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Iran's average crude export stands at 2.35m barrels a day
NIOC director for international affairs, announced sunday that Iran's average export of crude oil in the past 4 months has stood at 2,350,000 barrels a day. -IRNA - 7/31/06

Chavez calls on 3rd world states to support Iran's nuclear program
Speaking in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez said how some of the big powers could possibly allow themselves to say Iran had no right to have access to the peaceful nuclear energy. -IRNA - 7/31/06

How can I tell if I'll be any good as a programmer?
Easily, according to a test devised by Saeed Dehnadi and Richard Bornat at Middlesex University's school of computing. In a draft paper they show that it takes only a three-line code example and a multiple-choice test to divide "programming sheep from non-programming goats" -Guardian - 7/31/06

‘The Smell of Dead People’
Qana. Bint Jbail. For Lebanon, a temporary respite in Israeli air attacks meant a day of counting the dead—and new names to add to the litany of mourning. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 7/31/06

Experts: Lebanon Crisis May Complicate Iran Nuclear Issue
The crisis in Lebanon is greatly complicated by the fact that Iran is a key backer of Hezbollah, which is locked in conflict with Israel. VOA correspondent Gary Thomas, who was recently in Iran, reports that the Lebanon conflict is already affecting the Iranian nuclear issue. -VOA - 7/31/06

Iranians 'Volunteer' To Help Hizballah
Groups of Iranian volunteers left Tehran for Lebanon recently, despite government discouragement and denials of responsibility. -RFE - 7/31/06

Security Council Orders Iran To End Nuclear Work
The UN Security Council has approved a resolution calling on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities by the end of August or face possible sanctions. -RFE - 7/31/06

Wake up call for Iranian Communities around the World: War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to Israel/US war on Iran
The horrific US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon under the pretext of self defence for the capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah is setting the stage for a US/Israeli military assault on Iran that would lead to a major conflagration in the Middle East and beyond. Only the antiwar movement and urgent action by a united Iranian community worldwide can stop such an aggression. -Abbas Edalat, et all - 7/28/06

Urgent Appeal to All Supporters of Human Rights
As an Iranian lawyer and a human rights defender, I am writing to you to ask you to help me save the life of a woman sentenced to death by stoning! Asharf Kalhori, who is currently in Evin prison in Tehran, is scheduled to be stoned to death by the end of July 2006 for the crime of having "sex". -Shadi Sadr, Tehran - 7/28/06

Agah gives Iran Asian juniors weightlifting title
Mehdi Agah from Iran celebrated the 85kg title of the Asian juniors' weightlifting meet in South Korea Friday. -Mehr - 7/28/06

Bringing Iran and Syria in from the cold
A black day in the Middle East produced one hopeful glimmer: Kofi Annan's insistence, backed by hosts Italy and other Rome conference participants, that lasting peace in Lebanon would require the "constructive engagement" of all regional countries including Syria and Iran. -Guardian - 7/28/06

The Israel Lobby and US – Iran Foreign Policy
This article is an abstract from an academic paper by the professors John J Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M Walt of Harvard University which has been turned into an essay by Michael Massing. The article shed some light on how American Israel Public Affair Committee tries to influence the government foreign policies and public opinion in United States. -Akbar Nourozi - 7/28/06

Security Council Expresses Shock at Israeli Attack on UN Post
The Chinese envoy suggested that the first casualty of the changed atmosphere would be a U.S.-backed resolution demanding that Iran halt its uranium enrichment program. "The working relations on this particular issue will have its impact on the working relationship on other issues. Secondly I have to say that on the Iran issue, not all members share same view. Because for China, we believe that the Iranian nuclear issue belongs mainly with the IAEA," he said. -VOA - 7/28/06

Lebanon: Displaced families tell of horrors left behind
Before they left in a convoy of cars filled with screaming children and fluttering white sheets, the women of Yaroun tried to organise a team to rescue the elderly and sick of their village that for two weeks has been caught up in the deadly crossfire of Hizbullah militants and the Israeli army just two kilometers from Lebanon's southern border. -IRIN - 7/28/06

Lebanon: NATO Option Looks Unpopular
As the world community starts to consider if an international force should be deployed in Lebanon, attention has turned to NATO as its most likely source. -RFE - 7/28/06

EU defends lawyer in Iranian nuclear spying case
The European Union called on Iran on Thursday to stop punishing human rights activists, including a lawyer accused of spying on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme. -Reuters - 7/28/06

U.S.-based Iranian students visit Yazd Science and Technology Park
A group of U.S.-based Iranian students paid a visit to Yazd Science and Technology Park in the Iranian province of Yazd. -Mehr - 7/28/06

Execution of a teenage girl
A television documentary team has pieced together details surrounding the case of a 16-year-old girl, executed two years ago in Iran. -BBC - 7/28/06

Amidst Middle East Crisis, Iran Plays for Time on Nuclear Talks
The Lebanese conflict has reportedly strengthened the Bush Administration’s resolve to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but, nonetheless, Iran shows no sign that it may be ready to change course and halt its uranium enrichment. -Eurasianet - 7/28/06

Has Israel Dealt Iran A Winning Hand?
The bloodshed in Lebanon has intensified the conflict over Iran's nuclear ambitions. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has referred to the fighting in Lebanon as part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East." If true, what kind of Middle East is now being born? -ABC News - 7/28/06

Tide of Arab opinion turning to Hezbollah
Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for 15 days, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements. -New York Times - 7/28/06

Dissent Grows in Israel Over Lebanon
The government of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is facing a barrage of criticism over its handling of the war in Lebanon, with questions being raised about the decision to attack Hizbullah, mounting military losses, continuing missile strikes on northern Israel, and disquiet about Lebanese civilian casualties. -Guardian - 7/28/06

Iran to elect football boss under FIFA supervision Oct. 29
New president of Iran's Football Federation (IFF) will be elected in a general assembly in the presence of FIFA representative here on October 29, announced the IFF Secretary Dariush Mostafavi Thursday. -Mehr - 7/28/06

Polo players overcome Iran barriers
Iran has been holding its first international all-women's polo tournament this week, with teams from Britain and Australia taking on the hosts. -BBC - 7/28/06

Central Asia: U.S. Wary Of Shanghai Grouping
A senior U.S. State Department official says the United States should not worry too much about any threat emerging from the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. -RFE - 7/28/06

An estimated 800,000 people uprooted by attacks, says Lebanese body
An estimated 800,000 people have been affected in Lebanon by the current crisis, with hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes, according to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council established by the Lebanese government to deal with the crisis. -IRIN - 7/28/06

Pest-Control Israeli Style
Sometimes an overzealous attempt at pest control might destroy more than just the pests. And sometimes, an overanxious, paranoid enthusiast might burn down the house or an entire block in trying to do a real thorough job of dealing with parasites. -Kam Zarrabi - 7/27/06

Middle East: Analyst Says 'U.S. Needs To Talk To Syria, Iran'
Radio Farda correspondent Fatemeh Aman interviewed Marina Ottaway, an expert on the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, about the lack of results at the July 26 Rome conference and how developments may play out in the region. -RFE - 7/27/06

Middle East Intrudes On Persian Summit in Tajikistan
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met on July 26 in Tajikistan with their Tajik counterpart Imomali Rakhmonov to discuss how they could cooperate on security, communications, and trade. -RFE - 7/27/06

Once the Iran War Starts
The mainstream media will happily welcome the war and all the conflict that leads up to it, fully supporting the right wing neoconservatives' line of thinking that justifies the attack. The MSM will emphasize the evil empire of Iran and Syria and make it seem like the only possible response the US could have will be to attack. -OpEdNews - 7/27/06

Israeli Air Power Dominates Middle East
Many analysts say Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast and Esfahan, where uranium enrichment is believed to be taking place, would be top targets. Many military analysts say Iran is putting its nuclear weapons research facilities in hardened underground bunkers. But those analysts say that Israel has deep penetration "bunker buster" bombs capable of destroying such targets. -VOA - 7/27/06

new york congressman criticizes america's "unsuccessful" policies on iran, denounces regime change
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) questioned the candor of a Bush Administration official and called any proposed regime change policy "ridiculous" at the conclusion of a Congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing on the Iranian energy economy. -NIAC - 7/27/06

Iran's Oil Minister satisfied with current crude oil price
Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the current sale price of the crude oil on the market. He made the remark while speaking to reporters after meeting the OPEC president Edmund Daukoru, who is currently visiting Tehran. -IRNA - 7/27/06

Hezbollah Could Be Gaining Strength
The continuing Israeli bombing of south Lebanon and south Beirut might just have strengthened the Hezbollah. -IPS - 7/27/06

US House of Representatives Approves Bill Advancing Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Deal with India
An agreement under which the United States would sell nuclear technology and fuel to India took a major step forward Wednesday with approval of legislation by the House of Representatives. The bill is one of several legislative steps required before the U.S.-India agreement can be implemented. -VOA - 7/27/06

Home appliances prices skyrocketing in Iran
Prices of various kinds of home appliances have increased significantly since late March, according to a Wednesday report in IRNA's English morning newspaper, the Iran Daily. -IRNA - 7/27/06

Israel says world backs offensive
Israel says Wednesday's decision by key world powers not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive has given it the green light to continue. -BBC - 7/27/06

Rice Warns Iran, Syria Over Lebanon Cease-Fire
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned Syria and Iran not to "torpedo" attempts to achieve a cease-fire in Lebanon. -RFE - 7/27/06

Under Fire
Fleeing the dangers of the embattled south, Lebanese find little respite in the once-pleasant resort of Tyre. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 7/27/06

Fakhravar Stands With Neoconservatives, Calls For Us Sponsored Regime Change In Iran
On July 20, 2006, a Senate Homeland Security Committee panel heard conflicting testimony on how to best address Iran’s nuclear ambitions and formulate a policy on Iran. -NIAC - 7/27/06

The back door to Tehran
The U.S. is clandestinely courting rebel forces bent on regime change -Macleans, Canada - 7/27/06

Iran warns the west: ignore us at your peril
Iran warned the west yesterday that attempts to broker a Lebanon peace deal at today's Rome summit are destined to fail and it predicted a backlash across the Muslim world unless Israel's military forces were immediately reined in. -Guardian - 7/27/06

US may hijack UN resolution on Iran
With the end of the diplomatic phase in sight, what will the next step be? To be sure, the diplomatic phase, once ended, must be followed by a punitive stage. Within the present framework of the Security Council and in relation to Iran, this would, most probably, mean progressive (step-by-step) punitive measures of a non-military type, designed to produce somewhat calculated results over the long term. -Jalal Alavi - 7/27/06

Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan condemn attacks against Lebanon
Heads of three regional countries, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, on Wednesday night, at the end of their tripartite talks, strongly condemned Israel's attack against Lebanon, asking for an immediate, unconditional end to the aggressive, occupational move. -IRNA - 7/27/06

Ali Qapu Gate Unearthed in Sheikh Safi Domed Mausoleum
The main gate of Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili's Mausoleum which was constructed during the Safavid era was unearthed completely by archeologists. -CHN - 7/27/06

NIAC and IABA Join Forces to Protect Ancient Persian Article
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) are joining forces to protect priceless Persian artifacts from being sold for private profit. The artifacts excavated from Persepolis are under threat of being seized by a legal defense team and auctioned off as compensation for a 1997 terror bombing attack in Israel. - 7/27/06

Prominent Iranian Dissident and Former Political Prisoner Akbar Ganji on Why He Refused to Meet President Bush and the Dangers of a US Invasion of Iran
The renowned Iranian investigative journalist Akbar Ganji speaks out against human rights abuses in his home country as well as U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Recently released from prison, Ganji discusses his incarceration and says U.S. foreign policy is hurting Iran’s pro-democracy movement. -Democracy Now - 7/26/06

Washington's Latest Middle East War
The Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine, euphemistically depicted as “self-defense” against Hezbollah and Hamas, is simultaneously an Israeli war for domination, and a regional war to “remap” the contemporary Middle East. -Common Dreams - 7/26/06

Pollution threatens Caspian Sea
The exploitation of oil resources, the use of undersea pipelines and the increasing number of the bulk carriers along with the other pollutants jeopardize the Caspian Sea ecosystem, said the director general of Mazandaran and Golestan Provinces' Ports and Shipping Department General on Tuesday. -Mehr - 7/26/06

Iran: Middle East Overshadows President's Central Asia Agenda
Iranian President Ahmadinejad has cautioned against further violence in the Middle East, saying the conflict between Israel and the Tehran-backed Hizballah militant group could trigger a "storm" in the region. -RFE - 7/26/06

Iran's Pars Semiconductor develops microprocessor
Iran has designed and produced a 32 bit computer microprocessor inside the country for the first time. The computer microprocessor called Aristo has been manufactured by Iranian researchers and engineers at Pars Semiconductor Company -Fars - 7/26/06

Saudi Arabia and Jordan - With friends like these…
The recent support of the US government for the death and destruction in Lebanon does not come as a surprise. Nor is it a surprise to see the silence of the European governments (especially UK). What is surprising, however, is the belief that the Arab streets still do not matter. -Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway - 7/26/06

Iran anger at Lebanon aid 'block'
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have stopped Iran using their air space to send humanitarian relief to Lebanon, media in Iran have said. -BBC - 7/26/06

India warns over US nuclear deal
Indian PM Manmohan Singh has said India will not accept any new conditions in the landmark nuclear deal with the US. -BBC - 7/26/06

Iran -- Instigator or Bystander?
Whether Iran is instigator or target of the war now entering its third week is much disputed. The Israeli and American view that Iran is mainly responsible for Hezbollah's attacks runs counter to the common view in the Iranian and Arab news sites that the Islamic Republic supports but does not control the Shiite militia of Lebanon. -Washington Post - 7/26/06

Iran's ports in Persian Gulf to fuel large cargo, cruise liners
Preparations have been made for large cargo and cruise liners to be fuelled at the ports located on the Iranian shores of the Persian Gulf . -Mehr - 7/26/06

Iranian President, In Tajik Capital, Warns Of Mideast 'Storm'
"Those who think that by oppressing a nation they can create a foothold for themselves are making a big mistake. There is an expression in Persian: He who raises the wind will get a hurricane. And this hurricane is just round the corner in the Middle East, and it will be harsh and destructive for the enemies of humanity." -RFE - 7/26/06

Some in Iran skeptical of Hezbollah
From the leafy streets of upscale northern Tehran to the poorer southern neighborhoods, a surprising number of young Iranians yesterday shrugged off the two-week old conflict, and Hezbollah's cause, as minor issues compared with inflation, unemployment, and confining social strictures. -Boston Globe - 7/26/06

Middle East: Birth pangs or a bloody abortion?
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before setting off on her so called "diplomatic mission" to the Middle East described the massive ongoing destruction of every standing infrastructure, dislocation of a million civilians and untold human suffering in Lebanon as an inevitable part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East". -Daniel M Pourkesali, Virginia - 7/26/06

Is Iran Behind the War in Lebanon?
Israel’s prolonged bombing campaign throughout Lebanon and new occupation of Southern Lebanon – instigated by a Hezbollah cross-border raid and kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in early July – marks a new and dangerous escalation of war in the Middle East. -Trita Parsi & Gareth Porter, NIAC - 7/26/06

Iran's Christian MP calls on Pope to stand up to Israel
MP Jonathan Betkellia, who represents Iran's Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in the Majlis, has written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI denouncing Israel's brutal attacks on the Lebanese nation, a report released by the Majlis media department said on Tuesday. -Mehr - 7/26/06

US Renews Warning to Iran over Uranium Enrichment
The United States reiterated its warning to Iran Tuesday to halt uranium enrichment and return to nuclear negotiations, saying world powers are prepared to seek punitive action against Tehran if does otherwise. The comments of a top State Department official came during a congressional hearing on Iran. -VOA - 7/26/06

Iranian Woman Blazes Trail Into Space
Anousheh Ansari, who grew up in Tehran and watched reruns of Star Trek, is set to become the world's first female space tourist. -Space Daily - 7/26/06

Persian Gold: Update on the Chah-e-Zard Gold Project in Yazd, Iran
Persian Gold plc. ("Persian Gold" or "the Company") is very pleased to announce the results from the second stage sampling programme on the Chah-e-Zard Gold Project in Yazd, Iran. Persian Gold holds an option to acquire 70% of the project with the remainder held by a local Iranian company. - 7/26/06

Two Moral Obligations of Muslim Immigrants in the United States
Ever since the Second World War millions of people from predominantly Muslim countries have migrated to Europe and North America. They have come to the West with the same hopes and aspiration as other third world immigrants: economic prosperity, political freedom and a better future for their children. -Nader Habibi, - 7/26/06

Ahmadinejad Opens Iranian-Built Tunnel In Tajikistan
The presidents of Tajikistan and Iran, Imomali Rakhmonov and Mahmud Ahmadinejad, today inaugurated an Iranian-built road tunnel north of Dushanbe. -RFE - 7/26/06

England edges past Iran in women's polo meet
Iran's Polo Club was hammered by the world runner-up England 12-6 in a three-sided women's tournament in Karaj, 35km west of Tehran, Tuesday. -Mehr - 7/26/06

Tell the Department of Justice to prevent ancient Persian Artifacts from being sold
A legal battle over the seizure of ancient Persian artifacts is underway between victims of a 1997 bombing in Jerusalem and the University of Chicago, the Oriental Institute, and the Iranian government. -NIAC - 7/25/06

Tajikistan: Rakhmonov Hosts Iranian, Afghan Presidents
The leaders of Iran and Afghanistan arrive in Tajikistan today for talks with President Imomali Rakhmonov and other senior Tajik officials. Discussions at the trilateral summit should include trade and security issues. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Rakhmonov will cover a lot of regional ground, but they also provide a reminder of the affinities among these three Persian-speaking countries. -RFE - 7/25/06

Iranian President Pays First Visit To Turkmenistan
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad arrived in Ashgabat today for his first official visit to the energy-rich Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan. Turkmen officials have said they hope Ahmadinejad's two-day visit contributes to efforts to define the status of the Caspian Sea and its resources. The two sides were also expected to discuss Turkmen exports of natural gas. -RFE - 7/25/06

U.S. Turns to Arab Dictators to Contain Hezbollah
The United States is using authoritarian Arab leaders, who fear that Iran could export its revolutionary political model to their disgruntled populations and are concerned about Washington's reprisal against them a la Saddam Hussein in Iraq, as a buffer between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel, Washington's protégé in the Middle East, analysts here say. -IPS - 7/25/06

Women Back under Wraps with Taliban Vice Squad
Afghanistan's notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which was set up by the Taliban to enforce bans on women doing anything from working to wearing nail varnish or laughing out loud, is to be recreated by the Government in Kabul. -The Australian - 7/25/06

Iran's first quarter vehicle imports over $60m
Iran imported 2,976 vehicles worth $60,484,000 in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year 1385, starting March 21, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) said. -Mehr - 7/25/06

Beckett's call to Syria and Iran
Syria and Iran should stop their support for Hezbollah and end their interference in Lebanese affairs, the UK foreign secretary has said. -BBC - 7/25/06

Iran rejects talk preconditions
Iran has repeated its refusal to accept any preconditions for nuclear talks with the West - such as halting its nuclear enrichment activities. -BBC - 7/25/06

Scale of the Human Crisis Emerges
The situation in Lebanon is "very bad, and deteriorating by the day", said Mr Egeland the UN emergency relief coordinator. On Sunday he described the bombing of south Beirut as "a violation of humanitarian law". -Guardian - 7/25/06

Iran activist 'snubs White House'
Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji declined to meet White House officials during a visit to the US, he has told the BBC. - 7/25/06

Iran: Amnesty International seeking clarification of official letter about Baha'i minority
Amnesty International is seeking information from the Iranian government about a letter which calls for government ministries and the Republican Guard to compile information and report to the Armed Forces Command on the activities of adherents of the Baha'i faith - 7/25/06

Iran's role in crisis still murky
Since the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah erupted nearly two weeks ago, many pundits and US officials have blamed Iran for the crisis. -BBC - 7/25/06

The Crime of Lebanon and Palestine - Are Iran and Syria Next?
By any interpretation of international law, Israel today is committing massive and egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity against the defenseless people of Palestine and Lebanon. -OpEdNews - 7/25/06

Increase in Iran-Japan Azadegan oil contract value likely
By the end of summer, the deadline is up and Japanese INPEX needs to get back to negotiation table as the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has tentatively agreed to pay 25-35 percent more on the top of the $4b Azadegan oil contract. -Mehr - 7/25/06

BBG Increases Persian Television With Debut of VOA's Late Edition
The Voice of America (VOA) has launched Late Edition, increasing VOA's original, seven-days-a-week Persian-language television broadcasts to Iran and elsewhere to three hours followed by repeats, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) announced today. - 7/25/06

Iran's Score in Sport Tourism Not Satisfactory
Many experts and those active in sport tourism believe that Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) has almost no plans for the promotion of this sport tourism in Iran. -CHN - 7/25/06

South Korean, Indian Take Early Lead in Race for UN Chief
Candidates from South Korea and India have emerged as the early frontrunners in the race to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary-general of the United Nations. Diplomats were unusually tight-lipped as they emerged from Monday's informal vote, or 'straw poll'. -VOA - 7/25/06

Film Festival in Australia to Discuss Women & Cinema in Iran & Turkey
The role of women in the Iranian and Turkish cinemas will be discussed in a seminar entitled "Unveiling Islam: Women and Cinema in Iran and Turkey" during the 15th Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) in Australia on August 3rd, 2006. -CHN - 7/25/06

Calls for ban on "Da Vinci Code" in Iran
The Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) has called for a ban on the book and film "The Da Vinci Code" in Iran. -Mehr - 7/25/06

Vocal In Support For Hizballah, Iranians Go To Lebanon
The Islamic Republic of Iran has served as an ideological inspiration for Hizballah since the Lebanese militant group's creation in 1982, and Tehran acknowledges that it supports the organization morally and politically. A prominent Iranian journalist, furthermore, recently told RFE/RL that many of his compatriots sympathize with Hizballah and view it as a legitimate resistance organization. -RFE - 7/25/06

Modern Iran struggles through Hangover of Nuclear Threats
Peering through radio and television signals and waving away the pollution of Tehran, one can see that not all Iranians are masked figures in white nuclear gears, puffing and panting while they push uranium barrels- as pictured frequently by Western TV channels. -Amir Azizmohamadi, The Canadian - 7/25/06

Iran: Zoroastrian MP proposes changing name of the month of Mordad to Amordad
On Saturday, MP Kurosh Niknam, who represents the Zoroastrian community in the Majlis, presented a proposal to the Iranian parliament to officially change the name of the fifth month in the Iranian calendar year (July 23-August 22) from Mordad to Amordad. -Mehr - 7/25/06

Meanwhile, The View From Inside Iran
Hizballah may be Tehran's client, but Iranians aren't buying the propaganda -TIME - 7/25/06

Pakistan Reportedly Working to Expand Nuclear Weapons Base
Pakistan has refused to comment on news that it is building a powerful new plutonium nuclear reactor, which could signal a major overhaul of the country's nuclear weapons program. A Washington-based research group released this week what it says are satellite photographs of what appears to be a new reactor under construction at a Pakistan nuclear site. -VOA - 7/25/06

U.S. Iran Policy Irks Senior Commanders: The Military vs. Militaristic Civilian Leadership
There is strong evidence that as the Bush administration is mulling over plans to bomb Iran, the simmering conflict between the high-ranking military professionals and the militaristic civilian leaders is bursting into open. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh, OpEdNews - 7/25/06

Nuke Iran, Blame the Jews
Members of the Jewish faith and others correctly point out that Jews are often blamed for the sins of others. They may be about to be proven right again, in a big way. The current conflict may escalate to the point where the US will use nuclear weapons against Iran, in what will be the first use of nuclear weapons in war since Nagasaki. And the world will blame it on the Jews. -Jorge Hirsch, Common Dreams - 7/25/06

Persian Golden Lioness Awardee Shahrokh Moskin Ghalam's Adaptation of Classic Kafaneh Siah Play Takes Wing with North American Tour
Kafaneh Siah aka The Black Veil is a major classic yet quite unknown play by Persian Poet/Writer Mirzadeh Eshghi (born as Sayed Mohammad Reza Eshghi) (1893 - July 3, 1924). -By Darius KADIVAR - 7/25/06

The Empire Leaves Beirut to Burn
In the year 551, the magnificent, wealthy city of Berytus -- headquarters of the imperial East Mediterranean Roman fleet -- was struck by a massive earthquake. Then, the sea withdrew several miles and the survivors, ancestors of the present-day Lebanese, walked out on the sands to loot the long-sunken merchant ships revealed in front of them. -Robert Fisk, Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 7/24/06

Inconvenient Facts
Western media’s suppression and distortion of inconvenient facts about Israel continues to rob their population from any impartial, accurate, and in-depth analysis of international events. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 7/24/06

Tehran Stock Exchange Sunday close up by 7.5 percent
transactions at Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) witnessed 7.5 percent general index growth over the previous closing the day at 9,539 units. -Mehr - 7/24/06

Rice Begins Talks With Surprise Stop In Lebanon
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived on a previously unannounced visit to Lebanon today and was due in Israel later for talks on resolving the broadening conflict with Hizballah. -RFE - 7/24/06

Italy's Lazio defeats Iran's Persepolis 4-1 in friendly
Italy's Lazio handed the red-shirted Persepolis of Iran a 4-1 defeat in a friendly in Liz, Austria, Sunday night. -Mehr - 7/24/06

US pushes for wider Middle East change
No immediate breakthrough is expected during the visit of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Middle East, beginning on Monday. -BBC - 7/24/06

LEBANON: Children traumatised by attacks
The UN's Childrens Fund, UNICEF, says around half the estimated 600,000 people displaced in Lebanon to date, are children and women. -IRIN - 7/24/06

Turkmen president formally greets Iranian counterpart
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was formally greeted in Ashkhabad by his Turkmen counterpart Saparmurat Niyazov on Monday. -IRNA - 7/24/06

Kurdish Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Sa'id Sa'edi and Ajlal Qavami - APPEAL CASE by Amnesty International
Iranian Kurdish journalists and human rights defenders (HRDs) Sa’id Sa’edi and Ajlal Qavami will appear before a court in Sanandaj, north-west Iran on 17 July 2006. They are accused of acting against national security and crossing the border illegally. -Amnesty International - 7/24/06

U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday. -New York Times - 7/24/06

US Complicit in Destruction of Lebanon
There never was any doubt of the Bush regime's complicity in Israel's naked aggression against the Lebanese civilian population. Bush has protected Israel from world condemnation. Bush has blocked those who attempted to bring a stop to Israel's bombing of residential neighborhoods and civilian infrastructure, and now Bush rushes more bombs for Israel to drop on Lebanon. - 7/24/06

Shamlu poetry anthology to be translated into English
An anthology of works by Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlu (1925-2000) is to be translated into English by Sheida Diani and published by Sokhan Publications in the near future. -Mehr - 7/24/06

Visiting Iran, A New Chance to Get Rid of Misconceptions
Just like many other foreign tourists, the two Malaysian journalists who recently came to Iran believe that Iran is very different from what they had heard about it before their visits. -CHN - 7/24/06

Kurdish Women Activists Push for Change
Women in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq are represented in the new national assembly and hold some ministerial positions. But in the tribal, male-dominated society of rural areas, women are often treated as second class citizens. -VOA - 7/24/06

A Parthian Hill Accidentally Discovered in Damavand
A historical hill belonging to the Parthian era (248 BC–AD 224) was accidentally discovered in the vicinity of Elm-o Sanaat University in Damavand. -CHN - 7/24/06

Sixth Biennial Conference On Iranian Studies
A biennial conference that includes contributions in all fields of Iranian studies, especially new areas of investigation and/or novel approaches to traditional fields. 3 - 5 August 2006, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London - 7/24/06

Diplomacy To The Fore As Military Stakes Rise
Syria has warned that it may enter the conflict in Lebanon if Israel forces enter Lebanon and approach the Syrian border. - 7/23/06

Some Iranians angered aid does not stay home
There is a huge amount of anger here about what is happening in Lebanon, but it is not all the result of Israeli bombs, missiles and artillery. "Of course I am angry," said Hamid Akbari, 30, a deliveryman. "All our income is going to Palestine and Hezbollah." -New York Times - 7/23/06

Iran Khodro to export Peugeot 206SDs to 39 countries
Managing director of Iran Khodro, a leading auto manufacturing group, announced Saturday that new model of Peugeot 206SDs (sedan) will be exported to 39 countries including Russia, Turkey and Algeria. -IRNA - 7/23/06

Bush: Hezbollah, Syria, Iran Must be Confronted
President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meet with senior Saudi diplomats Sunday to discuss continuing violence between Israel and Hezbollah militants across the Lebanese border. Secretary Rice then leaves for the region for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. -VOA - 7/23/06

LEBANON: Patience and food running low in Palestinian camps
Shatila is one of dozens of camps where over half Lebanon's estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees live in squalid, cramped conditions. The camps are fully built up with concrete buildings and infrastructure, albeit in a deteriorating state. -IRIN - 7/23/06

Iran leader's warning to Israel
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Israel that it has "pushed the button of its own destruction" because of its actions in Lebanon. -BBC - 7/23/06

U.S. trying to split Syria from Iran
As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Israel on Sunday, Bush administration officials said they recognized that Syria was central to any plans to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and that they were seeking ways to peel Syria away from its alliance of convenience with Iran. -New York Times - 7/23/06

British split with Bush as Israeli tanks roll in
Britain dramatically broke ranks with George Bush last night over the Lebanon crisis, publicly criticising Israel's military tactics and urging America to 'understand' the price being paid by ordinary Lebanese civilians. -Guardian - 7/23/06

Russia Now Opposes Key Parts of Iran Draft
Russia is unexpectedly opposing key parts of a U.S.-backed Security Council draft resolution on Iran's nuclear program, threatening international unity on how to handle Tehran's defiance, U.N. diplomats said Saturday. -AP - 7/23/06

Blind Iranian women to document their lifestyle
Seven blind Iranian women are set for making documentaries on their lifestyle. The project was proposed by director Mohammad Shirvani at a screenwriting and directing workshop held last summer for blind people in White Cane Charity Foundation in Tehran. -Mehr - 7/23/06

Iran's oil, gas production continues to rise
As a result of the drilling operations carried out by the National Iranian Central Oilfields Company (NICOC) at ten wells in a three-month period, total national production of oil has been increased by 23,000 barrels per day and daily natural gas production has been increased by 5.8 million cubic meters, a NICOC official said on Sunday. -Mehr - 7/23/06

Gifts for Iran: Look what spreading democracy can do
WASHINGTON As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Israel on Sunday, Bush administration officials said they recognized that Syria was central to any plans to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and that they were seeking ways to peel Syria away from its alliance of convenience with Iran. That message was conveyed to me recently by a senior Jordanian intelligence official at his office in Amman. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, reflecting gloomily on the failure of the Bush administration's various policies in the region. -New York Times - 7/23/06

Iran will never enter Israel-Lebanon war: general
Iran will never militarily interfere in the war between Israel and Lebanon, Chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff Major General Seyyed Hassan Firuzabadi said on Saturday. -Mehr - 7/23/06

Iranian dissident Jahanbegloo’s taped “confession”
A tape of the confession of Ramin Jahanbegloo, the Iranian intellectual, dissident and Harvard and Sorbonne graduate arrested on May 3 on charges of “relations with foreigners, was shown in some Iranian cultural circles, this according to Iranian newspaper Resalat. -Asia News - 7/22/06

Great Satan and Small Satan: Which is which?
I never liked Khomeini's doctrine; in fact, I have an aversion to all religions. Admittedly, given that I went to a Catholic school for a few years, I have a propensity towards Christianity—however, Khomeini was right on the mark when he called America the 'Great Satan'. Did he ever call Israel the Small Satan? I still have not figured out which is the great and which is the small. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 7/22/06

Zandi, Daei dropped from Iran football squad
Skipper Ali Daei and midfielder Fereydun Zandi were dropped from Iran's national football team on Friday. Newly appointed trainer Amir Qal'e-Noii called up 40 players to get ready for the Asian Nations Cup, but he did not summon regular Daei and left winger Zandi. -Mehr - 7/22/06

Is Tehran emerging as regional winner?
Lebanon is under bombardment, Iraq writhes in civil war and Palestine is consumed by strife. Might Tehran emerge as the ultimate winner? -Daily Star - 7/22/06

Attacks Qualify as War Crimes, Officials Say
The United Nations’ top human rights official said Wednesday that the killing and maiming of civilians under attack in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza and the West Bank could constitute war crimes. -New York Times - 7/22/06

Santorum portrays Iran as top source of “Islamic Fascism”, calls for regine change
“This war is not between two morally equal sides but between brutal totalitarian fascism and freedom,” said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) today at the National Press Club. -NIAC - 7/22/06

Palestine Sans Frontières
Since the commando assault on 25 June 2006 that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and the abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit, Israel has intensified the almost daily bombing of Gaza which it had started six months ago in response to the Qassam missiles launched towards the Israeli town of Sderot and the surrounding areas, themselves a response to Israel's ferocious aerial and rocket attacks. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, MRZine - 7/22/06

Book Review: Love, upheaval in family's life in Iran, U.S.
With all the volatile ingredients that have gone into it, "Jumping Over Fire" ought to be gut-wrenching, or at least powerful and eloquent. Instead, it's merely interesting. -Seattle Times - 7/22/06

Iranian intervention revives an ancient enmity
Pro-western Arab governments have sharply criticised Hizbullah for provoking Israel's onslaught on Lebanon. Far from backing the Lebanese militia's attempt to take the fight to the Arab world's traditional enemy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states - but not Syria - this week jointly condemned the group's "irresponsible and unacceptable acts". -Guardian - 7/22/06

Iraq: Turkey Threatens Military Incursion
Turkey has said it was taking steps this week to prepare for a cross-border incursion into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters holed up in the Qandil Mountain range. The announcement came following a series of PKK attacks on Turkish troops in recent days that left more than a dozen soldiers dead. -RFE - 7/22/06

No, This Is Not 'Our War'
No, Kenny boy, we are not "all Israelis." Some of us still think of ourselves as Americans, first, last, and always. And, no, Mr. Kristol, this is not "our war." It's your war. -Patrick J. Buchanan, - 7/22/06

The Most Dangerous Alliance in the World
After getting out of Lebanon, writer June Rugh told Reuters on Tuesday: "As an American, I'm embarrassed and ashamed. My administration is letting it happen [by giving] tacit permission for Israel to destroy a country." -Norman Solomon, Common Dreams - 7/22/06

Iran Khodro annual car production to hit 650,000 by March 2007: executive
Iran Khodro Executive Director Manuchehr Manteqi said here on Thursday that the company plans to produce 650,000 passenger cars in the current Iranian calendar year of 1385 (ends March 21, 2007). -Mehr - 7/22/06

U.S. Arming of Israel: How U.S. Weapons Manufacturers Profit From Middle East Conflict
Much has been made of the Syrian and Iranian origin of weaponry used by Hezbollah but there has been little discussion of where Israel's weapons come from. A new report by the World Policy Institute examines how the United States provides billions of dollars of military aid to Israel each year and how their current arsenal is composed of U.S made equipment. -Democracy Now - 7/22/06

The Animal Planet
Now let’s see how the current scenario could possibly evolve into a regional conflagration with global implications. By that I mean the very real possibility of stretching the current confrontations in Lebanon to engulf Syria and, if Yahweh, in His wisdom, doesn’t change His mind, into Iran. -Kam Zarrabi - 7/22/06

Iran protests to EU Council of Ministers against Middle East stance
Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Israel is committing state terrorism by massacring defenseless civilians in Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Lebanon and criticized European Council of Ministers for its negligence of the war crimes the occupying regime has perpetrated in the past four weeks running. -IRNA - 7/21/06

UN's Kofi Annan proposes package of actions to staunch bloodshed in Lebanon
Renewing his urgent appeal for an end to the civilian carnage in Lebanon and northern Israel and condemning both that country's use of excessive force as well as Hizbollah's recklessness, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today proposed elements for a political framework aimed at achieving a lasting solution to the conflict. - 7/21/06

Ralph Nader: U.S. Carries "Inescapable Responsibility" for "Israeli Government's Escalating War Crimes"
Former Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader wrote a letter to President Bush this week that harshly criticized the White House for its response to Israel's bombardment of Lebanon. -Democracy Now - 7/21/06

Iran lifts Asian U-20 freestyle wrestling title
Iran stood top at the 2006 Asian Under-20 Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thursday night. -Mehr - 7/21/06

Terrorism suit targets Iranian artifacts in U.S.
That a victim of a Palestinian suicide bombing would seek legal redress from an American museum might seem baffling to the uninitiated. But for Daniel Miller, 27, it is simply a way of extracting justice from a government that he blames for his suffering. -New York Times - 7/21/06

Iran Seeks to Become Major Mideast Player
Iranian officials often say that places with the greatest troubles offer their country the best opportunities. Iranian influence in Iraq has surged since the U.S.-led invasion three years ago. Its reach into Afghanistan continues to grow. -AP - 7/21/06

Pageant winner promotes progressive revolution
Nazanin Afshin-Jam thought about a career in diplomacy, but she opted to be a beauty queen instead. Don’t write her off for it; it took a shrewd understanding of power for the UBC international-relations and political-science grad to make that choice. -Vancouver Free Press - 7/21/06

Iraq PM accuses Iran opposition group of meddling
Iraq's prime minister on Wednesday accused the main Iranian opposition group, which has been based in Iraq for the past 20 years, of meddling in his country's affairs and suggested it could face expulsion -Reuters - 7/21/06

Dangerous rhetoric
Sanctimonious talk about the need for freedom and democracy in Iran will only make matters worse. -Guardian - 7/21/06

Turks Cite Israel's Lebanon War As Precedent Against Kurds
Turkey said yesterday that Israel's action in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks meant it should be allowed to take similar steps against Kurdish guerrillas operating from northern Iraq against its forces. -Daily Telegraph - 7/21/06

Jahangir Amuzegar on the situation involving Iran's nuclear power
An article by Dr. Jahangir Amuzegar in the latest issue of Middle East Policy analyzes the elements facing the European Union, the United States, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, regarding Iran's nuclear program. He writes that the positions held by all sides involve immense implications for world peace and security, as well as the political stability of the Persian Gulf region. - 7/21/06

Once More, With Feeling
The week-old Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is likely to boost the chances of U.S. military action against Iran, according to a number of regional experts who see a broad consensus among the U.S. political elite that the ongoing hostilities are part of a broader offensive being waged by Tehran against Washington across the region. -TomPaine - 7/21/06

Afghanistan: Helmand Battles Cast Doubt On NATO
The Taliban's seizure of two remote districts in the Afghan province of Helmand on July 16 has raised concerns about how well NATO can maintain security in remote parts of the country. Allegations from Kabul that Pakistani groups were involved in the Taliban attack also have rekindled tensions between Kabul and Islamabad. -RFE - 7/21/06

UK Ad Authority Upholds 1 FT Iran Missile Ad Complaint
The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority has upheld one of five complaints made by the Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran and members of the public concerning a full-page advert for the American Jewish Committee featured in London's Financial Times newspaper in April 2006, the ASA said Wednesday. -Dow Jones - 7/21/06

Germany Rejects Part Of Iranian Letter About Israel
Germany says it rejects parts of a letter Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad sent to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 19. - 7/21/06

Scholar's Long Detention, Warning to Dissidents
Nearly three months after Iranian scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested, academics and civil society activists here are protesting that he has not yet been formally charged and that he is being used as a scapegoat to frighten other intellectuals. -Majid Darinoush, IPS - 7/21/06

Iran-Interlink Hosted London Symposium on Fate of Individuals in Rajavi Cult in Iraq
Iran-Interlink hosted a symposium on Iraq: Camp Ashraf in Westminster on Wednesday, July 19. The focus of the symposium was "What Will Be the Fate of Individuals Trapped in the Rajavi Cult in Iraq?" The Rajavi cult is recognized in the West as the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq or National Council of Resistance of Iran. - 7/21/06

Iranian Opposition Divisions Mar Visit to White House
While two senior Bush administration officials met with 30 Iranian activists and academics to discuss the future of Iran, the son of the late shah, Reza Pahlavi, and Iran's leading dissident, Akbar Ganji, who is touring America this month, did not attend. -New York Sun - 7/21/06

Why Not Involve Iran in Effort To Establish Order in Mideast?
The world faces different crises all the time, and each generation feels its crises to be the biggest. But nobody can ignore the fact that recent developments in certain parts of the world are having a major impact on the relations between nations and peoples. -Abbas Maleki, Forward - 7/21/06

Iranian documentary to present zurkhaneh sports in UNESCO
Iranian director Hamed Fereshteh-Hekmat has begun shooting a documentary on sport shows originated at the zurkhaneh (the Iranian traditional sports club) to submit the movie to the UNESCO -Mehr - 7/21/06

Iran: Weak Economy Challenges Populist President
The biggest problems facing elected officials in Iran are economic ones, particularly double-digit unemployment and inflation. These factors dogged President Mohammad Khatami during his term in office (1997-2005), and the reformists' focus on civil-society development resounded poorly with people who often could not afford meat with their meals. -RFE - 7/21/06

Mahe-Mehr Art Institute in Tehran
At a time when most people are hesitant to start a new business or expand an ongoing one, when business people in all fields complain of low sales and despondency, except maybe those involved in the food industry, I find it delightful that a few dedicated and courageous people have the daring to forgo the barriers of fear and the necessary financial risk that such endeavor entails. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/21/06

Akbar Ganji Favors Nonviolent Resistance To Policies Of The Islamic Republic
Having been released in March after six years of imprisonment, and being named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, Mr. Ganji expressed his thanks to the human rights community for aiding his cause. But he emphasized that more needed to be done to address Iran’s human rights concerns, “I have greater expectations,” said Mr. Ganji. -NIAC - 7/20/06

Robert Fisk in Beirut: Israeli Assault on Lebanon Inflicting "Mass Punishment on a Whole People"
For a report from Lebanon on the crisis we turn to journalist Robert Fisk. He is the chief Middle East correspondent for the London Independent and has lived in Beirut for over two decades. -Democracy Now - 7/20/06

A Handful of Neocons Are Instigating a Wider War
Will Americans join Iraqis, Lebanese, and Palestinians as neocon victims? - 7/20/06

Enrich Iranians, Not Uranium
The answer to the mullahs' nuclear challenge instead lies in large-scale economic investment inside Iran. While the member states of the European Union, particularly Italy, Spain, and Germany, already trade there extensively, Iran offers a vast, fast-growing, and relatively untapped market that Western governments can strongly encourage their national enterprises to exploit much more fully. - 7/20/06

Iran's Oil Ministry preparing privatization plan: MP
MP Mohammad Qomi of the Majlis Energy Committee said in Tehran on Wednesday that the Oil Ministry is preparing regulations for the transfer of some of its sections to the private sector. -Mehr - 7/20/06

Iran's young volleyballers win UAE "Rashed Cup"
Iran's youth volleyball team was crowned at the 9th Rashed Cup in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Wednesday night. -Mehr - 7/20/06

Iran's President writes to German chancellor
A letter from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was handed over to a German Embassy official in Tehran on Wednesday. -IRNA - 7/20/06

Iraq breaks with U.S. and assails Israeli raids
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, marking a sharp break with President George W. Bush's position and highlighting the growing power of a Shiite Muslim identity across the Middle East. -New York Times - 7/20/06

Turkey Considers Options Regarding Kurdish Rebels in Iraq
Turkey's prime minister says his military is moving forward in drafting plans for sending forces into northern Iraq to clear out Kurdish rebel bases, but added that officials are also holding talks with the United States and Iraq in an attempt to defuse tensions. -VOA - 7/20/06

IRAN: Activists mark anniversary of gay executions with a call for human rights
Human rights groups are calling for greater protection of gay rights in Iran as the first anniversary of the public execution of two gay teenagers in the country is marked. -IRIN - 7/20/06

Congress Support Israel, Calls for tougher measures against Iran
With conditions intensifying in Lebanon, the House and Senate will approve resolutions backing Israel’s right to defend itself and condemning Iran for its support of the Hezbollah militant group. -NIAC - 7/20/06

United States to Israel: You Have One More Week to Blast Hizbullah
The US is giving Israel a window of a week to inflict maximum damage on Hizbullah before weighing in behind international calls for a ceasefire in Lebanon, according to British, European and Israeli sources. -Guardian - 7/20/06

US Continues to Resist Joining Calls for Mideast Ceasefire
The Bush administration says it stands with the international community in wanting an end to bloodshed along the Israeli-Lebanese border, but only when the groundwork for a lasting cessation of hostilities has been laid. -VOA - 7/20/06

Fighting inside Lebanese border
Israeli soldiers are fighting Hezbollah militants inside the Lebanese border, Israeli military officials say. Lebanon's president has called for an immediate ceasefire, calling Israel's offensive - which has killed 300 people and displaced 500,000 - a "massacre". -BBC - 7/20/06

Watch out, Iran
An axis of aggression links Tel Aviv and Washington, with London at the midpoint. And it has Tehran in its sights. -Guardian - 7/20/06

Iran gas consumption hits highest level ever
The total daily consumption of gas (150 million cubic meters) is shocking and alarming, as it has doubled since the previous year (March 2005-March 2006) -Mehr - 7/20/06

Middle East: Hizballah -- Past And Present
Hizballah, in Arabic, means Party of God. In May 2000, Hizballah won the respect of many Lebanese when it took credit for Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon. -RFE - 7/20/06

Iran to work out a reply for EU nuclear incentive package by August 22
Iran said on Thursday the special panels studying package of the European Union (EU) for national nuclear program will work out a reply until August 22. "The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the EU package as a new initiative from the European partners and is considering context of the package with positive attitude." -IRNA - 7/20/06

Iran's Maragheh Fossil Zone Unique
Transfer of fossils discovered in Maragheh, East Azarbaijan province, to the leading museums throughout the world has gained momentum in recent years. -IRNA - 7/20/06

Experts: Iran Leadership in Deep Debate Over Nuclear Offer
Iran has not responded to a European offer of incentives designed to induce it to give up any nuclear weapons ambitions. Iranian officials have said Iran will give its answer by the end of August, but the West has accused them of stalling. -VOA - 7/20/06

Iran & Chicago University United to Redeem Persian Tablets
At last by representing itself in the US Federal Court thought appointing a lawyer, Iran and Chicago University have became allies to defend Iran's right over the loaned tablets at the US Court. -CHN - 7/20/06

House of Commons Meeting condemns Bush and Blair's governments for blaming Iran and Syria over Lebanon
In a statement read in House of Commons, the British government yesterday blamed Iran and Syria for the crisis in Lebanon following similar statements by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at the G8 Summit in Moscow. - 7/19/06

Shapur Shahbazi, Emeritus professor of Iranian Studies at Eastern Oregon University passes away
It is with great regret that we announce passing of Shapur Shahbazi, Emeritus professor of Iranian Studies at Eastern Oregon University, on 16th July 2006 in the United States. -CAIS - 7/19/06

Quakes hit Rask and Sisakht in southeastern and southwestern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 5 and 4.3 on the Richter scale jolted the cities of Rask and Sisakht in the southeastern and southwestern provinces of Sistan and Balouchestan and Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad early Wednesday and Tuesday night, respectively. -IRNA - 7/19/06

Opening a Second Front
Ostensibly Israel and Hezbollah are the two sides battling each other in renewed fighting in the Middle East. But in Washington the conviction is growing that Iran is trying to deflect attention from its dispute with the United States by stoking the conflict. -Spiegel, Germany - 7/19/06

Back to Sunni Authoritarians
After posing as the champion of democratic reform and the long-oppressed Shia minority in the Arab world, the administration of President George W. Bush appears to be scurrying back to Washington's traditional policy of strong support for the region's Sunni-dominated, pro-U.S. authoritarian governments. -IPS - 7/19/06

Bush: Syria 'Trying to Get Back Into Lebanon'
The president stressed, as he has since the start of the bloodshed last week, that the root cause of the violence is Hezbollah and its backers in Syria and Iran. -VOA - 7/19/06

There is a way out of this crisis, but the legacy of hatred will endure
The perfect storm in the Middle East that has left mayhem and bloodshed in its wake may put an end to Israeli unilateralism -Guardian - 7/19/06

Bush's Sweater Diplomacy
When President Bush thanked Prime Minister Blair for the gift of a "sweater" yesterday, it was code. Bush was expressing appreciation for London's help in planning imminent secret operations to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria, and eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons program. -Washington Post - 7/19/06

Iranian soccer player Christian star of World Cup
The only Christian player in Iran's national soccer team has been named "Christian star of the World Cup" in a poll undertaken by a Dutch ecumenical Christian group. -Spero - 7/19/06

US strategy hits Iranian brick wall
Too often in this part of the world, things are not as they seem. The Bush spin team is playing up that Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, have criticised the latest Hezbollah madness in Lebanon. But it would be foolhardy to conclude that their motives are the same as Washington's … or even Israel's. -SMH - 7/19/06

Israel claims Iran link to crisis
Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers last week was timed to divert attention from Tehran's nuclear programme, the Israeli PM has claimed. -BBC - 7/19/06

‘Very Scary’
As foreigners flee Lebanon, Americans wonder why it’s taken their government so long to implement an evacuation plan. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 7/19/06

U.S. Disengagement Contributed To Middle East Crisis
Since the start of his administration in 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush has put very little pressure on Israel to use restraint when dealing with its enemies, says Nathan Brown, who studies the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. -RFE - 7/19/06

Value of Iran's non-oil exports up 93% in 1st quarter
A member of Iran's High Council for Exports, Mohammad-Reza Ramezani, told IRNA that exports of non-oil goods in the stated period hit USD 3.377 billion. -IRNA - 7/19/06

Death toll in Iraq rises up to 6,000 in May and June - UN
Some 6,000 civilians were slain across Iraq in May and June, a spike in deaths that reflected rising sectarian attacks across the country, the United Nations said. A report from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq describes a wave of lawlessness and crime, including assassinations, bombings, kidnapping, torture and intimidation. - 7/19/06

Oil Markets Respond To Middle East Violence
World oil prices slowed their rapid rise of last week, finishing just below $74 on July 18, after rising to $78.40 on July 14. Although the fighting between Israel and Hizballah in Lebanon has not had a direct impact on world oil supplies, fears that the conflict could spread and include Iran, a backer of Hizballah, drove prices up. -RFE - 7/19/06

Series of group exhibits of Iranian expatriate artists coming to Tehran
The Iranian Academy of Arts is planning to hold exhibitions of artworks by Iranian artists residing abroad at Tehran's Saba Cultural Complex -Mehr - 7/19/06

Oldest Iranian carpet centerpiece of new London art gallery
An Islamic art gallery which opened in London on Tuesday is showcasing the world's oldest carpet made in Iran in 1539. The Ardebil carpet, commissioned by Shah Tahmasp for a shrine in northwest Iran, is the centerpiece of the Jameel Art Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses some of the world's finest collections of Islamic art. - 7/19/06

Iran waiting for Guinness green light to world longest painting
Iran is impatiently waiting for registration of a five-kilometer-long painting on Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest work, the executive secretary of the project announced in Tehran on Wednesday. -Mehr - 7/19/06

Iran: Journalist Discusses Iranian Opinions On Mideast Crisis
Iranian journalist Mashaollah Shamsolvaezin says Iran could play a role in ending the current conflict between Israel and Hizballah. RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari spoke to Shamsolvaezin from Tehran about the views of ordinary Iranians regarding the conflict between Israel and the Lebanese Hizballah. -RFE - 7/19/06

The Wild Kingdom
We understand that our current policy in the Middle East and toward the Islamic World is a Godsend formula for Israel’s regional agendas. But what about us; what about America and the Americans’ best interests? - 7/18/06 Launched to Promote Importance of Free Enterprise for Growth in Farsi-Speaking World is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting understanding and disseminating information about business and entrepreneurship among the Farsi-speaking youth. - 7/18/06

On the Silk Road to Iran, Touring the Land of Civilization
Jerry Dekker, instructor at the Department of Humanities at New College of California, is leading another study tour to Iran entitled "On the Silk Road to Iran" for students, faculty, staff and friends of New College of California from 15-30 of July 2006. -CHN - 7/18/06

Hoping to Find a 5000-Year Old Civilization in Nader Tepe
Discovery of the defensive wall of a military fortress in Nader Tepe historical site, in Ardabil province, has raised new hopes for archeologists to find residential areas belonging to different periods of time in this area. -CHN - 7/18/06

Energized Neocons Say Israel's Fight Is Washington's
Seeing a major opportunity to regain influence lost as a result of setbacks in Iraq, prominent neoconservatives are calling for unconditional U.S. support for Israel's military offensives in Gaza and Lebanon and "regime change" in Syria and Iran, as well as possible U.S. attacks on Tehran's nuclear facilities in retaliation for its support of Hezbollah. -IPS - 7/18/06

Iran Hostage-Taker Abbas Abdi Now a Democratic Reformist
Twenty-seven years ago, a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 embassy staff members hostage and holding most of them for more than a year. VOA correspondent Gary Thomas, who is in Tehran, talked to one of the original engineers of the embassy takeover, and has this report. - 7/18/06

An Open Letter to Kofi Annan
Sir, it appears that you do not seek the truth, else you would have reached not only greatness, but maintained the dignity that so becomes your stature and your office. The credibility and role of the United Nations has been seriously compromised. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 7/18/06

Iran's olympiad team grabs 3 gold, 3 silver medals
Iran's student national team for mathematics olympiad received 3 gold and 3 silver medals in the 47th World Mathematics Olympiad Competition in Slovenia. -IRNA - 7/18/06

Israel Readies for Iran Showdown by Attacking Lebanon
As the fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah persists, an Israeli strategy of enlarging the conflict seems to be crystallising. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 7/18/06

Iran: Tehran Playing A Key Role In Israel-Lebanon Crisis
As the conflict initiated by Hizballah's seizure of two Israeli soldiers and killing of another eight in a cross-border raid on July 12 continues, many observers are voicing concern that other regional actors -- notably, Iran and Syria -- will be drawn into the conflict. -RFE - 7/18/06

Time for U.S. to change the way it thinks of Iran
As battles raged last week between Israel and Islamist groups in Gaza and Lebanon, my mind flashed back to a conversation I had with a senior Iranian official in May. "The United States has problems in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Afghanistan," he said. "Iran is the one who can help (in all those places). The United States needs Iran's help, not confrontation." -Philadelphia Inquirer - 7/18/06

US among major importers of Persian carpets in March-June 2006
According to the Public Relations Department of Iran's Customs Administration, 22 percent of Iranian carpets were destined to the US in the March 21-June 21 period, earning the country dlrs 17.711 million. -IRNA - 7/18/06

Iraqi president: I will never make anti-Iran statement
Iraqi president Jalal Talabani said on Tuesday that he will never make anti-Iran statement under barrage of questions pressing him to do so. -IRNA - 7/18/06

Iran, Armenia to break ground for Aras power station in early 2007
Iran and Armenia have agreed to kick off the construction of Aras Hydroelectric Power Station in early 2007, Iran Energy Minister Parviz Fattah announced on Monday. -Mehr - 7/18/06

Experts challenge White House line on Iran's influence
From the moment last Wednesday when Hizbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers, the Bush administration immediately held Iran and Syria responsible. -MSNBC - 7/18/06

Iran to assert claim in battle over ancient clay tablets
A federal court on Monday gave the Iranian government until Aug. 21 to officially assert its claim to priceless 2,500-year-old clay tablets written in a language only a few scholars can read. -AP - 7/18/06

Emboldened Tehran turns up the rhetoric
The kind of belligerent rhetoric employed by Ahmadinejad may play well to some in Tehran, but is unlikely to find favour among foreign policy strategists in Iran who are keen to avoid a regional escalation. -Daily Star - 7/18/06

Israel Violates US Law With Attack on Lebanon
Israel is in violation of U.S. arms-control laws for deploying U.S.-made fighter planes, combat helicopters, and missiles to kill civilians and destroy Lebanon's infrastructure in the ongoing six-day devastation of that militarily weak country. - 7/18/06

Iranians stage anti-Israel rally
Many thousands of Iranians have gathered in central Tehran square for a rally against Israel and in support of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. -BBC - 7/18/06

Iran's auto industry prepares to enter India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
Iran Khodro's deputy director for export and international affairs has announced that this company had the ability to pose itself in the Indian and Pakistani car markets and only needed the government's support for producing right-side steering wheels. -IRNA - 7/18/06

To Nuke or Not to Nuke
What have the Iranians been seeking ever since Bush launched his war of aggression against Iraq? A promise not to be nuked. Unfortunately, as long as the mullahs are in power, Bush is not going to take the nuke option off the table. -Gordon Prather, - 7/18/06

Iran critics to satirize soccer squad in 18 words
Iran’s Club Teen of Radio Javan here Monday invited critics to write about the lackluster performance of national soccer team in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany in 18 words. -Mehr - 7/18/06

Tehran Orchestra bringing message of peace to the world
Osnabruck Orient Festival director Michael Dreyer believes that the Tehran Symphony Orchestra will carry Iran's message of peace and friendship to the world. -Mehr - 7/18/06

The coup attempt that started a war: Israel's invasion of Lebanon, its causes and consequences
As Israeli planes pound the Lebanese infrastructure to sunder, as the Palestinians spend their days and nights in inhumane conditions and under siege, as people in 20 Israeli towns sleep in bomb shelters, Israel threatened to widen the conflict by attacking Syria. -Abbas Bakhtiar - 7/18/06

Iran, U.S. Allied in Protecting Artifacts
Iran and the United States make an unlikely pair these days, dueling over nuclear plans and radical Islam. Yet lawyers for the feuding governments are on the same side here in a dispute over thousands of ancient Persian artifacts held by a Chicago museum. -Washington Post - 7/18/06

Iran's Security Council referral condemned by academics, MPs and Foreign Ministers
In a meeting in the House of Commons, Middle East experts will today condemn the decision by the Foreign Ministers in Paris and the G8 leaders in St Petersburg to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. They will claim that decisions by the foreign ministers of the Security Council permanent members and the leaders of the G8 nations pave the road not just to sanctions but to military action against Iran. - 7/17/06

Tehran's Resalat Tunnel inaugurated
Tehran citizens can start using the 1,900 meter tunnel, connecting east and west Tehran, from Sunday July 16. The Resalat tunnel, among the biggest national development projects, took nine years of hard work to be constructed. -Mehr - 7/17/06

We're Being Set Up for Wider War in the Middle East
The old adage, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" does not apply to Americans, who have shown that they can be endlessly fooled. - 7/17/06

Iran's Moradi stands second at France chess challenge
Iranian chess grand master Elshan Moradi finished runner-up at the French Open in the capital Paris Sunday night. -Mehr - 7/17/06

Qal'e-Noei named Iran's national football team coach
Iran's Football Federation (IFF) on Monday appointed the capital-based Esteqlal manager as the national team head coach. -IRNA - 7/17/06

Iran: Cleric Mesbah-Yazdi warns against the evils of western culture
"The west is trying to weaken Iranian youth through some professors employed in universities," he said. Mesbah-Yazdi said the west was also trying to use certain clerics to achieve some of their goals. -IRNA - 7/17/06

Israel's Hezbollah headache
The confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah is clearly unbalanced. Israel is a significant military power with sophisticated land, sea and air forces at its disposal. -BBC - 7/17/06

Wildly Disproportionate Attack on Lebanon Seems Like Pretext to Confront Iran
As Israeli firepower rained down on Lebanon last week, pundits here in the West wasted no time pinning the blame on — Iran. -Toronto Star - 7/17/06

Iran renews interest in trade with Iraq
Iran, next to the United Arab Emirates, is currently Iraq's largest trading partner, their trade volume valued at 11 billion dollars. -IRNA - 7/17/06

Iran says Hizbollah will not disarm
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said on Sunday that Hizbollah, a key ally of Tehran, would not disarm, despite calls from the US and Israel. But yesterday there were differences between reformists in Iran, who urged caution on all sides, and conservatives, who questioned Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. -Financial Times - 7/17/06

Iran's foreign minister in Syria
The Iranian foreign minister has held talks in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The meeting comes after Tehran threatened "unimaginable damage" to Israel if it attacked Syria. -BBC - 7/17/06

Bush Says Leaders Addressing Causes of Middle East Violence
President Bush says leaders of the world's biggest industrialized nations have taken an important step to encourage Middle East peace by calling for an end to rocket attacks against Israel and a halt to Israeli military operations in Lebanon. -VOA - 7/17/06

Belarus bags world saber gold in Tehran
Belarus stole the show in the 2006 world's individual saber fights in Tehran on Saturday night. -Mehr - 7/17/06

Tell President Bush to Prevent a Regional War In the Middle East
The violence has sent shock waves through the Middle East and there are great fears that the fighting can draw Syria and Iran into the war as well. -NIAC - 7/17/06

Play on Che to grace City Theater in fall
Iranian director Kambiz Asadi plans to stage a play about the last two days of Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara's life at Tehran's City Theater in autumn. -Mehr - 7/17/06

Women's theater festival pays homage to veteran Iranian actresses
Veteran Iranian actresses Mehri Mehrnia, Farrokhlaqa Hushmand, and Farideh Sepah-Mansur were honored during the opening ceremony of the 5th National Women's Theater Festival on July 15. -Mehr - 7/16/06

Guardian Council Holds Great Power in Iran
Iran's government has long been a source of fascination and frustration for international political analysts. Figuring out how decisions are made in the theocratic system is a difficult exercise. VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Tehran on one powerful body in Iran that both makes and breaks decisions. - 7/16/06

Rice: Iran Still Going Before UN on Nuclear Program
Iran says an international offer of incentives to end its uranium enrichment is an acceptable basis for further negotiations. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the nations making that offer will still bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council, because Tehran has not formally responded to the deal. - 7/16/06

London to host Iranian studies biennial in early August 2006
The Sixth Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies will be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in University of London from August 3-5. -Mehr - 7/16/06

Bush, Putin Discuss Iran
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to continue working together to resolve the stand-off over Iran enriching uranium. But the American leader failed to get President Putin's backing for economic sanctions if Tehran does not respond to international incentives. -VOA - 7/16/06

Iran Denies Aiding Hezbollah, Describes Israeli Claim as 'Propaganda'
An Iranian government spokesman has denied charges that Iran is aiding the Lebanon-based Shiite group Hezbollah. He also warned Israel of dire consequences if it attacks Syria. -VOA - 7/16/06

From My Home, I Saw What the "War on Terror" Meant
And so it is terror, terror, terror again and Lebanon is once more to be depicted as the mythic terror center of the Middle East along, I suppose, with Gaza. And the West Bank. And Syria. And, of course, Iraq. And Iran. And Afghanistan. And who knows where next? -Robert Fisk, Independent - 7/16/06

Iran, World Bank to sign cooperation agreement in four months
A three-year cooperation agreement will be signed by Iran and the World Bank (WB) in four months, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance announced on Sunday. -Mehr - 7/16/06

Where's Bush?
Only one man stands between Israel and World War III -- unfortunately it's the president -Working For Change - 7/16/06

Iranian President calls for elimination of discrimination against women
In a message to the first International Conference on Women Rights and Responsibilities in the Islamic System, the president said it is a blessing for women that the invaluable responsibility of bringing up the human beings has been bestowed to women. -IRNA - 7/16/06

Deadly Hezbollah attack on Haifa
Rockets fired by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have killed at least eight people and wounded dozens of others in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa. -BBC - 7/16/06

Iran to enforce law on accession to Hostages Convention
According to the president's statement, Iran has announced its opposition to all terrorist activities, including the taking of hostages and any other measure that breaches people's fundamental liberties and rights, upsets the peace and stability of societies, and hinders the development of countries. -Mehr - 7/16/06

Birjand historical city to join Iranian National Heritage List
Iranian historical city of Birjand in South Khorasan Province will be registered on the National Heritage List in the near future, the director of Birjand Historical Structure Center announced on Saturday. -Mehr - 7/15/06

Iran: Activists Begin Global Hunger Strike Demanding Release Of Political Prisoners
Dozens of Iranian human rights activists around the world will stage a hunger strike from today through June 16 to call for the release of political prisoners in Iran -RFE - 7/15/06

Israel kills Lebanese civilians
An Israeli air raid has killed at least 13 Lebanese civilians who were fleeing southern border areas. Women and children were among those killed when the convoy was hit. -BBC - 7/15/06

Tehran Stock Exchange absorbs $190m in foreign investment
Notification of recent investment law has reduced the skepticism between the nation's stock market and economy and the flow of $190m foreign capital into bourse is one of the positive aftermaths of this law, Mohammad Khazaii said in Tehran on Friday. -Mehr - 7/15/06

Refugees Fleeing Beirut Speak of Catastrophic Bombing
Refugees fleeing Beirut in the face of Israeli air attacks are speaking of "haphazard bombings" and a crisis situation developing in the city. -IPS - 7/15/06

Israel Makes Its 'Clean Break'
I removed myself from TV and the Internet for a few days, and when I got back, Israel had morphed the attacks on Gaza and the odd buzzing of Damascus into a full-scale assault into Lebanon, and escalated her military threats to Syria. - 7/15/06

Debating ´The Israel Lobby´
Recently, two prominent U.S. academics published their research on America's close ties with Israel, sparking a fierce debate over the role Israel plays in U.S. politics. Observers say the discussion over this essay is unlikely to end anytime soon. -VOA - 7/15/06

Art student caravan to promote Iran's tourist attractions in foreign countries
The Peace Envoy caravan, consisting of 40 Iranian art students, is to travel to Turkey, Greece, Italy, and France in mid-August to familiarize people with Iran's tourist attractions, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 7/15/06

Auctioning off Iranian Artifacts in US
The decision by U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning allowing the sale of ancient Iranian artifacts which are in possession of the University of Chicago to settle a lawsuit by American survivors of a bombing in Israel in 1997 will establish a precedent which will further damage the image of the United States and will lead to more litigation by survivors of Western financed bombings and assassinations from around the world. -Mohammad Ala - 7/14/06

Iran's Bisotoon Historical Site Registered in World Heritage List
At last, after months of waiting, today Iran succeeded in registering another historical site in the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. By inscribing Bisooton historical site, the number of Iranian historical sites registered in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites reached to eight. -CHN - 7/14/06

Iran Reformists Say They Are Down, But Not Out
The election of a hard-line conservative to the Iranian presidency last year was a shock for reformists, who had been hoping for a more liberal successor to former President Mohammad Khatemi. But as VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Tehran, the reformists have not gone away. - 7/14/06

Hunger Strikers Call For Release Of Iranian Dissidents
Dozens of Iranian activists across the world say they have begun a three-day hunger strike to call for the release of political prisoners in Iran. The campaign follows a call by dissident journalist Akbar Ganji for protests that call attention to the plight of prisoners of conscience in Iran. -RFE - 7/14/06

Experts Expect G8 Leaders to Discuss Iran, North Korea
Two issues likely to top the agenda at the upcoming G8 summit are the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea. Experts in Washington Thursday discussed international concern over the two countries, and how world leaders might resolve the twin issues. -VOA - 7/14/06

US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israel's Gaza Offensive
The United States has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have demanded a halt to Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The veto drew a sharp rebuke from Arab representatives. -VOA - 7/14/06

Incentives Offered to Iran Detailed at Security Council
Bush administration agreed last month to consider lifting long-standing sanctions on the sale of commercial jets, agricultural equipment and telecommunications technology to Iran if it agreed to halt its enrichment of uranium and submit to more intrusive U.N. inspections of its nuclear program, according to a copy of the agreement made public Thursday. -Washington Post - 7/14/06

Israel steps up Lebanese strikes
Israel has intensified its attacks on Lebanon as jets launched fresh strikes on Beirut airport, the road to the Syrian capital and a power plant. -BBC - 7/14/06

Bad Cop, Worse Cop
Calls for restraint from the United Nations and the European Union, urging Israel to recognize that military escalation will ultimately undermine its national interests, will predictably fall on deaf ears. And the intensification of the conflict will be all the more inexorable because of the conspicuous absence of an indispensable player in the region... -Common Dreams - 7/14/06

Tehran to host world puppet masters in September
"Foreign troupes from France, Britain, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Greece, India, and 11 other countries expressed their readiness to participate in the 11th Tehran International Puppet Show Festival that will be held here from September 3-9," deputy head of the festival's Policymaking Council said in a press conference on Friday. -Mehr - 7/14/06

Letter to Haaretz on publishing misinformation about Iran
It is disturbing to see your site boldly, and in bold, propagate misinformation about Hezbollah’s intentions to transfer captured Israeli soldiers to Iran in an effort to broaden the conflict in the Middle East. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 7/14/06

Exiled Iranian Has Another Run As U.S. Informant
As tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran, Manucher Ghorbanifar has been fanning the flames. Twenty years after gaining brief notoriety during the Iran-Contra scandal, the France-based Iranian exile has once again found an audience in Washington for insights into his native country -- to the dismay of some U.S. officials who dealt with him in the past. -WSJ - 7/14/06

Middle East: Syria, Iran Loom Larger In Israel-Lebanon Crisis
As it wages an air campaign against Hizballah in southern Lebanon, and an air-and-ground campaign against Hamas in Gaza, Israel's frustration is mounting. Even as it vows to break the backs of both militias, Israel knows it cannot crush the militant groups without also curbing their sponsors. -RFE - 7/14/06

Demonstration in support of political prisoners in Iran: July 16 in Los Angeles
We support and welcome the suggestion of Akbar Ganji for a global hunger strike that demands the release of all political detainees from the Islamic Republic's jails -The committee for human rights and freedom of political prisoners in Iran-Southern California - 7/14/06

Human rights groups trying to put pressure on Iran
Human rights activists in Iran and abroad are increasing their pressure on the Iranian government over a crackdown in recent months on rights advocates and other protesters. The activists held a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday to condemn large numbers of detentions in the past year. -New York Times - 7/14/06

Profs Petition to Free Iranian Colleague
A group of Harvard professors have organized a petition to free a former colleague (Ramin Jahanbegloo) who was arrested on unspecified charges in Tehran this past April. -Harvard Crimson - 7/14/06

Bush Stresses Need For Early Nuclear Response From Iran
U.S. President George W. Bush said today that Iran cannot delay forever its response to an international offer of incentives to halt its uranium enrichment. -RFE - 7/14/06

Iranian teens speak love, life and... metal
Tehran teenagers offer a rare glimpse of their lives, and their hopes and aspirations for the future of their country... -Great Reporter - 7/14/06

DC Town Hall Meeting Condemns Discrimination Against Iranian
Roughly 65 members of the Iranian-American community gathered to hear government officials and civil rights experts discuss discrimination challenges at a Town Hall Meeting in Washington yesterday. -NIAC - 7/14/06

Inside Iran—Exclusive Reader's Digest / Zogby International Poll of Iranians Reveals a Society in Flux
While Iran's nuclear program grabs headlines around the world, a new Reader's Digest-Zogby International survey reports that Iranians (41%) said reforming their national economy so it operates more efficiently is more important than nuclear capability. - 7/13/06

Founders of the 2nd Persian Golden Lioness Awards announce Persian-Hungarian Cultural Bonds to International Press
Upon Signing a Cooperate Partnership with One of the Major Hungarian Broadcasters KTV on 19th June 2006 the Founders of the Academy Prof. M. Dorbayani and Mrs. Marjan Abdi and the CEO of KTV Mr. Zsolt Bukovinski received the Press and expressed the importance of this cooperation for promoting the Arts in Hungary one of Europe's Historical Cultural Centers -By Darius KADIVAR - 7/13/06

ANALYSIS OF IMMIGRATION ACTS S. 2611 AND H.R 4437: How Does the Legislation Impact the Iranian-American Community?
Congressional efforts to reform the nation’s immigration system will likely affect many communities including the 15,824 Iranian nationals that were issued visas between 2000 and 2005. Of these, 20% were student visas, 21% were temporary worker visas, and 12% were exchange visitor visas. -NIAC - 7/13/06

AFGHANISTAN: Refugee returns from Iran & Pakistan down, but many with skills go home
The voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan this year has surpassed the 100,000 mark. Although the number is less than the same period last year, it includes many skilled workers taking their expertise back home, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. -IRIN - 7/13/06

Will new pipeline ease the West's energy woes?
The 1,094-mile Caspian oil duct, inaugurated Thursday in Turkey, may not be as tangle-free as America had hoped. -CSM - 7/13/06

U.S-Iran may share one concern -- opium traffic
Though increasingly at odds on nuclear proliferation and other issues, the United States and Iran have strong incentives to co-operate in one area of mutual concern: containment of Afghanistan's $2.8 billion opium and heroin business, the world's largest. -Record - 7/13/06

Bush vows Iran diplomacy solution
US President George Bush, who is visiting Germany, has said the dispute about Iran's nuclear programme can still be solved diplomatically. -BBC - 7/13/06

Why Iran loves Zidane
Outspoken presidents and oil are not the only things Iran and Latin America have in common. There's also football. Which is why the head of the external relations committee of the Iranian parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, has sent a letter to Zinédine Zidane, congratulating him for his "logical" reaction and "timely" defence against insult to his "humane and Islamic" identity. -Guardian - 7/13/06

Israel imposes Lebanon blockade
Israel is imposing an air and sea blockade on Lebanon as part of a major offensive after two soldiers were seized by the militant group Hezbollah. -BBC - 7/13/06

Iran to build 40,000 residential units in Venezuela: deputy minister
Construction of 10,000 residential units by Iranian contractors in Venezuela is underway and they are expected to take delivery of 30,000 more should the delegates of both countries come up with an agreement, Iran's deputy minister of housing and urban development announced in Tehran on Wednesday. -Mehr - 7/13/06

Iranian professor hails new research to aid male infertility
An Iranian professor at Newcastle University in northeast England has hailed a stem cell research he led on mice as a new breakthrough in helping to treat male infertility. -IRNA - 7/13/06

Sepid Nima exports Iranian pomegranates
Iran, with a total of 57,000 hectares of 'pomegranate gardens', is the biggest producing and exporting country of the pomegranate fruit in the world. The Iranian pomegranate has a red and attractive skin, has a sweet taste and sweet-tart juicy edible red seeds. -Fresh Plaza - 7/13/06

Natural gas prices, bone of contention in Iran-India-Pakistan negotiations
Iran's deputy oil minister said Wednesday, the natural gas prices are the most important issues in the trilateral gas deal negotiations between Iran, India and Pakistan. -Mehr - 7/13/06

Iranian-American Jay Jamali recognized as Safety Professional of the Year by ASSE
The Greater San Jose Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers has named Jay Jamali, CSP,CHMM, CHCM, Safety Professional of the Year for 2006. - 7/13/06

Iran referred to security council as nuclear row flares
The smouldering international confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme flared into life last night after Russia and China agreed to back a US-led move to refer Tehran to the UN security council, a process that could lead to the imposition of punitive sanctions and a sharp escalation of the crisis. -Guardian - 7/13/06

Government Spending Fueling Inflation
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ran in last years presidential election in Iran as a populist. His pledge to redistribute proceeds from Iran's oil revenues to poor citizens resounded with voters, and Ahmadinejad beat out better-known rivals to win the election. But, questions have arisen about the Ahmadinejad government's economic policies. -VOA - 7/13/06

Amnesty International renews calls for release of three Iranian detainees at a meeting with Akbar Ganji
At a meeting today with Akbar Ganji, Iran’s most prominent ex-prisoner of conscience and advocate of freedom of expression, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan renewed the organization’s calls for the release of three detainees in Iran whom it believes are, or are very likely to be, prisoners of conscience, held solely on account of their peaceful opinions or activities. - 7/13/06

Iran: Tehran, U.S. Academics Ally To Oppose Seizure Of Ancient Persian Tablets
The clay tablets were discovered in the 1930s by American archeologists in the former capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis. They were then sent for study to the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, where researchers say they contain a trove of information about the Persian Empire 500 years before the Christian era. -RFE - 7/12/06

Publication of "Persian Writing on Music" in Sweden
Uppsala University in Sweden has recently published a book entitled "Persian Writing on Music: A study of Persian Musical Literature from 1000 to 1500 AD". The author, Mehrdad Fallahzadeh, is a Persian (Iranian) musicologist living in Sweden and this book is in fact his Ph. D. dissertation. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 7/12/06

US Says Major Powers Prepared to Seek Punitive Action Against Iran
The United States says world powers are fully prepared to seek punitive action against Iran after it failed to provide a clear answer to their overture to Tehran to halt uranium enrichment and return to nuclear negotiations. -VOA - 7/12/06

Iran calls for step-by-step approach to settle nuclear issue
"We must allow more time for negotiations to work," Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told a press conference in Brussels Tuesday afternoon. -IRNA - 7/12/06

Bombs and Threats Shut Down Schools in Afghanistan: Insurgency, Weak International Response Hit Girls' Education
Escalating attacks by the Taliban and other armed groups on teachers, students and schools in Afghanistan are shutting down schools and depriving another generation of an education, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. - 7/12/06

No Evidence of Secret Enrichment by Iran
U.S. and European officials have been saying for years that Iran is using its publicly declared nuclear program as a cover for a clandestine nuclear weapons program, but have never produced concrete evidence to support that argument. -IPS - 7/12/06

Washington's involvement in nuclear issue not negative: Iranian official
The Bush administration uses the Iranian nuclear issue as a lever to achieve success at the upcoming congressional election, said Mahmud Vaezi, the deputy chairman of the Expediency Council Strategic Research Center, on Tuesday. Mehr - 7/12/06

Iranian women to compete at Asian kabaddi tourney
Iranian women's kabaddi team will compete at the 2006 Asian tournament in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, head Somayyeh Kaffash said here Wednesday. -IRNA - 7/12/06

EU Nuclear Deadline Passes Virtually Unmentioned in Iran
The European Union deadline for an answer on new proposals to end the Iranian nuclear controversy went almost unnoticed in Iran. The July 11 deadline passed with almost no mention of the issue by official Iran. -VOA - 7/12/06

Iranian-Indian duo in Tehran canceled
The planned concert of Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and Indian sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan has been canceled, -Mehr - 7/12/06

Iran's Waiting Game
"To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war," Winston Churchill said famously in 1954 about negotiations to end the Korean War, and the Bush administration embraced this precept in proposing talks with Iran over its nuclear program. But yesterday, the Party of Jaw hit an Iranian obstacle -- forcing all sides to consider less pleasant alternatives. -Washington Post - 7/12/06

Prisons at Center of Damning Report on U.S. Human Rights
Rights advocacy groups in the United States are calling for the United Nations to take note of the gross human rights violations being committed in their country. -OneWorld - 7/12/06

The End of the Cowboy Era
The era of "Cowboy Diplomacy" is over, writes Time magazine. The Bush Doctrine – "The world's worst regimes will not be allowed to acquire the world's worst weapons" – is being defied by Iran's Ahmadinejad and North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, with impunity. -Patrick J. Buchanan, - 7/12/06

Iranian documentarian detained in London
An Iranian filmmaker, who planned to shoot the continuation of his documentary on former shah of Iran Mohammadreza Pahlavi in London, was detained at Heathrow Airport on Monday. -Mehr - 7/12/06

Tremor hits southern Iranian city of Sepidan
An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale hit the city of Sepidan in the southern province of Fars in the wee hours of Wednesday. -IRNA - 7/12/06

Azeri Sturgeon Fishermen Defy CITES Ban
Azeris are defying a government ban on fishing for sturgeon, introduced after the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES, earlier this year refused to grant any export quotas for sturgeon or sturgeon products from the four post-Soviet countries that border the Caspian, including Azerbaijan. -ENS - 7/12/06

Iran: Resurgence Of Religio-Political Society Raises Concerns
The recent announcement by a former Iranian vice president of the arrest of members of a banned and clandestine religio-political group probably caught many observers by surprise. The secretive Hojjatieh Society is unlikely to have many remaining members. And allegations in the past five years of Hojjatieh activism have generally appeared in connection with political disputes or to explain sectarian strife. -RFE - 7/11/06

Why This Axis?
It is extraordinary to what lengths this Administration will go to halt Iran's progress. Its paranoia at Iran becoming independent lends one to believe that Iran is a far greater adversary than common sense dictates. A developing nation striving to meet the energy demands of 70 million. -It is extraordinary to what lengths this Administration will go to halt Iran's progress. Its paranoia at Iran becoming independent lends one to believe that Iran is a far greater adversary than common sense dictates. A developing nation striving to meet the energy demands of 70 million. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 7/11/06

Iran's music research center to reactivate instrument workshop
The workshop for making musical instruments is to reopen at the Center for Music Research and Preservation of the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in the near future, the instrument maker Farman Moradi told the MNA on Monday. - 7/11/06

US, Britain Press Iran for Answer on Nuclear Offer
The United States and Britain are pressing Iran for a definitive reply to the proposal by major powers offering Tehran incentives to halt uranium enrichment. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett met in Washington Monday in advance of critical meetings on the nuclear issue in Europe. -VOA - 7/11/06

Iran begins export of Peugeot RD autos to Iraq
Iran last week exported the first batch of its domestically-made Peugeot RD sedans to Iraq, said a fax released by Iran Khodro on Monday. -Mehr - 7/11/06

Shia Massacre Revives Fears of Civil War
At least 40 people, apparently all Sunnis, were killed yesterday by Shia militants in a rampage in a Baghdad suburb - one of the capital's most deadly sectarian pogroms - that revived fears of civil war. -Guardian - 7/11/06

General Gallant in Gaza: A One-Sided War
That's it. The world cup is over and now the public can return to less important matters, such as the daily killing and destruction, the captured soldier, the launching of Qassam rockets and everything else connected with our invasion of Gaza. -Counterpunch - 7/11/06

Article 44 privatization plan will take 10 years: Iranian minister
Implementation of the general privatization policies of Article 44 of the Constitution will require two five-year plans, Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Davud Danesh-Jafari said in Tehran on Monday. -Mehr - 7/11/06

Tehran Stock Exchange up 8.2%
The general index of the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) closed at 9,615 on Monday, indicating an 8.2% rise for the day. -Mehr - 7/11/06

Discovery of an Ilkhanid Fortress in Aveh Historical Site
Archeological and stratigraphy works in Iran's Central Plateau led to discovery of an Ilkhanid fortress and other architectural remains belonging to nearly 700 years ago. -CHN - 7/11/06

Correction to Associated Press report on rally for women's rights in Tehran
During the days preceding and following the June 12 gathering for women's rights in 7th Tir Square, unsourced bits of misinformation predictably circulated on the Internet and through word of mouth. One of the most unexpected lies made its way into an Associated Press report, which was widely quoted and carried by numerous news outlets throughout the world. - 7/11/06

World Heritage Committee to decide about 3 Iranian monuments
During the 30th World Heritage Committee meeting (July 8-16) currently underway in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, the issue of three Iranian ancient monuments will be discussed and necessary decisions will be made. - 7/11/06

The Proper Etiquette of Meeting Shahrnush Parsipur in the United States
The English translation of the novel Touba and the Meaning of Night by the pre-eminent Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur was recently released by a major US publishing house in New York. One no longer needs to have an Iranian passport or an Iranian visa to get onboard Parsipur's imaginative boat. To make it even easier, her boat sails at all hours from most bookshops and the entire Cyber Space near you... -Golbarg Bashi - 7/11/06

Is a History Lesson What's Dividing the U.S. and Iran?
For the Bush administration, its conflict with Iran began with news of the Iranian nuclear enrichment program. For Iranians, the conflict started in 1901 when the British took advantage of a weak government to obtain a highly profitable oil concession. Since then, Iran has been locked in a struggle to control its own destiny, even at the risk of confrontation with the international community. -Dino E. Buenviaje - 7/10/06

Goodbye to all that Iranian 'Opposition'
As soon as the U.S. administration seems to be talking tough to the mullahs, these Iranians smell the aroma of their dream food coming from the Pentagon kitchen and begin salivating. They crawl out of their holes, bounce on their feet and jockey for the best seats on the gravy train. -Reza Bayegan - 7/10/06

Iranian-American filmmaker Cyrus Kar sues Rumsfeld
U.S.-based Iranian filmmaker Cyrus Kar has sued U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, George Casey, for harsh treatment when he and his cameraman were held in detention by U.S. forces in Iraq, the Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 7/10/06

Voices of Iranian Reform, Silenced
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the student protests that took post-revolutionary Iran by storm. On July 9, 1999, after the forcible closure of several liberal media outlets and a coordinated attack on a dormitory at the University of Tehran, Iranian students poured into the streets by the thousands, calling for political reform. -Washington Post - 7/10/06

West mounts 'secret war' to keep nuclear North Korea in check
A PROGRAMME of covert action against nuclear and missile traffic to North Korea and Iran is to be intensified after last week’s missile tests by the North Korean regime. -Times online, UK - 7/10/06

Tehran to host International Occupation Cartoon Festival in September
The First International Occupation Cartoon Festival will be held in Tehran during Sacred Defense Week (September 22-28). -Mehr - 7/10/06

'Axis of Evil:' Times Call For Diplomacy -- But From Whom
It was 4 ½ years ago, in his first State of the Union speech, that President Bush declared that North Korea, Iran and Iraq constituted an ''axis of evil'' arming themselves to threaten the peace of the world. -Miami Herald - 7/10/06

Farshchian calls for setup of traditional art faculty in Iran
Iranian miniature master Mahmud Farshchian on Monday called for the establishment of a college of traditional art and miniature. -Mehr - 7/10/06

U.S. Defense Secretary To Make Surprise Tajik Visit
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to start an unannounced two-day visit to Tajikistan later today, according to Tajik authorities, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported. -RFE - 7/10/06

Iran's private sector to build nation's largest steel production plant in Bafq
The private sector is preparing to build the nation's largest steel production plant in Bafq, a city in Yazd Province. -Mehr - 7/10/06

Call for proper trial in Kazemi case on third anniversary of her death in custody
On the third anniversary of Canadian-Iranian photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi's death from her injuries after being beaten while in custody in Tehran, Reporters Without Borders today condemned the "total impunity" prevailing in the case and called for a proper trial of all those responsible involved. - 7/10/06

The office of one of my publishers is just opposite to Tehran University. I like going there because their office reminds me of shops (hojereh-s) in old traditional bazaars. Books are piled there as for example large tins of cooking oil are piled on top of each other in a corresponding shop. The impression I get from all those men working there is that they never read any of those books that they toil to publish. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 7/10/06

Hunger Strike for Human Rights in Iran
The human rights situation in Iran continues to deteriorate. Petitions and protests to end the abuses have gone unanswered. During the past year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government has sought to monopolize power in Iran by silencing and suffocating all independent and dissenting voices. - 7/10/06

Iran: "Eternal Figures" stamps issued
Mohammadreza Hakimi, Allameh Hassan Hassanzadeh Amoli, Abbas Shafiei, and Hassan Ganji are the four distinguished figures. -Mehr - 7/9/06

Meeting of Iraq's neighboring states winds up in Tehran
The 9th meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states ended its work in Tehran on Sunday. The final statement of the meeting stressed the significance of helping the Iraqi government and nation to establish stability and security in that country. -IRNA - 7/9/06

American filmmaker sues Rumsfeld over detention in Iraq
An aspiring Iranian-American filmmaker who spent nearly two months in a prison in Iraq without being charged has sued Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other military officials, calling the government's detention policies unconstitutional. -AP - 7/9/06

FM: Iran, US do not hold direct talks on nuclear issue
Mottaki said, "The US has proposed to participate in the talks offered by the three European states, China and Russia. We see nothing wrong with it. We support fair and non-discriminatory talks with no preconditions. -IRNA - 7/9/06

Quakes hit southeastern, northeastern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 4.5 and 3.5 on the Richter scale jolted the cities of Bam and Kalat-e Naderi in the southeastern and northeastern provinces of Kerman and Khorassan Razavi early Sunday and Saturday night, respectively. -IRNA - 7/9/06

American Attacks on Mehdi Army Cause Uproar Among Shia
US forces in Iraq have launched a series of bloody attacks on Shia militia forces in and around Baghdad, killing or wounding 30 fighters and provoking widespread anger in the Shia community. -Independent - 7/9/06

Is Pakistan Expendable? Dumping Musharraf
There is a whiff of "regime change" in the air these days, but not where you might expect it. Not in Iraq, where the conservative U.S.-backed Shiites are already in power. Not in Iran, where White House threats have served to unite, rather than divide, that country. But in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has recently fallen out of U.S. favor. -Counterpunch - 7/9/06

Israeli military actions criticized at first UN Human Rights Council special session
Dozens of speakers today denounced Israel's military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory, calling them violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, at the first-ever special session of the new United Nations Human Rights Council, while the country's representative countered that the meeting was politically motivated. -UN News Center - 7/9/06

Iran-China trade hit $9.2b in 2005
China's growing demand for Iran's petrochemicals has opened vast opportunities for Iranian companies active in the sector, the Iranian official commented adding, being second in the world, China's petrochemical market has the potentials to attract between 40-60 percent of Iran's petrochemicals. -Mehr - 7/9/06

Full text of statement issued at 9th meeting of Iraq's neighboring states
The final statement of the meeting stressed the significance of helping the Iraqi government and nation to establish stability and security in that country. -IRNA - 7/9/06

Bush Sees Chance for Progress on Iran at G8
President Bush says next week's summit of leading industrialized nations is a chance to show Iran that the world is serious about stopping it from developing a nuclear weapon. European diplomats expect Tehran will respond to an international offer to resolve the dispute before the start of that meeting in Russia. -VOA - 7/8/06

Subverting IAEA-NSG Regime
The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) recognizes the "inalienable right" of all signatories to "the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information" related to the "use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." - 7/8/06

Scholars to highlight Iranian Constitutional Revolution in Oxford
Scholars of Iranian photo history Reza Sheikh and Mohammadreza Tahmasbpur will deliver lectures at the centenary conference of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911) at the University of Oxford from July 30 to August 2 -Mehr - 7/8/06

Iran's President Warns Israel Over Gaza
The president of Iran has warned that continued Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip could spark what he called an explosion in the Islamic world. -VOA - 7/8/06

Chernus on Karl Rove's Bedtime Stories for Americans
Karl Rove has a simple rule, they say: When you are falling behind, attack your opponents at their strongest point. In the upcoming election, the Democrats' strongest point should obviously be Iraq. With the spotlight eternally focused on the disastrous war there, Rove has to figure out how to turn its dazzling beam to his party's advantage. -Tom Dispatch - 7/8/06

Iraq conference kicks off in Tehran
The meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries started in Tehran on Saturday afternoon. -Mehr - 7/8/06

Iran's annual non-oil exports hit $12b
For the first time since the beginning of Iran's Third Five-Year Development Plan (2000-2005), the value of non-oil exports hit $12 billion in Iranian year 1384 (March 2005-March 2006), exceeding the target. -Mehr - 7/8/06

Iran wants nothing more than its rights: Larijani
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani here on Friday stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran desires nothing beyond its legitimate rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). -IRNA - 7/8/06

UN Security Council Split On Response To North Korea Missile Tests
During the closed meeting requested by Japan and the United States, all the members of the UN Security Council expressed "deep concern" over the July 5 missile launches by North Korea. -RFE - 7/7/06

Are The PMOI Iran's last Hope For A Peaceful Solution?
A group condemned as a terrorist organisation by the U.S. and Europe says it can provide a third way around the nuclear impasse -TIME - 7/7/06

IRAQ: Kurds approve foreigner-friendly investment law
The parliament of Iraq's northern Kurdistan region unanimously approved a new investment law this week in hopes of luring foreign capital to the region. -IRIN - 7/7/06

Picturing a Dark Time
Akbar Nazemi's "Unsent Dispatches from the Iranian Revolution, 1978–1979" -Canadian Art - 7/7/06

Papandreou wades into Iran nuclear fray
Former foreign minister George Papandreou, the main opposition Pasok party leader, was treading in his father's footsteps this week as he visited Iran and Israel, two Middle East hotspots on the brink of wider conflict, bearing peace initiatives. -Athens News - 7/7/06

Requiem for Bush's Unipolar Dream?
With his approval ratings falling back into the cellar after a brief bounce following last month's death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, escalating violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and between Israelis and Palestinians, and shows of defiance by the two surviving members of the "Axis of Evil," Iran and North Korea, Bush's stature is much diminished compared to his previous G-8 appearances. -IPS - 7/7/06

The Alleged Destabilizing Iranian Role in Iraq
In late June, the Commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq, General George Casey, upped the rhetoric against Iran accusing the regime of causing instability in Iraq. There is nothing new in this charge, since U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad made similar charges about three months ago. The current significance of this accusation is its timing, and its linkage with the ongoing nuclear research-related conflict between Washington and Tehran. FPIF - 7/7/06

ElBaradei: Turkey Crucial in Resolution of Iran Nuclear Crisis
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Turkey has a crucial role to play in persuading Iran to return to the negotiating table over its controversial nuclear program. Mohamed ElBaradei made his remarks at the start of a fact-finding mission to Turkey. -VOA - 7/7/06

Tales of Tough People in the Technology Field: Roxanna Ganji
Roxanna’s story now overlaps with that of her husband, Hamid, who reminded me of the man who appeared in the old Camel cigarette print advertisements. He is actually tall, dark and handsome. He graduated from the University of Tennessee. He was already a mechanical engineer when he left Iran. -Midwest Business - 7/7/06

IRAN: Editor In-Chief of Farda News Agency Arrested
Ali Shokouhi, editor in chief of the Tehran-based FARDA news agency, has been arrested and transferred to an undisclosed location. The arrest this week is considered extremely worrying in Iran as the journalist was very conservative and had worked in the past as a prosecutor. -AKI - 7/7/06

Iranian Official: Tehran 'Serious' About Resolving Nuclear Dispute
Larijani made the remarks as he met late Thursday in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. However, Larijani, did not provide a formal response to a proposal by major powers to provide incentives to Iran if it suspends uranium enrichment. -VOA - 7/7/06

Quake hits southern Iranian island of Qeshm again
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale hit the island of Qeshm in the southern province of Hormuzgan Friday. -IRNA - 7/7/06

International Symposium on History of Sports in Iran to be held in November 2006
The National Olympic and Paralympic Academy of Iran plans to hold the first International Symposium on the History of Sports in Iran in November. -Mehr - 7/7/06

City of Isfahan Threatened by Subway Construction
Evidence indicates that by continuing the project of subway construction under Chahar-Bagh Street, water from Zayandeh Rud River would flood under the city. -CHN - 7/7/06

Iran: 4th Golden Pen award winners announced
Iran's Pen Association announced the winners of 4th Golden Pen awards in a ceremony on Wednesday night. -Mehr - 7/7/06

Mahallat's Famous Spring Garden - Sarcheshmeh
During our recent trip to Mahallat, we had a great time when our driver, who came from Isfahan and knew the area, took us to see and enjoy the (cold) spring garden (baghe cheshmeh or Sarcheshmeh), before we headed back home to Tehran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 7/7/06

US Says Iran Has Had Ample Time to Consider Nuclear Offer
The United States says Iran has had plenty of time to consider the nuclear offer by major powers, and that an answer is needed by next week. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed the issue by telephone Wednesday with her foreign minister colleagues from the permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany. -VOA - 7/6/06

Pragmatism may trump zeal as Iran's power grows
Iranians tearfully remember the moment when a US Navy cruiser shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the hazy Persian Gulf, killing all 290 on board. Eighteen years ago this week, Iranian TV flashed images of bodies and debris floating in the water and the Islamic Republic accused the US of a "barbaric massacre." -CSM - 7/6/06

Iran's CIT Ministry ready to cede telecom companies to private sector
Communications and Information Technology (CIT) Minister Mohammad Soleimani said here on Wednesday that the ministry is prepared to cede telecommunications companies to the private sector, in line with Clause C of Article 44 of the Constitution. -Mehr - 7/6/06

Armenian president winds up Tehran visit
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan wound up his two-day visit to Tehran and left Tehran for Yerevan Thursday noon. Kocharyan, heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, arrived here Wednesday morning for an official visit. -IRNA - 7/6/06

Ayatollah's Moves Hint Iran Wants To Engage
As diplomatic maneuvering continues over Iran's nuclear program, the cleric who holds ultimate authority in the country has signaled twice in recent days that Iran intends to engage the wider world it long held at bay. -Washington Post - 7/6/06

What a Mess
When forced to confront the mess she has made of our foreign policy, do you suppose Condi Rice views the interrelated messes individually or collectively? Take the U.S.-India-Iran-Pakistan-Russia mess. -Gordon Prather, - 7/6/06

Iran confiscates Baha'is' properties, says UN
Baha'is in Iran face discriminatory housing policies, including "the abusive use of property confiscation," said a United Nations report released at a news conference last week. - 7/6/06

Hopes dim for easing of standoff with Iran
On the eve of negotiations here between European and Iranian diplomats, Russia and other major powers urged Tehran on Tuesday to respond swiftly to an international package of incentives and end the standoff over its nuclear program. -IHT - 7/6/06

Nuking Iran Is Not Off the Table
The (for any rational human being) bizarre possibility of a U.S. nuclear strike against Iran first reached public consciousness in early April 2006, when investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker magazine that it was one of six plans being considered by the administration. -Jorge Hirsch, - 7/6/06

Iranian-Kurdish refugees accused of provoking officials
A tense situation is unfolding at the Jordan/Iraqi border. Jordanian border officials claim that the 198 Iranian-Kurdish refugees who have been stranded there since the beginning of 2005 have been antagonising them in recent weeks. -IRIN - 7/6/06

Iraq: 3 Iranian pilgrims killed in blast in Kufa
A bomb planted in a car stationed between two buses carrying Iranian pilgrims exploded near the shrine of Meysam Tammar, a disciple of Imam Ali, in the city of Kufa, Iraq. -IRNA - 7/6/06

Israel Fears High Price for U.S. Strike on Iran
Though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pursued a policy of reducing Israel's visible involvement in the Western campaign to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions -- "work hard and say less," as he put it in March -- much indicates that the unusual Israeli silence goes beyond just reducing Tel Aviv's observable pressures on Washington to pursue a hard line on Iran. At the heart of it lies a reassessment of calculations gone amiss. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 7/6/06

Iran: Executive, legislative branch officials endorse privatization plan
The plan aims to privatize state industries, amending an article of the constitution that had banned private ownership of state institutions. The government plans to sell off 80 percent of its stake in a range of state-run companies in the industrial, banking, media, transportation, and mining sectors according to the decree issued by the Leader. -Mehr - 7/6/06

IAPAC and IABA to Host Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign Town Hall Meeting
Over the past eighteen months, civil liberty organizations have documented increased patterns of discrimination against Iranian Americans. The most common manifestations of this discrimination against Iranian Americans have been inequity in employment practices, immigration discrimination, FBI background check delays, security clearance denials, no fly lists, and unwarranted FBI surveillance and interrogation. - 7/6/06

LAST STAND: The military’s problem with the President’s Iran policy
On May 31st, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced what appeared to be a major change in U.S. foreign policy. The Bush Administration, she said, would be willing to join Russia, China, and its European allies in direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 7/6/06

30 Bird Productions present: The World Premiere of THE PERSIAN REVOLUTION
The constitutional revolution was the first event of its kind in the Middle East; it was covered by the press worldwide and gave rise to issues, which are still being debated today. 100 years on The Persian Revolution is a contemporary interpretation of the exciting events surrounding the establishment of the first parliament and constitution in Iran in 1906. - 7/6/06

Cold War II
Francis Bacon once said that "he that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other". -Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar - 7/6/06

The Sound of Music: Monika Jalili and Noorsaaz's Remembrance of Things Past...
There is something about the Noorsaaz Band that reminds me of the Von Trapp Family in the Sound of Music. That may seem far-fetched a comparison but I maintain this assessment. One can listen to them religiously and feel the warmth and communion they inspire in everyone who listens. -Darius KADIVAR - 7/5/06

The Legend of Tir and the First Month of Summer in Persia
The first month of summer is called Tir in the Persian language which translates into English as arrow. Choosing of this name was not an accident. There are many customs associated with the month of Tir, which itself is associated with the legend of the arrow. -CHN - 7/5/06

Iran to host 9th foreign ministerial meeting of Iraqi neighboring states
Foreign ministers of Iraqi neighboring states plus Egypt are to hold their 9th meeting in Iran on July 8-9. -IRNA - 7/5/06

Armenian president officially welcomed by Iranian president
Visiting Armenian President Robert Kocharyan was officially welcomed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Presidential Office in Tehran on Wednesday. -IRNA - 7/5/06

EU Expected to Pressure Iran to Reply to Incentives Package
The European Union is expected to pressure Iran to reply quickly to a Western incentives package aimed at persuading Tehran to stop enriching uranium. -VOA - 7/5/06

Quake hits Iranian island of Qeshm in the Persian Gulf
An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale hit the island of Qeshm in the southern province of Hormuzgan Wednesday. -IRNA - 7/5/06

Lust for life
The west portrays the people of Iran as prisoners of an oppressive state. But Anoek Steketee's photographs reveal their everyday lives to be not so different from our own, says Azar Nafisi -Guardian - 7/5/06

250,000 liters/day petrol wasted in Iran
Some 250,000 liters of petrol are wasted due to spillage in filling stations in Iran, the fourth major oil producer, every day, experts believe. -IRNA - 7/5/06

Ex-student hailed as Iran's hope
An Iranian student leader who was imprisoned and tortured before fleeing to the United States in May is to meet Vice-President Dick Cheney and deliver his message about the need for "regime change" in Teheran. -Telegraph, UK - 7/5/06

Malaysians to build 20,000 residential units in Tehran
Iran's Parand and Hashtgerd new towns development companies and a Malaysian construction company signed an agreement on Monday evening for building 20,000 residential units in the newly established cities of Parand and Hashtgerd, both in Tehran Province -Mehr - 7/5/06

Maternal-Mortality Numbers Still Climbing
Today, Iran has a maternal-death rate of one in 370 births, which is high compared to developed Western countries, but much lower than its neighbors, Afghanistan and Pakistan. -RFE - 7/5/06

Damavand National Day to be Celebrated in Iran
A group of athletes from mountaineering associations are gathering today, 4th of July, in Rineh, Mazandaran province, to celebrate National Day for Damavand, the highest peak in Iran. -CHN - 7/5/06

Chicago University Promises to Defend Iran's Right at Court
Following the US Federal Court's decision to auction the collection of Persian artifacts held at Chicago University's Oriental Institute, director of the Institute sent a letter to Iran condemning the court's ruling and promising to defend Iran's right at the court. -CHN - 7/5/06

Iran's Jahana preparing to compete with Yahoo and Google
Iran's 2004 Eternal Figures in the field of sociology, Jalal Saeidnia, is planning to launch a website called Jahana, the Persian service of CHN reported on Wednesday. -Mehr - 7/5/06

Looting Iran
It took years of painful sanctions and numerous bombing campaigns before looters swept in to steal Iraq's archaeological treasures. It seems that in the case of Iran, the theft may precede sanctions and war. -Niki Akhavan - 7/5/06

Iran urged to release philosopher
International pressure is growing on Iran to release a prominent philosopher and writer, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who was arrested two months ago on unspecified charges. -Guardian - 7/5/06

Iran's Nuclear Threat: Exploring the Politics
After years of US and Israeli attempts to refer Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council, and after two and a half years of European efforts to find a solution to the problem through negotiations, the Iranian file was finally reported to the Security Council on 8 March 2006. -Dr. Farhang Jahanpour - 7/5/06

Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji Threatens Mass Hunger Strike To Free Political Prisoners
Dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji has threatened to organize a hunger-strike "movement" in several Western cities if the government does not release three Iranian political prisoners as soon as possible and unconditionally. -RFE - 7/4/06

Big Power Foreign Ministers to Meet Next Week On Iran
Foreign Ministers of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries plus Germany will meet in Europe next week to consider Iran's response, if any, to their offer of incentives for Tehran to end uranium enrichment. The major powers have called for an answer to the initiative by this Wednesday. -VOA - 7/4/06

Iran: Gasoline likely to be rationed through coupons
Gasoline will probably be rationed from early October following final ratification by the cabinet. -Mehr - 7/4/06

Putin Urges Iran To Accept Nuclear Proposals
Russian President Vladimir Putin today urged Iran to accept an international package of incentives aimed at defusing the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. -RFE - 7/4/06

Choghakhor to become a tourist hub by 2008
Two foreign companies have announced their readiness to invest in cable car construction over Choghakhor wetland to promote tourism in this beautiful spot of Borujen, Chaharmahal-o-Bakhtiari Province -Mehr - 7/4/06

6,000-year-old human skeletons unearthed in Khorasan
Head of the archaeological group working on Qaleh Khan, Omran Garazhian, here Tuesday said that four human skeletons dating back to 4,400-4,700 BC have been unearthed in the province. -IRNA - 7/4/06

Iran's Supreme Leader Pushes For Privatization
If implemented, the move could have a major effect on the Iranian economy, which is overwhelmingly state-run. The order must still be detailed and meet with the approval of other branches of government before it can proceed. -RFE - 7/4/06

US court verdict endangers security of world cultural exchange
Vice-President and Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Esfandiar Rahim Moshaei said here Tuesday that the recent ruling issued by an American district judge on seizure of Iran's ancient mud tablets dating back to the Achaemenid era would endanger security of world cultural exchange at scientific centers across the globe. -IRNA - 7/4/06

Iran to obtain its cultural heritage from US: government spokesman
Elham made the remark while speaking to domestic and foreign reporters at his weekly press conference in reaction to an illegal measure by the US federal court which issued a verdict on seizure of Iran's cultural heritage by the US administration. -IRNA - 7/3/06

Iranian Intelligence Ministry closely monitoring foreigners' subversive activities: Minister
On the recent arrest of university professor Ramin Jahanbegloo, the intelligence minister noted that Jahanbegloo was arrested on suspicion of assisting the U.S. in its efforts to provoke a velvet revolution in Iran. -Mehr - 7/3/06

Tehran Municipality to establish IMAX theater
An IMAX theater will be established for the first time in Tehran, the managing director of Tehran Municipality's Department for Developing Cultural and Artistic Areas announced on Monday. -Mehr - 7/3/06

Iran denies cruise missile purchase from Ukraine
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi here Sunday said that he is amazed by the remarks of the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov about Iran's purchase of X-55 cruise missile from Ukraine and denied it. -IRNA - 7/3/06

World fencers to fight in Tehran mid-July
Swordsmen from 23 countries will start their fights here on July 14. -Mehr - 7/3/06

US incoherent stance prevents talks with Iran: FM spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday that lack of coherent stance among US officials prevented talks between Tehran and Washington. -IRNA - 7/3/06

Sculpture exhibit depicts man's struggle for freedom
Iranian sculptor Safa Hosseini says that her new works at the exhibition "Looking for Reality" depict man struggling for total freedom. -Mehr - 7/3/06

Iran: Supreme Leader issues guidelines for privatization drive
According to the action plan, the Supreme Leader assigned the government to cede 80 percent of the shares of major state-owned enterprises to the people in order to support the targets envisioned by the 20-Year Strategy for Economic, Social and Cultural Development. -IRNA - 7/3/06

Iran Rejects Deadline to Respond to Incentives on Halting Nuclear Program
Iran has again rejected a deadline to respond to an international offer aimed at resolving a standoff over its controversial nuclear program. -VOA - 7/2/06

Tehran Municipality able to construct 20km of metro lines annually if funded
Speaking in the opening ceremony of two new metro stations, Qalibaf said that extending the underground railway system is one of the most important ways to ease Tehran's heavy traffic. -Mehr - 7/2/06

Chávez, Ahmadinejad Show Solidarity With Africa
A summit of African leaders opened Saturday with a special welcome for the presidents of Iran and Venezuela, each visiting the poorest continent to win support in disputes with the United States. -AP - 7/2/06

Turkmenistan: The Achilles' Heel Of European Energy Security
In the wake of the "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine in early 2006, and the brief interruption it caused in supplies to Europe, the world awoke to the increasing importance of Central Asian natural gas for European energy security. -RFE - 7/2/06

New UN Rights Body to Review Alleged Abuses By Israel
The new United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution to make a review of alleged human rights abuses by Israel a permanent part of the agenda of future meetings. -VOA - 7/2/06

Iran's Western Behavior Deserves Criticism
Iran has again rejected a deadline to respond to an international offer aimed at resolving a standoff over its controversial nuclear program. -Rostam Pourzal, MRZINE - 7/2/06

Iran: Aghajari Oil and Gas Production Company produces 730,000 bpd of oil
The average production from Aghajari Oil and Gas Production Company stands at 730,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, noted the company managing director. -Mehr - 7/2/06

Iran: Quakes hit Qeshm island and city of Orumiyeh
An earthquake with an intensity of 3.9 on the Richter scale hit the vicinity of Qeshm island in the southern province of Hormuzgan on Saturday. Another earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit outskirts of the city of Orumiyeh in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan early Sunday. -IRNA - 7/2/06

Iranian official: Europe likely substitute for India, Pakistan in gas deal
An Oil Ministry official on Saturday implicitly spoke of the possibility of substituting India and Pakistan with Europe in a gas deal, saying the supply to the two neighbors might be lower than expected. -IRNA - 7/2/06

Persian Artifacts, Victims of Political Crisis
A federal judge has ordered to confiscate and put on auction a collection of invaluable Persian relics, currently in the possession of Chicago University's Oriental Institute, to compensate victims of the 1997 bombing in Israel. -CHN - 7/2/06

Iran: New Foreign Policy Council Could Curtail Ahmadinejad's Power
The creation in Iran this week of a foreign policy council connected with the Supreme Leader's Office may reflect a desire to balance the brash and inexperienced foreign affairs apparatus of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad with the more measured input of elder statesmen. -RFE - 7/1/06

US Official: Iran's Response to Nuclear Offer Expected Next Week
A top U.S. diplomat says Washington expects Iran to give its formal response next week to an international offer of incentives for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment and return to nuclear talks with the West. -VOA - 7/1/06

Progressive Caucus Addresses Iran Standoff
“The Iranian nuclear program is driven by fear, not pride,” said Trita Parsi at a Congressional Progressive Caucus forum hearing in the US Capitol on June 23, 2006. Dr. Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), was joined by other Iran discussants who all expressed support for a diplomatic resolution to the US-Iran disagreement. -NIAC - 7/1/06

Iran-Iraq war memories fuel Tehran vision
Vast war cemeteries on the outskirts of Tehran bear silent witness to Iran's complex relationship with neighbouring Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians died in the 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's regime. -Guardian - 7/1/06

Iran: regionalism, ethnicity and democracy
The Tehran government's failure to deliver economic improvement is fuelling discontent among Iran’s non-Persian minorities, says Nayereh Tohidi. -Open Democracy - 7/1/06

Iran through to world goalball quarterfinals
Iran stormed into the world goalball quarterfinals in Spartanburg in South Carolina, the United States, Saturday. -Mehr - 7/1/06

Iranian company building bridge for Iraq
The Machine Sazi Arak (MSA), a company in central Iran, is building a bridge for the Iraqi city of Suleymaniya, Masud Javadifar told the Persian service of ILNA on Friday. -Mehr - 7/1/06

U.S. Renews Allegations About Tehran Role In Khobar Bombing
Ali Ansari, an expert on Iran with the Chatham House (aka Royal Institute of International Affairs) and author of a newly published book about Iranian-U.S. relations called "Confronting Iran," points out that no evidence has been presented to prove Iran's direct involvement in the Khobar attack. -RFE - 7/1/06

U.S. Nuclear Superiority Forms Backdrop to "Talks" with Iran
The Bush administration's pledge to talk with Iran about its nuclear program comes against the backdrop of massive U.S. nuclear superiority. Iran appears to be seeking a nuclear weapon that could be produced five to ten years from now. By contrast, as of January of this year the United States had 5,735 active nuclear warheads, with another 4,235 held in reserve. -Common Dreams - 7/1/06

For Iran, the man is the message
Last week Iranians woke up to a startling piece of news: Their government had dispatched Tehran's notorious prosecutor general, Saeed Mortazavi, to Geneva as a member of Iran's delegation to the opening session of the new United Nations Human Rights Council. -New York Times - 7/1/06

Three Nuclear Ironies
A nuclear first strike to forestall a nuclear Iran can only end with nuclear second strikes here. -Common Dreams - 7/1/06

505 babies born in Tehran daily: official
Tehran Registry director general Saturday announced on average 505 babies are born in the megalopolis capital every 24 hours. -Mehr - 7/1/06

Iran: Tehran Won't Respond To Incentives Package Before August
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has rejected demands to respond quickly to the package of incentives offered by the West in exchange for Iran's abandonment of its nuclear program. -RFE - 7/1/06

New tremors hit Persian Gulf island of Qeshm
Qeshm is still shaking and in the last hours of Friday afternoon another relatively big earthquake jolted this Iranian island in Persian Gulf. -IRNA - 7/1/06

Iranian FM warns of reciprocation if US court ruling goes in effect
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday warned that if the US denies Iran's right to its properties and assets to satisfy judgments by some of its court, Tehran will reciprocate the action. -IRNA - 7/1/06

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