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  1. Ancient Persia
  2. News from Iran
Lesson Plans
  1. Nuclear Standoff With Iran (
      "This lesson summarizes international concern over Iran's nuclear program and the mounting suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Students examine concerns about Iran's past and most recent actions and a gain a perspective on Iran's reasons for developing a nuclear program. Then as students work in small groups role playing one of the countries involved in the dispute, they examine several possible options for addressing Iran's actions and develop a policy for consideration by the U.N. Security Council." 03-06

  1. -Arabic Translation of the Web - English Instructions ( star
      Provides online translations of the Web. To view the Web through the Awesome Library, put the URL of the Awesome Library ( in the URL box, select Translate, and you will be started. You will need to have Arabic fonts loaded in your browser in order to see the Arabic. You may, of course, start with a Web page other than the Awesome Library. 7-02

  2. Awesome Library in Arabic ( star
      Provides the Awesome Library in Arabic. 7-02

  3. Iran - Map (
      Provides a map of Iran with information on each major city. 9-01

  1. -07-09-08 Iran Tests Missiles (MSNBC News)
      "Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday during war games that officials said were intended to show the country can retaliate against any U.S. or Israeli attack, state television reported." 07-08

  2. -12-04-07 Candidates Respond to News that Iran Stopped Nuclear Arms Efforts in 2003 (MNBC News)
      " 'The juxtaposition of this N.I.E. with the presidentís suggestion of World War III serves as an important reminder of what we learned with the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq,' said Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, in a statement. 'Members of Congress must carefully read the intelligence before giving the president any justification to use military force.' "

      "Neither Mr. Giuliani nor Mr. Romney seemed to address the idea that their past hawkish statements were based on intelligence that has proved flawed ó reminiscent of the intelligence about unconventional weapons that led to the war in Iraq." 11-07

  3. Neda: An Iconic Image to Inspire (CNN News)
      " 'Every revolution needs icons and symbols -- an image that embodies a sense of universality of blight and at the same time innocence,' said Roya Hakakian of Connecticut, a writer, poet and journalist who was born and raised in Iran. 'The image of Neda does both.' "

  4. Who Are Iran's Revolutionary Guards? (MSNBC News)
      "Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was founded in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to defend the regime against internal and external threats, but has since expanded far beyond its original mandate. Today the guard has evolved into a socio-military-political-economic force with influence reaching deep into Iran's power structure."

  1. -06-25-05 Rumsfeld Slams Iran's Elections (CNN News)
      "Speaking on 'Fox News Sunday,' Rumsfeld said the Iranian government had paved the way for ultra-conservative Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to win the post."

      "The Iranian president does not run the country, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameinei has the final word in matters of state in the Islamic theocracy. But the United States and others hoped the victor in the election would be someone they deemed more committed to democratic reforms." 6-05

  2. Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud - Profile (BBC News)
      "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been elected as Iran's new president, was an obscure figure when he was appointed mayor of Tehran in the spring of 2003."

      "He was not much better known when he entered the presidential election campaign, although he had already made his mark as Tehran mayor for rolling back reform." 8-05

  3. Chinese Mainstream Carries News of Iranian Protests (MSNBC News)
      "So it comes as a surprise to see that Chinaís mainstream media coverage of the post-election crisis in Iran has been fairly thorough. The protests and resulting bloodshed were reported all week in newspapers and on Web sites, with vivid videos and pictures."

      "The coverage included a healthy dose of analysis by Middle East experts, discussing the election results and the growing protests. But they did not say much about the eventsí influence on China, despite the fact China is Iranís biggest oil trading partner, as well as Iranís biggest business partner in Asia." 06-09

  4. Cyrus the Great (
      Provides a short biography of Cyrus the great, ruler of Persia, ancient Iran. "Cyrus was the first Achaemenian Emperor of Persia, who issued a decree on his aims and policies, later hailed as his charter of the rights of nations. Inscribed on a clay cylinder, this is known to be the first declaration of Human Rights, and is now kept at the British Museum." Select "Cyrus" on the left. 2-02

  5. Cyrus the Great (
      Provides a short biography of Cyrus the great. "Cyrus was the first Achaemenian Emperor of Persia, who issued a decree on his aims and policies, later hailed as his charter of the rights of nations. Inscribed on a clay cylinder, this is known to be the first declaration of Human Rights, and is now kept at the British Museum." Select "Cyrus" on the left. 2-02

  6. Hashem Aghajari Sentenced to Death (
      A respected Iranian professor has demanded reforms in the Iranian government and even challenged his students to study the Koran (Qur'an) for themselves. An Iranian court ruled that such advice, such as to encourage students to read the Koran, is blasphemy. "The court sentenced [Hashem] Aghajari on Wednesday to death for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), his lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told IRNA." "[Parliament Speaker Mehdi] Karroubi here Sunday strongly criticized the sentence as he invited political parties to maintain restraint and pledged that the issue would be resolved soon."

      Students and members of the Iranian Parliament have strongly protested Aghajari's sentence. 12-02

  7. Hashem Aghajari's Call for Iranian Protestantism ( - Aghajari)
      Provides the speech of Hashem Aghajari in June 2002 in Hamadan. "His attack on 'traditional Islam' has earned him a death sentence by a court. Student demonstrations condemning the sentence have been the most widespread since the uprising at Tehran University in the summer of 1998."

      Examples of Aghajari's views are as follows:

      "We [Muslims] do not need mediators between us and God. We do not need mediators to understand God's holy books. The Prophet [Jesus] spoke to the people directly. We don't need to go to the clergy; each person is his own clergy."

      "[The way in which] the religious scholars of previous generations understood and interpreted Islam is not Islam. It was their interpretation of Islam. [However] just as they had the right to interpret the Koran [in their way], we have the same right. Their interpretation of Islam is not an article of faith for us." 12-02

  8. Hashem Aghajari's Call for Iranian Reformation ( - The New York Times - Friedman)
      "What's going on in Iran today is, without question, the most promising trend in the Muslim world. It is a combination of Martin Luther and Tiananmen Square - a drive for an Islamic reformation combined with a spontaneous student-led democracy movement."

      Hashem Aghajari has been sentenced to death for calling for reformation in Iran. "Watch this story. It's the most important trial in the world today." "This movement faces a formidable opponent in Iran's conservative clerical leadership. It can't provide a quick fix to what ails relations between Islam and the West today. There is none. But it is still hugely important, because it reflects a deepening understanding by many Iranian Muslims that to thrive in the modern era they, and other Muslims, need an Islam different from the lifeless, anti-modern, anti-Western fundamentalism being imposed in Iran and propagated by the Saudi Wahhabi clerics. This understanding is the necessary condition for preventing the brewing crisis between Islam and the West -- which was triggered by 9/11 -- from turning into a war of civilizations." 12-02

  9. Iran (
      Provides a profile by topic, including Economy, Defense, Geography, Government, People, National Anthem, Lyrics and Related Links. Provides a map and a flag. 6-02

  10. Iran (Library of Congress)
      Provides a history of the country, including culture, government, economy, and more. Also includes geographic information. 1-02

  11. Iran (
      Provides information on the cultures and physical properties of countries of the world. 9-01

  12. Iran (U.S. State Department)
      Provides a history of each country, including culture, government, economy, and more. 1-02

  13. Iran - Cities (
      Provides a description of Tehran and other major cities of Iran. 9-01

  14. Iran - Culture and Religion (
      Provides a short description of the culture and Muslim religion of Iran. 9-01

  15. Iran - History (
      Provides a history of Iran, starting with the 6th century BC. 9-01

  16. Iran-US Engagement (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Iran has been sending a record flurry of signals that it wants to reengage with 'a changed world.' What are the key issues that the US and Iran must grapple with?"

  17. Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah (New York Times)
      "A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult."

      " 'This crack in the clerical establishment, and the fact they are siding with the people and Moussavi, in my view is the most historic crack in the 30 years of the Islamic republic,' said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. 'Remember, they are going against an election verified and sanctified by Khamenei.' " 07-09

  18. Lifestyles of Women in Iran (Time Magazine)
      "These girls came of age in the same culture as my friend's little girl, into a society whose middle-class value system was being transformed, where laws forced religious observance, and the lines between an individual's private values, the force of habit, and social background blurred. But rather than turning out uniformly devout or predictably rebellious, they are more independent than any generation before them, negotiating their way through society, and around hejab, with great competence." 02-07

  19. More Massive Protests Planned in Iran (MSNBC News)
      "Iranian protesters planned to flood the streets of Tehran in the tens of thousands Thursday after opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi defied a government crackdown and called for another day of demonstrations against what he has denounced as a rigged election." 06-09

  20. Neda of Iran (Awesome Library)
      Provides the picture of the young woman purported to be the person shot to death by Iranian military as she attended a protest. She has become the "face" of the protests of election irregularities in Iran. Note: This is an earlier portrait picture of Neda, not the video depicting her death. 06-09

  21. Official Report: More Votes than Voters in 50 Iranian Cities (
      "Shocking admission of election fraud from Iranís Guardian Council: in at least 50 cities more votes were recorded in the reported tally than there where eligible voters." 06-09

  22. Supreme Leader of Iran Warns of Violence (MSNBC News)
      "Taking an unequivocal stand against days of mass protests, Iranís supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly warned opposition supporters on Friday to stay off the streets and raised the prospect of violence if their defiant, vast demonstrations continued."

      "Prime Minister Gordon Brown stepped up his public criticism."

      " 'We are with others, including the whole of the European Union unanimously today, in condemning the use of violence, in condemning media suppression,' he told a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels. He said it was up to Iran to show the world that the elections were fair and that 'the repression and the brutality that we have seen in these last few days is not something that is going to be repeated.' " 06-09

  23. True Power in Iran (
      "Despite the convulsions in Tehran's streets in the aftermath of a disputed presidential election, Iranians ó and the smart folks in Washington ó know that Iran's presidency is not the seat of executive power. Unelected mullahs hold veto power over the decisions of the elected government, and their Supreme Leader, currently Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, must approve all political policies and make the key foreign policy and security decisions. No one can run for president without the approval of the clerics, and they routinely narrow the field to those deemed acceptable within the parameters of the Islamic Revolution."

      "Yet Khamenei has now done something extraordinary to the regime's democratic apparatus. Even though Iran's Electoral Commission allows three days to hear challenges before presenting results to Khamenei for approval, the Supreme Leader rushed to put his seal of approval on the outcome, and warned all political factions to refrain from challenging it." 06-09


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