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Photos: NAM Brings Peace to Tehran
On the political front Tehran is very busy these days, as many world leaders have gathered for the the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit which started on August 26 and ends today. However, the residents of the capital city are enjoying relatively quieter days due to closure of government offices during the the 5 days of the summit and due to some streets in the city being off limit. -Vahid Sohrabi - 8/31/12

USA and Iran Exhibiting Public Displays of Affection?
The minds behind Boarders without Borders, a documentary that will chronicle snowboarding emissaries to Iran, hope to channel a similar message (as this month's embrace between Olympic wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Sadegh Goudarzi). Led by Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter and professional snowboarder Gabi Viteri, the team is aiming to travel to Tehran in early 2013. Once they arrive, they intend to give viewers a window into Iran and the unique Iranian snowboarding scene. -Dylan Zehr, NIAC - 8/31/12

Mahsa and Masoud in Prison
Iranian journalist Masoud Bastani went to prison so that security agents would release his wife, Mahsa Amrabadi. Official agents had promised that they would release Mahsa if he presented himself to them. He did and Mahsa was released. But only for a short while. Still, Masoud was never sentenced for a long prison term but Mahsa was returned to prison. -Taghi Rahmani - 8/31/12

Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson: Part One: The Question of Organization
'The-very-greatest-happiness-consists-in-obtaining-the-pleasurable-with-the-profitable.' -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 8/31/12

Iranian Americans Thank Obama for Suspending Sanctions on Humanitarian Aid
Over fifteen hundred people signed a letter this past week thanking President Obama for suspending sanctions and helping enable Americans to support earthquake relief efforts in Iran. - 8/31/12

Warning about seal population in Caspian Sea
The seal population in the Caspian Sea is rapidly falling, the deputy head of the marine life branch of Iran's Environment Protection Organization warned in a statement to the media. - 8/31/12

Rosatom Says First Unit At Iran's Bushehr Now Operating At Full Capacity
Russia's state nuclear agency, Rosatom, has announced that the first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran is now functioning at full capacity. - 8/31/12

UN should not pull punches on total nuclear disarmament: Iran's Supreme Leader
"Do not show leniency toward any power in regard to the issue of nuclear disarmament and properly use the opportunity that has been provided to you," the Leader said in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who came to Iran to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement summit. - 8/31/12

Supreme Leader says situation ripe for expansion of Iran-India ties
The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who visited Iran to attend the 16th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement. - 8/31/12

Filtered News Is Good News During Tehran Summit
As leaders of the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) were settling in for their two-day summit in Iran, capping off a week of events intended to showcase Tehran's global voice, they might well be remarkably unaware of goings-on in the country itself. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 8/31/12

Israel and Iran's Contest in Incompetence
The Israeli-Iranian rivalry is a highly competitive contest in incompetence. Most wounds are self-inflicted; most goals are own-goals. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded us of this again this week with his campaign to prevent the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon from attending the upcoming Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 8/31/12

America Planning for a Post-Israel Middle East?
It's a paper entitled: Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East, an 82 page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors concludes that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community. -Franklin Lamb, ICH - 8/31/12

NAM Summit of Leaders Opens in Tehran
The two-day summit of NAM leaders opened in Tehran with Ayatollah Khamenei emphasizing Iran's right to develop its peaceful nuclear program and Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi expressing support for the Syrian opposition. - 8/30/12

Barring some truly accidental mishap, we will hopefully be seeing goal posts move further back as usual, while all parties continue to find face-saving ways to relieve the tensions and reach a sustainable detente in the region, as I have been forecasting, perhaps before the end of 2013. -Kam Zarrabi - 8/30/12

Iran's Khamenei Rules Out Nuclear Bomb
Iran's Supreme Leader says his country will never develop an atomic bomb, but will not abandon its controversial nuclear program. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told leaders of developing nations Thursday at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran that Iran will "not give up its national right to peaceful nuclear energy." - 8/30/12

Ban Ki-moon meets Iran's Supreme Leader
The UN Chief told reporters following his meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei that he has discussed his concerns about human rights violations with Iranian authorities, and Martin Nesirky, spokesman for Ban Ki-moon, also told reporters in New York that the UN Secretary General has condemned recent remarks by Iranain leaders about Israel. - 8/30/12

Arab nations want IAEA to investigate Israel
Seventeen Arab countries have presented the International Atomic Energy Agency with an initiative to probe into Israel's secretive "nuclear capabilities." - 8/30/12

Egyptian President's Iran Trip Signals New Priorities
CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi goes to Iran Thursday, the first visit by an Egyptian leader since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Morsi's trip breaks an alienation dating back to Egypt's recognition of Israel and its welcome to Iran's deposed Shah. - 8/30/12

Egypt's Leader Denounces Syrian Regime During Iran Visit
Regional pressure mounted on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday, as Egypt's newly elected leader called Syria's government "oppressive" and urged it to transfer power to a democratic system. - 8/30/12

U.S. concerned for detained former marine in Iran
The United States has expressed concern over the fate of Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-U.S. citizen who was arrested in Iran on spying charges in August 2011. - 8/30/12

Kiosk break the Iranian mould
In Iran, a country where many forms of free expression are banned and artists face limitations on their creativity, it can be very difficult to form a band, not to say it is impossible to perform. Despite these limitations, rock band Kiosk was born in Tehran in 2003, not long before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power, chaining its social and artistic geography. -albawaba. - 8/30/12

NAM foreign ministers start second day of Tehran meeting
The second day of Non-Aligned Movement foreign ministers meeting commenced in Tehran Wednesday. The ministerial meeting follows a two-day expert meeting of the NAM held on August 26-27. - 8/29/12

Iran: Proposed Penal Code Deeply Flawed
Proposed amendments to Iran's penal code would violate the rights of accused people and criminal defendants, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iranian authorities should suspend enactment of the proposed amendments and undertake a major overhaul of the country's abusive penal laws. - 8/29/12

Op-Ed: Isolating Iran?
Sanctions against Iran are not only counterproductive but deprive U.S. businesses of markets, keep Israel's security in a state of limbo and deepen the stagnation in the Arab-Israeli peace process. -Najmedin Meshkati and Guive Mirfendereski, LA Times - 8/29/12

UN chief arrives in Tehran
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Tehran today to attend the sixteenth NAM summit. A spokesman for the Secretary General announced yesterday that Iran's nuclear program, the Syrian conflict and human rights in Iran will be topics which the UN chief will discuss with Iranian officials in Tehran. - 8/29/12

Morsi's Presence in Tehran: Reasons and Consequences
Perhaps, the greatest development in Egypt's foreign policy during the short period that Morsi has been president is his participation in the 16th NAM summit in Tehran. -Davoud Ahmadzadeh - 8/29/12

Young foreign artists to gather at Iranian festival
Thirty-eight foreign artists from over 20 countries have been invited to the 19th International Visual Arts Festival for Youth, which will open in the northern Iranian city of Gorgan on September 4. - 8/29/12

Iran uses NAM summit as chance to sell oil
Iran's Oil Minister says his ministry is negotiating with buyers of Iranian oil at the 16th NAM summit in Tehran. Rostam Ghassemi was quoted by Iranian state media outlet IRNA, saying: "Since 50 percent of the global market is held by the Non-Aligned Movement member states, we are negotiating with these countries." - 8/29/12

West's Oil Embargo on Iran Fails after Tehran Boosts Supply to 2mln bpd: Report
An Iranian official underlined failure of the US and EU ban on Iranian crude supplies, announcing that the country has increased daily exports to over 2 million barrels this week. "Fortunately, the efforts made by Iran to increase oil exports and confront the sanctions have yielded results," the informed source told FNA on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday. - 8/29/12

Revisiting the Flawed Policy of Sanctioning Iran: How Sanctions Hurt the Reformers
The recent devastating earthquake in Iran has brought the issue of the U.S.-EU sanctions on Iran back to the forefront, where a renewed discussion of the aim and impact of those sanctions is sorely needed. -Pouya Alimagham, Huffington Post - 8/29/12

Iran establishing 27 border terminals to streamline trade
Iran is establishing 27 transportation terminals at border locations with the goal of facilitating trade, an official with the Land Transportation Organization of Iran said. - 8/29/12

World Of Warcraft Blocked For Iran's Gamers Due To Sanctions
They've vanquished elves, trolls, and all manner of magical monsters. But one select group of online gamers is facing an even more formidable foe: The U.S. sanctions regime. -AP - 8/29/12

Wiper Malware That Hit Iran Left Possible Clues of Its Origins
How does a security company study a strain of malware that systematically wipes a hard drive clean, including any traces of its own code? And is there any evidence that Wiper, one particular flavor of malware that hit computers in Iran's oil industry in the spring, is connected to nation-state tools such as Stuxnet? -Kim Zetter, Wired - 8/29/12

Iran's non-oil exports increase over 500% in 6 years
The Islamic Republic exported seven billion dollars worth of non-oil products in the Iranian calendar year 1384 and the figure increased to 43 billion dollars in the Iranian calendar year 1390. - 8/29/12

In Tehran, a Surprise Session with Iran's Foreign Minister
At Iran's big diplomatic Non-Aligned Movement extravaganza, Ali Akbar Salehi takes questions about sanctions, nuclear development, Syria, Hamas and himself -TIME - 8/29/12

I was asked - no, I was told, "Go back to America, tell the expatriate Iranian communities what you have seen here, tell them to help us in whatever way they can, to help the children of the nation they have left behind. Tell them about how we are struggling to provide for our youthful population under these circumstances...Tell them we need help." -Kam Zarrabi - 8/28/12

NAM ministerial meeting begins in Tehran
The two-day ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has convened in the Iranian capital, Tehran. More than 100 countries are partaking in the NAM meeting which kicked off at the expert level in Tehran on Sunday. - 8/28/12

Quake-stricken Iranian children receive drama therapy
Over 2000 quake-stricken children in East Azarbaijan Province received drama therapy through performances arranged by Iran's Portable Theater Center (PTC). - 8/28/12

Experts: Tightening Iran Sanctions Hurts Ordinary Iranians
"We've gone from a policy that was supposed to be smart sanctions or targeted sanctions instead to ones that are designed to cripple the entire Iranian economy, and this is a counterproductive approach," Jamal Abdi said. "This hurts ordinary people. It obstructs rather than facilitates diplomacy. And at the end of the day, I think it's going to put us on a collision course for a military confrontation with Iran." -Carla Babb, VOA - 8/28/12

Health Minister Stresses Iran's Influential Role in World Science, Technology
Iranian Health Minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi appreciated the country's scientific and medical progress despite the western sanctions against Tehran, and described Iran as one of the powerful states in science and technology. - 8/28/12

"The Lady of Peace" statue adorns Tehran for NAM summit
A statue promoting peace was set up in Tehran on Monday to adorn the metropolis, which is currently playing host to the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit. Tehran Municipality's Beautification Organization installed "The Lady of Peace" in the courtyard of Milad Tower as part of its preparations for the NAM summit. - 8/28/12

POLAND 3 IRAN 2: A Play presented at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival
At the 1976 Montreal Olympics the best-ever Polish football team played against the best-ever Iranian football team. This match featured the pivotal Polish players Tomaszewski, Lato and Deyna and for Iran the great Ali Parvin, aka 'The Sultan'. This clash of talent led to a memorable game with Poland clinching a 3-2 win and going on to win the Silver medal. - 8/28/12

What the Iranian People Expect of Ban Ki Moon
While governments would prefer to stay single-minded in their focus on Syria and the nuclear agenda in dealing with Iran, the Secretary General should not forget his duty to uphold the principles of the UN Charter, which includes the promotion of human rights fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. -United for Iran - 8/28/12

Iran determined to continue uranium enrichment: Soltanieh
Iran's Ambassador to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh has reaffirmed Tehran's determination to continue uranium enrichment in accordance with international conventions. - 8/28/12

Iran's automakers get hefty loans to save jobs
A member of Iranian parliament's industry and mining commission said on Monday that billion-touman loans have been provided for two domestic car manufacturers to avoid unemployment for hundreds of thousands of workers. - 8/28/12

Egypt supports Iran's inclusion in Syrian solution
Egypt announced on Sunday its support for the establishment of a regional contact group on Syria, which would include Iran, as "part of the solution" to the Syrian crisis. - 8/28/12

120 NAM Countries Head to Iran Despite Western Pressure
Sunday, the Non-Aligned Movement is meeting in Tehran. In fact, 50 heads of state are heading to Iran for this meeting. It doesn't sound like Iran is quite as isolated as the West would like it to be. -Real News Network - 8/27/12

A Tribute to Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh at Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco
San Francisco: 'Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco' is pleased to announce its 5th annual program set for September 8-9 at the San Francisco Art Institute. This year's tribute is to legendary composer, Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh, who wrote and composed such memorable films as: Dash Akol, Gheisar, Baluch, Reza Motoori - 8/27/12

Iranian Cineastes to express sympathy for quake victims
A group of Iranian cineastes plans to begin a two-day visit to the quake-stricken regions in East Azarbaijan Province today to show their sympathy toward the survivors of two large quakes that hit the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan on August 11. - 8/27/12

Warnings Over Khamenei's Order: Waves of Unhealthy Abortions Coming
The head of Iran's population oversight office at the ministry of health has issued a warning over the growing number of unhealthy abortions in the country. Mohammad Mirzai said there is a wrong perception that by removing the means that are available for abortions, the population of the country will automatically increase. -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah - 8/27/12

US-Iran: Can there ever be a compromise?
What is rare about this relationship is that the two states have been locked in a state of non-communication (or inconsistent and failing communications) for over thirty years. In other words, the two governments simply cannot or do not talk with each other. This condition was not seen even during the Cold-War between the US and its adversaries. The US not only had diplomatic, but also economic relations with the communist bloc. -Shahir ShahidSaless - 8/27/12

Iran calls on NAM to oppose unilateral sanctions on members
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to oppose the imposition of unilateral sanctions by certain states against its members. Salehi made the remarks during an opening speech of the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which began in Tehran on Sunday and closes on Friday. - 8/27/12

NAM to wrap expert meeting on Monday
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) experts will end their second round of meeting Monday evening with a final draft statement to be submitted to the Foreign Ministers meeting. - 8/27/12

Iran calls on IAEA to "justify" demands
The head of Iran's Atomic Agency says Iran's nuclear activities are completely transparent and Iran has no problems with IAEA inspections; however, the agency "needs to justify its demands for inspections of particular locations." - 8/27/12

Iran's military chief wants to sue U.S. Treasury
The Chief of General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says he is going to file a suit against the U.S. Treasury for blacklisting him. General Hassan Firouzabadi told the Fars News Agency on Sunday: "I want to file suit against the U.S. Treasury to see in what way they oppose humanitarian service and efforts for national security and regard them as a crime." - 8/27/12

Beyond oil battle, sanctions hit Iran's merchants
A Tehran shoe factory is abandoned by its European leather suppliers. Iranian cooking oil manufacturers are operating at nearly half capacity because they can't get enough imported grains. -AP - 8/27/12

Plot to Provoke War With Iran Thwarted by Navy Analyst
A dark thought: the Neocons have glommed onto Mitt Romney and they will come to power if he does, and they still desperately want a war on Iran. -Juan Cole, Veterans News Now - 8/27/12

U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market
Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran's regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress. -NY Times - 8/27/12

Tweak to US bill on Iran sanctions opens door to damages
One way to win a court case is to get the United States Congress to change the rules of the game midstream. A little-noticed provision tucked into the latest Iran sanctions bill may have done just that for American victims of a 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut. -Reuters - 8/27/12

Iranian activists urge UN chief to visit opposition leaders
More than 400 Iranian political and social activists have written to the UN Secretary General to urge him to visit Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest in Iran for more than 18 months. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, is scheduled to attend the NAM meeting in Tehran this week. - 8/26/12

Arrests announced ahead of NAM summit in Tehran
Islamic Republic Security Forces have announced the arrest of a number of individuals who "planned to disturb the order of the NAM summit." - 8/26/12

Iran, India to hold meeting on access to landlocked Afghanistan
India, Iran and Afghanistan will hold talks on giving India greater access to landlocked Afghanistan, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said on Saturday. - 8/26/12

Iran: Detained newspaper owner's life in danger, Supreme Leader held responsible
Reporters Without Borders is very worried about opposition leader and former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, the owner of the suspended newspaper Kalameh Sabaz, who was hospitalized two days ago in Tehran after suffering a heart attack. Mousavi has been under house arrest in an unknown location for more than 18 months. - 8/26/12

Iran to export 60bcm of natural gas annually by 2016
Iran's natural gas exports will reach 60 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year by the end of the fifth five-year development plan (March 2016), National Iranian Gas Company's managing director Javad Owji said. - 8/26/12

Post-Doc Iranian Student Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
Branch 36 of Tehran Appeals Court upheld the 10-year prison sentence of Omid Kokabi, a post-doctoral Nuclear Physics student. In May 2012, a lower court had sentenced Kokabi, accused of spying for Israel, but his family remained hopeful that the sentencing would be overruled by the appeals court. - 8/25/12

Iran: Mousavi family kept from talking about ill opposition leader
After reports hit the media that opposition leader Mir Hosein Mousavi had undergone surgery in hospital, his brother was quoted as saying that the Mousavi family cannot give out information about his health. - 8/25/12

Iran: NAM Meeting to Commence on Sunday
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Tehran will be commenced in expert-level on Sunday. Iran's Foreign Minister Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast announced on Saturday that more than eighty countries will attend the NAM gathering in the foreign minister and higher level in the 16th NAM summit. - 8/25/12

No breakthrough in Iran-IAEA talks
The latest round of talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran ended yesterday, August 24, with no concrete results. - 8/25/12

'Free Pussy Riot' Graffiti In Iran?
There have been protests and calls on Russia to free jailed members of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot from many corners of the world. The three were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this week over their critical remarks against Russian President Vladimir Putin. - 8/25/12

Iran sees tourism boom from NAM summit
The 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit will provide a good opportunity for Iran to introduce its tourism potential and cultural heritage to NAM members during their stay in Tehran, an official of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) said on Friday. - 8/25/12

Iran ships up to 2 million barrels of fuel oil for Singapore
Iran has started moving nearly two million barrels of fuel oil to Singapore in the first such shipment since June, according to an Iran-based port source and Reuters shipping data on Thursday. - 8/25/12

New Sectarian Clashes Break Out in Lebanon
Another round of sectarian fighting broke out in Lebanon's northern coastal city of Tripoli, overnight, between residents of a Sunni Muslim district and their Alawite neighbors. The clashes are raising concerns that sectarian violence in Syria is spilling into Lebanon. - 8/25/12

Photos: 2012 Grass Skiing World Cup in Dizin, Iran
The 3rd round of 2012 Grass Skiing World Cup is being held in Dizin, north of Tehran, on August 24th and 25th. Five European and Asian countries are participating at the event. The final round of the competitions will be held in Austria. - 8/24/12

Iran's Opposition Leader Musavi Transferred to Hospital
Iranian opposition websites are reporting that leading Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, who has been under house arrest since February 2011, has been taken to hospital. The reports quote unnamed sources as saying that Musavi was treated at the coronary care unit of a Tehran hospital that specializes in cardiology for a heart condition. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/24/12

Bita Daryabari To Match Donations to Iran's Earthquake Victims
"Over 50,000 people have been moved to emergency camps. In these devastating conditions, with all we have to be thankful and grateful for, it is easily incumbent upon us to come together and help," Ms. Daryabari said. - 8/24/12

The Golha Project Website Launched
The musical and literary repertoire of the programmes known generally as Golha, 'Flowers (of Persian Poetry and Song)' was a series of weekly radio programmes aired on Iranian radio between 1956 and 1979 which covered the entire history of classical as well as contemporary Persian poetry, giving expression to the whole gamut of traditional Persian music and poetry. - 8/24/12

Iranian activist jailed for quake relief work begins hunger strike
Iranian children's rights activist Saeed Shirzad has begun a hunger strike in prison after being arrested on Tuesday while volunteering for relief efforts in Eastern Azerbaijan. - 8/24/12

Who Is Behind Iran's 'Dangerous' Satellite Jamming?
That's the question people have been asking in the Islamic republic in recent days. While officials have acknowledged that signal jamming is taking place, and even warned of potentially negative consequences, no one in the government has stepped up to assume responsibility. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/24/12

Persian language being offered for the first time at San Jose State University this fall
This fall, San Jose State University will be offering beginning Persian language for the first time ever! With the support of a grant from the PARSA Community Foundation, we are able to offer a once-a-week, five-unit class through International and Extended Studies and World Languages. - 8/24/12

Iran medics warn against deadly upshot of West sanctions
Iran's medical institutions and societies have warned against the catastrophic repercussions of the West's sanctions on the health of patients grappling with chronic and life-threatening diseases - 8/24/12

Iran complains to UN about Israel's threats
Iran's Deputy Ambassador to the UN has written to the UN Secretary General to condemn the threats against Iran made by Israeli officials, stressing that such statements are "a threat to humanity." - 8/24/12

Iran and the Non-Aligned Movement: Reciprocal Strategies and Viewpoints
"Balancing" is the best term to describe the main strategy that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has used with regard to Iran during the past three decades. That strategy emanated from Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Panchsheel) which have governed the start and continuation of the activities of this international institution since its inception up to the present time. -Behzad Khoshandam - 8/24/12

From OIC to NAM: Iran's Peace Offensive
By hosting the conference and taking on the responsibility for NAM leadership, Iran is clearly intent on injecting new life into the most important anti-imperialist international organization, given that the UN, the OIC, and the Arab League are all more or less subservient to the US Middle East agenda. -Eric Walber, Dissident Voice - 8/24/12

Iranian woman Shahrbanu Mansourian wins gold medal in World Wushu Championships
At the 12th World Wushu Championships taking place in Vietnam, Mansourian defeated her Vietnamese adversary in the finals of the 70 kg category, winning the first gold medal for the Iranian National Wushu team this year. - 8/23/12

Iranian activists arrested in disaster areas
Reports from Iran indicate that scores of volunteers at the camps for earthquake victims in Eastern Azerbaijan Province have been arrested by Islamic Republic security forces during disputes over the distribution of aid. - 8/23/12

The Quietest Quds Day March in Iran: A Segregated and a non-Fasting Official Demonstration
As the war of words between Iran and Israel reaches new heights and the military officials of each country threaten the other side with annihilation, the absence of regime supporters in the annual Quds (Palestine) day march by pro-regime groups, despite the massive propaganda by the national radio and television and the facilitation of the government, was not only noticeable but even brought forth criticism from Principlist websites. -Nazanin Kamdar - 8/23/12

Iran Aligns Itself For An Image Makeover
When Iran hosts a five-day summit of the Nonaligned Movement this week, it will be doing more than just staging its largest international event in more than a decade. It will be taking steps to shed its image as a global pariah. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/23/12

Iran Earthquake Appeal by Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation
From the experience gained in the aftermath of the 2003 Bam earthquake we feel that charities like ours should concentrate their efforts on helping to rebuild the lives of the people rather than focusing on sending emergency aid following the initial devastation. - 8/23/12

Female Iranian jazz band plans to perform in Tehran
The female Iranian jazz band NET plans to give concerts in Tehran in the near future. Comedy actress Behnush Bakhtiari will be the guest singer of the band during the performances, band leader Zahra Ameli told ISNA on Wednesday. - 8/23/12

Azerbaijan slammed for Caspian Sea pollution
The Iran Environment Organization says Azerbaijan, Iran's northern neighbor, is not showing adequate concern regarding preservation of Caspian Sea. - 8/23/12

Persian translation of "Xerxes" hits Iranian bookstores
A Persian translation of "Xerxes", a book about the king of the Persian Empire, has hit bookstores across the country. Released by Qoqnus Publications, "Xerxes (Ancient World Leaders)" is written by Dennis Abrams and has been rendered into Persian by Sara Hashemi. - 8/23/12

"Made in Iran" and a Studio Visit with Icy and Sot
Both born in the 1980s, Iranian Street Artists Icy & Sot are equally fans and loyal students of all the stencil techniques that have characterized the western scene in the last decade. What's fascinating in this story is that, despite creating work on the street since 2005, neither brother has been able to attend their own gallery show in person outside of Iran until this week in New York. -Huffington Post - 8/23/12

Talk Like an Iranian
I may be wrong, but I believe I am the only Englishman to have applied for Iranian citizenship since the 1979 revolution. "We would be happy to receive such an application," said the smiling man from the Department of Alien Affairs. "It would be an honor to consider your case, and I should say, given your accomplishments, that you stand a good chance of success." -Christopher de Bellaigue, The Atlantic - 8/23/12

Syrian Capital Under Siege
Parts of Syria's capital were under siege Thursday with Syrian government forces battling rebels in and around Damascus in pitched fighting. Activists reported a campaign of shelling and house-to-house raids in Daraya, on the southwest edge of Damascus, as well as continuing clashes in the city's Hajar al-Aswad district. -Mark Snowiss, VOA - 8/23/12

U.N. Visit Will Set Back a Push to Isolate Iran
Mr. Ban's decision to attend the meeting of the Nonaligned Movement, announced by his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, came despite objections from both the Americans and Israelis, including a phone call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. -NY Times - 8/23/12

U.S. Issues Blanket License To Aid Iranian Earthquake Victims
The United States has said it has issued a temporary general license to ease sending aid to victims of Iran's August 11 deadly earthquakes. The U.S. Department of the Treasury said that the general license will remain in effect until October 5, 2012. - 8/22/12

PAAIA Voices Concern About Azeri Separatist Recommendation
Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) responded to a letter sent by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton, recommending that the United States support the joining of Iranian Azerbaijanis with the Republic of Azerbaijan. Rohrabacher's letter was prompted by recent news stories concerning military cooperation between Israel and the Azerbaijan Republic. - 8/22/12

NIAC Applauds General License for Earthquake Assistance
NIAC strongly applauds the White House for issuing a temporary general license authorizing charitable organizations to provide direct humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the victims of the earthquakes in northwest Iran. - 8/22/12

Will Israel attack Iran?
Logic dictates that at least during the election year, Obama should avoid a military confrontation with Iran - one that his Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, stated would not be an ordinary war. Panetta posits that it would be a war that might "consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict." -Shahir ShahidSaless - 8/22/12

Iran: Donors Should Reassess Anti-Drug Funding
United Nations agencies and international donors should immediately freeze financial and other assistance to Iran's drug control programs, Human Rights Watch and Harm Reduction International (HRI) said today. The funding contributes to abusive prosecutions of drug suspects, the groups said. - 8/22/12

Leading Iranian cleric calls on regime to avoid war with Israel
Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, a vocal opponent of Ahmadinejad, warns regime not to provoke Israel by 'acting as warmongers;' two former ministers call on supreme leader to set up new ruling council. -Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz - 8/22/12

Iran to hold new talks with IAEA
The next round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency will take place on Friday August 24. Reuters reports that the negotiations will take place in Vienna. The earlier rounds of talks in February and June did not yield any concrete results. - 8/22/12

"Secular Humanism" and a Short Film on Secularism
For cultivating a culture of human rights and the prevalence of a culture of tolerance everywhere, Secularism and Secular Humanism can be highly cherished. -12Petals Media Group - 8/22/12

Newcastle woman teaches sign language in Iran
A deaf teacher of sign language from Newcastle has spent three weeks as a volunteer in Iran. Tessa Padden, 55, taught the basics of sign linguistics, which are common across all sign languages, and explained the importance of sign language teaching. -BBC - 8/22/12

U.S. filmmakers selected for Iran's New Horizon jury
The U.S. filmmakers Scott J.T. Frank and Darnell Stephen Summers have been selected for the jury of New Horizon, Iran's international festival for independent filmmakers. - 8/22/12

Peaceful Action Urged on Iran Crisis
With the Non-Aligned Movement meeting this week in Tehran, Veterans For Peace is urging the organization of 120 nations not formally allied with any major power bloc to take steps to deter the Israeli-American threats of war against Iran over its nuclear enrichment program. - 8/22/12

NAM annual trade with Iran stands at $43 billion
Trade between Iran and other members of the Non-Aligned Movement amounted to around $43 billion in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 19, accounting for almost $40 percent of Iran's total $105 billion in non-oil trade, the ISNA news agency cited Customs Administration data as reporting. - 8/22/12

Asia's imports of Iran crude to regain levels prior to EU ban
Asia's crude imports from Iran are set to recover in September to levels reached before a July 1 insurance ban by the European Union plunged trade with the Islamic Republic into uncertainty not seen in decades. -Reuters - 8/22/12

Iran makes big, discreet wheat buys on global markets
Iran's state grains agency GTC has in the past week discreetly purchased around 400,000 metric tons of milling wheat, largely from the European Union, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions, European traders said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 8/22/12

Nobel laureate calls on UN to protect Iranian women
Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has written to the United Nations to protest the Islamic Republic's recent policies toward women. Ebadi claims the Iranian government is trying to limit the active presence of women in society. - 8/21/12

Photos: Iran unveils six defense industry products
Iran has unveiled six important military products in an exhibition of the latest Defense Ministry achievements Tuesday morning. - 8/21/12

12 women's hospitals established in Iran
Minister of Health and Medical Education announced on Tuesday that so far 12 women's hospitals have been established by medical sciences universities across the country including three in Tehran, one in Isfahan, one in Mashhad and one in Shiraz. - 8/21/12

Young Iranians Step Up With Their Own Quake Relief
As their caravan of private cars drove north along the Tehran-Tabriz highway, following the five trucks they had filled up with relief goods for the victims of the deadly double earthquake that struck northern Iran this month, a group of young Iranians - a mix of hipsters, off-road motor club members and children of affluent families - felt like rebels with a cause. -Thomas Erdbring, NY Times - 8/21/12

Iran's second bio-implant factory operational by March 2013
The second bio-implant production unit of Iran will come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2013) in the city of Shiraz. Iran now is one of the few countries in the world which have access to the bio-implant production technology. - 8/21/12

The UN Chief's Statement Against Iran Lacks Impartiality
The latest statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in response to comments made by President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, in speeches made on the Quds Day ceremony on Friday 16 August, against the Israeli government, are yet another egregious example of double standards towards Iran. -CASMII - 8/21/12

Photos: Completion of Yadegar Emam Highway in Tehran
Yadegar Emam Highway is one of the major north-south crossings in Tehran which came out of stalemate after a period of 17 years. Building the last part of the highway completed the highway network of Tehran. This section, which became operational on Tuesday, was the most difficult part in terms of construction and technical affairs. - 8/21/12

150-member delegation will accompany Indian PM in visit to Tehran
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who will visit Tehran on August 28 to participate in the NAM summit will be accompanied by a 150-member delegation, Iran's ambassador to New Delhi said on Tuesday. - 8/21/12

'S Korea to resume Iran oil imports from September'
South Korea is reportedly considering resumption of the Iranian oil imports from next month following the Islamic Republic's proposal to supply crude to Asia's fourth largest economy using Iranian tankers. - 8/21/12

Iraq denies being conduit for Iranian oil
Ali Mousavi, the spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maleki has rejected claims by an American newspaper that Iraq is assisting Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions. - 8/21/12

Ban Ki-moon will attend Tehran NAM summit
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to attend NAM summit in Tehran despite pressures to boycott the meeting. - 8/21/12

Half of World's Languages Face Extinction
Latin is considered a "dead" language because it has ceased to evolve, but millions of people study it in school. That's because Latin pops up in medicine and law and is the root of many words in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Romanian and English. -Ted Landphair, VOA - 8/21/12

Why do people keep predicting war with Iran?
You may have noticed that there is an active campaign underway to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In fact, the real goal is to prevent Iran from having even the latent capacity to build a weapon if at some point it decided it wanted one. This is why the United States and other countries have imposed increasingly draconian economic sanctions on Iran... -Stephen M. Walt, FP - 8/21/12

Banned Israel Singer Rita Woos Iranians Amid Attack Fear
Rita, an Iranian-born, Israel-based singer, is becoming more popular, as tensions grow between the two countries. She plans an international tour to promote her new CD "My Joys." Rita's music is forbidden in her birthplace Iran. -Bloomberg - 8/21/12

Earthquake Response Has Aftershocks In Iran
Much of the criticism has focused on the muted reaction by senior officials -- including President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who left Iran on August 13 to travel to Saudi Arabia for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit on the situation in Syria. -Morad Vaisi, RFE - 8/20/12

Interview with Professor Ehsan Yarshater, the Founder and Editor of Encyclopedia Iranica
In the second year of my teaching at Columbia University I thought that the time had come to realize one of my oldest dreams: an encyclopedia in English and in adequate details to make Persian culture and history, its languages and its religions known to the civilized world by founding a detailed accurate and totally reliable and impartial encyclopedia. No such work existed. - 8/20/12

Iranian Art Exhibit in Escondido, California: "Fresh Air"
Persian Cultural Center (PCC) in San Diego and Mehr International Cultural Center (M. Gallery) are holding an art exhibition entitled "Fresh Air" at "M. Gallery" in Escondido, California. - 8/20/12

Iraq Helping Iran Skirt Sanctions, Report Claims
report in Sunday's New York Times says Iraq has been using a network of financial institutions and oil smuggling operations to help Iran skirt economic sanctions imposed because of its nuclear program. -Fern Robinson, VOA - 8/20/12

On Iranian Diaspora's Response to the Quake
The response from the outside, the Iranian diaspora, has also suffered from inconsistencies and at times the spreading of false information. Part of it can be ascribed to the general confusion and the inevitable mistakes that will be committed when seeking to find clarity in a chaotic situation. But some of it reflects the lack of maturity and professionalism of Diaspora organizations. -Karen Smith-Kreuger - 8/20/12

Quakes in Northwest Iran Damage Historical Buildings
A number of historical monuments have been damaged after two powerful earthquakes rocked the cities of Ahar and Varzaqan in northwest Iran. According to cultural heritage experts, the roof of Sheikh Shahabeddin Ahari's tomb, and the Qasem Khan Ahari's house, a building from the Qajar era, have both sustained 30 percent damage. - 8/20/12

Egyptian president to attend meeting in Tehran
The Egyptian State News Agency reports that Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi will travel to Iran next week to attend the NAM summit. - 8/20/12

100 countries will attend NAM summit in Iran
About 100 countries will participate in the Non-Aligned Movement summit which will be held later this month in Tehran, the NAM spokesman announced on Saturday. Mohammad Reza Forqani told a press conference that 41 countries will participate at the highest level: 35 heads of state, five first vice presidents or vice presidents, and a parliament speaker. - 8/20/12

Iranian-American Musician Busts Stereotypes in Hip-hop Music
Hip-hop music, often referred to as rap, is traditionally known as the music of African-Americans and Latinos in the United States. While these two cultures still dominate the Hip-hop industry, an Iranian-American rap artist from Los Angeles is trying to break that stereotype. - 8/20/12

Hezbollah leader warns Israel against attacking Iran
After numerous Israeli media reports about imminent military attacks on Iran, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, announced that in case of such an attack on Iran, his organization will not hesitate to target Israel with rockets. - 8/20/12

Iranian workers protest management shuffle in copper industry
Workers at the Sarcheshmeh copper production facility in Rafsanjan have begun a protest after the executive director of the company was removed in Kerman Province. - 8/20/12

An American's quest to impress his partner's Iranian granny
An American BBC journalist wants to learn Farsi to get closer to his Iranian-American partner and her family. And nothing but a 33-year-old row between Washington and Tehran is getting in the way. -Daniel Nasaw, BBC - 8/20/12

Photos: Aiding Iran Quake Victims - Part II
These photos show the plight of the people made homeless as a result of the quakes and volunteers delivering food and supplies to them. While some help is arriving, a lot remains to be done to restore the living conditions of these people who have lost their homes, their loved ones and even their villages. - 8/18/12

NIAC and WAC Initiate Call with White House on Disaster Relief
NIAC welcomes the White House's decision to hold a conference call with the Iranian American community about how they can provide disaster relief to the Iranian people. The call was led by the White House and representatives from the State Department, Treasury Department, and USAID. - 8/18/12

Iran: Releases of prisoners of conscience after pardon not enough
Anyone held in Iran solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights should immediately and unconditionally be released, Amnesty International has said, following the pardoning by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of at least 130 political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, from Tehran's Evin Prison. - 8/18/12

Mild quake jolts northeast of Tehran
A mild earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook cities in northeast of Tehran on early Saturday morning, the director of the state rescue organization announced. - 8/18/12

IAAB's 5th International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora: October 13-14, 2012, at UCLA
The program that started it all nine years ago is back and bigger than ever! This October 13-14, 2012, at UCLA, IAAB will host its 5th International Conference on the Iranian Diasopra. This year's conference will include keynote speakers Professor Hamid Naficy and Noosheen Hashemi. - 8/18/12

Videos: Quake Victims Critical of Iranian Government
Iranian government, which had been criticized for calling off the rescue operations too early, is now being criticized for not doing enough to help the survivors. A quake refugee criticizes the government for not doing anything for the victims, aside from sending them few tents. He has harsh word for the government which he says helps other countries while ignoring it's own people. - 8/18/12

Tens of Iranian Political Prisoners Are Released
According to Tehran's attorney general, the "amnesty granted to these individuals was based on requests for amnesty and also the renouncement of the individuals of the crimes they had committed." He continued, ජ sentenced prisoners benefited from the amnesty provided by the supreme leader and their sentences will be reduced and they will be released." - 8/18/12

Iran: "Banditry and Extortion" Replace "Apostasy" Charges for Christian Pastor!
Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor accused of apostasy will be put on a new trial on August 27. Nadarkhani, who refused to repent from being a Christian in earlier judicial proceedings and faces a death sentence, is now facing the new charges of "banditry and extortion." - 8/18/12

Operation starts for rebuilding houses in Iran's quake-hit regions
"We hope that through sustained efforts of officials all units which need reconstruction to be rebuilt before the arrival of cold weather," Transport and Urban Development Minister Ali Nikzad said in the village of Kavij in the Haris region. - 8/18/12

U.S. exports to Iran on the rise
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. exports to Iran are increasing despite the rising enmity between the two countries. Proctor & Gamble and Coca-Cola have faced no restrictions in dealing with Iran, and U.S. wheat exports to Iran, which resumed this year after a two-year halt, are still going strong. - 8/18/12

Tehran's NAM Meeting Stirs U.S. Ire
The United States is unhappy that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit is taking place in Iran and that the UN Secretary General may attend. - 8/18/12

From Military Threats to Crippling Sanctions, U.S.-Israel Posturing on Iran Stokes Fears of War
PHYLLIS BENNIS: This is a very dangerous moment, Amy. I think that what we heard from Gideon Levy is very important, that there is a huge divide in Israel between the security, the military and the intelligence leadership, who are uniformly opposed to an Israeli strike, and the two top political leaders, the prime minister and the defense minister, who are agitating incredibly harshly for exactly that kind of a strike. -Democracy Now - 8/18/12

Photos: Aiding Iran Quake Victims - Part I
These photos show the plight of the people made homeless as a result of the quakes. While some help is arriving, a lot remains to be done to restore the living conditions of these people who have lost their homes, their loved ones and even their villages. - 8/17/12

Northwest Iran hit by 5-magnitude tremor
After five days from the deadly twin earthquakes in northwest Iran, another 5-magnitude tremor rocked the area Wednesday night. The earthquake came at a depth of 4 kilometers under the earth surface at 22:19 local time near Varzaqan, one of the hardest-hit towns in the major quakes on Saturday. No deaths and injuries are reported so far. - 8/17/12

14 Political Prisoners Reportedly Flogged in Iran
Iranian opposition sources, including the "Kalame" website, are reporting that 14 political prisoners held in Tehran's Evin prison have been flogged. Most of them were reportedly jailed following the 2009 mass street protests over the disputed reelection of Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/17/12

Current trend in US-Iran relations: a road to hell
Many experts maintain that Iran's current quest for a superior role in the region is to tackle new security challenges that are caused by the aggressive policies of the US since 2003, as well as the United States' heavy military presence in the immediate proximity of Iran's borders and in the region. -Shahir ShahidSaless, - 8/17/12

Iran suggests establishing "arbitration body" to resolve Muslims disputes
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the governments of Islamic countries to establish an arbitration body to resolve disputes and strengthen unity among them. - 8/17/12

Iranian Media Reports On Calls For Khamenei To Curb Ahmadinejad's Power
Several "personalities" of the Iranian establishment and a number of lawmakers have sent a letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that apparently suggests moves that could dilute the powers of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. That is according to a report by the website Fardanews, which is said to be close to Tehran Mayor Mohammad Qalibaf. - 8/17/12

Lawmakers Urge President Obama to Enable Humanitarian Assistance to Iran
Today, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-10th/OH) and a number of other members of Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the possible hindrance of humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people and urging him to issue a general license for humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Iran. - 8/17/12

Ross Mirkarimi: Ethics Commission Says Sheriff Is Guilty of Official Misconduct
After the marathon meeting, which lasted 11 long hours, the commission was still unable to agree on a recommendation on whether to remove the sheriff from office -- permanently. Ultimately, city supervisors will decide Mirkarimi's fate. -SF Weekly - 8/17/12

Israel Ups Iran Ante, But Is It Bluff?
On August 12, Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, called for an international declaration that diplomacy with Iran had definitively failed. Benjamin Netanyahu's government itself declared the talks all but dead even before they began, but Ayalon's explosive comments added fuel to the bizarrely public debate in Israel about whether to bomb Iran. -Trita Parsi, Forward - 8/17/12

Syrian Rebels State Terms for Freeing Iranians
In an interview with VOA's Persian News Network, Deputy FSA Commander Colonel Malik al-Kurdi said the hostages would be freed if the Iranian government respected the human rights of "its own people" and tried to help end the bloodshed in Syria. - 8/17/12

Iranian captives alive and well in Libya: ambassador
The Iranian ambassador to Libya has announced that the "abducted relief workers are in perfect health" and efforts to release them are still underway. - 8/17/12

Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy on the Escalating Talk of a Military Attack on Iran
Could Israel launch an attack on Iran before the U.S. election in November? On Friday, Israel's largest-selling daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, published an article suggesting an Israeli attack could be imminent. -Democracy Now - 8/17/12

Sanctions stymie Iranian-Americans who want to help quake victims
Mahdis Keshavarz has the means and the motivation to help her friends and family in Iran who've been affected by the recent earthquake, but she says U.S. sanctions against Iran stand in her way. -Alex Kane Rudansky, McClatchy - 8/17/12

Iran: Prisoners released after annual pardons
Following reports that Iran's Supreme Leader has pardoned 130 prisoners charged with security crimes, the Tehran Prosecutor's office announced that so far about 90 prisoners have been released. Most of the released prisoners are activists and journalists that were arrested in the crackdown on protesters following the 2009 presidential elections. - 8/16/12

Iranian universities close nursing to male applicants
Iran's Nursing Association has slammed the decision to restrict university nursing programs to female applicants. - 8/16/12

Iran: Supreme Leader makes surprise visit to quake-affected regions
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei made a surprise visit to the quake-affected villages in East Azarbaijan Province on Thursday. - 8/16/12

Tickets On Sale for 5th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco
San Francisco: 'Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco' is pleased to announce its 2012 program set for September 8 and 9 at the San Francisco Art Institute. The 5th Annual Iranian Film Festival will present 28 films from around the world, including England, Germany, France, Holland, Canada, USA, Australia, Denmark, Iceland - 8/16/12

Iranian Americans Warn Harsh U.S. Sanctions Could Restrict Aid to Iran's Earthquake Victims
Warnings of military action against Iran come amidst concerns harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran will greatly hinder international donations for victims of this weekend's double earthquakes. More than 300 people were killed and thousands more wounded when the earthquakes struck northwest Iran on Saturday. -Democracy Now - 8/16/12

Iran nuclear talks to continue late August
The next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers will take place later this month. - 8/16/12

Campaign 2012: Our Voice. Our Vote.
This November, we are looking at what could be one the closest elections in a decade. States and districts with large Iranian-American populations could make the difference in deciding who will be our next President and whether Democrats or Republicans will control the next Congress. It's essential that our community's voice is represented at the ballot box on November 6. -NIAC - 8/16/12

Persian Composer Makes Music in Petersburg
Running a contemporary classical music center in Russia may seem an unlikely occupation for a Persian composer brought up in the traditional and extremely intricate Oriental musical culture. This, however, has been the exact mission of 33-year-old Tehran-born composer Mehdi Hosseini for the past 10 years. -St. Petersburg Time - 8/16/12

Iran's electricity exports up 45.5%
By the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2015), Iran will boost its electricity generation capacity by 25GW to reach 73GW, Energy Minister Majid Namjou said on February 7. Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. - 8/16/12

Ex-Obama Official Warns: Take Israel Iran Threat 'Very Seriously'
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl traveled to Israel 13 times during his tenure as the Obama administration's top Pentagon Middle East civilian policy advisor from 2009 to the end of 2011. Kahl told Al-Monitor in an interview Tuesday that he takes the signs that Israeli leaders are contemplating a fall strike on Iran "very seriously." - 8/16/12

Iran Group May Remain on U.S. Terror List
State Department officials are preparing for a possible decision by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to redesignate an Iranian opposition group as a terrorist organization, in part because of the group's resistance to abandoning its camp in Iraq, two American officials said Wednesday. -NY Times - 8/16/12

Iran seeks higher returns on S. Korea bank accounts -source
"The move appears to pressure South Korea to resume its oil imports as Seoul halted the imports even after it received a sanction exemption from the United States," said one oil analyst, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. -Reuters - 8/16/12

Facebook Shows Off Its Good Side In Aftermath Of Iranian Quakes
Back in 2009, at the height of mass protests that followed Iran's disputed presidential election, Facebook emerged as an important tool for protesters to share news and information. It had such an impact that the authorities even branded Facebook a weapon in a "soft war" against the Islamic republic. -Hannah Kaviani, RFE - 8/15/12

Farzaneh Milani Awarded for Book on Iranian Women's Struggle for 'Freedom of Movement'
University of Virginia professor Farzaneh Milani has been recognized with two international awards this summer related to her career and the publication of her most recent book, "Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement." -Rob Seal, UVA Today - 8/15/12

Stand with Ross
After more than five months of legal and political wrangling, a politically-motivated criminal prosecution, personal smears, innuendo and millions of taxpayer dollars wasted, the Ethics Commission is poised to make a decision on the fate of our duly elected sheriff this Thursday, August 16 -Stand With Ross - 8/15/12

Iran Earthquake Update: Report from the Ground
IAAB's contacts on the ground in Tabriz, Iran, have sent the following report from the past two days in the earthquake-stricken area. The following points are from independent Iranian crisis management experts who have asked to remain anonymous - 8/15/12

Ambrosia: A story of contemporary relationships, values and choices
Ambrosia is a Canadian film directed by Iranian woman Baharak Saeid Monir in Vancouver. It stars Sahar Biniaz (Miss Universe Canada 2012) and Camyar Chai. The film makes its world premiere at Montreal World Film festival in August. - 8/15/12

Iranian athletes dedicate Olympic medals to earthquake victims
Iran's Greco-Roman wrestlers Hamid Sourian and Ghasem Rezaei dedicated their gold medals at London Olympics to the victims of the recent earthquakes that struck north-western Iran. - 8/15/12

Saudi king sits next to Iran's Ahmadinejad in goodwill gesture
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah seated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his side to welcome leaders to a summit on Wednesday, an apparent conciliatory gesture before the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspends the membership of Iran's ally Syria. -Reuters - 8/15/12

Photo exhibit to raise funds for Iran quake victims
Tehran's Eyvan Gallery will be playing host to a photo exhibition today to raise funds for the victims of the two successive earthquakes that hit regions in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan on Saturday. - 8/15/12

Proposed bill to dilute administration's role in elections
Iranian Parliament is preparing a bill to reform presidential elections. It reportedly reportedly calls for the creation of a council, with representative from the three branches of government, to be involved in running the elections. - 8/15/12

Iranian-Canadians uncertain of how to send aid as Canadian government refuses to ease sanctions
Four days after twin earthquakes struck northwest Iran, Iranian-Canadians say they are hesitant to send aid to their home country for disaster relief because they have not received assurances from the Canadian government that they will not be targeted under the existing sanctions regime. -OTTAWA CITIZEN - 8/15/12

Iranian pilot campaigns to lift airliner sanctions
An Iranian pilot who guided an Iran Air Boeing passenger plane to a safe emergency landing last year despite broken front landing gear has launched a campaign to lift Western sanctions that restrict the import of civilian plane spare parts. -AP - 8/15/12

U.S. Defense Chief Says Iran Developing 'Militia' Within Syria
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says Iran is working to form a pro-regime militia inside Syria, warning that Tehran's growing presence could only aggravate the situation on the ground. - 8/15/12

Iran Earthquakes In Photos
According to the latest count, 306 people were killed and more than 2000 were injured in the two successive earthquakes that hit Iran's East Azarbaijan province on Saturday afternoon. Also, according to initial estimates, the earthquakes have caused over 650 million dollars in damage - 8/14/12

Iranian-American Organizations Send Letter to OFAC
Today, IAAB, along with a number of Iranian American organizations, submitted a letter to Adam Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) at the US Department of Treasury. In the letter, the coalition urged OFAC to take immediate action to enable humanitarian assistance for the victims of the recent earthquakes in northwestern Iran. - 8/14/12

First foreign aid shipments arrive in Iran
Red Crescent Iran says the first shipment of humanitarian aid from Turkey arrived today at the Azerbaijan disaster area but Turkish relief workers have been retunred from Varzaghan. - 8/14/12

Iran Welcomes Foreign Aid for Earthquake Victims
Iran says it is now prepared to accept foreign aid for the victims of Saturday's two earthquakes in the nation's northwest. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency quoted Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying Iran is ready to receive contributions from other countries. - 8/14/12

Sanctions causing drug shortages: Iranian official
The head of Iran's Foundation for Special Diseases has written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to express concern about shortages in medicine as a result of international sanctions on Iran. - 8/14/12

FAQ: How You Can Help the Earthquake Victims
NIAC has received a flurry of emails over the weekend with questions about how Iranian Americans can help in assisting with relief efforts of the earthquake aftermath in northern Iran. To help you stay informed and to ensure that we are doing everything possible to assist with relief efforts in Iran, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions below. - 8/14/12

Political plan afoot to wrest control from Ahmadinejad
Iran's state newspaper claims that two former ministers from the Ahmadinejad administration have written to "a high-ranking official of the system" to create a committee to "take control of the executive administration of the country for the next year." - 8/14/12

The White House: Statement by the Press Secretary on the Earthquake in Iran
The American people send the Iranian people our deepest condolences for the loss of life in the tragic earthquake in northwestern Iran. Our thoughts are with the families of those who were lost, and we wish the wounded a speedy recovery. We stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time. - 8/14/12

Russia Says New U.S. Sanctions On Iran Could Affect Ties
Russia sharply has criticized new U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the measures could harm Moscow's ties with Washington if Russian companies are affected. - 8/14/12

Photo Of American, Iranian Olympic Wrestlers Jordan Burroughs, Sadegh Goudarzi Offers Hope
A photograph of wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Sadegh Goudarzi is being hailed as the single image to encompass the spirit of the Olympics. -huffington post - 8/14/12

Israel, mulling attack on Iran, plunges into unprecedented debate about war
To attack or not to attack? With Israeli politicians warning repeatedly that Iran is secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, this question has spawned an unprecedented amount of agonizing even in a country accustomed to war and incessant debate. - 8/14/12

Photos: Quakes bring death and destruction to East Azarbaijan, Iran
At least 306 people have died and more than 4500 injured in two successive earthquakes that hit province of East Azarbaijan in the northwestern Iran on Saturday afternoon. These dramatic photos by ISNA photographers show the plight of the victims of the quake who have to face the tragic loss of their loved ones, their homes, and even their villages. -ISNA photographers - 8/13/12

Iranian lawmakers slam ineffective relief delivery to quake hit areas
The representatives in Iranian Parliament for Eastern and Western Azerbaijan Provinces have criticized the government's management of the earthquake emergency in northeastern Iran, while the Minister of Health announced that the number of fatalities from the two quakes that hit the country on Saturday has now reached 306. - 8/13/12

Iran earns its best ever Olympic ranking in London 2012
Iranian athletes in London 2012 Olympic games come back home with 12 medals standing at world's 17th place, the country's best record ever in Olympic history. - 8/13/12

U.S., EU sanctions endangering lives of Iranian patients: Iranian hemophilia society
The Iranian hemophilia society sent a letter to the president of the World Federation of Hemophilia and the president of the World Health Organization on July 28, warning about the negative effect of sanctions on the health of hemophiliacs in Iran. - 8/13/12

Quakes show danger in laxity in enforcing building codes
Iron, cement, and brick have been used in the construction of most buildings in villages in East Azerbaijan Province, yet many buildings either collapsed or sustained serious cracks when two earthquakes measuring 6.2 and 6 on the Richter scale hit the region on Saturday afternoon. If construction materials are properly utilized, edifices must resist quakes much stronger than these two. -M.A. Saki, MNA - 8/13/12

Jon Snow : Time to Rethink Iran
The United State's Government is dominated by neoconservative Israeli-centric ideologues whose only acceptable "settlement" with Iran will be total immobilization, military, diplomatic, and economic disablement! - 8/13/12

U.S. Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Persian Gulf
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Porter suffered significant damage after colliding with an oil tanker, the Japanese-owned, Panamanian flagged M/V Otowasan, in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday. - 8/13/12

Israel vs Iran: An Israeli Media Report
This week the Israeli media spiked in its focus on Iran-Israel tensions with front page articles on major newspapers, every day. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky summarizes this week's coverage of Iran in the Israeli media. - 8/13/12

Are the Sanctions "Worth It?": Killing Iran's Children
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright should be a happy camper: Another campaign of sanctions and embargoes by the US is about to start killing children, this time in Iran. -Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch - 8/13/12

USS James E. Williams Transfers Rescued Mariners to Iranian Vessel
USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS, At Sea - Guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams transferred 10 Iranian mariners rescued from a burning dhow Aug. 8 to an Iranian vessel in the Gulf of Oman Aug. 10. - 8/13/12

Are We Laying the Groundwork for 'Genocide' in Iran?
It's increasingly obvious that Washington's aim is to harm the Iranian people. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has admitted they aren't changing the policies of the regime, but has insisted on their continuance nevertheless. -John Glaser, - 8/13/12

Concert: PanjGah in Berkeley
An intimate Persian classical music with 3 exceptional musicians : Saeed Kamjoo, Pezhham Akhavass, Kourosh Taghavi: Kamancheh, Tonbak, Setar - 8/13/12

The story about Iran's Khamenei that Netanyahu and Barak should not ignore
A recent story about Iran's Supreme Leader that has spread like wildfire in Iran testifies to the many disputes and rivalries among the Iranian leadership, but also to Khamenei's need to strengthen his position in the country in the face of increasing domestic criticism. -Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz - 8/13/12

Iran to add 10 new passenger planes to civil air fleet
Head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization Hamidreza Pahlevani says his country will add 10 new passenger planes to the national fleet by the next few months. Pahlevani said on Sunday that two passenger planes have already joined the Iranian civil air fleet, and the rest will be in service in the coming months. - 8/13/12

Death toll from Iran quakes rises to 300
TABRIZ, Iran - About 300 people have died and more than 2000 have been injured in two successive earthquakes that hit the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Saturday afternoon, local officials said on Sunday. - 8/12/12

Photos: Villagers mourn and bury loved ones after Iran quake - Part II
Of the 538 villages in East Azerbaijan, 110 villages sustained about 40 to 100 percent damage. These dramatic photos show the victims of the quake in the villages around the town of Varzaghan. Some are digging through the rubbles looking for their loved ones, while others are mourning and burying theirs. - 8/12/12

Iranians Struggle to Recover After Powerful Earthquakes
Thousands of people in Iran's East Azerbaijan province are struggling to cope after their homes were destroyed by two powerful earthquakes that struck minutes apart. Iranian TV says that 12 villages were reduced to rubble and 60 more were badly damaged by the quakes, which measured 6.4 and 6.3 on the Richter scale. At least 250 people were reported killed. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 8/12/12

Photos: Villagers mourn and bury loved ones after Iran quake - Part I
These dramatic photos show the victims of the quake in the villages around the town of Varzaghan. Some are digging through the rubbles looking for their loved ones, while others are mourning and burying theirs. - 8/12/12

Iranian wrestlers win 2 bronze medals at Olympics
Iranian wrestlers Ehsan Naser Lashgari and Komeil Qasemi have won bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 8/12/12

Photos: Long lines in Tehran and Tabriz to donate blood for quake victims
People in the cities of Tehran and Tabriz have rushed to donate blood to help the victims the Saturday quake that has taken 300 lives so far and injured over 2000 others. As a result, long lines have been formed at the blood donation centers overwhelming the staff. - 8/12/12

Iran Looks To 'Resistive Economy' To Fight Sanctions
Iran's economy is under attack, and to counter the financial "warfare" being waged against it from abroad Tehran is developing a new weapon. The "resistive economy" is intended to wean the country of its heavy dependence on oil revenue through fiscal belt tightening, increased industrial output, and the strengthening of science to boost technological innovation. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/12/12

Humanitarian Relief Requires Sanctions Waiver Following Earthquakes in Iran
NIAC is reaching out directly to humanitarian organizations to determine what is the state of humanitarian relief efforts and how best Americans can support these efforts. We will keep you updated regarding what channels are available to provide financial and humanitarian support in the wake of this disaster. - 8/12/12

Winged Man of Pasargadae to relocate to safe haven
Iran's Parsa and Pasargadae Research Center (PPRC) plans to relocate the 2500-year-old Winged Man of Pasargadae stone bas-relief to a museum or another safe haven in order to prevent it from being damaged by the elements. It will be replaced with an exact replica of the Winged Man - 8/12/12

Baghdad, Tehran to increase trade exchanges to $10bn: Iraqi envoy
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Nuri al-Shawish will pay a visit to Tehran at the head of a high-ranking economic delegation on Tuesday to hold talks with Iranian officials on ways of strengthening bilateral trade and economic cooperation. - 8/12/12

At least 180 killed, 1500 injured by two strong quakes in northwest Iran
TABRIZ, Iran - So far at least 180 people have been killed and more than 1500 injured by two strong earthquakes measuring 6.2 and 6 on the Richter scale that hit the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan in succession on Saturday. The quakes struck at 4:53 p.m. and 5:04 p.m. local time. - 8/11/12

Photos: Quake Victims in Varzaqan, Iran
Two strong earthquakes struck northwestern Iran on Saturday August 11, killing so far over 180 people and leaving more than 1,500 injured. The toll is likely to rise as reports coming in indicated scores of villages have been hard-hit by the earthquakes. - 8/11/12

Strong Earthquakes Hit North Iran, Felt In Armenia
Two strong earthquakes have hit northwestern Iran, sparking panic among some of the 1.5 million residents of the city of Tabriz and across the border in Armenia. - 8/11/12

Iran's Goudarzi wins silver in freestyle wrestling
Iranian freestyle wrestler Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi has won the silver medal in the men's 74-kilogram category at the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 8/11/12

Photos: People in the streets of Tabriz after strong quakes hit the region
People in the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran sought refuge in the streets after two strong quakes hit the region. According to Tehran University's Seismological Center, the first earthquake had a magnitude of 6.2 with its epicenter some 60 kilometers from Tabriz. That was followed by a second earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0. - 8/11/12

Noor Iranian Film Festival's 2012 Winners Announced
The 2012 Noor Iranian Film Festival (NFF) was held in Los Angles, California August 3-8, 2012. And the winners are: Audience Favorire: The Iran I Remember; Best Feature: Losing Her; Best Feature Director: Emaeel Mihandoust; ... - 8/11/12

Turkey, Iran Show Signs of Deep Division Over Syria
Relations between once close allies Iran and Turkey are rapidly deteriorating over Ankara's strong support for Syrian rebels fighting against Iran's key ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In an unprecedented move, Tehran suspended visa-free travel with Turkey for the first time in nearly 50 years. - Dorian Jones, VOA - 8/11/12

Iran's oil production drops sharply
The International Energy Agency says Iranian oil production has fallen below 3 million barrels a day for the first time in 20 years. The reduction has been a direct result of EU and U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude and a ban on maritime insurance for Iranian oil shipments. - 8/11/12

Mohammad Bana steps down as Iran Greco-Roman coach
Iran Greco-Roman coach Mohammad Bana resigned from his post on Friday. Bana, who inspired the Iran Greco-Roman wrestling team to win the championship at the London Olympic Games, announced his resignation when he returned to Iran. - 8/11/12

Iran imports 2.3m tons of wheat over four months
Iran imported some 2.3 million tons of wheat from 13 countries during the first four months of the current calendar year, which began on March 20, the ISNA News Agency reported. - 8/11/12

US Cites Hezbollah Support for Assad in New Sanctions Announcement
The United States on Friday announced new sanctions targeting the Assad government in Syria and detailed how Hezbollah -- already designated a terrorist organization by the United States -- has supported the Syrian government crackdown on opposition forces. -Dan Robinson, VOA - 8/11/12

Iranian Olympian wins silver in taekwondo
Iranian taekwondo fighter Mohammad Bagheri Motamed has won the silver medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games in the men's -68kg final contest. - 8/10/12

Photos: A Big Homecoming For Iranian Greco-Roman Wrestlers
Iranina Greco-Roman wrestlers returned home from London on Thursday to a big welcome! After 40 years of failing to win any gold medals, the Iranian wrestlers did an amazing job by grabbing 3 gold medals in the London Olympics. Hamid Sourian, Omid Haji Norouzi and Ghasem Rezaei won the gold medal for Iran, under direction of their coach Mohammad Bana. - 8/10/12

Photos: Student Run Food Bank in Tehran
These photos show a student group in Tehran that is involved in collecting and distributing food to the underprivileged families. The student volunteers bag the foods and supplies, which are funded by philanthropists. They then deliver them at night to the homes of the needy families they have identified. -Yunes Khani - 8/10/12

NIAC Urges SWIFT to Maintain Services for Humanitarian Causes in Iran
NIAC today sent a letter to the CEO of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), urging the international organization to maintain services for humanitarian causes in Iran. - 8/10/12

Cyrus Habib Wins Primary, Would be First Iranian American Elected to State Legislature
Cyrus Habib, running as the official nominee of the Democratic Party for Washington's 48th district, successfully advanced in the Washington State Primaries this past Tuesday by a ten point margin. A three time cancer survivor who went blind at the age of eight, Habib has been an inspiration for many Iranian Americans as he now prepares to make history. -Roshan Alemi, NIAC - 8/10/12

Iranian Science Minister to explain reduced female enrollment
The head of the Education and Research Commission of Iran's Parliament has announced that Iran's Science Minister has been summoned to Parliament to explain the recent restrictions against the acceptance of women in a number of university programs. - 8/10/12

Photos of zurkhaneh sports on display at Tehran center
A collection of photos displaying athletes in some zurkhanehs, traditional Iranian sports clubs, is on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Arasbaran Cultural Center. - 8/10/12

The Ancient Roots of Iran's Wrestling and Weightlifting Olympic Dominance
Centuries before the Islamic Republic or even Islam, Persian athletes fused spirituality and strength training in a practice called Varzesh-e-Bastani, the legacy of which may still persist. -Max Fisher, The Atlantic - 8/10/12

Iranian 'Wave' Rises To Euphoria, Crashes In Despair
In the short run, the bullies have won. The longer haul remains to be seen, but for now the sad judgment, if not the last word, goes to a blogger, reflecting in the movie on how she felt on emerging from prison after being beaten and tortured. "You realize that you have merely left a small prison for a bigger one. The prison called Iran." -Ella Taylor, NPR - 8/10/12

Olympics 2012: Iranian team's success a positive amid the negatives
London 2012 has been the most successful Games ever for Iran, and it is lifting the spirits of a troubled nation -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 8/10/12

South Korea reconsiders Iranian oil imports
South Korean officials say their refineries are holding talks with Iran to resume the import of Iranian crude, this time using Iranian ships. - 8/10/12

Iran's Female Olympians Face Extra Hurdles
Although the Iranian government has permitted some women's teams to participate in international competitions, it greatly restricts their participation in domestic games. -Solmaz Sharif, Huffington Post - 8/10/12

Iran, Excluded From Other Meetings on Syria, Hosts Its Own
Shut out of diplomatic meetings on the Syria conflict, Iran convened emergency consultations of its own on Thursday, with participants from nearly 30 countries, including Russia and China, discussing ways to reach a solution. -Thomas Erdbring, NY Times - 8/10/12

Fewer female students admitted to Iranian university
Yazd University has limited its acceptance of women in engineering programs for the coming academic year. ILNA reports that women are now completely barred from the civil and mechanical engineering programs, and the acceptance of new female applicants is down by nearly 25 percent in several programs. - 8/9/12

Iranian boxer Rouzbahani fails to reach Olympics semifinals
Iranian boxer Ehsan Rouzbahani has been eliminated in the light heavyweight boxing quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympic Games. Kazakhstan's Adilbek Niyazymbetov defeated Rouzbahani 13-10 and advanced to the semifinals at London's Excel Arena on Wednesday. - 8/9/12

Iranian woman released from U.S. prison
Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan, an Iranian woman imprisoned in the United States has been freed and arrived in Muscat on Tuesday reportedly thanks to the mediation of the Sultanate of Oman. - 8/9/12

USS James E. Williams Rescues Iranian Mariners
Guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) rescued 10 mariners from their burning vessel in the Gulf of Oman Aug 8. The mariners - who claim to be Iranian - are being well cared for, receiving medical treatment and awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which is coordinating the repatriation efforts. - 8/9/12

30 countries attend Syria meeting in Tehran
About 30 countries including Russia and China have taken part in the consultation conference on Syria in Tehran. The conference is aimed at exploring ways out of the bloody conflict in Syria. - 8/9/12

Persian, Mughal Worlds Are Focus of Painting Exhibition
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's exhibition of Persian and Mughal paintings, Worlds Within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran, displays works from the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler museums of Asian art. The exhibition showcases ways the Mughal emperors in India drew on their Persian heritage and culture, carrying it forward into a transformative artistic style. -Lea Terhune, IIP - 8/9/12

Israel's diplomatic scare game
Like clockwork, another flurry of high-level senior U.S. officials visiting Israel took place this past week. As has become tradition, Iran topped the agenda. And once again, Israeli officials threatened to take unilateral military action unless the U.S. upped the ante on Iran. -Trita Parsi, Salon - 8/9/12

Senior Iranian cleric slams media restrictions
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has condemned media restrictions in Iran, calling them "illegal." - 8/9/12

Some $40b in Iran's National Development Fund
The National Development Fund (NDF) of Iran has some $40 billion in cash, the NDF managing director announced on Tuesday. Iran transfers 20 percent of its oil revenues to National Development Fund. - 8/9/12

Over 0.4 million lost lives in Iran in 10 years due to accidents
In the past ten years, over 438,000 Iranians have died from "unnatural deaths" such as electric shocks, gas poisoning, and drug intoxication. - 8/9/12

Egypt shows signs of warming up to Iran
Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi has received an invitation to the NAM summit in Tehran from the Iranian president's deputy, Hamid Baghai, who visited him in Cairo. - 8/9/12

Iran to pay $815m to support carmakers
The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade will pay 10 trillion rials (some $815 million) to Iran's two major carmakers to help them resolve their financial problems. - 8/9/12

Can Assad Regime, Kurds Create Safe Havens in Syria?
As the civil war intensifies in Syria, officials and experts in the region are increasingly concerned the fighting could lead to redefining the nation's political boundaries, possibly including autonomous regions or safe havens for Alawite and Kurdish factions. -David Arnold, VOA - 8/9/12

War on Iran would have disastrous consequences that would destabilize everything
Whenever the Obama administration moves towards some sort of compromise with Iran, the Netanyahu administration steps in to increase the pressure on the negotiating team. -Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, VNN - 8/9/12

OLYMPICS: Disciples of "Iranian Hercules" capture weightlifting's gold and silver
Iran's super heavyweight Behdad Salimi has won the gold medal and his compatriot Sajjad Anoushiravani pocketed the silver in the +105-kilogram category of the weightlifting competition of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. - 8/8/12

Ehsan Haddadi wins Iran's first ever Olympic medal in athletics
Ehsan Haddadi has won Iran's first ever Olympic medal in athletics by getting the silver in the men's discus throw competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Press TV reports. Haddadi finished second with a 68.18-meter throw at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. - 8/8/12

OLYMPICS: Ghasem Rezaei wins 3rd gold for Iran in Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestler Ghasem Rezaei has claimed Iran's third gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games in the men's 96-kg weight class. The Iranian defeated Rustam Totrov of Russia 3-0 in the final at the Excel Center in London on Tuesday. - 8/8/12

Dutch-Japanese couple tie the knot in Persian nomad style
A Dutch-Japanese couple interested in Persian nomads and their traditional way of living, has made their wish come true recently by holding their wedding ceremony in the Iranian nomad style in a black tent near the city of Yasuj in Kolkiluyeh-Boyer Ahmad Province. - 8/8/12

Iran engages in talks about Syrian crisis
Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran's Supreme Council of National Security, has travelled to Syria and Lebanon to discuss the Syrian crisis with their officials. Iranian media report that Jalili arrived in Damascus to discuss the Syrian unrest with the Syrian government. Jalili has reportedly met with Beshar Assad and other senior Syrian officials. - 8/8/12

Foreign Minister Says Some Iranians Kidnapped In Syria Were Retired Guards
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has been quoted as saying that some of the 48 Iranians kidnapped by Syrian rebels are retired members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and military. - 8/8/12

Iranian Easily Lifts Spirits of His Country
The strongest man in the world, if hoisting heavy barbells is the measure, is a 22-year-old Iranian who Tuesday won the Olympic weight lifting gold medal among super-heavyweights, hoisting 545 pounds above his head, more than the heft of a baby grand piano. -Barry Bearak, NY Times - 8/8/12

Iran's ministries to go offline: phase one of move to intranet society
Iran has announced that all government ministries and state bodies will go offline from September 2012 to shield the country from an "untrustworthy" worldwide web that rests in the "hands of one or two specific countries". -Wired - 8/8/12

Iranians among top buyers in world's tallest tower
Iranian investors have snapped up property worth $128 million in the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, in the last six months, according to data from Dubai's government, using cash in many cases as Western sanctions crimp access to banks. -Reuters - 8/8/12

Iranian wrestler Omid Norouzi wins Olympics gold medal
Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Omid Norouzi has won the gold medal in the men's 60-kg category following a convincing win over his Georgian opponent in the London 2012 Olympics. - 8/7/12

Iran's Navvab Nasirshelal wins weightlifting silver at Olympics
Navvab Nasirshelal has won a silver medal for Iran at the men's 105-kilogram weightlifting competition of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. - 8/7/12

Iranian Currency Drops 9 Percent In Two Days
Iranian currency rial continued it's plunge and registered another all time low Tuesday in open market trading in Tehran. According to Mehr News Agency, rial traded at 22,300 for a dollar, representing a drop of 9% in the currency value in a span of two days. - 8/7/12

Photos: People in Shiraz Celebrate Omid Norouzi's Gold Medal
There were spontaneous and joyous celebrations in the streets of Shiraz, southern Iran, on Monday night after Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Omid Norouzi won the Olympics gold medal in the men's 60-kg category. People gathered inside and around Norouzi's house, and in the streets, waving flags and celebrating. -Mohsen Tavaro - 8/7/12

Iran's Ehsan Hadadi qualifies for men's discus final
Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi has booked a berth in the final of the men's Olympic event on Monday. - 8/7/12

Three Iranian hostages reported killed in Syria
Syrian opposition forces say three of their Iranian hostages have been killed during air strikes against Damascus. Reuters reported on Monday August 6 that Syrian rebels are threatening to kill the remaining 45 hostages if the government does not cease its air strikes. - 8/7/12

Iran Blames US for Iranians Kidnapped in Syria
Iran says it is holding the United States responsible for the lives of 48 Iranians kidnapped Saturday in Syria. State-run media say the foreign ministry told the Swiss envoy in Tehran that it expects the U.S. to use its influence to secure their release without any preconditions. - 8/7/12

An Ally Holsters Its Weapons
Actively fighting for the Syrian regime could jeopardize the political clout Hezbollah has gained in the past two years in Lebanon, where its political wing now effectively controls the government. Hezbollah officials say they are now focused on parliamentary elections in spring of 2013. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 8/7/12

'Bootleg chicken' sold for record prices in Iran
Organised smugglers are exploiting Iran's deepening economic woes by spiriting away vast quantities of chicken so they can then be sold at inflated prices on the black market, officials have said. -Telegraph, UK - 8/7/12

The Natural Map of the Middle East
"Apart from political maps of mankind, there are natural maps of mankind. ... One of the first laws of political stability is to draw your political boundaries along the lines of the natural map of mankind." -Patrick J. Buchanan, - 8/7/12

Photos: Deprived Workers of Tabas Coal Mine
The disadvantaged workers of Tabas coal mine work at a depth of 300 meters in two shifts of 6 hours per day. These miners are hired on a contract basis and are paid 400 thousand tomans (about $200) per month, the minimum salary required to get by. This is while coal mining is considered a dangerous job. -Yunes Khani - 8/6/12

Iranian women excluded from vast areas of study
With the announcement of university entrance exam results for the coming academic year in Iran, 36 universities have closed 77 fields of study to women. - 8/6/12

Iran's Currency Drops To All Time Low
In Sunday's open market trading in Tehran, Iran's currency hit an all time low. According to Mehr News Agency, rial traded at 20,450 for a dollar. Meanwhile Mahmoud Bahmani, head of Central Bank of Iran, told reporters that a single-rate currency will be established within 10 days. - 8/6/12

Historic win for Iranian wrestler
Hamid Soryan has won Iran's first gold medal at the London Olympics, defeating Azerbaijan's Rovshan Bayramov in the 55 kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition. - 8/6/12

Reaction to the Undressing of a Woman at Tehran's Khomeini Airport: "The Turn of the Spouses of the Ayatollahs Will Come"
A news report by Baztab website wrote that security agents at Imam Khomeini airport outside Tehran, "undressed a veiled woman," an action that was extraordinary by all measures. The site reported that Iranian families had contacted it over the unusual and un-Islamic measure of the airport police. -Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz - 8/6/12

INNOVATION: Housing Made Easy, Thanks to Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis
Contour Crafting (CC) is a layered fabrication technology developed by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California. Contour Crafting technology has great potential for automating the construction of whole structures as well as sub-components. - 8/6/12

Iran Parliament to pass bill on dust particles
The Iran Environment Organization announced that it is preparing a proposal for Parliament to deal with the problem of dust particles in Iranian cities. - 8/6/12

Iran preparing to launch Tourism TV channel
Iran is planning to launch a new television channel in an attempt to introduce the country's countless tourist attractions and cultural history. - 8/6/12

PROFILE-Olympics-Iran's man-mountain 'Salimi' lifts for gold
The vast Olympic training room at London's ExCel arena feels instantly smaller the moment Iran's 22 year-old super heavyweight weightlifting prodigy Behdad Salimikordasiabi walks in. -William James, Reuters - 8/6/12

Iranian State Television Airs 'Confessions Of Nuclear Scientists Killers'
Iranian state television has broadcast purported confessions by more than a dozen suspects in connection with the killing of five nuclear scientists since 2010. - 8/6/12

OLYMPICS: Iranian Grego-Roman Wrester Hamid Soryan Heads For Gold
Iranian wrestler Hamid Mohammad Soryan Reihanpour has made it to the final of men's Greco-Roman wrestling 55kg. He's going to wrestle with Azerbaijan's Rovshan Bayramov tonight for the Olympics gold. Five-time world champion Soryan is the favorite to win the gold. - 8/5/12

Iranian wrestler Hamid Sourian wins 55kg Olympics gold medal
Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Hamid Sourian has won the gold medal in the men's 55-kg category following victory over his Azerbaijani opponent in the 2012 London Olympics. - 8/5/12

Iranian Boxer Rouzbahani breaks through to Olympic quarterfinals
Iranian boxer Ehsan Rouzbahani has advanced to the quarterfinals of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Iranian 24-year-old beat Bahram Muzaffer from Turkey 18-12 at the Excel Centre, London. - 8/5/12

Syrian kidnappers claim their Iranian hostages are IRGC members
In a video by the so-called Free Syrian Army, the kidnappers claim that their 48 hostages, abducted in Damascus, are members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), even though Iranian authorities had announced that they were pilgrims headed for the Shiite shrine of Zeinabiyeh. - 8/5/12

Weightlifter Mohammadpour finishes 5th in Olympics
Iran's Saeid Mohammadpour finished at the fifth place of the Olympic weightlifting in men's 94-kilogram division on Saturday. The 19-year-old lifted 183kg in the snatch and 219kg in the clean and jerk. He came fifth with a total of the 402kg. - 8/5/12

Iran: Inflation rises to 22.9 percent
Iran's inflation rate hit 22.9 percent in the fourth calendar month of Tir, which ended on July 21, showing 0.5 percent rise compared to the previous month, the IRNA News Agency reported. - 8/5/12

Iranian bank directors removed from EU blacklist
The European Union has removed five Iranian bank directors from its blacklist after these individuals filed a suit to challenge the EU decision to put them under sanctions. - 8/5/12

Iran Diplomacy Runs Into Sanctions-Happy US Congress
Congress's rush to pass new sanctions against Iran ahead of the August recess comes amid an intensified drive to pin the Iranian government to deadly acts of international terrorism and amplified moves by U.S. politicians to demonstrate their support for Mideast ally Israel ahead of the November presidential election. -Jasmin Ramsey, Antiwar - 8/5/12

Study Identifies Stem Cells as Cancer Source
Scientists have found evidence that cancerous tumors might originate as stem cells - undifferentiated master cells which can grow into any tissue in the body. Investigators say if this proves true, it could provide a new way to prevent or cure cancer. - 8/5/12

Hafez Modirzadeh: Persian Classical Music Meets Bebop and Beyond
Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh's new album "Post-Chromodal Out!" is the result of a 30-year quest for a radically cross-cultural music. -Bruce Wallace, The World - 8/5/12

Syrian Forces Pound Rebel Positions in Aleppo
​​Iranian media said Sunday Tehran has asked Turkey and Qatar to help secure the release of 48 Iranian national kidnapped Saturday in Damascus. Iran has described the victims as religious pilgrims. However, al-Arabiya television says the Syrian rebels have described them as elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards. - 8/5/12

Iran's Olympic team at the London 2012 Games - in pictures
Restrictions by Iranian authorities on the country's athletes mean they cannot leave the Olympic venues freely or speak to the foreign media. Iranian athletes stand a good chance of medals in wrestling, weightlifting, and taekwondo by world champions such as Behdad Salimi and Hamid Sourian. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 8/5/12

The Open Secrets of Ramadan
I've heard that traffic accidents rise during the Holy Month as hunger makes for frayed tempers and desperate driving, but according to my cousins, very little changes in Iran because so few people are actually fasting. "Ninety percent of people who say they are fasting are lying," cousin A. tells me.-Soraya H., Tehran Bureau - 8/5/12

OLYMPICS: Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami wins Iran's first medal, a bronze
Kianoush Rostami claimed the Olympic bronze medal in the men's weightlifting 85kg event on Friday. World champion Kianoush Rostami lifted 171kg in snatch and 209kg in clean and jerk. He finished at third place with a total of 380kg. - 8/4/12

Photos: Iran tests new generation of short-range missile
Iran test launched a new generation of Fateh 110 short-range surface to surface missile on Saturday. With a range of more than 300 kilometers the missile is proved to hit the target unerringly, said Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi. - 8/4/12

OLYMPICS: Iranian Woman Shooter Mahlagha Jambozorg Finishes 14th
Iran's Mahlagha Jambozorg finished 14th in the women's shooting 50m rifle 3 x 20 competition on Saturday. Jamie Gray of the United States won the gold medal and Serbia's Ivana Maksimovic won the silver. Czech Republic's Adela Sykorova won the bronze. Iran's Elaheh Ahmadi finished at 43rd. - 8/4/12

At Least One Dead In Fire At Iranian Petrochemical Plant
A fire at Iran's biggest petrochemical plant has reportedly killed at least one person and injured 16 others. - 8/4/12

Iran to build tubular centrifuge to use in pharmaceutical industry
Iran announced it will tackle the West sanctions by building a tubular centrifuge used in production of biotechnological medicine. - 8/4/12

France's top honor granted to Iranian actress Leila Hatami
France has honored the celebrated Iranian actress Leila Hatami with an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal. - 8/4/12

Kiarostami's "Close up" among Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time
Abbas Kiarostami's "Close Up" has been announced among the "Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time". The "Close Up" filmed in 1990 with 31 votes come in at 42nd place. - 8/4/12

Iran: Mass leader gives advice for countering "wartime" economics
Ahmad Jannati told Friday Mass worshippers in Tehran that Iran's economy is facing "serious problems" and "the U.S. is trying to regain its hold over Iran by defeating us through economic means." - 8/4/12

Tensions Rise as Turkey Continues Offensive Against PKK
Turkey's military is ratcheting up its offensive against Kurdish fighters seeking autonomy in the southeast, with warplanes and helicopters pummeling the mountainous region with bombs, forcing many villagers to flee their homes. Analysts claim the action is a bid to squelch any Kurdish advance should Syria fall. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 8/4/12

Busload Of Iranian Pilgrims Kidnapped In Damascus
An Iranian Embassy official in Syria says 48 Iranian pilgrims have kidnapped from a bus in Damascus. - 8/4/12

Iranian-American Scientist Nima Arkani-Hamed Recipient of 3 Million Dollar FPP Prize
Nima Arkani-Hamed, a scientist of Iranian heritage at Institute for Advanced Study, is among 9 scientists receiving the biggest Prize in Theoretical Physics of $3,000,000 each. - 8/3/12

NIAC, Coalition Urge Congress Not to Block Food and Medicine to Iran
NIAC joined the Friends Committee on National Legislation and nine other national organizations to urge the U.S. Congress to reject proposed sanctions legislation that would cut off humanitarian items to Iran, such as food, medicine, and family remittances. - 8/3/12

New Iran Sanctions Undermine Diplomacy and Human Rights
NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement opposing the Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R.1905) that Congress passed and sent to the President this week - 8/3/12

OLYMPICS: Boxing association sanctions referees
German referee Frank Scharmach, who disqualified Iranian Olympic boxer Ali Mazaheri after three warnings, has been given a five-day suspension by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA). However, Mazaheri's disqualification stands since Iran team did not appeal and under AIBA rules it is now too late to do so. - 8/3/12

Iran, major powers to resume nuclear talks
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has announced that in a telephone conversation regarding nuclear talks, Iran has agreed to resume negotiations with world powers. - 8/3/12

Iran's Nuclear Energy, At What Price?
A very rare public questioning of Iran's nuclear policies has emerged in the form of sprayed paint on a wall in Iran. The graffito in the color of the green opposition movement reads; "Nuclear energy, at what price?" - 8/3/12

Baha'i citizens arrested in Iran
Iranian human rights activists report that Baha'is are being arrested in several Iranian cities. The Society Against Education Discrimination reported on Wednesday that more than 10 Baha'i citizens were arrested in the past day in Esfahan, Shahin Shahr, Villa Shahr and Yazd. The group also reports that a number of Baha'is have been arrested in Arak. - 8/3/12

Sanctions cripple Iran's middle class, not the regime
Over the past month, as EU and U.S. sanctions on Iran have escalated and the White House and Congress roll out new "crippling" measures on an almost biweekly basis, the situation for ordinary Iranians has become increasingly dire. -Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani and Jamal Abdi, Foreign Policy - 8/3/12

American Hikers' Lawyer Threatened, Interrogated, Denied Permission to Leave Iran
Massoud Shafiee, the lawyer who represented the three Americans who were released after more than a year in an Iranian prison, said in an exclusive interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that since his clients left Iran he has been repeatedly interrogated and has faced new limitations for taking on political cases - 8/3/12

Iran boosts strategic grain stocks with wheat buy
Iran's state grain buyer continued to build its strategic stocks, purchasing at least 240,000 tonnes of milling wheat this week, as a drought-fuelled grain price rally kept food security on government radars. -Reuters - 8/3/12

What Can Mississippi Learn From Iran?
One of the people responsible for HealthConnect's holistic, intensely personal approach is Dr. Aaron Shirley, who three years ago found inspiration for health care reform in an unlikely place: the primary health care system created in the 1980s in the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Suzy Hansen, NY Times - 8/3/12

Iran's Smugglers Feel the Squeeze
One of the things that has made Iranian life tolerable under sanctions has been the flood of smuggled foreign goods. Fishermen by day, Iran's black marketers make the two-hour journey across the Strait of Hormuz after dark to Oman to bring back flat-screen televisions, cell phones, and food. -Bloomberg - 8/3/12

US House Approves Tough New Sanctions on Iran
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed tough new economic sanctions designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The bill passed the House by a vote of 421 to 6. It was crafted with the Senate, which is expected to approve the measure this week. -Cindy Saine, VOA - 8/2/12

Iranian boxer Tolouti defeats Spanish rival at 2012 Olympics
Iran's Mehdi Tolouti has defeated Jonathan Alonso Flete of Spain in the first round light-welterweight boxing match of the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 8/2/12

Armenia to help Iran save drying lake
A senior Iranian official announced that Iran is enlisting Armenia's aid to resolve the rapid drying of Lake Oroumiyeh. Armenia and Iran recently signed an agreement to cooperate on environmental projects. - 8/2/12

Panetta, Israeli Leaders Warn Iran
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israeli leaders on Wednesday warned Iran that time is running out to resolve disputes over its controversial nuclear program. -Luis Ramirez, VOA - 8/2/12

Referee disqualifies Iranian boxer at Olympics
Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri has been disqualified after a bizarre display of refereeing that gave his Cuban rival Jose Larduet a controversial victory at the 2012 Olympics. - 8/2/12

Iran: Administration, Parliament clash again over Mortazavi
Controversy continues over the appointment of former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to the head of Iran's Social Security Fund, as the Ahmadinejad administration tests its power against Iranian lawmakers. - 8/2/12

A Persian Gulf 'Hotline' Proposed
We write respectfully to call your attention to the clear and present danger of escalation in the Persian Gulf and to suggest ways to lessen that likelihood. There needs to be a reliable way for our Navy to communicate at a sufficiently high level with Iranian naval counterparts... -Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity - 8/2/12

Ban calls for peaceful transfer of Iranian exiles from Iraqi camp
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all parties to avoid violence and work together to peacefully conclude the transfer of the remaining Iranian exiles residing in a camp in Iraq. -UN News Center - 8/2/12

Where are Iran's reformists?
Damaged by crackdowns and compromise since 2009, will the next round of presidential elections make or break reformists? -D. Parvaz, Aljazeera - 8/2/12

Former queen of Iran on assembling Tehran's art collection
Situated in the heart of the Iranian capital, Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art is home to the world's most valuable collection of western modern art outside Europe and the United States. The rarely shown collection, which includes works by giants such as Pollock, Warhol and Bacon, was bought under the supervision of Farah Pahlavi -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 8/2/12

Iran Oil Shipping To Resume As Insurers Step In: Corporate India
India, the third-biggest buyer of Iranian oil, will offer state-backed insurance to tankers helping the nation's biggest sea carrier to resume cargoes from the Persian Gulf nation hit by international trade sanctions. -Bloomberg - 8/2/12

The Growth of the 'No to Mandatory Hijab' Campaign
"Hijab is not mandatory even on Muslim women, let alone on other religious minorities. What requirement? How have our women lived in the villages from the days when Islam appeared? They didn't wear the chador..." These are the words of ayatollah Taleghani a month after the Pahlavi monarchy was toppled in 1979 by revolution - Fereshteh Ghazi - 8/1/12

Iranian boxer Rouzbahani advances into Olympics last 16
Iran's Rouzbahani defeated Colombia's Jeysson Monroy and advanced into the last 16 of the Olympic light-heavyweight tournament. - 8/1/12

Iran announces launch of two significant space projects
Iran is to launch the satellite-carrier Kavoshgar-5 with a living organism on board in a month. The rocket has successfully passed every preparatory stage and will take a monkey into space by the next month, said Director of Iran Space Agency, Hamid Fazeli on Wednesday in Iran's Amirkabir University of Technology - 8/1/12

Obama Imposes New Sanctions on Iran
President Barack Obama has announced new sanctions on Iran, just as the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are preparing to introduce their own legislation. -Cindy Saine, VOA - 8/1/12

OLYMPICS: Iranian Swimmer Bidarian fails to make 100-meter freestyle semis
Iran's Mohammad Bidarian on Tuesday failed to qualify for the semifinals in 100-meter freestyle of the London 2012 Olympic Games. - 8/1/12

Jailed Iranian activist Nargess Mohammadi released on bail
Jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi was finally given a temporary furlough today on bail of 600 million toumans. Mohammadi, who reportedly suffers from periodic muscle paralysis, had fallen in prison and sustained injuries to her face. - 8/1/12

US Defense Secretary Begins Sensitive Meetings With Israelis on Iran
The U.S. defense secretary arrived in Israel as speculation grows on whether Israel may launch a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear sites. -Luis Ramirez, VOA - 8/1/12

Iran's four-month trade turnover tops $29 billion
Iran imported some $17.2 billion worth of goods and exported around $12 billion during the first four months of this year, which began on March 20, the Customs Administration head announced on Tuesday. - 8/1/12

OPEC Output Falls as Iran Pumps Least in 22 Years, Survey
OPEC oil production declined for a second month in July as Iranian output tumbled to a 22-year low, a Bloomberg survey showed. Iran pumped 2.86 million barrels a day, down 300,000 barrels from June and the lowest level since February 1990. - 8/1/12

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