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Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji may die after 50-day hunger-strike
Reporters Without Borders today (July 29, 2005) condemned what it called "the criminal attitude" of Iran's top leaders in refusing to release journalist Akbar Ganji, who has now been on hunger-strike for nearly 50 days. - 7/31/05

Iranian make up artist Hassan Lotfi underlines modern techniques in cinema
US-based Iranian make up artist Hassan Lotfi said in Tehran on Sunday Iranian cinema is in dire need of modern techniques to proceed with its presence on international scene. - 7/31/05

The Eminem Fan Who Polices Tehran's Morals
Enforcing the strictures of the mullahs doesn't preclude a taste for Slim Shady and Fox News. Meet the new Basij -Azadeh Moaveni, TIME - 7/31/05

New gas field "Sekouran" discovered in western Iran
new huge gas field was discovered near the gas-rich region of Tange-Bijar in the western province of Ilam, official in charge of Ilam Gas Field Development Project announced Sunday. - 7/31/05

Spain to honour its first ambassador to Iran
Spain intends to honour its first ambassador to Iran, who established bilateral relations around six hundred years ago, by launching a special research and tourism programme. - 7/31/05

Dog goes to veterinary hospital after car incident
An intelligent dog went to Tehran Veterinary Hospital after meeting with a car accident, The Persian Daily 'Iran' wrote Saturday. The dog had been previously taken to the hospital for treatment. - 7/31/05

UK warns Iran over nuclear plans
The international dispute over Iran's nuclear programme appears to be escalating, with Tehran threatening to resume uranium conversion. -BBC - 7/31/05

Revolution? What's in it for them?
This is an exciting time to be an Iranian American, a time for optimism, even — provided that one also has patience. -Nayereh Tohidi, LA Times - 7/31/05

Rowhani: EU will accept Iranian right to fuel cycle gradually
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani on Sunday offered a report to President Mohammad Khatami about his performance as the chief negotiator with European Union (EU) over nuclear program. - 7/31/05

Iran Threatens to Restart Nuclear Work Without EU Offer
Iran says it will restart sensitive nuclear activities Monday unless the European Union proposes how to end the diplomatic dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. - 7/31/05

Iraq turns to Iran for aid, creating U.S. dilemma
Regaining a semblance of stability here is a goal of both the Iraqi government and the United States. But the country's elected leadership apparently believes that Iraq's long-term welfare will depend on building a strong relationship with Iran as well as maintaining ties to the United States. -NY Times - 7/31/05

Israeli peace appeal to Iran
Israel's State President Moshe Katzav has called on Iran to open a new chapter with Israel and drop its declared goal of destroying the Jewish state. -Isracast - 7/31/05

Iranian human rights lawyer arrested
Iran's conservative judiciary has arrested a leading human rights lawyer who was acting in two cases that have sparked international interest, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said on Saturday. -CNN - 7/31/05

Iran Struggles To Push Ahead With India Pipeline
Officials in Iran are eager to get under way with a proposed gas pipeline to Pakistan and India that has been the subject of talks for more than a decade. Initial discussions among the participating countries concerning a 2,600-kilometer, overland natural-gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India began in the early 1990s. - 7/30/05

Enemies and brothers
Iran, with its unabashed nuclear ambitions, is top of the US's next-to-invade list. Is the mood in the country fearful or defiant? James Meek sounds out hardline clerics, Tehran liberals, mosque-goers, workers and the near-destitute - and finds surprising resonances with their superpower enemy -Gurdian - 7/30/05

New Iranian President Expected to Focus on Domestic Issues
Next week, Mahmood Ahmadinejad will officially become president of Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad, the former mayor of Tehran, burst from relative political obscurity to win an upset victory in June's presidential election. - 7/30/05

Rafsanjani wants dissident freed
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has appealed to the judiciary to free an imprisoned writer who has refused food for 49 days. -BBC - 7/30/05

Iran-Turkey trade exchange up by 41 percent in first half of 2005
The value of trade exchange between Iran and Turkey exceeded 1.735 billion dollars during the first half of 2005, showing a 41.16 percent boost compared to similar period the previous year. - 7/30/05

Iran provides Iraq with electricity: Iraqi minister
Iraqi Minister of Electricity Abd al-Muhsin Shalash said Friday that Iran has supplied Iraq with its electricity needs based on a mutual agreement and within the frameworks of the country's donation to the Iraqi nation. - 7/30/05

U.S. says it has no evidence Iranian leader took hostages
A month after Americans who were held hostage in Tehran 25 years ago asserted that the president-elect of Iran was among their captors, U.S. officials said they had turned up no evidence to support that contention. -NY Times - 7/30/05

With Interest: 'China model' is tough to copy
Countries are like people - they also like to try out the latest get-rich-quick scheme. The flavor of the moment is the "China model," whereby a controlling government carefully injects capitalism into its economy to spur exports and foreign investment. -IHT - 7/30/05

Center for Advocates of Human Rights protests to Iran's Judiciary for arrest warrant against lawyer
Center for Advocates of Human Rights on Saturday protested to the Judiciary against arrest warrant the body issued for lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani. - 7/30/05

Iran: The Skeletons of Apostles Found in Saint Stepanos Church
The remains of the Apostles' bones that according to some sources had been kept in Saint Stepanos church in Azerbaijan Sharqi (East Azerbaijan) province in Iran were found during archeologists' research. - 7/30/05

Teens hand Iran second spot at Asian freestyle, Greco-Roman bouts
Iran ranked second at the Asian 16-17 freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling events held in Oarai, some 100 km northeast of Tokyo, on July 28-29. - 7/30/05

Iran dissident 'cannot see wife'
The wife of Iran's best-known political prisoner, journalist Akbar Ganji, says officials will not let her visit her husband, 49 days into a hunger strike. -BBC - 7/30/05

Unprecedented Growth of Unauthorized Excavations in Mazandaran
Lately increase of illegal excavations in Mazandran province, north of Iran, has made the region a hub for heritage looters and illegal excavators. - 7/30/05

Iranian statesmen NY visit not diplomatic gesture: daily
Iran's President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel are scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly and interparliamentary summits in New York in September, said a morning daily in Tehran on Saturday. - 7/30/05

Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign to Hold Press Briefing in San Francisco
The Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign is gearing up for its second press briefing on August 3rd at the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA), headquartered in San Francisco, California. - 7/29/05

White House: Resumption of nuclear activities would violate Iran's commitments
The United States expects Iran to abide by its commitments to suspend uranium enrichments and reprocessing activities, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said July 28 in response to reports that Iran plans to resume work on its nuclear fuel cycle. - 7/29/05

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980)
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980), A retrospective on his reign on the occasion of the twenty fifth anniversary of his death. -Darius Ryan, Switzerland - Persian Journal - 7/29/05

Iran-Pakistan-India gasline plan making headway: report
A meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz last Wednesday discussed Pakistan's growing energy needs and decided to pursue the three proposed gas projects, the report said. - 7/29/05

Book Review: The Treason of the Clerics
Nation's Jonathan Rée reviews "Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism" by Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson - 7/29/05

Raid on Iran dissident's lawyer
Human rights activists have told the BBC that officials have raided the home of a lawyer representing Iran's best-known political prisoner. - 7/29/05

US still investigates Iran leader
The US says it has concluded that Iran's president-elect was a leader of the group behind the 1979 hostage crisis at its embassy in Tehran. -BBC - 7/29/05

Iran: Daily Warns on Dangers to Government, Society of Censorship
Text of unattributed editorial entitled "Crooked first brick!" by Iranian newspaper Aftab-e Yazd website on 28 July -Red Nova - 7/29/05

Preparing for a shipwreck in the Middle East
the heart of the breakdown is Iraq. Even the war's supporters (this writer included) cannot honestly say that the postwar plan, if indeed there was one, was commensurate with the profound importance of the project. -Daily Star - 7/29/05

U.S.: Iranian Cadres Training Hezbollah
Iranian cadres are training Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, a State Department official told Congress on Thursday. -AP - 7/29/05

Tremor hits Sabzevar in northeastern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Sabzevar in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan Thursday evening. - 7/29/05

North Korea Nuclear Talks Extended
Multilateral talks aimed at resolving the North Korea nuclear dispute will continue into Saturday, in a sign that a consensus has yet to emerge on how North Korea might abandon its nuclear programs. - 7/29/05

Iranian child thanks for surgery
A child from Iran has been welcomed by the community that raised money to enable him to be flown to Wales for life-changing surgery. -BBC - 7/29/05

Iraq: Draft Constitutions Signal Loss Of Right
At least two unofficial versions of Iraq's draft constitution have been leaked to the press in recent days, leaving many to speculate on what the future holds for Iraqi citizens in terms of individual and minority rights. - 7/29/05

Teenaged Alizadeh hands Iran first Asian Greco-Roman gold
Mohsen Alizadeh won Iran's first gold medal at the Asian 16-17 Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Japan Friday. The Asian powerhouse Iran eyes five more golds following its teenagers' advancement to the finals. - 7/29/05

Teens hand Iran Asian freestyle wrestling second spot
Iran finished runner-up to India at the Asian 16-17 Freestyle Wrestling Championships ended in Japan Thursday. The Iranian team snatched three golds, two silvers, and two bronzes, ranking second on 77 points. - 7/29/05

Arshia Kiani, A Doctor who loves Photography more than Medicine
Dr. Arshia Kiani is a young photographer with a difference. He is a fully qualified medical doctor, but apart from attending to family and friends he does not practice his profession. He rather spends his time and energies on his art, photography. - 7/29/05

UNDP to tackle depletion of land and water resources in Iran
The Iranian government has recently signed a project with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help it tackle the depletion of land and water resources by adopting community-based methods. - 7/29/05

Cheney's Plan: Nuke Iran
"The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons." -Antiwar.com - 7/28/05

Is Iran Being Set Up?
A recent article by Juan Cole depicts Iran as the real victor in the Iraq War. This is because Iran, which Washington officially designates "evil," has been able to establish warm relations with the government ushered into power by U.S. occupation forces in neighboring Iraq. -Counterpunch - 7/28/05

Poem for Akbar Ganji: Stay
In the cold of night, they sold as day- In the house of chain, they had you stay- You decided, it is best, to starve away- You decided, your death, will show them the way -Alireza Nouri Razavi - 7/28/05

Free Akbar Ganji - An appeal from the international community
We, the undersigned independent, non-partisan, international organizations and community of concerned journalists, academics, artists, writers, intellectuals, and defenders of human rights, express our grave anguish over the critically deteriorating health of the jailed Iranian journalist Mr. Akbar Ganji and call on Iranian authorities for his immediate release. - 7/28/05

Mixed reports on Iran teen hangings
But the circumstances that triggered the executions are now being questioned by several human rights groups, which claim the teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, may not have been killed for being gay. -Southern Voice - 7/28/05

Human Rights Watch: End Juvenile Executions in Iran
Iran's execution of a juvenile offender last week violated international law, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to the president and head of the judiciary. - 7/28/05

Bush's war of terror, proxy war
Our interest in the Middle East has always been driven by our oil dependence. Could we have developed our own oil resources? Was it orchestrated obsolescence designed to create weakness and vulnerability? -Renew America - 7/28/05

Iran clamps down on Arab protests
Iranian police have arrested at least 12 people in connection with fresh protests in Khuzestan province. -BBC - 7/28/05

News and Truth
Usually we think the News say the truth; in the same way that we think what is written in our history books is the truth about the past. But is it really so? How much can we assume that the News say the truth? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 7/28/05

Iran's Government Spokesman: President Khatami tolerated injustice, too often
Iranian Government Spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said on Wednesday evening, "Many people observed injustice in treating Khatami and I was many times witness to dropping of tears from his eyes after hearing undeserved sarcastic mock." - 7/28/05

Tehran accuses US of nuclear double standard
Iran accused the Bush administration yesterday of operating a double standard and undermining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by agreeing to aid India's civil nuclear programme, while insisting that Tehran abandon its nuclear ambitions or face international sanctions. -Guardian - 7/28/05

Analysts: Agreement at Korean Nuclear Talks Will Not Be Easy
The United States has been saying since October 2002 that Pyongyang has a secret nuclear-weapons program. Since then, North Korea has pulled out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, expelled U.N. monitors, and re-opened a nuclear facility it had promised to dismantle in 1994. - 7/28/05

Iranian President intervenes in bid to end jailed journalist's hunger strike
Akbar Ganji would be a most embarrassing corpse. Iranian authorities are so concerned about political fallout if the country's most prominent jailed dissident dies from a hunger strike - becoming a martyr to reform - that the President has intervened in search of a solution. -Independent - 7/28/05

Quake jolts Bandar Lengeh in southern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale hit the city of Bandar Lengeh in the southern province of Hormuzgan in the wee hours of Thursday. - 7/28/05

Afghanistan: Interview With UN Special Rapporteur On Violence Against Women
Yakin Erturk, the United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women, says forced marriages are the prime source of violence in Afghanistan. - 7/28/05

President Khatami: Iran will not resume uranium enrichment for now
The outgoing President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Wednesday Iran reserves the right to enrich uranium but does not plan to resume it right now. Khatami, who was talking in his last press conference, made the statement in response to a question about the enrichment resumption, saying negotiations will continue. - 7/28/05

Iran's new president wants to meet team of Jews in Los Angeles
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is interested in meeting a delegation from the Iranian Jews living in Los Angeles in the United States of America, according to Israeli diplomatic sources -Khaleej Times - 7/28/05

Who lost Iran?
In October 1992, years before Iran enriched uranium or had ballistic missiles, Shimon Peres launched a campaign to portray Iran as "the greatest threat and greatest problem in the Middle East." Peres's premature warnings turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. -Trita Parsi, Jerusalem Post - 7/28/05

IRAN: Extension of Afghan repatriation agreement under possible threat
The Director-General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) has warned that Iran would not extend its agreement with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government of Afghanistan for the voluntary repatriation of Afghans in Iran. - 7/28/05

Iran: Human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi accuses appeals court of refusing to call victim's witnesses
Human rights lawyer and Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi has angrily denounced an appeal court that has heard the case of murdered Canadian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi. - 7/28/05

The hero and the heroin
A survivor of the ‘human wave’ attacks of the Iran-Iraq war, Ebby died homeless 16 years later, one of a growing number of Iranian drug addicts. His cousin tries to understand why -Kamin Mohammadi, London - 7/28/05

UNICEF celebrates Iranian Women's Day
A drawing competition form more than 100 hildren, a panel discussion, a photo exhibition and a traditional music performance were all held to celebrate Iranian Women's Day at the President's Official Club in Tehran on Wednesday. - 7/27/05

Branch of Iran-Europe Bank in Kish attracts deposits of Iranians in Dubai
Director of the branch office of Iran-Europe Trade Bank in Kish, Sadeq Pour Asghari, here Wednesday announced that the Iranian businessmen residing in Dubai can now deposit their capital in this branch. - 7/27/05

Iranian daily wishes outgoing Khatami will speak frankly in his final news conference
Iranian daily "Iran News" referred on Wednesday to a scheduled farewell news conference by the outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, wishing that during his final talks with the press "Khatami speaks to the nation candidly, honestly and without stipulation or reservation." - 7/27/05

Iran firm on nuclear resumption
Iran will resume some controversial nuclear activities regardless of EU proposals in the next round of talks, the outgoing president says. -BBC - 7/27/05

UK: Cancellation of Iran soccer match at Millwall blamed on racist elements
Iran's second football match during its visit to the UK has been called off by London Championship club Millwall, citing fears for public safety even though the police were prepared to allow the game due this Saturday to go ahead. - 7/27/05

Rioters detained in southwest Iran
Police have cracked down on fresh protests in Iran's restive southwestern oil province of Khuzestan, home to most of the Islamic Republic's Arab minority. -Aljazeera - 7/27/05

Indian Expert: Economics does not push Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project
Talking to IRNA today, Lydia Powell, Senior Fellow at New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation said, economic facts on the ground was not supportive of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. "There is a contradiction between India's foreign policy and energy policy. In such circumstances there is not a single bank that will come forward for fund it," Powell said. - 7/27/05

Iran National Youth Parliament to open Thursday
The parliament comprises 193 exemplary representatives elected by national federations, provincial assemblies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for youth affairs, Public Relations Department of the parliament announced Wednesday. - 7/27/05

Rumsfeld Makes Unannounced Visit to Iraq
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in Iraq for an unannounced visit with American and Iraqi officials. Secretary Rumsfeld arrived Wednesday morning, with a series of messages for the country's interim leaders. - 7/27/05

U.S. May Significantly Reduce Troops in Iraq Next Spring
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld met with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari and the top U.S. commander in Iraq Wednesday and discussed specific steps to speed preparations for the withdrawal of some of the 135,000 U.S. troops in Iraq beginning as early as next spring. -Washington Post - 7/27/05

Iran body seeks suicide 'martyrs'
An advertisement in an Iranian publication has called for people to come forward for "martyrdom operations" against the enemies of Islam. -BBC - 7/27/05

Iranian gas victims want justice from Saddam tribunal
The Iranian government is to contact the Iraqi tribunal prosecuting Saddam Hussein to seek justice for the Iranian victims of Iraqi chemical weapons attacks which contaminated up to 100,000 people. -Independent - 7/27/05

Over four tons of narcotic drugs seized all over Iran
Anti-drug police squads have seized 4.87 tons of illicit drugs in Iran over the past week, Police 110 Emergency Center announced Wednesday. - 7/27/05

US Raises Concerns about Energy use in China, India
U.S. officials are raising concerns about the growing energy demands of China and India, but say the United States is actively working to engage both countries in cooperation over energy interests. A congressional committee has been holding hearings on the subject. - 7/27/05

India's Petroleum Minister: US has no objections on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline
The Indian government Tuesday categorically said the United States had not any objections on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project with New Delhi, reported Press Trust of India. - 7/27/05

Pakistani Expert: Iran-Pakistan gasline viable
Pakistan has said that the proposed gas pipeline from Iran was viable even if both the countries decide to carry it out bilaterally. Pakistan's Prime Minister's Advisor on Energy Mukhtar Ahmed said in Islamabad at a gas conference that Pak-Iran gas pipeline is technically, commercially and financially viable. - 7/27/05

Canadian envoy: Politics not to deter Tehran-Ottawa trade
Canadian commercial attache in Iran John Rodney said on Tuesday the Iran-Canada political row will not have any negative effect on bilateral economic and commercial ties. - 7/27/05

Iranian Oil minister inaugurates Sorush, Noruz development project
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Tuesday inaugurated the project for development of Sorush and Noruz oil fields in northern part of the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. - 7/27/05

Iran's government spokesman hopes Ganji's case to be settled soon
Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh on Tuesday expressed hope the case of the jailed journalist Akbar Ganji would be settled soon through coordination between the government and the judiciary. - 7/27/05

A fatwa for freedom
Maryam Molkara was a woman trapped in a man's body. She was also living under Islamic law in the Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. Yet, as Robert Tait reports, her determination to confront the hallowed leader has made Tehran the unlikely sex-change capital of the world -Guardian - 7/27/05

Iran: Shirin Ebadi tells Appeals Court Zahra Kazemi's death was "deliberate murder"
Defense lawyer Shirin Ebadi told the court that the case of her client was "deliberate murder". She cited report of the Coroner's Office that Kazemi's head had been struck twice and so it cannot be taken as semi-deliberate murder. - 7/26/05

EU calls for permanent release of Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji
European Union said on Tuesday that journalist Akbar Ganji is prisoner of conscience and called for his permanent release. - 7/26/05

Activists condemn execution of gay teens in Iran
Human rights groups the world over have strongly condemned the recent execution of two gay teenagers in northeastern Iran. - 7/26/05

EU reminds Iran of moratorium on executions
European Union on Tuesday expressed concern over reports of executions of two youths in Mashhad on July 19. - 7/26/05

IRAQ: women alarmed at prospect of rights erosion, UNIFEM says
Iraqi women are extremely concerned that the national assembly committee drafting the country's new constitution is curbing women's rights, established under the interim constitution and prior national laws, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) reported on Friday. - 7/26/05

Iranian female student gets Germany's top foreign student award
Iranian female student Maryam Kharazmi received this year's German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) award for her excellent academic achievements and remarkable social and inter-cultural engagements - 7/26/05

Shots to the Heart of Iraq
Innocent civilians, including people who are considered vital to building democracy, are increasingly being killed by U.S. troops -Los Angeles Times - 7/26/05

Aids follows heroin trail to west
Countries in Central Asia and parts of eastern Europe are facing an explosion of Aids/HIV, according to scientists at a conference in Rio de Janeiro. -BBC - 7/26/05

Iran-Europe gas pipeline to bypass Russia
The state-held Ukrainian company Naftogaz Ukrainy has announced its intention to participate in the construction of a transit gas pipeline from Iran to Western Europe, probably bypassing Russia, the daily newspaper Kommersant reported. -RIA Novosti - 7/26/05

Iran says calm restored in Kurdish area after riots
The Kurdish town of Mahabad in northwestern Iran was calm on Monday following days of riots that erupted after police shot dead a young Kurdish man, a spokesman for the Iranian Interior Ministry said. -Reuters - 7/26/05

Wives of Tehran-based diplomats hold charity bazaar
Wives of foreign diplomats in Tehran have recently held a charity bazaar in favor of the poor and needy families, an English-language daily reported in Tehran on Tuesday. - 7/26/05

Bush Administration Stokes Dangerous Arms Race on Indian Subcontinent
For more than two decades, arms control experts have argued that the most likely scenario for the hostile use of nuclear weapons was not between the former Cold War superpower rivals, an act of terrorism by an underground terrorist group, or the periodically threatened unilateral U.S. attack against a “rogue state,” but between India and Pakistan. -Stephen Zunes - 7/26/05

India's Petroleum Minister denies differences over Iran-India pipeline
Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar today denied any differences within the government on the 7.4 billion US dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and said New Delhi was going ahead with the project as scheduled. - 7/26/05

Ebadi condemns Iran appeal court
Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, has bitterly criticised an appeal court that has heard the case of the murder of a journalist. -BBC - 7/26/05

Judiciary Spokesman: 132,000 inmates kept in Iranian jails
Pointing out that the number of inmates nationwide stood at 185,000 when Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi was appointed as the Judiciary chief six years ago, he said the decrease in the number was due to the policies adopted during this period to reduce imprisonment verdicts. - 7/26/05

Iran admits to abuse of prisoners
The Iranian judiciary has said that human rights abuses have been taking place in the country's jails. - 7/25/05

Iran and the “Experts”
On December 31, 1977, President Jimmy Carter made a speech in which he said: “Because of the greatness of the shah, Iran is an island of stability in the Middle East.” In January of 1979 “his highness,” the shah, fell out of his throne in a revolutionary upheaval that swept Iran. -Sasan Fayazmanesh, -ZNet - 7/25/05

Iran not to extend Afghan repatriation plan
Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) Ahmad Hosseini said in Tehran on Monday that Iran does not intend to extend the Afghan repatriation plan. Speaking to reporters, he added that according to the Geneva agreement, by the end of current Iranian year (March 20) the residence permit of Afghan refugees residing in Iran will have expired. - 7/25/05

Juggling foreign investment with nationalism
Iran is struggling to boost investment for its energy sector while keeping its national interests untouched as it faces severe U.S. economic and political pressure. Iran is OPEC's second-largest oil producer and holds 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. It also has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia -Daily Star - 7/25/05

Iraq: In Cold Blood: Abuses By Armed Groups
Thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed and thousands more injured in attacks by armed groups in the past two years. Some died or were wounded in attacks aimed primarily at United States (US) or other troops comprising the US-led military alliance that toppled Saddam Hussain's regime but others were victims of direct attacks intended to cause the greatest possible civilian loss of life. -Amnesty International - 7/25/05

Iran's Deputy Oil Minister: All oil, petrochemical deals lawful
Mohammad Reza Ne'matzadeh said in Tehran on Monday that all oil and petrochemical contracts signed with domestic and foreign companies are legal and in accordance with domestic regulations. - 7/25/05

Iran: Health Minister stresses role of family doctors to lower child mortality
Minister of Health, Massoud Pezeshkian, said in Tabriz on Sunday child mortality would drop once the family doctor plan is implemented. The minister made the remark on the sidelines of an international symposium titled 'Child Health and Disease Control'. - 7/25/05

Tehran finds a friend in Baghdad
And there is another winner, too - one which the Americans can scarcely be very happy about. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq's next-door neighbour, has benefited in every way from President George W Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It is probably the best thing that has happened to Iran since the Islamic Revolution there in 1979. -BBC - 7/25/05

Entertainment Complex for non-Muslims to be established in Iran's Qeshm island
A residential, tourist and entertainment complex will be soon constructed in Persian Gulf island of Qeshm by Armenians who live in Iran. In the complex, Iranian religious minorities and foreigners can experience entertainments without usual Islamic limitations which are current in Iran. - 7/25/05

Iran allocates one billion dollars for Iraq reconstruction: Minister
Iraqi Minister of Electricity Abd al-Muhsin Shalash said Iran allocated one billion dollars for reconstruction of the war-torn Iraq, which will be mainly spent on infrastructural projects, particularly, energy industry. - 7/25/05

UNESCO Acknowledged Iran's efforts for Rescuing Bam
In an unprecedented event, UNESCO general secretary, in an official letter acknowledged Iranian efforts to rescue Bam heritage and thanked the head of the project. - 7/25/05

Action Alert: Congress Introduces Bill Comdeming Violence and Discrimination Against Iranian Americans
In a show of support for the Iranian-American Know Your Rights Campaign, a collaborative effort of Iranian-American organizations and other civil rights organizations, a resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives condemning bigotry, violence and discrimination against Iranian Americans. -NIAC - 7/24/05

Press Freedom Society criticizes Iranian judiciary for illegal action against IRNA director
Verdict of culpability for IRNA Managing director Abdollah Nasseri is out of place, spokesman for Society Advocating freedom of the press Mashallah Shamsolvaezin said on Saturday. - 7/24/05

Iran working with Iraq
Tehran-based English newspaper, Iran Daily, said on Sunday issue that Jaafari and his high-profile team signed several agreements to bolster economic cooperation and assist the mammoth task of post-war reconstruction in the neighboring state. - 7/24/05

U.S. And India Getting Closer Than Ever
In his welcome to Prime Minister Singh, President Bush said "our two nations are closer than ever before." The Indo-U.S. rapprochement started a few years ago, leading to a strategic partnership plan that includes cooperation in areas ranging from missile defense, civilian nuclear energy and high-technology trade to rural education and agriculture. - 7/24/05

Quakes jolt different parts of Iran
Three earthquakes measuring 4.1, 3.7 and 3.9 on the Richter scale, respectively, hit the cities of Qidar, Genaveh and Kerman Sunday. - 7/24/05

UN Human Rights Commission surveys Iran's housing condition
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on housing, Miloon Kothari, said here Sunday that the main objective of his visit to Iran is to survey the latest housing developments in Iran and present a report on it to the UN Human Rights Commission. - 7/24/05

Iranian Embassy in Baghdad comes under heavy gunfire
Iranian Embassy in Baghdad came under heavy gunfire early Saturday morning. This is the third time that Iranian Embassy has been subject to heavy gunfire since Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari visited Iran last week. - 7/24/05

Soccer: QPR 3-0 Iran
Paul Furlong, Gareth Ainsworth and George Santos all scored headers as QPR enjoyed a 3-0 friendly win over Iran. -BBC - 7/24/05

Iraq: This is now an unwinnable conflict
As he completes another tour of duty in the chaos of Iraq, award-winning reporter Patrick Cockburn charts how Bush and Blair's 'winnable war' turned into a mess that is inspiring a worldwide insurgency -Independent - 7/24/05

Islamist wind blows ever stronger in the Middle East
Hizbullah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East today would relate easily to the words of that great American philosopher Bob Dylan, who once wrote that, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Islamist activist politics, legitimized by and packaged inside a political/military resistance role, is on the rise throughout this region. -Daily Star, Lebanon - 7/24/05

Oil Minster: Iran's gas distribution capacity to increase 3.5- to 4-fold
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Sunday that his ministry plans to raise the gas distribution capacity of National Iranian Gas Company by 350 to 400 percent this year. - 7/24/05

Iran: Human Rights activists protest to government heads after allegations made against defense lawyer Shirin Ebadi
The Center Advocating Human Rights on Sunday forwarded a letter to heads of three branches of government, expressing concern about "surprising allegations" being made by certain conservative papers against human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. - 7/24/05

H.R. 3358 Seeks Compensation For Americans Held In Iran
A bipartisan bill introduced in the House Wednesday seeks to make the government of Iran liable for its actions against Americans held hostage in the country from 1979-1981. -Mahtab Farid - 7/22/05

Iranian American Know Your Rights Resolution Introduced in the House
At the urging of the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), Congressman Marty Meehan (D-5th/MA) and Congressman Christopher Shays (R-4th/CT) introduced resolution, H.Res.367, condemning discrimination and bigotry against Iranian Americans. - 7/22/05

Iranian reformists fear era of repression
With bone-cracking brutality, the waves of baton-wielding police seemed to confirm what the already demoralised Iranian reform movement had been dreading: the dawn of a new era of political repression. -Guardian - 7/22/05

AFGHANISTAN: Violence against women needs to be addressed – UN rapporteur
Violence against women remains a huge problem in Afghanistan, a visiting United Nations official said in the capital Kabul, on Monday. - 7/22/05

Democracy was only an afterthought
The situation in Afghanistan is one of barely managed chaos -Guardian - 7/22/05

Pentagon Says Iraqi Forces Better, But Problems Remain
A report issued Thursday by the U.S. Defense Department says Iraqi security forces are improving, but that border control units remain weak, with a high level of infiltration by insurgent groups. - 7/22/05

AFGHANISTAN: Women election educators at work in the provinces
Female civic educators have been dispatched to provincial areas of Afghanistan to promote awareness of the forthcoming parliamentary elections among women, officials at the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA) announced on Thursday in the capital, Kabul. - 7/22/05

Email from Alamut: In Search of the Assassins' Paradise
Inside the Iranian castle where Medieaval suicide-killers were given a foretaste of 'heaven' -TIME - 7/22/05

Iran: World fed up with extensive violation of human rights by US
Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi reacting to interfering statement of US President George W. Bush, said, "The United States is talking about violation of human rights in Iran, while the whole world is disgusted of extensive violation of human rights in USA and by US government around the world". - 7/22/05

Iran: Moderate quake jolts Bagh Malek in Khouzestan province
A moderate earthquake measuring 4.3 degrees on the Richter scale jolted Bagh Malek in the southwestern Khouzestan province on Friday. - 7/22/05

Iran Restores the Timurid tomb in Samarkand
In cooperation with Uzbek officials, Iranian authorities of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization dedicates a sound fund and collaborates in restoration of Shah Zand, a Timurid site in Samarkand. - 7/22/05

Imprisoned Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji may be pardoned
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi said here on Wednesday that imprisoned Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji may be pardoned. "We are currently studying to see whether public amnesties can be applied to his case or not," Shahrudi told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). - 7/22/05

The Iran War Buildup
There is no evidence that President Bush has already made the decision to attack Iran if Tehran proceeds with uranium-enrichment activities viewed in Washington as precursors to the manufacture of nuclear munitions...But there are many indications that planning for such a move is well under way -The Nation - 7/22/05

Iranian tour company Darwan hosts mountain climbing group from Spain
Darwan Tour & Travel Co. Ltd., an Iranian Tour Operator based in the city of Shiraz, Iran, hosted a climbing expedition group from Spain in July 2005. The group successfully reached the summits of mountains Damavand & Alam Kooh, from July 2 through July 14 2005. - 7/21/05

Persecuted Writers Receive Awards: Nine Journalists and Authors from the Middle East and North Africa Awarded Hellman/Hammett grants
Writers and journalists from Iran, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and other countries have been awarded Hellman/Hammett grants in recognition of their courage in the face of political persecution. - 7/21/05

Conference: The World of Achaemenid Persia
This conference coincides with the forthcoming exhibition Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia which will also be held at the British Museum (8 September 2005 - 8 January 2006). - 7/21/05

Iran to launch its 1st communication satellite this year
Deputy minister of communication and information technology (CIT) Hassan Shafti said in Tehran on Wednesday that the first communication satellite is expected to be launched within the current Iranian year (ending March 20). - 7/21/05

Khatami: We tried for 8 years to prove powers is not sanctified
In his last meeting with his cabinet ministers and government officials, outgoing President Seyed Mohammad Khatami said on Wednesday, "During our eight years of service, we tired, within the range of our legal responsibilities to prove that only power is not not sanctified, but it also should be accountable and subject to criticism." - 7/21/05

Afghan Warlord Verdict in Britain Sets Precedent
After hearing of beatings, summary executions, and hostage taking during a seven-week trial, a British jury today found Faryadi Zardad guilty for his actions during the Afghan civil war in the 1990s. The case is unique in Britain as it involves human rights violations committed abroad. - 7/21/05

First phase of Iran's Darkhoein oil field to come on stream next week
Bahram Kakouleki told reporters that the contract for the development phase was signed between National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Italian oil concern ENI in July. "ENI has 60 percent stake of the deal, with the Iranian firm NIKO holding the remaining 40 percent," he added. - 7/21/05

Iranian exile's info useless, officials say
House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Rep. Curt Weldon met secretly in Europe last week with an Iranian exile who CIA officials charge has passed worthless or bogus intelligence to the United States, current and former U.S. government officials said. -Detroit Free Press - 7/21/05

India, US Open Can of Nuclear Worms
More than 30 years after the United States walked out of a nuclear cooperation agreement with India, because it conducted an atomic test, the two countries have agreed to resume collaboration in civilian nuclear energy. -IPS - 7/21/05

Tensions Rise Between Berlin and Tehran
Ever since the German defense minister accused the Iranian president of having been involved in terrorist activities, the diplomatic exchange between Berlin and Tehran has taken an unusually acrimonious tone. -Deutsche Welle - 7/21/05

Indian pharmaceutical company planning joint venture in Iran
The rs300 crore Ind-Swift Laboratories, the bulk drug arm of the Delhi-based Ind-Swift group, is in talks with an Iranian pharmaceutical company to set up a joint venture in Iran, reports 'Business Standard'. - 7/21/05

Bush's Itinerary: First Stop Syria; Next Stop Iran
If he were a thinking person, George W. Bush might today be increasingly concerned that any positive legacy he had ever hoped for was slipping into oblivion. -Counterpunch - 7/21/05

Interview: Indian Prime Minister Singh
Washington Post: With the new special relationship between the United States and India, do you think that your country can use this new relationship in helping the United States on relations with Iran? - 7/21/05

Iran's Saipa company exports 60 million dollars of vehicles and parts
Saipa with exports of over 20,000 Pride and Saipa 141 models to Syria, Egypt ad Brazil in the last quarter has strengthened Iran's auomobile industry position in the international markets. - 7/21/05

Minister: Iran ready to help reconstruction of Iraq's industries
Iran's Minister of Industries Es'haq Jahangiri said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran is ready to contribute to reconstruction of Iraq's industries. "Iran's industrial and mineral industries are ready to launch joint ventures in any field necessary in light of government's support," Jahangiri told his Iraqi counterpart Osama Abdulaziz al-Najafi. - 7/21/05

George W. Strangelove and the Triumph of Nuclear Faith
The silver-spooned cowboy in the Oval Office just presented a fine new saddle to the nuclear horseman of the apocalypse. -Common Dreams - 7/20/05

Iraq's Dangerous New Friend
On Sunday, George W. Bush's war against terror was turned upside down — and this time the president might even notice. That's because when "our guys" in Iraq start firmly allying with an "axis of evil" nation, its got to ring some warning bells, no? -Los Angeles Times - 7/20/05

Iran's mujahideen: a role
As Iran appears to harden its position on its right to develop a nuclear enrichment program, and the US and its European allies ponder alternative inducements or pressures that might cause Tehran to desist, the role of Iranian exile organizations like NCRI is likely to be a continuing topic of discussion. -CSM - 7/20/05

Why US is shifting nuclear stand with India
US plans to broaden India's access to nuclear technology, announced this week during an enthusiastic visit to Washington by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have their roots in designs from the earliest days of the Bush administration to build India's stature as a counterbalance to a rising and problematic China. -CSM - 7/20/05

Iran's Supreme Council of Space Technology holds first session
Iran's Supreme Council of Space Technology held first session late Tuesday with President Mohammad Khatami attending the debate. - 7/20/05

US Won't Deal with Hezbollah Cabinet Member in Lebanon
The United States Tuesday welcomed the formation of Lebanon's new government, the first cabinet there free of dominant Syrian influence in three decades. However, the State Department said it will have no dealings with the one cabinet official described as an active member of Hezbollah. - 7/20/05

International donors stress reconstruction in Iraq
A two-day conference on reconstruction in Iraq, bringing together the United Nations, the international donor community, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), ended in Jordan Tuesday with a strong emphasis on Iraqi leadership of the process. - 7/20/05

Russia: Muslim Film Festival In Tatarstan Aims To Break Stereotypes
Preparations are under way in Tatarstan's capital Kazan for the Golden Minbar International Muslim Film Festival, which opens in September. - 7/20/05

Iran plans to launch first satellite in 2005
Iran plans to launch its Mesbah communications satellite in 2005, a source in the presidential administration said. -IAN, Russia - 7/20/05

India portrays itself as new type of superpower
The visit to Washington this week by India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, symbolizes a change in the fraught but inextricable relationship between the world's two largest democracies: an unrivaled superpower and an aspiring one. -IHT - 7/20/05

Iran: Quake jolts Bouin Zahra in Qazvin province
A mild earthquake measuring 3.5 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Bouin Zahra in the southwestern province of Qazvin in the wee hours of Wednesday. - 7/20/05

25,000 Civilians Killed Since Iraq Invasion, Says Report
The number of Iraqi civilians who met violent deaths in the two years after the US-led invasion was today put at 24,865 by an independent research team. -Guardian - 7/20/05

IRAN: Exploring alternatives to youth custody
Iran and Britain shared ideas on youth sentencing at a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) workshop in Tehran this month. - 7/20/05

Iraq: Turkey Proposes Cross-Border Action To Rein In Kurdish Fighters
Turkish officials have been increasingly vocal in recent days over their desire to launch cross-border operations to rein in Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK or Kongra-Gel) based in the mountainous areas straddling Iraq and Turkey. - 7/20/05

Iranian Environment Organization Sues Beaver Hunters
juridical bureau of Iranian Environment Organization sues 3 Turkish tourists who have hunted 7 beavers in a village near Azna. - 7/20/05

Iran: New Ship of an Old Fleet Made in Shiraz
In the construction of a new model of an Achaemenid battleship, which is made by experts of aero-marine research centre of Malek Ashtar University, all traditional and old techniques were respected. - 7/20/05

Iraqi Premier winds up visit to Iran
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari left Tehran for Baghdad Tuesday evening after he was officially seen off by First Vice-President Mohammad reza Aref at Sa'dabad Cultural Complex. - 7/20/05

Akbar Ganji: Mandela or Hallaj?
If Mr. Ganji’s cause is indeed a noble cause, if his motives are truly honest and sincere, he can better continue his plight and pursue his goals as a living, breathing and contributing force. Starving himself to death is like forcing his own fate as did Mansour Hallaj, who continued preaching, Ana Al Hagh. -Kam Zarrabi - 7/19/05

What's Good for the Goose, is Good for the Gander – Or Not!
In a July 14, 2005 interview with Bernard Gwertzman, the consulting editor of Consul on Foreign Relations, the former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger stated: "Don't exclude military action against Iran if negotiations fail.". Surprisingly, Mr. Kissinger finds Iran's civilian nuclear program to be more worrisome than North Korea which has declared to have nuclear weapons. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 7/19/05

CPJ concerned about health of jailed Iranian writer - Immediate release is sought
The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed deep concern today about the health of jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, who was reported hospitalized during his more than month-long hunger strike. - 7/19/05

Inciting Iran's Color Coup Détat: Vetting a 'velvet invasion'
Like the color-coded terror alert system, the Technicolor Velvet Invasions blink warning. Despite receiving an ugly bruise in Uzbekistan, the CIA and its NGO regime change industry hope to stage another cardboard coup in Iran. But it could be a Black & Blue Revolution. -Citizens For Legitimate Government - 7/19/05

Tehran's final insult to Kazemi?
Two years ago, Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi was murdered while reporting in Iran. Today, the prime suspect in her case is not only free, but is being considered as Iran's next minister of justice in president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet. -Toronto Star - 7/19/05

Iran v Millwall football match 'likely to be called off'
A report in the Guardian newspaper said that the game was "almost certain to be cancelled today because the organizers fear the game will be targeted by far right extremists." - 7/19/05

Afghanistan: Race To Preserve Historic Minarets Of Herat, Jam
Experts from the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, are back on the ground in western Afghanistan. They're working with local authorities on a $1 million project to preserve the crumbling, centuries-old minarets in Herat and Jam, which are in danger of collapse. - 7/19/05

Zoroastrians search for their roots
Every year, hundreds of Indian Parsis are going on a pilgrimage to Iran where they visit Zoroastrian holy sites. -BBC - 7/19/05

Iraq's neighboring interior ministers hold 2nd meeting in Turkey
Participants from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain are due to discuss and approve a draft statement issued by an expert meeting which was held in the Turkish capital on Monday. - 7/19/05

First Criminal Case Filed Against Saddam Hussein
Ra'id al-Juhi, the chief investigating judge of Iraq's Special Tribunal, appeared before cameras yesterday to announce the first criminal case filed against the country's former dictator, Saddam Hussein. - 7/19/05

Iran's gasoline imports between 4-4.5 billion dollars this year: Official
The total refining capacity is 40 million liters daily whereas the gasoline consumption is estimated to exceed 64.5 million liters daily this year. "Hence, we have to import 24.5 million liters daily," he added. - 7/19/05

Get Out the Vote: Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq's election?
The January 30th election in Iraq was publicly perceived as a political triumph for George W. Bush and a vindication of his decision to overturn the regime of Saddam Hussein. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 7/19/05

US Proliferation Rhetoric and Reality: What's fine for India is forbidden Iran
If the EU-Iranian negotiations fail, and Iran turns to Russia or China for assistance with its nuclear programs, will Bush continue to press the NSG – which includes Russia and China – to deny Iran its inalienable rights under the NPT, all the while flouting NSG guidelines himself, to provide Westinghouse nuclear power plants and the fuel therefor to India? -Antiwar.com - 7/19/05

Akbar Ganji in the prison of Iran
The jailed Iranian journalist and dissident Akbar Ganji is defying the Tehran regime through hunger striking. Can international pressure save his life? Masoud Behnoud, Ganji’s former prison comrade and fellow journalist, reports. -Masoud Behnoud, Open Democracy - 7/19/05

Iran's New President: Conservative Politics and Traditional Values
Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is largely unknown outside of his country. He is also not someone within the visible internal circles of clerics and reformers. - 7/19/05

Home Decorating Ideas from Tehran
Like so many others, I have now managed to recover from the utter surprise of the recent Iranian election results. Whatever the first round of the election might have been, the second round was as fair and square as you could get anywhere. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/19/05

Robotics Champions Crowned as RoboCup 2005 Osaka Comes to a Close
RoboCup 2005 Osaka competition comes to a close and the 2005 champions are determined during the day’s final events bringing an end to the largest robotics competition held in the world. While the 2005 games wrapped up its final matchs—RoboCup 2006 in Bremen, Germany was announced. - 7/19/05

Engage Iran, support pipeline
The opposition to the pipeline reflects a wider failing in US policy - illustrated by its approach to Cuba and North Korea, among others - that stems from the assumption that the best way to handle hostile countries is through pressure and isolation, rather than by steadily integrating them into the global economy. -CSM - 7/18/05

Jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji hospitalized outside prison
Iranian jailed journalist Akbar Ganji has been transferred to Tehran's Milad Hospital from Evin prison on Monday, his daughter said. - 7/18/05

IAs Senior Visit Concludes, Deals Signal Increased Cooperation Between Iran and Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari today ended a landmark visit to Iran that outgoing Iranian President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami hailed as a turning point in relations between their neighboring countries. - 7/18/05

Iran's Shahrokhi wins world junior discus gold
Seyed Ali Shahrokhi from Iran grabbed the discus gold medal at the World Junior Track-and-Field Championships in Morocco, reported the federation Sunday. - 7/18/05

Iranian women who climbed Mount Everest honored by President Khatami
President Mohammad Khatami described as a very brilliant success the great achievement of Iranian female climbers in ascending Mount Everest. - 7/18/05

The National Day of Persian Gulf
Anniversary of Portuguese withdrawal from Persian Gulf was labeled as "the national day of Persian Gulf" by the supreme council of Cultural Revolution of Iran. - 7/18/05

Three Iranian sisters relish opportunity to perfect their game
Were they in their father's homeland, Maryam, Shabnam and Naseem Eslami would not be playing tennis. Where they are, the sisters would seem to have a future in tennis. During the recent La Jolla Championships, Naseem, 15, won the girls 18s; Shabnam, 13, captured the girls 14s; and Maryam, 12, was a finalist in the girls 12s. -San Diego Union-Tribune - 7/18/05

Iran-Iraq oil pipeline to become operational next year
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran on Monday that the construction of pipeline intended to transfer oil from Iran to Iraq, whose agreement was signed 10 months ago, is already underway and is expected to be implemented within a year. - 7/18/05

EU: Foreign Ministers To Debate Iran, Uzbekistan, UN Reforms
The foreign ministers of the 25 European Union member states are meeting in Brussels today for the last time before September. The agenda of the monthly meeting is extensive, including nuclear talks with Iran, possible sanctions against Uzbekistan, and possible UN reforms. - 7/18/05

U.S. Says It Did Not Carry Out Plans to Back Iraqis in Election
President Bush authorized covert plans last year to support the election campaigns of Iraqis with close ties to the White House, but government and intelligence officials said yesterday the plan was scrapped before the January vote. -Washington Post - 7/18/05

7,000 Pakistani kid camel jockeys stranded in Persian Gulf states
As many as 7,000 Pakistani children being used as camel jockeys are stranded in the deserts of several Arab states of the Persian Gulf. - 7/18/05

Quake shakes Kazeroun in southern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.4 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Kazeroun in the southern province of Fars Monday morning. - 7/18/05

Report: Bush Planned to Influence January Iraqi Vote
A report in Sunday's New York Times says the Bush administration may have tried to influence Iraq's January elections by covertly supporting certain political parties. - 7/18/05

Iran-Iraq talks heal old wounds
"The visit of the Iraqi prime minister to Iran is a turning point in the historic relations between the two countries. It will allow us to heal the wounds and repair the damage caused by Saddam Hussein through joint co-operation," Mr Khatami said. -BBC - 7/18/05

Discovery of Three-Thousand-Year-Old Remains of Burial Rituals in Qom Altars
Discovering stony podiums near Sarem cemetery, a 3 thousand-year graveyard in Qom, led to belief that these podiums were actually altars in which sacrifice and religious rituals were practiced. Existence of these altars proves that the cemetery was limited to burial of noble people. - 7/18/05

Iran: Country's Drug Problems Appear To Be Worsening
The use of narcotics, particularly opium, has always been a problem in Iran. Tehran eventually eradicated opium crops in the country; but having Afghanistan, the world's biggest opium producer, as a neighbor means that the problem not only persists but is getting worse. - 7/18/05

Experts: US sanctions push Iran towards China
In response to a decade of U.S. sanctions, Iran has turned to China as a durable trading partner, where “business is business with no political strings attached,” John Garver, Professor of International Relations and China Expert, said at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Thursday. “Sanctions should not be a mainstay of world politics,” he added. -NIAC - 7/18/05

In praise of life: On Akbar Ganji
When Akbar Ganji went to Prison, many Iranians said "he is one of them". They branded him, a practice which is all too typical in our political culture. Yet he wrote letters and books and sent his manifesto from prison and maintained his innocence and immense loyalty. -Fariba Amini - 7/18/05

India and Pakistan Commit to Building Gas Pipeline Linking Iran to India
India and Pakistan say work on a gas pipeline linking Iran to India via Pakistan could begin next year. Officials from the two countries expressed serious commitment to the project at the end of two days of talks held recently in New Delhi. - 7/17/05

Iraqi PM in landmark Iran visit
More than 10 ministers are accompanying Mr Jaafari to open what Iranian media have called a new chapter in ties. -BBC - 7/17/05

Iraqi Shi'ites Caution Government about Renewing Ties with Iran
residents of the capital say, while they support better relations with their neighbor, they are concerned the visit to Shi'ite Iran may further alienate Iraqi Sunnis, and aggravate sectarian tension. - 7/17/05

Iranian intellectuals call on the jailed writer Akbar Gangi to end his hunger strike
The letter is as follows: “We were all mistaken when we called for justice and the rule of law from a government of jurists. You are currently paying the price of our fantasies because you considered freedom to be crucial. Be strong and your spirit will not be broken. It is those that keep you behind bars that are losing the battle. Do not give up on life. Your departure will destroy us all. A hero is a thousand times better alive than dead.” -Asharq Alawsat, UK - 7/17/05

EU to present its comprehensive package to Iran in August
European Union Foreign Ministers' Council is to discuss the 25-member bloc's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran during their regular monthly meeting in Brussels on Monday. - 7/17/05

Iran, Iraq Herald 'New Chapter' in Shiite-Led Alliance
A quarter-century after Iraq's invasion of Iran launched the Middle East's bloodiest modern war, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a three-day visit that officials on both sides said signals a new alliance that could change the religious and political balance of power in the region. -Washington Post - 7/17/05

Iranian students win 4 medals in China Biology Olympiad
Iranian pupils participating in the sixteenth World Biology Olympiad in China managed to win three silver and one bronze medals. - 7/17/05

Iran's exports to Iraq to rise to one billion dollars this year
The worth of Iran's exports to Iraq will amount to one billion dollars this year from 800 million dollars last year - 7/17/05

Iranian FM: European proposal should enshrine enrichment right
Britain, France, Germany are going to offer a package of economic and political incentives to Tehran next month if Iran gives up uranium enrichment activities. - 7/17/05

Iran, Iraq sign transportation cooperation agreement
Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Tehran on Sunday on expansion of rail, road, air and sea transportation between the two countries. - 7/17/05

Iran, Iraq examine repatriation of Iraqi migrants
Iraqi Migration and Displacement Minister Suhaila Jaafar and Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) Ahmad Hosseini in a meeting in Tehran on Saturday discussed the issue of Iraqi migrants in Iran and ways of their repatriation. - 7/17/05

Iraq's Prime Minister On Landmark Visit To Iran
With a Shi'a-dominated government in place in Baghdad, a closer relationship now appears to be developing between Iraq and Iran. Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari is in Tehran to discuss security issues and future relations between the two countries. - 7/17/05

Khatami: Iran will do its best to promote security, stability in Iraq
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari in Tehran Sunday said that though Iraq's enemies wish for sustained insecurity in the country, Iran will use its expertise towards renovation of Iraq and promotion of its security and stability. - 7/17/05

UN rights experts express concern for failing health of jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji
Five United Nations human rights experts today urged Iranian authorities to guarantee that imprisoned Iraqi journalist Akbar Ganji be given a fair hearing and receive appropriate medical treatment for his severe asthma. - 7/16/05

Soltanieh is seventh Iranian site in the UNESCO List of World Heritage
Soltanieh dome , the biggest of the kind in the world which is made of brick, was approved to be registered on the UNESCO list of World Heritage today. - 7/16/05

Information Minister: Al-Qaeda conspiracies foiled in Iran
Iranian Minister of Information Ali Younesi said on Saturday that Iran has foiled five al-Qaeda conspiracies so far. He said that since collapse of Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda made five attempts against Iran which have all been thwarted. - 7/16/05

Photos: Akbar Gani in Hunger Strike
These photos of Akbar Ganji, who has been on a hunger strike in Evin prison for at least 35 days, were emailed to iranian.com today without any details. - 7/16/05

Bobby Sands and Akbar Ganji
As an Iranian I used to feel proud to drive on “Bobby Sands Street” every time I visited Tehran, but the summer of 2005 may very well make me ashamed to be an Iranian. I don’t want to go anywhere in the world driving on “Akbar Ganji Street!” -Homayon, Berkeley Daily Planet - 7/16/05

Iran, Iraq discuss expansion of economic cooperation
Secretary-General of Iran's Chamber of Cooperative Mohammad Reza Ramezani, in a meeting with Iraq's Minister of Trade Abd al-Basti Karim Mawlud in Tehran, expressed the chamber's readiness to actively participate in reconstruction of Iraq. - 7/16/05

Muslim World Rejecting Violence, Says Poll
The study, by Washington polling organisation the Pew Centre for the People and the Press, found that many people in predominantly Muslim countries share concerns over Islamic extremism, with many seeing it as a threat to their own countries. -Guardian - 7/16/05

IRAN: A vote against neoliberalism
In a result that has stunned most Western and Iranian political commentators, on June 24 Iranian voters decisively rejected business-backed candidate Ayallotah Hashemi Rafsanjani, an advocate of neoliberal “free-market” economic policies and resumption of diplomatic relations with the US. -Green Left - 7/16/05

Immigration Debate Misses the Point, Expert Says
As a nervous Congress was approving billions of dollars to make the United States safer in the wake of the London bombings, a nationally recognized authority on immigration detention charged that the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and other immigrants are being ignored. -IPS - 7/16/05

US Still Pursuing Nuclear Options 60 Years After First Bomb
Sixty years after the first atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert, the United States still has some 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert and is considering new weapons such as earth-penetrating bunker busters. -AFP - 7/16/05

Iraq keen to use Iran's expertise on energy production
Iraqi Electricity Minister Abd al-Muhsin Shalash on Saturday called for using Iran's expertise in the field of generation and transmission of energy. - 7/16/05

Iraq and Iran: Axis of Evil?
I have to wonder what George Bush must be thinking as Iraq’s elected Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari readies for his trip next week to Iran. -Common Dreams - 7/16/05

EU-Iran discuss ways to boost cooperation in combating drug trafficking
The sixth round of talks between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran on drug issues at the experts level was concluded in Brussels on Friday. - 7/16/05

A Worldwide Call to Free Akbar Ganji
Iran’s most prominent and internationally known political prisoner and dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, has as of July 14, 2005 entered his 34th day of a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his unjust imprisonment. -Reza Fiyouzat, Dissident Voice - 7/16/05

Akbar Ganji's Second Letter to the Free People of the World
Today, Sunday July 10, 2005 exactly 30 days have passed since I started my hunger strike...Many inside and outside the country ask why I have gone on hunger strike and why I am trying to reach legitimate ends through self-destruction. - 7/16/05

Iran: Concern over political prisoners mounts
Police used violence to break up a student demonstration in the Iranian capital on Tuesday, amid escalating protests and concern over the deteriorating health of political prisoner and journalist, Akbar Ganji. - 7/16/05

Testing limits of dissent in Iran
Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji entered the 33rd day of his hunger strike Thursday, demanding unconditional release from the notorious Evin prison in north Tehran. -CSM - 7/15/05

Open Letter to Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General about Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji
Dear Sir! As citizens of the planet earth who believe in the Declaration of Human Rights, we have a few questions for you:"How much information on a case is considered to be “enough” for you? Once this threshold is reached, what would you comment on such a case? And, as the head of a world organization that is created to expand peace and human rights all over the word, what will your action be after uttering that comment? - 7/15/05

Iran's oil diplomacy frustrates U.S. policy
Washington's goal of isolating the Islamic Republic stands in conflict with its aims in Iraq, Pakistan and India -Daily Star - 7/15/05

Iranian Officials to Complete Bam Report
Reviewing the latest condition of Bam cultural landscape, UNESCO world heritage committee asked the Iranian officials in the 29th session of world heritage in Durban, South Africa, to complete the report on the case by February 1st. - 7/15/05

Letter from Imprisoned Iranian Dissident Ganji Smuggled from Prison
"I May Die, But the Love of Freedom and the Thirst for Political Justice Will Never Die" -MEMRI - 7/15/05

Summer Fun, American Style
At a Camp in Arlington, Children From Around The World Learn They Are Not Alone as Refugees -Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post - 7/15/05

Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
Welcome to paradise. But where are you? Is this a new science-fiction novel from Margaret Atwood, the sequel to Blade Runner, or Donald Trump tripping on acid? No, it is the Persian Gulf city-state of Dubai in 2010. -TomDispatch - 7/15/05

EU3 to offer Iran help with nuclear power
The UK, France and Germany, the so-called EU3, are expected to offer Tehran co-operation with its civilian nuclear power programme and help in reducing its dependency on fuel imports from Russia if it agrees to end its attempts to produce its own nuclear fuel. -Financial Times - 7/15/05

AFGHANISTAN: Progress on disbandment of illegal armed groups
More than 200 local commanders have been disarmed and tens of thousands of arms and ammunitions collected in Afghanistan since the government-led Disbanding of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) started early June - 7/15/05

Quality Of Life In Iraq Still Poor
Virginia-based Dr. Ali Al-Attar left his native Iraq at the onset of Iran-Iraq war. At that time, he says, most Iraqis lived a middle-class life and enjoyed better education, health and employment than most other Arabs. - 7/15/05

How much oil do we really have?
As oil prices remain volatile the markets do their best to forecast future prices. Unfortunately this is not an easy task. While it may appear extraordinary to outsiders one of the main problems in the oil market is the reliability of basic statistics. -BBC - 7/15/05

A slippery European energy outlook
In coming years, the EU, which currently gets about a quarter of its gas from Russia, plans to increase gas imports from Qatar, Egypt and eventually Iran -IHT - 7/15/05

Kissinger: Don't Exclude Military Action Against Iran if Negotiations Fail
Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, in a wide-ranging discussion of foreign-policy issues, says he is disturbed at the possibility that Iran will develop nuclear weapons know-how if current negotiations to stem Tehran's nuclear program fail. -Council on Foreign Relations - 7/15/05

White House Says Iran Must Stop Enriching Uranium
The White House says Iran must abandon efforts to enrich uranium, which the Bush administration believes Tehran wants to use to build nuclear weapons. A senior Iranian official says the country's incoming president may reverse an agreement to freeze those enrichment activities. - 7/15/05

San Francisco World Music Festival: September 26 – October 16, 2005
The San Francisco World Music Festival 2005 will celebrate its Sixth Anniversary with an exciting gathering of some of the most interesting musicians in the world. - 7/15/05

Strategists Debate U.S. Military Policy
Strategists Debate U.S. Military Policy - 7/15/05

US needs to address Iran's security concerns, says Hannay
Former British Ambassador to the United Nations, Lord Hannay, insists that the US needs to be involved if the EU is giving to achieve any breakthrough in its negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme. - 7/15/05

Release Akbar Ganji: Jailed for Exposing Iranian Government's Complicity in Murder
Imprisoned Iranian journalist and human rights activist Akbar Ganji is gravely ill and in need of immediate medical attention. -Human Rights First - 7/14/05

US Congressman Jim McDermott Praises India-Pakistan Pipeline To Peace
In a press conference on Wednesday in Capitol Hill, Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) told a group of international reporters about H.Res. 353, a bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives expressing support for a natural gas pipeline linking India and Pakistan economically, and serving as a bridge to promote cooperation. -Mahtab Farid, USI NEWS - 7/14/05

Iran: Leading Dissident's Life in Danger
The life of Akbar Ganji, Iran's imprisoned leading dissident, is under serious threat due to his illness and a month-long hunger strike, Human Rights Watch said today. - 7/14/05

Ukraine: Would Hike In Russian Gas Prices Prove A Blessing In Disguise?
During a recent this week to Iran, Petro Poroshenko, the head of Ukraine's National State Security and Defense Council, suggested that Tehran could use Ukrainian pipelines to export its gas to Europe. Iranian officials reportedly embraced the idea. - 7/14/05

Mr. Rove and the Access of Evil
The only thing more evil, small-minded and treacherous than the Bush Administration's jailing Judith Miller for a crime the Bush Administration committed, is Judith Miller covering up her Bush Administration "source." -Greg Palast, Common Dreams - 7/14/05

Call for CIA probe into Iran dissident 'leak'
A senior Republican politician will ask the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate whether a former agent endangered US national security by allegedly leaking the identity of an Iranian dissident to journalists. -Financial Times - 7/14/05

Uzbekistan: UN Urges International Probe Into What May Have Been 'Mass Killing' In Andijon
The UN's high commissioner for human rights says witnesses of the Uzbek government's crackdown in Andijon consistently describe the event as a "mass killing." - 7/14/05

New Report Says World Faces 'Tipping Point' In Nuclear Proliferation
Much has happened in the world since the publication more than two years ago of the first edition of Carnegie's "Deadly Arsenals." The book is a unique public catalogue of threats from the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. - 7/14/05

Iran to earmark 180 million dollars for establishment of power plant in Tajikistan
Sangtudeh-2 power plant will be established in Tajikistan with a credit of 180 million dollars that will be put at the disposal of the republic by Iran. - 7/14/05

Iran's new police chief pledges respect for 'private space'
Iran's new chief of police promised not to infringe on people's private lives, amid concerns the Islamic Republic's shift to the political right could herald fresh curbs on social freedoms. -AFP - 7/14/05

Poem: The scale man
Squatting on the pavement says the scale man against a wall -- come, pay what you can, weigh yourselves. -Leylanaz Shajii, Tehran - 7/14/05

Minister: Iran ready to help reconstruction of Iraq's industries
Iran's Minister of Industries Es'haq Jahangiri said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran is ready to contribute to reconstruction of Iraq's industries. "Iran's industrial and mineral industries are ready to launch joint ventures in any field necessary in light of government's support," Jahangiri told his Iraqi counterpart Osama Abdulaziz al-Najafi. - 7/14/05

Iran MPs plan jailed writer visit
Five Iranian MPs say they want to meet the jailed dissident Akbar Ganji, who has been on hunger strike for a month. -BBC - 7/14/05

Iran: Top judicial official terms Ganji's conditions as good
General conditions of jailed journalist Akbar Ganji is good, said a top Iranian judicial official here on Thursday. Deputy head of Tehran Justice Department Mohammad Salarkia told IRNA that Ganji is under intensive medical care and physicians visit him twice or three times a day at prison. - 7/14/05

Tehran's Election Time Art Report (II)
Another place I visited recently was Elahe Gallery here a new group called Halgheh meaning Ring or Circle was exhibiting their paintings. The group is made of four young lady artists: Sanaz Alavi, Azadeh Sherkat, Leila Sanaie-Pour and Elahm Bayati. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/13/05

Quake hits Minoudasht, northern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.6 on the open-ended Richter scale hit outskirts of Minoudasht in Golestan province, northern Iran, in the wee hours of Wednesday. - 7/13/05

Released Iranian film-maker returns home from Iraq
Iranian film-maker Farshid Faraji, who has been recently released from US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, arrived in Tehran Tuesday night. - 7/13/05

Iranian dissidents criticize European political leaders
A conference organised by the Green Party in the European parliament to examine the results of the recent Iranian presidential elections, which saw the victory of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ended in Brussels on Thursday. -AKI - 7/13/05

Study Hopes To Promote Dialogue On Islam And Human Rights
With the drafting of Iraq's constitution underway, it remains unclear what role religion and human rights will play within the document. - 7/13/05

Iranian author, translator Karim Emami dies at 74
Emami was considered a forerunner in the translation of works of contemporary Iranian poets into English. - 7/13/05

Iraqi Independence Now Leads to Iran
After last week, the president's speech to the nation on June 29 marking the official transfer of authority from the American occupation to the interim, quasi-elected government of Iraq needs revisiting. -Portland Press Herald - 7/13/05

Shiites bring rigid piety to Iraq's south
In Basra these days, it's not uncommon to see armed men from Shiite religious groups standing at the gates of Basra University, scrutinizing female students to make sure their dresses are the right length and their makeup properly modest. -CSM - 7/13/05

Argentina admits bomb probe blame
Argentina has issued a decree formally accepting a share of the blame for the failure of investigations into the bombing of a Jewish centre in 1994. -BBC - 7/13/05

Tehran pressures EU as nuclear talks near
Iran will resume uranium enrichment if the European Union does not recognize Iran's right to do so, two Iranian nuclear negotiators said in an interview with a newspaper. -NY Times - 7/13/05

AFGHANISTAN: Mixed reactions to rights watchdog report
The United Nations and human rights activists in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Monday welcomed a recent report of Human Rights Watch (HRW), which called on the Afghan government to ‘bring war criminals to justice.' - 7/13/05

Bush Calls for Jailed Reporter's Release
President Bush called Tuesday for the release of an Iranian journalist jailed for writing articles linking government officials to murder. -AP - 7/13/05

A new chapter to open in Iran-Iraq relations: Iranian diplomat
On the eve of the first scheduled visit of Iraqi prime minister and his entourage to Tehran, Iran's Charge d'Affaires in Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, announced on Wednesday that a new chapter is expected to open in bilateral relations. - 7/13/05

Iran: Football teams trampling on ancient sites of Susa
Natural disasters, the construction of dams and smugglers were not enough of a threat to the ancient sites, so the football fields were added to complete the mission. - 7/13/05

Police beat protesters at protest rally in Iran
Iranian police beat dozens of protesters with batons on Tuesday at a demonstration to call for the release of Iran's most prominent jailed journalist. -Reuters - 7/13/05

Iran modernizes Afghanistan's 'Bamian' airport
Head of Afghanistan Province airport said in Kabul on Monday that Iran has provided the central Afghan city of 'Bamian' with weather-related instruments. - 7/12/05

NIAC Members to meet with Congressman Tom Price (R-GA)
NIAC has secured a meeting with Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 for NIAC members in Georgia's District 6, in the Atlanta metropolitan area! - 7/12/05

Quake shakes Khoy in northwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Khoy in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan in the wee hours of Tuesday. - 7/12/05

Quake hits southern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale hit Bandar Abbas and its vicinity in the southern province of Hormuzgan Tuesday. - 7/12/05

Iraqi Official Says Iran Will Not Train Troops
Iraq's defense minister said Monday that a military agreement reached with Iran last week does not include any provision for the Iranian armed forces to help train Iraqi troops, contradicting reported assertions by his Iranian counterpart. -Washington Post - 7/12/05

Bush Presses Iraq, Afghanistan As Fronts In Terror War
U.S. President George W. Bush today updated the American people on the progress of the "war on terror" and thanked the country's armed forces for their efforts in the conflict. - 7/12/05

Oops, He Did It Again! Thomas Friedman's Muslim Problem
In his op ed, "If It's a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution", in the July 8 edition of the New York Times, Tom Friedman called on Muslims around the world to condemn the violence committed under their name by al Qaeda jihadists. -Behrooz Ghamari, Counterpunch - 7/12/05

20 Billion Dollars Invested In Iran's Assalouyeh Since 1997
The hydrocarbon-rich southern area of Assalouyeh has absorbed some 20 billion dollars in foreign investments since 1997, when President Mohammad Khatami took office, the English-language paper `Iran Daily' wrote Tuesday. - 7/12/05

"Digitized Silk Road": National fiber optic network launched in Iran
President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran on Saturday that the national fiber optic network is the pivotal point of a "digitized silk Road." - 7/12/05

Concern Grows Over Fate Of Jailed Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji
Despite his poor health, Iran's top journalist Akbar Ganji is determined to continue his hunger strike until his unconditional freedom. - 7/12/05

Iran: Action against freedom of press is against social progress, Khatami
The outgoing president said in his address to journalists of Iran Cultural and Press Institute (ICPI) affiliated to IRNA that unfortunately, many cases of irrational and unjustified attitude against freedom of the press have been observed in the past eight years. - 7/12/05

Iranian blogger Mojtaba Saminejad cleared of "insult to prophets" but still guilty of "insulting Supreme Guide"
Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was cleared of "insulting the prophets" by a court in Tehran on 28 June, for which he faced the death penalty, but must still serve a two-year sentence for insulting the Supreme Guide. - 7/11/05

Tehran's Election Time Art Report (I)
Mohamand Sharifi Tehrani is a young artist whom I first met at a party a few months ago where there were many works of Iranian modern artists on the walls. I was so pleasantly surprised that he knew the works and the painters so well. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/11/05

Should OPEC Reduce the Price of Oil
By keeping the price of oil high OPEC will encourage a more efficient pattern of oil consumption in the United States. Since the United States has refused to sign the Kyoto treaty, it is neglecting its international duty to help prevent global warming. By forcing the United States to becoming a more efficient oil consumer, OPEC is indirectly contributing to the fight against global warming. -Nader Habibi - 7/11/05

Iranian Judiciary continues to stall in Kazemi case, two years after her death
"For two years now, Zahra Kazemi's family has been waiting for her body to be exhumed and repatriated to Canada, and press freedom activists throughout the world have waiting for justice to be done, but the Iranian authorities have decided otherwise," Reporters Without Borders said. - 7/11/05

'They Put Us in a Cell and Forgot Us'
An L.A. man tells of 54 frustrating days in custody in Iraq but still plans to finish his film. -Borzou Daragahi, Times - 7/11/05

Iran: Karroubi urges Khatami to publish report on election violation
Former Majlis speaker and a 9th presidential elections candidate Mehdi Karroubi urged President Mohammad Khatami to publish the report on the violations that had taken place during the recent presidential elections. - 7/11/05

Released Iranian film-maker to arrive home soon
Iranian Film-maker Farshid Faraji, who has recently been released from US prison in Iraq, is expected to arrive in Iran within the next 48 hours, his mother said here Monday. - 7/11/05

Quakes shake Qom, Tabas in Iran
Two separate earthquakes measuring 3.6 and 3.9 respectively on the open-ended Richter scale hit the cities of Qom and Tabas, southwest and southeast Tehran, during the past 24 hours, it was reported here Monday. - 7/11/05

Secret Plan To Quit Iraq
Britain And America are secretly preparing to withdraw most of their troops from Iraq - despite warnings of the grave consequences for the region, The Mail on Sunday has learned. -Sunday Mail/UK - 7/11/05

Ready, Willing and Evil?
Great news from Iraq last week. Iran appears to have agreed to become the first member of the Axis of Evil to join the ever-dwindling Coalition of the Willing. -Washington Post - 7/11/05

U.S. Military Releases American Filmmaker
The U.S. military released an Iranian-born American citizen on Sunday after nearly two months' detention in Iraq, according to his lawyer and military spokesmen. -Washington Post - 7/11/05

Iran Election: No Surprise That Everybody was "Surprised"…!
Why we are behind in assessing Iran? Thousands of articles and analysis have been published about Iran's election and the potential winner. After victory of Ahmadinezhad all sources admitted "The Surprise"! -Siamak Ahi - 7/11/05

Iran's election may provide an Islamic role model
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent landslide election victory as president of Iran was a welcome development in a Middle East region profoundly disturbed by unresolved conflicts, corrupt elites and violent foreign intervention. When he is sworn in on August 4, his performance and style of government will be closely watched to see how he intends honoring his ambitious pledge to make Iran a role model of a modern, advanced and powerful Islamic society. -Daily Star - 7/11/05

Iran's gasoline import to hit 4 billion dollars
The government is expected to import four billion dollars worth of gasoline by March 2006, said a senior official at the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company. - 7/11/05

Condi Kills an EU-Iranian Agreement
Even after years of go-anywhere, see-anything inspections, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, continues to report to the IAEA Board of Governors that he can find no indication that Iran now has, ever had, or intends to have a nuclear weapons program. -Antiwar.com - 7/11/05

Iran: Ebadi says Zarafshan on medical leave from prison
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said in Tehran on Saturday that her client Nasser Zarafshan is on leave from prison for treatment of kidney stones - 7/10/05

EU calls on Iran to release political prisoner Akbar Ganji
European Union has made "urgent representations about Akbar Ganji, a political prisoner detained in Iran", according to a statement issued Friday night by the EU's British Presidency. - 7/10/05

Iran to play Dutch for world CP football third spot
Iran edged past Ireland 2-1 to set up the third-place playoff against the Netherlands in the world cerebral palsy (CP) disabled football tournament in the United States Monday. - 7/10/05

Islamo-Democracy?
In the days leading up to the final round of the recent Iranian presidential election, close to a thousand people congregated in a square in North Tehran to listen to political speeches. Somehow, the speakers never showed up. Instead, in the shadow of a shrine strung with festive colored lights, a crowd of men and women—young, old, secular and religious conservative—broke into groups of five or ten or twenty-five to debate the issues in smaller groups. -Adbusters - 7/10/05

The unipolar transition moment and the Persian Gulf Wars (Part IV)
On 17 March 2003, President Bush spoke on US television, announcing the end of diplomatic efforts to secure a second UN resolution and giving Saddam Hussein forty-eight hours to leave Iraq or face war. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, -Tharwa Project - 7/10/05

Familiar Debate Resumes in Wake of London Bombings
Thursday's London bombings that killed at least 49 people have rekindled a familiar debate in this country on the question first posed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon: ''Why do they hate us?'' -IPS - 7/10/05

Iran names wrestlers for 2005 world bouts
Technical Committee of Iran's Wrestling Federation here Saturday released the list of national wrestlers, who will compete in the world men's and university students' freestyle and Greco-Roman bouts in Budapest, capital of Hungary, and Turkish city Izmir - 7/10/05

'Nuclear program has to be dealt with,' Rice says
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of the United States on Sunday welcomed North Korea's agreement to resume disarmament talks late this month but warned of difficult negotiations. -NY Times - 7/10/05

What business does the US have in Iraq?
The other day, it was the first anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq. As expected, opponents of the war seized the opportunity to add a fresh coat of gloom to the picture they paint of the situation there. -Amir Taheri, Morocco Times - 7/10/05

Iran to build a terminal on border with Armenia
Azerbaijan State News Agency (Azar Press) reported here Saturday that Iran plans to build a terminal at its border with Armenia It added that Tehran will transfer oil derivatives to Yerevan adding the issue will be further explored at the Iran-Armenia Economic Cooperation Commission in Tehran in September. "They love their homeland and they want to have relationship with Iran. The high council is expected to provide them with facilities to form relationship with Iran," President Khatami said. - 7/10/05

Iran adds two golds to world CP athletics asset
Iran Saturday snatched two more golds at the world cerebral palsy (CP) disabled track-and-field event underway in the United States. - 7/10/05

President Khatami presides over High Council for Iranian Expatriates Affairs
Khatami said Iranians living abroad are of high talent and have secured high status in the field of science and technology in the host countries. - 7/10/05

Isfahan council reached a consensus over Jahan Nama
After a meeting which lasted over one hour and a half, members of Isfahan city council finally reached a firm consensus to reduce the elevation of Jahan Nama tower to prevent any intrusion to marginal space of Nqsh-e Jahan square, an Iranian World Heritage site which was on the verge of being placed in the endangered world heritage list. - 7/10/05

US film-maker free from Iraq jail
An Iranian-born US film-maker held on suspicion of aiding insurgents in Iraq has been released, the US military has confirmed. -BBC - 7/10/05

Iran: Ambiguous Response To London Bombings
Tehran's reaction to the 7 July terrorist attacks in London is following a pattern seen before, and what this pattern shows is that the government projects an earnest and civilized facade to the outside world. At the same time, Tehran is highly critical of the outside world in messages to its domestic audience, and it tends to pin the blame on the victims. - 7/9/05

Announcing The Ninth Annual Iranian Arts and Cultural Event
Payvand.org and the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC) announce and invite the general public to their Ninth Annual Arts and Cultural Event at the Cupertino Quinlan Community Center on Sunday, September 25, 2005. - 7/9/05

G8 seeks 'favorable' investment terms in OPEC countries
The group of industrialized countries want OPEC member states to open up their oil and gas reserves to more beneficial development terms to help achieve affordable energy supplies. - 7/9/05

Iran: Quake jolts Shiraz in Fars province
A mild earthquake measuring 3.4 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted city of Shiraz, capital of the southern province of Fars, Friday evening. - 7/9/05

Chinese oil concerns tired of getting the giants' scraps
Two years ago, China National Offshore Oil Corp. and another state-controlled Chinese oil company seemed on the verge of capturing a large patch of foreign oil reserves with a handshake deal to pay $1.23 billion for part of a giant field in Kazakhstan. -IHT - 7/9/05

British Antiwar MP George Galloway: "London Has Reaped Blair's Involvement in Iraq"
We spend the hour looking at the terror attacks in London. At least 50 people are dead and hundreds wounded in the worst attack in that city since World War II. We go to London to get reaction from British antiwar MP George Galloway, author and Guardian columnist George Monbiot and journalist Stephen Grey of the Sunday Times of London. -Democracy Now - 7/9/05

Iranian Americans Host Fundraising Events to Kickoff 2006 Election Activities
Recently, IAPAC trustees and friends co-hosted fundraising events for Senator Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY) and Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL). The events were illustrative of the cooperation and friendship that exists between members of Congress and the Iranian American community. - 7/9/05

House Resolutions Confront Possiblity of Failure in EU-3 Negotiations with Iran
In the past few months, two resolutions making policy recommendations in the event of failure in the ongoing EU-3 nuclear negotiations with Iran, were introduced in the House of Representatives. -NIAC - 7/9/05

Iranian Streets Are Full of Children Working Illegally
Children in Iran are not allowed to work legally until the age of fifteen. But the streets are full of young children selling various items to earn money. The Iranian government says it has been trying to help these kids and their families. But child advocates say more needs to be done. - 7/9/05

A Feminist Village in Iran
Walking in the streets of Alasht, men should remember that facing any woman they must lower their head and say hello, because this is the village of women. - 7/8/05

G8 remains determined to resolve Iran's nuclear issues
G8 leaders meeting in Scotland declared Friday "We remain united in our determination to see the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program resolved." - 7/8/05

Why London, Why Now?
Sadly, with American neocons still chomping at the bit to attack Iran and Syria, Al Qaeda will find willing accomplices for their fearmongering in the think tanks of the right. How neocons will spin this into calls for military strikes on Iran and Syria is yet to be seen. But call they will. -TomPaine.com - 7/8/05

Iran stands second at world junior freestyle bouts
Iran finished runner-up to Russia at the World Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, Wednesday night. - 7/8/05

The strange case of Cyrus Kar
Confirmation by the Pentagon that five US citizens have been detained in Iraq on suspicion of links to insurgents has drawn attention to the highly controversial case of Iranian-born filmmaker Cyrus Kar, said to be one of the detainees. -BBC - 7/8/05

Iran plans to build 20 atomic power plants: source
Iran plans to construct 20 atomic power plants in the coming years, said the rapporteur of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission at Parliament (Majlis) in Tehran on Thursday. - 7/8/05

G8 urge Israel to sign NPT "immediately"
Leaders of the G8 group of industrialized countries indirectly urged Israel Friday to immediately ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and abide by other conventions on the weapons of mass destruction. - 7/8/05

Shiite theocracy takes hold in Iraqi oil city
The once-libertine oil port of Basra, 560 kilometers, or 350 miles, south of the capital and far from the insurgency raging in much of Iraq, is steadily being transformed into a mini-theocracy under Shiite rule. -NY Times - 7/8/05

Mohammad, Fatemeh most frequently used names by Iranians
Deputy head of Registration Organization for Legal and ID Affairs, Saeed Aboudi said Mohammad and Fatemeh were most frequently used as names for Iranian boys and girls respectively. - 7/8/05

IAUT gathering announcement focusing on Ganji, Zarafshan, and all other political prisoners in Iran
On the 6th anniversary of 18 Tir, the Iranian Association at University of Toronto (IAUT) will hold a memorial event, next Tuesday at HartHouse, UofT campus. - 7/8/05

CIA fights allegations of missing Iran danger signs
Two new books in the US, Countdown to Terror and Countdown to Crisis, accuse an incompetent Central Intelligence Agency of failing to recognise the potentially catastrophic threat posed by Iran through its allegedly intimate ties with the fugitive Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. -Financial Times - 7/8/05

Afghanistan: Bring War Criminals to Justice: Special Court Needed For Past Atrocities
Numerous high-level officials and advisors in Afghanistan’s current government are implicated in major war crimes and human rights abuses that took place in the early 1990s, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. - 7/8/05

Pakistan, Iran sign MoU on gas pipeline
Pakistan and Iran on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to carry forward the talks process about the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project as well as import of Iranian gas for domestic consumption. - 7/8/05

Status of Scientific Research in Iran
An interesting report on the status of scientific research in Iran has been presented at the 30th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy by Prof. Hessamaddin Arfaei (Institute for studies in theoretical Physics and Mathematics) - 7/8/05

Expert Claims Persian Cuneiform Predates Darius
It is widely believed that the invention of Persian cuneiform took place during the rign of Darius the great while now an Iranian professor insists on the hypothesis that Persian cuneiform predates Darius. - 7/8/05

In lieu of everything... An interview with an American scholar
Recently, Tom Ricks took part in a conference at Tehran University celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional movement. According to Tom, the concept of democracy and democratic institutions is not just an American notion and became apparent in Iran as early as 1905 when it was introduced by Iranian revolutionaries. -Fariba Amini - 7/7/05

Promoting an Iranian Movie to the US Market
One of the most famous poets from the Middle East was Omar Khayyam, a Persian astronomer and mathematician whose work, known as the Rubaiyat, has been translated into every major language. The story of Omar Khayyam has now been brought to the big screen by a first-time filmmaker and Iranian immigrant in Houston, Texas. - 7/7/05

Will The New Iranian President Have A Big Tent?
President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad will be sworn in on 4 August, and a formal inauguration at the legislature will take place one day earlier. In the meantime, Ahmadinejad must select a cabinet. Ahmadinejad says ideology and politics will not determine his choices and he has met with individuals from the hard-line and reform factions. His choices are a sign of what one can expect from his presidency. - 7/7/05

ACLU, Family Members Sue for Release of Iranian-American Cyrus Kar Detained in Iraq
The relatives of Cyrus Kar, a 44-year-old part time college professor who had been in Iraq filming a historical documentary, charge that Kar has been unjustly held since May 17 despite the fact that the family has received assurances from the FBI that Kar has been cleared of any wrongdoing. - 7/7/05

Tehran’s Art Scene: Maryam Tabatabie, a very determined lady artist
Maryam Tabatabie is a young painter with a difference. Like many other young artists, she is working hard and has very great potential. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/7/05

The New College of California Study Tour to Iran:September 19-October 7, 2005
In September of this year, Jerry Dekker, instructor of Humanities at New College of California, is leading another trip to Iran for students, faculty, staff and friends of New College of California. - 7/7/05

Iran’s young reformers
The election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reflects a fractured society, finds blogger Hossein Derakhshan on his return to Tehran; but also one where reformists have a future if they can speak to Iran’s rising generation. -Open Democracy - 7/7/05

Dream World
It is a couple of weeks after the end of the presidential elections which we were hoping to put an end to the stagnant air always dominating the country before such "major" happenings. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 7/7/05

World biggest omelet cooked on Persian Gulf's Kish Island
The world biggest omelet was cooked on the southern Iranian island of Kish on Wednesday on the sidelines of the first International Food Festival in this Persian Gulf Free Trade Zone. - 7/7/05

Iranians to train Iraq's military
Former enemies Iran and Iraq say they will launch broad military co-operation including training Iraqi armed forces. -BBC - 7/7/05

Iran to be a tourist destination for the Chinese
China's Deputy Foreign Minister in a meeting with Iran's ambassador to Beijing here Wednesday declared that Iran will be a tourist destination for the Chinese - 7/7/05

Photo Essay: Reforms in the Balance
Affluent Iranians have taken daring cultural liberties in recent years. -MSNBC - 7/7/05

From Filmmaker in Los Angeles to Iraq Detainee
Like a lot of aspiring filmmakers in Los Angeles, Cyrus Kar was obsessed with his project, a documentary about an ancient Persian king who championed tolerance and human rights even as he built an empire that stretched across the Near East. -NY Times - 7/7/05

Iran wants to break UN seals to test atomic parts
Iran has asked the U.N. nuclear watchdog to let it break U.N. seals and test atomic equipment that has been mothballed under an agreement with the EU's three biggest powers, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 7/7/05

Applying the US Standard: State Sponsors of Terrorism
Ostensibly, the United States is fighting a "war on terrorism", of which Iraq is just "the latest battlefield", where we are "hunting down the terrorists" who "hate freedom" and whose "aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression by toppling governments, driving us out of the region and by exporting terror." -Counterpunch - 7/7/05

Iranian Quinnipiac professor criticizes U.S. media spectacle
When the news broke around the country last week about the possible involvement of Iran's president-elect in the capture of American hostages some 25 years ago, Mahmood Monshipouri got on the phone and called family and friends in his home country. They had no idea what he was talking about. -Record-Journal, CT - 7/7/05

Iran bags gold, bronze at the World Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Vilnius
Iran snatched one gold and one bronze medals at the World Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, Wednesday. - 7/7/05

In Iran, a Question That Clarifies
Iran's president-elect may have been a leader of the mob that took American diplomats hostage in Tehran in 1979. Or not. We don't know for sure. And that is the most intriguing aspect of this very Persian tale. -Washington Post - 7/7/05

Iran: Engineering and technical services exports up 661 percent in Q1
The total value of contracts signed by Iranian companies in engineering and technical services were dlrs 550.28 million in the first quarter of this year compared to the figure in the same period in the previous year which stood at 72.235 million, it said. - 7/7/05

Iranian and Iraqi defense ministers attend press conference in Tehran
Iranian and Iraqi defense ministers held a joint press conference in Tehran on Thursday in the wake of the second round of talks between Iranian and Iraqi high-level delegations. - 7/7/05

L.A. Story: Rezwan Razani’s Persian magnet adventure takes wing
Rezwan Razani is an entertaining, irreverent and thought-provoking writer, filmmaker and thinker. Born in the USA to an Iranian Father and American Mother, she grew up in Shiraz, Iran. That’s where we met for the first time at the age of 6 or 7 in Third grade at the Shiraz International Community School (S.I.C.S). -Darius Kadivar - 7/6/05

Photographic Exhibition: Portrait of Iran - Mamad Mossadegh
Mamad Mossadegh is a British/Iranian photographer who grew up in London, England since the age of eight. He gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. His work has appeared in magazines such as Time Out London, Touch, Hot Shoe, Photo, and the British Journal of Photography amongst many others. - 7/6/05

World biggest omelet to be cooked on Kish Island
The world biggest omelet is to be cooked on the southern island of Kish on Wednesday on the sidelines of the first International Food Festival in this Persian Gulf Free Trade Zone. - 7/6/05

Persian Gulf states invest to expand green fuel production
Environmental activism is low on the priority list of governments in the conservative societies of the Gulf region, the source of 40 percent of the world's exported oil and the location of more than 60 percent of all proven oil reserves. -IHT - 7/6/05

US Urged to Quit Bases in Central Asia
An organization grouping Russia, China and Central Asian nations is urging the United States to set a timeline for withdrawing its military bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. - 7/6/05

U.S. military rethinking two-war strategy-officials
The U.S. military, under stress from fighting in Iraq and protecting America from terrorism, is debating whether it can remain ready to fight two big wars at once, according to defense officials. -Reuters - 7/6/05

Puzzle over Iran nuclear official
The position of Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani is uncertain after officials denied an official news agency report that he had resigned. -BBC - 7/6/05

Iran's Oil Minister begins Pakistan visit with positive note on gas pipeline
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday for talks on the multi-billion gas line project with a positive note to take the project forward. - 7/6/05

Austria probes Iran's Ahmadinejad
Austrian prosecutors are investigating allegations that Iran's president-elect was involved in the 1989 assassination of a Kurdish leader in Vienna. -BBC - 7/6/05

Iran Protests Austria's Accusations Against President-Elect Ahmadinejad
Iran's Foreign Ministry here Tuesday summoned the Austrian Ambassador to Tehran, Michael Stigglebauer, to strongly protest against false accusations leveled by that country's Interior Ministry spokesman against President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 7/6/05

Rice, French Foreign Minister Discuss Iran Nuclear Talks
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and France's new foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, Tuesday reviewed the European initiative with Iran over its nuclear program. Ms. Rice said the talks should produce objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear activities have ceased. - 7/6/05

Iranian Immigrant Produces Movie About Omar Khayyam
One of the most famous poets from the Middle East was Omar Khayyam, a Persian astronomer and mathematician whose work, known as the Rubaiyat, has been translated into every major language. The story of Omar Khayyam has now been brought to the big screen by a first-time filmmaker and Iranian immigrant living in Houston, Texas. - 7/6/05

AIDS Crisis Brings Radical Change In Iran's Response to Heroin Use
Fearing an AIDS epidemic, Iran's theocratic government has dropped a zero-tolerance policy against increasingly common heroin use and now offers addicts low-cost needles, methadone and a measure of social acceptance. -Washington Post - 7/5/05

Conceptual Art for a Persian Readership: An Interview with Media Farzin, translator
Tehran bookstores have recently added a new volume to their arts section: Conceptual Art, an introduction to the art movement by British author Paul Wood, translated into Persian by Media Farzin, and published by Iranian Art Publishing. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 7/5/05

Conference: Private lives and public spaces in modern Iran
This conference provides a rare opportunity for the articulation of new research agendas for the reconceptualization of modern Iranian history (from the mid 19th century to the present day) by addressing such themes as the historization of personhood, the family, and modes of intimacy, and friendship. - 7/5/05

Iran-EU talks face threat of top resignation
The fate of European-Iranian nuclear talks was cast further into doubt yesterday amid signs that Hassan Rowhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), had offered his resignation. -Financial Times - 7/5/05

Now that Iran has eased up on the female dress code, women in the nation are getting into the swing of golf
The ban on women at Tehran's lone golf course proved superfluous for a couple of decades after the Islamic revolution owing to one simple fact: Women found it basically impossible to swing a golf club while enveloped in yards of billowing cloth. -NY Times - 7/5/05

Europe, Iran's Bandar Imam port to be connected by sea line soon
The maritime transportation line between Iran's Bandar Imam Khomeini and Europe, namely the Liner, is to be operational soon. - 7/5/05

Nasseri protests airing false film about Iran from Australian TV
IRNA Managing Director Abdollah Nasseri Taheri on Tuesday expressed dismay at airing a false scenario from Australian television about "poverty and corruption in Iran". - 7/5/05

Rafsanjani announces readiness to support future cabinet
Expediency Council (EC) Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Tuesday said that his remarks do not aim to restore his personal rights but are meant to effect reform. He underlined that he will take any necessary measure to support the future government. - 7/5/05

Iran's membership in SCO as observer approved
Heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on Tuesday gave the nod to Iran's SCO membership as an observer. - 7/5/05

Persian Jews Dive Into Politics
Only recently have many prominent Iranian Jews in Southern California become more involved in political races — after realizing the impact elected officials have on their business interests, which for many include substantial real estate holdings. -Jewish Journal - 7/5/05

Germany's Linde wins 400M euro bid to build Iranian petrochemical plant
Linde AG, Germany's largest maker of industrial gases, signed a 400 million euro order to build a 1.2 billion US dollars ethylene-making plant in the Iranian city of Assalouyeh on the Persian Gulf, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Tuesday. - 7/5/05

Iran Guzzles Gas at Its Own Cost
At Station No. 11, where the afternoon air is a thick bouquet of the unleaded that drips, splashes and pools from the tanks of motorists hastening to fill up, a looming billboard reminds Iranians of a truth easily overlooked in this land of 40 cents a gallon, guaranteed: Gas costs money. -Washington Post - 7/4/05

Iraqi Christians Face Threats From All Sides
As Iraqis work to draft a permanent constitution that may deem Islam a source of legislation for the country, the Christian community faces the prospect of a life where they may worship freely, but will have little representation or benefits from government. - 7/4/05

Tens of Thousands of Anti-Poverty Demonstrators March Through Edinburgh
Tens of thousands of protesters clad in white streamed through the cobbled streets of Scotland's medieval capital Saturday, demanding that the leaders of the world's richest nations act to better the lives of the poorest. -AP - 7/4/05

Iranian oil minister due in Islamabad
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh heading a delegation is to leave Tehran for Pakistan on Wednesday to confer with Pakistani officials on expansion of mutual cooperation in the energy sector - 7/4/05

Quake hits Bandar Jask in southern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.8 on the open-ended Richter scale hit Bandar Jask in the southern province of Hormuzgan Sunday evening. - 7/4/05

Democracy or Duplicity?
Next up: Azerbaijan, an oil-rich former Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea that hosts big U.S. oil companies, a new strategic pipeline for their products, a refueling stop for U.S. military planes -- and a government teetering between consolidating a corrupt autocracy and embracing democratic reforms. -Washington Post - 7/4/05

Berlin's Dejagah denies talks with Iranian Football Federation
Hertha Berlin's teenage striker Ashkan Dejagah denied Iranian media reports that he had received an offer from the Iranian Football Federation to join the Iran's national football team. - 7/4/05

Khatami urges IRIB to avoid censorship, respect democracy
President Mohammad Khatami on Monday called on officials of Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB) to avoid censorship and said that they should not think that they are serving Islam through unilateral reflection of the events. - 7/4/05

10 Iranian students selected in EU's Erasmus Mundus scholarship program
The European Commission announced Monday that it has selected 803 third-country students and 133 third-country scholars from all over the world to receive the Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the next academic year (2005-2006). - 7/4/05

Iranian film "Khab-e Talkh" (bitter dream) goes on screen in Paris
Iranian film, Khab-e Talkh (bitter dream), directed by Mohsen Amiryoosefi, is released in Paris cinemas. The film takes the French to the traditional Iranian baths. - 7/4/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad Allegations Part of Smear Campaign
Iran's newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran's Foreign Ministry says allegations that the president-elect took part in the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis are part of a smear campaign. - 7/4/05

President-elect: Iran wants fair, progressive ties with world
Addressing a group of lawmakers from northwestern provinces of the West and East Azarbaijan, Ahmadinejad said dissemination of "baseless" reports and information by certain Western circles, despite enjoying sophisticated intelligence and security apparatuses, is "questionable". - 7/4/05

Iran's Journalists association calls for retrial of Akbar Ganji
Head of Iran's Journalists Association Rajabali Mazrouei in a letter to Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi called for investigation of Akbar Ganji's case. - 7/3/05

Spanish Guitar in Tehran
The month of May was a good one for those of us who live in Tehran, despite the very changeable weather and temperature. Last week of May I and a few Friends went to a Spanish Guitar concert at Roudaki hall, Vahdatt. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/3/05

Iran voters sought to make ends meet
They had come from very different neighborhoods and backgrounds, but they were all there for the same reason: to buy government-subsidized food. The line ran from the basement up the stairs and out the door. -NY Times - 7/3/05

Iran's power generation capacity up by 53 percent in eight years
Iran's power generation capacity rose by 53 percent in eight years from 1997 to March 2005 following establishment of power plants with a total capacity of 15,040 megawatts of electricity. - 7/3/05

Washington's Prospective Policy in the Middle East: Managed Democracy
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's highly publicized tour in the Middle East, Asia and Europe carried with it little or no surprises. But even then, one must not altogether write off the possibility of some lessons to be learned, even if indirectly. -Counterpunch - 7/3/05

Russia's Putin Meets German, French Leaders In Kaliningrad
Yastrzhembskii said the leaders were also set to discuss a list of traditional topics, including Iran's nuclear program, the situation in Iraq, the Middle East, and moves to curb proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. - 7/3/05

Quake shakes Bandar Abbas in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the city of Bandar Abbas capital of the southern province of Hormuzgan Saturday morning. - 7/3/05

Iran dispatches disabled athletes to US
A four-member disabled track-and-field team from Iran left Tehran on Saturday for the United States to compete in the world cerebral palsy (CP) athletics. - 7/3/05

Iran: Mercedes-Benz production to start in September
Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars will be produced in Iran as of September, Tehran bureau of the giant German carmaker, Daimler Chrysler announced Friday. - 7/2/05

IRAN: Gruesome sentence upheld by Supreme Court
An Iranian court has sentenced a man to have his eyes surgically gouged out for a crime he committed 12 years ago, according to a report in the Iranian daily newspaper Etemaad. - 7/2/05

Tripartite refugee agreement signed between Iran, Afghanistan and UNHCR
A new tripartite agreement was signed on Tuesday between Iran, Afghanistan and the office of the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran. - 7/2/05

Austrian makes new charge against Iran president-elect
An outspoken Austrian politician has accused Iran's newly elected president of aiding the 1989 assassination of a Kurdish opposition leader in Vienna, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday. But the ministry said it was not investigating the charge. -Reuters - 7/2/05

Iranian Jewish Spiritual Icon Dies
Hacham Yedidia Shofet, a spiritual icon for Persian Jews both in Iran and the United States died last week at 96 in Los Angeles. -Jewish Journal - 7/2/05

Iran beats Lebanon, qualifies for Asian basketball event
Iran narrowly defeated Lebanon in the West Asian basketball match here Friday, booking a berth in the Asian Nations Cup. - 7/2/05

Iran stands second at Asian juniors handball tourney
Iran finished runner-up to South Korea at the Asian Juniors' Handball Championships in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, Saturday. - 7/2/05

Woman lost for five days braved bears, lived on berries
Totally unequipped, Iranian immigrant wandered wild region, survived on wits. -Anchorage Daily News, Alaska - 7/2/05

Haddad-Adel to Iranian expatriates : Iran is in good situation
Speaker of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel assured Iranian expatriates in Belgium Friday that he is optimistic about the future of the Islamic Republic . - 7/2/05

USA to unleash war on Iran?
As the scandal about the alleged terrorist past of the Iranian president-elect grows up, it's becoming obvious that the world is witnessing a smear campaign not unlike those aimed at Milosevic and Hussein on the eve of the US-led aggressions against Yugoslavia in 1999 and Iraq in 2003. -Pravda - 7/2/05

Iranian journalist Yosef Azizi Banitrouf freed on bail after 68 days in prison
Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release of Yosef Azizi Banitrouf on 28 June on payment of 25,000 dollars in bail but pointed out that four other journalists are still imprisoned in Iran. Banitrouf had been arrested at his home on 25 April. - 7/2/05

IFJ Calls for Independent Probe Over Three More Media Killings in Iraq Involving US Troops
The International Federation of Journalists today called on the United States to investigate three new cases of journalists killed in Iraq over the past week – all of them at the hands of United States soldiers. - 7/2/05

Experts to Guide Visitors at Qal-e Babak (Babak Fort)
This year’s celebration in Qal-e Babak, north west of Iran, is going to be accompanied by expert guides from Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism organization. - 7/2/05

Iran: U.S. Examines Hostage Accusations Against Ahmadinejad
U.S. President George W. Bush said on 30 June he wanted answers on whether Iranian President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad was involved in the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran - 7/1/05

Rafsanjani says situation in Iran is sensitive, warns against extremism
Rafsanjani who lost recent presidential election to his rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "I have achieved two of my three objectives in the election, which were high level of turnout as well as choosing a president with high level of votes". - 7/1/05

Iran's parliament speaker meets Belgian counterpart
Visiting Speaker of the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Gholam Ali Haddad Adel met his Belgian counterpart Hermann de Croo in Brussels on Friday and discussed cooperation of the two parliaments. - 7/1/05

Iranians in Belgian alcohol row
Iranian officials on a visit to Belgium have upset their hosts by trying to ban alcohol from the lunch table and refusing to shake women's hands. -BBC - 7/1/05

The silver lining in Iran
The hottest book in Iran these days is Bill Clinton's "My Life." There are three unauthorized translations on the market and at least two more on the way, Iranian newspapers report. -Abbas Milani, NY Times - 7/1/05

How Iran's reformers lost their political way
The Nobel Peace Prize winner could not be more emphatic about the election that swept Iran's hard-liners into the president's office a week ago. "Nothing has changed in Iran," says human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, her gaze unwavering as she sits in her modest basement office in Tehran. "Those who were in power are still in power. Why should it get better? If it's been bad up to now, it's going to be bad from now on." -CSM - 7/1/05
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