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August 17 2019
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"Why Should We Be Silent?": Colleagues Condemn Iranian Photographer's Unjust Detention

- Several members of Iran's film industry have spoken out against the detention of Nooshin Jafari, a film and theater photographer, who has been detained at an undisclosed location in Tehran since August 4, 2019. The authorities have meanwhile refused to provide information about her to her family since she was arrested, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 8/16/19

U.S. Sanctions Are Killing Cancer Patients in Iran

- Washington claims that maximum pressure won't stop the supply of medicine and other humanitarian necessities, but banking sanctions are driving up import prices, blocking supply chains, and creating deadly drug shortages. -Abbas Kebriaeezadeh, Foreign Policy 8/16/19

Startups to help Iran National Library and Archives

- The Iran National Library and Archives (INLA) plans to introduce digital library technologies and startups active in this field in the near future. The INLA, as the biggest database in Iran, held a one-week entrepreneurship event, during which it called entrepreneurs and startup owners and Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts to use the INLA resources for emerging businesses and also meet the needs of the library. 8/16/19

Absolute Amateur Hour': Team Trump Mangles Messages to Iran

- The Trump administration keeps sending conflicting and contradictory messages to Iran about its terms for new negotiations, multiple U.S and European officials tell The Daily Beast. And the ensuing chaos has vexed the president, complicated diplomatic efforts for American allies abroad, and utterly baffled policymakers at home. -Daily Beast 8/16/19

A Few Questions For NY Public Radio's New CEO, Goli Sheikholeslami

- Five months after New York Public Radio's president and CEO stepped down, the company's board has announced a new leader: Goli Sheikholeslami. Sheikholeslami is currently the CEO of Chicago Public Media and its radio station, WBEZ, where the annual budget has grown from $19 million to $31 million during her five-year tenure. -Gothamist 8/16/19

Is Putin Really Gaining A Stranglehold Over The Gulf?

- An article by Simon Watkins, entitled "Russia Gains Stranglehold Over Persian Gulf" and published by Oil on August 4, raises the concern that Russian-Iranian cooperation is turning into a genuine military alliance. In the article, Watkins reported that "senior sources close to the Iranian regime" told him about several ways in which Russian-Iranian military and economic cooperation are set to increase. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog 8/16/19

Shared Afghanistan interests create opening for U.S.-Iran back channel - sources

- Western intermediaries are trying to persuade arch foes Iran and the United States to cooperate on bolstering security in Afghanistan as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to extract America from its longest war, according to three source familiar with the efforts. -Reuters 8/16/19

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

Iranian Superstar Banned From State TV For What Could Prove To Be Suppression Of Dissent

- An award-winning Iranian movie superstar has been banned from appearing on the Islamic Republic's monopolized TV networks, apparently for protesting the arrest of a female photojournalist. Hanieh Tavassoli and several other famous actors have made public statements condemning the detention of Noushin Jafari, who is a photojournalist focusing on movie stars and celebrities. -Radio Farda 8/15/19

He's Why Iran Is Feuding With Stanford

- As manager of the Stanford Iran 2040 Project, Pooya Azadi makes a point of tracking Iran's economic, environmental and social trends. Recently, he found himself at the center of them. In a May 29 speech, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accused Azadi's research group of "questioning the scientific achievements of the country" and undermining Iran's "important academic projects." Overnight, Khamenei launched Azadi to the front pages of Iran's state media. -Austin Bodetti, OZY 8/15/19

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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

Amid Iran Crisis, U.S. Offers Big Military Aid Boost To Azerbaijan - As the U.S. has ratcheted up diplomatic and military pressure on Iran, it has been quietly offering neighboring Azerbaijan more than $100 million in military aid. The money appears aimed at countering threats from Tehran. -Joshua Kucera, LobeLog 8/15/19

Iran crypto developers launch platform for flood-victim aid - Platform for receiving aid donations in cryptocurrencies developed in response to US sanctions impeding relief efforts. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 8/15/19

Gibraltar court releases Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 as government mulls U.S. bid to seize it - The United States moved on Thursday to seize an Iranian supertanker detained in Gibraltar for breaching international sanctions on oil shipments. The last minute intervention by Washington appeared set to thwart efforts by authorities in London and the British overseas territory to defuse tensions with Tehran, but in the end tiny Gibraltar decided to free the vessel. -CBS News 8/15/19

How Voice of America Persian Became a Trump Administration PR Machine - As an Iranian American journalist covering the Iran-U.S. relationship, Negar Mortazavi is accustomed to receiving vitriol on social media. Still, she found it unusual when she saw on Twitter that someone had called her a "treasonous criminal" and "a spy and an enemy of the people." ... What made the tweets unusual was that the person targeting her was Ali Javanmardi. Javanmardi is a prominent television journalist at the Voice of America Persian, the U.S.-owned network broadcasting to Iranians -- which means that he works for the U.S. government. -Jordan Michael Smith, Intercept 8/14/19

British-Iranian Scholar Kameel Ahmady Arrested In Tehran On Unspecified Charges - The wife of British-Iranian anthropologist Kameel Ahmady says her husband has been arrested at his home in Iran on unknown charges. Shafagh Rahmani told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on August 14 that her husband was arrested on August 11, and that authorities told her he faces "unspecified charges in connection with his activities." 8/14/19

Party Leader's Comments Signals Serious Rift In Iran's Reform Camp - Iran's reformist political faction seems to have split as one of the groups constituting its backbone has officially pulled out of the lose-knit political force. After remarks by the leader of the centrist Executives of Construction Party, Iranian media reported Tuesday August 13 that the group has all but officially split from the reformist camp. -Radio Farda 8/14/19

Female Plaintiff's Battle to Get a Motorcycle License Exposes Arbitrary Restrictions on Women in Iran - In response to a complaint by a woman from the city of Isfahan, Branch 1 of Iran's Administrative Justice Court ruled that the traffic police's refusal to issue motorcycle driving licenses to women is unlawful. However, due to Article 60 of the Administrative Justice Court's Organizational and Regulatory Procedures Law, the ruling, which could be reversed, only applies to the individual plaintiff and not all women in the country. -CHRI 8/14/19

The Wisdom Of The UAE's Retrenchment - Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ), crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto chief executive of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), evidently has determined that his principal regional policies have not been working well and require a fundamental redirection. He is withdrawing his country from participation in the war in Yemen and trying to tone down confrontation with Iran. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 8/14/19

IAEA chief's death could spell the end of the Iran nuclear deal - With the recent death of the head of the IAEA, Netanyahu is finding renewed opportunity to bring the 'atomic archives' back to center stage and further sabotage the Iran nuclear deal. This is a grave strategic mistake. -Shemuel Meir, 972 Magazine 8/14/19

Iran's Leader urges resistance against Saudi-UAE bid to split Yemen - Ayatollah Khamenei made the comments in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday with a visiting delegation from Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement, led by its spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam. -Press TV 8/14/19

China Prepares Its "Nuclear Option" In Trade War - As the trade war with the U.S. continues to escalate, China has re-engaged with Iran on three key projects and is weighing the use of what both Washington and Beijing term the 'nuclear option', a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry told last week. -Simon Watkins, 8/14/19

Persian lions at Tehran zoo tie the knot! - A male Persian lion, born 6 years ago, was sent to Tehran Zoological Garden from Britain's Bristol Zoo on May 1, under a population management program aiming at endangered species reproduction by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). A female lion of the same subspecies from Ireland also sent to Iran to accompany the male lion through the conservation program. 8/13/19

Dozens hospitalized as sand and dust storms haunt southeastern Iran - Severe sand and dust storms (SDSs) has left 127 patients hospitalized due to respiratory problems in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, head of provincial disaster mitigation and management organization has said. 8/13/19

Could Russia Get Its Persian Gulf Port? - Russian activities in the Persian Gulf have not been limited to diplomacy and making reasonable-sounding proposals for collective security. Parallel with diplomacy, Moscow has taken more concrete measures to insert itself into Persian Gulf affairs and to carve out a place for itself in the region and a role in future decisions regarding regional security together with other great powers, notably the United States and the European Union, -Shireen T. Hunter, LobeLog 8/13/19

Maryam Shojaei helps Iran's female football fans carry fight for admission - Shojaei, who is the sister of the Iran national team captain, Masoud Shojaei, is one of an increasing number of women campaigning for entry: some have attempted to sneak into matches disguised as men, female sports photographers have had to scale buildings nearby just to do their jobs, and others have suffered brutal arrests and detention. -Suzanne Wrack, Guardian 8/13/19

Iran's Zarif: 'We are not seeking war' - As the United States maintains its "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, tension is on the rise in the Persian Gulf, raising concerns over a full-blown military escalation. "We believe that the best the US can do for the protection of maritime navigation is to just leave people alone; don't interfere," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Al Jazeera. "This is basically a hostile act against Iran and I do not believe it will have any impact other than insecurity." -Al-Jazeera 8/13/19

The once flourishing Iranian community in Dubai faces pressure amid Persian Gulf tensions - Dubai's government does not release the number of Iranians living in the city, but according to informal estimates, it's as many as 600,000. Many Iranians in Dubai say, however, there has been an exodus, with large numbers of their friends and family members already gone. Those who remain often say they, too, think about leaving unless the economic pressure eases. -Adam Taylor, Washington Post 8/13/19

Finding Farideh - Farideh was abandoned in a holy shrine in Iran when she was 6 months old. Adopted by a Dutch couple, she was taken to the Netherlands to start a new life, far from the one she was born into. Despite her parent's disapproval, almost 40 years later Farideh sets off on a personal journey to her motherland in search of her biological parents and in turn discovers more than she could have ever imagined. 8/13/19

Crowdfunding Campaign: First Documentary on Persian Fortress DARBAND in Russia - The Sasanian Fortress in Darband was built in the 6th century AD to protect the Persian Empire from invasion by nomadic peoples to the north. The defensive structures remained in continuous use by the succeeding Persian, Arab and Turkish forces until the Russian invasion in the 19th century. 8/12/19

Thousands In Iran Sign Petition To End House Arrest Of Opposition Leaders - In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, 8,700 Iranian citizens have called for lifting the house arrest of Iran's Green Movement leaders, confined to their homes since 2011 without trial. Twice speaker of Majles (Islamic Republic's parliament), mid-ranking cleric Mehdi Karroubi, ex-Prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since February 2011. 8/12/19

The Five Caspian Sea Littoral States Ink Economic Cooperation Deal - Iran and four other Caspian Sea countries have signed an agreement on economic cooperation in Turkmenistan's capital. Senior officials from Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed the deal during the First Caspian Economic Forum in Bishkek on Monday, according to Fars News. -Press TV 8/12/19

Disability Rights Activists Urge Apple to Allow Persian Speakers to Access VoiceOver Screen Reader - More than 1,300 people had signed a petition as of August 9, 2019, by Persian-speaking disability rights activists calling on Apple to make its VoiceOver technology available to Persian-speaking users. "Excluding a number of people with disabilities from using new technologies is against the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990... which emphasize identifying and eliminating barriers to access to information, communications and electronic services," said the petition. -CHRI 8/12/19

We asked Canadian politicians why they engaged with a 'cult'-like group from Iran - The fact that current and former Canadian politicians attend MEK events is deeply problematic, argues Stephanie Carvin, who worked as a national security analyst with the government of Canada at the time the MEK was a listed terrorist entity. Politicians attending MEK events "help create the illusion of legitimacy," said Carvin -Shenaz Kermalli, National Observer 8/12/19

The UAE's ambitions backfire as it finds itself on the front line of U.S.-Iran tensions - One of America's staunchest allies in the Middle East and a driving force behind President Trump's hard-line approach to Iran is breaking ranks with Washington, calling into question how reliable an ally it would be in the event of a war between the United States and Iran. -Liz Sly, Washington Post 8/12/19

70,000 of Road Fatalities Involved SAIPA's Pride - Over the past 11 years, 34% of those who lost their lives in road accidents in Iran, constituting 70,056 victims, died in SAIPA's small city car, Pride. Iran Traffic Police Chief General Kamal Hadianfar told ISNA, "A review of traffic accidents' data from the past 11 years shows that 34% of the victims were passengers and or drivers of Pride." -Financial Tribune 8/12/19

Iran is taking steps to combat sexual harassment in the workplace - It's difficult to combat a subject that's so taboo, discussion of it is off-limits. But the silence that has long surrounded sexual harassment and abuse of power in the Iranian workplace is finally being broken. For the first time, an Iranian government agency publishes guidelines to counter sexual harassment and abuse of power. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 8/12/19

Detained Iranian Conservationists Niloufar Bayani and Sepideh Kashani on Hunger Strike - Niloufar Bayani and Sepideh Kashani, two of the eight wildlife conservationists detained in Iran since January 2018, began a hunger strike on August 3, 2019, a source with knowledge of their cases told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "After more than 560 days in detention, the people accused in this case, and their families, are still unaware of the alleged crimes they committed and they continue to be denied transfers to public wards in prison despite the completion of the preliminary investigations," said the source who spoke to CHRI on the condition of anonymity on August 8, 2019. -CHRI 8/11/19

How Filmmaker Ali Afshar is helping to make the entertainment industry more diverse and representative of the US population - I'd suggest to all filmmakers to make films that help to increase diversity while working to bring people together; Films that showcase the strength of the American Dream. Often many people here in the states take too many things for granted, however, others that are looking in from the outside are able to see the potential the U.S. has. -Authority Magazine, Thrive Global 8/11/19

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturns ruling to seize Iran-linked building in New York - A US federal appeals court has overturned a 2017 verdict that allowed the seizure of an Iran-linked skyscraper in New York City. In June, 2017, a US court verdict allowed the government to seize the midtown Manhattan office tower owned largely by a charity organization, the Alavi Foundation. -Press TV 8/11/19

Declaring A State Of War Against Iranian Dissidents - Once again, we are at a state of war, and we have an unfinished job of exterminating the dissidents, all at once. This is the essence of a recently broadcast Mosalas magazine interview with Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran's former Minister of Justice. It has had a chilling effect on Iranian activists, particularly those in prison, at a time when the nation is worried about how far the current tensions between Iran and the United States will escalate. -Shadi Sadr, LobeLog 8/11/19

The White House Once Labeled Them Terrorists. Now They're Being Called Iran's Next Government - With high-profile supporters like John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, the Mujahedeen Khalq - or MEK - is being touted as a viable alternative to the ayatollahs. But many question these Iranian dissidents' intentions for their homeland. -Jonathan Harounoff, Haaretz 8/11/19

It's Time For An Iran-U.S. Military De-Confliction Line - Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has explicitly denounced the intention of war with United States. U.S President Donald Trump also says he "doesn't want to go to war." Open conflict therefore seems not to be a strategic choice, neither in Tehran nor in Washington. However, both leaders perceive their current escalatory policies as a success. -Kayhan Barzegar and Abdolrasol Divsallar, LobeLog 8/11/19

A Score For Equality? FIFA Demands That Iran Allow Women Into Soccer Stadiums - "[Iranian] women have been allowed to become managers, they have become ministers, they have become members of the parliament, they have been allowed to be part of the highest levels of decision-making," Sports Minister Masud Soltanifar told Iran Varzeshi sports magazine in a July 27 interview, adding that "why are we blocking them [from stadiums] and creating a cost for the Islamic republic." --Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 8/11/19

Can Iran combat corruption in petroleum sector? - Iran's anti-corruption campaign has gained a rare momentum. There is regular reporting about new arrests and court cases against corrupt entities, including former ministers and high-ranking officials. Considering the country's political culture and intense factional competition, many have suggested that the campaign is politically motivated and does not address the real sources of corruption. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 8/11/19

China's Iranian Oil Weapon - China's crude imports from Iran have been plunging this summer, sinking almost 60 percent in June compared to a year earlier. But Beijing could unleash severe oil volatility on global markets if it decides to reverse course 8/11/19

Second Annual MSP Iranian Film Festival: August 15-18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota - MSP Film Society presents the second annual MSP Iranian Film Festival August 15-18, 2019 at the Film Society's Screen 3 at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Festival showcases acclaimed and award-winning new Iranian cinema, and presents a variety of themes, genres, and perspectives of contemporary Iran. 8/9/19

Prominent Writer in Iran Sentenced To Prison, Female Journalist Arrested - An Appeals Court has upheld an eight-month sentence for a renowned Iranian author, poet, and member of Iran Writers Association (IWA). "The verdict against the Iranian poet and writer, Nima Saffar, is unfair," IWA said in a statement Wednesday, August 7, adding, "The ruling, as well as all other similar decisions, should be repealed." 8/9/19

Rising Star Vida Ghaffari: "It's important to have gratitude to be able to follow such a great path" - As a part of my series about pop culture's rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Vida Ghaffari. Multi award-winning Iranian-American actress Vida Ghaffari (daughter of esteemed NASA scientist, mathematician, and professor Abolghassem Ghaffari and artist and art teacher Mitra Ghaffari) was born and raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area. -Yitzi Weiner, Thrive Global 8/9/19

Two food writers eat at all the Persian restaurants in SoCal (OK, 18 of them) - Cookbook author Anissa Helou joined Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison on a 2-day quest to eat at as many of the Persian restaurants in the Los Angeles metropolitan area as they could. -Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times 8/9/19

Three Women Issued Lengthy Prison Sentences for Peacefully Protesting Iran's Mandatory Hijab Law - Mojgan Keshavarz has been sentenced to 23.6 years in prison while Monireh Arabshahi and her daughter Yasaman Ariyani have each been sentenced to 16 years in prison for peacefully campaigning against Iran's mandatory hijab law. -CHRI 8/9/19

Kayhan Kalhor Receives WOMEX 19 Artist Award - For the mastery and virtuosity of the kamancheh, for the ceaseless innovation and collaboration to create exciting new musical languages and for bringing the Persian classical music tradition to the ears of people all over the world, Piranha Arts, the organisers of WOMEX, are delighted to present the WOMEX Artist Award 2019 to Kayhan Kalhor (Iran/USA). 8/9/19

How History Shapes Strategic Thinking: The Iranian Case - It is almost impossible to decouple the behavior of international players from their historical experiences. From this perspective, history does not belong to the past but to the future. It is a compass that helps anticipate the future policy directions that countries can be expected to take. Within that understanding, three events have basically formed Iranian strategic thinking during the last seventy years and will continue to shape Iran's foreign policy behavior for the foreseeable future. -Mohammad H. Pirkouhi, LobeLog 8/9/19

U.S. Sanctions Turn Iran's Oil Industry Into Spy vs. Spy - They change offices every few months and store documents only in hard copy. They scan their businesses for covert listening devices and divert all office calls to their cellphones. They know they are under surveillance, and assume their electronics are hacked. They are not spies or jewel thieves but Iran's oil traders, and they are suddenly in the cross hairs of international intrigue and espionage. -Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times 8/9/19

Iran And Its Neighbors Face 'Extraordinary Water Crisis' - Report - The World Resources Institute's (WRI) latest report says that Iran, along with Israel, Lebanon, and Qatar, are struggling with an "extraordinary water crisis." The three are among the most water-stressed countries, according to the new data, consuming an average of 80% of their available water resources every year. -Radio Farda 8/8/19

More Iranians Forced to Rely on Unsafe Online Hosting After Blocked by Amazon - Amazon has become the latest major American technology company to block Iranians from accessing its products and services due to U.S. government sanctions that prohibit companies from providing products or services to people based in Iran. -CHRI 8/8/19

Iran Prosecutor Defies FIFA On Stadium Entrance Ban For Women - Iran's ban on women entering stadiums is not the business of world soccer governing body FIFA, the country's prosecutor-general said on August 7. "That is certainly not the concern of FIFA -- whether women are among the football fans in the stadiums or not," Mohammad Montazeri said, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency. -RFE/RL 8/8/19

Iran's low birth rate unprecedented over past three decades - Iran's birth rate has been declining since last year up to now, which was unprecedented over the past three decades, head of committee on population studies affiliated to the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution has stated. The number of births registered during the first three months of this year (starting on March 19), has declined by 13 percent compared to same period last year, he regretted. -Tehran Times 8/8/19

Abu Dhabi Can't Afford To Keep Iran Out Of Dubai - As the world teeters on the edge of another financial crisis, few places are being gripped by anxiety like Dubai. Every week a new headline portends the coming crisis in the city of skyscrapers. Dubai villa prices are at their lowest level in a decade, down 24 percent in just one year. A slump in tourism has seen Dubai hotels hit their lowest occupancy rate since the 2008 financial crisis, even as the country gears up to host the Expo 2020 next year. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 8/8/19

mohammad hassan forouzanfar brings contemporary architecture to ancient iran - for his latest project, designer mohammad hassan forouzanfar has created a series of photomontages that fuse icons of contemporary architecture with ancient sites in iran. similarly to his previous projects, which have included introducing skyscrapers to iranian villages, 'retrofuturism' considers how to restore the historic buildings with additions from world renowned architects such as zaha hadid, daniel liebskind and norman foster. -designboom 8/8/19

Iran sanctions: What impact are they having on medicines? - Iran says sanctions are preventing lifesaving drugs from reaching the country, despite special exemptions for medical supplies. This is disputed by Washington. "The United States exempts medicine and medical devices for the Iranian people from US sanctions," says Brian Hook, the American special representative for Iran. So how are sanctions affecting access to medicines in Iran? -BBC 8/8/19

This Iranian War Vet Has Some Advice for Trump: Don't Play Checkers with the Grandmasters of Chess - Dear President Trump, In a recent Tweet, you claimed that "Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation." As a world citizen and a veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, I have firsthand experience with the bitterness of war, and I have a few suggestions and responses for you. First, I would advise you against using the words win and winning to describe war, especially from a US perspective. -Habib Ahmadzadeh 8/7/19

Which "Gulf" Do They Mean? - If you've ever wondered how historical realities can be sacrificed and manipulated in the service of myopic political goals, there is a great example for you to follow in your daily roundup of international news offered by the mainstream media. While reading through coverage of current Middle Eastern affairs in international newspapers, magazines, and news websites, it's very common for readers to come across the words "the Gulf." -Kourosh Ziabari 8/7/19

Middle East Expert Vali Nasr: 'The U.S. Has To Get a Sense of Iran's Security Interests' - In an interview, Middle East expert and former White House adviser Vali Nasr warns of the danger of a new war in the region and calls on Europeans to oppose Washington's Iran policy. -Rene Pfister, Spiegel 8/7/19

Interview with Iranian percussionist Habib Meftah: Analogue "electrofolk" from southern Iran - Percussionist Habib Meftah has made an international name for himself with clubbable, acoustically altered folk music. But he also works with dancers and musicians from other genres. His versatility is based on the traditional musical culture of his southern Iranian origins. -Bernd G. Schmitz, Qantara 8/7/19

U.S.-Iran Relations ... Waiting For The Adults: Then And Now - Marx tells us that history happens first as tragedy and then as farce. He was predicting what has occurred between the U.S. and Iran-first forty years ago and then today-when the children take over and the adults choose to disappear. -John Limbert 8/6/19

In Iran, Court Rules In Favor Of Female Motorcyclist, And It Gets Motors Running - An Iranian lawmaker has welcomed a court ruling stating that police should issue an unidentified woman in the central city of Isfahan a motorcycle license. The Court of Administrative Justice handed down the ruling following a lawsuit by a female resident of Isfahan who had complained that traffic police had refused to issue her a motorcycle license, Iranian media reported on August 4. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 8/6/19

The ancient art of making ships in southern Iran - Maritime trade, shipping and shipbuilding have long been practiced in Iran. There have been many small or big shipyards across the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. If you are planning to travel to the southernmost parts of the country, we suggest to visit the Persian Gulf in trace of seeing the process of crafting and sailing traditional Lenj boats, which has passed down from father to son. The hand-built vessels are used for sea journeys, trading, fishing and pearl diving. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 8/6/19

Blood Money Paid for a Woman in Iran Is Still Half That Paid for a Man, Despite New Ruling - Following news in Iran on July 2, 2019, declaring equality between men and women in blood money (financial compensation paid to the family of someone who has been killed or to the victim who has been injured), many people incorrectly assumed that the existing discriminatory law, which assigns blood money ("diya") to a woman victim at half the amount of that of a man, had been abolished. -CHRI 8/6/19

Iran's FM Zarif says while in UN he was told to go to White House or be sanctioned - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a press conference on Monday that while he was in New York the Americans told him that if he did not accept to go to the White House to meet President Donald Trump he will be sanctioned in two weeks. Zarif visited New York in mid-July to participate at the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (UNOSOC). 8/6/19

Russia Gains Stranglehold Over Persian Gulf - In a potentially catastrophic escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf, Russia plans to use Iran's ports in Bandar-e-Bushehr and Chabahar as forward military bases for warships and nuclear submarines, guarded by hundreds of Special Forces troops under the guise of 'military advisers', and an airbase near Bandar-e-Bushehr as a hub for 35 Sukhoi Su-57 fighter planes has exclusively been told by senior sources close to the Iranian regime. 8/6/19

How Do I Tell My Friends About My Amazing Trip to Iran? - There is nothing like traveling to another country to expand one's preconceived notions and find those notions had more to do with ignorance than fact. This is what happened to me when I traveled to Iran in October of 2017. -Pam Perkins, GvWire 8/6/19

Hanapp: Iranian app improves quality of life for the hearing impaired - Hanapp, a new application designed by an Iranian startup, improves quality of life for people with hearing loss and significantly helps them better communicate with others, IRNA reported on Friday. According to Alireza Abadian, the technical manager of the startup, 'hanapp' has been designed by using artificial intelligence. The application has a variety of components that help the people with hearing impairment to do their daily chores and have easier lives. 8/5/19

Smart Hives Developed by Researchers at Tehran's Sharif University of Technology Increase Efficiency of Beehives - Researchers at Sharif University of Technology have developed smart hives for better beekeeping. The Nove startup team, led by Dr. Amin Rezaiezadeh, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, and Dr. Mehdi Shahrdad, Assistant Professor of Electronics Research Institute of Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, has developed a smart beehive, Kando 1+ benefiting from IoT 8/5/19

Iranian artist's U.S. debut, in Oregon, showcases vulnerable species - In fall 2017, Naeemeh Naeemaei rolled up her massive paintings of Caspian tigers, Imperial eagles and Persian sturgeons, slipped them into tubes, tucked them in a suitcase and left Iran for the United States. Less than two years later, the artist is making her U.S. debut at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. 8/5/19

Iranian researcher introduces new drug with anti-inflammatory effect - Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties of the pharmaceutical molecule, mannuronic acid (M2000), have been introduced for the first time to the world by professor Abbas Mirshafiey, the faculty member at the school of public health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). 8/4/19

IRAN: Detained Independent News Editor in "Terrible Shape" After One-Month Hunger Strike - The health of Amirhossein Mohammadifar, the detained editor-in-chief of the independent "Gam" Telegram app news channel, has severely deteriorated since he has been on hunger strike for nearly a month in Tehran's Evin Prison, his mother-in-law Golkhanom Norouzi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 1, 2019. -CHRI 8/4/19

Yara Shahidi: 'I'll put my career on the line to talk politics' - The actor, model and activist is no ordinary 19-year-old. She's filmed with Eddie Murphy and Angelina Jolie, she's friends with Michelle Obama - and Oprah wants her to be a future US president -Megan Nolan, Guardian 8/4/19

Belgian globetrotters share us their new perception of Iran - Last Monday, a Belgian couple, who are on an overland journey to China, paid a visit to The Tehran Times, where they let us share their views, experiences and feelings about Iran in a cozy chat with the daily. Ciara Reid and Lennart Gheysens in particular noted that the hospitality of Iranian people was beyond their expectations, saying "One of the reasons that we love Iran so much is the hospitality and kindness of the people." -Tehran Times 8/4/19

PHOTOS: The Brain Bank of Iran - Brain Bank of Iran is operating under the strict supervision of Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) in Tehran and is tasked with conducting human researches in the field of nervous system diseases. This equipped center plays a leading role in the field of offering quality research & development (R&D) services to promote technical knowhow and knowledge on nervous system diseases. -Maryam Kamyab 8/2/19

Persian leopard captured alive in NE Iran and treated for injuries - A Persian leopard has been captured alive in Razavi Khorasan Province, northeast of Iran. The Managing Director of Environment Department of Razavi Khorasan, Touraj Hemmati, said on Sunday that following a series of attacks by a leopard on the herd dogs in a village located on the edge of Tandoureh Protected Area in the north east of Iran, a rescue team was sent to the area to capture the leopard alive to treat him due to the wounds on his body and tooth infection. 8/2/19

Trip to Iran will be an eye-opening experience - Activists have organized two tours/peace delegations to Iran this fall, which filled up rapidly. I have traveled to Iran twice with similar delegations and had experiences that were very rewarding. The people there are friendly, down to earth and generous, and seeing Iran for yourself puts a whole new perspective on any prior information you might have. Many people there speak English and the food is excellent. -Judith Bello, Democratand Chronicle 8/2/19

Sanctioning Zarif Further Undermines U.S. Diplomatic Credibility - In the first place, it is most unusual to place the chief negotiator for an unfriendly (or even enemy) nation on the "unwelcome" list. It is a direct violation of accepted diplomatic practice, going all the way back to the Greeks a few thousand years ago, as well as of Article 31 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which governs the way in which countries agree to treat foreign diplomats. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog 8/2/19

Sanctions on Foreign Minister Zarif show U.S. afraid of Iran's top diplomat: President Rohani - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani slams the United States for imposing sanctions on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying the "childish" move stems from Washington's "fear" of the top Iranian diplomat's logic and interviews. -Press TV 8/1/19

Artificial insemination of Asiatic cheetah in captivity not successful - Female Asiatic cheetah, Delbar, being kept in captivity at Tehran's Pardisan Park, had undergone artificial insemination some 100 days ago, but it turned to be unsuccessful, director of the wildlife conservation and management at the Department of Environment has said. 8/1/19

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

Economic Sanctions Will Kill Tens Of Thousands Of Innocent Iranians - The illegal economic sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on Iran are ruining its economy by increasing the inflation rate--from nine percent before the sanctions to 35-40 percent today--as well as unemployment, and forcing countless numbers of small businesses to close. -Muhammad Sahimi, LobeLog 7/31/19

My Iran Exhibition at Smithsonian in Washington, DC: Six Women Photographers - The artists featured in My Iran: Six Women Photographers explore the complexities of life within and outside their home country. From the dynamism of the street to the quiet corners of distant memories, the works highlight various ways in which artists use photography to respond to personal and political realities. 7/30/19

FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship 2019: Yali, Esfandiar lead Iran to historic first title - Porya Yali and captain Amirhossein Esfandiar led Iran in their 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12) triumph against Italy to capture their first FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship title. 7/29/19

Cannes Film Festival, Iranian Filmmakers Condemn Sentence Against Colleague Mohammad Rasoulof - International film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, as well as two prominent Iranian directors, have condemned the prison sentence issued in Tehran against acclaimed filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof. "Today, we wish to reiterate our deep commitment to freedom of expression and our immense respect for Mohammad Rasoulof, to whom we offer our fullest support," said an unsigned statement published on the Cannes' website on July 25, 2019. "We ask for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Rasoulof and call on festivals around the world, cinemas and all artists to do the same." -CHRI 7/29/19

Did Trump Just Threaten to Attack Iran With Nukes? - Trump's seemingly blase reference to a hypothetical mass murder on a scope and scale never seen in the history of mankind (it took Nazi Germany more than four years to kill six million Jews) was stunning. We know, given the state of play in Afghanistan, that it will never happen. But it wasn't offhand. Such a policy of total destruction could also be seen as applying to Iran, and the potential for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a U.S.-Iranian conflict is far from hypothetical. He knew exactly what he was doing. -Scott Ritter, American Conservative 7/25/19

US Citizens and Iranian Relatives Sue Over Travel Ban - A group of American citizens and legal residents trying to bring their Iranian spouses and other family to join them in the United States has filed a federal lawsuit saying they are being unfairly blocked by the Trump administration's travel ban. -Amy Taxin, NBC 7/24/19

Iranian startups come to light with No-Afarin scheme - The No-Afarin scheme, developed by Iran's Information and Communication Technology Ministry to support startups, was introduced during a ceremony on Wednesday July 17, 2019. With the slogan, 'Smart Iran, brighter future', the scheme is a part of the digital economy development document and aims to create 68,000 job opportunities. -Setareh Behroozi, Tehran Times 7/23/19

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

Middle East scholars: An American attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster for the US, Iran, and the world - We, the undersigned scholars of the Middle East and North Africa and broader Muslim world, call on President Trump immediately to pull back from the brink of a war with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is clear to us that the human, diplomatic, legal, political, and economic costs to both countries, the Persian Gulf and larger Middle East, the global economy and the global system of international humanitarian law of a US attack would be even more devastating than was the US invasion of Iraq sixteen years ago. -Mondoweiss 6/26/19

200 Iranian Activists Call For Unconditional Talks With U.S. - In a statement on Sunday, June 9, more than 200 civil and political activists living in and outside of Iran called for unconditional talks between Iran and the U.S. Referencing the Iranian people's desire for detente with forces around the region and world at large, 225 signatories to the statement called for the public and civil and political activists to urge the Iranian and American administrations to hold talks. -Radio Farda 6/11/19

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 Fri Aug 16 12:20:32 EDT 2019