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US Calls for Release of Jailed Iranian Journalist
The United States Wednesday called for the immediate release of Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, imprisoned since 2000 after reporting on alleged government involvement in extra-judicial killings. Mr. Ganji is reported to be in poor health. - 6/30/05

NIAC elects four new board members
Last month, NIAC elected four new members to its Board of Directors. With six incumbent Board members, who will serve another term, NIAC has ensured continuity while attracting Iranian-American leaders with diverse backgrounds who represent strong Iranian-American communities in Southern California and Atlanta. - 6/30/05

In Iran, women are taking up the pen
Over the past decade, Iran's best-selling fiction lists have become dominated by women, an unprecedented development abetted by recent upheavals in Iranian society. -NY Times - 6/30/05

UN: Report Author Warns Of Ties Between Drugs And Terrorism In Russia, Central Asia
Thomas Pietschmann is research officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He is also one of the main authors of the World Drug Report 2005, which was issued today. - 6/30/05

US Urges Fair, Transparent Trial for Egyptian Presidential Candidate
The United States Wednesday urged a transparent, impartial and fair trial for Egyptian presidential candidate Ayman Nour. Mr. Nour, thus far the only declared candidate running against President Hosni Mubarak in the September election, went on trial Tuesday on campaign-related forgery charges. - 6/30/05

Iran victor denies hostage-taking
Three Iranians involved in the 1979 seizure of hostages at the US embassy in Tehran have denied allegations that the new president took part. -BBC - 6/30/05

Unocal Bid Shows China Needs Oil For Growth
Although China's attempt to buy an American oil company has aroused national security and free-trade objections in Washington, the effort has been portrayed in Beijing as business-as-usual for a fast-growing country scouring the world to meet soaring energy demands. -Washington Post - 6/30/05

Bush Evokes 9/11 to Bolster Iraq War
Again and again in his primetime speech, the president attempted to bind the Iraq counter-insurgency to the broader "war on terror" started by the September 11 attacks, trying to rebuild a connection in the public mind that has given way to skepticism about the justification for the invasion. -Guardian - 6/30/05

Diplomacy's new muscle under Rice
The Iraq conference drew top diplomats from dozens of countries and key international groups and put Secretary Rice - already referred to by many here as simply "Condi" - right where she wanted to be: refocusing the foreign policy of George W. Bush on diplomacy. -CSM - 6/30/05

In Basra, calls for autonomy
Iraq With the Aug. 15 deadline for writing a constitution bearing down, some powerful, mostly secular Shiite politicians are pushing for the creation of an autonomous region in the oil-rich south of Iraq, challenging the country's central authority. -NY Times - 6/30/05

No beer? No lunch!
A lunch meeting between a leading parliamentarian in Belgium and counterparts from Iran has been canceled because the beer-loving Belgian could not stomach a ban on alcohol. -Reuters - 6/30/05

Some Ex-Hostages Say Iran Leader-Elect a Captor
"This is the guy. There's no question about it," said former hostage Chuck Scott, a retired Army colonel who lives in Jonesboro, Ga. "You could make him a blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I'd still spot him." -Washington Post - 6/30/05

The real power in Tehran
Anger at corruption and the gap between rich and poor produced Iran's shock election result, but its foreign policy is likely to remain cautious -Guardian - 6/30/05

EU 'aiming to blame Iran' for expected nuclear talks breakdown
European diplomats were reported Thursday to be aiming to blame Iran in preparing for a likely breakdown in their negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme. - 6/30/05

Austria's OMV forms joint venture group for Iran pipeline project
Austria's OMV, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group, Austria's OMV signed a joint venture agreement with four partners for the planned 'Nabucco' pipeline project which would transport gas from Iran's Caspian Sea region to Middle - and West Europe, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Thursday. - 6/30/05

Iran hard-liners call for social freedoms clampdown
Iran's ultra-conservative President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday faced calls from hardline supporters to clamp down on social freedoms allowed under the country's outgoing reformist president. -Reuters - 6/30/05

President Khatami: I would reveal documents on unethical moves in election
Outgoing Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran Wednesday, "Based on authentic evidence, I would reveal documents on unethical moves taken place in (recent presidential) election." - 6/30/05

Iran: Chinese firm starts oil operation in Masjid Soleyman
China National Petroleum Corporation started work on the first phase of a project for recovery and extraction of oil from 10 wells in southern Masjid Soleyman oil field based on a buy-back contract signed with Iran. - 6/30/05

Persian Gold starts trading on London Stock Market
Persian Gold Thursday started trading on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with the group chairman John Teeling optimistic that his exploration company will strike it rich. - 6/30/05

Why the US and Iran love to hate each other
Despite harsh rhetoric, some say Iran may be the most pro-US nation in the region. -CSM - 6/29/05

From Tehran to Washington, an Axis of Demagogues Just Got More Dangerous
Ten days ago, in one of southern Tehran's poor neighborhoods, I interviewed some voters in line to cast ballots for Iran's next president. After a while, when an official at the polling station asked who I thought would win, I repeated the conventional media wisdom: "Rafsanjani." "It will never happen," he replied flatly. "I promise you." -Common Dreams - 6/29/05

Schroeder and Bush Agree on Unified Front Against Iran’s Weapons Program
President George W. Bush met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Monday at the White House to talk about Iran's nuclear ambitions among other things. VOA's Crystal Park reports. - 6/29/05

EU proposals within framework of Iran agreements, says Straw
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Wednesday declined to outline what type of detailed proposals the EU was considering to present to Iran next month but said that they would be within the terms of previous agreements reached with Tehran. - 6/29/05

EU says Iran's president-elect faces major challenges
The European Union said Tuesday that it is ready to develop political and economic cooperation with Iran, but set some criteria. - 6/29/05

Iranian Revolution Is Thriving in Iraq
The elected leaders of Iraq and Iran are borne by the same ill wind — religious fundamentalism — which unfortunately is the first choice of many voters in Iraq, Iran and even the United States. -Los Angeles Times - 6/29/05

Iran, Afghanistan, UNHCR agree to extend Afghans' repatriation
There are currently some 950,000 registered Afghan refugees remaining in Iran, the lowest number in almost 20 years. - 6/29/05

Iran bourse recovers as Ahmadinejad soothes fears
The Tehran stock market clawed back some losses after Iran's president-elect moved to reassure traders that his brand of religious conservatism was not at odds with the bourse. -Daily Star - 6/29/05

Iran's holiest shrine opens to virtual pilgrims
Visiting Iran's holiest Shi'ite Muslim Shrine is now just one click away thanks to a new Internet service for those who cannot visit in person. -Reuters - 6/29/05

Islamic women rise up
It may at present be only a whisper. But it could get louder and louder. It is the voice of Islamic women in the Middle East protesting their longtime political and economic second-class status. It is a voice of indignation from women who have long been suppressed in traditionally male- dominated societies. -CSM - 6/29/05

Opposition struggles in Azerbaijan
A summer of discontent is brewing in this oil-rich former Soviet republic, where a newly emboldened opposition is harnessing anger over grinding poverty and possible electoral fraud to build a popular movement for change. -IHT - 6/29/05

Terror Policies Draw Outrage at Home and Abroad
The George W. Bush administration's policies on indefinite detention and ”extraordinary rendition” are coming under heavy fire from a number of institutions and organizations, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, and members of the U.S. Congress itself. -IPS - 6/29/05

Winners and losers turn the fate of Iran
It may take some time before all the winners and losers in Iran's latest presidential election are identified. Nevertheless, it is already clear who the main winners and losers are. -Amir Taheri, Gulf News - 6/29/05

The United States and the Iranian Election
The election of the hard-line Teheran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over former president Hashemi Rafsanjani as the new president of Iran is undeniably a setback to those hoping to advance the cause of greater social and political freedom in that country. -Common Dreams - 6/29/05

Achaemenid Empire frontiers to be sketched 2200 years after extinction
Ancient borders of Persian Empire under Achaemenid dynasty are going to be sketched 2200 years after the fall of the dynasty, which ruled over a vast empire including today Iran and lots of other neighboring countries. - 6/29/05

An Iranian Lesser Evil down the Historical Drain
The Iranian political scene took a turn for the sour, when in the run-off presidential elections held on June 24 of this year, Iran’s number one favorite butt of mafia jokes, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, faced Tehran’s ‘hard line’ mayor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Well, as you all know by now, the mafia lost. Or so they like to say. -Reza Fiyouzat - 6/29/05

Iranian Technocrats And Reformists Square Off Against Conservatives And Labor Over WTO Membership
The United States recently dropped its objections to Iran's accession negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a nine-year-old membership application was approved by WTO members on 26 May. - 6/29/05

Europe Says It Will Not Prejudge Iran's President-Elect, But Will Maintain Pressure
The European Union is calling for continuity in its relations with Tehran following the election of a candidate to Iran's presidency many see as a hard-liner. However, EU leaders say they will keep up pressure on Iran over the country’s controversial nuclear activities and its poor human rights record. - 6/29/05

What Does Ahmadinejad's Victory Mean For U.S.-Iranian Relations?
At a postelection news conference, Iranian President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Tehran's policy toward the United States has been clear and consistent for decades. Iran, he said, is a strong nation and doesn't need the Americans. - 6/28/05

NIAC Urges Iranian Americans to Write in “Iranian” for Ancestry and Race
Five years after the 2000 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau has begun nationwide implementation of the American Community Survey to collect and produce important demographic, social, economic and housing statistical information on an annual basis leading up to the next census in 2010. - 6/28/05

Bush Calls for Tough Stand on Iran's Nuclear Program
President Bush is urging European nations negotiating with Iran to stand firm on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. He spoke at the White House following talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. - 6/28/05

Iran's president-elect is new even to Iranians
In choosing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian voters elevated a blacksmith's son who has made more of his modest background and frugal ways than his revolutionary credentials or political experience. -NY Times - 6/28/05

Iran: Supreme Leader says nation is thirsty for justice, truth
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the nation indicated in the presidential election that it is thirsty for justice and truth. - 6/28/05

Crude Oil Prices Hit New Record High
Crude oil prices have closed at a record high level in New York in part because of the market's uncertainty about Iranian policies following that country's presidential election. - 6/28/05

Fifty films go on screen on 2nd day of International Green Film Festival in Tehran
Out of 600 films from 30 countries, including 500 Iranian and 100 foreign movies, which were submitted to the secretariat of this year's festival, 120 were selected for screening at various competition sections. - 6/28/05

Greens in the European Parliament support dialogue with Iran, but call for "positive signals" from Tehran
The Greens party in the European Parliament Monday voiced support to the dialogue between Iran and Europe but also urged Iranian President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give "some long-overdue positive signals." - 6/28/05

U.S. contradictory on foreign elections - critics
The hostile U.S. reaction to the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's next president opens President Bush to the charge he supports elections only when they produce winners he likes, analysts critical of the administration said on Monday. -Reuters - 6/28/05

Rethinking Iran
IRANIANS ONCE again have voted for change in their authoritarian and corrupt Islamic regime. Their choice for president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, differs dramatically from the liberalizing reformer voters backed in two previous elections, but Mr. Ahmadinejad, a religious hard-liner, is no more likely to satisfy restless Iranians than his failed predecessor. -Washington Post - 6/28/05

Bush and Schröder are on message about Iran
President George W. Bush said Monday that he and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany agreed that European negotiators should continue to send Iran a "focused, concerted, unified message that says the development of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable." -IHT - 6/28/05

Iran Khodro explores new markets
Giant Iranian auto manufacturer, Iran Khodro Industrial Group, will deliver 4,000 light and heavy vehicles to Syria by March, making it the second major car exporter to the Arab country, the English-language paper `Iran Daily' said on Tuesday. - 6/28/05

Iran's President thanks Judiciary Chief for citizen rights circular
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Monday he was thankful of Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi for issuing a circular which required the Justice system to respect human rights of every citizen. - 6/28/05

Europe loses bargaining chip in negotiations as Tehran plays down trade links
Britain, France and Germany, the three countries that have taken on the burden of negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear programme, had prepared themselves for the election of a moderate, someone they could probably “do business with”. -Times Online, UK - 6/28/05

Caspian Sea Region Contribution To Global Energy Security
UNECE Energy Security Forum has decided to hold in Geneva, on 28 June 2005, a High-level Meeting on Energy Security in the Caspian Sea Region to consider the role of this region in enhancing global energy security. - 6/28/05

Iran's Hard-Line President-Elect Pledges 'Moderate' Government
Mahmud Ahmadinejad says his government will be one of moderation and peace. Ahmadinejad also says his country will defend its right to develop peaceful nuclear technology. He also said Iran does not need to reestablish formal diplomatic relations with the United States. - 6/27/05

Solana: EU will continue engagement with Iran
European Union High Representative for a Common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, said Monday that the 25-European bloc will continue its engagement With Iran on the basis of last year's Paris agreement. - 6/27/05

Iran: Election Of Ahmadinejad Unlikely To Affect Nuclear Negotiations
One of the biggest questions surrounding Iran's 24 June election of a new, ultraconservative president is how that might affect international negotiations over Iran's nuclear activities. - 6/27/05

Iran's new hard-liner maps path
The ultraconservative leader has vowed to spread Iran's oil money to the poor, end corruption, return to the roots of the 1979 Islamic revolution - and push Iran's nuclear-energy plans, which the US believes are a mask for a weapons program. -CSM - 6/27/05

Ali Shah's last stand
Ali Shah is the disrespectful nickname Iranians have in recent years bestowed on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme religious leader of the Islamic republic. It captures what they see as the monarchial aspirations and the clear limitations of the man who took over the function of "guiding" the republic from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini 18 years ago and who now, after an election that has put his man in as president, controls all the major institutions of the Iranian state. -Guardian - 6/27/05

The unipolar transition moment and the Persian Gulf Wars (Part III): Enter neoconservatism
In the second part of this article serial, I have argued that we may observe a constant (not-linear, not proportionate and by no means non-eclectic) escalation of US policies in the Persian Gulf. In order to qualify this argument, let me link this escalation to the increasing prominence of a unilateral identity as the preferred self-perception of the post-Cold War US state. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Tharwa - 6/27/05

Iran's new leader: a familiar face?
As soon as I saw a picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's new president, I knew there was something faintly familiar about him. -BBC - 6/27/05

UK fears return to the bad old days in Iran
Ahmadinejad's victory spells trouble for nuclear talks, western engagement, and women's rights, say diplomats -Guardian - 6/27/05

Iran's President-Elect Calls for Moderation
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former militiaman and military commander who will be Iran's next president, moved to calm global concerns about his hard-line politics Sunday, vowing at a news conference to "avoid any extremism inside the government" and to pursue "a policy of moderation." -Washington Post - 6/27/05

Iran-Netherlands parliamentary meeting held in the Hague
Iranian and Dutch parliamentary officials in a joint meeting in the Hague on Monday discussed bilateral ties, issues of mutual interests and main political development in the region. - 6/27/05

Ahmadinejad's election 'another UK intelligence failure'
The election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's new president is the latest in a long line of intelligence failures by British Foreign Office, according to the Guardian newspaper. - 6/27/05

The Mullahs Win Again
A backer likens the new president to a 'booster vaccine for Islamic principles.' Opponents call him an 'Iranian Taliban.' -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 6/27/05

U.S. Has Plans to Again Make Own Plutonium
The Bush administration is planning the government's first production of plutonium 238 since the cold war, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. The substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer. -NY Times - 6/27/05

Oil prices surge to record level
Oil prices have continued to climb on Monday, surging to a record on concerns that demand will outstrip supply. Also driving gains on Monday were concerns of a clash between Iran's newly elected President and the US. -BBC - 6/27/05

Report: US Considers Initiative to Fight Weapons Proliferation
A published report says the Bush administration is planning new measures against anyone doing business with Iranian, North Korean and Syrian companies Washington believes are involved in weapons programs. - 6/27/05

Quakes shake northeast, south Iran
Two separate mild earthquakes measuring 3.5 and 3.2 on Richter scale hit cities of Esfarayen and Kazeroun respectivelty, in northeast and south of Iran Sunday evening. - 6/27/05

Rumsfeld: Iran's President-Elect 'No Friend of Democracy'
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has criticized Iran's president-elect, who won a strong victory in run-off elections Friday. Meanwhile, in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to pursue moderation, not extremism. - 6/27/05

EU wants to build deeper ties with Iran, European Commission
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, stressed Monday that the EU will continue its engagement and dialogue with the Islamic Republic. - 6/27/05

Rafsanjani blames 'ruthless' smear campaign on his defeat
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani mounted a blistering attack Saturday after his surprise presidential defeat which he blamed on a 'ruthless' smear campaign and an organized interference in the polls. - 6/26/05

Delavari hands Iran Asian youth boxing silver
Iran's +91 kg boxer Jassem Delavari finished runner-up in the Asian youth meet in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday. - 6/26/05

US concern over Iran poll result
From the United States, a distinctly lukewarm response to the Iranian president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The US government voiced concern at the result of the Iranian election, questioning the fairness of the vote and supporting those who it said stood for greater freedom in Iran. -BBC - 6/26/05

Iran to maintain nuclear policy
Iran's newly elected hardline President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said his government will continue the country's nuclear programme. -BBC - 6/26/05

Poll Finds Iraq War, Guantanamo Controversy Hurting US Image Abroad
Now, a new poll in 16 nations two years after the war began gives at least a glimpse of how the world's view of the United States has been affected not only by the Iraq war, but also by what Bush calls the "war on terror" - 6/26/05

Iran elections cause bemusement
Sunday's papers are bemused at the people of Iran's choice of leader. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not even feature in the most recent edition of the country's political Who's Who, according to the Observer. -BBC - 6/26/05

Rise of hardliner baffles Iran's political elite
Reasons why moderates may have turned out to vote for the ultra-conservative candidate in Friday's presidential runoff. -CSM - 6/26/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad urges reporters to be precise in analyzing news
Addressing domestic and foreign reporters, the former mayor of the capital city of Tehran added that during his term in Tehran Municipality, for the first time, the mass media which had ventured to criticize the administration in charge were supported and praised. - 6/26/05

Iranian Voters Choose Hard-Line Tehran Mayor As President
Ahmadinejad's victory is considered a major blow to Iran's reformist camp, who have lost their last stronghold. In his first public reaction to his shock victory, Iran's president-elect said that the Islamic Republic's "enemies" had been "checkmated." - 6/26/05

Iran's President-Elect Says He Wants Islamic Society
Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he will look toward all groups in Iranian society when he forms his new cabinet. - 6/26/05

Iran: Foreign investments in industry exceeds $5 billion in third development plan
Iran's Industry and mining sector drew five billion of foreign investments during the Third Five-Year Development Plan (March 2000-2005), a report by Industry and Mines Ministry said today. - 6/26/05

Iran's Journalists Association protests temporary closure of newspaper
Iran's Journalists Association in a statement issued here Saturday protest against temporary closure of Eqbal newspaper. - 6/26/05

Iran Says New President Won't Change Foreign Policy
Iran's Foreign Ministry said today that Tehran's nuclear policies will not change under newly elected President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The announcement came a day after Britain, France, and several other countries called on Ahmadinejad to address international concerns about Iran's nuclear activities. - 6/26/05

U.S. and Europe Gird for Hard Line From Iran's New President
The United States and its European allies are bracing for a tough new opponent in Iran with the election to the presidency of Tehran's ultra-conservative mayor, a relative unknown to the outside world whose campaign pledged to take a harder line in talks on Iran's nuclear program, according to U.S. and Western officials, as well as Iranian analysts. -Washington Post - 6/26/05

Tehran Mayor Scores Upset Presidential Win
The mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has pulled off the biggest political upset in Iran's post-revolutionary history. He beat his older, better-known, and far more politically experienced opponent, former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Friday's runoff election. - 6/25/05

Iran votes against the status quo
The Iranian election result is a major upset. Most observers did not even think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would make it past the first round of polling a week ago. -BBC - 6/25/05

Journalists Visit Iran's Nearly-Finished Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
In an unusual event, Iran has taken journalists to see its nuclear plants. It was an effort to prove to the United States and others that Iran is not using its nuclear program to produce nuclear weapons. - 6/25/05

Iran's Internet Censorship Among Strictest In the World, Documents OpenNet Initiative Report
The university based OpenNet Initiative (ONI) released “Internet Filtering in Iran,” a report that documents the degree and extent to which the Iranian government controls the information environment in which its citizens live, including websites, blogs, email, and online discussion forums. - 6/24/05

Class Is Pivotal In Iran Runoff
In the 26 years since the Iranian revolution, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has become not only a millionaire but the most conspicuous embodiment of a privileged political class far removed from the struggles of ordinary people. -Washington Post - 6/24/05

NIAC collaborates with ACLU coalition to Educate Iranian Americans on Their Rights
The National Iranian American Council is working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International USA, the Iranian American Bar Association, the Iranian American Political Action Committee, and the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA), to promote broad based education of civil rights among the Iranian-American community. - 6/24/05

Fatal Crash Proves That U-2 Spy Plane, While Seldom Seen, Is Still Often Flown
Although the Air Force spokesman did not mention Iran, it's considered certain that the United States is employing the U-2's surveillance capabilities there, as well. Washington suspects Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. - 6/24/05

In Iran, a campaign ad is high art
The camera follows the candidate's wife, enveloped in a wispy white chador, as she steps quietly into the garden with a plate of chilled watermelon. -CSM - 6/24/05

US: Iranians Denied Free Choice in Presidential Vote
The United States said Thursday Iranians are being denied a free choice in the country's presidential run-off election, since most candidates were eliminated by decree before the voting process began. - 6/24/05

G8 Foreign Ministers Seek Common Ground
The foreign ministers from the so-called G8 group of wealthy nations dealt with a very wide agenda Thursday in London. - 6/24/05

Rice Limits Rhetoric, And Maybe Impact
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swept through the Middle East this week, leaving behind striking images of a tough-minded diplomat navigating the shoals of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and demanding that close U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia open up their repressive political systems. -Washington Post - 6/24/05

China's bold bid for global energy
A bold offer by a state-owned company here to outbid Chevron and take over a major California oil group suggests that China's rising economic clout has hit harder and faster than even many optimists predicted. -CSM - 6/24/05

Future of Reform Is at Stake in Iran Presidential Election
Amidst allegations of vote rigging, a former Iranian president and the conservative mayor of Teheran will face one another on Friday in a runoff election for the presidency. - 6/24/05

Iran Prepares for Pivotal Vote
Iran’s presidential race has polarized the country. Regardless of who wins the presidential run-off on June 24, the acrimony generated during the election process will not dissipate quickly, creating uncertainty for Iran’s political future, some political analysts suggest. -Eurasianet - 6/24/05

Britain backs Iran gas pipeline project: Pak daily
United Kingdom supports the proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan, said a Pakistani newspaper on Friday. - 6/24/05

Iran: Alarmed Politicians Urge Voters To Choose Hashemi-Rafsanjani
In the second round of Iran's presidential election on 24 June, voters must choose between the very right-wing Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the more cautious former President Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who heads the Expediency Council, a key arbitrating body. - 6/24/05

US 'very supportive' of EU seeking Iran nuclear deal, says Rice
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Iran should take advantages of the negotiations led by Britain, France and Germany to reach long-term arrangements on its nuclear programme. - 6/24/05

Iran: Voting Under Way In Close Presidential Runoff
Iranians began voting today in the country's first presidential runoff since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The vote is expected to be tight. Election results are expected tomorrow. - 6/24/05

Iran: Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- Fascist, Or Man Of The People?
There is one thing on which the supporters and opponents of Mahmud Ahmadinejad agree: his impeccable revolutionary credentials. - 6/23/05

Payback Time
Many Payvand readers write to me for many diverse and different reasons. One of them was a youngish reader who asked me if I could help him find an NGO that he could work for during his forthcoming visit to Tehran. I introduced him to one such NGO which asked him to get in touch with them to arrange things. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/23/05

Life in an opium haze for city in terror after forgotten quake
Survivors of the disaster in Bam are reluctanct to rebuild their lives -Times Online, UK - 6/23/05

Tehran Mayor Seeks Upset Win in Iranian Presidential Runoff
The campaign in Iran's runoff presidential campaign ended Wednesday. The campaign has been heated, with charges flying back and forth between the two camps. The mayor of the city is trying to shake the label of extremist from his opponent's followers. - 6/23/05

Photos: Women's fashion in Tehran, Iran
It is young women's nature to dress up beautifully despite strict regulations on female dressing in Iran. -People's Daily, China - 6/23/05

US not against good Iran-Iraq ties
US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said Wednesday that it is a "good thing" that Iran and Iraq have good relations. - 6/23/05

Iranian FM: US turns to multilateralism to save face in Iraq
Kharrazi was among the 80 ministers and dignitaries who participated in the one-day international conference on Iraq co-hosted by the EU and US in Brussels on Wednesday. - 6/23/05

Backers Weigh Iraq's Future At Brussels Conference
An international conference on the future of Iraq is under way in Brussels. More than 80 countries and international organizations are present, among them the secretary-generals of the United Nations and NATO, foreign ministers of all EU member states, as well as the United States, and Iraq’s neighbors. - 6/23/05

Building a Community by Blogging
The Iranian-American’s role in assisting Iran toward greater enjoyment of political and social freedoms is to proliferate concepts of human rights and freedoms, while actively engaging both Iranians and Americans in order to better promote the truth and well-being of both. -Nema Milaninia - 6/23/05

Fuel for Iran atomic plant due in months -official
Russian fuel for Iran's first nuclear power reactor, part of a program Washington fears may be used to make bombs, will be delivered within months, a senior Iranian atomic official said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 6/23/05

Iran's youth stunned into action
Tehran's unofficial speakeasies are among the few places you can usually find Iranian kids acting their age in the capital. On election night, however, the atmosphere was anything but upbeat. -BBC - 6/23/05

Chevron says foreign upstream access tougher
Kirkland said the company was considering bidding in the second upstream round in Libya and would like to invest in Iran, should U.S. sanctions be lifted. -Reuters - 6/23/05

Iran hardliners pray for victory
A week ago political analysts did not rate Mr Ahmedinejad as a serious contender for president - he was an unknown quantity. Now this ultra-hardliner is trying to appeal to the poor as a man of humble origins who will revive the spirit of the Islamic Revolution. - 6/23/05

Two quakes hit northwestern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 4 and 3.6 degrees on the Richter scale hit the city of Bostanabad in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, respectively. - 6/23/05

Iran front-runner faces skepticism and mockery
As Rafsanjani, the front-runner in the race to be this country's next president, sat almost regally before a packed auditorium Tuesday, the students alternately booed, laughed at him and, at times, even mocked him. -NY Times - 6/23/05

US Refugee Group Gives Mixed Grades to Countries Hosting Refugees
Iran, which is host to more than one million mostly Afghan refugees, also got an "F" for acknowledging the deportation of 140,000 Afghans, including some with refugee status. - 6/23/05

Iranian Artist Buries Work in Central Park, Manhattan
Iranian artist, Ahmad Nadalian, has buried his art work entitled “Mithra, the Goddess” in Central Park, Manhattan, NY, to be discovered years from now by future generations. - 6/23/05

Call for four banned Iranian dailies to reopen
Reporters Without Borders has called for four banned reformist dailies, Eghbal, Aftabyazd, Hayat No and Eqbal to be allowed to reopen. They were banned on 20 June 2005 after carrying a letter from a candidate alleging fraud in the first round of the presidential elections. - 6/22/05

Iran: A New Generation And The Drift To The Right
The 24 June second round of the Iranian presidential election pits two individuals with very different backgrounds against one another -- Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani versus Mahmud Ahmadinejad. - 6/22/05

Iran-Russian nuclear deal 'consistent' with NPT, says UK's Straw
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Tuesday rejected a call to raise concerns with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov or other G8 foreign ministers over Moscow's nuclear agreement with Iran, saying that it was "consistent" with the Non-proliferation Treaty. - 6/22/05

US Government Guide Welcomes Legal Immigrants with Helpful Hints
With all the attention being given to the hundreds of thousands of people who enter the country illegally each year, it's easy to forget that over the same period, about as many immigrants arrive with the proper documents, signed and sealed. The U.S. government has just released a welcome guide for these legal immigrants. - 6/22/05

Iran gears up for tense run-off
Heated campaigning is under way in Iran ahead of an unprecedented presidential election run-off on Friday. -BBC - 6/22/05

Iranian Election Exposes Fault Lines in Clerical Establishment
Iran's presidential election, which goes to a runoff vote this Friday, has evolved into an open power struggle within the clerical establishment that rules the country. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/22/05

Iran Seizes Candidate's Election Material
Iranian security officials on Tuesday confiscated more than half a million wallet-size cards and posters endorsing Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for president from a printing house in Tehran, according to employees of the shop. -Washington Post - 6/22/05

Stem-cell science stirs debate in Muslim world, too
Egypt will not be the first predominantly Muslim country to conduct stem-cell research. Iranian scientists developed human embryonic stem-cell lines in 2003 with the approval of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme religious leader -CSM - 6/22/05

Key Democrat Calls on Bush to Change Course in Iraq
The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is calling on President Bush to change course in Iraq or risk failure that could harm U.S. national security. - 6/22/05

Iran leader warns against unrest
The hard-line religious leadership in Iran, striking back at a former speaker of Parliament who accused conservatives and the military of rigging the presidential election, has shut down two newspapers that planned to publish the charges. -IHT - 6/22/05

Iranian Interior Ministry Warns Of Vote Fraud Ahead Of Presidential Runoff
Iran's Interior Ministry is warning about possible fraud ahead of the 24 June presidential runoff. The warning follows last night's validation of the vote in the 17 June first round by Iran's powerful Guardians Council. - 6/22/05

Iraq leaders seek rebuilding aid
A major conference on Iraq attended by about 80 countries is discussing ways to rebuild the violence-hit country. Syria, Iran and Kuwait have sent their foreign ministers to Brussels. -BBC - 6/22/05

Iranian FM: Developments augur well for Iraq
Addressing an international conference on Iraq in Brussels, Kharrazi stressed that Iran believes the future of Iraq belongs to all Iraqis and the majority should respect the rights of the minority on the basis of democracy, fairness and national solidarity. - 6/22/05

Second Iranian Election for Presidency Will be Signal of Country’s Direction
Iranians head back to the polls again Friday for a runoff election to choose a new president. - 6/22/05

Reform-Minded Iranian Students Back Rafsanjani Reluctantly
At a hastily arranged meeting at Tehran University Tuesday, former President Rafsanajani was greeted with thunderous cheers and shouts of "Hashemi", as he is commonly known, as he entered the overflowing auditorium. - 6/22/05

NIOC official: Iran duty-bound to address global crude demands
As a committed OPEC member and an oil producer, Iran feels itself duty-bound to address growing oil demand worldwide, said an Iranian official in Tehran on Wednesday. - 6/22/05

Photos: Isfahan's Historical Chehelsotoun Palace
During my recent trip to Isfahan, I took off from my group to explore the unseen areas of the Chehelsotoun wonder palace. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/21/05

Rice Calls for Liberty and Democracy in Middle East
During what was billed as a major policy address at the American University in Cairo, Secretary Rice called for leaders in the Middle East to reject fear, and embrace freedom for their people. - 6/21/05

Sides Scramble in Fight For the Iranian Presidency
The battle for Iran's presidency intensified Monday, as reformers rallied around the candidacy of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, accusations of vote-rigging grew and three newspapers that published a candidate's letter critical of the election were shut down. -Washington Post - 6/21/05

Azerbaijan: Call for investigation of death of photographer beaten up by police
Reporters Without Borders today urged the Azerbaijan government to launch an immediate enquiry into the weekend death of opposition newspaper photographer-reporter Alim Kazimli (photo), who was severely beaten up by police six months ago. - 6/21/05

Flamenco Concert in Tehran’s Vahdat Hall
In collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Tehran. Singer: Juan Pinilla; Guitarist: Luis Mariano; 2nd and 3rd of July 2005 - 6/21/05

Iran Presidential Race Heads to Unprecedented Runoff in Election Marred by Fraud Allegations
We speak with veteran Middle East journalist Dilip Hiro and Iranian-American writer Roya Hakakian. Her family supported the 1979 revolution, then fled. -Democracy Now - 6/21/05

US enlists other nations in efforts to steer Iraqi government
The US cohosts a European conference Wednesday that could influence Iraq's emerging political landscape. -CSM - 6/21/05

Hardline Iran hails a devout working class hero
Religious conservatives rally round the unexpectedly successful presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite allegations of dirty tricks -Guardian - 6/21/05

US reconfirms support to EU efforts on Iran
Leaders of the European Union and United States on Monday said they remain united in their determination to "see the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program resolved." - 6/21/05

Iranian reformists on the ropes amid charges of vote rigging
Iran's reformists were left reeling after a hard-line conservative candidate swept into second place in the presidential elections. Voters must now decide between Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and powerful ex-president and cleric, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the country's first ever presidential election run-off on Friday. - 6/21/05

IRAN: Marking World Refugee Day
Top UN officials have praised Iran for hosting more refugees than almost any other country in the world, in remarks made in the capital, Tehran, marking World Refugee Day on Monday. - 6/21/05

US Calls Iran Election 'Highly Unrepresentative'
The United States Monday labeled the Iranian presidential election "highly unrepresentative" and said it fell far short of minimum democratic standards. Officials downplayed conciliatory statements toward the United States by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - 6/21/05

Iran Election Filled with Surprises
The world of Iranian politics is often murky and can surprise even seasoned observers. No where is this more evident than in the outcome of Friday's election, in which a nationally obscure political figure came out of nowhere to take second place and a spot in the runoff. - 6/21/05

Bush and Hawks Try Pre-Emptive Strike Vs. Iran Vote
A familiar clutch of hardline U.S. hawks who led the march to war against Iraq have tried to carry out yet another pre-emptive strike. But this time it wasn't military. -IPS - 6/21/05

Iran poll challenger accused of ballot fraud
Mr Rafsanjani's aides say Mr Ahmadinejad may have stuffed ballot boxes, bought votes and used improper influence on the guardian council, the religious watchdog overseeing the election. "We are suspicious. We feel that he was not so popular as to gain this number of votes," said Amir Mohseni, deputy head of Mr Rafsanjani's campaign in Tehran. -Guardian - 6/20/05

Iran: Recount Ordered After Rigging Allegations In Presidential Vote
Election officials in Iran have ordered a random recount of 100 ballot boxes from the 17 June presidential vote after several reformist candidates alleged the vote had been rigged. - 6/20/05

Washingtons war with Iran already started
The fact of the matter is that the U.S. war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over-flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using such means as pilotless drones and other more sophisticated capabilities. The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase. -Scott Ritter, Aljazeera - 6/20/05

The Rooster (poem): I was walking in Darabad village one morning
I was walking in Darabad village one morning, a backpack hanging from my shoulders, and felt all the gazes-from the chadori (veiled) women to the construction workers turned on me. Intimidated like a misplaced tourist, I quickened my pace, my head hung in shame, and met a rooster on the way... -Leylanaz Shajii, Tehran - 6/20/05

Iran reformists back Rafsanjani
Reformist leaders in Iran have urged supporters to rally behind former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Friday's presidential run-off. -BBC - 6/20/05

Iran Runoff Vote Unlikely to Alter Its Nuclear Policy
The results of voting in Iran's presidential election on Friday, leading to a two-candidate runoff this week, underscore a growing urgency for those hoping to change a system under threat of falling further under the sway of dogmatic hard-liners. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/20/05

Iranian Nomadic Weavings on Display in Dayton Institute of Ohio
An exhibition of nomadic weaving textiles of Iran and Turkey is on display in Dayton Art Institute of Ohio, United States, from June 4 to September 25. - 6/20/05

Iran's divided reformers line up against hard-liner in runoff
Warning that Iran's citizens faced the prospect of military interference in selecting their next president, the reform movement in Iran issued a statement Sunday night indicating that it planned to oppose the candidacy of the mayor of Tehran when he faces Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a runoff for the presidency this week. -NY Times - 6/20/05

Mitsubishi Motors to enter Iranian market
Loss-making Japanese auto maker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said on Monday it planned to enter the Iranian market by the end of this month in a bid to revive itself by boosting sales in overseas markets. -Reuters - 6/20/05

Seminar on environmental economy opens in Tehran
The three-day seminar entitled `Economy of Environment' with a focus on economic growth and the quality of environment opened at the auditorium of Pardisan park in Tehran on Monday. - 6/20/05

Iran Reform Leader Urges Support for Rafsanjani in Second Vote Round
A leading reformer in Iran has called on those voters who boycotted Friday's election to vote in the runoff race. The runoff pits a moderate former president against a hard-line conservative. - 6/20/05

UNESCO to Decide on Iran's Naghsh-e Jahan and Sultanieh in Durban
The 29th session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to be held from 10th to 17th of July 2005 in Durban, South Africa, and decisions regarding Iran will include the registration of Sultanieh Dome on the World Heritage List and Naghsh-e Jahan Square on the List of Heritage in Danger. - 6/20/05

Iranian reformist newspapers Eqbal and Aftab Yazd banned
Two Iranian reformist newspapers were banned from appearing on Monday after they published a letter by the presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi to the Supreme Leader. - 6/20/05

Tehran's Andisheh Park: What is important to Iranian men and women
Last week a young friend of my brother’s arranged that I go and talk to his mates at the park near my mum’s house. Park Andisheh is located in the middle of Old Shemiran road (called Shariatie these days). -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/20/05

Iran's GDP increased 6.7 percent for March 2003-2004
Iran's gross domestic product (GDP) for the Iranian year of 1382 (ended March 19, 2004) rose by 6.7 percent compared to the previous year reaching rls 379,09 billion calculated at 1376 prices. - 6/19/05

Iran calls for Bush poll apology
Iran has called on US President George W Bush to apologise for criticising Friday's presidential election. -BBC - 6/19/05

Iran reformers face quandary
In Iran, two candidates are going forward to an unprecedented second round in Iran's presidential elections after a closely fought contest. -BBC - 6/19/05

Afghan, Tajik Leaders See New Bridge As Crucial Link
Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have laid the foundation stone of a U.S.-funded bridge that will cross their countries' river border. - 6/19/05

Iran: As Winners Head For Runoff, Losers Complain Of Fraud
Two of the losing candidates in Iran's ninth presidential election on 17 June have complained of military interference in the election, with one calling on the country's supreme leader to intervene and another warning of a fascistic trend in the country's politics. - 6/19/05

IRMO backs Hashemi Rafsanjani in Iran's run-off election
IRMO said in a statement that it prefers the next president not to accept to become a 'procurement officer' or 'secretary of government organs'. It appreciated extensive turnout in presidential election as a great victory for the nation, but, at the same time condemned orchestrated efforts of 'military organs which have nationwide networks to bring to top the most extremist anti-reform candidate'. - 6/19/05

IIPF to actively take part in Iran's run-off election
The pro-reform political party said that a politico-military party has embarked on a campaign to monopolize power and called on advocates of democracy and human rights to go to polls in the run-off election. - 6/19/05

Rap or not, Iran may turn more hard-line
In an underground recording studio in middle-class west Tehran, 20-year old rapper Soroush is snapping a fast-paced rhyme into a state-of-the-art microphone. With Iran's presidential elections taking place today, he has been commissioned by the pragmatic frontrunner, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to write a song for his election campaign, the Islamic Republic's most atypical in the 26 years since the revolution swept aside the monarchy. -Daily Star - 6/18/05

'The streets are full of voters'
Iranians have been heading to the polls to cast their votes in what seems set to be one of their most closely contested elections in Iran for decades. -BBC - 6/18/05

D.C. Area Iranians Cast Ballots, Debate Boycott
Kaveh Kahen, an Iranian graduate student who lives in Gaithersburg, debated with himself for weeks. Whom should he vote for in Iran's presidential poll? Should he even vote? -Washington Post - 6/18/05

Iran's electoral handshake test
Iranians have cast their ballots to elect a successor to reformist President Mohammad Khatami, but assessing the election race itself is not the only way of gauging the political temperature among voters. -BBC - 6/18/05

Iran: Latest election results show Rafsanjani and Karroubi in the lead
Out of a total of 26,484,370 votes counted throughout the country by 15:45 hours Saturday, Rafsanjani and Karroubi have gained the highest number of votes. - 6/18/05

US House Demands Funding Cuts, if UN Fails to Reform
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation by a vote of 221 to 184 proposing wide-ranging reforms of the United Nations. - 6/18/05

Wooing Iran's Youth
The arrival of actor Sean Penn in Tehran to cover Iran’s presidential election for the San Francisco Chronicle set off a local media frenzy, but it wasn’t the only noteworthy event in this year’s electoral campaign. -AdBusters - 6/18/05

My personal account of police brutality on the eve of the Iran's elections
I was looking forward to cast my vote at the polls. This is the first time that I am here in Tehran on the eve of a presidential election. The only other time that I have voted for an Iranian president was more than a decade ago in California. -Shahrad Sharif - 6/18/05

BBG Works To Overcome Iran’s Jamming Of Persian Satellite News Broadcasts
The Broadcasting Board of Governors today announced it is using a third satellite to help overcome jamming of Persian-language news broadcasts during Iran’s election period. - 6/18/05

Strong Turnout in Iran Shows Changing Opinions
Polling stations were mostly packed, with long lines snaking outside. It seemed the calls to boycott elections by dissidents at home and exiled opposition groups abroad were largely ineffective, at least in Tehran. Iranians, young and old, men and women, conservative and liberal, were coming out to elect their next president. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/18/05

Police beat and arrest families of Akbar Ganji and Nasser Zarafshan
Police wielding clubs beat family members of journalist Akbar Ganji, including his wife and brother, the journalist Masud Bastiani, and two members of the Association of Iranian writers on 16 June 2005. - 6/17/05

For Iranian-Americans, the focus is on America
Hope for Iran, but their American home is the new front for activism -MSNBC - 6/17/05

After eight years of Khatami, next Iranian president urged to promote press freedom
The Islamic Republic of Iran's next president must adopt measures to promote press freedom and the rule of law, starting with the unconditional release of the eight journalists and three bloggers currently in prison, Reporters Without Borders said today, two days before presidential elections in Iran. - 6/17/05

Iranian blogs take on the election
The Persian blogland is less than four years old, and so Friday's presidential election is the first of its kind in the post-weblog world. -BBC - 6/17/05

Iran protests IAEA report on safeguards agreement
Iran on Thursday protested to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against a report the agency has provided on Iranian undertakings concerning safeguards agreement. - 6/17/05

Blogs recognised 'freedom awards'
Also highlighted in the winners' list is Mojtaba Saminejad. He is an Iranian whose blog, published in the Farsi language, earned him a two-year prison sentence in June 2005. -BBC - 6/17/05

Iran's politicians get image savvy
"I'm in Club Rafsanjani!" jokes a young girl on her mobile telephone to her mother in Fereshteh, an affluent area of north Tehran. -BBC - 6/17/05

Analysts Expect No Major Policy Changes in Iran after Presidential Ballot
The polls will open in Iran Friday for voters to elect a successor to president Mohammad Khatami, although many analysts say none of the candidates is likely to win an outright majority and therefore a runoff election is likely. - 6/17/05

Vote or Boycott? Iran's Online Debate
The Iranian media's coverage of the Iranian presidential campaign belies the country's image as a monolithic theocratic dictatorship. The online media, in particular, voice the popular dissatisfaction with the country's ruling clerics that has pervaded the run-up to Friday's balloting. -Washington Post - 6/17/05

As reformer exits, who will lead Iran?
Mr. Khatami's legacy is often overshadowed by the titanic struggle in Iran between those who demand change and those who won't accept it - loosely, Iran's reformists and its hard-line conservatives. -CSM - 6/17/05

Shi'ites: Game; Kurds: Set; Sunnis: Match; US: Loss
There is something pathetic in the recent efforts by the Bush administration to try to enlist Europe, the Arab world, and the United Nations to pressure the ruling Shi'ite-Kurdish coalition in Baghdad led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to include members of the Sunni minority in the political process. -Antiwar - 6/17/05

Bush Critical of Iran Elections
President Bush says presidential elections in Iran are designed to keep power in the hands of rulers who he says suppress liberty at home and spread terror across the world. - 6/17/05

Rice Says Iran's Presidential Vote No Harbinger Of Reform
.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has questioned the legitimacy of the 17 June presidential poll in Iran, saying the country’s reform effort has gone backwards. - 6/17/05

Afghanistan-Iran: Campaign brings together Afghan officials and refugees
A delegation of government officials from the western Afghan province of Herat has recently visited the city of Mashhad in eastern Iran as part of an information campaign to raise the awareness of Afghans living in Iran about the situation in their homeland. - 6/17/05

Michael Ledeen’s Love of Iran
It has been said that Michael Ledeen has the President’s ear. Resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), there is no one who tries harder than Michael Ledeen to get rid of the Mullahs in Tehran – at least no other American. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 6/17/05

Fuelling Mistrust Between Iran and the United States
Imagine your reaction if, during last November’s presidential contest, the mullahs of Iran had suddenly launched a tirade of criticism against the American system of democracy and beamed their message onto our television sets and radios for all of us to hear: democracy in the United States, the mullahs might perhaps have claimed, is a corrupt process that is determined largely by the influence of the wealthiest donors, and a process that wholly fails to address the religious needs of a secular, materialist culture. -Roger Howard - 6/16/05

Contradictions between the UN Convention on the rights of women and the Iranian Islamic Law
The Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 in the United Nations General Assembly. It has a preamble, and 30 articles. In the preamble the states parties to the convention agree that any kind of discrimination against women is against the principle of equality of human beings -Bahman Aghai Diba - 6/16/05

UN: World Refugee Day Shifts Focus From Politics To People
War. Hunger. Persecution. Ordinary people rarely have to face such challenges, but these grim realities define the daily existence of many of the world's 19 million refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons. - 6/16/05

Iranian shift: Revolution to reform
The campaign to succeed Mohammad Khatami as president of Iran has marked a significant shift in the nature of the political discourse in this country, with politicians of all backgrounds taking up the language of reform while studiously avoiding the language of revolution. -New York Times - 6/16/05

Iran's tea industry drains away as smugglers vie for a share of the pot
It was smuggled to Iran in secret, from under the nose of the British establishment in India. But now the country's tea industry is deep in trouble and the verdant gardens that once sustained millions of farmers and their workers are used only for grazing sheep. -Guardian - 6/16/05

Court backs executive order barring Iran trade
Upholding a presidential executive order, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday that U.S. citizens affiliated with foreign companies are barred from providing financial backing for investments in Iran. -Reuters - 6/16/05

Afghan Women Get Business Primer in US
Under the Taleban, the "Afghan Business Woman" didn't exist. Women were prohibited from operating businesses, though that didn't stop many from working underground. Afghanistan's new government has taken a different attitude, and it is sending female entrepreneurs to the United States to hone their business skills. - 6/16/05

Iran: Bomb blast in Zahedan causes three injuries
A sound bomb exploded in Zahedan city, southeastern Iran, at 19:50 local time (1520 GMT) on Wednesday and caused three injuries. - 6/16/05

As Iranians head to polls, a lesson emerges for U.S.
If ever there was a cautionary tale about the laws of unintended consequences for U.S. involvement in foreign countries, Iran — as it goes to the polls for a presidential election Friday — is it. The lesson is more than pertinent for U.S. efforts in Iraq and to bring democracy to the Middle East. -USA Today - 6/16/05

Iran politicians woo the young
Presidential hopefuls reach out with music and rallies before Friday's vote to sway the under-30 majority. -CSM - 6/16/05

Young voters hold the key in race for Iranian presidency
Well aware of electoral demographics, the candidates have directed their campaigns at the young. Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, the right-wing former police chief, has adopted the sleek, monochrome style of a perfume advert for his posters, which also feature young football fans. One of Mr Rafsanjani's posters features a young man with shoulder-length hair and goatee beard. -Independent - 6/16/05

Khatami warns of 'dirty tricks'
Iran's outgoing president has warned of an organised dirty tricks campaign to disrupt the presidential election. Mr Khatami did not identify who was behind the interference, which he said included "disruption of gatherings, beatings, illegal pamphlets and spreading lies to ruin candidates' reputations regardless of political inclination". -BBC - 6/16/05

'rePresent' gives voice to Iranian-Americans
In an unprecedented project, 25 artists and writers of Iranian descent have come together to create "rePresent," an exhibition that went on view June 4 at the Oliver Art Center at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. The show runs through June 19, giving voice to some of the approximately 100,000 Iranian-Americans living in the Bay Area, organizers say. -Inside Bay Area - 6/16/05

U.S. Official Affirms American Support for Democracy in Iran
Elizabeth Cheney, Principal Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, emphasized U.S. support for democracy in Iran during an appearance today on Voice of America's (VOA) Persian TV program Looking Ahead. - 6/16/05

IAEA Says Tehran Admits To Undisclosed Plutonium Experiments
According to a new UN report, Iran has reportedly admitted that it carried out experiments on plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear arms, up until 1998 -- that is, for five years longer that it had previously acknowledged. - 6/16/05

Gains for Democracy Could Jolt Iran's Theocrats and America's Neocons
Iran's most repressive clerics and the USA's most militaristic neocons share a common interest: They're very eager to see the failure of Iranian activism for democracy and human rights. -Norman Solomon, Common Dreams - 6/16/05

Massih Alinejad, a brave Iranian woman journalist
Recently we went to see a young journalist, Massih Alinejad, at her office at Hambastegi newspaper. We met a very sincere, dedicated and earnest young lady who strongly believes in law and order and process of democracy and rights of citizen as well as clarity and transparency. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/15/05

ICAO Inspectors Arrived in Tehran
Inspectors of International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, arrived last night in Tehran to carry out a series of inspections on different aspects of the newly-launched Imam Khomeini International Airport. - 6/15/05

Abundance Of Candidates Worries Hard-Liners in Iran
To win outright in the first round, a candidate must secure more than 50 percent of the votes. If nobody earns this amount, there will be a runoff on 24 June. - 6/15/05

Iran: What Will Election Mean For Tehran's Foreign Policy?
The runup to Iran's presidential election on 17 June is being closely watched in Western capitals. It could augur for some changes in Iranian foreign policy over the next four-year presidential term. But, at the same time, any of the candidates who wins office would have to work within the tight constraints imposed by Iran's conservative establishment. - 6/15/05

Competing visions of Iran's future
"Loyalty to the Islamic Republic" and "working towards regime change" have turned out to be the main lines of demarcation between various political groups. -BBC - 6/15/05

After Everest, Iranian heroine eyes poles
On May 30, Iranian Farkhondeh Sadegh along with compatriot Laleh Keshavarz added a new chapter to the history of mountaineering and of Islamic culture becoming the first Muslim women to summit Mt Everest, the world's highest peak. -Web India - 6/15/05

Two US Lawmakers Propose Gasoline Embargo on Iran
Two members of Congress say the United States needs to take stronger steps, along with European allies, to pressure Iran to stop its suspected nuclear weapons program. Their proposals, including a potential ban on gasoline shipments to Iran, are contained in a resolution they are introducing in the House of Representatives. - 6/15/05

Iranian Artists Giving Speech in Oxford University
Aghdashlu and Tanavoli, two Iranian prominent artists, are to hold speeches in Oxford University on 11-13 july 2005. - 6/15/05

Iran moves up one rank in FIFA World Cup standings
The Netherlands moved above France into fourth place in the FIFA World Cup rankings for this month while Iran improved its position by moving up one rank to 17th. - 6/15/05

Iran heads towards tight election
Iran's presidential candidates are making a last ditch appeal to voters as campaigning entered its final 24 hours. -BBC - 6/15/05

Iran-South Korea trade exchange stood at 4.5 billion dollars in 2004
Iranian ambassador to Seoul said on Wednesday that the value of Iran-South Korea trade exchanges reached 4.5 billion dollars in 2004. - 6/15/05

Forecasting Iran's vote
To American politicians, poll results are a crucial political weather vane. But in Iran, where pollsters are often viewed as invaders of privacy, greeted with suspicion, and even lied to, polls are more likely to provide insight into the confusion of Iran's political firmament, than accurately reflect public taste. -CSM - 6/15/05

Tehran, Baghdad flights to start in two month
Iraqi transportation minister said in Ilam on Tuesday hat Tehran-Baghdad flight will be established in the next two month. - 6/15/05

IAEA Wants Access to Iran Military Site
The International Atomic Energy Agency says it is making progress in tracking down the sources of contamination found on equipment in Iran. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog is calling for Iran to allow inspection of key sites to verify whether the Islamic republic's nuclear program is purely peaceful, as Tehran claims. - 6/15/05

Iran becomes world's fifth largest gas consumer
Iran last year became the world's fifth largest gas consumer, behind the US, Russia, the UK and Canada, overtaking Germany for the first time. - 6/15/05

Iranian Director Won Best Film Prize in Ecocinema Festival
Bijan Zamanpira, Iranian young filmmaker, won the best film prize for his 2 short films in Ecocinema International Film Festival that was held in Athens, Greece, 2-7 June 2005. - 6/15/05

Letter From Tehran: In Washington's Cross-Hairs
Washington keeps condemning Iran's government and making thinly veiled threats. But in Iran, many people are in the midst of challenging the country's rulers, in the streets and at the ballot box. -Common Dreams - 6/15/05

Rafsanjani: U.S. must do more
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- now seeking another term as the Islamic republic's elected leader -- said Tuesday the United States has been hostile toward his country for more than 30 years. -CNN - 6/15/05

Iran’s next president: What is the likely outcome of 17 June?
Irrespective of the identity of Iran’s next president, events leading up to the election on 17 June have already left irreversible traces on the political climate. The first part of this article discusses these. The second part elaborates on developments in the campaigns of the three main candidates and discusses their impacts on the next presidential tenure. The third part considers which of the three candidates has the best chance of winning the election and why. -Amir Ali Nourbakhsh - 6/15/05

Iran: Jailed Dissidents Denied Medical Care
The Iranian judiciary should immediately release prisoners of conscience, particularly those in urgent need of medical treatment, a group of leading international human rights organizations said today. - 6/15/05

Iran’s Next President And What Awaits Him
Suddenly in Iran there is election fever and posters are everywhere. After all the fuss, the Iranian presidential election will take place in a few days and one of the eight approved candidates will become Iran’s next president. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/14/05

Sean Penn hopes US people know Iran's culture
Hollywood Oscar wining Sean Penn said in Tehran on Monday he was hoping for American people to come to Iran and get familiar with the Iranian culture. - 6/14/05

US analyst proposes "Middle Path" on Iran's Nuclear Programme
Patrick Clawson, an American expert on Near East Policy is proposing western security and confidence-building measures to the Islamic Republic as incentives to resolve its nuclear stand off with the West. - 6/14/05

India and Iran finalise gas deal
Iran and India say they have finalised and signed a $22bn (£12bn) deal for Tehran to supply five million tonnes of gas every year to India. -BBC - 6/14/05

Tata Steel in $1.1bn Iranian deal
Tata Steel has said it will invest $1.1bn to $1.2bn (£0.61bn-£0.66bn) in building three steel plants in Iran and developing iron ore mines there. -BBC - 6/14/05

Pentagon analyst charged with divulging secrets
Franklin, who worked on the Iran desk within the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the time the government says he disclosed the information, was also charged with disclosing top-secret information about potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group. -Reuters - 6/14/05

Challenging the Mullahs
Iran's reform candidate is an underdog in the presidential election. But nowadays everyone claims to want change. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 6/14/05

Mixed signals on Iran's nuclear program
In a nation riven by political fault lines, no issue resonates with as much public support and national pride as the pursuit of nuclear technology. -CSM - 6/14/05

Right wing afraid of split vote in Iranian poll
Conservatives in Iran are increasingly concerned that having too many candidates may end their chances of winning Friday’s presidential election. -Financial Times - 6/14/05

Second sound bomb shakes Zahedan
Second Sound bomb exploded on Monday night on a major avenue in the southeastern city of Zahedan but caused no damage. - 6/14/05

IAEA Chief Re-Appointed to Third Term
The International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors has re-appointed Mohamed ElBaradei as Director General of the agency for another four-year term. The IAEA board continues its closed door session this week to look at the Iranian and North Korean nuclear files. - 6/14/05

LNG deal with Iran is excellent for India: Indian energy expert
Under the deal, India will buy five million tons of Iranian gas annually for 25 years. The supplies will begin in 2009. The agreement is part of a package in which Indian companies will be allowed to participate in developing two oil and one gas fields in Iran. - 6/14/05

Innovative Islamic Thought Will Come From the West, Analysts Say
Islamic scholars living in the West believe they could play a role in promoting understanding between the Muslim World and the West. - 6/14/05

Sean Penn warms to reporter's role in Iran
Actor Sean Penn, warming to his occasional role as a reporter, has quizzed the top contender in Iran's presidential elections about democracy and had a brush with security agents at an illegal women's protest. -Reuters - 6/14/05

Elbaradei: Iran's dossier to be closed when all remaining issues resolved
Elbaradei who was talking to IRNA following his election as the IAEA Chief for the third consecutive term added, "We are proceeding, but there are still certain unresolved issues, about which I would present a report to the IAEA Board of Governors on Tuesday." - 6/14/05

Iran: Women Call For Rights Ahead Of Presidential Poll
Activists are intensifying their protests against the violation of women's rights ahead of Iran's presidential elections on 17 June. During the last two weeks women have staged demonstrations condemning the disqualification of female presidential candidates and calling for changes in the country's gender laws. - 6/14/05

Iran: Zarafshan's health conditions deteriorating in prison
Health conditions of jailed lawyer Nasser Zarafshan has deteriorated amid dangerous symptoms affecting his life, his wife Homa Zarafshan told IRNA on Tuesday. - 6/14/05

Iranian women hold protest gathering in Tehran
On Sunday June 12, a coalition of Iranian groups and individuals held a gathering in Tehran to protest the violation of women rights as guaranteed by the constitution. The gathering was held in the capital city in front of Tehran University. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/13/05

Iran: Bombings May Be Connected With Minorities, Election
Iran's population of some 69 million people is ethnically and religiously diverse, and the country's minorities have many legitimate grievances. Politicians have glossed over these issues in the past, but in a new development, candidates for the 17 June presidential election are appealing to minorities. - 6/13/05

Eight killed in wave of Iran bombings
At least eight people were killed and up to 74 others injured in a series of explosions in the western city of Ahvaz and capital Tehran Sunday. - 6/13/05

Iran lifts Asian U-20 freestyle wrestling trophy
Iran was crowned at the Asian Under-20 Freestyle Wrestling Championships in South Korea Sunday. - 6/13/05

Iran rocked by series of blasts
Six bombs have exploded in Iran, killing at least 10 people, days before the presidential election. -BBC - 6/13/05

Seminar on Iran's nuclear program
The Brussels-based think-tank Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) has organized a one-day seminar on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program under the title "Iran: Moment of Truth" in the Belgian capital on Monday. - 6/13/05

Internet boom alters political process in Iran
If Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, were alive today, he'd undoubtedly have his own Web site. All eight of those allowed to run for president by Iran's clerical establishment in elections this Friday have official Web sites as well as other sites run by supporters. -USA Today - 6/13/05

Republican lawmakers urge shift in Iraq plans
A Republican congressman called for a deadline to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, while some other members of President Bush's party urged on Sunday that his administration come to grips with a persistent insurgency and revamp Iraq policy. -Washington Post - 6/13/05

Iran and India expected to seal $25bn gas deal
Iran on Monday was expected to sell India a significantly smaller-than-expected amount of liquefied natural gas in a $25bn multi-year deal that highlights the tough competition New Delhi faces from Beijing in securing energy supplies to fuel its economic growth. -Financial Times - 6/13/05

US swings behind UN's ElBaradei, takes aim at Iran
The governing board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected to formally approve Mohamed ElBaradei's third term as the agency's chief on Monday after Washington ended its efforts to oust him, diplomats said. -Reuters - 6/13/05

As Iran's Vote Nears, Even Clerics Are Hip, Or Are Trying to Be
Outside the campaign headquarters of presidential candidate Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a disco ball flashed the red, green and white colors of the Iranian flag. Techno music reverberated through the streets until the early hours of the morning. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/13/05

Iran: Leading Presidential Candidate Gets Important Endorsement
Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who served as president for two terms from 1989-97, has emerged as the most popular candidate for the 17 June presidential election in several polls, and late last week he received the endorsement of the country's oldest political organization for clerics. - 6/13/05

Brownback Panel: Human Rights Situation In Iran Deteriorating
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), at a hearing on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe this past Thursday, described the human rights situation in Iran as “deteriorating”, while the panel he chaired urged for a joint U.S.-European response to what it described as “a crisis in Iran.” -NIAC - 6/13/05

IAEA Board Set to Debate Iran's Nuclear Program, Other Issues
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei The International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors starts a closed session Monday to review Iran's nuclear program. - 6/13/05

In Iran: Hope battles apathy
idential candidates are struggling to convince disillusioned voters to go to the polls on Friday. -CSM - 6/13/05

Iranian women still waiting for real reform
Bitter? Angry? Desperate? Mitra, an Iranian mother of two, is all those and more. "How would you feel if someone took away your children?" the 34-year-old English teacher wept, clutching to her chest a teddy bear that belonged to one of her daughters. A Tehran court last month granted custody of Mitra's two daughters, aged eight and 10, to her ex-husband as part of their divorce settlement. -Reuters - 6/13/05

Iranian Authorities Look Into Bomb Blasts
It is still unclear who was behind yesterday's bombings in Iran that killed at least eight people and injured 50 more. Iranian officials say the bombings are aimed at stopping voters from participating in the 17 June election. - 6/13/05

Iran's Elections: Ask Them, Too!
When the Ghajars handed over Iran’s oil reserves, lock, stock and barrel, to the British interests early in the 20th century, the people were not asked whether they'd approve of that generous gesture. Neither was it put to a public referendum whether the nation would accept the young son of Iran’s deposed Pahlavi monarch to be installed as the new Shah by the victors at the conclusion of WW II. -Kam Zarrabi - 6/13/05

Iran: Clerical Leaders Foreclose Free Elections
Iran's discriminatory election laws and the Guardian Council's exclusion of candidates prevents Iranian voters from freely electing candidates or standing for public office, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of Friday's presidential election. - 6/13/05

Iran presidential race: expectations vs. reality
Iran's field of presidential candidates offers the widest-ranging choices on the political spectrum since the revolution of 1978-79 - of course, within the confines of the Guardian Council's vetting procedures. -Haleh Vaziri and Bahman Baktiari, CSM - 6/13/05

Iran journalist returns to prison
Dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji has returned to prison after going missing for three days. He told reporters as he entered Tehran's Evin prison that he would resume his hunger strike. -BBC - 6/12/05

Iran: Koulaei says if elected president, Moin will declare general amnesty for political prisoners
She told a press conference that journalist Akbar Ganji, Ahmad Batebi and Nasser Zarafshan are being detained for expressing themselves whereas 'freedom of expression' has been enshrined by Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran. - 6/12/05

Poll shows Iran's presidential election field wide open
The presidential battle in Iran later this month is wide open, according to an IRNA poll, which shows the former higher education minister Mostafa Moin closing in on Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. In the polling 45,834 participants across 25 battleground provinces, Rafsanjani won 27.1 percent of the votes against 18.9 percent garnered by Moin. - 6/12/05

Iran: President Khatami defends his government achievements
President Mohammad Khatami said in Mahshahr on Saturday "as I am leaving my tenure of rendering service to the people as the president, the perceived dichotomy between liberty and religion has been removed." "Voicing criticisms and being free are no longer considered as acts against the security of the country." - 6/12/05

Gap widens between Iran's rich and poor
Unemployment and poverty are some of the most important issues in Iran today. As Iranians prepare for presidential elections, BBC Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison spends the day with a house cleaner struggling to feed her family. - 6/12/05

Rafsanjani campaign ad angles for Iran youth vote
Presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani discussed fashion, sex and Islam in a rare televised chat with a panel of youngsters, ahead of an election marked by a battle for Iran's huge youth vote. -Reuters - 6/12/05

Iranian Oil Minister: 18 Billion Dollars invested in petrochemistry in 8 years
Addressing official ceremony to inaugurate five major petrochemical projects in Bandar Imam Special Economic Petrochemical Zone, near Mahshahr in this southwestern province, Zanganeh said out of the total amount, some 2.5 billion dollars are returned annually. - 6/12/05

Iran: Gathering in front of Tehran's Evin prison seeks freedom for lawyer Zarafshan
A group of human rights activists and representatives of "Union of Advocates of Democracy" gathered in front of Evin prison on Saturday calling for an end to detention of lawyer Nasser Zarafshan. They joined sit-in protest of Zarafshan's family and other human rights activists staged since last Wednesday calling for freedom of lawyer Zarafshan. - 6/12/05

Iran: Women to stage sit-in protest
In an appeal signed by 30 women's groups and a hundred personalities in the world of culture, the arts, cinema and journalism, the women call upon "all women and men who believe in the equality of the sexes and are for the elimination of all laws that discriminate against women, to participate in this peaceful protest." -AKI - 6/11/05

Iraq: Kurdish People See Federal Government as Compromise for Independence
Iraqi leaders have begun debating a new constitution that will determine the shape of the government after elections in December. Strong debate is expected on the issue of forming a federal state that would shift power from the central government in Baghdad to regional governments, including Iraq's Kurdish region. - 6/11/05

Iran to build bicycle factory in Venezuela
Iranian companies will build factories in Venezuela to produce bicycles for that country and the Latin America region. - 6/11/05

Progressive Islam, or how to accept it's time to start a-changin'
In the United States there is an impression that no internal struggle exists within Islam between reformers and more rigid conservatives. The truth is, however, that such an internal debate, centering on how to interpret the Koran, has been going on for centuries. -William Fisher, Daily Star - 6/11/05

Iran has frozen work at nuclear site-UN diplomats
Experts from the U.N. nuclear watchdog have inspected an underground uranium enrichment plant in Iran and verified that Tehran has kept its word by freezing all sensitive nuclear work there, diplomats said on Friday. -Reuters - 6/11/05

Return to Afghanistan? - A study of Afghans living in Tehran
Since the installation of the internationally supported interim authority in Afghanistan in 2003, Tripartite Repatriation Agreements between Afghanistan, Iran and the UNHCR have facilitated the voluntary repatriation of around 770,000 Afghans from Iran. -ReliefWeb - 6/11/05

IRAN: New tripartite agreement on repatriation of Afghans agreed in principle
A new tripartite agreement between Iran, Afghanistan and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been agreed in principle. - 6/11/05

Russia can help U.S. curb Iran
By now, the notion that Russia and Iran are long-term strategic partners has become something of an article of faith within the corridors of the Kremlin. -IHT - 6/11/05

China: Beijing Looking For Solutions To Energy Concerns
Since economic reforms began in 1978, China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded at an average rate of over 9 percent per year. However this economic success has been accompanied by a series of energy concerns - 6/11/05

'Missing' Iran writer speaks out
Prominent Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji says he will give himself up to the authorities soon. -BBC - 6/11/05

Sean Penn in Tehran as a journalist
The well-known Hollywood actor Sean Penn was the unexpected visitor of Tehran's Friday Prayers as a journalist for a US newspaper. - 6/11/05

The Future: the Iranian Women
Women in Iran, like in the rest of the world, are making it really big. In the past couple of months I have attended a number of involved women groups, NGOs and Civil Society meetings. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/10/05

Three “Stupid” Questions
In the march toward the democratization of the Middle East, Iraq is in flames, Afghanistan is in a state of near chaos, the Israelis and the Palestinians remain on each other’s backs, and Iran is holding its presidential elections next week. -Kam Zarrabi - 6/10/05

Iranian women planning to hold gathering in Tehran to protest violation of rights
A coalition of Iranian groups and individuals has announced a gathering to protest the violation of women rights as guaranteed by the constitution. The gathering will be held in the capital city in front of Tehran University on Sunday June 12 from 5-6pm. - 6/10/05

Beckenbauer welcomes Iran to 2006 World Cup
Head of the 2006 World Cup Organizing Committee, Franz Beckenbauer, congratulated the Iranian national team on their qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the committee said in a press statement Friday. - 6/10/05

US Will Support Third Term for IAEA Chief ElBaradei
The Bush administration says it will support another term for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Mohamed ElBaradei despite past policy differences. Confirmation of the decision followed a meeting Thursday between Mr. ElBaradei and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. - 6/10/05

Iran: Gas exports from Assalouyeh to earn 5 billion dollars a year
Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company Roknoddin Javadi told IRNA that his company had finalized talks with foreign companies for export of 20 million tons of LNG and contract on export of an additional 7.5 million tons will be signed in the next few days. - 6/10/05

Iran, Austria to cooperate in poverty campaign, family support
Iran and Austria are to cooperate in the campaign against poverty and enforcement of policies in support of families. - 6/10/05

Rafsanjani seen luring more investments to Iran oil
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani may be Big Oil's best bet for Iran's next president, as his pragmatic approach may open more doors to foreign investment and ease tensions with Washington. -Reuters - 6/10/05

Lawmaker's Book Warns of Iran
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), whose flair for drama has included lugging around a replica of a suitcase-size nuclear bomb, alleges in a new book that Iran is hiding Osama bin Laden, is preparing terrorist attacks against the United States, has a crash program to build an atomic bomb and, as a Shiite country, is the chief sponsor of what is a largely Sunni-directed insurgency in Iraq. -Washington Post - 6/10/05

Iran voters look to end hand-to-mouth daily grind
Ask Iranians on the capital's streets about the country's presidential elections of June 17 and they will talk about the price of tomatoes: up 120 percent over the year. -Reuters - 6/10/05

Iran’s Presidential Election Campaign Moves to High Gear
A crowded field is helping to boost the electoral hopes of Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s most skilled politician who is vying to regain the presidency in the June 17 election. -Eurasianet - 6/10/05

Iran helped overthrow Taliban, candidate says
In an interview by e-mail, Mohsen Rezaie, a candidate in Iran's presidential elections next week, says the United States has not given Iran enough credit. He says Iran played an "important role in the overthrow of the Taliban" in 2001 -USA Today - 6/10/05

Reza Pahlavi of Iran Announces Hunger Strike in Support of Iranian Political Prisoners
Reza Pahlavi of Iran, in response to a direct invitation by political prisoners in Iran, pledged his solidarity and announced his plans to go on a three day hunger strike starting Friday, June 10. - 6/10/05

US Lawmakers Debate Iraq, Aid to Egypt, Other International Issues
In other areas, the State Department funding legislation sharply condemns what it calls the brutal treatment, imprisonment and torture of Iranian civilians who express political dissent and states support for transparent and full democracy in Iran. - 6/10/05

Iran Ready to Welcome Foreign Tourists and Investors
Iran is ready to welcome foreign tourists and investors, as individuals or groups, announced director general of the research and marketing office of Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) in a visit with 17 German, Austrian, and Swiss reporters. - 6/10/05

Iran explodes with joy as national side wins ticket to World Cup
People from all walks of life in large and small Iranian cities joyfully celebrated on Monday night IRI National Football Teams 1-0 victory over Bahrain in Asian Zone Group B qualifier at Tehran's Azadi Stadium that granted Iran a ticket to 2006 World Cup in Germany. - 6/9/05

Iranian Judiciary Tries to Jail Dissident Again
The Iranian Judiciary should immediately rescind its order to re-imprison Akbar Ganji, an investigative journalist and one of the country's leading dissidents, Human Rights Watch said today. - 6/9/05

Oil Minister: Iran ready for cooperation with Iraq in various fields
In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Zanganeh said transfer of Iraq's oil to Iran and transport of oil derivatives from Iran to Iraq are among the most important areas of mutual cooperation. - 6/9/05

At a Soccer Match, Women Kick Iran's Ban to the Curb
One of the victories scored at Azadi Stadium on Wednesday evening was Iran's soccer triumph over the island nation of Bahrain, an easy 1-0 win that guaranteed Iran a slot in next year's World Cup tournament and set off dancing in the streets of the capital. -Washington Post - 6/9/05

Congress Moves to Cut U.N. Funding
In a move virtually certain to add to strains between the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, the International Relations Committee (HIRC) of the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a sweeping bill that, if passed into law, will require Washington to withhold up to half of assessed U.S. contributions to the world body unless it implements specific reforms -IPS - 6/9/05

Jailed Iranian writer 'missing'
There is confusion over the fate of a leading Iranian dissident journalist who has gone missing after being let out of jail for medical treatment. -BBC - 6/9/05

In pictures: Iran's working rural women reader Mohammad Nickahd sent these images of women hard at work on a co-operative farm in the village of Darreh Shahr in Ilam province, western Iran. - 6/9/05

Iraq: U.S. Envoy Vows Spirited Campaign To Help Democratize Country
Zalmay Khalilzad says he plans to reach out to Iraqi citizens as well as Mideast leaders to gain support for Iraq’s democratization process. - 6/9/05

Iranian oil official decries bloated government, interference in economy
Deputy oil minister for international affairs said in Mashhad on wednesday that in Iran the state has taken the people's place, meddling in various affairs including executive, administration and sovereignty. - 6/9/05

Iran: New Worries Arise Over Military Involvement In Election
Now, with less than two weeks before the 17 June election, there are new concerns that the involvement of military personnel in supervising the election could lead to fraud. - 6/9/05

Iran reformists split on election boycott
With two weeks left in Iran's short presidential election campaign, the reformist camp finds itself facing a fork in the road: a decision to vote or to boycott the ballot. -New York Times - 6/9/05

Iranian Women Defy Ban, Attend Soccer Match
It was a first in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some 100 Iranian women watched a soccer match inside Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) stadium, surrounded by some 80,000 men. - 6/9/05

Iranian Red Crescent Water Brings Relief To Tens of Thousands
Four new water distribution stations have brought relief to thousands of people, including Afghan refugees, blighted by a seven-year drought in south-western Iran. - 6/8/05

Why Pakistan-India pipeline matters
The agreement between India and Pakistan on a project to pipe gas to India from Iran via Pakistan is being termed by some observers as historic. -BBC - 6/8/05

US to drop campaign against IAEA chief-newspaper
The Bush administration is prepared to drop its solitary campaign against Mohamed ElBaradei, who is flying to Washington to try to win support for a third term as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. -Reuters - 6/8/05

US watches China's growing oil demand with concern
China's global quest for crude oil is acceptable as long as the Asian nation develops the deposits and doesn't hoard them, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 6/8/05

World Military Spending Topped $1 Trillion in 2004
With expenditure of $455 billion, the United States accounted for almost half the global figure, more than the combined total of the 32 next most powerful nations. -Reuters - 6/8/05

Iran's Rowhani terms UAE visit as successful
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani, speaking in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, termed his visit to the United Arab Emirates as successful. - 6/8/05

Minister says Iranian women have meager role in commercial activities
Iranian women have a share of 1.3 to 2.6 percent in commercial activities, which is still very low, said Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari in Tehran on Tuesday. - 6/8/05

Iran's name removed from list of violators of labor laws
During the 93rd International Labor Conference (May 30-June) in Geneva, Switzerland, the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran was removed from the list of countries violating labor laws. - 6/8/05

Iran still determined to continue nuclear cooperation with IAEA
Iran's newly-appointed representative to the International Organizations Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh said in Vienna on Tuesday that Iran is still determined to continue bilateral cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its nuclear program. - 6/8/05

In Iran, chic clothes become 'religious duty'
QOM, Iran Racks of colored robes, with neat stitches and fitting marks, fill the workshop of this scholarly city's most famous tailor, the Giorgio Armani of clerical clothes, Abolfazl Arabpour. -New York Times - 6/8/05

Iran keen to conclude 25-year Caspian crude swap deals with Russia
Iran is pursuing serious plans to encourage Russia to export its Caspian crude through the Persian Gulf swap scheme in what appears to be a direct challenge to the US-backed Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project. - 6/8/05

Iran proposes Caspian projects to Russia
Iran has proposed to delegate oil and gas exploration and development operations over its possible Caspian Sea reserves to Russian corporations, it was reported in Tehran on Wednesday. - 6/8/05

Fate of Isfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan Square to be decided by UNESCO
Iran's representative and permanent envoy to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ahmad Jalali, here Tuesday said that the organization's technical committee is on the verge of deciding the fate of Isfahan's landmark Naqsh-e Jahan Square as a globally registered monument. - 6/8/05

Tehran "Flower Clock" rivals Big Ben
The world's biggest clock was installed at Abbasabad district of Tehran on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by a number of urban officials. `Flower Clock' which measures 15 meters in diameter and weighs 750 kgs was installed at a cost of six hundred million rials. - 6/8/05

Tehran celebrates as football team advances to world cup in Germany
Asian powerhouse Iran waltzed into the finals of 2006 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Bahrain in Azadi Stadium in western Tehran Wednesday. - 6/8/05

Iranian Clerics Face A Presidential Dilemma
The Iranian constitution requires that the president be a "religious-political individual" (rejal-i mazhabi-siasi), but this does not mean the president must be a cleric. Indeed, only two clerics won approval as candidates in the presidential race. - 6/7/05

Iran: Presentation of trade regime a starting point for WTO accession
Deputy Commerce Minister for International Affairs Abdolhossein Vahaji told reporters on Monday that a copy of the trade regime has to be presented to all state organs as well as Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (ICCIM) so that they can put forward their views. - 6/7/05

US Still Views Hezbollah as Terrorist Group, Despite Election Role
The United States said Monday Lebanon's Hezbollah movement must renounce violence and disarm before it can be considered a legitimate political factor. The pro-Iranian Hezbollah scored major wins in the latest round of parliamentary voting in Lebanon. - 6/7/05

Iran jams TV channels
With presidential elections just over a week away, Islamic Iran's technological guardians appear to be waging a war against enemies in the airwaves - opposition-run television channels. -Herald Sun - 6/7/05

Right's Hostility to NGOs Glimpsed in Amnesty Flap
The flap over Amnesty International's characterization of U.S. overseas detention facilities and practices as a "gulag of our times" offers important insights into the deep distrust of the George W. Bush administration and its far-right and neo-conservative supporters towards some non-governmental organizations (NGOs). -IPS - 6/7/05

Egypt keeps Muslim Brotherhood boxed in
Cairo is open to political reform, but won't include Islamic group. -CSM - 6/7/05

Uzbekistan: Crackdown On Journalists, Activists Intensifies
Uzbek human rights activists and independent journalists continue to be harassed and arrested following last month's events in Andijon, where soldiers reportedly fired on and killed hundreds of civilians. - 6/7/05

China Lays Out Nuclear Plans; Denies Helping Iran and N. Korea
China has laid out an ambitious plan to almost double the percentage of nuclear energy it produces by the year 2020. Officials at the same time deny any suggestion that they are supplying nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea. - 6/7/05

Iran's Karami grabs gold at Austria international taekwondo tourney
Iran's taekwondo phenom Youssef Karami overpowered his rivals in an international tournament in Austria, winning the gold medal of the seventh category Saturday. - 6/7/05

Austria's OMV hopes to sign clients for Iran gas project by mid-2006
Austria's OMV, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group, hopes to present within the next months its first major clients for the planned 'Nabucco' pipeline project which would transport gas from Iran's Caspian Sea region to Middle - and West Europe, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Monday. - 6/7/05

Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline off the ground by next year: Aiyar
Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday expressed the confidence that following the on-going preliminary talks with the Iranian and Pakistani officials, the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project will be "off the ground by early next year". - 6/7/05

Haleh Anvari’s photographs and video art: Chador (Veil) finds a different meaning
What was so eye catching was the fact that in the past few years when one hears the word chador one immediately thinks of something thick and black, which is not typical and is only worn by women of a more orthodox religious background. Here we realized that the chador, although it may cover women from head to toe, can be jolly bright and interesting. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/6/05

Iran: The Coming Of Presidential Election, And Participation Of A Nobody In This Election
So do you think it “makes any difference” who will win in the coming presidential election of this country? Or any country, including our Big Brother’s country, the United States of America, the first mass ‘humanity and democracy’ exporter in the history of mankind? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 6/6/05

Iranian Reza Deghati Photographer Receives Legion d’Honneur
Reza Deghati has been selected for the honor by French President, Jacques Chirac, because of his attempts to revive the freedom of press, to develop the freedom of speech around the world, and to help revive children’s rights. - 6/6/05

Iranian women kick out against football ban
With the red, white and green tricolour of the Iranian flag draped around her shoulders, Niloofar Ardalan appeared to be in her element as she cheered on the national football team as it battled to reach next year's World Cup. -Guardian - 6/6/05

Iran Urges OPEC to Reduce Output to Quota Levels
Iran, OPEC's second-largest oil producer, will urge other members to stop overproduction to reduce output to quota levels when the 11-nation group meets June 15 in Vienna, a senior Iranian oil official said. -Bloomberg - 6/6/05

A lament for Iran's lost dreams
`As a 21-year-old been born after a chaotic revolution, and raised in a bloody war, I am just weary of more bloodshed,' says Najmeh Fakhraie -Toronto Star - 6/6/05

The unipolar transition moment and the Persian Gulf Wars (Part II): Producing the American “Leviathan”
How do we define a mission without a referential object? This rather simple question has manifold consequences for international politics. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Tharwa - 6/6/05

U.S. Trafficking Report Criticizes Four Persian Gulf Allies
The State Department report lists four U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf region -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates -- as among the least responsive to the trafficking problem. - 6/5/05

The Facts Don't Matter: Bombing Iran
As if things were going so smoothly in Iraq, now this: leaders in the US are calling for military strikes on Iran. Their infatuation with taking down the mullahs isn't predicated on defending the United States. Rather, it's to protect Israel - from what, we're not really sure. -CounterPunch - 6/5/05

Iran, India and Pakistan accepted as observers in Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The SCO was founded in 1997 in Shanghai, China, and five countries were among the founders; China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. - 6/5/05

Next World Trade Chief to Face Pressure on Doha Round of Talks
Pascal Lamy of France is expected to start as director-general of the World Trade Organization on September first. Mister Lamy became the choice of the organization last week after the last of three other candidates withdrew. - 6/5/05

Quake shakes Borujerd in western Iran
A 3.5-Richter quake shook Borujerd suburbs in western Lorestan Province at 14:49 hours local time (10:19 GMT) on Sunday. - 6/5/05

Bush's Optimism On Iraq Debated
President Bush's portrayal of a wilting insurgency in Iraq at a time of escalating violence and insecurity throughout the country is reviving the debate over the administration's Iraq strategy and the accuracy of its upbeat claims. -Washington Post - 6/5/05

India and Pakisatn's oil ministers discuss Iran gas pipeline
The Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Mani Shankar Aiyar and Pakistan's Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Amanullah Khan Jadoon, meeting in Islamabad on Sunday, discussed the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. - 6/5/05

Historical Event in Persian Polyphonic Music: Persian String Quartets at Niavaran Cultural Center
It may be said that, in May 2005, the Niavaran Artistic Creations Foundation (NACF) was host to a historical event in Persian polyphonic music. Ani String Quartet from Armenia performed eleven string quartets from three generations of Persian contemporary composers. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 6/5/05

Iran clears North Korea to close in on WC berth
Iran beat North Korea 1-0 in 2006 World Cup Asian zone Group B second-leg qualifier in Azadi Stadium, west of Tehran, Friday, raising its hopes for booking a berth in the finals. - 6/4/05

Iran beats Japan in futsal, becomes Asian champion
In the 7th Asian Futsal Championship in the Vietnamese capital of Ho Chi Minh City, Iran's National Futsal Team managed to beat Japan 2-0. - 6/4/05

Iran: Students Wonder Whether They Should Vote
As candidates for Iran's 17 June presidential election begin campaigning, some student activists are advocating an election boycott. This is not an irrelevant matter -- some two-thirds of Iran's population is under the age of 30 (46 million out of a total population of 69 million) and the voting age is 15. - 6/4/05

Rare heirlooms of Iranian history
The most extraordinary exhibition of Iranian manuscript painting ever held within living memory can be seen until June 21 in the Museum of Contemporary Art. -IHT - 6/4/05

Bases, Bases Everywhere: It’s a Pentagon World and Welcome to It
After all, as Chalmers Johnson has calculated in his book, The Sorrows of Empire, our global Baseworld already consists of at least 700 military and intelligence bases; possibly many more. Under Rumsfeld's organizational eye, such bases have been pushed ever further into the previously off-limits "near abroad" of the former Soviet Union and ever deeper into the Middle Eastern and Caspian oil heartlands of the planet. -TomDispatch - 6/4/05

Forgotten Afghan war: Taliban remains vibrant
For weeks, sightings of Taliban fighters were being reported all over these rugged mountains. But when Staff Sergeant Patrick Brannan and his team of scouts drove into a nearby village to check out a complaint of a beating, they had no idea they were stumbling into the biggest battle of their lives. -NYT - 6/4/05

Indian oil minister in Pakistan for Iran gasline talks
India's Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, who arrived here on Saturday for talks with Pakistani officials on the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, said that Pakistan has assured to address to the Indian concerns about the project security. - 6/4/05

Iran Invited To Join EU, U.S. At Iraqi Reconstruction Meeting
Iran might join officials from the United States, European Union, and Iraq at a meeting later in June on Iraqi reconstruction. Jean Asselborn, the foreign minister of Luxembourg, which currently holds the EU Presidency, said yesterday that Tehran has been formally invited to attend the 22 June meeting in Brussels. - 6/4/05

The colorful ladies of 7th Tir rehabilitation center in Tehran
Here are the latest pictures that I took at the 7th Tir Rehabilitation Center for Girls in North Tehran, when I went there last week. These girls who study at the Popli building at the center attend small classes and learn many new trades. This center allows these young girls (from 5-35) hope and a have a sense of comfort. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/3/05

Rice: US Hopes Iran's Influence in Iraq Will be Helpful Rather Than Destabilizing
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who may meet Iranian representatives at a Brussels meeting on Iraq later this month, says she hopes Iran is ready to support stability and democracy in Iraq rather than interfering in its affairs. - 6/3/05

US Congress Under Review
An alarming number of our selected representatives, neglectful of their duties, have occupied themselves with supporting and promoting a terrorist organization that has been labeled a ‘cult’ by the Human Rights Watch. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 6/3/05

Iran, Japan into Asian futsal final
Asia's six-time futsal champion Iran and three-time runner-up Japan squeezed into the final of the 7th edition in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday. - 6/3/05

Separate the Shiite revival from Iran
Not since the Iranian revolution has the issue of Shiite political development been of such interest to observers of Middle Eastern politics. -Daily Star - 6/3/05

India to double LNG imports, eyes $4 bln gas pipe
India hopes to sign a deal next week to double liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and begin negotiations for a $4 billion gas pipeline from Iran, as the energy-hungry nation seeks to secure new supplies. -Reuters - 6/3/05

Iran: Tremors put town of Jiroft on alert
The Natural Disasters Headquarters in this southeastern town was put on alert as two earthquakes hit the region in the past two days, said Jiroft governor Friday. - 6/3/05

Apocalypse sooner or later?
Robert McNamara knows all about the threat of nuclear annihilation - he was US defence secretary during the Cuban missile crisis. Forty-three years later, he believes the danger from nuclear weapons is still very real. -Guardian - 6/3/05

Regime-changers reduced to chanting slogans
Yes, that's the Prince of Darkness himself addressing a FReaker Rally of about 50 people in DC lusting to bomb Iran into democracy. Fortunately for the rest of the planet, they've already wrecked the only invasion force at their disposal and none of them would dream of suiting up themselves. -Antiwar - 6/3/05

Iran remains a study in contrasts
NBC's Tom Brokaw takes us to Iran, a country that purports to be a democracy but whose politics have a higher power. -MSNBC - 6/3/05

Evil vs. Really Evil: The Upcoming Iranian Presidential Elections
The Iranian presidential elections of 1997 and 2001 were riddled with the same overtones of “lesser evil” stuff that has become prominent in Western, and especially Anglo-Saxon elections. -Reza Fiyouzat, Dissident Voice - 6/3/05

Coalition to Launch Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign
Over the past six months, civil rights and liberty organizations have documented increased patterns of discrimination against Iranian Americans. The most common manifestations of this discrimination against Iranian Americans have been inequity in employment practices, immigration discrimination, problems in obtaining security clearance and unwarranted FBI surveillance and interrogation. -Tara Ebrahimi, IAPAC - 6/3/05

'Realists' Press for Bush to Engage Iran, North Korea
Hawks in the administration of President George W. Bush may think that they are tough, but their dreams of ''regime change'' in Iran and North Korea are increasingly deluded, not to say dangerous, according to their hard-edged realist rivals who have become increasingly outspoken in recent weeks. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 6/3/05

Iranian Dissident Journalist Calls For Election Boycott
Akbar Ganji, Iran's most prominent investigative journalist, has called for a boycott of the 17 June presidential election in an exclusive interview with Radio Farda. - 6/3/05

Temporarily Freed Iranian Journalist Calls For The Release Of All Political Prisoners
Iran's most prominent investigative journalist, Akbar Ganji, has been temporarily released from jail for medical treatment. He had gone on a hunger strike to protest the official refusal to grant him medical leave. Upon his release, Ganji called for the immediate release of all political prisoners. - 6/2/05

At Tehran's grand bazaar, a season of discontent
It was once the spiritual core of Iran's Islamic revolution, where popular anger and financial support welled for the movement that swept away the Shah in 1979 and propelled the mullahs to power. But today, Tehran's grand bazaar - a sprawling indoor retail mall selling everything from Persian rugs to women's bikinis - is host to very different sentiments. -CSM - 6/2/05

Iranian President attends national football team's exercise
President Seyed Mohammad Khatami attended IRI national football team's camp on Wednesday and watched their exercises. - 6/2/05

A group of Iranian women stage protest in front of presidential office
A group of women from "Women Activists Movement" staged a protest here Wednesday voicing objection against disqualification of all women candidates in presidential election by the Guardian Council in front of Presidential Office. - 6/2/05

Iran reformist candidate launches radical agenda
Iran's leading reformist presidential candidate launched a radical platform on Wednesday, promising profound reviews of the Islamic state's political structure and of Tehran's relations with the United States. -Reuters - 6/2/05

The Non-Proliferation Treaty Fiasco: The Me-Too Club
The "nuclear option" may have receded in the U.S. Senate for the time being. Unfortunately, it's still very much on the table for the two newest aspirants to the nuclear club. Not to mention those who already have their membership cards. -Counterpunch - 6/2/05

U.S pressures Saudi on nuclear monitoring-diplomats
The United States is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to drop its plan to sign an agreement that would severely curtail the United Nations' ability to monitor any Saudi atomic activity, diplomats said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 6/2/05

Bush, Cheney Attack Amnesty International
Stung by Amnesty International's condemnation of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and elsewhere overseas, the administration of President George W. Bush is reacting with indignation and even suggestions that terrorists are using the world's largest human rights organization. -IPS - 6/2/05

50 Iranian enterprises involved in Afghanistan's economic sector
Iran's Commercial Attache to Kabul Hossein Kamranfar here Wednesday said that 50 Iranian trade and service companies are currently active in Afghanistan. - 6/2/05

Quake rattles northeastern Iranian town of Jajram
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook the suburbs of Jajarm in the northeastern province of North Khorasan on Thursday morning. - 6/2/05

Iran loaning Bacon painting for UK exhibition
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is loaning a painting by Irish artist Francis Bacon to go on display as part of the first exhibition of the painter's portraits at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. - 6/2/05

Gulf Actions of U.S. Prove Boon to Iran
Influence: With its Iraqi and Afghan enemies gone, the nation is in a position to become the area's major power -Baltimore Sun - 6/2/05

Pottery at Isfahan's Chelsotoun
During a recent trip to Isfahan, we visited the famous Chelsotoun Palace garden. There I parted with the company as I had seen the palace a few times before. Instead I went exploring the garden. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/1/05

German energy giant Eon eyes Iranian gas market: daily
German energy giant Eon is interested in investing in the Iranian gas market in a bid to lower its dependency on Russian gas supplies, the economic daily Handelsblatt said in its Wednesday edition. - 6/1/05

Islamic Court Acquits Iranian Christian
An Islamic court in southern Iran acquitted Christian lay pastor Hamid Pourmand on charges of apostasy and proselytizing two days ago, declaring, "Under sharia (Islamic law), there are no charges against you." -Compass - 6/1/05

NATO forces take over west Afghan duty from U.S.
NATO troops took command of security and reconstruction efforts in western Afghanistan from U.S. forces Tuesday under a plan that will likely soon put NATO forces into insurgent hotspots. -Reuters - 6/1/05

USA: Response to President Bush
President Bush again failed to address longstanding concerns regarding US detention policies and practices in the context of the "war on terror", Amnesty International said in response to his comments today. - 6/1/05

Rice Claims Quiet Gains for Anti-Proliferation Initiative
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Proliferation Security Initiative has scored a number of unpublicized successes against the trafficking of items related to weapons of mass destruction. - 6/1/05

Iran: Women to stage sit-in against electoral discrimination
Iranian women's and feminist groups have called for a sit-in on Wednesday in front of the president's home in order to protest the decision taken by Iran's state-run television to exclude Elahe Kulaii, a former member of parliament and spokeswoman for reformist presidential candidate Mostafa Moin, from the first presidential debate. -AKI - 6/1/05

First Muslim women conquer Mount Everest
Two Iranian women were among 46 climbers who reached the world's highest summit Monday. -CSM - 6/1/05

Germans and Austrians to teach Tourism to Iranians
The Iranian Tourleaders Society is to hold for Iranian tourism staff training classes in Inont of Germany and IMC University of Austria. - 6/1/05

Rafsanjani favours sorting out problem with US
Iran’s presidential election frontrunner declares need to put end to quarter of century of estrangement with US. -MEO - 6/1/05

Iranians abroad have earned a trillion dollars
In the tiny Gulf emirate of Dubai alone, some 40,000 Iranian owned companies, have invested in total more than 200 billion dollars. A recent study by the newsmagazine, The Economist, listed two Iranian expatriates among Britian's ten richest people. -AKI - 6/1/05

Iraqi Government agrees to move Iranian Kurd refugees to safer area – UN
The Iraqi Government has agreed to move 3,100 Iranian Kurd refugees, who have been stuck in harsh and dangerous conditions near Ramadi, to a safer area in the north, the United Nations refugee agency said today. - 6/1/05

Ehsan Tabesh becomes niac’s public service and journalism fellow for inaugural year 2005
Congratulations to Ehsan Tabesh, a senior at the University of Minnesota, who was chosen as the first recipient of the NIAC Public Service and Journalism (NPSJ) fellowship inaugurated this year. -NIAC - 6/1/05

Iran spices up Canadian culture
Canada has one of the largest and most well developed Iranian immigrant communities in the world, with an estimated 85,000 living in the country, according to the nation's 2003 census. -BBC - 6/1/05

Group on U.S. terror list lobbies hard
U.S. lawmakers and former military officers are backing Mujahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group, despite its inclusion on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations and its role in the killing and wounding of U.S. military personnel and civilians in the 1970s. -UPI - 6/1/05

Iran’s Conservatives: Anti-Americanism or Fear of Economic Restructuring?
Ever since the end of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) Tehran-Washington ties, which froze following the 1979 revolution, have repeatedly failed to resume mainly due to domestic political factors. A decade after the revolution, the emergence of the centrist and pragmatist government of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in 1989 gave rise to hopes that Iran-US relations would at least improve, if not go back to normal. -Amir Ali Nourbakhsh - 6/1/05

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