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September 20 2017
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Trump and Netanyahu Risk Repeating Mistakes of Iraq War with Iran

- "There was a remarkable tone deafness in Trump's outreach to the Iranian people. After having imposed on them a Muslim ban, despite the fact that no Iranian national has committed a lethal act of terror in the US, after declaring that Iranians only have themselves to blame when ISIS struck Tehran with terror, and after undermining and threatening to kill the nuclear deal that the Iranian people overwhelmingly support, Trump shockingly believes he can position himself as a friend of ordinary Iranians. But actions speak louder than words, and in all of his acts, he has shown deep animosity towards the people of Iran." -NIAC 9/20/17

Trump's UN speech 'belongs in medieval times': Iran's FM Zarif

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that US President Donald Trump's UN address is not worth of a reply. "Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times - not the 21st century UN - unworthy of a reply," Zarif tweeted on Tuesday. "Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one," he stressed. 9/20/17

President Trump Misguided in UNGA Speech: PAAIA Urges Trump Administration to Continue Implementing the JCPOA

- Today, President Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that the Iran Nuclear Agreement - otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - is "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into, and an embarrassment." -Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) 9/20/17

Producer of "Breath" pleased female filmmaker to represent Iran at Oscars

- Mohammad-Hossein Qasemi, the producer of Iran's submission to the 2018 Oscars "Breath", who is also the husband of the film's director Narges Abyar, said on Wednesday that he was pleased Iran has sent a movie by a female filmmaker to the 90th Academy Awards. "Women have a greater potential for making a film and competing at international events," Qasemi told the Persian service of Tasnim. 9/20/17

Washington's Counterproductive 4H Fixation in the Middle East

- As the Trump administration projects uncertainty about its plans concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, it has redoubled pressure on its European allies to push back against Iran on unrelated issues, such as Iranīs "destabilizing regional activities." The thinking in Washington seems to be that the Europeans are so desperate to keep America committed to the JCPOA that they would go a long way toward acquiescing to US demands on those other issues. This, however, is wishful thinking. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 9/20/17

Iran Summons Award-Winning Filmmaker To Court

- Iranian authorities have asked award-winning filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof to report to the prosecutor's office after confiscating his passport upon arrival in Tehran. Rasoulof's passport was taken away at Tehran's airport on September 15 as he returned from the United States, where he had screened his latest film, A Man Of Integrity (Lerd), at the Telluride film festival. 9/20/17

Iran: Kurdish Activists Detained for Protesting Killing of Border Couriers

- Six Kurdish artists and activists are being detained in Dizelabad Prison in Iran's Kermanshah Province for protesting the latest killing by Iranian border guards of "kulbars," the Persian word for border-crossing couriers, a source close to the detainees told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 9/20/17

Trump is conflating Pyongyang with Tehran. The results could be catastrophic

- This is the latest gimmick in Trump's desperate efforts to kill the nuclear deal with Iran: by focusing on Tehran's objectionable non-nuclear policies and false claims of the unevenness of the Iran deal, Trump is arguing that sustaining the international accord can no longer be justified since it doesn't address the totality of America's concerns with Iran. -Trita Parsi, Guardian 9/20/17

These Are 40 of the Most Terrifying Words in Donald Trump's U.N. Address

- President Donald Trump is poised to make one of the most fateful decisions of his White House tenure. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he lambasted the regime in Iran and, in a deeply misleading reference to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, he said this of the United States -TIME 9/20/17

Poll: Iranians Want Economic Reform, More Engagement With Europe

- A new IranPoll survey conducted in August finds that Iranians generally support globalization, want to see economic reform inside Iran, and want to improve their economic ties with Europe in particular. They are concerned, however, that U.S. pressure will cause European companies to think twice about doing business in Iran. The results show an Iranian public that seems increasingly optimistic about their economic future under the sanctions relief provided by the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is seriously threatening the deal. -Derek Davison 9/19/17

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"Mississippi Dies Seated" Teaser Trailer

"Women, The Architects Of Peace" congress held in Tehran - An international congress with the theme of "women, the architects of peace" was held here on Sunday on the occasion of the World Peace Day, which is annually marked on September 21. The congress was held with the cooperation of the Institute for Protection of Women's Rights (IPWR), The UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy (UNESCO CHRPD) of Shahid Beheshti University, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 9/19/17

UN Group Says Two Americans, Siamak and Baguer Namazi, Unjustly Held In Iran - A United Nations human rights group has called on Iran to immediately release two Iranian-Americans, Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baguer Namazi, describing their imprisonment as a violation of international law. The two are serving 10-year prison sentences on spying charges. 9/19/17

Sustaining the Iran Nuclear Deal - 76 senior political, diplomatic and military figures from across Europe: The extension of the sanctions relief to Iran announced by the US administration on 14 September was welcome. But, we remain greatly concerned by reports that the US Administration might unilaterally declare Tehran non-compliant with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action") in mid-October at the next US decision point on maintaining sanctions relief. -European Leadership Network 9/19/17

French Leader Raises Possibility Of Reopening Iran Nuclear Negotiations In 2025 - French President Emmanuel Macron in talks with his U.S. and Iranian counterparts has raised the possibility of renegotiating provisions of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after their scheduled expiration in 2025, French officials said. The possibility was raised in separate one-on-one meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rohani on September 18 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the officials said. 9/19/17

Baha'i Leader Released from Prison in Iran After 10 Years; Six Other Baha'i Leaders Remain Behind Bars - The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) welcomes the release of the Baha'i leader, Mahvash Sabet, who was unjustly imprisoned in Iran for 10 years on the sole basis of her religion. CHRI calls for the immediate release of the six other Baha'i leaders, who have all been imprisoned in Iran since 2008, and an end to the state-led persecution of the Baha'i community. 9/19/17

At $80 an ounce, it's not for everyone. But Iranian caviar is eyeing a comeback in the U.S. - Nasser Meshkin Azarian took a careful nibble, letting the salty, grainy texture roll across his tongue. He smiled and washed it down with a sip of cool water. "I give it an 82 or 83" out of 100, Azarian said. At the retail price of $80 an ounce in Iran, it was an expensive bite. But beluga caviar is for discerning palates. -Los Angeles Times 9/19/17

Allow Iranian Entrepreneurs to Sell Their Apps - Whether Iran's ruling regime improves its behavior won't depend on how many of their citizens can use their phones to hail taxis. Yet U.S. sanctions are preventing American technology companies from offering Iranian-made apps in their online stores -- a bad bargain for both U.S. business and policy. -Bloomberg 9/19/17

Kinky 'Fifty shades' sex and porn linked to divorce in Iran - In the privacy of their bedrooms in conservative Iran, Sabah's husband used to burn her breasts with cigarettes during sex, while Sarah was forced to re-enact scenes from the sadomasochist box office hit "Fifty Shades of Grey". The two women are among a rising number of Iranians getting divorced, a trend that some experts attribute to women's growing confidence in speaking out about violent sex and marital rape. -Bahaar Joya, Reuters 9/19/17

President Rouhani speaking in New York: Scrapping nuclear deal with Iran will be clear breach of agreement - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States' potential withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran would constitute a clear non-performance of contractual obligations by Washington. Speaking at a meeting of Iranian expatriates in New York, where he is to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)President Rouhani said Iran would give "the due response" to any such violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 9/18/17

EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini Calls Iran Nuclear Deal 'Good', Robust' - European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a "good" and "robust" agreement. "The Iran deal is a good and robust agreement that serves the interests of all parties," she said in a statement to NBC News. "It is not an agreement between two countries - it is a commitment undertaken by the entire international community on one side and Iran on the other, supported by a resolution of the UN Security Council," she said. 9/18/17

Iran and the Nuclear Sunset Clauses - Opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), always has been filled with disingenuous arguments. This reflects the fundamental illogic of the opponents' position: if the agreement were to be junked, this would mean removing a panoply of restrictions on Iran and re-opening now-closed avenues to a nuclear weapon for the very country that the opponents constantly contend is a serious threat. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 9/18/17

Iran implementing nuclear-related commitments under JCPOA: IAEA Chief - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran is implementing its commitments under the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries. "The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on Monday. 9/18/17

Persian Poetry Day marked in Iran - Iranians have marked the Persian Poetry Day, which is also the anniversary of the passing of renowned Iranian poet Mohammad Hossein Behjat Tabrizi, better known by his pen name, Shahriar. An event was held Monday at the Maqbaratoshoara, or the Tomb of Poets, in the city of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan Province, where Shahriar is buried. 9/18/17

Italian scholars publish book on Iranian architecture - Three Italian scholars have published their latest research on Iranian architecture in a book titled "Through Iran: Cities, Architecture, Landscapes" (Attraverso l'Iran. Citta, architetture, paesaggi). Manfredi Edizioni in the Italian city Imola is the publisher of the book, which carries materials that Alessandra De Cesaris, Giorgio Di Giorgio and Laura Valeria Ferretti gathered about Iranian architecture during several trips to the country since 2010. 9/18/17

Netanyahu Is Meeting Trump To Push For War With Iran - Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump at the White House and push the U.S. to withdraw from the nuclear accord with Iran. Netanyahu will present an argument that Trump already has come to accept: America's adherence to the nuclear deal cannot solely depend on Iran's compliance with the agreement, but also whether Iran's other policies challenge U.S. national interests. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post 9/18/17

Iran, UN Chief Voice Opposition To Plans For Referendum On Kurdish Independence - Pressure increased against plans by Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to hold an independence referendum, with the United Nations chief and Iranian leaders adding their voices to opponents of the vote. Iran on September 17 warned that should Iraq's Kurdistan region gain its independence, it would mean an end to all border and security arrangements agreed previously between Tehran and the regional government. 9/18/17

Lack of transparency challenges foreign investment in Iran: Jens Ronnberg - A member of European Central Bank's Executive Board and an auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers firm says transparency is still the major obstacle to international companies' cooperation with Iran. "We must pay special attention to financial security. Iranian companies must be responsible for risk management and ensure the investors that they have thought out potential risks," he added. 9/18/17

Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup: Iran defeats France to win first world medal - Amir Ghafour excelled in Iran's 3-2 (38-36, 25-23, 22-25, 25-27, 15-11) win over France to finish with a bronze medal in the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium on Sunday. Iran's third participation resulted to their best ever finish at the World Grand Champions Cup, after finishing fifth in 2009 and fourth in 2013. Iran also recorded four victories in a single edition for the first time. 9/17/17

Abort the Iran Nuclear Deal and Increase the North Korean Nuclear Threat to the US - US failure to implement fully the nuclear deal with Iran, perhaps even abrogating it while also continuing to isolate the country internationally, guarantees further erosion of Washington's already slim diplomatic opportunity to forestall North Korea's pursuit of a capacity to attack the United States with nuclear weapons. Even though Iran and North Korea are 4,000 miles apart and seem in Washington to be in different policy universes, they are in fact closely linked. -Robert E. Hunter 9/17/17

Females outnumber males by 13% in Iran's 2017 university admissions - As the final results for the Iranian university entrance exam, also known as Konkur, was announced on Saturday, it was revealed that females outnumber males in gaining admission to higher education by 49,062, or 13 percent higher than males. Out of 378,706 participants who were admitted to the universities nationwide 213,884 (56.5%) are females and 164,822 (43.5%) are males 9/17/17

Europe's Likely Response to Trump's Move Against Iran Nuclear Deal - Opponents of the Iran nuclear accord (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-both within and outside the U.S. administration-are setting the ground for President Trump not to certify Iran's compliance with the deal in October. In doing so, they contend that European allies would ultimately follow the Trump administration's lead on the issue, force Iran to renegotiate new arrangements, and eventually accept new concessions. -Reza Nasri, LobeLog 9/17/17

No agreement on the Caspian Sea - Recently some of the high-ranking officials in the Caspian Sea littoral states (Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) have indicated that the draft convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is finalized and it may be ready for approval by the concerned states during their next summit conference. The reality is that the draft prepared after 50 meetings of the littoral states in the level of deputy foreign ministers contains nothing about the most important in the Caspian Sea: the criteria for division of the seabed and waters of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba 9/17/17

Imprisoned for Producing Music, Yousef Emadi Sentenced to Another Year Behind Bars - An imprisoned Iranian music producer has been sentenced to an additional year in prison on new charges brought by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yousef Emadi was supposed to be released on parole in 2017 after serving one year for producing underground music without a license. His co-defendants, Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian, were granted parole in June 2017. 9/17/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Arrests Woman For Asking About Brother and Infant Niece's Disappearance - Raheleh Rahemipour has been arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in Iran for refusing to give up her search for answers about her missing brother and infant niece, whom Rahemipour says disappeared after the baby was born in Evin Prison in 1984. Rahemipour was detained at her home in Tehran on September 10, 2017, and transferred to Evin Prison, a source close to the family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 9/17/17

Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup: Brazil defeats Iran in straight-set - Wallace De Souza and Lucas Saatkamp led Brazil in their 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-15) win over Iran in the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium on Friday. 9/15/17

"Mississippi Dies Seated" crowned best at Iran's theatrical writers awards - "Mississippi Dies Seated" based on Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt's play "The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi" was named best play of the year at the 16th Celebration of Iran Critic and Theatrical Writers Society on Thursday. 9/15/17

U.S. Extends Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions Over Missile Activity - The United States says it is extending sanctions relief for Iran that was granted under the 2015 nuclear deal, while imposing new penalties on several individuals and entities over the country's ballistic-missile program. The State Department announced on September 14 that it will continue to waive sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, but that no decision has yet been made on whether to preserve the deal itself. 9/15/17

Trump Administration Seen Taking Harder Line on Iran - President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to take unspecified action against Iran next month, expressing continued dissatisfaction with the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by Iran and a group of world powers, including the United States. "We are not going to stand for what they're doing to this country," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. "They have violated so many different elements, but they've also violated the spirit of that deal. And you will see what we'll be doing in October. It will be very evident." -Steve Herman, VOA 9/15/17

Trump seeking excuses to undermine the nuclear deal: Iran's Shamkhani - Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump for fabricating excuses vis-a-vis Washington's implementation of its obligations under the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Such an "unconstructive" attitude, which is meant to "actively undermine the international agreement," would further tarnish the US standing in the world, and would certainly be met with Iran's proportionate response, he added. 9/15/17

China Signs Deal To Provide Iran With 10 Billion Dollars In Loans - China has signed an agreement with Iran to provide a credit line of $10 billion for its infrastructure projects - what is seen as the biggest economic deal between the two countries after the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2016. 9/15/17

Russia, Turkey, Iran Agree On Borders Of Syrian 'De-Escalation Zones' - Negotiators from the three countries sponsoring Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, say they have reached an agreement to set up de-escalation zones in Syria for six months. The negotiators from Russia, Turkey, and Iran said in a joint statement on September 15 that the zones would include, either fully or partly, Eastern Ghouta in the northern Damascus countryside, and the provinces of Idlib, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo, and Hama. The statement said the six-month term could be extended in the future. 9/15/17

'Queen of Iran's Skies' Tells Story of Her Paragliding Career - Fatemeh Eftekhari, who has become known as the "Queen of Iran's Skies", is the first Iranian female pilot taking part in international competitions. She has great stories to tell about her success. -IFP 9/15/17

Tensions surface between UK and US over Iran nuclear deal - Tensions between the US and UK over whether to tear up the Iran nuclear deal were exposed on Thursday when the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said the US viewed Iran as being in default of the deal's expectations but the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, urged the world to have faith in its potential to create a more open Iran. -Guardian 9/15/17

Understanding the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Managing risks in an era of dangerous rhetoric and provocations - In July 2015, the P5 + 1 and Iran finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Today, it seems the JCPOA is under pressure from dangerous rhetoric and provocations...The risk that these confrontations escalate and lead to a collapse of the JCPOA cannot be ignored. Thus, I find myself once again assessing this watershed agreement and its implications for the security landscape. To better my understanding of the current state of affairs, I recently sat down with NTI's CEO and former Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, who was one of the JCPOA's principal architects. -NTI 9/15/17

US House votes to block aircraft sales to Iran - The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of new measures that block sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, ignoring some lawmakers' warnings that the hostile move would undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers. 9/14/17

Nuclear Weapons Experts Warn Trump Against Abandoning Iran Deal - WASHINGTON - More than 80 experts on nuclear non-proliferation issues urged the Trump administration Wednesday to not abandon the global agreement reached with Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons development program. 9/14/17

Rouhani's Intelligence Ministry is Keeping Prominent Rights Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in Prison, Says Daughter - Abdolfattah Soltani, who spent most of his legal career defending political prisoners before becoming one himself, continues to be denied parole and adequate medical treatment as he enters his seventh year in prison, his daughter told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 9/14/17

US Military Readying a More Aggressive Approach Against Iran - The United States is looking to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East with a more aggressive approach in cyberspace. "They operate almost entirely in what we refer to as the gray zone, that space between normal international competition and armed conflict," the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said Wednesday in Washington, calling it "an area ripe for cyberspace operations." -Jeff Seldin, VOA 9/14/17

Iranian Foreign Minister Meets Putin In Sochi Ahead Of Astana Talks - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi on September 13. The Kremlin press service confirmed the meeting but did not release details of the discussions. Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Zarif's talks with the Russian leadership would focus on the conflict in Syria as well as "the Middle East in general, issues related to Iran's nuclear program, and the situation in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region." 9/14/17

Imprisoned Iranian Teacher's Rights Activist: I am Legally Entitled to a Public Trial - An imprisoned teachers' rights activist has been refusing food and water, pledging to continue his hunger strike until his 14-year combined prison sentence is reviewed in a public trial. Mahmoud Beheshti-Langroudi, the former spokesman for the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA), was taken to Evin Prison in Tehran on September 12, 2017, to serve the sentences that were issued for his peaceful defense of labor rights. 9/14/17

World Heritage Volunteers help raise awareness of Persian qanats - A cluster of World Heritage Volunteers has spotlighted essentials to conserve and promote Persian qanats, a UNESCO registered heritage that provides exceptional testimony to cultural traditions in desert areas with an arid climate. 9/14/17

European Parliament Opposes Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia - The European Parliament adopted today in Strasbourg a report on the implementation of the EU Common Position on Arms Export adopted in 2008. The motion, drafted by Bodil Valero, a Swedish member of the Green block, scrutinizes the level of compliance by EU member states with their own binding commitments governing the exports of military equipment and technology. 9/14/17

Washington and Riyadh: Fading Memory of 9/11? - The terror attacks of 9/11 have become a distant memory in US-Saudi relations. Washington's recent multi-billion American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, its continued coddling of the Saudi regime, and the absence of American moral outrage over the immoral war in Yemen show that America hasn't learned much from the attacks and that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni neighboring allies remain untouched by the dastardly terrorist deed. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 9/14/17

Anti-War Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Iran Nuclear Deal, Prevent Backslide to War Under Trump - In a new letter sent to members of the House of Representatives and Senate this morning, anti-war organizations representing tens of millions of Americans are urging Congress to do everything within their power as a co-equal branch of government to prevent Donald Trump from dismantling the Iran nuclear deal and putting the U.S. on a path to war with Iran. 9/13/17

Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup: Iran outlast USA in five sets - Milad Ebadipour boosted the confidence of Iran to record a 3-2 (20-25, 17-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12) win over USA in the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup at the Nippon Gaishi Hall on Wednesday. 9/13/17

PHOTOS: Mariwan International Street Theater Festival in northwestern Iran - The 12th Mariwan International Street Theater Festival has come to an end, with carnivals of Iranian and international artists marking the closing ceremony of the artistic event in the downtown of the Iranian Kurdish city. The four-day festival wrapped up on Tuesday in the northwestern city of Mariwan which is considered as Iran's capital of street theater. 9/13/17

Football: Iran's Persepolis routs Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahli 3-1 in AFC Champions League - Iran's Persepolis booked a place in the 2017 AFC Champions League semi-final after beating Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli 3-1 (5-3 on aggregate) at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the UAE. Branko Ivankovic's side will face Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the semi-final. 9/13/17

Iranian VP for Women's Affairs Calls Ban on Females in Sports Stadiums "Discrimination" - Three days after Iranian women were barred from entering a stadium in Tehran to watch an international soccer match, President Hassan Rouhani's top female adviser described the ban as discriminatory. Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar was reacting to Syrian women being allowed inside Azadi Stadium during a World Cup qualifier match between Iran and Syria on September 5, while Iranian women, even those holding tickets, were banned from entry. 9/13/17

Mercedes-Benz inks deal to resume Iran trucks business - Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, has signed a contract with Iran Khodro to distribute its trucks in the Middle Eastern country, the German automaker has said. The deal signed on Tuesday includes creating a joint venture to provide sales and after-sale services in the Islamic Republic, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported. 9/13/17

Iran Signs Deals To Repair Syria's Power Grid, Infrastructure - Iran has signed a series of deals and memorandums of understanding with Damascus to repair Syria's electrical-power infrastructure, state media report, giving the Islamic republic a potential foothold in war-torn Syria's eventual rebuilding process. 9/13/17

Qatar and Oman's Shared Interests - For decades, Oman has had neutral stances on regional issues, refusing to take sides in conflicts with strong ethnic and sectarian undertones. Since the Iran-Iraq War, Muscat's foreign policy strategy has positioned the sultanate as a diplomatic bridge between other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and their Western allies and the Islamic Republic. -Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog 9/13/17

PHOTOS: Iranian nomads' wedding ceremony, symphony of colors - Various ethnic groups or people of different regions of Iran have their own traditional weddings ceremonies. The Iranian nomads of Bakhtiari tribe celebrate their wedding ceremonies with clothes of diverse and vibrant colors. Photographer Farhad Safari has captured one such wedding for all to enjoy! 9/12/17

Over 4.9 million foreign travelers visited Iran in 2016: UNWTO - The number of international tourist arrivals to Iran stood at 4.9 million in 2016, falling 5.6 percent from a year earlier and showing the first decline since 2013, according to the latest UNWTO Tourism Highlights report released on August 15. 9/12/17

The Case Against the Iranian Nuclear Deal Is One Big Lie - There's no reason to trust any of the Trump administration's criticisms of, or plans for replacing, the JCPOA. -Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy 9/12/17

Pall hangs over U.S.-Iran science ties - WASHINGTON, D.C.-Rising tensions between the U.S. and Iranian governments have frozen most scientific contacts between the two nations, experts reported at a forum here last week. Long at the vanguard of efforts to broker ties between Iranian and U.S. scientists, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) has mothballed its highly praised, 16-year-old engagement program -Richard Stone, Science Magazine 9/12/17

Iranian women urge UN to stop violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar - A group of women-based Iranian organizations and formations in a letter sent to the United Nations asked the international body to act immediately to end the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. They seriously condemned the plight of Rohingya women and children and appealed to the Myanmar government, UN officials, human rights organizations, Muslim states, and human right activists to make efforts to solve the problem of Rohingya Muslims. Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday called Aung San Suu Kyi a "cruel woman" in which crimes against Rohingya Muslims are taking place under her eyes. 9/12/17

Trump to weigh more aggressive U.S. strategy on Iran - sources - President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran's forces, its Shi'ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups, according to six current and former U.S. officials. -Reuters 9/12/17

Companies from 26 countries explore Iranians taste buds - Along with companies from 26 countries, three American firms are taking part at Tehran Cookies and Chocolate Exhibition, being billed as the greatest professional event of the Middle East in the pastry and chocolate industry. According to Jamshid Maghazei, secretary of the Association of Iranian Confectionery Manufacturing Companies, 68 companies from as many diverse countries as Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the US, China, Turkey, the UAE, Malaysia and Ukraine are attending the event. 9/12/17

11 Iranians die after bus plunges into valley in northeast Tehran - Eleven were killed and 28 others injured after a bus rolled over into a valley in Jajrood, northeast Tehran. The incident happened at 2:30 a.m local time Tuesday when the driver of the bus lost control and the vehicle plunged into a 50-meter deep valley, IRIB reported. 9/12/17

Azerbaijan Threatens to Cut Off Military Cooperation With US, NATO - Azerbaijan has threatened to cut off its military cooperation with the West in response to escalating pressure on Baku for its human rights violations. But that threat may ring hollow in light of Azerbaijan's declining importance for Western militaries. -Joshua Kucera, LobeLog 9/12/17

Iran abiding by commitments under nuclear deal: IAEA's Amano - Yukiya Amano, chief of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, reconfirmed on Monday that Iran is honoring its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Speaking at the seasonal meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna, Amano also said the body under his leadership is continuing to "implement the Additional Protocol in Iran". Additional Protocol allows surprise inspection of nuclear sites. 9/11/17

Iran to send human to space by 2025 - While announcing continued studies to send humans to space, the head of Iran's Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) said they may try sending a robot or a live creature before the final stage of sending a human. 9/11/17

Is a Saudi-Iran Thaw Possible? - Saudi Arabia and Iran are rethinking their rivalry and a highly tentative, as well as a deniable, courtship is underway, say analysts. But it is fraught pitfalls and last week in London Saudi Arabia's foreign minister dismissed talk of a possible thaw as "laughable," saying Iran would have to change its policies dramatically for that to happen. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA 9/11/17

Iran's IRGC Brings "Revenge" Charges Against Man Imprisoned for Facebook Posts and His Wife - An Iranian man imprisoned for his social media postings could face several more years behind bars if he is convicted of new charges brought against him by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His wife may also be imprisoned. 9/11/17

A Brief Journey Into The Poetry Of The Late Mahmoud Seraji, AKA M.S. Shahed - A few months ago, I was the lucky recipient of Mahmoud Seraji's trilogy, MAZAMIR ESHGH - CHANTS OF LOVE, gifted to me by an old friend. I was half way through the first volume when I learned of Mr. Seraji's passing on April 27, 2017. I had read excerpts of his work online and in magazines such as Yoldash and Pezhvak, but I had not paid much attention to them except for recognizing him as a talented writer. -Majidi Akhavan, Iranian 9/11/17

Pakistan's Foreign Minister in Tehran amid standoff with US - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif in Tehran to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments. Iran's Tasnim news agency said bilateral relations and the new US strategy in Afghanistan were at the heart of the negotiations. 9/11/17

Iranian artist returns award over disrespect at Italy's visa section in Tehran - Iranian graphic designer Turaj Saberivand has returned the A' Design Award that he won at an Italian contest in May after he failed to get a visa for Italy to attend the award ceremony of the event due to disrespect in the visa section of the Italian Embassy in Tehran. 9/11/17

Following Apple's footsteps, Google Play drops Iranian apps - Digital service distributor Google Play has followed Apple's lead in removing Iranian apps from its store, citing US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Companies such as Google and Apple were hosting Iranian apps reportedly under a license issued by former President Barack Obama's administration in 2014 but it is not clear why they have stopped those services now. 9/10/17

Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top Six Finalists That Examine Aspects Of Iranian Culture For 2017 Fest - The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at its ninth annual cinema event. The films will be screened September 30, with the top three winners announced and awarded. The screenings will be followed by an awards ceremony hosted by Iranian American comedian and actress Melissa Shoshahi (FOX, Laugh Factory, Nickelodeon). This red-carpet event is followed by an exclusive cocktail reception in honor of the filmmakers. 9/10/17

Iranian Authorities Ignore Starving Political Prisoners at Rajaee Shahr Prison, Restrict Family Visitations - Forty days after more than 15 political prisoners went on a mass hunger strike in Iran's Rajaee Shahr Prison, the authorities are preventing some of the strikers in the poorest physical condition from receiving outside medical treatment and punishing the protesters by restricting family visitations. 9/10/17

PHOTOS: Tehran sculpture biennial opens after six years - The seventh edition of the Tehran Contemporary Sculpture Biennial opened at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) on Tuesday after a six-year hiatus. "Art biennials are the beating hearts of the artists' community in each society," the secretary of the biennial, Kurosh Golnari, said during an opening ceremony, which was attended by TMCA director Ali-Mohammad Zare' and groups artists and art aficionados. 9/8/17

Haley's Dishonest Speech About the Iran Nuclear Agreement - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program, is for Donald Trump one more of the Obama administration's achievements to be trashed. It goes alongside the Affordable Care Act, the Paris climate change agreement, and other measures (most recently the "dreamers" program involving children of illegal immigrants) as targets for trashing because fulfilling campaign rhetoric is given higher priority in the current administration than whether a program is achieving its purpose, whether there are any realistic alternatives available, or what the effects of the trashing will be on the well-being of Americans and the interests and credibility of the United States. -Paul Pillar 9/7/17

UN Expert Concerned at Condition of Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Asma Jahangir, today expressed her deep concern about the situation of a number of prisoners who have been on prolonged hunger strike to protest against their transfer to a high-security section of Rajai-Shahr prison in Karaj, West of Tehran, and about their treatment while in detention. 9/3/17

10th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco: September 23-24, 2017 - This year, the festival presents 40 films from Iran, USA, Italy, France, Canada.... We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. Please join us to celebrate the outstanding works of Iranian filmmakers. Passes and tickets are On Sale Now. 8/30/17

PHOTOS: Khazineh Canyon, A Tourist Hub In Western Iran - Darreh Khazineh is a steep canyon located in western Iranian province of Lorestan. Some refer to this natural wonder as Iran's Grand Canyon. People use an elevated suspension bridge that spans Darreh Khazineh over Seymareh River to cross the canyon. The 112-meter-long bridge, with an altitude of more than 85 meters, is said to be the highest in the Middle East. 8/28/17

Gift establishes UCI endowed chair in art history, archaeology of ancient Iran - The University of California, Irvine has received a $1.5 million grant from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute to establish the Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History & Archaeology of Ancient Iran. Additional funding was provided by the UC Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs program. The holder of the $2 million chair in the Department of Art History will collaborate with UCI's Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture. 8/25/17

PHOTOS: Ruin, village of warps and wefts - Ruin, a village located in North Khorasan province, is home to women who still pursue the traditional arts and crafts of their ancestors, weaving, which began about 400 years ago and is one of the sources of income for the village. About 120 women weavers are currently actively engaged in this industry in Ruin. -Fatemeh Abedi 8/23/17

PHOTOS: Takht-e Soleyman, a 3000-year-old relic - The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman (recognized as a World Heritage Site), in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. -Aryan Nasrollahi 8/22/17

Historical Pol-e Khaju Bridge in Isfahan: Architecturally interesting, visually appealing - To experience Isfahan, a vibrant tourist city in central Iran, it is most magical to walk across Pol-e Khaju at sunset when the 17th-century bridge is lit by glorious colors. A total of 23 arches, decorative motifs and tiles, adjoining arcades and an octagonal pavilion embedded right in the middle are amongst main features of the picturesque bridge that spans Zayandeh-Rood, one of the largest rivers in the central Iranian Plateau. 8/22/17

Statement on a Comprehensive Policy to Constrain Iran - On August 8, 2017, a bipartisan group of 47 national security leaders issued a statement recommending a comprehensive Iran policy designed to further U.S. national security interests: "The international agreement with Iran continues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. No American national security objective would be served by withdrawing from it as long as Iran is meeting the agreement's requirements..." -The Iran Project 8/10/17

Featured Web Site

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)



Sultan Ibrahim Mirza's Haft Awrang: A Princely Manuscript from Sixteenth-Century Iran


Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Sarava (Iranian Venture Capital firm)

Rights

Iranian-American Organizations issue statements on Trump's Muslim ban after Supreme Court decision

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

The CIA Coup Against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq: Iran 1953 Covert History Quietly Released

Politics

Secretary Tillerson Eschews Iran Diplomacy in Favor of Regime Change

Economy

Iran seeking to develop start-up jobs: Information Minister

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

Iran volleyball team wins title at 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei

Art

Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video Competition

Literature

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

Travel

New Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Proposal Raises Alarm Bells

Environment

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

Entertainment

"The Salesman" by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi wins Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

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

Event

International Iranian Women's Leadership Conference in London

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last updated on Wed Sep 20 12:10:43 -04 2017