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Tehran claims it is staying out of the war but suspicions remain
Mr Rumsfeld's warning on Friday that Badr troops would be treated as "combatants" suprised Tehran, as it has maintained contructive relations with Britain over the war and has allowed the council's representatives to attend meetings of Iraqi opposition groups in Washington. -Guardian - 3/31/03

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE: The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon
As the ground campaign against Saddam Hussein faltered last week, with attenuated supply lines and a lack of immediate reinforcements, there was anger in the Pentagon. Several senior war planners complained to me in interviews that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his inner circle of civilian advisers, who had been chiefly responsible for persuading President Bush to lead the country into war, ... -New Yorker - 3/31/03

Iran refutes Powell's anti-Iran statement at Jewish lobby confab
Iran's Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said on Monday that the anti-Iran overture of the US officials emanated from Washington's failure in its military scenario in Iraq - 3/31/03

Iran rejects US claims of meddling in conflict
Iran, which has adopted an official policy of non-involvement in neighbouring Iraq, has condemned the war, insisting that disarmament of the Baghdad regime should have been handled by the UN. -Financial Times - 3/31/03

Iran's Iraqi exiles warn US against "war on Islam"
Senior Iraqi Muslim religious figures have gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom to denounce the U.S.-led attack on neighbouring Iraq as a war against Islam. -Reuters - 3/31/03

New U.S. Congressional Subcommittee Berates Iran for Terrorism
The newly-created House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights held its first hearing on Wednesday on overview of international terrorist organizations. -NIAC - 3/31/03

Colin Powell's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The US secretary of state made this speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference in Washington yesterday -Guardian - 3/31/03

The "Arab Street" in the First Days of War
Over the past few months that the world was debating the U.S.-led war against Saddam Hussein, one of the major worries of the critics of war was the reaction of the "Arab street." -Nader Habibi - 3/31/03

The Prose of a Spring in War
This year, spring bloomed with the blood of men instead of red poppies and tulips in the ancient land of Mesopotamia. The rivers Tigris and Euphrates were deluged with tears instead of flood of the melting snows. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/31/03

Iran emerges champion in international taekwondo competition in Holland
By bagging three gold and one bronze medals, the Iranian team stood first in the competition followed by the Dutch and Spanish teams, respectively. - 3/31/03

Analysis: Israel's 'road map' manoeuvres
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has made it clear that commitment to getting rid of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should be accompanied by a commitment to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -BBC - 3/31/03

Damascus furious over accusations it is secretly supplying Iraq
The US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's brusque charge that Syria and Iran are engaged in "hostile acts" by delivering military equipment to Iraq has left the Syrian government surprised and furious. -Guardian - 3/31/03

US leaders defend war plans
US military and political leaders on Sunday launched a concerted effort to insist that their war plans in Iraq remained on course. - 3/31/03

No-Rooz a fresh start for Iranians
Persian new year festivities in an Irvine park draw about 15,000. -Orange County Register, California - 3/31/03

4.8 Quake jolts Iran's Golestan province
An earthquake measuring 4.8 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the eastern part of the northern province of Golestan late Sunday - 3/31/03

Defenders of the faith
Dan De Luce explains why it may be hard to ignore the Iranian-based Badr Corps, self-styled defenders of the Shia majority in Iraq -Guardian - 3/30/03

Bring back troops before more die, urges Cook
And he launched a scathing attack on President George W. Bush for 'sitting pretty in the comfort of Camp David' while allied forces risked death in an 'unnecessary and badly planned' war. -Guardian - 3/30/03

Anti-war anger spreads worldwide
At least 100,000 people have marched through the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in protest against the war on Iraq. In the US, the city of Boston held what observers said was the biggest march since the Vietnam War. -BBC - 3/30/03

Iranians (in San Diego) scale back event for new year
Local Iranian leaders say their annual celebration of the Iranian new year will go on but will be a more somber occasion than usual because of the war with Iraq. -San Diego Union Tribune - 3/30/03

Iran bags two medals at international taekwondo competition
Two Iranian taekwondokas bagged the gold and bronze medals in the international taekwondo competition held in The Netherlands on March 29-30 - 3/30/03

Does the West understand how this hated war is altering the Arab world?
Al-Jazeera has changed everything ? the agenda is no longer dominated by Western news outlets or state-controlled media -Independent - 3/30/03

Robert Fisk: In Baghdad, blood and bandages for the innocent
The piece of metal is only a foot high, but the numbers on it hold the clue to the latest atrocity in Baghdad. At least 62 civilians had died by yesterday afternoon, and the coding on that hunk of metal contains the identity of the culprit. -Independent - 3/30/03

Exiled Iraqi Shia leader looks for new role
"The Shias were betrayed in 1991 and they paid a heavy price. People feel they could be betrayed again, " he says. "And if you celebrate you could pay for it. Without news that Saddam is gone, they'd be afraid he might come back." -Financial Times - 3/30/03

US Special Forces take fight to fundamentalist terror group
A hundred American Special Forces soldiers led thousands of Kurdish peshmerga fighters in a massive assault on positions held by hardline Islamic militants yesterday as fighting in the north-east of Iraq entered its second day. -Guardian - 3/30/03

Back Off, Syria and Iran!
Rummy was too busy shaking his fist at Syria and Iran to worry about the shortage of troops in Iraq. As one administration official marveled: "Hasn't the guy bitten off enough this week?" -New York Times - 3/30/03

Iran welcomes a UN-backed government in Iraq
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran would support a regime in Iraq to be elected by the people and come to office under the UN supervision - 3/30/03

U.S. Warns Syria, Iran Not to Meddle in Iraq War
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday warned Syria and Iran -- both labeled by Washington as state sponsors of terrorism -- not to meddle in the war raging in neighboring Iraq. -Reuters - 3/29/03

Iranian factor of Iraq war
Everything that is going on in Iraq concerns Iran above all. They are both geographic and "axis-of-evil" neighbors. Iran's official reaction to the current Iraqi developments is "active neutrality". -Pravda - 3/29/03

Unfinished business
Richard Perle's resignation highlights questions over US economic involvement in postwar Iraq, writes Brian Whitaker -Guardian - 3/29/03

US-Europe ties sliding into a black hole
The gloom in part stems from the realisation that there are deep divisions over the role of the United Nations in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. -Financial Times - 3/29/03

Analysis: America and the Shiites
Shiites and Americans have history in this region -- and none of it is really any good. People have long memories in this part of the world. The Shiites recall, for instance, that when the Baath Party came to power in a bloody coop, it was with the help of the CIA. And they have suffered much since. -UPI - 3/29/03

Robert Fisk: Bombing of phone system another little degradation
But the shattered exchanges and umbilical wires and broken concrete of the Mimoun International Communications Centre scarcely equals the exposed bones and intestines and torn flesh of the civilian wounded of Baghdad. -Independent - 3/29/03

Only a nuke would breach Saddam's bunker, says architect
The German architect of one of Saddam Hussein's main bunkers in Baghdad says the Iraqi leader can survive anything short of a direct hit with a nuclear bomb if he stays within its 1.5m thick walls. -Sydney Morning Herald - 3/29/03

Iraq's female health crisis
A UN agency preparing to help Iraqi women is warning that their health needs are being overlooked. -BBC - 3/29/03

No let up in anti-war protests
Another wave of anti-war protests are being held in many parts of the world this weekend. -BBC - 3/29/03

Half a million Iraqi children traumatized by war, UNICEF says
As many as half a million traumatized Iraqi children might need psychological help as a result of the war, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) official Carel de Rooy said - 3/29/03

Antiwar Effort Emphasizes Civility Over Confrontation
With the war against Iraq in its second week, the most influential antiwar coalitions have shifted away from large-scale disruptive tactics and stepped up efforts to appeal to mainstream Americans.-Common Dreams - 3/29/03

Kerbala and Najaf: Iraqi Shrine Cities on Frontline
The southern Iraqi cities of Kerbala and Najaf, close to a frontline of U.S. forces preparing to battle for Baghdad, are home to shrines revered by the world's Shi'ite Muslims. -Reuters - 3/29/03

Iran's journalists condemn US attack on Baghdad TV station
Iranian journalists on Saturday condemned the US bombing of the Iraqi television's main station in Baghdad, stressing that the attack was 'a confession to defeat,' - 3/29/03

A civilian tragedy, a PR disaster
During a visit to Israel last month, John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control, discussed with prime minister Ariel Sharon which countries to "deal with" after Iraq. Syria and Iran emerged as the favourites. -Guardian - 3/29/03

Pentagon to blacklist companies investing in Iran
The Pentagon is drawing up a blacklist of non-US companies investing in Iran's energy sector with a possible view to barring them from US-awarded contracts in the reconstruction of neighbouring Iraq, according to private-sector sources close to the US defence department. -Financial Times - 3/29/03

Huge anti-war march in Iran
Tens of thousands of people have marched through the Iranian capital, Tehran, in protest at the United States-led war in Iraq. -BBC - 3/28/03

Iranian police fire in air to disperse anti-war demonstrators
Also, Rumors of US or British paratroopers landing in Iran denied; Iran sets up camp in Mehran border city. - 3/28/03

Change in Iran Advocated
Former Iranian Ambassador to the United Nation Mansour Farhang spoke to a group of Georgetown Students in Gaston Hall Tuesday night. The talk focused on the current political situation in Iran and its challenge to the tenets of Amnesty International. -Georgetown Hoya, DC - 3/28/03

Reparation of Iraqi-imposed war damage to Iran
In the sixth day of the US-UK anti-Iraq war, the British Development Secretary Clair Short, in an unprecedented move, called for the payment of reparation of the 8-year war damage to Iran. - 3/28/03

U.S. Prepares Northern Front For Land Assault Against Iraq
Neither Kurdish officials nor the Americans commented on exactly when or how the attacks from the north would begin. But they did say that it will be days, not weeks, and that any such attack will involve the Kurdish Peshmarga fighters. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 3/28/03

Reality or Virtual Reality?
I couldn't have wished for a better weather last Saturday morning, the second day of spring. My car was under repair, so I simply had to ride my '80, black-on-black, Harley Davidson Sturgis to work. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/28/03

British anger as port contract goes to US firm rather than to locals
Serious divisions emerged last night between Britain and America over plans for the running of Iraq's largest port at Umm Qasr. -Guardian - 3/28/03

Geography Shapes Nature of War in Iraq
It's often noted that Iraq is roughly the size of California. Unlike the Golden State, however, Iraq's population is very unevenly dispersed. These population patterns are of the utmost importance to a military campaign that is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. -National Geographic - 3/28/03

Oil Up as Signs of Long War Fuel Fear
Oil prices rose five percent on Thursday as signs of a protracted war in Iraq fueled fears of shortages, with Nigerian exports crippled by political unrest. -Reuters - 3/28/03

Iran-Turkmen officials meet on caspian sea legal regime
Iran special envoy for Caspian sea Affairs conferred here Thursday with Turkmen officials on the landlocked sea's legal regime and other issues of mutual interest - 3/28/03

U.S. Television and War
Television has become a pivotal resource for exercising a novel strategy designed to bring people to a particular side by carefully involving and engaging the audience in the news reports and in so doing making the viewer part of the war effort. -A. Lalehzadeh - 3/28/03

Pollack Predicts Iraq War Will Last 4 to 10 Weeks Despite Early Setbacks
A former Iran-Iraq military analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, now with the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank, predicts that the war against Iraq will take from "four to ten weeks." - 3/28/03

Washington hawks under fire for ignoring advice
British and American intelligence badly miscalculated the level of resistance that coalition forces would encounter in Iraq, with analysts predicting that troops would reach Baghdad in days and defeat President Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks. -TIMES, UK - 3/28/03

Though Fearful, Iranians Want Saddam Out
An Iranian veteran of the Iran-Iraq war sums up his country's ambivalence over the U.S.-led war on Iraq: he hates Saddam Hussein and cannot wait to see him go. But he's worried about civilian deaths and U.S. domination of Iraq. -AP - 3/28/03

Iran vows to stay neutral
A week into the US-led military campaign, Tehran has reiterated its position on the war in neighbouring Iraq as being one of neutrality. -BBC - 3/28/03

War Encourages U.S.-Iran Contacts
U.S. and Iranian officials held a key meeting the weekend before Operation Iraqi Freedom began to discuss co-operation between the two old adversaries in the event of a war. -UPI - 3/27/03

US force destroyed (People's Mujahideen Organisation) military bases, says Iran
US forces attacked the main Iranian armed opposition group based in Iraq on Monday and destroyed two of its military bases, a senior Iranian official said yesterday. -Financial Times - 3/27/03

On the Recent Election of Islamic Councils
That the people turned their backs to the election in which all the legitimate political groups were actively participating showed that after five years of Khatami's Presidency, people are tired of the existing antagonisms between Fundamentalists and Traditionalists with the Reformists, and there is no longer the possibility of adopting a middle eclectic way and the Islamic Republic should choose between the continuation of the same policy or putting an end to the reformist movement. -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 3/27/03

Iran another thorn in American's side
Iran's ayatollahs are increasingly nervous about U.S. military maneuvers near its borders with southern Iraq and in the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, which contain holy shrines to the founder of the Shiite sect. -Scripps Howard News Service - 3/27/03

Iran and Turkey stress on territorial integrity of Iraq
Iran, Germany worried about 'massive' casualties of war; Iranian cinematographers to hold anti-war rallies - 3/27/03

Iran rallies militia for border show of force
Thousands of members of an Iranian militia have held a rally on their country's border with Iraq in what appears to have been a muscle-flexing gesture. -Guardian - 3/27/03

US forces battle elite troops
US forces advancing towards Baghdad were today held up by fierce fighting in the city of Samawah, against 1,500 Iraqi paramilitaries guarding a bridge across the Euphrates river. -Guardian - 3/27/03

Iran surprised by "irresponsible" remarks of Russian officials
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Thursday said he was surprised by the "irresponsible" remarks of Russian officials who have claimed a Western company had supplied uranium enrichment equipment to the Islamic Republic - 3/27/03

Khalil Dilmaghani (1932-2003) - Memorial services on March 29 in Los Angeles
On Friday, March 21, 2003, our beloved teacher and mentor, Mr. Khalil M. Dilmaghani(1932-2003) passed away in Los Angeles. He was a noted theater critic and professor in Tehran University where he taught in the Department of Dramatic Arts from 1963 to 1985. - 3/27/03

Iraqis opt for delay as defense
Critics - including prominent retired generals - want to know why Saddam Hussein appears to remain unshocked and unawed by US cruise missiles and bombs. They're also wondering why Iraqi Republican Guard and other units are putting up a stiff fight along the road to Baghdad, and why "liberated" Iraqis aren't waving American flags. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/27/03

Shia majority is ready to rebuild
The most active Shia opposition group is the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri, also known as the Majlis). Its forces in no rthern Iraq have been reinforced in recent weeks, presumably from Iran. -Financial Times - 3/27/03

Kurds' push for freedom haunted by painful past
This is where they came, with their sores and ulcers and nightmares. The wretched refuse of Saddam Hussein's chemical attacks arrived on this muddy, treeless plain in northern Iraq 15 years ago. They built an ugly little village and named it, oddly, Blackberry Bush. -San Jose Mercury - 3/27/03

Ladies' Tea Boils Over as Saudis Rail at US
"This war is making people pro-Saddam, because it's not fair that you come from outside and remove a president, even if he is a dictator," she declared. "You thought the Iraqis would join you and fight for their freedom, but people instead of fighting for their freedom are standing behind him. And this isn't what anyone wanted to see!" -Los Angeles Times - 3/27/03

Iran says deaths of Iraq civilians fuels extremism
Extremism fuelled by resentment against the United States will rise in the region if the U.S.-led war on Iraq turns into a bloodbath for civilians, Iran said on Thursday. -Reuters - 3/27/03

EU: Union Doubles Aid To Turkey, Warns Against Iraq Incursions
Today's proposal by the European Commission to update Turkey's pre-accession strategy, further sweetened by a proposal to double EU aid to Ankara from 2004 to 2006, was intended to be good news for Turkey's struggling EU candidacy. -RFE - 3/27/03

Iran: Policies On Nationalities, Ethnic Minorities Called 'Unjust'
Persians make up less than half of Iran's population. Even so, the country has not taken steps to soften its restrictive policies on other nationalities and ethnic minorities. According to one Caspian Studies scholar, it is a situation that could put the future of Iran as a single state at risk. -RFE - 3/27/03

Rattled Iranians gather along the border to watch war in Iraq
ABADAN, Iran - Like star-struck Hollywood tourists trying to glimpse celebrities at the Oscars, Iranians in this southwestern border city lined up along a riverbank on Tuesday evening, using binoculars and camcorders to watch the war in Iraq a quarter-mile away. -San Jose Mercury - 3/26/03

Iran may be on 'axis of evil' list but it is devoid of war protests
MOST Iranians would be glad to see the back of Saddam Hussein, who bombarded Iranian troops with mustard and nerve gases during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Unlike other capitals in the Middle East, the streets of Tehran have been devoid of anti-war protesters. -Glasgow Herald, UK - 3/26/03

Iraq's burning oil wells will likely cause black rain in Iran's Khuzestan province
Iran's Red Crescent Society concerned over loss of lives in Iraq; Iran and Russia warn of 'humanitarian tragedy' - 3/26/03

Bush administration readying for 2004 invasion of Iran
While the slaughter continues in Iraq, the United States has its sights set on the real prize: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even though Syria is next on the chopping block according to the authors of A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realmóchief among them Richard Perle and Douglas Feithóit is Iran that they covet. -Online Journal - 3/26/03

Fearing Saddam but not trusting the US
It has been a central assumption of American and British plans that war against Saddam Hussein would eventually trigger an uprising of the country's Shia Muslims. Last night, six days into the conflict, came signs that it might be happening in Basra. -Guardian - 3/26/03

Iranian journalist goes missing in Iraq-LBC TV
An Iranian journalist covering the U.S.-led war in Iraq for an Arab satellite network and newspaper has gone missing in the strategic Faw peninsula and may have been arrested, Lebanese LBC television said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 3/26/03

Summerly questions on nuclear Iran
The US Secretary of State, Collin Powell, raised a yellow flag on nuclear Iran the other week. Iran joins the countries feared to have nuclear weapon or could reach that potential sooner than expected. That jerked me back to the summer of 2002. -Hooman Moradmand, Canada - 3/26/03

Brown bag luncheon to educate students about Iran, Iranian women
Western Michigan University community members will have an opportunity to better understand today's Iran and Iranian women by attending a brown bag luncheon talk sponsored by the Center for Women's Studies. -Western Herald - 3/26/03

Why Basra matters
The population of Basra consists largely of Shia Arab Muslims, most of whom have little affection for Saddam Hussein and his Sunni Arab ruling elite. -BBC - 3/26/03

Iran and the War In Iraq
Iran's attitude towards the war in Iraq is complex. Iran repudiates Saddam Hussein, holding him responsible for the eight-year Iran-Iraq war (1) and for gassing Iranian citizens with chemical weapons. Nonetheless, Iran regards the U.S. presence on its borders as an even greater threat to the security of its regime and its national interests. -Middle East Media Research Institute - 3/26/03

Bush fiddles with economy while Baghdad burns
Could a faltering dollar and global rebellion against its values presage the decline, and eventual fall, of the American empire, asks Mark Tran -Guardian - 3/26/03

Britain relaxes routine scrutiny of exports to Iran
Britain has relaxed procedures under which it grants export licences for Iran, scrapping mandatory ministerial scrutiny for the first time since it was imposed after the country's war with Iraq. -Financial Times - 3/26/03

Export revenues from Iranian petrochemicals rise to $800 million since 1989
Revenues from exports of petrochemicals from Iran have risen to $800 million from $29 million since 1989, when National Petrochemical Commercial Co. of Iran (NPCCI) was formed, OPEC News Agency reported. -Oil&Gas Journal - 3/26/03

West must show Mid-East 'resolve'
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said it is hypocritical for the West to demand Iraqi compliance with UN Security Council resolutions while appearing to hesitate over resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -BBC - 3/26/03

Shia leader warns US not to stay on
The most prominent Iraqi Shia Muslim opposition leader warned the US on Tuesday that staying on in Iraq after a successful war to depose Saddam Hussein could trigger an armed uprising of Iraqis. -Financial Times - 3/26/03

Cold-war frost forms over Iraq
In a phone conversation Monday with George W. Bush, President Vladimir Putin hotly denied the charges (that Russian firms recently sold military equipment to Baghdad) and retorted with "analogous questions, which were not answered," concerning similar illicit sales to Iran by "close American allies," according to Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/26/03

Royal Marines not deployed against Iranian forces, says UK's Hoon
UK Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon Wednesday dismissed reports that British troops had been deployed on Iraq's eastern border to counter any intervention in the Iraq war by Iran - 3/26/03

Haze of Iraq War Obscures Smoldering Political Crisis in Neighboring Iran
The warfare in Iraq has obscured a political crisis in neighboring Iran that may potentially place Tehran on a collision course with the United States. The Iranian crisis is linked primarily to the splintering of reformist groups. Disunity among the reformers is making it easier for hardliners to control Iranís policy agenda. -Eurasianet - 3/26/03

U.S. holds indirect talks with Iran
The Iraqi crisis has encouraged indirect contacts between two old adversaries, the United States and Iran, the State Department said Monday. -UPI - 3/25/03

Marines Losing the Battle for Hearts and Minds
Hopes of a joyful liberation of a grateful Iraq by US and British armies are evaporating fast in the Euphrates valley as a sense of bitterness, germinated from blood spilled and humiliations endured, begins to grow in the hearts of invaded and invader alike. -Common Dreams - 3/25/03

UK's Clare Short: Iraq's war reparations to Iran need restructuring
Britain's International Development Secretary Clare Short has suggested that one of the reforms to carry out in post-Saddam Iraq will be the country's reparations owed to Iran for its eight-year war in the 1980s - 3/25/03

Immigrants here fear Iran is next
The overall opinion is that military action against Iran would neither be justifiable nor necessary. Instead, local Iranians say the international community -- especially the United States -- should support the already active movement within Iran toward a more liberal, democratic government. -Seattle Post Intelligencer - 3/25/03

Art and war become entwined
A conversation these days with Bahman Ghobadi, a Kurdish film director living in Tehran whose latest feature, "Marooned in Iraq," is set on the Iran-Iraq border, doesn't stay on the topic of filmmaking for very long. -IHT - 3/25/03

Arab states line up behind Iraq
The Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo passed a resolution declaring the war on Iraq a "violation of the United Nations Charter" and a "threat to world peace". -BBC - 3/25/03

Diminished Expectations in Iraq
The American and British military are prepared to fight a war against a resistant enemy, and they insisted yesterday that everything was on or ahead of schedule. But the public had reason to expect something different. -New York Times - 3/25/03

Basra campaign claims second Briton
Elsewhere, several hundred British Royal Marines have been deployed along Iraq's southern border with Iran, amid concerns fighters there could try to exploit uncertainty caused by the war. -BBC - 3/25/03

Blown away
Iraq was the cradle of civilisation. Archaeologists in Europe and the US are deeply concerned about the damage the current conflict will do to the country's - and the world's - heritage. -Guardian - 3/25/03

Iraq Conflict Prompts Fresh Security Concerns in Afghanistan
Afghan leaders are concerned that military action in Iraq may drain international attention and resources from Afghanistanís reconstruction effort, increasing the difficulty of extending Kabulís authority to areas now under the control of warlords and other renegade elements. -Eurasianet - 3/25/03

Shi'ite cleric sees no Islamic republic in Iraq
Post-Saddam Iraq will not emulate neighbouring Iran by creating a Shi'ite Islamic republic, even though Shi'ite Muslims make up a majority of the population, a leading Iraqi opposition cleric said on Monday. -Reuters - 3/25/03

Popular Israeli singer Rita denied entry to U.S. due to her Iranian birthplace
Popular Israeli singer Rita was forced this week to cancel a sold-out twelve-day concert tour in New York, Miami and Los Angeles when her request for a U.S. visa was rejected. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, also a native of Iran, had similar problems in the past. -Israel Insider - 3/25/03

Perle's Plunder Blunder
It's Richard Perle's world. We're just fighting in it. The Prince of Darkness, a man who whips up revelatory soufflťs and revolutionary pre-emption doctrines with equal ease, took a victory lap at the American Enterprise Institute on Friday morning. -New York Times - 3/25/03

Oil Rises as Optimism of Swift War Wavers
Oil prices rose on Monday after hitting four-month lows as optimism for a quick Iraqi war wavered with news U.S.-led forces were meeting resistance on the road to Baghdad. -Reuter - 3/25/03

Technip-Coflexip awarded construction contract for Iranian steam cracker
Petrochemical Industries Development Management Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of National Petrochemical Co. of Iran (NPC) awarded Paris-based Technip-Coflexip and Tehran-based Iranian engineering firm Nargan a contract for the design and construction of a 500,000 tonne/year steam cracker to be built on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf. -Oil&Gas Journal - 3/25/03

Iran Denies Care to Militants, Kurdish Official Says
A local Kurdish official said today that Iranian authorities turned back wounded Islamic militants seeking medical care in Iran after a U.S. attack against their enclave in northern Iraq. -Washington Post - 3/25/03

Lies & Greed Behind Illegal War
WITH every passing day it becomes clear that the muddled thinking behind this illegal assault on Iraq is based on lies, greed and ignorance. That the argument for the invasion is so morally weak and the objectives so vague, that the only justification left is that it has to be right because Our Boys are there. -Mirror, UK - 3/25/03

'No evidence' of claimed Iranian incursions in Iraq, says UK's Straw
UK to act against anti-Iran terrorist group in Iraq, says Blair; British Embassy says Abadan explosion could have been work of Iraqis - 3/25/03

Khatami says all peace seeking states should help end war
Iranian defense ministry warns of "very dangerous" war fallout; Over 700 stage anti-war rally in Iran's Ahwaz; Three explosions inside Iraq rock southwestern Iranian town - 3/25/03

Caspian Basin Confronts Boom and Bust Energy Cycle
Caspian Basin energy exporters stand to reap near-term benefits from the conflict in Iraq, namely from higher oil and gas prices. The expected windfall could potentially help Caspian Basin governments address structural economic imbalances that threaten stability over the longer term -Eurasianet - 3/25/03

War sirens herald Iran's hour of revenge
It may be part of George W. Bush's axis of evil; some predict it will be next on the list for US pre- emptive action; but Iran is the only one of Iraq's neighbours that wholeheartedly supports regime change in Baghdad, even if via a US-led invasion. -Financial Times - 3/24/03

Iran says ready to thwart aggression, reiterates neutrality toward Iraq crisis
Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari on Sunday stressed that Iranian forces are ready to thwart any foreign aggression against the country, and reiterated Iran's position of "active neutrality" toward the Iraq crisis - 3/24/03

Bush warns Turkey off Iraq
US President George W Bush has issued a "very clear" warning to Turkey not to send troops into northern Iraq. -BBC - 3/24/03

Iran voices concern over demolition of historical monuments on Iraqi border
Officials from Ilam Cultural Heritage Department told IRNA that the US air raids and missile onslaughts against Iraq threaten the ancient monuments of the archaic land, which are among the world most significant historical remains. - 3/24/03

Resistance Raises Fears for the Endgame
The appearance of US prisoners of war on Middle Eastern television came as a nasty morning shock to a nation that was unprepared for such reversals, and a clear omen that the battle for Iraq is not going to be as straightforward as some of the more optimistic hawks had predicted. -Common Dreams - 3/24/03

This is the Reality of War. We Bomb. They Suffer
Veteran war reporter Robert Fisk tours the Baghdad hospital to see the wounded after a devastating night of air strikes -Common Dreams - 3/24/03

Teaching Western Books in Iran, and in U.S., Too
In Washington, Azar Nafisi teaches a class at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She sees a cultural complacency here in this country that values reality TV over reading. -New York Times - 3/24/03

Iraqi Kurds Seek Safety, Hoping to Wait Out War
Northern Iraq's Kurdish residents spent the weekend holed up in mountain retreats, where most fled last week, anxiously hoping Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime falls before their supplies run out. -Wall Street Journal - 3/24/03

Iraqi city suffers water shortage
The Red Cross today warned of an imminent humanitarian disaster in Iraq's second city of Basra, as the aid agency struggled to restore water supplies destroyed in the war. -Guardian - 3/24/03

Nader Calls Bush 'Dictator'
Bush is acting ``in effect as a selected dictator,'' Nader told the Mercury News in an interview Friday. The president has not listened to any of the many retired admirals, generals and foreign-policy experts who have warned against the war, Nader said. And the stated reasons for going to war ``have either been disproved or greatly distorted,'' he said. -Common Dreams - 3/24/03

Iraq tries to rally Arab world
The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, is in Cairo to appeal for Arab support in resisting the American-led invasion. -BBC - 3/24/03

The Growing Risk to Iran's Nuclear Technology Program
However, despite Iran's repeated declarations that it is only interested in peaceful application of nuclear technology, the United States has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. -Nader Habibi - 3/24/03

From Omar Khayyam to Hafez of Shiraz
Listening to President Bush's utterly sincere statements regarding America's mission in the world, one can hear more than the expected political rhetoric; George W. Bush speaks with a genuineness that can only come from deep, even religious, convictions. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/24/03

Iran's Central Bank Governor Mohsen Nourbakhsh dies of heart attack
Nourbakhsh, 54 (ed.), who held a Ph.D in economics from California State University, was a key architect of the Iranian economy after the destructive Iraqi imposed-war of 1980-1988. He also advocated a liberal economy. - 3/23/03

Balancing in a Sea of Volatility
Given Tehranís reputation for propagating radical Islam, attempting to export revolution, and supporting radical political groups, the newly independent states in the southern Caucasus were wary of Tehranís intentions when it began to build bridges to the region after 1991. -Eurasianet - 3/23/03

Iran paying for US' anti-Iraq war
The head of the emergency committee formed to deal with the Iraq crisis in matters of health, treatment and environmental destruction here on Sunday expressed regret that Iran will have to bear part of the adverse consequences resulting from the US-led war on Iraq - 3/23/03

Grim Legacy
Iranian veterans are still suffering from the effects of Saddam Husseinís chemical weapons. In spite of political obstacles, American doctors can learn from their painful experiences -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 3/23/03

Ominous signs for coalition in battle for Umm Qasr
US and British marines, backed by tanks and air strikes, fought for the third day on Sunday to secure full control of the Iraqi frontier town of Umm Qasr, in a small but politically significant battle that has become an embarrassment for the invasion force. -Financial Times - 3/23/03

Glitz out as stars ponder Oscar protest
Donning an anti-war totem is also popular. Among the actors who have said that they will wear anti-war badges are nominees Day-Lewis, Adrien Brody, Pedro Almodůvar Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore as well as veteran star Dustin Hoffman. -Guardian - 3/23/03

Analysis: Arab world faces turmoil
Three days into the US-led military campaign against Iraq, Arab governments must be praying for the fall of Saddam Hussein's leadership as quickly as possible. -BBC - 3/23/03

US general: 'West is failing Afghans'
As American and British cruise missiles create havoc in Baghdad, a US general has accused the West of failing to do enough to rebuild the last country visited by President Bush's military Ė Afghanistan.-Independent - 3/23/03

Iran's conditions for hosting refugees have not been met yet
The official cited two major conditons, set by the Geneva Convention on refugees and said, "We can accept refugees only if the possibility of survival for refugees is threatened due to military prosecution and the necessary budget is granted to the host country by the United Nations." - 3/23/03

Pressure mounts along Iranian fault lines
War in Iraq threatens to deepen the political fault lines in neighbouring Iran, where reformists, who enjoy majority support in the country as well as in the majlis, or parliament, confront minority conservative rivals who control the main levers of power. -Financial Times - 3/23/03

Iran's silent role increasing
US and British aircraft bombed Iraqi forces around the southern city of Basra for the third successive day on Sunday, appearing to pass through Iranian airspace on the way to their target. -Guardian - 3/23/03

Mujahedin-e-Khalq: Friend or foe?
One of the many hard questions about the war in Iraq is what the United States will do about something called the National Liberation Army. The NLA is a well-trained brigade of perhaps 15,000 men outfitted with heavy artillery, rockets, and tanks. -MSNBC - 3/22/03

Critics Say Coverage Helped Lead to War
Critics of the war against Iraq are not reserving their anger exclusively for President Bush. Some also blame the news media, asserting that they failed to challenge the administration aggressively enough as it made a shaky case for war. -New York Times - 3/22/03

45 dead in Kurdish attack
US missile strikes against Islamists in northern Iraq have also hit the base of a mainstream Islamic party, killing at least 45 people, Kurdish officials and fleeing resident told AFP. - 3/22/03

Turkey denies entering Iraq
Turkish military sources have denied that its troops crossed into northern Iraq on Friday night. -BBC - 3/22/03

A look at natural landscapes of Iran's Chahar-Mahal province
Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province enjoying the priviledge of being located on the slopes of the Zagros mountain ranges in central Iran hosts a great number of holiday makers in the New Iranian Year (started March 21) - 3/22/03

Minute After Minute the Missiles Came, With Devastating Shrieks
Saddam's main presidential palace, a great rampart of a building 20 stories high, simply exploded in front of me ≠ a cauldron of fire, a 100ft sheet of flame and a sound that had my ears singing for an hour after. The entire, massively buttressed edifice shuddered under the impact. Then four more cruise missiles came in. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 3/22/03

Call for new investigation into banned Iranian group
The British government has been urged to launch a fresh investigation into a proscribed Iranian dissident organisation thought to have had close links with Saddam Hussein amid allegations that its members continue to be active in the UK. -Financial Times - 3/22/03

Anti-War Rallies Ricochet Across World
Major anti-war demonstrations ricocheted across the globe, with thousands of Asians venting their outrage, and Europe and the United States mobilizing for massive protest against the third day of the US-led war on Iraq. -Common Dreams - 3/22/03

Iran celebrates Noruz
Wary Iranians more concerned with New Year celebrations than US-led offensive against neighbouring Iraq. -Middle East Online - 3/22/03

Iranian city of Khorramshahr hit in fourth rocket attack
Buildings shook and windows broke as another rocket, the fourth fired by US warplanes into the Iranian territory since Friday, landed outside the southern Iranian city of Khorramshahr on Saturday, IRNA reported. - 3/22/03

The man behind the new Iran-US entente on Iraq
In private meetings, Brooke reassured Iranian officials that the Bush administration is not thinking of attacking Iran or of changing its regime ≠ so long as Iran acts responsibly and cooperates with the United States in effecting a smooth transition to democracy in the region. -Ali Nourizadeh. Daily Star - 3/22/03

Hopes and fears
While Iran's political and religious leaders have condemned Washington's move against Iraq, much of the country will be celebrating if Saddam Hussein's regime is overthrown -Guardian - 3/21/03

Bush Sends Nowruz Greetings for Persian New Year
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush sent their "best wishes for a joyous celebration" to Iranian Americans celebrating Nowruz, the Persian new year celebration. - 3/21/03

A New Year Card from Iran
It is said / The only Panacea / For fear of all destitute, ills & death / Is Love -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/21/03

Turkey fails to open airspace
The US does not want Turkish forces to enter Iraq, fearing possible clashes with the local Kurdish forces. Large numbers of Turkish troops are reported to have massed on the border. -BBC - 3/21/03

IRAN: Agencies gear up for possible influx
With war in Iraq now underway, international aid agencies in Iran were working hard on Thursday to boost preparedness levels in the event of a refugee influx. About 1.3 million Iraqi refugees crossed the border into Iran during the 1991 Gulf War. -United Nations - 3/21/03

A glance at the natural landscapes in Lorestan province of Iran
Natural springs, green mountain ranges, charming lakes and ancient monuments in the province annually attract a great number of visitors at the outset of the New Iranian Year, known as Norouz. - 3/21/03

Harsh words from peace camp, muted praise from backers
Russia, France and China - UN security council members opposed to war - led a storm of international protest yesterday against the US strikes on Iraq, while praise from Washington's allies was restrained and often outweighed by street protest. -Guardian - 3/21/03

War mars new year feast for Iranians
Iranian Montrealers set tables yesterday to prepare for their traditional New Year's Eve, Norouz, but the U.S. war on Iraq has marred the celebrations. -Montreal Gazette - 3/21/03

Hope in a hero's assassination
Iraqi Kurds are embracing the U.S.-led bid to oust Saddam on a national holiday steeped in the symbolism of liberation. -Ottawa Citizen, Canada - 3/21/03

Oxfam's Iraq refugee plea
Oxfam is warning of the difficulties aid agencies will face in tackling the humanitarian crisis following the start of the war in Iraq. -BBC - 3/21/03

US forces target Taliban massing near Kandahar
About 1,000 US soldiers backed by helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles began an assault in southern Afghanistan yesterday against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, acting on intelligence reports that Islamist militants were regrouping in the Kandahar region. -Guardian - 3/21/03

Oil falls as troops sweep into Iraq
Oil prices have fallen on Friday, bringing this week's drop in value to more than 25%. -BBC - 3/21/03

Dan De Luce, 10.30am, Tehran
Iranians living on the border with Iraq have been leaving the towns, fearing the possibility of burning oil wells...Experts are saying that the MKO in Iraq will have nowhere to turn and will be defeated, probably quite ruthlessly, by the Shi'ite opposition group which has its Badr brigade deployed in northern Iraq. -Guardian - 3/21/03

Dispatch from Teheran: New Year's Resolutions
Iranians celebrate their New Year at the Spring Equinox. At 4:30:21 am Friday 21 March 2003 Tehran Time, the length of the day and night will become equal. Good and Evil will balance out, to use a Zoroastrian analogy. On that hour, Iranian families stand next to their traditional New Year table at the center of which sits a bowl of gold fish. Hours earlier the War will have started. Good and Evil will have become equal. -Sima Saeedi, Tehran - 3/21/03

Khatami slams US 'aggression' in his Norouz message to Iranians
President Mohammad Khatami has denounced US-led war against Iraq, saying the invasion threatens the whole region and the world. - 3/21/03

Turkey, Iraqi Kurds and Iran: The battle for northern Iraq
No doubt to discourage the Iranians from doing it themselves, the Americans have told Iran that they will somehow neutralise the People's Mujahideen, the armed Iranian opposition based in Iraq. They have also warned the Badr Brigade, a group some 10,000 strong which fights under the flag of the Iran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), that it is not to get involved. -Economist - 3/21/03

Conference: Case Study of US-Iran Relations - What Can Culture Do?
The American Iranian Council, The Asia Society and The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy invite you to a conference on "Shifting Perceptions of the Middle East: Case Study of US-Iran Relations - What Can Culture Do?" (April 2 in New York) - 3/20/03

World leaders decry US attack
The declaration of war brought fierce criticism from world leaders today, as Russia accused the US of committing "a big political mistake" and France expressed its "regret" over the strikes. China was even more outspoken, accusing the US of starting an illegitimate conflict and "violating the norms of international behaviour". -Guardian - 3/20/03

Iraqi POWs Returning Home From Iran Try to Flee Again
A group of Iraqi prisoners of war just freed from Iran after decades in a prison camp near Tehran were yesterday back on the road again, trying to flee their homeland for safety the day after their emotional return. -Arab News - 3/20/03

Iraq targets coalition troops
Iraq today fired at least one Scud missile towards coalition forces stationed on the Iraq-Kuwait border in response to this morning's US strikes on Baghdad. -Guardian - 3/20/03

Islamic states hit terrorism, Iraq war at UN meet
Islamic states warned on Wednesday that a U.S.-led attack on Iraq could foster an upsurge of worldwide terrorist violence. -Reuters - 3/20/03

US offers Israel billions in aid
The US has offered $10bn (£6.4bn) to Israel, to bail it out of the worst economic crisis in its history. -BBC - 3/20/03

Iraq may favor a city war, Stalingrad-style
Hussein's strategy has US soldiers armed with medieval-era tools to storm Baghdad -Christian Science Monitor - 3/20/03

Aid agencies fear refugee exodus
The British and U.S. military are planning for a "worst case scenario" of two million civilians being displaced by a war in Iraq. -CNN - 3/20/03

Four Governors Claim to Rule Ethnically Split, Oil-Rich City
Called 'Jerusalem of Kurdistan,' Kirkuk City Offers Glimpse Into Maze of Post-Hussein Iraq -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 3/20/03

ĎWe Want to Hurt Iraní
After 20 years, a new ruling has allowed the families of 241 Marines killed in a terrorist attack in Beirut to seek justice in court -Newsweek - 3/20/03

Dahaneh-Gholaman is the gate to Iran's history of Sassanid and Islamic eras
Located in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province, the city of Dahaneh-Gholaman two kms from Ghal'e-Nau village in the suburb of Zabol is one of the provincial touristic attractions. - 3/20/03

Oil price fall slows as war begins
The onset of the US-led assault on Iraq has brought the six-day slide in the price of oil to a near-halt as traders worry about whether the war will prove longer than the early, optimistic predictions have suggested. -BBC - 3/20/03

Anti-War Protests Sweep Globe Following Launch of Strikes in Iraq
Anti-war protests erupted across the globe following the start of the US-led war against Iraq, with hundreds of thousands expected to march to demand a quick end to air strikes on Baghdad. -Common Dreams - 3/20/03

Turkey, Iran set sights on Northern Iraq
On Wednesday last week, a special envoy of the president of Iran traveled to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders. What business did America's enemy (and ''axis of evil'' member) have with America's ally in NATO? -Chicago Sun Times - 3/20/03

Iran closes its borders with Iraq
Imam Khomeini port not affected by US-led war on Iraq; Iran scraps flights to Kuwait. - 3/20/03

Iranian official warns of human tragedy
The official predicted that a protracted war would unleash a refugee influx of between 500,000 to 1.2 million towards Iranian borders. "We are seriously worried about the lack of international community's participation in assisting the Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers," he added. - 3/20/03

Persian Gulf Oil Disruptions Have Begun
A the United States military completed its plans to invade Iraq, disruptions of oil supplies and shipments from the Persian Gulf appeared to have already begun yesterday, industry experts said. -New York Times - 3/20/03

New Year at Persepolis
Celebrating the commencement of the New Year is amongst the oldest and most universally observed festivals, and has a long history in Middle East and Mesopotamia. -Massoume Price - 3/20/03

Iran has vital role in conflict - and then in building peace
SHAME that Washington and Tehran arenít on speaking terms, as Iran is shaping up to be one of Americaís most useful allies in fighting this war ó and in making the peace. -TIMES, UK - 3/19/03

Saddam's track record raises fears of chemical or biological attack
During the 1980-88 war with Iran an estimated 100,000 Iranians were affected by chemical weapons and about 10,000 died shortly after the attacks. Between 4,000 and 5,000 are still under medical surveillance. -Guardian - 3/19/03

Forces enter demilitarised zone
The top US naval commander in the Gulf today told sailors that war on Iraq was "very likely" within a couple of days, Reuters has reported. -Guardian - 3/19/03

War may reshape global order
At the very least, the US will find itself, postwar, in the midst of a very unstable neighborhood. American soldiers and civil personnel will be conquerors in the heart of the Arab world, with Iran on one side, and Syria on the other. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/19/03

Two armed robbers hanged in public in Iran: press
Two convicted armed robbers were publicly hanged in the western city of Khorramabad Wednesday morning - 3/19/03

Iran recalls diplomats from Iraq, closes embassy in Baghdad
Iran has recalled all its diplomats and their families from Iraq, closing its embassy in Baghdad due to the ongoing Iraqi crisis. - 3/19/03

Cook's resignation speech
Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create? -BBC - 3/19/03

Iranian Art Around The Globe
Persian Musicians in London; Veil Exhibition; Seven Thousand Years Persian Art and History in Switzerland;... -Tavoos - 3/19/03

Baghdad Sleepwalking into History
For Baghdad, it is night No. 1001, the very last few hours of fantasy. As United Nations inspectors prepared to leave the city in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday), Saddam Hussein has appointed his own son Qusay to lead the defense of the city of the Caliphs against the U.S. invasion. -Robert Fisk, Common Dreams - 3/19/03

Iran's Foreign Minister: Regional situation, extremely grave
"We are deeply concerned about a war's devastating effect throughout the region," the Iranian foreign minister said adding "Iran and Saudi Arabia share the concern of the Iraqi neighboring countries in this respect." - 3/19/03

Can the Iraqi opposition unite?
Paranoia and duplicity have been essential traits for survival in the Iraqi opposition. Are its leaders ready for life after Saddam? -Guardian - 3/19/03

Democracy
Concerning the recent election of Islamic Councils, a 'democratic' friend said, Iranians still do not understand the real meaning of Republic and Democracy and they confuse Election with Selection. And I both agreed and disagreed with him. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/19/03

On the Origins and Traditions of the Persian New Year
The great Persian celebration of New Year, or the Nowruz, has long scattered its shining rays upon Persian history. It is a glorious celebration that marks the rejuvenation of nature, thus highlighting the deep-rooted connection between the Persian psyche and the environment,... -Tavoos - 3/19/03

US Signals Support for Iranian Group
In a move that may signal a new direction in US support of exiled opposition groups, President George W. Bushís spokesman took the unprecedented step last week of praising an anti-Iranian organization (Mojahedin Khalq ) that the US State Department officially classifies as a ďterrorist organization.Ē -Arab News - 3/19/03

The future of Iran, Reza Pahlavi's role, and the Israeli conspiracy theories
In response to my 27 February article, "Has Reza Pahlavi Sold Out Iran," an article by Mr. Zarrabi was listed on Payvand's site on March 10 that reflected the same basic ideas as Dr. Pakravan's original article a few weeks back. Both articles shared the same basic objective, i.e., to discourage Reza Pahlavi's aspirations to lead the opposition political movement. -Mohsen Moshfegh - 3/19/03

IAEA Says Iranian 'Pilot' Uranium Enrichment Plant Almost Complete
In a Monday statement to the Board of the UN's nuclear watchdog agency, its chief, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei announced that Iran has nearly completed a uranium enrichment site near the city of Natanz, but did not respond to US allegations that the site will give the Islamic Republic the capability to produce nuclear weapons. -Bellona Foundation - 3/19/03

Why have five Iranian film critics been arrested?
Kambiz Kahe and four other film critics, were recently arrested in Iran because of having a collection of foreign ( and some R-rated) movies. - 3/18/03

US war signal divides world
Countries seeking a peaceful outcome to the Iraq crisis have condemned Washington's final ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, questioning the legality of starting a war. -BBC - 3/18/03

Iran's Health ministry warns against possible consequences of war
"Taking into account the fact that only a limited number of Iraqis have been vaccinated, we fear the great danger of a spread of contagious diseases that we have not vaccinated our people against," he said. - 3/18/03

Lawyer calls for re-examination of Aghajari's statements by team of academicians, clerics
Saleh Nikbakht, lawyer of Aghajari whose death sentence has been earlier dropped by the Supreme Court, said he had called for re-examination of his client's statements by a joint team of academicians and clerics to prove the reality. - 3/18/03

How Iran planned the Buenos Aires blast
Israeli intelligence has uncovered most of the details of Iran's involvement in the July 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that left some 100 people dead and 250 wounded. -Ha'aretz, Israel - 3/18/03

Kurds take to the hills as fears grow of chemical blitz
Buses, taxis and pick-up trucks piled high with bedding and excited children headed for the mountains yesterday as thousands of people left the main Kurdish cities in northern Iraq. -Financial Times - 3/18/03

൸ Hours": From "Stand Up and be Counted" to a Fixed Poker Game
Monday night, denouncing the UN Security Council for inaction, Bush gave 48 hours for Saddam Hussein to get out of Iraq. If he doesn't, the bombs will drop, the missiles will fly, the tanks will roll. Mostly certainly people will die. -CounterPunch - 3/18/03

A Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War
Dear Governor Bush: So today is what you call "the moment of truth," the day that "France and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table." I'm glad to hear that this day has finally arrived. -Common Dreams - 3/18/03

On the eve of war, a black comedy in Iraq
A sense of panic grows in Baghdad's streets, but hardship-weary Iraqis still manage to laugh. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/18/03

Suit Begins Against Iran in Marine Barracks Bombing
More than 600 relatives of the U.S. servicemen killed in a 1983 bombing attack in Beirut charged yesterday that Iran was responsible for the bombing, as a landmark lawsuit began in U.S. District Court in Washington. -Washington Post - 3/18/03

Few foreigners leaving Iran over Iraq concerns
Most foreign embassies and companies operating in Iran said on Monday they had no immediate plans to evacuate staff despite a looming war on neighbouring Iraq. -Reuters - 3/18/03

Rachel's war
This weekend 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the Israeli army destroying homes in the Gaza Strip. In a remarkable series of emails to her family, she explained why she was risking her life -Guardian - 3/18/03

Niyazov: Iran-Turkmenistan in talks over Caspian sea legal regime
The Monday issue of the Persian daily 'Hamshahri' quoted Niyazov in his recent trip to Iran, as saying "It seems there is no prospect of achieving multilateral agreements, hence we should continue consultations on bilateral basis. - 3/18/03

Iran ready to shelter Iraqi refugees in border camps
According to the official, more than 20 international, governmental and non-governmental organizations have expressed readiness to provide the camps with humanitarian reliefs. - 3/18/03

Iran-backed rebels eye new Iraq role
Hundreds of guerrillas from an Iranian-backed Iraqi Islamic opposition faction have staged a military parade in northern Iraq, in an area controlled by the Iraqi Kurds, close to the border with Iran. -BBC - 3/18/03

UN alarm at Iran's nuclear programme
The UN's nuclear watchdog demanded greater access to Iran's nuclear programme yesterday, amid growing anxiety in the west that Tehran is much closer to building a nuclear bomb than previously feared. -Guardian - 3/18/03

Norouz always makes me smile, ever since I was a child!
Norouz always makes me smile, ever since I was a child. In those days we would be taken shopping for new clothes and new shoes. We would be so excited for weeks or months before. At school, every day from the middle of Bahman (early February), we would write on the blackboard how many days were left to the New Year. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/18/03

Iran's Tug of war: President and Parliament against Expediency and Guardians Council
EC says extra budget for GC a matter of dispute; Deputy indicates 437-fold increase in GC's budget over 20 years ; GC rejects allegations of illegal increase in its budget ; Deputy says Majlis would not bend to accept GC's budget rise; EC's approval of increased budget for GC null and void: Nabavi - 3/18/03

Expect the Unexpected: A Religious Democracy in Iran
This paper attempts to answer three questions. What is Islam? Is a democratic Islamic state possible, specifically in Iran? What, if anything, can the United States do about it? -By Peter D. Schmid, Commander, Judge Advocate, United States Navy - Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University - 3/17/03

REALITY VERSUS EXPERT OPINION: The Rooster's Tail
The latest article raising fear and concern about Iran and its nuclear ambitions, 'Iran Plays the Waiting Game', is by Reuel Marc Gerecht, published in the March 13 issue of N. Y. Times. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/17/03

Shouldn't American Democracy Begin at Home?
By coincidence, a fine film chronicling the Pentagon Papers phase of the Vietnam War premiered on cable television in the US as I read Kofsky's well-documented account of how the Cold War started. -Rostam Pourzal - 3/17/03

Iran's parliament to form committee to follow up EC approval
Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi here on Monday called on Majlis deputies to establish a five-member committee to follow up the recent ratification by the Expediency Council to increase the budget of the Guardians Council - 3/17/03

Iran not displaying missiles this time
Iran has brought an advanced amphibious armoured personnel carrier and samples of its latest pilotless aircraft to the international defence show in Abu Dhabi but kept its long-range missiles at home for the first time since the show was launched 10 years ago. -Gulf News, UAE - 3/17/03

France, Russia and Germany reject 24 hour ultimatum
France, Russia and Germany today delivered a defiant response to the 24 hour ultimatum on Iraq laid down yesterday by the US and UK. -Guardian - 3/17/03

Threats fly after Ankara's flight ban
In a sign that exchanges between the Nato allies have degenerated into political threats, the US warned Ankara to abandon plans to send troops into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. -Guardian - 3/17/03

American peace activist killed by army bulldozer
A 23-year-old American woman, Rachel Corrie, a college student from Olympia, Washington who belonged to the International Solidarity Movement in the territories, was killed yesterday by an IDF bulldozer during a house demolition in Rafah. -Ha'aretz, Israel - 3/17/03

Iran and Iraq free PoWs
Under the agreement, 941 Iraqi prisoners of war being held in Iran and 349 Iranians will return to their respective countries. -BBC - 3/17/03

The War of Misinformation Has Begun
All across the Middle East, they are deploying by the thousand. In the deserts of Kuwait, in Amman, in northern Iraq, in Turkey, in Israel and in Baghdad itself. There must be 7,000 journalists and crews "in theatre", as the more jingoistic of them like to say. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 3/17/03

Iran, France ink agreement over "L-90" auto joint venture
The project was expected to produce between 300,000 to 500,000 L-90s in the next Iranian calendar year of 1382 (starting March 21), stressing that the cars would be all LNG-fueled. - 3/17/03

Iranian woman mulls pedaling world
A female Iranian cyclist is planning to make a worldwide tour. Poupeh Mahdavi-Nader will start pedaling as of the first day of new Iranian year (March 21, 2003). - 3/17/03

US-IRAN relarions stand off on Capitol Hill nears climax
With only a few days left before the Iranian New Year, Congressman Tom Lantos re-introduced his resolution, as had been predicted by NIAC on March 8. the goal is to have one of these resolutions pass before the March 21. -NIAC - 3/17/03

Iranian reformers launch challenge
Iran's reformists launched a new challenge to their hardline opponents yesterday, opening parliamentary debate on a bill that would strengthen the powers of the moderate president, Mohammad Khatami. -Financial Times - 3/17/03

Iran's parliament partially raises president's constitutional powers
Majlis, in its final session in the current Iranian year of 1381 (to end on March 20), authorized the president to assign a team of legal and executive experts to supervise, examine and follow up the proper implementation of the Constitution. - 3/17/03

Protests grow in Iran over Expediency Council's direct lawmaking
Over 150 members of parliament on Sunday protested the Expediency Council over taking decision about the budget of the Guardian Council directly, bypassing the parliament - 3/16/03

EU-Iran human rights dialogue creates better awareness on both sides
The second round of a human rights dialogue between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran ended in Brussels Saturday evening on a very promising note, participants said. - 3/16/03

Quakes jolt Khorasan and Fars provinces in Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.3 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale jolted parts of the northeastern city of Ferdows in Khorassan province early Sunday. - 3/16/03

Iraqis in Iran Mark Shiite Holiday
As they reenact battle death of the prophet's grandson, refugees wonder if a war against Hussein will enable them to go home. -Azadeh Moaveni, TIMES - 3/16/03

The Forgotten Power of the General Assembly
For 30 years, America's veto policy in the United Nations has been central to its foreign policy. More than 70 times the United States has shamelessly used its veto in the UN, most recently to crush a Security Council resolution condemning the Israeli killing of the British UN worker Iain Hook in Jenin last December. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 3/16/03

Why Saddam rose - and never fell
Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 on a tide of terror that could have been turned after the invasion of Kuwait. The following years were marked by a long-running game of cat-and-mouse with United Nations inspectors. Meanwhile, Saddam's stockpiles grew... -Guardian - 3/16/03

Asefi: US senators' resolution an interference in Iran's internal affairs
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi recommended the American senators to prevent the US government from practicing unilateralism worldwide and a possible anti-Iraq war, instead of drawing up such drafts. - 3/16/03

New magazine raises the veil on fashion for Iran's women
Lotus, a new quarterly publication, is attempting to do for Iranian women what Vogue tries in vain to do for their Western counterparts: enliven a predominantly black wardrobe with the latest in tailored cuts and bold colours. -Telegraph, UK - 3/16/03

Iranian Women stage antiwar protest in Tehran
Iranian women staged a "no war" sit-in in front of the UN office in Tehran on Sunday to voice opposition to any kind of warmongering policies and support for political solution, rather than war - 3/16/03

Aghajari denounces as 'insult' verdict by Supreme Court
Hashem Aghajari has denounced as an "insult" a recent verdict by the Supreme Court that he should go through a psychological examination, stressing that he would only stand an open trial to defend against the charges - 3/16/03

Iran, Tajikistan to celebrate poet Nasser Khosrow's Millennium
Ode to Spring: Nasser Khosrow's poem celebrating the No-Rooz, the Persian New Year - 3/15/03

Caspian: Pact Eludes Iran, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov apparently failed to secure more gas sales or a Caspian agreement during this week's visit to Iran. Aside from the troubles of concluding accords between the two countries, the event may have been upstaged by the arrival of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. -RFE - 3/15/03

U.S. Campuses Remain Welcoming Environment for International Students
Tighter visa controls, but foreign students are valued, U.S. officials say... In Pakistan and Iran, F, M, and J visa issuance declined 53 and 52 percent respectively from 2001 to 2002. - 3/15/03

US decision to renew sanctions on Iran "stupid, childish": daily
Iranian daily "Tehran Times" on Saturday brushed aside Washington's renewal of sanctions against Iran as "childish" and "stupid," addding that experience shows that US companies themselves are the victims. - 3/15/03

Iranian press focus on acquittal of suspects in fraud case
Iranian press on Saturday was abuzz with reports about the acquittal of three main suspects in a fraud case, including the son of an influential religious figure in the Islamic Republic - 3/15/03

Caspian promises sea of oil
The Caspian ó long known more for caviar than the other "black gold" ó is suddenly moving high on the agenda of nearly every international fuel prospector. The 143,000-square-mile Caspian is the world's biggest inland sea and its second deepest. It is nearly five times the size of Lake Superior. -AP - 3/15/03

Problems persist in Iranian city hit by mustard gas in '87
Hundreds of residents of Sardasht ó a city of 12,000 in northwestern Iran ó still battle breathing problems as a result of exposure to Iraqi sulfur mustard warheads more than 15 years ago, according to a new report by Iranian researchers published in a U.S. medical journal. -Washington Times - 3/15/03

Anti-war protests around the world
Anti-war protesters took to the streets around the globe today, determined to keep the pressure on world leaders as a US-led attack on Iraq looms. -Guardian - 3/15/03

Mid-East peace plan welcomed
The latest moves by the United States to seek an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been broadly welcomed around the world. -BBC - 3/15/03

Ayatollah warns US will repeat its errors
Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim fled Iraq to exile in Iran 23 years ago. He heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and with about 60 per cent of Iraq's population Shiite, Ayatollah al-Hakim's influence is considerable on both sides of the Iran-Iraq border. -Age, Australia - 3/15/03

Secret report throws doubt on democracy hopes
A secret report from the US state department pours cold water on the "domino" theory of democratic change in the Arab world - the idea, promoted by Bush administration hawks, that removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq could set off a flourishing of democracy throughout the region. -Guardian - 3/15/03

Khatami and Karroubi quit arbitrative body's session in protest
President Mohammad Khatami and Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi as well as a member of the parliament walked out of an Expediency Council session here Saturday as the arbitrative body decided to more than double the supervisory Guardians Council's budget. - 3/15/03

Powell: US Concerned About Iran Developing Nuclear Weapons
Secretary of State Colin Powell says revelations in recent days about the extent of Iran's nuclear program vindicate the Bush administration's tough approach toward the Islamic government in Tehran. In congressional testimony Thursday, Mr. Powell also stressed U.S. support for Iranian reformers and their youthful supporters. -VOA - 3/14/03

Minatom Finally Concedes Iran May Have a Nuclear Weapons Programme
Amid ever increasing international concerns about Iran's fledgling nuclear industry ó which has received substantial technical assistance from Moscow ó Russia's atomic energy minister, Alexander Rumyantsev, said he could not say for certain that Teheran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. -Bellona Foundation - 3/14/03

FILM: An Iranian Family, Facing Conflict Within and Beyond
At the beginning of "Under the Skin of the City," Tuba (Golab Adineh), a middle-aged woman who works in a textile mill in Tehran, sits down in front of a documentary film crew to answer some formulaic questions about the pending parliamentary elections. -New York Times - 3/14/03

A full moon in March
Today is Ashourah, the 10th day of Muharram, which is the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Nearly 14 centuries ago, 60 years after the hijrah of the prophet and on a day perhaps like today, the final chapter of the "mother of all tragedies" in the history of Islam was being written. -Al-Ahram, Egypt - 3/14/03

Twelve killed, 17 injured in Iran bus crash
Twelve people were killed and 17 others injured Friday morning after two buses collided head-on on the road which links the northeastern city of Birjand to Zahedan in southeast Iran - 3/14/03

Powell rejects notion that U.S. policy driven by Jewish interests
Secretary of State Colin Powell flatly rejected on Thursday any suggestion that the Bush administration's confrontation with Iraq was engineered by Israel or American Jews. -CNN - 3/14/03

Groups press Washington to lead fight for beluga sturgeon
The Caspian Sea's most famous delicacy, beluga caviar, could disappear from American menus. Conservationists are petitioning the U.S. Food and Wildlife Service to declare the beluga sturgeon, source of the eggs savored by connoisseurs the world over, an endangered species. -Environmental News Network - 3/14/03

Middle-school students join protests against war in Iraq
Ardelan Farhadi, a student whose family comes from Iran, organized the event after learning about it through the Internet. -Townsman, MA - 3/14/03

Gore Speech Reveals Saddam was a Bush Sr. Made Man
In 1992 during the heated campaign for the Whitehouse the mantra for the Clinton/Gore team was ďitís the economy, stupidĒ, but the assault on Bush the elder could just have easily been targeted toward his administrationís duplicity on Iraq. -Repbulicons.org - 3/14/03

Turkey: Court Ruling Over Kurdish Group Could Embarrass Ruling Party
Turkey's Constitutional Court today outlawed the country's largest legal Kurdish party for allegedly threatening national interests. -RFE - 3/14/03

Afghans Long to Step Out of Darkness
Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are among Afghanistan's neighbors that provide electricity for a few hours each day. "For 26 million people, we have 260 MW of power, it's really nothing," said Gholam Hassanzadah, president of Siemens Afghanistan, which has set up office in power-less west Kabul. -Reuters - 3/14/03

Caucasus: Is The EU Neglecting The Region's Strategic Importance?
The states of the South Caucasus lie on the neck of land dividing the Black and Caspian seas. To the immediate south lie Turkey and Iran, with Iraq nearby. To the north lie the Russian North Caucasus republics, a volatile region and home to the entrenched conflict in Chechnya. The broader area of the Caspian contains massive reserves of oil that are still largely untapped. -RFE - 3/14/03

A Kurdish Doctor Struggles
U.N. Sanctions Don't Allow Gas Masks In Iraq, So Residents Must Improvise -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 3/14/03

US and UK in last push for UN backing
Frantic diplomatic talks were continuing at the UN today, with Britain and the US making a final push to win backing for a second security council resolution on Iraq, as the leading proponents of war planned a three-way summit to discuss their position. -Guardian - 3/14/03

Montazeri still not really free
Iran's leading dissident, ailing cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, is still not really free despite his release at the end of January from five years of house arrest, his office said Wednesday. -AFP - 3/14/03

Teheran: Legal Status of the Caspian Sea should be Based on USSR-Iran Treaties
The legal status of the Caspian Sea must be based on the USSR-Iran treaties signed in 1921 and 1940, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti. -Pravda - 3/14/03

Bush extends Iran sanctions for one more year
Because the actions and policies of the Government of Iran continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2003. - 3/14/03

Second round of EU-Iran human rights dialogue begins
The second round of human rights dialogue between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran began in Brussels Friday. - 3/14/03

UN Nuke Chief Finally Tells All About Iran
Nuclear officials in the United States, and even some in Russia, expressed concern about the strides Iran's nuclear programme has made, and have asked the UN's Nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy, or IAEA ó whose chief last month paid a whirlwind visit to a uranium enrichment site in central Iran ó to go back to Iran to take a closer look. -Bellona Foundation - 3/14/03

Iran: Briefing to the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights
Human Rights Watch calls on the Commission on Human Rights to re-establish a Special Procedure to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Iran. The Commission should call upon the Iranian authorities to facilitate visits by thematic Special Procedures and working groups, and make public and time-based commitments to implementing their recommendations. -HRW - 3/13/03

The End of Household Imprisonment of a Religious Leader
Have the leaders of Iran decided to show that they intend to put an end to violation of human rights in the country as the day of American attack on Iraq is approaching and Islamic Republic is threatened by a similar danger? Is Ayatollah Montazeri a serious threat to Ayatollah Khamenei who is sitting in his position as the leader of Islamic Republic? Could the release of an influential and effective dissident who dared to criticize religious despotism while Ayatollah Khomeini was still alive lead to a new movement in Iran... -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 3/13/03

Envoy: Iran To Continue Its Nuclear Power Effort
Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, said his government has no intention of developing nuclear weapons but that it would seek to aggressively develop its nuclear power industry because of fears the United States may persuade foreign suppliers, including Russia, China and Ukraine, to stop shipments of nuclear components to Iran. -Washington Post - 3/13/03

Persian Art Exhibit Opens in Switzerland
He was the "king of this world." The inscription on a polished rock, referring to this title in the ancient wedge-shaped cuneiform writing system, recalls that almost 2,500 years ago Persia was the world's first superpower. -AP - 3/13/03

Iran, Russia issue joint statement
After key talks on the latest developments in the region and in the world, Igor Ivanov of Russia and Kamal Kharrazi of Iran vowed to try to boost strategic ties and adopt similar attitudes as for a wide spectrum of issues including the Iraq crisis. - 3/13/03

EVENT: Contemporary Persian Percussion and Dance by Zarbang Percussion Namah Ensembles
En/trance features the dance of Namah Ensemble and the music of Zarbang Percussion Ensemble who will be making their US debut after years of performing in Europe and Asia. April 11th - April 28th in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, DC. - 3/13/03

Expert terms as "successful" Baku caspian conference
Ghafarzadeh who is also Iran's Coordinator of Caspian Sea Environmental Programs said the meeting participants discussed the next steps to be taken by the Caspian Sea littoral states to protect its environment. - 3/13/03

Iran, Russia determined to continue nuke cooperation
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Romyantsov said Iran and Russia are well determined to continue their nuclear cooperation despite the US pressure on Russia to stop nuke works in Iran - 3/13/03

Iran Needn't Be the Next Iraq
A preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear processing plant would seem highly premature. Yet such a step is probably not ruled out by the Bush administration under its new security doctrine, since Iran has a clear history of supporting terrorist groups. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/13/03

France rejects plan for disarmament tests
In a bid to win over security council waverers, Britain had yesterday put forward six tests by which the UN could judge whether President Saddam is complying with the UN's demand that he disarm. One of the tests requires him to give a televised confession that he has stocks of illegal weapons. -Guardian - 3/13/03

Britain oks export of military items to Iran
Officials said the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has allowed British companies to export components for land-mines and military aircraft to Teheran. The officials termed the components as dual-use. -MENL - 3/13/03

Iran and Iraq 'to free PoWs'
Iran and Iraq have agreed to release all remaining prisoners from the countries' 1980-88 war, Iraq's foreign ministry says. -BBC - 3/13/03

Iran Plays the Waiting Game
It's a remarkable study in Middle Eastern contrasts: as Saddam Hussein scrambles to deceive the West about his illegal weapons, Iran, like the proud father of a precocious child, decides to show the world that it has a new underground uranium-enrichment lab. -New York Times - 3/13/03

Court sentences Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi to 13 months in prison
A Tehran appeals court has sentenced journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi to 13 months in jail for propagating against the Islamic Republic and publishing lies - 3/13/03

Film on architecture of Persepolis produced
The first Iranian film on the internal architecture and structure of the Achamenid palaces and the deployment of military forces during the era has been produced, it was reported by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHO) on Tuesday. - 3/12/03

Iran Atomic Plants Draw Suspicion
Some U.S. officials and nuclear experts believe the nation may have produced fissile material. Tehran opens a facility to reporters. -Azadeh Moaveni, LA Times - 3/12/03

Iran's Judiciary Chief urges recognition of women's rights
Meanwhile, the head of the Majlis Women's Faction, Hamideh Edalat, called for a revision of the laws on divorce, blood money, inheritance and Islamic punishment in so far as they diminish or negate the rights of women. - 3/12/03

4.5 Quake shakes northern Iranian province of Golestan
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook eastern parts of the northern Iranian province of Golestan early Wednesday. - 3/12/03

U.S. requires scientists to give FBI fingerprints
Under the new rules, citizens of Iraq, Iran, North Korea and other countries suspected of supporting terrorism are disqualified from handling about 60 biological agents ranging from smallpox to botulism, a neurotoxin that is routinely used to study nerve pathways. -San Francisco Chronicle - 3/12/03

Whose War?
A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in Americaís interest. -American Conservative - 3/12/03

The Muslim World and the West: The Roots of Conflict
To say that an effective cure of a disease requires a sound diagnosis is to state the obvious. Yet, in the face of the 9/11 plague, and of the scourge of terrorism in general, the Bush administration has utterly failed to shed any light on some of the submerged factors that might have provoked such heinous attacks. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 3/12/03

In Remote Corner of Iraq, an Odd Alliance
Enclave of Militant Kurds and Arabs Tied to Al Qaeda Likely to Be a Target of War -Washington Post - 3/12/03

Short Story: The Fish and its Pair
The man looked at the fish. The fish were at rest and hung behind the glass window. Behind the glass window, they had built a little pond out of rocks with its walls extending backward, fading into a semi dark area. -Ebrahim Golestan - 3/12/03

US may go it alone as Blair is caught in diplomatic deadlock
Washington was forced to admit for the first time last night that it might have to start the war against Iraq without British forces because of the internal political problems heaping up for Tony Blair. -Guardian - 3/12/03

Russia dismisses Iran nuclear fears
"Iran has no plans to produce nuclear military projects, this is a fundamental truth," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov meanwhile told reporters in Tehran. -AFP - 3/12/03

With freedom comes a little shopping, dining for cyclist
Reza Baluchi spent his first 24 hours of freedom buying clothes, dining on kabobs and training for the final leg of his worldwide peace tour...Finally, he wants to tell his story in a book, which will be made into a movie. "And I will be the star," Baluchi concludes, laughing. "I know the role. I can do it." -Arizona Republic - 3/12/03

Russia: Ivanov In Iran Amid Warming Bilateral Ties
Bilateral economic interests are drawing Russia and Iran closer together. And with the United States appearing increasingly likely to go to war against neighboring Iraq, foreign policy interests are as well. -RFE - 3/12/03

Jailed pollster Abbas Abdi threatens to go on hunger strike: press
Abbas Abdi, a leading journalist who is held in connection with a controversial polling which claimed most Iranians favored normal ties with US, has threatened to go on hunger strike if he is transferred to the solitary confinement, the Iranian press on Wednesday cited his daughter Maryam as saying. - 3/12/03

Record rise in Iran's liabilities to western banks
Iran's deposits with western banks rose by over half a billion dollars to dlrs 15bn in the first nine months of last year accompanied by an even greater increase of dlrs 3bn in the country's liabilities. - 3/12/03

The Muslim World and the West: The Roots of Conflict
To say that an effective cure of a disease requires a sound diagnosis is to state the obvious. Yet, in the face of the 9/11 plague, and of the scourge of terrorism in general, the Bush administration has utterly failed to shed any light on some of the submerged factors that might have provoked such heinous attacks. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 3/12/03

Iran puts nuclear reactor on show to counter weapons programme claims
Iran said yesterday it had nothing to hide about its nuclear programme, allowing journalists an unprecedented visit to a nuclear reactor in the southern port of Bushehr. -Guardian - 3/12/03

The Long Roads Home
Two Iranian Films Put Women in the Driver's Seat -Village Voice - 3/12/03

Nowruz Resolution by California's Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante
WHEREAS, I am pleased to commemorate Nowruz, the celebration of the Iranian New year and a time of great joy and festivity signifying rebirth and renewal in a community that is rich in culture and history; and... - 3/12/03

Iran Maintains Its Right to Develop Nuclear Weapons
While maintaining their country is not developing nuclear weapons, Iranians argue strenuously and with rare unanimity that they have a right to such weapons, to balance off Israel's arsenal and as a manifestation of national pride. -Washington Post - 3/11/03

An Iranian Jewel, "Under the Skin Of the City"
It's taken a couple of years to get here, but "Under the Skin of the City" is an Iranian jewel and its director, Rakkhshan Bani-Etemad, is a revelation -- for us, anyway. -indieWIRE - 3/11/03

UN begins probe into Iranian nuclear site
UN inspectors started their first in-depth investigation into Iran's controversial Natanz site on Monday, following accusations by US officials at the weekend that they had failed to keep track of suspected nuclear weapons programmes in both Iran and Iraq. -Financial Times - 3/11/03

The Road to Jerusalem Goes through Baghdad
So who is really behind this unpopular war? Is the impetus behind the war a politically cohesive force? What is the true drive behind the war campaign? What are we to make of the assertions of "bringing democracy to the region?" In the end, will the White House hawks be checkmated by that other superpower -- the world public opinion? -Fareed Marjaee - 3/11/03

Report: History of Iranians on the internet
This report looks at the history of Iranians on the internet and related events from inception to present. (in Persian) -Hooshyar Naraghi - 3/11/03

Iran says U.S. sabotaging its cooperation with IAEA
Iran accused Washington on Monday of sabotaging its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by continuing to raise question marks about the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. -Reuters - 3/11/03

Opec 'to hold' oil output
The oil producers' cartel Opec has reportedly decided to leave its oil production quotas unchanged. -BBC - 3/11/03

Iranian Bicyclist Given Asylum, Released
An Iranian bicyclist arrested when he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during an international ride for peace was released by immigration authorities Monday after being granted asylum. -AP - 3/11/03

US acting like 18th century colonialists - Iran
Iran's supreme clerical leader accused the United States on Tuesday of acting like 18th century colonialists and warned it would become bogged down in a "swamp" if it attacked Iraq, state media reported. -Reuters - 3/11/03

Image 'shows Iranian pilot nuclear plant'
The image of an Iranian nuclear plant, released Monday by a Washington-based nuclear watchdog, shows that Iran is already operating a small pilot centrifuge plant. -UPI - 3/11/03

Afghanistan inaugurates Net country code
Afghanistan, where the Internet was banned during the rule of the Taliban, will formally launch its .af domain for Afghani Web sites and e-mail addresses on Monday, the United Nations said. -Reuters - 3/11/03

Iran diplomat called in bomb row
The Argentine foreign minister has summoned Iran's top diplomat in a growing row over the deadly bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aries in 1994. -BBC - 3/11/03

Turkmen president winds up Tehran visit
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the Turkmen president referred to the common viewpoints of the two countries in most fields and hoped for further broadening of bilateral ties in political, economic and cultural fields. - 3/11/03

Afshari's father to file complaint against Judiciary
Naqi Afshari, father of the jailed student political activist Ali Afshari, has said that he would soon file a complaint with the Majlis Article 90 Commission against the Judiciary, the press reported here on Tuesday. - 3/11/03

Tehran hits back after US barrage of nuclear claims
The Tehran government, reacting to a seemingly co-ordinated barrage of official statements and US media stories over the weekend, said the Bush administration was spreading hatred and instability through "illogical" policies and the distortion of facts. -Independent - 3/11/03

U.S. a No-Show for Start of 1st Global War Crimes Court
The first permanent international court for crimes against humanity will begin its work here Tuesday, but in a reflection of the Bush administration's opposition to the court, no U.S. official is scheduled to be present when the judges take their oaths in a 13th Century hall. -Common Dreams - 3/11/03

White House: Iran Reactors Making Weapons
The White House rejected Iran's contention that its nuclear program is strictly for energy production and repeated the Bush administration charge that Tehran's effort to develop atomic weapons is causing great concern in Washington. -AP - 3/11/03

Iranian, Russian foreign ministers hold first round of talks
Iranian and Russian foreign ministers on Tuesday discussed the process of bilateral relations on political, economic, cultural areas and the regional and international issues. Ivanov arrived in Tehran Monday evening on a three-day visit. - 3/11/03

Iran MPs attack student punishments
More than 120 Iranian MPs have signed an open letter demanding an end to the expulsion and suspension of students involved in November's demonstrations. -BBC - 3/11/03

Book: Answering only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran
As the authors put it: "We had come to Iran to document the true essence of the country's struggle to be both an Islamic state and a genuine republic." And from their arrival in June 1998 until their abrupt and controversial departure in December 2000, Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons, who are husband and wife, seem to have left no stones unturned in reaching their goal! - 3/11/03

Iran's Nuclear Threat
In another worrying development for the Bush administration, Iran moves closer to operation of a facility to enrich uranium -TIME - 3/10/03

The Condition of Jews in Iran
This article will attempt to provide a brief summary of the current condition of Iranian Jewry and attempt to address why there is scant material available to human rights organizations, researchers and students. -Pooya Dayanim - 3/10/03

Argentine Judge Indicts Iranians in Bombing of Jewish Center
The 400-page ruling, by Judge Juan Josť Galeano, made public on Saturday, was the first time that Argentina has formally accused Iran of involvement in the July 18, 1994, blast the deadliest single anti-Semitic incident since World War II. -New York Times - 3/10/03

4.1 Quake shakes capital Tehran
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the capital of Tehran early Sunday. - 3/10/03

US voices Iran nuclear concern
The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, says Iran has a more developed nuclear weapons programme than had previously been thought. -BBC - 3/10/03

Iran's Parliament ratifies outlines of bill to join anti-torture convention
The anti-torture bill that was signed last week by over 100 deputies follows another move by the parliamentarians last May to define various kinds of torture which was later rejected by the supervising Guardians Council (GC). - 3/10/03

Iranian human shields ask to head for holy sites in Iraq: press
A group of Iranian poets and artists intend to head for southern Iraq to create human shields around holy Shiite sites against probable US-led attacks. - 3/10/03

West's failure to donate humanitarian aid threatens catastrophe for millions
With a war against Iraq perhaps days away, the world's richest governments have given the United Nations barely a quarter of the funds its agencies have asked for to deal with the expected humanitarian catastrophe. -Guardian - 3/10/03

Persepolis, Esteqlal win Asian Champions League quarterfinals
Popular soccer sides of Iran, Persepolis and Esteqlal, Sunday won their first matches in the quarterfinals of Asian Champions League. - 3/10/03

Iran-Turkmenistan ties good model for regional states: Khatami
Speaking to reporters in Tehran after welcoming his Turkmen counterpart, President Saparmurat Niyazov, he announced that nine different documents on bilateral cooperation will be signed between the Iranian and Turkmen officials during Niyazov's stay in Tehran. - 3/10/03

Supply fears push oil prices higher
Saudi Arabia, the world's leading oil producer and a key US ally, favours an increase in production to make up for any disruption in Iraqi supplies. But Iran opposes such a move, saying that such a plan implies support for a US attack, even though there is little love lost between Iran and Iraq. -Guardian - 3/10/03

Iranians could be forced home
IRANIANS who fail to make a case for asylum in Australia would be forced to return home under an expected upcoming agreement between the two governments. -Melbourne Herald Sun - 3/10/03

Iran's Future: The Relevant and the Irrelevant?
Mohsen Moshfegh's article, 'Has Reza Phlavi sold out Iran?' written in response to Dr. Pakravan's article, 'Is Pahlavi Pulling a Rajavi?' is a reflection of the prevailing conventional wisdom in America, as well as the mindset of many younger Iranian expatriates. -Kam Zarrabi, California - 3/10/03

Struggle for US-Iran relations heats up on Capitol Hill
Earlier in February, a bipartisan group of House Representatives introduced a Sense of Congress Resolution expressing support for ďthe Iranian people's non-violent struggle for democracy and freedom.Ē The resolution, H.Res. 59 (a reincarnation of last years H.Res 505), was aimed at encouraging the President to pursue a path of dialogue rather than military intervention. -NIAC - 3/10/03

Iran and U.S. Starting a New Dance
Like any good guest, the new British ambassador here (in Tehran) brought a present when he visited the cleric who heads Iran's chief foreign policy agency. It was far more important than a keepsake, flowers or pastry. It was a message. -Azadeh Moaveni, LA Times - 3/10/03

International Women Day in Tehran
International women's day celebration in Tehran was a little different this year. This time it was a series of events, over a period of ten days, by different women groups. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/10/03

Ideological battle to decide Iran's political destiny
While the world focuses on a possible war in Iraq, another confrontation is coming to a head in neighboring Iran, one that will shape that country's political future. -Boston Globe - 3/9/03

Alarm bells ring in Iran
The election results suggest that Mr. Khatami's fears are not exaggerated. The main explanation for the reformers' loss was apathy. Turnout was even lower than the most pessimistic forecasts, reaching only 39 percent nationwide -- vs. 64.4 percent in the last round of municipal elections in 1999 -- and plunging to 10 and 12 percent in Tehran and other major cities. -Japan Times - 3/9/03

Iran's dilemma: a hatred of Iraq, a distrust of the U.S.
"It's America who backed the Iraqis in their war against us, and now all they want to do is collect the weapons they left behind," Zahra Dekami, 32, said. - 3/9/03

125 Iranian MPs serve notice to President for harsh disciplinary action against students
Some 125 members of parliament on Sunday forwarded a notice to President Mohammad Khatami for a series of crackdown against university students by the disciplinary committees of different universities. - 3/9/03

Iranian city of Bojnourd jolted by quake
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the northeastern city of Bojnourd in Khorassan province of Iran early Saturday - 3/9/03

US must wipe away the shame of its past
Last month, the US National Security Archive published on its website a collection of declassified government documents laying out the American embrace of Saddam in 1980-84. The series is introduced with a photograph of Saddam firmly shaking hands with Ronald Reagan's special Middle East envoy, a seasoned Washington veteran named Donald Rumsfeld. -Age, Australia - 3/9/03

Reform With an Islamic Slant
Saudi Pro-Democracy Movement Poses Dilemma for U.S. -Washington Post - 3/9/03

Dissident Journalist Narges Mohammadi Sentenced To Jail
Iran's Revolutionary Court has sentenced Narges Mohammadi, a prominent woman journalist and dissident activist, to a year in prison on charges of harming national security. -RFE - 3/9/03

Iranians wanted for B Aires bomb
An Argentine judge has asked Interpol to arrest four Iranian officials accused of being involved in a deadly bomb attack on a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in 1994. -BBC - 3/8/03

Rafsanjani: in analyzing councils elections' results look for realities
The interim Friday prayer leader of Tehran said, "one of the significant results of the recent councils elections was that the news media affiliated to such oppressor regimes as England and the United States, as well as the anti-revolutionary forces realized that all their efforts have been spent in vain, and the votes of those on whom they have invested so dearly could be counted using the fingers of two hands, while they had counted on gaining millions." - 3/8/03

Just War or Just Us
Just war theory emphasizes the right of sovereign states to defend themselves against attack. Many of its advocates today expand this doctrine to argue that when attack is ďimminent.,Ē preemptive strikes against a potential aggressor are acceptable. -Common Dreams - 3/8/03

Secret Service investigates student
Mohammad Safarpour, a 21-year-old Cheney resident and student at Spokane Falls Community College, says the U.S. Secret Service is accusing him of plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush. Safarpour said he denied those allegations and the idea seemed like a "joke" to him. -Easterner Online - 3/8/03

Britain's role is crucial in next stage of war on terror - Iran
So much attention has been focused on Iraq that most observers have ignored what stares us in the face. When President Bush made his "axis of evil" speech, singling out Iraq, North Korea and Iran, he was not simply looking for good headlines. He was revealing a template for action. -Telegraph, UK - 3/8/03

Aussies told to get out of Mideast
Australians who stay in Iran should avoid government buildings, large gatherings and demonstrations, and should not travel to the Kerman/Bam area or regions bordering Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. -Age, Australia - 3/8/03

Indo-Iranian navies plan war games
Close on the heels of recent bilateral visits, warships from India and Iran will carry out the first ever Joint Naval manoeuvres and exercises in the Arabian sea from Monday. -The Hindu - 3/8/03

NSA, Crypto AG, and the Iraq-Iran Conflict
One of the dirty little secrets of the 1980s is that the U.S. regularly provided Iraq's Saddam Hussein with top-secret communication intercepts by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Consider the evidence. - - 3/8/03

Glaring glory and falling bombs
It seems to me there is a gap building up between me and some Iranians who mostly happen to either live in Iran, or live abroad physically but continue to live mentally in Iran. -Hooman Moradmand, Canada - 3/8/03

China sees Caspian oil as alternative to Mideast
China's state-controlled offshore oil company said Friday that it would buy a $615 million stake in a vast oil field in the Caspian Sea, marking China's boldest move yet to slow its rapidly growing dependence on oil from the politically volatile Gulf. -IHT - 3/8/03

International Federation of Journalists calls for release of jailed journalists in Iran
The Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a statement Friday announced its support for the Association of Iranian Journalists in what is said was "their struggle for press freedom." - 3/8/03

Iranian MPs approve move for free elections
Iran's pro-reform parliament has passed a controversial bill to guarantee free parliamentary elections, a decision that threatens to deepen tensions between the country's reformist and conservative camps. -Financial Times - 3/7/03

Iranian Journalists Denounce Crackdown
Iranian journalists on Thursday denounced the hard-line judiciary's press crackdown that has closed about 90 reformist publications and imprisoned dozens of writers and activists. Around 40 journalists held a protest at Iran's Press Guild Association against the judiciary's moves. -AP - 3/7/03

Total Neutrality: Hajarianís analysis of Iranís strategy in Iraqís Crisis
That why America intends to disarm and change the regime in Iraq and what will be Iraq position in this regard are not our concern in this writing. Here I like to concentrate on probable scenarios that can take place and what may be the most rational position of our country in this regard. -Saiid Hajarian, Teharn - 3/7/03

Khayyam Mania!!!: Hollywood's depiction of the great Persian Poet's life
Persian Poet, humanist philosopher, and mathematician Omar Khayyam is probably the most famed of all Persian Poets in the West, ever since the translation by Victorian-era writer Edward Fitzgerald of a series of Quatrains known as the "Rubaiyaat." -Darius Kadivar - 3/7/03

Shahroudi says Iran's Judiciary in need of reform
Upon assuming to the office, Ayatollah Shahroudi said that he took delivery of the ruins of the Judiciary and promised to restructure the justice system as his number one preference. But, the Judiciary did not undergo a dramatic reform in the past four years since Ayatollah Shahroudi's taking office to guarantee the basic right of every individual. - 3/7/03

Iraq attack very close, says Bush
On the eve of the UN inspector Hans Blix's weapons report to the UN, Mr Bush said that Mr Blix had only one question to answer: "Has the Iraqi regime fully and unconditionally disarmed as required by resolution 1441 or has it not?" -Guardian - 3/7/03

Iran cleric warns post Iraq war crisis in region
Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday U.S. forces presence in the Middle East to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would bring insecurity to the region and oil market. -Reuters - 3/7/03

A con trick for western liberals
The idea that we can invade Iraq to bring democracy and freedom is a confidence trick designed to draw western liberals into providing legitimacy for old-fashioned conquest. We have been here before. -Guardian - 3/7/03

Iran-Backed Militia Seen Moving Into Iraqi Kurdish Zone
The Badr Brigade, an Iraqi Shiite militia sponsored by Iran and pledged to combat President Saddam Hussein's rule, seems to be on the move. -Washington Post - 3/7/03

More Killings in Kurdistan
The murky politics of northern Iraq grow murkier ó and bloodier ó still -TIME - 3/7/03

Muslim Women ó The Untold Story
The world is paying more attention than ever before to Muslim countries. However, the treatment of women in some of these countries has been cause for outright shock. -Globalist - 3/7/03

Nineteen killed, 19 others injured in Iran bus crash
Nineteen people were killed and an equal number of others injured after a truck and a bus collided on the road between this northeastern Iranian city and Sabzevar in the Khorassan province Thursday night. - 3/7/03

Protests over 'flawed' election in Armenia
Tens of thousands of Armenians took to the streets on Thursday to demand the resignation of Robert Kocharian, the country's leader, after presidential elections which international observers said were seriously flawed. -Financial Times - 3/7/03

Low Turnout in Local Election Prompts Concern Among Iranian Reformists
In local elections marked by low turnout, Iranian President Mohammed Khatamiís reformist agenda suffered a serious setback. The results have bolstered the influence of conservative political forces in an ongoing struggle for control over Iranís development agenda. -Camelia Entekhabi-Fard, Eurasianet - 3/7/03

Khatami hopes Iraqi disarmament will set stage for Israel to disarm
"We have a cause for complaint against Saddam's regime and the hearts of the Iranian nation will never become soft with that regime," he said in a function to commemorate a group of Iranian troops, killed during the Iraqi-imposed war of 1980-1988. - 3/7/03

Report: Iraq: the regional fallout
The regional fallout from war on Iraq can best be understood in the context of the contemporary state system. Iraq is not a hermetically sealed box that can be redesigned in isolation from its regional links and relations. Competing interests within and reverberations across the surrounding countries will vastly complicate the prosecution of war and subsequent rebuilding of Iraq. (pdf file) -Royal Institute of International Affairs - 3/7/03

Khatami rejects reform setback, calls for probe into low turnout
Only 20 million out of the 41 million eligible electorate, cast their ballots in the second village and city council elections, which marked the first lackluster showing since Khatami came into power in 1997 on a mandate to boost democracy and establish a civil society. - 3/6/03

Iran-backed forces join those vying for influence in N. Iraq
Prepping for post-Hussein power grab, Shiite soldiers are building a large camp in Kurdish-controlled areas. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/6/03

Britain seeks UN compromise
Reports from the United Nations say Britain is proposing changes to the planned new Security Council resolution it is tabling on Iraq, to allow Saddam Hussein a final opportunity to disarm peacefully. -BBC - 3/6/03

Life Support: Fingerprinting a faith
Suspicion falls on millions of Muslims in America who are nothing like the bin Laden stereotype -Pittsburgh Post Gazette - 3/6/03

Kocharyan Wins Armenian Presidential Poll
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan won a new five-year term in office on Thursday after a run-off poll, but he immediately faced mass protests by opposition supporters who say he cheated. - 3/6/03

Norouz celebrations commission started activities in Afghanistan
The transitional Afghan government's cabinet appointed here on Wednesday a special commission to arrange for the traditional Norouz (New Year) celebrations. The move was the first step taken by President Karzai's cabinet to commemorate Norouz as prestigiously as possible during the current year. - 3/6/03

Most ancient industrial unit unearthed in Behshahr
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHO) announced here on Wednesday that the first industrial unit of Abbasabad Historical Complex in Behshahr was unearthed in recent archeological excavations. - 3/6/03

Tight regulations slash number of U.S. visas
The number of U.S. visas issued in countries that sponsor terrorism has dropped dramatically since Congress passed legislation last year tightening visitation procedures. -Washington Times - 3/6/03

Al Qaeda-Pakistani ties deepen
This week's arrest of Al Qaeda's third-in-command was at once a tremendous coup for Pakistan's oft-maligned government and also a stunning embarrassment. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/6/03

Iran denies harboring bin Laden family
Iran on Wednesday rejected a report that it had been harboring al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's wives and children. -UPI - 3/6/03

Britain's dirty secret
A chemical plant which the US says is a key component in Iraq's chemical warfare arsenal was secretly built by Britain in 1985 behind the backs of the Americans, the Guardian can disclose. -Guardian - 3/6/03

The Fall of Woman
After living an almost androgynous life for a decade and turning to a hermaphrodite (unfortunately without having any of their extraordinary characteristics such as the one the late Soraya, Shah's ex-wife had), the question of "Who am I?" became overwhelming. -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/6/03

Short Story: Yes I confess...
You are totally right. I do not doubt your judgment even a bit. But before making your final decision, I'd like to make a point clear, not as a defense, but for the sake of liberating myself from an agony--the agony of a guilty conscious that all of us suffer from every now and then. -Farideh Kheradmand - 3/6/03

U.S. State Department Fails to Designate Partners as Violators of Religious
The U.S. State Departmentís designation today of countries that deny religious freedom once again failed to single out some of the worldís most egregious violators, Human Rights Watch said today. - 3/6/03

Iranian MP: Plane purchase from France is a 'right step'
The Persian daily Entekhab reported Tuesday that the (four French-build ATR-72) planes each costing about dlrs 17.7 million, were purchased from a European consortium with the aim of expanding the domestic fleet. - 3/6/03

Fate of two key Iranian reform bills in 'serious doubt'
Strong opposition from senior hard-line clerics has cast serious doubt on whether two key reform bills that seek major changes in the ruling establishment will be approved, a top official said Wednesday. -CNN - 3/6/03

Long Live the Truth, Long Live the Box of Sweets
On Wednesday night when I saw President Bush on TV sending this message to Saddam Hussein that 'the Game is over,' and illustrated the military attack on Iraq on a military map, I felt terrified. I felt terrified because it is now twenty four years that I have been waiting for the day to see the Iraqi dictator wretched and desperate. -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 3/6/03

CELEBRATIONS: Discovering the Iranian New Year
On Saturday, Minnesota Children's Museum celebrates Noruz, the Iranian New Year, with Rein's Persian music performances and traditional food, crafts and activities related to the country and its culture. -St. Paul Pioneer Press - 3/5/03

The palace of the end
The first war of the Age of Proliferation will not be an oil-grab so much as an expression of pure power -Guardian - 3/5/03

Letter by Dr. Mojtahed-Zadeh to resident Jacques Chirac regarding France's policy on Iraq
In analyzing your government's policies vis-ŗ-vis the Iraqi Crisis in an address to a meeting of French Iranian academics and intellectuals at Paris University on Saturday 1st March 2003, I admired that part of these policies which rejects US strategy of pre-emptive attack on Iraq for regime change. - 3/5/03

Iranian died 'defending friends'
An asylum seeker was stabbed to death in the street as he helped defend his friends' homes against racist attacks, a court heard on Tuesday. -BBC - 3/5/03

ĎWe Will Resistí
Iraqi Kurds take to the streets in protest over Turkish plans to enter northern Iraq -Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek - 3/5/03

Why US is reacting quietly to N. Korea's provocations
As North Korea ratchets up its "pay attention to me" campaign with the United States, America's Asian partners and some domestic critics express deepening concern that the US is ignoring a brewing crisis. -Christian Science Monitor - 3/5/03

Passions High as Armenians Vote for President
Armenians voted on Wednesday with the choice of either sticking with President Robert Kocharyan or replacing him with opposition leader Stepan Demirchyan, who has already accused his rival of vote-rigging. -Reuters - 3/5/03

Turkish military backs US troops move, warns Kurds
Turkey's powerful armed forces on Wednesday backed a tentative government move to submit a fresh motion to parliament allowing U.S. troops to open a "northern front" against Iraq from Turkey. Ozkok also issued a veiled warning to Iraqi Kurds that Turkey was prepared to intervene in the region to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state. -Financial Times - 3/5/03

Iran to be the center of international power politics in region: Rezaei
"There are enormous developments taking place all around the Islamic Republic of Iran which would probably lead to its being the center of international power politics in the region within the next twenty years," said Expediency Council secretary Mohsen Rezaei. - 3/5/03

Iranian Intervention Could Complicate U.S. Plans in Iraq
In a development that could complicate Washington's war plans, Iranian-backed fighters opposed to Saddam Hussein's regime are quietly constructing a camp inside Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq. -ABC News - 3/5/03

Iraqi Shi'ite opposition to meet Thursday in Iran
Opposition leaders of Iraq's majority Shi'ite population will meet in Iran on Thursday to discuss their role in Iraq if President Saddam Hussein is overthrown, a Shi'ite leader said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 3/5/03

Another 8 billion dollars to be invested in Iran's South Pars gas field next year
Also, Iran, Japan have yet to reach agreement on Azadegan oil field deal. - 3/5/03

Interview: Iran ready to give Production Sharing Agreements
Many key decisions for the future of Iranís oil and gas industry and foreign contracts are made in the Majlis Energy Commission (MEC). Iran Energy Focus (IEF) interviews MEC Chairman Hossein Afarideh to shed light on what this important body thinks about key issues of concern to international oil companies. - 3/5/03

Iranian journalists to hold protest sit-in against "pressures"
Cinema writers and film critics Saeed Mostaghasi, Kambiz Kaheh, Amir Ezzati, Mohammad Abdi and Sepideh Abr-Aviz were reportedly arrested last week on yet unspecified charges. On Wednesday, a film critic denounced the arrests and described them as "suspicious confrontations". - 3/5/03

A beautiful day in Tehran, topped with Parviz Tanavoli's exhibition at Modern Art Museum (photos)
There are rare days that Tehran looks so lovely and beautiful that one can forgive all its shortcomings in one go. Last Thursday was on those days. The sky was truly blue and vividly bright all day. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/4/03

Iran reformists put brave face on electoral defeat
Iran's reformists on Monday put a brave face on their worst electoral defeat for six years, arguing the low turnout which played a decisive factor in the local council vote was a warning to the entire Islamic system. -CNN - 3/4/03

Iran election 'an alarm bell'
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has appealed against voter apathy after his reformist allies suffered their worst electoral defeat in six years. -BBC - 3/4/03

Author: U.S. action abroad has a price
A "genuinely humble approach" to American foreign policy should replace widespread U.S. intervention abroad, according to Doug Bandow, author and senior fellow at the Cato Institute. -Dartmouth Online, NH - 3/4/03

Women say mutual respect is part of Islam culture
A group of Muslim women sought to dispel stereotypes about their religion and culture at a forum in the Memorial Union Monday. "There is no male and female," said Marjan Mokhtarian, a graduate student from Iran. "Everything is the same." -Iowa State Daily - 3/4/03

Iranian-Based Militias Deploying in Kurdish Iraq, Complicating Volatile Mix in Region
The fighters say they are Iraqi patriots who came to Kurdish northern Iraq to fight off foreign invaders ó but the green telephone at their camp has a sticker identifying it as the property of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. -Washington Post - 3/4/03

US condemns deadly Gaza raid
Eight Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed during an Israeli onslaught in a refugee camp at Bureij, in central Gaza, on Monday, the second raid in as many days. -BBC - 3/4/03

Russian foreign minister to visit Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will arrive in Tehran in late March for high level discussions with Iranian officials. - 3/4/03

Release Of Five Iranian Jews Clouded
The release from prison of five Iranian Jews last week was due not to a change of heart by the regime in Tehran but to a political calculation that Iran's international image needs burnishing, observers say. -Jewish Times - 3/4/03

Iran Uranium Facility Seen Onstream in Few Weeks
Iran expects to bring onstream in the next few weeks a uranium processing plant which Washington fears could be part of a secret program to develop nuclear weapons, newspapers reported on Tuesday. -Reuters - 3/4/03

Right take centre stage
Brian Whitaker looks at the influence of rightwing theorists on US policy in the Middle East -Guardian - 3/4/03

Confab on Iranian children's literature held at London University
Various aspects of Iranian children's literature were examined at a two-day special conference, which opened in London University on Saturday. - 3/4/03

Reformers: Iranians Losing Faith in Vote
Sparse voter turnout in major cities showed Iranians were losing belief in the ballot, reformers who were defeated in last week's local elections said Monday. -AP - 3/4/03

Upcoming "Swords and Sandals" films set in or involving Ancient Persia
A number of Film projects and a TV series are currently being developed in Hollywood Studios involving prestigious names as Leonardo Di Caprio, Nicole Kidman or Mel Gibson. -Darius Kadivar - 3/3/03

Is It Racist To Ban "Dangerous" Weapons Only?
I can't help it. Every time Washington accuses a Third World leader of being "dangerous," I am reminded that defiant slaves were lynched in the United States for posing a threat to freedom. I admit I am biased because I grew up in a US-backed dictatorship and witnessed brutality perpetrated in the name of civilized values. -Rostam Pourzal - 3/3/03

Iranians arrested for net dating
Dozens of young Iranians have been detained for "unlawful actions" after using a website to arrange dates, officials say. -BBC - 3/3/03

Iran's President welcomes results of municipal elections
"When the people become disappointed with democracy, there remains no alternative rather than dictatorship," the president said warning the people not to withhold support for his reform program. - 3/3/03

An Iranian-Backed Brigade Sets Up Camp in Northern Iraq
Advance elements of the Badr Brigade, an Iranian-backed militia that includes many deserters from Iraq's army, are building a new military encampment in northern Iraq, and preparing to move several thousand fighters into the area, according to local Kurdish officials familiar with the deployment and a visit to the camp. -New York Times - 3/3/03

Mohammad Reza Khatami rejects report on resignation from head of mainstream Islamic Iran Participation Front party
He also warned of grave "consequences" of the low turnout for the Islamic Republic, although he did not specify them. "In the future, we should anticipate the consequences of this sharp turnout decline to pop up somewhere else. In that case, not only a certain tendency, but the whole political tendencies will be harmed," Khatami said. - 3/3/03

Tavakkol says US has lost face in FILA
Mohammad Tavakkol who is also a member of FILA Board of Directors added the fingerprinting of wrestlers in the United States is in sharp contrast to the charter, rules, and objectives of the International Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation and FILA rejects it. - 3/3/03

Iran Media Watch: No overtures to Bush
The pattern of statements by Iranian leaders as well as subjects highlighted in Iran's press continues to suggest a hardening of both national policy and popular sentiment against the United States as the likelihood of a U.S. military strike against neighboring Iraq comes ever closer. -UPI - 3/3/03

Iran's Qaem-Maqami stands second in Asian chess challenge
Iran's sole chess grandmaster Ehsan Qaem-Maqami stood second in the Asian men's event ended in Doha, capital of Qatar, on Sunday. - 3/3/03

US reassures Iraq opposition on Turkey
Iraqi opposition leaders, gathered in the northern Iraqi Kurdish summer resort of Salahuddin in a four-day meeting that ended late on Saturday, had hoped to focus largely on preparations to fill the vacuum after the anticipated impending overthrow of Saddam Hussein. -BBC - 3/3/03

Allies bomb key Iraqi targets
Britain and the United States have all but fired the first shots of the second Gulf war by dramatically extending the range of targets in the "no-fly zones" over Iraq to soften up the country for an allied ground invasion. -Guardian - 3/3/03

American Billions Keep Arab Regimes Sweet
US forces control half of Kuwait; they are in Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and in Jordan. Every one of these countries will be called an "ally" if Ė when Ė the Americans storm over the border into Iraq. So will Turkey. So, probably, will Egypt. And so, of course, will Israel. -Robert Fisk, Independent - 3/3/03

Iran enjoys highest economic growth rate in Middle East
Referring to the statistics released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on the status of the major economic indices, he noted, "The national growth rate for the current Iranian year (started March 21) is estimated at 6.5 percent, which is higher than that predicted in the Third Development Plan." - 3/3/03

Caspian: Energy Still A Hot Topic In The Region
Signs of accord and discord were on display in the Caspian region this week as a major gas project won approval while shoreline countries continued their struggle over questions of control. -Eurasianet - 3/3/03

Iran foreign debt put at dlrs 23.4 billion
Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for Economic Affairs Akbar Kimjani said here Sunday that Iran's foreign debt, excluding interests due, stands at dlrs 23.438 billion by the end of the Iranian month of Dey (December 22-January 20). - 3/3/03

Hard-Liners Victorious in Tehran, Dealing Reformers a Blow
The victory of the hard-liners in Tehran will enable them to take control of the municipality's influential newspaper, Hamshahri, or Citizen. They may also impose restrictions on the cultural centers, parks and movie theaters that were built by their liberal predecessors. -New York Times - 3/3/03

Iranian reformers engulfed by fundamentalist election landslide
The conservative daily Kayhan called the result a "resounding victory of the fundamentalists" and said citizens had "turned their back on the reformists". But analysts said the low turnout reflected growing public anger at sluggish reform since Mr Khatami was elected five years ago. -AP - 3/3/03

Web watched
The Iranian internet's days as a home of unrestricted information could be numbered -Guardian - 3/3/03

Tehran: Life amidst Fire
In the evening news program of Iranian TV films of extensive demonstrations held in Europe in protest against American military attack on Iraq and magnification of anti-American slogans are shown. But Tehran is the only capital where the young people do not show any interest in protesting against such a military attack. -Masoud Behnoud, Tehran - 3/3/03

Election loss clips Khatami's wings
Leaders of the reformist camp have blamed low turn-out for their shocking defeat. In the capital, Tehran, almost 90% of the electorate stayed away. -BBC - 3/3/03

Iran reformers suffer poll blow
Local elections in Iran have delivered a major boost to Islamic conservatives in the country, initial results show. -BBC - 3/2/03

Iran's Parliament approves urgency of bill on referendum procedures
The single urgency bill had been prepared by 25 deputies who maintained that Majlis bylaws are ambiguous on requests by parliamentarians or the president to hold a referendum, as is highlighted by Article 59 of the Constitution. - 3/2/03

Iran's push for atom energy raises a few eyebrows in US
For now, nuclear analysts, US intelligence, and the Bush administration are awaiting a fuller report from ElBaradei, the first official from outside Iran to see the Natanz uranium conversion facility. ElBaradei typically reports such visits in detail to the International Atomic Energy Agency board. -Boston Globe - 3/2/03

Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war
Secret document details American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members -Guardian - 3/2/03

Al-Qaida tied to Iran intelligence, military
Al-Qaida had extensive contacts with Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, as well as with an elite military unit which helped the terrorists train and plot attacks against Americans, according to a former intelligence officer who recently fled Iran. -WorldNetDaily - 3/2/03

FILA's Iranian official refuses to attend wrestling championship in US
In February, Head of Iran Wrestling Federation Mohammad Reza Taleqani said that if the US government insists on fingerprinting the Iranian Free style National Team upon their arrival in the US, "then the team will not be sent to take part in 2003 World Freestyle Wrestling Championship." - 3/2/03

An Idea for a reality TV show
I wish, just for a change, there would be a sports arena where politicians fight to death with one another gladiator-style and people were left to live their lives. - 3/2/03

Iran urges inspectors be given more time in Iraq
An Iranian Foreign Ministry official warned on Sunday any U.S.-led war against Iraq would only destabilise the region and said U.N. weapons inspectors should be given more time to disarm Iraq. -Reuters - 3/2/03

Daily blames social and economic conditions for pernicious brain drain
ēŃ of the toal 276 scientific olympiad prodigies in Iran have left the country to pursue their education overseas," 'Iran News' said. "A detailed glance reveals that 18 of these individuals were gold medeal winners in international olympiads with 30 silver and another 23 bronze medal winners," it added. - 3/2/03

Rezazadeh: World medalists merit `Champion of Champions' title
Rezazadeh burst spectacularly onto the international scene at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a superhuman lift to defeat two legends of the sport on the way to gold and the title of the `world's strongest man'. - 3/2/03

Iran reformists accept defeat
Iran's political reformers accepted on Sunday that they had been crushed by conservative opponents in local council elections as Iranians vented their anger at the slow pace of change. Turnout in the capital was around 10 percent, although it was much higher in other parts of the country. -CNN - 3/2/03

Caspian: Energy Still A Hot Topic In The Region
Signs of accord and discord were on display in the Caspian region this week as a major gas project won approval while shoreline countries continued their struggle over questions of control. -RFE - 3/1/03

US Officials, Analysts Concerned by Russian Involvement in Iranian Nuclear Program
U.S. officials and military analysts say Iran may be accelerating its efforts to establish a nuclear weapons program and are concerned about Russia's involvement. Analysts say Russia's transfer of nuclear technology to Iran could jeopardize the relationship between Moscow and Washington. -VOA - 3/1/03

Treated Like a Criminal
How the INS Stole Three Days of My Life -Behrooz Arshadi, The Progressive - 3/1/03

Reformers under pressure in Iranian elections
Reformers allied with the Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, faced a test of their popular strength yesterday in local elections. With Mr Khatami heading for a possible showdown with conservative clerics, a poor showing by his supporters could undermine his attempts to introduce reforms. -Guardian - 3/1/03

Analysis: Nuclear Inspections Complete Visit Of Two New Nuclear Facilities In Iran
UN nuclear inspectors have now completed initial visits to two new nuclear facilities in Iran. Until recently, Iran did not acknowledge the existence of these facilities. The US says that they could give Iran the capacity to build nuclear weapons; Iran insists they're for the production of nuclear energy. -NPR - 3/1/03

Iraq starts destroying banned missiles
Iraqi technicians have begun destroying four of its al-Samoud II missiles after agreeing a schedule for their destruction with United Nations weapons inspectors. -BBC - 3/1/03

The changing role of Iran's prisoners of conscience
Since he was first elected in 1997, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has introduced new terms and concepts to the Iranian political lexicon. Among these are tolerance of opponents, patience and calm when facing problems and difficulties, and morality and humanity in the face of immoral and inhumane behavior. -Ali Nourizadeh, Daily Star - 3/1/03

Scientists plan Iraqi wetland project
A group of scientists are laying the groundwork for restoring a huge wetland systematically destroyed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein should U.S. troops successfully invade Iraq. The project is called "Eden Again" because of the belief by many biblical scholars the Bible's "Garden of Eden" was located in the region. -UPI - 3/1/03

UN: Report Focuses Concern On Central Asian Drug-Smuggling Route
The independent United Nations body that monitors the global drug situation says in a new report that the illicit drug trade keeps many people in developing countries trapped in poverty while destroying the fabric of society. -RFE - 3/1/03

Hardliners set to sweep Iran poll
Conservative candidates have taken a massive lead over reformists in Iranian local elections, according to early results. In Tehran, conservatives were poised to take 14 of the council's 15 seats, news agencies reported. Officials said as few as 25% of voters turned out in Tehran, while in villages and small towns turnout was as high as 95%. -BBC - 3/1/03

United Arab Emirates propose Saddam exile
The United Arab Emirates on Saturday made a dramatic intervention at the Arab summit on Iraq suggesting in a letter that Arabs adopt an initiative calling on the Iraqi leadership to step down. -Financial Times - 3/1/03

Afghanistan urges Iran to speed up projects
Afghanistan sent a high-level delegation to Iran on Saturday to urge its neighbour to accelerate work on several re-construction projects Tehran has undertaken in the war-ravaged country. -Reuters - 3/1/03

Summit of Iraq's Splintered Opposition Ends in Confusion
A conference of U.S.-backed Iraqi groups opposed to President Saddam Hussein's government limped to a close today with confusion over who should be on a new opposition leadership committee and what it should do in the buildup to a widely expected U.S. attack to end Hussein's three-decade rule. -Washington Post - 3/1/03

Buy Iranian so as to boost economy, says daily
`Tehran Times' on Saturday urged Iranians to patronize Iranian products in order to boost the country's economy. However, all the blame cannot be pinned on our countrymen. There are, indeed, local goods that are inferior to foreign ones, the daily admitted. - 3/1/03

Liberal Dissidents on Ballots in Iran
Polls closed late Friday after they were extended six hours to let more people vote. Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Mobaleq told Iran's official news agency that an estimated 70 percent of the country's 41 million eligible voters turned out. -AP - 3/1/03

Iranian woman scientist awarded by UNESCO
An Iranian female scientist, Shiva Seyed Forootan, was awarded a United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) fellowship on Friday. - 3/1/03

Iran's liquidity up by 28.8 pc last year
Iran's liquidity in the calendar year of 1380 (2001-2002) rose by 28.8 percent to rls 320.957 trillion mainly due to government's debts to national banks and credit institutions, according to a report, released by the Central Bank of Iran. - 3/1/03

War offers Iran ticket off axis of evil
Thirteen months after President Bush called Iran part of an Āgaxis of evil,Āh and on the eve of a possible U.S.-led war against TehranĀfs similarly vilified neighbor, Iraq, the Iranian government has quietly weighed its reputation as an international pariah against AmericaĀfs superpower might. -MSNBC - 3/1/03
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