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"I had a pomegranate garden in Iran..."
During this winter, a terrible cold front swept over most of Iran and blanketed the country with severe sub-freezing temperatures for 18 days. I returned to my pomegranate garden in Saveh this spring, to find that the beautiful trees were gone: in their place, short, thick bunches of young green shoots stood there, as if the garden had just been created, like dry land claimed from the desert! Also gone were a few olive trees I had planted some 8 years ago, as well as a full grown, lush fig tree. -Jacqueline Mirsadeghi - 6/30/08

Iran's Cineastes to commemorate Flight 655 victims in Bandar Abbas
Iranian cinematic figures are to gather in Bandar Abbas on Wednesday to commemorate the passengers killed in the Iran Air Flight 655 which was shot down by U.S. Vincennes in 1988. - 6/30/08

US Ambassador Says More Talks Possible With Iran on Iraq
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker says the door is open to further discussions with Iran on the situation in Iraq. VOA's Paula Wolfson has details from Washington. - 6/30/08

Nobel laureates call for release of Iranian Baha'i prisoners
Six Nobel Peace Prize laureates have issued a statement calling on the Iranian government to free immediately seven prominent Iranian Baha'is imprisoned in Tehran. -BWNS - 6/30/08

Forugh Farrokhzad (1935-1967): 40-year anniversary conference
A conference that will explore Forugh Farrokhzad's literary and broader cultural impact both during her lifetime and in the forty years since her passing: 4-5 July 2008 at University of Manchester, UK - 6/30/08

Strengthening Women's Leadership Capacities through Education and Training
Transcript as presented by Roya Kashefi at the Twelfth Annual Women’s Conference for Peace in the Middle East, The United Nation, June 16 – 19, 2008 - Geneva, Switzerland - 6/30/08

Positive Thinking in Tehran: Youth Embrace Self-Help Movement
When Hassan Bakhtiar couldn't find a job last year, his mother told him to pray and read the Quran. Instead, the 25-year-old aerospace engineer dropped in on a packed appearance by Alireza Azmandian, Iran's most famous motivational speaker and self-help guru. Now, he meditates by staring at a flickering candle and chants Mr. Azmandian's inspirational catch phrases. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/30/08

Letter to the Times: Merchants of War
I am writing in relation to your article of 17th June in the Times, "The wrong timing is right for tougher sanctions with Iran" and your subsequent correspondence with the Medialens. There are very serious inaccuracies and untruths in your article, as there are in your reply to Medialens. -Mehrnaz Shahabi - 6/30/08

Iranian Court Sentences Israeli Spy to Death
An Iranian revolutionary court sentenced a man to death Monday on charges of spying for Israel. It was the country's first known conviction for espionage linked to Israel in almost a decade. -FNA - 6/30/08

Iranian, foreign experts to excavate salt men's necropolis
A joint team of Iranian and foreign experts will collaborate on a project planned to excavate the Chehrabad Salt Mine, where all six of the "salt men" were discovered. -MNA - 6/30/08

Photos: 2008 Asian Motocross Championship in Iran
The 2008 Federation International de Motocyclisme (FIM) Asian Motocross Championship Round 2 was held in the held in the Iranian industrial city of Kaveh. 11 teams took part at the event. - 6/30/08

Majlis Speaker dismisses military threats against Iran as psyops
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Saturday dismissed the West's military threats against Iran as a psychological warfare aimed to increase pressure on the country in "political negotiations". -MNA - 6/30/08

Transcript of "Breaking the Stalemate" conference on Capitol Hill available for download
Full transcripts of NIAC's Capitol Hill conference "Breaking the US-Iran Stalemate: Finding the Nuclear Fix in the Wake of the Majlis elections" with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ambassador Tom Pickering and Dr. Hans Blix is now available for download. - 6/30/08

Iran to Build $450 Million Marine Hotel
Iran is to build its first hotel on water in the southwestern Bushehr Province in a bid to expand the country range of tourist venues. -CHN - 6/30/08

Iran exports $2B worth of medicines to Iraq
Deputy Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education Rasoul Dinarvand said on Monday that Iran ahas exported dlrs two billion worth of medicines to Iraq. -IRNA - 6/30/08

International Conference at Oxford: "The Rise of the Persian Renaissance"
14-15 July 2008: The conference under the title "The Rise of the Persian Renaissance" is a part of a joint programme between three European universities of Leiden, Cambridge and Oxford on the history of Persian literature and culture. The programme was discussed and developed at the inaugural meeting of the European League of Non-Western Studies (ELNWS), which was established in Leiden in July 2006. - 6/29/08

Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran
Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 6/29/08

War of Words: Threatening Iran too big for Israel's mouth, says Rafsanjani
A former senior Israeli general claims the regime is capable of carrying out a 'successful' air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. A senior Iranian commander says the country is digging some '320,000 graves' in its bordering provinces for future slain invaders. And Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar says the Israeli regime is no match for the organized and skilled armed forces of Iran. - 6/29/08

Iranian women archers finished fourth in France
Iranian Women's Compound Team finished fourth in the World Cup Stage Four here in Boe, France, on Saturday. Iran's three-member team came in fourth behind France, Greece, and Russia. -MNA - 6/29/08

Iran to play FC Charlton Athletic
Iran's National Soccer Team is scheduled to play England's Charlton Athletic in Tehran on July 20. -MNA - 6/29/08

Iran scrutinizing G5+1 package with constructive view: FM
Iran is scrutinizing the Group 5+1 package of incentives seriously and with a constructive view, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday. -IRNA - 6/29/08

Iran sets 4.23 million bpd oil production record
By producing 4,230,000 barrels of oil per day, the National Iranian Oil Company set a record during the thirty years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the managing director of the NIOC stated on Sunday. - 6/29/08

MKO Terrorist Group Organizes Rally Against Iranian Government Outside Paris
A number of analysts however, believe the People's Mujahedeen carries little weight inside Iran and critics liken the group to a sect. Still, a number of people attending the rally did not appear to know much about the group. They said they had been flown or bussed in to Paris, with their expenses paid for to attend the rally. - 6/29/08

Iran accepting foreigners' visas applications on Internet
Head of Immigration Police and Foreign Nationals said on Saturday the visa will be issued on the Internet for foreign visitors. - 6/29/08

Talking to Iran Is Our Best Option
In fact, a U.S. willingness to talk to Iran, without preconditions, on the full range of issues dividing the two countries offers the best hope of rescuing a failed policy. Doing so would unite the United States and Europe, not drive them apart. -Ivo Daalder and Philip Gordon, Washington Post - 6/29/08

Iran Khodro to export 50% of output by 2016
Iran Khodro exports the country's first national vehicle, Samand, to a number of countries, including Syria, Tajikistan and Turkey. The company has manufactured 2,800,000 vehicles in the past six years. - 6/29/08

AFGHANISTAN: Stream of deportees from Iran continues
About 490,000 Afghans have been deported from Iran over the past 18 months, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Afghanistan's Ministry of Refugees and Returnees (MoRR) told IRIN. - 6/29/08

Pakistan Pitches For Iran-India-Pakistan Gas Pipeline
Pakistan's foreign minister, on a visit to India, has urged India to move ahead with a gas pipeline project that will carry gas from Iran to India via Pakistan. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the visit comes as both countries try to give a boost to a slow-moving peace process. - 6/28/08

20 countries interested in purchasing MS drug from Iran
Some 20 European, Asian and South American countries have voiced their willingness to purchase Iranian multiple sclerosis (MS) drug 'Cinnovex', a medical official said. - 6/28/08

Are Congressional Democrats Leading Us to War With Iran?
Until recently, the power struggle within the Bush administration over whether to attack Iran seemed to be going badly for the hawks. Their disastrous record in Iraq coupled with flimsy arguments for attacking Iran meant they were gaining little support. But now it appears congressional Democrats may be riding to the rescue of those pushing for war. -Yes Magazine - 6/28/08

Iran: Drought conditions hit 30 provinces
Agriculture Minister Mohammad Reza Eskandari said on Saturday that some 30 provinces in the country are facing varying levels of drought. - 6/28/08

Iran, Poland to sign $2b LNG contract
Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) and Polish state-owned gas company (PGNiG) are about to sign a $2 billion LNG contract, IOOC's managing director said here on Saturday. -MNA - 6/28/08

Iraq President says US-Iraqi Security Deal No Threat to Iraq's Neighbors
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says a long-term security deal under negotiation between Iraq and the United States will not pose a threat to Iraq's neighbors. -VOA - 6/28/08

Russian, EU Leaders Discuss Energy, Security
Energy and security dominated the Russia-EU Summit in Western Siberia, where Kremlin leader Dmitri Medvedev called for creation of all-European institutions to replace long-standing structures, including NATO. VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports. - 6/28/08

Camp Ayandeh Lesson: Cumberbund comes from the word "kamarband"
IAAB's third annual Iranian-American Camp for rising high school sophomores to graduating high school seniors, is being held June 22-28, 2008 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Far from being simply a camp of leisure and recreation, Camp Ayandeh creates a positive, inclusive environment in which each camper has the opportunity to grow and develop. -Sharareh Hakimi - 6/27/08

Iran's rocky road to FIFA World Cup
In a draw carried out in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday for the final round of Asian teams to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Iran is part of Group B with Saudi Arabia, North Korea, the UAE, and South Korea, which is eyeing its sixth consecutive appearance in a FIFA World Cup. -Press TV - 6/27/08

Update: Is a New Congressional Resolution Declaring War with Iran?
A House resolution effectively requiring a naval blockade on Iran seems fast tracked for passage, gaining co-sponsors at a remarkable speed, but experts say the measures called for in the resolutions amount to an act of war. -NIAC - 6/27/08

Winners catch golden butterflies at Hamedan festival
The winners of the 22nd Hamedan International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults were awarded Golden Butterflies during the closing ceremony of the five-day festival on June 25. - 6/27/08

U.S. Mayors Mobilizing Against a War with Iran
Thirty-two U.S. mayors have signed a resolution saying "No" to invading Iran. Will the federal government listen? -Alternet - 6/27/08

Iranian political activist Arzhang Davoodi handed down 15-year sentence
Political activist Arzhang Davoodi has been prevented from appealing to the Supreme Court against a 15-year sentence handed down as punishment for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He has been tortured. -Amnesty International - 6/27/08

US Builds 4 Bases on Iraq-Iran Border
The US military has constructed four advanced bases 20 miles from Iraq's border with Iran, a senior Iraqi police officer has announced. -FNA - 6/27/08

Former President advises West to deal with Iran in proper language: You are too small to punish a big country like Iran
"With a great country like Iran, one should deal only with a proper literature, dialogue, logic and reason; otherwise, you would put the region in trouble without gaining anything," the Experts Assembly head warned. - 6/27/08

Oil Prices Hit Record High $140.05 a Barrel
The OPEC chief said the weak U.S. dollar and instability in the Middle East are factors in oil's rapid price rise, but he blamed speculative trading for most of the increase in prices. He did say he thinks a price of 200 dollars per barrel is out of reach -VOA - 6/27/08

One-Quarter Of World's Population Would Like To Live Elsewhere
Would you like to live permanently in another country other than your own? If you're an average citizen of the world, the chances are better than one in four that the answer is yes. The Gallup polling company posed that question to about 1,000 people in each of 82 countries over the period of 2006 to 2008. The findings are surprising. - 6/27/08

Iran to sue EU at international foras for issuing fresh sanctions against it
"European Union sanctions against Iran lacks any judicial basis and the country will file complaints at the international bodies against the few states," Deputy Head of the Judiciary for Administrative and Financial Affairs Hojjatoleslam Abbassali Alizadeh told IRNA in Tehran on Friday. - 6/27/08

US elections: Congressional Democrats attack McCain on Iran sanctions
A group of Jewish congressional Democrats today lambasted Republican presidential nominee John McCain for voting against 2005 legislation that would have toughened sanctions against Iran. -Guardian - 6/27/08

Regime Change in Iran is Official U.S. Policy
To any reader of newspapers and the Internet, it should be apparent that tensions between the United States and Iran have recently increased. Ever since President Bush declared that Iran was part of the “axis of evil,” Iran has been in the crosshairs of the Bush regime. -Kenneth J. Theisen, Berkeley Daily Planet - 6/27/08

Political theater seen in Israeli drill
An Israeli military exercise over the Mediterranean appears to have been less a dry run for an attack on Iran than a message that Tehran must curb its nuclear ambitions, according to officials and experts. -AP - 6/27/08

US Businessmen Accused of Military Sales to Iran
A federal judge in Florida has ordered two American businessmen to remain in jail to face charges of illegally shipping military aircraft parts to Iran. In Miami, VOA's Brian Wagner reports the two are accused of violating a U.S. ban on military exports. - 6/27/08

Are sanctioned Iranian banks actually sponsoring anti-Western terror?
On the Web site of the largest bank in Iran, Bank Melli (also known as the National Bank of Iran), there are no details that could interest intelligence units. After all, what is there to look for in the bank when about a third of its investments are in agriculture and mines, and who even wants to find out how a bank based on the principles of Islam, which forbids charging interest, actually operates. -Haaretz - 6/27/08

Israel and Iran: It’s later than you think
With oil prices at their present highs and Iraq at last making tentative progress towards stability, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that conditions in the Middle East could be about to take an abrupt turn for the worse. Unfortunately, they could. -Economist - 6/27/08

Arman Carter crowned as Ta'arof King 2008
The day began with an informative speech given by guest speaker Alex Patico at Cannon Chapel, where the Camp Ayandeh group spends the majority of the day. Alex differentiated between the norms of different cultures, focusing mainly on Iran and the United States. Campers learned about how we can be perceived as positive in our culture, while being seen as offensive in another. -Sorayya Aminian - 6/26/08

"Persian Musicians" Released!
The third volume of the research project "Persian Musicians" by Pejman Akbarzadeh is now published in Tehran. The publication of the book has been supported by the California-based Iran Heritage Society. - 6/26/08

Report: Iran Human Rights Seminar in San Jose, California
Everyone at the recent Iran Human Rights Seminar in San Jose got a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). During the presentations there was much discussion of religion, and it is possible to review the event by comparing the UDHR to a much older declaration in the Bible. -Ari Siletz - 6/26/08

Each Iranian reads one book every 1892 days: report
Each Iranian individual reads one book in every 1892 day (over 5 years), IRIB News and Media School reported in a study published on Wednesday. The study was carried out last month by a group of students from the school to find out the relations between the high price of books in Iran and the rate of book reading amongst the people. -Tehran Times - 6/26/08

Pressure Tightens on Iran Over Nuclear Program
Iran is coming under increasing pressure over its nuclear ambitions. The West has offered new incentives to coax Iran into halting uranium enrichment, while the European Union has levied new economic sanctions. As VOA Correspondent Gary Thomas reports, hovering over the diplomatic process is the implied threat of military action. -VOA - 6/26/08

Iran Warns Against 'Provocation' Over Nuclear Program
Speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani Wednesday said there is only a little time left for international leaders to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear activities. -VOA - 6/26/08

Why Are There So Many Plane Crashes in Iran?
Over the last several years boarding a domestic flight in Iran has become like playing Russian roulette. Since 2002 there have been nine fatal air crashes, with as many 302 killed in a single flight, and a combined death toll of nearly 700. Some of these flights were military transports, while some were commercial flights with soldiers or Revolutionary Guardsmen on board, and others purely commercial. -Media Line - 6/26/08

Government threat to ban Association of Iranian Journalists
Systematic harassment of the Association of Iranian Journalists by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government took a new turn on 24 June when labour minister Mohammad Jahromi threatened to dissolve the organisation. - 6/26/08

Larijani: US Interests Section in Iran is 'Misleading' gesture
"Americans would have responded to Tehran's request of establishing direct flights from Iran to America if they were sincere in their policy, but the request has remained unanswered for two years," Larijani told reporters on the sidelines of a national conference in Tehran Thursday. - 6/26/08

U.S. Welcomes N. Korean Nuclear Declaration, Lifts Sanctions
North Korea has submitted a long-awaited declaration about the extent of its nuclear activities, and the United States responded by announcing it would drop trade sanctions and intends to remove the Pyongyang government from a terrorism blacklist. -VOA - 6/26/08

Iran Condemns Britain for Lifting 'Terrorist' Ban on Mujahedin Group
Iran is strongly criticizing Britain for lifting restrictions on an Iranian opposition group previously banned as a terrorist organization. - 6/26/08

Iraq: Bush, Talabani Signal Progress On Thorny Security Pact
The United States and Iraq are signaling progress in negotiating what's called a Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would set the rules for the presence of U.S. forces in the country. U.S. President George W. Bush and his Iraqi counterpart, Jalal Talabani, discussed the issue when they met at the White House on June 25. -RFE - 6/26/08

Iran soccer team to play in tournament in Russia
The junior Iranian national soccer team is scheduled to travel to Russia in order to participate in an 10-day 8-team championship. -Press TV - 6/26/08

Iran: Gas rationing cuts consumption
Iran says its gasoline rationing scheme has helped the world's fourth-largest oil producer to curb fuel consumption significantly. "Gasoline rationing cut consumption by about 20 million liters per day and saved the country close to four billion dollars," Senior Presidential Advisor, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashami said. -Press TV - 6/26/08

Iranian engineer pleads guilty in nuke plant case
An Iranian engineer has pleaded guilty to transporting stolen property he obtained at a former job at the largest nuclear plant in the United States. Mohammad Reza Alavi, 50, pleaded guilty to the charge in a deal reached Tuesday with federal prosecutors. Another charge against him was dropped. -AP - 6/26/08

Three terrorist groups busted in southeast Iran
Three terrorist groups were busted in the cities of Iranshahr and Sarbaz, a provincial police commander Gholam-Ali Nekouei said in Zahedan on Thursday. - 6/26/08

Report: Iran Does Not Rule Out US Diplomatic Office in Tehran
State Department officials are acknowledging an internal debate over whether the United States should open a diplomatic interests section in Tehran. Iran said Tuesday it would consider a request from the United States to open a diplomatic presence. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 6/25/08

Photos: Iranian Women at Work
The following photos show Iranian women performing various tasks. Iranian women are active in many fields including health care, emergency services, production, etc. - 6/25/08

The New P5+1 Package of Incentives to Iran: Neither New nor Improved
The latest proposal by the P5+1 group that calls on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program in return for a package of incentives is not nearly enough to entice Iran to suspend the program. The proposal is long on vague promises, and needless "reaffirmation" of the rights that Iran already enjoys, but falls far short in providing the specifics of the incentives that are supposedly being offered. -Muhammad Sahimi and Nader Bagherzadeh - 6/25/08

Explosively False Propaganda, Bush's Middle East Legacy
No part of the world, not even the United States, has been more deeply affected by George W. Bush's presidency than the Middle East. From the lofty goals of starting a "democratic revolution," making a "new Middle East," and helping the Palestinians to have their own independent state, to the bogus "war on terror,"... -Muhammad Sahimi - 6/25/08

IRGC: Shock and awe awaits invaders
A senior Iranian commander says the armed forces are prepared to deliver an 'awe-inspiring' response to any attack against the country. -Press TV - 6/25/08

Israel ‘Will Attack Iran’ Before New US President Sworn In, John Bolton Predicts
John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations, has predicted that Israel could attack Iran after the November presidential election but before George W Bush’s successor is sworn in. -Telegraph, UK - 6/25/08

Iran bank's UK unit to challenge nuclear sanctions
A London-based unit of Iran's largest bank, Bank Melli, said on Tuesday it would challenge the legality of European Union sanctions against it in British and EU courts. -Reuters - 6/25/08

Commentary: Does Council Of Europe Matter In Azerbaijan?
It's been more than seven years since Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe, the continent's preeminent organization for promoting human rights and democracy. At the time of its admission, the move was hailed as a sign that Azerbaijan had graduated from the post-Soviet doldrums and taken a critical step closer to the league of Western states. -RFE - 6/25/08

Love From Stockholm: Beauty Of Nature
I captured a photo of a Rainbow but it wasn't like any other rainbow I have seen in my life; this Rainbow was huge and round not shaped like the other rainbows I have seen. And in the middle of the huge rainbow there was the sun. -Jahan Arash Chaginy, Stockholm, Sweden - 6/25/08

Obsessing about Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran bears much responsibility for this state of affairs with his outrageous statements saying that Israel should be wiped from the face of the map. Ahmadinejad is losing popularity as he mismanages Iran's economy, and the approaching elections could do him damage. -IHT - 6/25/08

Iranian group in UK terror win
An Iranian opposition organisation is pushing to be legalised across the EU after being taken off the UK's list of alleged terrorist groups. -BBC - 6/25/08

Iran to order first LNG tanker in August
According to scheduled plans, Iran will order the first LNG tanker to eligible manufacturers in August this year, Mehr quoted the managing director of Iran Natural Gas Liquefaction Company saying on Tuesday. -MNA - 6/25/08

The Color of Love: An Exhibition for a great cause in Tehran
Mahak and Mrs. Ferial Salahsour, the art collector and manager of the Day Art Gallery have come up with a wonderful idea of staging an art show for which all the art works have been donated by the artists for fund raising for Mahak and all the money raised will benefit the needy children with cancer in Iran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/24/08

US plans to open interest section in Tehran: State Department
The Bush administration is considering setting up a diplomatic outpost in Iran in what would mark a dramatic official U.S. return to the country almost 30 years after the American embassy was overrun and the two nations severed relations. - 6/24/08

Senate Puts Iran Sanctions on Fast Track: Smith Bill Swapped for Baucus Alternative in Committee
A bill that would expand US unilateral sanctions on Iran was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee yesterday. The Iran Sanctions Act of 2008 was introduced by Committee Chair Max Baucus, who labeled it an effective way "to deter the Iranian government from producing a nuclear weapon." -NIAC - 6/24/08

Shamlu paraphernalia purchased by son for $5M
Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlu paraphernalia was purchased by his son Siavash on Sunday. Siavash paid 5,500,000,000 rials (about 5m dollars) to the items which were kept by Shamlu's wife Ayda in the poet's house in Karaj, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Monday. - 6/24/08

International children diving training course held in Tehran
The instruction program kicked off on June 18th as eight women and 12 men all international diving coaches took part in the competition and received the international certification to train diving to children after taking required classes. -ISNA - 6/24/08

Iran: Guarantee Fair Court Hearings for Two Kurdish Women
Iranian judicial authorities should guarantee two Kurdish women's rights activists transparent court proceedings when their cases come up for a hearing, Human Rights Watch said today. - 6/24/08

Iran: 100 bloggers condemn Internet filtering
More than 100 Iranian bloggers have signed a statement condemning Internet filtering and urging the authorities to allow free expression that was posted on the blog on June 17. - 6/24/08

Iran captures 40 percent of world carpet exports
According to the official, the total amount of exported Iranian hand-woven carpets reached to 750 million dollars in 2007 and the process of exporting Iranian hand-woven carpets is healing. - 6/24/08

Oil to reach $150 per barrel if Saudi fails to increase production: report
If Saudi Arabia fails either to increase its oil production or price the increased supply realistically, Dated Brent will reach an average of Dlrs 150 per barrel (dpb) by the start of next year, according to the Centre for Global Energy. -IRNA - 6/24/08

European Union approves sanctions against Iran, stops short of oil and gas export bans
EU nations have approved new sanctions against Iran, imposing additional financial and travel restrictions on a list of Iranian companies and experts — including the country's largest bank. But don't expect the EU, China, Russia or the U.S. to agree anytime soon to tougher sanctions that would ban oil and gas exports from Tehran in response to its nuclear program plans. -AP - 6/24/08

Iran: Gasoline rationing results in $3B savings
Gasoline rationing saved over $3 billion in foreign exchange, Hojatollah Ghanimifard, executive director of international affairs at National Iranian Oil Company said here on Monday. -MNA - 6/24/08

Britain urged not to remove MKO from its terrorist list
The MKO, formed in the 1960s, is on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze, and has been designated by the US government as a foreign terrorist organization. -IRNA - 6/24/08

Tell Your Lawmaker to Vote No on Iran War Resolution!
Does Your Representative Support War With Iran? You may be surprised at the answer; there are already over 169 cosponsors of H.Con.Res. 362 - 6/23/08

January across the central desert of Iran with Benjamin Hewett
January 2008 we received British sculptor, Benjamin Hewett (Ben) who came to our Paradise. Ben participated in the; Dream of Peace, the 15th Environmental Art Festival in the Persian Gulf, working individually and helping us to realize other collaborative projects, supporting peace and a reaction against war. Then Ben traveled to different parts of Iran and exploring our country, in some areas he continued to produce sculptures. -Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt - 6/23/08

Iranians in Canada By the Numbers
While the first Iranians arrived in Canada in the early part of the 20th century, it was not until the 1980's that there developed a significant Iranian-Canadian community. This week, Salam Toronto delved into the numbers from Canada's 2006 Census, and found some interesting facts about the Iranian population in this country. -Azim Ahmed - 6/23/08

Nuclear Geopolitics in US-Iran Relations:The case for a Big Push toward confidence building
Iran is currently a world-class foreign policy challenge for the West and the US in particular. The country stands before the UN Security Council for its alleged "potential threat to world peace." What particularly makes the matter of Iran's intentions so intractable is that it is by and large deduced not from hard data or undisputed facts but from inferences, perceptions, and assumptions about the country and its leaders that often border on fiction. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 6/23/08

Iran's Reformers Struggle for Impact in Parliament
With leading reformist politicians out of the picture, only 65 reformers were elected across Iran to the 290 seats in parliament. Most of them are low-profile, inexperienced figures who are taking up seats in the legislature for the first time. -Mahdi Tajik, Tehran - 6/23/08

Nabucco Chief Eyes Iranian, Russian Gas Despite U.S. Objections
When finished, the Nabucco gas pipeline will run from eastern Turkey to the heart of Europe, completely bypassing Russia. But while its route is established, its suppliers have yet to be fully determined. And therein lies the controversy. -RFE - 6/23/08

Legal Dance on Persepolis Artifacts Continues
For the past few months, the legal proceedings surrounding the sale of Persian artifacts on loan to American museums and universities had remained mostly dormant. That is, until, revelations occurred on three separate fronts of the issue. -Arash Hadjialiloo, NIAC - 6/23/08

It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon – from the same folks who brought us Iraq
Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox – in the form of air and missile attacks – begin. -Ray McGovern, Consortiumnews - 6/23/08

Iran to introduce value added tax
Iran's President has announced the implementation of value added tax in a move that will fundamentally reform the country's tax system. -Press TV - 6/23/08

Iran Vows to Continue Nuclear Program Despite Incentives Offer
Iran says it is ready to negotiate an incentives packaged offered by six world powers - Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the United States - but has ruled out halting enrichment. -VOA - 6/23/08

India likely to sign IPI pipeline deal
India says it has resolved most of its differences with Iran over the IPI 'peace' pipeline and that both sides may sign a deal within 5 weeks. -Press TV - 6/23/08

Iranians invest $760m in UAE in 2007
A report released in the UAE shows that Iranians rank 5th for foreign investment in the Arab state with $760 million put into the emirate. -Press TV - 6/23/08

‘Ball of Fire’ if Iran Attacked: IAEA Chief
The UN atomic watchdog chief warned on Saturday that an attack on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme would turn the region into a fireball, as Tehran rejected an Israeli strike as “impossible.” -AFP - 6/23/08

World Cup qualifier: Iran defeats Kuwait 2-0 to stand atop Group 5
Despite the victory many believe Iran displayed a lackluster performance, blaming it on Ali Daei's line-up. - 6/22/08

Iran's Parliament voices all-out support for Iran-G5+1 nuclear talks
Iran's Parliament (Majlis) on Sunday voiced full support for talks between Iranian nuclear negotiating team and the G5+1 as well as Iran's initiative to offering a package of proposals to the world's big powers. - 6/22/08

Iran: High-Level Corruption Becomes National Obsession
Many Iranians believe the country's miserable economic situation is a byproduct of mismanagement and widespread corruption at the top. Iran, the world's third-largest oil exporter, sold its crude last week for $136 a barrel. So the question on the lips of people in the streets is: Where's all this money going? -RFE - 6/22/08

Iranian daily 'Tehran Emrouz' banned for insulting Ahmadinejad
'Iran' daily said that Tehran's Public Prosecutor Office has summoned the banned daily's director for "publishing articles and images insulting to president". It said that a special issue recently published by Tehran Emrouz on the occasion of the third anniversary of president's election, was an "unprecedented insult" against him. - 6/22/08

US upped Iran psywar by exposing Israel?
In a Saturday report published in the Yediot Aharonot, military affairs correspondent Alex Fishman suggested that the US had leaked information about a recent Israeli military exercise in a bid to take the psywar against Iran to a new level. -Press TV - 6/22/08

Iran: Larijani highly critical of the state-run economy model
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Saturday called the government's "monopolization of economic opportunities" the "worst form of injustice." -MNA - 6/22/08

Saudi Arabia says it is Willing to Produce More Oil
King Abdullah spoke at the opening of an oil summit he convened in Jeddah. He said Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has already said it is increasing its production to 9.7 million barrels a day. -VOA - 6/22/08

Niyaz Music: Nine Heavens to be released on 6.24.2008
"Arise and prepare to rejoice. Let the wine take root in our cups as would a flower in the soil. Let us become intoxicated with bliss. For till when shall we dwell in sadness? Those drunk with love. Will break this unending wheel of sorrow. For the treasures of the beloved belong to those celebrating with us." - 6/21/08

Support the Omid-e-Mehr Foundation by purchasing exceptional works of art donated by prominent Iranian artists
HOPE is an exhibition at the Focus Art Gallery in Dubai which is organised by Maneli Keykavoussi and Isabelle van den Eynde in collaboration with the Omid-e-Mehr Foundation (Iran) and the Omid Foundation (United Kingdom): June 21-29 2008 - Focus Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE - 6/21/08

Forum - Danger of US Attack on Iran is Real and Growing - Berkeley, LA, NYC
World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime, Revolution Books (Berkeley and New York), and other organizations are sponsoring a series of emergency forums titled “The Danger of a U.S. Attack on Iran is Real and Growing - We Must Act Now!” in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York City on June 24-27. - 6/21/08

Harsh jail sentence for women's rights activist in Iran
Hana Abdi has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment, to be served in exile in West Azerbaijan province, in the small town of Germi, on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan, while Ronak Safarzadeh is in custody awaiting a further trial session. Amnesty International believes both women are prisoners of conscience - 6/21/08

Documentary: Iran is not the problem
A response to the failure of the American mass media to provide the public with relevant and accurate information about the standoff between the US and Iran, as happened before with the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. - 6/21/08

National Iranian American Council seeking a Development Director
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a Washington DC-based, non-profit, and advocacy organization on behalf of advancing the interests of the Iranian American community nation-wide and pursuing United States diplomacy, not military actions, toward Iran, seeks an experienced and motivated professional to lead the organization's development programs. - 6/21/08

'Harassed' Iran student arrested
A female student in the Iranian city of Zanjan who alleged she was sexually harassed by a senior male lecturer - triggering a massive demonstration by her fellow students - has herself been arrested. -BBC - 6/21/08

US Stresses Diplomacy on Iran Amid Reported Israeli Attack Exercise
The United States Friday reiterated its commitment to a diplomatic resolution of the Iran nuclear issue amid a report Israel conducted a simulated attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. The New York Times said the long-range Israeli exercise was conducted over the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month -VOA - 6/21/08

Oil Prices Rise Ahead of Key Meeting in Saudi Arabia
Oil prices have risen ahead of a key meeting between oil producers and oil consumers to be held in Saudi Arabia. Oil prices began rising after a media report that U.S. military officials said a large scale Israeli military exercise was practice for a potential attack on Iran. -VOA - 6/21/08

Sports Diplomacy: Iran's Table Tennis Team heading for U.S.
Iran's Table Tennis Team will travel to the U.S. to hold a joint training camp with their American counterparts. Following Iran's good performance in the 49th World Team Table Tennis Championships in Guangzhou, China, the U.S. officials have invited Iran to hold a joint training camp in the American city of Las Vegas. -MNA - 6/20/08

IRAN: Another Preemptive War in the works!
The Bush administration has once again ratcheted up the drum beating of a "Preemptive War" against Iran, on the presumption of the now familiar saber rattling pretext of "weapons of mass destruction." -David N. Rahni, New York - 6/20/08

US and Iran join forces to save cheetah
A cheetah on the edge of extinction has become the unlikely catalyst for something even more rare: a show of unity between political foes. -Times Online - 6/20/08

U.S. says exercise by Israel seemed directed at Iran
Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. -New York Times - 6/20/08

Nuclear Sanctions Have Limited Effect
Countries opposed to Iran's uranium enrichment programme, including the United States and its European allies, have to date managed to get three resolutions through the United Nations Security Council imposing sanctions on Iran in hope of making the country mend its ways. -Maziar Aqazadeh, Tehran - 6/20/08

How Iran would retaliate if it comes to war
Increasingly military analysts are warning of severe consequences if the US begins a shooting war with Iran. While Iranian forces are no match for American technology on a conventional battlefield, Iran has shown that it can bite back in unconventional ways. -CSM - 6/20/08

Book: Iran in World Politics: The Question of the Islamic Republic
Why is Iran continuously in the news? How can we explain the ideology of the Islamic Republic? How does Iran position itself within the international system? These are some of the questions at the heart of Arshin Adib-Moghaddam's new book, which offers novel methodological and theoretical insights in explaining the foreign relations and domestic politics of post-revolutionary Iran. - 6/20/08

114 Child Offenders Awaiting Hangman's Noose in Iran
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran published a list of 114 child offenders awaiting execution in Iran today, the first time such a list has been made available detailing the practice, which has been banned in all but a handful of countries. - 6/20/08

Iranian lifter wins bronze in Junior World Weightlifting Championships
85 kg category Saeid Shahedi snatched a bronze medal in the Junior World Weightlifting Championships on Thursday. -MNA - 6/20/08

Women's Rights Activists arrested in peaceful solidarity demonstrations in Iran
Nine women attempting to take part in a small, peaceful seminar to commemorate a day of solidarity with Iranian women were arrested in Tehran on Thursday. The women were arrested and taken to a detention centre, and released later in the evening. -Amnesty International - 6/20/08

Intern Opportunities with Darius Shahinfar for Congress
The Darius Shahinfar for Congress campaign is looking for dedicated and motivated Iranian American summer volunteers. Shahinfar is running for Congress as a Democrat in Upstate New York's 21st Congressional District. - 6/20/08

March to war
Why isn’t the press paying more attention to a possible attack on Iran? -The Phoenix, Boston - 6/20/08

The Fight between Iran’s Neoconservatives and Conservatives
Hossein Bastani says there is a continuing fight in Iran between the so-called neoconservatives, who support Ahmadinejad, and the more traditional conservatives, who support the older generation of leaders. Recent allegations of corruption in the upper levels of the Iranian state made by an Ahmadinejad supporter are a manifestation of this conflict, Bastani says. -CFR - 6/20/08

Iran-Iraq trade volume to reach $4B this year: Official
Head of Industries Commission of Joint Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines said here Friday volume of two countries' trade that was one billion US dollars in Iranian year 1385 (2006) reached $2.8 billion in 1386 and is expected to stand at 4bn by end of 1387 (March 20th, 2008). - 6/20/08

Russia warns against using force on Iran
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned against using force on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear standoff with the West. - 6/20/08

Bush, Maliki Agree Talks on Security Deal Going Well
The White House says U.S. President George Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have agreed that talks on a long-term security pact are going well. The two leaders spoke Thursday in a video conference call. -VOA - 6/20/08

Iran: Talking About Inflation
The headlines in the Tehran's morning and evening papers are dominated by one big issue these days – inflation. Spiralling price rises have had a real impact on people's lives in the past couple of years, but complaining about the problem has traditionally been the preserve of opposition politicians. -Mohammad Mahdi Afkari, Tehran - 6/19/08

A Tasty Mexican Gem in Lavasan
The town of Lavasan is on the east side of Tehran. It used to be a small village for those weekenders wanting to get away from the city. Now it is almost a suburb and, with the Bababie expressway, getting there is very easy even though you must drive through a series of hairpin bends through the mountains. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 6/19/08

US Senate Panel Approves Iran Sanctions Legislation
A U.S. Senate panel has approved legislation that would tighten sanctions against Iran in an effort to press that country to halt its uranium enrichment program. -VOA - 6/19/08

Photos: Children Selling Flowers in Tehran on National Flower Day
Iranian marked the National Flower Day on Jun 14. Following photos show children selling flowers in the streets and expressways of Tehran. - 6/19/08

Prominent Calls for Diplomacy with Iran
Only liberal peaceniks support direct diplomacy with Iran, right? Wrong. This collection of quotes highlights prominent calls by military officials, elected officials, and international civil society for diplomacy with Iran. -Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation - 6/19/08

Iran: Former Student Detainees Terrorized by their Interrogators
Security and intelligence agents are regularly contacting and terrorizing nine former student detainees with threats of prosecution under the charge of apostasy that can result in execution sentences. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is gravely concerned about their security. - 6/19/08

Seven jailed Iranian Baha'is make brief contact with families
Seven prominent Baha'is imprisoned in Iran have each been allowed a brief phone call to their families, the Baha'i International Community has learned. -BWNS - 6/19/08

Iranian Jews grapple with tragic death and violence in the community
On May 26, 17-year-old Beverly Hills High School student Bianca Khalili fell to her death from the 15th floor of an apartment building in Century City. Khalili's death is just one of the recent incidents of community distress that have left many local Iranian Jews speculating among themselves, unsure of how to address circumstances of violence they are encountering. -Jewish Journal - 6/19/08

Frameline 32: Sex changes: Two views of Be Like Others
By concentrating on three different individuals before and after they went through sexual reassignment operations in Iran, Eshagian reveals an incredibly sad and asphyxiating society — one where homosexuality is banned and punishable by death but changing one's sex is legal. -SFBG - 6/19/08

ElBaradei: If you attack Iran, I'll quit
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says he will step down if major powers launch a military strike against Iran over its nuclear program. - 6/19/08

Iran acts to calm student revolt
Students in Zanjan told the Financial Times by telephone that 3,000 of the 8,000 students at the university staged a sit-in for a second day yesterday and blocked the entry of officials. They said police had not intervened and nobody had been arrested. - 6/19/08

PJAK militants kill 3 Iranian policemen
Members of the PJAK terrorist group have killed three Iranian policemen in an ambush in the country's northwestern Kurdistan province. -Press TV - 6/19/08

Human Rights Group Says It Has Proof of Detainee Abuse
A Cambridge-based human rights organization said it has found medical evidence supporting the claims of 11 former detainees who were allegedly tortured while in American custody between 2001 and 2004, in what a former top US military investigator said amounts to evidence of war crimes. -Boston Globe - 6/19/08

Iranian widow faces terror charges in NYC
Taleb-Jedi has been linked to the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, a group designated a terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997. -AP - 6/19/08

Are They Really Oil Wars?
A most widely-cited factor behind the recent U.S. wars of choice is said to be oil. "No Blood for Oil" has been a rallying cry for most of the opponents of the war. While some of these opponents argue that the war is driven by the U.S. desire for cheap oil, others claim that it is prompted by big oil's wish for high oil prices and profits. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 6/18/08

Urgent Action: Ask Your Mayor to Sign Onto a Resolution Opposing War with Iran
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is holding its annual meeting from June 20-24 in Miami, Florida. Mayor Bob Kiss of Burlington, Vermont submitted an important and timely resolution to the International Affairs Committee urging the Bush Administration to pursue diplomatic engagement with Iran on nuclear issues and ending the violence in Iraq and urging Congress to prohibit the use of funds to carry out any military action against Iran without explicit Congressional authorization. - 6/18/08

World-Renowned Scientist of Iranian Heritage Honoured
When he was 10 years old, Lotfi Asker Zadeh and his family were forced to leave his home country of Azerbaijan in the former Soviet Union, relocating to Iran in the midst of religious prosecution. It was a period of upheaval and struggle for the bright boy. This Tuesday, Zadeh, also known as the "father of fuzzy logic", received an Honorary Doctorate from Ryerson University. -Azim Ahmed, Salam Toronto - 6/18/08

Yushka Fisher, A Warmonger in Disguise?
Open Letter to Mr. Yushka Fisher in response to his article the 30th of May 2008 in The Daily Star, Lebanon: As things look, Israel may well attack Iran soon -B. Bahrami, UK - 6/18/08

Sociology, economics & culture, focus of upcoming Iranian conference
The International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) will hold its Seventh Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies at the Park Hyatt Hotel, Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 3, 2008. - 6/18/08

U.S. Concerns Over Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline
To fuel its growing economy, India is turning to Iran. A proposed 2,600-kilometer gas pipeline would carry natural gas from fields in Iran to India to satisfy the country's increasing demand for energy. The proposed 7.5-billion dollar pipeline would run through Pakistan. - 6/18/08

Time to Talk to Iran
Members of Congress chatting to Iranians on bright red telephones is not what you expect to see on Capitol Hill. However, that is what happened when the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI) held its "Time to Talk to Iran" event last Tuesday. -Julia Murray, NIAC - 6/18/08

Iranian-born Journalist Wins Award for Press Freedom Advocacy
Iranian-born journalist Ahmad Rafat, now a well-known reporter based in Italy, has been honored for his more than 30 years of work advocating press freedom and exposing human rights abuses. - 6/18/08

International confab urges Withdrawal of foreign forces from Persian Gulf
The 18th International Conference on the Persian Gulf on Tuesday evening underscored the need for decrease in presence of foreign military forces in the region. - 6/18/08

Washington's Dilemma -- To Negotiate With Tehran Or Not?
One of the most hotly debated issues in the current U.S. presidential campaign has been how to deal with one of the United States' most-discussed foreign-policy challenges. -RFE - 6/18/08

Persian poet Rudaki commemorated at UN
The Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan to the United Nations Headquarters in New York commemorated Persian poet Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki (858-941) on Wednesday. - 6/18/08

Russia Looks To Expand Military Presence In Central Asia
Some events this month indicate Russia is trying to boost its military presence in energy-rich Central Asia, and the region's governments seem content to expand their military ties with Russia. -RFE - 6/18/08

Rafsanjani advocates democracy envisaged by Iran's Constitution
"Nothing should be imposed on people and they should be given the opportunity to choose based on their own will." -IRNA - 6/18/08

Israel-Hamas Ceasefire to Begin on Thursday
A ceasefire in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip is due to begin at 6:00 a.m. local time Thursday. After months of fighting, Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas have decided to give an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire in Gaza a chance. -VOA - 6/18/08

Photos: New Iranian dress code crackdown
Police in Iran have begun a new campaign against Western-style clothing and hairstyles. Women are being arrested if their headscarves do not fully cover their hair or their clothes show their figures too clearly. - 6/17/08

Is a New Congressional Resolution Declaring War with Iran?
A House resolution effectively requiring a naval blockade on Iran seems fast tracked for passage, gaining co-sponsors at a remarkable speed, but experts say the measures called for in the resolutions amount to an act of war. -Emily Blout, NIAC - 6/17/08

Esteghlal defeats Pegah 3-0 to win Iran's League Cup
Three star Esteghlal upset Pegah football club in the second leg of the Iran's League Cup at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Monday. -MNA - 6/17/08

Iran: Hidden Menace of "Iron Soldiers"
Iranians call the unexploded mines "iron soldiers", buried weapons waiting in the ground to kill or maim a curious child, a farmer or a careless passer-by. There are an estimated 110 million landmines in 64 countries of the world, and according to the trauma research centre at the Sina Hospital in Tehran, Iran's share is 16 million – a huge proportion of the total. -Mahdi Afruzmanesh, Tehran - 6/17/08

Iran to display Cyrus Cylinder
Iran's National Museum is slated to exhibit 'Cyrus the Great Cylinder', which is currently housed in the British Museum in London. "The British Museum is ready to display the Cyrus Cylinder in Iran after 130 years," said Neil MacGregor. - 6/17/08

Berlin subway to exhibit cartoon by Iranian artist Javad Alizadeh
Toonpool.com has scheduled to display Fire Shot by Javad Alizadeh on 4,000 monitors throughout the Berlin subway system all day on June 19, ISNA reported. - 6/17/08

Iranian biker reintroducing Persian civilization around the globe
Habib Ashtari, Iranian biker, who is traveling around the world to reintroduce the Persian civilization has arrived in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia on Sunday. -MNA - 6/17/08

BIBA to explore Business Opportunities in the Emerging Markets
British-Iranian Business Association BIBA is running a series of meetings which will look at Business Opportunities in the Emerging Markets, with a focus on the United Arab Emirates, which currently acts as a gateway to the Middle Eastern markets and well beyond. - 6/17/08

Iran President says there is glut in oil market, calls for setting up oil bourse, OPEC bank
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday there is glut in oil market calling for setting up an oil bourse and a bank by OPEC member states in order to optimize situation in energy market. -IRNA - 6/17/08

You Want Change? Me too – but don't hold your breath...
The pundits agree that this election is all about "change," so naturally we have two presidential nominees who present identical positions on the major foreign policy issue of the day: the looming prospect of the U.S. launching a "preventive" war against Iran. Shmuel Rosner, the U.S. correspondent for Ha'aretz, notes: -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 6/17/08

Is EU Preparing To Impose Sanctions On Iran?
Comments by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown about new European sanctions being readied for imposition on Iran have led to some confusion, with an EU spokeswoman denying that any agreement has been reached. - 6/17/08

The dilemma of an older Iranian man living in the U.S.
Hadi Hadizadeh does not look like a man who, seven years ago, spent 128 days in a small Iranian cell under grim conditions. During almost all of that ordeal, he was kept in solitary confinement. His only break came each weekday when he was taken out of his cell for 20 minutes, but blindfolded. -Wicked Local - 6/17/08

Visiting Iran's ayatollahs at Qom
The BBC's Sadeq Saba has visited the Iranian holy city of Qom, the spiritual home of Iran's conservative Islamic establishment and the source of some of the most outspoken dissent against the system. - 6/17/08

Boomers take opener against Iran
Australia turned a fast start into a comfortable victory over Iran in the opening game of the Boomers World Challenge in Perth on Monday night, 85-68. -SportsAustralia - 6/17/08

American government accused Israel of buying Iranian pistachios
US Ambassador to Israel, Richard H. Jones, wrote a severe letter last week to Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On accusing Israel of secretly trading with Iran and transferring foreign currency to the country, in direct violation of an Israeli law which prohibitstrade with enemy states. -Port2Port - 6/17/08

Interview with Ardeshir Mohassess, a legendary Iranian illustrator and cartoonist
In early 1970s, I used to work at Kayhan newspaper in Tehran. I was a curious young boy at the time. I had seen the works of Mohassess published in the paper. I also used to see Mohassess in the hallways of Kayhan. He had a very interesting personality which stood out. If I remember correctly, he didn't talk much and our eyes never met. -Ali Moayedian - 6/16/08

The Elusiveness of Trust: the experience of Security Council and Iran
It is a cliché to say that if we did not have the United Nations we would have to create one. The world, and especially the Middle East, are passing through a very dangerous and critical period, with the scourge of terrorism, and an arc of instability and crisis stretching from Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, right up to Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Iran's nuclear file also cannot be discussed in isolation and without due attention to regional and international issues. -Farhang Jahanpour - 6/16/08

US policy and the pro-Israel lobby: A university in Jerusalem takes on the debate
The authors of 'The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy' said Thursday that the special-interest group is leading the charge for attacking Iran and damaging US interests. -CSM - 6/16/08

National Iranian American Council seeking Director of Programming
The Director of Programming will handle all event related activities for the organization. This includes, but not limited to Congressional briefings, policy conferences, fundraisers, and other events that promote the goals of the organization. - 6/16/08

272 children's films to compete at Hamedan Film Festival
Over 130 films from 39 foreign countries, including Argentina, Germany, the United States, Austria, Spain, France, Serbia, South Korea, Canada, and Croatia, will be screened during the festival - 6/16/08

Three who went missing in Turkey believed detained in Tehran
Foroud Fouladvand, the leader of the group Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran (API), which advocates the restoration of the Iranian monarchy, may be held by the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. Two other members of the same group, Kourosh Lor and Simorgh, may also be held in Tehran. -Amnesty International - 6/16/08

Iran needs $7B for fuel imports
Iran's government reportedly plans to ask the Parliament for $7 billion to import gasoline and diesel, despite a fuel rationing program. -Press TV - 6/16/08

Polish festival awards Iranian choir
An Iranian church from Isfahan Province has won the second award of Poland's International Festival of Orthodox Church Music 'Hajnowka'. -Press TV - 6/16/08

18th international confab on Persian Gulf opens in Tehran
The 18th international conference on Persian Gulf opened in Tehran on Monday with the participation of scholars and researchers from major world countries. -IRNA - 6/16/08

Memoir on Life in Iraq by Farnaz Fassihi of 'WSJ' Arrives in September
Farnaz Fassihi, whose frank e-mail on horrific conditions in Iraq in September 2004 caused a media sensation, has penned a memoir to be published in September by Public Affairs. It is titled, "Waiting for an Ordinary Day: The Unraveling of Life in Iraq." -Editor & Publisher - 6/16/08

Violation of Majlis rules will not be tolerated: Larijani
Any departure from parliamentary rules is unjust and warrants punishment, Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said in Tehran on Sunday. Monitoring the performance of the other branches of government, fulfilling duties, and drafting comprehensive and efficient laws are at the top of the Majlis agenda, he stated. -MNA - 6/16/08

Bush and Brown's warning to Iran
Gordon Brown and President George Bush have warned Iran to accept their "offers of partnership" or face tough sanctions and international isolation. -BBC - 6/16/08

Iran to host OPEC ministers in June meeting
Iran will host the 29th meeting of foreign ministers of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fund in Isfahan on June 17. -ISNA - 6/16/08

Afghanistan: Many 'Important' Taliban Among Hundreds Of Prison Escapees
Hundreds of prisoners have escaped from a jail in southern Afghanistan, including many "important" Taliban militants, after their accomplices blasted open the prison gate in an overnight attack in Kandahar. -RFE - 6/16/08

World Cup: Iran beats Syria, goes into next Asian round
Iran's national football team beat Syria 2-0 in Damascus on Saturday in the world cup qualifying games. - 6/15/08

Excerpts from package of incentives presented by Solana to Iran's FM
The package of incentives presented by EU foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana included civilian nuclear cooperation as well as wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology and agriculture. - 6/15/08

Olympic Peace Messenger from Iran arrives in Bishkek
Majid Charkhasht an Iranian who is caring Olympic Peace Messenger to Beijing arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia on Saturday. - 6/15/08

William Chittick: Sufism has fascinated me the most
"Sufism has fascinated me the most", said the U.S. Islamologist William Chittick in a ceremony held in his honor at the Iranian Society of Cultural Works and Luminaries (ISCWL) in Tehran on Saturday. - 6/15/08

Larijani: Iran's Parliament will study G5+1 package carefully
Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that the Iranian parliament will study the Group 5+1 package of incentives precisely. - 6/15/08

Strike on Iran Nuclear Sites Under Discussion Again
Six months ago, after American intelligence agencies declared that Iran had shelved its nuclear-weapons program, the chances of a U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran before President Bush left office seemed remote. Now, thanks to persistent pressure from Israeli hawks and newly stated concerns by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the idea of a targeted strike meant to cripple Iran’s nuclear program is getting a new hearing. -McClatchy Newspapers - 6/15/08

Iranian researchers produce Bi2S3 nanotubes for the first time
Researchers from the Chemistry Department of the University of Tabriz have synthesized bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3) nanotubes for the fist time in the world, the executor of the research said. -IRNA - 6/15/08

Iran, Malaysia sign $1.5B oil deal
Iran and Malaysia's Amona company have signed a one-billion-euro ($1.5 billion) deal to develop the Resalat oilfield in the Persian Gulf. -Press TV - 6/15/08

Freed Japanese student arrives in Tehran
Japanese student Satoshi Nakamura, 23, who was kidnapped by a group of bandits about 10 month ago, was recently freed and sent to Tehran. - 6/15/08

In Iraq, The Love Stories Are Gone
“The country of the Arabian Nights and of wonderful poetry is no longer good for love,” Maki al-Nazzal, political analyst and poet, told IPS. “All Iraqi poetry under occupation is now about death and separation.” -IPS - 6/15/08

Set Reasonable Expectations but Talk to Iran, Committee Witnesses Argue
At a hearing on "Iran's Strategic Aspirations and the Future of the Middle East" in the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, Members of Congress and committee witnesses agreed that the current US strategy toward Iran is not working. Where they differed was what direction a new US approach to Iran should take. -Caroline Tarpey, NIAC - 6/14/08

Iran to consider G5+1 response to Iran's package: FM
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday that Iran will consider the Group 5+1 response to Iran package. Mottaki made the remarks following his meeting with the visiting European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. - 6/14/08

Visual Representations of Iran: A conference, film season and photographic exhibition
A conference, film season and photographic exhibition that aim to interpret and theorise visual representations of Iran in ethnographic, documentary and feature films, as well as other visual art forms: 13-16 June 2008 (conference and film season), 5-18 June 2008 (exhibition) University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. - 6/14/08

Iran's Chances of Success among Asian World Cup Qualifiers
Finally on top of their group after a patchy start, Iran is now in a good position to book its passage to the next round of Asian World Cup Qualifiers with a game to spare. -FNA - 6/14/08

Developing evidence-based maternity care in Iran: a quality improvement study
Current Iranian perinatal statistics indicate that maternity care continues to need improvement. In response, we implemented a multi-faceted intervention to improve the quality of maternity care at an Iranian Social Security Hospital. - 6/14/08

Obama Vows Change in Foreign Policy
Presumptive Democratic party presidential nominee, Barack Obama, says he will change the direction of US foreign policy if he is elected president. Experts say the views he has expressed so far in the campaign put him in the American foreign policy mainstream -- though he has come under sharp criticism from his Republican rival over his willingness to meet with leaders of adversary countries. -VOA - 6/14/08

Clipped Wings Only on Campus in Tehran
After traveling through Iran, my notebook is filled with quirky observations. Reading the comments readers share on my blog is also thought-provoking. The whole experience makes me want to hug people and scream at the same time. It’s intensely human. -Rick Steves - 6/14/08

Iran’s New Law On IP Protection Moves It Onto International Stage
Iran has adopted a new law on the “registration of inventions, industrial designs and trademarks” in a bid to come to grips with the fast-paced changes in the world of trade and industry and developments in the area of intellectual property. -Intellectual Property Watch - 6/14/08

Response to Tom Friedman's column "People vs. Dinosaurs"
The decline of The New York Times is evident not only in the selection of neoconservative William Kristol, a cheerleader for the illegal Iraq war, but the inaccurate and decidedly biased column of Tom Friedman (June 8, 2008) presented to the American public written from Tefen Industrial Park, Israel. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 6/14/08

'If you want to help Iran, don't attack'
The Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi talks to David Batty about the regime's abuse of its population - and how the west needs to abandon the threat of war if it wants to win over Iran's people and bring change -Guardian - 6/14/08

Is Israel indirectly buying Iranian oil?
Having adamantly denied for months that Israel could possibly be purchasing any oil originating in Iran, an Israeli official has now acknowledged that the Jewish state cannot be sure that Iranian oil is not coming here indirectly -Jerusalem Post - 6/14/08

War on Iran: Law the first casualty
"So foul a sky shall not clear without a storm," wrote William Shakespeare in the play King John and, indeed, the deafening saber-rattling against Iran by the United States and Israel increasingly reveals a coming storm that will likely dwarf the magnitude of the Iraq war, in light of Iran's military prowess and ability to strike back throughout the Middle East. - 6/13/08

Who Is Making Tehran's Iraq Policy
One of the most curious aspects of reporting on Iran is the never-ending search for finding the one person that "really" makes policy. -Farideh Farhi, NIAC - 6/13/08

On Iran And Mideast Peace: Who Is Obama Trying To Please?
When, in a recent AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference, Barack Obama revealed some of the specifics of his revised approach in dealing with Iran and its controversial nuclear program, many John McCain supporters interpreted it as either a sign of weakness or an indication of a flawed character on his part that is out to deceive the US electorate. -Jalal Alavi - 6/13/08

William Chittick honored in Tehran
The Iranian Society of Cultural Works and Luminaries paid tribute to the U.S. Islamologist William Chittick during a ceremony held at the venue on June 11. Chittick, 65, is currently professor of religious studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. - 6/13/08

Bush Italy Visit Highlights Unity, But Amid Widening Differences Over Iran, Russia
U.S. President George W. Bush can expect an enthusiastic welcome from his old friend, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in Rome. But the smiles and bear hugs won't be able to mask the fact that when it comes to substance, the two sides have increasingly divergent interests. -RFE - 6/13/08

NIAC Memo: The Implications of Ali Larijani’s Election
The election of Ali Larijani as the new speaker of Iran's parliament marks a major development within the faction-ridden politics of the Islamic Republic. For the most part, the recent election is the latest sign of dissatisfaction of Iran's electorate with Ahma-dinejad's handling of the economy. -Babak Rahimi, NIAC - 6/13/08

Maliki: Talks on US-Iraqi Security Deal at 'Dead End'
Mr. Maliki told reporters during a visit to Jordan Friday that talks between the two sides are deadlocked because of U.S. demands that infringe on Iraq's sovereignty. He called the demands unacceptable. - 6/13/08

Mecca Conference Promotes Dialogue Between Muslims and Followers of Other Faiths
King Abdullah's tone was one of reconciliation between Islam's two main branches, Sunni and Shi'a. The King, a Sunni Muslim, was reported to have entered the hall with a leading Shi'a politician, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who later sat at his left in a gesture of unity. -VOA - 6/13/08

Presidents Give Green Light For Continuation Of Karabakh Talks
The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev, met for one hour on June 6 on the sidelines of a CIS summit in St. Petersburg to discuss prospects for resolving the Karabakh conflict. -RFE - 6/13/08

Global Economic Gloom - China and India Notable Exceptions
Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, the image of the United States abroad remains far less positive than it was before the war and at the beginning of the century. However, the latest survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project finds some encouraging signs for America's global image for the first time this decade. -Pew Research Center - 6/13/08

A wake-up call for the antiquities market
Curators and collectors who track sculpture from Ancient Egypt, Etruscan bronzes from present-day Tuscany, or Hellenistic sculpture from around the Mediterranean and further afield in Iran, would be well advised to ponder their next move with utmost care. -IHT - 6/13/08

India to invest $3B in Iran gas fields
India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) says it plans to invest $3 billion with its partners to develop Iran's Farsi gas block. -Press TV - 6/13/08

"Do the right thing and earn national and international respect": Brown urged to take tough line with Bush on Iran
A Downing Street delegation will today call on Gordon Brown to use his time with George Bush next week to warn the President against military intervention against Iran. A letter handed in by a cross-party group of parliamentarians to the Prime Minister argues that an attack on Iran in the absence of evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme would be in breach of international law and would be as unconscionable and misjudged as the 2003 invasion of Iraq. - 6/12/08

We did it! We talked to Iran and our hotlines had no preconditions!
On Tuesday, June 10, 2008, the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI) and the Enough Fear Campaign organized an innovative "Time to Talk with Iran" event and press conference on the Terrace of the West Side of the Cannon House Office Building. With the U.S. Capitol backdrop, Representatives Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Ron Paul, Marcy Kaptur, and Sheila Jackson-Lee joined the campaign in a press conference - 6/12/08

Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World
Recent political developments, including the shadow of a new war, have obscured the fact that Iran has a long and splendid artistic tradition ranging from the visual arts to literature. Belonging, edited by Niloufar Talebi, offers a glimpse at a complex culture through some of its finest literary talents. - 6/12/08

Iran: Judicial Investigator Detained After Accusing Clerics Of Corruption
A member of the Iranian parliament's Judicial Inquiry and Review Committee has been arrested after accusing several prominent clerics of corruption and hinting that further revelations were to come. - 6/12/08

Women's Learning Partnership's Goal Is to Empower Women, Says President of the Organization
Mahnaz Afkhami, a leading advocate of women's rights for more than three decades, is founder and president of the Women's Learning Partnership (WLP), an international organization that empowers women by developing curricula to train them to become leaders in politics, business, and civil society. - 6/12/08

Friends and family to pay tribute to Iranian political icon Nosratollah Amini
For more than seventy years, Nosratollah Amini has been involved in the politics of and the modernization of Iran. As a lawyer, a judge, and an Inspector General, he was instrumental in shaping the modern Justice system. He worked alongside Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh in the struggle for the nationalization of Iran's oil industry, while serving as the mayor of Tehran and the Prime Minister's personal attorney. - 6/12/08

'Faster, Please!': Senate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran
In 2001, as the wheels that would eventually drive us to war with Iraq began to turn, the groundwork was being laid for the inevitable denouement of that historic error: the present looming conflict with Iran. -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 6/12/08

Iran: Conservatives Trying to Get President Ahmadinejad to Moderate Behavior
As US President George W. Bush lobbies European Union leaders for tighter economic sanction against Iran, conservative elements in Tehran are taking steps to moderate the behavior of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Eurasianet - 6/12/08

Drought pushes Iran to import wheat
Iran has announced it will have to import many grains including wheat this year to combat a drought that has plagued the country. -Press TV - 6/12/08

Bush Says Diplomacy Is First Choice In Dealing With Iran
U.S. President George W. Bush has reiterated that diplomacy is his first choice in dealing with Iran -- but that "all options" remain on the table. -RFE - 6/12/08

Value of Tehran Stock Exchange to top $70b
The director of the Privatization Organization of Iran (POI) here on Wednesday announced that bourse value of Iran will exceed $70 billion by next month. -MNA - 6/12/08

Italy seeks to join 5+1 group negotiating with Iran
Italy feels it should be allowed to join the negotiations on the grounds that it is Iran's biggest European trading partner. -Press TV - 6/12/08

Report: Iran reduces heavy crude price
Iran has reportedly increased the discount on its heavy crude exports to about four dollars, the highest rate in the past nine years. -Press TV - 6/12/08

An Israeli Minister’s Dual Loyalty...to Iran?
Shaul Mofaz is Israel’s Minister of Transportation. He formerly served as the IDF chief of staff and as Defense Minister. He is hardly considered to have been one of the greats to occupy either post. Another position he currently holds is as minister in charge of the strategic dialogue with the US. -Prospects for Peace - 6/12/08

Nobel Peace Prize winner writes book on Iranian refugee law for UNHCR
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has published a book on legal structures in Iran that she hopes will encourage other human rights activists in the Islamic world to work for the protection of refugees. - 6/12/08

Iranian opposition says Tehran targeting France to keep it on EU terror list
Iran's government is seeking French support to keep a prominent exiled opposition group on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations, the group claimed Wednesday. -AP - 6/12/08

Iran's Hamyaran Mosbat wins UN red ribbon award on HIV/AIDS
Twenty-five local organizations from around the world, including Positive Club (Hamyaran Mosbat) in Mashhad (Khorsan Razavi Province), have received the Red Ribbon Award 2008, a United Nations laurel given every two years to celebrate outstanding community leadership and action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. - 6/11/08

International Organizations Express Solidarity with Iranian Women for June 12th
In a statement issued by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, nearly 50 international human rights and women's organizations have expressed their solidarity with Iranian women and the women's movement, in recognition of June 12th, the national day of solidarity of Iranian women, and in objection to discriminatory laws. - 6/11/08

Iran's Run-Down Schools
When part of a school in northeast Iran collapsed last year, a local official blamed it on boisterous schoolgirls – one of whom died when the walls caved in. This excuse was dismissed by a more senior educationalist, but the story serves to illustrate the obsolete, sometimes ramshackle state of Iran's schools. -Shirzad Abdollahi, Tehran - 6/11/08

Iran to manufacture more hybrid cars
Iran is to scale down production of gasoline-powered vehicles and increase its manufacture of cars with dual-fuel and natural gas engines. - 6/11/08

Mismarriage of Convenience
Iran and Israel are stuck in a dysfunctional relationship that neither party can escape on its own. Here’s how to break up their fight. -Trita Parsi, FP - 6/11/08

Sex and the ayatollahs
Pomegranate-flavoured condoms anyone? In Iran, sexuality in public may be cause for police harassment and worse but sexuality in private (as long as it is heterosexual) is there to be enjoyed as a blessing from God - or so the authorities would have it. A decade ago there were more flavours of condom in Iran than in London, New York or Paris. -Guardian - 6/11/08

Iran: Putting the brakes on Ahmadinejad
Three years of untrammeled rule as supremo has convinced many of Iran's conservatives that it finally may be time to put the brakes on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -ISN - 6/11/08

US/IRAN: Fearing Escalation, Pentagon Fought Cheney Plan
Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney last summer for airstrikes against Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bases by insisting that the administration would have to make clear decisions about how far the United States would go in escalating the conflict with Iran, according to a former George W. Bush administration official. -IPS - 6/11/08

Iran first in stem cell research in Middle East
Iran has emerged as the leading stem cell researcher in the Middle East, due to its innovative scientific investigations in this field. -Press TV - 6/11/08

Inside Sharon's Nuclear Family Vacation
While the rest of us were sightseeing or lounging at the beach, Sharon Weinberger and her defense reporter husband, Nathan Hodge, spent their last two years' worth of comp time and sick days visiting Iran's uranium conversion plant, West Virginia's secret nuclear bunker, and the A-bombed-out Marshall Islands. -Wired - 6/11/08

Iran: Reprieve should be first step in ending
The one-month reprieve of two juvenile offenders who were due to be executed today should be the first step towards putting an end to the obscene practice of juvenile executions, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. -Amnesty International - 6/11/08

Bush, European Leaders Show Unity On Iran, Global Problems
The United States and the European Union, at a summit meeting in Slovenia, have said they were ready to contemplate extra measures against Iran if Tehran continues to refuse to stop enriching uranium. -RFE - 6/11/08

“Descent Into Chaos”: Ahmed Rashid on How the US Aid to “War on Terror” Ally Pakistan is Aiding the Taliban
Veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid explains how the US ally Pakistan has armed and financed the Taliban after the US invasion of Afghanistan; how the CIA pays Pakistan to arrest al-Qaeda operatives, but Pakistan uses the money to fund the Taliban resurgence in northwest Pakistan; and how the US and NATO’s failure to deal with Afghan civil society has led directly to the huge rise of the opium trade that funds the Taliban. -Democracy Now - 6/11/08

U.S. says open to more talks with Iran on Iraq
The United States is open to holding more talks with Iran about Iraq's security, but it must first be confident that the talks are likely to make progress, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 6/11/08

King Abdullah says US policy toward Iran is non-diplomatic
In a meeting with Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Saudi King said that the US policy toward Iran is unacceptable. -IRNA - 6/11/08

Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians
In their new book, journalists Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian bring us the voices of fifty American combat veterans of the Iraq War and their understanding of the US occupation and why Iraqis are so opposed to it. -Democracy Now - 6/11/08

'Marry or be fired', Iranian state firm warns
A major Iranian state-owned company has told its single employees to get married by September or face losing their jobs, the press reported on Tuesday. - 6/11/08

Action Alert: National Call-In Day on Iran: Tuesday, June 10th
Participate in the National Call-In Day on Iran, June 10th and tell your representatives to support dialogue, not war with Iran. - 6/10/08

Americans to Talk Directly to Iranians: Call for Diplomacy not War with Iran
As rhetoric continues to escalate and tensions mount between the U.S. and Iran, the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran will hold an event on Capitol Hill to underscore the need for new, responsible and effective U.S. policies and leadership to reduce the likelihood of a conflict that would have disastrous consequences. - 6/10/08

Americans on Capitol Hill to Speak Directly to Iranians on June 10th
As the U.S. and Iranian governments continue to trade insults and recriminations, the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran, coordinated by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, will hold an unprecedented event on Capitol Hill tomorrow where Americans will speak directly to the people of Iran. - 6/10/08

TIM BURTON'S ORIENTAL DREAM
1001 Nights Tale marks Hollywood director's film debut: Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (1982) was directed by Burton in the early 80's specifically for the TV series Faerie Tale Theatre which was produced by actress Shelley Duvall, who had worked with Tim Burton's Frankenweenie. -Darius Kadivar - 6/10/08

Khark Achaemenid inscription cannot be restored: expert
An expert on ancient Iranian languages believes that the proposal to restore the Achaemenid inscription of Khark Island -- which was brought up by a cultural official after the valuable relic was vandalized on May 29 -- is unscientific. - 6/10/08

The Iran Trap
The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel. -Truthdig - 6/10/08

Iran pulls assets out of European banks
Iran has withdrawn a huge sum of its foreign exchange reserves from European banks and has deposited some of it into Asian banks. - 6/10/08

Plan would build world-run enrichment facility in Iran
A controversial plan put forth by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program is getting increased interest from senior members of both parties in Congress and nonproliferation specialists. -Boston Globe - 6/10/08

Preventing HIV transmission among Iranian prisoners
The study population was a random selection of 100 men incarcerated at Rajaei-Shahr prison. The data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. - 6/10/08

Pentagon Says US Will Not Launch Attacks from Iraq
The Pentagon says U.S. forces in Iraq will not be used to launch attacks on any of the country's neighbors. The comment was made as U.S. and Iraqi negotiators work on an agreement to cover the future U.S. troop presence in Iraq, and as Iraq's prime minister visits Iran. -VOA - 6/10/08

Iran's atomic bicycle in Venezuela!
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has dubbed the very first bike produced at a joint Iranian-Venezuelan factory 'the atomic bicycle'. - 6/10/08

U. S. Bid to Hike Iran's Gas Prices Seems Doomed
As we sweat through a summer of $4 gas, it certainly is infuriating to see Iran sucking up seven million gallons per day of the precious juice from the international market—and selling it for less than a buck a gallon at the pump in downtown Tehran. But it appears likely that futility and frustration will continue to stalk the United States in our gas war with Iran. -CounterPunch - 6/10/08

Arbour concerned about impending execution of four juvenile offenders in Iran
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour expressed her concern on Tuesday over reports that four juvenile offenders in the Islamic Republic of Iran are at imminent risk of execution. - 6/10/08

Malaysia's Petronas delays Iran LNG project decison
High development costs are forcing Malaysia's national oil firm Petronas to delay its final decision on investing in Iran's multi-billion dollar Pars LNG project as the deadline looms, its chief said on Monday. -Reuters - 6/10/08

Iranian play to debut in Britain's Stratford-on-Avon
The Virgule Performing Arts Company will perform its play "Find the Way" at the International Festival for Emerging Artists, which will be held in Stratford-on-Avon from July 7 to 20. -Tehran Times - 6/10/08

Global Military Spending Soars 45 Percent in 10 Years
World military spending grew 45 percent in the past decade, with the United States accounting for nearly half of all expenditures, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday. -AFP - 6/10/08

US and EU issue new Iran warning
The EU and the US have threatened Iran with further sanctions unless it verifiably suspends nuclear enrichment. -BBC - 6/10/08

The Seventh Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies: Toronto, Canda, Jul 31-Aug 3
The Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies will bring to Toronto approximately 250 scholars from various parts of the world for the presentation f their current research on Iran. This is the largest international gathering of scholars who study, teach and write on Iran. - 6/9/08

Memories of Others: An exhibition by Golnar Tabibzadeh
Golnar Tabibzadeh is one of Iran's most promising young artists. She is 24 and was educated at the Azad University of Tehran. She comes from an artistic family and has already had several exhibitions in Tehran and abroad. - 6/9/08

Iranians Count Cost of War, Two Decades on
Twenty-two years ago, Keyvan lost both legs below the knee in an Iraqi mortar attack near the southern Iranian city of Abadan. Under-age when he signed up to fight in the Iran-Iraq war, he insists he would fight for his country again if the need arose. Keyvan is just one of the 300,000 Iranians left disabled by the 1980-88 war, which left at least 199,000 more dead. Officials say around 36,000 of the dead were under 18. -Fariba Pajooh, Tehran - 6/9/08

Children of the Revolution at Stanford
The aim of these photos is to take the focus off Iran's politicians and realign it squarely on its people. It will celebrate the existence of Iran's third generation of the Revolution and explore its significance. - 6/9/08

How Sit-in at University of Toronto ends up in Court
"You hear about students in Iran protesting, you hear about them getting beaten up and arrested. It is interesting and shocking to see that here. We think we live in a liberal democracy in Canada and that Iran is very oppressive regime, but we see a very similar trend of repression here. I think this was a shocking thing for the Iranian community, which is why I think they identified with what was happening at the U of T campus." -Azim Ahmed, Salam Toronto - 6/9/08

Iran's Supreme Leader: US dreams on Iraq will not come true
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remark after receiving visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Tehran on Monday. The Supreme Leader termed presence of occupation forces in Iraq as the root cause of existing problems in the country and underlined that Iran will spare no effort to assist the Iraqi government and nation, as a religious duty. -IRNA - 6/9/08

Iran's strategy is to confront U.S. unilateralism: Larijani
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday that Iran's strategy is to confront the United State's unilateralism. -MNA - 6/9/08

Iran demands U.N. condemnation over Israel's threats
Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations urged this organization to condemn remarks by regime cabinet minister. Mohammad Khazaie's demand follows the threats by Shaul Mofaz who had said on Friday the regime would attack Iran if it does not mothball its nuclear program. -ISNA - 6/9/08

Will Congress Heed McClellan’s Iran Warning?
How often have we been told that institutions of our society that dominate public debate over foreign policy — Congress, the intelligence bureaucracy, the media — learned lessons from the run-up to the Iraq war, and everything is different now? -Huffington Post - 6/9/08

Iranian women pilgrims visit Baqi Cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia for the first time
The Baqi is well-known as graveyard of members of the infallible household of Prophet Mohammad, including four Imams and the beloved daughter of Prophet Mohammad, Hazrat Zahra. Women are banned from entering the cemetery. -IRNA - 6/9/08

Iran, Iraq sign MoU on defense cooperation
The MoU was signed by visiting Iraqi Defense Minister Lieutenant General Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jassim Obeidi and his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar on Monday. -IRNA - 6/9/08

Iran defeats UAE 1-0 in WC qualifiers
Iran's national soccer team has defeated the United Arab Emirates at the 2010 World Cup qualifiers thanks to a disputed first-half goal. -Press TV - 6/8/08

Iran, Iraq urge expansion of all-out ties
Iran and Iraq on Sunday underscored the need for expansion of bilateral cooperation in different areas. - 6/8/08

Photos: Turkmen Wedding in Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran
Gonbad-e Qabus is a city in the province of Golestan in Iran. It had an estimated population of 135,868 in 2005. The city is famous for a historic brick tower by the same name. - 6/8/08

Iran, Iraq review expansion of defense cooperation
Visiting Iraqi Defense Minister Lieutenant General Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jassim Obeidi conferred on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar on expansion of defense cooperation between the two countries. -IRNA - 6/8/08

Iran's volleyball team sweeps Australia
Iran's hapless Volleyball Team won 3-0 over Australia in its last match of the FIVB World Olympic Qualification tournament in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday. - 6/8/08

Iran Makes the Sciences A Part of Its Revolution
As Burton Richter, an American Nobel laureate in physics, entered the main auditorium of Tehran's prestigious Sharif University, hundreds of students rose to give him a loud and lengthy ovation. But Richter, wearing a white suit and leaning on a cane, said he was the one who should be awed. -Washington Post - 6/8/08

Mofaz criticised over Iran threat
A key defence official has accused one of Israel's deputy prime ministers of threatening to attack Iran in order to boost his own political standing. -BBC - 6/8/08

No discount on Iran's crude oil sale price
Deputy Director of International affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company denied any discount on Iran's crude oil sale price in Tehran on Sunday. "Iran sells its crude oil on the basis of the official prices which are announced regularly month by month," said Seyed Mohammad Ali Khatibi. - 6/8/08

Iranian student to swim from Hendurabi to Kish Island in Persian Gulf
Ebrahim Alikhani, an Iranian student, is set to swim from Hendurabi to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf , which is about 25 kilometers. -MNA - 6/8/08

Gazprom to Invest $200 mln in Iran-Armenia Gas Pipeline
Armenia's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan said that by the end of 2009, the Russian gas giant Gazprom will invest more than 200m US dollars in the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline. -FNA - 6/8/08

Iran: Cooperate With UN Rights Bodies
The Iranian government should cooperate with United Nations human rights bodies in order to address the ongoing abuses in the country, a group of international human rights organizations said today. - 6/7/08

Oil prices jump above $138
Investors reacted to the latest forecast by a large Wall Street bank that oil prices would spike to $150 a barrel in the next month because of strong demand from Asian economies. -IRNA - 6/7/08

Barclays bank rejects customers to comply with US terror law
Barclays is using controversial American anti-terrorism laws to shut down the personal bank accounts of British citizens who are working for Iranian-owned businesses, The Times has learnt. -TIMES ONLINE - 6/7/08

Italy's volleyball team outplays Iran
Three-time former world champions Italy moved another step closer to the Beijing Olympics when they breezed past Iran in the men's volleyball final qualifying round yesterday. -FNA - 6/7/08

THE REAL AGENDA BEHIND LAST WEEK'S "BUILT TO LAST" POLICY CONFERENCE AT AIPAC
Any Israeli action against Iran will understandably be regarded by the Iranian regime as an American sanctioned and supported attack, for which the United States interests will be put at great risk. And, as long as the potential exists that Israel might take matters in its own hands and strike at Iran, as high ranking Israeli officials have threatened to do on numerous occasions, the tail can blackmail the big dog to wag as the tail pleases. -Kam Zarrabi - 6/6/08

Meehan Ensemble in concert: Bay Area, June 27-29
Meehan Ensemble is back by popular demand! For those of you who couldn't make it to our April house concerts, there will be repeat performances for three consecutive nights during the weekend of June 27, 2008, all again in very small venues. - 6/6/08

Iran Is No Threat, Unless Bush Makes It One
In one of the most embarrassingly absurd, historically baseless, and astonishingly one-sided speeches any U.S. president has ever given, President Bush compared Iran to Nazi Germany in his speech to Israel's Knesset. In doing so, the president repeated the same diatribes that Norman Podhoretz, the godfather of the neoconservatives, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's Likud Party, have been making for quite some time. -Muhammad Sahimi - 6/6/08

Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Says Attack on Iran Looks 'Unavoidable'
Shaul Mofaz, Israel's transport minister and deputy prime minister, has told an Israeli newspaper that an attack on Iran looks "unavoidable" because of the apparent failure of UN sanctions to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. - 6/6/08

Iran: Let Prisoners Get Needed Medical Care
Iranian authorities should immediately grant three men detained on politically motivated charges access to proper medical care, Human Rights Watch said today. Cleric Ayatollah Kazemi Boroujerdi, journalist and activist Mohammad-Sadiq Kaboudvand, and prominent human rights defender Emad Baghi are in poor health and urgently require specialist medical attention. - 6/6/08

Appealing to a Country's Heart With Good Old-Fashioned Charm
"Shout and say I love you," they sang in Farsi. "Be strong and learn to say the words 'I love you,' " de Burgh crooned back. Many Iranian reporters couldn't believe what they were seeing. "In our youths, we listened to all his songs. It was forbidden fruit, and now Chris de Burgh is actually here in front of me. No other Western artist has ever come to Iran. It's amazing!" one whispered to a colleague. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 6/6/08

Hadadi is no surprise anymore
It was in Grossetto 2004 that, as a 19-year-old, Hadadi made history when he became the first Iranian to win an athletics World title of any kind when he collected World Junior gold. In a country which excels in traditional Olympic sports like wrestling and weightlifting, it was like a gift from the Gods that Iran should have a World champion in one of the quintessential classical events, the Discus. -IAAF - 6/6/08

US Unable to Paralyze Iran's Oil, Gas Sector
A string of recent natural gas deals involving Iran has raised eyebrows in Washington, including a substantial supply agreement with Switzerland and two other deals involving Malaysia and Oman. -FNA - 6/6/08

Iranian NGOs to U.S.: "Don't Send us Money
Washington D.C.- Massachusetts Representative Bill Delahunt ended the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight hearing by echoing words he heard from Iranian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in response to increased American pro-democracy funding: "We hear from Iran, for example, 'don't send us money, it stigmatizes us.'" -Arash Hadjialiloo, NIAC - 6/6/08

Caspian Pipeline Projects Resemble Gordian Knot
Since the mid-1990s, leaders of the Caspian Sea littoral states -- Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran -- have repeatedly said that the sea should never become a point of contention between them or a reason for conflict in the international community. But as energy prices skyrocket, the Caspian Sea Basin -- home to some of the world's largest hydrocarbon resources -- is becoming a new focal point for fierce competition. -RFE - 6/6/08

Senate Report Says Bush Administration Exaggerated Iraq Threat
The Democratic-led U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has released a report that finds the Bush administration ignored disagreements about intelligence information in making its case for war in Iraq. Key Republicans are dismissing the report as politically motivated. - 6/6/08

Top Turkish General Says Turkey, Iran Coordinating on Strikes Against Kurds
A senior Turkish general says Turkey and Iran have carried out coordinated strikes against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq. Over the past few months, Turkey has reportedly intensified its attacks against bases of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. -VOA - 6/6/08

IRAN: Writer says war won't stop nuclear program
Many Iran experts believe such a war would be a disaster that would fail to halt Iran's nuclear program. Michael Axworthy is one of them. During the 1970s, the British author and former diplomat traveled to Iran many times while his parents lived and worked there. He joined the British foreign service in 1986, serving as a head of the Iran desk from 1998 to 2000. -Los Angeles Times -Los Angeles Times - 6/6/08

US Leaders Break Ground for Peace Institute
American political leaders gathered in Washington Thursday for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a building for a nonpartisan group helping to resolve international conflict and promote peace. The U.S. Institute of Peace is currently working on conflict and post-conflict analysis in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Liberia. -VOA - 6/6/08

Analysis: An undetectable route to Iran
Imagine this: Ten fighter jets take off from a base in northern Israel, fly over Jordan, Iraq and into Iran to bomb air-defense missile systems, radar stations and nuclear facilities. They then leave Iranian airspace safely without sustaining any enemy fire. -Jerusalem Post - 6/6/08

Iran's Lebanese 'aircraft carrier'
"For Iran it's like an aircraft carrier. The US parks aircraft carriers in the Gulf next to Iran; Iran parks it's own aircraft carrier in Lebanon - Hezbollah - which can wreak great destruction on Israel at a moment's notice." -BBC - 6/6/08

Germany's First Neo-Con Conference Pushes for War on Iran
Report on the International Iran Conference of the "Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin" -Ali Fathollah-Nejad - 6/5/08

Iranian discus thrower Hadadi continues breaking Asian record
Iranian discus record holder Ehsan Haddadi has broken his own Asian record in the discus throw with a 69.32m effort in Estonia. The 23-year-old Haddadi came in at first place after breaking the record in the international track and field competitions in Estonia on Tuesday evening. -Press TV - 6/5/08

Touch: A New Restaurant in a Great Location in North Tehran
Tehran is a very big and extremely busy city, by any definition cosmopolitan and with great potential, and in such a place what is most missing for those who are the more well-traveled is a variety of good restaurants. We were delighted to learn that a new restaurant was opening and we went there on its opening night last week. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford - 6/5/08

Hyphenated Women, Misplaced Royalties
It deeply saddens me that two women from my native country of Iran have chosen to degrade feminism. Thinking that their gender can shield their hatred and deception their wit has been dulled, flawing their logic. Senator Obama, in refuting the myths of their statements, I reach out to you not as a woman, but as one humanitarian to another with a common goal: the imperative for peace. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 6/5/08

US/IRAN: Larijani's Election Can Boost Congressional Diplomacy
While the George W. Bush administration has opposed direct contact with the Iranian executive branch, and while its "Iran Democracy fund" has rendered civil society exchanges more difficult, according to prominent human rights organisations, Tehran bears overwhelming responsibility for the failure to initiate a parliamentarian dialogue between the two countries. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 6/5/08

Iranian scientists extract stem cells from kidney tissue
Iranian researchers in the Medical Department of Tehran University said they have been able to produce stem cells with kidney markers, which can be utilised in diagnosis of certain diseases and treatments - 6/5/08

U.S.: Human-Trafficking Report Finds Key Criminals Often Go Unpunished
The U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on human trafficking in 170 countries, citing Iran and Moldova as among those with the worst records of fighting the problem. - 6/5/08

Nuclear options
Given Iran's recent progress in uranium enrichment, the international community needs a new approach to the country's nuclear programme -Muhammad Sahimi, Guardian - 6/5/08

Olmert at AIPAC: United With Bush on Iran
Just as the Democratic Party was securing its nominee during their South Dakota and Montana primaries last night, Isreali Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was giving a speech to more than 7,000 people at the AIPAC dinner in Washington with possibly just as much consequence on the future of America's foreign policy -Real News Network - 6/5/08

Will Obama Stand Up to the War Party? Don't bet the ranch on it
The idea that Obama is going to save us from World War IV, as the neocons gleefully refer to the impending conflict, is, it turns out, a pipe dream. -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 6/5/08

Iraqi Parliament Members Discuss US - Iraq Agreements
Two members of Iraq's parliament have testified before a congressional committee about future U.S. - Iraq relations. Meanwhile, according to Independent of London, space and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors. - 6/5/08

Argentina defeats Iran volleyball team in Olympics qualifying tournament
The Iranian national volleyball team has been defeated by Argentina in a qualifying tournament in Tokyo for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. -Press TV - 6/5/08

Chronology of a Lie: Iran and EFPs
We Americans are being hit by EFP (Extremely False Propaganda) designed to do much worse than penetrate the thin armor of our media-numbed and infotainment- conditioned brains. It’s designed to hurl us and our children into a Long War against the Islamic world. -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 6/5/08

Panama, 1989: Model for the coming Iran War?
The Panama Deception goes on to show how hysteria whipped up against Noriega was manipulatively used to completely obscure the Bush administration’s blatantly imperialist purpose, and to hide the terrible fact that a withering U.S. invasion to supposedly “get” one person entailed mass carnage and war crimes about which few U.S. citizens are even remotely aware. -Dennis Rahkonen, Dissident Voice - 6/5/08

Iranian Alliances Across Borders Announces the Winners of the 2008 Essay Contest
Congratulations to the winners of the 2008 Essay Contest! This year, the contest received submissions from high school students worldwide. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the young writers who participated. The top ten essays were carefully read over by a panel of guest judges. - 6/4/08

Shahnameh Millennial Concert in Toronto
The Shahnameh Millennial Concert is scheduled for Agust 2 in Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall. To bring the concert to this Toronto gathering of hundreds of Iran scholars, program chair Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi invited Shahnameh narrator Morshed Torabi to collaborate with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. - 6/4/08

Rice Gives Blunt Assessment Of Iran In Speech To U.S.-Israel Group
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has reiterated that Washington is willing to hold face-to-face talks with Iran, provided Tehran complies with UN Security Council resolutions concerning its nuclear activities. - 6/4/08

McCain at AIPAC: Drumbeats of War?
When presumptive Republican nominee John McCain took the podium yesterday on the first day of the national conference for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, his diction shadowed an all-too familiar rhetoric: "Tehran's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons poses an unacceptable risk, a danger we cannot allow." -Real News Network - 6/4/08

Salam Toronto Persian-English Weekly Honoured with Police Award
A July 12th, 2007 Feature Story by Salam Toronto titled 'Speak Up! York Regional Police is eager to listen to your concerns' has been selected by York Regional Police as the 'Best Feature Story – Print'. - 6/4/08

Behzad Ranjbaran's Piano Concerto to be performed by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Music Director Robert Spano will conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere ASO commission of Behzad Ranjbaran's Piano Concerto June 5 and 7, 2008, at 8:00 p.m., and June 8, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. - 6/4/08

Things have to change: Can Israel live with its own moral dilemma?
Israel recently marked its 60th anniversary, at a time of great upheaval all over the Middle East and while the Israeli society is divided on a number of issues. In many ways, the leaders of the Israeili State have not achieved what its founders meant to do - create a secure, democratic state based on social and economic justice for all the citizens. -Fariba Amini - 6/4/08

Iran plans oil pipeline from Caspian to Persian Gulf
Iran plans to build a cross-country pipeline to transfer oil from the Caspian region to the Persian Gulf and world markets. -Press TV - 6/4/08

Latest IAEA Report on Iran's Nuclear Program and US Media
Remember the run up to the Iraq war back in 2002? Well, the so called "liberal" US media sources, such as the New York Times (NYT) [1] and the Washington Post (WP) [2], are at it again, this time regarding Iran's nuclear program. -Nader Bagherzadeh - 6/4/08

Iranian Composer Sam Daghighian to perform in Vienna's Festival of New Music
On June 1, 2008 Sam Daghighian, a 36 year old Iranian Composer who grew up in Los Angeles, CA, was invited to participate in the 13 Annual Festival of New Music, in Vienna, Austria. - 6/4/08

Iranian-born Radio Farda Reporter Turned Away From UN-Backed Food Summit
The Iranian-born Rafat is based in Rome and is a regular correspondent for Radio Farda, a joint venture between RFE/RL and Voice of America that broadcasts to Iran. - 6/4/08

Iranian filmmaker bridges deep political divides with irreverence
Masoud Dehnamaki, a former militant, has broken box-office records with his irreverent film about the Iran-Iraq war. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 6/4/08

Iran's Rafsanjani confers with Saudi King Abdullah
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Mecca held talks with Saudi King Abdullah on bilateral ties and regional and Islamic issues. - 6/4/08

Ahmadinejad: Iran, Japan should be prepared for a world without U.S.
"The US domination is on the fall. Iran and Japan as two civilized and influential nations should get ready for a world minus the US," President Ahmadinejad told Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on the sidelines of the UN food summit on Tuesday. -IRNA - 6/4/08

UAE stops Iran soccer team in Tehran
Iran's national soccer team has been stopped by the Asian Group E leader UAE at Tehran's Azadi Stadium in 2010 World Cup qualifier. - 6/3/08

Iran: Courts Chip Away At Millionaire's Sentence
Some Iranians are fond of comparing Shahram Jazaeri to Russia's fallen oil oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. After all, both amassed their fortunes at early ages and both were eventually convicted of defrauding the government. - 6/3/08

Americans Favor President Meeting With U.S. Enemies
Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even about half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States. Overall, 67% of Americans say this kind of diplomacy is a good idea. -Gallup - 6/3/08

"Ark-e-Bam, a jewel of clay": An exhibit of Mansour Sheikhan's photographs of the historical city of Bam
The photographer Mansour Sheikhan was born in 1952 in Abadan in Iran. He studied film documentation in Iran and did documentary films. In1980 he immigrated to Sweden. As a Swedish citizen, he studied filmesthetik at the Swedish Film Institute and did documentary films. In 2004 he emigrated from Sweden to Germany where he lives till this day. - 6/3/08

Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran does not seek nuclear weapons
"As it has repeatedly been announced, Iranian nation is not after nuclear arms. Americans too know the issue pretty well but since they can not explicitly deny absolute rights of the nation, they start levelling charges to convince the world public opinion," said the paramount leader. -IRNA - 6/3/08

Why Iranians like America again
On a recent afternoon, while riding a rickety bus down Tehran's main thoroughfare, I overheard two women discussing the grim state of Iranian politics. One of them had reached a rather desperate conclusion. "Let the Americans come," she said loudly. "Let them sort things out for us." -Azadeh Moaveni, CSM - 6/3/08

Iraqi Prime Minister to Visit Iran Saturday
Iraqi officials and state media report that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will travel to Iran for bilateral talks beginning Saturday. - 6/3/08

UN Opens Food Summit with Call for Urgent Action to Stem Food Crisis
The United Nations is calling for urgent action to ease the global food crisis that officials say threatens to push millions of people across the globe into poverty and to the brink of starvation. -VOA - 6/3/08

Iraq Death Toll ‘Above Highest Estimates’
Just Foreign Policy, an independent organisation “dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy” offered an updated total of 1,213,716 at the time of this writing. -IPS - 6/3/08

Afghan Refugees Return Home to Uncertain Future
According to Human Rights Watch, some seven million Afghan refugees have fled the conflicts over the past three decades. Many are living in neighboring countries, 1.5 million of them in Iran and more than two million in Pakistan. -VOA - 6/3/08

Pipeline Politics: Iran Looks to Send Natural Gas East
Iran's potential as a natural gas player has considerable geopolitical implications given the state of its relationship with the United States. Iran's huge natural gas reserves are getting greater attention from Asian energy-consuming nations, and this poses a dilemma for the American strategy to economically isolate Iran as part of a larger effort to pressure Tehran to cease its nuclear activities. -Peter Kiernan - 6/2/08

Iran's auto industry ignores electric vehicles competition at the prestigious Sharif University
The first competition of electric vehicles design was celebrated at Tehran's Sharif Industrial University in April 2008. Large number of students' teams showed up in the competition and despite the numerous works presented in the exhibition, there was clearly many creative and innovative aspects in electric vehicles systems, which depicted a prosperous future for the younger generation of this country. - 6/2/08

Summer Teacher Workshop on Persia to be held in Washington, DC
The World Affairs Councils of America is now accepting applications for a summer teacher workshop on Persia, July 8-11, 2008. The program is open to all high school educators and will focus on Persian culture, history and politics. We thank the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian - Americans for their sponsorship of this workshop. - 6/2/08

Announcing the 7th Sadegh Hedayat Literary Awards
The 7th Sadegh Hedayat Literary Award will be organized by the Hedayat office and Sokhan website. The deadline for submission of the stories is 30th Mehr 1387 (21st October 2008). - 6/2/08

Iranian discus thrower Hadadi breaks Asia's record, again
Iran's Asian discus record holder, Ehsan Haddadi Asian discus record holder Ehsan Haddadi broke his own Asia record in the discus throw with a 69.12m effort at Golden League in Berlin. - 6/2/08

Young Iranians Torn Between Two Worlds
Young Iranians have made huge efforts to surmount the barriers and gain access to the outside world, often at some cost to themselves. Yet often it seems they end up caught between two worlds, knowing only a little about either. And that is a shame. -Samaneh Maddah, Tehran - 6/2/08

IAEA: US obstructing probe into Iran
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says Washington has hampered the agency's investigations by denying Iran access to vital intelligence. - 6/2/08

Iranian Parliament Elects Larijani as Speaker
Iran's new parliament elected Ali Larijani as temporary speaker last week, but has now voted to give him the job for a full year. -VOA - 6/2/08

Iran-Europe gas project in the pipeline
Iran says the construction of a 7-billion-dollar pipeline to transfer the country's natural gas to Europe will begin this year. It was also reported that Iran has resumed its natural gas exports to Turkey after supplies were cut following a May 26 pipeline explosion in Turkey's Agri province. -Press TV - 6/2/08

Reflections on the Prayer of St. Francis
With a New Year cacophony of current world calamities ringing in my ear, I have recently been turning more to St. Francis's "Prayer for Peace". -Jonathan Swift, Madonna University - 6/2/08

Iran Building 7 Refineries to Hike Capacity
"The construction of seven refineries has started with the investment of 15 billion euros ($23.22 billion)," MNA quoted Aminollah Eskandari, a director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) as saying. -FNA - 6/2/08

Australia tightens grip in World Cup bid
Harry Kewell's second-half header gave Australia a 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory on Sunday, ending the prospects of a positive finish to a tumultuous week for Iraq. -AP - 6/2/08

A Sip of 'Shiraz': Dalia Sofer
IN RECENT YEARS, books by Iranian-born authors have found footholds in the mainstream... Dalia Sofer's first novel, "The Septembers of Shiraz," is another book that eloquently details the quotidian details of life under a repressive regime. -Read Express - 6/2/08

Iran Expands Fleet of Oil Tankers Idling in Persian Gulf to 14
Iran, OPEC's second-largest oil producer, increased the number of tankers idling in the Persian Gulf to at least 14, indicating it may be storing more crude, ship-tracking data show. -Bloomberg - 6/2/08

An Update on the Iranian Artifacts in the Chicago Federal Court
The items were ancient artifacts, tablets and clays loaned to the University of Chicago, in 1934, for study and exploration of new and old approach to our humanity more than 3,000 years ago. In my petition I reminded Judge Manning that the said artifacts and tablets "constitute[d] the history of Iran and thus belong to the people of Iran. They do not belong to any specific government or administration." -James S. Irani - 6/1/08

Iran's Lout Desert: Earth's Hottest Spot
Iran enjoys significant potentialities in tourism, with the 70-degree Lout Desert, the world's hottest place, being a case in point. - 6/1/08

Iranian Hercules aiming for his third gold in Olympics
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Hossein Rezazadeh is set to snatch his third gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. - 6/1/08

CINEMATICAL: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Next Movie Project Announced
After the International critical and Box Office Success of Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud are to join their talents on a next movie project: The screen adaptation of another of Satrapi's comic books "Poulet Aux Prunes" aka "Chicken With Plums". -Darius KADIVAR - 6/1/08

Khark island's Achaemenid inscription seriously damaged
"Unknown people climbed the fence surrounding the cuneiform inscription and destroyed it with a sharp object, such that about 70 percent of the inscription has been seriously damaged," Khark Deputy Governor Ali Jazebi told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday. - 6/1/08

Iran: Theological Controversy in Islamic Republic Could Have Profound Political Ramifications
A developing theological controversy in Iran is causing a major rift among the country’s political and theological elites, who together control the chief levers of state in the Islamic Republic. Over the near term, the doctrinal dispute raises questions about the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country’s neo-conservative president. -Eurasianet - 6/1/08

Iran wins 4 a-side basketball tourney in Italy
Iran won international basketball tournament championship in Italy on Saturday. -MNA - 6/1/08

AIC to Host Conference Entitled: Iraq in US-Iran Relations
On June 13, 2008, the American Iranian Council (AIC) will be hosting a roundtable conference entitled: Iraq, in US-Iran Relations. The conference will take place in New York City and include distinguished speakers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East. - 6/1/08

Iran's volleyball team suffers second loss in Olympic qualification games
Iran did not do well enough to beat hosts Japan in the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Metropolitan Gymnasium, on Sunday. -MNA - 6/1/08

Lethal blast near Iran's Baghdad embassy
At least two civilians have been killed and five wounded when a car bomb exploded near the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, police say. -Press TV - 6/1/08

Iran exports 5 million barrels of LNG from Assaluyeh
The head of Oil Export Terminals Company said on Sunday that over 295 million barrels of LNG have been exported abroad since 2002 from the South Pars gas project in Assaluyeh. - 6/1/08

Carter says Israel has 150 nukes
Former US President Jimmy Carter has again come under fire in the US mainstream media, since publicly saying that Israel has 150 or more nuclear weapons in its arsenal. -RealNewsNetwork - 6/1/08

Act On Climate Change, Top Scientists Warn US
A group of 1,700 leading scientists called on the US government yesterday to take the lead in fighting global warming. Citing the “unprecedented and unanticipated” effects of global warming, the scientists, including six Nobel prizewinners, presented a letter calling for an immediate reduction in US carbon emissions. -Guardian - 6/1/08
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