Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iran, Germany gas deal angers Israel

Israel voices opposition to the German government's decision to approve the building of three liquefied natural gas plants in Iran.

The deal for engineering firm Steiner Prematechnik Gastec GmbH is worth more than 100 million euros (156 million dollars).

On Thursday, Israel's Foreign Ministry said the deal contravened the spirit of the sanctions imposed by the UN against Iran over its nuclear program. Israel plans to contact senior German officials and ask for an explanation, the ministry added.

In response, Germany stressed that the agreement did not fall under any category of goods banned from export to Iran, saying that there were no legal grounds preventing the project from going ahead.

"We merely have to decide whether this proposal falls within existing EU and German law, and it does,” said Holger Beutel, a spokesman for the government office.

Germany is one of the Group 5 + 1 countries leading efforts to resolve disagreements with Iran over its nuclear program.

Israel has called on the West to increase its sanctions to persuade Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program. The Israeli regime is the only country in the region that currently possesses a nuclear arsenal.

adapted from: Press TV

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Iran basketball defeats Serbia

Iran's national basketball team has managed to defeat five-time world champion Serbia in its second match in China's Diamond Cup.
Javad Davari and Hamed Haddadi each scored 20 points for the Iranian squad, which had a narrow 72-70 victory over Serbia, the fourth team in FIBA rankings.
Iran lost its first match 81-71 to Olympic champion Argentina on Tuesday.
In another Wednesday match, Australia defeated China 67-55. Iran will play against Argentina, Lithuania, Russia, Australia and Croatia in Group A of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games which will be held from August 8-24.
The Iranian outfit is scheduled to face Russia in its first Olympic match on August 10.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

118 countries gather in Tehran

The 15th Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement has opened in Tehran with the inaugural speech of Iranian president.

"The world is on the verge of change. It is facing frustrating challenges," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told in part of his address at the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Representatives from 118 NAM member states including 60 foreign ministers are taking part in the event, aiming to convey a message of solidarity for peace, justice and friendship.

The NAM foreign ministers will discuss the preparations as well as the agenda for the NAM Summit Meeting scheduled for July 2009 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Founded in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement is an organization of states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

As stipulated in the 1979 Havana Declaration, the organization aims to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries" and to "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, Zionism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great powers and bloc politics".

Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Chile, Cuba, India, Malaysia, Nicaragua., Dominican Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela are major NAM members.

adapted from: Press TV

Monday, July 28, 2008

Interview with Pakistani Spectator

iran-pakistan.jpg

"Pakistan is a brother and neighbor country of Iran's with friendly and warm people. Pakistan is one major Iran's economic, cultural and diplomatic allies. The two nations of Iran and Pakistan share many common interests with lots of similarities. We wish to have a secure, happy and independent Pakistan.
The respected and decedent Mrs. Binazir Bhutto was really a symbol of freedom, struggle and strive for liberty."

The "Pakistani Spectator" is an online paper which I found few days ago. It seems to be a very active, renowned and distinguished e-zine with international correspondents and reporters.
It covers political, cultural and technological news with a neutral and unbiased viewpoint which is truly appreciable.
Ghazala Khan, who is the website manager, held a kind and friendly
interview with me as an Iranian blogger and we talked about various issues and topics such as the western black propaganda on Iran, Persian culture and literature etc.
It was for the first time that an Iranian blogger has been interviewed by Pakistani Spectator.
I suggest you strongly to read the whole interview although it is a little lengthy. It will help you learn more about Iran and many concealed realities that the global mainstream media wouldn't allow you to know about Iran, the cradle of arts and civilization, the land of myths and fictions.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Iranian Taekwando team ranks 2nd worldwide

The Iranian taekwondo team has come second at the 10th World University Taekwondo Championships which was held in Belgrade, Serbia.

Iran's Mahdi Ahmadi was defeated by his Spanish rival in the -58 kg category and won the silver medal on the last day of the event on Tuesday.

In the third weight category, Mohammad-Reza Mehdizadeh lost to the South Korean fighter 8-6 and made do with the bronze medal on the same day.

The 11-member Iranian squad ended as the runner-up with 59 points after wining three gold, two silver and one bronze medal in the tournament.

South Korea came in first with the same number of medals as Iran with 60 points and Spain finished third with 35 points. Some 231 taekwondo athletes from 42 countries took part in the four-day event in the Serbian capital, which ran July 16-20.


adapted from: Press TV

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Suspend UK national football team

To: FIFA president
Dear Mr. Sepp Blatter, the esteemed FIFA president According to FIFA regulations, the intervention of governments in the internal affairs of national football federations is forbidden and leads to the suspension of ancillary football teams of the law-breaker federation.

Mixing football and political issues, jeopardizes the independence of member countries and menaces the decision-making process in the associations affiliated with FIFA, so it is always expected of you to take emergency steps and immediate actions in order to stop the states from threatening the purity of football by mixing it with their own favors.

The suspension of Hellenic and Iranian national football federations during the last two years for what you have called the "interference of governments in the sports" and "breaking the rules" was a simple example that revealed your neutrality and independence from political lobbies.

Today, after the unilateral cancellation of friendly match between Iran national football team and Charlton Athletic club of UK due to the demand of British government, another immediate and neutral verdict is needed to prove that FIFA defends "justice" and "equality" for all of its member countries.

We the Iranian football fans from all around the world request you to audit this evident violation of international football regulations by the government of UK and castigate the English Football Association in proper ways and suspend their national teams, clubs from participating in the international matches.


Sincerely,
The undersigned

Monday, July 14, 2008

Iran adds more heritages to UNESCO

TEHRAN – The Iranian churches St. Thaddeus, St. Stephanus, and Dzordzor (Zorzor) in East Azerbaijan Province and West Azerbaijan Province were registered on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The decision was made during the World Heritage Committee session in Quebec, Canada on July 6.

The UNESCO website described the monuments as “examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions” and adding, “They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian.”

The committee also asked Iran to give an inclusive report on the modifications to be carried out on the Jahan-Nama Tower by February 2009, Iranian representative in the session Mehdi Musavi told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.

The tower spoils the horizontal view of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, another Iranian complex in Isfahan, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979.

In addition, the committee decided Iran’s Bam Cultural Landscape will remain on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger until 2010. Bam, a historical city located in Kerman Province in southern Iran, was almost totally destroyed by a devastating earthquake on December 26, 2003.

---St. Thaddeus Church---

The St. Thaddeus Church, also known as the Black Church (Qara Kelissa), is probably Iran’s most interesting and notable Christian monument, located near the Chalderan region in Maku, West Azerbaijan.

Christians from all over the world annually gather at the church on July 1 for their annual commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Thaddeus.

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One of the 12 disciples, St. Thaddeus, also known as St. Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Church. As legend has it, a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in 68 CE.

Nothing appears to remain of this original church, which was extensively rebuilt in the 13th century, but some sections around the altar may date to the 10th century. Most of the present structure dates to the 17th century and is of carved sandstone. The oldest sections are made of black and white stone.

The Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew traveled through Armenia in 45 CE to preach the word of God. Many people were converted and numerous secret Christian communities were established there.

Around that time, Abgar died after ruling for 38 years and the Armenian kingdom was split into two parts. His son Ananun crowned himself in Edessa, while his nephew Sanatruk ruled in Greater Armenia. About 66 CE, Ananun gave the order to kill St. Thaddeus in Edessa. The king’s daughter Sandokht, who had converted to Christianity, was martyred with Thaddeus. Her tomb is located near the St. Thaddeus Church.

The church is surrounded by thick walls which form the outer ramparts of some abandoned monastery buildings.

---St. Stephanus Church---

According to Hayk Ajimian, an Armenian scholar and historian, the church was originally built in the ninth century CE, but repeated earthquakes in region severely damaged the original structure.

Located near Marand in East Azerbaijan, the church was renovated during the reign of the Safavid king Shah Abbas (1588-1629).

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The general structure of the St. Stephanus Church, which also known as St. Stepanos, mostly resembles Armenian and Georgian architecture and the inside of the building is adorned with beautiful paintings by Honatanian, a renowned Armenian artist.

The Armenian Orthodox primate of the diocese of Tehran, Archbishop Sebuh Sarkisian, said on Thursday that some of the remains recently discovered in Iran’s St. Stephanus Church may be the bones of John the Baptist.

In July 2005, Shahriar Adl, the director of the team documenting three Iranian churches for registration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, said that they had discovered a box at the St. Stephanus Church containing the bones of one of the successors of the Apostles of Jesus.

The Armenian Orthodox primate of the diocese of Tehran, Archbishop Sebuh Sarkisian, approved the report in his August 2005 interview, adding, “About the box, which contains the remains of the apostles’ bodies and was found under the altar of the St. Stephanus Church, it is said that the box contains the body of John the Baptist. According to Armenian historian Arakel Davrizhetsi (17th century), the box, which was located under the main altar of the Church of the Holy Trinity in old Jolfa and contained the sacred remains and a scroll, was given to Shamun, the archbishop of St. Stephanus Church, after the Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed.”

“The remains may very likely have historic value. According to the tradition of the church, we know that after St. Gregory the Illuminator was consecrated as archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, in a friendly gesture, he gave some remains of John the Baptist to Quintius, the archbishop of the region, during his return trip to Armenia. The remains were transferred to the John the Baptist Cathedral in the city of Mush in Armenia.

“Now, the remains were somehow transferred to another place, as a consequence of the wars and chaotic conditions prevailing in the land over past centuries, in which believers and church fathers changed the location of the box in order to safeguard it. A French traveler (Jean Baptiste Tavernier, 1605-1689), who saw a box at the St. Stephanus Church when he visited the place in the 17th century, had said that the box contained the body of one of the Apostles,” Sarkisian said.

Some historical sources, such as some photos kept at Tehran’s Golestan Palace, and the photos taken by Ali Khan Vali, the governor of northern Azerbaijan during the reign of the Qajar king Nasser ad-Din Shah and kept in the Adl family archives, indicate that the bones of Saint Stephanus (Saint Stephen), Saint Matthew, and the Prophet Daniel, are being kept in the St. Stephanus Church.

---Dzordzor Church---

Located in the village of Barone in Zangar Valley of Chaldoran region in the north of West Azerbaijan Province, the church was built in 1315 CE.

--- Iranian sites on World Heritage List--

1. Chogha Zanbil, Khuzestan Province, 1979
2. Persepolis, Fars Province, 1979
3. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan Province, 1979
4. Takht-e Soleiman, West Azerbaijan Province, 2003
5. Pasargadae, Fars Province, 2004
6. The city of Bam and its Cultural Landscape, Kerman Province, 2004
7. Soltanieh Dome, Zanjan Province, 2005
8. Bisotun, Kermanshah Province, 2006

9. Northwest Iran’s historic churches St. Thaddeus and St. Stephanus, West Azerbaijan Province; and Dzordzor (Zorzor), East Azerbaijan Province, 2008

adapted from: Tehran Times

Friday, July 04, 2008

Persian Gulf's ancient history evoked

In a two day conference the UK's Durham University has studied the Persian Gulf and the ancient trading habits of the seafaring Persians.

The conference started July 2 at Durham University in northern England and taking a multi-disciplinary approach, it looked at the key role the vital waterway has played in the development of human settlements in the region from the pre-historic to the present.

Speakers presenting papers included British academics as well as scholars from Australia, Italy, the US and France and the Iranian Centre of Archaeological Research (ICAR) in Tehran.

In their in-depth probe into the regions seafaring developments, the nature of commodities being traded within the Persian Gulf and the techniques used to identify them the academics found that the Persians battled the waves of the Persian Gulf more than 5,000 years ago.

They also established that the waterway was once dry, leading to the conclusion that the first Persians must have come to the land now known as Iran on foot.

Also worth noting is the importance of Siraf; a legendary ancient port located on the north shore of what is now the Iranian coast on the Persian Gulf.

Dating back to the 4th century, Siraf was used as a boat route between the Arabian Peninsula, India and later, China.

In past archaeological excavations Discovered Siraf has yielded ivory objects from east Africa, pieces of stone from India, and lapis from Afghanistan.

Siraf dates back to the Parthian era. Deputy head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Hamid Baghaee, believes the Persian Gulf not only performed a historically vital role, it had global significance in linking the East and the West and should be added to the UNESCO list of Cultural Heritage.

The two-day international conference was sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization, the British Institute of Persian Studies, and Durham University, which hosts a Centre for Iran Studies.

adaptef from: Press TV