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Ezzatollah Sahabi: 5 May 1930 - 31 May 2011
Iranian opposition activist Ezatollah Sahabi, head of the reformist National-Religious Movement of Iran, died of stroke Tuesday in a Tehran hospital at the age of 81. - 5/31/11

Photos: Arasbaran Forest in East Azarbaijan, Iran
According to UNESCO, this biosphere reserve situated in the north of Iran at the border to Armenia and Azerbaijan belongs to the Caucasus Iranian Highlands. In-between the Caspian, Caucasus and Mediterranean region, the area covers mountains up to 2,200 meters, high alpine meadows, semi-arid steppes, rangelands and forests, rivers and springs. -Mahsa Jamali - 5/31/11

Five directors honored at Iranian Filmmakers Celebration
Tributes were paid to Alireza Davudnejad, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Reza Mirkarimi, Mohammad Motavasselani, and Bahram Tavakkoli at the fifth edition of the Iranian Filmmakers Celebration in Tehran on Monday. - 5/31/11

IRAN AND THE BOMB: How real is the nuclear threat?
Annals of National Security about whether Iran's nuclear program is being exaggerated. Is Iran actively trying to develop nuclear weapons? Members of the Obama Administration often talk as if this were a foregone conclusion, as did their predecessors under George W. Bush. -Seymour Hersh, New Yorker - 5/31/11

Debate surrounding Iran's first blinding-by-acid sentence
In the past month, the Iranian media has been awash with news of the first blinding-by-acid sentence issued by the Iranian judiciary. Majid Movahedi, an Iranian man, was convicted of throwing acid on the face of Amaneh Bahrami, an Iranian woman who rejected his marriage proposal. - 5/31/11

Iran Defense Minister arrives in Bolivia
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi arrived in Bolivia on Tuesday. Vahidi leading a delegation is invited officially by her Bolivian counterpart Maria Cecilia Chacon. - 5/31/11

Iran keeps Merkel waiting in midair for two hours
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to India was delayed when the Islamic Republic refused to let her plane enter Iranian airspace. -Zamaneh - 5/31/11

Iran Navy Saves Foreign Ship In Indian Ocean
The Islamic Republic of Iran navy saved a MV Ocean bulk carrier as it confronted pirates for the 12th time since late March. - 5/31/11

Iran, India To Resolve Crude Payment Deadlock
In a bid to end the deadlock over India's payments to crude oil supplies from Tehran, an Iranian delegation on Monday met senior government functionaries Financial Express reported. -Moj News - 5/31/11

Saudi-Iran Feud Draws Sectarian Line Across Mideast Oilfields
Diners at Shayan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital, are assured by a sign near the cash register that they can enjoy the restaurant's Persian food without worrying about Iranians profiting. The establishment is Saudi- owned, it says. -Bloomberg - 5/31/11

Photos: Detained Iranian Lawyer Makes A Defiant Appearance
The first hearing to review whether Nasrin Sotoudeh - human rights lawyer who was the lawyer for many political prisoners - would be disbarred was held today at Iran Bar Association with Nasrin Sotoudeh in attendance. She attended the hearing with a smiling face and great confidence which gave strength to the attendees and women's rights activists who had come to the bar association to see Nasrin Sotoudeh. - 5/30/11

Iran Vows to Unplug Internet
Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world. The leadership in Iran sees the project as a way to end the fight for control of the Internet, according to observers of Iranian policy inside and outside the country. Iran, already among the most sophisticated nations in online censoring, also promotes its national Internet as a cost-saving measure for consumers and as a way to uphold Islamic moral codes. -Christopher Rhoads and Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 5/30/11

Detained Iranian Opposition Leader Karroubi To Stand His Ground If Released
Hossein Karroubi in an interview said: In the last meeting my father had with his grand-children - while under illegal arrest in his own home - he once again stressed "If I am released, I would still issue the very same statements and give the very same interviews I had done before; and I am standing firm on my previous principles and views." - 5/30/11

Sepideh Raissadat and Iman Vaziri Ensemble - Live in Berkeley
Sunday, July 03 -- Gifted vocalist and setarist Sepideh Raissadat brings to life a repertoire of poetry-filled Persian classical music during her Freight debut. In 1999, Raissadat became the first female singer in Iran after the revolution to sing in a duet when she performed with the late Persian Santoor master and composer, Parviz Meshtakian. - 5/30/11

Iran's Supreme Leader calls on officials to get along
Iran's Supreme Leader is calling on government officials to put the good of the country ahead of their own differences. Iranian media report that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, told MPs and the head of Parliament that the country's enemies are bent on "weakening Iran's economy, creating differences among officials and weakening Islamic beliefs and sentiments." - 5/30/11

"Don't think so much of yourself!" Nasirian tells his wax effigy
"Don't think so much of yourself!" said veteran actor Ali Nasirian addressing his effigy unveiled at the Museum and House of Eternal Figures here on Sunday. A group of cultural officials, artists and actors attended the ceremony at the museum located in Tehran's Sadabad Cultural Historical Complex where the effigy, designed and created by Hamid Lankarani, was unveiled. - 5/30/11

Al-Saud dynasty not in a position to threaten Iran: Defense Minister
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said al-Saud dynasty is not in a position to pose a threat against Iran. Saudi Arabia is rallying Muslim nations across the Middle East and Asia to join an informal Arab alliance against Iran. - 5/30/11

Shamaqdari denies supporting Von Trier's remarks
Iranian Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari has said that he did not support the Danish director Lars Von Trier's remarks at Cannes but meant to criticize the Cannes organizers' inappropriate decision. - 5/30/11

Iran's Mahram loses to Lebanon's Al Riyadi in FIBA Asia Champions Cup
Asian powerhouse Al Riyadi of Lebanon defeated Iran's Mahram in the preliminary round of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Monday. Mahram, which had already overcome Syria's Al Jalaa and Al Shabab of the UAE, was defeated 76-73 at the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arena in Pasig, the Philippines. - 5/30/11

Iran Remains Top Oil Exporter to Turkey in 1st Q
Iran's share in Turkey's oil imports amounted to 30 percent, whereas Iraq and Russia followed by 12 and 11 percent, respectively. -FNA - 5/30/11

Photos: The tent people of Kerman live in the past century!
These photos show people living in shabby tents (called kapar) in the southern parts of the city of Kerman in Iran. These people who live in very primitive conditions are deprived of proper housing, water, sanitation, health care, .... In other words, the 21st century hasn't arrived in this area yet! - 5/29/11

Iranian women political prisoners speak out against sexual threats
Female political prisoners in the quarantine section of Iran's Evin Prison have issued a letter for Iranian Women's Day, saying they have suffered repeated sexual threats by their interrogators. - 5/29/11

Iran places third at FILA Junior Freestyle World Cup
Iran defeated Georgia in the bronze medal match of the at FILA Junior Freestyle World Cup on Saturday. In the two-day competitions held in Plauen, Germany, Iran overpowered Georgia 7-1 and came third. - 5/29/11

"Beedel" a new album by Majid Derakhshani and Katayoun Goudarzi
"Beedel" is the name of the new album by the Iranian music composer and instrumentalist Majid Derakhshani and vocalist Katayoun Goudarzi which was just released in the US. In this album Majid Derakhshani (Tar, Vocal ), Katayoun Goudarzi (Vocal ), Shaho Andalibi (Ney) , Arman Sigarchi ( Oud ), Kevin Hays ( Piano ) and Abhiman Kaushal ( Tabla ) created over 70 minutes of mesmerizing music. - 5/29/11

Iran: Ahmadinejad Administration in Tensions With Revolutionary Guards -- 600 Million Dollars in Embezzlement
Ertebatat Zirsakht telecommunications company - a government entity operating under the Ministry of Telecommunications - issued a warning to Iran's main telecommunications agency, TCI that unless it paid up its debt, the country's telecommunications with the outside world and even between the country's provinces, would be cut off "in the near future." -Nima Farahabadi , Rooz - 5/29/11

FIBA Asia Champions Cup: Iran's Mahram defeats UAE's Al Shabab
Iran's basketball team Mahram beat Al Shabab of the UAE in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Sunday. The Iranian representative defeated Al Shabab 90-73 At the Philsports Multi-Purpose Arenain Pasig, the Philippines. - 5/29/11

One Persian Gulf, Two Different Strategies
The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council was established in reaction to Iran's internal developments in 1981. However, never before 2011 have Iran and the Council been pitched against each other in two different fronts with different strategies and allies on both sides of the Persian Gulf. -Behzad Khoshandam - 5/29/11

Iran's supreme leader endorses Ahmadinejad, trying to calm political turmoil
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tries to avert a crisis between Iran's conservative clergy and the firebrand president. The pronouncement also is seen as a warning to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to overstep boundaries. -LA Times - 5/29/11

Iran hangs two rape convicts in public
Two men, convicted of rape, were publicly hanged this morning in the northwestern Iranian city of Kermanshah. - 5/29/11

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, on the announced new visa policy for Iranian students
As an Iranian-American I am delighted by the latest announcement by the State Department regarding the two-year multi-entry visa for Iranian students in support of President Obama's policy toward improving relations with people of Iran. After careful consideration of the new policy, it seems that while a positive step in the right direction, two issues need further deliberation... -Fredun Hojabri - 5/29/11

German Bank Continues Trade with Iran Despite Sanctions
European Iranian Trading Bank, a Hamburg-based, Iran-owned bank, said it would continue to do business despite sanctions the European Union ordered earlier this week, Wall Street Journal reported. The bank, known under its German acronym EIH, said the sanctions didn't mean it would have to discontinue operations. -Moj News - 5/29/11

Tanker sale to Iranian company a sore spot for Israel
The Israeli government moved Thursday to distance itself from one of the country's largest private conglomerates after embarrassing allegations emerged that the company violated U.S. sanctions against Iran by selling an oil tanker to an Iranian firm through an intermediary. -LA Times - 5/29/11

Mehrafarin Charity Society Honors Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
Filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, famous for the depiction of social problems, was presented with a statuette from Iran's Mehrafarin Charity Society during a ceremony held on Friday at the Arikeh Iranian Complex. - 5/28/11

Ahmadinejad loses ground with Revolutionary Guards
IRGC head Mohammad Ali Jafari today told a meeting of Basij university organizers: "The presence of certain political views and opinions among the people surrounding the presidency is becoming worrisome for those who care for the Revolution." Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei's representative at IRGC, Ali Saidi, said today that the government has been afflicted with a "major disaster being infiltrated by corrupt elements." - 5/28/11

Persian Letters: Now Open Kitchens Are Un-Islamic, Too
Open kitchens are the latest addition to the list of supposedly un-Islamic items and behaviors in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to conservative cleric Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, open kitchens don't allow homeowners to be protected from the eyes of their guests. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/28/11

Ahmadinejad advisor denies allegations of financial fraud
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's executive deputy is denying allegations of financial wrongdoing. Hamid Baghai told IRNA: "I can tell you frankly this alleged 450 billion touman ($450 million) agreement in Kish Island is false, and such an agreement does not even exist." - 5/28/11

Middle East and North Africa Dominate G8 Declaration
G8 Calls on the government to end repression against its people: We remain seriously concerned about the ongoing suppression of democratic rights in Iran, especially given that Iran has repeatedly professed support for freedom and democratic behaviour elsewhere in the region. - 5/28/11

Iran imposes financial, travel restrictions on U.S. officials
The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament has released the full text of the bill which calls for the imposition of sanctions on 26 U.S. officials who have been involved in human rights violations. - 5/28/11

Iran reportedly aiding Syrian crackdown
U.S. officials say Iran is dispatching increasing numbers of trainers and advisers - including members of its elite Quds Force - into Syria to help crush anti-government demonstrations that are threatening to topple Iran's most important ally in the region. -Washington Post - 5/28/11

Ahmadinejad And Larijani Tussle In An Oil Slick
For years he has treated it with imperious disdain. But now, with his political capital hemorrhaging, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is being subjected to a relentless assault by Iran's parliament with the apparent approval of the country's most powerful cleric, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. -RFE - 5/27/11

Building on the Student Visa Victory: the Work and Opportunities Ahead
Last week, in a culmination of steadfast efforts by NIAC, the Iranian-American community, and the Iranian student organization MEVISA, the Obama Administration announced that Iranian students are now eligible to receive multiple entry visas. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 5/27/11

Imprisoned Iranian reformist finally gets hospital check-up
Iranian political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh has finally been allowed to be taken to hospital after repeated demands by his family. - 5/27/11

Iran: Lawyer's 'Nationalism' on Par with Apostasy Says Deputy Prosecutor
Lawyer and human rights activist Mohammad Ali Dadkhah faced new charges in a trial court hearing held on Saturday, 21 May, including a charge on the same level as apostasy, according to the Deputy Prosecutor. Dadkhah's charges ranged from membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center, to representing a case against Isfahan's Metro for endangering national heritage monuments. - 5/27/11

In Support of Jafar Panahi
Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver, Canada) pays tribute to Panahi, and to the principles of freedom of speech and artistic freedom, with this program featuring four of his most acclaimed films: Offside (2006), Crimson Gold (2002), The Circle (2000), and The White Balloon (1995). - 5/27/11

Iran: Rafsanjani says false claims won't regain people's trust
Akabar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, says the establishment must make every effort to rebuild the people's trust in elections. - 5/27/11

Sima Bina and Lian Ensemble in New York
Sima Bina, one of Iran's most distinguished folk and classical singers, makes a rare appearance in New York with the highly acclaimed Lian Ensemble. Together they will present a stunning blend of music influenced by Persian traditional and folk music. - 5/27/11

Iran's Mahram heads to FIBA Asia Champions Cup
Mahram, which won back-to-back titles, has been drawn in Pool B along with Al-Riyadi from Lebanon, Qatar's Al-Rayyan Sports, Al-Jalaa Aleppo of Syria and Al Shabab of the UAE. - 5/27/11

'Ahmadinejad wants friendship with Israel'
Muslim cleric claims Iranian president who threatened to wipe Jewish State off the map wants diplomatic relations, but is unable to publicly say so due to feud with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -ynet news - 5/27/11

Iran's re-election to UN commission irks U.S., Canada
Despite joint efforts made by the United States and Canada to block the extension of Iran's membership in the UN Commission on Population and Development, Iran was re-elected to the commission by majority vote. - 5/27/11

Murky Exploration of an Iranian Past
Some exhibitions purport to give lessons in history rather than dazzle with works of art. "Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World" at the British Museum until July 17, before moving on to New York, is one of those, judging from the pedestrian didactic display. -NY Times - 5/27/11

More Trouble For Ahmadinejad
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his entourage (described inside the country by some right now as the "deviant" current) are being attacked from all sides. The attacks appear to be coordinated, possibly with the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. -Golnaz Esfandiari , RFE - 5/26/11

Iran's Zob Ahan cruises past Al-Nassr to reach ACL quarterfinals
Iran's Zob Ahan eliminated Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia and advanced to the Asian Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Isfahan based team beat Al-Nassr 4-1 at the Fooladshahr Stadium. - 5/26/11

Arrests are part of official campaign to block development of Iranian Baha'is
The raids carried out on some 30 homes of Baha'is, who were offering education to young community members barred by the government from university, is the latest action in Iran's ongoing policy to keep its largest non-Muslim religious minority on the margins of society. -BWNS - 5/26/11

Iran: No change in situation of opposition leader under house arrest
The son of Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi reports that his father has not been allowed to leave his home once during his 100-day house arrest. - 5/26/11

Iran Conceals Delight at Bin Laden Death
Shia regime was no friend of Sunni extremist chief, and was careful not to make itself target for al-Qaeda attacks. However happy Iranian leaders might have been at the demise of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, there was no way they were going to show it. - 5/26/11

Global Index Charts Year Of Continued Setbacks To World Peace
The world became slightly less peaceful in the past year, punctuated by violent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, but also marked by successes in countries like Slovenia and Georgia. That's according to the latest edition of the Global Peace Index, an annual ranking of 153 countries. - 5/26/11

Iran: Several Infrastructural Projects Inaugurated in Qom
President Ahmadinejad inaugurated three important projects in the central province of Qom on Thursday. The projects included the over 150-km-long Qom-Garmsar intercity highway, the West-Asia Steel Factory and a water supply facility in the dry-climate province. - 5/26/11

EU travel ban on Iranian FM suspended
The European Union has suspended a travel ban on Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, an EU spokesperson announced on Tuesday. - 5/26/11

Photos: Iranian soccer legend Hejazi laid to rest
Iranian soccer legend Naser Hejazi was laid to rest on Wednesday as thousands of his fans gathered in his funeral process. Hejazi's fans were carrying his pictures as chanting mottos on him praising his manner and behavior. - 5/25/11

Mahram retains Iran's Basketball Championship
Mahram claimed the title of the Iran's Basketball Championship for the fourth time in a row on Monday. Tehran based Mahram defeated Zob Ahan of Isfahan 105-96 in the final game at the Azadi Hall and won the championship. - 5/25/11

Release Iranian Women's Rights Activists
Iranian judicial authorities should immediately release two recently detained women's rights activists, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. The Campaign added that the Judiciary should end the harassment and arbitrary prosecution of citizens engaged in lawful actions aimed at challenging Iran's discriminatory laws. - 5/25/11

Interview with Vali Nasr on Obama Administration's Decision to Change Visa Policy for Iranian Students
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the decision to change Iranian student visa validity as a big step forward in our support for the Iranian people. In your opinion, what is the significance of this decision? -PAAIA - 5/25/11

Iran's Sepahan cruises to Asian league quarters
Iranian champion Sepahan has pummeled Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan to reach the quarterfinals of the 2011 AFC Champions League. The Isfahan-based club downed the Uzbek side 3-1 in its own turf on Tuesday to book a place in the Asian Champions League quarters. - 5/25/11

US Widens Sanctions on Iran Amid Nuclear Impasse
The United States has announced sanctions against seven foreign entities, including Venezuela's state oil company, for engaging in trade with Iran in violation of U.S. law. It is part of an effort to prompt Iran to return to big-power talks over its nuclear program. -VOA - 5/25/11

Abadan Refinery Blast Was Result Of Early Inauguration: Larijani
Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said that Tuesday's blast at Abadan refinery was the consequence of the administration's unjustified request that the new unit be inaugurated on May 24, a day marking the 29th anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr. - 5/25/11

Farhang Foundation Presents Lecture Series in Iranian Studies at UC Irvine
Farhang Foundation and Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture proudly present "The Significance of Iconography in Parthian and Sasanian Iran", a lecture by Dr. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, taking place onSaturday, June 4, 2011 from 10:30am to 4pm at Humanities Gateway 1030, University of California, Irvine. - 5/25/11

Muhammad Ali Joins Calls For Release of U.S. Citizens Held in Iran
U.S. boxing legend Muhammad Ali has publicly appealed to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to release two Americans who have been held in the Persian Gulf state for 662 days on spying charges. -RFE - 5/25/11

Nations Oppose Delay In Eradication Of Smallpox Virus
Most countries including Iran oppose to the US and Russia's plan to postpone the destruction of their last remaining stocks of deadly smallpox virus. - 5/25/11

EU Backs Obama's Mideast Offensive: 'Netanyahu's Rejection Is Self-Important and Arrogant'
The European Union is backing US President Obama's call for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn says in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. He also argues that, if the Israelis remain stubborn, the EU must consider taking political action. -Spiegel - 5/25/11

Photos: When will the real freedom arrive in Khorramshahr
Iranian city of Khorramshahr was freed from Iraqi occupation 29 years ago. However, after so many years, the war-ravaged houses and buildings carry the memories of the dreadful times; and hopes and dreams of the residents are yet to be fulfilled. When will the real "freedom" come? This is a question in the minds of the people in Khorramshahr and Khuzestan as well as all Iranians. -Gholamreza Massoudi - 5/24/11

Increased pressure on Iranian political prisoners
Twenty-six Iranian political prisoners are reportedly under pressure from the Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran Prosecutor's office to withdraw an official complaint they have filed against their interrogators. - 5/24/11

Learning Lessons from Bahman Ahmadi Amouee who Turned 43 in Prison
Bahman Ahmadi Amouee turned 43 on May 22, while in prison. He's one of approximately 40 imprisoned journalists in Iran, who are serving prison terms in relation to their writings or other social and political activities. - 5/24/11

Iran: Blast hits Abadan refinery during Ahmadinejad's visit
A deadly blast occurred on Tuesday morning at Abadan refinery while the inauguration ceremony of the first phase of a gasoline production unit with the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in progress. - 5/24/11

Rights organizations condemn continued persecution campaign against lawyers in Iran
Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today condemned the ongoing arrests and imprisonment of several prominent lawyers in Iran which they see as part of an orchestrated attempt by the Iranian authorities to repress dissent in the country. - 5/24/11

Iranian opposition advisor recalled to prison
Ghorban Behzadiannejad, the chief aide to Iranian opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi, was recalled to Evin prison just one day after former president Mohammad Khatami urged the Islamic Republic establishment to move toward a national reconciliation by releasing all political prisoners. -Zamaneh - 5/24/11

Outlook of Tehran-Cairo Relations
Egypt, as one of the most important countries in the Middle East and North Africa is of special importance to both regional and international players and regional states, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, have been endeavoring to establish close relations with Egypt. -Nasrin Davarijou - 5/24/11

Iran Invites Big Trade Partner China to Visit Its Nuclear Sites
Iran has invited China to send experts to see its nuclear facilities, the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Beijing. Trade between Iran and China grew to $29.4 billion in 2010, a rise of 38.5 percent on the previous year, reflecting the oil trade and growing Chinese exports to Iran. -Moj News - 5/24/11

CIA-linked detainees handed over to court: Iran's Intelligence Minister
Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi has said all those who have been arrested for links with the United States' Central Intelligence Agency have been handed over to court. -MNA - 5/24/11

Tit for Tat: Iranian media name five US blacklisted officials
Iran's Mehr news agency has revealed the names of five of the 26 U.S. officials to be blacklisted by the Islamic Republic. -Zamaneh - 5/24/11

Iran's Oil Reserves Rise by 758 Million Barrels
The Islamic Republic of Iran's crude reserves increased by 758 million barrels following the discovery of a deposit of light oil in southern Iran, said managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). -Moj News - 5/24/11

Legendary Iranian keeper Nasser Hejazi: 1949-2011
Iran's legendary keeper Nasser Hejazi passed away from lung cancer on Monday. Hejazi, who was rushed to Tehran's Kasra hospital on Friday, died at the age of 62. Hejazi was goalkeeper of Iran national football team in 1960's and 1970's . Hejazi won the AFC Asian Cup twice. The keeper played for Iran in the 1976 Olympic Games and 1978 FIFA World Cup. - 5/23/11

Photos: Iran officially opens transgenic mice research center
Iran officially opened transgenic mice research center after initial months-long activities in a bid to expand studies on the domain. The project has been pursued since 2009 and it has been working since late 2010 during which three kinds of transgenic mice have been generated. - 5/23/11

Former Iranian president says end political arrests and incarcerations
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami marked Iranian Women's Day on Sunday by calling for the release of all political prisoners. -Zamaneh - 5/23/11

Baha'i educational programme targeted in raids
A coordinated series of raids have been carried out on the homes of several Iranian Baha'is, active in a community initiative to provide a higher education programme for young members who are barred from university. -BWNS - 5/23/11

Persian Music Sensation Mamak Khadem Talks About Her Upcoming Performance at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2011
Mamak Khadem, one of the great voices of the Persian music tradition is scheduled to perform Sunday, July 10th at 19:00 at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak (Malaysia). -ARomero, World Music Central - 5/23/11

Iran says nuclear plant would join national grid soon
The Chief of Atomic Energy Organization of Iranian (AEOI) said Bushehr nuclear power plant would join the national grid in the near future. "Bushehr nuclear power plant is becoming operational and it is operational phase is passing a positive process," Fereidoun Abbasi said on Sunday on the sidelines of cabinet meeting. - 5/23/11

Shahram Entekhabi in Tehran: "They Go Bang Bang On My Head"
In a body of video performances from 2004, artist recreates the cliche imagination of migrants and aims to reflect the negative conceptions of chauvinism, terrorism and criminality, which have been cultivated in many cases in the Western society - particularly after 9/11. - 5/23/11

EU 'Widens Sanctions' On Syria, Iran
Diplomats said the EU foreign ministers also agreed to add 100 Iranian companies to the EU's embargo list and imposed travel bans and assets freezes on five individuals in response to Tehran's refusal to halt its disputed nuclear activities. -RFE - 5/23/11

Sanctions underpin Iranian oil companies: Business Monitor
Although U.S.-led sanctions have had some impacts on Iran's energy industry, but they have made domestic oil companies gain achievements such as cutting gasoline imports, said Business Monitor International (BMI) in its new report titled "Iran Oil & Gas Report Q1 2011". - 5/23/11

Iran, Kuwait patch up the relations
New Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait Rouhollah Qahremani Chabok has arrived in the sheikhdom and will officially start his diplomatic mission on Tuesday, Iran's charge d'affaires to Kuwait announced on Monday. The Iranian diplomat added that the Kuwaiti ambassador will also return to Tehran during the current week. - 5/23/11

Swiss stop refueling Iran Air jets
An Iran Air Boeing 747-200The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) of Switzerland says the planes of Iran's state-owned airline will not be allowed to refuel at the Geneva airport. -Press TV - 5/23/11

Iraq to import natural gas from Iran for power plants
Under the memorandum of understanding between the two neighbours, the Islamic Republic of Iran will install a pipeline through Iraq and supply it with gas that would be used to feed two power plants in Baghdad, the electricity ministry said. -Moj News - 5/23/11

Iran: Abadan refinery gasoline production unit to come on stream
The first phase of Abadan refinery's gasoline production unit will come on stream tomorrow. The unit which will produce the best ever quality gasoline, with the octane number of 94, is projected to produce 4.2 million liters of gasoline per day, Mehr news agency reported. - 5/23/11

Is Ahmadinejad's Closest Aide About To Be Arrested?
Mashaei, a controversial figure, is facing a long list of accusations, including bewitching Ahmadinejad, promoting an Iranian doctrine instead of an Islamic one, pushing for ties with the U.S., having contacts with foreign secret services, and aiming to limit the role of Khamenei. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/22/11

Absent Iranian Wins Cannes Directing Prize
Iranian film director Mohammad Rasoulof has won a prize for best director in the "Un Certain Regard" section at the Cannes film festival in France. Rasoulof was awarded for "Be Omid e Didar" ("Good Bye"), a film shot semi-clandestinely in Iran about a lawyer who turns to extreme measures in order to get a visa to leave Iran. - 5/22/11

Iran's Greco-Roman wrestlers crowned Asian champions
Iran, which had snatched two bronze medals in the first day of the competition by Mohsen Hajipour and Abdolmohammad Papi, wrapped up the championship with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, securing 65 points. - 5/22/11

150 Iranian professors to be dismissed or forced into retirement
Kaleme opposition website reports that as the end of the academic year approaches, the head of Allameh Tabatabai University is preparing the files of 150 outstanding senior professors of business administration, sociology, economics, communications, law and political science for dismissal or early retirement. -Zamaneh - 5/22/11

Book: Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran
This insightful novel, by Nadia Shahram, is the compelling and moving account of the struggles of an ambitious but innocent young woman caught in the practice of temporary marriage - a form of religiously and culturally sanctioned prostitution justified by a misinterpretation of the Quran. - 5/22/11

Mehdi Momenzadeh's "Isfahan Milky Way" Wins Prize at U.S. Photo Contest
Iranian photographer Mehdi Momenzadeh won the second prize in the Against the Lights category of the Second International Earth and Sky Photo Contest in the U.S. - 5/22/11

Photos: New missiles delivered to IRGC Aerospace Force
New domestically-manufactured missiles, called Qiam 1, were delivered to the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps during a ceremony attended by the defense minister on Sunday. -Vahid Reza Alaei - 5/22/11

Senior public servants amongst Iran's spying suspects: Fars
Several Iranian civil servants are among the recent detainees linked to a CIA spying network, Fars News Agency reports. Fars cites a "knowledgeable source" saying that a public servant in the financial sector has passed on information about recent transactions and Iran's method of circumventing economic sanctions. - 5/22/11

Expatriates provide 67% of total foreign investment in Iran
In the last three years Iran has succeeded in absorbing 3 billion dollars foreign investment and is to meet the goal of raising it by 100 percent receiving almost 6 billion dollars. The head of Organization for Investment notes that 67 percent or about two thirds of the 3 billion dollars has been secured by Iranian expatriates living in foreign countries. - 5/22/11

U.S. State Department Announces Changes to Visa Validity for Iranian Student Applicants in F, J, and M visa categories
As of May 20, 2011, qualified Iranian applicants for visas in the F, J, and M categories for non-sensitive, non-technical fields of study and research and their dependents will be eligible to receive two-year, multiple-entry visas. This is an increase in the current visa validity of three months, single entry. - 5/21/11

Mothers of American Hikers Imprisoned in Iran Begin Hunger Strike In Solidarity With Their Sons On Anniversary Of Their Only Visit
The mothers of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two Americans imprisoned in Iran in almost complete isolation for more than 21 months, began a hunger strike in solidarity with their sons today after Iran failed to bring them to court for a scheduled trial hearing. - 5/21/11

Persian Manuscript Digitisation Project at the British Library
The Iran Heritage Foundation is fundraising for this important project, which will catalogue and digitise some of the many Persian manuscripts in the British Library's collection, making these freely accessible to scholars and enthusiasts worldwide via the Internet. - 5/21/11

Iran Finishes Second At Asian Wrestling Championship
Iran finished in second place in the 2011 Asian Freestyle Wrestling Championship on Friday. The Asian powerhouse took second place with one gold medal and three silvers. Iran bagged 49 points in the event. - 5/21/11

Obama Fixes Visa Policy for Iranian Students
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) applauds the Obama Administration's decision to repeal the Single-Entry Visa policy for Iranian students. - 5/21/11

Iranian oppostion leader may be moved to different location
Iranian security forces have agreed to allow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi and his wife, who have been under house arrest since February, to move to another location, media sources close to the opposition leader report. -Zamaneh - 5/21/11

Iran: Ahmadinejad vice-president banned from public service
Iranian executive vice-president Hamid Baghai has been suspended from public service for four years in yet another blow to embattled president Mahmoud Ahamdinejad. - 5/21/11

Iranian-American Woman Runs for San Francisco District Attorney
Raised by Iranian parents, Sharmin Bock explained to the Iran Times how her Iranian culture has shaped the person she is today. "I've been raised to always work hard and give back and have been supported to do so by a culture that is very embracing, nurturing and warm not just to fellow Iranians, but to everybody -Grace Nasri - 5/21/11

Hardliner Iranian Ayatollah Rallies Public To Act As Morality Police
Ebtekar Iranian daily reports that the Friday Mass Prayer leader of Mashhad, Iran's second largest city has harshly criticized the "custodians of moral security" in the country and added: "If you do not act, God-seeking and religious folk of Iran will enter the arena and if that happens the costs will be irreparable." - 5/21/11

Iran announces arrest of 30 individuals on spying charges
Iran arrests 30 individuals accused of being CIA agents and announces the "collapse of a spying network" in the country. - 5/21/11

Iran plans to export 4 million tons of wheat
Iran plans to export up to 4 million tons of wheat in the current calendar year (to end March 19, 2012), the deputy commerce minister said in Tehran on Saturday. - 5/21/11

Iran Navy Saves Maltese Ship From Pirates
Iranian navy saved a ship named "Dandle" and attacked by pirates while carrying flag of Malta. The container-carrying ship was saved by the 14th dispatched navy flotilla of the Islamic Republic of Iran placed in high seas. - 5/21/11

Hezbollah Supportive of Egyptian, Tunisian Uprisings But Not Syria's
Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militia group and political movement, used its al-Manar television channel to broadcast images supportive of anti-government protesters in Egypt and Tunisia. But analysts say the Shi'ite group's attitude toward the popular uprising in neighboring Syria has been very different, reflecting its close ties to the Syrian government. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 5/21/11

A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution
In a SPIEGEL interview, French social scientist Emmanuel Todd discusses the demographic roots of the Arab revolution, which he argues was spurred by rising literacy and rapidly shrinking birth rates. He also muses on the ghost of Osama bin Laden, arguing "al-Qaida was already dead," and on why he believes Germany is not a part of the "core West." - 5/21/11

Obama: US Supports Political, Economic Reform in Mideast, N. Africa
In a major addresson historic changes in the Middle East and North Africa, President Barack Obama says the United States stands firmly on the side of people protesting for democratic reform and against violence being used by some governments against protesters. - 5/20/11

Imprisoned Iranian activist Nasrin Sotoudeh writes letter to her son on a few pieces of paper tissues
Nasrin Sotoodeh, a lawyer, women and human rights activist who has been imprisoned in Evin prison for over nine months, has written a few letters to her children, her three year old son Nima and her eleven year old daughter, Mehraveh. She has written these letters on paper tissues since she has been denied stationary. A photocopy of the original letters written on toilet paper is attached. - 5/20/11

ACLU files lawsuit alleging La Jolla High is suppressing student's freedom of speech
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) stemming from a Feb. 15 incident in which La Jolla High School allegedly illegally painted out political messages created by Iranian-American students on campus senior benches supporting freedom for Iran. - 5/20/11

Guardian Council Rules Ahmadinejad Cannot Head Oil Ministry
In another indication of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's shrinking support in the Islamic Republic establishment, Iran's Guardian Council, which is charged with guarding the constitution, announced today that the president cannot act as caretaker of the oil ministry, Fars news agency reports. - 5/20/11

Bipartisan Effort Seeks to Preserve Lifeline for Iranian Refugees
On Friday, May 13th, Representatives Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), and Robert J. Dold (R-IL) led a bi-partisan letter signed by 64 Members of Congress urging the House Judiciary Committee to reauthorize a provision that fast-tracks asylum for religious refugees from Iran. - 5/20/11

Iran, second 'growth pole' in region: World Bank
Iran is in the second rank of growth in the Middle East and North Africa region based on "polarity index" report of the World Bank titled "Global Development Horizons 2011-- Multipolarity: The New Global Economy".The report remarks economies that drive growth at the global level tend to appear as growth poles for their regions as well. - 5/20/11

Afghan-Iranian-Tajik TV Project Still In Limbo
In 2006, presidents Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran, and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan agreed to launch a joint Persian-speaking television channel called Navrooz-TV. The project has still not been implemented. -RFE - 5/20/11

EU to expand sanctions against Iran
The European Union indicated yesterday that it will increase sanctions against Iran in response to the Islamic Republic's nuclear activities. AFP quoted diplomatic sources saying the EU will add more than 100 companies to its list of sanctioned firms. -Zamaneh - 5/20/11

Iran finds 758m barrel oil layer
A new oil layer, containing an estimated 758 million barrels in-situ deposit, has been discovered in Khayyam onshore gas field in the Persian Gulf, the National Iranian Oil Company's director for exploration affairs said here on Friday. -MNA - 5/20/11

Amir Omar Re-Elected to Richardson City Council
Council Member Amir Omar claimed victory in last Saturday's election to serve a second term on the City Council of Richardson, Texas. First elected to the City Council Place 7 in 2009, Omar is the only American of Iranian descent to serve in public office in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. -PAAIA - 5/20/11

Iranian universities to reduce intake in humanities programs
Iran will reduce the number of students enrolled in humanities programs at universities across the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology has announced. The targeted programs include law, human rights, women's studies, economics, sociology, political science, philosophy, psychology, education, administration and arts administration. - 5/19/11

Attacks against Ahmadinejad top aide intensify
Iranian hardliners have targeted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, with fierce criticism as the struggle intensifies over who will shape the next government. - 5/19/11

What next for Hamed Haddadi in the NBA?
Hamed Haddadi's three-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies has expired and he has not yet signed with a new team. He was the first Iranian to play in the NBA. - 5/19/11

Persian Letters: Decoding Iran's Official Political Glossary
"The deviant current" is a new term that has entered the Iranian state political glossary. It is used to refer to the entourage of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, particularly his aide Esfandiari Rahim Mashaei, who is accused of promoting an Iranian doctrine instead of an Islamic one and being a threat to the clerical political system. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/19/11

Lawyer For Iranian Sufi Dervishes Detained
A lawyer who has represented Sufi dervishes pressured by Iranian authorities has been detained at his office in northern Iran - 5/19/11

Iranian Activist Arrested Two Days After Prison Release
Iranian journalist and political activist Taghi Rahmani has been rearrested two days after his release on bail from Tehran's Evin prison, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 5/19/11

Iranian judiciary: Medical reasons delayed blinding sentence
Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has announced that convicted assailant Majid Movahedi has not yet been blinded by acid only because certain "medical arrangements" must be made before the sentence is carried out. - 5/19/11

Join Amnesty and United4Iran for a Virtual Protest In Iran's Azadi Square
The Azadi Square action, a joint effort with United4Iran, is part of Amnesty's campaign for imprisoned student activist Majid Tavakkoli and hundreds of other prisoners of conscience in Iran. - 5/19/11

Modern Slavery in GCC Countries
Adam Hanieh: Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council states created a super exploited migrant work force after facing a radicalized Arab working class in the '60s -TRNN - 5/19/11

Iran, Kuwait stress ambassadors return to their missions
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad stressed ambassadors of the two countries return to their missions. They also underlined holding joint economic cooperation commission in Tehran. -ISNA - 5/19/11

U.S. sanctions target Syrian president, Iranian commanders
President Barack Obama Wednesday imposed tough sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six other senior Syrian officials in an effort to stop the regime's fierce crackdown on protests, the U.S. Treasury Department said. -CNN - 5/19/11

India's HPCL to Import 3.5 mln tonnes crude oil from Iran
India'S HPCL will import 12.5 million tonnes of crude oil in 2011/12, including one million tonnes from the spot market, its head of refineries K. Murali said on Wednesday. -Moj - 5/19/11

Iranian Woman Finds Success With Eyebrow Threading
Already popular in the eastern world, eyebrow threading has been catching on in the United States and El Paso. A woman who helped bring this practice to the Sun City is enjoying success with a skill she's known her whole life. - 5/19/11

PARSA CF Awards Grants to Humanitarian and Community Education Organization
PARSA Community Foundation is thrilled to announce grants totaling more than $500,000 to organizations working on humanitarian and community education causes benefiting Iranians, Iranian-Americans, and the community at large. - 5/18/11

Photos: Village of Namhil in Khalkhal, Iran
Namhil is an old village located in the vicinity of the city of Khalkhal in Ardebil province of Iran. Due to interesting geography, natural setting and the pleasant climate, Namhil is a favorite tourists destination in the region. -Raouf Mohseni - 5/18/11

Iran: Travel restrictions on filmmaker Rasoulof lifted
Iran has lifted travel restrictions previously imposed on filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, his attorney announced on Tuesday. Due to the travel restriction, Rasoulof missed the premiere of his latest film "Good Bye" at this year's Cannes film festival. - 5/18/11

Missing Al-Jazeera Journalist Back Safely In Doha
Al-Jazeera journalist Dorothy Parvaz has been released by Iranian authorities and is back in Doha. Parvaz, who has Canadian, American, and Iranian citizenship, went missing after she arrived in Syria late last month to cover the protests there. - 5/18/11

Iran: Kurdish Political Prisoner Habibollah Latifi Awaiting Execution
In interviews with Rooz, civil society activists and people familiar with the plight of political prisoners, stated that the execution of Kurdish political prisoner, Habibollah Latifi, has been upheld by the country's highest judicial body and is awaiting implementation. -Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz - 5/18/11

In Breaking Silence about Sexual Crimes We Will Ensure that Such Violations Will Be Punished
Justice for Iran asks of everyone who themselves or their loved ones were victims of sexual crimes or for whatever reason have information about such crimes to contact us and aid us in shedding light on the truth about the circumstances surrounding such crimes as well as hold the actors and perpetrators accountable for their violations - 5/18/11

Iranian FM heads to Kuwait
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi left for Kuwait on Wednesday morning. He is accompanied by a high-ranking delegation comprising of a number of lawmakers, deputy ministers and senior directors of Iranian Foreign Ministry. - 5/18/11

UN special rapporteur can visit Iran: Larijani
The head of Iran's Human Rights Council says Iran has no objection to the United Nation's special rapporteur visiting Iran. -Zamaneh - 5/18/11

Iran warns corporations about running ads on foreign TV channels
Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has warned domestic corporations about running commercials on foreign Persian TV channels. - 5/18/11

'Radio Yesterday' Seeks To Counter 'Radio Tomorrow'
A new website called "Radio Yesterday" (Radio Dirooz) has been launched in Iran in an apparent effort to counter RFE/RL's Persian-language Radio Farda, which means Radio Tomorrow in Persian. - 5/18/11

Publishers rack up about $150 million in sales in Tehran International Book Fair
Publishers racked up about 1,750 billion rials (about $150 million) in sales in Tehran International Book Fair this year, up from 1,400 billion rials (about $119million) last year, announced the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance on Tuesday. - 5/18/11

Despite Complaints About Torture, Forced Confessions, and Lack of Due Process, Brothers Fathi Hanged in Isfahan
Two brothers, Mohammad Fathi, 28, and Abdollah Fathi, 27, were hanged Tuesday morning inside Isfahan's Dastjerd Prison. On Monday, the family of the two executed prisoners told the Campaign that the case lacked due process and that the authorities had not paid attention to the irregularities of the case in reaching a verdict and issuing the sentence. - 5/18/11

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Iranian State-Owned Bank
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of Bank of Industry and Mine (BIM), an Iranian state-owned bank used by the Government of Iran to evade U.S. and international sanctions against Iranian financial institutions involved in facilitating transactions in support of Iran's proliferation activities. - 5/18/11

Iran Moves Closer to FAO Presidency
With less than a month left to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Secretary General Elections, Iranian candidate seems fit for the position. -Moj - 5/18/11

Iran to establish first cyber command
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Masood Jazayeri has said Iran plans to establish the country's first cyber command. The Islamic Republic has completed the preliminary studies on the cyber command, Jazayeri told the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday. - 5/18/11

Iranian Universities Under Siege
On Satuarday, Iranian university campuses were filled with police and security forces as student groups called for a day of protests. Despite the heavy security presence, classes were canceled in university campuses across Tehran, Mashhad, and Mazandaran. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 5/17/11

The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition Seeks Specifics
The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition is continuing its efforts to ensure that Iranian Americans are accurately represented in the United States Census. With the results from the 2010 Census officially tabulated, the ICCC is currently working with the Census staff to obtain specific tabulations for the Iranian-American community, including population and geography. - 5/17/11

Iran: Investigate Torture and Mass Due Process Violations Detailed by Prominent Prisoners of Conscience
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran endorsed the call, by prominent prisoners of conscience, for an investigation into torture and mass due process violations and infringements on protections in Iran's Citizen's Bill of Rights following the 2009 presidential election. - 5/17/11

Photos: Norwegian choir chants folk songs in Tehran
The leading Norwegian 40-member choir, SKRUK, held performances at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Monday. They performed Scandinavian folk pieces along with songs in English and Norwegian during their performance which was a part of the Iranian Regional Music Festival. - 5/17/11

Recently released prisoner's request from Iranian Leader
Mohammad Nourizad, the persecuted Iranian journalist and filmmaker who was recently released from prison, has called on Iran's Supreme Leader to rule that each day a prisoner spends in solitary confinement will shave 10 days from his or her sentence. -Zamaneh - 5/17/11

Father Of Missing Al-Jazeera Journalist Appeals To Iran
The father of an Al-Jazeera reporter who went missing in Syria last month and is believed to have been sent to Iran has appealed to Tehran to treat her "with compassion," RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 5/17/11

Missing physicist may have been jailed in Iran
Concern is growing for a physics student who has been unjustly imprisoned in Iran since February, according to his colleagues. Omid Kokabee, an Iranian graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin, failed to return from a visit to Iran during the winter break. -Nature - 5/17/11

Iranian Bahrain bound boats ordered back
Iranian "solidarity convoy" bound for Bahrain to deliver aid and moral support for government protesters was ordered back to Iran, according to Iran's English news network, Press TV. - 5/17/11

Former Iranian president calls for national reconciliation
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is urging the Islamic Republic leadership and the people to forgive each other and reach out to each other for the sake of the country's future. -Zamaneh - 5/17/11

A land full of wonder
Evening News reporter and photographer Dave Barry, who has just fulfilled an old ambition by visiting Iran, tries to encapsulate the experience. -scarborough evening news - 5/17/11

Iran's riches gather dust in dormant museums
Near the entrance of the Archaeological Museum of Iran, huge pottery vessels painted with simple geometric shapes dating back to the fifth millennium BC proudly signal the depth of the country's civilisation. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Financial Times - 5/17/11

ECO Eyes Common Market By 2015
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) plans to establish a common market by 2015, the organization's secretary general said in Tehran on Tuesday. - 5/17/11

Iranian Private Sector Participates in US Business Forum
On May 17th, an Iranian economic and trade delegation will be traveling to the U.S. to participate in the 16th Futurallia International Business Development Forum, May 18-20, 2011. -Moj News - 5/17/11

After April massacre, U.S. seeks to relocate Iranian militants in Iraq
Five weeks after the Iraqi army mounted a lethal assault on Iranian dissidents who've been stranded in a sealed-off camp north of Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. government has offered to help relocate the 3,400 residents elsewhere in the country to avert a bigger bloodbath when Iraq closes the camp in December. -McClatchy - 5/17/11

Turkmen Pilgrims Return From Iranian Shrine To National Poet
group of Turkmen pilgrims has returned from the Islamic shrines in northeastern Iran of spiritual leader and poet-philosopher Magtymguly Pyragy and his father Azadi. Magtymguly Pyragy (1733-97) promoted the idea of the unity and integrity of the Turkmen people. - 5/17/11

Sepahan wins Iran football championship for second time in a row
Sepahan of Isfahan on Sunday won the Iran Professional League (IPL) championship for the third time, becoming the most successful football team in Iran. Sepahan and Persepolis played out a goalless draw in Isfahan's Fooladshahr Stadium in front of about 12,000 spectators. - 5/16/11

Symposium in London-- The Idea of Iran: Turks and Persians and the spread of the Persianate world
The eighth programme in our The Idea of Iran series will focus on two distinct aspects of the years around the end of the first millennium CE, when the political and cultural strength of the 'Abbasid Caliphate and of Baghdad was on the wane and when the Eastern lands of the Islamic empire began to take on a new character, which has been dubbed 'Persianate' or 'Perso-Islamic'. - 5/16/11

Jailed student activist denied visitation rights
The mother of jailed Iranian student activist Ashkan Zahabian has expressed her concern for her son's well-being after she was barred from visiting him in prison. -Zamaneh - 5/16/11

The Old and The New: An Exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Calligraphy by Mohammad Reza Amouzad
Born in 1974 Mohammad Reza Amouzad grew up in the north Iranian city of Behshahr. From his early twenties Amouzad began working on Iranian calligraphy. He later went on to get a Master's degree in graphic design and to develop his own unique style in which he weds traditional Iranian calligraphy with modern graphics. -gallery mamak - 5/16/11

5 new gas, oil fields discovered in Iran
Iran has discovered 5 new oil and gas fields which hold over 500 million barrels of oil and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas, the exploration director of National Iranian Oil Company announced in Tehran on Monday. - 5/16/11

Ahmadinejad Takes Over Iran's Oil Ministry
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has temporarily assumed the role of oil minister after merging the ministries of oil and energy. - 5/16/11

Iran Inaugurates Large Sponge Iron Plant in Ardakan
A large sponge iron plant with the annual production capacity of 800 thousand tons was inaugurated in the central city of Ardakan, Yazd Province, on Monday. Iran is the world's second largest producer of sponge iron, next to India. - 5/16/11

Tehran hosting D8 agriculture ministers summit
The second meeting of agricultural ministers of eight developing Islamic countries (D8) was inaugurated in Tehran on Monday. Agriculture ministers of Iran, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey are participating in the three-day meeting. - 5/16/11

Iran's Ahmadinejad Denies Rift With Supreme Leader
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has rejected speculation that he has any differences with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 5/16/11

Photos: A Lone Iranian Cheetah
Miandasht region in Iran's North Khorasan province is home to a lone male Iranian Cheetah that's being kept in semi-captivity in an area about 80 hectares. Unless a female companion is found for this cheetah, there is no hope of increasing the population of this endangered specie. -Aboutaleb Nadri - 5/15/11

Stop Exiling Iranian Political Prisoners
Persons close to Zia Nabavi tell Rooz that following the publication of his shocking report from conditions at the Karoon prison in Ahwaz, Nabavi has been transferred to a prison facility that is maintained better, according to a telephone conversation with family and friends. Meanwhile, persons close to another jailed student, Majid Dori, report that he is held under harsh conditions at a prison in the city of Behbahan and need immediate access to medical care. -Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz - 5/15/11

Ahmadinejad criticized by his chief supporter amongst clergy
Yazdi went on to criticize Ahmadinejad's support for Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, his chief of staff, whom the senior cleric claimed has led the president to "act erratically." Yazdi claimed the president must have been "charmed" by Mashai because his actions are "illogical and unnatural." - 5/15/11

Photos: Regional Music Festival, Tehran
Kerman and Tehran are hosting the 7th regional music festival after a seven-year hiatus and the music ensembles that participated at the festival performed music of their region throughout the cities' squares. The festival which opened on Saturday will run until May 18. - 5/15/11

"International Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace" Conference Opens In Tehran
The International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace opened in Tehran on Saturday. Over 100 scholars from about 60 countries are attending the conference. -MNA - 5/15/11

Death of Palestinian Raises Tensions During anti-Israel Protests
Palestinians clashed with Israeli police in East Jerusalem during a funeral for an Arab teenager killed in protests marking the Naqba, or "catastrophe" of Israel's creation in 1948. Palestinians threw stones and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. - 5/15/11

Iran hails Bahraini King's offer for talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hailed Bahraini King's offer for talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran. "Demand of people of Bahrain is the same longing demand made by other countries and raising issues of Shiite and Sunni and Iran and Arab states only seeks laying the blame on other countries," Salehi told reporters on Saturday. - 5/15/11

Ahmadinejad appoints caretakers for two ministries
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed caretakers for the ministries of industry and welfare in a move that has been interpreted as acquiescence to parliamentary demands. - 5/15/11

Ahmadinejad Dismisses US Story of Bin Laden Hunt Down
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the US allegations about the hunt down of the Al-Qaeda Leader, Osama bin Laden, as an act staged on the world scene to secure a victory for the US ruling party in upcoming elections. -FNA - 5/15/11

Sharmin Bock Makes Historic Bid for San Francisco District Attorney
Born in Iran, Bock moved to San Francisco at an early age and attended Sacred Heart Elementary School. She received her bachelor's degree from Occidental College and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, Cum Laude, in 1988. - 5/14/11

Iran: 'No Information' On Al-Jazeera Reporter
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says he has "no information" on the whereabouts of American journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who disappeared while reporting for Al-Jazeera in Syria. - 5/14/11

Six Iranian Asylum Seekers in London End 38-day Hunger Strike
On 11 May 2011, six Iranian asylum seekers ended their 38-day hunger strike. The asylum seekers, who had sewn their lips together with fishing line to protest their deportation from the United Kingdom, ended their hunger strike outside the offices of Amnesty International in London. - 5/14/11

Disfigured Woman Hails 'Eye-For-An-Eye' Blinding Of Attacker In Iran
An Iranian woman who was blinded and badly disfigured by an acid attack by a spurned suitor has expressed strong support for a retributive blinding sentence to be carried out against her attacker. -RFE - 5/14/11

Iran: Ahmadinejad terminates ministry positions without Parliament apporval
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly dismissed three ministers without seeking the prior approval of Parliament, despite earlier reports in the Iranian media that Ahamdienjad had agreed to obey Parliament's demands around ministry mergers. - 5/14/11

Tehran fair still a ray of hope for book lovers
As the major event in the book sector in Iran, the Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) is a 10-day opportunity for many Iranians to enjoy browsing among books. - 5/14/11

Iranian regional music echoes in Tehran, Kerman
Kerman and Tehran are hosting the 7th regional music festival after a seven-year hiatus and the music ensembles that participated at the festival performed music of their region throughout the cities' squares. -MNA - 5/14/11

Teachers going on ultimate field trip
"I'm really excited," said Amanda Schear, a senior English teacher at Withrow University. She's traveling to Iran to study the culture and traditions. She wants to be able to give students a first-hand account of what life is like there. -Cincinnati.com - 5/14/11

Iran's spiritual leader isn't a hardline Islamist, but a mystic poet
Iran's officially recognized 'spiritual leader' today may be Ayatollah Khamenei, but for hundreds of years, Iranian's real spiritual leader has been the Sufi poet Rumi - revered by many Westerners as well. Understand Rumi's poetry, and you will understand the true soul of Iran. -Melody Moezzi, CSM - 5/14/11

PARSA CF Awards $250,000 to the Iranian Genome Project at Stanford
As a part of its Mehrgan 2010 Grant Cycle, PARSA Community Foundation announces a $250,000 grant to the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University for the "Iranian Genome Project," a one-of-a-kind initiative for better understanding of the genes of the Iranian population. - 5/13/11

Photos: Ardeshir Palace in Kerman
The name of the city, Kerman, has been linked to Parthians who immigrated to southern Iran in ancient times. Originally referred to as "Germania", it changed to "Kermania" and eventually Kerman with the passage of time. Kerman province is full of historical and ecotourism sites. One such site is Ardeshir Castle - - 5/13/11

This Prison Is More Like a Stable
The families of several female political prisoners raised alarm about their transfer to the Qarchak prison in the city of Varamin, announcing that the prison lacks the most basic and humane conditions. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 5/13/11

Iran Must Immediately Account for Al Jazeera Reporter Deported From Syria
Iranian authorities should immediately release Al Jazeera journalist Homa Dorothy Parvaz, who was detained in Damascus, Syria and deported to Tehran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. The government should provide a transparent account of Parvaz's detention and allow access to her family and the Canadian embassy, added the Campaign. - 5/13/11

Iranian Ministry Bans Books From International Fair
Many books previously approved by Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry have been banned from the international book fair in Tehran. Tehran's International Book Fair is held annually in May and is considered an important cultural event in the country. - 5/13/11

Iranian authorities send prison whistleblower to solitary
Mehdi Mahmoudian, the Iranian political prisoner who had written a letter to Iran's Supreme Leader about the prevalence of sexual abuse in Rejai Shahr Prison has been reportedly transferred to solitary confinement. - 5/13/11

Will Iranians Riots Over Utility Price Hikes?
Blogger "Zeitoon" believes Iran could see social upheaval and riots over the hike in energy prices that is the result of the removal of subsidies by the Iranian government. - 5/13/11

Iran Receives Nuclear Fuel From Russia
Iran received the second fuel shipment from Russia for its Bushehr nuclear power plant. The fuel batch weighs 30 tons was delivered through three flights respectively on May 4, 8 and 11, said the Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Hamid Khadem Qaemi on Wednesday. - 5/13/11

France Drops Terror Charges Against Iran Opposition Group
France on Thursday dropped terrorism-related charges against 24 members of the Iranian opposition group known as the People's Mujahadeen. -VOA - 5/13/11

Photos: Pigeons For Peace
TEHRAN - In a symbolic move and hopes to eradicate terrorism and establish a Just Peace in countries around the world, 195 pigeons were released from their cages by the secretariat of "The International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace." - 5/12/11

Iranian Women Political Prisoners Kept In 'Intolerable Conditions'
The families of female political prisoners recently transferred to a strict prison have written to the head of Iran's Islamic Human Rights Commission, Mohammad Hassan Ziaeefar, asking him to immediately address the jail's "intolerable conditions," RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 5/12/11

Syria says Al Jazeera reporter Homa Parvaz extradited to Iran
Iranian-American journalist Homa (Dorothy) Parvaz has been handed over to Iranian authorities by Syrian security forces, Al Jazeera reports. Parvaz, who also holds Canadian citizenship, has been a columnist and feature writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and has worked with Al Jazeera since 2010. - 5/12/11

Iranian trade board attends economic forum in US
Iran intends to dispatch a delegation of businessmen to Kansas City, the US for the 16th Futurallia meeting. The Head of the World Trade Center (WTC) of Iran Mohammad Reza Sabzalipour speaking in a press conference on Wednesday said, "the delegation which includes 16 economic activists is going to take part in the meeting scheduled for May 19-21." - 5/12/11

Guardian Council backs parliament in dispute with Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad administration received another blow from the Guardian Council today when Ahmad Jannati announced that the merging of ministries cannot be carried out without approval of the parliament. -Zamaneh - 5/12/11

U.S. State Department Officials Say Human Rights In Iran Will Ultimately Prevail
Observers and rights groups say Iran's human rights record has taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent months, with the hard-line government of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad seeking to stamp out the possibility of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising. -RFE - 5/12/11

Women's rights activist arrested in Shiraz
Women's rights activist Maryam Bahreman was arrested yesterday in Shiraz. Kaleme website reports that Iranian security forces arrived with an arrest warrant at Bahreman's home and spent three hours searching and confiscating books, documents and a computer before finally arresting her for "activities against national security." - 5/12/11

Analysis: Human Rights Component of New Iran Sanctions Effort is Far Too Limited
Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act (S. 879/H.R. 1714) introduced in Senate by Kirk (R-IL), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Cornyn (R-TX); and in the House by Reps. Dold (R-IL) and Deutch (D-FL) -Jamal Abdi - 5/12/11

Freeing Israel from its Iran bluff
One of the great bluffs in the foreign policy community in the previous decade was that Israel would have no choice but to attack Iran's nuclear facilities unless Washington stepped up and took military action first. -Trita Parsi, Foreign Policy - 5/12/11

Rift Widens As Germany Alienates NATO Allies
Germany's decision to abandon its Western allies by abstaining on the UN Security Council's March vote to approve a no-fly zone over Libya created a profound rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Obama administration, as well as the United Kingdom and France. -RFE - 5/12/11

Cannes Film Festival To Screen Jailed Iranian Directors' Acts Of 'Resistance'
Films by two Iranian directors recently sentenced to jail will be shown for the first time at the Cannes International Film Festival, which opens today on the French Riviera. Cannes organizers say the films -- by Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof -- were made in "semi-clandestine conditions" and represent the filmmakers' resistance to their sentences. -Antoine Blua, RFE - 5/11/11

Jailed Iranian reformist moved to solitary
Iranian political prisoner Hamzeh Karami has been moved to solitary confinement in Evin Prison, the Kaleme website reports. Karami was arrested in connection with the post-election protests of 2009, which sprang from allegations of vote rigging in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Karami was sentenced to 11 years in prison. - 5/11/11

Third anniversary in prison for Iran's Baha'i leaders
As seven Baha'i leaders in Iran complete their third year in jail, the Baha'i International Community has confirmed that the two women amongst them have been transferred to another prison - 5/11/11

4th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival: August 5-7, 2011 in Los Angeles
The Noor Iranian Film Festival (NFF), founded in 2005, is an international event, with the goal of educating and informing the non-Iranian community about the culture and heritage of Iranians around the world through the medium of cinema. The Festival also cultivates and promotes Iranian-American talent in Hollywood. - 5/11/11

Ministry Merger Sparks Tension Between Iranian President, Parliament
A decision by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to merge eight government ministries into four has sparked tension with the parliament. Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by Iranian media on May 10 as saying the decision to merge the ministries without the legislature's approval is illegal. - 5/11/11

Exhibition by Nahid Tavakoli in Tehran: This Damn Twenty-Four
These series that is titled "Blood Over Sword", away from the attractions of the effects of everyday, is a reaction to listening and observing and of course parallel to the ordinary life of a non-demanding person in a vague Geography. -AARAN Gallery - 5/11/11

Jailed Iranian blogger allowed temporary leave
Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who is sentenced to more than 19 years in prison, has been temporarily released. -Zamaneh - 5/11/11

MUSIC IN MIDDLE EASTERN CINEMA: Conference and film screening in London
Saturday 14th May to Friday 20th May 2011 - A mini-festival of feature and documentary films, and a two-day conference, focusing on the rich musical heritage and the burgeoning new music scenes in the Middle East. - 5/11/11

US, Allies, Consider Iranian Offer for Nuclear Talks
The State Department says the United States and other major powers are considering an Iranian offer to resume talks on its nuclear program. The negotiating process has been on hold since what U.S. officials say was a "disappointing" round of talks in Istanbul in January. -VOA - 5/11/11

Iran: Supreme Leader visits Tehran Book Fair
Ayatollah Khamenei visited several pavilions at the fair and held talks with officials, publishers, and organizers of the fair. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini and director of the fair Bahman Dorri accompanied the leader. - 5/11/11

Egypt and Iran Thaw Once Frosty Relations
The once frosty relations between Egypt and Iran have notably thawed in recent months. Contacts between the two nations have moved to the point where Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister will go soon to Cairo for talks, as well as planned meetings between Iran and Egypt's Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement meeting. -VOA - 5/11/11

Subsidy reform plan strengthens Iran economy: EIU
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its April report praised Iran's subsidy reform plan for its substantial positive outcomes for the country, such as boosting industry and manufacturing, lifting oil exports, falling domestic fuel consumption and reducing government's expenditures. -MNA - 5/11/11

Reports: Iran Postpones US Hikers' Trial
The trial for two U.S. hikers detained in Iran that was set to resume on Wednesday has been postponed. Swiss embassy officials say the proceeding has been delayed until an unspecified date because the two hikers were not transferred from prison to the courtroom. The Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran. - 5/11/11

Iranian solidarity convoy to travel to Bahrain
An Iranian solidarity convoy will set out for Bahrain on May 14, the secretary of the Association of Islamic Revolution Followers said on Tuesday. Mahdi Eghrarian said athletes, women, lawmakers, physicians, nurses, workers and employees are among the people constituting the convoy. -MNA - 5/11/11

Covert War With Iran: A 'Wilderness Of Mirrors'
Amid the economic sanctions and threats of military action leveled against Iran, there are also more covert efforts under way by the U.S. and other countries that want to change Tehran's behavior. -Mike Shuster, NPR - 5/11/11

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, Superman Renounces His U.S. Citizenship
it turns out that Superman is renouncing his American citizenship. In Actions Comics #900, Superman says he's "tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy." Turns out that the Iranian regime interpreted Superman's visit to the antigovernment protesters in Tehran as reflecting the will of the U.S. president, and an act of war. -RFE - 5/11/11

Iran's unwanted revolution
Iran moved quickly to frame the uprisings across the Arab world as an "Islamic Awakening" and as a parallel to its own Islamic Revolution in 1979. But Tehran is visibly shaken by the possibility of regime overthrow in Syria. -FP - 5/11/11

Opposition reports dreadful conditions in Iranian prisons
Iran's dire prison conditions are being highlighted in the media due to recently released reports of sexual harassment and critically poor sanitation. - 5/10/11

Iran delegation report 2: Dispelling the stereotypes; The effects of chemical weapons
Four members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation's 12th peace delegation to Iran sent reflections on their initial experiences in Tehran. Reports from Ray Doherty of Waitsfield, Vermont; Lynda Howland of Pittsford, New York; Carolyn Hartnett of Texas City, Texas; and Andy Jones of Wylie, Texas, are presented here. - 5/10/11

Shajarian calls upon musicians to promote new instruments
Living legend of the Iranian traditional music Mohammadreza Shajarian has asked musicians to publicize the new instruments he has created over the past few years. - 5/10/11

Iran's Prosecutor General says 40 Tehran University attackers sentenced
ISNA reports that Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told reporters: "These two files dealt with a total of 50 suspects and between 40 to 50 people have been sentenced to imprisonment, a monetary fine or the payment of compensation." - 5/10/11

Iranian "morality police" to work overtime this summer
Iranian authorities have announced that "morality police" will hit city streets in greater numbers this summer to confront violations of the Islamic dress code and other public transgressions. - 5/10/11

Iran to launch Fajr satellite in four months
Iran plans to launch its domestically-manufactured Fajr (victory) satellite during the first half of the Iranian calendar year (began on March 21), Asghar Ibrahimi, director of SAIRAN Aerospace Industry, announced on Tuesday. - 5/10/11

Ahmadinejad: Uprising in Arab world will spread to Europe, Americas
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that the developments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa will spread to Europe and the Americas. - 5/10/11

Dervishes in Gonabadi Order Summoned and Sentenced to Lashes, Prison, and Exile
"On Wednesday, 13 April, eight dervishes, sentenced to five months in prison, 50 lashes, and one year's exile on charges of 'disrupting public order through assembly in front of Gonabad Justice Department and Prison,' were arrested in coordinated and simultaneous operations in the towns of Beydokht, Gonabad, and Ghoochan, and were all transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashad - 5/10/11

Ahmadinejad Administration Approves Merger Of 8 Ministries
According to a report published on the government's website on Monday, the cabinet approved the merger of the Transport Ministry with the Housing Ministry, Industries and Mining Ministry with the Commerce Ministry, the Energy Ministry with the Oil Ministry, and the Welfare Ministry with the Labor Ministry. - 5/10/11

Iran, China sign 6 industrial, mineral deals worth $20B
Iran and China signed six agreements in Beijing on Monday to give a boost bilateral relations in the industry and mining sector. - 5/10/11

Iran's Unemployed Rise by 1.6 Million Each Year, Shargh Reports
Iran's unemployed population increases by about 1.6 million each year, Shargh reported, citing parliamentary member Jalal Mahmoudzadeh. -Bloomberg - 5/10/11

Iran's Ahmadinejad survives worst storm of his presidency
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have been locked in a stand-off that had some predicting the president would resign this past weekend. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 5/10/11

Iran: Jailed journalist released after weeks on hunger strike
Iranian filmmaker and journalist Mohammad Nourizad was released on Sunday after nearly two years in prison. Last week, Nourizad's wife Fatemeh Maleki reported that her husband had been on a hunger strike for more than 40 days, refusing all calls and visitors. - 5/9/11

Is Iran Next? Supreme Leader Versus Ahmadinejad
Despite the political turmoil and subsequent crackdowns in Iran since summer, 2009, seeming unity among the hardliners who rule the country was largely preserved. Recently, however, the fašade of unity between Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been totally shattered and deep hostility between them has come to the fore. - Farhang Jahanpour, Oxford - 5/9/11

Iran Completes Reloading Fuel Into Core Of Bushehr Nuclear Reactor
According to the report, Iranian engineers in cooperation with Russian experts have managed to complete the reloading of the reactor. The Bushehr nuclear power plant will be connected to the national grid by July 9. - 5/9/11

Iran delegation report: A visit to the War Films Association
On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, the Fellowship of Reconciliation's 12th civilian diplomacy delegation to Iran arrived in Tehran. The delegation is composed of eight U.S. citizens traveling from New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont. - 5/9/11

Iran: Supervisory group established to oversee coming elections
The Principalists, the chief conservative faction of the Iranian establishment, have organized a group to prevent any possible "illegal" interference in next year's parliamentary election by the government. -Zamaneh - 5/9/11

Global Demand Increasing for Hand-Woven Carpets of Iran's Azarbaijan
The hand-woven carpets produced in Iran's Northwestern province of East Azarbaijan are finding a stronger foothold in the international market, an Iranian provincial trade official said. - 5/9/11

Iran's Intelligence Minister: Bin Laden had died much earlier
Heydar Moslehi, Iran's Minister of Intelligence, has accused the U.S. of fabricating its account of Osama Bin Laden's death, alleging that Bin Laden had died much earlier from health complications. - 5/9/11

Bahrain to End Emergency Rule Early
The announcement comes as at least 14 of 21 accused opposition leaders and political activists appeared in a special court to face charges of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. The government has arrested hundreds in the aftermath of the protests. -VOA - 5/9/11

Iran Deploys Home-Made Missile System in All Air-Defense Units
Senior Iranian military officials announced on Monday that the country's latest home-made missile system, Sayyad 2, has been deployed in all air-defense units across the country. -FNA - 5/9/11

Iran helping Syrian regime crack down on protesters, say diplomats
Iran is playing an increasingly active role in helping the Syrian regime in its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, according to western diplomatic sources in Damascus. -Guardian - 5/9/11

Dinosaur-like bird's carcass found in northwestern Iran
The dead body of a strange dinosaur-like bird has been reportedly found near the city of Meshginshahr in the northwestern Iranian province of Ardebil. - 5/9/11

Iran's Ahmadinejad arrives in Turkey
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Turkey on Monday morning for the 4th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs). -ISNA - 5/9/11

Iran's Two Executives Play a Lose-Lose Game
The very public disagreement between Iran's Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the sacking of the intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, is turning out to be a losing game for both sides. -Farideh Farhi, IPS - 5/9/11

Photos: Bear Cubs Separated From Mommy Bear
Two bear cubs are being cared for at the quarantine center in Lorestan Mountain Park in Khorramabad, western Iran. Environmental protections agents discovered these cubs recently in a box a hunter was carrying with him. The hunter escaped leaving the cubs behind along with unanswered questions about where they had come from and how they had been separated from their mother. -Seddigheh Hosseini - 5/8/11

Imprisoned Iranian Actor Ramin Parchami Searching for His Stolen Vote
A person close to imprisoned actor Ramin Parchami said in an interview with Rooz that the actor, like the rest of the Iranian people, is searching for freedom and his stolen vote. He added that Ramin has been among the protestors during the past two years and was arrested during the February 11 protests -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 5/8/11

Jailed Iranian Student Calls For Improved Conditions
Peyman Roshanzamir, a former cell mate of Nabavi in Karun, in an interview with Radio Farda on May 4 described the prison as overcrowded and dirty. "I was surprised to see that over 1,500 prisoners had been sleeping in the yard for a year, regardless of the severe weather conditions," he said. - 5/8/11

Iranian activists condemn arrest of prominent journalist
More than 200 Iranian social and political activists have issued an announcement condemning the "illegal arrest" of Alireza Rajaei, a senior member of Iran's National Religious Council and the Iranian Journalists Association. - 5/8/11

Azadeh Shahshahani - Defending Our Civil Rights
NIAC member, Azadeh Shahshahani's drive to combat difficulties facing immigrant communities is inspiring and motivational. As the current Director of National Security and Immigrants Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia and author of numerous reports and op-eds on human rights, immigrants' rights , and racial profiling, Azadeh has extensive experience working on immigrant civil rights. -Lily Samimi, NIAC - 5/8/11

Iranian universities to implement new curricula aligned with "Islamic principles"
Over the past two years, Islamic Republic officials and specifically the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have called for the review of university subjects to make them more compatible with Islamic principles. - 5/8/11

As Strategy Gains In Popularity, Hunger Strikers Broaden Their Scope
Some take it in shifts. Others start one, only to give it up in a day or two. Still others say they'll continue until death. Going on a hunger strike is the protest of choice by people ranging from jailed Iranian filmmakers to Azerbaijani journalists to Russian mothers. But such strikes come in a greater variety than you might expect. -Courtney Brooks & Natiq Zeynalov, RFE - 5/8/11

$600m for Persian Gulf Star Refinery
Once the refinery comes on stream, it will have the capacity to refine 360,000 barrels of oil per day. The refinery will be implemented in three 120,000-barrel phases and the first phase will be inaugurated within two and half years, Zeighami added. - 5/8/11

Tehran, Cairo determined to resume diplomatic ties: Iranian FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran and Egypt are resolved to resume diplomatic relations. "The two countries have openly announced that they are keen to resume diplomatic ties," Salehi told IRNA on Sunday. - 5/8/11

Iran to open Al Sadr power plant phase 2 in Iraq
The second unit of the Iranian-built Al Sadr power plant in Iraq will come on stream in 30 days, the managing director of Iran Power & Water Export of Equipment and Services Company (Sunir), Mohammad Parsa, said in Tehran on Sunday. - 5/8/11

Do Greens Represent Iran's Women's Movement?
While the Iranian authorities have effectively quashed all overt political organization for women's rights, today women are the most dynamic group in Iranian opposition politics. The feminist critique of the Green Movement is mainly focused on Moussavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, whose name is often mentioned by the international and pro-Moussavi media as representative of Iranian women's rights movement. -Sevda Zenjanli - 5/7/11

Ahmadinejad Floored By Bugs, Spirits, And Djinns
Whenever cornered, Mahmud Ahmadinejad always seems to come out swinging. But Iran's notoriously abrasive president appears in danger of suffering a knockout blow over his political attachment to Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, a man widely seen as a threat to the country's clerical-based political system. -Robert Tait, RFE - 5/7/11

Widow Shocked By Iranian Journalist's Suicide
Siamak Pourzand, a prominent cultural figure who was jailed in his 70s on charges including adultery and spying, died on Friday (April 29) after throwing himself from the balcony of his Tehran apartment. His widow, Mehrangiz Kar, told RFE/RL that her husband's suicide came out of the blue. - 5/7/11

California Democrats Endorse Iranian Student Visa Fix, Human Rights
The California Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to build bridges between the American and Iranian peoples and to express its support for the nonviolent human rights and democracy movement in Iran at its annual convention in Sacramento this weekend. The measure was strongly supported by NIAC ... - 5/7/11

Islamic Republic authorities Raid Home Of Jailed Reformist
After senior reformist figure Behzad Nabavi was returned to prison following medical treatment, Islamic Republic security forces raided his home and confiscated a series of documents, writings and his computer. - 5/7/11

Cannes to Screen Films by Convicted Iranians
New films by two convicted Iranian directors, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, will be shown at this month's Cannes film festival in France. - 5/7/11

Jailed Iranian Labor Activist Taken To Hospital
Jailed Iranian labour activist, Mansour Osanlou has been moved to hospital following a critical decline in his health in prison. Human rights media report that the head of Vahed Transit Drivers Union was taken to a hospital outside the prison for treatment of his heart condition. - 5/7/11

Iran: Hardline Cleric Attacks Ahmadinejad Chief Of Staff
Hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami dealt Mahmoud Ahmadinejad some harsh criticism for his failure to heed the decisions of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The senior member of the Assembly of Experts and Tehran's current Friday Mass leader told the conservative publication Shoma that Ahmadinejad must be cautious of a "deviatory movement" close to the president. - 5/7/11

The Islamic Republic's Emerging Cyber War
Against a backdrop of international internet freedom initiatives, and plans to create a "halal Internet," the Islamic Republic is doubling down on its efforts to use computers and the Internet to beat back pressure from critics at home and abroad. -Reza Marashi, NIAC - 5/7/11

Iran's Taekwondo Team Clinch World Championships
Iran has for the first time claimed the title of the World Taekwondo Championships in the men's category during the 2011 competitions in South Korea's Gyeongju. - 5/6/11

Jailed Iranian Student Calls For Improved Conditions
A jailed Iranian student has written an open letter to the judiciary demanding action to improve conditions in the country's prisons, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. - 5/6/11

Stop Persecution of Protestant Church in Iran
Iranian authorities should end the judicial persecution of members of the evangelical protestant Church of Iran and other churches, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said on May 4th. - 5/6/11

Ahmadinejad appeals to leader in dispute with parliament
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dispute with parliament has intensified with the possibility that the Supreme Leader may once again intervene in one of the president's decisions. -Zamaneh - 5/6/11

Washington tries to resolve standoff at Camp Ashraf in Iraq
Calling the situation "untenable," a senior State Department official gave details Thursday of a proposed "humanitarian" solution to the standoff over Iraq's Camp Ashraf, a settlement of Iranian dissidents who say they will be killed if they are returned to Iran. -CNN - 5/6/11

Israel, Iran on Guard in Case Syria Falls
A lynchpin is defined as a "pin inserted through an axle tree to hold a wheel on." If the lynchpin falls out, the wheel comes off. Syria could be just such a lynchpin in the Middle East. -VOA - 5/6/11

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Suspends NSEERS Program
The Department of Homeland Security announced the end of the controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program on Thursday, April the 28th. -PAAIA - 5/6/11

Iran Opens New Oil Exchange
The Islamic Republic of Iran launched a new Oil Exchange, putting on sale a consignment of gasoline for export to show what it says is new found self-sufficiency in the vital fuel. The bourse is located on the island of Kish, an economic free zone in the Persian Gulf. -Moj News - 5/6/11

Analysis: Row between Iranian leaders comes to a head
Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has enjoyed taking on and defying the West. But he is now playing potentially a much more risky game. -BBC - 5/6/11

PARSA CF Awards Major Grants to Civic Engagement Organizations
Following its grants to IAAB and IHF, and as a part of its Mehrgan 2010 Grant Cycle, PARSA Community Foundation is pleased to announce a series of strategic grants to Iranian-American organizations promoting civic engagement and civil liberties protection. - 5/5/11

Iranian Americans Seriously Concerned About Journalist Dorothy Parvaz Detained in Syria
PAAIA and the Iranian American community at large are seriously concerned about the fate of Dorothy Parvaz, an Iranian American journalist for Al Jazeera's English-language channel, who according to recent media reports was detained in Syria on Friday, April 29, 2011. - 5/5/11

Islamic Republic tightens grip on political prisoners
Another year has been added to the 11-year prison term handed to Iranian journalist and human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini. The Iranian Human Rights News Agency (RHANA) reports that an extra year was added to Abedini's sentence for "propaganda against the regime." - 5/5/11

Iranian activist released on bail after 14 months
Ali Malihi, a senior member of the student organization Danesh Amoukhtegan (Tahkim-e Vahdat Alumni) , has been released on bail after a 14-month wait in jail. -Zamaneh - 5/5/11

Tehran Prosecutor Challenges Iranian Health Minister
Ten detained hospital workers say they were just following orders from their superiors when they abandoned three patients in a remote area for failing to pay for medical services, according to Tehran's prosecutor. - 5/5/11

Graphic Content: Neshan
Iran's stunning contemporary graphic design is virtually unknown in the West. But there is some light emerging. Over the past few years, books showcasing Iranian graphic design, posters, calligraphy and typography have been published in the West, opening a very rich vein of design that combines tradition and modernity. -NY Times - 5/5/11

U.S. Hiker Sarah Shourd Won't Attend Iran Trial
Sarah Shourd, the U.S. woman who was released by Iran after being detained with two fellow American hikers in 2009, has said she will not return there to stand trial. - 5/5/11

Minister: Iran Plans to Boost Gasoline Production
Iran's Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazzemi announced that the country plans to boost its daily gasoline output by 22 million liters this year. On Saturday, a senior Iranian oil official announced that the country plans to export its gasoline production surplus to the neighboring countries, including Iraq, Armenia and Afghanistan. - 5/5/11

Analysis: U.S. leverage to crimp Iranian oil exports fades
The United States may have missed its moment to apply more political pressure on governments to stop buying Iranian crude as rising fuel prices make Washington wary about further interruptions to the global supply chain. -Reuters - 5/5/11

Analysts: Fallout of Syrian Violence Ripples in Lebanon
"Syria is of very important strategic significance to Iran, whether in exerting pressure on Israel and making any Israeli move against Iran a significant retaliation impact, or whether the Iranian-Syrian alliance has been impacting the political map in Iraq and in Lebanon...," Salamey states. -VOA - 5/5/11

IAAB's Campus Action Network: 20 Schools Nationwide and Counting!
IAAB's Campus Action Network (I-CAN), is a national network of affiliated Iranian-American student groups at various university and high school campuses. To date, 20 campuses nationwide are a part of I-CAN, making the IAAB Campus Action Network the largest network of student organizations in the Iranian-American community. - 5/4/11

Iran continues clamp down on student activists
Iranian authorities are continuing to clamp down on student activists by restricting their activities and throwing more activists in jail. - 5/4/11

Iranian Health Minister says needy patients not denied medical services
Last week, the office of Tehran prosecutor announced that two patients who were being treated at a hospital on the night of April 14 were moved from the hospital and abandoned in a farm outside the city because they were unable to pay for their hospital services. -Zamaneh - 5/4/11

Iran's Bagheri Motamed wins silver in Taekwondo World Championship
Bagheri Motamed was defeated by Turkey's Servet Tazegul, the gold medalist at the 2010 European Taekwondo Championships, 9-8 in the men's -68kg final match. - 5/4/11

Iranian authorities responsible for Siamak Pourzand's death
Reporters Without Borders is profoundly saddened by the death of journalist Siamak Pourzand, 80, a major cultural figure in Iran. Detained and under house arrest for ten years, banned from leaving the country and separated from his family, Pourzand committed suicide on 29 April in Tehran. - 5/4/11

Persepolis eliminated from Asian Champions League despite win
Iran's Persepolis was eliminated from the Asian Champions League (ACL) group stage despite a victory over Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. -MNA - 5/4/11

Iranian Islamic Theologian Summoned To Court
Prominent Islamic theologian Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari has been summoned and questioned by the Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office of Tehran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. According to Shabestari's official website, he was questioned on May 2 about a lecture he delivered at Isfahan University of Technology in 2009. - 5/4/11

Iranian Defense Official Visits Armenia
Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Reza Mozafari Nia has discussed military ties with Armenian officials in Yerevan, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. Mozafari Nia met with Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and his first deputy, Davit Tonoyan, during the talks on May 3. - 5/4/11

10 Iranians being held in U.S. jails: Report
A total of 16 Iranian nationals, who had been imprisoned in foreign countries on various charges, were released last month, an Iranian Foreign Ministry statement says. - 5/4/11

Iran agro output hits 107m tons
The volume of Iran's agricultural products set a new record high in the past Iranian year (ended on March 20, 2011) and reached to 107 million tons, the Iranian agricultural jihad minster announced. - 5/4/11

Tehran, Ankara sketch energy cooperation roadmap
Based on the roadmap, joint investments will be made to build thermal and hydroelectric plants as well as wind farms, Namojou added. The agreement is also intended to bring about further cooperation in terms of renewable energies, the Iranian minister said. - 5/4/11

Freedom House: A Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools in Iran
This report is intended for internet users from Iran. In Iran, access to websites and services may be blocked and monitored by the Iranian government. This report summarizes the characteristics of a number of tools you can easily use to circumvent the blocking and monitoring system in Iran, and will help you to choose the right tool for your situation. - 5/3/11

Iran's Shrinking Itinerants
A quarter of century ago, Iran's itinerants - or nomadic people - made up a quarter of the population and, for the most part, governed the regions where they lived. Today, they form just one million of Iran's 75,000,000 population, scattered across the country in over 100 sub-tribes. - 5/3/11

Iran's Abdollahi claims gold in World Taekwondo Championships
Iran's Farzad Abdollahi won a gold medal in the 2011 World Taekwondo Federation World Taekwondo Championships in Gyeongju, South Korea. Abdollahi claimed the gold medal in the men's -80kg category by defeating Yunus Sari from Turkey, who claimed the bronze medal at the 2010 Dutch Open, 5-1 in the final match. - 5/3/11

Ahmadinejad supporter arrested by Iranian authorities
A close associate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and of his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai has been arrested by Iranian authorities. - 5/3/11

Row Between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad Continues
More than ten days after the revelation of disagreements between ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the row that was supposed to end with Ahmadinejad's return to office once again was the subject of controversy. Ahmadinejad's attendance at the cabinet meeting coincided with intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi's absence, reinforcing the rumors and doubts surrounding the controversy. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 5/3/11

Appeals Court Silence for Case of Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi
A source close to the case of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that 3.5 months after filing an appeal on his sentence, no rulings have been issued. The source told the Campaign that Panahi remains in a state of limbo, unable to work. Last March, Panahi submitted the script for a new film to Iranian authorities, but his request denied. - 5/3/11

Shahdad Rohani to compose symphony for Persian Gulf
Prominent Iranian composer and conductor Shahdad Rohani has travelled to Bandar Abbas to sign a contract with the officials of the seaport in southern Iran to compose a symphony for the Persian Gulf. - 5/3/11

87% of Iranians support nuclear program: U.S. poll
An opinion poll conducted by U.S. RAND Corporation showed that 87 percent of Iranians strongly favor Iranian development of nuclear energy for civilian use. - 5/3/11

Possibility of delays in trial of American detainees in Iran
The trials of the three Americans charged with espionage and illegal entry into Iran may be delayed once more due to the absence of one of the accused, a defence lawyer reports. -Zamaneh - 5/3/11

Conflict of Iran and Saudi Interests in Bahrain
Iran's relations with Saudi Arabia have been a function of the two countries' geopolitical situation in the Middle East and political rivalries between Tehran and Riyadh. Rivalries between Iran and Saudi Arabia date back to many decades ago and the time of the first Pahlavi monarch. -Ali Akbar Asadi - 5/3/11

Iran's Oil Exports to EU Exceeds $1 bln
The Islamic Republic of Iran has exported $1.016 billion of crude oil to the European Union in January-February, 2011, Eurostat reported. -Moj News - 5/3/11

Photos: Women Planting Rice Fields in Babolsar, Iran
In Mazanderan, nothern Iran, the month of April is the month for transplanting rice. There is a lot of labor involved from planting to harvesting rice. The transplanting is mostly done by women and girls who work in the fields about 11 hours a day. For some of these workers, it takes hours more to commute from distant towns and villages to the rice fields. -Hemmat Khahi - 5/2/11

Celebration of Simin Daneshvar
Simin Daneshvar, novelist, scholar, and literary critic, who wrote Sovashoun, the first modern novel written by an Iranian women, turns 90 this year. She was born in April 28, 1921, in the city of Shiraz. - 5/2/11

Statement By Seven Labor Organizations On The International Labor Day Harshly Criticizes the Iranain Government
On the occasion of the International Labor Day on 1 May, seven Iranian labor organizations have published a statement, objecting to the violations of Iranian workers' most basic rights. - 5/2/11

Call for release of Iranian opposition leaders from European socialist parties
The European socialist parties have called for the release of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossien Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and all Iranian political prisoners. - 5/2/11

Book: The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
A pitch black, rainy night in a small Iranian town. Inside his house the Colonel is immersed in thought. Memories are storming in. Memories of his wife. Memories of the great patriots of the past, all of them assassinated or executed. Memories of his children, who had joined the different factions of the 1979 revolution. - 5/2/11

Photos: Persian Gulf Marine Life
The natural environment of the Persian Gulf is very rich with good fishing grounds, extensive coral reefs, and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has become increasingly under pressure from the heavy industrialization and in particular the repeated major petroleum spillages associated with recent wars fought in the region. -Ali-Asghar Besharati - 5/2/11

Spy flap weakens Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Electronic surveillance of officials at the highest levels of political power lies at the heart of a rift between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a source close to Tehran's conservative leadership told The Times. -LA Times - 5/2/11

Obama's Foreign Policy toward Iran Exception
President Obama's promise for "change" during election hustings raised international expectations about a possible about-face in the United States' foreign policy approach to Iran. Although no actual change has been made and the world is reevaluating Obama's records in early months of 2011, there are still many apprehensions on the horizon about the quality of future relations between Tehran and Washington. -Behzad Khoshandam - 5/2/11

Caspian Horse Remains Found In Iran
Archaeological excavations in Iran's northern Gohar Tappeh site have yielded the remains of Caspian horse, the oldest equine breed still in existence. - 5/2/11

NAM center for human rights and cultural diversity opens in Tehran
The Non-Aligned Movement Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (NAMCHRCD) was inaugurated in Tehran on Monday. - 5/2/11

Bahrain Chamber Urges Boycott of Iranian Goods
Bahrain's chamber of commerce has called for Gulf Arab nationals to boycott Iranian goods and halt all financial transactions with Tehran in retaliation for alleged interference in the island kingdom's unrest. - 5/2/11

Photos: Snapshots of Iranian Workers
On the occasion of International Workers' Day on May 1, ISNA photographer Amin Khosroshahi has captured some snapshots of the life of Iranian workers. - 5/1/11

Detained Iranian activist denied hospital visit with father
Tehran's prosecutor has refused to allow detained Iranian activist Haleh Sahabi to visit her father in hospital. Judiciary officials had said previously that only those political prisoners that express "remorse" over their actions will be allowed furloughs. - 5/1/11

Iranian-American Surgeon Travels World Doing Charity Cases
Kaveh Alizadeh, an Iranian-American plastic surgeon who immigrated to the US following the 1979 revolution, has traveled back to his native country for more than a decade to perform volunteer surgeries on Iranian patients living in remote villages. - 5/1/11

Photos: Wall-painting competition in Bushehr on the occastion of National Day of Persian Gulf
To celebrate National Day of Persian Gulf, a painting competition was held in the city of Bushehr. Iran designated April 30 as the National Day of Persian Gulf to show the world that the name of this body of water will never be distorted by baseless claims and demands of certain Arab states. -Saber Zamani - 5/1/11

Ahmadinejad ends "boycott" of official duties
In an apparent show of capitulation to the desicions of the Supreme Leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finally attended a cabinet meeting today after over a week of absence from official duties. -Zamaneh - 5/1/11

Iranian intelligence summons labour activists before May Day
Labour activists in Sanandaj, the capital of the northwestern province of Kurdistan, have been called before the ministry of intelligence in the lead-up to International Worker's Day. - 5/1/11

Iran's Alamian wins gold medal in Luxembourg table tennis competitions
Iran's Noshad Alamian won the men single's gold medal at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Pro Tour in Luxembourg. -ISNA - 5/1/11

Governments Move To Thwart 'Arab Spring' In Central Asia
Like the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia also suffers from poverty, corruption, heavy-handed governments, widespread unemployment, and scant opportunities for the young. All too aware of the similarities, governments there are already taking measures to prevent public upheaval of the kind that has shaken the Arab world. -Muhammad Tahir, RFE - 5/1/11

Iran dismisses reports on buying Tupolev planes from Russia
Iran rejected reports on buying Tupolev Tu-204SM planes from Russia. An Iranian Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) official in charge of flight standard Hossein Habibi Ahzoun dismissed reports on Iranian carriers' demand to buy Tu-204SM twin-jet passenger aircraft from Russia. - 5/1/11

Iran's Navy to equip submarines with missile systems
The Iranian Navy will equip its submarines with missiles systems in the near future, Farhad Amiri of the armed forces has said. -MNA - 5/1/11
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