambassador to Tehran. - 5/15/04

IAEA Chief Says No Sign Iran Has Weaponized Uranium, But Work Remains
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today that Iran possesses the knowledge to produce weapons-grade uranium but it's not clear whether it has done so. -RFE - 5/15/04

When they invade Iran, maybe then you'll care
Some people tell me how they don't care about politics or how politics doesn't affect them. Apparently, the outcome of the basketball playoffs or the next sale at the mall is more important than the rest of humanity's well being. The selfishness of such a position is disappointing and disheartening to say the least. -Lawrence Reza Ershaghi, Axis of Logic - 5/14/04

Ebadi: In the midst of the turmoil of the Islamic world, I dream
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer and human rights activist awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, spoke on "Islam, Democracy and Human Rights" at the University of Maryland, College Park, while receiving an honorary doctorate from the university. -NIAC - 5/14/04

Shirin Ebadi at Stanford University
Saturday, May 22nd, 2004 , At 7:00pm - Organized by The Persian Student Association and The ASSU Speakers Bureau at Stanford University - 5/14/04

Libya Halts Military Trade With North Korea, Syria and Iran
Following on its renunciation of unconventional weapons, Libya announced Thursday that it would stop all military trade with countries that spread such weapons, including, according to its Foreign Ministry, North Korea, Syria and Iran. -NY Times - 5/14/04

Israel begins razing Gaza homes
The Israeli army has begun razing homes in Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip as details emerged of a government plan to demolish hundreds of houses. -BBC - 5/14/04

US battles insurgents in Najaf cemetery
US soldiers backed by tanks moved onto sacred ground in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf today, pushing deep into its ancient cemetery in a fierce battle with insurgents loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. -Guardian - 5/14/04

Peace prize winner at JFK Jr. Forum
Leaders cannot impose democracy and human rights on people by force, any more than Lenin, Stalin, or Hitler were able to achieve their political ends through violence and oppression, according to Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer and human rights activist and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. -Harvard University Gazette - 5/14/04

Oil prices set new record highs
A barrel of US light crude was selling for $41.45 a barrel at 12:23 GMT, the highest price since trading started 21 years ago. -BBC - 5/14/04

Iran-Austria trade up by 40% last year
Iran's Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram said here on Thursday that volume of transactions between Iran and Austria showed a 40 percent growth last year. - 5/14/04

Iran no loner needs to import wheat -- says agricultural official
Iran will become self- sufficient in wheat production this year for the first time in 45 years and will turn into major supplier of cereals in the Middle East, said an official in charge of agriculture here on Thursday. - 5/14/04

Armenia's FM terms Iran as a major regional partner
Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan in a meeting with Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Yerevan Friday referred to Iran as a major partner of his country in the region. - 5/14/04

Isfahan in San Francisco
Isfahan: Imperial Persia’s Glittering Jewel - May 14 and 15, 2004 in San Francisco, California - 5/14/04

Siamak Pourzand: a case study of flagrant human rights violations
Siamak Pourzand, (aged 74), Head of Majmue-ye Farhangi-ye Honari-ye Tehran (The Tehran Artistic and Cultural Centre) and an occasional newspaper correspondent, is a prisoner of conscience. He is serving an 11 year sentence imposed after a grossly unfair and politically motivated trial in connection with oral statements he allegedly made about Iran's political leaders -Amnesty International - 5/14/04

Washington shows signs of softer stance on Iran
US policy towards Iran may be shifting to a less confrontational approach as the Bush administration is driven by the crisis in Iraq to consider more engagement with Tehran's clerical regime, according to analysts and former officials. -Financial Times - 5/13/04

Jailed Iranian journalist goes on hunger strike to protest being denied bail
Iranian journalist Ensafali Hedayat, who was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of insulting regime leaders and writing propaganda against the Islamic Republic, has started a hunger strike, his lawyer told AFP Wednesday. -Daily Star - 5/13/04

Nobel winner slams U.S. aggression in Middle East
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi lectured poignantly for human rights and the implementation of democracy in the Middle East yesterday at Comcast Center, pulling no punches as she openly and tactfully criticized U.S. and Iranian national government policies toward international peace and terrorism. - - 5/13/04

Iraqi Football Team Qualifies for Olympics, Iran is out
Celebrations erupted across Baghdad after Iraq clinched the third and final qualifying spot for the 2004 Olympic soccer (football) tournament by beating Saudi Arabia 3-1 in Amman, Jordan. -VOA - 5/13/04

Quake jolts Dezful in Khuzestan province of Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Dezful, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Thursday morning. - 5/13/04

Iranian navy conducts submarine manoeuvre in Persian Gulf
The first phase of submarine manoeuvre titled "Unity 83 " started on Wednesday by Islamic Republic of Iran Navy in the third marine zone of the armed forces in Chahbahar port. - 5/13/04

Regional economic conference could boost Afghan recovery
A high-level conference of government ministers and top business leaders from Central Asia, Iran and Pakistan ended in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on Wednesday after looking at ways the region can contribute to the economic revival of Afghanistan. -IRIN - 5/13/04

Neighbors Have Conflicting Visions Of Iraq's Future
There is no clear consensus inside Iraq about its future political course, while neighboring countries also share no common view of where Iraq should be headed. Shi'a Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia, and secular Turkey envisage different and sometimes conflicting scenarios of Iraq's place in the wider Middle East. -RFE - 5/13/04

Conference On Reconstruction of Afghanistan Ends With Call For Regional Unity
More than two years after the fall of the Taliban, war-ravaged Afghanistan is still struggling to stand on its feet. - 5/13/04

Rumsfeld visits Abu Ghraib prison
Embattled US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has arrived at Abu Ghraib prison, scene of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. -BBC - 5/13/04

Fears over economic growth push up oil prices
Oil prices moved beyond $40 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest for 13 years, amid fears that economic growth was stimulating an increase in oil demand that producers were struggling to fulfil. -Financial Times - 5/13/04

Iranian Jews petition court to block Kuntar's release
Families of 12 Iranian Jews who mysteriously disappeared en route to Israel are petitioning the Supreme Court to stall the second part of the exchange deal with Hezbollah until provided with information concerning their loved ones. -Maariv, Israel - 5/13/04

Iranian MP awarded Golden Pen Prize` for defense of the press
Iran`s Association for Defense of the Freedom of the Press (ADFF) awarded its Golden Pen Award this year to a 6th Majlis MP, Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ansari-Raad, the head of the parliament`s Article 90 Commission. - 5/13/04

Neocons Battle Against U.S. Rapprochement With Iran
Bush administration “realists” and “neoconservatives” are engaged in a fierce internal debate over Iran’s overtures to improve relations with the United States, according to the March 17 Financial Times. Nearly two years ago, former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggested that Iran-U.S. relations could be put to a referendum—a move almost sure to win approval from the Iranian people. -WRMEA - 5/12/04

Azerbaijan’s maneuver in the Caspian Sea: Who is the hypothetical enemy?
The Republic of Azerbaijan will be conducting naval maneuvers in the Caspian Sea. The aim of the maneuver is declared as upgrading the ability of the Azeris Coast Guards for protection of boundaries in the Caspian Sea. But the question is: What boundaries? -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/12/04

Iran: Artist Strikes a Nerve With 'Graphic' Tale Of Her Childhood
Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian artist who has become famous for "Persepolis," the story of her childhood during the Islamic Revolution told in the form of a "graphic novel," or long-form comic book. -RFE - 5/12/04

Row builds over Iran cleric film
Pressure is building in Iran to ban a film which is widely seen as satirising the country's religious authorities. Several big cities outside Tehran have now banned the film Marmoulak - which translates as the Lizard. -BBC - 5/12/04

Iran protests against Berlin plaque
Authorities in Teheran will erect a protest plaque outside the German embassy in the Iranian capital in a dispute over a tribute to four Kurdish dissidents who were killed in the German capital by Iranian hit-men a dozen years ago, officials said Tuesday. -Expatica - 5/12/04

How can America get out of Iraq?
As the situation in Iraq goes from bad to worse, eminent writers and commentators outline possible exit strategies for the USAs the situation in Iraq goes from bad to worse, eminent writers and commentators outline possible exit strategies for the US -Guardian - 5/12/04

Iran's Khosravi border crossing opened to Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims
The international Khosravi border crossing was officially opened to Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims on Wednesday, Kermanshah Deputy Governor General for Political and Security Affairs Abdolhossein Rahimi said. - 5/12/04

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil
Can we avert our eyes from the blood on our hands? Will the inherent decency and goodness of George W. Bush's "America that I know" come through in the end, horrified by the carnage, humiliation, and affront to our morality? If the past is any measure, the answer is "No." -Common Dreams - 5/12/04

Bush Imposes Sanctions on Syria
President Bush has imposed economic sanctions on Syria. They include an export ban and flight restrictions. The sanctions are in response to what the White House sees as a lack of action by Damascus on key issues. -VOA - 5/12/04

Zinek sells Mobile Message Engine to Magfa Iran
Zinek AB, the leading developer of mobile messaging servers for mobile and broadband application services providers, and Magfa, a leading Iranian service provider, announced today that Zinek's Mobile Message Engine server products are deployed and commercially launched by Magfa Iran. - 5/12/04

Tribeca Film Festival Puts Spotlight on Middle Eastern Cinema
More than 200 feature films, documentaries and short films from nearly 40 countries made the third Tribeca Film Festival in New York as adventurous and diverse as the host city. -VOA - 5/12/04

Azeri President stresses need for further cooperation with Iran
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev here Wednesday stressed consolidation and continuation of cooperation with Iran as among major goals of Baku's foreign policy. - 5/12/04

Iran to inaugurate Balal offshore oil field
First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Aref will on Sunday officially inaugurate Balal offshore oil field about 100 kilometers southwest of Lavan Island in the Persian Gulf and near Iran's maritime border with Qatar. - 5/12/04

Manouchehr Mohammadi: Iran's students' movement was based on IRI Constitution
One of the university students leaders who was arrested in 1999 student unrest of Tehran University Dormitory said in Tehran on Monday that his political activities were within the limits of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Manouchehr Mohammadi who is still serving his term at Tehran's Evin prison made the remark in an interview with a group of reporters. - 5/11/04

Iran's baby boomers will defeat the ayatollahs
If, as the poet Philip Larkin observed, sex began in 1963, it has finally reached Iran over the last year. True, girls and women can still be imprisoned for going out without proper Islamic dress. But young people are completely redefining such dress so it heightens sex appeal instead of smothering it. -IHT - 5/11/04

Iranian Journalist (Kadivar): Religious despotism more complicated than secular type
Head of the Association for Defense of the Press Hojjatoleslam Dr. Mohsen Kadivar said here at a seminar that religious despotism is more complicated than the secular type, adding, "we have experienced both types of after the Constitution Revolution in Iran." - 5/11/04

U.S., experts try to sort out what role Iran is playing in Iraq
Reports from inside Iraq continue to suggest that Iran's conservative Islamic government is meddling in the affairs of its neighbor, according to U.S. officials and lawmakers with access to information about the instability there. -AP - 5/11/04

Iran reformist academic may appeal death sentence
The lawyer of an Iranian reformist academic sentenced to death for blasphemy said on Tuesday he may convince his client to appeal the verdict that has sparked mass protests at home and condemnation abroad. -Reuters - 5/11/04

Iran Warns Israel of Retaliation
Iran's top nuclear negotiator warned Israel on Tuesday that his country would retaliate if the Jewish state were to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. -AP - 5/11/04

Nobel laureate urges more understanding
Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, drew a crowd of about 500 people to Syracuse University Monday evening to hear her views about Islam, democracy and human rights. -Syracuse Post Standard, NY - 5/11/04

Iraq: Civilians killed by UK Armed Forces and armed groups
UK Armed Forces in Iraq have shot and killed Iraqi civilians, including an eight-year-old girl and a guest at a wedding celebration, in situations where there was no apparent threat to themselves or others, says a new report from Amnesty International. - 5/11/04

Mandela, in Farewell Speech, Slams Iraq War
Former President Nelson Mandela Monday hailed South Africa's 10 years of peaceful multi-racial democracy as inspiration for a world he said was saddened and horrified by the U.S.-led war in Iraq. -Common Dreams - 5/11/04

Bush Circles Wagons, But Cavalry Has Joined the Indians
In the old Hollywood westerns, the white settlers circle the wagons to defend themselves against attacks by the Indians until the U.S. Cavalry can arrive to rescue them and chase off their assailants. But in Washington over the last few days it seems that the Cavalry has joined the Indians. -Common Dreams - 5/11/04

Inquiry launched after Iranian infiltrates Israel through Lebanon
An Iranian national managed to infiltrate Israel's northern border undetected, entered a family's house in Dovev, and asked for political asylum Monday. Israel's defense establishment called the incident a "serious security failure" that would have ended badly if the infiltrator was a terrorist. -Maariv, Israel - 5/11/04

Tehran's only condom shop puzzles, amuses
The only condom store in Tehran is The Happiness Shop, squeezed into a cramped closet-like space of corrugated metal and concrete walls, just beneath the stairs of The Happiness Mall. -KRT - 5/11/04

Iran: Government sees cultural heritage and tourism as areas of great importance
Vice-President and head of the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Seyed Hossein Mar'ashi said that integration of the organization and the Iran Travel and Tour Organization (ITTO) is of great importance. - 5/11/04

Women and Islam
Sharon Smith is author of "Engels and the Origin of Women’s Oppression" (ISR 2, Fall 1997). She is a columnist for Socialist Worker newspaper and the author of the forthcoming, Women and Socialism: Essays on Women’s Liberation, to be published by Haymarket Books.-Axis of Logic - 5/11/04

Iran MPs push for women's rights
Iran's outgoing reformist parliament has approved a bill which would grant women equal inheritance rights to men. -BBC - 5/11/04

Iranian Hercules Rezazadeh doubtful for Norway GP
The world's +105 kg weightlifting champion, Hossein Rezazadeh, is doubtful for the Norway grand prix. Norwegian Embassy in Tehran has not yet issued the lifter's visa due to delay in offering his documents. - 5/11/04

An Appreciation Speech By An Iranian-American
I’d like to start by first saying that being the president of the Iranian Student Alliance in America (ISAA) has been the greatest honor of my life. It has been an honor for the following reasons: it has been an honor to represent Iran, our national colors and our geographic shape which is skillfully placed on our banner hanging from MLK building, it has been an honor to proudly represent our identity... -Pouya Alimagham, Berkeley - 5/11/04

Police commander: Closing down of new Iran's airport not an appropriate move
Iran Air had commissioned the operation of the airport to a Turkish-Austrian consortium, a move to which the armed forces objected on the ground that the country's "security" and "dignity" would be jeopardized by such agreements. According to Qalibaf, the Turkish company is cooperating with another company whose shareholders are Israelis. - 5/11/04

Iran critic faces death penalty
The death sentence imposed on liberal Iranian academic Hashem Aghajari has been confirmed, his lawyer has said. -BBC - 5/10/04

Ayatollah puts advice online
Religious edicts are only a click away after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched his own website. -Guardian - 5/10/04

Quake jolts Ashkhaneh in Khorassan province of Iran
An earthquake measuring four degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the city of Ashkhaneh, in the northeastern province of Khorassan, on Sunday. - 5/10/04

Iran sends 100 truck-loads of cargo to Iraq via Shalamcheh daily
Iran sends about 100 truck-loads of cargo to Iraq via Shalamcheh border point per day, said a provincial official here Monday. - 5/10/04

Caught In The Crossfire
Will moderate Iraqis embrace democracy—or Islamist radicalism? -New Yorker - 5/10/04

Chain of Command
How the Department of Defense mishandled the disaster at Abu Ghraib. -New Yorker - 5/10/04

Powerful Afghan Governor Slams Disarmament Plan
Khan, the self-styled "emir of Herat," rules the strategic western province as a personal fiefdom, and, his critics say, trades freedom of expression and women's rights for the kind of stability most Afghan provinces could only dream of. -Reuters - 5/10/04

Turkmenistan: State Workers With Foreign Degrees To Be Dismissed
As of 1 June, state workers in Turkmenistan holding degrees of higher education received outside the country since 1993 will be dismissed from their jobs. Analysts say the move is the latest in a long series of educational restrictions imposed in the Central Asian republic. -RFE - 5/10/04

First Information Technology and Communications expo held on Iran's Kish island
Participating firms in the exhibition showcased their latest products in the fields of computer science, telecommunications, communication and administrative automation. - 5/10/04

Iran: Bam hit by yet another quake
An earthquake, measuring 3.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Bam, in the southeastern province of Kerman Monday morning. - 5/10/04

Iran's Parliament to find solution to dispute over new airport
"We have heard that several vehicles had been placed on the runway of the airport to prevent Iran Air passenger plane from landing at Imam Khomeini Airport and several jet fighters flew in the sky to escort the passenger plane out of the area. This news has not been confirmed yet," he said. - 5/10/04

Woman seeks father's release from Iranian jail
An Iranian journalist's daughter says her father must be released from an Iranian prison or he will die of his health problems. "He's in very bad condition, physically, psychologically, so he as to be released," Lily Pourzand said of her celebrated father, Siamak Pourzand. -CTV - 5/9/04

Israel Preparing To Attack Iran N-Sites, Says Report
Israel may be preparing to attack Iranian nuclear facilities within the year, according to US administration assessments reported on Israeli Army Radio on Saturday. -NNN - 5/9/04

Iraq Scandal Opens U.S. to Charges of Double Standards
The extent of the U.S. administration's embarrassment following the publication of photos showing torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib is evident in the fact that Washington has postponed the release of the State Department's annual report on human rights abuses worldwide. The report usually takes aim at virtually every country, most in the developing world, for human rights excesses while excluding U.S. abuses from its pages. -Common Dreams - 5/9/04

Fifty years on, segregation still blights US schools
In May 1954, American schools were ordered to teach black and white students together. One pupil who was at the sharp end now asks: was it worth it? -Guardian - 5/9/04

UK troops 'quell' Basra violence
Fighting between British soldiers and armed supporters of the radical cleric Muqtada Sadr has eased around Basra. -BBC - 5/9/04

Ex-Iran envoy to IAEA suggests pulling out of NPT
ran should consider withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which in not beneficial for the country, a former Iranian envoy to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog was quoted as saying on Sunday. -Reuters - 5/9/04

Motamedi stresses Iran's efforts to utilize space technology
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ahmad Motamedi said here Sunday that Iran has made efforts to make use of space technology. - 5/9/04

Canadian journalist killed in Iran, honoured
The Canadian Association of Journalists has posthumously honoured photojournalist Zahra Kazemi with its 2004 President's Award. -Broadcast News - 5/9/04

Iran's Parliament adopts procedural provisions for students political activities
Parliament on Sunday passed a bill to guarantee implementation of Article 26 of the Constitution which stipulates freedom of political activities for university students. - 5/9/04

Khorram: Iran's new ariport, IKIA, to resume operations "under all circumstances"
Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram, alluding to obstacles that have prevented the start of operations of the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), said here Saturday that the airport will nonetheless go into operation "under all circumstances" as earlier announced. - 5/9/04

Lawyer optimistic, son doubtful as trial nears in photographer's death
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning lawyer representing the family of a Montreal woman beaten to death in an Iranian jail is optimistic as the trial of her alleged assailants approaches. -CP - 5/9/04

Iran's Oil Minister reveals plans for export of petrochemical products
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said here Saturday that according to the plans for the coming Iranian year (started March 20), over two billion dollar worth of petrochemical products will be exported from Iran up to the end of current year. - 5/8/04

Quake causes property damage in Fars province of Iran
An earthquake registering 4.8 degrees on the Richter scale shook part of Iran's southern Fars province Saturday morning, causing financial damage but no casualties. - 5/8/04

Rummy on the Rocks
With the scandal over the abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody in Iraq still growing, the administration of President George W Bush appears to be shaken to its very core. -Common Dreams - 5/8/04

Announcing The Eighth Annual Iranian Arts and Cultural Festival in Cupertino, California
Payvand Cultural School and the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC) announce and invite the general public to their Eighth Annual Arts and Cultural Festival at the Cupertino Quinlan Community Center on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 5/8/04

Gunned down to impress America
Pakistanis mourn young migrants murdered in Macedonia's quest to join war on terror -Guardian - 5/8/04

UK forces taught torture methods
The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources -Guardian - 5/8/04

UN refugee agency resumes Iraqi repatriation convoys from Iran
A month after suspending repatriation convoys to Iraq because of fighting and security concerns, the United Nations refugee agency has resumed transportation for Iraqis who insist on returning to their country. - 5/8/04

Afghan refugee returns surpass 3 million - UN
More than 3 million Afghans encamped in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran or displaced inside Afghanistan have been repatriated since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) started helping them home in early 2002, the agency said today. - 5/8/04

Iran's Rezazadeh Ready to lift Norway GP title
World's +105 kg weightlifting champion, Hossein Rezazadeh, is fit to win the crown of a grand prix in Norway. - 5/8/04

Armed forces close down Iran's new airport on 'security' grounds
Iran's armed forces closed down Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), citing security concerns, just after it was officially inaugurated with the landing of a foreign aircraft on Saturday. - 5/8/04

Tehran’s New Wonders: Café Ketab & Café 78
So much happens in Tehran these days that I think somehow people have got the point that things are the way they are, and so they try to make the best of a ‘bad’ situation. And now they are getting the knack of doing what should be done. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/7/04

2 Alleged Leaders of Tehran 1999 Riots Granted 5 Day Absence from Prison
In Iran, two alleged student leaders of the July 1999 Tehran riots have been granted a five-day leave of absence from prison. - 5/7/04

Kharrazi: Iran's nuclear program fully transparent
Kharrazi made the remarks in a press conference in Denmark's capital city on Thursday after holding talks with his Danish counterpart Per Stig Moeller. - 5/7/04

Tehran fears Ba'athist restoration in Baghdad
After months of appealing for calm in Iraq, Tehran is increasingly wary of chaos in its western neighbour and fearful that the US is looking to members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party to stabilise the situation and counter the influence of Iraq's Shia Muslims. -Financial Times - 5/7/04

Director accuses Iran of film ban
An award-winning Iranian film-maker has said the Iranian government stopped him from making a film about what he called "the suffering" of his people. -BBC - 5/7/04

Visit appeal to Iran
The Iranian ambassador in London will be asked to go to the Foreign Office to negotiate a humanitarian visit to two borough-based refugees languishing in an Iranian jail. -Barnet Times - 5/7/04

Iran: 7 workers still held for celebrating May Day
Four days after their unlawful arrest, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today stepped up its demands for the release of 7 workers arrested during peaceful celebrations to mark May Day in Iran. -Scoop - 5/7/04

Officials welcome emergence of new news agencies in Iran
Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari here Friday said the emergence of newly-established news agencies in Iran was a move toward eliminating the monopoly being imposed on news dissemination. - 5/7/04

Analysis: Iraq's Shia at crossroads
Iraqi Shia are divided in their response to the outbreak of violence between coalition forces and the supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr. -BBC - 5/7/04

Oil soars despite overproduction
Oil prices have hit a fresh 13-year high despite an admission from the oil cartel Opec that its members are still pumping way beyond their quotas. -BBC - 5/7/04

Bush says sorry for jail torture
George Bush and Tony Blair were pushed on to the defensive last night as the continuing scandal over the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners threatened to deepen their political problems. -Guardian - 5/7/04

'Marmoulak' overshadows 'Passion of the Christ' In Iran
When Mel Gibson's blockbuster film "The Passion of the Christ" opened in Tehran, Jesus ended up in a supporting role and the Thief took center stage in a strange twist to the Gospel story. -MEO - 5/7/04

As Kabul Appeals To Opponents, Radical Faction Makes Peace Gesture
A breakaway faction of Hizb-e Islami -- a radical Islamic group linked to guerrilla attacks in Afghanistan -- has come out in favor of peace and playing a role in the Kabul government. -RFE - 5/7/04

Nobel Prize winner to speak in Comcast
The winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, will lecture Wednesday on "Islam, Democracy and Human Rights" to an audience of thousands in Comcast Center, kicking off a new university focus on Middle Eastern studies. -Diamondback, MD - 5/7/04

Dariush hotel of Iran's Kish island becomes international
Dariush is the first Iranian hotel that has been put under foreign management since the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, said owner of the four-story five-star hotel, Hossein Sabet. - 5/7/04

ElBaradei Says Iran Moving in Right Direction
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran is moving in the right direction in disclosing details of its nuclear program. However, Mohammed ElBaradei warned, in his words, "the world is not going to wait forever" for full disclosure from Iranian officials. He made the comments to a French parliamentary committee Thursday in Paris. - 5/7/04

Faces Of Change
A Berlin exhibition helps some of Iran's greatest artists shine a light on their turbulent country -TIME - 5/7/04

Iranian girls Yasmine and Sara Pourhashemi return to Belgium
Two Iranian girls who had taken refuge in the Belgian embassy in Tehran last year returned to Brussels Thursday morning accompanied by their mother. - 5/6/04

Those Friendly Iranians
Finally, I've found a pro-American country. Everywhere I've gone in Iran, with one exception, people have been exceptionally friendly and fulsome in their praise for the United States, and often for President Bush as well. -New York Times - 5/6/04

Iran's Stirrings in Iraq
With the downfall of its nemesis Saddam Hussein, Iran can now pursue two principal objectives in Iraq: the first is to stir up problems for the Americans to keep them pinned down and divert their attention from its nuclear program. The second is to assert its influence over the Hawza, or the Shi'a religious centers in the two holy cities of Najaf and Karbala,and to prevent the emergence in these cities of an independent religious and spiritual leadership competing with the Iranian city of Qum. -MEMRI - 5/6/04

Iranian complaints
Former Iranian rebels now under "coalition control" in Iraq fear a new Iraqi government will deport them to Iran to face the vengeance of a brutal theocracy, unless the Bush administration protects them, a Washington lawyer said. - 5/6/04

US troops battle Shias in Najaf
Heavy fighting has broken out between US forces and Shia militiamen in the southern Iraqi holy city of Najaf. -BBC - 5/6/04

Iran gasline project most economical, practical: Pak Official
The proposed project of gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan is the most economical option for Islamabad, said a top official of the Inter-State Gas Pipeline Systems in Islamabad on Thursday. - 5/6/04

Analysis: Iran voting resumes
The second round of voting will not change the overall outcome of the election, which saw conservatives regain control of the Majlis, or parliament. -BBC - 5/6/04

Iran-EU to Hold Dialogue on Human Rights in Tehran
An Iranian diplomat close to the European Union said on Wednesday that arrangements have been made to hold a session among Iranian and European human rights groups next month in Tehran. -Tehran Times - 5/6/04

Katsav chides Iranian Jews for preferring LA to Israel
One of the duties of the president of the State of Israel is to give pep talks to solidarity groups from the Diaspora, and to convince them that they will improve the Jewish quality of their lives if they come to live in Israel. -Jerusalem Post - 5/6/04

Iranian Hard-Liners OK Anti-Torture Law
Iranian state television reports that a bill to ban torture in Iran has become law after its approval by the hard-line Guardians Council. -RFE - 5/6/04

Kuwaiti official: Iran-Kuwait gas pipeline project strategic
Managing Director of Kuwaiti Oil Company Nader al-Sultan has said the gas pipeline project for transfer of Iran's natural gas to Kuwait is of strategic importance. - 5/6/04

Iranian President inaugurates 11th Press Festival
The 11th Press Festival kicked off here Thursday in the presence of President Mohammad Khatami. - 5/6/04

Rezidor SAS announces management of its first hotel in Iran
Rezidor SAS, one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality companies whose portfolio includes Park Inn, Country Inn, Radisson SAS, Cerruti and Regent, today announced that it will manage the Dariush Grand Hotel on Kish Island, making Rezidor SAS the first international hotel company in 25 years to enter the Iranian hotel market. - 5/6/04

Iran committed to making nuke fuel cycle -official
Iran will continue efforts to develop a full nuclear fuel cycle, despite U.S. pressure on Tehran to abandon a programme it fears may be used to make atomic bombs, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 5/6/04

Oberlin College chief visits Iran's academia
Oberlin College President Nancy Dye wound up a nine-day visit to Iran more committed than ever to the notion that higher education can help bridge the gap separating "estranged" countries. - 5/6/04

Iranian Gas Attack Victims Vow to Take U.S. to Court
Iranian victims of chemical attacks said Tuesday they would take the United States to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for supplying the weapons that scarred them -Reuters - 5/5/04

Belgian-Iranian women's association in the making
A 9-member group of Belgian women is traveling to Tehran this weekend to discuss the establishment of a Belgian-Iranian women's friendship association. - 5/5/04

Iran to export natural gas to Azerbaijan, Armenia
Iran is to export 200 to 350 million cubic meters of natural gas to Azerbaijan per annum from the coming winter according to a contract that is to be signed by the two sides after necessary negotiations and agreements. - 5/5/04

Baba Taher's mausoleum in Hamedan restored
"Baba Taher Hamedani was a prominent poet of the fifth century AH and contemporary to Toghrol Beig Saljuqi and his mausoleum is located north of the capital city of Hamedan. - 5/5/04

Bush appeal to Arabs in abuse row
US President George W Bush is to appear on Arab TV channels on Wednesday in an attempt to regain trust after US forces were caught in an abuse scandal. -BBC - 5/5/04

US Troops Marching In Saddam's Footsteps
In the small town Hilla, an hour's drive south of Baghdad, blood stains a wall at the office of the Babylon Human Rights Organization. It was here that U.S. soldiers raided a community meeting where they killed the two sheikhs and arrested two other important community leaders. -Common Dreams - 5/5/04

700,000 Afghan refugees returned home from Iran: UNHCR
More than 700,000 Afghan refugees have left Iran to return home since the UN Refugee Agency started its voluntary repatriation program to Afghanistan in April 2002. - 5/5/04

Iranian professor, researcher, Herman Vahramian, praised by minister of culture
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei praised an Italian-based Iranian research professor for his efforts at making the world more familiar with Iranian civilization and culture. - 5/5/04

Iranian Dissident Hashem Aghajari Refuses to Appeal Death Verdict
Jailed Iranian dissident Hashem Aghajari is refusing to appeal a death sentence imposed for a second time by a provincial court in western Iran. -VOA - 5/5/04

UC administrators return from successful trip to Iran
Back from a weeklong tour of Iranian universities, the six-member delegation of senior UC Davis administrators held a press conference Monday to share highlights of their trip and detail plans to expand relations with the country's universities. -California Aggie - 5/5/04

Web sparks revolution in Persian
Persian speakers across the world are increasingly turning to the internet as an outlet of expression. New websites, discussion groups and online diaries - are sprouting up all over the web. -BBC - 5/5/04

Iran/EU: Brussels Spurns Tehran’s Efforts To Restart Trade Talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was in Brussels yesterday as part of a European tour aimed at reviving EU trade talks that were suspended last year. Union officials say, however, that there is widespread "disappointment" in Brussels and member-state capitals over Iran's recent elections and continued doubts about the country's nuclear program. -RFE - 5/5/04

Human rights groups welcome Iran's move to ban torture
In a 15-point directive to the judiciary, police and intelligence officials, reported by news agencies, judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi instructed officials that "blindfolding, restraining, pestering and insulting detainees must be avoided during arrest, interrogation and investigation". -IRIN - 5/5/04

Iran Facing A New Century Conference At Oxford, England
Tthere was a conference at Wadham College Oxford, organized by University of Oxford and The Oriental Institute, on IRAN FACING THE NEW CENTURY, which Dr. Katouzian and Dr. Sheikholeslami were joint conveners. It would be a three day conference and guest speakers were invited from US, France, Iran and UK. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/5/04

Iran's Iraq Policy
With the Bush administration facing a deepening quagmire in Iraq, it is seeking to divert attention from its inaccurate pre-war claims and inadequate plans by consigning fault to external actors. The Islamic Republic of Iran seems tailor-made for such a campaign. -Ray Takyeh, Center for American Progress - 5/5/04

Khatami praises Iranian Poet Bahar as freedom seeker, brilliant journalist
In a message to a seminar commemorating the outstanding Iranian poet, Mohammad Taqi Bahar, the president referred to him as a symbol of cultural and political developments in Iran's contemporary history. - 5/4/04

‘I just think that it’s time for a change’
To say that undergraduate student government presidential candidate Arash Mozayan Isfahani is an outsider is an understatement. -Daily Bruin, UCLA - 5/4/04

Iran's Caviar exports put at 35 million euro last year
Addressing a press conference at the Sturgeon Research Center in Rasht, Hosseini said that bulk of the caviar was exported to the European countries, Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. - 5/4/04

Torture at Abu Ghraib
In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world’s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekly executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women—no accurate count is possible—were jammed into Abu Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits. -New Yorker - 5/4/04

Unsung traditional melodies account for durable Iranian culture
Speaking at a ceremony held to introduce the new head of Iran's Music Center, Mohammad Hossein Homafar, Masjed Jamei added that the ups and downs in Iranian history and its ancient civilization can be found in the hidden angles of Iranian melodies and pieces of music. - 5/4/04

U.S. Abuse, Humiliation Of Iraqi Prisoners Inflames Arab World
Images of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners have drawn sharp condemnation, both in the United States and abroad. The outrage coming from the Arab and Muslim world has been especially strong, and raises the question of whether Washington has done irreparable damage to its image in the region. -RFE - 5/4/04

Bush under fire from US ex-envoys
About 50 retired US diplomats have written to President George W Bush to criticise current American policy towards the Middle East. -BBC - 5/4/04

Early voters call the shots: The importance of primaries
Congressional primaries may seem like inconsequential events before the general elections, but often times it is the primary election that proves the more significant of the two votes. -NIAC - 5/4/04

U.S. blunders with keyword blacklist
The U.S. government concocted a brilliant plan a few years ago: Why not give Internet surfers in China and Iran the ability to bypass their nations' notoriously restrictive blocks on Web sites? - 5/4/04

No resumption of EU-Iran negotiations yet
No date was set for the resumption of trade negotiations between the EU and Iran during a visit from the Iranian Foreign Minister to Brussels today, amid continued concerns over the country's nuclear capabilities. -EU Observer - 5/4/04

Khatami justifies years in office
In a rambling, often poetic 47-page letter addressed to the Iran's youth, President Mohammad Khatami has insisted the tide of reform cannot be reversed. -BBC - 5/4/04

Iran's Parliament accepts resignation of Kerman MP
Majlis has already accepted resignations of Tehran MPs Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, Mohsen Armin and Behzad Nabavi as well as Orumiyeh MP Mir Mahmoud Yeganli who handed down their resignation to Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on February 1 in protest at the mass disqualification of nominees wishing to stand in the 7th Majlis election. - 5/4/04

Tehran Seeks to Keep EU, US Divided on Iranian Nuke Issue
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharazzi, began a European tour on May 3 by pledging that the Tehran would be a "good partner" for the European Union. Kharazzi’s chief aim during his tour is to prevent the EU from joining the United States in exerting pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. -Eurasianet - 5/4/04

Non-Democratic Governments Should Not Receive Assistance, Says Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi
The 2003 Nobel Peace laureate, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi, called on the world community to stop giving financial assistance to governments and regimes that are not democratic. Ms. Ebadi made her comments Monday in a speech at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington. -VOA - 5/4/04

Iran - Annual Report 2004 by Reporters Without Borders
The regime stepped up its campaign against the press in 2003 with the arrest of 43 journalists. A Canadian-Iranian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, was also murdered and the investigation of her death became part of the power struggle between reformists and hardliners in the regime. -RSF - 5/4/04

Reporters Without Borders calls for law be applied and jailed Iranian journalists freed
Reporters Without Borders welcomed an order by head of the judiciary Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi that the law should be applied and abuses halted in the Islamic republic's prisons and courts, and urged the authorities to free 12 illegally imprisoned journalists. - 5/3/04

British commander urges more cooperation with Iran in Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf will not be secure unless the Anglo-American coalition forces cooperate more closely with Iran, according to the captain of a British warship patrolling the region. - 5/3/04

UN Rights Group Ignores Iran
The annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission has ended in Geneva with no rebuke of Iran. -VOA - 5/3/04

A year on from 'Mission Accomplished', an Army in Disgrace, a Policy in Tatters and the Real Prospect of Defeat
Against the odds, America has earned the hatred of ordinary Iraqis. In Baghdad Patrick Cockburn sees the battle for hearts and minds comprehensively lost. -Common Dreams - 5/3/04

Monuments belonging to cultural figures in Tehran get restored
The deputy head of Tehran Municipality for Cultural and Social Affairs, Esfandiar Rahim Masha'ie, on Saturday confirmed that monuments of national cultural figures all over the capital city of Tehran will be restored - 5/3/04

BMW men are sex on wheels
BMW drivers have more sex than owners of any other cars and are much more active than Porsche drivers, a new German car magazine claims. -Guardian - 5/3/04

Falluja confusion as toll mounts
America's top soldier has contradicted officers on the ground in Iraq by denying a Saddam-era general has been given control of the city of Falluja. -BBC - 5/3/04

Iran-based ayatollah tries to mediate end to standoff in Najaf
Representatives of Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazem Hossein Haeri are helping mediate an end to the standoff between Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr and US forces, the ayatollah's office said Sunday. -AFP - 5/3/04

Iran: Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport to start operating May 8
Imam Khomeini International Airport will begin operations on Saturday, Minister of Roads and Transport Ali Khorram said here Sunday. - 5/3/04

1000 dailies and magazines to participate in 11th Press Festival
Some 1000 dailies and magazines are to take part in the 11th Press Festival to be held in Tehran May 6-13 - 5/3/04

Iranian FM Kharrazi and Patten discuss EU-Iran ties
Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Kamal Kharrazi met European Commissioner for external relations, Chris Patten, and discussed the course of EU-Iran relations. - 5/3/04

Iran's growth plan aims for jobs
Ambitious plans have been approved by Iran's parliament which aims to create 800,000 jobs a year. -BBC - 5/3/04

Soccer: South Korea wins Athens ticket, Iran ruing chances
The victory handed Korea a berth in the Olympics. Korea has won maximum 15 points out of five games while the second-placed Iran has collected nine of the same matches. - 5/2/04

Iran: Zarrineh Roud river in Mahabad overflows
Heavy downpours in the southern part of West Azarbaijan province on Saturday caused the Zarrineh Roud river to overflow and wash away several villages in Mahabad’s Keshavarz district, near the village of Shahin Dezh. - 5/2/04

Press Freedom Day Marks General Decline In Access To Independent Media
UNESCO is marking World Press Freedom Day with a two-day conference beginning 2 May in Belgrade. The theme is "Media in Conflict and Countries in Transition." There will be speeches by international figures, an award to an imprisoned journalist, and workshops on advancing the cause of press freedom. -RFE - 5/2/04

Bush warns of new Iraq challenges
A year after declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq, US President Bush has been defending his comments. -BBC - 5/2/04

Iran acquires OCM technology for first time
The technological know-how is related to the oxidative coupling of methane to ethylene, Deputy Oil Minister for Petrochemical Affairs Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh told foreign and domestic reporters on the sidelines of the Sixth Iran Petrochemical Forum. - 5/2/04

'We've had a lot of experience of US weapons'
Patrick Graham was the first journalist into Falluja after the US ended its siege of the city on Friday. In this compelling dispatch, he reveals the devastation and the hurt left behind -Guardian - 5/2/04

Iran’s Parliament passes Fourth Five-Year Development Plan Bill
After six days of debate, the parliament on Sunday passed the Fourth Five-Year Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plan Bill which is due to take effect from March 2005. - 5/2/04

World Press Freedom Day observed in Iran
The World Press Freedom Day was commemorated at the premises of Iran’s Journalists Association here Sunday, where the message of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the occasion was read out. - 5/2/04

Iran denies having parallel nuclear program
Iran strongly denied Sunday accusations that it was running a secret nuclear weapons program parallel to the country’s civilian one. - 5/2/04

Iran’s Parliament approves urgency of bill on legitimate freedom, citizenship right
Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) on Sunday approved double urgency of a bill on respect for legitimate freedom and observance of citizenship right. - 5/2/04

Tehran workers call for recognition of trade union strikes
Tehran workers during a Labor Day rally here Friday called for legitimization of strikes called by trade unions as a final and official way of expressing their grievances. - 5/1/04

Soccer: Iran's Olympic hopefuls defeat Malaysia 6-0
Iran handed the Malaysian football side a 6-0 drubbing in their second-leg qualifier of 2004 Athens Olympic Games here Friday. - 5/1/04

Rise in foreign investments in Iran
Deputy Economy and Finance Minister for Foreign Investment Affairs Mohammad Khazaei said here Saturday that foreign investments have increased in Iran over the past two years. - 5/1/04

Mutiny is the only way out of Iraq's inferno
Can we please stop calling it a quagmire? The United States isn't mired in a bog in Iraq, or a marsh; it is free-falling off a cliff. The only question now is: who will follow the Bush clan off this precipice, and who will refuse to jump? -Guardian - 5/1/04

UK troops in Iraqi torture probe
The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into allegations that British soldiers have been pictured torturing an Iraqi prisoner. -BBC - 5/1/04

Iran's Chabahar port becomes a free trade zone
The secretary of the Free Trade Zones Supreme Council, Hossein Nassiri, here Saturday said that to solve the country`s problem of unemployment by creating more jobs, the port city of Chabahar and its surroundings will be turned into a free trade zone. - 5/1/04

Iran's Parliament welcomes Judiciary circular banning torture
The parliament welcomed the circular issued by the head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and sought bill to that effect from the Judiciary to be passed into legislation, head of Parliamentary Commission Article 90 Hossein Ansari-Rad said on Saturday. - 5/1/04

Iran fears sharp drop in oil prices
High-flying oil prices could fall suddenly thanks to buoyant reserves filled by more than three million barrels per day of oversupply, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday. -CNN - 5/1/04

Iran's Gol Agha (Kiumars Saberi Foumani) laid to rest
The coffin carrying the renowned Iranian humorist Kiumars Saberi Foumani was carried from Argentine Square towards Behesht-e Zahra cemetery on Saturday morning. - 5/1/04

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