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United States Takes Action to Facilitate Communications by the Iranian People and Targets Iranian Government Censorship
The United States is taking a number of coordinated actions today that target persons contributing to human rights abuses in Iran and enhance the ability of the Iranian people to access communication technology. - 5/31/13

As Elections Approach, Iran Remains Silent on Arrests of Journalists
Iranian officials should break their silence about the status of Baztab Emrooz's managing editor Ali Ghazali and the news website's founder Foad Sadeghi, both arrested in the last month in relation to their media activities, and ensure they receive due process while in custody, including access to a lawyer, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 5/31/13

IAAB's Persian Language Educators' Symposium in NYC: Huge Success for Persian Language Schools
Over 40 directors and educators of Persian Language Heritage Schools in the United States gathered this past weekend in New York City for an IAAB-organized symposium. - 5/31/13

Iranian Activists Welcome U.S. Lifting Of Sanctions On Communications Tools
The lifting of U.S. sanctions on the export to Iran of communication tools has been welcomed by activists and groups who had pushed for such a move and argued that the sanctions end up hurting ordinary Iranians, not the regime. - 5/31/13

World No Tobacco Day 2013: Ban tobacco advertising to protect young people
According to World Health Organization (WHO), countries that are making strong progress in banning the last remaining forms of advertising include Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Iran, Mauritius, Panama and Vietnam. - 5/31/13

Iran's Presidential Hopefuls to Face Off Friday
Friday's debate will be the first chance for the Iranian public to see the eight men on the same stage since campaigning began last week. So far, the candidates' public appearances have been limited to brief campaign stops and some short appearances on television and radio. - 5/31/13

Tehran hosts conference on Syria
Iran believes that proposed U.S.-Russia led peace talks on Syria would be a step forward toward resolving the crisis that has gripped the Arab country for over two years, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Tehran on Wednesday. - 5/31/13

Re-imagining Eurasia with Slavs and Tatars: Critical Practices of Geography and Museum Exhibition
Slavs and Tatars is an artist collective that works to highlight historical connections and regional linkages often overlooked due to rigid geographic boundaries. Founded six years ago, their work focuses on Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, or the broad cultural continent they term "Eurasia." -Beeta Baghoolizadeh, AJAM - 5/31/13

Iranian woman Zahra Nemati wins Spirit of Sport award
The 2012 Paralympic archery champion, who was nominated by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), edged out Polish Aikido sensei Piotr Borowski to the top prize for helping to alter perceptions in Iranian society of disabled people and inspiring women to take up para-archery in her native country. - 5/30/13

NIAC Applauds Lifting of Communications Sanctions for Iranians
NIAC applauds the Obama Administration's anticipated decision to lift sanctions on consumer communication tools for the Iranian people tomorrow. This long sought action will help ensure sanctions do not block important consumer communication hardware, software, and services for ordinary Iranians. - 5/30/13

Barring women from presidential office in Iran a serious rights violation, UN experts say
A group of United Nations experts today warned that measures preventing women and other citizens from running for presidential office in Iran constitute a serious violation of rights guaranteed by international law. -UN News - 5/30/13

Controlling the Skies and the Ground for the Best Election in Iran: Commanders Talk of 28 Ready Armed Divisions
Even though the disqualification of two powerful presidential candidates in Iran has resulted in a sharp decline in public enthusiasm and energy regarding the June 14 presidential election, the country's security apparatus continues to warn about some plans to disrupt the elections and issues threats against the population for possible protests. -Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz - 5/30/13

Iran and the Presidential Elections
Kamran Matin discusses Iran's current social and political situation in the light of the approaching presidential elections on June 14: Economic crisis, massive pauperisation of the population, unemployment, corruption, and constant uncertainty about a possible conflict with the west are key issues. Each of these problems however has a different level of significance for different social classes. - 5/30/13

"Hate the Sin" named best at Game Connection Asia
An Iranian 2D puzzle-platform game, has won the Best Project Award at the Game Connection Asia 2013, which was held in Shanghai, China on May 28 and 29. The game was developed by the New Folder Team under the auspices of the Iran Game Development Institute. - 5/30/13

Iranian Director Abbas Kiarostami: 'The Situation in Iran Has Never Been This Dark'
Without referring to specific political events or figures, Kiarostami said the situation in Iran has "never been this dark." He added: "And we have huge question marks in front of us now -- some miracles should happen in Iran to save the nation." -Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter - 5/30/13

Tehran Seeks Limits on Foreign Media During Election
Foreign journalists trying to report on Iran's presidential election in June could soon face even tighter controls. The Iranian government restricted access for visiting journalists following the turmoil and protests that followed the 2009 election. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 5/30/13

Ferocious Battle Underway Over Syrian Border City
A ferocious battle is underway in the Syrian city of Qusair near the border with Lebanon between government forces bolstered by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and anti-government rebels led by militiamen linked to al-Qaida, according to anti-government activists. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 5/30/13

Iranian Presidential Candidates Accuse State TV of Censorship, Unethical Behavior
Iranian presidential candidate and former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani has accused the country's state-controlled broadcaster of unethical behavior and lies. He voiced the criticism on May 27 during his first television interview as a candidate with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) - Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/29/13

All Are Taken to Kahrizak To Die: 60 Dogs Die After Being Seized by Police
The first news about a massive rounding up of domestic dogs appeared during the first week of May. These dogs were forcefully seized from their owners and transferred to Kahrizak. On May 26th, reports appeared to show that a third of the about 150 dogs that were kept in Kahrizak had lost their life. -Niyosha Saremi, Rooz - 5/29/13

UCLA live-tweets surgery to implant brain pacemaker while patient strums guitar
During Thursday's operation, which was overseen by Dr. Nader Pouratian, the patient was awakened and asked to play a guitar to assist the team in placing electrodes into position. Dr. Pouratian is director of the UCLA Functional and Movement Disorder Program. - 5/29/13

IRAN: A Beginner's Guide
As the Western-Iranian impasse continues to dominate international affairs, politicians and the media confidently proclaim Iran the greatest threat to the Western World. But this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity formed by a vibrant and tumultuous history. -Homa Katouzian - 5/29/13

HOPE Concert for the Iranian People To Be Held in Berlin
On June 7, Iranian-American journalist and peace activist Roxana Saberi, who was arrested in Iran in 2009 and freed after international outcry, will present the HOPE Concert at the Velodrom in Berlin in worldwide support for the Iranian people. - 5/29/13

Nelo Vingada appointed assistant coach of Iran's National Football Team
Portuguese Nelo Vingada will assist his countryman Carlos Queiroz in Iran's three upcoming matches in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Former Persepolis coach joined the Iranian football team in Dubai camp on Tuesday. - 5/29/13

Iran opposition figures unite to condemn election as a charade
Iranian opposition figures with various political allegiances have set aside differences and united to condemn the 14 June presidential election as a charade, saying the exclusion of candidates showed it lacks legitimacy. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 5/29/13

Iranian Parliament passes $593 billion national budget bill
The Iranian Majlis approved a 7.27-quadrillion-rial (about $593 billion) national budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year on Monday. The national budget has been increased by 22 percent compared to the previous year. - 5/29/13

Syria Crisis Deepens With Arms Race, Assad Gains
It has been a tough couple of days for the Syria conflict, with announcements on arms for the rebels and the government, and more delays in the U.S.-Russian effort to convene a peace conference. -Al Pessin, VOA - 5/29/13

Iran selected as Renault's industrial agent in the Middle East
Iran has been selected as Renault's industrial agent in the Middle East, said Managing Director of Renault Pars Peiman Kargar. "Renault's activities in Iran will enter into a new phase based on which Iran will join international markets under international standards," he said. - 5/29/13

MP calls on Iranians to defeat candidate of "extremists"
Iranian MP Ali Motahari says Saeed Jalili is the preferred candidate of extremists and he must be prevented from being elected. Saeed Jalili is the head of Iran's Supreme Council of National Security and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator. He is closely linked to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Revolutioanry Guards and the Basij. - 5/28/13

Iran: Threats to Free, Fair Elections
As the elections approach, authorities have tightened controls on information by severely cutting back internet speeds and blocking proxy servers and virtual private networks that Iranians use to circumvent government filtering of websites. The authorities have also gone after government critics, summoning, arresting, and jailing journalists and bloggers -HRW - 5/28/13

US Moving Toward Strategic Alienation with Iran
"The US Congress continues to move along the line of its old policy to exert pressures on Iran in order to bring about overthrow of Iran's government through attrition and in a gradual manner. This approach [by the US Congress] is only slightly different in terms of tactics from the official statements made by the Obama administration." - 5/28/13

Former Tehran prosecutor accused in Kahrizak deaths calls himself "victim"
Saeed Mortazavi, the chief suspect in the case of detainee deaths at Kahrizak Prison, has once again expressed discontent with the proceedings brought against him and maintained that he is the victim of political machinations. - 5/28/13

Jailed Reformist slams "absolute monarchy" of Iran's Supreme Leader
Political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh, a top reformist figure, announced in a letter from jail that the establishment has left no alternative for reformists but to boycott the elections. Tajzadeh writes that the disqualification of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai and other volunteers for the presidential race has simply "left the road open for the victory of the Supreme Leader's chosen candidate - 5/28/13

Iran's bloggers criticize public hangings
The public hanging of two men in Tehran's Artists Park has triggered an intense debate in Iran's blogosphere about the death penalty. Many wondered why the park had been chosen. One blogger from Tehran thought the government was sending out a signal to intellectuals and dissidents. -Kiarash Babai, Deutsche Welle - 5/28/13

All rights in the Universal Declaration are regarded as equally important.
The Universal Human Rights principles can not be confined only to "prominent and well publicized" themes such as equal dignity, torture, slavery, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and so on. -12Petals - 5/28/13

Iran launches Gorgan-Incheh Borun railroad
The 80-kilometer long rail project, which is part of a broader railroad network, links Iran to Central Asia, Russia and China and has the capacity to annually transfer 10 million tons of goods and more than 4 million passengers. - 5/28/13

Behind the walls of Iran's Evin Prison
Iran's Evin Prison is thought to be a place of torture, but no one knows exactly what happens behind its walls. Nargess Eskandari-Grunberg was imprisoned there 30 years ago, and now helps its former inmates. -Stephanie Gebert, Deutsche Welle - 5/28/13

Iranian Navy Ships To Stop At Russian Port
Russia's Navy says ships from the Iranian Navy will make a stop this summer at the port of Astrakhan, the naval base of Russia's Caspian Sea fleet. Russia's Navy says the visit is part of a plan for developing and strengthening international cooperation with Caspian Sea states. - 5/28/13

Has Iranian regime learned nothing from 2009 election fiasco?
Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's abrupt fall from grace has taken many in political circles in Iran by surprise, further widening the gap between an increasingly insular and narrow hard-line elite and the rest of the country. -Ali Ansari, CNN - 5/28/13

Photos: Iranian Guards take delivery of mass-produced long-range missile launchers
A large number of new long-range missile launchers were delivered to the Aerospace Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in a ceremony held in Tehran on Sunday. The surface-to-surface missile launchers had been manufactured by the Iran Aviation Industries Organization of the Defense Ministry. - 5/27/13

Actress Berenice Bejo wins Cannes prize for Iranian director's film
Berenice Bejo, who plays the lead role in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's latest film, "The Past", has won the prize for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. - 5/27/13

Iranian football player Ali Karimi to come out of retirement
Former Persepolis and Iran midfielder Ali Karimi has decided to come out of retirement. "Iran has a must-win game against Qatar on June 4 and I will support our team as a fan. Hopefully Iran books a place in the competitions and make the Iranian people happy," he added. - 5/27/13

Candidate's TV speech to Iranian diaspora cut off
Iran's state television interrupted the time allotted to presidential candidate Mohammadreza Aref 15 minutes into the program. The speech was aired at 11:30 PM and was supposed to address the question posed to the candidates by Iranians living outside of Iran. - 5/27/13

Iran's external debts cut by $10b, hit $7.2b: Central Bank Chief
Meanwhile, Bahmani said that nothing more can be done to curb inflation (which he has blamed on on sanctions and cash subsidy payments). "The [inflation] rate is very high. But, what can we do? We did our best to reduce the inflation, but that was all we could do," he said. - 5/27/13

Iranian Presidential Candidate Jalili Seeks Greater Global Influence For Islam
Saeed Jalili, a chief presidential candidate for Islamic Republic hardliners, told his first campaign meeting that he intends to "spread the influence of Islam in the world. Jalili, who is currently the chair of the Supreme Council of National Security and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, is said to be closely linked to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. - 5/27/13

Analysis of Yukiya Amano's New Report on Iran's Nuclear Activities
The new Iran Safeguards Report released by Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano is, in fact, repetition of his past periodical reports which have been presented to Board of Governors of the IAEA every three months. -Hassan Beheshtipour - 5/27/13

Iranian researchers produce clean fuel from water
Iranian researchers at Zanjan Fundamental Sciences University along with researchers from Russia and the US have synthesized a catalyst which has the capability of water oxidation as a clean fuel. -ISNA - 5/27/13

Iran inaugurates new dams
Iran inaugurated two dams in Golestan Province, northeastern Iran, on Monday in a ceremony attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 'Kaboudwal' Dam and 'Zaringol' Diversion Dam as well as a water transfer tunnel carrying Zaringol's water to the main dam were opened in the ceremony. The projects cost $12,500,000. - 5/27/13

Iran Prepares Itself for June Presidential Vote By Stepping Up Security Measures
Iran's clerical establishment has made it clear that it will not condone the insubordination that marked the country's last presidential contest, and has taken steps over the interim to ensure the 2013 election goes as planned. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/25/13

Iranian Filmmaker Presents Secret Film At Cannes
An Iranian director sentenced to prison in 2010 for antigovernment propaganda has appeared at the Cannes film festival for the screening of a new film about censorship, which he shot in secret in Iran. The circumstances of Mohammad Rasoulof's visit to Cannes on May 24 and the location where he now lives remain strictly confidential. - 5/25/13

Iran: Disqualified reformist candidate urges unified front
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose attempt to run in the upcoming presidential election was quashed by the Guardian Council, has thanked his supporters and, without referring to the reasons for his disqualification, he urged them to nurture the "unity that has risen among moderate reformist and conservative forces." - 5/25/13

Tell Obama to Lift Sanctions on Communications Tools
As Iran prepares for another election that is unlikely to be fair or free, it is time to end sanctions on personal communications devices that undermine the democratic aspirations of ordinary Iranians. - 5/25/13

Iranian cities warn Parliament about dangerous food imports
Representatives of the Iranian cities of Golpaygan and Langarood have warned the agriculture and health ministers that recent imports of wheat and rice are contaminated and could cause widespread health complications. - 5/25/13

Kerry: Choice of Iranian Presidential Candidates Denies Popular Will
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the disqualification of candidates in Iran's presidential election shows the country's religious leaders are interested only in reinforcing their own power rather than giving voters a choice of opposing views. With Iran's disqualification of more moderate candidates, Kerry says Iran's Guardian Council showed no regard for popular will. - 5/25/13

Iran: Hundreds of city candidates appeal rejection, many succeed
After hundreds of disqualified city council candidates appealed their rejection, the Supreme Board of Election Monitoring for Municipalities in Tehran Province announced that 312 of those applicants were finally approved to run in the elections. - 5/25/13

Iran denies reports on involvement in cyber attacks against US companies
Iran's mission in the UN rejected reports about its involvement in cyber attacks against the US companies, calling for boosting international laws to confront such attacks. His remarks came after the New York Times in an article claimed that cyber attacks against the US companies are on the rise. - 5/25/13

Iran, second biggest sponge iron producer in world
Iran is the second largest producer of sponge iron in the world, said Deputy Head of Iran's Steel Alloy Company Assadollah Farshad. Iran ranks third in Asia and 11th in the world in terms of iron reserves. - 5/25/13

Technical university in Isfahan bans women from some programs
The Isfahan University of Technology has closed seven fields of study to female applicants. ISNA reports that the university is now refusing applications from female students in certain branches of agriculture, natural resources engineering and water resources. These programs are now only open to male applicants. - 5/24/13

Banned Rafsanjani Blasts Iran's Leadership
"I think it is not possible to run the country worse than this, even if it had been planned in advance," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying by opposition websites Kaleme and Rah-e-Sabz. "I don't want to stoop to their propaganda and attacks, but their ignorance is worrying. Do they even understand what they're doing?" -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 5/24/13

BOOK REVIEW: Shireen & Nousheen: Firework Wednesday, Celebrating Norouz, Getaway 13th
Published in the U.S. in 2013, Shireen and Nousheen Firework Wednesday, Celebrating Norouz, and Getaway 13th written and illustrated by Mehrzad Karimabadi and Shahrzad Karimabadi are among the most prolific children's books. This is not the first attempt by Iranian immigrants to present Persian culture to youngsters. -Mahshid Modares - 5/24/13

Environment does not make me a different filmmaker: Asghar Farhadi
The Iranian director of "The Past", Asghar Farhadi, who has made the family drama outside of his homeland, has said that a change in his environment does not make him a different filmmaker. "The result would be the same if I made it in any other place," he told the Persian service of ISNA in Cannes on Tuesday. - 5/24/13

Iran: Prisoners launch hunger strike at Ghezel Hessar Prison
Prisoners in three sections of Ghezel Hessar Prison in Karaj are reportedly on hunger strike in a protest against prison management. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) says it has learned that that the new head of Section 2 of the prison is a former guard who shot at prisoners and killed a number of inmates in a riot more than a year ago. - 5/24/13

What Message New US Sanctions Are Meant to Convey to Iran's Next President?
The United States House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Relations passed a bill on May 22, 2013, which has paved the way for the US President Barak Obama to enforce new sanctions against all companies conducting transactions with Iran regardless of the type of their transactions and the size of those companies. -Ali Omidi - 5/24/13

Iranian Baha'is face "widespread and entrenched" discrimination says UN Committee
Yesterday the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued a series of pointed recommendations to the Iranian government - recommendations that included a plea for Iran to ensure that all citizens, regardless of religious belief, enjoy full rights without any discrimination. - 5/24/13

Lessons from America's First War with Iran
During the late 1980s, President Ronald Reagan intervened in the Iran- Iraq War in support of Baghdad and Saddam Hussein, ultimately leading to an Iraqi victory. The United States engaged in an undeclared yet bloody naval and air war, while Iraq fought a brutal land war against Iran. -Bruce Riedel, Brookings - 5/24/13

Iran, India agree on bartering oil for textiles
India is looking to broaden its range of exports to Iran to help balance bilateral trade under an agreement that allows the countries to bypass Western sanctions, Indian industry and government officials said. - 5/24/13

Iran's car production falls 57.8% in a month
Industrial Development and Renovation Organization's chairman Gholamreza Shafei has said that Iranian carmakers are manufacturing at 50 percent of their nominal capacity. This is due to a shortage of capital, he added. - 5/24/13

Ahmadinejad's candidate will challenge disqualification; Rafsanjani won't
Mashai has announced that he is prepared to challenge his disqualification and will go through the Supreme Leader to do so. His campaign headquarters has announced that it will use all legal avenues to achieve a reconsideration of the Guardian Council decision. - 5/23/13

NIAC's Statement on US Congressional Action on Iran
The National Iranian American Council's policy director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the Senate's passage of S.Res.65, a resolution conveying U.S. support for potential Israeli military strikes on Iran - 5/23/13

Persian Language Symposium: This Weekend in NYC
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), in collaboration with directors of Persian language schools, will hold it's first Persian Language Educators' Symposium this weekend in New York City. - 5/23/13

Exhibition in London: Hossein Valamanesh's "Breath"
Hossein Valamanesh's works range from multi-media installations to sculpture, video, painting and drawing. Breath, his first solo exhibition in London, will showcase this variety of practice through a selection of bronze sculptural pieces, two installations and several works on paper. - 5/23/13

Khomeini's Daughter Calls On Supreme Leader To Reinstate Rafsanjani
The daughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic republic, has emerged among those stunned and angered by the exclusion of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from next month's presidential race. Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini addressed an unprecedented letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urging him to put Rafsanjani back on the official shortlist. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 5/23/13

US Lawmakers Pledge to Back Israel Against Iran
The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a resolution affirming America's firm opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions, and pledging full support for Israel in the event of an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. - 5/23/13

More Executions In Iran As Elections Near: 58 Hanged in One Month
According to figures released by officials or official agencies of the Islamic republic, at least 58 people, including two women, were hanged in Iran in the past month. Human rights activists tell Rooz that while the announced reasons for executions in Iran are criminal offences, they in fact take place with political goals. -Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz - 5/23/13

UN Sanctions on Iran: The Dance of Mutual Deniability
In the last couple of years we have seen a return to aggressive, deeply damaging measures that are designed to cripple the target nation's economy as a whole, particularly in the case of Iran. The U.S. sanctions on Iran have been extreme, broadly prohibiting trade, shipping, banking transactions, and investment in Iran's energy sector. -Joy Gordon, Fletcher Forum - 5/23/13

Iran Induces Internet 'Coma' Ahead of Elections
With the Iranian presidential elections coming up on June 14, high-speed, filter-free Internet access in the Islamic republic has become scarce. Earlier this month, the Iranian daily Ghanoon likened the state of the Internet in Iran to being in a coma - alive but barely functioning. -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor - 5/23/13

Iran: Controversial candidates barred from running for president
The Interior Ministry has announced the names of eight people approved by the Guardian Council to run the in the presidential election, and the names of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashai are not included in the list. - 5/22/13

Disqualification Of Rafsanjani Paves Way For Khamenei To Install Loyalist
The decision by Iran's powerful Guardians Council to bar former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from running in next month's presidential election paves the way for the country's establishment to bring a loyalist to power. It also deals another blow to the credibility of the June 14 poll, analysts say. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 5/22/13

Iranian President Criticizes Aide's Election Ban
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is speaking out in defense of a close aide whom authorities have barred from running in next month's presidential election. Ahmadinejad described Mashaei on Wednesday as righteous, capable and beneficial for the country, and said the aide is a victim of injustice. - 5/22/13

Iran's Supreme Leader shows compassion for disqualified candidates!
The official website of the Supreme Leader has published his February 2 2011 remarks on disqualified presidential candidates. According to Ayatollah Khamenei, disqualified candidates may not be competent to run for president, but they may have other competencies and so their lives are not over! - 5/22/13

Inspired by reformist candidate, Iranian political prisoner end of hunger strike
Mehdi Khazali, a prominent Iranian political prisoner, has ended his hunger strike after 140 days following the announcement of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani's decision to run for president. - 5/22/13

'Great Shock' Over Rafsanjani's Disqualification
The front page of Iran's "Ebtekar" daily is a good indication of how many Iranians felt when they heard the news that former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- one of the pillars of the Islamic establishment -- had been banned from running in next month's vote. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/22/13

Iran cracks down on activists in runup to election
Human rights campaigners in Iran, speaking on condition of anonymity, say state repression has intensified in the runup to the polls on 14 June amid authorities' concern of a repeat of the anti-government protests that followed the 2009 election, which was described as a sedition led by the country's foreign enemies. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 5/22/13

Kerry Presses US-Russian Plan for Syrian Peace Talks
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Wednesday in the Jordanian capital with senior diplomats from 11 nations, as part of a U.S.-Russian push to end Syria's civil war. - 5/22/13

Iran Khodro to launch car assembly line in Iraq
Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro will establish an assembly line with the capacity of 30,000 units per year in the Iraqi city of Iskandariya by next month. Iran Khodro has been exporting its products to Iraq for about a decade - 5/22/13

Iran Bars Election Candidacies of Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad Aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
Iran says a conservative body has barred two prominent figures from competing in next month's presidential election -- moderate former president Hashemi Rafsanjani and a leading conservative allied to current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 5/21/13

Professor Parvaneh Vosough, angel of Iran's Cancer Children, passes away
Everyone in Mozaffar Street loved Mrs. Professor's Green Volkswagen bug; a symbol which would appear in the vicinity of Ali Asghar Hospital, making evident the presence of a woman who had dedicated her life to cancer-suffering children; who abandoned her residence in Europe to live beside cancer-suffering children in Iran and to help them. - 5/21/13

Iran's Guardian Council qualifies 8 candidates, disqualifies Mashaei, Rafsanjani: Report
The Guardian Council has qualified 8 candidates for presidential elections, Mashaei and Hashemi disqualified. Informed sources communicated the list of qualified candidates to Mehr News. - 5/21/13

Iran: Cleric warns Supreme Leader against barring candidate
In a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ayatollah Mohammad Sadegh Haeri Shirazi, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, says the Supreme Leader's motto of "Political legend and maximum participation in the elections" will not be realized if the "top figures from each side" are not allowed to compete. - 5/21/13

Iran's security forces in place for announcement of candidates
An Iranian opposition website reports that Tehran "has put on a military face" as the Guardian Council is set to announce today the presidential candidates that have been approved to run in the election. - 5/21/13

Will Iran's Former President Rafsanjani Be Allowed To Run?
Recent comments by members Iran's Guardians Council, the hard-line oversight body that vets all election candidates, have raised doubt that former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will be allowed to run in the June 14 presidential elections. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/21/13

Iran's medicine imports fall by 54 percent
Iran imported $34.2 million worth of medicine in the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21-April 20), down 54.7 percent year on year. In November 2012, the health ministry of Iran called the Central Bank to earmark $2 billion for importing medicine to cope with the domestic shortage as a result of international sanctions. - 5/21/13

Choices -Travel Account 2
The first initiation to Downtown LA actually happened on the second day of my arrival in this land of America. The reason was to join a parade held by the initiation of LA Poverty Department (LAPD) celebrating the 27th anniversary of AA foundation in Los Angeles -Roya Monajem - 5/21/13

Diplomat Says Tehran Approves Deal To Probe 1994 Argentinian Bombing
An Iranian diplomat says his government has approved a memorandum of understanding with Argentina on forming a "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people. - 5/21/13

US Sees 'Climate of Intolerance' on Global Religious Freedom
The U.S. law on religious freedom calls for naming other countries it considers to be committing "particularly severe violations of religious freedom." Under the law, the State Department two years ago named eight nations as "countries of particular concern" - Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. - 5/21/13

Satellite Images Show Five New Stealth F-22s On US Base Near Iran
Even if we have often reported the presence of the F-22 Raptors at Al Dhafra, satellite imagery showing five radar evading planes parked at the main airbase in the UAE has been made publicly available for the first time recently. -Business Insider - 5/21/13

Taste of Iran: Lari kebab recipe
During the four years I lived in Iran, not only did I never eat Lari kebab, I had never even heard of Lar, the county seat of Larestan in Fars province. Four hundred kilometres from Shiraz, the province's best known city, it's not one of the more visited corners of Iran. -Tori Egherman, Guardian - 5/21/13

Wave of Attacks Kills At Least 76 in Iraq
A wave of car bombings and suicide attacks against Shi'ite Muslims ripped through Iraqi cities Monday, killing at least 76 people and wounding scores more, extending the worst sectarian violence since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in December 2011. - 5/21/13

Mahsa Mirtalebi is appointed "Global Swede" at the University of Gothenburg
The University of Gothenburg has appointed Mahsa Mirtalebi, student at the international BSc programme in Software Engineering and Management, as the "Global Swede" of 2013. Mahsa Mirtalebi is a very devoted and active student and also a very devoted student ambassador for the education at the IT Faculty. - 5/20/13

Iranian Political Prisoners Recalled In advance Of Election
Iranian judiciary is recalling political prisoners on furlough back to person in the lead up to the presidential elections on June 14. Massoud Bastani and Hossein Ronaghi were called back to Evin Prison on Saturday according to Kaleme opposition website. - 5/20/13

Photos: Iran opens defense system with smart intercepting capability in low altitudes
Iran inaugurated a newly-developed aerial defense system capable of smart intercepting, tracking and hitting the intended targets in low altitudes in an automatic way. The system titled 'Herz IX' (Protector) has high movements is mobile. - 5/20/13

Two executed in Iran after being convicted of spying for Israel, U.S.
Iranian judiciary announced the execution of two individuals convicted of espionage today Sunday May 19 in Tehran for "links to foreign intelligence services." Tehran Prosecutors office identified the two individuals as "Mohammad Heydari" and "Kourosh Ahmadi." - 5/20/13

Assessment of presidential candidates by Iranian opposition leaders claimed false
The families of Iranian opposition leaders under house arrest announced today that statements attributed to their parents in the media is false and that MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have not made any assessments of the coming election. - 5/20/13

Iran's Election Gatekeepers Balk At Aged Candidates
Iran's Guardian Council has expressed concern about the "physical capabilities" of election candidates and the ability of senior candidates to handle the workload of presidential duties. - 5/20/13

Ali Daei confirmed as Persepolis coach
Persepolis football team announced that Ali Daei will take charge the team from next season. The board of management of Persepolis appointed Daei on Monday as Yahya Golmohammadi's replacement. - 5/20/13

Lawmaker Fires Back In 'Car Wars' Ahead Of Iranian Presidential Vote
Conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari has criticized recent comments by hard-line cleric Ahmad Jannati suggesting what kind of car Iran's next president should -- or shouldn't -- drive. Motahari described the remarks by Jannati, who chairs the powerful Guardians Council that's charged with vetting candidate applications -- as illogical, adding that the intent was "demagoguery." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/20/13

Turkey, Egypt agree to Iran proposed petrochemical OPEC
National Iranian Petrochemical Organization (NIPO) says Turkey and Egypt have agreed with Iran's proposal to form an international petrochemical association similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). - 5/20/13

Azerbaijani Scholar, Her Driver Released From Iran Custody
BAKU -- Azerbaijani scholar Khalida Khalid* and her driver have been released following nearly three weeks in Iranian custody after their detention at the home of an ethnic Azeri activist. - 5/20/13

Government newspaper accuses head of Iran's security forces of ordering murder of those in Ahmadinejad camp
In an editorial published by the government newspaper Iran News and republished by government news agency IRNA, the head of Iran's security forces, Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam, has been accused of ordering murder of those in Ahmadinejad camp whom Ahmadi Moghaddam accuses of devianting from true Islam. - 5/18/13

Photos: Iranian artifacts recovered in foreign auctions on display at Tehran exhibit
A collection of ancient Iranian artifacts, which had been recovered in foreign auctions, was showcased on Thursday in an exhibition at the National Museum of Iran. The collection comprises 50 Achaemenid tablets, bronze artifacts from the Lorestan regions, and some stone relics from the Jiroft civilization. - 5/18/13

Iranian Wrestlers Abruptly Leave US Early
The U.S. State Department has denied Iranian media reports that the United States deported the Iranian wrestling team ahead of a Sunday meet in Los Angeles. A State Department official tells VOA's Persian News Network that U.S. authorities had nothing to do with their departure. - 5/18/13

Congress Debates War, Sanctions, Diplomacy and MEK with Top Obama Officials
Washington, D.C. - On Wednesday, the House and Senate held hearings on Iran policy with top administration officials Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of Political Affairs at the U.S. State Department, and David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Treasury Department. - 5/18/13

Iran's Chief Vetter Says Mercedes A No-No For Iran's Next President
The luxury automobile of Iranian ex-President and current presidential hopeful Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is once again the focus of hard-line attention in connection with next month's vote. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/18/13

Iranian Candidate Appears To Offer Starkly Contrasting Accounts Of Crackdown
Is Iran's presidential hopeful Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf a hard-liner or a moderate? It depends on his audience, apparently. Recordings of two starkly different accounts given by Qalibaf of his role in the crackdown against protests have emerged online. - 5/18/13

U.S. Quiet On Iran Women President Bar
The United States has declined to take a firm stand after a member of Iran's electoral overseer said women will be barred from standing in Iran's June presidential election. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington would not comment on specific candidates. She also noted that Iranian authorities must approve all candidates. - 5/18/13

Pomegranates and Roses Shortlisted for Best Cookbook of the Year by Guild of Food Writers Awards 2013
The Guild of Food Writers has announced the shortlists for its annual Awards. The most prestigious in food writing and broadcasting, the Awards are fiercely contested by the best in the field. Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy is among the books competing for the Cookery Book of the Year Award. - 5/18/13

New Congressional Sanctions Push Aimed at Killing Iran Diplomacy
The House is poised to move ahead with a new round of Iran sanctions, and a slew of new sanctions proposals are set to be introduced in the Senate, even as a host of current and former senior U.S. officials - including Secretary of State John Kerry - have warned the body to hold off on new sanctions at the risk of imperiling a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff. -Jamal Abdi, Lobe Log - 5/18/13

Strong quake shakes Goharan in Iran's Hormuzgan Province
Earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale quake shook Goharan suburbs, Hormuzgan Province at 14:33 local time (10:03 GMT) on Saturday. The epicenter, with a depth of 8 km, was determined to be at 26.74 degrees north latitude and 57.84 degrees east longitude. - 5/18/13

Iranian trade stats well below last April's figures
Iranian customs says imports into the country were down sharply last month compared to the same period in 2012. According to the report, imports fell from $3.3 billion in April of 2012 to $1.3 billion in April of 2013. - 5/18/13

Russia promotes Iranian role in solving Syrian conflict
Russia has once again emphasized the need to include Iran in the International Conference aimed at ending the civil war in Syria. Russia and the U.S. agreed this month to hold an international conference, which would include groups representing the Beshar Assad government and the opposition. - 5/18/13

Iranian firefighter saves lives, even after his death
According to Jalal Maleki, the spokesman of Iran's Firefighters Organization, body parts of firefighter Amir Abbasi will be offered to patients in need of transplants. Abbasi died during a mission in north Tehran after saving a girl from a fire in a residential complex. - 5/17/13

Iran-US Wrestling Match in Los Angeles Cancelled
Executive Director of US Wrestling Federation Rich Bender said here Friday, ˈWe could not accept responsibility of Iranian Wrestling Team in Los Angeles, and therefore the Iranians preferred to return to Tehran. - 5/17/13

Iran: Presidential Candidate Brags About His Direct Role in Violence and Repression
The international community should immediately institute a travel ban and asset freeze against Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the current mayor of Tehran and a contender in the upcoming presidential election, due to his extensive role in gross human rights violations, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 5/17/13

What Has The Work of Heavens Come Down To?
Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidential nominee, has said, "I have received my approval to run for the post from the Heavens. Imam Al-ASR will force the Guardians Council to approve my qualifications." Following that someone wrote me that the heavens and the imam are the new names for fraud and the purchase of votes! -Nooshabeh Amiri - 5/17/13

Iran's Election Officials Extend Period For Candidate Review
Iran's Guardian Council has given itself five extra days to determine the eligibility of presidential hopefuls, saying it will announce the eligible candidates on May 21. ISNA reports that the five-day extension has been reported to the Interior Ministry as required by regulations. - 5/17/13

Iran says election won't hinder nuclear talks
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said on Thursday May 16 that talks in Istanbul with Catherine Ashton, the P5+1 representative, were beneficial, adding that Iran is prepared to continue nuclear talks either before or after its presidential election. - 5/17/13

Iran's car imports drop 68% in month
Iran's car imports fell by 68.3 percent in number in the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21-April 20), ISNA reported on Wednesday. Some 518 cars, valued at $12 million, were imported to the country in the month of Farvardin. - 5/17/13

Photos: Iran joins US charity wrestling event in New York
Iranian wrestlers participated in a New York charity event dubbed "The Rumble on Rails" at Grand Central Station, facing off against their U.S. and Russian adversaries on May 15, with Iran defeating the U.S. 6 to 1. - 5/16/13

Iranian students build flying robot capable of taking aerial photos
Iranian students at the prestigious Amirkabir University of Technology have built a flying robot carrying two cameras that is capable of taking precise photos from the different angles. - 5/16/13

Iranian MPs call on council to disqualify candidates
One hundred Iranian MPs have written to the Guardian Council to call for the disqualification of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashai from the presidential race. The Fars news agency says the MPs have described the two presidential candidates as being in opposition to the Supreme Leader's principles. - 5/16/13

EU's Ashton Has 'Useful' Discussion With Iran's Jalili
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton says she had a "useful" discussion with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili but announced no plans for a new round of negotiations. Catherine Ashton, representing six world powers, said after the meeting May 15 in Istanbul that "we talked about the proposals we had put forward and we will now reflect on how to go on to the next stage of the process." - 5/16/13

Iran gives green light to Asghar Farhadi's "Past"
Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has granted a screening license to "The Past", Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's first movie that was shot outside of his homeland. - 5/16/13

Iranian footballer named as Asian football ambassador
Iranian footballer and former player of Hamburger SV Mehdi Mahdavikia has been named as the ambassador of Asian football. According to the report of Asia Football Confederation Website, Mahdavikia, along with Chinese female footballer Bai Lili, were officially named as the first Asian football ambassadors. - 5/16/13

Why sanctions on Iran are not working
The current sanctions policy is based on a shaky assumption - the belief that economic pain and dissatisfaction among political elites automatically will result in pressure on the Iranian regime to change its nuclear course. This assumption does not hold. The economic pain imposed on Iran is intense - but directionless. -Trita Parsi & Reza Marashi, Al Jazeera - 5/16/13

Turkey to transit 2bcm of Iranian gas to Europe
Turkey will to transit 2 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas annually to Europe, the Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday. The two neighboring countries are close to finalize pricing terms and conditions. - 5/16/13

U.S. Calls For Free, Fair Iranian Election
Sherman said in the run-up to the June 14 presidential poll that the U.S. was doing whatever it could to encourage voices in Iran to press for a free election. She also said that the U.S. would not take sides in next month's vote. "The decision who leads Iran is for the Iranian people." Sherman said. - 5/16/13

U.S. Blacklists Two U.A.E. Firms For Dealing With Iran
The United States has barred two financial firms based in the United Arab Emirates for dealing with an Iranian bank blacklisted by Washington. The U.S. Treasury Department said on May 15 that Al Hilal Exchange and Al Fida International General Trading had provided financial services to Bank Mellat. -RFE - 5/16/13

Photos: Teams From U.S., Iran, Russia Back Olympic Wrestling
Wrestlers from the United States, Iran, and Russia have appeared jointly at the United Nations to promote the value of wrestling. The teams, which are in New York for a wrestling exhibition on May 15 at New York's Grand Central Station railway terminal, hope to apply pressure on the International Olympic Committee to keep their sport in the Olympics. - 5/15/13

May 15: National Ferdowsi Day
May 15 is annually celebrated by Iranians as Fedowsi Day. Many art and cultural festivals are held across the country to commemorate the great Iranian epic poet. Ferdowsi, one of the greatest Iranian poets, was born in 935 CE in a small village named Paj near Tous in Khorasan which is situated in today's Razavi Khorasan province in Iran. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 5/15/13

Responses to Rafsanjani's Candidacy: The Alignment of Political Groups Disrupted!
Some have called his decision to enter the race to be his turn into the last chapter of his life and have tied Iran's fate to this chapter. Others view him to be among the opposition that ruling circles call seditionists and call for his disqualification. Military leaders are issuing warnings, Majlis representatives are signing resolutions and some media issue secret bulletins against him. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 5/15/13

Iran's Elections Body Can Now Ask Would-Be Presidents For Plans
Iran's Guardian Council, the powerful body that determines the eligibility of political candidates, announced that it has approved a policy to require concrete administrative plans from presidential candidates when it is deemed necessary. - 5/15/13

Tell Me What Car You Drive And I'll Tell You What Kind Of Politician You Are
In recent days, photos of the cars Rafsanjani and Jalili used on May 11 to come to the Interior Ministry to register for next month's vote have been posted side by side on a number of hard-line, pro-establishment websites. - Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/15/13

Iran's Intelligence Ministry summons independent candidate after meeting
Independent presidential candidate Ghassem Sholeh Saadi was summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence after he met with a number of reporters and reformist youth. No details have been released about the reason for his summons. - 5/15/13

Carnegie International exhibit to screen documentaries by Kamran Shirdel
"Tehran Is the Capital of Iran", "Dubai: Pearls of the Persian Gulf", "Women's Prison", and "The Night It Rained" and five other of his documentaries are scheduled to be screened during the event, which will be held from October 5, 2013 to March 16, 2014. - 5/15/13

Parallel Talks Focus on Iranian Nuclear Program
Iran's nuclear program is the focus of two separate meetings Wednesday, but no major breakthroughs are expected ahead of the country's June presidential election. -VOA - 5/15/13

Iran to outrun U.S. as world's 3rd largest cement exporter
Iran will leave the U.S. behind by the end of the current year to become the world's third largest cement exporter, the Global Cement magazine wrote in its latest edition. Iran is projected to export 18-20 million tons of cement in 2013, ranking the third place after China and India, IRNA cited the report. - 5/15/13

UN Set for Syria Vote
The United Nations General Assembly is expected to adopt a resolution Wednesday condemning the continued violence in Syria and calling on the country's government to give access to U.N. investigators. -VOA - 5/15/13

Surprise Candidacy Challenges Plans Of Iranian Establishment
The surprise decision by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to enter Iran's presidential race poses a challenge to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's plans to bring a loyalist to power, analysts say. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/14/13

Iran Elections A Farce: Zahra, A Fictional Character, Enters Race
Ahead of Iran's presidential elections scheduled for June 14, an author and a human rights non-governmental organization are registering their protest by nominating for president a fictional mourning mother whose son was killed by authorities in 2009. - 5/14/13

Rafsanjani Candidacy Draws Fire From Iran's Hard-Liners
Influential former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has drawn sharp criticism from Iran's ruling establishment after he filed a last-minute application for candidacy in the country's June 14 presidential election. After months of speculation, Rafsanjani signed up at the end of a five-day registration period on May 11, stunning rivals who had written off the 78-year-old moderate. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 5/14/13

Iranian Student Film needs the support of the Iranian Community
1979 "is an NYU undergraduate thesis film that will begin principal photography in late June 2013. The film centers on three Iranian immigrants in small town America during the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. We follow Reza and witness the comedic culture clash that follows him and his friends, Masoud and Ata, as they try their hardest to assimilate. - 5/14/13

10th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial kicks off
The 10th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, displaying over 500 works by Iranian and foreign cartoonists, was inaugurated during a ceremony at Tehran's Saba Art and Cultural Institute on Monday. This year the biennial is focusing on the themes of "Persian Cat", "Dilemma" and "Superstition". - 5/14/13

Four top UN human rights experts call for immediate release of seven imprisoned Iranian Baha'i leaders
In a press release issued on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the arrest of the seven, the four experts emphasized that the seven are held solely because of their religious beliefs, that their continued imprisonment is unjust and wrongful, and that Iran's treatment of religious minorities violates international law. - 5/14/13

Iran transplants aortic valve in sheep's heart
Iran has embarked on conducting several important research plans on different medical and veterinary domains since last year, one of which is transplanting human's aortic valve to several sheep, said Secretary of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution Mokhber Dezfouli. - 5/14/13

Iran: 203 city council elections candidates disqualified
Two hundred and three hopefuls have not been approved as candidates for the fourth city council elections, which will be held simultaneously with the 11th presidential election on June 14. - 5/14/13

Iranian shipping group leader says industry stifled by sanctions
The head of the IRISL Group (Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines) says revenues from the country's shipping industry have shrunk by more than half in recent years. "Currently European countries prohibit Iranian ships from docking in their ports," Dajmer said. - 5/14/13

Iranian wrestlers head to U.S.
The Iranian free-style wrestling team left Tehran for the United States on Sunday morning to participate in an exhibition match in New York's Times Square. The United States, Russia and Iran will come together in solidarity to compete in a unique wrestling competition in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City on May 15. - 5/13/13

Shiraz shaken by keenly felt quake
Shiraz was rocked by an earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale at 3:10 AM today, Monday May 13. Reports indicate that Shiraz residents ran into streets when the earthquake struck and spent hours in city streets and parks. - 5/13/13

Conservative MP to speak for moderate candidate
Now that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsajani, the chairman of the Expediency Council, has entered the race for president, conservative MP Ali Motahari has announced he will serve as spokesman for that campaign. - 5/13/13

Recent Iranian government projects: election advertising or environmental threats?
The Iranian government has proposed new projects such as building infrastructure in Shahrood's Abr Forest and opening up oil development in Kavir National Park by issuing exploration permits, and the government's national development plan promises to donate 2,000 square metres of public land to Iranian families. -Bijan Rohani - 5/13/13

Jon Stewart Hosts Iran Censorship Event
Highlighting the heightened censorship and the situation of journalists in Iran, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran hosted a screening of Iranian-Canadian director Maziar Bahari's film Forced Confessions in a joint event with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the PEN American Center on May 8 in New York. - 5/13/13

Iran's first locally-made influenza vaccine to hit market
Iran will mass produce the first locally-made influenza vaccine for the first time in 2013, said Iranian Deputy Health Minister for Research and Technology Mostafa Qaneyee. "One of the most important vaccines being produced by Iranian researchers is influenza vaccine y using SPF eggs. The product will hit the market this year," Qaneyee said. - 5/13/13

Iran to produce diesel engine soon
Iran Khodro (IKCO) is going to present its self-developed diesel engine by 2013 in order to develop its cars fuel portfolio as well as its domestic and international market share. - 5/13/13

Iran to hold 38% share of petrochemical output in Middle East by 2015
Iran will account for 38 percent of petrochemical production in the Middle East by the year 2015, the National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) planning manager said on Sunday. Iran is currently producing 24 percent of the total petrochemical products in the Middle East, SHANA quoted Ramezan Oladi as saying. - 5/13/13

Iran to build 6 oil refineries in Africa
Memorandums of understanding have been signed with six African countries and preliminary measures have been taken for finding appropriate places to establish the refineries, the Mehr News Agency quoted Hassan Khosrojerdi as saying. - 5/13/13

Iran's Guardian Council slams Ahmadinejad for candidate endorsement
Iran's Guardian Council has spoken out against the fact that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accompanied Esfandiar Rahim Mashai as he registered to run in the presidential race. - 5/12/13

Iran: Reformists rejected as city council candidates
Iranian media report that a large number of reformist candidates have been pronounced ineligible to run in the city council elections. Mohsen Hashemi, Masoumeh Ebtekar and Parvin Ahmadinejad are among the many well known faces in Iranian politics who were disqualified, according to ILNA. - 5/12/13

Iran Condemns Use Of Chemical Weapons
Iran's foreign minister has condemned the use of chemical weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. He noted that Iran -- which is a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- was itself a victim of chemical attacks during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. - 5/12/13

Former President, Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Ahmadinejad's top aid, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, to run in Iran's June 14 presidential election
Just minutes before the deadline on March 11 to register as a presidential candidate, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani made it official that he wants to be the next Iranian president. Meanwhile, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top aide, also entered the race during the final minutes of the registration period. - 5/11/13

One Dead As Strong Earthquake Hits Iran's South
Iran's Red Crescent says an earthquake in southern Iran has killed a child and caused major damage, as well as numerous injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 85 kilometers southeast of the town of Minab. - 5/11/13

Last Day For Iran President Applications
May 11 is the last day for hopefuls to apply to become candidates in Iran's presidential election. More than 360 people are reported to have applied so far this week. They include reformist former Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref and former parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, an ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 5/11/13

Prisoner denounces performance of Iran'a Supreme Leader
Iranian political prisoner Mohammadreza Motamednia has challenged Iranian Supreme Leader's competence in managing the country's affairs. In a letter addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei, according to Jaras website, Motamednia writes: "So long as the country is not ruled by the constitution, we will not participate in any election." - 5/11/13

Book about sidelined Iranian politician pulled from Tehran exhibition
Serahatnameh, a book of interviews with Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Council, has been pulled from Tehran's 26th book exhibition. ISNA reports that Ali Esmaili, the head of the exhibition, explained the action was needed to "corroborate certain information with relevant officials." - 5/11/13

Iran Unveils Most Advanced Home-Made Drone called Hemaseh
Iran displayed its most advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed and manufactured by the country's engineers.The stealth drone, named Hemaseh (Epic), was unveiled on Thursday evening in a special ceremony in the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi. - 5/10/13

"Reformist" candidate runs for president of Iran
Mohammadreza Aref, the former vice president and a senior reformist figure, registered today, May 10, to run in the 11th presidential election. Aref, who threw his hat in the ring four days after the registration began, served as vice president under Mohammad Khatami and is currently a member of the Expediency Council. - 5/10/13

Newly Appointed Iranian-American Judge Makes History
On Thursday, May 2, 2013, Susan Amini was appointed to King County Superior Court judge position 20 in Washington State. Ms. Amini is the second Iranian American to serve as a Superior Court judge in the country, and the first of Middle Eastern descent in Washington state history. -Solmaz Elmi-Sarabi, NIAC - 5/10/13

'Iran's Lech Walesa' Says He Left Country After Death Threats
Prominent Iranian union leader Mansur Osanlu, who recently fled that country, has told RFE/RL that death threats from inside government security circles drove him out of Iran. He warned that the atmosphere in the Islamic republic is becoming more repressive "day by day." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/10/13

NOW CASTING unique and culturally diverse couples for a new documentary that celebrates the way people seek, select, and marry their spouse
Looking for couples who are in the courtship process, or are recently engaged. Specifically we are interested in hearing from couples and individuals who are seeking, or have experienced "modern day" arranged, matched, or traditional arranged marriages. -Hot Snakes Media - 5/10/13

Tehran Book Fair Faces Sales Slump In Foreign Section
Sales have slumped by 50 percent in the international section of the 26th Tehran International Book Fair in comparison with the figures for the previous edition of the event. Iran's national currency has lost about 60 percent in value against foreign currencies and there has been a deep recession in the country over the past two years. - 5/10/13

Hundreds Rally to Demand Freedom for Australia Refugees
Vigils have been held across Australia to demand the release of more than 50 refugees who have been classified as a threat to national security. The detainees have all been granted asylum but are being held on the orders of Australia's intelligence services. - 5/10/13

Consequences of western intransigence in nuclear diplomacy with Iran
To maintain the illusion of some prospect for progress in nuclear diplomacy with Tehran, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will meet with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Istanbul next week - on May 15. -Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett, Al Jazeera - 5/10/13

Iran: Khatami says situation not ripe for his candidacy; expresses hope Rafsanjani would run for president
"An election in which everything goes normal is a way to come to power and its criterion is the vote of the people. But we are in a situation where the election mechanism is flawed in this respect. There are people standing against us who prefer another trend, and if someone criticizes that trend and mull over a better path for the society and the country, they do not allow him to have a presence" - 5/9/13

Iran allocates $157m to import medicine, medial equipment
Iran has allocated $157 million to import medicine and medical equipment since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21), IRNA reported, citing a statement by the Central Bank. Some $1.6 billion has also been allocated to import staple foods, the report added. - 5/9/13

Iranian Parliament To Hold Extraordinary Session To Discuss Inflation: The High Monetary Council Paralyzed
The new wave of price increases has been not just watched by the politicians but has in fact alarmed Majlis deputies who have called for a discussion of its economic-political-security implications of the rapidly changing economic terrain. -Firoozeh Matin, Rooz - 5/9/13

Who Will Be Iran's Supreme Presidential Candidate?
Any candidate who wants to Iran's next president will need the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. If Iran's supreme leader were to write a job description for the country's next president, loyalty and obedience to the Islamic establishment would be high on the list of requirements. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/9/13

Inhumanity and Illegality of Sanctions Justify Iran's Response
Sanctions against Iran have negatively impacted the lives of the Iranian people, and they continue to do so despite lacking a legal foundation. If we recognize the inhumanity and illegality of sanctions, we can better understand the Iranian government's response to them. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 5/9/13

NORPAC: The Mission and the Message
Today (May 8, 2013) hundreds of buses packed with what organizers claim are about a thousand citizen advocates departed from various pick-up points in and around New York and New Jersey for Washington, DC. They represent NORPAC (not an acronym for anything), a much smaller, localized grassroots version of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -Marsha B. Cohen - 5/9/13

Iranian Political Prisoners Moved From Solitary, End Hunger Strike
The 10 Iranian political prisoners who were moved to solitary confinement and began a hunger strike to protest that move, have ended their strike after being returned to the general ward of the prison. - 5/9/13

Variations on a Persian Theme: maps as messages
May 22nd in London: Welcome by Paul Webley, SOAS with an introduction by Peter Barber OBE, FSA, FRHistS followed by a talk by Francis Herbert Hon. FRGS FBCart.S on Variations on a Persian Theme: maps as messages. - 5/9/13

Fear of Bubble as Sanctions Stoke Iran Property Boom
While the sanctions threaten to bring the Iranian economy to its knees, million-dollar apartments fitted out with the best imported equipment have become ever more common in Tehran. Wealthy Iranians, often unable to move money abroad due to the banking sanctions, have tried to protect their savings by turning to property at home, further stoking the market. -Reuters - 5/9/13

Iranian Political Prisoners At Evin Begin Hunger Strike
Ten Iranian political prisoners in Evin Prison have begun a hunger strike, the opposition website Kaleme reports. The 10 prisoners are currently in solitary confinement and are not being allowed any visits from their families. - 5/8/13

Photos: The "Hopeful" and "Not So Hopeful" Candidates For Iran President
Here are some of the "hopeful" and perhaps "not so hopeful" candidates for Iran's Presidential Election which is scheduled to be held on June 14. The registration of candidates for Iran's 11th presidential election started on Tuesday and ends on May 11. - 5/8/13

Iran: Security groups press reformist candidates to drop out
Reformist candidates in the municipal elections are being threatened against running, an opposition website reports. The Kaleme website writes that reformist candidates are being summoned by security bodies to be dissuaded from running in the elections. - 5/8/13

Conflict Kitchen: Changing Americans' Perception Of U.S. Adversaries, One Dish At A Time
In the United States, Iran is better known for its nuclear ambitions than for its "fesenjan," the traditional Persian stew of chicken, pomegranates, and walnuts. Jon Rubin would like to change that. Rubin is the co-founder of Conflict Kitchen, a carry-out restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that only serves food from countries with which the United States is in conflict. -Heather Maher, RFE - 5/8/13

Torture and Modern Government
The latest news on torture in Iran is related to attorney Javid Hootan-Kian who has been imprisoned and tortured because as the defense attorney for Sakineh Ashtiani he strived to free her from facing execution through stoning in the Islamic republic of Iran. -Mehrangis Kar - 5/8/13

Regime wants to isolate Iran, hold elections behind closed doors
Reporters Without Borders condemns the reinforcement of Iran's system of Internet filtering and blocking. Use of the leading VPN censorship circumvention tools such as Kerio and OpenVPN has been blocked since 4 May, making it very difficult for Iranians to access an unfiltered Internet. - 5/8/13

Iran to put AUT SAT satellite into space
President of Iran's Amir Kabir prestigious University Alireza Rahaei said the students of the university have prepared the spatial version of AUT SAT satellite to be put into space in the near future. He highlighted the importance of aerospace technology for the country, and reiterated that Amir Kabir University has focused on aerial and spatial industries projects. - 5/8/13

Testimonies continue at trial into Kahrizak deaths
The trial of judiciary officials in the case of detainee deaths at the Kahrizak Detention Centre began its seventh session today, Tuesday May 7. Reports indicate that the head of Tehran Province Prisons and four other suspects in the case gave testimony today. - 5/8/13

Iran's knowledge-based products exports hit $900m in 2012
Iran's knowledge-based product exports in 2012 totaled $900m, showing 8.6 percent rise comparing to the same period in 2011, said Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology Nasrin Soltankhah. - 5/8/13

US, Russia to Organize International Talks on Syria
After 18 months of chilly relations with Washington, the Kremlin gave a warm welcome Tuesday to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Signaling a clear change in tone, President Putin was filmed for national television welcoming the new American Secretary of State. -James Brooke, VOA - 5/8/13

Photos: Iran's Election Machinery Swings Into Motion
The registration of presidential candidates for the June election in Iran began today, Tuesday May 7, and will continue until Saturday. Interior Minister Mostafa Najjar announced that the Guardian Council will decide on the eligibility of candidates during five days of deliberation that begin on May 12. - 5/7/13

Media War Heats Up Ahead Of Iran Vote
When Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a highly anticipated government rally last month, Tehran's Azadi Stadium was nearly empty. At least that's how it appeared in footage aired by Iran's state-controlled television. If one were to judge by a video posted on Ahmadinejad's website, however, they would get a much different picture. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/7/13

The Failed Neocon Attempt to Destroy an American Anti-war Organization
The war over war with Iran has many battlefronts. Inside Washington, the battle line is between a small coalition of peace and security, non-proliferation and religious groups opposing war and favoring a peaceful solution to the stand off with Iran, and a well-funded war machine comprising neoconservative organizations who believe war with Iran should have started years ago. -M.J. Rosenberg, Washington Spectator. - 5/7/13

Iran's Supreme Leader dispels talk of election delay
Following unofficial statements regarding a possible delay in the presidential election, Iran's Supreme Leader announced that the election will go on as planned and no one will be allowed to delay it. - 5/7/13

3 Million Newborns Die Within First Month
The humanitarian organization Save the Children has released its annual State of the World's Mothers report. It says despite much progress being made in reducing maternal and child deaths, every year, three million babies die within the first month of life. Many just live a few hours. -Joe DeCapua, VOA - 5/7/13

Panel Discussion at UC Davis: The Negative Impacts Of Sanctions On The People Of Iran
June 2, 2013 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.: As part of Senses Cultural's mission to promote programs that will bring greater understanding about culture and humanity, Please join Senses Cultural in supporting a panel Discussion about the negative impacts of sanctions on the people of Iran. - 5/7/13

Iranian, U.S. companies co-producing film on 1988 U.S. Downing of Flight 655
Iran's Visual Media Institute (VMI) in collaboration with the American-Canadian company Reel Knights Productions are producing the movie "Airbus" a movie about the Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655), which was shot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988. - 5/7/13

Iranian cyclists ends Eurasia tour with message of peace
An Iranian cyclist has ended his 20,000-km tour around Europe and Asia with the message of peace and friendship. Yavar Samadi, 45, rode to 20 European and Asian countries carrying a slogan of protecting the environment. - 5/7/13

Obstacles fail to deter financier from opening private Iran bank
The international banking sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy did not discourage Parviz Aghili from opening what is in effect the country's only privately owned bank, the Middle East bank, earlier this year. -Financial Times - 5/7/13

US heads 41-nation war games in Persian Gulf, Iran fears conflict in volatile region
Massive US-led military drills began in the Persian Gulf in a second such show of maritime might in under a year. The US says the exercises are not aimed at Iran, who earlier vowed to close the Hormuz Strait, and now expresses concern over the drills. -RT - 5/7/13

Inflation rate hits 29.8%: Statistics Center of Iran
Iran's inflation rate reached 29.8 percent in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-April 20), the Mehr News Agency reported, citing the Statistics Center of Iran. The figure decreased by 1.5 percent compared to the previous month. - 5/6/13

Internet proxies no longer effective in Iran
ITIran reports that the Siphon proxy as well as Kerio and open VPN are no longer effective against the Iranian state's efforts to block websites. The report also adds that internet speed has fallen sharply, restricting user access to most sites. - 5/6/13

Esteqlal wins Iran's Premier League title a week before end of tourney
Esteqlal has won the championship of Iran's Premier League (IPL) for the third time after beating Foulad one week before the end of the tournament. The Blues blanked host Foulad 1-0 in a match in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Sunday. - 5/6/13

Sepahan wins Iran's Hazfi Cup in penalty shootout
Sepahan defeated Persepolis in Iran's Hazfi Cup at Tehran's packed Azadi Stadium on Sunday. The game went to penalties after extra-time finished on 2-2, and Sepahan beat Persepolis 4-2 in the penalty shootout. - 5/6/13

Refugee Iranian Photojournalist In Turkish Security Prison
The Turkish authorities arrested Hossein Salmanzadeh, an Iranian photojournalist and a refugee in Turkey, on April 26 and have detained him inside the Ankara Security Police Detention Center, Javad Moghimi Parsa told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 5/6/13

Obama's Duplicitous Iran Policy
During his campaign for president in 2008 Obama emphasized time and again that he would resolve the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program peacefully and through diplomatic means. But, his Iran policy has been a completely duplicitous one - talking about diplomacy, while waging economic war on the Iranian people, preparing for military attacks, ... -Muhammad Sahimi, - 5/6/13

UN: Syrian Rebels Used Sarin
A member of the United Nations panel investigating possible human rights abuses in Syria says there are "strong suspicions" that rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons. - 5/6/13

Iran to develop 3 Persian Gulf oilfields
Iran will develop three of its oilfields, which are located in the Persian Gulf, in the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21, the National Iranian Offshore Oilfields Company managing director Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh said. - 5/6/13

Syria accuses Israel of declaring war after further air strikes
The Syrian government said that Israeli air strikes against military targets around Damascus amounted to a "declaration of war" and threatened retaliation, in the latest sign that the fighting is spilling across the Syrian border and risks sparking a wider regional conflict. -Guardian - 5/6/13

Turkish novels spark controversy at Tehran Book Fair
The publication of Persian versions of the Turkish novels "The Forbidden Love" and "The Magnificent Century" has stirred controversy at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF). - 5/5/13

Photos: Fifth Tehran International Sculpture Symposium
Seven sculptors from different countries are participating in the Fifth Tehran International Sculpture Symposium, which opened at Tehran's Noruz Park on Saturday. Among the Iranian sculptors are Mohammad Marvasti, Mehdi Rangchi, Ali Vaziri, Shahriar Rezaii, Samaneh Reihani and Fatemeh Majidi. - 5/5/13

Persepolis-Hamburg SV match in Tehran will be Mahdavikia's swan song
Former Persepolis captain Mehdi Mahdavikia will play his farewell match at Tehran's Azadi Stadium against Germany's Hamburg SV in June. Mahdavikia, who will turn 36 in July, has decided to bring an end to his 18-year football career. - 5/5/13

Mother of dead Iranian blogger calls for swifter justice
Gohar Eshghi, the mother of blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died five days into his arrest in custody of the Cyber Police, has once again spoken out against the judicial delays in processing his case. - 5/5/13

Photos: Iran unveils indigenous helicopter simulator for 214 Chopper
Iran unveiled the first home-made mobile helicopter simulator for 214 Chopper in a bid to facilitate flight training of the pilot students. The system provides flight training to pilot students, conducts all emergency flights, lowers the cost of training flights and decreases life and financial damages. - 5/5/13

Iran: The Growing Number of Presidential Hopefuls - What Does Epic Elections Mean?
In his March 20th message to the Iranian nation, ayatollah Khamenei declared that the next presidential elections in the country would be an "epic" event. He also at least verbally opened up the candidates' field by saying, "Anybody who feels they have the ability (to take up the job) should come forward." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 5/5/13

Iran, India sign four MOUs, seek closer ties
The signing of the MOUs came as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid co-chaired the 17th meeting of the Iran-India Joint Economic Commission in Tehran on Saturday. - 5/5/13

Iranian Parliament reviewing wage increases
The rate of inflation has been rapidly rising in the past year in Iran, and the labour community has denounced the 25-percent raise in wages approved by Parliament, insisting that it does not reflect in any way the most basic costs of working households. - 5/5/13

Mehdi Hashemi, the son of Iranian cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani, granted delay in court case
The trial of Mehdi Hashemi was postponed after the defendant filed a motion in the court for a delay. ISNA reports that the first session of Hashemi's trial, which was set for today, May 5, convened with Judge Nasser Seraj residing. - 5/5/13

Israel carries out second air strike in Syria
Israel has carried out a second air strike on Syria, hitting targets in and close to Damascus in what briefings by unnamed western intelligence sources reportedly claimed was an attempt to stop a shipment of advanced, Iranian-made missiles heading to Hezbollah in Lebanon. -Guardian - 5/5/13

CHOICES: A Travel Account
Walking aimlessly & losing myself in -- "Sightseeing" around -- Los Angeles -- Practicing to stop the mind its habit of -- Making-unfamiliar-familiar -- Depriving the heart and body -- Of taking in all the freshness & novelty that unseen can offer... -Roya Monajem - 5/4/13

India's Foreign Minister embarks on three-day visit to Tehran
India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Friday embarked on a three-day visit to Tehran to attend the 17th meeting of India-Iran Joint Commission. He is the Co-chairperson of the Joint Commission along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran. - 5/4/13

Research reactor announced for Iran's Fars province
Hossein Sadegh Abedin, the Governor of Fars Province has announced plans to construct a research nuclear reactor in the vicinity of Zarghan, which is located 15 kilometres north of Shiraz, the provincial capital. - 5/4/13

Iran to Start Using New Mine Sweeping System in Persian Gulf
Iran will start operating a new mine sweeping system in the Persian Gulf in coming days, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced after the US said it plans to conduct mine sweeping exercises with tens of its allied naval forces in the region. - 5/4/13

Iran's Ali Parvin receives AFC Distinguished Service Award
Iranian football legend midfielder Ali Parvin was conferred prestigious Gold Award on Friday in recognition of his services in Asian football for 30 years. Homayoon Behzadi and Ali Jabbari of Iran, who did not attend the ceremony, were also given golds in the AFC Distinguished Service Award 2013 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday. - 5/4/13

EU's Ashton to meet Iran's nuclear negotiator on May 15
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul on May 15, her spokesman said on Thursday, to discuss future diplomatic efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Tehran's atom work, Reuters reported. - 5/4/13

Scientific Journals Adapt to New U.S. Trade Sanctions on Iran
On 30 April, the Dutch publishing behemoth Elsevier of the Netherlands sent a note to its editorial network saying that all U.S. editors and U.S. reviewers must "avoid" handling manuscripts if they include an author employed by the government of Iran. -Eliot Marshall, Science Magazine - 5/4/13

Prison Conditions Eased for Ex-Marine Held in Iran
A former Marine incarcerated in Iran for nearly two years on suspicions that he was an American spy has been granted monthly visitations by an uncle in Tehran since March and has been permitted to send letters to his family for the first time, according to his sister... -NY Times - 5/4/13

Iran's Presidential Election Poses Dilemma For Voters
Like many Iranians, 31-year-old Amir is pondering what to do on June 14, when Iran chooses a new president. He has two options -- to vote or not to vote -- and neither is good, he says. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 5/3/13

Photos: Festival of Turkoman Horses
The Turkoman horse, or Turkmene, was an Oriental horse breed from the steppes of Central Asia, now extinct. They influenced many other horse breeds, including the Thoroughbred horse. Some horses bred in Turkmenistan today are still referred to as Turkoman, and have similar characteristics. - 5/3/13

Photos: Tehran International Book Fair
The 26th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF), Iran's biggest trade show of books, opened during a ceremony on Monday. A total of 77 Publishers from different countries including Britain, U.S., Germany, India, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon are attending the TIBF this year. - 5/3/13

Shariatmadari's Editorial About Khatami Raises Protests by Guardians Council: Speculations Have no Legal Foundation
While former president Mohammad Khatami has not yet officially announced his decision about running in the June presidential race in Iran, ayatollah Khamenei's representative at the Kayhan group of newspapers, Hossein Shariatmadari, called the reformist president a "traitor" and "corrupt," and predicted that the Guardians Council would reject his qualifications to run in the race. -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 5/3/13

Congressman Urges U.S. to Foment Ethnic Tension in Iran
The idea of fomenting ethnic tensions in Iran as a means to destabilize the country is not a new one. Rohrabacher, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, has never been shy about promoting ethnic separatism and supporting violent groups as a way to pressure Iran. In addition to his support for groups like Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), he has championed resolutions promoting Azeri andBalochi ethnic separatism in Iran. -Solmaz Elmi-Sarabi, NIAC - 5/3/13

Iranian art collector plans contemporary art museum in Dubai
Prominent Iranian art collector Ramin Salsali is planning to erect a modern art gallery in the heart of Dubai's commercial centre. The Dubai Museum of Contemporary Art (DMOCA) will be located in the Burj Khalifa district in downtown Dubai and Salsali has announced that he will donate some of his own collection in order to establish the new gallery. - 5/3/13

Iran: Potential reformist candidate for president says U.S. relations possible
Iranian presidential hopeful Hassan Rohani has raised the possibility of establishing direct relations with the United States so long as national interests are not compromised. Hassan Rohani, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator, is planning to run in the presidential election under the reformist banner. - 5/3/13

25 Ducks: From Iran to Division I, Arsalan Kazemi has come a long way
Arsalan Kazemi has come a long way - 7,120 miles if you want to be exact. Even though it wasn't very popular in his home country, Iran, Kazemi decided to add basketball to his already-full list of sports when he was 9. -Turner Maxwell, Daily Emerald - 5/3/13

In Iran, Khamenei Allies Named To Election Board
State media reported the appointments of the seven trustees who -- along with Iran's interior minister, intelligence minister, state prosecutor, and a member of the parliament's leadership committee -- comprise the Central Election Board. - 5/3/13

AP Interview: New job for son of Iran's toppled shah, as spokesman for nascent democracy group
The son of Iran's toppled shah has a new job as spokesman for a nascent movement that is challenging the clerical regime to hold free and fair elections - or risk a civil disobedience campaign. -AP - 5/3/13

Mashaei Makes Controversial Remarks About Islam, Iran
Mashaei said that "the whole design of Islam no longer offers answers, and the world's understanding of Islam, as a general concept, especially with the interpretations that some countries have presented, is a negative one. Therefore, we have to introduce our own Islam to the world, which comes from the Iranian school and is based on the original Islam, and this doesn't mean we put Islam away." -Al-Monitor - 5/3/13

MOP up: US 'upgrades' biggest bunker buster to calm Israel over Iran
The Pentagon has reportedly upgraded its biggest conventional bomb to be able to take out Iran's fortified Fordow nuclear site. It is meant to allay Israeli fears that should Iran try to make a nuclear bomb, military action would not stop it. -RT - 5/3/13

Photos: National Teachers' Day Celebration in Iran
Iran marks Teachers' Day on May 2nd each year. This day was originally chosen to commemorate the martyrdom of Abulhassan Khan'ali, a teacher who was shot dead in a meeting in front of National Parliament during the Mohammad Reza Shah era on May 2, 1961. Later the Islamic Republic government changed this to commemorate the martyrdom of Dr. Morteza Motahhari on May 2, 1979. - 5/2/13

Iranian workers mark May Day with protest
A group of workers gathered in front of Iranian parliament on the occasion of the International Worker's Day to protest against their inadequate wages in the face of rising inflation. ILNA reports that the workers held a protest demanding a reconsideration of the minimum wage increase which was approved for this year. - 5/2/13

Event at The British Museum: 'Who is this Hossein the world is crazy about?' The work of Charles-Hossein Zenderoudi
In 2011, the British Museum acquired an important work completed in 1958 by the renowned modern artist, Charles- Hossein Zenderoudi. This large, linocut print on linen, entitled 'Who is this Hossein the world is crazy about?' illustrates dramatic scenes from the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala (in modern Iraq) in AD 680. - 5/2/13

Iran: Inspiring, Enchanting, Unforgettable
Below you can find the link to a video that Sanji & Fiona Gunasekara from Wellington New Zealand have put together from the photographs of their visit to Iran and have kindly sent it to Iran Review in order to show Iran's diversity and rich cultural heritage. - 5/2/13

Iran's Basij Force Says It Has Come Under Cyberattack
The Basij force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard has said in a statement posted by Iranian news outlets that several of its websites have come under cyberattack. The statement, which was issued on May 1, appears to mark the first time that the powerful Basij force has publicly acknowledged facing such an assault - 5/2/13

Unemployment on the rise among Iranian women
Hossein Mahjoub told Shargh Newspaper that women workers now constitute 15 to 17 percent of workers in the country and claimed that the administration has been "hiding" the true statistics with regards to employment. - 5/2/13

Bagher Asadi, a High Ranking Diplomat, And Two Political Activists Arrested
Bagher Asadi, a high-ranking Iranian diplomat was detained in Tehran in March as a part of the crackdown on dissidents in the weeks leading to the Iranian presidential elections. During the same period, two prominent figures close to reformists in the Fars Province were arrested in Shiraz. - 5/2/13

The Ethics of Culture of Human Rights: Emphasis on Equal Opportunity and Meritocracy
In every modern society, ethical issues and ethical decision-making are among the major shared concerns. One of the most basic themes in ethics is fairness. On the concept of fairness and justice, philosopher Aristotle says, "Equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally". -12Petals - 5/2/13

Azerbaijan Protests Arrest Of Citizens In Iran
Baku is demanding an explanation for the arrest of two Azerbaijani citizens in Iran. Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said its consulate in the Iranian city of Tabriz handed a note of protest to the Iranian officials on May 2. - 5/2/13

Photos: Iranian Workers
Iranian government refuses to allow workers to hold demonstrations to mark May 1st. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. - 5/1/13

Photos: Morality Police In Tehran Play Good Cop by Handing Out Flowers to Women
The morality police in Tehran are playing the good cop these days. They are out in the streets handing flowers to women to promote "good hijab." But the bad cops may be out soon detaining the women with "bad hijab," as they have been doing so in the past months and years. - 5/1/13

Photos: Qasr Prison Museum in Tehran
Qasr Prison in Tehran was one of the oldest prisons housing political prisoners. In 2008, Qasr was closed and turned into a museum. Qasr was originally a palace built in 1790 at the time of Qajar king, Fath-ali Shah by the Russian architect Markov. The palace was converted into a prison and inaugurated by Reza Shah on December 2, 1929. - 5/1/13

Rafsanjani Gets More Vocal On Iran's Policies, Presidential Run
Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has become increasingly vocal about the country's domestic and foreign policies just as its presidential campaign is about to officially kick off. Potential candidates will be able to register their nominations from May 7 to May 11, and Rafsanjani's name is being floated as a possible entrant. - 5/1/13

Ahmadinejad refutes story on vote fraud
The Public Affairs Office of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied allegations published in an article on the Baztab website that he received eight million fraudulent votes in the 2009 presidential election. - 5/1/13

Iran's Former Health Minister Warns Of Drug Price Crisis
Former Iranian Health Minister Marzieh Dastjerdi has warned that the surging increase in the price of medical drugs will soon surpass 100 percent unless the government provides subsidized foreign currency for its purchase. - 5/1/13

Iran's Interior Ministry Evades May Day Parade Permit
The day before International Worker's Day, head of Iran's Workers House announced that the ministry of interior has refrained from responding to two applications from the official labour organization to mark May Day. - 5/1/13

Iran's capital market value exceeds $177B
Iran's capital market value has surpassed 2170 trillion rials (about $177 billion). The figure showed 40 trillion rial (about $3.3 billion) rise compared to the day before. - 5/1/13

Iran makes computer games to defend Persian Gulf islands
Managing Director of Iranian National Foundation of Computer Games Behrouz Minaei reiterated that the three Iranian islands located in Persian Gulf are inseparable part of Iran, adding that experts of the country have designed and produced computer games for strategic management and protection of the three islands. - 5/1/13

Either Khatami or Rafsanjani would run for president, politico predicts
It is predicted that from former president Mohammad Khatami and his predecessor Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, one would make a comeback bid for the presidency, according to Mohammad Javad Haqshenas, a member of the reformist front. - 5/1/13

Once upon a time in Iran, and other Israeli tales
The Docaviv Tel Aviv film festival spotlights a forgotten, pre-revolutionary period when Israelis and Iranians wined and dined together and exchanged intelligence secrets. -Haaretz - 5/1/13

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