The Iranian History 2005 AD


Iran Open To Ties With U.S.

Jan, 31, 2005 AD

Zoroaster in USA! Life size marble statue of Zoroaster by Edward C Potter (1857-1923) on the cornice of New York Appellate Court Building in Madison Square Park representing Persian Law since 1950.(USA TODAY) - Iran's top national security official said Monday his government wants better relations with the United States, but he advised the Bush administration to stop threatening Iran and said his country will not yield to demands that it permanently stop its effort to enrich uranium - which the White House says is intended to make a nuclear bomb.
In a rare interview, Hasan Rohani, Iran's equivalent of national security adviser and the nation's chief negotiator on the nuclear issue repeated Iran's assertion that its nuclear program is only for the production of energy. Iran agreed in November to suspend efforts to enrich uranium, but Rohani said the suspension could last only for "some months, not years," while Iran talks with Britain, Germany and France about concessions on trade and other matters.
Rohani, a senior member of the Shia Muslim clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since a revolution overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah in 1979, said Iran "would like to have a suitable atmosphere for both sides to move to a better place" after so many years of estrangement. "If the United States is after solving the (nuclear) problem, definitely there would be a way (to improve relations), but we don't think they are looking for a right solution," he said. "They usually use threats, and threats cannot be a basis for dialogue."
Vice President Cheney said recently that Iran's nuclear program puts it "right at the top of the list" of potential trouble spots for the United States. Condoleezza Rice, in Senate hearings before becoming secretary of State, called Iran an "outpost of tyranny." In 2002, President Bush labeled Iran a member of an "axis of evil" and has not ruled out the use of force to overturn Iran's theocratic regime.
Rohani said neither Iran nor the United States was interested in direct talks over the nuclear issue now but that the United States was consulting with the Europeans and was well aware of the status of negotiations. He said the best way to guarantee that Iran would not build bombs was if it could develop "a close and comprehensive relationship" with the West. "The tone of their remarks has been unsuitable," he said. "The United States does not have the means or the power" to change the Iranian regime. (Updated: Jan, 31, 2012)

North Korea Backs Iran

Feb, 11, 2005 AD

Mohsen Rezayi as head of IRGC signs an agreement in North Korea. Ali Larijani, Hojjatoleslam Mohammadi Araghi, Ali Aghamohammadi, Alaadin Boroujerdi accompanied him in this trip.Undated probably in 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War.(SCOTSMAN) - North Korea has sent a message of solidarity to Iran amid suspicions that it boasted of having nuclear weapons to raise the stakes while United States attention is focused on Irans nuclear program.
North Korea declared yesterday for the first time it possessed nuclear weapons and pulled out from talks on its weapons program, saying it needed a defence against a hostile US.
The North Koreas official news agency said officials had sent messages of congratulations to Tehran on the 26th anniversary of Irans Islamic revolution.
Iran - North Korea relations are described as being positive by official news agencies of the two countries. Diplomatic relations picked up following the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Iran and North Korea pledge cooperation in educational, scientific, and cultural spheres.
North Korea was one of few countries on the Iranian side during the IranIraq War. (Updated: Jan, 31, 2012)

Russia Backs Iran In Nuclear Row

Feb, 18, 2005 AD

Tehran, Oct, 2007 Ayatollah Khamenei greets Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the meeting. Putin was the first President to visit Iran after 50 years attending a meeting of countries neighboring the Caspian Sea.(BBC) On Feb, 18, 2005 Russian President Vladimir Putin said that recent moves by Iran have convinced him that Iran is not trying to build nuclear arms.
He said Moscow would continue working with Tehran in all fields, including nuclear power, adding that he had accepted an invitation to Iran.
His comments came at a meeting in Moscow with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Hasan Rohani.
Moscow is helping Iran build a nuclear reactor - a project which has been heavily criticized by the US.
The Americans accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons.
Iran denies this, saying her nuclear development program is purely for peaceful, energy-generating purposes.
Under an agreement announced on Thursday and due to be signed this month, Moscow will supply Tehran with the nuclear fuel it needs.
The spent fuel will be returned to Russia. This was the last issue delaying the start of operations at the Russian-built reactor at Bushehr, in southern Iran.
The US believes that the Bushehr reactor - when completed - could enable the Iranians to extract weapons grade plutonium.
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says Russia has close ties with Iran, dating back to Soviet times, and it is determined to continue co-operation despite US opposition.
After his talks with President Putin on Friday, Mr Rohani said Russia's role may prove "rather useful" in moving ahead discussions on Iran's nuclear program with Germany, Britain and France.
The three have offered to replace a heavy-water nuclear reactor - which can be used to make weapons-grade nuclear material - with a light-water reactor.
Low grades of uranium are used for nuclear reactor fuel, but higher grades can be used in atomic bombs.
Tehran suspended uranium enrichment temporarily in November, as part of the dialogue process.
Construction of the Bushehr Power plant was started in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped in 1979 after the Islamic revolution of Iran. Because of their hostilities, Iran has every right not to trust western countries which have not honored their signatures and have failed to fulfill their obligations.
The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant started adding electricity to the national grid on Sep, 3, 2011 at 40% capacity, (Updated: Feb, 14, 2012)

Russia-Iran Sign Nuclear Fuel Deal

Feb, 27, 2005 AD

Heavy Water Reactor in Arak, Iran.World powers accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons while Iranian authorities insist on peaceful purposes. Investigations prove that many countries are involved in sabotaging Irans nuclear program(BBC) - Russia and Iran have signed an agreement for Moscow to supply fuel to Iran's new nuclear reactor in Bushehr.
Under the deal Iran has to return spent nuclear fuel rods from the reactor, which was designed and built by Russia.
The clause is a safeguard meant to banish fears that Iran might misuse the rods to build nuclear weapons, a concern of the US, Israel and others.
The agreement sets out a time-frame for delivery of the fuel, but officials said the dates would be kept secret.
The BBC's Frances Harrison in Tehran says the deal is significant because Bushehr will be Iran's first reactor to go on stream - a project that has become an issue of national prestige in the face of intense US opposition.
The signing, which had been expected on Saturday, was apparently delayed over disagreements about when the spent fuel should be returned.
Russia had been insisting that no spent fuel should be diverted for the manufacture of weapons.
Iran has repeatedly said its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.
'Strongest indication yet'
But despite Iran's denials, diplomats said investigations showed Tehran had had full possession of enrichment know-how for two decades, after acquiring the information from Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan's black-market network.
Iran says its nuclear activity has solely peaceful motives
The Washington Post on Sunday quoted officials as saying that the program originated at a secret meeting in Dubai 18 years ago between Iranian officials and Mr Khan's associates.
The officials said Tehran, which was then at war with Iraq, bought centrifuges and an enrichment starter kit but also used the meeting as a guide before purchasing more expensive items elsewhere.
The offer "was the strongest indication to date" that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, a diplomat was quoted as saying.
'Confidential protocol'
Iran's nuclear energy chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Rumyantsev, agreed the deal.
"We have signed a confidential protocol that sets out the timetable for the delivery of fuel to the nuclear power plant at Bushehr," Mr Rumyantsev said, quoted by Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
Russia has rejected US pressure to cut nuclear co-operation with Iran.
Washington is also concerned that the nuclear project could allow for the covert transfer of weapons technology to Iran.
At a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President George W Bush in Slovakia on Thursday, both sides agreed Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
The signing of the nuclear fuel deal has been delayed several times, apparently over technical and financial issues.
BBC correspondent says Iran is currently in negotiations over its nuclear program with Europe, and one of the incentives on the table is an offer of a nuclear reactor from the West.
If Iran is already receiving nuclear fuel and technology from Russia, she says, it is in a stronger negotiating position. (Updated: Feb, 16, 2012)

IranTurkmenistan Friendship Dam Inauguration

Apr, 12, 2005 AD

The IranTurkmenistan Friendship Dam (or Doosti Reservoir Dam) is a dam on the Hariroud River, which forms part of the international boundary between Iran and Turkmenistan. The dam was completed in 2004.(Wikipedia) - The IranTurkmenistan Friendship Dam was officially opened on April, 12 2005. The Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Turkmenistan leader Saparmurat Niyazov made a speech at the inauguration ceremony
The IranTurkmenistan Friendship Dam is a dam on the Hariroud River, which forms part of the international boundary between Iran and Turkmenistan. It is located 75km from Sarakhs in NE Khorasan Razavi Province. The dam is 78m high and the width of its crown is 650m.
Construction began in March, 2000 and the dam was completed in 2004, and both countries agreed that each would have an equal right to the waters of the river, which amount to 1,250 million cubic meters. The dam provides drinking and irrigation water for the surrounding areas along with hydroelectric power.
Behind the Friendship Dam, a beautiful lake called Friendship Lake is formed which is 12km wide and provides drinking water for Mashhad. (Updated: Jul, 26, 2012)

Foundation Of National Elites Foundation!

May, 31, 2005 AD

Iranian girls take a test in Isfahan. The university admission Exams known with a strange word (Wikipedia) - Iran's National Elites Foundation (INEF) is an Iranian governmental organization founded on May 31, 2005 by approval of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council of Iran. The main purpose of the foundation is to recognize, organize and support Iran's national talents.
Members of the foundation include all who show exceptionally high intellectual capacity, academic aptitude, creative ability and artistic talents, especially contributors in promotion of global science and highly cited scientists and researchers. Iran National Elites Foundation (INEF) is a statewide organization and composed of members with good scientific and executive background.
Unfortunately, the inner power circles which adversely affect the logical selection of eligible candidates is among downfalls of Iranian state institutions, in that; individuals who would be admitted to work towards their individual success by their talents and qualifications are alienated by the fact that connections and back-door relations infest such entities. (Updated: Jul, 26, 2012)

US-UK backed Terror In Ahvaz, Tehran

Jun, 12, 2005 AD

White Bridge in Ahvaz/Khuzestan(Wikipedia) On June, 12, 2005 terror attacks occurred in Ahwaz; four bombs exploded killing at least 11 people and wounding more than 87 others, days before the presidential election. One of the bombs exploded outside the governor-general's headquarters. Two went off near government offices and the fourth exploded near the home of a local state television executive. Two hours later, a bomb exploded in the capital Tehran, killing two people. Three other bombs were defused.
"These terrorists have been trained under the umbrella of the Americans in Iraq," The Iranian top national security official Ali Agha Mohammadi said.
UK, US involvement
The oil-rich Khuzestan Province, which is home to about two million ethnic Arabs, has been rocked by a wave of unrest in April 2005. Iran accused British army forces across the border in southern Iraq of co-operating with bombers who carried out January's attacks in Ahvaz. The UK Foreign Office rejected the allegation.
In the months after the June 2005 attacks, government officials and the pro-government media alleged that the UK, US, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the Shell Oil Company all had a role in the bombings.
Following the October attacks, the head of the judiciary for Khuzestan Province, Seyyed Khalil Akbar al-Sadat, blamed "British spies," while the conservative Kayhan Newspaper claimed the terrorists were "British soldiers." Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Mousapour told state-run According to Mehr News Agency, "Most probably those involved in the explosion were British agents who were involved in the previous incidents in Ahvaz and Khuzestan."
The British Embassy in Tehran denied any responsibility in a statement released after the attacks: "There has been speculation in the past about alleged British involvement in Khuzestan. We reject these allegations. Any linkage between the British Government and these terrorist outrages is completely without foundation."
Various officials repeated the claim of British involvement, repeating that they had reliable intelligence and confessions from those arrested after the attacks.
U.S. agents have allegedly been working in Iran with anti-government groups. According to Seymour Hersh in the April, 17, 2006 issue of The New Yorker Magazine: "Teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups."
The general consensus for military aggression against Iran within the American ruling establishment is driven by the same interests that provided bipartisan support for the war on Iraq. As a high ranking diplomat told Hersh, The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.
The hunger to plunder Iran's natural resources and the satanic greed for power behind the Corporate Military Complex in the US and their European puppet states has been the primary reason for instability and insecurity in the Middle East. (Updated: Dec, 7, 2012)

Ahmadinejad Wins Presidential Elections

Jun, 24, 2005 AD

Bodyguards watch Ahmadinejad catch flowers9th presidential election: Among 7 nominations accepted by the Guardian Council from 1014 candidates on May, 23, the first round of elections on June, 17 was inconclusive. 7 days later, on June, 24, the second round results showed a voter turnout of %60, and the surprise winner became Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with %62 of the vote against Rafsanjani. Later comments by other candidates such as Karroubi indicated that the election results were tampered with.
Ahmadinejad campaigned for return to revolutionary values, promising to bring social equity, and giving people a share of oil revenues, and his key slogan was to end corrupt practices in state agencies.
But Ahmadinejad soon made the world headlines debating the right of Israel to exist, in speeches on October 26 and November 14, and questioning the authenticity of Holocaust in a speech in Mecca on December 8 resulting in further isolation of the Islamic Republic and sanctions by UNSC due to nuclear standoff with the 5+1 group consisting of Germany, France, England, Russia, and China plus USA which is too sensitive or scared to directly involve in talks with Iran. However, at home his popularity has constantly been diminishing due to high inflation and unemployment despite record high oil revenues. The hard-liners' crackdown on dissidents and general censorship on media and the internet is another negative score for the new president among thinking progressive groups. On the other hand, extensive use of the police has drawn corrupt elements towards the power center, thus pushing the regime towards Qajar style despotism. Constant pressure from world powers and further isolation of Iran due to support for anti Israel stance and depriving Iran's rights to peaceful nuclear technology are only few items that shows colonist states do not want an open regime in Iran afraid of expansion of the revolution. (Updated: Jan, 22, 2009)

Explosions In Ahvaz

Oct, 15, 2005 AD

Ahvaz White Bridge (Pol-e-Sefid) Karoon River Khuzestan Construction(Wikipedia) - On Oct, 15, 2005 two bomb blasts hit a shopping center, killing at least six people and injuring up to 100 in Salman Farsi Street in Ahvaz. The terrorist attacks, a few minutes apart, took place near an area which had been targeted by several bombs in June. The bombs were planted in rubbish bins. The terror plots occurred shortly before dusk as shoppers crowded to buy food for the evening meal that breaks the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The first bomb went off at 20:17 and while people gathered to help the injured, the second bomb exploded a couple of minutes later and took a heavy toll.
The Iranian government pointed the blame for the terrorist attacks on a number of groups and foreign governments. The Iranian government initially blamed the foreign-backed terror groups such as MKO for the incident.
Seven people were arrested in relation to Ahvaz bombings. Ali Afravi and his companions confessed to charges in a video recording that the British Secret Service provided him with the explosives and training. His father Uday Afravi, the head of the terror group explained their plans to create an organization based on Al Qaeda model in Iraq.
Ali Afravi and his aid, Mehdi Navaseri as the main plotters were executed in public on March, 2, 2006 at the scene of their crime in Ahvaz.
On 2 March 2006 a bomb exploded hours after two men were hanged for a bomb blast. The percussion bomb shattered the windows of a building in the Kian Pars District on Thursday evening, but no casualties were reported. (Updated: Dec, 4, 2012)

Earthquake Kills 13 in Qeshm Island

Nov, 27, 2005 AD

Remains of a Portuguese Castle on the Qeshm Island is a tourist attraction. In 1515, Albuquerque returned to Persian Gulf with 27 battleships and started an occupation that lasted for almost a century until Shah Abbas the Great kicked them out.(Wikipedia) - The 2005 Qeshm earthquake was a powerful earthquake that occurred on November 27, 2005, at 13:52 local time just west of a sparsely populated area of Qeshm Island off of Southern Iran. The earthquake was the second powerful one in Iran that occurred in 2005, following the Zarand earthquake in February. It killed 13 people and devastated 13 villages. The epicenter was about 1,500 kilometers south of Tehran in the Persian Gulf, close to the southern reaches of Iran, and measurements showed that the earthquake was about 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale. Over 400 minor aftershocks followed the main quake, 36 of which were greater than magnitude 2.5.
Because the earthquake occurred in a remote area during the middle of the day, it did not cause many fatalities. Iranian relief efforts in the aftermath were effective and largely sufficient, leading Iran to decline offers of support from other nations and UNICEF.
Qeshm Island is an extension of the Zagros seismic area, sharing many characteristics with the highly active region, and is cut by at least two faults. The earthquake was a result of reverse slip faulting (which shortens and thickens the crust), and it created cracks in the nearby Ramkan syncline (a type of fold in the land). As it lies in such a seismically active area, Iran is at a high risk from destructive earthquakes. With 1 in 3,000 deaths in Iran attributable to earthquakes, one geophysicist has suggested that a country-wide rebuilding program will be needed to address the ongoing public safety concerns.
Iran experiences at least one minor earthquake per day on average, and this particular region is prone to earthquakes. Seismic analysis has identified more than 80 earthquakes stronger than magnitude 5 in the last 100 years, with large earthquakes recorded in 1360, 1703, 1884, 1897, 1902, and 1905. The majority of Iranian quakes occur in the upper crust, close to the surface.
Iran's Zagros Mountains form part of the Alpine-Himalayan belt, where north-south-trending convergence between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates takes place at a rate of up to 25 millimeters annually. Earthquakes in this region are predominately a result of reverse faulting, which creates folds like synclines and anticlines. The area is known for surface faulting (visible fracture in the surface rock) as a result of tension along deep "buried" faults, rather than major zones like those in the region. Qeshm is very similar to the mainland and Zagros in geological structure, the only major difference being that its faults trend from northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast rather than north-south. The faults on Qeshm Island converge to create a complex structure in the center of the island, where much of the tension in the 2005 Qeshm earthquake was observed. Along one of these northwest-southeast trending faults were the most concentrated levels of shear and dilation observed; shear and dilation were also recorded in the fault vicinity. Uplift around Qeshm has been going on throughout the Quaternary, and has created terraces of reef and beach atop Neogene-aged sediment.
The 2005 Qeshm earthquake measured 6.0 on the Moment magnitude scale with epicenter offshore in the Persian Gulf 44 kilometers west of Qeshm, close to the northern margin of the Arabian tectonic plate and near the front of the 'Simply Folded Belt', the most seismically active part of the Zagros fold and thrust belt. The focal mechanism (which describes the orientation of the fault that slipped and its movement direction) of this earthquake suggests it was a result of thrusting (where older rock is pushed over younger rock). This faulting has been confirmed as reverse slip (faulting which shortens and thickens the crust). The total displacement for the region was between 4 meters and 8 meters, and uplift of anticlines was as much as 20 centimeters in some places. The earthquake probably interrupted sedimentation, and may have created a discontinuity (fracture) in the rock closer to the surface.
If the earthquake had occurred during the morning while residents were asleep, rather than mid-afternoon (1:53 pm), it could have been deadlier. This is mainly because housing in the area consisted chiefly of mud and brick.
After the earthquake, a set of cracks appeared in a "limb" of the Ramkan syncline. The cracks suggested fracture of soil and were minor, but extended for approximately 3 kilometers. Though they were parallel to the fracture in the Ramkan syncline's main body, the cracks were oblique to the fault thought responsible for the cracks and thus suggest that something also slipped in the syncline itself. Another short fracture was observed, but may be correlated with salt settling rather than faulting.
Damage and casualties:
Lasting between 10 and 30 seconds, the earthquake hit at 13:52:19 local time. It killed 13 people and injured 100 locals on Qeshm Island. In Zirang, a nearby village on Qeshm, 80 percent of the buildings were demolished. Thirteen villages were destroyed including Tonban, Ramekan, Gavarzin, Khaledin, Direstan, Kusheh, Karavan, Turyan, Tomsenati, Gorbehdan, Ziranag, Giahdan, and Gourian, seven other villages experiencing extensive damage. Mercalli scale Intensity III damage was reported in Bandar Abbas. The earthquake was reported in Oman. No major damage occurred at the epicenter; residents of the city did report that the shaking burst windows, leading citizens to evacuate their homes in fear of collapse. In total more than 2,000 people were affected.
One major hospital crowded with the injured and lacking medical supplies for treatment and an airport on the epicenter island sustained damage, and power lines on the island were severed. Buildings in Dubai, including the Emirates Towers, were evacuated because of concerns they might collapse, but no such incidents occurred. The director of Tehran's seismological building dismissed fears of a tsunami, saying that the Persian Gulf was not deep enough to create one. In one school, some suffered broken legs when the building collapsed, but no fatalities occurred. One woman described the locals as panicked. Television stations throughout Iran released footage of quake damage and of injured residents being taken to hospitals.
A damaging landslide and 36 major aftershocks of more than magnitude 2.5 (in total, 400 aftershocks) followed the earthquake. Damage at the eastern wall of a historical Portuguese fortress eventually destroyed it. A Portuguese admiral stationed in Qeshm had ordered the fortress to be constructed in 1507.
Relief efforts:
Aid workers from the domestic region began delivering supplies such as food, blankets, and tents. Around 74,151 cans of tuna fish, 40,920 kilograms of rice, 46,700 cans of beans, 10,445 kilograms of sugar, 16,836 kilograms of edible oil, 5,986 kilograms of pulse, and 1,133 kilograms of tea were distributed by the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS). 4,696 sets of relief tents, 5,677 sets of moquettes, 10,689 sets of blankets, 2,169 kitchen sets, 1,477 ovens, and 1,250 sets of lanterns and 4,001 cartons of hygienic kits were also given out by the organization. A dispatch of 101 relief helpers, 40 of the staff of the IRCS, and 4 people from the public relations department at ReliefWeb also assisted survivors. To help provide a structure to reliving efforts, 3 ambulances, 46 trucks, 3 helicopters, 12 vans, 9 cars and 2 minibuses and 2 sniffer dogs were also dispatched to help citizens of quake-struck areas.
Injured residents were evacuated via a helicopter, and were later transported to nearby Bandar Abbas. An Iranian police official, citing concerns about possible looting, said all movement of damaged houses would require prior approval from the governor's office, the police, and the Unexpected Events Committee on the island. UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) offered assistance to Iran, and the official in charge of response stated, "We are preparing to respond if needed". They elaborated that Iranian authorities "appeared to have things under control".
Future threat
Iran was listed as "the worst offender" in a 2004 report on countries with poor earthquake engineering. The earthquakes of Iran are of significant concern to the populace, and an impediment to economic development. Twelve earthquakes with a magnitude of over seven have occurred within the last century. Three-quarters of Iran's major cities are in areas prone to major earthquakes. The 1990 Manjil-Roodbar earthquake, with at least 42,000 fatalities, cost Iran roughly 7.2 percent of its Gross National Product (GNP) for that year, and wiped out two years of economic growth.
In 2007, the Asian Center on Seismic Risk Reduction was formed in response to the regular earthquakes experienced by the southern, southwestern, and central Asian areas. This organization exists to "encourage regional and inter-regional networking and partnerships to reduce seismic damage". Earthquakes account for 73 percent of natural disaster deaths in the area. (Updated: Feb, 19, 2012)

MTN Kicks Turkcell Out

Nov, 27, 2005 AD

Little Iranian girl playing with phonesAs a step towards privatization of Iran's ailing state owned economy, PTT was on top of the list and measures for a second GSM operator were taken in 2004. Although Turkcell won the bid in February, 2004 and was awarded an operating license owning %51 of Irancell, Turkcell failed in finalizing the deal with a $370 million payment which was necessary to put the mobile license in Irancell's hands.
Behind the scenes, with the new hardliner parliament, Turkcell was immediately accused of doing business with Israel and was called a security threat, then the parliament approved a law which demanded a veto over projects with foreign majority control.
In Oct, 2005, Turkcell went to court in an effort to save its stake in Iran. This move made the conflict between Turkcell and the Iranian government even more complicated by new government's apparent willingness to replace the Turkish company with MTN of South Africa. Meanwhile MTN announced that it had paid $358 million to an Iranian bank as its contribution towards the second Iranian mobile license fee and added that it was in negotiations with the ministry of Telecommunication to take a 49% stake in the Irancell joint venture with %51 Iranian interests. On Nov, 27, 2005, Turkcell was officially replaced with MTN who was awarded with the operating license.
Irancell was swift in creating the infrastructures necessary to distribute SIM cards in Tehran, Tabriz, and Mashhad simultaneously on Oct, 21, 2006. Irancell is currently offering high quality GSM services in Iran alongside innovative GPRS, MMS, SMS, E-Charge, and E-Care which has given the telecommunication market a remarkable acceleration and forced the first operator into some sort of competition over prices and quality of service. Owning a mobile phone number used to cost around $1000 before, compared with $280 currently offered by the same operator. (Updated: Mar, 12, 2009)

Campaigns To Counter Anti-Iranianism

Dec, 1, 2005 AD

A group of people join OWS activists to protest US Sanctions against Iran in Zaccuti Park New York during the new year celebrations of 2012. Most Iranians believe that US sanctions are unfairly damaging ordinary Iranians creating enemies.In the eyes of the corporate greed that dominates world economy today, profit is the only value that overrides all rules of morals and ethics, otherwise who would want a war and bloodshed other than a perverted soul? According to most U.S. polls, a majority of Americans oppose any war with Iran. Yet the mainstream media keep on poisoning public opinion with fake intelligence alleging Iran having a military nuclear program, a claim that has never been proven.
Organized opposition to a possible future military attack against Iran by the United States and/or Israel is known to have accelerated during 2005-2006. One of these movements was named Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. CASMII was founded on December 1, 2005 in London and describes itself as independent of all political groups and governments, in particular the Iranian government, and adheres to no particular religion or ideology. Core values include respect for human rights and a democratic state, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of press, an independent judiciary, equal rights for women, ethnic and religious minorities in Iran.
Although it seems like a tough road to take, there are so many other organizations that bring together individuals whose voices can be heard in the midst of all the noise the corporate and government controlled media are making. Such are a group called Hands Off the People of Iran, and another group called Code Pink Meanwhile Cold War era American News outlets such as CNN, FOX, CBS, etc keep on manipulating polls to suggest that support for a possible war against Iran by the American people exists.
On September 16, 2006, representatives of the 118 states of the Non-Aligned Movement made a statement, at the summit level, supporting Iran's civilian nuclear program and opposing military attacks against nuclear facilities, stating "The ministers reaffirmed the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities, operational or under construction, poses a great danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and regulations of the IAEA. They recognized the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument, prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy."
In June 2007, on the 20th anniversary of the June 28, 1987 chemical weapons attack on the Iranian town of Sardasht, two Iranian NGOs, the Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS) and the Organization for Defence of Victims of Violence (ODVV), signed a joint petition with Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran opposing both sanctions and a military attack against Iran, as well as asking the Iranian government to "pay more attention to human rights and social and political freedoms, so as to create the grounds for a stronger and greater unity of the people of Iran in the face of foreign pressures and threats."
On Thursday June 14, 2007, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, speaking at a meeting of the IAEA, said that war against Iran "would be catastrophic, it would be an act of madness, and it would not solve the issue." During the preceding several weeks, ElBaradei had several times expressed his opposition to a military attack on Iran by the United States or Israel. He made these statements as part of what he saw as his role as Director General of the IAEA, stating "I have no brief other than to make sure we do not go into another war, or that we go crazy into killing each other."
In late July 2008, human rights lawyer Francis Boyle recommended that the Iranian government should sue the United States and Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in order to get an Order of Provisional Measures of Protection (the equivalent of a temporary restraining order in national or local law), against military action against Iran by these two states. Boyle previously aided Bosnia in filing a similar lawsuit at the ICJ against Serbia on 19 March 1993, and obtained this on 8 April 1993. Boyle points out that he also helped file a lawsuit of this type against the United States in early 1992, and claims that this helped to provide a diplomatic solution to threats of a United States military attack on Libya in relation to the Lockerbie dispute.
Direct action by citizens in opposition to military action against Iran is known to have started by March 2006. It included both street protests and interventions at speeches by national politicians. (Updated: Jul, 19, 2012)

IAF C-130 Plane Crash Kills 128

Dec, 6, 2005 AD

Scenes from a C130 Plane crashing near Mehrabad airport killing 128 onboardIranian Air Force C-130 airplane crashed on December 6, 2005 at 14:10 into a ten-floor apartment building in the residential Towhid area of Tehran near Mehrabad airport. Bound for Bandar Abbas, the plane was carrying 10 crew and 84 passengers mostly state journalists en route to cover a series of military exercises off the country's southern Persian Gulf coast.
The pilot reported engine trouble shortly after takeoff and unsuccessfully attempted to make an emergency landing at the Mehrabad Airport. The plane came down in a densely-populated area of Towhid, crashing into an apartment building where many Iranian Air Force personnel reside. The impact set off a big explosion, setting fire to the building. The fuel tanks were almost full so there was a large blast on impact with the base of an apartment block in a compound housing airport staff in Towhid area in Yaftabad district.
Iranian State media reported a death toll of 128 victims. After some dispute, they were called martyrs for benefits to their family members. Officials reported several children were among victims; they were at home due to the fact that schools were closed because of a smog alert in the capital. Some of those killed on the ground had been in their cars, whose burnt-out shells littered the crash site.
The crash was the worst aviation disaster in Iran since February 2003 when 302 people were killed as a military transport aircraft crashed in southern Iran. Due to U.S. sanctions, Iran is unable to buy new Western aircraft whether commercial or military, nor spare parts for existing aircraft from U.S. manufacturers. American-built military planes now operating in Iran were purchased under the old regime during the 1970s. Iranian officials blame the country's poor aviation record on the sanctions. The Iranian Air Force is believed to have about 15 ageing US-made C-130 Hercules airplanes in operation.
Mehrabad International airport is the oldest airport in Tehran and handles both domestic and military flights. When it was built more than 60 years ago it was located outside the capital, but with the growth of Tehran's urban, the airport has become surrounded by residential areas.
After 2007, most international flights started being routed to the new Imam Khomeini airport built on the Qom highway. (Updated: Mar, 6, 2009)

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