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November 18 2018
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Persian Arts Festival 2018: November 30th in Brooklyn, New York

- A mystical way to ring in the holiday season as well as Yalda (the winter solstice), the evening will begin with Persian poetry curated by Roger Sedarat and special guests, and then launch into the main event, Aida Shahghasemi with a full band. 11/16/18

Over 1,000 Iranian Activists Back Jailed Environmentalists in Letter to Judiciary

- More than 1,000 Iranian civil society activists have signed a letter to Iran's judiciary chief urging him to resolve the case of eight environmentalists jailed since January and February on suspicion of being spies. -Michael Lipin, VOA 11/16/18

Iranian athletes win four medals at 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Australia

- Iranian representatives claimed four medals in Day 1 of the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships underway in South Australian shores. The event has brought more than 6000 participants from 44 countries from Nov. 16 to Dec. 2 at Glenelg Beach and the world-class South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide. -Tehran Times 11/16/18

5500-year-old human skeleton on display in Neyshabur, Iran

- A human skeleton, which dates from some 5,500 years ago, has been put on show at the museum of archaeology in the city of Neyshabur, northeast Iran. A team of archaeologist discovered the skeleton in 2004 while surveying a trench in Tapeh Borj, an archaeological site, near Neyshabur -Tehran Times 11/16/18

The World Was Catching on to Iran's Contemporary Art. Then Sanctions Returned

- In Tehran, Hormoz Hematian's gallery was thriving. Domestic and international collectors were buying works by his local artists. When Donald Trump tore up the Iran deal, those prospects began to dim. -James Tarmy, Bloomberg 11/16/18

Europe trips up over plan to beat Washington sanctions on Iran

- It is hard to conceive how the European Commission could have done a worse job of trying to create its so-called special-purpose vehicle for some form of barter trading with Iran. Whenever you seek to avoid sanctions imposed by any country at any time, you do so in the shadows or in some deniable manner. -John Dizard, Financial Times 11/16/18

Yemeni Father Mourns Baby Girl Who Died of Starvation

- Saleh al-Faqeh held the wasted arm of his baby daughter as she took her last breath Thursday at the malnutrition ward of the main hospital in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. -Reuters 11/16/18

A Flawed American Sanctions Policy On Iran

- The Trump Administration's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is animated by a deeply flawed grasp of Iranian politics and an incoherent strategy, one that will not be realized by dreams of regime change in the country. Rather than force Iran's capitulation in the coming months, the administration will confront a tumultuous regional and global map whose contours will be shaped by three intersecting waiting games: -Daniel Brumberg, LobeLog 11/15/18

Iran's Currency Rial Rises Helped By Central Bank Interventions

- The Iranian currency rial has rebounded in recent days, rising to 120,000 to the U.S. dollar, on the open market midday Thursday, recuperating some of the losses it endured in recent months. The rial, which was trading around 30,000 to the dollar at the beginning of 2018, began a steep decline in March and reached to as low as 180,000 before stabilizing around 150,000 in recent weeks. -Radio Farda 11/15/18

Iran's Execution of Two Traders Convicted in Iran's New Corruption Courts Is Unlawful

- The hanging today of two individuals who were convicted of economic crimes in Iran's new corruption courts is unlawful and inhumane, as these courts deny due process and do not allow for fair trials, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said on November 14. -CHRI 11/15/18

Featured Video


The Charmer: by Danish-based Iranian filmmaker Milad Alami

Iran's Poorly Paid Teachers on Nationwide Strike for 2nd Day - Iranian teachers have gone on a nationwide strike for a second consecutive day to demand better working conditions for their poorly paid profession, one month after their last mass protest. Photos posted on the Telegram channel of the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI) showed elementary and high school teachers staging sit-ins and holding protest signs in and outside their offices in at least 27 Iranian cities Wednesday. -Michael Lipin, VOA 11/15/18

Banning Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh From Seeing Her Children is Cruel and Unlawful - Imprisoned defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh has sued Iranian authorities for banning her from seeing her children and other family in Evin Prison for the past two months under the pretext of her alleged "improper hijab." "First the Iranian authorities imprisoned Sotoudeh for defending human rights and now they're harassing her in jail by taking away the few rights she has left, including visits with her children," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 11/15/18

Iran's Foreign Ministry Defends FM Zarif Comments On Money Laundering - The Islamic Republic Foreign Minister's recent comments on "many individuals" who "benefit from money laundering" in Iran have triggered a wave of enraged responses from the conservative camp controlling most of the state apparatus. -Radio Farda 11/15/18

Unlike officials, Iranian aid worker praised for reviving quake-hit area - On the first anniversary of a deadly quake in western Iran, officials are still under fire for abandoning survivors. Meanwhile, a female charity worker's performance is raising eyebrows. -Al Monitor 11/15/18

Trump's Magical Thinking on Iran Sanctions Won't Advance U.S. Interests - Far from convincing Tehran to cooperate, new U.S. measures are on track to achieve the exact opposite. -Foreign Policy 11/15/18

Iran's Inflation Rate Will Soar To Over 40 Percent By Year-End: IMF - Iran's inflation rate will jump to over 40 percent by the end of the year even as its economy sinks into a deep recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting. In a report on Middle Eastern economies released on November 13, the IMF projected that U.S. sanctions will push Iran's economic output down by 1.5 percent this year, with its recession deepening into a 3.6 percent contraction next year. 11/14/18

FOOTBALL: Iran's participation at AFC Asian Cup at risk - Iran national football team could miss the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January over a law interfering in the national soccer federation's independence. The AFC said in a statement issued late Tuesday that they were "closely monitoring the current issues" and that the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) stressed that it was a non-governmental organization. 11/14/18

Why Tehran's Reformists Changed Three Mayors In 18 Months - The Tehran City Council, deep in debt, has elected a pro-reform technocrat as the Iranian capital's new mayor on Tuesday, November 13. Pirooz Hanachi, 54, was elected through a time-consuming process that has been characterized by a member of the Iranian Parliament as "non-democratic," and "non-transparent." -Radio Farda 11/14/18

US food, medicine sanctions endanger lives of Iranian patients: Medical academy official - President of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran Alireza Marandi says the United States has endangered the lives of many Iranian patients by imposing "unjust" food and medicine sanctions against Tehran. -Press TV 11/14/18

Iran Hangs 'Sultans Of Coins,' Second Currency Trader - Iran has executed two men convicted of illegal currency trading as Tehran steps up its crackdown on alleged financial crimes in the face of economic hardships heightened by U.S. financial sanctions. State TV reported that Vahid Mazloumin, labeled by the Tehran police chief as the "Sultan of Coins" and his alleged accomplice, Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi, were hanged early on November 14 following their convictions in late September for currency manipulation and for "spreading corruption on Earth." -RFE/RL 11/14/18

Iran, 2nd biggest consumer of antibiotics among 65 countries: WHO - Iran's antibiotics consumption was the second highest among 65 countries, according to World Health Organization (WHO) report on Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption published in November 2018. The report presents 2015 data on the consumption of systemic antibiotics from 65 countries and areas. -Tehran Times 11/14/18

Author's hunger for taste of home offers up Iran's food to the world - Vancouver is where Naz Deravian learned - as most immigrants do - that food is both the door-opener to conversations about who you are and where you come from and a gateway to acceptance. -Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun 11/14/18

Iran Poised to Allow Military Full Control Over Internet, Messaging Apps - After repeated denials by Iranian officials about the existence of a bill that would allow an elite branch of the Iranian army to control and monitor all internet content, activities and messaging apps in the country, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has obtained a copy of the pending legislation. -CHRI 11/14/18

Maz Jobrani: the Iranian making people see 'immigrant' as a good word - It is well after dark but the action is just getting started on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. This famous West Hollywood road, dotted with marquee signs and patrolled by paparazzi, is where entertainment intersects with the American dream. And at 11pm on a Saturday at The Laugh Factory, it's also where Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes the stage. -CNN 11/14/18

The MEK And The Bankrupt U.S. Policy On Iran - Among the many indicators of misdirection in the Trump administration's policy toward Iran, one of the clearest is the fondness for the cult-cum-terrorist group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). National Security Advisor John Bolton and Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are among the group's most prominent cheerleaders, having been featured speakers at its rallies. They and other shills for the MEK refer to the group as if it represented what it decidedly is not: a democratic alternative to the current Iranian political system. -Paul Pillar 11/13/18

US genuinely wants to 'starve' Iranians: Ron Paul - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent threat to "starve" Iranian people through economic pressure was a rare instance of truthfulness in America's foreign policy, prominent American thinker Ron Paul says. Last week, the US secretary of state told BBC Persian that Iranian officials must listen to Washington "if they want their people to eat." -Press TV 11/13/18

IAEA: Iran Continues To Abide by Nuclear Deal - The United Nations atomic watchdog says Iran continues to keep its side of the 2015 nuclear agreement, even as new U.S. sanctions raise concerns about whether the deal can survive. The assessment was published Monday in a quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. 11/13/18

40 Civil Society Organizations Urge UN to Support Resolution on Human Rights in Iran - Forty civil society organizations including the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) have signed a letter urging UN member states to support Canada's resolution on human rights in Iran that will be presented to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly on November 14, 2018. 11/13/18

Iran Air, Lieutenant General Khademi, and a Murder That Was Forgotten - In the 1970s, Iran Air had made a name for itself as "the fastest growing" of the world's airlines. This accomplishment is associated with the name Lt. General Ali-Mohammad Khademi (1913-1978), who managed Iran Air for sixteen years. His service ended few months before the Islamic Revolution with his sudden resignation. Gen. Khademi was killed forty years ago on November 7, 1978 in his home in Tehran. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 11/13/18

Iran's Top Diplomat Attacks Opponents Of Transparency Measures - Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says those who profit from money laundering are spending millions of dollars to prevent the passage of legislation requiring more financial transparency. 11/13/18

Pompeo must own his words: Iran's Zarif - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has scolded his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, for his sharp attack on a US magazine that published his threat to starve the Iranian people through sanctions, saying Pompeo must assume responsibility for what he says. 11/13/18

Iran Sanctions: How Deep Will They Bite? - In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran's economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog 11/13/18

The Future Of Iran-Pakistan Energy Relations - Energy relations form one of the main pillars of Iranian-Pakistani relations. In 1990, increased domestic demand for natural gas led Pakistan to begin negotiations to export gas from Iran. India's growing energy demand led to joint support for a 2,700-kilometer "Peace Pipeline" that would allow India and Pakistan to import Iranian resources. -Omid Shokri Kalehsar, LobeLog 11/13/18

Viewpoint: How US can reach new Iran deal - after Trump - The American mid-term elections are over. The 2020 US presidential campaign begins now. Former US Assistant Secretary of State PJ Crowley has some advice for contenders on how to plan an Iran strategy. -PJ Crowley, BBC 11/13/18

Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup: Iran overpowers Russia to grab the title - Iran beach soccer coach Marco Octavio is "very satisfied" for being able to win the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup with crop of young talents. Iran defeated Russia 4-2 to win the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup for the second time. 11/12/18

Women Allowed To Attend Asian Champions League Soccer Final In Tehran - Hundreds of Iranian women have been allowed to attend the Asia Champions League final in Tehran, local media report, in what was seen as a possible step toward ending their decades-old exclusion from top soccer matches. -RFE/RL 11/12/18

AFC Champions League: Japan's Kashima Antlers takes the crown after 0-0 tie with Iran's Persepolis - Persepolis football team were held to a goalless draw by Kashima Antlers of Japan in the second leg of the AFC Champions League here on Saturday. The result means Kashima Antlers won the title 2-0 aggregate. 11/12/18

Iranians Fear Medicine Shortages as U.S. Tightens Sanctions - The strain was evident in Alireza Karimi's voice as he described his struggle to obtain the diazoxide pills his father needs to lower insulin levels and fight pancreatic cancer. The medicine has to be imported, and until recently that was not a problem. -Nilo Tabrizy, New York Times 11/12/18

Iran's Central Bank Tries To Repatriate Hard Currencies From Exports - The governor of Iran's Central Bank (CBI) said November 10 that soon measures and terms will be announced to facilitate the return of hard currencies to the country earned by exporters. In recent months and following the establishment of a secondary forex market to meet Iran's demand for imported goods, the country has been struggling with the exporters who are reluctant to return the foreign currencies they earned to the local market. -Radio Farda 11/12/18

Iran Sanctions Herald Energy Trouble For Caucasus Nations - The resumption of wide-ranging American sanctions on Iran promises economic uncertainty for the Islamic Republic's neighbors in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. -David O'Byrne, LobeLog 11/12/18

Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi's Death - Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions. -New York Times 11/12/18

Lawyer's Memoir Dissects Flaws In Investigation Of Argentina Terror Attack - Nearly a quarter-century after a bomb blast at a Buenos Aires Jewish community center killed dozens and injured hundreds more, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history remains unsolved-and a new memoir recounts one lawyer's efforts to prove the government's investigation was a sham from the start. -Mike LaSusa, LobeLog 11/12/18

SWIFT kick: Iranian banks about to be cut off from global financial network - Banks in Iran have started sending letters to their branches, informing them that they will be cut off from the international financial messaging system SWIFT starting Monday. Being cut off from SWIFT makes it difficult for Iran to get paid for exports and to pay for imports. -RT 11/12/18

Iranian Celebrities Launch Petition, Condemn U.S. Sanctions Against Iran - A large number of Iranian celebrities has launched #SanctionsTargetMe, a movement that takes aim at the sanctions reimposed by the United States on Iran. The campaign also warns that Iranian people's access to life-saving medication and medical supplies has been seriously jeopardized, said the organizers among them are veteran actors Reza Kianian and Parviz Parastui. 11/10/18

Iran's Hashemi seizes gold at IWF World Weightlifting Championships - Iran's Ali Hashemi won a gold medal at the 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships on Thursday. Hashemi won the gold medal in the 102kg with a total of 396kg after lifting 179kg in the snatch and 217kg in the clean and jerk. 11/10/18

Why Iran Needs a War Economy - Faced with the relentless U.S. economic war, Iran needs a war economy. Indeed, the plan of a war economy should not be very difficult for Iran to implement since it has a relatively successful experience of carrying out such a plan: during the 8-year war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran embarked on an extensive state-guided economic management that effectively provided for both its military and civilian needs. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 11/9/18

US sanctions hit Iranian patients once again - While US President Donald Trump on Nov. 2 amused his Twitter followers with a "Game of Thrones"-themed announcement of the reimposition of a second wave of penalties targeting Iran's economy, Ghazal and millions of other Iranians are suffering the real-life consequences of his politics. -Virginia Pietromarchi, Al Monitor 11/9/18

In An Open Letter, More Than 400 Iranian Activists Demand A New Path For Iran - More than 400 current and former student activist have published an open letter warning that the very existence of the Iranian people is at stake. In their letter addressed to "academicians, lecturers, intellectuals and social activists", 410 activists have called for a thorough review of the dominant political and intellectual attitudes in Iran in order to create a unified discourse for finding a way out of the country's critical situation, a website supporting the Iranian "Green Movement", Kalemeh, reported. -Radio Farda 11/9/18

Strange bedfellows: Ideology trumps defense of ethnic, religious and minority rights - A global rise of nationalist and populist tendencies has not only given anti-migrant, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and racist tendencies a new lease on life, but opened the door to alliances between groups that once would have had nothing to do with one another. -James M. Dorsey 11/9/18

Terrorists, cultists -- or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild wild story of the MEK - They fought for the Iranian revolution - and then for Saddam Hussein. The US and UK once condemned them. But now their opposition to Tehran has made them favourites of Trump White House hardliners. -Arron Merat, Guardian 11/9/18

Influential Conservative Says Iran Will Meet FATF Requirements - A conservative former MP and a member of the Islamic Republic's influential Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) says that he's optimistic over the ratification of four bills regarding the international conventions against money laundering and financing terrorism. -Radio Farda 11/9/18

Anna Eskamani's fame is rising -- in Iran - Democratic state Rep.-elect Anna Eskamani has been no stranger to national media coverage throughout her campaign, and now her election in House District 47 Tuesday also is drawing attention of Iranian media and international media broadcasting into Iran. -Scott Powers, Florida Politics 11/9/18

France vows to lead Europe in defying US on Iran sanctions - France has vowed to press ahead with plans to flout Washington's Iran sanctions and boost the international role of the euro as it moves to lead Europe in defying US efforts to act as the world's "trade policeman". -Financial Times 11/9/18

U.S., Iran Condemn Bahrain's Imprisonment Of Shi'ite Opposition Leader - The United States has voiced concern over Bahrain's sentencing of the head of the country's Shi'ite opposition movement to life in prison, a move which was also condemned by Iran. "The United States is concerned by the verdict sentencing Ali Salman to life in prison," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said on November 8. -RFE/RL 11/9/18

Beirut Rules - Out this month from Penguin Random House, Beirut Rules is a breathless tale of good against evil. On one side is William Buckley, the CIA Beirut chief who died in captivity after his kidnapping in 1984. On the other is Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah operative who many believe organized the seizure of Buckley and other Americans. -Gareth Smyth, LobeLog 11/9/18

Iran's Sohrab Moradi wins gold at IWF World Weightlifting Championships - Sohrab Moradi of Iran claimed a gold medal at the 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships on Wednesday. Moradi won a gold in the men's 96kg in the competition underway in Ashgabat , Turkmenistan. He lifted 186kg in snatch and 230kg in clean and jerk, winning the gold with a total of 416kg. 11/8/18

Masoud Kazemi is the Second Iranian Journalist to Be Arrested in Tehran Within Two Weeks - Unidentified security agents detained journalist Masoud Kazemi in Tehran on November 5, 2018, making him the second known case of a journalist being arrested in the Iranian capital within the last two weeks. Kazemi is the editor-in-chief of the monthly political magazine, Sedaye Parsi (Persian Voice) and has worked for several reformist newspapers including Ghanoon and Shargh. 11/8/18

Post-Election Foreign Policy Trouble - On the day after the U.S. midterm elections, European politicians and analysts are bracing for disruption from Donald Trump that will be even greater than what he has perpetrated so far... Although the whole world is a stage on which such a drama can be produced, confrontation with Iran is the likeliest place where drama will appear. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 11/8/18

Europe's Iran dilemma - On Sunday, November 4, far-reaching sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran and its oil sector. The European Union is trying to preserve a version of the deal, but the recent incidents in Denmark and France have heightened the tensions. -Julien Barnes-Dacey & Ellie Geranmayeh, European Council on Foreign Relations 11/8/18

Iran's Corruption Courts Handing Out Death Sentences While Trampling on Rights to a Fair Trial - Special courts set up by Iran's judiciary and approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in August 2018 to try individuals accused of economic corruption-and which have already sentenced five individuals to death-are gravely violating the right to due process and the right to a fair trial in Iran. -CHRI 11/8/18

The Future Of Iran's Oil And Gas Sector - At first glance, it seems that rising oil prices (33 percent growth in 2018) and low production costs can still generate petrodollars for Iran, even though its exports have declined by 40 percent to around 1.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) since the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal and announced the reimposition of sanctions in May. -Radio Farda 11/8/18

Very High Inflation In Iran Affects Real Estate And Manufacturing - The latest figures released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in early November, puts the rise in real estate prices between October 2018 and the same month last year at 83.5 percent. The CBI says house prices in Tehran are now based on the benchmark of 86,100,000 rials per square meter of built-in area. This amounts to around $575 per sqm or $52 per square foot at the open market exchange rate, which is more relevant in this case since sellers cannot get cheap dollars based on the government rate. -Radio Farda 11/8/18

Female Iranian Singer Bridges Generations, Imbues Nostalgia For Iran - Nostalgia fills many immigrants who have left their native country. That feeling is familiar for numerous Persians who fled Iran immediately after the 1979 revolution such as Iranian female singer Marjan Farsad. -Sarah Moosazadeh, Iranian 11/8/18

U.S. 2018 Midterm Elections: Iranian American Women Make History - PAAIA congratulates Anna Eskamani, Anna Kaplan, Zahra Karinshak, and Sam Hamadani for making history in the 2018 midterm elections. Of the five Iranian American candidates endorsed by IAPAC, PAAIA's connected political action committee, four were successful in their campaigns. These women have become the first Iranian Americans to be elected to the New York, Georgia, and Florida state legislatures, and the first Iranian American judge to be elected in North Carolina. 11/7/18

What's So Tough About The 'Toughest Ever' U.S. Sanctions On Iran? - President Donald Trump labeled new U.S. sanctions on Iran as the "toughest ever," saying the punitive measures would force Tehran to end its "malign" behavior. Analysts say the new measures that came into effect on November 5 are indeed the strongest sanctions regime imposed by Washington against Iran. But they also note that the sanctions lack the broad international backing that gave previous measures strength. -Freud Bezhan, RFE/RL 11/7/18

Isfahan Farmers Stage 40+ Day Protest Against Local Authorities' "Mismanagement" of Scarce Water Supplies - Hundreds of farmers have been camped out on the eastern and western outskirts of the Iranian city of Isfahan for more than 40 days to protest the authorities' mismanagement of water resources in the drought-ridden province. -CHRI 11/7/18

U.S. Exempts Iran's Chabahar Port From Sanctions In Nod To Afghanistan - The U.S. State Department says it is exempting Iran's big port project in Chabahar from sanctions in recognition of its importance to landlocked Afghanistan. President Donald Trump's "South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India," a State Department spokesman said on November 6. -RFE/RL 11/7/18

Forced Psychiatric Hospitalization Cannot Become New Means of Silencing Dissent in Iran - The Iranian government should immediately release teachers' rights activist Hashem Khastar from the psychiatric facility where he has been forcibly and unlawfully held, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement on November 6, 2018. -CHRI 11/7/18

Why Iranian women are among the most vulnerable to US sanctions - On November 5, further US sanctions on Iran went into effect and are expected to bring devastating consequences on the Islamic Republic and its people. It is feared that women along with children and impoverished Iranians are most at risk. -Samira Damavandi, Al Jazeera 11/7/18

European 'clearing house' to bypass US sanctions against Iran - A special clearing house designed to allow European companies that trade with Iran to bypass newly reimposed US sanctions will be set up in Europe within months, possibly in France or Germany. The clearing house, known as a special purpose vehicle (SPV), is seen as critical to reassuring Tehran that the EU genuinely wishes to reward Iran for signing the 2015 deal on its nuclear programme by expanding business with the country. -Guardian 11/7/18

The Iranian Canary In The Coalmine - The past two years have witnessed a shift in the way that the United States interacts with the world. Although Donald Trump's Iran policy has continuities with the regime-change mentality of the George W. Bush presidency, the current president has abandoned or threatened the integrity of a range of other international commitments... But the case of Iran demonstrates how, precisely, the Trump administration is unscrewing the hinges of the international system. -Matthew K. Shannon 11/6/18

Saudis Launch Nuclear Research Reactor Amid Competition With Iran - Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has launched the kingdom's first nuclear research reactor as part of a plan to diversify the kingdom's energy mix and acquire nuclear capabilities, state media reported. The reactor launched on November 5 is among 16 that Saudi officials, citing archrival Iran's continued development of nuclear energy, have said they plan to build over the next two decades at a cost of $80 billion. -RFE/RL 11/6/18

Children of Iranian mothers, foreign fathers to get Iranian citizenship - The cabinet of ministers chaired by President Hassan Rouhani approved on Sunday a bill, according to which, children born to Iranian mothers and foreign fathers are permitted to receive Iranian citizenship. They are also allowed to get ID cards based on mother's request before the age of 18 and their own request after the age of 18, IRNA reported. 11/6/18

"Cookie Distribution," Other Peaceful Activities Get Elderly Tehran Bus Driver 5+ Years in Prison - Tehran bus union activist Ebrahim Madadi has lost his appeal against the five-year, three-month prison sentence he was issued for engaging in peaceful labor activism. Madadi, who is 60 and suffers from various health problems, was convicted of the charges of "assembly and collusion against national security" and lost his appeal against the preliminary sentence in October 2018. -CHRI 11/6/18

Helping Iranians To Lead Normal Lives - "The Iranians have to suffer." This is the message U.S. officials have relayed to their European counterparts as negotiations stall over Iran sanctions. Despite all the assurances that U.S. sanctions do not target the Iranian people, despite the promises that humanitarian trade would be protected, this message reveals the underlying truth. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 11/6/18

Why Trump's Iran strategy will backfire - Last week, with a cinematic flourish, President Trump foreshadowed his administration's latest punitive measures against Iran with a tweet echoing HBO's "Game of Thrones." "Sanctions are coming," it declared - much to the cable network's chagrin. -Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post 11/6/18

Iranian architects receive nominations at 2018 MEA Awards - Twenty-one designs and architects from Iran are among the nominees for the 2018 Middle East Architect Awards, which were announced by the organizers last week. Golshahr Mosque and Plaza by Arash G. Tehrani, Floating Island by Kamran Heirati Architects, and Persian Tehran Garden by Hooman Balazadeh and Mohammad Khavarian have been nominated for the award in the Concept Design of the Year category. -Tehran Times 11/5/18

Can Europe Salvage A Future For The JCPOA? - Of all the issues that have widened the transatlantic rift since the beginning of the Trump administration, the fate of the Iran nuclear accord (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) has been the most divisive. Now, as the Islamic Republic of Iran (and the world) braces for the re-imposition of blanket U.S. sanctions one thing is absolutely clear. Time for quiet diplomacy has run its course. -Andrea Dessi and Vassilis Ntousas, LobeLog 11/5/18

Najmieh Batmanglij is the grande dame of Iranian cooking. It's time you knew her name. - The morning after she landed in Tehran in 2015, cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij visited the graves of her parents. She needed their help. She told them she was terrified about navigating this country where she was born. She'd forgotten how to use its currency. She couldn't make phone calls properly. And though Farsi was her mother tongue, she couldn't pick up on the subtle cues people conveyed in conversation. -Mayukh Sen, Washington Post 11/5/18

US to Grant Waivers to Some Countries Importing Iran Oil - The United States says it plans to issue temporary waivers to several countries, allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian oil without being subject to forthcoming U.S. sanctions. Sanctions on Iran are expected to be reinstated Monday, the result of U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal earlier this year from the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Any country importing Iranian oil that does not receive a waiver will be subject to U.S. financial penalties. -William Gallo, VOA 11/3/18

IRAN: Sufi Prisoners Illegally Being Held With Dangerous Inmates in Tehran Penitentiary, Say Families - Dozens of Sufi prisoners are being illegally held in a ward for drug-addicted prisoners in the Great Tehran Penitentiary (GTP), one of their relatives told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). The source, who requested anonymity for security purposes, said a complaint by a group of the detainees' families remains unanswered more than two months after it was filed. -CHRI 11/3/18

Regional Risks Of Rising U.S.-Iran Rivalry - The re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran's banking and energy sectors on 5 November is a key element of Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May presaged a more ambitious strategic objective: to substantially recast not only Tehran's nuclear activities, but its domestic and regional policies as well. -Naysan Rafati, LobeLog 11/3/18

America turns the screws on Iran - Mr Trump will not drive Iran's oil exports down to zero, as he hopes. But he will inflict pain. The question is what he hopes to achieve; sanctions are a tool, not a strategy. -Economist 11/3/18

Iran Ranks First On Energy Subsidies Globally - With spending $45.1 billion on fossil energy consumption subsidies in 2017, Iran ranked first globally, International Energy Agency reported Oct.29. The value, which increased 55% year-on-year, equals to 10.4% of Iran's annual GDP and 15% of total global energy subsidies. -Radio Farda 11/2/18

Pashinian Says He Made 'Clear' To U.S. That Armenia Will Maintain Ties With Iran - Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he made clear to U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton last week that Armenia will pursue its national interests and maintain "special relations" with its neighbor Iran. -RFE/RL 11/2/18

After Bolton takes aim at Russia and Iran, is Armenia the collateral damage? - Befitting his bull-in-a-china-shop reputation, John Bolton's whirlwind tour of the Caucasus left a trail of geopolitical wreckage that his hosts are still trying to pick up even after Bolton himself is back in Washington. -Joshua Kucera, Eurasianet 11/2/18

Strangulation Of Persia: Why Trump's Iran Policy Will Backfire - Over the past four decades, U.S.-Iranian relations have experienced frequent periods of hostility. The Trump administration, however, has escalated tensions, going as far as threatening Iran with war. The administration is under the false impression that by strangling Iran's economy through sanctions and applying a "maximum pressure policy" it can force Iran to capitulate to its demands or face the possibility of its collapse. -Sina Azodi, LobeLog 11/2/18

Iran Must Stop Imprisoning Lawyers for Defending Their Clients - Iran's sentencing of attorney Mohammad Najafi to three years in prison and 74 lashes for "disturbing the state" and "publishing falsehoods" after he advocated for a young client who died under suspicious circumstances in an Iranian detention center is a flagrant violation of the right to counsel and a continuation of the unlawful assault on the legal profession in Iran that has left a half dozen attorneys behind bars for doing their job. -CHRI 10/31/18

An ancient windcatcher becomes a hypnotic device in this new installation - Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari's interpretation of an Iranian windcatcher makes a space for contemplation -CBC 10/31/18

Iran And America: Why All The Enmity? - At some time in the future, when officials in Washington and Tehran finally stop yelling at each other and start talking, they will ask themselves: "Why did we waste so much time hating each other?" They are not there yet. Until they are, denunciations, accusations, and threats are still the order of the day. -John Limbert 10/29/18

'It's certainly out of the box': The Iranian project that gets experimental with eco-friendly design - It appears to be made from improbable shapes, architecture too sophisticated to be true. Yet this futuristic home in Iran is a feat of engineering as much as it is impressive design. -Kate Jones, Domain 10/26/18

Iranian Farmer Mahmud Mansuri wins Emerging Talent Award at Wildscreen Festival - Iranian farmer Mahmud Mansuri has won the Icon Films Emerging Talent Award at the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol in the southwest of England. He won the award for his collaboration in "In the Realm of the Spider-tailed Viper", a documentary film directed by Iranian Fathollah Amiri about the spider-tailed viper that lives in the western Iranian province of Ilam. 10/24/18

International Community Must Establish Mechanisms to Sell Humanitarian Goods to Iran, Iranian Government Must Ensure Affordability - With the full reinstatement of US sanctions on Iran on November 5, which will make financial transactions between Iranians and major economies in the world difficult and in many cases impossible, people's access to humanitarian goods such as essential food items, medicine and medical supplies in Iran could be imperiled. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) calls on the international community to institute transparent financial mechanisms that will ensure trade in medicines and other essential humanitarian items will continue unimpeded with Iran. 10/23/18

EXPOSING SOME UNPLEASANT REALITIES: Removing the Candy-Coating from the Bitter Pill - Dwight D. Eisenhower was serving his second term as President when I set foot on the American soil for the first time in June 1956. I was a twenty-year-old high school graduate holding a student visa looking forward to attending college and receiving a degree from a prestigious university in California; I was told the streets were paved with gold there. -Kambiz Zarrabi 10/22/18

Imprisoned Iranian Activist Farhad Meysami "Kept Alive" With Serum Injections - Farhad Meysami, an imprisoned civil rights activist, has lost "40 pounds" since beginning a wet hunger strike in Evin Prison on August 1, 2018, the day after he was arrested for peacefully advocating for women's rights in Iran. 10/19/18

In Rare Move, Iran Lets Some Women Attend Men's Soccer in Tehran - Iran has allowed an organized group of women to attend a men's soccer match at a Tehran stadium for the first time in decades, after years of campaigning by activists against a ban on female attendance. -Michael Lipin, VOA 10/17/18

Iranian short 'Run, Rostam, Run' to vie at St. Louis Film Festival - Iran's short animated piece 'Run, Rostam, Run' by Hossein Molayemi has been accepted into St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). 'Run, Rostam, Run' is a 2D animated piece depicting the Persian national hero Rostam who must travel to the future to Tehran in order to make up for what he has done to his son. Once he gets to Tehran, he doesn't know whether to choose the legal or illegal way to achieve his objective. 10/10/18

2018 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans: Survey Reveals Concern Over Discrimination and U.S. Policies - Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) released the findings of its 2018 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans, revealing concerns over increased discrimination and U.S. policy towards Iran. More than three-quarters of respondents are worried about increased discrimination against Iranian Americans, and nearly half (49%) report that they have personally experienced discrimination. 10/4/18

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Featured Articles

Philanthropy

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Rights

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General

300 Iranian Women's Rights Advocates Voice Support For Protests, Demand Equality

Iranian-American

52 U.S. Security Experts Issue Statement Backing Iran Nuclear Deal

Politics

Time To Rethink Iran's Strategy

Economy

Iran seeking to develop start-up jobs: Information Minister

Culture

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Sports

AFC Women's Futsal Championship: Iran champions again!

Art

Louvre Museum Sponsors First Major Western Art Show In Tehran

Literature

The Past, the Present, and the Bridge: Ali Dehbashi's Bukhara Magazine

Travel

Tabriz gears up for biggest tourism event of Muslim countries in 2018

Environment

December 4 marks International Cheetah Day: World's fastest land animal is racing against extinction

Entertainment

A New Film on Ancient Persia: "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture"

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

A book by Meghan Nuttall Sayres: "Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran"

Event

Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco: September 22-23, 2018

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last updated on Fri Nov 16 12:16:18 EST 2018