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Iran's currency crisis reaches new level: 1 Dollar for 3000 Tomans
The Iranian currency has fallen to a historic low despite all efforts by the Islamic Republic to control the market. Iranian media report that the dollar was traded at the record level of more than 30,000 rials on Sunday, while the price of the gold coin has reached 12 million rials and appears to be rising by the day. - 9/30/12

Iran books place in FIFA U-17 World Cup after defeating Australia 5-1
Iran advanced to the FIFA U-17 World Cup after crashing Australia in the 2012 AFC U-16 Championship on Sunday. The FIFA U-17 World Championship will be held in the UAE in 2013. - 9/30/12

NAM demands Israel to join NPT without further delay
The 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Friday demanded Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without precondition and further delay. The demand was made during the United Nations High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism in New York. The demand was read out by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on behalf of the NAM bloc. - 9/30/12

Iran says to Nuclear Israel: Don't Talk to Us about "Red Lines"
Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday that Israel long ago crossed the "red line" and remains the only country in the Middle East with a nuclear weapons arsenal. - 9/30/12

Iran condemns U.S. for removing MKO from terror list
The organization had been designated a terror group by the U.S. since 1997. Iran says the MKO is responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 Iranians over the past three decades, including senior government officials. - 9/30/12

Iran: Factory Closure A Sign Of Bad Times
The Pouya auto parts factory that laid off 1,300 workers in February has now completely shut down. Changes in Iranian government subsidies coupled with international sanctions have resulted in continued layoffs in the manufacturing sector. - 9/30/12

MEK Delisting Slap in the face for Average Iranians
Iranians inside and outside the country rarely agree about anything. They find common ground in their love of pomegranates, pride for Iranian athletes competing internationally, respect for Mohammad Mossadeq, the 1950s prime minister who nationalized Iranian oil before being ousted in a US-backed coup, and deep contempt if not hatred for the MEK. -Leila Kashefi, IPS - 9/30/12

US Boosting Financial Support for Syrian Opposition
The Obama administration is boosting financial support for opponents of the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired a meeting Friday of foreign ministers backing the Syrian opposition. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 9/30/12

Reuters Guilty Over Video Script In Iran
Iran's Press TV reports that an Iranian jury voted on September 30 to convict the Reuters news organization over a video script that contained an error. - 9/30/12

Baghdad To Check Syrian-Bound Iran Flights For Weapons
The Iraqi foreign minister says Iraq will ask Syria-bound Iranian planes passing through its airspace to land for random inspections after Washington said they could be carrying arms to Damascus. - 9/30/12

The Strategic Logic Of Netanyahu's "Iranian Bomb": Rules Of The Road (Runner?)
In making his case against Iran in his United Nations speech, Benjamin Netanyahu held up a crude graphic intended represent an Iranian bomb. The Israeli Prime Minister drew a line with a red marker to emphasize the urgent need for action against the Islamic Republic and sound the alarm bells. -Marsha B. Cohen - 9/29/12

US Takes Iranian Group Off Terror List
The United States has taken the Iranian group Mujahedin-e Khalq and its aliases off its list of foreign terrorist organizations. The State Department announced the decision Friday, saying that the government has also revoked the group's designation as a global terrorist. Both decisions are effective immediately. - 9/29/12

Iran ranks 5th in International Olympiad in Informatics
Iranian students stood at the fifth place of the 24th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) ranking held in Italy September 23-30. - 9/29/12

Photos: Construction of new zarih of shrine of Imam Hussein completed
Iranian artists and artisans have completed the construction of the new zarih (outer sarcophagus enclosure) of the holy shrine of Imam Hussein. It was unveiled during a ceremony at the Masumieh Seminary in Qom on Thursday - 9/29/12

Iran's rial currency dives to historic low
The Iranian rial slumped on Saturday to a historic low against the U.S. dollar, according to Iranian media and currency tracking websites. -Reuters - 9/29/12

Iran: Prisoner repents in face of death penalty
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian computer programmer who has been jailed and sentenced to death in Iran, has reportedly "expressed remorse and repented", allowing his lawyer to apply for clemency in his case. - 9/29/12

Exports of Iranian gas to Iraq may start next summer
Construction of the pipeline, which aims to transfer Iranian natural gas to Iraq, is well underway, and the exports will probably start next summer, National Iranian Gas Company's Managing Director Javad Oji said. - 9/29/12

Iran's crude steel output grows by 9.2 percent
Iran produced some 7.5 million tons of crude steel during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, a 9.2 percent rise year on year, the IRNA news agency reported on Friday. - 9/29/12

Ahmadinejad laments arrest of press aide
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed disappointment at the arrest of his press advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, by the Iranian judiciary and he promised to follow up on the matter. - 9/29/12

Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran
The main takeaway from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's U.N. speech was the inference that he has been forced to relent on the possibility of military action against Iran, with his threats deferred past the U.S. election on Nov. 6 and off into next spring and beyond. -Ray McGovern, - 9/29/12

Iranian News Agency Plagiarizes The Onion
Apparently unaware of the unwritten rules of both ethical journalism and satire, an Iranian news agency published an edited copy of a report from The Onion on Friday, without crediting the original or acknowledging that it was fiction. -NY Times - 9/29/12

A New Approach to Stone Reliefs of Persepolis
In the north eastern part of the Persian Gulf in Iran , there is a region called Fars today and Parse in the past. In this mountainous region there is a mountain previously called Mehr (love) and now called Rahmat (Mercy) with a 2500 years old ruined palace still dazzling on its skirts, remaining from the Achaemenid reign over Iran from c.550 to 330BC. -Khoobchehr Keshavarzi - 9/28/12

So, I wondered out loud, "where the hell is your so-called red-line, Mr. Prime Minister? Isn't it a fact that your barking and chest-thumping has once again been for show, your time-tested theatrical routine you have employed for intimidation and extortion of the gullible American public, Mr. Netanyahu? -Kam Zarrabi - 9/28/12

Netanyahu, betting 'all-in' for high stakes Iran game?
Logically, Netanyahu's intense political maneuvering to entangle the US in a war against Iran cannot simply be to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, which in effect will culminate in nothing more than temporary pain relief followed by unfavorable consequences. His intention, at a minimum, is to eliminate the risk of Iran's nuclear weaponization permanently. How can this be achieved? -Shahir ShahidSaless - 9/28/12

The Possibility of a Coup d'Etat in Iran
The concurrence of the repeated remarks by Revolutionary Guards commanders about the inevitability of war and their welcoming of a full conflict with Israel and the United States, and the imprisonment of Hashemi Rafsanjani's children should not be viewed as coincidental events unraveling in Iran. -Farzaneh Roostaee, ROOZ - 9/28/12

U.S. House Panel Dismisses Iran Talks, Considers Time for War
A House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Israel's security last week quickly devolved into partisan attacks over the Obama administration's handling of Israeli relations and calls for a more confrontational U.S. approach towards Iran. For some Committee members, the question was not whether the U.S. should strike Iran's nuclear facilities, but rather when the U.S. should to it. -Brett Cox, NIAC - 9/28/12

Iran: Bring Notorious Abuser to Justice: Try Mortazavi for Deaths of Election Protesters
Iran's Judiciary should move forward speedily and transparently with the criminal investigation of Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran Prosecutor General, for the deaths of protesters after the June 2009 elections and prosecute if there is evidence implicating him. -HRW - 9/28/12

Israeli official predicts resumption of protests in Iran
Israel's deputy foreign minister says international sanctions on Iran have been effective and the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. - 9/28/12

Iran Vows to Retaliate Against Any Attack
Iran has vowed to retaliate against any attack, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to draw a "clear red line" on Tehran's nuclear program. - 9/28/12

Iran must act now on nuclear concerns: EU official
According to Ria Novosti, Catherine Ashton told reporters after a meeting with the G5+1 foreign ministers: "We discussed at length the need for Iran to take action urgently as we considered the Iranian nuclear issue." - 9/28/12

Iran quietly makes massive wheat buy on global markets
Iran's state grains agency GTC has discreetly snapped up around 1 million metric tonnes (1.1 tons) of milling wheat in the past 2 weeks mostly from the European Union, traders said on Thursday, showing increased ability to import food despite financial sanctions. -Reuters - 9/28/12

Iranian daily Shargh shut down for publishing "insulting" cartoon
The Iranian daily Shargh was shut down by the Islamic Republic authorities after a cartoon published by the independent newspaper was branded as insulting to the memory of Iran's war veterans. - 9/27/12

Iranian diplomat attacked in New York
The spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, was attacked by angry protesters in New York on Wednesday. - 9/27/12

Cube of Zoroaster: A unique Achaemenid Monument
The Cube of Zoroaster is a 5th century BC Achaemenid-era tower-like construction at Naqsh-e Rustam, just northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province. The structure is not actually a Zoroastrian shrine, nor are there reports of it ever having been a pilgrimage site. - 9/27/12

Iranian Activists Stand Up for Dozens of Detained Teachers
Be Voice of Iranian Teachers is a campaign being launched by Iranian teachers' rights activists, human rights organizations and activists, journalists, teachers, and lawyers - 9/27/12

Tehran to host festival on Rumi today
"Rumi can be considered as the symbol of the ECO's unity. He is a connecting link among the ECO members, because Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Afghanistan claim that he belongs to their cultures and civilizations" - 9/27/12

Iranian President's Video Hits The Fan
A video that appears to show Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad insulting the country's lawmakers has provoked a harsh response from Tehran and questions about the clip's authenticity. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 9/27/12

At General Debate, Iran's President calls for new world order and restructured UN
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today called for a "just and fair" new world order and said the United Nations lacks the efficiency to bring it about, offering the help of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which his country currently heads, to achieve the required changes. - 9/27/12

Ahmadinejad Adviser and State News Agency Head Reportedly Jailed
A top aide to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad who also heads Iran's official IRNA news agency has reportedly been arrested and jailed. - 9/27/12

Foreign investment in Iran grows by 83 percent
Foreign investment in Iran amounted to $6.8 billion in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, showing 83 percent rise year on year, the director of the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran said. - 9/27/12

Council on American Islamic Relations urges release of U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran
American media report that Amir Hekmati's sister, Sara Hekmati, spoke at a press conference at the Council for American Islamic Relations on September 25, saying she hopes to get her message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 9/27/12

Amid 'time of turmoil,' Ban urges world leaders to do more to solve pressing crises
"I also reject both the language of delegitimization and threats of potential military action by one State against another. Any such attacks would be devastating. The shrill war talk of recent weeks has been alarming - and should remind us of the need for peaceful solutions and full respect for the UN Charter and international law," - 9/27/12

Study Finds U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan Miss Militant Targets and "Terrorize" Civilians
A new report on the secret U.S. drone war in Pakistan says the attacks have killed far more civilians than acknowledged, traumatized a nation and undermined international law. -Democracy Now - 9/27/12

Iran's non-oil trade tops $47b
The total value of Iran's non-oil imports and exports during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, amounted to $47.1 billion, according to the Customs Administration data. - 9/27/12

Red Lines and Presidential Politics: How the Israel Lobby Gets What It Wants
Much is being made of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's involvement in the on-going American presidential campaign. His public stance has been characterized as an Israeli effort to "openly...topple [President] Obama." The truth is that the only thing unusual about this meddling is its open and advertised nature. -Lawrence Davidson, Counterpunch - 9/27/12

Vitol trades Iranian fuel oil, skirting sanctions
Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, is buying and selling Iranian fuel oil, undermining Western efforts to choke the flow of petrodollars to Tehran and put pressure on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. -Reuters - 9/27/12

Letters of Anti-War Advocates to Iran's Supreme Leader: Do Not Take the Country to War
Even before the recent comments by some senior Iranian commanders about the inevitability of war, some of the close associates or former friends of the current supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Iran had issued direct or implied warnings against a war with Israel or the United states. -Mahnaz Malekuti, Rooz - 9/26/12

Iran's President Takes New York By Storm, One Last Time
The "Mahmud Ahmadinejad Show" is off to a quick start, with the Iranian president revealing some fresh material as he prepares to address the UN General Assembly this week. -RFE - 9/26/12

Iranian Diplomat Says Iran Offered Deal to Halt 20% Enrichment
Iran has again offered to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, which the United States has identified as its highest priority in the nuclear talks, in return for easing sanctions against Iran, according to Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -Gareth Porter, IPS - 9/26/12

Announcing 5th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Celebrating Iranian Heritage
Calling on individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life to submit short films visualizing some aspect of Iranian art, culture, and heritage, Farhang Foundation's annual online short film festival offers contestants the opportunity to compete for $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize). - 9/26/12

Solacers (An Iranian Story): One of Three Best Nonfiction for 2012, Stanford University
Solacers tells the touching story of a 5-year old child's search for family life and safety following the divorce of his parents in Iran during the 1960's. The first child of a heartless father and a discarded mother is left to fend for himself on the streets of Mashhad, seeking food and shelter wherever he can. - 9/26/12

Photos: Iran's Intelligence Ministry holds exhibition of achievements in countering sabotage activities
Iranian Intelligence Ministry held an exhibition of its achievements in countering sabotage activities against the country's industrial, nuclear, and military facilities in Tehran on Tuesday. - 9/26/12

Iran rial hits record low despite new effort to stabilise it
The Iranian rial tumbled 5 percent to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, suggesting a fresh effort by the government to stabilise the currency may have backfired. -Reuters - 9/26/12

Iran ranks world's 23rd largest exporter in 2011: WTO
Iran ranks as the 23rd largest exporter in the world in 2011, according to a new report by the World Trade Organization (WTO). - 9/26/12

Obama Confronts Muslim Unrest, Iran In UN Speech
U.S. President Barack Obama says it is time to isolate those who use hatred of America, the West, or Israel as a central political principle. Speaking at the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, he called an anti-Muslim video that has provoked violence across the Muslim world an insult not only to Muslims but to America as well. - 9/26/12

Three teams pull out of Asian Jr. Volleyball Championship in Iran
Three teams have announced to withdraw from the 2012 Asian Junior Men's Volleyball Championship, which will be held in Urmia, northwestern Iran, from September 27 to October 5. - 9/26/12

Persian cuisine, with a cultural mission
The call came quickly and unexpectedly. In early December 2009, just a day after he had filled out paperwork for a different James Beard Foundation event, the New York organization phoned with a request: Could Maziar Farivar prepare a meal for the Persian New Year celebration in March known as Nowruz? -Tim Carman, Washington Post - 9/26/12

Photos: Holy Defense Museum, Tehran
The museum is dedicated to Iran's war with Iraq. The Iran-Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the 20th century. - 9/25/12

Time for Iran-U.S. Talks
The normalization of relations between Iran and the U.S. should be a top priority of the leaders of both countries if they wish to avert a military clash that could easily turn into a regional or international conflagration. -Nasser Saghafi-Ameri, Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies, Tehran - 9/25/12

Rafsanjani Jailings Come Against Backdrop Of Battle For Influence
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, once one of Iran's most influential men, now has two children in Tehran's Evin prison -- where opposition activists and critics of the Islamic establishment are routinely held. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/25/12

UN General Assembly Opens After Ahmadinejad Outburst
On the eve of the General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad condemned the UN Security Council for protecting the "nuclear warheads" of Israel, thought to be the only Middle Eastern country to possess nuclear weapons although it refuses to disclose any capability. -RFE/RL - 9/25/12

Israel lobbyist hints that 'Pearl Harbor' may be needed to get US into war with Iran
Last Friday, during question time at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy policy forum luncheon on "How to Build US-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout," the director of research at the pro-Israel think tank hinted that a Pearl Harbor-type attack might be necessary to get the United States to go to war against the Islamic Republic. -Maidhc O Cathail - 9/25/12

Iran Blocks Popular Google Products
Iranian Internet users are reporting many popular Google products, including its email service Gmail, have been blocked. Users in Iran reported Monday that Google Search was still available, but any product that required signing into an account was blocked. This included Gmail, Google Drive, Google Talk and others. - 9/25/12

Iran denies IRGC link to National Oil Company
Iran has denied the latest U.S. allegations that National Iranian Oil Company is connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, insisting that the oil company is guided only by "the economic policies of the government and the oil industry." - 9/25/12

Lecture by Shahin Najafi at UC Berkeley: "A Review of Iran's Music of Protest"
Shahin Najafi has become one of the foremost contemporary Iranian musicians around the globe. His music contains a wide spectrum of lyrics pertaining to political and social issues. His music has made him a highly controversial figure, becoming one of the few individuals in history to be issued a fatwa by Iranian clerics. - 9/25/12

Iran unveils Shahed 129 unmanned aerial vehicle
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has unveiled a new indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with 24-hour nonstop flight capability. The home-made aircraft is capable of hitting targets at a distance of 1,700-2,000 kilometers. - 9/25/12

France, Germany, Britain want more sanctions on Iran
AFP reports that Britain, France and Germany have called for new EU sanctions against Iran in connection with its nuclear program. - 9/25/12

The US and Iran on a dead end path to war?
Unless strong political leadership and decisive diplomatic efforts are quickly shown on all sides, war between the US and Iran will become increasingly probable due to the exhaustion of all other policy options. -Trita Parsi, Open Democracy - 9/25/12

How 'Terrorists' Become 'Freedom Fighters'?: Tom Tancredo and the Iranian Mujahedin
Over the past few months neoconservatives in Denver, Colorado, have been exploiting a political window of opportunity opened by two unrelated events, one in Iran and the other in Iraq, using the publicity surrounding the events to subtly reiterate their hawkish call for war against Iran. -Evan Herzoff, Colorado Indymedia - 9/25/12

Demonstrators Protest Outside Ahmadinejad Hotel In New York
Demonstrators protested outside the hotel housing Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad who is in New York City for the UN General Assembly. Protesters criticized the Warwick Hotel for agreeing to host the Iranian leader. - 9/25/12

Iran-U.S. Hostilities Must Stop
President Obama's policy of engagement with Iran has failed. Recent steps have led to unprecedented hostilities between the two countries with Washington conducting a full-scale economic, covert, cyber and political war with Iran. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian - 9/24/12

Iran tries to reverse fall of national currency
Iranian authorities have opened a Foreign Exchange Centre in an attempt to control the continued fall of the national currency against the dollar, which is now being traded at 24,750 toumans compared to almost half this rate last year. - 9/24/12

Iranian Ex-President's Son Detained On Return
The son of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been detained after his return from a stay abroad, Iran's official news agencies report. Mehdi Hashemi returned to Iran on September 23 after a three-year stay in the United Kingdom. - 9/24/12

Consequences Of War With Iran
The US military forces can destroy Iran, or as an Iranian-American analyst told the author of this article, they can take that country back to the 19th century, but they will become trapped in another long, unconventional, asymmetric conflict - known as fourth generation warfare (4GW) - that has the potential to damage the US economy beyond repair. -Shahir Shahidsaless - 9/24/12

Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group
What makes this effort all the more extraordinary are the reports that MEK has actually intensified its terrorist and other military activities over the last couple of years. In February, NBC News reported, citing US officials, that "deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by [MEK]" as it is "financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service". -Glenn Greenwald, Guardian - 9/24/12

Iran cuts off Google services
Reports from Iran indicate that Iranian web users were cut off from the Google search engine and Google's Gmail service on Sunday. - 9/24/12

Iranian exiles, DC lobbyists and the campaign to delist the MEK
To the US government, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) was a terrorist group alongside al-Qaida, Hamas and the Farc in Colombia. The MEK landed on the list in 1997 with American blood on its hands and by allying itself with Saddam Hussein along with a long list of bombings inside Iran. -Chris McGreal, Guardian - 9/24/12

Iran exporting carpets to 80 countries: Minister
Iran is currently exporting carpets to 80 countries of the world despite all the sanctions targeting Iran's economic sector, the industry, mine and trade minister stated. - 9/24/12

Clashes Continue Across Syria As Rebels Move Command Center
On Sunday, a group of 16 Syrian opposition parties met in Damascus and called for an end to what it described as Syria's "authoritarian regime." Ambassadors from Iran and Russia - two countries that support President Bashar al-Assad - also attended the meeting. -VOA - 9/24/12

Prime Minister meets with Iranian-Canadians about embassy closure
Prime Minister Stephen Harper invited a small group of Iranian-Canadians to meet with him at Parliament Hill on Sept. 18 to discuss the recent closure of the Iranian embassy, the Citizen has learned. -Ottawa Citizen - 9/24/12

Iran Official Calls For Oscar Boycott Over Anti-Islam Film
The head of Iran's government-controlled cinema agency says his country should "avoid" the 2013 Academy Awards unless the organizers denounce a low-budget film that was privately made in the United States that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad. - 9/24/12

Iran's president condemns anti-Islam film, the violence it sparked
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed Sunday an anti-Islam film and the violent and deadly protests it triggered in the Muslim world. -CNN - 9/24/12

Wife of missing American pleads for help from Iran's president
The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson can't help but count the days since he vanished during a business trip to Iran's Kish Island on March 8, 2007. Saturday marked 2,024 days since he's been gone. -CNN - 9/24/12

Photos: 10 Iranian Filmmakers Hold Protest Press Conference
10 independent Iranian Producers and Directors held a joint meeting in Tehran on Saturday to protest the policies of Hoze Honari (Artistic Center of Islamic Development Organization) and their refusal to screen their films. - 9/23/12

Faezeh Hashemi, Outspoken Daughter of Former Iranian President, Arrested
Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, an Iranian political activist and the daughter of the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has been arrested at her home and transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran. - 9/23/12

Calls for Artists and Musicians: The 13th Edinburgh Iranian Festival
The Edinburgh Iranian Festival is a non-political showcase for world-class Iranian culture, as well as for bands and artists working both in and outside Iran. We aim to introduce the tremendous breadth of Iranian history and culture to adults and children in Scotland, and to integrate the two communities through a broad range of interactive events spanning numerous art-forms. - 9/23/12

Iranian museums celebrating International Day of Peace
Several Iranian museums and organizations have organized programs to celebrate September 21, which marks the International Day of Peace which was organized by Tehran Peace Museum. - 9/23/12

Photos: Iranian Environmentalists Participate in Cleanup of Semeskandeh Wildlife Refuge
People across Iran participated in forest cleanup on September 14. These photos show the friends of environment engaged in cleanup of the Semeskandeh Wildlife Refuge in the province of Mazandaran in northern Iran. - 9/23/12

Students in Iran face growing clampdown as academic year begins
Dozens of university students in cities across Iran have been interrogated or arbitrarily arrested in recent weeks, marking an escalation in the authorities' clampdown on students as the academic year begins, Amnesty International said on September 21st. - 9/23/12

Iranian Art That Transcends Politics
Rumi, whose 800 year-old poems are, coincidentally, the most widely read throughout the United States, remains deeply revered within all strata of Iranian society. His teaching of humanity as Heech, or nothingness, is most prominently conveyed through the work of contemporary Iranian artist and sculptor Parviz Tanavoli. -Roshanak Taghavi, Al-Monitor - 9/23/12

Iran finds spying device at Fordow: UK daily
A British newspaper says Iran has discovered an electric monitoring device disguised as rock near the country's Fordow nuclear energy facility. - 9/23/12

Iran's president arrives in New York for General Assembly session
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in the US city of New York at the head of a delegation to participate in the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly. - 9/23/12

Postcards for peace from 20 countries on display at Tehran center
Tehran's Arasbaran Cultural Center is playing host to an exhibition of postcards for peace, which have been created by people from 20 different countries. - 9/23/12

The Summer of Muslim Discontent: It's Not "The Amateur Film" Stupid!
The so-called Arab Spring is a distant and bitter memory to those who fought and struggled for a better world, not to speak of the thousands who lost, life and limb. In its place, throughout the Muslim world, a new wave of reactionaries, corrupt and servile politicians have taken the reins of power... -James Petras, Dissident Voice - 9/23/12

Adding Fuel to the Fire: Canada and Iran
The Harper government's decision to sever all relations with Iran will not have any impact on the bellicose behaviours of the Iranian regime, nor will it weaken that regime. It only works to further discredit Canada in the eyes of the world, and particularly in the Middle East... -Saeed Rahnema, The Mark - 9/23/12

MEK Delisting is a Gift to the Regime, a Disaster for the Iranian People and the U.S.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) deplores the decision to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. The decision opens the door to Congressional funding of the MEK to conduct terrorist attacks in Iran, makes war with Iran far more likely, and will seriously damage Iran's peaceful pro-democracy movement as well as America's standing among ordinary Iranians. - 9/22/12

Iran Basketball Team Takes Asia's Crown
The Iranian basketball team won the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup trophy with an electrifying performance against Japan on Saturday. - 9/22/12

US Lawmaker Blames Iran for Cyberattacks on US Banks
The head of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security committee says he believes Iran is behind cyberattacks this week on U.S. banks. - 9/22/12

Student Peace Prize goes to imprisoned Iranian student
The Student Peace Prize of 2013 was awarded to the Iranian student leader Majid Tavakoli. The winner was announced in the main library at NTNU on Friday, UN's International Day of Peace. - 9/22/12

Iran: Ensure Equal Access to Higher Education
The Iranian government should immediately reverse policies that place unnecessary restrictions on academic freedom for university students, in particular women. Some of these "Islamicization" measures are to be introduced for the new academic year, which begins on September 22, 2012. Others have been put in place in recent years and adopted by universities across the country. -HRW - 9/22/12

Iran scraps cheaper foreign currency for studies abroad
Iran's Minister of the Economy has announced that the Central Bank will not be responsible for providing foreign currency for students pursuing their education abroad. - 9/22/12

Military Chief Says Iran Should Gear For War
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps said that armed conflict with Israel appears to be in the picture and warned: "We must all be prepared for war." In a report by ISNA, Commander Jafari stressed that Israel's "threats and enmity" against Iran should be taken seriously and they will "eventually result in physical conflict." - 9/22/12

U.S. Reportedly To Remove Exiled Iranian Group From Blacklist
U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will tell Congress she intends to remove the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also MEK) from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. - 9/22/12

Russia says unilateral sanctions harm nuclear talks
Russia has stressed once again that unilateral sanctions on Iran are a blow to the peaceful resolution of the nuclear disputes with Iran. - 9/22/12

New Senate Push for Iran War Red Lines as Netanyahu Ups Pressure
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to consider several measures, including a Joint Resolution sponsored by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) that would convey Congressional support for military action to prevent Iran from achieving "nuclear weapons capability." - 9/21/12

Photos: Iran Parades Missiles
The Zelzal rockets were displayed along with a host of other missiles and air-defense systems during the annual September 21 parades, marking the start of the Week of Sacred Defense, commemorating Iranians' sacrifices during the 8 years of Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s. - 9/21/12

Iran's Basketball Team Marches Into FIBA Asia Cup Final
Iran advanced to the final match of the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo, Japan by beating the Philippines on Friday. - 9/21/12

Concern for plight of jailed Iranian teachers
Iran's "Campaign to Support Jailed Teachers" has issued an announcement in protest against the "concerning situation" of teachers in Iran's prisons. - 9/21/12

Gurdjieff's Beelzebub' Tales to His Grandson - Part Two: The Question of Gender
Faith of consciousness is freedom/Faith of feeling is weakness/Faith of body is stupidity/Love of consciousness evokes the same in response/Love of feeling evokes the opposite/Love of body depends only on type and polarity/Hope of consciousness is strength/Hope of feeling is slavery/Hope of body is disease -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 9/21/12

Iran Displays Newest Air-Defense Missile System in Parades
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) displayed a highly advanced air defense shield, called 'Ra'd', during military parades in Southern Tehran on Friday. - 9/21/12

Iran Gives Spies False Info: Nuclear Chief
The head of Iran's Atomic Agency says it has fed false intelligence to British spies about Iran's nuclear advances in order to protect Iran's nuclear sites. - 9/21/12

Officials see Iran, not outrage over film, behind cyber attacks on US banks
National security officials told NBC News that the continuing cyber attacks this week that slowed the websites of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are being carried out by the government of Iran. -NBC - 9/21/12

Protests In Tehran, Kabul Against Film, French Cartoons
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, an American actress who appeared in the film is suing the film's suspected director. The complaint was filed in a Los Angeles court by Cindy Lee Garcia, alleging fraud, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. - 9/21/12

Obama Uses Pakistani Television to Denounce Anti-Islam Film
The U.S. embassy in Pakistan is airing a public service advertisement on Pakistani television that features President Barack Obama denouncing an anti-Islam video that has sparked protests across the Muslim world. - 9/21/12

Iranians Denied U.S. Visas Hit by Political Crossfire
A promising future in academia and business beckoned Majid Abbasi. His research on how welding affects the properties of steel earned him a doctorate from Brigham Young University and a job offer from the University of Alabama. -Business Week - 9/21/12

Accusations fly over who's arming Syrian conflict
As the United States, Britain, France and Germany accused Iran at the UN Security Council of providing arms to the Syrian government, Beshar Assad gave an interview to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram in which he severely attacked Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for arming the Syrian opposition forces. - 9/21/12

Hoops as diplomacy in 'The Iran Job' doc
In 2002, President George W. Bush infamously labeled the Islamic Republic of Iran a member of the "Axis of Evil." To a number of American ballers, though, Iran is home sweet home. -Sam Alipour, ESPN - 9/21/12

John W. Miller, U.S. Vice Admiral, Says Middle East Drills Ensure Stability
The admiral in charge of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet on Thursday defended the large American-led naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and other strategic Mideast waterways as a way to ensure stability and security in the region -Huffington Post - 9/21/12

Schools in Iran welcome first-graders
Primary schools across Iran opened their doors on Wednesday to children who started a new experience in their lives by entering classes. - 9/20/12

Iran goes to semifinal of FIBA Asia Cup
The Iranian national basketball team went to the semifinal of the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup after it imposed a heavy defeat on Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. - 9/20/12

Unemployment mounts as Iran's economy falters
A wealthy Iranian businessman sits in the lobby of one of Dubai's most luxurious hotels, shaking his head as he laments the state of Iran's economy. "Business is drying up, industry is collapsing. There's zero investment," he said. "I know. I see it with my own eyes." -Marcus George and Zahra Hosseinian, Reuters - 9/20/12

Revoke Netanyahu's Free Pass to Sell War - NIAC
Exactly ten years ago, Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press and was given a free pass to sell a war with Iraq based on "absolute certainty" that turned out to be a massive distortion. So when Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu went on the same show this past Sunday to sell a new war with Iran, we thought Meet the Press had learned its lesson. -Iran Media Fact Check - 9/20/12

Syria's Assad Says War Targets His Regime, Iran, Hizballah
President Basher al-Assad has told visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi that the war engulfing his country threatens not just Syria, but also Iran and Lebanon's Shi'ite Hizballah movement. - 9/20/12

Iran: "Anti-Woman" Tradition Kept From Official List
Iranian women's rights activists have scored a victory by keeping a local tradition from being enshrined in Iran's National Heritage registry list - a tradition that involves ending blood feuds between families by forcing a woman from one family to marry into the other. - 9/20/12

Iran to give permission for spouse-finding websites
Amid fears of a falling marriage rate, Iranian authorities are taking the unusual step of preparing the ground to give permission for the country's first spouse-finding website. -Guardian - 9/20/12

Justice Delayed: The massacre of political prisoners in Iran
Iranian-American reporter Elahe Amani shares insight and history into the increasing need for Iranian government transparency -WNN - 9/20/12

United for Iran Highlights Ongoing Abuses at the 21st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
United for Iran's Puyan Mahmudian addressed the 21st UN Human Rights Council on a range of ongoing human rights violations in Iran. - 9/20/12

Large number of Iranian companies participating in Kurdistan exhibitions in Iraq
Five hundred global companies are taking part in two international trade exhibitions in the Kurdistan Region this week. The fifth consecutive Project Iraq exhibition focuses on the region's construction needs. - 9/20/12

U.S. targets Iranian airlines for alleged arms deliveries
U.S. Treasury announced on Wednesday, September 19, that aircraft belonging to Iran Air, Mahan Air and Yas Air have been ferrying arms and military forces to Syria under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid. - 9/20/12

Embassy closure a hardship for Iranian-Canadians
Canada is home to the world's second-largest Iranian diaspora after the U.S. According to the 2006 census, 121,505 people reported Iranian ancestry, a significant jump from five years earlier, when 88,220 people gave Iranian as their response to the ethnic-origin question. -Times Colonist - 9/20/12

Iran's political survivor Rafsanjani raises profiles with presidency in play
The political obituary of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been written a number of times: when he lost a comeback presidential bid, when he was dumped from leading Friday prayers at Tehran University, when he was pushed out as head of a panel that will pick Iran's next supreme leader. -AP - 9/20/12

Iran's daily gasoline consumption hits 70m liters
The average gasoline consumption in Iran amounted to 70 million liters during the first half of the sixth calendar month of Shahrivar (August 22-September5), the Moj news agency reported. - 9/20/12

Photos: A New Beginning For The Quake Hit Children
The beginning of the new academic year in Iran Wednesday morning was also a new beginning for the children in the quake hit regions in northeastern Iran. To makes this a happy start for these children, a special "blossom festival" was held at Koueik village, town of Heris. - 9/19/12

Iran launches Tareq 901 submarine, Sahand destroyer
Iran's Navy has launched the overhauled super-heavy Tareq 901 submarine and indigenous Sahand destroyer in the southern port of Bandar Abbas. - 9/19/12

Iranian Government Facing Budget Shortfall
The Iranian government has announced in Parliament that in the first half of the Iranian calendar year, it has taken in only 25 percent of its budgeted annual revenue. - 9/19/12

Dangerous Misconceptions About Sanctions on Iran and Its Nuclear Program
On August 27, 2012, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), an organization whose stated goal is to serve the interests of Iranian Americans, released a report discussing the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranians and Iranian Americans. -Nema Milaninia and Pouya Alimagham, Huffington Post - 9/19/12

After 19 Years in Prison, Political Prisoner Sews Lips and Starts Hunger Strike
An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Mohammad Nazari, a Kurdish political prisoner at Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, has sewn his lips shut and embarked on a hunger strike since August 28, 2012, to protest the judicial authorities' disregard for his request for release. - 9/19/12

World powers to discuss Iran in New York
The European Union's foreign policy chief has announced that representatives of the world powers will meet next week in New York to discuss ways of pushing forward with the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. - 9/19/12

Iran set to launch National Internet
Reza Taghipour, the Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, has announced that Iran's "National Internet" will operate nationwide starting next week. - 9/19/12

EU's Ashton had "constructive" meeting with Iran's Jalili in Istanbul: Spokesman
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili held "constructive" talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, Ashton spokesman Michael Mann has said. - 9/19/12

Turkish Polls Show Waning Support for Ankara's Syria Policy
A recent opinion poll in Turkey found that only 18 percent of Turks back their government's support for the Syrian opposition. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 9/19/12

Embassy closure worries Iranian students
Dozens of Iranian students at UPEI are concerned about the state of relations between Canada and Iran, and how they themselves could be affected. -CBC - 9/19/12

What is PAAIA's Goal? Pleasing the Neoconservatives or Informing the Iranians?
The debate about the sanctions has also been raging in the Iranian community in the Diaspora. Some support them and have called for even tougher ones, as they see the sanctions as the only way of toppling the Islamic Republic. Some support such sanctions because in their opinion "they are better than war," ignoring the fact that crippling economic sanctions represent a war with casualties that often far exceed those of military wars. -Muhammad Sahimi - 9/18/12

Iran accuses IAEA of being exploited by terrorists
The head of Iran's Atomic Agency told an audience in Vienna that "terrorists and saboteurs" may have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency, claiming that a number of sabotage operations have taken aim at Iran's nuclear facilities. - 9/18/12

Warships gather in Persian Gulf for maneuvers
The U.S. and its allies have gathered warships in the Persian Gulf for what Washington describes as maneuvers to improve mine detection and clearance. The maneuvers come as tensions over Iran's nuclear program reach an apex. - 9/18/12

Iran into FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals
Iran basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the fourth FIBA Asia Cup basketball tournament held in Japan. On Tuesday, Iran beat host Japan 71-65 and topped the Group B by eight points. Iran has already defeated India, Qatar and Chinese Taipei in the competition. - 9/18/12

Cleric Beaten Up By 'Badly Veiled' Woman
"Ipolitely [told] her to cover herself up," said Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, an Iranian cleric in the city of Shamirzad in Semnan Province, describing a recent encounter with a woman he believed was improperly veiled. "She responded to me by saying: 'You [should] close your eyes.'" -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/18/12

Iranian activist refuses to mount defence in court
Jailed Iranian activist Mohammad Tavasoli has protested against the charged brought against him in court by refusing to defend himself in what he called an "illegal court." - 9/18/12

Iran, Canada and Some Considerations
It was quite strange that a few months ago, the Canadian government decided out of the blue to close the visa section of its embassy in Tehran followed by sudden closedown of the entire embassy in September 2012 and asking Iranian diplomats in Ottawa to leave its soil in a matter of five days. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 9/18/12

Secret Flame: new evidence of mammoth cyberspying program against Iran
When digital sleuths found Flame - a massive cyberespionage campaign targeting Iran - they were astounded. Now, it seems, Flame was just the tip of the iceberg. -Mark Clayton, CSM - 9/18/12

Questions grow over Iran's influence in Iraq
As Tariq al-Hashemi's death sentence heightens sectarian tensions in Iraq, Shiite Iran's role there is getting more attention, including a potential clerical succession struggle in Najaf. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 9/18/12

Iran's Clean-tech Gambit
Amid tightened sanctions on Iran's nuclear, oil and natural-gas industries, Tehran is looking to develop its renewable energy sector. -WSJ - 9/18/12

Imports of luxury cars into Iran up 30%
Over 15,750 luxury cars, worth around $341 million, have been imported into Iran during the first five months of the current Iranian year, which began on March 20, showing some 30 percent rise year on year. - 9/18/12

Behind Canada's closure of Tehran embassy
Mr. Baird also noted other issues with the Iranian government such as human rights violations, threatening of the existence of Israel, and sponsoring terrorism as motivating catalysts for Canada's cleaved ties with Iran. But these are all old grievances and do not justify such a surprising and dramatic decision. -Shahir ShahidSaless - 9/17/12

Photos: Fourth international sculpture symposium kicks off in Tehran
The fourth edition of International Sculpture Symposium has kicked off in the Iranian capital of Tehran presenting creations of many artists from across the globe. - 9/17/12

Iran's Jalili to meet EU's Ashton in Istanbul on Tuesday
Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council who acts as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, will hold informal talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Istanbul on Tuesday. - 9/17/12

Iranian Student Activists Sent To Jail
The Iranian judiciary has confirmed the prison sentences of Iranian student activists Kouhyar Goudarzi and Amir Garshasbi. - 9/17/12

US Leads Unprecedented War Games Exercise in Strait of Hormuz
The aggression show of force is the biggest such military exercise ever taken in the Persian Gulf, escalating tensions in an uneasy region -John Glaser, - 9/17/12

Israeli PM: Iran Just Months From Nuclear Capability, Must Be Stopped
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran is just months away from a nuclear-bomb capability, and preemptive military action is preferable to a nuclear-armed Tehran. Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to insist that existing sanctions may yet convince Iran to change course. -Michael Bowman, VOA - 9/17/12

Iran's driving accident average death toll decreases to 8.1 people per 10,000 vehicles
The average death toll per 10.000 vehicles in Iran has dropped lower than Asia's average, Iranian Traffic Police Chief Eskandar Momeni told ISNA on the sidelines of a visit to monitoring center of Rahvar Naja (Iran's traffic police) by Military attaches from 35 countries on Monday. - 9/17/12

Oil price could exceed $150: Iranian oil minister
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the real price for oil should be over $150 per barrel. "In our view, the price of oil is still low and has the potential to rise further," Qasemi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. - 9/17/12

Syria: End Opposition Use of Torture, Executions
Armed opposition groups have subjected detainees to ill-treatment and torture and committed extrajudicial or summary executions in Aleppo, Latakia, and Idlib, Human Rights Watch said today following a visit to Aleppo governorate. - 9/17/12

Buying American in Tehran: Apples, razors, Coke
The Great Satan still sells in Iran. Even after decades of diplomatic estrangement and tightening economic sanctions, American products manage to find their way into the Iranian marketplace. -AP - 9/17/12

Domestic factor in Iran decision
The decision by the Conservative government to sever diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Iranian embassy in Ottawa and expel its diplomats appears to have taken many by surprise. -Ottawa Citizen - 9/17/12

Iran to prosecute director of "blasphemous film": Official
The Monday cabinet meeting being presided by First Vice-President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi while condemning the film asserted that the government will definitely track down the director of the short online film to bring him to justice. - 9/17/12

Photos: Kermanch Traditional Wedding, North Khorasan, Iran
Various ethnic groups or people of different regions of Iran have their own traditional weddings ceremonies. The festive and colorful "Kermanch" is one such traditional wedding which is exercised in the northern parts of the province of North Khorasan. -Abutaleb Nadri, - 9/16/12

IRGC confirms presence in Syria as advisors
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps has confirmed the presence of Qods Force members in Syria, adding, however, that "this does not mean that Iran has a military presence in that country." - 9/16/12

Iran's dairy industry blames government for price hikes
The price of dairy products in Iran has gone up for the third time in recent weeks, and reports indicate that in the past three months, those prices have doubled. - 9/16/12

Iranian Films at California's Mill Valley Film Festival
"Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco" will be co-presenting the Iranian Films "Like Someone In Love" by the renowned director Abbas Kiarostami and Sinners by director Sam Gharibian -- October 8-12. - 9/16/12

Neocons Slither Back
After 9/11, the neocons captured one Republican president who was naive about the world. Now, amid contagious Arab rage sparked on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, they have captured another would-be Republican president and vice president, both jejeune about the world. -Maureen Dowd, NY Times - 9/16/12

Iran to launch biggest oil desalting plant in the Middle East
A senior Iranian oil industry official says the country is planning to launch the biggest oil desalting plant in the Middle East during next Iranian calendar year - 9/16/12

Iraq: Last Major Group Of Iranian Exiles Relocated
The United Nations has said the last major group of Iranian exiles has been relocated from their longtime base in northeast Iraq to a new site near Baghdad. - 9/16/12

Turkey agrees to re-export Iran gas to northern Europe
Ankara has given the nod to re-export Iran's natural gas to northern Europe through its soil following new gas agreements between Iran, Turkmenistan and Turkey. - 9/16/12

Iranian Foundation Boosts Bounty For Rushdie
Iranian media are reporting that an Islamic foundation has increased a bounty being offered for the death of British writer Salman Rushdie. - 9/16/12

Jailed Iranian Activist Moved to Quarantine
Iranian human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been transferred to the quarantine section of Tabriz Prison following his arrest at the volunteer aid camp for earthquake victims in Eastern Azerbaijan province. - 9/15/12

Iran, Germany sign academic MOU
Iran's Science, Research and Technology Ministry and the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst -- DAAD) have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to expand academic relations. - 9/15/12

Experts Assess Lessons Learned and Path Forward for Iran Talks
The question placed before Michael Adler, Monica Herz, Mustafa Kibaroglu and Trita Parsi at the Wilson International Center for Scholars, "Will the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran yield better results than past efforts?" is laced with disappointment. -Dylan Zehr, NIAC - 9/15/12

Details Slowly Emerging on Controversial Filmmaker
Details are slowly emerging about the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim film that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. The film's producer is thought to be an Egyptian immigrant with a checkered background. - 9/15/12

U.S. extends waivers on Iran sanctions for Japan, 10 EU nations
The United States has renewed waivers on Iran sanctions for Japan and 10 European countries, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Friday. - 9/15/12

Man Allegedly Behind Anti-Islam Film Slams Protesters
Several news organizations have linked the inflammatory film, titled "The Innocence of Muslims," to Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Coptic Christian who lives in California and recently served a prison sentence for bank fraud. - 9/15/12

'Iran still second biggest producer in OPEC': Official
Iran is still the second biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi stated. - 9/15/12

Leave No Iranian Child Behind: From Gender Gap to Gender Panic
As young women's presence in higher education grows, so does ideological backlash. -Shervin Malekzadeh, Tehran Bureau - 9/15/12

Bipartisan Expert Group: Iran Attack Risks 'All-Out Regional War' Lasting 'Several Years'
A bipartisan group of former U.S. diplomats, generals and government officials released a report today urging caution against the United States launching military strikes on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. -Ben Armbruster, Think Progress - 9/14/12

Video Riots, The Freedom Of Speech, Or, Is There More To It?
There are clearly two dimensions to the events that are currently unfolding in the Islamic world, triggered by the freelance video production, Innocence of Muslims, which is a deliberate insult to Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam. -Kam Zarrabi - 9/14/12

We Must Make a Moral Stand Against any British Involvement in an Attack on Iran
If reports in yesterday's Daily Mail are to be believed, Sir John Sawers was forced to make a special secret trip two weeks ago to Israel in a desperate bid to prevent this country from carrying out its most recent threats to launch a unilateral strike against Iran's nuclear targets. -Abbas Edalat - 9/14/12

Tensions Rising Again Over Iran's Nuclear Program
Tensions are again rising in the Persian Gulf over Iran's nuclear program as the U.S. moves additional ships and warplanes to the region as negotiations that could avert a possible military confrontation remain stalled. -Meredith Buel, VOA - 9/14/12

Sick Of Sanctions
America might one day soon wake up to find it's lost the Iranian people. Recent developments point to a shift in the balance of anger among Iranians-a shift that likely will be detrimental to America's interests. -Trita Parsi, Daily Beast - 9/14/12

Russia, China offer alternative to sanctions on Iran
Russia has once again rejected severe sanctions on Iran, offering instead a joint resolution with China that the International Atomic Energy Agency can consider for approval. - 9/14/12

Iran says IAEA resolution is counterproductive
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted a resolution against Iran on Thursday for what it claimed Tehran's failure to quell concerns about its nuclear program. - 9/14/12

Iran's Supreme Leader condemns controversial film
Iran's Supreme Leader has issued a statement condemning the distribution of the "anti-Islamic" film Innocence of Muslims and accusing the United States and Israel of being chiefly responsible for its production and dissemination. - 9/14/12

Nuclear Strike On Iran Needed To Take Out Facilities: Report
A DC think tank report suggests nuclear strikes are required to take out Iran's underground facilities because conventional weapons are incapable of doing so. -Alexander Higgins - 9/14/12

Video: Iran's Nuclear Program
Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian discussed diplomatic struggles between Iran and the international community, particularly in regards to Iran's nuclear program. Iran's nuclear program has remained a primary force of friction between Iran and other countries, particularly the U.S. and its allies. -Common Wealth Club, San Francisco - 9/14/12

Iran's oil exports increase: IEA
The International Energy Agency has said crude oil imports from Iran have increased despite Western sanctions imposed on the country, the UPI reported on Thursday. - 9/14/12

Is The Tide Shifting?: Are We Witnessing A Sea Change In US/Iran Relations?
President Obama knows what the Israeli leadership wants, and so does the Israeli leadership: It is not a war with Iran, alone or with American support. A war with Iran would not serve anyone's purpose or best interests. - 9/13/12

The Skin That Burns: A documentary about chemical warfare in Iran
As war drums beat for a war on Iran, a new documentary gives an intimate look at the long-term effects of war on society. The Skin That Burns, shot in four cities in Iran in 2011 and 2012, is directed by Narges Bajoghli, with Executive Producers Marco Williams and Ramin Bajoghli and Producers Cheryl Furjanic and Noelle Stout. - 9/13/12

Football: Iran suffers its first ever defeat against Lebanon
Iran has suffered its first ever defeat against Lebanon during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, shocking Iranian fans by one of the most awful results in Iran's football history. The match was held at Beirut's Sports City Stadium on Tuesday. - 9/13/12

Overt and covert hands in Iran's foreign currency market
The results of an opinion poll on the opposition website "Jaras" indicate that 95 percent expect the rial to keep falling against the dollar. These expectations, together with market reactions to the statements and control policies of government officials, are lending more and more substance to rumours of the dollar trading at 30,000 rials. - 9/13/12

International Focus Can Lead to Release of Prisoners of Conscience
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran welcomed the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and said that cross-regional international attention from UN mechanisms, media, governments, and civil society and human rights organizations to the dire situation of human rights in Iran can indeed bring positive results. - 9/13/12

Iranian Film Wins Top Prize At Kazan Muslim Festival
A movie by an Iranian director has won the top prize at the Eighth International Festival of Muslim Cinema in the capital of Russia's Tatarstan Republic, Kazan. "A Cube of Sugar" by director Reza Mirkarimi is about a family and the issues it faces as it prepares for a wedding. - 9/13/12

Enter Bibi
President Obama will not yield to this pressure, nor should he-and every American should know the implications of what Netanyahu and his American neoconservative allies, including Mitt Romney, are proposing. -Joe Klein, TIME Swampland - 9/13/12

Iranian Reformists Should Participate In Election: Khatami
Former Iranian president and prominent reformist Mohammad Khatami says he wants reformists to participate in the coming presidential election. "Participating in the election is a right, and we will make every effort to ensure this right is not taken from anyone," the former president's website quotes him as saying. - 9/13/12

In Canada's Iranian community, confusion reigns over diplomatic row
It is outside of Iran, in cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, where Canada's decision to close its embassy is echoing most loudly, as thousands of Iranian expatriates discuss the diplomatic row. -Globe and Mail - 9/13/12

U.S. says sanctions slashed Iran's oil revenues
The U.S. Treasury says American economic sanctions against Iran have drastically reduced the country's oil exports and revenue. - 9/13/12

European Lenders Keep Ties to Iran
At least several European banks that vowed to stop doing business with Iran have kept handling billions of euros in transactions for Iranian entities and foreign companies with operations there, a review of regulatory filings and other documents by The Wall Street Journal shows. -WSJ - 9/13/12

Cutting diplomatic ties with Iran is knee-jerk and hypocritical
Last week's decision by the Harper government to break diplomatic ties with Iran was a knee-jerk, hypocritical decision that looks like a sop to "Israel-first, Canada-later" voters in swing ridings. -Gus Van Harten (Law Professor),Hamilton Spectator - 9/13/12

Iran weighs reform to stem currency crisis
Iran is hoping that radical reform of its currency market will help to stabilise the rial, which has been badly battered by Western economic sanctions, speculators and inconsistent government policy -Reuters - 9/13/12

Poll Shows Overwhelming US Opposition to Attacking Iran
A new poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows an overwhelming opposition to the idea of attacking Iran among American voters, with 70 percent saying they are opposed to the idea of a unilateral US attack on Iran. -Jason Ditz, - 9/12/12

Iranians Still Debating Nuclear Referendum
Prominent journalist and intellectual Saeed Hajarian, known as the chief theoretician of Iran's reform movement, has said that he is opposed to the idea of holding a vote on the fate of his country's nuclear program. - 9/12/12

Iranian officials meet to remedy currency fall
The leaders of Iran's three branches of government met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss the critical decline in the value of the national currency. - 9/12/12

Netanyahu Steps Up Israeli Threats Against Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up threats to attack Iran over its nuclear program, which he says is being used to develop nuclear weapons. He says if the international community is not willing to act against Iran, it should not demand that Israel hold its fire. - 9/12/12

Iranian official calls for open elections
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council and a seasoned Islamic Republic politician, says "free and open elections would solve many of the current problems of the country." - 9/12/12

Spy Arrests Raise Turkish-Iran Tensions
The recent arrest by Turkey's security forces of nine people accused of spying for Iran has increased tensions between the former close allies. Bilateral relations have soured over the two countries' support of opposing sides in the Syrian conflict. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 9/12/12

Iranian judge praises public punishments for some convicts
The head of the Tehran Criminal Court says sentences issued for armed robbers, rapists and those who cause public disorder must be carried out in public for the good of society. - 9/12/12

U.S. President Barack Obama Avoids Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Meeting
In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally, the White House said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama would not meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a U.S. visit later this month, as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program. -Reuters - 9/12/12

Iran, the Left and the Non-Aligned Movement: A Guide for the Perplexed
The bafflement about Iran so widespread on the Left has a long history. It's a problem that has vexed several progressives - Bitta Mostofi, Hamid Dabashi, Muhammad Sahimi, Reese Erlich, Saeed Rahnema, and myself among them. -Danny Postel, truth-out - 9/12/12

Iran, Egypt holding oil negotiations: minister
Iran's Oil Minister has announced that Tehran is negotiating potential oil deals with Cairo. Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi told ISNA: "We are negotiating with Egypt over the sale of petroleum," but he did not provide any further details. - 9/12/12

The long hike from an Iranian prison to home
Two years ago, Sarah Shourd, her then-fiance and their friend were arrested and imprisoned in Iran. Now she's telling her story. -LA Times - 9/12/12

Closing of Iranian Embassy in Canada: Why we should not be surprised
Many of my academic friends outside of Canada have been asking about what has been happening in Canada. And all the protests and the terrorist attach in Quebec? And now why the Iranian Embassy in Canada has been closed? -Roksana Bahrmaitash - 9/11/12

Rights Charter Attempts To Unify Iranians
Inspired by Czechoslovakia's renowned Charter 77, a group of Iranian intellectuals have penned a new document that aims to unite the Iranian people around a common human rights and civic agenda. -Golnaz Esfandiari, Kambiz Tavana, RFE - 9/11/12

Iran celebrates registration of Qabus Tower on UNESCO list
The registration of Iran's Qabus Tower, the world's tallest tower made of bricks, on UNESCO's World Heritage List was celebrated in a ceremony in the town of Gonbad-e Kavus in Golestan Province on Sunday. - 9/11/12

Tehran Symphony Orchestra to play for peace to mark Iran-Iraq war anniversary
The Tehran Symphony Orchestra plans to mark the anniversary of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war by performing two concerts for peace. - 9/11/12

Iran sets conditions for agreement with IAEA
The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that two conditions should be met before an agreement can be reached between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog for further investigation into the country's nuclear activities. - 9/11/12

Israeli Defence Minister Rumoured Cooling on Attacking Iran
According to local press, the Israeli leadership has been "climbing down from the tree" this week with a distinct change in tone from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding attacking Iran. -TRNN - 9/11/12

U.S. "not setting deadlines" for Iran: Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton announced today that the United States is "not setting deadlines" for Iran and still believes that negotiations are the best approach to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. - 9/11/12

Jailed Iranian Journalist On Hunger Strike
Issa Saharkhiz, an Iranian journalist who was returned to jail part way through his medical treatment in hospital, is refusing food and medication until the authorities heed his demands. - 9/11/12

U.S. Welcomes Release of Iranian Pastor
The United States welcomes reports that Iranian authorities have released Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and finally allowed him to reunite with his family. - 9/11/12

Slick Iranian move puts U.S. in precarious place
Iran made a sophisticated move in its nuclear program between mid-December and mid-August. It converted almost half its stock of its most dangerous 20 percent enriched uranium into a "peaceful" form that cannot be used for a nuclear weapon. -Walter Pincus, Washington Post - 9/11/12

Large oil storage facility to come on stream in southeast Iran soon
Iran will inaugurate one of the largest oil storage facilities with the capacity of 345 million liters within the next month, an official with the National Iranian Oil Production and Distribution Company said. - 9/11/12

The Dilemma of U.S.-Iran Relations
Iran is the land of my birth and the University of Virginia has been my intellectual home for 60 years. In all these decades at my beloved institution, I have tried to help advance a better understanding of Iran's foreign policy, especially its relations with the United States. -R.K. Ramazani - 9/10/12

Photos: Iran volleyball makes it to World League
Iran secured an historic spot in the 2013 FIVB World League after defeating Japan 3-0 in Tehran on Sunday in the second leg of a two-match qualification series. - 9/10/12

Iranian currency falls once again: 2600 Tomans for 1 Dollar
Iranian currency has fallen against the dollar for the fourth consecutive time and was traded today, September 10, at more that 26,000 rials per dollar. - 9/10/12

Shahnameh Festival 2012 at UCI and Irvine Barclay Theatre
Farhang Foundation and the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at UC Irvine will be hosting a festival dedicated to the Shahnameh ("Book of Kings" - National Epic of Iran) written by Ferdowsi (c. 940 - 1020 CE), taking place on October 6, 2012. - 9/10/12

Iran's Paralympians win 10 golds
Iran won 10 gold medals, 7 silvers, and 7 bronze medals, at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which was the country's best showing ever at the Paralympics. - 9/10/12

Sanctions punish Iran's most vulnerable
While the Iranian government refuses to waver on the issue of its nuclear development, U.S. sanctions continue to get broader and more unwieldy. -Joseph Chmielewski - 9/10/12

IAEA Chief Urges Access To Iranian Military Site
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in his Introductory Statement to IAEA Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria today, demanded access to Parchin military site "to obtain the required clarifications." - 9/10/12

Iran: Student Activist Arrested in Esfahan
Iranian student activist Rashid Esmaili has been arrested by security forces in Esfahan. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Esmaili, an executive member of the student group Tahkim-e Vahdat, was arrested on Saturday September 8 without an arrest warrant. - 9/10/12

Iranian journalist temporarily released after 3 years
Jailed Iranian journalist Massoud Bastani has been given a furlough for the first time in three years. The Kaleme website reports that Bastani was released on Sunday, but the authorities have refused to give a similar temporary release to his wife, Mahsa Amrabadi, another jailed journalist. - 9/10/12

Split with Iran stokes diaspora's fear, draws Israel's praise
Israel on Sunday applauded the Harper government's suspension of diplomatic ties with Iran, while the abrupt move has left Canada's large Iranian expatriate community torn between anxiety and guarded hope. -Globe and Mail - 9/10/12

Iranian Currency Hits Record Low: 2443 Tomans for 1 Dollar
The Iranian currency hit a record low on September 9 with street traders offering the dollar at 24,430 rials. According to ISNA, only yesterday the rate was at 22,280 rials to a dollar. - 9/9/12

Iran volleyball gets silver in Paralympics
The Iranian squad accepted defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday getting the silver of the men's Sitting Volleyball competition at 2012 Paralympics in London. - 9/9/12

Iran inaugurates key interbasin water transfer project
The largest water transfer tunnel in Iran, carrying water from Dez River in the southwest to Qomroud River in the center, was officially inaugurated on Saturday. - 9/9/12

Iran: Larijani Attacks UN Mechanisms, Calls Shaheed "Irrelevant"
Shortly after Ban Ki-moon left Tehran, Iranian Human Rights Council head Mohammad Javad Larijani criticized the UN's human rights mechanisms publicly, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, on Iran's State TV. - 9/9/12

Monika Jalili Celebrates Songs of Iran
Although Monika Jalili had spent her life singing, she found the music that would become her life's work on a cassette in her father-in-law's car. Driving home from the airport after she arrived for a visit, he asked her to listen to a tape. "He said, 'Monika, I'm going to play this song for you. I think it's a song you're going to love and a song you're going to sing.'" -Mark Trainer - 9/9/12

Iranian pastor acquitted, released from jail
Iranian authorities have released Yousef Nadarkhani, the Christian-convert pastor who previously had been sentenced to death on a charge of apostasy. Reports from Tehran indicate that Nadarkhani was acquitted of all charges against him today in a court that was ordered into session by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. - 9/9/12

Iran's Presidential Elections: Does Rafsanjani Hold the Key?
With less than a year left to Iran's next presidential elections, veteran politician Hashemi Rafsanjani who today holds the leadership of the State Expediency Council has turned into a key election figure to the point that a news site has even conducted a poll about the chances of his participation in the next presidential race or that of one of his allies, former Majlis Speaker Nategh Nouri. -Mahnaz Malekuti - 9/9/12

Iran's private sector exports 1st oil consignment
Iran's first private section consignment of crude oil has been exported not by the private section consortium but directly by an independent private firm. - 9/9/12

Iran: Canada a threat to International security and stability
The Islamic Republic of Iran calling Canada a threat for the international security said the government of Canada has had to take a "hasty" action to overshadow Iran's success in the NAM summit. - 9/9/12

New Burdens for Iranian Students Seeking to Study in U.S.
A provision in the latest sanctions bill, signed into law this past August, would ban visas for Iranian students seeking to study a field that will prepare them "for a career in the energy sector of Iran or in nuclear science or nuclear engineering or a related field in Iran," as determined by the Secretary of State. - 9/8/12

Iran's discus thrower Hardani wins Paralymic gold medal
Iran's Javad Hardani claimed the gold medal in the Men's Discus Throw F37/38 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Olympic Park Stadium on Feiday. - 9/8/12

PAAIA Issues Response to Criticism of "Iran Sanctions Report"
On September 4, 2012, Mr. Ali Moayedian posted an editorial on titled "Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?" Among other things, in it Mr. Moayedian charges that "PAAIA, an Iranian-American group, has all but accepted, and seems is advocating, a military attack on Iran as the natural next step after sanctions." - 9/8/12

Iran fires back as Canada cuts diplomatic ties
Israel is a major ally of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conservative government, and since the conservatives took power in Canada, Iranian-Canadian relations have progressively declined. - 9/8/12

EU wants more sanctions on Iran
Britain, France and Germany have called for a new round of sanctions on Iran in connection with the country's nuclear program. - 9/8/12

Iran, NAM, and the world order
Given the NAM's political and economic orientation and the movement's magnitude, the NAM's summit could not be ignored by the US - especially this time since the gathering was hosted by Iran. But why were the US and Israel trying so hard to discourage members of the NAM from attending the event? -Shahir ShahidSaless - 9/8/12

Vali Nasr is among the 50 most powerful Democrats on US foreign policy
An Iranian immigrant, Nasr's family lost everything in the 1979 revolution and fled to the United States, where Nasr has become a leading advocate of a more thoroughgoing engagement with Iran. - 9/8/12

"Days of Life" named best film at New Horizon
"Days of Life", an Iranian film war drama, was crowned the best feature at the closing ceremony of the first edition of the Iranian international festival of independent filmmakers, New Horizon, at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Friday. - 9/8/12

Demystifying Democracy: The Seven Ingredients of Influence
A non-partisan workshop at U.C. Hastings (San Francisco) to build Iranian-American influence in America: Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 10 AM to 2 PM - 9/8/12

In Iran, Isfahanis shrug off risk of attack
Isfahan is home to several thousand historic monuments, many of which UNESCO recognizes as world heritage sites. The central Iranian city is also the site of one of the country's nuclear installations. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Washington Post - 9/8/12

Russia says U.S. sanctions hurting its interests
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says U.S. sanctions against Syria and Iran are damaging Russian economic interests. - 9/8/12

At the NAM Summit in Tehran, 'It's the Economy, Stupid!'
With the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit in the books, Iran has finished hosting its largest international conference in over three decades. Iranian officials sought to make a case that it is not the "international community" that has problems with the Islamic Republic, but rather a U.S.-led "coalition of the willing" that is held together through pressure. -Reza Marashi, Huffington Post - 9/8/12

Mr. Sadjadpour - why don't you do chemotherapy on yourself?
In the many years since my father went ill and I've commuted between Kerman and California, I have seen not only the toll of cancer and alzheimers on my father, but also the toll of repression and sanctions on my homeland. -Kazem Soltani, Kerman, Iran - 9/7/12

Canada Closes Embassy in Iran, Expels Iranian Diplomats from Canada
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement: "Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada. - 9/7/12

Exhibition: Homa Arkani's "Share Me"
These images of young girls who have so thoroughly immersed in their fantastic world demonstrate the crisis of identity amongst the middle-class new generation of Iranian women. As one treads a path among these flamboyant features one easily identifies them as stereotypical adolescent city girl in today Iran... - 9/7/12

Making Iran Into Enemy Number One
It was in 1987, 25 years ago, that Yitzhak Rabin, the late PM of Israel said, "Iran is Israel's best friend and we do not intend to change our position in relation to Tehran, because Khomeini's regime will not last forever." Things have changed quite a bit since then. -Fariba Amini - 9/7/12

Photos: Iran powerlifter becomes Paralympic strongest man
Iran's Siamand Rahman took the gold medal in the Men's +100 kilograms category of powerlifting and became the strongest man of the Paralympics. - 9/7/12

Photos: The Historic Haroon Prison in Shahr-e-Rey, Iran
Locally called Zindan-e Harun, this two story historical structure 12 km from the Tehran-Mashhad road at the foot of Mesgar Abad mountains, consists of a rectangular construction built with rough-hewn dark-colored stones and plaster mortar, and has a brick ceiling. -Rouhollah Yazdani - 9/7/12

Iran, Israel and the West: Is There a Way Out of the Crisis?
Possible alternatives and the perception of the spiral of violence discussed in Berlin by German-Iranian political scientist Ali Fathollah-Nejad and Israeli journalist and peace activist Hillel Schenker at the invitation of German branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW Germany) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). - 9/7/12

Banned from making their mark
In practically any other country of the world, a teenage chess champion, a national judo standout and a talented pianist would be valued as contributors to their society. In the example of three young Iranians, however, being members of the Baha'i Faith has meant a ban on competing and performing at the highest levels. - 9/7/12

Rights group slams imprisonment of journalists in Iran
Reporters Without Borders has condemned the incarceration of Iranian journalist and women's rights activist Jila Bani-Yaghoub, who began a one-year sentence at Evin Prison on September 2. - 9/7/12

Russia: No sign Iran developing atomic arms, report
Russia says it has found no evidence showing that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, defying a recent IAEA report on Iran which alleged that the country has expanded its atomic work despite outside pressures. - 9/7/12

Golshifteh Farahani: 'Exile from Iran is like death'
She was Iran's biggest film star. But when she bared her breast in a French video, she was banished from the country and became a lightning rod for the divisions in Iranian society - Fiachra Gibbons, Guardian - 9/7/12

Iran's next presidential election set for June 14, 2013
This will be the first presidential election since the controversial election of 2009, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory triggered widespread allegations of vote fraud and mass street protests. - 9/7/12

Iran's Ahmadinejad Accused Of Planning Putin-Style Power Grab
A recent comment by Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has revived speculation about his political future. During a live interview on September 4 with Iranian state television, Ahmadinejad appeared to suggest that he might remain in power beyond the end of his term. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/6/12

PAAIA Responds to Criticism of "Sanction Report"
"We categorically and unequivocally reject your allegation that PAAIA seeks military action against Iran. This assertion is unfounded, sensationalist, and, in no way, supported by the content of the Report." - 9/6/12

Fowler Museum to present major exhibition on history of Iranian Jews
Since ancient times, Iran has been a mosaic of ethnicities, religions, cultures and languages. "Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews," on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA from Oct. 21 through March 10, 2013, tells the rich and complex history of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities, which dates back nearly 3,000 years, since the first Jews exiled from Jerusalem to Babylonia settled in the Persian sphere. - 9/6/12

Iranian oil selling at $115 on European markets
European buyers purchased Iran's light crude at $115.70 per barrel on Monday, according to the National Iranian Oil Company. Iranian light crude was also sold at $113.40 per barrel on Asian markets, a NIOC report said. - 9/6/12

Detained Iranian Aid Workers Moved to Evin Prison
Five volunteers who were arrested at the independent relief camps set up in northwestern Iran to deliver aid to victims of last month's deadly earthquake have been transferred to Evin Prison in Tehran. - 9/6/12

Six consecutive quakes hit Iran's Fars and Hormuzgan provinces
Six consecutive earthquakes jolted Ahal and Jenah and their vicinities on the borderlines between Fars and Hormuzgan provinces within three hours Thursday morning. - 9/6/12

Turkmenistan Holds First-Ever Military Maneuvers In Caspian Sea
Turkmenistan has held its first naval drills on the Caspian Sea amid a dispute with Azerbaijan over ownership of a section of the sea believed to hold lucrative energy reserves. - 9/6/12

Bridal Gown Designer Sareh Nouri on Her Love of Art and Inspirations
Born into a family of painters and artists, bridal gown designer Sareh Nouri began to delve into the world of art from a very young age. In Tehran, she spent a good part of her childhood studying with renowned Iranian painter Abbas Katouzian -Roshanak Taghavi, Huffington Post - 9/6/12

Iran, Azerbaijan ease tensions
One day after Iran released two detained Azerbaijani citizens in Iran, Baku announced the release of a reporter for the Azeri network "Sahar" linked to Iran's broadcasting network Seda Va Sima. - 9/6/12

Leak Prompts Netanyahu to Cancel Security Cabinet Meeting on Iran Issue
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly canceled a meeting of his security cabinet on Wednesday, saying information was leaked from the highly confidential deliberations, a security failure that could undermine his efforts to project a unified front to the West about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program. -NY Times - 9/6/12

An Israeli strike won't delay Iran's nuclear weapons program. It will start it.
In spite of the hype, there is no definitive evidence Iran is working to develop a nuclear weapon. A new study suggests that the one thing that could launch an Iranian drive to weaponize, however, would be an Israeli strike. -Yousaf Butt, CSM - 9/6/12

Despite delays, China seeks full Iran oil volume for third month: sources
For the third month in a row, China has nominated full contract volumes of Iranian crude for September, but refineries have begun to complain about delays in oil deliveries posing a problem, trading sources said. -Reuters - 9/6/12

Putin Defies West, Maintains Syria Stance
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is not ready to shift its stance on supporting the Syrian government, and suggested Western nations are using militant groups such as al-Qaida to help drive Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. - 9/6/12

U.S. Presses Iraq on Iranian Planes Thought to Carry Arms to Syria
The State Department said Wednesday that Iraq has an obligation under United Nations Security Council resolutions to insist that Iranian planes that are suspected of flying arms to Syria over Iraqi airspace land so the cargo can be inspected. -NY Times - 9/6/12

Russian firm to halt Iran ship work as pressure grows
A Russian firm has decided to stop verifying safety and environmental standards for one of Iran's biggest shipping groups, a letter showed, the latest international company wary of being caught up in Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic. -Reuters - 9/6/12

Obama Needs A Game-Changer On Iran
This was one of the most memorable lines from Barack Obama's 2008 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention: "...the greatest risk we can take is to try the same, old politics with the same, old players and expect a different result." -Marsha B. Cohen - 9/5/12

Iran's Nasiri wins Paralympics gold in 1,500 meters
Peyman Nasiri of Iran seized the gold medal of the Men's 1,500m T20 final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The Iranian crossed the line with a time of 3:58:49 at the Olympic Stadium in London. - 9/5/12

Majid Farzin wins Iran's 10th medal at 2012 Paralympic Games
Iranian athlete Majid Farzin has won the gold medal of the Men's -82.5-kilogram category of the powerlifting competition of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. - 9/5/12

In Iran, sanctions take toll on the sick
The tightening of U.S. banking sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program has had an impact on all sectors of the economy but is increasingly hitting vulnerable medical patients as deliveries of medicine and raw materials for Iranian pharmaceutical companies are either stopped or delayed, according to medical experts. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Washington Post - 9/5/12

Iran may determine the fate of the US elections, again
Whether or not the story of "October Surprise" was real, it can be said with certainty that the Iran factor determined the outcome of 1980 US presidential elections. Fast-forward thirty years, Iran is again in a position to play a decisive role in determining the fate of US presidential elections. This time, however, with the help of a third party, that is, Israel. The Iran-Israel conflict may impact US elections in two ways. -Shahir ShahidSaless - 9/5/12

Mir Hossein Musavi 'Is Fine'
Iranian Judiciary spokesman Mohseni Ejei was quoted as saying that "[Mir Hossein Musavi's] health is fine" at a September 3 press briefing with reporters. Ejei was responding to a question about the condition of Iran's leading opposition leader and former prime minister, who was last month treated at a coronary-care unit of a Tehran hospital reportedly after his blood vessels became blocked. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/5/12

Iran's forex bourse to come on stream by September 21
U.S. dollar, euro, and pound were traded at 21,830 rials, 27,600 rials, and 34,900 rials in Iran's unofficial market on Tuesday, compared with official rates of 12,260 rials, 15,513 rials, and 19,552 rials, respectively. - 9/5/12

Inflation rate rises to 23.5% in Iran
Inflation rate in Iran hit rose by 0.6 percent in the fifth calendar month of Mordad, which ended on August 21, reaching 23.5 percent, the Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday. - 9/5/12

Bardia Taherpur in Danger of Deportation from Holland to Iran
PDN - The Persian dissident Mojtaba (Bardia) Taherpur is in danger of deportation from Holland to Iran. He told "Persian Dutch Network" today, September 4th, that the Dutch Immigration Office has rejected his asylum request. - 9/5/12

Iran Releases Azerbaijani Poets Accused Of Spying
Iran has released two Azerbaijani poets who were arrested in May for alleged espionage. According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the poets were handed over to Azerbaijan's consulate in the Iranian city of Tabriz on September 4. - 9/5/12

Deal with the "Devil", Invest in Iranian Renewable Energy
Why are we even talking about Iran's nuclear program when renewable energy offers a clear way out of this conundrum? If we can remove bad politics from the equation for a moment and get back to business as usual, energy diplomacy with Iran could render the nuclear question irrelevant altogether. - 9/5/12

Iran Aims to Patrol Warships Off US Coast in Coming Years
These threats are less a statement of policy and more a rhetorical tool to give the US a taste of its own medicine -John Glaser, Antiwar - 9/5/12

Iran's president says Western oil, banking sanctions are 'all-out war'
The West has launched an "all-out ... war" against Iran by imposing oil and banking sanctions on his country, Iran's president charged Tuesday. - 9/5/12

Iran's Zahra Nemati wins archery gold at 2012 Paralympics
Recurve Archer Zahra Nemati won the gold medal in women's individual W1/W2 class event at 2012 London Paralympics. She defeated Elisabetta Mijno of Italy 7-3 in the final to claim the gold. - 9/4/12

Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)'s Iran Sanction Report" came out last week, and I was hoping to see an "objective and balanced information and analysis" as promised by PAAIA. However, I found the report anything but objective or balanced. In fact, I found it quite the opposite, that is biased and toeing the Necon's line. -Ali Moayedian - 9/4/12

Hosseini wins gold for Iran at 2012 Paralympics
Iranian athlete Ali Hosseini has won the gold medal of the Men's 75-kilogram category of the powerlifting competition of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. - 9/4/12

Culture Ministry to reconsider Iranian film presence abroad
The Fars news agency reports that Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseiny delivered a speech yesterday at Sanaati Sharif University, saying: "We must reconsider our presence in international festivals; we have arranged matters so that films that depict a false view of Iran and Iranians do not find their way into festivals." - 9/4/12

Secular Professors Not Wanted: Iranian Minister
The Etemad daily reported on Tuesday that Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo says: "Universities are where human power is trained proportionate to revolutionary values and ideals." Therefore, secular professors cannot teach at universities. - 9/4/12

Israeli attack on Iran 'would not stop nuclear programme'
An Israeli attack on Iran would delay but probably not stop its nuclear programme, the most senior US military officer has claimed. General Martin Dempsey reinforced Washington's opposition to unilateral Israel military action as he made clear that US military chiefs were equally wary of getting ensnared in Syria. -Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian - 9/4/12

Iran Launches 1st Phase of National Internet Network
Iran announced that it has already started implementing the first phase of a national internet network. "So far, the first phase of the National Information Network that is partitioning the network has been put into action in 28 provinces," Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Reza Taqipour said - 9/4/12

Foreign investment in Iran rises 141% in 4 years
Foreign investment in Iran amounted to $4.37 billion in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19), which is a 141 percent rise compared to four years ago, the director of the Organization for Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran said on Monday. - 9/4/12

Twenty reasons not to attack Iran
Although I believe it would be idiotic for any country to wage war with Iran, one cannot rule out the possibility. Here are 20 reasons why a military attack on Iran is a bad idea: - Hossein Mousavian, Reuters - 9/4/12

What about Israel's nuclear weapons?
Readers periodically ask me some variation on this question: "Why does the press follow every jot and tittle of Iran's nuclear program, but we never see any stories about Israel's nuclear weapons capability?" It's a fair question. Going back 10 years into Post archives, I could not find any in-depth reporting on Israeli nuclear capabilities... - Patrick B. Pexton, Washington Post - 9/4/12

Iranian paralympian refuses to shake Kate Middleton's hand due to 'cultural and religion reasons'
Iranian Mehrdad Karam Zadeh put his hands to his chest and bowed, instead, as he is not permitted to touch the hand of a woman who is not a relative. Kate was reportedly not shaken, but rather stirred - and 'happy to accept his wishes.' She had been aware of his cultural and religious restrictions ahead of time. -NY Daily - 9/4/12

Israeli officials play down report of Iran-U.S. deal
Israeli officials played down a report in an Israeli newspaper on Monday that accused Washington of secretly negotiating with Tehran to keep the United States out of a future Israel-Iran war. -Reuters - 9/4/12

Photos: The Winds of Sistan
Sistan o Baluchestan is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Sistan is subject to seasonal winds from different directions, the most important of which are the 120-day wind of Sistan known as Levar, the Qousse wind, the seventh (Gav-kosh) wind, the Nambi or south wind, the Hooshak wind, the humid and seasonal winds of the Indian Ocean, the North or (Gurich) wind and the western (Gard) wind. -Ali Deregi - 9/3/12

Challenges Facing Tehran
There is no doubt that the Iranian leaders are feeling the heat on all fronts. On the nuclear front the negotiations have practically stagnated, which can be translated to no sanctions lifting and hence no relief for the severely ailing economy. On the Syrian front Tehran and Hezbollah of Lebanon are the only solo ideological defenders of the falling Assad regime and just recently commended their "axis of resistance" with Syria. Upon his fall, Iran will lose a very important regional stronghold. -Vesta Monitor - 9/3/12

Iranian discus thrower Karamzadeh claims Paralympics silver medal
Mehrdad Karamzadeh of Iran claimed a silver medal in the F42 discus final on Sunday. Karamzadeh finished at second place, managing 44.62m with his final effort. - 9/3/12

Iran to hold major air defense exercise in October
Iran says it has planned a major air defense exercise for the second half of October. Air defense commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said in a press conference on Monday all military units will take part in the exercise. - 9/3/12

Any strike on Iran will endanger Israel's future: Winograd
Former Supreme Court judge Eliyahu Winograd leveled harsh criticism at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's assessment of Israeli casualties in the event of war with Iran, saying, "No more than 500 killed? How do you know? Did you already count? - 9/3/12

Britain's Ex-PM Blair Rejects Tutu's Charge On Iraq War
Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected a call by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu that he and former U.S. President George W. Bush should go on trial for starting the war in Iraq. He also said that Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush "have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand - with the specter of Syria and Iran before us." - 9/3/12

Iran wants to to see IAEA proof
Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency says the delays in the nuclear talks have been caused by the agency's failure to provide evidence that points to any suspicion regarding Iran's nuclear program. - 9/3/12

Iran, North Korea sign scientific agreement
Iran and North Korea have signed a scientific and technological cooperation agreement. The agreement was signed by Iranian Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun in Tehran on Saturday. - 9/3/12

To Calm Israel, U.S. Offers Ways to Restrain Iran
With Israel openly debating whether to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming months, the Obama administration is moving ahead with a range of steps short of war that it hopes will forestall an Israeli attack, while forcing the Iranians to take more seriously negotiations that are all but stalemated. -NY Times - 9/3/12

Important Anouncement about New Appointment System for Non-immigrant Visas for Residents of Iran
Iranians seeking a non-immigrant visa require an appointment. Our interviewing capacity for Iranian applicants is limited, so appointments are not always readily available. Individuals are able to make their own appointments and the use of a travel agent is not necessary. - 9/2/12

More medals for Iranian Paralympic athletes
Iran has so far won three gold medals and one bronze in the 14th Paralympic Games in London and is now ranked 13th. On Saturday, Nader Moradi won the gold medal in weightlifting, raising 196 kg, and later that night Mohsen Kaedi nabbed another gold medal for Iran in athletics in the Men's Javelin throw. - 9/2/12

From Security Charges to Moldy Bread: Details of Earthquake Camp Raid and Arrests
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki provided details about the raid on the earthquake relief camp and the brutal arrests of volunteers, including verbal and physical abuse. - 9/2/12

Iranian Journalist Begins Jail Term
Prominent Iranian journalist Jila Bani-Yaghoub has begun her one-year jail term at Evin Prison. The Kaleme opposition website reports that Ban-Yaghoub, a prominent Iranian journalist and women's rights activist, returned to Evin Prison on Sunday September 2 to serve out a one-year sentence. - 9/2/12

Iran suspends major gas deal with China
Iran has temporarily cancelled a major gas deal with China due to the lack of financing power by the Chinese side, the Mehr news agency reported. In March 2009, Iran LNG Company signed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal worth 2.6 billion euros with a Chinese consortium. - 9/2/12

Momeni Foundation announces 2012 scholarship recipients
It is with great pleasure and honor to introduce our scholarship recipients for the year 2012. The following 16 individuals have been selected from a large pool of applicants. Their outstanding achievements, volunteerism and sense of community is impressive. - 9/2/12

Iranian Bush Crash Kills 19 in Kazeroun, Iran
Nineteen people have been killed in southern Iran after the bus they were traveling in struck a rock and flipped over. The state news agency IRNA reported the accident took place some 50 kilometers west of the city of Shiraz in the early hours of the morning. - 9/2/12

Oil minister: Iran mulls building small refineries in some African states
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the country is considering the construction of small refineries in some African countries. - 9/2/12

'Israel loves Iran' campaign hopes to move from Facebook to the streets
Facebook campaign connecting real Israelis and Iranians with an anti-war message is aiming to get on bus ads and posters across Tel Aviv. -Haaretz - 9/2/12

NAM summit backs Iran's nuclear program
The final communique of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which was adopted unanimously on Friday, has expressed support for Iran's nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad read out the resolution, which included over seven-hundred clauses, during the final session of the summit on Friday night - 9/1/12

United for Iran Welcomes UN Chief's Support for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
United for Iran welcomes remarks from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran this week, where he expressed "serious concerns" about Iran's human rights situation, and urged Iran to cooperate with the United Nations to improve freedoms for its citizens. - 9/1/12

Two medals for Iran at Paralympic Games
Iranian athlete Sareh Javanmardi won a bronze medal in the women's 10 metre air-pistol event at the London Paralympic Games while Jalil Bagheri attained gold in the Men's Shot put. - 9/1/12

Documentary on underground music completed for IRIB
Actor/filmmaker Majid Vasheqani has completed a documentary about Iranian underground music bands in Iran. Entitled "Red Diamond", the documentary has been produced for broadcast on IRIB's Channel 1. - 9/1/12

Iran dismisses IAEA report
Iran has dismissed the recent report by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about cleaning Parchin Military Base of nuclear evidence, saying the statements are technically flawed. - 9/1/12

Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats Host Jimmy Panetta
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (BAIAD) announced today that it will be hosting Jimmy Panetta, an Obama surrogate and son of US Secretary of Defense, at its public event on Sunday, September 16th at FAZ restaurant in Sunnyvale, California beginning at 2:30 PM. - 9/1/12

Stop Killing Couriers and Revise Border Closure Plan
In a letter sent to Iranian officials, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran urged Iranian authorities to revise the Border Closure Plan immediately to prioritize the life and well-being of the residents of Iran's border regions. The Campaign also urged Iranian authorities to put an end to the use of lethal force against unarmed cross-border couriers. - 9/1/12

Tehran NAM summit concludes
The XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was brought to a close in Tehran on Friday. The summit meetings were held at three levels. - 9/1/12

"Horse and Rider" of Tehran museum under threat: Sculptor
A sculptor and expert on bronze statues has said that the Italian artist Marino Marini's "Horse and Rider", which is located in the Sculpture Garden of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA), is under threat because of a casting defect. - 9/1/12

Despite pressure, Pakistan talks trade with Iran
Defying the increasing international pressure to isolate Iran, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari talked trade, investment and energy with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, on the sidelines of the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). - 9/1/12

Iran plans to invest $11.6b to build new refineries
A package of investment, worth $11.6 billion, has been prepared to build new oil refineries in Iran, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company said. - 9/1/12

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