The death toll from the earthquake in the Iranian
city of Bam Dec. 26, 2003, has surpassed 25,000. Online
NewsHour reports on international aid efforts and relief
workers' shift from rescuing the trapped to addressing sanitation
and survivors' humanitarian needs.
This BBC News profile of Iran includes a brief
history of the country since the 1979 revolution, a short
biography of current president Mohammad Khatami and a
summary of media in Iran. It also provides a succinct
time line of the country's history since 1907.
The University of Texas at Austin has archived a number
of Central Intelligence Agency-created maps detailing
Iran's regions and cities.
of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The homepage of President Mohammad Khatami, president
of Iran since 1997, includes his biography, an audio archive
of his speeches (in Persian) and links to other government
Khamenei of Iran
This is the official Web site of Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Khamenei, Iran's chief of state.
This comprehensive Web guide, compiled by the non-profit
Pars Times, organizes Iran-related background and links
by topic. Subject headings include government, society
and culture, history and national heritage, arts and entertainment,
literature, and news and media.
The United Nations Children's Fund provides basic demographic
and health statistics on Iran, such as infant mortality
rate, literacy rate by gender and statistics on women's
Story of the Revolution
This is a four-part radio story about the Islamic Revolution
of 1979 produced by the BBC Persian Service, with text
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The Student and Reform Movements
The Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy
in Iran (SMCCDI), also known as Daneshjoo, is a
leading Iranian student group. Formed in 1997, its members
are organizing to promote nonviolence, democracy and secularism
in Iran. Its Web site includes articles from the group's
newsletter and other media reports on student efforts;
action alerts and discussion boards; and amateur video
recordings of student demonstrations.
of Iranian Reform Fight Tide of Frustration"
This article by Afshin Molavi, published in the SMCCDI's
newsletter, examines Iranian students' growing discontent
and impatience with Iran's reformist president, Mohammad
Khatami. The article details a pro-democracy student group's
break with the reformists and the group's open letter
to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The group charges
that its former allies were incapable of achieving democracy,
human rights and freedom in Iran. (July 13, 2003)
International Public Statement
This July 2003 statement by Amnesty International expresses
concern over the Iranian government's treatment of student
activists and demonstrators. Thousands of students were
arrested during 2003 summer demonstrations against efforts
to privatize universities in Iran. The statement includes
background on the student activists and their clashes
with Iranian police and vigilantes. The site also has
links to other Amnesty International reports on Iran.
Campaign to Free Iran's Students
This London-based human rights organization is campaigning
for the release of dozens of imprisoned student activists
Revolution Short of a Leader"
International relations expert Dr. Hooman Peimani argues
that Iran's growing intellectual opposition to the theocratic
rule needs firm leadership and more popular support in
order to become a powerful force of reform. (Asia Times,
Hard-Liners Reject Reform Bills Approved by Parliament"
Nazila Fathi reports on bills to expand civil rights in
Iran and the blow to the reform movement when the bills
were rejected by the country's hard-line Guardian Council.
(The New York Times, Aug. 14, 2003) (Registration
Revolting Against the Revolution?"
Heritage Foundation Research Fellow James A. Phillips
argues for the use of economic sanctions against Iran
to support the country's grassroots movement for reform.
(Heritage Foundation, WebMemo #298, June 18, 2003)
Municipal Elections: A Turning Point for the Reform Movement?"
This article, published by the Washington Institute, discusses
the implications of the February 2003 municipal elections
in Iran on reform efforts in the country. Author Ray Takeyh,
a professor at the National Defense University, examines
Iran's lowest voter turnout in 24 years and the resurgence
of the right. (Policy Watch, March 6, 2003)
Mostly Quiet After Fourth Anniversary of Pro-Democracy
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Charles Recknagel
covers Iranian student demonstrators' clashes with police
on the fourth anniversary of nationwide pro-democracy
protests in 1999. Recknagel reports that student activity
was relatively subdued, confirming the success of police
and hard-line vigilante groups in keeping Iran's reformist
students off the streets. (RFE/RL, July 10, 2003)
BBC News profiles human rights activist Shirin
Ebadi, who recently becamethe first Iranian to win the
Nobel Peace Prize. The 56-year-old woman has been a key
figure in the reform movement and is credited with being
a driving force behind the reform of family laws in Iran,
including laws regulating divorce and inheritances. Ebadi
was the first female judge in her country, but was forced
to resign when women were banned from holding such posts.
She went on to establish a law practice, taking on politically
sensitive cases that other Iranian lawyers wouldn't touch.
(BBC News, Oct. 10, 2003)
and Social Change in Iran
The Asia Society convened a panel of experts on Iranian
women's human rights to discuss social reform in Iran.
Discussion highlights of the November 2003 panel and short
biographies of the panelists are posted on the organization's
Best-Known Female Dancer ... Detained on Charges..."
Associated Press reporter Ali Akbar Dareini reports
on the recent arrests of Iran's best-known female dancer,
Farzaneh Kaboli, and 24 of her students on charges of
dancing in public. The women were performing at Tehran's
prestigious Vahdat Hall for an all-female audience when
police detained them. Although there are no written laws
against dancing, Iran's hard-line clerics have banned
the activity, saying it promotes moral corruption. Kaboli's
students were released, but she is still in custody at
Evin Prison. (The San Francisco Chronicle, Dec.
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of the Press Throughout the World: Iran
In its 2003 annual report, the international watchdog
group Reporters Without Borders, which is dedicated to
defending journalists and their freedoms worldwide, states
that Iran remained the biggest prison for journalists
in the Middle East. Although fewer journalists were arrested
during 2002, 10 were still in prison at the end of the
year, serving sentences ranging from three to eight years.
Reports on Journalist Death"
CNN covered the July 2003 death of Canadian-Iranian
photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, which occurred while she
was in the custody of Iranian authorities. Kazemi had
been taking photographs of the Evin prison north of Tehran,
where many student activists and reformists are imprisoned,
when she was detained by security agents. The story details
President Mohammad Khatami's establishment of a special
committee to investigate Kazemi's death.
The international human rights organization archives its
various reports and press releases by country. The Iran
page includes open letters to the European Union regarding
political prisoners, calls to stop violent action against
pro-democracy activists and other briefing papers. A 1999
report, "As Fragile As a Crystal Glass," that documents
the censorship of Iranian media and repression of journalists
also is available online.
of the Press
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran a repeat offender in
its annual ranking of the world's worst abusers of the
media in 2001. The committee's news archives also contain
reports on Iranian journalists, including Mashallah Shamsolvaezin,
who was imprisoned for criticizing capital punishment
in Iran. In 2000, Shamsolvaezin was a recipient of the
CPJ's International Press Freedom Award. Another resource
on this site is a practical guide for journalists working
in dangerous situations.
Hard-Liners Step Up Arrests of Activists"
Dan De Luce reports from Tehran on Iran's new attempts
to intimidate opposition before parliamentary elections,
which are scheduled for February 2004. Hard-line clerics
have been arrested and journalists, students and political
activists have been interrogated. (Guardian Unlimited,
Aug. 4, 2003)
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U.S.-Iran Relations and the Nuclear Issue
International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran
The IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear cooperation arm,
passed a resolution in late November 2003 deploring Iran
for an 18-year-long cover-up of its nuclear energy program.
The agency stopped short, however, of reporting Iran to
the Security Council, which could have imposed sanctions.
Members of the Bush administration were lobbying for sanctions,
but acquiesced days before the resolution was passed.
In addition to a copy of the resolution (PDF format),
the IAEA Iran content online includes the Director General's
opening remarks to the resolution; an archive, in the
form of a time line, of IAEA inspections; background on
Iran; and general statistics and facts.
This 2002 FRONTLINE documentary on PBS questioned
President George W. Bush's inclusion of Iran in the "axis
of evil" and examines relations between the United States
and Iran. The accompanying Web site includes an overview
of Iran's government and political system, a look at election
outcomes from 1997 through 2001, and excerpts from interviews
with such leading reformists as Iran's vice president,
Massoumeh Ebtekar, andits ambassador to Canada, Mohammad
Threat Initiative: Iran Profile
This country profile provides an overview of Iran's nuclear
capacity, which includes research reactors and two partially-constructed
power reactors at Bushehr. Nuclear Threat Initiative,
founded by Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn to address
proliferation issues, also provides links to other reports
and papers regarding Iran and weapons of mass destruction.
Secret Quest for the Bomb"
Nonproliferation expert Leonard S. Spector argues that
nuclear weapons development will likely not be curtailed
voluntarily by Tehran. (YaleGlobal, May 16, 2003)
May Be Iran's Greatest Nuclear Threat"
Dan De Luce reports that while Western governments are
worrying about Iran's building an atomic bomb, safety
experts are saying the greatest nuclear risk posed by
Tehran's nuclear program is that of an accident. (Guardian
Unlimited, Nov. 10, 2003)
Council of Foreign Relations
This nonpartisan center's Web site contains background
on Iran's nuclear weapons program in the form of questions
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News agencies critical of Iran's government and its policies
have come under attack in recent years. A total of 85
newspapers, according to Reporters Without Borders, have
been shut down in Iran since April 2000, the start of
the latest conservative crackdown, and more than 1,800
journalists and photographers have lost their jobs. In
2002 alone, Iran's hard-liners closed 18 papers.
This comprehensive directory of Iran media sources includes
links to dozens of newspapers, radio stations and television
This English-language newspaper in Tehran is editorially
The English-language reformist newspaper offers PDF versions
of past editions.
The Aftab-e Yazd is a Persian-language daily reformist
Republic News Agency
This is Iran's official news agency.
Payvand Iran News
This Web site posts breaking news about Iran from various
Iranian and Western news sources.
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Weblogs, or blogs, are frequently-updated and chronologically-ordered
online journals, and they are catching on in Iran. More
than 10,000 blogs have been created by Iranians to communicate
with each other about both the personal and the political,
from dating and sex to accounts of student protests and
Opening Iranian Society?"
Wired News's Michelle Delio reports on the explosion of
Farsi blogs, which have come under attack by Iran's hard-line
clerics. Delio details the April arrest of Iranian journalist
Sina Motallebi for blogging. (Wired News, May 28,
Gives a Voice to Iranian Women"
BBC News reporter Alfred Hermida discusses how women in
Iran are turning to blogs to talk freely about taboo subjects.
(BBC News, June 17, 2002)
for Imam Husain"
This research paper by Alireza Mohammadi Doostdar, master's
of education student at the Harvard graduate school of
education, charts the development of Iranian blogs from
many different political perspectives and analyzes their
impact on Iranian society.
This is a list of Iranian-related blogs divided into "insiders,"
those written by people living in Iran, and "outsiders,"
Iranians and Iran observers living overseas. (Some of
the blogs listed are down.)
on Iran, technology and pop culture
This blog, by Iranian journalist Hossein Derakhshan, was
one of the first Iranian blogs created. Derakhshan, who
now lives in Canada, also provides links to several other
Iranian blogs that are produced in English.
This blog focuses on Iranian political news and discussions.
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