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Thinking Outside The Box
It is quite apparent that Iran’s nuclear issue is just a pretext or excuse for some higher objective, as was the issue of WMDs before the invasion of Iraq. That higher objective cannot be anything other than regime-change in Iran. However, there is a better option. -Kam Zarrabi - 8/31/06

US and Iranian flags to go into space with female tourist
Flags of the United States and Iran will fly together to the International Space Station in mid-September on the sleeves of Anousheh Ansari, the world's first female space tourist said Wednesday. -DPA - 8/31/06

Annan says efforts underway for Iran talks with Group 5+1
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday that efforts are underway to arrange a meeting between Iran and the Group 5+1 over Iranian nuclear programme. Meanwhile, EU high representative for a common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, spoke to Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani by phone Thursday. -IRNA - 8/31/06

Iran plans to curb Caspian Sea jellyfish pest
We have undertaken to by the end of the year - Iranian year ends March 20 - prepare a comprehensive plan to curb Mnemiopsis Leidyi, the comb jellyfish pest newly introduced into the Caspian Sea," noted Wednesday, the director of the Research Institute of Iran's Fisheries Company. -MNA - 8/31/06

British Troops Mobilizing on the Iranian Border
While British officials are maintaining no desire or preparations for a conflict with Iran, more British troops are being mobilized and deployed to Iraq at the same time. The Light Infantry of the 2nd Battalion, another unit with rapid deployment capabilities, is deploying to the southern Iraqi border with Iran. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research - 8/31/06

Iran invites 570 world artists to sculpture symposium
The secretariat of the first international symposium on sculpture has invited 570 Iranian and foreign artists. Supported by Tehran Municipality's Art and Culture Organization, the symposium is scheduled to be held from February 20 to March 12, 2007. -MNA - 8/31/06

Author of Iran "Insignia Lie" Invited to White House as Expert
Canada's National Post has apologized for running a fabricated story that Iran passed a new law requiring Jews to wear a yellow insignia. Oddly enough, or maybe not so odd at that, the author of this deceit, Iranian exile journalist Amir Taheri, was invited to the White House last May 30 as one of a group of "Iraq experts" to consult with President Bush. -OpEdNews - 8/31/06

Ahmadinejad's High-Stakes Game
Watching President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a news conference here Tuesday, I had the same mesmerizing anxiety as a passenger in a Tehran taxi. He has moved boldly -- recklessly, it seems to Americans -- into the international traffic flow. He keeps revving his motor, and it looks as if he and the West might be heading for a dangerous crackup over Iran's nuclear program. -Washington Post - 8/31/06

Diplomacy Is the Best Option on Iran's Nuclear Effort
The Aug. 24 editorial "Iran Stalls" distorts the facts about Iran's cooperation with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency and obfuscates Iran's intentions. -M.A. Mohammadi, Iranian Mission to the UN, Washington Post - 8/31/06

Germany Hopes for an Alternative to Sanctions in Iran Stand-Off
Iran's confident dismissal of the UN threat of action caused widespread concern in the international community Wednesday, while Germany maintained that sanctions were far from definite. -Deutsche Welle - 8/31/06

Chavez lauds Ahmadinejad's win over US on technical knock-out
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez here Wednesday said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defeated the the US on technical knock-out by offering to debate with his American counterpart, George W. Bush. -IRNA - 8/31/06

The likely US course on Iran: Go slow
Expect Thursday's deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium to pass with more of a whimper than a bang. As the United States experiences what one observer calls "confrontation fatigue," and as international unity against a nuclear-armed Iran threatens to splinter under pressure, quick action against Iran is not likely - even though the Iranian leadership continues to taunt the West with rhetorical jabs. -CSM - 8/31/06

Major Powers Plan Iran Sanctions Meeting Next Week
Senior diplomats of major world powers will meet in Europe next week to begin discussing sanctions against Iran, if Tehran, as expected, fails to meet Thursday's U.N. Security Council deadline for suspending uranium enrichment. U.S. officials believe agreement on an initial round of sanctions can be reached within a matter of weeks. -VOA - 8/31/06

Ambassador Peter Galbraith Talks About His Book "The End of Iraq"
Peter Galbraith, former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia and author of a controversial new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War without End, says America invaded Iraq with the goal of bringing democracy to it and transforming the region. Instead, he claims, Iraq has disintegrated into three parts -VOA - 8/31/06

Carter May Make His Peace with Khatami
It is a meeting that could avert a clash of civilisations - conflict between Iran and America. If it goes ahead in the coming days, it would be a momentous and poignant encounter between two former presidents which could help Iran and the US overcome three decades of mutual hostility. -Independent - 8/31/06

Iranian nuclear official to visit Moscow soon
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Gholamreza Aqazadeh said here on Tuesday that he will head to Moscow soon to discuss the 5+1 group's nuclear package with Russian officials. A delegation will accompany Aqazadeh in the trip. -MNA - 8/31/06

Let's condemn racist comments about Arabic Language of Khuzestan
I am an Iranian Arab, and this language enabled me to deeply understand the Persian literature especially the history and contents of “one thousands years of Adab-e Farsi” from the time of Rudaki to poetry giants such as Rumi, Hafez, Saadi, Nazami, contemporary Shamlu and etc. -Shobbar Moeel, California - 8/31/06

Nuclear program a source of pride for Iranians
Four young salesmen met last week at a Tehran coffeehouse, only to find that city officials had inexplicably ordered the shop not to serve coffee that day. Things are seldom simple in Iran. -USA Today - 8/31/06

Iran: NICOC's natural gas production hits 68b cu.m.
Natural gas and gas liquids production by National Iranian Central Oilfields Company (NICOC) in the past year, stood at 68 billion cubic meters (cu.m.) and 36 million barrels, the managing director of the company said. -MNA - 8/31/06

Iranian American Immigration Discrimination Rooted In Foreign Policy Provisions
Since September 11, US immigration policy has been significantly reshaped by concerns over instability in the Middle East and the government’s larger, yet inextricably linked anti-terror policy goals. Iranian-Americans have often been negatively affected by many changes in immigration laws, such as the recent deportation of Iranian scientists who had traveled to the US on valid visas. -NIAC - 8/31/06

"We Don't Want War" - Leading Iranian Dissident and Former Political Prisoner Akbar Ganji
Renowned Iranian investigative journalist and dissident Akbar Ganji discusses why he recently declined an invitation to the meet with President Bush in the White House. Recently released from prison, Ganji discusses human rights abuses in Iran, the nuclear issue and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rise to power. -Democracy Now - 8/31/06

Iran Defiant At Nuclear Deadline
Today is the deadline for the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report in New York on Iran's degree of compliance with demands it stop uranium enrichment. The IAEA is expected to submit a negative report since Iran has given no sign of heeding the UN's calls. -RFE - 8/31/06

Iranians taste freedoms on own terms: Dissidents shun US assistance
Emad Baghi is a human rights activist who spent three years in prison for his writings. Shadi Vatanparast is a promoter of underground Iranian rock bands who, in the semi-privacy of her office, throws off her government-mandated headscarf. And Fazel Mehbadi is a mullah who preaches a message that's dangerously dissident in the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran: Religion should be separate from government. -Boston Globe - 8/31/06

Should the US Nuke Iran and Syria?
In a recent article, "Will the U.S. Defend Itself?", economist Walter Williams seems to make a case for nuclear war on Syria and Iran. His case cries out for a response. Here's mine. -David R. Henderson - 8/31/06

Another Look at the Tehran Symphony Orchestra's Concert in Germany
On Sunday, August 20, 2006, Tehran Symphony Orchestra performed in a concert in Osnabrück, Germany. This program, which in fact marked the opening of the oriental festival "Morgenland" was attended by about 1400 audience and was held in the main hall of the city of Osnabrück, "Stadthalle". -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 8/30/06

Iran: No Letup In Election Controversy
Iran is nearing the end of its annual commemoration of the country's political leadership on August 24-30. "Government Week" is an opportunity for the administration to tell Iranians how much it has done for them in the past year -- and how much better off they will be in the coming year. -RFE - 8/30/06

In the Shadow of the Bomb
Human rights activists in Iran face mounting challenges -- and threats -- under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration. But with the focus on the country's nuclear program, persecution of reformists proceeds apace.-Spiegel, Germany - 8/30/06

Nobel Peace Winner Threatened With Arrest
Nine Nobel Prize laureates have sent a letter to the Iranian government asking it to retract its threat to prosecute Iran's most prominent independent human rights organisation founded by Dr. Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. -IPS - 8/30/06

Abedinzadeh hands Iran first world wrestling medal
Davud Abedinzadeh gave Iran the first medal at the world youth Greco-Roman wrestling event as he snatched the 74kg silver in Guatemala Tuesday. -MNA - 8/30/06

Carter Agrees to Hold Talks With Khatami
For an event that would turn a page in American history, former president Jimmy Carter has agreed in principle to host former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami for talks during his visit to the United States starting this week. -Washington Post - 8/30/06

Andre Agassi Set to Retire after US Open
American tennis star Andre Agassi will retire from professional tennis after playing in this year's U.S. Open. VOA's Ernest Leong has more on an athlete who began his career as the 1980's "bad boy" of tennis, and matured into one of the game's greatest players. - 8/30/06

UN Secretary-General Annan Fails To Persuade Israel To Lift Lebanon Blockade
In talks with top Israeli officials today, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan failed to persuade Israel to lift its air and sea blockade of Lebanon. -RFE - 8/30/06

Iranian C-802 Anti-Ship Missiles Suck
The use of two Iranian C-802 anti-ship missiles against an Israeli warship on July 14th, left some unanswered questions in its wake. -Strategy Page - 8/30/06

An Environmental Disaster Emerges on Lebanon Coast
Tons of heavy fuel oil, spilled into the sea during the battle with Israel, foul Lebanon -- may reach Syria, Turkey -San Francisco Chronicle - 8/30/06

Iraqi Shiite: No Interference From Iran
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Iraq's most powerful Shiite politician, defended Iran on Tuesday against American allegations that it trained and equipped Shiite militias, and said the U.S. has not provided any proof. -AP - 8/30/06

Share the Evidence On Iran
How long until Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state? The current best guess of American intelligence agencies is found in a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) completed last summer: "Left to its own devices, Iran is determined to build nuclear weapons," it says, yet it is unlikely that Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb before "early to mid-next decade." -Washington Post - 8/30/06

Iran, India to strike a deal on Peace Pipeline
Iran and India are to resume talks on Peace Pipeline after months of haggling and disagreement over the LNG price -MNA - 8/30/06

Interview with Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi: "I Will Fight as Long as I'm Alive"
In early August, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi learned through the press that her human rights center in Tehran had been declared illegal. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke with her about an Iranian government breaking its own laws and activism in the face of prison -- or worse. -Spiegel, Germany - 8/30/06

Iran for major role in reconstructing Lebanon
"After my negotiations today (Tuesday) with the president and prime minister of Lebanon, it was agreed that we would start the first phase of assisting the people of Lebanon with reconstruction of their roads," the vice-president announced. - 8/30/06

Iranian soccer star Andranik Teimourian joins English premier team Bolton Wanderers
The 23-year old defensive midfielder was transferred from his Iranian club Abu Moslem after signing a two-year contract at Bolton's Reebok Stadium in northwest England on Tuesday night. -IRNA - 8/30/06

Bushehr project puts Russia's image at stake
A delegation of Iranian nuclear officials paid a visit to Moscow recently. The head of the delegation, Mahmud Jannatian, deputy chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), was accompanied by the director of the Bushehr project, and an AEOI technical representative in Moscow. The Iranians held a number of business meetings with representatives of the Russian companies Atomstroiexport and Rosenergoatom. -RIA Novosti, Russia - 8/30/06

US Companies Invited to Participate in Iran's Oil Projects
Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company Gholam Hossein Nozari invited US companies to participate in Iran's oil projects. -Fars - 8/30/06

Iranian President: "Exceptional opportunity" provided for nuclear talks
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran has provided an "exceptional opportunity" to resolve the nuclear standoff in its reply to the nuclear package proposed by five permanent Security Council members plus Germany. -MNA - 8/30/06

US Grants Visa to former Iranian President Khatami
Despite the growing dispute with Iran over its nuclear program, the Bush administration Tuesday granted a visa for a U.S. visit by former Iranian President Mohamad Khatami. He will be the most senior Iranian figure to visit the United States since the rupture in relations after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. -VOA - 8/30/06

Iranian Philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo Released From Prison
A prominent Iranian writer and scholar, Ramin Jahanbegloo, was today released from prison in Tehran, an official from Iran's Prison Organization says. - 8/30/06

Central/South Asia: Deforestation Makes Mark On Region, Its People
The destruction of forests in Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan is having a massive impact on the environment there. It is also affecting the lives of residents -- causing land degradation and erosion that lead to mudslides, landslides, and flooding. But efforts to raise public awareness and safeguard the future are under way. -RFE - 8/30/06

Behind the Plan to Bomb Iran
It is no longer a secret that the Bush administration has been methodically paving the way toward a bombing strike against Iran. The administration's plans of an aerial military attack against that country have recently been exposed by a number of reliable sources. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 8/30/06

Sahoolan cave, Iran's 2nd largest water cave
Sahoolan water cave situated 43 kms to the southeast of Mahabad near the village of Issakand on the road to the city of Boukan in this northwestern province, is the country's second largest water cave. - 8/30/06

Campaign by Iranian women's rights activists: "One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws"
Iranian women’s rights activists are initiating a wide campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law. The Campaign, “One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws,” which aims to collect one million signatures to demand changes to discriminatory laws against women, is a follow-up effort to the peaceful protest of the same aim, which took place on June 12, 2006 in Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran. - 8/30/06

US Calls Iranian Nuclear Defiance Disappointing
The United States said Monday Iran's apparent intention to defy the U.N. Security Council on its nuclear program is disappointing, and that it expects the world community to follow through with sanctions against Tehran. The Security Council's deadline for Iran to stop reprocessing uranium and return to negotiations over its nuclear program is Thursday. -VOA - 8/29/06

Tjeknavorian to set up orchestra for his music academy
Iranian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian plans to establish an orchestra for his music academy in late Sept., he announced in a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 8/29/06

Iran's Oil Minister asks president to help acceleration of South Pars tenders
In a letter to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Oil Minister Seyyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, called for acceleration of tenders on 24 oil exploration blocks at the South Pars oil and gas field by removing any obstacle which may hinder them. -MNA - 8/29/06

Putting Words in Ahmadinejad's Mouth
In this frightening mess in the Middle East, let's get one thing straight. Iran is not threatening Israel with destruction. Iran's president has not threatened any action against Israel. Over and over, we hear that Iran is clearly "committed to annihilating Israel" because the "mad" or "reckless" or "hard-line" President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel But every supposed quote, every supposed instance of his doing so, is wrong. -Counterpunch - 8/29/06

Iran is superior power of Middle East: official
The U.S. should realize that Iran is the superior power in the Middle East, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii said in Tehran on Monday. "After the Lebanon war the United States realized that it should change its policies toward the Islamic Republic," Rezaii said in an address to the students at the Imam Hossien University. -MNA - 8/29/06

Has Iran Lost Its Right to Enrichment?
Whether Iran has a right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to enrich uranium is an issue that most of the states in the world believe is at the heart of the present conflict between Iran and the Western powers. -NIAC - 8/29/06

Kurds Push to Make Strong Legal Case of Genocide Against Saddam
Kurdish leaders in Iraq say they want to be sure prosecutors build the strongest case possible against Saddam Hussein and six of his military commanders charged with genocide in the Anfal military operation against Iraqi Kurds that prosecutors say killed 180,000 people. -VOA - 8/29/06

Should the US Nuke Iran and Syria
In a recent article, "Will the U.S. Defend Itself?", economist Walter Williams seems to make a case for nuclear war on Syria and Iran. His case cries out for a response. Here's mine. - - 8/29/06

'A Race Against Time'
Reza Pahlavi was just a teenager in 1979 when an Islamic revolution in Iran ousted his father, the shah. In the years since, Pahlavi, who now lives in Maryland, has been involved with activists both inside Iran and abroad who seek to overthrow the mullahs from power. -Newsweek - 8/29/06

'Middle East Conflict Threatens Global Peace'
Warning that spiralling violence in the Middle East presented a serious threat to world security, religious leaders gathered in this ancient city for a global inter-faith meet are calling for urgent resolution of festering conflicts in the region. -IPS - 8/29/06

Kyrgyz Minister Upbeat After Trade Talks In Iran
Kyrgyzstan's Economy and Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov today said his country will soon export up to 60 million electric light bulbs a year to Iran. -RFE - 8/29/06

France Urges Iran To Resolve Nuclear Crisis
French President Jacques Chirac called on Iran today to take constructive steps toward resolving its nuclear crisis with the international community. -RFE - 8/29/06

Ratcheting Up the Iran Threat
U.S. lawmakers aren’t done cataloguing the nation’s intelligence fiascoes on Iraq. Yet already they seem to be forging ahead with similar blunders on Iran. -Cleveland Plain Dealer - 8/29/06

Iranian delegation in Lebanon for talks
An Iranian delegation, headed by Vice-President for Executive Affairs Ali Saeedlou, arrived in Beirut on Tuesday on a two-day visit to hold talks with senior Lebanese officials. -IRNA - 8/29/06

Iran Air passenger plane makes emergency landing in Bandar Abbas
An Iran Air oeing 747 passenger plane en route to Malaysia from Tehran on Tuesday made an emergency landing at Bandar Abbas airport for technical reasons. -IRNA - 8/29/06

Iran's President invites US counterpart to television debate
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday invited US President George W. Bush to a television debate. He said that debate is different from negotiations and his offer focused on debate. -IRNA - 8/29/06

Will the US Again Attack Iran – This Time Without Saddam?
In fact, for a number of years in the 1980's, the U.S. government backed Saddam Hussein because it knew he was not a Shi'ite, but rather a secular-oriented Sunni willing to wage war against both the Shi'ite majority in his own country and the Shi'ite Islamic theocracy in Iran. -Antiwar.com - 8/29/06

The Persians in New York
The National Theatre of Greece returns to New York's City Center for a limited six-performance run of Aeschylus' The Persians, the oldest surviving play in history and the only extant Greek tragedy that is non-mythical in theme and based on historic fact. - 8/29/06

Iran: Signature Drive Targets Gender Discrimination
Activists in Iran have started a petition drive calling for changes to laws that discriminate against women. Organizers hope to attract the signature of 1 million Iranians -- a challenge that they say public officials could not ignore. Authorities blocked the gathering at which the launch was supposed to take place on August 27 on a technicality. But women's rights defenders are collecting signatures and vowing to broaden their campaign nevertheless. -RFE - 8/29/06

Iran: 15 Historical Fortresses Discovered Behind Gotvand Dam in Khuzestan province
Archeological excavations behind Gotvand Dam led to discovery of 15 fortresses belonging to the Parthian, Sassanid and Islamic periods as well as 15 catacombs belonging to the Parthian dynastic era. -CHN - 8/28/06

Iranian Nuclear scientists honored
A ceremony was held in Tehran on Sunday to honor Iranian nuclear experts. President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, ministers, MPs, and other senior officials attended the ceremony, in which Iran's Nuclear Energy symphony was performed for the first time by the National Orchestra. -MNA - 8/28/06

Hoekstra's Hoax: Hyping Up the Iran 'Threat'
Talk about chutzpah! I was suffering a bit from outrage fatigue yesterday but was shaken out of it as soon as I downloaded an unusually slick paper, "Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States," released this week by House intelligence committee chair, Pete Hoekstra. -Ray McGovern, Antiwar.com - 8/28/06

Iran: Discovery of 4000-Year-Old Ridged Graves in Lama
Discovery of some ridged graves in which humans and animals were buried together in Lama Cemetery has raised new hopes for archeologists to find residential settlements in this area. -CHN - 8/28/06

Momeni Foundation announces its year 2006 scholarship awards
It is a pleasure to announce that the following list of outstanding students were selected as our year 2006 scholarship recipients. Each student has demonstrated outstanding achievement in academic, social and cultural arenas. Please join us in congratulating all of them. - 8/28/06

Inquiry Opened Into Israeli Use of U.S. Bombs
The State Department is investigating whether Israel’s use of American-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon violated secret agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons, two officials said. -New York Times - 8/28/06

Iran stands second at Asian karate tourney
Iran ranked second at the eighth Asian youth and Under-21 karate competitions in Singapore Monday. With 14 colorful medals, Iran finished runner-up to Japan and Kazakhstan took the third place. -MNA - 8/28/06

Dealing with Iran
Sir: The West's response to the Iranian nuclear issue is uniting the Iranian community inside and outside the country in a remarkable way, reminiscent of what happened after the 1953 US/UK-sponsored coup that toppled the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. -Mehrdad Zanganeh, Independent - 8/28/06

Clueless and Catastrophic
To get a better idea of what ails the world, let's use our imagination to transport ourselves into outer space. From there, we can look down on Earth not as an American or as a European, but as a disinterested alien. -Antiwar.com - 8/28/06

Women's Music Program Angers Afghanistan's Conservative Clerics
Music is opening a new world to 18 Afghan girls and young women enrolled in a cultural program in northern Afghanistan. The United Nations, which is helping to implement the program, says it is aimed at strengthening the voice of women in society. But conservative Islamic clerics in Mazar-e Sharif say the Koran forbids women from singing or learning to play musical instruments. -RFE - 8/28/06

Ex-official explains Iran's wariness
A former high-ranking Iranian official wants Americans to see his cracked thumbnails. They were torn out, he said, after Washington's friend Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi put him in prison in the 1970s. -New York Times - 8/28/06

Jordanian Prince Calls for Asian Muslim Troops to Join UN Force in Lebanon
He says it was a mistake to exclude Syria and Iran from last month's Rome Conference on stopping the fighting in Lebanon. The prince explained that the problems plaguing the Middle East cannot be solved unless Damascus and Tehran, which are major sponsors of Hezbollah, are included in the dialogue. -VOA - 8/28/06

Japanese Premier Visits Energy-Rich Central Asia
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi travels to Central Asia on August 28 for the first visit to the region ever made by a Japanese head of government. The visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is the culmination of more than a decade of effort by Japan to forge stronger links with the Central Asian republics. -RFE - 8/28/06

Government spokesman says Bolton's anti-Iran remarks "unfounded"
Elham made the remark while addressing reporters at his weekly press conference as he was commenting on Bolton's remark who said on Sunday that if the UN Security Council adopts no measure against Iran, the United States will not wait and will act directly. -IRNA - 8/28/06

All construction activities prohibited in Iran's Bisotun territory: CHTO director
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) director Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii said that all construction activities are prohibited in the territory of the Bisotun ancient site, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday. -MNA - 8/28/06

CHAMPAGNE SAFARI: Hollywood Goddess' short-lived Honeymoon with the Persian Prince
In an age where old Hollywood glamour is being gradually superseded by the cheap and often vulgar portrayals of overnight Reality TV starlets like Paris Hilton, the simple evocation of the quintessential Hollywood Star Rita Hayworth should strike every movie buffs imagination. -Darius KADIVAR - 8/28/06

US vs. Iran: Is an attack inevitable?
"Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. -Abbas Bakhtiar - 8/28/06

Iran test-fires smart missile in Persian Gulf
The Iranian Navy successfully test-fired a long-range smart missile on the ninth day of the nationwide "Zolfaghar Blow" war games, the spokesman of the maneuvers announced shortly after the test. -MNA - 8/27/06

Iran: President Launches New Phase In Nuclear Project
Defying Western calls to stop its nuclear programs, Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad launched a new phase in the country's nuclear development on August 26 as he formally opened a heavy-water-production plant at Arak. -RFE - 8/27/06

Iranian, Afghan defense ministers hold 2nd round of talks
Second round of talks between Iranian and Afghan defense ministers was held in Tehran on Sunday. -IRNA - 8/27/06

Iran Determined To Produce Nuclear Fuel
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has said his country is determined to produce its own nuclear fuel. -RFE - 8/27/06

Iran stands third at Asian white water events
Iran ranked third at both men's and women's events of the fourth Asian white water competitions in China Sunday. -MNA - 8/27/06

Iran's oil output up by 55,000 bpd
Elaborating on his ministry's performance on the occasion of Government Week, Vaziri Hamaneh added that daily natural gas production in the past year increased by 55 million cubic meters while in the current year the figure has exceeded 65-70 million cubic meters. -IRNA - 8/27/06

Iran expresses sympathy on US plane crash
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Sunday expressed sympathy over the air accident in the US which claimed the lives of 50 people on board. -IRNA - 8/27/06

Tehran's Amir Kabir University Chem-e-Car team wins world championship
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers annually hosts a competition among college students to build a small-scale model vehicle powered only by chemical means. The competition has regional and national levels, each occurring during the student conference. -MNA - 8/27/06

Development of Bangestan oilfield may be offered to Iranian firm
The official also commented on the development of North Azadegan and Jofeir oilfields and said that his company had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese oil company CNPCI. Based on the MoU, he added, the Chinese side had agreed to carry out its surveys on the heavy crude oil extraction from the fields. -MNA - 8/27/06

World Premiere of Behzad Ranjbaran's "Shiraz" Trio For Violin, Cello And Piano At Bargemusic
In writing Shiraz, Ranjbaran uses in part Persian modes, folk melodies and rhythmes that at times imitating different persian instruments. Shiraz Piano Trio celebrates the life and the history of its people. - 8/26/06

Europe Has Six Days to Resolve Suspension Dilemma
After months of bickering over arbitrary deadlines, the Iranian government delivered its long-awaited response to the P5+1 package punctually on the eve of its self-imposed deadline Tuesday. -Trita Parsi, IPS - 8/26/06

The Age of Jurab Tepe Reaches to 7000 Years Ago
The first season of stratigraphy works in Jurab Tepe in Hamadan province led to discovery of some earthenware belonging to 5000 BC which shows that the age of Jurab Tepe must have dated back to 7000 years ago. -CHN - 8/26/06

Analysts Say War In Lebanon Strengthened Iran
As countries around the world discuss the details of a peacekeeping force in Lebanon, many analysts are picking Iran as the main beneficiary of the war between Hizballah and Israel. A new report by the British-based think tank Chatham House also argues that Israel's failure to defeat Hizballah has reinforced Iran as the "region's focal point" against U.S.-led policy. -RFE - 8/26/06

'Solution must include Syria and Iran'
Richard Armitage believes Hezbollah is terrorism's A-team, with Iran as its owner and Syria as the team's coach. But the former US deputy secretary of state, during George Bush's first term as president also told Aljazeera.net that the Bush administration must engage in direct talks with Syria and Iran. - 8/26/06

Iran-Armenia gas pipeline project underway
Armenian officials announced that preliminary operations for the building of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline has been completed. -MNA - 8/26/06

Informed Consent for Participation in Research Project
This study considers the relationship between Iranian female immigrants level of acculturation and their attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. -Shirin Khanideh - 8/26/06

Iranian Exiles Find New Home In Kurdistan
More than 10,000 Iranian Kurds living near the Iraq border were forced into exile in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. They eventually were relocated to a refugee camp near the southern Iraqi city of Ramadi. -VOA - 8/26/06

"I Was Made to Feel Like an Outsider in My Own Country" - Muslim-Americans Say Racial Profiling Led to Detention, Harassment at Airport
Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim passengers say they are increasingly victims of racial profiling and are being detained and harassed at airports. We speak with an American mother and daughter, both born in Iraq, who were held and questioned for hours at JFK airport. -Democracy Now - 8/26/06

Iran to continue Blow of Zolfaqar wargame in Persian Gulf and Oman Sea
Another stage of the big `Blow of Zolfaqar' manoeuvre will start in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea as of Saturday, said a military official in Tehran on Friday. Brigadier General Rahim Moussavi said the new stage of the wargame by the Islamic Republic Army's marine forces will feature test-fire of the surface-to-surface missiles. -IRNA - 8/26/06

Who Won The Iran-Iraq War?
Recently, I was involved in a debate with a prominent member of the Iranian community from Britain who was in town for business purposes. This debate was in relation to the conflicts in the Middle East and in particular the outcome of the devastating Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). -Reza Vatandoust - 8/26/06

The Neocons Ride Again: Priming us for war with Iran
Forget "empiricism," say the neocons – let's go with what we "know" about the Iranian "regime." They're the Bad Guys, part of the Axis of Evil, and therefore we don't have to stick too closely to the facts to justify bringing about regime change. We don't need "evidence" – what the heck is that, anyway? -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com - 8/25/06

Iran's National Orchestra in "Nuclear" performance
Iran's National Orchestra will be performing the symphony "Nuclear Energy" composed by Kambiz Roshanravan at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on August 27 in a program which President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to attend. -MNA - 8/25/06

Sweating out the truth in Iran
Our president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, predicted that the national soccer team would finish third or fourth in the World Cup. He also thinks we can become a nuclear powerhouse, even though we have a hard time manufacturing safety matches or making light bulbs with life expectancies of more than two weeks. -Maziar Bahari, New York Times - 8/25/06

The Persian Cultural Foundation Co-Sponsors two international conferences: Bringing scholars and friends together from around the globe
One of the major hallmarks of the Persian Cultural Foundation (PCF) is its commitment to the facilitation of processes and forums that ensure that society remains appreciatively cognizant of Persia's multifaceted historical and contemporary contributions to the world civilization. - 8/25/06

No worries about economic sanctions: Central Bank of Iran chairman
As of the second half of the current month Iran has started to take necessary measures to face possible future sanctions, noted here on Friday, Chairman of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ebrahim Sheibani. -MNA - 8/25/06

US Congressional Report Highlights Intelligence Gaps on Iran's Nuclear Program
A U.S. congressional committee has issued a report alleging major gaps in U.S. intelligence on Iran's nuclear program and calling for a concerted effort to improve America's information-gathering capabilities. Most experts on Iran agree with the basic premise of the report, but some question its underlying motives. -VOA - 8/25/06

The Iranian War Machine
I did some Google searches for "Iran" and "military build-up" and found lots of documents ... almost all from the mid-1990s. If Iran is really out to conquer the region, it would need tanks, lots and lots of tanks, plus air cover, since tank armadas are dead ducks in the open desert. -Steve Sailer - 8/25/06

Group Urges Bush to Rebuke Iran's Stoning of Women
The head of a conservative civil liberties group is calling on President Bush to condemn Iran's public stoning and hanging of women. -CNS - 8/25/06

Paving the Way to War with Iran
U.S. intelligence -- duh -- lacks the ability to assess Iran's nuclear program and intentions, a House Intelligence Committee report says. The op-ed pages are filled with hard-line and dovish advice on what to do about Iran. -William M. Arkin, Washington Post - 8/25/06

Iraq: Radical Cleric Challenges Shi'ite Establishment
Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Mahmud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi grabbed the spotlight last week when he challenged the authority of Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani through a brazen attempt to gain access to Karbala's sacred Imam Husayn Shrine. -RFE - 8/25/06

Iran and Romania defuse oil row
Romania says it accepts that a row with Iran over a Romanian oil rig in the Gulf was of a purely commercial nature. -BBC - 8/25/06

Fortune smiles on space race sponsor
A young Iranian-born American woman who rallied her wealthy family to underwrite a $10m (£5.3m) competition for the first private spaceflight will soon get to experience for herself the thrill of being a space tourist. -BBC - 8/25/06

LEBANON: Continued blockade restricts economy
Israel's 43-day naval and air blockade of Lebanon is hampering trade, experts say. Some commercial flights are being allowed into Beirut International Airport, and some relief-bearing ships into Lebanon's ports, but the economy is under pressure. -IRIN - 8/25/06

UN Secretary-General views Holocaust deniers as bigots, says spokesman
Responding to a question at the regular press briefing about whether Mr. Annan would raise the subject of Iran's cartoon contest on the Holocaust during his expected upcoming visit to the country, Stephane Dujarric reiterated that Mr. Annan condemns all forms of anti-Semitism. - 8/25/06

Text of secret Iran letter ordering "monitoring" of Baha'is made public
text of a secret letter from Iranian military headquarters instructing commanders of various state intelligence services, police units, and the Revolutionary Guard to "identify" and "monitor" Baha'is has now been obtained and made available to the public. -BWNS - 8/25/06

The Results of the Lebanese War Embolden Iran on Nuclear Issue
Amid continued international wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran appears to have been emboldened by the results of the recent fighting in Lebanon. -Eurasianet - 8/25/06

For Lebanese children, the homefront is a landscape mined with dangers
Sikuna Marei, 12, lies in the intensive care unit of Tyre’s Jebel Amel hospital. Even the oxygen mask she’s wearing can’t conceal the pain she suffers from the wound where doctors removed a jagged piece of shrapnel from her liver. -UNICEF - 8/25/06

Iranian Ex-President Khatami Warns West on Nuclear Pressure
Iran's former president has warned the world against pressuring Tehran about its nuclear program. Mohammad Khatami comments come just days before a United Nations Security Council deadline for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities. -VOA - 8/25/06

Iran finishes fourth at world wushu meet
stood fourth at the first world youth wushu tournament in Malaysia Friday. The fourth title came as the country won one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in san shou competitions. -MNA - 8/25/06

US Warns of 'Expedited' Effort to Sanction Iran
The United States said Thursday it will make an "expedited" push for economic sanctions against Iran if it does not respond positively by the end of the month to the U.N. Security Council demand that it end uranium enrichment. Iran said earlier this week it is ready for serious talks on the issue but will not stop enrichment as a precondition. -VOA - 8/25/06

Having found success in U.S., Iranian Jews turn to show biz
The generation of Persian Jews who escaped Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution with their parents and traded a fearful existence for lives in New York and Los Angeles are now emerging in the entertainment industry. -JTA - 8/25/06

Treasury Exempts Selected U.S. Citizens from Iran Sanctions
The U.S. Treasury Department has modified the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR) to permit U.S. employees and contractors of six international organizations to engage in official business with Iran on behalf of those organizations. - 8/25/06

CAIR to Host Dinner for Former President of Iran
On Friday, September 8, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will host a dinner for former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va. The theme of his address at the CAIR dinner will be "The Dialogue of Civilizations: Five Years After 9/11." Khatami will be in Washington, D.C., to take part in an event at the National Cathedral. - 8/25/06

Bodog Music Recording Artist, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, To Be Honored at the United Nations in New York For Her Outstanding Humanitarian Efforts
Former Miss Canada, Miss World runner-up and pop singer Nazanin Afshin-Jam will receive the "Hero Award for Human Rights" and deliver a speech this Friday, August 25, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. - 8/25/06

Stop Sanctions And War On Iran Before They Start!
For the UNSC to issue a resolution that orders a nation, which has suffered greatly at the hands of the U.S., to indefinitely suspend its nuclear energy program is one thing, to be lawful, just and fair is another. The UNSC resolution flagrantly violates the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and neglects the fact that more than 2000 inspection days of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found no transgressions from the NPT. -Ardeshir Ommani - 8/25/06

Iran: Where Does Nuclear Crisis Go Now?
In its first public reaction on August 23, the White House said that Iran's answer to an international offer of incentives to stop sensitive nuclear work "falls short" of the UN Security Council's demands. -RFE - 8/24/06

US General Says Iranian Forces Do Training in Iraq
A senior U.S. military spokesman says Iranian forces have infiltrated Iraq to provide training, money and equipment to Shi'ite extremists and fuel their insurgency. The officer went farther than others have in detailing Iran's alleged role in Iraq's violence. -VOA - 8/24/06

Iran Needs Nuclear Weapons
Two years ago I did not want Iran to produce nuclear energy for electricity, let alone for its military. Today I've changed my mind. Iran needs nuclear weapons to defend itself. -Hossein Derakhshan, Washington Post - 8/24/06

The dilemmas of being an Iranian bullet
Hizbullah's efficient ward heelers are handing out cash, reportedly much of it Iranian, to persuade the party's Shiite supporters that the destruction of their homes and livelihood was worth it. -Daily Star, Lebanon - 8/24/06

Iran turns to science to find its past glory
Whatever strategic motivations lie behind Iran's nuclear program, it is also central to the country's goal of reclaiming its status as the scientific leader of the Muslim world. -IHT - 8/24/06

House report outlines US intelligence weaknesses on Iran
A day after Iran’s statement to the international community calling for “serious” talks over its nuclear program, a House intelligence panel published a report describing Iran as a “serious security threat” and urging improved intelligence gathering against Iran. -NIAC - 8/24/06

Quake jolts Kelardasht in Mazandaran province of Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 degrees on Richter scale jolted Kelardasht area in Mazandaran province on Wednesday evening. -IRNA - 8/24/06

Israel signs deal to buy two nuclear subs from Germany: Report
With Iran rebuffing efforts to curb its nuclear program, Israel signed a contract with Germany last month to buy two more submarines capable of firing nuclear missiles, according to a report published on Wednesday. -Hindu - 8/24/06

Bush Eyes Iran at Press Conference
He called Iran “a central part of creating instability, trying to stop reformers from realizing dreams.” Then he fused Iran and Iraq together, joining the Islamic state and the failed state into one single enemy. In broken syntax, he laid it out: “The question facing this country is will—do—we, one, understand the threat to America? In other words, do we understand that a failed, failed states in the Middle East are a direct threat to our country’s security? -Progressive - 8/24/06

Iranian company says claim on police firing on Orizont rig a 'sheer lie'
An Iranian company, a signatory to a contract with Romanian oil firm Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) on Orizont rig, on Wednesday dismissed as 'sheer lie' the media reports that Iranian police had fired on the rig, saying that the Romanian company had failed to illegally withdraw it from Iranian territorial waters. -IRNA - 8/24/06

Annan to Travel to Middle East
The United Nations says Secretary-General Kofi Annan will visit the Middle East soon to strengthen support for the truce between Israel and Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon. The top U.N. diplomat also hopes to travel to Syria and Iran. -VOA - 8/24/06

Obama in Iranian no-talk zone
It is a policy of the U.S. government to have no direct communication with Iran. Between the two nations, there are no formal diplomatic ties. But what if a U.S. senator and an Iranian foreign minister happened to be staying in the same hotel -- on the same floor, no less -- and bumped into each other in the hallway? -Chicago Tribune - 8/24/06

Central Bank of Iran to punish banks refusing to cut rates, daily
Punitive actions will be taken against banks which refuse to implement the recent key ratification by Money and Credit Council to cut lending rates to 17 percent, said a senior banking official. -IRNA - 8/24/06

Beating the Drums of War. US Troop Build-up
If one places a frog in a kettle of boiling water, the frog will immediately jump and try to escape, but if you place the frog in a kettle of cold water then heat the kettle gradually, the frog will obliviously, without any notice, remain in the kettle as the temperature of the water rises and the frog eventually boils to death. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research - 8/24/06

Nuclear compromise with Iran possible: Kissinger
In an interview with Germany's Die Welt newspaper, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said that it is possible to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, the Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/24/06

Shazand Refinery to assume 44% of Iran's gasoline supply
Shazand Oil Refinery in Arak, 300 km southwest of Tehran, will be going through a major development plan to increase its share of national gasoline production to 44 percent, managing director of the refinery said on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/24/06

A cause without effects
With the world's eyes on Iran's nuclear ambitions, the deteriorating human rights situation in the country is being forgotten, says Robert Tait -Guardian - 8/24/06

Wrong Fight
A prominent activist in Iran says the West should focus on human rights, not nukes. -Newsweek - 8/24/06

Meeting Iran's first female stockbroker shatters several misperceptions
I was immediately intrigued when my translator, Pejman, suggested a meeting with Mahnaz Sadeghnobari. All he had to tell me was that she is a stockbroker. A female broker isn't a big deal back home. But in Iran? I had to meet this woman. -USA Today - 8/24/06

Iranian Nuclear Delegation Visits Russia
A delegation from Iran's nuclear energy organization is expected to tour a Russian nuclear plant today as part of the nuclear cooperation between the two countries. The timing of the visit is raising a few eyebrows. -RFE - 8/24/06

Ziba Shirazi Live in Concert in Houston
Ms. Ziba Shirazi will perform her first concert in Houston, Texas on Sunday September 17, 2006 at 7 pm. She will be accompanied by renowned Pianist Jose-Miguel Yamal and an American Jazz ensemble. This program is sponsored by Iranian-American Cultural Organization of Houston, a non-profit organization. - 8/24/06

Report: Iran's regional position is key to its strength
Iran's influence in Iraq has superseded that of the US, and it is increasingly rivalling the US as the main actor at the crossroads between the Middle East and Asia. Its role within other war- torn areas such as Afghanistan and southern Lebanon has now increased hugely. This is compounded by the failure of the US and its allies to appreciate the extent of Iran’s regional relationships and standing - a dynamic which is the key to understanding Iran’s newly found confidence and belligerence towards the West. -Chatham House - 8/23/06

Bush Ensured Iran Offer Would Be Rejected
Even before Iran gave its formal counter-offer to ambassadors of the P5+1 countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) Tuesday, the George W. Bush administration had already begun the process of organising sanctions against Iran. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 8/23/06

Iran: Jailed Writer's 'Confession' Worries Activists
Iranian officials say prominent writer and philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo has confessed to pursuing nonviolent revolution in the country. Colleagues and human rights activists had expressed concern when Jahanbegloo was arrested in late April that he might be coerced into a confession. -RFE - 8/23/06

Iran: Tehran Avoids Direct Answer, But Ready For 'Serious Talks'
Details have not yet emerged of the statement that Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, gave to diplomats. But Mohammad Saidi, a top official in the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, provided strong hints at the nature of the response. -RFE - 8/23/06

Amnesty International: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon by Israel
Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the recent conflict. - 8/23/06

Caspian Military Exercise Highlights Region’s Weakness
A counter-terrorism exercise soon to begin on the shores of the Caspian is a sign of growing militarisation in the region, stemming from the increasing polarisation of interests surrounding the oil-rich sea, say observers. -Institute for War & Peace Reporting - 8/23/06

Iranian filmmaker says his films don't tarnish image of Iran
Iranian filmmaker Saman Salur says that he has never tarnished the image of Iran in his films. His comedy "A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral" (2006) recently won the Special Jury Prize in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival. -MNA - 8/23/06

L90 mass production in Iran to begin in December
Iran's L90 passenger car production project is about 90 percent complete, noted the managing director of the Northern Iran Plant of Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO). -MNA - 8/23/06

New Iran mosques lack Islamic originality: official
Mosque architecture in Iran has made no progress in the recent years, head of the Iranian Society of Architecture Luminaries said in Tehran on Monday. -MNA - 8/23/06

Iranian War Games: Exercises, Tests, and Drills or Preparation and Mobilization for War?
War games and military exercises are now well underway within Iran and its territory. The Iranian Armed Forces—the Regular Armed Forces and the Revolutionary Guards Corps—began the first stage of massive nationwide war games along border areas of the province of Sistan and Baluchistan1 in the southeast of Iran bordering the Gulf of Oman, Pakistan, and NATO garrisoned Afghanistan to the east on Saturday, August 19, 2006. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research - 8/23/06

Iran urges prisoner swap negotiations
An Italian lawmaker said Tuesday he has received written messages from a top Iranian negotiator requesting that Italy negotiate for the release of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers whose abduction prompted monthlong fighting in Lebanon. -Jerusalem Post - 8/23/06

Experts Available: Iran's Response to the P5+1 Proposal
What does Iran's response mean for the future of negotiations? Was the proposal from the P5+1 fair and adequate? How is the United Nations Security Council likely to respond? How should the US respond? The following experts are available for comment on Iran's response to the P5+1 proposal regarding the country's nuclear program. - 8/23/06

Police foils attempt by Romanian oil firm to steal Iranian drilling rig
On Tuesday, local police and judiciary officials cleverly foiled an attempt by the Romanian oil firm Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) to steal the Iranian Orizon drilling rig stationed on the Kish Island, an informed source told the Mehr News Agency in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 8/23/06

Iranian doctors offered jobs in SA
Twenty-seven Iranian doctors have been offered jobs in South Africa as part of an agreement signed by the two countries on Tuesday. -Mail & Guardian - 8/23/06

Oil falls after Iran talks offer
Oil prices have dipped following signs that Iran is prepared to advance talks on its nuclear programme. -BBC - 8/23/06

Iran Pushes For Talks Without Conditions
Iran offered yesterday to enter into immediate and "serious" negotiations on a broad range of issues with the Bush administration and its European allies but refused to abide by a U.N. Security Council demand that it suspend work at its nuclear facilities by the end of the month. -Washington Post - 8/23/06

Bernard Lewis Watch
Bernard Lewis, where are ye when we need ye? We are of course most grateful that two weeks ago, you capped off your distinguished career by giving us clarity for today - August 22nd. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, you drew from your vast experience to declare that Iran's President Armadinejad - indeed all of Islamic Iran - was the real crazy threat to the world and must never be permitted to have nuclear anything. Islamic Iranians are, well, just too, too, too.... Islamic, to be permitted the luxury of a MAD nuclear capacity. -Scott Harrop - 8/23/06

France ready for talks on Iran nuclear issue conditionally
French Foreign Minister Filippe Douste Blazie said here Wednesday that his country is prepared to hold talks on Iran's nuclear issue, provided Tehran suspends its nuclear activities. -IRNA - 8/23/06

US to Issue Visa to Former Iranian President
U.S. officials say the Bush administration has agreed to issue a visa to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to visit Washington next month. -VOA - 8/23/06

Iran to offer $1B credit line for Iraq's economic projects
Iran intends to establish a $1b credit line in Iraq to encourage investment and participation in the country's major economic projects. The conditions on how to use the funds are yet to be elaborated and specified, general manager of International Relations Office at Iran's Ministry of Industries and Mines announced on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/23/06

Kristol: ‘We Could Be In A Military Confrontation With Iran Much Sooner Than People Expect’
This morning on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol continued to beat the war drums for a military strike against Iran. Watch it: -Think Progress - 8/23/06

GRAND FAILURES ON THREE FRONTS: Time to Rethink our Paradigms
What is clearly evident is Iran ’s increasingly stronger position as the regional power and political influence. Now, if we could only channel that rising power and influence to our advantage, or even more realistically, to our mutual advantage! Or, are the dogs of war barking too loud these days, drowning the voice of dispassionate reason and pragmatic self-interest? -Kam Zarrabi - 8/22/06

Former Generals and National Security Officials Call on President to Reverse Course on Iraq and Iran
Calling President Bush’s “hard line” policies on Iraq and Iran failures that have undermined national security and made America less safe, General Joseph Hoar (USMC ret.), Lt. General Robert Gard (USA ret.), and Morton Halperin, former National Security Council staff, released an open letter signed by twenty-one colleagues urging the Administration to reverse course - 8/22/06

Islam And Human Rights
Is the concept of an Islamic state compatible with accepted notions of human rights? Can the modern concept of human rights make headway in the face of religious dogma and Islamic traditions? Emad Baghi, the head of the Tehran-based Organization for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights, knows at first hand the political sensitivity of new interpretations of religious texts, especially those involving human rights and the death penalty -RFE - 8/22/06

Iran stage figures of the year 2005 awarded
Iran's Critic and Theater Writers Society of Theater House honored the stage figures of the year 2005 during the society's fifth edition of celebration at the Andisheh Hall of Art Bureau in central Tehran Monday night. -MNA - 8/22/06

Iran: Successful troop deployment operations in Zarbat-e Zolfaqar wargames
The ground forces of the Islamic Republic Army on Tuesday successfully conducted mass troop deployment operations as part of the "Zarbat-e Zolfaqar" wargames. -IRNA - 8/22/06

Iranian young adults create world's longest painting
Five thousand Iranian young adults painted the world's longest painting on the theme of the Prophet Muhammad today. Representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records from Britain observed the creation of the artwork and registered the five-kilometer-long painting in the record book. -MNA - 8/22/06

Iran ranks 7th at International Mexico IT Olympiad
Iran's 4-member students team improved four ranks compared to last year at the International Mexico Information Technology Olympiad and ranked 7th among 75 participating counties on Monday. -IRNA - 8/22/06

Iraq: Investigator Describes Anfal Campaign
Joost Hiltermann was a key figure in the investigation by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) of the Iraqi government's Anfal campaign in 1987-88, which is believed to have killed some 100,000 Kurds. -RFE - 8/22/06

Seize the Long Term Opportunity
Tehran, Iran - The cessation of hostilities is a chance for the world to ask a fundamental question: Can all regional issues be framed within a completely new structure? Can we end sham-bolic band-aid therapy? -Ali Ettefagh, Washington Post - 8/22/06

We don't all back Ahmadinejad
Western media like to show frenzied demonstrations in support of the regime. But Iran is home to many other voices. -Guardian - 8/22/06

Iran Responds To Nuclear Offer
Iran has officially responded to an international incentives package aimed at curbing its nuclear program, news agencies report. There were no details of the response -- which was due to be issued in writing -- immediately available. -RFE - 8/22/06

Iran's Supreme Leader blasts Bush's recent "impudent" remarks
"This guy (Bush) speaks as if he is the master and owner of Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Iran and other Muslim states; whereas, if the huge power of nations comes to the scene, the arrogant powers will -- as was the case recently in Lebanon -- be humiliated and the enemies of Islam will no longer be rude," said Ayatollah Khamenei -IRNA - 8/22/06

Iran reply may herald new confrontation
Just as the Middle East reels from the impact of the Hezbollah-Israel war, a new confrontation involving Iran might be about to break out. -BBC - 8/22/06

Romanian Oil Firm Says Its Oil Rig Attacked, Seized by Iran
A Romanian oil company says Iranian forces have fired on and later boarded a Romanian oil rig moored in the Persian Gulf. -VOA - 8/22/06

Democracy in Iran the only long-term solution to current nuclear issue: Abbas Milani
Iranian scholar, Abbas Milani, is also pessimistic about Iran agreeing to halt its nuclear program, or about UN sanctions being agreed on in the short term. Dr Milani fled Iran in the late 1980s and is now the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University in California, and he spoke to me from there earlier today. -ABC.net - 8/22/06

Bush Announces Lebanon Aid Package
U.S. President George W. Bush used his August 21 press conference to demonstrate Washington's commitment to helping Lebanon rebuild and recover from the 34-day war between Israel and Hizballah. -RFE - 8/22/06

Hans Blix calls for talks with Iran over nuclear program
Former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Hans Blix says that he is certain Iran is not making a nuclear weapon and believes that the west should restart talks to resolve its desire to enrich uranium. -IRNA - 8/22/06

Iranian Nuclear delegation arrives in Moscow
A high-ranking delegation of Iranian nuclear officials, headed by the Executive Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mahmoud Jannatian, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday. -IRNA - 8/22/06

Iran's nuclear response an exceptional opportunity for talks: official
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Deputy Director for International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi said on Monday that Tehran's response to the 5+1 group's nuclear offer will pave the way for the resumption of talks in order to reach a final compromise. -MNA - 8/22/06

Bush: Iran Should Face Sanctions If It Ignores UN Nuclear Resolution
President Bush says Iran should face international sanctions, if it ignores a United Nations deadline for halting nuclear enrichment activities. Mr. Bush spoke after Iran's supreme leader pledged to continue pursuing nuclear technology. -VOA - 8/22/06

Iran: Little chance of nuclear compromise
Tehran will respond to the pending European package but is unlikely to suspend enrichment under pressure. What the world must realise is sanctions will take us further from and not closer to a peaceful solution. -Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu - 8/22/06

Iranian woman Anousheh Ansari as next civilian space traveller
A US-based Iranian-American businesswoman, Anoushe Ansari, will travel into space as the world's fourth space tourist, instead of Japan's Daisuke Enomoto who has been ruled unfit to make the trip into space. -IRNA - 8/22/06

Mehregan, Persian Festival of Autumn, at Orange County Fair & Expo Center: September 9-10, 2006
Persian Festival of Autumn, a community festival is put together by hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and talents to its success. The 11th annual event celebrates Persian culture with music, dance, artwork, crafts, traditional Persian cuisine, traditional tea house, and costumes. - 8/21/06

Call for United Action to Prevent a Catastrophic US-Israel War against Iran
The US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon has been the prelude to an imminent massive military attack against Iran. Urgent mass action by Iranian people in and outside the country and million strong protests by the antiwar movement around the world, in particular in the US and UK, are absolutely imperative to stop a US pre-emptive strike on Iran in the coming weeks and months. -CASMII - 8/21/06

Pipeline explosion disrupts gas flow from Iran to Turkey
Following an explosion in the pipeline carrying Iran's natural gas to Turkey, the gas flow to this neighboring republic was disrupted last night. -MNA - 8/21/06

Iran: Armed forces increased defensive capabilities displayed in Zarbat-e Zolfaqar wargames
The third stage of massive wargames dubbed `Zarbat-e Zolfaqar' was held in Zahedan on Monday with Iran's ground forces conducting state-of-the-art operations against air targets such as fighter planes and choppers. -IRNA - 8/21/06

4500-Year-Old Anobanini Relief to be Opened for Tourists
The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Sar-e Pole Zahab is determined to clarify the vicinity of the 4500-year-old Anobanini relief. -CHN - 8/21/06

Foreign Minister: Iran committed to holding talks on nuclear issue
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, speaking in Pretoria on Monday, said that Iran is willing to continue talks on the remaining issues related to its nuclear activities for peaceful purposes to come up with a proper solution. -IRNA - 8/21/06

The Real 'New Middle East'
Last month, as images of war and carnage in Lebanon filled Arab airwaves, more than 10 million Saudis joined together for a common goal. A massive political protest? No. A petition calling for an end to the fighting? Not that either. A boycott of American goods? -Afshin Molavi, Washington Post - 8/21/06

Two of Iraq's Shiite Parties Denounce Iran
Two Shiite Muslim parties on Friday accused Iran of instigating violence in Iraq and attempting to destabilize the country, exposing a growing rift within Iraq's largest sect that many fear will exacerbate the nation's slide into full-scale civil war. -Washington Post - 8/21/06

Lebanon Says Hezbollah Committed to Cease-fire
Lebanon's defense minister said Sunday he is certain Hezbollah will not violate a U.N.-brokered ceasefire with Israel, and has warned of harsh consequences for any violator in Lebanon. -VOA - 8/21/06

New Iranian airlines must be able to purchase five jets
No permit is going to be issued for launching new airline companies unless the applicant could demonstrate financial ability to purchase five airliners, Iran's Roads and Transportation Minister Mohammad Rahmati announced on Sunday. -MNA - 8/21/06

It Seems to Me That Iran is Deriving Great Pleasure From the Current Situation
Iran is due this week to give its reply to the UN Security Council concerning whether or not it will cease its program of uranium enrichment. Konstantin Kosachev (KK), Chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee, explains to Nargiz Asadova (NA) what sanctions will be introduced if Iran refuses and what Russia's position on the issue will be. -Kommersant - 8/21/06

Responding to an Iranian Counter-Proposal:
Iran will respond to the P5+1 proposal by Tuesday, August 22. The Iranians are expected to neither give a firm approval nor a categorical rejection. Rather, Tehran will likely seek to initiate negotiations with the West without agreeing to suspend enrichment activities, making that eventuality a conclusion of negotiations rather than a prerequisite to them. -NIAC - 8/21/06

Earthenware Statuette of a Woman Discovered in Boukan
Archeologists have succeeded in discovery of an earthenware statuette in Qalaichi Tepe in Boukan which is believed it was an oblation to Qalaichi temple. -CHN - 8/21/06

Pollack: Blaming Iran for all problems in the Middle East "very dangerous"
“They [the Iranians] are not diabolical geniuses… to credit all that goes wrong in the region to the Iranians is dangerous,” said Kenneth Pollack, Director of Research at the Brookings Institution, at a panel sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace entitled “Understanding the Iran-Hezbollah Connection”. -NIAC - 8/20/06

Iran completes study on nuclear incentive package: FM Spokesman
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday that Iran has finished study on a package of incentives offered by the Group 5+1. -IRNA - 8/20/06

Afghanistan: Scotsman's Trek Explores 'Places In Between'
In the winter of 2002, a 29-year-old Scotsman set out from Herat, in western Afghanistan, to walk 800 kilometers to Kabul. Rory Stewart -- an Oxford-educated former British Foreign Service officer -- was told to expect to meet death along the way -- whether from cold, wolves, or a Kalashnikov. -RFE - 8/20/06

Iranian author to preside over Hans Christian Andersen Awards jury
Iranian children's book author Zohreh Qaiini has been appointed president of the jury for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards for 2007 and 2008, which is organized by the Switzerland-based International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). -MNA - 8/20/06

Iran finishes runner-up at Polish wrestling meet
Iran finished runner-up to Turkey at the international freestyle wrestling tournament, Ziolkowski, in the Polish city of Siedlce Sunday. -MNA - 8/20/06

Hezbollah Handing Out Cash to Rebuild Lebanese Homes
As soon as the U.N. brokered cease-fire went into effect in Lebanon last Monday, Hezbollah's social welfare machine shifted into high gear. -VOA - 8/20/06

Iranian FM: US disregard for world public opinion to worsen regional crisis
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Saturday underlined that the US unilateral approaches to and disregard for the world public opinion will deteriorate regional tension and crises. -IRNA - 8/20/06

Iranian Jewish Hospital ready to admit Palestinians for medical treatment
The Association of the Iranian Jewish community and management of Tehran-based Jewish hospital `Sepir' said on Sunday that the hospital is ready to admit Palestinians wounded by Israeli regime for medical treatment. -IRNA - 8/20/06

Iran Tests Short-Range Missiles
Iran today said it test-fired new surface-to-surface short-range missiles, following the start of large-scale military exercises throughout the country to introduce a new defensive doctrine. State-run television ran a video showing 10 missiles being launched from mobile launching pads. -RFE - 8/20/06

Iranian artist Nadalian wins top award at Italy's Verdearte
land artist Ahmad Nadalian won the top award at Italy's Verdearte Exhibition on August 12, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday. -MNA - 8/19/06

Iran to export gas to Europe via Turkey
The Islamic Republic of Iran is to export natural gas to Europe via neighboring Turkey, said the oil minister upon his return from Ankara late at night on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/19/06

Iran: Controversial Holocaust Cartoon Exhibition Opens
Governments around the world, Jewish groups, and many politicians have condemned an international cartoon contest on the Holocaust, which opened as an exhibition on August 14 in Tehran. -RFE - 8/19/06

Iran's national airline offering 50 percent discount to students abroad
The Islamic Republic of Iran Airlines (Homa) announced Saturday it would give a 50 percent discount to Iranian students abroad who want to visit their homeland. -IRNA - 8/19/06

Urge Iran to reverse threat to Shirin Ebadi's human rights organization
Urge the government of Iran to reverse the threat to the CDHR and other human rights defenders and allow them to carry out their activities, free from intimidation and prosecution, according to Iranian and international law. -Nobel Womens Initiative - 8/19/06

Iran: 8 million informal settlers living across country
An official said on Saturday that 17 percent of Iran's urban population, comprising about eight million people, live in informal settlements. Speaking at a meeting in this western province on a plan to empower and rehabilitate informal settlements, Asadollah Tabatabai, advisor to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, added that 77 percent of informal settlers live below the poverty line. -IRNA - 8/19/06

"Blow of Zolfaqar" wargames begin in southeastern Iran
The Iranian armed forces began their first stage of massive wargames code-named `Blow of Zolfaqar' along border areas of this southeastern province Saturday morning. -IRNA - 8/19/06

The changing face of Iran
The mullahs rule the streets but behind closed doors Iran's well-heeled toke on pot and pass the bootleg vodka. Paul McGeough looks at an authoritarian state at war with itself. -SMH - 8/19/06

Author Vali Nasr Discusses Growing Political Power of Shi'a Muslims
Vali Nasr, author of the recently published book, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future, says that, by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, the U.S.-led coalition unintentionally strengthened Iraq's Shi'a majority and helped launch a broad Shi'a revival that could upset the sectarian balance in Iraq and in the Middle East for years to come. -VOA - 8/19/06

China to provide Iran with $10b credit line
China Development Bank (CDB) has agreed to establish a $10b credit line with Iranian banks within the next two months, Mohammad Khazaii told the Persian service of Fars News Agency on Friday -MNA - 8/19/06

Quake jolts central Iranian city of Tabas
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale hit southern parts of the city of Tabas in the central province of Yazd in the wee hours of Saturday. -IRNA - 8/19/06

Azerbaijan: Murder Trial Highlights Corrupt Law Enforcement Agencies
The confession last month by Haci Mammadov, a former high-ranking Azerbaijani Interior Ministry official, that he ordered the murder last year of an opposition journalist on behalf of then-Economic Development Minister Farhad Aliyev has shocked Azerbaijan.-RFE - 8/19/06

Rebuilding and Regrouping
As Lebanese dig themselves out of the rubble, Hizbullah's shift from fighting to politicking is reinforcing its support. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 8/19/06

Iran's Offshore Oil Co exports 18-20 mn barrels of crude oil per month
Iran's Offshore Oil Company exports 18-20 million barrels of crude oil per month. A report released by the international department of Iran's ffshore Oil Company quoting the company's export and import manager, Mahmoud Baharvand, said that its current daily production of crude oil is 740,000 barrels. -IRNA - 8/19/06

Guinness to register Iranian artwork as world's longest painting
Iran's five-kilometer-long painting is scheduled to be registered by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest painting on August 22. -MNA - 8/19/06

Persecuted Iranian Rights Defender Gets International Support
Rights advocacy groups here are calling for the United Nations to support human rights defenders in Iran. -OneWorld - 8/18/06

Bush Must Negotiate to Make America Safer, Say Former Generals
Twenty-one former generals and high ranking national security officials have called on United States President George W. Bush to reverse course and embrace a new area of negotiation with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. In a letter released Thursday, the group told reporters Bush's 'hard line' policies have undermined national security and made America less safe. -OneWorld - 8/18/06

Iran's Chief Prosecutor Says Jailed Writer 'Confessed'
Tehran's "Kargozaran" (Executives) pro-reform newspaper today quoted Iran's chief prosecutor as saying jailed writer Ramin Jahanbegloo has confessed to pursuing a peaceful regime change in the country. - 8/18/06

US Expects Swift Sanctions Action if Iran Defies UN Resolution
Senior U.S. diplomat Nicholas Burns said Thursday he expects the United Nations to move quickly on sanctions if Iran rejects the Security Council demand that it halt uranium enrichment. Iran has until August 31 to respond to the council resolution. -VOA - 8/18/06

Iran's tar virtuosos Shahnaz and Darvish Khan honored
A ceremony honoring tar virtuosos Jalil Shahnaz and the late Darvish Khan was held at Tehran's Honar Cultural Center on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/18/06

Iran's Samimi stands second at world discus meet
Iranian discus thrower Mohammad Samimi finished runner-up at the 11th world youth track-and-field edition in China Thursday. -MNA - 8/18/06

At least 17 Iranians were killed in car accident in Turkey
At least 17 Iranians were killed and 26 injured, some critically, Friday morning when a bus carrying them to Iran collided with a truck in eastern Turkey. -IRNA - 8/18/06

Blogging Mr. President
Why would Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decide to post an online diary? And why is it such a hit? -Newsweek - 8/18/06

Fearing Prosecution, Bush Admin Tries to Change War Crimes Act
The White House recently proposed changes to the War Crimes Act that would narrow the scope of punishable offenses under the Geneva Conventions. The new list would exclude humiliating or degrading treatment of prisoners. We host a debate with attorneys Scott Horton and David Rivkin. -Democracy Now - 8/18/06

Iran's South Pars gas production touches 119b cu.m.
Gas production from South Pars (SP) field in southern Iran has reached 119 billion cubic meters of which 107 billion has been delivered to the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), managing director of SP Complex Homayun Shukohi said on Friday. -MNA - 8/18/06

Kurds flee homes as Iran shells Iraq's northern frontier
Turkey and Iran have dispatched tanks, artillery and thousands of troops to their frontiers with Iraq during the past few weeks in what appears to be a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of Kurdish rebel bases. -Guardian - 8/18/06

Under the radar: an Iranian and America
The humiliation of Iranian professionals by United States immigration officials harms all involved – and makes the struggle for democracy in Iran even harder, says journalist and award-winning human-rights activist Omid Memarian. -Open Democracy - 8/18/06

IAEA inspectors visit Natanz nuclear site in Iran: source
Inspectors from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a series of inspections of Iran's nuclear enrichment installations at Natanz during the past few days, an official who talked on condition of anonymity said on Thursday. -MNA - 8/18/06

Wake up call for Iranian Communities around the World: War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to war on Iran
The horrific US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon under the pretext of self defense for the capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah is setting the stage for a US/Israeli military assault on Iran that would lead to a major conflagration in the Middle East and beyond. Only the global antiwar movement and urgent action by a united Iranian community can stop such an aggression. -Iranian anti-war activists - 8/18/06

Iranian Army to launch war games
Iran's army will start a series of military war games on Saturday to support the government's policies, the Army Deputy Commander Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/17/06

US Wants Official Iranian Response to UN Resolution
The United States Wednesday brushed aside a comment by Iran's foreign minister that Tehran may be willing to discuss a halt to uranium enrichment. The State Department says what is required is a formal Iranian reply to the U.N. Security Council resolution giving Iran until the end of the month to suspend enrichment or face sanctions. -VOA - 8/17/06

Reflection of Ahmadinejad's interview with CBS in US media
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's interview with US news network, CBS, triggered mixed reactions in US media, enraging some, while causing others to admire him. -IRNA - 8/17/06

Iran begins importing V8 autos
Eight cylinder automobiles once again hit the nation's streets. Imports of the cars had been banned for years. -MNA - 8/17/06

Triumphant Iran's Next Moves
Ignore Israel's and Hezbollah's boastful claims of victory in their bitter, but largely inconclusive war. The real winner of the month-long conflict is neither -- it's Iran. -Military.com - 8/17/06

The Building War on Iran
"Despite vehement official assertions to the contrary, indications are increasing every day that the Bush Administration has already decided that conventional diplomacy will fail as a way to manage its confrontation with Iran, and that military action against the Teheran regime has therefore already reached the point of final countdown." - Indymedia - 8/17/06

Israelis fear Nejad’s blog
Reports have recently removed the veil over the multilingual Web log launched by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in which he discusses his background and beliefs, focusing on belittling the power of the U.S. and criticizing its role in destabilizing the Middle East. -Aljazeera - 8/17/06

New phase in Mid-East power struggle
In the aftermath of the Lebanon war, there is euphoria in parts of the Arab world that a blow has been dealt not just to Israel but also to US hopes of reshaping the region. -BBC - 8/17/06

Number of Civilian Deaths Highest in July, Iraqis Say
An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths that month, 3,438, is a 9 percent increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January. -New York Times - 8/17/06

How to create a buzz
Shappi Khorsandi ends her stand-up show, Asylum Speaker, with a line in Persian - which she doesn't translate. The point is that no one understands it. Unless, of course, there are Iranians in the audience, as happened this week in Edinburgh. -Guardian - 8/17/06

Iran, Turkey oil ministers meeting positive for region: ambassador
Iran Oil Minister's Tuesday visit to Turkey has established a new chapter in energy field between the two nations and it would further entail peace and stability in the regional market as the result, Iran's Ambassador to Ankara commented here on Wednesday. -MNA - 8/17/06

Samand Assembly Line to be Inaugurated in China
The assembly line for manufacturing the popular Iran-made 'Samand' automobiles will be officially inaugurated in China in the presence of the Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines, a ministry official said. -FARS - 8/17/06

Group Says Iran Is 'Not a Crisis'
Seeking to counter the White House's depiction of its Middle East policies as crucial to the prevention of terrorist attacks at home, 21 former generals, diplomats and national security officials will release an open letter tomorrow arguing that the administration's "hard line" has actually undermined U.S. security. -Times - 8/17/06

Iran: Supreme Leader calls Bush's claims on victory of Israel ridiculous
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyed Ali Khamenei referred to recent remarks of US President George W Bush that the Zionist regime's military offensive in Lebanon was a defensive move and that Israel had emerged victorious as an example of this lack of reason and logic. -IRNA - 8/17/06

Ban of Legal Aid Center Raises Concern over Iran's Human Rights
When the Iranian government notified the Center for Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) that it was illegal and that if its activities continued, members risked arrest, co-founder Shirin Ebadi responded with an international e-mail appeal for support. - 8/17/06

The Missiles of August: The Lebanon War and the democratization of missile technology
The events of September 2001 disproved the assumption that only a state could make war on another state. Now Hezbollah's confrontation with Israel has provided further education about how the world is changing. Hezbollah's campaign is a clear sign of how the democratization of missile technology -- cruise missile technology, in particular -- is reshaping global realities. -Technology Review - 8/17/06

14 Teachers and 6 Students from Iran Participate at IEARN World Conference
This year, 14 teachers and 6 students from Iran, in addition to the iEARN-Iran coordinator, were among the 425 participants representing 45 countries who attended the 13th International iEARN World Conference held in the Netherlands -SAF - 8/16/06

Iran to hold "Persian Gulf" international air exhibition in Kish
Iran's third international air exhibition named "Persian Gulf" will be inaugurated with the presence of 40 foreign and 60 domestic companies in the Kish Island on November 28th, 2006. The exhibition will run through December 1. - 8/16/06

Iran's response to 5+1 offer beyond West's expectation: AEOI Director
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Gholamreza Aqazadeh said on Tuesday that Tehran will respond to the 5+1 group's nuclear offer by the previously announced date. -MNA - 8/16/06

Iran: Defensive Wall of a Huge Fortress Discovered in Nader Tepe
Archeologists succeeded in discovering the remains of a defensive wall of a big fortress belonging to the Parthian dynastic era during the stratigraphy works in Nader Tepe. -CHN - 8/16/06

Utah University to Hold Seminars on Iran and Her Neighbors
International seminar on Iran and Her Neighbors has been organized by the Middle East Center of the College of Humanities of the University of Utah during 2006 and 2007. -CHN - 8/16/06

Desert of Trapped Corpses Testifies to Israel's Failure
Far from humiliating Iran and Syria - which was the Israeli-American plan - these two supposedly pariah states have been left untouched and the Hizbollah's reputation lionised across the Arab world. The "opportunity" which President George Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, apparently saw in the Lebanon war has turned out to be an opportunity for America's enemies to show the weakness of Israel's army. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 8/16/06

Human Rights: Trick or Treat?
When former president Jimmy Carter gave a speech on December 7, 1978 on the importance of human rights in American diplomacy, Wei Jingsheng, a young Chinese man was listening in Beijing; he also made the grave mistake of believing him -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 8/16/06

Quake hits central Iranian city of Tabas
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale hit outskirts of the city of Tabas in the central province of Yazd Wednesday. -IRNA - 8/16/06

Mike Wallace - Drunk? Bush Hack? or Just Past His Prime [poll]
I was stunned by the taunting and unprofessional interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by Mike Wallace as shown on 60 Minutes. Mike Wallace interupted answers by the Iranian President and kept trying to present a perspective in the questioning IMHO. I am not a fan of Ahmadinejad but Wallace's interview was embarassing. What do you think? -Daily Kos - 8/16/06

Iranian cleric dismisses Western media allegations on threats against Israel
Iran's Friday Prayer substitute leader Ahmad Khatami dismissed on Wednesday recent anti-Israeli remarks attributed to him by certain Western media. -IRNA - 8/16/06

Iranian President: US, Britain not qualified to attend UNSC
The chief executive said that these countries have disreputed the UNSC by their miscalculated measures, adding that therefore, they should not have a seat in the UN Security Council. -IRNA - 8/16/06

US Blasts Iran, Syria, for Lebanon Comments
The Bush administration Tuesday sharply criticized Iran and Syria for claiming victory for Hezbollah in the Lebanon conflict. The Bush administration says that despite its claims of victory, the conflict was a strategic setback for Hezbollah as well for its two main international sponsors. -VOA - 8/16/06

Lebanon: South Beirut after a month of bombing
At first, heavy silence hang over Haret Hreik and other areas of south Beirut early on Tuesday morning as scenes of an apocalypse emerged from the thick smoke and smell of fresh gunpowder. -IRIN - 8/16/06

Lebanon Faces Massive Reconstruction Task
The head of the country's council for development and reconstruction, Fadl Shalak, said today that the damage incurred "amounts to $3.5 billion." The amount includes $2 billion for buildings and $1.5 billion for infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, and power plants. -RFE - 8/16/06

Christians United for Israel: New Christian Zionism Lobby Hopes to Rival AIPAC
We take a look at a new recently established group called Christians United for Israel - an evangelical organization that believes supporting expansionist policies of the Israeli government is: "a biblical imperative." -Democracy Now - 8/16/06

Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Not Yield to Pressure in Nuclear Standoff
Iran's president says his country will not yield to pressure in the standoff over Tehran's nuclear activities. -VOA - 8/16/06

Iranian Nuclear Site Makes Nearby City Boom While Tourists Flee
The prayer leader in Natanz, a thriving oasis community less than 20 miles from Iran's main nuclear-enrichment facility, is a happy mullah with a packed mosque. -Bloomberg - 8/16/06

Iran Hints At Willingness To Discuss Enrichment Issue
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has suggested Tehran would be willing to discuss suspension of its controversial uranium enrichment program but would argue such a step was "illogical." - 8/16/06

Assessing the P5+1 Package to Iran
Iran has said it will respond to the P5+1 package proposal by August 22, and assuming that Tehran refuses to accept the proposal without some revision, the discussion of the next steps by the P5+1 will begin in earnest. -Gareth Porter, NIAC - 8/16/06

Free Thinker
Iranian Dissident Akbar Ganji, at Liberty to Speak His Mind, at Least Until He Goes Back Home -Washington Post - 8/15/06

FILM: "Men at Work" shares Founder's Prize at Traverse City Festival
Mani Haqiqi's "Men at Work" was the cowinner of the Founder's Prize of the 2nd Traverse City Film Festival, which it shared with two other movies -MNA - 8/15/06

Watching Lebanon: Washington’s interests in Israel’s war
The United States and Israel have shared intelligence and enjoyed close military coöperation for decades, but early this spring, according to a former senior intelligence official, high-level planners from the U.S. Air Force—under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for a decisive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities—began consulting with their counterparts in the Israeli Air Force. -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 8/15/06

Iran Opens Controversial Holocaust Cartoon Exhibition
An exhibition of more than 200 cartoons about the Holocaust opened today in the Iranian capital, Tehran. - 8/15/06

Middle East: A Look At Who Gained, Who Lost
"I think all the parties are losers, to a considerable degree. Israel lost its sense of invincibility and formidable force. Hizballah lost a lot of its missiles, and a lot of its political position inside Lebanon. Iran has lost part of its deterrent force inside Lebanon, and the United States has further lost much of its image in the region." -RFE - 8/15/06

Iran starts building cement plant in Belarus
An Iranian company has started building a cement plant in Belarus. Iran's Azarab Co. of Arak has embarked on a major project to design and build a cement production plant in this republic. -MNA - 8/15/06

Seymour Hersh: U.S. Helped Plan Israeli Attack, Cheney "Convinced" Assault on Lebanon Could Serve as Prelude to Preemptive Attack on Iran
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reports in this week's issue of the New Yorker that Israeli officials visited the White House earlier this summer to get a "green light" for an attack on Lebanon. The Bush administration approved, Hersh says, in part to remove Hezbollah as a deterrent to a potential US bombing of Iran. -Democracy Now - 8/15/06

Fragile truce holds as Israelis withdraw
Israeli troops began pulling back from occupied parts of southern Lebanon today and prepared to hand captured positions over to UN peacekeepers as an uneasy truce settled into its second day. -Guardian - 8/15/06

LEBANON: We're not just fighters, says Hezbollah
Across Beirut and its devastated southern suburbs, a relief effort organised and financed by Hezbollah has been helping hundreds of thousands of displaced people, according to one of the Islamist party's officials. -IRIN - 8/15/06

Iranian, Algerian Officials Stress Shared Views
Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem have emphasized their shared opinions on the Lebanese conflict and the nuclear issue. - 8/15/06

Bush Says No Victory for Hezbollah
President Bush says Hezbollah militants in Lebanon suffered a defeat in their month-long conflict with Israel. Mr. Bush spoke at the State Department just hours after a fragile cease-fire went into effect. -VOA - 8/15/06

Returning to their devastated homes, the people of Lebanon claim victory
The war started in Aitta Shaab, where Hizbullah fighters stole across the border and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers one month ago. When it ended at 8am yesterday morning - and not a minute earlier - the tiny town bore fearful testament to Israel's wrath. -Guardian - 8/15/06

Iranian-made Ababil-T Hezbollah UAV shot down by Israeli fighter in Lebanon crisis
The wreckage indicates the UAV was an Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (HESA) Ababil-T delta-wing, twin-tail, pusher-propeller aircraft. Hezbollah has claimed since 2004 that it is able to field an armed UAV. -Flight Global - 8/15/06

'The Best Guerrilla Force in the World'
Hezbollah's irregular fighters stood off the modern Israeli army for a month in the hills of southern Lebanon thanks to extraordinary zeal and secrecy, rigorous training, tight controls over the population, and a steady flow of Iranian money to acquire effective weaponry, according to informed assessments in Lebanon and Israel. -Washington Post - 8/15/06

Thespians prepare for solo shows in Niavaran
A solo theater festival is to be held from September 16 to 21 in Tehran at the Niavaran Cultural Center. -MNA - 8/15/06

Russia: Algeria Deal Revives Talk Of Gas Cartel
Is Russia -- the world's leading producer of natural gas -- preparing to create a gas equivalent of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)? The possibility of such a cartel has been discussed by Russian policymakers for years. -RFE - 8/15/06

Israel's Verdict: We Lost the War
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, was obliged to admit "shortcomings" in the 34-day-old conflict in Lebanon yesterday as he launched what may prove a protracted fight for his own political survival. -Independent - 8/15/06

At War with Syria and Iran: The Neo-Cons May Get Their Wish
With no shame in drawing the U.S. into the Iraq quagmire three-and-a-half years ago, the same group of neo-conservatives including William Kristol, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthhammer are pushing for Israel/U.S. go to war with Syria and Iran. What is amazing is that despite the deep mess they got us into in Iraq, President Bush and his foreign policy team is actually listening to them. -Foreign Policy in Focus - 8/15/06

For Iranian Radicals, The Fighting in Lebanon was an Exercise in Self-Restraint
For the radical conservatives calling the shots in Iran, the fighting in Lebanon marked an exercise in self-restraint. And now that a ceasefire is taking hold in the conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah militia, Tehran’s restraint stands to bring it significant geopolitical benefits. -Eurasianet - 8/15/06

Farhat's Persian Gulf Symphony released in Iran
The Sorush Institute finally released the CD of the Persian Gulf Symphony composed by Shahin Farhat on Monday. The name and identity of the Persian Gulf inspired him to compose the symphony. -MNA - 8/15/06

UN unfairly pressuring Iran: Zarif
Iran's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad-Javad Zarif, in an article written for the CNN.com website, believes that "the UN is unfairly pressuring Iran." Zarif's article is hereunder reprinted in full. -IRNA - 8/15/06

"Marriage, Iranian Style" warmly received in U.S
"Marriage, Iranian Style" directed by Hassan Fat'hi has been on screen in the United States since August 4 and has been warmly received by audiences and critics. -MNA - 8/14/06

U.S. Iran Policy Irks Senior Commanders: The Military vs. Militaristic Civilian Leadership
There is strong evidence that as the Bush administration is mulling over plans to bomb Iran, the simmering conflict between the high-ranking military professionals and the militaristic civilian leaders is bursting into open. The conflict, festering ever since the invasion of Iraq, has now been heightened over the administration's policy of an aerial military strike against Iran -Ismael Hossein-zadeh, Drake University - 8/14/06

Iranian Dissident Urges Caution
A critic of the Islamic regime says U.S. intervention would lead to more oppression. Some in 'Irangeles' question his motives. -Los Angeles Times - 8/14/06

Can this be the last Arab-Israeli War?
Of all the gruesome and tragic photos of the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, one clip remains in my mind; that of an injured boy lying on the ruin of what was his house, raising his hand showing a V sign to the camera. -Saeed Rahnema, Canada - 8/14/06

Iranian Censors Clamp Down on Bloggers
Iranian authorities are stepping up arrests and pressure on popular bloggers as part of a wider Internet clampdown launched after hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president last year, ... -AP - 8/14/06

No evidence Iran active in Iraq: US general
There is no evidence the Iranian government is stirring trouble in Iraq, a U.S. general said on Monday, playing down suggestions that Tehran will retaliate for U.S. backing of Israel's war on Hizbollah. -Reuters - 8/14/06

Iranian President Launches Web Log
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has launched his own Web log in Persian, Arabic, and English. -RFE - 8/14/06

Iran's junior judo team wins bronze medal in German tournament
Iran's junior judo team won a bronze medal Sunday evening during the German International Judo Championship, held in Berlin. More than 400 judokas from over 30 countries competed in the two-day tournament. -IRNA - 8/14/06

Iran's culture intertwined with mysticism: scholar
Iranian scholar Nasrollah Hekmat said here on Monday that Iran's culture has a tendency toward mysticism and illumination, so one can not talk about reviving the philosophy of Avicenna. -MNA - 8/14/06

Iran, Iraq agree to establish joint security committee in charge of Arvandroud
Abadan Police Chief Colonel Ali-Reza Matin-Rad said on Monday that Iran and Iraq have agreed to establish a joint committee to promote the security of Arvandroud river. -IRNA - 8/14/06

What Has Happened to the Israeli Army?
So what has happened to the Israeli army? This question is now being raised not only around the world, but also in Israel itself. Clearly, there is a huge gap between the army's boastful arrogance, on which generations of Israelis have grown up, and the picture presented by this war. -Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com - 8/14/06

Manufacturing Terror
In their empire building, the Bush/Blair/Israel (Olmert) team, intend to take innumerable more lives. The only thing that will stop them is the truth and the American people. The truth is hidden in a web of deception and the people live in a culture of fear. Fear is what keeps Americans unified; without it, the United States would fall apart, become a failed state. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 8/14/06

Iranian government spokesman: Sharif University instructors can raise charges against US
The official said that Iranian courts are legally prepared to process a complaint against the US government, adding that university instructors have the right to raise their claims at domestic courts and claim for damage. -IRNA - 8/14/06

Bisotun Threatened by Kermanshah Polymer Company
Just after one month of its inscribing in the list of UNESCO's World Heritage sites, Bisotun is threatened by the activities of Kermanshah Polymer Company. -CHN - 8/14/06

Iran; Is Tehran Protecting Its Investment In Hizballah?
Both Israel and Lebanon indicated their willingness to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, agreed on which has brought a halt to nearly five weeks of fighting. Hizballah accepted the cease-fire but refused to disarm. -RFE - 8/14/06

The Extent of Haft Daghnan Buried City Determined
Archeological excavations and soundings in Haft Daghnan city led to discovery of the exact area of this historical buried city. With identifying the residential, industrial, and business areas, archeologists believe that the domain of this historical city, which was booming during the Safavid era (1502-1736 AD), must have been more than 100 hectares. -CHN - 8/14/06

Reading Jefferson in Tehran
One member of President Bush's "axis of evil" has a surprising democratic heritage. -Washington Post - 8/14/06

A defeat for Israel, but also for justice
The U.N. resolution is a consolation prize for the Olmert regime, whose failure in Lebanon throws the wider U.S.-Israeli game plan for the region into disarray. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 8/14/06

Iranian filmmaker Saman Salur wins Locarno Golden Leopard for dark comedy
The Iranian dark comedy "A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral" (2006) directed by Saman Salur won the Special Jury Prize in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival. -MNA - 8/13/06

Iranian FM briefs reporters on his talks with Egyptian officials
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday briefed reporters on the outcome his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. -IRNA - 8/13/06

Iran warns it might quit IAEA - Speaker
Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel on Sunday warned Iran might quit the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "There will be no reason for us to remain a member of the international bodies and IAEA if our membership is to result in our deprivation from our inalienable rights." -MNA - 8/13/06

Iraq emphasize expansion of ties with Iran
First Vice President Parviz Davudi and the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani held talks in Tehran on Sunday announcing the interest of Iran and Iraq in boosting bilateral ties. -MNA - 8/13/06

Armed bandits kill 8 policemen on Bam-Zahedan road
In a terrorist ambush by armed bandits on Bam-Kerman road in southeast Iran, 8 policemen were martyred and three were injured. -IRNA - 8/13/06

UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israel
The United Nations Human Rights Council issued a strongly worded condemnation of Israel Friday for violating human rights and international humanitarian law in its military operations in Lebanon. -IPS - 8/13/06

Huge Oil Spill Off Lebanon Threatens to Ravage Life in the Sea
A massive oil spill off the coast of Lebanon is choking marine life, polluting the air as it evaporates and threatening to produce a long-lasting ecological disaster if Israel doesn't allow cleanup crews into the sea soon, environmental officials here warned Friday. -McClatchy Newspapers - 8/13/06

The Real Nasrallah
How a son of Beirut's slums became one of the most engaging, and dangerous, leaders in the Muslim world. -Newsweek - 8/13/06

UN says 'peace tomorrow' despite Israeli attack
Israel dramatically defied a unanimous United Nations Security Council ceasefire resolution by escalating its ground war yesterday in southern Lebanon, asserting that it needed more time to 'clean up' Hizbollah. -Guardian - 8/13/06

Iran foreign debt over USD 24bn last year
Iran's foreign debt stood at dlrs 24.264 billion by the end of the previous Iranian calendar year 1384 (March 20,2006), The Central Bank of Iran announced Sunday. -IRNA - 8/13/06

Past, Present, Future
Walking through my past, I stop at Persepolis near my birthplace, Shiraz, The tall columns standing proud are the pillars of my strength and I am in awe, Then come the images of humble Pasargad, surviving through the centuries, Humble, and magnificent, reminder of a great time -Zohreh Rastegar - 8/12/06

The Buck Stops Where?
Today the war entered its fifth week. Hard to believe: our mighty army has now been fighting for 29 days against a "gang" and "terrorist organization," as the military commanders like to describe them, and the battle has still not been decided. -Antiwar.com - 8/12/06

US Senators Press China on Missile Sales to Iran
A group of U.S. senators visiting China to discuss trade and security have questioned Beijing about reports that missiles it sold to Iran ended up in the hands of the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. -VOA - 8/12/06

Iran stokes Iraq unrest, U.S. says
Iran is pressing Shiite militias here to step up attacks against the American-led forces because of the Israeli assault on Lebanon, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Friday. -New York Times - 8/12/06

Iran beats U.S. at world women's canoe polo meet
Iran's women canoeists edged past the United States 4-2 in the world competitions in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, Saturday -MNA - 8/12/06

Amnesty International: Four Iranian Arabs forcibly returned
Amnesty International has learnt that Iranian Arabs Faleh 'Abdullah al-Mansuri, Rasool (or 'Abdulrasool) Mezrea', Jamal 'Obeidawi (previously named in error as two people: Jamal 'Abdawi and Jamal Obeidi) and Taher 'Ali Mezrea' were reportedly forcibly returned to Iran from Syria on 16 May. - 8/12/06

U.S. President's 'Islamic Fascists' Remark Sparks Controversy
U.S. President George W. Bush used the phrase "Islamic fascists" to characterize the alleged U.K. bomb plotters in a speech on August 10. Bush's use of the phrase has not gone unnoticed in the Muslim world -- where any joining of the words has long been controversial. -RFE - 8/12/06

Iraqi oil minister arrives in Tehran
Iraq's oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, arrived here at the head of a six-member expert delegation to follow up agreements already concluded with Iran. -IRNA - 8/12/06

Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast
Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday. -New York Times - 8/12/06

Learning From Hezbollah
Whatever the objective truth of Hezbollah's motives, its many supporters in southern Lebanon believe fervently that it is their organization, not an Iranian surrogate. Few if any American units in Iraq have achieved anything close to this level of success in winning the support of the local population. -Washington Post - 8/12/06

Bolton Gets Sandbagged?
Now, as all members of the Security Council knew full well, Bolton was lying. Or, rather, repeating an Israeli lie. No one, including IAEA inspectors on the ground, has ever "uncovered" any evidence that the Iranians have been pursuing a nuclear weapons program. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar.com - 8/12/06

Lebanon Gripped by Anti-American Sentiment
In trendy central Beirut, a large banner looms over the now nearly empty streets of downtown: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stares intently, with piercing fangs and blood dripping from her lips. -McClatchy Newspapers - 8/12/06

Iran inaugurates `Samand' car assembly line in Belarus
An assembly line for Iranian `Samand' cars was inaugurated in Unison Company in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, on Saturday in the presence of Iranian Minister of Mines and Industries Alireza Tahmasbi. -IRNA - 8/12/06

Hezbollah's Resistance Boosts Its Standing in Middle East
Hezbollah has proven to be more resilient in the face of Israeli attacks than expected during the fighting in southern Lebanon. Its continued resistance has boosted the militant group's standing in the Middle East. -VOA - 8/12/06

U.S./Russia: Arms Sanctions Threaten Business Ties
U.S. State Department's August 4 announcement that it was imposing sanctions on the two Russian defense firms set off a firestorm in Moscow. The sanctions were leveled against a total of seven firms -- in Russia, North Korea, India, and Cuba -- for their dealings with Iran. -RFE - 8/12/06

Times Get Tougher For NGOs in Iran
Facing official restrictions on meaningful participation in political affairs, some Iranians have come to view nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as a way to get involved and help themselves and others. But hard-liners associated with Iran's president have expressed misgivings about NGOs. -RFE - 8/11/06

Criticism of ban on human rights centre co-founded by Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi
Reporters Without Borders today condemned a government decision to ban the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights, an Iranian NGO that has played an active role for years in defending journalists and freedom of expression. - 8/11/06

K-Salaam takes on 'The World'
It's not hard for K-Salaam to stand out from the crowd. There aren't many Iranian-Americans in hip-hop, and he wears his heritage proudly. -Star Tribune - 8/11/06

Iran ships 82 tons in aid to Lebanon
Since Israel waged all-out offensive against Lebanon, the Islamic Republic of Iran has donated 82 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of Lebanon, an Iranian official said. -IRNA - 8/11/06

San Francisco: State Dept Must Condemn Female Stoning Deaths in Iran
At the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' meeting today, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, an all-around good guy and veteran progressive advocate who just happens to be Iranian American, introduced this resolution for consideration by his colleagues. -Michael Petrelis - 8/11/06

Iran's mobile phone subscribers to reach 15m by Feb. 2007
The total number of the SIM cards in Iran will reach 15 million by February 19, 2007, the head OF Mobile Communications Company's directorate said here on Friday. -MNA - 8/11/06

Books to accompany passengers on Tehran intracity transit
Municipality's Cultural and Artistic Organization will distribute books among the passengers on the buses and the subway trains by the end of the summer, the organization's public libraries manager told the MNA on Friday. - 8/11/06

Iran's five-card trick
Iraq, Hizbollah, Palestine, oil, the Shi'a - Iran has a fistful of geopolitical assets in the conflict-ridden middle east. But, asks Roger Hardy, can it use them? -Open Democracy - 8/11/06

Persian Angelenos Pledge Money, Support to Israel
The emotional evening capped weeks of urgent fundraising on behalf of Israel by the 30,000 strong Iranian Jews living in Southern California and 15,000 Iranian Jews living in New York. -Jewish Journal - 8/11/06

Seven killed in copter crash in northern Iran
Iranians were killed in a helicopter crash in Hashemabad, Amol, northern Mazandaran Province, at about 6 (0230 GMT) Friday morning. -MNA - 8/11/06

Shiraz ready to grow
When Ramin Akrami opened his tiny Shiraz restaurant last winter, it was meant only for takeout. Akrami, whose other career is systems management and manufacturing, simply wanted to offer Iranian food to people and not lose money. -Louisville Courier-Journal, KY - 8/11/06

Venezuela 'to sever Israel ties'
The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has said his country is likely to sever ties with Israel in protest at its military offensive in Lebanon. -BBC - 8/11/06

New and unkown deadly weapons used by Israeli forces
By now there are countless reports, from hospitals, witnesses, armament experts and journalists that strongly suggest that in the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza 'new weapons' are being used. -CRG - 8/11/06

US and France Clash over Ceasefire Plan Facing Collapse
A draft UN ceasefire resolution on Lebanon was unravelling last night as the two co-sponsors, France and the United States, bickered over several key provisions, notably the timing of an Israeli withdrawal. -Independent - 8/11/06

Central Asia: Security Services Take On Religious Dissent
Rafiq Qori Kamoluddin, the prominent ethnic Uzbek religious leader who was killed during a security raid in southern Kyrgyzstan on August 6, is not the first imam to have been targeted by law-enforcement agencies in the region. Several other Uzbek imams have been persecuted before. -RFE - 8/11/06

LEBANON: Hear Our Voices - Displaced twice take shelter in Sanayeh Garden
Following continued Israeli bombardment of southern Beirut, Abu Youssef and his family of nine left a relative's house in the southern district of Shyah in the middle of the night and headed to Sanayeh Gardens, a park in the centre of the capital that has become a shelter for the displaced. -IRIN - 8/11/06

IRAQ: Fear rises along with death tolls
Fear of violence among Iraqis has been amplified by the latest violent death toll of nearly 2,000 in July, making it by far the deadliest month this year. Sectarian violence has overtaken insurgency as the cause of death, officials said. -IRIN - 8/11/06

Iran cinema booms as people crave smiles over style
International audiences have come to know Iranian cinema as a lyrical but slow-paced genre where horses slog through snowy Kurdish mountain passes and children spend two hours looking for a lost banknote. -Reuters - 8/11/06

Neo-Conservatives' "Favorite Democrat" Falls
Tuesday's defeat in Connecticut's primary election of President George W. Bush's "favourite Democrat", Sen. Joe Lieberman, by a little-known anti-war candidate marks a major setback to neo-conservative hopes of maintaining bipartisan support for the administration's aggressive foreign policies, particularly in the Middle East. -IPS - 8/11/06

Neocon Dreams, American Nightmares
Taking what might be considered the moderate neocon position on the Israel/Hezbollah war, the editors of The New Republic demand that the Bush Administration "move ruthlessly to prevent Iran from acquiring the deadliest arsenal of all," while their contributor Michael Oren calls only for an Israeli, rather than an American, attack on Syria. -Nation - 8/11/06

Persian Jewish Artist Finds New Freedom
She has won international art competitions, sold her works around the globe, and even had her pieces displayed in renowned galleries around the world. Yet nothing might be more gratifying for Iranian Jewish artist Krista Nassi than displaying her work for the first time in the United States at Gallery 33 East in Long Beach on Aug. 12. -Jewish Journal - 8/11/06

Nuclear row boosts Iranian president
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preparing to confront the US and United Nations security council over Iran's nuclear activities partly to distract attention from the country's worsening economic problems, sources in Tehran have said. -Guardian - 8/11/06

Nuclear survivors discuss human toll of atomic strike on Iran
“If the nuclear site at Isfahan was attacked by two bunker busters, within forty-eight hours, nuclear fallout would cover most of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India with 2.6 million people dying immediately,” said Simin Royanian of Women for Peace and Justice in Iran at a House briefing today commemorating the 61st anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. -NIAC - 8/11/06

The Dissident Goes to Hollywood
Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, in the U.S. to gain support for his reform movement, strikes a chord among the celebrity set -TIME - 8/11/06

Update on Stoning Sentence of Ashraf Kalhori
I am writing to thank you for acting to save Ashraf Kalhori from execution by stoning. I am glad to inform you that Ayatollah Shahroudi has acted to stop the execution of Ashraf, the 37 year old mother of four, who was sentenced to stoning for having had extramarital sex. -Shadi Sadr, Tehran - 8/11/06

Iran 'Officially' Charges Ex-Muslim with Drug Trafficking
Seven years after Issa Motamedi Mojdehi converted from Islam to Christianity, Iranian secret police have jailed him for abandoning Islam but officially charged him with illegal drug trafficking. -Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct News - 8/11/06

Iran: Tehran Protests U.S. Treatment Of Would-Be Visitors
Iran is protesting the detention and fingerprinting of a group of Iranian academics and engineers when they tried to enter the United States to attend a scientific gathering. They all had valid entry visas and were bound for a northern Californian reunion organized by alumni of Tehran's prestigious Sharif University of Technology on August 4-6. Iranians living in the United States have expressed fear that the travellers were victims of rising tensions between Washington and Tehran. -RFE - 8/11/06

Iran: Activist's Return To Custody Sparks Concern
Human rights advocates are expressing concern over the fate of a student activist who was rearrested and jailed about two weeks ago. Some reports suggest that Ahmad Batebi has launched a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. -RFE - 8/11/06

IRAN: Former student activist Ahmad Batebi on hunger strike
Former student activist Ahmad Batebi was reportedly re-arrested on 27 July and taken to an undisclosed place of detention, believed to be Evin Prison in Tehran. He is reportedly being denied access to his family and his lawyer, and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. -Amnesty International - 8/10/06

Robots to Explore Archeological Sites under Persian Gulf
A robotic vehicle is to be sent deep into the Persian Gulf to excavate the area under the waters, searching for the parts of the Siraf Port drowned over time as the water advanced to the shoreline. -CHN - 8/10/06

New Industrial City Could Threaten Bisotun
Project to build an industrial city in the vicinity of Bisotun can threaten the cultural landscape of this World Heritage Site. -CHN - 8/10/06

Western NGOs Condemn Ban On Iranian Rights Group
Two prominent western nongovernmental rights organizations are demanding that Iran revoke a decision to outlaw the Center of Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group led by 2003 Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. -RFE - 8/10/06

China at Center of Shifts in Energy Trade Patterns
Energy analysts meeting at a Washington forum Wednesday discussed the shifting pattern of energy supply and consumption with particular reference to new pipelines likely to be built to get Central Asian oil and gas to world markets. -VOA - 8/10/06

Austria to build high-speed rail in Iran
Austrians are to assist Iran with construction of Gorgan-Mashhad high-speed rail and the final form of the proposal will be put on Roads and Transportation Ministry's desk by September 22, 2006 -Mehr - 8/10/06

Iran establishes automobile assembly line in Belarus
The Iranian Ministry of Industries and Mines has plans to set up seven or eight Samand assembly lines in different parts of the world specifically in Venezuela, Syria, Senegal, China and Belarus, he said. -IRNA - 8/10/06

July: Iraq's deadliest month
At least 1 800 people were killed across Iraq in terror attacks and other violence during July, said authorities on Wednesday. The record number of people were killed by terrorist acts, violence by sectarian death squads and criminal gangs. -News24 - 8/10/06

War With Iran 'Inevitable,' Former Israeli Defense Chief Says
War between Iran and Israel is "inevitable," a former deputy defense minister retired Maj. Gen. Efraim Sneh told NewsMax in an exclusive interview from his home near Tel Aviv. -Newsmax - 8/10/06

Antiwar Challengers Across US Get a Vote of Confidence
While Connecticut is a Democratic bastion, Lamont victory over Lieberman -- his party's vice presidential nominee in 2000 -- sent a signal to incumbents across the country that angry voters may punish them for backing the war or for supporting President Bush, according to political analysts. -Boston Globe - 8/10/06

Lebanon: the view from Iran
Iran's state and media are fervent in support of Hizbollah. Are the people persuaded? Kamin Mohammadi, in Tehran, reports. -Open Democracy - 8/10/06

Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated
Moderate reformers across the Arab world say American support for Israel’s battle with Hezbollah has put them on the defensive, tarring them by association and boosting Islamist parties. -New York Times - 8/10/06

Iranian official: For US, Iranian nuclear issue is just an excuse
In an interview with New Delhi-based 'The Hindu' Larijani said, "Iran is a member of the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and all our nuclear energy activities are within its framework. The International Atomic Energy Agency inspects our facilities and has installed surveillance cameras in atomic centers where we have our activities. -IRNA - 8/10/06

Iran summons Swiss charge d'affaires over US humiliating behaviour toward Iranian travellers
Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Swiss charge d'affaires in Tehran on Wednesday to object the humiliating behavior of US officials in several American international airports towards Iranian graduates and experts of Sharif University of Technology. -IRNA - 8/10/06

Iranian Union Leader Released On Bail
A prominent leader of Iran's workers movement was released today from jail on bail after having spent seven months in prison. - 8/10/06

Iranian Leader Speaks To Mike Wallace
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sat down with Mike Wallace in Tehran on Tuesday in a rare, exclusive interview with a Western reporter. -CBS - 8/10/06

Iran is an important power in Middle East: Chirac
French President Jacques Chirac said on Wednesday that Iran is an important power in the Middle East which should be consulted on resolving the Lebanon crisis. -Mehr - 8/10/06

Iran Filmmaker Focuses on Love Not War
As Western leaders fret over Iran's nuclear ambitions and support of the Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, filmmaker Mani Haghighi offers a different take on his country with the story of four ordinary guys and one big rock. -AP - 8/10/06

Iran: Human Rights Defenders under attack- Amnesty International calls for the ban on leading independent human rights organization to be over-turned
Amnesty International is alarmed at the continuing erosion in the human rights situation in Iran, highlighted by the announcement that the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR, in Persian, Kanoon-e Modafean Hogooge Bashar), co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been banned. - 8/10/06

Apocalypse Near
Following intellectuals' letter, Prof. Noam Chomsky explains his doctrine, discusses danger of Israel's nukes compared to 'Iranian threat,' global media's role in escalating Mideast conflict and US's place in picture -ICH - 8/10/06

Ahmadinejad : "We are still interested in dialogue based on justness and fairness"
Those who think only about bombs, war, and attacking others are the root cause of everything that is wrong in the world, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells The Hindu in an exclusive interview. -Hindu - 8/10/06

My 24h stay in US
Eight of the graduates of SUT and their spouses and I (6 men and 3 women) were traveling by LH454 line o­n 3rd of Aug which reached there (San Francisco) at noon. At the first of our entrances two officers checked the passports of all the passengers, they sent me to the other o­ne who controlled my visa and checked my name by a list. He told me to stay there. -Esmaeelzadeh, Sharif University - 8/10/06

The Great Deception: The propaganda that we pay for
"What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence". (Bertrand Russell) -Abbas Bakhtiar - 8/9/06

Turning Back Iranians With Valid Us Visas: Is This The Way To Win The Hearts And Minds Of The Iranian People?
United States government could not have made its position towards the current Islamic Government of Iran clearer, even if it tried. The U.S. Administration's position, however, with respect to Iranian people is quite another story. If you sufficed to listening to the words uttered by those in charge, you would not doubt that the Administration has taken a rational approach to this issue. -Farzad Naeim and Najmedin Meshkati - 8/9/06

After Lebanon, there's Iran
When the war in Lebanon ends, the US will have to piece together a whole new strategy for dealing with Iran - especially its nuclear program. The Israeli- Hizbullah war has boldly ratcheted up Iran's regional stature at the same time it has depleted US influence and prestige. -Vali Nast, CSM - 8/9/06

Momentum builds for Iran-sanctions bill
While the war between Israel and Hezbollah continues to dominate international headlines, new momentum is developing for a long-stalled Iran-sanctions bill that the Senate will consider after the August recess. -The Hill - 8/9/06

Iran defeats UAE 1-0 in soccer friendly
Striker Gholamreza Enayati found the net after five minutes to help Iran beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 1-0 in a football friendly in Azadi Stadium, west of Tehran, Tuesday. -Mehr - 8/9/06

Arab League Wants UN to Press for Withdrawal of Israeli Troops from Lebanon
A delegation from the League of Arab Nations has met with the U.N. Security Council to push for revisions to the U.S.-French draft resolution aimed at a truce in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. From New York, VOA correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports talks will continue Wednesday. -VOA - 8/9/06

Iran hits out at US remarks on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project
Hitting out at Washington after an American official's comments about the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, Tehran on Tuesday said the United States should support such projects for the benefit of the international community instead of polluting political atmosphere. -IRNA - 8/9/06

LEBANON: Fuel shortages threaten hospital services
Lebanese officials have said that hospitals are threatened with closure as a result of severe fuel shortages nationwide. -IRIN - 8/9/06

Drug Addiction Rates Soar in War-Torn Afghanistan
The United Nations says addiction rates in war-torn Afghanistan have doubled in the past two years, to the point that nearly a million people are now using illegal drugs. -VOA - 8/9/06

Israel's Military Invincibility Dented by Hezbollah
Israel's phenomenal victories against collective Arab armies in 1967 and later against Egypt in 1973 firmly established the Jewish state's legendary military superiority in the Middle East. But as the relentless military attacks against Hezbollah and Lebanon continue into the second month, the duration of the current conflict and the resistance by the Islamic militia have dented Israel's reputation of military invincibility in the Middle East. -IPS - 8/9/06

In Mideast war, stakes keep rising
A series of landmark wars shaped the modern Middle East. Will the the Israel-Hizbullah conflict reach that scale? -CSM - 8/9/06

Half of U.S. Still Believes Iraq Had WMD
-- Do you believe in Iraqi "WMD"? Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003? Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq. -AP - 8/9/06

Galloway: 'The Violence Will Go On'
George Galloway has spoken out in support of Lebanon, saying he believes Hizbollah is justified in attacking Israel. The Respect MP also lambasted media coverage of the war and said the UN resolution means nothing. -Sky Reports - 8/9/06

IAPAC Seeks Full-Time Development Director
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) is seeking applications for the position of Development Director to plan and execute fund development activities for the organization. - 8/9/06

Iran Khodro to produce 100,000 hybrid cars
Provision 13 of Budget Law 85 (Iranian fiscal year March 21, 2006 to March 20, 2007) impels the nation's auto manufacturers to produce 280,000 light hybrid cars, a certain percentage of total production, by yearend, project manager of bi-fuel auto production at Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) noted on Tuesday. -Mehr - 8/9/06

Hizballah's Lack Of Structure Is Its Strength
As Hizballah resists almost four weeks of Israeli air and ground operations, many analysts are calling it the most effective Arab force the Israeli army has yet faced. -RFE - 8/9/06

40 Iranians Are Turned Back at a U.S. Airport
Amid rising tensions with Iran, American officials have abruptly revoked the visas of dozens of Iranian professionals headed to a university reunion in Northern California this weekend, refusing them entry as they landed at several American airports. -New York Sun - 8/9/06

Iran's unseen art
An Iranian painter creates works that can never be seen in her own country -Toronto Star - 8/9/06

Iran: Former Inmate Gives Account Of Dissident's Death In Custody
A political activist who was in jail along with former student protest leader Akbar Mohammadi when he died has told Radio Farda that he witnessed Mohammadi's recent death in custody. -RFE - 8/9/06

Iran Criticizes Draft Lebanon Resolution
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki described a U.S.-French draft UN resolution on the Mideast conflict as "an operation against Lebanon." -RFE - 8/8/06

Aiming for Iran
The entrenched hostility between the United States and Iran is one of the most tragic and dangerous legacies of the old century to the new. It is tragic because the two countries have so many connections and interests in common, and it is dangerous because it so readily fuels violent conflict in the Middle East, as it did in the Iran-Iraq war, in Lebanon in the early 80s, and as it is doing again in Lebanon today. -Guardian - 8/8/06

Iran: Officials Ban Rights Group Led By Nobel Peace Laureate
Iran has banned a rights group led by the country's 2003 Nobel Peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi. The Interior Ministry said on August 2 that Ebadi's four-year-old Center of Human Rights Defenders failed to obtain a valid operating permit and warned that any related activities could be prosecuted. -RFE - 8/8/06

US Defends Indian Non-Proliferation Record Despite Sanctions
The State Department Monday defended the Indian government's record in combating weapons proliferation despite the imposition of U.S. sanctions last week against two Indian firms for dealings with Iran. -VOA - 8/8/06

I Am Pro-Israel, Therefore I Criticize Israel
I am pro-Israel. That’s why I criticize Israel’s violence in Palestine and Lebanon every chance I get. -Ira Chernus, Common Dreams - 8/8/06

Condi's 'New Middle East'
"Things are as they are, and their consequences will be what they will be. Why then should we seek to be deceived?" Columnist Stewart Alsop, dead now these 30 years, once closed a column with this quote from the philosopher Bishop Berkeley. His column, I believe, was about Vietnam. -Patrick J. Buchanan, Antiwar.com - 8/8/06

Germany gives Iran lesbian asylum
A court in Germany has accepted an Iranian woman's bid for asylum on the grounds that she is a lesbian. -BBC - 8/8/06

American Opinion Split on US Position on Israel-Lebanon Conflict
Diplomatic efforts are intensifying as Israeli warplanes continue to pound southern Lebanon. The U.S. says it is working closely with European leaders and the U.N. Security Council to put an end to the fighting but insists an immediate ceasefire will not guarantee a lasting peace. Meanwhile, Americans public opinion appears split on how to end the nearly 4-week-old conflict. -VOA - 8/8/06

The UN on Trial
Last week, thousands of angry demonstrators attacked United Nations headquarters in Beirut in an outpouring of grief, anger, and frustration at yet another Qana massacre. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar.com - 8/8/06

Journalists Discuss Increasing Shi'a influence in Middle East
Many analysts say Iran is using Hezbollah as part of a grand design to dominate the Middle East and introduce a Shi'a Muslim hegemony into the region -VOA - 8/8/06

Iran's Zarbang to bang their drums in Sweden
The Iranian percussion ensemble Zarbang is scheduled to give concerts in Sweden on November 10, 11, 12, and 15. -Mehr - 8/8/06

Message from Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi on banning of Center for Defense of Human Rights in Iran
There is a very important matter I would like to discuss with you. I conduct my human rights activities through the Defender of Human Rights Center (DHRC). I am the president of this center and we have three important responsibilities - 8/8/06

In 100,000 strong London demonstration: "No peace in Middle East until threats to Syria and Iran are abandoned"
Up to 100, 000 people took part in the anti-war demonstration in London on Saturday August 5, 2006 demanding an immediate ceasefire in the US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon and the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli soldiers from Lebanon. - - 8/8/06

Iran: Government Outlaws Nobel Laureate's Rights Group
The Iranian government should immediately reverse its threat of prosecution against Iran’s most prominent independent human rights organization, Human Rights Watch said today. - 8/8/06

Mideast first cloned animal was born in Iran
The Middle East's first cloned animal was brought to life in the Royan research center related to Iran's Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research. -ISNA - 8/7/06

The Dangerous Diplomacy: "Bias and Blunder are bane to the world peace"
For decades American citizens have been brain washed and misguided with the word, “terrorists” when they should have been educated and informed not only about the Middle East, its culture and traditions, but also about United States foreign policy in the region. -Zoe Rastegar - 8/7/06

Photos: Women's dragon boat competitions in Tehran
Featured below is a selection of images of the opening ceremony of women's dragon boat event in the presence of Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf in the lake of Azadi Sports Complex, west of the capital, Sunday. -Mehr - 8/7/06

Influencing Iran’s nuclear options
With the Security Council’s decision to grant Iran a August 31 deadline to respond to a proposal from the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany (P5 + 1), the public discussion of U.S. policy toward the issue of Iran’s nuclear program continues to focus largely on whether diplomatic pressures on Iran will succeed, and if not, whether other pressures should be brought to bear or military force used against Iranian nuclear sites. -NIAC - 8/7/06

World Bank envoys voice concern over upcoming rush into Tehran Stock Exchange
During a meeting with Tehran Stock Exchange Organization (TSEO) managing director Ali Salehabadi here on Sunday, a group of World Bank officials voiced concern over the possibility that as many as 20 million new shareholders could suddenly enter the TSE in the near future. -Mehr - 8/7/06

Bolaghi Gorge Ancient Ovens to be Relocated to Persepolis
Experts have started the process of transferring the 7000-year-old clay baking ovens found in Bolaghi Gorge to Persepolis. -CHN - 8/7/06

Hiroshima Commemorates 61st Anniversary of US Atomic Attack
Some 45,000 people recited silent prayers at 8:15 am (2315 GMT), the exact moment in 1945 when a single US bomb killed more than 140,000 people and fatally injured tens of thousands of others with radiation or horrific burns. -AFP - 8/7/06

A Nice Little War
"Condoleezza Rice's stubborn struggle against any attempt to stop the war shows that this is indeed the aim of the United States. From the first day of George Bush's presidency, the neo-cons have been calling for the elimination of Syria. The deeper Bush sinks into the Iraqi quagmire, the more he needs to divert attention with another adventure." -Uri Avnery, MMN - 8/7/06

Rice: Iraq Isn't Becoming Another Iran
Iraq is not on track to become another Iran despite the disconcerting images last week of Iraqis burning U.S. flags and chanting "Death to America," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday. -AP - 8/7/06

Quake hits Gachsaran in southwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the outskirts of Gachsaran in the southwestern province of Kohgilouyeh-Boyer Ahmad Monday morning. -IRNA - 8/7/06

News Media's Love-Hate for Nuclear Weapons
Since the Soviet Union collapsed a decade and a half ago, nuclear weaponry has been mostly relegated to back pages and mental back burners in the United States. A big media uproar about nuclear weapons is apt to happen only when the man in the Oval Office has chosen to make an issue of them. -Norman Solomon, Common Dreams - 8/7/06

UN: Lebanon, Arab States Seek Changes To Draft Resolution
On August 5 and 6, a draft resolution agreed by France and the United States was criticized by Beirut and Arab nations for not ordering the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. Today, Washington and Paris are expected to circulate a new draft at the UN that will take into account amendments suggested by Lebanon and other council members. -RFE - 8/7/06

Alchemy of Emotions
Years of clinical experience and studies led me to see and realize that there is a way that we can “vaccinate’ ourselves against diseases. A healthy diet (1), enough rest, sleep and recreation (2), some kind of physical activity (3) and finally adoption of a dynamic solution-finding-attitude towards life problems (4) are the four basic needs for this purpose. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 8/7/06

Iran: Government Balks At Gasoline Rationing
Balancing economic and fiscal responsibility with campaign promises can be a problem for any elected official. For Iran's populist president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, this has proven especially difficult. -RFE - 8/7/06

Akbar Ganji to deliver speeches at Berkeley and Stanford Universities
Iran's most prominent dissident journalist and human rights activist Akbar Ganji will be speaking at Berkeley University on August 10 and at Stanford University on August 13. - 8/7/06

Azam Ali: "A glorious unforgettable instrument"
In a career which spans over a decade and includes eight collaborative albums and solo albums, Azam Ali has confirmed her place as one of the most prolific, versatile, and gifted singers on the world music stage today. Her dedication to defying cultural specificity in music, and her unwillingness to settle into one form of musical expression have earned her the respect of both her peers and critics worldwide. -Sanaz Ebriani, Six Degrees Records - 8/7/06

Iran To Expand Nuclear Work With UN Checks
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, today said Iran will expand its nuclear fuel work whenever it wants to, but only under UN inspections. - 8/6/06

Larijani: Iran's leading role in region has nothing to do with nuclear issue
"We have already declared in the past that if Iran's peaceful nuclear dossier is referred to UNSC, we will no longer abide by NPT additional protocol as our Majlis is determined to make decisions to this end and we should wait for such decisions," he said. -IRNA - 8/6/06

UN Security Council to Reconvene on Mideast, Beirut Unhappy with Draft Resolution, VOA_URL, By VOA News
On a visit to Beirut, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Moallem rejected the U.N. resolution as what he called a "recipe for the continuation of war." Iranian state media reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad phoned his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to discuss mediation efforts. -VOA - 8/6/06

Tehran Mayor: Ninety sports centers for women to be opened
Some 90 women-only sports centers are to be opened on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr (Oct. 25,2006), Tehran's Mayor Dr. Mohammad Qalibaf said. -Mehr - 8/6/06

Iran importing 60% of its steel
Iran's annual demand for steel stands at 15 million tons, of which only 40 percent is produced domestically, the managing director of the Markazi Province Trade Organization said on Saturday. -Mehr - 8/6/06

Russia Calls US Sanctions Against Two Weapons Companies 'Unlawful'
Russian officials have reacted sharply to the sanctions imposed by the United States against two major weapons firms, calling the action "unlawful." The sanctions were announced in Washington on Friday. -VOA - 8/6/06

Israel's Quagmire
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, has asserted that Israel will destroy Hezbollah or at least force it far enough north so that its rockets cannot threaten the Jewish state. As many have noted, this is turning out to be more difficult than expected. -Thomas Gale Moore, Antiwar.com - 8/6/06

Iran's strategic crude reserves to rise by 10m barrels by March 2008
A total of 10 million barrels of crude will be added to Iran's strategic oil reserve by the end of Iranian calendar year 1386 (March 20, 2008) -Mehr - 8/6/06

LEBANON: Agriculture in peril as war drags on
Lebanese agricultural production, badly affected by the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, faces a crisis if the conflict does not end soon, according to government officials. -IRIN - 8/6/06

Turkmenistan to meet Iran's gas shortage
Iranian Oil Minister Seyyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said on Saturday that some plans have been considered to meet the shortage of gas in winter. -IRNA - 8/6/06

Iran's South Khorasan province produces 21% of world's saffron
The world's annual saffron production stands at around 210 tons, some 45 tons of which is produced in the Iranian province of South Khorasan. - 8/6/06

Israel and US Looking for a Lebanon Pretext to Attack Iran
The criminal war waged by Israel against Lebanon is the first stage of a regional war against Syria and Iran planned for months by the US and Israel with support from Tony Blair. Determined to widen the conflict by attacking Syria and Iran, the three aggressor countries Israel, the US and the UK, have firmly opposed and continue to oppose an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon -Abbas Edalat, CASMII - 8/5/06

Iran: Rights Groups Criticize Death Of Jailed Student Activist
International human rights groups, Iranian political activists, and well-known reformers have condemned the death of Iranian student activist Akbar Mohammadi in Tehran's notorious Evin prison and called for an independent investigation to be made. -RFE - 8/5/06

Lolita and Beyond: Foaad Khosmood interviews Hamid Dabashi
You recently published a strongly worded article in Al-Ahram weekly (June 1-7, 2006) devoted almost entirely to deconstructing Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” While you acknowledge the legitimate sources of grievance by women living in the Islamic Republic, you nevertheless see the book as an extension of American imperial hegemony. -ZMAG - 8/5/06

House-Approved Us-India Nuclear Accord Prohibits Iran Cooperation
The House of Representatives passed legislation on the 26th of July endorsing President Bush’s civilian nuclear cooperation deal with India with slight modifications that include giving Congress more oversight over the accord. The legislation (H.R.5682), which includes language requiring India’s support for US efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program, passed after hours of debate by a thumping 359-68 vote. -NIAC - 8/5/06

Lobster for Iran
“Iran’s biggest threat since Nazis,” said Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz, according to the Guardian; “The world must not wait! Since Hitler we Jews have not faced such a threat” as presented by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who “further stirred international outrage by calling on Israeli Jews to be resettled in Europe” -Israel Shamir - 8/5/06

Iranian students win ASLA award in U.S.
Two Iranian students from Shahid Beheshti University won the 2006 Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for a joint plan on restoration of damaged buildings. -Mehr - 8/5/06

Afghan Capital Faces Energy Crunch
Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, faces a crippling energy shortage with basic electricity only available six hours a day. Officials say demand is soaring, but international support for the city's energy needs is being cut and widespread power outages are expected throughout the coming winter. -VOA - 8/5/06

Missiles Neutralizing Israeli Tanks
Hezbollah's sophisticated anti-tank missiles are perhaps the guerrilla group's deadliest weapon in Lebanon fighting, with their ability to pierce Israel's most advanced tanks. Experts say this is further evidence that Israel is facing a well-equipped army in this war, not a ragtag militia. -AP - 8/5/06

US Sanctions Seven Foreign Firms for Iran Dealings
The United States announced sanctions Friday against seven foreign companies for selling Iran technology that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction. The affected firms are in North Korea, Cuba, India and in Russia, which has sharply criticized the U.S. action. -VOA - 8/5/06

Bridge Bombing Paralyses Lebanon Aid Pipeline
Israel's bombing of key highway bridges in northern Lebanon and strikes at a Hizbollah stronghold in south Beirut paralysed United Nations aid convoys on Friday, but other aid continued to arrive by air and sea. -Reuters - 8/5/06

Lebanon: Factories come under fire by Israel
The main shareholders are Christians and Sunni Muslims, and a major Lebanese bank. "Many of the employees are Shi'ite, of course," he said, "but we don't do politics here, we make milk." -IRIN - 8/5/06

Iran's Samand achieves Euro III emission standard
A new model of Samand, Iran's first passenger car achieving Euro III emission standard, rolled off the assembly line -Mehr - 8/5/06

Iran eyeing four continents for auto manufacturing
Iran has successfully managed through a $435,729,847.49 investment to export its car manufacturing industry to various countries, in particular Azerbaijan Republic, and now it is seeking to extend its assembly lines to the four continents, the Iranian Industries and Mines Minister Alireza Tahmasbi said in Tehran on Friday. -Mehr - 8/5/06

"Qajar Pact" hits bookstores in Britain
Published by I. B. Tauris, "The Qajar Pact, Bargaining, Protest and the State in Nineteenth-Century Persia" is based on original research carried out in Iranian archives. - 8/5/06

Blumenauer, King Honor Iran’s Constitutional Revolution
Three Iran-related resolutions were introduced in the House last week, two that celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of August 5th, 1906, and the other condemning human rights violations in Iran. -NIAC - 8/5/06

Iranian guitarist Lily Afshar performs piece for peace in Lebanon
Iranian guitarist Lily Afshar performed a piece for peace in Lebanon during her concert at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Thursday night. She was the first Iranian woman to earn a doctorate in guitar performance, which she received from Florida State University. - 8/4/06

OIC Leaders Demand Immediate Cease-Fire
At an emergency session of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) today, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the leaders of around 20 Islamic countries demanded that the United Nations pursue and enforce an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon. -RFE - 8/4/06

US House Resolution 967 Recognizes 100th Anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution
On July 28th, 2006 Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) submitted the resolution H.Res.967 recognizing and honoring the 100th anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution which was referred to the Committee on International Relations. - 8/4/06

The neocons' next war
By secretly providing NSA intelligence to Israel and undermining the hapless Condi Rice, hardliners in the Bush administration are trying to widen the Middle East conflict to Iran and Syria, not stop it. -Salon - 8/4/06

Iran: parents of hunger striking student who died in jail schedule wake
The parents of Akbar Mohammadi, the students' leader who mysteriously died in jail on Sunday night while he was on a hunger strike to demand better prison conditions, have called for a wake to be held in his memory on Friday in their hometown of Amol in the northern Iran. Meanwhile 400 Iranian intellectuals signed on Thursday a petition demanding that an autopsy be carried out on Mohammadi's body by an international forensic team. -AKI - 8/4/06

Iran Says Nuclear Dispute Can Still Be Settled Through Talks
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is still considering an international package of incentives to suspend sensitive nuclear activities. -VOA - 8/4/06

The Lebanon Conundrum
co·nun·drum: A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma -Antiwar.com - 8/4/06

Blair Predicts UN Resolution on Lebanon Within Days
The prime minister urged both Iran and Syria to help resolve the crisis. He also stressed that once a solution to Lebanon is put in place, then it is vitally important to quickly get the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians started again, and supported. -VOA - 8/4/06

Russia warns Iran over deadline
Russia has urged Iran to heed a UN Security Council resolution giving Tehran until the end of the month to suspend uranium enrichment. -BBC - 8/4/06

ANALYSIS-Iran's oil finds ready buyers despite nuclear row
There is no shortage of buyers for Iranian oil despite a threat of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in the standoff with the West over its nuclear programme, analysts said on Thursday. -Reuters - 8/4/06

Iran: Nobel peace prize laureate's group is banned
Iranian authorities banned on Thursday the human rights group founded four years ago by a group of lawyers including Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. -AKI - 8/4/06

LEBANON: Holed up in southern mountains
The road inland from the port city of Tyre, 60km south of Beirut, is riddled with craters filled with mangled cars. A cattle pen is jammed with dead and dying cows left to starve after their terrified owner fled. -IRIN - 8/4/06

Quake Alarm hits Iranian market
Invented in the U.S. in 1995, the Quake Alarm is an inexpensive earthquake detector for homes, offices and school classrooms that sounds a loud buzzer 40 seconds before a quake begins, the equipment importer told the Tehran Times. -Mehr - 8/4/06

Iranian official: US cause of escalation of insecurity, terrorism in Middle East
In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News of the British television, Larijani added that the war in Lebanon is not a war between Iran and the US, but a war between the US and all Islamic nations. -IRNA - 8/4/06

US Generals: Civil War in Iraq Possible
The commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East told Congress Thursday that militants are trying to push Iraq into civil war, but he also said he believes the Iraqi government and military can prevent that if they have strong international support. -VOA - 8/4/06

US Expects Lebanon Cease-fire Action at UN Early Next Week
The State Department says it still hopes for a U.N. resolution by Friday aimed at ending the Lebanon fighting, though officials say action early next week is more likely. A senior American envoy is being sent to the region while a U.S. effort to boost the capability of the Lebanese armed forces is being planned. -VOA - 8/4/06

Iran warns crude oil price will top $200 if sanctions are imposed
Iran's deputy foreign minister, Manouchehr Mohammadi, warned on Friday that price of crude oil will exceed 200 dollars if the Untied Nations Security Council issues sanctions on Iran. -IRNA - 8/4/06

Farsi T-shirts show beautiful side of Iran
The class assignment was simple: design a shirt that says something about your life. So Nima Behnoud made one that said, in Farsi script, "Political prisoners must be freed.'' -Waterloo Record, Canada - 8/4/06

Human Rights Watch: End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians in Lebanon - Some Israeli Attacks Amount to War Crimes
Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. - 8/4/06

Scattered Thoughts
The propaganda machinery here has been engaged in top gear in creating a cinematic scenario where the Iranian theocracy is involved in a grand scheme to gain enough support within the Islamic World, through sympathy or by coercion, to become the dominant force in the oil rich Middle East and to challenge the West as America’s rival superpower. For that, Iran is portrayed as an evil entity that has been trying to acquire the ultimate weapon to first eliminate Israel as the regional threat against its ambitions, and then to attack Europe and threaten the United States. -Kam Zarrabi - 8/4/06

HERvoices: In Iran - Project Overview
Concern: The U.S. government’s language about, and politics towards, Iran suggest that Iran is vulnerable to further U.S.-initiated tensions. The American public is hearing a lot about Iran from the U.S. Government’s and U.S. media’s perspective, however is deprived of easy access to the ideas about and on Iran, from the perspectives of those most knowledgeable: the Iranians in Iran, themselves. - 8/3/06

Iran: Imprisoned Dissident Dies in Custody
The Iranian government should immediately allow an independent investigation into the suspicious death in prison of student activist Akbar Mohammadi, Human Rights Watch said today. - 8/3/06

On the Centenary of Iranian Constitutional Revolution
During the early 1900s the only way to save Iran from governmental corruption and foreign manipulation was to make a written code of laws. This sentiment gave birth to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. -CHN - 8/3/06

Iran: Akbar Mohammadi's death in custody signals need for justice reform
The death in custody of Akbar Mohammadi, a 38-year-old former student, in the early hours of 31 July 2006 casts a pall over the entire Iranian justice system, Amnesty International said today. - 8/3/06

Trade between Iran and major economies hits $6.25b over 4 months
While China, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia, and South Korea were busy pushing for a resolution against Iran's nuclear program, the trade volume between Iran and these major economic powers over the past four months hit $6.25 billion, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) announced on Wednesday. -Mehr - 8/3/06

Iran: 22 Post Sassanid Cemeteries Discovered in Kurdistan province
Studies and identifications in the historic areas of Marivan in Kurdistan resulted in discovery of 22 graveyards in this province which are dated to the Islamic era. -CHN - 8/3/06

Iran, India, Pakistan express satisfaction over pipeline negotiations
First round of the third-tripartite Joint Working Group (JWG) of Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project ended on a positive note in New Delhi on Thursday. -IRNA - 8/3/06

Worry about Iran, but also engage it
As the war in Lebanon metastasizes into ever more tortuous strands, we are nearing the point where the conflict's aftermath might resolve nothing at all. In that context, the meeting between French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, on Monday at least had the merit of opening a diplomatic channel that will be needed to pave the way for a broader political resolution. -Daily Star, Lebanon - 8/3/06

Iran after launching cheap national Internet
Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Mohammad Soleimani on Wednesday elaborated on ways to make cheap web access available across the nation. -IRNA - 8/3/06

Iranian woman awaits stoning decision
The chief of Iran's judiciary is to decide whether to have a woman stoned to death for adultery, in a case which has outraged human rights activists around the world. -Independent - 8/3/06

US to Supply Food With One Hand, Arms With Other
As Israel's bombing of Lebanon continues unabated into its fourth consecutive week, the United States says it stands ready to provide food, medicine, and humanitarian assistance to the thousands of internally displaced Lebanese caught in the crossfire. -Antiwar.com - 8/3/06

U.S., Humanitarian Groups Condemn Death of Iranian Activist
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack joined human rights advocates around the world in condemning the death of a jailed Iranian student dissident, Akbar Mohammadi. Mohammadi, 38, died July 30 after a nine-day hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin Prison. - 8/3/06

Hezbollah missile threat assessed
The impact of more than 300 short-range missiles launched by Hezbollah this week has been felt well beyond the towns and olive groves of northern Israel. -BBC - 8/3/06

Iran to connect to 3 neighbors' fiberoptic networks by October
Iran's negotiations with the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, and Kuwait on connecting to their fiberoptic networks are to be finalized by early October, the managing director of the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) said here on Wednesday. -Mehr - 8/3/06

Afghanistan: For Female Pilot, Childbirth Proved More Dangerous Than Flying
The difficulties of childbirth in Afghanistan have caused the country's Air Corps to lose its only two female pilots. One of the pilots, Colonel Lailuma, died recently from complications during the birth of her daughter. The other is Lailuma's mourning sister, Latifa. She says she'll stop flying because she thinks a commanding officer's negligence led to her sister's death. -RFE - 8/3/06

Iran's Threat to Cut Oil Flow in Nuclear Dispute May Backfire
Iran's leaders, threatening to disrupt oil supplies in any confrontation with the U.S. and Europe over a suspected quest for a nuclear bomb, may be pointing a lethal weapon at themselves. -Bloomberg - 8/3/06

Swiss backstage diplomacy grows over Iran
Switzerland, which represents the United States' interests in Iran, may be about to take on an increased role in the ongoing Iran nuclear crisis. -NZZ Online - 8/3/06

Israel’s Actions Harm Iranian Democracy Movement
If this is the impact of a war in which Iran is only indirectly involved, one can only imagine the negative consequences of any kind of direct U.S. military action against the country. But this hasn’t stopped people like ubiquitous television talking head William Kristol from calling on the United States to attack Iran. -Progressive - 8/3/06

How Israel's Bombing Turned Hizbollah Leader into a Symbol of Muslim Pride
A year ago he seemed a rebel without a cause. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbollah, was an important figure in Lebanon but seemed destined to remain on the sidelines of Middle East politics. -Independent - 8/3/06

The Iranian context
The war in Lebanon has diverted Israeli attention from the important resolution the UN Security Council passed Monday regarding the Iranian nuclear program. Resolution 1696 calls on Iran to stop enriching uranium by the end of the month, or else face sanctions. -Haaretz, Israel - 8/3/06

Time to talk to Iran
No international force is going to disarm Hizbullah. Israel must combine victory on the battlefield with diplomatic creativity -Ephraim Halevy, a former Mossad chief - 8/3/06

South Korean Report Says North Building Missile Bases, Cooperating With Iran
South Korean researchers warn North Korea is building new missile bases at home, while it seeks help from Iran to improve and market its long-range missile technology. -VOA - 8/3/06

LEBANON: France, UK, US seem closer to resolution
France, Britain and the United States edged closer to an agreement on Wednesday at the United Nations that would call for the cessation of hostilities in Lebanon, with a settlement potentially including the deployment of a multinational force. -IRIN - 8/3/06

Iran's permanent UN Ambassador writes to Annan on MKO terrorist organization
The letter reads, " Upon instruction from my Government, I have the honor to bring the following to your attention: On 16 June 2006 ,the French Government lifted a series of restrictions against a number of the leading members of a well-known terrorist group , namely the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO)." -IRNA - 8/3/06

Petition to US Federal Court in Chicago Opposing Seizure of Ancient Persian Tablets
The following petition is to be signed by the public for submission to the Federal court in Chicago, Illinois. If you are interested to join this effort, please download the original, sign and submit promptly. - 8/3/06

Iran: Preparing For A Defining Election
Buoyed by success in municipal, legislative, and presidential elections in recent years, fundamentalists associated with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad have now set their sights on the Assembly of Experts, the popularly elected body of 86 clerics that supervises and selects Iran's supreme leader. -RFE - 8/2/06

On Akbar Mohammadi's untimely death
I had the privilege of translating his prison memoirs recently. As I read through the one hundred or so pages, I came to know a young man who was innocent, pure of heart, someone from a small town in Mazandaran who became active in the political scene because he saw the injustice of his society and wanted to make a difference. -Fariba Amini - 8/2/06

Threat to World Peace
Not unlike Hitler's Germany, the current Israeli government continues to commit massacres against its neighbors with impunity, and not unlike Hitler's Germany, the people of Israel for the most part, stand behind their government's crimes against humanity. -Shahriar Mossaded - 8/2/06

LEBANON: Hear Our Voices – "The worst three nights of my life"
What was supposed to be a short visit to her parents' house in south Lebanon soon turned into a nightmare for Maysoon Arbid. Just hours after arriving, the conflict began and she found herself trapped and fearing for her life. -IRIN - 8/2/06

Senior Iranian Official Urges Muslims To Help Arm Hizballah
The head of Iran's influential Guardians Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, today urged Muslim nations to arm Hizballah against Israel, according to ISNA student news agency. -RFE - 8/2/06

Experts: Hezbollah Praised Among Arabs as Israel Cites Battle Successes
Israel has sharply increased its ground campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon, in an effort to push the militants back from the border before a cease-fire is declared. Israeli military leaders say Hezbollah has been severely weakened by the fighting, but some Middle East analysts say the group's popularity is increasing in the Arab world. -VOA - 8/2/06

Iran's oil projects with UK, South Korea well underway
Iran's oil contracts secured with UK and South Korea are well underway. Following the approval of a UN Security Council resolution on Monday, demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment latest by August 31, the MNA reviewed a number of Iran's oil agreements signed with UK and South Korea. -Mehr - 8/2/06

Israel and 'Moral Equivalence'
The Qana massacre was the occasion for a full-court propaganda campaign by Israel’s amen corner, and one has to say they rose to the occasion like real pros. First, of course, they expressed remorse – then, naturally enough, they blamed it all on… Hezbollah. -Antiwar.com - 8/2/06

LEBANON: Interview with SRSG for children and armed conflict
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, oversees the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution that deals with violations against children in times of war. -IRIN - 8/2/06

Economic sanctions against Iran ineffective: Experts
Iran's economy is capable to stand economic sanctions and the UN Security Council's Monday resolution forcing the Islamic Republic to suspend its nuclear activities latest by August 31 or face economic sanctions will render itself ineffective, Iranian experts and senior officials commented on Tuesday. -Mehr - 8/2/06

Iran's postal service privatization scheme on the desk
The Islamic Republic of Iran Post Company has prepared a comprehensive plan based on which the company will be ready for transfer to the private sector by the year end, noted on Tuesday the company's director general Mohammad-Hassan Mohebbian. -Mehr - 8/2/06

A Collective Failure In the Middle East
As recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, we watch with stunned disbelief as the fighting in Lebanon and Israel spins out of control, while the humanitarian crisis in Gaza apparently has slipped from public consciousness. The lack of global leadership in the face of this violence affecting hundreds of thousands of civilians is appalling. -Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams, IHT - 8/2/06

How Do we Sleep While Beirut is Burning? -Part Two
"On a daily and hourly basis, Beirut is now the target of an unsurpassed savagery from the air, from the sea, from the land. They are pounding Beirut. Their ships, their fighter jets, their artilleries, their unparalleled barbarity, pounding Beirut like there is no tomorrow, burning it to ashes, murdering its fragile peace, shredding its imperceptible harmony to pieces, its gloriously cantankerous and divided thinkers, journalists, artists, writers, historians, poets, photographers, filmmakers ..." -Hamid Dabashi, Electronic Lebanon - 8/2/06

Iranian Jews condemn Qana attack
The Jewish Association of Tehran (JAT) issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the Zionist forces' massacre of innocent women and children in Qana. -Mehr - 8/2/06

Lebanon: The Victimization of a Nation on the Path to Empire Building
The people of Lebanon, as are the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the former Yugoslavia before them, are victims of this ensuing struggle and Second Cold War to control resources, especially hydrocarbons. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq were all campaigns of the same conflict that has now engulfed Lebanon with death, ruin, and destruction and threatens to engulf Syria, Iran, and beyond. -Mahdi Nazemroaya - 8/2/06

Iran: Akbar Mohammadi's death in custody signals need for justice reform
The death in custody of Akbar Mohammadi, a 38-year-old former student, in the early hours of 31 July 2006 casts a pall over the entire Iranian justice system, Amnesty International said today. - 8/2/06

The Day after Qana Massacre: Who Cares?
Those that know the "real" history of the Middle East are not shocked with the recent tragic deaths of so many innocent people. They know that this episode, along with so many other atrocities will soon be forgotten. -Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, Norway - 8/1/06

Peres Says Iran Uses Hezbollah to Divert Attention from its Nuclear Activity
In New York Monday, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Iran is using Hezbollah and the conflict in Lebanon to divert attention from its nuclear ambitions. -VOA - 8/1/06

Tanavoli plans to create sculpture for Lebanon
Prominent Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli plans to create a sculpture to show his sympathy for the Lebanese people who are currently suffering under the Israeli bombardment. -Mehr - 8/1/06

Iraq plans to remove Pentagon’s proxy force
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and other top Iraqi officials are calling for the eviction of an anti-Iranian militant group that is reportedly orchestrating attacks and collecting intelligence inside Iran on behalf of the Department of Defense. -Online Journal - 8/1/06

Coroners to determine cause of Akbar Mohammadi's death in Evin prison: Iranian official
Tehran's Deputy Prosecutor-General Mahmoud Salarkia told IRNA that prison physicians have said Mohammadi died of "heart attack" but the exact cause of his death "should be determined by coroner office." - 8/1/06

The Next Steps With Iran
Negotiations Must Go Beyond the Nuclear Threat to Broader Issues -Henry A. Kissinger, Washington Post - 8/1/06

Key Republican Senator Chuck Hagel Criticizes US Policy on Middle East
"Ultimately, the United States will need to engage Iran and Syria with an agenda open to all areas of agreement and disagreement. For this dialogue to have any meaning or possible lasting relevance, it should encompass the full agenda of issues," he said. -VOA - 8/1/06

We Are All Guilty
It is the echo or our silence that triggers the bombs; the lethal indifference that disguises itself in civilization while claiming lives half way around the world. We cannot declare the dignity that is due to humanity, nor the glory of our forefathers when we witness atrocities and partake in them by being mute in the face of such barbarism. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 8/1/06

How Do we Sleep While Beirut is Burning? -Part One
In part one of a two-part series, Professor Hamid Dabashi reflects on the beauty of a country reduced to rubble by the Israelis and into two dimensions by the news media. -ELECTRONIC LEBANON - 8/1/06

Parents of Iranian dissident held
Iranian authorities have arrested the parents of a dissident student leader, Akbar Mohammadi, who was found dead in prison following a hunger strike. -BBC - 8/1/06

Iran's Gasoline imports in 1Q hits $1.8b
Iran imported about $1.8 billion of gasoline during the first quarter of the Iranian calendar year 1385, started March 21. -Mehr - 8/1/06

Statement by H.E. Dr. M. Javad Zarif, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran before the UN Security Council
Mr. President, In my letter of 28 July 2006, I had requested to be given an opportunity to speak before the Council takes action, so that the Council would be appraised –for the first time, of the views of the concerned party before it adopts a decision. - 8/1/06

Iran: Student Activist's Death In Prison Remains Mystery
A former Iranian student-protest leader has died in Evin prison, which houses many of the country's jailed dissidents. Reports from Tehran say 36-year-old Akbar Mohammadi died on July 30, several days after authorities say he launched a hunger strike in a bid to win his release. -RFE - 8/1/06

How Can "Terrorism" Be Condemned While War Crimes Go Without Rebuke?
Washington's partners in this hypocritical war on terror are given free reign to wreak their own brutal, illegal violence -Guardian - 8/1/06

Iran, China sign €2.17b refinery contract
The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) handed over Sunday the project for increasing the capacity of Shazand Refinery of Arak, in Markazi Province, to a consortium of China's Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). -Mehr - 8/1/06

Iran plans to establish region's top space program
Iran plans to become the leader in the field of space technology in the Middle East and Central Asia regions, the director of the Iran Space Organization (ISO) said here on Monday. -Mehr - 8/1/06

Inscriptions Found in Haft Tepe Ready to be Decoded
Last year, excavations by the joint Iranian-German archeology team led to discovery of 300 inscriptions in the historical site of Haft Tepe, 60 of which have been restored and are now ready to be deciphered. -CHN - 8/1/06

Israel Responsible for Qana Attack: Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime
Responsibility for the Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 54 civilians sheltering in a home in the Lebanese village of Qana rests squarely with the Israeli military, Human Rights Watch said today. - 8/1/06

Crisis of Conscience - Call to British Cabinet to come clean over Iran
We respect Jack Straw's recent principled challenge to Tony Blair over the current crisis in the Middle East and call on him and his cabinet colleagues to go further and disclose what they know regarding the Prime Minister's plans for military intervention in Iran. - 8/1/06
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