Monday, May 17, 2004

Taliban in Texas: Big Oil hankers for old pals

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source: "HOUSTON - The Taliban must have had a ball in this Texas city when they came to visit the control tower of Planet Oil in the late 1990s to negotiate the Trans-Afghan Pipeline (TAP). One can imagine Mullah Omar's finest, in full black-turbaned regalia, at the Houston Galleria - amid all those blond, dermatologically sublime trophy wives credit-carding their way to the Valhalla of conspicuous consumption at Saks, Macy's, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Not to mention all those steak houses! And all those sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) - not only Kandahar-friendly Toyota Land Cruisers but Durangos, Silverados, Pajeros, Discoveries and even BMWs!

Of course this was ages before the cluster-bombing of the Taliban back to Jurassic Park became the secret casus belli for the 'war on terra' after September 11, 2001. And it was before those gas-guzzling SUVs had to deal seriously with soaring oil prices, or at least not to the heights we are seeing now. On Monday a barrel of US light crude hit US$41.65, the highest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched its crude-oil contract in 1983. "

Iran: Government sees cultural heritage and tourism as areas of great importance

Iran: Government sees cultural heritage and tourism as areas of great importance:

"Tehran, May 11, IRNA -- Vice-President and head of the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Seyed Hossein Mar'ashi said that integration of the organization and the Iran Travel and Tour Organization (ITTO) is of great importance.
He told IRNA that the move marks the government's determination to protect, introduce and resuscitate the country's historico-cultural legacy as well as promote its tourism industry.
'In line with the development of its tourist industry and with a realistic approach to international markets, Iran should be in a position to capture a greater share of both the domestic and international tourism market. "

BW Online | May 24, 2004 | Iran: The Mideast's Model Economy?

BW Online | May 24, 2004 | Iran: The Mideast's Model Economy?: "It's one of the strangest paradoxes in the Mideast. One goal of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was to turn Baghdad into a model regional economy. But could it be that Iran, a charter member of George W. Bush's axis of evil, will wind up filling that role?

It's a distinct possibility. Siamak Namazi, managing director of Tehran-based business consultants Atieh Bahar, ticks off several factors that could lead to a sustained growth spurt in Iran if the country's leaders play their cards right. To start with, Iran has the region's largest market, with a population of 69 million. High oil prices are providing Iran with substantial revenues (chart), and the country has massive gas reserves to tap for industrial projects."

Putin to visit Iran

Interfax > Politics:

MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) - President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit Tehran, acting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
'The president has confirmed with gratitude his readiness to accept the invitation from the Iranian side to pay a visit to Tehran on dates that will be agreed upon,' Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, who gave Putin the invitation on Monday during a visit to Moscow, said the Caspian states would hold a summit in Tehran in 2004. He said Putin would attend the summit but that his visit would also be a 'bilateral format' event. <> "

President Khatami participated in Ilanot celebration with Iranian Jewish Community

Mohammad Ali Abtahi:

"On Sunday, February 8th we participated at a ceremony with President Khatami as we were invited by Yousef Abad Church and the Iranian Jewish Association.
Since it was related to Jews, it was warmly welcomed.

The ceremony was related to Ilanot celebration. This celebration which takes place every year at this certain time is the celebration of sanctification of tress and plants in the Jews religion. As a tradition that I could realize, the Jewish people use to have some fruits at that night. I can mention olive, date, grape, pomegranate, fig, grain and wheat were available there. The great rabbi was praying at them.

Atiyeh International is back in Kerman Iran


Atiyeh International has reestablished operations in Kerman and has begun production of their Kerman carpet line again. JBOC

"Upon the lifting of the 1987- 2000 US embargo on Iranian rugs, this was one of the first patterns to be restored to the Atiyeh line of new Persian Kermans. Designed by Georges Sirmadjieff during his tenure as manager and designer for the Atiyeh's in the 1930s, it is a hallmark known throughout the Republic. The Moorish motifs and Persian curvilinear details add a touch of the exotic to the traditional American home.
Woven on the same looms in Kerman Province, these rugs are still made using ancient techniques of hand-dyeing with vegetal roots, berries, leaves and all things natural to capture the essence of the Atiyeh Kerman. "

Fox News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst linked to terrorism

Alireza Jafarzadeh a frequent Foreign Affairs Analyst on Fox News has been the front man for MEK a terrorist group formerly supported by Saddam Huisein.

Why does Fox News maintain ties with terrorists?

From the US Department of State
The Iraq-supported Iranian terrorist group, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), regularly claimed responsibility for armed incursions into Iran that targeted police and military outposts, as well as for mortar and bomb attacks on security organization headquarters in various Iranian cities. MEK publicists reported that in March group members killed an Iranian colonel having intelligence responsibilities. An MEK claim to have wounded a general was denied by the Iranian Government. The Iraqi regime deployed MEK forces against its domestic opponents.

Bahrain-Iran ATM linkage - AME Info Business News

Bahrain-Iran ATM linkage - AME Info Business News: "Bahrain-Iran ATM linkage
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) networks of Bahrain and Iran are to be linked, enabling customers to have direct access to their accounts from the two countries."

Putin praises Iran as a trade partner

ITAR-TASS: "Russian President Vladimir Putin described Iran as Russias steady partner of long standing. ?Iran is our steady partner of long standing?, Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday.
"The results of our activity cannot but cause satisfaction", the president said. ?The trade turnovers between our two countries went up 70 percent from 2002 to the present?, Putin said.
?We know that the Iranian leaders attach much importance to the development of relations with Russia and I cannot but express satisfaction with this?, the president said. Putin conveyed the best wishes to the Iranian leaders and to President Khatami. "