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Culture deficit: Washington doesn't get it when it comes to Mideast policy
The United States may be the world's only superpower, but that is not enough to sustain its power and preserve its values. To do that Washington needs to understand the historical and cultural factors that shape the foreign policy behavior of other nations. -R. K. Ramazani - 5/31/10

Iran's Seminary Teachers list solutions to crisis
The Society of Qom Seminary Teachers and Researchers list a number of solutions for leading the Islamic Republic out if its "crisis" with election protesters. -Zamaneh - 5/31/10

Obama's letter to Lula exposes US dishonesty with Iran
Washington supported mediation by Brazil and Turkey when it did not expect them to succeed and turned its back when they accomplished exactly what the Obama administration said it sought from Iran. -CASMII - 5/31/10

Israel Attacks Gaza Aid Fleet
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza. At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported. -Al Jazeera - 5/31/10

Iran retains AFC Futsal Championship title
Iran claimed the title for the tenth time at the 11th AFC Futsal Championship by beating host Uzbekistan on Sunday. The Iranian players rallied from a 0-2 deficit to beat Uzbekistan 8-3 at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex. -MNA - 5/30/10

Detained Iranian writer decries treatment of prisoners at Evin Prison
Detained Iranian filmmaker and journalist described Evin Prison as the "Second Kahrizak" in a letter to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Nourizad, who is currently being held at Evin Prison, has written the letter at the behest of the Prosecutor-General. The letter indicates that Tehran Prosecutor-General, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi visited Nourizad and urged him to write a letter of apology to the Supreme Leader. -Zamaneh - 5/30/10

Amnesty International report 2010 on Iran
Iran's government continued to clamp down on all forms of dissent in the wake of the mass demonstrations following the disputed June 2009 presidential elections. The authorities deployed the paramilitary Basij and other security forces to prevent protestors gathering, arrested hundreds more political activists, journalists, students and women's and human rights defenders, and continued to mount grossly unfair "show trials" resulting in long prison terms and, in a few cases, death sentences. - 5/30/10

Iranian filmmakers criticize Culture Ministry for new censorship rules
Three Iranian documentary filmmakers criticized the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for its plan to establish a council to exercise control over the foreign premiere of Iranian short and documentary films. -MNA - 5/30/10

Photos: Hang Gliding Over Tehran
These photos by Hosein Ghazanfari show hang gliding enthusiasts in action over the skies of the megacity Tehran. Tehran, the capital and largest city of Iran, is a sprawling city at the foot of the Alborz mountain range. - 5/30/10

IRAN: IRGC and Basij Prepare for June 4-5 Showdowns: Food and Cultural Packages Ready
While Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi emphasized in their latest meeting the importance of June 4 and 5, as well as 15 and 20, and asked for a permit for a national demonstration on June 12, military commanders in the Basij and the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have mobilized all their resources, including through preparing food and cultural packages, to bring their forces to Tehran. -Bahram Rafiee, Rooz Online - 5/30/10

Jailed Student Activist Breaks His Hunger Strike
Jailed student Majid Tavakoli has broken his hunger strike and been transferred to the general ward of Tehran's Evin prison, according to his brother, Ali Tavakoli. - 5/30/10

Rebalancing The World
May 17th was the day that the Brazilian/Turkish initiative bore fruit in Tehran, with Iran agreeing to a ten-point arrangement designed to defuse the mounting confrontation with the United States and Israel with regard to its enrichment facilities. -Richard Falk - 5/30/10

For Security and Admnistrative Reasons: Plan to Move Capital From Tehran Finalized
In a gathering of administrative and human resources managers from across the country, interior minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar announced the finalization of plans to move the capital from Tehran: "The plan to move the capital has been on the table for years, but in this administration we are serious about implementing it." -Maryam Ahamdi, Rooz Online - 5/30/10

Turkey condemns Western dismissal of Tehran nuclear agreement
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Western attitude toward the Iranian nuclear-swap deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey. -Zamaneh - 5/30/10

Ten Million Iranians Under "Absolute Poverty Line"
Iran's Department of Statistics announced that 10 million Iranians live under the "Absolute Poverty Line" and 30 million live under the "Relative Poverty Line." Adel Azar, head of the Department of Statistics, told ISNA that the budgetary system of Iran has no correspondence with the prevalent scientific systems of budgeting. - 5/29/10

Photos: Hot Air Balloons Festival in Shiraz, Iran
For the first time in Iran, 12 hot air balloons flew over the skies of the city of Shiraz in southern Iran on May 28. This international ballooning festival was organized by Shiraz municipality with the cooperation of other organizations. Professional balloon riders from European countries participated in this festival which was attended by Shiraz residents. -Amir Hossein Zolfaghari, ISNA - 5/29/10

Iranian opposition leader: Awareness government's Achilles heel
In a meeting with pre-Revolution political prisoners, Mir Hossein Mousavi slammed the government's filtering of websites and weblogs and urged the supporters of the Green Movement "to spread social and political awareness as much as they can." -Zamaneh - 5/29/10

Photos: Armenian orchestra performing benefit concerts in Tehran
The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, conducted by Iranian-Armenian composer Loris Tjeknavorian, was performed benefit concerts to raise funds for children suffering from cancer in Iran. The concerts will be performed at the Tehran's Mahak Society's amphitheater until June 2. -Mohammad Reza Abbasi, MNA - 5/29/10

Iran's Counternarcotics Canine Clone War
The head of Iran's Royan Research Institute, Mohammad Hossein Nasr-Esfahani, says Iran is cloning 4,000 drug-sniffing dogs to help its antinarcotics campaign. - 5/29/10

First film premiere held at Qom Seminary
Clerics and students of the Qom Seminary sat down to watch Homayun As'adian's film "Gold and Copper" for its first screening session. A question and answer panel followed the screening where producer Manuchehr Mohammadi and actor Behruz Shoeibi discussed the movie with the audience. -MNA - 5/29/10

Iran Sees 'Positive' Reaction to Nuclear Fuel Plan
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says he believes major powers are "positively" considering Iran's nuclear fuel plan, negotiated with help from Turkey and Brazil. -VOA - 5/29/10

Mythologizing the Transition: A Symposium at UCL Mellon on Bahram Beyzaie's Cinema and Theatre
Bahram Beyzaie is one of the most complicated figures of the contemporary Iranian cultural scene. He is a leading expert in Iranian dramatic arts and his outstanding command of the Persian language and narration ranks him high on the list of Iranian playwrights and script writers. - 5/29/10

NPT conference calls for Mideast nuclear disarmament
The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty 189 member nations adopted a new plan to achieve nuclear disarmament which includes a move toward banning all nuclear weapons in the Middle East. -Zamaneh - 5/29/10

Resignation of Iranian Academy of Arts secretary finally accepted
A number of IAA members had raised objections to the government's decision to modify article 8 of the IAA charter. The modification empowered the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, headed by the president, to appoint the IAA director. - 5/29/10

Iran: Two Activists on Hunger Strike at Evin Prison Transferred to Hospital
Kouhyar Goudarzi and Majid Tavakoli, two Iranian political prisoners were transferred to the hospital days after they started a hunger strike. - 5/28/10

Iran: Actress, singer and taekwondo player become envoys against poverty
Iranian actress Merila Zarei and pop singer Reza Sadeqi along with taekwondo legend Hadi Saei were selected as the new ambassadors of the Mehrafarin Charity Society during a ceremony held on May 27 at Tehran's Milad Tower. - 5/28/10

Iran: Azad University Target of Attacks
According to a report by Parleman News, at midnight Thursday a group of more than 20 plainclothes militia who were armed with warm and cold weapons illegally entered the office of Board of Trustees and Founders of Islamic Azad University and office of the Center for Advanced Science and Technology. -Parleman News - 5/28/10

ISIS: Where Iran Specialists Meet
The 2010 Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Society of Iranian Studies (ISIS) convenes from May 27-30 in Los Angeles, California. This is the first time the conference is held in California. Previous venues have been Bethesda, MD, London and Toronto. -Fariba Amini - 5/28/10

Report: Iranian Activist Transferred To Tough Prison
Jailed Iranian political activist Emad Bahavar has been transferred to a prison known for its harsh regime, his mother has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda. Tahereh Taherian said her son was transferred to Rejaee Shahr prison for refusing to make a televised confession to his interrogators. - 5/28/10

Iranian Studies Lecture Series at Stanford: A Conversation with Mohammad-Reza Shajarian
Friday, May 28, 2010 - 6:00pm -- Shajarian is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and ostad (master) of Persian music. He has been called "Iran's greatest living master of traditional Persian music." Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities. - 5/28/10

Iranian artists, musicians give voice to opposition amid censorship
Nearly a year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory led to wide-scale protests and a fierce government crackdown, members of Iran's thriving and internationally acclaimed cultural scene have emerged as a driving force for the opposition. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 5/28/10

Suspended Iranian students rallied to defend rights
Iran's Council of Defence of the Right to Education issued a statement to urge all students that have been suspended from university to contact the Council with their information for further action. -Zamaneh - 5/28/10

Iran 'Breaks World Record' For Intelligence- and Security-Related Work
Iran has been able to increase its authority in recent months sufficiently to "break the world record for intelligence- and security-related work," says a deputy interior minister for political affairs, Seyed Solat Mortazavi. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/28/10

Iran finishes 9th in 8th Asian Girls' Volleyball Championship
Iran came ninth on Thursday in the 8th Asian Youth Girls' Volleyball Championship held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Compared to the previous edition in which Iran was 11th in Manila the team did a better job this year. -MNA - 5/28/10

Nightingales and Roses
For Iranians the texts of poets such as Hafez, Sa'adi, Rumi and Ferdousi are deeply embedded in the national consciousness, as familiar as words from the Qu'ran. -BBC - 5/28/10

Clinton Criticizes Brazil's Iran Diplomacy
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States has serious disagreements with Brazil over its efforts to mediate with Iran over its nuclear program. But Clinton stressed the United States desire for good relations with the emerging South American power. -VOA - 5/28/10

Genetic Mutations Increase Global Risk of Deadly Wheat Stem Rust
Scientists are warning of a new threat to the world's wheat crops. They say there are four new genetic mutations of Ug99, a strain of a wheat pathogen known as stem rust. -VOA - 5/28/10

Photos: Iran transgenic kids fight heart disease
Royan scientists have succeeded in producing two transgenic kids, paving the way for Iran to join countries with the technology to generate drugs from transgenic animals. -Photos by Alieh Saadatpou - 5/27/10

San Francisco - Robert Adanto's Pearls on the Ocean Floor to Screen
Exploring issues of identity, gender and social restrictions, Robert Adanto's Pearls on the Ocean Floor features interviews with some of the most important Iranian female artists living in and outside the Islamic Republic, including Shadi Ghadirian, Shirin Neshat, Malekeh Nayiny, and San Francisco- based artist Taravat Talepasand, who will be speaking about her artwork following the screening. - 5/27/10

Iran decertifies Kiarostami's "Certified Copy" for Juliette Binoche costume
An official of the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has said that Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy" would not premiere in Iran due to the skimpy dress of the film's French star Juliette Binoche. -MNA - 5/27/10

Farzad Kohan's Lost Paintings series
The Lost Paintings expands the role of the viewer by allowing the public to decide how and where the art is displayed. The reason behind doing a series like this is nothing more than making original art and having the art being collected by people passing by the art. Each piece that is "Lost" is a hand painted, original acrylic on paper that is signed by the artist. - 5/27/10

A Warning to Oil Producing Countries
Oil prices and the world economy have broadly been correlated for the past few years. When worldwide economic growth accelerates, it is often coupled with higher oil prices and vice versa. The recent financial crisis threw oil prices on a rollercoaster ride. -Amir Naghshineh-Pour - 5/27/10

Watching Israel Delegitimize the U.S.
The U.S.-Israeli relationship has long been America's Achilles heel. Our first president warned against "entangled alliances" particularly when, as here, there's a "passionate attachment." Our "special relationship" with this rogue state has placed the U.S. outside the same system of international law that we now seek to impose on others, including Iran. -Jeff Gates - 5/27/10

Amnesty: Powerful Governments 'Stand Above the Law' on Human Rights
Amnesty International has released its 2010 report on global human rights abuses. It says on the whole it has been a landmark year for international justice - but barriers to justice have been built by powerful governments who shield allies and only act when it is politically expedient. Amnesty also says poverty and repression remain major problems around the world. - 5/27/10

How Schoolchildren Are Brainwashed In Iran
Acting on orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to counter the "soft war" launched by Iran's enemies after last year's disputed presidential election, the Basij militia have beefed up their ideological indoctrination of schoolchildren.-Hossein Aryan, RFE - 5/27/10

MESA "Iran Letter" on recent violations of academic rights and persecution of scholars and students in Iran
I write you once again on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our profound outrage at the recent death sentences and executions, as well as continued harassment, imprisonment, and expulsions targeting university faculty and administrators, teachers, and non-violent student activists in the Islamic Republic of Iran - 5/27/10

NIAC Calls for Removal of Insulting Ads that Contribute to Atmosphere of Fear
Throughout the East Coast, buses have been plastered with the face of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on billboards that scream menacingly "Iran is making a KILLING." -NIAC - 5/27/10

Giving Diplomacy a Chance
The international community, including Turkey and Brazil, is in staunch opposition to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We are also dedicated to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. In the case of the Iranian nuclear program, we firmly believe that a process of result-oriented negotiation is needed to avoid a slide toward conflict. -Ahmet Davutoglu and Celso Amorim - 5/27/10

Russian Foreign Minister Dismisses Iran Criticism
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Iran's criticism an "emotional" outburst. At a briefing in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that for years, Iran's response to Russia's years of efforts to resolve a nuclear standoff had been "unsatisfactory." -RFE - 5/27/10

Iran does not recognize parliamentary poll in Nagorno-Karabakh: FM Spokesman
Parliamentary election was held in Nagorno-Karabakh on May 23, as voters elected their 5th parliament since the region broke away from Azerbaijan's control in early 1990. -ISNA - 5/27/10

Mina Nasseri '10 Named Best Oralist in Final of Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition
Nasseri received the Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for best oralist in the competition. The award was established in 1951 and is named after a member of the class of 1912. -Columbia Law School - 5/27/10

Is Hijab Crackdown To Divert Attention From Election Anniversary?
Iran has launched a new drive to enforce the obligatory Islamic hijab. Hijab and women who are considered as being badly or improperly veiled and their alleged threat to society is again among the main themes of speeches and comments by Friday Prayer leaders and other state officials.-Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/26/10

Iran: Student Activist's Mother Joins His Son in Hunger Strike
Majid Tavakoli, the imprisoned student of Amir Kabir University was transferred to solitary confinement and continues his hunger strike that began on the 22nd of May. In an interview with Roozonline, his mother confirmed that she too has started a hunger strike - 5/26/10

US Reportedly Authorizes More Secret Military Activity in Hot Spots
The media reports, released Tuesday, say the head of U.S. Central Command, General David Petraeus, signed a secret directive last September authorizing U.S. Special Operations troops to be sent to both friendly and hostile nations that include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia. -VOA - 5/26/10

Application for rallies not received: Tehran Governor
"We don't think about it (reformists' request) and we have not received anything. Don't ask about the side issues and go and develop your country and don't revive the dead seditious movements," Tamaddon told reporters when asked about the reformists' request for holding rallies on June 12. - 5/26/10

Iran: Morality Policing, Under Supreme Leader's Supervision
On Sunday, Iran's the eighth Majlis assembly voted for the initial passage of the bill for policing morality issues, known as the "promotion of virtue and prevention of vice" with 172 votes in support. The bill, introduced by 103 lawmakers, has three chapters under the headings of definitions and general declarations, scope, and structure. -Shervin Omidvar, Rooz Online - 5/26/10

Photos: Iranian Reformist Figure Mohsen Mirdamadi Heads Back To Evin Prison
Mohsen Mirdamadi, the chairman of the (reformist) Iran's Participation Front, was called back to Evin prison after a temporary release. Photos show the last moments of his farewell and the solidarity displayed by family, friends and political personalities before Mirdamadi's wife drove him back to Evin prison. - 5/26/10

Despite Tightening Up Of Society, Iranian Art Sees A Boom
For Iranian artists, the growth of the Dubai art market over the last five years has been a boon. Iranian artists working inside the country now have the ability to network, exhibit, and sell their works in a fine-art market much closer to home. As a result, they have seen the value of their works steadily appreciate. -RFE - 5/26/10

Iran Calls on Russia, US to Accept Nuclear Deal
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Russia and the United States to accept a nuclear fuel swap deal, warning that it will be the last chance to resolve the nuclear stand off. During a televised speech Wednesday, Mr. Ahmadinejad said the swap is a great opportunity for U.S. President Barack Obama. -VOA - 5/26/10

Hunger Strike, And Evin Prison, Take Their Toll
In the picture on the right, prominent Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi appears at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006, long before he was jailed at Tehran's notorious Evin prison. And in the picture on the left, Panahi sits at home after leaving prison on May 25. - 5/26/10

Iran plans to launch 3 more satellites
The three satellites, named Tolou, Navid, and Mesbah 2, will be launched from domestically-manufactured satellite launchers, the deputy director of Iran's Space Systems Industry, Mahdi Mousavi Badjani, announced on Monday. - 5/26/10

Iran outplays New Zealand in Asian Girls' Volleyball Championship
Iran defeated New Zealand in the 8th Asian Youth Girls' Volleyball Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday. The Persians defeated the Kiwis 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-14) at the Cheras Badminton Stadium. -MNA - 5/26/10

IRGC handing over security control in southeast Iran to tribal groups
The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps is handing over security control of the country's southeastern areas to local tribal groups, the IRGC chief said on Tuesday. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said paying more attention to cultural matters and issues pertaining to living conditions will also help promote security in those regions. -Tehran Times - 5/26/10

Media, Mahdi and Machiavelli
Shervin Nekuee was born in Tehran in 1968 and is now an Iranian-Dutch sociologist, writer and chief editor of Tehran Review, which launched this year. He is the author of The Persian Paradox (in Dutch, 2006), a book about the diverse personal, political and historical reconstructions and narratives on why and how the Islamic Revolution happened. -PBS - 5/26/10

U.S. Lawmakers Want To Give UN Time On Iran Sanctions
Some U.S. lawmakers say they do not expect Congress to approve new U.S. sanctions against Iran until at least late June, to give the United Nations Security Council enough time to impose a new round of international sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program. -RFE - 5/26/10

Analysis: Holiday in the "Axis of Evil"
"You are American?" a surprised Iranian asked me as I sat down near him in a restaurant famous for eggplant and pomegranate stews. "How did you get a visa?" -Stephen Kinzer, GlobalPost - 5/26/10

Larijani retains post of Iran's Parliament Speaker
Ali Larijani, the uncontested candidate for the post of speaker, remained in his post as the speaker for the third time with 214 votes in favor and 44 abstentions. -MNA - 5/26/10

A whitewash for 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' and 'The Last Airbender'
Since its release, the video game franchise Prince of Persia has become notable for the acrobatic grace of its dagger-wielding, balloon pants-wearing hero as well as for what the games didn't do: affront gamers of Middle Eastern and Muslim descent with stereotypical depictions of people from the region as terrorists or religious zealots. -Los Angeles Times - 5/26/10

History, BP Oil Spill Haunt Caspian Sea
For years, the race to tap into the Caspian Sea's vast oil and gas resources has outweighed any desire to protect its delicate environment. All five littoral states -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- have plans to further exploit the sea's estimated 44 billion barrels of oil reserves. Such projects mean drilling new wells, highlighting risks for an incident that could cause a catastrophic oil spill in the landlocked sea -- the largest inland body of water on earth. -RFE - 5/25/10

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi released on heavy bail
Iranian judiciary has temporarily released the detained filmmaker, Jafar Panahi on a $200,000 bail. ISNA reports that Tehran Revolutionary Court has announced that Panahi's release has been secured by the order of his interrogator and the approval of Tehran Prosecutor General. -Zamaneh - 5/25/10

How Dare They Make a Deal With Iran?
The Tehran agreement has endangered the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Iran. That seems to be the reason why the Obama administration is so annoyed by the agreement, as it was outsmarted by the Iranians once again. It took the U.S. government only one day to demonstrate to the world - if any demonstration was needed - that it is not interested in reaching a reasonable compromise on Iran's uranium enrichment program. -Muhammad Sahimi - 5/25/10

Ahead Of Election Anniversary, Iranian Government Tightens Its Grip
Political detainees report being stripped naked and forced to stand outside in plunging temperatures during the night; electricity supplies to Kurdish areas are cut to suppress a simmering rebellion over the execution of prisoners; activists complain of blanket surveillance and of threatening phone calls from intelligence agents. -RFE - 5/25/10

Farhang Foundation Co-Sponsors the UCLA 'Shahnameh' Conference
Farhang Foundation is pleased to announce its co-sponsorship of the Shahnameh conference, a two-day event, free and open to the public, examining the national epic of Iran, from May 25 and May 26, 2010 at the UCLA Faculty Center located at 100 Stein Plaza Driveway Los Angeles - 5/25/10

Interview: Longtime Art Advocate Rose Issa Discusses Iranian Art 'Boom'
The market in the last five to six years has been fantastic, thanks to the exhibitions that have been happening at the British Museum and in Dubai, with the auction houses opening in Dubai, and Sotheby's in London being interested in contemporary Iranian and Arab art -RFE - 5/25/10

Photos: Iranian dwarfs at football practice
Iranian dwarfs' football practice was held in Shahid Heidarnia Sports Complex, central Tehran, on Monday. The players are part of the NGO Iranian Association of Dwarfs. -Photos by Ra'ouf Mohseni, MNA - 5/25/10

What Prisoners Would Iran Want To Swap?
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has suggested that it's time for Washington to propose a prisoner swap if it wants to secure the release of three U.S. citizens who were arrested in July 2009 after straying across the Iraq-Iran border. - 5/25/10

Effectiveness of Proposed UN Sanctions on Iran Debatable
The U.S. has put before the U.N. Security Council a new set of sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. But they had to be diluted to secure the support of China and Russia, both of which have trade ties to Iran and have been reluctant to back sanctions. -VOA - 5/25/10

Iranian NGO Criticizes Alleged Rights Abuses
The Tehran-based Human Rights Defenders Center (DHRC) says in a report that from September 2009 to March 2010, Iran executed 17 opposition activists and arrested more than 500. -RFE - 5/25/10

Iran's shrinking oil production
The FT reports that oil output in Iran, one of the world's top producers and holder of its third-biggest reserves, is on the decline, with capacity falling from about 4.2m barrels/day in 2005 to about 3.8m or 3.9m b/d today - 5/25/10

Persian American Cancer Institute presents: Cancer Awareness Seminar in Los Angeles
Sun, Jun 27 -- Speakers include: Dr. Armando Giuliano, Dr. Lawrence Prio, Dr. Farhang Holakouee and Dr. Reza Shirazi. Hosted by Maz Jobrani - 5/25/10

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. -New York Review of Books - 5/25/10

Israel's Complicity in Apartheid Crimes Undermines Its Attack on Goldstone
To rubbish the former judge's report on Gaza, Israel has dredged up his record in South Africa -- while forgetting its own -Common Dreams - 5/25/10

Ahamdienjad speech disrupted by "unemployment" chants
People of Khorramshahr, a south western city of Iran, disrupted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech with chants of "Unemployment! Unemployment!" Ahmadinejad had travelled to Khoramshahr today for the anniversary of the liberation of the city during the Iran-Iraq War. - 5/24/10

Iranian opposition leaders' rally call depends on government permit
Iranian opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi announced that if the government issues a permit for peaceful demonstrations on June 12, they invite people to join widespread demonstrations on this day. - 5/24/10

Armenian orchestra to perform benefit concerts in Tehran
The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia will be performing benefit concerts to raise funds for children suffering from cancer in Iran. The proceeds from ticket sales will go to Tehran's Mahak Society. - 5/24/10

Mother's Statements on Return from Iran
CINDY HICKEY: "We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Iranian government for allowing us to visit Shane, Sarah and Josh in Tehran and greatly appreciate the kindness of the Iranian officials who did so much to help us during our all too brief stay." - 5/24/10

Politically charged finale as jury honours Thai and Binoche stages protest
There was little surprise that Juliette Binoche was named best actress for her role as the enigmatically named She in Abbas Kiarostami's A Certified Copy. Critics were united in their praise of her stunning performance, though she told journalists this week that the trickiest part of the role had been filming on Tuscan cobbles wearing heels. -Independent - 5/24/10

Photos: Crackdown in Tehran on Irreverent Social Behavior
The Tehran police has started implementing a new phase of the Social Security Plan from Saturday to deal with people who drive down the street looking for dates. -Photos by Abolfazl Salmanzadeh, MNA - 5/24/10

Iranian opposition leader urges a "return to people"
At the threshold of May 24, the anniversary of the liberation of Khoramshahr in the Iran-Iraq War, Mousavi attended a meeting with a group of commanders of the Iran-Iraq war calling for people's "sacrifice" in order to attain freedom and justice. -Zamaneh - 5/24/10

"A Bold Hand" Making a Mark in the Art World
Negar Ahkami's canvases are packed with detail, vibrant with color, layered with acrylic and sometimes accented with glitter to bring out their three-dimensionality. When other artists were making names for themselves with minimalism, Ahkami was unheedingly going for maximalism. - 5/24/10

Iran renews offer to help on US oil spill
The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has renewed its offer to assist the US in reining in an ecologically disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. -Press TV - 5/24/10

Children of Iran and Iraq to celebrate peace on ship
Iranian and Iraqi school children will celebrate peace in their lives on the deck of a ship on a border river in the southern region of Iran. - 5/24/10

IAEA Confirms Receiving Iran Letter On Proposed Nuclear Fuel Swap
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has been formally notified by Iran of a proposed deal to swap of some of Iran's enriched uranium for nuclear reactor fuel. The swap deal was brokered by Brazil and Turkey. It calls for Iran to send more than half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel rods. -RFE - 5/24/10

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons. -Guardian - 5/24/10

Iranian Filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad Released From Prison
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad was released from Tehran's Evin prison on Sunday after five months of detention. The news was reported by the Khabar Online website, the internet version of the Persian daily Khabar. - 5/23/10

Third Mahak Music Festival opening in Tehran
Iranian musician Loris Tjeknavorian is to conduct the Armenian chamber orchestra at benefit concerts for Tehran's Mahak Charity Society from May 26 to June 1. There will be six concerts over the seven days, including works by Bach, Vivaldi and Strauss and by Tjeknavorian himself, and they will take place in the auditorium of the Mahak Hospital in Darabad. - 5/23/10

Zahra Rahnavard: "Iran has turned into a huge prison"
In an interview with Le Monde, Zahra Rahnavard declared that she is ready to sacrifice her life for freedom, but if her family fall victim to "serious difficulties and conspiracies" the Islamic Republic government must be held responsible. - 5/23/10

Iran's Green Movement sites issue message of resistance
Seven news Sites connected to the Green Movement of Iran issued a joint statement declaring that they will "resist and persevere" in their mission of informing the public until the fall of "despotism" and the moment of "victory." -Zamaneh - 5/23/10

Iran wins Asian Taekwondo Championships
Iran claimed the title of the 19th Asian Taekwondo Championships on Sunday. Defending champion Iran came first with 59 points bagging four gold medals, one silver and one bronze in Astana, Kazakhstan. -MNA - 5/23/10

Tehran Municipality Begins Making Replicas of Stolen Statues
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf announced that Tehran's Beautification Organization will be replacing stolen sculptures with new ones in the urban environments of Tehran. - 5/23/10

Haddadi ready and willing to stay in Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies' center Hamed Haddadi said that he is keen on staying in Memphis Grizzlies, but he would leave the team if he received an attractive offer. - 5/23/10

Tavaana: New E-Learning Website for Iranian Civil Society
Iranian civic activists received a helping hand this week with the launch of Tavaana: E-learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society. Tavaana, a project of the Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME), offers Iranian democrats online courses and interactive learning tools on civic leadership, democratic institutions, cyber-security and more. - 5/23/10

Declassified GAO Report Exposes Fatally Flawed Israel Investigations
U.S. presidents have long acquiesced to "strategic ambiguity" - a policy of neither confirming nor denying that Israel even possesses nuclear weapons. This pretext has allowed the U.S. to deliver the lion's share of its foreign assistance budget to Israel, despite clear legal prohibitions imposed by the Glenn and Symington amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act. -antiwar - 5/23/10

Iran's Khatami: Khordad is the month of people
Former president by pointing out to the events of the tenth presidential election added: "The lively presence of the people in the tenth presidential election on Khordaad 22nd (June 12th), which unfortunately was followed with bitter events, was significant; and has been the sign of life and joy of the people who insist on their rights and I wish these people would have been appreciated." - 5/22/10

Iran wins Asian Boys' Volleyball Championship
Iran claimed the title of the 8th Asian Boys' Volleyball Championship in a hard-fought victory over China on Friday. In the match held at the full-packed Azadi Stadium Hall, Iran defeated China 3-2 (25-17, 26-28, 28-26, 22-25, 15-7) and won the championship. -MNA - 5/22/10

Karubi Decries Iran Judiciary, Some MPs As Instruments Of Tyranny
Reformist cleric Mehdi Karubi has lashed out at Iran's judiciary and hard-line lawmakers, accusing them of becoming the tools of the political leadership and security forces, according to a statement posted on the website. -RFE - 5/22/10

Iranian Basij forces attack student protesters in Tehran
A student gathering staged today at Tehran's Open University in protest to the numerous expulsions and other disciplinary sentences issued by universities in the past months was attacked by Basij and security forces. - 5/22/10

Mothers Meet Again In Tehran With Detained Americans before leaving
The mothers of three Americans in Iranian detention since July were said to be leaving Iran after a second meeting with their children, having failed in their effort to secure their immediate release. -RFE - 5/22/10

Russia, Iran exchange tigers for leopards but some experts express doubts
The exchange of two Persian leopards from Iran with two Siberian tigers from Russia is part of an ambitious scheme to revive these big cats in their respective countries but some experts think it is a pointless publicity exercise. -Mianeh - 5/22/10

Iranian filmmaker Nourizad continues hunger strike
Mohammad Nourizad, the detained Iranian filmmaker continues his hunger strike in Iran's Evin Prison, according to his wife who visited him today. -Zamaneh - 5/22/10

Iran Criticizes Cannes Advocacy of Jafar Panahi
On Thursday, the Islamic Revolution Court website announced that the Tehran prosecutor general ordered Panahi's requests to be examined. However, no details were given about Panahi's pleas. Panahi has gone on a hunger strike to protest the circumstances of his detention. -MNA - 5/22/10

Iranian univeristy sutdents target of conservative backlash
Head of Tehran University security announced that students who are not adhering to proper "hijab" (Muslim attire) will be impeded from entering the campus. - 5/22/10

UN Secretary-General Hopeful About Iranian Fuel Swap Deal
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he hopes an Iranian nuclear fuel swap agreement with Brazil and Turkey will lead to the end of Tehran's row with the West over its nuclear program. -RFE - 5/22/10

Former IRGC Chief: Some Arab neighbors seeking to sow religious discord in Iran
Tehran is closely watching the actions of a number of Persian Gulf Arab states who are seeking to sow religious discord and dissension in parts of Iran, former IRGC chief said on Saturday. -MNA - 5/22/10

Photos: Iranian Students Display Solidarity with Political Prisoners Held at Evin
Students of Tehran's Azad University held an Iftar ceremony (to break their political fast at dusk) in front of Evin prison. This was a display of solidarity with the political prisoners and their fellow imprisoned classmates who also have gone on a political fast in protest to their illegal imprisonment and the inhuman conditions of prison. - 5/21/10

Mothers of Detained American Hikers Meet Families of Iranian Abductees
The mothers of the three US nationals held in Iran for their illegal entry into the country have met with the families of Iranian diplomats kidnapped by the US in Iraq. The meeting took place at a north Tehran hotel on Friday during which the relatives of abducted Iranians sat down with Nora Shourd, Laura Fattal, and Cindy Hickey, for a friendly talk -Press TV - 5/21/10

Iran: Election Anniversary Cannot Come to the University
Several student sources have informed this publication that student activists are put under increasing pressure and threats by university disciplinary committees and are asked not to go to the university on Khordad 22 (June 12), the anniversary of the 2009 contested presidential election. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 5/21/10

Iran: Draconian Prison Sentences Doled out for Activists
The continuing sentencing of activists to long prison terms by the Iranian Judiciary, in politically-motivated trials and based on unfounded charges, should be immediately halted and all the rulings should be reviewed by an independent and impartial committee, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said - 5/21/10

Detained Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi may soon be released
Iranian Judicial authorities have shown some "inclination" toward releasing detained Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, according to his defense attorney, Farideh Gheyrat. -Zamaneh - 5/21/10

Shaping the Story on Iran
There have been recent reports that Iran has enabled the travel of al-Qaeda leaders to Afghanistan and Pakistan where they will be able to confront and kill American soldiers. If you think you have heard the story before, you have, in another context. -Philip Giraldi, antiwar - 5/21/10

Iranian Government 'Failing To Address' Child Abuse Problem
A prominent Tehran-based lawyer has accused the government of failing to address the problem of child abuse in Iran. Nasrin Sotoudeh told Radio Farda that judicial authorities pay little attention to such mistreatment. - 5/21/10

Iran's Revolutionary Guards claim "Iranian Cyber Army"
A senior Revolutionary Guards Corps commander admitted that the "Iranian Cyber Army" looks to the Revolutionary Guards for direction. -Zamaneh - 5/21/10

Former Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi Attacked
"Mohammad Ali Abtahi, vice president during Khatami's administration, and Mohammad Atriyanfar, senior reformist figure, both strongly denied the lies by pro-government's propaganda that they had written letter to Mir Hossein Mousavi and criticized him." - 5/21/10

Mr. Lula Goes to Tehran -- Brazil's Neocons React
Under the leadership of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil has become a regional leader in Latin America with vibrant international foreign policy. A look at the internal political dynamics of Brazil would be useful also. During President Lula's presidency, Brazil has had tremendous economic growth. -Farid Marjai, MRZINE - 5/21/10

Poem: On the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment
the pomposity of this establishment suggests inane; their station unwarranted, unearned vis-a-vis Iran. -Toney A. Schloss - 5/21/10

Iran sanctions snarl global nuclear talks
The Security Council smackdown of Brazil and Turkey's efforts to secure a compromise over Iran's enriched uranium stockpile has taken many inside the conference chamber by surprise and triggered a wave of anger over the humiliation of the two countries' leaders, who had invested considerable political capital in the deal. -Guardian - 5/21/10

Gates: Iran Sanctions Could Lead to Policy Change
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the draft United Nations Security Council resolution on sanctions against Iran is stronger than he expected, and if nations follow through with even stronger steps of their own, it could help convince Iran to change its nuclear policy. -VOA - 5/21/10

Russia not to break Iran commitments
Senior Russian senators say US efforts to impose a new round of sanctions against Iran will not affect current agreements between Moscow and Tehran. -Press TV - 5/21/10

Jailed US Hikers Meet Mothers in Iran
The mothers of three Americans suspected by Iran of spying met with their children during an emotional reunion Thursday in Tehran. State television showed Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal embrace their mothers, who they were seeing for the first time since their arrest in July. -VOA - 5/20/10

Iran: Detained Journalist, Filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad Goes On Hunger Strike
Mohammad Nourizad, Iranian journalist and filmmaker who has been imprisoned for over four months for writing a number of critical letters to the Supreme Leader, has now written another letter to Ayatollah Khamenei from Evin Prison. -Zamaneh - 5/20/10

Iranian Student Leaders Given Lengthy Prison Sentences
Bahareh Hedayat and Milad Asadi, senior members of Iran's largest pro-reform student group, Daftar Tahkim Vahdat (Office to Foster Unity), have been given lengthy prison sentences. Hedayat received 9 1/2 years, while Asadi was given seven years. - 5/20/10

"Funny in Farsi" Stays on the Shelf, for Now
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the network that had bought the rights to a TV series based on the memoir by Firoozeh Dumas, had made a sample episode - a "pilot" - of the show. But it decided not to order production of the series for the broadcast season that begins in the fall. - 5/20/10

Iran Sentences Detainees to Heavy Prison Terms
Iran's Revolutionary Court has stepped up issuing heavy sentences to post-election detainees at the threshold of possible renewed street protests on the anniversary of the disputed presidential elections of last year. -Zamaneh - 5/20/10

Why Is Iran Not Arresting The Leaders Of The 'Sedition'?
Last week, a top official in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Mojtaba Zolnour, also said the establishment is capable of confronting the leaders of the sedition but added that the timing is important. "There is astuteness in not arresting these gentlemen so that they become politically dead. Arresting them will turn them into heroes," Zolnour said. -RFE - 5/20/10

Obama Hails Draft Resolution for Iran Sanctions
U.S. President Barack Obama says he is pleased the United States has reached an agreement with other world powers on a U.N. draft resolution to impose tougher sanctions on Iran. -VOA - 5/20/10

Iranian Activist Criticizes Tightening Of 'Veil And Chastity' Rule
The Iranian president's office for women and family affairs recently called for stricter implementation of the "Veil and Chastity" plan. The measure will first target places where women most commonly assemble, such as schools and universities. -RFE - 5/20/10

Russia Says Iran Nuclear Plant To Start By August
Russia's top atomic energy official says Iran's first nuclear plant, which Russia is building in Bushehr, will go on line in August. Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's federal atomic energy agency, says the plant will go on line regardless of any new sanctions against Iran. - 5/20/10

U.S. Hikers Held in Iran Describe Captivity
In an emotional, carefully staged reunion, the mothers of three Americans jailed in Iran were allowed to visit Thursday with their adult children, who were hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they were arrested by Iranian border guards and accused of crossing illegally into Iran. -New York Times - 5/20/10

Iranian authorities deny arrest of Mousavi's bodyguard
Iran's Minister of Intelligence, Heydar Moslehi denied news concerning arrest of opposition leader's, Mir Hossein Mousavi's bodyguard, Ahmad Yazdanfar. -Zamaneh - 5/20/10

Rigi: US, Israel paid for assassination
Captured Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi has said that while in Morocco, suspected Israeli or US agents had given him a list of people to assassinate in Tehran. -Press TV - 5/20/10

Turkey's work on Iran nuclear deal shows emerging diplomatic power
While the US has continued to press for UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Turkey's high-profile role in brokering a nuclear deal with Tehran is just the latest sign of an emerging diplomatic power. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 5/20/10

Award-Winning Iranian Filmmaker Reportedly On Hunger Strike In Jail
Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has reportedly begun a hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison, where he has been held for more than two months on security charges. -RFE - 5/19/10

A poem by Simin Behbahani: "Not one, not two ...they were five"
A new poem by the Lioness of Iran, Simin Behbahani. A champion of human rights, Behbahani is in Iran and has been banned from leaving the country. Prof. Fatemeh Keshavarz of Washington University of St. Louis provided the translation. - 5/19/10

Aravane Rezai: I am proud to be Iranian
Newly-crowned Madrid Tennis Masters 2010 champion Aravane Rezai said she was very proud of her Iranian lineage. Rezaei, who defeated number two Venus Williams with a stunning 6-2, 7-5 victory, wants more prestigious titles in the future. - 5/19/10

Photos: Bumper Stickers, Iranian Style
Some Iranian drivers express their feelings by painting a short message on their cars, trucks, or buses. These messages, usually short phrases or parts of poems, are a reflection of the experiences, beliefs or dreams of their owners. Thanks to photographer Youness Khani, a selection of these "bumper messages" are presented here. - 5/19/10

El Baredei: To dismiss Iranian nuclear agreement would be "a dead end street"
Mohamed El Baradei former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency today described the announcement by Iran that it will send uranium abroad for enrichment as "a good agreement" and dismissed the sceptical response from Western nations as "a dead end street." -interview by Stefan Simanowitz - 5/19/10

Re-opening of notorious Iranian prison denied
Chief Justice of Tehran Province denied allegations about re-opening of the notorious Kahrizak Detention Centre. Alireza Avayi told a group of reporters today that a prison with "good standards" has been built in the vicinity of Kahrizak Detention Centre which has no connection with this detention centre. - 5/19/10

The Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal: Can Washington take 'yes' for an answer?
The Brazilian-Turkish diplomatic breakthrough with Iran has taken Washington by surprise. Clearly, the geopolitical center of gravity has shifted-five years of EU-led negotiations led nowhere while the new emerging powers Brazil and Turkey only needed a few months to produce a breakthrough. Now, the West needs to pull off some political acrobatics to avoid being on the diplomatic defensive. -Trita Parsi, NIAC - 5/19/10

France Sends Iranian Assassin Home
The assassin of an exiled Iranian prime minister has been released from jail in France two days after Tehran freed a young French academic accused of spying. The French government denies the two affairs are linked. -VOA - 5/19/10

US Presents Iran Sanctions Draft to Security Council
The new draft resolution contains strong sanctions, including restrictions on Iran's import of conventional arms, limits on Iranian ballistic missile activity, and the imposition of travel bans and asset freezes on designated members of the powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps. -VOA - 5/19/10

Iranian fights for legal status in U.S.
Mohammad Abdollahi is determined to play a role in immigration reform, even if it means he might be deported to his Iranian homeland, his colleagues say. That's why Abdollahi, an undocumented citizen from Ann Arbor, risked getting arrested this week in Arizona with three other activists by refusing to leave Sen. John McCain's office. -Detroit News - 5/19/10

Shirdel awarded Italian Order of Merit
Renowned Iranian documentary maker Kamran Shirdel has been presented with the prestigious Italian Order of Merit for his contributions to art and culture. -Press TV - 5/19/10

The Caspian's Unsettled Legal Framework: Energy Security Implications
The Caspian Sea is the largest landlocked body of salt water in the world. It is surrounded by five states: Russia in the north; Iran in the south; Azerbaijan in the west, and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in the east. The region has long attracted the attention of the international community due to its rich hydrocarbon resources as well as due to its strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. -Journal of Energy Security - 5/19/10

Report Claims Musavi's Chief Bodyguard Arrested
The "Kaleme" website, which is close to Mir Hossein Musavi, reports that the opposition leader's chief bodyguard, Ahmad Yazdanfar, was arrested late on May 17 in Tehran. The reason for Yazdanfar's arrest is unclear, but the move has led to speculation that authorities are either planning to arrest Musavi or put him under house arrest. -RFE - 5/18/10

Families of Iranian Political Prisoners: We Take Refuge In God, Not This Judiciary
A year has past since the arrests of our spouses, fathers and children. In this year, we the families' of political prisoners, have endured much hardship and suffering, some of which we have shared with the people of Iran and some which remains in the privacy of our hearts, to be shared between us and our God - 5/18/10

3 US Mothers to Visit Children Held in Iran
The Iranian government has granted temporary visas to the mothers of three young Americans who have been held since July, after crossing into Iran from Iraq while on a hike. There were signs of stress and relief on the faces of Cindy Hickey and Nora Shourd as they spoke about their planned trip to Iran on Tuesday. -VOA - 5/18/10

Iranian judiciary defends its actions against criticism from lawmakers
Sadegh Larijani, Iran's Head of Judiciary spoke out against the petition signed by 175 MPs to accuse the judiciary of failing to accomplish its duties, and said the judiciary "is always in step with the greater policies of the Islamic Republic." -Zamaneh - 5/18/10

Stolen Statues Spark Conspiracy Theories
Tehran swirling with rumours about who lies behind theft of bronze monuments. In the febrile political atmosphere of Tehran, the disappearance of at least ten large bronze statues is being blamed on religious radicals, revolutionary guards, even British art dealers, according to which rumour you listen to. -Raha Tahami - 5/18/10

Too Early To Celebrate Iran Nuclear Deal
It feels like deja vu all over again: months of diplomatic brinkmanship, saber-rattling, and defiant rhetoric leavened by news of a sudden breakthrough and hopes that a long-elusive deal is at last at hand. -Robert Tait, RFE - 5/18/10

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Put Turkey Between West and East
In a deal reached with Brazil and Turkey, Iran says it has agreed to send much of its uranium stockpile to Turkey for reprocessing. Opinion is divided over whether it is an important breakthrough or a ploy by Tehran to avoid new U.N. sanctions. -VOA - 5/18/10

Poet Behbahani Writes for Peace Amid Iran's Political Turmoil
"My country, I will build you again." -- This is one of the most anthologized poems of Simin Behbahani -- "My country, I will build you again, if need be, with bricks made from my life. I will build columns to support your roof, if need be, with my own bones. I will inhale again the perfume of flower favored by your youth. I will wash again the blood off your body with torrents of my tears." -PBS - 5/18/10

Iranian political activists support nuclear swap agreement
A group of Iranian national-religious political activists issued a statement in support of today's nuclear exchange agreement in Tehran and declared that from a "political and economic" stance, it is in the interest of the Iranian nation. -Zamaneh - 5/18/10

US: Iran Nuclear Deal Will Not Slow UN Sanctions Drive
The United States is skeptical of the nuclear fuel swap agreement announced on Monday in which Iran says it will ship enriched uranium to Turkey. President Barack Obama's spokesman says the agreement will not slow the drive for a new U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution. -VOA - 5/18/10

Karabakh Army Figure Was In Iran, But Rejects Political Meddling Charge
A former commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh armed forces has confirmed that he recently visited Iran but rejected reports that he was tampering with Armenian politics, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. -RFE - 5/18/10

U.S. radio project aimed at Iran delayed
A "high priority" part of U.S. efforts to reach out to Iranians has been silenced because of a two-year delay in building an important radio transmitter, according to a new government report. -CNN - 5/18/10

Iran Agrees To Nuclear Swap Deal Through Turkey
Iran has agreed a deal to send low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad in return for nuclear fuel, following mediation talks with Turkish and Brazilian leaders. Their plan, signed on May 17 in Tehran, could revive a United Nations-backed proposal for easing the international standoff over Iran's disputed nuclear program. -RFE - 5/17/10

10-point nuclear deal between Iran, Turkey and Brazil
Iran, Turkey, and Brazil issued a 10-point declaration according to which Iran would ship 1200 kilograms of its low enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged with 120 kilograms of higher enriched nuclear fuel to power Tehran's medical reactor. -MNA - 5/17/10

Iran: Six More Executions Approaching
While reactions to last week's executions are ongoing, Tehran's prosecutor announced that six individuals arrested during post-election protests have been sentenced to death. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 5/17/10

G15 summit concludes in Tehran
The 14th summit of G15 brought together leaders, representatives and policymakers from the group's current 18 members. G15, which consists of countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, was established in 1989 with the aim of promoting the economic growth and prosperity of member states. - 5/17/10

Iranian reformists persist on demonstration permit
Coordination Council of the Reform Front condemned the new restrictions against reformist groups and the media and called on the Islamic Republic authorities to issue a permit for a peaceful march to government dissidents. -Zamaneh - 5/17/10

Iranian Teachers Association call for release of imprisoned teachers
Iranian Teachers Association issued a statement to condemn the execution of their peer, Farzad Kamangar along with four other political prisoners last Sunday in Tehran's Evin Prison and to call for the release of their detained peers. -Zamaneh - 5/17/10

Iran Sentences Activists, Arrests Ex-MP
Shadi Sadr, 35, an award-winning women's rights activist, was sentenced to six years in jail and 74 lashes for acting against national security and harming public order, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai, said according to Iranian media reports. -RFE - 5/17/10

Maryland Governor's Commission on Middle Eastern Affairs Seeks Iranian American Participation
On October 11, 2007, Governor Martin O'Malley signed an Executive Order to create the Governor's Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs. The Commission was created to address the need for State agencies to respond effectively to the needs and concerns of Maryland citizens with ancestral heritage in Middle Eastern countries. -PAAIA - 5/17/10

Exhibition: Master Reza Bangiz At Tehran's Aaran Gallery
Mr. Bangiz is one of the rarest and striking examples of resistance and political consciousness that goes beyond easy accusations that please the western mind, but is subtle and requires great sacrifices. - 5/17/10

Iran 4th in Greco Roman Asian Wrestling Championship
South Korea won the title with 56 points followed by China with 49 points and India who scored 49 points at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi. Iran stood in fourth place with 46 points. -MNA - 5/17/10

How to make peace with Iran
The case for diplomatic engagement rather than military confrontation with Iran is well-founded in principle and achievable in reality, says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam. -Open Democracy - 5/17/10

6 presidents arrive in Tehran for G15 summit
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade along with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will preside over the meeting, are set to hold talks on challenges facing independent and developing countries during the summit. -MNA - 5/16/10

Iranian MPs want opposition leaders prosecuted
In a letter to Sadegh Larijani, head of Iranian judiciary, 175 Iranian Members of Parliament called for speeding up judicial actions against opposition leaders. Iranian Labour News Agency reports that the letter expresses dismay over delay in putting the "heads of sedition" on trial. -Zamaneh - 5/16/10

Brazil Seeks To Save Iran Nuke Deal
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu are in Tehran as part of a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program and avoid fresh United Nations sanctions. -RFE - 5/16/10

Iran, Brazil agree to boost trade ties to $10 billion
As a first step Iran and Brazil agreed on Sunday to increase trade ties to 10 billion dollars in a year. The agreement was made in a high profile meeting between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Brazilian counterpart Luis Inacio Lula da Silva who arrived in Tehran on Saturday night at the head of a 300-strong economic and political delegation. -MNA - 5/16/10

Iran's Senior Cleric Hashemi Rafsanjani Condemns Islamic Republic's Media Policies
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council condemned censorship and fabrication of facts in the Islamic Republic and described such policies as "futile." - 5/16/10

Iran: Reformist Politician Mohsen Armin Arrested
Mohsen Armin, the senior member and spokesman of (the reformist) Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution, was arrested this morning. -Parleman News - 5/16/10

Mousavi Stresses Religious Roots of Iran's Green Movement
Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi said Iran's Green Movement of reform has its roots in "religious thinking" of the populace and so long as the movement proceeds along this path, people will support it. -Zamaneh - 5/16/10

The Kingmaker
When it comes to electing Iraq's next prime minister, Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's vote may be the only one that counts. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 5/16/10

Iranian opposition leaders slammed for speaking out against executions
Tehran Prosecutor General slammed Iranian opposition leaders for speaking out against the execution of five political prisoners on Sunday and warned that this is "a fresh crime" that will be added to their list of offenses "once the time for the prosecution of the heads of sedition arrives." - 5/15/10

Panahi's Unlawful Detention Extended for Two Months for Writing Letter of Thanks to Cannes
My dear friends, please accept my warm regards from the dark and narrow cell in Evin prison. Unfortunately today after meeting with my family I was informed about your valuable efforts at Opening the first day of your Sixty-third Cannes World Festival. - 5/15/10

Persian Music Master Mohammad Reza Shajarian to give Lecture at UCLA on May 18
Mohammad-Reza Shajarian is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and master of Persian music. He has been called "Iran's greatest living master of traditional Persian music." Shajarian is also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities. - 5/15/10

Iranian election detainees receive stiff prison terms
The appellate court upheld heavy prison sentences for Iranian post-election detainees Massoud Bastani, Azar Mansouri, Saeed Nour Mohammadi and Mohammad Amin Valian. - 5/15/10

Iranain activists call for more urgency in UN observers' trip to Iran
A group of Iranian political and social activists appealed to Navi Pillay, United Nation's High Commissioner of Human Rights, to show more urgency in dispatching its Special Rapporteurs on human rights to Iran. -Zamaneh - 5/15/10

In English, Shabeh Jomeh Means a Good Time and Good Business
It's Shabeh Jomeh, American style: a once-a-month gathering that has spread to several U.S. cities, as well as to Vancouver, Canada, and to London. Shabeh Jomeh in Iran is the end of the workweek, literally the evening before Friday, a time for socializing. The workweek for most Americans is Monday through Friday, but some Iranian Americans have reclaimed Thursday nights as their own. - 5/15/10

Iran: Opposition Leader Karroubi Meets With Family of Imprisoned Student Activist
The family of Majid Tavakoli, the political prisoner and student of Amir-Kabir University in Tehran, along with some student activists met with Mehdi Karroubi. In this visit, Mehdi Karroubi while praising Majid's spirit, asked Majid Tavakoli's family to inform him about the latest development about his situation as well as the pressures from the government on them. - 5/15/10

G15 foreign ministers meeting kicks off in Tehran
Foreign ministers and expert groups from the Group of 15 met in Tehran today to lay the groundwork for the meeting of the G15 heads of state on Monday. The Group of 15 is a group of 18 developing countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America that was established to foster economic cooperation and provide input for other international groups. -MNA - 5/15/10

Washington, Moscow Doubtful Tehran Can Avoid UN Sanctions
Russia has often backed Tehran in its standoff against the West over its nuclear program, so Dmitry Medvedev's latest pronouncement over possible new sanctions can't be sitting well in Tehran. -RFE - 5/15/10

An Iranian fighter ace makes flight to freedom
From stunt pilot to bomber to diplomat to accused spy to refugee, Yadi Sharifirad has endured changes of fortune that would destroy a lesser man -Globe and Mail, Canada - 5/15/10

Clinton, Hague Affirm United Stand on Iran
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Britain's new Foreign Secretary William Hague Friday reaffirmed a united stand on the need for further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. The Washington visit was Hague's first foreign trip since the new conservative-led British coalition government took office Tuesday. -VOA - 5/15/10

400 Children Of Senior Iranian Officials Study In Britain
"It is among the contentious issues in relations between Iran and Britain and has been under discussion in the Majlis National and Foreign Security Committee," Shahriyari, a committee member, told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday. - 5/15/10

Lawyer: Iran To Acquit French Woman Accused Of Spying
The lawyer for a French teaching assistant who was arrested on spying charges after Iran's disputed June election says she will be acquitted on May 16. -RFE - 5/15/10

No limitations for U.S. firms to invest in Iran: official
The chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mine has said that U.S. companies are allowed to invest in Iran's economic projects and there is no limitations in this regard. -MNA - 5/15/10

Shahid gets marriage proposal from an Iranian girl!
Bollywood charmer Shahid Kapoor has had a string of affairs with many beauties after his infamous break-up with long-time girlfriend Kareena Kapoor. But, none of his earlier romances made it to the aisle. However, when a die-hard admirer came all the way from Iran with a proposal of marriage for the bachelor actor, he was nothing but shocked! -spicezee - 5/15/10

Iran's Kurdish regions on strike in protest to executions
In the cities of Sanadaj, Marivan, Baneh and Kamyaran in Kurdistan province, and Mahabad, Boukan and Oshnouyeh in Western Azerbaijan province as well as other regions, reportedly numerous stores have closed their doors to business in protest, and the cities have assumed a security atmosphere. -Zamaneh - 5/14/10

Iran wins Asian Free Style Wrestling Championship for 20th time
Iran sealed the title of the Asian Senior Freestyle Wrestling Championship for the 20th time on Thursday. In the competitions which were held in New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Sports Complex with 17 participating teams, Iran finished first with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, scoring 53 points. - 5/14/10

Showing Solidarity with Journalists Under Fire in Iran
Reporter Fereshteh Ghazi offers two pictures of what life is like for Iranians in her profession. "For years, we have become accustomed to thinking of journalism in Iran as similar to walking in a minefield," Ghazi told an audience of about 200 assembled for a night of solidarity with imprisoned Iranian journalists May 8 in Washington. - 5/14/10

Iranian American Nita Farahany Appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
On April 7, 2010, Iranian American Nita Farahany was appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues by President Barack Obama. -PAAIA - 5/14/10

America Held Hostage: Year 62
It's been over 65 years since President Franklin Roosevelt, on his way back home from the Big Three Conference at Yalta, met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia onboard US warship in Suez Canal. It was aboard Warship USS Quincy where FDR promised King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia that there will be no Israel. -Sina Alavi - 5/14/10

Interview: Journalist Says Liberty Prize Belongs To All Iranians Fighting For Democracy
Ganji: Everyone is free to express his or her opinion and no one can claim that he is the spokesman of the movement. [Opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi] has clearly said that the movement does not have a spokesperson outside the country. Musavi has always said that all Iranians are the spokespeople of this movement. -RFE - 5/14/10

From West Point to Afghanistan, to UCI and a PhD! What's next? Amir Bagherpour's path to success
A significant number of young Iranian Americans, around or below the age of 30, are either American born or moved to the United States at a very young age. In this space we would like to tell their stories, accomplishments, challenges and contributions, profiling the individuals who shape the most vibrant dynamic of our community. -Tara Kangarlou, PAAIA - 5/14/10

Iranian Sufis' House of Worship 'Attacked By Militia'
Mostafa Azmayesh is a representative of the Sufi Nematollahi Gonabadi order, which suffered the attack. Azmayesh told Radio Farda on May 12 that roughly 100 members of the Basij security force accompanied by plainclothes agents on motorcycles attacked the house of worship on May 10 in the city of Karaj west of Tehran. -RFE - 5/14/10

Photos: Karoun-4 Dam going though final preparation stages
The Karun-4 dam is a large hydroelectric dam on the Karun River in the province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari in southwestern Iran. Karun has the highest discharge of Iran's rivers. The objectives of the construction of Karun-4 Dam & Hydro-electric Power Plant are electric Power supply and flood control. -Photos by Mohammad Reza Abbasi, MNA - 5/14/10

Iran: Kurdistan Human Rights Organization speaker arrested
Islamic Republic security forces arrested Ejlal Qavamai, spokesman for Kurdistan Human Rights Organization yesterday. Kordaneh website reports that his arrest appears to be connected with his interview with the media regarding the general public strike yesterday in Kurdish cities of Iran. -Zamaneh - 5/14/10

Iranian government opponents see executions as warning
Iranian authorities are taking increasingly harsh measures to prevent protests marking the one-year anniversary of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection, opposition leaders and analysts say, exacerbating political tensions. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 5/14/10

Russia to US: No Unilateral Sanctions Against Iran
Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the U.S. does not seem to understand that countries facing sanctions from the United Nations Security Council should not face additional, unilateral sanctions "under any circumstances." -VOA - 5/14/10

Boeing, Exxon say Iran sanctions would cost $25 billion
Boeing Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are lobbying to fend off tightened sanctions against Iran that business groups say may cost $25 billion in U.S. exports, according to Bloomberg. -MNA - 5/14/10

Iran Offers To Mediate Between Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in Dushanbe on Thursday that Iran is ready to try to alleviate tensions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at their request, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported. - 5/14/10

Iran: Mousavi says executions are sign of troubled system
Iranian opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi spoke out against the high number of executions in Iran and described it as a symptom of the troubled system of the Islamic Republic. - 5/13/10

Women in Tehran prison suffering spread of disease
Reports from Tehran's Evin Prison tell of extremely bad hygiene conditions and spread of disease in women's section of the prison. -Zamaneh - 5/13/10

Rafsanjani: Certain officials try to hinder Islamic Azad University's progress
Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said certain officials put obstacles in the way of the Islamic Azad University's progress. Islamic Azad University is a private chain of universities in Iran which was founded in 1982. -MNA - 5/13/10

Sad Fate of Iran's Jews
The Jews of Iran trace their history back 2,600 years, when members of the tribes of Israel were taken into captivity by the Assyrian king and exiled. The Giliard region of Damavand, near Tehran, where some settled, still houses a Jewish cemetery which is a sacred burial place to pious Jews. -Parvaneh Vahidmanesh, Washington - 5/13/10

Iran must allow detained filmmaker to appear at Cannes
Amnesty International has urged Iran to release a filmmaker accused of criticizing the authorities and allow him to attend this week's Cannes Film Festival, where he has been invited as a member of the festival jury. - 5/13/10

Iranian judiciary criticized by mother of imprisoned journalist
Ezzatossadat Miri, mother of imprisoned journalist Badrossadat Mofidi, published a letter written to Tehran Prosecutor General criticizing the "inappropriate" treatment of her daughter and "Muslim women" in the Islamic Republic.-Zamaneh - 5/13/10

A Video Game Ahmadinejad Would Love To Play
Several Iranian news websites, including "Kharabonline" and "Aftabnews," are reporting that copies of a computer game targeting Iran's opposition leaders has been distributed in some cities in Iran's Isfahan Province. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/13/10

Reasons behind the Recent Executions by the Islamic Regime of Iran
On early morning of Sunday May 9th 2010 the regime executed five innocent young men and women. They were charged with phony and ridiculous "crimes" and were executed in secret without informing their family or lawyers, and without any due process. -Reza Ghorashi - 5/13/10

Calls for action as Iranian Baha'i leaders enter third year in prison
As seven Baha'i leaders in Iran enter their third year of imprisonment, new details about the harsh conditions of their incarceration have emerged, renewing calls for their immediate release. -BWNS - 5/13/10

New Attacks Against Iran's Green Movement: "Humiliated in Election, Revenge with Bad Hijab"
As right-wing politicians continue to attack Iran's green movement, the secretary-general of the Islamic Motalefe (Coalition) Society blasted opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration, calling them "anti-revolutionary" and claiming that green movement supporters were using inadequate hijab as a way to address their humiliation, after their humiliation in last year's presidential elections. -Arash Motamed, Rooz online - 5/13/10

Photos: Iran wraps up naval drill
Iran has wrapped up a major naval maneuver in the country's southern waters, stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the north of the Indian Ocean. - 5/13/10

Nomadic life in western Lorestan province
Nomadic life in the mountainous Aligoodarz region in the Lorestan province in western Iran. Lorestan comprises a province and a historic territory of western Iran amidst the Zagros Mountains. The province's population is about 1.7 million (2006). -Photos by Ra'ouf Mohseni, MNA - 5/13/10

Iran Heritage, Persian Gulf, and Iran Alliance 2010 (1389) Scholarship and Merit Awards
The selection committee and board members are pleased to announce the 2010 or 1389 recipients of Scholarship and Merit Awards. - 5/13/10

Swedish Translation of Persian Classic "Four Discourses" Published
The Persian literary classic "Chahar Maqale" (Four Discourses) has appeared in Swedish translation. The book, entitled "Fyra skrifter", has been translated by professor Ashk Dahlen and published by Atlantis Publishing. - 5/13/10

To Defendant, a U.S. Success Story; to Prosecutors, a Money Broker to Iran
In many ways, Mahmoud Reza Banki's experience in America has been a classic immigrant's success story: He obtained his American citizenship, graduated from Berkeley, earned a Ph.D. from Princeton. -New York Times - 5/13/10

Lula plays a risky diplomatic game in Iran
Lula's visit to Tehran is politically ambitious - but it might prove to be an own goal if it highlights Brazil's own nuclear aspirations -Guardian - 5/13/10

PARSA Community Foundation Announces 2010 Mehrgan Grant Cycle
PARSA Community Foundation is your community foundation. It's putting up every bit of capital it has developed over the past five years to help you create the most good for the most number of people and to make Iranians a recognized force for good in America and around the world. - 5/12/10

Shirin Neshat: Creating Art in a Politicized World
How can you be an Iranian artist without addressing politics? You can't, or at least that's what Shirin Neshat, Iranian-American director of Women Without Men, would say. -Michelle Moghtader, NIAC - 5/12/10

Iran: Executed Dissidents 'Tortured to Confess'
Iranian authorities executed five prisoners, four of them ethnic Kurds, without warning their families, and have so far refused to release their bodies, Human Rights Watch said today. These executions follow convictions that appear to have relied on the use of torture. - 5/12/10

Iran's Navies Flex Their Muscle
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as supreme commander of the armed forces, has assigned the IRGC's navy sole responsibility for defending Iranian interests in the Persian Gulf, while the IRIM's navy is tasked with boosting Iran's presence in the Gulf of Oman...Despite official rhetoric about "the brotherhood of the two navies" and reports of their close cooperation and coordination in many fields, the two forces are most definitely rivals. -Hossein Aryan, RFE - 5/12/10

Oklahoma Legislature Stands With Iranian People
As part of the Stand with the Iranian People Challenge, NIAC unveiled a brand-new tool for Iranian Americans to take action--the mehmoonak. To date, NIAC members have hosted mehmoonaks in four Congressional districts, where they organized letter-writing campaigns to their elected representatives urging them to support the Stand With the Iranian People Act (SWIPA). --Michelle Moghtader, NIAC - 5/12/10

The Power of the Intellect: Guiding the Evolution of European and Persian Painting
A Special Lecture on May 16 at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston - Presented by scholar and collector Abolala Soudavar, Board of Trustees Accessions Committee, MFAH, 1986-94; author of Art of the Persian Courts; The Aura of Kings: Legitimacy and Divine Sanction in Iranian Kingship; and Decoding Old Masters: Patrons, Princes and Enigmatic Paintings of the 15th Century. - 5/12/10

Iranian Taxi Drivers Banned From Playing Banned Music
Rasul Abbasi, the director-general for transportation and traffic coordination of Iran's municipalities, has told the Borna news agency that taxi drivers are not allowed to play banned music in their taxis. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/12/10

Culture Ministry to punish directors of unauthorized Iranian entries to foreign events
Iranian filmmakers will face governmental punitive action if their films are found participating in foreign events without a license for a foreign premiere from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. - 5/12/10

Iran says Brazil, Turkey Offering New Nuclear Fuel Swap Proposal
Iran says Brazil and Turkey have offered a new proposal for a nuclear fuel deal as Tehran continues to step up its efforts to hold off new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program. -VOA - 5/12/10

Azerbaijani Officials Blame Iran For Flooding
Some Azerbaijani politicians have blamed Iran for manipulating reservoirs near their common border and contributing to the flooding of villages in southeastern Azerbaijan, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. The reservoirs are along the Araz River, which forms much of the border between Iran and Azerbaijan. -RFE - 5/12/10

List of leaders to attend G15 summit in Tehran released
Presidents of Algeria, Brazil, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Sri Lanka will attend the G15 summit in Tehran next Monday. The Syrian president, the Qatari emir, and Turkish prime minister are special guests to the conference. -MNA - 5/12/10

Iran Army warns off US recon plane
Commander of Iran's Army Major General Ataollah Salehi says Iranian forces have used their anti-aircraft system to warn away a US reconnaissance plane. - 5/12/10

Photos: Rose Water Production in Kashan
One of the special ceremonies which has been held in Iran for many years is rose flower-picking and process of extracting rose-water. The city of Kashan in central Iran is famous for this ceremony. -Photos by Raouf Mohseni - 5/11/10

Cannes Short Film online contest: FORBIDDEN TREE by Benafsheh Modaressi
A story of an imaginary city under a harsh ruler. Love is forbidden, and freedom a distant memory. Few people have the courage to fall in love, challenging the forbidden symbols... This film has no dialogue because the people are too scared to express themselves - 5/11/10

Students at Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University Protest Ahmadinejad's Visit
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an unannounced visit to Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran on Monday May 10. This was welcomed by protests from students of this university. - 5/11/10

Waiting in Suspense for "Funny in Farsi"
Firoozeh Dumas is waiting to find out whether Funny in Farsi will get its chance to be funny on television. Within the next few weeks, the author should hear whether the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) will order production to begin on a TV series based on her memoir of growing up Iranian in the United States. - 5/11/10

Hashemi Rafsanjani says Imprisonments in Iran Increases Public Awareness
Akabar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council said that the imprisonment of "concerned critics" of the government will lead to people's awareness and stressed that "silence" in face of political issues is unacceptable. -Zamaneh - 5/11/10

A Journey to Khuzestan
I was invited by the Faculty of Art in Shushtar to travel to Southwest of Iran, Khuzestan, in March 2010. While I was reviewing my works, the students were preparing for the ceremony of Persian New Year. -Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt - 5/11/10

Iran To Allow Families To Visit Jailed U.S. Hikers
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has announced that Tehran will allow the mothers of three American hikers arrested on the Iran-Iraq border in July to visit them in prison. -RFE - 5/11/10

Iran: Mousavi condemns execution of political prisoners
Iranian opposition leader, MirHosein Mousavi condemned the sudden execution of five Kurdish prisoners in Tehran and likened it to the "unjust judicial procedures that have led to the awe-striking sentences issued for scores of Iranian citizens in recent months." -Zamaneh - 5/11/10

Police to clamp down on norm violation: Iran's Interior Minister
Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has said police will deal firmly with those who violate socially accepted norms, including disregard for the Islamic dress code. -MNA - 5/11/10

Is It Time to Remove Larijani (as Iran's Parliament Speaker)?
Larijani has not only blocked many bills that the government expected to pass into law without any questioning, he had opposed the support that the Principalist faction in the Majlis was providing to Ahmadinejad's presidential aspirations. -Bahram Rafiee, Rooz Online - 5/11/10

Iran test fires medium range cruise missiles
Two medium-range cruise missiles were launched from Iran's southern coast on Tuesday during the country's massive war games -MNA - 5/11/10

Iran-US Cold War
Interview with Dr. Nasser Hadiyan, University Professor and Iran-US Affairs Analyst: "Relations between Iran and the United States cannot be easily improved and possibility of detente is not on the horizon as a reward structure exists in both countries which encourages severance of relations and punishes those who want to improve the situation." - 5/11/10

Cesareans on the rise in Iran
Based on the recent official statistics the cesarean birth rate, especially unnecessary cesareans, are increasing in the country, said a member of Supreme Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC). Maternal mortality risk rises with cesarean birth, Noushin Zendehzaban warned. -MNA - 5/11/10

Farzad Kamangar: EI Outrage at Iranian Teacher's Execution
Education International is deeply troubled to hear reports that Iranian teacher trade unionist Farzad Kamangar was among five people who were summarily executed in secret on 9 May. - 5/11/10

Eight presidents will attend G15 summit in Tehran
In addition to special guests at least eight presidents from the three continents of Asia, Africa and America will attend the G15 summit in Tehran next Monday. -MNA - 5/11/10

Iran Khodro world's 16th top car manufacturer
Major Iranian carmaker, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), ranked 16th among car manufacturers worldwide in 2009 with producing some 688,000 passenger and commercial vehicles, the IKCO vice-president stated. -MNA - 5/11/10

Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation: Malayek Center and Aliasghar Hospital
I have known Diana Khalatbari for many years and my admiration and respect for her has always been high. Last year, despite the fact that she lost her beloved husband after a long illness, she did not give up on her zest and enthusiasm for the charity Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF) and within a short time she redoubled her efforts to raise funds for all the wonderful projects that PKCF starts, carries on and maintains in Iran and in other countries. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 5/10/10

Kiarostami's "Certified Copy" highlights Binoche's Beauty as Iran's film maestro competes for Cannes Palme D'Or Win amidst bitter critics from fellow Iranian colleagues -Darius KADIVAR - 5/10/10

Iran's Azad University, Coming Battleground Against Rafsanjani
As Azad University's new regulations, which require that its president be elected every four years, came into force, pro-government media have launched a verbal attack on its current and long-time president Abdollah Jasbi, who is also a leader of the conservative Motalefe Islami party while also being a close ally of Hashemi Rafsanjani -Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz Online - 5/10/10

Iran: Political Executions Indication of Government's Insecurity
The sudden execution of five Iranian political prisoners today appears to signal a government policy of relying on politically-motivated executions to strengthen its position vis-à-vis its opposition through terror and intimidation, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said. - 5/10/10

Apocalyptic Islam: Interview with Dr. Abbas Amanat
Dr. Abbas Amanat is professor of History and International and Area Studies at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut. Prof. Amanat graduated from Tehran University and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in England. He is the author of many books and articles among them Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi'ism -Fariba Amini - 5/10/10

Postcard from Tehran
Western journalists don't get too many opportunities to visit Iran these days. On my recent trip, I found economic discontent, growing political apathy, and plenty of Persian swagger. -Hooman Majd, FP - 5/10/10

Iranian Official: 'I Consider Musavi An Enemy Of God'
Gholamhossein Elham, a member of Iran's powerful Guardians Council, has reportedly said that opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi is a "mohareb," which means "an enemy of God" or someone who takes up arms against the Iranian establishment. The charge carries the death sentence in the Islamic republic. -RFE - 5/10/10

Iranian stock market in fast recovery
When most people think of the Iranian economy, they think of UN sanctions and the potential development of nuclear power. But a stock market boom? One is well under way. -National, UAE - 5/10/10

A Kafkaesque Realm of Cyber Censorship
Draconian laws yield unintended consequences for hardline websites... In 2008, the Iranian government boasted of censoring five million Internet sites deemed potentially improper or immoral. The number of restricted sites has skyrocketed since the birth of the democratic movement in 2009. -PBS - 5/10/10

Review of Iran's Relations with PGCC
Review of Iran's Relations with PGCC during President Ahmadinejad's First Term -Mohammad Hossein Hafeziyan - 5/10/10

Cambridge business owner weaves through history
On the floor of a Cambridge kitchen, lay a worn, tattered, and seemingly worthless rug. But it still caught the eye of Mohammad Nooraee, owner of Noor Oriental Rugs in Cambridge. The cream and black rug, it turns out, is an 18th century Persian rug, worth $15,000. -Cambridge Chronicle - 5/10/10

UC Berkeley open doors to threatened scholars
The Stanford University political scientist lamented the circumstances that have kept him far from his family and friends in Iran. "The situation at the (Iranian) universities gets worse and worse every day," said the man, who requested anonymity because of the risk to his family. "They believe that one professor, like a disease, can infect many students." -San Jose Mercury - 5/10/10

Iran Gives Two-Week Ultimatum To Shell, Repsol
Iran has reportedly given European oil giants Shell and Repsol two weeks to decide on their contracts to develop major gas fields. - 5/10/10

Is Iran a Nuclear Danger? Don't Believe It!
In advance of this week's United Nations Security Council Meeting on Nuclear Non-proliferation in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed be gearing up for a fight. On NBC's "Meet The Press" on May 2, she declared that, "Iran is in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." -New America Media - 5/10/10

Blood or Treasure? Obama's Crucial Choice in the Middle East
Writing about U.S. Middle East policy used to be a boring job. You'd start out with "The U.S. supports Israel's stand on..." and then just fill in the details. No longer. Many pundits claim to smell the winds of policy change blowing from the White House. Every word about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the president or his advisors is now parsed by journalists like so many soothsayers studying oracle bones. -truthout - 5/10/10

Photos: Environmentalists Give A Facelift to Persian Gulf Shores in Bandar Abbas
Iranian environmentalists in the city of Bandar Abbas took on the task of cleaning up the shores of Persian Gulf on Friday. -Photos by Amir Hossein Khorgoui, ISNA - 5/9/10

Censorship At Tehran's Book Fair
Reports have emerged about the banning of some books and pressure on independent publishers at the Tehran Book Fair, which is one of the most important cultural events in the Islamic Republic. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/9/10

Iran Hangs Five, Including A Teacher
Iran today executed five prisoners over their alleged "involvement in bomb attacks and links to terrorist groups." At least four of them were members of Iran's Kurdish minority. -RFE - 5/9/10

Iranian dissident cleric condemns governemnt intimidations
Iranian reformist cleric, Ayatollah Sanei condemned the government's attempt to intimidate followers of reformist Shiite leaders within the clergy. He declared: "We should never get to a stage where religion becomes a tool for protecting power. What does it mean to pressure people for the members of the clergy they choose to appeal to or the mosques they choose to pray at?" - 5/9/10

Khatami warns Islamic Republic of downplaying protests
Mohammad Khatami, head of Centre for the Dialogue among Civilizations, expressed concern over the situation of "different aspects" of the country and maintained that the ruling class cannot resolve the issues through mere "slogans." - 5/9/10

Iran Awards South Pars Gas Contracts to Chinese, Malaysian and Indian Companies
Iran announced that it is awarding major gas contracts to Chinese, Malaysian and Indian firms for its extensive South Pars natural gas field, rather than Western companies originally expected to win the concessions. -VOA - 5/9/10

Iran Welcomes Turkish Proposal for Nuclear Talks With EU
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has welcomed a Turkish proposal for Iran to engage in talks with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton about its nuclear program. -VOA - 5/9/10

Iran unveils domestic automobile "Tiba"
Iran unveils a locally-made automobile dubbed Tiba (gazelle) on Sunday. The automobile, with technical name of S81, is made by Iran's Saipa Automotive Manufacturing Group in the city of Kashan. -ISNA - 5/9/10

Writers Association condemns growing censorship in Iran
The announcement states: "This year at the Book Exhibition, organizers not only created an atmosphere of fear by deploying censorship and undercover agents, but also stepped beyond these measures and in an unprecedented move revoked the permits of a number of independent publishers and summoned them to security offices." - 5/8/10

Iranian student protesters handed heavy sentences
Advar news reacted to Iranian government's denial of the existence of detained students by publishing the names of 32 imprisoned students. According to this report, 24 of the detained students have been handed 71 years in prison in between them; one has been sentenced to execution, and the rest are in an undetermined state in prison. -Zamaneh - 5/8/10

Photos: Iran's Persian Gulf Naval Maneuvers, 3rd Day
Iran has launched the third phase of a major naval maneuver in the country's southern waters of the Straight of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman in a display of its military might. -Photos by Yuness Khani - 5/8/10

Iranian Activists Face Arbitrary Justice While In Jail
Lawyers and relatives of activists jailed in Iran's 2009 postelection crackdown have described an arbitrary justice system keeping those jailed in legal limbo, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 5/8/10

Los Angeles Galaxy eyes Iran's Ali Karimi
The American football club Los Angeles Galaxy is eager to sign up Iran's Steel Azin midfielder Ali Karimi, according to the team's Technical Manager Heshmat Mohajerani. -MNA - 5/8/10

The Leveretts and the Accountability of the American Analysts on Iran
The list of foreigners who unconditionally support the Islamic Republic of Iran is short but not unexpected: Omar Albashir of Sudan, Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah, Khalid Mashal of Hamas, and Hugo Chavez of Venezula might be at the top. Add to this list an unlikely duo: Flynt Leverett and his wife, Hillary Mann Leverett. -Omid Memarian, Huffington Post - 5/8/10

US: Iran Offers Nothing New at UN Dinner
The State Department says Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had nothing new to offer on the country's nuclear program at an unusual dinner meeting with U.N. Security Council diplomats in New York late Thursday. A U.S. delegate who attended raised the case of three American hikers detained in Iran. -VOA - 5/8/10

Hardliner stresses perfection of Iranian Supreme Leader
Iranian hardliner, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi defended himself against recent accusations that he is trying to uproot the Supreme leader by calling Ayatollah Khamenei the "symbol of truth" not only in Iran but also in the world. -Zamaneh - 5/8/10

"Calf" bronze statue reported missing in Tehran
One more bronze statue was reported missing in Tehran here on Saturday. The bronze statue of a "Calf" was located in the courtyard of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Tehran. It was donated to the university by a Swiss sculptor. - 5/8/10

Iran launches copper wire, car production units in Belarus
Iran inaugurated a large copper wire factory and the second phase of Samand car assembly line in Beluarus on Saturday. -MNA - 5/8/10

Iran's hand-woven carpet exports increase
ISNA news agency cited statistics published by the Iranian Customs Administration reporting that the value of exported carpets reached $13.8 million in Farvardin month this year from $12.3 million last year. - 5/8/10

Iran Encourages Journalists to Flee
The Iranian government has effectively encouraged many journalists and political activists to flee the country over the past year in order to rid itself of troublesome elements, assuming that from abroad the activists' voices will no longer influence Iranian public opinion. So far, it has been largely right. -Mehdi Jedinia, Washington - 5/7/10

Iran: Some Political Prisoners Released From Evin Following Protest By Families
According to a report by an organization supporting the victims and prisoners of post-election events, a group of families of political prisoners have been holding gatherings and sit-in strikes outside Evin prison recently and following these protests a number of political prisoners who were detained for months for participating in peaceful protests were released on Wednesday night (May 4th). - 5/7/10

Wife of Iranian Political Detainee Warns About Danger of AIDS at Prison Infirmary
"Mr. Zeidabadi is spending his exile at Rajaee Shahr Prison. He is kept with ordinary prisoners who have committed serious crimes such as murder and smuggling and none of the political prisoners are near him. He has been sentenced to six years' imprisonment and five years' exile, and lifetime deprivation of social and political activities." - 5/7/10

Photos: Tehran International Book Fair
The 23rd Tehran International Book Fair which opened officially at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla on May 4th will run untill May 15. The fair is hosting 980 foreign publishers from some 90 countries. -Photos by Abolfazl Salmanzadeh, MNA - 5/7/10

David Nahai: A Role Model, a Humanitarian, an Inspiration
A couple of months ago, I had the great pleasure of interviewing David Nahai, an Iranian American who has touched the lives of so many by his leadership and great acts of public service. -Sunny Zia - 5/7/10

Egyptian stall sealed in Tehran's Book Exhibition
The Egyptian stall at the International Book Exhibition in Tehran was sealed following its distribution of a book entitled: Mosoat al-Khalij Al-Arabi (Encyclopaedia of the Arabian Gulf). -Zamaneh - 5/7/10

Iranian American City Council Member Spurs Largest Tree Planting Initiative in N. Texas History
For Richardson City Council member Amir Omar, a simple idea has turned into a massive campaign. While running last summer, Omar took note of the lack of shade on certain trails in his city and decided to do something about it. -PAAIA - 5/7/10

Iranian activist accepts feminist award on behalf of imprisoned women
Feminist Majority Foundation awarded a prize to Esha Momeni in recognition of all Iranian women's rights activists and the women who have been arrested in the recent protests in Iran. In the past eleven months, thousands of protesters have been arrested in Iran and a large number of them are women's rights activists. -Zamaneh - 5/7/10

15th Annual NIPOC Business Trade Show and Job Fair in Irvine, California
The Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County (NIPOC) cordially invites you to attend its 15th annual Business Trade Show & Expo. on June 10, 2010 - 5/7/10

Rent this Weekend: A Movie by a Jailed Iranian Director
Last week a number of America's highest-profile filmmakers -- Spielberg, Scorsese, and Coppola among them -- petitioned for the release of Jafar Panahi, an acclaimed Iranian film director who has been imprisoned in Tehran since March. -Atlantic - 5/7/10

IRANIAN Director Abbas Kiarostami's CLOSE-UP: 20th Anniversary Re-Release
Vancouver's Pacific Cinematheque presents the 20th Anniversary re-release of Abbas Kiarostami's Close-Up, one of the most acclaimed films of the 1990s. - 5/7/10

Iran starts big railway project
The construction of Chabahar- Zahedan-Mashhad railway, extending from southeast to northeast of the country to the length of 1,350 kilometers, gets started with 3 billion euro credit. -MNA - 5/7/10

Iran's foreign minister hosts UN envoys in New York
Iran's foreign minister has hosted a dinner for UN Security Council members amid a threat of fresh sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme. All 15 Council members attended the event hosted by Manouchehr Mottaki in New York. -BBC - 5/7/10

Meeting Simin Daneshvar
I have been researching for quite a long time on the blooming of Persian female literature. So far I have met several authors in Iran, whose fiction has inspired my book on the history of Iranian women writers since the Qajar times to nowadays. But I never had the chance of meeting the great lady of Iranian literary scene, i.e., Simin Daneshvar. -Anna Vanzan - 5/6/10

Photos: The Macaroni Bridges Competitions
The 6th Macaroni Bridges Competitions was held at Tehran's Amirkabir University on Thursday. The strength of the bridges are tested by hanging a weight from them. -Photos by Abolfazl Salmanzadeh, MNA - 5/6/10

Iran welcomes vist of UN human rights chief
Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of Iranian judiciary's Human Rights Headquarters in a meeting with Livia Leu Agosti, Swiss ambassador to Tehran declared that Iran is fully prepared to respond to any questions regarding the situation of human rights in Iran. - 5/6/10

Two Iranian filmmakers - Mohammad Ali Shirzadi and Ja'far Panahi - are detained without charge or trial in Evin Prison, Tehran after their arrest in January and March 2010 respectively. Amnesty International is calling for their immediate and unconditional release as they are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and are considered to be prisoners of conscience. - 5/6/10

Thieves target statues of national heroes, other secular artworks in Iran
Over the past few weeks, nearly a dozen bronze busts and abstract sculptures have been taken from their pedestals in parks and squares across Tehran, apparently with the use of heavy lifting equipment and trucks. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 5/6/10

What Makes Iran's Green Movement So Difficult To Read?
Since Iran erupted into political crisis nearly a year ago, there has been no shortage of predictions regarding the course the country would take. Some insisted the opposition movement whose ranks swelled after the June presidential election would quickly fade. Others claimed the mass street protests against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection would result in the collapse of the Islamic establishment. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/6/10

Photos: Cobras join Iran's Persian Gulf naval drills
Cobra choppers have joined the second day of Iran's military maneuvers in the Straight of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, successfully carrying out tactical operations. - 5/6/10

Iran's head of judiciary slams opposition leaders
Head of Iranian Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani told a meeting of clergy in Hamadan that in the post-election events some of the intimates of Ayatollah Khomeini acted even worse than the dissident group, People's Mojahedin Organization which the Islamic Republic considers as one of its archenemies. -Zamaneh - 5/6/10

Ban on Nuclear Weapons in Middle East Receives Support at NPT Conference
Major powers, regional players and others endorsed establishing a ban on nuclear weapons in the Middle East during Wednesday's session of a conference to review the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. -VOA - 5/6/10

Iran 'Proposes Visa-Free Travel' For Tajiks
Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry says Iran has officially proposed introducing visa-free travel between the two countries, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. - 5/6/10

French court acquits Iranian engineer
A French court has acquitted an Iranian engineer of violating an export embargo by purchasing US technology for military firms in Iran. -Press TV - 5/6/10

International Museum of Women: Mahnaz Afkhami on Women and the Future of the Middle East
From women's human rights in Iran, to the economic engagement of women in the Middle East and North Africa, to the growing use of technology in movement building, hear about some of the most pressing issues for women in the Middle East today. - 5/5/10

Farokhmanesh invited to Iran basketball team
Ali Farokhmanesh Northern Iowa guard has been invited to Iran basketball team, according to the team's manager. -MNA - 5/5/10

Tehran International Book Exhibition under heavy surveillance
Today's opening of the International Book Exhibition in Tehran has raised concern with Iranian authorities that it may be used as a platform to materialize more protests against the government. -Zamaneh - 5/5/10

Iran Agrees 'In Principle' to Mediation in Nuclear Deal
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has agreed "in principle' to Brazilian mediation in a stalled United Nations-backed nuclear fuel swap deal. A statement issued Wednesday by the Iranian president's office says Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke about Brazil's offer of mediation during a conversation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. -VOA - 5/5/10

Photos: The Sardine Fishermen of Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf
With the start of Spring season, Qeshm Island fishermen have commenced fishing for sardines in Persian Gulf. Qeshm is an island situated in the Strait of Hormuz off the south coast of Iran and east of the Persian Gulf. -Photos by Asghar Besharati, MNA - 5/5/10

Photos: Iran's Opposition Leader Khatami Visits The House Of Artists
During this visit, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, who was warmly welcomed by the artists and people present, praised the efforts of the artists and by referring to the achievements of the House of Artists thanked its CEO for his hard work. - 5/5/10

Marcy Winograd: 'U.S. policy is nuclear narcissism'
Political activist Marcy Winograd says the current U.S. policy on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament is actually nuclear narcissism. Ms. Winograd, who is a candidate for a seat in the U.S. Congress, made the remarks in an interview with the Mehr News Agency last week. - 5/5/10

Jailed Iranian Teacher's Wife Decries Prison Conditions
Khastar is among a number of Iranian teachers imprisoned for being politically active. A member of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association, Khastar has been detained in Vakilabad prison in Iran's northeastern city of Mashad since September 16. -RFE - 5/5/10

Iran: Regime Promoted Shrine Attracts Millions
In the silence and darkness of the desert, the lights of the Jamkaran mosque shine brightly. It is around midnight on a Tuesday but no one is asleep. One group of people is busy praying while a few women are kissing the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca. -Mianeh - 5/5/10

Photos: Gathering in front of UN office in Tehran in protest to Obama's Nuclear Threat
A group of Iranian professors and students held a gathering in front of the UN office in Tehran on Wednesday in a bid to show their wrath over the US President Barack Obama nuclear threat against Iran. -ISNA - 5/5/10

Civil Society and Democracy in Iran: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives Conference May 14-15, 2010
May 14-15 at University of Toronto, Centre for Ethics - Opening Remarks: Professor Melissa Williams; Welcoming Remarks: Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo; Keynote Speaker: Professor Andrew Arato - 5/5/10

Iran starts first day of military drill in Persian Gulf
Iran's army naval force began the first day of (Velayat-89) military drill in southern waters on Wednesday. The maneuver covers Strait of Hormuz and northern part of Indian Ocean and will be held in 6 phases. -ISNA - 5/5/10

NPT 101: Is Iran violating the nuclear treaty?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran had 'violated' the treaty ahead of this week's NPT Review Conference in New York. But the UN nuclear watchdog has never used that term. Who's right? -Scott Peterson, CSM - 5/5/10

Artist in Residence -- Jian Ghomeshi: Minding his Peace and Qs
Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q, CBC Radio's cultural affairs show, is a hot single guy, so you would expect his townhouse/loft in Cabbagetown to be Party Central. -Your Home, Canada - 5/5/10

Photos: The Village of Kandess Kooh in Minudasht, Iran
The village of Kandess Kooh is part of Galikesh in the town of Minudasht in northern Iranian province of Golestan. The village lacks basic necessities including suitable roads. The residents use tractors and other slow moving vehicles for transportation. -Photos by Aboutaleb Nadri, MNA - 5/4/10

Reports Say Attacker Stabs Iranian Reformist Ex-Minister
Reformist websites and foreign news agencies say former Iranian cabinet minister Ahmad Motamedi has been stabbed at Amir Kabir University in Tehran. Students of AmirKabir university in Tehran held a gathering to condemn the attack and demand for immediate investigation of this case. - 5/4/10

IFJ Highlights Struggle in Iran on World Press Freedom Day
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has marked this year's World Press Freedom Day with a special focus on the situation of journalists in Iran where dozens of journalists remain behind bars, newspapers closed and where the IFJ affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists has had its office closed down. - 5/4/10

Photos: The Historic Portuguese Fortress, Hormoz Island
Hormoz Island is an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf. It is located in the Straits of Hormoz and is part of the Hormozgan Province. It has an area of 42 km square. Hormoz was once land of the Portuguese Empire. The island was conquered by the Portuguese explorer Afonso de Albuquerque in the Capture of Hormoz (1507). -Photos by Mehdi Ghasemi, ISNA - 5/4/10

Photos: Demonstrations against Ahmadinejad in New York
A group of supporters of Green movement of the people of Iran held a gathering in NYC in front of the UN when Ahmadinejad was giving his speech on May 3. They condemned Ahmadinejad for brutal human rights violation of the people of Iran and harsh crackdown of the peaceful protestors who had demanded nothing but freedom and democracy. - 5/4/10

Iran, Russia agree to launch two satellites
Iran and Russia have agreed to cooperate to launch two satellites. -MNA - 5/4/10

Karroubi says Iranian authorities in fear of spreading movement
A group of students and alumni of school of journalism visited Mehdi Karroubi. In this meeting the students while praising Karroubi for his clear and courageous stands criticized the state of chaos in the country and demanded the stronger presence of the movement in country's affairs. -Saham News - 5/4/10

Ahmadinejad Blasts U.S., Says Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons
Speaking on the opening day of the UN's month-long Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty conference, Clinton cast Iran as the outlaw among the 189 nations gathered to review the treaty that seeks to end the spread of nuclear weapons -RFE - 5/4/10

Farhang Foundation Presents Iranian-American Artist KAMRAN KHAVARANI
Farhang Foundation is proud to introduce the art of Iranian-American artist Kamran Khavarani, in a month-long exhibition, from May 14 to June 17, 2010 at a private gallery located at 1020 Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA. Khavarani has been credited by art historians with creating a new movement in art known as Abstract Romanticism that may influence the history of art. - 5/4/10

Humanity and the Issue of Nuclear Security
The United States developed its nuclear arsenal in the first half of 1940s within framework of Manhattan Project in the absence of powerful rivals. Other countries continued to develop their own nuclear weapons within the next decades. The former Soviet Union built its nuclear bomb in 1949 followed by UK three years later.-Parviz Olamaei - 5/4/10

Iran Navy plane 'was filming US carrier'
Iran's navy commander has confirmed the flight of an Iranian aircraft near a US warship in the waters of the Persian Gulf. On Tuesday, CNN quoted a senior US military officer as saying that an F27 aircraft of the Iranian Navy flew as low as 300 feet near the USS Eisenhower on April 21. -Press TV - 5/4/10

UAE displays a lack of diplomatic finesse
With the surreptitious support of the Zionist, U.S., and British lobbies, the United Arab Emirates is now playing the role of a regional ally of the hegemonistic powers that have created a specter of Iranophobia for Arab states, which now consider Iran a serious threat to their security. -Kourosh Ziabari - 5/4/10

Photos: Iran opens Mesbah 1 air defense system production line
Mesbah 1 air defense system is developed to confront air strikes as well as plane, cruise missile and helicopter's attacks, Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi told reporters on the sidelines of inauguration ceremony of the air defense system. -ISNA - 5/4/10

Mousavi: Green Movement supports Iran's "ethnic variety"
Iranian opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi announced the support of the Green Movement for Iran's "ethnic variety" in a meeting with Eastern Azerbaijan reformists and reviewed the current situation of the reform movement. - 5/3/10

Iranian hardline cleric accused of plotting against Leadership
Reformist Member of Iran's Parliament Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour accused the hardliner, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi of planning to even cut off the roots of Leadership.The senior member of the Combatant Clerics claimed the "Hojatieh and Mesbahieh sects" are a "violent and merciless movement who are using Ayatollah Khamenei as a bridge to reach their goals." -Zamaneh - 5/3/10

Photos: Kite Flying Festival in Tehran
On Saturday May 1st, a kite flying festival was held at Pardissan park in the Iranian capital Tehran. -Photos by Hossein Shahlaee, ISNA - 5/3/10

Protesters to greet Ahmadinejad in New York
For those who would like to be there when Ahmadinjead is scheduled to arrive at the United Nations, you will need to gather as early as 8:00-8:30AM on Monday May 3rd to meet his motorcade. -Where Is My Vote, New York - 5/3/10

Iran's 'Sedition Leader' Meets His Accusers
Iran's Mehr News Agency has posted photographs of opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi at the May 1 funeral of the father of Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini...Death sometimes brings together even those who are fiercely opposed to one another. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/3/10

Islamic Republic continues arrest of activists
Arrest of activists continue in Iran as Maziar Khosravi, editor-in-chief of Ham-mihan website and Maryam Abbasinejad, student activist, were arrested yesterday by Islamic Republic security forces. -Zamaneh - 5/3/10

What is the green movement?
Caught in the intoxicating effects of a violent moment in the history of a nation, one is particularly susceptible to reactionary outbursts. But it is exactly during such moments that intellectual discourse must prevail over ideological cacophony. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam - 5/3/10

Forty predators of press freedom
There are 40 names on this year's list of Predators of Press Freedom - 40 politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations that cannot stand the press, treat it as an enemy and directly attack journalists. They are powerful, dangerous, violent and above the law. - 5/3/10

Iran: Hashemi Rafsanjani Defends the "Rule of Law"
The head of the Assembly of Experts emphasized: "Actions that are either above the law or are against the law by any individual, any group or organization seriously damages the unity, solidarity and trust of the people." - 5/3/10

Winners of the 9th Golshiri Awards announced
In a private ceremony held in Tehran on April 30th, the ninth Houshang Golshiri Awards were presented to the winning writers. The first part of the program was dedicated to the distinguished Iranian writer Ismail Fassih who passed away in 2009. - 5/3/10

Iranian or Persian? ...and under which flag abroad?
A recent seven-question survey with nearly one thousand respondents thus far, and still available for your participation, endeavors to gauge the consensus of Iranians abroad, especially in the U.S., as to their preference for a flag as well as the use of the term Iranian or Persian. - 5/3/10

Another bronze statue vanishes in Tehran
Following serial thefts of bronze statues in Tehran, the municipal authorities of the capital found on Monday that a bust of Avicenna has also been stolen. -MNA - 5/3/10

Iranian Navy rescues ship from pirate attack
Several Iranian naval vessels intercepted 22 Somali pirate boats that had surrounded and attacked a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday. The cargo ship, named The Atlantic, was heading from Singapore to the Suez Canal with a consignment of minerals. -MNA - 5/3/10

Photos: Teachers' Day Celebration in Shiraz, Iran
May 2nd is the National Teachers' Day in Iran. Following photos show the celebration of this day in the southern city of Shiran in Iran. The students showed their appreciation of their teachers by singing for them, giving them flowers and hugs. -Photos by Amir Hossein Zolfaghari, ISNA - 5/2/10

Iran: Journalists under siege
"Around 70 journalists are now in the prisons of the Islamic Republic and many others, like me, are free on bail, lacking any security. We are afraid that anything that we write may be used as evidence of "propaganda against the system" or "conspiracy against national security". My colleagues and I try to write as little as possible." - 5/2/10

Promiscuity, Earthquakes and Women's Rights: Open Letter from Iranian academics worldwide
The assertion made by a senior official cleric in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) government, on Friday 16th of April 2010 at the Tehran's weekly Friday prayer sermon, warrants a deeper scrutiny. Hojat ol-Eslam Kazem Sediqi's suggestion that [women's] promiscuity is the reason for earthquakes is rhetorical ignorance and religious bigotry on a grand scale even by the IRI regime standards. - 5/2/10

Photos: Iranian Math teacher Mohammad Gheiassi still going at 72
Mohammad Gheiassi is a distinguished math teacher at Marvi high school in Tehran. He's been teaching for 49 years now, and at 72 he is still going strong. He enjoys teaching and he breathes for it: "The nights that I know I'm going to school the next day, I'm happy. When I'm sitting at home, I'm down and feel sick. And every time that I come to class, I thank God," Mr. Gheiassi said during an interview -Photos by Raouf Mohseni - 5/2/10

Shahrnush Parsipur to Receive Honorary Degree from Brown University
Brown will confer honorary degrees on Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela and seven other distinguished candidates during its 242nd Commencement exercises, Sunday, May 30, 2010. - 5/2/10

Photos: Iran's National Persian Gulf Day, Hormoz Island
Iran's National Persian Gulf Day was celebrated on Friday April 30, 2010 on the island of Hormoz with participation of the local residents. -Photos by Mehdi Ghasemi, ISNA - 5/2/10

Iran: Two More Baseless Death Sentences Rubber Stamped by Appeals Court
The hasty and secretive confirmation of execution sentences for post-election protestors by Iranian appeals courts is a flagrant violation of international standards of due process and justice, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said - 5/2/10

Reformist group demands release of Iranain labour activists
Reformist organization, Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution of Iran announced its support for the legal activities of Iranian labour organizations and called for the unconditional release of activists and representatives of Iran's labour community. -Zamaneh - 5/2/10

Iranian judiciary urged to confront corruption
Iranian judiciary is being pressured into dealing with economic corruption in upper strata of the Islamic Republic government. -Zamaneh - 5/2/10

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Up For Review
NPT review conference (held every five years), May 3-28 in New York: The expected attendance of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, discussions on a number of hot-button issues, and recent developments aimed at one day freeing the world of nuclear weapons have heightened expectations about this year's conference. -RFE - 5/2/10

Theft panic stops installation of bronze sculptures in Tehran
Tehran Municipality's Statue Office announced on Sunday that the bust of Persian lexicographer Mohammad Moin, which had been installed on Ostad Moin boulevard in western Tehran less than a month ago, has been stolen. -MNA - 5/2/10

Tehran Symphony Orchestra conductor quits
Over the past two years, the TSO has performed concerts occasionally, in commemoration of the Iran-Iraq 1980-1988 war and for ceremonies celebrating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. -MNA - 5/2/10

Why Iran's Ahmadinejad is pushing to cut popular government subsidies
President Ahmadinejad is seeking to cut $40 billion in government subsidies to create, in effect, a slush fund that critics say will be used as a political tool to keep voters and his political allies happy. -Roshanak Taghavi, CSM - 5/2/10

Comedians like Maz Jobrani 'take the edge off' Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's portrayal of Iranians
"Ahmadinejad is like the George Bush of Iran," comedian Maz Jobrani, 38, said. "It was good for the world when he left, but bad for comedy. Ahmadinejad isn't good for the world right now, but he's great for comedy." -New York Daily News - 5/2/10

America's Leading Filmmakers Call For Release of Imprisoned Iranian Director Jafar Panahi
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, Steven Soderbergh, the Coen Bros., Jim Jarmusch, Michael Moore, Ang Lee, Robert De Niro, and Oliver Stone, among other leading film industry figures, have condemned the detention of Jafar Panahi, the acclaimed director of "The White Balloon" and "Offside," and are urging the Iranian government to release him - 5/1/10

Photos: Iran's National Persian Gulf Day, city of Bandar Abbas
Iran's National Persian Gulf Day was celebrated on Friday April 30, 2010 in the southern city of Bandar Abbas. A large group of people participated in this event. -Photos by Abdolhossein Rezvani - 5/1/10

Tehran takes a security face on May Day
Central areas of Tehran are reportedly seeing a heavy presence of security forces on International Worker's Day. Kalame Website reports a large presence of military and security forces near Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Organization. - 5/1/10

English Naghali, narrating epic stories of Shahnameh
Naghali is narrating of important stories from the Iranian fables, myths and epics which have remained in the most important books since ancient times. A Naghal (storyteller) plays the roles of different characters with special tone, feelings and expressions. - 5/1/10

Tehran University students protest as Ahmadinejad makes unannounced visit
Today (May 1st) students of Tehran University protested to the unannounced presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in their university. Based on this report Ahmadinejad went to Tehran University without any prior announcement and gave a talk for the National Teacher's Day (May 2nd). As soon as the students were informed, they held a gathering and protested to Ahmadinejad's presence in their university. - 5/1/10

Iranian hardliners renew attacks on opposition leaders
Islamic Republic hardliners have started a new wave of attacks against Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi following the opposition's rally for demonstrations on the anniversary of the 2009 June elections. -Zamaneh - 5/1/10

Birthday Celebration in Front Of Tehran's Evin Prison
How do you celebrate the birthday of a political prisoner? You buy some flowers and a "green" cake and you take it in front of Tehran's Evin prison. That's what the friends of colleagues of jailed journalist Ali Malihi did on April 30 when he turned 28 years old. -RFE - 5/1/10

Ahmadinejad Slams West Before New York Visit
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone on the attack against the West, just 24 hours after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged him to abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and just several days before he is due to attend a United Nations nuclear conference in New York. -VOA - 5/1/10

FIFA lifts hijab ban on Iran girls football team
FIFA lifted its suspension of Iran's girls' soccer team and the players are now permitted to participate in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games while observing Islamic dress code. -MNA - 5/1/10

Photos: 10 domestically-made Tufan helicopters delivered to Iranian Navy
Ten domestically manufactured Tufan (storm) helicopters were delivered to the Iranian Navy in a ceremony held on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of Operation Beit-ul-Moqaddas. -MNA - 5/1/10

Continued Captivity For U.S. Hikers
The United States has again called on the government of Iran to release three young American hikers, who were arrested last summer by Iranian authorities. -VOA - 5/1/10

Tehran warns Israel against attack on Syria as arms tension mounts
Iran has pledged to "cut off Israel's feet" if it attacks Syria, fuelling tensions over one of the Middle East's most combustible flashpoints after the US publicly warned Damascus not to risk starting a war. -Guardian - 5/1/10

Afghanistan, Iran Become Issues in British Election Race
On May 6 British voters go to the polls to elect a new government. With thousands of troops fighting in Afghanistan, the election is being held against a backdrop of rising British casualties, plus the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran also remains on the agenda. -VOA - 5/1/10

Iran's oil exports to Japan up 21% from in March compated to February
Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima said that his country is not worried about some Japanese oil companies working with Iran's energy sector as being blacklisted by the U.S. government. -MNA - 5/1/10

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