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Persian Dramatic Artists To be Honored at The 2nd Persian Golden Lioness Awards In Budapest Hungary
Mr. Omid Djalili for an Award of Excellence in Dramatic Arts ( Best Male Actor). Mrs. Shohreh Aghdashloo for an Award of Excellence in Dramatic Arts ( Best Female Actor). Mr. Kayvan Mashayekh for an Award of Excellence in Dramatic Arts (Best Independent Film Director), for The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam... - 5/31/06

Iran's President: Europe Risks Emerging as 'Big Loser' of Iranian Nuclear Standoff
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Europe will emerge as the "big loser" of the Iranian nuclear standoff for siding with the United States. -VOA - 5/31/06

The Day Mt. Everest was Conquered by Iranian Women
Last year on 30th of May, a team from Iran's national mountaineering federation succeeded in climbing Mount Everest up to its highest altitude of 8848 meters and raised the flag of Iran on the highest peak in the world. -CHN - 5/31/06

Nicolette Bidarian Receives Niac's Public Service And Journalism Fellowship Award For 2006
NIAC is proud to present the recipient of NIAC’s second National Public Service and Journalism (NPSJ) Fellowship, to Nicolette Bidarian of Tampa Florida. - 5/31/06

Iranian Neo-Conservatives Strive to Cement Control over Key Religious Institution
Having quickly consolidated its authority over Iran’s political establishment, the country’s neo-conservative movement, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is now intent on gaining a dominant position within the Assembly of Experts, the most influential religious institution in Tehran. -Eurasianet - 5/31/06

Tehran Says It Is Working On Advanced Nuclear Fusion
An official in Iran's Atomic Energy Organization claims his country is researching how to produce energy through nuclear fusion. Fusion is a futuristic method of harnessing nuclear power, differing in concept from the present fission process. -RFE - 5/31/06

Conference on three Iranian islands and UAE opens in London
An international conference on the United Arab Emirates and the three Iranian islands, organized by the Institut International d'Etudes Strategiques de Paris (IRIS), opened in London Wednesday. -IRNA - 5/31/06

Airwave blitz on Iran
The face of the Bush administration's new favorite weapon against Iran's cleric-dominated regime has the cheekbones of a Vogue cover girl. -Chicago Tribune - 5/31/06

US Reports Progress on Iran Nuclear Offer
The United States said Tuesday world powers are making progress on a package on incentives for Iran to halt sensitive nuclear activities, and a plan for penalties if it doesn't. Foreign ministers of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany meet in Vienna Thursday to try to finalize the package. -VOA - 5/31/06

Sweet scent of roses evokes longing for 'disappearing Iran'
Ali Saderi, 32, has worked for 10 years making rose water in Ghamsar, 1,800m up in the mountains west of Iran's central desert. -Financial Times - 5/31/06

1,000 Mercedes Benz E350s to go on sale in Iran this year
Mercedes Benz plans to produce 2,500 passenger cars per annum in Iran and preliminary assembly work has been underway since May 9, the executive director of Top Khodro Company said here on Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/31/06

Bush and Blair meet Iranian opposition
US President George W. Bush and Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, have received separate background briefings from Iranian opposition activists, including one visitor to the White House on Tuesday who caused a storm earlier this month by reporting Iran had passed a law requiring Jews to wear special identification. -Financial Times - 5/31/06

Shah's son urges action on Iran
The exiled son of Iran's late shah on Monday called on the Bush administration to put action before rhetoric in ousting Tehran's Islamic regime, which he said has long been the source of global instability. -Reuters - 5/31/06

Frustration mounts between US, Pakistan
Congress pressures Pakistan to give more information about possible proliferation, upsetting already-delicate ties. -CSM - 5/31/06

Massacre Story Mars Memorial Day
Monday's observance of Memorial Day, the annual commemoration of U.S. soldiers who died in the service of their country, has taken place at a particularly difficult moment for both the U.S. armed forces and the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. -Guardian - 5/31/06

Iran wants to talk
If things keep going as they are going now, Iran is likely to have nuclear weapons sometime during the next decade. That is a truly chilling prospect if Iran continues to be ruled by fanatics committed to exporting Islamic revolution, destroying Israel and settling scores with the West. -New York Times - 5/31/06

Iranian drone plane buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf
A pilotless Iranian reconnaissance plane circled for 25 minutes over a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf before returning safely to its base, a senior Iranian official said Tuesday. -RIA Novosti - 5/31/06

Iran soccer team returns from Croatia
Iran plays its last friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Tehran's Azadi Stadium Wednesday. -Mehr - 5/31/06

Iran: Caspian Airlines to purchase four aircraft by mid-March 2007
Iran's Caspian Airlines is planning to add four aircraft to its fleet by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2007), said the managing director here Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/31/06

The Best Congress Money Can Buy
Ehud Olmert – who assumed the office of prime minister of Israel earlier this month – has just addressed a joint session of what some cynics have been referring to lately as "The Best Congress Money Can Buy." -Gordon Prather, Antiwar - 5/31/06

Strange things in Tehran
Recently I had noticed some most strange grey metal fixtures being installed in the streets near our house. Two days ago I realized what they were to be used for. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/31/06

Film by Mark Amin: "Peaceful Warrior" is a contemporary tale of Rumi & Shams Tabrizi
Peaceful Warrior" starring Nick Nolte and Amy Smart is Based on "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" a bestseller book by Dan Millman. The film is produced by the Iranian American prominent producer, Mark Amin. - 5/30/06

Seda Ensemble with Khosro Ansari in Concert, The California Tour
A performance of Masterpieces of Contemporary Persian Classical Music, Saturday June 11th at Julia Morgan Theater, Berkeley - 5/30/06

Saving the World with Music
The German city of Osnabrück is hosting a music festival which may feature an unusual guest -- the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. But will Iran allow the ensemble to travel to the decadent West? -Spiegel - 5/30/06

Photos: Iran advances to world beach soccer finals
Pictured below are the scenes of Asian zone beach soccer qualifiers between Iran and its opponents, including Bahrain and China, which led the third-placed Iran to the world event. -Mehr - 5/30/06

Ethnic tensions could crack Iran's firm resolve against the world
During the last week of May, thousands of Iranians demonstrated in the northwestern city of Tabriz, and the previous week there were protests at universities in five cities. -CSM - 5/30/06

Ramsar named as Iran's first ecotourist city
The westernmost city of Ramsar in the northern Mazandaran province has been named as Iran's first ecotourist city. -IRNA - 5/30/06

Iran Set Up for Big Gains in Iraq
With a new Iraqi government in place, Iran is positioning itself to play a major role here at a time when American influence is showing signs of faltering. -AP - 5/30/06

Pele warns Brazil against underestimating 2006 World Cup rivals
Brazil's living football legend, Pele, on Tuesday warned his country's national team against underestimating their upcoming opponents at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. - 5/30/06

Quake hits Hamiran in southern Hormuzgan province of Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the city of Hamiran and surrounding villages of southern Hormuzgan province Monday evening. -IRNA - 5/30/06

Iran Should Cooperate with IAEA China Says
China has called on Iran to resume full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The appeal comes two days before the five U.N. Security Council permanent members and Germany meet in Vienna to try to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear programs. -VOA - 5/30/06

Putin Calls For Stronger SCO
President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia will seek to strengthen the role and authority of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) so that it becomes "an efficient guarantor of stability and security in a vast region of Eurasia." -RFE - 5/30/06

Ultimately US has to talk with Iran, says Albright
Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright Tuesday repeated her call for President George W Bush to engage with Iran over the dispute on its peaceful nuclear program. -IRNA - 5/30/06

EU: Compromise Offer To Test Tehran's Nuclear Intent
The European Union warned today that Iran is facing the moment of truth on its nuclear program. EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana told the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels that Iran's response to an impending EU compromise offer will show if Iran is "really serious" when it says its only goal is to produce energy. -REF - 5/30/06

IRAQ: Officials warn of displacement following attacks
Humanitarian workers in northern Iraq have voiced concerns over reports of displaced villagers on the borders of Turkey and Iran as a result of recent shelling. -IRIN - 5/30/06

"We Are Determined"
In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discusses the Holocaust, the future of the state of Israel, mistakes made by the United States in Iraq and Tehran's nuclear dispute with the West. -Spiegel - 5/30/06

Showdown Over Iran
Washington grudge match: neoconservatives versus Republican realists - 5/29/06

Iran chief eclipses clerics as he consolidates power
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to consolidate power in the office of the presidency in a way never before seen in the 27-year history of the Islamic Republic, apparently with the tacit approval of Iran's supreme leader, according to government officials and political analysts in Tehran. -New York Times - 5/29/06

Iraq Poised to Become Main Iranian Ally
To Iran's west lies a natural ally and perhaps its most potent weapon in the international fray over its nuclear program. While Iran and Iraq were arch enemies during the rule of Saddam Hussein, all signs point to an increasingly robust relationship now that Shiites have achieved a dominant role in the Iraqi leadership. -AP - 5/29/06

U.S. Urges Financial Sanctions On Iran
The Bush administration is pressing Europe and Japan to impose wide-ranging sanctions designed to stifle the Iranian leadership financially if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve an impasse over the country's nuclear program, according to internal government memos and interviews with three U.S. officials involved. -Washington Post - 5/29/06

Iran and Iraq agree to close off border to 'saboteurs'
Iran's foreign minister, on a visit to Iraq, has said that the two countries have agreed to form a joint commission to oversee border issues and that its primary task will be to "block saboteurs" crossing their mutual border. -New York Times - 5/29/06

Iran reportedly slows its nuclear fuel drive
After boasting last month that it had joined the "nuclear club" by successfully enriching uranium on an industrial scale - and portraying its action as irreversible - Iran appears to have slowed its drive to produce nuclear fuel, according to European diplomats who have reviewed reports from inspectors inside the country. -New York Times - 5/29/06

World Cup friendly: Iran 2 Croatia 2
A stoppage-time penalty helped host Croatia hold its fellow World Cup finalist Iran to a 2-2 draw in a friendly in Osijek Sunday night. -Mehr - 5/29/06

Nuclear dispute is basis for Iranian computer game
Rugged veteran Iranian special forces hero "Commander Bahman" will soon be tackling one of his toughest missions, rescuing one of his country's top atomic scientists captured by U.S. forces in Iraq. Or he will be doing so soon on computer screens across the Islamic Republic, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. -Reuters - 5/29/06

Fiat Sienna to be introduced in Iran in September
The pilot production of Sienna by Fiat is to kick off on September 22, 2006, the Persian service of the student news agency ISNA reported here on Monday. -Mehr - 5/29/06

The Case for Bargaining With Iran
The Iran crisis is moving fast in an alarming direction. There can no longer be any reasonable doubt that Iran's ambition is to obtain nuclear weapons capability. At the heart of the issue lies the Iranian regime's aspiration to become a hegemonic Islamic and regional power and thereby position itself at eye level with the world's most powerful nations. -Joschka Fischer, Washington Post - 5/29/06

Inflation rate to decline this year: Central Bank of Iran chief
Inflation is expected to take a downturn throughout the Iranian calendar year (ends March 20, 2007) and the nation's foreign reserves are anticipated to rise from the current $8.7 billion to $14.5 billion by the end of the year, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said here on Sunday. -Mehr - 5/29/06

Two journalists held without charge in Azeri provinces of Iran
Reporters Without Borders today called for the "immediate release" of two Azeri journalists, Amin Movahedi, who was detained yesterday in the northern city of Meshkinshar, and Orouj Amiri, detained the day before in the nearby city of Marannd. Their arrests follow demonstrations by members of Iran's Azeri ethnic minority against the Tehran government. - 5/29/06

Senator Warner says direct talks with Iran should be on the table
Senator John Warner (R-VA) is the latest lawmaker to come out in support of direct negotiations between the US and Iran. "The United States should keep this option on the table, and consider when it is timely to explore procedures for bilateral talks," said Sen. Warner on the floor of the Senate. -NIAC - 5/28/06

Afghanistan/Iran: Presidents Tout Strong Historical Ties
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accompanied by senior members of his government, met senior Iranian officials in Tehran today. Afghanistan has good ties with Iran, which took in around 2 million Afghan refugees during Afghanistan's 25 years of war. Kabul says it wants to deepen this relationship. -RFE - 5/28/06

Pilgrim's Progress in Iran
Newly converted to Shiite Islam, a former Marine travels to Qom to connect with his faith. He finds affirmation, but also many surprises. -Borzou Daragahi, Times - 5/28/06

Russia Opposes Use Of Force Against Iran Over Nuclear Program
Russia's national security chief says Moscow opposes any use of force against Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Igor Ivanov made the comment Sunday during a meeting in Tehran with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. -VOA - 5/28/06

Iranian composer Tjeknavorian to conduct orchestras at Persepolis
Iranian composer Loris Tjeknavorian plans to conduct concerts at Persepolis in the southern capital Shiraz. Tjeknavorian is currently conducting an orchestra at the first Tehran Music Festival for Peace, which is underway at the Interior Ministry's Grand Hall until Sunday. -Mehr - 5/27/06

Pressure Grows on Bush to Engage Iran Directly
The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is under increasing pressure -- both here and abroad -- to engage Iran in direct talks despite the continued opposition of pro-Israel neo-conservatives and Vice President Dick Cheney. -IPS - 5/27/06

Where's Iran in Year of Rumi?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named the year 2007 after Molana Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) and has recognized Afghanistan, Egypt, and Turkey as the organizers of the commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Persian mystic and poet. -Mostafa Mousavi Sabet, Mehr - 5/27/06

The decline of the american empire
“Hey Hamed!” shouts Boschert. “Do you know what I’ll be doing while the Iranians are taking over your country? I’ll be out of the army and smoking a big fat cigar on a Mexican beach. But keep in touch my man!” -Iason Athanasiadis, Arabies Trends - 5/27/06

Iran ranks third at AFC Futsal Championship
The rejuvenated Iranian side, which conceded a 5-1 loss to the budding Japan Friday's semifinal, edged past the struggling Kyrgyzstan 5-3 in the third-place playoff at the Yunusabad Sports Complex. -Mehr - 5/27/06

Iran Rejects Direct Talks With US on Situation in Iraq
Iran has rejected a U.S. offer to hold direct talks regarding the situation in Iraq. Following meetings with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said his country had changed its mind about the talks, saying Washington had raised what he called "other issues." -VOA - 5/27/06

Iranian President officially greets his Afghan counterpart
The Afghan president, heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, arrived in Tehran on Saturday on a three-day visit. -IRNA - 5/27/06

Iraq Says It Backs Iran's Right to Nuclear Program
Iraq supports Iran's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful means and wants a diplomatic solution to the standoff between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. over uranium enrichment, the Iraqi foreign minister said. -Bloomberg - 5/27/06

Quakes hit Tasouj in northwestern Iran
Two earthquakes, both measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale, hit suburbs of the northwestern city of Tasouj in East Azarbaijan province half an hour apart Friday afternoon. -IRNA - 5/27/06

Canadian PM under pressure to apologize to Iranian people
Canada's news media reported that a group of ministers have called on Harper to admit his mistake and apologize to the Iranian nation. -IRNA - 5/27/06

FM: Iran happy with formation of Iraq's permanent government
Visiting Foreign Minister of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki met with his Iraqi counterpart Hushyar Zebari here Friday expressing Tehran's satisfaction over formation of a permanent government in Iraq. -IRNA - 5/27/06

Russia to honour Iran arms deal
Russia's defence minister has confirmed that Moscow intends to honour a controversial deal to supply Iran with surface-to-air missiles. -BBC - 5/27/06

Iranian-Backed Militia Groups Take Control of Much of Southern Iraq
Southern Iraq, long touted as a peaceful region that's likely to be among the first areas returned to Iraqi control, is now dominated by Shiite Muslim warlords and militiamen who are laying the groundwork for an Islamic fundamentalist government, say senior British and Iraqi officials in the area. -Knight Ridder - 5/27/06

Iraq, Iran, and the New World Order
The present crisis concerning Iran's nuclear program cannot be reduced to merely the ongoing rivalry between Tehran and Washington. Rather, it reveals all the new parameters of the post-Cold War world order that American strategists want to avoid. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam , MRZine - 5/27/06

Kucinich, 70 Members of Congress, Send Letter To Bush Seeking Direct Diplomatic Negotiations With Iran
Members of Congress have signed on to a letter authored by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) urging the President to "initiate direct diplomatic negotiations at the highest level with Iran". - 5/26/06

Ahmadinejad: Not Hitler After All
Another failed attempt by the neocons to compare Iran to Nazi Germany suggests the public won't stand for another propaganda campaign meant to drum up war fever. -Alternet - 5/26/06

Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji receives human rights award
Iranian journalist and political dissident, Akbar Ganji, has been awarded the annual Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA). He stood out in the eyes of the jury, composed by members of 11 different human rights organisations, in terms of the sacrifices he has made and the fact that he refused to compromise [for freedom of expression] in any way," -IRIN - 5/26/06

Iran: 51 arrested Baha'is released on bail, 3 remain in jail
After their arrests on 19 May in Shiraz, Iran, three Baha'is remain in jail while 51 others have been released on bail. No indication has been given as to when the three will be released. None of those who had been released, nor the three who are still being detained, have been formally charged. -BWS - 5/26/06

IRAN: Azeris unhappy at being butt of national jokes
Following violent ethnic protests by Iran's minority Azeri community over a cartoon depicting a cockroach speaking their language, the Iranian government has suspended the state-owned newspaper responsible for the publication. -IRIN - 5/26/06

Ivankovic "very satisfied" with Iran's state of World Cup preparation
Iranian national football team head coach Branko Ivankovic stressed he was "very satisfied" with his squad's current preparation for this summer's World Cup in Germany. - 5/26/06

Iran's quest for power has deep roots
We tend to forget that Iran's insistence on its sovereign right to develop nuclear power is in effect a national pursuit for empowerment, a pursuit informed by at least two centuries of military aggression, domestic meddling, skullduggery and, not least, technological denial by the West. -Abbas Amanat, New York Times - 5/26/06

Book by Robert Fisk: "The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East"
During the thirty years that award-winning journalist Robert Fisk has been reporting on the Middle East, he has covered every major event in the region, from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution, from the American hostage crisis in Beirut (as one of only two Western journalists in the city at the time) to the Iran-Iraq War,... - 5/26/06

Mideast art drawing U.S., Europe attention, says sculptor
Veteran sculptor Parviz Tanavoli here Wednesday said the European and the U.S. are showing more interest in the art and culture of the Middle East and Iran. -Mehr - 5/26/06

Iran: International Pressure and Internal Conflict
Radicalizing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear policy, which was Ahmadinejad’s strategy from the beginning, and increasing the pressure on Western countries (especially the United States, Britain, France, and Germany) has generated many internal doubts about his policies. Some political conservatives, especially those close to Rafsanjani, are actively and publicly criticizing Ahmadinejad’s confrontational policies towards the West. -Mehdi Khalaji, Washington Institute - 5/26/06

Iran's squad face controversy in Germany
Iran will probably be the subject of bitter controversy at the 2006 World Cup finals, playing in the Nazi bastion of Nuremberg only months after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad labelled the Holocaust a myth. -Reuters - 5/26/06

Iran: U.S. Experts Discuss Russia And The Nuclear Issue
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washington-based policy-research center, held a seminar on the problem on May 25 that focused on Russia's role in resolving the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. -RFE - 5/26/06

Japan confirms commitment to massive Iranian oil field
Japan wants to develop a huge Iranian oil field as planned to help secure a stable oil supply, its top government spokesman said on Thursday after a report that Tehran might scrap the deal when a contract expires in September. -Daily Star - 5/26/06

Unemployment slows return of refugees to Afghanistan
Standing in a long queue under the shadow of towering pine trees outside the Iranian consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat, 52-year-old returnee Ghulam Haider plans to go back to neighbouring Iran to find work. -IRIN - 5/26/06

Iranian-Americans Endorse Winograd for Congress
Winograd, speaking to a packed crowed at the Acapulco Restaurant in West LA, described herself as a peace candidate who supports an end to the US occupation of Iraq and diplomatic efforts to improve relations with Iran. -California Chronicle - 5/26/06

Annan calls for intensified diplomacy on Iranian nuclear dispute
"It is important that Iran assures the world that its intentions are peaceful, and works with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] to lift the cloud of uncertainty surrounding its nuclear project – whether it is seeking nuclear weapons or is only peaceful," he told reporters in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital. - 5/26/06

Iran to play "electricity hub" role for ECO member states
Given its vast electricity network and strategic geographic location in the region, Iran has been picked to play the role of an electricity hub for member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), announced an official here Wednesday. -Mehr - 5/26/06

US debates carrots, sticks for Iran's nuclear program
Amid a din of uncompromising rhetoric from and about Iran, the UN's permanent five powers and Germany this week worked to hammer out a package of incentives and threats they hope will ensure the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is limited to peaceful purposes. -CSM - 5/26/06

Iranian Foreign Minister Visits Baghdad
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki, in Iraq today for talks with Iraqi officials, is the first top Iranian official to arrive since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's election win in June 2005 and the visit comes just weeks after Iran upgraded its representation in Baghdad to ambassador-level on May 9. -RFE - 5/26/06

U-turn by White House as it blocks direct talks with Iran
The White House yesterday ruled out previously authorised direct talks between Tehran and the US ambassador in Baghdad, which were to have focused on the situation in Iraq. The move marks a hardening of the Bush administration's position, despite pressure from the international community to enter into direct dialogue with Iran. -Guardian - 5/26/06

Iran the Target of Disinformation Campaign
A story authored by a prominent U.S. neoconservative regarding new legislation in Iran allegedly requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive color badges circulated around the world this weekend before it was exposed as false. -IPS - 5/26/06

Bush: Incentives Possible for Iran If It Halts Uranium Enrichment
President Bush says Iran must suspend uranium enrichment activities if it wants to see an enhanced package of economic incentives. -VOA - 5/26/06

Iran Freedom and Regime Change Politics
At a time when the Republican Party is divided on immigration reform and when the Democrats and the Republicans are positioning themselves for the mid-term elections on such issues as gay marriage, Congress is demonstrating alarming bipartisan unity on Iran. -International Relations Center - 5/26/06

New survey finds polarizing, hardening of Iranian attitudes over nuclear program
Iranians are increasingly divided over their country's pursuit of nuclear weapons technology, according to the results of a telephone survey released today by Washington, D.C.-based media and public opinion research organization, InterMedia. - 5/25/06

Iran Khodro to open Samand car factory in Azerbaijan
Managing Director of Iran Khodro auto manufacturing Group Manouchehr Manteqi announced in Tehran on Wednesday the opening on May 31 of that firm's first overseas branch in Azerbaijan. -IRNA - 5/25/06

Former US Defense Secretary Urges Direct Talks with Iran
Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is calling on the Bush administration to negotiate directly with Iran, saying he believes that is the only path toward resolving the nuclear crisis. He drew comparisons to his experience dealing with North Korea when he was defense secretary in the Clinton administration in the 1990's. -VOA - 5/25/06

World Powers Report Progress in Meeting on Iran
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reported progress Wednesday in London talks among senior diplomats of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany on a strategy for dealing with Iran's nuclear program. But she said more talks will be needed, perhaps at the ministerial level. -VOA - 5/25/06

Canadian daily National Post apologizes for printing false story on Iran
A Canadian newspaper Wednesday officially apologized to Iran for publishing a front-page story last week that said religious minorities living in Iran are to be required to wear colored badges in public. -IRNA - 5/25/06

Unity and Multiplicity: To write or not to write
From the recent combination of states of being caused by unquenchable search for Truth (what a big word from such a petty being!) I have been constantly pondering about the part that I could find 'worthwhile' to share with the readers of this Corner. And, each time automatically and simultaneously, I went through the following self-questioning. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 5/25/06

Iranian-Canadians object to misinformation by National Post
In your 19 May issue in a front page article by C. Wattie, you claim that the Iranian regime’s parliament has passed a law demanding Jews and other religious minorities wear coloured badges to be easily identifiable. This is false information, as the dress code law that passed on May 15th has no such reference. You claim that “Iranian expatriates living in Canada” have confirmed this. - 5/25/06

Newest UN Resolution Rankles Syria, Hizballah, Iran
A new UN Security Council resolution notes Syria's negative influence on Lebanese affairs, and it indirectly refers to Iranian influence. Damascus and Tehran -- as well as the radical Islamic group Hizballah -- have criticized the resolution, while it got a mixed reception in Lebanon and Washington welcomed it. -RFE - 5/25/06

Iranian director gets red card for 'Offside' flick
Prominent Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has again fallen foul of his country's censors, this time with a light-hearted critique of a ban on women going to football matches. The film, entitled "Offside," depicts a group of girls who disguise themselves as boys in a bid to illicitly watch their national side qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. -AFP - 5/25/06

Bush Democracy Doctrine, 2003(?)-2006, R.I.P
Less than 18 months after U.S. President George W. Bush declared in his 2005 Inaugural Address his unequivocal commitment to the "ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world", tyrants, particularly in the Islamic world, are taking heart. -IPS - 5/25/06

Iran: the elite against the people
A United States attack would set back reform a generation, says Nasrin Alavi, author of "We Are Iran" – for Iranians can do it for themselves. -Open Democracy - 5/25/06

IRAQ: Basra officials warn of rising sectarian violence
More than 100 civilians have been killed since April in sectarian and political violence in the once relatively calm southern city of Basra, some 600km southeast of Baghdad, according to police sources. -IRIN - 5/25/06

The Taliban comeback: Losing Afghanistan
The dramatic upsurge in fighting in recent days in Afghanistan leaves a serious question over the return of peace and stability to Afghanistan. The Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai and its international backers, who have not been able to contain the Taliban opposition after nearly five years of strenuous effort, must be wondering where they have gone wrong. -IHT - 5/25/06

Iranian faces trial in Uganda over AIDS 'cure'
Since 2004, Allahgholi has courted controversy by claiming that his herbal remedy — called Khomeini — can cure HIV/AIDS. -SciDev - 5/25/06

Iran leader's love of soccer worries World Cup host
German security forces are ready to deal with hooligans, right-wing protesters, and even suicide bombers. But the possibility of Iran's president making a surprise appearance at next month's World Cup soccer championship is giving the country's leadership a collective case of angst. -Boston Globe - 5/25/06

Indonesia Issues Visa-on-Arrival for Iranians
The government of Indonesia has decided to enlist Iran as a country whose citizens enjoy the visa on arrival facility to visit Indonesia. -CHN - 5/25/06

El-Baradei Says Decision On U.S.-Iran Talks Up To Bush
The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, Muhammad el-Baradei, says he has discussed Iran's views about its nuclear dispute with the West with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. -RFE - 5/25/06

54 Baha'is aested in Iran
Iranian officials have arrested 54 Bahá'ís in the city of Shiraz, the Bahá'í International Community has learned. They are mostly youth and were all engaged in humanitarian service when they were arrested. It is one of the largest number of Bahá'ís taken at once since the 1980s. -Bahá'í International Community - 5/25/06

Iran Proposal to US Offered Peace With Israel
Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders, according to the secret Iranian proposal to the United States. -IPS - 5/25/06

'Thugs' Blamed For Tehran University Violence
Fresh student protests erupted today at two universities in the Iranian capital following overnight clashes with police forces that left several people wounded, Radio Farda reports. - 5/24/06

Tehran Art Scene: Karim Nasr at Artists' Forum
In April, I had a meeting at the Khaneh Honmandann (Tehran Artist Forum). I was there early so I took the opportunity to visit the Morteza Momayez Gallery on the ground floor. There I saw the works of Mr Karim Nasr -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/24/06

Persian Music Maestros to be honored at The 2nd Persian Golden Lioness Awards In Budapest Hungary
The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media – WAALM is proud to announce that this years recipient Awardees will pay tribute to three generations of Musicians whose work is a source of continued inspiration and admiration. - 5/24/06

Pennsylvania University translating Jiroft articles
The University of Pennsylvania is busy with translating the articles submitted at the Jiroft International Seminar, the director of the archaeological team working at the ancient Jiroft site told the Persian service of CHN here Monday. -Mehr - 5/24/06

People Are Strange, When You’re a Stranger
Living in Iran ain’t exactly a picnic for anybody, especially women, gays, political dissidents, or those accused of breaking one of the trillion laws issued weekly by the Islamic Republic. But is life particularly hard for the native Jewish population? Yes, according to the major organs of neocon propaganda, who (along with their useful idiots) have lately been spreading rumors of an incipient Holocaust in Persia. - 5/24/06

Iran Requests Direct Talks on Nuclear Program
Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent letter to President Bush with explicit requests for direct talks on its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats. -Washington Post - 5/24/06

Tehran has repeatedly announced readiness to hold talks with US unconditionally: FM Spokesman
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Wednesday referring to the recent claims made by the US President George W Bush about Iran's nuclear activities stressed that Tehran has repeatedly announced its readiness to hold talks without any precondition. -IRNA - 5/24/06

US hawks 'hinder moves' on Iran nuclear incentives
Opposition by US "hawks" led by Dick Cheney, the vice-president, is complicating efforts by the main European powers to put together a package of incentives aimed at persuading Iran to suspend its nuclear fuel cycle programme, according to diplomats and analysts in Washington. -Financial Times - 5/24/06

Iran: Banned daily's staff issue statement, hope for fair investigation
A day after the Persian daily `Iran' was closed, its staff and writers on Tuesday afternoon issued a statement calling on the judiciary to launch a fair investigation over the daily's closure. -IRNA - 5/24/06

Iran's Ahmadinejad Boasts 'Start-To-Finish' Nuclear Mastery
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said today that Iran has mastered the entire nuclear fuel, "from start to finish." -RFE - 5/24/06

Bush Doubts Iran Wants Negotiated Solution
U.S. President George W. Bush says he wants to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute diplomatically, but is not sure that Iran wants a negotiated solution. -VOA - 5/24/06

Snubbing Iran
The answer is that the Bush regime is desperate to widen the war in the Middle East. -TomPaine - 5/24/06

Iranian director Makhmalbaf under the spotlight in Munich
Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf will be honored at the 23rd Munich International Film Festival, which is to be held from July 15-22, the student news agency ISNA reported Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/24/06

How Bush Brewed the Iran Crisis
Why did the Bush regime create a crisis over Iran? The answer is that the Bush regime is desperate to widen the war in the Middle East. -Counterpunch - 5/24/06

Mixed views near Iran nuclear site
It is hard to imagine the sleepy provincial town of Natanz ever being at the centre of a conflict. -BBC - 5/24/06

The Black Psy-Ops Campaign against Iran
The Iranian regime is despicable in its lack of respect for basic human rights and in its regimentation of its citizens into a rigid theocracy. But it is no more of a threat to the United States than Burma or the Congo, both of which are just as oppressive. -Indy Bay - 5/24/06

Iran: L90 contract with Renault to be signed by weekend
The contract on manufacturing the French passenger car L90 in Iran has been finalized and will be signed by the end of the week, Minister of Industries and Mines Alireza Tahmasbi announced here on Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/24/06

Iran's Women Soccer Fans Cheer
Like others who come watch Iran's national soccer team prepare for the World Cup in July, they join in the chants and wave their flags. But these fans are cheering from outside the fence surrounding the field, barred by law from entering because they are women. -AP - 5/24/06

Iran have "best team ever"
Hannover striker Vahid Hashemian believes Iran have their best side ever leading into the World Cup in Germany this summer. "We definitely have the best team in our history. This team is very intelligent and mature," he said at Iran's training camp. -Euro Sport - 5/24/06

World Powers Hold Key Meeting on Iran
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are meeting in London Wednesday to discuss the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. -VOA - 5/24/06

'Peace for all on justice, morality' motto of Iran's national football team in World Cup
Head of Physical Education Organization Mohammad Ali-Abadi said in Tehran on Wednesday that the mottos of Iran's national football team in the World Cup would be 'Peace for all on justice and morality'. -IRNA - 5/24/06

Human Rights Defenders from Iran and Zimbabwe share 2006 Martin Ennals Award
The Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) announced today in Atlanta that the 2006 laureates are Akbar Ganji, Iran, and Arnold Tsunga, Zimbabwe. - 5/24/06

Russia to Iran: Accept European Incentives and Stop Enriching Uranium
Russia is calling on Iran to accept a package of European incentives and to abandon uranium enrichment activities. -VOA - 5/24/06

Iranian Nobel Laureate Ebadi Promotes Banned Book In U.S.
Shirin Ebadi told an audience at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) this month that her book is an introduction to Iranian society. -RFE - 5/23/06

Antje Beyen talks about her film "Feminine Breeze: Women and Arts in Iran"
Antje Beyen is a German filmmaker. Her film, Feminine Breeze: Women and Arts in Iran, recently won the best foreign documentary award at Santa Cruz International Film Festival. We asked Antje to tell us what inspired her to make this film, how her experience was in Iran and finally the reaction to her film in Iran and abroad. Here is what she had to say. - 5/23/06

The Coming Financial Crises?
On Wednesday 17 May the Dow Jones plunged 214 points to 11,206 — its worst point drop since March 2003. The downward trend started a week ago and is a warning sign of troubles ahead. This sudden drop has come as a complete surprise to the unfortunate small investors and speculators. The so called “experts” point at the sudden threat of inflation as the main cause of the recent reversals in the markets. -Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway - 5/23/06

Book: 'Illegal Dating,' a True Story of the Resilience of the Human Spirit
Illegal Dating: A Journey into the Private Life of Iran by Muhammad Tahir, a recent BookSurge publication, chronicles a journalist’s trip to face the defiant in Iran - 5/23/06

Iranian-American Family Urged President Bush to Seek Peace with Iran
On April 21, 2006, President Bush visited the Bay Area, California to promote U.S. high tech competitiveness. My son, Arash was selected, as a top student from San Jose State University, to be a member of a panel discussion with the President Bush at Cisco Center. I was invited to this event along with the rest of my family. -Ali Shokouhbakhsh - 5/23/06

Iran's Jews struggle in the shadow of Holocaust denials
At more than 20,000, Iran remains home to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel, despite post-revolutionary emigration that saw tens of thousands leave. Those who remain say emigration has slowed and those who have stayed are unlikely to change their minds. -Independent - 5/23/06

The International Court of Justice: Will it be Just?
The media is hyped up about the Israelis wanting to sue Ahmadinejad for the comments he made. Israeli lawyers claim that his attacks on Israel and his calls for the ‘annihilation’ of the Jews broke a 1948 UN genocide convention to which Iran is a signatory. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/23/06

Exiled from Iran: the thirst for liberty
The Iranian community are well integrated in Europe, and they remain unanimous in their desire that Iran respects human rights -Cafe Babel - 5/23/06

Iran: Ahmadinejads Neo-Nazi Fans Worry Germany
The German government has expressed concern over the decision by German neo-Nazis to attend all matches played by Iran's national soccer team at the World Cup kicking off in Germany next month... -AKI - 5/23/06

A Vote of Thanks Is Expressed By Iranian Jews
A leading spokesman for Iranian Jews is thanking the world for its outcry over a report that the mullahs were readying legislation that would require Jews and other religious and ethnic minorities to wear distinguishing markers. -New York Sun - 5/23/06

The power of Iranian patriotism
Mohammed Hossein is an Iranian student abroad, enjoying life in London. While he disagrees with Ahmadinejad’s politics, he feels strongly patriotic. He talks to - 5/23/06

The U.S. must offer Iran more incentives
By increasing economic and cultural ties, diplomacy might unleash the soft power that could contribute to more gradual regime transformation over the longer term. Meanwhile, such an approach might avoid the costly use of force and buy time for a more benign outcome than what lies at the end of the current path of events. -Joseph S. Nye, Daily Star - 5/23/06

Iran Denies Reports Of Bird Flu Deaths
Iran's health minister today denied reports that two people in the northwestern city of Kermanshah have recently died of bird flu. -RFE - 5/23/06

Who's Really Afraid of Iran?
U.S. MIDDLE EAST policy is undergoing an identity crisis. The giddy days of roll-back seem like a distant memory now, as a president who staked his historical legacy on Arab democracy grants Gamal Mubarak an audience at the White House while his father's government is beating and arresting protesters in the streets of Cairo. Is regional transformation rolling up its tent? Have all the sticks turned into carrots? And why is Washington so thrilled at reestablishing full diplomatic relations with Libya? -Weekly Standard - 5/23/06

Eyes of Tehranto watching Iran
As Washington's showdown with Tehran over its nuclear program heats up, the Iranian community in Toronto anxiously follows the conflict -Globe and Mail - 5/23/06

Iran's Iraq Strategy
Tehran Could Retaliate Against Washington by Striking Next Door -Washington Post - 5/23/06

Amnesty International Report Faults West Over War On Terror
Amnesty International has again criticized the West on how it's conducting the U.S.-led war on terror. But in its annual report, the rights group says there are also signs of a shift in the public mood, with governments coming under increased scrutiny over how they're dealing with terrorism suspects. -RFE - 5/23/06

US antiwar organizations sponsor CASMII demonstration in San Diego
In solidarity with the CASMII international anti war day, on May 6, 2006 about 500 people gathered at the San Diego's Federal Building in an anti war demonstration sponsored by CASMII San Diego Chapter. - 5/23/06

The epistle that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the more or less duly elected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, sent George W. Bush, the more or less duly elected President of the United States of America, a couple of weeks ago has achieved a certain fame. -New Yorker - 5/23/06

Iran: Norwegian company to invest in Ilam's oil, gas sector: Envoy
Norwegian oil company Hydro Zagros Iran is prepared to develop the Azar oil and gas field here, Norwegian Ambassador to Iran Ole Kristian Holthe said on Saturday. -IRNA - 5/23/06

Hold Iran to account over Canadian scholar
The arrest of former University of Toronto professor Ramin Jahanbegloo by Iranian authorities has raised the spectre of the Zahra Kazemi affair among Canadians. -Payam Akhavan, Toronto Star - 5/23/06

Reading Ahmadinejad in Washington
The Iranian president's letter needs to be taken seriously. -Weekly Standard - 5/23/06

Pressed by U.S., European banks limit Iran deals
Prodded by the United States with threats of fines and lost business, four of the biggest European banks have started curbing their activities in Iran, even in the absence of a Security Council resolution imposing economic sanctions on Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program. -New York Times - 5/22/06

Tehran's Jahan-Nama Museum reopened
The Jahan-Nama Museum at Niavaran Cultural-Historical Complex was reopened on May 21, after 16 months of renovation, the Persian service of CHN reported Monday. Eight works by Marc Chagall are currently put on display at the museum. -Mehr - 5/22/06

Shame, shame, shame
The National Post today sank about as low as a newspaper can go, essentially constructing a sensational and emotionally-charged story out of little or nothing, upsetting millions all over the world and probably making it much harder for a peaceful outcome with Iran to be achieved. -Azerbic - 5/22/06

Report: US Proposing European Shield for Iran Missiles
A published report says Washington is seeking to establish a new anti-missile site in Europe designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies. -VOA - 5/22/06

Germany reaffirms MKO terrorist status
Germany has reaffirmed the terrorist status of the MKO grouplet in its 2005 terror report released by the German domestic intelligence service Verfassungsschutz on Monday. -IRNA - 5/22/06

German Leader Says China Agrees Iran Should Not Have Nuclear Weapons
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Chinese premier agrees with her that Iran should not possess nuclear weapons. German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to China hoping to build a greater consensus against Iran's plans to develop its nuclear capabilities. -VOA - 5/22/06

Iraq calls for expansion of ties with Iran: Iraqi FM
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Sunday called for expansion of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to a statement issued by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Zebari was speaking in a meeting with the Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi. -IRNA - 5/22/06

Book: L'Iran Nucléaire by Nader Barzin
L'Iran Nucléaire, Nader Barzin's book on the Iranian nuclear industry has been qualified by specialists as the most thorough and well-documented reference on the subject in the world. - 5/22/06

EU, Iran Welcome New Iraqi Government
The European Union and Iran today welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi government. -RFE - 5/22/06

Reversing Policy, US "Froze" Iran Talks in March
In yet another apparent episode of the inability of the White House to steer a consistent diplomatic course in the Middle East, a new report says that the George W. Bush administration ordered U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in March to postpone indefinitely the talks with Iran on Iraq for which Khalilzad had previously gotten White House approval. -IPS - 5/22/06

Bush Administration Says No Security Guarantees for Iran
The Bush administration says it has not been asked by European negotiators to provide security guarantees to Iran. The dispute over Iran's nuclear intentions is likely to play a prominent role later this week, when President Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. -VOA - 5/22/06

World Cup: Iranian team's public training session in Germany set for June 7
Iran's national football team will hold their first public training session at their World Cup base in Friedrichshafen on June 7, the official website of Friedrichshafen announced on Monday. -IRNA - 5/22/06

Iran: Naval wargame kicks off northwest of Persian Gulf to mark liberation of Khorramshahr
Khorramshahr's naval forces began a three-day wargame in the northwestern waters of the Persian Gulf on Sunday. -IRNA - 5/22/06

The meaning of Ramin Jahanbegloo’s arrest
The authorities in Tehran have silenced Ramin Jahanbegloo – philosopher, democratic voice and advocate of non-violence. Rasool Nafisi asks why. -Open Democracy - 5/21/06

Iran lifts world university taekwondo trophy
Iran was crowned at the men's event of the 9th World University Taekwondo Championship in the port city of Valencia, east of Spain, Saturday night. -IRNA - 5/21/06

Iran and the West: Capitalizing on the Nuclear Standoff
Serious international crises are often rare, yet, to a great extent, precious to those who can effectively take advantage of them. When a crisis of such grand dimensions as that of the standoff between the 'international community' and the Islamic 'Republic' of Iran occurs, it is only customary for all the parties involved to attempt to capitalize on the situation as best they can. -Jalal Alavi - 5/21/06

Iran denies dress code for religious minorities alleged in Canadian daily
Iran has denied a report in a Canadian daily which says Tehran may force non-Muslims to adopt a particular dress code in public. -IRNA - 5/21/06

Should the U.S. Negotiate Directly with Iran?
Pressure on the United States to deal directly with Iran has intensified after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent President Bush a letter. Two experts (Karim Sadjadpour & Patrick Clawson) debate whether this proposed option is a smart strategy to resolve the current nuclear impasse. -Council on Foreign Relations - 5/21/06

U.S. Moves to Weaken Iran
A campaign to promote democracy and fund dissidents prompts speculation that the administration's goal is to change the regime. -Los Angeles Times - 5/21/06

Tehran's Aseman Complex to open on Monday
The Aseman Complex, affiliated to the Academy of Arts, is to open on Monday, ISNA reported on Friday. -Mehr - 5/21/06

EDBI to finance power line project in Armenia
The Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) will finance construction of a power transmission line in Armenia. -Mehr - 5/21/06

Iran plans to expand gasoline production: oil minister
The oil minister said here Saturday that Arak Oil Refinery Complex's capacity will be increased 10 million liters daily. -IRNA - 5/21/06

Unexpectedly, Iran's President Breaks a Few Old Taboos
When he won Iran’s presidential election last year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s image was that of a rigid Islamic ideologue. Yet almost a year into his presidency, Ahmadinejad has shown himself to be more dexterous than widely expected in his approach to both foreign and domestic issues. -Eurasianet - 5/21/06

Ahmadinejad issues directive to allocate $3.9B for renovation of schools
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Sunday notified relevant organs of the law to allocate almost 3.9 billion dollars from the hard currency deposit account for renovating and reinforcing schools nationwide. -IRNA - 5/21/06

Iran's crude oil production is four million barrels daily: oil official
Managing Director of Iran National Oil Company (NIOC) said in Tehran on Saturday that Iran's current crude oil production is about four million barrels daily. -IRNA - 5/21/06

Rice: No Security Guarantees for Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States has not been asked to provide security guarantees to Iran to help resolve the crisis over its nuclear program. -VOA - 5/21/06

The making of an insurgency in Iran's Balochistan province
There has been a considerable escalation in violence in Iran's impoverished Balochistan province. On 1 May, Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi said that Tehran has approached Interpol for help in tracking down Abdolmalek Rigi. -Jane's - 5/20/06

Experts Say US Should Engage Iran
Experts told Congress this week that the time is right for the United States to engage Iran on a number of issues, not just its nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 5/20/06

A Variety of Styles Clash in Group D of Football's World Cup
Portugal, Mexico, Iran, and Angola will each be trying to be one of two teams that will continue to play in the World Cup's second round. International football commentator Derek Rae says Portugal is likely the strongest in a lackluster Group-D. -VOA - 5/20/06

Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran By Jason Elliot
A taxi-driver in Teheran asks Elliot why he has come to Iran; in order to write a book, he replies. "What is there to write about?", retorts the driver, and there follows a list of what Iran and Iranians have contributed to the world, particularly to Europe, in religion, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, ... -Independent - 5/20/06

Iran pulls curtain on atom sites
In February, after three years of unusual openness, Iran drastically reduced access to Natanz and hundreds of other nuclear sites, programs and personnel. -New York Times - 5/20/06

What We Need to Tell Iran
How do you answer a letter from an Iranian president that catalogues the perfidies of U.S. policy and then sweetly asks America to "return to the teachings of the prophets"? So far President Bush's answer has been silence. He has let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter sit in the in-box while his administration concentrates on its cautious diplomatic campaign against Tehran. -Washington Post - 5/20/06

Four universties kick-off in Iranian soccer tournament
York University won the Iranian Students' Association at Ryerson University second annual soccer tournament last Sunday, beating the University of Toronto 1-0 and taking the title away from Ryerson. -Eyeopener - 5/20/06

Iran Emphasizes on Presence of Foreign Investors Service
The presence of foreign investors in Iran's stock market will lead to low-price financial resources. -ISNA - 5/20/06

Middle America: Welcome to the Centre of the USA
The United States used to be so sure of its place in the world. To come from the land of the free was truly to be blessed. Not any more. Disillusionment with the President is growing. American self-confidence is draining away. There's a malaise gnawing at the nation's soul. Where did it all go wrong? -Independent - 5/20/06

Experts say report of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue
Several experts are casting doubt on reports that Iran had passed a law requiring the country’s Jews and other religious minorities to wear coloured badges identifying them as non-Muslims. -National Post - 5/20/06

Will the U.S. Shift on North Korea Pay Dividends for Iran?
If the Bush Administration offers Pyongyang a security deal as part of the nuclear negotiations, it will be pressed to do the same with Tehran -TIME - 5/20/06

Iran's Letter Should Start a Dialogue
Wanted: A seasoned U.S. statesman to start direct talks with Iran. -Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 5/20/06

Iranian begins attempt at world's longest pantomime
Bahram Reihani plans to symbolically connect the two Iranian cities of Tehran and Isfahan by pulling an imaginary rope during what is intended to be the world's longest pantomime. -Mehr - 5/20/06

First electronics stock exchange launched in Iran
The first investment electronic stock exchange was launched by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI). -Mehr - 5/20/06

Wisner to Senate: Regime change not basis to engage civil society
"The starting point is to respect, not challenge other parties' right to hold office," asserted Ambassador Frank Wisner as he outlined his formula for negotiations with Iran during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today. Wisner's recommendation was a segment of his larger proposal for the United States to diplomatically engage and normalize relations with Iran. -NIAC - 5/19/06

UNESCO official dubs Jahan-Nama case model
UNESCO World Heritage Center director Francesco Bandarin announced his satisfaction with the modification process of the Jahan-Nama Tower in Isfahan and said that the case can be used as a model for safeguarding world heritage sites in similar situations, the Persian service of CHN reported on Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/19/06

Iranian Cyclist Attempts to Save Caspian Sea
With the supports received from the United Nations and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Kaveh Farahmand, a 22 year old Iranian cyclist, is determined to pedal through the Caspian Sea regional countries with the aim of raising the public awareness about environmental threats posed to Caspian Sea due to economic exploitations of its regional countries. -CHN - 5/19/06

Iran: Arms Experts Downplay Venezuelan Hint Of Jet Sale To Tehran
A Venezuelan general has suggested that his country might sell its entire force of 21 U.S.-built F-16 fighter planes to Iran. Member of the Chiefs of Staff General Alberto Mueller Rojas says that he recommended selling the aging jets, and that Iran is a possible destination. But Western arms experts who spoke with RFE/RL largely dismissed such a deal as a far-fetched "political snipe." - 5/19/06

Women Filmmakers in Iran
Iran is often judged negatively, but through listening and respecting the Iranian culture, I could look behind the surface and found strong Iranian women who are able to enrich our Western culture. -Antje Beyen - 5/19/06

World's Biggest Nuclear Bully Demands Disarmament from Iran
For weeks, the mainstream media have been filled with accusations that Iran's nuclear program presents an alarming threat to the U.S. and the world. And a string of U.S. officials are threatening military action against Iran for refusing to "cooperate." -CounterPunch - 5/19/06

Pentagon Report Said to Find Killing of Iraqi Civilians Deliberate
A Pentagon report on an incident in which U.S. Marines shot and killed more than a dozen Iraqi civilians last November will show that those killings were deliberate and worse than initially reported, a Pennsylvania congressman said Wednesday. -Knight Ridder - 5/19/06

Why We Won't Invade Iran
Twenty-seven years ago, President Jimmy Carter gave his most famous address, since dubbed the “Malaise Speech.” -ARTVOICE - 5/19/06

Iran enrichment: A Chinese puzzle?
Western diplomatic sources have told the BBC that there is a very strong probability that the uranium hexafluoride gas used in these experiments was not made by the Iranians at all. -BBC - 5/19/06

Interview with Ramin Djawadi
Ramin DJAWADI is one of the best known composers who work closely with Hans ZIMMER. He started out his musical career as a guitar player in numerous bands in Germany. -Hans Zimer - 5/19/06

Muslim Nations Want Nuclear Energy, Are Wary of Iran
As the West debates the perceived Iranian nuclear threat, leaders of the world's eight largest Muslim countries, collectively known as the D8, met on this resort island over the weekend where they asserted the right of Islamic countries to peaceful nuclear energy. - 5/19/06

Lawmakers Ask Tough Questions Of CIA Director Nominee
U.S. President George W. Bush's nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA -- appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. -RFE - 5/19/06

Why Nuclear Weapons Should Matter
For most Americans, nuclear weapons are a distant concern, and deciding what to do about them is a low priority. As a culture, we are relatively comfortable possessing nuclear weapons, believing that they are, on balance, a good security hedge in a dangerous world. We leave it to our leaders to determine what should be done with these weapons. But our leaders may be moving in exactly the wrong direction. -Common Dreams - 5/19/06

Aliyev: Iran-Azerbaijan ties not to be affected by a 3rd party
Aliyev told Iran's deputy foreign minister and special envoy to the Caspian affairs Mehdi Safari that all-out expansion of cooperation between Tehran and Baku is of high significance for the two sides. -IRNA - 5/19/06

Annan Wants Iranian and Korean Nuclear 'Crises' Resolved
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed frustration at the lack of progress in resolving the Iranian and North Korean nuclear disputes. Mr. Annan calls the disputes a "crisis," and says resolving them is an urgent matter. -VOA - 5/19/06

43,000 Reasons Not To Attack Iran
Some weeks back, Cindy Sheehan asked me to start a petition opposing an attack on Iran. We posted it at It's wonderful that so many people are here as we deliver the petition to the White House. -AfterDowningStreet - 5/19/06

Iranian communities rebuild and recover after earthquakes
More than six weeks after a series of strong earthquakes shook Lorestan province in western Iran, life appears to be returning to normal. Schools and shops are open for business in the cities, and reconstruction efforts are evident in the villages of the affected area. -UNICEF - 5/19/06

Why do they hate us?: Interview with Stephen Kinzer, author of "Overthrow" and "All the Shah's Men"
Stephen Kinzer is well known in the Iranian community. His book All the Shah's Men which described the 1953 coup d'etat in Iran reads like a spy novel and won praise both in Iran and the US. Stephen received hundreds of emails and letters from people all over the world including a man who was only a little boy in Philadelphia. -Fariba Amini - 5/18/06

Seven Iranian-Americans Receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Seven Iranian-Americans have received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor including Mr. Ali Ebrahimi, Mr. Morteza Hosseini, Mr. Jamie Masada, Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, Mr. Hamid Moghadam, Mr. Farhad Pezeshkan, and Dr. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri in a ceremony in the Great Hall on Ellis Island on Saturday, May 13, 2006. - 5/18/06

Iranians Demand Change, Reject War by US, Says Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi
"Democracy is not merchandise to be exported to another country. Democracy cannot be brought to a nation with cluster bombs." -UCLA International Institute - 5/18/06

Panel agrees Bush should respond to Ahmadinejad letter
“This delicate diplomatic balance can be best achieved through direct communications,” said Committee Chair Richard Lugar (R-IN) as he opened a Senate hearing the Iranian nuclear stand-off today. -NIAC - 5/18/06

US Faults Iran for Stance on Nuclear Incentives
The United States criticized Iran's President Wednesday for appearing to reject a European incentives package for ending sensitive nuclear work before it is even presented. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran would not accept any suspension or freeze on nuclear enrichment. -VOA - 5/18/06

Professor Manuel Castells to speak at Tehran universities
Professor Manuel Castells is traveling to Tehran to give lectures at two Tehran universities. Castells, the author of the book "Information Age", teaches sociology and city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkley. -Mehr - 5/18/06

For Iranian-American Jews, standoff
As an American citizen, Sam Kermanian would like to mitigate Iran’s threat to the United States. As a Jew, he wants to ensure Israel’s safety. And as an Iranian, he’d like to see these changes brought about in a peaceful way, so as not to disrupt the homeland he loves dearly. -JTA - 5/18/06

Rumsfeld Tells Congress Iran Is Feeding Iraq Sectarianism
Testifying in Washington before Congress, Rumsfeld said U.S. forces are finding Iranian-manufactured weapons in Iraq. But Rumsfeld conceded that he can't prove this conclusively. -RFE - 5/18/06

Iran targets foreign broadcasters
The authorities in Iran are reportedly making new plans to disrupt broadcasts from abroad after earlier efforts failed to stem the tide sufficiently. -BBC - 5/18/06

Making the Iran Thing Legal-Like
Iran is in a confusing state of arrest, even as the sovereign nation seeks redress for the American president's verbal assault against their country and government, and for the Bush regime's phony attempts to sanction them for continuing to process uranium. -OpEdNews - 5/18/06

Venezuela 'may swap oil currency'
Venezuela has hinted it could price its oil exports in euros rather than US dollars, further weakening its links to the US. President Hugo Chavez said he was considering taking the step following a similar declaration by Iran. -BBC - 5/18/06

US administration slams door on negotiations with Iran
The Bush administration has emphatically ruled out any direct talks with Tehran, despite an overture from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an open letter from top Iranian official Hassan Rohani and an appeal by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan over the past week. -World Socialist - 5/18/06

Iran exports pistachios to 76 countries
Iran now exports pistachios to 76 countries, said an official with the country's Agricultural Jihad Ministry. -Mehr - 5/18/06

Bam: Saving what can be saved - the story of Parisa Damandan
Parisa Damandan is an Iranian photographer who has surprised the Dutch public twice before with eyecatching exhibitions, one about Polish refugees that fled to Iran during World War II, and one about unveiled women in the days of traditional Persia. -aida - 5/18/06

Iran's economic growth up 5.5%
Iran's total economic growth was registered 5.5 percent in the last Iranian year (started March 21, 2005), Ebrahim Sheibani, the chairman of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said on Tuesday. -Mehr - 5/18/06

April Art in Tehran: Dr Mojgan Zare at Golestan
At the Golestan Gallery (42 Kamasaie St, Darrous, Tel. 22541589) I saw the works of a lady doctor, Dr Mojan Zare, who by training and profession is a radiologist and paints most profoundly. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/18/06

Iranian Americans Seek Solution to Human Rights, Nuclear Issues
The largest population of Iranians living outside of their country is in Los Angeles. The exile population is watching the growing confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, and worries about continuing human-rights abuses in their homeland. -VOA - 5/18/06

Film on Iranian women, arts and freedom wins award at Santa Cruz Film Festival
A documentary film about female artists in Iran has won the award as the best foreign doumentary at this year's International Film Festival in Santa Cruz. Feminine Breeze: Women and Arts in Iran, is made by the gifted German filmmaker, Antje Beyen, and provides a fresh perspective on an important aspect of Iranian civil society. - 5/18/06

Experts Say Iran Concerned About Economic Isolation
As the latest European effort to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions was rejected by Iran's president Wednesday, experts in the United States made new recommendations on how to resolve the crisis. -VOA - 5/18/06

Senate Panel Calls for direct US-Iran negotiations
“Talking to Tehran would not reward bad behavior or legitimize the regime…For this administration…it is not simply a wise choice, it is a requirement,” pronounced Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing entitled: “Iran’s Political/Nuclear Ambitions and US Policy Options.” -NIAC - 5/18/06

Maurice Bejart & Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam to be honoured at The 2nd Persian Golden Lionness Awards In Budapest Hungary
The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media – WAALM is proud to announce that this years recipient Awardees will pay tribute to two generations of Ballet Maestro's whose work, dedication and contribution to their Art has gained the respect of their peers. - 5/18/06

Iraq and Iran: "Why the United States invaded Iraq, and now is thinking about invading Iran"
The United States, for quite some time now, has been accusing Iran of trying to develop Nuclear weapons and Iran has been insisting that its intentions are peaceful and that it is only interested in peaceful use of the Nuclear energy. Iran, to allay the international community's fear, froze its enrichment program and started a series of negotiations with U.K., Germany, and France. -Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway - 5/17/06

US-Iran Ties: Is the Pen Mightier Than the Sword?
Are U.S. and Iranian officials holding secret talks to try prevent the diplomatic tensions between them from deteriorating into a military confrontation? - 5/17/06

Iranian Cyclists to Convey "Message of Friendship" to the World
Three Iranian cyclists will pedal the distance between Iran and Germany to deliver Iran's "Message of Friendship" to Soccer World Cup 2006. -CHN - 5/17/06

Europeans Consider High-Tech Nuclear Offer to Iran
European powers are considering a proposal that offers Iran a light-water nuclear reactor, as part of a deal aimed at persuading Tehran to stop enriching uranium. -VOA - 5/17/06

Would Light-Water Reactor Suit Iran's Needs?
Diplomats say the EU-3 (Great Britain, France, and Germany) are planning to offer Iran a light-water reactor as part of a package of incentives to persuade Tehran to give up uranium enrichment and efforts to build a heavy-water research reactor. -RFE - 5/17/06

Iran-France L90 agreement to be signed in weeks
The agreement to produce in Iran the French passenger car L90 is expected to be signed within the next two weeks, noted a lawmaker here on Monday. -Mehr - 5/17/06

The Risks, Benefits Of A Free Market In Organs
Should people have the right to sell a kidney they don't need? Today almost every country in the world answers 'no.' The exception is Iran, where sales of kidneys are legal, and prospective sellers can establish a price with prospective buyers. -RFE - 5/17/06

EGYPT: Court suspends ruling recognising Bahai rights
Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court decided on 15 May to suspend the implementation of an earlier lower court ruling that allowed Bahais to have their religion recognised on official documents. -IRIN - 5/17/06

Iran shuns EU 'reactor incentive'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed a possible European offer of incentives to induce Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment programme. -BBC - 5/17/06

Why Not Talk?
A missive from Tehran stirs a call for direct negotiations over Iran's nukes. Here's why the U.S. isn't tempted -TIME - 5/17/06

President Ahmadinejad to send another letter: Persian daily
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intends to write another letter but it will not be for a political figure, "informed sources" were quoted on Wednesday. - 5/17/06

Saudi Arabia Casts Wary Eye at Iraq, Iran
The rising death toll in Iraq from sectarian violence and insurgent attacks, the growing influence of neighboring Iran and Tehran's nuclear ambitions are issues that dominate global headlines and discussions in the corridors of power. They are also cause for growing apprehension in neighboring Saudi Arabia where many fear a spill-over effect that could destabilize the kingdom and the region. -VOA - 5/17/06

US Cites Venezuelan Links to Iran, Cuba in Arms Sales Ban
The Bush administration is citing alleged Venezuelan intelligence links to Iran and Cuba as a reason behind its decision Monday to ban arms sales to the Caracas government. -VOA - 5/17/06

Further Delay In EU Action Plans For South Caucasus
EU Neighborhood Policy Action Plans for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan could face a further delay. -RFE - 5/17/06

How reality failed to live up to a dream
When he embarked on his journeys to Iran three years ago, Jason Elliot was hoping to re-live part of the experience of the English traveller Robert Byron as narrated in his 1933 classic, The Road to Oxiana. -TIMES Online - 5/17/06

Rumi poetry sense of humor inspires Americans: Barks
Renowned American poet Coleman Barks delivered a lecture at the Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Isfahan University on Sunday, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday. Americans are looking for a real human, and that person has been manifested in Rumi, he said. -Mehr - 5/17/06

Music for Peace by a Persian Composer
Suite for Peace is the latest work of the Virginia-based Persian (Iranian) composer Ahmad Nadimi that recently released as a 67-mintue CD in the United States. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 5/17/06

Bay Area Iranian Americans are finding their voice - Tense U.S.-Iran relations motivate many
When President Bush visited Silicon Valley last month, he was greeted by protesters, including many Iranian Americans urging the administration to pursue a peaceful path toward their former homeland. -San Francisco Chronicle - 5/16/06

UK Association of University Teachers Opposes Attack on Iran
The annual council meeting of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) which was held in Scarborough in the UK between May 10-12 2006 adopted a motion by overwhelming majority calling for the immediate withdraw of troops from Afghanisatan and Iraq and for opposition against any attack on Iran. - 5/16/06

Iran: Plans To Join Shanghai Group Seen As Bold Geopolitical Stroke
Iran's recent announcement that it intends to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) could complicate Western efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iran now has observer status at the SCO, but it hopes membership could come as early as June. -RFE - 5/16/06

EU to Offer Iran Incentives to End Nuclear Program
The European Union says it will offer Iran an incentive package to abandon its controversial nuclear program. The initiative comes as European foreign ministers meet in Brussels. -VOA - 5/16/06

Operation Regime Change
As George W. Bush's administration pushes for a showdown over Iran's nuclear program in the U.N. Security Council, it has presented the issue as a matter of global security—an Iranian nuclear threat in defiance of the international community. -TomPaine - 5/16/06

Russia, China Won't Approve Force Against Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Russia and China will not support the use of force against Iran over its nuclear program. - 5/16/06

Afghanistan: Kabul Willing To Moderate Between U.S., Iran
New Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said today in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that his country is ready to play a role in reducing tensions between its ally, the United States, and neighboring Iran over Tehran's nuclear activities. - 5/16/06

Iranian Shipbuilding company signs $5b agreement with Venezuela
Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO) has managed to conclude an agreement worth $5 billion on the development of marine industries and shipbuilding with Venezuela -Mehr - 5/16/06

Regime Change Redux
With both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, stating that the United States could take action outside of the U.N. Security Council, the buzz in Washington speculates whether the United States might be willing to take military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program. -Center for Defense Information - 5/16/06

The danger of an attack on Iran can no longer be ignored
Ming Campbell has a chance to put the Liberal Democrats centre stage by raising the flag of common sense on the Middle East -Guardian - 5/16/06

Bombing victims drop claim to Iranian artifacts in Mich. museums
A group of Americans injured in a 1997 terrorist bombing have dropped their effort to obtain Iranian artifacts from three Michigan museums as partial restitution for their injuries. -Boston Globe - 5/16/06

Majority of Israelis Say Arabs Should Leave
A recently-released poll in Israel indicates a majority of Israeli Jews want Israeli Arabs to leave the country. Some Israeli Arabs say the poll results are a cause for concern. -VOA - 5/16/06

US stance against talks with Iran might waver
The Bush administration's firm line against direct talks with Iran may be wavering as diplomatic impasse over Tehran's nuclear programme continues and Pentagon officials voice misgivings about future military options, a media report has said. -Times of India - 5/16/06

Iran-Afghanistan first fiber-optic project commissioned
Carried out in cooperation with the Telecommunications Company of Iran's northwestern Khorasan Razavi Province, Herat-Mashhad fiber-optic project has been implemented at the investment worth over $1 million. -Mehr - 5/16/06

Americans Want No Immediate Action on Iran
Many adults in the United States think a military conflict against Iran is unwarranted, according to a poll by CBS News and the New York Times. 58 per cent of respondents believe Iran can be contained through diplomacy, and 22 per cent say the country is not a threat to the U.S. at this time. -Angus Reid - 5/16/06

Iranian Author: U.S. Is Repeating Past Mistakes; Marriage of Mojahedin and U.S. Must Be Stopped Before It Is Too Late
Ghazal Omid, an Iranian author, Islamic expert and human and women's rights activist, will hold press conference outside the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, May 16. Omid will declare "Iranians must be represented by a true leader not a terrorist group." - 5/16/06

Iran signs MoU to build oil refinery in Indonesia
A peaceful solution to the West's disagreements with Iran's nuclear activities will result in the stability in the oil prices, noted on Sunday, Indonesia's Mines and Energy Minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro. -Mehr - 5/16/06

New dam to devour Sassanid counterpart
The reservoir of a dam under construction near Ramhormoz in the southwestern province of Khuzestan will submerge the 1700-year-old Sassanid era Jareh Dam, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday. -Mehr - 5/16/06

Palace of Darius the Great Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge
Iran-French joint archeology team at Bolaghi Gorge succeeded in discovering and identifying the remains of a gigantic palace, believed to be from the Achaemenid era (648 BC–330 BC), during their second season of excavations in the area. -CHN - 5/16/06

An Iranian offer that America must heed
The Ahmadinejad letter is as much an invitation to dialogue as a reminder to the world of the dangers posed by the Bush administration's policies. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 5/15/06

Brzezinski Rips U.S. Policy on Iran, Hamas
Zbigniew Brzezinski — former Canadian and a McGill alumnus who rose to be Jimmy Carter's national security adviser — knows a thing or two about the broader Middle East, including Iran, having lived through the American hostage crisis on his watch. -Toronto Star - 5/15/06

US Says UN is 'Right Forum' for Iran Nuclear Talks
The United States is repeating its position that the best way to resolve the stand-off with Iran over its nuclear program is through the United Nations. A top U.S. official made his comments in response to questions about whether Washington would negotiate with Tehran directly. -VOA - 5/15/06

Iranian President Says Tehran Willing To Hold Nuclear Talks
A one-day summit of eight majority Muslim nations has ended with a statement of support for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The statement was warmly welcomed by one of the Muslim leaders at the summit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -VOA - 5/15/06

Iran: Majlis passes bill setting out new dress requirement
Majlis deputies on Sunday approved the outlines of a bill setting out a dress code suitable for Iranian culture and society and a national fashion trend. -IRNA - 5/15/06

Iranian official: Bush's response to Ahmadinejad's letter can open avenues for discussing differences
An intelligent, reasoned response by US President George W Bush to a letter sent to him by his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, can open avenues for discussing and resolving differences taking into account the need to enforce justice in the world, an Iranian official said in Tehran on Sunday. -IRNA - 5/15/06

EU to propose 'bold' Iran package
The EU is preparing a new package of measures that it hopes will convince Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, top EU diplomat Javier Solana has said. The "bold" package would include economic, nuclear, and possibly security guarantees, Mr Solana said. -BBC - 5/15/06

A grand bargain still only solution on Iran
The world is entering a critical moment over the Iranian nuclear controversy, one that will decide whether a prolonged stand-off will now spiral into conflict or settle into crisis management that might yield a workable compromise. There may not be a solution. But, if there is to be any hope of one, the strategic and tactical parameters of Iran policy need to change. -Financial Times - 5/15/06

Iranian leader shows west the way in Indonesia
Soon after Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the Iranian president, stole the international limelight with his rambling letter to George W. Bush last week, he notched another win in his global campaign to woo fellow Muslims. -Financial Times - 5/15/06

Widows Reach Beyond 9/11 to Aid Afghans
Patti Quigley of Wellesley and Susan Retik of Needham -- whose husbands were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks -- decided to use the financial support they received afterward to help war widows in Afghanistan, where the Al Qaeda planners of the terrorist strikes found harbor. -Boston Globe - 5/15/06

Islamist claims Comoros victory
Although votes are still being counted, supporters of the cleric, known as "Ayatollah" after his studies in Iran, have been celebrating in the streets. -BBC - 5/15/06

Iran seeking full SCO membership, says Chinese FM spokesman
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing on Monday Iran seeks to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. - 5/15/06

Chavez warns US over Iran policy
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned the US that any attack on Iran will have devastating consequences and send oil prices soaring. -BBC - 5/15/06

Israel High Court Upholds Law Barring Palestinian Residency
A decision by Israel's High Court prevents the unification of some Arab families wishing to live in the Jewish state. The case pits security and demographic issues against human rights. -VOA - 5/15/06

Call for Papers: Iran Analysis Quarterly Vol.3 Number 2
The Iran Analysis Quarterly, a publication of the Iranian Studies Group at MIT, is currently accepting articles for its next issue. Articles should focus on the analysis of the social, political, cultural or economic trends of contemporary Iranian society. - 5/15/06

Iran opposes laying of oil, gas pipelines on Caspian seabed
Iran's Ambassador to Almaty Ramin Mehmandoost said on Sunday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to laying oil and gas pipelines on Caspian seabed. -IRNA - 5/15/06

Report: CASMII members in NY antiwar demonstraition
On April 29, the streets of New York City echoed with the chants, songs and shouts of at least 350,000 people from across the United States. Mobilized around the call to end the war in Iraq now, to say no to any attack on Iran, and to support the rights and dignity of immigrants and women, and all people, the marchers brought a renewed urgency to the clear demand for change. - 5/15/06

World Ferdowsi Day commemorated
An Iranian official, on the occasion of today's observance of World Ferdowsi Day, expressed appreciation for the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of designating May 15 as World Ferdowsi Day and for enshrining cultural and historical events. - 5/15/06

Should it surprise anyone that the letter did not address anything of real substance relating to the current rift between the two states, or that Mr. Ahmadinejad did not humbly appeal to George Bush for mercy as would an underling to his superior or a petty king to a mighty emperor? -Kam Zarrabi - 5/15/06

Iran: Ahmadinejad Again Insists On Nuclear Energy
Iran today reiterated that no Western incentives aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program would be acceptable without acknowledgement of Tehran's right to pursue nuclear technology. -RFE - 5/14/06

Iran to Reject Any Western Incentive to Halt Nuclear Work
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran will reject any offer by European envoys that requires an end to Iran's nuclear activities. -VOA - 5/14/06

Iranian 'bandits' kill 12 people
Gunmen posing as police officers have shot dead 12 people on a road in a remote part of south-eastern Iran. -BBC - 5/14/06

Iran beats Jordan in women's futsal meet
Top Iranian women's futsal team Rah Ahan defeated the home team Amman 5-4 in an international tournament in Amman on Friday evening. -IRNA - 5/13/06

South Caucasus: Prospects For Regional Stability Pact Recede
Hopes for an internationally sponsored Stability Pact for the South Caucasus suffered a setback today when the European Union made clear such an undertaking would not have its support. -RFE - 5/13/06

Armenian official: Iran can connect Armenia to world
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the first specialized exhibition on the products of his country in the provincial capital of Sari, he said that since the independence of Armenia Iran has been his country's major partner in all modern economic fields over the past decade. -IRNA - 5/13/06

Iranian President dismisses report on enrichment higher than 4.8 percent
He told reporters at the venue of Summit of Eight Developing States (D8) in reaction to the media speculations that inspectors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found traces of uranium enrichment in Iran at higher percentage, President Ahmadinejad said that it is totally false. -IRNA - 5/13/06

An Open Letter to President Amadinejad and the Iranian People
First of all, greetings and peace to you and the kind and generous people of Iran whose culture has given so much to the world, enriching us with your ancient wisdom and culture. -Clifton Ross - 5/13/06

American Dominatrix: We're scaring the world – and they hate us for it
Anti-Americanism is a big problem for U.S. business: if people turn against America because of the policies of our government, then that means lost profits. Our proclivity for alienating the citizens of practically every nation is costing us a pretty penny, and Business for Diplomatic Action Inc. - 5/13/06

Iran's Nuclear Dispute May Overshadow Bali's D-8 Summit
Leaders from eight countries with large Muslim populations began arriving on the Indonesian island of Bali for a summit on trade and development issues. But, as VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins reports from Bali, Iran's deepening dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions is likely to dominate the conference. -VOA - 5/13/06

Chávez is a threat because he offers the alternative of a decent society
Venezuela's president is using oil revenues to liberate the poor - no wonder his enemies want to overthrow him -Guardian - 5/13/06

Iran's president casts himself as Muslims' regional hero
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad stole the international limelight again this week with his long-winded letter to George W. Bush. Seen as bold by some and clumsy by others, his move was quickly dismissed by Washington as a deliberate diversion. But it may yet serve another key objective of the Iranian president to widen his appeal in the Muslim world. -Financial Times - 5/13/06

Analysis: Could Afghan And Iraqi Insurgencies Muster Operational Ties?
Speculation of ties between insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq has resurfaced in the face of continuing attacks on military and other targets in Afghanistan. -RFE - 5/13/06

The secret garden
Belying the grim image of modern Iran, My Uncle Napoleon explores a culture full of humour and irony, sensuality and tenderness. For Azar Nafisi it is the perfect introduction to her country -Guardian - 5/13/06

Fear-Mongering on Iran Softens U.S. Nuke Threats
Plans leaked to the press for a U.S. nuclear attack on Iran are intended to be taken for granted by a hypnotized citizenry that has come to believe, thanks to a steady drum beat of fear-mongering by the media, that the Islamic state is some kind of a threat to us. -Capital Times - 5/13/06

Iran celebrates world disabled weightlifting title
Iran was crowned at the 4th World Disabled Weightlifting Championships in Busan, South Korea, Thursday night. -IRNA - 5/13/06

Iran Insists European Offer Must Recognize Enrichment Rights
Iran's foreign minister says he hopes European nations will press for a solution to the current nuclear standoff that recognizes Tehran's right to peaceful nuclear energy. -VOA - 5/13/06

Iran Nuclear Conflict Is About U.S. Dominance
As the George W. Bush administration pushes for a showdown over Iran's nuclear programme in the U.N. Security Council, it has presented the issue as a matter of global security -- an Iranian nuclear threat in defiance of the international community. -IPS - 5/13/06

Chomsky Says U.S. Pressuring Syria, Iran to 'Punish Disobedience'
Leading U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky was loudly applauded Tuesday at a lecture in Beirut when he lashed out at U.S. pressure against countries, namely Iran and Syria, as a way to "punish disobedience." -AFP - 5/13/06

Persian Youth To Be Honored At The 2nd Persian Golden Lionness Awards In Budapest Hungary
The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media – WAALM® is proud to announce that this years recipient Awardees include several young and talented writers and artists who have achieved the great task of bringing our culture as well as the great visual, literary and oral history of our Ancient Land Persia to the eyes and ears of our contemporaries and youth of the World. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/13/06

Iranians and the Nuclear Issue
Ever since the escalation of tension between Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the west over Iran’s nuclear program I have tried to follow this issue among the Iranian community abroad. Since the revolution of 1979 not one topic has become as controversial among the Iranian Diaspora as the subject of Iran’s nuclear activities. -Mehdi Amini - 5/12/06

Iran/U.S.: President's Letter Prompts Comparisons With Past
For some, Ahmadinejad's letter is a reminder of another historical document: the letter sent by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989. In it, Khomeini described communism as dead and invited Gorbachev to embrace Islam. -RFE - 5/12/06

Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of British Land Forces goes to Downing Street to oppose any military action against Iran
Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of British Land Forces, General Sir Hugh Beach, joined veteran campaigner and former Cabinet Minster, Tony Benn, yesterday on a delegation to Downing Street opposing military intervention in Iran. -CASMII - 5/12/06

IRAQ: Kurds look to Iran for electricity needs
The regional government of Kurdistan in northern Iraq is negotiating with the Iranian government to buy electricity in order to meet increased energy demand for industrial projects, said a senior Kurdish official. -IRIN - 5/12/06

Growing network of arms brokers and transporters fuelling killings, rape, and torture
The report from Amnesty International and TransArms shows how increasingly sophisticated freight transport and brokering operations now deliver hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons around the world with an ever-greater proportion going to developing countries where they have fed some of the most brutal of conflicts. - 5/12/06

Iran Talks Tough Ahead of Developing Nations Conference
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a state visit to Indonesia, continued the tough rhetoric about Israel and nuclear matters. Speaking in Jakarta, he said it was every country's right to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. -VOA - 5/12/06

Chavez: Oil for no one if Iran attacked
Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in Rome on Thursday in case of a military attack against Iran, no country in the world would have access to crude oil. -IRNA - 5/12/06

Bali D-8 Summit Gives Iran Forum For Its Nuclear Cause
Iran's president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, is expected to try to enlist active support for Iran's controversial nuclear effort while he's in Bali. -RFE - 5/12/06

Asymmetric Diplomacy
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has shown he knows how to keep the international community on its toes. But to put his unpredictability down to insufficient diplomatic experience is to miss the point -- he's simply improvising as he goes along. -Spiegel, Germany - 5/12/06

The tale of the Persian cat
A few months ago, Senator John McCain coined a saying that has been quoted incessantly ever since: The only thing worse than a military operation, he said, is an Iranian nuclear bomb. The Republican McCain is not the only one who thinks so. -Ha'aretz - 5/12/06

Americans Give Bush His Lowest Marks Yet
Seemingly every week, U.S. President George W. Bush's popularity falls to another record low. This week, a poll conducted by "The New York Times" and CBS News television revealed that only 30 percent of Americans believe Bush might be able to end the Iraq war successfully; 56 percent said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq in the first place. -RFE - 5/12/06

Iran: Two earthquakes jolt cities in South Khorassan and Khuzestan provinces
Two earthquakes, measuring 4.1 and 3.9 on the Richter scale respectively, jolted suburbs of two cities in South Khorassan and Khuzestan provinces, eastern and southwestern Iran, Thursday evening. -IRNA - 5/12/06

Trust is key in world's relations with Iran
New revelations about President Richard Nixon's reactions to Israel's development of nuclear weapons spotlight the huge importance of trust in international relations - and the double standards Washington applies to friends such as Israel and to adversaries such as cleric-ruled Iran. -CSM - 5/12/06

Shi'a Political Thought And The Challenge Of Democracy: From The Constitutionalism Of Akhund Khorasani To The Republicanism Of Ayatollah Khomeini
A lecture (in London) by Mohsen Kadivar of Tarbiyat Modaress University in Tehran that compares the roles of Akhund Khorasani and Ayatollah Khomeini in two of the most important events in the history of Iran in the 20th century, the Constitutional and the Islamic Revolution. - 5/12/06

Threat of war is no solution to nuclear issue say Galway Iranians
Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons and should make that clear to the world, while any plan by the US administration to attack Iran will be foolish and counter productive according to members of Galway's Iranian community. -Galway Advertiser - 5/12/06

Bait or ambush?
Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush should be taken seriously. Ignoring it will make the US even more unpopular with the Muslim world. -Guardian - 5/12/06

If diplomacy fails
How can the crisis over Iran be resolved without resort to violence? Scilla Elworthy looks at the possibilities for creative action at citizen level. -Open Democracy - 5/12/06

Israel's Unbridled Might versus Iran's Inalienable Right
In an article in support of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Mitchell Geoffrey Bard [1] claims “[T]hat the Israeli lobby is unable to affect major foreign policy decision and is actually capable of influencing only a narrow range of policies that benefit Israel.”. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/12/06

In Iran, Apocalypse vs. Reform
QOM, Iran -- In a dusty brown village outside this Shiite holy city, a once-humble yellow-brick mosque is undergoing a furious expansion. Cranes hover over two soaring concrete minarets and the pointed arches of a vast new enclosure. Buses pour into a freshly asphalted parking lot to deliver waves of pilgrims. -Washington Post - 5/12/06

Tehran Art Scene: Homayoun Mosavie at Haft Samar
At Haft Samar gallery I usually find some artists, unknown to me, who have depth and are intense artists. This time I saw the print works of Homayoun Mosavie. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/12/06

US Aggression-Time Once Again: Target Iran
The Fourth "Supreme International Crime" in Seven Years is Already Underway, with the Support of the Free Press and the "International Community" -Counterpunch - 5/12/06

U.S. Under Pressure To Talk to Tehran
The Bush administration is facing pressure both in the United States and overseas to drop its long-standing refusal to talk directly with Iran about its nuclear program, particularly in the wake of the unusual 18-page letter sent this week to President Bush by Iran's president. -Washington Post - 5/12/06

Time for substantive Iran-US talks
The very fact that the hard-line Iranian president who had declared only a short time ago that there was no need to talk to the United States has decided to take this unusual step is of enormous significance, at least as a reflection of Iran's internal politics. This is the first time in more than a quarter century since the Islamic revolution that the Iranians have broken the taboo of directly communicating to US officials. -Farhang Jahanpour - 5/11/06

Iran Opens Communication
Although the U.S. has officially severed ties with Iran, there have been sporadic efforts at communication over the years. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Iran helped the United States overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan. -PBS - 5/11/06

Perils and Promise of U.S.-Iranian Negotiations
With mounting international pressure to force Iran to halt its nuclear program, internal demands for Tehran to begin direct negotiations with the United States are increasing. -Mehdi Khalaji, The Washington Institute - 5/11/06

Annan Cautions Iran To Cool Nuclear Rhetoric
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has cautioned Iran to step back from its aggressive stance and reassure the world that its nuclear program is peaceful. Meanwhile, U.N. diplomats are speaking of a shift in the tone of discussions on Iran, from confrontation to engagement. -VOA - 5/11/06

Iran: Clues found to elements involved in Kermanshah explosions
Security forces have found clues about the elements involved in the recent explosions in this western provincial capital city, it was announced in Kermanshah on Wednesday. -IRNA - 5/11/06

Iran's parliament bans smoking in gov't buildings, public places
The Iranian parliament (Majlis) on Wednesday approved a motion banning smoking in public places and vehicles as well as government buildings. -IRNA - 5/11/06

UN: New Rights Council Elected With Fewer Abusers
The UN General Assembly on May 9 elected the 47 members of the new Human Rights Council, thus replacing the now defunct Commission on Human Rights, which was widely criticized for allowing countries with notorious human right records to block its work. -RFE - 5/11/06

Putin lashes out at 'wolf-like' America
Relations between the US and Russia sank to the lowest point in a decade yesterday when Vladimir Putin harshly rebuked Washington for its criticism last week and compared the US to a hungry wolf that "eats and listens to no one". -Guardian - 5/11/06

Iran fears World Cup team will be attacked by terrorists
Iran fears its soccer team could be the target of a terrorism during the World Cup. Iranian officials are worried that dissident groups opposed to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his regime, such as the People's Mujahadeen, could become violent during the tournament, which runs from June 9 to July 9. -AP - 5/11/06

Iran's reformist press criticise tone of letter to Bush
anian newspapers on Wednesday carried the full text of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to George W. Bush, with reformist press criticising the tough tone of the message. -Antara, India - 5/11/06

ElBaradei hails Iran crisis move
UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei has welcomed the move by the UN Security Council to hold off imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 5/11/06

Russia interested in building two more nuclear plants in Iran
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Deputy Director for Planning and International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi announced that Russia has expressed readiness to build two 1,000-megawatt light water nuclear power plants in Iran. -Mehr - 5/11/06

Jewish Community Worried About Iran Backlash
Amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran, leaders of the U.S. Jewish community are expressing concern over Pres. George W. Bush's recent statements that his main concern in any possible military action would be protecting Israel. -IPS - 5/11/06

Discussion about Exporting Logan from Iran to France
Iran's government and Renault are reviewing the possibility of exporting Iranian manufactured Logan to France. -ISNA - 5/11/06

Another move in an Iranian game of chess
Just as the US was stepping up pressure through the United Nations for sanctions to be imposed on Tehran, the letter arrived suggesting a willingness for some sort of dialogue. It could be seen as a weakening of Iranian resistance to international pressure. More likely, though, it is part of a long-term plan for diplomatic manoeuvring at which the Iranians are past masters. -Financial Times - 5/11/06

The Bush Administration is Trying to Link Hugo Chavez to Iran's Nuclear Program
Washington is no stranger to flimsy pretexts when it comes to justifying its ill-conceived, and at times illicit, Latin American initiatives. A spate of articles tying Hugo Chávez to Iran's covert nuclear program suggests that Washington may now be finding it increasingly difficult to resist further calumniating Venezuela by working to forge a new weapon for its anti-Caracas jihad. -Counterpunch - 5/11/06

Iran Khodro registers "Samand" in WIPO
Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO) has managed to register in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) the trade mark of its product, the passenger car "Samand" along with its logo. -Mehr - 5/11/06

The Threat from Iran Is to Israel: Bush Spins His Iran Attack Plans
I read again in this morning’s Boston Globe a matter of fact reference to Iran’s threat to “wipe Israel off the map.” This echoes the repeated allegation by President Bush and other top administration officials that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has issued such a call. -Gary Leupp, Dissident Voice - 5/11/06

Tehran open to foreign investment: mayor
Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said here on Tuesday that Tehran will open its doors to foreign investors. "We will hold another meeting with foreign investors in July," he said at a gathering on investment opportunities in urban areas. -Mehr - 5/11/06

Shiites Rising
There is little disagreement among Middle East experts that the U.S. military operation in Iraq and the ensuing democratic process that put Shiites in charge of the country has shifted the regional balance of power that traditionally favored Sunnis. -VOA - 5/11/06

IRAN: Non-election to UN Human Rights Council welcomed by watchdog group
UN Watch, a human rights organisation founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with principles of its charter, has lauded a decision not to elect Iran to a seat in the newly established UN Human Rights Council. -IRIN - 5/11/06

Rice: Western Powers to Wait Before Pressing UN on Iran
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday the United States will pause in its drive for U.N. Security Council action against Iran. The break would allow European negotiators to prepare new incentives aimed at persuading Iran to halt uranium enrichment. -VOA - 5/11/06

Iran: Ahmadinejad Seeks Support As Nuclear Crisis Sharpens
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is visiting the world's most populous Islamic nation, Indonesia, at a moment when Tehran badly needs friends. -RFE - 5/11/06

Illegal hunters endanger Iran's rare cheetah: WCS scientist
A Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) biologist said here yesterday that the Asiatic cheetah is teetering on the brink of extinction as a result of illegal hunting. -Mehr - 5/11/06

Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi Sees Democratic Future in Iran
Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi offers a cautious voice of hope for the prospects of a better and more democratic future in Iran. The human rights lawyer told a Washington audience, “I am an optimist on democracy in Iran because I am optimistic regarding the people of Iran and confident that they will push for change.” -Washington File - 5/11/06

Iran: Two Scholar Groups Protest Arrest, Interrogation of Ramin Jahanbegloo
The Iranian government should release without delay prominent intellectual and political theorist Ramin Jahanbegloo, two leading academic associations said today. - 5/10/06

Iranian Author Pins Hopes On Intellectural Pluralism
In November 2004, Radio Farda correspondent Fatemeh Aman interviewed Jahanbegloo about the current generation of Iranian intellectuals and its distinctive features. RFE/RL presents a transcript of that interview as background as the controversy over Jahanbegloo's detention unfolds. - 5/10/06

Activists Fear U.S. "Help" Could Spur Crackdown
Under the new U.S. State Department funding, the NED would be in charge of working with Iranian NGOs. Jahanbegloo's arrest serves as a worrisome harbinger of a new wave of intimidation against Iranian civil society, professionals, and intellectuals who simply have connections outside Iran. -Omid Memarian, IPS - 5/10/06

The Path To War With Iran
The uproar and controversy over purported U.S. plans to attack Iran show no sign of dying down. While President George W. Bush assures us that talk of impending war is little more than “wild speculation,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently threatened to assemble a “coalition of the willing” against Iran outside the U.N. if the security council fails to take action. -Shady Hamid, TomPaine - 5/10/06

Peugeot to purchase $500m parts per year from Iranian manufacturers
French automaker Peugeot is planning to annually purchase from Iranian producers auto parts worth $500 million, Peugeot spokesman said. -Mehr - 5/10/06

Europeans Preparing 'Carrot And Stick' Approach to Iran
European powers France, Germany and Britain are planning to offer Iran a fresh package of incentives for curbing its nuclear program. But, the European strategy would threaten sanctions should Iran refuse. -VOA - 5/10/06

Iran-US talks based on mutual respect will be constructive: Envoy
Iran's Ambassador to Sweden Hassan Qashqavi said that Iran-US talks in an atmosphere based on mutual respect will be constructive. -IRNA - 5/10/06

Iran's Foreign currency reserve stands at dlrs 50 billion
Iranian foreign currency reserve reached dlrs 50 billion at the end of last Iranian year, 1384 (ended on March 20, 2006). -IRNA - 5/10/06

Another Day, Another War
President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the term “United Nations”. A term first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan). -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/10/06

Perkovich: Bush Should Engage Iranian President in Dialogue, Not Back Away
George Perkovich, vice president for studies and director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that the letter from President Mahmoud Amadinejad of Iran to President Bush raising questions about American "justice" and questioning whether the United States or Iran is more righteous, should be answered in kind by the Bush administration, but he doubts strongly that there will be a reply. -CFR - 5/10/06

Iran steals the show at Sarajevo judo meet
Iran stood stop at an international judo tournament in Sarajevo, reported the federation here Monday. In men's event, Iran snatched four golds and four silvers, lifting the trophy. -Mehr - 5/10/06

Anti-war protests in Brighton
Around 100 people braved the pouring rain to attend a Don’t Attack Iran rally in central Brighton on Saturday. -Socialistworker, UK - 5/10/06

"Ahmadinejad Isn't Bluffing"
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent US President George W. Bush a letter. But it's not likely to make any difference in the ongoing conflict over the country's nuclear program. Iran expert Wahied Wahdat-Hagh told SPIEGEL ONLINE why not. - 5/10/06

Gold Tops $700, Platinum Rises to Record on Iranian Tensions
Gold prices surged above $700 an ounce in New York for the first time since October 1980, and platinum climbed to a record as tensions increased over Iran's nuclear- research program. -Bloomberg - 5/10/06

US, Iran standoff grows tenser
For 27 years, the rhetorical swordplay between the US and Iran has been unrelenting. Iran portrays its latest thrust in the ongoing row with the West, an unprecedented letter from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Bush, as a "new diplomatic opening." -CSM - 5/10/06

Iranian Dissident to Seek Support For Opposition
Less than 24 hours after one of Iran's leading dissidents and authors escaped to a neighboring state, the former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, interrupted his trip to central Asia to meet with him in a cramped hotel room. -New York Sun - 5/10/06

US-IRAN: Raid on the nuclear fuel market
The United States is buying European support for its campaign against Iran with the promise of a nuclear fuel enrichment oligopoly. -Raise The Hammer - 5/10/06

Iranian President stresses finishing Tehran-Caspian Freeway in four years
According to a decree issued by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the building of the Tehran-Shomal (Caspian) Freeway should be completed within the next four years, noted on Saturday, Mostafa Miri, the project contractor. -Mehr - 5/10/06

Letter From Tehran: The president of Iran wants to talk – why don't we?
As the UN Security Council comes to grips with the issue of Iran's determination to join the nuclear club, and the question becomes the focus of a debate in the U.S. similar to that which preceded the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to President George W. Bush that has been described, variously, as "rambling," a "diversion," and "doesn't address the dispute over Iran's enrichment of uranium." - 5/10/06

Iran Grabs Spotlight as Developing Nations Meet in Bali
The dispute over Iran's nuclear program is overshadowing the fifth summit of the Developing Eight, a forum for eight large predominately Muslim economies. The Iranian president is arriving for a state visit in Indonesia, where officials are offering to help mediate the nuclear dispute between Tehran and the United Nations. -VOA - 5/10/06

Bush Says Diplomacy Best Option for Dealing With Iran
President Bush says he thinks diplomacy is the first and most important option in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. Mr. Bush was asked about the dispute during a trip to the state of Florida. -VOA - 5/10/06

Tehran Confronts An Ethnically-Diverse Population
Iranian state television reported that two explosions in western Iran on 8 May injured six people at the governorate and the local chamber of commerce in the city of Kermanshah. Many of the province's residents are ethnic Kurds, who have been targeted recently by the central government amid efforts to impose central authority on the country's volatile periphery. -RFE - 5/10/06

Full text of letter by President Ahmadinejad to President Bush
Mr. George Bush, President of the United States of America... We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point – that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?" - 5/10/06

The United States’s double-vision in Iran
The tension between the Bush administration’s two objectives in Iran – non-proliferation and regime change – makes it likely that neither will be met, says Trita Parsi. -Open Democracy - 5/10/06

Tehran Art Scene: Azadeh Razaghdoost at Golestan Gallery
The Tehran art scene is waking up and some galleries have opened once again after the long new year break. The first exhibition that I visited was the Golestan gallery, which was the first gallery in Tehran to open on Fridays so those who wished to see the show on opening night did not have to endure the awful Tehran terrific. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/10/06

Iran's Nuclear Program: The Way Out
A nuclear weaponized Iran destabilizes the region, prompts a regional arms race, and wastes the scarce resources in the region. And taking account of U.S. nuclear arsenal and its policy of ensuring a strategic edge for Israel, an Iranian bomb will accord Iran no security dividends. -Hassan Rohani, TIME - 5/10/06

Support for Action Against Iran Drops in U.S.
More adults in the United States believe a military conflict against Iran is unnecessary at this point, according to a poll by CBS News. 58 per cent of respondents believe Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy now, and 16 per cent say the country is not a menace to the U.S. -Angus Reid - 5/9/06

Response to Campaign for Peace and Democracy's statement on Iran
As concerned citizens of the world while appreciating CPD’s effort drafting a statement opposing a war against Iran, we regretfully decline to sign it due to several contradictory remarks and overall misleading language of this announcement. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 5/9/06

Separating Iranians
By backing Iran into a corner, the West is undermining the already fragile NPT regime. Iran’s official bottom line is its right conduct low-level uranium enrichment within the framework of the NPT. If that is not granted, then calls within the country for withdrawal from the treaty are likely to become a deafening roar. -Nuclear Engineering International - 5/9/06

1998 World Cup Iranian National Team Captain to attend the Unity Soccer Festival
The Los Angeles Galaxy will join forces with 670 AM KIRN for the Unity Soccer Festival this Saturday, May 13th at the Home Depot Center at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Former Iranian National Team captain, Abebzadeh, will be on hand to meet individuals attending the event. - 5/9/06

Ahmadinejad's Letter To Bush Offers 'Nothing New'
Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has sent a surprise letter to U.S. President George W. Bush presenting his views on Tehran's relations with the West, the first direct and public communication from the Islamic Republic to the United States since the two countries severed relations in 1979. -RFE - 5/9/06

Larijani Says Iran Seeking 'New Opening' With U.S.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani says the letter Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent U.S. President George W. Bush could provide a "new diplomatic opening" in the nuclear crisis. -RFE - 5/9/06

Iran to host Bosnia & Herzegovina in football friendly on May 31
Iran will play host to Bosnia & Herzegovina in a World Cup warm-up here on May 31, announced the Football Federation secretary general Monday. -Mehr - 5/9/06

Germantown Sailors Provide Medical Assistance to Injured Iranian Fisherman
Sailors from USS Germantown (LSD 42) provided medical assistance to an injured Iranian fisherman May 7, in the Northern Persian Gulf. - 5/9/06

Former Iran captive counsels caution
With the United States at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, the BBC's Jamie Coomarasamy meets an American with personal - and painful - memories of the country. -BBC - 5/9/06

Ahead of UN vote, Peres warns that Iran, too, can be 'wiped out'
Vice Premier Shimon Peres, speaking ahead of UN Security Council deliberations over sanctions for Iran, has cautioned that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, should bear in mind that his own country could also be destroyed. -Ha'aretz, Israel - 5/9/06

Ansari X Prize Founder: First Female 'Space Tourist'?
Anousheh Ansari may not rank on the Forbes World's Most Powerful Women list. But next year, she'll stand hundreds of miles above them. -Forbes - 5/9/06

'Explosions strike' Iranian city
At least six people have been hurt in two blasts in the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, close to the Iraq border, reports the Iranian news agency. -BBC - 5/9/06

Basra on the Brink of Exploding
Deadly attack on helicopter and violent riots show threat facing British forces is escalating in southern Iraq -Independent - 5/9/06

Ahmadinejad letter attacks Bush
Details have emerged of the surprise letter written by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to US President George W Bush. -BBC - 5/9/06

US pushes for Iran financial sanctions
The US is attempting to persuade European governments, banks and companies to isolate the Iranian government by engaging in de facto financial sanctions, according to US government officials and advisers. -Financial Times - 5/9/06

World Powers Fail to Agree on Iran Strategy
World powers trying to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran have failed to agree on a unified strategy for the United Nations Security Council. -VOA - 5/9/06

Iran's underground music challenge
As part of the BBC's Inside Iran season, Behzad Bolour of the BBC Persian Service looks at how underground acts are challenging the tough music censorship laws in the country. - 5/9/06

Assessing the Iranian Nuclear Threat with Reference to Pakistan's Experience
On April 30, the Sunday Times of London reported that Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan had warned U.S. officials during a secret visit to Washington of covert Iranian plans for enriching uranium, which may mean Tehran was "nearer to acquiring nuclear weapons than widely believed." -Washington Institute for Near East Policy - 5/9/06

National Iranian Offshore Oil Company's production hits 800,000 bpd
The growth in the company's oil output is due to the increase in the production capacity of some of its oilfields. Production from fields such as Hendijan and Foruzan hits 50,000 bpd and 65,000 bpd, respectively, a report said on Monday. -Mehr - 5/9/06

Would an attack on Iran be legal?
As diplomatic attempts continue in the Security Council to get Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities, the question has been raised about an American attack on Iran and whether it would be legal under international law. -BBC - 5/9/06

Iran Seeks Diplomatic Support From Neighboring Turkey
A top Iranian official is holding talks with Turkish leaders to drum up support for his government amid mounting international pressure for Iran to halt its nuclear program. -VOA - 5/9/06

Scientists, Politicians and Generals write to Tony Blair against any Military Intervention in Iran
Military strikes will unite the people of Iran to rally behind their government in order to resist the West, will cause a prolonged war with massive loss of human life and destruction to the country, and will set back the cause of building civil society in that part of the world for decades. - 5/9/06

US Says Iranian Letter Not Diplomatic Breakthrough
U.S. officials say an unusual letter to President Bush from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not present any breakthrough in the current dispute over Iran's nuclear program. The response came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared to discuss the nuclear issue in New York with her counterparts from the other permanent U.N. Security Council member countries. -VOA - 5/9/06

Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
Author Stephen Kinzer discusses his book, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq." In it, Kinzer writes that over 110 years, the United States has deployed its power to gain access to natural resources, stifle dissent and control the nationalism of newly independent states or political movements. -Democracy Now - 5/9/06

University of Tehran to grant honorary doctorate to Coleman Barks
The University of Tehran will be presenting an honorary doctorate in Persian language and literature to the renowned American poet Coleman Barks on May 17 - 5/9/06

CASMII Press Release: Jack Straw invited to join high-level delegation to Downing Street opposing war on Iran
Jack Straw was today invited to join world-renowned scientists and former military generals in a delegation to Downing Street opposing military intervention in Iran. The delegation organised by CASMII will take place at midday on 9th May, and will deliver two letters to Tony Blair from eminent British and American physicists warning that the military intervention and the use of nuclear weapons would have disastrous consequences for the security of Britain and the rest of world. - 5/9/06

Most Iran exiles in U.S. oppose an attack
The debate over whether the United States could better influence events in Tehran by using diplomacy or flexing its muscle, taking military action to try to knock out the Islamic republic's growing nuclear program, rages with particular ferocity in this city (Los Angeles) and in academic exile circles around the United States. -IHT - 5/9/06

Iran: Supreme leader rules against women presence in stadiums
Addressing domestic and foreign reporters at his weekly press briefing, Elham said that Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has instructed the government to study the views of religious leaders and reverse its decision allowing women's presence in stadiums. -IRNA - 5/8/06

Bush Says Iran Waiting for Coalition Opposing Its Nukes to Crack
President Bush says Iran is waiting for the international coalition that opposes its nuclear program to crack. -VOA - 5/8/06

Tehran Rising
The author of "Black Hawk Down" offers a riveting look at the Iran hostage crisis. -Afshin Molavi, Washington Post - 5/8/06

Iran Says UN Action Will Spark Confrontation
Iran says it will not accept any demand from the U.N. Security Council to stop its nuclear-enrichment program. The foreign ministry warns that imposing such a demand would lead to confrontation. And the Iranian parliament says it could force the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. -VOA - 5/8/06

Straw Canned Over Iran?
Francis Elliott writes: "Jack Straw's fate was sealed in a phone call from the White House to Tony Blair last month, according to the former foreign secretary's friends. "They say President George Bush was furious that Mr. Straw said it was 'nuts' to use nuclear weapons against Iran, an option reported to be under active consideration in Washington. - 5/8/06

Shah of Iran's Heir Plans Overthrow of Regime
Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, told the editors of HUMAN EVENTS last week that in the next two to three months he hopes to finalize the organization of a movement aimed at overthrowing the Islamic regime in Tehran and replacing it with a democratic government. -Human Events - 5/8/06

Ahmadinejad sends letter to Bush
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to George W Bush proposing "new solutions" to their differences. Reports say it is the first letter from an Iranian president to a US leader since the Iranian revolution in 1979. -BBC - 5/8/06

Network of 'Hugo's friends' links politics from Mexico to Brazil
The "Chávez effect", which started when Hugo Chávez was elected as Venezuelan president in 1998, has made waves across the continent, with the "pink tide" now lapping as far as Mexico to the north and Brazil to the south. -Guardian - 5/8/06

Oil falls over $1 on Iran letter to Bush
Oil fell over $1 on Monday on hopes tension over Iran's nuclear ambition will ease after Tehran made an unprecedented move to contact Washington. -Reuters - 5/8/06

Opening the Debate on Israel
The extended controversy over a paper by two professors, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," is prying the lid off a debate that has been bottled up for decades. -Norman Solomon, Baltimore Sun - 5/8/06

Racism and Religious Desecration as US Policy: Islamophobia, a Retrospective
It was the potshot heard round the world that touched off a counter-crusade. Packaged in western free speech cliches, and marketed as innocent satire, the newspaper Jylland-Posten's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist/suicide bomber with a ticking bomb for a turban was "provocation-entrapment" propaganda. -Counterpunch - 5/8/06

Hawks Looking for New and Bigger Enemies?
As if rallying fading public support for keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in a disintegrating Iraq and preparing the ground for a possible military attack on Iran were not enough, some influential hawks are now promoting a more confrontational stance against Russia and China, as well. -IPS - 5/8/06

5th Iran-German meeting opens in Tehran
The 5th Iran-German meeting within the framework of cooperation between the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) of Iran's Foreign Ministry and German Foundation of Science and Politics opened in Tehran on Monday. -IRNA - 5/8/06

Book: "Into the Big, Big World" by Azar Aryanpour
Here is an excerpt of Azar Aryanpour’s story book, Into the Big, Big World, written for small children (ages 4-8) - 5/8/06

The People Who Shape Our World: Omid Kordestani
Behind the scenes in Google's relentless thirst for more is Omid Kordestani, 42, its senior vice president for global sales and business development. -TIME - 5/8/06

Enough is enough: On Ramin Jahanbegloo's incarceration
On April 27, 2006, Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested at the airport in Tehran while leaving for New Dehli, India . He is an accomplished scholar, a philosopher who left the comfort of the West, in order to serve his fellow Iranians. -Fariba Amini - 5/8/06

At 82 Is MKO Diva Bidding Farewell to Political Activism or to Music Career? Comments French Media
Ashraf os-Sadat Morteza'I, or « Marzieh » as she has been known to Iranians for the past 50 years, is an undeniably talented music legend in her lifetime and yet certainly the most politically controversial of Iranian expatriate artists. -Darius KADIVAR, Paris - 5/8/06

What Price Senior Fellowship?
In their article, Cautious Iran, May 3, 2006, Christian Science Monitor, Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh, senior fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations, have stated their, in my opinion, very politically correct and tenure-saving version of realities on the ground.In their article, Cautious Iran, May 3, 2006, Christian Science Monitor, Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh, senior fellows at the Council on Foreign Relations, have stated their, in my opinion, very politically correct and tenure-saving version of realities on the ground. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/8/06

Rights Advocate Calls Arrest of Iranian Scholar A Troubling Sign
In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL on May 4, the deputy director of the Paris-based international Federation of Human Rights and head of the League for Defense Of Human Rights in Iran, Abdolkarim Lahidji, condemned the recent arrest of prominent Iranian scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo. -RFE - 5/6/06

UN: Annan Calls For Direct U.S.-Iran Nuclear Talks
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for Washington to engage in direct talks with Tehran over the Iranian nuclear program. He said Tehran might have held back in now-stalled negotiations with the European Union because Washington supported yet remained outside the process. -RFE - 5/6/06

Bush Administration Refuses to Talk Directly with its Main Foes
The Bush administration also is refusing to talk directly with Iran about its nuclear program, with Syria about Middle East security and the infiltration of terrorists into Iraq, and, like Europe, with the Palestinian government led by Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization. This approach to diplomacy is drawing criticism. -Knight Ridder - 5/6/06

Criticism of UN Iran draft mounts
Russia and China have criticised a UN Security Council draft resolution on Iran's nuclear ambitions. -BBC - 5/6/06

Ahmadinejad: Threat of military action against Iran a joke
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday played down reports of a possible military attack on Iran, saying those who do not know the country are playing jokes. -IRNA - 5/6/06

The Storm over "the Israel Lobby"
Is It Possible to Have a Civilized Discussion About the Role of Israel in American Foreign Policy? -John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt, Counterpunch - 5/6/06

Chalmers Johnson on Peddling Democracy
After those weapons of mass destruction never appeared and Saddam's al-Qaeda connection proved but a figment of the overly vivid neocon (and Vice-Presidential) imagination, the Bush administration wheeled out the shiniest of American exports, democracy. -Tom Dispatch - 5/6/06

Analysts skeptical of Iran oil plan
Iran took a step on Friday toward establishing an oil market denominated in euros, a plan analysts described as highly unlikely to materialize but which in theory could have serious consequences for the U.S. economy. -AP - 5/6/06

Iraq warns on Iran border moves
Iraq has expressed concern about troop build-ups by both Iranian and Turkish forces along their borders with Iraq. -BBC - 5/6/06

Iraqi Police 'Killed 14-Year-Old Boy for Being Homosexual'
Grand Ayatollah Sistani recently issued a fatwa on his website calling for the execution of gays in the "worst, most severe way". Another fatwa from the late and much revered Ayatollah Abul Qassim Khoei allows followers to kill gays "with a sword, or burn him alive, or tie his hands and feet and hurl him down from a high place". -Independent - 5/6/06

Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion
While it is difficult to see why the United States should be more exercised about Iran than about Burma or Zimbabwe, it is no secret what the Israeli government thinks about the matter. In 2002, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the day after the looming Iraq War ended, “pressure” should be immediately put on Iran. -Juan Cole - 5/6/06

What Can We Do About Iraq and Iran
President Bush's job approval ratings continue to plummet, as increasing numbers of Americans recognize that the Administration lacks the clear thinking required to deal with the critical issues that confront America, such as Iraq and Iran. -Common Dreams - 5/6/06

Iran Teeters Between Two Extremes
Iran is seeking to assert itself by trying to become a major world player as it continues to defy the international community over its controversial nuclear program. Modern Iran is caught between two extremes: religious fundamentalism and political nationalism. -VOA - 5/6/06

Bush: Iran Defying World with Ambitions for Nuclear Weapons
President Bush says Iran is defying the world with its ambitions for nuclear weapons. But he says the international community is committed to preventing Tehran from fulfilling those ambitions and will continue to press the Iranian government to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions. -VOA - 5/6/06

Rights Groups Demand Release of Iranian Scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo
Human-rights groups are appealing to Iranian officials to demand the release of a prominent Iranian scholar, philosopher, and author who was detained in late April. -RFE - 5/6/06

The Cost of Economic Sanctions on Major Exporters to Iran
If the United Nations Security Council agrees on a comprehensive economic sanction on Iran, the countries that are currently considered Iran's major trade partners will be forced to end or severely reduce their trade relations with that country. -Nader Habibi - 5/5/06

Iranian President In Azerbaijan For Regional Economic Summit
Ostensibly, the annual summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) opening on May 5 in Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, will focus on economic issues. But the presence of Iran's president and the debate surrounding the Iranian nuclear standoff is likely to overshadow the gathering. -RFE - 5/5/06

Straw, Clarke out as Blair carries out major cabinet reshuffle
The most surprising replacement was the ousting of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw following reported difference with Blair in not supporting threatened US military attacks against Iran. -IRNA - 5/5/06

Iranian President urges settlement of nuclear issue politically
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Baku on Thursday that Iran's nuclear issue is completely political, which should be settled in a political atmosphere too. -IRNA - 5/5/06

Iran exiles struggle for US influence
The Bush administration is spending millions of dollars on direct broadcasts into Iran - a clear effort to help foment political change, all funded by the American taxpayer. -BBC - 5/5/06

Koechlin: Les Heures Persanes, op.65
Today it's Iran, to some people part of an axis of evil. Almost exactly a century ago the French travel writer Pierre Loti knew it as Persia, and in his book Vers Ispahan he wrote nostalgically of the country's diminishing glory and faded beauty. 'Whoever would come with me to see the roses bloom in Isfahan, must be prepared to travel slowly at my side, from place to place, as in the middle ages'. -BBC - 5/5/06

Germany's Polenz slams US refusal to hold direct talks with Iran
The influential chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the German Parliament, Ruprecht Polenz, on Friday lashed out at the United States for its continued refusal to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program, news reports said on Friday. -IRNA - 5/5/06

Security Council Diplomats Continue Meetings on Iran Nuclear Resolution
Iran's top United Nations diplomat has accused Western powers on the Security Council of provoking a crisis over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Council diplomats are working overtime on a legally-binding measure that would require suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment work. -VOA - 5/5/06

U.S.-EU Unity Over Iran Masks Differences Behind the Scenes
The U.S. and European governments are working in lock step to get a fresh United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran, part of a global diplomatic coordination that hasn't been seen since before the Iraq war. -Wall Street Journal - 5/5/06

In the Chaos of Iraq, One Project is on Target: a Giant US Embassy
The question puzzles and enrages a city: how is it that the Americans cannot keep the electricity running in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a day, yet still manage to build themselves the biggest embassy on Earth? -Independent - 5/5/06

It's a rocky relationship, but US still needs Islamabad
When America's world changed after 9/11, President Pervez Musharraf adapted faster than most. He severed Pakistan's official links with the Taliban, backed the US war on al-Qaida terror, and set about taming lawless tribal areas abutting the Afghan border. Gen Musharraf became George Bush's favourite Muslim. -Guardian - 5/5/06

Merkel warns against a 'rush' on Iran
On her second official visit here, Chancellor Angela Merkel has combined symbolism - strikingly, the German leader was the slated keynote speaker Thursday evening at the 100th anniversary dinner of a leading Jewish group - with diplomacy, urging President George W. Bush to move with methodical care in dealing with Iran, -IHT - 5/5/06

Russian Bridge to Iran Has Twists
As the U.N. Security Council meets this week to discuss how best to stop Iran's march toward nuclear weapons capability, Russia has the potential to serve as a bridge between the West and the Islamic Republic. But Moscow's complex motives may make it a difficult partner. -Times - 5/5/06

Nobel Laureate Says Iran Needs Real Democracy
Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi says real democracy and women's rights go hand-in-hand. The Iranian human rights activist told George Washington University students that Iranian women have a long way to go in achieving equal rights, but they will get there. -VOA - 5/5/06

Slouching Towards Tehran
Where are the calls to stop the Bush administration from taking military action against Iran, despite a loud chorus of voices warning of its disastrous consequences? Critics list the consequences—escalation (with no troops to escalate with), oil shocks, increased terrorism, worsening insurgency in Iraq, weakening the nonproliferation regime, a stronger Ahmadinejad, and international isolation—but few come out and call bombing Iran the worst worse-case scenario. -Elizabeth Spiro Clark, TomPaine - 5/5/06

IAPAC Trustee to Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Mr. Mori Hosseini, Chairman and CEO of ICI Homes and IAPAC Trustee, will receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the Great Hall on Ellis Island on Saturday, May 13, 2006. - 5/5/06

On Bombing Iran and Other Fantasies of American Power
The following essay was much influenced by Mark Danner's comments on the "preponderance" of American power in an interview I did with him for this site. His latest book, a tiny but important paperback, The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History, has just come out. -Tom Dispatch - 5/5/06

UN: Iran Resolution Reveals Split In Security Council
But when two members of the council, Great Britain and France introduced a draft resolution on Iran on May 3, they did so with the support of the United States -- and over the objections of China and Russia. Throughout the nuclear crisis, Moscow and Beijing have been at odds with their Western counterparts on how to go about resolving the crisis. -RFE - 5/5/06

Fellowship of Reconciliation Leads Second Peace Delegation to Iran
Despite the rise in tensions between the United States and Iran, and talk of sanctions or military intervention, the Fellowship of Reconciliation will send its second, interfaith peace delegation to Iran on Sunday, May 7. - 5/5/06

Bam's hotel of hope
A guesthouse owner is rebuilding from the rubble of Iran's 2003 earthquake disaster in which 40,000 died. -Guardian - 5/5/06

UN Security Council Prepares For Swift Resolution On Iran
Great Britain and France, two of the UN Security Council's permanent members, along with Germany introduced a draft resolution on May 3 that calls on Iran to immediately suspend all uranium-enrichment activities and to halt the construction of a heavy-water reactor. -RFE - 5/4/06

USCIRF lists eleven countries as "world's worst violators of religious freedom"
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced its 2006 recommendations to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs. The Commission’s recommendations for CPC designation for 2006 are: Burma, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. - 5/4/06

Bush, German Chancellor Merkel Pledge Cooperation on Iran
President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say they will continue to work together in a diplomatic effort to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium. President Bush says Iran is secretly developing a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is meant to generate electricity. -VOA - 5/4/06

Iranian women hold Berlin in friendly football match
Iranian women football team played a friendly game with Germany’s Berlin team on Friday, in a match that ended 2-2 in front of a big crowd in the Ararat Stadium. -Iran Sports Press - 5/4/06

Congressional Report Notes Policy of Regime Change Towards Iran
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the research arm of the United States Congress, has published a comprehensive assessment of US policy options and concerns towards Iran. -NIAC - 5/4/06

This high-octane rocket-rattling against Tehran is unlikely to succeed
Ringed by nuclear states, Iran's atomic programme is scarcely unreasonable. So why has Washington manufactured this crisis? -Guardian - 5/4/06

Quake hits Sanandaj in western Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Sanandaj, capital of Kurdestan province, western Iran, on Thursday morning. -IRNA - 5/4/06

Report Faults, US Official Defends, Public Diplomacy Efforts
A report says U.S. government public diplomacy efforts, including steps to improve the U.S. image in the Muslim world, are not working. -VOA - 5/4/06

Iranians strive to beat media controls
State domination of Iran's media has been undermined in recent years as Iranians increasingly turn to the internet and satellite TV channels run by Iranians abroad. -BBC - 5/4/06

Security council fails to agree on Iran deadline
The United Nations security council met behind closed doors to discuss a draft resolution on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme yesterday as Tehran announced it had successfully enriched uranium to a new level. -Guardian - 5/4/06

Iran: Labor Discontent a Potential Distraction for Government
As Iran girds for Cold War-style confrontation with the United States, the largest May Day rally in Tehran in recent memory underscored that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration is also facing increasing pressure on the domestic front. -Eurasianet - 5/4/06

Iran, US share Afghan goals
But Iran could use leverage in Afghanistan to create trouble for US, some warn. -CSM - 5/4/06

Iraqi president terms his relationship with Iran as very good
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Thursday criticized the attempts by some segments of mass media to magnify rifts between Iraq and its neighbors such as Iran and Syria and underlined that his relationship with Iran is "very good". -IRNA - 5/4/06

Britain, France Press Security Council for Action on Iran
Britain and France have introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would obligate Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities. The United States strongly backs the measure. Western diplomats are hopeful the measure can be approved swiftly. -VOA - 5/4/06

Time to make a deal with Iran
Iran has had its say over the past few months, defiantly pronouncing to the rest of the world what it will or won't do regarding its nuclear program. Now the world will have its chance to speak, and if the diplomacy unfolding at the United Nations stalls, the United States should be ready to step to the fore before the crisis escalates further. -Amitai Etzioni, USA Today - 5/4/06

Iran Confirms Arrest Of Top Scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo
Jahanbegloo, who is head of the department for contemporary studies at Iran's Cultural Research Bureau, was reportedly arrested in Tehran airport after returning from a trip to India. -RFE - 5/4/06

Iranian Activists Fear Looming Crackdown
At least two graduate student activists -- Peyman Aref and Mehdi Aminizadeh -- former members of Iran's largest and most outspoken reformist student group (Daftare Tahkim Vahdat) have been expelled from school in recent months. Others have reportedly been banned from studying for one or several semesters. -RFE - 5/4/06

Envoys Remain at Odds Over Iran Nuclear Issue
Senior officials from six countries held talks in Paris Tuesday to find common ground on how to deal with the Iran nuclear standoff. The discussions come ahead of a critical U.N. meeting in which U.S. and European governments want to push for sanctions against Tehran. -VOA - 5/3/06

Iran's new oil wealth has its dark side, too
As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad moves to make good on his campaign promise to distribute Iran's increasing oil wealth among its citizens, warnings are coming from across the political spectrum that his policies may be doing more to irritate political and economic tensions than to soothe them. -New York Times - 5/3/06

Analysis: Iran, Hizballah Brush Off U.S. Terrorism Label
Tehran has responded to an annual U.S. State Department report identifying Iran as "the most active state sponsor of terrorism" by suggesting that the United States is not qualified to pass such a judgment. -RFE - 5/3/06

Quake shakes Andimeshk in southern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale jolted the suburbs of Andimeshk city in Khuzestan province, southern Iran, Tuesday evening. -IRNA - 5/3/06

Cornell U. S.A. debates Iran stance, resolution creates turmoil
After nearly two hours of debate yesterday in the Straight's Art Gallery, the Student Assembly decided to table voting on Resolution 29: Resolution Condemning Iranian Nuclear Proliferation until their next meeting on Thursday, May 4. - - 5/3/06

Pakistan Announces End to Nuclear Proliferation Probe
Pakistan says its investigation into a nuclear proliferation scandal has concluded with the recent release of a close aide to A.Q. Khan. Dr. Khan led Pakistan's controversial nuclear program and is widely believed to have organized a vast nuclear black-market. -VOA - 5/3/06

US Seeks Binding UN Resolution on Iran, but No Early Sanctions
The United States said Tuesday it is seeking a binding U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Iran halt uranium enrichment. But it is not, at least in its initial push in the United Nations, asking for sanctions. -VOA - 5/3/06

IRAQ: Kurdish families flee as Iran shells rebel positions
About 200 families fled their homes on the Iraq-Iran border on Monday as Iranian forces shelled areas used by Iranian-Kurdish rebels, according to Kurdish officials. -IRIN - 5/3/06

Rowhani recommends solving Iran nuclear issue to avoid crisis
Head of the strategic research department of the Expediency Council, Hassan Rowhani, in a meeting with the visiting chairman of German Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee, Ruprecht Polenz, here Wednesday said there is a way to solve Iran's nuclear issue and that neither side will benefit from crisis over the case. -IRNA - 5/3/06

Cautious Iran
Tehran may want to 'wipe Israel off the map,' but it won't do it with nukes. -Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh , CSM - 5/3/06

War With Iran? It would mean the end of our Republic
Thank the gods for the U.S. government, and I mean that at all levels, local, state, and federal. What would we do without them watching out for us 24/7, preparing for whatever threats may come our way, including especially the Great 666 Threat, which is looming fast and furious - 5/3/06

Iraqi President Says Sunni Insurgents See Iran as Threat
Iraq's president appealed for national unity and the renunciation of sectarian violence ahead of a parliament meeting set for Wednesday, saying he had met with Sunni Arab insurgent leaders and observed a "great change" in their war aims. -Washington Post - 5/3/06

Russian company to take part in tender for 2 nuclear power plants in Iran
An official from the Russian Atom Stroi Export Company announced Tuesday that it is ready to participate in Iran's tender on two new nuclear power plant projects. -IRNA - 5/3/06

Iranian-American Community in San Diego calls for a demonstration against military action or sanctions on Iran
The San Diego Chapter of Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), has called for a demonstration against military action on Iran, to be held on Saturday May 6, 2006, from 12:00 to 2:00 P.M. in front of the Federal Building in downtown, San Diego. - 5/3/06

Experts Warn of Drawbacks of Potential UN Sanctions Against Iran
Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen is concerned U.S. efforts to gather support may suffer from fallout from the way the Bush administration handled the Iraq issue, and suspicion in foreign capitals that Washington would use a resolution to justify a future military strike. -VOA - 5/3/06

Perhaps there is still time for another imaginary face-to-face discussion between the two leaders that might shed some light on issues that are keeping the fuse lit under the powder keg of the Middle East. As the curtain rises, we find the two presidents walking over to their chairs facing one another. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/3/06

Iran calls on UN to stop US from threatening military action
Iran has called on the United Nations to stop the United States from making threats of a military attack against its nuclear installations. In a letter Monday to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iran's U.N. ambassador, Javad Zarif, urged Mr. Annan and the U.N. Security Council to take action against Washington's illegal threats against Iran. Following is the full text of the letter. - 5/2/06

Iran: Larijani says no need to talk to US, nuclear program transparent
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said here Monday that Iran dose not need to talk to the US. Iran did not ask for talks with the US, on the contrary it was they who insisted on meeting with Iran on Iraq which did not happen, Ali Larijani said. -IRNA - 5/2/06

International Bicycle Championship to be Held in Iran
Eight teams from Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Qatar, and Sri Lanka have announced their willingness to take part in the 21st session of Azarbaijan international bicycle racing which will be held from 20-30 of May 2006 in Azarbaijan province, northwest of Iran. 2000 US dollars will be awarded to the champion of the race. -CHN - 5/2/06

Matthews: US Must Accept Legitimacy of Iran in Negotiations
“Diplomacy is for talking with the people you have trouble with. The idea that negotiation with enemy regimes legitimizes them is dead wrong,” said Jessica Tuchman Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. -NIAC - 5/2/06

Persian Atoms: Enriching Facts, Diverting Fiction
"I don't think the issue of enrichment right now, emotional as it is, is urgent. . . . So, we have ample time to negotiate a settlement by which, as I said, Iran's need for nuclear power is assured and the concern of the international community is also put to rest." -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, MRZINE - 5/2/06

Oil Prices Rise on Worries About Iran
World oil prices Monday bounced back, rising over two percent on worries about possible United Nations sanctions against Iran. - 5/2/06

Swedes jailed in Iran for photos
An Iranian court has sentenced two Swedish men to three years in prison for photographing military facilities. -BBC - 5/2/06

Iran leader plays populist game
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election victory last June surprised everyone in Iran. After all, we all knew his opponent, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, but very few of us knew much about Mr Ahmadinejad. -BBC - 5/2/06

Iran - Inside Bush's Brain
Understandably, since the publication of Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article about secret Bush Administration planning for an air attack on Iran, there's been a lot of speculation about what's going to happen. Will George Bush and Karl Rove dare to reprise their Iraq ploy and once again bang the drums for war just before an off-year election?... -Common Dreams - 5/2/06

Bolivian Nationalizes the Oil and Gas Sector
The decree is the latest step by Latin America governments from Venezuela to Ecuador to assert greater control over the energy sector, moves that have sent shivers through foreign producers. -New York Times - 5/2/06

New Horizons: ASEANZ Exhibition in Tehran University
Center for Graduate International Studies of University of Tehran will be the host of ASEAN Tourism and Cultural Exhibition and Conference with the title of "ASEANZ New Horizons: Opportunities, Insights and Fun" which will be held from 8-10 of May 2006. -CHN - 5/2/06

The United States May Have to Live With a Nuclear Iran
Unbelievably, a belligerent Bush administration is trying to rattle the saber again against Iran, because of its defiance of the United Nations Security Council's resolution against Iran's nuclear program. In the long term, such blustering by a superpower is only likely to speed the efforts of Iran and other countries with nuclear aspirations to get atomic weapons. - 5/2/06

Iran and Qatar hold first round of summit talks
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and visiting Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani emphasized need for ever improving the level of bilateral ties, while asking for improving regional peace and security. -IRNA - 5/2/06

Bush Leverage With Russia, Iran, China Falls as Oil Prices Rise
President George W. Bush, already weakened at home by the soaring cost of oil, is finding that it's also eroding his ability to achieve his foreign-policy goals. -Bloomberg - 5/2/06

India very much part of Iran gas pipeline project: Nejad-Hosseinian
Deputy Oil Minister Hadi Nejad Hosseinian, who is in New Delhi to meet Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, on Tuesday told reporters that Tehran has set July as the deadline to sign a deal for the over seven billion dollar pipeline project, failing which it would pursue bilateral exports to Pakistan. -IRNA - 5/2/06

Major Powers Seek Accord on Iran Nuclear Issue in Paris
Senior diplomats from the five permanent United Nations Security Council member countries and Germany convene in Paris Tuesday to seek consensus on U.N. action on Iran's nuclear program. The United States wants a binding council resolution demanding that Iran halt uranium enrichment. -VOA - 5/2/06

Sanity must prevail over Bigotry
It is not clear which is more perilous to society, bigotry or ignorance, but when an 'opinion' piece is pleading with the public to go to war applying both, spiced with deliberate misinformation, we must question the motive -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/2/06

Iran Pushes for Talks With U.S. on Nukes, Security
Iranian leaders have been signaling to Washington since late 2005 that Iran wanted direct negotiations with the United States on Tehran's nuclear programme and other outstanding issues between the two countries. -IPS - 5/2/06

Iran: State Maintains Tight Control Over Information
Suspension of newspapers, the intimidation and harassment of journalists, arrests and prison sentences by Iran's conservative judiciary were frequent events during reformist Mohammad Khatami's presidency. His successor -- hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- has not improved the situation for Iranian journalists who complain of increased pressure and tighter media restrictions. -RFE - 5/2/06

Iran Says Imposition of Sanctions Would Provoke Strong Response
Iran has warned that it will take "radical measures" if the U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. But the Foreign Ministry also says Iran will cooperate fully with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, if its case is referred back there. -VOA - 5/1/06

US Accuses Iran of 'Playing Games' on Nuclear Issue
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accused Iran of "playing games" in its dealings with the international community concerning its nuclear activities. -VOA - 5/1/06

Israeli Satellite Spies on Iran's Nuclear Program
With Iran refusing to comply with international demands on its nuclear program, Israel is resorting to aerial espionage. Israeli high tech is helping the Jewish state keep a watchful eye on its arch-enemy to the East. -VOA - 5/1/06

Iran-Armenia pipeline is not for sale: minister
Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan denies it while Manok Gasparian, an MP, says that the contract indicating the sale of Iran-Armenia Gas Export Pipeline is on his table. -Mehr - 5/1/06

We Should Not Play Bush Game of Chicken on Iran
Set aside the American spin — dutifully disseminated by the media — regarding the latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program. Rather than augment America's case, it proves how counterproductive George W. Bush's bullying tactics have been. -Toronto Star - 5/1/06

Iran to re-open its consulate in Iraq's Basra soon
"Before ties were suspened with the former Iraqi regime in the 1980s Iran had a consulate in Basra. Iran will re-open it as soon as possible," Iran's Acting Charge d'Affaires to Iraq Hossein Zolanvar said here Monday. -IRNA - 5/1/06

A New Strategy on Iran
With the Russians and Chinese seemingly determined to block sanctions, our efforts at the United Nations promise to evolve slowly while Iran presses ahead with its plans. If we stay on the same path, we will be left with two choices: accept the reality of Iran's nuclear weapons capability or take military action to set back its ambitions. -Washington Post - 5/1/06

Derakhshandeh revising latest film for screening license
Iranian director Puran Derakhshandeh plans to change some scenes of her latest film "Nocturnal Emissions" in order to obtain a screening license for Iranian movie theaters, ISNA reported on Thursday. -Mehr - 5/1/06

Babak & Friends Nominated for The Persian Golden Lioness Awards
Earlier this month, The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media - WAALM® announced the nomination of Dustin Ellis in the category of Dramatic Arts (Best Directing of Animated film), for the film “Babak & Friends – A First Norooz”. -Sara Sefeed - 5/1/06

Simurgh: A Journey in Search of the Truth
All the birds of the world gather before the wise Hoopoe to seek their divine king. Hoopoe informs them that they could unite with the King on a distant mountain, but the journey to His Court would be extremely hazardous. Only through love, faith, and self-denial they could achieve their goal. -Book by Azar Aryanpour - 5/1/06

A lady who never sat idle: Mokarrameh Ghanbari 1928-2005
Recently many of us have read that Meryl Streep is going to portray an Iranian lady painter, that most of us had not even heard of, in a forthcoming film. So who is this lady that Hollywood has found so interesting? Mokarrameh Ghanbari, who was born in 1928 in Mazadaran, a region in the north of Iran, reminds us more of our mothers or grandmothers than a painter. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/1/06

Why Shouldn't Iran Have Nuclear Weapons? Israel Has American Warheads Ready to Fire
As international political powers seek Iran's capitulation on nuclear weapons development, little notice is given to what the Americans and the British have done to create this crisis nor what steps the Israelis might eventually take to make it profoundly more complicated. -Independent - 5/1/06

Oh, there goes that word again! Diaspora
It's everywhere I go and I hear it from the mouths of Iranians every where … I guess I am afraid of what usually follows, "I long for my long lost identity", "I look in the mirror and I wonder who this person is and where do I belong?", "If only …." and "Why didn't we ….?" or my new favorite, "Why don't they …?" (referring to Iran or America) - 5/1/06

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