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Iranian Studies Conference in Istanbul
Conversation with Tooraj Atabaki, professor of Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia in Department of History at University of Amsterdam about the 2012 Iranian Studies Conference in Istanbul -Sara Rushan - 7/31/12

Noor Film Festival Screening Schedule: August 3-8, 2012 in Los Angeles
This year in addition to showcasing films, Noor will be hosting various panel discussions with Actors, Producers, and Directors to help the next generation of filmmakers reach their goal. - 7/31/12

US Congressional Negotiators Agree on New Iran Sanctions
U.S. lawmakers are moving forward with tough new sanctions against Iran, aimed at further reducing the nation's oil revenues to undercut its nuclear program. - 7/31/12

Sanctions no less than military war: Iran's Central Bank chief
The head of Iran's Central Bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, says: "Sanctions mean nothing short of military war, and we need to begin a series of irregular economic war policies." - 7/31/12

Iranian Table Tennis Player Exits Olympics After Loss to German Opponent
Iranian table tennis player Noshad Alamiyan was unsatisfied with the way he played against his German rival Timo Boll in the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 7/31/12

No need for emergency OPEC meeting, oil price is fair: Iran
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced on Tuesday that no longer there is a need for an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as oil prices jump over 100 dollars a barrel. - 7/31/12

Made in Israel: Romney's Iran Campaign
Romney is no Willard-come-lately when it comes to serving the interests of Israel. His ties to the Israeli Right and especially Likud Party President Benjamin Netanyahu go back many years. -Jeff Klein, Counterpunch - 7/31/12

Panetta Admits Sanctions Yet To Compel Iran To Give Up Nuclear Ambitions
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has acknowledged that increasingly rigid international sanctions against Iran have yet to compel Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions. But Panetta says pressure eventually will lead Iran to "do what's right." - 7/31/12

China Keeps Buying Iran's Oil As U.S. And EU Intensify Sanctions
Oil tankers able to haul at least 20 million barrels of Iranian crude signaled for China in July, highlighting one of the challenges the U.S. and Europe face as they pressure the Persian Gulf state over its nuclear program. -Bloomberg - 7/31/12

Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria
In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad -Guardian - 7/31/12

Photos: Isfahan's Heart Doesn't Beat...
It's summer, and once again Zayandeh Rud has dried up. This river, which passes under the historical sio-seh-pol bridge is one of the icons of the city of Isfahan in central Iran. However, in recent years the river has been drying during the summer months creating a depressing picture. -Mirhossein Hosseini - 7/30/12

Iranian photographer Hamideh Zolfaqari receives award in French contest
US-based Iranian photographer Hamideh Zolfaqari has been awarded at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3) photo competition in France. Zolfaqari who took part in the Non-Professional Category of the contest, won the gold medal of the 'Other' category of the event's Press section for her photograph titled 'Differences.' - 7/30/12

Iran: Record-setting fraud case brings death sentences
Four people charged in Iran's $3-billion bank fraud, which is being called the greatest case of financial corruption in the country's history, have been sentenced to death. - 7/30/12

Iranian Court Dismisses President-Appointed Official
An Iranian court has fired a Labor Ministry official who has been linked to the deaths of prisoners. The decision, announced on July 30, by the Supreme Administrative Court comes after Iranian lawmakers filed a suit against Said Mortazavi, who was head of the social-security department at the Labor Ministry. - 7/30/12

Iranian-Born Doctors Honored for HIV/AIDS Work
Two Iranian-born physicians - Kamiar Alaei and his brother, Arash Alaei - received the inaugural Elizabeth Taylor Award on the opening day of the 19th annual International AIDS Conference, held July 22-27 in Washington. - 7/30/12

Dependence on oil a "trap": Iran's leader
Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, says Iran's dependence on crude exports is a "trap" and the country needs to wean its economy off oil revenues. - 7/30/12

Iran urges baby boom, slashes birth-control programs
In a major reversal of once far-reaching family planning policies, authorities are now slashing its birth-control programs in an attempt to avoid an aging demographic similar to many Western countries that are struggling to keep up with state medical and social security costs. -AP - 7/30/12

Are U.S. Iranian Sanctions Self-Defeating?
Although the Apple store incident could be minimized and considered a misinterpretation of Apple's policy by an individual location or clerk, the incident is just the newest in a series of unfortunate misapplications and misinterpretations of sanctions legislations towards Iranians and Iranian-Americans... -Jeffrey H. Toney, Huffington Post - 7/30/12

Iran traded with 150 countries: Economy Minister
TEHRAN - Iran conducted economic transactions with 150 countries in the last calendar year, which ended on March 19, the finance and economic affairs minister says. - 7/30/12

Olympics: Iran's Alamiyan into table tennis 3rd round
Iran's Noshad Alamiyan earned a dramatic win over Peng Tang from Hong Kong in the men's singles second round table tennis match in London 2012 Olympic Games on Sunday. - 7/29/12

Bakeries may face flour shortages: Iranian MP
An Iranian MP has announced that Iran may face a shortage in wheat for bakeries as a large part of this year's harvest has been sold to livestock farmers. - 7/29/12

Rate of population decrease in Iran is faster than other countries: Official
The rate of population decrease in Iran is faster than other countries, an official at the organization for civil registration says. The rapid decline in population growth has prompted a study of the issue in parliamentary committees, Ali Akbar Mahzoon said. - 7/29/12

Judiciary must speed up Mortazavi case: Iranian Justice Minister
Morteza Bakhtiari, Iran's Minister of Justice, has announced that the judiciary should expedite the case against Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran prosecutor implicated in the torture and murder of detainees at Kahrizak Prison in 2009. - 7/29/12

Deciphering Iran's Concern For Myanmar's Muslims
Iran says it is very concerned about the killings of Muslims in Myanmar. Violence between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in the country's Rakhine state has reportedly left dozens dead and displaced between 70,000 and 90,000 people. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/29/12

Israel ex-minister of military affairs says Iran strike 'catastrophic'
Israel's former minister for military affairs Shaul Mofaz has warned of the "catastrophic" consequences of a possible strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. - 7/29/12

Iran young, urbanised and educated: census
Iran is a very urbanised society with a largely educated, young Muslim population that ranks as the Middle East's second-biggest, its latest census figures, published on Sunday, show. -AFP - 7/29/12

Iran sanctions affect sales of Dubai property
Iranian investment in the Dubai property market slipped by nearly a quarter to Dh1.5 billion (US$408.3 million) in the first six months of the year from a year earlier as sanctions squeeze buyers from the embattled country. -National, UAE - 7/29/12

Iran's NDC earmarks $800m for buying drilling rigs
The North Drilling Company of Iran (NDC) plans to buy 14 drilling rigs for $800 million, the NDC managing director announced on Saturday. - 7/29/12

OLYMPICS: Iranian female shooter Elaheh Ahmadi 6th in Shooting 10m air rifle
Elaheh Ahmadi from Iran finished sixth in the women's Shooting 10m air rifle with 499.1 points at the 2012 London Games on Saturday. - 7/28/12

Iranian officials blame rising chicken prices on enemies
The Shiraz Friday Mass leader has blamed the sudden countrywide spike in the price of chicken on "the psychological war waged by Iran's enemies," as he emphasized that there are no food shortages. - 7/28/12

How Iran Censors Foreign Films
"Romantic dialogue is often changed. For example, it isn't proper for a woman to say to her partner, 'I love you.' It isn't considered decent. It's clear how dialogue about sexual proposals is dealt with -- they are changed to marriage proposals. Also, we see that beer becomes lemonade on state television and whiskey becomes orange juice. Also, dialogue about politics is often changed." -Golnaz Esfandiari , RFE - 7/28/12

Grizzlies to re-sign Hamed Haddadi
The Grizzlies are expected to re-sign Hamed Haddadi to a multi-year contract extension. Last December, the 27-year-old agreed to a one-year, $1.3MM contract to remain in Memphis. - 7/28/12

Turkish Talk Show Host Creates Polygamy Stir
In Turkey, a well-known women's talk show host has provoked ire among some Turks by offering a friend as a second wife to her husband. The overture thrust polygamy into the national spotlight. - 7/28/12

Iran: Police to enforce strict Ramadan rules
Iranian police forces have announced strict measures against people eating and smoking in public during the fasting month of Ramadan. During the Holy month of Ramadan, which began last week, Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke during daylight. - 7/28/12

Iran says nuclear talks will continue
Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers will continue until "a positive and constructive outcome" is achieved, Ayatollah Khamenei's senior aide said on Friday. - 7/28/12

Muslim Groups Increasingly Worried About Fate of Burma's Rohingyas
Muslim groups worldwide are increasing pressure on the Burmese government to stop human rights abuses committed against ethnic Rohingya Muslims. - 7/28/12

Iran ready to provide full insurance for tankers carrying its oil: NIOC official
A senior official at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says Iran is prepared to provide full insurance coverage for both Iranian and foreign tankers shipping its oil. - 7/28/12

White House Reaches Out To The Iranian-American Community: A Trip Report
What a fantastic outreach initiative by the White House recognizing a vibrant and successful community! Iranian-Americans, with an official population of about 300 thousands, and an unofficial one of over 1 million, have enriched the dynamic culture of their adopted country; and they continue making significant contributions to America's competitiveness in educational and economic arenas -Ali Moayedian - 7/27/12

Photos: Will There Be Chicken On The Table Tonight?
Sanctions have made life for ordinary Iranian citizens increasingly difficult due to the steep hikes in the cost of living. Recently prices of basic food items have gone up drastically making it difficult for people to feed their families. The government has been selling some items like chicken at lower prices. Following photos show the people in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, standing in long lines to buy chicken meat offered by the government. -Amir-Reza Fakhri - 7/27/12

Hollywood actors of high moral standards will be hired for "Laleh" project: Iranian producer
The director of Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) said on Tuesday that only Hollywood actors with high moral standards would be hired for "Laleh", a controversial movie project about the first Iranian female race car driver, Laleh Seddiq. - 7/27/12

Iran's flag-bearer: I'll be fully fit for Olympics
Heavyweight boxer Ali Mazaheri said on Wednesday that he had sustained a back injury but will be ready for the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 7/27/12

Middle East brain drain shows signs of reversing
The best and brightest men and women from the Middle East have often gone on to work for the world's largest multinational companies in Europe or the United States. On a local level, this "brain drain" has proved difficult for the economies of Arab countries, many of which are already struggling. -Nada Akl - 7/27/12

Bosnia and Croatia: What is the tie with Iran?
Back in the mid 1990's, following the break up of Yugoslavia, when Serbian military forces were attacking innocent civilians in the independent states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia, concerned citizens in the outside world followed the events with much trepidation. -David Rahni - 7/27/12

Iran: New measures to counter sanctions' impact
The EU and the U.S. have imposed severe sanctions on Iran's oil industry, which reportedly has cut deeply into Iran's oil exports. The U.S. congress is trying to approve a new package of sanctions against Iran by the end of next week. - 7/27/12

Historic Indo-Iranian company falls to sanctions
An Indo-Iranian shipping company founded by Indira Ghandi and the late Shah of Iran has been forced into closure by Western sanctions on Iran. - 7/27/12

The Shahnameh Project: Ferdowsi Is Alive and Well and Iran Shall Remain
During a few days' stay at Cambridge, I had a chance to meet Charles Melville and Firzua Abdullaeva Melville. Dr. Charles Melville has been teaching at Cambridge since 1984. His many works include a number of books on the Shahnameh ... Dr. Firuza Abdullaeva, who holds a PhD from St Petersburg University in Iranian philology, Art and Islamic Studies, was previously at Oxford University and is now in charge of the Shahnameh Project. -Fariba Amini - 7/26/12

Photos: Morality Police In Iran Hand Out Flowers For "Good Hijab"
The morality police in Iran's Golestan province was playing the good cup today. They were out in the streets handing flowers to women with "good hijab." Will the bad cups be out tomorrow detaining the women with "bad hijab," as they have been doing in the previous days and weeks? - 7/26/12

Iranian film 'A Separation' achieves great success in North America theaters
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning film A Separation has taken the North America's movie theaters by storm as the second top-grossing foreign-language film in 2012. - 7/26/12

Exclusive Interview with Mojtaba Vahedi after Resignation: Break Away from the Green Movement
Mojtaba Vahedi, the former spokesperson for Green Movement leader Mehdi Karoubi , has announced that he has decided to end his relationship as advisor to Mr. Karoubi. He wrote that he believed in "the complete overthrow of the regime that has been created in the name of religion" -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah - 7/26/12

Iran national theme song for London Olympics 2012 composed
Iran has composed and produced a national theme song for the London Olympics 2012. The Office for Ritual Songs, which is affiliated with the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was commissioned to produce the song entitled "Song of Glory", the office director Ebrahim Taheri said on Wednesday. - 7/26/12

Remembering Alexander Cockburn
There was something special about Alex Cockburn. And I knew that when I was first introduced to him and his writings in the early 1980's, my first year of college. -Farid Marjai - 7/26/12

Iranian leader defiant in face of sanctions
Iran's Supreme Leader says pressures and sanctions will not cause any change in Iran's calculations. In a meeting with Iranian officials, Ayatollah Khamenei said on Tuesday that the international pressures were simply a sign assuring the Iranian nation that it is on the right path. - 7/26/12

Fighting Rages in Syria, Turkey Closes Key Crossings
ONCUPINAR, Turkey - Fierce fighting continued in Syria on Wednesday. Rebels sent reinforcements to the battered historic city of Aleppo as government forces stepped up attacks with helicopters and machine guns. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 7/26/12

Iran accuses Israel of attack on its own citizens
Iran's envoy to the United Nations has accused Israel of carrying out the suicide bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria. - 7/26/12

Congress: More Iran Sanctions Next Week
It has been a couple of weeks since the US last imposed "new" sanctions against Iran, and that's a long time in an election year. Congressional leaders say they hope to slap another round on by the end of next week. -Jason Ditz, antiwar.com - 7/26/12

Olympics: Iran news renews flap about not facing Israeli athletes
After an Iranian official said that the Islamic Republic's athletes would play "every country" at the Olympics, it seemed the London Games would put a halt to Iranians boycotting events to avoid facing off against Israelis. -LA Times - 7/26/12

Photos: Eshrat Kaveh Keeps Spinning...
Eshrat Kaveh was born in the village of Rouein in Bojnord, Iran. When she was 12, she started working alongside the mother, and she learned the art of spinning and textile making from her. For the past 32 years, Eshrat has been earning her living by creating beautiful textiles. -Ata Ranjbar - 7/25/12

Photos: Iran launches first domestically made oil tanker
The first of four oil tankers being built by Iran for the Venezuelan state oil company entered the Persian Gulf waters on Tuesday, July 24. The Aframax-category tanker - capable of carrying 113,000 tons of oil - the equivalent of 75,000 barrels - was built in two years by the Iranian Marine Industrial Company (SADRA). - 7/25/12

Iranian police target internet 'licentiousness'
Iranian police forces have announced that they will confront and cleanse the internet and sites like Facebook to stop those who "promote prostitution and licentiousness" on it. - 7/25/12

Six Weeks of Iranian Art at Toronto's Queen Gallery
Starting on September 21st, 2012, for six weeks Toronto's Queen Gallery will be host to an exciting and eclectic series of Iranian art exhibits, featuring the work of internationally renowned and award winning Iranian artists alongside that of emerging young talent from the ranks of the growing Iranian-Canadian community. - 7/25/12

71.4 percent of Iranians live in cities
New census data reveals that Iran's population has more than doubled since 1976 and that 71.4 percent of Iranians now live in cities. Tehran, with a population of 12 million, is the most crowded province of the country, while Ilam is the most sparsely populated province, with a population of 557,599. - 7/25/12

Nuclear talks continue between Iran, world powers
Representatives of Iran and the six major powers are to meet in Istanbul today to discuss joint solutions in the new round of negotiations about Iran's nuclear program. - 7/25/12

Iran calls on UN to condemn organized cyber attacks
Iran's deputy minister for communications and information technology has called on the UN to condemn organized cyber attacks against countries. - 7/25/12

Athletes Don't Always Honor Olympic Spirit
Drunken celebrations, trick swords, and obscene gestures are definitely not what the Olympics are supposed to be about. But they, too, have provided some of the Olympics' most unforgettable images. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 7/25/12

Iranian Americans, Take a Lesson
Iranian Americans have many lessons to learn from Jewish Americans-most of them are about commitment and priorities. In some aspects, the two communities could not be any more different. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 7/25/12

63 Iranians drowned in Caspian Sea in four months
Head of the rescue department of the Iranian Red Crescent Society said on Tuesday that since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 20, 63 people have lost their lives in the Caspian Sea. - 7/25/12

Iranians Reportedly Protest Against High Food Prices
A video has emerged that allegedly shows a recent protest against high food prices in the city of Neishabour in northeastern Iran. In the video people are heard chanting "Death to [High Prices]". - 7/24/12

U.S., Iranian archaeologists team up for underwater excavation in Persian Gulf
A team of U.S. and Iranian archaeologists have recently commenced a series of underwater excavations to identify the ruins of the historical port of Siraf in the Persian Gulf. - 7/24/12

Iranian Doctors Who Were Jailed in Iran Awarded At International AIDS Conference
Two pioneering Iranian doctors who were jailed in Iran have received the "Elizabeth Taylor" award at the opening of the world's largest AIDS conference in Washington. - 7/24/12

Efforts to Draw Together the Diverging Paths of Reformists and the Green Movement
Two recent visits paid to Abdollah Nouri by Iranian student activists have generated a lot of buzz, and some media outlets have begun to refer to him as the reformist candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. - 7/24/12

Grand Performances presents a FREE concert in Los Angeles featuring STRUNZ & FARAH and NIYAZ
Traditional Middle Eastern music gets a dose of Niyaz' trance-inducing electronic beats and a tip of the hat from Strunz & Farah's acoustic guitar virtuosity whenGrand Performances, Los Angeles' premiere free outdoor summer performing arts series, presents the two groups on their unique Downtown Los Angeles WaterCourt stage on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 8pm. - 7/24/12

Iran, Global Powers Holding Nuclear Talks In Istanbul
The next round of nuclear negotiations are getting under way on July 24 between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, comprising the permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany. - 7/24/12

Iran's birth control policy sent birthrate tumbling
Since the 1980s, Iran has experienced the largest and fastest drop in fertility ever recorded - from about seven births per woman to fewer than two today. "It confounded all conventional wisdom that it could happen in one of the world's few Islamic republics," said Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, a demographer at the University of Tehran. -Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times - 7/24/12

Obama Warns Syria Not to Use Chemical Weapons
A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, said the government would never use chemical weapons against its own people, but would unleash them against what he called foreign invaders. He said the military is securely guarding the nation's weapons stockpile. - 7/24/12

An Iranian Olympian carries the weight of a nation
Behdad Salimi, a world champion weightlifter, goes to the London Games bearing the expectations of all of Iran - and is the country's best hope for gold. -Afshin Valinejad, CSM - 7/24/12

Ahmadinejad Ministers Face Impeachment
Iranian Parliament has announced plans to impeach the ministers of Agriculture and Industry in reaction to rising prices across the country. - 7/24/12

Thunderstruck! A tale of malware, AC/DC, and Iran's nukes
A report suggests that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran urgently e-mailed a security expert saying that it was under a musical cyber assault. -Chris Matyszczyk, CNET - 7/24/12

Iran's Olympic leader says his athletes will face Israelis after previous withdrawals
Iranian athletes will compete against Israelis at the London Olympics, according to the country's chef de mission. "We will be truthful to sport," said Bahram Afsharzadeh, who is also the secretary general of the Iranian Olympic committee said. -AP - 7/24/12

Sharp Increase in Grain Prices Raises Alarm
A 20-percent spike in maize and wheat prices in just the past three weeks is raising concerns with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). - 7/24/12

Photos: A Carwash Run by Women in Tabriz, Iran
A carwash has recently started operation in Tabriz, northwestern Iran. What's unique about this carwash is it is operated entirely by women. Iranian women are present in many fields in the society and economy. But an all-woman carwash is a first for them! -Mahsa Jamali - 7/23/12

Iranian Officials Now Repeatedly Acknowledge: The Sanctions are Devastating
Until only a few weeks ago officials of the Islamic republic of Iran repeatedly claimed in public that the growing international and bilateral sanctions that have evolved against Iran have had no effect on the country. But since the EU embargo on Iranian oil and a ban on insuring the shipping of its oil that went into effect on July 1, Iranian officials have changed their tune in public by confirming the hardship and headaches that the sanctions are causing. -Hossein Mohammadi - 7/23/12

Lake Oroumiyeh still shrinking at rapid rate
Iran's Environment Organization has announced that 65 percent of Lake Oroumiyeh's surface has already dired up. Asghar Mohammadi Fazel, a spokesman for the Environment Organization, announced on Sunday that the situation remains critical, as many parts of the lake have turned red due to the high concentration of minerals. - 7/23/12

Iran to weed out "seditious" reformists from election
IRGC cultural adviser Hamidreza Moghaddamfar says only those reformists who did not take part in the 񓟹 sedition" can participate in the coming presidential elections. - 7/23/12

Iranian MPs want Kahrizak case expedited
Sixteen Iranian MPs have called on the Justice Minister to "speed up" the 2009 case involving detainees at the Kahrizak Detention Centre who were reportedly tortured and murdered. - 7/23/12

Photos: Airplane Overhaul Facility in Mashhad, Eastern Iran
Mashhad International Airport or Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport is an airport in Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan, Iran. The airport also houses an overhaul facility for light and heavy aircraft where the specialists are engaged in rebuilding and modernizing the air transportation system of the country. -Mehdi Bolourian - 7/23/12

Boarders Without Borders: Using Love of Sports to Transcend Politics and Share Cultures
In early 2013, three American snowboarders, including Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teeter and professional snowboarder Gabi Viteri, will travel to Iran and ride with fellow Iranian snowboarders in the Alborz Mountains. -Ariana Romero, NIAC - 7/23/12

Iran joins research team for nuclear fusion project
The head of Islamic Azad University's Plasma Physics Research Center says that Iran is now a partner in the development of the world's largest nuclear fusion project. - 7/23/12

Struggle over what to wear in Iran
An annual test of wills between Iran's morality police and women who dress in ways that are deemed unacceptable has begun in cities across the Islamic republic. But this year, the stakes are unusually high. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 7/23/12

Iran to place new satellite in sun-synchronous orbit
A senior Iranian aerospace official has said the country will soon launch its indigenous Amir Kabir satellite in yet another technological step forward in the space industry. - 7/23/12

Iranian Admiral Downplays Calls To Close Hormuz Strait
A top Iranian admiral says Tehran will not close the strategic Strait of Hormuz as long as Iran itself continues to rely on the waterway. - 7/23/12

Photos: Iran's Female Motocross Champion Noora Naraghi
Iranian woman Nora Naraghi won her country's motorcross racing championship in 2009. She then traveled to USA in 2010 to pursue her motocross racing dream. To learn how to ride and race motocross from Stefy Bau, former 2 time Women's World Motocross Champion and owner/instructor of 211 MX school. -Mehrnaz Mohammadi - 7/22/12

Iranians Use Facebook To Say 'No' To Compulsory Hijab
Dozens of Iranian women, and some men, living both inside and outside the country, have posted their pictures on the Facebook page of a newly launched campaign called, "No to Mandatory Hijab" that declares that women should have the right to choose whether or not to wear the Muslim headscarf. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/22/12

Iran institutes multiple exchange rates
The head of Iran's parliamentary economic commission announced on Saturday that there now will be three official rates of exchange for the U.S. dollar. According to the new regulations, the rate of 12,260 rials per dollar offered by the banks will now only be available for "the import of basic goods." - 7/22/12

Commentary's Racist Attack Against Iranian Americans
Commentary magazine today published a racist attack against Iranian Americans, cynically exploiting the disgusting terrorist attack in Bulgaria that took the lives of seven Israelis as an opportunity to settle petty domestic political scores and disenfranchise our community. -Jamal Abdi, Huffington Post - 7/22/12

Iran has expertise to produce nuclear reactors to power ships, subs: AEOI Director
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Fereydoun Abbasi has said that Iran is able to design the nuclear reactors needed to power the ships and submarines that it plans to equip with nuclear propulsion systems. - 7/22/12

The Arts: War in the Iranian Theater
A wealthy philanthropist who lives in north Tehran told me that if things continued as they were, the working class, the regime's primary base of popular support, would invade the capital's wealthier neighborhoods and their luxurious residences in the coming months. -Tehran Bureau - 7/22/12

Iran denies news of IRGC official's death
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has denied recent rumours that Ghassem Soleimani, a commander of the Quds Force, the international branch of the IRGC, was killed in a bombing in Damascus. - 7/22/12

There are 1.7 million empty houses in Iran
Transport and Urban Development Minister Ali Nikzad has announced that according to a census conducted in last Iranian calendar year, 1.67 million houses in Iran are empty. - 7/22/12

Iran's "chicken crisis" is simmering political issue
The soaring price for a staple food that Iranians relish cooked with saffron, plums or pomegranates has become such a hot topic of public debate, and a sign of the sinking purchasing power of many Iranians, that Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam felt it his duty to intervene. -Reuters - 7/22/12

Mahan Esfahani: Why I'm proud to take part in the Proms
Classical music is still banned, censored or denied mainstream approval in some parts of the world - and yet it is loved by millions, writes Iranian-born musician Mahan Esfahani -Guardian - 7/22/12

White House Hosts Iranian-American Community Leaders for Roundtable Discussion
Washington, DC - In a demonstration of the Obama Administration's eagerness to build and sustain relations with the Iranian-American community, top officials yesterday hosted the first ever Iranian-American Community Leader's Roundtable at the White House. -Nobar Elmi, NIAC - 7/21/12

Sahar Fathi: Candidate for State Representative in Washington's 36th district
If she is elected, she will be the first Iranian American to ever serve in the state's legislature: "I am running for this seat because I believe we need new energy, fresh ideas, and more diverse representation in the state legislature to solve the challenges we face today." - 7/21/12

Service held in Tehran to remember slain Kahrizak detainees
Three years after three political prisoners were killed under torture at Kahrizak Prison, friends and families of the victims held a memorial service at Tehran's Nour Mosque, Iranian media reports. - 7/21/12

Iran: Guards official reacts to calls for compromise with U.S.
Yadollah Javani, a senior Revolutionary Guards official, says some of the Islamic Republic establishment and prominent figures are calling for compromise with world powers and the re-establishment of relations with the United States. - 7/21/12

The Enmity Conspiracy, or How War with Iran Became 'Inevitable'
Trita Parsi argues that a running series of miscalculations, escalations, and assumptions are driving the West and Iran towards open conflict. -The Diplomat - 7/21/12

Concern for jailed Iranian activist grows
The husband of jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has expressed grave concern for his wife's health, now that she has been held incommunicado in hospital for more than 11 days. - 7/21/12

Silly Dictator Story #10: Iran's Oil Output Apparently At Record Levels
By most accounts, sanctions have severely affected Iranian oil output. But that's not the case if you ask one of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's most senior advisers. -Zach Peterson, RFE - 7/21/12

Iran offers to lay Pakistani portion of gas pipeline
Avoiding pressure from the United States, Pakistan and Iran have committed to press ahead with the gas pipeline project and constituted a joint working committee to finalize a deal for laying Pakistan's portion of the pipeline by Tehran. - 7/21/12

Persian Gulf Incident: Prelude to War?
The murderous cannon firing by nervous and trigger-happy Navy personnel on the supply ship USS Rappahannock off the coast of Dubai earlier this week, which killed an Indian fisherman and wounded three of his companions as they motored past the US vessel shows how easily a deadly and hard to stop new war in the Gulf region -Counterpunch - 7/21/12

Iran Annuls Death Sentence On Former U.S. Marine, ISNA Reports
Iran's Supreme Court annulled the death sentence passed on a former U.S. Marine of Iranian descent, the Iranian Students News Agency said. -Bloomberg - 7/21/12

REVISITING IRAN - Part I
Economic factors, sanctions, inflation figures and diminishing currency values against the almighty dollar do hurt the nation; there is no denying that. But if all this is aimed at bringing the nation to its knees, I for one didn't see any sign of that. Remember, eight years of war of attrition with Saddam's Iraq didn't do what the pressures from the West, a bee sting compared to a tiger's bite, is supposed to accomplish. -Kam Zarrabi - 7/20/12

Iranian Canadian Congress Releases Statement Regarding Its Meeting with TD Bank
Members of the Iranian Canadian Congress ("ICC") met today with Tim Hockey, President & CEO of TD Canada Trust to discuss the bank's recent decision to close the accounts of a number of members of the Iranian-Canadian community. During the hour-long frank exchange, the ICC conveyed the concerns and distress recently expressed by many community members. - 7/20/12

Call For Community Submissions: Farhang Foundation's 2013 Nowruz Celebration at LACMA
Farhang Foundation is calling on our talented community of artists and performers to submit proposals for Performing Arts pieces that visualize some aspect of Nowruz. Submissions will be considered for production and performance as part of the programming during the part of the programming during our 5th Annual Nowruz Celebration at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - 7/20/12

Public confidence key to ending nuclear disputes: Iranian Activists
Six prominent Iranian political activists have issued a statement urging the establishment to "build public confidence in domestic affairs" because it's the best way to resolve the country's nuclear disputes with the international community. - 7/20/12

Rafsanjani Calls for Free Elections in Iran: Warnings on Weakening National Solidarity
The head of Iran's powerful State Expediency Council and two-time president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has called for "All the phases of the future presidential elections to be held legally, transparently and freely." - 7/20/12

The Coming Of The Mahdi Virus: A New Computer Worm Hits Iran And The Mideast
Computer networks across the Middle East once again are being hit by a nasty computer worm that seems intent on stealing as much information about users as possible, all under a cloak of hidden digital code. - 7/20/12

Mohammad Hassan Ganji: June 11, 1912 - July 19, 2012
Dr. Mohammad-Hassan Ganji, credited as being the father of modern geography in Iran, died in Tehran on Thursday due to brain hemorrhage. Gangi was 100. - 7/20/12

Feeling the Pinch: Iran's Embattled Importers
Seated behind a large wood-paneled desk in downtown Tehran, Mohammed irritably folds up his newspaper and asks the office tea boy to fetch him a glass of iced water. Removing his gold-rimmed glasses, he drops his head in his hands. -Tehran Bureau - 7/20/12

Names mentioned as reformist presidential candidates are just speculations: Khatami
Khatami added, "We are committed to Islam and oppose secularism on the one hand and violence on the other hand." He also said that it is part of reformists' principles to "defend" the rights of anyone who does not seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic system. - 7/20/12

Why Iran's Hardliners Love the iPhone and McDonalds Sanctions
If you're an Iranian who wants to get the latest iPhone, iPad or Macbook, it may just be easier for you to purchase one in Iran than in the U.S. New pressures to "tighten the noose" on Iran through sanctions have indeed led to discrimination against Persian-speakers at Apple Stores. -Milad Jokar, NIAC Insight - 7/20/12

Official Deadline Arrives For Closing Iraq's Camp Ashraf
The Iraqi government's official deadline for closing Camp Ashraf is set to expire, leaving the future of its remaining residents uncertain. A United Nations official warned on July 19 that Baghdad's patience is "wearing thin" with the camp's residents, who are exiled opponents of the Iranian regime. - 7/20/12

Yemeni President Lashes Out at Iran
Yemen's president lashed out at Iran Thursday for allegedly meddling in his country's internal affairs, after suspected members of an Iranian spy ring were arrested. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 7/20/12

Iran denies involvement in Bulgaria's bombing
The Iranian embassy in Bulgaria has denied Israeli allegations that Iran was involved in the bombing of Israeli tourists in Burgas. - 7/20/12

For Iran and the U.S., an Author Sees the Danger of a 'War of Miscalculation'
After two decades studying the dismal history of the relationship between the United States and Iran, David Crist regards the current escalating tension with particular alarm. -NY Times - 7/20/12

Iran denies link to deadly bombing of Israelis in Bulgaria
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the charges are aimed at diverting world attention from Israel's role in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. -AP - 7/20/12

Farhang Foundation's 2013 Nowruz Banner Contest
Farhang Foundation's 2013 Nowruz Banner Contest has officially been announced, calling on graphic designers and artists to submit original design concepts for Farhang's 5th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebration, taking place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). - 7/19/12

Second report issued on Iranian student rights violations
The human rights commission of the Iranian student organization Tahkim-e Vahdat had issued its second report to the UN's special rapporteur on human rights for Iran. - 7/19/12

Rafsanjani voices regrets about Iran's situation
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, says the country's political, economic and cultural situation is "regrettable." - 7/19/12

Concerns about quality of water in Tehran
Tehran City Council Chairman Mehdi Chamran said on Tuesday that officials in charge of Tehran water and sewage system have reported the replacement of chlorine water by bleach water in Tehran. - 7/19/12

Iran celebrates registration of Kashan carpet weaving and Fin Garden on UNESCO lists
The registration of the Fin Garden and Kashan's traditional skills of carpet weaving on UNESCO lists was celebrated in a ceremony in the town of Kashan, Isfahan Province on Wednesday. - 7/19/12

Exhibition: Goli Mahallati at ABRA Gallery in Westlake Village, California
Goli Mahallati's original acrylics and limited edition prints on canvas or board, often depict aspects of humanity. Goli Mahallati graduated with a Bachelors from the University of Tehran in 1977 and with her Masters from AIC (American International College) in Massachusetts in 1979. - 7/19/12

Iranian Teachers Union protests arrest of "model teacher"
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that the letter to Ayatollah Larijani declares that Bagheri is one of the country's model teachers and calls his incarceration "incredible and undeserved." - 7/19/12

IRGC Official Says Western Sanctions Aimed At Fomenting Revolt
Asenior official of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that the goal of sanctions imposed against Iran by the West over its sensitive nuclear work is to push Iranians to revolt and bring the regime down. - 7/19/12

The glamorous Iranian actresses facing a travel ban... for flouting Islamic dress codes at Western awards ceremonies
Actresses in Iran who fail to observe strict Islamic dress codes when appearing at foreign events could be banned from travelling abroad, the country's attorney general has said. -Mail, UK - 7/19/12

Netanyahu - Unlike Olmert - Refuses Explicit Iran Attack Threat
The perception that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to attack Iran's nuclear facilities unless sanctions and diplomacy succeed in shutting them down has been the driving force in the Iran crisis. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 7/19/12

Iranian-American author blames hackers for offensive tweet about Peter MacKay's wife
An offensive tweet from the Twitter account of a prominent Iranian-American author targets Defence Minister Peter MacKay's Iranian-born wife, who is one of Canada's leading human rights activists challenging the Islamic regime in Tehran. -Canada.com - 7/19/12

Iranian trojan 'infects NZ computers'
A computer trojan controlled by servers in Iran that has been targeting energy companies and government agencies has infected computers in New Zealand, security company Symantec says. -stuff.co.nz - 7/19/12

Photos: Morality Police Display Of Force In Tehran
Once again the morality police displayed a strong presence in Tehran on Monday afternoon by placing units in major squares, shopping and recreation centers in order to combat women with improperly dressed women and even the mannequins! - 7/18/12

Iran's Nasrin Dousti wins gold at Asian Karate Champs
Nasrin Dousti has become the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal in the Asian Karate Championships, which is underway in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. - 7/18/12

Americans Favor Diplomacy Over Military Action on Iran by Almost 4 to 1
Amidst the heightened cacophony of policymakers and pundits, there remains strong public support in the United States--and in many countries abroad--for sanctions, but widespread opposition to the use of military force. -CFR - 7/18/12

Photos: Idled Yarn and Textile Factory in Ardabil
The Sabalan Silk industrial unit in Ardabil went into production in 2006 with 350 employees. This yarn and textile manufacturing company was founded with an investment of about $14M in partnership with Bank Melli Iran. But this plant is now fully idle. -Vahid Moghaddam - 7/18/12

Commander Cuts Keffiyehs, Not Ribbon, To Open Basij Exhibition
in an unprecedented move, the commander of Iran's Basij force, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, opened an exhibition of Basij cultural and artistic products on July 15 by cutting keffiyehs tied end-to-end -- apparently to avoid a usual ribbon-cutting ceremony, which might be too Western in his eyes. -Houshang Jeirani, RFE - 7/18/12

Russia wants Iran and Saudi Arabia in Syrian talks
Russia says the next international meeting aimed at finding a solution for the Syrian conflict should include Iran and Saudi Arabia. - 7/18/12

Tehran offers to insure foreign ships entering Iranian waters
In an effort to skirt a European Union ban on insuring ships carrying Iranian crude Iran announced on Tuesday that it would insure any foreign ships that enter its waters. - 7/18/12

New Spying Malware Targets Iran, Israel
It may be nowhere near as advanced as the recent Flame Virus, which was targeting Iran, but a new spying malware is making the rounds across the Middle East, and seems to be hitting both Iran and Israel in equal measures as primary targets. -Antiwar.com - 7/18/12

Iran's Police Chief Rails Against TV Images Of People...Eating Chicken
Chickens and their rising cost could soon join the list of censored topics in Iran. Over the weekend, police chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam criticized state-controlled television for broadcasting images of people eating chicken. He suggested such footage could spur the underprivileged to revolt against affluent Iranians. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/17/12

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day: Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails
A photo by Iranian photographer Babak Amin-Tafreshi has been seleced by NASA as the picture of the day for July 12, 2012. Engraved in rock, these ancient petroglyphs are abundant in the Teimareh valley, located in the Zagros Mountains of central Iran. They likely tell a tale of hunters and animals found in the middle eastern valley 6,000 years ago or more, etched by artists in a prehistoric age. - 7/17/12

Photos: Flooding in Rudsar, Gilan
Heavy rains have caused floods in the city of Rudsar in northern Iran by the Caspian Sea have caused severe damage to properties and crops. -Abouzar Bazri - 7/17/12

Iranian Parliament mulls end to its foreign exchange for travellers
Iranian Parliament is reviewing a plan to stop providing foreign currency to travellers at the official bank rate, the Mehr News Agency reports. - 7/17/12

Fall 2012 Iran In-Depth Tour by Destination Iran
Destination Iran has revised its Iran in-depth tour package to meet the requirements of its world travelers who would like to get to know Iran more profoundly. The variety of sightseeing and interaction with the society and its history is even more than before now. - 7/17/12

U.S., Canadian companies to fund Iran's "Laleh" film project
Iran's Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) has announced that U.S. and Canadian companies will provide part of the budget for the production of "Laleh", a movie project about the first Iranian female race car driver, Laleh Seddiq. - 7/17/12

Member of Mourning Mothers Iran suffers under intimidation and added prison time
Iran based human rights defender Ms. Mansoureh Behkish, who is well known in the region for her work in fighting against the death penalty as well as being one of the head organizers for the Mourning Mothers, known also as the Mothers of Laleh Park, has now been sentenced on her latest appeal ruling which has added six months in prison to her sentence. -WNN - 7/17/12

Taxicab Confidential - Tehran-Style: Who Is Iran's Next Political Star?
The mayor of Tehran usually runs for President, and next year may see the current office holder do just that. Why cabbies love him -TIME - 7/17/12

Iranian film festival underway in Berlin
An Iranian film festival opened at the UCI Kinowelt Colosseum in Berlin from on Monday. The Iranian Visual Media Institute has arranged the event, which will run until July 19. - 7/17/12

Iran And Turkmenistan Ready To Develop Trade
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country was prepared to raise its trade volume with the Central Asian nation to $10 billion, up from $5 billion in 2011. His comments on July 16 came as Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov concluded a two-day official visit to Iran. - 7/17/12

IRGC says it's reclaiming "confiscated" assets
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says some countries have confiscated property of the IRGC and its subsidiary companies. - 7/17/12

Clinton: Iranian Nuclear Proposals 'Non-Starters'
Speaking after talks in Jerusalem with senior Israeli officials, Clinton said everyone prefers a diplomatic resolution, and that Israel and the United States are "on the same page" regarding Iran. - 7/17/12

U.S. ship fires on fishing boat in Persian Gulf, killing 1
Fearful of a terrorist attack, a U.S. Navyfuel resupply ship that had just passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf opened fire at a 50-foot fishing boat moving toward it, killing one person and wounding three, U.S. officials said. -LA Times - 7/17/12

Photos: The Slow Death of Lake Orumieh
Despite all the promises made by Iranian officials to save Lake Orumieh, the lake's situation is worse than ever. As the lake's water level continues to go down, there is a grim future awaiting it. Experts have long warned that natural factors, coupled with human activity, would cause Lake Orumieh to dry up in the near future if nothing is done. -Nima Dimari - 7/16/12

Iran: Assembly of Experts Meets Under Guise of Mid-term Session
Yazdi chose two topics for his presentation: "sanctions" and "differences among the leaders" of the Islamic regime, implying these were the two reasons for convening the mid-term gathering. "The next issue are the sanctions and their impact on inflation, people's problems, and those of the manufacturing units. ..." -Mahnaz Malekuti, Rooz - 7/16/12

Escalation of Tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Egypt
At last, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Mursi, who is the first democratically elected president of Egypt following the fall of the country's former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has managed to overtake rival presidential candidates introduced by secular parties and the military council. However, he is facing serious challenges both inside and outside the country. -Davoud Ahmadzadeh - 7/16/12

Iran's Qara Kelisa to host Armenian pilgrims
Iran's Qara Kelisa will honor the memory of Saint Thaddeus and his faithful followers during a ceremony in the northern province of West Azarbaijan. - 7/16/12

Iran reaches out to Syrian opposition
Iranian foreign minister has announced that the Islamic Republic is prepared to facilitate talks between the Syrian opposition and government by hosting a meeting between the two sides in Tehran. - 7/16/12

Iran Sanctions: War By Other Means
Now that the talks with Iran on its nuclear program appear to be on the ropes, are we on the road to war? The Israelis threaten it almost weekly, and the Obama administration has reportedly drawn up an attack plan. But in a sense, we are already at war with Iran. -Antiwar.com - 7/16/12

Control of Persian Gulf is in 'Iran's hands': Navy chief
The commander of the Iranian Navy said on Monday that Iran has control over the Persian Gulf region. "The control of the Persian Gulf region is in Iran's hands," Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told reporters. - 7/16/12

Iran shuts down coffee shops in morality crackdown
Iranian police shut down dozens of restaurants and coffee shops over the weekend, Iranian media reported, in a renewed crackdown on what the state sees as immoral and un-Islamic behaviour. -Reuters - 7/16/12

UAE Opens Oil Pipeline Bypassing Iran-Threatened Strait
The United Arab Emirates has opened a key overland pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, giving the OPEC member insurance against Iranian threats to block the strategic waterway. - 7/16/12

Iranian Music: Part I - Folk Music
Despite all common roots the folk music in each different part of Iran has certain characteristics in correlation with its native myths, dialects, geographical and social situation. Overall, Iranian folk music features a variety of distinct styles. - 7/15/12

Alertness and Protection are on the Agenda: Infiltrations in the Iranian Guards Corps?
In his latest remarks, the head of Iran's military police who had earlier warned of "differences and divisions" within the armed forces, called on "alertness and protection" of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) members and asked the authorities of the force to not allow "infiltrators to get into the Guards Corps." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 7/15/12

Photos: Fishing Competition in Rasht
The first fishing competition of city of Rasht was held at Estakhr Daneshjou on Saturday. 600 people in variuos age groups participated in the event. - 7/15/12

"Enemies trying to create social crisis in Iran": Intelligence Minister
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said on Sunday that the Western intelligence agencies that participated in the sedition of 2009 have carefully reviewed the factors behind their failure and are planning to create another type of instability, like a social crisis, in Iran. - 7/15/12

Iranian auto maker reportedly facing shutdown
The Zagros Car Company has laid off 400 of its workers and is now reportedly close to shutting down. The closing of the company is reportedly linked to the severing of relations with Malaysia as a production partner. - 7/15/12

Afghan refugees barred from two Iranian provinces
The head of Iran's immigration office has announced that Afghan asylum seekers are not allowed to reside in the two Iranian provinces of Mazandaran and Hormozgan. - 7/15/12

Iraq-Iran Ties Grow Stronger As Iraq Rises From The Ashes
In the run-up to the war in Iraq, neoconservative hawks in and out of the Bush administration promised that the U.S. invasion would quickly transform that country into a strong ally, a model Arab democracy and a major oil producer that would lower world prices, even while paying for its own reconstruction. -Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post - 7/15/12

Turkish Fashion Magazine Targets Female Islamic Professionals
The fashion industry is booming in Turkey as a result of a youthful population and strong economy. And with that trend has come the emergence of a new fashion magazine called Ala, whose target audience is the young Islamic professional woman. - 7/15/12

Sanctions cannot affect Iran's economy: Commerce Minister
The industries, commerce, and mines minister described on Sunday the Iranian economy as "dynamic" which Western-led sanctions cannot "affect" it. In recent days, some grand ayatollahs based in Qom have criticized the government for the rising prices. - 7/15/12

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brunei to Send Women to Olympics
Saudi Arabia and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced the kingdom, in a reversal of positions, will send two female athletes to the London 2012 Games. The announcement means that every national Olympic team competing in the British capital will now include women. - 7/15/12

Chickens facing censorship in Iran
The rising cost of chicken in Iran has prompted the country's police chief to urge broadcasters to censor it from television screens in the interests of social harmony. -Robert Tait, Telegraph - 7/15/12

Iran: End Abuse of Imprisoned Journalists
Iranian authorities should immediately put an end to the mistreatment of two prominent imprisoned journalists and provide them with necessary medical care. Human Rights Watch again called on authorities to quash the men's convictions, which violate their freedom of expression, and release them unconditionally. - 7/14/12

U.S. naval presence grows in Persian Gulf
The U.S. Navy's oldest transport ship, now converted into a floating base, has arrived in the Persian Gulf, as the United States ratchets up military pressure on Iran. - 7/14/12

UT chief denied in bid to make official statement on student jailed in Iran
University of Texas President Bill Powers unsuccessfully sought a waiver of UT System rules that would have allowed university officials to make an official statement on the plight of Omid Kokabee, a graduate student imprisoned in his native Iran. -Patrick George, American Statesman - 7/14/12

Iran seeks to make history in Olympics
Iran never forgets the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, where it won three gold medals. The Persians have planned an even better performance in the upcoming event in London. - 7/14/12

Reports: Iranian Opposition Leader Not Allowed To Attend Sister's Funeral
Iranian opposition sources are reporting that opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, who is under house arrest, was not allowed to attend the funeral of his sister, Zeinab Karrubi, on July 12. - 7/14/12

Ramadan Olympics Challenge Muslim Athletes
When the summer Olympic Gamesopen in London later this month, Muslims worldwide, including many elite athletes, will be observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Muslim Olympic hopefuls face the prospect of competing at the highest levels while abstaining from all food and drink during the long days of the London summer. And, that's not their only challenge. -Al Pessin, VOA - 7/14/12

Highland Park woman says father's religion behind his imprisonment in Iran
Highland Park resident Nasrin Nakhaei learned in May that her 85-year-old father, Muhammad-Husayn Nakha'i, had been arrested and jailed in his home country of Iran. The government has not said why it arrested him, Nakhaei said, but the family suspects it's because of his Baha'i faith. -Jeff Danna, Chicago Tribune - 7/14/12

Iran's Aging Airliner Fleet Seen as Faltering Under U.S. Sanctions
Capt. Houshang Shahbazi was preparing to land at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport last October when a blinking red light in the cockpit of his 40-year-old Boeing 727 signaled that he had a big problem: the landing gear in the nose was jammed. -Thomas Erdbring, NY Times - 7/14/12

Concert: Brooklyn Rider with Kayhan Kalhor at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis
Hip string quartet Brooklyn Rider return to The Cedar, this time with Iranian kamancheh (Persian bowed string instrument) player and classical composer Kayhan Kalhor, with whom they collaborated on the highly praised recording Silent City (2008). - Monday, August 20, 2012 - 7:30pm - 7/14/12

Iran's network in a bottle
In May, just a few weeks before the third anniversary of the Web-savvy Iranian protests of 2009, Internet users in Iran received some strange news. Suddenly, anyone with an e-mail address hosted by a foreign company-Gmail, Hotmail, and the like-was no longer allowed to contact local banks from that address. -Abraham Riesman, Boston Globe - 7/14/12

Activists decry travel ban for young Iranian girl
Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate, has written to UNICEF to describe the recent travel ban imposed on the 13-year-old daughter of jailed lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. - 7/14/12

Iran to ink 3 gas deals with Asian, European countries
Iran is finalizing deals to export natural gas to two Persian Gulf states and a European country, the Fars News Agency reported on Saturday. The European gas deal aims to export 20-25 million cubic meters of gas, the report added, without giving any further details. - 7/14/12

Iran to develop four joint industrial parks with neighbors
Plans are underway to develop four industrial estates on Iran's borders with Turkey, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, said the head of the Iranian Organization of Industrial Estates. The measures are designed to weather the economic sanctions of the West... - 7/14/12

Bank freezes accounts of Iranian-Canadians
Canada's TD Bank has frozen the assets of several Iranians, in many cases without notice, triggering a wave of criticism from the Iranian community in Canada. - 7/13/12

Iranian Officials Should Stop Denying the Existence of Political Prisoners
Iranian officials should cease spreading lies and disinformation about the existence of political prisoners as they are simultaneously imprisoning hundreds for exercising their legal rights, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. The Judiciary should also immediately release all political prisoners and stop imprisoning individuals for expressing their political beliefs, the Campaign added. - 7/13/12

Photos: Memorial for Iranian Director Hamid Samandarian
The theatre community of Iranian held a gathering on Thursday afternoon in Tehran's City Theatre complex to remember the great Iranian director Hamid Samandarian who passed away on July 12. Another gathering was held in Samandarian's house and workshop as well. - 7/13/12

Iran's Secret Dissent: High-Ranking Revolutionary Guard Veteran Blasts Tehran Regime
In an anonymous letter, a former member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard has criticized Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and pointed to signs of unrest within Tehran's elite military forces. The letter was submitted to Iranian opposition activist Mohammed Nourizad, who posted it on his website this week. -IBI Times - 7/13/12

Sanctions at the Genius Bar
IMAGINE if your ethnicity determined which products you were able to buy. Or if sales clerks required you to divulge your ancestry before swiping your credit card. Some of us don't have to imagine. -Jamal Abdi, NY TImes - 7/13/12

Asylum seekers begin hunger protest
Six Iranian asylum-seekers in Regensburg, Germany have begun a hunger strike to protest their undetermined refugee status, following several protests in southern German cities in connection with the refugee process. - 7/13/12

Amnesty International Urgent Action - Iran: Jailed journalist on hunger strike
Journalist Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has been on hunger strike since 26 May 2012 in Tehran's Evin Prison in protest at the Iranian authorities denial of his repeated requests to visit his gravely-ill son. Mohammad Saqid Kabudvand is a prison of conscience. - 7/13/12

U.S. Cranks Up Sanctions Against Iran
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran, targeting more than 50 entities tied to the country's procurement, petroleum, and shipping networks. - 7/13/12

Insight: Despite sanctions, Apple gear booms in Iran
At its gleaming store, RadanMac offers the latest Apple gear - the new iPad, iPhones, iPods, laptops, all-in-one desktop computers and more. -Reuters - 7/13/12

India Begins Paying for Iranian Oil With Local Currency
India has begun using its currency to purchase Iranian oil. The move is part of New Delhi's effort to bolster exports to the Middle Eastern nation. - 7/13/12

Iran's central bank opens $10 billion credit line for oil projects
The Central Bank of Iran has opened a $10 billion line of credit for a number of domestic oil projects in the upstream sector, a planning and supervision affairs official at the Oil Ministry said. - 7/13/12

In Iran, a Public Debate on Syria
Iran is opening a public debate over its approach toward Syria's crisis, with some diplomats publicly questioning whether Tehran should continue supporting Syria's regime. The diplomats' statements, in interviews and online pieces, suggest a split of opinions within Tehran, the most important regional ally of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 7/13/12

Abu Dhabi Leads Gulf Nations With Oil Pipe to Avoid Iran
Abu Dhabi is exporting oil through the first Middle Eastern pipeline in three decades to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz as producers seek to nullify Iranian threats to block the shipping chokepoint. -Bloomberg - 7/13/12

Former Iranian Minister Issues Rare Call For Nuclear Referendum
Abdollah Nouri, the former interior minister of Iran and a respected reformist cleric, has called on political leaders to hold a referendum on the fate of the country's controversial nuclear program. - 7/12/12

Iran: Two Days After People Attack Moral Police, Commander Acknowledges People's Opposition
Last week special units of moral police in the city of Qom were physically attacked by people who complained against the enforcement and harassment of young people by police members on the pretext of enforcing the Islamic dress code. -Nazanin Kamdar - 7/12/12

Iran Warns Local Media Not To Report On Sanctions Impact
Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini has called on Iran's media to avoid reporting on the impact of international sanctions that could harm national interests. - 7/12/12

Family of jailed Iranian lawyer banned from travelling abroad
The Iranian judiciary has banned the husband and daughter of jailed lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh from leaving the country. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that Reza Khandan and his daughter Mehraveh have received separate summons notices informing them of the travel ban. - 7/12/12

TD Bank: Iranian-Canadians caught up in sanctions row
A Canadian bank cancelled accounts of customers of Iranian origin with no chance to deny they violated financial sanctions, customers have reported. -Bahman Kalbasi, BBC - 7/12/12

Iran ready to discuss halting 20 percent enrichment if needs met: FM
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran is ready to negotiate over its production of nuclear fuel enriched to a purity of 20 percent if its needs for fuel for several planned reactors producing medical isotopes are fully met. - 7/12/12

Iranian activist to serve 7 years in jail
Iranian activists and journalist Nasour Taghipour has been arrested to serve out a seven-year sentence. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Taghipour's sentence has been approved by the appellate court and he was summoned yesterday to serve out his sentence at Evin Prison. - 7/12/12

Iran: Prevent Execution of Arab Activists
Iran's judiciary should immediately quash execution orders against five activists from Iran's ethnic Arab minority and allow the men's lawyers and family members to visit them in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. - 7/12/12

Anti-Semitic Entry Wins Iran's 'Wall Street Downfall' Cartoon Contest
A cartoon by an Iranian illustrator that portrays stereotyped Jews worshipping the New York Stock Exchange has won first prize in the inaugural "International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/12/12

U.S. deploys sea drones to Persian Gulf to clear Iranian mines
The Navy is rushing tiny underwater drones to the Persian Gulf to help find and destroy sea mines as part of an American military buildup aimed at stopping Iran from closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the event of a crisis, U.S. officials said. -LA Times - 7/12/12

Annan: Iran, Iraq Back Peace Plan for Syria
United Nations envoy Kofi Annan says both Iran and Iraq back his peace plan for Syria and could play a part in forming a transitional government. - 7/12/12

Supreme Leader says Iran has been vaccinated against sanctions
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the sanctions imposed on Iran over the past 30 years have vaccinated the country against new sanctions. - 7/12/12

Report Details Steady Erosion of Iranian Justice System
While Iran's human rights record has "never been satisfactory", since the 1979 Islamic Revolution the situation has deteriorated daily, according to Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi. -Jasmin Ramsey, IPS - 7/12/12

Floating Base Gives U.S. New Footing in the Persian Gulf
One of the Navy's oldest transport ships, now converted into one of its newest platforms for warfare, arrived in waters off Bahrain late last week, a major addition to the enlarged presence of American forces in the Persian Gulf designed as a counter to Iran. -NY Times - 7/12/12

Photos: Deprived People of Ghaleh Simoon in Eslamshahr, Iran
When they take you to this point, with your eyes closed, you would not believe that in the nearest city to Tehran, the capital of Islamic Iran, there are people who are experiencing being alive under the most difficult conditions, instead of experiencing life. Simoon is a ruin of a castle, a place of failed dreams... - 7/11/12

Iran's Wetlands Face Uncertain Future
Eskandar Firouz helped pioneer Iran's environmental movement in the 1960s and played an important role in the enactment of an international treaty to protect the world's wetlands. But today in Iran, many wetlands are imperiled, lakes are drying up and natural habitats are being destroyed. - 7/11/12

Iranian authorities crack down on dress code
The Ahwaz public prosecutor has announced that women will be sentenced to cash fines or imprisonment if they are seen in public disobeying the Islamic dress code. - 7/11/12

World Conference on Women and Islamic Awakening opens in Tehran
The two-day World Conference on Women and Islamic Awakening opened in Tehran on Tuesday. About 1500 women from 80 countries have participated in the conference. - 7/11/12

Iranian Olympic weightlifter Behdad Salimi says setting new record will be tough
Salimi won the gold medal in the +105kg category at the World Weightlifting Championships in Paris last year. He hoisted 214kg in snatch, bettering his countryman Hossein Rezazadeh's record by one kilogram. - 7/11/12

Jailed Iranian Activist Hospitalized
Jailed Iranian human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has been hospitalized since Monday, the Melli-Mazhabi website reported today. The report indicates that Mohammadi is currently in critical condition and her family had been urging the authorities to transfer her to a hospital for several weeks. - 7/11/12

Iran's Giti Pasand wins Asian Club Futsal Championship
Iran's Sanaye Giti Pasand claimed the title of the 2012 Futsal Club Championship with a 2-1 victory over Uzbekistan's Ardus at the Yarmouk Indoor Stadium on Friday. - 7/11/12

Noam Chomsky: "There is ample room for diplomacy with Iran"
Noam Chomsky says there is still great opportunity to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear issue through "diplomacy". "There is ample room for diplomacy," Chomsky tells the Mehr News Agency in a short interview. - 7/11/12

2.5 million Afghans live in Iran legally: Interior Ministry
The Interior Ministry director for foreign nationals says about 2.5 million Afghans live in Iran legally. Iran has started an effort to regulate the entrance, exit, settlement, and employment of Afghan refugees. - 7/11/12

Refugees Recount Ordeal as Australia Asylum Debate Rages
More than 4,000 asylum seekers have been intercepted in Australia's northern waters so far this year. The numbers are modest by international standards, but enough to spark a bitter political debate. -Phil Mercer, VOA - 7/11/12

Iran's Ballistic Missiles Improving, Pentagon Finds
Iran's military continues to improve the accuracy and killing power of its long- and short-range ballistic missiles, including designing a weapon to target vessels, according to a Pentagon report to Congress. -Bloomberg - 7/11/12

Iranian Terrorist Group M.E.K. Pays Big to Make History Go Away
Come October 1, a federal appeals court decision will force the State Department to decide whether the exile-Iranian group Mujahadin-e Khalq, or M.E.K., belongs on the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. -Elizabeth Flock, U.S. News - 7/11/12

Sanctions on Iran punish its people, not its leaders
The people of Iran should not be held to account for wrongdoing by their regime - and yet, that is what is happening as western countries impose ever-tighter sanctions. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 7/11/12

Iraq Crude Production Overtakes Iran as OPEC Trims Output
Iraq's crude production overtook Iran's last month for the first time in more than two decades as Iran led a decline in OPEC output ahead of a European Union ban on purchases from the nation, according to the producer group. -Bloomberg - 7/11/12

Israel behind assassinations of Iran scientists: book
Israel's spy agency orchestrated the assassination of at least four Iranian nuclear scientists, according to a new book by an American and an Israeli journalist. - 7/10/12

Five Iranian Americans Among Immigrants Honored by Carnegie Corporation
This year, journalists, actresses, academicians, scientists, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, and sports figures were among the immigrants who were honored by Carnegie Corporation. Of immense pride is the inclusion of five Iranian Americans on this list - 7/10/12

Camp Ayandeh, Day 4: A Look Into the Iranian History Workshop
Nobles, clergy, intellectuals, Jews, Armenians, market men, and other factions sat down today in Camp Ayandeh and worked out a Constitution of Iran. No, we haven't made a time machine at Camp Ayandeh-instead, we have an Iranian History Workshop that can help us figure out what Iran's past was like. -Arian Jadbabaie, IAAB - 7/10/12

World's Fastest Camera, Created by UCLA Engineers, Used to Detect Rogue Cancer Cells
"To catch these elusive cells, the camera must be able to capture and digitally process millions of images continuously at a very high frame rate," said Bahram Jalali, who holds the Northrop Grumman Endowed Opto-Electronic Chair in Electrical Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. - 7/10/12

U.S. Calls On Iran To Release Christian Pastor
WASHINGTON -- The United States has called on Iran to release Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was imprisoned in 2009 and condemned to death for converting from Islam to Christianity. - 7/10/12

14th Tehran International Puppet Theater Festival selects winners
TEHRAN -- Organizers of the 14th Tehran International Puppet Theater Festival (Mobarak) announced winners during a ceremony in the courtyard of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran last Thursday evening. - 7/10/12

Free Screening of "Zurkhaneh - The House of Strength" in San Francisco
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 @ 6 PM: Zurkhaneh - The House of Strength is a feature documentary about the traditional gymnasia where a unique form of Iranian sport is practiced to the accompaniment of drumming, sung poetry and expressions of Shi'a devotion. - 7/10/12

The Iranian Women in American Journalism Project (IWAJ): Farnaz Fassihi
Farnaz Fassihi is the Senior Middle East Correspondent for the The Wall Street Journal . Through her first account coverage of the region, her ability to look at events with an astutuly critical look, Farnaz has proved to be one of the leading authorities in Middle East politics. -Reza Akhlaghi, Foreign Policy Association - 7/10/12

Iran's inflation rate rises to 22.4 percent
Inflation rate in Iran hit 22.4 percent in the third calendar month of Khordad, which ended on June 20, showing 0.2 percent compared to the previous month, the Mehr News Agency reported. - 7/10/12

NIAC's 2012 Leadership Conference
September 30 - October 2 in Washington, D.C.: World-renowned political theorist and author Noam Chomsky, Author and former Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari and Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering are just a few of the many distinguished guests who will be joining us. - 7/10/12

Iranian MP's website blocked by authorities
The website of Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli has been blocked by Islamic Republic authorities. Tavakoli told ILNA on Monday that he has not been informed of any reason for the blocking of his website, Alef. - 7/10/12

Annan Backs Iran Playing 'Positive' Role In Ending Syria Crisis
Visiting international envoy Kofi Annan has said in Tehran that Iran can play a "positive" role in resolving the Syrian crisis, and that the Islamic republic has offered support for ending the conflict peacefully. Annan was speaking after talks in the Iranian capital with Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. - 7/10/12

Trades at Tehran's currency bazaar ripple through Iran's struggling economy
As Iran struggles with a plummeting exchange rate and soaring prices, the currency bazaar in Tehran's old city center has become the focus of a debate about how to solve the country's financial woes. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 7/10/12

EU, Iran to hold technical talks on July 24
European Union officials said on Monday that senior diplomats from the EU and Iran will meet again in Istanbul on July 24 for technical talks on Tehran's nuclear program, Reuters reported. The first technical meeting took place on July 3 in Istanbul. - 7/10/12

Iranian writer Yaghoub Yadali cleared of charges
Yaghoub Yadali, an Iranian writer, finally has been acquitted of charges brought against him based on the content of his stories. Yadali, who was sentenced to one year in jail five years ago, has now been acquitted of all the charges against him by the appellate court - 7/10/12

Iran, The Designated Enemy, But For How Much Longer?
Neither the United States, nor Israel, and certainly not Iran would like to escalate the current tensions to a level that military hostilities might break out. Even though the current tensions seem to be approaching a flashpoint, there are plenty of signals that all parties are trying to avoid that confrontation. -Kam Zarrabi - 7/9/12

Iran claims Spanish Grand Prix for Olympic Wrestling title
Iranian wrestlers have grabbed all the seven gold medals of the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix for Olympic Wrestling held in Madrid to claim the men's freestyle title. - 7/9/12

Olympic Committee Warns Iran: Keep Hands Off Sports Bodies
The International Olympic Committee has sent Iran a second letter over perceived government interference in Iran's National Olympic Committee. Last week, the IOC urged the Iranians to discuss the matter with relevant government authorities to make sure Iran was not in violation of the Olympic Charter. - 7/9/12

Camp Ayandeh, Day 3: Media and Imagination
Ask any camper about their favorite activity today, and a lot will probably respond that they really enjoyed their media workshops. These two hour long workshops were an absolute hit among campers, covering all sorts of disciplines -Arian Jadbabaie, IAAB - 7/9/12

Strikes by Iranian workers continue in Isfahan, Shiraz
Seven hundred workers at the Sepahan Cement factory in Isfahan have entered their third day of strike to protest their unfavorable legal and working conditions. - 7/9/12

PAAIA's Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP)
his summer, through the PAAIA Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP), I have been working as a Candidate Services intern for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The CHIP, available through a generous grant from Dr. Akbar Ghahary, -Monna Sabouri - 7/9/12

Persian Gulf temperature rises by 2 degrees in 7 years
An Environmental Protection Organization official has said that the sea water in the Persian Gulf has increased by 2 degrees from 2003 to 2010. The measurements are based on satellite readings taken over the period. - 7/9/12

China invests $20b in Iran's oil fields that will produce 700,000 bpd
A Chinese company has invested $20 billion in Iran's Yadavaran and Azadegan oil fields, which are projected to produce 700,000 barrels of oil per day when they reach peak capacity, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced on Sunday. - 7/9/12

Cost of living in Iran doubles in five years
The average gross annual cost of running an urban Iranian household has doubled in the past five years, according to the latest statistics released by the Islamic Republic Central Bank. - 7/9/12

Iran pays 30 percent more for aviation parts
Islamic Republic Airlines says sanctions on Iran are not only causing fueling problems, they have driven up the cost of aviation parts by 30 percent because foreign companies are banned from providing parts for Iranian airplanes. - 7/9/12

Iranian court grants custody of children to French father
A father learned Farsi, converted to Islam and put his faith in Iranian justice in an extraordinary child custody battle that has ended with the return of his son and daughter to France. -National, UAE - 7/9/12

Annan says Iran input needed to solve Syrian crisis
Kofi Annan, the UN and the Arab League envoy for Syria, told Le Monde on Saturday July 7 that his mission to reach a peaceful resolution has failed, adding that Iran should take part in the efforts to solve the crisis. - 7/9/12

Beyond Nuclear Denial: How a World-Ending Weapon Disappeared From Our Lives, But Not Our World
Now, on a planet still overstocked with city-busting, world-ending weaponry, in which almost 67 years have passed since a nuclear weapon was last used, the only nuke that Americans regularly hear about is one that doesn't exist: Iran's. The nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons on missiles, planes, and submarines possessed by Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are barely mentioned -William D. Hartung, Tom Dispatch - 7/9/12

Iran's Leila Hatami wins Best Actress Award at Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Iranian actress Leila Hatami has won the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival's Best Actress Award for "Last Step" movie directed by Ali Mosaffa. The festival was held in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic from June 29 to July 7, 2012. - 7/8/12

Camp Ayandeh, Day 2: Community, Identity, and Diaspora
Today's theme for Camp was identity and community-campers essentially went through various activities trying to tie back the day's events to these vital themes. The day started with a team building activity where campers worked toward a shared goal together but couldn't communicate with words. -Arian Jadbabaie, IAAB - 7/8/12

Iran to export 20% of its oil via a private consortium
As the West intensifies oil sanctions against Iran, an agreement has been made that allows an Iranian consortium comprising private firms to export 20 percent of its oil exports to international markets, including the EU. This equates to around 400,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil per day. - 7/8/12

U.S. Senators Endorse Cyrus Habib for Washington State Representative
With the August 7th primary fast approaching, Cyrus Habib's campaign for the 48th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives continues to gain momentum with recent endorsements from U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). - 7/8/12

Iran: Reformists try to get behind a single candidate
Iranian reformists are working toward consensus over a "single candidate" for the coming 2012 presidential election to "attract the majority of the vote and reclaim the executive power from Ahmadinejad supporters," says the parliamentary adviser to the Expediency Council. - 7/8/12

PAAIA Public Policy Panel on Access to Information and Media Restriction in Iran Held on Capitol Hill
On June 26, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), in conjunction with Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) held a panel at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill entitled "Behind the Electronic Curtain: Perspectives on Internet Restrictions and Access to Media in Iran." - 7/8/12

Iran will make judicious decision on Strait of Hormuz: General
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces has said that the country will make a wise decision as to whether to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz. - 7/8/12

3500-year-old cemetery discovered in southwestern Iran
A cemetery dating back to 3500 years ago has been discovered in the Taj Amir region near the city of Yasuj in the southwestern Iranian province of Kohkiluyeh-Boyer Ahmad. - 7/8/12

Iranian Social-Media Expert Apparently Rearrested
Mohammad Soleimani Nia, a social-media expert and Internet pioneer in Iran, has apparently been rearrested several weeks after being released on bail. - 7/8/12

FIFA approves headscarves for players
FIFA has lifted a five-year ban on women wearing headscarves during games, allowing Muslim women to participate in football games with hijab if they choose to. - 7/8/12

US: Iranian Dissident Group Must Complete Move From Iraqi Base
The United States has warned an Iranian dissident group that time is running short for it to vacate its Iraqi exile camp. In addition to the U.S., both Iran and Iraq consider the MEK a terrorist group. - 7/8/12

U.S. welcomes Italian firm's withdrawal from Iran
The United States has announced that it welcomes the decision of Italian company Edison International to withdraw from its agreements in Iran's energy sector. - 7/8/12

Iranian Navy rescues Singaporean vessel in Red Sea
The 20th Iranian Navy flotilla rescued a trade Singaporean vessel attacked by pirates in the Red Sea. The Singaporean ship called for help while leaving the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb and when it was attacked by 12 boats belonging to pirates. - 7/8/12

Camp Ayandeh, Day 1: The Campers Finally Arrive!
After three days of counselor training, everyone woke up ready and excited to welcome new and returning campers alike. Counselors and staff headed over to the airport to coordinate logistics and pick up campers flying in, while the remaining counselors helped prepare the space for everyone arriving. -Darya Minovi, IAAB - 7/6/12

Photos: Four rare crocodiles released to nature
After 6 years of living in a closed environment, four rare crocodile were released to their natural habitats at the Savojbolagh's Recreational complexes. -Abdollah Heidari - 7/6/12

Iran's State TV Claims Hackers Behind Antinuclear Poll
The website of Iran's state television news channel says hackers are responsible for the results of its recent poll, in which the majority of respondents said they were in favor of the country halting its uranium-enrichment. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/6/12

No Iranian crude imports for Japan in July
Japan has joined South Korea in halting all oil imports from Iran in July due to EU sanctions, which restrict the possibility of securing insurance for Iranian oil tankers. - 7/6/12

Not-So-Crazy in Tehran
WHEN I decided to bring two of my kids with me on a reporting trip to Iran, the consensus was that I must be insane. And that someone should call Child Protective Services! -Nicholas Kristof, NY Times - 7/6/12

Beyond the Veil: Solo Exhibition in New York featuring Farsad Labbauf
BLANK SPACE is pleased to present a solo exhibition titled "Beyond the Veil" featuring the selected works of Farsad Labbauf. Labbauf uses his many sources of inspiration to create layered meanings that come together in a persuasive and challenging collection of paintings and drawings. Beyond the veil is a meditation on what lies beneath the form; a world where subject and object merge into one. - 7/6/12

Lavrov Calls Iran Nuclear Talks Promising
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the negotiations in Istanbul between Iran and the six major powers are promising. - 7/6/12

Iran-China trade volume exceeds $45bn
The total value of annual trade between Tehran and Beijing has exceeded USD45 billion, says a member of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and Industries' board of directors. - 7/6/12

Campaign Ayandeh...Ready. Set. Grow with Us!
On the eve of the inaugural of IAAB Summer Leadership Institute, hundreds of Iranian American high school and middle school students from all over the United States and Europe anxiously await for the much celebrated Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan. - 7/5/12

Watch Sahar's Message to President Obama: Apple Won't Listen, Will You?
For many Iranian Americans, as we gather with our families to celebrate the Fourth of July, it is a time to reflect on the values that inspired our journey to the United States and to appreciate the rights codified in the Declaration of Independence. -NIAC - 7/5/12

Qom Stands Up To Ahmadinejad's Administration After Removal Of Black-Turbaned Cleric
The recent dismissal of Qom's cleric governor general has turned into yet another contention point between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Administration and the religious capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran where some senior ayatollahs, the Friday prayer leader and even the Hizbullah chapter of Qom have protested the change. Some have even threatened the government in Tehran. -Mahnaz Malekuti - 7/5/12

Farabi to produce film on tragedy of Iran Air Flight 655
Iran's Farabi Cinematic Foundation will be producing a movie on downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the U.S. battleship Vincennes in the near future. - 7/5/12

Magician Makes Competition Disappear to Win Richest Prize in Poker History at WSOP
Antonio Esfandiari earned a place in the record books last night by outlasting a field of multi-millionaires and billionaires to earn the richest payday in poker tournament history. Esfandiari, a 33-year-old poker pro and magician from Las Vegas, put up a cool $1 million to enter the BIG ONE for ONE DROP and walked away with a massive return on his investment: $18,346,673 million. - 7/5/12

Role of Saudi Arabia in Supporting West's Oil Sanctions Policy against Iran
As the West's sanctions against Iran's oil exports enter into force, Saudi Arabia is among few countries which are able to play an important and determining role in stabilizing global oil markets. -Kamran Karami - 7/5/12

Oil Backed Up, Iranians Put It on Idled Ships
The hulking tanker Neptune was floating aimlessly this week in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, a fresh coat of black paint barely concealing its true identity as an Iranian ship loaded with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that no one is willing to buy. -NY Times - 7/5/12

Kenya drops oil deal with Iran
Kenya has cancelled an oil deal with Iran after being warned of sanctions by the United States. - 7/5/12

Ahmadinejad invites Mursi to attend NAM summit in Tehran
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly called newly-elected Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi to wish him success in his mandate and invite him to attent the NAM meeting in Tehran in August. - 7/5/12

War Clouds over the Greater Middle East
Six conflict-zones of the Greater Middle East are in danger of erupting into fresh violence. In all six, the United States and its allies seem unable -- or perversely unwilling -- to contribute to a peaceful solution. Instead, in each case, they are adding fuel to the fire. -Patrick Seale - 7/5/12

Sanctions cut Iran's July oil exports to nearly half
Iran's daily oil exports in July could fall below half the average shipped in 2011 before tough new Western sanctions stemmed the flow. -Reuters - 7/5/12

"Face to Face" - At the Threshold of a Cold Season: A Play by Niloofar Beyzaie
July 28 and 29 at UCLA: "Face to Face" tells the story of two women in search of their female identity: Tahirih Qurratu'l-`Ayn(1817-1852) and Forough Farrokhzad (1934-1967); the two leading poets of their generations who made a strong commitment to women's rights in Iran. To-date, they are both considered role models of Iranian women's movement. - 7/4/12

Iran fires missile at 'sea target' in missile war game
On the last day of missile exercises by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps "the Persian Gulf anti-ship missile" was fired at designated sea target, the Sepah News reported on its website on Wednesday. - 7/4/12

Photos: "Hafez" opera puppet show goes on stage in Tehran
Stage director Behruz Gharibpur took "Hafez" opera puppet show on stage at Tehran's Ferdowsi Hall on Saturday after three years of continuous efforts. The Aran Theater Troupe including a team of about 30 singers led by prominent singer Alireza Qorbani are collaborating with Gharibpur in this play. - 7/4/12

Nearly Two Of Three Respondents In Iran State TV Poll Want Nuclear Enrichment Stopped
More than 60 percent of the respondents in an opinion poll posted on the irinn.ir website of Iran's state television news channel on July 3 said they were in favor of Iran stopping its uranium-enrichment program in return for the gradual removal of international sanctions. - 7/4/12

The Fire beneath Karabakh's Fault Lines
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a recent visit to South Caucasus at a time that this geo-strategic area is moving toward more instability. The reason for the instability is rekindling of war along the fault lines of Karabakh as well as the impact of Washington's multifaceted policies on the general atmosphere and political arrangements in this region, and traditional rivalry between the United States and Russia. -Ali Valigholizadeh - 7/4/12

Iran discovers 6 billion barrels of new oil reserves
Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has announced that oil reserves of up to 6 billion barrels have been discovered in southwest Iran. The reserves are located around the Yadavaran oilfield in Khuzestan province, Qasemi said. - 7/4/12

Reports Of Immigrants Restrictions Untrue: Iranian Official
A Fars provincial official has denied recent reports that claimed Afghan and other foreign nationals living in that province are to be refused food and medical services. - 7/4/12

"Human Integrity"
Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, individuals have inherent and inviolable rights. Everyone has virtue, self-respect, autonomy, and human rights. And we know that with freedom, responsibility becomes an integral component of the human rights platform. - 7/4/12

Iran's commercial fleet should be powered by nuclear fuel: Parliament Committee
The Majlis Industries and Mines Committee has approved a plan which calls for Iranian oceangoing tankers and ships to be powered by nuclear fuel in order to eliminate their need to be refueled while on long voyages, MP Hossein Naqavi-Hosseini said on Tuesday. - 7/4/12

Iran may take legal action against sanctions at UN court
Iran may take legal action at the International Court of Justice (The Hague) against U.S.-led sanctions, the president of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture said on Tuesday. - 7/4/12

Iran Questioning Azerbaijani Nationals On Espionage Charges
Iran's state English language Press TV is reporting that officials have interrogated two Azerbaijan nationals on espionage charges. The station cites accusations that the two were on a mission to recruit a number of dissidents in Iran to promote separatism. - 7/4/12

UN Antidrug Chief Rebukes Iran VP Over Anti-Semitic Remarks
The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has condemned anti-Semitic comments by an Iranian vice president that linked the Jewish Talmud to narcotics trafficking. - 7/4/12

Photos: Iran starts missile drills, tests missiles with 1300-km range
The Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps practically started war games on Tuesday, launching missiles with ranges of 300, 500, 800, and 1,300 kilometers. - 7/3/12

World Powers, Iran To Hold Talks In Turkey
World powers and Iran will hold follow-up talks over Tehran's nuclear program in Istanbul on July 3, the Turkish government has said. Foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said the meeting was "essentially technical" in nature. - 7/3/12

Iran: Illegal immigrants denied food and services
Iranian media report that the Fars Provincial government has prohibited the sale of food and the delivery of public and medical services to "illegal immigrants" in the province. - 7/3/12

Iranian graphic designer wins at German competition
Iranian graphic designer Maryam Khaleghi Yazdi is among 30 winners of Mut Zur Wut 2012, a German poster competition. She was recognized for her two posters entitled "Chernobyl's Gift" and "Don't Leave Your Kid in the Virtual World". - 7/3/12

Iranian Media Says Missile Able To Hit Israel Tested
Iranian media say the Islamic republic's military has successfully test-fired a medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile capable of striking Iranian rival Israel. Iran says the Shahab-3 has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers. Israel is some 1,000 kilometers away from Iran. -RFE - 7/3/12

Manuel Jose to lead Iran's Persepolis football team
Manuel Jose de Jesus Silva was picked as the new head coach of Iranian Persepolis football team. The selection came after Persepolis club's long consultation with Gabriel Calderon, Bruno Metsu and Manuel Jose, so that the foreign coach would lead the Iranian team. - 7/3/12

Iranian Oil Minister: No decision made on lowering export
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said no decision has been made on lowering output export, adding the case is related to repairing oil wells. His remarks came after some reports said that Iran plans to drop oil exports by 30 percent. - 7/3/12

100 Iranian MPs call for Strait of Hormuz to be blocked
The Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has put forward a proposal to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz to prevent the passage of tankers that carry oil for the countries that have imposed sanctions on Iran, an Iranian MP announced on Sunday. - 7/3/12

Oil prices on the rise with EU oil embargo
The price of oil in Asian markets rose two days after the EU oil embargo took effect, bringing the price above $84 a barrel. - 7/3/12

Iran to simulate U.S. drone
Commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said the country would simulate the U.S. RQ 170 drone captured by Iran. Hajizadeh referred to the probability of selling the drone or technologies to other countries including Russia. - 7/3/12

U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran
The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates. -NY Times - 7/3/12

Iranian-born Israeli music icon Rita records Farsi album in outreach to enemy Iran
She's Israel's top diva, the Jewish state's beloved national singer. So when Rita released an album entirely in the language of her country's arch-enemy Iran, naturally more than a few eyebrows were raised. -AP - 7/3/12

Iran voices readiness for ambassadorial level ties with Egypt
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the country is ready to boost mutual ties with Egypt to the level of ambassador. - 7/3/12

Iranians accused of targeting Israeli interests
Iran denies the allegations and insists that they are part of an Israeli plot aimed at tarnishing its international reputation. In turn, Iran accuses Israel of carrying out terrorist operations in Iran that have killed three Iranian nuclear scientists. - 7/3/12

Here's the Video of Newt Gingrich Bowing to the Leader of an Iranian Terrorist Group
The former speaker of the house traveled to Paris last week to speak to an Iranian exile group led by Maryam Rajavi, who also heads an officially designated terrorist group called MEK. -Max Fisher, The Atlantic - 7/3/12

Photos: Traditional Architecture of Yazd
Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province in Iran, and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located some 175 miles southeast of Isfahan and has a population of over a half million. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd is an architecturally unique city and one of the most favorite destinations for toursits. -Youness Khani - 7/2/12

Exhibition of "Iranian Contemporary Art" in Sydney, Australia
July 5th until August 4th, 2012 at New Albion Gallery -- A few decades ago not many of us would have dared to imagine the 20th century closing with the universal recognition of contemporary Asian art. Western institutional and art historical interests had usually consigned the arts of Asia and the Middle East as great moments of antique interest, as though contemporaneous expression was what the West did. - 7/2/12

Iranian blogger released after repeated hunger strikes
Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has finally been given furlough on bail of one billion toumans after 32 months in jail and several hunger strikes. - 7/2/12

Iran Begins Military Exercises In Face Of Western Pressure
Iran has announced three days of military exercises aimed at spotlighting the Islamic republic's strength in the face of increasing Western pressure over Tehran's nuclear program. - 7/2/12

An Iranian Storyteller's Personal Revolution
After being arrested in 1974 by the Savak, the shah's secret police, the Iranian writer Mahmoud Dowlatabadi asked his interrogators just what crime he had committed. "None," he recalled them responding, "but everyone we arrest seems to have copies of your novels, so that makes you provocative to revolutionaries." -Larry Rohter, NY Times - 7/2/12

Present Fears Are Less than Horrible Imaginings
At the end of Iran's nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 group - including the US, the UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany - in the Russian capital, Moscow, optimistic views which believed that Iran and the P5+1 will achieve an agreement, have retreated into disappointment.-Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 7/2/12

Modernist Iranian painter Mansureh Hosseini dies at 86
Mansureh Hosseini, a pioneer of Iranian modern art, has died at the age of 86. She was suffering from heart disease for the past few years. Hosseini had attended numerous solo and group exhibits in Iran and other countries. - 7/2/12

Iran completely ready to counter sanctions: Oil Minister
Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has shrugged off the US-engineered European Union embargoes on the Iranian oil sector, saying that the Islamic Republic is completely prepared to counter the sanctions. - 7/2/12

Iranians Replace Meat With Pasta as Oil Sanctions Hit Nation
Maryam Taghavi is feeding her family more pasta and grinding vegetable filler into her chopped meat as she seeks to cope with international sanctions that are taking their toll on the Iranian economy. -Ladane Nasseri and Yeganeh Salehi, Bloomberg - 7/2/12

Iran dismisses militia commanders involved in the British embassy attack
Iran has dismissed four commanders of its informal voluntary Basij milita who were involved in the storming of the British embassy in Tehran last year. The men were believed to be leaders of a mob that ransacked the embassy and its separate residential compound, the Qolhak Gardens, last November. -Guardian - 7/2/12

In Praise of Proliferation?
Kenneth N. Waltz, senior research analyst at the Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies, is a prominent "realist" in the field of international relations, and he's in favor of nuclear proliferation - the bogeyman of both the peace movement and government agencies engaged in our endless "war on terrorism." -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 7/2/12

Iran warns of threat to world energy market
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has accused the United States and the European Union of "disturbing the balance and security of the world energy market" with their sanctions on Iran. - 7/2/12

Iran Braces for EU Embargo
European Union sanctions against imports of Iranian oil went into effect Sunday. The sanctions are part of a growing arsenal of measures aimed at deterring Iran's nuclear program. But will they work? - 7/1/12

Rush to Buy 2000-Toman Dollars Hours before New Iran Sanctions Take Effect
As the oil embargo on Iranian oil by the European Union is about to take effect and with the remarks by EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, foreign currencies in Tehran reached their highest exchange rates during the last three months. - 7/1/12

Iran to fight sanctions with $150 billion revenues: central bank
Central bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani announced on Sunday that Iran gains 150 billion dollar revenues annually which are large enough to counter sanctions. - 7/1/12

Iranian Oil Minister rallies staff to confront sanctions
As EU oil embargo against Iran took effect today, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi issued a directive "mobilizing all managers and employees of the oil ministry" to confront these sanctions. - 7/1/12

Tehran International Puppet Theater Festival kicks off
The 14th Tehran International Puppet Theater Festival (Mobarak) kicked off in Tehran on Saturday. The five-day festival opened during a ceremony in Tehran. Southern Khorasan, East Azerbaijan, and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari provinces are also hosting the event. - 7/1/12

Iran: IRGC missile war games to begin on Monday
A three-day missile exercise of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, entitled the Great Prophet 7, will begin on Monday, according to the commander of the Aerospace Force of the IRGC. - 7/1/12

Former Iranian president warns against public disillusionment
Mohammad Khatami warned Iranian authorities that continued policies of "omission and incarceration" result in general disillusionment in the possibility of reform in society. - 7/1/12

Saudi Arabia stops issuing visas to Iranian pilgrims
Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization has announced that Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing visas for Iranian pilgrims. - 7/1/12

World Powers Agree on Syria Transition
The United States, Russia and other world leaders have agreed on a plan for a transitional government of national unity in Syria that they hope will pave the way for an end to the violence that has killed more than 15,000 people during the 16-month uprising. -Lisa Schlein, VOA - 7/1/12

For Iran, sanctions are a price worth paying to preserve the Islamic republic
The ramping up of sanctions against Iran won't work. For its leaders, ideological concerns trump economic ones - Hadi Kahalzadeh and John Schiemann, Guardian - 7/1/12
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