Sunday, July 11, 2004

Middle America: Iran Not On List Of Countries Meddling In Iraq’s Affairs

Middle America
Iran Not On List Of Countries Meddling In Iraq’s Affairs: SCIRI Official

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Iran is not mentioned in documents Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari intends to release which accuse certain neighboring countries of meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs, Seyyed Mohsen Hakim, an official of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said here on July 4.

Middle America: Missing From Saddam's Indictment

Middle America: "Ali, a 35-year-old engineer, lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment in central Tehran. I visited him last summer with Hossein, a friend of mine who had fought alongside Ali in the brutal 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. I listened as the two traded war stories while sitting cross-legged on a red Persian carpet, sipping tea and eating Persian melons. Suddenly, Ali turned to me and asked: 'Do you have any children?' When I replied 'No,' he said, 'Good. Please don't talk about children when you meet my wife. She is very depressed that we can't have any.'

That's because Ali has been unable to become a father. His doctors have told him that his infertility may be the result of mild exposure to a cocktail of chemical agents that Saddam Hussein's commanders regularly used on Iranian soldiers. Sometimes a hacking cough, a common ailment of mustard gas victims, overtakes Ali. It emerged toward the end of our meeting -- sharp, raspy, choking -- and lasted a grueling five minutes. When the spasm ended, Ali gasped, his eyes wet with tears: 'I'm one of the lucky ones. You should see the other victims.'"

The Daily Star - Washington must start coping with Iran's rising power

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - Washington must start coping with Iran's rising power: "Whoever wins this November's presidential elections, the United States faces an urgent question that the Bush administration has not resolved: What is America's strategy for coping with the rising power of Iran?
Washington and Tehran have engaged in extensive secret contacts since September 11, 2001 - premised on their shared goal of destroying Al-Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But despite many meetings, nothing has come of the contacts - partly because the Bush administration, not for the first time, was internally divided over the right strategic course to pursue.
What's poignant about these wary US-Iranian feelers is that just over a year ago, they yielded a plan for an 'anti-terrorist' deal that both countries should have loved: Iran would hand over some senior Al-Qaeda operatives in its custody, and the United States would transfer to Iran some prisoners it was holding from the Iraqi-backed Mujahideen Khalq organization, a group America has officially branded as terrorist.
The State Department is said to have favored such a deal, but the Pentagon balked - arguing that the Mujahideen might be useful in fomenting regime change in Tehran. Sadly, this internal dispute between administration pragmatists and ideologues over Iran is similar to the feuds that have obstructed policy on North Korea and Iraq."

Less passenger planes, more flight cancellation in Iran

: "Less passenger planes, more flight cancellation in Iran

LONDON, July 11 (Iran Mania) � Since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year, 6 air routes from Tehran to other Iranian cities have been cancelled due to the insufficient number of passenger planes, Iran Daily reported.

According to the paper, the number of Iran�s passenger planes from 79 last year has decreased to 74 this year. The economic sanctions imposed on Iran and the floating ticket prices are the main reasons behind the chaotic situation of the country�s air fleet.

Iran is currently holding negotiations to purchase second hand Boeings to make up for the shortage. These Boeings are more than 10 years old.

Iran downplays possibility of Israeli attack on nuclear sites

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "Iran downplays possibility of Israeli attack on nuclear sites 2004-07-11 19:56:58

TEHRAN, July 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran on Sunday posed an indifferent stance on the rumors about the possibility of an Israeli attack on its nuclear sites, the official IRNA news agency reported.
'No country would dare to launch a military attack on Iran, and it was only a propaganda,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.
According to reports, Israel has threatened to attack Iran's nuclear sites to prevent the latter from developing the alleged nuclear weapons. The Israeli air force might launch a raid against Bushehr power plant in southwestern Iran, the reports said. The Islamic republic has consistently denied the allegation that it is seeking nuclear weapons under the disguise of civil utilization."

First Intact Insignia Discovered in Iran's Burnt City

First Intact Insignia Discovered in Iran's Burnt City: "First Intact Insignia Discovered in Iran's Burnt City
Source: Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency
The first intact personal insignia was unearthed in the satellite hilltops of the mysterious Burnt City, in the eastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

�The insignia is made of a river pebble and its color is blackish gray. It is believed it used to belong to a distinguished inhabitant of the city,� said Tahereh Shahraki, member of excavation team in the historical site, dating 5,000 years.
It seems the owner used the insignia to add his seal on high-value documents. Hassan Sargazi, director of the Cultural Heritage Organization in the province, noted the owner must have applied the seal to indicate his lofty status in the society.
Archeologists are now working on the design of the insignia, which in some places appear to be symmetrical, but they are absolutely certain it belongs to the Burnt City, most probably annihilated in a massive fire. Other experts guess the change in the course of Hirmand River could account for the inhabitants� migration, leaving the city vulnerable to natural elements.
Earlier this year, archeologists had discovered some insignias, strikingly, in the grave of women of the ancient city. Experts believe that the discovery of a large number of seals and calculation devices in the site proves that it was, in addition to being a religious place, used as a center for economic activities. The 5,000-years-old history of the Burnt City makes it one of the largest and most ancient sites in the Middle East. Various industrial and residential units, as well as cemeteries and monumental relics litter its 151 hectares of land.
Signs of civilization, first laid down in the Burnt City in 3200 B.C., remained intact up to the years 2100-2000 B"

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Style for Iranian Women

: اخبار فارسی"
Sunday, July 11, 2004
يکشنبه ، 21 تير ، 1383
Iran's supreme leader proposes national costume

LONDON, July 11(IranMania) - Iranians should design a national costume of which they can be proud but should not take their lead from the pages of Western fashion magazines, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, was quoted as saying today.

"The young people in this country are pure believers and joyful and are very interested in Islam," he was quoted as telling young people in the western city of Hamadan. The Sharq daily said he returned to the idea of a national costume which he floated years ago.

Pointing to a national costume, he said, "Arabs, Indians, Indonesians and Africans have their own costumes and they are proud of them. I say sit down and design a national costume. But I am not saying that it should be something dating back to 500 years ago," he added. "I am saying if you want to cut your hair short, if you want to change the way you put on make-up, if you want to change the way you walk - then do it."

Iran's supreme leader criticized "cultural mimicry" in Iran. He said that we don't have any problem with coats and trousers.

"If fashion designers in Europe and America design a kind of clothes for men and women in their fashion magazines, should we copy them in Tehran, Mashhad and Hamadan? That would be bad," he said. "Cultural mimicry is a big danger, but don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to fashion, variety and innovation."

"Some women appear in the streets half a millimetre from breaking the Islamic dress code. It is a very dangerous trend." the Expediency Council member, Ahmad Khatami said in Gonaabad, a northeastern city in Iran.

Wearing hijab is mandatory in Iran and women will be punished for not having the 'proper hijab'.

Much more than a way of clothing, hijab is based on an "Islamic doctrine". It is designed to control women's sexuality much more effectively than any other religion or ideological system. In Iran as an Islamic state women have the right of choice in type of hijab. In past few years there has been made a tendency toward western fashions among Iranian teens."

New Islamic art museum for London

THE ART NEWSPAPER - NEWS: "New Islamic art museum for London
Nasser David Khalili will provide a building, 20,000 objects and an endowment to create the world’s “best new museum”
By Martin Bailey

Nasser David Khalili has pledged to set up a museum in London to show one of the greatest private collections of Islamic art. In an interview, he revealed that he is about to start looking for premises, and hopes his museum will be established “in the next five years”. Dr Khalili will also provide a multi-million pound endowment for running costs. “It would be one of the finest things one could do in this country—creating a fantastic new museum, the best in the world, without it costing the taxpayer a penny,” he explained.

The Khalili Museum will house over 20,000 objects of Islamic art. The manuscripts and miniatures are outstanding, as are the decorative arts, particularly ceramics, textiles, glass and metalwork. The museum will also display his other collections, which include the finest selection of Meiji art outside Japan, Spanish damascene metalwork and Swedish textiles. We can also reveal that Dr Khalili has important Fabergé pieces. The greatest objects from all these collections would be on show, with most of the remainder available to scholars in a study room.”

Museum diplomacy with Iran

THE ART NEWSPAPER - NEWS: "Museum diplomacy with Iran
As tensions between Tehran and the West escalate over Iran�s nuclear programme, cultural institutions in the US and Britain are strengthening ties with their Iranian colleagues

By Charmaine Picard
Tensions between Iran and the EU continue to escalate over the issue of whether Tehran�s nuclear programme is designed to make weapons. The US is demanding that a deadline be set for UN weapons inspections in the country and fears are increasing of another conflict in the Middle East.

Yet all is not aggressive confrontation between Iran and the West. Behind the scenes, cultural and scholarly exchanges are taking place. These, rather than direct diplomatic interventions, often produce political effects that cannot be achieved by any other means.
In a signal instance of cultural diplomacy, the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago has returned a set of 300 ancient clay tablets to Iran in what amounts to the first US-led repatriation of archaeological objects to the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The artefacts, which were handed back personally by the director of the institute, Gil Stein, in May, form part of a collection of tens of thousands of inscribed tablets, written in the obscure Elamite language, excavated by researchers from the Oriental Institute in 1933 at Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire. The objects date to 500 BC, the Achaemenid era, and are attributed to the reign of Darius I (509-494 BC).

Technically the artefacts have been on loan to the Oriental Institute from Iran since 1937 for study and transliteration. In 1948 the institute returned a group of 179 complete tablets to Iran and an additional 37,000 tablet fragments in 1957. The remaining tablets will be returned as they are translated."