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October 23 2018
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The United States and Iran: Sanctions, Wars and the Policy of Dual Containment


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International Community Must Establish Mechanisms to Sell Humanitarian Goods to Iran, Iranian Government Must Ensure Affordability

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

Shiraz MP Accuses Rouhani Of Suppressing Iran's Pre-Islamic History

- In a fiery speech to parliament October 21, outspoken businessman and pro-reform MP Bahram Parsaei lambasted President Rouhani for suppressing Iran's pre-Islamic history. Representing the city of Shiraz, home to the 2,500 year-old ruins of Pasargadae, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, Parsaei had proposed naming October 29 as a day in honor of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. -Radio Farda 10/23/18

How Dara Khosrowshahi's Iranian heritage shapes how he leads Uber

- As CEO Dara Khosrowshahi remakes Uber with an eye toward an IPO, his Iranian childhood and heritage are essential to understanding how he leads. -Fast Company 10/23/18

Iranian Traders Sentenced To Death For 'Disrupting Economy'

- Iran's Supreme Court has upheld death sentences given to two financial traders convicted of illegal currency trading and "disrupting the economy." Iranian authorities on October 22 identified the two men as Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi, whom local media dubbed the "Sultan of Coins" after he was arrested and found hoarding two tons of gold coins that he allegedly used to manipulate the Iranian currency. -RFE/RL 10/23/18

Under Trump, US Sale of Medical Goods to Iran Down Nearly 40%

- With just two weeks until Trump reimposes secondary sanctions on Iran, administration officials are under increasing pressure to prove that the returning sanctions will not adversely impact humanitarian trade. -Bourse and Bazaar 10/23/18

Iranian Vice-President Comes Under Attack After Revealing Rift In Rouhani Administration

- Iran's First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri has come under fire from both traditional media and social media users after he said on October 21 that he was not consulted about the cabinet reshuffle and the nomination of new ministers by President Hassan Rouhani. -Radio Farda 10/23/18

IRGC confirms abduction of 12 forces near Pakistan border

- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has confirmed claims made by the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group about the names and number of the Iranian border guards abducted in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on the border with Pakistan. -Press TV 10/23/18

Iran wheat imports down to zero amid global crisis

- An official says the Iranian government needs no more wheat imports thanks to favorable crop harvest and procurement from local farmers at a time of diminishing grain stocks around the world. -Press TV 10/23/18

Khashoggi murder exposes Trump administration's dependency on Saudis

- It's not just arms sales and business contacts, Trump needs Saudi Arabia to boost oil production when Iran sanctions kick in and to fund US plans for Syria 10/23/18

EXPOSING SOME UNPLEASANT REALITIES: Removing the Candy-Coating from the Bitter Pill

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

Featured Video

In search of Iranian Panthers

Watered Down Domestic Violence Bill in Approval Stage Eight Years After Drafting in Iran - A heavily revised Bill for the Protection of Women Against Violence has been sent to the Iranian city of Qom for review by Shia scholars, according to Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar, who made the announcement on October 12, 2018. 10/22/18

Europe after keeping Iran bank connected to world: French MP - A French lawmaker says during a visit to Iran that Europe wants to ensure that at least one Iranian bank will stay connected to the world after the upcoming round of US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic. 10/22/18

New U.S. Sanctions On Iran And Europe's Response - It's not dark yet, but it's getting there. This week, the Trump administration announced a new set of sanctions against some of Iran's major industrial companies and financial institutions. This included Bank Parsian and Sina Bank--two private Iranian financial institutions with which foreign banks had often engaged to facilitate legitimate trade between Iran and the outside world. -Tyler Cullis, LobeLog 10/22/18

Iran's President Rouhani Introduces 4 New Ministers Ahead of Hard-Hitting U.S. Sanctions - President Hassan Rouhani nominated the new ministers of economy, industry, roads and labor in a letter to the Iranian Parliament on October 21. Rouhani named Farhad Dejpasand for the post of economy minister and Mohammad Shariatmadari for the position of labor minister, Mohammad Eslami for the Road Ministry and Reza Rahmani for the Idustry Ministry. 10/22/18

Four Teachers Detained in Iran and Several Others Summoned to Court After Peaceful Sit-In - Two teachers who participated in a peaceful sit-in for teachers' and education rights in Iran this week remain behind bars five days after they were arrested. The Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) reported on October 14 that the head of its secretariat, Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, and a teacher, Mohammad Ghanbari, were arrested after the strike was launched on October 13, 2018. 10/22/18

EU, Asia leaders call for lifting sanctions on Iran - Participants in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) have reaffirmed their "collective support" for a multilateral nuclear agreement Iran signed with major world powers in 2015, saying the lifting of sanctions against Tehran is an essential part of the deal. 10/22/18

Shirin Aliabadi, Iranian Artist With a Focus on Women, Dies at 45 - Shirin Aliabadi, an Iranian artist who gave expression to Iranian women navigating between their youthful, rebellious energy and the strictures of the Islamic Republic, died on Oct. 1 in Tehran. She was 45. The cause was cancer, according to her husband, the artist Farhad Moshiri. -Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times 10/22/18

For first time in decades, Iranian women allowed to enter football stadium - On Tuesday, a select number of Iranian women were allowed into the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch Iran play a friendly match against Bolivia, for the first time since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Social media users celebrated the news as a potential small step towards more rights for women in Iran -Middle East Eye 10/22/18

Iranian-Americans Call Out U.S. Senator Graham For 'Terrible' Ancestry Gaffe - A number of Iranian-Americans have responded with anger after U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham quipped in an interview that it would be "terrible" if DNA testing revealed that he had Iranian ancestry. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/19/18

Iran move 17 spots up at Youth Olympic Games - Iran delegation moved 17 spots up to seventh at the Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 6 to 18. The Iranian sportspersons snatched seven gold, three silver and four bronze medals in the 13-day Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 10/19/18

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

New Restrictions, Rising Costs Curb Rise In Foreign Travel Among Iranians - Reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran are making it more difficult and expensive for average Iranians to travel abroad, and an increase in Iranian asylum claims in Europe could see further restrictions imposed. 10/19/18

Acclaimed Iranian actor opens up on the challenges and rewards of taking a stand - Fatemeh Motamed-Arya has used her popularity as an artist to tackle the difficult and complex issues facing her country. -SBS News 10/19/18

Azerbaijan Rescues Iranian Sailors 'Poisoned By Chemicals,' But Three Die - The Azerbaijani coast guard says it has rescued several Iranian sailors who showed symptoms of chemical poisoning after receiving a distress signal on the Caspian Sea. A spokesman for Azerbaijan's Health Ministry, Parviz Abubekirov, said on October 19 that after their rescue, three of the sailors died. -RFE/RL 10/19/18

Huge Iranian oil armada heads to China before US sanctions kick in - An unprecedented volume of Iranian crude oil is set to arrive at China's northeast port of Dalian this month and in early November before US sanctions on Iran take effect. More than 20 million barrels of oil have been shipped to Dalian by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Reuters reports, citing an unnamed Iranian shipping source. -RT 10/19/18

Tech execs want Senator Graham to apologize over Iranian remark - Senator Lindsey Graham's comments about Iranian lineage did not go over well with a group of powerful tech execs. Omid Kordestani, the executive chairman of Twitter who was born in Iran, wrote that "an apology is in order" from Graham. In a tweet, he asked the senator to "please start upholding the best values of our great nation and its institutions." Hadi Partovi, CEO of nonprofit, similarly found the comment insulting. -CNN 10/18/18

Iran's Prosecutor Says It's A Sin For Women To Watch Men Play Soccer. These Women Watched Anyway - A decision by Iranian authorities to allow a small group of selected women to watch an October 16 soccer match between Iran and Bolivia at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Stadium was welcomed by the country's reformist press as a step forward and a victory for Iranian women, who have been banned from men's sports events. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/18/18

Iran and the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea - On 12 August 2018, five littoral states of the Caspian Sea (Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) signed a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. This convention should be approved by the legislative bodies in all five states before it becomes officially binding. -Bahman Aghai Diba 10/18/18

Iranian Foreign Minister Claims 'U.S. Addiction To Sanctions Is Out Of Control' - Iran's foreign minister has charged that the latest round of U.S. sanctions is violating the human rights of Iranians and that "the U.S. addiction to sanctions is out of control." "Utter disregard for rule of law & human rights of an entire people," Zarif said, calling Washington an "outlaw regime," whose "'hostility toward Iranians [is] heightened by addiction to sanctions." 10/18/18

Regime change in Iran is Trump's real motive for siding with the Saudis - It would be comforting to think Donald Trump sent his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, hotfooting it to Saudi Arabia this week to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. It would be nice to believe Trump cared that much about a reporter, and a foreign reporter at that, whose sudden disappearance occurred far from America's shores. But this is the same Trump who recently condemned independent journalists as "enemies of the people" -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 10/18/18

'Look East!,' Says Khamenei, Disappointed With Europe's Efforts To Save JCPOA - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has elaborated on his disappointment with Europe during an October 17 meeting with a group his website has described as Iran's "academic elites and prominent scholars." -Radio Farda 10/18/18

South Korean firms to stay in Iran despite US sanctions: Envoy - South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun says companies in his country understand the significance of the Iranian market and will not leave it under the US sanctions. The Korean diplomat made the remarks in a Wednesday meeting with Bahman Abdollahi, the head of the Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, in Tehran. 10/18/18

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

"Terrible to be Iranian": Iranian-Americans Condemn Senator Graham's Remarks - Appearing on Fox & Friends on Tuesday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made offensive comments when he joked that if he took a DNA test, it would probably show that he was "Iranian" and "that'd be, like, terrible." 10/17/18

Retirees Come Out To Protest Meager Pensions In Iran - Thousands of Iranian retirees assembled outside the Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) on Tuesday, October 16 in Tehran to protest minimal pensions. Based on the latest reports, similar protest rallies were simultaneously held in other large cities including Isfahan, central Iran. 10/17/18

Khashoggi-Gate And U.S. Persian Gulf Strategy - In U.S. assessments, which began well before the Trump administration, Saudi Arabia has been one of Washington's key pivots in the Middle East. Oil security? Check. Anti-Iran? Check. Moving toward Israel? Check. Given these three factors, the United States has been willing to turn a blind eye to other things that either Saudi Arabia or its citizens have done, especially rich supporters of Wahhabism who have bankrolled this extreme form of Islam and its malign behavior all over the Sunni world. -Robert E. Hunter 10/17/18

Isfahan Farmers Renew Their Protests For Government Inaction - Farmers in Isfahan province have renewed their protests related to lack of water and what they say is government's indifference to their plight. Isfahan was the scene of large protests by angry farmers in March and April. The protesters complained that over the years the government has deprived them of their right to the water sources of the region. They said that either by mismanagement or receiving bribes government officials diverted water from Isfahan to its neighboring province, Yazd. 10/17/18

Gelareh Nazemi, Iran's refereeing pioneer - Sitting in a lounge on the 24th floor of a hotel in central Buenos Aires, Gelareh Nazemi conveys a certain shyness, which stands in contrast to the confidence she demonstrates when dealing with matters on a futsal court. But, contrary to being interviewed, refereeing is a passion for Nazemi, who is the first Iranian to officiate at a FIFA-run futsal tournament. -FIFA 10/17/18

Beyond The Deal: Turkish-Iranian Energy Relations In The Post-Sanctions Era - Because of the EU/U.S. sanctions regime against Iran's energy sector, the country's oil and gas production capacities have been decimated. Following the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal--the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)--Iran hoped the country would attract more foreign investment and reverse the damage caused to its oil and gas industry. -Omid Shokri Kalehsar, LobeLog 10/17/18

US imposes new sanctions targeting Iran banks, companies - The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on a number of Iranian banks and financial institutions as well as companies ahead of the start of the next month's new round of the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The US Treasury on Tuesday announced fresh sanctions on Iranian banks, including Bank Mellat and Mehr Eqtesad Bank. 10/17/18

Khashoggi Disappearance May Disrupt Trump Administration's Plans to Squeeze Iran - White House officials are worried that the apparent killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Saudi Arabia's changing account of his fate, could derail a showdown with Iran and jeopardize plans to enlist Saudi help to avoid disrupting the oil market. -David E. Sanger, New York Times 10/17/18

High Prices Helping Iran Make Up For Loss Of Half Of Oil Exports: VP Eshaq Jahangiri - Iran has lost some customers for its oil because of looming U.S. sanctions, but high prices are making up for the lost sales, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri has said. "While some countries have stopped buying oil from Iran, we have found new partners," he was quoted as saying by Iran's IRIB broadcaster on October 15. -RFE/RL 10/16/18

Afghan refugee Forozan Faghiri: She defied odds to become an accomplished physicist in Iran - Forozan Faghiri, born in Kabul and raised in Tehran, has overcome insurmountable odds to carve a niche for herself. A young scientist and physicist, Faghiri did not allow her refugee status and difficult living conditions come in the way of her dreams. At 30, she has hit headlines in both Iran and Afghanistan for her accomplishments. 10/16/18

Female Iranian MP Fatemeh Hosseini elected as member of IPU presiding board - Seyyedeh Fatemeh Hosseini, a member of Majlis (Iranian Parliament), was elected as a member of the presiding board of Forum of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland. IPU is an organization made up of national parliaments from around the world. IPU protects and builds global democracy through political dialogue and concrete action. 10/16/18

IRGC says terrorists have abducted 11 Iranian forces near Pakistani border - Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says terrorists have kidnapped a number of Iranian forces in the southeastern Province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the IRGC confirmed that local Basij volunteer forces and border guards had been among those abducted overnight near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border. 10/16/18

India, Iran to speed up Chabahar plan before US sanctions take effect - Indian media have quoted informed officials as saying that the country plans to speed up the development of Iran's Chabahar port before the new round of US sanctions against Tehran is put into place. 10/16/18

Iranians Reveal 'Perfect' Copycat Lamborghini Murcielago SV - A team of Iranian automotive engineers revealed the fruit of more than four years of labor on Friday with the unveiling of what would appear to be a Lamborghini Murcielago. Except, confirms the team, that the car isn't a Lamborghini at all. -The Drive 10/16/18

Jobs Are No Excuse For Arming A Murderous Regime - If the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences--political, military, economic, and reputational. Unfortunately, President Trump begs to differ. -William D. Hartung, LobeLog 10/16/18

Iranian swimmer Shahin Izadyar: A Persian version of Michael Phelps - Shahin Izadyar, who won six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, resembles the most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps. Surpassing Japan in the third place in medal table, Izadyar helped Iran record the best ever showing at the Games. 10/15/18

Iran: Environmentalists Languish in Jail - Eight environmental activists arbitrarily detained in Iran in January and February 2018 remain in detention eight months later without clear charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Iranian authorities should either immediately release them or charge them with recognizable crimes and produce evidence to justify their continued detention. -Human Rights Watch 10/15/18

Iran record best ever showing at Asian Para Games - Iran delegation moved one place up to third place at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Iran won 51 gold, 42 silver and 43 bronze medals and were placed third in the overall rankings. 10/15/18

Teachers' Strike Sees Classes Canceled Across Iran - Iranian teachers went on strike October 14 and 15, holding sit-ins at elementary and high schools across the country to demand better pay and conditions and an end to the detention of education activists. Iranian social media has been abuzz yesterday and today with photos of teachers demonstrating outside their schools or in the hallways and principals' offices in cities across the country 10/15/18

Sanctions Heavily Impact Iranian Air Travel Cost And Airlines - While the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran is deepening week by week, the Islamic Republic's official news agency, IRNA, says, the number of Iranians travelling abroad in the past six months has dropped by 13%, compared with the same period, last year. -Radio Farda 10/15/18

'Food is what connects us': Cookbook details Iranian immigrant's journey to Canada - An award-winning food writer is back in B.C. where the roots of her culinary journey began. Naz Deravian and her family emigrated to North Vancouver in 1982 after fleeing the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Her new cookbook Bottom of the Pot - a follow-up to her award-winning blog of the same name -- explores a wide variety of Persian recipes. -Matthew Low, CBC News 10/15/18

Iranian Newspaper Editors Decry Trump's 'Immoral' Sanctions - In a remarkable joint editorial published Monday, the editors of four of Iran's leading newspapers--Iran, Hamshahri, Etelaat, and Sazandegi--have invoked the United States Declaration of Independence to decry the reimposition of sanctions as a violation of the "unalienable rights" of the Iranian people to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." -Bourse and Bazaar 10/15/18

Fusing Iranian and Western music, Hafez Nazeri strives to promote peace and unity - With Hafez Nazeri's move from Iran to the U.S. roughly two decades ago came a string of formidable musical achievements. -Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen 10/12/18

Serbia Ends Visa-Free Travel For Iranians, Citing 'Abuses' By Some - Serbia has scrapped visa-free entry for Iranians little more than year after it was introduced out of concern that some Iranians were using the system as an avenue to permanently relocate to Europe. More than 15,000 Iranians have visited Serbia since visas were abolished in August 17. Serbian media have reported that direct flights connecting Belgrade and Tehran have been coming into the country full but returning empty. 10/12/18

Iranians join Israeli zoo in choosing name for new Persian leopard - Despite the animosity between the governments of Israel and Iran, the two peoples are coming together in an effort to find a suitable name for a rare Persian leopard who recently arrived at the Ramat Gan Safari park outside Tel Aviv. -Times of Israel 10/12/18

What Is A Rogue State? - The concept of a rogue state (or outlaw state, or any equivalent term) cannot just refer to a state pursuing interests that the United States does not happen to like or identify with. States must be expected to pursue their interests, and every state on the globe has at least some interests that differ from those of the United States. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 10/12/18

Kurdish Mechanic Sentenced to Death in Iran Despite Judge's Acknowledgement of His Innocence - Hedayat Abdollahpour was arrested in late June 2016 following a clash between members of the banned, separatist Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK), based in Northern Iraq, and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near the city of Oshnavieh, in Iran's West Azerbaijan Province, "even though he played no role in the clash and wasn't even there," said attorney Hossein Ahmadiniaz. -CHRI 10/12/18

Iranian homegrown satellite Dousti, Nahid-1 and Payam to be launched by year end - Three Iranian domestically-made satellites will launch into space during the current Iranian calendar year (to be ended on March 20, 2019), the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Director Morteza Barari said on Monday. 10/11/18

Iranian Merchants Close Down Shops in Silent Strike Against Hyperinflation - Merchants and business owners went on strike in several Iranian cities on October 8, 2018, to protest against hyperinflation and economic instability. Images and video footage posted on social media networks showed many shops closed that day in the cities of Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Orumiyeh. 10/11/18

Trump Has Put US On Path To War With Iran While Nobody Is Paying Attention - Sixteen years ago this week, 77 U.S. senators and 296 members of the House of Representatives gave President George W. Bush the authority to wage war in Iraq. That monumental vote enabled what is arguably the biggest strategic foreign policy blunder in American history, needlessly killing hundreds of thousands and costing trillions of dollars. -Ben Armbruster, LobeLog 10/11/18

"Oppression Stops Life:" Iranian Political Prisoner Narges Mohammadi Recounts Returning to an Empty Home - For the first time in more than three years, Iranian political prisoner Narges Mohammadi was allowed to go on a three-day furlough on September 26, 2018. But according to her letter, published on October 2 by the Defenders of Human Rights Center (where Mohammadi worked before the organization was banned in Iran), the experience was far from enjoyable. 10/11/18

Iran finds creative ways to thwart new US sanctions - A vessel carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil was reported on Tuesday to have discharged the crude into a bonded storage tank at the port of Dalian in northeast China. Keeping oil in bonded storage gives the shipment owner the option to sell into China or to other buyers in the region, Reuters news agency reported. -Press TV 10/11/18

Iran outlaws private ownership of wild animals - Iran has outlawed the private ownership of wild animals, including cheetahs, lions and tigers, and will fine or imprison anyone parading the wild animals in public, YJC reported on Wednesday. "If a person seen in public walking an exotic pet, will be fined up to 800 million rials (about $20,000) and could face up to three-year term of imprisonment," Department of Environment's (DOE) director for hunting and fishing Ali Teymouri has said. 10/11/18

Iranian artist Tara Behbahani says her new paintings dig up moments of happiness from heart of history - Tara Behbahani has said that the paintings in her new collection "Passing through Imagination" dig up depictions of moments of happiness from the heart of history. The collection, which depicts women on images of beautiful Persian tiles, is on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Golestan Gallery. 10/10/18

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

IRAN: Nasrin Sotoudeh's Husband Charged With National Security Crimes For Anti-Compulsory Hijab Activism - Imprisoned Iranian attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, has been charged with national security crimes for peacefully supporting his wife and a woman's right to appear in public without a hijab. Khandan, who, like his wife is also a human rights activist, has been charged with "assembly and collusion against national security" and "promoting non-observance of the hijab," his lawyer, Mohammad Moghimi, stated in an Instagram post. 10/10/18

Iran's Access to SWIFT Being Debated In Washington - The Washington Free Beacon reports that some in the U.S. Treasury Department are trying to save Iran's access to SWIFT, which can help Tehran to maintain access to the world banking and financial network. SWIFT is a system that enables its nearly 10,000 institutional members around the world to securely transfer money around the globe. 10/10/18

Three People Sentenced to Death in Iran as 32 Others Issued Harsh Sentences For Alleged Currency Hoarding - Unnamed "special courts for economic crimes" in Iran have sentenced three people to death and condemned 32 others to long prison sentences for allegedly manipulating Iran's gold and currency markets, Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei announced on October 1, 2018. 10/10/18

In Khabib's and Conor's Footsteps: Iran's First MMA Fighter - Ali Akbari is the only mixed martial arts fighter representing Iran on the international scene. In an interview with Sputnik, Ali, nicknamed the "Iranian Hercules," spoke about his decision to promote mixed martial arts, which are outlawed in Iran, and also about his plans for the future. -Sputnik 10/10/18

ICJ hears Iran arguments in asset freeze case against U.S. - The UN's top court has heard Iran's arguments against the United States in a new showdown between the two sides over the freezing by Washington of billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets, just days after the tribunal handed Tehran a victory in a separate case. 10/10/18

'Tehran Taboo': Vice and virtue on the streets of Iran's capital - Soozandeh's film "Tehran Taboo" begins in a familiar but evocative locale: the back of a car roaming the capital. It's also the primary setting for two classics of Iranian cinema, "Taxi" (2015) by Jafar Panahi and "A Taste of Cherry" (1997) by the late Palme d'Or winner Abbas Kiarostami. Quickly, this familiarity steers off-road. A taxi driver solicits sex from a young prostitute, who has no choice but to bring her mute child along for the ride. -Thomas Page, CNN 10/10/18

IMF Says U.S. Sanctions Have Pushed Iran's Economy Into Recession - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Iran's economy fell into a recession this year that will get worse next year as a result of renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran. In its World Economic Outlook released late on October 8, the IMF said Iran's oil-driven economy is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent this year as a result of declining oil exports, with the drop in economic output accelerating to 3.6 percent in 2019. -RFE/RL 10/9/18

3rd Iranian Silk Road Ultramarathon Held Across Lut Desert - Winners have been announced for the 3rd Iranian Silk Road Ultramarathon, which commenced on September 29 as a tourism event across the UNESCO-registered Lut Desert famed for being one of hottest places on earth. 10/9/18

Iranian-American Among Five Environmentalists Charged in Iran After Eight Months in Prison - Five out of the eight environmentalists who have been detained in Iran since January 2018, including an Iranian-American dual national, have been issued preliminary indictments eight months into their imprisonment. 10/9/18

Iran Hit Hard By Floods In the North, Dust Storms In The South - Massive dust storms have hit the two southern provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan, while six northern provinces of the country are submerged in floods. More than 150 have been hospitalized for pulmonary complications and other medical issues resulting from a dust cloud that descended over Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan in last few days. 10/9/18

These Four Educators Were Behind Bars in Iran on World Teachers' Day 2018 - Four teachers are currently behind bars in Iranian prisons for engaging in peaceful trade union activities, according to Rassoul Bodaghi, a formerly imprisoned labor activist and senior member of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA). 10/9/18

Iranian parliament approves bill to combat financing of terrorism - The Iranian parliament on Sunday voted in favor of CFT, a legislation to combat financing of terrorism (as part of the country's implementation of international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)). The debate on the CFT kicked off on Sunday morning with 268 lawmakers present in the parliament. A total of 143 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill while 120 voted against it. Five MPs also abstained. 10/8/18

Iran's Department of Environment opposes water transfer from Persian Gulf - With regard to the environmental conditions of the Persian Gulf, the Department of Environment (DOE) has taken a firm stand against water transfer from this body of water, deputy environment chief, Masoud Tajrishi, has said. 10/8/18

India defies U.S., continues buying Iranian oil despite sanctions - India is going to continue buying Iranian oil in November despite the U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported citing sources close to the Indian oil industry. "Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tons (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran," Reuters quoted a source as saying. 10/8/18

Golden Eagle's luxury tourist train arrives in Iran - The international Golden Eagle tourist train has arrived in Iran from Sarakhs Border Crossing with the neighboring Turkmenistan for a two-week tour called "Heart of Persia", the Managing Director of Khorasan Province's Railways said. 10/8/18

Bad Roads, Inferior Cars Blamed For Tens Of Thousands Of Deaths In Iran - Nearly 280,000 have been killed and more than four million injured in car accidents in over a decade in Iran, says the Islamic Republic's traffic police chief. Out of 190 countries, Iran has more deadly car accidents on the roads, immediately after Sierra Leone, a report compiled by the country's Central Insurance's research department says. -Radio Farda 10/8/18

Swedish Academy, Which Awards Nobel In Literature, Elects Iranian-Born Poet As Member - The Swedish Academy on October 5 announced it had elected an Iranian-born poet and a Swedish judge as new members in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that forced it to postpone awarding a Nobel prize in literature this year. 10/6/18

Shouldering the sanctions: A future for EU-Iran energy cooperation - As the future of the Iran nuclear deal looks increasingly uncertain, European leaders must take measures to protect economic and political relations with Iran. Without European support for Iran's energy sector, the JCPOA remains fragile and open to further setbacks. -Axel Hellman and Bijan Khajehpour, ELN 10/6/18

120 Academics and Activists Join UN in Calling on Iran to Free Princeton Scholar Xiyue Wang - A group of 120 academics and human rights activists of Iranian origin have called on Iran to free imprisoned American scholar Xiyue Wang, who was arrested in Tehran by agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry during the summer of 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on unsubstantiated espionage charges a year later. -ICHR 10/6/18

Iranians: Dollars Still Expensive as Currency Recovery Stalls - A sharp recovery of Iran's currency against the dollar stalled Wednesday, as some Iranians complained that they could not find dollars for the cheaper prices being reported by Iranian media. Some Iranian media had reported the rial surging to around 100,000 to the dollar in unofficial trading Tuesday from a record low of 190,000 set last week, an almost 50 percent jump in the Iranian currency's value in one day. But, the website that tracks Iran's unofficial exchange rates showed the rial later retreated to 147,000 to the dollar by late Wednesday. -Michael Lipin & Behrooz Samadbeygi, VOA 10/4/18

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

Trump's March To War With Iran - There is a very real possibility that Donald Trump will start a new war in the Middle East. If that's not his intention, then his administration is doing a damn good job of faking it. In July, in a late-night tweet from the White House, President Trump threatened Iran, in all caps, -Joe Cirincione, LobeLog 10/4/18

Iran Should Immediately Free Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi on Medical Grounds - Iranian authorities should immediately free political prisoner Arash Sadeghi so he can receive medical care for serious health issues that require urgent and sustained care, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement on October 1st, 2018. 10/3/18

Iran Economists Warn About Forex Policy Leading to 'Catastrophe' - Despite reports that the value of the Iranian rial is rising, fifty Iranian economists have called on the government to shut down "the secondary forex market," an arrangement the economists say has "pushed millions of Iranians below the poverty line." 10/3/18

IRAN STILL IN THE CROSSHAIRS - President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25, left no doubt as to my depiction of him as the Clueless Clown. Trump's verbal barrage against Iran was by no means unprecedented. As he repeated allegations against Iran as the world's worst supporter of international terrorism and a destabilizing agitator in the region, etc., his delivery sounded as though he had not bothered to rehearse the text, or even understood the implications of what he was reading: that is not unusual for Mr. Trump! -Kambiz Zarrabi 10/2/18

First engineering faculty in Canada named after a woman, Iranian-Canadian Gina Cody - Gina Cody, MEng 81, PhD 89, is the first woman ever to be awarded a PhD in building engineering at Concordia. On September 24, 2018, Cody made a $15 million gift to Concordia's Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. In recognition of her generosity and tremendous professional accomplishments, the faculty was renamed the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. It became the first engineering faculty in Canada named after a woman and one of the first of its kind in the world. 10/1/18

Three Persian Leopard Cubs Seen In North-Central Iran - Three Persian leopard cubs have been spotted in Parvar protected area, north-central Semnan province, which is home to one-third of all species of mammals in Iran, Tasnim reported on Tuesday. Persian leopard is one of the nine sub-species of the world's leopards, which is considered to be the largest, and is among the most endangered species in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 10/1/18

Trump's Iran Policy Counterproductive Say 50+ Former Senior Officials - More than 50 former senior officials and national security experts have urged the Trump administration to change course on Iran, warning that the current approach could lead to war. Following is the full statement by the National Coalition to Prevent a Nuclear Weapon. -LobeLog 9/24/18

Iran: The case for protecting humanitarian trade - New US sanctions will put the health of ordinary Iranians at risk. Europe can take concrete steps to minimise this -- steps which also support its ongoing commitment to the nuclear deal -Ellie Geranmayeh & James Miller, ECFR 9/17/18

Meet Iranian-American Shireen Ghorbani, Rising Candidate for Congress - Today the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of PAAIA, proudly announced its endorsement of Democratic nominee Shireen Ghorbani for Utah's 2nd Congressional District Race. If elected, Shireen would be the first American of Iranian descent to hold a position as a member of Congress. 9/14/18

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last updated on Tue Oct 23 13:05:18 EDT 2018