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February 27 2017
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The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran


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

- Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman has won the 2017 Academy Award for best foreign-language film. The award was accepted by two prominent Iranian-Americans representing Farhadi, who boycotted the Oscars over US President Donald Trump's executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim countries. 02/27/17

London Film Screening Backs Oscar-Nominated Iranian Director

- Thousands of film fans gathered in London's Trafalgar Square for a screening of a film by an Iranian director who was nominated for an Oscar but is boycotting the Academy Awards in protest over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban policies. 02/27/17

Centuries-old Zeinoldin Caravansary shinning like a gem along the old Silk Road

- Situated on the ancient Silk Road stretching from Asia to Europe, the 16th-century Zeinoldin Caravansary is the only remaining dome-like caravansary of the country which received UNESCO's best award for the restoration of historical buildings. 02/27/17

Iran MPs pass legislation in response to Trump travel ban

- Iranian lawmakers have added a new article to the proposed budget bill for the next fiscal year (starting March 21, 2017) to attract investment by the country's nationals living in the United States. 02/27/17

Iran Says Navy Test-Fires New Missiles In Persian Gulf

- An Iranian official says the country's navy has successfully test-fired its latest missiles during military drills in the Persian Gulf, part of the first major exercise in the area since the January 20 inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. 02/27/17

Iran's petrochemical exports hit $10B in 11 months

- Marzieh Shah-Daeihead, CEO of Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC), while pointing to imminent operation of five new petrochemical projects, said a total of 19 million tons of petrochemical products worth 10 billion dollars were exported in the past 11 months. 02/27/17

Total in talks to buy Iranian LNG project: sources

- Total is in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's partly-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, Iran LNG, seeking to unlock vast gas reserves. The French oil major -- the first of its peers to strike deals in Iran after sanctions -- seeks entry into Iran LNG at a discount to the pre-sanctions price in exchange for reviving the stalled project, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. -Reuters 02/27/17

Iranian Director Farhadi Sending Substitutes To Oscars In Immigration Policy Protest

- The Oscar-nominated Iranian director of the film The Salesman has said he will not attend the February 26 Academy Awards but will send two prominent Iranian-Americans in his place. The semiofficial ISNA news agency said on February 24 that director Asghar Farhadi made the decision in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump's now-suspended crackdown on immigration. 02/26/17

Iran's budget bill proposes $125M to deal with dust storms

- Dust storms which consistently disturb local residents of southwestern province of Khuzestan coupled with public utility outage has become a national concern lately. Dust particles originated from host spots (mostly dried up wetlands) located in Iran or Iraq are the main reasons for the storms. 02/26/17

American werstler Jordan Burroughs invited to Iran by the country's Wrestling Federation

- Iran Wrestling Federation has invited the American freestyle wrestling world and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs and his family to visit Iran for a 10-day recreational trip. Burroughs described the wrestling competition as one of the best moments in his whole wrestling career and lauded Iranian fans for their warm welcome and support. 02/26/17

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Oscars 2017: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi boycotts awards

After Kansas Murder, NIAC Calls on Trump to Condemn Anti-Immigrant Violence - The National Iranian American Council is horrified and outraged by the shooting of three people in Olathe, Kansas Wednesday evening. NIAC sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibotla, who passed away, and Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, both of whom are recovering from injuries. 02/26/17

U.S. Reportedly Found Little Terror Threat From Seven Targeted Countries - The Associated Press reported on February 24 that U.S. security analysts have found no clear terror threat from citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted in President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban. 02/26/17

Iran's Ahmadinejad Throws Weight Behind Trump's Tough Stance against Washington's Political Elites, Media - Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter to the US President on Sunday voiced strong support for Trump's uncompromising stand against Washington's "corrupt" political structure and media, and meantime, cautioned Trump not to be fooled by the falsified image presented by the US media about Iran. 02/26/17

Four Azeri Rights Activists Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Peaceful Activism - One defendant, Alireza Farshi, told the Campaign that Branch 1 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to 15 years in prison and two years in exile while three of his colleagues-Akbar Azad, Behnam Sheikhi and Hamid Manafi-had each been sentenced to 10 years in prison and two years in exile. 02/26/17

Iran's people, culture, history delight Durango visitors - My wife, Jan, and I visited this ancient land last year. We toured through Tehran, with its marvelous National Museum, Peace Bridge, Azadi Tower, the Fire and Water Park, and the Shah's Winter Palace. In a city of 14 million people, when we were on our own at night, we felt no danger or threat. In fact, over our eight-day stay in the country, we found that people were more than kind and helpful. -George Johnson, Durango Herald 02/26/17

Photos: Salt Dome in Qom, Iran - Qom salt dome (Kuh-e Namak), a natural wonder covering an area of over 1 square miles, is located about 10 miles from the city of Qom on the road to Jafarieh. The salt dome houses a small lake which adds to its attraction. -Ahmad Zohrabi 02/24/17

Iranian men's rollball team finishes 2nd in World Cup - The Iranian men's national team has ended its campaign at the third edition of the Rollball World Cup in India, and finished as the runner-up of the international contests after falling to the hosts. The Iranian squad lost to the world-title-holder India 6-4 in a match played at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in the Balewadi suburb of India's western city of Pune on Sunday. 02/24/17

US receives first caviar cargo from Iran after sanctions eased - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Head of Iran Fisheries Organization Hassan Salehi noted that Iran's first cargo of farmed caviar had arrived in US markets in the previous week adding "despite several years of hiatus in caviar exports to America, a new and large market is forming in North America given high consumption rates of fisheries." 02/24/17

Sassanid-era Qal'eh Dokhtar castle to be restored - The ancient Qal'eh Dokhtar castle in the southeastern province of Kerman is projected to undergo restoration. Situated on a mountain slope neighboring the Firouzabad-Kavar road, Qal'eh Dokhtar (literally meaning the Maiden Castle) was made by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire (224-651) in 209 CE. 02/24/17

Iran will be one of the most powerful economies in the world by 2050 - By 2050, the world is likely to have changed drastically from what we know now, and the planet's economic and financial landscape will be no exception, Business Insider reported. A report from professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) looks at which economies around the world will be the biggest and most powerful in 33 years time. 02/24/17

Largest Trade Union Body Asks Iran's Leader to End Persecution of Prominent Activist - The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has written to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calling for an end to the persecution of Reza Shahabi, a prominent labor activist who has refused to comply with a summons to return to prison. 02/24/17

Russia wants to produce Ilyushin planes in Iran - Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted by Iran's domestic media as saying that he had presented the proposal - which involved the production of the renovated version of the Ilyushin Il-114 regional planes - in his meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran over the past few days. 02/24/17

Iranian Studies Program cultivates student's passion for history - As an undergraduate in the Iranian Studies Program, Anna Polishchuk translated top-secret documents from the Soviet Union as she researched the relationship between Iran's pro-communist groups and the Soviets during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. 02/24/17

Trump Can't Deal With Iran If He Doesn't Understand It - Tweets about putting Iran "ON NOTICE" are no replacement for appreciating the sources of Iranian conduct in the Middle East. -Ali Vaez, Foreign Policy 02/24/17

President Rouhani visits Iran's Khuzestan Province to address environmental crisis - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has paid a visit to the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is reeling from heavy floods and dust storms, a situation which has led to disruptions in the distribution of water and electricity there. 02/23/17

Tension Rising Between Regional Rivals Turkey and Iran - Tensions are on the rise between Turkey and Iran. A growing war of words between the countries' diplomats has brought to the surface simmering competition for influence in the region. "Iran is an important neighbor to us. We have always been in dialogue with Iran. But it does not mean we will ignore Iran's efforts in penetrating the region," said Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin in the latest thinly veiled threat between the countries during his weekly news conference. -Dorian Jones, VOA 02/23/17

PHOTOS: Tehran Peace Museum - Tehran peace Museum is a member of the International Network of Museums for Peace. the main objective of the museum is to promote a culture of peace through raising awareness about the devastating consequences of war with focus on health and environmental impacts of Chemical weapons. - Leila Ghodratollahi 02/23/17

Iranian Sunni Leader Worried By Alleged 'Secret Order' To Quickly Execute Prisoners - The spiritual leader of Iran's Sunnis has written to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to express concern over "rumors" of a secret order for the speedy execution of Sunni prisoners convicted of drug trafficking. Molavi Abdolhamid, the Friday Prayers leader of the southeastern city of Zahedan in the restive Sistan-Baluchistan Province, calls in his letter to Khamenei for "wise and fatherly" intervention into the issue. 02/23/17

Iran Sends Military Students to Syrian Front - Iran is increasingly using Syrian battlefields as a proving ground for fresh military officers in training, according to Iranian media reports and Syrian opposition figures. Tehran-based Imam Hossein University, a school affiliated with The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said it recently deployed military leadership students to fight in Syria as part of an educational program designed for future officers, according to state-run media. -Sirwan Kajjo and Mehdi Jedinia, VOA 02/23/17

PHOTOS: The Red Crescent sniffing dog training camp - Iran's Red Crescent sniffing dogs are trained in a camp located in northern Tehran foothills. The sniffing dogs play an important role in saving those individuals trapped under rubble or other dangerous situations following a disaster. 02/23/17

Beaten and Harassed, Dual National Serving 18-Year Prison Sentence in Iran on Hunger Strike - Iranian-American dual citizen Reza (Robin) Shahini, currently serving an 18-year prison sentence in Gorgan Prison (about 190 miles east of Tehran), has gone on hunger strike to protest his unjust sentence. An informed source also told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Shahini, who is currently being held in solitary confinement, has been beaten and repeatedly harassed by prison staff and inmates. 02/23/17

Can Iran's Khamenei rule out 'national reconciliation'? - In a speech Feb. 15, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directly addressed the idea of "national reconciliation" brought forward by Reformists over the past weeks. "Some people talk about national reconciliation; however, that does not make sense to me," he said. -Reza Marashi, Al Monitor 02/23/17

Celebrate the Iranian New Year with the 9th Annual Nowruz Festival on March 12, 2017 at UCLA - The most colorful festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. Bringing together joyous sounds and spectacle for all to enjoy, the event is bigger than ever for its Ninth Annual Nowruz festival. The Farhang Foundation debuts a new home at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Court, having outgrown the previous venue at LACMA. 02/22/17

Book: Norooz with My Family - A new book on Norooz, the Persian New Year, authored by Dr. Khodadad Kaviani: A sister and her brother share with classmates their Norooz (New Year) experiences. They live in Yazd, Iran, the city of beautiful wind catchers. They talk about spring cleaning, carpet washing, chaarshanbeh soori, preparing the Haft-Seen, plus other activities during this festive time of year. 02/22/17

Briefing Report: Tracking Twitter's Growing Popularity in Iran - Twitter's growth in Iran can be tracked through three distinct stages; when it was banned in 2009, during the nuclear talks in 2013-15, and after the ban was partially lifted in 2016. 02/22/17

Ahmad Montazeri, Son Of Top Iranian Dissident Cleric, Taken Into Custody - The son of one of the founding fathers of Iran's Islamic republic has been arrested to serve a six-year prison sentence for releasing a decades-old audio tape in which his father denounced the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. 02/22/17

Top Iranian Professor at Zabol University Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging - A highly regarded professor in Zabol University in southeastern Iran has been sentenced to imprisonment and flogging for posting protests against university administration on Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging application popular in Iran. 02/22/17

Iran Announces Deal To Provide Russia With Oil In Swap For Cash, Goods - Iran said it will begin selling 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Russia within the next 15 days and receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services, Iranian news media reported on February 21. 02/22/17

France's imports from Iran up 45 folds in 2016: Eurostat - The value of France's imports from Iran rose 45 folds to reach 1.348 billion Euros in 2016 from 30 million Euros in 2015, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. 02/22/17

Why Do So Many Americans Fear Muslims? Decades of Denial About America's Role in the World - THERE'S BEEN LOTS of attention-grabbing opposition to Trump's "Muslim ban" executive order, from demonstrations to court orders. But polls make it clear public opinion is much more mixed. Standard phone polls show small majorities opposed, while web and automated polls find small majorities continue to support it. -Jon Schwarz, The Intercept 02/22/17

US' Anti-Iran Defense Pact 'Yet Another Attempt to Maintain Unipolar Order - Any attempts on the part of Washington and its Persian Gulf allies to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran in the Middle East will prove futile, Iranian political analyst Reza Moghaddasi told Sputnik. Moghaddasi underscored that the Russo-Iranian relationship has gone beyond a mere political alliance. 02/22/17

PHOTOS: Life in the Iranian village Belker - People in the beautiful and pristine village of Belker, 85 kilometers from Marivan, in Iran's western province of Kordestan, live a hard but happy life. Despite freezing winter days and recurrent snow storms the locals have learned the ways to cope with their condition. -Amir Ali Razzaghi 02/21/17

PHOTOS: Rahim Mowlaeian's "Unveiling The Essence of the Body" at Seyhoun Art Gallery in Tehran - A painting exhibition entitled "Unveiling The Essence of the Body" by Rahim Mowlaeian was unveiled at Seyhoun Art Gallery on February 17. The exhibition will wrap up on March 1. 02/21/17

Kickstarter Campaign: Presenting IRAN THROUGH BOOKS at America's biggest annual book festival in 2017 - Farhang Foundation aims to promote Iranian art, culture & literature to the community at large. This two-day, free to public festival will help us give presence to Iranian books as well as books about Iran & books by Iranian authors. The event will be built around one central theme - celebrating books & promoting reading as a gateway to bring harmony and understanding to our diverse community in Los Angeles and Southern California. 02/21/17

Writers Guild of America West honors Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami with lifetime achievement award - Celebrated Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami was honored posthumously with the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement at the 2017 Writers Guild of America Awards on Sunday February 19, 2017. His son, Ahmad Kiarostami, accepted the award from actress Shohreh Aghdashloo on his behalf, WGA West announced. 02/21/17

Eurostat figures show Iran-EU trade up 78% in 2016 - The European Union's trade with Iran amounted to 13.7 billion Euros in 2016, a 78 percent rise compared to 2015, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. The figure was 7.68 billion Euros in 2015, Tasnim news agency reported. 02/21/17

Iran, Iraq Initialize Plans For Oil Sector Cooperation - The governments of Iraq and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding about conducting a joint study for a possible pipeline to export oil through Iran from Iraq's Kirkuk region. The oil ministers of the two countries signed the memorandum in Baghdad on February 20. 02/21/17

French Far-Right Leader Says Backing Assad 'Least Bad Option' In Syria - French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power may be the "least bad option" for ending the Syrian civil war and stemming the flow of refugees into Europe. 02/21/17

The rising risk of showdown between Trump and Iran - Are the US and Iran heading for a new confrontation? After a turbulent first three weeks in which President Donald Trump described Iran as "the world's number one terrorist state" and put it "on notice", it is a question many are asking. -Kambiz Fattahi, BBC 02/21/17

Russians Take Spotlight At Kish Island Beach Volleyball Final - After the last three days of cold and wet weather, the sun finally showed up and heated up the final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Kish Island 3-Star at Kish Marine Recreational and Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikita Liamin and Viacheslav Krasilnikov's second World Tour event of the season worked like a charm, as they captured the gold medal at the Kish Island 3-Star 2017 02/20/17

EU, IAEA reaffirm commitment to Iran deal in joint statement - The European Union (EU) and the United Nations' nuclear agency have reaffirmed their support for the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six other countries. Media outlets reported on Friday that the two sides had communicated the stance in a joint statement a day earlier following the fifth meeting of their senior officials. 02/20/17

Budget deficit could do irreparable damage to Lake Urmia - Officials in charge of Lake Urmia restoration program have said the government has not allocated budget to the project in the next Iranian calendar year (March 2017-March 2018) and this could do irreparable damage to the lake's restoration program. 02/20/17

1st Annual Silicon Valley Iranian Film Festival - The Iranian Film Festival and the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC)/Payvand.org, cordially invite you, your family and friends to view some of the greatest works of modern Iranian Cinema in our 2017 Silicon Valley Iranian Film Festival, on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the BlueLight Cinemas theatre at 21275 Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 02/20/17

Iran Bans Teen Chess Siblings Over Head Scarf, Match Against Israeli - Iranian chess officials have barred two teen siblings from domestic chess tournaments and the national team for crossing some of the religious establishment's so-called red lines at an international chess event. 02/20/17

Iran Rejects U.S. Pressure Tactics, Urges 'Mutual Respect' - Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said his country rejects threats and coercion and seeks diplomatic solutions based on "mutually acceptable scenarios." Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 19, Zarif rejected U.S. sanctions and a recent announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump that Iran had been "put on notice" over a recent ballistic-missile test. 02/20/17

20 countries to participate in 2nd International Weightlifting Competitions (Fajr Cup) in Ahvaz, Iran - Meanwhile, USA Weightlifting, which is the national governing body overseeing the sport of weightlifting in the United States, has voiced its readiness to participate in the event and even submitted its list of weightlifters and members of the technical team to the IRIWF. The request needs to be reviewed by Iranian Foreign Ministry officials before final approval and visa issuance. 02/20/17

Iran Bans Drones Over Tehran After Security Scares - Authorities in Tehran have banned the use of drones over the Iranian capital after two recent incidents in which security forces opened fire on unmanned aerial vehicles. Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on February 20 that the general staff of Iran's armed forces issued the ban effective immediately. 02/20/17

Iran's Rouhani under fire as tensions with U.S. rise - When the United States suddenly issued a ban on entry by nationals from Iran and six other countries, sending the world's airports into chaos, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a muted response. "Let's help neighboring cultures, not build walls between nations," the moderate leader posted on Twitter. "Let's not forget what happened to the #BerlinWall." -Erin Cunningham, Washington Post 02/20/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Cements Hardline Position by Rejecting Offer of National Reconciliation - Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's refusal of an offer to achieve "national reconciliation" in Iran by ending the six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders has crushed hopes that the state's crackdown on dissidents, which intensified in response to the nationwide protests against the results of the disputed 2009 election, would finally end. 02/18/17

Iran: Women Allowed to Attend Kish Island Open - The apparent decision by Iranian authorities to allow women to attend the Kish Island Open volleyball tournament is a positive, if small, step in the right direction, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent media reports said that female spectators will be allowed to attend the four-day beach volleyball competition, from February 15 through 18, 2017. Women had been barred from attending volleyball tournaments under a 2012 decree, in violation of international rules. -HRW 02/18/17

US Hesitates to Confirm Sanctioned Iran's General Soleimani Visited Russia - The Trump administration says it cannot confirm that an Iranian general barred from foreign travel by the U.N. Security Council visited Russia this week, despite a prominent U.S. congressman and news outlet saying he had made the trip. -Michael Lipin, VOA 02/18/17

Iran Announces New Military Drills Despite U.S. Warnings - Iran says its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will conduct massive military drills next week in eastern and northeastern parts of the country. General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC's ground units, said in Tehran on February 18 that the maneuvers, Grand Prophet 11, will begin on February 20 and last for three days. 02/18/17

Iran's carpet exports to U.S. go from zero to millions - About $69 million worth of Iranian carpets were exported to the United States during the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year, ended on January 19, while the figure was zero in the entire preceding year, ISNA quoted Hamid Kargar, the head of Iran's National Carpet Center, on Wednesday. 02/18/17

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans - President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won't always be tidy. That's especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. -John T. Bennett, Roll Call 02/18/17

European Parliament Condemns Human Rights Violations in Bahrain - While the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran and moving closer to the Persian Gulf monarchies, the European Parliament (EP) took a step in the opposite direction. At its plenary session on February 16, it adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations in Bahrain and Kuwait, with a particular focus on Bahrain -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 02/18/17

Why America needs the Muslim Ms. Marvel now more than Ever! - During the first few weeks of the Trump administration, we've seen increased pressure on Muslim and immigrant communities in the United States. In the face of these threats, which Marvel superhero might be best equipped to defend the people, ideals and institutions under attack? Some comic fans and critics are pointing to Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel. -Katie M. Logan, Informed Comment 02/18/17

2017 Freestyle World Cup: Iran defends title after defeating US - The Iranian men's national freestyle wrestling team has claimed the top position at the end of the 2017 Freestyle World Cup in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, after trouncing the American side in the title challenge. 02/17/17

PHOTOS: Dust storm, public utility outage spark protests in Ahwaz, Iran - Recurrent periods of suffocating dust storms, lately accompanied by crippling power and water supply cuts, have provoked public protests in the city of Ahvaz, southwestern province of Khuzestan. 02/17/17

Targeting Iran's Regime Will Strengthen, Not Break, the Moscow-Tehran Alliance - In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on February 13, hawkish scholar Michael Ledeen argued that "dismantling the Khamenei regime as peacefully as possible" is the best way to end what he describes as the Russian-Iranian alliance. His argument, though, contained several questionable assertions that cast doubt on the feasibility of his policy recommendations. -Mark N. Katz 02/17/17

The Problem with Thinking on Your Knees - Take the Trump administration's recent threats against Iran. The Iranian public does not seem particularly alarmed. These are threats that it has heard a thousand times before. The more fatalist among them shrug and say, "God does what God wills." But the more combative say, "Let them come and get a taste of us. Iran isn't Iraq or Afghanistan." The group that is driven to despair by Trumps threats is the small minority of intellectuals in and out of Iran. -Mahmoud Omidsalar 02/17/17

Iran Needs Billions to Upgrade Gas Fields, But Will Investors Invest? - Iran sits on what are thought to be the world's largest gas reserves, yet can barely supply its own domestic demand. Since the United Nations-backed deal over Tehran's nuclear program spurred the lifting of international sanctions, the country has strived to attract foreign investment in developing oil fields and upgrading its aging infrastructure. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA 02/17/17

Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World established at UCLA - UCLA has established the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the first center in the Western Hemisphere that aims to advance the knowledge of ancient Iranian languages, history and religions. The Pourdavoud Center was named for the late Professor Ebrahim Pourdavoud, a pioneering scholar of ancient Persia, and was made possible by a gift from his granddaughter, Dr. Anahita Naficy Lovelace, and her husband, James B. Lovelace. 02/16/17

Don't Call Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Terrorists - According to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. -Reza Nasri 02/16/17

Iran's Rohani Seeks To Mend Frayed Ties With Persian Gulf Arab Neighbors - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has sought to mend ties with his Gulf Arab neighbors on a one-day trip to Oman and Kuwait, his first since taking power in 2013. Relations between predominantly Shi'ite Iran and the mainly Sunni Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, remain strained over their support for opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. 02/16/17

Iran: Trump Stance Won't Derail Foreign Investment in Oil, Gas - Iran's deputy minister for petroleum says the hawkish stance taken by U.S. President Donald Trump on the Iranian nuclear deal is a "passing hiccup" that should not affect foreign investment in the country's energy sector. Amir Hossein Zamaninia made the remarks Wednesday at the CWC Iran LNG and Gas Partnerships Summit in Frankfurt, Germany. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA 02/16/17

PHOTOS: Iranians Protest Air Pollution, Water Cuts In Ahvaz - Demonstrators took the streets of the western Iranian city of Ahvaz on February 13 to protest against air pollution, water shortages, and power cuts. Amateur video obtained by RFE/RL's Radio Farda showed crowds chanting against what they called "injustice." They also condemned state television for its apparent lack of reporting on the condition of public utilities in city. 02/15/17

Iran remains committed to JCPOA: International Atomic Energy Agency Chief - The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran is implementing the landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015. "Implementation is very important and that requires efforts by all and ... we have a very robust verification tool," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters on the sidelines of a summit in Dubai on Tuesday. 02/15/17

PHOTOS: Tehran International Auto Show Kicks Off Hosting 200 Automakers - Tehran International Exhibition of Automobile and Related Industries (Tehran Auto Show) became operational at Shahr-e-Aftab International Exhibition Center on Tuesday hosting giant Iranian and foreign automakers. Among the well-known car manufacturing companies it can be referred to Iranian carmakers Iran Khodro, Saipa and Pars Khodro as well as foreign companies including BMW, Scania, Volvo, Renault, Mitsubishi, MG, Hyundai, Toyota, KIA Motors, Nissan, MVM, Chery 02/15/17

Iranian researchers find way to treat long bone nonunion - Iranian researchers at Royan Research Institute have proved in a study that the problem with long bone nonunion is related to mesenchymal cells. Long bone nonunion is a serious complication of a fracture in which the normal process of bone healing is interrupted or stalled. 02/15/17

Political drama "Midday Event" receives Best Film award at Fajr Festival - "The Midday Event", a political drama that features the terrorist atrocity of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization in Iran of the 1980s, has been crowned best at the 35th Fajr Film Festival. Producer Mahmud Razavi received his award from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a closing ceremony held at Tehran's Milad Tower on Thursday night. 02/11/17

Iranians Use Twitter to Oppose Flag-Burning and Thank Americans for Resisting Trump's Travel Ban - A few days before the 38th anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution-traditionally commemorated with hardliners burning U.S. flags and promoting other forms of anti-Americanism-thousands of people participated in a Twitter storm to express gratitude for the Americans who protested against President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. 02/10/17

Iranian-American Orgs File Federal Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban Executive Order - Several prominent Iranian-American organizations have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration's Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed by Iranian American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer ("APKS"), on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans. 02/9/17

The "Ambassadors Of Peace" In Iran - Iran hosted around 320 tour guides from about 40 countries in the 17th World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) Convention. The event took place from January 28 to February 1, 2017 in Tehran. In the 3-day pre-convention tour around 160 guests visited the historical cities of Qazvin, Zanjan, and Hamedan, enjoying traditional foods, handicrafts, and also folk music. 02/9/17

US: Iran 'Kidding Itself' If It Doesn't Realize Trump Has New Approach - According to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. he White House has dismissed a defiant message from Iran's supreme leader about Donald Trump, saying Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should realize "there is a new president in office." -In his daily press briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump would not remain idle in response to Iran's "violations, or apparent violations," of its 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world powers. He said Trump "will continue to take action as he sees fit. ... [H]e is not going to project what those actions will be, and he will not take anything off the table." -Michael Lipin and Payam Yazdian, VOA 02/8/17

Iran Should Take American Threats Seriously - It was not surprising that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, "officially put...Iran on notice," following what he cited as "recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants." President Trump himself later confirmed these comments. -Shireen T. Hunter 02/7/17

Trumpian Follies & Iran's Options - This Emperor does have clothes, lots of it, closetsful, but seems to be lacking in some more important attributes. He has done it again; this time he has put Iran "on notice", no less! Is Mr. Trump a savvy diplomat, a good politician, or is he simply a good businessman, a deal maker? The answer to the first two questions is an absolute NO. About being a good deal maker/businessman, well, having a lot of money is not a convincing criterion... -Kambiz Zarrabi 02/5/17

Decades of Demonization Behind the Ban On Muslims - President Donald J. Trump's executive order banning the entry of citizens of seven countries with majority Muslim populations shocked many people in the United States and many more in Europe and elsewhere. It also elicited a wave of criticism from a variety of quarters-including business, academia, and human rights organizations-both in the United States and elsewhere. -Shireen T. Hunter 02/2/17

Winner of Farhang's annual Nowruz banner competition announced - Each year, Farhang Foundation, through its Nowruz Banner Competition, reaches out to a global community of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, enlisting their talents to create and submit original designs that capture the essence of Nowruz. During the weeks leading to Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration, the winning design is featured on large street banners in prominent areas of Los Angeles announcing the event. 02/2/17

PROFILES: Iranian woman motorcycle racer Baran Hadizadeh - Up at the crack of dawn Baran Hadizadeh starts her day of motocross practice, a routine she goes for three times a week. Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. Taking her heavyweight motorbike in tow, she drives to the racing track in Hashtgerd, outskirt of Tehran, to live her dream, one day at a time. -Marjan Golpira 01/16/17

IMVBox: A whole new world of Iranian movies at your fingertips - IMVBox.com is the world's leading online distributor of high-quality Iranian cinema. Its Video On Demand service houses the largest legally-assembled library of Iranian feature films, documentaries, TV shows and short films. Thousands of hours of content all easily accessible across multiple devices, all offering a high-quality playback experience. The platform uses a subscription-based model that requires members to pay either a monthly or annual fee. One month of premimum subscription free of charge for payvand.com visitors! 01/13/17

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Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Harasp Fashion

Rights

Letter From Political Prisoners: Prison conditions in Iran cause slow death of prisoners

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents to Trump: Don't 'Rip it Up'

Politics

Europe Capitalizes on the Iran Deal

Economy

Iran's 8-month non-oil exports up 5.7% from last year

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

Weightlifter Sohrab Moradi wins second gold medal for Iran at Rio 2016

Art

--Maktab Shiraz- Art Exhibition by Shamseddin Ghazi

Literature

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

Travel

Caravan of the Arts: IRAN 2017

Environment

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

Entertainment

Top Six Finalists Announced for the 8th Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

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

Event

Group Photo Exhibition in Berkeley, California: Iran Unveiled

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last updated on Mon Feb 27 11:39:54 EST 2017