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Iranian Defense Minister says solid fuel increases range of missile
He stated that it does not take a long time to launch a domestically-made satellite, adding that the defense ministry is ready to launch a home-made satellite in less than a year. - 5/31/05

Parthian and Sassanid Inscribed Vocabulary Collected in a Dictionary
All the vocabulary of the Sassanid and Parthian inscriptions, seals, papyri, and pottery are collected and are to be published in a comprehensive dictionary by end of September. - 5/31/05

India to host Caspian oil ministers meeting in October
"In the week beginning October 17, we propose to host the oil ministers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan to a meeting with four prime Asian buyers - the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and of course Indian," Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said today. - 5/31/05

Basra out of control, says chief of police
The chief of police in Basra admitted yesterday that he had effectively lost control of three-quarters of his officers and that sectarian militias had infiltrated the force and were using their posts to assassinate opponents. -Guardian - 5/31/05

The Real Star Wars: Bush Revives Missile Defense Plan
The saga of America's ambition to put weapons in space has been as protracted as George Lucas's film franchise. Now George Bush has a new plan - at a stellar cost of $58bn. -Independent - 5/31/05

AFGHANISTAN: Life one year after disarmament
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are supporting Kabul's efforts to honourably decommission the Afghan Military Forces (AMF). - 5/31/05

Quake jolts town of Ferdows in northeast Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale hit the town of Ferdows in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan on Tuesday. - 5/31/05

Iran's agriculture sector not worried about Joining WTO: official
An agriculture Jihad official said in Tehran on Monday that given the good capabilities and potentials in agriculture, the sector is not worried about the country joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). - 5/31/05

World Bank allocates 224-million-dollar loan to water and sewage sector in Iran
The relevant facilities will be earmarked for implementation of water supply and treatment of waste water in the cities of Rasht, Anzali, Sari and Babol in northern Iran. - 5/31/05

'Tank girl' army accused of torture
Evidence obtained by the Guardian backs a report by Human Rights Watch. This makes detailed accusations of abuse, including deaths under interrogation, against the "People's Mujahideen" of Iran (MKO). -Guardian - 5/31/05

Iran's Interior minister warns against armed forces interference in election
In a letter to the Guardian Council, Moussavi Lari has protested to remarks attributed to the supervisory body's spokesman who had reportedly said that there was no legal ban on the military forces' intervention in the 'executive and supervisory domains' of the polls. - 5/31/05

Lafourak Male Skeleton Wears Gold and Silver Earrings
Lafourak graveyard is a historical graveyard dating to 2800 years ago located in the northern province of Mazandaran. - 5/31/05

Petition urges Iranian Judiciary to unconditionally release journalist Akbar Ganji
Following is the text of an urgent appeal by 65 academics demanding immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Akbar Ganji from prison, in Iran. - 5/31/05

Iranian women conquer Everest summit
A group of Iranian women mountaineers hoisted the tricolor flag on 8,885-meter-high Everest summit at 10:45 local time (09:00 am Tehran's time) Monday. - 5/31/05

Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji granted leave from prison
Jailed journalist Akbar Ganji was granted a weeklong leave for medical reasons late Sunday night, subject to a probable extension depending on his medical report, judiciary officials announced Monday. Speaking to a group of journalists, who met him at his home Monday, Ganji called for the release of all jailed political activists and journalists. - 5/30/05

Iran blocks sale of Persian artifact in London
Iran has started proceedings at the High Court in London to stop Christie's auction house selling an ancient limestone artifact from Persepolis, worth more than Pnds 300,000 (Dlrs 540,000). - 5/30/05

Tender of Iran's South Pars phases 15, 16 cancelled
Norway's Aker Kvaerner announced it has pulled out of a consortium that had won a tender to develop South Pars phases 15 and 16, the press reported here Monday. - 5/30/05

Iran: Temporary Marriages On The Rise
The Islamic practice of "sighe" or temporary marriages - widely condemned by reformists and women's rights activists - is on the rise in Iran where the number of such unions increased by nine percent over the previous year. -AKI - 5/30/05

Experts: Petroleum May Be Nearing Peak
Could the petroleum joyride — cheap, abundant oil that has sent the global economy whizzing along with the pedal to the metal and the AC blasting for decades — be coming to an end? Some observers of the oil industry think so. -AP - 5/30/05

Arash breaks cultural barriers
I HEARD the music and thought the words were familiar but at first could not place the language. I turned up the radio and the words hit me smack in the face. They were in Persian, the language spoken in Iran. On a Bratislava radio station! -Slovak Spectator - 5/30/05

Blog Spring
Hossein Derakhshan is on tour. In the past few years, he has become the public face of Iran's beleaguered bloggers, more than a dozen of whom have been arrested for their politics. -Wired - 5/30/05

US Secretary of State Rice Consults with Russian Counterpart
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has discussed Iraq, Iran and other issues with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. - 5/30/05

BG willing to contribute to Iran's LNG projects
British Gas is keen on participating in Iran's LNG projects, said Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Mohammad-Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian in Tehran on Monday. - 5/30/05

An uneasy balance: Democracy and U.S. terror strategy
Samuel Bodman, the new U.S. secretary of energy, led an American delegation to Azerbaijan recently to celebrate a huge moment in America's effort to diversify its sources of oil: the opening of a pipeline that will carry Caspian oil to the West, on a route that avoids Russia and Iran. -New York Times - 5/29/05

Iranian reformist candidate Moin will run for president
Former minister Mostafa Moin announced Saturday that he had overcome his 'heavy doubts' to run at the June 17 presidential election, pledging to take up the reform mantle and challenge the 'unconstitutional' powers of the Guardian Council. - 5/29/05

Musharraf denies Iran bomb remark
Pakistan has denied that President Pervez Musharraf told a German magazine that Iran was "very anxious" to have a nuclear bomb. Iran demanded an urgent clarification after the comments were carried in Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday. -BBC - 5/29/05

Iran's WTO bid requires expansion of electronic commerce
An economy official said here Saturday that Iran's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) requires expanding the groundwork for electronic commerce (EC) in the country. - 5/29/05

National Iranian Oil Company to develop Resalat, Reshadat oil fields through buy-back scheme
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has decided to develop Resalat and Reshadat oil fields through the buy-back scheme, it was reported here on Sunday. - 5/29/05

Iran TV slams foreign 'propaganda'
An Iranian television channel has accused foreign media organisations of interfering in the country's forthcoming presidential election, just three days after the official start of the campaign. -BBC - 5/29/05

National Iranian Oil Company assets at 25 billion dollars, says director Mirmoezzi
Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mehdi Mirmoezzi has said that new projects in the oil industry have raised the company's registered assets to as much as 25 billion dollars, local press reported on Sunday. - 5/29/05

Iran Agrofood 2005 opens in Tehran
The 12th International Food, Food Processing and Agricultural Trade Fair (Iran Agrofood 2005) opened here at the site of Tehran Permanent Fairground on Sunday. Some 264 domestic and 176 foreign companies from 22 countries participated in the four-day exhibition which is held in a 22,000-sqm area. - 5/29/05

PGCC reiterates support for UAE claims on Iran's islands
Persian Gulf Cooperation Council reiterated Saturday its support for United Arab Emirates (UAE) Claims over Iran's Persian Gulf islands. - 5/29/05

Iran: Eight new steel producing plants to be established
Eight new steel producing plants would be established in different parts of the country, the English-language `Iran Daily' wrote Sunday. The factories would be established in Bandar Abbas, Kerman, Zarand, Sirjan, Bafq, Ardakan, Meybod and Torbat-e Heidarieh. - 5/29/05

Baking more than comfort food
Fourth-grader Maysa Shirazi commended for raising more than $100 toward tsunami relief - 5/29/05

Iran's President-to-Be Faces Daunting Tasks
Iran’s presidential campaign formally opened May 25, and Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the country’s foremost political tactician, is the early front-runner. Although he’s the likely the winner of the June 17 election, spirited hardliner opposition could prevent him from implementing his reform-oriented political agenda. -Eurasianet - 5/29/05

In Iran, nuclear power is partly an issue of pride
From nuclear negotiators to student dissidents, from bazaar merchants to turbaned mullahs, Iranians agree: The right to develop nuclear power is a point of national pride. -New York Times - 5/29/05

Pipeline to Promise or Pipeline to Peril?
A U.S.-backed oil pipeline linking the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean opened on Wednesday, and began moving crude oil from Azerbaijan to the West. The route of the pipeline is reportedly designed to only go through nations with strong U.S. support like Azerbaijan and Georgia, which have both been criticized for human rights abuses. We also examine why many believe the pipeline could be could be an environmental disaster for the region. -Democracy Now - 5/29/05

Iran lifts Asian freestyle wrestling title
Iran was crowned at the 18th Asian freestyle wrestling meet in China Friday. The Asian heavyweight Iran snatched seven colorful medals in seven weight categories, overpowering runner-up Japan and third-placed South Korea. - 5/28/05

World Bank approves loan for two projects in Iran's Caspian provinces
The World Bank has approved a total of $344 million in loans for two projects to support the Iranian government. The loan will be used in delivering a clean and reliable water supply and sanitation to poor urban neighborhoods and boosting agricultural productivity in farming communities. - 5/28/05

From Tehran to Toronto
Canada has one of the largest and most successful Iranian immigrant communities in the world, with an estimated 85,000 living in the country, according to the nation's 2003 census. -BBC - 5/28/05

Thorn in the side of Iran's conservative Majlis
Masih Alinejad is a slight woman of 28 who instantly shows the nervous energy that has helped make her such a controversial figure in Iranian politics. -Financial Times - 5/28/05

Decorative Islamic Arts Popular among Auction Buyers
William Robinson is the director of the Islamic and Carpet Department of Christie’s Auction House, who amidst his busy schedule of several meetings, taking a tour of the Manouchehri Street (the center of Iranian art dealers shops), and the Iranian Museum of Contemporary Arts in his second and final day of stay in Tehran, accepted to have an interview with us at his lunch time. - 5/28/05

Iran Khodro opens branch in Mashhad
First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Aref arrived in the provincial capital of Mashhad in northeastern Iran on Friday to attend the inaugural ceremony of the first phase of the provincial Iran Khodro Auto Manufacturing Plant in the new town of Binaloud. - 5/28/05

Nancy Pelosi Gives a Pep Talk to AIPAC
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s recent speech to the Israeli-American lobby (AIPAC) ought to be a clarion call for peace activists. Her address did not contain any big surprises. But it is, nonetheless, remarkable for its transparency. The speech (see below for the text) affords a up-close look at what Pelosi thinks about Israel, the Palestinians, the Mideast, and nukes. -Common Dreams - 5/28/05

The U.S. Removes the Nuclear Brakes
Under the cloak of secrecy imparted by use of military code names, the American administration has been taking a big - and dangerous - step that will lead to the transformation of the nuclear bomb into a legitimate weapon for waging war. -Haaretz - 5/28/05

Viewpoint: A lost nuclear opportunity
The month-long Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the cornerstone of international efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from spreading has ended. Jon B Wolfsthal from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace gives his view on why little progress was made. -BBC - 5/28/05

Egypt: Calls for Reform Met With Brutality
Human Rights Watch expressed dismay at the response of U.S. officials to the state-sponsored violence in Cairo. When Agence-France Presse asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about it, she replied that she had “not seen the reports you are talking about.” - 5/28/05

America's broken nuclear promises endanger us all
Bush has done his utmost to frustrate talks on the non-proliferation treaty -Robin Cook, Guardian - 5/28/05

Vesta Mehr stages original Iranian pop concert at Tehran's Farabi Hall
The main distinction of Vesta Mehr Pope Musical Group is that unlike other similar groups, its major objective is to make use of the traditional Iranian folklore and modernize it. - 5/28/05

Call to EU foreign ministers and Javier Solana to put pressure on Iran in Akbar Ganji case
Reporters Without Borders has called on the 25 EU foreign ministers and on Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, to do their utmost to press the Iranian authorities to respond to the demands of a hunger-striking prisoner. - 5/28/05

Iran: An economy on the move?
For some observers it is inefficient, bloated and over-reliant on oil revenues, for others it has the potential to become a leading light in the Middle East. -BBC - 5/27/05

Europeans offer Iran 'detailed' nuclear proposal
The Europeans proposed Wednesday to offer Iran a detailed plan for nuclear cooperation in the next two months, which prompted the top Iranian negotiator to state that a deal is not out of reach now. - 5/27/05

Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline is the Biggest Development In the Caspian Sea Since the Collapse of USSR, and Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest loser in the case
This week a ceremony will be held in Azerbaijan to mark the actual operational phase of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The pipeline will be the main route for export of the Caspian Sea oil to world markets. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/27/05

SAF launches online coursware for Iranian students
As part of its effort to promote e-learning methods and articulate the advantages of online educational tools among students and educators at the high school level, the Science and Arts Foundation has designed and implemented 3 online courses for SchoolNet members. - 5/27/05

Iran, EU Still Seen As Far Apart On Nuclear Issues
During talks in Geneva yesterday, Iran renewed its pledge not to pursue nuclear weapons. In return, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany promised to provide Tehran with fresh proposals by the end of July or the beginning of August aimed at securing a deal. - 5/27/05

WTO to Begin Membership Talks with Iran
After nine years of beating on the doors of the World Trade Organization, Iran has been allowed to begin negotiations to join the body. The deal was struck after the United States dropped its long-standing veto. - 5/27/05

UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference Expected to End in Failure
A month-long conference on fighting the spread of nuclear weapons is in its final day Friday with almost no hope of success. Delegates are calling the meeting a "lost opportunity". - 5/27/05

Media Fast For Iranian Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad
Mojtaba Saminejad, a blogger from Iran, has declared a hunger strike. He is being held at Tehran’s Gohar Dashat prison, which has a reputation for mistreatment of detainees. He is being held in the general population, the overwhelming majority of which are common criminals. -Committee to Protect Bloggers - 5/27/05

Dining out in Persia
According to Barry Wood, a curator in the Asian Department of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, , the panel is said to have come from Chihil Sutun, a royal pavilion in Isfahan, Iran. Several members of the V&A staff, including Wood, went to Iran last autumn and visited Chihil Sutun. -CSM - 5/27/05

Uzbekistan's independent media face reprisals after Andijan unrest
Independent journalists and local reporters working for foreign media, who witnessed recent violence in the eastern city of Andijan, came under increased pressure and were subjected to serious criticism, as Uzbekistan faces continuing demands for an independent international investigation into the killings of 13 May. - 5/27/05

Give Rumsfeld the Pinochet Treatment, Says US Amnesty Chief
If the administration of President George W. Bush fails to conduct a truly independent investigation of U.S. abuses against detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, foreign governments should investigate and prosecute those senior officials who bear responsibility for them, the head of the U.S. chapter of Amnesty International said here Wednesday. -IPS - 5/27/05

Iran: Forty billion dollars in foreign debt
Iran owes an estimated 40 billion dollars in foreign debt, according to Iran's Central Bank governor, Ibrahim Sheibani. He has also calculated that the country has around 30 billion reserves in foreign currency, a significant increase in the past few years, largely due to the boom in oil prices. -AKI - 5/27/05

Afghanistan: Karzai Explains Kabul's Economic Goals During U.S. Visit
Much of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's four-day visit to the United States this week was dominated by talk about security issues and Kabul's strategic partnership with America. - 5/27/05

Japan to participate in reinforcement of Tehran water installations against earthquake
Iran and Japan reached an agreement on assessment of Tehran water installations and reinforcing it against earthquake. - 5/27/05

Two moderate quakes jolt Iranian cities
Two moderate earthquakes jolted cities in Iran's northeastern and southeastern provinces on Friday but have left no reported damage or casualties. - 5/27/05

Iran: Disqualified female candidate accuses ayatollahs of wrongly interpreting the Koran
A would-be candidate in Iran's upcoming presidential elections who was automatically disqualified for being a woman, has said that the country's religious leaders have misinterpreted the Koran to justify their ban on female candidates. -AKI - 5/27/05

Pakistan helps Iran nuclear probe
Pakistan has sent parts of its nuclear centrifuges to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. -BBC - 5/27/05

EU says to expand energy cooperation with Iran
The European Union indicated strong determination to promote energy cooperation with Iran on Thursday when a top EU energy official said the union looks at Iran as one of its most important energy suppliers. - 5/27/05

Iran's Election, Nuclear Diplomacy in the Shadow of War
Domestic politics and international diplomacy converge in the shadow of war in Iran as the Middle East's most populous country prepares to decide its future. -Washington Post - 5/27/05

Iranian female climbers ready to scale Mount Everest
Farkhondeh Sadegh and Leila Bahrami, two gritty women are leading a team of seven Iranian women to the daunting task of climbing the world's tallest mountain peak, Mount Everest, `The Hindu' reported from New Delhi on Friday. - 5/27/05

U.S. WEAPONS AT WAR 2005: Promoting freedom or fueling conflict?
Arms Trade Resource Center at New York-based New School University's World Policy Institute has just published a comprehensive report that focuses on U.S. Military Aid and Arms Transfers Since September 11. According to this report, "the United States transfers more weapons and military services than any other country in the world." - 5/26/05

Iran Renews Promise to Refrain from Developing Nuclear Weapons
But Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan expressed skepticism about Iran's promises. - 5/26/05

Censorship is an Issue in Iranian Elections
Journalists in Iran are anxiously awaiting the upcoming election in their country June 17th. Under Iran's current Reformist president, there was an initial easing of censorship of the arts and media, followed by crackdowns during the past few years. Many journalists are wondering if the recent trend will continue. - 5/26/05

Iranian Politicians Change Their Vocabulary, Albeit Slowly
The discourse of Iranian politicians has diversified since the country's 1979 revolution. The language of revolutionary struggle has come to include the terminology of civic rights, rule of law, and open government, as some politicians have sought to respond to growing demands by Iranians for more liberties and less meddling in their lives. - 5/26/05

Amnesty International Report 2005
During 2004, the human rights of ordinary men, women and children were disregarded or grossly abused in every corner of the globe. Economic interests, political hypocrisy and socially orchestrated discrimination continued to fan the flames of conflict around the world. The “war on terror” appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international “terrorism”. - 5/26/05

Iran gains time to strike deal with EU on nuclear plans
Hassan Rohani, the chief Iranian negotiator, said after three hours of talks in Geneva yesterday that the Europeans had until the end of July to come up with a better, more concrete offer. -Guardian - 5/26/05

Earthquake hits Khuzestan and Gilan provinces in Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.6 on Richter scale jolted suburbs of the city of Lali in southwestern province of Khuzestan Thursday. Another earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale hit suburbs of the northern city of Astara in the Caspian Sea province of Gilan Thursday morning. - 5/26/05

Undisputed Asian futsal champion Iran struggles against Kuwait
Asia's six-time futsal champion Iran felt great fear in the second match against the budding Kuwait in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Wednesday. - 5/26/05

Website of Iran presidential candidate hacked
Hackers targeted the website of presidential candidate Ali Larijani Wednesday, defacing his home page which resulted in its subsequent crash, an aide said. - 5/26/05

French Fries Protester Regrets War Jibe
It was a culinary rebuke that echoed around the world, heightening the sense of tension between Washington and Paris in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. But now the US politician who led the campaign to change the name of french fries to "freedom fries" has turned against the war. -Guardian - 5/26/05

Iranian President dismisses pullout of reformist candidate from race
President Mohammad Khatami brushed aside Wednesday speculation about possible pullout of Mostafa Moin from the presidential race, stating that such a move would mark a 'strategic blunder'. - 5/26/05

'I'm doing this for all Muslim women'
Billi Bierling meets a team of seven Iranians who could soon be making mountaineering history -Guardian - 5/26/05

President Khatami proposes formation of organization to support inventors
Khatami made the remarks in a meeting with the country's young inventors who recently took part in the 33th International Exhibition of Inventions held in Geneva, Switzerland. - 5/26/05

Caucasus/Central Asia: Analysts Expect Security, Economic Gains From BTC Pipeline
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan gathered near Baku today to inaugurate the $4 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The project is generally viewed as the key element of an overall plan to turn the Caucasus region into a transport corridor connecting Central Asia to Western Europe. - 5/26/05

WTO agrees entry talks with Iran
The World Trade Organisation has agreed to allow Iran to begin membership talks after the US lifted its opposition to Tehran joining the body. - 5/26/05

EU, Iran prepare for energy and transport talks
Iranian deputy oil minister for international affairs, Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian, arrived in Brussels Wednesday to participate in the fourth meeting of the European Union-Iran working group on energy and transport on Thursday. - 5/26/05

Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Pipeline Launched In Baku
The 1,760-kilometer Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transport crude oil extracted from the Caspian Sea shelf to the Mediterranean Sea basin was inaugurated today near Azerbaijan's capital Baku. - 5/26/05

The Franklin Affair: A Spreading Treason
There's more to the AIPAC spy scandal than 'mishandling' classified information -Antiwar - 5/25/05

Pipeline politics give Turkey an edge
A pipeline that brings Caspian oil to Turkey's coast opens Wednesday. -CSM - 5/25/05

EU, Iran relationship enters decisive phase
The European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran are to hold negotiations in Geneva on Wednesday which could be crucial for future development of ties between the two sides. - 5/25/05

Iranian President terms US policies on Islamic Republic 'incorrect'
President Mohammad Khatami termed US policies regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran as wrong and stressed that the Americans have even failed so far to take it as a reality. - 5/25/05

Iran, Switzerland sign trade agreement
Iran and Switzerland signed on Tuesday a non-preferential trade agreement to boost economic cooperation. According to the first ever mutual trade agreement, Iran and Switzerland are entitled to the protection of intellectual property. - 5/25/05

The Harvest of Messianic Foreign Policy: Anti-U.S. Radical Islam
An interventionist U.S. foreign policy, fueled by the Bush administration’s messianic zeal to make the world more democratic, has contributed to a dramatic rise in radical political Islam around the world. -Independent Institute - 5/25/05

US mulling stance on latest Iran bid to join WTO
The United States has not decided whether it will again block Iran's application to join the World Trade Organization, a top U.S. trade official said on the eve of high-level nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union's three biggest powers. -Reuters - 5/25/05

Egypt votes on election changes
Egyptians are voting on possible changes to the constitution that would allow presidential elections to be contested for the first time. -BBC - 5/25/05

Unseen Pictures, Untold Stories: How The U.S. Press Has Sanitized The War in Iraq
Images of thousands of dead U.S. soldiers helped to turn the tide of public opinion against the Vietnam War, but now photo-journalists are even banned from military funerals at Arlington national cemetery. -Democracy Now - 5/25/05

Quake jolts Anarak in central Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit northern suburbs of the city of Anarak in the central province of Isfahan on Tuesday evening. - 5/25/05

Sectarian Violence On The Rise in Iraq
The rise of sectarian tension in Iraq is leading to fears of a civil war. - 5/25/05

Iran's elections cast a shadow on nuclear talks
Europe's stuttering efforts to ensure that Iran does not build a nuclear bomb are due to resume Wednesday with a new round of high-level talks, but the shadow of upcoming presidential elections in Tehran has dimmed hopes of progress, say experts following the negotiations. -CSM - 5/25/05

U.S., NATO nuclear policies 'immoral' - McNamara
U.S. and NATO nuclear policies are immoral, dangerous and destructive for the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, a former Defense Secretary from the Vietnam War era, Robert McNamara, said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 5/25/05

Iran will continue talks if EU shows goodwill: Mousavian
Iran will continue nuclear negotiations with Europe if the European Union remains committed to Paris agreement and shows goodwill, Hossein Mousavian, a member of Iran's negotiating team, said in Geneva on Wednesday. - 5/25/05

Iranian Judiciary Stonewalls on Journalist's Death
The Iranian judiciary continues to delay investigations into the role of its agents in the death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, Human Rights Watch said today. - 5/25/05

Pre-Campaign Campaigning Under Way in Iran
The big issue in Iranian politics this week is the vetting of candidates for the 17 June presidential election by the Guardians Council -- an unelected body of six clerics and six lawyers. - 5/25/05

Master pieces of Persian painting at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) once in a while does something truly great and very Persian. This time the new exhibition of masterpieces of Persian Paintings may be considered a great achievement. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/24/05

Iran: Reformists Outraged Over Exclusion Of Candidates From Presidential Race
Among the six candidates that the Guardian Council has deemed eligible to stand in the presidential elections, there is only one reformist candidate: Mehdi Karrubi a former parliamentary speaker. - 5/24/05

Rice Says World Must Not Tolerate Iranian Nuclear Weapons Bid
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday, said the world must not tolerate any Iranian attempt to develop a nuclear weapon. - 5/24/05

Stricter rules for Afghans in Iran
The Director General of the Iranian interior ministry's Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) has announced stricter limitations on Afghans living in Iran, the reformist daily newspaper Sharq reported on Sunday. - 5/24/05

Nuclear Review Conference Struggles To Conclusion With Few Results
A conference aimed at reinforcing nuclear nonproliferation safeguards enters its final week with few results and deepening concern about its effectiveness. - 5/24/05

EU 'disappointed' over exclusion of candidates from presidential elections in Iran
The 25-member European Union on Monday voiced its disappointment over the exclusion of a large number of candidates from the presidential elections in the Islamic Republic to be held on June 17. - 5/24/05

Iran's top nuclear official in Geneva for nuclear talks
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday to hold nuclear talks with the EU-3 foreign ministers -- France, Britain and Germany. - 5/24/05

EU FMs discuss Iran's nuclear program
European Union foreign ministers discussed Monday the latest developments in nuclear negotiations currently underway with Iran and Germany, France and the UK with the support of EU High Representative for a common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana. - 5/24/05

Iran warns EU over nuclear talks
Talks on Wednesday with the European Union about Iran's nuclear programme have only a 50-50 chance of success, a leading Iranian negotiator has warned. -BBC - 5/24/05

A Violent Cycle in Iraq
Retaliatory Killings, Mainly Involving Shias and Sunnis, Threaten to Throw Country into Deadly Civil War -News Day - 5/24/05

Pars Khodro to produce Renault Mégane in Iran
Renault and Pars Khodro (Saipa group) have signed an agreement for the assembly and sale of the Renault Mégane saloon in Iran from mid-2006. -Auto Industry - 5/24/05

Iranians back drive for nuclear power
As nuclear talks between Iran and Europe are approaching crisis point, Iranian television has started showing a series of long advertisements telling people why they need nuclear power. -BBC - 5/24/05

Iranian President issues guidelines on launching sound elections
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami issued a communique in Tehran on Monday night, including five guidelines for various concerned organs and officials of the system in a bid to launch a sound presidential election. - 5/24/05

Iranian Reformists Allowed Back Into Presidential Vote
Iran’s conservative election watchdog agreed today to allow two previously disqualified reformist candidates to run in the country’ upcoming presidential election. - 5/24/05

Unrest at Tehran University dormitory after disqualification of Dr. Moin
After disqualification of Mostafa Moin, reformers candidate for the 9th presidential election, by Guardians Council(GC), Tehran University dormitory witnessed unrest for a couple of hours. - 5/24/05

Backing for Iranian journalists who have begun daily protests
Reporters Without Borders today voiced strong support for the Iranian journalists who yesterday began a series of daily demonstrations outside the parliament building in protest against harassment and other press freedom violations, especially as regards press coverage of parliament. - 5/24/05

Reflections On Iran’s Prison System During The Montazeri Years (1985-1988)
Events of June 1981 were a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). It was during this period that the cleric-dominated faction within the ruling elite of the IRI moved to eliminate both its opposition outside the state apparatus and its factional opposition, commonly called the “Islamic liberals” -Maziar Behrooz - 5/23/05

IRAN: World Bank launches nationwide slum improvement project
A nationwide project has been launched to upgrade slum areas in three Iranian cities, with work scheduled to begin in a further five cities over the next eight years. - 5/23/05

Iran urged to review diplomatic ties with Canada
The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament urged the government Sunday to review diplomatic ties with Canada as a spat between the two countries over the death of a female journalist widened. - 5/23/05

Israeli Arsenal Vexes Nuclear Negotiators
The U.S. administration has sought to keep a tight focus on the suspected nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea at month-long talks here on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But other countries also have highlighted the impact of Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal on efforts to establish a Middle East nuclear-free zone. -Antiwar - 5/23/05

International Persian Gulf Confab to be held in Isfahan
An international conference dubbed `Persian Gulf in the Course of History' will open at Isfahan University on Tuesday. - 5/23/05

Iran may give 50% of Pars LNG shares to Total
Iranian gas officials have said that they plan to give 50 percent of the shares for the development of Pars LNG project to Total following the decision by Malaysia's Petronas to withdraw from the project, local press reported in Tehran on Monday. - 5/23/05

Iran and Spain Signed Tourism MOU
A high status delegation from Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism traveling to Iran met yesterday with Hussein Mar’ashi, director of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, signing a MOU for the development of tourism industry. - 5/23/05

UN Condemns Reported US Abuse in Afghanistan
A report of U.S. military abuse of detainees in Afghanistan is deeply disturbing and those involved should be punished, the United Nations said on Sunday. -Reuters - 5/23/05

Kandahar on TIME's all time 100 best films list
A conundrum: the Islamic Republic of Iran, no friend of Western-style liberty, somehow nurtured (well, permitted) the great humanist cinema of the 90s. - 5/23/05

Analysis: Iran's candidate cull
The decision to disqualify all credible reformist and liberal candidates may have serious internal and international consequences for the Islamic republic. -BBC - 5/23/05

Iran Demands Belgium to Return its Smuggled Heritage
Iran has sent an appeal to a Belgian court to return nine boxes of ancient artifacts smuggled to Belgium and a bronze pin stolen from the exhibition of 7000 years of Persian Art in Belgium. - 5/23/05

US military to build four giant new bases in Iraq
US military commanders are planning to pull back their troops from Iraq's towns and cities and redeploy them in four giant bases in a strategy they say is a prelude to eventual withdrawal. -Guardian - 5/23/05

Iran's nuclear tactics send delegates into interactive dystopia
In the bowels of the Washington Convention Centre lurks an interactive dystopia: a step by step guide to how Iran is "pursuing nuclear weapons and how it can be stopped". The tour is the brainchild of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and has been created for its largest ever policy conference, which began yesterday. AIPAC has made fears about Iran's nuclear intentions a central plank of its congressional agenda. -Financial Times - 5/23/05

Iran Policy Committee: Pentagon Mouthpiece, Israeli Ally, MEK Supporter
The IPC made the news in February of 2005 when it released a report titled “US Options for Iran.” In that report, the IPC recommended that a terrorist group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) be removed from the US government’s hit list. -Dissident Voice - 5/23/05

Imprisoned Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji goes on hunger strike
Journalist Akbar Ganji announced yesterday in a statement issued through his lawyer, Youssef Molai, that he has begun "an unlimited hunger strike" to protest against his imprisonment, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported. - 5/23/05

Return to Iran
Before the 1979 revolution in Iran, the country’s ties to American higher education were extensive. Thousands of Iranian students enrolled at American colleges. And American researchers maintained numerous long-term projects in Iran, studying its archaeology, history, faiths, and languages. -Inside Higher Ed, DC - 5/22/05

Envoy casts doubt on acceptance of Iran's application to WTO
The Iran Plenipotentiary Office in the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in Tehran on Saturday that likelihood of acceptance of Iran's new application to join the world trade body is hard to predict. Tehran is to submit its request on the WTO's May 26th session. - 5/22/05

Moscow urging Iran, EU to reach an agreement in nuclear talks: Lavrov
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Saturday that Moscow is urging Iran and EU trio (France, Germany and Britain) to reach an agreement in their talks on Iran's nuclear program. - 5/22/05

Leader of world Armenians arrives in Isfahan
The spiritual Leader of the World Armenians Archbishop Jasliq Aram I Keshishian arrived in the ancient city of Isfahan, central Iran, on Sunday. - 5/22/05

Tehran Stock Exchange risk committee to report findings: Secretary general
The TSE has been one of the region's best performers in recent years, with the index doubling in 2003. MEED suggested that the slowdown to 30 percent was bitter-sweet news for many investors, saying "instant profits were lower, but fears of a bubble have dissipated." - 5/22/05

Opec remarks may pump oil price
Higher oil prices may be looming on the horizon once again after comments from Opec oil ministers over the weekend. -BBC - 5/22/05

The Unknown Unknowns of the Abu Ghraib Scandal
It's been over a year since I published a series of articles in the New Yorker outlining the abuses at Abu Ghraib. There have been at least 10 official military investigations since then - none of which has challenged the official Bush administration line that there was no high-level policy condoning or overlooking such abuse. -Seymour Hersh - 5/22/05

Iran: Quake rattles southern city of Kazeroun
An earthquake measuring 3.9 points on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Kazeroun in the southern province of Fars in the wee hours of Sunday. - 5/22/05

Iran: IIPF says disqualification of reformers will minimize voter turnout
Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) said on Sunday that disqualification of reformers will turn the goal of maximum turnout to minimum in the upcoming presidential election. - 5/22/05

Writing behind the veil
There is a raft of new books about Iran. In Journey From the Land of No (Crown, $22.95), Roya Hakakian chronicles how the hope and euphoria felt by many Iranians after the shah's ousting was converted to dread and foreboding as it became clear that they had traded monarchy for a life dictated by religious fundamentalists and their brutal enforcers. In Persepolis 2 (Jonathan Cape, $39.95), a comic-strip memoir, Marjane Satrapi tells ... -Age, Australia - 5/22/05

Iran's Pragmatic Face
Did Iran benefit most from Bush's Middle East Policy? -TIME - 5/22/05

The unipolar transition moment and the Persian Gulf wars
It has become a truism that the transformation of the international system at the end of the Cold War provided the global context for the Second Gulf War and its aftermath. During the Iran-Iraq war, the US refrained from deploying massive military force in the Persian Gulf because of the opposition of the Soviet Union, limiting its regional actions to containing a unipolar configuration in the area. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Tharwa - 5/22/05

Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili to start filming `Hafez'
Iranian film director Abolfazl Jalili is soon expected to start filming a feature film to be titled `Hafez' near the town of Saveh in Tehran province. - 5/22/05

Iran raps Canada for 'extrajudicial' stance over Zahra Kazemi's case
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said this week that his country will further limit diplomatic contact with Iran to back demands for justice in the case of Kazemi. "We have decided to constrain our bilateral relations with Iran until Iranian authorities are prepared to deal with this affair in a serious and credible manner," Pettigrew said. - 5/22/05

Iranian cleric calls for reforms
Iran's leading dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, has called for democratic reforms ahead of the country's presidential election. -BBC - 5/21/05

Caviar and the Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the main body of water in the world that contains a large numbers of Sturgeons, the fish that its eggs are publicly known as Caviar. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/21/05

UK ponders talking with Hamas and Hizbullah
The British government is considering a major Middle East policy switch that would mean engaging directly and openly for the first time with the militant groups Hamas and Hizbullah, who are expected to make significant gains in elections in the West Bank and Gaza and in Lebanon. -Guardian - 5/21/05

Unseen Pictures, Untold Stories
U.S. newspapers and magazines print few photos of American dead and wounded, a Times review finds. The reasons are many -- access, logistics, ethics -- but the result is an obscured view of the cost of war -Los Angeles Times - 5/21/05

Quake jolts northeastern town of Chenaran in Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.5 degrees on the Richter scale hit suburbs of Chenaran city in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan on Friday night. - 5/21/05

US generals say Iraq outlook 'bleak'
US military commanders from both Iraq and Afganistan, in a series of briefings and interviews over the past week, gave downbeat assessments of the situations in both countries. -CSM - 5/21/05

EU Foreign Ministers to discuss Iran's nuclear programme
The European Union Foreign Ministers' Council will discuss Iran's nuclear program during its regular monthly meeting in Brussels on Monday, EU sources said. - 5/21/05

Book: Iran's Nuclear Program Could Lead to Confrontation
In a new book, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, details Iran's military capabilities and its efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. - 5/21/05

Iran football manager Ivankovic summons 25 players
Iran is scheduled to entertain North Korea and Bahrain in 2006 World Cup qualifying matches in Tehran on June 3 and 8 respectively. - 5/21/05

Will Violence Punctuate Iran's Presidential Elections?
Large-scale electoral violence is not a defining trait of Iranian elections, but violent incidents do occur, and they have chiefly targeted reformers. - 5/21/05

Iran's economic growth rate rises to 8.03 percent in 2003
Iran's economic growth rate rose to 8.03 percent in 2003 from 5.56 percent in 1993, said the Economic Accounts Department at Iran's Statistics Center (ISC) on Saturday. - 5/21/05

Iran flexes its 'soft power' in Iraq
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite leader, never meets with American officials. But when Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Iraq this week, the revered Iranian-born cleric threw open his doors -CSM - 5/20/05

Top official stresses US commitment to EU-Iran negotiations
At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today, a senior administration official emphasized the President’s commitment to the ongoing EU3 negotiations, and a peaceful solution to the current Iranian nuclear solution, while praising the Iranian-American community. -NIAC - 5/20/05

Iranian FM terms talks with Iraqi officials "satisfactory"
Kharrazi highlighted the need for the Iraqis to promote national unity and solidarity, stressing that he had told the officials of various Iraqi groups, including the United Iraq Alliance, that the future of the country depends on the unity of all groups. - 5/20/05

Qazvin-Rasht Highway over 60% complete
Operations for construction of Rasht-Qazvin highway, starting since 2001, have shown only 63 percent progress. - 5/20/05

Fateful Triangle – United States, Iran and Nuclear Issue
Iran and United States were close allies during the reign of Raza Shah Pahalvi. After the 1979 revolution, the relationship changed to active hostility. Since then the relationship between the two has become hostage to mutual distrust. Active military involvement of US in the region especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two countries bordering Iran brought the Iranian question to the forefront. -Defence Journal - 5/20/05

From Darth to diplomat
THERE IS a spring in the step of the State Department these days. ''I feel it," says Nicholas Burns, the new undersecretary for political affairs. ''There is a feeling of excitement in this, believing that State is back at the center." -Boston Globe - 5/20/05

Iran dissidents deny abuse claims
The HRW report says that the release of a group of dissident Peoples' Mujahideen members from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison during Saddam Hussein's last year in power provided, for the first time, a direct window into conditions inside the group's camps. -BBC - 5/20/05

Kuwaiti women gain, Islamists lost
WHEN the Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) met Monday, few expected the session to make history by granting women full political rights. -Amir Taheri, NY Post - 5/20/05

What's 'American' About the American Israel Public Affairs Committee?
Of all the U.S. lobbies, few wield more influence than the pro-Israel interest groups. According to some estimates, there are about 500 national and local organizations that collectively make up the pro-Israel lobby. And of those, AIPAC arguably carries the most weight. -Antiwar.com - 5/20/05

Iran says Iraq payment of war reparations still on agenda
Iran announced Friday that it will continue to pursue the payment of reparations by Iraq for imposing the eight-year war of 1980-1988, stressing that the issue will be raised at the due time. - 5/20/05

Iraq: Sunni-Shi'ite Political Rift Intensifies
Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi must be pleased with the turn of events this week in Iraq. - 5/20/05

Iran and China survey ground for aerospace cooperation
Iran started its scientific aerospace cooperation with China, one of the world's poles in aerospace technology, following the establishment of its Aerospace Organization in 2000, that is a state body, functioning under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. - 5/20/05

Iran's Oil Minister to visit Pakistan soon for gas pipeline talks: Pak PM
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh is expected in Islamabad soon to discuss the proposed tripartite gas pipeline with his Pakistani counterpart. - 5/20/05

Iran Says it Will End the Suspension of Its Nuclear Program
Iran says it will end the suspension of its nuclear program, despite upcoming negotiations with European leaders. In the U.S., the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing Thursday to talk about how to handle the situation. - 5/20/05

Neocons' Pet Iranian Revolutionaries Accused of Torture
An Iranian rebel group that is aggressively campaigning for Washington's support as part of a "regime change" strategy in its homeland has committed serious abuses, including torture and prolonged isolation, against dissident members, according to a leading human rights watchdog. -Antiwar.com - 5/20/05

Iran: Exiled Armed Group Abuses Dissident Members; Opposition Group Seeks Recognition and Support in Western Capitals
An armed Iranian opposition group in exile, the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, has subjected dissident members to torture and prolonged solitary confinement, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. - 5/19/05

Iranian-American Museum: A Proposal to All Iranian-Americans
The recognition of Iranian-Americans contributions to their host country is long over due. Erecting a museum, to a large part, enables us to achieve a deserved recognition. -A. Mehdipour - 5/19/05

Iran Says Slain Journalist's Case Still Open
Iranian judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimi-Rad said in Tehran yesterday that the dossier of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was killed in state custody in Tehran in June 2003, remains open and would be reexamined on 25 July - 5/19/05

Karimov: He's Our Sonofabitch
The west's support for the Uzbek regime exposes its destructive reliance on despots and tyrants -Guardian - 5/19/05

Two quakes jolt southern Iranian city of Lamerd
Two minor earthquakes measuring 3.5 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Lamerd in the southern province of Fars in the wee hours of Wednesday. - 5/19/05

Iran won't reverse nuclear plan, but may delay
Iran will not back down on resuming nuclear activities opposed by the West but may wait for a few weeks if talks with European powers go well, chief negotiator Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 5/19/05

Anti-U.S. anger spreading in Islamic states, survey finds
Anti-American anger in Islamic countries continues to spread across age and economic groups, according to a new survey of Muslim elites. -IHT - 5/19/05

Iran tops Germany in FIFA rankings for second month in a row
For the second consecutive month, Iran has topped triple World Cup champions Germany in the monthly FIFA world rankings. - 5/19/05

South Korea beats Taiwan, sets up Asian volleyball final with Iran
Playing before over 1,000 home fans in the volleyball hall of the Azadi Sports Complex in western Tehran, Iran handed the powerful India a humiliating defeat, winning 25-19 25-15 25-22. - 5/19/05

Straw, Rice Back New European Nuclear Initiative With Iran
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he and his French and German colleagues will meet Iranian officials next week in another effort to convince Tehran to curb its nuclear activities. Mr. Straw discussed the initiative in talks late Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. - 5/19/05

Tensions Linger Beneath Iranian FM's Visit To Baghdad
As Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Baghdad on 17 May to stress Iran's support for a stable, unified Iraq, Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam television station was broadcasting footage showing desecrated Korans strewn across a mosque floor in Iraq. - 5/19/05

Obstacles to Mideast Democracy Debated at US Congress
Obstacles to spreading democracy in the Middle East were a key topic of discussion at the U.S. Congress this week. An Iraqi politician, a former Israeli cabinet minister and human rights campaigner, and experts, were among those offering ideas about what the United States and others can do to help reformers maintain momentum for change. - 5/19/05

Iran, Iraq issue joint statement
Iran and Iraq stressed the importance of promoting the level of bilateral relations and cooperation in political, economic and security fields due to deep-rooted historical, cultural and religious ties between the two nations. - 5/19/05

Exclusive Interview: Mehdi Hosseini, National Iranian Oil Company Deputy Managing Director, Speaks Up
On 4th April, Iran Energy Focus met NIOC Deputy Managing Director Seyyed Mehdi Hosseini and engaged in a detailed and frank discussion. In this in-depth interview, Mr. Hosseini discusses the much-debated Bangestan project while also revealing previously untold issues on the buy-back contracts. - 5/19/05

Iran wants significant incentives for a deal
Iran and the European Union will not break their impasse over restraining Tehran's nuclear development program unless the Europeans offer significant incentives like a deal for 10 nuclear reactors, a top Iranian negotiator said Wednesday. -IHT - 5/19/05

An Open Letter to Members of U.S. Congress Re: H.R. 282/S. 333 (‘Freedom Support Act’)
I’m writing in regard to the H.R. 282/S. 333, the so called ‘Iran Freedom Support Act’ -- A bill ‘to hold the current regime in Iran accountable for its threatening behavior and to support a transition to democracy in Iran’ -Daniel M Pourkesali - 5/19/05

Behzad Ranjbaran Named SPAC Composer-in-Residence
Behzad Ranjbaran has been named Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s Composer-in-Residence for 2005, and two of his premieres will be performed at SPAC this summer for SPAC’s 40th anniversary season, SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White has announced. - 5/18/05

Paris hosts Iran handwoven carpet exhibition
An exhibition of Iranian handwoven carpets kicked off in Paris on Tuesday. - 5/18/05

US 'ignored Iraq oil smuggling'
The US turned a blind eye to the former Iraq regime's $8bn trade in smuggled oil, a new US Senate report says. -BBC - 5/18/05

Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, India into Asian juniors volleyball semis
Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, and India advanced to the last four of the 5th Asian Juniors' Volleyball Championships in Tehran on Tuesday. - 5/18/05

Media Coverage of Intelligence Manipulation Reflects Public Acceptance of Imperial Presidency
Delayed for two weeks after first reported and buried in the back pages of most major U.S. newspapers is the blockbuster story that key players in the British government believed the case for the invasion of Iraq was “thin” and that the Bush administration was manipulating intelligence to provide a rationale for an aggressive U.S. policy. -Common Dreams - 5/18/05

Unity avowed on Iran after Iraq split
The United States and Britain vowed on Tuesday to remain united in curbing Iran's nuclear programs and avoid a repeat of the rift between the Bush administration and its European allies over Iraq. -Reuters - 5/18/05

Tabriz ready to further expand ties with Baku
Iran's northwestern city of Tabriz is ready to further expand ties with Baku, the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan. - 5/18/05

4th International Pistachio and Almond Symposium to be held in Tehran
The three-day Fourth International Pistachio and Almond Symposium will begin in Tehran on May 23. The three earlier symposiums were held in Turkey (1994), the US (1998) and Spain (2001). - 5/18/05

Iran: Sit-ins held to protest "desecration" of Quran by US forces in Guantanamo Bay
Sit-ins were held on Wednesday in several towns in Iran, including the capital Tehran, to protes the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by US forces in Guantanamo Bay. - 5/18/05

Caspian States hope for unanimity on convention of Caspian Sea
Iranian representative for Caspian Sea affairs Mehdi Safari said on Tuesday that about 75 percent of the accords about the status convention of the Caspian Sea has been agreed in the past 14 meetings of envoys of the Caspian States. - 5/18/05

Author of “The Islamic Paradox” Talks about Spreading Democracy in the Middle East
A critical debate is taking place over the best way to combat global terrorism. The Bush administration believes that only freedom and democracy have the power to break the nexus between tyranny and Islamic extremism that gave rise to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. - 5/18/05

Iranian-American Bar Association Awards Scholarships To Law Students
The Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its first annual Scholarship Award. - 5/18/05

EU, Iran to hold political, trade negotiations in Tehran
Officials from the European Union and the Islamic Republic ended the sixth round of political dialogue in Brussels Tuesday evening on a positive and determined note. - 5/18/05

Iran, Iraq FMs hold first round of talks
Foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq discussed bilateral relations during the first round of their talks in Baghdad on Tuesday. - 5/18/05

Iraqi FM says his country to promote all-out relations with Iran
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said Wednesday that his country is determined to expand all-out relations with neighboring Iran. - 5/18/05

Oil Minister: Iran's per capita income to reach 10,000 dollars
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran on Tuesday that Iran's per capita income will reach 10,000 dollars and oil revenues $900 billion dollars under the 20-year development plan. - 5/18/05

Fernando Espí's Spanish Classical Guitar Concert in Tehran
Fernando Espí will play works of FRANCISCO TÁRREGA and some of his guitar transcriptions in Tehran's Vahdat Hall on May 22 and 23. - 5/18/05

Riccardo Zipoli's Photos of Iran at Tehran’s Silk Road Gallery
Last week at the invitation of the Italian Embassy Cultural Center and The Silk Road Gallery, I went to the opening of the exhibition of most interesting photographs by the well known and distinguished scholar Professor Riccardo Zipoli. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/18/05

Set up a meeting with your congressman on H.R.282/S.333!
H.R. 282/S. 333, the Iran Freedom Support Act, has reached a critical juncture. Lobby groups both for and against the legislation have increased political pressure on lawmakers to support or oppose it. -NIAC - 5/17/05

Milad Tower to Become Tehran Symbol
The newly built 435 meter Milad Tower is predicted to replace the long-time symbol of Tehran, the Azadi tower. Experts are also suggesting for the registration of the Tower as an Iranian national heritage. - 5/17/05

Straw to consult Rice ahead of EU-Iran emergency talks
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw travels to Washington Tuesday to meet his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice ahead of EU-Iran emergency talks that are expected to be held next week. - 5/17/05

The People’s Movement
Mehrangiz Kar is a renowned Iranian human-rights lawyer and writer. In the January 2003 issue of the Journal of Democracy, she laid out a concise and powerful case against Iran’s theocratic constitution, detailing the structural impediments that make reform within the current constitutional framework impossible. -NRO - 5/17/05

Karzai Warns Heavy-handed US Troops as Riots Spread
President Hamid Karzai insisted the Kabul government will veto US military operations after a week of hugely destructive anti-American rioting left Afghan cities and towns in flames and hospitals overflowing with casualties. -Independent - 5/17/05

Iranian car hits end of the road
Production of Iran's most popular car, which was modelled on the 1960s Hillman Hunter, has come to an end after nearly forty years. -BBC - 5/17/05

Take Public Broadcasting Back
Bill Moyers' closing address at the National Conference on Media Reform -Common Dreams - 5/17/05

Iranian lawyers appeal over slain photojournalist
Human rights lawyers on Monday accused Iran's hardline judiciary of permitting an illegal trial that acquitted a government agent of the killing of a Canadian photojournalist. -Reuters - 5/17/05

Straw optimistic about outcome of the new nuclear talks with Iran
British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, announced on Monday he was hopeful about the outcome of the new discussions between the so called EU3 and Iran. - 5/17/05

New round of EU-Iran trade talks kicks off in Brussels
The European Union and Iranian officials began the seventh round of negotiations of a trade and cooperation agreement (TCA) in Brussels on Tuesday morning, aiming at strengthening economic and trade cooperation between the 25-member European bloc and the Islamic Republic. - 5/17/05

A Small Party Growing Fast: An Interview with Jack Layton
Many Iranian-Canadians feel that Canada is our second home after living here for 10, 15, 20 years, yet many of us are still deeply tied to our homeland. As an Iranian, I am interested in learning how you can help us improve democracy and freedom in Iran? -Saeed Soltanpour - 5/17/05

Bronze Coffin with Golden Blindfold Found in Western Iran
A two thousand-year bronze coffin containing a skeleton with golden blindfold and muzzle was found by archaeologists in a farm near Khorram-abad, in western province of Lorestan. - 5/17/05

Health Official: 60,000 AIDS/HIV patients in Iran
Sixty-thousand Iranians are afflicted with AIDS/HIV, which is ten times the average global figure, said Deputy Minister of Health for Research Affairs Hossein Malek-Afzali in Bushehr on Monday. - 5/17/05

Germany keeps MKO on terrorist list
The German government has maintained its ban on Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO), keeping the Paris-based organization on the annual terrorist list of Germany's domestic secret service, Verfassungsschutz - 5/17/05

Iran: Students at Sistan & Baluchestan University stage protest
A number of of Sistan & Baluchestan University students staged protest on Monday for what they called ambiguities in certain security issues. - 5/17/05

Over 1,000 Register To Run For Iranian President
The candidates include prominent politicians, but also 81 jobless aspirants, 19 teenagers, and 250 without a secondary-school diploma - 5/17/05

Voter fury threatens Iranian election
With polling a month away, those in Tehran's conservative bazaar now reject the whole system -Guardian - 5/17/05

Iran's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The United States and Europe believe Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. But Tehran says its program is aimed at producing fuel for peaceful purposes. - 5/17/05

Our pigeons and "a bird that wants to fly high" story
But I want to share with you another story, the story of a bright 17 year old girl, who comes from Kerman and who wants to work for NASA. Last month she won a silver medal in Switzerland at the 33rd International Invention Competition held in Geneva. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/16/05

Iranians condemn election vetting
More than 500 politicians and intellectuals in Iran have announced that they will not take part in the presidential election next month. -BBC - 5/16/05

Uzbekistan: Anger as US Backs Regime
Heated criticism was growing last night over 'double standards' by Washington over human rights, democracy and 'freedom' as fresh evidence emerged of just how brutally Uzbekistan, a US ally in the 'war on terror', put down Friday's unrest in the east of the country. -Observer - 5/16/05

Iran plays down Dutch row over alleged mistreatment of lawmaker Farah Karimi
The Dutch government summoned Iran's ambassador Tuesday over allegations that soldiers at the Mehrabad airport had harassed Farah Karimi, an Iranian-born Dutch member of parliament. - 5/16/05

Iranian President: Auto manufacturing gives momentum to industry
President Mohammad Khatami on Monday referred to automobile manufacturing as a driving force for the industry sector and said that Iran has become fully self-sufficient in the automobile design and technology. - 5/16/05

The West's Next Mistake?
AS pluralist politics makes inroads in the greater Middle East, the outside world would have to look for new interlocutors there. -Amir Taheri, NY Post - 5/16/05

Speech at Conference on Media Reform Assails Right Wing
PBS's Bill Moyers: "An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight - ask questions and be skeptical." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 5/16/05

EU, Iran to hold trade and political negotiations in Brussels
The European Union and the Islamic Republic will hold the seventh round of negotiations of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in Brussels on Tuesday. - 5/16/05

Iran, against militarization of Caspian Sea
Iran's special representative for the Caspian Sea Affairs Mehdi Safari, speaking in Tehran on Monday, expressed opposition to militarization of the Caspian Sea and transfer of pipelines through the sea. - 5/16/05

Azeri defense minister: We have not given any military base to Iran's enemies
Azeri Defense Minister Safar Abiyev said in Tehran on Monday, "We have not given any military base to Iran's enemies." The Azeri minister who is heading a high ranking delegates made the remarks after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani where the two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation. - 5/16/05

Tehran to launch gas swap talks with New Delhi, Islamabad
Tehran is to start gas swap talks with New Delhi and Islamabad in June 2005, said Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian here on Saturday. - 5/15/05

Iran, Armenia to establish two power stations on Aras river
Iran and Armenia on Saturday reached agreement in Tehran on building two power stations at the common frontier of the two countries. - 5/15/05

UK Film at Cannes Says Terror Fears Exaggerated
A British documentary arguing U.S. neo-conservatives have exaggerated the terror threat is set to rock the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, the way "Fahrenheit 9/11" stirred emotions here a year ago. -Common Dreams - 5/15/05

Iran: near deal with EU on resuming nuclear work
Iran said on Saturday it was close to an agreement with France, Britain and Germany that would enable it to resume sensitive nuclear activities that have been frozen for months. -Reuters - 5/15/05

Iran leaves the world guessing
Iran's threat to restart the process of enriching uranium has kept the world guessing about its ultimate intentions and has put its opponents on the back foot again. -BBC - 5/15/05

Iran's tax revenues to reach 2.5 billion dollars
Iran's tax revenues will reach rls 20 trillion (about $2.5B) by early next year (to start on March 21, 2006) once the value-added tax (VAT) bill goes into effect. - 5/15/05

Iran, UAE to review investment, trade ties
Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will review their investment and trade relations in the monthly meeting of Iranian Trade Council in Dubai. - 5/15/05

Iran: Yazdi signs up for presidential election, calls for national reconciliation
Secretary-General of Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) Ibrahim Yazdi on Saturday signed up for presidential election and said that national reconciliation is the only way to leave behind the current crisis in administrative affairs. - 5/15/05

NGO Concerned Over Violence Against Iranian Workers
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has written to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to express concern over recent violations of workers' rights - 5/14/05

Iranian Cultural Heritage Experts Aim at Neighboring Countries
The ICHTO Research Center for Historical Monuments is planning to expand its activities to the neighboring countries of Iran to identify and restore the many historical monuments dating to the Achaemenid period scattered around and to provide a map of the Ancient Persia Empire. - 5/14/05

On this race-car driver's track, a new Iran
Laleh Seddigh stepped on the gas, cut off a truck and blasted her Peugeot between two other cars. "I prefer to drive by myself," she said, seeing her passenger steadying himself with a hand on the dash. "In case something happens, it's a very big responsibility." -NY Times - 5/14/05

Pro-war film spotted on Croisette
George Bush and Tony Blair will whoop for joy. A strongly pro-war film has been premiered at the Cannes film festival - and it comes from Iraq. -Guardian - 5/14/05

A Terrorist Comes Home to Roost
The sudden and untimely arrival on U.S. territory of a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset and admitted terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, poses an embarrassing challenge to the credibility of the Bush administration's war on terrorism. -IPS - 5/14/05

Brinkmanship in Iran’s nuclear potboiler
YESTERDAY was an extraordinary day of threats and counter-threats, even by the standards of the three-year row over Iran’s nuclear programme. From the early morning, telephone calls rattled between London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Washington and Tehran, after Iran threatened to restart a controversial part of its work. -Times Online - 5/14/05

Amnesty International issues new report on USA’s "war on terror" detentions
The report, Guantánamo and beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power, details how hypocrisy, an over-arching war mentality, and a refusal to adhere to international obligations continue to characterize the US administration’s approach to detentions in the "war on terror". - 5/14/05

Annan Urges NPT Review Conference to Get Serious
A month-long conference at the United Nations on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) has reached the mid-point amid growing concern it may end in failure. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is urging the 188-member conference to take its job seriously and speed up the pace of work. - 5/14/05

Moves to defuse Iran nuclear crisis
Iranian and European officials yesterday were trying to arrange a high-level ministerial meeting in the hope of defusing the crisis provoked by Tehran's threats to restart suspended nuclear experiments. -Financial Times - 5/14/05

The teahouses of Esfahan seduce Iran’s malcontents, youth, and travellers
When ancient Persian scribes reflected on Esfahan, they wrote Efahan nesf-e jahan: “Esfahan is half the world.” The city in Central Iran remains the country’s most shimmering jewel, filled with Persian seductions, and during both of my recent trips to Iran I found it hard to stay away. -Straight, Canada - 5/13/05

THE REVIVAL OF THE COLONIAL SPIRIT: The Case of the Islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tumbs
The issue of sovereignty over these small islands has very little if anything to do with their economic interests or true historical claims to their ownership. This is yet another political ploy to pressure Iran into an ever tighter corner. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/13/05

A bigger threat than the bomb
The world can live with Iranian nuclear weapons. But can the US? -Guardian - 5/13/05

North Korea, Iran Raise Stakes In Nuclear Crises
The stakes are rising in the world's two nuclear-arms crises. North Korea says it is using a nuclear reactor to produce weapons-grade material and plans to expand its atomic arsenal. And Iran says it may resume some suspended activities Washington says could be used to produce bomb-making material in the future. - 5/13/05

BBG Announces Significant Increase In Satellite TV News To Iran
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today announced a significant increase in satellite television news broadcast into Iran. - 5/13/05

High School Attack Video Pulled from Internet
Rahgozar is of Iranian decent, and his father says his son has endured name-calling like "Saddam Hussein" and "Bin Laden." The family has hired an attorney, saying that the school should have done a better job of protecting the teenager. -CBS 5 - 5/13/05

Indignation Grows in U.S. Over British Prewar Documents
Critics of Bush call them proof that he and Blair never saw diplomacy as an option with Hussein. -LA Times - 5/13/05

Petronas Will Not Pull Out of Iran Project
Malaysia's national oil company Petronas will not pull out of a joint-venture project to develop a $2 billion dollar gas field in Iran despite the Petronas chief's doubts about the deal, news reports said Friday. -Forbes - 5/13/05

Iranians hold their noses as they pick new president
Iranians may have to hold their noses when they go to the polls in next month's presidential election. This is only partly the result of a new craze for surgical nose jobs among Tehran's fashionable youth. -Guardian - 5/13/05

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho's latest book banned in Iran
International best-selling Brazilian author Paulo Coelho said Thursday his latest novel "The Zahir" had been banned in Iran, with some 1,000 copies confiscated this week at Tehran's annual book fair. -AFP - 5/13/05

Mystery man behind the party of God
The power of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is very real. He is the undisputed leader of what the Americans, Israelis and many other governments call a terrorist organisation. But in Lebanon the man who has been secretary general of Hizbullah for the past 13 years is hailed as a great resistance fighter. -Guardian - 5/13/05

In pictures: An Iranian bathhouse
Public bathhouses are an ancient tradition in Iran that in many areas still form part of people's daily lives. -BBC - 5/13/05

The Iranian game
Israeli experts monitoring Iran's "nuclear diplomacy" assume the Iranians are playing a game of nerves. Tehran continually explores the limits of patience in Europe and Washington, but is careful not to cross any red lines which would propel the Iranian nuclear issue into the UN Security Council. -Ha'aretz - 5/13/05

Mild Quakes Jolt Western And Southeastern Iran
Three separate mild earthquakes jolted Marivan and Zarand, the two Iranian cities in western and southeastern provinces of Kurdestan and Kerman, Thursday and Friday. - 5/13/05

Apocalypse Soon
Robert McNamara is worried. He knows how close we’ve come. His counsel helped the Kennedy administration avert nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, he believes the United States must no longer rely on nuclear weapons as a foreign-policy tool. To do so is immoral, illegal, and dreadfully dangerous. -Foreign Policy - 5/13/05

Nothing to gain from taking Iran to UN, says Hans Blix
Former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix, expressed doubts if anything will be achieved by taking Iran to the UN if it restarts its fuel cycle program, suggesting it could prove to be counterproductive. - 5/13/05

Iranian-American Bar Association Hires Executive Director
The Board of Directors of The Iranian-American Bar Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Ben Farahani as IABA's first Executive Director. - 5/13/05

Bush Backs Europeans' Tough Line on Iran
France, Germany and Great Britain say Iran could face serious consequences if Tehran follows through on a threat to resume processing uranium for nuclear fuel. The tough talk is supported in Washington. - 5/13/05

Iran: A close shave connected traveler to people eager for answers about US
I was at the bus station in Shiraz, slumped in an orange plastic chair. I'd been in Iran for a week and was getting frustrated. Few locals wanted to talk to me, let alone offer the hospitality that I'd heard about from other travelers -- whisked off to family dinners, thrust into wedding ceremonies, or even offered someone's daughter to marry. None of that for me. -Sun-Sentinel - 5/12/05

Top clerics blast Iran regime as vote nears
Two of Iran's most senior dissident pro-reform Shiite clerics have hit out at the Islamic regime ahead of next month's presidential election, accusing hard-liners of failing to deliver on revolutionary promises of fundamental freedoms. -AFP - 5/12/05

Rafsanjani: Continuation of Iran-EU3 dialogue best option
"The sound strategy is that we should continue talks with the Europeans; and Europeans and we should be patient to build a sort of confidence which can enable us to carry out the enrichment," said Rafsanjani in an interview with reporters after formally registering for the 9th presidential elections. - 5/12/05

Khatami: Iran expects talks with Europe to become more serious
Making the remark during talks with a Malaysian delegation headed by Prime Minister Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi, he said the talks should ot be used as an instrument to obstruct Iran's nuclear activities with an aim of preventing Tehran from gaining access to atomic technology. - 5/12/05

Iraq Insurgency United by Opposition to US
Since the defeat of Iraq's army by a U.S.-led coalition in 2003, a shadowy group of insurgents has mounted almost daily attacks against coalition forces and their Iraqi allies. - 5/12/05

11 Nations Cited for Violating Religious Freedom
A U.S. panel has issued its annual report on international religious freedom, naming 11 nations as serious violators. The commission added Uzbekistan to the list this year and removed India, where it says improvements have been made recently. - 5/12/05

Real ID Act Gets Makeover, Proposes Sweeping Changes
Many immigrant rights and civil rights organizations including the National Immigration Forum and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lobbied strongly against the Act. They refer to it as a “sucker-punch to immigrant communities” and an infringement on privacy. -NIAC - 5/12/05

Europe on alert over Iran nuclear ambitions
European powers are poised to call an emergency meeting of the board of the UN's nuclear watchdog after an escalating dispute with Iran about its nuclear projects. -Guardian - 5/12/05

India chasing Caspian region energy
Kazakhstan has offered India's ONGC Videsh a choice of one energy block for exploration. Kazakhstan has offered two exploration blocks in the lucrative Caspian region out of which India will select one, reports 'Times of India, today. - 5/12/05

Seymour Hersh: Iraq "Moving Towards Open Civil War"
The King of Jordan, along with, of course, the Saudis and the Egyptians who see what's going on in Iraq right now as an existential threat in this sense – that they believe the United States is making a terrible mistake by letting much of Iraq fall into the hands of the – of what they consider to be Iranian Shia. They see the Irianian influence spreading south, and for the Sunni -- those are Sunni countries, that's a devastating effect that hasn't happened before. -Democracy Now - 5/12/05

Iran: Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Some 100 Others Declare Their Candidacies For President
Former Iranian President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has confirmed his intention to run in the 17 June presidential election. The announcement came late yesterday, on the first official day of registration. - 5/12/05

BMW to focus on Iran as a primary regional market
German automobile manufacturing giant BMW said Wednesday that it forecasts sales to increase sales to over 13,000 units in the Middle East in 2005 and has picked Iran as one its primary regional markets in the region. - 5/12/05

US mulls move as Iran and North Korea stand firm
With Iran and North Korea threatening to raise the stakes in their twin nuclear stand-offs, the possible simultaneous collapse of diplomatic efforts on both fronts is driving the Bush administration to reassess its options, focusing debate on containment and possible military strikes. -Financial Times - 5/12/05

The New College of California Study Tour to Iran
In July of this year, Jerry Dekker, instructor of Humanities at New College of California, is leading another trip to Iran for students, faculty, staff and friends of New College of California. Jerry, fluent in the Persian language, has lived for several years in Iran and recently returned from the Islamic Republic with a group of New College students. - 5/12/05

Iranian journalist Emadoldin Baghi faces possible imprisonment again
Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about a court summons received on 8 May by journalist Emadoldin Baghi, who has been imprisoned in the past. Baghi has been ordered to appear before a Tehran revolutionary court tomorrow. - 5/12/05

The Search for the Star Musician of Iran
The Search for the Star Musician of Iran is a worldwide contest intended to promote Iranian musicians and the timeless music the country possesses. - 5/12/05

Iran, the West and the NPT
While details of the five-month-long talks on Iran’s nuclear programme between Tehran and the European Union, represented by Britain, France and Germany, have been kept secret, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi’s speech at the United Nations conference to review the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on 3 May gave an inkling of the reason for a continued stalemate. -Dilip Hiro, MEI - 5/11/05

Iran: Global Skills Desperately Needed For Bam
The city of Bam and its 2000-year-old citadel may be in Iran but the skills to rebuild this jewel of Iranian heritage has to come from around the world. From architects to archeologists, geologists to seismologists, countless international experts have come forward but more are needed to rebuild the city, said Eskandar Mokhtari, head of the project to salvage the citadel ruined by a massive earthquake in 2003. -AKI - 5/11/05

A Rose By Another Other Name: The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties
Since the long-forgotten days when the State Department's Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, U.S. policy on Israel and the Arab world has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel. -Axis of Logic - 5/11/05

105 candidates register for Iran's presidential election
Some 105 candidates, including eight women, registered at the Interior Ministry on Tuesday as candidates for the upcoming presidential election slated for June 17. - 5/11/05

Rafsanjani joins Iran leader race
He said Iran was facing "destructive tensions that prevent the development of the country" and threats to "rights and fundamental freedoms - in what many observers said was a clear reference to religious right-wingers. -BBC - 5/11/05

Iranian President: Hormuzgan province glowing moon of Persian Gulf
Addressing a group of officials in a ceremony, marking inauguration of a 990-megawatt power plant in southern Bandar Abbas port city, Khatami said the warmth of people's affection and love is many times as much the burning temperature of the region. - 5/11/05

Wily shark resurfaces for another bite at Iran presidency
A FOUNDING leader of the Iranian revolution, who promoted militant Islam in the Middle East and led his country through a war, yesterday became the favourite to be elected President. -Times Online - 5/11/05

Anti-war movement 'must stay mobilized' due to threats to Iran
Former British Labor cabinet minister Tony Benn has called on supporter of the anti-war movement to remain mobilized because of the chaos in occupied Iraq and the risk of the US launching another Iraq-style war against Iran or Syria - 5/11/05

Defiant Iran plans nuclear revival
The Iranian government threatened to provoke a full-blown international crisis yesterday by confirming that it is to resume its suspended nuclear programme. -Guardian - 5/11/05

Egypt: Suspects Sent Back Face Torture
Scores of alleged Islamist militants have been sent back to Egypt, where they have faced torture and serious mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United States is among the countries that have rendered such suspects to Egypt. - 5/11/05

Iranian FM foresees Iran-EU agreement on nuclear issue
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday that Iran is committed to the talks and an agreement could be reached through negotiations if the Europeans want it. - 5/11/05

EU Diplomats: Iran Risks Sanctions For Nuclear Activity
Senior officials in Britain, France and Germany, the three European Union countries negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, are warning the Islamic Republic that it faces international sanctions if it does not stop plans to resume nuclear activity. - 5/11/05

Iran’s only female Shahnameh narrator to recite epic on Ferdowsi Day
Iran’s only female narrator of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Fatemeh Habibizad, is to recite part of the Iranian national epic in Kerman on Ferdowsi National Day on May 15. - 5/11/05

Iran: Reports of Ethnic Violence Suppressed
The Iranian government should immediately release Yusuf Azizi Banitaraf, an Iranian journalist of Arab descent, and allow independent journalists and human rights monitors to report on a government crackdown on protests in the southern province of Khuzistan, Human Rights Watch said today. - 5/11/05

Neocons Exploiting Domestic Unrest in Iran?
Amid rising tension between Iran and the United States, a major U.S. human rights group said Tuesday that at least 50 people were killed during week-long protests in southwestern Khuzestan province last month and urged Iran to permit independent journalists and rights monitors to go to the strife-torn region across the border from Iraq. -Jim Lobe, Antiwar - 5/11/05

Iranian Students End Sit-In, Economists Urge Change
Student members of the Office for Strengthening Unity (DTV) ended on 10 May a sit-in they began at Tehran's Amir Kabir University the day before, to protest against increasing restrictions in universities and threats to freedom in Iran, Radio Farda reported the same day. - 5/11/05

Rome to Host International Conference on Saving Bam
Rome will be hosting an international conference on Bam Salvation Project on May 10 and 11, in which the 15-year plan for restoration and salvation of Bam Citadel will be presented and more than 70 suggested projects will be analyzed. - 5/10/05

Twelve Iranian Monuments to Host Musical Performances
The Nations Music Orchestra headed by Peyman Sultani is to play classical and Iranian traditional music in 12 historical monuments of Iran, starting from the World Heritage Site of Persepolis. - 5/10/05

Iran's booming animation industry
In an attempt to challenge the West's cultural domination, Iranian television has been making Islamic cartoons, some of which it has started exporting to the wider Muslim world. -BBC - 5/10/05

Inside story
An Iranian playwright's story of life behind the razor wire is part of a new theatre work, writes Jill Stark. -Age, Australia - 5/10/05

Iran Daily comments on inflation and price dilemma
Inflation in Iran has varied officially between 12 and 16 percent per year for the past decade, though experts say the rates are much higher. - 5/10/05

Iraqi president calls for Iran to write off debt
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, speaking in Amman on Monady, called on Tehran to scrap the debt owed to it by Iraq. - 5/10/05

Amidst Doubts, CIA Hangs on to Control of Iraqi Intelligence Service
The CIA has so far refused to hand over control of Iraq's intelligence service to the newly elected Iraqi government in a turf war that exposes serious doubts the Bush administration has over the ability of Iraqi leaders to fight the insurgency and worries about the new government's close ties to Iran. -Common Dreams - 5/10/05

Iran 'to resume nuclear activity'
Iran says it will resume uranium enrichment activities within the next few days, in a move which could put talks with Europe in jeopardy. -BBC - 5/10/05

Afghanistan: Taliban Radio Back On The Air
In April, residents of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar were able to hear again Shari'a Zhagh (Voice of the Shari'a) -- the name used for Kabul's Radio Afghanistan during the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001. - 5/10/05

America's Shame, Two Years on from "Mission Accomplished"
Two years after "Mission Accomplished", whatever moral stature the United States could claim at the end of its invasion of Iraq has long ago been squandered in the torture and abuse and deaths at Abu Ghraib. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 5/10/05

France presses Iran over uranium enrichment plans
France urged Iran on Tuesday not to carry out a threat to resume uranium enrichment-related activities, which the European Union and the United States fear could be a step towards developing nuclear weapons. -Reuters - 5/10/05

Iran To Resume Some Enrichment-Related Activities Within Days
Iran said yesterday it will resume uranium-enrichment-related activities "in the next few days." U.S. officials have previously said Iran should be referred to the UN Security Council if Tehran pulls out of its deal with the European Union to suspend nuclear-fuel activities. - 5/10/05

Political literature meets Mr. Tickle at Tehran book fair
Publishers from around the world pack annual literary festival -Daily Star - 5/10/05

Tehran Art Scene: Farshid Mesghali
Last Friday with a few friends we went to see the very interesting and bright colored works of Farshid Mesghali at Tehran’s Golestan gallery. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/10/05

Badgering the NPT
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn't bother to address or even attend the Seventh RevCon being held this month. Instead, she sent some mid-level State Department weenie you've probably never heard of named Stephen Rademaker to instruct the conferees. -Antiwar - 5/9/05

President Talabani: Iraqis are indebted to Iran
Iraq's President Jalal Talabani heaped flattering praise on Iran Sunday night, saying the Iraqis feel indebted to its eastern neighbor because of the assistance they received during the rule of former dictator Saddam Hussein. - 5/9/05

Iran's electricity imports outstrips exports
Managing Director of Power Production, Transmission and Distribution Company (TAVANIR) said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran's electricity import from neighbouring countries is 500,000 kw/h more than its exports - 5/9/05

Iran's gasoline imports to top dlrs 4.5 billion this year
Hossein Kashefi said that the figure was dlrs three billion last year. The total refining capacity is 40 million liters daily where as the gasoline consumption is estimated to exceed 64.5 million liters daily this year. "Hence, we have to import 24.5 million liters daily" - 5/9/05

Iran 'loses interest' in MG Rover
Iran's car-makers are no longer in the running for stricken UK group MG Rover, the country's industry minister says. -BBC - 5/9/05

Biblical Prophecy and Christian Zionism
The Christian right, generally speaking, embraces religious Zionism---not simply support for the modern Jewish state, but a certain view of the past, present and future based on a Bible-centered understanding of history and a prophetic vision of the future. That entails, in bare outline, the following narrative. -Counterpunch - 5/9/05

The Quagmire: As the Iraq War Drags on, it's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Vietnam
The cost of the war now tops $192 billion, rising by $1 billion a week, and the corpses are piling up: Nearly 1,600 American soldiers and up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, as well as 177 allied troops and 229 private contractors. -Rolling Stone - 5/9/05

Afghan assembly backs close U.S. ties-Karzai spokesman
Most Afghans support President Hamid Karzai's bid to have long-term security ties with the United States, the president's spokesman said after a gathering of more than 1,000 chiefs and regional leaders on Sunday. -Reuters - 5/9/05

Bush and Putin in democracy row
Russia's leader criticises voting system, US president warns Moscow not to stir up fears in border states -guardian - 5/9/05

Iran's Red Crescent Society active in 17 countries
Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS) renders various medical services in 17 foreign states via its clinics, an IRCS official said in Dushanbe on Sunday. - 5/9/05

Iran insists new airport is safe, despite warnings
Iran insisted on Sunday its new main international airport was safe despite warnings to travelers by Britain, Canada and Australia that the runway may be unsound. -Reuters - 5/9/05

North Korea Again Urged Not to Conduct Nuclear Test
Leading US lawmakers and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency say a North Korean nuclear test would be a "reckless" and "cataclysmic" event. - 5/9/05

Iran-Khodro estimates 200 million dollars worth of car exports this year
Tehran, May 9, IRNA-An advisor to Iran giant car manufacturing concern Iran-Khodro Industrial Group said in Tehran on Sunday that if all the organization's plans are implemented the conglomerate forecasts over dlrs 200 million of car exports in the current Iranian year - 5/9/05

Iran brands warnings against airport safety propaganda
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Sunday lashed out at warnings against safety of the reopened Imam Khomeini International Airport, 48 km south of Tehran. - 5/9/05

Bad Driving, Drugs, Heart Disease Main Killers In Iran
More than 40,000 Iranians have died from narcotics abuse between 20 March 2004 and 20 March 2005, with just over 26,000 dying in car crashes. - 5/9/05

Iran's Saipa finalizing Renault deal
Europe's top selling car Renault Megane will hit the Iranian market later this year, the English-language paper `Iran Daily' wrote on Sunday. - 5/8/05

First Neolithic Site of Gilan Discovered
A joint team of Iranian and Japanese Archaeologists working in the northern province of Gilan have discovered a Neolithic site, which is the first of the period and the most ancient of the province to be found so far. - 5/8/05

Sassanid Skeleton Rises from Bolaghi Gorge
Iranian and French archaeologists have discovered an adult male skeleton and a clay pot in a one-hectare graveyard in the historical site of Bolaghi Gorge, in Fars Province. - 5/8/05

"Critical situation" for Iran: Says Rafsanjani
Chairman of the State Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said in Tehran late Saturday new international, regional and internal circumstances have all put Iran into a "critical situation". - 5/8/05

UAE calls for expansion of investments, trade relations with Iran
UAE Minister of Economy and Planning said in Dubai on Saturday that increase in contacts between Iranian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) businessmen are important for mutual trade. - 5/8/05

Exhibition: Riccardo Zipoli's Photographs at Silk Road Gallery in Tehran
The works of Italian photographer Riccardo Zipoli will be going on display at Tehran's Silk Road Gallery. The exhibition's opening night is on Tuesday May 10 from 4:00 to 8:30pm. -Syma Sayyah - 5/8/05

Iranian Filmmakers Win NYU Business Competition
The creators of Babak and Friends -- A First Norooz won the New York University Business Plan Competition. -Sara Sefeed - 5/7/05

Oil Minister: Developing Iran's petrochemical industry, a top priority
Making the remark in the opening ceremony of the 7th International Petrochemistry Conference in Tehran on Saturday, Zanganeh said the policy indicated the strategic importance the petrochemical industry enjoyed in the country's fourth development plan. - 5/7/05

Will Conservatives Dominate Iran's Election?
The men and women who wish to compete in the Iranian presidential election will begin registering on 10 May. After five days, the 12 members of the Guardians Council will begin to examine the applicants' qualifications. This is part of the Guardians Council's constitutional responsibility to supervise elections. - 5/7/05

Iran-World Bank cooperation confab opens on Kish island
Iran-World Bank cooperation conference aiming to examine the relevant obstacles and executive strategies opened at Kish University on Saturday. - 5/7/05

Iran rules out taking territorial dispute with UAE to UN
Tehran reiterated Saturday its sovereignty over the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf, dismissing the UAE's request to take the 'misunderstanding' to the UN Security Council for arbitration. - 5/7/05

11.5 billion dollars to be invested in Iran's petrochemical industry in 4th plan
Head of the Management and Planning Organization Hamid-Reza Baradaran Shoraka said in Tehran on Saturday that about dlrs 11.5 billion will be invested in the petrochemical industry in the Fourth 5-Year Economic Development Plan (2005-10). - 5/7/05

US Nuclear Weapons Hypocrisy Highlighted as Int'l Conference Deadlocks in Week One
A month-long U.N. conference on halting the spread of nuclear weapons neared the end of its first week Friday deadlocked over how to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). -OneWorld - 5/7/05

Soccer: Thailand to host Japan-North Korea qualifier: report
FIFA has selected Thailand as the neutral country that will host Japan's upcoming World Cup qualifier against North Korea, the Bangkok Post reported on Saturday. - 5/7/05

Iran-India gas project in political wing: FICCI
Sources at the Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) said Iran-India gas pipeline project is now in the political plane. "Given the sensitive nature of the project, nothing concrete could be said now," said Ambika Sharma, an FICCI senior director. - 5/7/05

Iraq Clouds Blair Victory
The invasion of Iraq rebounded a little on the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to dent his majority as he returned to a third term as prime minister. -IPS - 5/7/05

Iran's tickets for 2006 World Cup games sold out: FIFA
There are no longer World Cup tickets available for some 24 countries, among them Iran, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Italy, France, Netherlands and England, the vice-president of the 2006 World Cup Organizing Committee, Wolfgang Niersbach, announced in Frankfurt on Saturday. - 5/7/05

World War II -- 60 Years After: The Anglo-Soviet Invasion Of Iran And Washington-Tehran Relations
On the eve of World War II, many Iranians contrasted the United States with Great Britain and the Soviet Union, seeing it as the one international actor that could help Iran gain control of its future. Moreover, the American role in forcing Soviet invaders to leave Iranian Azerbaijan after the war reinforced this positive image. - 5/7/05

People in Tehran’s Laleh Park
Last week, with a few minutes between appointments, I and a researcher went to Laleh Park, which is in the center of Tehran, to take a look around. There, in the middle of the very tall trees, one can find refuge and cool off a little from the afternoon heat. Many young people had the same idea and had found their way there too. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/6/05

The First Spark
It was midnight, or perhaps early morning when I woke up from a deep sleep. There was this compulsive urge to get up and write. The urge was felt in every cell of my body. Writing has been the greatest love of my life; the ideal lover. It was an amazingly strong temptation. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 5/6/05

Iran Wants to Continue Nuclear Talks with EU
Iran's foreign minister says his country is ready to continue talks on its nuclear program with the European Union. The question of Iran's nuclear ambitions is threatening the outcome of a U.N. sponsored non-proliferation conference. - 5/6/05

Caspian oil set for fast flow to the West
Confusion surrounds the intentions of three Iranian carmakers reported as forming a joint venture to take over MG Rover and its Longbridge car plant. -BBC - 5/6/05

NIAC Phone Campaign H.R. 282/S.333 ‘The Iran Freedom and Support Act’
Proponents of a tougher policy are pressing Congress to compel President Bush to take a more hawkish stance on Iran. Currently, the legislation has 168 co-sponsors in the House and 18 co-sponsors in the Senate, as well as the active support of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). - 5/6/05

Afghan president calls for talks on U.S. ties
President Hamid Karzai has summoned hundreds of representatives from across Afghanistan for talks that will include the sensitive issue of a strategic partnership with the United States, a presidential official said on Thursday. -Reuters - 5/6/05

Little known treasures
Some four hundred miles south of Tehran - en route to the ancient capital of the Shah of Shahs. Arts correspondent Nicholas Glass reports on the ancient city of Persepolis. -Channel 4 News, UK - 5/6/05

Experts urge Japan to rethink plutonium plant
A group of 27 scientists, nuclear experts and former officials urged Japan Thursday to rethink a nearly completed plutonium reprocessing plant that could produce fuel for 1,000 warheads each year. -Reuters - 5/6/05

Kayvan Mashayekh's "The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam" Screens in an Exclusive Preview
May 26 at Harmony Gold Theatre in Los Angeles. - 5/6/05

The Smoking Gun on White House Deceit
Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would see those words in black and white-and beneath a SECRET stamp, no less. For three years now, we in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been saying that the CIA and its British counterpart, MI-6, were ordered by their countries' leaders to "fix facts" to "justify" an unprovoked war on Iraq. More often than not, we have been greeted with stares of incredulity. -Counterpunch - 5/6/05

Basell sell-off excludes Iranians
Oil giant Shell and chemicals firm BASF are to sell their joint plastics making venture Basell to a group of investors for 4.4bn euros -BBC - 5/6/05

Insurgent Attack Challenges Iraq's Newly Resurgent Kurds
Iraqi insurgents have carried out one of their deadliest attacks to date in the heart of Kurdish-administered northern Iraq. So is the insurgent attack a direct challenge to the Kurds' resurgence and how will the Kurds respond? - 5/6/05

Mystery over Iranian MG Rover bid
Confusion surrounds the intentions of three Iranian carmakers reported as forming a joint venture to take over MG Rover and its Longbridge car plant. -BBC - 5/6/05

Iran says external factors preventing conclusion of nuclear talks
Sirous Nasseri, the head of Iran's nuclear negotiating team with the European three of France, Germany and Britain, told a news conference that the fact the negotiations have become prolonged is because of external factors which cannot be controlled. - 5/6/05

Prospective Presidential Candidates To Register In Iran
Registration of prospective candidates for Iran's next presidential election is scheduled to begin on 10 May and continue for five days. The Interior Ministry will forward this information to the Guardians Council, which will screen the applications until 24 May. - 5/6/05

Nuclear Fundamentalism and the Iran Story
Years from now, when historians look back at agenda-building for a missile attack on Iran, they should closely examine a story that took up the USA's most coveted space for media spin -- the upper right corner of the New York Times front page -- on the first day of May 2005. -Common Dreams - 5/6/05

US offers grants to help oppose Iran's clerics
A tender notice posted on the US State Department website is soliciting bids for grants totalling $3m (€2.3m, £1.57m). It notes that the Iranian government may not apply because current US sanctions prohibit funding for official purposes, but these may be waived for non-governmental organisations. -Financial Times - 5/6/05

Iran's Judiciary Chief admits human rights violations in detention centers
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi admitted for the first time that people are suffering from human rights violations when they are being arrested for political charges. - 5/6/05

Reporters Without Borders: Holy city of Qom is hell for bloggers
Reporters Without Borders today condemned a crackdown on cyber-journalists and bloggers in the southern city of Qom where Mojtaba Lotfi, who is serving a nearly four-year sentence for articles he posted on the Internet, is gravely ill in prison and where local courts are harassing two bloggers, Farid Farid Modaressi and Mohamad Reza Fathi. - 5/5/05

Pentagon analyst accused of spying for Israel lobby
Mr Franklin's arrest is a serious blow to the group of neo-conservative ideologues who worked for the under-secretary of defence for policy, Douglas Feith. They played an important role in taking the US into the Iraq war, and have since then advocated regime change in Iran. -Guardian - 5/5/05

U.S. Seen as Unaccountable in Iraqi Civilian Deaths
Iraqi civilians who have suffered from U.S. military operations face steep obstacles in obtaining compensation for the deaths of their loved ones or material damage, human rights analysts say. -Reuters - 5/5/05

US 'blocking Iran plastics deal'
Iran's National Petrochemical Company says it is being excluded from buying a major Dutch plastics maker by US political pressure. -BBC - 5/5/05

US Defense Analyst Charged with Passing Secrets
A U.S. Defense Department analyst has been arrested on charges that he illegally disclosed classified information about potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. - 5/5/05

Shell says 'no comment' on US blocking purchase of Basell by Iran's NPC
Shell insisted Thursday that it was unable to comment on reports that it had backed out of a Dlrs 4.4 billion deal to sell a major Dutch chemical business to Iran because of US pressure. - 5/5/05

Basra's intrusive Islamists reject Iran's theocracy as too tolerant
Sheikh Assad al-Basri says there's no need to worry that he and his Islamist militia intend to recreate an Iranian-style government in Iraq. For the local representative of rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Iran's theocratic state is far too liberal for his tastes. -SF Chronicle - 5/5/05

Iran to capture Afghanistan's cement market - Pak daily
Iran, one of the cheapest producers of cement in the world, is likely to capture the market in Afghanistan in the next two years. - 5/5/05

Nuclear double standards
Non-weapons states accuse nuclear powers of double standards. They say the curbs are biased and the ൕ steps" agreed at the last review in 2000 have not been honoured. - 5/5/05

Russia offers to join Iran gasline - report
Russia has offered assistance in building the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan. - 5/5/05

Solana 'at odds' with UK over Iran's nuclear proposals
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Solana was quoted as saying that the EU demands for complete cessation of uranium enrichment and related activities was a "starting point." - 5/5/05

Iran's tourism industry poised for robust growth
Iran's travel and tourism demand is set to grow by 6.6 percent for the next ten-year period (2006-20015) topping the list of Middle East countries, according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). - 5/5/05

Iran Challenges Calls For Controls Of Nuclear Technology
Iran is challenging calls at the ongoing UN conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York for extra controls on nuclear fuel enrichment programs. - 5/5/05

UNESCO Documents on Jahan Nama Case to be Submitted to Isfahan Court
Documents and letters of UNESCO on the alteration of the height of the disputable building of Jahan Nama have been translated and will be submitted to the Isfahan Court along with the English originals today, in the first court session. - 5/4/05

Iran: The 4th Salt Man found in Zanjan is a Young Adult
The fourth salt man found at a ancient salt mine in Chehr-abad, Zanjan last year, has been identified as a young adult. - 5/4/05

Iran Declares Determination to Pursue Uranium Enrichment
Kamal Kharrazi addressing UN-sponsored conference on nuclear disarmament Iran has declared its determination to pursue all legal types of nuclear technology, despite the threat of international sanctions. - 5/4/05

Afghan Opium Harvest Fuels Political, Social Unease
In 2003, the United Nations estimated more than two million people in Afghanistan, about 10 percent of the population, planted opium poppies. Last year they produced more than 4,300 tons of opium, a staggering 90 percent of the world's supply. - 5/4/05

U.S. in Caspian region and Russia's position
Iran has offered support for a Russian initiative on the Caspian Sea states alone establishing a joint rapid reaction force in the region. - 5/4/05

Afghan girls kick down old barriers
From the corner of a Kabul basement, next door to a barber shop, come high-pitched and most unusual sounds. A small posse of Afghan girls shout "heey-ya!" as they practice karate jabs, kicks, and punches. -CSM - 5/4/05

Iran vows to pursue nuke plans, slams U.S., Israel
Iran vowed on Tuesday to press ahead with nuclear activities that could be used to make weapons and accused the United States and Israel of threatening international peace with their own atomic arsenals. -Reuters - 5/4/05

US general warns of forces strain
The top US general, Richard Myers, has warned that ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan could limit the ability of the US to fight another war. -BBC - 5/4/05

German Bundesliga champs Bayern Munich sign Iran's Ali Karimi
The former Pirouzi player is the third Iranian player in a Bayern jersey following Ali Daei and Vahid Hashemian who both failed to meet the high expectations of the Bavarian team. - 5/4/05

Bye-Bye, Bush Doctrine: It's back to deterrence
"The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most dangerous weapons." This excerpt from his "Axis-of-Evil" State of the Union of 2002 is the heart of the Bush Doctrine. -Patrick J. Buchanan - 5/4/05

Iran: Nose Job Capital Of World
Iran's strict Islamic dress code has backfired in at least one big way. Some young Iranian women are more obsessed with their appearance than their counterparts in the West. -CBS - 5/4/05

Report urges U.S., Israel to consider pre-emptive attack against Tehran
JERUSALEM – With Tehran announcing it will shortly resume some nuclear activities in spite of ongoing negotiations with European countries, a private report that was issued to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urging an American or Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran has been gaining some steam here. -WorldNetDaily - 5/4/05

Envoy: Tehran-Beijing trade value to reach $10 billion per year
Iranian Ambassador to China Fereydoun Verdinejad said that the value of Tehran-Beijing trade exchange will reach dlrs 10 billion annually in the coming years. - 5/4/05

Paykan to go out of production in May: Iran's Industry Minister
He also referred the Iran negotiations with the troubled British Manufacturers MG Rover saying, that it is customary that if the automobile manufacturers have the capability they enter into talks with other bankrupt car companies. - 5/4/05

Inflation rate in Iran pegged at 16.7 percent
Inflation rate in Iran rose to 16.7 percent in the 11 months to the Iranian month of Esfand (February 19-March 20, 2005). - 5/4/05

World Press Freedom Day: Secrecy, Propaganda Seen Sweeping US
Freedom of the press is in decline in the United States amid increased government secrecy and propaganda, say media veterans, analysts, and advocates. -IPS - 5/4/05

Free Press Struggling In CIS, Mideast, And South Asia
None of the reports to mark World Press Freedom Day found much to celebrate over the course of 2004 - 5/4/05

Iran's auto production rises 54 percent during March 21-April 20
In the month under study, Pride cars (13,837 sedans) topped the list of products, followed by Paykan (11,529 sedans), injector-type Peugeot 405 (6,987 sedans), Peugeot 206 (4,936 sedans) and Samand (4,689 sedans). - 5/4/05

Iranian FM addresses NPT review confab (full text)
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Tuesday addressed the 7th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The full text of his address is as follows: - 5/4/05

Iran: Boroujerd quake leaves one dead, 26 wounded
At least one person was killed and 26 others were wounded in a strong quake which hit the western city of Boroujerd Tuesday, a local official Majid Roshankar announced. - 5/3/05

UN Urges Controls On Nuclear Technology
Two top UN officials today called on states to agree quickly on a new system of safeguards to protect against nuclear proliferation and ensure the use of nuclear energy. - 5/3/05

Iran: Strong earthquake jolts Zarand in Kerman province
A strong earthquake jolted Zarand in the southern Kerman province at 00:15 hours local time (1945 GMT) Monday morning. The seismological base affiliated to Tehran University geophysics institute measured the tremors at 5.5 degrees on the opend-ended richter scale. - 5/3/05

Iran 'backing plot to kill Saddam in prison cell'
IRAQI politicians backed by Iran have been plotting to assassinate Saddam Hussein in his jail cell, the ousted dictator’s chief lawyer claimed yesterday. -The Scotsman - 5/3/05

Iran warns of nuclear activities
Iran has insisted it will soon resume some nuclear activities, but will stop short of full-blown uranium enrichment. -BBC - 5/3/05

Deadlock Looms Over Spread of Nuclear Arms
Rift between America and Iran threatens to stymie attempts to update non-proliferation treaty -Guardian - 5/3/05

Jimmy Carter: Erosion of the Nonproliferation Treaty
As the review conference of the Nonproliferation Treaty convenes in New York this month, we can only be appalled at the indifference of the United States and the other nuclear powers. This indifference is remarkable, considering the addition of Iran and North Korea as states that either possess or seek nuclear weapons programs. -IHT - 5/3/05

Iran, North Korea Issues Dominate Opening of Nonproliferation Conference
Concerns about Iran and North Korea have dominated the opening session of a month-long conference on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The United States is proposing international measures against countries in violation of nuclear non-proliferation obligations. - 5/3/05

Iran readies reply to warnings about arms program
Iran was expected to deliver a strong defense of its nuclear energy plans on Tuesday after the United States and others warned Tehran not to use its facilities as a cover for atomic weapons programs. -Reuters - 5/3/05

Iranian FM: Iran concerned over slow pace, fruitless nuclear talks
During his meetings with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer and Luxembourg Deputy Foreign Minister Nicolas Schmit held on the sidelines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York, Kharrazi said Iran must witness a considerable progress in that regard. - 5/3/05

U.S.-Iran: Showdown Looms At Conference In New York
The New York conference, which runs through 27 May, amounts to a showdown between Iran and the United States over a state's ability to develop peaceful nuclear power. - 5/3/05

Tehran's new airport handles 20 flights daily
Managing Director of Tehran's newly-opened Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) said on Monday that the airport is receiving 20 flights daily. - 5/3/05

Inspecting Iran's nuclear hideaway
The unearthing of nuclear facilities in Iran, concealed from the outside world for 18 years, has reinforced the United States' suspicion of the Islamic state, but is it too late for international arbitration? -BBC - 5/3/05

Iranian President arrives in Mashhad to open Bafq-Mashhad Railway
The 1,000-km Bafq-Mashhad Railroad, scheduled to be officially opened by President Khatami in the presence of transportation ministers of twelve countries, joins Persian Gulf waters to Iran's central parts and Iran's northeastern neighbors. - 5/3/05

Tehran Art Scene: Ali Nedaie
Ali Nedaie was the most interesting artist last week whose large works were on display at the Aria gallery. I found his works most striking. He has been a member of artistic Group 30+ since its formation five years ago. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/2/05

Iran: Forty Two Archaeological Sites Threatened by New Dam Projects in Fars Province
Forty two archaeological sites and monuments in the southern province of Fars dating to different eras including the Achaemenid, late Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid, and Islamic, are threatened by the newly constructed dams which are to be flooded by end of the year. - 5/2/05

Iran, India hold 4th round of strategic dialogue
Iran and India, in the 4th round of mutual strategic dialogue here Sunday underlined firm determination of the two countries to follow up the agreements on implementation a gas pipeline project from Iran to India and Pakistan. - 5/2/05

EU3 warns of ‘managed crisis' over Iran ambitions
European officials have warned of a “managed crisis” in Europe's dialogue with Iran over the country's nuclear ambitions, after Iranian negotiators said they would consider resuming part of the uranium enrichment process suspended since 2003. -Financial Times - 5/2/05

An old treaty for a new world?
The entry into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT in March 1970 represented a milestone for a world living in the shadow of the nuclear bomb. -BBC - 5/2/05

Finally, a film sheds Muslim stereotypes
From Arab sheikhs and Muslim terrorists to belly dancers and mysterious women swathed in burqas, Hollywood depictions of Muslims don't generally ring true. But a film opening this Friday may offer a less clichéd view of Muslims, even as it embellishes history. -CSM - 5/2/05

U.S. Targets Iran, North Korea at Nuke Arms Talks
U.S. officials want a global disarmament conference starting on Monday to condemn Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs, but most nations complain Washington is doing too little to scrap its arsenal. -Reuters - 5/2/05

Soccer: Fan shutout not a problem for Japan, says Fujita
World soccer's governing body has ordered North Korea to hold the June 8 qualifier, scheduled to be played in Pyongyang, behind closed doors at a neutral venue in another country as punishment for crowd trouble that followed their 2-0 defeat by Iran on March 30. - 5/2/05

Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations Held in New York
A coalition of groups opposed to nuclear weapons marched in New York today, just before talks start at the United Nations to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. -New York Times - 5/2/05

Rowhani reaffirms Iran's decision to use peaceful nuclear energy
Signing the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by Iran is considered as the best sign of confidence-building and also Iran's best commitment to peaceful nuclear activities, he noted in his meeting with the Undersecretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Rajiv Sigri. - 5/2/05

Iranian presidential race takes shape
one of several hardline contenders pulls out to strengthen anticipated battle against top cleric, Rafsanjani. -MEOL - 5/2/05

Zooming in on commoners
Mohsen Makhmalbaf claims that he had never seen a movie till he made one in 1982. But the man who never sat in a dark hall to watch the images on the screen is now using the "mirror'' of cinema to show pictures and start a conversation with people beyond his own country. -The Hindu - 5/2/05

More Important to Stick by this Treaty than to do What Pleases Washington
A Review of the Nuclear Weapons Agreement is Likely to See the US Deny Its Violation -Sydney Morning Herald - 5/2/05

Features: Khatami & Rafsanjani: Similar Goals, Different Legacies
Introduction: On the evening of the 23 May 1997, Iran’s then president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was patrolling the ballot boxes at the Ministry of Interior in order to prevent electoral fraud. This, even if only a myth, is said to have taken place after that month’s presidential election. Many analysts held that moderate Mohammad Khatami would emerge victorious only if the ballots were not manipulated -Amir Ali Nourbakhsh - 5/2/05

Official says Iran needs to further integrate in world economy
Deputy president and head of Management and Plan Organization (MPO) said in Shiraz on Saturday that Iran has suitable grounds for integrating in the world economy but needs to reform its domestic economic structure. - 5/1/05

British Museum Experts Prepare for Transfer of Items to Forgotten Empire Exhibition
To prepare for the upcoming exhibition of “Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia” in the British Museum, experts of the Museum have started to study the removal and transfer of the selected items from Iran’s National Museum. - 5/1/05

Exchange of goods among Silk Road states will boost ties
Exchange of goods among countries located along the Silk Road would help them procure their requirements, while boosting cultural, social and political relations among them. - 5/1/05

Relics of the nuclear arms race
This week sees the start of a five-yearly review of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and fireworks can be expected. -BBC - 5/1/05

From the 'axis of evil' to the axles of Rover, Iran looks to the West
The news that Iranian companies could be interested in buying what's left of the collapsed MG Rover has raised plenty of eyebrows. That Iran, part of George Bush's "axis of evil", could be the final destination for the car maker shows how low it has sunk, was the typical response. -Independent - 5/1/05

Shirin Ebadi says national laws should respect freedom of Iranian journalists
The Iranian lawyer and Noble Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi said in Tehran on Sunday that the press penalties in the current national laws are so extensive that the journalists have been deprived of freedom of expression and exercising creativity. - 5/1/05

Cambridge University to Host "The Peace and War in Qajar Era" Conference
The 5th annual conference of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA) will be held on 24-5th of July at the center for international studies at the Cambridge University, UK. - 5/1/05

Iranian workers celebrate May 1
Thousands of workers from all over the country took part in a rally in Tehran on Sunday to mark May 1, the World Day of Labourers. - 5/1/05

Iran's NGOs face uphill challenge against illegal child labour
In Iran, the legal working age starts from 15, but it is common to see much younger children roaming the streets selling gum, flowers and fortune poems. -CNA - 5/1/05
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