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Iran's soccer team ready to make Iranians happy: Coach Qotbi
Iran's Soccer Manager Afshin Qotbi expressed satisfaction on the condition of national soccer team's camp in China and said the team is ready to make 70 milion Iranians happy. - 5/31/09

Iran to establish 35 voting stations across United States for presidential elections
The locations and time of voting will be finalized and announced later through Iranian news agencies, Jaam-e Jam international TV network and election88.org. - 5/31/09

Iran defuses bomb on Tehran-bound plane
Iranian security officials successfully manage to defuse a bomb on a Tehran-bound passenger airliner, averting what could have been a major airborne catastrophe. - 5/31/09

Photos: Karroubi delivers speech at Tehran's Amirkabir university, illegally!
As a scheduled election speech by presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi is canceled in a Tehran university, students break in and escort the candidate to the podium in defiance. - 5/30/09

Photos: Funeral of Zahedan terror bombing victims
The funeral for the bombing victims in Zahedan was held on Saturday May 30. According to reports some 20 people were killed and as many as 120 injured in the massive May 28 blast during evening prayers at a Shi'ite mosque in Zahedan, the capital of Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan Province. - 5/30/09

Iran's Elaheh Ahmadi comes first at Italy shooting competitions
Ahmadi is the first Iranian woman to hit the total world record of 400 points for air gun shooting races. - 5/30/09

Spy Confession a 'Lie', says US Journalist Released from Iran Prison
Even after her experience in Iran's prison system facing what she said were false charges, Saberi now expresses no bitterness about her father's homeland. "Of course, no part of the world is problem-free," she said. "In Iran too, there are challenges and opportunities, and I think this is the real visage of Iran. There are different people, different groups and this is the beauty of Iran." Roxana Saberi says Iran is like a rainbow and now that is what she wants to show the world. - 5/30/09

Vahedi's Race for LA City Council Remains Undecided
David Vahedi's bid to become the first Iranian American elected to the City Council of Los Angeles remains undecided. On May 27th, the Los Angeles County Register's Office confirmed that there are still an estimated 500 to 1,000 uncounted ballots remaining and that official results were not expected until June 15th. - 5/30/09

Ahmadinejad ready for sit-down with US
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who regularly criticizes election rivals for advocating diplomacy with the West, says he is ready for a sit-down with the US. Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Audit Court criticizes the Ahmadinejad administration for providing "insufficient answers" in the case of the missing $1.058 billion oil money. - 5/30/09

Disgruntled Urbanites Could Sway Iran Vote
Iran's urban middle class is increasingly disenchanted with the current government and may turn out in larger numbers than four years ago to oppose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, voters said in interviews here. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 5/30/09

Iraqi premier in Tehran on unofficial visit
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki arrived here on Saturday to visit top Iraqi political leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim who is hospitalized in Tehran. Al-Hakim is under treatment for his lung cancer after he gave up a 30-year smoking habit in 2008. - 5/30/09

Iranians Allege U.S. 'Hands' Behind Mosque Bombing
A local official and an influential prayer leader in Iran's capital, Tehran, have each accused the United States of involvement in a deadly mosque bombing in southeast Iran. On May 29, U.S. Deputy State Department spokesman John O'Sullivan told Radio Farda that the United States had nothing to do with the bombing. -RFE - 5/30/09

Gunmen in Iran Wound 3 at President's Campaign Office
Iranian state media say gunmen have opened fire on one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's campaign offices, wounding three people. - 5/30/09

Obama Speech Puts Egypt On Center Stage
U.S. President Barack Obama travels to Egypt early June for what the White House is billing as a major address to Muslims around the world. Cairo is the Egyptian metropolis of about 16 million people, spread along the Nile River - Egypt's lifeline throughout history. Home to the Pharaohs and a cradle of civilization. And to this day, heart of the Arab world. - 5/30/09

Iran starts construction of Pars gas pipeline
Iran has launched construction of Pars gas pipeline that reaches Europe through Turkey. The 1,740-kilometre pipeline is to transfer Iran’s natural gas to Greece, Italy and other European countries passing from Turkey - 5/30/09

Photos: Victims of Zahedan terrorist bombing
The terrorist bombing at Imam Ali mosque in the city of Zahedan on Thursday evening left 19 people dead and another 125 injured. According to the governor of Sistan-Baluchistan province, a number of the agents involved in the terrorist attack have been arrested and are being interrogated. - 5/29/09

Suicide bombing kills 19, injures 125 in Zahedan, Iran
A relatively strong bomb rocked local Amir al-Momenin Mosque on Thursday, killing 19 and injuring 125. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Governor of Sistan-Balouchestan Province Ali-Mohammad Azad said 80 of the injured are now hospitalized. - 5/29/09

Maryam Shirinlou: An inspiring and warm hearted painter
Maryam Shirinlou has for a long time been one of our favorite artists currently working in Iran. Born in Tehran, after the revolution she moved with her parents, first to France, and then to the US, where she trained in Art in California. She later moved back to Tehran and became interested in yoga and healing -Syma Sayyah & Paul Sanford, Teharn - 5/29/09

The Persian Contrast: An Exhibition by Melika Shafahi
Melika Shafahi was born in 1984 in Tehran where she also did her university studies and received her BA in photography. Shafahi has worked in various Persian fashion design projects and theater mise en scenes. -gallerymamak.com, Tehran - 5/29/09

Supreme Court Case can Decide Fate of Persepolis Tablets
As the U.S. District Court decides the fate of thousands of historic Persian artifacts, the U.S. Supreme Court will soon determine whether U.S. citizens can sue the newly formed Republic of Iraq for the misdeeds of the former Saddam Hussein regime. -NIAC - 5/29/09

Reformers Hope Iran's 'Silent Voters' Will Be Heard In June
Reformists in Iran are hoping that a high turnout in the June 12 presidential election would help prevent a second term for the hard-line incumbent, Mahmud Ahmadinejad. That means the so-called “silent voters” who skipped the 2005 presidential ballot might well play a decisive role. In a bid to reach them, reformist campaigners are using everything from phone calls and text messages to e-mails and video clips. - 5/29/09

Vingada departs as Persepolis is eliminated from the Asian Champions League
Nelo Vingade bade farewell to Persepolis following the team's elimination from the Asian Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday. Persepolis lost to Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor 1-0 in front of about 100,000 fans at the Azadi Stadium and was excluded from the competitions. - 5/29/09

Obama in Netanyahu’s Web
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, won the first round over President Barack Obama. That’s not good for American interests or for Israel’s long-term security. All the overblown reciprocal compliments could not hide evident tensions — over Iran and Israel-Palestine and how the two are linked. In the end, Obama blinked. -Roger Cohen, New York Times - 5/29/09

War with Iran is not an option
In his May 19 interview with AFP [1], reformist presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi reminded the world in no uncertain terms how Iran's nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment component, would remain under the sole authority of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, regardless of the outcome of the June 12 presidential election. -Jalal Alavi, UK - 5/29/09

Debate Over Child Executions Roils Iran's Presidential Vote
As Iranians prepare to elect their next president on June 12, a range of civil-liberties issues -- from juvenile executions to the freedom to blog -- have become hot topics. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 5/29/09

Carter Administration's Dilemma: Iran's Theocracy
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, The Shah of Iran: "I did not know it then – perhaps I did not want to know – but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted … What was I to make of the Administration's sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran? Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country." - Slater Bakhtavar - 5/29/09

Presentaion on Iranian community at "Asian Heritage" event held by York's police in Canada
An event was held by the York regional police at District #5 in Markham on May 21st to familiarize the members of the community a little more with heritage of those who have migrated from Asia. -Saeed Soltanpour - 5/29/09

Iran to face U.S. in FIVB Youth World Championship
Iran Volleyball team has been drawn along with the U.S. in Pool B of the 2009 FIVB Boys' Youth World Championship. All Pool B and Pool D matches will take place in the resort city of Jesolo, Italy. - 5/29/09

Reform candidate's wife new political star in Iran
Presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi waited in the wings as his wife warmed up the crowd. Zahra Rahnavard quickly had them roaring in approval — and her husband beaming — as she ticked off her demands for women's rights and other reforms. -AP - 5/29/09

Apply Now: World Affairs Journalism Fellowship
There is still time to apply for this year's World Affairs Journalism Fellowship Program. The fellowship provides resources so that editors, senior reporters, commentary writers, freelancers and other journalists from U.S. media can go overseas to report on a global story of local importance. - 5/29/09

President Obama Addresses World's Muslims
Barack Obama has been making overtures towards Arabs and Muslims in general even before he was sworn in as president. In March he recorded a video message for the Persian Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, and his first television interview as president was given not to a U.S. broadcaster, but to the Arab-language network al-Arabiya. - 5/29/09

Brzezinksi and Yazdi, Three Decades Later
In late October, 1979, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski met with Iran's Foreign Minister, Ebrahim Yazdi in Algiers to discuss how to improve relations between their countries. The Iranians wanted the U.S. to extradite Iran's monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who had been overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in February and was in exile in New York while being treated for cancer. -Newsweek - 5/29/09

Photos: Alam Kooh in Iran's Mazandaran Province
Alam Kooh (Elevation: 15912 ft / 4850 m), located in Iran's Mazandaran province, is the second highest peak in Iran. (Damavand(5671m) is the first and Sabalan(4811m) is the third). Alam means some sort of object standing straight like a flag and Kooh means mountain. -Photos by Hossein Shahlaee, ISNA - 5/28/09

Photos: Presidential Candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi Campaigning in Urmia, West Azarbaijan
Mir-Hossein Mousavi, one of the four approved candidates to run in the Iran's presidential elections in June 2009, is campaigning in Iran's West Azarbaijan province. Mousavi was greeted by a large number of passionate supporters in a packed stadium in Urmia. - 5/28/09

Iran National Soccer Team in China
Iran's National Soccer Team arrived in China's capital city of Beijing early Thursday for a friendly game with the Chinese National Football Team. - 5/28/09

The Laughing Radical
Bearded and brooding, Massoud Dehnamaki hardly comes across like the director of a blockbuster comedy film. He spent three years fighting on the front lines of the Iran-Iraq War. After returning home, Dehnamaki joined an Islamic paramilitary group called Ansar-e Hizbullah, a militia accused of attacking theaters showing films that were deemed un-Islamic. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 5/28/09

Two public panel discussions at UCLA: Rationality and Opinions about Democracy in Iran
June 7 and 8 -- Prof. Mohsen Kadivar: Democratic thoughts of Iranian Constitutionalist Ulama; and Prof. Hossein Ziai: The Rational Side of Early Philosophy in Iran: Farabi through Sohravardi - 5/28/09

Battle of colors in Iran's presidential campaign
Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters criticize rival camps over choosing white and green colors as their campaign symbols. - 5/28/09

2009 Amnesty International Report: Underlying the economic crisis is a human rights time bomb
The 2009 Amnesty International Report highlights the fact that the world is in the middle of a human rights crisis. We are sitting on a social, political and economic time-bomb that will explode if human rights concerns are not addressed. - 5/28/09

Australia, Canada call for immediate release of imprisoned Baha'is
The Australian Parliament has called on the government of Iran to release seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders "without delay." A motion from the House of Representatives expresses "serious concern" that the detained Baha'is have had no access to legal representation and have not been subject to due legal process. - 5/28/09

Gazprom keen on Iran-Pakistan pipeline
Gazprom is interested in participating in a pipeline project to carry Iranian gas to Pakistan, a Russian daily cites company and government officials as saying. - 5/28/09

Smarter Iran Policy Begins With New Attitude
Skill, patience, consistency, logic, and understanding go a long way toward the design of an effective foreign policy. These attributes – perhaps obvious but frequently in short supply among foreign policy decision-makers – build a much firmer policy foundation than rude and emotional outbursts, erratic challenges, public bullying, contemptuous disdain, or efforts to isolate and demonize. -William deB. Mills - 5/28/09

West Afghan Officials Destroy Books Coming From Iran
Officials in Afghanistan's Nimroz Province say thousands of books thought to have been printed in Iran were thrown into the Helmand River this month, Radio Free Afghanistan reports. - 5/28/09

Oil prices forecast to gradually rise to over $60 per barrel
The quarterly average price of oil is expected to rise steadily through to the end of the year as global demand rises faster than production, according to the latest reference case forecast from the Center for Global Energy Studies (CGES). - 5/28/09

MEP Panel Address U.S.-Iranian Relations
THE MIDDLE EAST Program (MEP) of the Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented a panel discussion on “U.S.-Iran: Lessons from the Past for the Present and Future” on Feb. 27 in Washington, DC. - 5/28/09

Clinton Promises New US Proposals for Mideast Peace
The Egyptian Minister, alluding to Israeli suggestions that the Iranian nuclear program is the region's major problem, said he and Clinton discussed Iran but that the Palestinian question is the core issue and that continued inaction on it would pose dangers beyond the Middle East. - 5/28/09

Iran arrests 104 in raid on 'Satanist' party
Iran has arrested more than 100 "Satan-worshippers" in a raid on a concert in the southern city of Shiraz where people were drinking alcohol and "sucking blood", a newspaper reported on Wednesday. - 5/28/09

Photos: Karrubi Supporters hold gathering at Azad University in Tehran
Supporters of Iran's presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi held a gathering in Payambar Azad University in Tehran Wednesday morning. Several political personalities including former mayor Karbaschi, Abtahi, Abdi and Fatemeh Karrubi delivered speeches at this event. -Photos by Rooholla Vahdati, ISNA - 5/27/09

Iran Football Federation OKs friendly with US
Iran's Football Federation (IFF) has agreed to the US request to hold two friendly matches between the two countries' national soccer squads. "We are interested in holding friendly matches against the United States," said the IFF president Ali Kafashian on Tuesday. - 5/27/09

Iran's Presidential Candidate Karroubi Faces Challenge From Reformers and Conservatives
Dubbed the "Reform Sheikh", former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi comes to this year's presidential election with a mix of clerical and liberal credentials that should make him almost the ideal candidate. -Forough Shayan, Tehran - 5/27/09

Under Coach Qotbi, Iran Thrashes Indonesia 5-0
As Iran's national soccer plays its first game under Afshin Qotbi, Fereydoun Zandi scores twice in a 5-0 victory over Indonesia to make an impressive return to the squad. - 5/27/09

Photos: Women Football League in Bandar Anzali, Iran
Following photos are from the women football league that's being held in the town of bandar Anzali in northern Iran by the Caspian coast. -Photos by Majid Sayadnavard, ISNA - 5/27/09

Iran's Presidential Election Campaign Heats Up
The four contenders in Iran's presidential election campaign have been criss-crossing the country in an effort to gain support ahead of the June 12 vote. Incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has the backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appears to be the favorite going into the final stretch. - 5/27/09

Peace Action West Sends An Organizer To Iran
Rebecca Griffin, Peace Action West's Political Director, will join a grassroots civilian diplomacy delegation to Iran to learn first hand how Iranians feel about prospects for diplomacy with the United States. - 5/27/09

France Opens Its First Military Base In Persian Gulf
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has inaugurated France's first military base in the Persian Gulf region at a time of heightened political sensitivities in the volatile Middle East - and as France seeks to expand its presence in the region. - 5/27/09

Netanyahu bringing Israel closer to war with Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers the lifting of the Iranian nuclear threat his life's mission. Before coming to power, he had mentioned that such an operation might cost thousands of lives, but the price was justified in view of the threat's severity. -Haaretz, Israel - 5/27/09

Foreign investment conference to be held in Tehran
An international conference on foreign investment in Iran with the purpose of introducing country's opportunities and capacities will be held in Tehran on May 30, 2009. - 5/27/09

Earthquake jolts Oshtorinan in Iran's province of Lorestan
An earthquake measuring 4.8 on Richter scale jolted outskirts of Oshtorinan city in mid-western province of Lorestan on Wednesday morning. - 5/27/09

Setting a Higher Standard for Making War
Nations define their relationships based on a number of interactions, but when it comes to going to war there should be only one standard: whether a nation’s very existence or a vital national interest at stake. -Philip Giraldi, Antiwar.com - 5/27/09

Seven-Year-Old Girl Goes Home To Iran After Life-Saving Surgery In Minnesota
Heroic Humanitarian Effort Is Foundation's 32nd Case: The Foundation for the Children of Iran announces the completion of its 32nd surgical and/or medical case in Minnesota. Banoo, a 7-year-old heart patient, was referred to the Foundation by a nurse in a town near the village in which her family lives. - 5/26/09

Photos: Iran's Presidential Candidate Mousavi Campaigns in Tabriz
As election fever sweeps the country, freedom and civil liberties are turning into the dominant theme of Mir-Hossein Moussavi's campaign. In a campaign speech in Tabriz on Monday, Moussavi criticized the government for what he described as the adoption of a security-oriented approach in managing universities. - 5/26/09

Presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi takes lead in 10 major Iranian cities: poll
According to a report by the Ayandeh News, the poll conducted in Iran's ten big cities found out that Moussavi is leading the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by 4 percent. An opinion poll conducted by the IRIB last week, meanwhile, found that Moussavi also had the lead in the capital Tehran with 47 percent of the votes. - 5/26/09

Photos: Arvand Rud Shores, Khorramshahr, Iran
Arvand Rud (Rud is Persian for River), is a river in Southwest Asia of some 200 kilometres in length, formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris in the town of al-Qurnah in the Basra Governorate of southern Iraq. The southern end of the river constitutes the border between Iraq and Iran down to the mouth of the river as it discharges into the Persian Gulf. -Photos by Amin Nazari, ISNA - 5/26/09

Katayoun Riahi, popular Iranian actress, says Farewell to Cinema
Sometimes life is in such a way that one forsakes one's today's bread for tomorrow's hunger. Then one's dreams are delayed. Sometimes, one is betrayed by fate in such a way that one imagines it is one's own decision. It is then when one makes claims which later becomes a trap... - 5/26/09

Encyclopaedia Iranica Benefit Gala at Lincoln Center
New York, June 28, 2009 - The Encyclopaedia Iranica is a multi-disciplinary reference work and research tool designed to record the facts of Iranian history and civilization. It focuses on the land, life, culture and history of all Iranian peoples and their interaction with other societies. - 5/26/09

Abbas Kiarostami – a photographic overture 26-30th May 2009 in London
Candlestar and PurdyHicks present a short exhibition of photography and film by the acclaimed Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami, launched to coincide with the opening of his production of Mozart's Così fan Tutte at English National Opera. - 5/26/09

Ahmadinejad Tries to Woo Ex-Pats
Just days before the news that an eight-year prison sentence had been handed down to Iranian-US journalist Roxana Saberi hit the headlines around the world, President Ahmadinejad and his close ally Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaee hosted a banquet in Tehran for 800 Iranians resident outside Iran. -Raha Izadi, Mianeh - 5/26/09

Report: Iran unblocks Facebook
Iran has restored access to social networking website Facebook, about three days after it was blocked, ILNA news agency has reported. "Facebook was unblocked a few minutes ago," ILNA said. - 5/26/09

Iran Elections: Your Choice, Your Decision
The Iranian nation has been struggling for democracy for more than a century and during this time it has experienced dictators under a constitutional monarchy and a revolution that established an Islamic Republic. All this time the country has fought to determine its own path but it has been set back by foreign intervention and internal political differences. -Radman Rabii - 5/26/09

Request for formal press release from Rep. Harman regading her Iran statement
As the Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Terrorism Risk Assessment, your recent foreign policy advice to the U.S. Administration and Congress expressed at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference earlier this month caused a great concern within the Iranian- American community -Fredun Hojabri, San Diego - 5/26/09

Report Questions Conventional Wisdom About Iranian Regime
"Tehran feels vulnerable, both from outside and from within." That is just one of a handful of intriguing findings in a study released by the Rand Corp. last week that challenges conventional American thinking about the Iranian regime. -Washington Post - 5/26/09

Jewish lobby attacks President Obama
Comparison of Barack Obama to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev before the November 2008 elections turned out to be true by at least one count. Although he has assumed office only four months ago, Obama already has many opponents who accuse him of weakness, pandering to the enemies, and betraying principles. -RIA Novosti, Russia - 5/26/09

Iranian activist receives Tobacco-Free World Award
Tobacco-Free World Award was presented to the head of Iran's Tobacco Control Headquarters, Mostafa Ghaffari by director general of World Health Organization (WHO). - 5/26/09

TFI Adrienne Shelly Foundation Screenwriting Fellowship Goes to Ana Lily Amirpour
The late actress' husband Andy Ostroy, who also serves as Executive Director of the foundation, and advisory board member Emily Deschanel presented the award to Ana Lily Amirpour for "The Stones," in which class, tradition and love all violently collide in modern day Tehran, as a young working class girl embarks on a forbidden love with a wealthy young man with fatal consequences. - 5/25/09

Prince Of Persia Finishes Shooting!
Principle Photography in Morocco and London for the live action scenes of the much expected blockbuster Production of Mike Newell and Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has wrapped up and began post Production back at the Disney Studios. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/25/09

Iran blocks Facebook as presidential election heats up
Iran's ILNA news agency and Facebook users are reporting that the social-networking website has been blocked in Iran by some ISPs, with just a few weeks to go before the country's presidential election. - 5/25/09

Israeli lobby hindering change in US: Khatami
Reformist figure Mohammad Khatami says the all-powerful Israeli lobby in the US stands in the way of President Barack Obama's quest to bring change to Washington. - 5/25/09

Iran's Supreme Leader: Regional nations hate US for causing trouble
Khamenei said Sunday that the US has been strongly subject to hatred of regional nations as the main cause of regional problems. The Supreme Leader made the remarks in a meeting with Presidents of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. - 5/25/09

Iran: 90% of love marriages end in divorce
A new research conducted by Tehran Shahid Beheshti University showed that nearly 90% of love marriages end in divorce in the country. - 5/25/09

Der Spiegel's tale of Hezbollah's direct involvement in the Hariri assassination irresponsible
The Der Spiegel headline was dramatic. Even provocative. Some Lebanese were surprised but others said they knew it all along. It offered bold "new information" that the strongly pro-Israel German Weekly Der Speigel claimed came from secret sources based on documents reporters and editors may have seen. -Franklin Lamb, Beirut - 5/25/09

Mohammad Khatami: ‘The Country Can be Run Better’
Reformist leader Mohammad Khatami had a good shot at unseating President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in elections scheduled for June 12. But he recently pulled out of the race in favor of another candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The ex-president spoke about the upcoming election with Newsweek's Maziar Bahari in Tehran. - 5/25/09

Iran: Serial Killer Inspired by Agatha Christie
Iranian police arrest the country's first suspected female serial killer who says patterned crimes on the stories of English crime novelist Agatha Christie. - 5/25/09

Iran dispatching more warships to counter Somali pirates
Six Iranian warships and logistic vessels will join an international armada fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. The deployment is in line with international efforts to curb piracy in the pirate-infested waters, which have seen over 220 ships falling victim to hijacking over the past two years. - 5/25/09

Iran's Spending Spree in Afghanistan
Some locals jokingly call Herat the "Dubai of Afghanistan." The nickname is a stretch, but the mini-boom taking place in this commercial capital is borne out by 24-hour electricity and pothole-free streets where people wander without fear of the random violence that afflicts other urban centers in the country. Who gets the credit? -TIME - 5/25/09

Azeri-Rights Protesters Demand Khatami Apology
Hundreds of ethnic Azeri students in several Iranian cities have gathered at rallies to express anger over perceived discrimination that was highlighted in a YouTube video that appears to show former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami making an ethnic joke at their expense, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. - 5/25/09

'Mrs Mousavi': artist who could be Iran's first lady
Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of moderate presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, is breaking the mould in Iranian politics by campaigning openly alongside her husband for next month's election. -AFP - 5/25/09

Have We Already Lost Iran?
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S Iran policy has, in all likelihood, already failed. On its present course, the White House’s approach will not stop Tehran’s development of a nuclear fuel program -New York Times - 5/25/09

Afghan, Pakistani, Iranian Presidents Meet in Tehran
The leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to open their future meetings to other parties, which could include the United States. The tri-partite summit was held in Tehran. - 5/24/09

Iran, Pakistan Sign Gas Pipeline Deal
Iran and Pakistan signed a deal on Sunday for laying of a gas pipeline to transfer Iran's gas to Pakistan. The deal known as "Peace Pipeline" was signed on the sidelines of the current tripartite summit on Afghanistan security in Tehran. - 5/24/09

Iranian women athletes won 140 medals in 2008
Announcing this, deputy head of Physical Education Organization's Office for Women Sports Development, Mansoureh Tehranchi told IRNA that they also held six managerial posts in martial, physical education and badminton sports with the aim of developing women sports management. - 5/24/09

Iran ranks 32nd in world in terms of number of websites
Iran ranks 32nd (with 200,000 sites) in the world in terms of the number websites, said the deputy head of Iran's Telecommunications Company for technological affairs. The 32nd place is not suitable for Iran and efforts should be made to improve the ranking, Seidi said. - 5/24/09

Obama eyes pre-election talks with Iran
former US official says President Barack Obama is seriously exploring ways to bring Tehran to the negotiating table before the Iranian elections take place. - 5/24/09

Iran builds anti-aircraft naval cannons
Iran Defense Ministry operated its production line for manufacturing 40-mm naval cannons, called Fath (victory) on Sunday, May 24. - 5/24/09

Ali Larijani Re-elected Iran Parliament Speaker
Ali Larijani has retained his position as Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker for a second term as members of the Principalist Faction vote in his favor. - 5/24/09

Torture & 9/11
It could be argued that of the panoply of evil of which human beings find themselves uniquely capable, nothing is as abominable as the deliberate infliction of mental or physical pain on a helpless captive person. -John S. Hatch, OpEdNews - 5/24/09

Iran President Kicks Off Reelection Effort
Iran's hard-line president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, has kicked off his official reelection campaign with a defiant speech against the West and Israel as well as reformists in his own country, accusing moderate rivals of seeking "detente" with Iran's enemies. The speech, to supporters in the capital Tehran, came at the start of the official campaign season ahead of the June 12 presidential election. - 5/23/09

Photos: Iran's Presidential Candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi among students at Isfahan University
Iran's presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi campaigned at Isfahan university on Saturday. A large group of passionate students had gathered to declare their support for Mousavi and to hear his speech. -Photos by Saman Aghvami, ISNA - 5/23/09

Zob Ahan crowned Iran's Elimination Cup champion
Zob Ahan of Isfahan convincingly wrapped up Iran's Elimination (Hazfi) Cup on Friday. Zob Ahan, who had lost 1-0 to Rah Ahan in the first leg, beat the Tehran based team 5-1 and won Iran's Elimination Cup. - 5/23/09

Historical Photos: 23 May 1981 , Khorramshahr Liberation Day
On May 24, 1982, Iranian forces entered Khorramshahr and ended the occupation by Iraqi forces. The commander of the Iraqi forces in the city, Colonel Ahmad Zeidan, attempted to flee but was trapped in a minefield which was set up on his orders and killed when he stepped on a mine. - 5/23/09

Photos: Ahmadinejad at Gathering of Student Supporters in Tehran
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has just kicked off his reelection bid, campaigned at a gathering of his university student supporters in Tehran on Friday. President Ahmadinejad vowed to continue his anti-West policies if re-elected. - 5/23/09

Iran's Election Turns on President's 'Truths'
The "truths" that have made Ahmadinejad a populist success-- including his strongly worded defense of Iran's nuclear program, his declared ambition to make Iran one of the world's most powerful nations, his repeated denials of the Holocaust and his threats against Israel -- have also become major issues in his campaign for reelection to a second four-year term. -Washington Post - 5/23/09

Iran Khodro unveils micro-hybrid Samand car
Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) on Thursday unveiled the country's first national micro-hybrid Samand sedan. - 5/23/09

Major Still Factory Starts Operation In Ahvaz, Iran
The first wide steel sheet factory in the Middle East was inaugurated in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province, on Saturday. After inaugurating the plant, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran will turn to a major steel exporter in the world. - 5/23/09

Iran: Political Prisoner's Life in Danger
The Iranian government should immediately release ailing political prisoner Behrooz Javid-Tehrani, a human rights activist first arrested during 1999 nationwide student protests, and ensure he has access to adequate medical care, Human Rights Watch said today. - 5/23/09

U.S.-Iranian Journalist Freed By Iran Returns To America
Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who spent four months in an Iranian prison on a spying charge, has returned to the United States. Saberi, 32, arrived at Washington's Dulles International Airport on May 22 and planned to spend a few days in the U.S. capital before returning to her home state of North Dakota. - 5/23/09

Bam: Five Years After
On December 26, 2003, an earthquake killed 32,000 people, flattened 70% of Bam's buildings and equally devastated the nearby town of Baravat and 260 area villages. Bam Citadel (or Arg-e-Bam) was reduced from a stunning byzantine garrison, visited by more than 100,000 people yearly, to a canyon of pulverized rubble not much different than the other treeless, rock-strewn mountains that delineate the central Iranian plateau from the southern desert. -Ramin Mazaheri - 5/22/09

We are full of energy, Ghotbi says
Iran's football coach Afshin Ghotbi said on Friday that his team is full of energy and completely ready to play North Korea in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. - 5/22/09

The Coalition of Iranian Women States its Election Demands
The Iranian women's movement, which in the past years has pursued various ways and means of voicing the demands of Iranian women, and actively sought to achieve these, is now using the opportunity posed by the tenth Iranian presidential elections to form a coalition. -Feminist School, Iran - 5/22/09

Rep. Harman Retracts Statement on Iran, Expresses Regret
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) welcomes Rep. Jane Harman's retraction and clarification of her statement regarding the "separation" of Iran's ethnic groups and regret for the concern it caused. - 5/22/09

Photos: Mass Family Walk in Tabriz, Iran
People in the provincial city of Tabriz participated in a mass family walk on Friday May 22nd. -Photos by Navid Jadidoleslam, ISNA - 5/22/09

Report Gives Obama A Potential Out On Missile Shield
Iran's latest test of a rocket that it says can reach as far as Europe adds new urgency to the U.S. plan, initiated by former President George W. Bush, to build a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe. Or does it? - 5/22/09

Presidents of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan to meet in Tehran
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is due in Tehran on Saturday to attend a trilateral summit meeting with presidents of Iran and Afghanistan. Zardari will also hold talks with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on bilateral relations, economic issues, border security and gas pipeline agreement. - 5/22/09

Biden does Beirut: HERESSSSSSSS JOE!
Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah: "It appears that the Biden visit is part of a US bid to supervise the electoral campaign of a Lebanese party, which feels threatened politically, in light of the expected outcome of the legislative vote." -by Franklin Lamb, Beirut - 5/22/09

Ajan: Rezazadeh is world symbol
International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Tamas Ajan said on Thursday that the Iranian Hercules Hossein Rezazadeh is the world's symbol of weightlifting. - 5/22/09

Would these candidates represent the young Iranians?
According to a blogger who writes in (mydiaryfromiran.blogspot.com) a lot of young Iranians are planning to vote for Mir Hossein Mousavi because of his reformist ideas. "It is choosing between bad and worse." -Mahtab Farid - 5/22/09

Iran charges Ebadi's aide with 'propagating'
"Narges Mohammadi has been charged with propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran's system," the agency quoted Iranian judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi as saying. -AFP - 5/22/09

Shielding the Commodity Markets Against Excessive Speculation
The latest economic indicators in the United States and other industrial countries suggest that economic decline might finally be coming to an end and a recovery can begin by late 2009. Once it starts, however, the global recovery can face a new potential threat from rapidly rising commodity prices, particularly for oil, food and industrial metals. -Nader Habibi - 5/22/09

IMO Chief: Iran's counter-piracy efforts "commendable"
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has praised Iran's counter-piracy efforts in Somali waters and the Gulf of Aden, calling on the Islamic Republic to extend such "commendable" support to other ships. - 5/22/09

Netanyahu: All of Jerusalem to Remain Israeli
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says all of Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty. Mr. Netanyahu said united Jerusalem is the Jewish state's capital, and will never again be partitioned or divided. -VOA - 5/22/09

Four Candidates Approved To Run In Iran's Presidential Vote, 471 Rejected
Among those deemed not fit to stand for office by the 12-man Guardians Council was female parliament deputy Rafat Bayat. As a conservative, Bayat's registration had pundits speculating whether the watchdog body might approve her candidacy, seeing as the Guardians Council had said there was no barrier to a woman running for the presidential office. Overall, more than 40 female candidates did not make the final list. - 5/21/09

Iranian women deserve more freedom: Mousavi's wife
"When participating in social activities, our women must feel both secure and liberated. In other words, they must be allowed to freely choose their career, work environment, and clothing [in compliance with Islamic dress code]," Zahra Rahnavard told a gathering of young women who support Mousavi Wednesday. - 5/21/09

Pentagon Confirms Iran Missile Test, Calls It 'Consistent' with Concerns
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that Iran has tested a medium range ballistic missile that can reach Israel, southeastern Europe and U.S. bases in the Middle East. A Pentagon spokesman says the test "is consistent" with U.S. concerns about Iran's effort to develop ballistic missiles and its nuclear program. - 5/21/09

U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment on Iran's Nuclear and Missile Potential
The EastWest Institute (EWI) released today a U.S.-Russia joint threat assessment on Iran's nuclear and missile potential. More than a year in the making, the report was produced by a team of Russian and American scientists and experts brought together by EWI. - 5/21/09

New York Times Falsifies Obama-Netanyahu Meeting
What is more disturbing and far more consequential is that the Times made this meeting into a story about Iran. They read into Obama's careful and measured remarks exactly the hostile intention toward Iran and the explicit deadline for results from his negotiations with Iran that Obama had taken great pains to avoid stating. -David Bromwich, Global Research - 5/21/09

The Martin Ennals Award 2009 goes again to a Human Rights Defender from Iran
Emad Baghi, a leading Iranian human rights defender based in Tehran. He founded the Society for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights, and has been a vigorous and outspoken opponent of the death penalty in Iran. His campaigning includes a scholarly examination of Islamic law (shari`a) on the subject, in which he demonstrates the absence of any doctrinal requirement for maintaining capital punishment. - 5/21/09

Compilation Album of Iranian Underground Music to be Released
The first in a series of compilation albums tapping Iran's thriving underground music scene will be released worldwide in July 2009. UK-based Bar-Ax Promotions has teamed up with USA indie record label Bamahang Productions to release this music series in order to help give worldwide exposure to the struggling underground musicians in Iran. - 5/21/09

Iran and the west: lessons from history
Ever since Shah Abbas tried to reach out to Europe, our dealings with Iran have been lost in translation -Guardian - 5/21/09

Iran Presidential Elections: Mousavi says he will institutionalize ethnic view
Presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi stated on Wednesday that he will institutionalize a view on the races and tribes in country. Talking in a gathering on the diversity of races in Tehran, he noted that ethnic diversity is an "opportunity". - 5/21/09

Iran Missile Test Draws Reaction in US Congress
Iran's statement that it successfully test-fired a medium-range missile has provoked reaction in the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives say the test underscores the importance of U.S. support for Israel's anti-missile defenses. - 5/21/09

Iran "holding back a flood of heroin" from Afghanistan, UN drug official says
The top United Nations anti-drug official, on a visit to Tehran, today praised Iran for its efforts to stop the flow of drugs from Afghanistan to the West. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said Iran was "holding back a flood of heroin" from Afghanistan - 5/21/09

Iranian-born police commander charged with misconduct in UK
Iranian-born police commander Ali Dizaei is to face charges of misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Thursday - 5/21/09

Foreign Policy: The real reason Iran wants nukes
If the United States wants negotiations to work, there is one key prerequisite: Each side must understand the expectations of the other. What the United States wants from Iran is clear: a halt to its nuclear program. But what is on Tehran's mind? -NPR - 5/21/09

Iran to sign $1.5B oil deal with Italy's Eni
Iran is to sign a USD 1.5 billion deal with Italian energy firm Eni for the development of the third phase of Iran's Darkhovin oil field. - 5/21/09

Russia: Arms Treaty with US Must Include Missile Defense
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said plans for a U.S. missile defense system must be taken into account in a new strategic arms agreement being negotiated between Moscow and Washington. - 5/21/09

A Woman as President: Iran's Impossible Dream?
Every four years, hundreds of Iranians register to stand as candidates in the country's presidential election. Women have signed up to run since 1997 — yet no female has ever been certified by the government to run for President. -TIME - 5/21/09

The House of Mother and Child
Last weekend we were invited to Roudbar in Gilan province, about 270 km from Tehran, to visit and become familiar with the work and activities of the charity Khaneh Modr-va-Kudak (House of Mother and Child). We were shown round by Mr Fotovat, who is the chairman, and we were able to stay at the guest house near to the place. -Paul Sanford and Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/20/09

Professor Akbar Montaser's Letter to Congresswoman Jane Harman on Balkanization of Iran
I found your recent assertions on the Balkanization of Iran exceptionally offensive to the brave people of my birth land, Iran, the citizens of the United States and the world. As a Persian-American, this I know: It is patently clear that the era of being wined and dined by religious bigots is over in the United States. - 5/20/09

Iran: Qualifications of 4 presidential candidates okayed
The election headquarters of the Interior Ministry confirmed the eligibility of four nominees for the next presidential elections, slated for June 12. - 5/20/09

ALERT: Rep. Harman calls ethnic separation of Iran “a good strategy”
"The Persian population in Iran is not a majority, it is a plurality. There are many different, diverse, and disagreeing populations inside Iran and an obvious strategy, which I believe is a good strategy, is to separate those populations." - Rep. Jane Harman (May 3, 2009) - 5/20/09

Iran successfully tests Sejjil 2 surface-to-surface missile
Unlike Iran's Shahab 3 missile, which burns a liquid, the new Sejjil 2 model is solid-fueled. This characteristic gives the missile greater deterrence power as it lowers the time needed to prepare for launch. - 5/20/09

Photos: Security Maneuver in Zahedan, Iran
A security maneuver opened in Sistan-Baluchestan province on May 16 to show full preparedness of the Islamic Republic of Iran Police (IRIP) to combat the armed bandits, drug-traffickers and lawless gangs in the border areas and implement projects to monitor the border crossings. -Photos by Amir Pourmand, ISNA - 5/20/09

Haddadi: NBA changed me
"My contract with Memphis Grizzlies will end next year. I will come back to the U.S. on June 20 and after 10 matches in the new season of NBA I will join the Iranian national team and accompany them in the FIBA Asian Championship which will be held in Tianjin, China in August", said the 7-foot-2 player. - 5/20/09

California Festival Celebrates Silk Road in Music, Dance
The music and dance of Iran, Afghanistan, China, and other stops along the ancient trade route known as the Silk Road were recently on display in California. The Festival of the Silk Road brought together immigrants and others to celebrate the cultures of the Eurasian trade route. - 5/20/09

Aipac's hidden persuaders
The Israel lobby is aiming to soften up US public opinion for an attack on Iran. Americans should resist its propaganda. That bogey-nation was everywhere at the Aipac conference. Every keynote speech – if they weren't directly written by that group's staff – seemed unmistakably scripted and "on message", dedicated to the existential threat that Iran poses not just to Israel, but the entire world. -Guardian - 5/20/09

Iranians battered by government foreign policy: Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi takes aim at the Ahmadinejad administration's 'maladroit foreign policy', saying it has cost the Iranian nation dearly. - 5/20/09

Obama policies spell hope for Iranian-Americans
President Barack Obama is reminding the world that no matter how grave the threat, America will not be defined by enmity but by friendship. The stakes behind Obama's policy of engagement with Cuba and Iran could not be higher. -Khosrow B. Semnani - 5/20/09

U.S. And Iran Face Common Foe At Sea
The United States believes that areas of common interest involving Iran and the U.S. could yield greater cooperation and understanding between the 2 countries, even as the U.S. continues to emphasize the importance of Iran fulfilling all its international obligations. - 5/20/09

After Israeli Visit, a Diplomatic Sprint on Iran
Now that President Obama has established what he called a “clear timetable” for Iran to halt its nuclear program — progress must be made by the end of the year, he declared on Monday — both American and Israeli officials are beginning to talk about how to accomplish that goal. -NY Times - 5/20/09

Iran Starts Production of Hi-tech Military Devices
Iran on Wednesday started production of 30 important military tools and equipment, including electronic, telecommunication and radar devices. - 5/20/09

As Campaigning Begins, German Politicians Struggle With Afghanistan
There has been a clear rise in activity concerning Germany's engagement in Afghanistan of late -- evidenced by German pledges to raise its troop presence, increased military action on the ground, and a spate of official visits between Kabul and Berlin. -RFE - 5/20/09

US Denies Iranian Charge of Support for Kurdish Rebels
The U.S. Defense Department is denying a charge by Iran's top leader that the United States is promoting attacks on Iran by a Kurdish independence group based in Iraq. - 5/20/09

Karrubi courts the women; Ahmadinejad promises cash again; Mousavi demands lifting of newspaper ban
Karrubi, one of the leading presidential candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, promises to press the fight for equal rights for women, if elected. Presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi has condemned the closure of the pro-Reformist newspaper Yas-e Now (New Jasmine). And incumbent president makes a pledge to offer all Iranians a share in profits from the oil industry if he is elected to make a comeback to office. - 5/19/09

Feel the Expanse: An Exhibition by Roxanna Manuchehri
"This is my room, this is my studio" it says in Perso-Arabic script on one of Roxana Manouchehri's paintings from the "Feel the Expanse" series the Teheran-born artist is introducing to us in the present exhibition. The painting is showing a windowless, unfurnished, dimly neon-lit interior easily identifiable as the artist's Korean studio in North Eastern Seoul's Changdong district. - 5/19/09

Photos: Lake Orumiyeh in Iran's West Azarbaijan Province
Lake Urmia (Orumiyeh) is a salt lake in northwestern Iran near Turkey. The lake is between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake inside Iran, and the second salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km square - 5/19/09

Iran's 'Election Clowns' Seize Spotlight
Most of this year's 475 applicants from various walks of life -- including a truck driver, a dentist, an unemployed woman, and one 12-year-old -- will have been disqualified well before the ballots are cast on June 12. - 5/19/09

Short Story: What a Shovel Could Have Done
It all started one night when I suddenly woke up and realized that I was feeling really well. I felt so good that I was shaking hands with everyone. I have no idea where all those imaginary people whom I was shaking hands with had come from. -Shahram Sheydayi - 5/19/09

How Ahmadinezhad helped Israel
The Durban Review Conference held in Geneva in April was set to examine progress made toward the goals of the previous conference in 2001: to eliminate racism, xenophobia and related intolerance. -Rasool Nafisi - 5/19/09

Marjan Seirafi-Pour – Protecting and Promoting the Iranian Identify for the Future
"For the sake of our kids, we need to promote and protect our Iranian identity," declared Marjan Seirafi-Pour who has been inducted into the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee to improve the understanding of the Middle East today in Oklahoma schools. -NIAC - 5/19/09

Iran hits back at Obama's war talk
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi, responded to the interview on Monday, saying that Obama's threats do not chime with his oft-stated promises of bringing 'change' to Washington. - 5/19/09

Study urges U.S. to tone down Tehran conflict
As President Obama on Monday promised tough action to persuade Iran not to develop nuclear weapons, a major study prepared for the U.S. Air Force recommended "de-escalating" unilateral U.S. pressure on Tehran while strengthening multilateral sanctions and engaging Iran on regional security issues. -Washington Times - 5/19/09

Giving Service, Without Borders
Dr. Allen Sossan, a reconstructive spinal and orthopedic surgeon, usually splits his medical time between Yankton and Norfolk, Neb. However, for the last few years he has had a bit longer commute — to Tehran, Iran. He travels there to donate two weeks a year to underprivileged people who, without his knowledge, would live the rest of their lives in pain and in a wheelchair. -Press Dakotan - 5/19/09

Iranian Film at Brooklyn Festival
Iranian documentary "A Day after the Tenth Day" directed by Narges Abyar is to be screened at Brooklyn International Film Festival competition line-up. The festival will run in New York from June 5-14. - 5/19/09

Iran, China Ink 18 Cooperation Agreements worth $17B
Head of the Iranian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said the two countries inked 18 agreements on building railway, commerce, mining, engineering and technical cooperation. - 5/19/09

Israeli point man on Iran gets the boot
The Israeli point man on Iran affairs, Uri Lubrani, has been forced into early retirement amid incessant power struggles between Mossad and the Israeli Defense Ministry. - 5/19/09

Iranian Leader Says U.S. Promoting Terrorism
Iran's leading authority has accused the United States of promoting terrorism in border areas and using arms and money against the Islamic state, in his latest verbal attack on Tehran's archenemy. -Reuters - 5/19/09

"Looped and Layered" in New York: A Selection of Contemporary Art from Tehran
The exhibition focuses on the post revolution generation in Tehran; home to a large, self-sustaining, vibrant and progressive art community. Drawn in by art's intrinsic, hermetic codes - both visual and formal - its space is sought out by an astounding number of students for its ability to allow for expression. - 5/18/09

Reverse Painting on Glass
Recently I came across a most unusual book on Iranian art, which dealt with the subject of reverse painting on glass (poshteh shisheh). Like many kinds of art this may not appeal to everyone, yet it is no doubt an outstanding art book and those who are interested in true Iranian art and in particular glass art work should find it most informative and fascinating. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/18/09

Iranian woman becomes chess Grandmaster
Iranian chess player Atousa Pourkashiyan became Chess Grandmaster on Monday. Pourkashiyan earned the title in the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden after gaining eight points in 11 games. - 5/18/09

Iran comes second in Italy wushu championships
Iranian wushu sanda fighters came second at the 17th Italy international championships wining 2 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. - 5/18/09

Radio Festival begins in Tehran
The 10th International Radio Festival and the Second Radio Forum began here on Monday. Some 60 producers from 42 countries are participating in the two cultural events. - 5/18/09

Iranian film wins honorary diploma at Dot Plant Festival
Iran's "Days without Calendar" by Mehrdad Oskouei received honorary diploma from Dot Plant International Film Festival in Poland. The film narrates a documentary on borstal. - 5/18/09

Filmmaker to Empower Girls Through Reporting
It's official: Iranian-American documentary filmmaker Bita Haidarian, who decided to give her fans a deciding voice in her new initiative, will be empowering women in various countries by recruiting them to act as reporters in their home regions. - 5/18/09

Ahmadinejad to privatize Esteqlal and Persepolis soccer clubs
Persepolis and Esteqlal have millions of fans all over Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the shares of Esteqlal and Persepolis soccer clubs to be offered to private investors. - 5/18/09

International workshop on nanotechnology opens in Kashan
An International Workshop on Nanotechnology opened in Kashan University, Isfahan province, on Monday. Several nanotechnology experts from 20 countries are participating in the three-day event. - 5/18/09

Iran: Ensure free presidential election
Amnesty International has called on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the forthcoming presidential election to be held on 12 June 2009 are free of discrimination – particularly against women - and that candidates and voters are guaranteed effective exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly during the election campaign. - 5/18/09

Obama, Netanyahu, and the Future of U.S.-Israeli Relations
Both the Bush administration and the Obama administration have already made it clear that they oppose any Israeli strike on Iran. Senior U.S. officials, diplomats, and officers have all made it clear that any Israeli strike would seriously affect U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East and the Islamic world. They have given this “red light” for many reasons—none of which affect any love of Iran or confidence in its future behavior. -CIS - 5/18/09

Iran may assume Gas Forum secretary general post: Oil Minister
Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Monday Iran will likely assume the post of secretary general of Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in case there is a lack of consensus on the issue. - 5/18/09

Iranian filmmaker's pain over 'fiancee' Saberi's time in jail
As award-winning Iranian film-maker Bahman Ghobadi walked down the Cannes red carpet for the premiere of his new feature Thursday, the real star of the show was conspicuously absent. -CNN - 5/18/09

3G pilot second phase to be implemented in Tehran
Second phase of pilot 3G technology will be implemented in Tehran by Chinese ZTE Company, telecommunication minister deputy said. - 5/18/09

Iranian Reformist Daily Banned One Day After Relaunch
If there was a contest for the shortest publication time for a newspaper, then "Yas No" would be the winner. The publication hit the newsstands on May 16 for the first time in six years, relaunched by reformists hoping to use the paper to get their message out ahead of the June 12 presidential vote. - 5/17/09

Zahra Rahnavard: Female minister, Iranian women's lowest demand
"Next Iranian president should offer women a position in the cabinet," Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of presidential contender Mir-Hossein Mousavi said recently, calling it the lowest demand of Iranian women. - 5/17/09

Happy Khayyam Day
May 18 marks the birthday of the great Iranian poet, astronomer, and mathematician Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). Iranians annually celebrate the occasion as Khayyam Day. - 5/17/09

Iran not seeking Persian empire: Larijani
Iran is not seeking a Persian Empire and Arab intellectuals must beware of Israeli plots in this regard, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Saturday. - 5/17/09

Iran Reformist Candidate Targets Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Denial
One of two reformist candidates in Iran's upcoming election is lashing out at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his denial of the Holocaust. - 5/17/09

Israeli PM Begins US Visit for Talks on Mideast Peace, Iran
For the first time in years, there are key disagreements between the United States and Israel. Mr. Obama has endorsed a two-state solution as the only way to Middle East peace, but Mr. Netanyahu has not. - 5/17/09

Iran: 80% of petitions for divorce filed by women
A new research conducted by Shahid Beheshti University showed that 80% of petitions for divorce were filed by women in the first five years of marriage. -MNA - 5/17/09

Construction of Mideast biggest tourism complex underway
The project to build the biggest tourism, residential and sports complex in the Middle East began in Roudshour, near Zarandieh, Central province. - 5/17/09

Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan presidential meeting postponed
The triple meeting of presidents of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan has been postponed, an informed Iranian source announced on Sunday. -ISNA - 5/17/09

Ugandan President leaves Tehran
The Ugandan president, accompanied with his ministers of foreign affairs, energy, defense and agriculture arrived in Tehran on Sunday to hold meetings with different Iranian officials. - 5/17/09

Photos: Ferdowsi Day Celebrations in Tous, Iran
Iranians across the country have celebrated the national day of the highly revered Iranian epic poet Ferdowsi on May 15. Also, a special program was held at the tomb of Ferdowsi in the city of Tous. - 5/16/09

Book: Rooftops of Tehran
This stunning literary debut (by Mahbod Seraji) paints a vivid portrait of growing up, discovering love, and awakening to the reality of life in a nation on the verge of revolution in the 1970s. Rooftops of Tehran opens in a middle-class neighborhood in Iran's sprawling capital city. - 5/16/09

Eurovision: A Melting-Pot Contest, Where Native Doesn't Always Mean Best
The Iranian-Swedish performer, who is singing with Azeri artist AySel for the Azerbaijani entry, told RFE/RL that his "biggest dream" is to sing for Iran -- which is currently not eligible for the Eurovision contest. - 5/16/09

Iranian duo called up for World All-Stars soccer team
Two Iranian international footballers Ali Karimi and Javad Nekounam have been called up for the World All-Stars soccer team to play against South America All-Stars. - 5/16/09

Roxana Saberi eying multi-million dollar interview?
Saberi says her visit to Austria is merely to 'relax and calm down', but sources familiar with her case told believe that she is there to sell her story in a 'multi-million-dollar exclusive interview' with an undisclosed magazine. -Press TV - 5/16/09

Iran Basketball Federation denies Utah Flash match
NBA Commissioner David Stern stated on Friday that Iran Basketball Federation has invited Utah Flash of the National Basketball Association Development League to play a few games in Tehran. - 5/16/09

Pressed on Palestinian state, Netanyahu changes the subject – to Iran
Ahead of his Monday meeting with Obama, who supports a two-state solution, the Israeli prime minister wants to make Iran's nuclear ambitions the focus of regional diplomacy. -CSM - 5/16/09

Experts Divided on Likelihood of Obama Bringing Middle East Peace
The leaders of Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are due in Washington over the next three weeks. Their talks with President Barack Obama reflect the importance the administration has placed on finding a peaceful solution to the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict. - 5/16/09

Australian Report Criticizes Secret Deportation of Iranian Refugee Child
Australia is considering compensating an Iranian refugee whose daughter was deported without his knowledge. The government in Canberra has acknowledged the secret deportation and insists that Australia's asylum policies have become more honest and transparent. - 5/16/09

Cinema, Jigar and Ice cream
Last week Paul was away for a week and my friends Ali, Faroukh, and Afsaneh made sure that I did not feel lonely and took me out a few times. We do not usually go out to the cinema and often see the Iranian feature films when they come out on DVD which is quite fine with me, the only problem is that most of them do not have subtitles and unfortunately Paul's Persian is quite rudimentary! -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/15/09

The Guests of Desert: 22nd Environmental Art Festival in Iran - Isfahan- Talab Gawkhoni
Last month (April 2009) an Environmental Arts Festival was held in the central desert of Iran, near Isfahan. -Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt; photos by Raheleh Zomorodina - 5/15/09

WAR STORIES: A Letter to the Saad Family
The first finder or finders of this letter are kindly requested to deliver its contents in any way possible to the family of "Saad Abd al-Jabbar," a member of the 23rd Battalion of the Special Republican Guard Forces of Iraq; the letter is from the forces under control of the Third Army of Basra. -Habib Ahmadzadeh, Tehran - 5/15/09

Photos: Dormitory in Ahvaz, Iran
This is the Dormitory Week in Iran. The following photos by Amir Hossin Kardouni are from a dormitory in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province. - 5/15/09

From the Big Apple to the Bluegrass State, Iranian Americans Get Involved
"I'm politically vocal and informed, but I'm not politically active," expressed a frustrated participant before the start of NIAC's Demystifying Democracy Workshop-Seven Ingredients of Influence in NY on April 26th at Columbia University. - 5/15/09

US Says No Deadline on Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran
The Obama administration said Thursday it has set no deadline for its diplomatic outreach to Iran to show results, but that U.S. patience on the issue of Tehran's nuclear program is not infinite. - 5/15/09

Amir Omar Elected to Richardson City Council
In one of the most eye-catching elections in Richardson history, Amir Omar claimed victory in last Saturday's City Council race to become the first Iranian American elected to city office in the State of Texas. - 5/15/09

Iran crowned Asian weightlifting champion
Iran won first place of the 40th Asian Senior Men's Weightlifting Championship on Friday. Iran climbed the podium with 583 points, winning six golds, six slivers and three bronzes. Kazakhstan and China came second and third respectively in the tournament. - 5/15/09

EU discusses wider support for US engagement with Iran
EU foreign ministers are to consider ways of offering further support for US President Barack Obama's new diplomatic approach towards Iran at their next General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels starting Monday. - 5/15/09

Photos: Ayatollah Khamenei goes mountain hiking in Sanandaj, Kurdistan
Iran's Supreme Leader, who is visiting the province of Kurdistan, went on a mountain hike at Mount Abidar located in the provincial city of Sanandaj. - 5/15/09

Poppy Palaces in Afghanistan: Delving deeper into the corruption of 'narco-state'
"There's not much of an easy solution to anything in Afghanistan," Tom Lasseter, McClatchy Moscow Bureau Chief, says. He tells TRNN Senior Editor, Paul Jay, that the Afghan opium trade, operating almost unchecked by US intervention in the area, has spread out into government corruption and widespread heroin addiction throughout Afghanistan and Iran. - 5/15/09

Spuds of wrath: potatoes-for-votes protest blights Iranian election
"Death to potatoes" ("marg bar sibzamini" in Farsi) has been adopted as a mantra by anti-Ahmadinejad campaigners in Iran's forthcoming presidential ­election. Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who has positioned himself to woo the reformist vote, chanted the slogan this week at a rally in Yasouj in central Iran. -Guardian - 5/15/09

Library presentation features Iran trip
Fossil resident Lyn Craig, the director of the Libraries of Eastern Oregon, was among the small group of Americans who left for the tour the day after the U.S. presidential election. - 5/15/09

Winners of First International Car Cartoon Contest Announced
When you don't have a car you have one problem, but when you have a car you have hundred and one problems! Perhaps we have heard this sentence many times, but really if the first men know that the invention of wheel causes so much problems in future, would he do it or not?! -irancartoon.com - 5/14/09

Six Iranian-Americans Receive the 2009 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
On May 9, 2009 six Iranian Americans received 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. - 5/14/09

A Vanishing Breed, Iranian Satirist Pokes Fun From Exile
Ebrahim Nabavi is a diminutive man with an oversized sense of humor -- and a sarcastic wit that has twice landed him in jail. Through his writings, Nabavi gleefully sheds light on what he regards as some of Iran's paradoxes. - 5/14/09

Iran Intelligence: Saberi indeed a spy
Nikbakht said Saberi had been convicted because she had copied and kept a "confidential Iranian government document" about the US invasion of Iraq and because she had visited Israel, travel which is banned by the Iranian government. - 5/14/09

Iran: Mousavi's Difficult Path Ahead
Iran is fast nearing its tenth presidential "election", and, short of an accident or serious electoral fraud, which would not be unprecedented in the Islamic Republic, reformist former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi (1981-1989) will most likely triumph as the winner of that election. -Jalal Alavi, UK - 5/14/09

NIAC Briefing on Capitol Hill: How to Negotiate with Iran
NIAC held a briefing yesterday on Capitol Hill to explore how American policymakers can best pursue dialogue with Iran and to examine the challenges that they will likely confront. - 5/14/09

Iran to send two warships to Somalia coast waters against pirates
Iran's Ambassador to United Nations in a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon informed him of Tehran's will to send 2 warships to Somalia's coast waters and Gulf of Aden to confront pirates and safeguard Iranian commercial and oil cargo ships. - 5/14/09

Obama warns Netanyahu: Don't surprise me with Iran strike
U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that Israel not surprise the U.S. with an Israeli military operation against Iran. The message was conveyed by a senior American official who met in Israel with Netanyahu, ministers and other senior officials. -Haaretz - 5/14/09

Wizard back to steer Iran
A little over five months after announcing his international retirement, 2004 AFC Player of the Year Ali Karimi is set to make a return to the international arena after the Iranian legend was recently included in an expanded 41-man roster by new coach Afshin Ghotbi. -FIFA.com - 5/14/09

2nd International congress on heart failure underway in Tehran
Second International Congress on Heart Failure opened late on Wednesday and will continue until May 15. Specialists from The Netherlands, France, Britain and Italy are taking part at the congress. - 5/14/09

Mosqued marvel: Visitor sees side of Iran that might amaze you
I spent two weeks in Iran in April just after its New Year and found a delightful place with people that love Americans and hope for better relations with the U.S. I felt completely safe and really enjoyed touring the country. My travel and visa were coordinated by Frosch Travel in Fort Collins. -David Anderson, Coloradoan - 5/14/09

IRAN: Airport fiasco in Shiraz costs official his job
The Director General of Shiraz airport has been dismissed from his post for holding a plane en route from Shiraz to Tehran during take-off. Iran Air Flight 234 was stopped during take-off on Friday morning, so that the Iranian vice president for scientific and technology affairs, Sadeq Vaez-Zadeh, could board the plane. - 5/14/09

The visionary shah who inspired an Islamic republic
Shah Abbas I, the fifth Saf­av­id ruler, came to power in 1587. Under his rule Iran became a great polit­ical power, transforming international trade and diplomacy. His legacy, however, goes beyond political ambition and culminates in a clear and decisive vision for cultural and artistic expression and development. -Elaheh Rostami-Povey, Guardian - 5/14/09

Photos: Maranjab Desert in Iran
Maranjab desert is located by Aran va Bidgol, a city in Isfahan province, Iran. Aran va Bidgol is is one of the ancient desert cities of the province and once composed of two separate cities, Aran and Bidgol. It is close to Kashan. The town is surrounded by desert from the north and east, and thus it has a typical climate of hot and dry in summer, cold and dry in winter, and very little rainfall during the year. -Photos by Gholam Hosein Baharloo - 5/13/09

The HAND Foundation Announces 2009 Economics Scholarship Awards
The HAND Foundation announced the names of the 2009 recipients of its scholarship programs. Maryam Farboodi received the Bita Daryabari Scholarship for Women in Economics and Rasool Zandvakil was awarded the HAND Research Foundation Scholarship. - 5/13/09

The Bomb Iran Faction: An Existential Question for the Power Elite?
There is clearly a faction of the power elite that is, and has for some years been pressing, for a U.S. military attack on Iran. It is not advocating a war, at least openly, or an occupation of that vast nation; rather, it is advocating an operation similar in concept to the Israeli attack on Iraq’s French-built Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981. In a word, it is both advocating an Israeli-like action and justifying it explicitly as one on behalf of Israel. -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 5/13/09

Filmmaker Shirin Neshat Brings Acclaimed Iranian Novel to Screen
"The deep green garden, its walls plastered with mud, faced the river with the village behind it." This is the opening line to Women Without Men, Shahrnush Parsipur's highly praised and controversial 1989 novel of five women from very different backgrounds and experiences who find freedom and refuge — physical, psychological and spiritual — in a mystical garden outside Tehran. - 5/13/09

Is Obama's Advisor Vali Nasr in Tehran?
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday that there is no problem in a senior Obama administration advisor visit to Tehran. There are reports that the US President's advisor on Iran, Vali Reza Nasr, has stepped in Tehran. - 5/13/09

Iran Petrochemicals Report Q2 2009 - companiesandmarkets.com adds new report
The Iranian petrochemical industry will not escape the effects of the global economic crisis, with the latest Iran Petrochemicals Report noting lower output growth and slower progress on projects currently underway or planned. - 5/13/09

Iran's stand at UK World Market fascinates visitors
Iran's Embassy in London has erected a stand in the UK World Market, helping the country's International Social Service (ISS) raise fund for vulnerable families and children. - 5/13/09

Iran: An Unlikely Political Alliance Taking Shape
With one month to go before Iran’s June 12 presidential election, incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection chances seem high. But his candidacy is proving so polarizing that the election campaign could bring about lasting changes to Iran’s political landscape. -Eurasianet - 5/13/09

Post-crash management of road traffic injury victims in Iran. Stakeholders' views on current barriers and potential facilitators
Road traffic injuries are a major public health problem, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Post-crash management can play a significant role in minimizing crash consequences and saving lives. - 5/13/09

Recreating virginity in Iran
Many women in Iran opt for hymen repair to satisfy a culture that insists on bridal virginity. Now they have a cleric's backing -Guardian - 5/13/09

IRAN NANO 2009 will be held in November in Tehran
2nd Iran Nanotechnology Exhibition (IRAN NANO 2009) will be held in Tehran-Iran, November 2009. Iran has ranked among 20 top countries in the field of nanotechnology ISI articles, indicating specialist manpower in Iran. - 5/13/09

Those creating schisms among Muslims are mercenaries: Iran's Supreme Leader
"Anyone who undermines national unity under a variety of religious pretexts such as supporting Shia or Sunni, whether he is a Shia or a Sunni, he is the enemy's mercenary and the enemy of Islam, whether he knows it or not," he said in Sanandaj during a visit to Kordestan Province on Tuesday. - 5/13/09

FM: Iran preparing package of proposals for Group 5+1
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday that Iran is now preparing a package of proposals for the Group 5+1 on the country's nuclear activities and will deliver it as soon as it is finalized. - 5/13/09

Iran saffron exports up 81% year on year
Spain was the major export market of Iranian saffron, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, France, India, and Japan, reported IRINN. - 5/13/09

New Pipeline To Deliver Iranian Gas To Armenia
Armenia is set to begin receiving natural gas from Iran for the first time this week, a key development for a country heavily dependent on Russian energy. - 5/13/09

Facebook sets tone in Iran’s electoral contest
As they struggle to compete against an Iranian president who enjoys the support of a powerful state apparatus, leading candidates in June’s election are resorting to Facebook to spread their messages. -Financial Times - 5/13/09

Russia Offers Use of Territory for North Korean Satellite Launches
Russia is a member of the six-party talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. It has often sided with China to prevent tough U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang. - 5/13/09

WISHING YOU LUCK, MR. OBAMA: Can the Vicious Circle be Broken?
As long as America’s security and strategic best interests are so cunningly dressed to appear inseparable from what suits Israel best, the Obama administration can neither broker a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, nor engage Iran in a meaningful dialogue toward a mutually beneficial cooperation. -Kam Zarrabi - 5/12/09

Congress pushing new sanctions that would mean “Iranians are going to die”
Tell Congress to Support Our Diplomats, Not New Sanctions - Last week, 6,000 AIPAC members came to Washington with a message: impose harsh new sanctions against Iran. Congress heard that message and legislation doing exactly that is now gaining momentum. -NIAC - 5/12/09

US 'Heartened' By Iran's Release of Roxana Saberi
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is "very heartened" by the release of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who had been convicted by an Iranian court of spying. U.S. officials called the release a humanitarian gesture and said there had been no back-room deal with Tehran. - 5/12/09

Saberi Release Highlights Case of Imprisoned Iranian AIDS Doctors
While the international community celebrates the release of detained US journalist Roxana Saberi, there is still continuing vigilance over the unjust imprisonments of Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei. These Iranian brothers are world-renowned HIV/AIDS physicians who were imprisoned since June by the Iranian government on unsubstantiated charges of communicating with an "enemy government." -Physicians for Human Rights - 5/12/09

Iranian Baha'i leaders may face new accusation on anniversary of imprisonment
The seven Baha'i leaders currently imprisoned in Iran are facing the anniversary of their arrest this Thursday, along with new and extremely grave accusations, after spending a year in jail without formal charges or access to their lawyer, Shirin Ebadi. - 5/12/09

Iran oil output surpasses 4.3 million bpd
Iran's oil production has passed 4.3 million barrels per day, announces the head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and the second largest petroleum reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia. - 5/12/09

Ahmadinejad told to play by the rules
The Guardian Council says it will not allow Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to carry out planned provincial tours in the run-up to the elections. - 5/12/09

Director explores Iran's covert music scene
Film director Bahman Ghobadi challenges Iran's draconian censorship and pays tribute to the country's underground rappers and rockers in his new film to be shown in the Cannes film festival next week. -AFP - 5/12/09

Why Iran Freed Roxana Saberi
Iran has detained several Western journalists in recent years, though in most cases they have been expelled rather than tried. Ms. Saberi, however, is a dual citizen of Iran and the United States. What does her release signal about Tehran’s approach to the Obama administration and its interest in engaging in a dialogue with the U.S.? -New York Times - 5/12/09

Saberi, Freed From Iranian Prison, Wants To Rest, Be With Her Family
"I'm very happy to be released and to be with my father and mother again," a smiling Saberi told reporters outside her apartment building in the capital, wearing a blue headscarf. -Reuters - 5/12/09

International flower and plant exhibit opens in Tehran
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf inaugurated Tehran's biggest flower and plant exhibit on Monday. - 5/12/09

Mystery of the missing ex-FBI man
The lawyer, Mohammed Hossein Aghasi, suspects that an American living in Tehran might have been involved in Mr Levinson’s disappearance. The lawyer declined to confirm whether the American is Salahuddin, the fugitive who fled to Iran three decades ago. “I am not going to name the person at this point,” he told RFE/RL, a private, Czech-based international radio service funded by the US Congress. -The National, UAE - 5/12/09

Iran strips UAE consortium of mobile licence
Iran said on Monday that it has stripped a consortium including UAE telecoms giant Etisalat of the licence to run its third national mobile telephone network. The licence will now be awarded to a consortium including Kuwait's Zain which was runner up in the tendering process -AFP - 5/12/09

Saberi's Jail Sentence Suspended, Allowed To Leave Iran
Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi has been freed from a Tehran prison. The move follows a decision by an Iranian appeals court to reduce her original eight-year prison term on spying charges to a two-year suspended sentence. - 5/11/09

Photos: Construction of Tohid Underpass in Tehran
Construction operation of Tohid Underpass project started two years ago. Chairman of the Expediency Council on Monday expressed hope that Iran would be recognized as an exemplary country in constructing great development projects in the world in the near future. - 5/11/09

Iran attempts to maintain 4 salt mummies
Iran's four saltmen, unique salt mummies, have found a new resting place is one of the most advanced display cases in the world. The vacuum chamber in Zanjan can precisely control humidity and airflow and is provided with a nitrogen-rich mixture deadly to known bacteria and mold. - 5/11/09

Tehran's Touch Restaurant Successfully Maintains High Standards
One of the best eating places in Tehran is without a doubt Touch at the junction of Lavasani and Farmanieh. On several occasions we have taken our guests there and we have not been disappointed. The three friends who started this, Human Karimi, Makan Meshkati and Hamed Ehtesham have succeeded in keeping up their high standards. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/11/09

Groundbreaking Project Zendegi Survey Documents Iranian-American Life
As the Iranian-American population continues to grow, so too does our community's need to be recognized and understood. Several psychology researchers lead by Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating (University of Santa Barbara) are seeking to do just that by launching a study that examines the lives of Iranian-American young adults living in the US and Canada. - 5/11/09

Iran to celebrate Ferdowsi Day on May 15
Various programs including congresses, seminars and meetings are organized across the country to commemorate the name of the great epic poet Ferdowsi. The cities of Mashhad, Semnan in northern Iran and capital Tehran are preparing for programs as the national day of Ferdowsi approaches on May 15. - 5/11/09

PARSA CF University: Voluntourism an Emerging Travel Trend for the Medical Community
Voluntourism has gained prominence throughout the past few years and in a suffering economy, is becoming an increasingly popular option for travelers eager to make a difference in the world. But just what is voluntourism exactly? - 5/11/09

David Rahni is Running for Board of Education Seat in the State of New York
David N. Rahni is running for the School Board of Education in Somers Township, located in northern Westchester County, New York this May 19. Somers is a township comprised of seven hamlets with a population of nearly 20,000 and a historic area spanning nearly forty square miles. - 5/11/09

China is Iran's leading trade partner
Mottaki noted that the level of trade between the two countries increased from $400 million in 1994 to $29 billion in 2008 and said this shows Tehran-Beijing economic relations have grown at an average annual rate of 40 percent over the past few years. - 5/11/09

Iran says Israel the only obstacle to Mideast free of nuclear arms
Iranian delegation at the third meeting of Preparatory Committee of 2010 Review Conference of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) called Israel "the only obstacle to meeting a Middle East free of nuclear weapons." - 5/11/09

Iran Urges Iraqi Action On Kurdish Rebels
Iran has urged neighboring Iraq to "pay special attention" to armed groups operating in its border areas, a week after Baghdad condemned Iranian shelling of villages in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region. -Reuters - 5/11/09

Photos: Iran's National Soccer Team in Practice
Iran's National Soccer Team is holding practice sessions in Tehran under the guidance of the recently appointed coach Afshin Ghotbi. Iran, which is in Group B of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers along with Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the UAE and North Korea, will clash with North Korea in its next match on June 6. - 5/10/09

Iran Could Elect First Female President
More than 40 women have registered as prospective candidates for Iran's tenth Presidential elections raising, a top election official says. "Of the 475 who signed up as candidates, 433 are men and 42 are women," Kamran Daneshjoo, the head of Iran's election committee told reporters on Sunday. - 5/10/09

Photos: People in Qazvin Celebrate Panjahbedar
The 50th day of the new year has a special meaning for the people of Qazvin. This day is called Panjahbedar, and is celebrated as part of an old tradition. The people start the day by visiting the town's main mosque and praying for rain and greenness. They then head to the nature and spend the day outdoors. - 5/10/09

Iranian Court Hears Appeal By Jailed U.S. Journalist
A court in Iran has heard an appeal from Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who has been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the United States. -RFE - 5/10/09

Reza Haeri's "Porove Akhar" wins Jury Order of Glory at Documenta Madrid Festival
The documentary tells the story of a tailor named Mr. Arabpour making clothing for clerics and says stories about sewing clothing. - 5/10/09

Persepolis exits Elimination Cup after loss to 9-man Pas of Hamedan
Pas of Hamedan beat Persepolis 2-1 on Sunday to book a place in the Iran's Elimination Cup semi-finals. Pas eliminated Tehran popular team at the Qods Stadium in Hamedan and will play Rah Ahan in the next round. - 5/10/09

"Gas OPEC" to officially begin activity in July
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) will officially begin its activity in July after naming its secretary general at the upcoming Doha meeting in late June, Iran's representative to GECF stated on Sunday. - 5/10/09

Iran introduces $100K Avicenna award
Iran has introduced a $100,000 international award in commemoration of the celebrated Persian philosopher and scientist, Avicenna. - 5/10/09

Russia 'losing to China on Iran S-300 quest'
In its quest for an advanced air defense system, Iran has reportedly shifted its hopes from Russia to China which owns a replica of the controversial Russian S-300. - 5/10/09

Rivals in Iran's Election Take Aim at Ahmadinejad
The three major challengers to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June presidential elections hail from different political backgrounds but share a common view: If Mr. Ahmadinejad is re-elected, he will lead Iran toward disaster. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 5/10/09

Iranian nomads' literacy rate up by 15%
Director of nomadic department of State Ministry of Education here on Saturday said that there has been a 15.5% increase in the nomads' literacy rate over the past ten years. Abassi also announced that 33% of Iranian nomadic families own cell phone. - 5/10/09

Iran's Judiciary spokesman: Number of prisoners is decreasing
He said the number of prisoners has not increased in recent years adding that the current statistics indicates around 163,000 prisoners in Iran of whom 4 percent are women. He added the figure is relatively good, because it means Iran has 226 prisoners for 100,000 population, while the figure in the USA and Russia is 600 persons. -IRNA - 5/10/09

Election fever running high in Iran
The fever of presidency is running high in Iran as prominent figures officially register their candidacy for the June 12 election. - 5/9/09

Bust of Ferdowsi now graces University of Oxford
The bust of Ferdowsi was unveiled at the University of Oxford Friday on the occasion of the Shahnameh millennium. - 5/9/09

THE TWO-STATE DELUSION
The world is once again being treated to yet another round in the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" charade. The "usual suspects" are posturing, pronouncements are being made, speeches are being given, and hints and rumors about a supposed "toughening" in the US Government's approach to Israel are filtering out from the press. -Alan Sabrosky - 5/9/09

Iran's "Angels Die in the Soil" wins award at San Francisco Film Festival
52nd San Francisco International Film Festival Winners Announced at Golden Gate Awards Ceremony Wednesday, May 6 - 5/9/09

Iran calls for instant, unconditional beginning of NPT talks
Iranian delegation participating in the third meeting of the preliminary committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference in a statement strongly criticized the failure of nuclear countries to fulfill their commitments envisaged by the NPT in past four decades. - 5/9/09

First International seminar on pain underway in Bandar Anzali
First International Seminar on Pain and Ninth Annual Scientific Meeting of Iranian Pain Society opened here on Saturday and will continue until May 11. - 5/9/09

Tehran ranks first in divorce rate in Iran
Tehran Province has the highest number of divorces in the country, deputy head of Population Studies & Research Center in Asia and the Pacific said here Saturday. Based on official figures, 22.3% of Tehrani marriages ended in divorce in 1385 (March 2006-March 2007) Shahla Kazemipour said. - 5/9/09

Roxana Saberi's appeal court due on Sunday
The Iranian-American Journalist Roxana Saberi's lawyer said the first session of Saberi's appeal court will be heard on Sunday morning. - 5/9/09

Afghan Private Schools Seen As Sign Of Hope, Optimism
With the Taliban-era ban on girls from attending school still fresh in the minds of Afghans, the country's education system can already boast that nearly 40 percent of students are girls. - 5/9/09

'Dear Mr. Lieberman, in General, You Are not Welcome Here'
Throughout his political career, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has rattled sabers in the Middle East. On Thursday, Germany's foreign minister is meeting with the ultranationalist. -Spiegel, Germany - 5/9/09

US Renews Syria Sanctions Despite Outreach to Damascus
U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order extending the sanctions on Thursday, shortly after two administration envoys held talks in Damascus with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem. - 5/9/09

Security Organizations Praise White House Iran Strategy, Criticize Sanctions Legislation
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), along with twenty peace and security organizations, issued a joint letter on May 1st, commending the White House for its bold diplomatic strategy for engaging Iran - including its rejection of calls from outside groups to impose deadlines for diplomacy and to impose sanctions before diplomacy is given a chance to succeed. - 5/8/09

Iranian Woman Activist Narges Mohammadi Receives The Alexander-Langer-Award 2009
The Scientific and Guarantee Committee of the Foundation has decided to bestow the international Alexander Langer award 2009 upon Narges Mohammadi, Iranian journalist as well as vice-president and spokeswoman of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, and president of the executive committee of the National Peace Council. - 5/8/09

U.S. Senators Explore Engagement with Iran
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is exploring the pros and cons of talks with Iran, proposed by six major world powers including the United States. The talks would discuss Tehran's nuclear program. US Senator John Kerry says the U.S. is not interested in promoting regime change and instead is focusing on engagement. - 5/8/09

"The New Great American Director"- Iranian American Ramin Bahrani
Ramin Bahrani's story begins with his parents' move from Iran to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1968. His father, a native of Shiraz, was essential in exposing Mr. Bahrani to the poems of Hafez. Breaking away from the traditional Iranian-American encouragement towards the fields of medicine, science, law or engineering, the Bahranis were supportive of their son's passion for the arts. - 5/8/09

Winners of the 2009 Noor Film Festival Announced
The 3rd Annual Noor Film Festival concluded last Sunday with a sold out awards ceremony. We like to thank all of our sponsors, filmmakers, award presenters, judges, and movie fans that made this event more successful than ever! -NFF Team - 5/8/09

Iran's famous stunt man killed in freak accident
Iranian stunt man Peyman Abadi, who had appeared in a popular German TV series, has been killed during the filming of an Iranian TV series in Tehran. - 5/8/09

Photos: Spring in Aish-Abad, Tabriz
The following photos by Navid Jadidoleslam capture the beauty of nature in Aish-Abad area close to provincial town of Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan province. - 5/8/09

EU Meeting Focuses On Energy Links With 'Southern Corridor'
The European Union is hosting talks in Prague aimed at establishing long-term energy and transport links with the Middle East and Central Asia. The "Southern Corridor" summit brings together leaders and ministers of the EU and Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Egypt, and Iraq. Two major regional players are missing -- Qatar and Iran. - 5/8/09

Iran comes first in Asian Power Lifting Championships
Iran's national team came first in the 21st round of Asian Power Lifting Championships in India. Iran's national power lifting has managed to come first 3 times in Asian Championships over last four years. - 5/8/09

President signs up as candidate for presidential elections
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in the elections headquarters in the Interior Ministry while ago on Friday to have his name put in the 10th president elections' candidacy list. - 5/8/09

Russian Foreign Minister In Washington Looks To 'Reset' Ties
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Washington for meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in what both sides have described as an effort to "reset" relations that declined under the previous administration. - 5/8/09

Iranian futsal team targets Brazil's Falcao
Isfahan-based futsal team Foolad Mahan is going to buy Falcao, the world's leading goal scorer, according to the club. -MNA - 5/8/09

US Reassures Arab Countries on Iran Policy
Top U.S. officials are reassuring moderate Arab countries that the Obama administration's effort to improve relations with Iran will not hurt the interests of longstanding American allies in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and some Persian Gulf countries. Moderate Arab nations are expressing concern that a new dialogue between the U.S. and Iran could come at their expense. Abadi was killed on Wednesday when a burning bus he was jumping out of overturned. - 5/8/09

Iran Khodro launches biggest overseas car assembly line in Syria
Iranian major carmaker Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) inaugurated the second phase of the Samand sedan assembly line in Syria on Thursday. This new factory makes up the company's largest overseas car production plant. - 5/8/09

Dr. Mansoor Emam: A Medical Hero in Utah
As a child in his native city of Dezful, in southern Iran, Dr. Mansoor Emam could hardly have believed his destiny. From a city with little or no medical services, Dr. Mansoor Emam dreamed of one day becoming a doctor. With that dream fulfilled, Dr. Emam is now helping others in a new city, far away from his birthplace, and honored as one of America's finest humanitarian physicians. - 5/7/09

Faces of Successful Iranian Americans: Shirin Neshat: Pursuing a Dream
"The most important message [I can give to other Iranian-Americans] is to try to look within, not without, for strength, confidence, and sense of individuality." As a world-renowned film maker and artist, Shirin Neshat certainly embodies all three traits. - 5/7/09

Passions of Color: An Exhibition by Saloumeh Golnaraghi
Born in 1988 in Iran, Saloumeh Golnaraghi got her degree in art from the Tehran Azad University of Fine Arts. Over the past five years Gonaraghi has had numerous group and solo exhibitions in Iran. She has also participated in several exhibitions in which she has won national awards such as the first prize in the Saba Exhibition of Still Life in 2005. - 5/7/09

Dr. Cumrun Vafa Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science at Harvard University, was elected as a new member of The National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2009. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. - 5/7/09

President of Alavi Foundation Indicted for Obstruction of Justice
Lev L. Dassin, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that Farshid Jahedi, the president of the Alavi Foundation, was indicted for allegedly destroying documents subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating the Alavi Foundation's relationship with Bank Melli Iran and the ownership of a Manhattan office building. - 5/7/09

IAPAC Endorses the Campaigns of Aspiring Iranian American Candidates
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), today announced its contributions to the campaigns of Amir Farokhi and David Vahedi who are respectively running for City Council seats in Atlanta and Los Angeles. - 5/7/09

Israeli President Backs US Efforts to Engage Iran
Israeli President Shimon Perez has met with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington as a prelude to a visit in on May 18 from the Jewish state's new, hard-line prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. After meeting with Obama, Peres said his country should support U.S. efforts to address Iran diplomatically. - 5/7/09

Guns, Roses and Graduate Degrees
At a conference that considered the impact of the French philosopher Michel Foucault on Middle East studies, visiting historian Janet Afary explains that the story of Iranian women since the Revolution is not entirely one of repression. - 5/7/09

NIAC New York Cocktail Fundraiser to Protect the Persepolis Artifacts and Preserve our Heritage
Saturday, May 30, 2009 at Asia Society and Museum in New York - Guests of Honor: Christiane Amanpour, CNN; Amy Goodman, Democracy Now; Prof. Matt Stolper, Persepolis Fortification Project - 5/7/09

Commission Recommends Renewed US Leadership on Nuclear Arms Reduction
A report released in Washington on Wednesday recommends strengthened U.S. leadership in global efforts to prevent further nuclear weapons proliferation. However, the Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States says new threats, including potential nuclear terrorism, require a credible deterrent capability. - 5/7/09

Iran's first herbal anti-cancer drug to enter the market soon
Spinal-z is a methanolic mixture of dried powdered seeds, domestic to Iran, which are considered poisonous on their own. The combination of the herbs has shown promising results in treating stomach cancer. - 5/7/09

US and Iran agree to cooperate in how Iranian gas exports will be made available to western markets
Back-channel discussions between the United States and the Revolutionary Government of Iran show agreement on southern export terminus for Iranian natural gas sales free of Russian pipeline dominance -GLG - 5/7/09

US in no mood for regime change in Iran
Political heavyweights in Washington say they no longer seek a "regime change" in Iran, urging the country to begin engagement with the US in earnest. - 5/7/09

Caspian Sea states envision $200b trade in 2020
The five Caspian Sea littoral states have predicted their annual trade to reach $200 billion by the next 10 years, the director of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) stated here on Wednesday. - 5/7/09

Behnam Daheshpour Charitable Organization: An Iranian NGO helping cancer patients
Compilation Album of Iranian Underground Music to be ReleasedThe Behnam Daheshpour Charitable Organization is a well known and respected NGO that helps people who suffer from cancer. I have known about them for many years yet have not been able to officially introduce them to Payvand readers for different reasons. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/6/09

Chicago University's Oriental Institute Digitalizing Persepolis tablets
The tablets, which were loaned to Chicago University to be studied in 1937, were discovered by the university's archeology team in 1933. "They were written, sealed and filed in a short span of time, between 509 and 493 BCE, in the middle of the reign of the Achaemenid Persian king Darius I," said director of the Oriental Institute Gil Stein. - 5/6/09

A Gift To All Persians!
New York Celebrates Swiss Photographer Book "Paradise Lost: Persia from Above" at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery. In the late 1970's Gerster was granted permission by Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi to record the Persian topography. -Darius KADIVAR - 5/6/09

Renowned Iranian filmmaker Kiarostami cancels performance in London due to visa complications
Kiarostami was to direct a production of Così Fan Tutte at London's Coliseum. But according to a report by Guardian, Kiarostami yesterday announced that he would not be travelling to the UK to direct the production, because, an ENO spokeswoman said, he "does not feel he was treated in a respectful way" when applying for his visa. He found the process "unduly time-consuming and hugely complicated", she added. - 5/6/09

A Gallup Study: Who Speaks for Islam?
What do the vast majority of mainstream Muslims really think? Rather than listening to extremists or simply relying on the opinions of individual pundits, why not give voice to the silenced majority? How is this voice different, or similar to, voices from America? -America.gov - 5/6/09

Iran's freestyle wrestling team lifts Asian Championship trophy
Iran claimed the title of the 2009 Asian Senior Freestyle Wrestling Championship on Wednesday. The heavyweight team bagged five gold medals and two bronze in the event which was held from May 2 to 7 in Pattaya, Thailand. - 5/6/09

Jailed US Journalist Ends Her Hunger Strike; Iran Says Appeal to be Heard Next Week
The father of the Iranian-American journalist jailed in Iran as a U.S. spy says she has ended her almost 2-week-old hunger strike. An Iranian appeals court will hear the case of American journalist Roxana Saberi who was convicted of spying for the United States next week, according to the country's judiciary spokesman. - 5/6/09

Iranian Translator and Literary Critic Reza Seyed-Hosseini Dies at 83
Born in 1926 in Ardabil, he has penned many academic treatises including renowned "Literary Schools" and he has translated works by Albert Camus, Andre Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre and Marguerite Duras from French into Persian. Reza Seyyed Hosseini was chosen as Iran's 2001 eternal figure in the field of translation. - 5/6/09

Iran's first first lady?
The wife of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is taking an unprecedented role in his campaign in a bid for women's vote -Massoumeh Torfeh, Guardian - 5/6/09

Gates Says US-Iran Contacts Will Be Open
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States will keep its allies in the Middle East informed as it pursues the possibility of improved relations with Iran, and discounted concerns in the region about a U.S.-Iran deal that could hurt the interests of longstanding American friends such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. - 5/6/09

Germany's Merkel backs 'constructive dialogue with Iran'
German Chancellor Angela Merkel here Wednesday reaffirmed support for an active diplomacy with Iran aimed at settling the row over Tehran's nuclear program. - 5/6/09

AIPAC Conference Pushes Hard Line on Iran
The annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful and hawkish pro-Israel lobby, wrapped up on Tuesday with a speech from Vice President Joe Biden, capping three days that were primarily devoted to the threat of a nuclear Iran. -IPS - 5/6/09

Iran: Stop Imminent Juvenile Offender Executions
Iran should immediately call off the execution scheduled for May 6, 2009, of two juvenile offenders, Human Rights Watch said today. Amir Khaleghi and Safar Angooti, both age 18, were convicted of crimes allegedly committed when they were 16 and 17 years old respectively, said their lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei. - 5/6/09

The Nabucco Carrot and U.S.-Iran Engagement
For years, analysts have argued that the Nabucco natural gas pipeline -- a U.S.-backed effort to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, thus bypassing Russia -- needed to accept gas from Iran if it was to be economically viable. -WPR - 5/6/09

Iran and the Israel Lobby's Frustration: Dropping the AIPAC Spying Case
On August 4, 2005 American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) operatives Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman were arrested on charges relating to espionage on behalf of Israel. This had a lot to do with Iran. -Counterpunch - 5/6/09

A thirst to reach the top in Iran
Fardin Alizad, owner of three food companies in Iran, is determinedly upbeat in spite of the challenges of running a business in the country. Like many other entrepreneurs the world over, he says opportunities can be forged from setbacks. In fact, that is the only way, he says, to respond to problems arising from the Iranian government’s economic and business policies as well as international sanctions over the country’s nuclear programme. -The Peninsulaqatar - 5/6/09

"Korea, Sparkling Night in Iran" helps raise funds for Iranian children suffering from cancer
South Korean Vice Culture Minister Jae-min Shin is convinced that the cultural relationship with Iran has made the two states like two neighboring countries despite the considerable distance separating one from the other. He called Tehran a beautiful city with a combination of the modern and the historical, and said, "Iran has been a bridge between east and west, playing a major role in enhancing its civilization." - 5/5/09

Photos: 11th Tulips Festival, Garmab village, Gachsar
The 11th Tulips Festival is being held in a garden in the Chalous mountains north of Tehran. It is organized by a private company in cooperation with Tehran Municipality. The festival which opened on May 5th, will run for a week at tulips garden of Garmab village near Gachsar in Chalous. - 5/5/09

Photos: Hopeful candidates register for Iran's Presidential Elections
Hopeful candidates started registering for Iran's 10th presidential election starting early Tuesday morning. The registration will continue until May 9. The 10th presidential election is slated for June 12. - 5/5/09

Event: Iran's "My Uncle Napoleon" at Stanford
My Uncle Napoleon is a social satire and a masterpiece of contemporary Persian literature. The book was turned into a television series in 1970s and immediately captured the imagination of the whole nation-its story became a cultural reference point and its characters national icons. - 5/5/09

Iran's Esteghlal out of Asian Champions League
Iran's Esteghlal football team failed to advance to the Asian Champions League (ACL) next round after a home tie against Al-Ittihad at the Azadi Stadium. - 5/5/09

Iran Revisited: photographs by Sanaz Mazinani at Toronto Image Works Gallery
Sanaz Mazinani's colour diptychs and marquee photographs explore the physical landscape and human faces of contemporary Iran, her country of origin. Each image contains its own narrative qualities and together they create a complex portrait of the country. - 5/5/09

Iran crowned Asian junior water polo champions
Iran claimed the Asian Junior Water Polo Championships here on Tuesday. The team, which on Monday qualified for the World Junior Water Polo Championships, battled to an 8-8 draw against Uzbekistan but came first on goal difference. - 5/5/09

Israel's Peres coaches AIPAC on Obama's Iran policy
In an address before 'the most important' lobby affecting America's relations with Israel, President Shimon Peres accuses Iran of posing an international "threat". On the eve of talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington, President Peres won strong applause from the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). -Press TV - 5/5/09

President Ahmadinejad's Visit to Shiraz, Fars Province
On April 29, 2009, the president of Iran, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, came to Fars Province, in the city of Shiraz, to greet the tens of thousands of people who came out to welcome him from Shaheed dast Ghaib Airport to the Hafezeeh Stadium. The President's visit was part of the national tour of various Iranian cities in preparation for the up-coming presidential elections scheduled for June 12. -Eleanor Ommani - 5/5/09

X Prize Offered for Health Care Innovation
The Ansari X Prize was funded in part by the family of Iranian American entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari. - 5/5/09

12,000 German companies doing business in Iran
Though the United Nations and the West have imposed sanctions on Iran over its sensitive nuclear program, Germany is still Iran's biggest trade partner in the European Union. -MNA - 5/5/09

Turkey Weighs Ending Economic Embargo on Armenia
Turkey's 16-year trade embargo against Armenia is one of the longest such sanctions in the world. Ankara enforced the embargo in solidarity with Azerbaijan, after Armenian forces occupied nearly 20 percent of Azeri territory during a war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. - 5/5/09

Update on NIAC’s Efforts to Preserve Persian Artifacts
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division earlier this month heard NIAC's motion to file a brief Amicus Curiae in conjunction with the Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran v. University of Chicago lawsuit. - 5/5/09

Iran warns Israel's nuclear arsenals, real threat to global peace
Speaking at the third meeting of Preparatory Committee of 2010 Review Conference of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Hosseini said Israel's disagreement with international demands for joining the treaty is the major obstacle against establishment of a Middle East free of nuclear arms. - 5/5/09

Iran Heritage, Persian Gulf, and Iran Alliance 2009 Scholarship and Merit Awards
The selection committee and board members are pleased to announce the 2009 recipients of Scholarship and Merit Awards. Some of the criteria used to evaluate individuals were: (a) difficulty of the tasks, (b) length of time devoted to the community, and (c) their innovative ideas to help the Iranian community. - 5/5/09

Iran can meet Europe's growing energy needs: Oil Minister
Iran can play a key role in meeting Europe's rising energy needs amid falling gas production on the European continent, Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari told IRNA in Berlin on Tuesday. - 5/5/09

Iranian Leader Is Scolded on Removal of Official
Iran’s supreme religious leader publicly rebuked the country’s president on Monday over his removal of an official who organizes the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. -AP - 5/5/09

Turkey Massacre Raises Questions About Blood Feuds, Arming Civilians
"It seems like a feud between two families. One family wanted this girl to marry this guy [from their side] and the girl's family did not permit that and tried to marry her off to another family and the first family staged this attack," says Nejat Basar, news editor of Turkey's "Hurriyet Daily News." -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 5/5/09

A touch of Middle Eastern flavor
Tehran Super, which sells foodstuffs and carpets having a Middle Eastern flavor, was modeled after an Iranian store run by the owner’s grandfather and influenced by the things the owner learned while operating a chocolates shop on the other side of the Hudson River. -Hackensack Chronicle - 5/5/09

150-year anniversary of translation of Khayyam's Rubaiyat by Fitz Gerald
Year 2009 marks both the 200-year anniversary of birthday of Edward Fitz Gerald and the 150-year anniversary of the first translation of Khayyam's poetry by him. Hakim Omar Khayyam, born in 1048 in Neyshapur, then capital of Seljuk Dynasty, in modern day Khorasan, was famous as a mathematician during his own life time, nearly a thousand years before he became a famous poet in the West through the hands of Fitz Gerald. -A. J. Cave - 5/4/09

Internationally Acclaimed Writer and Scholar Reza Aslan Talks About His New Book, His Busy Schedule, and Being Single
Internationally renowned writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan exploded into our collective consciousness a few years ago with his first New York Times Bestseller. Three years later, Aslan is making waves again with his second book, "How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror," in which he explores how apocalyptic thinking plagues every religious tradition, every inspired nationalism, and argues that it cannot be defeated with brute force, upon which it thrives. - 5/4/09

Photos: Garlic Harvesting in Zanjan, Iran
Allium sativum L., commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, and chive. Garlic has been used throughout recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. -Photos by Erfan Dadkhah, ISNA - 5/4/09

More Than 100 Iranian Activists Detained In Tehran on May 1st
More than 100 Iranian labor activists and several members of the One Million Signatures Campaign against discriminatory laws were detained in Tehran on May 1 as they gathered in the city's Laleh Park to mark International Workers' Day. - 5/4/09

Year of Iran Exhibitions at Smithsonian
The Year of Iran will continue with two exhibitions at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, "The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin," May 9-Sept. 13, and "Falnama: The Book of Omens," Oct. 24, 2009, to Jan. 24, 2010 - 5/4/09

Shariatmadari-Karroubi feud outrages Iran officials
The bitter exchange of diatribes between columnist Hossein Shariatmadari and presidential hopeful Mehdi Karroubi has caused outrage in Iran's political circles. The dispute first arose when two-time parliament speaker and reformist candidate Karroubi along with several legal and religious experts, endorsed a statement against issuing the death sentence for anyone under 18 years of age. - 5/4/09

Iranian Scholarship Foundation 2009 Fundrasing Gala
Saturday, May 9 in Stanford, California - The main objective of the Iranian Scholarship Foundation is to ensure that the second generation of Iranians growing up in the US, does not forget Iran, and is proud of its Iranian heritage. - 5/4/09

Iranian cyclist wins Indonesia's Tour de Singkarak
Iranian cyclist Qader Mizbani has won Indonesia's Tour de Singkarak after completing 459 kilometers in 11 hours, 6 minutes and 1 second. - 5/4/09

Iran qualifies for World Water Polo Championship
Iran qualified for the World Junior Water Polo Championship after beating Kazakhstan at the Azadi Swimming Pool on Monday. - 5/4/09

Finding Bibi: Filmmaker's Fans Make Their Voices Heard
Iranian-American documentary filmmaker Bita Haidarian, whose work has been described as "the best hope for film and politics in Australia," launched a groundbreaking organization in March, and her democratic approach is already bearing fruit. - 5/4/09

International Pressure Grows on Iran to Release Jailed Journalist
Iran says the case of American journalist Roxana Saberi, imprisoned in Tehran for spying, will get a fair review on appeal while international calls for her release are growing on World Press Freedom Day. - 5/4/09

Iran Speaker tells US senators gasoline sanctions move will cause distrust
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani stated on Monday that the recent introduction of a bill in the U.S. Senate which seeks to sanction firms that sell gasoline to Iran will create a climate of distrust. -MNA - 5/4/09

28 Iranian Pilgrims Killed in Bus Crash
Iranian state television says a bus carrying pilgrims on their way to holy sites in Iraq has crashed into a warehouse in western Iran, killing at least 28 people - 5/4/09

The statement of Neda Institute for Scientific & Political Research, Tehran for Durban Review Conference
As regards DDPA 2001's "concern for the plight of peoples under foreign occupation", our NGO finds it extremely alarming that, in the period December 2008 - January 2009, the army of a racially-occupying regime in the Middle East, intentionally and indiscriminately targeted civilians, using unconventional weapons including White Phosphorous shells and bombs, Heavy Bombs, Fuel Air Explosives, Cluster Bombs, and Silent Bombs. - 5/4/09

Iran sets $10b target for annual exports to Iraq
Iran plans to export $10 billion worth of products to Iraq in its current calendar year (began March 21), the Iranian commercial attaché has said. - 5/4/09

Iran Readies For Battle At Nuclear Arms Ban Talks
Iran has attacked the United States ahead of a major meeting on the troubled global antinuclear arms treaty, slamming U.S. cooperation with Israel and India while ignoring President Barack Obama's offers of dialogue. -Reuters - 5/4/09

Iran's Hafez Nazeri unveils new Setar
Iranian musician Hafez Nazeri has unveiled his new Persian string instrument which is believed to be a developed form of the Setar -Haber27 - 5/4/09

Women Call For Gender Equality Ahead Of Iran's Presidential Vote
Former lawmaker and journalist Azam Taleghani is one of two women to have announced plans to run in Iran's presidential election in June. In the unlikely event Taleghani were to become president, she would encounter obstacles not often associated with a head of state. - 5/3/09

Theater giants add perfect ending to Iranian students' festival
Honoring the giants of Iranian theater inspired a lovely night for the closing ceremony of the 12th International University Theater Festival at Tehran's City Theater Complex on Saturday. - 5/3/09

Clinton Says US to Counter Chinese, Iranian and Russian Influence in Latin America
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is working to improve relations with Latin American leaders, in part, to counter the growing influence of China, Iran and Russia. Clinton says it is not in U.S. interests to shun countries in its own hemisphere. - 5/3/09

KOCE-TV Broadcast Celebrates Contributions of Southern California's Iranian-Americans
In an effort to better understand the perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to showcase the contributions of Iranian-Americans in Southern California, KOCE-TV is hosting a rebroadcast of the travel program "Rick Steves Iran" on Monday, May 11 at 7:00pm. - 5/3/09

Nowruz Resolution Continues to Gain Traction
This week six additional members of Congress have become cosponsors of H.Res.267, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 38. Sponsored by Congressman Michael Honda (D-15th/CA), H. Res. 267 is the first measure ever introduced into the United States Congress that recognizes the cultural and historical significance of the Iranian New Year. - 5/3/09

Iran's Greco-Roman wrestlers come first in Thailand Asian Championship
Iran's Farshad Alizadeh, Taleb Nemat Pour, Amir Ali Akbari and Masoud Hashemzadeh in (74-kg), (84-kg), (96-kg) and (120-kg) categories won gold medals. - 5/3/09

Iran can use US needs favorable to its interests: Presidential Candidate Mohsen Rezaei
Speaking at his first press conference after announcing his bid to run in the elections, Rezaei said "I advocate neither surrender nor adventure, I will never write a letter to a US president which remains unanswered; our letter will defiantly be answered." - 5/3/09

First neurology center opens in Tabriz
Iran's first neurology center was inaugurated here at Imam Reza (AS) Medical Educational Center with the aim of curing epilepsy. With the commissioning of the center, Tabriz has become the country's scientific hub in the field. - 5/3/09

Japan's FM terms Iran a regional power
Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone here on Saturday referred to Iran as a regional power which plays a key and constructive role in establishment of stability throughout the region. - 5/3/09

Commission Names 13 Countries as Religious Freedom Violators
The latest annual report by the independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom names 13 countries as serious violators of religious freedom. The commission expresses concern about increasing extremism in many countries, including sharp criticism for Pakistan, saying extremism poses a particular threat to religious freedom. - 5/3/09

Hundreds rally for convicted US journalist in Iran
Hundreds of people supporting a U.S. journalist imprisoned in Iran have gathered for a vigil on a bridge connecting Fargo and Moorhead, Minn. -AP - 5/3/09

Iranian Helicopters Attack Iraqi Kurdish Border Region
Kurdistan's Zagros TV announced the raids by Iranian helicopters in the border region and quoted Kurdish officials as saying that it was the first time that combat helicopters have been used during months of sporadic border clashes. - 5/3/09

Quarantine units at Iranian airports to stop swine flu
Iran has set up quarantine centers in its international airports due to the spread of swine flu infection. - 5/3/09

Iran among 5 states with cyber warfare capabilities: US institute
A US military and security institute has in its latest report described Iran as one the five states with the cyber warfare capabilities. Referring to figures published by the US Central Inteligence Agency, the Defense Tech institute said that Iran has made a fair progress in cyber-warfare capabilities. - 5/3/09

The Answer To Ahmadinejad
In a SPIEGEL Interview, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's challenger in the Iranian election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, discusses his chances of beating the president in June and the West's illusions regarding Tehran's nuclear policy. - 5/3/09

Iran’s Power Struggle
Just when relations between the United States and Iran seemed to be turning for the better as a result of President Obama’s recent overture to Iran, a new impediment emerged. Roxana Saberi, a 31-year old Iranian-American freelance journalist was arrested in Tehran, put on trial behind closed doors and convicted of espionage for the U.S. -Muhammad Sahimi, NY Times - 5/2/09

The Madmen did well
The first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency have shown him to be a marketing exec’s dream, a Marlboro Man for the Noughties – and little else -John Pilger, New Statesman - 5/2/09

Iranian American Medical Association: Improving Lives and Shaping Futures
A group of Iranian-American doctors have not forgotten the residents of Bam, and have embarked on an ambitious effort to build a free clinic in the recovering city. With thirteen-thousand square meters of land donated by the city council of Bam, the clinic will be comprised of four major sections: an advanced general medical facility, a building for specialty services, a same-day surgery unit and a residential unit for physicians and visiting specialists from around the world. - 5/1/09

Photos: Iranian Workers
In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. May Day commonly sees organized street demonstrations and street marches by millions of working people and their labour unions throughout most of the countries of the world. -Photos by Sajad Avarand, ISNA - 5/1/09

Iranian Americans Celebrate Encyclopedia Iranica
Started in the mid-1970s by Ehsan Yarshater, a leading Iranian scholar working in the United States, the encyclopedia is intended as an objective and exhaustive reference work on the history and culture of Iran and the large swath of Central Asia that the Persian Empire once dominated. - 5/1/09

Farhadi's "About Elly" wins Best Narrative Feature award at Tribeca Film Festival
Asghar Farhadi's Iranian mystery on the Caspian Sea captured the hearts of World Narrative Feature Jurors Bradley Cooper, Uma Thurman, Todd Haynes, Meg Ryan and Richard Fischoff: "The universality of the characters and themes and the director's riveting grasp of this story make About Elly a film that collapses barriers and deepens our understanding of the world we share." - 5/1/09

Delara Darabi Executed
Iranian authorities executed Delara Darabi in Rasht Central Prison on Friday morning. She is the second person to be executed this year after being convicted of a crime she was alleged to have commited while still under 18, Amnesty International has revealed. - 5/1/09

Iran: end repression of independent trade unions
Marking International Workers' Day on May Day 2009, Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to end the repression of trade unionists by immediately releasing those imprisoned for their trade union work; dropping charges against others currently facing trial for similar reasons, and ending other repressive measures which marginalize trade unions and their members. - 5/1/09

Where do we go from here?
Make no mistake about it. The overtures that President Barack Obama has made to Iran since his election in November 2008 are momentous...On the other side of the cognitive divide, President Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad became the first Iranian leader in three decades to officially congratulate a US president-elect, a gesture acknowledged by Obama at a news conference in January 2009. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - 5/1/09

German-Iranian "fairytale diplomacy" bewitches foreign ministry
The reception lobby of Germany's Foreign Ministry became the scene of a magical German-Iranian puppet show, the daily Der Tagesspiegel newspaper reported Thursday. German and Iranian pupils, ages 11 through 14, performed a popular German fairytale story, using their own hand-made marionettes. - 5/1/09

Iranians send Persian Gulf petition to Obama
Iranians have launched an online petition to urge the US President Barack Obama to respect the Iranian identity of the Persian Gulf. The petition is a public reaction to an Obama speech on March 27 in which he referred to the Persian Gulf as 'Gulf'. - 5/1/09

Iran-US discords not to be resolved by handshake: Parliament Speaker
Ali Larijani, Iran's Parliament Speaker, expressed skepticism over US claims of change in policy and said Iran-US problems won't be resolved by superficial measures. -ISNA - 5/1/09

Clinton Concerned About Health of Journalist Jailed by Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed concern about the health of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who is imprisoned in Iran. In an appearance before a Senate panel, Clinton said Tehran is sending mixed signals about Saberi's fate - 5/1/09

The Godfather of American TV: Reza Badiyi interview
Born in Tehran Iran, director Reza Badiyi came to America in 1955, a very good year for American culture and iconic film and television. Prior to his coming to America, a young Badiyi was already a filmmaker in his native Iran; his work so notable that he was given the Golden Ribbon of Art by the Shah of Iran. -Monsters and Critics - 5/1/09

Gotta get through it: Halcrow build the UAE's longest tunnel
This mountain range stands between Dubai and one of the UAE’s most important ports. Which is why a team from Halcrow (a British engineer and an Iranian contractor) is holed up there right now, enduring the heat and hard rock on the country’s longest ever tunnel project -Building - 5/1/09

The Lobby Wants War with Iran
The Israel lobby has been running into a few problems lately, but it’s nothing they don’t think they can handle: a charge of treason, a strong suspicion of obstructing justice, and a gathering storm of criticism from a few dissident intellectuals and policy types. Nothing to get too exercised about. -Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com - 5/1/09

Najjar: Iran set to help promote Venezuela's defense capabilities
Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said Iran was ready to help promote defense capabilities and deterrence power of Venezuela in the framework of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries. -IRNA - 5/1/09

U.S. wants Iran talks soon
The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about how long Iran may take to respond to its peace overture, and worried that delays will build pressure at home and abroad that could undermine the effort to overcome decades of antagonism through face-to-face talks. -Los Angeles Times - 5/1/09

With New Software, Iranians and Others Outwit Net Censors
The Iranian government, more than almost any other, censors what citizens can read online, using elaborate technology to block millions of Web sites offering news, commentary, videos, music and, until recently, Facebook and YouTube. Search for “women” in Persian and you’re told, “Dear Subscriber, access to this site is not possible.” -New York Times - 5/1/09
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