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Iran: Women on Trial for Peaceful Demonstration
The Iranian Judiciary should immediately end its prosecution of several women’s rights advocates for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/28/07

The Axis of Art & Culture?
At a time when the President of the United States solicits support for war against another "Axis of Evil"—a group of 7 Iranian American artists hope to alter dominant ideology through their art. - 2/28/07

Spinning its way to conflict again
Despite the Bush administration's hysteria, there is nothing in the Iranian nuclear programme that requires steps so drastic as sanctions and war. Dialogue without preconditions, combined with inspections, is the way to go. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 2/28/07

U.S., Syria, Iran To Attend Iraq Security Conference
Iraq has confirmed that the United States, Iran and Syria will participate in a conference on the country's security. Sami al-Askari, an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, says officials from the United States, Syria, and Iran will participate in talks that will also include representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. - 2/28/07

MoMA and P.S.1 to present major Abbas Kiarostami Film Retrospective, Photography Exhibition, and Installation Works
Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker is the most comprehensive North American exhibition ever presented on the Iranian artist. The three-part exhibition, which is co-presented by The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, in collaboration with the Iranian Art Foundation, comprises 33 short and feature films ... - 2/28/07

Iran: Legislators, Clerics Angry Over Test Deemed Insulting To Prophet
Legislators and conservative clerics in Iran have expressed outrage over a government-sponsored test for teachers that they say insults the Prophet Muhammad. Some have likened the controversy to the violent protests that accompanied Western depictions of Islam's holiest figure. Iran's education minister has apologized. But senior clerics want the drafters of the test punished, and some lawmakers want senior dismissals. -RFE - 2/28/07

Biography of K. Cyrus Habib, recipient of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
K. CYRUS HABIB is a first-year student at Yale Law School. He earned a BA in English, Comparative Literature, and Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, summa cum laude with election to Phi Beta Kappa, in 2003. While at Columbia, he studied under such literary theorists as Edward Said, Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Spivak. - 2/28/07

A Diplomatic Solution to Iran's Nuclear Program
The deadline that the UN Security Council Resolution 1737 imposed on Iran for suspending its nuclear program passed without Iran complying with the resolution's demands. Tension in the Persian Gulf has also risen, after President Bush threatened Iran for its alleged meddling in Iraq. The question is, is there a path to peaceful resolution of the looming conflict between Iran and the U.S.? -Muhammad Sahimi, Antiwar - 2/28/07

Twenty eight years later: Conversations with my father Nosratollah Amini
In January 1979 the Shah left the country. It was not until the last few weeks before his flight that Washington understood how serious the situation was. But now the United States was being made to pay for neglecting to contact any of the opposition groups, especially the Shiite Muslim forces which in the end established a government. -Fariba Amini - 2/28/07

Iran: Rocket Launch Another Show Of Prowess
Iran has given much publicity to what it calls its first successful launch of a rocket into space. The launch, reported on February 25, has yet to be publicly confirmed independently. RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke to Shannon Kile, a senior nonproliferation expert at the Stockholm International Peace Institute in Sweden. - 2/28/07

US Intelligence Officials Offer Sober Assessment of Iraq
Top U.S. intelligence officials told a Senate panel that it is probable that Iranian leaders were aware that Iranian-made weapons were being used against U.S. troops in Iraq. But they said they could not directly link the Iranian government to such attacks, as VOA's Deborah Tate reports from Capitol Hill. - 2/28/07

More than one hundred thousand demonstrators take part in anti-war rallies in London and Glasgow
More than one hundred thousand anti-war protesters took part in demonstrations on Saturday 24-02-07 in London and Glasgow calling for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq and warned the UK government against attacking Iran. -Jubin Motamed, Campaign Iran - 2/28/07

MKO to remain in EU's terror list, say European parliamentarians
The European Parliament, in a meeting Tuesday, clarified that a European court ruling on the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in December referred to procedural matters and in no way changes the status of the MKO as a terrorist group. -IRNA - 2/28/07

Isfahan will host 38th International Physics Olympiad
Thirty eighth International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) will be held in Isfahan University of Technology from July 13 to 22, an Education Ministry official announced on Tuesday. -MNA - 2/28/07

Will Surge Hurt US More Than Sanctions Hurt Iran?
The winds of fortune in the Iranian nuclear stand-off seem to have shifted, judging by the U.S.'s new confidence. But in Washington's apparent quest to get an upper hand, misreading the causes of the backlash against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran may cause the U.S. to lose rather than gain leverage. -Trita Parsi, NIAC - 2/28/07

34 Linux Persian Project plans operational on $900K budget
Manager of Linux Persian Project spoke in Tehran Monday of putting to use 34 plans of that project that were commissioned to firms through tender on an approximately ten billion rial ($900k) budget. -Taliya News - 2/28/07

Iraq: Rice Lays Out Regional Approach To Security
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States is joining the Iraqi government to launch a diplomatic "offensive" that includes inviting Iran and Syria to a conference on stabilizing Iraq. -RFE - 2/28/07

Chalmers Johnson: “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic"
In his new book, CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually lead to the nation's collapse as a constitutional republic. -Democracy Now - 2/28/07

"Dear Mr. President, Please Wait to Bomb Iran Until My Friends Leave"
Right now, some religious peace activist folks are doing something you, Condi, Dick and others in your administration obviously could never do – they are in Iran, talking to Iranians. Here, you can learn more about this delegation, and another scheduled for early March. Surely you can wait a few weeks ‘til these folks, friends and colleagues of mine, leave Iraq before you concoct the provocation necessary to begin shocking and aweing Iran, yes? -Kevin Martin, Common Dreams - 2/28/07

US war plans for Iran may be irreversible
After separate meetings with President Bashar Assad of Syria, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared Muslim unity and resistance against US-Israeli conspiracies in the Middle East urgent matters for all Muslims in the region to rally around. -Jalal Alavi, UK - 2/28/07

70% of under 23 Iranians send over 10 SMSes daily
According to ILNA, based on the findings of a research work conducted by a graduate student, the majority of SMS senders are the university students and they mainly do so to have fun, including sending jokes and messages related to other recreational activities. -Taliya News - 2/28/07

Russia Steps Up Diplomacy in Renewed Bid for Middle East Influence
"The Russians are playing a double game with Iran," said Bastani. "Despite all their oral support for Iran, they have not voted in favor of Tehran on different sensitive international occasions, especially in the Security Council, whereas they have had many profitable economic contracts with Iran, and Iran always buys low-quality Russian products and services to confront American sanctions and gain Moscow's cooperation against the USA." -Iason Athanasiadis, World Politcs Watch - 2/28/07

US switch on Iran adds 'missing link'
The decision by the United States to attend a conference in Baghdad with Iran and Syria adds what many observers have felt was a "missing link" in US policy in the region. -BBC - 2/28/07

Armed bandits kill two Iranian policemen, take four others hostage near Pakistan border
Two policemen were martyred and four others taken as hostages on Tuesday in an ambush by armed bandits in a region near Iranian border with Pakistan in Sistan-Baluchestan province, it was reported here on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/28/07

The Case Against The Case Against Iran
I want to predicate my article by saying that nothing is more offensive to me than an offensive war, and that no one should have the means, through nuclear, or other weapons, to erase human civilization from this world. Also, I’m not writing this article to support the regime in Iran—no one wants to see a free Iran more than I. -Reza B., BrooWaha - 2/28/07

Interview with NIAC: Iranian-Americans are double stake-holders in peace between US and Iran
We talk with Trita Parsi, the President of National Iranian-American Council. Q: What currently occupies Iranian-Americans’ minds is the worries that their adopted country will go into war with their home country. The overwhelming majority of them are against this war. The majority of Americans are against this war. The world is against this war. Yet, there is a high likelihood this unpopular war may actually happen. What are your thoughts on this? - 2/27/07

An American family who served Iran
American presbyterian missionary’s cemetery is located at the top of the “Seer mountain” in Urmia, Iran and in the old Christian’s cemetery of “Seer village” which today is called, “Seer-e-Heidarloo”. The cemetery is in the west side of the village and on a mild slope. Down there, near a narrow lane, in the Southwest of the village, there is Cochran’s house, facing towards west. -Marjan Abdi - 2/27/07

U.S. Religious Leaders Find Hope in Iran: Religious Delegation Statement on Trip to Iran
As Christian leaders from the United States, we traveled to the Islamic Republic of Iran at this time of increased tension believing that it is possible to build bridges of understanding between our two countries. We believe military action is not the answer, and that God calls us to just and peaceful relationships within the global community. - 2/27/07

Information access and journalism in Iran: beyond the stereotypes
Iranians are sophisticated and eager consumers of news, who find ways to get around the limits their government puts on media, explained a panel of journalists and academics who took part in a discussion in Washington, D.C., United States, on February 21. -ICFJ - 2/27/07

FM: Iran ready to allow states, private companies acquire stakes in Iran's N-fields
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran Tuesday that Iran, in efforts to build the international community's confidence in its nuclear program, was was even ready to give governments of other states or their private companies ownership of its nuclear fields. -IRNA - 2/27/07

Culture vultures take in Tehran's Seven Views exhibition
A total of 140 artworks have been sold at the ongoing Seven Views exhibition at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center, grossing 1.5 billion rials (about $158,000) after two days of the sale. -MNA - 2/27/07

PR-Indian UN Representative and High Commissioner questioned over IAEA coercion
Letters were sent today to the Permanent Representative of India at the United Nations and to the Indian High Commissioner in London, asking them to confirm or deny fresh claims that India was coerced by the US to vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -Campaign Iran - 2/27/07

Russia Expresses Alarm Over Possible US Air Strikes on Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow remains worried about the possibility of U.S. military action against Iran over its continued refusal to give up its controversial nuclear program. Moscow has long favored a negotiated settlement to the standoff as VOA's Lisa McAdams in Moscow reports. - 2/27/07

Ex-Congressional Aide: Karl Rove Personally Received (And Ignored) Iranian Peace Offer in 2003
As Seymour Hersh reports the Pentagon has created a special panel to plan a bombing attack on Iran, we examine how the Bush administration ignored a secret offer to negotiate with Iran in 2003. We speak with the National Iranian American Council's Trita Parsi, a former aide to Republican congressman Bob Ney. -Democracy Now - 2/27/07

Iran's poetess E'tessami congress to start in Tabriz Feb. 28
The international and scientific congress to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the prominent Iranian poetess Parvin E'tessami opens in her birthplace, Tabriz, on Wednesday. -MNA - 2/27/07

Hypocrisy in the Middle East
Hundreds of thousands of American troops already occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, a number that is rising as the military surge moves forward. The justification, given endlessly since September 11th, is that both support terrorism and thus pose a risk to the United States. -Congressman Ron Paul - 2/27/07

Amnesty International: Iran's ethnic minorities facing new wave of human rights violations
Amnesty International is greatly concerned by continuing violations of the rights of members of Iran’s ethnic minorities, including Iranian Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis, and Arabs. - 2/27/07

As Tension Escalates Between the U.S. and Iran, An Iranian Student Shares His Fears About A U.S. Attack on His Home Country
Faced with the possibility of a US attack, how are the Iranian people responding to the latest developments? And how has US policy in the Middle East shaped Iranian public opinion? We speak with Hani Mansourian, a Masters student in International Affairs at Columbia University. -Democracy Now - 2/27/07

As U.S. Puts Pressure on Iran, Gulf's Religious Rift Spreads
MUHARRAQ, Bahrain -- One night last fall, incendiary leaflets denouncing Iran suddenly appeared on the walls of houses and mosques in this tiny Persian Gulf kingdom. "Iranians are trying to occupy your homes, the homes of your fathers and grandfathers," warned the anonymous tracts. "Do you want to be ruled by these people? No, a thousand times no!" -WSJ - 2/27/07

US Hopes for Agreement on Elements of New Iran Resolution by Thursday
The Bush administration says it is hopeful the veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council can reach agreement Thursday on elements of a new sanctions resolution against Iran. -VOA - 2/27/07

American Enterprise Institute takes lead in agitating against Iran
Despite wrongheaded predictions about the war on Iraq, neocons are on the frontlines advocating military conflict with Iran -Bill Berkowitz, Media Transparency - 2/27/07

Iran's Kish island inks cooperation agreement with Iraq's Kurdestan
Iran's Kish island and Iraq's Kurdistan province signed a letter of understanding for bilateral economic cooperation Monday evening. -IRNA - 2/27/07

U.S. Agrees to Meeting with Iran and Syria
The Bush administration has agreed to sit around a negotiating table with official representatives of Iran and Syria next month -- as part of a planned regional conference in Baghdad to discuss ways to stabilize Iraq. -Washington Post - 2/27/07

Dems' Me-Too Iran Talk
As the Bush administration ratchets up its military threat to Iran, the leadership of the Democratic party is providing a free pass to continue on that potentially disastrous course. Congressional leaders have tacitly or explicitly accepted the necessity of keeping the “military option”—meaning a massive, unprovoked air attack on Iran—“on the table,” as have all three of the leading candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. -TomPaine - 2/27/07

Quake jolts Damavand in northeastern Tehran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the city of Damavand, 40 km northeast of the capital Tehran, Monday night. -IRNA - 2/27/07

In War Planning for Iran, Truth Is the Linchpin
Every American adventure overseas has a geographic linchpin, an essential country that the United States needs to go to war. -Washington Post - 2/27/07

Edwards: Treaty With Iran Possible
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a group of New Hampshire voters Saturday that he would consider pursuing a nonaggression pact between the United States and Iran. -ABC News - 2/27/07

“Controversial” Hypocrisy: US Support for Terror Groups in Iran
According to the London Sunday Telegraph, the CIA is supporting opposition militias in Iran rooted among national minorities “that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.” Such methods include “bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.” -Dissident Voice - 2/27/07

THE REDIRECTION
In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran -Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker - 2/26/07

Larijani: US should officially call for talks with Iran
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said on Monday that the US should make formal request for talks with Iran if its relevant claim is true, and in that case Iran will approach it positively. -IRNA - 2/26/07

These are Strange Times
Tehran is covered with political murals - there are the billboards and posters of the country's many martyrs and the faces of supreme leaders can be found staring down at you from most businesses and government buildings - but it is the art work that is the most politically and aesthetically striking. -Fatima Bhutto - 2/26/07

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami calls on U.S. to act wisely
On Sunday, former president Mohammad Khatami made a criticism of the United States who has set a precondition for a possible dialogue between Tehran and Washington. -MNA - 2/26/07

Hand Dug Corridors Discovered in Nooshabad Underground City
Continuation of archeological excavations in Nooshabad underground city in Isfahan province resulted in the discovery of some more corridors and chambers at a depth of 11 to 13 meters from the ground surface. -CHN - 2/26/07

Tehran Art Scene: An exhibition by Aisling Haghshenas
Aisling Haghshenas is an artist who leads a life of one. She is a most independent young lady who at the same time always has time to care for her family and those whom she loves. As well as being an artist she is a devotee to animal rights in Iran. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/26/07

No More Encores for Iran
Iranians have a vivid memory of 1953, whether they witnessed it or it was passed down to them. It was the year when they fell victim to the first CIA-backed coup which destroyed their democracy. A coup which emboldened America to embark on many more such operations leaving behind it a trail of blood, tears and destruction while making a full circle – back to Iran. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 2/26/07

Biography of Shelli Farhadian, A Soros Fellow for 2007
MS. SHELLI FARHADIAN is currently in her third year at the Tri-Institutional MD/PHD program with the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Rockefeller University and Sloan Kettering Institute. - 2/26/07

Islamic Windows XP enters the market
Isfahan-based Aal-ul-Bait International Assembly has for the first time manufactured and presented to markets an Islamic version of Windows XP with various options. -Taliya News - 2/26/07

Destruction of the Achaemenid Dam of Didehgan
Activities of bulldozers near one of the branches of Sivand River in Fars province resulted in destruction of Achaemenid Didehgan Dam located north of Pasargadae. -CHN - 2/26/07

Iran's non-oil exports to Iraq surpassed USD 1B
Head of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines Hassan Tizmaqz said here Monday that Iran exported USD 1.3 billion worth of commodities to Iraq since the start of the current Iranian calender year 1386 (March 21,2006). -IRNA - 2/26/07

Iranians experience mobile Internet for first time
IranCell's GPRS service that enables 2nd Operator's users to have direct access to Internet through their mobile sets would be available as of Esfand 1st, 1385 (Feb 20, 2007) for both IranCell prepaid, and postpaid SIM card subscribers. -Taliya News - 2/26/07

Islamist Movements Gaining Momentum
Despite decades of state repression and political exclusion, Islamist movements worldwide, and especially in the Middle East, are gaining momentum and adapting to take advantage of new political realities. -VOA - 2/26/07

French and German nationals jailed in Iran for illegal entry are pardoned by Khamenei
A spokesman of the French embassy in Tehran confirmed Monday morning that a French national, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for illegal entry into the country's territorial waters, was released Sunday. -IRNA - 2/26/07

Iran rocket claim raises tension
Iranian media say the country has successfully launched its first rocket capable of reaching space. -BBC - 2/26/07

Iran's gas exports to Turkey at normal pressure
Turkey is receiving 17 to 18 million cubic meters of gas from Iran per day, and the pressure of the gas is at the normal level, Hushang Mehrdadfar said here on Monday. -MNA - 2/26/07

Political problems mount for Ahmadinejad
As world powers seek new ways to put pressure on Iran, Sadegh Zibakalam, professor of politics at Tehran University, looks at how much popular support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has at home. -BBC - 2/26/07

Sunni Muslim FMs Concerned By Iranian Nuke Problem
The foreign ministers of seven mainly Sunni Muslim nations called today for diplomatic solutions instead of force to solve Mideast problems. - 2/26/07

Stand-off in Gulf with Iran 'a bit like Cold War'
Britain's most senior naval officer in the Gulf has likened the West's tense stand-off with Iran as being akin to "the height of the Cold War". -Daily Telegraph - 2/26/07

Evidence of US coercion of IAEA members revealed
Demands for an investigation into coercion of nations by the US during the vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have been growing following the revelations by a former ranking official of the Bush administration acknowledging that India's votes at the IAEA in 2005 and 2006 had been "coerced." -Campaign Iran - 2/25/07

Iran Launches First Space Rocket
State television reports that Iran has successfully launched its first space rocket. Fars news agency quotes the deputy head of Iran's aerospace research centre, Ali Akbar Golrou, as saying the rocket reached an altitude of 150 kilometres, but did not stay in orbit. -RFE - 2/25/07

Iran's Ahmadinejad meets US religious delegation
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged that sustainable world peace will be materialized when everyone's real right is restored. According to a report released by the Presidential Office Media Department, the President made the remark in a meeting with a group of American Christian priests and religious activists on Saturday night. -IRNA - 2/25/07

Iranian FM urges 5+1 group to take bold decision
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki here on Saturday called on the 5+1 group to "take a bold decision" so that the nuclear negotiations with Iran can be resumed. -MNA - 2/25/07

5th Tehran International Animation Festival kicks off
Works from Iran and 61 other countries will be competing at Main, Ghadir, and Asseman halls of Iran's Center for Artistic and Cultural Creations, Kanun Theater of the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), and the hall of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Faculty. -MNA - 2/25/07

Ahmadinejad: Iran's nuclear program train will never stop
President Ahmadinejad stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran had reached nuclear energy technology and its progress and development in this path was like a train which could not be stopped. -ISNA - 2/25/07

Larijani warns of Iran's reciprocal reaction to West
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani warned the West that Iran will reciprocally react to the countries intending to aggravate Iran's nuclear issue. -IRNA - 2/25/07

Iranian MPs enraged over test accused of mocking Muhammad
Iranian MPs have demanded an apology from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after teachers were given government-sponsored tests deemed "insulting" to the prophet Muhammad. -Guardian - 2/25/07

Iran: Majlis commission introduces bill to speed up privatization
Majlis Special Commission provided a bill to speed up the privatization process, Member of Parliament Elias Naderan said on Sunday. -IRNA - 2/25/07

Establishment of democracy in Middle East, only a pretext by US: Dumas
Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, who is visiting Tehran, stressed that establishment of democracy in the Middle East region was only a pretext for the US to interfere in the regional affairs. -IRNA - 2/25/07

Afghanistan: Taliban Attacks Signal Start Of Spring Offensive
Taliban fighters have launched a series of attacks this month across western, southern, and eastern Afghanistan -- signaling that their expected spring offensive is now under way. -RFE - 2/25/07

Iran protests against Turkey gas export
Iran's minister of oil stated that Ankara had no right to export the gas, which it was importing from Iran, ISNA reported from Tehran. - 2/25/07

Armed Chimps Draw Mixed Reviews
Other analysts expressed alarm. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton said "It's clear that these chimps couldn't have developed this technology on their own. Mark my word, we will find the hand of the Iranian leadership behind this, as they try to destabilize West Africa and divert U.S. attention from their nucular program." -William D. Hartung, Common Dreams - 2/25/07

Iran's auto parts exports to hit $350m
Exports of auto parts is expected to hit $350 million by the end of the current year (Iranian calendar year ends March 20, 2007). -MNA - 2/25/07

Pakistan Hosts Conference to End Middle East Turmoil
Foreign ministers from seven Muslim countries meet in Pakistan Sunday to discuss the Palestinian crisis, as well as the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. -VOA - 2/25/07

Cultural Critics Attack Iran's Dam Project
If the Sivand Dam in the southern Fars Province is filled it is projected to flood a gorge and an archeological area called the Tangeh Balaghi. The flooding is expected to greatly increase humidity in the environs and this change is what protesters say could damage the nearby Pasargadae plain, which includes the sixth century B.C. tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. -RFE - 2/24/07

For some, Beverly Hills ballots went too Farsi
For the first time, the city translates its entire absentee and sample voting documents into Persian. Not everyone likes the look. -Los Angeles Times - 2/24/07

E-pilgrimage: Imam Reza Calling You!
Internet users around the globe can from now on enter the website of Astane-e-Qods-e-Razavi and have an electronic pilgrimage of that holy site. -Taliya News - 2/24/07

Iran: Free Wife of Political Prisoner Seized on Street
The Iranian government should immediately release Somaye Bayanat, wife of the well-known political prisoner Ahmad Batebi, and investigate the manner in which she was snatched from the streets, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/24/07

Rafsanjani urges West to return to nuclear talks with Iran
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has called on the Western powers to return to talks on Iran's nuclear program and to stop making threats. -MNA - 2/24/07

Iran Denies Nuclear Ambitions As UN Security Council Mulls More Sanctions
Iran has told the U.N. Security Council it has no intention of producing atomic weapons, and accused Western countries of distorting facts about Iranian nuclear intentions. VOA's Peter Heinlein at the U.N. report the Iranian denial came as western diplomats signaled their intent to push for further sanctions against Tehran. - 2/24/07

Russia beats Iran at world Greco-Roman bouts
Despite the loss, Iran tied with Russia at 15 points and will cruise into the next round as the top team if it defeats the United States. -MNA - 2/24/07

Speculation Rages: Is Iran Bush's Next Target?
President Bush says he isn't looking for a fight, but the question won't go away: Is the United States headed for war with Iran's Islamic rulers? Increasing tensions with Iran over its nuclear program and actions in Iraq have fueled speculation that Bush may be paving the way for military action. -McClatchy Newspapers - 2/24/07

Two Iranian films win prizes at French festival
Two Iranian films won prizes at the 13th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema, which was held in the north central French city from February 13 to 20. -MNA - 2/24/07

Iranian Military Helicopter Crashes
An Iranian military helicopter has crashed near the border with Turkey and Iraq, killing at least one Revolutionary Guards commander. An Iranian Kurdish rebel group, Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), says it shot down the aircraft with a shoulder-held missile, killing eight soldiers and capturing one. - 2/24/07

Senior Iraqi officials condemn detention of Shiite leader's son returning from Iran
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and leader of the Kurdish Party Massoud Barzani condemned on Saturday the arrest and detention of Ammar al-Hakim, son of the prominent Iraqi Shiite leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim. -IRNA - 2/24/07

Growing Iranian Regional Influence Worries Saudi Arabia
Before the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq had been something of a counterweight to Iranian power in the Middle East. Now with Saddam gone, Iranian political influence has been expanding, not just in Iraq, but in the region. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, Saudi Arabia is not happy about the shift in what had been a delicate balance of power. - 2/24/07

Is War with Iran Next?
Will the Bush Administration bomb Iran? Recently that question has been the subject of enormous speculation and numerous articles in the press. Newsweek asked, "Is war with Iran next?" and the Economist asked, "Next stop Iran?". The BBC reported this week that our government's "contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure." -Common Dreams - 2/24/07

Advanced geometry of Islamic art
A study of medieval Islamic art has shown some of its geometric patterns use principles established centuries later by modern mathematicians. -BBC - 2/24/07

Iran ranks 115th at world e-trade scene
"In the year 2005 the volume of world e-trade business was US $2,146 billion, while our country had no share of that business due to existence of inappropriate regulations." -Taliya News - 2/24/07

Prominent Iranian Union Leader To Go On Trial
Prominent Iranian union leader Mansour Osanloo is due to go on trial on February 24 on charges of acting against Iran's national security, Radio Farda reports. - 2/24/07

Iranian aid delivered to Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry
Iranian Ambassador to Kabul put the total value of Iran's assistance to Afghanistan over the past five years at about dlrs 260 million of which dlrs 50 million was delivered in the current Iranian year (starting on March 21). -IRNA - 2/24/07

Iranian official offers glimpse from within: A desire for U.S. ally
As I sat down recently with a senior Iranian government official, he urgently waved a column by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in my face, one about how the United States and Iran need to engage each other. ''Natural allies,'' this official said. It was a surprising choice of words considering the barbs Washington and Tehran have been trading of late. -CNN - 2/23/07

Bita Daryabari Scholarship for Women in Economics
Bita Daryabari, founder and President of Unique Zan Foundation in Menlo Park , CA , who is passionate about education, health, and economic opportunities for women throughout the world, has established the “Bita Daryabari Scholarship for Women in Economics”. - 2/23/07

Bush's missed opportunity on Iran
The events of the past few months in the United States have been as bewildering as they have been tragic. The mid-term elections held in November had shown that the majority of Americans had decisively turned against President George Bush's failed policies and the threadbare plots of the Neoconservatives. The Democrats' control of both the House and the Senate had provided the hope of a change of direction or at least a course correction. -Farhang Jahanpour - 2/23/07

UFPJ Talking Points: Escalating Threats of U.S. Attacks Against Iran
The Bush administration is significantly ratcheting up its threats against Iran, in the context of arguing about a battle between “moderates” and “extremists” in the region. U.S. efforts to control or undermine Iran are long-standing, and are rooted in Iran’s historic role as one of only two indigenous regional powers in the Middle East (with water, wealth and size) who can contend with U.S. domination there. -Phyllis Bennis - 2/23/07

Human Shields prepare for mission to Iran
The Human Shield Movement today warned President Bush and Tony Blair that any attempt at military intervention against Iran would be met by a massive mobilisation of human shields. The human shields plan to travel to Iran and position themselves around civilian infrastructure sites, such as sewage plants and power stations, in order to try and prevent their destruction by bombing or missile raids. - 2/23/07

US claims about Iran's nuclear programme 'baseless' - Guardian
Much of the intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by American spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, according to diplomatic sources in Vienna, quoted by the Guardian newspaper Friday. - 2/23/07

U.S., Iranian religious leaders promote peace
A United Methodist is among religious leaders from the United States and Iran meeting in Iran to find common ground among faith groups as a step toward international peace, particularly as political tensions grow between the two nations. -UMC - 2/23/07

IAPAC Endorses Jimmy Delshad for Beverly Hills City Council
The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) today announced its endorsement of Jimmy Delshad for Beverly Hills City Council. Delshad poised to become the first Iranian American Mayor of Beverly Hills. - 2/23/07

The ancient girl with the golden eye: 5,000 year old priestess found
The body of a strikingly tall 5,000-year-old woman with an artificial golden eye has been discovered in Iran. Archaeologists said the woman was a female soothsayer or priestess and would have transfixed those around her with her eyeball, making them believe she had occult powers and could see into the future. -Daily Mail, UK - 2/23/07

Former student activist Ahmad Batebi denied medical treatment, wife detained
Ahmad Batebi is reportedly not receiving adequate medical care at Evin Prison, and in recent days has suffered a series of seizures and prolonged loss of consciousness. His life may be in danger. In a telephone call on 22 February, Ahmad Batebi reportedly told his father that the prison authorities do not care about him and that if he dies, his father should "hold a celebration of my life, rather than a funeral". -Amnesty International - 2/23/07

"Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT)
Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, "Theater Iran Near Term" has identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a "Shock and Awe" Blitzkrieg, which is now in the final planning stages. -Global Research - 2/23/07

US Disappointed by Iranian Non-Compliance With UN Resolution
The United States Thursday expressed disappointment over Iran's failure to comply with the U.N. resolution on its nuclear program, calling it a missed opportunity for the Iranian government and people. The State Department says consultations on follow-up action are already under way. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 2/23/07

IRI - Marsh happy to be in Germany
The first American to play for an Iranian club was Eddie Washington in 2000. Marsh last season was one of some 35 Americans earning their basketball salaries in a country many of their compatriots look down upon because of political issues between Washington and Tehran. -FIBA - 2/23/07

Escalating Threats of U.S. Attacks Against Iran
The Bush administration is significantly ratcheting up its threats against Iran, in the context of arguing about a battle between “moderates” and “extremists” in the region. -Political Affairs - 2/23/07

World Powers Will Meet In London To Discuss Iran
Representatives of six major powers will meet in London on February 26 to discuss further steps in the Iranian nuclear standoff. The announcement of the meeting follows confirmation from the UN nuclear agency that Iran ignored a Security Council deadline to suspend sensitive nuclear activities. -RFE - 2/23/07

Iran to Expand Cooperation with UNESCO in Water Affairs
According to deputy minister in water affairs of Iran's Ministry of Energy, the Ministry is determined to expand its cooperation with UNESCO's division of water sciences in various fields such as financing and water trade market. -CHN - 2/23/07

Iran: Rafsanjani Presses Political Offensive Against President, Stressing Moderation
Possessing a popular mandate, and emboldened by the apparent support of a substantial number of senior clerics, Iran’s political maverick, Aliakbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is pressing a campaign to diminish President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s influence over the country’s policy-making apparatus. -Eurasianet - 2/23/07

Cheney Says U.S. Will Do All It Can To Avert Nuclear-Armed Iran
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, refusing to rule out military action, says Washington will "do everything" it can to deprive Iran of nuclear weapons. In an interview in Australia, where he is traveling, Cheney said Washington has not taken "any options off the table" with regard to Iran. -RFE - 2/23/07

Old Europe and the Mullahs
There has been a noticeable shift in the rhetoric emanating from the proponents of war with Iran, almost certainly due to the perception that armed conflict with Tehran will not be as easy a sell as was Iraq. -Antiwar.com - 2/23/07

Iran is a force for peace
Instead of demonising, the US must accept that we have every right to a civil nuclear programme -Rasoul Movahedian, Iranian ambassador in London - 2/23/07

Three Iranian-Americans named Soros Fellows
Three Iranian-Americans, Shelli Farhadian, K. Cyrus Habib and Keyan Salari, are among thirty-one finalists in the tenth annual competition for the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. - 2/22/07

A plant-based diet for small-planet diplomats
Can botanical exchanges between the U.S. and Iran play the peacemaking role that ping-pong did 30 years ago? -Cathy Cockrell, Berkeleyan - 2/22/07

Amazing Iran: Portraits
At a time when talk of a military strike against Iran looms ever larger, it's often easy to lose sight of the fact that Iran is one of the most visually stunning countries in the world.... -Iason Athanasiadis - 2/22/07

Apply Now for the NIAC Public Service and Journalism Fellowship
After successfully placing fellow, Nicolette Bidarian in the United States Congress 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 2007 Public Service and Journalism Fellowship. - 2/22/07

American Christians come to Iran on journey for peace
A multi-denominational Christian delegation from the United States has come to Iran to meet religious and political figures and the Iranian people in order to “build bridges of peace and security” between Iran and the U.S. The Tehran Times and the Mehr News Agency conducted an interview on February 19 with two members of the delegation. -MNA - 2/22/07

Iran Writers Association Protests Censorship
The Writers Association in Iran has issued a statement protesting state censorship and what it calls "the elimination of literary works" by the government, Radio Farda reported. - 2/22/07

Iran: Majlis committee approves signigicant increase in petrol prices
The Majlis committee tasked with assessing the national budget voted on Tuesday to increase the petrol price from the current 800 rials per liter to 1500 rials for the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21. The initial approval will later be put to a final vote of the entire parliament. -M. A. Saki, Tehran Times - 2/22/07

ElBaradei's proposal should be studied: Iran's Majlis speaker
Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said here on Wednesday that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's proposal that Iran and the West take a mutual "timeout" should be studied technically. -MNA - 2/22/07

Israel seeks an alliance with Turkey against Iran
Preparing for an attack on Iran, prime minister Olmert wants to see Turkey on Israel's side. As the full extent of the alliance against Iran becomes concrete, the true nature of military agreements between the two countries will eventually become clear. -Milli Gazete - 2/22/07

Can Non-Binding Resolutions Stop War with Iran?
Last Friday, House Republicans and Democrats came together to pass a symbolic censure of the President’s proposed military escalation in Iraq. But consensus on the more practical matter of limiting war funding has proved more illusive. -NIAC - 2/22/07

US, EU, Russia urge Iran to stop enrichment and return to talks
The United States, the European Union and Russia have called on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and return to the negotiation table, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Berlin on Thursday. -IRNA - 2/22/07

Iran Sends Mixed Messages on Nuclear Issue
As another U.N. deadline on Iran's nuclear program passed, Tehran continued to send signals of both defiance and compromise. Meanwhile, the United States and its allies on the nuclear issue remain steadfast in their demand that Tehran suspend uranium enrichment. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Washington, Iran is still gauging what it might get in return for concessions on the nuclear issue. - 2/22/07

Berkeley Lecture Series: A Talk by Shahryar Mandanipour, a Prominent Iranian Writer
Shahryar Mandanipour is the chief editor of Asr-e Pandjshanbeh (Thursday Evening), a monthly literary journal published in Shiraz. He won the Mehregan Award for the best Iranian children's novel of 2004 and the Golden Tablet Award in 1998 for best fiction of the past 20 years in Iran. - 2/22/07

Iran: Nuclear Crisis Enters Next Stage
The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to release a report today saying that Iran has failed to halt uranium-enrichment activities, as demanded by the UN Security Council. -RFE - 2/22/07

As Nuclear Deadline Passes, US and Iran Trade Accusations of Bombing Involvement
Iran has accused the US of backing a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards, just one week after the US accused Iran of supplying bombs targeting US troops in Iraq. We speak with retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner. -Democracy Now - 2/22/07

Cluster Munitions: Governments to Discuss New Treaty
Some states, including the United States and United Kingdom, have expressed opposition to a process outside the CCW to deal with cluster munitions. Those countries are instead insisting that a British proposal to continue discussions within the CCW on "explosive remnants of war, with a particular focus on cluster munitions" is the way forward on cluster munitions. -HRW - 2/22/07

World Bank invests $1.3bn in Iran's water, wastewater treatment projects
In addition to investing $1.3 billion in nine such projects, the WB is currently conducting some other similar projects in a number of Iranian provinces such as Mazandaran and cities like Shiraz and Ahvaz, the bank's representative in Iran's Water and Soil Comprehensive Plan said in Tehran on Wednesday. -MNA - 2/22/07

Israel's PM: No Compromise on Hamas, Iran and Syria
Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Wednesday he will maintain contacts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but that achieving peace with the Palestinians will be difficult because a majority of Palestinians support Hamas. VOA's Jim Teeple reports from Jerusalem the Israeli leader also had tough words for Iran and Syria. - 2/22/07

Cross-party initiative to stop Iran attack launched
A major new parliamentary initiative will be launched today aimed at galvanising opposition within the House of Commons against any form of military intervention against Iran. Following a meeting in Westminster, a cross-party delegation will deliver a copy of a statement which is being given to all MP's for signature, to No.10 and No.11 Downing Street. -Campaign Iran - 2/21/07

Iranian Lawmakers Protest Ban On Baztab Website
More than 130 Iranian parliamentarians have protested to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad about the banning of a conservative news website that has been critical of the president. - 2/21/07

ICRO head: Inter-religion meeting should go beyond dialogue
The statement was part of his speech at the one-day inter-religion meeting in Tehran between Muslims and Christians on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by an American mennonite delegation and Iranian religious intellectuals. - 2/21/07

TMCA hosting biennial of hand printing works
The First Biennial of Hand Printing Works opened at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday. -MNA - 2/21/07

Reza Shah's Old House Threatened by Building Construction
The cultural landscape of the old house of Reza Khan, founder of Pahlavid dynastic era (1925-1979 AD), where he spent most of his childhood and youth is being threatened by its next-door neighbor who has started legal processings for getting permission from the municipality to construct a tall building next to this historical house. -CHN - 2/21/07

Iran Refuses To Halt Uranium Enrichment
Iran has given no indication it intends to halt uranium enrichment by today's United Nations Security Council deadline, as Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad vowed today that Tehran will press ahead with its nuclear program. -RFE - 2/21/07

IRGC Commander: US unable to make any security changes without Iran
Commander of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said here Wednesday that the American are not able to make any security changes in the Middle East region without the Islamic Republic of Iran. -IRNA - 2/21/07

Iran: Secretive Assembly Of Experts Begins Fourth Term
The Assembly of Experts, an 86-member body of clerics that ostensibly elects Iran's supreme leader and supervises his work, today opened its fourth term since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. -RFE - 2/21/07

Iran shrugs off sanctions threat as nuclear talks end in stalemate
Iran will today be declared in violation of a UN resolution calling for a halt to its enrichment of uranium, after last-minute negotiations in Vienna failed to reach a compromise in the nuclear stand-off. -Guardian - 2/21/07

HOLLYWOOD DREAM MERCHANTS: Persian Props From Oliver Stone's Alexander Movie For Sale
If you have ever wondered where all the 100 millions $ spent on Oliver Stone's Alexander Movie ( shot in Morocco and Thailand amid the War in Iraq ) went into, the answer is not difficult to find: It was in the Costumes and Sets! -Darius KADIVAR - 2/21/07

Iraq's demand for Iranian goods continues to rise
Iraq ranked third importer of Iranian goods, during the first ten months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2006). -MNA - 2/21/07

Four foreign animators to judge Iranian festival
Four foreign animators and an Iranian animation expert were selected as the jury members for the International Section of the Fifth Tehran International Animation Festival, which will be held from February 25 to March 1. -MNA - 2/21/07

Iran Rejects Russian Debt Claims On Bushehr
Iran has denied Russian claims that Tehran has fallen behind on payments for work on the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. - 2/21/07

Iran's Judiciary has no idea why Baztab was filtered
Deputy Tehran Prosecutor said on Monday, "Judiciary force has still no idea why Baztab website was filtered. -Taliya News - 2/21/07

US Consults on New Iran Nuclear Resolution
The Bush administration said Tuesday it has begun consultations on a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would further penalize Iran for failing to heed demands to halt uranium enrichment. An initial Security Council deadline for Iran to comply expires Wednesday. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 2/21/07

Chomsky on Iran, Iraq, and the Rest of the World
Noam Chomsky is a noted linguist, author, and foreign policy expert. On February 9, Michael Shank interviewed him on the latest developments in U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Venezuela. Along the way, Chomsky also commented on climate change, the World Social Forum, and why international relations are run like the mafia. -FPIF - 2/21/07

Iran's scientific centers to use ADSL Internet
Country's Telecom Research Center announced that all Iranian research centers would be provided with ADSL Internet service. -Taliya News - 2/21/07

UAE, Germany and China top list of exporters to Iran
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany and China were the main exporters of goods and products to Iran during the first ten months of Iran's current calendar year (started March 21, 2006). The three countries' exports to Iran hit around 41.7 percent of the value of its total imports during the period. -MNA - 2/21/07

Iran supports negotiated settlement of nuclear issue
Top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani Tuesday stressed on negotiations as the only way to settle the issue of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme. "The issue can't be settled through pressure and negotiations is the only way," he told reporters following his two-hour talks with Director General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammed ElBaradei. -IRNA - 2/21/07

New tensions over Iran's nuclear plans
The tension over Iran's nuclear programme is increasing, with the expiry on Wednesday of a Security Council deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. -BBC - 2/21/07

A clinic for the poor in East Tehran
Tehran is truly a very big city and although I have spent most of my life here, I keep discovering corners that I never knew existed before. Recently, through an organization that I work for, I went to meet Mrs. Fatemeh Fazelzadeh who is in charge of the 14 Masoum (innocents) Clinic in the east of Tehran, at the far end of the Hemmat expressway, Serraj Ave. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/20/07

American religious delegation seeks to build bridge of peace between Iran and U.S.
A religious delegation from the United States has come to Iran to meet religious and political figures and the Iranian people in order to "build bridges of peace and security" between Iran and the U.S. The delegation is led by the Mennonites and Quakers but includes members of many Christian denominations of the United States. -MNA - 2/20/07

Treating us Like Criminals! Pressures Increase on Activists Involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign
The "One Million Signatures Campaign Demanding an End to Discriminatory Laws against Women" was launched five months ago. Our demands in this effort are clear: an end to discriminatory laws against women. The identities of activists involved in the Campaign are even clearer. -Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani - 2/20/07

Saudi Arabia and its Apologists
It is said that "honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger." I recently wrote an article "Iran vs Saudi Arabia" in which I criticised some religious elements in Saudi Arabia for financing and spreading the xenophobic and extremist Wahhabi version of Islam throughout the world...Of course the article was not published in any Arab or Saudi newspapers or online journals. It was however widely read by Muslims who have access to internet and can read English. -Abbas Bakhtiar - 2/20/07

Children of the revolution
About a mile before the cemetery of Behesht-e-Zahra you begin to spot the flower sellers. Young men lined up by the sides of the road, holding out carnations and tuberoses as offerings for the dead. The gates of the cemetery, the main resting grounds for the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, are marked by red flags, the colour of tulips, commemorating the thousands who fought and died for their country. -Fatima Bhutto - 2/20/07

US 'Iran attack plans' revealed
US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned. - 2/20/07

Notebook Laptops with original Vista imported to Iran
A new model of IBM/Levono Notebook laptops, with brand name Lenovo N100-FGG, equipped with Intel dual-cores have been imported to Iran as the first series of computers loaded with original Windows Vista, with the support of the Iranian firm Sazgar Argham Co. -Taliya News - 2/20/07

Iran: IRGC conducts war games in Bandar Abbas
The first phase of military war games code-named 'Great Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)' kicked off at Khatamol Anbia headquarters in Bandar Abbas on Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/20/07

Global Poll Finds that Religion and Culture are Not to Blame for Tensions between Islam and the West
The global public believes that tensions between Islam and the West arise from conflicts over political power and interests and not from differences of religion and culture, according to a BBC World Service poll across 27 countries. -GlobeScan - 2/20/07

Author of "Good Stories for Good Children" honored
The Iranian Luminaries Association (ILA) paid homage to children's writer Mehdi Azar Yazdi on Monday. -MNA - 2/20/07

Iran's Larijani to meet ElBaradei in Vienna
Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani arrived in Vienna on Tuesday noon to hold talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei. -IRNA - 2/20/07

Iran's Assembly of Experts starts new term
The 86-memebr Assembly of Experts held its first meeting on Tuesday for the new term. The Assembly of Experts members who are tasked with electing and supervising the Leader are elected for eight years. -MNA - 2/20/07

Espionage network at Iranian ICT Ministry destroyed
An informed source at Intelligence Ministry said here Tuesday that an espionage network within the country's economic network has been identified and destroyed. -Taliya News - 2/20/07

Rafsanjani criticizes Russia for delay in completion of Bushehr power plant
In a meeting with head of Russian Federation's upper house of parliament Commission on International Affairs Mikhail Margelov, Rafsanjani deplored the fact that the trans-regional powers are using their influence with international organizations to ignore Iranian legitimate rights as stipulated in Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Iran expects friendly states to stop such hegemonic actions. -IRNA - 2/20/07

Soaring Energy Use Puts Oil Squeeze on Iran
Iran sits on one-tenth of the world's known oil supplies but is using so much energy these days it may start rationing gasoline as soon as next month. -WSJ - 2/20/07

Iraqi Kurd Clan Leaders Work to Ease Tensions
Iraq's northern Kurdistan region has been relatively free of the sectarian fighting that has crippled the rest of the country, but a rare attack by Sunni Kurds on a religious group called Yazidi has local leaders working to ease tensions. -VOA - 2/20/07

Quake hits Bandar Abbas in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the port city of Bandar Abbas in the southern province of Hormuzgan Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/20/07

Iranian FM terms Rice's recent remarks "positive"
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran Monday that remarks made recently by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the importance of a 180-degree change in US policies towards Iran were "positive" and were being studied by Tehran. "Rice's statements are being examined with a positive look and we will declare the outcome of our assessment once we get her exact words," he added. -IRNA - 2/19/07

Iran: Supreme Leader calls for acceleration of privatization program
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Monday called for speeding up the privatization program as envisaged by the Article 44 of the Constitution. -IRNA - 2/19/07

Survey reveals majority of British MP's would not support attack on Iran
The survey carried out over a two month period by the Westminster Committee on Iran together with the No Confidence Campaign attempted to establish where every Member of Parliament stood on the question of a possible of pre-emptive war on Iran without the explicit support of the United Nations. -Westminster Committee on Iran - 2/19/07

Iran's nuclear official to meet IAEA chief Tuesday
Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani is to hold talks with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei in Vienna on Tuesday. Also, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday that Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana have agreed to resume talks on the Iran nuclear issue. -IRNA - 2/19/07

IRGC wargames start across Iran
The Islamic Revolution's Guard Corps (IRGC) Monday launched a three-day military exercise in 16 provinces across the country. The IRGC military exercises, dubbed Eqtedar, started with the firing of short, medium and long-range missiles. -IRNA - 2/19/07

Laying Cables in Vicinity of Bisotun Completed
While only 7 months has passed since the registration of Bisotun in list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, undertaking development projects in Bisotun plain, including Petrochemical and Telecommunication activities has posed irrecoverable damages to this world heritage site. -CHN - 2/19/07

Iran's IAU lifts Asian Clubs taekwondo title
The Islamic Azad University (IAU) of Iran was crowned at the first Asian Taekwondo Club Championships on Tuesday night in Tehran. -MNA - 2/19/07

Statement by Iranian Political Activists Supporting Dr. ElBaradei's Recommendations
We, the undersigned, herby support Dr. ElBaradei recommendations. As the deadline set by Security Council resolution 1737 looms near, we call upon the Iranian Government to refrain from installing the centrifuges and to voluntary suspend its program while ask the great powers to suspend the economic sanctions and punishments and to open the dialogue. - 2/19/07

Late payment may delay launch of Bushehr nuclear power plant
Russia's Atomstroiexport project supervisor Vladimir Pavlov said on Monday that late payments by Iran might postpone the commissioning of Bushehr nuclear power plant. "Absolutely such issues affect the completion date," said Pavlov in an interview with reporters on Monday. -IRNA - 2/19/07

Beizaii film inspired by Shahnameh's Speaking Tree
Iranian stage and screen director Bahram Beizaii said that he found the theme of "The Speaking Carpet", his short film on Iranian carpets, in Ferdowsi's epic the Shahnameh. -MNA - 2/19/07

Bush Administration Says No Plans to Attack Iran
The Bush administration is reiterating that it has no plans to go to war with Iran, despite concerns over Iranian weapons filtering into neighboring Iraq as well as the country's continued nuclear program in defiance of the United Nations. From Washington, VOA's Michael Bowman reports. - 2/19/07

Oil price forecast back up to Dlrs 59 after deeper OPEC cuts
In its latest monthly report, the London-based centre forecast in its reference case that the price of benchmark Dated Brent crude would average Dlrs 59.3 per barrel (dpb) in 2007 compared with 54.3 dpb it predicted in January. - 2/19/07

German FM Criticizes US Preparations for Missile Defense System in Europe
Russia has threatened to pull out of a 1987 treaty on intermediate-range nuclear missiles if the United States deploys its anti-missile shield systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. -VOA - 2/19/07

One of the perpetrators of Zahedan bombing executed Monday
One of the main perpetrators of last Wednesday's terrorist bombing in this southeastern city was hanged in public Monday morning. Nasrollah Shanbe-Zehi was hanged at the same place where the bombing took place upon the orders of the local revolutionary court. -IRNA - 2/19/07

Iraqi Kurds Deny Supporting PKK Rebels in Turkey
Kurdish officials in Iraq acknowledge PKK rebels are stationed along Iraq's northern border with Iran and Turkey, but they say the area has long been outside the control of any government. -VOA - 2/19/07

Esfandgan: A feast devoted to women and mothers
The Esfandgan Feast, which is devoted to women and mothers, is celebrated on Sepandarmaz Day in Esfand, the last month of the Iranian calendar, to acknowledge the lofty status of mothers as well as their kindness and self-sacrifice. -MNA - 2/18/07

Iran-U.S. talks not a taboo: envoy
Iran's Ambassador to Paris Ali Ahani has said that holding talks between Iran and the United States should not be considered as a "taboo." However, he said holding talks depends on the U.S. behavior. -MNA - 2/18/07

Iran's first AIDS Film Festival: February 20-22 in Tehran
The English-language daily 'Iran Daily' in its Sunday issue quoted secretary of the festival, Shahram Rafiefar, as saying that the aim of the festival is to help prevent the disease and support those suffering from AIDS. -IRNA - 2/18/07

Attempts for Removing Power Grids from Toos Continue
While Razavi developing Electricity Company has shown indifference to the request of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Khorasan Razavi province for removing power grids, the Organization is determined to follow its complaint through Iran's Ministry of Energy. -CHN - 2/18/07

Iran an enigma to Americans
Although the American public has begun to speak out against a catastrophic attack on Iran, it’s important to remember the quarter-century unpopularity of this previously close ally. At a time when the stories we believe can guide U.S. foreign policy, we cannot afford to suspend critical judgment or accept as facts compelling, but misleading, narratives about Iran. -Farzaneh Milani, Daily Progress - 2/18/07

Iran: Many women heads of households still struggling
Today about six million Iranians are living below the poverty line who are not supported by any organization as they eke out a living. The main problem women heads of households are facing is the question of their employment, government official Zohreh Tabibzadeh-Nuri said. -MNA - 2/18/07

Iran's IRGC to stage 3 weeks of military exercises
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ground forces are to stage a military maneuver under the name "Power". -ISNA - 2/18/07

Iran in talks with Caspian Sea neighbors on gas swap to Europe: minister
Iran is negotiating with its Caspian Sea neighbors over swapping gas to Europe, Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said in Tehran on Sunday. -MNA - 2/18/07

Supreme Leader Says No Concession Over Iran's Nuclear Rights
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today that Iran's disputed nuclear program is its "future and destiny." State television said Khamenei lashed out at critics who say the nuclear drive could cost Iran too much, saying the country's huge oil and gas reserves "would not last forever." -RFE - 2/18/07

Central Asia: Hyena's Appearance Buoys Turkmen Environment Watchers
New evidence suggests that striped hyenas might be extending their habitat northward in Central Asia. The sparse presence of these scavengers has generally been limited to southern Turkmenistan, with very few sightings anymore in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. -RFE - 2/18/07

The Neo-Con Dog That Isn't Barking
For several weeks now, Washington has been abuzz with rumors that U.S. President George W. Bush is preparing to attack nuclear and other sites in Iran this spring -- rumors deemed sufficiently credible that lawmakers from both parties are hastily preparing legislation precisely to prevent such an eventuality. The evidence cannot be ignored. -IPS - 2/18/07

"Connection" links Iranian and Dutch artists
An Iranian and a Dutch artist are to hold a joint exhibition "Connection" in Ariya gallery in Tehran. -ISNA - 2/18/07

Syrian president leaves Tehran
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad wound up his two-days visit to Iran and left for Damascus on Sunday afternoon. - 2/18/07

Foreign ambassadors, commercial attaches visit Iran's Qeshm Free Trade Zone
Ambassadors and commercial attaches from 10 foreign countries on Sunday visited industrial, transit and tourism facilities in Qeshm Free Trade Zone. -IRNA - 2/18/07

Democrats in State Capitols Push Antiwar Resolutions
Frustrated by the inability of Democrats in Congress to pass a resolution opposing President Bush’s policies in Iraq, state legislators across the country, led by Democrats and under pressure from liberal advocacy groups, are pushing forward with their own resolutions. -New York Times - 2/18/07

Al-Sadr not in Iran, says FM spokesman
"He is not in Iran," stressed the spokesman at his weekly press conference. "This claim is unfounded and part of the US psychological warfare against Iran," he said. -IRNA - 2/18/07

Iran's oil refining industry needs dlrs 15b investment: Oil Minister
Vaziri-Hamaneh was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the first two-day international Iran Oil Refining Forum (IOR), which opened in Tehran on Saturday. Forty-five Iranian and three foreign companies are participating in the exhibition. -IRNA - 2/17/07

Iran-Japan oil deals, trade not affected by UN resolution: Tokyo
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said in a press conference in Tokyo on Friday that a decision by the cabinet to freeze the assets of some Iranian companies and individuals has nothing to do with the economic and oil deals between Tehran and Tokyo. -MNA - 2/17/07

Syrian president arrives in Tehran
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad heading a high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Saturday to confer with Iranian officials on regional development. -IRNA - 2/17/07

Iranian Investment in Iraq to Reach 1.8 Billion Dollars
Iranian investment in Iraq will reach dlrs 1.8 billion in the next Iranian year (starting on March 21), co-chairman of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce said on Saturday. -IRNA - 2/17/07

Expert Discusses Iran's Quds Force And U.S. Charges Concerning Iraq
Bush recently accused Iran's Quds Force of supplying weapons, including armor-piercing bombs, that were used to kill U.S. soldiers. RFE/RL talks about the Quds Force and its alleged role in Iraq with Mahan Abedin, director of research at the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism and editor of "Islamism Digest" journal. - 2/17/07

Thirty Years of Solitude: Iranian Women Photographers and Film Directors
Thirty Years of Solitude is an exhibition of photographs by Iranian women and a small selection of films by Iranian women-Directors - 16 February - 11 March at New Hall College, University of Cambridge - 2/17/07

SFU to sell Tanavoli's "Standing Poet" for establishment of Islamic art department
Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada plans to auction off one of the three sculptures by Parviz Tanavoli in his "Standing Poet" series during a sale on February 22 to raise funds for the establishment of an Islamic comparative art and culture department. -MNA - 2/17/07

Iran: Journalist arrested after attending overseas conference
Journalist Ali Farahbakhsh was arrested on 27 November 2006, when he returned from a conference in the Thai capital, Bangkok, on government and the media, organised by Thai NGOs. He has been held since then in Tehran's Evin Prison, and is reportedly due to go on trial on 24 February. -Amnesty International - 2/17/07

Iran’s Oil Problems
Experts warn that falling oil prices could wreak havoc on Iran’s economy and possibly require Tehran to dip into its foreign exchange reserves or seek loans from Russia or China. -CFR - 2/17/07

NIDC, Petrobras, Repsol start joint drilling project in Persian Gulf
The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC), in collaboration with foreign firms, has started the drilling of four exploratory wells in the Persian Gulf, an official with the NIDC said in Tehran on Saturday. -MNA - 2/17/07

U.S. patrol ship on alert in gulf
Asked by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) whether the Iranians had the ability to close the Strait of Hormuz, Fallon responded that he would be glad to answer — in closed session. -Los Angeles Times - 2/17/07

Iran: Two Chopper Crashes Claim Five Lives
Bodies of the two persons killed in a copter crash in a salt lake in eastern Shiraz, capital of this southern province Saturday morning, were pulled out of the lake. -IRNA - 2/17/07

Field Day for Iranian Militarists as Standoff with US Continues
TEHRAN - Whether or not the military posturing by the United States and Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman actually results in armed hostilities, militarists in this country are having a field day. -Kimia Sanati, IPS - 2/17/07

Conceptual Failure: Neoconservatism, Iraq and the Middle East
The conventional wisdom among neoconservatives who advocated an invasion of Iraq is that Bush administration incompetence explains what has gone wrong. The problem, they say, lies in the execution of what they still maintain was a noble idea: that invading Iraq would put anti-American forces in the Middle East on the defensive and initiate the spread of democracy through the enhancement of U.S. dominance of the region. -WPW - 2/17/07

India's anti-Iran votes were coerced, says former US official
Stephen G. Rademaker, a former ranking official of the Bush administration has acknowledged that India's votes against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were 'coerced'. - 2/17/07

Missing in Baghdad: My Father
What happens when a call from Iraq upends a reporter's life in New York: About 5 o'clock on a mid-December morning, I was awakened by a call from my brother in Iraq. "Dad is missing," he said. He was upset and some of his anger spilled out at me: "You should be here," he shouted. "You don't seem to care." -WSJ - 2/17/07

Who's Funding the Sunnis?
The Bush administration claims that they care so much about protecting our troops in Iraq that they are going to go after Iran, who is at most responsible for 8% of US fatalities. Then, why not go after the people funding the Sunnis instead? After all, they are the ones doing the great majority of attacks against our beloved troops. -Huffington Post - 2/17/07

Tehran, a city of surprises
I began my day in Tehran on the subway. The Tehran Metro is, if you will pardon my overzealous language, an absolute wonder. Situated in central parts of the city, it runs on three lines. I bought a ticket on the Imam Khomeini line, the red line, and queued up with Tehranis on their way to work at the Hafte Tir station to embark on some sightseeing. -Fatima Bhutto - 2/16/07

IAAB Opens Registration for Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora
Building upon the success of its two previous Conferences, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) announced this week the opening of registration for its Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora to be held April 28-29, 2007 at New York University's Kimmel Center in New York, NY. - 2/16/07

The New Enemy?
Bush blames Iran’s Quds Force for a spike in anti-American violence in Iraq. Who are they, and how tight are their ties with Tehran? -Babak Dehghanpisheh , et all, Newsweek - 2/16/07

Leading IR Theorist Fukuyama Proposes Serious Iran Diplomatic Incentives
Former neoconservative theorist and Director of Johns Hopkins University's International Development Program, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, described Iranian foreign policy as pragmatic and rational, and announced that a comprehensive political agreement between the US and Iran was still possible, in spite of the Bush administration's present confrontational approach to the Middle East. -NIAC - 2/16/07

A week of domestic disaster in Tehran
When we read the international news all that we read about Iran seems to be about one thing. Yet, in Tehran, where we live, life goes on normally and often quite ordinarily. We'd like to share with you a crazy week of our life in Tehran that for many of you will bring back past memories! -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 2/16/07

Iran: Officials Lay Out Ongoing Antidrug Measures
The head of Iran's Antidrug Headquarters warned on February 11 that Iranian youngsters are increasingly using recreational drugs in the form of pills. Fada Hussein Maleki urged officials to work together and explore new avenues to fight drug use in Iran. -RFE - 2/16/07

A Terrorist by Any Other Name
What is incomprehensible is that there are enemy combatants who have cost so many American lives and plan to take more lives, bankrupt America (as if it can sink any lower) and yet they are roaming around free. - 2/16/07

U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman Calls Natural Gas Cartel a Bad Idea
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has dismissed an international attempt to form a cartel designed to give natural gas producers greater control over gas markets. -USINFO - 2/16/07

Lithographic Shahnameh published in Iran
A collection of lithographic illustrations of "Shahnameh", a masterpiece by prominent Iranian epic poet Ferdowsi, hit the market in Iran. The work has been compiled by German scholar Ulrich Marzolph and came out by the Chista Publications. -MNA - 2/16/07

War with Iran? - The think-tankers
Is war with Iran on the way? On Tuesday we heard from independent analysts; on Wednesday from four former CIA officials. Today, we’ll conclude the forum with three analyses from think-tank scholars. -Harper Magazine - 2/16/07

Eleven Iranian firms selected to attend German Cebit
The companies scheduled for participating at Cebit include Elm-o-San’at, Ryanaeh Danesh Asia, Padid Pardaz, Safa Rayaneh, Iran Rayaneh, Haseb System, Sepehr Anformatic, Derakhshan, Jahan Gostar, East Azarbaijan Science & Technology Park, Avazhang System, and Hesab -O- Andisheh. Fair. -Taliya News - 2/16/07

Iranian literati discuss U.S. author Salinger
Scores of Iranian literati and scholars came together on Feb. 14 at the Cinematheque Hall of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) to discuss American author Jerome David Salinger. -MNA - 2/16/07

Expat wins top Iranian science award
AN Australian professor has received one of Iran's top scientific awards for her agricultural research on in-vitro plant breeding and plant tissue culture. -Herald Sun - 2/16/07

Rhinoplasty All the Rage in Iran
In Iran, there is no stigma to getting a nose job. Many women openly wear "bandages of honor" on their noses to show they've had the operation. -ABC News - 2/16/07

Bush Announces New Plan for Afghanistan
President Bush announced a new six-point plan February 15 to help Afghanistan defeat Taliban forces and terrorists, and establish a stable, moderate, democratic state. -USINFO - 2/16/07

Not-So-Straight Shootin’
Bush seems to be intentionally sending mixed messages on Iran. -Newsweek - 2/16/07

Breakdown At The Iraq Lie Factory
It was, President Bush must have been thinking, a heck of a lot easier five years ago. Back in 2002, the president had a smoothly running lie factory humming along in the Pentagon, producing reams of fake intelligence about Iraq, led by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith and his Office of Special Plans. In 2007, Bush stands nearly alone, and he never looked lonelier than during a bumbling, awkward news conference on the Iraq-Iran tangle Wednesday. -TomPaine - 2/16/07

UNSC condemns terrorist act in Iran's Zahedan
Fifteen members of the UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously condemned terrorist bombing in Iran's southeastern city of Zahedan. -IRNA - 2/16/07

U.S. Religious delegation going to Iran to talk peace
A delegation of 13 U.S. religious leaders will be visiting Iran next week (February 17-25) in order to deepen dialogue between religious and political leaders there in the hope of defusing tensions between the U.S. and Iran. - 2/15/07

Persian History Inspires French Comic Book Masters
Interestingly in recent years particularly the past two and a half decades French Comic books have also tried to shed light on middle eastern civilizations and particularly Persia. This has been maybe due to the past colonial history of France or Belgium that were also penetrated by Oriental imagery and Mythology due to contacts with the Muslim world and their own rivalries with other Colonial Powers like Great Britain or Germany. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/15/07

Oppositions to Inundation of Sivand Dam Still Continue
Today, a group of cultural heritage enthusiasts and NGOs gathered in front of Iran’s Islamic Parliament in Tehran to voice their objection to the flooding of Sivand Dam in Fars province once again. -CHN - 2/15/07

Shahnameh: A Cultural History of Iran's National Epic (Lectures at California State University)
Rastegar Family’s Iraj Afshar Iranica Lecture Series - By Dr. Mahmoud Omidsalar at California State University, Fullerton from March 9 to March 11 - 2/15/07

Iran: Shell Faces 'Dilemma' In South Pars Gas Project
Like all oil and gas majors, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group has its eyes open for new sources of supply as global demand for energy grows. Iran is just such a possible source, with the world's second biggest reserves of natural gas. -RFE - 2/15/07

Powell tried to push Iran talks in 2003 and was rebuffed, former official says
Former Bush National Security Council official Flynt Leverett, speaking on Wednesday at a forum held by the New America Foundation, told a crowd in a Senate office building that in 2003 then-Secretary of State Colin Powell received a “grand bargain” offer from Iran and was rebuffed by the White House -Raw Story - 2/15/07

"From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq": Craig Unger on How the Neoconservatives Are Pushing For An Attack on Iran
“Once again, neocon ideologues have been flogging questionable intelligence about W.M.D.," Unger writes. "Once again, dubious Middle East exile groups are making the rounds in Washington—this time urging regime change in Syria and Iran. Once again, heroic new exile leaders are promising freedom." -Democracy Now - 2/15/07

Hell-Bent on War
The United States government is hell-bent on a wider war in the Middle East, and there doesn't seem to be anyone – not Congress, not any of our allies, not Divine Providence itself – capable of stopping them. Threats against the Iranians come on an almost daily basis -Antiwar.com - 2/15/07

US anti-Iran documents on Iraq forged - Zarif
Iran's UN Ambassador Javad Zarif said in New York on Wednesday that US President George W. Bush has resorted to a new adventurist policy of "accusing" aimed at concealing US mistakes in Iraq. -IRNA - 2/15/07

War with Iran?
Is war with Iran on the way? Yesterday we heard from independent analysts, today we'll hear from four former CIA officials, and tomorrow we'll hear from people at major think tanks. -Harper Magazine - 2/15/07

Nuclear Issue Prompts Debate on US Iranian Policy
Former Bush administration official Larry Wilkerson, says the time is right to push forward with diplomatic talks but he worries that the administration does not have the political will to pursue them. "But it looks as if today, we are approaching, if we are not already at, a moment we should capitalize on once again - that is to say, we could probably move to meaningful diplomatic talks with the Iranians. -VOA - 2/15/07

Israel spends 200 times more per capita on defence than Iran
In its latest Military Balance, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) institute cited the defence spending of Israel at Dlrs 9.8 billion in 2005, nearly twice the amount for Iran, despite having a population of less than a tenth of Iran's 65 million. - 2/15/07

Daimler Chrysler: We will stay in Iran
Daimler Chrysler branch in Iran denounced all recent rumors spread by foreign news agencies, which had stated Daimler was to exit Iran. -ISNA - 2/15/07

US Briefing on Iran Discredits the Official Line
The first major effort by the George W. Bush administration to substantiate its case that the Iranian government has been providing weapons to Iraqi Shiites who oppose the occupation undermines the administration's political line by showing that it has been unable to find any real evidence of an Iranian government role. -IPS - 2/15/07

Sawyer Answers Questions, Reveals Surprise About Ahmadinejad
Diane Sawyer Talks About Ahmadinejad's Unlikely Habit, the Hajib Scarf and Iranian Women -ABC - 2/15/07

Fitch Affirms Export Development Bank of Iran at 'B+'
Fitch Ratings (UK) Limited has today affirmed Export Development Bank of Iran's ("EDBI") ratings at Issuer Default 'B+' with Stable Outlook, Short-term 'B', Individual 'D' and Support '4'. - 2/15/07

Iran Revolutionary Guards: Unit engraved emblem on U.S. ship
A commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Wednesday that a commando unit has engraved the military organization's emblem into the side panel of an American warship stationed in the Persian Gulf. -Haaretz, Israel - 2/15/07

Thelma and Louise Imperialism
Let me make an argument about the possibility that a regime-change-style, shock-and-awe air assault might someday be launched on Iranian nuclear facilities and associated targets--based on no insider knowledge, just the logic of George and Dick's Thelma and Louise-style imperialism. -Nation - 2/15/07

Fool Us Twice? From Iraq to Iran
It's déja vu. This time the Bush gang wants war with Iran. Following a carefully orchestrated strategy, they have ratcheted up the "threat" from Iran, designed to mislead us into a new war four years after they misled us into Iraq. -AlterNet - 2/15/07

Amazing Iran: ASHURA '07
Having just returned from a memorable one-week trip around Iran, during the Ashura festival, I wanted to send all of you on this list a few samples of this country and temporarily lighten the political fare that I'm usually serving up... -Iason Athanasiadis - 2/14/07

Love Iranian Style
The following picture is titled Love. It was taken by Shabab Golchin, a young photographer from Talesh in Northern Iran. The picture has won the special prize of UNESCO photo competition held in Japan. - 2/14/07

Welcome to Tehran
After a pleasant Iran Air flight I landed at Mehrabad International Airport. A sign greeted me: Welcome to Tehran, Fati. I am not a nervous flier, but I am a nervous traveler. As I walked towards the departure gate at Karachi's Jinnah airport, my mother kissed me and sensing my apprehension at the journey ahead held my face and said, "You're going to your country, safe travels". -Fatima Bhutto - 2/14/07

Iran: 5 suspects in Zahedan bombing arrested: local official
Five terrorists suspected of involvement in Wednesday morning's terrrorist bombing in Zahedan have been arrested, it was announced here Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/14/07

Putin Uses Persian Gulf Trip To Boost Russian Role In Arab World
It is rare for foreign leaders to be received in such pomp in Saudi Arabia, but Russian President Vladimir Putin was greeted by King Abdullah himself. Putin brought along a sizable entourage: the head of the state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom, Aleksei Miller; Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin, a number of other oligarchs, and some high-ranking Muslim officials. -RFE - 2/14/07

World scholars due in Iran for poetess Parvain E'tessami veneration
A group of literati from 14 countries is expected in Iran to participate in the upcoming series of international and scientific congress to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the prominent Iranian poetess Parvin E'tessami. -MNA - 2/14/07

2 Historic Textures and 100 Monuments Identified in Yazd
Recent studies in Yazd province led into identifying 2 historic textures and 100 ancient monuments ranging in date from the Safavid dynastic era (1501-1736 AD) up to the Pahlavi period (1925-1979 AD). -CHN - 2/14/07

2003 Memo Says Iranian Leaders Backed Talks
The Swiss ambassador to Iran informed U.S. officials in 2003 that an Iranian proposal for comprehensive talks with the United States had been reviewed and approved by Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; then-President Mohammad Khatami; and then-Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, according to a copy of the cover letter to the Iranian document. -Washington Post - 2/14/07

Iran: Velayati's Moscow Visit Seen As Strengthening Relations With Russia
Former Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, a foreign affairs adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was in Moscow on February 8-9 for talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program. Iran considers Russia a partner in international affairs and for its nuclear activities... -RFE - 2/14/07

Iran Seeking Influence in Afganistian
Since ancient times, the region that is now Afghanistan -- a fragile mix of ethnic and religious groups -- has been an object of interest of its neighbors and other powers. Iran’s recent interest in its eastern neighbor might have risky implications for Afghanistan. -VOA - 2/14/07

Fajr Film Festival controversy
Several of the decisions of the jury of the 25th edition of the festival, which was held in Tehran from February 1 to 11, have been criticized by participants. A number of cineastes complained that the jury had slighted their films by not nominating them in more categories. -MNA - 2/14/07

French animations saturate Tehran festival
Of 570 works submitted by 61 countries, the selection board picked up 142, with 47 belonging to France. -MNA - 2/14/07

Bush Hails Beijing Deal as 'First Step' Toward Nuclear-Free Korea
President Bush has welcomed Tuesday's agreement at the six-party talks in Beijing as a "first step" toward a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula. Administration officials, meanwhile are defending the agreement against criticism that it rewards bad behavior by North Korea. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department. - 2/14/07

Iran vet chief rejects reports of avian flu outbreak in Mazandaran
Head of Iran Veterinary Organization Hossein Hassani denied the outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strains bird flu in Amol and Babol, two Iranian cities located in the northern province of Mazandaran. -MNA - 2/14/07

Iran's SNSC Secretary pays short visit to Saudi Arabia
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday. According to informed sources in Saudi Arabia, Larijani is to exchange views with Saudi political and security officials on Iran's nuclear dossier and latest developments in the region. -IRNA - 2/14/07

Role of Music in Iran's Traditional Sports to be Revisited
In an attempt to study the scientific, cultural and artistic aspects of music in promoting sport, Iran's Olympic and Paralympics Academy is determined to hold a professional festival with the title of Sport and Music for the first time in Iran. The festival will be attended by experts, artists, and athletes in Tehran and is organized on the occasion of Olympic Week, 25-27 of June 2007. -CHN - 2/14/07

EU: Brussels Rushes To Clarify 'Nuclear Iran' Report
EU officials launched a rare and hurried exercise in damage control today to counter a suggestion by the "Financial Times" newspaper that the bloc has concluded that Iran cannot be prevented from acquiring a nuclear bomb. -RFE - 2/14/07

Pace Stands by Cautious Remarks on Iran
The top American military officer is standing by remarks he made Monday, first reported by VOA, that appear to contradict U.S. military officials Baghdad, who said Iran's government is providing powerful bombs to Iraqi insurgents. The general also says the United States has no intention of attacking Iran. - 2/14/07

US accusations of Iranian arms supply to Iraq mere "lies": Defense Minister
Stressing that Iran and Iraq have a long history of relations and religious commonalties preceding the creation of the United States of America, Mohammad-Najjar said Iran is a friend and neighbor of Iraq and would do all within its power to help solve the crisis and establish security and peace in the war-torn country. -IRNA - 2/14/07

US aim in prodding Iran: negotiation?
The US may be trying to achieve a difficult balance regarding Iran: pushing the Iranians hard enough so they will negotiate over their nuclear program, yet not so hard as to increase tensions in a part of the world that's already aflame. -CSM - 2/14/07

Iraq Announces Closure of Iranian, Syrian Border Crossings Ahead of Security Crackdown
Iraqi officials have announced they will close all checkpoints on the Iranian and Syrian borders, as part of the new plan to crack down on religious militias and end the rampant sectarian cleansing in the capital. -VOA - 2/14/07

Iran Hangs Three For 2006 Bombings
Iran has hanged three people for carrying out deadly bombings in southwestern Khuzestan Province one year ago. - 2/14/07

Iranian president says Palestinians should decide on their own resolution to conflict with Israel
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad toned down his verbal attacks on Israel, saying in an interview with American television aired Tuesday that the Palestinians should be allowed to determine a resolution to the conflict with Israel. -AP - 2/14/07

BAM 6.6, the movie: Interview with independent filmmaker Jahangir Golestan-Parast
Bam 6.6 follows the experiences of Adele Freedman, A Jewish-American woman who was vacationing in Bam with her fiancé, Tobb Dell'Oro, when the earthquake struck. Adele, who is forced to face Tobb's tragic death alone in the crumbling city, halfway around the world, finds surprising comfort when the Muslim citizens of Bam reach out to her. The film interweaves Adele's experiences with the experiences of Iranian survivors, who provide a painful reality of the earthquake's devastating toll on their community. -Interview by Brian H. Appleton - 2/13/07

Iranian Composer Sam Daghighian Wins ERM Media's Composition Competition
On February 8, 2007 Sam Daghighian, a 34 year old Iranian Composer who grew up in Los Angeles, CA, was announced as one of the winners of ERM Media’s annual Composition Competition, and will be recording his winning composition “Sinfonia” with the legendary Prague Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, on March 4 & 5, 2007. - 2/13/07

White House challenged over Iran dossier
The White House was today challenged to retract accusations by senior US defence officials that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government are supplying sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraqi insurgents. The call comes from a group of academics and Middle East experts who described the latest allegations as “highly implausible and deeply misleading”. -CSMII - 2/13/07

Lafurak Ancient Cemetery, Next Victim of Dam Construction
While excavations in the 3000-year-old cemetery of Lafurak have still remained incomplete, it seems with inundation of Alborz Dam, this historic site would be the next victim of dam construction in Iran. -CHN - 2/13/07

Report: Environmental Art Festival on the Persian Gulf
An environmental art festival was held recently (January 1-5, 2007) on the coast of Bandar Abbass, Hormoz and Shykh Andar Abi islands, in the Persian Gulf. More than thirty artists created a wide range of sand sculptures and environmental installations. -Paradise Online - 2/13/07

Bush Downplays Speculation Of U.S. Military Strike On Iran
U.S. President George W. Bush has dismissed talk that his administration "wants to go to war" as "noise" from political opponents who do not understand his comprehensive strategy toward Tehran. -RFE - 2/13/07

I Call Bullshit on the Evidence Against Iran
This weekend three US defense officials put on a demonstration meant to prove that Iran is supplying weapons to people fighting our forces in Iraq. The presentation wasn't just shoddy, it was pathetic. -Huffington Post - 2/13/07

German, Iranian troupes likely to team up on "Chalk Circle"
German theater director Roberto Ciulli plans to travel to Iran in late February to hold discussions with Iranian director Asghar Khalili about joint staging of "The Caucasian Chalk Circle". -MNA - 2/13/07

FABRICATING THE CASE AGAINST IRAN
Journalist Larry Chin reveals superbly documented evidence of the Bush administration's rhetoric and actions which are propelling the U.S. into a frightening conflagration with Iran -Carolyn Baker.org - 2/13/07

Switzerland seeks role in Iran's atomic issue - Larijani
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council said in Bern Wednesday Switzerland has presented no plan for Iran's nuclear program, but this country seeks to play a greater role in Iran's atomic program. Ali Larijani made the comment after a meeting with Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey -IRNA - 2/13/07

Dire Straits
The United States has been to war against Iran before. What we can learn from the last time around. -Newsweek - 2/13/07

An excess of problems for Iranian energy
Political and economic pressure from the United States and other Western governments has chilled foreign investment in Iran and is squeezing the long-fragile Iranian energy industry, a problem that is in many ways at the heart of the nuclear controversy involving Iran. -IHT - 2/13/07

Analysts: US May Not Be Primary Target of Iranian Arms in Iraq
U.S. military officials in Baghdad are accusing the Iranian government of providing sophisticated explosives to Shiite militias in Iran. Iran has denied the charge. But, as VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, even if the accusation is true, the arms may not necessarily be destined for attacks on U.S. forces. - 2/13/07

VISA and MasterCard usage possible in Iran
Tetra-Tech IT Company announced in Tehran on Sunday that using VISA and MasterCard is now possible in Iranian e-card terminals at shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies for Iranians and foreign tourists. -Taliya News - 2/13/07

A Shaky Briefing on Iran?
The administration finally unveiled its case this weekend, first in coordinated and anonymous leaks to a trusting New York Times reporter, then in an extraordinarily secretive military briefing at which no one would speak on the record, journalists weren't allowed to photograph the so-called evidence, and nothing even remotely like proof of direct Iranian government involvement was presented. -Washington Post - 2/13/07

For Neocons, an Attack on Iran Has Been a Six-Year Project
The escalation of war rhetoric against Iran from the Bush White House and the neocons is just the latest installment of a long-term plan for another preemptive war. -AlterNet - 2/13/07

US financial squeeze on Iran yields results
Iran's weekend offer to resume nuclear negotiations, coupled with new flexibility over how and where future uranium enrichment trials may be conducted, represents the first clear evidence that domestic and international pressure on Tehran's hardliners is beginning to bear fruit. -Guardian - 2/13/07

Nasr: Iran Seeks to Deescalate Tension
Vali R. Nasr, a leading expert on Iran and on Shiites, says on the basis of recent statements by Iranian leaders, “Iran is keen to reengage and try to deescalate the tensions by adopting a more conciliatory posture.” -CFR - 2/13/07

Quake hits southern and northern Iranian cities
An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the city of Borazjan in the southern province of Bushehr Tuesday morning. Another earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale jolted outskirts of the city of Aq Qala in the northern province of Golestan Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/13/07

Target Tehran: Washington sets stage for a new confrontation
The United States is moving closer to war with Iran by accusing the "highest levels" of the Iranian government of supplying sophisticated roadside bombs that have killed 170 US troops and wounded 620. The allegations against Iran are similar in tone and credibility to those made four years ago by the US government about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of 2003. -Independent - 2/13/07

Iran's Khamoushi meets with top German trade officials
The head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines Ali-Naqi Khamoushi on Monday held talks with his German counterpart Martin Wansleben and the President of the Federation of Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) Anton Boerner in Berlin -IRNA - 2/13/07

Is There Anyone in Iranian Azerbaijan Who Wants to Get a Passport to Go to Mashad, Qum, Isfahan or Shiraz? - The Dynamics of Ethnicity in Iran
It is a very sensitive time in Iran’s history. It is not clear what is in store for Iran. In as much as there are plans to possibly use bunker buster atomic devices to get at nuclear sites in Iran, there are also plans to use ethnic tensions as internal atomic bombs in democracy operations in Iran. -Fereydoun Safizadeh, Boston University - 2/12/07

Attack Iran For Whose Benefit, May We Dare Ask?
Are the same forces that were at play dragging the United States into the Iraqi quagmire still at work pushing America into an even bigger hell in Iran? -Kam Zarrabi - 2/12/07

Wider Conflict Threatens
The Bush administration’s aggressive confrontation with Iran over the war in Iraq and Iran’s nuclear program threatens armed conflict throughout the Middle East. A better approach would be for the administration to seek a constructive way to engage Iran. -R. K. Ramazani - 2/12/07

Amazing Iran
At a time when talk of a military strike against Iran looms ever larger, it's often easy to lose sight of the fact that Iran is one of the most visually stunning countries in the world. That is certainly one of the main reasons that has kept me here for the past three years. -Iason Athanasiadis - 2/12/07

Tehran or bust: A hundred beats
I might not be a media superstar, but I am going to go to Tehran regardless. Undeterred, I went to take my visa photo, for which I had to wear a full hijab. The photographer, eager to do his job perfectly, insisted I pull the hijab down to my eyebrows before he would snap the picture. I did and smiled. 'Don't smile' he said, peering out from under his camera. I compromised and half smiled. I couldn't help it - I was terribly excited. -Fatima Bhutto - 2/12/07

US-Iran Relations: Collision, Stand Off, or Convergence?
The National Iranian American Council & The New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Cordially Invite You To A Full Day National Policy Forum - 2/12/07

"Mainline" crew gets a rush with five Crystal Simorghs at Fajr Film Festival
The production crew of the drug-themed film “Mainline” was the happiest group at the award presentation ceremony of the 25th Fajr International Film Festival at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Sunday as the film scooped up Crystal Simorghs in five categories. -MNA - 2/12/07

Iranians Mark Revolution Anniversary
Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran today in an annual show of support for the Islamic revolution. - 2/12/07

Support Citizen Diplomacy to Iran
Our sister organization Peace Action Education Fund needs to raise $5000 to send Paul to Iran and help disseminate his message when he returns. Will you join us in our campaign to prevent war with Iran, and become a sponsor of Paul's citizen diplomacy mission to that nation? - 2/12/07

EU reiterates offer for constructive relationship with Iran
The European Union stressed Monday that it would limit itself to implementation of UNSC Resolution 1737 about Iran and nothing beyond that. -IRNA - 2/12/07

Iran: Nation insists on nuclear rights
On Sunday, millions of people took to the streets across the country celebrating the 28th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. -MNA - 2/12/07

Call for Papers: 2007 MIDDLE EAST & CENTRAL ASIA Politics, Economics, and Society Conference
The fifth annual multidisciplinary Middle East & Central Asia Politics, Economics, and Society Conference will be held during September 6-8, 2007 at University of Utah - 2/12/07

This is Iran, but not as you know it
Young Iranians are doing more to transform their country than any outside agency could do, writes Rageh Omaar -TIMES Online - 2/12/07

EU Ministers Approve Plan Implementing Iran Sanctions
Foreign ministers of the 27 European Union member countries meeting in Brussels have approved plans for implementing UN sanctions against Iran. -RFE - 2/12/07

Iran's anti-AIDS medicine to enter market in two months
Secretary of the Iranian Pharmacists Society Saeed Vaqefi said Monday that the newly discovered Iranian herbal medicine for HIV/AIDS is set to enter the domestic market within two months. -IRNA - 2/12/07

5th Tehran animation festival to open on February 25
Sixty-one countries will be participating at the domestic and international sections of event which will run through March 1. -MNA - 2/12/07

Iranian company to construct 3 hospitals in Iraq
Iran Construction Investment Company (ICIC) has won bids to construct three 200-bed hospitals in the main Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad. -IRNA - 2/12/07

Controversial Jerusalem Construction Project Postponed
The mayor of Jerusalem has postponed construction work on a walkway leading to Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock Mosque. VOA's Jim Teeple reports work at the site during the past week has sparked controversy and riots among Jerusalem's Muslim population. - 2/12/07

Iran: Islamic Revolution's Legacy Debated As Anniversary Marked
Protesters today chanted "Death to America!" outside of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran in the midst of Iran's annual ൒-Day Dawn" celebrations that mark the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The celebrations will reach their climax on February 11 with massive rallies across the country. -RFE - 2/11/07

Iran's Bit Pardaz Company launches CTX monitor Mfg. Line
Bit Pardaz Co. is one of the largest manufacturers of computer accessories in the country engaged in production of keyboards, computer cases, and speakers with the trade names Microlab and PROBIT. -Taliya News - 2/11/07

Lecture: The Cultural Politics of Martyrdom in Iran and the Middle East
Dr. Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Social Psychology at Boston College and former MESA President, will be first Ehsan Yarshater Lecturer in Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. - 2/11/07

General says Iran is mass producing stealth drone
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said here Saturday Iran has started mass producing and using a stealth drone with a range of 700 kilometers. -IRNA - 2/11/07

Iranian Teahouse Painting Master Esmaeilzadeh Dies at 85
Hassan Esmaeilzadeh, who was one of the last few living masters of Iranian teahouse painting, died of a mild case of Alzheimer's disease at 85 at his home on Friday. -MNA - 2/11/07

Earthquake Victims Unearthed after 800 Years in Mazandaran
Archeologists at the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran unearthed two skeletons in the vicinity of Resket tomb which further proves occurrence of a big earthquake in the region about a millennium ago. -CHN - 2/11/07

Iranian Ambassador Criticizes U.S.
AMB. ZARIF: No, Iran, has no interest in providing weapons to any insurgents groups in Iraq. But the problem is that the United States has decided on a policy and is trying to find or fabricate evidence if it cannot find one — and I believe it hasn't been able to find an evidence – in order to substantiate and corroborate that policy. And that seems to be at the bottom of this problem, and it's an alarming problem because if you're looking for a crisis, then you're certainly not looking for solutions. -NPR - 2/11/07

SFRC Testimony by Zbigniew Brzezinski on Iraq war
Mr. Chairman: Your hearings come at a critical juncture in the U.S. war of choice in Iraq, and I commend you and Senator Lugar for scheduling them. It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities: 1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global legitimacy. - 2/11/07

Added value services, Iranian operators' winner ace card
2nd Mobile Phone Operator and Taliya with their 1.5 million subscribers are competing in the field with government's 1st Operator, and under such conditions the operator that would present best added values services would be the winner. -Taliya News - 2/11/07

Iran: UN Surveillance Cameras Installed at Nuclear Plant
Iran says the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has installed surveillance cameras at a nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran says the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has installed surveillance cameras at a nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran says the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has installed surveillance cameras at a nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran's Nuclear Agency announced Saturday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can now fully supervise activities at the plant. -VOA - 2/11/07

US to present its evidence of Iran's meddling in Iraq, wary of past intelligence blunders
No one who has seen the files has suggested the evidence is thin. But the Bush administration is haunted by the history of intelligence blunders about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction that led up to the 2003 Iraq invasion. -AP - 2/11/07

Iran ready for parliamentary talks with the U.S.
Iran's parliament national security and foreign affairs commission deputy informed that Iran's parliament members were ready to maintain talks with U.S. congress or senate members. Speaking to ISNA, Mohammad Nabi Roudaki stated that however, these parliament talks would not mean a political-economic relationship with the U.S. -ISNA - 2/10/07

Iranian American Political Action Committee to Hold Inaugural Gala in Orange County
IAPAC will hold its Orange County Inaugural Gala on the evening of March 3rd, 2007. The Gala, entitled “Honoring the Contributions of Iranian Americans,” will honor the contributions and recognize the accomplishments of Iranian Americans in the fields of government service, philanthropy, and science and technology. - 2/10/07

Fajr Festival award winning films announced
The international section award winning films in the 25th edition of the international Fajr film festival were announced in a ceremony of honor at Vahdat theatre hall in Tehran. -ISNA - 2/10/07

Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring
US preparations for an air strike against Iran are at an advanced stage, in spite of repeated public denials by the Bush administration, according to informed sources in Washington. -Guardian - 2/10/07

Iran's Larijani stresses security as world's vital need
Larijani was speaking to IRNA upon his arrival in Munich, Germany to attend the 43rd Conference on Security Policy, which opened officially Saturday with an inaugural speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. -IRNA - 2/10/07

Putin Says West Forcing Will On World
Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly criticized the United States and other Western countries during a major security conference today. During his speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Putin said that a U.S.-led "unipolar world" has "nothing in common with democracy" and is unacceptable. -RFE - 2/10/07

Extremist groups hurting Islamic unity: Rafsanjani
Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Qom on Friday that extremist movements within various religious factions are hurting the security and unity of the world's Muslims. Rafsanjani made the remarks while addressing a conference on the Islamic world and its challenges. -IRNA - 2/10/07

Leading Experts Say Congress Must Stop An Attack on Iran: Is That Constitutionally Possible?
Absolutely - According to Experts on Both Sides of the Aisle -FindLaw - 2/10/07

Iran: Former Revolutionary Mohsen Sazegara Talks About Parting Ways With Theocracy
Sazegara used to be a true revolutionary. A student in the United States and a member of the anti-Shah student movement, he left school to join Iran's main religious leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in his Parisian exile. He worked in the ayatollah's press office and helped organize interviews. -RFE - 2/10/07

Students form human chain around Bushehr nuclear power plant
Some 2,000 students of various provincial universities and schools formed a human chain around Bushehr nuclear power plant in this southern province on Saturday to demonstrate their support for Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. -IRNA - 2/10/07

IAEA Cuts Iran Aid Projects by Half
The United Nations nuclear agency has suspended nearly half of its technical aid projects to Iran. A review disclosed Friday by the International Atomic Energy Agency found that almost half of its 55 projects with Iran would be affected. The agency is trying to comply with U.N. sanctions placed on Tehran, because of its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. -VOA - 2/10/07

Mideast Quartet Reiterates Terms for Hamas Role in Peacemaking
The international Quartet on the Middle East said Friday the pending new Palestinian unity government must renounce violence and recognize Israel if it wants to be part of regional peace efforts. -VOA - 2/10/07

How close is Iran to a nuclear bomb?
In the coming days, Iran is expected to make what is being billed as a major announcement on its nuclear programme to coincide with the anniversary of the Iranian revolution. -BBC - 2/10/07

Iran-Iraq common borders to be closed for four days: informed source
An informed source, referring to the new Iraq security plan and its restrictions on cross-border traffic, quoted Iraqi officials as saying the country's common borders with its neighboring countries, including Iran, will be closed for four days starting Saturday, and nobody can travel into and out of Iraq. -IRNA - 2/10/07

Caucasus-Caspian Commission to hold first meeting
The Caucasus-Caspian Commission under the chairmanship of Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel will meet for the first time in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday. -IRNA - 2/10/07

Central Asian, Iranian Recordings Compete For 'World Music' Grammy
The 49th Grammy Awards ceremonies are a forum for the U.S. music industry to highlight its top stars with awards like "Best New Artist" and "Album of the Year." Many of the 108 categories focus on the most popular Western music -- pop, hip-hop, rap, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, and classical. -RFE - 2/9/07

Iran's Ex-President Hashemi-Rafsanjani Draws Right-Wing Ire
Former Iranian President and current Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has faced verbal attacks from conservative elements in the country in the past. But a recent spate of criticism has some observers convinced that there is a bid afoot to undermine his influence and, increasingly, his status as an alternative to radicalism associated with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -RFE - 2/9/07

Iranian Revolution Still Resonates 28 Years After Shah's Fall
On February 11th, 1979, the Iranian Revolution began. Later that year, young Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. Embassy and took its employees hostage. The United States and Iran have been bitter adversaries ever since. -VOA - 2/9/07

Registration of new HIV drug in Europe in final stage – Iranian Health Minister
Iran's Minister of Health Kamran Baqeri Lankarani on Thursday said that registration of a new herbal medicine invented by Iranians that controls the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus in an infected person is at its final stage. -IRNA - 2/9/07

Iran vs. Saudi Arabia
President Bush and his staff go out of their way to emphasize that they are doing their best to “reassure” their “allies” in the Persian Gulf (mainly Saudi Arabia) that the United States is there to protect them against the evil Persians. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda’s ideology is spreading unchecked throughout the Muslim world. The actions of the Bush administration are helping to spread this ideology. United States is actually protecting the source of this malaise and helping it to spread. -Abbas Bakhtiar - 2/9/07

India Optimistic Gas Deal With Iran Moving Forward
A deal that has been in the works for years to send natural gas from Iran to India through Pakistan is moving forward, with an agreement anticipated within months. However, some early supporters are questioning whether the time has passed for the proposed pipeline, which also faces opposition from the United States. -VOA - 2/9/07

The Iran Option That Isn't on the Table
As Iran crosses successive nuclear demarcations and mischievously intervenes in Iraq, the question of how to address the Islamic republic is once more preoccupying Washington. Economic sanctions, international ostracism, military strikes and even support for hopeless exiles are all contemplated with vigor and seriousness. One option, however, is rarely assessed: engagement as a means of achieving a more pluralistic and responsible government in Tehran. -Vali Nasr and Ray Takeyh, Washington Post - 2/9/07

We must oppose any attack on Iran
The US sabre-rattling over Iran is not only serious and disturbing, but also has uncanny resonance with the lead-up to the Iraq war. We Iranians, MPs and campaigners demand that the British government oppose and condemn any form of military confrontation with Iran. -Guardian - 2/9/07

Iran Khodro to roll out Samand Soren sedan soon
Samand Soren sedan, an advanced product of Iran's major auto producer, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) is to hit the markets in the next Iranian calendar year (starting March 21, 2007). -MNA - 2/9/07

Thinking beyond the US invasion of Iran
As the world waits to see if US/Israel will attack Iran, Hamid Dabashi examines the state of war this game of waiting has generated -Al-Ahram - 2/9/07

Anjoman Sokhan Presents: In Memory of Parviz Yahaghi
Please join Ostad Mahmoud Zoufonoun and others (in San Mateo, California) as they share their thoughts, memories and prayers and help our local community honor and remember this revered artist. - 2/9/07

Lee Introduces Sweeping Iran Diplomacy Bill
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) last week introduced the most substantive measure (HR 770) yet in favor of constructive US-Iran engagement this year. -NIAC - 2/9/07

The folly of turning on Iran
Before the United States invaded Iraq on false pretexts nearly four years ago, the overwhelming view of analysts and diplomats was that war would plunge the region and the world into greater turmoil and instability. -Javad Zarif, IHT - 2/9/07

Iranian Nuclear Envoy cancels attendance at Munich security conference due to illness
Larijani was due to give a speech at the Munich meeting on Sunday on security in the Middle East and he was also scheduled to meet with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. -IRNA - 2/9/07

Restive currents below Iran’s theocratic rule
If the anti-war movement in the U.S. is serious about stopping this confrontation, it needs to engage in people-to-people solidarity with the opposition movement within Iran, its challenge to the Iranian regime, its debates, aspirations and demands. -News & Letters - 2/9/07

Rice Authorizes Talks With Syria on Iraq Refugees
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Senators Thursday she has instructed the chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Damascus to engage the Syrian government on the issue of Iraqi refugees. Officials here dismiss suggestions that the decision by Rice signals a thaw in the frosty U.S.-Syrian relationship. -VOA - 2/9/07

Fear of Isolation Prompts Iranian Shi'as to Reach Out to Sunnis
Concerned that the United States is intent on assembling an anti-Shi’a coalition that would include Sunni groups and Sunni Arab states, Iranian leaders are taking steps to court Sunni Muslims both inside and outside of Iran. -Eurasianet - 2/9/07

Sunni Arab view of US-Iran tensions
There's virtually unanimous opposition to a US attack on Iran. -CSM - 2/9/07

Time to talk: THE CASE FOR DIPLOMATIC SOLUTIONS ON IRAN
On the one year anniversary of Iran's referral to the Security Council, a new joint report by 15 organisations - including think tanks, aid agencies, religious groups and Trade Unions - warns that, despite the seriousness of the situation, there is still 'time to talk'. This must be used to avoid an escalation with potentially disastrous consequences. - 2/8/07

New Challenges on the Way of Inundation of Sivand Dam
A larger number of cultural heritage enthusiasts gathered in front of Iran’s Ministry of Energy to voice their objections against inundation of Sivand Dam in Fars province with holding placards. -CHN - 2/8/07

Voices from Tehran
The United States administration is in a mood for confrontation with Iran. The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seems more than happy to oblige. His attitude alarms many Iranian leaders and journalists. But what of the people on the Tehran street? -Kamin Mohammadi - 2/8/07

Iran: Activists Barred From Traveling Abroad
The Iranian government should immediately lift foreign travel bans used to prevent human rights activists and journalists from attending international forums, Human Rights Watch said today. - 2/8/07

Inspire Change, One Citizen at a Time: Become an Ashoka Fellow Social Entrepreneur
Visionaries exist among all of us. Whether we recognize it or not, every day driven individuals worldwide develop a new language, a new way of looking at our surroundings, a new way to accelerate positive change. What this means for the Persian community and for the world as a whole will be revolutionary, to say the least. -PARSA Community Foundation - 2/8/07

Diplomat's Kidnapping Heightens U.S./Iran Tensions
It happened very quickly. On February 4, a large group of gunmen dressed as Iraqi commandos blocked a street in central Baghdad and seized Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary of the Iranian Embassy, from his car. They bundled him into one of their vehicles and exchanged gunfire with policemen as they left. -RFE - 2/8/07

Iranian, Indian FMs hold strategic talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki held talks in Teharn on Wednesday with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee on a range of issues including the strategic energy cooperation between Iran and India, Iran’s nuclear issue, the security situation in Afghanistan, and other matters of mutual interest. -MNA - 2/8/07

The U.S. will not leave Iraq without first militarily weakening Iran
EVER SINCE the Islamic Revolution of 1979 took Tehran out of Washington's orbit, the United States has run its Iraq policy with one eye firmly planted on Iran. -Siddharth Varadarajan - 2/8/07

Iran, Belarus tie in soccer friendly
Iran and Belarus tied 2-2 in a hard-fought pulsating football friendly here Wednesday. Backed by over 10,000 partisan fans in the Azadi Stadium, the home team took the lead after five minutes through striker Rassul Khatibi who pinned the ball to the net with a spectacular overhead kick in a crowded area. -MNA - 2/8/07

Iran conducts wargames in Persian Gulf
By shooting the strategic land-to-sea SSN4 missiles, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)'s Naval Force initiated the sea expert war game dubbed "Ra'd" (thunder) in the waters of the Persian Gulf, Oman Sea, and the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the deputy commander of IRGC's Naval Force Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Thursday. -IRNA - 2/8/07

Bankruptcy of 40 Iranian software firms in past 12 months
Managing Director of a private firm, referring to the problems with which the private sector IT companies are engaged ever since President Ahmadinejad's Government took charge, added in an interview with ILNA, "The government is totally unwilling for receiving the bills for the services it has received from the private sector firms for the projects it has commissioned them to complete!" -Taliya News - 2/8/07

Iran's oil reserves will last 70 years: deputy minister
Iran has oil reserves in 70 years, and is ranked second oil-rich country after Saudi Arabia, deputy minister of oil said here on Wednesday. Gholam-Reza Nozari added that Iran has 630 and 137 billion barrels of in-situ and oil reserve respectively. -IRNA - 2/8/07

How Neocon Shi'ite Strategy Led to Sectarian War
The supreme irony of President George W. Bush's campaign to blame Iran for the sectarian civil war in Iraq, as well as attacks on U.S. forces, is that the Shi'ite militias who started to drive the Sunnis out of the Baghdad area in 2004 and thus precipitated the present sectarian crisis did so with the support of both Iran and the neoconservative U.S. war planners. -IPS - 2/8/07

Caught in a recurring conflict
As an Iranian, my childhood memories are tainted with the mark of war - and now there is a troubling sense of deja vu in the air. -Mehrad Vaezinejad, Guardian - 2/8/07

The U.S. Struggle to Isolate Iran
Having failed to impose its will in Iraq and the Palestinian Territories — and contemplating new setbacks in Afghanistan and Lebanon — the Bush Administration has lately been recasting its Middle East policy -TIME - 2/8/07

Afghanistan: NATO Struggles With Security, Rebuilding In Helmand
Taliban fighters' brazen takeover of a town in southern Afghanistan this month marked a major setback for NATO and its Afghan allies. Just days before that seizure, British officers were touting the power-sharing deal that kept Taliban fighters out the town of Musa Qala as a possible blueprint for other parts of Helmand Province. -RFE - 2/8/07

U.S. Envoy Urges Sustained Nonmilitary Campaign Against Iran
European countries should join the United States in a nonmilitary campaign aimed at pressuring the Iranian government to turn away from its nuclear ambitions, the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency says. -USINFO - 2/8/07

Challenging the mullahs, a signature at a time
'Well-behaved women rarely make history," my favorite bumper sticker says. It surely applies to Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner whose relentless campaign against discrimination has enraged the mullahs for more than 25 years. -IHT - 2/8/07

Pakistan to buy electricity from Iran
The state-run Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) inked an agreement with the Iranian company Tanvair at WAPDA House under which Pakistan will receive 100 megawatts of power from Iran for its Gwadar Port. -IRNA - 2/8/07

A Boland Amendment For Iran
Both former war supporter Republican Congressman Walter Jones and the courageous California Congresswoman Barbara Lee have introduced different bills that take some steps towards prohibiting a U.S. attack on Iran. Either one, or perhaps a different bill altogether, could become the Boland Amendment for Iran—capturing the breadth of both public anger and congressional opposition. -TomPaine - 2/8/07

ASGAR FOR AN OSCAR!: Iranian Sound Editor nominated for Oscar for Apocalypto
This year the Iranian Community is once again being honored thanks to the superb work done on Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto by Sound Engineer Kami Asgar who has been nominated for best Sound Edition along with colleague Sean McCormack. -Darius Kadivar - 2/7/07

IRAN--Snowy Summits to Steamy Forests
My acquaintance with Salim, my Jewish Iranian mountain guide, was quite accidental. We have become good friends although I am an atheist and he is a very devout Jew. After the 1979 revolution in Iran, Salim had immigrated to Israel but he missed the mountains so much that he moved back to Iran (apparently not the first Jewish Iranian to do so). Anyone who loves the mountains that much is certainly a friend of mine. -Nader, SummitPost - 2/7/07

Iran tests modern air defense shield
The Iranian armed forces tested a modern air defense shield dubbed as TORM1, Commander of the Air Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier-General Hossein Salami said on Wednesday. The IRGC Navy and Air Force started military exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman on Wednesday. -IRNA - 2/7/07

'Gas OPEC' Moves Closer To Becoming Reality
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week said that the idea, increasingly floated in recent months, of creating a worldwide natural-gas cartel was "interesting." It's hardly a new proposal, however. -RFE - 2/7/07

Israel: Iran's Natural Ally in Middle East
I am a Moslem, a Shiite Moslem. I believe that Israel is the closest ally Iran has in the region. A look at the ancient history of relationship between Old Persian Empire and Jewish Nation will highlight this fact. -Kavoos Pawya - 2/7/07

US Denies Involvement in Kidnapping of Iranian Diplomat
Iranian officials are blaming the U.S. military for playing a role in the kidnapping of a top Iranian diplomat in Baghdad. But American officials in Iraq insist U.S. forces were not involved. -VOA - 2/7/07

Iran and South Korea sign $500m LNG contract
$500 million contract on 'Iran LNG', a project to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the South Pars (SP) phase 12, southern Iran, was signed here on Wednesday at the building of Iran's Oil Ministry. -MNA - 2/7/07

‘Give Us the Proof'’
Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad responds to charges that Tehran is fostering sectarian violence and helping insurgents in Iraq. -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 2/7/07

Iranian Politicians Support Establishment Of Natural-Gas Cartel
Iranian politicians are welcoming proposals to form an international natural-gas producers' organization -- similar to oil's OPEC -- allowing members to exercise greater control over natural-gas prices. -RFE - 2/7/07

FILM: "Last Queen" spotlights Afghan refugees' tribulations
"The Last Queen of the Earth", an Iranian film about the tribulations of Afghan refugees, was screened on Monday at the 25th Fajr International Film Festival, which is currently underway in Tehran. -MNA - 2/7/07

Tehran-Washington talks can be conducive to solving nuclear row: Iranian Academic
Varjavand says talks between Iran and the United States, as the main side and a hegemonic power which is not comparable with China and Russia, can serve as a solution to the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West. -MNA - 2/7/07

Four Iraqi Officers Held Over Diplomat Kidnapping
Iraq's foreign minister says four Iraqi military officers have been detained in connection with the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat in Baghdad on February 4. - 2/7/07

Deals, Deals, and more Deals
Iranians built the best part of their long history naturally on their genius to make deals. Strong cultural and psychological capacity is virtually the innate tool to accommodate a relationship thriving on the bases of making deals. -Farhad Shishechian - 2/7/07

Iran's political persuasions
With Iran at once resolute in its foreign policy and fragmented in its internal politics, the US cannot approach Tehran crudely. In an interview with Madrid11.net, Reza Aslan fears that the Bush administration is unlikely to make the right choices. - 2/7/07

Tensions Mount Over Jerusalem Archeological Site near al-Aqsa Mosque
Under a heavy police presence, Israeli archeologists are removing tons of rock and debris from a site that lies next to a walkway leading to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. VOA's Jim Teeple reports the dig has infuriated Muslims who say it could damage Islamic holy structures. - 2/7/07

Iran's auto production hits 891,000 in ten months
Overall, production from Iranian automakers hit 891,050 sedans and heavy vehicles during the first ten months of the current year (Iranian year started March 21, 2006). -MNA - 2/7/07

Iran's young and restless
Mehran Ferdosi had promised to show us what young Iranians do for fun. When he pulled up at our hotel at 10 p.m., sporting a slicked-back pompadour and trendy thick-framed glasses, he looked like he meant business. -Anne Barnard, Boston Globe - 2/7/07

Iran's economic conditions deteriorate
U.S. and Western pressure on Iran is squeezing its economy, feeding the inflation and joblessness that have swelled under its controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -USA Today - 2/7/07

Iran Considers Gasoline Rationing
IRANIANS are among the world's biggest consumers of gasoline because the product is kept at an artificially low price through government subsidies. The Iranian cabinet decided in mid-January that it would try to reduce consumption by introducing gasoline rationing, and reports from the provinces reveal that rationing is already taking place. -Abbas William Samii, Weekly Standard - 2/7/07

IRAQ: Basra fishermen suffer security squeeze and fuel price hike
Fisherman Mazin Jawad, 36, cannot look at his seven children without feelings of shame and guilt overcoming him. Without the income he used to have, he has had to take four of them out of school and taken ‘luxuries’ such as meat out of their lives. -IRIN - 2/7/07

Nokia, LG to launch cell phone production in Iran
An Iranian consortium has reached preliminary agreements with mobile phone producer, Nokia to launch a cellular phone production plant in Iran, early next year (Iranian year begins March 21, 2007). -MNA - 2/7/07

A Center for Spinal Cord Injuries in Bam
Mr Ardeshir Naghshineh and his company, the Targetfollow Group, in a joint project with Operation Mercy, a Swedish charity organisation are constructing a centre and adjoining business unit and an internet café to help people with spinal cord injuries to lead a more normal life and help them raise money for the centre. The Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation is assisting with this project. -Paul Sanford - 2/6/07

Bush's 'new way' leads backward
The decision by President George Bush to add 21,500 U.S. troops to the 134,000 already on the ground in Iraq charts a way backward rather than a way forward. It promises to deepen the quagmire in which America finds itself. And it carries the enormous risk of widening the theater of war to the detriment of American interests in the Middle East. -R.K. Ramazani - 2/6/07

Iran: Writers Struggle to Uphold Freedom of Expression
Human Rights Watch announced today that seven Iranians are among the 45 writers from 22 countries who are receiving the prestigious Hellman/Hammett prize, an award that recognizes writers globally who have been victims of political persecution. - 2/6/07

Iran, Qatar, Russia to assess gas OPEC in early March: Oil Minister
Iran's Oil Minister on Monday said that Iran, Qatar, and Russia will assess the formation of a natural gas exporting group, similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on March 6. -MNA - 2/6/07

Iran announces "Book of the Year" winners
The winners of the 24th edition of the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran competition were honored during a ceremony on Monday at Tehran's Vahdat Hall. -MNA - 2/6/07

Iran links Iraqi Defense Ministry to Iranian diplomat's abduction
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Tuesday linked the abduction of an Iranian diplomat in Baghdad to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, which works under the control of US forces in the country. -IRNA - 2/6/07

Apply for a PARSA Community Foundation Grant!
PARSA, a recently formed Persian community foundation, is inviting student organizations and other nonprofits to submit grant proposals by February 15. PARSA is keen on identifying and supporting innovative change makers with effective business plans - 2/6/07

Iran's software firms face bankruptcy due to new government policies
Telecom Research Center of Iran (TRCI), affiliated to ICT Ministry, did not allocate the $5.3 million budget that was planned for current (Iranian) year (1385 – ending on March 20th, 2006) for activities of private IT firms. -Taliya News - 2/6/07

Iran archers shine at Asian GP
Iranian archers scooped up medals at men's and women's events of the Asian Grand Prix in Thailand. -MNA - 2/6/07

Student Leader Says Tehran Isolating Activists
student leader in Iran, Abdollah Momeni, has told Radio Farda the Iranian government is trying to prevent the country's intellectuals and activists from having ties with the outside world. - 2/6/07

Iranians mainly take advantage of Interment as pastime
Managing Director of an ISP said here Tuesday, "Our users mainly take advantage of the Internet's recreational possibilities for which high bandwidth is not necessary, so the present dialup systems are OK for the purpose. -Taliya News - 2/6/07

Asking The Wrong Questions About Iran
The United States is preparing its third rush towards war in six years, and experts are already warning that by hyping up the tension between U.S. occupying forces and Iranian diplomatic forces on the ground in Iraq, the U.S. is risking a situation similar to "August 1914 all over again." -TomPaine - 2/6/07

Hostility toward Cultural Landscape of Bisotun Continues
For the second time in the past few weeks, the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Kermanshah province has filed a legal complaint against the provincial Telecommunication Organization for its activities in the vicinity of Bisotun which have intruded the cultural landscape of this world heritage site. -CHN - 2/6/07

British Groups Appeal To Blair To Defuse Tensions with Iran
coalition of civil-society groups in the United Kingdom has urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to do all he can to prevent any possible U.S.-led military strike on Iran. -RFE - 2/6/07

Iran: The war begins
As opposition grows in America to the failed Iraq adventure, the Bush administration is preparing public opinion for an attack on Iran, its latest target, by the spring. -New Statesman - 2/6/07

Iran: Pakistani President Seeks Support To Curb Mideast Conflict
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is in Iran today for talks with President Mahmud Ahmedinjad and other Iranian leaders on how to break the cycle of violence in the Middle East region. -RFE - 2/6/07

New Program Finds Way Around Internet Censorship
At least 40 countries around the world, including China, Uzbekistan, and Iran, engage in some kind of Internet censorship. But Canadian researchers have devised new software to give people in these countries unfettered Internet access without getting them into trouble. -RFE - 2/6/07

Puzzling over Iran
Fears that the West may stumble towards another messy military confrontation in the Middle East -Economist, UK - 2/6/07

Tehran-Washington talks will be important for region: Iraq's Hakim
On Monday, leader of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Abdul Aziz Hakim, said considering the region's special situation holding direct talks between Iran and the United States will "definitely be very important and effective." -MNA - 2/6/07

Islamic Development Bank agrees to grant Iran $1.3bn in loans
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to grant Iran $1.3 billion in loans for the development of a number of the projects in the country, Tahmasb Mazaheri, Iran's representative in the IDB, said here on Tuesday. -MNA - 2/6/07

Iran’s attack blowback
A United States military assault on Iran will fortify not undermine the mullahs' regime, says Nasrin Alavi. -Open Democracy - 2/6/07

First Muslim in U.S. Congress Speaks on Faith and Democracy
Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison is surprised that his Muslim faith became an issue during his successful campaign for a congressional seat. -USINFO - 2/6/07

Prominent Jews Call for Open Debate on Israel
A group of prominent British Jews will today declare independence from the country's Jewish establishment, arguing that it puts support for Israel above the human rights of Palestinians. -Guardian - 2/6/07

Iran's weakened hard-liners crave a US attack
But rather than giving them war, Washington should offer comprehensive negotiations. -Abbas Milani, CSM - 2/6/07

Iranian Director encountered bitter realities in her research for "Mainline"
Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad said in Tehran on Sunday that she had to face bitter realities of Iranian society when she was conducting research for the drug-themed film "Mainline". -MNA - 2/5/07

British Groups Warn Against Attacking Iran
A coalition of British labor, charity, and political think tank organizations is calling on Prime Minister Tony Blair to do all that he can to prevent a U.S.-led military strike on Iran. - 2/5/07

US must engage in creative diplomacy with Iran: UK's Sir Richard Dalton
Former British Ambassador in Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, Monday added his voice to the growing calls for the US administration to engage in finding a diplomatic solution to Iran's peaceful nuclear programme. -IRNA - 2/5/07

Students in Tehran show support for Iran's nuclear right
A large number of Tehrani students staged demonstrations and formed human chains in three different parts of the capital to show their support for Iran's legitimate right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. -IRNA - 2/5/07

Iran: Pakistan's President Musharraf arrives in Tehran for talks
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosted an official welcoming ceremony for visiting Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf at the Presidential Office in Tehran on Monday. - 2/5/07

Scapegoating Iran for Iraq Failure
start waging a twelve-year war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), the U.S. under a Democratic President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, concocted the fictitious Vietnamese attack on a U.S. naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin. -By Ardeshir Ommani - 2/5/07

Iran announces innovative new technique to repair spinal cord injuries
In this method of Schwann cell transplantation, the Schwann cells are taken from the back of the patient's leg (below the knee) and grown in the lab. They are then injected into the site of the injury. -MNA - 2/5/07

Lawmakers Move to Restrain Bush on Iran
Increasingly concerned about the escalating rhetoric against Iran by senior U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, members of Congress are trying to put limits on his ability to attack the Islamic Republic. -IPS - 2/5/07

Iran's Larijani to attend Munich security confab
Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani confirmed on Monday that he will attend the Munich security conference, but dismissed the prospect of any talks with US officials during the confab. -IRNA - 2/5/07

Logan; a revolution in Iran's car industry
This 1.5 billion dollar investment is the largest foreign investment made in Iran's car industry after the Islamic Revolution. -ISNA - 2/5/07

Oil minister: Iran, Pakistan agree on Peace Pipeline gas price
Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said on Monday that Iran and Pakistan reached agreement on the final sale price of the gas to be transferred through Peace Pipeline. -IRNA - 2/5/07

Committee to Protect Journalists Discusses Dangers, Obstacles Journalists Face
The Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, said today that 55 journalists were killed because they were doing their jobs in 2006. Among them were 32 killed covering the Iraq war -- 30 of them Iraqi journalists, according to the New York-based advocacy group. -RFE - 2/5/07

Senators Debate Opposition to US Troop Surge in Iraq
U.S. senators took their cases for and against President Bush's plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to the American public, in appearances on television talk shows Sunday. The Senate is expected to vote this week on a non-binding resolution that would express disagreement with the plan. -VOA - 2/5/07

US Can't Prove Iran Link to Iraq Strife
Bush administration officials acknowledged Friday that they had yet to compile evidence strong enough to back up publicly their claims that Iran is fomenting violence against U.S. troops in Iraq. -Los Angeles Times - 2/5/07

Interest rates to be cut by 2% next year: Iranian Minister
Iran's Minister of Mines and Industries Alireza Tahmasbi predicted that the interest rates would be decreased by two percent in the next Iranian year. -MNA - 2/5/07

Iran now world's second leading chinaware producer
Producing around 86,000 tons of chinaware per annum, Iran ranks second in the world only to China. -MNA - 2/5/07

Branding Enemies; Creating Battlefields
During the Cold War, the two super powers realized that there was no logic in engaging militarily given that each had the benefit of resorting to nuclear weapons, thus, with the exception of a few proxy wars, their 'war' became a war of propaganda to win over minds and hearts. Today, the Bush White House is following the same pattern of warfare replacing communism with Islam. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 2/5/07

Arrest Madman Dershowitz Before It’s Too Late
In the video below, Alan Dershowitz threatens to unleash World War Four under false pretense. Dershowitz makes a direct threat against a sovereign country that has not invaded or threatened Israel, although Israel recently invaded a neighbor, killed over a thousand people, dispensed a million cluster bombs, used phosphorus bombs, and targeted children, war crimes all. -Kurt Nimmo - 2/5/07

Funeral of Parviz Yahaghi Held in Tehran
Once again the death of another Iranian master of music, Parviz Yahaghi, caused a great sorrow among his family, friends, and art enthusiasts. -CHN - 2/4/07

NAM and G77 envoys visit Isfahan UCF
Envoys from the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) troika visited the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility on Saturday. -MNA - 2/4/07

Iran predicts dlrs 260 billion investment in gas industry
Deputy Oil Minister Reza Kasaeizadeh said here Saturday that dlrs 260 billion investment has been predicted in the gas industry in the 20-Year Development Vision Plan (2005-2025). -IRNA - 2/4/07

UNESCO's demand on Jahan Nama not met by deadline
The deadline set by UNESCO for modification of Jahan Nama Tower in the city of Isfahan was finally reached on 1st of February while lowering the height of the Tower has not been completed yet. -CHN - 2/4/07

Foreign Minister: Iran gives high importance to Iraq's security
He made the remark after talks with the visiting Head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) Abdul Aziz al-Hakim during a joint press conference with the Iraqi official. -IRNA - 2/4/07

Former U.S. Military Officers Call For Iran Talks
Three former high-ranking U.S. military officers have warned against any military attack on Iran, saying it would have "disastrous consequences" for security in the Middle East. - 2/4/07

Iran: Nuclear Inspectors Welcome Within NPT Framework
Later this month, the clock will run out for Iran, when a U.N. Security Council deadline for halting uranium enrichment will expire. If Tehran has not complied, the Security Council will consider taking additional steps against the Islamic Republic. -VOA - 2/4/07

Iranian nuclear scientist ‘assassinated by Mossad’
A PRIZE-WINNING Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, according to Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran. -TIMES Online - 2/4/07

Rafsanjani says US has planned to commit aggression on Iran
Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Sunday that the US has planned to commit aggression on Iran and will see how Iranians will stand up against them. -IRNA - 2/4/07

Iran's Chamber of Commerce sets up women's council
Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (ICCIM) established a council here to promote women economic activists' activities, the ICCIM reported Saturday. -MNA - 2/4/07

Iran: Legislators Warn That Country Has Exhausted Petrodollars
Iranian parliamentarians voted recently to allow the government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran's foreign-exchange reserves -- which hold Iran's surplus cash from sales of petroleum. Critics claim the move essentially bankrupt a fund designed to serve as a savings and emergency account. -RFE - 2/3/07

Rockefeller Chapel to sponsor Iran trip
Iran will be the next destination in the series of trips focused on human rights, religion, and social change that (University of Chicago's) Rockefeller Chapel sponsors annually. The trip will give up to 20 students and faculty the opportunity to visit cultural leaders and historic sites over the course of two weeks spent in four Iranian cities. -Matt Johnston, Chicago Maroon - 2/3/07

The fate of Iranian tablets remains uncertain
The fate of ancient Iranian tablets housed at the Oriental Institute remains unknown after a federal judge declined to rule immediately at a court hearing contesting their ownership. -Lauren Osen, Chicago Maroon - 2/3/07

Curbing Iran in Iraq Gets Trickier
Senior Bush administration officials said the U.S. won't block Iran's efforts to establish financial institutions in Iraq, a decision that sets up a delicate balance in U.S. efforts to limit Iranian influence there. -WSJ - 2/3/07

Celebrated Iranian violin player Parviz Yahaghi dies
Veteran Iranian violin player Faramarz Seddiqi-Parsi, known as Parviz Yahaghi, died at the age of 71 in Tehran early Friday. Yahaghi died of as yet unknown reason in his house, his fellow musician Davud Ganjei said. -MNA - 2/3/07

Iranian Diaspora Intelligentsia Unite Against Islamic Republic's Holocaust Revisionism
This spontaneous common initiative deserves notice all the more that it is rare to see Iranian intellectuals including political and human rights activists to find common ground and solidarity for a common cause. -Darius KADIVAR - 2/3/07

Intelligence Estimate Warns Iraq Could Get Worse
A new U.S. intelligence estimate says that the chaotic situation in Iraq could deteriorate further unless the warring sectarian parties compromise. But it says that the current political climate makes such reconciliation difficult. VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Washington. - 2/3/07

Iran Threats: Evidence and Legality
National coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, Naiman said today: "There are four questions that should be put to the Bush administration about its claims that the Iranian government is behind attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. If this activity is so substantial, why can't you provide any direct evidence for this claim? ..." -Institute for Public Accuracy - 2/3/07

Iran offers 17 new oil blocks to foreign
A two-day meeting was held in Vienna attended by over 200 representatives of various international companies active in the field of oil inviting these companies to sign deals for exploration of Iran's onshore and offshore oil blocks. -IRNA - 2/3/07

Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Discusses Relations With Iran, Pakistan
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta has dismissed recent reports suggesting that Iran is interfering in Afghan affairs. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Salehe Eshaghzay Khaleghi, Spanta also insisted that Kabul is eager to resolve differences with Pakistan through dialogue. - 2/3/07

Iranian art works sold for $1 million and 200 thousand in Christie
The Iranian artistic works collection were sold for the overall sum of about 1 million and 200 thousand dollars in the Christie art auction, Dubai. (Jan.28-Feb.1) -MNA - 2/3/07

Iranian scientists discover herbal medicine for AIDS: Health Minister
Iranian Minister of Health Kamran Baqeri Lankarani on Saturday said that Iran's young scientists have discovered herbal medicine that can control the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus in an infected person. -IRNA - 2/3/07

Envoys of NAM troika, G-77 arrive in Isfahan to inspect nuclear plant
Ambassadors to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika, including Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Malaysia, as well as the Group of 77, arrived at Isfahan airport on Saturday afternoon. -IRNA - 2/3/07

As US power fades, it can't find friends to take on Iran
Washington has exaggerated Tehran's capabilities and intentions in Iraq. It is confused and frustrated -Guardian - 2/3/07

India's Tata Steel to invest $1.4bn in Iranian plant
Indian firm Tata Steel has announced that it has finalized its negotiations with Iran over the building of a steel production plant in the Persian Gulf country. -MNA - 2/3/07

Iran Khodro cooperation with China will boost carmaker's potential: envoy
Certainly, in its cooperation with Chinese auto producers, the Iran Khodro Co. -- the nation's major carmaker -- will be able to follow the road leading to world markets faster, noted Iranian Ambassador to Beijing Javad Mansuri. -MNA - 2/3/07

Iranian taxi company breaks rank to enlist women cabbies
Accepting female fares only, service says it is about safety, not segregation -Guardian - 2/3/07

'How I was brainwashed by the Tank Girls'
A white British woman who was sucked into an extremist Muslim terror group warned yesterday of the dangers of "brainwashing" by radical groups operating in the UK. -This is London - 2/3/07

US military engagement with Iran will prove it is devoid of superiority: IRGC Commander
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned Saturday that the US had better avoid any military engagement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. -IRNA - 2/3/07

Justifications for attacking Iran on shaky ground
A new U.S. intelligence estimate on Friday, however, concluded that Iranian and other outside meddling is "not likely" a major cause of the bloodshed in Iraq, and a new McClatchy analysis of U.S. casualties in Iraq found that Sunni Muslim insurgents, not Iranian-backed Shiites, have mounted most - but not all - of the attacks on American forces. -McClatchy Newspapers - 2/3/07

Revision of Iran's Middle East Policy Is Long Overdue
Iran's current Middle East policy includes several key elements: a) support for Hizbollah and Hamas, b) strategic alliance with Syria, c) close ties with several Shi'a factions in Iraq, d) assistance to Shi'a militant groups, e) opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace initiative and support for armed struggle against Israel, f) opposition to the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq and other Arab countries. -Nader Habibi - 2/2/07

Pop Duo Mozane Delivers Unique Musical Sound
The two members of the pop duo Mozane have been working together for just five years, but have known each other for their entire lives. VOA's Shally Zomorodi reports the group's family ties have led to a unique musical sound. - 2/2/07

Iraq set to expel MKO terrorists
Iraq Thursday announced it would expel members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). The organization was behind terrorist acts in Iran, assassinating prominent figures and officials in the country. - 2/2/07

Liar’s Poker
Ever since I read an article last year by poker historian (and poet and novelist) James McManus about the Iranian art of bluffing, I’ve been re-thinking the confrontation between Tehran and Washington. McManus argues, most recently in the current issue of Card Player Magazine, that the Iranians actually invented poker, or a game quite close to it... -Newsweek - 2/2/07

Iran theater narrates Ashura passionately: minister
Iranian culture minister said on Thursday that integrity and devotion to Imam Hussein (AS) is deeply ingrained in the nation and theater groups have been doing their best to represent Ashura enthusiastically. -MNA - 2/2/07

Bush's Trash Talk About Iran
Since President Bush’s State of the Union address last Tuesday, the White House has manufactured a crisis that pits the United States against Iran. In what looks like the military and diplomatic equivalent of a full court press, Washington has unleashed a barrage of threats, maneuvers and limited military actions that seem calculated to set the United States on a collision course with Iran in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. All in all, it is an exceedingly risky and dangerous gambit. -TomPaine - 2/2/07

Progressive Caucus Hearing Warn Of US-Iran War
“For a country with such a respected history and a strategic role in the region, it would be tragic to have a confrontation with Iran,” explained Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) at a Congressional Progressive Caucus hearing yesterday on Capitol Hill. -NIAC - 2/2/07

Reporters Without Borders issues its 2007 annual press freedom survey
The survey, published on 1 February, reports on press freedom in 98 countries and includes the main violations of journalists’ rights in 2006 and regional aspects of media and Internet freedom. - 2/2/07

Reports Say US Investigating Possible Iranian Involvement in Karbala Attack
U.S. media reports [New York Times, CNN] say the United States is investigating possible Iranian involvement in a recent attack that killed five American soldiers in Iraq's city of Karbala. -VOA - 2/2/07

"Nima Yushij" enters Fajr filmfest
The feature-length film "Nima Yushij", a production of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on the father of Iranian blank verse, Ali Esfandiari, is an entry to the First Time Director Section of the 25th Fajr International Film Festival, which is currently underway in Tehran. -MNA - 2/2/07

IAEA inspectors install cameras at Iran's Natanz Nuclear Complex
Reacting to some Western media reports, he said, "Iran has not imposed any restrictions against IAEA inspectors' activities." He meanwhile reiterated, "Installment of no new centrifuges is planned at Natanz Complex." -IRNA - 2/2/07

Key US Senators Agree on Resolution Against Bush's Iraq Plan
U.S. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders have reached a deal on a nonbinding resolution expressing disagreement with President Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq. VOA's Deborah Tate reports from Capitol Hill. - 2/2/07

Russia and Iran Discuss A Cartel For Natural Gas
Russia and Iran -- which hold nearly half the world's natural-gas reserves -- are talking about creating an OPEC-like organization for gas, a move that has the potential to unsettle energy markets and redraw geopolitical alignments. -WSJ - 2/2/07

White House delays making case on Iran
Bush administration officials have postponed plans to offer public proof of their charges of Iranian meddling inside Iraq amid internal divisions over the strength of the American evidence, U.S. officials said. -Los Angeles Times - 2/2/07

The United States and Iran: the logic of war
The Bush administrations's hardline rhetoric, backed by more military hardware in the Persian Gulf, brings a devastating confrontation nearer. -Open Democracy - 2/2/07

Malaysia stands by Iran gas deal
Malaysia is threatening to end free trade talks with the United States if it is asked to break an energy development deal with Iran. -BBC - 2/2/07

Cruise Missile Diplomacy: Bush Targets Iran
As Congress and the American people protest the travesty Bush created in Iraq, our President is gunning for a confrontation with Iran. -Counterpunch - 2/2/07

Battle in Najaf: Is US-Iraqi Claim of Gunfight with Messianic Cult Cover-up for a Massacre?
There are new doubts about the US and Iraqi claim that the hundreds of people killed in a battle in Najaf over the weekend were members of a messianic cult. Journalist Patrick Cockburn of the London Independent reports the official story might actually be a cover-up for a massacre. -Democracy Now - 2/2/07

A Genre in the Service of Empire: An Iranian Feminist Critique of Diasporic Memoirs
In a time of pending war against Iran, after the catastrophic consequences of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq (with more than 655,000 deaths in Iraq alone), a particularly lucrative industry of Iranian and Muslim women’s memoirs has mushroomed in the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities. -Niki Akhavan, Golbarg Bashi, Mana Kia & Sima Shakhsari - 2/1/07

Islamic Court Frees Iranian Teen From Death Sentence Following International Campaign Waged by Former Miss Canada
After two grueling years in prison, Iranian teen Nazanin Fatehi was released today and spared from her original death sentence following an international campaign spearheaded by former Miss World Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam. - 2/1/07

Europeans fear US attack on Iran as nuclear row intensifies
Senior European policy-makers are increasingly worried that the US administration will resort to air strikes against Iran to try to destroy its suspect nuclear programme. "The clock is ticking," said one European official. "Military action has come back on to the table more seriously than before. The language in the US has changed." -Guardian - 2/1/07

Former US Secretaries of State Call for Diplomacy on Iraq
In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright urged the administration to engage Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria. -VOA - 2/1/07

Iran Celebrates 1979 Revolution
Iran has begun 10 days of celebrations, known as "Ten Days of Dawn," to mark the 28th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution. -RFE - 2/1/07

No More Blank Checks
Last Saturday's anti-war demonstrations in DC and other cities accross the country brought together an estimated two hundred thousand people in what was hailed as the largest antiwar protest since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and served as a reminder to law makers in Cogress on how most Americans feel about President Bush's war policy. -Daniel M Pourkesali - 2/1/07

Iran's energy deals stymie neocons
Royal Dutch Shell and its partner Repsol of Spain have signed a service agreement with the Iranian Oil Ministry to continue work on developing phases 13 and 14 of the giant South Pars gas field. -Tehran Times - 2/1/07

US Cites Systematic Repression of Iranian Dissidents, Minorities
The U.S. State Department Wednesday called on the Iranian government to cease what it said is the systematic repression of political dissidents and activists from ethnic and religious minorities. The comments came in response to reports of mistreatment of a jailed Azeri-Iranian prisoner, Abbas Lisani. -VOA - 2/1/07

Iran Clock Is Ticking
While congressional Democrats test how far they should go in challenging George W. Bush’s war powers, the time may be running out to stop Bush from ordering a major escalation of the Middle East conflict by attacking Iran. -Consortiumnews - 2/1/07

US Officials Downplay Reports on Possible Iranian Involvement in Attack in Iraq
U.S. officials are downplaying media reports that Washington is investigating possible Iranian involvement in an attack in Iraq that killed five U.S. soldiers. -VOA - 2/1/07

Iran to Become a Target Country for Bahraini Medical Tourists
The project for exchanging medical tourists between three Arabian countries and Iran has been revised and in the near future Bahraini patients will come to Iran for medical treatment. -CHN - 2/1/07

Iraqi official: Iranian diplomats to be released soon
Iraq's Vice President Adel Abd-al-Mahdi said Iraqi authorities have been assured of the release of Iranian diplomats recently abducted by the US. -IRNA - 2/1/07

Iraq’s colonial occupier, the US, denounces “foreign meddling”
In recent weeks US government and military officials, aided and abetted by the American media, have stepped up the war of words against Iran. As they did precisely four years ago, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the political and media establishment is attempting to build up a case for military action against a country that has no designs on American territory and represents no threat to the US population. -Global Research - 2/1/07

The Danger of Bush's Anti-Iran Fatwa
The president's decision to use force against Iranian "agents" inside Iraq could snare innocent pilgrims, and raises the risk of open warfare. -Global Research - 2/1/07

Iran remains world's leading pistachio producer in 2006
Following gas condensates and ironware, pistachio accounted for Iran's major non-oil exports in the past nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2006). -MNA - 2/1/07

Iran's diaspora can have more of a say in US-Iran relations
The current US focus on Iran prompted the Persian Club at George Mason University in Virginia to hold a series of discussions on US-Iranian relations this fall. The first was led by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, founder of the Persian Studies Department at the University of Maryland. -Daily Star - 2/1/07

U.S. Audit Paints Bleak Picture Of Iraqi Reconstruction
A new U.S. government report finds that reconstruction efforts in Iraq are being hampered by violence, corruption, and bureaucracy. -RFE - 2/1/07
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