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Iran: Ethnic Politics Out Of Bounds
Iran's population of some 69 million people is ethnically and religiously diverse. But successive Iranian governments, whether theocratic or monarchic, have stressed the Persian nature of the state and tried to eliminate minority interests by emphasizing linguistic, religious, and cultural unity. It is noteworthy, therefore, that candidates campaigning before the 17 June presidential election are pandering to minority groups. -RFE - 3/31/05

Iranian President Appeals for Saving Naghsh-e Jahan
The Iranian President, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, once again appealed for a solution to the problem that Jahan Nama building is causing the world heritage site of Naghsh-e Jahan Square of Isfahan, emphasizing the need for cooperation of Iranian officials. -CHN - 3/31/05

Kazemi was tortured, Iranian doctor says
Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi showed signs of being savagely beaten when she was brought to a Tehran hospital in 2003, said an emergency room doctor on duty at the time. -CBC - 3/31/05

Iranian Dissidents Asking Aid from Bush
Ghassem Sholeh Sadi, an Iranian dissident, says he wants President Bush to clearly state that America "respects and would welcome" a new elected leadership of Iran if a movement to change the regime through nonviolent action succeeds. -New York Sun - 3/31/05

Iran becomes major aluminum producer in region with 180,000 tons output
Iran's output of aluminum ingot of about 180,000 tons last year turned it into a major producer of the metal in the region. - 3/31/05

Crisis in Lebanon Tests U.S. 'Mideast Democracy' Policy
On the face of it, the United States appeared to have gotten its wish at the United Nations yesterday. That's when the government of Syria told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Damascus will withdraw all its forces from Lebanon before elections are held there in May. But analysts say the reality on the ground in Lebanon is not so simple. -RFE - 3/31/05

N Korea football violence erupts
"The atmosphere on the pitch and outside the pitch was not a sports atmosphere," Iran's coach Branko Ivankovic was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. -BBC - 3/31/05

Photo: Municipality Building in Rasht, Iran
The municipality building of Rasht is among cultural and historical sites of this northern province. - 3/31/05

An Improbable War and Turkey's New Opportunities
"We want dialogue with the U.S., not war," says Turkish author Burak Turna. "We have written this book to prevent a war." -Antiwar.com - 3/31/05

Nation-building, once scorned, is embraced
Bush administration ramps up postwar rebuilding efforts after hard lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. -CSM - 3/31/05

Condi's Pitch for a "Different Kind" of Middle East
"We are going to build a different kind of Middle East, a different kind of broader Middle East that is going to be stable and democratic and where our children will one day not have to be worried about the kind of ideologies of hatred that led those people to fly those planes into those buildings on Sept. 11." -CounterPunch - 3/31/05

Provoking Iran: It's Newton's Law of Threat and Response
According to a report by the Associated Press, U.S. officials are "concerned" that Iran is reportedly buying and stockpiling high-tech small arms weapons as well as heavier equipment such as tanks, cruise missiles, etc. Well duh! -CounterPunch - 3/31/05

US Dismisses Iranian Media Tour of Nuclear Plant as 'Theatrical'
The United States Wednesday dismissed as theatrical Iran's media tour of its Natanz nuclear facility. The State Department said if Iran wants to put to rest concerns about its nuclear intentions, it should fully cooperate with U.N. inspectors and European negotiators. -VOA - 3/31/05

Sleepwalking to Disaster in Iran
Truth to be told, there is no American military strike on the agenda; that is, until June 2005. It was curious that no one in the American media took it upon themselves to confront the President or his Secretary of State about the June 2005 date, or for that matter the October 2004 review by the President of military plans to attack Iran in June 2005. -Common Dreams - 3/31/05

Behind diplomacy, Iran sees a fight coming
As concerns mount over its nuclear program, fear of a US strike is spurring Iran to strengthen its defenses. -CSM - 3/31/05

Hercules of Kermanshah Finds a Moulage Head
The Hercules statue of Kermanshah, one of its important cultural heritage dating back to 2000 years ago, has found a new moulage head after several years. The original head of the statue is kept in store after being stolen and damaged several times. -CHN - 3/31/05

Art in winter in Tehran
Elahe gallery is a very nice spacious gallery which can give artists a chance to stage many different art forms there. This was definitely true for Shahnaz Zehtab's recent show of her Installations and Paintings which made a very good use of this possibility. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/30/05

Iran gas line be materialized without further delay: Pak expert
The expert, who is leaving for India to attend a conference on gas on April 7, said that Iran's Pars gas field, one of the largest in the world, would meet the growing energy needs of India and Pakistan for a long time. - 3/30/05

EU welcomes release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
The European Union welcomed Wednesday the decree signed on March 20 by President Elham Aliyev of Azerbaijan pardoning prisoners, 53 of whom were designated 'political prisoners' by the Council of Europe. - 3/30/05

Egyptian belly dance 'in crisis'
Exponents of the art of belly dancing - a unique element of Egypt's national cultural heritage - believe it is undergoing a crisis and is in danger of being driven underground. - 3/30/05

Revelations from an Insider
The sound of Daniel Ellsberg's voice could falsely identify him as a softy. It's delicate and cottony, but the Pentagon insider-turned-peace activist has wit cut sharp as a razor and insight that hasn't faded with age. -Common Dreams - 3/30/05

Needed: An Honest Intelligence Estimate on Iran
Hats off to journalist Dafna Linzer and Sunday’s Washington Post for exposing a familiar but fallacious syllogism favored by senior Bush administration officials: Iran has a lot of oil; Ergo, Iran does not need nuclear energy for civil purposes; Ergo, Iran’s nuclear development program must be for weapons. -Common Dreams - 3/30/05

Bush to accept advice on intelligence
President George W. Bush was to announce Thursday that the administration will accept many of the recommendations of a commission examining American intelligence failures in detecting illicit weapons abroad. -IHT - 3/30/05

Poll: Iran not a nuclear threat
Almost six out of 10 adults in Britain, France and Germany say that Iran does not pose a nuclear threat to Europe, according to the findings of a new CNN/TIME poll. - 3/30/05

Iran opens secret nuclear plant
Journalists have been allowed to accompany Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on his first official visit to the Natanz nuclear facility. - 3/30/05

Iranian President inspects Uranium Processing Plant in Isfahan
At Isfahan Processing Plant, known as UCF, hexafluoride uranium (UF6) is produced, which is then transferred to Natanz Complex to be enriched. - 3/30/05

Iran shatters North Korea dream as Japan defeats Bahrain
Iran struck two in Kim Il-Sung Stadium in Pyongyang to hand North Korea its third consecutive loss and Mohamed Ahmed Salmeen's own goal helped the home team Japan leapfrog Bahrain in 2006 World Cup Asian zone Group 2 qualifiers Wednesday. - 3/30/05

A Con Job by Pakistan's Pal, George Bush
The announcement Friday that the United States is authorizing the sale to Pakistan of F-16 fighter jets capable of delivering nuclear warheads -- and thereby escalating the region's nuclear arms race -- is the latest example of how the most important issue on the planet is being bungled by the Bush administration. -Los Angeles Times - 3/30/05

Postcard from Iran
“If the Americans succeed in referring Iran’s case to the Security Council, Iran will immediately suspend all its voluntary confidence-building measures,” Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani warned at the International Conference on Nuclear Technology and Sustainable Development held in Tehran from 5-6 March 2005. -Nuclear Engineering - 3/29/05

Khatami visits Elderly and Disabled House of Kahrizak in Tehran
Upon arrival at the center, the Iranian president was warmly welcomed by several disabled and elderly being lodged in the center. - 3/29/05

Women write about the Iran they know
Women of Iranian descent don't want us to believe everything we see on TV, and they are taking to the bookshelves to make sure we don't. -USA Today - 3/29/05

Love, revolution, and leaving Iran
‘Even After All This Time’ chronicles one family’s turmoil during the Iranian Revolution -MSNBC - 3/29/05

Iran should do more to win greater share in tourist income in 2010
According to the world Ecotourism Organization, Iran, a country with high tourism potential and attractions, can have a share of dlrs 12 billion in the global tourism revenues by 2010. Iran, which ranks seventh worldwide in terms of tourist attractions, can earn dlrs 180 million from tourism this year. - 3/29/05

Woman MP Wants to Run for President in Iran
A female lawmaker said on Tuesday she wanted to stand in Iran's presidential elections in June, despite the fact no woman has ever been allowed to run for president in the Islamic state. -Reuters - 3/29/05

Iran Air launches direct Tabriz-Baku flight
Iran's flag carrier, Iran Air, on Monday launched its first direct flight from this northwestern Iranian city to Baku, the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. - 3/29/05

Attraction of foreign, private investment vital for Iran
Economists and economic and financial planners believe that the government's fourth five-year economic, social and cultural development plan (2005-10) would be a major challenge and hard to attain targets in the coming years. - 3/29/05

Japan for expansion of all-out relations with Iran
Visiting Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari conferred here Tuesday with Japan's Minister of Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa on expansion of mutual cooperation. - 3/29/05

Iraq closes border checkpoint with Iran without notice
Iraqi border guards closed Monday 'Shalamcheh' border checkpoint, 16 Km west of Persian Gulf city of Khorramshahr, to prevent entry of Iranian pilgrims, on the eve of an important Shia holy day. - 3/29/05

Female students in fear as Shias push for headscarves
Female students strolled in the balmy spring afternoon through the grounds of the humanities faculty at Baghdad University yesterday oblivious to the watching man in black. -Guardian - 3/29/05

Churches in Iran Expanding Rapidly, says VOM Spokesman
Iran has become increasingly open to evangelical Christians and for the time being, Evangelicals have unique opportunities in the Middle East nation. -Christian Post - 3/29/05

Kyrgyz Developments Worry Iran, But Unlikely To Have Lasting Impact
Tehran has worked hard in recent years to strengthen its relationship with the Akaev government, but the Iranian government cannot be expected to openly protest the democratic aspirations of the Kyrgyz people. Nevertheless, some Iranian officials have attributed the events in the Central Asian republic to the United States, which reflects their concern about the large U.S. presence in the region. -RFE - 3/29/05

CIA shutters spy ring against Iran
In its scramble to marshal resources for gathering intelligence on al-Qaida and Iraq, the CIA shut down a spy ring it was operating in South America that provided a rare glimpse into the activities of Iranian militants and intelligence networks, according to a former agency official involved in the operation. -LA Times - 3/28/05

13th Century Persian Literary Masterpiece in English: An Interview with Richard Jeffrey Newman
Saadi’s "Golestan", one of the best-loved masterpieces of Persian literature has been newly translated into English by Richard Jeffery Newman. The 168-page new translation has been published by Global Scholarly Publications in association with the International Society for Iranian Culture, both of which are based in the United States. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 3/28/05

French and German Experts to Study D.N.A. of the Burnt City Citizens
French and German scientists are to help study D.N.A. of the skeletons found in the 5000-year-old site of Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan, uncovering secrets about the ancient people living in the area. - 3/28/05

Conference on Iran's foreign policy in Durham, England
Academics from several countries gathered in the north-east English city of Durham Monday for a two day conference on Iran's Foreign Policy since the Islamic Revolution. - 3/28/05

Transition
This can be the last piece that appears at Roya’s Corner, as Roya is going through a transition of perhaps making a distinction between Dream (roya in Persian) and Reality, finally after nearly half century of life. -Roya Monajem - 3/28/05

On Iran and Korea, few options
The next steps may focus on the two countries' fear of further isolation and economic hardship by seeking resolutions of condemnation or threatening sanctions through the United Nations Security Council. -IHT - 3/28/05

India to resume talks for Iranian pipeline
India said Monday that it would resume talks with Pakistan about building a natural gas pipeline from Iran, resisting U.S. opposition. -Bloomberg - 3/28/05

Varahram Zoroastrians temple in Yazd, central Iran, is a tourists attraction
Zoroastrians temple in the city of Yazd in central Iran known as Varahram Temple is one of the historical and tourists attractions of Yazd province. - 3/28/05

Iranian delegation arrives in China
The volume of Iran-China trade exchange stood at 7 billion dollars in 2004 and is expected to hit 10 billion dollars by the end the 2005 - 3/28/05

Two bombs explode on railway track linking Pakistan and Iran
Pakistani railway officials said on Monday that two bombs exploded on the railway line in the southwestern province of Baluchistan which links Pakistan and Iran, reports said. - 3/28/05

Local Iranians call for U.S. restraint
Despite their intrigue with American life and culture, Iranians do not want a Western-style democracy imposed on them by the United States, Siahpoosha said. Iranians yearn for more freedom, but they want reform in their own time and by their own doing. -Journal News, NY - 3/28/05

Works of Golnaz Ghadiri at Abtin gallery and Nina Rahshenas at Golestan gallery
A few weeks ago I was walking with a friend along north Valiassar Avenue. Before reaching Modaress-Chamran expressway, we dropped by at Abtin gallery which is located in a little alley. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/28/05

UNESCO Director-General Worried about Isfahan Naghsh-e Jahan
UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, who is in Isfahan, has expressed his concern over the fate of the world-famous square of Naghsh-e Jahan which is endangered by the construction of Jahan Nama building in its vicinities. -CHN - 3/27/05

Rafsanjani's possible return creates a buzz in Tehran
Akbar was intelligent, and naughty, always trying to be in charge although he wasn't the eldest,” says Taiyebeh Hashemi-Bahramani, 76, pulling her floral chador across her smile. “He was always ambitious, but he was popular, and we were sad when he left.” -Financial Times - 3/27/05

Isfahan Prosecutor Attorney Rules Jahan Nama Construction to Stop
The prosecutor attorney of Isfahan ruled for the construction of the Jahan Nama building in the vicinities of the historical square of Naghsh-e Jahan to stop until the final verdict is reached by the court. -CHN - 3/27/05

Mir-e Norouzi, the Protagonist of the Norouz Play
story of Mir-e Norouzi, a temporary ruler who comes to throne during the 13-day holiday of Norouz, is one of the few stories with the spirit of these holidays taking the form of a dramatic art. -CHN - 3/27/05

New Canadian envoy to Iran submits credentials to President Khatami
In the meeting, President Khatami said that maintaining the two countries' relations at a satisfactory level is not only of great importance for both sides, but also for the whole region and the world peace and stability. - 3/27/05

Soccer: Celebration turns deadly in Tehran
The fullest range of human emotions, from triumphalism to national humiliation, are inevitably stirred when 80 countries around the globe compete over a weekend for places in the 2006 World Cup. -IHT - 3/27/05

U.S.: Man sent cash to Iran
A Lincolnwood man illegally funneled more than $3 million to Iran over a four-year period in violation of U.S. trade sanctions, federal authorities said. -AP - 3/27/05

Camels, computers, cars and more smuggled across Iraqi borders
ZOWER CHUM, on the Iran-Iraq Border With a Kalashnikov rifle slung over one shoulder, Kadhum Mahmoud took a few brisk steps on the snow-packed earth and crossed from Iraq into Iran. -IHT - 3/27/05

Iran's FM Spokesman: US should stop fanning distrust, sowing suspicion
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid- Reza Asefi said Sunday that US should stop fanning distrust, spreading suspision and continuing to raise excuses against peaceful use of nuclear energy. - 3/27/05

Past Arguments Don't Square With Current Iran Policy
Lacking direct evidence, Bush administration officials argue that Iran's nuclear program must be a cover for bomb-making. Vice President Cheney recently said, "They're already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why they need nuclear as well to generate energy." -Washington Post - 3/27/05

One-Way Planet
At breakfast a couple of weeks back, having made my way through the sports section and chomping on the last of a morning bagel, I picked up the front-page of my hometown paper and a headline caught my eye -- Data Lacking on Iran's Arms, U.S. Panel Says. Not exactly a barnburner, but I was curious nonetheless. -TomDispatch - 3/26/05

Iran passes through Japan dam prosperously
Bayern reserve forward Vahid Hashemian scored Iran's both goals on fine passes by IRI's other Bundesliga star Mehdi Mahdavi-Kia in 1st, and on Asia's best player of 2004, Ali Karimi in Second half of the world cup qualifier against Japan. - 3/26/05

Iran's National Soccer Team Arrives in China for World Cup qualifier against North Korea
Iran's national football team arrived here on Saturday to face North Korea in the 2006 World Cup qualifier. - 3/26/05

Pakistan to Aid UN Probe Into Iranian Nuclear Program
Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, says he has agreed to let the United Nations inspect his country's centrifuges, in connection with a probe into Iran's controversial nuclear program. - 3/26/05

Iranian President urges governments to oppose proliferation of WMD
Addressing the first International Congress on Bioethics, he stressed that opposing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by those who produce such kinds of armaments, covertly or overtly, has no ethical value. - 3/26/05

Quake rattles Khorramabad in southwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Khorramabad in the southwestern province of Lorestan on Friday. - 3/26/05

Soccer: Bahrain Beats North Korea in World Cup Qualifier
Bahrain's football team has scored a 2-1 upset victory over host North Korea in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match in Pyongyang. -VOA - 3/26/05

Afghanistan, the Poor Stepsister to Iraq
Afghanistan is slightly bigger than Iraq, with roughly the same population. Both had horrible, repressive governments. Both have held elections. Both lack basic security against crime and insurgency. Both are basically wards of the United States, and for both the future remains in doubt. But there the similarities end. -Boston Globe - 3/26/05

5 killed, 40 wounded as football fans leave Azadi stadium after Iran-Japan game
Five people were trampled to death and 40 others were wounded in a crush of spectators after Iran-Japan World Cup qualifier on Friday evening. The crush happened when tens of thousands of soccer fans were leaving the stadium after the game ended. - 3/26/05

German media hails Hashemian double goal heroics against Japan
The German media on Saturday praised Iranian national team star forward Vahid Hashemian after his double strike against Japan in the Group B Asian World Cup qualifier at Tehran's Azadi stadium on Friday. - 3/26/05

Prize-Winning Documentary Exposes Hidden Side Of Iranian Society
Iranian-born director Nahid Persson earned high honors at the recent Creteil International Women's Films Festival for her chronicle of two young women on the streets of Tehran. "Prostitution Behind the Veil" follows the lives of two young friends -- Minna and Fariba -- who have turned to prostitution to make a living. -RFE - 3/25/05

Oil and Gas Pipelines Sow Political Goodwill and Generate Controversy
The vast networks of pipelines that carry oil and natural gas around the globe bring more than just economic benefits. In some cases, they can foster better relations between countries. In other cases, they can strain ties. -VOA - 3/25/05

Regimes Quiet About Kyrgyzstan Revolution
Neighboring regimes in Central Asia gave little or no media coverage to the lightning revolution in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, but opposition parties were jubilant, hoping the seeds of democratic change had been sown in the region. -AP - 3/25/05

Pakistan mulls nuclear handover
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is considering sending nuclear parts to a UN watchdog to help it investigate if Iran is developing atomic weapons. -BBC - 3/25/05

Earthquake jolts Shoushtar suburbs in Iran's Khouzestan province
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted suburbs of Shoushtar, a city in Iran's southwestern province of Khouzestan, on Friday afternoon. - 3/25/05

Impasse is unbroken in Iran talks
Iran and its European negotiating partners struggled without success to break an impasse on reaching a long-term agreement on nuclear, economic and security cooperation. -IHT - 3/25/05

Higher Oil Prices Make New Pipeline Construction More Likely
Largely because of rapid growth in Asia, world oil consumption is growing faster than production. Supply short fall, combined with sharply higher oil prices, is spurring the construction of new pipelines to get oil and gas to world markets. -VOA - 3/25/05

Iran defeats Japan 2-1 in crucial World Cup qualifier
Iran defeated Japan 2-1 in crucial World Cup Qualifier on Friday March 25 in Tehran's Azadi stadium. - 3/25/05

Coming Out: The Youth of Iran
Yasmin Vossoughian's film has been selected as a finalist for a talent competition on the website of INDTV, a new news organization chaired by former senator and US presidential candidate Al Gore. - 3/24/05

A way to break the nuclear impasse
Iran is on a nuclear roll. In recent weeks it signed a deal with Russia to acquire nuclear fuel for its Bushehr reactor, rebuffed reprimands from the International Atomic Energy Agency, berated European interlocutors for bad faith and got the United States to back off from veiled military threats and even to agree to modest economic incentives. -IHT - 3/24/05

Analysts: Pipelines Used as Diplomatic Tools and Targets for Terrorists
The millions of kilometers of pipeline crisscrossing the world have an enormous impact on the world's economy. But on a geopolitical level they are much more, from a diplomatic tool to a tempting target for terrorists. -VOA - 3/24/05

A 'positive' Iran-Europe meeting
A statement by Iran and the Europeans after the meeting said that the talks had created an "enhanced relationship" that set the stage for further progress. -IHT - 3/24/05

Neocons Concentrate on Promoting U.S.-Iran War
Steven P. Weisman wrote in The New York Times of Nov. 19 that the “biggest challenge” in President George W. Bush’s second term is “how to contain” Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, however, Iran constitutes no threat to the United States. -WRMEA - 3/24/05

Wrath of Azadi awaits Japan in qualifier
Japan can expect a torrid reception when they face Iran in the boiling-hot atmosphere of Tehran's Azadi Stadium in an Asian World Cup qualifier on Friday. - 3/24/05

India Oil Chief Says Attack on Iran Would Be `Stupid'
Subir Raha, the government-appointed head of India's biggest oil company, said the U.S. would be ``stupid'' to attack Iran and risk imposing record oil prices on the global economy. -Bloomberg - 3/24/05

Iranian Exile Says Uranium Enriched at Secret Site
An Iranian exile accused Tehran on Thursday of secretly purifying uranium for use in nuclear weapons at a recently-constructed underground facility at a military complex called Parchin. -Reuters - 3/24/05

Iraqi Shiism could topple the mullahs
At the start of the last century, some time before World War I, my grandfather left his native Iran for Najaf, Iraq. It was a common journey back then for the young and religious-minded in Iran, eager for guidance. -Cameron Khosrowshahi, IHT - 3/24/05

Back-to-back accords proposed for Iran-India gas pipeline
Two back-to-back agreements between Iran-India and Iran-Pakistan are proposed for construction of a gas pipeline between Iran and India, the Indian Parliament was informed today, reports the Press Trust of India (PTI). - 3/24/05

Iranian FM spokesman: Paris talks "serious, complicated" but "helpful"
Another round of the Iran-EU3 nuclear talks were held in Paris Wednesday without reaching final accord. - 3/24/05

New Geophysic Studies on the Longest Wall of Ancient Iran
Archaeologists have innitiated a new series of geophysic studies in the immediate vicinity of the ancient wall of Gorgan, to uncover yet unknown architectural remains of the area. -CHN - 3/24/05

The Women’s Cultural Center’s “Library Support Call
We invite all those who are interested, to help us nurture and build this library. We want the library to host an environment where every new book about women will be celebrated and valued. Our goal is make the library a reflection of the women’s movement in Iran. -iftribune - 3/24/05

Joshua Bell Plays American Premiere Of Concerto Mar. 31-Apr. 2 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Renowned violinist Joshua Bell, a Bloomington native who made his professional debut at age 14 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, returns to Indianapolis to perform the American Premiere of a violin concerto written and dedicated to him by longtime friend and Indiana University alumnus Behzad Ranjbaran in Lilly Classical Series concerts - 3/24/05

Women Roles in Norouz Celebrations
When spring nears, Iranians prepare themselves to welcome the joyous season and the renewal of their calendar year with Norouz festivities. Iranian women play an important role here that deserves to be noted. -CHN - 3/24/05

Persian-Iranian Parade 2005 (1384) In New York City Set A New Milestone
The Second annual Persian-Iranian Parade, sponsored by the non-profit public Persian-Iranian Parade Foundation (PIPF), held along fifteen blocks of Madison Avenue in New York City on March 20, drew huge cheering crowd of Iranian Americans, curious tourists and mainstream Americans, despite the inclement weather. "Rain or Shine, We Will Shine." Nina Ghavami, one of the Parade Funding Members & co-organizer eloquently put it. -David N. Rahni - 3/23/05

Majority of Iranians want nuclear fuel cycle capability
A majority of Iranians want their country to develop a fuel cycle capability but not go further to acquire nuclear weapons, a conference in Durham, England on Iran's foreign policy since the Islamic revolution was told. - 3/23/05

Bank on Iran needing jobs more than nukes
With realistic caution about the prospects of success, the Bush administration is giving diplomacy a chance in its quest to curb Iran's suspected nuclear weapons ambitions. The reasons are several. -CSM - 3/23/05

Report Calls Saudi Arabia, Libya Least Free In An Undemocratic Region
In its Index of Political Freedom, the EIU paints a picture of a "strikingly varied" democratic spectrum in the Middle East. The study determines that Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Syria are among the most repressive in the region, followed by Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. -RFE - 3/23/05

Iran and the U.S. have one thing in common
In an unadorned conference center of the Ministry of Finance (in Paris), the United States and Iran discovered that they have something in common. They are both passionate cheerleaders for nuclear power. It's just that the United States wants to deny Iran the right to build its own nuclear power capability. -IHT - 3/23/05

Analysts Say Oil Prices Likely to Stay High
Last week the OPEC oil cartel boosted its official daily production ceiling by half-a-million barrels. But instead of moderating, crude oil prices promptly soared to a new record high, and have hovered near that level in the days since. - 3/23/05

Iran stands firm on nuclear talks
Iran is maintaining its hardline stand over its right to develop a peaceful nuclear programme as talks between Iran and the EU open in Paris. -BBC - 3/23/05

All quiet on Afghanistan's western front
When you fly into Shindand airfield you have to look hard to spot any sign of activity, let alone that it is the US military's main base in western Afghanistan. This huge Soviet-built base has been the focus of speculation over possible US operations against Iran - about 50 miles away to the west. -BBC - 3/23/05

Pentagon Reaffirms Globocop Role
March has been a bad month for the world's multilateralists who, encouraged by several early appointments to the State Department and a successful presidential tour of Europe, had hoped that George W. Bush would temper his unilateralist instincts in his second term. -IPS - 3/23/05

Iranian Association at the University of Toronto hosting Dr. Mohammad Eslami Nodooshan
The Iranian Association at the University of Toronto (IAUT) is proud to host Dr. Mohammad Ali Eslami Nodushan, the renowned Iranian poet and literary scholar, from March 26th to April 6th . - 3/23/05

Drivers and theories behind Iran's foreign policy
A two-day conference on Iran's foreign policy since the Islamic revolution created much debate among academics assembled in Durham, England from around the world. - 3/23/05

Iran: the coming war
Will the United States attack Iran? Eight major arguments say no. Each one dissolves on inspection, says Dan Plesch -Open Democracy - 3/22/05

Iran in Iraq: How Much Influence?
Iran's relative restraint in Iraqi affairs since the U.S.-led invasion may not last without an accommodation between Tehran and Washington. -International Crisis Group - 3/22/05

Anti-Iran militants return home
More than 250 young Iranians, from a group committed to toppling Iran's leaders, are back in Tehran. -CSM - 3/22/05

Free Commerce vs. National Security: Is There Really a Contradiction?
Republican administrations always tout the free market, but when it clashes with the perceived interests of the national security state—of which they are so fond—it gets outgunned. The most recent example is the Bush administration’s threats against a liquefied natural gas pipeline that would run from Iran through Pakistan to India. -Antiwar - 3/22/05

Iranians celebrate New Year
Harking back to their ancient roots, the Iranians started celebrating once again the beginning of a new year that kicked off this year on March 21. -UPI - 3/22/05

Iranian Orthoped Assembles 3000 Year Old Skeleton
A 3000 year old skeleton discovered in a tomb in the historical site of Izeh, before the area went under water after the flooding of Karoon 3 Dam, was assembled by an orthoped doctor, introducing new horizons for cooperation of archaeologists and medical doctors. -CHN - 3/22/05

Esther's Iranian tomb draws pilgrims of all religious stripes
Generations of Jews have protected the holy site. Will the Iranians continue to do so? Women of all religious backgrounds visit the site to pray for children, bringing colorful curtains and cloths to place on the tombs and to donate to an adjacent prayer room. -Ha'aretz - 3/22/05

Quake shakes Semnan, northeastern Iran
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted Kuhdasht region in the northeastern province of Semnan on Monday. - 3/22/05

How America's interests collide in Asia
A world power necessarily has interests that conflict with each other. That is ever more the case in a world of many camps. The resulting dilemmas have been on display in the past week as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured the major capitals of Asia. -IHT - 3/22/05

For Tehran, Nuclear Program Is a Matter of National Pride
Having used a legal loophole to enrich uranium, Iran is loath to give it up under US pressure -YaleGlobal - 3/22/05

Water Becoming More Precious Than Oil in Arab World
While one of the most pressing political and social issues facing the Arab world rarely makes headlines, it is an issue that some political analysts believe could lead to the next great confrontation in the region. Rapidly expanding Arab populations are making water far more precious than oil. -VOA - 3/22/05

Iraq-Jordan Dispute Portends Economic Problems For Amman
Tensions between Iraq and Jordan have spiraled to an unprecedented low two weeks after the Jordanian daily "Al-Ghadd" printed an apparently fabricated report claiming that a Jordanian father celebrated his son's martyrdom in a suicide operation in Iraq -RFE - 3/22/05

Analysis: Talking Gas In Turkmenistan
Gas will be on Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's mind on 22 March when he arrives in Ashgabat to meet with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. -RFE - 3/22/05

US rules out Iran security pledge
The US has dismissed a call by the head of the UN's nuclear agency to offer Iran security assurances as a boost to talks over its nuclear programme. -BBC - 3/22/05

What's wrong with this picture?
It seems like Iran is actually in a pretty good bargaining position. It also seems as though the United States might be losing its best opportunity to do, for a change, what is best for America’s interests in its involvements in the turbulent Middle East. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/21/05

L.A. Is a Den of Iranian Intrigue and Ambition
U.S. agents tap an incongruous mix of exiles for intelligence on Tehran. The jockeying for influence is intense, as is the skepticism -Los Angeles Times - 3/21/05

Persian New Year Transcends Religions, Regimes
The arrival of the spring equinox on Sunday will cue Persians to party. Far from a gardening rite, the equilibrium of day and night marks the start of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. -National Geographic - 3/21/05

Nuts to Bush
Last November, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – as agents for the European Union – began negotiations with Iran on "a mutually acceptable long-term arrangement" that would (a) provide "objective guarantees" to the EU that Iran's nuclear program was exclusively for "peaceful purposes," (b)... -Antiwar - 3/21/05

'Lipstick Jihad' author recalls time in Iran
When Fariba Katouzi learned her daughter was going to her family's homeland in Iran as a correspondent for Time Magazine, she said she wasn't happy. -Monterey County Herald - 3/21/05

In a warped reality
This is a tale of one war, two anniversaries, three different demonstrations - and inconsistencies, contradictions and civilian deaths that are too numerous to count. -Guardian - 3/21/05

UN urges US engagement over Iran
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog has urged the US to become more engaged in attempts to resolve a dispute about Iran's nuclear programme. -BBC - 3/21/05

Quake shakes common border between Iran and Turkmenistan
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the common border area between Iran's North Khorassan province and Turkmenistan at 09:54 hours local time (06:24 GMT) on Sunday. - 3/21/05

U.S. warns Iraq on new government
His caution to the Iraqi politicians struggling to assemble a government seemed a rather unusual intervention by a Pentagon chief in the internal deliberations of a nascent democracy, albeit one that would not have existed without the U.S.-led occupation. -IHT - 3/21/05

Happy New Year: 'Even if it's cold outside, it's spring inside our homes'
Nasrin Moradi keeps warm as she prepares to celebrate the most important day in the Iranian calendar -Gazette, Canada - 3/21/05

Nuclear dispute boosts critics of 'Great Satan' in Iran poll
The agreement by Washington and the European Union to seek joint diplomatic means to curtail Tehran's nuclear programme has added spice to Iran's presidential election in June, emboldening conservative Islamists eager to confront the "Great Satan". -Financial Times - 3/21/05

New year party gets political on streets of Tehran
At first the ear-splitting explosions, blazing bonfires and choking stench of teargas could have been mistaken for the prelude to a new Iranian revolution. -Guardian - 3/21/05

Third Sadegh Hedayat Short Story Award
On the anniversary of Sadegh Hedayat's birthday last month, the Hedayat office in Tehran, in collaboration with the Sokhan website and the Iran Artists' Forum (Khaneh Honnarmandan Iran), staged the Third Sadegh Hedayat Short Story Award. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/21/05

50 kg Achaemenid Clay Jug Found in Bolaghi Gorge
A huge clay jug dating to the Achaemenid era have been unearthed in the historical site of Bolaghi, behind the Sivand Dam, where archaeologists are carrying out a rescue project to save the area’s ancient treasures before the Dam is flooded in one year time. - 3/19/05

Analysis: Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Imperiled
As the owner of the world's second-largest proven natural gas reserves, Iran is keen to exploit this resource as a source of revenue. It is therefore pursuing gas export deals with a number of countries. - 3/19/05

Worldly Iran becomes dynamic new market; European firms zero in on a new crop of consumers
Iran has emerged as one of the world's flash points... But Andreas Gabriel isn't worried. The director of Iran operations for the French automaker Renault is sitting in his chic, open-space Tehran office, sipping tea and lauding the opportunities in Iran's market, which is growing at a rate of about 500,000 new vehicles a year. -SF Chronicle - 3/19/05

Iran's oil production capacity to rise by 160,000 b/d
Iran's oil production capacity will rise by 160,000 b/d once projects for development of Rag Sefid and Bangestan oil fields in Ahvaz, a city southwest of Iran, and of South Pars Oil Layer come on stream. - 3/19/05

Future uncertain for Iranian dissidents living in Iraq
All the Mujahedeen have left in Iraq is their idyllic refuge at Ashraf, north of Baghdad, and even that has become a prison-like place overseen by the U.S. military. The State Department lists them as an international terrorist organization, and some former members brand them as a cult. -Knight Ridder - 3/19/05

The Washington Establishment Fails Logic 101
I just got back from a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Didn't ride the Teacups, though. Because I wasn't in Disneyland but in Washington, D.C., where everyone is walking on air, swept away by the Beltway's latest consensus: President Bush was right on Iraq, and, as a result, Tomorrowland in the Middle East will feature an E-ticket ride on the Matterhorn of freedom and democracy. -Arianna Huffington - 3/19/05

In Iraq, Iranian Kurd Rebels Hope for Their Moment
From the military bunker which serves as his office, Ibrahim Alizada can glimpse the snow-capped mountains of his homeland as he plots the downfall of Iran's Islamist government just 30 miles away. -Reuters - 3/19/05

Reigniting the Anti-War Movement
While the Bush administration is digging in its heels for a long stay in Iraq and setting the scene for military intervention in neighboring Iran, it’s up to us build a strong peace movement capable of getting our soldiers back home, halting the building of permanent bases in Iraq, opposing any new military adventures, and giving Iraqis the chance to rebuild their own country. -CommonDreams - 3/19/05

State of California's Resolution Celebrating Nowrooz
Alliance of Iranian Americans has secured the State of California's Resolution Celebrating Nowrooz, through the good office of the Lt. Governor Bustamante, an original of which is attached. Please distribute the Nowrooz Resolution widely. - 3/19/05

Iran Stands to Benefit from Political Developments in Iraq
With the Shia-dominated parties of the United Iraq Alliance poised to have influential role in Iraq’s new government, Iran stands to receive a geopolitical boost. -Eurasianet - 3/19/05

EU-Russia demand Syria withdrawal
"Iran must prove that it refuses totally the acquisition of a nuclear weapon," Mr Putin said, also insisting European and Russian positions were the same. -BBC - 3/19/05

Iranians getting ready for new year
Iranians are getting prepared to embrace the New Year, which will begin on March 20. - 3/19/05

Quakes continue to jolt Iranian town of Zarand
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the town of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman Saturday morning. - 3/19/05

Saddam's 'Dutch link'
Frans van Anraat was living openly under his own name when he was arrested in an Amsterdam suburb in late 2004, after an international investigation. -BBC - 3/19/05

Playing the Democracy Card
The United States flaunts the banner of democracy in the Middle East only when that advances its economic, military, or strategic interests. The history of the past six decades shows that whenever there has been conflict between furthering democracy in the region and advancing American national interests, U.S. administrations have invariably opted for the latter course. -TomDispatch - 3/19/05

Aral, Caspian Seas Remain Under Ecological Threat
The Soviet Union was home to two of the world's largest inland bodies of water, the Aral and Caspian Seas. Once offering up abundant examples of nature's grace, both seas are now dying. In the case of the Aral Sea, the cause is agricultural mismanagement, while in the Caspian it is pollution and oil development. There are mixed views on whether the seas can be saved. - 3/19/05

As Evidence Grows Of Iran's Program U.S. Hits Quandary
New Data Suggest Big Effort To Build Nuclear Warhead, But Will World Believe It?...Checking Out a Toilet Tank -Wall Street Journal - 3/19/05

President George W Bush Sends Nowruz Greetings
Laura and I send our best wishes for peace and prosperity in the New Year. - 3/19/05

Nowruz : Persian New Year
Once again Persian homes prepare for the New Year or Nowruz celebrations. All Persian households follow the practices of this, the oldest of Persian celebrations, which heralds the end of winter and cold and the coming of spring. -Tavoos Art Quarterly - 3/18/05

Iranian-Americans Celebrate Persian New Year
Sunday, Iranians worldwide will celebrate Norouz, the Persian New Year. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports on activities in Los Angeles, the U.S. city with the heaviest concentration of Iranian Americans. - 3/18/05

US Concerned About India-Iran Pipeline Project
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told India this week that Washington is opposed to New Delhi's landmark pipeline deal with Iran, a nation the United States is trying to force to abandon its nuclear program. But U.S. concerns are not likely to sway India, which is facing rapidly growing energy needs. -VOA - 3/18/05

Nuclear cycle solution must not be Iran specific, says ElBaradei
Iran must not be singled out in any resolution of the dilemma over the right of countries to enrich uranium under the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), according to the head of the world's nuclear watchdog. - 3/18/05

Embarking on Lunacy
A group of Europeans of Iranian origin refused to disembark a Lufthansa airplane at the Brussels Airport arriving from Frankfurt earlier this month to protest the EU trio negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Furthermore, they made requests that the European powers to dislodge the Tehran Regime and restore the rule of the (Pahlavi) monarchy. -Ray Salehi - 3/18/05

Greens Plan and Join Rallies and Actions Across the U.S. in the March 19 'Global Day of Protest' Against the Iraq War
Military threats against Iran and Syria risk a greater war between the U.S. and Middle East, warn Greens - 3/18/05

Iranology Center inaugurated in Dagestan University
Dagestan on Thursday opened an Iranology Center at the republic's state university in a ceremony attended by several diplomatic and academic officials. - 3/18/05

2 killed, 6 injured in police copter crash in Iran's Fars province
Fars Police Department announced on Friday that the crash of one of its helicopters in Kolikosh mountains earlier in the day had left two staff killed and six injured including the police chief of the province. - 3/18/05

US demands Pakistan nuclear help
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has pressed Pakistan to tell Washington everything it knows about the AQ Khan nuclear weapons-smuggling network. -BBC - 3/18/05

Iran, Syria Undermine Efforts in Iraq, U.S. Officials
The director of the CIA accused Iran on Thursday of meddling in Iraq and said Syria was not working hard enough to stop militants entering the country to undermine Baghdad's efforts at stability. -Reuters - 3/18/05

The American Diplomatic Coup: A New Window of Opportunity for US-Iran Relations
The US has now joined the European Trio (England, France and Germany) in a new carrot-and-stick strategy that wants to convince Iran to halt uranium enrichment permanently in return for an economic incentive package that includes selling civilian airplane spare parts to Iran, and dropping US opposition to Iran’s quest for membership in the World Trade Organization. -Hooshang Amirahmadi, AIC - 3/18/05

Analysis: Converging Policies On Iran
After two years of often frustrating negotiations over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions, the United States and the European Union have pursued divergent policies. In recent weeks, however, Washington and Brussels have been reading from the same script. -RFE - 3/18/05

Atomic clock ticks down to fallout with Iran
Iran and the western powers are on a collision course as the clock ticks towards crucial talks in Paris next week about Tehran's nuclear programme -Guardian - 3/18/05

The Golden Mask of Guran: A magical evening of dance theatre
THE GOLDEN MASK OF GURAN follows a dream-like narrative of the Roman slave girl, Azadeh, at the court of the Persian king, Bahram V, and her desire to save the magnificent wild zebras (guran) from the king and his hunters. - 3/17/05

Fired Up for a Good New Year
With a Hot Party, Iranians Look for Luck and Herald the Change in Seasons -Washington Post - 3/17/05

India needs it, and Iran has it
The United States is facing a diplomatic dilemma. An enthusiastic endorsement of a proposed 2,700-kilometer gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan may hurt its Middle East strategy by helping Iran garner political support to continue its nuclear program. -IHT - 3/17/05

Mr. Massoud Behnood’s back door invitation to U.S. military intervention in Iran
The sworn enemies of the Iranian nation cannot openly and directly invite U.S. military intervention in Iran these days because of guaranteed fierce resistance form all segments of the society. Mr. Behnood’s article in Payvand (Iraq’s Election) however, is the best backdoor invitation to American military adventure in Iran that I have seen so far. -Shahriar Etemadi - 3/17/05

Khatami says Iran deserves a more equitable share in OPEC output
On Iran's share in the Organization of Oil Producing Countries' (OPEC) output, he said that OPEC agrees with us that Iran's share of oil production should be increased. - 3/17/05

Bush Signals New Interpretation Of Nonproliferation Treaty
To former nuclear inspector John Wolfstahl, there can be no doubt that Iran has violated at least the spirit of the NPT. But now that Iran's nuclear program has been discovered, Wolfstahl concedes, technically Tehran is n-o-t violating the treaty by pursuing nuclear power -- if that is all it intends to do. -RFE - 3/17/05

Iran town rejoices at public hanging
"Again! Kill him again!" people shouted as Mohammad Bijeh's body swayed above the main square of the town of Pakdasht. -BBC - 3/17/05

Bush Reaffirms Position on Syrian Withdrawal From Lebanon
Mr. Bush also spoke about his desire to one day see democracy flourish in Iran. When a reporter wanted to know if he believes regime change should be a goal, the president answered this way. "I believe that the Iranian people ought to be allowed to freely discuss options, read a free press, have free votes, be able to choose amongst political parties. I believe Iran should adopt democracy," he said. "That is what I believe." -VOA - 3/17/05

Oil prices surge to fresh highs
Crude oil prices set new records on Thursday despite a commitment to boost output quotas from the Opec oil producers' cartel a day earlier. -BBC - 3/17/05

Bush Insists Iraq 'Coalition Of The Willing' Not Crumbling
U.S. President George W. Bush held an unexpected news conference at the White House on 16 March in which he faced questions about the dwindling military coalition in Iraq, the European and American effort to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions and suspicions that the United States is sending suspected foreign militants to their home countries, where they might face torture during interrogations. -RFE - 3/17/05

Sistani at Forefront of Iraq Constitution
As Shiites ascend to power in Iraq and turn toward writing a constitution, the key role expected for their enigmatic spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is once again a subject of mystery and debate. -AP - 3/17/05

India, U.S. Hit Snags Over Iran, Arms to Pakistan
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's push for closer ties with India hit potentially serious snags on Wednesday over a pipeline from Iran and the possible sale of F-16s to Pakistan. -Reuters - 3/17/05

Iranian Brothers Detained 3 Years Freed
Four Iranian brothers detained for more than three years after their arrest in an FBI terrorism probe were freed Wednesday night after agreeing to certain travel restrictions. -AP - 3/17/05

Iran slips back in Corruption Perception Index
Perceptions of the degree of corruption in Iran as seen by business people, academics and risk analysts marginally grew last year, according to the latest report by Transparency International on Wednesday. - 3/17/05

The Plan is Still on Track: Bush Strategy for Syria, Lebanon and Iran
As someone who believes that the Bush administration fully intends to implement the neocon plan for regime change in Syria, Iran, and Lebanon in the next couple years, I've watched it and the compliant media build the cases necessary for attack. -Counterpunch - 3/17/05

EU welcomes international support on talks with Iran
Foreign ministers of the 25-member European Union Wednesday welcomed the international backing to the European bloc's negotiations with Iran on the nuclear programme and stressed that the process of dialogue with the Islamic Republic will continue. - 3/17/05

The Ancient Tehran
Chashmi Digar Institute is a Non-Governmental art and cultural institution based in Tehran which is working on Iranian Cultural Heritage. - 3/17/05

A New Day In Iran?
The regime may inflame Washington, but young Iranians say they admire, of all places, America -Abstract of an article by Afshin Molavi, originally published in the March 2005 issue of Smithsonian - 3/16/05

UK's gift to Iran: Body armor to counter Afghan drug smuggling
The British government has made an exception to its national arms embargo against Iran to allow the donation of armored vests and body armor plates to help counter drugs smuggling from Afghanistan. - 3/16/05

Tehran apologists backing Hillary?
Iranian Americans accused by members of their community of collaborating with the cleric-led Islamic regime in Tehran have planned a fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the San Francisco Bay Area. -WorldNetDaily - 3/16/05

US Administration Seeks More Time for Religious Freedom Talks With Vietnam, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia
The Bush administration is asking Congress for more time to pursue talks with Vietnam, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia on improving their record on respect for religious freedom. The three countries could be subject to U.S. sanctions after being named as major violators of religious freedom in a State Department report last September. - 3/16/05

Arab Media See U.S.-Iranian Deal-Making Behind a War of Words
Despite harsh words between Iran and the United States, many Arab commentators are convinced that the two sworn enemies are co-operating behind the scenes -- especially when it comes to Iraq. -PNS - 3/16/05

Rivers run through it
India and Pakistan are edging closer to agreeing a deal where hydrocarbons would be transported from Iran via Pakistan to India. New Delhi would pay Islamabad transit fees and Pakistan would guarantee India's energy security. -Guardian - 3/16/05

Democracy is more than a soundbite
Oppressed of the world, take heart - a soundbite will soon set you free. Or at least, that is the way some people think. Supporters of President Bush argue that his advocacy of democracy has provoked political earthquakes that are transforming the Middle East. -CSM - 3/16/05

Brand USA is in Trouble, So Take a Lesson from Big Mac
Last Tuesday, George Bush delivered a major address on his plan to fight terrorism with democracy in the Arab world. On the same day, McDonald's launched a massive advertising campaign urging Americans to fight obesity by eating healthily and exercising. -Guardian - 3/16/05

Iraq's long road to government
The inaugural session of the newly-elected Iraqi parliament comes more than six weeks after the country's first general elections since the downfall of Saddam Hussein. -BBC - 3/16/05

No Longer the "Lone" Superpower
China, Japan, and the United States are the three most productive economies on Earth, but China is the fastest growing (at an average rate of 9.5% per annum for over two decades), whereas both the U.S. and Japan are saddled with huge and mounting debts and, in the case of Japan, stagnant growth rates. -TomDispatch - 3/16/05

Iran to Offer U.S. Share in Nuclear Program -Paper
Iran is prepared to offer the United States a half share in any future nuclear program to demonstrate it is not pursuing atomic weapons, a senior Iranian official was quoted on Wednesday as saying. -Reuters - 3/16/05

Bush Urges Hezbollah to Disarm and Support Peace
President Bush says the United States views Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, but that the militant group can change that impression by its own actions. - 3/16/05

Iran's 'desert vampire' executed
An Iranian serial killer who murdered at least 20 children has been executed in front a large crowd of spectators. -BBC - 3/16/05

Rice: US concerns on Iran-India gas pipeline 'well known'
While addressing the domestic and international press in New Delhi this morning, visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that concerns of Washington over the pipeline between Iran and India are "well known". - 3/16/05

Quakes jolt southeastern town
Two earthquakes measuring 4.2 and 4.1 on the open-ended Richter scale hit the town of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman in the wee hours of Wednesday. - 3/16/05

US Considering Permanent Bases in Afghanistan, General Says
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Richard Myers told reporters in Kabul that the United States enjoys good relations in Afghanistan and Central Asia. He said he will soon make a recommendation to President Bush about building permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan. - 3/16/05

OPEC says increased output to address spiraling demand
OPEC decided to increase the production ceiling to 27.5 mb/d, effective immediately, in view of the expectation of another year of strong global oil demand. - 3/16/05

Oil Minister: Refinery in Indonesia to guarantee Iran's market supply
Speaking after signing a memorandum of understanding with his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro for establishing a refinery, Zanganeh said Iran and Indonesia have for long been in talks for establishment of the refinery with the capacity to refine 300,000 bpd of crude. - 3/16/05

U.N. Praises U.S. Move on Iran, Urges Tehran to Open
A new U.S.-European strategy to persuade Iran to abandon sensitive nuclear programs is a big step, but diplomacy can work only if Tehran is more open, the U.N. nuclear chief said Wednesday. -Reuters - 3/16/05

Artaxerxes II Palace in Susa Opens its Doors to Visitors
The ancient palace of Artaxerxes II of the Achaemenid dynasty, in Susa, will open its doors to visitors and tourists for the first time ever in the upcoming holidays of Iranian New Year, Norouz. - 3/16/05

Iran, EU gear for new rounds of talks in Tehran
Negotiators from Iran and the European Union will hold their new rounds of negotiations focusing on political and trade cooperation, here Tuesday and Wednesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. - 3/16/05

Iran clerics blasted by academic
Iran's clerical leaders have come under attack from one of the country's most influential conservative academics. -BBC - 3/16/05

UN human rights commission urged to sanction Iran
Reporters Without Borders said today it was "essential" that sanctions against Iran are adopted without delay by the UN Commission on Human Rights, which began its annual session yesterday in Geneva. - 3/16/05

Committee to Protect Journalists "Attacks on the Press in 2004" report: Iran
In an effort to counter the growing influence of Internet journalists and news bloggers, whose popularity has grown as sources of dissident news and opinion, Iranian officials imposed new constraints on Internet use, blocked Web content, and arrested a number of online journalists. - 3/15/05

Iran, Kuwait stand candidates for OPEC Secretary General post
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in Isfahan on Monday that Iran and Kuwait have turned candidates for the OPEC secretary general post. - 3/15/05

Iranian Oil Minister: Hosting OPEC oil minister's gathering proves Iran secure, stable
Speaking to IRNA on the sideline of the OPEC conference, Zanganeh said, "Despite certain countries' political campaign, Iran is currently one of the most secure and stable countries in the region and the world." - 3/15/05

Iranian President stresses on significance of the name of Persian Gulf
In a message sent to a university students gathering, President Mohammad Khatami stressed on the significant status of the the Persian Gulf in Iranian culture and history. - 3/15/05

Iran, Kuwait sign gas export deal
Speaking to reporters after signing the deal with Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Ahmad al-Sabah here on Tuesday, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran would start exporting 10 million cubic meters of gas per day as of late 2007. - 3/15/05

Iranian-American Goli Ameri Appointed by President Bush as one of Three Public Delegates to the UN Human Rights Commission
Goli Ameri has been appointed by President George W. Bush as one of three public delegates to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The 2005 meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights will take place March 14 through April 22 in Geneva, Switzerland. - 3/15/05

US offer helps but Iran talks still face crisis
Despite a shift in policy which has brought Washington closer to the European negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme, the talks are still in trouble. -BBC - 3/15/05

Khatami inaugurates Karaj-Golshahr metro line
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami inaugurated Karaj-Golshahr metro line in the populous neighboring city of Karaj, 35 km west of Tehran, on Tuesday. - 3/15/05

Iran Says Tehran Has Offered Europe a Deal
Iran's president said Monday that Tehran has given a set of proposals to three key European states involved in talks on Iran's nuclear program, which he stressed must be expanded to provide his country with more energy. -AP - 3/15/05

Analysis: Accepting Hizballah As A Legitimate Political Entity
Once the poster child for Mideast terrorism, Hizballah (Party of God) is rapidly emerging from the slums of Beirut and the economically depressed southern part of Lebanon to flex its muscles and possibly become a major player in the region and, inter alia, in the war on terrorism. -RFE - 3/15/05

Saudi Arabia Says Oil Producers Should Boost Output
OPEC's most influential member says the oil cartel should raise production quotas at Wednesday's meeting in Iran. - 3/15/05

Iran stamp lauds nuclear success
Iran's post office has issued a stamp celebrating the country's achievements in nuclear technology. -BBC - 3/15/05

Mount Kilimanjaro Photo Wake-Up Call for Action Against Global Warming
A photo of Mount Kilimanjaro stripped of its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years will be used as dramatic testimony for action against global warming as ministers from the world's biggest polluters meet on Tuesday. -Reuters - 3/15/05

Hoon unaware of US reconnaissance missions in Iran
Britain's Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon denied Tuesday that he was aware of any US reconnaissance missions inside Iran. - 3/15/05

For OPEC, Iran talks signal rare unity
Trading its usual meeting place near the brown waters of the Danube in Vienna for the muddy waters of the Zayandeh River here, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting in Iran for the first time since the Islamic revolution toppled the monarchy in 1979 and brought in the rule of the clerics. -NYT - 3/15/05

Media Watchdog Group: Iraq World's Most Dangerous Place for Journalists
The CPJ report singles out Iran for its repression of Internet reporters and bloggers. - 3/15/05

Iran salutes female 'Schumacher'
Women car racers in Iran have been awarded prizes for the first time in the history of the Islamic republic. -BBC - 3/15/05

Hormuzgan Steel of Iran signs major deal on new plant with European banks
After two years of lengthy negotiations a consortium of European and Iranian banks and companies signed a major 600 million dollar agreement in Brussels Monday to construct a steel plant in Bandar Abbas. - 3/15/05

Senators say White House is signaling shift in Iran policy
Two prominent Democrats said Sunday that the Bush administration has changed policy toward Iran by agreeing to economic incentives if Tehran gives up a potential nuclear weapons program. -USA Today - 3/14/05

Iranians to clean up Persepolis for Norouz
People and members of cultural heritage advocate societies of Fars province, will gather to clean up the ancient site of Persepolis as a tradition to welcome the new Iranian year, Norouz. - 3/14/05

U.S. officials cool on Iran's hot response
Top U.S. officials responded with aplomb on Sunday to developments in the Middle East, saying that Tehran's heated reply to the effort to persuade Iran to halt nuclear work was simply part of negotiations, and that a new Syrian plan to withdraw from Lebanon had "positive elements." -IHT - 3/14/05

Quake experts urge Tehran move
Scientists in Iran are urging the government to move the capital out of Tehran. The city, which lies on at least 100 known fault lines could be hit by a major earthquake, they say. -BBC - 3/14/05

Bahrain repeats UAE claims on Iranian islands in Persian Gulf
Bahraini Foreign Minister Muhammad bin Mubarak al-Khalifa said said in Riyadh on Sunday that The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) backs the UAE in its claims over the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf. - 3/14/05

Iran, UAE explore expansion of political trade, ties
Iran is one of the most important partners of Abu Dhabi in terms of reexports. The value of reexports to Iran stood at dlrs 70 million in 2004 which puts Iran as the fourth largest of Abu Dhabi's reexports partners. - 3/14/05

Pakistan Denies It Will Hand Nuclear Parts to UN
Pakistan said Monday it was cooperating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog but rejected reports that it would hand over used centrifuge components to help solve a key mystery surrounding Iran's atomic program. -Reuters - 3/14/05

White House Acknowledges Iran Intel 'Hard to Come By'
The White House acknowledged on Sunday the difficulty of gathering good intelligence in Iran but said Tehran's behavior was "suspicious enough" to warrant stepping up pressure over its nuclear program. -Reuters - 3/14/05

Politicus: If Bush has been right, then who's been wrong?
'Middle East on the Move, Is Bush to Thank?", a newspaper's banner headline quite fairly asked Europeans last week. What a terrifying premise. -IHT - 3/14/05

Vietnam Fury at Agent Orange Case
Vietnamese plaintiffs have condemned a US court's decision to dismiss their legal action against manufacturers of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. -BBC - 3/14/05

Historical Sassanid Era City Turned into Garbage Dump
The Sassanid era city Eyvan-e Karkheh has been turned into a garbage dump, an official of the Shush Cultural Heritage and Tourism Office announced on Wednesday. - 3/14/05

Israel will attack Iran 'only as last resort'
Israel will only take military action against Iran as "a very last resort" to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons, Ephraim Sneh, a member of the Israeli parliamentary defence and foreign affairs committee, said yesterday. -Guardian - 3/14/05

Iran, Afghanistan & Tajikistan Cooperate to Restore Achaemenid Relics
Achaemenid dynasty is retrieving its magnificence in parts of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan through establishment of relics restoration special training workshop ratified by Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and Ministry of Culture of Tajikistan. - 3/14/05

Rafsanjani says 'completely ready' for presidential candidacy
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced Monday that he was 'completely ready' for a comeback in June 17 election, putting months of procrastination almost behind him. - 3/14/05

Strong Quake in Saravan leaves no casualties, but inflicts damages
An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the open-ended Richter scale which struck the city of Saravan, in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan near the Iran-Pakistan border, Sunday morning left no casualties but inflicted damages to property. - 3/14/05

US: No Change in Iran Nuclear Policy
The Bush administration says there has been no fundamental shift in policy regarding Iran's nuclear program - only a renewed emphasis on the diplomatic track pursued by European nations. -VOA - 3/14/05

The Second Kaveh Golestan Annual Photojournalism Award
The Second Kaveh Golestan Annual Photojournalism Award was launched last week at a press conference at the Artist’s Forum (Khaneh Honarmandan) at Iranshar Avenue in Tehran. - 3/14/05

OPEC may maintain oil level to cool prices
“The decision may be to maintain current production levels with the aim of calming the market,” UAE Oil Minister Mohamed al-Hamli said in a statement issued ahead of a March 16 OPEC meeting in Isfahan, Iran. Reuters - 3/13/05

Iran rebuffs US over nuclear plans
"To me this seems like a transparent strategy: you offer Iran modest incentives that ... the US knows Iran will refuse," says Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, speaking from Washington. "Then you can take [Iran] to the Security Council with a clear conscience, knowing that you did offer incentives, but Iran wasn't willing to accept. CSM - 3/13/05

Iran demands more US concessions
Iran has urged the US to offer it further incentives to resolve the dispute over its nuclear programme. BBC - 3/13/05

US Offers Incentives to Boost European Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran
The Bush administration, in a policy shift, says it will offer economic incentives to Iran to back the European effort to get Tehran to abandon any effort to build nuclear weapons. The Europeans say they will support referral of the matter to the U.N. Security Council if their diplomacy fails. -VOA - 3/12/05

Britain, France, Germany Give Conditions for Support of UN Action Against Iran
Britain, France and Germany say they will support referring Iran to the Security Council if there is no agreement on its nuclear program. However, they still hold out hope for a diplomatic solution after several months of talks. -VOA - 3/12/05

Iran needs to attract more European tourists: WTO chief Frangialli
Referring to his talks with Iranian Vice-President and head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Hossein Marashi on the sidelines of this year's ITB tourism fair, Frangialli stressed the urgent need to promote a "positive image of Iran" to the world in a bid to lure more foreign tourists. - 3/12/05

Iran signs 3 billion euro cooperation protocol with Italy
Iran and Italy signed an economic cooperation protocol worth three billion euros here Thursday night, based on which the Italian government is urged to provide Tehran with industrial machinery upon request, in return for Iranian oil. - 3/12/05

European Parliament calls on US to support EU diplomatic initiative with Iran
The European Parliament Thursday night adopted a resolution on Iran's nuclear programme calling on US to support the EU's diplomatic initiative with Iran. - 3/12/05

Iran Nuclear 'Nightmare' Very Close, Israel
Israel said on Friday that Iran was very close to being able to make a nuclear bomb and urged the United States and Europe to pressure Tehran to abandon a suspected nuclear arms program. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Reuters an Iranian nuclear bomb would be a "nightmare" for Israel and other countries. -Reuters - 3/12/05

Iran rejects US nuclear incentive
Iran has rejected a new US policy offering economic incentives to the Islamic state to give up its nuclear enrichment programme. "No pressure, bribe or threat can make Iran give up its legitimate right" to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, said an Iranian spokesman. -BBC - 3/12/05

US joins Europe in dispute over Iran
Americans say they will support Iran's aim of joining the World Trade Organisation. The Americans will also no longer block Europe's offer to unlock a frozen EU-Iran trade and economic agreement and the sale of Airbus aircraft to Iran. - 3/12/05

Gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia dominates Georgian PM's talks
"We want the gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia that is under construction to be used in the future for gas imports to Georgia," Nogaideli said on Saturday, summing up the results of his visit to Yerevan. - 3/12/05

Rushdie Affair Continues To Cloud Iran's Claims Of Rejecting Violence
As the United States accuses Iran of state support for terrorism, and Tehran adamantly denies the charge, it can be difficult to judge the merits of each side's arguments. Many of the actions fueling the debate have taken place in an atmosphere of extreme secrecy and with few publicly known details. -RFE - 3/12/05

U.S. Accuses Iran Of Extending Its Support For Mideast Terrorist Groups
Iran does not hide its close relations with Hizballah, which include meetings in Damascus or Tehran with leaders of the group. But it calls the Shi'ite Hizballah -- which forced Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in 2000 -- a liberation movement, not a terrorist group. -RFE - 3/12/05

Fourth round of Iran-EU talks concludes in Geneva without tangible progress
Representatives of the Iran and the EU troika (Germany, France, Britain) concluded their fourth round of breath-taking talks earlier Friday evening in Geneva, Switzerland, having achieved no further progress compared to the 3rd round. - 3/12/05

Iran: Reformers Insist Hard-Liners' History Of Political Assassinations Continues
Inside Iran, thousands have perished in apparent assassinations that followed the Islamic Revolution -- including dissidents and intellectuals. But the killings have been obscured by the monolithic structure of the new cleric-led government, the lack of an independent press, and a ban on nongovernmental political bodies. -RFE - 3/12/05

Iran: Difficult Relations With U.S. Marked By Mutual Distrust
In Washington's eyes, 4 November 1979 marked the beginning of the Islamic Republic's state sponsorship of terrorism. That's when a crowd of militants unopposed by police stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. -RFE - 3/12/05

A Poet Who Pointed the Way to a New Iran
It was a cold, rainy afternoon in December and three of my friends and I had stood in line for hours outside the Taatr-e Shahr Theater in Tehran. We desperately wanted tickets for an acclaimed play based on the life of the contemporary poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who was killed in a car accident at the height of her creativity in 1967. Was I dreaming? Was this real? After the 1979 revolution, Farrokhzad's poetry was banned for more than a decade. -Washington Post - 3/12/05

NIAC Submits Petition to the SBA for Group Inclusion of Iranian Americans to the 8(a) Program
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has submitted its petition for group inclusion to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program for disadvantaged minority groups. - 3/11/05

India to go ahead with Iran gas import despite US concerns
India on Thursday indicated it will not stop its economic dealings with Iran because of 'US concerns' and said it hoped issues between those countries would be resolved before New Delhi concludes gas import agreements with Tehran. - 3/11/05

Iran, Venezuela To Ink Agreements Worth Over Billion Dollars
Visiting Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Es'haq Jahangiri said in Caracas on Friday that several agreements worth a total of above one billion dollars are expected to be signed during President Mohammad Khatami's visit to Venezuela. - 3/11/05

Iraqi Shiite Women Push Islamic Law On Gender Roles
Over the past two years, Fatima Yaqoub has gone from sewing dresses at home to shaping municipal policies as a councilwoman in Kathamiya, a bustling district in Iraq's capital. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 3/11/05

Death Squad Democracy?
March 5th was the 38th anniversary of Time magazine's 1951 Man of the Year, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh. He was a symbol of the rule of law and democracy who died under house arrest by design of the "good" Americans. -Farhat Quammaquami, Iranian - 3/11/05

Iran plane protesters leave craft
Police have arrested 56 Iranians who refused to leave a Lufthansa plane at Brussels airport, ending a 13-hour sit-in. -BBC - 3/11/05

Bush Administration Defends Decision to Withdraw from International Legal Protocol
The State Department is confirming the United States is pulling out of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. -VOA - 3/11/05

Which War Is This Anyway? Are We in World War IV?
Throughout much of the Cold War, people feared above all else a global hot war, the third great one in a century of devastating world wars; and we crept up to it more than once -- most desperately, there can be no doubt, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. -TomDispatch - 3/11/05

Dean voices pleas for change in Iran
Every Wednesday afternoon, business school dean Siamack Shojai shuts the door of his office at Georgian Court University and starts his second job -- radio talk show host. -Star Ledger, NJ - 3/11/05

Lebanon's Hizballah Appears Too Strong To Be Ignored In Equation
Hizballah, Lebanon's radical Shi'ite organization, showed its strength this week by staging a massive rally in Beirut in support of the Syrian presence in Lebanon. In light of such developments, the United States is reported to be reluctantly moving to accept Hizballah as a major political force. -RFE - 3/11/05

MiG tipping, not tension, at US base near Iran
Iran and the United States may be in the midst of a war of words over Tehran's nuclear plans, but there is little evidence of the tension at a former Soviet base in Afghanistan, now home to U.S. troops. -Reuters - 3/11/05

US Presses Hezbollah to End Terrorist Activity
The United States said Thursday it has not changed its view of Lebanon's Hezbollah organization as a terrorist group despite its show of political support this week in Beirut. A State Department official said that for Hezbollah to be accepted as credible on the international scene, it will have to get out of the terrorism business. -VOA - 3/11/05

Persian Masters cross borders
Kayhan Kalhor isn't much for politics, and the last topic he wants to discuss is President Bush's notorious Axis of Evil. But the Iranian kamancheh and setar player, who appears with his fellow Masters of Persian Music tomorrow at Berklee Performance Center in Boston, is resigned to the fact that the political and the musical often converge these days. -Boston Herald - 3/11/05

Book: The Islamic Drama
Without a doubt, a scholarly study of this importance to an understanding of Islamic drama is long overdue, and Professor Malekpour effectively positions Ta’ziyeh within a lively discourse of religiously rooted theatre and ritual. He is obviously determined to get theatrical respect for the form, and I believe he achieves his goal brilliantly. - 3/11/05

Confident Iran
Iran’s leadership feels that events in Iraq and the region are going their way, finds our global security correspondent on a visit to Tehran. -Open Democracy - 3/11/05

Iranian Noble laureate calls on western countries not to humiliate immigrants
The Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi denied that democracy was incompatible with Islam, when she addressed Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday evening. - 3/11/05

Khatami says Iran, Venezuela no threat to any third country
Visiting Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in Caracas on Thursday evening that Iran and Venezuela are pursuing no covert plan to form a strategic alliance against any third country nor do they intend to undermine the interests of others. - 3/11/05

U.S. in Shift to Back EU on Iran Incentives
The Bush administration, in a major shift, on Friday will adopt a European proposal to offer Iran economic incentives to abandon its nuclear ambitions, U.S. and European officials said on Thursday. -Reuters - 3/11/05

Iran vs. US: Our bond is greater than our enmity
We Iranians are a proud bunch and a very stubborn one for that matter. I guess it is part of our culture and upbringing. So how would a country with people who have so much pride tolerate a strike or invasion or similar action by the major superpower? -Fariba Amini - 3/11/05

IRNA conducts poll on Iran presidential elections
results of the first opinion poll conducted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) indicate that over 50 percent of eligible voters will "definitely" turn out at Iran's upcoming presidential elections. The main motivation of 33.4 percent of people for voting, as the poll has indicated, is "the development of the country and the progress of democracy". - 3/11/05

Iran lifts ban on reformist paper
Iran's supreme court has overturned a 1999 ban on a reformist newspaper. The Neshat newspaper was banned after criticising Iran's penal system, which has its roots in Islamic Sharia law. -BBC - 3/10/05

Iran's nuclear pointman says talks with Europeans 'successful'
Iran's pointman on nuclear issues, Hassan Rowhani, gave his weight Thursday to ongoing nuclear negotiations between the country and the Europeans, describing the talks as 'successful'. - 3/10/05

U.S. softens harsh tone on Hezbollah
After years of campaigning against Hezbollah, the radical Shiite Muslim party in Lebanon, as a terrorist pariah, the Bush administration is grudgingly going along with efforts by France and the United Nations to steer the party into the Lebanese political mainstream, administration officials say. -New York Times - 3/10/05

Iran 'given Pakistan centrifuges'
Pakistan has confirmed that the former head of its nuclear weapons programme, AQ Khan, gave centrifuges for enriching uranium to Iran. -BBC - 3/10/05

Rice: US Not Seeking Confrontation With Venezuela's Chavez
Secretary Rice responded sharply to a comment by Mr. Serrano that it is widely held in Latin America that, in his words, U.S. fingerprints were all over the 2002 military coup that briefly unseated Mr. Chavez. -VOA - 3/10/05

U.N. Rights Body Must Fight to Restore Credibility
With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today. - 3/10/05

London peace camp to protest against US targeting of Iran
Military Families against the War (MFAW) is setting up a peace camp in London Trafalgar Square next week to protest against the US extending its threats to other countries and against new UK anti-terror legislation. - 3/10/05

China's global hunt for oil
China's craving for oil to drive its industrial boom and, to a lesser extent, satisfy its love affair with the motorcar, has helped to push up global crude oil prices. -BBC - 3/10/05

Iran puts British gunboats on public display
Iranian state radio reported on Thursday that three gun-boats seized from British forces in June were to be put on public display. -Financial Times - 3/10/05

The enemy within
How an Americanist devoted to destroying international alliances became the US envoy to the UN -Guardian - 3/10/05

Iran and EU to wrap up nuclear talks Thursday night
Negotiators from Iran and the European Union huddled behind closed doors in Vienna on Thursday for a new round of haggling over Tehran's nuclear program, but remained tight-lip over the results. - 3/10/05

Israel, U.S. war game eyes Iranian missiles
Israel and visiting U.S. troops began a biennial air-defence exercise on Thursday that Israeli security sources said aimed to boost the Jewish state's preparedness for any future Iranian missile strike. -Reuters - 3/10/05

McNamara Derides 'Illegal' Nukes Policies
Former defense secretary Robert McNamara said Wednesday the United States and global nuclear powers haven't adhered to nonproliferation treaties and have done little to reduce nuclear arsenals following the end of the Cold War. -AP - 3/10/05

Iran's Parliament allocates budget to discovery and annulment of US plots, intrigues
Iranian Parliament (Majlis), in its Wednesday evening open session approved of a special budget aimed at discovery and annulment of US plots, intrigues, and interferences in Islamic Republic of Iran's internal affairs. - 3/10/05

Iran To Admit Archaeology Team
Iran will open its borders this May to a team of Harvard archaeologists who plan to dig deep into the region’s past—marking the first time Iran has extended an invitation to American scholars in more than 25 years. -Harvard Crimson - 3/10/05

Intelligence on Iran inadequate, report to Bush says
A commission due to report to President George W. Bush this month will describe American intelligence on Iran as inadequate and not complete enough to allow firm judgments about that country's illicit weapons programs, according to people who have been briefed on the panel's work. -IHT - 3/10/05

PEN Launches Campaign In Support Of Women 'Cyber-Dissidents'
The London-based writers' group International PEN has launched a campaign in support of three women from Iran, China, and Tunisia who are under attack for using new information technology to challenge their governments. PEN's campaign was launched on the occasion of International Women's Day. -RFE - 3/10/05

Iran must be offered comprehensive package, say former US aides
Two former aides to the administration of George W Bush's father called Wednesday for the US, EU and Russia to make an offer Iran cannot refuse in the interests of all nations of the world. - 3/9/05

Brent crude price hits new record
The increase came amid rising demand for heating oil as cold weather hit the US northeast, while a weaker dollar encouraged speculative fund buying. -BBC - 3/9/05

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN: UNHCR Voluntary repatriation programme resumes
In three years, UNHCR has assisted some 2.3 million Afghans to repatriate from Pakistan and about 779,000 from Iran, the largest voluntary repatriation programme in the 53-year history of the UN refugee agency. - 3/9/05

Bush Wants Syria Out of Lebanon
President Bush says freedom will prevail in Lebanon as he repeated calls for Syria to withdraw its troops from the country. The appeal came as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Lebanon gathered to show their support for Syria. -VOA - 3/9/05

Earthquake jolts town of Zarrin-Dasht in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted the town of Zarrin-Dasht in Fars province, southern Iran, Tuesday evening. - 3/9/05

Global March for Equal Rights Begins on Women's Day
Women's groups were to embark on a global march for equal rights, International Women's Day, amid fresh reports which paint a fairly grim picture of their plight in many parts of the world. -AFP - 3/9/05

Iran reform politician goes online
Iranian authorities have recently clamped down on the rapidly growing popularity of weblogs, restricting access to major blogging sites from within the country. -BBC - 3/9/05

Berlin Technical University plans to open campus in Iran
Berlin's prestigious Technical University (TU) plans to open a campus in Iran, the daily Der Tagesspiegel quoted TU President Kurt Kutzler as saying Wednesday - 3/9/05

Inflation rate in Iran pegged at 13.1% annually
Inflation rate in Iran rose to 13.1 percent in the ten months to the Iranian month of Dey (December 21, 2004-January 19, 2005). - 3/9/05

Girl with Silver Earrings Found in the Burnt City
Archaeologists working on the historical site of the Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan have unearthed for the first time ever the body of a woman with silver earrings remained at sides of her head. -CHN - 3/9/05

132 former MKO members return to Iran
Representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry, Iran's Foreign Ministry, and Iran's embassy in Iraq accompanied the former MKO members to the country. - 3/9/05

Human Settlement in Iran’s Central Plateau Dates back to 10,000 Years Ago
Farmers activities in Togh Tepe of Mazandaran province, resulted in the accidental discovery of the oldest pottery ever found in the area. Studies carried out on the artifacts have shown that humans have lived in the central plateau of Iran since 9 or 10 thousand years ago. -CHN - 3/9/05

International Women Day marked in Iran
Marking International Women Day, a number of woman journalists and activists delivered speeches on the occasion here on Wednesday. - 3/9/05

U.S. Panel Faults Intelligence on Iran Weapons --NYT
A presidential commission investigating prewar intelligence about Iraq's weapons has concluded that U.S. data on Iran's arms is "inadequate," The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing people who have been briefed on the panel's work. -Reuters - 3/9/05

IAAB Opens Registration for Second Annual International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) announced last week the schedule and opening of registration for its 2005 Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, to be held April 23-24, 2005 at the University of Maryland, College Park. - 3/9/05

U.S. Scholar, Barred by Iran, Suspends Amity Bid
An American scholar who was instrumental in getting the head of the Library of Congress invited to Iran for an official conference in November has suspended his own five-year effort to build bridges between the two countries after he and a colleague were turned away at the Tehran airport in separate incidents last month. -New York Times - 3/9/05

Rowhani: US should not terrify world, Iran not after nuclear arms
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani stressed that Iran is not after developing nuclear arms and mass killing weapons and recommended the US not to terrify the world with hollow allegations. - 3/8/05

Shocking report reveals growing intolerance in Europe against Muslims
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) published Monday a shocking report on rising discrimination and distrust against Muslims living in the European Union. - 3/8/05

Bush Appoints Right-Wing Extremist to UN Post
In a breathtaking victory for right-wing hawks, U.S. President George W. Bush has nominated Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton to become his next ambassador to the United Nations. -IPS - 3/8/05

Huge Beirut protest backs Syria
Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, to applaud Syria's role in the country and reject Western "interference". -BBC - 3/8/05

Summit May Favor Tackling Causes of Terrorism Over Military Response
Governments afflicted by extremist violence must address its causes if they hope to defeat it, not just strike back as the United States has done, say experts who will take part in a world conference on terrorism in Madrid this week. -AP - 3/8/05

Oil Prices Expected to Remain Unchanged
Current production is expected to remain steady when the cartel meets next week in Iran to decide whether to cut, maintain or raise oil production. - 3/8/05

The Birth of Women's History Month
The evolution of March as Women's History Month is a story with many points of origin, non-linear narratives, competing calendars and claims and a denouement of some irony. -WeNews - 3/8/05

Iran hardens stance ahead of nuclear negotiations
Iran pledged Tuesday to 'strongly stand against' probable pressures as the country braced for a new round of nuclear negotiations with the Europeans, which a senior official described as 'very decisive'. - 3/8/05

German-Iranian soccer star Zandi injured in German highway accident
German-Iranian midfielder Fereydoun Zandi was slightly hurt on Monday when his car collided with a US military semitrailer truck on a highway in southwestern Germany, the online site Iran-Now reported Tuesday. - 3/8/05

It will take all our energy to stand still
For all George Bush's courting of Europe, when it comes to women's rights he is closer to Iran and Syria than the EU. -Guardian - 3/8/05

Kiarostami forest at the V&A
Abbas Kiarostami will transform one of the V&A's galleries into a forest this spring as part of the festival celebrating the work of the Iranian artist and filmmaker. Kiarostami will also be 'In Conversation' with British film director, Mike Leigh, at the V&A. -Art Daily - 3/8/05

Iran’s Yazdi tells top hardliners to quit
Top Iranian dissident says will stand for president if hardliners resign, political prisoners freed from jail. -MEO - 3/8/05

Former MKO members call on international organizations to help repatriate victims from Iraqi camps
Some 19 members of the MKO from Sistan-Baluchestan province arrived in Zahedan on Tuesday and were welcomed by their families. Meanwhile, about 276 penitent MKO members who have returned home after escaping from the camp in Iraq, were handed over to their families - 3/8/05

Iran leader's Venezuela visit may irk US
The presidents of Iran and Venezuela, two major oil producers pushing to maintain high prices and at odds with U.S. global policies, meet this week for talks that could stoke tensions with Washington. -Reuters - 3/8/05

Unhappy With One Quagmire, Bush Looks for Another
Bush's demand that Syria immediately withdraw its troops from Lebanon is a ricochet demand. If Lebanon cannot have free elections while under foreign military occupation, how, asks the rest of the world, does Iraq have free elections when it is under U.S. military occupation? -Antiwar.com - 3/8/05

Halliburton operates in Iran despite sanctions
It's just another Halliburton oil and gas operation. The company name is emblazoned everywhere: On trucks, equipment, large storage silos and workers' uniforms.But this isn't Texas. It's Iran. U.S. companies aren't supposed to do business here. -MSNBC - 3/8/05

New oil, gas fields discovered in southern Iran
Speaking to reporters, Iran's Oil Minister said that the new oil field was located 40 km northeast of the provincial capital of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province with an estimated capacity of 5,700 million barrels of oil. - 3/8/05

Heavily Armed Duo in No Position to Lay Down Law On Proliferation
Thwarting Iran's Nuclear Ambitions Would be Easier if the US and Israel Kept their Side of the Bargain -Richard Butler - 3/8/05

Iranian budgetary dispute simmers
Debate over Iran's budget has turned acrimonious with the government accusing hardline lawmakers of shaping it to their own political agenda. -BBC - 3/8/05

Iranian Dissident Wins Award for Besieged Writers
The Iranian author Taqi Rahmani, who has spent a total of 17 years in prison, was awarded a Hellman/Hammett grant for persecuted writers, Human Rights Watch said today. For 17 years of the quarter-century since the Iranian revolution, Taqi Rahmani has been in prison. - 3/8/05

U.S. must assume a big role in talks with Iran
However, the latest American shift stems more from an effort to deflect European criticism than to resolve the imbroglio over the Iranian nuclear program. A permanent solution to Iran's nuclear challenge necessitates a far more comprehensive American engagement strategy. -Ray Takeyh, IHT - 3/8/05

As the old Arab order crumbles, a revolution gets under way
Middle East expert Dilip Hiro sees a ripple of democracy spreading from Iraq's election across the whole region -Guardian - 3/7/05

Call For Papers: THE IRANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL REVOLUTION 1906-1911 - Centenary Conference
It is a hundred years since the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, the first event of its kind in the Middle East. The Revolution opened the way for cataclysmic change in Iran, heralding the modern era. It saw a period of unprecedented debate in a burgeoning press. - 3/7/05

Tehran not satisfied with EU talks: Rafsanjani
As to negotiations with the US, the EC chairman reiterated that Washington should show some kind of good will in order to be reliable. Tehran has not seen any sign of good will from the US authorities so far, he added. - 3/7/05

Iranian pilgrims can resume legal entry to Iraq via Mehran border city
Iranians can resume legal entry to Iraq via Mehran border city to undertake visits to religious sites and cities of that country, a local security official said in this western city on Monday. - 3/7/05

Iran says it had no choice but to keep nuclear program secret
Iran on Sunday blamed American sanctions and European restrictions for denying Tehran access to advanced civilian nuclear technology, forcing it to keep the program secret in its early days and driving the country to the black market for needed materials. -AP - 3/7/05

Turkey 3rd major investor in Iran
Turkey has been the third major investor in Iran after Italy and Germany over the past two years, said Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Bozkurt Aran here on Monday. - 3/7/05

Iranian Hercules Rezazadeh resolute to set new records
The cherubic Iranian hercules was named "World Weightlifter of the Year 2004" in a ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the international federation in Istanbul, Turkey, last Thursday. - 3/7/05

Turkish-Iranian-Syrian Relations: Limits of Regional Politics in the Middle East
The geography of the Middle East is subject to direct international interference through the interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq and through political attempts to transform the region socially, politically, and economically. -PINR - 3/7/05

Italian hostage accuses US of trying to kill her as thousands mourn her rescuer
The former Italian hostage who saw her rescuer shot dead at a US checkpoint in Baghdad said yesterday they might have been targeted because of US objections to Italy's policy of negotiating with kidnappers. -Guardian - 3/7/05

OPEC Consensus to Keep Oil Prices Steady
Recent high crude prices are "fair" for oil producing countries and there is a consensus within OPEC to keep them at current levels, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Monday. -Reuters - 3/7/05

Schroeder, Chirac to discuss Iran nuclear case: German TV
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will meet later in the day with French President Jacques Chirac in his hometown of Blomberg where they are to discuss the latest developments in Iran's nuclear case, the German public television network ARD reported Monday morning. - 3/7/05

Iran hints it may play same nuclear card as Korea
Iran hinted at the weekend that it could follow North Korea in abrogating its nuclear pledges if Washington took the ayatollahs to the UN security council because of suspicions about its nuclear programmes. -Guardian - 3/7/05

Fears grow of new chapter in story of missed US-Iran opportunities
Iran and the US have glared at each other with hostility and suspicion for more than 25 years, sometimes on opposite sides of hostilities, sometimes fighting the same enemies. -Financial Times - 3/7/05

Bangkok-Tehran plane skids off runway at Mehrabad Airport
A 310-Airbus plane from the Iranian Mahan airlines skidded off the runway at Tehran International Mehrabad Airport early Monday morning and sustained slight damage. No passenger was hurt in the incident. - 3/7/05

More aggressive aid for dissidents in Iran
The Bush administration is considering a more aggressive effort to foster opposition inside Iran and is seeking ways to use a new, $3 million fund to support activists without exposing them to the risk of arrest. -Los Angeles Times - 3/7/05

Iranian, Croatian presidents hold private talks
Khatami arrived in Zagreb earlier Monday, on the first leg of his three-nation tour which will also take him to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Venezuela. - 3/7/05

Iran, Ukraine discuss gas transfer project
Iran and Ukraine in Kiev on Sunday discussed implementation of a pipeline project to transfer Iran's gas to Ukraine. - 3/6/05

Iran dismisses challenges to its nuclear fuel plan
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi reiterated Sunday Iran's dismissal of challenges to the country's efforts to master nuclear fuel cycle. - 3/6/05

Volume of Iran-Afghan transactions reach dlrs 260m a year
Announcing this, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Safdar Hosseini told reporters on the sidelines of ceremonies to ink the document of the first Tehran-Kabul Economic Commission meeting here on Sunday, that the agreement will pave the way for further increase in trade transactions between the two countries. - 3/6/05

Persian blogging round the globe
For Iranians living outside of Iran, the internet has become a lifeline, a way not only to stay in touch with friends and family back home, but also to stay connected to Iranian culture no matter where they are. - BBC - 3/6/05

UN asked to investigate US shooting of Italian journalist and military intelligence officer
Reporters Without Borders today called for a UN investigation to shed light on the circumstances in which the US military fired on a vehicle carrying the newly freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena yesterday in Baghdad, injuring Sgrena and killing an Italian military officer accompanying her. - 3/6/05

Syrian troops will pull out of Lebanon
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad yesterday announced a staggered withdrawal of his troops from the Lebanon in a historic move that ends three decades of military presence. -Guardian - 3/6/05

US Draws Jeers for Abortion Comments at UN
Jeers and catcalls greeted the top U.S. delegate to a global women's conference on Friday as she stressed Washington's opposition to abortion and support for sexual abstinence and fidelity. -Reuters - 3/6/05

Quake hits southeast Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale shook the vicinity of the town of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman on Sunday. - 3/6/05

Colin Powell Urges Diplomatic Solution in Iran
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says he sees no need for military action against Iran, and that he expects the strong diplomatic efforts now under way will resolve the international dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. - 3/6/05

Let’s Learn from the Death of Mohammed Mossedegh
March 5 marks the anniversary of the 1967 death of former Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, named man of the year in 1951 by Time magazine and now a forgotten name in American politics. - 3/5/05

US: Burden on Iran to Show World it Doesn't Have Nuclear Weapons
Iran, France, Germany and Britain head back to the negotiating table next week - with the Europeans set to press Tehran to reach an agreement on its nuclear program. - 3/5/05

International nuclear technology conference opens in Tehran
A two-day International Conference on Nuclear Technology and Sustainable Development opened here on Saturday in the presence of Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani. - 3/5/05

From Archives: The CIA Coup in Iran, 50 years after
Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh (May 19, 1882 - March 4, 1967) was prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. Mossadegh's name is sometimes spelled Mosaddeq. He was removed from power in a complex plot orchestrated by British and US intelligence agencies. -Common Dreams - 3/5/05

Iran's Zandi plays down importance of Japan football match
German-Iranian midfielder Fereydoun Zandi played down the importance of the World Cup qualifying match between triple Asian champs Iran and Japan, scheduled to take place at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on March 25. - 3/5/05

Iran rejects US offer for direct talks: Rowhani
Iran has rejected an offer from the United States for direct political talks, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rowhani, said Saturday in an interview with the Focus news magazine, due to hit the newsstands Monday. - 3/5/05

Iran defiant over nuclear plans
Iran will not abandon its right to nuclear technology, a former president and one of the country's most influential politicians has said. -BBC - 3/5/05

The White House Stage Manages the “Get Syria” Move
After 9/11, Administration neo-cons offered a "noble lie" to sell the public on the need to invade and occupy Iraq (The Iraqis will shower our troops with flowers and kisses). The same group has invented a new "virtuous prevarication" to build support for an attack on Syria. -Common Dreams - 3/5/05

Sharon is war criminal says London mayor Livingstone
In a riposte to criticism from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the London mayor accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and said its prime minister should be imprisoned. He also accused Israel of demonising Muslims. -Guardian - 3/5/05

What's Happening in Lebanon
An Interview with Fadi K. Agha, Foreign Policy Advisor to President Emil Lahoud -Counterpunch - 3/5/05

Ramezanzadeh tterms reform as sole option for free election in Iran
Government Spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh referred to the reform movement initiated by the Iranian people and said that it will continue, given that reform is the only option for a free election. He noted that he does not speak as a government spokesman, but as a Kurdish reformist. - 3/5/05

Stalemate Lengthens Brothers' Detention
They waited more than a thousand days for good news, and on a chilly February afternoon it came: A guard at the Terminal Island immigration jail walked into the dorm room of the four Mirmehdi brothers and said they were being released. -Washington Post - 3/5/05

Iran Constructing the 40 MW Heavy Water Reactor at Arak
New satelllite imagery obtained by ISIS from Space Imaging and DigitalGlobe supports the Iranian statement and other statements of unnamed sources that, "Iran has laid the foundations for the research reactor at Arak," as reported by Reuters on March 3, 2005. - 3/5/05

4th Tehran International Animation Festival to open March 6
The 4th Tehran International Animation Festival will open at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) Sunday, running through March 10. - 3/5/05

Iran will stop confidence-building if nuclear case sent to UNSC: Rowhani
Addressing the International Conference on Nuclear Technology and Sustainable Development here Saturday, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani added Iran will reach an agreement with the Europeans if the US stops imposing pressure. - 3/5/05

Iranian Labyrinth: Author Dilip Hiro Talks About the U.S. Threats Towards Tehran
The Bush administration has adopted a hard-line stance against Iran, repeatedly accusing President Khatami's government of trying to develop nuclear weapons and refusing to hold direct talks. We speak with veteran journalist Dilip Hiro, author of the forthcoming book, "Iranian Labyrinth," about the U.S. threats towards Tehran. -Democracy Now - 3/4/05

An Iranian editor banned from working for two years, a daily suspended and nine journalists summoned
Reporters Without Borders condemned government hounding of the press after an independent journalist was given a six-month suspended sentence, a daily newspaper was suspended and nine journalists summoned. - 3/4/05

Amnesty International: Threats against Kurdish human rights defenders in Iran must stop
Amnesty International is alarmed at reports that human rights defenders in Sanandaj, Iranian Kordestan, working on children and women's rights are facing threats in connection with their human rights work. It is feared that such harassment may increase towards International Women's Day on 8 March. - 3/4/05

Khatami: Karoun-3 project a source of pride for country
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday described the Karoun-3 project as a source of pride for the country in terms of engineering and developmental achievement. He made the remark while addressing the experts and employees involved in construction of the Karoun-3 dam. - 3/4/05

Diplomats: Iran Building Nuclear Storage
Iran is using reinforced materials and tunneling deep underground to store nuclear components - measures meant to deter ``bunker busters'' and other special weapons in case of attack, diplomats said Thursday. -AP - 3/4/05

Quake hits Bandar Abbas in southern Iran
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit the city of Bandar Abbas in the southern province of Hormuzgan Thursday night. - 3/4/05

Aftershocks jolt Zarand
Two aftershocks measuring 4 and 4.1 on the Richter scale hit the town Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman Friday morning. - 3/4/05

UK Court Backs Muslim Schoolgirl In Uniform Dispute
The British Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that administrators at an overwhelmingly Muslim high school violated a 16-year-old student's rights when it sent her home for wearing a long Muslim dress known as a "jilbab." -RFE - 3/4/05

Baluchi Tribesmen in Pakistan Blow up Key Rail Track
Suspected tribal militants in Pakistan's troubled southwest have blown up a key railway track linking the country with neighboring Iran. - 3/4/05

China Lashes Out at Serious US Human Rights Violations
China accused the United States of serious human rights violations and told Washington to clean up its own act before "wantonly trampling on the sovereignty of other countries". -AFP - 3/4/05

Why China matters so much
China used to be called a sleeping giant. Now, as the world's fastest growing major economy, it is often called a waking giant. Yet it might be more useful to understand it as something else - as a giant which wants to regain its rightful place. -BBC - 3/4/05

Egyptian Feminist Nawal El Saadawi on Bush's 'Democratization' of Middle East
"We Were Fighting For Years...They Deprive Us of Our Struggle" - -Democracy Now - 3/4/05

US unconcerned by left-wing leaders
These days the Bush neo-cons - as opposed to those of the Reagan era - are more concerned about the Arab world, the Middle East, China and North Korea. The left may be sweeping to electoral victory in Latin America - but that does not appear to be causing this Republican administrations much concern. -BBC - 3/4/05

Iran sees opportunities and dangers in a Shiite Iraq
As Iraqis voted in late January, Iranian officials publicly proclaimed that an independent Iraq was all they really wanted. However, mounting U.S. pressure, in the shape of overflights by drones and the continuing American regional military presence, kept Tehran vigilant. -Daily Star - 3/4/05

Iranian 2005 Everest Expedition team members announced
Iran Mountaineering Federation introduced five men and five women as the members of Iranian 2005 Everest Expedition - 3/4/05

Iran's Rezazadeh named World Weightlifter of the Year
The cherubic Iranian hercules, Hossein Rezazadeh, was named "World Weightlifter of the Year 2004" in a ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the international federation in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday. - 3/4/05

Clouds Over Iran: In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran (book review)
Consumed by the conflict in Iraq, the Bush administration has been unable to find either the political or military resources to deal with Iran, which poses both greater dangers and greater opportunities. That is fortunate. During the surge of messianic zeal that drove the Bush administration in its early days, there was heady talk about the prospect of "liberating" Iran as soon as the United States Army was able to break away from the waves of gratitude that were expected to engulf it in Baghdad. That fantasy collapsed when the Iraqi insurgency broke out. -New York Review of Books - 3/4/05

Bush: US, Europe Working Together on Iran Nuclear Issues
The U.N. atomic energy agency says Iran must do more to cooperate with inspectors evaluating the extent and intent of the country's nuclear program. President Bush says he is working with European allies to convince Iran to give up its nuclear enrichment program. - 3/4/05

A couple of concerts in Tehran
It is cold and the pollution is terrible yet still there are some positive events that take place here in Tehran that make you get out of the house and challenge the horrendous evening or afternoon traffic in the hope of finding something to enlighten our lives. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/3/05

New Hypothesis for Foundation of Dahaneh-gholaman
Archaeologists have raised a new hypothesis for the foundation of the 2500 year-old Achaemenid city of Dahaneh-gholaman, located in a gorge with the same name in the Sistan-Baluchistan province. They believe that the city was built based on a plan and not formed as a result of the expansion of small villages. - 3/3/05

UN Nuke Board Backs EU Offer of Incentives to Iran
The 35 nations on the U.N. nuclear watchdog's board urged Iran on Thursday to step up cooperation with U.N. inspectors and backed a European Union offer of incentives if Tehran ends sensitive nuclear work. -Reuters - 3/3/05

AFGHANISTAN: Getting more women into politics
The United Nations and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) called on Afghan political parties on Wednesday to promote and support female candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. - 3/3/05

Curator of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Resigns
Alireza Sami-Azar, the curator of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, handed in his resignation to officials on Monday. - 3/3/05

U.S. Official Says Iran, Syria 'Against All of Us'
The United States kept up the pressure on Iran and Syria on Wednesday as a senior White House security official urged the international community to demand that Tehran and Damascus stop supporting terrorism. -Reuters - 3/3/05

Smelly divorce hits Iranian court
An Iranian woman says she wants to divorce her husband because he has not washed for more than a year, according to a press report. -BBC - 3/3/05

Quakes hit Iranian towns
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale hit the town of Ashkhaneh in the northeastern province of North Khorassan in the wee hours of Thursday. - 3/3/05

Iran would guarantee safety of gas pipeline to India
Iran declared today that it would guarantee supply of natural gas to India through the proposed pipeline running across Pakistani territory with a trilateral meeting in Islamabad for formulating plans in this regard - 3/3/05

Ancient Bodies Found in Bam Fortification Reached 62
With 62 bodies so far discovered inside the walls around the historical Bam Citadel, archaeologists are naming the burials as one of the great mysteries of the site. - 3/3/05

Entire Iran's nuclear project in Bushehr under IAEA control, says Russian FM
Iran's nuclear reactor in Bushehr poses no risks to peace in the Middle East and Moscow has received no protests from the west about its assistance on the project, says Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. - 3/3/05

Isfahan ready to host 135th OPEC meeting
Deputy Governor-General of Isfahan Province for Political and Security Affairs Ali Shafieipour said here Thursday that Isfahan is ready to hold the 135th OPEC meeting. Talking to reporters, Shafieipour added the OPEC meeting would be the first scheduled to be held in Iran after 35 years. - 3/3/05

Bush Leaning Toward Backing Europe on Iran
Under the emerging strategy, the United States would not block Iran as it seeks to start the process of joining the World Trade Organization, and would not stand in the way of European allies if they want to sell Tehran parts for civilian aircraft, the officials said. -Reuters - 3/3/05

NIAC launches anti-discrimination center
The Iranian-American community has achieved wealth, professional success and recognition for the contributions it has made to the intellectual and economic life of the United States. As an immigrant community, Iranian Americans have also been subject to the darker side of immigrant life in America: Discrimination. While discrimination may be a sad reality that plagues all immigrant communities in the United States, it must not be tolerated. - 3/2/05

Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...
Now, another of those drumbeats, this time about the much-disputed Iranian nuclear bomb that no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." -Ray McGovern - 3/2/05

Iran nuclear plans under pressure
Iran is facing concerted demands by the international community to be more transparent over its nuclear ambitions. -BBC - 3/2/05

US 'doesn't have capacity' to attack Iran
The United States does not have the military capacity to attack Iran and is not likely to commit such an error because the price would be too high, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani said yesterday. -AFP - 3/2/05

Iran-Iraq transactions to hit dlrs 1bn this year
Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Wednesday that volume of Iran-Iraq transactions would reach one billion dollars this year. - 3/2/05

UN: Women's Conference Sees Progress On Rights Overshadowed By Violence
Delegates at the United Nations have begun a review of the efforts to improve women's rights 10 years after a Beijing conference set out goals for achieving global equality for women. -RFE - 3/2/05

Allah and democracy can get along
With the emergence of the Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance as the majority party in Iraq's National Assembly, the scene is set for the drafting of a permanent constitution that will specify the Shariah, or Islamic law, as the main source of Iraqi legislation. -IHT - 3/2/05

Karzai Names Strongman Dostum His Chief of Staff
Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed a controversial regional strongman as his personal military chief of staff Tuesday, despite calls by rights groups for him to sideline warlords. -Reuters - 3/2/05

Two quakes hit Zarand again
Two earthquakes measuring 3.5 and 4.6 on the open-ended Richter scale shook the town of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman on Tuesday. - 3/2/05

Domestic airline companies take over handling services of IKIA
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Airlines (Homa) along with a consortium comprising of four other domestic airline companies will take over the handling services of phase one of the Imam Khomeini International Airport -Tehran Times - 3/2/05

US General Calls on Syria and Iran to Stop Destabilizing Iraq
The general who commands all U.S. military operations in the Middle East has accused Iran and Syria of continuing to contribute to the problems in Iraq by facilitating the insurgency and meddling in Iraqi politics. - 3/2/05

US must be in deal on Iran's nuclear program, says UK's Straw
The US must be included in an agreement on the verification of Iran's nuclear program, UK's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has confirmed for the first time. - 3/2/05

DC Choreographer Brings Persian Epic to the Stage
The 2005 World Dance Showcase, sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), will feature a new folkloric ballet, Haft Paykar (Seven Beauties), by award winning choreographer Laurel Victoria Gray and her Silk Road Dance Company. - 3/2/05

Iran denies UN nuclear watchdog a second visit to military complex
Iran has turned down a request by the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency to make a second visit to the Parchin military site, which has been linked in allegations to nuclear weapons testing, a senior agency official said today. - 3/2/05

Iran dismayed at EU 3 statement to Board of Governors
Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday expressed concern about the report presented formally to the Board of Governors beyond normal procedure. - 3/2/05

The Force Bush Won't Use on Iran
U.S. policy toward Iran is now a big, dangerous mess. President Bush again has backed us into a corner with his confrontational framing of every dispute as one of pristine virtue versus stark evil, putting us out of sync with our allies in Europe and probably giving the ayatollahs in Tehran a public relations boost at home. -Los Angeles Times - 3/2/05

Analysis: Abundance Of Candidates In Iranian Presidential Race
With only four months before Iran's next presidential election, it still is not clear who will compete in the race. Five men have said they want to be the main conservative candidate and one of them has said he would even run as an independent; two men have announced their interest in being the reformist candidate; and a couple of others have expressed an interest in competing but seem to have no significant support. -RFE - 3/2/05

Iran Country Report on Human Rights Practices - 2004
The Islamic Republic of Iran [note 1] is a constitutional, theocratic republic in which Shi'a Muslim clergy dominate the key power structures. Article Four of the Constitution states that "All laws and regulations…shall be based on Islamic principles." Government legitimacy is based on the twin pillars of popular sovereignty (Article Six) and the rule of the Supreme Jurisconsulate (Article Five). - 3/1/05

Opposition Group Members Back in Iran
About 100 former members of an Iranian opposition group who fled to Iraq returned home Monday, the largest number to do so since Iran offered an amnesty in 2003, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. -AP - 3/1/05

Iraq's Election
Whether we agree with Mr. Bush and his approaches, or like many Europeans believe in a more moderate approach, or like the majority of totalitarians totally disagree with it, the fact that the recent election in Iraq proved amidst blood and bomb explosion was that in contrast to what Iranian fanatics and their lot in Asia think, the fight over Iraq was about democracy and not like what they write over oil. -Massoud Behnoud - 3/1/05

Iranian President inaugurates new National Library
President Mohammad Khatami here Tuesday inaugurated the new building of Iran's National Library in the presence of cultural, scientific, political officials and foreign guests. - 3/1/05

Iran's quake death toll passes 600
More than 600 people are now known to have been killed in last week's devastating earthquake in Iran's southeastern Kerman province, an official from the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) told IRIN on Monday. -IRIN - 3/1/05
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