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A War with Iran Could Go Terribly Wrong
The U.S. and Israel are preparing to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, according to U.S. and European intelligence sources. The U.S. and EU are exerting maximum diplomatic and psychological pressure on Iran to prevent it from enriching uranium in spite of its legal right to do so. -Toronto Sun - 1/31/06

EU Ministers To Discuss Belarus, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq
The agenda of the monthly EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels today is topped by discussions on the pre-electoral situation in Belarus, the future of Afghanistan, the nuclear standoff with Iran, and the EU's future ties with Iraq. -RFE - 1/31/06

Most Americans Back Sanctions on Iran
Seven in 10 Americans would support international economic sanctions as a way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but there is considerable wariness about taking military action against Tehran, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. - 1/31/06

Russia: Does Gazprom Have A Master Pipeline Plan?
Russia's state-controlled monopoly Gazprom is the world's largest gas company, and the 10th-largest company in the world after its shares rose over 13 percent on the London market in mid-January. But its ambitions don't necessarily end there. Is Gazprom looking to assume control of the gas-transit market in Eastern and Central Europe? -RFE - 1/31/06

Venezuelan-Iranian JV May Start Assembling Cars in 10 Months
A Venezuelan-Iranian joint venture may start assembling cars in the South American country within 10 months, Venezuela's light industry minister said. -Bloomberg - 1/31/06

Iran moves to ease oil concerns
Iran has moved to reassure the West that it does not plan to reduce its oil exports if the UN introduces sanctions against its nuclear ambitions. -BBC - 1/31/06

Iran, China discuss developments in Iranian nuclear case
Iran and China on Tuesday discussed latest developments in connection with Iran's nuclear case and explored avenues for bolstering of bilateral cooperation. Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on the sidelines of a conference on reconstruction of Afghanistan. -IRNA - 1/31/06

Iran warns West over nuclear row
Any move to involve the UN Security Council in the row over Iran's nuclear programme would mean the end of diplomacy, a top Iranian official says. -BBC - 1/31/06

Why Bush may avoid fiery words on Iran
When President Bush turns to international issues in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Iran's nuclear program can be expected to figure prominently in his comments. -CSM - 1/31/06

Major Powers Agree on Security Council Referral of Iran Nuclear Issue
The United States and other permanent member countries of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia and China, agreed early Tuesday to refer the issue of Iran's nuclear program to the council. The referral will come later this week but any action in the council would not occur until March at the earliest. -VOA - 1/31/06

The Coming War on Iran: Fox News Fans the Hysteria
In keeping with its established role as purveyor of disinformation, Fox "News" talking head Brit Hume misreported Fox's own poll. On "Special Report" (January 26) Hume said that 51% of Americans "would now support" air strikes on Iran. What the poll found is that if diplomacy fails, 51% would support air strikes. -Counterpunch - 1/31/06

London to host seminar on renowned Iranian philosopher Farabi
Prominent instructors and researchers on Islamic philosophy will convene in King's College in London to exchange views on the works of renowned Iranian philosopher Abou-Nasr Farabi (870-950 AD), the English-language `Iran Daily' said in an article on Tuesday. The Farabi Era Seminar will be held in London's King's College on June 16-17. -IRNA - 1/31/06

Democracy's double standard in Iran
An American administration that had called on other Middle Eastern populaces to vote in flawed elections greeted the Iranian electoral process with nothing but open disdain. -Hossein Derakhshan, New York Times - 1/31/06

Persian Names to be Published in a Single Book
IBEX publisher in the United States will publish a book entitled "Persian Baby Name Book" in March 2006 in both English and Persian. -CHN - 1/31/06

American and Iranian interests meet in Iraq
Paradoxically, it is in Iraq, where U.S. and Iranian interests coincide, that the two countries could work together to advance regional stability. The resulting improvements in U.S.-Iranian relations and in regional security could at once defuse the nuclear crisis and advance the prospects for a stable Iraq. -IHT - 1/31/06

Iran Needs To Restore Standing in Global Community, Rice Says
Iran should restore its standing in the international community by adopting a strategy for peaceful development of nuclear energy that does not raise concerns about weapons proliferation, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. -Washington Files - 1/31/06

Iran Khodro exports 200 Samand automobiles to Russia
An official of Iran's biggest automobile manufacturing company, Iran Khodro, said on Monday that 200 automobiles of the Samand brand have already been exported to Russia since the start of 2006. -IRNA - 1/31/06

Tehran's Winter Art Report: Mohammad-Hossein Emad
Recently, we stopped by at the Morteza Momayez Gallery at the Artists' Forum House (Khaneh Honarmandan) and visited my friend Ms Azita Sharaf-Jahan the head of the gallery. We were very impressed with the wooden installations and sculptures of Mohammad-Hossein Emad. I found his work original and very moving. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/30/06

Iranian FM: Referral to UNSC will end voluntary cooperation with IAEA
Referral of Iran's nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council or notice to the Council to this effect will definitely end Iran's voluntary cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday evening. -IRNA - 1/30/06

David Rahni, bestowed with Outstanding Service Award
Professor David N. Rahni was bestowed with the Outstanding Service Award of the American Chemical Society (ACS) New York section at the annual conference held at Pace University on Saturday January 21. - 1/30/06

IRAQ: After years of discord, Najaf enjoys record development
After years of suppression under the regime of Saddam Hussein and fighting between local militias and occupation forces since 2003, the city of Najaf has finally begun to enjoy the fruits of development. -IRIN - 1/30/06

Exporting democracy: A U.S. experiment gone awry
The overwhelming sense among politicians and intellectuals in the Middle East last week was that America's little chemistry experiment had blown up in its face. -New York Times - 1/30/06

Seven kidnapped Iranian soldiers released
Seven military personnel who were taken hostage by insurgents about a month ago were released at noon on Monday. -IRNA - 1/30/06

Oil rises as Opec leaders gather
Oil prices have risen as supply concerns in Nigeria and Iran overshadow a forthcoming meeting in Vienna of Opec ministers. -BBC - 1/30/06

Bahais Mourn Iranian Jailed for His Faith
For 10 years, Dhabihu'llah Mahrami remained in an Iranian jail when a simple declaration would have freed him: "I am not a Bahai." -Washington Post - 1/30/06

Iran to export 30m cubic meters of gas to Georgia
Iran is scheduled to export 30 million cubic meters of gas to the Republic of Georgia wihin a period of 30 days, an oil official said Monday. -IRNA - 1/30/06

Does Democracy Boulevard Lead to Islamism?
The neoconservatives who dreamed up the Bush Doctrine – promoting "democracy" would be the U.S. mission in the Middle East – may be about to hold yet another "Seconds Thoughts" conference. -Patrick J. Buchanan - 1/30/06

Quake hits Gachsaran in southeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted the southern portion of Gachsaran city in southeastern Kohgilouyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province in the wee hours of Monday. -IRNA - 1/30/06

Iran Detains 50 Suspects In Deadly Bombings
Iran says it has detained about 50 suspects in connection with a deadly double bomb attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz in mid-January. -RFE - 1/30/06

EU hosts last-ditch talks on Iran
Officials from three EU powers are holding last-ditch talks with Iran on the crisis over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 1/30/06

Iran: Nuclear Crisis Features In Two European Gatherings
At this point, international unity on a referral remains elusive. Iranian officials are working furiously to ensure that this remains the case, with lead nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani visiting Moscow and Peking last week and a Supreme National Security Council team visiting Brussels on 30 January. -RFE - 1/30/06

Firebrand politics of Iranian leader resonate on the streets
Since he took office as Iran's president nearly six months ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been the subject of many jokes sent via text messages on cellphones across Iran. One joke has the president combing his hair in a mirror and saying, "O.K., male lice to the left, female lice to the right," ridiculing him as a religious extremist who wants to separate the sexes in public places. -IHT - 1/30/06

Iranian-born composer to highlight Allentown Symphony's Exploration of "Life's Journeys"
Songs of Eternity by Iranian-born, American composer Behzad Ranjbaran will highlight the February 11 and 12 concert by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. In the Songs Ranjbaran, who currently teaches at Juilliard, set nine couplets from the Ruba'iyat of the Persian poet, Omar Khayyam to music. The composition came from his life-long fascination with the poems, which he describes as "an expression of love and peace, an affirmation of eternal life." - 1/30/06

A Variation on the Theme: What a Difference Changing a Few Words Can Make
Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani article in the Washington Post, Saturday, January 28, To Tame Tehran, prompted me to reword a few phrases to show the contrast between two schools of thought regarding the current tension between the United States and Iran. The rewording in shown in bold within the italic text. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/30/06

Big-Stick Approach to Iran may Backfire
Not since the Iranian hostage crisis of a quarter-century ago - when more than 50 American diplomats were trapped by Iranian students in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days - has the confrontation between the United States and Iran reached such an impasse. -R.K. Ramazani - 1/30/06

Iraq, Iran Dominate Davos Discussions
Efforts to bring stability to Iraq and Iran's nuclear enrichment program dominated discussions Saturday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A top British official urged Iran to take steps to assure the international community about its nuclear intentions. -VOA - 1/29/06

Analysis: Rice's tricky tour
Condoleezza Rice arrives in London on Sunday night with a lot on her plate. The purpose of the US Secretary of State's latest round of diplomacy is an international conference on Afghanistan. -BBC - 1/29/06

Iran warns of missile strike
'The world knows Iran has a ballistic missile power with a range of 2,000km (1,300 miles),' General Yahya Rahim Safavi said on state-run television. 'We have no intention to invade any country [but] we will take effective defence measures if attacked.' -Guardian - 1/29/06

Iran to host World Physics Olympiad in 2007
According to the report, the Minister of Education Mahmoud Farshidi and the committee in charge of the upcoming Olympiad in a meeting on Sunday, discussed various dimensions of this important scientific-cultural event and its role in introducing Iran's culture and civilization to the educated and intellectuals of 80 countries. -IRNA - 1/29/06

Crystal Simorgh Prize-Winners at 24th Fajr International Film Festival
Winners of Crystal Simorgh prizes at the main competition sections of the 24th Fajr International Film Festival were announced at an awards ceremony at Vahdat Hall. -IRNA - 1/29/06

Iran and Iraq to Connect Railways
Khoramshahr city in Khuzestan province is going to be connected to Basra through a railway line. -CHN - 1/28/06

US to Shun Iranians at Afghan Donor Conference
A senior Bush administration official said Friday U.S. officials will have no contact with an Iranian delegation at next week's international conference on Afghanistan in London. Recent rhetoric by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has put a further chill on what has been minimal bilateral discourse. -VOA - 1/28/06

Bush Warns Palestinians of Aid Cut, Calls Sanctions 'Real Possibility' Against Iran
Mr. Bush says a free world cannot allow Tehran to have a nuclear weapon. The president said he is open to all possible options for dealing with Iran, including military intervention. "I think it's best I just leave it that all options should be on the table, and the last option is the military option. We have got to work hard to exhaust all diplomacy and that's what you're - that's what the country is seeing happen," he said. -VOA - 1/28/06

Iranian FM: Iran, EU3 launch new round of nuclear talks
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday that Iran and the EU3 have launched a new round of talks in the past few days. -IRNA - 1/28/06

Straw pursues Iran conciliation
The UK Foreign Secretary has said that talks aimed at resolving a dispute over Iran's nuclear programme must allow Iran to maintain its national dignity. -BBC - 1/28/06

Iran: Judiciary Experts to Determine Jahan Nama's Height
Following the signing of the protocol on reducing the height of Jahan Nama Tower by Isfahan's mayor and governor, the judiciary of Isfahan has started initial studies in Naqsh e Jahan Square to determine possible way to lower the tower. -CHN - 1/28/06

To Tame Tehran
Ahmadinejad's threat to external security and internal freedoms is bringing forth an opposition coalition that sees more clearly the dangers of confrontation with the West. A nimble U.S. policy, one that plots a strategy beyond the next Security Council vote, can help these forces inside Iran succeed. -Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani, Washington Post - 1/28/06

Iran to Provide Emergency Gas to Georgia
Georgia's president has announced plans for his country to get emergency natural gas supplies from Iran to help end the country's shortage of both gas and electricity. -VOA - 1/28/06

India-U.S. ties tested over Iran
India has responded testily to American suggestions of a quid pro quo in its relations with the United States, with the Indian foreign secretary calling in the U.S. ambassador over his reported remarks about how New Delhi should vote on Iran's nuclear ambitions. -New York Times - 1/28/06

Armenia/Azerbaijan: Will Presidents' Meeting Yield Progress Toward Karabakh Peace Deal?
Recent talks between Armenia's and Azerbaijan's foreign ministers failed to shed much light on the likelihood of a major breakthrough in the Karabakh peace process. -RFE - 1/28/06

Hamas's Victory: "The Power of Democracy"
I've been recalling an editorial from the Chinese People's Daily Online that I read last month. It suggested that while many westerners trumpet the concepts of "freedom and democracy" as universal values, in practice western governments selectively apply them. -Counterpunch - 1/28/06

Left parties urge India to abstain if consensus eludes Iran issue at IAEA meeting
Left parties today demanded of the government to abstain from voting if a consensus eludes next week's crucial International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting on Iran's disputed nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/28/06

OPEC expected to reject Iran's and Venezula's push to cut output
With oil prices still in record territory, OPEC is unlikely to alter its current policy of pumping at full capacity when it meets in Vienna next week, rejecting for now suggestions by Iran and Venezuela that it cut its output to keep prices from dropping. -New York Times - 1/28/06

Do NOT Respond to this Email: Request For Urgent Political Intervention
Dear American Citizen, First, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and "top secret." Many authorities in the current regime of my home country would seek to persecute me if they were to discover this. -Antiwar.com - 1/28/06

Clock Ticks in Iran Nuclear Standoff
Unless Iran changes its stance on nuclear enrichment, it has little chance of avoiding a UN Security Council referral, said British Foreign Secretary Straw ahead of talks aimed to get Iran to cooperate. -Deutsche Welle - 1/28/06

When Pigs Fly
After every deep-serious meeting with Russian and/or Chinese leaders, Secretary of State Condi Rice emerges to tell her media sycophants that the Russians and/or Chinese basically agree with our position on Iran’s nuclear programs. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar.com - 1/28/06

In memory of Jalal Toofan, author, educator and freedom fighter
This brief biography is in light of Mr. Jalal Toofan, author, educator and freedom fighter, who recently lost his battle with lung cancer in Davis, California. - 1/28/06

Iran: Blix Urges West To Offer Tehran Security Guarantees
On 26 January, RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Fatemeh Aman spoke with former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix about the confrontation between Iran and the international community over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. - 1/28/06

Nuclear Crisis Calls for US-Iran Dialogue within a Collective 6+1 Framework
At the heart of the dispute over Iran's nuclear program is a deep lack of trust that prevails between Iran and the US. Iran's "deceptions" aside, its "misbehavior" over the years has completely eroded American trust in Tehran. It is no wonder that the US, even if it has no sufficient fact, still insists that Iran "intends" to build nuclear weapons. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 1/27/06

Hawking Iran
But given current disillusionment over Iraq, would the public support an administration decision to use force against Iran? Just as it would be a mistake to assume that military action against Iran is impossible, it would be a mistake to think that the public wouldn’t back such action—after all, it is much easier to paint Iran as a threat than it was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. -TomPaine.com - 1/27/06

US Tries to Pressure Iran with Attack Stories
Recent reports in the Turkish and German press of the U.S. asking the Turkish government to support a possible attack on Iran and alerting allied countries of preparations for such an attack appear to be part of a strategy to pressure the Iranian regime rather than the result of a new policy to strike Iran. -IPS - 1/27/06

Iran's nukes are a non-issue
Why is all this pressure being mounted against Iran when both Washington and Jerusalem unofficially concede that there is nothing to be done to prevent Iran's government from continuing along its present course of nuclear development? -IHT - 1/27/06

Annan condemns Holocaust denial
The world must challenge those who deny the Holocaust happened, says United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. -BBC - 1/27/06

Saudi Arabia pursues a 'look-East policy'
A tour of China and India this week by Saudi Arabia's new monarch presages an era of reduced influence for the United States in Riyadh and of Saudi friendship with a widening spectrum of nations, according to some Saudi watchers and current and former officials in the United States, the Gulf region and Asia. -IHT - 1/27/06

Of Nukes and Oil
Of course, the US's true intentions for going after Tehran may have more to do with what's hidden beneath Iran's arid soil than their nuclear ambitions. -Counterpunch - 1/27/06

India shouldn't support any resolution referring Iran to UN: Left
The Left parties today strongly reiterated their stand that India should not support any resolution referring Iran to the UN Security Council at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board meeting. -IRNA - 1/27/06

Musharraf Says Iran Should Not Have Nuclear Weapons
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. General Musharraf spoke in Davos, Switzerland, as the West and Iran continue to clash over Tehran's nuclear enrichment program. -VOA - 1/27/06

Three months late, L90 to hit the market this summer
L90, the would-be national car, is a joint venture between the Pars Renault of Iran and Renault of France. It was to hit the country's streets in mid-spring 2006. -Mehr - 1/27/06

Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Seeks China's Support
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani, is in Beijing on a key mission to secure China's support in the growing diplomatic storm over Iran's nuclear program. -RFE - 1/27/06

Iranian FM arrives in South Africa to meet NAM Troika FMs
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in the South African city of Hermanus near Cape Town on Friday to confer with the foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika including South Africa, Malaysia and Cuba. -IRNA - 1/27/06

Russia plan 'not enough' for Iran
Russia's offer to enrich uranium on Iran's behalf is "not sufficient" to resolve the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear programme, Iran says. -BBC - 1/27/06

Analyst Discusses Relations Between Iran And Hamas
Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections was welcomed today by Iran. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said the results show that Palestinians are keen to continue with their struggle against "the occupiers." Iran and Hamas share a close ideological vision of the Middle East but Hamas has always denied having receiving financial aid from Iran. -RFE - 1/27/06

Iran Unlikely To Prod Hamas Toward Moderation
Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution provided an influential model and a source of emulation for Palestinian militants. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was created in 1980, and from its inception founders regarded Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as the leader of Islamic revolutions everywhere. -RFE - 1/27/06

IRAN'S OPTIONS: Roll over and capitulate, stand up in daring defiance, or stay at the poker table
If the choice were to be between the first two options, good Islamic tradition would point to the direction that the Iranian President Ahmadinejad seems to have adopted. It's been attributed to Imam Ali, the Prophet of Islam's son-in-law and nephew, as having said that there are two days in which one should not worry about dying; the day that one is destined to die, and the day that one is not. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/27/06

Interview: Iran, War, and Sanctions
UK based professor Abbas Edalat is a founding member of the newly formed Campaign against Sanctions and Intervention in Iran (CASMII). He recently travelled to the US and spoke at MIT and San Francisco regarding the coming hostilities against Iran. He participated in the following Q and A with ZNet's Foaad Khosmood. - 1/27/06

Iran nuclear envoy visits China
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is visiting China for talks expected to focus on international concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. -BBC - 1/26/06

Hamas 'secures stunning victory'
There are strong indications that the Islamic militant group Hamas has won a stunning victory in Wednesday's Palestinian parliamentary elections. -BBC - 1/26/06

Annan doubts prompt Iran decision
The UN secretary general has said he doubts the UN's nuclear watchdog will be able to decide next month whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. -BBC - 1/26/06

Countdown to a Showdown: Part II
Two American congressmen have proposed a 'quarantine' they think could stop Iran’s mullahs from building nukes. It’s a high-risk strategy. -Newsweek - 1/26/06

Iran purge causes German exports to dry up-industry
German exports to Iran will fall sharply this year as a sweeping purge of officials at Iranian ministries and state companies is causing contracts with German firms to dry up, a leading industry group said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 1/26/06

IAEA deputy chief in Iran to clear up nuclear ambiguities: official
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigators, led by Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen, arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to continue the regular technical and legal talks aimed at clearing up the ambiguities left about Iran's nuclear issue -Mehr - 1/26/06

UN warns of bird flu risk in Afghanistan
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that Afghanistan is at risk from avian influenza, also known as bird flu, and has called for US $1.5 million in donor assistance to thwart a possible outbreak of the disease. -IRIN - 1/26/06

Why fear Iranian nukes?
A growing number of nations and international interests are expressing alarm at Iran's seeming intent to develop nuclear weapons. But why the world thinks Iran is developing such capacity, and what is to be feared from it, remain matters in wide dispute. -Washington Times - 1/26/06

Musharraf Rejects US Pressure to Scrap Iran Pipeline Project
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has said in an interview with the Financial Times that he will go ahead with plans to build a natural gas pipeline to Iran, despite U.S. pressure to scrap the project. -VOA - 1/26/06

China backs Iran compromise plan
Plans to enrich uranium in Russia for use in Iran could help break a global stalemate over Tehran's nuclear aims, China's government has said. -BBC - 1/26/06

US, Other Major Powers, to Discuss Iran Nuclear Issue in London
The foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China will convene along with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in London next Monday for a meeting aimed at a joint approach to the issue of Iran's nuclear program. The session is a prelude to the International Atomic Energy Agency governing board meeting in Vienna later in the week. -VOA - 1/26/06

Alish World Championships Started in Tehran
The first session of Asian and world Alish championships, a sport somewhat like judo or wrestling, started yesterday, 24th of January, in Tehran with participation of 110 athletes from more than 30 countries. -CHN - 1/26/06

India summons US envoy over Iran
India has summoned the US ambassador to Delhi after comments he made over India's relations with Iran. US Ambassador David Mulford had warned that a deal giving India US nuclear technology could collapse if India does not back a UN motion against Iran. -BBC - 1/26/06

Iranian newspaper blasts Switzerland's confrontational move
UBS and Credit Swiss, respectively the largest and second largest banks in Switzerland have announced they will no longer do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran nor will they offer any banking services to customers based in Iran, according to the editorial. -IRNA - 1/26/06

Make Iran Our Capitalist Ally, Author Says
Stop Iran’s nuclear program by solving its desperate economic problems. Make it the leader in a powerful new Islamic Capitalism. End today’s ruinous confrontation with Islam, says Jack Lessinger in a new book. - 1/26/06

Blix Urges 'Carrot and Stick' Approach Toward Iran's Nuclear Ambitions
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hans Blix, says it is in the international community's interest to see that Iran does not enrich nuclear materials that could be used for weapons. But, speaking in Washington, Blix said the United States and other nations should offer positive inducements to Tehran in addition to punitive measures. -VOA - 1/26/06

United Nations: U.S. Aligned With Iran in Anti-Gay Vote
In a reversal of policy, the United States on Monday backed an Iranian initiative to deny United Nations consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. - 1/26/06

Iran: Distrustful Of Russia, Legislators Want Nuclear Diplomacy
Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani arrived in Moscow on 24 January to discuss the nuclear issue and a late-December Russian proposal that Iran enrich uranium on Russian territory. Such a proposal -- in fact, all international treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements -- must secure legislative approval, per Article 77 of the constitution. -RFE - 1/26/06

Iran's Civil Aviation Organization ready to launch Tehran-New York direct flights
Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) here Thursday voiced its readiness to launch direct flights between Tehran and New York or Tehran and Los Angeles. The CAO has announced its preparedness in a letter to US aviation body. -IRNA - 1/26/06

Reform in Iranian Women Dresses? "Maybe this is the End"
Seminar of Iranian Women National Dress was canceled yesterday due to the absence of authorities, high ranking officials and guests from other organizations. - 1/26/06

Survivors' Report: Iranian Mojahedin Accepts Defeat -- Rejects Armed Struggle
If true, this new rejection of armed struggle (which has been the core belief in the organization for the last 25 years) can be seen as the biggest ideological setback for the leaders of the organization since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. This reflects the last desperate attempts by the leaders to delay the total disintegration of the organization by accepting big losses in their remaining loyal forces. - 1/26/06

Pakistan-Iran issue joint statement after gas pipeline talks
The fifth meeting of the Iran-Pakistan Working Group on Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Gas Pipeline Project was held in Islamabad on 23rd-24th January 2006. -IRNA - 1/25/06

Iranian MPs & Journalists: Chirac's nuclear remarks threaten world peace
French President Jacques Chirac last Thursday threatened to use nuclear arms against what he called state sponsors of terrorism. This astonishing statement was made by a president whose country claims to support worldwide nuclear disarmament. The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) talked to some MPs and journalists on Monday to learn their views on the matter. -Mehr - 1/25/06

Iran: EU Spokeswoman Comments On Possible Security Council Action
On 24 January, RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Fariba Mavaddat spoke with Christina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana about the current EU position regarding Iran's nuclear program. -RFE - 1/25/06

Bush's Dilemma: Iran vs. Israel
In the test of wills between the West and Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows no sign of backing down. -Patrick J. Buchanan, Antiwar.com - 1/25/06

Iran Offers Georgia Gas To Cope With Crisis
Georgia today said that Iran has offered to supply it with natural gas until Russia resumes its deliveries in full. -RFE - 1/25/06

The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse
A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. -Energy Bulletin - 1/25/06

Olmert Says Israel Must Give Up Parts of West Bank
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel must cede more territory to the Palestinians. He said that if a peace agreement cannot be reached, Israel would act in its own interests unilaterally. -VOA - 1/25/06

Iran accuses UK of bombing link
Iran has accused the UK of co-operating with bombers who killed eight people in attacks in the restive south-western city of Ahwaz on Tuesday. -BBC - 1/25/06

Iran: Quake hits Persian Gulf island of Qeshm
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale jolted Qeshm island in the southern province of Hormuzgan Tuesday evening. -IRNA - 1/25/06

U.S. asks China to step up on Iran
China and the United States want to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but their "approach may differ" on the best tactics to achieve that result, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said after a round of meetings on the subject in Beijing. -New York Times - 1/25/06

Iran: 3 student prisoners would most likely be pardoned on Revolution Day
Judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimi-Rad has disclosed that three student prisoners were among a number of inmates who would most likely be pardoned on Bahman 22 (February 11), which marks the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, it was reported in Tehran on Wednesday. -IRNA - 1/25/06

Indian nuke scientists differ from PMO on US deal
India's top nuclear scientists are determined not to allow the United States have a full say in the separation of the country's military and civilian nuclear facilities. -IRNA - 1/25/06

Iranian President Cancels Trip As Explosions Rock Southern City of Ahvaz
No group has claimed responsibility for the explosions and it is not clear whether there is any connection between the blasts and President Ahmadinejad's scheduled visit. -RFE - 1/25/06

765 Iranian academics write to Annan on Iran's nuclear research rights
In an open letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday, 765 Iranian university professors demanded that the UN prevent the world's major powers from monopolizing scientific research and development, particularly in the nuclear sphere. -Mehr - 1/25/06

Iran blocks BBC Persian website
Access to BBC Persian.com - the BBC's international news website and the biggest internet site in the Persian language - is being blocked within Iran at the request of the authorities, the BBC has announced today (Tuesday, January 24). - 1/25/06

Iran Shows New Interest In Russia's Enrichment Proposal
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said on 25 January that Tehran welcomes Moscow's offer to have Iran's uranium enriched in Russia as a positive development. Larijani made the announcement after talks in Moscow with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov. -RFE - 1/25/06

The Terrorist in the Mirror
"Terror" is a term that rightly arouses strong emotions and deep concerns. The primary concern should, naturally, be to take measures to alleviate the threat, which has been severe in the past, and will be even more so in the future. To proceed in a serious way, we have to establish some guidelines. Here are a few simple ones: -Noam Chomsky, Counterpunch - 1/25/06

Kish Island Report - Part II
Kish Island is located in Persian Gulf and it has a 3000 years old history. Some of the trees there are reputed to be very old. The island became Iran's first free trade zone in 1982 but now it is more of a holiday resort. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/25/06

The Demagogue Neocons Love to Hate
"Let us state the obvious," wrote Reuel Marc Gerecht, the resident Gulf specialist at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in the Weekly Standard's feature article Monday. "The new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a godsend." -Antiwar.com - 1/25/06

Iranian Resistance Group Seen as Leverage in Nuclear Dispute
During four decades of existence, the People's Mujahedeen has been many things to many people. The Iranian opposition group is listed as a terrorist organization in Europe and the United States, yet it continues to stage rallies and court lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic. -VOA - 1/24/06

Rice, Italian FM say Security Council Referral of Iran is Absolute Necessity
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini say a U.N. Security Council referral of the Iran nuclear issue is an absolute necessity. The Secretary dismissed suggestions the drive for referral is losing momentum. -VOA - 1/24/06

Military Action Against Iran?
The Bush administration is moving toward military action against Iran, despite its current public support for multilateral diplomacy. Surprisingly, that eventual outcome may also comport with the interests of the Iranian government. The real losers in this arms-length conspiracy between the two hostile governments will be the American and Iranian peoples. -Antiwar.com - 1/24/06

French, German Leaders Express Concern about Iran's Nuclear Program
French and German leaders reiterated the need for the West to work together to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The two leaders met Monday outside the French capital. -VOA - 1/24/06

Arab Countries Voice Concern, Urge Caution Over Iran's Nuclear Program
Agencies reported last week, quoting unidentified officials, that Saudi and Egyptian leaders urged U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney -- during his recent trip to the region -- to give negotiations a chance before pressing for a referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. -RFE - 1/24/06

Quake hits Farouj in northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Farouj in the northeastern province of North Khorassan Monday evening. -IRNA - 1/24/06

Why US doesn't trust Iran on nukes
Asked why they're suspicious of Iran's nuclear intentions, US officials point to Natanz. Iran's Natanz nuclear site is in a remote area 200 miles south of Tehran. Key facilities are buried, with vehicle entrance ramps hidden beneath dummy buildings. -CSM - 1/24/06

CGES: OPEC production cut 'no longer required' to keep oil over $50
The need for OPEC to make an output cut to support prices and prevent them falling below dlrs 50 per barrel (dpd) is no longer required, according to the Centre for Global Energies Studies (CGES). -IRNA - 1/24/06

WHO Says Possible Bird Flu Pandemic Not Exaggerated
The World Health Organization says experts will help several neighboring countries at risk of getting bird flu to assess the situation. They include Syria, Iran, Iraq, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. -VOA - 1/24/06

New hurdles arise in move to refer Iran to UN
The U.S. and European drive to rebuke Iran over its nuclear activities has run into new difficulties, raising doubts about whether the International Atomic Energy Agency would refer Iran quickly to the United Nations Security Council for possible punitive action, European diplomats said. -New York Times - 1/24/06

EU interested in supply of Iranian natural gas
The European Union's top energy official said Tuesday that he will be glad if Iranian natural gas would flow to the energy-hungry Europe. -IRNA - 1/24/06

Iranian FM: Increase in nuclear partners under investigation
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Monday that the proposed plan for increasing Iran's nuclear partners was investigated during a recent visit of Russian delegation to Iran. -IRNA - 1/24/06

Bush's Iran Options Limited by Iraq, Perils of Military Action
"Grave threat" is how U.S. President George W. Bush described Iraq three years ago. Today he uses that same phrase -- to characterize Iran. -Bloomberg - 1/24/06

Quandary over Iran sanctions
The United States and its allies face a difficult situation as they confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. If sanctions are the answer, what economic levers could they safely use against a country that controls a substantial share of the oil supply for Europe and Asia? It is a difficult question to begin with, but it becomes more complex in light of Iran's unique political and economic situation. -IHT - 1/24/06

Iran's Approach: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
By allowing inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit and verify its nuclear program this week, Iran has indicated its readiness to work with the United Nations watchdog, while continuing to limit the role of the Western powers. -IPS - 1/24/06

Six killed in two bomb explosions in Ahvaz in Iran's Khuzestan province
Six people were killed and at least 40 others wounded Tuesday in two bomb explosions in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, the governor general of Ahvaz said. -IRNA - 1/24/06

In Iran, Power Written in Stone
Visitors to Ancient Ruins Voice Pride in Country, Support for Peaceful Nuclear Ambitions -Washington Post - 1/24/06

Tell Congress that the Mujahedin does not represent Iranian Americans!
The Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO/MEK) is beefing up its campaign to get off the State Department’s terrorist list and receive US funding by presenting itself as representatives of the Iranian-American community. -NIAC - 1/23/06

US Senators Discuss Options to End Iran's Nuclear Threat
High-ranking senators from both U.S. political parties say there are no easy answers when it comes to dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions, but that the possible use of force cannot be ruled out. -VOA - 1/23/06

Iran and China sign agreement to build Tehran-Shomal Freeway
Construction of the huge national project of Tehran-Shomal Freeway has been running into rough weather and if completed, would significantly shorten the current distance from the capital Tehran to the Caspian Sea littoral cities. -Mehr - 1/23/06

The New Power in the Persian Gulf
Forget the U.S. and Europe. China is the key player in the Iranian nuclear crisis -TIME - 1/23/06

Huge textile factory, largest in Middle East to become operational in Ardebil
A huge textile factory, largest in its kind in the Middle East region will become operational in Ardebil Province by the yearend, the Persian service of Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) said on Sunday. -Mehr - 1/23/06

Iran mocks west over ‘N-weapon design’ request
Iraq’s top security official on Sunday ridiculed western governments’ request for a document said to show a weapons design obtained from the illegal nuclear procurement network of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, and suggested Tehran would not hand it over to UN inspectors. -Financial Times - 1/23/06

Germany warns against military option in Iran nuclear issue
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier here Sunday warned that any thought of using military force against Iran to settle differences in views on the country's nuclear program would be "dangerous." -IRNA - 1/23/06

German Firms Lower Profile in Iran
As the international community considers a response to Iran’s resumption of its nuclear program, Germany may need to balance diplomacy with economic reality. -Deutsche Welle - 1/23/06

Hint of Iran sanctions tugs at trade ties
When Askar Sheibani started doing business in Iran more than a year ago, he was surprised by the opportunities and the speed with which he could establish contacts and sell his goods. -IHT - 1/23/06

Celebs express their views on Iranian cinema
Iranian directors, filmmakers, actors, and actresses expressed their expectations for the new year of Iranian cinema at the opening ceremony of the 24th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran on January 19, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 1/23/06

Iran Rejects Israeli, French Warnings
Iran says Israel would be making a "fatal mistake" if it resorts to military action against Tehran's nuclear program, and has accused France of interfering in its internal affairs. - 1/23/06

Larijani: Iran welcomes partnership on nuclear research
Iran welcomes partnership of all countries, especially the Europeans, in its nuclear research projects, said Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in Tehran on Sunday. -IRNA - 1/23/06

Kish Island Report – Part I
Recently, we set off on a trip to Kish Island which is in the Persian Gulf about an hour and half by plane from Tehran. It is a very enjoyable and relaxing place and we all had a great time, as we all needed a break away from it all. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/23/06

What is the response of Iran to the U.S. or Israelis threat?
I recently visited Iran and had many opportunities to talk to people and visit some of these plants. I also had opportunity to talk to some members of military, the revolutionary guards as well as paramilitary Basij commanders who are members of my family or their acquaintances. -Hussein Sharifi - 1/23/06

Large number of Iranian athletes form human chain at Isfahan's Uranium Conversion Facility
Large number of Iranian athletes, many of them holders of national titles in different fields of sports, on Sunday afternoon held demonstrations in front of the center for research studies at Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan and formed a symbolic human chain to display national support for civilian nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/22/06

Don't underestimate political acumen of the Iranian president
Ahmadinejad's words more calculated than the West might think -SF Chronicle - 1/22/06

Iran Calls Israeli Military Threat 'Childish'
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi has called Israeli military threats "childish behavior" and warned that any military action against Iran would have "severe consequences." -RFE - 1/22/06

Israel warns Iran on nuclear work
The Israeli defence minister has warned that the country will not accept an Iranian nuclear capability. Mr Mofaz told a conference in Herzliya that Israel "must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing". -BBC - 1/22/06

SNSC Secretary: Iran keen on dialogue to remove ambiguity about nuclear program
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said on Sunday that Iran welcomes talks with different countries to help remove any ambiguity about Iranian nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/22/06

UBS quits Iran
Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, has confirmed that it is ceasing all operations in Iran. -Swiss Info - 1/22/06

U.S. Still Short in Iran Security Council Push
The United States has been unable to win international support to officially report Iran to the U.N. Security Council, despite two years of diplomatic efforts and defiant new actions by the country to resume uranium enrichment research, according to European diplomats involved in negotiations. -Washington Post - 1/22/06

Will Iran pull the oil plug?
Iran produces about 3.5 million barrels a day, or roughly 4 per cent of the world's total production. It also lays claim to about 12 per cent of the world's global oil reserves and has the second-largest reserve of natural gas after Russia. -Toronto Star - 1/22/06

The Pending File of Nowruz in UNESCO
After two months of the rejection of inclusion of Nowruz file in UNESCO's list of oral and intangible heritage of humanity, the case is still in a pending situation. This is while despite Iran's inquiries about the reasons for this rejection, no formal response has been submitted to Iran by UNESCO. -CHN - 1/22/06

Iranian-Czech team discovers world's longest salt cave in Qeshm
The world's longest salt cave has been unearthed in Qeshm Geopark by Iranian and Czech experts, said the Saturday issue of the Persian morning daily, Iran. -IRNA - 1/21/06

Currency War
A funny thing happened to the Europeans on their way to get the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to refer Iranian nuclear fuel-cycle programs – all Safeguarded and certified by the IAEA to be for peaceful purposes – to the UN Security Council by March. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar.com - 1/21/06

First Isfahan-Aleppo Driving Race to be Held Soon
Touring and Automobile Club of Iran is about to hold a driving race between Aleppo and Isfahan cities to introduce Iran's tourism attractions, especially those of Isfahan as the chosen cultural capital of Islamic cities in 2006. -CHN - 1/21/06

Iran: Hard-line Media In Lockstep On Relations With Syria
Ahmadinejad and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, demonstrated their common views on the nuclear issue, on Lebanon, on Iraq, and on Palestine during a press conference later the same day -RFE - 1/21/06

IAEA inspectors heading to Iran to verify nuclear program
Inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency will come to Iran in the next two days to continue the process of verifying Iranian nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/21/06

Iran's Bomb
There's been a lot of talk recently about Israel and/or the United States bombing the nuclear facilities in Iran. I wouldn't worry about that. I believe they are both bluffing. -Antiwar.com - 1/21/06

Increasingly Isolated Iranian and Syrian Leaders Seek Mutual Support
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 19 January expressed support for Iran's peaceful nuclear activities and accused the West of failing to supply any logical argument for denying Iran nuclear technology. -RFE - 1/21/06

India nuclear deal faces problems
A top American official says a landmark nuclear deal between India and the US still faces difficulties but is hopeful it will eventually go through. - 1/21/06

Spreading War, Not Democracy: Israel and US Threats Against Iran
The Bush Administration and their Democratic allies believe that the war in Iraq and now Iran is in Israel's interest. -Counterpunch - 1/21/06

Pentagon man jailed over spying
Lawrence Franklin passed information to an Israeli diplomat and two pro-Israeli lobbyists about a Middle East country. No details were given, but that country is believed to be Iran. -BBC - 1/21/06

Mild quake hits northern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale hit the outskirts of Avaj city in Qazvin province, northwest of the capital Tehran, on Friday evening. -IRNA - 1/21/06

Iranian blogger gets three-year suspended sentence
Journalist and blogger Ahmad Reza Shiri will have a permanent threat hanging over him as a result of the suspended sentence of three years in prison handed down by a court in the northern city of Mashad on 8 January, Reporters Without Borders said today. - 1/21/06

US Says Iran's Transfer of Foreign Assets Sign of Growing Isolation
The United States says word that Iran is transferring its assets from Europe is a sign of Tehran's growing isolation over its nuclear program. -VOA - 1/21/06

USA*Engage Commends Strong European Response to Iranians
While encouraged by current multilateral efforts, USA*Engage Co-Chair and NFTC President William A. Reinsch cautioned that unilateral moves by the United States would not help the situation. - 1/21/06

Calls for Sanctions Against Iran Grow in US Congress
A U.S. lawmaker is introducing legislation calling on the international community to impose sanctions on Iran in an effort to press Tehran to end its nuclear program. There is growing congressional support for such action. -VOA - 1/21/06

Fortress of the Golden Dragon: A Persian Tale inspired by the Shahnameh
The story of "Fortress of the Golden Dragon" which was inspired by the stories of "Shahnameh" (Story of Kings) found its way to the publication market of England coincident with the 10th century anniversary of creation of "Shahnameh", the most important epic work of Persian language. -CHN - 1/21/06

24th Fajr International Film Festival kicks off in Tehran
The 24th Fajr International Film Festival kicked off at the Interior Ministry Hall of Tehran on January 19. Iranian actress Golab Adineh, filmmaker Khosro Sinaii, and composer Majid Entezami were honored during the opening ceremony. -Mehr - 1/20/06

Iran Nobel Winner Says UN Sanctions Over Nuclear Program Will Inflame Iran, Set Back Democracy
Is there a better way for the West to neutralize a potential nuclear threat from Iran? Here is an insight from Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and a scientific colleague, Muhammaed Sahimi -HuffingtonPost.com - 1/20/06

Solana: EU position is to continue talks with Iran
European Union High Representative for common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, said on Thursday that the EU is ready to continue negotiations with the Islamic Republic, if Tehran changes its stance. -IRNA - 1/20/06

Iranian Poet M. Azad dies at 72
Iranian veteran poet Mahmud Moshref Azad Tehrani, known as M. Azad, died on Thursday at the age of 72. -Mehr - 1/20/06

France Warns Terrorists of Nuclear Weapons Retaliation
French president Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France could retaliate with nuclear weapons against states that launch terrorist attacks against it. Mr. Chirac's threat is considered a departure in terms of French defense policy. -VOA - 1/20/06

Bush Administration Helped Iranian Hardliner Get Elected
Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, the only major Iranian figure who advocated reaching out to America, made indirect overtures to the Bush administration in the period leading up to the Iranian election but was rebuffed, according to local businessman Barry O'Connell, who frequently travels to Iran. -Montgomery County Sentinel - 1/20/06

The Satirist's Guide To the Iranian Nuclear Crisis
It's hard for many Westerners to understand what's going on in my fellow Iranians' heads, what with our saying we're going to wipe certain countries off of the map one moment and we're going to go nuclear or bust the next. -Ebrahim Nabavi, Forward - 1/20/06

Looming Iran showdown gives oil trade new worry
While world leaders and diplomats debate how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions, the real source of worry among analysts these days is the fate of the country's oil. -New York Times - 1/20/06

Reporting the crisis in Iran
Iran's foreign minister is warning the UK, France and Germany not to act hastily over his country's nuclear programme. Tehran insists it only wants to make reactor fuel to generate electricity. Frances Harrison, in the Iranian capital, says the international media is playing a part in the gathering crisis. -BBC - 1/20/06

Iran releases Iraqi coastguards
Iran has released eight Iraqi coastguards detained on Saturday after a clash on the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which marks the Iran-Iraq border. -BBC - 1/20/06

India and US discuss nuclear deal
US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has been holding talks with the Indian foreign ministry on a landmark nuclear deal between the two countries. -BBC - 1/20/06

An Iranian Misadventure
What to do about Iran is a genuinely difficult question. Neoconservatives tend to overstate the threat posed by the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons, but the truth is bad enough. -CBS News - 1/20/06

Iraq Vote Gives Shi'ites Biggest Bloc in Parliament
Final results from Iraq's December 15 legislative election indicate Shi'ite-based religious parties won the largest number of seats in parliament, but not enough for an absolute majority. -VOA - 1/20/06

Presidents of Armenia And Azerbaijan To Meet
High-level talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh have ended with an announcement of an upcoming meeting between the countries' presidents. -RFE - 1/20/06

Derakhshandeh criticizes female filmfest
Iranian filmmaker Puran Derakhshandeh has harshly criticized the organizers of Iran's First Female Filmmakers Festival, ISNA reported on Wednesday. -Mehr - 1/20/06

Suspected bird flu case in northern Iraq
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday announced the death of a 14-year-old girl, suspected to have died from the avian virus, or "bird flu," in northern Iraq. -IRIN - 1/20/06

Politics Take to the Soccer Pitch
FIFA, world soccer's governing body, announced it would neither ban Iran from this summer's event nor get involved in political issues. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also stated Wednesday that she does not support expelling Iran from the tournament. -Deutsche Welle - 1/20/06

Iran's NDC, COSL of China sign contract on oil exploration in Caspian Sea
Iran's North Drilling Company (NDC) and COSL of China have signed a cooperation agreement for strategic oil exploration management, repair and maintenance of semi-submersible Alborz Rig in Block 6 of the Caspian Sea, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday. -Mehr - 1/20/06

The approaching war with Iran: Part II
If you get your news from the Big Five, the global media conglomeration of Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, Bertelsmann AG, Viacom, and News Corporation, which when combined control approximately 90% of the world’s headlines, than there is little doubt that you have been adequately primed with stories regarding Iran’s nuclear power ambitions and the threat that such ambitions represent to the United States. -Ed Haas, Muckraker - 1/20/06

Ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray on Why He Defied UK Foreign Office by Posting Classified Memos Blasting U.S., British Support of Torture by Uzbek Regime
We spend the hour with the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. The British government has stopped the publication of his book. In a Democracy Now exclusive, Murray tells why he defied the British Foreign Office by posting a series of classified memos on his website. Murray was fired as ambassador to Uzbekistan after he openly criticized the British and U.S. governments for supporting human rights abuses under the Uzbek regime. -Democracy Now - 1/20/06

Human Rights Watch World Report 2006: Iran
Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and opinion, deteriorated considerably in 2005. The government routinely uses torture and ill-treatment in detention, including prolonged solitary confinement, to punish dissidents. - 1/19/06

Who's afraid of big, bad Iran?
By exaggerating the importance of Iran's nuclear developments, the West is showing up the waning of its power in that region, despite the presence of some 200,000 allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the influence of China and India rises. -IHT - 1/19/06

What's Behind Moscow's 'Iranian Game'?
Geopolitically, Iran is Russia's biggest neighbor in the Caspian, where Moscow is looking to restore its influence and take advantage of short transport corridors leading to the Persian Gulf. -RFE - 1/19/06

Pentagon Official: US Army Can Meet Any Challenge
Secretary Harvey was answering a question about the army's ability to back up U.S. demands on Iran with force if necessary, but he declined to discuss any Iran military option specifically. -VOA - 1/19/06

China says diplomacy best option to settle Iran nuclear issue
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on Thursday diplomatic means would be the best option to settle Iran's nuclear case. Speaking to domestic and foreign reporters, Kong added China still supports diplomatic efforts by different sides to settle Iran's nuclear case. -IRNA - 1/19/06

Egypt backs Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif in Cairo on Wednesday stressed Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In a meeting with visiting Iranian Vice President for legal and parliamentary affairs Ahmad Moussavi, Nazif called for peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear case. -IRNA - 1/19/06

IAEA Board to Hold Special Meeting on Iran on 2 February 2006
The meeting was requested by the Permanent Missions of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in a letter on 18 January 2006 to the Chair of the Board to discuss the implementation of IAEA Safeguards in Iran and related Board resolutions. - 1/19/06

Turkey's Poultry farmers feel impact of bird flu
Poultry farmers in Turkey want to cull millions of their egg-laying fowl following a sharp decline in egg consumption after four confirmed deaths because of avian influenza or 'bird flu' in the country. -IRIN - 1/19/06

Iran: Ready to repatriate oil profits
Iran, facing mounting international pressure over its nuclear plans, will repatriate oil earnings held in foreign accounts if that proves necessary, Central Bank Governor Ebrahim Sheibani said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 1/19/06

Clinton Calls for Sanctions Against Iran
Sen. Hillary Clinton called for United Nations sanctions against Iran as it resumes its nuclear program and faulted the Bush administration for "downplaying" the threat. -AP - 1/19/06

Italy: Arab And Iranian Women's Literary Conference Kicks Off
Leading women literary figures from more than a dozen countries in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as from Iran, are gathering in the northern Italian city of Turin from Thursday through Saturday to attend the 'Writing without Veils. Words and Women from the Maghreb to Iran' conference. -AKI - 1/19/06

S.Africa urges West to seek dialogue with Iran
South Africa urged Western governments on Wednesday to seek dialogue with Iran to reduce tensions in a standoff over Tehran's planned use of nuclear technology. -Reuters - 1/19/06

Iran: Ahmadinejad Visits Syria, May Sign Defense Pact
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to arrive in Syria on 19 January for a two-day visit. The visit comes as both Tehran and Damascus are facing international censure. -RFE - 1/19/06

Azerbaijan Worried Over Potential Sanctions Or Military Action Against Iran
One of Baku's main economic partners is Tehran, and it is worried that potential economic sanctions or a military attack will adversely affect Azerbaijan. The energy sector is one area that will likely suffer as a result of such an outcome. -Eurasia Daily Monitor - 1/19/06

EU, U.S. Present Determined Front Over Iran Nuclear Moves
The European Union and the United States today rejected Iran's call for further talks on its nuclear program, saying the matter must now come before the United Nations Security Council. -RFE - 1/19/06

Pulitzer Turning in his Grave...
Lady Liberty still bears the stain from the false reports fed us before the Iraq invasion; the WMDs that never were. Ahmadinejad's unsavory rhetoric and inexcusable tirades, while playing into the hands of the neo-cons, has not caused tens of thousands of deaths; this administration with its lies, has. And they plan on another ugly war, with which the mainstream media is helping handsomely. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 1/19/06

Rethinking Nuclear Nonproliferation
To begin, it is important to understand that Iran's pursuit of uranium enrichment per se is not a violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a party. Nothing in the NPT bans uranium enrichment to provide fuel for nuclear power plants. -Antiwar.com - 1/19/06

Rice Dismisses Iranian Overture for New Talks
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is dismissing an Iranian overture for renewed talks with Europe without substantive action by Tehran to ease world concerns about its nuclear intentions. She discussed the issue with European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana. -VOA - 1/19/06

Analysts Debate Feasibility Of Military Options Against Iran
As fears grow about the purpose of Iran's nuclear program, some analysts believe the only way to prevent Tehran from building an atomic bomb is through preemptive military strikes. -RFE - 1/19/06

Human Rights Watch World Report 2006: U.S. Policy of Abuse Undermines Rights Worldwide
New evidence demonstrated in 2005 that torture and mistreatment have been a deliberate part of the Bush administration's counterterrorism strategy, undermining the global defense of human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2006. - 1/19/06

Maurice Bejart's latest ballet, Zarathustra, triumphs in Lausanne
Entitled Zarathoustra. Le chant de la danse aka Zarathustra. the song of the dance the scarcely two-hour ballet for 50 dancers is based on works of Friedrich Nietzsche's, particularly his book "thus spoke Zarathustra". Béjart called the work the coronation of his occupation of many years with the German philosopher - the premiere public followed this opinion. -Darius KADIVAR - 1/19/06

In Memory of the Persian Legendary Diva HAYEDEH (1942-1990)
January 20th, 2006 will mark the16th anniversary of Hayedeh's passing in exile. Her songs are still loved and remain very much popular among the Persians (Iranians) but until now no one has written a complete article about her activities. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 1/18/06

Pistachios, Poets and Power
They're beating their war drums and chanting Iran. They cry tears of steel and wail about the noble need to invade and conquer... They know nothing of Iranian pistachios. -Joel Miller, Sweden - 1/18/06

What Noncompliance?
In President Bush's first State of the Union message, he essentially accused North Korea, Iran, and Iraq of having clandestine nuke programs -Gordon Prather, Antiwar.com - 1/18/06

Japan Takes Diplomatic Role in Iran Nuclear Issue
Japan says it hopes to use a long-standing relationship with Iran to help avert a crisis over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The announcement came after key members of the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a response to Iran's resumption of uranium enrichment. -VOA - 1/18/06

Iran: Diplomatic Efforts On Possible Sanctions Intensify
The EU and United States say they support referring Iran to the Security Council unless Iran renounces uranium enrichment -- a process for making nuclear fuel that can also be applied toward developing a nuclear weapon. -RFE - 1/18/06

Iran and Oil
Iran argues everyone else is investigating nuclear fuel, so why shouldn’t it be allowed to as well? A fair point. And let’s face it, if the US and Israel are allowed to have nuclear (bomb) capacity, who has the right to tell Iran that it can't? -Australasian Investment Review - 1/18/06

Real Men Go to Tehran
The United States and Israel have been itching to go to Tehran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. That Revolution was a strategic setback for both powers. It overthrew the Iranian monarchy, a great friend of the US and Israel, and brought to power the Shi'ite Mullahs -Counterpunch - 1/18/06

God, Blood, Oil and Iraq
By year three of Iraq's occupation, for most western citizens the fact that they live in a world subjugated by lies, half-truths and suppressed facts has become part of everyday life. -Counterpunch - 1/18/06

Middle East Leaders Urge U.S. Patience On Iran
Officials from Egypt and Saudi Arabia have urged the United States to give negotiations more time over Iran's nuclear program. -RFE - 1/18/06

Ahmadinejad shocks, but he may also awe
Everything happens in threes, they say. The first time Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shocked and dared by declaring "Israel should be wiped off the map," many thought this might be an aberration from the inexperienced, populist president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Sanam Vakil, Daily Star - 1/18/06

World commodity prices rise over Iran tensions
Gold prices reached a 25-year high in London Tuesday amid concerns blamed on international tensions over Iran's nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/18/06

Powers split over Iran talks bid
The US and UK have rejected Iranian proposals to resume talks over its nuclear programme, but major powers are split over possible referral to the UN. -BBC - 1/18/06

Iran: Group Releases Turks, Still Holding Soldiers Hostage
The families of the Iranian soldiers who were kidnapped recently near the Iran-Pakistan border gathered today in front of Iran’s presidential building in Tehran. They called for swift government action to release the hostages. -RFE - 1/18/06

Iran doubts UN Council referral
Iran faces only a "slim" risk of being referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme, its foreign minister has said. -BBC - 1/18/06

Shiites Poised to Dominate First Time in Iraq History
While the long-held rivalry between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq fuels much of the armed insurgency in the country, some observers note that fissures among Iraq's Shiites also threaten efforts to establish a stable postwar Iraq. -VOA - 1/18/06

World Powers Split Over Iran Nuclear Program
Europe sought Tuesday to keep up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, dismissing as vacuous a Tehran offer to resume talks and seeking to overcome Russian and Chinese opposition to UN action. -Deutsche Welle - 1/18/06

Tajik president leaves Tehran
President Rakhmonov and his entourage arrived here Monday night for a two-day visit in response to an invitation from his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to attend a conference on economic cooperation between the two countries. -IRNA - 1/18/06

Israeli experts urge covert ops against Iran nukes
A plane crash that killed the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's ground forces last week was most probably not caused by sabotage, leading Israeli analysts say. But it was the type of covert operation, they argue, in which Israel should be engaging as part of its efforts to delay or even possibly thwart Iran's nuclear program. -Jerusalem Post - 1/18/06

US Calls Iran 'Test' for Security Council; Russia, China Balk
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says Iran's nuclear program should be a test case for the Security Council. But Chinese and Russian envoys remain reluctant to take up the issue. -VOA - 1/18/06

Iran crisis a dilemma for China
As Washington, now joined by the EU3, presses for punitive international action against Tehran, one of its most difficult tasks will be to win China's support. -BBC - 1/18/06

Bush Seeks His Enemies' Help in Iraq
To avoid the failure of its mission in Iraq, the George W. Bush administration has been driven to seek the help of two major enemies – the Sunni insurgents and the government of Iran – but both initiatives have failed to make progress because officials were not given any real negotiating authority. -IPS - 1/18/06

If Iran Gets Nukes...: Deflating the hysteria
Western foreign policy think tanks and intelligence centers have speculated that if Iran is allowed to resume its uranium-enrichment activities and other sensitive nuclear work, it might be able to build nuclear weapons within a period ranging from five to 10 years. -Abolghasem Bayyenat, Antiwar.com - 1/18/06

On Iran, West looks for a Plan B
Iran may yet end up on the docket of the United Nations Security Council for restarting its nuclear-fuel program. But even if the international community can agree to punish it with economic sanctions, will those actions succeed in stopping Tehran's pursuit of nuclear technology - and possibly a bomb? -CSM - 1/18/06

Qeshm, largest island of Persian Gulf
-"The Persian Gulf island of Qeshm is prepared to host over 1.5 million vacationers during Norouz holidays (March 20-April 2)," the English-language `Iran Daily' quoted the deputy head (for Coordination) of the Qeshm Free Zone Organization as saying on Wednesday. -IRNA - 1/18/06

The west has picked a fight with Iran that it cannot win
Iran is a serious country, not another two-bit post-imperial rogue waiting to be slapped about the head by a white man. It is the fourth largest oil producer in the world. Its population is heading towards 80 million by 2010. Its capital, Tehran, is a mighty metropolis half as big again as London. Its culture is ancient and its political life is, to put it mildly, fluid. -Guardian - 1/18/06

Appeal by The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders on behalf of jailed Iranian lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani
The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) that Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani, a lawyer at the Bar of Tehran and a founding member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DRHC), who is currently detained at the Evin prison, in Tehran, was allowed to meet one of his lawyers at the beginning of January 2006. - 1/17/06

India, Iran and the nuclear challenge
IN THE next few weeks, the Manmohan Singh Government will face its second major test on the Iranian nuclear front. For the United States and its European allies appear determined to refer Teheran to the United Nations Security Council for pursuing a civilian nuclear energy programme in defiance of Washington's diktats. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 1/17/06

EU Accelerates Drive To Refer Iran To Security Council
Having failed to convince Iran to abandon controversial aspects of its nuclear program, European Union states have called for an emergency meeting on 2 February of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -RFE - 1/17/06

Analyst Says Moscow Will Not Follow West's Cue On Iran
Russia in the past has discouraged a push by the United States and Europe to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its pursuit of a complete nuclear fuel cycle the West fears could be used to make atomic weapons. But Moscow has signaled a change in its stance toward Tehran. -RFE - 1/17/06

German, Russian Leaders Discuss Iran, Trade, Other Issues
Angela Merkel arrived in Moscow saying she wanted to preserve the "strategic partnership" that Germany has developed with Russia in recent years. -VOA - 1/17/06

Iran: Amnesty International calls for end to death penalty for child offenders
Two new cases have been reported in which child offenders – persons under 18 at the time of the crime – have been sentenced to death by Iranian courts, in breach of Iran's obligations under international human rights law. - 1/17/06

Iran crisis talks expose west's split with China
Differences between the west and Russia and China were exposed yesterday during a meeting in London to discuss strategy for tackling the crisis over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons programme. -Guardian - 1/17/06

Noah's Ark rests in Iran?
Despite popular speculation that Noah's Ark rests on Turkey's Mount Ararat, there are a few believers seeking elsewhere. Specifically, Iran. -Spero News - 1/17/06

Iran, Iraq discuss building electricity transfer plants
Iran has allocated one billion dollars to the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructural projects, he said, adding the major portion of the fund will be spent on electricity industry. -IRNA - 1/17/06

Tajik President arrives in Tehran
Rakhmonov was invited to visit Iran by President Ahmadinejad to attend a conference on Iran-Tajikistan economic cooperation and hold talks with Iranian officials. -IRNA - 1/17/06

Putin 'close' to Iran critics, but warns on errors
President Vladimir Putin of Russia warned Monday against taking "any erroneous steps" in resolving the Iran nuclear crisis, as senior American, European, Russian and Chinese officials struggled in London to forge a common position on the issue. -New York Times - 1/17/06

Iran lifts ban on CNN
According to government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham, President Ahmadinejad wrote to Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Safar Harandi asking him to lift the ban on CNN's broadcasts. -IRNA - 1/17/06

Petropars to open branch office in Venezuela
"Petropars Company has been awarded with an oilfield development contract in Venezuela and we are going to establish a branch office there next month," executive director of the company Gholamreza Manuchehri stated on Monday. -Mehr - 1/17/06

Iran agrees with opening of Iraq's Military Attache Office in Tehran
Speaking to IRNA, Kazemi-Qomi added, "Tehran's agreement was announced following receiving a request made by Iraqi Government, aimed at pursuing the objectives of boosting bilateral military cooperation." - 1/17/06

US tries to loosen Shiite grip in Iraq
Increasingly, the US is throwing its weight in Iraq behind Sunni Arabs, about 20 percent of the country, to ensure they are part of a new coalition government. But Shiite leaders have responded defiantly, threatening unflinching stands that could push the country closer to full-scale civil war. -CSM - 1/17/06

China to become Iran's primary trade partner: Chinese envoy
The Chinese Ambassador to Tehran said in Tehran on Monday that the trade between Iran and China exceeds dlrs 10 billion and China is to become Iran's primary trade partner in the near future. -IRNA - 1/17/06

Referral of Iran to the Security Council: Prelude to a New War
Last week's decision by the UK, France and Germany to abandon their negotiations with Iran, followed by their joint call with the US for Iran's referral to the UN Security Council by an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board, is a step toward a new war in the Middle East. -CASMII - 1/17/06

Tehran: Gallery Outing with Nassrin
The last couple of months have been rather busy ones for me. My good friend Nassrin was here on an unexpected trip and we were all happy to see her. We both like art and going to exhibitions and so on a couple of Fridays during her stay, we went to a few gallery openings. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/17/06

Iran: Nuclear Fuel Bank Seen As Way Out Of Crisis
El-Baradei last year revived the decades-old idea of establishing a central bank for nuclear fuel. The aim is to provide reliable access to nuclear fuel at market prices. This would remove incentives for countries to develop their own fuel cycle capabilities -- and hence, possess the capability of building nuclear weapons. -RFE - 1/16/06

Tehran faces backlash over conference to question Holocaust
Iran announced yesterday it would stage a conference to question the authenticity of the Holocaust, a move certain to stir international anger. -Guardian - 1/16/06

Diplomacy and Force
Interview: The United Nations' top inspector is prepared to issue a report on Iran's nuclear program that will 'reverberate around the world.' -Newsweek - 1/16/06

Analyst -- Diplomacy Not Exhausted In Iranian Nuclear Row
Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, was interviewed by RFE/RL's Radio Farda correspondent Fariba Mavaddat on 13 January about the latest developments in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. - 1/16/06

Slamming Its Doors on the World
As Iran confronts the West over nukes, its leaders are patrolling the Web to silence critics at home -Azadeh Moaveni, TIME - 1/16/06

World War IV: A realistic scenario
The neocons have insisted for years that the first shots of what they call "World War IV" have already been fired, and we are in for a new cold war (the previous one was WWIII) that is bound to turn hot. -Antiwar,com - 1/16/06

Permanent Security Council Members Meet On Iran
Senior officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are set to hold closed-door talks in London today to discuss actions against Iran for resuming controversial nuclear activities. -RFE - 1/16/06

Iran takes punitive measure against CNN for misquoting president
Ahmadinejad said Iranian nation enjoy great civilization and longstanding culture and they do not need nuclear weapons. CNN reporter Christian Amanpour who is of Iranian origin and knows Persian as a native Iranian reported from Tehran that Iranian president said Iran would proceed with production of nuclear weapons. -IRNA - 1/16/06

Britain Says Iran Must Prove Nuclear Intentions Are Peaceful
Britain says Iran must convince the world that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw discussed the issue as the world's major powers met in London on the Iran nuclear issue. -VOA - 1/16/06

Iran issues stark warning on oil price
Iran stepped up its defiance of international pressure over its nuclear programme yesterday by warning of soaring oil prices if it is subjected to economic sanctions. -Guardian - 1/16/06

Uncertain outcome to Iran impasse
The London meeting of UN officials to discuss the Iran nuclear issue could prove crucial in determining the next steps in the escalating diplomatic stand-off. -BBC - 1/16/06

You Say You Want a Revolution? Promoting democracy in the Middle East
The administration of President George W. Bush has designated the spread of democracy as its principal foreign policy objective with the understanding that burgeoning democracies will make the world a better and safer place for Americans. But critics observe that democracy might not be an exportable commodity... -Antiwar.com - 1/16/06

US Senators Urge Sanctions Against Iran Over Nuclear Program
High-ranking senators from both major U.S. political parties are urging prompt action to stem Iran's development of nuclear capabilities. The statements come as Iran continues to defend its right to have a nuclear program and to call for continued diplomatic efforts to resolve the matter. -VOA - 1/16/06

Iran nuclear bid 'fault of West'
Saudi Arabia has said the West is partly to blame for the current nuclear stand-off with Iran because it allowed Israel to develop nuclear weapons. -BBC - 1/16/06

Meet the West's worst nightmare
He is no diplomat - he doesn't speak the language - but maybe our leaders should try to understand what this son of a blacksmith, and President of Iran, is saying when he claims his country has a right to be a nuclear power -Guardian - 1/15/06

Saudi Arabia Joins WTO, Launches New Phase in International Trade Relations
Last month, after 12 years of negotiations, Saudi Arabia joined the World Trade Organization. To comply with WTO rules, the kingdom had to make concessions and reforms that, some analysts say, signal Saudi Arabia is opening up to the world. And, they expect more changes to come. -VOA - 1/15/06

Iran defiant on nuclear program
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a rare news conference over the weekend and declared that Iran will not abandon its nuclear program even if the UN nuclear watchdog refers it to the Security Council, where it could face punitive measures.-New York Times - 1/15/06

Thousands of Protesters Tear-Gassed After US Airstrike Deaths in Pakistan
Pakistani police tear-gassed tribesmen who burned down a US-funded aid agency office after the deaths of 18 villagers in an airstrike targeting Al-Qaeda's number two, witnesses said. -AFP - 1/15/06

West is in dark ages, says Iran's President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline President of Iran, launched an angry tirade against the West yesterday, accusing it of a 'dark ages' mentality and threatening retaliation unless it recognised his country's nuclear ambitions. -Guardian - 1/15/06

Iran's auto exports stands at 94 million dollars since March 2005
Vehicles were exported to Syria with dlrs 58.460 million, as well as dlrs 4.404 million to Saudi Arabia, dlrs 3.250 million to Russia, dlrs three million to Egypt, and dlrs 2.671 million to Ukraine. -IRNA - 1/15/06

Iranian women NGOs ban US interest section envoy from attending meeting
The envoy was banned from attending the general assembly meeting according to a decision made by representatives of 322 Iranian women NGOs attending a meeting of the network here. The decision was in response to US pressures on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 1/15/06

Iran Destroys Birds Along Border with Turkey
Iranian health officials have begun slaughtering thousands of birds along the country's border with Turkey, in an attempt to prevent the spread of avian flu. -VOA - 1/15/06

Iran Still Wants Talks With EU, Which Says Time For Tougher Approach
Iran says it is still open to negotiations with the EU on its nuclear program, but it's warning of consequences if its case is referred to the UN Security Council. Representatives of six countries -- including all five permanent members on the UN Security Council -- are due to meet on 16-17 January to discuss the standoff. -RFE - 1/15/06

President Ahmadinejad: Iran to continue cooperation with UN nuclear agency
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday Iran would proceed with cooperation with UN nuclear agency on on-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He said in his second press conference since taking office that Iran respects NPT and religious teachings forbid weapons of mass destruction (WMD). -IRNA - 1/14/06

Iran: Public Has Mixed Feelings On Nuclear Issue
As the dispute over Iran's nuclear program threatens to go to the United Nations, the position of politicians is already well-known. Little, though, is known about the views of ordinary Iranians. RFE/RL spoke with a number of Iranians in Tehran and cities around to get their country to get their opinions about a controversy that may result in the UN imposing sanctions on the country. - 1/14/06

Countdown to War with Iran?
The media has assumed its traditional role of fanning the flames for war by providing ample space for the spurious allegations of administration officials, right-wing pundits, and disgruntled Iranian exiles, while carefully omitting the relevant facts in Iran's defense. -Counterpunch - 1/14/06

Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel Discuss Iran
Taking questions from reporters in the White House East Room, Chancellor Merkel said it is crucial for Iranian leaders to understand how serious the international community is about preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. -VOA - 1/14/06

Resurgent Bayern wins Tehran friendly against Persepolis
Bayern Munich came from one goal down to overcome Persepolis 2-1 in a friendly in the 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium, west of Tehran, Friday. -IRNA - 1/14/06

Iran's Foreign Ministry invites EU to respect Iranian rights, conventions
Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that European states are expected to respect Iranian rights stipulated in Non-Proliferation Treaty and know that any illogical steps from them will backfire. -IRNA - 1/14/06

Experts: UN Unlikely to Agree on Tough Sanctions for Iran
Hauling Iran before the UN Security Council over its nuclear ambitions is unlikely to lead to crippling sanctions against Tehran. The international community still prefers pursuing negotiations, experts say. -Deutsche Welle - 1/14/06

Iran Opens Nuclear Locks – and a Hornet's Nest
Now that Iran has broken the seals it put two and a half years ago on an atomic research facility at Natanz, 250 km (155 mi.) south of Tehran, the threat of escalating conflict centered on the Western powers' effort to halt its nuclear activities looms large. -IPS - 1/14/06

Iran: Six persons accused of involvement in crash of C-130 in Tehran summoned
The Armed Forces Judicial Organization in a communique issued in Tehran on Saturday announced that six individuals have been summoned to the Military Prosecutor's Office in relation to the crash of C-130 military plane. -IRNA - 1/14/06

Iran Targeted
Special coverage of Iran's nuclear program - 1/14/06

Proof Bush Deceived America
James Risen’s State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, may hold bigger secrets than the disclosure that President George W. Bush authorized warrantless eavesdropping on Americans. -TomPaine.com - 1/14/06

Iran 'does not need nuclear arms'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his country does not need nuclear weapons. At a rare news conference in Tehran, Mr Ahmadinejad said they were needed only by people who "want to solve everything through the use of force". -BBC - 1/14/06

Iran on nuclear collision course
There is a strange-looking building alongside the headquarters of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, in its spacious compound in north-central Tehran. -BBC - 1/14/06

Iraq: Shi'ite Leader Says No Negotiations On Core Constitutional Principles
Iraqi Shi'ite leader Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said this week that Shi'a would not negotiate on the core principles outlined in the Iraqi Constitution. -RFE - 1/14/06

China Questions Wisdom of Referring Iran to Security Council
The U.N. Security Council appears split over whether to take up Iran's lack of cooperation with the international nuclear agency. Veto-wielding member China has suggested that a Security Council referral could make matters worse. -VOA - 1/14/06

Planting Evidence
After almost three years of exhaustive go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has – or ever had – a nuclear weapons program. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar - 1/14/06

Iran Air Strikes 'Under Consideration'
Western powers are already planning use of the military option in the face of Iran's insistence that it will go ahead with what it calls its nuclear research program, a leading expert says. -IPS - 1/14/06

Fire This Time? I Certainly Hope Not
In 2004, many experts had predicted an attack on Iran by the US and/or Israel by the summer of 2005. It didn¡¯t happen. A year later, the same experts are even more certain of a pending Israeli and/or American preemptive strike against Iran as early as late March, 2006. I personally doubt it very much; let¡¯s hope I am right. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/13/06

Iran Threatens To End Nuclear Cooperation If Referred To UN
Iran has said it would end voluntary cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its nuclear program if it were referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. -RFE - 1/13/06

British Foreign Secretary Says Military Action Against Iran is Not an Option
Iran may soon be referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if other steps prove fruitless. That is the view of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw who has talked Friday about the options available. Straw also said that the United States and Britain haven't discussed military action against Iran. -VOA - 1/13/06

Rice Calls for Security Council To Take Up Iranian Nuclear Issue
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined her European counterparts January 12 in calling for a referral of the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council. - 1/13/06

Iranian FM calls on EU3 members for forbearance, patience
"Our approach is quite clear. However, Iran is ready to clarify the ambiguities or worries in this respect raised by any country likely to be skeptical about the issue," he added. -IRNA - 1/13/06

Mass Amnesia!
In 2004, the IAEA chief, Mohammad ElBaradei said the Israeli nuclear arsenal was an obstacle to peace in the Middle East. According to him, it was unsustainable that some countries had nuclear weapons and others did not. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 1/13/06

Iran Dispute Is Biggest Oil Price Risk, Barclays Says
The dispute over Iran's nuclear program is ``the major risk'' in the oil market, said Barclays Capital, the most accurate forecaster of last year's rally. -Bloomberg - 1/13/06

Irony of extremist checked only by clerics
IS THE Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the most dangerous leader in the world? Only if there is a failure of all the curbs on his power within Iran. But it is thin reassurance for the West that Iranian clerics are the bulwark against Ahmadinejad¡¯s excesses. -TIMES Online - 1/13/06

No Iranians among Saudi Arabia's Mina stampede victims: official
A great number of pilgrims were trampled over during the stoning ceremony in Mina in eastern holy city of Mecca on the final day of Hajj as they were stoning three walls in a symbolic casting out of the devil and rejection of temptation. -IRNA - 1/13/06

Annan 'Extremely Concerned' About Iranian Situation
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is "extremely concerned" about the rising tensions over Iran's nuclear program and has offered to help mediate the crisis. -RFE - 1/13/06

Earthquake jolts Nir in Ardebil province of Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 degrees on the Richter scale jolted Nir town, 30 kilometers west of Ardebil city, on Friday morning. -IRNA - 1/13/06

Bayern Munich soccer team arrives in Tehran for friendly game
German record champion Bayern Munich arrived here from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, before Friday noon to play a friendly against Persepolis in the 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium on the same day. -IRNA - 1/13/06

A Proud Nation Surrounded by Nuclear States
Iran is an ancient and proud nation and reacts badly to being treated as a pariah state. It can see how Pakistan's prestige was enhanced in the Islamic world when a Pakistani scientist developed the first Islamic bomb. Iran could do the same for Shia Islam. -Independent - 1/13/06

Iran 'years from nuclear bomb'
Iran has alarmed the international community by removing the seals at its nuclear fuel research sites - but experts say it is several years away from being capable of producing a nuclear bomb. -BBC - 1/13/06

Under the Skin of the Country
Two local film showcases lift the veil on Iranian society at the dawn of a new cultural conservatism -LA Weekly - 1/13/06

Persian adventure
Contrary to their conservative image, Iranians are very hospitable and keen to strike conversations with tourists. -Business Line, India - 1/13/06

IAF intelligence: Iran beefing up air defenses
A recent research project by the IAF has determined that in the summer of 1981 Israel did not have a clear picture of the impact a strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor would have, but chose to attack anyway. -Jerusalem Post - 1/13/06

War, Lies, and Videotape
They fabricated the case against Iraq – now they're moving on Iran -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 1/13/06

Song of freedom: On the occasion of 127 educational research alternative rock concert
One of the main differences between old Persians and new Persians is that the former used every opportunity to hold feasts and celebrate life while the latter do exactly the opposite. That is why we call ourselves - 1/13/06

Let's make sure we do better with Iran than we did with Iraq
The west's next step on Tehran's nuclear plans should be to understand the regime and society, not to start bombing -Guardian - 1/12/06

Iranian President: Big powers intend to dominate Persian Gulf
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that big powers intend to dominate the strategic region of the Persian Gulf. Addressing the elite in this southern province, Ahmadinejad termed the Persian Gulf as the most important and sensitive political and economic region in the world. -IRNA - 1/12/06

Confusion on the streets, solidarity in the regime as Iran chooses brinkmanship
The heavy snowfall yesterday, compounding the thick blanket of pollution that habitually engulfs Tehran in the dead of winter, seemed emblematic of the confusion many Iranians now have over their government's decision to resume nuclear research activities in the face of fierce criticism from the west. -Guardian - 1/12/06

FAO warns bird flu virus could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to neighbouring countries
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today that the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus H5N1 could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to neighbouring countries. - 1/12/06

US: Security Council Referral for Iran More Likely Than Ever
The Bush administration said Wednesday the prospect of a U.N. Security Council referral for Iran over its nuclear program is more likely than ever. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is engaged in telephone diplomacy on the issue following Iran's move this week to resume work at previously-sealed nuclear sites. -VOA - 1/12/06

Iran's nuclear path is a challenge
The first thing that needs to be recognized is that it is indeed an assumption that Iran is necessarily on its way to fabricating nuclear bombs. In a wonderfully nuanced analysis for Foreign Policy in Focus, Ian Davis and Paul Ingram argue that although it is quite possible that Iran is going the nuclear weapons route, this isn¡¯t by all means certain. -Progressive - 1/12/06

Russia Won't Block U.S. on Iran
The Bush administration, working intensely to galvanize international pressure on Iran, has secured a guarantee from Russia that it will not block U.S. efforts to take Tehran's nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council, American and European officials said yesterday. -Washington Post - 1/12/06

Iran Condemned For Renewing Nuclear-Fuel Work
The United States, Israel, the EU, and Russia are expressing dismay and concern at Iran's decision to renew work on nuclear fuel. -RFE - 1/12/06

NATO denies discussion on military action against Iran
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Thursday categorically denied media reports that the 26-member western alliance was discussing to take military action against the Islamic Republic of Iran. -IRNA - 1/12/06

Pressure mounts on defiant Iran
Western powers have stepped up their warnings that Iran's resumption of nuclear research will probably result in referral to the UN Security Council. -BBC - 1/12/06

India tilts to the west as the world's new poles emerge
Nothing is permanent in history, including America's domination of the global economic and political systems. Assuming China and India keep growing at their current rates, the unipolar world of recent years - topped by the US - will be replaced by a multipolar world within a few decades. -Guardian - 1/12/06

U.S. opening some private mail in terror fight
U.S. officials are opening personal mail that arrives from abroad when they deem it necessary to protect the country from terrorism, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said Monday. -CNN - 1/12/06

Afghanistan: New Parliament Goes On The Offensive
As the newly inaugurated Afghan National Assembly began its first week of deliberations on issues other than its own procedural matters, two significant patterns appeared to emerge: first, that this parliament is prepared to pursue a populist agenda; and second, that it is likely to challenge the executive branch's seemingly exclusive hold on power. -RFE - 1/12/06

Iran: Inquiry needed in the death of Baha'i prisoner of conscience
Amnesty International has written to the head of Iran's Judiciary to express concern at continuing abuses committed against the country's Baha'i community and to urge him to ensure that no-one is imprisoned on account of their religious or cultural identity or because of their peaceful activities in support of their community. - 1/12/06

Efforts Stepped Up to Stop the Spread of Avian Flu
Turkey this week announced 10 additional cases of bird flu in humans, bringing the total in that country to 14. Birds have also spread the disease to other parts of Europe and Asia. -VOA - 1/12/06

Iran's western liabilities rises by over 1 billion dollars, reports BIS
Iran's liabilities with western banks rose by over a billion dollars to a record dlrs 25.6 billion between March and June last year, according to the latest figures from the Bank of International Settlement (BIS). - 1/12/06

West finds its options on Iran are limited
Based on what European and American officials were saying and doing Wednesday, one day after Iran moved to break the internationally monitored seals on its nuclear facilities, it was unclear whether a consensus for sanctions could be formed, or that Iranian behavior would be changed even if new pressure were applied. -New York Times - 1/12/06

Iran Nuclear Moves Seen as Calculated Action
Analysts believe that there is in fact a deliberate strategy behind Iran's defiance of world sentiment on its nuclear program. Kenneth Katzman, an Iran analyst at the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, says each step Iran takes is designed to gauge world reaction and see just how far it can go. -VOA - 1/12/06

Their Armageddonites, and Ours
It is indeed an irony that today, at the beginning of the 21st century, America, Iran, and Israel all have governments heavily influenced by fanatical religious fundamentalists. The rest of the world should be aware and wary. -Antiwar.com - 1/12/06

Babak & Friends at the 13th Iranian Film Festival at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts
Later this month, the 13th Iranian Film Festival will be taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Rice Cinema at Rice University. As part of the program, the organizers will be screening Babak and Friends ¨C A First Norooz, a 30-minute animated movie about a little Iranian boy in search of his identity. -Sara Sefeed - 1/11/06

Iran's top mullah may be on our side
A coalition of traditional conservatives, pragmatists and reformists is emerging within the government to oppose Ahmadinejad's brand of governance. With Iran saying it will resume nuclear fuel research, the U.S. should do all in its power to boost the bargaining power of these more moderate Iranian leaders. -Dariush Zahedi and Ali Ezzatyar, LA Times - 1/11/06

US Accuses Iran of Escalating Nuclear Dispute
The United States said Tuesday Iran's move to reopen previously sealed nuclear sites represents a "major escalation" of the diplomatic confrontation over its nuclear intentions. U.S. officials say the action has triggered intense diplomacy among permanent U.N. Security Council members and other concerned parties about how to respond. -VOA - 1/11/06

Rafsanjani calls for more investment to raise safety standards in Iran
Rafsanjani said, "No more than 40 days have passed since the C130 plane crash and the reality behind the case is still unknown. Rumors are hurting the people like leprosy, making them concerned over other possible incidents." -IRNA - 1/11/06

260 Minutes Opportunity for Iran's Tourism in World Cup 2006
Each country is granted 260 minutes to introduce its tourism attractions at a cultural exhibition in Berlin during Soccer World Cup 2006. -CHN - 1/11/06

Iranians support nuclear stance
A few Iranians outside the establishment might think the political costs of pursuing nuclear technology are not worth it. But for the majority nuclear power is a nationalistic issue and there is deep resentment that the west wants to prevent Iran from making technological progress. -BBC - 1/11/06

Israeli strikes won't ruin Iran's nuclear facilities
As Iran fast approaches the "point of no return" in its drive for the capability to build nuclear weapons, the question of Israel's reaction looms large. -Daily Spectrum, UT - 1/11/06

Iran stretches world powers' patience to limit
Iran yesterday raised the stakes in its nuclear dispute with the west, taking a gamble that will harden international attitudes and bolster attempts to report the case to the UN Security Council, a first step towards imposing sanctions against Tehran. -Financial Times - 1/11/06

IAEA confirms unsealing of Natanz nuclear site
Iran had suspended activities at Natanz nuclear site voluntarily in 2003 as a confidence-building measure for national nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/11/06

Bush Outlines Plan For 'Complete Victory' In Iraq
U.S. President George W. Bush is continuing his series of speeches designed to increase support for the war in Iraq. On 10 January, he addressed a group of veterans in Washington about the prospects for progress toward what he called "complete victory" in the conflict, which began with a U.S.-led invasion nearly three years ago. -RFE - 1/11/06

Stuff and Nonsense
If the publisher and editors of the New York Times thought the soon-to-be released book – entitled State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration – by their reporter James Risen will undo the damage done to the reputation of the "newspaper of record" by disgraced neo-crazy media sycophant Judith Miller, they may be in for a surprise. -Antiwar - 1/11/06

Iran bombs link: retraction or non-retraction?
A dispute has developed over a claim by Britain last October that Iran had provided the technology for bomb attacks on British troops in southern Iraq. -BBC - 1/11/06

The War Within the Antiwar Movement
Not Dealing with Zionism is Like a King Kong Movie Without the Ape -Counterpunch - 1/11/06

Iran risks international confrontation by restarting nuclear fuel operations
Iran's breach of its nuclear research moratorium will top the agenda when Britain, France and Germany meet tomorrow, with Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, signalling a referral to the UN security council and possible sanctions. -Guardian - 1/11/06

Tough response may seem inevitable but could play into Tehran's hands
Iran's hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been spoiling for a fight since he was elected last summer. Now it looks as though he has got one, as the US, Britain and EU allies prepared yesterday to refer Iran's nuclear activities to the UN security council for possible punitive sanctions. -Guardian - 1/11/06

Iran Breaks Seals, West Talks Sanctions
Western leaders have condemned Iran for its decision to renew work on nuclear fuel and raised the possibility of referring the matter to the UN Security Council for possible action. -RFE - 1/11/06

Italy's Sacmi Equips a Colossal Production Plant in Iran
Record-breaking order from Apadana Ceram for a plant with a daily output of 90,000 m2. - 1/11/06

Iranian Nomads Prepare to Attract Foreign Tourists
The establishment of the Department of Tourism Development in Nomadic Regions has enabled nomads of Iran to attract foreign tourists to their land. -CHN - 1/11/06

IRGC Commander elaborates on plane crash that claimed Iranian commanders' lives
Commander of Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) on Monday elaborated on nature of plane crash that claimed 11 of IRGC top brass commanders. On possibility of sabotage leading to the disaster, the IRGC Commander said, "We do not think so presently, unless the team of technicians surveying the issue would opine otherwise." -IRNA - 1/10/06

At 60, UN Gripped By Debate on Human Rights Reform
Today, 10 January, marks the 60th anniversary of the first session of the UN's General Assembly. Then, as now, the agenda of the world's only universal intergovernmental body was dominated by peace, security, and human rights. -RFE - 1/10/06

Iran's food industry capable of meeting WTO requirements
Soft drinks, mineral water, biscuits and sweets valued at USD 142 million were exported during March-September 2005. The figure is expected to rise to $295 million by March, 2006 it added. -IRNA - 1/10/06

Neocons Considered Planting WMD Evidence in Iraq?
A recent Raw Story report by Larissa Alexandrovna suggests that the notorious Office of Special Plans didn’t just stovepipe cherry-picked “intelligence” to the White House and press. -Dissident Voice - 1/10/06

UN Bodies Survive US Funding Threats
The United States, a major funder of the United Nations and its myriad agencies, has a longstanding notoriety for exercising its financial clout to threaten U.N. bodies refusing to play ball with Washington. -IPS - 1/10/06

Iran: Quake hits Lali in Khuzestan province
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale jolted the city of Lali in the southwestern province of Khuzestan Tuesday morning. -IRNA - 1/10/06

Officials: Iranian spy affair overblown
Justice Ministry says reports on Iran espionage affair involving Israeli-Arab citizen Jaris Jaris are incorrect; accused claims 'story was blown out of proportions -Ynetnews - 1/10/06

New transmission lines will carry Iran's electricity to Iraq
In its bid to further develop export of electricity to Iraq, Iran is planning to build new power transmission lines to that country, an official at the Gharb Regional Power Company said. -Mehr - 1/10/06

Iran steps nearer confrontation
Iran's decision to resume nuclear research after a voluntary suspension during the last two years is another step in the delicate and dangerous diplomatic dance over its nuclear future. -BBC - 1/10/06

China supports Iran-EU3 nuclear talks
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan on Tuesday said that Iran's nuclear issue should be resolved within the framework of the UN nuclear watchdog. Speaking to the media, he added that the most important and fundamental matter at the present time is to pursue Iran-EU talks. -IRNA - 1/10/06

Saied Ghanbari's struggle to reunite with his family in New Zealand
Saied Ghanbari's successful eight-year stay in the city of Auckland, New Zealand came to an abrupt end in August 2004 due to the efforts of a senior parliamentarian, and he was forced to leave his wife Belinda and two-year-old son Ali behind. Since then, Saied has been making strenuous efforts to reunite with his family. -Mehr - 1/10/06

Report on Avian influenza (Bird Flu) situation in Turkey by World Health Organization
Laboratory tests conducted in Turkey have confirmed detection of the H5 subtype of avian influenza virus in samples from an additional 10 patients. - 1/10/06

Iran lifts limits on imports from South Korea, UK
Iran's limitations lately imposed on the imports from South Korea and UK has been lifted, an official at Iran's Commerce Ministry said in Tehran on Sunday. -Mehr - 1/10/06

Iran says nuclear research not limited to a particular site
Iran on Tuesday stressed that its nuclear research activities will not be limited to a particular site. Deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) for International Affairs, Mohammad Saeedi, made the disclosure while talking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday. -IRNA - 1/10/06

US: Iran Under Increased Pressure to Halt Nuclear Program
The White House says there is growing international support for action by the U.N. Security Council on Iran's nuclear program. The Bush administration says Tehran is showing it cannot be trusted to abide by its international obligations. -VOA - 1/10/06

UK's Straw denies accusing Iran of involvement in Iraq bombings
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Tuesday denied that he had accused Iran directly of involvement in supplying the Iraqi insurgency with bombs to attack British soldiers. "I did not say there was conclusive evidence of Iran's involvement," Straw said in response to reports that London had withdrawn allegations against Tehran after carrying out a thorough assessment of the latest intelligence. -IRNA - 1/10/06

Discovery of Murals of Four Sassanid Princes in Gour City
Archaeological excavations in an ancient palace near Menar area of Gour city which goes back to the Sassanid era resulted in the discovery of colored fresco of four Sassanid princes on one of the walls of this palace. This is the first time that such a design has been discovered. -CHN - 1/10/06

Iason Athanasiadis photos at Tehran's Artists Forum: Asia Minor Photographs
The Artists Forum first exhibition on the eve of the New Year (2006) was a photo exhibition of a multi-talented Greek-British whiz-kid, Iason Athanasiadis who speaks, reads and writes very good Persian as well as Arabic, which he studied at Oxford. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 1/10/06

A Report on a New Wave of Persian Gulf Name Abuse
In the immediate aftermath of National Geographic¡¯s inclusion of an improper label for the Persian Gulf in their latest 2005 World Atlas edition last year, we reacted by setting up a few exhibits of historical maps, renaming a street in south Tehran and calling a freeway hundreds of miles to the north the Persian Gulf Highway, rest assured that the world will now call this waterway by it proper name. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 1/9/06

Russia, Iran discuss latest developments on nuclear issue
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kisliak conferred with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran on Sunday on the latest position of Iran's peaceful nuclear program. -IRNA - 1/9/06

Beyond the Ballot
There¡¯s a good reason why the United States cannot tolerate a sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq. The issue can scarcely be raised because it conflicts with firmly established doctrine: We¡¯re supposed to believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq if it was an island in the Indian Ocean and its main export was pickles, not petroleum. -Noam Chomsky - 1/9/06

How to Stop the Planned Nuking of Iran
Multiple pieces of independent evidence suggest that America is embarked in a premeditated path that will lead inexorably to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran in the very near future. Whether you are liberal or conservative, antiwar or pro-war, if you believe this would be catastrophic for America and the world, the time to act to derail it is now! -Antiwar - 1/9/06

Global Women Launch Campaign to End Iraq War
On Thursday, January 5, women from around the world¡ªfrom the US to Iraq to Britain to Japan¡ªlaunched a campaign aimed at ending the Iraq war and all attacks on Iraqi civilians in 2006. - 1/9/06

Iran To Resume 'Nuclear Research'
Iran has announced that it will resume suspended nuclear fuel research today despite an EU warning that the move could jeopardize future nuclear negotiations with Tehran. Reports suggest that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Tehran on 7 January to remove seals at research sites. -RFE - 1/9/06

Plane crash kills Iran commander
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards ground forces and at least 10 other officers have died in a plane crash. -BBC - 1/9/06

Turkey's Cull Continues As New Bird-Flu Cases Confirmed
Workers are continuing to seize and kill fowl from villagers in eastern Turkey as the number of confirmed bird flu cases in humans has risen to four in the Van province. -RFE - 1/9/06

China stresses Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Monday stressed Iran's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. -IRNA - 1/9/06

ElBaradei 'loses patience' as Iran breaks UN seals at nuclear research centres
Iran was preparing to remove United Nations seals at several nuclear research and development sites last night, despite warnings from the UN nuclear chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, that the international community was running out of patience with Tehran. -Independent - 1/9/06

Iran to resume nuclear research
Iran says it will resume nuclear fuel research on Monday, despite international appeals to desist. -BBC - 1/9/06

Quake jolts southeastern Iranian city of Zarand
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the city of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman Sunday night. -IRNA - 1/9/06

150 here honor Baha'i who died in Iran captivity
All it would have taken for Dhabihu'llah Mahrami to end his decadelong imprisonment in an Iranian jail was the renunciation of his faith. -Chicago Sun-Times - 1/9/06

Iraqis receive training in Iran
Shi'ite clerics are recruiting young Iraqis to go to neighboring Iran for political indoctrination and militia training, said the uncle of one young man who recently returned from a one-month session. -Washington Times - 1/9/06

Denial of Holocaust nothing new in Iran; Ties to Hitler led to plots against British and Jews
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has shot to the forefront of Holocaust denial with his rabble-rousing remarks last month. But it's more like self-denial. The president of Iran need only look to his country's Hitler-era past to discover that Iran and Iranians were strongly connected to the Holocaust and the Hitler regime -SF Chronicle - 1/9/06

Book titled `Persian Gulf, From Past to Present' published
Mahmoud Noruzifar's book titled `Persian Gulf, From Past to Present' has been published by the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA). -IRNA - 1/9/06

Axis of Fanatics – Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad
With Ariel Sharon out of the picture, Benjamin Netanyahu has a better chance to become prime minister of Israel. He's media savvy. He knows how to spin on American television. And he's very dangerous. -Norman Solomon, Antiwar - 1/9/06

Turkey: Bird Flu Cases Spread To Ankara
Concern is rising about the deadly outbreak of bird flu in Turkey, following confirmation that three people in the capital -- far from the initial cases -- are suffering from the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of the flu. -RFE - 1/9/06

Official: No H5N1 case in Iran
No case of H5N1 strain virus has yet been detected in Iran, head of Iran's Veterinary Organization, Hossein Hassani said in Tehran on Sunday. -IRNA - 1/9/06

Bullying Iran is Not an Option
Before Western Leaders Seek Sanctions Against Iran, They Should Put Their Own Houses in Order on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power -Guardian - 1/9/06

Persian Arts Festival of New York calling on all Persian Artists, Filmmakers & Musicians
The Persian Arts Festival (PAF), a not-for-profit festival, the first of it's kind in New York City!! It is scheduled for March 2006, NYC, in conjunction with the Persian New Year, Norooz. PAF invites all Persian artists of diverse backgrounds and mediums to submit their work to be considered for our art showcases. - 1/9/06

On Another Planet
Getting rid of Jayson Blair and Judith Miller was a good beginning, but the "Grey Lady" still has "reporters" publishing as "facts" neo-crazy (and eco-wacko) propaganda. -Gordon Prather, Antiwar - 1/7/06

EU tests confirm bird flu in Turkey caused by H5N1 strain
The European Commission announced Saturday afternoon that test results from the EU laboratory in the UK has confirmed that the avian influenza virus, which has recently caused an outbreak in poultry in eastern Turkey, is a high pathogenic type H5N1. -IRNA - 1/7/06

Interior Minister: Pro-Taliban groups behind Iranian soldiers' kidnapping
Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said that groups linked to the Taliban were behind the kidnapping of nine Iranian border guards in the eastern parts of the country. -IRNA - 1/7/06

Latest works of father of modern Iranian archaeology coming home
The latest works and essays written by Ezzatollah Negahban, the father of modern Iranian archaeology, will soon be returning to Tehran University's Institute of Archaeology, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 1/7/06

12,556 HIV positive patients in Iran
There are 12,556 HIV positive patients in Iran, including 11,875 men and 681 women, according to latest statistics released by Ministry of Health. -IRNA - 1/7/06

Primal Smirk: The War God Has His Eyes on Iran — Can We Stop Him?
I ache with fresh hope and foreboding at this time of year. The time is ripe for an overarching vision of a world without war — a tough, smart vision that can claim headlines and hold its own with the spin machines of government. Without it, we’re doomed to . . . war with Iran? -Common Wonders - 1/7/06

Russia and Iran in nuclear talks
Russian diplomats and nuclear experts have begun talks with Iranian officials two days before Iran is due to resume its suspended nuclear programme. -BBC - 1/7/06

Festive card has 5,000 mile trip
A Christmas card sent by a pensioner to her nephew, two miles away, was delivered accidentally via Iran. -BBC - 1/7/06

Hannity Urges Israel To Attack Iran. Is FOX News Prepping US For War?
Chickenhawk Sean Hannity made it clear he thinks Israel should attack Iran and not waste any time over it. Even Alan Colmes seemed uncharacterisitcally bellicose during the segment. -News Hounds - 1/7/06

With Promise of Airport, Investment in Najaf Takes Off
Just beyond the verdant scrub where women in colorful robes crouch to pick cucumbers, on a flat expanse bounded by a few miles of chain-link fence, is a smooth stretch of asphalt long enough to land a jumbo jet. -Washington Post - 1/7/06

India's nuke plan sent to US without Union cabinet's approval
The plan, which include the names of facilities that India is willing to put under international inspection, are part of a highly secretive exercise that sent Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran rushing to Washington to personally hand the plan over to the Bush administration, the leading English daily `Asian Age' reported here today. -IRNA - 1/7/06

Them or Us: AIPAC on Trial
In August 2004, the FBI and the US Justice Department counter-intelligence bureau announced that they were investigating a top Pentagon analyst suspected of spying for Israel and handing over highly confidential documents on US policy toward Iran to AIPAC which in turn handed them over to the Israeli Embassy. -Counterpunch - 1/7/06

Israel's Regional Policy Likely To Continue With Or Without Sharon
Sharon was a military tactician as well as a politician -- a fact that was manifest often in his muscular approach to regional policy. Some analysts characterize that policy as "unilateralism." -RFE - 1/7/06

Tweaking the United States
As the Iranian nuclear threat continues growing, neither the United States nor Israel is eager to be damned by the global community for sending in bombers to take out Tehran's dispersed and hard-to-find subterranean nuclear factories. -Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution - 1/7/06

Police, Shin Bet arrest spy for Iran
The Israel Police's Serious and International Crimes Unit together with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has arrested the former head of the Fasuta Local Council in the Upper Galilee suspected of spying on Israel for Iranian Intelligence, it was released for publication on Friday. -Jerusalem Post - 1/7/06

2005, record sale and production in Iran's auto industry
The year 2005 was a record sale in Iran's auto industry history. Total of 994,000 light and heavy vehicles, valued at $11.6b, hit the nation's roads while overall auto and part exports stood only at $350m, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 1/7/06

Veteran Iranian actor warns about insufficient funding for theater
In an open letter addressed to the Iranian cabinet and the Management and Planning Organization, veteran Iranian actor Ali Nasirian warned that insufficient funding is being allocated for the theater and cultural affairs, ISNA reported on Saturday. -Mehr - 1/7/06

Iran Refuses to Share Its Nuclear Plans with the U.N.
In Vienna, Austria, Iran has reneged on its pledge to provide the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, with details on its uranium enrichment plans. Earlier, Iran said it would resume nuclear fuel research on January 9th. -VOA - 1/7/06

How an Israeli attack would further Iran's development of Nuclear Weapons
An attack by the Israeli's, or by US forces, will likely result in the death of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Iranians. And while I recognize the significance of Iran's nuclear progress coupled with its president's horrific statements, one cannot view Iranian politics or foreign policy from a superficial perspective. -Nema Milaninia - 1/6/06

A challenge to Israel's strategic primacy
For more than 14 years, Israel has been the primary force countering Iran's nuclear advances. Though Israel presents the prospect of a nuclear Iran as a global rather than an Israeli problem, it has compelled Washington to adopt its own red lines and not those of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). -Trita Parsi, Bitterlemons-international - 1/6/06

New Challenges for the Antiwar Movement
Destabilizing Iran, or Iraq's Shi'ite parties, would not lessen the level of violence in the region, but increase it. Already, the war in Iraq's Shi'ite region is bleeding over into Iran's Arab Shi'ite province of Khuzestan. A military strike against Iran (whether for its nuclear program, its support for Iraqi Shi'ites, or oppression of its own Arab minority), will doom any democratic aspirations in Iran or Iraq. -CounterPunch - 1/6/06

Turkey: Bird Flu Claims First Lives Outside Southeast Asia
Turkish authorities on 5 January banned the hunting of wild birds and the sale and movement of poultry in the east of the country after a 15-year-old girl became the country's second victim of bird flu -- and the only the second to die of the disease outside Southeast Asia and China. -RFE - 1/6/06

Iran scuppers deal with west on uranium tests
Iran is expected to resume testing machinery next week that can be used to make weapons-grade uranium in a move that appears calculated to scupper the prospects of a settlement of its long-running nuclear dispute with the west. -Guardian - 1/6/06

Arab Analysts Fear Sharon's Stroke Might Lead to More Instability
While Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is unpopular in the Arab world, some Arab political analysts are watching Mr. Sharon's health with great interest, and even anxiety, because of concerns that his sudden exit from the political scene could lead to instability and uncertainty in a region that can ill-afford it. -VOA - 1/6/06

Bayern Munich to play friendly in Iran
German champions Bayern Munich will travel from their Dubai training camp to play a practice match against Iranian club Persepolis in Tehran on January 13, the club said on Thursday. -Reuters - 1/6/06

Azerbaijan Eyes Iran as Baku Seeks to Diversify Energy Imports
Russia’s hardball pricing policy for natural gas is prompting Azerbaijan to accelerate its search for alternate sources of energy. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has indicated that Baku would look "whenever possible" to Iran for gas imports. -Eurasianet - 1/6/06

Pakistan nuclear network 'broken'
Pakistan says it has completely dismantled the underground network of disgraced nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. -BBC - 1/6/06

Iran: Hirkani Forest, a Natural Museum under Threat
The usage of more than six hectares of Neca national-historical forests with 200-year-old trees has been changed by planting saplings of fruit trees by the order of a member of Iran's parliament. -CHN - 1/6/06

Time to Talk to Tehran
Does President Bush intend a preventive war, early this year, to effect the nuclear castration of Iran? Or are we rattling sabers? -Patrick J. Buchanan - 1/6/06

Maybod, a World Research Center for Adobe Structures
Historical airport of Maybod in Yazd Province has been suggested by Maybod Research Center as the center for Adobe International Research Institute. -CHN - 1/6/06

Mass Graves discovered in Iran's historical Burnt City
Archaeologists unearthed more than 108 graves in the pre-historic cemetery of Burnt City during their latest excavations in the site. In some of these graves, three to eight bodies were buried. -CHN - 1/6/06

Rice: Consensus Grows on Referring Iran to UN Security Council
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday an international consensus is growing for referring the issue of Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council. She gave no time-line but said the need for such action is becoming clearer. -VOA - 1/6/06

Anger as Britain admits it was wrong to blame Iran for deaths in Iraq
MPs and soldiers' families have demanded an explanation from the Government after a U-turn over claims that Iran was complicit in the killing of British soldiers in southern Iraq. -Independent - 1/5/06

Event in Boston: "Stopping a War against Iran before it Starts"
The US and Israel government leaders have openly and repeatedly made threats of military action for a change of regime in Iran since George W. Bush's January 2002 State of Union Speech which labeled Iran as part of the axis of evil. - 1/5/06

Intelligence Indications And Warnings Abound On Bush Iran Military Strike
Intelligence and military sources in the United States and abroad are reporting on various factors that indicate a U.S. military hit on Iranian nuclear and military installations, that may involve tactical nuclear weapons, is in the final stages of preparation. -Rense - 1/5/06

Does Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Signal 'Victory For Common Sense'?
Russia and Ukraine today said they had reached a five-year agreement that effectively settles their natural gas price dispute. Under the terms of the deal, Ukraine will buy Russian gas at a rate of $95 per 1,000 cubic meters through a company partially owned by Gazprom, Russia's natural gas monopoly. -RFE - 1/5/06

Iran's Foreign Exchange Reserve Fund balance to increase to 14-15 billion by year end
Iran Central Bank (CBI) Governor Ebrahim Shheybani said on Wednesday that the balance of Foreign Exchange Reserve Fund (FERF) should increase to about dlrs 14-15 billion by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20). -IRNA - 1/5/06

Afghan refugee returns from Iran and Pakistan in 2005 top half a million
Last year saw a significant number of returns to post-conflict Afghanistan, with more than half a million Afghans repatriated, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Monday in the capital, Kabul. -IRIN - 1/5/06

Iran nuclear research troubles EU
European nations have called on Iran to reverse its decision on Tuesday to resume nuclear fuel research, part of its controversial nuclear programme. -BBC - 1/5/06

Mideast democracy after the honeymoon
With the dawn of 2006, last year's early euphoria about elections across the Middle East should yield to more sober assessments of the prospects for democracy in this troubled region - and to more sophisticated understanding of the difference between electoral politics and genuine democracy. -CSM - 1/5/06

Iraq: Four Iranians killed in Karbala explosion
Four Iranian nationals were killed and 13 others injured in a bomb explosion in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala Thursday morning, it was announced in Baghdad on Thursday. -IRNA - 1/5/06

EU import ban on live birds from Turkey remains in place
The European Union said Thursday that it is working in close contact with the Turkish authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) to clarify the situation following reports that four people who have died in Turkey in recent days were infected with bird flu. -IRNA - 1/5/06

Mob War In the Mideast
In the gangster movies, you know all hell is about to break loose when one of the disgruntled old dons decides to switch sides and rat out the young Godfather. Something like that is now happening with Syria -- and it provides a new year's bombshell for an already turbulent Middle East. -Washington Post - 1/5/06

Mother of pistachios living out retirement at ag research center
In her prime, she was used to breed millions of disease-resistant trees, helping propel California's pistachio industry to international prominence. -AP - 1/5/06

For pariah nations, 'rogue' status pays off
Iran's announcement this week that it will resume nuclear fuel research and North Korea's warning that it will snub further nuclear nonproliferation talks because of US actions indicate that this year, like the last, will revolve to a fair degree around actions of the world's pariah nations. -CSM - 1/5/06

Aras Resort Complex to be Built
The entertainment complex of Aras Free Zone will be built with the cooperation of a Chinese consortium. -CHN - 1/5/06

Economic Freedom Advancing, Survey Finds
Economic freedom made impressive gains throughout North America and Europe. That is the conclusion of an annual survey conducted by the U.S. newspaper "The Wall Street Journal" and the Heritage Foundation, an influential right-wing U.S. think tank. -RFE - 1/5/06

Iranian President welcomes Chavez's proposal for energy cooperation with Venezuela, Bolivia
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday welcomed a proposal from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to develop tripartite cooperation between Tehran, Caracas and La Paz on energy. -IRNA - 1/5/06

Turkey Moves Closer to Iraqi Kurds
In December a private Turkish airline began flying between Istanbul and Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish-controlled northern region. Company officials say booming business between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds propelled their decision to become the first Turkish airline company to connect Turkey to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. -VOA - 1/5/06

The Prospects of a Nuclear-Armed Iran
Although Iranian and EU officials have recently agreed to resume talks on Iran's nuclear activities, there is little optimism that such talks would lead to any breakthrough in the existing deadlock over Iran's nuclear program. -Abolghasem Bayyenat, Global Politician - 1/5/06

U.S. Treasury Employs Financial Sanctions Against WMD Proliferation Supporters in Iran
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two Iranian entities, Novin Energy Company and Mesbah Energy Company, for their support of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The designation and accompanying asset freeze is administered by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. - 1/5/06

George Bush insists that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. So why, six years ago, did the CIA give the Iranians blueprints to build a bomb?
In an extract from his explosive new book, New York Times reporter James Risen reveals the bungles and miscalculations that led to a spectacular intelligence fiasco -Guardian - 1/5/06

Iran's future? Watch the streets
For months Iranian activists and even moderate clerics have been concerned about the radical tendencies of Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...But there is another development in Iran - this one positive and with great potential - that the world should not miss: civic defiance against Ahmadinejad's authoritarianism is increasing. -IHT - 1/4/06

True believers dial messiah hotline in Iran
Have a quick question about when the Mahdi is coming to save mankind, according to Shiite Muslim adherents? Need to know the signs? Just call the new messiah "hotline." Or log on to Bright Future News Agency to get the latest religious readout - all part of the effort by freshly rejuvenated true believers in Iran to spread their message of the imminent return of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam who is expected to return to impose justice and spread peace. -CSM - 1/4/06

UK drops allegations of Iran 'involvement' in Iraq bombings
The UK government is reported to have dropped its allegations of Iranian 'involvement' in supplying Iraqi insurgency groups with bombs to attack British soldiers. Military and diplomatic officials have stopped pointing the finger at Tehran after carrying out a thorough assessment of the latest intelligence, wrote the daily Times. -IRNA - 1/4/06

Bush's former energy advisor expects oil to hit $250 per barrel
The former energy advisor of US President George W Bush, Matthew Simmons, predicts oil prices could reach as much as 250 US dollars per barrel over the coming years. -IRNA - 1/4/06

CIA-Mossad Sponsored “Rebels” Attack Iran’s Border
It makes perfect sense for the CIA to be attracted to Iran’s Baluchistan province. First, the area has well established drug smuggling routes—and the CIA has an insatiable hunger for profits to be gleaned from illegal drugs—and second Baluchistan is a neglected tribal backwater where Hanafi Sunni Islam has a foothold in contrast to Iran’s Shia majority. -Indymedia - 1/4/06

Can the US cut a Libya-like deal in Syria and Iran
Another candidate for strategic reversal is Iran, which has had strained relations with the United States for a quarter century. But for many reasons, Iran is an even worse candidate for such a reversal in the near term than Syria. -Israpundit - 1/4/06

Supreme Leader: Iran should regain ancient status as 'mother of science'
The Supreme Leader said in a meeting with members of the High Council for Cultural Revolution that the body is expected to make adequate planning for cultural development in line with 20-Year Strategy for Economic, Cultural and Social Development. -IRNA - 1/4/06

Pakistan aiding hunt for Iranians
Pakistan says it is working closely with Tehran to help locate nine Iranian border guards who have reportedly been abducted by a gang of criminals. -BBC - 1/4/06

Caviar export suspended
The global export trade in caviar, the briny eggs of sturgeon that for decades have been one of the world's most exotic and lucrative wildlife products, was abruptly ordered closed on Tuesday by the international convention that helps nations manage threatened species. -New York Times - 1/4/06

Serious or suicidal?
When you are boating on the Niagara River, there are signs marking the point at which you must go ashore or else you will be sucked over the falls. With Iran moving toward the development of nuclear weapons, we are getting dangerously close to that fatal point of no return on the world stage. -Washington Times - 1/4/06

Chinese-Russian Repartition of Asia
Main dividends from the bankruptcy of the West’s Central Asian policy are being shared by the Russians and the Chinese. Contrary to other parties of "anti-Western front", Beijing and Moscow were tenaciously striving to push the Americans out of the region. -Axis News - 1/4/06

International caviar trade banned
International trade in caviar and other products made from the wild sturgeon fish has been banned, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). -IRNA - 1/4/06

Officials: Error tipped Iran to CIA agents
Several U.S. agents in Iran were rounded up after the CIA mistakenly revealed clues to their identities to a covert source who turned out to be a double agent, according to a book that hit shelves Tuesday -CNN - 1/4/06

Halutz: Iran's nukes can be destroyed
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz on Tuesday said that Iran's nuclear program "can be destroyed." Israeli officials and politicians have openly discussed the possibility of an attack on Iran, either alone or with other countries, aimed at crippling Iran's nuclear development capabilities. -Jerusalem Post - 1/4/06

Talks in turmoil as Iran restarts nuclear project
The announcement by Iran that it plans to restart sensitive nuclear research has done a number of things at once: It has thrown into jeopardy an agreement with European negotiators, complicated a Russian initiative, tested the will of the international community to punish the country and prompted a U.S. threat. -New York Times - 1/4/06

Hillary Clinton, AIPAC and Iran
And while AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including U.N. Resolution 1402, which demands that Israel withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once. -CounterPunch - 1/4/06

The approaching war with Iran
In March 2006, Iran will take Iraq’s switch to the petroeuro to new heights by launching a third oil exchange. The Iranians have developed a petroeuro system for oil trade, which when enacted, will once again threaten U.S. dollar supremacy far greater than Iraq’s euro conversion. -Common Voice - 1/4/06

Secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes. -Guardian - 1/4/06

Iranian Kurds Form Front To Demand Rights
A group of Iranian Kurds has created a movement aimed at "peacefully" promoting democracy and demanding rights that they say have been neglected. Some Kurdish activists believe, however, that the creation of the Kurdish United Front is simply an attempt by reformist groups to regain some political power. -RFE - 1/4/06

US Headed for Confrontation With Iran
A total war with Iran, the world's second-largest oil producer, in 2006 could also lead to a huge hike in petrol prices in the United States that would make it less likely that the American SUV owner would reelect a Republican Congress in the November midterm elections. -Antiwar.com - 1/4/06

US Warns Iran on Resuming Nuclear Research
The United States is warning Iran against pursuing new nuclear fuel research, suggesting that such action could lead to international sanctions. Iran told the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency Tuesday it was resuming the research after a pause of more than two years. -VOA - 1/4/06

Is Iran the Cause of That Inverted Yield Curve?
First, Bush administration officials puzzled over Americans' pessimism in the face of strong economic performance. Now the financial markets, which limped into the New Year, seem to be giving the president the same treatment. -Bloomberg - 1/3/06

Iran's oil, gas reserves at $3,000b: daily
Iran has 3,000 billion dollars worth of oil and gas reserves at current prices, a member of the presiding board of Sharif University of Technology, Abbas Maleki, said. -IRNA - 1/3/06

NIAC invites applicants for 2006 Public Service and Journalism Fellowship
After successfully placing its first fellow, Ehsan Tabesh in the United States Senate last summer, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes civic participation among the Iranian-American community—invites Iranian-American college students to apply to its Summer 2006 Public Service and Journalism Fellowship. - 1/3/06

Iran: Ayatollah issues fatwa against suicide attacks
A fatwa or religious edit has been issued against suicide attacks in Iran by Ayatollah Ozma Seyyed Yousef Sanei, one of the highest Shiite authorities. -AKI - 1/3/06

New Gas Crisis For Kyiv, Europe
On 1 January, Russia's Gazprom gas monopoly stopped gas deliveries to Ukraine by lowering pressure in the main pipeline to Europe. -RFE - 1/3/06

War Without End
Only Justice, Not Bombs, Can Make Our Dangerous World A Safer Place -Robert Fisk, Independent - 1/3/06

In Gazprom dispute, a warning to natural gas buyers
The dispute between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas supplies has raised concerns over the implications of the quarrel on the fast-evolving international trade in natural gas. -New York Times - 1/3/06

Pope uses message to attack hardline Iran
THE Pope has used his inaugural new year message to launch a veiled attack on Iran’s hardline leadership. -TIMES Online - 1/3/06

US Oil Companies Re-Enter Libya
Three U.S. oil companies have begun setting up operations in Libya, after an absence of nearly 20 years because of an embargo imposed after Washington accused the North African nation of sponsoring terrorism. -VOA - 1/3/06

Iran bans newspaper over photos
The Iranian government has ordered the closure of a daily newspaper for the first time since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office. -BBC - 1/3/06

Iran-Turkey trade stands at $4B in first 11 months of 2005
Iran-Turkey Trade stood close to dlrs four billion during the first 11 months of the 2005, the Turkish state Statistics Institute reported in Ankara on Monday. The figure was 56.41 percent higher than the same period in 2004 which was dlrs 2.554 billion, it said. -IRNA - 1/3/06

Iraq's Oil Production Down; Oil Minister Quits
Iraq's oil production has dropped sharply because of insurgent attacks and bad weather, raising the prospect of energy shortages. Meanwhile, the country's oil minister confirmed Monday he has resigned his post after a disagreement with the government over sharp price hikes in petroleum products. -VOA - 1/3/06

TV's drug-taking yobs gain cult status in Iran
A series of computer-animated adverts is reviving the image of Iran's police force and reaching out to the huge population of young people. The adverts started four years ago, concentrating on driving offences, but with new ones covering drugs, loud music and neighbourhood watch, they have acquired a cult following. -Independent - 1/3/06

Bush loyalist takes international economics to the political stage
In the last two months, Faryar Shirzad has been to Kenya, Uganda, Mongolia, Japan, China, the UK and Russia. He has just returned from the gruelling World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong. The only solace is occasional business-class travel. -Financial Times - 1/3/06

Tehran's economic newspaper "Asia" ordered to suspend publication
A morning economic daily was ordered to suspend publication on Monday, its editor-in-chief, Iraj Jamshidi, said. Talking to IRNA, Jamshidi said that the `Asia' economic daily was ordered by the Press Monitoring Bureau to desist from further publication until it was otherwise informed. -BBC - 1/3/06

US and Iran: Is Washington Planning a Military Strike?
Recent reports in the German media suggest that the United States may be preparing its allies for an imminent military strike against facilities that are part of Iran's suspected clandestine nuclear weapons program. -Der Spiegel - 1/3/06

Iran to buy Chinese aircraft to equip air fleet
Iranian charge d'affaires in China, Farhad Asadi said that talks are currently underway between Iran and independent states such as China on the prospect of purchasing aircraft to equip the country's air fleet. -IRNA - 1/3/06

Iranian-Armenians mark new Christian year
Armenians in Tehran on January 1, 2006, celebrated the first day of the New Christian Year by gathering at the Armenian church on Villa Ave to pray and observe the relevant rituals. -IRNA - 1/1/06

US Media and the Road to War With Iran: Imbalance, Intimidation and No Spike Strips
As the U.S. mutates the rationale for its preemptive invasion of Iraq, the mainstream media continues to pander to xenophobic and partisan denominators vis-à-vis Iran. -Arash Norouzi, Dissident Voice - 1/1/06

Iranian films of Fajr festival announced
The list of Iranian feature-length films to be screened at the 24th Fajr International Film Festival was announced by the secretariat of the festival on Saturday. -Mehr - 1/1/06

Isfahan's Websites to be Lunched
With establishing a special website for Isfahan city, the selected "Cultural Capital" of the Islamic world in 2006, the city's latest news and programs of the year will be provided online. -CHN - 1/1/06

Iran'a largest international 3-D oilfield seismographic bid kicks off
Call for tender on largest three dimensional seismographic data processing of the nation's onshore oil and gas fields was held recently by National Iranian Oil Company -Mehr - 1/1/06

Iranian police official says 218.5 tons of narcotics seized since March 2005
Brigadier General Mehdi Abouei told reporters that the figure is five percent higher compared to the same period last year. -IRNA - 1/1/06

Government will repatriate Afghan nationals in Iran
Director General of Interior Ministry's Department for Immigrants and Foreign Nationals Ahmad Hosseini said on Sunday that the government plans to repatriate all Afghan refugees still living in Iran. -IRNA - 1/1/06

German chancellor rejects Iran ban
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she opposes suggestions to ban Iran from the World Cup because of controversial remarks by the country's president. -CNN - 1/1/06

Iran: Experts highlight importance of nuclear energy in medicine
Growing use of nuclear energy and unbreakable link of the energy with the medical sciences have prompted the countries, owning the technology, to add to their revenues through discovering new applications of the energy, said a group of experts in Isfahan on Saturday. -IRNA - 1/1/06
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