Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New studies indicate Gharbalbiz may date back to Achaemenid era

New studies on Gharbalbiz indicate that it may date back to the Achaemenid era (550-331 BC), Azarmidokht Esfandiari, the head of an archaeological team working at the ancient site, said on Wednesday.

Based on some evidence, archaeologists previously thought that Gharbalbiz was a Parthian site. The discovery of a cemetery and a temple which were attributed to the religion of Mithraism had led them to believe that the site was Parthian.

Top clerics challenge Iran regime as vote nears

Two of Iran's most senior dissident pro-reform Shiite clerics have hit out at the Islamic regime ahead of next month's presidential election, accusing hardliners of failing to deliver on revolutionary promises of fundamental freedoms. In interviews with AFP, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei also voiced pessimism over the prospect for a free and fair poll on June 17.

Neocons Exploiting Domestic Unrest in Iran?

Amid rising tension between Iran and the United States, a major U.S. human rights group said Tuesday that at least 50 people were killed during week-long protests in southwestern Khuzestan province last month and urged Iran to permit independent journalists and rights monitors to go to the strife-torn region across the border from Iraq.

France urges Iran not to resume uranium enrichment

French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged Iran not to resume uranium enrichment.

"We hope that Iran will not do such a decision," said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

"We hope that Iran will remain within the November 2004 accord that stipulates the suspension of the activities related to the enrichment and reprocessing, including the conversion," he added