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Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans Launches Nationwide
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a national grassroots membership organization dedicated to building an inclusive and representative voice in the public and political arena for up to a million Iranian Americans launches on Monday, April 28. - 4/30/08

Jewish rabbi leads historic FOR peace delegation to Iran
In the wake of comments on April 21st by U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, who responded to a question of a theoretical future attack by Iran on Israel by saying, "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," a 21-person interfaith peace delegation to Iran will depart New York on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. - 4/30/08

'Israel preparing to bomb Iran N-sites'
The commander of the Israeli Air Force says the regime's decision makers have been preparing plans to take out Iran's nuclear facilities. - 4/30/08

Iranian general outmaneuvers U.S. officials in Iraq
One of the most powerful men in Iraq isn't an Iraqi government official, a militia leader, a senior cleric or a top U.S. military commander or diplomat, He's an Iranian general, and at times he's more influential than all of them. - McClatchy Newspapers - 4/30/08

Profile: Iranian-American Artist, Rassouli
RASSOULI is a visionary artist who has come to the attention of the international art world in recent years. What makes his art so unique is the way he translates spiritual experience from his subconscious onto canvas through meditation at sunrise. - 4/30/08

An Iranian's vision of Jesus' life stirs debate
Jesus sat and peeled an orange as his companion, Nader Talebzadeh, began to speak, precisely, so as not to be misunderstood on a matter so sensitive. The Iranian director's new film is based on the Islamic version of the life of Jesus, depicting the man Christians believe to be the messiah and son of God as a tormented Judean prophet foretelling the coming of Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith. -LA Times - 4/30/08

The Caspian energy hotspot
The culminations regarding Caspian, are witnessing a gradual convergence between Iran and Russia in order to agree on a modus vivendi in the planned energy projects. In sort, reliable information relay that both countries will exercise pressure to Azerbaijan in order not to proceed in any pipeline agreements in the future, and in parallel divide their energy ambitions. -International Analyst Network - 4/30/08

Iranian diver to swim around Kish
The professional Iranian diver, Hossein Ashtari is set to swim around Kish Island to commemorate Iran's National 'Persian Gulf' Day. -Press TV - 4/30/08

Iran International Documentary Film Festival
Documentary & Experimental Film Center (DEFC) organizes Cinema Vérité, Iran International Documentary Film Festival, in Tehran- Iran. The festival tries to express the relationship between reality and truth through documentary films. - 4/30/08

Angry Daei threatens to quit as Iran football coach
Iran's coach Ali Daei launched a furious tirade against his football federation on Tuesday, threatening to quit and revealing he is still waiting for a contract to sign. -AFP - 4/30/08

Head Wind: Baad-e-daboor (Documentary -- Iran)
An Iranian paradox: Officially, many things are not permitted, yet with Persian ingenuity, almost everything is possible. Wry docu "Head Wind," by acclaimed helmer Mohammad Rasoulof, provides a candid insider's look at how his authoritarian government aims to control the flow of information into the country and how his compatriots, thirsty for knowledge and freedom of expression, slyly attempt to bend the rules. -Variety - 4/30/08

Iran, Syria blast West at NPT talks
Iranian and Syrian delegates have protested to western claims during global talks aimed at salvaging the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. -Press TV - 4/30/08

Ominous Signs That White House Advisers Want More Wars
Are the latest accusations and tough language leveled against Iran, Syria, and North Korea evidence of a resurgence by the remaining hawks in the administration of President George W. Bush hoping for a final confrontation against one or more members of the revised 'axis of evil' before his term next January? -Alternet - 4/30/08

Azerbaijan: Did Washington Have a Hand in Stopping Nuclear Shipment Headed for Iran?
Azerbaijan’s refusal to release Russian nuclear power plant equipment headed to Iran has put the country at the center of a diplomatic firestorm. Analysts are divided over the source of the trouble. -Eurasianet - 4/30/08

Iranian Artists Star in Christie's $10 Million Dubai Auction
Works by Iranian artists, including Parviz Tanavoli and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, will star in a Christie's International art auction that is expected to raise at least $10 million in Dubai tomorrow. -Bloomberg - 4/30/08

Gates says 2nd carrier in Gulf is 'reminder' to Iran
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that sending a second U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf could serve as a "reminder" to Iran, but he said it's not an escalation of force -AP - 4/30/08

Iran crowned taekwondo champ in Asia after 38 years
Iran's Men's Taekwondo Team has brought Korea's reign to an end after 38 years in the Asian championship in Zhengzhou, China, on Monday. -MNA - 4/29/08

Iran Men's Sitting Volleyball Team takes gold
Iranian Men's Sitting Volleyball Team won the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD) Intercontinental Cup after beating Russia in Ismailia, Egypt, on Tuesday. -MNA - 4/29/08

Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi Wins a Peabody Award!
A Peabody went to Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi, from American Public Media. This edition of the long-running series explored resurgent interest in the 13th century Persian poet: - 4/29/08

Photos: Persian Gulf Shores, Bandar Abbas
Bandar Abbas is a port city and capital of Hormozgân Province on the southern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf. The city occupies a strategic position on the narrow Straits of Hormuz, and it is the location of the main base of the Iranian Navy. It had an estimated population of 352,173 in 2005. - 4/29/08

Iran's Ebrahimi crowned champ in Asian weightlifting
Iranian weightlifter Asghar Ebrahimi has bagged three gold medals on Wednesday in the 39th Asian Weightlifting Championship in Kanazawa, Japan. - 4/29/08

Western scientists intrigued by photos from Iran's nuclear site
Most important, the pictures give the first public glimpse of the new centrifuge, known as the IR-2, for Iranian second generation. There were no captions with the photos, so analysts around the globe are scrutinizing the visual evidence to size up the new machine, its efficiency and its readiness for the tough job of uranium enrichment. They see the photos as an intelligence boon. -IHT - 4/29/08

Students hold protest gathering in front of UAE embassy in Tehran
Hundreds of students held a gathering in front of the United Arab Emirates embassy in Tehran, on Tuesday to protest against the recent move by several Arab states to forge the name of the Persian Gulf. - 4/29/08

Qadakchian making Iranian Hercules biopic
Director Hamid Qadakchian is currently making a documentary film on life story of the world's four-time and twice Olympic +105kg weightlifting gold medalist Hossein Rezazadeh. - 4/29/08

Marriage and divorce rates up in Iran
There was 8% increase in the country's marriage rate in 1386 (ended March 19, 2008), State Registration Organization of Deeds and Properties announced here on Tuesday. - 4/29/08

Seven Valleys of Love: A bilingual anthology of women poets from Middle Ages Persia to present day Iran
Seven Valleys of Love, compiled and translated by Sheema Kalbasi, is written with a piercing clarity and a profound intensity of emotion. - 4/29/08

Iranian President arrives in India
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after ending his visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka, arrived in New Delhi, as the head of a political, economic and cultural delegation, for talks with his Indian counterpart and other officials of India. -IRNA - 4/29/08

Russia welcomes Iran's proposal package
Iran's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and Russian Acting Secretary of the National Security Council held their first round of talks in Tehran Monday morning. -IRNA - 4/29/08

Iran President wraps up Sri Lanka visit
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran wound up his visit to Sri Lanka on Tuesday heading for New Delhi, India at the third and last leg of this three-nation regional tour. -IRNA - 4/29/08

Iran criticizes US for scapegoating others for Iraq policy failure
Iranian Ambassador to United Nations dismissed "certain baseless allegations" made by representative of the United States at the Security Council meeting against Iran on April 28. -IRNA - 4/29/08

Helping the Mullahs, Hurting the Poor
While the U.S. and many European countries believe that Iran's nuclear ambitions can be restrained by increasing sanctions aimed at the regime's decision-makers, Tehran continues to outwit them without changing its policies.-Babak Rahimi, Antiwar - 4/29/08

Iran-UAE annual trade volume hits $12b
A Commerce Ministry official here on Tuesday announced that trade volume between Iran and the United Arab Emirates in the last Iranian year (just ended March 19) stood at $12.3 billion. -MNA - 4/29/08

Israeli threats to "destroy the Iranian nation" in a retaliatory strike should Iran attack Israel seems perfectly acceptable to the US State Department. However, its spokesman, Sean McCormack, is voicing his strong condemnations against the Iranian officials when they respond in kind. How hypocritical is that? -Kam Zarrabi - 4/28/08

Iran national team officially invited by US soccer federation
Iran's national football team received an official invitation from the US soccer federation to travel for two friendly games in the United States, it was reported on Monday. - 4/28/08

ON "Why We Should Listen to Scott Ritter": Norooz among the Iraqi Refugees in Damascus
I was in Syria during Norooz and received a furious call from my mother "Didn't you think we would worry about you, it is Norooz and you have not called us and you are not in your hotel!" she screamed over the phone. Indeed, I had failed to call my mother; having lost myself in South Damascus, among the refugees of Sayyed Zeinab. -Roksana Bahramitash - 4/28/08

A championship without Hercules Rezazadeh
World champion Hossein Rezazadeh of Iran is reportedly to skip the Asian Weightlifting Championships to prepare for the Beijing Olympics. - 4/28/08

Energy: Turkmen, Iranian Presidents Moving Ahead With Rival Pipelines
Pipeline politics took center stage as Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad went on the road to promote competing pipelines to export their natural gas. -RFE - 4/28/08

Is War With Iran Imminent? This time, it's more than a rumor…
The shooting has already started in the Persian Gulf – and chances are we'll be at war with Iran before President Bush's term is up. -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 4/28/08

Iranian emigres form group to improve homeland's image
Many Americans know little of ancient Persia's proud and cultured history, but they have heard a lot about modern Iran's radical ayatollahs and nuclear ambitions. They do not generally think cradle of civilization; they think axis of evil. -Boston Globe - 4/28/08

Iranian president arrives in Sri Lanka
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Monday evening arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit. -IRNA - 4/28/08

Ahmadinejad says Iran to welcome Chinese participation in gas pipeline
"The IPI gas pipeline agreement will soon be finalized and my government will also welcome the inclusion of China in the project," the Iranian president said during meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. -IRNA - 4/28/08

Iran, Russia, two major global powers: SNSC Secretary
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Saeed Jalili, on Monday referred to Iran and Russia as two major global powers. Jalili made the remark in a joint press conference with Acting Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Valentin Sobolev, who arrived in Tehran Sunday evening heading a high-ranking delegation for a two-day visit. -IRNA - 4/28/08

Iran Discusses 'Serious' Nuclear Proposals With Russia
Iran's top national security official held talks Monday with the acting secretary of Russia's National Security Council aimed to defuse international concerns about Tehran's nuclear program. -VOA - 4/28/08

AFGHANISTAN: Over half the population at risk of malaria - Health Ministry
Over half of Afghanistan's estimated 26.6 million population – and especially pregnant women and children - are vulnerable to malaria, according to Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). -IRIN - 4/28/08

Iran gas pipeline deal to be clinched soon: India
Indicating that the $ 7.4 billion Iran- Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline deal would be "clinched soon" Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said on Sunday that he would apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the 'bilateral talks' with Pakistan during the coming week. - 4/28/08

Iran says "yes" to India's ONGC: reports
Indian sources say Iran has accepted India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to take stakes in Azadegan and South Pars projects. -ISNA - 4/28/08

Barbie denounced as destructive by Iranian prosecutor
The blonde-haired, scantily clad Barbie doll and other western toys will lead to "destructive and cultural consequences" for Iran, the country's top prosecutor is quoted as saying today. - 4/28/08

Photos: Gachsar Tulip Field, Iran
The Festival of Tulips is held every year in the Garmab Gachsar village, located near the satellite city of Karaj. -Photos by Erfan Dadkhah, ISNA - 4/27/08

Iran wis Asian Judo Championship
Iranian duo judoka Arash Mir-Esmaeili and Ali Ma'lumat won the gold medals in the 2008 Asian Judo Championship, in Jeju, South Korea on Sunday. - 4/27/08

Iranian woman rower Homa Hosseini books Olympic place
Homa Hosseini has secured an Olympic berth in the Women's Heavyweight Single Sculls at the Shanghai Water Sports Centre on Sunday. - 4/27/08

Iranian woman taekwondoka wins gold
Fatemeh Nemati claimed the gold medal in the women's category of the 18th Asian Senior Taekwondo Championship in Zhengzhou, China, on Sunday. -MNA - 4/27/08

Iran: Conservatives Extend Control After Parliamentary Runoffs
Iranian conservatives have consolidated their control of the country's legislature in runoff elections. Eighty-two seats in the 290-seat parliament were at stake in voting on April 25 after the first round last month assured conservatives of a crushing victory over reformists. -RFE - 4/27/08

Iran to compile Persian Gulf Encyclopedia
Iran has started compiling Persian Gulf Encyclopedia. The encyclopedia will be compiled in 8 volumes during 4 years. -ISNA - 4/27/08

Iran President to visit Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India
The president will start traveling to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India on Monday. Heading a high-ranking board, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will first travel to Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. -ISNA - 4/27/08

Iran Air shares to go on sale: Minister
Iran's road and transportation minister here on Sunday voiced the ministry's readiness to privatize Iran Air (HOMA) airline. The official noted Iran Air is a profitable company stating the company operates with over 55 airplanes and owns 44 of them. - 4/27/08

2,200-year-old gemstones found in Iran
Ancient priceless gemstones and jewels belonging to postdated Achaemenid era have been unearthed in Iran's southern province of Fars. -Press TV - 4/27/08

Hillary's Nuclear Warmongering: Cowboys and Iranians
It is a very sad day in Iranian history when an American presidential candidate needs to threaten to “obliterate” Iran so as to be elected. The question that every Iranian needs to ask: “Why has Hillary suddenly transformed into a testes endowed nuclear warmonger?” -Mohammed Alireza, Counterpunch - 4/27/08

Afghanistan: Attack Disrupts Kabul Military Parade
Afghan officials say three people have been killed in an attack on a ceremony in the capital, Kabul, attended by President Hamid Karzai and other dignitaries. -RFE - 4/27/08

Oil price rise due to high liquidity in West: NIOC official
The National Iranian Oil Company's deputy director for international affairs said here on Saturday that the huge liquidity in industrialized Western countries is the main reason for the unprecedented rise in the price of oil in international markets and predicted that the trend would continue. -MNA - 4/27/08

Iran and India hold nanotechnology conference
Iran and India hold 3 days of joint seminar on nanotechnology in Tehran 27-29 of April. -ISNA - 4/27/08

PGCC to talk with Iran on establishment of common market
Saudi Arabia's official News Agency ( SPA) quoting Secretary General of PGCC Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah on Saturday saying, "With the aim of consolidating economic ties, increasing trade exchange and creating joint investments opportunities with countries like Iran and South Korea, the PGCC will start talks with them." - 4/27/08

A US Casualty of war, A threat to World Peace: Clinton Dehumanised
The shameful exposition by the American presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton, of her mass genocidal intentions towards Iranians was tragic proof of the dehumanising impact of warmongering on an elite western mind. -Mehrnaz Shahabi - 4/26/08

No clash has taken place with US vessel in Persian Gulf, Iran Navy
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy official has said that no clash has taken place between Iranian boat and a US vessel in the Persian Gulf waters terming it as totally baseless. -IRNA - 4/26/08

Iran's "Late for Freedom" awarded at Hot Docs
The Iranian documentary "It Is Always Late for Freedom" directed by Mehrdad Oskuii won the award for the best mid-length documentary (30-59 minutes) at the Canadian international documentary festival Hot Docs - 4/26/08

Iran wins rowing Olympic berth
Iranian rower, Mohsen Shadi, has won an Olympic berth for his country at the Asian rowing championships, which are being held in China. Meanwhile, Iranian female rower, Homa Hosseini, has reached the final stage at women's heavyweight single sculls to compete with her Asian opponents to get another Olympic berth for her country on Sunday. -Press TV - 4/26/08

Is an Attack on Iran Imminent?
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a “limited” nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan would result in three million people killed by radiation within two weeks and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. -Santa Monica Mirror - 4/26/08

American Political Parties: It is not just about a Jackass and an Elephant
A Couple of weeks ago, I read a piece of news on Payvand that took me back in time and reminded me of what I consider the simpler time in life. Interestingly, the news was about the sports- it read Esteqlal (old Taj) and Persepolis soccer teams tied the game at one a piece. -Sina Alavi - 4/26/08

Top US Officer Says Iran Increasing Support for Iraqi Shiite Insurgents
The senior U.S. military officer said Friday the United States must maintain the option of using military force to end Iran's support for Shiite insurgents in Iraq, but he said other means, economic and diplomatic, should be used for now. VOA's Al Pessin reports from the Pentagon. - 4/26/08

Austrian company to take part in Iran's LNG project
Iranian Natural Gas Liquefaction Company managing director said here on Friday that an Austrian company will take part in Iran's LNG project. - 4/26/08

Khatami: I am retired
Iran's former reformist president Mohammad Khatami hinted on Friday that that he will not resume political activities. "I am retired," Khatami told reporters as he was casting his vote for the second round of the parliamentary election. - 4/26/08

India's Nalco to invest $1 billion in Iran
India's National Aluminium Company Ltd. (Nalco) has lined up a $1 billion investment for the Aluminium industry as well as building a power plant in Iran. - 4/26/08

Iran resumes Turkmenistan gas import
Iran has acceded to Turkmenistan's stipulation for a rise in the gas price to renew gas import to Iran, the managing director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) stated Friday. -MNA - 4/26/08

World: Seeking Food Security In An Uncertain World
The future arrived more quickly than anyone expected. Starting in the 1960s, environmentalists warned that the world was about to run out of food as populations grew and agricultural land was exhausted. -RFE - 4/26/08

Oil jumps more than $2 on U.S.-Iran tensions
A cargo ship hired by the U.S. military fired warning shots at boats suspected to be Iranian, the U.S. Navy said on Friday, underscoring tension in the Gulf as the Pentagon sharpened its warnings to Tehran. Iran denied there had been any confrontation between its forces and a U.S. ship, Iranian media reported. -Reuters - 4/26/08

Conference at Rutgers: Iran Today
On Saturday April 26, 2008 the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University, will be hosting a conference on the topic of "Iran Today". The conference will consist of four sessions on the following topics: Iranian Identity, Iranian Visual and Dramatic Arts, Iranian Society and Human Rights, and Iran in the Middle East. - 4/25/08

US Officials Face Tough Questions from Lawmakers on Iran Policy
Bush administration officials defended U.S. policy toward Iran before skeptical members of the U.S. Senate Thursday. Lawmakers questioned the effectiveness of U.S. and international diplomatic efforts aimed at pressuring Tehran to stop enriching uranium. -VOA - 4/25/08

Poetry of Rumi a Unifying Force of Civilizations
Dr. Nevit Ergin, a Turkish-American surgeon based in San Mateo, California, and translator of Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Balkhi Rumi's narrative poetry, visited India in connection with the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Persian poet. Though Ergin is a surgeon by profession, he has dedicated himself to the study of Rumi and his works for the past 50 years. - 4/25/08

Films at UCLA: Caught Between Two Worlds & Voices
Documentary screenings of "Caught Between Two Worlds" and "Voices" and panel discussion with Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri and Simin Farkhondeh, filmmakers - 4/25/08

News Analysis: Firing Tightens Iranian President's Economic Circle
For some 33 months, as Iran's economy minister, he was either silent or supported the president's economic policies. But on April 22, in a farewell speech that ended in tears, outgoing Economy Minister Davud Danesh-Ja'fari blamed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his close associates for being directly responsible for Iran's economic crisis. -RFE - 4/25/08

Iran's 4500-year-old cypress tree nominated for addition to the World Heritage list
A 4500-year-old cypress tree in Iran's southeastern province of Yazd is to be soon protected as one of the world's biggest living organisms. The tree, gracefully standing in the city of Abarku, located in the southwest of the Yazd Province is one of the region's seven historical and natural sites and is nominated to be added to the World Heritage list. - 4/25/08

Petraeus Promotion Frees Cheney to Threaten Iran
The nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new head of the Central Command not only ensures that he will be available to defend the George W. Bush administration’s policies toward Iran and Iraq at least through the end of Bush’s term and possibly even beyond. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 4/25/08

Running to Win – Iranian American Sets Her Sights on City Council Seat in Carlsbad, California
Farrah Douglas, a prominent Iranian American businesswoman and community activist, is currently a candidate for the city council of Carlsbad, California. - 4/25/08

Iran: Elections run-off begins
The 8th Majlis run-off elections started here at 54 constituencies at 08:00 am Tehran times on Friday. -IRNA - 4/25/08

Clinton Threatens to ‘Obliterate’ Iran
How proud the Clintonistas must be. They have learned how to rival what Hillary once termed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” in the effort to destroy a viable Democratic leader who dares to stand in the way of their ambitions. -Robert Scheer, TruthDig - 4/25/08

IAEA's Heinonen to visit Iran again on April 28th
An informed nuclear official said here Friday IAEA Chief's Treaties Deputy Olli Heinonen is scheduled to visit Iran again on April 28th for another round of talks. -IRNA - 4/25/08

Thai Rice Prices Hit Record; UN Concerned About Asia Food Security
Rice prices in Thailand, the world's leading exporter, reached a record of over one-thousand dollars a ton. As Ron Corben reports from Bangkok the increase in rice and food prices generally will be the center of debate at a U.N. conference next week. -VOA - 4/25/08

Video of NIAC's Senate Conference "Breaking the US-Iran Stalemate"
NIAC's Senate conference "Breaking the US-Iran Stalemate" with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ambassador Tom Pickering and Dr. Hans Blix is now available on youtube. - 4/25/08

Al-Sadr shift: away from politics and favoring fight
Muqtada al-Sadr is considering setting aside his political ambitions and restarting a full-scale fight against U.S.-led forces — a worrisome shift that may reflect Iranian influence on the young cleric and could open the way for a shadow state protected by his powerful Mahdi Army. -AP - 4/25/08

Why We Should Listen to Scott Ritter This Time
Scott Ritter, the Chief UN inspector in Iraq for eight years, the man who insisted Iraq had no WMDs, is on the road again. He spoke in St. Louis, Missouri, in early April. His main message "Iran is not a threat to anyone. Speak up against a disastrous war with Iran!" -Fatemeh Keshavarz - 4/24/08

German and Iranian schoolchildren bring "Snow White" to Isfahan
A play based on the Brothers Grimm classic fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was staged by a group of German and Iranian schoolchildren at Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan on April 22. -Tehran Times - 4/24/08

A Quest: Cyrus's Life and Legacy
O Man, whosoever you are and from wherever you come… I am Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire. Begrudge me not, therefore, little earth which covers my body. -Sara Monajem - 4/24/08

Football: Iran's Sepahan defeats Saudi al-Ittihad
Iran's Sepahan football team has managed to defeat Saudi Arabia's al-Ittihad 1-0 in a difficult match of the AFC Champions League. - 4/24/08

Sister Hillary
It seems Hillary Clinton has sacrificed her conscience to ambition. Chinese proverb has it that "he who sacrifices his conscience to ambition, burns a picture to obtain the ashes". She announced her readiness to reduce 70 million innocent Iranian lives to ashes so that she could imagine her picture in the White House. -Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - 4/24/08

Iran: Women's Rights Activists Get Suspended Lashing Sentences
A revolutionary court in Tehran has sentenced three women's rights activists to suspended sentences of lashings and six months in prison for charges that include acting against national security. -RFE - 4/24/08

Iranians read books for two minutes a day
The president of the Iran National Library and Archives (INLA) announced on Tuesday that Iran's per capita book reading is two minutes in every 24 hours. - 4/24/08

GESF members gear up for formation of gas OPEC
Setting up a gas OPEC cartel will boost relations of the gas exporting countries, Deputy Iranian Oil Minister for OPEC and International Energy Affairs Javad Yarjani stated Wednesday. -MNA - 4/24/08

How To Spot a Persian Prostitute
Location, location, location. In the 1970s, Bostonians looking for a proverbial good time went to the "Combat Zone" and New Yorkers flocked to 42nd Street; in contemporary Iran, the holy city of Qom is known (unofficially) as a place of "both pilgrimage and pleasure." -Slate - 4/24/08

Iran, Russia's Gazprom sign oil and gas memorandum
The Iranian government and Russian energy giant Gazprom have reached an agreement on oil and gas cooperation, the national Iranian oil company (NIOC) said on Wednesday. - 4/24/08

Tehran to host 8th Intl. Petrochemical Conference
The 8th International Petrochemical Conference is to be held on May 17-18, 2008 in Tehran. Ranking officials and experts of domestic and international petrochemical industries have been invited to attend the conference. -MNA - 4/24/08

Football legend Pele to visit Iran
Edison Arantes do Nascimento best known by his nickname Pele, the most popular soccer player worldwide, will visit Iran in May, a member of Iran Football Federation said here on Wednesday. -IRNA - 4/24/08

Iraq: Al-Sadr Aide Downplays Threat, Assails Iran's Role In South
An official spokesman for Shi'ite cleric and militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has signaled a reluctance on al-Sadr's part to order his Imam Al-Mahdi Army to fight the Iraqi government and distanced his group from elements in neighboring Iran. -RFE - 4/24/08

Beckham diplomacy may thaw US-Iran relations
CAN David Beckham defuse tensions between Iran and the US? Iranian football fans certainly hope so. They are bursting with anticipation after Iranian officials said Beckham's LA Galaxy club has challenged the Iranian national team to a friendly match in the US next month. -Scotsman - 4/24/08

Rice rationing in UK
British stores are starting to restrict the sale of bags of rice to protect dwindling supplies, it was reported Thursday. -IRNA - 4/24/08

What will British audiences make of a great Iranian auteur?
She's foreign, she's a woman and she's still alive. Can a Rakhshan Bani-Etemad season at the BFI draw the crowds? -Guardian - 4/24/08

NIAC denounces Clinton's war rhetoric: "Obliterate" Iran
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) denounces Senator Hillary Clinton's escalating war rhetoric on Iran. In an interview with Good Morning America, Senator Clinton promised Tuesday to "obliterate" Iran should Tehran develop a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel. - 4/23/08

Drawing Oriental Carpet Designs Is An Artform Of Its Own
Long before most town and city carpets are woven, the design is recorded on paper. The drawing, or 'cartoon,' is what the weavers follow to create their patterns. And when the designs are complex, preparing the cartoons becomes an art form in itself. -Charles Recknagelis - 4/23/08

PROFILE: Parviz Homai, Parviz Art Fashion-NYC
Persians made their greatest contributions of art and culture through long and complex historical experiences that spread through many countries, and now its intricacy has reached the USA. - 4/23/08

Iraq's Neighbors Praise Maliki Government, Maliki Asks Them to Do More
No Sunni Arab state has a full-time ambassador in Iraq. By contrast, Iran, a non-Arab, mostly Shi'ite country that fought a long war with Iraq in the 1980s - has resumed full diplomatic ties. -VOA - 4/23/08

ElBaradei: Iran's decision for cooperation with IAEA a milestone
Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Wednesday that Iran's decision to have more cooperation with the IAEA is a milestone. -IRNA - 4/23/08

Iran denounces sanctions on oil producing states
Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said here on Tuesday evening that war and sanctions imposed on several major oil producing countries in the past three decades have been among main elements damaging the global energy supply capacity. -IRNA - 4/23/08

US, Iran remain icy to one another as Iraq's PM pleads for Arab support
Rice and Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki said only a brief hello and did not shake hands as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he cannot understand why Arab states have not forgiven Iraq's crushing debts, made new loans or sent ambassadors to Baghdad. -AP - 4/23/08

Chris de Burgh to visit Iran in May
Renowned Irish singer, Chris de Burgh, says he will visit Iran to decide whether to hold concerts with the country's Arian pop music group. -Press TV - 4/23/08

Total to enter LNG deal with Iran
French Total company will go along with Iran in its LNG project in defiance of sanctions or tough actions. -IRNA - 4/23/08

No guidance needed on Iran ties: India to US
India on Tuesday firmly told the US that it does not want "any guidance" on its conduct of bilateral relations with Iran, with both New Delhi and Tehran being "perfectly capable" of "managing all aspects of their relationship". -Times of India - 4/23/08

Iraq: Al-Sadr's Militia 'Won't Fight Government'
Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued an ultimatum to the Iraqi government on April 19, warning that unless it ended its crackdown on his militia he would launch an "open war" on it. But al-Sadr's official spokesman, Salih al-Ubaydi, told RFE/RL analyst Kathleen Ridolfo on April 22 that he does not expect al-Sadr to order the Imam Al-Mahdi Army to fight government forces. -RFE - 4/23/08

Turkmenistan to resume Iran gas supply
Turkmen foreign minister in his meeting with Iran's ambassador to Ashgabat has said his country is ready to resume gas exports to Iran. -Press TV - 4/23/08

Conference at Yale - Facing Others: Iranian Identity Boundaries & Modern Political Cultures
April 25 - 27, 2008 at Yale: Topics discussed: Legacy of Cultural Exclusion, The Internal Frontiers, Empires and Encounters, Identity and Iranian Political Cultures, Globalized Anxieties - 4/22/08

Oil Prices Reach a Record High of $117
Government energy ministers from oil-rich nations and international oil company executives are attending a three-day International Energy Forum in Rome. Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome the meeting, which ends Tuesday, is being held as crude oil prices reached a record high. - 4/22/08

Iran's President to Visit India to Discuss Energy Issues
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to make a brief visit to India before the end of the month. It will be the first trip to the South Asian nation by an Iranian head of state in five years. Discussions are expected to include a proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. -VOA - 4/22/08

U.S. To Push For Greater Arab Engagement At Iraq Neighbors' Conference
When the foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states meet in Kuwait this week, they can expect increased U.S. pressure to support Baghdad as a counterbalance to growing Iranian influence in Iraq and the wider region. -RFE - 4/22/08

Iranian-American Community Moves Forward
Dr. Akbar Ghahary, the CEO of SAFAS Corporation was interviewed on the Voice of American's Radio/TV program Round Table, hosted by Bijan Farhoodi on Saturday April 19. Akbar Ghahary is a pioneer among a progressively growing cohort of visionary philanthropists and benefactors who have sustainably provided substantive intellectual and material resources toward the advancement of the stature of the Iranian-American community. -Davood Rahni - 4/22/08

Officially designated a "messenger of peace" by the United Nations in late January, George Clooney told Voice of America's (VOA) Persian News Network that as part of his new assignment, he would like to visit Iran. - 4/22/08

Shahrekord, Kent universities to expand academic ties
Shahrekord University is mulling expansion of academic ties with University of Kent, Belgium, the deputy chancellor of the university for educational affairs said on Monday. -IRNA - 4/22/08

Iran's FM calls for restoration of tranquility to Iraq
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday called on Iraq's neighboring states to spare no efforts to help restore security, stability and tranquility to the war-torn Iraq. -IRNA - 4/22/08

Iranian women hit by cancer earlier
Iranian women seem to develop breast, cervical, uterus and ovarian cancers one decade earlier than the women around the world, head of Shahid Beheshti Medical Science University Alireza Zali said on the sidelines of a conference on women cancers. -Tehran Times - 4/22/08

Can the U.S. and Iran Share the Middle East?
Iran's role in Iraq came as a sharp reminder that the George W. Bush administration's accusations of Iranian mischief notwithstanding, Iranian influence in Iraq is both undeniable and multifaceted. As Washington starts to come to terms with this reality, the Middle East inches closer to its moment of truth: Is the United States ready to share the region with Iran? -Trita Parsi, IPS - 4/22/08

Energy Analyst Sees Russia as Key Oil Supplier to Europe
Vladimir Socor, an energy analyst based in Germany, told Washington audience Monday planned new pipelines will consolidate Russia's position as a leading supplier of oil and gas to Western Europe. VOA's Barry Wood has more. - 4/22/08

How Iran Sees the US Primaries
From President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office and the sitting rooms of high-ranking mullahs to university campuses and the Farsi-language blogosphere, Iranians are following the American presidential race more avidly than ever before. -TIME - 4/22/08

Azerbaijan halts Russian Nuclear cargo for Iran
Azerbaijan has halted a shipment en route to Iran loaded with Russian nuclear equipment to be used for Iran's Bushehr power plant. -Press TV - 4/22/08

Iran-China trade exchange exceeds dlrs 20bn
The volume of trade exchange between Iran and China exceeded dlrs 20 billion in 2007, an Iranian diplomat said on Tuesday. -IRNA - 4/22/08

Japan freezes 'nuclear-tied' Iran assets
Japan's Foreign Ministry says it has frozen the assets of Iranian individuals and bodies allegedly involved in Iran's nuclear program. -Press TV - 4/22/08

Could a kinder, gentler Iranian leader have succeeded in defusing the international tension between the West and Iran? Could a more resilient and diplomatically talented Iranian president have brought about a meaningful rapprochement between the United States and Iran? Hardly!! -Kam Zarrabi - 4/21/08

Politics, cartoons and more: An interview with Nikahang Kowsar
Nikahang Kowsar, an Iranian cartoonist, radio producer, news-wire editor, blogger and photographer, recently attended a conference hosted by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), which brought together journalists to discuss social, economic, and political issues in Iran. -Fariba Amini - 4/21/08

The Situation in Iran
Iran is in the state of a transition from a traditional society to a modern one. This process towards modernization of politics and economy, which started almost 150 years ago, has been expedited by 1979 Revolution. -Speech by Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi - 4/21/08

Play American Flag Football in Tehran!!
The first ever American Flag Football team in Tehran has been organized and is looking for new recruits. Interested players are encouraged to join the team. Also, anyone with coaching experience is welcome to join. - 4/21/08

Sholeh Wolpe at LA Times Festival of Books
Iranian-born poet, playwright and literary translator Sholeh Wolpe will be reading from her new collection of poems, "Rooftops of Tehran" as well as from " Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad." - 4/21/08

Iranian-IAEA delegations begin talks in Tehran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Head for Safeguards Agreement Olli Heinonen and Iranian nuclear negotiators started negotiations in Tehran Monday afternoon. -IRNA - 4/21/08

2,200-year-old rilievo discovered in Iran
Archeologists discovered a 2,200-year-old bassorilievo with two back-to-back faces carved on tusk in Iran's southern province of Fars. - Press TV - 4/21/08

Iran-Oman gas investment can rise to dlrs 12bn
First Vice President Parviz Davoudi said in Tehran Monday that Iran and Oman can raise investment in Kish gas field to dlrs 12 billion. He made the remark in a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister for Council of Ministers of the Sultanate of Oman Fahad bin Mahmood Al-Said after signing a memorandum of understanding in the field of gas cooperation between Iran and Oman. -IRNA - 4/21/08

First Iran International Zeolite Conference to be held
First Iran International Zeolite Conference (IIZC'08) is to be held in Amir Kabir University(Tehran Polytechnic) from April 29 to May 1, 2008. - 4/21/08

U.S. and Iran find common ground in Iraq's Shiite conflict
In the Iraqi government's fight to subdue the Shiite militia of Moktada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra, perhaps nothing reveals the complexities of the Iraq conflict more starkly than this: Iran and the United States find themselves on the same side. -IHT - 4/21/08

US sanctions not harming Iran's oil
Iran says its oil sector remains unharmed by US sanctions. Iran's Deputy Oil Minister says Iran has weathered US sanctions for decades and the country's oil sector remains unharmed by these sanctions. -Press TV - 4/21/08

Iran's football team likely to play L.A.Galaxy
Iran's Football Federation (IFF) is waiting for the official invitation from the U.S. Soccer Federation to hold a friendly game against Los Angeles Galaxy. -MNA - 4/20/08

Photos: Horse Racing in Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran
Gonbad-e Qâbus or Gonbad-e Kâvus (also transcribed Gonbad-e Ghâbus or Gonbad-i Ghâboos) is a city in the province of Golestan in Iran. It had an estimated population of 135,868 in 2005. The city is famous for a historic brick tower by the same name. - 4/20/08

7 Iranian wrestlers to go for the gold in Beijing
Wrestler Ali Asghar Bazri (74 kg class) won the last Olympics berth on the Iranian wrestling team in Switzerland on Sunday. Iran will send seven wrestlers to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to compete in all categories. -MNA - 4/20/08

Iran to expand first international geopark of the Middle East on Qeshm island
Qeshm geopark has been registered as the Middle East first of the kind in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2006. - 4/20/08

Iran to start gas export to Switzerland in 2009
The national gas exports company managing director said Iran will begin the first gas delivery to Switzerland in 2009. According to the deal signed by Tehran and Bern, Iran is supposed to export gas to the state for 25 years, Nasrollah Seifi said. -ISNA - 4/20/08

Oil still has not reached its true value: Iranian President
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said that oil is priced too low at 115 dollars a barrel, adding that the commodity "should find its real value". -MNA - 4/20/08

Iran ready to resume talks with US on Iraq: Official
Iran is ready to resume talks with the US on Iraq security, but the exact time for negotiations has not been set yet, said an Iranian official. -ISNA - 4/20/08

Iranian director Gharibpour invited to perform puppet opera in Italy and UAE
An Iranian veteran director Behrouz Gharibpour is invited to perform his puppet opera "Macbeth" in Italy and the UAE. - 4/20/08

US continues detention of Iranian diplomats in Iraq: FM Spokesman
Five Iranian consulate officers were taken captive by US forces in the city of Erbil, northern Iraq, in January 2007. Nine Iranian nationals including two of the five diplomats were released by the US forces on November 9. -IRNA - 4/20/08

Iran-Turkey security deal ready for signature
Iran's Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Abbas Mohtaj on Sunday said that the security agreement between Iran and Turkey is ready to be signed by the two sides' interior ministers. -MNA - 4/20/08

Shiraz to host National Sadi Day gathering
Experts will review Sadi's masterpiece Gulistan at a gathering in Shiraz on April 21, which is National Sadi Day. Each year specific aspects of the poet are covered during the event and this year his masterpiece Gulistan (The Rose Garden) will be at the core of the discussion, the director of the Center for the Study of Sadi told ISNA. - 4/19/08

Carter meets top Hamas leader
Former US President Jimmy Carter met top Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and the group's deputy chief at their office in Damascus. Carter, who brokered the 1978 Israeli-Egyptian peace and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, defended what he called his personal peace mission, saying Hamas must be engaged in order to achieve Israeli- Palestinian peace. -IRNA - 4/19/08

Acting Globally, Living Locally
How Simin Marefat, an unstoppable nurse at UCSF, aids Africa, one orphan at a time -SFGate - 4/19/08

Persepolis beat Malavan to end winless run
After a five weeks winless run, Persepolis Football Team defeated Malavan Bandar Anzali here at Azadi Stadium on Friday in the 28th week of Iran Professional League to return to the title race. -MNA - 4/19/08

Violin virtuoso Baharlu honored in Tehran ceremony
Violinist Mohammad Baharlu (1928-2005) was honored during a ceremony at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center on Friday. His life and works were reviewed during the event, which was organized by his daughters. - 4/19/08

Iran hosts about 3 million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan
Iran is wary of heavy burden illegal immigrants imposed on national budget as Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi on Saturday put the figure of refugees in Iran at three million. Pour-Mohammadi He said that two million immigrants have entered the country illegally. - 4/19/08

Iran's Ahmadinejad says oil at US$115 a barrel is too low, calls for higher prices
Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted Saturday as saying crude oil prices at US$115 a barrel are too low, and that oil must "discover its real value." -AP - 4/19/08

18th international confab on Persian Gulf to be held in June
The 18th international conference on the Persian Gulf will be held in Iran on June 16-17, it was reported on Saturday. - 4/19/08

Analysis: Azerbaijan Grapples With Rising Inflation
The annual budget predicts a figure of 13-14 percent, considerably lower than the most recent IMF estimate of 20 percent, while the CIS Statistical Committee has predicted that inflation in Azerbaijan this year will reach 16 percent, higher than in any other CIS member state. -RFE - 4/19/08

Carter Calls Gaza Blockade a Crime and Atrocity
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called the blockade of Gaza a crime and an atrocity on Thursday and said U.S. attempts to undermine the Islamist movement Hamas had been counterproductive. -Reuters - 4/19/08

Iran-Spain Trade Reaches 3 Billion Euros
Trade between Iran and Spain reached three billion euros in the past Iranian year ended March 20, 2008, Iranian Ambassador to Madrid said on Saturday. -IRNA - 4/19/08

UN approves Iran's proposal on combat against trafficking antiquities
Iran's proposal on combat against trafficking antiquities was approved by the 17th session of UN Crimes Commission. -IRNA - 4/19/08

Russia: Examining Moscow's Motives In Georgia's Frozen Conflicts
The timing of Russia's move this week to forge closer links with two Georgian separatist regions has raised more than a few eyebrows in Tbilisi and the West. -RFE - 4/19/08

In Iraq funding debate, House members warn of war with Iran
Washington DC - Five lawmakers urged Congress to heed the warning signs of impending war with Iran and called for passage of legislation requiring Congressional authorization for military action and direct diplomatic engagement with the "rogue" nation. -Emily Blout, NIAC - 4/18/08

Iran's majlis elections: signals of change
The outcome of Iran's parliamentary elections reveals both the limits of the political culture and cautious signs of a realignment of forces, says Rasool Nafisi. - 4/18/08

Iran: Three university students sentenced
On 15 April, the three Amir Kabir University students were sentenced to prison terms of between 22 and 30 months, by Branch 44 of the Appeal Court in Tehran. They remain at risk of torture and ill-treatment -Amnesty International - 4/18/08

Iran's Central Bank: We're Clean on Money Laundering
Iranian private banks weren't subject to sanctions by the U.S. Treasury; only a few state-owned Iranian banks were recently prohibited from settling transactions in U.S. dollars, and consequently they have stopped their U.S.-dollar transactions. -Ali Jahani , Director, Public Relations, Central Bank of Iran - 4/18/08

Bush, British PM to Push for New Iran Sanctions
U.S. President Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown say they are working to extend sanctions against Iran's nuclear program. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, the two leaders met to discuss wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as political unrest in Zimbabwe. - 4/18/08

US may consider sanctions against Iran's Central Bank
US sanctions banning transactions with the Central Bank of Iran is among the options to pressure Iran on its nuclear program, a US Treasury official says. -Press TV - 4/18/08

Iraq Needs More Support from Neighbors, Rice Says
Asked about Iranian representatives attending the neighbors' meeting, Rice said she had no plans to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his delegation. "No, I don't intend to meet the Iranians. That's not in the plan," she said. - 4/18/08

Armenia: New Government Takes Shape, Faces Big Challenges
Armenia's new government is beginning to take shape, with the naming of six ministers this week. Only three will be new faces, however. -RFE - 4/18/08

Racial taunts cost Mounties $500,000
An Iranian immigrant whose dream was to become a Mountie was awarded more than $500,000 in lost wages and damages yesterday by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal because he was racially taunted and harassed at an RCMP training depot in 1999. -Globe & Mail, Canada - 4/18/08

US admiral urges Iran Guard navy to communicate
The U.S. chief of naval operations on Thursday urged the navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to communicate better with other vessels to avoid incidents in the Gulf. -Reuters - 4/18/08

Cleric Sadr Key Player In Helping Poor Iraqis: Report
The anti-U.S. movement of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is now Iraq’s main humanitarian organization helping needy Iraqis, a relief group said in a report that is certain to cause concern in Washington. -Reuters - 4/18/08

Iran displays military prowess, might in Tehran parade
Marking the National Army Day, Iran's Air Force has performed it's biggest-ever aerial parade, showing the world its military prowess. Tehran on Thursday witnessed the air maneuvers of nearly 200 aircraft including MiG-29, Sukhoi, F4, F5, F7 and F14 fighters, interceptors, aerial refueling aircrafts and passenger jet airliners Boeing 707 and 747 in the presence of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 4/17/08

UK sailors seized by Iran were not in Iraqi waters, documents confirm
Fifteen British sailors and marines captured by Iran last year were not in Iraq's maritime territory as the UK government claimed, official documents released under the Freedom of Information Act confirm. - 4/17/08

Oil Prices Hit Record High Above $114 as Dollar Sinks
The price of oil rose to a record high above $114 dollars a barrel Wednesday as the sinking dollar made crude more attractive to investors. -VOA - 4/17/08

Charmed by Iranians during her Persian stay, French Star Juliette Binoche Compares them to Italians -Darius KADIVAR - 4/17/08

Ask your Senators to support diplomacy with Iran
There is new momentum on Capitol Hill to pursue a shift in US policy towards Iran. Most recently, Senator Feinstein of California added her powerful voice to this debate, calling for direct, unconditional dialogue between the US and Iran. The support of the Iranian American community in California for her position was instrumental in her decision. - 4/17/08

Iran's Women's Basketball Team reaches semi-final of West Asian Championship
Iran's National Women's Basketball Team beat Iraq with a landslide 44 to 108 victory to reach the semi-final match of the West Asian Women's Basketball Championship. -IRNA - 4/17/08

Iran: Turmoil curbed in Pol-e-dokhtar
Deputy Governor of the Iranian city of Pol-e-dokhtar, Jafar Tulabi, says a turmoil that had erupted all across the city is subsided down. The police, security forces and private organizations contributed to the restoration of peace and stability in the city, Tulabi said. -Press TV - 4/17/08

World Shin Do Kumate Association Announces Master Mehrdad Muay Thai Classic XVIII
Featured Fighters include Shahnaz Moayedi, who is a 13 year old John Hopkins Middle School student.  Shahnaz is a brown belt in Martial Arts. Her sister, Soudabah Moayedi, a brown belt with 10 years in Martial Arts/Muay Thai, is another stand out female fighter, who at the age of 15 has a stellar record of 11-2.  - 4/17/08

Setting the Propaganda Stage for an Attack on Iran: American Hegemony Is Not Guaranteed
Exactly as the British press predicted, last week's congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Green Zone administrator Ryan Crocker set the propaganda stage for a Bush regime attack on Iran. -Paul Craig Roberts. Global Research - 4/17/08

Iran, Turkey Discuss Security Cooperation
Iranian and Turkish security officers met yesterday to discuss ways to improve security cooperation between the two neighboring countries at a time when both sides are threatened by terrorist groups stationed in northern Iraq. -FNA - 4/17/08

Central Asia: Kazakh Wheat Ban Hits Some Neighbors Harder Than Others
Officials in Kazakhstan have announced a four-month ban on wheat exports aimed at protecting consumers from the effects of global grain shortages. -RFE - 4/17/08

Arrow's radar system successfully intercepts missile simulating Shihab
The Arrow anti-ballistic missile system successfully simulated an interception of a rocket designed to mimic the Iranian Shihab missile yesterday. -Haaretz. Israel - 4/17/08

Could Israel use submarines against Iran?
Anticipating a showdown with Iran, Israel decides secretly to deploy a submarine off its arch-foe's coast. But how? The quickest route from Israel's Mediterranean coast is via the Suez Canal, which runs through Egypt and which the classified vessels shun. So the submarine is hidden in the belly of a commercial tanker, which delivers it to the Gulf. -Reuters - 4/17/08

World Powers to Meet Wednesday on Iran
Officials from Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia, will gather in the Chinese city of Shanghai. They are expected to discuss an incentives package offered to Iran in 2006. -VOA - 4/16/08

International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibit opens in Tehran
The 13th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition opened in Tehran on Wednesday. Representatives and companies from 30 world countries including, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, Romania, South Korea, Spain, the UAE, Poland, Holland, Qatar, Switzerland, Turkey, Bahrain, Britain, Japan, Belarus, Finland, Ukraine, India, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Canada, Australia, and the US have attended the exhibition. - 4/16/08

"Mystic Iran" Wins at L.A. Film Festival
"Mystic Iran the Unseen World" won the Audience Award at the 2008 Noor Film Festival on Sunday, April 13th, in Beverly Hills, California. - 4/16/08

Iran: Beijing, In Diplomatic Gamble, Hosts Nuclear Talks
For the first time, China today hosted talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program. The gathering in Shanghai of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, discussed whether to offer more incentives to Iran to curb its uranium-enrichment program. -RFE - 4/16/08

Amnesty International issues statement on jailed students in Iran
All the students named above have been released, except for Peyman Piran, Behrouz Karimizadeh and Ali Kantouri. Like the others, they were detained for their alleged role in demonstrations around the time of Iran's National University Students' Day, on 7 December 2007. - 4/16/08

Iran: Bush's Next Target?
As George W. Bush's final term in office will soon come to an end, many around the world are wondering what his next move will be with regard to Iran and its controversial nuclear program. -Jalal Alavi - 4/16/08

Iran, Indonesia in beach volleyball final
Iran's Saipa beach volleyball team is slated to play against Indonesia at the ninth Asian Beach Volleyball Tournament final in Thailand. The Iranian volleyball team managed to win China's team A 2-0 at the semifinal on Wednesday morning. -Press TV - 4/16/08

Iranian President orders police to protect Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi
President Ahmadinejad ordered police to provide Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi extra protection, after she recently told police she has received an increasing number of death threats, Radio Farda reported, citing Iranian media. Ahmadinejad also instructed the police to find out who sent her threatening letters. - 4/16/08

Tough New Sanctions On Iran Could Backfire, Experts Warn
While the President George W. Bush administration has maintained a consistent policy supporting rigid sanctions against Tehran, a bill currently making its way through the Senate may potentially further undermine the international support Washington seeks to confront Iran and “change its behaviour”. -Khody Akhavi, IPS - 4/16/08

Turkmenistan: Gas-Export Offer Seen As 'Breakthrough' By EU
The European Union says Turkmenistan has made its first-ever serious gas-export offer to Europe. -RFE - 4/16/08

Amnesty International calls on governments to lift the veil of secrecy around executions
In a new report published on April 15, Amnesty International revealed that at least 1,200 people were executed in 2007 and expressed deep concern that many more were killed by the state, in secret, in countries including China, Mongolia and Viet Nam. - 4/16/08

Iraq: A sinkhole, not a quagmire
There are, meanwhile many clear-- and extremely worrying-- signs that Bush and Cheney have decided that the current best way to "justify" the US military presence/engagement in Iraq is by linking it more clearly than ever to the administration's anti-Iran campaign. -Just World News - 4/16/08

Iran's exports to Iraq stood at dlrs 1.7bn last year
The director general of Iran's provincial Customs Office for international affairs said that Iran exported dlrs 1.7 billion worth of non-oil goods to Iraq last year. -IRNA - 4/16/08

Iran anti-vice chief 'in brothel'
Local media have reported that General Reza Zarei was found with six naked women in a house of prostitution in the Iranian capital last month. -BBC - 4/16/08

A Carpet Of Stone Honors Hamburg As Heart Of Europe's Oriental Rug Trade
When people think of oriental carpets, they usually don't think of Germany's biggest port. But Hamburg is the major entry point for handwoven carpets into Europe and for trans-shipments to America. One third of the world's carpets move through here each year, along with many more goods from the East ranging from tea to coffee to computers. -Charles Recknagelis, Tea and Carpets Blogspot - 4/15/08

Iran: Official Explanation Of Deadly Mosque Explosion Questioned
Two days after a deadly explosion at a mosque in one of Iran's largest cities, controversy has erupted over the cause of the blast. Eyewitnesses and some local officials say it appeared to be a bomb blast, while Iranian officials in Tehran say the explosion was accidentally caused by leftover ammunition from an exhibition recently held in the mosque. -RFE - 4/15/08

Iranian author Parvin Dowlatabadi dies at 84
Veteran Iranian writer and one of the founders of children's poetry, Parvin Dowlatabadi has died of a heart attack at the age of 84. - 4/15/08

Iran: Arrests, Jailings Of Political And Rights Activists Continue
The Iranian authorities this month have added several more names to the list of political activists, human rights campaigners, and journalists who have been imprisoned for voicing dissent. -RFE - 4/15/08

Iran stresses validity of agreements inked by Iran, former Soviet Union on Caspian Sea
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Tuesday that any new agreement on the Caspian Sea legal regime should be based upon the previous agreements signed between Iran and the former Soviet Union. - 4/15/08

Pakistani President Proposes Construction of Oil, Gas Pipeline to China
Speaking with students Monday at Beijing's Tsinghua University, Mr. Musharraf suggested that a multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline that his country is pushing for could be expanded to include China. -VOA - 4/15/08

Iran waging proxy war with U.S., officials say
A series of conflicts with insurgent groups along Iran's borders may be impelling Tehran to back its own allies in Iraq in what it regards as a proxy war with the U.S., according to security experts and officials in the U.S., Iran and Iraq. -Los Angeles Times - 4/15/08

Iran Says US Aids Rebels at Its Borders
A series of conflicts with insurgent groups along Iran's borders may be impelling Tehran to back its own allies in Iraq in what it regards as a proxy war with the U.S., according to security experts and officials in the U.S., Iran and Iraq. -Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times - 4/15/08

Carter calls on U.S. to start direct dialog with Iran
Carter also called on the Bush administration to embark on direct talks with the Iranian regime in order to resolve the issue of Tehran's nuclear program. -Haaretz - 4/15/08

Iran slams extradition of ex-envoy by British court to US
With the help of US agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Tajik was arrested November 2006 and accused of being the UK link in an £1.5m illegal arms network spanning the US, the Netherlands, and Turkey -Press TV - 4/15/08

First Persia Fund Opens Iranian Stock Market Equity Fund for Foreigners
First Persia Equity Fund Ltd today announced the re-opening of the First Persia Equity Fund from April 13 to June 18, 2008. The First Persia Equity Fund is the World's only Iran country fund authorized for foreign investment in Tehran's booming (+3.9% year-to-date) stock market by the Iranian Government. - 4/15/08

Prizes announced in writing competition in Iran
A nationwide competition established in memory of the late Iranian journalist Mehran Ghassemi ended in Tehran, with five prizes awarded to journalists that covered issues including civil rights in Iran, Iran and human rights, foreign policy of the current government, social issues in Iran, and Iran vs. America. - 4/15/08

Tehran to host WFME conference on medical education for first time
The world conference on medical education of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is to be held in Tehran in November for the first time. -MNA - 4/15/08

Our man in Tehran
In Tehran, a city divided between north and south, rich and poor, pious and secular, life carries on regardless -Guardian - 4/15/08

Iran's Defense Minister hits back at Gates for his remarks about Iran's role in Iraq
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar here on Tuesday derided U.S. defense secretary's statement about Iran's role in Iraq, saying Tehran has always been seeking to help establish peace and security in Iraq and support its elected government. -MNA - 4/15/08

Iran - the new motivation for US war in Iraq
The US rationale for war in Iraq has morphed from ousting strongman Saddam Hussein, to countering Al-Qaeda militants to its latest incarnation -- facing down what officials in President George W. Bush's administration call the Iranian "threat" -AFP - 4/15/08

Iranian military jet crashes at Tehran airport
An Iranian military jet on Monday crashed and burst into flames at Mehrabad airport in central Tehran, the city's main domestic air hub, but the crew ejected unscathed, emergency services said. -AFP - 4/15/08

Persian, Pasionaria and Princess: In Memory of Mariam Firuz (1913-2008)
A month ago this day, on March 12th, a Persian Pasionaria, referred to also as 'Red Princess', died in Tehran at age 94, testifying to the tenacity of the foremost female Communist and feminist activist of Iran. Born a princess, Mariam Firuz never wavered in the pursuit of her aim to bring modernity and the emancipation of women to Iran. Yet, apart from a sympathetic obituary with some factual flaws, by Baroness Afshar in the Guardian (March 31st) and a few articles on Persian websites, the saga and the death of this remarkable woman has gone largely unreported. -Fatema Soudavar (Farmanfarmaian) - 4/14/08

Faces of Iranian-Americans: First Norouz Parade in San Jose, California
The first Norouz (Iranian New Year) parade was held on Market street in downtown San Jose, California on Sunday March 30 -Photos by Ali Moayedian & Mahyar Rahmatian - 4/14/08

US and Iran holding 'secret' talks on nuclear programme
Iran and the United States have been engaged in secret "back channel" discussions for the past five years on Iran's nuclear programme and the broader relationship between the two sworn enemies, The Independent can reveal. - 4/14/08

Exhibition by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian in London: GEOMETRY OF HOPE
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is one of Iran's most inspiring artists, whose distinguished career has spanned more than five decades. - 4/14/08

Iran sets record in pistachio export
Iran's Customs Department says the country has exported 179.6 thousand tons of pistachios worth $1.117bn in the past 11 months. -Press TV - 4/14/08

Ghanbari appointed as chair of the Iran International Year of Astronomy
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has appointed Iran Astronomical Society President Jamshid Ghanbari as the chair of the Iran International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). - 4/14/08

Caspian Sea meeting to open in Tehran
A special working group meeting on the Caspian Sea legal regime convention is to open in Tehran on April 15. Special representatives and deputy foreign ministers of five Caspian Sea littoral states are to attend the meeting. - 4/14/08

Afghanistan: Warlordism 'Is Winning' Versus Democracy
Ordinary Afghans are becoming increasingly concerned about their future as the power of warlords appears to be growing in Afghanistan. -RFE - 4/14/08

Iran warns Total, Shell over gas deal
"The deadline set for Shell and Total (to enter a contract on developing) phases 11 and 13 of South Pars (gas field) will not be extended; they are likely to be replaced by Asian corporations," said Ali Vakili, the managing director of Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company. -Press TV - 4/14/08

Iran likely to participate in Azerbaijan gas project
Iran is likely to participate in Nabaco gas project in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni Musavat reported on Monday quoting the new ambassador of the European Union to Baku. -IRNA - 4/14/08

Iran: 'Skepticism In Order' On Claims Of Nuclear Progress
Experts say that Tehran often overstates the achievements of its nuclear program, in part to persuade the United Nations it is too late for sanctions to stop its uranium-enrichment drive. RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel asked nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute to assess Iran's progress. -RFE - 4/14/08

Iranian Rights Activist Says Death Threats Intensifying
Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi says death threats against her and her family are intensifying. - 4/14/08

Swiss president supports gas deal with Iran
The Swiss president has announced that he will support the gas deal between Iran and Switzerland ignoring the U.S. pressure to discourage his country from entering into the deal. -MNA - 4/14/08

Carter Defends Plan To Meet Hamas Despite Israel Criticism
Former US president Jimmy Carter on Sunday defended his plan to meet with Hamas leaders during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, amid criticism from Washington and Israel. -AFP - 4/14/08

12 die, 191 wounded in Shiraz blast
A powerful explosion at Rahpouyan-e Vessal cultural center that is part of a mosque, located in a residential area of Shiraz, took place at around 9:00 pm (1630 GMT) Saturday during an evening prayer sermon by a prominent local cleric. - 4/13/08

Iran takes first place in Tehran's international snowboarding competition
Thirty-four skiers from Iran, Australia, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia participated in the three-day event, which ended on Friday. - 4/13/08

Iranian scientists produce Interferon, gamma-1B
Iranian scientists have made Interferon, gamma-1B, that is used to treat infectious diseases and cancer, Health Minister Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani announced in Tehran on Sunday. - 4/13/08

Iran to offer package of solutions to 5+1 group
Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki on Sunday said Iran plans to offer a package of solutions on international problems to the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the so-called 5+1 group) which are scheduled to meet on April 16 in Shanghai to discuss Iran's nuclear program. -MNA - 4/13/08

Rising Global Food Prices Likely to Continue, Say Experts
Sharply rising costs for food staples and fuel are leading to deadly clashes in impoverished countries and likely will continue for some time, say international experts. - 4/13/08

AFGHANISTAN: Ten schools torched in past three weeks
At least 10 schools have been attacked by unidentified gunmen in different parts of Afghanistan in the past three weeks, Ministry of Education (MoE) officials told IRIN. - 4/13/08

Veteran Iranian artist Abbas Katuzian dies
Veteran artist Abbas Katuzian died at his home in the capital on Saturday morning. He was 85. Katuzian passed away two days after the opening of his painting exhibit at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center. - 4/13/08

First Iranian female international volleyball referee appointed
Sadiqeh Hatemabadi Farahani has made Iranian volleyball history by becoming the first Iranian female international referee. -MNA - 4/13/08

Bush Calls Iraq Convergence Point For Al-Qaeda, Iran Threats
Bush argued that although Iran and Al-Qaeda represent different threats, they share a single goal in Iraq: defeating the United States. Iran does so, he said, by supporting Shi'ite groups to expand its influence, while Al-Qaeda sponsors Sunni insurgents. -RFE - 4/13/08

Iran: Supreme Council for Campaign against Money Laundering holds meeting
The members of the Supreme council for Campaign against money laundering are ministers of Economy and Finance, Commerce, Intelligence and the Central Bank president and its secretariat is in the Economic and Finance Ministry. -IRNA - 4/13/08

United States Blamed For Assassination of Sadr Aide
Sadr, who’s believed to be studying theology in neighboring Iran, issued a statement blaming the United States and the Iraqi government for his aide’s assassination, describing his enemies as acting “traitorously and aggressively against our dear martyr.” Sadr also demanded a swift investigation from the authorities and calm from his furious supporters. -McClatchy Newspapers - 4/13/08

Report on US-Iran confrontation in Persian Gulf dismissed
An informed Iranian source has dismissed reports that Iranian speedboats have confronted a US Navy patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. The CNN on Friday reported that the USS Typhoon has fired a warning flare when it was approached by the Iranian boats Thursday nights. - 4/12/08

As Petraeus Urges Delay of Troop Withdrawal, a Debate on Iraq and Iran’s Role in the War
Petraeus testified before two Senate committees on Tuesday alongside Ambassador Ryan Crocker. We play highlights of the hearing and host a debate with Arun Gupta of The Indypendent, Eli Lake of the New York Sun and Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service. -Democracy Now - 4/12/08

Lecture at UCLA: Novels and Iranian History: Beyond Diaspora
Bahiyyih Nakhjavani has lived and taught at universities in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America and has written several books and essays on children's education, the role of women, and the challenge of fundamentalism. - 4/12/08

Iran's oil expo warmly welcomed
Over 500 foreign firms from 30 countries around the world will participate in Iran's 13th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals Exhibition. -Press TV - 4/12/08

Iranian women taekwondo team to compete in China
The Iranian women's taekwondo team will compete in the Asian Taekwondo Championship, which is being held in China from April 26 to 28. - 4/12/08

Uncle of Darius's name found in Achaemenid inscription in Old Persian for first time
The name of Farnaka, who was the uncle of Darius I, has been identified in a newly discovered Old Persian Achaemenid inscription for the first time. - 4/12/08

V to the Tenth: Thousands of Women Gather in New Orleans for 10th Anniversary of Global Movement to Combat Violence Against Women
Democracy Now! broadcasts from New Orleans, where thousands of women are gathering to celebrate the tenth anniversary of V-Day, the global movement to combat sexual violence against women and children. - 4/12/08

200 Crocodiles Live in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province
According to the latest census, number of the Gandos in the Sistan-Baluchestan Province in the south-eastern Iran reached to 200. Gando is a short-muzzle crocodile and is one of the in-danger reptile species of Iran. -CHN - 4/12/08

Petraeus Points to War With Iran
The neocons may yet get their war on Iran. Ever since President Nouri al-Maliki ordered the attacks in Basra on the Mahdi Army, Gen. David Petraeus has been laying the predicate for U.S. air strikes on Iran and a wider war in the Middle East. -Patrick J. Buchanan, - 4/12/08

Iran's Rudaki Orchestra to perform in Paris in May
Iran's Rudaki Orchestra, which is conducted by Arash Amini, is to give performances in Paris on May 7 and 8. -MNA - 4/12/08

Gates Says US Not Likely To Arrest Moqtada al-Sadr
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says it is unlikely radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr would be subject to arrest by U.S. forces if he returns to Iraq. In related developments, unidentified gunmen have shot and killed a senior aide to al-Sadr in the southern holy city of Najaf. -VOA - 4/12/08

Iran: Detained Students May Face Torture
Iranian authorities should immediately investigate allegations that Ministry of Information agents and interrogators tortured four detained student activists, and punish officials involved in such abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. - 4/11/08

Iran ready for nuclear negotiations - Rafsanjani
Addressing thousands of Tehrani worshipers at central campus of Tehran University, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani added, "Although the Agency (the International Atomic Energy Agency) has emphasized that Iran has not deviated (from peaceful path) in its (nuclear) activities, the oppressor powers have still not ended creating troubles for us." -IRNA - 4/11/08

Iran condemns Israel's threats
"... I wish to inform you that the Israeli regime has continued with its insolent, outrageous and unprovoked threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran," read a letter that Iran's Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Mohammad Khazaee sent to the UN Security Council President Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo. -IRNA - 4/11/08

NIAC Conference: Blix, Pickering propose nuclear compromise
"The United States and the West have painted themselves into a corner," Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday. Blix was referring to the Bush administration’s insistence that Iran suspend enrichment of uranium before talks can proceed. - 4/11/08

Iran oil output reaches record high
Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari says the country's crude oil production has reached a record level of 4.21 million barrels. -Press TV - 4/11/08

Iranian, Norwegian musicians team up for Madrid concert
Cosponsored by the Persepolis Cultural Center in Madrid and Riksscenen, Norwegian hub for traditional music and dance, the program is being held to commemorate Persian mystic and classical poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi. -MNA - 4/11/08

Introducing the directors from behind the veil
Movies made by women from the Middle East have have often pushed at cultural boundaries, and two new releases continue that tradition. Kaleem Aftab examines the history of cinema in a male-dominated society, and sees the latest examples -Independent - 4/11/08

Two Lectures by Ramin Jahanbegloo at UCLA
Ramin Jahanbegloo was born in Tehran and studied at the Sorbonne University, Paris. He is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science, Massey College Scholar at Risk, and Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics, at the University of Toronto. - 4/11/08

Riding the Tiger: Muqtada al-Sadr and the American Dilemma in Iraq
Muqtada al-Sadr is the most important and surprising figure to emerge in Iraq since the U.S. invasion. He is the Messianic leader of the religious and political movement of the impoverished Shia underclass whose lives were ruined by a quarter of a century of war, repression, and sanctions. -TomDispatch - 4/11/08

Petraeus, Crocker Pressed on US Commitment to Iraq
Lawmakers also pressed for further information about Iranian actions in Iraq, which General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have said continue to contribute to instability. -VOA - 4/11/08

Iran installs 492 centrifuges in Natanz
The Islamic Republic reportedly installs three new 164-centrifuge cascades at its uranium enrichment complex in Natanz in central Iran. -Press TV - 4/11/08

Total says cannot lose Iran deals
Oil giant Total says the French company cannot afford to lose deals with Iran as it is one of the largest oil producers in the world. -Press TV - 4/11/08

Frankly, Darius Danesh does give a damn
Darius Danesh is like a cat with nine lives. In 2000, appearing on the first ever ITV Popstars talent show, before even Simon Cowell was involved, the Scottish university student became notorious for his self-belief, pony tail and histrionic rendition of Hit Me Baby One More Time. -Telegraph, UK - 4/11/08

Iran: Top Shia cleric says unveiled women turn men into beasts
"Women without the veil are a danger that the authorities underestimate," said Hojatolislam Seyyed Ahmad Elmalhoda, a powerful cleric who leads the Friday prayers in Mashad, a site considered sacred for Shia Muslims as it houses the shrine of Imam Reza. -AKI - 4/11/08

Feeling young again with 127 at Berkeley
On the afternoon of Sunday March 31, the four of us headed to Berkeley. Destination was Blake's, where Tehran's 127 band was going to play that night. I had met Sohrab, the leader of the band, in 2002 in Tehran when I went to their house to meet his mother Roya Monajem, a very fascinating woman who has written many heavy duty articles which I'm still struggling to understand -Ali Moayedian - 4/10/08

A walk with Emma on the east side of Tehran
I love Tehran and as the weather has become more tolerable I have been able to take some walks around town. Last week I took my friend Emma on a walk through the central east side of Tehran. We met near the central bank and started our walk from Berlin Street - so-called because it is next to the German embassy - where they sell all sorts of fashion and clothing items. -Syma Sayyah, Tehran - 4/10/08

NIAC Conference: Feinstein urges "robust diplomacy" with Iran without preconditions
Panelists yesterday urged against US-backed sanctions on Iran, and instead encouraged direct talks—without preconditions—between the US and Iran as a way to curtail Iran's nuclear program. - 4/10/08

As the administration threatens Iran with war, listen to the voices of Iranian-Americans
The spring season of CinemaEast concludes April 16th with the screening of Caught in Between Two Worlds and Voices. Come and meet directors Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri and Simin Farkhondeh, who will be talking about the experiences of being Iranian-American and the making of their films. - 4/10/08

Help Score a Victory for Diplomacy with Iran
Our cross-country Folly of Attacking Iran Tour has paid off with the introduction of a bipartisan House resolution, H. Con. Res. 321, calling for diplomatic engagement with Iran. -Just Foreign Policy - 4/10/08

In Memory of Susha Guppy
About a year ago Mrs. Susha Guppy offered me an opportunity to interview her for the documentary film I have produced about Khayyam. She was very supportive of my film project and offered a lot of good counsel. -Majeed Beenteha - 4/10/08

Iran's Saipa defeats Iraq's al-Quwa 1-0
Iran's Saipa has defeated its Iraqi rival al-Quwa al-Jawiya in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League despite playing with 10 men in the second half. -Press TV - 4/10/08

Rumi-nation to take place at Henry Fonda Theater
A new Rumi-nation program, is taking place on Thursday April 17th. This exciting and unique program takes place at the groovy Henry Fonda Theater (Music Box) - 4/10/08

A Solution for the US–Iran Nuclear Standoff
The recent National Intelligence Estimate's conclusion that Tehran stopped its efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2003, together with the significant drop in Iranian activity in Iraq, has created favorable conditions for the US to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program. -NYREV - 4/10/08

Iran-Khodro Starts Samand Assembly in Senegal
The SenIran Auto plant in Thies, Senegal's second largest city, has built its first Iran-Khodro Samand sedan. -FNA - 4/10/08

Prominent reformist cleric in Iran reported jailed and ordered defrocked by Clerical Court
A prominent reformist cleric has been jailed and ordered defrocked several months after an Iranian court convicted him of endangering national security and insulting authorities, his brother said Wednesday. Hadi Ghabel was taken to jail after he was invited for questioning at the Clerical Court in the holy city of Qom -AP - 4/10/08

What Iranians Really Eat
What American wouldn’t scoff at the stereotype that as a nation we eat nothing but hamburgers? But peruse the menus of the handful of Persian restaurants around town and you might think the average Iranian diet revolves around kebabs, hummus, and baba ghanoush. -Chicago Reader - 4/10/08

Peace Pipeline talks to resume
The Iran-India gas pipeline, also known as the Peace Pipeline, is a proposed 2,775 kilometer pipeline to carry Iran's natural gas to Pakistan and India. -Press TV - 4/10/08

Memorial held for 'inspirational' Iranian woman
Hundreds of people gathered at a memorial service in Golders Green on Sunday held for a prominent woman from Barnet's Iranian community, a year after her death. -Hendon Times, UK - 4/10/08

Iran: Edict authorises online short-term marriages
Iranian men and women may from Wednesday contract short-term marriages online, according to a religious edict (fatwa) signed by Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Sadeghi Rouhani. -AKI - 4/10/08

Armenia: Sarkisian Sworn In As President
Serzh Sarkisian promised to uphold the Armenian Constitution and respect human rights as he was sworn in as the country's new president. -RFE - 4/10/08

Iran’s Special Groups: The Latest “Stay the Course” Excuse
In testimony before Congress this week, U.S. Army General David Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker unveiled the latest reason why conservatives insist our country must “stay the course” in Iraq -American Progress - 4/10/08

Understanding Iran's Policy Towards The United States
Any candidate, Democratic or Republican, who wins the presidential elections will face a great challenge of understanding Iran. The propaganda machine does not help, and actually beclouds, our understanding of Iran. It depicts Iran as an irrational country that threatens world peace, that aims to hit the American homeland with missiles, that threatens to destroy Israel, that works to build nuclear weapons, and that aspires to dominate the oil-rich Middle East. -R.K. Ramazani - 4/9/08

Iranian-American Researcher Explores Technology Frontiers in U.S.
Computer displays that fit into contact lenses, machines that assemble themselves, tools that let a doctor see precisely which of your cells has cancer, and nanodevices that monitor your health and dispense medicines -- these are just some of the projects that Iranian-American scientist and researcher Babak Parviz of the University of Washington is pursuing. -Steve Holgate, - 4/9/08

Film: Iran/America, A World Between
The film, directed by Nezam Manouchehri, premiered last summer on LinkTV and has been very well received by wide audiences across the country. Iranians living abroad find it to be a nostalgic and positive look at our culture, without being overly political, while Americans unfamiliar with Iran are consistently surprised by the warm sentiments by everyday Iranians about the people and culture of the United States. - 4/9/08

Iran: Khadijeh Moghaddam Member of Campaign and Mother's Committee Arrested
On the morning of April 8th, security police forcibly entered the home of Khadijeh Moghaddam, women's rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and arrested her. -Change for Equality - 4/9/08

Iranian American Seeks Congressional Seat in New York
"I'm running for Congress to Renew America's Promise to our children and our seniors, to our taxpayers and our working families, to our soldiers serving abroad and those veterans here at home." These were the words of Darius Shahinfar, a first generation American of Iranian descent, who on March 9th kicked off his campaign in front of two hundred supporters for New York's 21st Congressional District seat - 4/9/08

Iran: Award-Winning Rights Activist Charged With Spreading Propaganda
Noted Iranian rights activist Parvin Ardalan has been interrogated at the security branch of a Tehran court after being charged with spreading propaganda against the government. -RFE - 4/9/08

Iran's Sepahan seals home win over Saudi Arabia's al-Ittihad
Iran's Sepahan Isfahan FC beats Saudi Arabia's al-Ittihad 2-1 to clinch its first victory in three games in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League. -Press TV - 4/9/08

Iran's Inflation rate at 18.4%
The Central Bank of Iran has announced that the inflation rate for the past Iranian year (Mar 20, 2007 to Mar 20 2008) stood at 18.4%. - 4/9/08

Iran volleyball team focusing on Olympics qualifiers
Iran's volleyball team is set to book a berth in the upcoming Olympics in the Olympic qualification tournament, which is being held in Tokyo from May 31 to June 8. The team will take part in two warm-up games against Serbia and Egypt prior to the Japan competition. - 4/9/08

Iranian men and women fencers competing in world championships
Iran's male and female fencing teams will compete in the 2008 World Fencing Championship, which opens on Wednesday in Catania, Italy. -MNA - 4/9/08

Kiarostami presenting Persian Tazieh at Edinburgh Festival
Distinguished film master Abbas Kiarostami is making his long-awaited debut at this year's Edinburgh International Festival, when he is due to present the ancient Persian theatrical tradition of Tazieh. -IRNA - 4/9/08

The Iran boogeyman is back
Gen. Petraeus is reportedly going to blame Iran for why we need to stay in Iraq. If he does, it'll be destructive propaganda. -Salon - 4/9/08

Iran reopens Shalamcheh border crossing with Iraq
The Iran-Iraq Shalamcheh border crossing reopens to pilgrims of Shia holy sites, an Iranian official at the country's southwest border says. -Press TV - 4/9/08

Russia Seeks Permanent Access to Planned US Missile Sites
Russia's top diplomat says concerns over U.S. plans for a missile shield in Europe could be eased if Russian military officers have permanent access to shield facilities in the Czech Republic. -VOA - 4/9/08

Success Story: First Norouz Parade In San Jose, California
The first Norouz parade was held on Market street in downtown San Jose, California on Sunday March 30. The parade started around 12PM and lasted for about an hour. The parade was then followed by a live music and dance performances next to the San Jose Museum. - 4/8/08

Iranian Physicians to Tour the United States
PSR and the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran will launch an Iranian Physicians Tour this April to communicate medical expertise and promote diplomacy with Iran. - 4/8/08

Iranians Favor Direct Talks with US, Mutual Access for Journalists, More Trade
A new polls finds that although Iranians continue to view the United States negatively, they strongly support steps to improve US-Iran relations including direct talks, greater access for each others' journalists, increased trade and more cultural, educational and athletic exchanges. - 4/8/08

8th Annual Celebration of Iranian Cinema at UCLA: Program Update
A new free event with several directors in person has been added on April 12. Plus, additional info for the April 18 "short" program is now available. - 4/8/08

Sizdeh Bedar 2008: The Annual Persian Picnic in New York Metro
New York State's Bear Mountain Park, located fifty miles north of New York City enroute to Albany has remained a popular outing get-together spot where Iranian-Americans have returned for over thirty years to celebrate the last day of the Persian New Year (Norooz) holiday season called Sizdeh Bedar. Sizdeh Bedar translates as the Thirteenth (13!) day of the merry season. -Davood N. Rahni - 4/8/08

First Group of Survivors of Mojahedin-e Khalq's Camp Ashraf in Iraq Arrive in France: Report
At a press conference in Paris on April 5, 2008, the first series of survivors of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation, aka the Rajavi cult or Saddam's private army, announced their escape from Camp Ashraf in Iraq and their arrival in Europe. - 4/8/08

Iran's Reformist Candidates Face Few Good Options
After calling last month's parliamentary election rigged, Iran's reformist candidates are weighing two unappealing choices for coming runoff polls: fight on against steep odds or drop out in protest and risk sowing greater apathy among their constituency. -Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ - 4/8/08

Iran starts installation of 6,000 new centrifuges: President
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran started installation of some 6,000 new centrifuges on Tuesday. The president made the remarks after inspecting various sections of Natanz nuclear site in Isfahan province, central Iran. -IRNA - 4/8/08

China to Host International Meeting on Iran
The Chinese government says it hopes the Iranian nuclear issue can be resolved through peaceful dialogue. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing China also announced it is hosting the next round of international talks on Iran. -VOA - 4/8/08

Iran: Amnesty International and international labour organisations welcome release of Mahmoud Salehi
The ITUC, ITF and Amnesty international today welcomed the release from Sanandaj prison, in Iran's Kordestan Province, of independent labour activist Mahmoud Salehi, after one year of imprisonment. - 4/8/08

Infertile in Iran
Iran has unexpectedly liberal ideas about contraception and assisted reproduction techniques, the result of pragmatic decisions, and consequent laws, arrived at by Shia interpretations of religious tenets. -Le Monde diplomatique - 4/8/08

Afghanistan: Vocal 'Warlord' Critic Seeks To Reverse Her Expulsion From Legislature
She's been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan" for her criticism of warlords, and even compared to Aung Sun Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's democracy movement. Now, Malalai Joya's courage is again being put to the test. -RFE - 4/8/08

Iran: Oil Ministry official says 46 new wells to be dug this year
Technical Director of Oil Ministry's Central Regions' Oil Company said here Monday his affiliated company's current (Iranian) year (ending on March 20th, 2009) activities would include digging 46 new oil wells and mending 13 more. -IRNA - 4/8/08

Iran's Persepolis may suffer FIFA penalty
FIFA has warned Iran's Persepolis of deducting more points if it fails to pay a former coach, the team's managing director has said. -Press TV - 4/8/08

State nominee blocked over VOA broadcasts
President Bush's nomination of a successor to his longtime friend Karen P. Hughes as the nation's top public diplomacy official is being held up in the Senate over concerns about anti-American bias in the Voice of America's broadcasts for Iran. -Washington Times - 4/8/08

Iran's daily gas refining capacity to pass 500 MMcm
The gas refining capacity of Iran is expected to exceed 500 million cubic meters (MMcm) per day, the director of the National Iranian Gas Company for refining affairs stated on Monday. -MNA - 4/8/08

Cirrus eyes Dh20b Dubai realty portfolio by year-end
Iranian developer Cirrus hopes to see its Dubai property portfolio rocket to a staggering Dh20 billion by the end of 2008. -Gulf News - 4/8/08

Filmmaker offers $34,000 for job info
An Iranian-born filmmaker living in Sweden has offered $34,000 to anyone who can help him land any permanent job in the media profession. -UPI - 4/8/08

Arab League Summits and War: US Coalition Building for the "New Middle East" and the Arab Schism
In the collective memory of many inside and outside the Arab World the summits of the Arab League have a tradition of inconsistency and contradiction. They symbolize the dysfunction that has plagued the Arab World since the First World War. -Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya - 4/7/08

Tehran sends positive signals for talks with U.S.
Commenting on the proposal of the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to Iran for talks with Washington, Hosseini said, "If the Americans take basic steps and change their Iran policies, a new opportunity will be created to think about reconsidering Tehran-Washington relations." - 4/7/08

Iranian Blogosphere Tests Government’s Limits
Troll through the Iranian blogosphere and you can find all manner of unexpectedly harsh critiques denouncing the government of the Islamic Republic, from reformists who revile it as well as conservatives who support it. -New York Times - 4/7/08

Fabricating History
Kimberly Kagan's opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on April 3rd with the misleading title "The Second Iran-Iraq war" presents a false depiction of the Islamic Republic's current role in Iraq. -Shirin Saeidi - 4/7/08

Iranian swimmers to participate in Manchester tourney
Iran's four-member swimming team flew to Manchester, England, early Sunday for participating in the FINA World Short Course(25 m) Swimming Championships. - 4/7/08

Parvin Ardalan summoned and questioned in the Revolutionary Court
Following the summons of Parvin Ardalan, women's rights activist and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, she appeared on Saturday April 5 at the 1st Security Branch of the Revolutionary Courts. - 4/7/08

Panel discusses American gov't response to Iran's nuclear program
Under the bright lights of the Glass Pavilion, members of the Hopkins community gathered to hear about one of the most controversial issues in world politics: the alleged nuclear weapons programs in Iran. -John Hopkins Newsletter - 4/7/08

Iran sends letter to UN over 3 Persian Gulf islands
Iran has sent a letter to the United Nations about its ownership of the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf region, a senior Foreign Ministry official said on Monday. - 4/7/08

Israel Begins 5-day Civil Defense Drill Amid War Fears
The drill has raised fears in neighboring Lebanon and Syria that Israel might be planning an attack, and those countries have raised the level of alert in their armed forces. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought to ease tensions. -VOA - 4/7/08

Tehran's Sharif University team in ACM competition
A team from Sharif University of Tehran took part in the 32nd International Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Competition in Canada on Sunday. -IRNA - 4/7/08

Iran's missiles will only threaten potential aggressors: Defense Minister
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on Tuesday dismissed the U.S. allegations that Iran poses military threats against Western countries as a "tricky pretext" to gain support for its plans to station a missile defense shield in Europe. -MNA - 4/7/08

OPEC to stay with current production levels: Iran's Oil Mininster
Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari stressed in Tehran Saturday night to preserve oil price at 100 US dollars per barrel, OPEC will neither increase, nor decrease production.Nozari made the comment at a joint press conference with OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri in Tehran - 4/6/08

American academic hails education in Iran's nomadic tribes
Sima Sediq, an American university professor, hailed on Sunday the way members of Iran's Bakhtiari nomadic tribes continue their education while moving from one place to another. - 4/6/08

Tehran's Assyrian association to pay tribute to photographer Yaghobzadeh
The Assyrian Association of Tehran and its representative office in Majlis are to pay tribute to world famous Iranian photographer Alfred Yaghobzadeh for his great endeavor in registering the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war scenes. - 4/6/08

Students in Isfahan University of Technology design fuel-efficient car
Manufacturing a new fuel-efficient car by students of Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) is at its final stage, project team's leader Fatemeh Mobasharri said on Saturday. -MNA - 4/6/08

Iranian inventors rank 2nd at Moscow Industrial Innovations Fair
Iranian inventors and scientists participating at Moscow Archimedes Industrial Innovations Fair won five gold medals, 12 silver medals, three Archimedes Trophies and an honorary diploma, ranking second at the event. -IRNA - 4/6/08

German cruise ship to dock at Iranian port of Bandar Abbas
A cruise ship with 200 foreign tourists on board is to dock at Iranian southern port of Bandar Abbas, Hormuzgan province, on April 12, it was reported on Sunday. -IRNA - 4/6/08

Cambridge conference to scrutinize "Persian Presence in Ottoman Empire"
The University of Cambridge in collaboration with the Dutch University of Leiden are to hold the conference "The Persian Presence in the Ottoman Empire" in July 2008 at Cambridge. -MNA - 4/6/08

Bush, Putin Remain Divided on Missile Defense System
U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have ended their farewell summit without agreement on missile defense, but with a blueprint for their successors. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports they conferred at Mr. Putin's presidential retreat in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. - 4/6/08

162 candidates will contest runoff elections: Iranian official
Some 3,863 candidates, including 308 women, ran for the first round of legislative elections but still 81 seats out of the total 390 seats of the Majlis remain vacant. -MNA - 4/6/08

Iran's Free RoboCup 2008
The 3rd International Tournament of Iran's Free RoboCup 2008 started its work here on Thursday April 3. 1653 foreign and domestic participants are attending the competitions. - 4/5/08

Creating a US-Iran Bridge
Grassroots movements in Iran all say that they don't need outside help. Since the United States has allocated $75 million to an 'Iran Democracy Fund', the life of grassroots movements has become more difficult. Any direct – or indirect – help to the democratic movement in Iran coming from this fund is seen as an attempt of external regime change, says Leila Zand. - 4/5/08

Drink tea together to encourage peace: Muslim scholar
Getting to know people from other faith communities goes a long way to breaking down barriers, said Yousef Daneshvar, a Shi'a Muslim completing his doctoral studies in Canada under a student exchange program with Iran organised by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a relief, development and peace agency. - 4/5/08

Two to receive new MSU Presidential Medal for Global and Visionary Leadership
Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall and Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, have been named the first recipients of the Montana State University Presidential Medal for Global and Visionary Leadership. - 4/5/08

Iranians to Launch Medical Society in Italy
A group of Iranian medics are slated to launch an Iranian medical society in Italy in order to provide assistance to Iranian patients. -FNA - 4/5/08

Israel's Tehran connection
Israel, while supposedly observing an ironclad boycott of all things Iranian, is happily buying Iranian oil. If you've ever wondered about the definition of hypocrisy you'll find the answer right here. -Guardian - 4/5/08

Iran women cyclists to compete in Japan
Iran's women cyclists will compete in the upcoming Asian Cycling Championships and the 15th Asian Junior Cycling Championships in Japan. -Press TV - 4/5/08

Al Qaeda #2: We'll Attack Iran
Recently, Senator John McCain has repeatedly indicated that Iran and al-Qaeda are in cahoots. The terror group's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, would beg to differ. -Wired - 4/5/08

Iran Can Be Thanked for Easing of Violence in Iraq: Interview
Actually, says Gilles Kepel, Iran is behind the easing of violence. Kepel, head of Middle East studies at Sciences Po in Paris, writes in the just published ``Terreur et Martyre'' that the U.S. and al-Qaeda have both lost the war on terror, and that Iran pulls the strings -- in Iraq anyway. -Bloomberg - 4/5/08

CNOOC still keen on developing Iran's North Pars gas field
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is still in talks with Iran on joint development of the North Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, a source close to the situation said Friday. -MNA - 4/5/08

Iran Refuses to Halt Nuclear Work for Incentives
A general view shows the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, in southern Iran (File) Iran says it will not halt work on its nuclear activities in exchange for incentives offered by the West. - 4/5/08

Dealing with Iran's Hardliners
Last month in Iran, supporters of a long-shot parliamentary candidate stuck campaign materials to a handful of chickens and set them loose in the village in what a local official called “a new way to campaign.” -Foreign Policy In Focus - 4/5/08

Can the Arrow thwart Iran's Shihab 3?
In the face of Iran's continued race towards nuclear power, as well as growing tensions with Syria, the Israel Air Force will hold an exercise in the coming weeks to test the Arrow missile defense system's capability in tracking an advanced Iranian Shihab 3, The Jerusalem Post has learned. - 4/5/08

EVENT: Inauguration of Association for Iranian-American Writers (IAWA)
Iranian-American writers represent one of the most recent arrivals in ethnic American literature. Drawing on a rich Persian heritage and a vibrant American literary scene, Iranian-American writers give voice to the complex histories that have shaped their community. - 4/4/08

Iran: Esteqlal, Persepolis tie 1-1 in Tehran
The two Iranian arch-rivals, Persepolis and Esteqlal, are held to a 1-1 draw, failing to live up to expectations at Tehran's Azadi Stadium. - 4/4/08

Author Bahiyyih Nakhjavani honored in Belgium
Bahiyyih Nakhjavani is a Persian writer who grew up in Uganda (Africa) but was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States. She taught European and American literature in Belgium. She now lives in France where she teaches. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/4/08

Girl Racer
Iranian women are exploring new boundaries and opportunities in education and careers - not least female racing car champion Laleh Seddigh - until that is she was banned from competitions following allegations of engine tampering. –BBC - 4/4/08

Iran's 3 Persian Gulf islands to remain Iranian for good: Major cleric
Provisional Friday Prayer leader of Tehran said in Tehran Friday Iran's Greater and Lesser Tunb islands, as well as Abu Mussa Island, have always been Iranian, and will remain so for good. - 4/4/08

Pakistan: New Government Announces Major Reforms In Tribal Areas
Pakistan's new coalition government has announced plans to abolish the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulations in the troubled tribal areas along the Afghan border as one of its major reform inititiatives. -RFE - 4/4/08

India plans a under sea gas pipeline from Oman
With two proposed overland transnational pipelines through Pakistan caught in geopolitical knots, fresh efforts have been launched to revive a long-buried plan of establishing an international energy lifeline under the Arabian Sea to feed gas to India's fuel-guzzling economy from West Asia. - 4/4/08

Strategic Assets
As Congress gets an update next week on the Iraq war, lawmakers are personally invested in companies reaping billions of dollars from defense contracts. -Center for Responsive Politics - 4/4/08

Rival claims over Basra battle
The fighting between Shia militias and Iraqi and coalition forces in Basra last week led to hundreds of deaths - more than three hundred by some counts. -BBC - 4/4/08

3 quakes hit Iran overnight
Three quakes with magnitudes ranging between 3.6 and 4 degrees on the open-ended richter scale shook different parts of Iran, suburbs of a city in a northwestern province, an island in the southern region, and a town in the southeastern areas, from late Thursday to early Friday morning, IRNA reported from Tehran. - 4/4/08

Conference: Can U.S. prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, even if Tehran continues to enrich uranium?
As it's becoming clear that the zero-enrichment objective is more or less unachievable, and as Iran's nuclear program continues to progress faster than the West can muster pressure on Tehran, this will become the central question the US will face in regards to the Iranian nuclear stand-off. - 4/3/08

Iran's Ministry of Welfare and Social Security policies still based on charity: Social welfare researcher announcing the increasing subsidy escaping rate
Official statistics shows 9 to10 million Iranians living under the absolute poverty line, but experts estimations announce this figure to be 20 to 25 millions; therefore 25 to 30 percent of the population live under the absolute poverty line. This means there are some who are not able to provide their first needs for food, cloth, education and housing. - 4/3/08

Iranian Alliances Across Borders to Host First Iranian-American Student Summit
Iranian Alliances Across Borders is pleased to announce its first Iranian-American Student Summit, to be held during the weekend of April 4-6, 2008 at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. - 4/3/08

ART: Taraneh Hemami's Spring Projects
Iranian-American artist Taraneh Hemami is participating in three events this spring: An exhibition opening at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a Residency and show at the Lab, and a show she was co-curator of at SomArts as well as several other shows and panel discussions related to these works. - 4/3/08

Journalist, author and War Correspondent Fereydoune Sahebjam has died at age 75. He was a well appreciated journalist on French Networks such as LCI channel as well as in French newspapers like Le Monde and Le Telegramme. His death was reported Monday 31st of March but he passed away last Wednesday at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/3/08

In Al-Basrah Aftermath, Iran's And Al-Sadr's Gain Is Al-Maliki's Loss
Several days after al-Sadr's cease-fire call, it emerged that Iran helped broker the truce that ended the bloodshed that left nearly 500 dead and 900 wounded. In the aftermath of the Al-Basrah conflict, Iran clearly emerged as the big winner. -RFE - 4/3/08

IRGC commander expects great achievements in Iran's missile industry
Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohammad-Ali Jafari on Wednesday expressed hope that the country will witness great achievements in defense industries particularly in the missile, naval and air sectors. -IRNA - 4/3/08

Germany-Iran 1998 World Cup match among the most-watched in German TV history
Germany's 2-0 win over Iran during the first-round match of the 1998 World Cup in France was among the top ten most-watched football games in the history of television broadcasts of German national teams, DPA quoted Wednesday a consumer research group, based in the southern city of Nuremberg. - 4/3/08

The Road to Esfahan
I'm in Shiraz, on the way to Esfahan... Iranians are among the most gracious and hospitable people I've ever met. The question, of course, is whether we should bomb these people? -Larry Beinhart, OpEdNews - 4/3/08

China: 'No Intel on Iran N-issue sent to IAEA'
China has dismissed the reports that Beijing has provided the UN nuclear watchdog with confidential intelligence on Iran's nuclear program. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday that the report was "totally groundless and out of ulterior motives.'' -Press TV - 4/3/08

Iran, China still in talks on gas deal
The China National Offshore Oil Corp. is still in talks with Iran on joint development of the North Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. -Press TV - 4/3/08

CNN's Christiane Amanpour to Present Keynote Speech at International Center for Journalists' Annual Awards Dinner
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John Burns will receive Excellence in Journalism Award - 4/3/08

NATO Welcomes Croatia, Albania, But Asks Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia To Wait
Speaking today at NATO's summit in Bucharest, Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the alliance wants to welcome Ukraine and Georgia as members someday. But he said the next step in their process of preparing for membership -- the granting of Membership Action Plans (MAPs) -- would have to await further dialogue. -RFE - 4/3/08

Gaza ‘Bombshell’ Took a Year To Fall
A recent article in Vanity Fair magazine “exposing” a U.S.-planned coup attempt against Palestinian resistance movement Hamas last year has ignited a storm of debate about Washington’s Middle East policies. Yet for more than nine months, details of the plot were reported in the independent Arabic press — and elsewhere — leading some observers to ask: where was the mainstream media?” -IPS - 4/3/08

New bill prohibits economic ties with Iran
Israel's Knesset passes act banning investment in companies upholding ties with Iran. Opposition leader Netanyahu, who championed bill says economic sanctions 'proven to change countries' policies' -YnetNews - 4/3/08

The Persian Girl Of Saint-Germain
Shushâ (Shamsi) Guppy born Shamsi Assâr (December 24, 1935, Tehran, Iran — March 21, 2008, London, United Kingdom), was a writer, editor and - under the name of "Shusha" - a singer of Persian and Western folk-songs. -Darius KADIVAR - 4/2/08

Imagine a city that you've only seen in reproductions or perhaps have merely heard about. A place, like many others, that only exists for you through indirect sources--the nightly news, hearsay, literature, magazines, movies, and the Internet. - 4/2/08

IAAB Announces Scholarships for Camp Ayandeh 2008 For Students Applying by May 15, 2008
Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) has just announced several scholarship opportunities for high school students wishing to attend IAAB's youth leadership camp, Camp Ayandeh. - 4/2/08

After the Revolution: Contemporary Photography from Tehran and California
The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is pleased to present After the Revolution, a groundbreaking group exhibition of contemporary photography by Iranian artists from Tehran and California as part of our ongoing Art at City Hall program. - 4/2/08

SAF & GKP: A successful partnership
Science And Arts Foundation as one of active members of GKP in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) participated in the Global Knowledge Conference through 11th-13th December 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. - 4/2/08

U.S. State Department's Message on SeezDeh Bedar
We extend best wishes to the people of Iran for a festive SeezDeh Bedar. The beginning of the new year, which we marked thirteen days ago on Nowruz, has given us an opportunity to examine the events of the past year, as well as look hopefully toward what the future will bring. - 4/2/08

Persian Parade NYC: Baba-Karam & Zoraster at Madison Square Park
As the Persian Parade day celebrations in New York City was coming to an end, I strolled across the Madison Square Park to reach the Appellate Court building on the North-East corner of 25th and Madison. -Majeed Beenteha - 4/2/08

Are they better than us? More free than we are? Born with wings, though -Mali Mostoufi, NY - 4/2/08

Iranians flock outdoors to celebrate ancient festival marking end of Persian New Year holidays
Eager to put aside economic woes and memories of a harsh winter that claimed 64 lives, Iranians flocked to parks and orchards on Tuesday to mark the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, the last day of the two-week Persian New Year holidays. -AP - 4/2/08

Central Asia: Odd Couple Crashes NATO Summit
NATO's Bucharest summit opens this week with two unlikely guests: the presidents of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. -RFE - 4/2/08

Mike Hayden, Just A Regular Guy, Thinks Iran Developing Nuclear Weapon
CIA Director Joins List of Administration Officials Who Publicly Contradict NIE, IAEA Reports -Los Angeles Times - 4/2/08

“Iraq Has Really Become Somalia...A Collection of Different Militias”—Back from Baghdad, Journalist Nir Rosen Paints a Picture of a Broken Iraq
“It’s been propagated by the right and accepted by the left in the US that the surge, which is really an escalation of troops […] by 30,000 soldiers, somehow brought peace to Iraq,” Rosen says. “This is just an absolute lie. Violence has subsided somewhat in Baghdad, that’s true, but it’s not the result of the increase in American troops directly. It’s the result of a few other factors.” -Democracy Now - 4/2/08

Iran Khodro to set up assembly plant in Algeria
Iran Khodro is planning to establish an auto assembly plant in Algeria in near future, according to an advisor to Algeria's Famoval Company said on Wednesday. -IRNA - 4/2/08

Iranian immigrants want Farsi-language Oklahoma driver's license testing
The federal government is investigating whether the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety violated the civil rights of Iranian immigrants by refusing to provide them with driver's license tests in their native Farsi language. -AP - 4/2/08

March Marks Deadliest Month in Iraq Since Last August
Recent fighting between Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militias loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has raised the monthly death toll in Iraq to its highest level since last August. -VOA - 4/2/08

U.S. alarmed as some exports veer off course in the Mideast
Yousef al-Otaiba, an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, said his country was more closely monitoring goods that it re-exported while blocking items that might help Iran build weapons systems. But trade experts and Iranian traders in Dubai said there was little evidence that the new export control law was being broadly enforced. -IHT - 4/2/08

Israel: Iran has set up listening stations in Syria to intercept Israeli communications
Iran has set up sophisticated listening stations in Syria in recent months to intercept Israeli military communications, Israeli security officials say. Israel is taking new precautions because of the listening stations, the officials said. -AP - 4/2/08

The Fifth Iranian-American Persian Day Parade, Showcased with Persian Pride in New York City
The spring vernal equinox, Norooz, the Persian (Iranian) New Year, celebrated for several millennia in the ancestral motherland, Iran, was once again showcased with an extravagant parade in New York City by Iranian-Americans. -Davood N. Rahni - 4/1/08

Iranians outdoors to mark Sizdehbedar
On Sizdehbedar, also known in Iran as the national 'Picnic Celebration', Iranians leave houses and head for parks, beaches and greenspace to celebrate a happy and healthy holiday season by eating traditional food, munching nuts and playing games. - 4/1/08

EVENT: Breaking The US-Iran Stalemate
Reassessing the nuclear strategy in the wake of the Majles elections -- Tuesday, 8 April at Russell Senate Office Building - 4/1/08

Letter to UN Secretary General on the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf
Undoubtedly the letter of 17 March 2008 to UN Security Council (UN- S/2008/179) by the League of the Arab Nations invoking article 54 of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter pursuant to the United Arab Emirates' territorial ambitions towards Iranian islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf is the best example of attempt to exploit the dangerous precedence set by the United States of America in forcing the UNSC to pass resolutions against Iran on false pretences. -Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, TM University, Tehran - 4/1/08

Iran's Unemployment Falls to 10.3 percent
Iran's unemployment rate dropped to 10.3 percent in the 2007-2008 Iranian year from 11.3 percent the previous year, a senior government official said on Monday. -FNA - 4/1/08

The Lessons of Basra
At the start of the military offensive launched last week into Basra by US-trained Iraqi army forces, President Bush called the action by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "a bold decision." He added: "I would say this is a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq." -Nation - 4/1/08

Onus of Iraq strife on US or Iran?
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jack Reed share their conflicting views on whether Iran is the cause of insecurity in Iraq. -Press TV - 4/1/08

US Attack on Iran: Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for "Sudden Nuclear Hazards" After Cheney Visit
The nuclear sectarians have waited decades for this moment. Such a chance may never come again. Will they let it pass, when with just a word, in just twelve hours, they can see their god rising in a pillar of fire over Persia? -Chris Floyd, Global Research - 4/1/08

Iran Approves Contested Tehran Election Results
Iranian authorities have confirmed contested election results in another 36 districts throughout the country, including the capital, Tehran. -VOA - 4/1/08

Observers interpret Iraq cease-fire, Iran's role
The deal to end the weeklong fighting in Iraq's Shiite regions appeared to be holding Monday, but left lingering questions about Iran's growing influence, the Iraqi government's military resolve and the chances for more intra-Shiite hostility. -CNN - 4/1/08

Iranians celebrate Persian new year
Thousands of Iranians gathered at a Thousand Oaks park Sunday to celebrate Sizdebedar, or the 13th and final day of the Persian new year. -Ventura County Star - 4/1/08

Russia urges Iran, P5+1 negotiation
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has urged Iran not to dismiss the idea of negotiating with six world powers over its nuclear program. -Press TV - 4/1/08

IRAN: Another day, another U.S. bomb allegation
CIA Director Michael V. Hayden became the third ranking Bush administration official to allege recently that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. This despite a National Intelligence Estimate last year that concluded Iran had halted its weaponization effort in 2003. -Borzou Daragahi, LA Times - 4/1/08

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