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Iran: Concern Grows For Detained Iranian-Americans
There is increasing concern over the fate of at least two Iranian-American scholars who have been detained in Iran in recent weeks. They have been charged with espionage and some worry they could be pressured into making false confessions. -RFE - 5/31/07

Iran: Talks With U.S. Could Draw Curtain On At Least One Taboo
Talks in Baghdad on May 28 between the Iranian and U.S. ambassadors to Iraq were clearly a notable point in the history of those two states' troubled relations since Iran's 1979 revolution. -RFE - 5/31/07

Ata Hasheminejad - a charming and interesting artist
Ata Hasheminejad is an artist with flair and gentleness. He has been painting for over twenty years but he paints mostly for the love of it. Although he studied painting at university he now works in advertising, and is mainly involved in making commercials. Recently he had an exhibition at the Golestan gallery in Tehran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/31/07

Iran's Crackdown on Visiting Iranian-Americans Raises More Questions About Tehran's Agenda
The news that a fourth Iranian-American may have been arrested in Iran for alleged espionage has heightened questions about the Tehran government's seemingly contradictory behavior. Iranian and U.S. officials have just completed their first publicly acknowledged high-level meeting to discuss stabilizing Iraq. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, the arrests may be a sign of divisions within Iran's leadership. - 5/31/07

The follies of Bush's Iran policy
The confrontation between Iran and the West has developed a new dimension over the detention of several Iranian scholars, journalists and political activists who have been living in the West for years and have recently traveled to their homeland. -Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Sahimi, IHT - 5/31/07

Full page in WSJ: 'I pray that Bush bombs Iran'
In an explicit (and unambiguously titled) article that takes a full page in the Wall Street Journal (The Case for Bombing Iran - I hope and pray that President Bush will do it), one of the senior neoconservatives, Norman Podhoretz calls for an immediate bombing campaign against Iran, as a preemptive strike to avoid the nuclear destruction of Israel. -Daily Kos - 5/31/07

Ancient Artificial Eyeball Found in Burnt City Presented in Rome
During Iran's cultural exhibition in Italy, entitled Beauties of Iran, the magnificent artificial eyeball belonging to 4800 years ago discovered in prehistoric site of Burnt City (Shahr-e Soukhteh), was introduced. -CHN - 5/31/07

Iran will allay concerns about nuclear program: Larijani
Iran is prepared to allay concerns about its nuclear program, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday before heading to Spain for talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. -MNA - 5/31/07

New Peace Index Ranks US Among Worst Nations
A division of the group that publishes the Economist news magazine issued the Global Peace Index Wednesday ranking the U.S. at 96 out of 121 countries - one spot ahead of Iran. Iraq was ranked lowest. -VOA - 5/31/07

Iran-Iraq parliamentary friendship group calls for swift release of kidnapped Iranian diplomats
Iran-Iraq Parliamentary Friendship Group issued a statement on Wednesday calling for speedy release of Iranian diplomats kidnapped by US forces in Iraq. -IRNA - 5/31/07

Iran spying chief warns academics
A senior Iranian intelligence official has warned Iranian academics to be careful about what they say when attending conferences overseas. -BBC - 5/31/07

Building on a Vacuum: Ways Forward after the U.S.-Iranian Meeting
The May 28 meeting between the U.S. and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq was mostly notable for its length -- four hours -- and the lack of anything to show for all that time together. And the very next day, Iran announced that three detained Iranian Americans visiting their homeland -Washington Institute - 5/31/07

'Flowers' from Persia: Oppressed girl's carpet expertise brings 17th century to life in debut novel
In Anita Amirrezvani's sumptuous debut novel, "The Blood of Flowers," a young girl living in 17th-century Iran is forced to leave her village for an unknown fate in the blue-domed city of Isfahan. -San Jose Mercury - 5/31/07

Russia: Missile Test Heightens Arms-Race Fears
Russia has tested new strategic and tactical missiles at a time when tensions with the United States remain high over Washington's plans to locate parts of a missile-defense system in Central Europe. -RFE - 5/31/07

Peugeot is not leaving Iran
Peugeot is not leaving Iran, director of Iran operations at Peugeot said Wednesday. Frederic Fabre rejected recent articles from some local and foreign press, adding, "On the contrary, the company is expanding its strategic partnership with its important partner Iran Khodro Company (IKCO)." -MNA - 5/31/07

U.S. Needs Help in Iraq, Iran Wants More
It is premature to ask what the right agenda would be for the next round of U.S.-Iran talks. It is too early to judge and make predictions because this round's negotiations are not near completion. We know why the U.S. decided to meet the Iranians: it is out of despair for the mess in Iraq. -Washington Post - 5/31/07

At the Edge of Revolution: Does Pakistan Have a Khomeini?
Having been based in Iran for the past three years and having studied the social conditions that led to that revolution, I was assaulted by an ominous sense of déjà vu as I witnessed Pakistan's moneyed professionals discuss the emboldened religious conservatives in horrified tones at nightly salons. -WPR - 5/31/07

Exhibition: Women of Iran- Citizens of the World
This exhibition showcases examples of contemporary Iranian art in a variety of media, such as photography, painting, collage and film. This exhibit includes works by Mahnaz Hashemi, Niloufar Karimzadegan, Yasmin Mawaz-Khan, Soudabeh Memarzadeh, Mahshid Modares, and Priya; dedicated Iranian artists who live in Iran, San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego. - 5/30/07

From the Discourse of Democracy to the Discourse of Normalization in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, Iranian society has existed in an abnormal state. Consequently, the country's political, economic, social, and cultural structures, as well as its international relations, have been significantly harmed. To embark on a program of progress, Iran needs to adopt a policy of "normalization" which focuses on its national life and the country's international relations. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 5/30/07

FM: Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq's security may continue
Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki stated that Iran-U.S. talks on "security issues in Iraq" could continue. He said the Iranian envoys to Baghdad in the Iran-U.S. talks on May 28th had returned to Tehran and they were studying the results. -ISNA - 5/30/07

Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant in Tehran
The Taj Mahal is a hotel in the north center of Tehran on the west side of Vanak Square. One of its main features is a well known restaurant which has been around since it opened a few years ago. We went there again recently and here is our report on Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran - 5/30/07

Request From World Human Rights Communities Regarding United States' 75 Million Dollar Budget for Iran
Dear Colleagues and Human Rights Activists, We are all sensitive to violations of human rights by governments and consider it our duty to react to these violations even if in countries such as Iran these reactions have costs. At the same time, we are expected not to be indifferent to new kinds of human rights violations or outright endangerment of human rights activists. -Emaddeddin Baghi, Tehran - 5/30/07

Iran showed "goodwill" by agreeing to talks: Velayati
Former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati said on Tuesday that Iran "showed its goodwill" by agreeing to negotiate with the United states on stabilizing Iraq. "Agreeing to requests for negotiations showed Iran's goodwill, even though the Americans have made hostile statements against Iran in recent days," Velayati told reporters in Mashhad. -MNA - 5/30/07

US Dismisses Iranian Spy Charges as Absurd
The United States Tuesday dismissed as absurd charges by Iran that three Iranian-Americans visiting that country were involved in spying. The charges were announced only a day after U.S. and Iranian diplomats held a rare face-to-face meeting in Baghdad. -VOA - 5/30/07

Iran Rules Out Key Demand Before Nuclear Talks
Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said in Tehran today his country will not suspend uranium enrichment. The refusal comes one day ahead of talks between EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana and Larijani in the Spanish capital, Madrid. - 5/30/07

Association of Iranian journalists protests new press restrictions
The Association of Iranian Journalists (AOIJ) has made a public statement protesting new action by Iran’s National Security Council, which sent letters to a number of media outlets requesting them not to publish articles on certain topics. - 5/30/07

Sister of Nima Yushij dies in Tehran at 92
The sister of Nima Yushij, Behjatozzaman Esfandiari, died on Tuesday. She was 92 years old. Behjatozzaman was also called Sorayya. -MNA - 5/30/07

Panahi's "Offside" wins best feature film award at Little Rock festival
Director Jafar Panahi's "Offside" has won its 11th prize, the best feature film award at the first annual Little Rock Film Festival, which was held in the United States from May 17 to 20. -MNA - 5/30/07

Egypt voices readiness to restore ties with Iran: Iranian MP
Head of Majlis Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said on Wednesday that the Egyptian foreign minister has forwarded a message to his Iranian counterpart voicing Egyptian readiness to restore ties with Iran. -IRNA - 5/30/07

Secretary Condoleezza Rice Briefing En Route Berlin, Germany
QUESTION: Iran today formally charged Haleh Esfandiari and two others with endangering national security. How do you fit that into the context of what happened in Baghdad today where -- or yesterday rather, with, you know, an outreach to Iran and to a certain extent their reaching back? - 5/30/07

Reports Say 12 Killed In Clash Near Iran-Turkey Border
Reports from Tehran say seven officers from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were killed along with five insurgents this week during a clash in the northwest of the country. - 5/30/07

Iran hires German company for feasibility study of Tehran-Mashhad high-speed train route
Tehran has commissioned a German engineering company to conduct a feasibility study for a high-speed magnetic levitation train route linking the Iranian capital with the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the Munich-based firm said Tuesday. -AP - 5/30/07

The March to War: Syria Preparing for US-Israeli Attacks
Syria was in the sights of the White House and Pentagon since the advent of the “Global War on Terror.” Attacks on Lebanon and Syria have long been expected as a phase in the American-led war march unfolding in the Middle East and Central Asia in the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research - 5/30/07

Iran Announces Charges Against Three U.S.-Iranian Nationals
Iran has confirmed that charges have been filed alleging that three U.S.-Iranian citizens, including two scholars and a journalist who works for the U.S. government-funded Radio Farda, acted against Iran's national security. -RFE - 5/29/07

Nasrin Sotoudeh: The Ardent, Passionate and Dedicated Attorney at Law
There are thousands of hard working professional women in Iran who go about their work with great determination, zest and the highest level of professionalism. At the same time they remain human, caring, kind and successful. This is the story of one such lady, Nasrin Sotoudeh. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/29/07

Iran's Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Uranium Enrichment for Non-Specialists
The primary aim of this article is to explain Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle and the uranium based nuclear enrichment technology at the level of a non-specialist. Familiar and rudimentary examples are used so that interested readers can have a better understanding of this critical and controversial technology which is at the core of the contentious US-Iran relation. -Nader Bagherzadeh - 5/29/07

Iranian Envoy: We raised our concerns transparently in Baghdad meeting
Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi homi said Iran's concerns were brought up in a transparent way in the trilateral meeting in Baghdad between Iran, US and Iraq. - 5/29/07

Iranian Expat Celebrities get passionate over French Presidential Elections
Amidst the "Peopolisation" it is interesting to note that Iranian expat celebrities in France have also joined their public voice in support of their favorite candidates. With a population of 62 000 approximately ( most of whom fled Iran during or after the Revolution ) they do represent an often educated and successful constituency albeit representing a minority population wise. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/29/07

Exhibition: '10,000 Years of Iran's Culture and Civilization' opens at National Museum of Iran
The exhibition '10,000 Years of Iran's Culture and Civilization' opened at the National Museum of Iran (NMI) on May 28 in Tehran. - 5/29/07

U.S. warships in Strait of Hormuz violating Law of the Sea: analyst
"The deployment of three U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf has increased insecurity in the region," former Iranian representative to the United Nations Disarmament Commission Ali Khorram said here on Monday. -MNA - 5/29/07

Iran gains the upper hand
Yesterday, Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq, which officials from the occupied country also attended, came to a conclusion with the sum total of reports indicating that the Iranian delegation had higher morale and gained the upper hand by proposing creative plans to improve the security situation in Iraq. -Parviz Esmaeili, Tehran Times - 5/29/07

Iran's Intelligence ministry lodges complaint with court against Haleh Esfandiari
Iran's Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said on Tuesday that Ministry of Intelligence lodged complaint with court of justice against Ms. Haleh Esfandiari. -IRNA - 5/29/07

Tehran Mayor begins blogging
In his first article at "weblog" link of his weblog, Qalibaf writes under the title, "They passed away so that we could survive", Qalibaf recalls the memory of the May 24th liberation of Khorramshahr. -Taliya News - 5/29/07

Italy to Return Iran's Looted Historical Relics
After pursuing the case of Iran's looted historical relics by legal department of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Police authorities have accepted to redeem these ancient coins to Iran. -CHN - 5/29/07

U.S.-Iran talks yield little progress
At best, the envoys and their Iraqi hosts had hoped the encounter would get two longtime foes talking. And on that there was some slight progress: Iran proposed forming a "trilateral mechanism" to discuss ways to ease the conflict in Iraq. -Times - 5/29/07

275 Iranian universities, research centers connected to Fiber Optic Network
Managing Director of Data Processing Technology (DATA) said in Tehran Saturday 1st and 2nd Phases of connecting country's universities to fiber-optic network is completed. -Taliya News - 5/29/07

Arabs Make Plans for Nuclear Power
As Iran races ahead with an illicit uranium enrichment effort, nearly a dozen other Middle East nations are moving forward on their own civilian nuclear programs. In the latest development, a team of eight U.N. experts on Friday ended a weeklong trip to Saudi Arabia to provide nuclear guidance to officials from six Persian Gulf countries. -Bob Drogin / Borzou Daragahi, Times - 5/29/07

Arabs say U.S.-Iranian talks cut them out of Iraq's future
Arab officials and commentators appeared content that Washington and Tehran had finally started talking, but expressed concern Monday that the budding dialogue could cut them out of the loop over the future of Iraq, one of the region's most important countries. -AP - 5/29/07

U.S., Iranian Ambassadors Meet In Baghdad
The U.S. and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq, Ryan Crocker and Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, held their much-anticipated talks this morning in Baghdad. Iraqi officials say the four-hour meeting was cordial and focused solely on Iraq. -RFE - 5/28/07

Satrapi's Persepolis wins "Prix du Jury" at Cannes
The Jury Prize, a tie, was awarded by Jamel Debbouze to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi ( co-director Vincent Paronnaud) and to Silent Light by Carlos Reygadas. The Jury Prize is one where the Entire Jury unanimously agrees on the best film. - - 5/28/07

Iran's envoy hopes Iran-US talks will bolster Iraqi sovereignty
Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi on Monday hoped that Iran-US talks in Baghdad would contribute to Iraqi national sovereignty. -IRNA - 5/28/07

Iran-US talks on Iraq held behind closed doors
The Islamic Republic of Iran and the US held their first round of official talks on Iraq behind the closed doors. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iraqi Supreme National Security advisor Mowafaq al-Rabi'i attended the meeting. -IRNA - 5/28/07

Qajar-era medals exhibit underway in Niavaran Palace
An exhibition of medals from the Qajar era is currently underway at the Ahmad Shah's Pavilion in the Niavaran Palace complex. -MNA - 5/28/07

Iran ready to cooperate with PGCC in nuclear area: FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Monday that Iran is ready to start cooperation with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) in the area of nuclear technology. -IRNA - 5/28/07

Baghdad Conference: New Path or Pandora's Box
On May 13 of this year Iran declared its readiness to hold talks with the United States over the security of Iraq. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the leader of the Islamic Republic declared Iran will participate in the Baghdad Conference because of request from Iraqi government officials to improve security in Iraq. -Amin Shariatzadeh and Farzad Khalili - 5/28/07

Amir N. Balakhanlou: 1917-2007
Amir Nosratollah Balakhanlou, former mayor and member of parliament from the city of Hamedan, passed away in Tehran's Atieh Hospital last Sunday (May 20, 2007) at the age of 90. - 5/28/07

Iran, India and Pakistan serious about gas pipeline
Iranian Oil Minister Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh evaluated the views of all sides of the 'Peace' pipeline agreement as positive. -IRNA - 5/28/07

Iran Summons Swiss Ambassador to Protest Alleged US Spy Networks
Iranian authorities have summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran to protest what it describes as U.S. espionage networks. -VOA - 5/28/07

Louvre is Iran's second embassy in Paris: Loyrette
The Louvre museum is Iran's second embassy in Paris, said its curator Henri Loyrette.-MNA - 5/28/07

An Iran-U.S. Partnership: Thinking The Unthinkable
Talks between America and Iran in Baghdad will mark the first official thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations, frozen since 1980. More importantly, the talks could lead to a vital partnership between Washington and Tehran against al-Qaida, the greatest single terrorist threat in the world today. -R.K. Ramazani - 5/27/07

Iran-Europe nuclear talks planned for Thursday
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is planned to meet Iran's secretary of Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, on Thursday, EU diplomatic sources told IRNA in Brussels Sunday. - 5/27/07

US unit created to pressure Iran, Syria disbanded
The Bush administration has dismantled a special committee that was established last year to coordinate aggressive actions against Iran and Syria, State Department officials said this week. -Boston Globe - 5/27/07

Iran's newly explored Paranj holds 1.6b in situ barrels of oil
The newly traced Paranj oilfield's in situ reserve is estimated at 1.6 billion barrels, said the National Iranian South Oil Company's (NISOC) technical manager on Sunday. -MNA - 5/27/07

Stakes rise in US-Iran standoff
As the UN reports substantial progress in Iran's nuclear program and US ships gather in the Persian Gulf, US and Iranian diplomats prepare to meet in Iraq. -CSM - 5/27/07

US and Iran in landmark talks
A meeting between the American and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq in Baghdad on Monday is part of a potentially significant shift in US policy towards the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group last December. -BBC - 5/27/07

Baghdad talks part of two-track strategy with Iran
The United States is pursuing a two-track strategy with Iran that reflects the high stakes in any engagement with a nation President George W. Bush accuses of bankrolling terrorism and secretly building a nuclear bomb. -AP - 5/27/07

Iran ready to increase trade with Russia to $2b
Deputy Minister of Industries and Mines for Economic and International Affairs Mohsen Shaterzadeh said on Saturday that Iran is ready to increase trade with Russia to two billion dollars per year. -IRNA - 5/27/07

Iran attracted $24.3b foreign capital in 16 years
Iran absorbed 24.381 billion dollars of foreign investment from Iranian calendar year 1372 (March 21, 1993) to April 20, 2007. -MNA - 5/27/07

Bush swings behind a softer stance on Iran
Evidence that the Cheney camp may be losing the argument over both Iraq and Iran has been increasingly evident in recent weeks, as Bush has thrown his weight behind Rice on a more nuanced approach to Iran. And Bush - having initially rejected the Iraq Study Group's findings on Iraq - suggested last week that he was now minded to be guided by it. -Guardian - 5/27/07

Shaul Bakhash: My wife, a prisoner in Iran
ON MAY 8, the walls of Tehran's Evin prison closed around my wife, Haleh Esfandiari, a 67-year-old scholar, grandmother and dual citizen of Iran and the United States. - 5/26/07

Iran's Haddadi breaks Asia discus record
Asian discus record holder Ehsan Haddadi from Iran improved the continental mark by 2.62m here Saturday. -MNA - 5/26/07

Miles For Peace: Iranians embark on peace cycling tour
We are pleased to inform you that, considering the current state of world affairs and our particularly sensitive situation in Iran, "Mercy for All" charity organization ( has - in partnership with other NGOs - planned a cycling tour around Europe and North America to convey Iranian people's message of peace, friendship and solidarity to the rest of the world. - 5/26/07

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007: An Iranian-American Perspective
With the heated, reinvigorated debate on immigration reform, WE, as Americans of Iranian heritage, would like to share our Community’s views in anticipation of its accommodation in the current legislative process, as follows -James Irani, Esq. and David Rahni, Ph.D. - 5/26/07

The Cabal Strikes Back: The neocons are discredited – but not defeated
The President, reined in by his party’s fear of electoral disaster and his nation’s war weariness, has hesitated to go all the way with the neocons’ plan to open up the second phase of their bid to "transform" the Middle East into a pile of "democratic" rubble: no one in this country but Dick Cheney and his boys think going to war with Iran is such a grand idea, but that isn’t stopping the neocons from trying to pull it off anyway. - 5/26/07

NIAC Memo: The Challenges in Forcing Iranian "Behavior Change"
An IAEA report released this week confirms that Iran now has 1,300 centrifuges operating—a significant increase in just the past few months. The finding prompted IAEA Secretary General Mohammad El Baradei to controversially conclude that despite persistent technical problems, Iran now "pretty much knows how to enrich." - 5/26/07

House Resolution Calls for Immediate Release of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari
Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-8th/MD), Tom Lantos (D-12/CA), Elijah E. Cummings, (D-7th/MD), Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-1st/MD), and Gary Ackerman (D-5th/NY) introduced resolution, H.RES. 430 on May 22nd. The resolution calls for the release of Iranian American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari. - 5/26/07

Neo-Cons To Plot Iran Strategy Amid Caribbean Luxury
For those of you who may be visiting the Bahamas next week, you may want to check out a private, off-the-record meeting of Gulf and Middle East specialists of a rather narrow ideological bent at Westin’s luxurious Our Lucaya Resort on Grand Bahama Island. The meeting takes place May 30 to June 1. -Jime Lobe - 5/26/07

Iran Darrudi: Iran's new art making swift progress
The veteran Iranian painter Iran Darrudi is convinced that new art in Iran has gone a long way in a very short time and that it is making excellent progress. -MNA - 5/26/07

17th international symposium on Persian Gulf to be held in Tehran
17th international symposium on Persian Gulf to be held in Tehran for two days from May 28. -IRNA - 5/26/07

Success of talks dependent on U.S. attitude: Iran FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Saturday that there is a chance for a thaw in Iran-U.S. relations in the future if Washington "acknowledges its wrong policies" toward Iran and takes steps to rectify them. -MNA - 5/26/07

Pressing the self-destruct button
A recent series of brutal confrontations and bizarre arrests are evidence that Iran is under pressure and buckling. -Guardian - 5/26/07

CASMII Strongly Criticises the Guardian for anti Iranian article
UK newspaper the Guardian was today strongly criticised by the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) for republishing unsubstantiated Bush Administration propaganda on its May 22 edition. - 5/26/07

Documentary examines sale of organs driven by financial need
In Iran, the negotiations involved in the sale of a kidney are an often messy and very human process. Would you sell one of your kidneys to get out of debt? You can't in Canada, where the sale of body parts for profit is prohibited by provincial and federal laws. In Iran, it's not only legal, it's regulated by the state. -Vancouver Sun - 5/26/07

Iran: Larijani Tenders His Resignation in Protest
Iranian sources have said that the resignation is in protest against what he described in his resignation letter as irresponsible behavior and statements by the president of the republic and his colleagues, which have obstructed the course of the negotiations with the European Union and current steps to ward off threats against Iran and its strategic interests. -Asharq Alawsat - 5/26/07

Karzai, Ahmadinejad Discuss Afghan Refugee Crisis
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has spoken with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, about the plight of Afghan refugees expelled from Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported. -RFE - 5/26/07

Tehran's building murals recreated
When Fotini Christia, a Ph.D. candidate in public policy at the Kennedy School, first arrived in Tehran to study Farsi, she was struck by the enormous murals that dominated the city. -Ken Gewertz, Harvard News Office - 5/25/07

My wife, a prisoner in Iran
The husband of a U.S. scholar accused of fomenting a 'velvet' revolution fears for her safety. -By Shaul Bakhash - 5/25/07

My wife, a prisoner in Iran
The husband of a U.S. scholar accused of fomenting a 'velvet' revolution fears for her safety. -By Shaul Bakhash - 5/25/07

Independent Nuclear Physicist Evaluates Iran's Nuclear Program
Frank Barnaby is a consultant on nuclear Issues for Oxford Research Group -- an independent nongovernmental group in Britain that works to promote a sustainable approach to global security. A nuclear physicist by training, Barnaby began working on atomic-weapons research himself in 1951. He also works as an independent defense analyst and author on military technology. RFE/RL correspondent Ron Synovitz spoke with him about Iran's disputed nuclear program. - 5/25/07

Iran-U.S. dialogue should create direct communication link: expert
Bahram Rajaee, the director of international and external relations for the American Political Science Association, told the Mehr News Agency in an interview on Tuesday that he believes the most important goal of the planned talks between Iran and the U.S. should be to “establish a direct avenue of communication regarding regional affairs.” - 5/25/07

Academia Sees "Chilling Message" in Iran's Detention of Scholar
Academic colleagues of Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari, detained in Iran’s Evin Prison since May 8, decry her arrest and treatment, saying they send “a chilling message to scholars throughout the world.” -USINFO - 5/25/07

Seymour Hersh: U.S. Indirectly Backed Islamist Militants Fighting Lebanese Army
Last March, Hersh reported the U.S. and Saudi governments are covertly backing militant Sunni groups like Fatah al-Islam as part of an overarching foreign policy against Iran and growing Shia influence. -Democracy Now - 5/25/07

Iran stands 19th in OICA list
According to the released report by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) Iran through manufacturing 817 thousand vehicles in 2006 stood 19th in the world motor vehicle manufacturers' list. -ISNA - 5/25/07

Bush to Push for Stronger Iran Sanctions
President Bush says he will seek stronger sanctions on Iran, following a new U.N. report that accuses Tehran of accelerating its nuclear-enrichment program. VOA's Paula Wolfson has details from the White House. - 5/25/07

Iran's ambassador to Baghdad to represent talks with U.S.
Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that its ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, will represent the country in talks with the United States on Iraq. -MNA - 5/25/07

When Oil and Water Mix
The concoction becomes lethal. America's relentless drive to dominate the Middle East and its oil, blends well with Israel's insatiable appetite for water and unstoppable expansion. It is said that oil and water do not mix – but when they do, it becomes a lethal concoction with no easy solution. The fatal blend engulfing the Middle East today seems to have no end in sight other than darker clouds showering more innocent blood. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/25/07

The deceit they call US-Iran talks
The George W. Bush administration and the Islamic Republic of Iran have agreed to meet on May 28 for talks surrounding Iraq’s stability. Both the United States and Iran have made it clear right from the outset that the meeting(s) will solely deal with the security situation in Iraq... -Jalal Alavi - 5/25/07

Iranian Sufi Leader At Home After Detention
New details are emerging concerning the detention in Iran this week of a prominent Sufi leader. -RFE - 5/25/07

NIAC condemns arrest of Iranian American scholars
The National Iranian American Council condemns the imprisonment of respected social scientist Kian Tajbakhsh by Iranian authorities on May 11 and calls for his immediate release. - 5/25/07

Iraq's Moqtada al-Sadr Makes First Public Appearance in 4 Months
Anti-American Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has made his first public appearance since the start of a major U.S.-backed security crackdown in February. -VOA - 5/25/07

Production of Iranian mobile sets at initial stage
Managing Director of Iran Telecom Factories Company said here Tuesday after getting approval for our produced prototype mobile set, we would in June simultaneously begin production of mobile sets and accessories. -Taliya News - 5/25/07

More Bad Intelligence on Iran and Iraq
If the Bush Administration continues to feed the American people the same dog's breakfast of bad intelligence, we'll be in Iraq until Bush leaves office. And while we're at it, just maybe in a war with Iran. -TIME - 5/25/07

Iran: Another Iranian-American Scholar Detained
The increasing arrests and detentions of Iranian-American scholars in Iran points to an Iranian government campaign to deter local civil society activists from interacting with Iranians based abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. - 5/24/07

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on - 5/24/07

4th Iranian-American Citizen Detained in Iran
For the fourth time in recent months, Iran has detained someone holding dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. The New York City-based Open Society Institute says Iran imprisoned Kian Tajbakhsh around May 11. The institute Wednesday called for his immediate release. - 5/24/07

Most Wanted by Taraneh Hemami at The Gallery at Intersection in San Francisco
Most Wanted, a solo exhibition by Iranian-born painter, installation and conceptual artist Taraneh Hemami, investigates the nature of perception, recognition, and representation while examining the construction of the image of the new enemy. Interpretations of a series of faceless portrayals of the most wanted terrorists as identified by the United States government contemplate the ways in which stereotypical perceptions of people are created while pondering the relationship between image and identity. - 5/24/07

Iran: Officials Debate Rate Cuts To Curb Inflation
Iran's current five-year development plan foresees a gradual cut in key interest rates to 10 percent or less by 2010. A rate reduction is viewed in some government circles as a desirable end in itself, given Islam's prohibition on usury and related practices; they also see it as a means of curbing inflation. But others argue that progress against inflation should precede any interest-rate cut. -RFE - 5/24/07

Arrests in Iran Seen as Warning to US
Ken Katzman, a Middle East analyst at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, says the arrest of Haleh Esfandiari and other Iranian-Americans is designed to warn Iranians not to accept U.S. money or help, no matter how harmless the purpose. -VOA - 5/24/07

Iran calls for freedom of Iranian engineer arrested in US
Iran's foreign ministry on Wednesday called for the US to respect consular convention in dealing with Iranian engineer arrested in Los Angeles. -IRNA - 5/24/07

Scholars Bear Brunt of Anti-Diplomacy Backlash
With only a few days left until the United States and Iran are expected to hold much anticipated talks, several factors point to the potential for a real diplomatic breakthrough. -Trita Parsi, NIAC - 5/24/07

Iran: Journalist gets prison sentence, two are banned from leaving the country, weekly paper closed
Reporters Without Borders today deplored a two-year prison sentence imposed on a provincial newspaper journalist, as well as the closure of a weekly paper and a ban on two journalists from leaving the country. -RSF - 5/24/07

US Says Iran Will Face New Pressure for Defying UN
The United States says Iran will face additional international pressure following release of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that Tehran has expanded its uranium-enrichment activities. Consultations about further U.N. sanctions against Iran are expected to begin soon. -VOA - 5/24/07

IAEA Chief Pushes For More Talks With Iran
The head of the UN's nuclear guardian has estimated that Iran could build a nuclear weapon within "three to eight years" -- if it chose that path -- and urged both sides in the international standoff with Iran to pursue negotiations. -RFE - 5/24/07

Meeting an Academic Icon: Hamid Dabashi
Last night I had the opportunity to sit at a talk by the Columbia University professor Hamid Dabashi. The talk was organized by an Iranian community organization in Virginia. Dabashi was in DC to launch his most recent book, “Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema,” and had also accepted an invitation by the Iranian-American community to come and give a talk in Persian. -Babak Khanade - 5/24/07

Satrapi blasts Iran's 'Persepolis' protest
Satrapi, who co-helmed pic along with Vincent Paronnaud, faced down some heated questioning at the Wednesday press confab over the affair from irate Iranian journalists, one of whom quizzed her openly about why she was refusing to speak to the Iranian press. "That is not the problem. I simply didn't want to nourish this dispute," responded Satrapi. -Variety - 5/24/07

Open Society Institute Statement on the Detention of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh
Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, 45, is a distinguished scholar and an American citizen. He is a consultant for the Open Society Institute and has also worked for other international organizations including The World Bank and a European urban planning organization, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities. - 5/24/07

RIEIS second annual conference: Iran; It's Role, Security & Economic Partnership
Developments in the Persian Gulf – Middle East region continue to top the world's political agenda. We are facing high tensions and serious concern about the prospects for peace and stability in the region, on which economic and social progress as well as business and investment activities largely depend. -May 26-27 in Tehran, Iran - 5/24/07

U.S. Working To Sabotage Iran Nuke Program
CBS News has learned that Iran is continuing to make progress on its expanded efforts to enrich uranium — in spite of covert efforts by U.S. and other allied intelligence agencies to actively sabotage the country's nuclear program. - 5/24/07

US Lawmakers Advance Legislation to Pressure Iran
Legislation that would step up pressure on Iran's government has been advanced by two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from Capitol Hill. - 5/24/07

Daughter fights for mother's release from Iran
The family has established a Web site,, where visitors can sign an online petition calling for Esfandiari's release. Her supporters are also asking people to write or call the Iranian mission to the U.N. asking for her to be allowed to return home. -MSNBC - 5/24/07

Violent Standoff Risks Splintering Fragile Lebanon
The violent showdown raging between the Lebanese military and Sunni Muslim extremists has escalated into a major test of the government's ability to control the country and avert a wider conflict that could further destabilize the Middle East. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 5/24/07

Nailing the Script: Hollywood Screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh's new challenges
American-Iranian Screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh is of interest. Known for his interest in political thrillers as well as action packed movies, Nowrasteh, highlighted some of the controversy surrounding the World Trade Center tragedy in his film The Path to 9/11 starring Harvey Keitel which raised eyebrows from former President Bill Clinton and Former CIA operatives of his administration. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/23/07

Iran stands second at world taekwondo meet
Iran finished runner-up to South Korea in the 18th world taekwondo competitions in the Chinese capital Beijing Tuesday. -MNA - 5/23/07

Radio Farda Journalist Posts Bond In Iran
Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima, who has been unable to leave Iran since February, has posted a $440,000 bond and is being held under house arrest pending the filing of charges. -RFE - 5/23/07

Did Congress give the White House a Green Light for War with Iran?
Last week, the House of Representatives debated amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 late into the evening as two amendments requiring the President to seek authorization from Congress before engaging in military action against Iran were defeated. -NIAC - 5/23/07

Cingari Restaurant in Tehran
Cingari is Tehran's new Indian restaurant which is the corner of Mofateh (formerly Roosevelt Avenue) and Zohreh Street, in central Tehran, close to 7th Tir square. A few friends had recommended it and we had been meaning to go there for some time but finally got a chance a few weeks ago to go for a goodbye dinner for one of our friends and also because we had a vegetarian guest from England. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran - 5/23/07

Scholars Examine Status of Women in Middle East
The status of women in the Middle East was the focus of a conference held at the Baker Institute at Rice University in Houston Tuesday. Several panels including a total of 20 scholarly experts discussed such issues as education, politics, marriage, sexuality and reproductive health at the day-long event. -VOA - 5/23/07

Zarif unlikely to represent Iran in talks with U.S.
Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, regarding the possibility of he being Iran's negotiator in the Iran – U.S. talks in Iraq stated that up to this point no official order had been forwarded to him on this issue. -IRNA - 5/23/07

US Calls Iranian Charges Against Washington Academic 'Absurd'
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday charges from Tehran that an Iranian-American academic has sought to topple Iran's Islamic government are "absolutely absurd." Officials say scholar Haleh Esfandiari had no link with any U.S. government programs on Iran and should be released as soon as possible. -VOA - 5/23/07

Iran: UN Report Expected To Say Tehran Pressing Ahead Fast With Uranium Enrichment
The UN Security Council's 60-day deadline expires on May 24 for Iran to suspend all uranium-enrichment work, but defiant Iranian officials have already spurned the UN demand, saying the controversial program is going ahead. -RFE - 5/23/07

Oil expected to fluctuate around dlrs 70 for next 12 months
Oil prices are expected to fluctuate around 70 dollars per barrel for the next 12 months, according to the latest monthly report by the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES). - 5/23/07

Amnesty International Report 2007: Politics of fear creating a dangerously divided world
Powerful governments and armed groups are deliberately fomenting fear to erode human rights and to create an increasingly polarized and dangerous world, said Amnesty International today as it launched Amnesty International Report 2007, its annual assessment of human rights worldwide. - 5/23/07

Iran's Kiarostami in Scorsese's advisory board
On the 7th day at the Cannes film festival, Hollywood director Martin Scorsese announced that he would head a foundation to find and restore neglected world films. -ISNA - 5/23/07

Harry Potter's book to go on sale in Tehran midnight July
The seventh and final book in the "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will go on sale in Tehran on July 24 simultaneously with the world sale. -MNA - 5/23/07

Inspector General Finds Progress, Problems in Iraq Rebuilding
Much has been accomplished in the effort to rebuild Iraq, but projects face tremendous challenges, according to Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen -USINFO - 5/23/07

Osnabruck Orchestra to perform in Tehran and Isfahan
Osnabruck Orient Festival director Michael Dreyer has announced that the Osnabruck Orchestra will be performing in Tehran and Isfahan. -MNA - 5/23/07

Qom to host World of Islam Film Festival
The World of Islam Film Festival is scheduled to be held in Qom during this Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2007-2008). -MNA - 5/23/07

Community in the Making: Iranian Alliance's Across Borders' 3rd International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora
Iranian Alliances Across Borders recently brought to a close its Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, held at New York University’s Kimmel Center on April 28-29, 2007. This conference, and the featured Abjeez concert, was the satisfying culmination of many months of hard work and anticipation by IAAB’s entirely volunteer staff, consisting of young professionals and students. - 5/22/07

Iran Says Detained Academic Sought To Topple Regime
Iran has accused an Iranian-American academic detained in Tehran for the past two weeks of seeking to topple the government. - 5/22/07

Rostami hands Iran world taekwondo silver
Morteza Rostami from Iran finished runner-up in the 8th weight category of the world taekwondo tournament in Beijing, the capital of China, Monday. -MNA - 5/22/07

Zarif to represent Iran in Tehran-Washington talks on Iraq: report
According to a report by the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat published on Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry intends to announce that its ambassador to the UN, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, will be Iran's representative in the planned dialogue with the U.S. on Iraq. -MNA - 5/22/07

BIX Restaurant in Tehran
Tehran is not normally considered a city of great restaurants, but here and there one comes across examples of something like a good restaurant which is not some sort of traditional kebab house. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran - 5/22/07

Iranian Sufi Leader's Arrest Roils Supporters
Prominent Iranian Sufi leader Nurali Tabandeh (aka Majzub Ali Shah) was detained today by security forces on the outskirts of the northeastern city of Gonabad. -RFE - 5/22/07

Iranian short film wins Busan festival grand award
The Iranian short film "Fruit of the Olive Tree" by Meisa Molavi received the grand prize at the Busan Asian Short Film Festival (May 16-19). -MNA - 5/22/07

Belarus, Iran Sign Deal to Develop Iranian Oil Field
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says he has signed a deal with Iran to jointly develop an oil field in the Islamic Republic. -VOA - 5/22/07

Aliens forbidden from residing in eastern border cities of Iran
Deputy Head of IRI Disciplinary Force said in Zahedan on Monday residence of foreign nationals at entire cities on eastern border of country is forbidden. -IRNA - 5/22/07

September 11th – Goals, Effects, and Complicity
In the sticky world of foreign interventionism and covert operations, it is always important to remember that most of what occurs within the cloud of the unknown often, if not always, has repercussions, even if such repercussions do not materialize for decades. Case in point, the engineered removal of the democratically elected Prime Minister Of Iran in 1953, Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq - 5/22/07

Tehran charges Iranian-American academic with conspiracy
Iran on Monday charged Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American academic, with seeking to topple the ruling Islamic establishment, state-run television reported. -AP - 5/22/07

Iran: Plans to form women's political coalition
Fatemeh Rakeii of the Islamic Iran Participation Party said in Tehran on Monday that she plans to form a coalition of women political activists to help women gain all their rights in the political and management arenas. - 5/22/07

Iraqi Shi'ite Leader In Iran For Cancer Treatment
Al-Hakim is head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). The party, founded as an opposition movement in exile in Iran in 1982, is one of the most powerful blocs in the Iraqi government. - 5/22/07

Who Were the Democrats Who Voted Against Preventing War with Iran?
On Wednesday, the House voted on two amendments to the defense authorization bill that would have restricted the ability of the Bush Administration to launch an attack on Iran. -Common Dreams - 5/22/07

Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say. -Guardian - 5/22/07

Americans Concerned About US Dependence on Oil Imports
A consumer advocacy group says Americans are alarmed about the U.S. dependence on oil imports and are worried that oil revenue can be used to fund terrorism. The report comes as Americans express their anger over increasingly high gas prices in the United States. -VOA - 5/22/07

Contemporary Iranian Art Mixes Persian Symbols, Modern Approach
Young Iranian artists incorporate traditional Persian symbols in many of the abstract, minimalist or even digital and video works of art currently on exhibit at the Meridian International Center in Washington. -USINFO - 5/21/07

Iran defeats Japan at Asian futsal final
Powerhouse Iran celebrated the Asian futsal title for the eighth time with a 4-1 win over Japan in Osaka Saturday. - 5/21/07

Iran Economy Overview
One of the main characteristics of the Iranian economy in 1385 has been the surge in liquidity levels which have seen a 42% rise during the past year to reach 1,200 trillion Rials ($130 billion). The main engine behind the rise in liquidity is the significant rise in Iran’s oil income which reached historic levels of over $50 billion. -Iran Investment Monthly - 5/21/07

Haleh Esfandiari: Iran's cultural prison
The detention of Haleh Esfandiari, a senior Iranian scholar based in the United States who had returned to Iran to visit her elderly mother and to touch the roots of her beloved country, has refocused the attention of political analysts on the Islamic Republic of Iran's motives. -Rasool Nafisi - 5/21/07

Iran's Saba Battery wins FIBA Asia Champions Cup
Saba Battery of Iran was crowned at the 18th FIBA Asia Champions Cup with an 83-75 win over the Syrian basketball side Al Jala'a here Sunday. - 5/21/07

Iran-U.S. talks must craft plan to combat terrorism in Iraq: strategist
Iran and the United States should make efforts to devise a common strategy to combat the violence and terrorism plaguing Iraq in their upcoming talks on the situation in that country, former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps general and strategist Hossein Alaii said here on Sunday. - 5/21/07

Museum of Eternal Figures opens at Sadabad Complex in Tehran
The Museum of Eternal Figures opened on May 19 at the Sadabad Cultural Historical Complex in Tehran. -MNA - 5/21/07

French literary figures at Hafiz symposium in Iran
A symposium on the works and ideas of renowned Persian classic sonneteer, Hafiz was held in Shahrekord city with the presence of French authors and translators, central west of Iran. -ISNA - 5/21/07

Panel at UCLA: Iranian Women's Movements and One Million Signatures Campaign for Equal Rights
The committee in support of the One Million Signatures Campaign invites you to a panel on "Iranian Women's Movements and One Million Signatures Campaign for Equal Rights": Tuesday May 22, 2007 - 5/21/07

Milani's short film to be screened at Cannes
A short film by the celebrated Iranian filmmaker Tahmineh Milani will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22. This is one of a group of films made by 12 different directors on the theme of 'world peace'. -MNA - 5/21/07

Iran imported gasoline from 16 states in 2006
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, the Netherlands, France, Singapore, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Belarus, Turkey, Kuwait, Taiwan, Spain, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Bulgaria were the 16 exporting states. -MNA - 5/21/07

Iran and Belarus presidents meet in Minsk
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad conferred on Monday in Minsk with Belarussian Counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on expansion of cooperation between the two countries. -IRNA - 5/21/07

Talk or Trap
For years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has sought to open a dialogue with the current occupants of the White House. The talks set between the U.S. and Iran on May 28th seem promising. Yet given that the Bush administration’s stance towards Iran is far from reconciliatory, one must question the underlying motives for these talks. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/21/07

Iran FM meets King Abdullah of Jordan
Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki met and discussed regional and bilateral issues of interest with the King of Jordan. In the meeting Mottaki asserted on Iran's call for enhancement of bilateral ties. -ISNA - 5/21/07

Cultural Detente: Iranian Music Made In The US
Monika Jalili and NoorSaaz burst upon the world music scene in 2005 with their eponymous CD mingling Persian folk standards with love songs from the thriving pop scene of pre-revolutionary Iran in the 1960s and 1970s. -Modern Mask - 5/21/07

Tehran: The great mayoral prelude
The mayoral elections in Tehran are an important prelude to presidential elections and all eyes are now on newly re-elected Mayor Ghalibaf, whose victory is seen as a setback for pro-government forces. -ISN - 5/21/07

UAE PM Announces $10 Billion Fund For Education, Human Development
The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates has announced a $10 billion fund to promote education and human development in the Middle East. -VOA - 5/21/07

FM says Iran trying to receive compensation from US for attack on Consulate in Irbil
In a meeting with the families of Iranian kidnapped diplomats in Erbil, Iraq, in presence of foreign and domestic reporters, Mottaki said all spiritual and material damage caused by the attack of the US forces to Iran's general consulate in Erbil are being considered. - 5/19/07

Obama Lines Up Behind Neo-Conservative Campaign Against Iran
Neo-conservatives, some of whom have claimed to see hopeful glimmers in Sen. Barack Obama’s foreign-policy positions of the kind of interventionism that gets them excited , should be further heartened by the presidential hopeful’s sponsorship of a new bill that, if passed, is certain to increase tensions not only with Iran, but with Washington’s European allies as well. -IPS - 5/19/07

Samira Makhmalbaf at Cannes: I won't stop shooting!
Iranian woman director, Samira Makhmalbaf stated that she would go on shooting her latest film "The Two Legged Horse" despite the March 27 bombing that brought her film to a halt. -ISNA - 5/19/07

Iran Tells U.S. Not To Meddle In Scholar's Case
Iran today told the United States not to meddle in the case of a U.S.-Iranian scholar jailed in Tehran on allegations of acting against Iran's national security. - 5/19/07

New round of peace pipeline talks in Tehran
The new round of talks between Iran, India and Pakistan on the peace pipeline is to be held next week in Tehran. In these talks the Pakistani oil minister deputy, the Indian petroleum minister deputy and Iran's oil minister's special representative in the tripartite pipeline project will participate. -ISNA - 5/19/07

Kiarostami's three minute film in Cannes film festival
A 3 minute film by the celebrated and internationally acclaimed Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami will be represented tomorrow at the international Cannes film festival. With 24 Iranian cinema actresses in the three minute work, the film concentrates on the theme of the innocence of the audience before the cinema screen. -ISNA - 5/19/07

Iran's Gholamzadeh wins world taekwondo silver
Omid Gholamzadeh from Iran finished runner-up in the 67kg category of world taekwondo tournament in the Chinese capital Beijing Friday. -MNA - 5/19/07

Ramin Mohseni's "From Afar" wins Mexican Silver Leopard
The Iranian film "From Afar" won the Silver Leopard Award at the 3rd Acapulco International Film Festival, which is awarded to the world's newcomer. -MNA - 5/19/07

Proficient diplomat to be named for Iran-U.S. talks: FM
"The U.S. has appointed Ryan Crocker as its envoy and within the coming two days Iran will also name one of its proficient diplomats who had formerly served as ambassador," Mottaki said on the sidelines of a meeting with the families of Iranian diplomats held in Iraq by the U.S. forces. Ryan Crocker is the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. -MNA - 5/19/07

Iran's daily petrol use reaches 78m liters
A National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) official here on Saturday said that the daily consumption of gasoline soared to 78 million liters. -MNA - 5/19/07

USS Nimitz Provides Military, Diplomatic Support
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz recently arrived in the Arabian Sea to support coalition forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. -VOA - 5/19/07

Bakhtiari to display calligraphy-painting works in Los Angeles
Iranian artist Javad Bakhtiari is to display a collection of his calligraphy-painting works in Los Angeles, California, opening on June 9. -MNA - 5/19/07

Study Finds Many Countries Blocking Websites
A study released today found that government censorship of websites is increasing worldwide. It identified China, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, Tunisia, and Vietnam as particularly restrictive in censoring political websites. -RFE - 5/19/07

Happy Khayyam Day
Iranians celebrate the birth anniversary of Omar Khayyam Neyshaburi (1048-1131) on May 18, which is the national day of the Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet. -MNA - 5/18/07

Nobel Laureate Condemns Arrest Of Iranian-American Scholar
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has condemned the arrest of Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari as a violation of Iranian laws. Ebadi has announced that her Tehran-based legal group intends to defend Esfandiari, but says that Iranian judiciary officials have not yet cleared the way for her team to represent the prisoner, nor to meet with her. -RFE - 5/18/07

French Orientalist De Fouchecour honored in Shiraz
French Orientalist and expert on Hafez, Charles-Henri de Fouchecour is convinced that Iranian literature is one of the most sophisticated in the world. -MNA - 5/18/07

A Mexican Standoff between Iran and US over the Nuclear Issue
For those who have been following this complex issue there should be no doubt that although Iran talks to the European Union representative, Xavier Solana, the real deal maker, or breaker in most cases is US. -Nader Bagherzadeh, UC, Irvine - 5/18/07

US can count on Iranian help in Iraq if it changes methodology
The US can count on Iranian help to get out of the current stalemate in Iraq if it changes its methodology in dealing with the crisis in the country, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said on Thursday. -IRNA - 5/18/07

The New College of California Plans Study Tour to Iran in August 2007
In the summer of 2007, Jerry Dekker, instructor of Humanities at New College of California, is leading another trip to Iran for students, faculty, staff and friends of New College of California. Jerry, fluent in the Persian language, has lived for several years in Iran and regularly travels to the Islamic Republic. - 5/18/07

Iraq: fragmentation and civil wars
There is not 'one' civil war, nor 'one' insurgency, but several civil wars and insurgencies between different communities in today's Iraq. Within this warring society, the Iraqi government is only one among many 'state-like' actors, and is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic, and political life. -Chatham House, UK - 5/18/07

Iran stands third at Asian judo meet
Iran ranked third at the Asian judo competitions in Kuwait Thursday. The title came with one gold, two silver, and one bronze medals. -MNA - 5/18/07

Tehran Cracks Down on Feminist Movement
The burgeoning feminist movement in Iran is coming under increased pressure from Ahmadinejad's hardline regime. Activists who are campaigning to improve women's rights are being harassed, arrested and imprisoned for violating "national security." -Spiegel - 5/18/07

Author Dale Brown Unveils New Techno-Thriller
The author Dale Brown explores a fictional coup in Iran, and the U.S. reaction to it, in his latest book called Strike Force. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, the writer of techno-thrillers combines high-tech gadgetry with international intrigue. - 5/18/07

Iran, China reach agreement on North Pars gas field development
Iran and China finalized the negotiation and came up with an agreement on the development of the North Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, said the Pars Oil and Gas Company's (POGC) managing director on Friday. -MNA - 5/18/07

As Iran Expands Nuclear Work, Bush Vows To Seek New Sanctions
A senior Iranian official says Tehran has expanded work on its nuclear facility at Natanz in central Iran. - 5/18/07

Entire Iranian villages to have telecom services by year end
ICT Ministry's Legal Affairs Deputy pointing out that there are 68,000 villages in Iran, said on Tuesday currently some 53,000 of them have phone lines. -Taliya News - 5/18/07

Armenia: Key Players Seek To Maximize Election Gains
The May 12 Armenian parliamentary elections resulted in a victory for Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and the eclipse of two opposition parties represented in the outgoing parliament. -RFE - 5/18/07

Lantos and Frank introduce Divestment Measure in Congress
U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legalize state and local divestiture in Iran. The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007 would authorize state and local government to direct divestiture from companies with investments of $20 million or more in Iran’s energy sector. -NIAC - 5/18/07

Iran: The Morality Police Press Their Offensive
An official campaign to enforce stricter moral standards in Iran, now entering its fourth week, is opening new rifts among the country’s governing elites. -Eurasianet - 5/18/07

Father of Christian Zionism Leaves the Building
The right-wing U.S. Christian evangelist Jerry Falwell, who died Tuesday at the age of 73, is perhaps best known for his fundamentalist social positions and tirades against lesbians, gays and feminists, not to mention “pagans”, “abortionists” and assorted other miscreants.But Falwell also had a significant impact on U.S. foreign policy over the last 30 years, and was one of the founding fathers here of so-called Christian Zionism -IPS - 5/18/07

Great works of wonderful lady photographers
am sure everyone who reads payvand knows about the hassles and hardships that many women activists in Iran have suffered, especially in the past few months. However, I would like to share with you the works of several women photographers, young, daring, motivated, modern, independent and courageous and also very successful, commercially and artistically, in what they do. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/17/07

Contemporary Iranian Art Mixes Persian Symbols, Modern Approach
Young Iranian artists incorporate traditional Persian symbols in many of the abstract, minimalist or even digital and video works of art currently on exhibit at the Meridian International Center in Washington. -USINFO - 5/17/07

US, Iranian Officials to Discuss Iraq on May 28
Iran's foreign minister says Tehran will begin direct talks with the United States about Iraqi security later this month. From Islamabad, VOA correspondent Benjamin Sand reports the high-level meeting is not expected to touch on the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear program. - 5/17/07

Aussies upset Iran at Olympics qualifier
Australia's Under-23 football squad beat Iran 3-1 at the 2008 Olympics qualifier in Adelaide Wednesday. -MNA - 5/17/07

Re-Imagining Iran Symposium at University of California, Irvine
Re-Imagining Iran Symposium Sponsored by Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture University of California, Irvine - 5/19/2007 9:AM - 5PM - 5/17/07

Iran: Student journalists detained in Tehran
At least six students, four of whom are connected with student publications, from Amir Kabir Polytechnic in the capital, Tehran, have been arrested and are believed to be held in the city's Evin Prison. Amnesty International fears that they may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment. - 5/17/07

Happy Birthday Alan Johnston
Today is Alan Johnstons' birthday. He is the BBC correspondent in Gaza which was abducted 66 days ago by an unknown group. Today at the UN office in Tehran there was a ceremony on the occasion of his 45th birthday organized by the BBC and UN offices in Tehran. The Tehran national and international press corps was present to wish their colleague a happy birthday and also to demand his immediate release. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/17/07

Iran: End Arrests on Immorality Charges
Iran’s arbitrary arrests of thousands of men and women in recent weeks under the banner of “countering immoral behavior” threaten basic rights to privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. - 5/17/07

Shahnameh Ferdowsi, World of Heroics
With creating the epic masterpiece of Shahnameh in 30 years, Ferdowsi made his name eternal until the end of the world in literature of Iran and the whole world. Every year the commemoration day of this great Persian poet is celebrated widely by Iranians on May 15. -CHN - 5/17/07

Persian Gay And Lesbian Activist Urges Tolerance
Gay and lesbian groups are marking International Day against Homophobia today, celebrating the day 17 years ago that the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Since then, the situation for homosexuals has improved in many parts of the world. -RFE - 5/17/07

MP: No Iran-US parliamentary friendship group to be formed
Iranian MP Kazem Jalali said on Wednesday that no Iran-US parliamentary friendship group would be formed. Jalali also said in an exclusive interview with IRNA that it is only a rumor, raised by certain individuals with special intentions. -IRNA - 5/17/07

Iranian MPs have mixed views on talks with U.S.
Iran has officially agreed to a request by Washington to hold direct talks with the U.S. on Iraq. In interviews with the Mehr News Agency, some lawmakers have welcomed the decision, some have criticized it, and others have said the talks should have tangible results for Iran, otherwise they would only benefit the U.S. -MNA - 5/17/07

Update: NIAC discusses depiction of Iranian Americans with director of Crossing Over
In a telephone conversation with writer/producer Wayne Kramer on Wednesday, NIAC voiced its concerns about the portrayal of Iranian-Americans in the movie Crossing Over. - 5/17/07

US Lawmakers Seek to Intensify Economic Pressure on Iran, Syria
U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to step up financial pressures on Iran. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from Capitol Hill, measures introduced in the House and Senate would target companies investing in Iran's energy sector, while other legislation is targeting Syria. - 5/17/07

Illicit fashion shows thrive in Islamic Iran
Stealth, careful planning, imported models and fabulous designs go into one Tehran woman's exhibit. -Borzou Daragahi, Times - 5/17/07

Producer denies making documentary in response to '300'
Film producer Mohammad Pirhadi has denied rumors that director Ebrahim Hatamikia is making a documentary in response to the Hollywood production '300'. -MNA - 5/17/07

Iran Calls Bush’s Bluff
Talk about desperation. To bring peace to Iraq, Bush now turns to the very “rogue regime” he accuses of threatening the survival of the planet with its nuclear weapons program, not to mention support of worldwide terrorism. But what choice does he have? -Truthdig - 5/17/07

Lawmakers Demand Close Oversight of US Arabic TV Channel
Al-hurra television is a key element, along with radio broadcasts of Radio Sawa, heard throughout the Middle East, including Iraq. Other programming by the Voice of America, and Radio Farda targets Iran, and there are also separate efforts for Afghanistan and Pakistan. -VOA - 5/17/07

US forces in Iraq prevent consular contact with kidnapped Iranian diplomats
The Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by US forces in Iraq three months ago, an official said adding that unfortunately despite Iran's formal request for their release, the diplomats are deprived of any consular contacts which is against diplomatic and consular norms. -IRNA - 5/17/07

Iran: Wariness Can't Disguise Interest In U.S. Talks
Politicians and legislators in Iran reacted promptly to recent reports that Iranian and U.S. representatives will soon meet in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq. The tone of those responses highlights the allure of a prospective meeting with a near-constant protagonist in Iran's foreign policy discourse. -RFE - 5/16/07

Iran: Student editors jailed for allegedly publishing offensive articles
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the recent arrests of four Iranian student editors of Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran following the publication of newsletters carrying articles deemed insulting to Islam. - 5/16/07

Book Launch: Masters & Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema – by Hamid Dabashi
To celebrate the Publication of Masters & Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, The Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. present the screenings of two masterpieces of Iranian Cinema: Jafar Panahi’s Crimson Gold and Amir Naderi’s The Runner. Hamid Dabashi will introduce the films and sign his book. - 5/16/07

Iranian Court Releases Journalist On Bail
Radio Farda broadcaster Nazi Azima appeared in Tehran's Revolutionary Court today and was freed on bail, Radio Farda reported. The court's review of the case is scheduled to continue on May 20. - 5/16/07

Americans' romantic fictions about the Middle East and Middle Easterners in the USA
I am not sure which is worse, turning human misery into chic pseudo-intellectual fiction for profit or an imperialistic government that thinks that terrorism is a disease, which can be wiped out. What is really the root cause of terrorism is the completely inequitable distribution of wealth in the world and the Middle East in particular. -Brian H. Appleton - 5/16/07

Senators Smith & Clinton Introduce Resolution Calling for Immediate Release of Iranian American Scholar
Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) and Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY) today introduced a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of renowned scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari by the Iranian government. - 5/16/07

Iranian news agency joins WFP in fight against hunger
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced a new partnership with Iran's Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN) which will work to generate greater awareness of hunger throughout the world and to increase contributions from the public to WFP's operation and activities -IRNA - 5/16/07

Another Step Toward Realism
Realists in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush appear to have won another victory over the dwindling ranks of neo-conservatives and others hawks with this weekend's announcement that Washington will soon engage in bilateral talks with Iran. -IPS - 5/16/07

Chemical weapons watchdog says Iran complying with CWC
Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Rogelio Pfirter, highlighted Tuesday the positive role of Iran in complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). -IRNA - 5/16/07

Iran Reiterates Readiness to Resume Ties with Egypt
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here on Tuesday stressed affinity between the two Iranian and Egyptian nations, saying that Tehran's preparedness to open embassy in Cairo displays the good intention of the Iranian nation. -Fars - 5/16/07

Iranians return to Croisette
Iranian film execs aren't letting their complete blank in the official selection stop them from descending on the Croisette in force. Some 25 new Iranian features will be screened in the market, with dozens more, including docus and shorts, available for buyers. -Variety - 5/16/07

Russia, U.S. Agree On New Rhetoric, But Little Else
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed today that Washington and Moscow need to moderate their public comments, but found little common ground on divisive issues. -RFE - 5/16/07

Iran-UAE negotiations over three islands utter fabrication: ambassador
On Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hamid-Reza Asefi vehemently dismissed speculations by certain foreign media outlets that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has had talks with his UAE counterpart about the three Iranian islands over which the UAE has made a claim of ownership. -MNA - 5/16/07

CalPERS rejects push to exit Iran
With millions of dollars in potential profits at stake, leaders of the California Public Employees' Retirement System rejected calls to unload investments in foreign companies doing business in Iran. -Sacramento Bee - 5/16/07

Iran's Mission Accomplished
With its usual tin ear for public relations, the Bush administration provided another “Kodak moment” of incompetent belligerence by yet again sending a high-level administration official to use an aircraft carrier as a prop for a hawkish rant. -Consortium News - 5/16/07

Art For Peace and Iran-West Amity: "Isfahan Matisse" Painting
IRAN is a remarkable country in that, part from inevitable border conflicts, it has not seriously invaded any other country for the best part of 2 millennia. Conversely, over the last 14 centuries it has been invaded by Arabs (641 AD), Mongols (1258), Portuguese in coastal areas (16th – 17th centuries), Russians (from 1722 onwards), Afghans (18th century), Russia (19th century), and Russia and Britain (20th centuries). -Gideon Polya, Australia - 5/15/07

American Chemical Society Reverses Decision, Reinstates Iranian Members
After months of collective substantive input on the part of the Iranian-American, and the broader American scientific communities, The American Chemistry Society has now revered its January's unilateral decision and in effect has reinstated the membership to chemist members in Iran. - 5/15/07

Iran Confirms Detention Of American-Iranian Academic
Iran's Foreign Ministry broke with five days of silence over the fate of a prominent American-Iranian academic on May 13, confirming that authorities have detained Haleh Esfandiari but avoiding any mention of the charges. Esfandiari, who is an Iranian-born U.S. citizen, had traveled to Iran in December to visit her 93-year-old grandmother. -RFE - 5/15/07

NIAC protests upcoming film depicting Iranian-American ‘honor killing’
A new major motion picture slated for release this fall will feature an Iranian-American family involved in an ‘honor killing’ in Los Angeles, NIAC has learned. The film, entitled Crossing Over, is written and directed by Wayne Kramer and chronicles the struggles of immigrants in America. - 5/15/07

Amnesty International Urgent Action on Dr Haleh Esfandiari (f), aged 67, academic, joint US-Iranian national
US-based academic Haleh Esfandiari was detained on 8 May after being summoned for questioning by Ministry of Intelligence officials. She is believed to be held without charge in Evin Prison's Section 209, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. - 5/15/07

UN, Afghan gov't call for humane deportations from Iran
The United Nations (UN) and the government of Afghanistan have called on Tehran to ensure that the thousands of Afghans who live and work illegally in Iran are deported in an orderly and humane manner. -IRIN - 5/15/07

Science and Arts Foundation Newsletter: Bam IT Center complete and fully functional
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, BAM Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, is now complete and fully functional. The Center was built under the leadership of the Science and Arts Foundation with support from Bam's Department of Education, Iranian charitable individuals ,Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Coalition of Persian Charities and UNICEF. - 5/15/07

Lawmakers Urge the Return of Iranian-Americans
The recent detention of Iranian Americans by the Iranian government has raised deep concern in the Iranian American community. Those detained include Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Ms. Parnaz Azima, a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. - 5/15/07

Iran: One out of 32 students has a computer
Education Ministry's IT Projects Harmonizer said in Tehran Saturday there is one computer at disposal of each 32 Iranian high school students. -Taliya News - 5/15/07

US Expects Talks With Iran 'in Next Couple of Weeks'
The State Department said Monday it expects U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker to meet with Iranian diplomats within the next couple of weeks to discuss efforts to stabilize Iraq. An informal agreement to have the contacts was reached earlier this month at the conference in Egypt of Iraq's neighbors and major world powers. -VOA - 5/15/07

The Pro-Israel Lobby and US Middle East Policy
Never in recent history has US Middle East policy been subject to such a barrage of conflicting pressures from erstwhile allies, clients as well as adversaries. The points of contention involve fundamental issues of war and peace, foremost of which are divergent responses to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the US-Iranian confrontation, the US occupation of Iraq as well as the US-Ethiopian proxy invasion and occupation of Somalia. -James Petras, Dissident Voice - 5/15/07

Iran's Most Ancient Banner Go on Display in National Museum
Shahdah banner which dates back to the Iron Age, is the most ancient flag which has ever been discovered in Iran. This flag along with more than 150 prehistoric and historic relics will go on display for the first time for public visit in Unseen Exhibition in second floor of Iran's National Museum from 28th of May. -CHN - 5/15/07

Iran President winds up Oman visit
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wound up his official two-day visit to Oman and left Muscat for Tehran Tuesday. President Ahmadinejad was officially seen off by Omani Sultan Qaboos. -IRNA - 5/15/07

Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and China
US sponsored military partnership in the Far East and the Pacific Rim -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya - 5/15/07

US, Pakistan Troops Killed in Meeting on Afghan Border
A firefight along the Pakistan Afghan border has left at least one U.S. and one Pakistani soldier dead and several others wounded. Pakistani officials are blaming the incident on unknown militants. From Islamabad, VOA Correspondent Benjamin Sand reports. - 5/15/07

Iran is a hot destination for Iraqis seeking calm
About 750,000 Iraqis have come to Iran since Hussein's fall in 2003, said Iraq's ambassador in Tehran, Mohammed Majid al-Sheikh. Most come on three-month pilgrim visas that many stretch to the limit to enjoy a break from Iraq. -Boston Globe - 5/15/07

Iran allows two reformist newspapers to resume publishing
Two pro-reform newspapers that had been banned — one of them for the past seven years — resumed publishing this week in a sign of the decreasing popularity of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -AP - 5/15/07

Iran, US to hold talks on Iraq: Ahmadinejad
"The US has called for holding talks with Iran to settle security problems in Iraq. We have announced our readiness for talks to help the Iraqi government and nation," he said. -IRNA - 5/14/07

Iran adds Asian Greco-Roman crown to freestyle trophy
Iran won the Asian Greco-Roman wrestling crown in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek Sunday as it did in the freestyle bouts last Wednesday. -MNA - 5/14/07

Dare at Mah Gallery
Recently at the Mah Gallery we saw the work of two young artists from Isfahan whose work was very interesting. They were Maryam Amini and Shanita Zakerameli. The works were so diverse and as different as one could imagine. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/14/07

Niki Karimi writes open letter on "One Night" screening
Multi award winning Iranian actress and newly director, Niki Karimi has written an open letter to the cinematic deputy of Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance. Karimi has written the letter about the undefined situation of screening her first feature film "One Night" (2004) in Iran. -ISNA - 5/14/07

Shaun Toub Super Villian
It seems that another fellow Persian Compatriot Shaun Toub ( Crash, The Nativity Story) is paving his way to becoming the next Super Villian The Mandarin in the Upcoming Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr in the title role. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/14/07

International Attempt for Cleaning up Lichen from Persepolis
Iran in conjunction with UNESCO has called an international cooperation for cleaning up the lichen from body of Persepolis World Heritage Site. -CHN - 5/14/07

Appoint experts atop country's IT affairs – Iranian IT professor
He added, "When the Government passes laws in IT field it is more like telling a joke, such as when they passed a law on limitation of the Internet band width to 128k for the public, which is sufficient proof for our statesmen's general negative mentality regarding IT advancement in Iran." -Taliya News - 5/14/07

Iran admits detaining US academic
Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said the arrest of Haleh Esfandiari was lawful and she would be treated like other Iranian nationals. -BBC - 5/14/07

Iran, U.S. must sit at the table to resolve differences: analysts
Two Iranian political analysts believe that sitting at the negotiating table is the best way to resolve the disputes between Iran and the United States. -MNA - 5/14/07

Lawmakers Call for Release of U.S. Scholar Held in Iran
Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as three lawmakers today called for the immediate release of Haleh Esfandiari, the American scholar imprisoned in Iran Tuesday after more than four months under virtual house arrest. -Washington Post - 5/14/07

Iranian foundation to highlight Latin American literature
The Iranian Literature Foundation plans to survey Latin American literature in an international congress which will be held in Tehran and Isfahan from May 26 to June 1. -MNA - 5/14/07

Efforts for Reviving Bam Citadel's Governor Quarter to Start
Salvation Center of Bam Citadel will start its activities for removing debris and preserving the governor section of the citadel. -CHN - 5/14/07

Iran Vows 'Severe' Response If U.S. Attacks
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said today that Tehran's response to any possible U.S. military attack would be "severe." Ahmadinejad made the comment at a news conference in the United Arab Emirates. - 5/14/07

Representative of U.S. interests in Iran summoned to the foreign ministry
The Swiss ambassador to Tehran and the representative of US interests in the Islamic Republic of Iran was summoned to the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs. The Iranian foreign ministry declared its disappointment about the 5 kidnapped Iranian diplomats in Iraq. -ISNA - 5/14/07

Foreign banks presence to accelerate Iran's joining WTO
The presence of foreign banks in Iran will lead to the improvement of the banks' performance, will boost their competitiveness, and will speed up the country's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), an official asserted in Tehran on Sunday. -MNA - 5/14/07

Rice in Russia for Missile Defense Talks
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice begins discussions in Moscow later Monday with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, aimed at smoothing over Russian objections and mistrust over Washington's missile defense plans in Europe. -VOA - 5/14/07

Border Clashes Reveal Rifts Between Pakistan, Afghanistan
Afghan and Pakistani troops today clashed for a second consecutive day along their border, with heavy artillery barrages reported. Afghan officials say 41 Afghans have been killed or wounded in the clashes since May 13. -RFE - 5/14/07

Iran Agrees To Talks With U.S. On Iraqi Security
Iran has agreed to hold talks with the US on Iraq, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran Sunday. Hosseini said, "Date of the meeting and level of the negotiating team will be determined by end of the current week." - 5/13/07

Iran President Arrives in UAE
Ahmadinejad said in his official talks with the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed al-Nahyan that Iran and the UAE are two neighboring countries with close ties and common heritage and objectives. -IRNA - 5/13/07

Letter by The International Society For Iranian Studies on detention of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari by Iran
We are deeply troubled by the news of the arrest and detention of the internationally distinguished and respected Iranian-born academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari in Tehran on May 8. Dr. Esfandiari is currently the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.., a publicly- and privately-funded nonpartisan research institution devoted to the promotion of national and international dialogue. - 5/13/07

University of Cambridge Lecture on US - Iran Standoff
On May 3rd, The Persian Society hosted a lecture by Professor Abbas Edalat, founder of CASMII and Professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College London, titled “Mutual Respect: The Paradigm Shift Required to Resolve the US-Iran Standoff” at Trinity College, Cambridge. -Shirin Saeidi, CASMII - 5/13/07

Tehran book fair honors best publishers of the year
The best Iranian publishers of the year were awarded during the closing ceremony of the 20th Tehran International Book Fair on Saturday. -MNA - 5/13/07

Iran bags colorful medals at Asian Greco-Roman bouts
Iran snatched two gold, one silver, and one bronze medals at the Asian Greco-Roman wrestling tournament in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek Saturday. -MNA - 5/13/07

MP: Iran's Oil Minister to be replaced soon
Former deputy chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting for the Administrative and Financial Affairs Ali Kordan will soon be named as successor to Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh. -IRNA - 5/13/07

Iranian woman killed by British troops in Iraq
An Iranian woman, Masoomeh Khatam Panah, was killed when shot in the head and chest by British troops on Sunday. -IRNA - 5/13/07

Iran: Jailed Iranian-American Scholar Faces Coercion
Iran should immediately release Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari and allow her to return to the United States, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed concern that Iranian authorities have subjected Esfandiari to arbitrary detention and coercive interrogation. - 5/12/07

Art Exhibition Shows Americans "Another Side of Iran," Rice Says
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised the work of young Iranian artists for facilitating communication and understanding between American and Iranian cultures, saying it is helping to make art “a language of peoples who need to know each other and to talk to each other.” -USINFO - 5/12/07

Berlin football officials hail Iran's women soccer match as promoting cultural dialogue
Berlin football officials on Thursday said the upcoming friendly between Berlin's local amateur women's football club SV Al Dersimspor and Iran's women's national football squad was aimed at promoting cultural dialogue and understanding. -IRNA - 5/12/07

Iran: Lawyers appeal against prison terms
Lawyers representing three of the four men named above, all held in Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran, reportedly lodged appeals against their prison sentences during April, in Branch 32 of the Appeals Courts. The case of the fourth man, Keyvan Rafi’i, has reportedly been sent back for review. -Amnesty International - 5/12/07

Larijani urges West to reach understanding with Iran
Instead of using harsh rhetoric, the West should use the great opportunity to reach an understanding with Iran, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told the Central News Bureau on the sidelines of the Tehran International Book Fair on Friday. -MNA - 5/12/07

Khonya to perform at Vahdat Hall in Tehran
The Iranian traditional music group Khonya is slated to perform a concert at Tehran's Vahdat Hall with performances from May 24 to 26. The group is led by singer Pari Maleki. -MNA - 5/12/07

International Businesses Increasingly Shun Iran, U.S. Official Says
Targeted economic sanctions against Iran for pursuing nuclear and missile programs are showing results as the international community begins to grasp the risks of dealing with Iranian companies, according to a U.S. Treasury official. -USINFO - 5/12/07

Russian, Turkmen, Kazakh Leaders Agree On Caspian Pipeline
The landmark deak was agreed today during three-way talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev in the coastal Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi. -RFE - 5/12/07

NIAC deplores Tehran’s arrest of Iranian-Americans
Tehran’s arrest of several Iranian-American visitors to Iran, including most recently a prominent Iranian-American academic, is a deplorable step that has sent chills throughout the Iranian-American community. -NIAC - 5/12/07

Armenians Vote In Parliamentary Elections
Voting is under way in Armenia for today's parliamentary elections, with early reports of turnout higher than expected. The ruling Republican Party, led by Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, and other pro-government forces are tipped to win the majority of seats. -RFE - 5/12/07

Iranian team to translate Encyclopedia Britannica
A team of Iranian translators led by Abdolhossein Saeidian is preparing to translate the Encyclopedia Britannica for the first time into the Persian language. -MNA - 5/12/07

Lack of Copyright, obstacle for Iranian goods' presence at International markets
Not abiding by the International Copyright Laws leads to lack of security for Iranian firms innovations, and as a result to country's IT backwardness. -Taliya News - 5/12/07

Persepolis Runs In Cannes Palme D'or Selection 2007
Marjane Satrapi film runs for 60th Annual Cannes International Film Festival ( May 16th-27th). Marjane Satrapi's best-selling Comic Books are now brought to Screen as an animated Feature starring Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroiani for the voice overs. -DARIUS KADIVAR - 5/11/07

Bam 6.6 at Stanford, California
Bam 6.6 is the story of the human condition. The film weaves together stories of survival, loss, and healing, as we explore the humanity of the Iranian people through the prism of the devastating 2003 earthquake that struck at the heart of Bam, an ancient Iranian village. - 5/11/07

Berlin team ready to take on Iranian women footballers
Berlin's local amateur women's football club SV Al Dersimspor is ready for a friendly face-off with Iran's women's national football team, due to take place in the German capital on June 1, a top club official told IRNA on Wednesday. - 5/11/07

Can Europe End the Lose-Lose Game with Iran?
As the world powers gather in Berlin this week to discuss new punitive measures against Iran's nuclear programme, Europe is faced with a daunting task. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 5/11/07

Houshang Pirnazar passes away
Mr. Pirnazar, or Houshang Khan as we called him, was a literary man who was an accomplished translator. Among the works he rendered into Persian were the plays of Bertolt Brecht, including the Three Penny Opera. He also translated works by Maxim Gorki, Mark Twaine, Will Durant, and Machiavelli. -Fariba Amini - 5/11/07

Fans take hats off to Iranian filmmaker Sinaii
Iranian filmmaker Khosro Sinaii was honored by his fans during a ceremony held by Tehran Municipality's Art and Culture Organization and the Shahr Image Development Institute on May 9. -MNA - 5/11/07

Iranians, Mennonites set to meet
Scholars coming to Waterloo conference as part of vital peace-building program -The Record, Canada - 5/11/07

Religion historians will explore Zoroastrianism, ancient, Persian religion at May 11 conference
According to most estimates, there are fewer than 200,000 adherents of Zoroastrianism in the world today, and yet this minority religion continues to be of great interest to historians of religion. -Chicago Chronicle - 5/11/07

Iranian Group Challenges EU Terror Listing
People's Mujahadeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), recognized as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union, has gone to court to force EU to remove the organization from a terror blacklist and pay it $1.4 million in damages. - 5/11/07

AEI Study Targets Investors in Iran
The American Enterprise Institute unveiled today the results of a months long research project on global investment in Iran. -NIAC - 5/11/07

Greek guests to perform music at the Radio festival in Iran
Greek guests invited to the 8th edition of the international festival of Radio Productions beginning on May 15th will perform a piece of music, based on Iranian classic literature "Shahnameh". -ISNA - 5/11/07

Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon on the Release of Ex-CIA Operative Posada Carriles, the Cuban 5, Guantanamo and the Health of Fidel Castro
We go to Havana for an exclusive interview with the President of the Cuban National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon. The Cuban and Venezuelan governments have repeated their calls for former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles to be extradited to stand trial for his role in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. -Democracy Now - 5/11/07

Iranian FM urges new ground for cooperation with North Korea
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here Thursday night stressed the importance of removing certain obstacles and preparing new ground for cooperation with North Korea. -IRNA - 5/11/07

Iranian businessmen in Dubai chafe over U.S. restrictions
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in this wealthy Gulf boomtown on Sunday, he can expect an earful of complaints from Iranian businessmen chafing under U.S. sanctions. -AP - 5/11/07

Iran Denies Blocking UN Inspectors From Nuclear Site
Iran today denied accusations that it has blocked UN inspectors from making an unannounced visit to an underground nuclear site. - 5/11/07

Quake jolts Dasht-e Kavir in northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit the city of Dasht-e Kavir in the northeastern province of Semnan Friday morning. -IRNA - 5/11/07

Moderate's re-election a warning for Ahmadinejad
The mayor of Tehran has been re-elected in a vote seen as a victory for moderate conservatives in Iran and a sign of waning support for the country's hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Guardian - 5/11/07

US Urges Return of 2 American Women Held by Iran
The United States Wednesday called on Iran to release three American women - all of whom also hold Iranian citizenship - who have been barred from leaving that country after visits there. They include a prominent Washington-based academic, and a Radio Farda journalist. -VOA - 5/10/07

No more walls: 'I want my country back'
This is not the country I migrated to four decades ago. It is not the space of my dreams and the protector of my most cherished values. This is not the United States of America I knew. I want my country back. Consider for a moment the issue of walls. -Farzaneh Milani - 5/10/07

Iran retains Asian freestyle wrestling title
Holder Iran stole the show at the Asian freestyle wrestling meet in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek Wednesday. The formidable side was crowned with three golds, two silvers, and two bronzes, brining 64 points. -MNA - 5/10/07

Iran: Human Rights Watch Condemns Arrest of Iranian-American Scholar
Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari has been arrested in Tehran after being barred from leaving the country four months ago. -RFE - 5/10/07

Swiss-American prof urges attack on Iran
Louis-René Beres, a professor who teaches international law at Purdue University (but not in a law school there) had a very warmongery op-ed piece in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor, titled The case for strikes against Iran: Diplomacy alone won't stop Iran's nuclear ambitions. -Helena Cobban - 5/10/07

Afghanis sent home from Iran are now internally displaced
Church World Service's (CWS) Pakistan/Afghanistan office reports that Afghanis that have been deported by the Iranian government as illegal refugees are scattered across Afghanistan's three western provinces of Herat, Farah and Nimroz. - 5/10/07

Petrol prices and pseudo-populism
Iran's Oil Ministry is set to begin gasoline rationing on May 22. However, with only 12 days left until the rationing plan is to be implemented, no decision has been made on how many liters each car will be allowed to consume per day or month at the fixed price of 1000 rials per liter. -MNA - 5/10/07

Living with Iran's terror label
What's it like living in a country which has branded yours a terrorist state? Iran is at the top of the US State Department's list of states which it says sponsors of world terrorism. Fariba Sahraie from spoke to Iranians living in North America and found mistrust of Iran is as strong in Canada as the US. - 5/10/07

U.S., Iran Forge Bonds in Small Steps
Mitra Kavian, an Iranian painter with dangling earrings and a bold silver necklace, did not know what to expect when she and 13 other young Iranian artists landed in the United States on Saturday. She thought the security personnel would go through her suitcase and throw much of her stuff away, damage her artwork and then interrogate her at length. -Washington Post - 5/10/07

Putin Visits Energy-Rich Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan
Putin has not selected those two countries by chance. They are the richest in natural resources among the Central Asian republics, and they are both exposed to increasing influence from the West and China. -RFE - 5/10/07

Tehran mayor reelected
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf was reelected on Wednesday, receiving 12 votes from the 15-member Tehran City Council. -MNA - 5/10/07

Michelle Moghtader receives NIAC's 3rd Public Policy Fellowship
Congratulations to Michelle Moghtader, a senior at the University of Virginia and recipient of the 3rd annual NIAC Public Service and Journalism (NPSJ) Fellowship. -NIAC - 5/10/07

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Iran supports children's day
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Iran, Actress Mahtab Keramati will support and celebrate Iranian children's day. -ISNA - 5/10/07

Hypernova: Rockers Without Borders
In Iran, a country with a ban on high-speed Internet and laws against rock and roll, this band is fighting to make it big. -MTV - 5/10/07

Iranian FM refutes Browne's claims Tehran helps Taliban
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday rejected accusations made by British Defense Secretary Des Browne that Tehran was helping the Taliban fight coalition forces in Afghanistan. - 5/10/07

Iraqi Kurds split between Iran and US
Iraq's Kurds have found themselves in a delicate position since the US-led invasion of Iraq four years ago. They are trying to court good relations with their eastern neighbour Iran - without angering Washington. -BBC - 5/10/07

Al-Jazeera TV under severe pressure for insults against Ayatollah Sistani
In a statement issued on Wednesday the scholars society of the Qom Seminary seriously condemned the Al-Jazeera Television network's offences against the grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. -MNA - 5/10/07

Science and Art Foundation's wonderful work in Bam
The main goal of SAF is to empower Iranian youth through IT education and bring them into the realm of the 21st century. I became familiar with SAF through its founder Dr Edalat in London and my friend Mojgan and Dr Tabesh at the SAF office in Tehran. SAF has branches in many countries and has helped to truly advance computer usage and abilities in many schools all over Iran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/9/07

Tehran Jails Iranian American Scholar After Long House Arrest
Iran yesterday detained prominent American academic Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, according to center president and director Lee H. Hamilton and Esfandiari's husband. -Washington Post - 5/9/07

Big Power Envoys To Convene Again on Iran Nuclear Issue
Senior diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany convene in Berlin this week to discuss efforts to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment. European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana is due to meet again with Iran's lead negotiator, Ali Larijani, in the next several days. -VOA - 5/9/07

Iranian Intellectuals, Activists Call Afghan Expulsions Inhumane
More than 200 Iranian intellectuals and political activists have issued a statement criticizing the recent expulsion of Afghan refugees from Iran. Signatories also call on the government in Tehran to stop the move and lift social restrictions against Afghans living in Iran. -RFE - 5/9/07

International Team to Chronicle Tole Bashi
An international team of Iranian, American, and German archeologists is determined to chronicle the 4-meter hill of Tole Bashi in Fars province. -CHN - 5/9/07

Iran offers US Iraq exit Strategy
Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi has offered Tehran's cooperation to the US in developing an "exit strategy " from Iraq. Araghchi told the Financial Times that America and Iran had the "same interests" in a stable Iraq and that direct talks leading to a "face-saving withdrawal" were possible with Washington's goodwill. -IRNA - 5/9/07

Total will not leave South Pars LNG project in Iran
These days many rumors are circling around the French giant, Total and its activities in Iran. In an Interview with this company's representative in Iran, Pierre Fabiani, ISNA asked about some of these rumors and the future of this company in Iran. - 5/9/07

A presentation by Nader Takmil Homayoun in Berkeley
The program will include the screening of the documentary film Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution followed by discussion with Nader Takmil Homayoun, Director, Visiting from France. - May 13 at University of California, Berkeley - 5/9/07

Egypt Makes the Most Progress and Iraq the Least In Reducing Child Deaths, Report Finds
Egypt has made the most progress since 1990 — and Iraq the least — in saving the lives of children under 5, according to the eighth annual State of the World’s Mothers Report issued today by Save the Children, a U.S.-based global independent humanitarian organization. - 5/9/07

Saffron price multiplied sevenfold in Iran
Saffron price skyrocketed seven times to $2,165 per kilo in the first month of Iranian year (March 21 to April 20, 2007), said the Saffron Export Promotion Fund head on Wednesday. -MNA - 5/9/07

'Axis of Evil' inspires laughs
In November 2005, the comics took up the name Axis of Evil, playing off the term President Bush used in his 2002 State of the Union address to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. -CNN - 5/9/07

Honor Killings Fuel Tensions in Iraq's Kurdish North
In Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, government officials are trying to understand and stop a rise in honor killings. The Kurdish government has overturned Iraqi laws that allowed relatives to kill women who were perceived to have dishonored their families, but officials say women are still dying nearly every day. -VOA - 5/9/07

Research concert on Iranian music to be held in Canada
Iranian musician Mehdi Azarsina announced on Wednesday that a research concert on Iranian dastgahi music is scheduled to be held in late May at the School of Music at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. -MNA - 5/9/07

Iranian influence in Middle East undeniable: Norwegian FM
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in Stockholm on Tuesday that Iranian historical influence in the region including Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine is undeniable. -IRNA - 5/9/07

Iranian Military jet crashes, pilot dies
An Iranian military jet fighter crashed in the southwestern Khuzestan province on Wednesday resulting in the death of the pilot. -IRNA - 5/9/07

Potential Ahmadinejad rival chosen to be Tehran mayor
The Tehran City Council defied hard-line government pressure on Wednesday, re-electing a moderate-leaning mayor who is seen as a potential rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -AP - 5/9/07

Iran: Neocon split may boost Reformists
Fractured and vying for power among themselves, Iran's neoconservatives may open the door for other factions to claim their stake, including the Reformists, who are hustling to regroup. -ISN - 5/9/07

Afghanistan: World Bank Country Director Sees 'Staggering' Changes
The World Bank's director for Afghanistan, Alastair McKechnie, says he expects the Afghan economy to continue its rapid growth -- leading to considerable improvements in people's lives. -RFE - 5/9/07

Iran's DOE names polluting industries
Deputy of Iran's Department of the Environment (DOE) released the list of 1,081 polluting industries currently operating across the country, Fars news agency reported on Tuesday. -MNA - 5/9/07

UAE releases 12 Iranian divers
Iran's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hamid-Reza Assefi said Wednesday that the 12 Iranian divers, detained by the UAE, were released on Wednesday. -IRNA - 5/9/07

An interview with Anita Amirrezvani, author of THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS
Set against the rich and vibrant backdrop of Iran, THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is the powerful and haunting story of a young girl's journey from innocence to adulthood. Author ANITA AMIRREZVANI was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. She has visited Iran many times and has been steeped in tales of Iranian life and history from an early age. - 5/8/07

African Ladies Bazaar in Tehran
Very often one can find something interesting and even a little out of the ordinary in Tehran. On a sunny Friday last week, we were invited by the African Diplomatic Ladies Group to a charity bazaar to raise money for cancer charities in Tehran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/8/07

Fact Sheets of Iran-US Standoff: Twenty Reasons against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran
Four years since the US-UK led illegal invasion of Iraq, which has brought the ongoing catastrophe for Iraqi people, all peace loving people and antiwar organizations in the world are appalled by the current Iran-US standoff that has a shocking resemblance to the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. -CASMII - 5/8/07

Iran and Afghan immigrants: My brother's keeper
Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life... -Abbas Bakhtiar - 5/8/07

Iran: Officials Reluctant To Hike Gasoline Prices
In an effort to curb consumption and reduce enormous state spending on gasoline imports, Iran's current state budget includes a hike in the price of subsidized gasoline and new limits on the amount each driver can consume at the highly subsidized rate. -RFE - 5/8/07

Association of Iranian Journalists honors five journalists
The Association of Iranian Journalists (AIOJ) honored five outstanding Iranian journalists in Tehran on World Press freedom Day, May 3. Firouz Gouran, Ahmad Reza Dariayi, Shahla Sherkat, Abdolali Rezai and Abbas Abdi received the awards for their professional accomplishments in the field of journalism. -IJNET - 5/8/07

Tajik president arrives in Tehran
Rakhmonov arrived in Tehran Monday evening on a three-day visit at the head of a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with senior Iranian officials. -IRNA - 5/8/07

Cut the bias
Iran doesn't have a policy of imprisoning people for the content of their blogs, as some human rights campaigners would have us believe. -Hossein Derakhshan, Guardian - 5/8/07

Experts See Europe, Russia Sparring Over Fuel Supply
Specialists from the International Energy Agency and Oxford University Monday told a Washington forum that despite European Union efforts to diversify sources, Russia's Gazprom is likely to retain its dominant position in supplying gas to Western Europe. -VOA - 5/8/07

Iran's proposal to allow foreign banks welcomed
Foreign bank offices in Tehran have welcomed Iran's proposal to allow foreign banks to establish branches in the country. -Tehran Times - 5/8/07

World literati to commemorate Omar Khayyam in Neyshabur
A number of world experts on Persian literature and Iranian scholars are scheduled to commemorate Omar Khayyam in Neyshabur on May 18, which marks the national day of the great Iranian poet. -MNA - 5/8/07

India denies US pressure over Iranian pipeline
India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora has denied reports of United States pressuring India over the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. He said talks are underway with the other two countries for expediting the project. -IRNA - 5/8/07

Professors urge better relations with Iran
The United States should rethink its negotiation strategy with Iran over the country's ability to possess nuclear weapons, two professors with continuing ties to the Middle Eastern nation said Sunday. Speaking in front of the Lower Bucks chapter of the Coalition for Peace Action, Janet Kestenberg Amighi and her husband, Lawrence Davidson, explained the history of Iran, a country whose past governments were riddled with repressive shahs. -Bucks County Courier Times - 5/8/07

Israeli's accidental visit to arch-enemy Iran has happy ending
When Iranian agents boarded an airplane that made an emergency landing in Tehran, the only Israeli passenger on board feared the worst. Instead, he left with a gift of a wooden music box and an invitation to return when times are better. -AP - 5/8/07

Symposium Examines Islam in American Society
A recent symposium in Washington, D.C. examined "What does it mean to be Muslim in America?" Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding hosted the event, along with On Faith, an interactive conversation on religion sponsored by Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post newspaper. -VOA - 5/8/07

Beating by Guards Fails to Stop Voting, Iranian Students Say
Students at Amir Kabir University fended off club-wielding university security guards on Monday and went ahead with elections for a pro-democracy association. -New York Times - 5/8/07

Iran Accepts Compromise on Agenda of Nuclear Conference
Iran has accepted a compromise on the agenda of a 130-nation nuclear conference meeting in Vienna, averting the collapse of the talks. -VOA - 5/8/07

Report: Saudis, US sponsoring covert action against Iran
The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States are working with other states in the Middle East to sponsor covert action against Iran, according to a report in this month's edition of The Atlantic. The report also suggests that covert attacks may occur against Iran's oil sector. -Raw Story - 5/8/07

Four Iranian Directors Honored
Tribute was paid to four Iranian directors in the First Iranian Filmmaker's Celebration held Sunday at Tehran's Enqelab Sports Complex. Veteran filmmakers Shapur Qarib, Abbas Kiarostami, Kianush Ayyari, and Asghar Farhadi were the four directors selected to receive honors. -MNA - 5/7/07

The Seven Valleys of Love
The Bilingual Anthology of Women Poets from the Middle Ages Persia to the Present Time Iran -Translations and Editing by Sheema Kalbasi - 5/7/07

Prominent Iranian Professor Sacked For 'Insulting Veil'
Nureddin Zarrinkelk, a prominent Iranian professor of fine art has been sacked from his university for allegedly offending a fully veiled woman during class. - 5/7/07

Iranian FM talks about relations with U.S.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in an interview with Al-Arabiya television gave perspective for Iran-US talks. Asked about reasons he did not meet with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice, he said that several questions are being raised about Iran-US talks, showing significance of the case. -IRNA - 5/7/07

The Anti-Islamic "Islamic Republic of Iran"
It is difficult to be Muslim in our community in main part because they have been blamed for what the Iranian government is and has done. Because it considers itself an “Islamic” government, many Iranians in the Diaspora utilize the atrocious acts of the Iranian government to demonize Iranian Muslims or Islam generally. -Nema Milaninia - 5/7/07

Structure of Sassanid city in reservoir of Salman-e Farsi Dam identified
team of archaeologists has identified the structure of a Sassanid city in the reservoir of the Salman-e Farsi Dam in southern Iran's Fars Province, team director Alireza Jafari-Zand said on Sunday. -MNA - 5/7/07

Student editor detained in Tehran
A second editor of a student publication in Iran has been detained following days of unrest in one of Tehran's most prestigious universities. -BBC - 5/7/07

Iranian Americans Gather In Support of Congressman Mike Honda
On Friday, April 13, 2007, a group of Iranian Americans gathered at the Northern California home of IAPAC Trustee Faraj Aalaei, in support of U.S. Congressman Mike Honda's (D-15th/CA) reelection to the House of Representatives. -IAPAC - 5/7/07

Saved by the Bomb: Senator McCain has Hit Upon a Solution to All the Republican Party’s Woes: A Nuclear War with Iran
So the only solution is to bomb Iran, as Senator McCain so wisely and amusingly suggests. The real issue is whether to use regular weapons or do the job properly and go nuclear. -Guardian - 5/7/07

Tar Calligraphy Exhibition in Pasargadae Gallery
In continuing its cooperation with United Nation World Food Programme (WFP) under the slogan of "Hand in hand in Fight against Hunger", Pasargadae Gallery in Tehran is host of unique works of Einoddin Sadeghzadeh, Iranian graphic designer and calligrapher who is initiator of calligraphy with tar in Iran. -CHN - 5/7/07

With New Clout, Antiwar Groups Push Democrats
Every morning, representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups gather for a conference call with Democratic leadership staff members in the House and the Senate. Shortly after, in a cramped meeting room here, they convene for a call with organizers across the country. They hash out plans for rallies. -New York Times - 5/7/07

Iran, the favorite country of Armenians
Armenian Ambassador to Tehran Karen Nazarian said in Isfahan on Sunday that Iran is the favorite country of the Armenians. In a meeting with Isfahan Mayor Morteza Saqaian-nejad, he reiterated interest of his fellow countrymen in Iranian culture. -IRNA - 5/7/07

Barzani: "Iran's security is our security"
The level of cooperation between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan is appropriate, but still does not meet expectations, Iranian Interior Minister told reporters at a news conference with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechervan Idris Barzani. -MNA - 5/7/07

Optimism for Improved US-Syria Ties
The Syrian ambassador to the United States has called a meeting between Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "significant." The two U.S. and Syrian officials met for about 30 minutes last Thursday on the sidelines of an Iraq stabilization conference in Egypt. -VOA - 5/7/07

France: Sarkozy Win Leaves Foreign Policy Unclear
Much was made during the French election that Nicolas Sarkozy is an outspoken admirer of the United States. But most of his foreign policy intentions remain largely unknown. -RFE - 5/7/07

Iranian FM: We are Ready to Talk with US
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in an interview with Time magazine that Iran is ready for talks with the US officials. The Minister also indicated that recently revived talks on the nuclear issue with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana should continue "until we arrive at a multi-faceted formula" that recognizes Iran's nuclear rights and satisfies international concerns. - 5/6/07

In Iran, Tactics of Fashion Police Raise Concerns
Only days after Iran’s annual crackdown on immodest dress began in mid-April, with teams of police officers stopping women in major squares and subway stations to warn them about their attire, the security authorities came under fire. -New York Times - 5/6/07

Search on for ancient king with five rings of power
Iranian archaeologists are searching for a king who possessed five rings of power. The rings were discovered by chance by the Khuzestan Water and Waste Water Company during a grading operation in the city of Ramhormoz, Khuzestan Province last week. -MNA - 5/6/07

Iran bags world archery bronze
archery team stood third at the world compound event in Italy Saturday. -MNA - 5/6/07

Iran: 22 members of High Council for Cultural Revolution appointed by Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a decree on Sunday appointed members of the High council for Cultural Revolution for a period of three years. -IRNA - 5/6/07

Iranian couple cycling for world peace
An Iranian couple Jafar and his wife Naseem waved goodbye to well-wishers in Tehran before setting off on a round-the-world cycle to promote peace and a positive image of their country. -IRNA - 5/6/07

Oil giants rush to purchase Iran blocks documents
"Fourteen oil giants have so far purchased the tender documents of 17 Iranian oil blocks," said a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) official here Saturday. -MNA - 5/6/07

Number of phone lines in Iran 40 million – ICT Minister
Information and Telecommunications (ICT) Minister said here Friday number of active stationary and mobile phone numbers in country is currently 40 million, 15 million of which have been delivered by 9th Government. -Taliya News - 5/6/07

Iran's nuclear negotiator 'spied'
A former top Iranian nuclear negotiator arrested on Monday is to be charged with spying, Iran's conservative Fars news agency has suggested. -BBC - 5/6/07

Rights Groups Accuse Israeli Security of Torturing Palestinian Prisoners
A human rights report is accusing Israel of using torture on Palestinian security prisoners. But as Robert Berger reports from VOA's Jerusalem bureau, the Israeli government describes the allegations as exaggerated and baseless. - 5/6/07

Iran, China to ink agreement on 10 dam projects
Deputy Energy Minister Rasoul Zargar said in Tehran on Saturday that a two-billion-dollar agreement on establishment of a maximum of 10 dams will be signed by Iran and China in two weeks. -IRNA - 5/6/07

Turkish Foreign Minister Withdraws Presidential Bid
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the sole candidate in Turkey's presidential election, has withdrawn his candidacy after parliament failed again today to gain a quorum. -RFE - 5/6/07

Winners of Hamedan Children Film Festival Announced
The Iranian winners of the 21st International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults were announced in Hamedan on Friday in the presence of officials and cineastes. -MNA - 5/5/07

55,000 .iran and .ir domain names registered so far
Official in charge of .ir registrations at Theoretical Physics and Mathematics Research Center in Tehran said on Tuesday so far 55,000 .iran and .ir Internet domains have been registered in country. -Taliya News - 5/5/07

UCLA hosting Iranian film festival
The 17th edition of the annual Iranian film festival organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in California is drawing to a close. The 17th edition of the annual Iranian film festival organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in California is drawing to a close. -ISNA - 5/5/07

Iraq Conference Ends Without High-Level Meeting Between US and Iran
An international conference on Iraq ended Friday without top-level meetings between the United States and Iran. Iraqi officials had hoped senior diplomats from Iran and the U.S. would meet on the sidelines of the conference. There was instead an ambassador-level meeting. -VOA - 5/5/07

Sassanid Aristocracy House Discovered in Kermanshah
Archeological studies in Sarab-e Mourt, Kermanshah province, has led to discovery a 1700-year-old aristocracy residential settlement. -CHN - 5/5/07

Iraq Conference Declared A Success
A two-day conference on Iraq's future was declared a success, although a much-anticipated meeting of top U.S. and Iranian officials never materialized. -RFE - 5/5/07

Mottaki says arrest of Iranian diplomats was a blow to Iraq
The U.S. raid on the Iranian consulate in Irbil was a "foul act" that harmed the Iraqi government's reputation, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki told the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechervan Idris Barzani on the sidelines of the Sharm el-Sheikh conference in Egypt on Friday. -MNA - 5/5/07

Iran Parliament rejects plan for purchasing $250M Satellite
A Member of Parliament's Cultural Commission said in Tehran on Monday the proposal for purchasing Iran DBS2 Satellite has been rejected at Majlis Budget & Planning Commission. -Taliya News - 5/5/07

Iranian artifacts confiscated in Italy to be repatriated
Officials are planning to repatriate some Iranian artifacts that were smuggled to Italy, an expert of the Legal Department of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) said here on Saturday. -MNA - 5/5/07

US, Russia Agree to High-Level Missile Defense Talks
The United States and Russia have agreed to hold special cabinet-level talks in an effort to resolve a dispute over U.S. plans to put elements of a missile defense system in central Europe. Russia contends the U.S. plan would undercut its strategic deterrence. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 5/5/07

Traitors, Charlatans, or Patriots? Meet Iranian Ahmad Chalabis, Ayad Allawis, Curveballs, and the Separatists. Part I: Lessons of Iraq War
Many important developments, that have taken place since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have shed much light on Iran's democratic and antidemocratic groups and political activists and where they stand with regards to Iran's future. Some of the most important of these developments are as follows -Muhammad Sahimi - 5/4/07

American author experiences a different side of Iran
My plane touched down in Tehran during the week in February 2005 when newspaper headlines warned, “Iran plans for a possible attack,” in reference to threats by the U.S. and Israel of air strikes on Iran's uranium enrichment facilities. I was traveling to Bam to speak at Iran's first International Children's Book Festival because I have written a young-adult novel about 19th-century Persian nomads, Anahita's Woven Riddle . -Meghan Nuttall Sayres - 5/4/07

Iran: Former Nuclear Negotiator Arrested On Security Charges
Hossein Musavian, a former official in Iran's National Security Council and onetime member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, has been detained in Tehran on security charges. -RFE - 5/4/07

Iran: 'Her Passport Was Confiscated, Questions Asked'
Amir Mosaddegh Katouzian is acting director of Radio Farda, the Persian-language service run jointly by RFE/RL and Voice of America. He discusses the plight of Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima, who has been unable to leave Iran since her passport was confiscated in January. -RFE - 5/4/07

Iranian FM meets UNSG, British counterpart in Sharm el-Sheikh
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki conferred with United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-Moon and British Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett on the latest developments in Iraq as well as regional and international issues. -IRNA - 5/4/07

Fool us once Goli, shame on us...
Goli Ameri is back! After having run a disastrous campaign in 2004, where she raised $2,188,078 yet only managed to capture a mere 38 percent of the vote against the unpopular Democratic incumbent, David Wu, the Iranian-American wanna-be politician is in the hot waters again because of her affiliation with Senator McCain. -Minou Akhavan - 5/4/07

Iraqi foreign minister: United States and Iranian officials have met at ambassadorial level
Ambassadors from Iran and the United States met Friday on the sidelines of an Iraq summit, Iraq's foreign minister said. -AP - 5/4/07

Shiraz Day: Foreign diplomats visit tomb of Hafez
Over 70 foreign ambassadors, and representatives of international organizations in Iran, visited the tomb of Hafez in Shiraz on Friday. -MNA - 5/4/07

Iran refuses to budge at Vienna nuclear conference, pushing meeting close to collapse
A standoff between Iran and most other delegations at a 130-nation nuclear conference deepened Friday, as organizers adjourned the third consecutive session in as many days without breaking a deadlock over the language of the meeting's agenda. -AP - 5/4/07

Afghan Refugees Allege Abuse From Iran Repatriation
Tehran has expelled tens of thousands of Afghans from Iran since mid-April in a move Iranian authorities say is aimed at repatriating 1 million unregistered Afghan refugees by March 2008. -RFE - 5/4/07

CSUF holds event on ancient Iranian women
More than 1,000 years after Queens Boran and Azarmidokht died, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences held an event to tell their stories as well as other women's stories at a new lecture series titled "Images and Lives of Women in Ancient Iran." -Daily Titan, California - 5/4/07

Taking threats off the table before sitting with Iran
AS SECRETARY OF STATE Condoleezza Rice meets with her Iranian counterpart this week in Egypt, the prospects of talks between the two enduring foes seem closer than before. However, for such negotiations to succeed, Washington must be prepared to adjust an important aspect of its rhetoric. -Ray Takeyh, Boston Globe - 5/4/07

Former Iranian President Khatami Meets Pope
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Khatami is one of the most senior Muslim clerics to visit the Roman Catholic pontiff since the pope made remarks last year that appeared to link Islam with violence. - 5/4/07

The Persian rabbi explains it all
Esmailzadeh, who graduated from UC Irvine in 2005 after studying business and mechanical engineering, created the site because he thought the definition of Persian Judaism was being lost and that there was a lack of quality media directed specifically to the community. -Jewish Journal of greater L.A. - 5/4/07

Running Out of Gas and Time in Iran
On 21 May, the long awaited next economic blow will strike when gasoline rationing goes into effect. Iranian drivers will be limited to three litres per day at the subsidized cost of 40 cents per gallon. They will be permitted to purchase more than the three litres, but anything beyond the limit will be at a higher price. What that higher price will be has not been announced. -Resource Investor - 5/4/07

Tehran holds the key to Washington's exit from Iraq
There are times, the US must reflect, when isolationism and unilateralism seem infinitely simpler guiding principles for foreign policy than engagement. Iran offers a prime example. The US broke off relations in 1979 when its Tehran embassy came under siege and its diplomats were taken hostage. Since then - that is, over the whole career of many senior US politicians and diplomats - there has been no official communication at all. -Independent - 5/4/07

Nasrallah voices Israel respect
The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon has said he respects Israel for issuing such a damning report on last year's war against Hezbollah fighters. -BBC - 5/4/07

Iran: Dress-Code Crackdown Continues Despite Criticism
It has become routine in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Every year -- ahead of the hot summer months -- the authorities launch a crackdown on what they describe as "bad veiling." The term is used to describe women who appear in public with colorful scarves and tight coats, or who show their hair or use makeup. -RFE - 5/3/07

Tony Nourmand's Golden Eye
Interview with London based Author/Collector of The Reel Poster Gallery: Some films like good wine age well. A century old industry that was at best considered as a minor form of social entertainment has lasted the test of time and is now ranked as an Art Form by itself. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/3/07

A High Price to Pay for Ignorance
The Pentagon and White House continue to argue that they are not planning a war against Iran in spite of the continuing buildup of naval forces in the Persian Gulf, which will peak with the arrival of a third carrier group at the end of May. - 5/3/07

International Iraq Conference Begins in Egypt
A crucial international conference aimed at stabilizing Iraq has begun in the Egyptian resort town, Sharm el-Sheikh. It is possible American officials will meet with counterparts from Iran or Syria, on the sidelines of the two-day meeting. VOA Correspondent Challiss McDonough has more from Sharm el-Sheikh. -VOA - 5/3/07

Iran: A Suspicious Tehran To Attend Iraqi Summit
Iran says it will attend the regional Iraqi security conference to be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on May 3-4, but only to discuss Iraq-related affairs. -RFE - 5/3/07

Allan Rosenfield, Hossein Afzali and Two Organizations Share 2007 United Nations Population Award
Columbia University's Allan Rosenfield, Iran's Hossein Malek Afzali and two institutions have won this year's United Nations Population Award. - 5/3/07

World Powers Warn Iran Of Further Sanctions
World powers have warned Iran of even more UN sanctions if it does not halt its uranium-enrichment work, which the West suspects could be used to build nuclear weapons. -RFE - 5/3/07

Report: Muslim Immigrants Face Discrimination in U.S.
A recent report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University’s School of law has found that U.S. immigration policies violates both international and U.S. law by discriminating against Muslims. -NIAC - 5/3/07

Yale University Strengthens Contemporary Middle East Studies
The Council on Middle East Studies of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale has announced an initiative to promote richer understanding of contemporary issues in the Middle East. - 5/3/07

U.S. says it wants direct talks with Iran
The United States wants to thaw diplomatic relations with Iran after a nearly 30-year freeze, and hopes to start this week at a conference on promoting peace in Iraq, a top U.S. diplomat said Wednesday. -AP - 5/3/07

Did Ankara Declaration Mark A Genuine Breakthrough?
The Afghan and Pakistani presidents accepted an invitation recently from their Turkish counterpart to visit Ankara in an effort to smooth rocky relations between Kabul and Islamabad. -RFE - 5/3/07

Iran Gives One Billion Dollars in Credit to Iraq
has extended $1 bln in credits for reconstruction projects in Iraq, a senior official said Tuesday ahead of an international conference on stabilizing Iraq. - 5/3/07

Pressure on Iran over Argentina blasts
Observers in Argentina and the United States point to direct pressure from Bush administration officials for the re-opening of the case and for naming the highest levels of the Iranian Government as being directly responsible for the bombing. -BBC - 5/3/07

BBC News apologises for misleading reports on Iran
The BBC internal complaints department today apologised for describing Iran as having "abducted" the 15 British sailors and marines in a news report on the 25th March. It also apologised for repeatedly referring to the British service personnel as "hostages" in news reports. -CASMII - 5/3/07

Iran's nuts exports exceed $1.3b
Iran has exported $1,343,987,000 worth of nuts in last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), Customs Administrations reported in Tehran on Wednesday. Given the figure, the exports showed a 31.7 percent rise when compared to the figure of its preceding year. -MNA - 5/3/07

Research essential for films about children: director
Iranian director Puran Derakhshandeh, whose films center on teens and children, believes that research plays a key role in the production of useful films for children. -MNA - 5/3/07

Iran and the United States: time to engage
For twenty-eight years, a revived relationship between Iran and the United States has been blocked - by, at various points, the Iranian government, Iranian dissidents outside the country, and the US government. Its absence has meant that democracy in Iran, stability in the region, and the containment of terrorism have all suffered. -Omid Memarian, Open Democracy - 5/3/07

India Official Dismisses Iran Reports
The Indian government is "quite amazed" by news reports suggesting that New Delhi is building a closer military relationship with Iran, a senior Indian official said yesterday, seeking to dampen growing congressional concern over India's relations with the Islamic republic. -Washington Post - 5/3/07

World Bank offers to fund Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project
The World Bank has expressed its readiness to fund the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and described the $7 billion project as a `win-win deal' despite US reservations about the project. -domain-B, India - 5/3/07

Iranian Scholarship Foundation Fundraising Gala in Redwood City
The Iranian Scholarship Foundation (ISF) today announced that its annual Fundraising Gala, held in Redwood City on April 15, 2007, surpassed expectations and successfully raised over $400,000. - 5/2/07

Conference: Achievements & Challenges of Iranian Women: A Cross-generational Perspective
THE 18th INTERNATIONAL Iranian Women's Studies Foundation (IWSF) CONFERENCE: June 29 – July 1, 2007; University of Maryland, College Park, USA - 5/2/07

Iran: Beating and arrest of workers is no way to commemorate May Day
Amnesty International is concerned at the reported beating today of workers taking part in peaceful May Day demonstrations in Tehran and Sanandaj as well as the arrest in Sanandaj of Sedigh Karimi and Khaled Rasouli, members of the Union of Unemployed and Dismissed Workers - 5/2/07

TMCA welcomes New Year with 'Iranian Spring'
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) has begun the new Iranian year with the exhibition "Iranian Spring", which opened on May 1. - 5/2/07

Iranian FM: Talks with Rice under study
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said here on Wednesday that holding talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the sidelines of Sharm el-Sheikh Conference is under study. "No firm decision has been made in this case yet," Mottaki told the Mehr News Agency correspondent traveling with him on a visit to Oman. - 5/2/07

The Rape of Obama And The Future Of US-Iran Relations
I am sure many readers are tired of my harping on the same chord, Israel. But I am sick and tired, too, of listening to or reading about the Israeli regime and its Zionist sympathizers and congressional amen corner here attacking Iran at every opportunity, proposing, even demanding, an attack on Iran. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/2/07

USCIRF Names 11 Countries of Particular Concern, Puts Iraq on Watch List
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced its 2007 recommendations to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on "countries of particular concern," or CPCs. The Commission's recommendations for CPC designation for 2007 are: Burma, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. - 5/2/07

Press Watchdog slammed by 'Don't Attack Iran' Campaigners
The Press Complaints Commission was today criticised for a “lack lustre” response to serious complaints about the use of unnamed sources in articles by the Daily Telegraph. The complaints centred on the fact that “extraordinary” claims made in a number of headline articles about the threat posed by Iran were all based on unnamed and untraceable sources. - 5/2/07

Former Iranian security official under arrest
Hossein Mousavian, a former security official who played a leading role in Iran’s negotiations with the European Union over its nuclear programme, has been arrested. -Financial Times - 5/2/07

Iran deports thousands of illegal Afghan workers
The Iranian government has recently stepped up efforts to expel Afghan labour migrants and numerous other Afghans who reside in Iran without formal permits. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said about 30,000 Afghan refugees, including women and children, had been sent home from Iran in the past week alone, Reuters reported. -IRIN - 5/2/07

Press Freedom Declines in Asia, Ex-Soviet Region and Latin America, Study Finds; Warns of Growing Internet Restriction
Press freedom suffered continued global decline in 2006, with particularly troubling trends evident in Asia, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. A major study of the state of media freedom released today (May 1, 2007) by Freedom House also warned of a growing effort to place restrictions on internet freedom by censoring, harassing, or shutting down sites that provide alternate sources of political commentary. - 5/2/07

Iran: No official request for talks with U.S. received
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman stated that no official request for negotiations had been made by the U.S. up to this point. "The U.S. constantly states matters as accusations. What the U.S. should bear in mind is that for holding negotiations a certain level of directed preparation, opportunity and planning is required," this official noted. - 5/2/07

Iranian Media: Iran Not Ready to Negotiate With US
A semi-official Iranian news agency reports that Iran is not ready to negotiate with the United States at a major international conference on Iraq, to be held this week in Egypt. -VOA - 5/2/07

'Glory of Persepolis' goes on screen in response to '300'
A number of experts and critics attending the screening and analysis session of the documentary dubbed 'Glory of Persepolis' said that it reflects the dignity of Iranians and Persepolis, adding that it is a proper response to the insulting Hollywood movie '300'. - 5/2/07

Iraq: Security Talks Unlikely To Produce Breakthrough
On May 3, an international meeting on Iraq will convene at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The attendees of the two-day meeting will include the foreign ministers of Iraq's neighbors, Egypt, Bahrain, as well as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and members of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations. -RFE - 5/2/07

Peugeot 207, 307 and 407 enter Iran
Peugeot through the cooperation of Iran Khodro has decided to enter some of its new models into Iran's car market. -ISNA - 5/2/07

Saffron price hike threatens Iran's foreign markets
Price rise is threatening Iran's foreign markets, Saffron Export Promotion Fund Head Ali Shariati-Moqaddam said here on Tuesday. -MNA - 5/2/07

Iran, U.S. links eyed in downed drone in Yemen
When the Yemeni Akhbar al-Yaum (Daily News) reported on its front page the March 28 downing of an Iranian drone by Yemen's armed forces in remote southeast Yemen, it shed rare light on one of the murkier battlefields of the "cold war" between Sunni Muslims and Shi'ites. -Washington Times - 5/2/07

Unlikely Ties Connect Iran and Portland, Oregon
At first the connection between Shiraz, Iran, and Portland, Oregon, appears negligible. Yes, Shiraz is the City of Roses and Nightingales, and so is Portland -- except for the nightingales. One of Portland’s few noted authors, the late Terrence O’Donnell, wrote a classic volume of reminiscences set on a farm in the Iranian countryside not far from Shiraz. And a number of vineyards in Portland’s home state of Oregon grow Shiraz grapes. -USINFO - 5/1/07

The Phony War
After years of threatening Iran with imminent military attack, some are of the opinion that Iraqi disaster have brought new sober analysis to the corridors of power in Washington and cooled the ardor of the American public for the policy of pre-emption. However, Iraqi lesson is not the main reason that US regime has second thoughts. -Bahram Bahrami, UK - 5/1/07

Iranian PC game "Port Rescue: Defense in Fire Line" produced
The Iranian computer game named "Port Rescue: Defense in Fire Line" was produced at Tebyan. The PC game was produced by Iranian programmers after two years work at Tebyan, which is a cultural and disseminating institute. -MNA - 5/1/07

Somayeh Farid: Prison is a terrible place
My introduction to the Iranian women’s movement is but a few months old. The Campaign for Collection of One Million Signatures to Change the Laws for Equality (from now on referred to as “The Campaign”), was a way for me to enter the realm of women’s social activism. I experienced incarceration early and now that about a month since that experience has passed, I want to take advantage of the distance I have to gain a perspective on the experience and to write about it. -Somayeh Farid - 5/1/07

Iranian Oil minister: Country's oil revenues up to $51B
Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on Monday that the revenues from oil exports reached dlrs 51.3 billion in the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20). -IRNA - 5/1/07

Iran gives green light to $3b foreign investment
The Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran has issued permits for five foreign investment plans worth $3.019 billion from March 21 to April 21. -MNA - 5/1/07

Persian Gulf Organization Launched in Tehran
Concurrent with Persian Gulf National Day, the nongovernmental organization of Persian Gulf has announced its establishment. 30th of April has been announced as Persian Gulf Day. This strategic body of water has experienced many challenges over time especially during the past few years for preserving its cultural and historical identity. -CHN - 5/1/07

Larijani confers with Ayatollah Sistani on regional developments
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani conferred on Tuesday with Ayatollah Sistani on regional developments. -IRNA - 5/1/07

US UN Envoy Says Iran Has Role to Play In Stabilizing Iraq
America's new representative at the United Nations says Iran has a significant role to play in bringing stability to Iraq. Correspondent Peter Heinlein at the U.N. says the envoy called on Iranian leaders to end their support for Iraqi insurgents. -VOA - 5/1/07

Iraq: Iran's Attendance Key To Security Conference
Iran's agreement to attend the Sharm El-Sheikh conference on Iraq's security on May 3-4 puts an end to days of speculation over whether the summit will involve all of the major players in the increasingly regional crisis. -RFE - 5/1/07

Turkey: Islam, Secularism Clash In Presidential Elections
A massive demonstration in Istanbul in support of secularism has highlighted the strong emotions surrounding the parliamentary election of Turkey's next president. -RFE - 5/1/07

Iran says no to negotiations, yes to debates with U.S.
Iran's foreign ministry deputy hoped that Iran could play an affective role in the Sharm al-Sheikh conference. This official regarding the possibility of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. noted that currently this matter was not possible. -ISNA - 5/1/07

Detained Iranian diplomats to meet families soon: Red Cross official
On Monday, the communications spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Tehran announced that the families of the Iranian diplomats held hostage in Iraq by U.S. forces will soon be allowed to visit them. -MNA - 5/1/07

US Lawmakers Seek to Close Loophole in Sanctions Law
U.S. law prohibits American companies from trading directly with Iran and other countries designated by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism. But foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms can operate there, as long as they are run separately from their American operations and do not hire U.S. citizens as managers, directors or employees. -VOA - 5/1/07

Iran standing firm against language in nuclear nonproliferation document
Iran stood firm Tuesday in opposing language in a nuclear conference agenda that reaffirms the need for full compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, a stance that diplomats said could scuttle the meeting aimed at strengthening the accord. -AP - 5/1/07

U.S. report: Iran still biggest government supporter of terrorism
Iran continues to be the biggest supporter of terrorism around the world, with elements of its government supporting extremist groups throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, the U.S. State Department says. -AP - 5/1/07

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