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Asiatic cheetahs caught on camera
This remarkable image of Asiatic cheetahs was captured by automatic equipment in an isolated region of Iran's Dar-e Anjir Wildlife Refuge. -BBC - 8/31/05

Iranian volleyballers defeat Poland in Under-19 World Volleyball Championship, eyes fifth title
Iran handed Poland a straight-set defeat in the 2005 Youth Boys' Under-19 World Volleyball Championship in Algiers, capital of Algeria, Wednesday. - 8/31/05

Turkcell delegation in Iran to hold last round of talks
A source close to the Turkish company, Turkcell, said the delegation is to hold last round of talks with the Iranian partners in Irancell consortium on the disputed second operator agreement. - 8/31/05

Tremor hits Mazandaran province in northern Iran
A tremor measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale hit the outskirts of Kiasar town in Mazandaran province Wednesday afternoon. - 8/31/05

Iran leader to set up 'Love Fund'
Iran's government is planning to set up a billion dollar fund to help young couples from poor families get married. -BBC - 8/31/05

Fundamentalist radicals at home are just as scary as those abroad
Here's my question, though: If a prominent minister here can call for the murder of people who represent a different political and cultural view, why should anyone be surprised if a foreign mullah does the same? -Baltimore Sun - 8/31/05

General Says Increased Violence No Threat to Afghan Polls
NATO's top military commander says a recent upsurge in violence in Afghanistan does not present a major threat to the country's stability ahead of next month's landmark parliamentary elections. - 8/31/05

Hundreds dead in Baghdad stampede
More than 600 people have been killed in a stampede of Shia pilgrims in northern Baghdad, Iraqi officials say. -BBC - 8/31/05

Iran nuclear chief in India talks
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has met top Indian leaders as part of an effort to build support for its controversial nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/31/05

Europe’s mendacity doomed Iran talks to failure
The European Union has proved itself a most unsuitable mediator in the nuclear stand-off between Iran and the US. While it has managed to win extensive concessions from the Iranian side, it has failed to compel Washington to provide adequate incentives for Iran to agree to disregard its rights under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. -Trita Parsi, FT - 8/31/05

Oil, blood and the future
Oil may be achieving a new impact on daily news, people’s pocketbooks and world history — perhaps even the end of history and the world. Cover stories in magazines this month include: “After Oil: Powering the Future” in National Geographic; “Crossroads for Planet Earth,” a special issue of Scientific American; and “The Beginning of the End of Oil?” in The New York Times Sunday Magazine. -Charleston Gazette - 8/31/05

Afghanistan: Female Candidate Discusses Development Needs
One of the female candidates in Afghanistan's upcoming parliamentary elections was among seven Afghan women who discussed issues that they consider crucial to the development of Afghanistan - 8/31/05

Iran elected member of panel for deliberations on UN reform
Iran's Representative to the United Nations Mohammad-Javad Zarif was elected as member of 30-nation panel to hold final deliberations on UN reform plan. - 8/31/05

A Clash of Civilizations
The real crisis isn't about nuclear weapons, but Iran's determination to reshape the Middle East in its own image. -Newsweek - 8/31/05

Iran sympathize with American people affected by hurricane Katrina
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Tuesday expressed grief at deaths of people in the United States caused by Hurricane Katrina. - 8/31/05

Bush is the real threat
Now that the US president has announced that he has not ruled out an attack on Iran, if it does not abandon its nuclear programme, the Middle East faces a crisis that could dwarf even the dangers arising from the war in Iraq. -Guardian - 8/31/05

Iranian cyberjournalist Mojtaba Lotfi and blogger Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi released
Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release of online journalist Mojtaba Lotfi, freed on 28 August 2005 after more than six months in prison and of a weblogger arrested in February, Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, set free the previous day after completing his sentence. It however voiced concern that both still have prison sentences hanging over their heads. - 8/31/05

Iran's oil gambit - and potential affront to the US
The Iranian government's plans to create an oil exchange fit into a strategy of weakening US economic hegemony. Is the biggest threat Iran poses to the United States really its nuclear ambitions - or is it petropolitics? -CSM - 8/30/05

Ayatollah Khamenei : Entire nation should benefit from public wealth
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the entire nation should benefit from public wealth and the government should give preference to fair distribution of financial facilities. - 8/30/05

Iran's Energy Minister welcomes foreign investments in sector
Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said in Tehran on Monday that his ministry welcomes foreign investors and domestic entrepreneurs in the water and electricity projects. - 8/30/05

Iran's Mobarakeh steel complex exports 360,000 tons of steel products
Company's Director of Marketing and Sales Mehdi Taj told reporters that the steel was exported to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, China India, and several countries in the Middle East. - 8/30/05

New Iran defence minister: atomic arms "forbidden"
Iran's new defence minister said on Tuesday using nuclear technology for military purposes was forbidden by Islam but Tehran would continue to develop a nuclear programme to meet its electricity needs. -Reuters - 8/30/05

Iranian President appoints deputies, Oil Ministry caretaker
The president named Seyyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh as the caretaker of the still vacant Oil Ministry. - 8/30/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad to travel to Cuba and Venezuela before UN summit
Ahmadinejad would have been to the United States, to participate at the meeting of the UN general assembly. However, advisors to the conservative Iranian president have apparently advised him against his debut on the international scene in the country that Iran often refers to as the "Great Satan." -AKI - 8/30/05

IRAQ: Constitution approved despite rejections
Iraqi officials signed the country's new constitution on Sunday, after many amendments, but the charter was still rejected by Sunni Arabs who call it an "illegitimate" document.. - 8/30/05

Iran's massive gas export to Europe to start in 2009
The Information Office of U.S. Energy Department, in a recent report said Iran's annual gas export of 300 billion cubic meters to Europe will begin in 2009. - 8/30/05

3000-year-old Baby Skulls Found in Isfahan
Two skulls belonging to 3000 year old babies or probably even fetuses have been discovered in new excavations in one of Isfahan provincial archaeology sites. - 8/30/05

Iran has Bush to thank for its growing power
American intervention in the region has also had serious ramifications for Iran. Ironically, U.S. actions have gone a long way toward strengthening Tehran's geo-strategic position in the Gulf. -Daily Star - 8/29/05

Persepolis Recreated DVD/Book: See Persepolis as it was 2500 years ago
Starting with the work of the German scholar Friedrich Krefter, who spent decades creating a model for a reconstructed Persepolis, film maker Farzin Rezaian and his team have produced a documentary that presents a virtual reconstruction of parts of the Persepolis palace complex. - 8/29/05

The Asiatic cheetah makes its stand on the central plateau of Iran.
It just seems wrong. In this rocky, mountainous country, barren outside of a few scattered bushes, with two inches of fresh white snow on the ground, it just seems wrong that I might find cheetahs. Yet it is this type of terrain, if not weather, that the few remaining Asiatic cheetahs seem to favor. -Wildlife Conservation Magazine - 8/29/05

Iran defeats South Korea to squeeze into world U-19 volleyball quarters
Iran breezed past South Korea 3-0 to advance to the last eight of the 2005 Youth Boys' Under-19 World Volleyball Championship in Algiers, capital of Algeria, Sunday. - 8/29/05

Iran's Time Has Come
“The Holland of Asia” could have been a suitable label for Iran – a talented group of individuals who have the ability to defeat most other countries but whose team is often less than the sum of its parts. - 8/29/05

Iranian woman researcher wins South African award
Iranian researcher Nushin Khosravi Talebi recently received the first award of the South African National Research Foundation. - 8/29/05

Middle East: Focus on contrasting fortunes with the "digital divide"
With developed countries forging ahead and the Middle East generally lagging in information and communications technology, there is a danger that the growing “digital divide” could hinder economic development, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). - 8/29/05

Patriot Act Reauthorization
Following the September 11th attacks, Congress responded by passing a series of laws to better equip federal law enforcement officers with the necessary tools to combat terrorism. -NIAC - 8/29/05

Iranian judges 'to carry weapons'
Iranian judges have been given approval to carry guns and to use them if they feel threatened after a judge was shot in an attack in Tehran, officials say. -BBC - 8/29/05

Australia faces refugee legal bid
An Iranian boy is due to begin court action against the Australian government on Monday, in a move that will make legal history in Australia. -BBC - 8/29/05

Quakes hit southern, central Iran
Two quakes with the intensity of 3.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit southern and central parts of Iran Sunday evening and Monday morning, respectively. - 8/29/05

Spy drone crashes in Iran
An unmanned “drone” aircraft has crashed after hitting a mountain in central Iranian province of Lorestan, an Interior Ministry official said on Sunday. -Aljazeera - 8/29/05

Civil war looms in Iraq as constitution talks end in disarray
Weeks of bitter wrangling over Iraq's constitution ended in disarray yesterday, threatening the country with further violence and undermining efforts towards a timetable for American disengagement. -Independent - 8/29/05

Armed Kurds fomenting unrest in Iran pose security threat to Tehran
The Iranian government is facing a new security challenge from a small, armed Iranian Kurdish group emboldened by the political gains of Kurds in neighbouring Iraq. -Financial Times - 8/29/05

Iranian official meets UN atomic watchdog chief on country's nuclear plans
The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons today had a "constructive" meeting with a senior Iranian official on ways to resolve issues over the country's nuclear programme. - 8/28/05

British Museum to host exhibition on ancient Iranian empire
British Museum in London is scheduled to hold an exhibition on the great ancient Iranian empire, the Persian-language daily 'Abrar' reported Sunday. - 8/28/05

World Grass Skiers Compete in Iran
100 skiers from 10 different countries will compete from 6-10 September in Dizin in the 14th world grass ski championship. - 8/28/05

Britain heads for clash with US
Britain will join an international alliance to confront George Bush and salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty next week. -Guardian - 8/28/05

Robertson's 'fatwa'
Reverend Pat Robertson took time off last week from promoting a new protein pancake mix and scourging "ungodly" sodomites, Muslims, and Democrats to suggest the U.S. should assassinate Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. -Toronto Sun - 8/28/05

Iraqi Draft Constitution Finalized, Despite Some Sunni Objections
The draft of Iraq's constitution was finalized and presented to the parliament in Baghdad today despite ongoing concerns among some Sunni Arab negotiators. - 8/28/05

Iranian, Kuwaiti foreign ministers study situation in Iraq
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Muhammad Sabah al-Salim as-Sabah on Sunday held talks on current situation in neighboring Iraq and piping drinking water from Iran to Kuwait. - 8/28/05

Rice harvesting begins in Iran
As the season for harvesting rice starts in northern Iran, all members of families involved in raising rice, in particular women, work hard to reap the crop they have been taking care of for almost a year - 8/28/05

Iranian FM Spokesman: Talks with US not on agenda
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said in Tehran on Sunday that bilateral talks with the United States on Iran's nuclear case is not on agenda. - 8/28/05

Iran's Growing Sway in Iraq Defies Neocons' Logic
Anyone who still believes that the U.S. neoconservatives who led the drive to war in Iraq are diabolically clever geo-strategic masterminds should now consider Iran's vastly improved position vis-à-vis its U.S.-occupied neighbor. - 8/27/05

Larijani: Iran respects commitment to IAEA, NPT
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said that Iran respects its commitment to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). - 8/27/05

Iranian daily urges new government to pay due attention to ethnic groups
A morning paper here Saturday commented on preserving national solidarity and urged Iran's new government to uphold the lofty notion of ensuring equal rights to all provinces and ethnic groups. - 8/27/05

Iran to Submit New Nuclear Plans Ahead of Talks with EU
Iran's chief atomic negotiator says his country will submit within a month, new proposals for talks with key European Union countries in an effort to settle the dispute over Tehran nuclear ambitions. - 8/27/05

Farshid Mesqali: Iranian schoolbooks need more creativity and humor
"Schoolbooks' illustrations are so formal and tiresome that most children are not interested in studying them," Iranian illustrator Farshid Mesqali told the Persian service of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on Saturday. - 8/27/05

Gem of Yazd cultural heritage: Amir-Chakhmaq water reservoir
Head of Yazd Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department said on Saturday that the removal of non-historical monuments facing Amir-Chakhmaq water reservoir in the city of Yazd in central Iran has revealed the true face of this decorative site after 75 years. - 8/27/05

Iranian tourists flock to city of Astara by the Caspian Sea
The city of Astara in the Gilan province of Iran was crowded with an unprecedented number of summer vacationers over the weekend. - 8/27/05

US Pentagon to hold Caspian Sea energy security confab in Germany
The US Department of Defense is to hold an international conference on Energy Security in the Caspian Basin, scheduled to take place from September 26-28 in the south German city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen - 8/27/05

Iranian daredevil dies in stunt
An Iranian daredevil died while attempting to break the world record for jumping over buses on a motorcycle, said state TV. -Scotsman - 8/27/05

Iran struggles past Tunisia at world U-19 volleyball meet
Russia and France had already thrashed Iran 3-0 in their preliminary matches. - 8/27/05

Indian PM's Kabul Visit Aims to Strengthen Relationship with Afghanistan
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh begins a two-day visit to Afghanistan Sunday, the first by an Indian leader in almost 30 years. The visit aims at consolidating ties with Kabul. - 8/27/05

Iranian-made rockets add new twist to border tensions
Long-range Katyushas place coastal city of Haifa and large tract of northern Israel within range -Daily Star - 8/27/05

Islam and Democracy
In the past when the word democracy was mentioned, the words liberal or secular would always accompany and precede it. Today, however it is a given that democracy will be secular. -Lawrence Reza Ershaghi - 8/27/05

Karamzadeh hands Iran Europe disabled discus silver
Iran had already won three gold, three silver, and two bronze medals. - 8/27/05

Iran: Average foreign investment in oil sector stands at $480m
The average amount of foreign investment made in exploration and development operations at 11 oil blocks in the country is about 480 million dollars. - 8/27/05

Sean Penn in Iran, Day Five
It wasn't easy to cut through the red tape necessary for Sean Penn to visit Iran in June, just a week before the country's presidential election. But it was almost as difficult for him to get out of the country. -SF Chronicle - 8/26/05

Iran: Esteqlal soccer team wins Peace Cup
Esteqlal soccer team of Tehran was crowned at the four-sided Peace and Friendship Cup in Azadi Stadium, west of the capital city, Thursday. - 8/26/05

UK sending futsal team to Islamic Women's Games in Tehran
A group of 14 British women are traveling to Tehran next month to compete in the futsal (five-a-side football) competition at the Fourth International Islamic Women's Games. - 8/26/05

Larijani: Giving security dimensions to Iran's nuclear case not beneficial to US
He said Iran was after a "win-win" game with Europe in its negotiations and would never yield to a "win-lose" game. - 8/26/05

Iran: Cultural council nixes national music day
The secretary of the High Council of the Cultural Revolution (HCCR) issued a press release on Thursday announcing that the High Council of Public Culture (HCPC) has not approved the proposal to establish a national music day in Iran - 8/26/05

Prices transform oil into a weapon
There are two reasons that oil has become an effective weapon. First, there is very little spare production capacity in global oil markets. Second, petro-states are rethinking their assumptions about the elasticity of global demand for oil.-IHT - 8/26/05

Playing The Shiite Card
America is finally having its great debate over the Iraq war. In that debate, it's worth listening to a young Iraqi Shiite cleric named Ammar Hakim. He speaks for the people who arguably have gained the most from America's troubled mission in Iraq and, to a surprising extent, still believe in it. -Washington Post - 8/26/05

Iran lifts Asian youth water polo trophy
Iran celebrated the Asian youth water polo title in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, Thursday. The determined Iranian team, which defeated China for the first time in Wednesday's semifinal, thrashed Uzbekistan 8-4 in the final showdown. - 8/26/05

Quakes hit northern, northeastern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 4.5 and 3.6 on Richter scale jolted the town of Aq-Qala and the Dasht-e Kavir region in the northern and northeastern provinces of Golestan and Semnan Friday morning and Thursday night respectively. - 8/26/05

Iraq: Al-Sadr Reasserts Himself -- This Time Against Coreligionists
Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appears to be playing both agitator and mediator in the sudden surge of internecine fighting that broke out on 24 August between rival Shi'ite groups in Al-Najaf and subsequently spread to eight cities across Iraq. - 8/26/05

America's disastrous 'military option'
Iran and the United States are now on a collision course. Despite warnings from America and Europe, who fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Iran has resumed enriching uranium. -IHT - 8/26/05

Iraq: Efforts Under Way To Complete Draft Constitution As Tensions Rise
Factional tensions in Shi'ite areas of Iraq are rising in the wake of clashes yesterday in Al-Najaf, Baghdad, and Al-Basrah. The clashes appear largely connected to longstanding power struggles between Shi'ite parties and their armed wings for political control of key centers. - 8/26/05

Stagger on, weary Titan
If you want to know what London was like in 1905, come to Washington in 2005. Imperial gravitas and massive self-importance. That sense of being the centre of the world, and of needing to know what happens in every corner of the world because you might be called on - or at least feel called upon - to intervene there. -Guardian - 8/26/05

Bridge across the Persian gulf
IN 522BC, Darius, "Great King, King of Kings" as he modestly described himself, could survey his Persian empire with understandable satisfaction. It spread from Libya and Greece to the west, Afghanistan to the east and as far north as the Aral Sea. -Australian - 8/26/05

Why We Must Leave Iraq
Sometimes in life there are no good options. It is part of our nature to always assume that we can fix a problem. But in life there are many problems or situations where there is no pleasant solution. -Common Dreams - 8/26/05

India wants access to Afghanistan
India says Pakistan is hindering its attempts to provide assistance to Afghanistan by not allowing it transit access through Pakistani territory. -BBC - 8/26/05

IAEA to meet Iran nuclear broker
UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei is to meet Iran's new chief negotiator Ali Larijani on Friday. -BBC - 8/26/05

Iran’s Parliament Confirms a “Government of Emergency"
Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad’s cabinet selections indicate that Iran’s leadership is preparing for domestic challenges and a possible confrontation with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program and a variety of other issues. -Eurasianet - 8/26/05

Iran: A Slimmed-Down Cabinet Gets To Work
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad chaired the first session of his new cabinet on 25 August in Mashhad at the shrine of Imam Reza - 8/26/05

Iran: Two teenagers face execution in defiance of international law
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to prevent the execution of two teenagers in Iran sentenced to death in defiance of the international ban on executing child offenders. Iran has reportedly already executed at least seven child offenders so far this year. - 8/25/05

Iran's Public Health Sector Wins International Praise During Cholera Outbreak
Iran is seeking international assistance in dealing with an outbreak of cholera that has already killed at least 10 people. And while the World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the Iranian public health sector's response, some Iranian newspapers have been more critical. - 8/25/05

A pivotal moment for 'axis of evil'
US Attitudes toward Iran and North Korea may be doing an about-face as Tehran talks tough and Pyongyang softens its line. -CSM - 8/25/05

US Blasts Iran for Nuclear Policies, Support of Terrorism
The U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency says there is plenty of evidence Iran is building a nuclear weapon. In an interview with VOA, Gregory Schulte said Iran is entitled to nuclear technology, but not for military purposes. - 8/25/05

Iranian official: Turkcell has until Sept 3 to respond
Managing Director 'SAIran' one of the three Iranian members in 'Irancell' consortium involved in operating the second mobile phone network said in Tehran on Wednesday that the Iranian companies have given their foreign partners in the 'Turkcell' consortium until September 3 to carry out their commitments. - 8/25/05

Iran may receive visit from local peace advocates
The Fellowship of Reconciliation is planning its first-ever peace missions to Iran. "We're calling it a fact-finding friendship delegation, but it really is about making people-to-people connections," Pat Clark, executive director of the Upper Nyack-based interfaith peace organization, said yesterday. -Journal News - 8/25/05

Afghanistan: UN Envoy Warns Violence Could Disrupt Polls
The chief of the UN mission in Afghanistan has warned an upsurge in violence could disrupt Afghanistan's parliamentary polls next month. - 8/25/05

Setback for Iranian president as nominee ministers rejected
Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suffered his first political setback last night when the conservative-dominated parliament rejected four of his proposed cabinet ministers, including the nominee for the strategically vital oil portfolio. -Guardian - 8/25/05

Tehran Says Nuclear Program is Only for Producing Power
The Iranian government says it was right, and the U.S. was wrong, about why traces of highly enriched uranium were discovered on some of its nuclear equipment. - 8/25/05

India's Foreign Minister to visit Iran in early September
India's Minister of External Affairs, K. Natwar Singh, will travel to Tehran in the first week of September. It is expected the visit to Tehran will attract great deal of attention from the world, reports Times of India. - 8/25/05

Sean Penn in Iran, Day Four
During his visit to Iran in June, Sean Penn had the chance to witness a rare demonstration in support of women's rights. -SF Chronicle - 8/25/05

Larijani urges Europe to take logical stand in talks with Iran
Iran's new Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani on Thursday expressed regret over the recent decision of European Troika to call off nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 8/25/05

Iran: 17 proposed ministers receive votes of confidence, 4 rejected
Majlis deputies Wednesday gave votes of confidence to 17 ministers proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 8/25/05

Scientists Conclude Weapons-Grade Uranium in Iran Came from Imported Equipment
Scientists have reportedly concluded that traces of highly-enriched uranium found in Iran two years ago were from imported equipment rather than Iranian nuclear activities. - 8/24/05

President: Iran to offer initiative about fuel cycle stand-off
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that Iran will offer an initiative on fuel cycle stand-off with Europe. - 8/24/05

Diplomats in disarray over Iran
It looks increasingly clear that traces of enriched uranium found by IAEA inspectors on centrifuge parts in Iran were contamination from their supplier. -BBC - 8/24/05

The Bush Administration and Iran’s New President
Neoconservatives contend that the Bush administration will have to take a tough stand against a less-cooperative and more-unpredictable Islamic Republic and by leveraging various points of advantage. In response to Ahmadinejad’s administration, Washington could pressure European governments to impose stricter ultimatums and monitoring mechanisms on Iran’s nuclear program or to cease negotiations altogether. -Arang Keshavarzian, Foreign Policy In Focus - 8/24/05

Sean Penn in Iran, Day Three
After a series of mysterious phone calls, arrangements are made to transport Sean Penn to a compound in the foothills of Tehran to meet with Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini. -SF Chronicle - 8/24/05

Iraq's constitution draft approval unclear
As Humam Hamoudi, chairman of the Constitution Committee, presented the disputed draft to the transitional National Assembly on 22 August, it did not take long for disagreements to appear, with Sunni participants labelling the draft illegal and unfair. - 8/24/05

Bombings and Repression in Egypt Underscore Failures in U.S. Anti-Terrorism Strategy
The devastating bombings which struck the Egyptian city of Sharm al-Sheik on July 24 underscore both the extent of the threat from Islamist terrorists and the failure of the United States and its allies to effectively deal with it. -Foreign Policy In Focus - 8/24/05

Why Iraq's Sunnis fear constitution
Sunnis oppose changing Iraq from a strong central state to a loose federal one. But satisfying the Sunnis, a religious minority in Iraq, on this would anger ethnic Kurds and Shiite Arabs who have written the draft. -CSM - 8/24/05

US dismisses Iran nuclear report
The US has criticised an independent investigation which found no evidence that Iran was working on a secret nuclear weapons programme. -BBC - 8/24/05

Iranian partners urge TurkCell to abide by commitments
TurkCell has been given until September 4 by its Iranian partners to observe its commitment, said one of the Iranian partners of the Turkish company. - 8/24/05

October First Designated Iran's National Music Day
Iran's Cultural Council said on Tuesday that it was going to observe October 1 as Iran's National Music Day after the birth anniversary of late Iranian musician Abu-Nasr Farabi, the daily 'Jam-e Jam' wrote Wednesday. - 8/24/05

Facing the Facts About Iran
Iran is becoming a foreign-policy problem of almost immeasurable proportions — from its nuclear-weapons brinkmanship to its feverish support of Islamic fundamentalism and international terrorism. -Heritage Foundation - 8/24/05

Iran's Kish Island Enjoys Economic Boom
The latest survey conducted on Kish Island by Kish Free Trade Zone Organization shows that the economic boom in the island between 2000-2003 has been twice as much as that materialized nationwide. - 8/24/05

Afghan Hazaras look to polls, Iran
When American troops helped oust the Taliban regime, it was the Hazaras of Bamiyan who may have cheered the loudest. As the homeland of Afghanistan's most oppressed group - Hazaras are Shiite Muslims in a Sunni majority nation. -CSM - 8/24/05

From the land of Shiraz
Vintner Darioush Khaledi has built a palatial Napa winery that honors his Persian heritage and turns out top-shelf reds. -St. Petersburg Times - 8/24/05

India wants WTO shield for Iran gas pipeline
With India's petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar emphasizing that India would go ahead with the proposed dlrs 7-billion gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan, New Delhi is likely to seek improvements in World Trade Organization (WTO) rules related to such projects which involve freedom of transit , reports 'The Economic Times'. - 8/24/05

Oneness of Mankind: A precious Persian carpet decorates UN Headquarters in New York
One of the world's most valuable hand-woven carpets was hung on the wall of New York-based UN Headquarters on Tuesday in the presence of Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mohammad-Javad Zarif. - 8/24/05

Disabled Iranian Artist Exhibits His Work At Home And Abroad
An accident that leaves someone 85 percent paralyzed would discourage many. But not for one Iranian man who used his unfortunate circumstance to discover a talent that is now touching thousands of people. - 8/24/05

New Iranian President Outlines His Program
In a speech to the legislature on 21 August, newly installed Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad laid out his plans for the next four years, and legislators then began debating the men Ahmadinejad proposed as cabinet ministers one week earlier. - 8/24/05

National Iranian Oil Company to turn into one of world's top two oil companies
Head of the International Institute for Energy Studies Mehdi Assali told IRNA on Tuesday that the first phase of the master plan is ready and if it is implemented at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) successfully, the Company will soon turn into one of the world's top two national oil firms. - 8/23/05

Iran to export cars to Azerbaijan
Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) signed on Monday a financing agreement for export of over 800 Samand automobiles manufactured by Iran giant automobile manufacturing Iran-Khodro Industrial Group. - 8/23/05

Iran: Politicians Skeptical Of President's Obscure Cabinet Choices
The Iranian legislature on 21 August began to debate the cabinet presented on 14 August by the conservative President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. However, many politicians have been unsure what to make of proposed ministers, mainly because the names are unfamiliar. - 8/23/05

No Proof Found of Iran Arms Program
Traces of bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and are not evidence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and other international scientists has determined. -Washington Post - 8/23/05

Iran's 'culturally inappropriate' rock hopefuls struggle to be heard
"We are swimming against the tide and we anticipate that it might be impossible," said Misakian, 34, the band's lead guitarist and songwriter. "There are so many problems in trying to gain permission to release music and very often bands give up. But we won't give up. -Guardian - 8/23/05

Iran-Pak-India gas pipeline right on track
The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is moving rapidly on course with the three countries expected to hold their first high-level trilateral meeting in November. -Asian Age - 8/23/05

Quake hits Sharafkhaneh port in northwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale hit southern parts of port city of Sharafkhaneh in this northwestern province on Tuesday. - 8/23/05

Bush's Option to Escalate the War in Iraq
That might seem unlikely, even farfetched. After all, the president is facing an upsurge of domestic opposition to the war. Under such circumstances, why would he escalate it? -Common Dreams - 8/23/05

Iraq Sunnis Up in Arms as Shi'ites Force Charter
Iraq's ruling Shi'ite Islamists prepared to force a constitution through parliament before a midnight Monday deadline but minority Sunnis vowed to vote it down in a referendum and warned of civil war. -Reuters - 8/23/05

Iranian freed from Guantanamo was mistreated-Iran
An Iranian man freed from Guantanamo Bay prison developed mental disorders as a result of his treatment there, Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 8/23/05

Sean Penn in Iran, Day Two
Sean Penn prepares for a meeting with the son of a former president of Iran. Mehdi Rafsanjani was also a campaign director for his father. -SF Chronicle - 8/23/05

Models of Kaaba, Wall of China and Pyramids in Iran
Models of Kaaba, Great Wall of China and Egyptian Pyramids will be constructed on a one third scale in the international park of Jovaram tourist center, north of Iran. - 8/23/05

Iranian scholar tops our Science-and-Religion Contest
Shiva Khalili, Ph.D., an Iranian scholar and clinical therapist at the Iranian Center for Epilepsy in Tehran, took the $2,000 top prize in the first-ever Science & Theology News contest launched to explore the work of scholars at the nexus of science, medicine and theology and to bring their findings to the attention of a wider audience. -Science & Theology News, MA - 8/23/05

Iran: Saipa expects car production to be 31 percent higher this year
Saipa with exports of over 20,000 Pride and Saipa 141 models to Syria, Egypt and Brazil in the last quarter has strengthened Iran's automobile industry position in the international markets. - 8/23/05

Ancient city of Isfahan cultural capital of Islamic world for 2006
The ancient city of Isfahan, central Iran, has been introduced as the 'Cultural Capital' of the Islamic world for the year 2006 by one of the subsidiaries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference - 8/23/05

Zero Tolerance
In President Bush's first State of the Union message, he essentially accused North Korea, Iran, and Iraq of having clandestine nuke programs and – in his first enunciation of what later became known as the Bush Doctrine – warned them he would "not tolerate" their having the nuke programs he accused them of having. - 8/23/05

University of Pennsylvania Archaeologists Return to Iran after 26 Years
A newly signed memorandum of understanding foresees the cooperations of Iranian archaeologists and those of the University of Pennsylvania for carrying out joint excavations in Iran, exchanging students, and providing the opportunity for Iranian experts to participate in the archaeological studies of Pennsylvania University around the world. - 8/23/05

Hungering for Reform in Iran
The debate over Iran's quest for nuclear weapons has produced thousands of headlines over the past couple of years, but anyone who's been following closely should know this much: There is no real news there. The issue has become a mere political symphony in which the same theme gets repeated over and over with only small variations. -Washington Post - 8/22/05

Iranian economist warns of soaring liquidity growth rate
An Iranian economist has warned against a sharp increase in the liquidity growth rate in coming years due to increase in the oil revenues and Central Bank of Iran's inability to exchange petrodollars for rial. - 8/22/05

Improvement reported in Akbar Ganji's condition
Reporters Without Borders today hailed a report received from a reliable local source of an improvement in the health of imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji. - 8/22/05

Iranian dissident 'ends protest'
Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji has ended his hunger strike, his wife has said. -BBC - 8/22/05

Iranian actor Jamshid Mashayekhi calls for freedom of expression and pen for artists
The prominent theater and cinema actor Jamshid Mashayekhi on Monday referred to freedom of expression and pen as the major request of the national art community from the new minister of culture and Islamic guidance. - 8/22/05

Why Are We In Iraq?
The invasion not only killed innocents and decimated the country, it also empowered tyrants – so why are we still there? - 8/22/05

Sean Penn in Iran, Day One
In June, Sean Penn and two friends traveled to Tehran. It was Penn's first trip to the country. What he found was a culture in conflict. --SF Chronicle - 8/22/05

Quake jolts Yasouj in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale hit outskirts of Yasouj in Kohkiloyeh and Boyer Ahmad province Sunday afternoon. - 8/22/05

Iran earns 2.4 billion dollars from oil derivatives export first 5 months of the year
Ghanimifard said gas oil, kerosene, kiln oil, naphtha and gas liquids were the major exported items in the period under study. - 8/22/05

Iran leader presents new cabinet
Iran's conservative new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has introduced his new cabinet to parliament. -BBC - 8/22/05

Militias on the Rise Across Iraq
Shiite and Kurdish Groups Seizing Control, Instilling Fear in North and South -Washington Post - 8/22/05

Musicians For Harmony Announces Its Fourth Annual Concert For Peace
Featured on the program this year is Iranian ney player Siamak Jahangiri, performing "Ney Nava" for Ney and String Orchestra by the Iranian composer Hossein Ali Zadeh. At New York's Merkin Concert Hall – Tuesday, Sept. 13 - 8/22/05

No Wonder Others Have a Problem Believing Us
One of our characteristic traits as Iranians is our great love affair with exaggeration in almost all expressions, from love and hate to pain and pleasure, beauty and ugliness, our nephew’s accomplishments or our uncle’s wealth. -Kam Zarrabi - 8/22/05

Thousands Expected At The Persian Harvest Festival In Orange County, California
The Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County (NIPOC) on behalf of the Southern California based Persian Community announces the 10th Annual Persian Harvest Festival of Autumn (Mehregan) on October 1 – 2, 2005 at the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center, 88 Fair Drive Costa Mesa, California. - 8/22/05

Iran's export revenues to hit 59 billion dollars by end of 2005
Business Monitor believes that Iran's petrodollars will reach as high as dlrs 49.5 billion in the year considering the growing trend and stability of crude prices on the world markets over recent months. - 8/22/05

Hospital official: Iranian journalist Ganji transferred from ICU section
Iranian jailed journalist, Akbar Ganji, now being treated at Milad Hospital due to his health condition, was transferred from ICU to general ward, said a hospital official in Tehran on Saturday. - 8/20/05

FM Spokesman: US claim on Iran's meddling in Iraq mere hallucination
He noted that the remarks of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld against Iran are meant to cover up their own impotence. "Iran does not benefit from Iraq's instability and we believe that promoting security in Iraq will help safeguard the regional security," he added. - 8/20/05

Hermes Records, First Iranian Label Digitally Available
Hermes Records was formed in February 2000 to produce and promote modern Iranian Music, discover creative musicians, and help artists approach new horizons. - 8/20/05

NIOC official: Crude prices to hit highest level in autumn
Deputy Head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for International Affairs Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told IRNA that statistics available show the oil market will witness 1,200,000 bpd to 1,500,000 bpd increase in the demand for oil in autumn compared to summer. - 8/20/05

I begin to feel at home again now that I've come back to Iran
Homa Rastegar left Tehran in 1979 and returned a quarter century later -Vancouver Sun - 8/20/05

World's Hottest Spot Awaits Adventurers
World's hottest spot, Shahdad, is located in one of Iran's famous deserts, kavir-e Lut, yet the area is unknown to many domestic and foreign adventurers and desert backpackers. - 8/20/05

Annan Seeks Release of Jailed Iranian Journalist Akbar Ganji
U.N. official says Secretary-General Kofi Annan has written a letter to Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, demanding the release of a jailed dissident journalist. - 8/20/05

Has the "Tipping Point" on Iraq Been Reached?
Has the U.S. public lost so much confidence in the George W. Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war that its current strategy -- to the extent one actually exists -- is unsustainable? -IPS - 8/20/05

San Francisco Panel Says More Community Democratic Participation Needed
San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi described the Iranian-American community as a “sleeping giant” and its relations to politics as a “new frontier” at a panel discussion held by the Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) on Sunday. -NIAC - 8/20/05

A New Taliban has Re-Emerged in Afghanistan
Nearly four years after a U.S.-led military intervention toppled them from power, the Taliban has re-emerged as a potent threat to stability in Afghanistan. -Kinght Ridder - 8/20/05

Old ways of water management spring up again in arid regions
Another ancient technology that is being revived involves qanats, or networks of underground aqueducts that originated in Iran around 2,500 years ago to bring water from subterranean highland water sources to lowland users. -IHT - 8/20/05

Iran stands sixth at Universiade volleyball tourney
Iran ranked sixth at the volleyball tournament of the 23rd Universiade, Olympic Games for students, in this western seaport of Turkey Friday. - 8/20/05

Iran bags six Universiade taekwondo medals
Iranian taekwondo players took four silvers and two bronzes at the 23rd Universiade, Olympic Games for students - 8/20/05

Iran to export gas to Nakhichevan by early 2006
The managing director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Mohammad Mallaki said on Saturday that Iran would export gas to Nakhichevan by the end of the current Iranian year, falling on March 20, 2006. - 8/20/05

Iran's Missiles Extend Their Reach
While the world community has been focused on Iran's nuclear ambitions, Tehran has also been developing and deploying ballistic missiles that some believe could further destabilize the region and prompt an arms race. - 8/20/05

Appeal for Bam
Mr. Abteen Sai, chairman of SAF-UK's board of trustees, will do a parachute jump to raise funds for the youth of Bam on 21st August 2005! Proceeds from this fundraising effort will be used to equip an ICT Training and Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center built by the Science and Arts Foundation in the city of Bam. - 8/20/05

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Supports Iranian American Know Your Rights Resolution
On August 16, 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution in support of Congressional Resolution 367 condemning bigotry, violence and discrimination against Iranian Americans. - 8/19/05

Call for research projects on Shahr-e Soukhteh
Dating back to 5,000 years ago -- 3,200 BC -- with an area measuring 150 hectares, the city of Shahr-e Soukhteh is situated 55 kms from Zabol across Zabol-Zahedan route. The city's cemetery alone measures 25 hectares and is supposed to contain about 40,000 tombs, according to experts. - 8/19/05

New Iran Cabinet Dominated by Hardliners
President Ahmadinejad has packed the key ministries, such as Intelligence, Interior, and Justice with men whose average age is 48, just a year younger than the president. Most are new faces on the national scene. There are no women nominees to the 21-member cabinet. - 8/19/05

Political Consensus in Iran is Firmly Behind a Continuation of Nuclear Research
There is widespread political consensus inside Iran that the country’s nuclear program must continue. Growing international pressure on Iran only serves to strengthen Tehran’s resolve, a high-ranking official responsible for the country’s nuclear program insists. -Eurasianet - 8/19/05

Russian-Chinese manoeuvers send a message
The current Russia-China joint military exercises are not so much a symbol of trust and friendship between the two as a symptom of American overstretch. The two are reminding the United States of the limits of its unilateral global power. -IHT - 8/19/05

Vigils Across State, Nation Back Mother of Dead Soldier
Thousands support woman at Bush ranch -Boston Globe - 8/19/05

Trade zone opened in Iran's Qeshm Island
A new trade hub was inaugurated in Qeshm Island in southern Iran on Thursday as another step towards connecting the provincial trade zone to the national and international trade networks. - 8/19/05

HRC criticized over Iran death penalty
Protests persist against the executions of two teenagers in Iran, as condemnations broaden to include the use of the death penalty against children. -New York Blade - 8/19/05

India, Iran cooperation multi-dimensional: Indian Minister
The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed Thursday said the New Delhi Declaration signed between India and Iran on 25 January, 2003 puts forth the vision of multifarious relationship between the two countries. - 8/19/05

Uzbek Refugees Speak Of Hard Life In Exile in Iran
Iran's Uzbek refugees typically fled their country in the 1990s, following a state crackdown on religious Muslims. Now, they are unable to return home, prevented by Uzbek authorities who accuse them of being members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) terrorist organization. - 8/19/05

Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran not after A-Bomb, Blasts US "Deception"
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated here Friday that Iran has never been after a nuclear bomb and that the West was trying to deceive the world public opinion by pretending that Iran wanted the bomb. - 8/19/05

Iran: Better Transparency Might Boost International Confidence
Professor Mohammad Sahimi, chairman of the department of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California, is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization devoted to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He told Radio Farda this week that the nuclear issue can be addressed from two perspectives: the economic, scientific, and technological aspect on one hand, and the political aspect on the other. - 8/19/05

America’s Iranian predicament
George W Bush has opened the door to an attack on Iran. The prospects are uncomfortable, the outcome uncertain, the risks enormous. -Open Democracy - 8/18/05

China to swoop on Iran oil field if Tokyo pulls support: firms
On the brink of tapping into one of the world's largest known oil reserves, Japanese companies are fretting over the possibility of further rivalry with China. -Japan Times - 8/18/05

Bush Menaces Iran With Threat
President George Bush’s inflammatory comments last Friday menacing Iran with military attack have again underscored the lawless character of the US administration. -World Socialist - 8/18/05

Quake hits Raaz in northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter cale hit the outskirts of town of Raaz, along joint border line of North Khorassan province and the Republic of Turkmenistan, in the wee hours of Thursday. - 8/18/05

Moderate quake jolts surrounding area of Maku in northwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the surrounding area of Maku City, in Iran's Western Azerbaijan Province, on Wednesday evening. - 8/18/05

The military strike option against Iran
Experts disagree about possible effect of US or Israeli preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. -CSM - 8/18/05

Penn's Iran Dispatches Ready to Run
The actor, dispatched to cover the Iranian elections two months ago, will finally see his byline in the San Francisco Chronicle come Monday, according to editor Phil Bronstein. -Eonline - 8/18/05

Iran's strategy
If Iran wanted, it could make Iraq hell for the United States." So said Iraq's deputy Foreign Minister Hamid Al Bayati last February. Well, Iran not only wants to, it already has. -Washington Times - 8/18/05

Trust in Marx: To Undermine Tehran, Leave It Alone
Karl Marx wasn't right about much. But one thing he did get right is the social dynamic leading to political revolution. Genuine revolutions, Marx noted, do not take place in a friendly environment amenable to gradual and piecemeal reform. -TCS - 8/18/05

Love in the Persian Gulf: Caspian Bistro eases diplomatic troubles with Iran
In the summer of 323 B.C., by most historical accounts, Alexander the Great died in Persia, days after a lavish dinner and way too much drinking. Depending on which ancient account one believes, Alexander was done in by too much wine, a sneaky poison or typhoid -Pitch Weekly, MO - 8/18/05

Iran: new direction?
Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s newly elected president, was due to announce the composition of his first government as MEI went to press, but few details had emerged about the complex deliberations involved. -MEI Online - 8/18/05

World Bank denies report on Iran-India gas line
The World Bank in Pakistan on Thursday denied reports in section of local press suggesting that the donor agency had cautioned against supporting the proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan. - 8/18/05

Iran records positive trade balance with 100 countries
Number of countries with which Iran has had positive trade balance rose to 100 in the 2003-04 fiscal from 56 in the 1995-6 fiscal. - 8/18/05

Russia and China meld muscle for war games
Along with leaders of the six SCO states, officials from countries the SCO is courting as possible members - such as India, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Iran - will be present for the joint exercises. "The dangerous situation in Central Asia is driving Russia and China to overcome their mutual suspicions and work together," says Vitaly Naumkin, director of Moscow's independent Center for Strategic and Political Studies. -CSM - 8/18/05

Japan defeats Iran 2-1 in World Cup qualifier
Speedy Japan beat Iran 2-1 to celebrate leadership at 2006 World Cup Asian zone group B before boisterous home fans in sultry Yokohama Wednesday. - 8/18/05

Iran absorbs 35 percent of reexports from Dubai
Iran has absorbed 35 percent of Dubai reexports volume in the first quarter of 2005. The Dubai television said that in the period over dlrs 2.2 billion of goods were exported to Iran. - 8/18/05

EU says door remains open for nuclear negotiations with Iran
The European Union has expressed its "deep concern" over Iran's resumption of activity at the uranium conversion facility in Isfahan but said the door remains open for negotiations. - 8/18/05

Iran Holds Big Bargaining Chips in Dispute
President Bush says the world is "coalescing around the notion" that Iran must be barred from getting nuclear weapons. But two factors -- soaring oil prices and chaos in Iraq -- are giving Tehran new muscle in its diplomatic standoff with Europe and the U.S. -WSJ - 8/18/05

Mulling Iran's Nuclear Future in Germany
Germans are worried about US President Bush's unwillingness to rule out military action against Iran. Experts say an attack is unlikely but the world should prepare for Iran as a future nuclear power. -Deutsche Welle - 8/18/05

The Scar Saloon: A collection of poetry by Iranian born writer and translator, Sholeh Wolpé
Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) says this about Sholeh and The Scar Saloon: "In a world where cultures and religions are recklessly facing off, Sholeh Wolpé writes careful poems that cast a light on some of what we all hold in common." - 8/18/05

Haleh Anvari's lovely house in Tehran
Fereshteh means angel in Persian. It is also the name of one of the most well-known areas in Elahieh in the northern part of Tehran. There used to be many large houses here with big gardens where the well off Tehrani used to live. These days many of the lovely houses have been knocked down and replaced by large, ugly, impersonal high-rise apartment blocks, crowding the lovely narrow alleys and side streets. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 8/18/05

Iran: Blaming British For Arab Unrest Has Historical Roots
Southwestern Iran -- home to many ethnic Arabs (3 percent of the total population of approximately 68 million) -- has witnessed violent unrest in recent months. Most of Iran's crude-oil reserves are located in giant onshore fields in this part of country, so the regime is particularly sensitive about developments there. - 8/18/05

Iranian-American Leaders Discuss the Future of this Community
The newly Chartered Democratic Club, Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats ( hosted an interactive educational forum titled “WHAT’S NEXT? A Profound Inquiry into the Future of the Iranian-American Community.” - 8/18/05

Iran: Kurdish Grievances Remain A Thorny Issue
Tehran's response to the recent unrest is following a fairly typical pattern -- initial denials followed by accusations of foreign involvement. Yet the problems are sufficiently worrying that both the executive branch and the legislature have conducted inquiries. - 8/17/05

Ganji's wife raps Tehran judiciary
The wife of leading Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji accused the hardline judiciary yesterday of spurring her husband on to his death by stopping him hearing pleas to save his life 67 days into a hunger strike. -AFP - 8/17/05

Iranian Students stage protest in front of French Embassy in Tehran
A group of university students staged protest in front of French Embassy in Tehran to condemn French stance toward Iranian nuclear program. - 8/17/05

Shohreh Aghdashloo joins the X-Men 3 acting team
The latest confirmed actress for the upcoming X-Men 3 is Iranian Shohreh Aghdashloo, known for her Oscar nomination for a supportting role in House of Sand and Fog (2003). -Entertainment News - 8/17/05

Who's the secret planner for the coming war with Iran?
The U.S. Vice President has instructed the Air Force to start putting plans for an air strike on Iran's nuclear sites using the excuse of the next “terrorist attack”, according to CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi, now a partner in Cannistraro Associates. -Aljazeera - 8/17/05

Iraq on the Brink
It looks increasingly as if President Bush may have been off by 74 years in his assessment of Iraq. By deposing the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Bush assumed he would bring Iraq to its 1787 moment -- the crafting of a democratic constitution, the birth of a unified republic. Instead, he seems to have brought Iraq to the brink of its own 1861 -- the moment of national dissolution. -Washington Post - 8/17/05

Bush's blind spot on Iran
We Don't respect or understand any religious or nationalist fervor other than our own. That myopic distortion has been a persistent historical failure of U.S. foreign policy, but it has reached the point of total blindness in the Bush administration. -LA Times - 8/17/05

Uzbeks Picket Dutch Embassy In Tehran
Thirty-seven men, women, and children participated in the demonstration. They arrived in Tehran from the city of Zahidan in southeastern Iran on 16 August. The protesters demanded to be given an asylum in the Netherlands. - 8/17/05

New Hardline Government Alarms Reformists
Iranian reformists say they are horrified but not surprised by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new government in which eight of the 21 ministers hail either from the ranks of the hardline Pasdaran revolutionary guards or the Islamic Republic's secret services. "All our worst fears and our predictions regarding a secret military coup have come true," Fatemeh Haghighatjou, a renowned reformist and former member of parliament said -AKI - 8/17/05

Human Rights Watch: Protect Women Candidates in Afghanistan
As campaigning begins for the September 18 polls for parliament and provincial councils, the Afghan government and international monitors must take special measures to protect women from attacks and intimidation by the Taliban and regional warlords. - 8/17/05

U.S. Policy on 'Axis of Evil' Suffers Spate Of Setbacks
President Bush's campaign against what he once termed the "axis of evil" has suffered reverses on all three fronts in recent days that underscore the profound challenges confronting him 3 1/2 years after he vowed to take action. -Washington Post - 8/17/05

InterContinental Considers Building Hotels in Iran
Officials of InterContinental Hotels will soon travel to Iran to hold talks with Iranian officials in charge to build hotels in Mashhad, Isfahan, Kish, and Bandar Abbas. - 8/17/05

Iranian university students form human shield around Natanz nuclear site
A number of students from Mashhad University on Wednesday formed human shield around Natanz nuclear site calling for resumption of fuel production under safeguard agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). - 8/17/05

How Bush would gain from war with Iran
In private his officials deride EU and UN diplomacy with Iran. US officials have been preparing pre-emptive war since Bush marked Iran out as a member of the "axis of evil" back in 2002. Once again, this war is likely to have British support. -Guardian - 8/17/05

Iranian Hard-liners Rally in Support of Nuclear Program
Hundreds of chanting Iranian demonstrators gathered Tuesday outside a uranium conversion plant in central Iran, demanding that their government continue its controversial nuclear fuel program. - 8/17/05

Prisoners Of Conscience : Akbar Ganji A Hero Similar To Yves Montand Portrayal In Costa Gavras' Film « The Confession »
Akbar Ganji's predicament in the prison cell's of the Islamic Republic of Iran has caught worldwide attention as his health has deteriorated after more than 60 days of a hunger strike which may well lead to his death. -Darius KADIVAR - 8/17/05

Subway, a Danger Lurking around Iran's Historical Cities
Urbanization, a virtue of modern world, usually turns out to be atrociously harmful when straining the historical context of ancient cities. But the trend is also inevitable as population growth turns small villages into towns, towns into cities, and cities into metropolises. - 8/17/05

Talk to Tehran
Two things are very expensive in international politics, the game-theorist Thomas Schelling once observed: threats when they fail and promises when they succeed. President Bush appears to be headed on a path that could teach him this lesson. -Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post - 8/16/05

Map of Persian Empire to depict Iran's intangible heritage
Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) is currently preparing a map of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenid era, which will also illustrate the diversity of ancient national ceremonies and traditions and the common customs of Iran and neighboring countries. - 8/16/05

OneLight Theatre Lights the Stage Coast to Coast!
OneLight Theatre presents an original translation/adaptation of Bahram Beyzaie’s Death of Yazdgerd. This stunning show will be debuted in Halifax at the Neptune Studio Stage from October 4th to 15th and will tour west to the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver from October 18th to 23rd. - 8/16/05

The world watches as Iraq becomes a litmus test of democratic success
The importance of what is happening in Iraq goes beyond its borders. If, as it now seems likely, Iraq does become a pluralist state committed to building a democracy, it would be hard for the despotic regimes in the region to defend a status quo that has kept much of the Middle East out of the post-Cold War trend towards reform and liberalisation. -TIMES online - 8/16/05

Anatomy of a Frame-Up
As Israeli historian Avi Shlaim recently observed, "For most Arabs and Muslims the real issue in the Middle East is not Iraq, Iran or democracy but Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and America's blind support for Israel." -CounterPunch - 8/16/05

Iraqis Consider Bypassing Sunnis on Constitution
Iraqi leaders remained deadlocked Sunday over major issues in the country's new constitution, raising the possibility they would fail to meet the Monday deadline and push the country toward a political crisis. -NY Times - 8/16/05

Babolsar to host sand statue festival in September
The First Sand Statue Festival will be held in Babolsar, in northern province of Mazandaran, on September 1-6, an official in charge of the festival told the morning paper 'Iran Daily' on Monday. - 8/16/05

Iran's revolution isn't going away
Far from being on the brink of democracy, the country is becoming increasingly belligerent. And once again, the West is divided on how to respond. -LA Times - 8/16/05

Oil puts Iran out of reach
Iranians know that oil is their insurance policy and that the best way to forestall U.S. efforts in the United Nations is by getting into bed with energy hungry powers such as Japan and the two fastest growing energy consumers, China and India. -Baltimore Sun - 8/16/05

Experts from 10 states keen to attend 'Nature in Oriental Art Confab'
Researchers and specialists from 10 countries have applied to attend the international conference in Iran dubbed `Nature in Oriental Art'. - 8/16/05

Iran: 80% of northern tea factories shut down
Some 80 percent of tea factories in the northern parts of the country have been shut down, a morning daily said on Tuesday quoting a tea industry official. - 8/16/05

2 Iranian dissidents abducted in Baghdad
U.S. officials said yesterday that two members of an Iranian dissident group living under American protection in Iraq have been kidnapped, and organization members said they fear the men will be turned over to Tehran for execution. -Washington Times - 8/16/05

Iran, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Russia to discuss Iran's gas export to Europe
Iranian deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Seyed Mohammad-Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian on Tuesday hoped that the five-partite meeting of Iran, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Russia on export of gas from Iran to Europe via Ukraine will be held by September. - 8/16/05

Iran oil hopeful may purge old order, woo investors
Iran's new oil minister is expected to purge the state-run National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) but still keep an open mind towards foreign investment in the world's fourth largest crude producer. -Reuters - 8/16/05

Slouching Toward Armageddon? Get Ready for a Wider War
With every poll showing majorities of Americans both fed up with Bush's war against Iraq and convinced that Bush's invasion of Iraq has made Americans less safe, the White House moron proposes to start another war by attacking Iran. VP Cheney has already ordered the US Strategic Command to come up with plans to strike Iran with tactical nuclear weapons. -CounterPunch - 8/16/05

More Media Lies About Iran
According to Reuters' Louis Charbonneau – a neo-crazy media sycophant if ever there was one – those despicable Iranians "broke UN seals at a uranium processing plant" last week. -Antiwar - 8/16/05

Human Rights Defender Charged as Unrest in Iran's Kurdish Regions Continues
Dr. Roya Toloui, a champion of Kurdish and women's rights who was detained by Iranian authorities on August 2, is reported to be facing charges of "disturbing the peace" and "acting against national security." - 8/16/05

Feminine Psychology
Statistics show that the number of women showing interest in the fields of ‘health and hygiene’, ‘psychology’ and ‘spiritualism’ is far greater than men. For example, in this country (Iran) the number of women going to Yoga and Meditation and all other ‘esoteric’ classes, to psychiatrists and consultants, to reading relevant books is considerably higher than the number of men. -Roya Monajem - 8/15/05

Iranian President's Hard-Line Cabinet Choice Could Face Resistance
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on 14 August submitted a list of 21 proposed cabinet members to the legislature for approval. Parliament has until 21 August to hold its vote. - 8/15/05

Tehran Warns US Against Military Action Over Nuclear Program
Iran is warning the United States that any military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would backfire. At the same time, Tehran says it will not suspend conversion of uranium ore, days after the International Atomic Energy Agency appealed for the country to halt all nuclear activities. - 8/15/05

Iran stuns South Korea, finishes fifth at world volleyball meet
Iran came from behind to beat South Korea 3-1 in the fifth-place clash of 2005 Junior Men's U-21 World Volleyball - 8/15/05

U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner Joins IAPAC's Jr. Trustee Reception in New York
"There are still a large number of voices in Washington who want to isolate and ostracize immigrants. We need to leverage resources to reach those in Congress, in local government and the community at large. The message should be: 'We are all patriotic Americans!'" - 8/15/05

Turkey takes top title at Universiade Freestyle Wrestling, Iran finishes fourth
Iran bagged one gold, one silver, and one bronze in the students' wrestling event. - 8/15/05

Soccer: Mexico denies Iran Universiade quarters berth
Mexico shattered Iran's hopes for advancement to the last eight of the football tournament of the 23rd Universiade in Izmir, Turkey on Sunday. - 8/15/05

Ali Larijani appointed Secretary of Supreme National Security Council
Larijani, who was one of the eight hopefuls in the first round of presidential election in June, replaces Hassan Rowhani who have so far led negotiations with Europe over the country's nuclear program. - 8/15/05

UN Says Cholera In 13 Iranian Provinces
The United Nations' health body says a cholera outbreak in Iran has spread quickly to 13 provinces. -Reuters - 8/15/05

UK plays down Bush's military threats against Iran
The British government Monday indicated that it did not want to be drawn into the dispute between the US and Germany over ruling out the use of military action against Iran. - 8/15/05

Iran: Oil Ministry Is The Focus Of Anti-Corruption Bid
Iranian conservatives often denounce corruption and cronyism in the state, and newly inaugurated President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad believes he won many votes in June because of his pledge to fight corruption. But this vice is difficult to pinpoint in Iran's extensive and secretive governing system, and corruption allegations are often vague. - 8/15/05

The Wine of Wisdom: A brand new biography of Omar Khayyam, the author of the Rubaiyyat
This book is the first to reconstruct in the English language the life, works, philosophy, science, and poetry of this figure unparalleled in the annals of Islamic intellectual thought. - 8/15/05

New-conservatives, regime crisis and political perspectives in Iran
In the recent presidential elections in Iran, Mahmood Ahmadinejad, an unknown conservative military commander, won. His victory was surprising, as many had predicted Hashemi Rafsanjani would become Iran's next president. Rafsanjani, perhaps the second most powerful man in the Islamic Republic, was supported by a broad coalition of reformists and pragmatist elites. -Ardeshir Mehrdad and Mehdi Kia - 8/15/05

Fellowship of Reconciliation's Historic First Delegation to Iran in December 2005
The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) is pleased to announce the official launch of the Iran initiative, a project seeking alternatives to the current political standoff between the U.S. and Iranian governments. - 8/15/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad announces cabinet to Majlis
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter on Sunday morning announced his cabinet to the Majlis. The letter includes, the list of nominees, their biographies and the program of the government. - 8/14/05

Iranian daily: US worried about Iran-Iraq close relations
A morning paper said Sunday that establishment of close relations between Iran and Iraq has worried the US as it can no longer blame Tehran for creating tension in Iraq. - 8/14/05

Britain, Dimona and Iran: Israel's Nuclear Puzzle
The BBC's striking revelations regarding the secretive and disconcerting British role in making an Israeli nuclear bomb possible, deserves more than a quick pause and a few dozen news reports. It obliges a thorough investigation coupled with a complete reversal in the double standard that views Israel's fully-fledged nuclear capabilities as a trivial concern. -CounterPunch - 8/14/05

Iranian university students stage protest in front of British Embassy in Tehran
A number of university students staged protest in front of British Embassy in Tehran on Sunday condemning British stance about Iranian nuclear program. - 8/14/05

US Bucked on Issue of Civilian Nuclear Rights
Backed by the world in its drive to curb the spread of nuclear arms, the United States is facing growing resistance to its bid to deny some states the right to peaceful atomic energy. The question has become central in recent days to Washington's efforts to keep North Korea and Iran, two members of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," from becoming nuclear weapons powers. -AFP - 8/14/05

Majority of Americans Have Lost Confidence in the War, Polls Show
When the war was a year old, in March 2004, about 65 percent of Americans were supporting the decision to wage it. But in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, support has sagged to 44 percent. Meanwhile, 57 percent now say that the war has made the U.S. “less safe from terrorism” — a Gallup record high and a key finding because it undercuts a core Bush argument for launching the war in the first place. -Common Dreams - 8/14/05

America should ditch its tyrant friends
Certainly Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's designation this year of North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Myanmar and Iran as "outposts of tyranny" is accurate, and America will burnish its image among future democratic leaders in each. But Rice's list of tyrannies was woefully incomplete. -IHT - 8/14/05

Biography of Saeedlu, a nominee for post of Iran's Oil Minister
The following is a short biography of Ali Saeedlu nominated for post of Iran's oil minister. - 8/14/05

Iranian leader picks hardliners
Iran's newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated a string of known hardliners for key positions in his first cabinet. -BBC - 8/14/05

Germany attacks US on Iran threat
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has warned the US to back away from the possibility of military action against Iran over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/14/05

Iran's "We Are All Good" wins Locarno's Silver Leopard
The Iranian film "We Are All Good" directed by Bijan Mir-Baqeri has won a Silver Leopard at the 58th Locarno International Film Festival. - 8/14/05

Inside Iran's Secret War For Iraq
A TIME investigation reveals the Tehran regime's strategy to gain influence in Iraq--and why U.S. troops may now face greater dangers as a result - 8/14/05

Nuclear realities
The background to the controversy over Iran's nuclear program is an American position on nuclear nonproliferation that is unsustainable in the long term. Much of the international policy community understands that this is so. It is perhaps time that the Washington policy community comes to terms with this reality. -IHT - 8/13/05

Masuleh Heritage under Threat
Located in a scenic valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains in north-eastern Iran, the village of Masuleh is notable for its traditional wooden buildings, clustered on the northern slopes of the valley, Masuleh is registered as National Cultural and Natural Heritage in Iran - 8/13/05

Iranian Nomads Plan to Attract Tourists
With a new program which is to be launched at the end of this summer and beginning of autumn, Iranian nomads are planning to attract more foreign tourists. - 8/13/05

Iran defeats Bulgaria 3-0 at Unversiade volleyball meet
Iran defeated Bulgaria at the volleyball tournament of the 23rd Olympic Games for students, Unversiade, in Izmir, Turkey on Friday. The Iranian team handed Bulgarians a 3-0 defeat, winning 28-26 33-31 25-18. - 8/13/05

US tops Iran 94-47 at Universiade basketball battle
Iran's basketball team was beaten by the United States at their opening match in the 23rd Universiade in Izmir, Turkey on Friday. The powerful US side defeated the struggling green-clad Iran 94-47. - 8/13/05

UK blames Iran for breakdown in nuclear talks
The British government Friday put onus on Iran to prevent confrontation on its nuclear programme by insisting that it made a "serious mistake" by resuming part of its fuel cycle activities. - 8/13/05

Soccer: Iran and Czech tie 2-2 at Universiade
Czech soccer team came from behind twice to hold Iran to a 2-2 tie at the 23rd Universiade in Izmir, Turkey on Friday. - 8/13/05

Quake rattles Ardakan in central Iran
An earthquake measuring 4 degrees on the Richter scale shook Kharaneq of Ardakan in the central province of Yazd Saturday morning. - 8/13/05

US among nations accused of blocking human rights moves
Oxfam, the international aid agency, is accusing the US, Brazil, India and Russia of blocking, or at the least of being lukewarm over, moves to enshrine an international duty to protect civilians from human rights atrocities. The denunciation comes ahead of a summit next month. -FT - 8/13/05

Clerics push for Shiastan in southern Iraq
Shia leaders in Iraq demanded an autonomous region for the Shia-dominated south yesterday, raising the prospect of an oil-rich fiefdom dominated by conservative Muslim clerics. -Guardian - 8/13/05

Germany rejects Iran military option
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has rejected the threat of military force against Iran, hours after US President George Bush said he would consider it as a last resort to press Tehran to give up its nuclear program. -Reuters - 8/13/05

Iran nuclear row: No end in sight
Iran still seems to be on a collision course with the US and key European governments. But quite when the "diplomatic impact" will occur is far from clear. -BBC - 8/13/05

Iranian political party concerned about concentration of power in hands of a single party
Secretary General of Moderation and Development Party Mohammad Baqer Noubakht said on Saturday that concentration of power in the hand of a single political wing is not acceptable and it may cause political conflict. - 8/13/05

No Evidence of Iran Leader in 1979 Takeover
An internal government review has turned up no conclusive evidence that Iran's new hardline president was closely involved in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, U.S. officials say, although former hostages have identified him as one of their captors. -Washington Post - 8/13/05

Bush: Force Could Be an Option Against Iran's Nuclear Aspirations
President Bush says he would consider using force to press Iran to give up its nuclear program, but only as a last resort. - 8/13/05

Team from UN nuclear watchdog to go to Iran to discuss outstanding issues
A team from the United Nations agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons is set to go to Iran today to discuss outstanding issues dealing with safeguards, contamination and the extent of the country's uranium enrichment programme. - 8/13/05

Iranian Students News Agency chief in court once again
Managing Director of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) Abolfazl Fateh on Saturday attended the Investigation Bench 6 of Government Employees Court in Tehran and responded to the questions raised by Judge Eslami. - 8/13/05

What The Neo-Crazies Knew
Back in 2003, the Brits, French and Germans entered into negotiations they hoped would result in an agreement providing "objective guarantees" to the European Union that "Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes." This agreement was to equally provide "firm guarantees" to Iran "on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security issues." -Antiwar - 8/13/05

Iran No; China Yes
Why is Cheney Lobbying for a Boost in China's Nuclear Capability? -CounterPunch - 8/12/05

Tehran accuses London of supporting Arab unrest in the south
The Iranian foreign ministry has obtained a document which will demonstrate the support given by the British secret service to the leaders of the clashes between authorities and the Arab minority in the south of the country. -AKI - 8/12/05

Iranian Police chief: Situation in Kurdistan completely normal
In an interview with reporters at Sanandaj airport on Thursday, the police chief said, "The recent events in Kurdistan were not widespread and the inhabitants of the region did not get involved in them." - 8/12/05

Bush Praises IAEA Resolution on Iran
President Bush is welcoming a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency demanding that Iran suspend nuclear fuel activities it resumed earlier this week. - 8/12/05

Iranian Sources Question Rape Charges in Teen Executions
As worldwide protests are taking place against the death penalty and criminalization of homosexuality in Iran in the wake of the hanging of two teenage males in the Iranian city of Mashad, new information is coming in from that country casting doubt on the validity of the rape charges the government there used to justify the death sentences. -Gay City News - 8/12/05

Shiites Call for Own State in South
Waving posters of Iran's late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, thousands of chanting Shiite Muslims signaled approval for a call Thursday by their leaders for a separate Shiite federal state in central and southern Iraq. -Washington Post - 8/12/05

Iranian stand-off pushes oil to fresh high
Oil prices shot up to yet another record yesterday, driven by Iran's stand-off with the west over its nuclear plans and by more refinery trouble in the United States. -Guardian - 8/12/05

Iran rally to save fasting writer
Some 250 people have held a rally in support of Akbar Ganji, the jailed Iranian dissident writer who has now been on hunger strike for 63 days. -BBC - 8/12/05

US Law Could Block Astronaut Activities on Space Station
Time is running out for Washington and Moscow to overcome a legal barrier to having American astronauts inhabit the International Space Station. VOA's David McAlary explains how a legal constraint could interfere with U.S. participation in the project by early next year. - 8/12/05

Rafsanjani: IAEA Board resolution on Iran "tyrannical"
Tehran's Friday prayers substitute leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday dismissed the Thursday resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on Iran's peaceful nuclear program as "very tyrannical." - 8/12/05

U.S. Likely To Let Iran's President Visit U.N.
President Bush said yesterday that the United States is likely to grant a visa to Iran's new president for the United Nations' opening session next month, even though the administration continues to probe whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was connected to the 1979-1981 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. - 8/12/05

IAEA Board Urges Iran To Halt Nuclear Work, Requests Agency Report
The board of the UN's nuclear agency has called on Iran to stop the uranium conversion work it resumed earlier this week, expressing "serious concern." In a new resolution adopted in Vienna, the board also requested a report from the agency's chief on Iran's response to the resolution and compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. Iran rejected the measure and some nonproliferation experts differed on its usefulness. - 8/12/05

Iran's statement at IAEA board meeting
Sirous Nasseri, a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team with the European Union troika, Britain, Germany, and France, here Thursday read the statement of the Islamic Republic at the emergency meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). - 8/12/05

UN nuclear watchdog urges Iran to reverse decision resuming uranium conversion
Talking to reporters after a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors at its Vienna headquarters, Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said there was still a window of opportunity for negotiations to continue. - 8/12/05

100 cars burn in Inferno caused by Fuel spill in southern Tehran
Hamid Arabzadeh added some 7,000 liters of gasoline spilled into the gutters from a tanker feeding a gas station in Khavaran Street, near Khorassan Square. He said the big fire likely broke out when a passerby flipped his lit cigarette butt into one of the nearby gutters. - 8/12/05

Crackdown on journalists continues in Iran's Kurdish-dominated northwest
The authorities in Sanandaj have ordered that three journalists arrested at the start of August for covering the disturbances of the past few weeks in Iran's Kurdish-dominated northwestern region should be kept in custody for two months. A third journalist who was arrested this morning, Hossin Ahamadi Niaz, was released later in the day on bail. - 8/12/05

Iran: Rally in front of Milad Hospital in support of Akbar Ganji
Around 250 people holding a gathering in front of Milad Hospital on Thursday to ask jailed journalist Akbar Ganji to break his hunger strike, ended their gathering by reading a statement. The statement said; "We want to ask Ganji to end his hunger strike and to be freed under the country's law." - 8/12/05

Iranian Ironies
We have now reached another of those recurring tinderbox moments relating to Iran. Yesterday, the Iranians officially relaunched their nuclear program, beginning a suspended process of uranium conversion at a facility near Isfahan. In this, Iran's emboldened clerical regime defies the European troika -- France, Germany, England -- with which it has been in negotiations, and perhaps creates a moment for which Bush administration officials have longed, but whose challenging arrival they may now regret. -TomDispatch - 8/11/05

International Appeal: Support ICT Center For Children of Bam!
On 21st August 2005, Mr. Abteen Sai, chairman of SAF-UK's board of trustees, will do a parachute jump to raise the funds necessary to equip an educational center built by the Science and Arts Foundation for the people of Bam, in particular children and youth - 8/11/05

Iranian reporter's cry for freedom
Doctors say Ganji is close to death. All he has been asking for is his freedom. After being held for more than five years in the squalid Evin prison, he is petitioning his judges and the government to be unconditionally released from jail. -Boston Globe - 8/11/05

If Cindy and Akbar Could Meet
How nice if Cindy Sheehan and Akbar Ganji could meet, even if via satellite in a CNN broadcast. Both are in the media spotlight these days as protesters who demand answers from their leaders. -CSM - 8/11/05

Analysts: Iran Taking Nuclear Gamble
By restarting a uranium conversion facility, Iran is risking incurring international action, including possible sanctions. But how big a risk is Iran really taking? - 8/11/05

Iran hard-liners move against European mobile deal
Influential Iranian conservatives on Wednesday said Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens were unfairly awarded a $750-million mobile phone equipment deal in the Islamic Republic. -Reuters - 8/11/05

Mild quake hits Dasht-e Kavir in northeastern Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.8 on Richter scale jolted Dasht-e Kavir region in the northeastern province of Semnan Thursday morning. - 8/11/05

Iran's nuclear program: A crisis of choice, not necessity
As American and European officials on the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency chart a UN Security Council action in response to Iran's resumption of uranium conversion, it is important to realize that the brewing crisis over Iran's nuclear program is also a moment of opportunity that could be easily missed because of misperceptions of Tehran's actions. -IHT - 8/11/05

Syria's empty Iranian gambit
In search of increasingly rare dinner partners, Syrian President Bashar Assad flew to Iran earlier this week to meet with officials, including the new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Daily Star - 8/11/05

The composer commissioned to write music commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Behzad Ranjbaran, whose new work 'Saratoga' will premiere Aug. 10 by Maestro Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra, was in residence at Yaddo, the famous artists' colony, in late November of 1987, and says he remembers the area simply as gray and cold. -Saratogian - 8/11/05

Iran's easy visa issuance welcomed broadly by neighbors
Iran's relatively new initiative in issuing visas at country's all international airports has received broad welcome of neighboring countries' tourists, particularly those in Iran's southern neighbors like the UAE and Qatar. - 8/11/05

Iran rejects EU proposed resolution to IAEA Board of Governors
Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) and member of Iranian delegation to an emergency meeting of IAEA Board of Governors Mohammad Saeidi said on Thursday that the European Union's proposed resolution to the board is not acceptable to Iran and "we reject it". - 8/11/05

US Says Nuclear Steps Increase Iran's Self-Isolation
The United States says Iran is only further isolating itself with its nuclear decisions, the latest being Wednesday's removal of U.N. inspectors' seals at its Isfahan uranium plant. U.S. officials say consensus is building for a strong rebuke of Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency. - 8/11/05

IAEA Resolution Expresses 'Serious Concern' Over Iran's Nuclear Activities
A draft of the resolution seen by international news agencies expresses "serious concern" about Iran's resumption of uranium conversion and calls on Tehran to resume the full suspension of all nuclear-fuel-related activities. - 8/11/05

Legal basis is elusive for objection to Iran
Iran's decision to press ahead with its nuclear program puts European leaders in a tough spot: They are trying to stop Tehran from doing something that is technically not illegal. -IHT - 8/11/05

Amid Tough Words, Iranian And U.S. Presidents Back More Nuclear Talks
The presidents of the United States and Iran have delivered tough messages in connection with Tehran's resumption of some nuclear activities. But Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad also expressed willingness to continue talks with European negotiators, a move that U.S. President George W. Bush called a "positive sign." - 8/10/05

Simin Behbahani: The lovely, the great, the fascinating Lioness Lady of Iranian Letters
Simin Behbahani is without doubt the most intriguing lady of letters in Iran. Not only she is talented, hard working and beautiful, but there are two characteristics that I admire most about her. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 8/10/05

Iran, "holder of peaceful nuclear fuel cycle technology"
Iran is a nuclear fuel cycle technology holder, a capability which is exclusively for peaceful purposes, said a statement issued by the Islamic Republic at the emergency meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Tuesday evening. - 8/10/05

China's thirst for power weakens prospect of securing a consensus
China’s obsession with securing its energy supplies is one reason why the West’s hand against Iran is now so poor. The US Congress’s reflexive distaste for seeing China take over Unocal or other US companies has not helped. Nor has the Bush Administration’s recent decision to help India’s civilian nuclear programme. -Times Online - 8/10/05

Russia Urges Iran To Halt Nuclear Restart
Russia's Foreign Ministry has urged Iran to immediately halt its work on uranium conversion and continue its close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). - 8/10/05

German hotel developer forecasts thriving Iranian tourism industry
Iran will have a great future as a travel destination for tourists from not only Islamic and neighboring countries but also western states, DPA quoted German hotel developer Axel Donald Sauer as saying Wednesday. - 8/10/05

We miscalculated and now history has us by the throat
The west profoundly misunderstood how the Middle East works -Guardian - 8/10/05

Struggling to survive in Afghanistan
About three and a half million people have now returned to Afghanistan, many coming back without land, competing for shelter in a country in ruins. -BBC - 8/10/05

Cheney + Pakistan = Iran
When news of Pakistan’s clandestine program showed how the country's top nuclear scientist was secretly selling Iran and North Korea, the so-called “Axis of Evil,” blueprints for building an atomic bomb were uncovered last year, the world’s leaders waited, with baited breath, to see how President Bush would punish Pakistan's President Pervez Musharaff. -Common Dreams - 8/10/05

Female circumcision surfaces in Iraq
A German aid group finds the first solid proof of the practice, thought to be prevalent in the Middle East. -CSM - 8/10/05

ElBaradei: Member states entitled to produce fuel under safeguard
Uranium enrichment and setting up fuel cycle by respecting safeguard agreement of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the right of every member state including Iran, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday. - 8/10/05

IAEA Board of Governors cancels emergency meeting on Iran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors has cancelled its emergency meeting on Wednesday due to continuing rows among member states. - 8/10/05

Iran says EU proposal clear violation of international law
The proposal presented by the EU3 on Friday was a clear violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Tehran statement and the Paris Agreement of November 15, 2004. - 8/10/05

U.S. Charges Iran With Sending Arms Across Border into Iraq
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says coalition forces have unambiguous evidence that weapons and bombs are being sent across the border from Iran into Iraq. - 8/10/05

Iran: Nuclear Decision Making Undergoes Changes
Recent announcements from Tehran about new President Mahmud Ahmadinejad making personnel changes in the Supreme National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry raise questions about the future of the country's international relations, generally, and the course of its nuclear decision making, specifically. - 8/10/05

Interview with Human Rights Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari on Adequate Housing in Iran
Access to adequate housing in Iran is fraught with difficulties. Iran is riddled with earthquake fault lines and prone to severe droughts. The burgeoning population, coupled with massive population migration from rural to urban areas has resulted in a surge in demand for housing. - 8/10/05

Iranian women band Rozaneh to tour Europe
The all-female band Rozaneh is to give Iranian traditional music concerts in Geneva, Switzerland on September 13 and 14, the Asia House cultural center of Spain announced on Monday. - 8/9/05

Italians Drive through Iran as Friendship Messengers
36 Italian citizens drive through major cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tehran to deliver the friendship massage of Rome mayor. - 8/9/05

Shajarian, Majidi discuss Bam Art Garden project
Iranian singer Mohammadreza Shajarian and filmmaker Majid Majidi discussed the Bam Art Garden project during a session held on Monday, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported. - 8/9/05

Iran defeats US 3-1, storms into world U-21 volleyball quarters
Iran on Monday defeated United States 3-1 and advanced into the last eight of 2005 Junior Men's U-21 World Volleyball Championship in Visakhapatnam, a seaport in Andhra Pradesh in eastern India - 8/9/05

Iran to export 2 billion dollars worth of technical engineering services
Iran's Minister of Commerce Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Tuesday that the revenue to be gained from the export of technical and engineering services up to the end of the current fiscal year (March 20) is expected to increase to two billion dollars. - 8/9/05

Europeans Eager to Improve Trade Relations with Iran
A delegation of European Parliament to Iran expressed Europe's eagerness to improve trade and investment relations with Iran. - 8/9/05

Renewed Speculation About Tehran And Instability In Iraq
Anonymous U.S. military and intelligence officials asserted in the 6 August edition of the "New York Times" that "many of the new, more sophisticated roadside bombs used to attack American and government forces in Iraq have been designed in Iran and shipped in from there." - 8/9/05

No appetite for carrots, no fear of sticks
European offers of political and economic incentives, designed to dissuade the theocratic Middle Eastern state from building atomic bombs, have not proved enticing enough. Is a more aggressive approach called for? -Economist - 8/9/05

Iranian Judiciary: Ganji no longer on hunger strike
Talking in his weekly news conference, the official added, "He (Ganji) drank water and tea and used sugar cube before. If it were called a hunger strike, now it has ended." - 8/9/05

Iran hardliner heads nuclear team
Iran has appointed a hardline politician, Ali Larijani, to lead the country's nuclear talks with the European Union. -BBC - 8/9/05

Azerbaijan: Relations With U.S. Enter A New Phase
The working visit to Washington last week by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov came at a very significant time for both countries and could represent something of a turning point in bilateral relations. - 8/9/05

Iran says will drop nuclear pledges if attacked
Iran, a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), would drop all its international nuclear pledges if its atomic facilities were attacked, the outgoing Defence Minister said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 8/9/05

Should Iran face sanctions?
Should we be worried by Iran's resumption of nuclear work? How can Iran be dealt with? Send us your comments. -BBC - 8/9/05

US 'Shares Concern' of Europeans over Iranian Nuclear Moves
The United States said Monday it shares European concerns over Iran's resumption of work at a uranium conversion plant. But U.S. officials say they're not ready to declare European nuclear diplomacy with Iran an outright failure. - 8/9/05

Iran re-starts uranium conversion plant before UN completes surveillance tests
Iran re-started activities at a uranium conversion plant today following the installation of surveillance cameras by the United Nations atomic watchdog but "regrettably" prior to completion of their testing, the agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons reported. - 8/9/05

US Considers Visa Request from New Iranian President
The Bush administration said Monday it was considering whether to grant a visa request by Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad to address the U.N. General Assembly in New York next month. The United States is obligated under the 1947 United Nations headquarters agreement not to impede the travel of world leaders to attend U.N. functions in New York. - 8/9/05

Analysis: Iran's strong hand
There is no doubting the frustration and dismay of the Europeans who since late 2004 have sought to broker a deal under which Iran would give up its plans to manufacture nuclear fuel. -BBC - 8/9/05

Press freedom group asks Ganji to call off hunger strike
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard appealed to imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji to call off his hunger strike today, as dozens of plain-clothes agents of the Tehran state prosecutor raided his home, insulted and roughed up his wife and daughter, and threatened to arrest them for "spying." - 8/9/05

Iran: Khatami elected as new head of Association of Combatant Clerics
Former president Mohammad Khatami was elected as the head of the Central Council of the Majma' Rowhaniyoun Mobarez (Association of Combatant Clerics) with a majority of votes. - 8/8/05

Conference in London: The Philosophical Poetry Of Nasir Khusraw
For the past thousand years, Nasir Khusraw has ranked as a leading poet and intellectual in the Persian-speaking world. His verses appear in every major anthology of Persian poetry compiled since his death in 1077 CE, and, a century ago, were required material for an MA examination in India. - 8/8/05

Quakes hit Neishabour in northeastern Iran
Two earthquakes measuring 4 and 4.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit the outskirts of Neishabour in Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran, late Sunday. - 8/8/05

Iranian in West Ham United claim
Kia Joorbachian claims to be close to completing a takeover of West Ham United Football Club. -FansFC - 8/8/05

North Korea Talks Pause After Impasse over Pyongyang's 'Peaceful' Nuclear Program
Delegates to the six-party North Korean nuclear disarmament talks have agreed to a three-week recess. Negotiators say fundamental differences are still blocking an agreement that could lead to an end to the dispute. - 8/8/05

Fate of Hizbullah may be bound to Iran's diplomacy
The situation in Lebanon - including Hizbullah's role in the country following UN Security Council Resolution 1559 - was at the top of Syrian President Bashar Assad's agenda on Sunday as he met with new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Daily Star - 8/8/05

Swiss honour for Iranian director
Iranian film-maker Abbas Kiarostami has been honoured at Switzerland's Locarno film festival as "the greatest director in contemporary Iranian film-making". -BBC - 8/8/05

Momeni Foundation announces Scholarship Recipients for Year 2005
With great pleasure and pride Momeni Foundation introduces its Scholarship Recipients for Year 2005. Please join us in congratulating the following students for their great achievements and admiring their continued success. - 8/8/05

Iranian FM welcomes visits of European Parliament delegations
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi welcomed Sunday the visits of European Parliament delegations to Iran, expressing hope that the visits could lead to understanding the ongoing conditions in the region. - 8/8/05

Direct Shanghai-Tehran Flights to Launch
To help promote Iran tourism among the Chinese, direct flights are planned to be launched between Shanghai and Tehran. - 8/8/05

Further unrest in Kurdish western Iran kills two
Two people have been killed, eight injured and 145 arrested in unrest among the Kurds of western Iran, Iran's Interior Ministry said on Sunday. -Reuters - 8/8/05

Iranian dissident's home raided
Iranian authorities have raided the house of the country's best-known dissident, Akbar Ganji, supporters and relatives of the jailed writer say. -BBC - 8/8/05

Europe Plays Nuclear Poker With Iran
At the heart of the moves and countermoves is the changed situation in Iran after the surprise election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as president and the West's great discomfort at dealing with someone who has been termed a "hardline" Islamist. - 8/8/05

Crackdown on Kurdish press in Iran following clashes in Kurdistan
Reporters Without Borders today condemned a wave of harassment of Kurdish journalists by local authorities in Iranian Kurdistan, which has been hit by clashes in recent weeks, and the closure of the daily Achti and the weekly Asou at the behest of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance. - 8/8/05

Iranian and American archaeologists discover 10 Sassanid dites in Marvdasht, Southern Iran
Iranian and American archaeologists discovered historical sites dating to the third millennium BC up to the Islamic times in Marvdasht Plain, near Shiraz. - 8/8/05

The EU vs. Iran: Who's Right?
While making courtesy calls, John Bolton, our newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly "raised possible Security Council action on Iran's announcement that it plans to resume enriching uranium, said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity." WOW! - 8/8/05

Saba Valadkhan of Case Western Reserve University Wins Young Scientist Award
For correctly identifying "a relic from the RNA world" and proving its catalytic potential — thus, solving a molecular riddle that has baffled others for two decades — Saba Valadkhan on February 10, 2005 was named to receive the $25,000 Young Scientist Award, supported by GE Healthcare and the journal Science. - 8/8/05

Iranian, Syrian presidents call for expansion of relations
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit. During his stay in Tehran, al-Assad is scheduled to hold talks with high-ranking Iranian officials on issues of mutual interests. - 8/7/05

Interior Minister: Lack of information cause of unrest in western country
Stressing that opposition groups took advantage of people's lack of information, he explained that the killed person was not a political activist but a culprit who was accused of several cases of moral and financial offenses. - 8/7/05

Majlis speaker: EU-3 proposal does not recognize Iran's rights
Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said in Tehran on Sunday the EU-3 proposal does not safeguard Iran's rights. The three European countries proposal has not actually suggested to recognize Iran's right to civilian nuclear technology, he told the MPs in the opening session of Majlis. - 8/7/05

Quake jolts Oz in Iran's southern province of Fars
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale hit outskirts of Oz city in Fars province on Sunday afternoon. - 8/7/05

Iran to stand 2nd major OPEC oil producer
Iran's 20-year Vision Plan recognizes the country as the second major OPEC oil supplier with a share of seven percent in the world crude production. - 8/7/05

Iran Rejects Nuclear Compromise
Iran has rejected a European incentive package designed to end the standoff on its controversial nuclear program. A government spokesman called the European proposal "unacceptable" and said it did not meet Iran's "minimum expectations." - 8/7/05

FM Spokesman recommends US not to make "big mistake" by denying visa to Iran's President
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Sunday recommended the United States not to make a "big mistake" by denying visa to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president is scheduled to deliver a speech at the upcoming UN General Assembly in September - 8/7/05

Red Lines and Deadlines
In June 2005, Iran elected a hardline conservative president. How will the election results affect Iran's reform movement? -PBS - 8/7/05

The real AIPAC spy ring story--It was all about Iran
Here's what the stories in today's Washington Post and New York Times on the new indictments of the two AIPAC spies aren't telling you: their espionage was principally about helping to prepare an attack by Israel on Iran. -DIRELAND - 8/6/05

EU3 Nuclear Proposal to Iran
On Friday morning in Tehran, the EU3 Ambassadors handed over, on behalf of France, Germany and the UK with the support of the EU High Representative, a proposal for a long-term agreement with Iran. The following is the summary of the proposal: - 8/6/05

Iran: Constitutional Movement Confab opens, Museum inaugurated in Tabriz
Minister of the Interior Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari on Thursday inaugurated conference on Êhth anniversary of Constitutional Movement" at the 29th Bahman Art and Culture Complex in the provincial capital of Tabriz. - 8/6/05

President Ahmadinejad to meet US-based Iranians in New York
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will confer with Iranians residing in the US on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session. The 60th annual session of the 191-nation UN General Assembly will officially open in New York on September 14 and will wrap up on September 16. - 8/6/05

Iran sends in troops to crush border unrest
The Iranian government has deployed large numbers of troops in cities in the northwestern region which borders Iraq in an effort to quell three weeks of civil unrest that has left up to 20 people dead and more than 300 wounded, according to reports from dissident groups. -Guardian - 8/6/05

NIAC's Discrimination Center
In the aftermath of 9/11 in America, NIAC continues to learn of an alarming number of reports of discrimination and racial profiling against Iranian Americans by both public and private actors. - 8/6/05

US Indicts Two Pro-Israel Lobbyists in Secrets Case
U.S. federal prosecutors are moving forward with charges against two former lobbyists for an influential pro-Israel organization, issuing an indictment that says they illegally conspired to receive and disclose classified information. - 8/6/05

US supports EU Iran nuclear plan
The US says it backs a European proposal to allow Iran to develop a civilian nuclear programme if it stops its uranium enrichment activities. -BBC - 8/6/05

Iran's New Government May Defy Expectations
With only days to go before the August 6 inauguration of President-Elect Mahmood Ahmadinejad, early indications suggest that the domestic and foreign policies of Iran¡¯s new presidential administration may defy initial expectations. -Eurasianet - 8/6/05

Iran team explores WTO negotiation expertise in China
After a May decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to open membership talks with Iran, the Islamic Republic is now consulting with China on basic requirements that must be taken care of to join the organization. - 8/6/05

Iranian-American explorer says he's discovered site of legendary Atlantis near Cyprus
An Iranian-American architect who claims to have discovered the site of Atlantis says he now has additional evidence that the legendary city sank beneath the waves between Cyprus and Syria. -Canadian Press - 8/6/05

Quake hits Dasht-e Kavir in Semnan provicne of Iran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.9 degrees on the Richter scale shook Dasht-e Kavir in northeastern province of Semnan on Saturday noon. - 8/6/05

North Korea Nuclear Talks Stalled
The 11th day of the six-nation North Korean nuclear disarmament talks ended Friday without agreement as North Korea says it will not give up all its nuclear programs. Negotiators say it looks likely the talks will end without significant progress. - 8/6/05

Iran turns down EU nuclear offer
Iran has rejected the latest European proposals for resolving concerns over the country's nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/6/05

Halliburton Secretly Doing Business with Key Member of Iran¡¯s Nuclear Team
Scandal-plagued Halliburton, the oil services company once headed by Vice President Dick was secretly working with one of Iran¡¯s top nuclear scientists on natural gas related projects and, allegedly, selling the scientists¡¯ oil company key components for a nuclear reactor, according to Halliburton sources with intimate knowledge of both companies¡¯ business dealings. -GlobalResearch - 8/6/05

Iran Discounts Latest Nuclear Proposal
Iranian officials said the proposal, which includes more than a dozen conditional and sometimes ambiguous incentives, was insulting. "Maybe the Europeans are willing to sell out their own rights at a cheap price, but Iran is not," said M. Javad Zarif, the country's ambassador to the United Nations. In an interview, he called the offer "absurd, demeaning and self-congratulatory" -Washington Post - 8/6/05

Author of "No god But God" Talks about Internal Conflicts Among Muslims
Reza Aslan, author of the newly released book No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, rejects the ¡°clash of civilizations¡± theory that pits East against West, Muslim against Jew or Muslim against Christian, in a never-ending struggle. - 8/6/05

Amnesty International calls for an urgent investigation into the killing of demonstrators in Iran
Amnesty International today expressed alarm at the cycle of violence in the Iranian province of Kordestan and neighbouring Kurdish areas, which has reportedly left up to 20 people dead, hundreds wounded. - 8/6/05

Senate Reviews Immigration Proposals, Offers Little Help for Iranian Americans
Iranian Americans face several community specific immigration needs including relief from backlogs created by security checks, and more clearly defined entry and exit security regulations for H and F visa holders. These are not addressed by the proposed legislation. - 8/6/05

Media Flagstones Along a Path to War on Iran
On Tuesday, big alarm bells went off in the national media echo chamber, and major U.S. news outlets showed that they knew the drill. Iran's nuclear activities were pernicious, most of all, because people in high places in Washington said so. - 8/5/05

Eight Nobel laureates call for Akbar Ganji's release
Reporters Without Borders today hailed a petition calling for the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji which was launched by Iran's 2003 Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and which has already been signed by seven other Nobel laureates. - 8/5/05

Iranian-American Leaders Discuss Future of the Community
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) today announced it will be hosting an educational forum with Honorable Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor, District 5, City & County of San Francisco, and Professor Elahe Enssani, Commissioner, San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission, about the future of the Iranian-American community entitled ¡°Are We Ready?¡± - 8/5/05

Skeletons found in Saint Stepanos church could belong to John the Baptist
Following the recent discovery of skeletons in Saint Stepanos Church, in a letter to CHN, Iran's Armenian Archbishop talked of the possibility of their belonging to John the Baptist. - 8/5/05

Iran Agrees to Delay Resumption of Nuclear Program
Iran may have helped ease international tensions by delaying the start date for the resumption of its nuclear program. - 8/5/05

Authorities Close Two Kurdish Newspapers in Northwest Iran
Iranian authorities have shut down two Kurdish language newspapers in northwestern Iran, a day after at least 11 people were killed in that region during a clash between Kurdish demonstrators and Iranian police. - 8/5/05

How Britain helped Israel get the bomb
BBC reporter Michael Crick tells the story of how Britain helped Israel build the bomb - without telling the Americans. - 8/5/05

EU puts nuclear proposals to Iran
The European Union has given Iran a package of proposals aimed at resolving questions over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/5/05

Iran-China tourism conference opens in Beijing
The one-day conference on expansion of tourism cooperation between Iran and China opened in Beijing on Friday. The decision on holding the seminar was made after China agreed to introduce Iran to Chinese tourists as a tourist destination. - 8/5/05

Central Asia: Region Returns To Muslim Roots (Part 1)
Most Central Asians, when asked this question, give one answer: "Al-hamdulillah, I am." The use of the Arabic phrase for "praise be to Allah" emphasizes the strength of their faith. - 8/5/05

Never again? How the war in Iraq spurred a new nuclear arms race
Today, the "official" nuclear powers could annihilate the world many times over. And 40 other countries have the know-how to join their club. Sixty years after Hiroshima, who can say with confidence: "Never again"? -Independent - 8/5/05

IRAN: Kurdish Activist Arrested
Iranian authorities have arrested renowned Kurdish and women's rights activist, Roya Tolooi, a move that comes just days after she and other Iranian Kurds took to the streets demanding more rights for their ethnic minority. -AKI - 8/5/05

'Safety net' group created for Iranian-Americans
Civil rights groups are creating what they call a "safety net" for Iranian-Americans. Organizers of a campaign called "Iranian-American Know Your Rights" will hold town-hall meetings and try to bring together Iranian-Americans with FBI and Department of Homeland Security representatives. -AP - 8/5/05

Iran: Khatami Receives Mixed Marks For His Economic And Political Legacies
In the final days of his presidency, Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. During that meeting, Khatami discussed what he saw as the accomplishments of his administration during his two terms in office. - 8/5/05

Understanding Iran Can Stop the Next War
In its dangerously familiar inflammatory rhetoric, like that which preceded the invasion of Iraq, the United States continues its non-stop grumbling over Iran¡¯s nuclear threat potential. -Common Dreams - 8/5/05

Why pressing Iran over nukes is a difficult road
Regardless of whether the Iranians, who are in the midst of a postelection political transition, follow through on the threat, their recent actions - and the response of Western nations - suggest that a full-blown confrontation between the powers is probably not imminent, experts say. The Europeans don't want one - and the Americans don't appear to be ready and united for one. -CSM - 8/5/05

Iran - 2005 annual press freedom report
Press freedom shrank daily during 2004 in Iran, one of the world's 10 countries most repressive of the media. Countless threats hang over journalists and they are beaten when thrown in jail. The country has for years been the Middle East's biggest prison for journalists. - 8/5/05

India may invest in gas pipeline project from Iran
The prospects of Iran-India gas pipeline project looked particularly bright when Iran and Pakistan - through which the pipeline will be constructed to India - signed a basic agreement over the project last month. - 8/5/05

Iran: What Does Ahmadi-Nejad's Victory Mean?
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's presidency may aggravate tensions between Iran and the West, and the U.S. in particular. But it would be unwise to act upon hasty conclusions about the new leader. -International Crisis Group' - 8/5/05

Face of fourth "Salt Man" discovered in Iran to be reconstructed
The face of the fourth salt man discovered in the central province of Zanjan, who is the most intact and complete one of all, is to be reconstructed by means of developed 3D devices and cooperation of a scholar from Copenhagen University. - 8/5/05

Tokenism or real participation?
In the last few months, Iraqi women have witnessed with dismay the erosion of Iraq's secular family law. There is serious pressure to replace it with a law based on Islam and religious law--a change that will impact negatively on all spheres of women's lives. If this occurs, Iraqi women will replicate the experience of Iranian women who lost most of their rights after the Islamic Revolution of 1978, when the family law of 1967 was replaced by a law based on the sharia. -Haleh Esfandiari - 8/5/05

Taking Iran to the UN: A dangerous game
In principle the United Nations Security Council is the right forum for resolving international security disputes. But in the case of Iran's nuclear program, the looming threat by Britain, France and Germany (known as the EU-3), to refer the issue to the UN could seriously backfire. -IHT - 8/4/05

Imprisioned Iranian journalist Ganji refrains from accepting medical treatment
Jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji whose health conditions have reportedly worsened, refrains from receiving medical treatment, a hospital official said in Tehran on Wednesday. - 8/4/05

Iranian Official: Mesbah satellite, beginning of of advanced technology
Iran's Minister of Science, Research and Technology Jaafar Towfiqi said in the unveiling ceremony of Mesbah satellite on Thursday that manufacturing of Mesbah satellite will be a jumpstart for advancement of national science and technology. - 8/4/05

Iran's New Conservative President Makes Reformists Nervous
Mahmood Ahmadinejad is the new president of Iran. In a ceremony in Tehran Wednesday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ratified Mr. Ahmadinejad's landslide electoral victory in June's election. Mr. Ahmadinejad will receive formal parliamentary approval Saturday. - 8/4/05

U.S. assesses 'determined' atomic effort by Iranians
Completing their first full-scale assessment of Iran in four years, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Iran is "determined to build nuclear weapons" but is not expected to possess such weapons until the early or middle years of the next decade, administration officials say. -NY Times - 8/4/05

Annan urges Iran not to resume nuclear activities before receiving European plan
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday called on Iran not to restart its nuclear activities before receiving the latest European proposals aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the issue arising out of Tehran's two decades-long concealment of its nuclear activities in breach of its treaty obligations - 8/4/05

German universities interested in cooperation with Iranian partners
universities, several German universities have expressed their interest in deepening cooperation with Iran's higher education institutions, the scientific news website idw announced Wednesday. - 8/4/05

US shift on India nuclear policy tilts regional balance
One must also ask where this new policy leaves the old US policy of discouraging other nuclear sales, as, for example, from Europe and China to Iran. -CSM - 8/4/05

American Journalist Kidnapped and Killed in Southern Iraq
An American freelance journalist has been killed in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, four days after he wrote an opinion piece for a U.S. newspaper criticizing the rise of Shi'ite Muslim fundamentalism in the south. - 8/4/05

IRAQ: Housing problems increase as conflict hits hearth and home
The main reason for terrible living conditions for thousands of Iraqis is that many houses have been destroyed over years of conflict in the country. - 8/4/05

New rules in global rivalry for oil
The growing Asian demand for energy could alter US strategy. -CSM - 8/4/05

Iranians to participate in anniversary of US nuclear air raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The Iranian group representing 100,000 victims of Iraqi chemical warfare will offer sympathy to victims of US nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. - 8/4/05

British embassy in Tehran denies visit of MKO leader to Britain
The British embassy in Tehran here Wednesday denied the reports about the visit of the leader of the terrorist group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Maryam Rajavi, to Britain and said that according to British law on campaign against terrorism (2000) MKO is considered as an illegal and terrorist organization. - 8/4/05

Iranian daily "Ashti" temporarily banned
The bilingual daily is published in Kurdi and Farsi languages for the Kurdish speaking region. - 8/4/05

Kurds: Iranian Police Clash with Protesters
Kurdish witnesses in northwestern Iran say security forces killed at least 11 Kurdish demonstrators in a clash Wednesday in the city of Saqiz. - 8/4/05

Iran anger at European 'threats'
Iran's top nuclear negotiator has accused EU foreign ministers of making factual errors and unacceptable threats over Iran's nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/4/05

Indian PM: US has no influence on fate of Iran-India pipeline
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at India's Parliament Wednesday, "The United States has no influence over the fate of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline." - 8/4/05

Iranian Women Weigh Khatami's Legacy On Gender Issues
Women make up about half of Iran's eligible voters, and Khatami actively courted their backing. As he leaves office, observers are debating how much he managed to achieve for Iranian women. - 8/4/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad Takes Reins As Khatami's Term Ends
Iran's outgoing President Mohammad Khatami said last week that one of his biggest achievements was granting the Iranian people the power to protest. - 8/4/05

Hakakian: Bush Rhetoric Toward Iran ¡°Proper¡±
Poet, writer, and documentary filmmaker, Roya Hakakian, emphasized the need for creating a historical record of human rights abuses in Iran as a first step toward creating accountability for the Iranian government. She made her remarks at a book launch event sponsored by the International Republican Institute last Thursday at the US Senate. - 8/3/05

NPSJ fellowship journal report from the US senate
The difficult relationship between the United States and Iran and the tenor associated with the war on terror have taken their toll on our community. The result has been our inactivity in political circles, campaigns, and movements that can profoundly impact the trajectory of U.S. policy towards Iran and the well-being of Iranian Americans. -Ehsan Tabesh - 8/3/05

Europeans Warn Iran That Nuclear Work Would End Negotiations
Britain, France and Germany took a tough line yesterday in response to Iran's announcement that it has decided to resume work at a key nuclear facility. -Washington Post - 8/3/05

Iran: Ahmadinejad's presidential term starts
The four-year presidential term of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started here Wednesday after his decree was confirmed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. - 8/3/05

Iraq to Build Airport With Help From Iran
Iraq plans to build a multimillion-dollar international airport near the southern city of Najaf, a holy center for Shiite Muslims, that would be financed largely by a low-interest loan from Iran, according to Iraq's transportation minister. -Washington Post - 8/3/05

Iran will never give in to bullying powers: Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here Wednesday said Iran will never give in to bullying powers particularly the United States the "Great Satan." - 8/3/05

Iran: KOPC selects contractors for its LDPE project
Kurdestan Petrochemical Company of Iran has awarded on Tuesday an "EPCC" contract to a consortium of Tecnimont of Italy and PIDEC of Iran to construct a Low Density Polyethylene plant in Sanandaj, Kurdestan province, north west of Iran. - 8/3/05

British envoy inspects site of explosion in Tehran
British Ambassador to Tehran Richard Dalton visited office of British Airways in northern Tehran where an explosive device blasted Tuesday. Talking to domestic and foreign reporters, the British ambassador termed the incident as 'not serious'. - 8/3/05

Tremor hits Bostanabad in northwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Bostanabad in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan in the wee hours of Wednesday. - 8/3/05

Questions linger as Bush pushes India nuclear deal
A recent U.S.-India nuclear agreement was so hastily concluded the Bush administration is only now beginning to figure out how to implement it in the face of tough questions from the U.S. Congress and nonproliferation experts. -Reuters - 8/3/05

Venezuela's President Chavez to visit Iran soon
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday that he will visit Iran at earliest possible time. He made the remark in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Venezuela, Ahmad Sobhani and extended his warm greetings to Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 8/3/05

Tremor jolts Semnan in northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale hit the city of Semnan in the northeastern province of Semnan on Wednesday. - 8/3/05

Iran says it hopes for nuclear restart on Wednesday
Iran said it hoped to restart work at a uranium conversion plant Wednesday, rejecting Western appeals to hold off completely and refusing to wait a week so U.N. inspectors can monitor the activities. -Reuters - 8/3/05

Pentagon Poised to Resume Production of Antipersonnel Mines
The Bush Administration appears poised to resume the production of antipersonnel mines, Human Rights Watch said today in a new briefing paper. - 8/3/05

Hard-Line Iranian Judge Gunned Down In Tehran
Moghadassi had become famous in recent years for handling a series of high-profile political cases. In 2001, the hard-line conservative judge sent journalist Akbar Ganji to prison for writing articles that linked Iranian government officials to the murder of political dissidents. - 8/3/05

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Enemy
Like many of my fellow sane people, I was initially stunned, if not terribly surprised, when I read about Dick Cheney's directive to the U.S. Air Force to retaliate against Iran, should the United States be hit by "another 9/11" whether or not the actual source of the attack is Iran or terrorist proxies supported by Iran. -Democratic Underground - 8/3/05

Iran: President Ahmadinejad takes office, calls for WMDs elimination
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday appealed for an end to all weapons threatening the world's security, including weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons used by the hegemonic powers. - 8/3/05

Iranian journalists stage hunger strike in support of Akbar Ganji
A number of journalists and activists involved in press gathered at Iran's Journalists Association on Tuesday and staged a hunger strike in support of Akbar Ganji and called for his unconditional release. - 8/3/05

Ganji's wife condemns assassination of judge
Masoumeh Shafiei, wife of jailed journalist Akbar Ganji, condemned the assassination of judge Hassan Moqaddas, who was shot dead here Tuesday. - 8/3/05

Preempting Cheney
Whatever plans Dick Cheney and his neo-conservatives may have had to conjure up a nuclear threat from Iran as "justification" for military action have been sharply undercut by some timely leaks to the Washington Post. -Ray McGovern, TomPaine - 8/3/05

New Iranian President Takes Office
Mahmud Ahmadinejad was formally installed as Iran's new president today. He still must take an oath of office in parliament on 6 August before his term officially begins. - 8/3/05

Iran: Harassment of Rights Defenders Escalates - Imprisoned Journalist in Life-Threatening Condition
The Iranian government intensified its attacks on independent human rights defenders by arresting prominent lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani and threatening Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Watch said today. - 8/3/05

IAEA Says Tehran's Nuclear Plans Threaten Inspections
The International Atomic Energy Agency is calling for Iran to defer resuming work on parts of its nuclear program that could be used to make atomic weapons. The U.N. nuclear watchdog says Tehran told the agency that it plans to resume sensitive work that is currently suspended as part of a deal with European countries. - 8/2/05

Iran: President Khatami's second term in office ends today
Mohammad Khatami's tenure as Iran's president will end today, Tuesday August 2, 2005. Khatami attended the Majlis session on Tuesday to outline the performance of his cabinet in the last year of the Third Development Plan. - 8/2/05

Iranian Official: Decision to break Isfahan complex's seal made by heads of system
Head of Propagation and Information Committee of the country's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) emphasized in an interview with IRNA here Monday, "Iran's decision to resume nuclear activities at Isfahan Nuclear Complex is a national decision adopted by the system's top officials in the presence of the Supreme Leader." - 8/2/05

Unrest reported in Iran's Kurdish town of Sanandaj
A number of agitators caused unrest in the city of Sanandaj, provincial capital of the western province of Kurdestan on Monday night. - 8/2/05

Iran's Foreign debt to be limited to 30 billion dollars in 2005-2010
The government cabinet in a directive mandated on Monday the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to control the level of foreign obligations and debts as not to exceed dlrs 30 billion during the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan (March 2005-2010). - 8/2/05

Prominent Iranian judge shot dead
The judge in the trial of Iran's best-known political prisoner, journalist Akbar Ganji, has been shot dead, a judiciary spokesman has said. -BBC - 8/2/05

Commission Chief Says Iraq's Constitution To Be Ready On Time
The chairman of Iraq's constitution drafting commission says the group will try to meet its 15 August deadline to complete the draft document rather than ask parliament for an extension. - 8/2/05

Blast reported outside British Airways and British Petroleum offices in Tehran
An explosive device blasted outside the offices of British Airways, British Petroleum and Daimler Chrysler in northern Tehran on Tuesday, an informed source said. - 8/2/05

What Does Closure Of U.S. Military Base In Uzbekistan Mean?
Uzbek authorities asked the United States to pull all military forces out of the Karshi-Khanabad air base in the country's south. The decision comes a few days after U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited neighboring Kyrgyzstan and received assurances from Bishkek officials that the U.S. air base can remain there as long as needed. - 8/2/05

US, Israel working to mend rifts
Israel arms sales to China, FBI investigation into alleged spy affair sour relations. -CSM - 8/2/05

Landmine victim to cycle desert
Mr Hughes was injured in April 2003 covering the Iraq conflict for the BBC. His Iranian colleague Kaveh Golestan - a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer - confused the blast with artillery fire and dived for cover. He died instantly after landing on a second land mine. -BBC - 8/2/05

EU warns Iran over nuclear plans
Top EU countries have warned Iran they will cut off talks on the nuclear issue if it goes ahead with plans to resume nuclear activities. -BBC - 8/2/05

EU Urges Iran Not to Resume Suspended Nuclear Activities
The European Union is urging Iran not to resume uranium processing, which western countries believe could help the Islamic Republic develop a nuclear bomb. The EU has told Iran that any such move could jeopardize the outcome of talks aimed at resolving a dispute over Iran's nuclear program. - 8/2/05

Europeans Urge Iran Not To Jeopardize Nuclear Talks
The European Commission today warned that the resumption of nuclear activities by Iran would jeopardize talks aimed at enhancing trade and improving political ties. - 8/2/05

Corrupt clerics: The fatal flaw in Iran's regime
As Iran's hard-line president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prepares to assume office this week, there is a pervasive perception that the country's conservatives will finally be consolidating their power after eight years of struggle against the reformers. But rather than unifying Iran's right wing, Ahmadinejad is likely to fracture it if he acts on his pledges to bolster economic equality and end corruption. -Ray Takeyh, IHT - 8/2/05

Iran: Threatening or Threatened?
Given the prospects of possible U.S. military action towards Iran, it is important to take a critical look at the major concerns the Bush administration and Congressional leaders of both parties have put forward regarding the Islamic Republic. -Common Dreams - 8/2/05

Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb
A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis. -Washington Post - 8/2/05

IRAN: Ganji near death as one of his legal team is arrested
Hunger-striking political prisoner Akbar Ganji was near death, his wife told the student news agency (ISNA) on Friday. "When we were leaving his room, he went numb...I told them to re-attach the tube of drips with my permission so that he stays alive," ISNA quoted Massoumeh Shafiie as saying. - 8/2/05

Iranian authorities arrest one of Akbar Ganji's lawyers
Reporters Without Borders today called on the Iranian judicial authorities to explain why defence lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been secretly detained since 30 July. He is one of the lawyers representing imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji, now on the 51st day of a hunger strike, and the family of photographer Zahra Kazemi, who died in police custody. - 8/2/05

Tehran Summer Art Report: Fatemeh Shahroudi
I went to see the paintings of Ms Fatemeh Shahroudi there recently, in a terrible heat wave that could easily induce you to stay home for three months! -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 8/1/05

Iran: Prayer and Poetry Night held in front of Ganji's House in Tehran
A group of political, cultural and student activist gathered in front of Akbar Ganji's house in Tehran on the night of Saturday July 30 held a candlelight vigil, read poems, prayed for Ganji and demanded his release. - 8/1/05

Iran: Center for Advocates of Human Rights calls for member's release
The Judiciary arrested Abdolfattah Soltani, the defense lawyer of several people who have been accused of spying on national nuclear program, for revealing details of his clients' cases to their families. - 8/1/05

Iran sweeps Asian pankration medals
Iran scooped up medals at the first Asian Pankration Championship in Pakistan's capital Islamabad Sunday. - 8/1/05

Carter Criticizes Iraq War, Detentions at Guantanamo
Former President Carter said Saturday the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States. Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as "unnecessary and unjust." -AP - 8/1/05

They expected an easy ride, then the enemy struck back
Soldiers hardened on the battlefields of Iraq were looking forward to a spot of peacekeeping in Afghanistan. They got much more than they expected -TIMES Online - 8/1/05

Floods kill 27 in northern Iran
Floods caused by heavy rains killed 27 people in the village of Golidagh in Golestan Province, northern Iran, a local official said on Monday. - 8/1/05

Iranian Oil Minister: King Fahd's death has no impact on oil prices
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Tehran on Monday that oil price will not undergo a big change following the death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. - 8/1/05

Tehran's Educational Elites/Researchers Club to open soon
Head of Salamat Culture House, Abbas Taqizadeh said on Monday in Tehran that the President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to inaugurate the Educational Elites/Researchers Club, which is being set up by Tehran Municipality's Culture and Art Department. - 8/1/05

Iran will re-open nuclear plant
Iran is to resume the processing of uranium at a nuclear plant, breaking seals placed on the facility by the UN nuclear watchdog in late 2004. -BBC - 8/1/05

Quake hits northern, northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale hit western outskirts of Raz area between northern province of Golestan and northeastern province of North Khorasan early Monday morning. - 8/1/05

Parliament Speaker: Iran's deadline will end at 1700 hours Monday
He made the remark on the sidelines of a conference,`Iran Nuclear Technology: Symbol of National Will', noting that Iran will take its own decision at the end of the deadline and resume part of its nuclear activities. - 8/1/05

Iran's President Khatami: Backward interpretations of Islam fading away
Pointing out that those who advocated a violent interpretation of Islam presented themselves to the society in even more violent manners after the Khordad-2 presidential elections, he expressed confidence that such attitudes are extremely isolated in the Iranian society today. - 8/1/05

Europe to Offer Iran Benefits For Forgoing Fissile Material
Britain, France and Germany are preparing to offer Iran a package that includes major security assurances, economic cooperation and a guaranteed fuel supply. In exchange, Tehran would permanently forgo production of fissile material that could be used for nuclear weapons, according to U.S. and foreign diplomats. -Washington Post - 8/1/05

Iran's oil production capacity rises to 4.2m bpd
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday that Iran's oil production capacity rose to 4.2 million bpd in Mordad, the fifth month in Iranian calendar, from 3.85 million bpd in the first four months of this year - 8/1/05

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