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Photos: Iranian Activists Protest In Support of Abr Forest
Iranian environmental activists have demonstrated in protest against the construction of a road through Abr Forest. ISNA reports that the activists maintain that the road has no economic or social justification and is only being built to satisfy "the secret campaign promises of parliamentary candidates and to satisfy the interests of land mongers and the lumber mafia." - 6/30/12

Two Iranian sites approved as World Heritage sites
The Jameh Mosquein Isfahan and Gonbad-e Qabus Tower in northeastern Iran have been approved as World Heritage sites in the 36th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which is currently taking place in St. Petersburg. - 6/30/12

9th Biennial Conference of Iranian Studies: Jul 31st to August 5th in Istanbul, Turkey
A biennial conference that includes contributions in all fields of Iranian studies, especially new areas of investigation and novel approaches to traditional fields. - 6/30/12

UN Special Rapporteurs condemn ongoing executions in Iran
Three United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Iran, summary executions and torture condemned the recent execution of four members of the Ahwazi Arab minority in Ahwaz's Karoun Prison in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following a reportedly unfair trial, they were sentenced to death and executed on or around 19 June 2012. - 6/30/12

Iranian journalists demand justice for jailed peer
A letter signed by 141 Iranian journalists expresses their support for their jailed colleague, Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, and urges the authorities to assure that laws and prison regulations are observed in dealing with prisoners. - 6/30/12

Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi Invited To Join Film Academy
Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences besides other new members, international news agencies reported on Friday. - 6/30/12

Iran: Commute death sentences imposed for drinking alcohol
Two men found guilty for the third time of consuming alcohol - forbidden under Iran's Penal Code - must not be executed, Amnesty International said. The head of the judiciary in north-eastern Khorasan Razavi province, Seyed Hassan Shariati, announced that the authorities were preparing to carry out death sentences upheld by the Supreme Court in Tehran. - 6/30/12

My Life as an iRanian
I call myself a former "iRanian" with a heavy heart. I say it after the news broke last week that an Apple retail store employee in Georgia told an Iranian-American woman named Sahar Sabet that he would not sell her an iPad after hearing her speak to a relative in Persian. -Matteen Mokalla, Huffington Post - 6/30/12

Young women in Iran make their own futures as fashion models
It wasn't that long ago when the job of fashion model would have been unthinkable--and even considered indecent--in the strict Islamic nation of Iran. -Asahi Shimbun - 6/30/12

Ordinary Iranians feel the squeeze as EU, U.S. sanctions regime cripples economy
Leila is getting pretty good at playing Angry Birds on her imported iPhone. Sitting behind her desk in an idle travel agency in central Tehran, she often has nothing better to do these days. "As you can see, business isn't so good," she says, gesturing at the drab, empty office. -Mohammad Davari, Daily Star - 6/30/12

Morsi Is Sworn in as First Civilian President of Egypt
Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi has been sworn in Saturday, marking a new chapter in the history of a country that elected its first civilian president. He took the oath of office in an inauguration ceremony at the Supreme Consitituional Court (SCC). - 6/30/12

Hundreds of Iranian-American Women Gather in Georgetown
"Being active is not a privilege, it's a responsibility." This was just one of many lessons learned at the Iranian-American Women's Leadership Conference that took place on June 23 at Georgetown University. -Ariana Romero, NIAC - 6/29/12

Iran Braces For Full Force Of EU Oil Embargo
July 1 figures to be a bad day for Iran -- that's when hard-hitting EU sanctions on Iran's oil exports take full effect. The sanctions targeting the country's economic lifeline are the EU's toughest measures to date concerning Iran's controversial nuclear activities. Economists believe they could slash Iran's oil revenues by half. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/29/12

Iranian Currency In Freefall
Tehran money traders report that on Thursday, the dollar was trading at 20,050 rials, similar to the rates observed last winter, when news of sanctions on Iranian oil heralded sharp fluctuations in the Iranian currency market. The Iranian currency's latest decline come just ahead of the EU oil embargo on Iran, which takes effect on July 1 - 6/29/12

EU Oil Embargo on Iran Goes into Effect Sunday
LONDON -- European Union sanctions on Iran's oil industry go into full effect on Sunday, adding to the pressure on Iranian leaders to negotiate a settlement of the international concerns about their nuclear program. -Al Pessin, VOA - 6/29/12

Beyond Apple: NIAC Calls on Tech Companies To Lift Internet Communications Blockade
The National Iranian American Council and a broad coalition of organizations called today on tech companies including Google, Yahoo, and Go Daddy to stop blocking the Iranian people from accessing Internet communications tools. - 6/29/12

Film Highlights Islamic Art's Contribution to World Culture
The finery of tapestry and carpets, the grandeur of soaring arches in mosques and palaces, and the beauty of calligraphy are just some of the art forms highlighted in a new film by Unity Productions Foundation, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. The 90-minute documentary explores Islam's contribution to world art and culture through 1,400 years and across four continents. -David Byrd, VOA - 6/29/12

Iranian Official Requests Patience Over Prices
Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, is urging Iranians to show patience in the face of rising prices. After the government cut subsidies on energy and food staples, the prices on Iranian goods have risen in growing waves. - 6/29/12

Iran Oil Embargo: Act Now to Prevent a Catastrophic New War
In the last few weeks of 2011, leading Western politicians, prodded by Israel, hyped their war propaganda against Iran using as pretext the November report of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran, which, while confirming the non-diversion of all declared nuclear material, speculated on possible military dimension of Iran's nuclear programme in the past. -CASMII - 6/29/12

US Exempts China, Singapore From Iran Oil Sanctions
The Obama administration has exempted China and Singapore from economic sanctions against countries that import oil from Iran. The tougher U.S. sanctions took effect Thursday. A statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says China and Singapore have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil. -Kent Klein, VOA - 6/29/12

Romney Advisor Says an Attack Cannot Solve Iran Issue; Calls for More Military Threats
"The military option is not a particularly satisfying option. It affords no permanent solution to the problem," acknowledged a senior advisor to Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. -Roshan Alemi, NIAC - 6/29/12

Egypt's President-Elect To Sue Iranian Agency Over 'Fabricated' Interview
The office of Egyptian President-elect Muhammad Morsi says it will file a lawsuit against Iran's Fars news agency for fabricating an interview with Morsi after the announcement of his victory. - 6/29/12

Iran's dentist to the stars offers views on US
Prior to the Islamic revolution, Iran and America shared very good relations. The former Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, had an army with modern hardware supplied by the U.S. There were direct flights between New York City and Tehran and the city was full of hotels run by major American chains. -Ali Arouzi, NBC News - 6/29/12

Dissident Warnings From Iran
Meanwhile, two dissenting Iranian religious figures -- an imprisoned cleric and an exiled spiritual Sufi -- have issued messages to the world condemning the Iranian theocratic authorities and calling on all religious believers to assist Iranians against the governing hierarchy. -Stephen Schwartz, Huffington Post - 6/29/12

Rewriting History So We Can Repeat It
It's been said that the Middle East suffers from too much history. This is especially true of Iran where people have very long historical memories. Mindful of this fact, the Right is trying to rewrite history so we can repeat it. -Shawn Amoei - 6/28/12

IRGC Prepares For Large Cultural Maneuver In Tehran
As more economists speak of the impossibility of bringing the new wave of inflation in Iran under control, Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the police are preparing themselves to confront potential social unrest in the future. -Nazanin Kamdar - 6/28/12

A Facebook Page That Iran's Authorities Don't 'Like'
Ayoung asylum seeker in Holland says authorities in Iran are retaliating against his family over his contributions to a Facebook page that satirizes a Shi'ite imam. Twenty-five-year-old Yashar Khameneh says that due to his online activities, his father has been jailed and threatened with execution. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 6/28/12

EXHIBITION: The State of In-Between in Iranian Contemporary Art
For the first time an exhibition is hosted in Linz, Austria that explicitly focalizes Iranian contemporary art. Therefore, the institution Salzamt has invited 4 Iranian-born artists - who either live and work in- or outside the country - in order to work site-specifically in the city of Linz. - 6/28/12

Photos: Tehran International Game Expo and Festival
Thirty new Iranian video games have been introduced at the Tehran International Game Expo and Festival, which is currently underway at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla. Iran's National Foundation for Computer Games is the main organizer of the festival, which opened on Tuesday. - 6/28/12

Iran will deal with opposition groups' meetings abroad: official
Iran's diplomatic apparatus will seriously deal with counter-revolutionary meetings that Iranian opposition groups hold in certain Western countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says. - 6/28/12

Oman to represent Iranian interests in Britain
Iran and Britain have formalized the closure of their embassies in each other's capital after Iranian demonstrators stormed the British embassy in Tehran last year. - 6/28/12

Iranian Sports Minister summoned to Parliament over IOC warning
Mohammad Abbasi, the Iranian minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, has been summoned to Majlis (parliament) to answer questions about the International Olympic Committee's warning of imposing a ban on Iran for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. - 6/28/12

Iranian FM detained in Cyprus
Iran's Foreign Minister was reportedly briefly detained by airport officials during his trip to Cyprus because, according to the Cypriots, he was believed to be on the EU's blacklist. - 6/28/12

Iran Blames Foreigners For Syria Unrest
Iran's ambassador to the UN has blamed foreigners for the bloodshed in Syria and denied any Iranian role. Speaking to reporters at UN headquarters in New York, Mohammad Khazaee also said Iran was ready to play a role in mediating a solution to the crisis in Syria. - 6/28/12

Iran grain barter deals crash; considers big buys
Iran's attempts to secure millions of tons of wheat via sanction-beating barter deals with India and Pakistan are failing, and Tehran is poised to pay premium prices on international markets to secure food and stave off unrest. -Reuters - 6/28/12

Navy's top admiral says Iran's navy has refrained from provocations in Persian Gulf lately
Iran's naval forces, periodically accused by the U.S. of provocative moves in the Persian Gulf, have shown restraint in recent months, the U.S. Navy's top admiral said Wednesday. -AP - 6/28/12

Iranian currency continues slide in value
Iran's currency continues to experience a steep fall in value as sanctions tighten on Iranian oil and the country's financial sector. The U.S. dollar is trading at almost 20,000 rials, compared to 18,000 rials on Friday. The price of gold in Iran is also rising rapidly, despite gold's recent decline on international markets. - 6/27/12

Photos: Windcatchers in Qom, Iran
A windcatcher is a traditional Persian architectural device used for many centuries to create natural ventilation in buildings. It is not known who first invented the windcatcher, but it still can be seen in many countries today. -Hojjatollah Ataei - 6/27/12

"The Killer" star Bahram Radan shines at Indian festival
Iranian star Bahram Radan won the best actor award at the Ladakh International Film Festival, which was held in India from June 15 to 17. Radan, who is referred to in the West as the Iranian Brad Pitt, received the award for his portrayal of a forensic psychiatrist in Reza Karimi's thriller "The Killer". - 6/27/12

Iranian MPs demand protection for Abr Forest
The 35,000-hectare Abr Forest is threatened because the Environment Organization of Iran has approved the construction of a road through it. The group has justified its decision by saying the trees that have to be cut are rarely more than 15 cm in diameter, and the path of the road has been planned to make the smallest possible impact on the area's ecosystem. - 6/27/12

Part of Me: mise en abyme
Part of Me: mise en abyme, a video program in two parts curated by Amirali Ghasemi and Sandra Skurvida for the Iranian Arts Now festival and exhibition, June 23 - July 24, 2012 - 6/27/12

Iran's "Bear" grabs Golden Goblet of Shanghai filmfest
The Iranian family drama "Bear" won the Golden Goblet Award for best film at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Director Khosrow Masumi and producer Javad Noruzbeigi attended the award presentation ceremony of the festival. - 6/27/12

Iran says oil exports may fall
Iranian oil exports will decline by 20 to 30 percent in the coming weeks due to oilfield maintenance work, says Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Ghalebani. Khabar-on-line has reported on recent predictions that Iran's oil revenues will fall by $50 billion in the current year. Last year, Iran's official oil revenues amounted to $113 billion. - 6/27/12

The Truth Behind Saudi Arabia's Fear of a Nuclear Iran
In a recent interview with the Israeli daily, Haaretz, Dennis Ross, a senior advisor to the United States President Barack Obama in Middle East affairs, said that in a visit to Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, in early 2009, he had been told by the Saudi King Abdullah that if Iran becomes a nuclear state, Saudi Arabia will rapidly develop its own nuclear bomb. -Hassan Ahmadian - 6/27/12

Iranian Group Urged To Comply With Resettlement Plan
The United States is urging members of an Iranian dissident group to comply with a U.N. and Iraqi-supported plan to move from their location at Camp Ashraf in Iraq to another location near Baghdad, Camp Hurriya, in anticipation of their relocation out of Iraq. - 6/27/12

Iran's Dena to hit market March 2013
Iranian leading automaker, Iran Khodro's fourth domestically-built car -- Dena -- would hit the market by the end of Iranian calendar year, late March 2013. - 6/27/12

Iranians' anger at Ahmadinejad over Brazilian snubs
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is facing domestic political embarrassment after enduring a series of damaging snubs on a visit to Brazil, Iran's erstwhile close ally. -Telegraph, UK - 6/27/12

Putin to Peres: Israel will regret attacking Iran
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Israel will regret it if it launches a military strike on Iran. Putin made the remarks during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) on Monday. - 6/27/12

Iran: Some $4.3 billion in bonds to finance South Pars projects
Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) will issue some 52 trillion rials (around $4.3 billion) in rial and foreign currency bonds to finance the South Pars gas field development plans in the current calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013. - 6/27/12

Photos: Persian carpet woven by tourists in Yazd unveiled - "Every Tourist, a Knot"
The Persian carpet "Every Tourist, a Knot", woven by tourists visiting the central Iranian city of Yazd, was unveiled during a ceremony at Tehran's Milad Tower on Monday evening. The carpet bearing eight images of Yazd historical sites, such as Dowlatabad Garden, Yazd Jame Mosque, and Amir Chakhmaq Square, took two years to be completed. - 6/26/12

Photos: Flood Destroys 60 Homes in Tabriz
Flooding triggered by heavy rains has caused heavy damage in the northwestern city of Tabriz in Iran and destroyed at least 60 houses. -Mahsa Jamali - 6/26/12

Morsi Interview Controversy Highlights Iran's Press Rift
One day after Muhammad Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt's presidential election, Iran's Fars news agency issued an alleged interview with him in which the president-elect expressed interest in strengthening ties with Tehran. - 6/26/12

International Olympic Committee warns Iran
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has warned Iran's National Olympic Committee to respect the Olympic Movement, otherwise Iran could be banned from the Games. - 6/26/12

No delays in EU sanctions on Iranian crude
The European Union has announced that its oil embargo against Iran will take effect as planned on July 1. - 6/26/12

Iran builds pilot version of accelerator
Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Nasrin Soltankhah said the country has built pilot version of accelerator. "The macroproject is one of the long-term plans in the country which takes at least 10 years to be implemented," she said. - 6/26/12

Egypt President's office denies interview with Iranian News Agency
On Monday, the Fars news agency reported that its correspondent in Cairo interviewed Morsi hours before the official announcement of the election results and published the interview in an audio file on its website. - 6/26/12

South Korea to stop importing Iranian crude
South Korea has announced that it will halt oil imports from Iran starting July 1, when EU sanctions on Iranian crude take effect. - 6/26/12

Iranians Protest Rising Prices
Iranians protesting soaring food prices launched a spontaneous three-day boycott of milk and bread purchases, in a sign that growing economic hardship could lead to more civil disobedience. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/26/12

Iranian Navy confronts pirates in Red Sea
Iranian Navy Deputy General for Navy Operations Mahmoud Mousavi said the Islamic Republic of Iran's combat battleships have managed to release an Iranian ship attacked by pirates in the Red Sea. - 6/26/12

Iran-China's GMC truck production line launches in Iran
Chinese GMC Management for Import and Export said the company owns 100 representatives all over world, adding Iran's markets enjoy high potentials in this domain. - 6/26/12

Photos: Carpet Bazaar in Tabriz, Iran
The Bazaar of Tabriz is one of the oldest bazaars of the Middle East and the largest covered bazar in the world. It was inscribed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2010. -Farshid Tighehsaz - 6/25/12

The Fantasy of a Freer World
There is an acupuncture point just in the middle of the palm of the hand whose function is to stimulate Hope. Just noticing the pain in it, for the first time after all these years of using this point for patients, it occurred: Ah, this is where the nails for crucification pierce the palms and wondered whether it had anything to do with The words of Abandonment, Jesus cried out on the cross: My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 6/25/12

Iran's rescue robot wins title in RoboCup competitions
Iranian Mechatronics Research Laboratory (MRL) of Islamic Azad University of Qazvin performed well in RoboCup Rescue Real Robot League competition being held in Mexico City. - 6/25/12

23 Iranian provinces wrestling with dust storms
There are 23 Iranian provinces grappling with a dust phenomenon, the Environment Organization of Iran reports. - 6/25/12

Two alcohol drinkers sentenced to death in Iran
The Khorasan justice department has confirmed the death penalty for two individuals who were caught drinking alcohol for the third time. - 6/25/12

"Wet Letters" leads the pack at Iranian video filmfest
"Wet Letters", a family drama directed by Marjan Ashrafizadeh, has won six awards at the 1st Tehran International Video Film Festival. - 6/25/12

Egypt's military council lacks political legitimacy: Iranian general
Chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff Hassan Firouzabadi said on Monday that the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has no legal or political legitimacy. - 6/25/12

Iranian-American Scientist Celebrates 105th Birthday!
Dr. Abolghassem Ghaffari has worked with Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. He also helped NASA put a man on the moon for the Apollo 11 mission. That was a celebrated day in his life and recently, an equally important one arrived on June 15, 2012; he turned 105 years old. - 6/25/12

Iranian Media: Morsi Wants Closer Egypt-Iran Ties
Iranian state media reports say Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi wants to strengthen ties with Iran. The semi-official Fars news agency on Monday quoted Morsi saying a closer relationship with Tehran would create a "strategic balance" in the region. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980. - 6/25/12

Iran to build pipeline to transfer oil products to Afghanistan
Iran is studying to build a 25 kilometer pipeline to transfer oil products to Afghanistan, said the director of Khorasan Razavi Province's Oil Production and Distribution Company. - 6/25/12

World Leaders React to Egypt's Election Results
President Obama called Morsi to congratulate him. Mr. Obama underscored that the United States will continue to support Egypt's transition to democracy and stand by the Egyptian people as they fulfill the promise of their revolution. - 6/25/12

Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Resumes Activities
Ambassador Bahrami was recalled for consultations on May 21 in protest at the desecration of religious sanctities and insults shouted at high-ranking Iranian officials during a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in Baku on May 11. - 6/25/12

Iran ranks first in RoboCup Rescue Simulation league competitions
Iranian Mechatronics Research Laboratory (MRL) of Islamic Azad University of Qazvin have won the tittle of RoboCup Rescue Simulation league competitions in Mexico City. - 6/24/12

Jailed Iranian Activist Writes Letter Of Protest
Jailed Iranian human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi is challenging her "illegal" transfer to Zanjan Prison and, in a letter to the Tehran prosecutor, she writes that this treatment is in effect a sentence of "gradual death." - 6/24/12

Iran: 15 arrested in Ahwaz protests
The Human Rights Activists News Agency reports that following the execution of four Arab political prisoners in Ahwaz, the city erupted in protests, during which at least 15 people were arrested. - 6/24/12

Iran beach soccer team crowned Asian champs
Iran beach soccer team defeated China in the 3rd Asian Beach Games on Thursday and won the championship for the first time in Asia. - 6/24/12

Jamshid Bayrami at La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art: HAJ HARMONY
Jamshid Bayrami is one the world's most accomplished photojournalists and photographers, having started his career as a young war reporter. Bayrami's images of the Haj are captivating and enthralling, and with near surgical subtlety depict the harmony, peace, calm, beauty and true spirituality of the Haj, and allegorically, of the true practice of all faiths. - 6/24/12

Addressing the Asymmetry in Negotiations between Iran and P5+1: a critical review of Oxford Research Group's briefing
At the conclusion of the third round of talks between Iran and P5+1, the initial optimism about the resolution of the stand-off between Iran and the US over Iran's nuclear programme has been replaced for many keen observers by a sober appreciation of the nature of the conflict and the obstacles to reaching anything approaching a workable deal. -Mehrnaz Shahabi, CASMII - 6/24/12

Iran plans to raise caviar output by tenfold
Iran plans to increase annual caviar output by 10 fold to one ton in the current calendar year, which began on March 20, said the head of the Iran Fishery Organization. - 6/24/12

Stuxnet cyberweapon set to stop operating
At one second past midnight Sunday, the world's most powerful known cyber weapon, reportedly created by the US with Israeli support to clandestinely infiltrate and then wreck Iran's nuclear fuel enrichment program, will cease to operate. -CSM - 6/24/12

Iran's assets released in Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which handles most of Japan's payments for oil imports, released Iran's assets. - 6/24/12

Turkey: Syrian-Downed Plane Was Over International Waters
The crisis between Turkey and Syria over Syria's shoot-down of a Turkish military jet has deepened, with Ankara saying the plane was shot down while it was in international airspace. Turkey is now looking for NATO's support. - 6/24/12

Iranian-American Rapper Shatters Stereotypes
Azad Right is not a traditional rapper. At 24 years old, he has a political science degree and is Iranian-American. In the U.S., hip-hop and rap are mostly dominated by African-Americans and Latinos. Right is trying to break that stereotype. - 6/23/12

A Theatrical Play for Evin Prisoners in Tehran
A director plans to stage a play about the Iranian movie star Hamed Behdad in the Evin Prison in Tehran today. Zoheir Yari's troupe has performed "My Love; Hamed Behdad", which is an environmental theater play, at the cafeteria of Tehran's City Theater Complex over the past two weeks. - 6/23/12

Iran develops $160-billion package of plans for job creation
A member of Iran's High Council of Employment has said that the council developed a package of investment plans, worth 1.96 trillion rials (some $160 billion), aimed to create 1.1 million jobs in the current calendar year. - 6/23/12

Ahmadinejad visits Venezuela
A week after the announcement that Venezuela has built drones in a joint project with Iran, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to his country. - 6/23/12

Conflicting reactions to Iranian and British Foreign Ministers' meeting
The head of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, is denying earlier reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has been summoned to Parliament by his commission for having met with William Hague, his British counterpart. - 6/23/12

India taking steps to avert disruption in oil imports from Iran
India's Oil Ministry is adopting measures to provide insurance coverage for tankers transferring crude oil from Iran, in an attempt to prevent the US-engineered EU sanctions from disrupting Iranian oil shipments to the Asian country. - 6/23/12

Syria Admits Shooting Down Turkish Warplane
Syria says it has shot down a Turkish air force jet that had flown into Syrian airspace. Syrian officials said the low-flying warplane was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea Friday. Turkish political and military leaders held a two-hour security meeting in Ankara to discuss the incident. - 6/23/12

Photos: Slalom Auto Racing Competitions in Tabriz
International slalom auto racing competitions was held on Friday morning at the auto racing track in Tabriz, northwestern Iran. A number of men and women drivers participated at the event. -Saber Alinejad - 6/22/12

Noor Iranian Film Festival announces 2012 Official Selection
We are happy to announce the official selection of the 5th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival. Out of hundreds of submissions received from filmmakers around the world, the selection committee has selected 25 films to be included in this year's program. - 6/22/12

Who killed Iranian activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh?
Gelareh Bagherzadeh was a gregarious Iranian-born woman studying molecular genetics. She taught children to play the piano and volunteered at her church. Why on earth would someone want to kill her? - USA Today - 6/22/12

Jailed Iranian activist continues to refuse food
Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand is continuing with his hunger strike after more than a month of refusing food, his wife reported after a recent visit with him. - 6/22/12

As Iran Talks Falter, Fears of Military Action Increase
The near failure of talks in Moscow and the pending imposition of a full oil embargo by the European Union have deepened the dispute between Iran and the international community, and increased concerns about military action. -Al Pessinr, VOA - 6/22/12

Iran detains architect of nuclear assassinations: Intelligence Minister
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi says the architect of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists has been identified and arrested. Moslehi told reporters the arrests were carried following the identification and busting of two terrorist groups in multiple sting operations across the country. - 6/22/12

Iran: Reveal Fate of Arab Minority Prisoners
Iranian authorities should immediately provide information regarding the whereabouts and well-being of seven men from the country's ethnic Arab minority who are known to be in Iranian custody, Human Rights Watch said today. - 6/22/12

US, UK, Israel plan cyber attack on Iran after Moscow talks: Intelligence Minister
Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi has revealed a joint scheme by the US, UK and Israel to launch a massive cyber attack against Tehran following the nuclear talks in Moscow. - 6/22/12

Iran not to invite Saudi king to NAM summit in Tehran
Iran has canceled its decision to invite Saudi King Abdullah to the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which is scheduled to be held in Tehran from August 26 to 31. The decision has been made in response to the execution of a number of Iranian prisoners in Saudi Arabia for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking. - 6/22/12

In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun
One of the most pernicious misunderstandings in the West about Iranians is that they are dour religious fanatics. -Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times - 6/22/12

Moderate Iranian cleric lashes out at world powers' "bullying"
Moderate cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani says the last round of nuclear talks showed that world powers are not prepared to negotiate with Iran and are merely exercising "bullying" tactics. - 6/22/12

Dozens Feared Drowned As Asylum Boat Capsizes North Of Australia
Dozens of asylum seekers are feared drowned after their boat capsized in rough seas north of Australia. More than 100 people have been rescued as authorities from Australia and Indonesia frantically search for the missing. - 6/22/12

"Flame" can sabotage computers, attack Iran: expert
The powerful Flame computer virus is not only capable of espionage but it can also sabotage computer systems and likely was used to attack Iran in April, according to a leading security company, Symantec Corp. -Reuters - 6/22/12

Iran's Influence In Afghanistan: Implications Of The Iran-US Stand-Off - Analysis
Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Iran has invested heavily in Afghanistan, particularly in western Afghanistan. Tehran has sought to develop the western provinces - particularly Herat, Nimruz and Farah - as its spheres of influence, which could also act as a buffer if a civil war was to break out in Afghanistan - Aryaman Bhatnagar, Eurasia Review - 6/22/12

Art Patronage of the Nineteenth Century Iran
Art patronage in Iran in the Qajar period (1795-1925) witnessed preeminent fluctuations. Elements such as the availability of materials for painting, newly opened art schools, financial support for teaching at schools, and working for newspapers and publishers all helped artists to become more self-sufficient and solidified their positions in relationships to their patrons. -Mahshid Modares - 6/21/12

Iranian Alliances Across Borders sends letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook
IAAB's Board President and Executive Director asked that Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, rectify the recent and unfortunate events surrounding an Apple Branch's refusal to sell items to a former IAAB participant. The Camp Ayandeh alum is a 19-year-old Iranian American student at the University of Georgia who was denied service after an employee heard her speaking in Persian with her uncle. - 6/21/12

Photos: Four lion cubs and two bear cubs trapped in Mashhad
In two separate operations, Fire Department crew in Mashhad, northeastern Iran trapped four lion cubs and two bear cubs and handed them over to the Environmental Protection Agency officers. It is not clear how the cubs appeared in the streets of Mashhad. Similar incidents in Tehran last year were attributed to illegal activities by those engaged in trading of wild animals. - 6/21/12

Expert meetings with 5+1 meant to bridge 'large' gap in views: Iranian Negotiator
Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, has said that any wrong measure by the six major powers will negatively affect future talks over the country's nuclear program. - 6/21/12

Iran: Officials confirm execution of political prisoners in Ahwaz
The Ahwaz intelligence office has officially announced the execution of four Iranian-Arab political prisoners to their families, a local source reports. - 6/21/12

Vesta Monitor's Iran Economic Report: May 2012
Executive Summary: After what the foreign exchange and gold markets went through in 1390 (March 2011 - March 2012), the consequences are showing their ugly faces in rising inflation in the Iranian economy today. An inflation wave is hitting the economy while the economic growth rate is practically zero and unemployment is soaring. - 6/21/12

Iran says Flame virus is contained
Following a Washington Post report indicating that the United States and Israel collaborated in developing the Flame computer virus in order to delay Iran's nuclear program, the Iranian Minister of Communications and Technology announced that it has identified and overcome this malware. - 6/21/12

Iran's Central Bank Chief Says Liquidity Growth Rate Declined
Proper policies of the central bank led to the decrease of liquidity growth rate in Iran in the past calendar year compared to its preceding year, Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani stated. - 6/21/12

Israel Demands Stiffer Sanctions On Iran
Israel is demanding the West slap stiffer economic sanctions on Iran after talks between Iran and the West on curbing Tehran's nuclear program produced no breakthrough. - 6/21/12

Japan, China to import Iran oil after EU ban
At least two of Asia's four top buyers of Iranian crude will keep imports flowing, though at overall reduced rates, as they find ways around an EU ban on insuring tankers carrying the Islamic country's oil. -Reuters - 6/21/12

NIAC Calls on Apple and US Government to End Sanctions Discrimination
The National Iranian American Council calls on Apple to take immediate steps to ensure its policies regarding the enforcement of Iran sanctions do not continue to discriminate against Iranian Americans and Iranians in the U.S. - 6/20/12

Report Says U.S., Israel Targeted Iran With 'Flame' Virus
There's been no official reaction yet to a "Washington Post" report saying the United States and Israel jointly developed a computer virus called "Flame" aimed at disrupting Iran's nuclear program. - 6/20/12

MEK Working Through Senate to Sabotage Iran Diplomacy
Affiliates of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, are claiming to be behind a major letter from the Senate aimed at curtailing U.S. diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute. - 6/20/12

Photos: Public Hanging of 4 Rapists In Tehran
Four men convicted of raping young girls by force were hanged in Tehran on Wednesday morning. According to Mehr News Agency, the men were hanged in Shahid Mahallati highway in southeastern Tehran. - 6/20/12

Iran nuclear negotiations set to continue in Turkey
Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers came to an end in Moscow with no breakthroughs, except for a tense agreement to meet again next month in Turkey. - 6/20/12

US: 17 Governments Complicit in Human Trafficking
The 17 countries the State Department calls the worst human trafficking offenders are Algeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Suriname, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. - 6/20/12

Iran says any wrong move by West to affect result of talks
The Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said Tuesday any wrong movement by western countries would affect the result of talks. Iran's top negotiator expressed hope after two days of talks in Moscow that members of P5+1 change their previous approach and take steps in cooperation with Iran. - 6/20/12

Persian music maestro buried secretly at night
The legendary maestro of Persian classical music, Hassan Kasaii, was buried secretly at night. He passed away Tuesday, 14 June 2012 at the age of 84 in the Persian city of Isfahan. - 6/20/12

Exclusive interview with Reza Pahlavi
Radio Zamaneh correspondent Lida Hossaini Nejad was given an exclusive interview with the Iranian former crown prince discussing the current situation and the future of Iran as well as the outcome of his trip to The Hague. - 6/20/12

Popular Pakistani Singer Ghazala Javed Gunned Down
Popular Pashto-language singer Ghazala Javed has been shot dead along with her father in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. She had a loyal fan following among Pashto speakers around the world. - 6/20/12

Iranian Oil Minister orders $26B investment in South Pars projects
Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has officially ordered an investment of more than $26 billion in development projects in the South Pars gas field for the current Iranian calendar year which started on March 20, 2012. - 6/20/12

Iran: National Development Fund ready to allocate $1.3b for buying planes
According to the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), the National Development Fund was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation. Iran transfers 20 percent of oil revenues to National Development Fund. - 6/20/12

Photos: The Valley of Poppies
Valley of Poppies is located at the foot of Mount Damavand in northern Iran. During spring and summer seasons, this valley is covered with poppy flowers creating magnificent scenery for the visitors to enjoy. -Mojtaba Heydari - 6/19/12

Positions 'Hard To Reconcile' At Iran Talks
Russia's deputy foreign minister has said that the positions of Iran and world powers in Moscow talks over Tehran's nuclear drive are "hard to reconcile." The two-day Moscow talks come after two fruitless rounds in Istanbul and Baghdad. - 6/19/12

Iran: Group Hanging Reported In Khuzestan Province
Human rights groups report that a number of Iranian-Arab political prisoners have been secretly hanged en masse in Khuzestan. The report indicated that the families of the prisoners were contacted and informed about the fate of their kin. - 6/19/12

Iran clarifies proposals in Moscow talks
Iran elaborated on its five-point package of proposals during a new round of talks with the six major powers in Moscow on Monday. The talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), which are being held at Golden Ring Hotel, are scheduled to continue on Tuesday. - 6/19/12

Jailed Iranian journalist handed a fresh sentence
Issa Saharkhiz, a jailed Iranian journalist, has been handed another sentence as he nears the end of his initial three-year sentence. The prominent journalist has already suffered a heart attack in jail and has been hospitalized since last March. - 6/19/12

Health of Jailed Iranian Activist Nargess Mohammadi Deteriorating
Jailed activist Nargess Mohammadi is suffering from deteriorating health in Zanjan Prison, according to her husband, Taghi Rahmani. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that human rights activist Mohammadi is in dire condition in jail. - 6/19/12

Immigrants Own Nearly One in Five U.S. Small Businesses
Immigrants own nearly one in five of the small businesses operated in the United States, according to a recent study. The study, the first of its kind, was conducted by the Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and education organization based in New York. -Jane Morse, IIP Digital - 6/19/12

Number of Iranian-funded companies in Turkey tops list once again
The number of Iranian-funded foreign companies in Turkey rose for the fifth consecutive month this year, according to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). - 6/19/12

Iran plans to build 10 new destroyers
In an interview with the Persian service of the Fars News Agency published on Tuesday, Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini said that the Navy has planned to design and manufacture 10 new destroyers in addition to the Jamaran and Velayat destroyers. - 6/19/12

Ahmadinejad starts Latin American tour
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said before leaving Tehran for Bolivia that all efforts would be made so that "Rio+20" decisions would be in the interests of all nations. - 6/19/12

Iran benefits from over USD 4 billion of trade with Kurdistan annually
The seventh solo exhibition of the Islamic Republic of Iran held in Erbil -The exhibition that was attended by 165 Iranian companies from 19 provinces of the country specialized in the fields of food, carpets, cosmetics, clothes, agriculture, construction and a number of other sectors. -Kurdish Globe - 6/19/12

Dayer-Nakhiloo National Park: A Birds Paradise
A section of Mand Protected Zone in Bushehr province was converted into Dayer-Nakhiloo National Park in 2008. This park includes the four islands of Tahmadoon, Khan, Nakhiloo and Ummol-Karam. - 6/18/12

6 Powers Urge Iran to 'Engage Seriously' in Moscow Nuclear Talks
An EU spokesman says six world powers have begun talks with Iran in Moscow with an appeal for the Iranian side to "engage seriously" with an offer to resolve international concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. - 6/18/12

Photos: The Swinging Minarets of Isfahan
The Swinging Minaret (called Menar Jonban in Persian) is a mausoleum in Isfahan, Iran, entitled to Amu Abdoullah Ebne Mohammad Ebne Mahmmoud, a mystic who died in 1316 AD. - 6/18/12

Minoudasht, a truly color spectacular adventure
Minoudasht is one of the eastern cities known as the bride of the northern Golestan Province. This area has been known invariably as the Green Plain, Plain of Heaven, Plain of Minou and presently Minoudasht. - 6/18/12

Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Message of Solidarity with the Iranian People
In June 2009, millions of Iranians took to the streets to demand democracy and human rights. On the anniversary of this uprising, Archbishop Desmond Tutu sends a message of hope and solidarity to the Iranian people. Archbishop Tutu is a Nobel Peace Laureate and an avid human rights defender worldwide. He is widely described as 'South Africa's moral conscience.' - 6/18/12

The Revolutionary Guards Before and After 2009: Two Acts of a Coup
"Any action to launch a velvet revolution in Iran will be crushed immediately. If political groups and parties in Iran are realistic they will not move towards planning or implementing such scenarios. Everybody must accept the people's votes and respect them. Iranian people are Muslims and want Islam and they view the Imam's line and that of the supreme leader to be the pure path of Mohammad's Islam and will never deviate from this course." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 6/18/12

Iran: Arrests announced for assassination ring
The Iranian Minister of Intelligence announced on Sunday that 20 people have been arrested as part of its operation aimed at "identifying and destroying" the people who targeted Iran's nuclear scientists for assassination. - 6/18/12

Iranian Traders Threaten to Withdraw from UAE's Economy
Hossein Asrar Haqiqi, co-founder and official spokesman for the Iranian Business Council in Dubai, told Arabian Business that discrimination against Iranian companies operating in the UAE, or Iranophobia, will have a damaging impact on trade between the two companies and will negatively impact the gross domestic product of the emirates. - 6/18/12

Iran will seek three-step strategy in Moscow talks: Envoy
The two-day Moscow negotiations are slated to follow up on the previous talks in Iraq and Turkey. Iran and the P5+1 held three sessions of plenary talks in Baghdad in May after an earlier round of negotiations in the Turkish city of Istanbul in mid-April. - 6/18/12

Iran to Export 1st LNG Cargo in 2013
Iran plans to start exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplies to other countries next year, a deputy oil minister announced on Sunday. - 6/18/12

Supreme Leader says Iran will not give in to 'illogical demands'
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the enemies should be aware of the fact that they will get nowhere with making "unreasonable demands" from the Iranian nation. - 6/18/12

Iranian-Canadian academics slam Carleton for hosting Ayatollah Khomeini love-in
Ten Iranian-Canadian academics have written a letter to Carleton University President Roseann O'Reilly Runte to criticize the university for hosting a conference honouring Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founding dictator of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Macleans, CA - 6/18/12

Iran Should Not Allow the Talks to Be a "Success" If ...
Iran should not allow the Moscow talks (18 June, 2012) to be announced, declared or referred to as "successful", "positive", "constructive" or even "promising" by the other party or the Western media in the absence of absolutely concrete and tangible concessions from the West in terms of sanctions relief and normalisation of Iran's nuclear file in the IAEA. I explain why. -Shirin Shafaie - 6/17/12

I want to win gold in Olympics: Iranian weightlifter Behdad Salimi
Iran's super heavyweight weightlifter Behdad Salimi has said that he is going to win the gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The two-time World Championships gold medalist suffers knee injury but the lifter has promised that he would claim the gold medal in the Olympics. - 6/17/12

Iran's Chief Nuclear Negotiator Arrives In Moscow
The Iranian negotiating team does not seem optimistic about the result of nuclear talks with the major powers which will start in Moscow on Monday, the Mehr News Agency correspondent says. - 6/17/12

Iranian Officials Warn Alcohol Abuse On The Rise
Wine has always been a part of Iranian culture. References to it even appear frequently in poetry. But since the 1979 revolution, alcohol has been banned in Iran -- punishable by flogging, fines, and jail time. Despite the stiff penalties and the confiscation of millions of liters of alcoholic beverages, Iranian officials say consumption is on the rise. -Golnaz Esfandiari, Mohammad Zarghami, RFE - 6/17/12

Iranian food industry annual exports exceeds $1.5 billion
Iranian food industries exported over $1.55 billion worth of products in the past calendar year, which ended on March 19, the head of the national association of food industries stated. - 6/17/12

IRGC files suit against Iranian MP
A top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced that the IRGC has filed a complaint against Ali Motahari, the Member of Parliament who has accused them of interfering in the elections. - 6/17/12

Ten Thousand Iranian workers petition for better conditions
Ten thousand Iranian workers from various industrial units and five provinces have petitioned against the restructuring of government subsidies, demanding wage increases commensurate with the inflation rate. - 6/17/12

Tajik Mullahs Warn Of New Threat In Temporary Marriages
Mosque sermons in Tajikistan tend to focus on issues that affect people's everyday lives. These days, the hot-button topic of many sermons in Dushanbe has been temporary marriages -- a phenomenon that was almost unheard of in Tajik society until recently. -Farangis Najibullah, Kayumars Ato, RFE - 6/17/12

Minister: Iran plans to export 1 million cars by 2025
Iran plans to manufacture at least three million cars by 2025 and export some one million sets, the Fars News Agency quoted Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari as saying. He made the remarks on the sidelines of a ceremony to unveil the second all-Iranian car, named Runna, in Tehran on Saturday. - 6/17/12

Ahmadinejad Vows To Leave Office, Politics In 2013
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has said in an interview with a German newspaper that he plans to leave politics after his second term expires next year. - 6/17/12

VIEWPOINT: Three Years In, Is Iran's Green Revolution Still Going?
Before there was an Arab awakening, there was an Iranian one. It started three years ago, on June 13, 2009. Some have since called it a revolution; others have been more guarded, referring to it instead as a movement, connoting a sense of continuity. -Holly Dagres - 6/16/12

After Moscow: Will There be War or Peace?
The Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov shares his in-depth insight into the Russian approach towards the upcoming Moscow negotiations between P5+1 and Iran with Shirin Shafaie. Dr. Kozhanov was an attache at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tehran from 2006 to 2009, where he worked on Iran's nuclear issue among other socio-economic and energy-related issues. - 6/16/12

Open letter from the American Iranian Council to Iran's Nuclear Negotiation Delegation
The Moscow talks that are set to occur on the 18th and 19th of June is of great sensitivity and significance. A precarious setback as a result of failed Moscow talks is that shortly after the conclusion of the talks sanctions on the central bank of Iran by the United States on June 28th, and the embargo on Iranian crude oil export by the European Union (EU) on July 1st will come into effect. - 6/16/12

Netherlands tightens up on Iranian students, immigrants
The Dutch Foreign Minister announced yesterday that in view of sanctions against Iran, Netherlands will no longer renew or issue visa or residency applications for Iranian researchers and specialist immigrants. - 6/16/12

Photos: Iran Khodro begins mass production of indigenous sedan Runna
Iran's car manufacturer Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO) has started the mass production of the third indigenously-manufactured car, Runna, in a ceremony attended by state and automotive industry officials. - 6/16/12

One more game on Shahnameh stories produced
The game centers on the story how Siavash, one of the commanders in the army of Turan, was killed by Afrasiab, the king of Turan. His son Kai Khosrow later decides to avenge his father's death. The game, which has been rated PG, was produced at the Sourena Game Studio. - 6/16/12

Iranian Ney virtuoso Hassan Kasaii dies at 84
Kasaii was born in 1928 in Isfahan. He gave his first solo performance on stage in a play in Isfahan when he was only 20. He composed his first musical piece named "Salam" a year later at 21, a tune, which became one of the most famous hits years later. - 6/16/12

Iran Bans Unions From Commenting On Inflation
Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reports that the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Commerce recently sent a letter to trade unions and associations involved in the production and distribution of goods instructing them not to give interviews to the media about inflation. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/16/12

Iran finishes 2nd in WABA Championship
Iran basketball team beat Jordan 65-63 in a thriller on the concluding day of the 12th WABA Championship and booked a place in the 4th FIBA Asia Cup which will be held in Tokyo, Japan from Sept 14-22. - 6/16/12

Obama meets Saudi King to discuss Iran, Syria
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone on Thursday with King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia to discuss escalating violence in Syria and the plans to expand sanctions against Iran. - 6/16/12

Russia calls for delay in EU sanctions on Iran
Russia has expressed its opposition once more to EU sanctions on Iranian oil exports, just weeks before the embargo takes effect on July 1. - 6/16/12

Covering The Heart Of The War In Kandahar
From 2006 to 2010, award-winning Canadian photojournalist Louie Palu covered the fighting in Afghanistan from Kandahar, the heartland of the insurgency. The result is a series of photos -- at once documentary and artistic -- that provide a window into the horrors of battle and the daily life that goes on in its midst. - 6/16/12

Worry Replaces Hope in Race to Restore Ancient Afghan City
Once filled with treasure-adorned minarets, grand libraries and mosques, and a towering fortress overlooking a vast empire, the ancient city of Ghazni was in the past a great center of Islamic power and culture. -Frud Bezhan, Zarif Nazar, RFE - 6/16/12

Photos: A Village Living In The Past Century
The village of Jovanidap is located by the province of Sistan o Baluchestan in southeast Iran. Life is still very primitive for the people of this village who are deprived of schooling, health care, clean water and electricity. Will the 21st century ever arrive in this village? - 6/15/12

Iran: Families of killed protesters mark death of loved ones
The families of several victims of the 2009 crackdown on post-election protests gathered at the graves of their kin on Thursday to observe the third anniversary of their passing. - 6/15/12

Senator Blakeslee Recognizes the Contributions of Iranian-Americans
Senator Sam Blakeslee invites you to join him in recognizing the many contributions of Iranian-Americans to the state's and the nation's diverse cultural fabric. This year, the California State Senate passed SR 29, a Senate Resolution authored by Senator Blakeslee that acknowledges the importance of the Iranian-American diaspora in California and recognizes the month of June 2012 as ൦ Days of Solidarity with the Human Rights Movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran." - 6/15/12

Photos: Iran's first school of puppet theater for the deaf opens in Tehran
The Art and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality has established the first school of puppet theater for the deaf at Shafaq Cultural Center. The school was inaugurated during a ceremony here on Tuesday evening attended by Samineh Baghcheban, daughter of Jabbar Baghcheban, founder of the first Iranian school for the deaf in 1924 - 6/15/12

Factory closures highlight economic strangulation of Iran's Baha'is
A recent intensification of attacks on Baha'i-owned businesses in Iran further demonstrates the Iranian authorities' determination to suffocate the economic prospects of the Baha'is of that country, solely on account of their religious beliefs. -BWNS - 6/15/12

Said Jalili: Iran's Rising Political Star
The former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who lost his right leg in the 1980-88 war with Iraq, is currently the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which means he handles his country's most important foreign-policy dossier: negotiating with Western countries as the personal representative of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/15/12

American Citizen Pressured to Become FBI Informant by Placement on No-Fly List
It didn't seem terribly strange to Kevin Iraniha when an FBI agent showed up at his door in August 2011 just after he returned from a whirlwind trip through India, Egypt and Iran. The 27-year-old Iranian American says the agent was "very friendly" and just kept repeating that... -Shirin Sadeghi, Truthout - 6/15/12

Dobbins: Enrichment Ultimatums and Threats Undermine U.S. Goals on Iran
Dobbins warned against a U.S. approach to the Iranian dispute favored by many in Congress demanding Iran end all nuclear enrichment. Instead, he said, the U.S. should focus on securing inspections and transparency mechanisms to ensure Iran's enrichment program is purely for civilian use. - 6/15/12

Iran oil sanctions damage world economy: Oil Minister
A looming oil embargo on Iran, will destabilize the global oil market and spark higher prices, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi warned Wednesday in Vienna. Sanctions imposed on Iran will damage the world economy and increase oil-price volatility, Bloomberg quoted Ghasemi as saying. - 6/15/12

U.S. 'Vigilant' As Chavez Claims Iran, Russia Among Those Helping Make Drones
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his country is building drones with the help of Iran. Chavez, who is known for his anti-U.S. stance, has maintained close military and other ties with Tehran. - 6/15/12

Iran is formulating strategic cyber defense plan: official
The director of the Passive Defense Organization has said that Iranian experts are preparing a strategic cyber defense plan to help the country counter cyber attacks. - 6/15/12

South Korea restricts trade with Iran
South Korea has set restrictions on exports to Iran out of concern that an embargo on Iranian oil may lead Iran to default on its payments. - 6/15/12

Russia Defends Arms Sale to Syria, Blasts US
Russia on Wednesday defended its sale of arms to Syria and stepped up the rhetoric by accusing the United States of providing weapons to the Syrian rebels. The U.S., meanwhile has warned Russia that it will not be party to any Syria peace plan that includes Iran. - 6/15/12

Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery Presents "Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran"
The exhibition brings 50 of the finest folios and paintings from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery collections, which together form one of the world's most important repositories of Mughal and Persian painting. - 6/14/12

The Netherlands: 125 Persian Students Visa Applications on Hold
In late May of this year, the Dutch Ministry of Immigration (IND) froze approximately 125 visa applications for Iranian students. "It is because of new sanctions of European Commission against Iran." - 6/14/12

Iranian and Russian FMs upbeat about nuclear negotiations
Following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed optimism regarding the coming negotiations in Moscow. - 6/14/12

Tajzadeh's Letter to the Supreme Leader: Mr. Khamenei, You Are Responsible, You Must Respond
Mostafa Tajzadeh has written yet another letter to the supreme leader of the Islamic regime in which he holds the ayatollah responsible for the events that shook the country after the 2009 presidential vote and asks him to be accountable and to respond to those protests. -Arash Bahmani - 6/14/12

Iranian Bar Association Under Siege
First, they arrested the civil and political activists. Then they arrested the lawyers representing those activists. Then, they arrested the lawyers defending the imprisoned lawyers. Then, when there were no more lawyers left to defend the civil and political activists, they took steps towards taking over the Bar Association. -Shadi Sadr, Huffington Post - 6/14/12

British, Iranian Foreign Ministers Meet In Kabul
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, in what's being described as the highest-level meeting between Iran and Britain since Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran in November. - 6/14/12

Iranian Intelligence Ministry says assassination suspects arrested
The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence announced that it has arrested people believed responsible for the assassination of nuclear scientists Majid Shahriyari and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan. - 6/14/12

Bank fraud suspect will be brought to justice: Iranian officials
The head of Iran's security forces says there are no obstacles to getting Mahmoudreza Khavari, a top suspect in the $3-billion fraud case, back into the country from Canada. - 6/14/12

Iran to increase state employees' pay by 15%
Iran's government approved a 15 percent increase in state employees' salaries for current year 1391, Mehr news reported, citing an official. Iranian calendar year 1391 commenced 21 March 2012 and will end on 20 March 2013. - 6/14/12

Iran: Supreme Leader urges unity among officials
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for increased unity and empathy among the country's officials. The Leader made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with a number of newly-elected MPs. - 6/14/12

Iran: After Anniversary Protest in Evin Prison, 6 Political Prisoners Transferred to Intelligence Ward
On the third anniversary of the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election, six political prisoners have been transferred to the Intelligence Ministry's Ward 209 at Evin Prison. Sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that they are concerned about the way the intelligence forces may treat these prisoners. - 6/13/12

Iran, Qatar tie goalless in World Cup qualifier
Iran as been stopped to a goalless draw against Qatar at the AFC 2014 World Cup qualification tournament.The Iranian national squad did not live up to its standards and tied scoreless against a defensive Qatar at a full packed Azadi stadium in Tehran on Tuesday. - 6/13/12

Video Highlights Plight Of Jailed Iranian Mother
Activists have posted a video of jailed prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh meeting her two young children while they were visiting her at Tehran's Evin prison. It is hoped the film will draw attention to her situation. - 6/13/12

Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes
Ariana Bundy's family roots are firmly planted in Persian soil. She inherited her love of food and cooking from her grandparents-merchants and landowners who grew cherries, plums, apricots, apples, sugar beets, wheat, and barley; bred sheep and goats for dairy; and had beautiful vineyards producing prized grapes; and from her father, who owned and ran the first fine-dining French restaurant in Iran. - 6/13/12

Dangers of a Stalled Negotiation in Moscow
Pessimism is setting in about the planned talks in Moscow on June 18-19 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, the UK, France, Russia, China) and Germany, otherwise known as P5+1. Yet, it is imperative that the negotiations do not collapse. -Hooshang Amirahmadi and Shahir Shahidsaless - 6/13/12

Falling Oil Prices Prompt Russian Economic Fears
LONDON - Oil prices have shown a steady fall in the last few months, prompting fears that the Russian economy, which relies heavily on energy exports, could suffer. Meanwhile, new sources of oil are coming on line and helping to drive down the price at the pump. - 6/13/12

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Gets 13 Years
A leading Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court. Abdolfattah Soltani was arrested last year and charged with endangering national security, among other charges.He was first sentenced to 18 years in prison in March. - 6/13/12

China Defiant on Iran Oil Purchases
BEIJING - The Chinese government has indicated it has no plans to change its position on oil purchases from Iran, a day after the United States left Beijing off a list of economies that are exempt from U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports. -Stephanie Ho, VOA - 6/13/12

Mandana Moghaddam's Video, Photography and Installation at Aaran Gallery
Albert Camus once wrote: "We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them to the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others". - 6/13/12

Clinton: Iran To Be Offered Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says world powers will give Iran a "very clear path" to resolve the crisis over its controversial nuclear program at next week's talks in Moscow. - 6/13/12

Iran bypasses sanctions, exports goods to 100 countries: Official
Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance Ahmad Sadeqi Golmakani said the country has exported goods to over 100 countries despite sanctions imposed against Iran. Iran's total export in 2011 hit 41 billion dollars, showing sanctions have failed to derail Iranian economic activities, he said. - 6/13/12

Obama, Iran, and the "Jewish vote"
A Western diplomat recently told me that the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program are neither about Iran nor about nuclear bombs: They are about Israel. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 6/13/12

Azerbaijan: Reporter Sentenced on Spurious Charges
An Azerbaijani journalist known for his reporting on politically sensitive issues was sentenced to two years in prison on June 11, 2012, on fabricated drug possession charges, Human Rights Watch said today. - 6/13/12

Photos: Women Attending Concert In Tehran Arrested By Morality Police
Scores of women who wanted to attend a concert at Milad Tower in Tehran on Monday were arrested by police. ISNA reports that the arrests are connected with the implementation of a plan to deal severely with women who dress "inappropriately" in public places, adding that a famous actress was also arrested on similar grounds. - 6/12/12

AZADI: Songs of Freedom for Iran
On the anniversary of the 2009 uprising, honoring the ongoing struggle: We are thrilled to announce the release of the Azadi: Songs of Freedom for Iran, a free downloadable mixtape album with messages of resistance and inspiration for Iranians continuing to push for democracy and human rights. -United4Iran - 6/12/12

Iranian Americans in the California Primary Elections
A number of Iranian American candidates were on the ballot on Primary Election Day this past Tuesday in California. The candidates included, Edesa Bitbadal for San Jose City Council District 10, Farrah Douglas for California State Assembly District 76, and Ron Varasteh for U.S. Congress District 48. - 6/12/12

Iran must not execute five Arab minority prisoners: Amnesty International
The Iranian authorities must immediately overturn the death sentences of five members of Iran's Ahwazi Arab minority who were tried unfairly and may face imminent public execution, Amnesty International said after the prisoners were moved to an unknown location at the weekend. - 6/12/12

Iran plans to build nuclear submarines: Navy Official
A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor. The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over conventional submarines are considerable - 6/12/12

Which Side Will Lose More if Moscow Talks Fail?
As far as the P5+1 group - the US, the UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany - is concerned, the issue of the forthcoming negotiations between Iran and the group in Russia's capital, Moscow, is quite clear. They will repeat what they already said in Baghdad in addition to posing harsher threats to Iran. -Mehdi Mohammadi - 6/12/12

PAAIA Brings The Iran Job to Chapters Nationwide
In collaboration with its producers, Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder, PAAIA is bringing private screenings of the movie, The Iran Job, to some of its chapters. The movie follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppardas after he accepts a job to play in one of the world's most feared countries: Iran. - 6/12/12

Iran plans to invest $8.2b in 12 oil and gas projects
The Iranian Oil Ministry plans invest 100 trillion rials (almost $8.2 billion) in 12 projects in the oil and gas sectors in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013. - 6/12/12

Viewpoint: Taxi sharing in Iran's 'sexual revolution'
Young Iranians must employ complicated and creative behaviour to navigate around restrictions on their private lives, says journalist Kamin Mohammadi. -BBC - 6/12/12

Rescued Iranian Cat Gets Comfy in Napa
Remember Maloos, the badly-injured tabby cat found on a Tehran street, rehabilitated in San Francisco and adopted last week by a Napa woman with roots in Iran? Here's an update from Bay City News Service, with photos from his new home. -NapaPatch - 6/12/12

Iranians' past with U.S. colors how they see standoff over nuclear program
Know your adversary, goes the adage, and that is good advice when it comes to thinking about Iran and its nuclear program. But it is just as important to remember the United States' own history in dealing with Tehran. Iranians do. - Walter Pincus, Washington Post - 6/12/12

Sinopec turns down cut-price Iran crude - source
Chinese refiner Sinopec has turned down offers of bargain Iranian crude and will cut imports by up to a fifth this year, a senior Chinese oil executive said, insisting ties with the United States were more important than cut-price oil as the West squeezes Tehran over its nuclear programme. -Reuters - 6/12/12

Photos: Gavkhouni Salt Marsh in Central Iran
Located in central Iran, east of city of Esfahan, Gavkhouni is the terminal basin of the Zayandeh Rud (Zayandeh River). Gavkhouni is a salt marsh with a salinity of 315% and an average depth of about 1 meter. The salt marsh can dry up during the summer season. - 6/11/12

Scientists protest against prison sentence for Iranian student
The 10-year prison sentence imposed on physics PhD student Omid Kokabee in Iran for conspiring with foreign countries has triggered protests by scientific organizations around the world. -Michele Catanzaro, Nature - 6/11/12

Iranian Automaker IKCO To Cooperate With Universities To Develop Platforms
IKCO CEO, Javad Najmeddin emphasized the priority of innovation in fuel technology and invited universities and academic and research institutions for cooperation on design and development of IKCO new platforms. - 6/11/12

Iran opens traditional medicine festival
Iran opened the first festival of traditional medicine, natural products and medicinal plants Sunday in presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 187 private companies and 102 scientific centers as well as 80 technological plans presented by Iranian experts are taking part in the event. - 6/11/12

Iranian vice-president named in fraud case
In the eighth trial session of the insurance fraud case that allegedly involves the Tehran governor's office, one of the accused claimed that 1.5 billion toumans was given to Mohammadreza Rahimi, chief deputy to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 6/11/12

Persian Service, first victim of financial crisis at Radio Netherlands
The Persian-language service of Radio Netherlands Worldwide is the first victim of the organization's financial problems. The press section of RNW told the Persian Dutch Network that its likely other foreign-language services will be closed as well. - 6/11/12

Russian Foreign Minister To Visit Iran Ahead Of Moscow Talks
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to visit Iran on June 13 to discuss a range of issues, including the next round of talks between Iran and six world powers on the Islamic republic's nuclear program. - 6/11/12

Report: Some 400,000 jobs created in Iran last calendar year
Some 400,000 persons have been employed in Iran in last calendar year, which ended on March 19, while the government has announced over 1.6 million job opportunities have been created last year, the Mehr News Agency reported. - 6/11/12

Iran plans to boost share in global gas exports to 16 percent
Iran plans to raise gas exports to 230 million cubic meters per day by 2025, aiming to boost its share in global gas exports to 16 percent from just one percent at present, the ISNA News Agency reported. The country is currently exporting around 34 million cubic meters of gas per day, the report added. - 6/11/12

Iran Navy rescues South Korean tanker in the Sea of Oman
Iranian Navy rescued a South Korean oil tanker with 18 crews onboard in the Sea of Oman (also known as Gulf of Oman). - 6/11/12

U.S. Is Worst Polluter In The World: Iran's Environment Chief
The director of Iran's Environment Protection Organization said on Sunday that the United Sates is the "worst" polluter in the world especially in producing greenhouse gases. But contrary to what Mohammadizadeh claims, the UN data show China is now the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world. - 6/11/12

On the rise: Immigrant entrepreneurs
Working for a new company? There's a more than one-in-four chance your new boss wasn't born here. Immigrants created 28% of all new firms last year. They were also twice as likely to start a new business when compared to those born in the United States. -CNN Money - 6/11/12

Photos: The Sahand Mountainside
The mountainsides of Sahand provide a refreshing retreat for the people who want to escape citiy life. Sahand is a massive, heavily eroded stratovolcano in northwestern Iran. At 3,707 m (12,162 ft), it is the highest mountain in the Iranian province of East Azarbaijan. - 6/10/12

Iranians Face Sharp Rise In Price Of Bread
A steep increase in the price of wheat has resulted in a similar rise in bread prices in some Iranian provinces. In most cases, consumers are facing a price increase of up to 30 percent. - 6/10/12

Volleyball: Iran defeats Japan as Serbia and Australia head for Olympics
Iran edged Japan 3-0 (25-22, 35-33, 25-22) to finish with a 5-2 record. Japan dropped to 4-3. Both sides were out of the running for an Olympic berth after Australia clinched the final spot earlier in the day with a win over China. Serbia had already qualified for the Olympics with seven wins. - 6/10/12

Iran: Eye-Catching Object In The Sky Explained
Iran says the bright object seen in Iranian skies on Thursday night originated in Afghanistan. An informed source in the Iranian military told the Fars News Agency that the luminescent object seen on Thursday night around 10:30 PM came from Eastern Afghanistan, and its path reached to Israel. - 6/10/12

Iran slams Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE for violating OPEC quota
Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi says some member states, particularly Saudi Arabia, are violating the oil quota of the petroleum producing organization. "Saudi Arabia and its two allies (Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates) are the biggest violators of the OPEC (quota)," Khatibi said on Saturday. - 6/10/12

Iran: Protestant Church Shutdown Sparks Fears of Coming Closure Spree
Iranian authorities should allow the Assembly of God church in western Tehran to reopen immediately, and should stop persecuting Persian-language churches, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said on June 8. - 6/10/12

Iran Produces Tuberculosis Vaccine
The director of the Pasteur Institute says Iran has succeeded to produce high quality tuberculosis vaccine in a modern way. "Tuberculosis vaccine or BCG (Bacille Calmette Guerin) has been produced by the Pasteur Institute in a modern way and is now being sold in the domestic market," Dr. Mostafa Qanei told the Far news agency. - 6/10/12

Rising number of CCHF infections in Iranian provinces
Iranian media report that seven people in the country have died after contracting the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). Most victims of the viral disease have been identified in the eastern provinces, but reports indicate that the virus has been detected in 27 of Iran's 31 provinces. - 6/10/12

Iran hopes to sign final agreement with IAEA in next meeting
Soltanieh referred to complicated aspects of political and legal of the modality scheduled to be agreed between Iran and the agency, expressing hope the final accord in which Iran's legal and technical criteria as well its considerations are heeded would be signed in the next meeting. - 6/10/12

Iranian judiciary keeps journalist's bail money
The Iranian judiciary confiscated Abdolreza Tajik's bail money of 500,000 toumans after the persecuted journalist left the country. Tajik had been arrested on the charge of membership in illegal groups and propaganda against the regime. - 6/10/12

Establishment Of Constitution Committee Illegal: Iran's Guardian Council
Iran's Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaii told a press conference on Saturday that the administration's decision to establish a committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Constitution is "certainly unconstitutional." - 6/10/12

Iran plans to become hub for power transit to Europe: Official
The Iranian official further said that Iran seeks to emerge as a center for electricity transactions across the Middle East, citing the country's strategic geographical position, wide power transmission network and the annual electricity generation capacity of more than 66,000 megawatts (MW). - 6/10/12

IAAB Expands Camps to Create Summer Leadership Institute!
Due to our growth in the past seven years in creating cutting-edge educational programming for Iranian American youth, IAAB is pleased to announce the creation of the IAAB Summer Leadership Institute! - 6/8/12

Father Of Iranian Political Prisoner Threatened With Death
The interrogator of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has reportedly threatened the prisoner's father with death. The jailed blogger has been refusing food to protest the judiciary's refusal to release him to receive critical medical care, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran - 6/8/12

Zan Magazine: Providing for the Modern Woman
The word 'zan' means woman in the Persian language. It is fitting, therefore, that Zan be the name of this first of its kind publication whose purpose is to serve the modern Iranian-American woman. - 6/8/12

Stanford sequences the Iranian genome
When scientists started studying genomes, and then sequencing them, their work was hailed as revolutionary. But, they were mostly done in connection with Caucasian genes and some African and East Asian populations. One of the races no one studied was the Persian race. That is, until last year. -Hana Baba, KALW - 6/8/12

Extraordinary seniors: Rausan Borujerdi
Some cultures are painted in broad strokes, according to Rausan Borujerdi, but the act of painting itself can help shatter stereotypes, she believes. The young artist said she feels most compelled to portray Iran as the vibrant country she has come to know through family visits. -Emily Ngo, Newsday - 6/8/12

Iranian Activists Call on UN Rights Commissioner To Help Prisoner
More than 350 Iranian political, social and media activists have called on Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, to help Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand, who is currently on a hunger strike. - 6/8/12

Summer Camp Explores Diaspora Identity
Before we can build solidarity with other communities, we have to know who we are as a community. Camp Ayandeh invites young Iranian Americans to reflect on their shared history and their place in the Iranian diaspora, while building solidarity across differences. -Narges Bajoghli, International Diaspora Engagement Alliances - 6/8/12

Japan Buys Less Oil from Iran, Saudis Fill the Gap: The Status of Black Gold Deteriorates
While the most industrialized country in south East Asia has reduced half of its oil purchases from the Islamic republic, OPEC statistics reveal that Saudi Arabia has filled the gap of Iran's share in the market. -Shirin Karimi, Rooz Online - 6/8/12

Iran and IAEA begin new round of talks
Iran began new round of talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today, June 8. The Associated Press reports that the IAEA is expected to press Iran for access to the Parchin military base. - 6/8/12

FFI to distribute Iranian animation "Rostam and Sohrab" worldwide
Los Angeles-based distributor Fantastic Films International (FFI) has received the franchise to distribute the Iranian animation "Battle of the Kings: Rostam and Sohrab" in about 100 countries. - 6/8/12

No-fly list leaves San Diego Iranian American grounded in Costa Rica
A San Diego State University graduate student trying to return home from Costa Rica was told by the U.S. government on Tuesday that he was on the "no-fly" list and could not board the plane with friends and family to return home. -Elle Toussi, Examiner - 6/8/12

U.S., Iranian and European Perspectives on Addressing the Nuclear Dispute
With a new round of nuclear negotiations scheduled for June 18 in Moscow, top former and current U.S., Iranian, and European officials convened at an Arms Control Association panel to discuss the diplomatic process to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff. -Milad Jokar, NIAC - 6/8/12

Photos: Heart Surgery at Razavi Hospital in Mashhad, Iran
In conjunction with the Fifth International Razavi Cardiovascular Congress, held from May 30th to June 1st 2012 in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, five complex cariac surgery operations were performed at the Razavi Hospital with participation of Iranian and foreign specialists. - 6/7/12

SCO Leaders Reject Force In Iran, Syria
The leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan said in a joint statement signed at the end of a two-day summit on June 7 that "any attempts to solve the Iranian problem with force are unacceptable and could lead to unpredictable circumstances." - 6/7/12

Rights group exposes discrimination against Afghans in Iran
Justice for Iran has sent a comprehensive report on the violation of the rights of Afghans residing in Iran to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN rapporteur on human rights in Iran. - 6/7/12

Exhibition: "Paradox" Photomontage by Nazila Daneshvaran at Seyhoun Art Gallery in Tehran
In this show Nazila Daneshvaran has done her own work apart from any artistic categorizations - paradoxes among negatives and positives which are combined in singles compositions and illustrate the nostalgia of both groups for us. - 6/7/12

Russia, China call for diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear issue
Russia and China issued a joint statement on Wednesday calling for the dispute over Iran's nuclear program to be resolved through dialogue. - 6/7/12

Tehran Says IAEA Acts Like 'Intelligence Agency'
Iran has accused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of acting like an "intelligence organization" as it presses Tehran to answer questions about the potential military dimensions of its nuclear program. Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, launched the accusation at the agency's headquarters in Vienna on June 6. - 6/7/12

Three Questions for 'Jewel' Handbag Designers Bita and Rouzita of 'ita collection'
Iran-born creatives Bita and Rouzita Vahhabaghai's new line of shimmery 'Jewel' handbags depict a unique fusion of metals, leather and patterns often used in architecture and graphic designs. Many of the ita collection handbags, which have in the last year taken the fashion scene by storm... -Roshanak Taghavi, Huffington Post - 6/7/12

Iran: Political prisoner dies in Rejai Shahr Prison
An Iranian-Kurdish political prisoner died last night in Rejai Shahr Prison in Karaj, human rights groups report. According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mohammad Mehdi Zalieh Naghshbandian had been transferred to hospital earlier this month for serious health complications. - 6/7/12

Iran says no limitation for boosting ties with Russia
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there is no limitation for boosting ties with Russia. Ahmadinejad made remarks in his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Beijing on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, adding the mutual cooperation guarantees peace and security for the two nations and governments. - 6/7/12

Norman Finkelstein: Waning Jewish American Support for Israel Boosts Chances for Middle East Peace
Well over a year into the Arab Spring, the author and scholar Norman Finkelstein argues that there is a new, albeit quieter, awakening happening here in the United States that could provide a major boost to the winds of change in the Middle East. -Democracy Now - 6/7/12

Finder of 'Flame' Virus Tells Israel to "Stop Before It's Too Late"
Cyber-weapons, Kaspersky advised,"are a very very bad idea." Whatever advanced knowledge allowed engineers to fashion the malicious software targeted at Iran's nuclear program will, in short order, become known to other nations, he said, and next time could well be directed back at the originators -Karl Vick, TIME - 6/7/12

Iran, Russia seek ways to boost trade, industrial ties
Iranian and Russian trade and industry ministers met in Beijing today on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit and discussed ways to expand trade and industrial ties. - 6/7/12

Hackers, bloggers 'bunged cash to spin for Iran 2.0': Put in a good tweet for us, says Revolutionary Guard
The Iranian government is investing heavily in hacking expertise and online propaganda in order to promote its way of life under the country's post-Islamic Revolution regime - as well as using its new resources to tighten up control and surveillance of its citizens. - John Leyden, The Register - 6/7/12

Pepsi on the moon? Thousands of Iranians fall prey to hoax
On Tuesday night, thousands of Iranians looked up at the sky in the hopes of seeing the Pepsi logo appear on the moon. -France24 - 6/7/12

Photos: Transit of Venus across the Sun
People in Tehran and other towns across Iran observed the rare phenomena of transit of Venus across Sun on Wednesday morning. Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. - 6/6/12

Iran's Opposition Leader Mehdi Karrubi Meets With Family
Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi met with his family on June 4 for three hours, according to his son, who wrote about the visit on his Facebook page. Mohammad Hossein Karrubi also posted a picture of the visit, the first photograph of his father that has been seen in months. - 6/6/12

Iran volleyball team defeats Puerto Rico in Olympic qualifications
Iran beat Puerto Rico in four sets (26-24, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20) on Wednesday in the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym. - 6/6/12

Iran: Prisoners warn about possible death of blogger
A letter from 117 Iranian political prisoners being held in Section 350 of Evin Prison warns authorities about the critical health of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who has lost one kidney and is on a hunger strike to fight for sick leave from prison. - 6/6/12

Mahsa and Masoud: 'Til Prison Do Us Part
Journalist Masoud Bastani was arrested on 5 July 2009 in the aftermath of the presidential election. He is currently serving his six-year prison sentence. Mahsa Amrabadi, fellow journalist and wife of Bastani, began serving her one-year prison sentence on 9 May 2012 on the charge of "propagating against the regime through interviews and reports." - 6/6/12

Part of Persepolis sewage system unearthed
A team of Iranian archaeologists has recently discovered 20 meters of a canal of the sewage system of Persepolis in southern Iran. The team led by Ali Asadi has been commissioned to carry out excavations of the sewage system to discover how the system worked during the Achaemenid era - 6/6/12

Imprisoned Iranian Baha'i Refused Medical Leave After Surgery
66-year old Riaz Sobhani, currently in prison for financially assisting the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), was refused medical leave after his recent heart surgery. - 6/6/12

Russia Rejects SCO Membership For Iran Until UN Sanctions Lifted
Russian news agencies are quoting President Vladimir Putin's representative to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as saying Iran, which has observer status in the organization, can only become a full member when United Nations sanctions against the Islamic republic are lifted. - 6/6/12

Drying of Lake Oroumiyeh protested on Environment Day
Demonstrators gathered at El Golu park in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz on Monday to protest against the drying of Lake Oroumiyeh. - 6/6/12

Concert in UK: Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan - Passionate Poems of Rumi
Kayhan Kalhor is a four-time Grammy nominee and original member of Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble and a virtuoso of the kamancheh (Persian four-stringed spiked fiddle). He is joined by Turkey's Erdal Erzincan, master of the baglama (longneck lute) for an evening of entrancing music. - 6/6/12

US Rejected 2005 Iranian Offer Ensuring No Nuclear Weapons
France and Germany were prepared in spring 2005 to negotiate on an Iranian proposal to convert all of its enriched uranium to fuel rods, making it impossible to use it for nuclear weapons, but Britain vetoed the deal at the insistence of the United States, according to a new account by a former top Iranian nuclear negotiator. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 6/6/12

Maloos, Iranian Cat Shot in His Native Country, Finds New Family in San Francisco
Last month we moved readers with the touching story of Maloos, the deeply troubled Iranian cat who was found stuck to the pavement in the streets of Tehran. Maloos was rescued and later flown to San Francisco where he has been treated and loved back to health. -SF Weekly - 6/6/12

Iran wants bilateral talks with EU
Iran has invited the EU to bilateral talks prior to the meeting between Iran and the world powers scheduled for later this month in Moscow. - 6/6/12

SCO Summit Shines Spotlight on Afghanistan
China and Afghanistan are expected to deepen ties when they sign a series of strategic agreements during this week's annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). - 6/6/12

Terrorists? Us?
The story of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin e Khalq (MEK), is all about the way image management can enable a diehard enemy to become a cherished ally. -Owen Bennett-Jones - 6/6/12

Photos: Carpet Of Chamomile Flowers In Namin, Iran
Every year in late spring, chamomile flowers blanket an area of ​​about five thousand acres in Fandoghlou recreational area close to the city of Namin in Iran's Ardabil province. This nature's carpet of white and yellow creates the most beautiful scenery for the visitors to enjoy. - 6/5/12

Iran's Morality Police Forbid Sharing Of Wedding Films
Iranian police announced that people who use satellite programs to transmit their wedding films are in breach of the law and will face prosecution. - 6/5/12

Representatives Demand Study on Consequences of War with Iran
Washington, DC - On May 31st, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Barbara Lee (D-CA) aimed at highlighting the potential consequences of a war with Iran. - 6/5/12

Hunger strike lands jailed Iranian activist in infirmary
Jailed Iranian human rights activist Mohmmad Seddigh Kaboodvand is in critical condition following more than a week on a hunger strike. - 6/5/12

UNESCO to put to vote enlisting Iran's geo-park in World Heritage
The case of second Iranian geo-park is to be put on vote to be enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage in September, said the Deputy Head of Iranian Aras Free Zone Organization for Cultural, Social and Tourism Affairs Adel Najafzadeh. - 6/5/12

"Human Dignity" and "Equal Dignity"
Human dignity is the foundational concept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as such it is a defining characteristic attributed to living human beings. The core belief of human rights is the belief that every person should be treated equally and with dignity irrespective of their circumstances. -12Petals Media Group - 6/5/12

Iran's Sex-Change Operations Provided Nearly Free-Of-Cost
Although it has some of the strictest laws on sexuality and same-sex relations in the world, Iran also has a reputation for an extremely liberal sex-change operations industry. -Sasha von Oldershausen, Huffington Post - 6/5/12

Mubarak's sentence signifies U.S., Israel's influence in Egypt: Iranian General
Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the Supreme Leader's top advisor, said on Sunday that the life sentence pronounced on former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is indicative of the fact that the United States and the Zionist regime still have influence in Egypt. - 6/5/12

More Delays In Full Launch Of Iran's Nuclear Plant
Russian officials have announced that there will be further delays in the full launch of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. - 6/5/12

Exclusive: Iranian cell-phone carrier obtained banned U.S. tech
A fast-growing Iranian mobile-phone network managed to obtain sophisticated U.S. computer equipment despite sanctions that prohibit sales of American technology to Iran, interviews and documents show. -Reuters - 6/5/12

Larijani Defeats Hadad Adel In Iran's Parliament Speaker Race
Ali Larijani was elected as the speaker of Iran's 290-member parliament during an open session of the Majlis on Tuesday. Larijani, who will serve a one-year term in the new principlist-dominated parliament, won 177 votes out of 270 votes cast. - 6/5/12

Mystery Iranian deaths amid shadow war
At least 10 high-ranking officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps are reported to have died recently, apparently in violent circumstances. But only two of the deaths have been made public, raising suspicions the officers may have been assassinated by Iran's enemies. -UPI - 6/5/12

Photos: Pardisan Park's Wildlife Clinic in Tehran
The wildlife clinic at Pardisan Park is host to animals that have been injured, sometimes due to people's ignorance, and so cannot live on their own. -Azin Haghighi - 6/4/12

Photos: Iran beats Uzbekistan at the death in World Cup qualifiers
The Iranian national football team has defeated hosts Uzbekistan 1-0 in injury time in the two country's opening game of the fourth round of the AFC 2014 World Cup qualification tournament. - 6/4/12

Tehran Launches Center for Temporary Marriages: Concubism, the Product of Discrimination and Inequality
The "Tehran Official Center for Temporary Marriage" is the name of a new site launched to propagate the concept of "sighe," a temporary marriage arrangement sanctioned in Shiism. Over the recent years, tens of other similar sites have sprung, all with the goal of facilitating temporary marriages, and with legal permits. -Kaveh Ghoreishi, Rooz Online - 6/4/12

Jailed Iranian Blogger Transferred To Hospital
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, an Iranian political prisoner on hunger strike at Tehran's Evin Prison, has been transferred to hospital on the ninth day of his strike. - 6/4/12

Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation's 2012 Fundraiser
Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation's next UK Annual Fundraiser will be held on Thursday 28th June 2012 at the Kensington Roof Gardens, W8. The Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation was launched in 1998 by the family and friends of the late Popli Khalatbari, who wished to honour her memory by distributing the funds from her estate in a manner befitting of the spirit with which she had led her life. - 6/4/12

Iran and Israel Can Agree on This: Rita Jahanforuz Totally Rocks
Music-loving Iranians craving nostalgic Persian songs of a bygone era, or the upbeat dance music that is banned in their Islamic state, have new darling: Rita, the Israeli singing sensation. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 6/4/12

Iran, IAEA to meet in Vienna on June 8
Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold a new round of talks in Vienna on June 8, the agency's director general, Yukiya Amano, announced on Friday. IAEA has said that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, is a priority for the UN nuclear watchdog. - 6/4/12

Putin, Ahmadinejad to meet prior to nuclear talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are reportedly going to meet prior to the nuclear talks with the G5+1 in Moscow. - 6/4/12

US: Iranian Accusations Will Not Derail Moscow Talks
Iran's supreme leader says the United States and its allies are lying about Iran's nuclear program to cover up their own problems. The Obama administration says it is easy enough for Iran to resolve the dispute by taking concrete steps to demonstrate that it is not developing atomic weapons. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 6/4/12

Iran in Quest for OPEC's Top Post
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said his country plans to propose its own nominee for the post of Secretary-General in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)in the upcoming ministerial meeting of the oil cartel in Vienna later this month. - 6/4/12

Photos: Ahvaz Hit by Dust Storm again
Another severe dust storm has hit the city of Ahvaz in the province of Khouzestan in southwestern Iran. In recent years, dust storms originating from Iraq have become a common thing for the western cities in Iran. The storms have resulted in closing of offices and schools at times, and they are a major source of health concerns for the residents. -Mohammadreza Dehdari - 6/3/12

Volleyball: Iran Defeats China at Olympic Qualifiers
Iran's national volleyball team has defeated China at the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan. Iranian volleyballers edged past China 3-2 in a thrilling five-set match at Tokyo's Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday. - 6/3/12

Ghost goal drama as Iran beat Uzbeks
Iran snatched a 1-0 win in the dying seconds against Uzbekistan Sunday in a dramatic World Cup qualifier as the hosts were left to rue an apparent goal which went unseen by the match officials. -AFP - 6/3/12

What Happens after Baghdad Talks: Scenarios and Solutions
The latest two rounds of negotiations between Iran and the group P5+1, known as Istanbul 2 and Baghdad talks, have provided a good ground for speculations about goals and objectives of the United States and its European allies. The following pessimistic and optimistic scenarios can be considered in this regard. -Dr. Ali Abdullah-Khani - 6/3/12

Flame Virus Looms in Debate Over Regulation of Internet
The Flame computer virus unleashed in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries is being described as unusually large and powerful. Some experts, though, are questioning the seriousness of the threat. - 6/3/12

Iran Issues List Of Banned Cities, Banned University Courses For Afghans
Iran's National Organization for Educational Testing has issued a list of university courses that are banned for Afghans living in Iran, including atomic physics, nuclear engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, and military sciences. - 6/3/12

Khamenei: Sanctions Deepen Hatred of West
Iran's supreme leader says Western sanctions will not impede Tehran's progress, but will instead deepen hatred of the West in the hearts of the Iranian people. - 6/3/12

Human Rights: Lost in the Midst of Negotiations?
While negotiations between the G-5 and representatives of the Islamic Republic have captivated the world, the fact that a growing number of Iran's human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, students -- many of them women -- are in jail or on their way to jail, has received little international attention. -Fariba Amini, Huffington Post - 6/3/12

U.S. to increase military presence in Asia
Pentagon chief Leon Panetta announced on Saturday in Singapore that the United States will move the bulk of its naval fleet to Asia and the Pacific region. - 6/3/12

Iran, Iraq agree to adopt joint stance at OPEC
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi has held talks with the Iraqi prime minister, insisting on the need to reach a unified position on the oil production quota in the upcoming summit of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). - 6/3/12

Obama playing politics with Iranian cyber-war: McCain
U.S. senator John McCain accused Barack Obama's administration of leaking the report of Obama's approval of cyber-attacks against Iran in a bid for pre-election glory. - 6/3/12

Oil Output Soars as Iraq Retools
Despite sectarian bombings and political gridlock, Iraq's crude oil production is soaring, providing a singular bright spot for the nation's future and relief for global oil markets as the West tightens sanctions on Iranian exports. -NY Times - 6/3/12

The Fifth International Razavi Cardiovascular Congress convened in Mashhad
The Fifth International Razavi Cardiovascular Congress was held from May 30th to June 1st 2012 at the Razavi Hospital in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran. According to Astan Quds Razavi, 80 specialists from around the world and 400 physicians and heart surgeons from across Iran participated at the event. - 6/2/12

Iranian activists demand release of their peer
More than 400 activists have issued a statement calling for the release of Manijeh Najm Araghi, a jailed Iranian writer, translator and women's rights activist. - 6/2/12

AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012: Iran Takes Third Place after 4-0 win over Australia
Iran ensured direct entry to the next edition of the tournament following a hard-fought 4-0 win over Australia in the AFC Futsal Championship UAE 2012 third-place playoff on Friday - 6/2/12

Obama 'Stepped Up' Iran Cyberattacks
U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly expanded cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear program even after the Stuxnet virus was accidentally made public in 2010. "The New York Times" reported on June 1 that the operation, codenamed "Olympic Games," had begun under President George W. Bush. - 6/2/12

Iran v-ballers breeze past South Korea in Olympic qualifiers
The Iranian volleyball team has had a perfect start to the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification tournament in Japan, beating South Korea in straight sets. - 6/2/12

Jailed Iranian Activist On Hunger Strike
Mohammad Seddigh Kaboodvand, a jailed Kurdish human rights activist, has once again begun a hunger strike to back his demand for a furlough to visit his sick son. - 6/2/12

The Iranian Women in American Journalism Project (IWAJ): Kelly Golnoush Niknejad
How at the time a recent graduate of Columbia Journalism School, from her parents' living room in Boston, launched one of the most trusted and sophisticated sources of news and commentary on Iran? -Reza Akhlaghi, Foreign Policy - 6/2/12

U.S. wants "concrete actions" from Iran
The United States say Iran must take "concrete steps" to ease international concern about its nuclear program in time for this month's talks with the G5+1 in Moscow. - 6/2/12

Key Iran Military Adviser Says U.S. Forces Very Vulnerable In Region
In the case of a military attack, Iran would strike back at its enemies with equal force and with reciprocal levels of damage, according to a key military adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/2/12

Iran's Imam Khomeini space center is 80 percent complete
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Saturday that Iran's new space center, named after Imam Khomeini, will be used for launching the domestically made satellites into space. - 6/2/12

India insists will not reduce oil import from Iran
Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna made it clear on Thursday that New Delhi will not bow to U.S. pressure to reduce its oil imports from Iran and called Iran a "key country" for meeting India's growing energy needs. - 6/2/12

Photos: Mount Khwaja in Zabol
Mount Khwaja or Mount Khwajeh is a flat-topped black basalt hill rising up as an island in the middle of Lake Hamun, in the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan. - 6/1/12

17 NGOs Call on Iran to Uphold the Right to Education
The signatories representing 17 human rights and student organizations express deep concern about the alarming state of academic freedom in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in particular violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly on campuses; and institutionalized procedures that allow authorities arbitrarily to expel and suspend students, and fire graduate instructors on the basis of their political views or activities. - 6/1/12

California Senate Passes Resolution Honoring Iranian Americans, Supporting Human Rights in Iran
California State Senate unanimously passes Senate Resolution 29 - recognizing the contributions of the Iranian-American community and calling upon the Iranian government to provide basic human rights and political freedoms to its citizens. - 6/1/12

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America's first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program. -Davis E. Sanger, NY Times - 6/1/12

Senior cleric calls for apology to Iranian people
Senior Shiite leader Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili has spoken out in Qom against the current political situation in Iran, announcing that all current and former leaders of the Islamic Republic regime must apologize to the people. - 6/1/12

Iran: Ministry of Health alarmed about smoking rates for children
Iran's Health Minister has warned that Iranian students are taking up smoking at increasingly younger ages. - 6/1/12

Iranian film "A Cube of Sugar" hits U.S. movie theaters
The Iranian family drama "A Cube of Sugar" by Reza Mirkarimi is currently on screen in Los Angeles. The movie went on screen Sunday and will be on show for one week. It will later go on screen in Orange County - 6/1/12

Sattareh Farman Farmaian, 90, rescuer of prostitutes in Iran
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, the daughter of a Persian prince who used her family's power to found a trailblazing social movement on behalf of prostitutes and other disadvantaged Iranian women in the years before the Islamic revolution, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles. -Emily Langer, Washington Post - 6/1/12

Ahmadinejad: 'Trust will be created if West sells 20% enriched nuclear fuel to Iran'
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the way certain Western countries treat Iran in regard to its nuclear program is "insulting". However, the president suggested that "trust" will be created between Iran and the West if Tehran is provided with 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel to power its medical research reactor. - 6/1/12

Egypt's revolution in the eyes of an Iranian-American photojournalist
Ahram Online talks to Shadi Rahimi, an Iranian-American photojournalist, recalling her days amid Egypt's revolution, captured in photos now on display in a gallery in California - 6/1/12

Clinton: Russian Stalling Could Push Syria into Civil War
U.S. and European security officials say Iran has also offered Assad extensive support to help him suppress anti-government protests, from high-tech surveillance technology to guns and ammunition. - 6/1/12

With Holocaust book in Farsi, Iranian-American author plugs a historical hole
When he first became interested in learning about the Holocaust in the 1990s, Dr. Ari Babaknia had trouble finding any literature on the subject written in his native tongue, Farsi... So Babaknia, who came to the United States from Iran in 1974, decided to write the book himself, taking time off from his day job as a fertility specialist. -CNN - 6/1/12

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