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September 18 2014
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Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads: An Exploration of Iranian Leadership Dynamics


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Mossadegh: A Film By Roozbeh Dadvand

- Iran. 1959. It is six years after the CIA orchestrated coup d'etat that overthrew democratic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh from power. Now living under house arrest and suffering from a severe illness, Mossadegh must decide whether or not to trust an American physician that is sent to treat him. 9/17/14

Photos: Fire Engulfs Ashuradeh, The Sole Iranian Island In Caspian Sea

- Ashuradeh, the only Iranian island in Caspian Sea, has suffered great damage after it was engulfed by a devastating fire on Tuesday. About 100 hectares of grasslands and woods on the island were burned in the fire. 9/17/14

Iran's President Rouhani to travel to New York: Spokesman

- Government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said here on Wednesday that President Hassan Rouhani is slated to travel to New York to take part in the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. 9/17/14

Iranian Interior Ministry objects to patrols enforcing hijab

- Extremist groups such as Ansar-e Hezbollah and Basij forces have become more vocal and active about enforcing hijab in public. This appears to be a backlash against the more progressive policies of the Rohani administration and President Rohani's call for moderation. 9/17/14

New report on Iran's failed promises on human rights

- Titled "Unfulfilled Promises", and launched on Monday at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the report discusses 34 specific pledges made by Iran in February 2010 at the UN Human Rights Council that in some way could address human rights violations faced by members of Iran's Baha'i community. 9/17/14

Officials warn millions of Iranians suffer from poor diet

- The Ministry of Health has reported that 47 million Iranians do not have an adequate diet, which in turn has caused "widespread vitamin D deficiency in the past 10 years and a decrease in height." 9/17/14

Bridging the Uranium Enrichment Gap with Iran

- With the Nov. 24 deadline looming, Iran and world powers will resume talks toward a final deal over Iran's nuclear program this week in New York, but the gap between the two sides over the future size and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment program seems as wide as ever. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 9/17/14

IRGC says Qods Forces aid troubled countries like Iraq

- The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says its international arm, the Qods Forces, support "revolutionary and resistance movements of the dispossessed and the oppressed all around the world," adding that the nature of the IRGC's assistance is "advisory and educational." 9/17/14

Chinese vessel rescued by Iranian Navy

- Iranian naval forces rescued a Chinese container vessel surrendered by pirates in the Gulf of Adan on Wednesday morning. The Chinese vessel was heading towards Indian Ocean from Singapore when it was attacked by armed pirates riding in five speedboats. 9/17/14

Carlos Queiroz Signs Four-Year Contract Extension with Iran Football Federation

- Iran Football Federation (IFF) has extended the contract of Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz for four more years. On Tuesday, the Portuguese coach, who was supposed to quit his job in the Iranian football team, extended his contract until the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 9/16/14

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When the Ice Bucket Challenge spread to Iran

As US Shuns Iran in Fight Against ISIS, History Repeats - Last week epitomized the highs and lows of hoping for an improvement in US-Iran relations. A BBC report on Sept. 5 that Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had approved Iranian cooperation with the US military in the fight against ISIS was met with near elation in many quarters. But after the ensuing Iranian denials that cooperation was in fact approved, the Americans went even further by denying even the possibility of formal cooperation. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 9/16/14

Iran FM criticizes Norway's expulsion of Iranian students - "The expulsion of Iranian students has had adverse consequences on our public opinion and academic circles and this is detrimental to Norway," Zarif said in a Monday meeting with new Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran Aud Lise Norheim. 9/16/14

Iran rejected U.S. request for cooperation against ISIL: Supreme Leader - "We are proud that the U.S. was disappointed" that Iran was not part of an "erroneous" and "collective" coalition against ISIL, the Leader told reporters after being discharged from hospital. He stated that the U.S. officials' claims of campaign against ISIL are "empty" and "biased". 9/16/14

Iran: Plainclothes forces to patrol for hijab violations - The head of Ansar-e Hezbollah, the paramilitary group usually referred to as "plainclothes" forces by the Iranian public, has announced that it will put 4,000 of its forces on the street next week to confront violations of hijab, the Islamic public dress code. 9/16/14

Mojtahed Shabestari: Islam is in Crisis - Last Thursday, the famous Tohid Center in Tehran held its first gathering after a lull of five years and the occasion was to commemorate the moderate ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani, a theologian and reformist senior cleric, who had died seven months after the collapse of the Pahlavi regime in 1979. -Fahimeh Abdollahi 9/16/14

Iran to scrap 400,000 cars to ease pollution - The Iranian government has announced plans to take up to 400,000 vehicles that don't meet emission standards off the roads by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, in a bid to reduce the country's air pollution problems. 9/16/14

UN Nuclear Agency Head Pressures Iran for Information - Three weeks after Iran failed to meet an August 25 deadline for providing requested information to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Director General Yukiya Amano said Tehran needed to do much more to address the IAEA's concerns. -Reuters 9/16/14

Volleyball: Relentless Ghafour Guides Iran To A Key Win Over Serbia And Historic Climb To Third Round - Iran earned a crucial win to maintain their hopes in Poland as they prevailed over Serbia 3-1 (27-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18) and made it to the third round of the 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship in Poland. 9/15/14

Thinking Outside The Box - Why doesn't the United States take advantage of this enormous opportunity to engage Iran and openly welcome its cooperation in settling the troubling issues in the Middle East? What? You want to tell us that earth is not flat when, standing in the middle of the prairies in Kansas or Nebraska, we can clearly see that it is flat whichever way we look!? -Kam Zarrabi 9/15/14

US Open to Future Talks with Iran on Fighting Islamic State - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he has rejected Obama administration requests for help in fighting against Islamic State militants in Iraq. U.S. officials say there is no military coordination with Iran but Washington is open to future talks on fighting the Islamic State. -Scott Stearns, VOA 9/15/14

Iran's Amir Kabir University to develop stronger supercomputer - Researchers in Amir Kabir University of Technology work to improve the current supercomputer to higher processing capability, which may calculate almost 1000 times faster. 9/15/14

Programs target illiterate working children in Iran - Iran's ministry of education says 10 percent of the 116,000 people identified as illiterate in the last Tehran census are working children, adding that the actual number could be even higher. 9/15/14

Iranian Security Forces Investigate Texts Insulting Republic Founder - In recent weeks, a large number of jokes regarding Ayatollah Khomeini have hit social networking sites and cellphones in Iran, including on Viber. Some have suggested that this might be a prelude to the government's blocking of Viber. 9/15/14

Is Rouhani's Iran Tilting East? - Two simultaneous pieces of economic news in Iran inform us of a trend in the Rouhani administration's foreign policy. Firstly, Iranian and Russian press reported last week that Tehran and Moscow signed a trade agreement amounting to 70 billion euros on Sept. 9... -Shahir Shahidsaless, LobeLog 9/15/14

France opens Iraq conference urging "global" fight on jihadists - French President Francois Hollande called on Monday for united international action to tackle the threat from Islamic State militants as he opened a conference on Iraq bringing together members of a U.S.-led coalition. -John Irish and Jason Szep, Reuters 9/15/14

Iran ranks first in 2014 Greco-Roman Wrestling World Championship - Iran finished first in the 56th Greco-Roman Wrestling World Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan after Qasem Rezaei gained a ronze medal in 98-kg weight category on Sunday. 9/14/14

Volleyball: Epic five-sets battle goes for Poland over Iran - In an incredible battle in front of a packed Atlas Arena, host team Poland survived a serious scare from Iran and earned a hard-fought win 3-2 (25-17, 25-16, 24-26, 19-25, 16-14). The result qualified France for the next round, while both Poland and Iran keep their chances. 9/14/14

Largest German university delegation visits Iran - The largest German university scientific delegation is visiting Iran to discuss mutual cooperation with Iranian universities, said Iranian Deputy Minister of Science for International Affairs Hossein Amoli. The delegation includes university presidents of Aachen, Giessen, Rhine-Waal, Darmstadt, Rostock universities and German University in Istanbul. 9/14/14

Iranian MP renews call for release of opposition figures - Conservative Iranian MP Ali Motahari has once again urged the Islamic Republic government to release MirHosein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, the opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011 for challenging the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the 2009 election. 9/14/14

Iraq's Unravelling and Azerbaijan - The unraveling of Iraq may have some interesting, even alarming implications for the Caspian Basin state of Azerbaijan. Unlike other Arab states in turmoil, including Libya and Syria, Iraq has a religious and cultural profile that somewhat mimics Azerbaijan's. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 9/14/14

More Than Two Months in Solitary Confinement for Protesting Exclusion of Women in Stadium - A young woman's detention in solitary confinement continues after her June 30, 2014 arrest, following her earlier arrest and release outside a Tehran sports stadium when she tried to attend a volleyball game. Ghoncheh Ghavami's lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he is unaware of his client's charges despite the fact that Ghavami has been in solitary confinement at Evin Prison for more than two months and her "temporary detention" orders have been extended twice. 9/13/14

U.S. and Iran Engage in Volleyball Diplomacy - Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Iranian and American people have been isolated from one another due to long-standing disputes between their governments. Routine interactions, like sporting events between national clubs, and other cultural exchanges have been few and far between. However, recently thousands of fans across Southern California were able to witness a rarity: the U.S. and Iranian national volleyball teams squaring off in friendly exhibition matches as part of a goodwill exchange between the two estranged nations. -Farshad Farahat 9/13/14

Kerry: Inappropriate for Iran to Join Talks on Fighting IS - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says it "would not be appropriate" for Iran to join talks in Paris on Monday on fighting Islamic State militants because of Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Secretary Kerry met Friday in Ankara with Turkish officials to discuss the Islamic State threat. 9/13/14

Private homes in Iran hold more gold than Central Bank - The lack of a clear outlook on the Iranian economy has led Iranians to store large quantities of gold in their home, and recent reports indicate that the amount of gold stored in homes now exceeds the amount in the Central Bank. 9/13/14

Iran, Russia call for promotion of bilateral relations - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met Friday on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Tajik capital to discuss issues of mutual interest as well as regional and international developments. 9/13/14

China seeks expansion of strategic ties with Iran: Xi - In a Friday meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, Xi underscored the Islamic Republic's significant position in the region and the entire world, saying Beijing seeks to promote "strategic" ties with Tehran. 9/13/14

To beat Islamic State, Obama needs Iran - Iran was not mentioned in Obama's speech, yet it is a central party in the Iraqi theater. It has strong influence over the new government of Haidar al-Abadi, Shi'ite militias and the Kurds - all of whom oppose Islamic State. Without at least tacit coordination with Iran, these forces will be difficult to mobilize effectively. -William B. Quandt, Reuters 9/13/14

"Happy" Youths Go on Trial in Tehran - The Iranian youths who produced the dance video "Happy in Tehran" set to the Pharrell Williams hit song "Happy" were put on trial in Tehran on September 9, 2014, where they were charged with "participation in producing a vulgar video clip" and conducting "illicit relations" with one another, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 9/12/14

Column: Coalition Against Islamic State Must Include Iran - President Barack Obama is right to focus on the responsibility of the Sunni Muslim world to attack and expunge the cancer that is the militant group calling itself the Islamic State (IS). But to succeed, the coalition must encompass the entire Muslim world and cannot exclude the most important Shiite nation, Iran. -Barbara Slavin 9/12/14

Russia Courts Allies at Eurasian Summit - As a Eurasian summit began in Tajikistan on Thursday, analysts say Moscow could use the multilateral meeting to bolster support. Russia will take the reins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for the next year at the two-day summit of China, Russia, and four Central Asian countries in Dushanbe. -Bai Hua, VOA 9/12/14

Iran, 3 European states hold nuclear talks in Vienna - The session, attended by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and the representatives of France, Britain and Germany, was held at the UN headquarters in the Austrian capital on Thursday morning. 9/12/14

Xerxes Speaks: A Graphic Novel on Greco-Persian Wars, from Persian point of view - "Xerxes Speaks" presents the battle of Thermopylae (the subject of the first "300" graphic novel and movie) from a Persian perspective; but it also delves deeper into Iran's first 200 years to analyze the causes and consequences of the empire's rapid expansion. It is well-researched, so I hope you find it educational as well as entertaining. -Ramin Abhari 9/11/14

Iran Prevail Over Confederation Rivals Australia In Four-Setter - Iran prevailed over Asian Confederation counterparts Australia in a four-setter (25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17) to avail of their first win in the second round in Pool E at the Luczniczka Hall on Wednesday. 9/11/14

Rohani Helps Launch Iranian-Funded Power Plant In Tajikistan - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has helped inaugurate a power generating unit at an Iranian-funded hydroelectric plant in Tajikistan. Rohani and Rahmon also held talks in the Central Asian nation's capital, Dushanbe, and presided over the signing of agreements cooperation on security, anti-drug effots, education and other issues. 9/11/14

Iran-Russia trade could jump tenfold in 2 years: Iranian Oil Minister - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says Iran and Russia can increase bilateral trade by tenfold over the next two years. On Tuesday, Zanganeh and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak signed an agreement in Tehran to expand cooperation in the areas of industry, mining, trade, agriculture, tourism, modern technology, and energy. 9/11/14

IMF sees jobless rate rising in Iran - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that the unemployment rate in Iran will rise to 14.65 in 2015, the Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday. IMF said Iran's unemployment rate stood at 12.93 percent in 2013, while the figure is forecast to reach 14.01 percent in 2014. 9/11/14

Banned Iranian author Hossein Abkenar takes up at Black Mountain Institute - Most of us take our freedoms for granted because that's how freedom works: You use it; you don't think about it. The City of Asylum program at the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV supports writers whose freedoms have been stripped by censorship and whose lives may be in danger. -Las Vegas Weekly 9/11/14

Obama's Speech on ISIS: The Big Picture - For these opponents of an agreement with Iran, the issue is not about just the Iranian nuclear program, but also the geopolitical competitions that are multifarious throughout the Middle East. Keeping Iran from rejoining the international community is a key goal of several Middle Eastern states, but there is no reason for this to be America's goal, especially since ...-Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog 9/11/14

Jailed Iranian dervishes set terms for ending hunger strike - The nine jailed Gonabadi dervishes who have begun a hunger strike have issued a statement to announce their demands. The imprisoned dervishes write that they have already written their wills and are prepared to die for their cause. 9/11/14

Traditional elements shine in Iran's modern art - Gizella Varga-Sinai's artwork doesn't simply boast beauty, it recites poetry in volumes. Her "Kallehpaz" -- one of the hundreds of paintings reflecting her love of Iran, Persian culture and everyday life -- has found a permanent home at the George Pompidou Cultural Center in Paris. -Mehrnaz Samimi, Al-Monitor 9/11/14

Iran's freestyle team finishes 2nd in World Championships - The Iranian freestyle wrestling team came second in the 2014 World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Tuesday. The Iranian team won three silver and two bronze medals in the competitions held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 9/10/14

Iran: Minister warns of ballooning unemployment - Iran's Labour Minister is sounding an alarm about the rising rate of unemployment, warning that if the current trend continues, the country could have 10 million unemployed workers within seven years. 9/10/14

Iranian researchers produce anti-depressant pills from saffron - Iranian researchers have produced anti-depressant pills, using saffron extract. Head of Iranian Drug Produces Development Center of Mashhad Medical Sciences University said the country aims to mass produce crocin tablets used for recovery of depression. 9/10/14

Oil prices suffer steady decline - Oil prices have fallen below $100 a barrel for the first time in the past 14 months. Reports on Monday September 8 indicate that Brent North Sea Crude oil is now priced at $99.95 a barrel. 9/10/14

A Survivor's Story Becomes a Silicon Valley Dream Come True and a Calling to Give Back - In a community replete with success stories, not often are there equally impressive tales of philanthropy. Bita Daryabari changes that. She has founded the Pars Equality Center to serve Iranian immigrants who arrive in California, and desperately need help assimilating in a new world. -Maryam Zar, Huffington Post 9/10/14

John Simpson: Iran is the most charming country on Earth - For John Simpson, Iran's incredible monuments, dazzling landscapes and hospitable people make it a holiday destination beyond compare -Telegraph, UK 9/10/14

This Loophole Lets The US Use Iranian Airspace To Fly Its Personnel To And From Afghanistan - The U.S.'s years of semi-official but nevertheless quite obvious use of Iranian airspace didn't prove overtly problematic until September 5. The flight eventually reached Dubai -- 9 hours and 57 minutes behind schedule, a FlyDubai spokesperson told Business Insider. -Armin Rosen 9/10/14

69 Percent Of Young Iranians Use Software To Get Around Internet Filtering: Survey - Some 67.4 percent of Iranian young people (between the ages of 15-29) use the internet, according to a survey conducted by the Iranian Center for Research and Strategic Studies. 69.3% of Iranian young people reported using anti-internet filter software to be able to surf through blocked websites. 9/9/14

International Symposium of Contemporary Sculpture (Padideh) announces winners - The International Symposium of Contemporary Sculpture (Padideh) announced winners in Mashhad on Sunday evening. Thirty-two sculptors from Iran, China, South Korea, Germany and Serbia created works at the symposium, which opened in the northeastern Iranian city on September 15. 9/9/14

Kissinger on Iran: Belts, Empires, and Getting it Wrong - Henry Kissinger may be the grand old man of US foreign policy, but when it comes to understanding Iran, his analytical skills have begun to fade. In his NPR discussion with Scott Simon, broadcast Sept. 6, Kissinger got it monumentally wrong. One can only be grateful he is no longer making policy. -John Limbert 9/9/14

Booing Islam in Schools - The new document approved by Iran's Supreme Council on Education is a clear example of what president Hassan Rouhani has called "booing Islam." Rouhani has rightly said that those who push young women into police vans, who create walls to separate men from women, and who wish to filter everybody in society as a way to make them more Islamic, are in fact booing Islam and turning Islam into a bad name. -Ali-Asqar Ramezanpour 9/9/14

Iranian Nuclear Deadlock: In Search of the Magic Formula - A shadow of doubt is spreading over the negotiation between Iran and world powers as the gap over the key issue of the acceptable size and scope of the Iranian enrichment program slowly reveals itself as unbridgeable. The inability to solve this one issue, which exists among so many others, has resulted in the real risk that all the efforts deployed in the past year to reach a long-term agreement may have been in vain. -Francois Nicoullaud, LobeLog 9/9/14

Iran's President Rouhani says his administration to fight corruption with no fear, criticizes filtering and gender segregation - Criticizing the idea of separating men and women in public places, including universities and work places, Rouhani said, "Separation is not an answer to cultural problems." "In order to promote ethics in the society, we must learn scientific methods to deal with our young generation. "Walls and (anti-Internet) filters are not the answers" to the young generation's issues, said the president. 9/8/14

Dozens arrested at "immoral party" in Khezershahr, Iran - Forty-three young men and women were arrested at a party in the coastal city of Khezershahr in Mazandaran. The Shahrvand daily reported on Sunday September 7 that the 27 women and 16 men had "met through Facebook" and arrived at Khezershahr from various Iranian cities to celebrate a birthday in one of the villas. 9/8/14

Launch Party for B'ta'arof, Iran: RPM and Omid Walizadeh at Levantine Cultural Center in Los Angeles - We invite you to participate in an evening of Iranian literary and artistic culture on behalf of B|ta'arof magazine and the London-based collective, Magic of Persia. This is a night to celebrate fiercely independent and creative Iranian writers and artists with a launch party for Iran: RPM Vol. 2 from Magic of Persia and the latest issue of B|ta'arof, as well as Omid Walizadeh's LP, Modern Persian Speech Sounds. 9/8/14

IAEA Report Casts a Shadow Over a Fair Prospect - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued its latest quarterly report on Iran. The IAEA Board will consider the Sept. 5 report during the week of Sept. 15. Much initial comment has centred on signs that the process launched on Nov. 11, 2013, when the IAEA and Iran agreed on a framework for addressing all outstanding IAEA concerns about the nature of Iran's nuclear program, is starting to stall. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 9/8/14

Iranian Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad Wins Best Screenplay Award at Venice Film Festival - Leading Iranian female filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad has garnered award at the 71st International Venice Film Festival in Italy. Bani-Etemad received the Best Screenplay award for her film Tales during the awards ceremony on the closing day of the festival on September 6, 2014 at Venice Lido. 9/7/14

Gender Segregation Gains Momentum in Iran: Women Prohibited from More Jobs - Shargh Daily reported on September 2, 2014, that women are now banned from appearing on stage at musical performances in 13 provinces across the country. Only bands without any female members will be granted the required performance license, according to the report. 9/7/14

Iran: Water supply reduced for agriculture sector - Iran's Ministry of Agriculture has announced that beginning in October of this year, the water allotted to agricultural developments will be reduced by almost 50 percent in accordance with a proposal by the Department of Environment. ISNA reports that according to top ministry official Mohammad Hossein Shariatmadar, the plan is meant to counter the country's critical water shortage. 9/7/14

Iran, U.S. hold bilateral nuclear talks in Geneva - Iran and the U.S. started bilateral talks in Geneva on Thursday at deputy foreign ministerial level to narrow differences in achieving a final nuclear deal. The talks which continued on Friday are expected to run into Saturday. Simultaneously, Iran and the U.S. are holding talks at expert level in Geneva. 9/6/14

Iran's Nuclear Future - Sir Richard Dalton, British ambassador to Iran from 2002-06, and I have co-authored a paper for the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) on Iran's Nuclear Future. Below is an edited transcript of the remarks with which I introduced the paper at a meeting in London on Sept. 4 -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 9/6/14

Flight from US Base in Afghanistan Lands in Iran after 'Bureaucratic Issue' - A charter flight from the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan to Dubai made an unexpected landing in Iran on Friday following what a senior U.S. diplomatic official called a "bureaucratic issue." 9/6/14

Tehran In No Mood To Laugh At Khomeini Jokes - A friend of the Imam asks him, "Would you like to drink vodka or tequila?" Outraged at the indignity, the pious Imam slaps the man in the face. "What's wrong with homemade aragh sagi?" he asks. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 9/6/14

The Islamic Caliphate &The "Root Causes" - The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, warned his nation during a televised address the other day of the severe danger of terrorism by the advocates of the rising monster, the Islamic State or Caliphate. He pointed to the "root causes" of this evil plague that was spreading rapidly throughout the Islamic world from the Middle East to Africa. The "root causes" were, in short, an archaic poisonous ideology and violent extremism. -Kam Zarrabi 9/5/14

Gender Segregation Violates the Rights of Women in Iran - The recent sharp exchange during a press conference between Morteza Talai, Deputy Chairperson of the Tehran City Council, and a female journalist from Sharq newspapers over Talai's support of a recent gender-segregation initiative in the Municipality of Tehran, reflects the intensifying struggle between hardliners intent on controlling the domestic sphere and more moderate elements of Iranian society who resist relinquishing their basic rights. -Leila Mouri 9/5/14

EU's Mogherini Could Usher in Better Relations with Iran - Just as the nuclear-focused talks between Iran and world powers are set to resume, the European Union has named Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini its new foreign policy chief. While current High Representative Catherine Ashton will remain in her post as the key mediator in the negotiations until the Nov. 24 deadline, Mogherini's appointment has already got people asking: How will she deal with Iran? -Eldar Mamedov 9/4/14

Iran starts building Mideast largest oncology center in Rasht - Iran started construction of the Middle East's largest oncology research center in a ceremony attended by a distinguished Iranian neurosurgeon and medical scientist professor Majid Samii in Rasht City, northern Iran. 9/4/14

Desert forms around Iran's large, drying Lake Urmia - About 300 hectares of new desert has formed around Lake Urmia as a result of the lake's rapid drying, and the resulting salt storms have become a serious threat to people living in the region. Forestry authorities say at least 10 percent of these deserts must be immediately replenished. 9/4/14

All-female pop band to perform in Tehran - Setareye Qotbi (Polaris), an all-female Iranian pop band, will appear again to perform concerts at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on September 4 and 5. The band, which is composed of five singers and 12 musicians, will perform a repertoire of Persian, English, French, Arabic, and Hindi songs during the performances. 9/3/14

Statue of Omar Khayyam to be set up in Manhattan - A statue of Persian classic poet Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) is scheduled to be installed in Manhattan, New York City. Created by the Iranian sculptor Hossein Fakhimi, the two-meter tall statue was sent from Tehran to New York on Monday evening. 9/3/14

Caspian Sea as a source of disagreement between Iran and Russia - Russia has been increasingly successful in convincing littoral states to accept its plan to divide the Caspian Sea based on a formula of Modified Median Line (MML). Agreements using the Russian proposal as the basis of defining a legal regime for the Caspian Sea have been reached between Russia and Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, leaving Iran and partly Turkmenistan as the lone holdouts. -Bahman Aghai Diba 9/3/14

Iran's President Tells Clerics Internet Vital - Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Iran "cannot close the gates of the world for the younger generation." Iranian President Hassan Rohani has urged the country's clerics to be more tolerant of the Internet and new technologies. 9/2/14

Iranian Women's Monthly Under Pressure From Hard-Liners - A newly launched women's monthly run by a prominent female editor has irked Iranian hard-liners, who have accused her of promoting "obsolete" feminist views and ideas that are un-Islamic. Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported last week that Shahla Sherkat , editor of "Zanan-e Emruz," will be put on trial by Iran's Press Court on September 7. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 9/1/14

OMID Foundations 10th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco Bay Area - The OMID Bay Area Committee is excited to invite you to our 1st Annual Banquet at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on Sunday, September 28th at 6:30pm. Marjaneh Halati, the founder and president of Omid Foundations will be present, along with live music, dancing, light dinner, live/silent auction and drinks. 8/20/14

Famed Iranian Poet Simin Behbahani Dies At 87 - Simin Behbahani, one of Iran's most prominent literary figures and a vocal human rights defender who was targeted with censorship and smear campaigns by Iranian authorities, has died in Tehran. She was 87. 8/20/14

SUMMON THE EXORCIST - So far over two-thousand dead and perhaps ten-thousand or more injured and half a million made homeless, all non-combatants or bystanders save a couple of hundred actual Hamas fighters. This was in Gaza, the world's largest and most densely populated concentration camp, cut off from the rest of the world and under attack during the past three weeks by Israel's Zio-Nazi Likud regime. -Kam Zarrabi 8/14/14

Washington's Sketchy Pro-Israel/Anti-Iran Camp - My colleague Eli Clifton has a new piece up at Salon about the pro-sanctions group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) and its somewhat murky links to a billionaire precious-metals investor named Thomas Kaplan. I suggest everyone check it out -Ali Gharib 8/13/14

Congressional Backlash on Iran is a Problem for Europe, Too - In recent weeks, hard-line members of the US Congress have stepped up their game of obstructing diplomacy with Iran. Resolving the Iranian nuclear conflict has been used as a chip in domestic politics rather than a foreign policy issue pursued through a multilateral track.-Ellie Geranmayeh 8/1/14

Jason Rezaian's Mother Pleads for Her Son's Release - Mary Rezaian, the mother of Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter who was detained in Iran last week with his wife Yeganeh Salehi without charge or access to a lawyer, makes a heartfelt plea to Iranian authorities in this video to release her two loved ones. -Jasmin Ramsey 7/31/14

Iran Is World's Leading Jailer Of Female Journalists And Netizens - The arrest on 22 July of two journalists and a photographer, including the Tehran correspondent of the Washington Post and his Iranian wife, brings to 65 the number of news providers behind bars in Iran. They include 10 women, of whom three are foreign nationals, making Iran the world's leading jailer of female journalists and netizens. 7/29/14

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Iranian Becomes First Woman to Win Math's Top Prize

Iranian-American

Column: Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer

Politics

US-Iran Bilateral Talks: On the Edge of a Nuclear Deal?

Economy

Report: Iran Sanctions Cost US Economy up to $175 Billion

Culture

Photos: 5000-year-old water system discovered in western Iran

Sports

Iran-USA volleyball match at USC in Los Angeles

Art

Words Take Flight in Persian Calligraphy at Sackler Gallery

Literature

Mahmud Dowlatabadi's book telling story of Hasanak the Vizier published

Travel

Iran's 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) joins UNESCO World Heritage List

Environment

Who is failing Iran's forests, Environment Department or Parliament?

Entertainment

Fifi Howls from Happiness: A Documentary on Iranian Artist Bahman Mohassess

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

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

Event

OMID Foundations 10th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco Bay Area

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last updated on Wed Sep 17 15:17:36 GMT 2014