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De Burgh still "dreaming of the wide world"
Chris de Burgh's visit to Iran created a media frenzy in Iran and around the world. He flew in to Tehran on Wednesday and left on Thursday. -Mostafa Mousavi Sabet, MNA - 5/31/08

Amnesty International concerned about Five Christian converts detained in Iran
Five converts to Christianity have been arrested, and are now held incommunicado. They are in danger of torture. They appear to have been detained solely on account of their religious beliefs, in which case they are prisoners of conscience. - 5/31/08

Training Workshop on Citizen's Rights Held in Isfahan
The first training workshop since the start of the Iranian New Year (March 21, 2008) was held in Isfahan, on May 3, 2008. The workshop, which was held in the city of Isfahan, addressed citizen's rights. -Change for Equality - 5/31/08

Alleging War Crimes, British Activist, Writer George Monbiot Attempts Citizen’s Arrest on Former UN Ambassador John Bolton
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped a citizen’s arrest Wednesday night as he addressed an audience in Britain. We speak to George Monbiot, the British activist and columnist who tried to arrest Bolton. -Democracy Now - 5/31/08

Karimi's ban lifted by IFF
Iran's Football Federation (IFF) has lifted the ban on Ali Karimi following the Iranian president's request. -MNA - 5/31/08

Iran to become leading LNG exporter
Iran plans to invest more than $120 billion in liquefied natural gas (LNG) to become the world's leading exporter of LNG within 12 years. -Press TV - 5/31/08

The road to peace in Iraq runs directly through Tehran
Hysteria over this week's arms report is misplaced, and US attempts to cast Iran as the villain of the region can only backfire -Guardian - 5/31/08

Iranian-American coach quits after triumph
Iranian-American football manager Afshin Qotbi quit as coach of Iranian side Persepolis, just a week after guiding the club to the league title in his first year back in Iran, officials said Friday. -AFP - 5/31/08

Iraqi premier due in Iran next week: report
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is scheduled to visit Tehran on June 7, Baghdad-based Al-Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday. -MNA - 5/31/08

Iran's trade surplus exceeds $30 Billion
Iran's gas rationing and rising global oil prices have contributed to the country's $30.3 billion trade surplus during 2007 to 2008, a report says -Press TV - 5/31/08

Are Ahmadinejad's Days Numbered?
Ali Larijani projected a presidential bearing as he accepted his election as speaker of Iran's parliament on Wednesday — a vote that boded ill for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -TIME - 5/31/08

Hezbollah: Most Powerful Political Movement in Lebanon
Counterterrorism expert Daniel L. Byman, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, describes Hezbollah as a "cogent mix of different facets of power" and calls it "the most powerful single political movement in Lebanon." -CFR - 5/31/08

Iran's anti-Wilders film lacks controversy
Earlier this week, the previously announced rebuttal to Geert Wilders' Islam film Fitna was released in Iran. The anti-Fitna film seeks to prove that Islam is a peaceful religion and that Christianity is violent. -Radio Netherlands - 5/31/08

Kambiz Derambakhsh: A Peace Loving and Poetical Cartoonist
Kambiz Derambakhsh is a cartoonist whose work delights the viewers while at the same time makes them think. A native of Shiraz, the city of love and poetry in central Iran, he is one of Iran's most prominent caricaturists. He told me that an artist's duty is to "sooth and relieve the suffering of the people's souls" and what you see is like a medicine for that. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/30/08

Mr. Kinzer going to Washington, with your letters on Iran
In the next couple of days, we have an important opportunity to have our position heard in Washington. If you urge your Representative to support legislation promoting direct, unconditional talks with Iran now, we will take those messages to the halls of Congress next week. -Just Foreign Policy - 5/30/08

What Does Peace Look Like?
University of San Francisco (USF) professor of visual arts and celebrated artist Richard Kamler wants the world to see images of peace, not war. "If we don't have a multinational vision of what peace looks like, we'll never get there," says Kamler. - 5/30/08

Afshin the Emperor or how he learned to love his enemies
Iranians got to know Afshin Ghotbi for the first time as the U.S. Soccer Team's technical staff twenty years ago. At that time nobody expected to see him in Iran as the coach of the most popular Persian team. -MNA - 5/30/08

Exhibition by Mitra Tabrizian in London: This is that Place
In June 2008, Tate Britain will open the first major exhibition in the UK of the work of the Iranian-British photographer and film director, Mitra Tabrizian. Born in Tehran, Tabrizian's primary concerns are contemporary issues and debates and her interests range from post-feminism and post-colonial theories and the effects of late capitalism in Britain, to the shifting realities of life in post-revolutionary Iran. - 5/30/08

U.S.-Iran regional power plays shift
A string of events across the Middle East is shifting the US-Iran regional power play. The Iran-led "axis of resistance" arrayed against the US, its Western allies, and Israel may appear ascendant, but new chances for peace could also redefine the game in the US's favor. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 5/30/08

New nuclear claims are West's "new trap" for Iran: Rafsanjani
"Yesterday Mr. Heinonen announced in Vienna they had gathered information from 10 countries, and that Iran should provide answers to the new issues. They have set a new trap for us," Rafsanjani said. -MNA - 5/30/08

Hands-on donors help ease refugee problems in Iran
Envoys from countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom don't just assess projects and recommend funding; they also organize concerts, bazaars and other activities to raise awareness about Afghan and Iraqi refugees in Iran as well as to raise money for refugee projects. -UNHCR - 5/30/08

When it Comes to Iran and Lebanon, Look at the Forest and Not Just the Trees, Alexander Says
"The Iranization of Lebanon?" was the title of a Friday afternoon seminar at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a question to which the panelists responded with a resounding "yes." -Caroline Tarpey, NIAC - 5/30/08

Photo show focuses on Iranian heritage
The photography exhibition "After the Revolution" takes its name from the fact that the participating artists - five living in Iran, five of Iranian descent living in California - were all born around or after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. -SF Gate - 5/30/08

Iran's FM Criticizes 'Mistaken Policies' of US-Led Coalition in Iraq
Manouchehr Mottaki told a United Nations conference in Stockholm that Iraq's security problems are a result of what he called the "mistaken policies" of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. He stressed Iran's commitment to rebuilding its war-torn neighbor. U.S officials have accused Iran of arming and training Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq. -VOA - 5/30/08

Rise of Ahmadinejad rival hints at a shift in Iran
The election of a rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as speaker of the Iranian Parliament is a strong signal of growing impatience with the president's economic policies and a possible sign of a political shift in the country. -IHT - 5/30/08

U.S. Commander: Iran War Would Be 'Disastrous'
The top U.S. Navy official in the Persian Gulf warned in an interview with ABC News that war with Iran would be "pretty disastrous," with "echoes and aftershocks" reverberating throughout the region. - 5/30/08

Talk of war with Iran on a sweet spring evening
If it's true that Americans aren' interested in foreign affairs, there clearly are pockets of stark exception in the Twin Cities. Wednesday night, a particularly sweet spring evening, would have been a perfect time to stroll around lakes, sip drinks at outdoor cafes or just smell the lilacs. Instead, a standing room only crowd accepted Rep. Keith Ellison's invitation to a public forum on U.S. relations with Iran. -Minn Post - 5/30/08

Jurassic marine fossils found in Iran
An Iranian research team has found dinosaur fossils thought to be 100 million years old in the heights of Mashhad's Kallat region. - 5/30/08

The Wisdom In Talking
In short, not talking to Iran has failed. Miserably. -Senator John F. Kerry, Washington Post - 5/30/08

Iran: Blogger writes book on the impact of the Internet
Cyrus Farivar is a USA-based blogger, journalist and writer. He is currently working on a book about the impact of the internet on society. -Global Voices - 5/30/08

SLAC-bound Iranians hindered: Energy Department extensively screens all Iranian applicants
Though many Iranian students and researchers hoping to study in the U.S. face hurdles in their attempts to garner U.S. visas, the obstacles do not end once they step foot in the States. -Devin Banerjee, Stanford Daily - 5/29/08

First foreign bank opened in Iran
"We have overcome some obstacles which were in the way of foreign bank activities in Iran," Tahmasb Mazaheri said on Wednesday. He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the Tehran branch of the Iran-Europe Commercial Bank. - 5/29/08

Judge Gives Terror Victims a Victory Over Iran
In a ruling released yesterday, Judge Blanche Manning ordered the Iranian government to produce its records about how tens of thousands of ancient tablets and other antiquities ended up in the university's collections. -The Sun, New York - 5/29/08

Sixty years of human rights failure – governments must apologize and act now
Amnesty International's Report 2008, shows that sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations, people are still tortured or ill-treated in at least 81 countries, face unfair trials in at least 54 countries and are not allowed to speak freely in at least 77 countries. -VOA - 5/29/08

Ancient Persian relic found in toy box in England
A scrap metal dealer plans to auction his childhood toy, an ancient Persian gold cup from the Achaemenid era, for some 990,000 dollars. - 5/29/08

Cuba Policy Sets Obama Apart in US Campaign
Senator Barack Obama has tried to stand out from other U.S. presidential candidates by saying, as president, he would be open to meeting with some of the most hostile foreign leaders, including those in Cuba and Iran. - 5/29/08

Central Asia: Kazakhstan Debates Polygamy Amid Regional Rise In Popularity
Want a second wife? Then simply get your first wife's consent and prove you can financially support another family. A new draft law in Kazakhstan would allow any man who is able to meet those two requirements to take a second, third, or even a fourth wife. -RFE - 5/29/08

Mani and Manichaeism in Sassanid Iran
Manichaeism, presumably an offshoot of Zoroastrianism, was not only an inspiration for various heretical movements in Christianity but also dominated the religious life of Central and Eastern Asia for centuries. -Press TV - 5/29/08

Jury Deadlocks on Alleged Software Theft by Iranian Engineer
A federal jury in Arizona convicted an Iranian man of illegally using a computer in the United States to access software from the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. However, they deadlocked on two other charges: “knowingly and intentionally” stealing protected software and exporting the software in violation of the U.S. trade embargo with Iran. -IT Business Edge - 5/29/08

Iran'a Ahmadinejad May Meet With Pope Benedict XVI
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reported to be seeking a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI when he visits Rome next week for a U.N. summit on global food shortages. -VOA - 5/29/08

Iranian students to host culture night
More than 40 students from the Iranian Student Group at UCLA are participating in the sixth annual cultural show on Thursday and Friday to show a side of Iran that is different from what is shown in the media. -Daily Bruin - 5/29/08

Iran to import gas from Azeri field
Iran has reportedly voiced its interest in importing significant amounts of gas from the second phase of Azerbaijan's Shah-Deniz gas field. -Press TV - 5/29/08

Iran Policy: Foolhardy and Dangerous
I open my newspaper every morning wondering if this is the day the Bush/Cheney administration does something as foolhardy and dangerous as launching a military strike against Iran, or instigating one. Never mind that the Iranians control the Straits of Hormuz, and that once we go to war against Persians as well as Arabs, there is no predicting the consequences. -Huffington Post - 5/29/08

War with Iran is on the horizon
A once latent rivalry between Iran and Israel is now an open struggle for dominance in the Middle East. The result is surprising, if not bizarre, alliances: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the American-backed, Shia-dominated Iraq are facing Israel, Saudi Arabia and most of the other Sunni Arab states, all of which feel existentially threatened by Iran's ascendance. -Joschka Fischer, Germany - 5/29/08

Analysis: The rise of Ali Larijani
A year before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stands for re-election in Iran, he is facing a major new challenge. His former chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has been voted speaker of parliament. -BBC - 5/29/08

Iranians at Stanford face hurdles: Students confront Visa delays, visits from FBI
Stanford students, professors and administrators say visa delays have hindered the academic pursuits of Iranian students at the University. Students have also reported visits from the FBI in which agents supposedly verified immigration statuses. According to Hoover Fellow Abbas Milani, these circumstances have created a climate of fear and intimidation among Stanford's Iranian population. -Devin Banerjee, Stanford Daily - 5/28/08

100 delicious Italian recipes with 100 Iranian artists drawings
Once in a while one comes across people who truly enjoy what they do and knowingly or unknowingly set high standards to be lessons to others. One such lady is Mrs Felicetta Ferraro who as the cultural attaché of the Italian embassy in Tehran has been doing this for the past 8 years. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/28/08

19th International Annual Conference of the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation (IWSF): Berkeley, California July 4-6
Despite a myriad of social and legal setbacks in the last thirty years wherein Iranian women lost many of the rights they had attained in the past 100 years, they have continuously strived to improve their social and political status. Consequently they have established their presence in different spheres of life, particularly that of civil society. - 5/28/08

Give US-Iranian theological diplomacy a try
As the Episcopal Bishop of the Dioceses of Washington, DC, who has travelled twice to Iran and found friendship and shared values with Iranian clerics, I think it's time for religious leaders in both countries to take the initiative to find ways to seek peaceful solutions to the complex problems that have plagued US-Iranian relations for years. -Bishop John Bryson Chane - 5/28/08

Ali Larijani Elected Iran's Parliament Speaker
Members of the eighth Majlis elected Ali Larijani, representative of the holy city of Qom, as the provisional speaker of the Iranian parliament on Wednesday. - 5/28/08

Property speculation fuels soaring prices in Iran
As Iran's economy is buffeted by inflation, the country's homeowners are fast becoming richer in a real estate bubble that is driving affordable housing beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. -AFP - 5/28/08

All-out war -- or talking?
The options in dealing with Iran aren¡¦t pretty, as Bush administration failures have weakened the U.S. hand while strengthening Tehran¡¦s. Like it or not,ƒo a ¡¥grand bargain¡¦ of compromiseƒo on Iraq might be the best approach. -Selig S. Harrison, USA Today - 5/28/08

Iranian Baha'i leaders being held incommunicado; growing concern for their fate
Six Baha'i leaders who were arrested nearly two weeks ago are being held incommunicado, without access to lawyers or relatives, and the Baha'i International Community is increasingly concerned about their fate. -BWNS - 5/28/08

Experts Urge U.S. to Talk with Islamist Movements to Encourage Democratic Trends
A recent study by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy concluded that many secular Arab governments have used the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran to raise fears of a radical and potentially violent political Islam. And they have used that fear to justify their own autocratic governance on national security grounds. -VOA - 5/28/08

Defense Minister: Iran, Syria defense cooperation at highest level
The Iranian minister made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Lieutenant General Hassan Ali Turkmani in Tehran on Tuesday. -IRNA - 5/28/08

Russia Vows to Counter Any US Missile Deployment in Europe
Russia's Defense Ministry says it is developing measures to counter U.S. plans for deploying a missile defense system in Central and Eastern Europe. But Moscow says it has no plans to continue development of a similar system. - 5/28/08

U.S. Presidential Candidates Offer Stagnant Strategies
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain, the three major presidential candidates, propose different strategies to moderate the Islamic Republic of Iran's behavior yet all three strategies focus on the foreign policy symptoms of problem instead of the disease itself -U.S.-Iran Alliance - 5/28/08

The Business of Opium in Afghanistan: Drug Addiction
Afghanistan supplies virtually all of the world's illegal opium. Last year, the country's drug trade was a $4-billion business, half of which alone was produced in the south where the fighting against the Taliban insurgency is the fiercest. -VOA - 5/28/08

Iran: Cleric 'calls all feminists whores and foreign spies'
A top Iranian cleric from the northeast, Ayatollah Ahmad Elmalhoda, has reportedly called feminists "whores and foreign spies". -AKI - 5/28/08

Arian, Chris De Burgh album released
Iran's Arian music band has released its new album which contains a song produced in collaboration with Irish musician Chris De Burgh - 5/27/08

Teymour and Yeganeh
Recently when I was going back to the office I had often noted a gentleman sitting on an old stool reading very loudly in pretty good English. Today I plucked up courage and went and spoke with him. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/27/08

Dr. Massih Tayebi: Global Philanthropy and High-Tech Innovation
Within the Iranian community of San Diego, it is hard to find someone who has not heard of the entrepreneurial and business achievements of Dr. Massih Tayebi. But what makes him even more popular and admired within the community is his kind heart, humility and boundless generosity. - 5/27/08

Executive Workshop on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Management: July 6-9 2008, Tehran, Iran
The International Association of Iranian Managers is holding its first 4-Day Executive Workshop on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Management in Iran in July 2008. - 5/27/08

Iran, U.S. leaning toward talks?
The United States and Iran may be sworn enemies, but both Washington and Tehran have recently put out feelers suggesting that talks rather than confrontation may top each side's agenda. -CSM - 5/27/08

Terror Most Imperial: The Neo-Conservatives & "Islamofascism": Part II
John F. Kennedy warned: "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic". -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/27/08

Strong earthquake hits Zanjan in northwestern Iran
A strong earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit suburbs of the city of Zanjan in northwest of Iran Tuesday morning. - 5/27/08

Iran's water polo team trounced in World League
Iran has lost the first leg matches to Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand respectively. -MNA - 5/27/08

Iran-Europe Commercial Bank to be inaugurated in Tehran
This German registered bank has been operating on Iran's southern Kish Island since 2005, and is the country's first foreign bank working in Iran after the victory of the 1979 revolution. - 5/27/08

Iran nuclear crisis refuses to go quiet
The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is not cooperating fully in the investigation of its nuclear activities leaves this potentially serious crisis open. -BBC - 5/27/08

Iranian MPs holds first session
Iran's new conservative-dominated parliament is convening for the first time after elections in April. One of its first duties it to elect the house speaker, a powerful position which analysts say rivals the presidency in several areas. -BBC - 5/27/08

Bahrain mulling gas imports from Iran
Bahrain may buy one billion cubic feet of gas from Iran to fuel the country's massive development, Bahrain Petroleum Company CEO says -Press TV - 5/27/08

New Public-Private Fund Aims to Serve Muslim Women
"One Woman Initiative" seeks to change the world, one woman at a time. -America.gov - 5/27/08

US Academic Deported and Banned for Criticising Israel
Norman Finkelstein, the controversial Jewish American academic and fierce critic of Israel, has been deported from the country and banned from the Jewish state for 10 years, it emerged yesterday. - 5/27/08

Iran: Businessman sentenced to 11 years in jail, payment of $145 million for corruption
Shahram Jazayeri was originally sentenced in 2002 to 27 years in prison for embezzlement in a high-profile conviction, part of a crackdown on graft ordered by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The sentence was later reduced to 14 years. -AP - 5/27/08

CANNES 2008 Annonces Winners
The 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival closes on a high note of optimism amidst an often dark and gloomy selection - 5/26/08

Iran wins Perugia wushu championship
Iran's Shaolin Chuan (wushu) team won World Kung Fu (Wushu) Cup held in Perugia, Italy. Winning seven gold, five silver and three bronze medals, the Iranian wushu team clinched the championship title in 2008 Perugia World Open Wushu Cup. - 5/26/08

Iran: Slow Internet Speeds Hinder Web Access
Like many young professionals in his native Tehran, Mohammad says he belongs to a new generation of Iranians who cannot imagine their personal and professional lives without the Internet. The 27-year-old sales and advertising executive uses the Internet at work -- to sell his company's goods -- and at home to stay in touch with friends, meet new people, and keep up with the news. -RFE - 5/26/08

Jimmy Carter: Gaza Blockade One of Greatest Human Rights Crimes
Mr. Carter was speaking Sunday at a literary festival in Wales. He told The Guardian newspaper that the Israeli blockade has led to what he calls the "imprisonment" of Gaza's 1.6 million Palestinians. - 5/26/08

War Immemorial Day – No Peace for Militarized U.S.
Memorial Day is not actually a day to pray for U.S. troops who died in action but rather a day set aside by Congress to pray for peace. The 1950 Joint Resolution of Congress which created Memorial Day says: “Requesting the President to issue a proclamation designating May 30, Memorial Day, as a day for a Nation-wide prayer for peace.” (64 Stat.158). -Bill Quigley, Common Dreams - 5/26/08

Iran FM meets Lebanon's heavyweights
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has held talks in Beirut with Lebanon's political heavyweights, including parliament majority leader Saad Hariri, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. -MNA - 5/26/08

Iran to honor U.S. Islamologist William Chittick
The Iranian Society of Cultural Works and Luminaries plans to pay homage to the U.S. Islamologist William Chittick during a ceremony on June 14. - 5/26/08

Olmert Says Peace Talks with Syria Are 'Serious' and 'Secret'
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Cabinet that Israel is conducting negotiations with Syria "responsibly, seriously and with the necessary caution." Mr. Olmert has said the aim of the talks is a peace agreement, but he would not comment on media reports that he is prepared to return the strategic Golan Heights to Syria. -VOA - 5/26/08

Iran to begin LNG export in 2010
A senior Iranian energy official says the country will begin exporting its first liquefied natural gas to Europe and China in 2010. Iran, which holds the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia, began the construction of its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on Tombak Island over a year ago. - 5/26/08

Iran 13th leading producer of wheat
In its latest report titled, "The World Food Outlook", FAO forecasts Iran's wheat production would decline to 13 million tons this year from last year's 15 million tons because "below average rainfalls have hampered production and imports may rise to 2 million tons." -Press TV - 5/26/08

American woman Louise Firouz, the reviver of Caspian horse, dies at 78 in Iran
Veteran American horse specialist in Iran Louise Firouz has died at the age of 78 after suffering from pulmonary and liver disorders. Firouz, who moved to Iran in the 1950's, lived on a farm near an ethnic Turkmen village in northeastern Iran. - 5/25/08

PARSA Community Foundation Announces Mehregan Grant Cycle
PARSA Community Foundation is inviting nonprofits and student organizations to submit inquiry forms for its 2008 Mehregan grant cycle by June 12, 2008. Based on a positive review, applicants will be invited to submit full proposals, due on July 10, 2008. - 5/25/08

Iran's Hadadi breaks Asian discus record
Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi has broken the Asian record at the FBK-Games, which was held in Hengelo, Netherlands, on Saturday. -MNA - 5/25/08

The War Camp in Death throes is intent on striking Iran
The most aggressive posturing and accusations against Iran, yet issued by Washington, signal the rapid closure of the window of opportunity for peace which opened up following the release of the US' National Intelligence Estimate in December 07 concluding that there was no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran. -Mehrnaz Shahabi, CASMII - 5/25/08

Iran's National football team defeats Zambia in Tehran
Hadi Aghili's late goal gave Iran's football team a narrow 3-2 victory against 67th FIFA-ranked Zambia at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Sunday. -MNA - 5/25/08

Next Speaker of Iran's Parliament: Ali Larijani
Ali Larijani was elected as the next parliament speaker in an official meeting of the conservative lawmakers on Sunday afternoon. - 5/25/08

Iran, Syria Defence Ministers meet in Tehran
"Damascus is a vital and strategic ally of Iran" in the campaign against terrorism, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Lt. Gen. Hassan Ali Turkmani who is visiting Tehran. -MNA - 5/25/08

Michael Moore willing to attend Documentary Film Festival in Iran
American filmmaker and author, Michael Moore held talks with the representative of Iran's Documentary and Experimental Cinema Development Center at the 61st Cannes International Film Festival in southern France on Sunday. - 5/25/08

Bush and McCain's Iran Insanity
President George Bush and his tag-along buddy John McCain are repeating almost word for word about Iran the pattern of lies and threats they used to justify the war against Iraq. -Charley Reese, Antiwar - 5/25/08

Hagee, Hitler, & CUFI program
Previously quite useful to the neoconservatives, Hagee from his CUFI pulpit has been shouting for the US to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran, even with nuclear weapons, as part of what Hagee deems "a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation [...] and [the] Second Coming of Christ." -Scott Harrop - 5/25/08

Ayatollah Sistani will not allow US-Iraq deal: Source
Iraq's most revered Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has strongly objected to a 'security accord' between the US and Iraq. -Press TV - 5/25/08

Iran's futsal team set to participate in Brazil's Grand Prix
The recently Asian futsal champion will fly to Brazil on Wednesday to participate in the 4th edition of the Futsal Grand Prix in Brazil. -MNA - 5/25/08

Malaysia to develop oilfield in Iran
Malaysia signs a $300-million agreement with Iran for developing an oilfield in the Persian Gulf, a senior Iranian oil official says. -Press TV - 5/25/08

Oil: A Global Crisis
The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone. -Independent - 5/25/08

Jake Gyllenhaal Crowned Prince of Persia!
It is one of the most anticipated film projects in recent years and one that has been subject to much rumors, counter rumors and exaggerated speculations by fans and studio executives alike. The latest major Jerry Bruckheimer production "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," is finally set to start shooting. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/24/08

Wife of American missing in Iran offers $5000 reward for info
Bob Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007 in Kish Island, Iran. He was last seen checking out of the Hotel Maryam. If you have any information that can help bring Bob home, please email his family - 5/24/08

Iran's Saipa drawn to meet Uzbekistan's Kuruvchi in ACL quarterfinals
Iran's Saipa football team will meet Kuruvchi of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals round of the 2008 Asian Champions League. -MNA - 5/24/08

US-Iranian Relations: Could Fluoridated Water in the White House Be Fostering Strangelovian Visions
Tension is escalating between the United States and Iran, amid reports that the Bush administration is once again mulling air strikes against its long-time nemesis. While Iran is taking defensive precautions, the country¡¦s leaders have not sought to match the Bush administration¡¦s belligerent rhetoric. -Eurasianet - 5/24/08

Iran's National football team thrashes domestic rival
Iranian national football side has swept Saipa 6-0 in Ardebil's Ali Daei Stadium on Friday. Iran is scheduled to play Zambia on Sunday in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. -MNA - 5/24/08

"Snow" wins Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix
Joint production of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, France, and Iran "Snow" won the Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, the International Critics' Week of the film festival announced on May 23. - 5/24/08

Karimi blasts Iran's Football Federation
Iconic Ali Karimi has blasted Iran's Football Federation's decision over throwing him off the national team following his criticism about the IFF's management deficiency. - 5/24/08

China/Russia: Focus On Pipelines During Medvedev Visit
High on Medvedev's agenda is the issue of how to expand pipeline links so that Russia can sell and export more oil to energy-hungry China. -RFE - 5/24/08

China's Wen Says Quake Death Toll Could Hit 80,000
China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, says the earthquake death toll has passed 60,000 and could rise to 80,000 or more. Wen's estimate is a sharp increase from the 55,000 deaths reported earlier by the government. - 5/24/08

Ellison to Host Forum on Iran; Choices to Make: Peace or Conflict? Dialogue and Diplomacy?
Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) will host a Public Forum on U.S. Foreign Affairs with Iran on Wednesday evening, May 28th, 2008 from 6 ¡V 8 P.M. - 5/23/08

Could the Bush Administration attack Iran during its remaining months in office?
This is a question that is on many minds these days. In Tehran, Washington and London, where I have spent time in the last three months, this question tops any other issues of concern in the US-Iran spiral conflict. After talking to many senators, representatives, Lords, MPs, and Iranian deputies, as well as officials in the three capitals, I have concluded that while it is almost impossible to provide a definitive answer, complacency is also unacceptable. -Hooshang Amirahamdi, AIC - 5/23/08

Photos: Iranians Mark Liberation of Khorramshahr with Family Walks
The Liberation of Khorramshahr was the Iranian recapture of the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis on May 24, 1982 during the Iran-Iraq War. - 5/23/08

Heritage a Key Element for Shahinfar
Iranian American Darius Shahinfar, contender for the Democratic nomination for New York's 21st Congressional District seat vacated by Rep. Michael McNulty, has proudly embraced his Iranian background. On his campaign website, he showcases a 6 minute long video in which he embraces his father's Iranian background and says that he is "proud of his heritage." -Arash Hadjialiloo, NIAC - 5/23/08

Human Rights Situation in Iran Continues to Deteriorate, Groups Report
Iran continues to rank second in the world for executions, according to Amnesty International, with 317 people put to death last year. That figure nearly doubled the number of prisoners executed in Iran the previous year. Only China performed more executions in 2007. -NIAC - 5/23/08

US Lawmakers Debate Iraq, Iran Policy in Defense Measure
Legislation approved Thursday by the House of Representatives contains provisions dealing with Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan among other issues. -VOA - 5/23/08

In Memory of Farideh Bastani
Farideh was also active in Kanoune Doust-darane Farhange Iran as well as Ettehade Jomhourikhahane Iran. She was an energetic lady who tried to do her outmost for the betterment of the Iranian Community, and it is a shame that she left us so soon. - 5/23/08

Tehrani women stage protest rally in front of British Embassy
A group of Tehrani women staged a protest rally in front of British Embassy in Tehran Thursday evening against a British Appeals Court's exclusion of Iranian terror grouplet, MKO's name from terrorist groups' list. - 5/23/08

Russian President Warns over US Missile Shield
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says his country is ready to negotiate with the United States on plans to build a missile defense system in Europe, but will retaliate if there is no mutually acceptable solution. -VOA - 5/23/08

Iranian translators should observe guild's rights: Vida Eslamieh
The translator of Harry Potter series further described the concurrent existence of 16 different translations of Harry Potter in Iran as a "catastrophe". - 5/23/08

Analysis: Russian-Armenian Gas Talks Inconclusive
The Armenian government and Russia's Gazprom energy giant have failed to reach a final agreement on the price of Russian natural gas for Armenia, which is due to rise significantly next year. -RFE - 5/23/08

Rice warns of more U.S. sanctions on Iran
The United States will aggressively impose more sanctions on Iran as long as it refuses to give up sensitive nuclear work and uses the world's financial system for "terrorism," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday. -Reuters - 5/23/08

Why Qatar is emerging as Middle East peacemaker
With regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, aligned behind rival players in Lebanon, Qatar is uniquely suited to help mediate Lebanon's crisis. It's seen as charting an unashamedly independent path in the maze of Arab politics, -CSM - 5/23/08

Russia's New President Makes First Overseas Trip to China
Russia's new president Dmitry Medvedev says his country seeks what he calls a reasonable, pragmatic and friendly relationship with giant neighbor, China. He arrived in Beijing Friday for a two day visit - as part of his first trip abroad since he took office earlier this month. -VOA - 5/23/08

The Entangled Web Of Campaign Politics And The Prospects Of War With Iran
Some might wonder why there is relatively more popular support among the Islamic Middle Eastern countries for Senator Obama's nomination for the presidency of the United States. In fact, Barack Obama has been attacked by his political opponents for being the beneficiary of support by the Palestinian Hamas, which is regarded here as a terrorist organization. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/22/08

The fresh scent of Sangak bread
Every morning when we woke up, there it was; fresh Sangak bread from the local bakery. My father, who is in his 80s, and still faithfully taking care of his children, would walk to the bakery every morning and buy the fresh bread for us. The sight of fresh Sangak was but one of the things that made our last August trip to Iran a memorable one! -Ali Moayedian - 5/22/08

Rice, British Foreign Secretary Say Iranian Letter Being Studied
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wednesday an Iranian overture for wide-ranging political talks is being studied by the two allies. But they said the way for Iran to escape international isolation is to stop its uranium enrichment program. -VOA - 5/22/08

Iran's "Package for Constructive Negotiations"
On 13 May 2008, Iran presented its proposal for talks with the 5+1 group, entitled, "Package for Constructive Negotiations", to the United Nations. An unofficial English translation of the document has been obtained by CASMII from ISIS and can be downloaded - 5/22/08

Baha'i international community rejects Iranian allegations on recent arrests
Allegations by Iran that six Baha'is were arrested last week for security reasons and not for their faith" are utterly baseless and without documentation, said the Baha'i International Community today. - 5/22/08

AVE DELON!
French Movie Star Alain Delon Cast as Roman Emperor in New Asterix film -Darius KADIVAR - 5/22/08

Whither America, Wither the World?
As a naturalized American citizen I have always utilized my freedom of expression to make my adopted country a bit better. That stems from my firm conviction that the constant influx of immigrants with new ideas, talents and resource has made this Nation of Immigrants unique and vibrant and preserved it longer than any empire in the history of the world. -Ali Parsa - 5/22/08

Iran to raise oil output to 4.3m bpd by year end
Iran's deputy oil minister said on Thursday that Iran will increase its oil output to 4.3 million barrels per day by the end of the current Iranian year. - 5/22/08

Shajarian & Ava Ensemble to Perform Persian Concert in Houston, Texas
Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Homayoun Shajarian and Ava Ensemble have added the city of Houston to their Concert Tour of the United States and Canada. The Houston concert is scheduled for Tuesday June 3, 2008 at Morris Cultural Arts Center Theater of Houston Baptist University. - 5/22/08

Identity of ancient artifact doubted in Tehran warfare show
The shape of an ancient artifact raised doubts about its identity during the opening ceremony of an exhibition of ancient warfare equipment being held by the National Museum of Iran (NMI) in Tehran. - 5/22/08

Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix on the US Rush to War in Iraq, the Threat of an Attack on Iran...
Hans Blix, Former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq. He is currently chair of the Swedish government’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission. His latest book, just published, is Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters. -Democracy Now - 5/22/08

Caspian: Azerbaijani-Turkmen Summit Marks Potentially Lucrative Thaw In Relations
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared that "all issues have been resolved" with Turkmenistan following his talks in Baku this week with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. -RFE - 5/22/08

Beirut Protest Camp Dismantled After Deal Signed in Doha
Lebanon's feuding political leaders have signed a deal in Qatar to end their long-running political crisis, which erupted into sectarian violence earlier this month that killed at least 67 people. -VOA - 5/22/08

Middle East in Nuclear Race To Match Iran
Almost every country in the Middle East has announced nuclear energy plans in the space of less than a year, in response to Iran’s dramatic progress towards atomic power, it was reported yesterday. -Guardian - 5/22/08

Key Lawmakers Urge Bush Administration to Hold Talks With Iran
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates faced tough questions from lawmakers Tuesday about the Bush administration's refusal to hold talks with Iran unless Tehran first halts its uranium enrichment program. Gates told a Senate panel that it is an open question whether such talks would succeed while President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is in power. -VOA - 5/21/08

Iranian-American Sima Sarrafan, a pledged delegate for Obama
Sima Sarrafan was elected as one of 16 Female Pledged Delegates for Senator Barack Obama from the State of Washington to the Democratic National Convention in August.: - 5/21/08

Tabriz University to hold nanotechnology congress
The 2nd International Congress on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICNN2008) will be held in Tabriz University from October 28-30. Those who are interested to take part in the event should send their articles through the public relations office website until May 30. - 5/21/08

How (not) to Win the Hearts and Minds of Iranians
One of the oddest consequences of U.S. sanctions toward Iran is how it has compelled ordinary Iranians, particularly pro-democracy elements, to help strengthen the Islamic Republic¡¦s claim to rule. The sanctions have has given the autocrats in Tehran undue legitimacy by providing them a nationalistic cause. -Babak Rahimi, NIAC - 5/21/08

Iran: New Criticism Of Ahmadinejad Adds To Aura Of Discontent
There is harsh new criticism circulating in Iran about President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's economic policies. This time the critic is influential cleric and former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who says the government is pursuing policies that are leading to the "impoverishment" of the Iranian people. - 5/21/08

Iran's "Bald Hero" wins award in Italy
The Iranian director Fahimeh Mirzahosseini's 'Bald Hero' has won the Golden Mermaid award of Italy's Dawn of Storytelling festival. - 5/21/08

US Committed to Diplomatic Solution to Iranian Nuclear Issue
The Bush administration Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to a diplomatic resolution of the Iran nuclear issue though also saying it forecloses no options in dealing with the matter. The comments followed an Israeli newspaper story that U.S. military action against Iran could come within months. -VOA - 5/21/08

As US Threatens Iran Over Enriching Uranium, Bush Promises to Give Enriched Uranium to Saudi Arabia
We turn from cluster bombs to what could be a major development in nuclear proliferation worldwide: the Bush administration pledging to support Saudi Arabia’s nuclear power program, including supplying enriched uranium for nuclear reactors. -Democracy Now - 5/21/08

Oil prices could reach dlrs 140 by year end, says CGES
Oil prices are likely to continue to rise reaching an average of 140.4 dollars per barrel (dpb) by the final quarter of this year should non-OPEC supply fail to meet pessimistic forecast, according to the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES). - 5/21/08

Iran welcomes agreement between Lebanese groups
Delegates from various Lebanese parties gathered in the Qatari capital since last Friday to reach an agreement on putting an end to the political conflict. -IRNA - 5/21/08

Israel, Syria Confirm Holding Peace Talks Mediated by Turkey
In nearly simultaneous statements officials in Jerusalem and Damascus said the two governments are talking with open minds and in good faith, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive peace agreement. -VOA - 5/21/08

Hamas, Israel appear on brink of cease-fire
In what could be the first agreement between Israel and Hamas since its takeover of the Gaza Strip last year, the two sides are believed to be on the verge of an informal pact to halt cross-border attacks and lift the economic siege on the 1.4 million Palestinians in the coastal enclave. -CSM - 5/21/08

Israel's Olmert: Impose naval blockade on Iran
Israeli prime minister Olmert has suggested the imposition of a naval blockade against Iran in an effort to stop its nuclear program. -Press TV - 5/21/08

Shaping a Nuclear Iran
As President Bush addressed the Israeli parliament last week, denouncing negotiations with recalcitrant regimes as the "false comfort of appeasement," his diplomats, in conjunction with their European counterparts, offered Iran another incentive package to stop enriching uranium. -Ray Takeyh, CFR - 5/21/08

Report says Iran's neighbours looking at nuclear power
Growing interest in atomic power among Iran's neighbours could spiral into a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East unless preventive measures are taken, a leading think-tank said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 5/21/08

Iranian Woman treks for peace across Asia
Roya Loghmanian, an Iranian mother of three, is treking for peace across Asia. Her journey began in Tehran, and if completed as planned, it will end in Beijing just in time for the Olympic Games. - 5/20/08

Iran's Saba Battery basketball team wins Asian Clubs Championship
Iran's Saba Battery basketball team won 82-75 over Qatar's Al- Rayan on Monday and clinched the 19th edition of the Asian Clubs Basketball Championship. - 5/20/08

McCain, Obama Debate Iran Policy
Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama debated the wisdom of dealing directly with Iran Monday. The exchange on foreign policy came on the eve of primaries Tuesday in Kentucky and Oregon, the next contests in the long running Democratic nomination battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton. - 5/20/08

ElBaradei: Iran not after the bomb
The UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei has once again highlighted the lack of evidence to prove Iran is after a nuclear bomb. "We haven't seen indications or any concrete evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon and I've been saying that consistently for the last five years," ElBaradei asserted. - 5/20/08

Six Bahais arrested in Iran for security charge, not for faith: Government
Government spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, said on Tuesday that the arrest of six Bahais in Iran was for security reasons not for their faith. - 5/20/08

Solana due in Tehran to present P5+1 package: Iranian FM
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Tuesday that the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, is to arrive in Tehran soon to present the P5+1 package of incentives to the Iranian leaders. -IRNA - 5/20/08

Senior UN envoy and Iranian President confer on reconstruction of Afghanistan
The top United Nations envoy to Afghanistan met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran today in a bid to boost support for the reconstruction of the strife-torn Asian nation. -UN News Center - 5/20/08

Caspian: Summit of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan Presidents To Explore Gas Options
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was expected to arrive in Baku for the first visit by a sitting Turkmen president since 1996, highlighting recent fence mending between two capitals that had almost no contact just a few years ago. -RFE - 5/20/08

Clive Stafford Smith: US Holding 27,000 in Secret Overseas Prisons
Clive Stafford Smith, British born lawyer for over fifty detainees in Guantanamo Bay. He is the legal director of the UK charity Reprieve and has defended prisoners on death row for over twenty years. He is the author of Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice in Guantanamo Bay. -Democracy Now - 5/20/08

Obama, Clinton and McCain, all support US hegemonic approach: Iranian professor
Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and John McCain, the three US presidential candidates sharing the same view on US foreign policy, all know Washington as a super power in the world, said an Iranian Professor Hamid Molana of American University in Washington. -ISNA - 5/20/08

Are the Jews good for Barack Obama?
With Jewish voters critical in such swing states as Nevada and Pennsylvania, Republicans hope to exploit a supposed softness in Obama's support for Israel. So far, it's not working. -Salon - 5/20/08

Security guarantee is missing link in Iran
The White House's decision to rebuff Russia's suggestion to give Iran a firm security guarantee as part of a new incentive package to suspend nuclear activities is a bad one. -SFGate - 5/20/08

Impeach Bush If He Attacks Iran
"The Congress shall have Power to...declare War..." We have a president who does just about whatever he wants, the Constitution be damned. He has, among other things, asserted unchecked unilateral power, conducted surveillance on American citizens in violation of federal law and ignored universal prohibitions on torture. -Rutherford Institute - 5/20/08

Iran honors great poet Omar Khayyam
Iran has honored the 960th birthday anniversary of the eminent Persian poet, astronomer and mathematician, Khayyam of Neyshabur. - 5/19/08

Coalition Moves Ahead on Iran Resolution
At Wednesday's meeting of the Chicago City Council, Mayor Daley prevented a vote on a resolution opposing an aggressive U.S. attack on Iran. The resolution, which cleared the Human Relations Committee on Tuesday, was expected by its sponsor, Alderman Joe Moore, to pass in the full City Council. Instead, two allies of the mayor employed a parliamentary maneuver to table the resolution. - 5/19/08

Photos: Students' Mass Wedding in Qom, Iran
The following photos are from a mass wedding held for students in Qom Iran in May 2008. - 5/19/08

Interview: Tensions Rise As Tehran Expands Regional Influence
Alex Vatanka, a Washington-based expert for Jane's Information Group, talks with RFE/RL correspondent Ron Synovitz about rising tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies. - 5/19/08

Bush's Iran diplomacy is a sham; admits US Defence Secretary
In a moment of candour, Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary has admitted albeit implicitly that the Bush administration's diplomacy towards Iran has long been a sham -CASMII - 5/19/08

Iran: Parliament considering end to petrol rationing
Majlis is studying to supply petrol at floating price and lift the quota for the motor-cars, Head of Majlis Energy Commission Kamal Daneshyar said on Sunday. -IRNA - 5/19/08

Iran to increase oil output by 1m bpd
Iran's Deputy Oil Minister says raising oil output by 1 million barrels a day is one of most important goals in the country's 4th Development Plan. -Press TV - 5/19/08

Iran asks Germany to expel terrorist groups
Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Alaeddin Borujerdi on Sunday called on Germany to expel terrorist organizations that are using the country as a base. -MNA - 5/19/08

US voices concern over IPI project
The US government continues to oppose Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project while considering it infeasible in the foreseeable future. - 5/19/08

Iranian films at the Cannes festival
Iranian filmmakers would seize the opportunity which have been created in the 61st Cannes International Film Festival for marketing the Iranian films, director of Farabi Cinema Foundation's International Department said on Monday. -IRNA - 5/19/08

Iraq Veterans Describe Atrocities to Lawmakers
Antiwar veterans of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took their case to Capitol Hill Thursday, baring their souls with stories of killings of innocent civilians, torture, and wrongful detentions. -OneWorld.net - 5/19/08

Iran beging importing rice from Pakistan
"The imported rice will be distributed in provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, South Khorasan, Kermanshah, East and West Azerbaijan within the next week" -IRNA - 5/19/08

Iran's futsal team crowned Asian champions
Iran's futsal team clinched its ninth championship on Sunday by beating Thailand 3-0 in the 10th AFC Futsal Championship 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand. -MNA - 5/18/08

Iran: Persepolis football team clinches 7th premier league championship
Persepolis club of Tehran outwitted its heavy weight opponent Sepahan of Isfahan in a breathtaking play in Tehran on Saturday. - 5/18/08

Amnesty International concerned about jailed Iranian human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi
Journalist and human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi suffered a seizure on 7 May in Tehran's Evin prison; he was treated in the prison hospital and sent back to his cell the same day. - 5/18/08

International paleontologists team to do research on fossil-rich Iranian site
A team of eleven paleontologists from France, Finland, China, and Japan are conducting research at the Maragheh fossil locality of East Azarbaijan Province. - 5/18/08

Tehran ranks second in illiteracy among Iran's provinces
After the southeast province of Sistan Baluchestan, Tehran ranks second in illiteracy among 30 provinces of the country, the state Literacy Movement Organization announced in Tehran on Sunday. - 5/18/08

Iran's economic growth at 6.7 percent
The Economic Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iran says Iran's economic growth rate in the last Iranian year was 6.7%. -Press TV - 5/18/08

Dr. Seuss' "Horton hears a who" aired in Iran
Veteran actor and dubber Morteza Ahmadi was hired by the Young Voice Actors Forum (YVAF) to give a rhythmic voiceover narration to "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who", a 2008 production of 20th Century Fox. - 5/18/08

Iranian women on top of inventors' list in Korea competitions
Iran's female inventors have received 23 medals at the Korea International Women's Invention Exposition, coming at the top of the list. -MNA - 5/18/08

Visa-free Iran trips for D8 citizens
Iranian authorities lifted the need for visa for citizens of Developing 8 Countries Organization who want to visit Iran for tourism stays. -Press TV - 5/18/08

New Public-Private Fund Aims to Serve Muslim Women
A unique, new public-private program aims to improve lives around the world, one woman at a time. -America.gov - 5/18/08

Sadr Movement at a crossroads
The Sadr Movement has been strong in post-Saddam Iraq, but its future is now uncertain with the Iraqi government taking the movement on head first. -ISN - 5/18/08

Iranian wushu athletes snatch 10 medals in Asian Championships
Iranian wushu athletes won ten medals in the seventh Asian Wushu Championships in Macau. Iran came third in sanshu in total with one gold medal, two silver and seven bronze. - 5/17/08

World's Deadliest Weapon
On the 60th anniversary of the establishment, within the Mandate for Palestine, of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state, President Bush told Israel's legislature, that "Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations." -Gordon Prather, Antiwar - 5/17/08

Farshchian adds four new works to his museum
Veteran Iranian painter Mahmud Farshchian unveiled four of his latest miniatures at the Farshchian Museum in Tehran's Sadabad Cultural Historical Complex on Friday. - 5/17/08

Terror Most Imperial: Part I
For centuries the colonizers exploited and dominated the third world. Today, one of the more subtle tools of imperialism is the use of value-laden language that seeks to define the Arab and Muslim world. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 5/17/08

Tehran's Controversial Women-Only Park Opens
In an official ceremony in Tehran this week, Mayor Mohammad Baqir Ghalibaf opened a new, sex-segregated park designed exclusively for women's leisure and sport. -RFE - 5/17/08

UK must oppose US threats to Iran, says Scottish church
Delegates at the Church of Scotland's general assembly are being urged to support a resolution, calling on Britain and the United States to preserve peace in the Middle East and to take no further action that could a military conflict with Iran. - 5/17/08

Analysts blame U.S. for attack on Iranian diplomats in Iraq
Political analyst Ahmad Bakhshayeshi blamed the United States for the attack on an Iranian Embassy vehicle that took place in Baghdad on Thursday. - 5/17/08

Obama Accuses Bush, McCain of Launching Divisive Attacks
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama strongly criticized President Bush and Republican rival John McCain Friday for what he called appalling, dishonest and divisive attacks. Obama's comments at a campaign rally in South Dakota came one day after the president compared those who would negotiate with terrorists and radicals to the appeasers of Nazi Germany before World War II. -VOA - 5/17/08

Iraqi president rules out anti-Iran US allegations
President of Iraq Jalal Talabani Friday evening ruled out the US allegations against Iran and alleged involvement in sending weapons to Iraq. - 5/17/08

Oil market is saturated: Iranian Oil Minister
Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Saturday that the increase of OPEC output would not affect oil price as the market is well-supplied and "saturated". -IRNA - 5/17/08

Persian Gulf has become the world's new petrochemicals hub
Persian Gulf is the new hub of petrochemical products in the world, head of American CMAI company said on Saturday. -IRNA - 5/17/08

Lebanese Factions To Renew Talks After Fierce Fighting
Rival factions in Lebanon have agreed to re-launch a national dialog after fierce fighting between Hezbollah militants and pro-government militias killed at least 65 people and wounded at least 200 in the worst violence since the nation's civil war. - 5/17/08

Iran's Yasaman Farzan receives IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Particle Physics
The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has chosen Dr Yasaman Farzan of IPM as the winner of the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Particle Physics in 2008. - 5/16/08

Iran's futsal team qualifies for AFC Futsal Championship final
After defeating Japanese futsal team on Friday, Iran qualified for the 10th AFC Futsal Championship 2008 final game in Bangkok, Thailand. - 5/16/08

Iran: Baha'i leadership detained
Six leaders of a group managing the Baha'i community's religious and administrative affairs in Iran were arrested at their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence on 14 May and are now detained in Evin Prison in Tehran. -Amnesty International - 5/16/08

US Defense Secretary Calls for More Leverage on Iran Before Talks
Secretary Gates says the United States needs to recognize that Iran will need to get something out of any talks, so U.S. officials should not expect to simply go into talks with Iran with a list of demands. He also said more people-to-people exchanges could help build such U.S. leverage on Iranian leaders. -VOA - 5/16/08

Iranian discus thrower Hadadi comes third in world's top list
Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi attained the third place of the recent world's top list. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) released its monthly list of the best, in which Hadadi was third. - 5/16/08

Bogus Claim, al-Maliki Stall US Plan on Iran Arms
Early this month, the George W. Bush administration’s plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for allegedly smuggling arms to Shiite militias in Iraq encountered not just one but two setbacks. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 5/16/08

A Jew's Eye View of Iran
I was the designated Jew on our visit to the synagogue. We were there on a mission for peace. I kid you not. Though every time I say it, I feel like John Belushi as a Blues Brother in dark sunglasses, "You don't understand, we're on a mission from God." -Larry Beinhart, AlterNet - 5/16/08

Democrats Outraged At Bush's 'Appeasement' Remark
The dispute centers on a part of Bush's speech to Israel's parliament on May 15. In it, he spoke of the hostility against Israel by the Islamist groups Hamas and Hizballah, and of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -RFE - 5/16/08

Archaeologists discover Achaemenid predecessor of Yazd city
A team of experts from the Yazd Cultural Heritage Center recently discovered the Achaemenid era predecessor of the city of Yazd. - 5/16/08

Iran and Israel: Lost in translation?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterates controversial statements calling for an "end to the Zionist regime," leading different news services to translate his words in different ways, some making them sound more belligerent than others. -RealNewsNetwork - 5/16/08

The Myth of the Iranian Sanctuary
Recently I was invited to provide testimony before the Chicago City Council on a proposed resolution to oppose any US military action against Iran. I salute the City Council for having the courage and sense of civic responsibility to consider a resolution which would pressure the Congressional delegation of the State of Illinois to heed the will of the citizens of Chicago. -Scott Ritter, Antiwar - 5/16/08

Lebanon: Iran's tool fights America's stooge
A delicate balance between Christians, Druze, Sunnis and Shias has broken down. Reassembly will be hard -Economist - 5/16/08

Iran's Ahmadinejad Says Israel Is 'Dying'
As Israel marks the 60th anniversary of its creation, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says the Jewish state is "dying" and that the celebrations are a failed attempt to prevent its "annihilation." -RFE - 5/16/08

Iran acquires HDD technology in drilling
Despite some western countries' disruption, Islamic Republic of Iran managed to acquire horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology, said engineering and planning manager of Oil Pipeline and Telecommunication Company, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company -MNA - 5/16/08

Palestinians Mark ‘Catastrophe’ of Israel’s Birth
Palestinians protested across the occupied territories on the 60th anniversary of the “catastrophe” of the birth of Israel on Thursday as the Jewish state’s army went on high alert. -AFP - 5/16/08

Israel at 60: The Cost of US Support
Israel’s 60th anniversary is an opportune occasion to question why the U.S. government offers unlimited support to a country that persistently and routinely violates principles that Americans hold sacred. -Boulder Daily Camera - 5/16/08

Radioactive Hypocrisy: American Hubris Threatens Perpetual Nuclear Proliferation
"Why can't we have them when they can?" That, for the "nuclear have-nots," has long been the essence of what some call the nuclear double standard, what others call nuclear narcissism, what others still call America's nuclear hypocrisy. -Tad Daley, AlterNet - 5/16/08

Documentary: "Global Moms Iran" takes us behind the headlines, into the fascinating, and yet strikingly familiar home of our "enemy"
THE FILM: Global Moms Iran (working title) took filmmaker Justine Shapiro, a Jewish American mom, and her six-year-old son Mateo to Iran. Before she became a mom, Justine's work as a documentary filmmaker and as host of GlobeTrekker, an internationally televised travel series, took her off the beaten track to more than 40 countries around the globe. - 5/15/08

A Friday Afternoon full of life at Artists Forum
Last Friday, for an official function, I had to go to the Artists Forum (Khaneh Honarmandan) in Iranshahr Street in the middle of Tehran. It was a lovely spring day full of sunshine and a nice gentle breeze to enlighten one's heart. But what made me even more pleased that afternoon was that the Artists Forum, which is usually closed on Fridays, was full of life, activities and people from all sorts and backgrounds, men, women, old, young. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/15/08

Iran asks UNESCO to name 2009 as "Ferdowsi Year"
Secretary-General of the Ferdowsi Foundation Yaser Movahhedfar announced that the foundation will offer an official proposal to UNESCO for the naming of 2009 as "Ferdowsi Year". - 5/15/08

Iranian American Student Sues Georgetown University for Ethnic Profiling
Iranian American Georgetown University graduate student, Kambiz Fattahi (GRD '08), filed suit against the university on April 29 in response to his forced removal from the university's 2007 commencement ceremony. -NIAC - 5/15/08

Teachers' Day – But Which Teachers?
When Iran's education sector marks Teacher's Day on May 1, it will stir many memories on a date that is resonant with history. This year, the date comes amid growing resentment among teachers at their low pay, but their ability to function as an organized pressure group remains constrained. -Shirzad Abdollahi, Tehran - 5/15/08

NIAC Files Defamation Lawsuit against Hassan Daioleslam
On April 30, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) filed a lawsuit against Hassan Daioleslam in response to his defamatory articles about NIAC. - 5/15/08

Introducing My Spartan Friend!
John Trikeriotis. The 47-year-old financial consultant who lives north of Baltimore with his wife and two kids knows a thing or two about the movie's story--the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held off a vastly larger Persian army long enough for other Greeks to escape to fight again. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/15/08

White House: No Security Guarantees for Iran in Nuclear Talks
The White House says security guarantees are not being considered in talks with Iran regarding its disputed nuclear program. -VOA - 5/15/08

Iran shifts attention to brokering peace in Iraq
Details from a secret meeting between top Iranian and Iraqi officials signal Iran's aim to 'stop arming' militias. -CSM - 5/15/08

Chicago aldermen hold off on resolution opposing Iran invasion
The Chicago City Council backed away Wednesday from a proposed resolution opposing a U.S. invasion of Iran, with Mayor Richard Daley saying it could cause problems for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid. -Chicago Tribune - 5/15/08

Lebanese Cabinet Reverses Anti-Hezbollah Decisions That Sparked Fighting
Lebanon's government has reversed two anti-Hezbollah decisions that set off a week of sectarian clashes that left roughly 60 people dead and more than 200 wounded. VOA Correspondent Challiss McDonough has more from Beirut. - 5/15/08

Tehran, Riyadh Face Off Over Lebanon
Saudi Arabia has charged Iran with seeking a coup in Beirut, and Tehran is sharply rejecting the charges. The war of words, which directly follows the recent street fighting in Lebanon, highlights a growing sense in Riyadh and some other Mideast capitals that Iran is building its influence in the region at their expense. -RFE - 5/15/08

How Iran pulls the strings in Iraq
Iran played a crucial role in securing the recent ceasefire in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, just as it helped broker an earlier truce in the southern city of Basra. -BBC - 5/15/08

Iran bans advertisement on foreign-based satellite TVs
Karimi said that many beauty saloons or other similar institutes that broadcast advertisement on foreign-based satellite TVs, have so far, been "identified and confronted" within the past few months with the help of Iran's police. -IRNA - 5/15/08

Legendary Author Gore Vidal on the Bush Presidency, History and the “United States of Amnesia”
With a career spanning more than six decades, Gore Vidal is one of America’s most respected writers and thinkers, authored more than twenty novels, five plays. His recent books include Dreaming War, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia. -Democracy Now - 5/15/08

Worried about Price of Gas? End U.S. Wars
Despite all the recent talk of soaring prices at the pump, political and economic pundits rarely mention the impact of war and political instability in the Middle East on the skyrocketing price of oil. There is strong evidence, however, that the heightened price of energy is a direct consequence of the destabilizing wars and geopolitical insecurity in the region. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 5/14/08

Sharif University gains 13th place in Students International Programming Competition
Information Technology, Mechanic and Optic University of St. Petersburg gained the first place by solving eight problems and Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), Izhevsk State University of Russia, National University of Lviv and State University of Moscow, by solving seven problems, stood in second to fifth places. - 5/14/08

Children of the Iranian Revolution: The Photography of Iason Athanasiadis at Woodrow Wilson Center
With 70 percent of its people under 30 years old, Iran is one of the youngest societies on earth. At the same time, Tehran is at the receiving end of a media campaign that has created an international impression of the country and its people that is far removed from reality. - 5/14/08

Iranian women win medals in Asian wushu event
Two Iranian women wushu athletes attained bronze medals in the seventh Asian Wushu Championships, which is underway in Macau. - 5/14/08

The Ultimate Frontier: Darius Shahinfar for Congress
Within the past several decades, we the Iranian-Americans have made great strides to see our duly earned stature recognized with respect to our cultural identify and substantive contributions in the multiethnic Promised Land: the U.S. of A. -Committee for Darius Shahinfar for Congress - 5/14/08

Call for Proposals: "Teaching about the Middle East in the 21st Century"
The Middle East Studies Program at California State University, Fresno calls for proposals for pre-organized panels and individual papers for the Program's inaugural meeting, October 16-18, 2008, in Fresno, California. - 5/14/08

Expanding Film Ties in The Middle East
Iranian American Director/Producer Kayvan Mashayekh noticed at The First Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi -Darius KADIVAR - 5/14/08

Iranian futsal team sweeps Tajikistan
Reigning champion Iran obliterated a helpless Tajikistan futsal team 14-0 on Tuesday in the 10th AFC Futsal Championship 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand. -MNA - 5/14/08

Could the tail wag the dog? And should we care?
In recent weeks western media have been awashed with rumours that US or her Israeli partner will launch a genocidal attack against the Iranian nation, in the Persian Gulf and surrounding countries you can hardly spit and not hit one of the US or her coalition of willing army bases or navy carrier battle groups, not to mention the blood curdling promises of Mr. Ben-Eliezer, Israeli minister and Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. -Dr B. Bahrami, UK - 5/14/08

What Do Google and Saddam Have in Common?
Google has a funny way of doing business -- one that involves muddying politics in the Middle East. In recent months, the organization has taken the unprecedented step to rename internationally recognized bodies of water. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 5/14/08

World Renowned Philosopher Slavoj Zizek on the Iraq War, the Bush Presidency, the War on Terror & More
Part two of our wide-ranging discussion with Slavoj Zizek, the philosopher, psychoanalyst and cultural theorist. He has been called the “Elvis of cultural theory” and is widely considered to be one of Europe’s leading intellectuals. -Democracy Now - 5/14/08

The Neocon Roots of Iranian-Israeli Extremism
What do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel have in common? One thing is for certain: they are both true reflections of the neoconservative rise in US foreign policy, which itself was a result of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, which razed the Twin Towers in New York and parts of the Pentagon. -Jalal Alavi, UK - 5/14/08

Why All of Our Efforts Won't Stop an Attack on Iran
May 9. I read tonight a brief article by Philip Giraldi posted on the American Conservative website: “War with Iran Might Be Closer than You Think.” -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 5/14/08

Attorney says man innocent in Iran software case
A defense attorney conceded Tuesday that his engineer client took software from the nation's largest nuclear plant and used it while in Iran, but said he did it only so his Iranian relatives could see what he did for a living. -AP - 5/14/08

Oil hits new high on Iran fears
Oil prices have hit a record just shy of $127 a barrel after Iran said it was studying a plan to cut crude output. -BBC - 5/14/08

Tree of Life: 16th Environmental Art Festival in Iran - Noushahr, North of Iran (May 2008)
During last week (April 29 to May 4, 2008) a new environmental art festival was held on the coast of Caspian Sea, in the north of Iran. More than 140 artists from different part of Iran gathered on this beautiful region to create environmental installations and sand sculptures. The festival also included a number of art performances. I was responsible to act as an art director. -Ahmad Nadalian - 5/13/08

Carrière's Master Class In Tehran
Movie Critic Icon and Screen Writer Jean Claude Carrière Lectures at Iran's House of Cinema -Darius KADIVAR - 5/13/08

Chicago Resolution Opposes War, Urges Diplomacy with Iran
The Chicago City Council will consider a resolution Wednesday that would put America’s third largest city on the record as opposing war and supporting diplomatic engagement with Iran. Call your alderman about this important vote. -NIAC - 5/13/08

Ardeshir Mohassess: Art and Satire in Iran - May 22-August 3 2008 at Asia Society & Museum
Ardeshir Mohassess's illustrations and cartoons have been regularly published in Iranian newspapers and periodicals such as Kayhan, Ettelaat, Ayandegan, as well as international newspapers such as the New York Times. This legendary artist has been the subject of books and numerous solo and group exhibitions in Iran and abroad. - 5/13/08

PRIDE AND PAIN AT PARSA-POLIS: What Iran Has Given to the World and What Do We Know About it?
This paper is an invitation to revisit and re-examine facets of one of the most ancient civilizations – Iran – so as to reclaim that heritage and to exercise a degree of control over a historiography which it represents. -Mehdi S. Shariati - 5/13/08

A case of split infinitives
On 22 April 2008, Hillary Clinton, candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in the upcoming US presidential elections, threatened "to totally obliterate" the Iranian people, fully demonstrating the bankruptcy of her campaign, writes Hamid Dabashi - 5/13/08

PARSA University: Involving Your Family in Philanthropy
Philanthropy is an important and increasingly popular way for families to come together around shared values, develop a strong sense of social responsibility while also supporting a community and providing tax benefits. -PARSA - 5/13/08

Tehran's International Book Fair ends: best publishers of the year announced
The jury announced here on Sunday the best publishers of the last Iranian calendar year which took part in the 21st Tehran International Book Fair (May 1-12). - 5/13/08

Beating the Drums of a Broader Middle East War
The Levant could be the starting point of a major international conflict with global ramifications and which could quickly spin out of control. Such a conflict could even involve the use of Israeli or American nuclear weapons against Iran and Syria. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research - 5/13/08

Iran Oil Minister denies crude output cut
Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari denied on Tuesday reports about Iran's decision to reduce its crude oil output. Nozari said that Iran's current crude output stands on 4.170 million bpd. - 5/13/08

Iran accuses US, UK of complicity in Shiraz bombing
Iran has pointed finger at the United States and Britain as being accomplices to Shiraz terrorist bombing and said that it will take legal action with the International Court of Justice against the US and UK after investigations indicated their complicity in the terror. -IRNA - 5/13/08

Bush offers help for Lebanon army
The US is prepared to help strengthen Lebanon's army so it can disarm Hezbollah, US President George W Bush said in an interview with the BBC. Hezbollah would be nothing without Iranian backing, he said, adding that Iran was the source of much instability in the Middle East. -BBC - 5/13/08

3rd round of Iran-IAEA nuclear talks continues in Tehran
Iranian officials and a technical delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency started their second day of the third round of negotiations at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization in Tehran. -IRNA - 5/13/08

Tehran protests UK double-standard policy in dealing with terrorism
The Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly protested a UK court ruling unbanning the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization in that country. -IRNA - 5/13/08

Iran agrees to dispatch experts, workers to Qatar
The Islamic Republic of Iran and Qatar on Monday inked a letter of understanding on dispatch of Iranian labor to Qatar. - 5/13/08

Women on two wheels: A Middle East dialogue tour
As President George Bush visits the Middle East this week, more than 250 women are spreading their own message for peace – on bicycles. The "Follow the Women" bike tour kicked off in the mountains outside of Beirut on May 4 with women pedaling from nearly 30 countries, including Turkey, Iran, Europe, and the US. -CSM - 5/13/08

IRAN MAN!
Tony Stark's Blockbuster Heart Pumps Fresh Iranian Blood into Hollywood's Dream Factory -Darius KADIVAR - 5/12/08

'Rapping' Iranian Men
Not allowed to sing in Iran about the harsh treatment of women in society, the Iranian rap group Tapesh 2012 (Pulse 2012) is doing just that -- from its base in Germany. The group's latest song, "Ma Mard Nistim" ("We Are Not Men"), focuses on the Iranian feminist movement and its struggle to overcome violence against women. -RFE - 5/12/08

Trita Parsi's "Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States" awarded CFR's 2008 silver medal
This unique and important book takes a closer look at the complicated triangular relations between Israel, Iran, and the United States that continue to shape the future of the Middle East. - 5/12/08

IRAN: Can P5+1 Offer Break the Nuclear Stalemate?
The P5+1 -- the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany -- will present Tehran with a secret incentive package in the next few days to convince Iran to suspend its enrichment programme and enter negotiations. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 5/12/08

Salt men of Zanjan find permanent home in Zolfaqari House
Over the past decade, six salt men have been unearthed at the Chehrabad Salt Mine located in the Hamzehlu region near Zanjan, Iran. -MNA - 5/12/08

Bam 6.6 film screened at MIT
This is the introductory speech by Brian H. Appleton at MIT on the occasion of the screening of Jahangir Golestan-Parast's Bam 6.6 jointly sponsored by MIT Persian Student's Association and Harvard Iranian Student Association - 5/12/08

Iran's reserves in foreign banks increases 36% to $81B
Iranian reserves in foreign banks in mid-February 2008 reached over $81 billion, Iran's central bank announced on Sunday. - 5/12/08

Un-"threat"-ing Iran: An Interview With Stephen Kinzer
Author Stephen Kinzer discusses the motivations behind the targeting of Iran, the emotional impulses that fuel American interventions around the world, and the strategy that may finally deliver the US from its "regime change" habit. -truthout - 5/12/08

Nine Iranians in Asia-Pacific film festival academy
Nine nominees from Iran's cinema industry in Asia-Pacific festival awards of 2007 have been selected for the membership of the festival's academy. -ISNA - 5/12/08

3rd round of Iran-IAEA nuclear talks begins in Tehran
Iranian officials and a technical delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started their third round of negotiations at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) in Tehran on Monday. - 5/12/08

Israel Considers Truce Offer From Hamas
A Middle East ceasefire could be in the offing during a week of high diplomacy. But Israel has mixed feelings, as we hear from Robert Berger at the VOA bureau in Jerusalem. - 5/12/08

Are Iran, Syria Playing Any Roles In Lebanon Fighting?
RFE/RL correspondent Andrew F. Tully put these issues before Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Cordesman is a leading Middle East authority who has served as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. State and Defense departments. - 5/12/08

Iran FM: UK backs criminals, terrorists
Iran's Foreign Minister Mottaki says that public opinion across the world accuses Britain of supporting criminals and terrorists. -Press TV - 5/12/08

Thinking globally, acting locally
With the Bush administration angling for war with Iran, the city of Chicago is considering going on record opposing it -Guardian - 5/12/08

Shahri Estakhry: The Mother of San Diego's Persian Community
For fifty-five years, Shahri Estakhry has found her life's passion in volunteer work and humanitarian causes. How this Shiraz-born tour de force of a woman has become known as the "Mother of Our Community" in San Diego, California, is an inspiring story of how one person with an extraordinarily big heart and determined spirit can make a lasting difference in the lives of many. -PARSA - 5/11/08

Iran Tose'e Karaj clinches Asian Water Polo Championship
Iran's Tose'e Karaj water polo team defeated Guangdong of China in the 6th Asian Water Polo Clubs Championship final game in Kuwait on Saturday -MNA - 5/11/08

U.S. peace activists in Iran
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, one of the first ten women rabbis in the history of Judaism, on Saturday visited the headquarters of Tehran Times newspaper and Mehr News Agency, heading a delegation of 21 peace activists. - 5/11/08

US confession: Weapons were not made in Iran after all
In a sharp reversal of its longstanding accusations against Iran arming militants in Iraq , the US military has made an unprecedented albeit quiet confession: the weapons they had recently found in Iraq were not made in Iran at all. -CASMII - 5/11/08

Iran qualifies for beach soccer world cup
Iran's beach soccer team qualified for the 2008 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after beating China here on Saturday. -MNA - 5/11/08

Iran's futsal team thrashes Kuwait
Iran's futsal team swept Kuwait in the 10th AFC Futsal Championship 2008 opener in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday. -MNA - 5/11/08

Mother’s Day 2008: Peaceful Idealism v. Political Pragmatism
Sadly, this is the fifth Mother’s Day since Casey was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004. The people who told me that “time will heal” were wrong, or maybe it just takes more time? I have spoken to many mothers who buried their child years ago, however, that tell me it does not get any easier. I suspect the mothers who have buried children are probably right. -Cindy Sheehan, Common Dreams - 5/11/08

"Colliding with Nature's Best-kept Secrets"
If a fraction of Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed's novel theories are turned out to be confirmed by the forthcoming experimental work at the soon to be completed Large Hardon Collider in Switzerland this August, it would revolutionize our thinking paradigm about our very own essence, let alone the universe! The Nobel prize then is simply a miniscule token of recognition bestowed upon this quiet GIANT in his tender 30's! -David Rahni - 5/10/08

Human Shield Movement to Iran receives 10,000th pledge
The Human Shield Movement to Iran today claimed its 10,000th pledge volunteer and warned President Bush that any attempt at military intervention against Iran would be met by a massive mobilization of human shields. - 5/10/08

Photos: Praying for Rain in Qazvin, Iran
The people of Qazvin gathered on May 9 to pray for rain. Iran is among the countries grappling with an unusually dry year. - 5/10/08

Iran's Hadadi wins gold in Super Grand Prix
Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi clinched the gold medal on Friday at the 11th Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium. -MNA - 5/10/08

Iran produces 5m sq.m of hand-woven carpets annually
Annually five million square meters of hand-woven carpets are produced in Iran, Director of Iran's National Carpet Center Morteza Faraji said here on Saturday. - 5/10/08

Call for US to show evidence of Tehran weapons link
There were calls today for the US either to show evidence of "high level Iranian government involvement in the supply of weapons to militias in Iraq" or to retract their allegations. -Westminster Committee on Iran, UK - 5/10/08

Hizbollah rules west Beirut in Iran's proxy war with US
Another American humiliation. The Shia gunmen who drove past my apartment in west Beirut yesterday afternoon were hooting their horns, making V-signs, leaning out of the windows of SUVs with their rifles in the air, proving to the Muslims of the capital that the elected government of Lebanon has lost. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 5/10/08

Supply fears push oil beyond $126
Crude oil prices have hit yet another all- time high in New York, tipping beyond $126 a barrel. - 5/10/08

Afghanistan: One Of The World's Most Difficult Places To Become A Mother
Death during childbirth is a scourge in Afghanistan. On average, a woman dies there every 27 minutes from complications during pregnancy, according to the nongovernmental group Save The Children. It is a chilling statistic that contributes to making Afghanistan one of the most difficult places in the world to be a mother. -RFE - 5/10/08

Iranian girl wins World Children's Picture Contest
A nine-year-old Iranian girl, Kimia Abbasi was awarded the silver medal at the World Children's Picture Contest held in Japan. -IRNA - 5/10/08

Iran's petrochemical exports to China to rise to $1B
Managing Director of National Petrochemical Company Mohammad-Hadi Rahbari said on Saturday that Iran's petrochemical exports to China is expected to reach dlrs one billion during the current year. -IRNA - 5/10/08

PARSA Community Foundation Announces 2008 Norooz Grantees!
A core element of PARSA CF's mission is to strengthen entrepreneurial individuals and nonprofits that serve the Persian community. To that end, PARSA CF recently completed its grant review process with $105,000 in grants going to nine powerful ideas. - 5/9/08

Chicago City Council Considers Resolution Opposing War on Iran
Leading Experts to Testify Against Military Action as Tensions Rise: With the prospect of a U.S. military strike on Iran looming, America's third largest city will decide next week whether to take a stand on this volatile international situation. -No War On Iran Coalition, Chicago - 5/9/08

Dream of Peace in Persian Gulf: 15th Environmental Art Festival in Iran at the Persian Gulf
In December 2007, we held an environmental art festival in the Persian Gulf. This festival had no sponsors. The young artists paid for the cost of their trip, food, and supplies they needed to create their art works. - 5/9/08

NIAC Selects 2008 Public Service and Journalism Fellow!
Congratulations to Artin Afkhami, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley. This summer, NIAC will sponsor Artin's internship in the office of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, where Artin will experience Capitol Hill first hand by attending committee hearings and researching legislation. - 5/9/08

Lebanon: Increasing Violence Raising U.S. Concerns Over Iran
Despite the U.S. efforts to characterize Iran's strategy, countering it has proved difficult, however. And the violence in Lebanon is likely to be seen in Washington as the latest measure of the challenge. -RFE/RL - 5/9/08

Iran Heritage, Persian Gulf Online, and Iran Alliance 2008 Scholarship and Merit Awards
For scholarship, the recipient is Mrs. Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich. In Merit category, the Award goes to Mr. Daniel (Mehdi) Pourkesali. For those who follow our countries' events, these two individuals do not need any introduction. - 5/9/08

'UK verdict on MKO politically motivated'
Iran's embassy in London has slammed a British court's verdict to remove the Mojahedin Khalq Organization from the terrorists blacklist. - 5/9/08

US Politician Wary of Iran's Retaliatory Attacks
US State Department official Thomas Shannon warned Washington about the possible grave consequences of imposing a war on Iran, saying Tehran may use South America as a springboard for retaliation. -FNA - 5/9/08

Thinking Boldly about Iran
Milton Berle once said that “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” In Iran – and elsewhere – many are now wondering if the arrival in Tehran of a young, charismatic black American President would inspire both sides to discover (or build) that door. -Washington Post - 5/9/08

Keeping Secrets From the CIA
The Senate Intelligence Committee is about to release a report that sheds new light on "inappropriate" back-channel contacts between Pentagon officials and a group of Iranian informants—including a key figure from the Iran-contra affair. -Newsweek - 5/9/08

Russia Joins New UN Sanctions on Iran
Russia has adopted new United Nations economic sanctions on Iran aimed at getting Tehran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities. - 5/9/08

WITNESS: Blacklisted by my bank for living in Iran
"Your account has been blocked because of your address ... It's not personal." The bank employee in Brussels sounded almost apologetic when she told me my business was no longer wanted since I live in Iran, which is under tightening U.N. and U.S. sanctions over its disputed nuclear plans. -Reuters - 5/9/08

Whose side are they all on?
The Americans and the Iraqis find it hard to read the ambiguities in Iran's policy towards Iraq -Economist - 5/9/08

Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan agree an anti-drugs plan brokered by UN
Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have agreed to step up cross-border controls to stop the flow of illegal drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced today in Vienna. -UN News Center - 5/9/08

You never know what's going to happen next!
When I arrived, he said that he had pain in his chest and could not lie down. I called my doctor (and my guardian angel) Dr Shahnaz Atabak and explained the symptoms. Immediately she said that I must take him to an emergency unit, he most probably has had a heart attack. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/8/08

Mehrgan Cultural Foundation: Agents of Change through Community-Based Dialogue
Founded in 1994, Mehrgan Cultural Foundation was conceived by Hassan and Faezeh Firouzi in San Diego, California as a non-political, non-religious, and non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Iranian heritage. - 5/8/08

Bam 6.6 sweeps the awards at Noor Film Festival 2008
Payvand.com - The 2nd Annual Noor Film Festival was held from April 6 to April 13, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. This year's theme was on Women with emphasis on documentary films from Iranian filmmakers around the world. - 5/8/08

Profile of an Iranian-American: Goli Ameri, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Goli Ameri was sworn in on March 19, 2008 as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. She was nominated by the White House on November 15, 2007. - 5/8/08

New move is needed to develop Iranian spiritual cinema: Milani
Celebrated Iranian filmmaker Tahmineh Milani said that Iranian cinema requires a new move to improve its spiritual film genre. Milani has been labeled as the feminist filmmaker of Iranian cinema due to her women-centered films. -MNA - 5/8/08

Media banned every 36 hours in Iran in 2007
According to a new report, in 2007 Iran banned a media outlet, newspaper or journal every 36 hours. The report, released on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, was published by Iranian human rights activists groups in Europe and North America. - 5/8/08

Iran: Shiraz bombing suspects arrested
Minister of Information, Gholam- Hossein Mohseni Ejeie, said here Wednesday evening that the suspects of Shiraz bomb blast believed to have links with certain Western countries, including Britain and the US. -IRNA - 5/8/08

Iran showcases first home-made auto engine at German expo
Iran is displaying its first home-made auto engine at the 2008 Engine Expo, currently taking place in the south German city of Stuttgart, an Iranian auto official told IRNA on Wednesday. - 5/8/08

Iran resolution goes to Evanston City Council
Chicago - Evanston and North Shore peace groups are making their voice known again on a national issue. The groups have gained the backing of an Evanston City Council committee in support of a resolution opposing U.S. military intervention or use of force in Iran. -Pioneer Press Online, IL - 5/8/08

Jewish-Iranian lawmaker: Israel's behavior is 'anti-human'
An Iranian Jewish leader on Wednesday said his community would not mark this week's 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, which he accused of "killing innocent" Palestinians. -Haaretz, Israel - 5/8/08

Iranian's sentence extended in military goggles case
The defendant had received a sentence of time served for her role in an illegal trade plot. But the judge extends her prison term to more than two years, citing a miscalculation. - 5/8/08

Six Iranian-Americans Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor
On May 10, 2008 six Iranian Americans will receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding achievement in their personal and professional lives coupled with preservation of their culture and heritage and noteworthy citizenship to the United States. -PAAIA - 5/7/08

Natural Dyes Return To Oriental Carpets But Without The Famous Insect Reds
When Iranian photographer Javid Tafazoli was walking through a weaving village in the mountains of Chaharmahal va Bakhtiyari province, far to the west of Isfahan, he saw an arresting sight. It was a cascade of recently dyed red wool hanging from a tree. -Charles Recknagelis - 5/7/08

Report: US convenes on Iran war scenario
High-ranking US officials have reportedly held a special meeting to study options for a military strike against the Islamic Republic. The secret meeting was reportedly held on Tuesday either at the White House or at the US Department of Defense. - 5/7/08

Satrapi Joins Jury of Cannes 2008
Director of Jury Prize 2007 animated film Persepolis joins Sean Penn's Jury list -Darius KADIVAR - 5/7/08

Iran ranks 87th in literacy rate
is ranked 87th in literacy rate among 139 countries in the world, state Literacy Movement Organization announced in Tehran on Monday. Over eight million illiterates have been educated since the formation of the Literacy Movement Organization in 1979. - 5/7/08

"Visualizing the Sacred: Islam on Film" at UCLA Film & Television Archive
Since September 11, 2001, images of Islam in the mainstream American media have been virtually monolithic in their focus on terrorism and radicalism. At the same time, the on-going Danish cartoon controversy has sparked heated debate about the intersections of free speech and religious tradition, representation and tolerance. - 5/7/08

Pentagon Targeted Iran for Regime Change after 9/11
Three weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, former U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East -IPS - 5/7/08

Iran supply problems add to fears of oil hitting $200 a barrel
The Iranian petroleum industry needs foreign investment and, despite the country’s vast oil and gas reserves, is struggling to maintain production levels, according to industry experts. -TIMES ONLINE - 5/7/08

Haale's sound stretches from New York to Iran
Call her Persian. Call her a New Yorker. Call her a rocker. Call her a poet. Even call her a mystic, if you must. But please, don't call Haale exotic. -Boston Globe - 5/7/08

Russia: Putin Hands Reins To Medvedev, But Remains In Control
Dmitry Medvedev has been sworn in as Russia's third president since the collapse of the Soviet Union 17 years ago in an elaborate ceremony at the Kremlin that was broadcast live across the country and around the world. -RFE - 5/7/08

Lebanese Government Challenges Hezbollah
After a marathon overnight session, the Lebanese government has decided to throw down the gauntlet to the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, in a bid to crack down on the group's mushrooming state-within-a-state activities. -VOA - 5/7/08

Doubting the Evidence Against Iran
American circles in Baghdad and Washington are probably not pleased with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's plan for a special panel to investigate allegations of Iranian interference in Iraq. -TIME - 5/7/08

Iran's cerebral palsy football team to play England
Iranian cerebral palsy (CP) football team will play England in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, on Wednesday. A total of six teams, namely Ukraine(host), Iran, England, China, the Netherlands and Brazil are taking part in the competitions entitled "small Paralympics". -MNA - 5/7/08

Iran, India ink €400m petrochemical MOU
National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India's Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited Company (NFCL) in Tehran on Monday for the construction of a joint urea and ammonia complex in the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (second phase of Assaluyeh). -MNA - 5/7/08

Iran hardliners condemn Khatami
Members of Iran's parliament have made a formal complaint to the intelligence minister over remarks made by former President Mohammad Khatami. -BBC - 5/7/08

Reza Pahlavi and the Question of Religion
Reza Pahlavi has by and large been reticent on the issue of religion. He mainly mentions it in order to reiterate his belief in an Iran where the separation of Mosque and state are absolute. -Reza Bayegan, Paris - 5/7/08

Condi Stomps the Mullahs
The war drums are again beating. It's beginning to look like the neocons have cranked up their useful idiots in the Bush administration for a fall offensive, target Iran. And maybe also Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians. -Philip Giraldi, Antiwar - 5/7/08

US Accuses Iran of Interfering in Afghanistan
A senior U.S. official says Iran is interfering in Afghanistan's politics and lending support to the Taliban insurgency. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher spoke to reporters in Paris before a donors conference on Afghanistan. Lisa Bryant has more from the French capital. -VOA - 5/7/08

Join Fictionville Studio in the production of FINDING HOME, a documentary about the girls of the Omid-e Mehr Center
The fringes of Iranian society can be a lonely place, especially if you are a teenage girl with few resources to fall back on. Finding Home follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran. Forget about the Iran that youíve seen before. With a virtually invisible camera, the girls of Finding Home take us on a never-before-seen tour of the underclass of Iran with their brave and defiant stories - 5/6/08

"OBLITERATE" IRAN? A REAL THREAT OR SIMPLY MEANINGLESS JARGON?
Not only does showing animosity and anger against Iran not carry any adverse consequences, it actually helps show the so-called national security concerns and qualifications of the candidate among the bovine public. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/6/08

Iran advises G 5+1 to give up precondition for nuclear talks
Iran on Tuesday advised the Group 5+1 to give up precondition for talks about dispute over Iranian nuclear program. Head of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Borujerdi said that members of the Group 5+1 should withdraw their demand on suspension of nuclear enrichment, if they wanted to make a breakthrough in nuclear talks. -IRNA - 5/6/08

Assassins of Peace
The "war on terrorism" now consists of a worldwide campaign to fund the "good" terrorist groups -Justin Raimondo , Antiwar - 5/6/08

2nd Jiroft confab opens in Iran
The second International Jiroft Conference opened on May 5th in a bid to discuss the early Bronze Age civilization in the southeast of Iran. -Press TV - 5/6/08

Russia, China dispute Britain's remarks on Iran
On Monday, Russia and China strongly criticized UK Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva John Duncan for distorting reports about the decisions of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on Iran's nuclear program. -IRNA - 5/6/08

Fitch (UK) Withdraws Ratings of the National Iranian Oil Company and two Iranian Banks
Fitch Ratings-London-02 May 2008: Fitch Ratings (UK) has today affirmed the National Iranian Oil Company's (NIOC) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B+' with a Stable Outlook and has simultaneously withdrawn the rating. - 5/6/08

Iran: Elections Under Threat
Iranians went to the polls April 25th to vote in the second round of parliamentary elections. The results were a victory for conservative candidates allied with President Ahmadinejad. They called for unity between the President and the Parliament at a time of threats from the United States. -Democracy Now - 5/6/08

Oil Prices Top $120 A Barrel For First Time
The price of oil rose above $120 a barrel for the first time Monday. -Raw Story - 5/6/08

Producers hope to help kids deal with social diversity
"This business is something we believe can help change the world," said Shabnam Rezaei, who launched it with her husband, Aly Jetha. The pair, who have just moved here from New York City, come from as diverse backgrounds as their characters. -Vancouver Sun - 5/6/08

Former UN weapons inspector says attack on Iran 'virtual guarantee'
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who was among the original experts to question Bush Administration claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, now says he believes an attack on Iran is a "virtual guarantee." - 5/6/08

Professor guides cultural exploration
Since the beginning of the semester, when Professor Persis Karim offered to guide Eleanor Lovinfosse through an education on the culture of Iran, the student has been in her office twice a week, every week. -Spartan Daily, San Jose - 5/6/08

Iran earned $350m refueling ships in one year
Iran earned about $350 million in the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2007–March 2008) by selling fuel to ships crossing the Persian Gulf, the commercial manager of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) said on Monday. -MNA - 5/6/08

IAAB's Successful Student Summit Builds Connections and Strengthens Communities
Iranian Alliances Across Borders is pleased to announce the success of its first Iranian-American Student Summit. From April 4th-6th, 2008, thirteen Iranian American student organization leaders from ten universities and colleges around the nation convened at Wellesley College for a weekend of exchange, brainstorming and friendship. - 5/5/08

Iran not considering report about Bush directive to Widen War on Iran: FM spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Monday that reports about a secret order by the US president to kill Iranian officials were not confirmed and that Iran would not pay any attention to suspicious reports - 5/5/08

Imported anarchy in Iraq
Recently, officials in Washington D.C., London, and Paris have claimed that, for ordinary Iraqis, the security situation has been improved by the surge in U.S. troops. However, the Iraqi people continue to suffer, with thousands dead, millions injured, and millions more displaced. What led to this anarchic situation and how can it be contained? -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - 5/5/08

Iran Set To Reject Nuclear Incentives Offer By World Powers
Iran looks set to reject a new offer by the international community to give up some nuclear activities in exchange for unspecified incentives. Iranian officials made the announcement over the weekend after the foreign ministers of the UN Security Council's five permanent members, plus Germany, agreed on May 2 in London to make a new offer to Tehran. -RFE - 5/5/08

Democracy Possible for Iran, Says Dissident Iranian Journalist
It is possible for democracy to take root in Iran, but it will not grow in the same way as democracy did in America, says Arash Sigarchi, an Iranian journalist who has been imprisoned for his outspokenness. - 5/5/08

Indian FM: Nothing can prevent implementation of Peace pipeline
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that nothing can prevent implementation of Peace pipeline. - 5/5/08

Iran reaffirms commitment to Iraqi security
Iran would spare no effort to help government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to restore security to the war-ravage country. Commenting on a recent visit to Iran by an Iraqi delegation, Under-Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Mohammad Jaafari said the Iraqi delegation was in Tehran "to exchange views on latest developments in that country." -IRNA - 5/5/08

Iran sees talks with US on Iraq useless
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Monday that next round of talks with the United States on Iraq would not be effective when bloodshed is going on five years after occupation. -IRNA - 5/5/08

Hidden jewel of Afghan culture
Architectural historian and broadcaster Dan Cruickshank treks into the mountains of western Afghanistan to visit and film an architectural treasure, the leaning minaret of Jam. -BBC - 5/5/08

Russia halts N-shipments via Azerbaijan
The Russian contractor for Iran's nuclear power plant project suspends sending cargoes destined for Iran via the Republic of Azerbaijan. -Press TV - 5/5/08

Iraq increasingly finds itself caught between U.S. and Iran
The US military in Iraq says Iran continues to aid militants, but Iraqis now say that they want their own evidence. -CSM - 5/5/08

The dangers of the Iranian 'if'
When asked on ABC News about what she would do if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, Hillary Clinton was explicit, “…we would be able to totally obliterate them and those people who run Iran need to know that.” -Independent - 5/5/08

Hillary Clinton: I would still 'obliterate' Iran
"Why would I have any regrets?" Senator Clinton said Saturday in response to ABC News' question as to whether she had any regrets about threatening Tehran. - 5/4/08

Secret Bush "Finding" Widens War on Iran
Six weeks ago, President Bush signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, "unprecedented in its scope." -Andrew Cockburn, CounterPunch - 5/4/08

Iran's beach football team gear up for world cup
Iranian beach football team will play the Philippines on May 7 in Group B of the Asian Beach football Championship in Jumeirah, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. -MNA - 5/4/08

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Doesn’t Mince Words About War and Justice
Shirin Ebadi wants Americans to do what they can to stop the Bush administration’s threats to bomb Iran as punishment for presumably making nuclear weapons. -Olga Bonfiglio, Common Dreams - 5/4/08

Small Palestinian village faces slow death
Israel's High Court last month rejected petitions by Aqaba residents asking that it cancel the military's demolition orders, which include the kindergarten, the mosque, a health care centre and residential homes. -IRIN - 5/4/08

Tehran's girls-only schools to be enlivened
Based on the plan, the schools are to be provided with wide choices of entertainment, sports and recreational facilities such as table tennis and chessboard as well as gymnastic equipments. - 5/4/08

Russia: 6 Powers Want Iran to Halt Nuclear Work 'Only' During Talks
Russia says six world powers concerned about Iran's nuclear program want Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment while negotiations are under way. -VOA - 5/4/08

Afghanistan: Gates Says U.S. Could Eye Expanded Role
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the United States could consider taking over NATO's command in southern Afghanistan, where some NATO allies have been reluctant to provide combat forces. -RFE - 5/4/08

Kurdish Rebels Dispute Turkish Report of Heavy Rebel Casualties
Kurdish rebels are disputing a Turkish military report that the rebels suffered heavy casualties in Turkey's most recent air strikes on northern Iraq. -VOA - 5/4/08

Iranian paddlers to receive bonus
Iranian paddler duo, Mohsen Shadi and Homa Hosseini, who have qualified for Olympics will be awarded a cash prize of 50 million rials by Iran's boating federation. -MNA - 5/4/08

Ex-Iranian president: Fomenting violence abroad 'treason'
Mohammad Khatami, a reformist and popular intellectual, made no mention of U.S. and Iraqi accusations that Iran is arming and training Shiite extremists in neighboring Iraq. But he said Iran should avoid actions that give it a bad image. -AP - 5/4/08

Goods transited via Iran up by 7%
Some 4.9 million tons of non-oil goods were transited via Iran in the last Iranian year to March 19 indicating an increase of 7.3 percent, managing director of Transit and Border Terminal Office said on Sunday. -IRNA - 5/4/08

Iranian-Canadian Samantha Tajik crowned Miss Universe Canada 2008
Iranian-Canadian Samantha Tajik was crowned the 57th annual Miss Universe Canada on Monday April 28 in downtown Toronto. Tajik will represent Canada at the July 14 Miss Universe pageant in Vietnam. - 5/3/08

Iran's weightlifting team clinches runners-up spot in Asia
Iran's weightlifting team came in second place on Thursday in the 39th Asian Weightlifting Championship in Kanazawa, Japan. Iran bagged 6 gold medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze in the tournament. China won the championship with 12 gold medals, 6 silver and 2 bronze. - 5/3/08

Major Powers Make New Incentives Offer to Iran
Foreign ministers of major world powers, meeting in London, have decided to make a new offer of incentives for Iran to scrap its uranium enrichment program. The offer is part of a two-track strategy that also includes U.N. sanctions against Tehran. VOA's David Gollust reports from London. - 5/3/08

US fearful of Iran-Europe gas deals
The US and its allies fear that a recent gas deal between Iran and Switzerland may encourage other gas deals between Tehran and Europe. -Press TV - 5/3/08

The Iranian Chessboard: Five Ways to Think About Iran Under the Gun
More than two years ago, Seymour Hersh disclosed in the New Yorker how George W. Bush was considering strategic nuclear strikes against Iran. Ever since, a campaign to demonize that country has proceeded in a relentless, Terminator-like way, applying the same techniques and semantic contortions that were so familiar in the period before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq. -TomDispatch.com - 5/3/08

Iran-IAEA talks to resume
Iran and the UN nuclear agency will resume talks on enhanced cooperation between the two parties, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has said. -IRNA - 5/3/08

Iran: Woman activist Nahid Jafari receives suspended sentence
The Thirteenth Branch of the Revolutionary Courts has issued a suspended sentence of 6 months and 10 lashings in the case of Nahid Jafari, women's rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, who was arrested along with 32 other women's rights activist on March 4, 2007. - 5/3/08

Shell, Repsol wary of Iran deal: Report
Two oil majors are reportedly negotiating with Iran to pull out of a $10 billion project on the development of South Pars gas field. -Press TV - 5/3/08

More Countries Are Named For Violation Of Religious Freedom
A U.S. advisory panel is asking the State Department to expand its list of governments that it says routinely violate people's religious freedom. As VOA's Kent Klein reports from Washington, the group also wants the U.S. to keep an eye on religious repression in Iraq. - 5/3/08

Iranian Physicians Touring The United States To Promote Diplomacy
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) have launched an Iranian Physicians Tour in US to communicate medical expertise and promote diplomacy with Iran. - 5/2/08

Iran is not the enemy
The "axis of evil" has no relevance for me when I think of Iran, a country I've found to have a human, loving, hospitable face throughout 40 years of encounters. I lived in Iran between 1968 and 1978, and started returning again, this time with peace delegations, in 2005. It is one of the great joys of my life to see the layers of misunderstanding and fear gradually fall away from those who visit Iran today for the first time. -Ellen Francis, FOR - 5/2/08

Mad Profs: SCSU business professors say the school's keeping them down
SCSU's MBA Director Dr. Omid Nodoushani was compared to Saddam Hussein by a colleague, falsely arrested by university police and publicly humiliated and now is facing demotion. - 5/2/08

Tanavoli's Persepolis sculpture breaks record at Dubai art sale
Tanavoli's sculpture 'The Wall (Oh Persepolis)' reportedly fetched some $2.84 million at Christie's fourth auction of modern and contemporary art in Dubai on Wednesday. - 5/2/08

U.S. State Department 2007 Country Reports on Terrorism
Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. State Department - 5/2/08

Iran complains to UN about Clinton's Obliteration threat
Iran has complained to the United Nations over a threatening statement by US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that was flagrant violations of UN charter. - 5/2/08

Iran: Woman Activist Parvin Ardalan Receives 2 Years Suspended Sentence
The 13th branch of the Revolutionary Courts has issued a sentence in the case of Parvin Ardalan. Based on Amendment 610 and in accordance with amendment 25 of the Islamic Penal Code, the Court found Ardalan guilty on the charges of "illegal gathering and collusion and refusal to obey the orders of the police with the intent of endangering national security." - 5/2/08

Iran backs Iraq's crackdown on lawbreakers: report
Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi-Qomi has reiterated that Tehran supports a crackdown on lawbreakers and illegal armed groups by the Iraqi government. -MNA - 5/2/08

Azerbaijan Releases Russian Nuclear Shipment to Iran
Azerbaijan has released a shipment of Russian nuclear equipment destined for Iran after holding it for about a month. -VOA - 5/2/08

Oil Ministers of India, Pak, Iran to hold talks on pipeline soon
The oil Ministers of India, Pakistan and Iran will soon hold talks to sort out "safety and security issues" pertaining to the $ 7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline that would pass through Pakistan. -IRNA - 5/2/08

Iran: Supreme Leader says Armed forces are stronghold of nation's security
"All know that enemies of the Iranian nation would not dare attacking the great nation (of Iran) because so doing they would enter a field exit from which would be impossible. The armed forces (of Iran) however should get more prepared and stronger," said Ayatollah Khamenei. - 5/2/08

Carper on Iran: It’s time to think outside the box
Time is not on our side. This was the pronounced or implicit understanding of the Senate Homeland Security sub-committee as well as the experts tasked to provide new ideas for solving the US-Iran nuclear stand-off. -Emily Blout, NIAC - 5/2/08

Iran Presses Ahead With Proposed Natural Gas Cartel
Iran has presented representatives of natural gas-exporting countries with proposals aimed at turning an existing informal forum into an OPEC-like structure. It dismissed U.S. objections to the plan as politically motivated. -CNSNews - 5/2/08

Blogging in Iran
The Internet is wildly popular in Iran, and blogging has become a vital source of information and analysis due to the systematic rollbacks of press freedoms (such as they were) during the last few years. Censorship and self-censorship takes its toll, as does intimidation and imprisonment of bloggers. -TIME - 5/2/08

British peer calls for widening dialogue with Iran
There will never be a constructive dialogue with Iran unless the framework is widened to more than the current approach to the country's nuclear programme, according to the deputy Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords. - 5/2/08

Rice Doubts Iran Incentives Will Work
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she doubts that new international incentives can persuade Iran to halt what she believes is a drive by Tehran for nuclear weapons. Rice is in London for a ministerial-level meeting Friday of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany, called the P 5 plus one, on the Iranian nuclear issue. -VOA - 5/2/08

Amin wins DJ Palme 2008 title
Dubai-born Iranian Amin Golestan, 23, beat stiff competition from first runner-up Jordanian Ibrahim Saleh, 35, to walk away with the DJ Palme 2008 award and a whole lot of goodies. -XPress, UAE - 5/2/08

Sr. Ellen Francis, OSH plans to co-lead a Peace Delegation to Iran in August 2008
The purpose of this delegation, sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, is to seek alternatives to the current political standoff between the United States and Iranian governments and to affirm friendship and solidarity between the people of the United States and the people of Iran. This will be the eighth Iran Peace Delegation to be sponsored by FOR. - 5/1/08

Meet Keiko!
A year after we had met, Keiko died – suddenly – of lung cancer. “I didn’t know Keiko smoked!” I said to the teary-eyed friend who brought the news of her death. “She didn’t,” he said rather hurriedly, and added after a silence, “she was born in Hiroshima.” Neither of us said much after that. -A poem by Fatemeh Keshavarz - 5/1/08

MOON RIVER: Breakfast Talk with British-Iranian Model Sophia (Sepideh) Nooshin
Born in London of Persian heritage, Sophia's unique look distinguishes her from other models. Often compared to the gamine beauty Audrey Hepburn, Sophia started performing from a very early age when her mother took her to her first ballet class at the age of three. She went on to train at the prestigious Ballet Rambert School and graduated from the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education with a bachelor degree in Dance. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/1/08

Gordafarid, Iran's First Woman Storyteller
Fatemeh Habibi Zad is Iran's first female storyteller. She is known by her professional name Gord Afarid, which is the name of a heroine in the Shahnameh. - 5/1/08

Teacher's day celebrated in Iran
Today, May 1, you may see many a flower laden person hurrying off to work or school in Tehran on this, Iran's National Teacher's day. - 5/1/08

Galaxy eye potential date against Iran
Los Angeles Galaxy officials have confirmed that the club is in negotiations to play a friendly match with the Iranian national team sometime in May. -ESPNsoccernet - 5/1/08

Azerbaijan: Nuclear Cargo For Iran Remains Stuck At Border
Authorities in Azerbaijan are demanding more complete documentation before they will release a consignment of Russian equipment destined for an Iranian nuclear power plant under construction at Bushehr. -RFE - 5/1/08

70 people injured by strong earthquake in Boroujerd, western Iran
Some 70 people suffered minor injuries after a strong 4.7-magnitude earthquake jolted suburbs of the city of Boroujerd in this western province early Thursday morning. - 5/1/08

Darius Shahinfar for Congress receives more national grassroots endorsements
Darius Shahinfar (D-Albany NY) marches along the path of the primaries in his stride towards the ultimate goal of securing the New York's 21st Congressional District seat in November, a position that was opened by the retirement of Congressman Michael McNulty. His vision as encapsulated in his motto: "Renew America's Promise" is capturing the interest of a national audience. -David Rahni - 5/1/08

Iran Conducts All Crude Trade in Euro, Yen
Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, is conducting all its crude trading in euro and yen, instead of the US dollar, an Iranian official said in Tehran on Wednesday. -FNA - 5/1/08

Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf? Iranians Prickly Over the Name
On Tuesday, Iran marks National Persian Gulf Day with ceremonies, academic discussions and a rally in front of the embassy of the United Arab Emirates, a country across the Gulf from Iran that has banned the use of the term Persian Gulf. -CNSNews - 5/1/08

Georgetown Sued for Racial Profiling
Kambiz Fattahi (GRD ’08), who claims that the Department of Public Safety acted discriminatorily when it detained him during a graduation ceremony last year, filed a lawsuit against Georgetown today for a violation of his Constitutional rights. -The Hoya - 5/1/08

Iran blasts London for releasing agent responsible for attack on Iranian Embassy
Iran on Wednesday strongly criticized London for freeing the terrorist who attacked the Iranian Embassy in London on April 30, 1980, martyring two diplomats and injuring the-then charge d'affaires as well as a number of other embassy staff. - 5/1/08

U.S. Weighs Messages From Iran
Senior U.S. officials in Baghdad received back-channel messages from Iran condemning the recent bloodshed in the Iraqi city of Basra and denying that Tehran was responsible, according to people familiar with the matter. -WSJ - 5/1/08

Iran's carpet exports fall by 12%
Carpet exports in the previous Iranian calendar year(March 21, 2007 to March 20, 2008) dropped by 12 percent compared to the year before, Head of Iran's National Carpet Center Morteza Faraji said on Wednesday. -MNA - 5/1/08

IRAN: Messages of war and bombings escalate
If the medium is the message, as the Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan put it, the Iranians couldn't possibly mistake the recent communications by the United States. On Tuesday, President Bush told reporters that the Israeli bombing of an alleged North Korean-designed nuclear facility in Syria was not just directed against Pyongyang and Damascus, but was also a not-so-subtle telegram to Tehran. -LA Times - 5/1/08

Iranian delegation meets with Pope
In a joint statement on Wednesday, both sides said they had drawn similar conclusions on several issues including 'the non-violent essence of faith'. -Press TV - 5/1/08

The Candidates on Iran
If Iran is a Rorschach test, there are few issues with such stark differences among the three major party candidates. -Washington Post - 5/1/08

Iranian painter Ovissi to open gallery in homeland
An exhibition displaying 38 works of the U.S.-based Iranian painter Nasser Ovissi until May 16 will serve as the opening show of the gallery, which is located at No. 20, Azar Alley, Nateq-Nuri St., Gol-Nabi St., Pasdaran Ave. -Tehran Times - 5/1/08
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