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September 18 2019
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Realism must prevail on all sides to deescalate the tensions after total failure of U.S. "maximum pressure" policy on Iran: Scholar

- As we see the total failure of the "maximum pressure" policy, and as we have been reminded of some of the possible consequences of a war between Iran and other regional states, it is more urgent than ever for realism to prevail on all sides and to deescalate the tension. The United States should lift the sanctions and should return to the JCPOA. Regional countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, should realise that they will not gain anything by intensifying hostilities 9/18/19

Iran Judo Federation suspended By The International Judo Federation

- Following what happened during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the International Judo Federation suspended Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its Unions. 9/18/19

Detained Iranian-British Anthropologist Says Charges Based on Government-Approved Research

- Held in solitary confinement since being arrested in Tehran on August 11, 2019, Iranian-British anthropologist Kameel Ahmady will remain in detention for a minimum of several more weeks, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 9/18/19

Iran Greco-Roman team come 4th at World Championships

- Iran Greco-Roman team finished in fourth place with 75 points at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Iran won three bronze medal in the competition. Russia took the first place with 132 points, followed by Uzbekistan with 90 and Georgia with 79. 9/18/19

Iran issues sober warning to US: Action will be met with counteraction

- Iran has warned the United States via Switzerland that any action taken against the country over the false accusation that Tehran was behind the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities will be met with an immediate response. -Press TV 9/18/19

Iran and the Poisonous Fruits of 'Maximum Pressure'

- When President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, he said he was doing so because the agreement was too weak and did not limit the Iranians' "other malign Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world." Allegedly in search of a "better" deal, the U.S. began re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). -Barbara Slavin, American Conservative 9/18/19

The Encirclement Of Saudi Oil Production By Iran

- The latest attacks on the Arab Gulf oil industry seems to be part of a strategy by Iran to warn the Persian Gulf's Arab states that it can block all oil shipments, if it sees fit. Saturday's extensive destruction of the Abqaiq oil processing plant passes the message that Iran has superior precision weapons that can wreak havoc on Saudi oil production. -Jean-François Seznec, LobeLog 9/18/19

Iran's March-August aluminum output down by 32%: Industry Ministry

- A report by Iran's ministry of industry shows that production of primary aluminum in three major smelters in the country have decreased by over a third in the initial five months of the current Iranian calendar year. The significant decrease in primary aluminum production in Iran comes despite a reverse trend reported in other metal sectors, including in steel and raw iron. 9/18/19

Stoking Middle East Conflicts Has Just Become More Damaging

- Within hours of the attack on Abqaiq, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted the way he always reacts to any bit of trouble in the Middle East, which is to place complete, unequivocal blame on Iran. "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen," he declared-an interesting statement in that it evidently counted neither the Houthis' rapid claim of responsibility nor their ongoing efforts to retaliate against the Saudis as "evidence," especially in light of Pompeo providing no evidence for his assertion about Iran. -Paul Pillar 9/17/19

Iranian, Russian and Turkish Presidents Focus on Unity in Efforts to End Syrian War

- The presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia met in Ankara Monday in the latest trilateral summit to resolve the Syrian civil war. Launched in 2017 in the capital of Kazakhstan and known as the Astana peace process, summit leaders Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin focused on cooperation, despite profound differences on the future of Idlib, the last enclave of Syrian rebels. -Dorian Jones, VOA 9/17/19

Featured Video

Esteghlal team's minute of silence for Iran's "Blue Girl"

PHILANTHROPY: Founder of Iranian charity Mahak receives Muslim World Rania Award 2019 - The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) granted the Muslim World Rania Award to Saeedeh Ghods, the founder of MAHAK, a charity society dedicated to treating pediatric cancer in Iran, the public relations department of MAHAK reported. 9/17/19

Iran crowned CAFA U15 Women's champions - Iran lifted 2019 CAFA U15 Women's Championship trophy on Monday. Iran defeated Uzbekistan 3-2 in their third match and topped the event with three wins. Ghazal Morshedi, Diana Norouzi and Fatemeh Yousefi scored for Iran. 9/17/19

Iran's Supreme Leader: No Talks With US; Maximum Pressure Campaign Futile - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran will not engage in negotiations with the United States "at any level," and that Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign against the Iranian nation has failed to achieve its goals. -Press TV 9/17/19

Tell Congress: Stop Trump's Path to War - Once again the U.S. is on the verge of a catastrophic war with Iran. Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" and awaiting a green light from Saudi Arabia to take military action in response to accusations that Iran was behind the recent assault on Saudi oil refineries. -NIAC 9/17/19

NEO - The Strange Case of the Burning Saudi Refineries - VT has pinged all of its sources, and the consensus is a question. How could a swarm missile/drone attack get through the air defenses of the Saudis who spent big money for them? If the incoming missiles were tracked, why was the tracking not printed out for proof, as the Iranians did in their shootdown of the US drone over the Gulf - something that most Americans have never seen or heard because US media blacked it out? -Veterans Today 9/17/19

Iran Struggles With Food Security Amid Sanctions - As Iran wrestles with devastating economic sanctions imposed after the United States' withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the news media has highlighted the impact on Iran's economy as a whole, noting predictions by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that it would contract by between 3.8 and 6 percent this year. -Austin Bodetti, LobeLog 9/17/19

The world ignored the warning signs -- and now the Middle East is on the brink - Like a furious maelstrom, roiled by opposing currents, the crisis in the Gulf gains in intensity and destructive power almost by the day. On Sunday, Donald Trump said the US was "locked and loaded", ready to respond to attacks on an oil facility in Saudi Arabia, in which it believes Iran was involved. But warning bells, akin to those used to alert fog-bound mariners steering towards rocks, have been ringing out for months. -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 9/17/19

Australian Academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert Isolated for Months in IRGC-Controlled High-Security Ward - Australian academic Kylie Gilbert-Moore has been held for almost a year in Ward 2-A of Tehran's Evin Prison, controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) intelligence organization, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 9/17/19

US 'Lies' Slammed After Pompeo, Without Proof, Blames Iran for Drone Attacks - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi forcefully rejected Sunday unsubstantiated charges by by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) regarding the recent drone attacks that caused serious damage to two crucial Saudi Arabian oil installations. -Common Dreams 9/16/19

Turkey's Erdogan Hosts Russia's Putin and Iran's Rohani To Discuss Syrian War - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hosting his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on September 16 for their latest meeting on Syria. Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, and Hassan Rohani are expected to focus on the Syrian government's advance on the last rebel-held stronghold of Idlib in the country's northwest, where a cease-fire went into effect at the end of last month, following a four-month offensive by government forces. -RFE/RL 9/16/19

Iranian Stadium Ban Activists Honored in Wake of "Blue Girl" Tragedy - A minute of silence was observed for Sahar Khodayari, a young Iranian woman who self-immolated after reportedly hearing she would have to serve jail time after being arrested for trying to watch her favorite men's soccer team play at Tehran's Azadi Stadium. -CHRI 9/16/19

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action - The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Trump warning that he was prepared to take military action. -New York Times 9/16/19

US plots, wrong plans behind regional crises: President Rouhani - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says what is currently going on in the Middle East region is the result of US' plots and wrong plans, urging regional countries to resolve the existing crises through dialogue. -Press TV 9/16/19

Trump Would Be Shocked: How Iran Could Kill a Stealth F-22 Raptor - Key Point: The Raptor's incredible specific excess power and sheer maneuverability combined with its new AIM-9X missiles makes it so that the odds are grotesquely stacked in the F-22 pilot's favor. -National Interest 9/16/19

From Overtures for US Talks to Threats of War with Iran - For the past several weeks and especially since the firing of national security adviser and Iran uber-hawk John Bolton on September 10, Washington has been awash with rumors that President Donald Trump was preparing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week. -Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council 9/16/19

What is Iran's message in Sadr meeting with Khamenei? - Shortly after Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appeared Sept. 10 in the presence of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, Khamenei's official website published several photos of the scene, showing Sadr submitting to Khamenei by putting his hand on his chest and looking up at him. -Ali Mamouri, Al-Monitor 9/16/19

Trump's warning to Iran raises fears of war -- and confusion - President Donald Trump's amped up rhetoric that the US is "locked and loaded" sparked new fears of war with Iran but also confusion about his true intentions following an attack on a Saudi oil field that rocked global oil markets. The Trump administration upgraded the incident into a global crisis with its swift move to directly blame Iran for the coordinated drone strike. The strike was claimed by Houthi rebels that Tehran supports in Yemen. -Stephen Collinson, CNN 9/16/19

Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Harley Wallen's Eternal Code Starring Noted Iranian-American Actress Vida Ghaffari Had a Star Studded West Coast Premiere - "I was truly honored to be cast in the role of Nikita. Harley is an amazingly talented filmmaker and I had fabulous cast and crew mates to collaborate with. It was my first role as a scientist and has opened the door for me to play other scientists and academics. While I never did become an academic like my dad wanted, it's a nod to the family business if you will, which is education and I did play a super smart woman," said Ghaffari. 9/14/19

Taekwondo Grand Prix: Iran wins 2 medals on day 2 - Armin Hadipour and Sajjad Mardani have won two gold medals for Iran on the second day of the 2019 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 2 in Japan. Hadipour, who had defeated Adrian Vicente of Spain in the semifinal of the minus 58 kg category, settled for silver after surrendering the decider 22-14 to his South Korean opponent Jang Jun. 9/14/19

NIAC Deeply Concerned by Flight Ban on Iranian Students - The National Iranian American Council is deeply concerned by reports that a large number of Iranian students with visas were barred from boarding their flights at the last minute by the Trump administration. The students were fully vetted and set to study in the United States during the fall semester, and now have had their futures thrown into disarray with no explanation from either the State Department or Department of Homeland Security. -NIAC 9/14/19

Trump Provoked A Crisis With Iran, And Now May Try To Solve It - Trump's firing of John Bolton has single-handedly dealt a two-pronged blow to those in Washington who sought to maneuver him into a devastating war with Iran. Not only has the likelihood of conflict gone down with Bolton dismissed from the White House, but the odds of negotiations that take war off the table have significantly increased. -Ryan Costello, LobeLog 9/14/19

Trump Says 'Iranian Leadership Wants To Meet' - President Donald Trump has once again signaled that a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in September is a possibility. He told reporters on September 12 that Iran's leadership wants to meet. "I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House. -Radio Farda 9/13/19

Iran says 'masters of sanction' killing innocent people - Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva has lashed out at the US for imposing cruel sanctions against Iran, warning that the negative consequences of such measures turn it into a "crime against humanity." -Press TV 9/13/19

Retired military leaders sign letter urging Congress to bar 'unauthorized' war with Iran - A group of retired military officers, including a chief of staff for Colin Powell, urged Congress to pass legislation to block a declaration of war with Iran without congressional approval. -Defense News 9/13/19

Iran Resorts To 'Maximum Repression' In Fighting Perceived Domestic Threats - Political satirist Kiumars Marzban could spend more than a decade in an Iranian prison just for doing his job. Marzban is among the recent victims of an intensified state crackdown in Iran that has resulted in unusually harsh prison sentences for journalists, human rights lawyers, women protesting the compulsory hijab rule, labor rights activists, and others. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 9/13/19

Iran non-oil exports hit $44.3B in March 2019: Plan and Budget Organization - A report by the Iranian government shows non-oil exports, including petrochemicals and condensates, exceeded $44 billion in the year ending March 2019. The report by Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (PBO) published on Thursday showed that exports had topped $44.310 billion in the 12-month period, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the figures recorded in March 2013. -Press TV 9/13/19

A unique experience in life: Traveling to Iran during Muharram - A unique time for visiting Iran is during the first ten days of the lunar month of Muharram, which falls from Sept. 1 to 10 this year. That's because Iranians, who are mostly Shia Muslims, hold special ceremonies during this time. For Shia Muslims, Muharram is a turning point in the history of Islam. -By Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 9/13/19

A Conversation with Rose Issa, Champion of Artists From the Middle East - On the eve of her exhibition at the new Middle East Institute Gallery, Issa talks about her decades-long curatorial career, the shifting infrastructure for artists in the region, and the need for memory and archives. -Lizzy Vartanian Collier, Hyperallergic 9/13/19

Trump Tries to Extinguish the Fire He Started With Iran - When the news broke that Trump had fired his national security advisor, John Bolton, it was assumed that the break was a result of their disagreement over a potential meeting with the Taliban at Camp David, which the president subsequently cancelled. But now we learn that the final straw was actually about Trump's desire to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. -Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly 9/13/19

Trump Says He Could Ease Sanctions if Iran Wants to Talk - U.S. President Donald Trump again dangled the possibility of easing U.S. sanctions on Iran if it can bring President Hassan Rouhani to the bargaining table. "We will see what happens," Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday. He said Iran wants a deal because "they have tremendous financial difficulty and the sanctions are getting tougher and tougher." 9/12/19

Is Iran At Risk Of Becoming A Chinese Colony? - According to an article in the Petroleum Economist, during Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's visit to China in late August, Tehran and Beijing updated an agreement they had reached in 2016 called the China-Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and added new items to it. Most of these new points have not been publicly released. -Shireen T. Hunter 9/12/19

FIFA Officials To Visit Iran After Death Of Stadium-Ban Protester - FIFA will visit Iran to review preparations for allowing women to attend men's soccer games, a spokesman for the world soccer governing body told Reuters and AFP on September 11. The announcement of FIFA's visit, expected in the next two weeks, follows the death of a 29-year-old woman who set herself on fire after being charged for attempting to attend a men's soccer match disguised as a male. 9/12/19

Iran talks with US meaningless while sanctions still in place, Rouhani tells Macron - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has informed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that there is no point in talks with the United States as long as it keeps sanctions against the Islamic Republic in place. Speaking to Macron over phone on Wednesday, Rouhani said the US violated its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal once it decided to quit it in May 2018. 9/12/19

Trump Makes The Right Call: Bolton Out - The single biggest factor in getting Bolton the job was Sheldon Adelson, whose weighty political checkbook has won him much influence over Trump's policies. The policies that by far have mattered most to Adelson are any that deal with Israel or are important to the right-wing government of Israel. Adelson and Bolton both have openly advocated bombing Iran, which is music to the ears of the ultra-hardline policy toward Iran favored by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. -Paul Pillar 9/11/19

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Iran 2-0 Hong Kong - Iran have kick-started their Asian qualifying campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China, with a 2-nil away victory over group C rivals in Hong Kong. Iran's next match will be against Cambodia on October the 10th. 9/11/19

U.S. 'Warmongers' Should Go, Iran Says After Bolton Firing - Iran has urged the United States to "put warmongers aside" following the departure of hard-line U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton, amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran in the wake of the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on September 11, President Hassan Rohani said the United States "must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don't work in their favor. Both...must be abandoned." -RFE/RL 9/11/19

Top Iran cultural body slams US protracted detention of stem-cell scientist - A leading Iranian cultural organization has slammed the United States for its protracted detainment of an Iranian stem-cell scientist on "hollow" grounds, calling on advocates of human rights worldwide to help end the "arbitrary detention." 9/11/19

Death of Iran's "Blue Girl" Spotlights Senseless Ban on Women in Stadiums - The death of Sahar Khodayari, a woman who set herself on fire in Tehran because she thought she would have to serve jail time for trying to watch a soccer match, has put the spotlight on the costs of a discriminatory state policy that Iranian women have been protesting for decades. -CHRI 9/11/19

Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again - The largest exhibition to date of internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat's approximately 30-year career. Taking its title from a poem by Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, the exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the evolution of Neshat's artistic journey as she explores topics of exile, displacement, and identity with beauty, dynamic formal invention, and poetic grace. -Broad, Los Angeles 9/11/19

Britain-Iran relationship caught up in mutual blame game - The summoning of the Iranian ambassador to the British Foreign Office on Wednesday over broken assurances about the destination of an Iranian oil tanker, and now the arrest of two British-Australian nationals, marks yet another stage in the mutual blame game between Britain and Iran that leaves the relationship stuck deeper in a frustrating rut. -Patrick Wintour, Guardian 9/11/19

IRAN: Mass Sentencing of Labor Activists, Journalists Prelude to Reign of Repression Under New Judiciary Chief - Less than a year after workers' rights activists in southwestern Iran publicized evidence that Intelligence Ministry agents had tortured detainees, those same activists and four independent journalists who covered their cases have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. "The sentences are an indicator that newly appointed Judiciary Chief Ehrabim Raisi intends to prolong his predecessor's reign of repression by punishing peaceful activism through arbitrary arrests and kangaroo courts," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 9/10/19

Iran Sanctions Curbing Global Scientific Progress: Top British Journal - The British medical journal BMJ Global Health says US sanctions on Iran, a leading country in the world for science, are curtailing global scientific progress. As a result of the draconian sanctions, Iranian scientists have been denied opportunities to publish their findings, attend meetings, and access essential supplies and information, the publication said. -Press TV 9/10/19

IAEA acting chief praises 'substantive' talks with Tehran - The International Atomic Energy Agency's Acting Director General Cornel Feruta presents the Agency's Board of Governors with his latest reports on Iran a day after meeting top Iranian diplomats in Tehran. -Press TV 9/10/19

Is Iran Abnormal? - It is fashionable among Trump administration officials to call Iran "abnormal." Unless Iran behaves like "a normal nation," says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Washington's "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign against it will continue. -Mohammad Ataie, LobeLog 9/10/19

What Do Iranian Human Rights Activists Want from the West? - What do Iranian human rights activists want from the international community, the West in particular? What guidelines should be followed that can better support their heroic efforts? As someone who has written on the topic and spent considerable time studying the topic, reading their statements, and interviewing some prominent voices, I would like to address this subject. -Nader Hashemi, Siyasa 9/10/19

Iran Basketball return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 - Iran national basketball team advanced to the 2020 Olympic Games after beating the Philippines in the 2019 FIBA World Cup classification round on Sunday. Iran had suffered three defeats against Puerto Rico, Tunisia and Spain in Group C. The Persians beat Angola and the Philippines in Group N. 9/9/19

IRAN: Female Political Prisoners To Serve Additional Two Years For "Insulting" Supreme Leader - Imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi and recently released political prisoner Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi were informed that they must serve an additional 2.1 years in prison now that the Tehran Appeals Court upheld a joint sentence against them under the charges of "insulting the supreme leader" and "propaganda against the state." -CHRI 9/9/19

Former Minister's Daughter Arrested In Iran For Alleged Corruption - Authorities in Iran have arrested the daughter of a former minister of industry, mines, and trade for cornering a part of the medicine market and accumulating assets through illegal channels, the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Sunday, September 8. 9/9/19

Celebrating Iranian-American Writers: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi - Author of the critically acclaimed book, Call Me Zebra, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a gifted young writer whose journey has taken her around the world -- from the U.S., to Iran, to Italy and Catalonia, and all the way to the UAE. It is no wonder that for Azareen, language plays a key role in her creativity. -NIAC Action 9/9/19

Iran puts pressure on Europe to save nuclear deal within 60-day deadline - Iran has announced it has started using more advanced centrifuges that could accelerate the development of an atomic weapon in its latest attempt to pressure European powers to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal. -Guardian 9/9/19

The Russian-Iranian Axis: An Eternal Marriage (Of Convenience) - While the European Union's plan to establish a "special purpose vehicle" to protect Iranian commerce from U.S. sanctions continues to underwhelm Iranian leaders, the Russian government has taken a decisive step to help Iran circumnavigate sanctions by allowing Tehran to transport crude oil through ports in Crimea. -Ghoncheh Tazmini, LobeLog 9/9/19

15 Iran MPs Urge New Judiciary Chief to Stop Renewed Crackdown on Freedom of Speech - During a speech addressing Iran's legislature, member of Parliament (MP) Parvaneh Salahshouri strongly criticized the recent crackdown on journalists and workers' rights advocates and called on recently appointed Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi to uphold the rule of law. -CHRI 9/6/19

'Coup 53': Film Review - Taghi Amirani's deeply researched documentary focuses on the crucial 1953 Anglo-American-engineered regime change in Iran. -Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter 9/6/19

Europe's trade mechanism with Iran goes forward: EU - The European Union says there is "an advancement" in a long-anticipated trade mechanism, called the INSTEX, with Iran, after Tehran's announcement of further cuts in its commitments under a 2015 nuclear accord it signed with major world powers. 9/6/19

Narges Bajoghli, Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic - I had just left Iran after a few years of living, studying, and working there. Until that point, I had focused on women's and student movements for some time and I thought I would continue down that path, until I read some pieces by Laura Nader, Lila Abu-Lughod, and others about the need to study power; it really shifted my focus. -Narges Bajoghli, Jadaliyya 9/6/19

Trad/roots: Nava wonderfully illustrate musical links between Ireland and Iran - You hear Iran these days, you think tankers and Trump, the country's rich cultural and musical heritage going largely under the radar in the West. The group Nava, made up of Irish and Iranian musicians, are, in their own inimitable way, changing that. -Irish News 9/6/19

The Systemic Problem of "Iran Expertise" in Washington - In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy. I assert that the US foreign policy establishment has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today. -Negar Razavi, Jadaliyya 9/5/19

Bill on protection of animals brought before Iran's Parliament - A long-awaited bill on protection of animals which had been proposed over 3 years ago was finally brought to the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday. Since 2016, some animal cruelty cases have been spotted in the country which mounted public criticism and pushed the Majlis to pass a law against cruelty to animals. 9/5/19

Iran's Disappearing Forests Pose Environmental Challenge - While Western think tanks have drawn attention to droughts and floods in Iran, the news media has ignored another critical environmental issue there: deforestation. Between 1900 and 2012, Iran's forest acreage decreased from 19 million acres to 14.4 million, shrinking to 10.7 million by 2015. -Austin Bodetti, LobeLog 9/5/19

The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran - Hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Will Trump finally deliver? -Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times 9/5/19

Minister calls on Trump to stop imitating fictional character as U.S. sanctions Iran's space program - Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has mocked U.S. President Donald Trump over "imitating" the space supervillain from the Marvel universe, Thanos. -Tehran Times 9/5/19

Why Iran's Strategy Of Reversible Escalation Is Working - A year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and instituted its "maximum pressure" campaign against the country in May 2018, Iran countered with its own escalations. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 9/5/19

Iran Is Building a Stockpile -- of Potatoes - Amid growing worries over food shortages, the Iranian government is doubling down on production of potatoes to ensure that the carb-rich vegetable is available to the masses, as it seeks to beat back the threat of social unrest because of the economic crisis. Iran has increased its potato production by more than 20 percent since 2009, when it grew 4.1 million tons. -Austin Bodetti, OZY 9/5/19

The Stubborn Persistence Of Failed Maximum Pressure Against Iran - It is a sure sign that the Trump administration's campaign to squeeze Iran into submission is a failure when those who customarily favor pressuring Iran acknowledge that failure. Take what has become the administration's go-to rationale for the campaign in the face of other evidence that it is not working: the claim that U.S. sanctions have undercut Iran's "malign" activity in the Middle East by reducing the funds available for such activity. -Paul Pillar 9/4/19

Public Outcry Leads Officials To Void The Marriage Of Underage Girl In Iran - A videotape widely circulated on social media showing the wedding party of an under-thirteen year old girl and a 22-year-old man has forced a local judicial official in Iran to declare the marriage null and void until further notice. -Radio Farda 9/4/19

Iran Lawmakers Protest Arrest And Harsh Sentences Against Labor Activists - In a letter to the head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary, sixteen Iranian legislators have protested the imprisonment of a young photographer, Nooshin Ja'fari, and harsh verdicts issued against labor rights activists. Four female members of Majles (parliament) are among the signatories of the letter. -Radio Farda 9/4/19

The 11th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top Six Finalists - The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce the six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at the eleventh annual film festival. The only short film festival in the world celebrating Iranian cinema and culture returns for the eleventh year with a red carpet awards ceremony on September 28 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall in Los Angeles. 9/4/19

Meditative Mixed-Media Paintings by Arghavan Khosravi Subtly Address Human Rights Issues - Artist Arghavan Khosravi creates multi-part worlds in her carefully composed paintings. Contemporary human figures commingle with ghostly limbs and classical Greco-Roman sculptures. Bright red lines of string, Persian decorative motifs, and found textiles connect the disparate figures. -Colossal 9/4/19

China and Iran flesh out strategic partnership - Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Zarif paid a visit to his Chinese counterpart Wang Li at the end of August to present a road map for the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, signed in 2016. The central pillar of the new deal is that China will invest $280bn developing Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. -Petroleum Economist 9/4/19

Will the world's fastest Asiatic cheetah outrun extinction? - Although Iran is the only country which can save the precious species from disappearance, conservation projects fall into a single solution of captive-breeding. Cheetah's captive-breeding is not necessarily an inefficient plan, nonetheless concerns come up from recent unsuccessful projects. Will the endangered beauty surpass its unknown fate and escape extinction? -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 9/3/19

Bear cubs shot dead in southwestern Iran - Two bear cubs were found dead at a landfill site in Dena county, southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, the provincial department of environment (DOE) chief has announced. Lack of wildlife protection culture among people as well as awareness, and a lack of conservation forces are among the issues led to such tragic events, he lamented. 9/3/19

Iran taekwondo wins title at World Martial Arts Masterships - Iranian taekwondo team won the team kyorugi event competition of 2019 Martial Arts Masterships in South Korea. In the final bout, the Iranian team overpowered Russia 26-14 to obtain the title and also to secure 2020 Tokyo Olympics quota where team kyorugi will be held as a test event. 9/2/19

The Genius of Author Bahram Sadeqi, Iran's Answer to Kafka - As the old saying goes, French is the language of love; German is the language of war; and Russian is both. However, as most international linguists will tell you, it is Farsi (Persian) that is the most poetic. -Tara Taghizadeh, Highbrow Magazine 8/29/19

Israel Uses Its Firepower, Far And Wide - Israel recently has been expanding its military attacks across much of the Middle East, hitting multiple countries. The aggressive campaign far outpaces anything any adversaries of Israel have been doing to it, or even trying unsuccessfully to do to it. -Paul R. Pillar 8/28/19

Caspian seals population shrinking alarmingly - Caspian seals, the sole marine mammals inhabiting the Caspian Sea, have faced a sharp decline in population over the past three decades, pushing the species towards extinction, Davood Mirshekar, deputy chief of the Department of Environment for marine ecosystems, has stated. 8/27/19

Around 8 million tourists arrived in Iran in early 2019: Tourism Chief - Head of Iran's government department on tourism says around eight million foreigners visited the country in the last Iranian calendar year ending in March 2019. "Some 7.8 million foreign tourists arrived in the country last year," said Ali Asghar Mounessan, adding that the figure shows a 40-percent year-on-year increase. -Press TV 8/27/19

Iranian students in US scramble as sanctions ratchet up tuition costs - There were more than 12,000 Iranians studying in the US during the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education. For many, economic sanctions and currency fluctuations have resulted in higher tuition and living expenses than originally planned. -Marnette Federis, PRI 8/27/19

Iran To Let Women Attend Men's World Cup Qualifier In October - Women in Iran will be allowed into a Tehran stadium to attend a men's football World Cup qualifier later this year, a Sports Ministry official has said. "The women can go in the Asadi Stadium for the qualification match against Cambodia on October 10," Deputy Sports Minister Jamshid Taghizadeh said on August 25, according to state news agency IRNA. 8/26/19

Annual Nowruz Banner Contest - Farhang Foundation invites artists worldwide to participate in its Annual Official Nowruz Banner Contest for the 2020 Nowruz Celebrations at UCLA! 8/22/19

Parau: "Everest of all caves" in western Iran - Photos show rock climbers rappelling through Iran's Parau Cave, locally renowned as "Everest of all caves". Looking for adventure? This vertical limestone cave, which is one of natural attractions of Kermanshah province in the Zagros Mountains, offers a wild and challenging expedition for experienced rock climbers! 8/21/19

Iran sanctions threaten the lives of young cancer patients - But there's another battlefield in the sanctions war: a children's hospital. Since 1991, Mahek, a charity hospital in Tehran that offers free health care, has cared for nearly 30,000 children. But in the last year, vital drugs have been running out. -CBS 8/21/19

Sanctions hindering pharma raw materials import: Iranian Red Crescent - Problems in transferring money from foreign banks and using foreign exchange has been hindering the import of pharmaceutical raw materials into the country for a long time, announced the director of medical supply department at the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS). 8/20/19

Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War - The Trump administration's lies on the topic of Iran are now beyond parody. There is, however, nothing funny about them. U.S. government lies can have deadly consequences: Never forget that hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, not to mention more than 4,400 U.S. military personnel, are dead today because of the sheer volume of falsehoods told by the George W. Bush administration. -Mehdi Hasan, Intercept 8/15/19

Iranians hit hard by U.S. sanctions, and worried about war - In the local market in Bandar Abbas, a town right on Iran's coast in the Strait of Hormuz, people are really feeling the pinch. So have millions of other Iranians in the year since President Trump began re-imposing what his administration calls "the toughest ever" sanctions on Iran. -CBS News 8/15/19

Coalition of Foreign Policy Experts Outline 8 Recommendations to Deescalate Tensions with Iran - Today, an expert group of foreign policy practitioners published a letter underscoring the dangerous new phase that has put the U.S and Iran on the path toward war. The signatories include prominent academics, such as John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Andrew Bacevich; foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal; former Member of Congress John F. Tierney; former ambassadors and diplomats, such as Thomas Pickering, Francois Nicoullaud, and Peter Jenkins; national security expert Edward Price; and Iran experts such as Jamal Abdi, Dina Esfandiary, and Farideh Farhi. 7/31/19

Joint Statement: House Reins In Trump on Iran - CREDO, Foreign Policy for America, J Street, NIAC Action, and Win Without War issued the following joint statement regarding the House vote passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to block any funds for an unauthorized war with Iran -Win Without War 7/12/19

Open Letter by academics and civil society activists to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on significance of return to JCPOA - Hon. Secretary General, You are well aware that in 2015 with the support of all permanent members of the UNSC (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) plus Germany and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was drafted, upon which UNSC issued Resolution 2231, replacing all previous UNSC resolutions targeting Iran's nuclear program. 7/3/19

170+ Iranian Women Activists Condemn Sanctions and Threats of War - We a group of Iranian women's movement activists and women's rights defenders strongly condemn US efforts to stoke yet another war in the Middle East, this time against Iran. The Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, its bellicose posturing and sanctions, hurt the Iranian people most, especially women, children, minorities, refugees, the chronically ill and those with disabilities. 5/30/19

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last updated on Wed Sep 18 09:33:31 EDT 2019