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Videos & Photos: New York Persian Parade 2010
The parade is a means to promote and introduce Persian culture, its historical achievement in art, folklore, science, and the Persian civilization to the general public. - 3/31/10

Public Lives Private Spaces - Tehran: New Art and Digital Media from Iran
As part of their year-long Islam Today program focusing on new media, politics and popular culture in the Muslim world, the Center for South Asia Studies, the Center for Southeast Asia Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley present an art exhibition highlighting new work by young Iranian artists. - 3/31/10

Jailed Iranian Filmmaker Panahi Still 'Being Questioned'
Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has not yet been officially charged a month after his arrest, his wife tells RFE/RL's Radio Farda. Panahi, a supporter of Iran's opposition movement, was arrested at his home on March 1. His wife, Tahereh Saeedi, who was allowed to meet him today for the first time since his arrest, says that he's still being questioned -RFE - 3/31/10

Iranian election detainees suffer severe ill health
Reformist websites report that Iranian post-election detainees Emdeddin Baghi and Mehdi Mahmoodian are suffering form severe health complications in prison. - 3/31/10

Missing Iranian nuclear scientist defects to US
Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, who had "disappeared" on a pilgrimage to Mecca, has defected to the United States. American Television Station ABC announced that Amiri is "collaborating" with the CIA regarding Iran's nuclear activities. - 3/31/10

Iran executions send a chilling message
Recent developments in Iran have prompted fears that the Iranian authorities are once more using executions as a tool to try and quell political unrest, intimidate the population and send a signal that dissent will not be tolerated. -Amnesty International - 3/31/10

Obama Says He Wants Iran Sanctions 'In Weeks'
U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants to see a tough new round of sanctions against Iran taken up by the UN Security Council "within weeks." -RFE - 3/31/10

Hegemony and the U.S. Health Care Crisis: Structural Determinants and Obstacles to a National Health Insurance Program
Relying on Antonio Gramsci's conceptions of "hegemony", "common sense", and "good sense," this paper examines the structural components of the for-profit medical care industry: insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry, and the American Medical Associations (AMA). -Mehdi S. Shariati - 3/31/10

Human Rights in Iran and the Plight of the Bahais
Please join us for an evening co-sponsored by Columbia University's Center for the Study of Human Rights and the Bahá'ís of NYC in commemoration of the second year anniversary of the imprisonment of the seven Baha'i leaders. - 3/31/10

Afghanistan World Leader in Hashish Production, Says UNODC
The first-ever UNODC Afghanistan Cannabis Survey produced by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, launched today, shows that the world's biggest producer of opium is also a major producer of cannabis. - 3/31/10

Iranian-Americans to gather in Bear Mountain park for spring festival
On Sunday, in a tradition Iranian-Americans keep alive, Aslani and several hundred of his compatriots will congregate at Bear Mountain State Park for a daylong picnic to celebrate Sizdah Bedar. -LoHud - 3/31/10

Preventing Iran from Going Nuclear
President Obama's greetings to Iran on March 20 on the occasion of the Iranian New Year (Nowruz) rekindled the hope that the United States is still interested in settling its nuclear dispute with Iran through negotiations. - 3/30/10

Letter from Saharkhiz's wife to her daughter Mahtab: Not all fathers came home from Evin on New Year's Eve
The wife of Isa Saharkhiz, journalist and advocate for the freedom of press in Iran and one of the reformist political activists, wrote a letter to her daughter to give her hope that although his father along with many other political prisoners were not released for the Persian New Year, there will come the day that he and others will be free soon - 3/30/10

Ahmadinejad's Cultural Priorities
Budget funds earmarked for culture largely spent on institutions that back the president. The administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is using state funds to spread its political and religious ideology and at the same time maintain powerful allies during times of turmoil, critics say. -Reihaneh Mazaheri, Paris - 3/30/10

4th Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser for the Persian American Cancer Institute
The Iranian Student Group at UCLA (ISG) together with the Persian American Cancer Institute Present: The 4th Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser for PACI - An Evening of Fashion, Fun and Fundraising for Cancer Awareness - 3/30/10

Citizens Rights Commission established by Iranian police force
Iranian police department has announced that respecting citizens' rights is one of its priorities in the New Year and reported that to this end they are establishing a Citizens' Rights Commission within the Security Forces. -Zamaneh - 3/30/10

Security agents free diplomat kidnapped in Pakistan
An Iranian diplomat who had been kidnapped by gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 2008 has been freed by Iranian intelligence forces and brought to home, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced in Tehran on Tuesday. -MNA - 3/30/10

"Hijabi Monologues" Dispels Stereotypes of Muslim Women
In its third year, The Hijabi Monologues has been telling the stories of female Muslim Americans - from their perspective - to audiences across the United States and in Cairo. As interest in the show grows, organizers are thinking about how to best continue its message in the future. -America.gov - 3/30/10

Turkey's Erdogan rebuffs Merkel's call to join Iran sanctions
The Turkish prime minister whose country sits on the UN Security Council as a provisional member has rebuffed calls by the German leader that Ankara joins the West to vote in favor of new sanction against Iran. -MNA - 3/30/10

Turkish Authorities Forced Norouz Celebrators to Remove Kurdish Symbols
The following video was taken in the town of Hakkari, Turkey (Colemerg in Kurdish) on March 17, 2010. The footage shows how Turkish police forced children who were celebrating Norouz (new year) to remove Kurdish colors (red, yellow and green) from their faces. -Kurdish Rights - 3/30/10

Iranian Student With $750 Turns Billionaire Made by Islamic Art
Nasser David Khalili stands in an exhibition hall in St. Petersburg's Winter Palace, gazing at an 18th-century painted enamel of flowers that's one of 25,000 works of art he owns. "I'd have paid anything for it," he says -Bloomberg - 3/30/10

Thirty people arrested at funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri's wife
Thirty people were arrested yesterday at the funeral of Mahsoltan Rabani, wife of late dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri in Qom. Kalameh website reports that participants were arrested as they returned from the cemetery by security forces which had been deployed in the area since the early hours of the day. -Zamaneh - 3/29/10

Iranian American Captures Hearts in U.S. Basketball Tournament
A few days ago, Farokhmanesh was a little-known student at a little-known university in the middle of the United States. He plays basketball, and his team has had a good year, qualifying it for the tournament that will determine the national college champion. In the final seconds of the first tournament game, he gave his team the victory with a dramatic, long-range shot. -Jeff Baron, America.gov - 3/29/10

Reading Persian Classics In Iran
"Do you have the original edition of this book?" It's a question many Iranian booksellers are confronted with as customers seek out some prominent Persian classics. From the 14th-century satirical poet Obeyd Zakani to Forugh Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most famous 20th-century female poets, hundreds of writers, poets, historians, and thinkers are banned or censored. -RFE - 3/29/10

A Burial Without The Body!
Today thousands of mourners gathered in the holy city of Qom for the funeral of Lady Rabbani, the wife of late Grand Ayatollha Montazeri, the spiritual father of the Green movement who passed away less than 100 days ago, in a heavy security environment created by the coup government for its fear of another show of power and unity by the Green movement. - 3/29/10

There is no difference between journalism and intelligence
Maziar Bahari was imprisoned by the Iranian regime for attempting to report on 2009's disputed election. He describes his ordeal, and suggests what can be done to help journalists jailed by the Islamic Republic -Index on Censorship - 3/29/10

Iran urges global nuclear disarmament
An Iranian lawmaker has warned against Israel's nuclear arsenals and called for adoption of strict acts to establish a world free from weapons of mass destruction. -Press TV - 3/29/10

G8 Foreign Ministers To Focus On Iran Sanctions
Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized nations are meeting in Canada for talks expected to focus on Iran's controversial nuclear program. -RFE - 3/29/10

Obama Returns After Brief Afghanistan Visit
U.S. President Barack Obama has returned to Washington from a brief, unannounced trip to Afghanistan where he pressed President Hamid Karzai to crack down on corruption and improve his government's performance. - 3/29/10

Tehran's Coup in Iraq?
Iran is losing no time in assembling a pro-Tehran government in Iraq, and in so doing Tehran may push the Sunni minority in Iraq into violent rebellion. -Nation - 3/29/10

The Road Not Taken by the U.S. in 1950s Iran
The streets of Tehran are often filled these days with anti-government protesters criticizing a government that came to power largely as a reaction to a repressive government imposed on the Iranian people through a CIA-backed coup. -John T. McNay, HNN - 3/29/10

Norouz is opportunity to familiarize West with Eastern culture: Khamenei
The Supreme Leader made the remarks on Saturday in a meeting with the presidents of Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan who had visited Iran to participate in the ancient Persian New Year (Norouz) festivities. -MNA - 3/28/10

Photos: The Erosion of Nomads' Culture in Iran
Modern age is also invading the culture of nomads and eroding it slowly. As these photos show, nomads life is increasingly being influenced by technology and consumerism. Some nomads now use modern appliances for heating and cooking, trucks for hauling cargo and bicycles for children. They've also turned to satellite TV for entertainment instead of engaging in the traditional storytelling. -Photos by Faramarz Mir-Ahmadi - 3/28/10

Support The Omid Foundations by purchasing the DVD of The Glass House documentary
Start the Persian New Year with a gift to the young women of Omid. Become part of THE GLASS HOUSE community by purchasing copies of the now released DVD for your friends and yourself. 20% of proceeds are donated to the Omid Foundations. - 3/28/10

Iranian Salamander Gets Protected Status Due To E-Commerce Threat
In a move that is hoped to help curtail the pet trade, the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Doha, Qatar, has endorsed an Iranian proposal to ban all international trade of wild-caught Kaiser's spotted newts. -Antoine Blua, RFE - 3/28/10

IRAN FLAG: A National Historical Perspective
The first legendary Flag of Iran is said to be the Derafshe Kaviani. It was made of a long rectangular leather apron as used by national hero Kaveh the ironsmith during the reign of King Fereidoun. Ferdowsi the Persian Homer referred to this leather apron as the symbol of Iranian independence, resistance, resilience and the revolutionary momentum of the masses revolt against evil invaders. -Davood N. Rahni - 3/28/10

Dissident cleric's wife laid to rest in Iran
MahSoltan Rabani, wife of the late dissident Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri was laid to rest today under strict security measures in Qom. -Zamaneh - 3/28/10

Experts: Iran's Foreign Policy Undermines Economy
In conjunction with the Persian new year on March 20, economists consulted by Radio Farda say Iran will likely experience yet another year of economic underperformance. They attribute this in part to international tensions generated by the policies of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, which they said are deterring foreign investment. - 3/28/10

Iran's conservative lawmakers stand by parliament's decision
Conservative faction of Iran's parliament, which constitutes the largest group in the parliament, issued a statement today that the government subsidies bill should not be turned into "a political struggle on the sidelines." -Zamaneh - 3/28/10

How Many Basijis Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?
Nothing is the same in Iran since last year's disputed presidential vote and the crackdown that followed. Even jokes have changed. Many of the jokes that are popular among Iranians are about Iran's ethnic minorities. In recent months, however, jokes about members of the Basij militia have been gaining popularity. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 3/28/10

Photos: Five presidents celebrate Persian New Year in Tehran
The Persian New Year (Noruz) festivities were held in Sadabad Palace in Tehran on Saturday with participation of the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, and Turkmenistan. Several foreign ministers and high-ranking officials from ten countries are also guest to the celebrations. -MNA - 3/27/10

Iran: Wife of late dissident cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri, passes away
Wife of Ayatollah Hoseinali Montazeri, Hajeih Khanom Rabani passed away today in Qom less than four months after the dissident cleric was laid to rest. Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani, another progressive Shiite cleric described Mrs. Rabani as a "friend and companion" of the late Muslim leader who "stood by him like a firm and resistant dam." -Zamaneh - 3/27/10

HRAI: Iran's Revolutionary Guards behind recent arrest of activists
Human Rights Activists in Iran claims that the "plot against human rights activists in Iran is being carried out by the Revolutionary Guards Corps." The human rights group contends that the activists are being arrested and transferred to Evin Prison from all over the country and their files are not accessible by their attorneys. -Zamaneh - 3/27/10

ITU Radio Regulations Board urges Iran to end interference hampering EUTELSAT satellite operations
The ITU Radio Regulations Board concluded its week-long deliberations today. Among the issues discussed was that of interference with radio signals from satellite networks operated by the European Satellite Organization, EUTELSAT. - 3/27/10

Iran's academic elite protest continued imprisonment of their peer
The arrest of Abdollah Yousefzadegan, a law student at Allame Tabatabai University and winner of the nationwide Olympiad of Literature is once more criticized by a group of his peers who have issued a letter to demand his release. -Zamaneh - 3/27/10

Official: US Not 'Watering Down' Terms for Iran Sanctions Resolution
The Obama administration Friday rejected suggestions that it is watering down its terms for new U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, in order to win Russian and Chinese support for a new resolution. -VOA - 3/27/10

Iran road crashes leave 282 casualties in a day
As millions of Iranians take to the roads for the New Year holidays, more motorists fall victims to the heavier traffic and dangerous driving habits. -Press TV - 3/27/10

Photos: March in Qom in Support of Chastity and Hijab
To mark the death anniversary of Saint Masumeh, a group of women in Qom, accompanied by men, marched in the streets of Qom to declare their support for chastity and hijab. -Photos by Mohammad Akhlaghi - 3/27/10

Missile Defense Controversy Remains After START Accord
Friday's announcement of a new U.S.-Russia strategic arms reduction treaty was achieved partly because the negotiators agreed to separate the issue from the controversy over the U.S. missile defense program. -VOA - 3/27/10

Iran Film Planned By Group That Made Splash With Right-Wing DVD On Islam
Just in time for the campaign season, the right-wing Clarion Fund, which shipped out 28 million DVDs to swing state voters in 2008 warning of the threat of radical Islam, has announced it's working on a new film, this one on "the Iranian Nuclear threat." -TPM - 3/27/10

Iranian American Ali Farokhmanesh Swoops March Madness and Makes the Cover of Sports Illustrated
Ali Farokhmanesh, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, will be featured on the March 29 cover of Sports Illustrated. Ali made college basketball history on Saturday, interestingly the first day of spring, with a three-point shot for the record books. -Sarah Barbod, PAAIA - 3/26/10

Iran's ordinary post-election detainees reach out for help
A group of post-election detainees issued a letter to draw public attention to the ordeal of ordinary post-election prisoners who do not have the support and advocacy that is naturally given to prominent faces amongst the detainees. -Zamaneh - 3/26/10

Iranian Activists: Fight for Iran is Battle Over Access to Technology
The Iranian activists unanimously agreed that the United States should embark on a clear policy to liberalize the power of digital technologies. At the same time, they said they opposed more broad-based U.S. sanctions and expressed great concern with moves intended to "help" the opposition that might give the regime excuses to claim foreign interference and deepen an already repressive crackdown on civil society. -insideIRAN - 3/26/10

Two more Mazandaran students receive prison sentences;three students held in murderers' ward
An Appeals Court has upheld the sentence of Moshfegh Samandari, a student activist in Northern Iran. He has been sentenced to six months in prison. His charge has been stated as "propagating Bahai faith" - 3/26/10

Amanpour is Being Attacked Because She's Iranian
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales started this dust-up when he derided Amanpour as "the opposite of the perfect candidate" based on what he perceived as her lack of objectivity regarding Israel. As Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer have pointed out, Shales bolstered his claim with the supposedly incriminating evidence of Amanpour's Iranian heritage. For many in the Iranian-American community, this is all-too-familiar territory. -Patrick Disney, NIAC - 3/26/10

Iran: Eavesdropping of critics' phone conversations revealed
Following the arrest of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani's grandson and Faezeh Hashemi's son, Hassan Lahooti, Iranian Judiciary authorities have asked him questions which explicitly demonstrate that Iranian intelligence organizations are eavesdropping on phone calls made by Iranian citizens. - 3/26/10

Photos: Tehran Zoo
The Tehran Zoological Garden is located on the Tehran-Karaj Expressway (km 4) near the Eram Park. This zoo covers an area of about 5 hectares and was inaugurated in 1992. Tehran Zoo houses more than 290 species. -by Madjid Asgarpour, MNA - 3/26/10

Author's Talk in London - Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran's Culture and Customs
Tuesday March 30th: The eyes of the world are on Iran, from nuclear issues to women's rights to Iran's perspective on Palestine. Yet a strictly political view does not allow for an accurate or complete outlook on this important and fascinating country. - 3/26/10

Congressman to Introduce Resolution Supporting Israeli Strike on Iran
A draft resolution is circulating among members of the House of Representatives that endorses an Israeli military attack on Iran "if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time." -NIAC - 3/26/10

Iran's underground rock scene thrives despite censors
Music in Iran must be approved by the Ministry of Culture, which vets both lyrics and instrumental sections. Under the system, classical Persian music and some forms of pop music have flourished, but genres like rock and hip-hop have remained almost exclusively underground. -BBC - 3/26/10

Iran's Defensive Drones Worry Gates
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has announced his interest in exporting offensive US drones across the world, while expressing concern about Iran's defensive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). -Press TV - 3/26/10

US, Russia Hammer Out New Nuclear Agreement
The United States and Russia say a new strategic arms agreement will be formally announced when the presidents of both countries have spoken with one another about it. White House and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen say the conversation is expected soon. -VOA - 3/26/10

Iran: New Coordinated Attack on Human Rights Groups
Iran's state-owned media, judiciary, and security forces have opened a coordinated attack on human rights groups in recent weeks under the guise of defending the nation against "cyber warfare," Human Rights Watch said - 3/25/10

Iran Considers Cutting Subsidies, But At What Cost?
A recent pronouncement by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appears to have settled a long-standing row between President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's government and parliament on how to reduce and gradually eliminate government subsidies of basic goods and services. -RFE - 3/25/10

Iran's Esteqlal Defeats Qatar's Al-Gharafa 3-0
Tehran's popular football club Esteqlal gained a crushing 3-0 victory over Qatar's Al-Gharafa in Tuesday's AFC Champions League competitions at home. - 3/25/10

Iranian activists call for release of Omid Montazeri
A number of Iranian political and social activists called for the release of Omid Montazeri, a detained law student who was detained by the Ministry of Intelligence on December 28 upon inquiring about his detained mother. -Zamaneh - 3/25/10

Freemuse Award winners 2010: Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunc
Mahsa Vahdat from Iran and Ferhat Tunç from Turkey are well-known to many Freemuse associates. They are strong defenders of freedom of musical expression and well-known to audiences in Europe, where their music - unlike in their home countries - can be performed without restrictions. - 3/25/10

Iran's Zob Ahan Gains 3-0 Victory against Bunyodkor
Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor football team coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari was overpowered 3-0 by Iran's Zob Ahan in Group B of the Asian Champions League. -FNA - 3/25/10

Six Major Powers Hold Conference on Possible Iran Sanctions
Britain's U.N. ambassador says senior officials of the six major powers held a conference call Wednesday on possible new U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. -VOA - 3/25/10

Iran fights for spice status
Iranian businessmen admit grudgingly that it is Spain which is seen internationally as the home of the top brands and as the largest exporter of the spice. Producers in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi - Iran's hub for saffron cultivation - export mainly to Spain, where traders repackage the saffron and sell it on. -FT - 3/25/10

China Joins Talks On Iran Sanctions
Beijing, which had refused for months to engage in serious discussions on sanctions, joined the call among senior foreign ministry officials from the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, several UN diplomats said. -RFE - 3/25/10

Stoned in Iran, Snubbed in Hollywood: How PC Buried 'Soraya M.'
Here's a story the liberal Hollywood and media establishment should love: A remote rural community; a beautiful, innocent woman betrayed by her husband, falsely accused of immorality and condemned to horrible death by a cruel male power structure that hides behind religio -NewsBusters - 3/25/10

The Good Ayatollah
If 2010 turns out to be the beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it may well be because of the death of one of the regime's founders, a man I met three decades ago in Tehran's infamous Evin prison. -Abbas Milani, FP - 3/25/10

Iran MP describes Obama Nowruz message as ploy
"As long as there is no balance between the comments and actions of the United States, offering dialogue could only be [viewed as] an act of deception," head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told ILNA news agency. -Press TV - 3/25/10

Iran: Opposition leader praises resistance of detained filmmaker
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi visited the family of detained writer and filmmaker, Mohammad Nourizadeh and condemned the government's prosecution of him for simply speaking the truth. -Zamaneh - 3/24/10

Iranian protesters loyal to regime, says powerful cleric Rafsanjani
Rafsanjani's comments are said in contradiction to the statements of Ayatollah Khamenei and pro-Ahmadinejad public figures who in the past ten months have been insisting that election protesters are a group of "seditious rioters" who are trying to topple the regime. -Zamaneh - 3/24/10

Iran's Exiles
Three days after that result in Iran's June 12 election was announced, I met Negar for a few minutes. She was beside me by chance on the avenue between Enghelab (Revolution) Square and Azadi (Freedom) Square in central Tehran. Side by side we walked in a crowd later estimated at over two million people, an Iran that had arisen to protest the theft of ballots. -Roger Cohen, New York Times - 3/24/10

U.S. Issues New Iran Travel Warning
The Obama administration has warned U.S. citizens about traveling to Iran, saying they could face hostility, harassment, or arrest by Iranian authorities. - 3/24/10

Trip To Israel By Neda's 'Fiance' Causes Controversy
The visit by an Iranian, Caspian Makan, who claims to be the fiance of Neda Agha Soltan, to Israel has been condemned by some Iranian bloggers and opposition members who believe the trip could damage the opposition movement. -RFE - 3/24/10

Iran: Rafsanjani's grandson released
A close source while confirming this news told BBC that Hassan Lahouti was interrogated about two cases; one about "insulting the ruling powers in his phone conversations" and second about "participating in June 25th protest" in Tehran. - 3/24/10

New Year brings more recognition to Iranian Americans
With both the United Nations and U.S. House of Representatives passing resolutions recognizing the Persian New Year, Iranian Americans across Montgomery County say they had much to celebrate when the holiday began Saturday. -Gazette.net - 3/24/10

LUKoil Withdraws From Iran Project, Citing 'U.S. Sanctions'
Russia's LUKoil has announced its withdrawal from an oil project in Iran because of U.S. sanctions against Tehran, according to Interfax news agency. - 3/24/10

Interview with Iran Expert Vali Nasr: The Power Lies in the Middle
Political scientist Vali Nasr is an advisor to US President Barack Obama and is viewed as one of the country's leading specialists on Iran. In his view, recent reform movements in the Islamic world are partially driven by a new middle class. Ramon Schack spoke to him -Qantara.de - 3/24/10

An Iranian Seder in Beverly Hills
Iran has one of the oldest known Jewish communities, going back over 2,500 years to when Jews fled the land of Israel after the destruction of the First Temple. "We take pride in the country of Persia," said Mrs. Maddahi, who will host the first Seder on Monday night. -New York Times - 3/24/10

Report: Russia, China Push Iran On Nuclear Stance
Russia and China have quietly made clear to the Iranian government they want Tehran to change its approach to the nuclear issue and accept a U.N. atomic fuel offer, Western diplomats say. -Reuters - 3/24/10

U.S. Senate Passes Nowruz Resolution by Unanimous Consent
Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz, expressing appreciation to Iranian-Americans for their contributions to society, and wishing Iranian-Americans and the people of Iran a prosperous new year - 3/23/10

Iran's Artist Community Demands Release of Filmmaker Jafar Panahi
45 Iranian artists in an open letter to Islamic Republic officials demanded the release of prominent filmmaker, Jafar Panahi and journalist, Mohammad Nourizadeh. -Zamaneh - 3/23/10

Iranian filmmakers receive the EDN Award 2010
European Documentary Network has announced that The EDN Award 2010 is presented to IRDFA - Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association. IRDFA receives the award for their outstanding contribution to the documentary culture. - 3/23/10

Iran: Rafsanjani urges support for families of victims
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council urged the authorities to comfort the families of the post-election victims, according to ILNA. He maintained that supporting these families will spread "empathy and cooperation" all across society. - 3/23/10

Photos: A Grim Future for the Historic Atroosh House
Atroosh House in Shiraz, central Iran, belongs to Qajar era (1794-1925). This historic house, currently occupied by Afghan refugees, is considered one of the unique buildings in terms of tile work and the paintings on the ceilings. Unfortunately, many of the priceless tiles and decorations of the house have been damaged or stolen; unless the authorities act soon, the future for Atroosh House is very grim. -Photos by Hamed Akhlaghi - 3/23/10

1388: Year of Militarization of Iran's Economy
One of the most important developments of 1388 was the IRGC's greater takeover of the country's economy. Two huge firms, one in gasoline and natural gas industry, named Sadra, and the other a national telecommunications firm were handed over to consortiums controlled by the IRGC. -Ardalan Sayami, Rooz Online - 3/23/10

Iran Sees Gains in Iraq Election
It appears confident results will pave way for US military exit and empowerment of Iran's allies. Reaction to the results of the recent Iraqi election suggests that Tehran has been reassured that the future of Iraqi politics is effectively out of the control of the United States. -Mitra Farnik - 3/23/10

EU Foreign Ministers Call On Iran To End Broadcast Jamming
EU foreign ministers have called on Iran to end its jamming of outside media and other censorship, but failed to agree on concrete measures. In a statement, the ministers condemned Tehran's jamming of satellite broadcasting and Internet censorship and called on authorities to "put an end to this electronic interference immediately." -RFE - 3/23/10

Family of slain Iranian protester wants answers
"A good and ideal government is for everyone, even those who oppose it," said Zahra Ramezani. "If they consider themselves servants of Iran, then they owe us something." -CNN - 3/23/10

Washington and Tehran rhetoric heats up over Iran nuclear program
The rhetoric between US and Iranian leaders has taken a sharp negative turn over the Iran nuclear program. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Iran's government a "menace" while Supreme Leader Khamenei said the US is not to be trusted. -CSM - 3/23/10

Carpet Ride: 1950's Iran
In 1956, the Austrian-born photographer Inge Morath traveled to Iran on assignment for Holiday magazine. She wanted to photograph the entire Silk Road, from southern Europe to the South China Sea, and thought of Iran as "a good start." -New York Times - 3/23/10

Nowruz: Big Holiday in Small Towns
"Uncle Nowruz" is alive and well and living near Tampa, Florida. For most of the year, Alexander Radfar, 58, leads a quiet life. He and his wife have a home in Lutz, Florida, with their two children, ages 19 and 16. But in the Iranian-American community of the Tampa area, Radfar has an important role to play as spring arrives -America.gov - 3/22/10

Rafsanjani grandson arrested after return to Iran
Hassan Lahoti, the grandson of Iran's Chairman of the Expediency Council and son of Faezeh Hashemi was arrested by Iranian authorities last night after he returned to Iran. Reformist website Jaras reports that the arrest was confirmed by the Hashemi Rafsanjani family. - 3/22/10

Iran: Karoubi concerned over fate of "unknown" election detainees
Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karoubi expressed concern for the numerous "unnamed" detainees of the post-election events who have been languishing in Iran's prisons. -Zamaneh - 3/22/10

Photos: Spring arrives in Shahrekord
Shahrekord is a city in western Iran. It is is the capital of the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. It is situated 107 km southwest of Isfahan, and 521 km southwest of the capital Tehran. It had an estimated population of 127,359 in 2005. At 2220m above sea level, Shahrekord is among highest towns in Iran. -Photos by Behrouz Ghaderi, ISNA - 3/22/10

Give the Boy a Voice, and the Man a Clue
Last week, I sat in an empty theater while a 20-year-old Italian American practiced being me as an Iranian boy of 12. They were rehearsing for a play based on a story I had written a few years back. The experience was simultaneously mesmerizing and jarring, and I wondered how I ended up here -Ali Gharavi - 3/22/10

Tehran Prosecutor General's Threats
While a number of journalists and political prisoners were released yesterday (March 18), speaking to a group of families of political prisoners Tehran's prosecutor general warned that he would not release individuals whose families had spoken about the matter to media networks. =Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online - 3/22/10

Iranian parliament defies Ahmadinejad on controversial bill
Speaker of Iran's parliament Ali Larijani announced that the parliament will not reconsider the bill on government subsidies and the current passed law is completely viable. -Zamaneh - 3/22/10

China Imports Less Iranian Oil, Despite Jump In Demand
Customs data released today by Beijing shows China's imports of Iranian crude oil shrank by nearly 40 percent during January and February compared to the same months a year earlier. The drop comes despite China's expanding hunger for foreign oil. - 3/22/10

Outcry In Kabul Over Afghans On Death Row In Iran
Economic hardship and insecurity have led many Afghans to look across the country's porous 1,000-kilometer border with Iran. Nearly 1 million Afghans are documented as refugees in Iran, and estimates suggest that more than half a million more undocumented Afghan refugees live there. - 3/22/10

Iran Sanctions: The Sobering Lessons of Marc Rich
The Obama administration is pushing for tougher sanctions on Iran to stem the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions, and advocates of stiff measures note that the mere threat of sanctions has already convinced a few foreign firms to stop trading with the country. -ABC News - 3/22/10

Photos: Norouz Behind Evin Prison's Walls in Tehran
Despite the heavy security presence and the intimidation and pressure by coup government's agents to prevent the families of political prisoners to hold Norooz and Persian New Year celebrations in front of Evin prison, where their loved ones have unjustly been imprisoned, these ceremonies were held. - 3/21/10

Photos: Norouz Travelers
Persian New Year 1389 (Norouz) started on March 20, 2010. Many Iranians use this festive occasion and the new year holidays for traveling to visit family or places. these photos by Nima Dimari show the travelers on the roads, in buses and cars or during their stops enjoying the beautiful nature. - 3/21/10

Khamenei and Ahmadinejad defend Iran's presidential elections
In their New Year messages to Iranians, Ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once more defended disputed the results of the June presidential elections. Iran's Supreme Leader declared that following the elections, the people of Iran defeated "a vast conspiracy," and Ahmadinejad said that "people's firm will" in electing him defined the "bright path of tomorrow" for the country. - 3/21/10

'How Do I Celebrate The New Year Without You, Neda?'
This video shows the mother of Neda Agha Soltan crying at her daughter's grave on March 18. "How do I celebrate the new year without you, dear Neda?" she asks. - 3/21/10

The Double Lives of Tehran's Middle Class
They're at the heart of resistance to the regime - but that doesn't stop them from having fun. After a brief period of retreat from the outside world following the months of post- election protests, many middle-class Tehranis, who form the backbone of the opposition movement, are out and about again. -Jafar Farshian - 3/21/10

Iranian developers defy huge odds to create acclaimed computer game
Iranian engineering students, programmers and fantasy animators who created "Garshasp, the Monster Slayer" have not only impressed foreign companies with their product. They have also proved that young Iranians can carve out opportunities for themselves against a backdrop of international sanctions, domestic deterrents and anti-government demonstrations. -Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post - 3/21/10

Fundamentalist Calls To Ignore Norouz Go Unheard In Iran, Afghanistan
Every year on the eve of the first day of spring, millions of people in Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and parts of Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, and India celebrate the beginning of a New Year, rendered as Nowruz -Abbas Djavadi, RFE - 3/21/10

Iran Supreme Leader Responds To Obama's New Year Message
Khamenei, who holds the final word on political and religious matters under Iran's post-revolutionary constitution, by saying the Obama administration "claimed interest in just and fair relations" but revealed the "opposite" in its actions. - 3/21/10

Iranian parliament challenges Ahmadinejad's economic plan
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces further pressure from the parliament as the economic experts of the parliament issued a statement challenging his economic expertise and reminding him that he does not have the right to disobey the laws passed by the nation's lawmakers. -Zamaneh - 3/21/10

Happy New Year from Microsoft Bing
Microsoft search engine Bing displayed a photograph of Isfahan's Si-o-se Pol (literally meaning 33 bridges) on Saturday March 20, 2010 - Persian new year. - 3/21/10

Iraq president, prime minister demand vote recount
In a statement issued on Sunday, al-Maliki said it was necessary to respond to the allegations of irregularities in order to preserve the country's political stability. -MNA - 3/21/10

Exiled Iranian pop star Ebi in presidential warning
One of Iran's biggest pop stars has used a rare visit to London in time for Persian New Year to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a blunt message. -BBC - 3/21/10

President Obama's Nowruz Message
Today, I want to extend my best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz in the United States and around the world. On this New Year's celebration, friends and family have a unique opportunity to reflect on the year gone by; to celebrate their time together; and to share in their hopes for the future. - 3/20/10

Old year becoming New Year...
The memory of the first people who joyfully celebrated the coming of a lovely blossoming spring after months of a cold harsh winter is lost in the fog of obscurity. -A. J. Cave - 3/20/10

Iranian Politcal Detainees To Go On Hunger Strike
Iranian political dissidents, incarcerated in section 350 of Evin Prison have announced that they will go on a hunger strike starting the first day of the New Year. Iranian New Year starts on March 21. Detained journalist, Issa Saharkhiz informed his family about the strike through a phone conversation.-Zamaneh - 3/20/10

Ahmadinejad proposes referendum on subsidy reform plan
Ahmadinejad has offered holding a referendum on implementing the subsidy reform plan as he believes implementing the plan in its current form will put the vulnerable families in hard economic condition. -MNA - 3/20/10

EU Confronts Iran on Satellite Jamming
European Union nations are calling for Iran to stop jamming international satellite broadcasts and censoring the Internet. -VOA - 3/20/10

Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard issue Norouz messages
Mir Hossein Mousavi in a video message for the Persian New Year and the Norooz called the New Year the year of Patience and Perseverance on the rightful and legal demands of the Iranian nation and emphasized: "The New Year is the year of resistance on these rightful and legal demands and we do not have the right to give up and back off from these demands as that would be a betrayal to the nation... - 3/19/10

The end of 1388
As this Iranian year comes to an end I have been wondering about all that has happened and what we have been through. For Iran in general and also for ourselves it was an event filled year, although not one we would wish to be repeated. This year has been one of the driest that I remember, yet we managed not to have any water shortage -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/19/10

A New kind of Hope
Happy New cycle of life on our gorgeous lively Earth, marked with the beginning of spring, this allegedly green season! -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/19/10

Introduction to AKSbazi.com
Too many images representing Iranians are created by and for news Media who are inevitably influenced by either stereotyped pre-conceptions or their governments and their agendas. AKSbazi.com is a response to a need by Iranians to re-define their own image... - 3/19/10

2010 Census Forms Are On Their Way To Your Homes
All Iranians / Iranian-Americans, regardless of immigration / citizenship status, are encouraged to complete the form completely and respond to question #9 by marking "some other race" and writing in "Iranian" or "Iranian-American". - 3/19/10

Senior member of Iranian reformist party arrested
Iran continues pressuring the opposition with persistent arrest of dissidents. Yesterday, Hossein Marashi, spokesman for the Executives of Construction Party, was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. -Zamaneh - 3/19/10

Call To Release Iran's 'Blogfather' For Norouz
The mother of a controversial, well-known blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, who is often described as Iran's "blogfather" because he helped popularize blogging in Iran, has called on the head of Iran's judiciary to release her son for the Iranian New Year, or Norouz, marked on March 21. - 3/19/10

Iranian authorities impede gathering at cemetery
Heavy presence of Iranian security forces around the Khavaran Cemetery impeding families of executed dissidents of the 1980s from entering the site has been reported to Zamaneh. - 3/19/10

Clinton Urges Russia to Delay Launch of Iran's Nuclear Power Plant
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Russia for talks on a wide range of international issues, including how to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On Thursday, she urged Russia to delay starting up the nuclear plant that it built for Iran at the port city of Bushehr. -VOA - 3/19/10

Hardline cleric urges people to partake in joyous activities
The very podium that was used in January to commend and promote the execution of political dissidents, today informed worshippers that the authorities have taken various forms of initiative to make Nowruz a happy occasion for all and the public is expected to collaborate with these efforts. -Zamaneh - 3/19/10

Iran protests: Is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei winning?
With Iran protests largely shut down, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has declared "victory." But as Iranians evaluate the past year during Norouz celebrations this weekend, he knows he's lost legitimacy, say close observers. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 3/19/10

U.S. Licenses Firm to Boost Iran Internet Access, Clinton Says
The U.S. issued a license to a company to boost Internet access for Iranians, though the government in Tehran will likely attempt to block U.S. efforts, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. -Bloomberg - 3/19/10

A Turkish Role Model For Iran?
"It's so pleasant here in Turkey," says Kaveh, a 40-year-old Iranian from Tehran who's visiting Istanbul, just as he has many times over the last 20 years. "You feel free leaving Iran for a week or two." -Abbas Djavadi, RFE - 3/19/10

Pushing the Iranian Opposition Underground
Every year, I spend the first half of March hunting for the perfect hyacinth. A staple of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, hyacinths are notoriously hard to control. They're painfully unruly, always leaning to one side or another, refusing to stand up straight, even when you tie a ribbon around them. -Melody MoezziAuthor, Huffington Post - 3/19/10

Photos: Cooking Samanoo for Norouz
Samanoo is a sweet paste prepared for Persian New Year Norouz and is one of the components of the Haftsin. Samanoo is made from germinated wheat prepared for in a large kazan. Traditionally, women take a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing related songs. In Tajikistan and Afghanistan they sing: "Samanoo is boiling and we are clapping, others are asleep and we are playing daf" -Photos by Mohammad Akhlaghi - 3/18/10

Iran Offers to Exchange Low-Grade Uranium But on Iranian Territory
The head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, is making a new proposal for the exchange of Tehran's low-grade uranium with the West, Wednesday, offering to carry out the exchange at once and on Iranian soil. -VOA - 3/18/10

Photos: Renewing the pact with Iran's Green Martyrs
On the last Thursday of the Persian year, groups of people visited the graves of the Green martyrs to show their sympathy and support with their families and make the promise that they will continue their Green path of hope in the new year. - 3/18/10

Opposition leader Khatami slams Iranian judiciary
Iranian former president, Mohammad Khatami criticized the actions of the government and the judiciary and demanded the release of all political prisoners. -Zamaneh - 3/18/10

Iran Releases Reformist, Filmmaker, Journalist On Bail
Iranian authorities have reportedly released on bail a top reformist who has been jailed since last June, along with a filmmaker and a reformist journalist. - 3/18/10

Supporting Iranian Prisoners of Conscience
To mark the Persian spring holiday of Nowrouz, Amnesty International has launched a campaign to send messages of goodwill to prisoners of conscience in Iran. The seven cases selected by Amnesty International mirror the "Haft Sin" (seven "s"s) traditionally placed on a Nowrouz table. - 3/18/10

Iran: Karroubi challenges hardliner accusations against opposition
Addressing hardliner accusations, the reform leader asks: "Why is it that the justifications of the Shah (Iran's last monarch) for his actions were wrong but the very logic and content of his words coming form you, is to be considered right?" -Zamaneh - 3/18/10

Interview with Behzad Nabavi's Interrogator
In this interview, published by the Panjere magazine, the interviewee is introduced as a person who has been involved in the interrogation and political prosecution of many prominent and lesser known detainees since Iran's contested presidential election 9 months ago. -Rooz Online - 3/18/10

Noam Chomsky on Obama's Foreign Policy, His Own History of Activism, and the Importance of Speaking Out
My favorite newspaper, the London Financial Times, a couple of days ago identified Obama's major foreign policy problem today as Iran. The occasion for the article was Hillary Clinton's failure to convince Brazil to go along with the United States on calling for harsher sanctions and President Lula's insistence that there should be engagement with Iran, commercial relations -Democracy Now - 3/18/10

UN chief says Noruz can promote world peace
On the eve of the first International Day of Noruz, the United Nations secretary general expressed hope that "people around the world will draw on this festival's history and customs to promote harmony with the natural world and foster global peace and goodwill." - 3/18/10

Hawaii - ARTafterDARK Noruz
Friday March 26: ARTafterDARK is the Honolulu Academy of Arts' monthly art party organized by a dynamic group of young volunteers dedicated to exploring the arts. - 3/18/10

China: Iran Sanctions 'Counterproductive'
China's new Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva says his country does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. But he says his country is opposed to sanctions against Iran, calling them counterproductive. -VOA - 3/18/10

Momeni Foundation is accepting applications for the year 2010 Academic Scholarships
Momeni Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for Year 2010. Last year over $11,000.00 dollars were awarded to students of Iranian descent. - 3/18/10

Blogger's death in detention still unexplained one year later
March 18 is the first anniversary of blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi's tragic death in Tehran's Evin prison, a death that could have been avoided if the prison staff had not been negligent. -Reporters Without Borders - 3/18/10

Exiled Iranian highlights Persian rock and roll in film
The movie "No One Knows About Persian Cats" has no sex or drugs, just lots of Iranian rock and roll. It tells the story of two young lovers with an almost childish dream: to perform a rock concert in a country where art and music are strictly censored. -CNN - 3/18/10

Charshanbeh Sorui Tradition Is Great Fun
Charshanbeh Sorui is one of Iran's oldest Iranian New year traditions and it takes place on the last Tuesday evening before the New Year. I remember it was one of those rare happy times that families got together, young and old, men and women came; and especially the children simply loved it. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 3/17/10

Defiant Iranians Celebrate Festival Of Fire Despite Ban
Iranians last night openly challenged Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei by taking to the streets for the traditional Festival of Fire, which Khamenei had said has no religious basis and should not be celebrated. -RFE - 3/17/10

Tehran -- Chahar Shanbeh Souri Photographs
While the current Iranian government leaders do not want Iranians to celeberate this fire festival, people from all walks of life continue to do so, as if Iranians come with this fire-jumping gene! - 3/17/10

Glory of Persia now shining in homeland
7,000 years of Persian civilization and history is currently on display in the Glory of Persia exhibition at the National Museum of Iran. The exhibit contains a selection of relics which were previously kept in other countries including Austria, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, France, China and Turkey. -MNA - 3/17/10

Iran issues sentences for 86 post-election detainees
Tehran Revolutionary Court has issued 86 sentences for the post-election detainees. The sentences are mostly prison terms and have been sent to the appeals court for confirmation. -Zamaneh - 3/17/10

Iranian Political Activist Gets Three-Year Jail Term
A Tehran revolutionary court has sentenced political activist Azar Mansouri to three years in prison, her lawyer told RFE/RL's Radio Farda. - 3/17/10

Iranian reformist group issues government failing report card
Iranian reformist group, Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution issued a statement at the threshold of the Iranian New Year describing the events of the passing year as tragic adding that Ahmadinejad government has deprived people both from freedom and economic prosperity. -Zamaneh - 3/17/10

Celebrate Norooz with NIPOC in Irvine, California
Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm, Hilton Hotel, Irvine: Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange County Dinner & Dance with PYROOZ on stage, DJ Julius, and Dance by GolSanam - 3/17/10

Clinton Awaits Netanyahu Call, Downplays Talk of Crisis in Relationship
Clinton says the United States was dismayed and disappointed by Israel's announcement on East Jerusalem. But she is rejecting the notion the dispute has spawned the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in decades. -VOA - 3/17/10

Photos: Chaharshanbeh-Suri in Horand, Iran's East Azerbaijan Province
People in the town of Horand, a town in Iran's East Azerbaijan province near Ahar, and the nearby villages, have added their own flavor to the Chaharshanbeh-Suri tradition. This includes special activities outdoor, games played by the men, etc. -Photos by Ali Hamde Haghdoost - 3/16/10

Widespread deployment of security personnel across Tehran to prevent protests
Tehran Security authorities announced that police forces have been deployed all across Tehran to ensure the security of the city adding that the number of deployed forces will increase in the coming hours. The heavy security measures are "a preventive act in anticipation of disturbers of public peace and order in the events of the last Wednesday Eve of the year," according to the authorities. - 3/16/10

Iran Braces for Fire Festival Crackdown
Iranian officials are warning the opposition not to turn an ancient fire festival this week into a protest against the government. The celebration of Chaharshanbe Soori, Red Wednesday, on the evening March 16 marks the last Wednesday of the Iranian year and is rooted in pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition as a rite of the arrival of spring and is thus rejected by the country's ruling Muslim clerics. -Sahar Sepehri, Washington - 3/16/10

On the Occasion of Iranian New Year 1389
Norooz is a relic of ancient times. A memory of old tales and epics, a celebration of rebirth and rejuvenation. Spring has arrived and the previous year with all its events, good or bad, has passed. Renewed hope anticipates new achievements. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 3/16/10

Karoubi Accuses Iranian Government of Despotism
In a meeting with one of the youth branches of his National Trust Party, Mehdi Karoubi said that the Islamic Republic has been completely "derailed" and fallen into "despotism." -Zamaneh - 3/16/10

Chicago - Nowruz Parade
Saturday March 20: Parade starts at 12 noon From Federal Plaza, Dearborn and Adams heads north to Randolph Street West to (the State Plaza) at Clark and Randolph Street, returning south on Clark to the Federal Plaza. - 3/16/10

Iranian opposition leader Mousavi urges supporters to persevere
Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi declared the coming year, the year of "patience and perseverance" and called on the supporters of the Green Movement to persist in informing the public about the objectives of the reform movement. -Zamaneh - 3/16/10

Toronto - Norooz Celebration at Ryerson University
Tuesday March 16: Chahar Shanbeh Soori; Friday March 19: A group of Iranian students at Ryerson with the help of artists from every corner of city are preparing to celebrate Norooz like never before at Ryerson. Traditional Iranian music, pop music, storytelling, Naghaali, dance, and plays. - 3/16/10

Florida - Iranian American Society Noruz and Chahar Shanbeh Soori
Tuesday March 16: Chahar Shanbeh Soori at Daytona Beach Shores; Saturday March 27: Noruz at Club de Bonmont, Plantation Bay - IAS will provide the firewood and fireworks - 3/16/10

Collateral Damages of Smart Sanctions on Iran
This time, the warmongers' silly season found its apogee in U.S. neo-conservative Daniel Pipes' advice to Obama to "bomb Iran," which appeared shortly after Tony Blair, having outlined why he helped invade Iraq, remarked ominously, "We face the same problem about Iran today." -Ali Fathollah-Nejad - 3/16/10

Iranian woman caught super-speeding receives lifetime driving ban
The first Iranian to receive a lifetime ban on driving was a woman who was clocked speeding at 270 kilometers per hour on the Niyayesh Highway in Tehran, Tehran Traffic Police Chief Seyyed Hadi Hashemi told reporters on Monday. -MNA - 3/16/10

Reports Indicate U.S. is Mobilizing for War in Iran
Israeli influence over U.S. policy is reaching new record levels, as word is announced that the U.S. is moving serious weapons into place for a possible strike on the people of Iran. -Tim King, Salem News - 3/16/10

Iran Tries To Stifle Women's Voices
The Iranian regime marked International Women's Day on March 8 in telling fashion: it prevented Iran's most prominent female poet, Simin Behbahani, from traveling to Paris to attend a Women's Day event. Ms. Behbahani planned to read a poem and speak about feminism, but her passport was confiscated at Tehran's international airport.-VOA - 3/16/10

Getting over the sanctions delusion
many people today are operating under the delusion that sanctions are about more than inflicting pain. They seem to believe that the message of sanctions is: you will see things our way or we will sanction you into submission. -Lara Friedman, FP - 3/16/10

US House of Representatives Passes Historic Norooz Resolution
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Council applauds the passage moments ago by the House of Representatives of H.Res.267, the Norooz Resolution, and commends Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) for championing this historic resolution. - 3/15/10

Six More Execution Sentences for Iran's Ashura Day Detainees
Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, Tehran's Prosecutor-General announced that Iranian judiciary has issued execution sentences for six of the Ashura Day detainees. Tehran Prosecutor's Office had announced earlier that it has issued execution sentences for eleven Ashura Day detainees who have been accused of "enmity with God" (Moharebeh). -Zamaneh - 3/15/10

Why Is Iran Releasing Some Postelection Detainees?
The Iranian authorities in recent weeks have begun to release some of the former officials, activists, and intellectuals detained in last year's post-election unrest. Those released in recent days include former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, activist Abdollah Momeni, and student leader Mehdi Arabshahi. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 3/15/10

Photos: Assailants attack Iranian opposition leader's home
Fatemeh Karroubi announced that her husband, opposition leader Mhedi Karroubi is under threat and pressure because of blowing the whistle on the "dirty crimes" that took place following the elections and claimed that if the pressures persist, she will have to "publicize many more issues" which have so far remained unsaid. - 3/15/10

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: CALLING A SPADE, A SPADE
In the case of Iran, my belief has been that the nation's spiritual centers of gravity would have retreated to their traditional seminaries in Qum and Mashhad, once the transition from dictatorial monarchy to some form of a federalist republic, albeit under Islamic tenets, was consolidated. That would have set Iran as a role model for other autocratic or dictatorial client regimes in the region to emulate. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/15/10

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: CALLING A SPADE, A SPADE
In the case of Iran, my belief has been that the nation's spiritual centers of gravity would have retreated to their traditional seminaries in Qum and Mashhad, once the transition from dictatorial monarchy to some form of a federalist republic, albeit under Islamic tenets, was consolidated. That would have set Iran as a role model for other autocratic or dictatorial client regimes in the region to emulate. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/15/10

How Iran's Regime Claims Legitimacy
Leaders see themselves as a righteous minority - granting them the right to govern, according to their Shia beliefs. The Iranian government's violent suppression of the opposition over the last nine months is not just based on a determination to avoid a possible fall of the regime but also has deep-seated ideological roots. -Raha Tahami, Tehran - 3/15/10

Cultural Purge: Iranian MPs want secularism advocates out of universities
Up to 130 Iranian parliamentarians have called for strict action to be taken against proponents of secularism in universities throughout the country. - 3/15/10

Asia Minor Then -- and Turkey Now...
The history of Asia Minor dates back to human settlements of the Neolithic times of over 10,000 years ago, followed by 1,650 BCE when the Hittites , settled in an area in present day southwestern Turkey-the former Anatolia. The Hittites emigrated from the area east of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian Sea in today's Iran. -David N. Rahni - 3/15/10

New York - Persian Arts Festival Norooz Celebration
Saturday March 20: Live Music Performance by Haale whose songs are trance-inducing, rhythmically propulsive, and lyrically engaging tapestries that draw on both Persian mystical and American psychedelic musical traditions. - 3/15/10

"Fire Keeper" given conditional screening license after modifications
The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance granted a conditional screening license on Sunday to "Fire Keeper", an Iranian comedy about vasectomy. - 3/15/10

Iranian animation brings epics of Koroglu into limelight again
The common Iranian and Turkish epics of Koroglu is once again in the spotlight by the production of an animated film in Iran. Over 60 people have been working on "The Legend of Hero Roshan" since 2007 -Tehran Times - 3/15/10

Aid Worker Silva Harotonian Released by Iran
Ms. Harotonian, an Iranian citizen, was arrested on June 26, 2008, while on a business trip to Tehran for IREX's Maternal and Child Health Education and Exchange Program (MCHEEP). - 3/15/10

Australia - Persian Cultural Association's Norooz
Sunday March 21at Adelaide Convention Center: The Persian (Iranian) community of Adelaide consist of around 3000 individuals of several religious and ethnic backgrounds. The first Iranian family arrived here in 1967 then joined by many more several years later when a great influx of Iranians arrived in Adelaide in the early years of 1980's. - 3/15/10

Lula's Nods to Iran Sow Brazil's Growing Confusion With Chavez
When Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defends Iran's right to a nuclear program and makes plans to visit Tehran in May, he is following the path of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The similarities only go so far. -Bloomberg - 3/15/10

Northern California - Saratoga Chamber of Commerce 4-Shanbesoori
Tuesday March 16: Persian food will be served at the Corinthian Center and Vienna Woods European Delicatessen will offer kabobs with classic Persian music being played in the background. There will also be popcorn and face painting for children. - 3/15/10

Iranian fire festival denounced by Supreme Leader
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei described the ceremonies connected with the fire festival on the last Wednesday Eve of the Iranian year "void of religious roots and cause of great harm and corruption." - 3/14/10

Photos: Burned Dreams - Tragic Story of Shirazi Schoolchildren Narges and Her Friends
On November 25, 2006, Narges and her friends suffered severe burns at an elementary school in Shiraz, central Iran, when a portable heater they were using to keep warm fell on the ground and a fire spread in the class. The students only exit route had been blocked by the fire. -Photos by Faramarz Mir-Ahmadi - 3/14/10

Broad Strategic Outlook Vital for US to Avoid Iran Confrontation
The current US approach to Iran is undermined by the lack of a broader strategic outlook and the singular emphasis on the nuclear issue, according to panelists at NIAC's March 10th conference, "Iran at a Crossroads: Assessing a Changing Landscape." - 3/14/10

Statement by Iranian Women for International Women's Day
On the threshold of March 8th, we announce loud and clear that we will remain by the side of the people and the Green activists. We will also continue our independent efforts and will not sit still until we achieve our aspirations and demands, because we are countless. Signed by a number of women activists in Iran. - 3/14/10

Iran arrests 30 suspected of links to a US cyber network
Tehran Revolutionary Court has issued a statement announcing the arrest of 30 people suspected of being members of "an organized US-linked cyber network" in Iran. -Zamaneh - 3/14/10

Iranian-American Tajbakhsh Released from Prison, Temporarily
Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, top researcher and sociology professor from Columbia University was released from prison on Sunday on the occasion of Norouz, the Iranian New Year, after paying a hefty bail, according to Tehran's prosecutor. - 3/14/10

Rafsanjani urges openness in Iran's national broadcasting organization
Head of Iran's Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani urged Iran's national broadcasting organization, Seda va Sima, not to operate in the form of "a gang" or else it would lose the trust of the public. He added that Seda va Sima needs to assume a more "national" approach and pay more attention to people. -Zamaneh - 3/14/10

Military Commanders' Plan for Iranian Universities
Yahya Rahim-Safavi, the former commander of the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and current advisor to ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks published yesterday that he is worried about the lack of enough forces beholden to the supreme leader in universities -Bahram Rafiee Rooz Online - 3/14/10

Iran Gasoline Stock Nears 1 Billion Liters
Iran has boosted its gasoline inventories by around 944 million liters in the current calendar year (to end March 21) compared to the preceding year. The amount shows a 58 percent increase year on year, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported without giving an exact figure for Iran's current gasoline storage capacity. -MNA - 3/14/10

France FM: EU Considering Unilateral Sanctions on Iran
France's foreign minister says European states could impose unilateral sanctions on Iran if the United Nations fails to pass its own sanctions. -VOA - 3/14/10

Iran: Indict or Free Filmmakers
Iran's Judiciary should immediately clarify the reasons behind a raid on the home of film director Jafar Panahi as well as the legal basis for detaining him and two of his colleagues, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. - 3/13/10

US Congress Slated to Vote on Norooz Resolution Next Week
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced on Friday that the Norooz Resolution, H.Res.267, will be up for a vote next week. NIAC worked with the Majority Leader's office to ensure the resolution would come up for a vote in time for the New Year and NIAC members across the country signed letters to the Majority Leader urging him to schedule a vote for the Norooz Resolution next week. Those efforts have now paid off. - 3/13/10

Iran: Election Law Change Mooted
Proposals are emerging for electoral reform in Iran following last year's disputed presidential election that could weaken the power of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei but hardliners could stop it in its track. -Ali Kheradpir, Paris - 3/13/10

Moderate cleric urges Iranian students to continue expressing their demands
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani announced that he does not believe students should remain silent in political matters but rather try to communicate their demands in a "logical" manner in order to achieve reform. -Zamaneh - 3/13/10

Foolad Mahan wins AFC Futsal Club Championship
Foolad Mahan of Isfahan beat Qatari Al Sadd and won the title of the first edition of the AFC Futsal Club Championship on Friday night. - 3/13/10

Iranian woman athlete dreams of leading her country's football
The former Iranian women's national football team captain plans to help her team advance in Asia. "I wish to lead the country's women's football to a high station. This is my goal," Niloufar Ardallan said to the-afc.com - 3/13/10

Winners of the Image of the Year Ceremony announced
The 7th Image of the Year Ceremony announced winners during the closing ceremony at the Iranian Artists Forum on Friday. The event was performed by cameraman Mahmud Kalari and photographer Seifollah Samadian. -MNA - 3/13/10

Iran-U.S. Trade Doubles In January
Trade between Iran and the U.S. almost doubled in January 2010 compared to December 2009. ISNA news agency cited the latest U.S. Census Bureau report as stating that trade between the two countries hit $37.3 million in January. - 3/13/10

Iran gas exports hit 6.8b cubic meters
Iran exported 6.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 19, 2010), the managing director of National Iranian Gas Exports Company said here on Saturday. -MNA - 3/13/10

The Secret World Of Iranian Indie Rock
Iranian duo Take It Easy Hospital will appear in the new film No One Knows About Persian Cats, and along with eight other bands from its homeland, will be featured on its soundtrack, which will be released April 13 via Milan Records. - 3/13/10

Activists See Social Media as Key Tool in Fight Against Extremism
Average citizens are using the Internet and mobile phones to fight violence, and the movement is set to grow. That was the message of a two-day London summit in which social media activists from around the world met to explore ways the Internet and mobile technology tools can be used to combat violent extremism. - 3/13/10

Rahnavard announces Fire Festival time to remember Iran's post-election victims
Zahra Rahnavard announced that the opposition will take the opportunity to commemorate the victim's of post-election protests on Chaharshanbeh Souri, Iran's Festival of Fire observed on the last Wednesday Eve of the Iranian year that ends with spring equinox. She added if any violence arises on that day, it will be from the government. - 3/12/10

Iran: Students urge university president to help release their peers
Two thousand students of Sharif University have written a letter to Saeed Sohrabpour, President of Sharif University, urging him to demand the release of their peers, Mehdi Kelari, Kohyar Godarzi and Tara Sepehrifar. -Zamaneh - 3/12/10

Top Reformist Politician On Prison Leave Receives Hero's Welcome
Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister and a senior member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Islamic Revolution Mujahedin Organization, was allowed to take leave from prison on March 10, reportedly because of the upcoming Iranian new year on March 21. - 3/12/10

US Human Rights Report Hits Conditions in Iran, China, North Korea
The U.S. State Department's annual report on human rights world-wide issued Thursday cited an upsurge in efforts to restrict access to the Internet and other new communications means, and escalating persecution of vulnerable minorities. The report was sharply critical of the rights performance of several countries including China, North Korea and Iran. - 3/12/10

Google, RSF Honor Iranian Women Bloggers
Google and the Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on March 11 honored a collective of Iranian women bloggers for their reporting on women's issues and last year's postelection unrest. - 3/12/10

Farshad Rastegar: Lending a Helping Hand to Thousands Across the World
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Farshad Rastegar to learn more about him, Relief International, and the role Iranian Americans have played in the organization. -Mahasti Afshar, PAAIA - 3/12/10

Who Is Waging War Against God In Iran?
How did Mohammad Amin Valian, a 20-year-old student from Damghan, land in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) infamous Special Detention Center No. 209 of Tehran's Evin Prison? -Abbas Djavadi, RFE - 3/12/10

New Mexico - ICSNM Persian New Year Party, NoRuz
Saturday March 20: Please join Iranian Cultural Society of New Mexico in celebration of the Iranian New Year (NoRuz 1389) for an after dinner party with Persian sweets, music and dance. - 3/12/10

Atlanta - Persian Community Center & Iranian Student Association at Georgia Tech New Year Events
Tuesday March 16: 4Shanbeh Suri at Riverside Park; Saturday March 27: New Year pary at Sheraton Hotel; Sunday April 4: 13 Bedar at Red Top Mountain - 3/12/10

The Green Movement: Breaking the Stereotypes of Persia and Iran
The West has constructed the dual identities of Persia and Iran as alter egos, the former the ancient civilization, the latter the modern one. Persia is rendered now as a precious artifact, and Iran as a terrorist state. -Rick Zand, PBS - 3/12/10

Iran blocking foreign, domestic Web sites to curb anti-government activists
The bearded blogger stood before an effigy of an Islamic warrior towering over the letters "WWW." "You are the young officers in this war. The United States and their domestic allies have started this fight and you have countered them," he told the recent gathering of pro-government bloggers, part of the cyber-war being fought by Iranian authorities engaged in an unprecedented effort to block anti-government forces from using the World Wide Web and social networks to communicate and organize -Washington Post - 3/12/10

US Accused of Human Rights Violations
While the United States releases its report on human-rights violations in other countries, some international rights advocates say the U.S. needs to improve its own record. - 3/12/10

Iran cuts car import duty
Iranian parliament has approved a bill to reduce car import duties by 20 percentage points to 70 percent during the upcoming year which will start on March 21. -MNA - 3/12/10

Iranian Jewish family nabbed at Ben-Gurion with 15 kg. opium
An Iranian Jewish man, his wife, and their teenage son were arrested on Wednesday evening at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of smuggling 15.4 kilograms of pure Iranian opium into Israel. -Jerusalem Post - 3/12/10

Prison Leave For Iranian Reformist Politician Mostafa Tajzadeh
Mostafa Tajzadeh, member of the reformist organization Islamic Iran Participation Front was released last night from Tehran's Evin prison. ILNA reports that Tajzadeh was temporarily released until the end of Nowruz holidays. Houshang Babayi told ILNA that his client was released without bail. -Zamaneh - 3/11/10

Shell Ends Gas Sales to Iran
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says it is no longer selling gasoline to Iran, the latest in a growing number of oil firms to halt supplies to the Islamic Republic. The Netherlands-based oil company announced the move Wednesday. -VOA - 3/11/10

Prague's One World Festival Puts Focus On Iran
The poster advertising the opening of Europe's largest human rights film festival shows a 20-something brunette in leather pants ready to lasso, cowgirl-style, the attention of potential attendees. She's also wearing a green jacket. It's a good fit for the festival's opening film, "Green Days," by 21-year-old Iranian filmmaker Hana Makhmalbaf. -Kristin Deasy, RFE - 3/11/10

Play: Spring of Freedom, Summer of Fear
March 25-28 in Minneapolis, MN: This haunting new play by Twin Cities playwright Ali G. Ravi brings the hopes, chaos, and betrayals of the 1979 Iranian Revolution into one family's living room. On a warm summer night in Tehran, shortly after the advent of the Islamic Republic, a young boy's family is confronted by the harsh realities of a changed Iran while the followers of the new regime question their loyalties. - 3/11/10

Iran Supreme Leader may approve changes to election policies
Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic announced that he will approve the changes in "general policies of the elections" which is under discussion in the Expediency Council, provided that he believes in their necessity. -Zamaneh - 3/11/10

Interview: UN Envoy On Torture Says Concerned About Iran
In the wake of the UN Human Rights Council's recent session on Iran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda correspondent Javad Kouroshy asked Manfred Nowak, the UN's special rapporteur on torture, about his attempts to visit Tehran and his efforts to make governments around the world take better care of their detainees. - 3/11/10

Caspian states reach consensus on over 70% of sea's legal regime
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast stated on Wednesday that the five Caspian Sea states have reached a consensus on over 70 percent of the Caspian Sea legal regime. - 3/11/10

Southern California - Persian Cultural Festival, 13 Badar
Sunday April 4, 2010 at Beilenson Park (Lake Balboa): Sizdah bedar is the Persian Festival of "Joy and Solidarity" celebrated on the 13th day of the Persian New Year. This year, this event may gather over 100,000 attendants. - 3/11/10

London - Norouz at Hampstead Town Hall
Friday March 19, 2010: Nima Leon - Lead Vocals and Guitars; Babak Saeedi - Keyboard and Guitars; Saeed - Lead Vocals; Malik Tebrizli - Percussions - 3/11/10

Iran: Rafsanjani stresses people's role in government stability
Akabar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council stressed the role of people in governance and maintained that with the growth and spread of media, governments that do not have popular bases can not last long. -Zamaneh - 3/11/10

US Defense Secretary Visits Saudi Arabia After Afghan Trip
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is keeping up the pressure on Iran, consulting with close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia about how to respond to Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Saudi support is seen as key to any effective approach in putting pressure on Tehran. -VOA - 3/11/10

American and Iranian: 2 homelands at an impasse
What are we to do about the nuclear ambitions of an tyrannically run country, with an oppressive record of human rights violations? How about treating it as an sovereign state with the same rights as our country? -D. Parvaz, Crosscut - 3/11/10

Iranian Filmmaker Speaks Out on Prisoners
Abbas Kiarostami, a celebrated Iranian filmmaker who has won numerous international awards for films like "Close-Up" and "Through The Olive Trees," published an open letter in a Tehran newspaper on Tuesday calling for the release of Jafar Panahi and Mahmoud Rasoulof, two directors recently detained by the authorities. -NY Times - 3/10/10

Urge the House Leadership to Present the Nowruz Resolution for a Vote
With the passage of H.Res. 267 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on January 29th of this year, we are one step closer to having Nowruz officially recognized by the House of Representatives. For that to happen, the House leadership needs to place it on the legislative calendar so it can be voted on. - 3/10/10

Iran Threatens to Shut Down 17 More Newspapers
Iran's top press official is warning the editors and publishers of 17 newspapers they will be shut down if they do not conform to government regulations. Two reformist papers were shut down last month and dozens of opposition journalists have been arrested since a disputed presidential election in June. -VOA - 3/10/10

Iran crowned World Junior Taekwondo champion
Iran claimed the title of the 8th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Tiajuana, Mexico, on Tuesday. Iran won the men's title by winning three gold medals, one silver and one bronze. - 3/10/10

With 52 journalists in jail, Iran hits new, shameful record
The number of journalists in jail rose in February as a relentless media crackdown continues in Iran. Authorities are now holding at least 52 journalists in prison, a third of all those in jail around the world, according to the latest monthly survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists. - 3/10/10

Heavy Bails: Releasing Prisoners or New Hostage Taking by Iran's Judiciary?
News of Abdollah Momeni's release on the heavy bail of approximately $800,000 makes it appear that the Judiciary is setting ransoms and not bails. In fact most of the political prisoners released on bail over the past few months appear to be hostages of the judicial system due to the unreasonably high bail amounts they have had to post. - 3/10/10

An appeal to anti-war organizations and activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran
Around the world, anti-war activists are preparing for major protests this spring to oppose the continuing U.S.-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a storm of developments is dramatically increasing tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. -CASMII - 3/10/10

Interview: Green Movement Leaders Must Stay With People, in Iran
Peyman: I have to clarify that what happened on February 11 doesn't negate street protests. This method should be used whenever permissible. But the green movement must undertake two fundamental tasks. One is to devise a strategy to reach out to social groups belonging to the lower social strata which are still disconnected from the movement -Sara Samavati, Rooz online - 3/10/10

Iranian judiciary puts 12 officers on trial for violationg detainee rights
Iranian authorities started the court proceedings against 12 members of the police force who are accused of violating detainee rights in Kahrizak prison this summer and causing the death of at least three people. -Zamaneh - 3/10/10

Three Years Has Passed Since Disappearance of Robert Levinson in Iran
Tuesday, March 9th, is the 3rd anniversary of the disappearance of my husband, Robert Levinson, while on a business trip to Kish Island, Iran. Unlike most anniversaries that are occasions of joyful celebration by devoted friends and a loving family, this is a terrible, horrible, anniversary. -The Levinson Family - 3/10/10

Shadi Sadr dedicates Women of Courage award to imprisoned peer
Shadi Sadr, Iranian lawyer and women's rights activist, will not be present in Washington to receive her International Women of Courage award to draw attention to the continued imprisonment of her peer, Shiva NazarAhari, to whom she dedicates the award. -Zamaneh - 3/10/10

Open Letter to the department of justice in Iran on the situation of Dervishes
More than one year have passed since the destruction of the Shiite Muslims prayer house and the surrounding cemetery in Isfahan which belonged to the followers of Nematollahi Gonabadi. This heinous act was not only disrespectful to the prayer house of the Shiites, but also irreverent to the Muslim cemetery in the famous city of Isfahan. - 3/10/10

Shahri Estakhry: Women's History Month: 2010 Honoree
Shahri Estakhry is the founder of the Iranian School of San Diego, which works to assist Iranian-American youths to be proud of their heritage by educating them about Iranian culture and the Persian language. Estakhry also co-founded the Persian Cultural Center of San Diego, renowned for its outstanding performing arts and education programs -KPBS - 3/10/10

Google Welcomes U.S. Easing Of Internet Export Rules For Iran, Others
Internet giant Google has welcomed a U.S. decision to relax restrictions that have prevented U.S. companies from exporting Internet services and software to Iran, Cuba, and Sudan. -RFE - 3/10/10

Ahmadinejad Uses Afghan Visit To Lambast Kabul's Western Allies
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has used a visit to Afghanistan to lambast Kabul's Western allies, particularly the United States, saying Washington -- not Tehran -- was playing a "double game" in the country. Ahmadinejad accused the United States of fighting terrorists that it helped to create. -RFE - 3/10/10

Iranian women activists call for end to discrimination
A group of Iranian women activists gathered on the occasion of International Women's Day to urge the Islamic Republic to release all women activists and end all discrimination against women in Iran. Zahra Ranavard was among the participants at the event. - 3/9/10

Tehran governor claims police not invovled in university attack
The controversy surrounding the attack of Tehran University residents in June 2009 remains volatile as Morteza Tamaddon, Tehran Governor announced on March 8 that Security and Police forces did not enter the campus on this day. -Zamaneh - 3/9/10

Photos: Tehran Metro grapples with end of the year traffic
As the Iranian year comes to a close by March 21st, Tehran's streets are bustling with shoppers who are getting ready for the Persian New Year. This has increased the load on Tehran Metro as many residents are trying to avoid the busy streets and take advantage of the cheaper rides. - 3/9/10

Iranian authorities imprison human rights lawyer
Mohammad Oliayifard, Iranian human rights lawyer and top court attorney was arrested on the morning of March 8 after being summoned by the Revolutionary court. Oliayifard, former organizer of Human Rights Activists Collective, was arrested by security forces in Tehran. -Zamaneh - 3/9/10

NIAC Applauds Administration's Correction of Harmful Internet Sanctions on Iran
The National Iranian American Council applauds today's Treasury Department decision to reverse harmful policies barring U.S. Internet communication software from being available to Iranians. - 3/9/10

Chicago - Children's Museum's Norooz
March 11, 13 and 14: Passport to Persia: Visit our Haft-Seen display, decorate an egg to take home, enjoy special music and dance performances and more, discover Persia's rich heritage with members of Chicago's Persian community! - 3/9/10

Iranian, Italian scholars discuss methods to restore Pasargadae
A team of Iranian and Italian experts attended a conference last week to discuss methods to restore Pasargadae in Iran's southern province of Fars. Italian experts are old hands at the restoration of ancient sites built from stone. -MNA - 3/9/10

London - Contemporary Iranian's 4Shanbeh Soori and Norooz
Tuesday March 16, 2010: Let's celebrate 4Shanbeh Souri and Nowruz with with Persian art: music, photography, painting, cartoon, short film and dance - 3/9/10

Iranian composer Mehdi Hosseini gives chamber concert in St. Petersburg's House of Composers
The composition, entitled Taleshi Hava, which is for bassoon and violin and was written by Mehdi Hosseini in 2010, uses music of the north-western Iranian Talishi people. - 3/9/10

The Blooming Friendship Between Azerbaijan And Israel
When 13 years ago the late Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Baku, it was considered a bold and politically risky decision. No red carpets were rolled out, and the meeting was purposely kept low-key. -RFE - 3/9/10

U.S. Says Happy To Work With Iran On Tackling Drugs
The United States and Iran, whose relations are fraught over Tehran's nuclear program, have held a rare meeting where Washington said it was happy to work with Tehran on fighting drugs. -Reuters - 3/9/10

Iran criticizes Germany over release of PJAK ringleader
Iran says PJAK ringleader has been arrested by Germany in a show and is now released. FM spokesman urged Germany and all European countries to show they are seriously pursuing war against terrorism. -ISNA - 3/9/10

U.S. To Send Ambassador To Syria
The United States will return an American ambassador to Syria after a hiatus of 5 years. President Barack Obama has nominated veteran diplomat Robert Ford for the post. -VOA - 3/9/10

Taking girl power to the United Nations: Stoney Creek teen Saba Ghahari champions rights
A burning desire to improve the lives of girls everywhere has catapulted 17-year-old Saba Ghahari from her Stoney Creek home to New York City today where she is at the United Nations fighting youth gender inequities and injustices. -Carmela Fragomeni - 3/8/10

Norouz national festival held in Tehran
Norouz, meaning new day, is celebrated on 21 March, the day of the vernal equinox, by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Middle East, the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and other regions. -Photos by Rauf Mohseni - 3/8/10

The Main Barriers of Feminism Movement in Iran
So far, religion acts as the main barrier for feminist movements in Iran. Religion and tradition, side by side, limit the women to strict social and cultural behaviors; hence impede their improvements in certain social activities. -Azadeh Davachi, Feminist School - 3/8/10

Stand Up for Iran's Women
Today is International Women's Day: a day to celebrate the achievements in the promotion of women's rights globally and to commit to advance them further. This is a day when at Amnesty International we seek to reinforce our work with local and international partners to end violence against women, both in situations of conflict and in the home and protect migrant women from exploitation and other abuses. -Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui - 3/8/10

The Lioness of Iran, Simin Behbahani, Banned From Leaving Country
Prominent Iranian writer and poet, Simin Behbahani was banned from leaving Iran today as she was leaving for Paris to participate in an event on the occasion of International Women's day. - 3/8/10

Minister of Science's Statements are Against the Iranian Constitution, Islamic Penal Code, and International Conventions
In statements which have caused grave concern amongst Iranian human rights and social activists, Iranian Minister of Science, Research, and Technology, Kamran Daneshjoo, has said that only those can teach or study at universities who have proven commitment to Islam and velayat-e faghih. - 3/8/10

Shadow Summit In Geneva Focusing On Neglected Rights Issues
Dissidents, diplomats, and NGO representatives from around the world have gathered in Geneva for a two-day summit aimed at giving voice to victims of the world's worst human rights abuses. -RFE - 3/8/10

Turkey's Domestic Controversy Unfolds Amidst Increasing Ties with Iran
Events the past few weeks in Turkey indicate that a sea change is occurring in the nation's domestic politics. Prime Minister Erdogan's maneuvering against the traditionally untouchable military marks a new phase in Turkey's history. -Shayan Ghajar, insideIRAN - 3/8/10

Opposition Leader Urges Iran's Judiciary to Revoke Valian's Death Sentence
Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi urged Iranian judiciary to rescind the death sentence of Mohammad Amin Valian. Mohammad Amin Valian is an Ashura Day detainee who has been handed a death sentence for the charge of enmity with God (Moharebeh). -Zamaneh - 3/8/10

Criticism of Iran Green Leaders Unfair
Claims they are disorganised and lacking guts ignore the pressure they face from the government. The apparently small number of Green Movement supporters who turned out to protest against the regime in February 11 demonstrations has unleashed a wave of criticism directed towards the opposition. -Rasa Sowlat, Mashhad - 3/8/10

Iran's Bani-Etemad appointed to Fribourg festival jury
Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad was selected for the International Jury at the 24th Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) that is running from March 13 to 20 in Switzerland. Bani-Etemad's "We are Half of Iran's Population" will also go on screen in a special screening session during the event. The film deals with the role of women in Iranian society. - 3/8/10

After Elections, Iran Remains A Major Player In Iraq
On March 7, millions of Iraqis "made their mark" and participated in the country's second, generally fair and democratic post-Saddam Hussein parliamentary elections -- an event that is exemplary for Iraq's Arab and Iranian neighbors. Among the good news was that election coalitions this time around were far more ethnically and confessionally mixed than they were during the 2005 polls. -Abbas Djavadi, RFE - 3/8/10

European firm to invest $3.6b in Iran gas field
Iran has finalized technical and financial terms with an Eastern European company on a contract worth $3.6 billion to develop Lavan gas field, southern Iran, the head of Iranian Offshore Oil Company stated, without giving further detail on the company. -MNA - 3/8/10

Ontario Canada - Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation Navroze
Sunday March 21, 2010: Jashan followed by Lunch and Dancing - Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. - 3/8/10

Larijani: Germany must hand over PJAK ringleader to Iran
Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Monday the ringleader of PJAK terrorist group must be handed over to Iran to stand trial. Larijani's remarks came after it was reported that PJAK terrorist group leader has been arrested in Germany. -ISNA - 3/8/10

Iran to build power plants in Ecuador
Iran plans to build two power plants in Ecuador, First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi has been reported as saying. - 3/8/10

Photos: Shopping for the Persian New Year - part II
The arrival of new year also means new clothing, especially for children. One of the other customs of Norouz is visiting family and friends during the new year holidays. People buy Persian nuts and sweets to serve for their guests during the occasion. -Photos by Yunes Khani - 3/7/10

Iran: Stop Undermining Women's Rights
Iran should stop infringing on women's rights and take immediate steps to meet Iranian women's demands for full equality, Human Rights Watch said today. Iranian women's rights activists have issued a call for freedom and gender equality in Iran in connection with International Women's Rights Day on March 8. - 3/7/10

Photos: Mahram wins Iran's Basketball Championship
Mahram defeated Zob Ahan of Isfahan here on Saturday and claimed the championship of Iran's Basketball League for the third successive year. Mahram beat Zob Ahan 93-75 at the Azadi Gym. -photos by Yuness Khani, MNA - 3/7/10

Iran's ruling systems viewpoint on "Sufism and mysticism"
During recent years and in particularly during the presidency of Mahmud Ahamedinejad the followers of Gonanabadi Sufi order have been under severe restrictions. Under the reign of this executive branch which places emphasis on hard line Shiite doctrine the Sufis of Gonabadi order have been under consistent attack and threats both physically and through rumours and innuendoes which have support from the Ministry of Information. - 3/7/10

Enmity with God, latest charge of former Tehran University president
Mohmmad Maleki, former president of Tehran University, has been accused of "enmity with God" (Moharebeh) according to his lawyer, Mohammad Sharif. Reportedly, he is accused of "insulting Imam Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as well as propaganda against the regime." -Zamaneh - 3/7/10

Photos: Iran launches short-range cruise missile production line
The Defense Ministry inaugurated on Sunday the production line of a short-range cruise missile dubbed Nasr 1 (Victory 1). The Nasr 1 missile is capable of destroying 3000-ton boats, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told reporters during the inauguration ceremony. -Photos by Vahid-Reza Alaei, MNA - 3/7/10

Tabriz Petrochemical wins Le Tour de Langkawi
Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling team finished first at the 15th edition of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) overall after completing the seven stages of the competition on Sunday. -MNA - 3/7/10

Iran cancels shooting team travel to Australia
Iran's shooting team travel to the Australian world championship was cancelled as the country banned arrival of Iranian guns. Iran was to begin its camp with 18 athletes and attend the world championship March 20-28 in Australia. -ISNA - 3/7/10

Photos: Cleaning the House to Greet Norouz
The arrival of the Persian New Year also means a fresh start. Cleaning and dusting the house in advance of arrival of Norouz is one of the important customs for the people. Following photos show the people in Tehran engaging in house cleaning. A big part of this is washing the Persian carpets. - 3/6/10

Iran: Zahra Rahnavard condemns discriminatory laws against women
Zahra Rahnavard issued a statement today at the threshold of the International Women's Day, condemning "backward" laws that discriminate against women in the Islamic Republic. Rahnavard declared that the "family protection" bill is based on "hedonism" and will destroy the family unit. -Zamaneh - 3/6/10

New Year, Norouz 1389 - 2010 Times
Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (the start of spring in the northern hemisphere), which usually occurs either on March 20 on March 21. - 3/6/10

Iran Lobbies Over Rights Forum
Denying rights abuses could prove costly for Tehran, both economically and politically. Iranian activists have viewed with anger and dismay the outcome of a United Nations review of human rights in Iran and the country's rejection of its recommendations. -Omid Memarian - 3/6/10

Iran: Free 'Mourning Mothers' Supporters
The Iranian Judiciary should immediately release six women arrested in January and early February 2010, apparently in connection with their peaceful activities on behalf of the Mourning Mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. - 3/6/10

Professors with deviant views will be dismissed: Iran's Science Minister
Science Minister Kamran Daneshju said on Thursday those professors hold views opposed to the Islamic system will be dismissed. The minister made the remarks at a meeting with the chancellors of universities in the northern city of Behshar. - 3/6/10

Hassan Khomeini condemns violence in Islamic Republic
Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the late leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, spoke out against Islamic Republic authorities claiming, some people refuse to see the truth and even when they are told about it, they try to "accuse you of an offence." -Zamaneh - 3/6/10

Iran in Its Intricacy
A year has passed since President Obama's groundbreaking Nowruz offer to Iran of engagement based on mutual respect. Iran is now a different country, its divided regime weaker and confronted by the Green movement, the strongest expression of people power in the Middle East and a beacon for the region. -Roger Cohen, NY Times - 3/6/10

Karrubi Son Prevented From Traveling Abroad
A son of Iranian opposition cleric Mehdi Karrubi has been prevented from boarding an international flight and had his passport confiscated, according to an Iranian website quoted by RFE/RL's Radio Farda. - 3/6/10

Beverly Hills - IAPA NowRuz Extravaganza
Sunday March 14, 2010: Iranian American Parents Association presents the 15th Bi-Annual NowRuz Festival . We honor Sheriff Lee Baca, County of Los Angeles, IAPA 2010 Humanitarian Award Recipient. - 3/6/10

The Iranian Riddle
Iran is the 21st century equivalent of 1930s Russia -- a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. The Iranians haven't stumbled upon this mystifying state coincidentally, and the enigma isn't the result of outsiders' failure to try to understand them. -Trita Parsi, TIME - 3/6/10

US Genocide Vote Riles Turkey
A U.S. congressional committee approved a resolution condemning the 1915 slaughter of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, rejecting a last-minute Obama administration effort to derail it and putting a chill on relations with Turkey. -VOA - 3/6/10

Iran's NDC in $143m deal with China's CPTDC
Iran's state-run North Drilling Company (NDC) has signed a $143 million contract with CPTDC, a unit of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), for buying an oil rig and plans to order two more for use in the Persian Gulf, the NDC managing director announced in Tehran on Saturday. - 3/6/10

Exhibition: Tehran-New York
March 05-Apr 01, 2010 at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller (LTMH) Gallery in New York: TEHRAN - NEW YORK will explore synergies and differences among the works of 40 well-known and emerging contemporary Iranian artists living in Iran and the U.S. - 3/5/10

Death sentences handed to Iranian protesters challenged by reformist cleric Ayatollah Sanei
Outspoken reformist cleric, Ayatollah Sanei, in response to a question regarding the charge of enmity with God, (moharebeh) says that "protests against the government and its actions" do not constitute" moharebeh (fighting against God). -Zamaneh - 3/5/10

Bam 6.6 screened at US Naval Academy in Annapolis
A screening of the award winning Bam 6.6 film was held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. on February 23rd, 2010 which was hosted by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, John Limbert. -Brian H. Appleton - 3/5/10

UN human rights chief voices concern about abuses in Iran, Sri Lanka
The top United Nations human rights official today voiced deep concern about the violent crackdown on dissent in Iran and the marred prospects for peace in Sri Lanka, where journalists, human rights defenders and other critics of the Government are being mistreated. - 3/5/10

New York - Asia Society and Museum's Norouz
Saturday March 6, 2010: Celebrate Norouz with Persian music and dance by children's dance group J-Hoon Music Ensemble, stories from the great Persian epic Shahnameh, folk music from Kyrgyzstan, and arts and crafts inspired by symbols of spring and good luck. - 3/5/10

Photos: Singing Moloudi in Qeshm Island
Moloudi is a poetic piece that is song in praise of Prophet Mohammad and his descendants. The piece is song by a person with a good voice, and he's accompanied by the crowd. The photos present here are from a Moloudi ceremony on the occasion of the Prophet's birth on the Iranian island of Qeshm in Persian Gulf. -Photos by Reza Milani - 3/5/10

Dr. Mosaddegh's commemoration ceremony canceled by Iranian authorities
The commemoration ceremony for Mohammad Mosaddegh, the late Iranian Prime Minister responsible for nationalizing the Iranian oil industry in 1951, has been canceled by Iranian authorities. -Zamaneh - 3/5/10

UNESCO to decide the fate of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in late March
A UNESCO delegation has been commissioned to study the general status of safeguards for the cultural heritage of Isfahan, the activities carried out in the modifying the Jahan-Nama Tower, and the level of Iranian government's cooperation in this issue, Taniguchi said. - 3/5/10

Photos: Iraqi expats in Iran cast their ballots
Thousands of Iraqi expatriates went to polling stations across Iran on Friday to cast their ballots ahead of the main polling day for Iraq's general election on Sunday. Around 50,000 Iraqi expatriates living in Iran are expected to vote in the parliamentary poll, Iraq's ambassador to Iran told reporters on Friday. -Photos by Mohsen Rezaei, MNA - 3/5/10

Iran frees award-winning filmmaker's wife, daughter
Iranian authorities have freed 14 people arrested at award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi's home but the pro-opposition director remains detained, an opposition website said on Thursday. -AFP - 3/5/10

Toronto - Iranian-Canadian Network Nowruz Gala
Saturday March 20, 2010 at Riviera Parque - IC Network Mission: To help Iranian-Canadians succeed at work and in business by promoting co-operation and networking within the community and by mentoring of new comers to Canada. - 3/5/10

Iran's Hopes And Fears As Iraqis Prepare To Vote
Behind the populist rhetoric about "brotherly relations between Iran and Iraq," however, Iran's role in Iraqi affairs seem to be directed more toward gaining influence in order to reduce security threats against Iran rather than to destabilize Iraq. -Abbas Djavadi, RFE - 3/5/10

How Nokia helped Iran "persecute and arrest" dissidents
A new report out of Finland suggests that the country's corporate poster child, Nokia Siemens, has been involved in some pretty tawdry dealings with Iran, dealings that go beyond the company's admitted involvement with the Iranian regime. -Ars Technica - 3/5/10

Persian Garden of Geneva
The desire to enrich the City of Geneva's cultural and botanical patrimony by giving it a ''Persian Garden'' was born three years ago. Particularly suited to Geneva's international role and reputation, the Persian Garden symbolizes peace and harmony. - 3/4/10

Photos: Shopping for the Persian New Year
Spring is around the corner. The arrival of spring also coincides with the beginning of the Persian New Year Norouz. This is a festive occasion for Iranians and many other countries in the region. The arrival of new year also means new clothing, especially for children. -Photos by Yunes Khani - 3/4/10

Families of Protesters Killed in Iran: No Accountability, Only Threats
More than 72 individuals lost their lives in post-election protests in Iran but, nine months after the electoral coup, none of the murderers have been identified and the Islamic Republic officials do not regard themselves to be accountable for the deaths. Rooz has spoken with the families of the killed protesters about their complaints, the responsiveness of officials, and threats and pressures facing them. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 3/4/10

Courage and Sacrifice: Iran Women Rights Defenders Continue the Fight
Today on a daily basis, personal memoirs of ongoing encounters of dictatorship and resistance in Iran are being written in print and in cyberspace by countless Iranian civil rights activists, scholars and women human rights defenders. -Elahe Amani, WNN - 3/4/10

Iran balances release of five dissidents with more arrests
In the past eight months, several journalists and university students have received heavy sentences ranging from 15 years to six months. Today, a Damghan University student was even sentenced to death. -Zamaneh - 3/4/10

After 2 Months in Prison, "No Suspect by the Name of Bahareh Hedayat Exists!"
Student activist and member of the central council of Advar Alumni Association (Tahkim-e Vahdat) Bahareh Hedayat's husband has described his wife's condition for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 3/4/10

Rafsanjani: 'Differences can be settled by observing Leader's decrees'
Hashemi Rafsanjani insisted on Wednesday that differences that have surfaced in the country since the presidential election cannot be settled without observing the guidelines set by the Supreme Leader and the support of all people and different groups. -MNA - 3/4/10

Exhibition: Reza Derakshani at Osborne Samuel in London
Talented painter, musician and performance artist Derakshani was born in Sangsar, a small village in the north east of Iran. His nomadic childhood had an enormous impact on his appreciation for his surroundings and its natural beauty, which is so often evident in his works. - 3/4/10

Total Eruption: An Online Exhibition by Haedeh Zarrinbal at Gallery Mamak
Haedeh Zarrinbal was born in Tehran, Iran in 1946. She received her primary school education in Iran's oil rich city of Ahvaz after her family was transferred there due to her father's work. She then went on to graduate from the Tehran College of Fine Arts in 1970. -Gallery Mamak - 3/4/10

Clinton Tells Brazil Sanctions Necessary for Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday in Brazil she doubts Iran will negotiate seriously about its nuclear program unless the U.N. Security Council approves new sanctions against it. Clinton held talks in Brasilia with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva. -VOA - 3/4/10

A Blueprint for Ending Human Rights Abuses in Iran
In a recent article published by the Harvard International Review, Sam Sasan Shoamanesh, a lawyer with the International Criminal Court, and Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the NIAC, called for a list internal and external measures that ought to be employed to improve the human rights situation in Iran. -NIAC - 3/4/10

Scholarly Autonomy and Academic Civility
The International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) has received a petition distributed by the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. Academics leading this campaign are protesting against the inclusion of a scholar from Ariel University Center - 3/4/10

Winners Announced: 2nd Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival
Farhang Foundation and Society of Cinema and Arts are proud to present the winners of the 2nd Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival. First Prize goes to Yar e Dabestani - My Grade School Friend - 3/3/10

'Moral Outrage' As Iranian Court Upholds Student's Death Sentence
Twenty-year-old Mohammad Amin Valian, a student at Iran's Damghan University, can be hanged at any time. Iran's judiciary has announced that an appeal court has upheld a death sentence against Valian in connection with a December antigovernment protest. He is among at least 11 people sentenced to death in trials following the protests that erupted after last year's disputed presidential election. -RFE - 3/3/10

Iranian authorities continue arrest of dissidents
Iranian authorities have started a new series of arrests as election protests continue nine months after the disputed June presidential elections.-Zamaneh - 3/3/10

Iranian girls and boys teams in Mexico's Junior World Taekwondo Championship
Tijuana is ready for the upcoming WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (March 3-4) and the 8th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships (March 6-9). - 3/3/10

Photos: Tehran's Tochal Ski Resort
Tochal is a popular ski resorts near Karaj, a city 40 kilometers west of the capital city Tehran. Mount Tochal is a mountain in the Alborz range and adjacent to metropolitan Tehran, Iran. The mountain has a 12 km long ridgeline. -Photos by Azin Haghighi - 3/3/10

Fatemeh Karroubi to sue Iranian Press Supervisory Board
Fatemeh Karoubi announced that she plans to file a lawsuit against the Iranian Press Supervisory Board for shutting down Irandokht magazine. Irandokht, literally translated 'daughter of Iran', a publication owned by Fatemeh Karoubi, was shut down on Monday for violating Press Laws. -Zamaneh - 3/3/10

Los Angeles - CaFAM Norooz
Saturday March 13 at Craft and Folk Art Museum: Declare your global citizenship and celebrate Norooz, the Persian New Year, which is celebrated on the Spring Equinox. Welcome in the new season by participating in an ancient cultural tradition with family and friends. Enjoy art projects, music, dance, and explore the full meaning of Norooz traditions at CAFAM! - 3/3/10

HYPERNOVA's "Fairy Tales" Single Released
There are some artists who consider "suffering for their art" to mean weathering harsh critics and dealing with paparazzi. But when performing your art in your home country could mean arrest, larges fines or even a public flogging, the idea takes on a whole new meaning. - 3/3/10

Chalabi Takes Center Stage In Iraqi Election Dispute
Chalabi, who once championed the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein, is today the man many accuse of doing the most to spoil U.S. hopes for politically stabilizing Iraq. He also is viewed as one of Iran's most effective allies in Baghdad, working as actively with Tehran as he once did with Washington. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 3/3/10

Clinton Hopes To Change Brazil's Mind On Iran Sanctions
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Brazil today and although the stop is just one of six on her Latin American tour, her agenda in Brasilia sets it apart from all the others. -RFE - 3/3/10

Dallas - Nowrouz Festival
Sunday March 21 at Plano Center: Meet Mrs. International 2009 Armaiti Shahidi Fitzgerald, actress-comedian Mona Mahani, rap singer Payam, DJ Nosrati, Magician & Comedian Bryan Lankford, Masoud Eskandar & His Music Academy Students - 3/3/10

Bluster at UN Human Rights Council, as US and Iran trade barbs
This week at the UN Human Rights Council, the US seeks to draw attention to Iran's repression of domestic opposition. Iran, meanwhile, launched a fiery attack on the West. -CSM - 3/3/10

Prominent Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Arrested by Iranian Authorities
Prominent Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi was arrested by Iranian security forces at his home along with his wife, daughter and 15 other guests. -Zamaneh - 3/2/10

The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition launches Iranianscount.org
The Iranians Count 2010 Census Coalition (ICCC) is continuing its proactive role to ensure that statistics for the Iranian-American community are accurately reflected in the upcoming 2010 United States Census - 3/2/10

Iran Frees Some Detainees in New Year Gesture
The Iranian government has released a handful of detainees, including several prominent journalists, according to opposition Web sites. At the same time, the official Fars News agency reports two reformist newspapers, Etemaad and Iran Dokht, have been shut down. -VOA - 3/2/10

What will Iran look like in 10 years?
What will Iran look like in a decade if we continue to put the nuclear clock at the centre, while neglecting the crucial importance of democracy for the country? What will this tortured nation look like in a decade if the current waves of democracy prevail, but Western demands on Iran remain doctrinaire and unchanged? -Parsi, Aslan, Jones, et al - 3/2/10

Iranian opposition leader rules out any form of retreat
Former Iranian president, Mohammd Khatami, speaking to a group of student and youth members of the Path of Imam Forces Organization, maintained that the reformists cannot retreat in the face of all the "deviations" and "damages" that the "Islamic" and "republic" aspects of the system have suffered. -Zamaneh - 3/2/10

Toronto - Norouz Group Show at Queen Gallery
March 4-16, 2010 - Opening reception with performance by Mahsa Madahian, and artworks by exceptional visual artists. The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, jewelery, and live rug making demonstration with "Shiva Moghadasi". - 3/2/10

Washington DC - Iranian Cultural Society of George Washington University Norooz
Saturday March 7, 2010: A celebration of Persian new year featuring: Haftseen ceremony, screening of ICS made comedy, Norooz street smarts, dance performances by Aatash, theatrical performances, and featuring Tehran traditional Norooz cuisine. - 3/2/10

Iranian activist Sahdi Sadr among winners of "Women of Courage Award"
Shadi Sadr, Iranian women's rights activist, is amongst the winners of this year's International Women of Courage Award given by US Department of State, Office of Global Women's Issues. On March 10, Hillary Clinton will present the awards to the honorees at the Department of State. - 3/2/10

Surge in Iranian female smokers
The smoking rate among Iranian women is about 4.5%, jumping from 1.5% in the past years, a member of the anti-drug committee at the Health Ministry said here on Monday. - 3/2/10

Iran: Uranium Enrichment Swap Possible
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki insists his country is only interested in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. And, he says Tehran does not rule out a uranium enrichment swap with western powers. -VOA - 3/2/10

Chemist triumphs despite ORNL restrictions
Athena Safa-Sefat, a solid state chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a rising star in her scientific field, studying some of the fundamental mechanisms that produce superconductivity in materials. -knoxnews - 3/2/10

China Calls For More Talks On Iran Nuclear Issue
China today insisted there is still room for talks to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The comments by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang came after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow is ready to consider new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to comply with international demands to halt uranium enrichment. -RFE - 3/2/10

Guilty Conscience
The news was short: They were executed... Wrote the contemporary Iranian poet Houshang Ebtehaj so many years ago... with the echo of his words still resonating in Alborz Mountains! Before that, the pioneer of modern Iranian poetry Nima Yushij wrote: The memory of certain people keeps me enlightened! -Roya Monajem, Tehran - 3/1/10

A Newly Discovered Manuscript of the Shahnama in Lebanon
A new and important manuscript of the Shāhnāma, was discovered in 2005 in Beirut, Lebanon. The volume is generally in good shape, though it has suffered some water and insect damage. However, fortunately the damage to the actual text of the poem is quite negligible. -Mahmoud Omidsalar - 3/1/10

Photos: Ferdowsi's Mausoleum Suffering From Neglect
The mausoleum of Ferdowsi is suffering from neglect and proper attention. Ferdowsi (935-1020) was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Persian people and of the Iranian World. -Photos by Mehdi Bolourian - 3/1/10

Ayatollah Rafsanjani said to stand firm on upholding people's rights
Faezeh Hashemi daughter of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani says his father will not compromise over people's rights adding that his father's demands are the very demands of the Green Movement. -Zamaneh - 3/1/10

Iran: Heavy Sentences for Journalist and Activists
Only a few days after being re-arrested, it was announced that Hengameh Shahidi's six-year prison sentence has been upheld in an appeals court and she must prepare for serving her sentence. Omid Montazeri was arrested after he went to Ministry of Information's Investigation Office to ask about his mother, Mahin Fahimi, who had been arrested the night before. He received a six-year prison term even though he is not a member of any political groups. - 3/1/10

Behind the Protest Scenes in Iran
The lives of many ordinary Iranians have changed irrevocably since the emergence of the Green Movement. Within hours of the Iranian opposition clashing with police and militiamen on the Tehran streets, the municipal cleaners emerge to wipe away the blood and other signs of unrest. -Yasaman Baji, Tehran - 3/1/10

Photos: Murals to Greet Norouz Visitors to Bandar Abbas
Many Iranians travel during the Norouz (Persian new year) holidays starting around March 20th. Bandar Abbas municipality has embarked on beautification of this southern Persian Gulf city in Iran in anticipation of the Norouz visitors. Many walls in the streets of the city are being painted with murals, some still depicting the wartime martyrs. -Photos by Ahmad Jafari - 3/1/10

Iran Releases Journalists, Bans Moderate Publications
Iranian authorities banned a reformist daily and a moderate weekly magazine today, news agencies reported, a day after the release of six detained journalists. -Reuters - 3/1/10

For the first time, two woman MPs represent Iran in UN commission
Two Iranian female MPs are scheduled to join the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 1 to 12. Fatemeh Rahbar, who represents Tehran in Majlis, and Tayebeh Safaei, head of Majlis women faction, are going to take part in the event and deliver speeches at the commission. -MNA - 3/1/10

Iran says new guided-bomb ready for test
Iran plans to test a "more powerful and accurate" generation of a 2000-pound guided-bomb with a "longer range," Air Force commander Brigadier General Hassan Shah Safi said Monday. -Press TV - 3/1/10
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