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It's Easy, Vote Azizi: Iranian American Runs for Atlanta City Council
If asked, Bahareh Azizi would be quick to tell you that "tolerance" and "acceptance" are two of her personality traits that she values the most. Having received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, this successful Iranian American scientist has now turned her sights on politics. - 8/31/09

Release Kian Tajbakhsh!
Pictures and video footage of last Tuesday's show trials in Tehran show Kian Tajbakhsh among a group of defendants associated with Iran's reformist movement and accused of conspiracy to foment a "velvet revolution" in Iran. The pictures show Kian seated directly behind Said Hajjarian, a reformist ideologue and a principal defendant in Tuesday's trial. The coupling of Kian, a secular Iranian-American academic, with the leaders of the Islamist reform movement of Iran is alarming. -Niloofar Mina - 8/31/09

Photos: Date Harvest Season in Minab - Iran
Minab is a city in Hormozgan province in the southeast of Iran not far from Bander Abbas. It is famous for fishing and for farming. - 8/31/09

Iran Judiciary Chief Orders Probe Into Karroubi's "Rape and Torture" Letter
After establishment of a judiciary committee tasked to query post-vote events, Iran's Judiciary head urges a probe into defeated candidate Mehdi Karroubi's letter. Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani ordered the three-member committee to thoroughly investigate all cases included in Karroubi's letter about events after the June presidential election and announce the final results. - 8/31/09

Momeni Foundation announces 2009 scholarship recipients
It is a great pleasure to introduce the Momeni Foundation's year 2009 scholarship award recipients to you. This year we are awarding $11,250 dollars to 21 well deserving students. - 8/31/09

Larijani says Khamenei's orders created "hope
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has praised the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for his recent orders and remarks about the post-election incidents, saying they created a "new atmosphere of hope" in the country. - 8/31/09

Iran: New Judiciary Chief Should Tackle Rights Abuses
The new head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Ardishir Larijani, should immediately open an impartial investigation to determine the role of high-ranking officials in attacks on largely peaceful demonstrators and torture of detainees, Human Rights Watch said today. - 8/31/09

Mortazavi named as Iran's deputy prosecutor general
In a decree issued on Sunday, new Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani appointed Saeed Mortazavi as deputy national prosecutor general. Saeed Mortazavi organized the ongoing televised court proceedings, derided as "show trials," against protesters, political activists and journalists swept up in the recent unrest over the disputed June 12 presidential election. - 8/31/09

Turkey's Multivector Energy Hub: Ignore At Your Own Peril
According to Turkey's popular "Zaman" newspaper, the country can now claim the title of "world's largest energy hub." While over a decade of government policy has sought to transform Turkey's energy sector into first a European, then a regional, and now a global energy hub, a rash of recent international agreements, according to "Zaman," have enabled Turkey to finally attain that status. -Alexandros Petersen - 8/31/09

Iran Reject Reports on Reduction of Crude Oil Sales
"We should reduce our oil exports and we should actually further develop our downstream industries ... in order to make use of the value added of the industry in the country," Reuters quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the parliament as he introduced his proposed ministers to lawmakers. - 8/31/09

Iran dispatches more warships to fight piracy
More Iranian warships are to be sent to the Gulf of Aden, to protect the fifth-largest crude exporter's oil tankers from pirate attacks. The naval units are to be sent to the waterway linking the Red and the Arabian Seas 8:00am local time (12:40 GMT), Monday - 8/31/09

Forough Farrokhzad's anthology published in Kuwait
Arabic version of anthology of Forough Farrokhzad, noted Iranian poetess, was published for the first time in Kuwait - 8/31/09

Cheney Says He Was Proponent for Military Action Against Iran
"I thought that negotiations could not possibly succeed unless the Iranians really believed we were prepared to use military force," Mr. Cheney said. "And to date, of course, they are still proceeding with their nuclear program and the matter has not yet been resolved." - wsj - 8/31/09

Iranians to receive Electronic National ID card
Through the implementation of Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), Iranian citizens will receive Electronic National Identity Cards (E-NID), deputy head of Birth Registration Organization said here Monday. - 8/31/09

Warning on rise in domestic violence
The latest research on domestic violence in Iran was conducted in 1383 (March 2004-March 2005) in 28 of the 32 provinces of the country, which showed that 66 percent of Iranian women have experienced at least one domestic violence in their lives. - 8/30/09

Film: FIRE KEEPER - Montreal World Film Festival 2009
Forty-eight-year-old Sohrab, head of the workers of the Isfahan Foundry, has just had his fourth daughter. He has a strong desire to have a son, but his wife cannot have another pregnancy for health reasons - 8/30/09

Poll: 4 Percent of Israelis See Obama as Pro-Israel
The survey found that 51 percent of Israelis see the Obama administration as pro-Palestinian, while 35 percent consider it neutral. - 8/30/09

Interview: Prosecutor In 1994 Argentina Bombing Implicates Iran
RFE/RL's Radio Farda correspondent Mohammad Reza Kazemi interviewed Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor handling the case of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Argentina. The prosecution asserts that the attack, which killed 85 people and wounded 300, can be traced to Hizbullah and Iran. - 8/30/09

One-third of Ahmadinejad cabinet nominees will be rejected: MP
He cited 'lack of experience' as one of the reasons behind the possible rejection, while maintaining that certain nominees were likely to fail to win Parliament's approval since their executive experiences did not fit in with the proposed posts - 8/30/09

Iran to Build New Unmanned, Radar-Evading Bomber
"The new drone built on a one-seventh scale will be built before the Sacred Defense Week (anniversary of the beginning of Iran's sacred defense against an 8-year-long war imposed by Iraq from 1980 to 1988) and will be put to new tests," Iranian Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi told reporters here in Tehran. - 8/30/09

Hard-line Iranian prosecutor fired
Iran's new judiciary chief ousts Tehran prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi, who organized the trials against postelection protesters and opposition figures. A moderate is named to the post. - latimes - 8/30/09

Full Text of ElBaradei's Report on Iran
Iran has cooperated with the Agency in improving safeguards measures at FEP. Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water related projects as required by the Security Council... - 8/30/09

Iran's President urges reduction in crude exports
He stressed the oil sector should benefit Iran's entire economy and contribute to job creation, saying it must "be once again nationalised and serve the whole industry of the country," - Reuters - 8/30/09

Iran rebukes West's nuclear allegations
"For the first time, the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) implicitly announced that the US has no evidence to prove its allegations against Iran's nuclear case," said Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, speaking to Al-Alam TV. "It was a big achievement for Iran." - 8/30/09

UN reports increase in Iranian uranium programme
Iran has increased the number of centrifuge machines that can potentially enrich uranium for its nuclear programme, the United Nations atomic watchdog declared last night, unveiling a report that will maintain international pressure on Tehran to halt its activity. FT - 8/30/09

Nuclear report on Iran finds cooperation. Problem for Obama?
He's set a September deadline after which sanctions might be toughened. But China and Russia might not join in if Tehran is showing progress. csmonitor - 8/30/09

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Showing who's boss
BACK in 2007 the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced an important change of mission. From now on the main task for his 120,000 guards, as well as for the 3m or so members of the baseej paramilitary volunteer force that had just, and for the first time, been placed formally under his command, would be to deal with what he called internal threats. - economist - 8/30/09

US Says Iran Still Not Addressing International Nuclear Concerns
The State Department said Friday the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear program shows it is still not being responsive to concerns that it might be seeking nuclear weapons. Senior diplomats from major world powers meet next week in Germany to discuss nuclear diplomacy with Iran. - 8/29/09

Amid pressure, Khatami calls on Reformists to redouble efforts
Amid calls in Iran for the prosecution of opposition leaders and dissolution of reform fronts, leading figure of Iran's Reformist movement Seyyed Mohammad Khatami promises a firm stand on the political scene. - 8/29/09

Of 13 Iranian journalists for whom Amnesty International has campaigned since the disputed presidential elections on 12 June, seven are free on bail. At least five remain in custody. They are prisoners of conscience, held for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. - Amnesty International - 8/29/09

Neither Islamic nor a republic
As the second act of the post-electoral drama unfolds in Iran, internal weaknesses are exposed more clearly than ever before. Behind the facade of victory lie deep divisions among the top clergy about what an Islamic government should be composed of and how it should treat its citizens. - 8/29/09

Iran increases fuel storage capacity
Iran is to increase its fuel storage capacity by 15% to reach 10.9 billion liters, says the managing director of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC). Iran currently imports about 33 percent of the gasoline it consumes. - 8/29/09

Setback for proposed Iran women ministers
In an internal meeting, the Principlist Islamic Revolution block decided earlier in the week to reject the three females, reported the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Friday - 8/29/09

Detention center incidents orchestrated by enemies: Ahmadinejad
Iran's security and military forces and intelligence services would never commit such "shameful" acts, he asserted. - 8/29/09

UAE Seizes Ship Allegedly Carrying North Korean Weapons
The officials said Friday the shipment comes in violation of United Nations sanctions, and they said the U.A.E. has reported the seizure to the U.N. sanctions committee. - 8/29/09

Photos: Men and women archery teams
Iranian men and women archers practice before heading to world championship in South Korea on Sunday. - 8/29/09

Photos: Isfahan's green bikes and Tehran's horse drawn carriages
Isfahan's green bikes are free for 3 hour use, and require national card. - 8/28/09

Deeply concerned and tearful about what is going on, on this land, another me can't stop laughing at the absurdity of it all: Is it really true and not a dream or a historical movie that more or less the same scenario-drama is getting repeated? Isn't it tragically ridiculous to be accused of the same crimes over and over again and be tortured in more or less the same underground 'no-man's lands"? Isn't it painfully hilarious? -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 8/28/09

Mehregan 2009 Dedicated to Human Rights
The 14th Annual Persian Festival of Autumn (Mehregan) will be held at the Great Park in Irvine, California on Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 8/28/09

Kazakh FM denies meeting on Caspian Sea without Iran
Kazakh Foreign Affairs Minister Marat Tazhin dismissed news that the four Caspian Sea neighboring countries have held a meeting in the absence of Iran. - 8/28/09

Ahmadinejad: Post-vote riot ring leaders should not be immune
Delivering his pre-sermon address to this week's Friday prayers congregation, President Ahmadinejad said those organizing certain movements, making provocations and enforcing the enemy conspiracies, should be strongly confronted. - 8/28/09

Deadly Fatwa: Iran's 1988 Massacre
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Releases Report on Iran’s 1988 Massacre of Thousands of Political Prisoners - 8/28/09

UAE seized N.Korea arms shipment bound for Iran
The United Arab Emirates has seized a cargo of North Korean weapons being shipped to Iran, which would have violated a U.N. embargo on arms exports from the communist state, Western diplomats said on Friday. - Reuters - 8/28/09

Jeff Gates: "Appeasing Israel -- At What Cost?"
Barack Hussein Obama's June 4th speech in Cairo was awaited with keen anticipation by a global population of 1.3 billion Muslims outraged at the abuse that Zionism has long inflicted on its neighbor - 8/28/09

Iran Six representatives to meet in Germany on September 2
Diplomats from the Iran Six group of countries will discuss the situation around Iran's controversial nuclear program on September 2 in Germany, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov represents Russia in the Iran Six, which also includes Germany, China, the United States, France and Britain. - RIA Novosti - 8/28/09

Iranian campus openings may face delays
Back to school in Iran may mean back to mass protests - a prospect that could lead authorities to delay opening university classes in Tehran and other major cities. - washingtontimes - 8/28/09

Bank Melli Iran, the largest Islamic bank
Iranian banks account for about 40 percent of total assets of the world's top 100 Islamic banks, with Bank Melli Iran (BMI) showing as the largest in the list. - 8/28/09

Iran's Vice President, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Blogs From Prison
The move seems to be a clumsy attempt by the authorities to demonstrate that prisoners are being very well treated and that the reports by the families and rights groups about Abtahi and other detainees being under pressure to make false confessions are not true. - 8/28/09

New Prison-Rape Allegations In Iran Bring Practice To Light
Allegations of prison authorities' use of rape as a means of punishment or intimidation in the Islamic republic are nothing new. But for the first time, a high-profile figure in the Islamic establishment has acknowledged the apparent rise in the practice, and is calling for an investigation. - 8/27/09

Artists Use Images of the Veil to Explore Identity, Culture
The veil is the most visible icon of contemporary Islam, says the producer of an exhibition featuring works by artists from North America, the Middle East and Europe. "If you see a veil, you automatically think about Islam," said Andreas Stadler, director of the Austrian Cultural Forum, which hosted The Seen and the Hidden: [Dis]covering the Veil. The exhibition was part of Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas, a 10-day festival in New York City celebrating Islamic culture. -Carolee Walker - 8/27/09

Iran’s Factional Disputes Grow Increasingly Bitter
On Wednesday, aides to Iran’s president lashed out publicly at two former presidents, the nation’s most influential dissident cleric said government officials had taken a “deviant path” and a government-aligned Web site reported that the Tehran prosecutor had been fired. -NY Times - 8/27/09

US Says Iranian Charges Against American Citizen Unfounded
The United States said Wednesday that subversion charges against an Iranian-American academic on trial in Tehran are without foundation and renewed a call for his release. Dual-national scholar Kian Tajbakhsh is among dozens of people, including prominent Iranian opposition figures, being tried for allegedly fomenting violence after Iran's disputed June 12 presidential election. - 8/27/09

First Exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Video Art in London: "Facts and Illusions"
Magic of Persia is presenting a pioneering and unique exhibition of video work by 14 Iranian artists, in the RCA's Henry Moore Gallery. Curated by Dr Sami Azar, former director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the show is the first time that contemporary Iranian video artists have been shown on such a scale in London. - 8/27/09

Iranian Nobel Laureate Ebadi Condemns Reformists' Trials As 'Illegal'
Nobel Peace prize-winner and prominent Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi has condemned the ongoing trials of hundreds of people detained following the unrest that followed the country's contentious June elections. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL's Golnaz Esfandiari, Ebadi described the trials as "wizardry" and a "parody" of Iranian justice. - 8/27/09

Iran Gets Backing For Ban On Targeting Nuclear Facilities
Developing nations at the UN nuclear watchdog are backing Iran in its push for a ban on military attacks targeting nuclear facilities, a letter to the Vienna-based agency showed. -Reuters - 8/27/09

A memorable night with Hamed Nikpay in San Francisco
Hamed's Nikpay's "All is calm on the Road" concert at the Palace of fine Arts on Sunday, August 23rd, was a smashing success. This was his second sold out concert in a row, after his first stop in Montreal. -Bita Milanian - 8/27/09

The American Immigrants Mourn the Loss of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Today, America and the immigrant-rights community, including Iranians, have lost one of their greatest champions. Senator Edward M. Kennedy's life-long commitment to civil rights extended from African Americans to the disabled to the millions of immigrants and refugees who come to our nation in search of a better life. -Jamshid S. Irani - 8/27/09

Photos: The Unique Twin Ice-Pits in Sirjan, Kerman
The twin ice-pits on Sirjan, Kerman Province, are unique and there is no similar example in the world, said director general of Kerman Province Cultural Heritage Department. "The ice-pits dates back to 108 years ago; the generous people of the time constructed the ice-pits to hold the ice for summer," added Fakour Pas. - 8/27/09

Iran's Khamenei Says No Foreign Backers Behind Protest Leaders
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he does not believe that groups protesting the presidential election results had foreign backing. Earlier Wednesday, former President Mohammad Khatami said the public confessions of protest leaders are invalid because they are lies. - 8/26/09

Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize: Finalists Prepare for the International Art Prize in London
Six young Iranian artists are preparing for a major exhibition of their work at the Royal College of Art, London, 15- 17th October 2009. A distinguished international jury, led by Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator at Tate Modern, has shortlisted each of them for finalists' exhibition of the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP). - 8/26/09

Photos: The Thirst of the Dunes: Lost Years of the Saharawi
As negotiations finish in Austria, Stefan Simanowitz reports from Africa's last colony on the protracted political and humanitarian crisis in Western Sahara: Dakhla refugee camp emerges from the dust, a sprawling single-storey town built of the desert sand. Our Landcruiser is approaching at speed along a network of dirt tracks after a bone-shaking journey through the fierce heat of the Sahara. - 8/26/09

Kian Tajbakhsh's Family Denounce Tehran Show Trials
Family and friends of Iranian American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh vehemently deny the ludicrous charges being lodged against him today in the 4th of a series of Revolutionary Court show trials. Kian has spent nearly 50 days in illegal captivity in an undisclosed location and without access to a lawyer. - 8/26/09

Tehran Prosecutor Calls For Banning of Reformist Parties IIPP and IRMO
Tehran Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi has called for the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP) and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO) to be outlawed for their involvement in the post-election unrest. - 8/26/09

Grizzlies's Haddadi: I'm a star but on the bench
Iranian international Hamed Haddadi says he is a star of the Memphis Grizzlies but the NBA team leaves him on the bench and off the court most of the time. - 8/26/09

Iran's Khatami Says Trial Confessions Are 'Invalid'
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has said trial confessions by moderates accused of fomenting postelection unrest were made under "extraordinary conditions" and were invalid, the ILNA news agency reported. -Reuters - 8/26/09

Tehran Letter: The Fears Of An Iranian Bank Clerk
The taxi that takes me to work every morning was late. Trying to avoid the darting beams of morning sunlight, I snuggled under a sycamore tree. It reminded me of a European friend of mine who visited Iran in August 2000 and who insisted on walking in the sun and avoiding the shade. -Ahmad - 8/26/09

Iranian Reformist Leader's Son Talks About Court Appearance
The son of reformist cleric and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karrubi says that he was summoned to court on August 25 on security charges and for giving interviews to Persian-language media based outside Iran. Hossein Karrubi was interviewed by RFE/RL's Radio Farda broadcaster Roya Karimi. - 8/26/09

Iran Trial Targets Top Opposition Figures
Iran's prosecutors on Tuesday targeted the government's top opponents and called for the elimination of two reformist political parties, in the hard-liners' boldest attempt during mass trials to crush opposition. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 8/26/09

80 countries to screen Iranian film on Ronaldo
Mohammad Hossein Latifi's film on the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo will go on screen in about 80 countries. Entitled "Number 9," the film is about a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who dies before her dream of meeting Ronaldo comes true. - 8/26/09

Mahbod Seraji: Thank You, My Friend
Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji was a recent Bets On… selection. Set in Iran in the 1970s, as the country is on the verge of revolution, it's a story about growing up, discovering love and awakening to the reality of a new way of life. I was especially taken with the vivid characters, engaging descriptions of time and place and the excellent pacing of the story. -ReadingGroupGuides - 8/26/09

Abdul Aziz Hakim, Head of Iraq's Largest Shiite Party, Passes Away in Tehran
Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) Head Abdul Aziz Hakim passed away in a hospital in Tehran. The 54-year old Iraqi Shiite leader passed away due to lung cancer. - 8/26/09

Cigarette, drug smuggling on the rise in Iran
About six and a half billion cigarettes are smuggled into Iran per year, the managing director of the Iranian Tobacco Company said here on Tuesday. Being a neighbor of the biggest drug producer in the world, the Islamic Republic has also suffered the greatest financial and human losses in its efforts to fight drug trafficking, Abtahi added. - 8/26/09

Photos: Senior Opposition Figures Paraded in Tehran Court
The trial has begun in Iran of a number of senior opposition figures following June's disputed presidential election. The defendants, who include former ministers in the 1997-2005 Khatami government, are accused of conspiring with foreign powers to organize unrest. The court proceedings are open only to Iranian news agencies and have been denounced as "show trials" by opposition leaders. - 8/25/09

Iran's Postelection Dead Buried Secretly: Norooz News
An Iranian reformist website "Norooznews" has reported that on July 12 and 15, 44 unidentified people who lost their lives in the postelection violence were buried in unidentified graves at the Behesht Zahra cemetery. - 8/25/09

Photos: Shirvan Valley, Sabalan
Shirvan Valley is one of 11 wildlife habitats located in Sabalan mountains area. It is located about 20 kilometers from city of Meshkinshahr. Shirvan is 2200 meters above sea level, and covers 75 kilometers square. This valley is deep and wide, and enjoys spectacular scenery. There are also two 40-meter-waterfalls in the valley. -Photos by Navid Jadidoleslam, ISNA - 8/25/09

Iran Puts More Protesters on Trial
Meanwhile, Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi met with lawmakers Monday, where he discussed allegations that protesters detained after the disputed presidential election were subjected to rape and torture. - 8/25/09

Iran in Turmoil: Understanding Political Divisions and Advocating Human Rights
In the aftermath of presidential elections in June 2009, the world has come to witness the most serious internal unrest Iran has confronted since the decisive events of the 1979 Revolution. What millions of Iranians consider to be wide scale election fraud perpetrated by the incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters – at this stage, a 'social fact' – has triggered an unprecedented division within Tehran's political establishment. -Sam Sasan Shoamanesh - 8/25/09

Iran: Relative of Iranian Election Candidate Held in Evin Prison
Shapour Kazemi, a brother-in-law of Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of the candidates in Iran's disputed presidential election, is reported to be detained in Evin prison in the capital, Tehran. He may be a prisoner of conscience, held because of his relationship to Mir Hossein Mousavi. He may be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and may not have regular access to the medication he needs. - 8/25/09

Photos: Special Iranian Pastry for Ramadan - Zolbia Bamieh
Zolbia Bamieh is one of the favorite deserts in Iran. It is made of starch, yoghurt, flour, saffron, oil, and rose water. Following photos show the baking of Zolbia Bamieh in a pastry shop in the central city of Qom. The pastry shops are enjoying brisk business during the fasting month of Ramadan. -Photos by Mohammad Akhlaghi, ISNA - 8/25/09

In Iran, report of secret burials brings call for inquiry
Reformist lawmaker Majid Nasirpour vows to examine allegations that 44 unidentified bodies were buried in a cemetery amid heavy security after post-election unrest. - 8/25/09

Reflecting on Iran's Presidential Election
US and European corporate media, political pundits and "Iran experts" have spent countless hours discussing the June presidential election in Iran. Yet, they have utterly failed to ask a number of central questions that beg to be asked -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 8/25/09

Buddahead Release Iranian Democracy
Buddahead, New York City rock band fronted by Iranian born singer Raman Kia, release Iranian Democracy, an EP featuring the singles Sour Grapes and Burning Out. - 8/25/09

Reformer in Iran Publishes Account of a Prison Rape
A young man arrested after the disputed presidential election in Iran says he was raped by his jailers, then questioned by officials who blamed him for the attack and embarrassed him, according to a statement on the party Web site of an Iranian reform leader, Mehdi Karroubi. -NY Times - 8/25/09

Iran: IRGC Seeks Swift Action Against Election Protesters
Months after Iran's controversial presidential election, officials at the military and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) say the security situation in the country calls for prompt punitive action against voices of dissent. - 8/25/09

GREEN DAYS: Young Iranian to show vote protest film at Venice festival
Young Iranian film director Hana Makhmalbaf is to preview her film about protests that followed Iran's disputed June presidential election at the Venice Film Festival, organisers said Monday. -AFP - 8/25/09

Neda Soltan, the Youtube martyr of Iran, and the man accused of shooting her dead during rally
The murder of Neda Soltan - shot dead in the heat of a political rally - became the focal point of the fiercely disputed Iranian elections. Now a pro-government militiaman has been accused of killing the pretty 27-year-old. -Daily Mail, UK - 8/25/09

Russia delays jetliner deliveries to Iran
Russia has postponed for one year the delivery of five Tupolev TU-204SM jetliners to Iran, despite initial agreements between the two countries. Russia's Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) was expected to deliver five Tupolev Tu-204SM passenger aircrafts to Iran - 8/25/09

Iran tries to crack games market
Video game developers from Iran have been exhibiting at a Western game convention for the very first time. Representatives from the trade body, the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games, were on hand at a dedicated stand at gamescom in Cologne. -BBC - 8/25/09

Photos: Families of Political Prisoners Break Their Fast Behind Walls of Evin Prison
Families of Iranian political prisoners broke their first day of Ramadan's fast behind the stone walls of Evin prison in memory of their incarcerated stars. According to Norouz News reporter, about 150 people attended this event to honor their dear ones who are being held behind bars in Evin. - 8/24/09

Former Chancellor Of Tehran University, Mohammad Maleki, Arrested
A former chancellor of Tehran University has been arrested, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Mohammad Maleki, 76, was reportedly recovering from a serious illness at his home when he was detained. About 80 of his books and personal documents were also confiscated. - 8/24/09

Profile of a Philanthropist: Dr.Nasser Heydarian, MD, GCKSJ
Doctor Nasser is one of the most decorated men I know but not with war medals but rather medals for his humanitarian efforts for which he has been recognized by many nations and yet he goes unappreciated and relatively unknown in these United States of America although he has been living in San Francisco and been a citizen for over 20 years. -Brian H. Appleton - 8/24/09

Iranian boy who defied Tehran hardliners tells of prison rape ordeal
The 15-year-old boy sits weeping in a safehouse in central Iran, broken in body and spirit. Reza will not go outside — he is terrified of being left alone. He says he wants to end his life and it is not hard to understand why: for daring to wear the green wristband of Iran’s opposition -Times Online - 8/24/09

ART: Iranians Shine, Assisted by Expatriate
IN recent months biennials around the world have dedicated special sections to a hot new field: Middle Eastern artists. And many of the most celebrated hail from Iran, like Farhad Moshiri of Tehran, whose paintings covered with Swaroski crystal-encrusted calligraphy have brought $1 million-plus at auction, or Shirin Neshat of New York, widely acclaimed since the late 1990s for her films and videos featuring veiled women. -NY Times - 8/24/09

The Iran Show
In the grotesque pageant of Iran’s show trials, former high officials—hollow-eyed, dressed in prison pajamas, and flanked by guards in uniform—sit in rows, listening to one another’s self-denunciations. Show trials have been staged before, most notably in Moscow in the nineteen-thirties. Typically, such rituals purge élites and scare the populace. -New Yorker - 8/24/09

Iran's Karroubi Tries a More Confrontational Approach
He may have finished last in Iran's disputed presidential election, but in the weeks that followed, Mehdi Karroubi has often taken the lead in challenging the Iranian government. After the announcement of the result triggered massive demonstrations in June, Karroubi was one of the first major figures to blame the government for the violence — a brave act considering that the state media was calling the demonstrations riots instigated by foreign powers. -TIME - 8/24/09

The 2009 Physician of the Year Award Goes to Dr. Sepehr Khashaei
The Fargo VA Medical Center, US Department of Veteran affairs, has named Dr. Sepehr Khashaei recipient of the 2009 Dr. Byron D. Danielson Physician of the Year Award which is an award given to one physician and one Med-level at the Fargo VA medical center per year. - 8/24/09

A tale of two cities
In frightening repetition, shadowy figures are lining up, as they did before the US invasion of Iraq, to cry the carrion call of the Islamic Republic of Iran, writes Hamid Dabashi -Al-Ahram - 8/24/09

Iran discovers massive oil reserve in Khuzestan province
Iran has discovered a huge in-situ oil reserve of over 8.8 billion barrels in Soussangerd oilfield, Khuzestan province, Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari announced here on Monday. - 8/24/09

Iranians Seek Out Abuses By U.S
Iranian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Sunday for a bill creating a $20 million fund intended in part to expose human rights violations by the United States, the ILNA news agency reported. -Washington Post - 8/24/09

Larijani objects to Ahmadinejad's reduction of office hours during Ramadan
Cabinet members had ratified on August 9, 2009 that the working time for government and bank employees, and workers during the month of Ramadan will be about five hours per day, starting from 9:00 am to 2:00pm in Tehran province and from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm in other provinces. - 8/24/09

Is The Taliban The Main Loser Of Afghanistan's Elections?
The Taliban warned for days that voters' ink-stained fingers would be chopped off to punish them for participating in Afghanistan's August 20 elections. But millions of Afghans took the risk anyway. - 8/24/09

Tehran welcomes ECO train
The first Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) freight train which originated from Pakistan and destined for Turkey, arrived in Tehran on Sunday. - 8/23/09

Rafsanjani Calls For Unity, Declares Support For Khamenei
Iranian officials and citizens must maintain unity so the country can deal with its external and internal problems, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Saturday. He also urged everyone to heed the guidelines set by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. - 8/23/09

Iran's self-fulfilling paranoia
Two years ago, I was released from Evin Prison after 105 days in solitary confinement. I was arrested in early 2007 on the ludicrous charge of attempting to foment a ``velvet revolution'' to overthrow the Iranian government and held as a political prisoner by the Intelligence Ministry. -Haleh Esfandiari - 8/23/09

Iran MP questions claims on Argentina bombing
The Head of Iran's Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi questioned claims on Iranian President's nominee as defense minister saying the judge examining the Jewish center bombing case in Argentina was replaced for taking bribery. - 8/23/09

Iran: Oil minister nominee outlines priorities
Masoud Mirkazemi, the nominee for the position of oil minister in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new administration, described his plans of action and priorities for the development of domestic oil industry. - 8/23/09

Photos: Hazelnut Festival in Qazvin, Iran
People in Qazvin, Iran, celebrate hazelnut harvesting each year by holding a special festival. Qazvin is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin in Iran with an estimated population of 331,409 in 2005. -Photos by Sina Shiri, ISNA - 8/22/09

Physicians Day: No job security for Iranian physicians
According to official figures, there are about 110,000 general practitioners and specialists working across the country. They sometimes earn less than those in occupations requiring lower levels of qualification and expertise, despite the often grueling challenges they face in their work. - 8/22/09

Sepideh Farsi's "Tehran without Permission" at Hamburg Film Festival
"Tehran Without Permission" (2009) captures the atmosphere of the street as well as of private living environments within the Iranian capital. Filmed exclusively with a mobile phone camera, sometimes hidden, this documentary film is a personal, high spirited portrait of Teheran and its population, caught up in contradictions and extremes. - 8/22/09

Prohibition: Alcoholic Drinks Network Busted in Tehran
Iran began restricting alcohol consumption and production soon after the 1979 Revolution, with harsh penalties meted out for violations of the law. However, there is widespread violation of the law. Officially recognized non-Muslim minorities are allowed to produce alcoholic beverages for their own private consumption and for religious rites such as the Eucharist. - 8/22/09

Mohammad Reza Arab's "Last Queen of the Earth" to be screened at Golden Rose Film Fest
This will make the 12th international screening of the film that has already received two prizes from Iran's Fajr International Film Festival for best director. - 8/22/09

Iran Cleric Wants Opposition Leaders Detained
Hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran that those leaders incited post-election "riots" that resulted in the deaths of at least 30 people. He did not mention anyone by name. - 8/22/09

Iran plans to offer 80% stake in LNG project
Iran plans to offer 80 percent of stake in Iran LNG project to foreign bidders in order to secure a portion of the required budget for the project, the head of Iran LNG Company said in Tehran on Saturday. - 8/22/09

Pentagon Lists US Casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan
The Pentagon says at least 4,337 members of the U.S. military have died in the war in Iraq during the past six years. The Pentagon also says at least 716 troops have died in and around Afghanistan since the U.S. war on terrorism began in September 2001. - 8/22/09

Photos: Bal Norouz (Gilani New Year) Traditional Ceremony
Bal Norouz, meaning the Norouz fire, is the start of Gilan New Year, in which fire lighting is one of its most important programs, and from long past the people would welcome the New Year by lighting fire. Lighting the fire, thanking God for his blessings and crops, and praying for the peace of the souls of the dead were parts of this ancient Iranian tradition. This ceremony coincides with harvesting in Gilan, a northern province in Iran. -Photos by Narges Tankberis, ISNA - 8/21/09

US Census Bureau Releases Language Assistance Guide in Persian for 2010 Census
The U.S. Census Bureau recently published a language assistance guide for the 2010 Census in Persian (Farsi). This guide, which is an exact replica of the short form every household will receive for the 2010 Census, is translated into Persian (Farsi) to assist those who have more familiarity with the Persian language. - 8/21/09

NIAC's Membership Speaks Up on Iran: Delay Diplomacy, Oppose Broad Sanctions
The violence that erupted in the aftermath of the Iran elections left very few around the world untouched. Increasingly, US policymakers have looked to the Iranian-American community and to National Iranian American Council for feedback and guidance. - 8/21/09

Exhibition: From the Streets of Iran - Sep 10-26 in Los Angeles
Crewest presents From the Streets of Iran, Works on paper by urban artists in Iran, curated by Shervin Shahbazi. This exhibit is the first of its kind in the U.S. featuring graffiti-based works on paper by ICY, SOT, FRZ, MAD, and CK1. These artists have exhibited their work in Europe and Australia, and this is their United States debut. - 8/21/09

A visit to Iran by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is urgent
In an open letter addressed on August 20th to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) invited the High Commissioner to conduct an official personal visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran. - 8/21/09

Larijani acknowledges split among principlists, says willing to listen to Karrubi
"I announced that (Karrubi) present if there is any documents or evidences about this issue," Larijani said in an answer to a question about Karroubi's letter. He added, "We never want to hide anything from people." "If Karroubi is willing we will listen to his words and even investigate the issue if he gives the address or telephone number of these persons." - 8/21/09

Diplomats: Iran Allows UN Inspectors into Nuclear Reactor
Diplomatic sources in Vienna say Iran has allowed United Nations inspectors to visit a nuclear reactor after denying them entry for the past year. Speaking to media outlets on the condition of anonymity, diplomats said Thursday that Tehran allowed experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the Arak reactor last week. - 8/21/09

Fight Brews In Iran Over President's Nominees
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a confrontational tone with the parliament on Thursday over the selection of his cabinet, setting the stage for a fight with the nation's legislators even as his government continues to do battle with the opposition. -Washington Post - 8/21/09

AIPAC sends in the Clowns
Suddenly they were all over the place, arriving not as singles but in battalions. Many, like Maryland's 5th District Rep. Steny Hoyer had been to Israel nearly a dozen times; career stalwarts once more showing fealty to Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine while lamely telling their constituents that they were on a legitimate 'fact finding mission." -Franklin Lamb - 8/21/09

Female Iranian entrepreneurs sign agreement with IIUM
The Women's Council director in the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Mines (TCCIM) stated that an agreement had been signed between female Iranian businesspersons and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). - 8/21/09

Success of "Jumong" due to lack of quality programming on Iranian TV: critic
Film critic Mohammad-Taqi Fahim is convinced that a lack of entertaining Iranian TV series leaves the door open to non-native productions like "Jumong". "This series is very popular among people because it has been able to meet the needs of its viewers. The story is full of romance, struggle and suspense and proves the fact that South Korea is heading towards industrialism, making the best use of media," he stated. - 8/21/09

Iranian official: $80b foreign investment a year needed
To achieve the objectives of the 20-Year Outlook Plan (to end 2021), $80 billion of foreign investment is required a year, Iran Privatization Organization (IPO) director said. - 8/21/09

AFGHANISTAN: Voters defy threats, demand peace
Many Afghans were queuing at polling stations in the north, east and west of the country on 20 August to cast their ballots in presidential and provincial council elections, despite security concerns. Turnout in the south where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, appears to have been low. -IRIN - 8/21/09

Iranian Documentary Filmmakers boycott Cinema Verite Documentary Film Festival
For the last century documentary filmmakers in Iran have recorded valuable traces of realities about contemporary Iranian society. This cinema has been able to overcome many obstacles throughout the years. During periods of the revolution, war and conflicts within the last two decades, Iranian documentaries have given us treasures of social and historical documentations of life in Iran... - 8/20/09

UN Freedom Caravans for Iran
The Caravans for Peace and Freedom in Iran will gather at the United Nations on September 24th to support the Iranian people's demand for democracy and human rights and to protest the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations. - 8/20/09

Ahmadinejad Cabinet Looks Set For Rough Ride In Iran's Parliament
"Those nominated by the president for government posts must have sufficient expertise and experience, otherwise a great deal of the country's energy would be wasted," state broadcaster IRIB quoted parliament speaker Ali Larijani as saying Thursday. - 8/20/09

Ayat Najafi's play "Tehran Banou - Lady Tehran" to premiere in Berlin
Formerly a star of the Persian movies and a famous dancer in the bars of Tehran, she now lives on the street and clings to her memories. She longs to perform her most famous show women with beard and men in skirts for only one more time, but the city in is turmoil, the Tehranis are hoping for a new era. - 8/20/09

TRACES OF BEING: Iran in the Passage of Memories - Sep 10 to Nov 21 in Los Angeles
Morono Kiang Gallery is pleased to present its forthcoming exhibition, Traces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories, curated by Shervin Shahbazi. Traces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories explores the primacy of personal memory against a backdrop of divergent cultural experiences and collective histories. The exhibition will feature new mixed media and installation-based works created exclusively for this project. - 8/20/09

Protests to welcome Ahmadinejad at UN in New York
Mr. Ahmadinejad, the coup d'état president of Iran, attends the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations every year. The meeting this year is to be held in September. In response to this visit from the U.N., we invite you to a protest in New York City. The U.N. meeting is to begin on September 15th and Mr. Ahmadinejad's arrival and speech will be on the 23rd of September. -Solidarity Committee to Protect the Iranian People's Will - 8/20/09

Family and Friends of Kian Tajbakhsh Deny Report by Iranian State News of His Release from Detention
Reporting on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's demand that Iran immediately release Kian and other American citizens from unjust detention, Iran's state PressTV falsely claimed that Kian has been released on bail. PressTV reported on August 15 that Kian "was released on bail, but was prohibited from leaving the country." - 8/20/09

First Iranian-Made Ocean Liner Launched
The ship named "Iran-Arak" was launched in Hormozgan southern city port. It is 185 meters long, 30 meters wide and 18 meters tall. It weighs over 7000 tons and is able to carry over 30,000 tons of cargo or 2,200 containers. Iran-Arak was manufactured by Iranian experts in Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Company (ISOICO) costing about $50 million. - 8/20/09

Meet Iranian-American Shiva Farivar: Candidate for Irvine City Council
I was born in Iran, but spent most of my childhood in Germany. I came to the United States in 1978 to pursue my higher education. I graduated from UCSD with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and German Literature, and I received my Master's degree in German Literature from UCI. - 8/20/09

Early Ramadan Raises Health Concerns
For the first time in a decade, Muslims will be observing the holy month of Ramadan in what will be the peak of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The timing has prompted concerns over how Muslim believers can deal with sunrise-to-sunset food and water abstention, while maintaining their health. - 8/20/09

Columbia University instructor to hold workshop in Darikandeh
Iranian instructor at the University of Columbia Sheyda Ardalan will be holding a workshop for self-educated painters on August 21 at Mokarrameh Qanbari's birthplace, the village of Darikandeh in Mazandaran Province. - 8/20/09

How Israel Wages War in Plain Sight
It's now well known that Israelis and pro-Israelis "fixed" the intelligence that induced the U.S. invasion of Iraq. What's not yet widely known is how. If peace-seeking nations hope never again to see deceit operate on such a scale, those deceived must learn this lesson before these same operatives induce a war with Iran. -Jeff Gates - 8/20/09

Iran: New Judiciary Chief to replace key prosecutors
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadq Larijani would appoint former intelligence minister Qolam Hossein Mohseni Ejei as the national prosecutor general, informed sources say. Ayatollah Larijani will also appoint Morteza Bakhtiari to the Tehran Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor General, replacing Saeed Mortazavi. - 8/20/09

Muslim Americans Find Their Voice Through Advocacy, Engagement
Take Haady Taslim, 26, an Iranian American who taught in some of the poorest schools in New Orleans before working to register Muslim Americans in Chicago to vote. "I don't think American Muslims are the only ones to gain when we engage in the process," Taslim said on the One Nation Web site. "America gains when American Muslims become involved." - 8/20/09

Ahmadinejad releases full list of his cabinet nominees
In a letter to Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani late Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad released the names of 21 proposed ministers for parliamentary approval in the tenth administration. - 8/20/09

Revolution Leaders Struggle for Power in Tehran
In the wake of a bogus election, the deadly harassment of protestors and squabbling among hardliners, everything seems to have changed in Tehran. Two men could now pose a serious threat to the regime: Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and multimillionaire Hashemi Rafsanjani. -Spiegel - 8/20/09

Syrian President Bashar Assad Meets Iran's Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on the current problems of the US in Iraq and said that America has failed to achieve its goals in Iraq, further reiterating, "in spite of its propaganda campaign, the Zionist regime has faced numerous internal problems, and it is falling into a genuine decline." - 8/20/09

Pentagon Tweets, Blogs, Posts, and 'Friends'
The U.S. Defense Department has become the latest establishment organization to venture into the Internet world of social networking. Officials from the generation of regular old mail, and maybe email, are trying to tweet, blog, post and "friend." - 8/20/09

Iran's George Washington: Remembering and Preserving the Legacy of 1953
We approach the 56-year anniversary of the 1953 coup removing Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister of Iran. Given the challenges that continue to confront the world to this day, it is important to revisit the lessons of this fateful event. An understanding of 1953 seems particularly poignant as the US and the international community grapple with the question of Iran amidst unprecedented levels of internal discord. -Sam Sasan Shoamanesh - 8/19/09

Iran: Revolutionary Guards Official Calls For Musavi's Arrest
Brigadier-General Yadollah Javani, who represents Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the IRGC, claimed on August 17 that Musavi's "green movement" of supporters who protested against the results of the June presidential election was established to overthrow the supreme leader. - 8/19/09

Independent investigation needed into rape and torture in detention in Iran
Allegations that election protesters were tortured and raped in detention must be urgently investigated by the Iranian authorities, Amnesty International's Secretary General said on Saturday. - 8/19/09

Iranian Opposition Figure Ready to Present Evidence for Rape Claims
Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi says he is ready to present evidence to support his controversial claims that post-election detainees were raped in Iranian prisons. - 8/19/09

Iran bans Kiarostami's new film "Certified Copy"
An Iranian Culture Ministry official says Abbas Kiarostami's latest production Certified Copy cannot be screened in Iranian cinemas. The love story stars the Academy Award winning French actress Juliette Binoche and is in French and in English in parts. - 8/19/09

Imprisoned Iranian activists hospitalized
Two prominent Iranian opposition activists have been hospitalized, one after being beaten by his jailers for refusing to attend trial, the other from a nine-day hunger strike, a reformist Web site reported Tuesday. -AP - 8/19/09

Iranian Cleric Predicts Opposition Will Topple Ahmadinejad
His newspaper was shut down Monday, and generals and hard-line clerics have called for him to be put on trial. Yet defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi says opposition to the government is growing by the day. -Washington Post - 8/19/09

Iran: Centre for Human Rights Defenders under attack: Case sheet
The Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reports on human rights violations in Iran. It has unsuccessfully sought legal registration since its formation in 2001. In December 2008 the CHRD was forcibly closed by the authorities but members continued to work. At least three members were detained following the presidential elections on 12 June 2009. In this case sheet Amnesty International calls on the Head of the Judiciary to reopen the Centre and to immediately release the three prisoners. - 8/19/09

Jumong actor thrills Iranian fans
South Korean actor Song Il-Guk of the TV series "Jumong" is amazingly here in Tehran having been invited by LG Electronics Group, and he attended a press conference on Tuesday. - 8/19/09

Iranian director Jafar Panahi to lead the jury of Montreal Film Festival
The 33rd edition of Montreal International Film Festival is to display 5 Iranian products among 240 films selected for the cultural event from 78 countries. - 8/19/09

Iran: 17 Billion Euro Foreign Investment in Rail Industry
Contracts worth 17 billion euros have been closed with foreign investors in order to bolster units active in the rail industry, said the Roads and Transportation minister. - 8/19/09

August 19, 1953: The Day Iran's Democracy Died
"Today marks 56 years since the darkest day in Iran's history. On August 19, 1953, the most genuine democratic government in the history of Iran was overthrown through an Anglo-American coup called "Operation Ajax". Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, the revered democratically elected Prime Minister, was arrested, tried in the military court and convicted of treason. -The Mossadegh Project - 8/19/09

Iran: List of 18 proposed cabinet ministers released
The names of 18 proposed ministers for the next cabinet were released to the parliament on Wednesday. The names of three remaining ministers are scheduled to be released in later hours. - 8/19/09

Syria Helps France in Dealing with Iran
Will history one day point to a shy, soft-spoken French academic as the key to the return of Syria as a respected member of the international community? The next several days could provide an answer, as Damascus ups its efforts to help Paris gain the freedom of Clotilde Reiss, 24, an assistant teacher of French at Isfahan University, who has been detained in Iran since July 1 on charges of espionage. -TIME - 8/19/09

Swine Flu Cases Hit 238 in Iran
A total of 238 people in Iran have been so far diagnosed with swine flu, the Health Ministry announced on Wednesday. - 8/19/09

Iran Halts Execution Of Seven People
Iran's new judiciary chief halted the planned execution on August 19 of seven convicted criminals, including a man who was under 18 when he stabbed a boy to death, Iranian news agencies reported. -Reuters - 8/19/09

Watering the Tree of Creativity
Misperceptions abound in the corporate-dominated culture of the U.S. and Canada about the nature and importance of creative work. Implicitly at least, we are still taught by most of our institutions that artists of all stripes are a reclusive bunch who prefer working – when they work at all – in isolation. -Alidad Mafinezam, The Mark - 8/19/09

Iran-Iraq joint oil fields dispute can be settled through dialogue: Iraqi ambassador
The Iraqi ambassador to Tehran says that negotiation is the best way to settle the dispute between Iran and Iraq over the oil fields in the border region that are under joint ownership. - 8/19/09

Dragon says Merrill Lynch pull out 'insignificant'
The investment banking unit of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch had "had to relinquish the mandate following an internal issue with Bank of America," a spokesman at Dragon said. Sources close to the matter, however, told Reuters that "Merrill had to give it up because of the Iran link." - 8/19/09

Dutch university fires Islamic scholar Ramadan
A Dutch university fired Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan on Tuesday for hosting a show on Iran's state television, which the school said could be seen as endorsing the regime. -AP - 8/19/09

Photos: Sewage flows directly into Karoun river in Ahvaz
A Scholar at the Islamic Azad University in Ahvaz said that unfortunately the pollution and stink in Karoun River have increased to a point that the migratory birds no longer come to the shores of the river. Dr. Zahra Mokhtarzadeh said: In the past, during fall and winter seasons, many birds would migrate to Karoun River. But in the recent years, with the increase in volume of pollution and loss of vegetation around the river, the migratory birds have also left Karoun. -Photos by Amin Nazari, ISNA - 8/18/09

Photos: Vanak Church in Isfahan, Iran
This is the most important and famous historical church in Isfahan from the viewpoint of architecture and decorations values and wall paintings. This church has other names such as san sour or Amena Perkich that means savior. This splendid church was built in 1015 H / 1605 AD. It has a great dome, tall walls and vaults that is now the residence of Armenian caliphate of Iran and India. -Photos by Hossein Baharloo, ISNA - 8/18/09

Iran Ready to Hold Nuclear Talks with Western States 'Without Preconditions'
A top Iranian nuclear official says Tehran is ready to hold talks with Western nations on its disputed nuclear program "without preconditions." Iranian state media quoted Iran's envoy to the UN nuclear agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying "negotiations without preconditions is Iran's main stance on the nuclear issue." - 8/18/09

Khatami, Karroubi join Mousavi's Green movement
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi will join the leadership of a new party to be formed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi. - 8/18/09

Tehran hosting Anti-AIDS and Drug Addiction Theater Festival
The Second Anti-AIDS and Drug Addiction Theater Festival kicked off at the Daneshju Cultural Center on Monday. Several artists and officials from Iran's State Welfare Organization, Iran's Drug Control Headquarters and Drug Control Police attended the opening program. - 8/18/09

Iran's Musavi Backs Karrubi Over Rape Allegations
Opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi has accused "establishment agents" of raping and abusing detainees imprisoned after Iran's June presidential vote and has urged the powerful clerics to do their duty and speak out. -Reuters - 8/18/09

Clerics’ Call for Removal Challenges Iran Leader
A group of Iranian clerics has issued an anonymous letter calling Iran’s supreme leader a dictator and demanding his removal, the latest and perhaps strongest rhetorical attack on him yet in the country’s post-election turmoil. -NY Times - 8/18/09

Ode to Hope: A Melodic Epiphany - in San Diego and Los Angeles
Diverse melodies and rhythms seamlessly fuse into a perfect whole, illuminating the collective pulse and its power to bring peace to all. Musicians from Iran and the United States together perform both ancient and modern melodies and rhythms, setting us afloat on an inner journey of passion and peace. - 8/18/09

Rape and the Republic: Iran’s Victims Speak Out
As more and more rape testimonies become public knowledge, there is a growing hope that Iranians will not only change their government for the better, but will also change their attitudes toward victims of rape. Democracy seems inconceivable without empathy for all. -Shirin Sadeghi, Huffington Post - 8/18/09

Iran's Ahmadinejad criticizes rival Rafsanjani
There was a smile, a quick wave hello, a brief chat. Yet, despite the exchange of pleasantries, the simmering tensions between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and one of the nation's most powerful clerics became quickly evident at a major ceremony in Tehran on Monday. -CNN - 8/18/09

In Afghanistan, Preparing for a Threat to Wheat Plants
The goal is to replace fields with seeds that can resist a highly destructive rust disease. The fungus spread from Africa and is now in Iran, and an expert calls it a threat to food security worldwide. - 8/18/09

Hugo Chavez to visit Iran early September: Envoy
Venezuelan ambassador to Iran David Velasquez said President of the Latin American country Hugo Chavez is to have a two-day trip to Iran in the first week of September. - 8/18/09

Egypt, US Ponder Post-Mubarak Egypt
The Egyptian leader, aged 81, is now serving his fifth six-year term, and the question of who may succeed him has consequences beyond Egypt's borders. - 8/18/09

Political turmoil slows big oil moves in Iran
Political upheaval in the aftermath of Iran's disputed presidential election has slowed international oil firms' efforts to find a way through sanctions to invest in the world's second-largest oil and gas reserves. -Reuters - 8/18/09

Photos: Iran Puts 28 More Detainees on Trial
The Iranian government has defended the trials as legitimate and fair. But opposition leaders have denounced them as "show trials." Rights groups say many detainees have been forced to issue false confessions obtained under harsh interrogations. A detention center in Iran was shut down after reports of abuse. - 8/17/09

Photos: Inauguration ceremony of Iran's Judiciary Chief
Sadeq Larijani took responsibility for leading Iran Judiciary after an official inauguration on Monday. Replacing Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Larijani is to serve in Iran's judicial system for 5 years. - 8/17/09

Ahmadinejad Moves Ahead With Fresh Cabinet, But Old Challenges Linger
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad intends to enter his second term in office with some surprising new additions to his team. Two female candidates were among six ministerial nominees revealed by Ahmadinejad on August 16. Fatemeh Ajorlou, a conservative lawmaker, was nominated for the position of welfare minister. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, a medical university professor and former parliamentarian, was nominated for the post of health minister. - 8/17/09

People must feel judicially secure: Rafsanjani
People must have a feeling of judicial security and nobody must be disappointed in society, the Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Monday. Rafsanjani made the remarks in a ceremony held to say goodbye to Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and welcome Sadeq Larijani as the new judiciary chief. - 8/17/09

Iran, U.S. soccer matches in doubt
Iran and the U.S. soccer teams two friendlies scheduled for October and November will likely be cancelled, according to Iranian football officials. - 8/17/09

Artists pay tribute to late painter Behjat Sadr
The late pioneer of Iranian modern art Behjat Sadr was commemorated by a group of colleagues at the Iranian Artists Forum here on Sunday. Behjat Sadr died of a heart attack last week aged 85 on an island in the south of France. She is widely believed to be one of the pioneers of Iranian modern art. - 8/17/09

Will Iran's 'Kennedys' Challenge Ahmadinejad?
The brothers Larijani — often referred to as the Kennedys of Iran — are emerging as a powerful counterweight to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from within the conservative camp. And unlike other Ahmadinejad rivals, the Larijanis are fully endorsed by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei. -Robin Wright, TIME - 8/17/09

Iran's Chilling Show Trials
The mass trials of opposition prisoners under way this week remind Gary Sick of the forced confessions and other abuses of Stalinist Russia and Maoist China. -Daily Beast - 8/17/09

Iran: Trial of seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders postponed
According to Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva, following a request for postponement of the trial from Mr. Hadi Esmaielzadeh and Ms. Mahnaz Parakand – attorneys from the Defenders of Human Rights Center who are representing the seven Baha'is – the court has decided to delay the hearing for two months. - 8/17/09

Foreign firms to invest in Iran's Petrochemical projects
Iran has reached preliminary agreements with companies from Russia, Turkey, South Africa, India, and Oman to finance some domestic petrochemical projects, the National Petrochemical Company's managing director said in Tehran on Monday. - 8/17/09

36 MKO members to be tried in Iraq soon: Official
An Iraqi judicial official has said a number of 36 MKO members will stand trial in coming days, Buratha news agency reported on Monday. The trial will be held in a court in Al-Khalis, a village roughly 15 kilometers north of Baqubah in one of the six districts of the Iraqi Diyala province. - 8/17/09

Good sport: Former Iranian athlete brings Persian influence to Hackensack shop
Racks of tea, spices and sweets line the Tehran Super store in Hackensack, a hub for all things Persian. In the front window are hookahs coiled with flowers and a vase sprouting three American flags. A soccer ball tops a silver pedestal like a sacred relic. -Star-Ledger, New Jersey - 8/17/09

UAE's Mubadala denies gas talks with Iran
The UAE-based Mubadala Petroleum Services Company has rejected the news of being in talks with the National Iranian Oil Company for the transfer of gas from Iran. - 8/17/09

Confident Karzai Looks Forward To Five More Years As Afghan Leader
In an interview with RFE/RL, Afghan President Hamid Karzai defended his record over the past eight years, including his alliances with regional warlords, and said he is confident of reelection to another five-year term on August 20. - 8/17/09

Iran retains FIBA Asia Championship title
Iran brushed aside China in the final of 25th FIBA Asia Championship for men and won the gold medal on Sunday. Iran beat 14-time FIBA Asia Championship gold medalist 70-52 at the Tianjin Gym. - 8/16/09

Iranian Reformists Challenge Supreme Leader
A group of Iranian reformists is demanding an investigation into Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, questioning whether he is fit to lead. A letter, issued Friday, asks one of Iran's highest clerical bodies to examine whether the supreme leader has become incapable of fulfilling his "constitutional duties." - 8/16/09

Photos: Historical Houses in Kashan, Iran
Switzerland-based Iranian Saba Manuchehri has paid for the restoration of four Qajar era historical houses in Kashan. Manuchehri has purchased the old houses and the structures are currently under restoration, said manager of Kashan's Department of Historical House Renovation, Ali-Akbar Helli. - 8/16/09

What Should Obama (and the rest of the world) do about the Islamic Regime in Iran?
The adventurist policies of George Bush and Neo-cons who presumed they can unilaterally do to other countries whatever they wish, including "regime change" has been nothing short of disaster. The world is still suffering from consequences of these policies. It is natural that in reaction to such policies many prefer and advocate non-intervention. -Reza Ghorashi - 8/16/09

Ahmadinejad Names Women Ministers
In televised remarks Sunday, President Ahmadinejad said he would name Fatemeh Ajorlu as welfare and social security minister, and Marzieh Vahid Dastgerdi as minister of health. Dastgerdi is currently a lawmaker. The Iranian leader did not name a third female minister, but said there would be at least one other woman in the Cabinet. - 8/16/09

Iran's Supreme Leader Names New Hardline Judiciary Chief
As the Iranian judiciary prepares to try another wave of post-election protesters and opposition supporters, Sunday, government TV is announcing that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed a new hard-line head of the judiciary. The appointment was not unexpected, however. - 8/16/09

Clinton Urges Iran to Release Detained Americans
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran to release all Americans detained in the country, including three hikers arrested last month. Clinton Saturday called on Iranian authorities to grant consular access to the three hikers, who were detained July 31. - 8/16/09

Will Ahmadinejad Be Stronger, Or Weaker, In His Second Term?
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has cracked down so hard on postelection protesters that his forceful behavior has precipitated a second crisis that few foresaw -- a battle with mainstream conservative leaders who are the backbone of the establishment and regard Ahmadinejad's aggressive style as a threat to their own interests. - 8/16/09

Throwing Ahmadinejad a Lifeline
In an effort to squeeze Iran into submission over its nuclear policy, Congress and the White House are edging toward a gasoline embargo. This would do nothing to force Iran into submission. In fact, it would be a blessing for the hard-line government ... -Hossein Askari and Trita Parsi, NY Times - 8/16/09

Human Rights Researcher Job Opportunity
The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) has an immediate opening for a researcher capable of working in both Persian and English. The position is available immediately and is guaranteed through February 2010, with the possibility of becoming permanent. - 8/16/09

UAE's Mubadala bids for Iran gas as Crescent deal stalls
The UAE-based Mubadala Petroleum Services Company has offered a bid to import Iranian gas as the National Iranian Oil Company-Crescent National Gas Corporation deal has hit a standstill, the Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday. - 8/16/09

NATO, Afghan Troops Focus On Election Security Amid Taliban Threats
With a Taliban suicide attack claiming seven lives in Kabul on August 15, there are renewed fears about security ahead of Afghanistan's presidential election next week. While security has been a key focus of NATO and Afghan government troops during the past year, Taliban militants have waged their own campaign of threats and intimidation ahead of the August 20 ballot. - 8/16/09

IRAN: Allegations of Rape in Detention Centres
Majid Ansari claimed that the issue of rape in prisons was a fact and the evidence had been submitted to officials. "Regretfully these [allegations] are true. It seems that the situation has deteriorated so much in the Islamic Republic that such atrocities can in fact occur," claimed Ansari who is a cleric and also a member of the Expediency Council. - 8/15/09

Iran Majlis to detail post-vote death toll - Larijani says 100 sexual abuse claims examined before his response to Karroubi
"With the cooperation of the officials at the Behesht Zahra cemetery in Tehran, we have decided to review death certificates and list all the recent victims," said Alviri, adding that the list would be made available to Parliament (Majlis) upon completion. - 8/15/09

Iranian chess Grandmaster Mahjoob sets Guinness book record
He simultaneously played against 500 opponents in Tehran's Enghelab Sports Complex, scoring 397 wins, 90 draws and 13 loses for a winning percentage of 88.4 percent. - 8/15/09

"Untraceable" Iranian Weaponry Invisible to Enemy Eyes
The Ground Forces are using all their power to develop innovative "untraceable" weapons and we have become completely self-sufficient in manufacturing weapons that could not be detected by the enemies' reconnaissance systems, Fars news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan - 8/15/09

Seven Bahais to stand trial in Iran
Seven Bahais will stand trial in Tehran on August 18, an official at Tehran Revolutionary Court said on Saturday. They are accused of spying for Israel, desecration of the Islamic sanctities and spreading propaganda - 8/15/09

God Believers assail Iran’s tactics of suppressing Rape accusations
With a view to saving their face before the world, Iran authorities have started playing a new drama by suppressing the news of the rape cases of the protesters in Prison but it looks that their new strategy is not working well, simply by denouncing the accusations, Iran’s clerical leadership can’t escape the wrath of the world in general and opposition within their country on the other -internationalreporter - 8/15/09

Aviation disasters keep cropping up in Iran
A plane used for flight training crashed in northern Iran on Saturday, killing two people on board, On Monday, three people were killed and three others injured in a Bell 205 police helicopter crash in southern Iran -Xinhua - 8/15/09

Grad student, Esha Momeni imprisoned in Iran returns to US
Esha Momeni, 29, was charged with acting against Iran's national security and held mainly in solitary confinement after conducting research on the Iranian women's rights movement for her thesis at California State University, Northridge. washingtonpost - 8/15/09

Iranians Shine, Assisted by Expatriate
IN recent months biennials around the world have dedicated special sections to a hot new field: Middle Eastern artists. And many of the most celebrated hail from Iran, like Farhad Moshiri of Tehran, whose paintings covered with Swaroski crystal-encrusted calligraphy have brought $1 million-plus at auction, or Shirin Neshat of New York, widely acclaimed since the late 1990s for her films and videos featuring veiled women. -NYT - 8/15/09

Mesbah-Yazdi: Ahmadinejad's Word Like God's
"When a president is endorsed by the vali-ye faqih, obeying the president is like obeying God," the daily quoted Mesbah-Yazdi as saying - 8/14/09

Karroubi hits back at Parliament over rape claim
The veteran Reformist figure said he did not expect the officials in Majlis who were tasked with probing into the issue "to deny the content of his letter within 24 hours and even before the special committee tasked with investigating the issue convenes" to give a report on the controversial matter. - 8/14/09

Israel: Investigate "White Flag" Shootings of Gaza Civilians
Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed 11 Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, who were in groups waving white flags to convey their civilian status, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. - 8/14/09

Ahmadinejad's Cabinet Choices Highlight Possible Rift Among Iran's Ruling Elite
"[Conservative lawmakers] try to play down the inadequacies of Ahmadinejad's administration, because any failure of Ahmadinejad's administration is something the conservative camp will be held responsible for, as well," Hesar says. - 8/14/09

A New Kind of Protest in Iran
A single scene during protests against the inauguration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad encapsulates how different sectors of Iranian society have come together in a common cause - 8/14/09

17th Tabriz international Expo opens
The domestic companies put their modern household appliances and electronic equipment manufactured in both East and West Azarbaijan provinces, Tehran, Razavi Khorasan, Isfahan, Mazandaran and Fars provinces on display. The foreign firms active in the Expo are from Germany, UK, Turkey, China, Spain, France, Malaysia and Bangladesh. - 8/14/09

The New Iran Sanctions: Worse Than the Old Ones
The U.S. Congress is considering cutting off petroleum-products shipments to Iran -- a useless sanction, and a distraction from real solutions - foreignpolicy - 8/14/09

Trials before this court are unfair and if convicted the defendants face harsh penalties. Many are believed to be prisoners of conscience and reports suggest some may have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated in pre-trial detention. - Amnesty International - 8/14/09

Thirty Years Later ...
Sometimes, he looked at me and winked, subtly reminding me of a conversation we once had, when he told me that if anyone in our class could do what his Afshin had done, it would be me. I was, in his eyes, the only one with enough of what took to be just like his son. - Mahbod Seraji - 8/14/09

Will Iran's Basij stay loyal?
Some interviewed recently spoke about their belief that they were working for the improvement of humanity: "We want to change the world, to save the world and all its people from tyranny and submit only to God." -BBC - 8/14/09

Photo: Tehran land collapse
4.5 meter land collapse at intersection of Navvab highway and Kalhor street in Tehran. - 8/14/09

Amnesty Wants Observers at Iran Trials
Human rights group Amnesty International is asking Iran to allow international observers into trials of more than 100 people charged with being involved with protests following the June presidential elections. - 8/13/09

IRAN: Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right
In the face of mounting pressure from hawks in Washington and the continued threat of military action from Israel, the Barack Obama Administration has been taking a harder line in its latest pronouncements about Iran. - 8/13/09

Iran Pistachio exports to reach $1.5b, four-month petchem exports approaching $1.9b
The price of Iranian pistachio in international markets at approximately $8,000 per ton, Petrochemical Commercial Company as reporting that liquefied gas (propane and butane) was the major export item amounting to 924,000 tons - 8/13/09

France Seeking to Bail Citizen out of Iranian Custody
The French Embassy in Tehran has submitted an official note to the Iranian judiciary to demand that Clotilde Reiss - a French national who was detained during post-election unrests in Iran - be released on bail - 8/13/09

Iranian painter Behjat Sadr dies at 85 in France
Born in 1924 in Arak, Sadr began her studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Tehran. Afterwards, she was awarded a scholarship to the Academia di Belle Arti in Rome and later studied at the Naples Academy of Fine Arts. Sadr's first major exhibition was at the 28th Venice Biennial in 1956 - 8/13/09

Iran calls for ban on striking nuke facilities
The IAEA's general conference already passed a resolution in September 1990 entitled "Prohibition of All Armed Attacks Against Nuclear Installations Devoted to Peaceful Purposes Whether Under Construction or in Operation." -washingtonpost - 8/13/09

Khamenei: Iranian elite urged to distinguish friends from foes
"If you do not have deep insight, if you cannot distinguish your friends, if you cannot spot your enemies, then your attacks, dialogue and your actions may target your friends instead of your enemies," - 8/13/09

Iranian MP, Alaeddin Boroujerdi: Rapid Release of 3 US Nationals Unlikely
The MP blasted US forces move to arrest Iranian diplomats in Iraq in violation of all international regulations, holding them for 30 months. - 8/13/09

Reports: Baha'is trial due to start next week in Iran
Iran reportedly plans next week to put on trial seven Baha'i prisoners accused of espionage, even though one of their lawyers has become a fellow detainee and the other is outside the country. -CNN - 8/13/09

Photos: Iranian Chess Master Hopes to Break Guinness World Record
He has been a member of the Iranian National Chess Team for twelve years and became Iran Youth Champion in 1994 when he was 13. In 1995 he was Iran Students Champion and in 2000, he managed to beat grandmaster Anatoly Karpov in a simultaneous chess game between Karpov and the Iranian National Chess Team. - 8/13/09

Akbar Ganji: Dear Mr Ban, heed the Iranian people
Evidence shows that in the Islamic republic of Iran elections are not free, competitive or fair, and they never lead to a real transformation in the country's political structure. Several reasons exist for this... - - 8/13/09

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated and invited Ahmadinejad to UN assembly on Sept. 22
Ban mentioned Iran's role in an effective drug war, help for refugees, promotion of social and economical development in the world, and confronting terrorism. - 8/12/09

Interview with an Iranian Queer Activist
Hazhir is a young writer/poet/journalist/activist. Soon after the publication of this interview with Cheraq, the online journal of Iranian queers, he was forced into exile. - 8/12/09

"These show trials add to the long list of violations committed by Iranian authorities," said NIAC President Trita Parsi. "There should be no illusion in Tehran about where world public opinion stands on these outrageous trials and accusations." - 8/12/09

IRGC Commander Calls for All-out Confrontation against Soft Threats
"Confronting soft threats in all the cultural, economic, political and social arenas is the most important need of the (Islamic) ruling system," the commander added. - 8/12/09

Iran Expanding Air Fleet
"During the last 11 months, an average number of 3.3 airplanes have been added to the Iranian air fleet each month," Behbahani told reporters, noting that 29 of the 35 purchased planes are western-made and the other 6 have been manufactured in Eastern European. - 8/12/09

202 MPs: 'Experience and expertise' essential for cabinet nominees
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee emphasized that the president has had no consultations with the committee about the next foreign minister - 8/12/09

Larijani: Prison rape claims 'sheer lies'
"Following a precise and comprehensive inquiry into (the treatment of) detainees at Kahrizak and Evin prisons, no cases of rape or sexual abuse were found," he added. - 8/12/09

Persecution of Iranian Christians intensifies; 2 women refuse to renounce faith
two dozen Christians who had gathered together in a house were arrested on July 31 and rearrested on August 7, and an additional eight Christians in another city were arrested on July 29 and 30. On August 9, two women held in the infamous Evin prison-- both converts from Islam-- refused to renounce Christianity when they appeared before the nation’s revolutionary court. - catholicculture - 8/12/09

Inside Iran's Most Infamous Prison, Kahrizak
Sadegh, who seemed to be of higher rank took the dead body and laid it against the wall, shone a flashlight in his face and said, “We have warrant to kill you all. So you better wish for some luck and not end up like this mother….dead.” “…Don’t let out the slightest sound. If you stay alive until morning you stay alive…” He then continued, “you are all muharebe [combatants], do you know what a muharebe is - counterpunch - 8/12/09

Photos: Iranian Art Student's Sculpture Exhibition
Group Sculpture Exhibition by ART University Students - 8/12/09

IRAN: Ahmadinejad's Predicament and Iran's Political Crisis
In fact, despite the proclaimed support of 24 million Iranians, his government is by far the weakest post-revolutionary government. Ironically, it is this weakened position that tempts him to be a force of constant agitation and confrontation. - 8/11/09

Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men
Shirin Neshat's first feature-length film is based on a magic-realist novel written by Iranian author Sharnush Parsipur. The narrative interweaves the lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953, a pivotal moment in Iranian history when an American led coup d'état brought down the democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah to power. - 8/11/09

Torture and Ill-Treatment Systematic, Not Result of "Negligence" and "Carelessness"
Instead of show trials of innocent people, there should be prosecution of those responsible for torturing them, and for the shootings, beatings, and ill-treatment that have resulted in numerous deaths on the streets and in detention, stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign - 8/11/09

US Aid to Middle East Mixed Blessing for Promoting Democracy
Stephen McInerney, advocacy director of Project on Middle East Democracy, says 14 percent of US aid to Middle East goes to democracy programs, Thomas Melia of Freedom House says 86 percent of spending on democracy programs goes to three countries currently at war - 8/11/09

Released Iranian state TV crew calls for serious action against Republic of Azerbaijan
"We had a one-month residence permit in Azerbaijan, but we were arrested by police after 11 days," he said adding "they detained us for 15 days and destroyed all our research including interviews, reports and photographs." - 8/11/09

Mousavi Ally Says 69 Died In Iran Vote Unrest: Report
"The names of 69 people who were killed in post-election unrest ... were submitted to parliament for investigation. The report also included the names of about 220 detainees," said Alireza Hosseini Beheshti. - reuters - 8/11/09

Alarming spike in Iran executions since disputed presidential election, Amnesty International
"In just over 50 days, we recorded no less that 115 executions, that is an average of more than two each day," said Irene Khan - 8/11/09

Sufficient evidences to sue ex-presidential candidate: vice president of Iran parliament's security commission
We have sufficient evidences, documents and facts to sue and arrest Musevi and other reformist leaders, Vice President of the Security Commission of Iranian Parliament Ismail Kosari told Trend News - trend - 8/11/09

Election: Sag-e Zard Bradar-e Shoghale
All elections around the world from America to Zimbabwe have one thing in common and that they make no significant changes to average life of a citizen in their respective country in a meaningful way - Sina Alavi - 8/11/09

Iranians For Peace appeal to the Iranian authorities for release of Dr Bijan Khajehpour Khoei
We appeal to the Iranian authorities to help resolve the current crisis by promoting dialogue through reconciliation, respect for human life, and seeking consensus based on the aspirations of the Iranian people. If not healed, the current conflict could cause a rift in the Iranian society leaving the country vulnerable to serious destabilizing threats. - 8/11/09

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani urges inquiry into 'jail rape' claims in Iran
Karroubi went on to say that senior officials in the country had informed him of the appalling behavior taking place in Iranian jails, adding that if true, this would be a catastrophe for the Islamic Republic. - 8/11/09

Saudi Arabia has highest incidence of flu
Iran Air is reported on 10 August to have suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia, following an earlier Iranian government ban on all citizens from visiting Saudi Arabia during 30 days of Ramadan, beginning around 22 August. Iran had 144 reported cases of H1N1 on 8 August, according to WHO, mostly pilgrims who had visited Saudi Arabia. - 8/11/09

Germans wary as mosque rises in Cologne
Necla Kelek, a prominent feminist and social scientist of Turkish descent, says mosques are different from churches and synagogues. Their use as community centers make them "obstacle to integration" she says, pointing out that original plans for the Cologne mosque designated only one-fifth of its space for prayer: The rest was for a doctor's office, a bakery, a hairdresser, a law office, and a bank, among other things -Christian Science Monitor - 8/11/09

Sting Makes Appeal for Kian Tajbakhsh and Iranian Detainees
I urge those of us living in a democratic society to speak out against the current Iranian regime's system of political repression and human rights violations threatening to silence these activists and journalists. - 8/10/09

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama regarding Iranian plane crashes
I write to bring to your attention a human tragedy that plane crashes have brought to the Iranian people and visitors who travel to Iran. In tune with your "hope" and "change" slogans, I also write to urge that you help mitigate this calamity by lifting sanctions on the sale of American-made civilian planes and spare parts to Iran. - 8/10/09

Demand Iran's judiciary halts stoning Sakineh Mohammadi
She received flogging of 99 lashes as her sentence. She was subsequently accused of "adultery while being married" in September 2006 during the trial of a man accused of murdering her husband. - Amnesty International - 8/10/09

Iran to issue $600m in bonds to fund refining projects
Iran will issue $300 million worth of bonds to finance the development plan of Abadan refinery in two weeks and another $300 million worth of bonds to finance the development plan of Isfahan refinery in two months...Iran is currently importing some 20 million liters of gasoline per day, but the country will become self-sufficient in producing gasoline by commissioning the above-mentioned development plans - 8/10/09

Jeff Gates : American Intifada -- Shaking Off Six Decades of Deceit
During the 1960 Christmas season, Americans flocked to the theaters to see Exodus, a 3-1/2 hour epic featuring romance, handsome freedom fighters and the triumph of Jewish destiny over Arab evil - 8/10/09

The Garden of Khavaran, the massacre of political prisoner in summer of 1988
Short Film: "Khavaran", located on a hillside south of Tehran, is one of the known mass graves of political prisoners executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Families of the executed call it a garden since whenever they leave the hillside is covered with flowers. In the summer of 1988, new mass graves were discovered in Khavaran - 8/10/09

Kahrizak prison chief dismissed, arrested
"In some prisons, interrogation techniques went too far …Grave mistakes were committed that can never be defended, nor justified," said Dorri-Najafabadi. - 8/10/09

Photos: Children's Painting Workshop
in Zayandeh dry river bed - Isfahan - 8/10/09

Lawmaker Highlights Significance of Iran-Russia Cooperation
In the early days of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saeed Hajjarian advised the hostage-takers at the U.S. Embassy. During the Iran-Iraq war, he helped establish the much-feared Ministry of Intelligence. Then he turned in a democratic direction, running reformist newspapers and serving as a political adviser to President Mohammad Khatami. -Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post - 8/10/09

Claims of savage rape emerge from Iran's prisons
"A number of detainees have stated that some female detainees were so severely raped that their genitals were damaged. Others savagely raped young boys so that they suffer from depression and serious physical and mental damage," Karroubi said in a letter posted on his Web site - washingtonpost - 8/10/09

Iran judiciary looks to calm prison abuse outrage
Police and judiciary officials sought on Sunday to calm public outrage in Iran over the deaths of detained protesters in prison, acknowledging abuses and calling for those responsible to be punished - AP - 8/10/09

Confessions: US Intelligence Agencies' Role and French Detainee
A member of an anti-Iran terrorist group detained during the post-election unrests in Tehran confessed that the US intelligence agencies...A French national detained in the recent post-election frenzy in Iran, admitted to her crimes and asked the court and the Iranian people for clemency. - 8/9/09

EU, Britain, France Condemn Iran Trial
Iran faces international condemnation after opening its second mass trial of political detainees charged with provoking unrest during protests against Iran's disputed presidential election - 8/9/09

Majlis bloc seeks to put Iran's Mousavi to trial
With hundreds of opposition activists and protestors put in the dock in Iran, a powerful bloc in the parliament moves to lodge a complaint against leading opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi. - 8/9/09

Iran MP Hamid-Reza Katouzian, and police chief differ on Kahrizak incidents
Katouzian said that the Police Command Center receives reports "regularly and on a daily basis" and thus it is highly unlikely that the national police chief was unaware of such issues. - 8/9/09

Statement by 40 Engaged Scholars 'Human Beings are Members of a Whole' Protecting the Iranian Civil Society
If we speak out against the threat of force against Iran (regarding the nuclear conflict) and warn against a military strike, we cannot be silent on the use of force in Iran itself against its own civil society. - 8/9/09

In Iran, a Hostage-Taker Is Now Hostage
Last week Iran's theocracy widened its crackdown from suppressing an opposition movement to putting on trial the very revolutionaries who launched the Islamic republic - Washingtonpost - 8/9/09

In Iran, second trial for protesters begins
Also named in the court are a local staffer in French Embassy in Iran, Nazak Afshar and Clotilde Reiss, a female French academic, who was detained on espionage charges following the presidential election. - 8/8/09

Fresh Trial Targets Iranian Opposition, West
Riot police were dispatched after the start of the proceedings to forcibly disperse relatives of the defendants, who had gathered outside the court building and were chanting "God is great!" according to a report on the Mosharekat website that was cited by Reuters - 8/8/09

French woman, embassy staff confess in Iran trial
A young French academic and local staff of the British and French embassies stood trial Saturday with dozens of Iranian opposition figures and confessed to being involved in the country's postelection unrest - AP - 8/8/09

Iran: Majlis to summon customs officials over report of $18.5b transfer
Lawmakers will definitely summon customs officials to elaborate on the issue next week," Khabbaz, who is the rapporteur of the Majlis Economic Committee - 8/8/09

Families of Detainees Angered, Bewildered
"Don't you have a heart? Are you made of stone?" In the street outside Evin Prison, a girl of about 23 dressed in a black coat and scarf is crying loudly and cursing the officials behind the window who are refusing to let her see her brother - 8/8/09

Names of rogue cops should be announced: MP
Karamirad added, "There is an expectation that the trial of these lawbreaker officers be open and the violators reveal all issues including whether they have an order to do so or they have been self-willed. All aspects of these issues should become clear to the people. " - 8/8/09

Ahmadinejad calls for ECO members joint cooperation
Ahmadinejad emphasized it was necessary for the organization to have dynamic presence in various regional and international scenes. - 8/8/09

Iran Cannes stars seek asylum in Britain
Ashkan Kooshanejad, 24, and his girlfriend Negar Shaghaghi, 23, were chosen for leading roles in acclaimed director Bahman Ghobadi's film "No One Knows About Persian Cats", about Tehran's illegal underground music scene.- AFP - 8/8/09

At Iran post-vote prison, dereliction of duty confirmed
After speaking to prisoners and sources at the recently shut down Kahrizak prison, the Iranian police force has come to the conclusion that violations of detainee rights along with dereliction of duty have been evident at the notorious detention center. - 8/7/09

U.S. Treasury rejects freezing Iran visitors' bank accounts
The United States Treasury has amended the way it enforces Iran sanctions to prevent the freezing of U.S. bank accounts of persons visiting Iran. The new regulations will protect Iranian Americans and others who travel to Iran from having their accounts frozen simply for being in Iran. - 8/7/09

Iran aims at 5th place of FIVB Junior World Championship after defeating US
To earn fifth place of the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior Volleyball World Championship in Pune, India, Iran will play Belgium on Saturday. Having lost to Cuba and Brazil, Iran defeated the U.S. on Thursday to have a chance to finish the championship in the fifth place. - 8/7/09

Flu Fears Prompt Iranian Ban on Ramadan Pilgrimages
Iran has banned its citizens from making pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan in an effort to slow the spread of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. - 8/7/09

Iran, Islam and the Rule of Law
Ahmadinejad is many bad things, including a Holocaust denier and a strong proponent of a nuclear Iran. But as recent events have underlined, Iran is not quite a tyranny, petty or grand, and the office Ahmadinejad occupies does not give him final say in Iranian affairs. That role is more truly occupied by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, head of the Council of Guardians and Iran�s supreme leader. -Francis Fukuyama, WSJ - 8/7/09

Iran To Receive More Gas From Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is planning to increase the amount of natural gas it exports to Iran to 14 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports. - 8/7/09

Iran Years From Fuel For Bomb, Report Says
Despite Iran's progress since 2007 toward producing enriched uranium, the State Department's intelligence analysts continue to think that Tehran will not be able to produce weapons-grade material before 2013, according to a newly disclosed congressional document. -Washington Post - 8/7/09

Afghans Prepare for Presidential Elections
As Afghanistan prepares to hold presidential elections later this month, issues such as security, corruption and lack of economic development are at the forefront. But many say one key promise seems to have been forgotten - improving the rights of women. Veteran Afghan women's rights advocate, Malalai Joya, made the case recently during a visit to London. - 8/7/09

Azerbaijan Deports Iranian Journalists
Iranian television producer Shaban Ali Keyvani and cameraman Masud Vaezi have been deported from Azerbaijan, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. Police in the Caspian Sea port of Lankaran detained the two -- who work for the Iranian state television station Sahar -- on July 22 and charged them with violating migration rules. - 8/7/09

Association of Iranian Journalists office in Tehran sealed off
The office of the Association of Iranian Journalists has been sealed off by judiciary officials, the secretary of the association reports. Badralsadat Mofidi told ILNA on Thursday that judiciary officials carrying a warrant sealed off the place Wednesday night. - 8/6/09

Open letter to President Obama on behalf of Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad
As an Iranian-American who found you to be the gem of all the US presidential candidates two years before your inauguration, as an active citizen critical of dark and war mongering policies of Mr. Bush, as a proud Iranian who had spent 17 years of my life growing up in that resourceful country, as a world citizen who wishes to see peace and tranquility established all over the globe, as a practicing Muslim, I wish to ask you Mr. President to grant an interview to Ms. Alinejad. -Rod Sharif - 8/6/09

The Other Side of the Mirror: An Exhibition by Farah Seyed Abolghassem
We all know of artists who live in the passageways. Theirs is not a mundane living but a life within the mind: the passage between childhood and adulthood, thought and feeling, consciousness and the unconscious... -gallery mamak - 8/6/09

"Eurocentric Left" and the "Green Movement" in Iran
The key to understand the fierce support of some of the so-called "Leftist" Iranians for the recent brutalities incorporated by the government against the so-called "Green Movement" is their distinct narrative of the dynamics of the recent social uprising in Iran. -Pooya Shoghi - 8/6/09

Iran takes 2nd place in Turkey World Youth Championship
Iranian Greco-Roman wrestlers were ranked second in World Youth Wrestling Championship held in Ankara, Turkey. Iran bagged 2 gold medals by Saeed Abdoli in 66 kg and Babak Qorbani in 84 kg. - 8/6/09

Exhibition: Fari Shmas JJ Manford and in London
During the long and inhospitable Chicago winter, Fari Shams and JJ Manford worked in adjacent studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There, on the 16th floor, overlooking the frozen lake Michigan, these two artists worked side by side while the neurotic weather turned the lake from liquid to a wasteland of shattered rock. - 8/6/09

Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A Power Grab?
Until very recently, the West regarded Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's man. The president's first term was largely about completing the hard-line backlash, approved by the Supreme Leader, against the reformist camp led by former President Mohammad Khatami. And Ahmadinejad did the job thoroughly. - 8/6/09

EU won't send congratulations note to Ahmadinejad
The European Union will not send a traditional note of congratulations to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on being sworn in to a second presidential term., AP reported. EU spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio says the EU "has not sent a congratulatory message and does not intend to do so." He gave no further comment Thursday. - 8/6/09

US Awaits Confirmation from Iran About 3 Missing Americans
U.S. State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said Wednesday there are no reasons to doubt Iranian reports that the three were arrested Friday near the Iraq-Iran border. But he said the U.S. cannot seek consular access until the Iranian government provides official confirmation of the arrests. - 8/6/09

As Ahmadinejad Is Sworn In for 2nd Term, Deep Fissures Are Laid Bare
The inauguration ceremony itself exposed deep rifts in Iran�s ruling elite. Many seats were empty, with most of Parliament�s reform faction boycotting the event, according to Parlamaan News, a reformist Web site. Several reformists who did attend walked out as the president began his speech. -New York Times - 8/6/09

Q&A: What next for Iran?
Middle East editor Ian Black examines the country's economic, political and security prospects after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inauguration for a second term as president -Guardian - 8/6/09

Ahmadinejad Sworn In For Second Term
Outside parliament in central Tehran, where the oath was administered, hundreds of opposition supporters crowded around a ring of riot police and Basij militiamen who prevented critics of the June 12 election from approaching the building. Leading moderates, including former Presidents Mohammad Khatami and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were absent from the ceremony, as were the main opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi and other prominent opposition figures. - 8/5/09

THE DANGERS OF OVER EXUBERANCE: The Fate of Iran's Reform Movement
Those who believe that the reform movement in Iran has a chance to succeed, and those Iranians abroad who so enthusiastically voice their support for this movement, should be aware of all the peripheral contingencies that also must be taken into account. If the process is carried out hurriedly and with too much exuberance, either the reform movement will die before maturation, or the nation will disintegrate, making the whole issue irrelevant. -Kam Zarrabi - 8/5/09

Waiting for Maziar
Caught in Iran's political maelstrom, forced to "confess" at the show trial in Tehran, will Newsweek's Maziar Bahari be free in time to see the birth of his first child? Paola Gourley, 40, does not want to know whether the baby she's carrying will be a boy or a girl. At least, not yet. The father, Maziar Bahari, 42, is in prison in Iran, where he has been held without access to a lawyer or any chance to see his family since June 21. - 8/5/09

American detainee's family vehemently deny charges lodged by Ahmadinejad regime
Tajbakhsh's family, friends and hundreds of campaigners working to secure his release vehemently deny the charges being lodged against him by the Ahmadinejad regime. Family and friends have previously warned in a public statement that they fear he is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial, adding that "such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials" - 8/5/09

Iran: Show Trial Exposes Arbitrary Detention
Iran's decision to stage a "trial" of more than 100 critics of the recent presidential election, complete with broadcast "confessions" of several reformist leaders, underscores the arbitrary nature of their detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial began on August 1, 2009, with no notice to the defendants' families or lawyers, and is scheduled to resume on August 6, the day after the inauguration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his second term. - 8/5/09

Iran to Prosecute Authorities for Detainee Abuse
Iran says it will prosecute officials responsible for the harsh treatment of detainees at a detention center that held election protesters. State-controlled media cited a statement from Iran's National Security Council saying "all guilty parties," including high-ranking officials, will be "relieved of their responsibilities." - 8/5/09

Iran: One of Mousavi's top campaigners detained in workplace
Iranian authorities have arrested one of defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi's senior campaign officials at his workplace. In the late hours of Tuesday night, Mir-Hamid Hassanzadeh was detained at the office of Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), where he is advisor, the local Tabnak website reported. - 8/5/09

Brazil defeats Iran in FIVB Junior World Championship
Defending champion Brazil defeated Iran in the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior Volleyball World Championship in Pune, India on Wednesday. - 8/5/09

Uppsala University ready to hold seminar on Iran's ethnic languages
Sweden's Uppsala University is planning to hold a seminar on Iranian folklore and the country's different ethnic languages in collaboration with the office of Iran's cultural attach� in Stockholm, some time in the future. - 8/5/09

One Billion Dollars Invested in Iran LNG Project
The managing director of Iran LNG Co., a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, announced that some $1 billion has been invested in the Iranian LNG project. "It is estimated that in future some $4-4.5 billion should be invested in the project," he explained. - 8/5/09

Will Iran's right wing abandon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
At Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's pre-inauguration ceremony yesterday, the awkward two-step said it all. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his imprimatur to the election by officiating the ceremony, but it didn't go entirely according to plan. As Ahmadinejad stepped in to kiss Khamenei's hand, the Supreme Leader stepped back and raised his left hand. -Newsweek - 8/5/09

The day I heckled Ahmadinejad
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his first visit to the US as president of Iran, I attended a ceremony at the Manhattan Hilton where he was speaking. Having gone there out of sheer curiosity, I sat listening, with some 450 others. -Fariba Amini, Guardian - 8/5/09

Iranian Reformists Call for More Protests
Iranian reformist and former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi says protests will continue as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares to take office for a second term. Opposition supporters say they plan large street demonstrations against the president's swearing-in Wednesday. - 8/4/09

Police Clash With Demonstrators in Tehran
Iranian riot police and opposition supporters clashed in Tehran Monday, hours after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was endorsed as president for a second term. A correspondent for Iran's state-run Press TV says riot police used tear gas to disperse about 2,000 demonstrators who gathered between Valiasr and Vanak Squares in the capital. - 8/4/09

Over 100 Iranians face grossly unfair trials
More than 100 people have gone on trial in Tehran accused of organizing recent widespread civil protests. The protests broke out in response to the official announcement that the 14 June presidential election was won by the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Amnesty International - 8/4/09

Photos: Tehran's Saba Music Museum reopens
The museum has been closed since 2002 for renovation. The museum is located in the home where master musician Abolhassan Saba (1902-1957) lived and died. It houses a large collection of music instruments owned by Saba and a selection of donated instruments, letters handwritten by Saba, photos, personal items and a collection of dolls clad in Persian tribal costumes. - 8/4/09

The First Iranian Short Film Festival in Canada: August 14-16 2009
The first Iranian Short Film Festival promising an introduction of young Iranian filmmakers to the world has shifted its wheels in gear. Over the past three years, more than 300 films, made by professional young filmmakers (as opposed to amateur filmmakers) who reside in Iran, have been submitted to the Short Film Festival's Administration Committee. - 8/4/09

Iran: No details as detainee probe panel loses member
Rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali, who headed a newly-established committee tasked with probing into the death and detention of those arrested in the post-election frenzy, confirmed reports of his resignation on Tuesday. Media reports earlier claimed that the official's resignation was due to obstacles in the way of the probe committee's efforts to investigate the situation in Iranian prisons. - 8/4/09

Iranian composer awarded at Italian competition
Iranian composer Amirhossein Eslami Mirabadi won the first prize for his composition "Parsi" at the 2 Agosto International Composing Competition in Bologna, Italy. - 8/4/09

Clinton Appeals to Iran for Information About Missing Hikers
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging Iran to provide information about three missing American tourists who are believed to have been detained Friday in Iran on charges of entering from Iraq without permission. Clinton told reporters at the State Department that, as of Monday morning, the U.S. did not even have official confirmation that Iran is holding the three Americans. - 8/4/09

Book: Returning to Iran
Thirty years after its revolution Iran continues to baffle the world. As changes within Iran and improved relations with the west become distinct possibilities, the experiences of the years since the revolution gain in relevance and significance. Returning to Iran, published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, reflects on these years while placing them in a greater historical context. - 8/4/09

Iran questions $18.5B treasure transfer
The Central Bank of Iran has questioned the transfer of a container-load carrying $18.5 billion worth of gold and cash from Iran to Turkey through courier services. Turkey's independent Kanal D channel reported last week that an Iranian businessman, Esmael Safarian-Nasab, had moved $7.5 billion in cash and 20 metric tons of gold to Turkey in October 2008. - 8/4/09

The Supreme Iranian Counter-Coup
Much has been said and written about Iran's June 12, 2009 presidential elections, and the still unfolding aftermath of this historic event. What is critically significant, however, is to understand, as thoroughly as possible, the reasons, the CONTEXT, for the events that happened, and in particular immediately before and after the polling stations closed the night of the vote , about five six weeks ago. -Moji Agha, Arizona - 8/4/09

Sassanid site becomes garbage dump
The Sassanid site of Barm-e Dalak has been turned into a garbage dump. Located in southeastern Shiraz in Fars Province, the site is home to two Sassanid bas-reliefs both carved on a small rock, the Persian service of CHN reported on Tuesday. - 8/4/09

Iran's Wall Street: Whom Does the Bazaar Back?
Just as Wall Street is the embodiment of America's financial industry, "the bazaar" stands for the mercantile and commercial interests that form a core constituency in Iran. Both are physical and metaphorical locations of power. Indeed, the bazaar, the center of Iranian economic life stretching back centuries, has been key to the country's political history. -TIME - 8/4/09

Davies Attendance At Ahmadinejad Ceremony Sparks Row In U.K.
Britain courted controversy Monday by sending its second-most senior diplomat in Tehran to the ceremony at which Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei formally endorsed anti-western hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president for a second four-year term, reports say. -RTTNews - 8/4/09

Central Asian States Profess Unity, But Grow Farther Apart
Central Asian States Profess Unity, But Grow Farther Apart - 8/4/09

Omani Sultan Qaboos Arrives in Tehran
Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed arrived in Tehran Tuesday morning. That is the first visit of Omani Sultan to Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. - 8/4/09

Pentagon Eyes Accelerated 'Bunker Buster' Bomb
The Pentagon is seeking to speed deployment of an ultra-large "bunker-buster" bomb on the most advanced U.S. bomber as soon as July 2010, the Air Force said on Sunday, amid concerns over perceived nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran. -Reuters - 8/4/09

As Mass Trial Continues, Hard-liners Demand Arrests Of Musavi And Khatami
The main leader of Iran's opposition, defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Musavi, so far remains a free man. But that could change if hard-liners have their way. Some allies of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad are now publicly calling for the arrest and prosecution of Musavi as well as former President Mohammad Khatami. - 8/3/09

Iran: Reform or Revolution?
Many around the world are wondering why the hardliners in Iran are so reluctant to heed the call of the electorate for a rerun of the June 12 presidential election or a national referendum to confirm its outcome, if their favorite candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, actually won by a landslide. After all, a revote or a referendum could at once resolve the post-election dispute and secure the regime the sort of national and international legitimacy it presently lacks. -Jalal Alavi - 8/3/09

Passenger plane makes emergency landing in Ahvaz, Iran
A Saha airline plane made an emergency landing on Monday in Ahvaz airport due to a technical problem in one of its engines. - 8/3/09

Iran's Opposition Leaders Boycott Ahmadinejad Endorsement Event
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, formally gave his blessing to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term on Monday. The ceremony comes two days before his formal inauguration, but many opposition figures and two former presidents boycotted the event. - 8/3/09

Photos: Iran-Europe railway interrupted due to ground movement
Iran-Europe rail connection has been interrupted due to ground movements in the vicinity of the town of Khoy in West Azarbaijan province. About 300 meters of the railway has been destroyed. A special team has been formed to repair the railway. - 8/3/09

Khamenei Calls Iran's Presidential Election Glorious
The participation of 85 percent of eligible voters in the recent presidential election showed the people's attachment to their achievements over the past 30 years, Ayatollah Khamenei said in the document officially endorsing the second term of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which was read out at the endorsement ceremony, which was held in Tehran on Monday. - 8/3/09

World Bank allocates $330m to improve Iranian city structure
Deputy Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad-Hussein Ajdari stated on Monday in Tabriz that the World Bank has agreed to allocate $330 million in a 12 year plan to improve city structure in Iran. - 8/3/09

Iran poll critics shun ceremony
Senior Iranian political figures appear to have snubbed the formal endorsement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was among those not at Monday's ceremony, state TV said. Another former president, Mohammad Khatami, was also absent, as were defeated election candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. -BBC - 8/3/09

Iran court warns against criticizing proceedings
The threat comes after a round of condemnation over the televised court hearing of those accused in postelection unrest. The proceedings were labeled a 'sham' by opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi. -LA Times - 8/3/09

European company may invest $4 billion in Iran's Lavan gas field
Iranian Offshore Oil Company Managing Director Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh has announced that the IOOC is negotiating with a European company that is interested in investing over $4 billion to produce liquefied natural gas at the Lavan gas field. - 8/3/09

U.S. Weighs Iran Sanctions if Talks Are Rejected
The Obama administration is talking with allies and Congress about the possibility of imposing an extreme economic sanction against Iran if it fails to respond to President Obama�s offer to negotiate on its nuclear program: cutting off the country�s imports of gasoline and other refined oil products. -NY Times - 8/3/09

Tehran Court Tries Top Reformists
The mass trial of Iran's top reformist leaders over the weekend on charges that include conspiring to overthrow the regime signals that a process is under way to eventually outlaw the reformist party and ban its members and supporters from political activity, Iran analysts say. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 8/3/09

Iranian Targeted by Onetime Associates
In the early days of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saeed Hajjarian advised the hostage-takers at the U.S. Embassy. During the Iran-Iraq war, he helped establish the much-feared Ministry of Intelligence. Then he turned in a democratic direction, running reformist newspapers and serving as a political adviser to President Mohammad Khatami. -Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post - 8/3/09

Iranian Ex-President Khatami Denounces Trial Of Reformists
Head of Iran-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group Mehdi Sanayee underlined the significance of the two countries' mutual cooperation in different fields, and called on Tehran and Moscow to make use of all available grounds and opportunities to further expand their friendly relations. - 8/2/09

Photos: Journalists criticize crude restoration of historical Khaju Bridge in Isfahan
The Isfahan Press Activists Society issued a statement on Sunday to censure the inept restoration underway on Khaju bridge, one of the most famous historical bridges built over the Zayanderud River in Isfahan. - 8/2/09

The Green Movement and Iran's Nuclear Program
While domestic Iranian political scene has been dominated by the post election protests and the emergence of the Green Movement, the Western Nations remained focused on stopping Iran's nuclear program.. Obama administration has warned that it will wait till September for Iran to return to the negotiation table. It stands ready to impose additional sanctions if Iran is not cooperative and Israel is still dedicated to a pre-emptive military strike. -Hamid Assef - 8/2/09

Iran advances to next round of FIVB Junior Volleyball
Iran swept Egypt in its last preliminary round match of the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior Volleyball World Championship on Sunday. - 8/2/09

Iran tops junior Asian Wrestling Championship
Iran Greco-Roman wrestlers ranked first in junior Asian Wrestling Championship in India with 84 points after claiming 5 gold and 4 bronze medals. - 8/2/09

Iran: Rezaii urges trial of officers violating rules in post-election unrest
The Expediency Council Secretary, Mohsen Rezaii, called on Sunday for the prosecution of police officers and other persons who violated regulations in dealing with protesters and detainees following the post-election incidents. - 8/2/09

Iranian woman futsaller linked to Spanish team
Behnaz Khayyat may be the first Iranian woman futsal player who plays abroad. The Tejaratkhaneh Hormozgan keeper has been linked to a Spanish futsal club. The name of the team has not been mentioned. - 8/2/09

US Checking Reported Arrest of Americans in Iran
The U.S. State Department says it is asking Swiss diplomats in Iran to investigate Iranian media reports that three American tourists were arrested after entering the country without permission. Iran's state-owned television, al-Alam, reported the arrests Saturday, saying the tourists illegally entered the country through Iraq's northern border. - 8/2/09

Bukhara Deer Reintroduced To Syr Darya River Valley
For almost half a century, the Bukhara deer -- a species endemic to Central Asia -- had not been seen in the wild in the forests along the Syr Darya river. But the species has now returned to Kazakhstan's southern Turkestan district with the recent release of ten deer into their traditional habitat. -Antoine Blua, RFE/RL - 8/2/09

Tehran's dust pollution remains at dangerous level
Dust pollution in Tehran will remain at a dangerous level throughout Monday, Tehran's air pollution emergency committee announced on Sunday. According to the emergency committee, pollution's average PM (particulate matter: tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas) reached 119 on Sunday. - 8/2/09

Iran, China sign deal to expand oil refineries
National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) and a Chinese consortium signed an agreement on Saturday to expand the capacity of Abadan and Persian Gulf Star oil refineries. - 8/2/09

Iranian Dissidents’ Fate in Iraq Shows Limits of U.S. Sway
Last September, Gen. David H. Petraeus told reporters in Baghdad that the United States had been assured by the Iraqi government that the 3,400 Iranian dissidents in a camp in eastern Iraq would continue to be protected after the Americans turned over responsibility for the camp to Iraqi forces. -New York Times - 8/2/09

Photos: Trial Begins for Iran Election Protesters
About 100 Iranian activists and political moderates went on trial Saturday to face charges related to massive protests following the controversial presidential election. The semi-official Fars news agency published images of defendants sitting in a packed Tehran courtroom, some handcuffed in pairs. - 8/1/09

A Weekend in Azerbaijan
Last February, we were at Felor and Anoosh's house along with some other friends who have become part of our group when we decided to accept Buick and Mercedeh's invitation to go to their hometown Tabriz once the weather was warmer and visit the famous Kandovan Rocky Hotel. I had been to Tabriz only on business years ago, and Paul had never been, so we jumped at the opportunity. It took some time to make sure everybody's time was free but we eventually made the trip last week. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 8/1/09

Prominent Iranian Reformists Go On Trial For Post-Election Unrest
Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent rights activist and lawyer, told Radio Farda: "As a member of Iran's legal community, I wish to express the deep concern of lawyers and public opinion about the show that began today under the name of a trial, whose aim is to curb the civil movement by intimidating people who have done a great service for this country over the years." - 8/1/09

Military base hindering registration of Falakolaflak Castle on UNESCO list
Iran's endeavor to register the Falakolaflak Castle on the UNESCO World Heritage List is facing more hurdles due to a military base located on the perimeter of the Sassanid monument. - 8/1/09

Truth and reconciliation for Iran
To unify Iran, we suggest greater freedoms, an end to outside interference and a truth and reconciliation commission -Guardian - 8/1/09

Iran: 2nd Islamic Solidarity Games likely to be postponed
The second Islamic Solidarity Games will likely be postponed due to swine flue scare, the Executive Secretary of the games Hassan Mirza Aghabeik said on Saturday. - 8/1/09

Offensive against Taliban in Full Swing in Afghanistan's South
Over 9,000 British and an additional 10,000 American troops have been sent into Afghanistan's Helmand Province to rout the Taliban and establish security ahead of next month's national elections. - 8/1/09

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