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October 20 2017
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Future of JCPOA In Hands of GOP Indebted To Billionaire Iran Hawks

- President Donald Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), appears to have fallen in line with the views espoused by several of his top donors. These funders believe that Iran poses an apocalyptic threat only addressable through military action, including the use of nuclear weapons. -Eli Clifton 10/20/17

EU Leaders Reaffirm Commitment To Iran Nuclear Deal Despite Trump Opposition

- European Union leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to a landmark deal to limit Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, despite opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump. The 28-member bloc gave a nod to concerns Trump has raised, however, by stepping up criticism of Tehran's ballistic-missile program and its role in what the West sees as fomenting instability in the Middle East. 10/20/17

Poll: Three Quarters of Americans Support the Iran Deal

- - If Donald Trump succeeds in pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), he won't just face opposition from Tehran or from America's European allies: he'll have to deal with opposition from the American people. That's one takeaway from a new poll, "American Attitudes on Middle East Policies," released by the Middle East Institute this week. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 10/20/17

Photo of Smiling Political Prisoners in Iran's Evin Prison Lands One in Prison Known For Harsh Conditions

- Arash Sadeghi, a man serving a 15-year prison sentence for peacefully advocating human rights in Iran, has been transferred to a prison known for its inhumane conditions after photos of him smiling with other political prisoners surfaced on social media. 10/20/17

Secretary Tillerson says Europe can do business with Iran

- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US is not opposed to European countries doing business with Iran, contradicting President Donald Trump's belligerent rhetoric against Tehran. Tillerson's remarks in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday came one week after Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal and left its fate to the US Congress. 10/20/17

Warming Uzbek-Iranian Relations Worth Watching

- A recent meeting of officials from Uzbekistan and Iran was a curious event. Central Asia has seen a reshuffling of relations over the past couple years, and improved relations between Tashkent and Tehran is one of the more intriguing developments. -Bruce Pannier 10/20/17

Mousavi's Daughters: Officials "Hoping and Planning" for Death of Iranian Opposition Leaders Under House Arrest

- In an open letter addressing Muslim religious leaders worldwide, Mir Hossein Mousavi's daughters have accused "some" Iranian officials of "hoping and planning" for the "gradual death" of their father, mother Zahra Rahnavard, and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi. 10/20/17

Iranian Opposition Figure Karrubi Allowed To Meet With Activist For First Time Since Arrest

- Iranian authorities have allowed opposition figure Mehdi Karrubi, who has been under house arrest since 2011, to meet with an activist from his own party, the first such meeting in the past six years. Karrubi's son, Hossein Karrubi, revealed the meeting in an October 19 interview with the Iranian news site Ensafnews. 10/20/17

Audit orders former Iranian President Ahmadinejad to return $1.1bn to treasury

- A top Iranian state audit agency says it has found the country's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responsible for causing as much as $1.1 billion in damages to national wealth through imports of unauthorized gasoline as well as unsettled sales of hydrocarbon products to domestic clients. 10/20/17

The EU on the JCPOA: Neither "Fix" nor Nix

- When President Donald Trump announced his decision to "decertify" the nuclear deal with Iran in a speech on October 13, the EU's reaction was swift and unambiguous. Minutes after Trump's speech, the bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned that, contrary to Trump's threats to terminate the deal if it is not "fixed" to his liking, he had no authority to do so. The deal is a multilateral agreement endorsed by a UN Security Council Resolution and therefore cannot be changed unilaterally. -Eldar Mamedov 10/19/17

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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Iran 2 Mexico 1

US push to sell Trump's policy on Iran walloped at UN - US Ambassador Nikki Haley's push to derail a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East towards Iran's nuclear deal has been met with backlash as the participants seek to focus on Israeli-Palestinian issues, especially Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank. 10/19/17

Iran's Non-Oil GDP Growth At 7% In 6 Months - Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on Tuesday that the country's non-oil gross domestic product grew by seven percent during the first half of the present Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22, 2017), IRIB news reported. 10/19/17

Reformist Political Activist Turned Refugee Briefly Arrested Upon Return to Iran - A source close to Sedigheh Vasmaghi, who had been sentenced to prison in absentia, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that she was detained for a few hours by Intelligence Ministry agents at Tehran's international airport on October 15, 2017, and told to return after her case was processed. Saham News, an opposition website, claimed Vasmaghi, a former Tehran City Council member, was released because of her "physical condition;" she is clinically blind. 10/19/17

Iran Doesn't Have a Nuclear Weapons Program. Why Do Media Keep Saying It Does? - When it comes to Iran, do basic facts matter? Evidently not, since dozens and dozens of journalists keep casually reporting that Iran has a "nuclear weapons program" when it does not-a problem FAIR has reported on over the years. Let's take a look at some of the outlets spreading this falsehood in just the past five days -Adam Johnson, LobeLog 10/19/17

Stanford To Host New Play By Reza Allamehzadeh: "The War Owl" - The War Owl looks at the evils of war as initially rendered in Iran's grand epic poem, Shahnameh, and revisited by Bahar, the country's twentieth century master lyricist. The play is written and directed by Reza Allamehzadeh, with the solo performance of Hamid Abdolmaleki and live musical accompaniment by Faramarz Aslani. 10/19/17

Iranian Authorities Bar Reformist Ex-President Khatami From Attending Meeting - Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has reportedly been banned from leaving his house several times in recent months. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has reportedly been banned from leaving his house several times in recent months. 10/19/17

Total CEO says to move ahead with key Iran project - French oil and gas major Total says it will try to push ahead with an Iranian gas project if the US decides to impose unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The announcement was made by Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne in an interview with International Oil Daily. 10/19/17

Is Iran the world's greatest untapped skiing destination? - For most skiers and snowboarders the idea of an off-piste paradise normally conjures up thoughts of Alaska's majestic peaks, Verbier's world-famous freeride terrain or Japan's legendary powder fields. Many, forgivably, would not consider looking to the mountains of Iran. -Lucy Aspden, Telegraph 10/19/17

Struggle Over Kirkuk Puts the U.S. and Iran on the Same Side - When the Iraqi military battled Kurdish forces this week to reclaim the contested city of Kirkuk, the spectacle of one American-backed ally fighting another with American-supplied weapons was not the only incongruous sight. Another was the United States turning its back on a crucial ally in the fight against the Islamic State, the Kurds, as Washington's goals aligned with those of a regional nemesis, Iran. -New York Times 10/19/17

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Iran hold off Mexico to make last eight - Iran made it four wins from four matches at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 and qualified for the quarter-finals after fighting to make two early goals stand up against a game Mexican side. It was a difficult contest, but Iran maintained their momentum, heading into their last-eight clash against European champions Spain. 10/18/17

EU 'Determined To Preserve' Iran Nuclear Deal, Urges U.S. Congress To Protect It - European Union foreign ministers have closed ranks in support of the Iran nuclear agreement, warning that U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to abandon the multinational accord jeopardize efforts to find a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff with North Korea. 10/18/17

Kurdish Officials Blame Iran as Disputed Territories Fall to Iraqi Forces - Officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government are accusing Iran of playing a key role in the fall of disputed territories in northern Iraq including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a claim rejected by Iranian officials. This week the Iraqi government forces backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) marched into the Kurdish-controlled disputed territories after Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga withdrew from the region. -Rikar Hussein, VOA 10/18/17

New US Strategy on Iran Poses Dilemma for Allies - The government of President Hassan Rouhani will be open to engaging in "constructive dialogue" with the European Union and individual European states, while continuing to respect JCPOA commitments. However, European measures taken "in close cooperation with the United States" will, almost certainly, kill the JCPOA. -Peter Jenkins 10/18/17

IRAN: Yazd City Council will not Tolerate Suspension of Zoroastrian Member - The suspension of Sepanta Niknam, the Zoroastrian Yazd City Councillor by the Administrative Court of Justice has sparked outrage amongst his peers and the public. A defeated hardliner candidate of the municipal elections has targeted Niknam for not being Muslim and has argued non-Muslims cannot run for office in a Muslim majority country. 10/18/17

Trump: 'Total Termination' of Iran Nuclear Deal Possible - President Donald Trump says his decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal could lead to its "total termination." "That's a very real possibility," Trump said Monday as he began a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House. "Some people say that's a greater possibility." -Peter Heinlein, VOA 10/18/17

Reformist Iranian Journalist Sasan Aghaei in Prolonged Solitary Confinement Despite Calls for His Release by MPs - The Iranian judiciary is refusing to release reformist journalist Sasan Aghaei, who has been detained for more than two months in solitary confinement despite calls for his release by members of Parliament. Since August 12, 2017, the deputy editor-in-chief of the reformist Etemad newspaper has been held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison's Ward 241, controlled by the judiciary's intelligence branch. 10/18/17

City of Yazd, manifestation of ancient civilization - Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy. Yazd in central Iran has been a manifestation of the brightest cultural heritage and ancient civilization throughout history with human settlement in Yazd dating back to the third millennium BCE. 10/18/17

Judge blocks Trump's latest travel ban order - A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the latest version of President Donald Trump's travel ban. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday, concluding that Trump appeared to run afoul of federal immigration law when he issued a proclamation last month restricting travel to the U.S. by citizens of eight countries. -Josh Gerstein, Politico 10/18/17

Khamenei Adviser Warns Europeans Not To Try To Add Conditions To Iran Nuclear Deal - A top adviser to Iran's supreme leader has warned European governments against trying to negotiate new conditions to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive. "To say that they accept the JCPOA [nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] but should negotiate on Iran's regional presence or talk about Iran's missile defenses is to set conditions on the JCPOA, and this is not at all acceptable," said Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign-policy adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in comments to Iranian media on October 17. 10/18/17

Ericsson seals deal to help Iran launch IoT - Iran has signed an agreement with Ericsson, the leading provider of communications technology solutions, to use its help in launching the Internet of Things (IoT) across the country. The agreement - which could take the country closer to a plan to move toward smart cities and automated utilities - was signed between Ericsson and the Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (Hamrah Aval) - the country's largest mobile operator - on the sidelines of Iran Telecom Fair 2017 in Tehran. 10/18/17

Iran, Canada diplomats hold talks in Tehran on re-establishing diplomatic relations - A delegation from Global Affairs Canada has traveled to Tehran and held talks with Iranian officials in the continuation of efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. The administration of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, citing, among other pretexts, what it described as continued threats from Iran to Israel. 10/18/17

Trumpˇ¦s Iran Policy Is More about Rollback than Nukes - President Trumpˇ¦s latest announcement follows increased U.S. sanctions on both Hezbollah and Syria, as well as increased aid to Syriaˇ¦s Kurds in their effort to expand territorially. It is the latest in a policy of rollback that has been developing for some time. It is a policy that both Saudi Arabia and Israel have been pushing on Trump. It is one that also suits his personality as well as the inclinations of his military advisers because it means supporting friends and hurting enemies. -Joshua Landis, LobeLog 10/18/17

An Exit from the Top in the Iranian Nuclear Crisis? - Despite President Trump's demands that it do so, Iran has no intention of renegotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Unless, of course, it will receive in exchange concessions that no one is likely to offer. In Tehran's internal politics, the JCPOA is a highly fragile product that has been imposed on fiercely competing factions. Why would Iran's leadership be disposed to reopen this Pandora's box? -Francois Nicoullaud, LobeLog 10/18/17

Iranian Minister Says Ready To Do Business With U.S. Oil Companies - Iran is ready to do business with American oil companies even though the United States still prohibits them from operating in the country, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said. "American companies can come to Iran and benefit so [U.S. President Donald Trump] won't be upset," Zanganeh said, according to SHANA, the news site of the Iranian Oil Ministry. 10/18/17

Letter from ex-PM about jailed British-Iranian woman 'proves government links' - Tehran's prosecutor general has said that a letter from David Cameron pleading for the release of a British-Iranian woman serving a five-year jail term in Iran on charges relating to national security was "confirmation that she had links with the UK government". -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 10/18/17

Norway Defies Trump, Enters 4-Billion-Dollar Deal With Iran - Norwegian solar company Saga Energy has signed a $4-billion investment deal with Iran just days after US President Donald Trump calls for isolating Tehran. "Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon," AFP quoted Norway's Ambassador to Tehran Lars Nordrum on Tuesday. 10/18/17

America's Imperial Unraveling - By giving ethno-nationalists a seat at the foreign policy table, Trump has sanctioned a racialized fixation with Iran as paramount national threat, more dangerous even than Russia. -Boston Review 10/18/17

Trump's Iran Policy Is a Headache for EU Business - America does have the power to take unilateral action that affects companies everywhere -- and has used it in the past. Trump gave Congress 60 days to consider re-imposing curbs on Iran. Some of them could apply to businesses outside the U.S., potentially forcing them to choose between the American and Iranian markets. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg 10/18/17

Why Trump's stance on Iran could backfire - U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to slap sanctions on Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards is the "exact opposite" of what Washington should be doing if it wants to effect peaceful change in the Middle Eastern country, one analyst has told CNBC. -Justina Crabtree, CNBC 10/18/17

Tajikistan: Saudi Revenge in Iran's Backyard? - According to those who seek to contain Iran, it is supposedly building a new Persian empire in the regions where it has influence--the Persian Gulf, the wider Middle East, and Central Asia. Such accusations, besides mistakenly assuming Iran to be the chief, if not the only, cause of trouble in all these regions, also grossly exaggerate Iran's real power. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 10/18/17

IMF Chief Lagarde declines Trump's call against Iran - Barely 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to stop lending to Iran, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde firmly said no, writes John Gizzi of She said that there was no change in its policy with regard to funds to Iran based on cues from the US. 10/18/17

IRAN: The Historical Cradle of Civilization, the Origin of Human Diversity, and the Bastion of Humanistic Tolerance - Ever since as early as a hundred thousand years ago when our Homo sapiens ancestors preceded by Homo helderbergenis along with our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans who had crossed the horn of Africa, the southwestern Asian's temperate Iranian plateau sandwiched between the Caspian Sea including the Caucuses, Alborz and the Himalayan Mountain ranges to the north, and the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman/Bushehr shores to the south-has remained the optimal cradle of human civilization. -Davood Rahni 10/16/17

The Real Causes of America's Troubled Relations with Iran - In his speech describing America's new approach towards Iran, Donald Trump accused it of responsibility for just about all of the ills of the Middle East and South West Asia. He went as far as accusing Iran of having supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda, sworn enemies of the Shias and Iran. More seriously, the president refused to certify that Iran had complied with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), thus opening the way for new sanctions and other pressures on Iran. -Shireen T. Hunter 10/16/17

Tillerson: Iran Compliant With Nuclear Deal, But Trump Wants to Fix Flaws - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded Sunday that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the international agreement to curb its nuclear weapons development, but said that President Donald Trump wants Congress to adopt "a more complete strategy" to fix what the U.S. leader sees as flaws in the pact. -Ken Bredemeier, VOA 10/16/17

Trump Ignores Advisers on Iran Deal, Follows Money - Although much of the Washington commentariat has depicted Trump's extraordinarily bellicose speech Friday against Iran and the nuclear deal as the latest example of his determination to undo the legacy of his predecessor, meeting the demands of his most important campaign donors may well have served as a major motivation as well. Indeed, his biggest campaign donor, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, may have influenced the specific language Trump used in his remarks. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/16/17

Family of Late Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani Banned From Traveling Abroad - Four family members of the late Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have been banned from traveling abroad by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), while one member is facing a "fabricated case" against her, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 10/16/17

Tehran Prosecutor: Streaming TinyMoviez Website Shut Down For "Indecent" Content - The popular Iranian streaming movies website, TinyMoviez, which featured pirated material, was shut down for distributing "indecent" foreign films, announced Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on October 10, 2017. The prosecutor was responding to media reports that the TinyMoviez website was shut down by a judicial order in response to complaints from the owners of a rival website seeking to take down its competition. 10/16/17

Iran Denies Shutting Border Crossings With Northern Iraq - Iran denies reports that it has closed border crossings with northern Iraq in response to an independence referendum in the autonomous Kurdish region last month. Meanwhile, Shakhwan Abu Bakr, a customs official on the Kurdish side of the border, said that the Islamic republic had closed its three border crossings with the region. 10/16/17

Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal, Despite Trump's Decertification - U.S. President Donald J. Trump's October 13 decision not to certify Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JC POA) based on his assessment that the agreement's costs outweigh its benefits will not, in and of itself, abrogate the deal. But it seriously, unnecessarily and recklessly undermines it. -International Crisis Group 10/16/17

The Iranian Artists Picturing Their Cities - Dashti is the curator of an exhibition that provides a platform for this inspiration. Dubbed "Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists," the show, hosted by the Washington, D.C., gallery Hillyer Art Space, features the photographs and videos of 10 artists whose work focuses on the urban. -CityLab 10/16/17

Iran's hardliners say Trump has done them 'great favors' - US President Donald Trump's recent remarks on Iran have infuriated Iranians across the political spectrum -- regime officials say they have forced the heavily politicized society to close ranks. The country's conservatives are saying "I told you so," while moderates express disappointment at the hard line taken by Trump. -CNN 10/16/17

Tehran hosting Iran-Iraq business forum - The two day Iran-Iraq business forum kicked off at the Tehran's Summit Conference Hall on Sunday. "Iran-Iraq trade is predicted to reach $20 billion," the Iranian Head of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Yahya Ale-Es'haq was quoted as addressing the held business forum. 10/16/17

Trump's Speech on Iran: Warmed-Over Rejectionism - Donald Trump's speech on Iran is the latest chapter in his struggle to reconcile his overriding impulse to destroy any significant achievements of his predecessor with the fact that the most salient of those achievements in foreign policy-the Iran nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-is working. The agreement is fulfilling its objective of keeping closed all paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon. As international inspectors have repeatedly determined, Iran is fulfilling its obligations under the agreement. -Paul Pillar 10/14/17

U.S. Allies Back Iran Deal Despite Trump's Tough Talk - U.S. allies and other countries have weighed in on U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to abandon a nuclear deal between global powers and Iran, saying they will continue to back the agreement. "We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the [accord], such as reimposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," the leaders of France, Britain, and Germany warned in a joint statement. 10/14/17

Iranian-American Organizations Deplore Trump's Attack On Iran Nuclear Agreement - Several Iranian-American organizations have issued statements deploring President Donald Trump's decertification of Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) and criticizing his aggressive Iran policy. "Trump's speech was a national disgrace. This isn't an effort to stiff a contractor over a real estate project, it's a matter of war and peace. Donald Trump is in way over his head," said Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council. 10/14/17

Iranians Criticize U.S. President's Iran Speech - Many Iranians have taken to social media to criticize U.S. President Donald Trump for taking a harder line on the Islamic republic and refusing to certify the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, which is believed to enjoy significant support in the country. 10/14/17

John Kerry on Trump Iran Nuclear Deal: 'Reckless Abandonment of Facts' - John Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State, had harsh criticism for President Donald Trump's decision not to certify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal signed by six world powers in 2015. Kerry said the decision is a "reckless abandonment of facts in favor of ego and ideology." Kerry, who negotiated the deal, added that Trump "weakens our hand, alienates us from our allies, empowers Iranian hardliners, makes it harder to resolve North Korea and risks moving us closer to military conflict." 10/14/17

How Should Europe React to the New US Strategy on Iran? - According to today's White House statement, President Donald Trump has decided not to denounce the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) or encourage Congress to kill it, but to ask "the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction." -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 10/14/17

U-17 World Cup: Iran rout Costa Rica, finished on top of Group C - Iran defeated Costa Rica 3-0 in Group C of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, on Friday to finish on top of Group C with 9 points with 3 wins. The Persians will face Group F third place team in quarterfinals in Margao on Oct. 17. 10/14/17

Four Underappreciated Dangers from Trump's Iran Deal Decision - Trump's Iran speech sets the Iran nuclear deal, which is working and supported by his own national security team, firmly in the crosshairs. If Congress does not pass deal-killing legislation, Trump has vowed to terminate the accord himself. Such a reckless, foolhardy position openly risks creating a new nuclear crisis and another disastrous war in the Middle East. Yet it is unclear whether legislators will see through Trump's lies and distortions in order to muster the will to stop him. -Ryan Costello, LobeLog 10/14/17

Trump's Strategy For Toughening Iran Deal Faces Uncertain Future In Congress - U.S. President Donald Trump's call for legislation aimed at toughening the Iran nuclear deal faces an uncertain future in Congress even as leading Republican senators stepped forward to champion the cause. 10/14/17

EU, Russia, China rally behind Iran nuclear deal ahead of Trump speech - The EU, Russia and China have called on the US to maintain its commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump is expected to declare no longer in America's interest. "We believe this deal is important to ensuring the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and regional peace and stability. We hope all parties can continue to preserve and implement this deal," China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday. EU foreign policy director Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel held phone talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying Europe will respect its side of the deal as long as Tehran honors its obligations. 10/13/17

Trump Expected To Slam Tehran But Stay In Nuclear Deal As New Iran Strategy Announced - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to call for measures cracking down on what he sees as Iran's aggression in the Middle East in a widely anticipated speech on October 13, but stop short of pulling out of a nuclear deal between global powers and Tehran, U.S. officials say. 10/13/17

Rights Organizations Urge US to Aid Access to Information in Iran by Expanding General License D-1 - In a joint statement, nine rights organizations including the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) have urged the US government to expand General License D-1, which allows the sale and distribution of personal communications tools such as mobile phones, personal computing tools, and other related software and hardware to Iran without violating US sanctions. 10/13/17

Trump, the American Ahmadinejad: Worse Than Expected - Twelve years ago, what now seems like a lifetime ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York City to deliver his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. Three weeks ago, Donald Trump climbed the same marbled dais at the UN to make his first speech to the General Assembly. Trump had in his short time in office made it clear that he considered Iran to be a malign actor and that his administration intended to reverse Obama-era agreements between the two countries, in particular the nuclear deal signed in 2015. -Shervin Malekzadeh 10/13/17

Renault planning for long-term presence in Iran: CEO - Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault, announced that his company has a long-term serious plan for presence in the Iranian market. Making the remarks during a press conference in Paris last week on revealing the company's mid-term plan, the CEO underlined the significance of Iranian market and stressed that Renault will not leave the country, public relations department of Renault's office in Tehran reported on Wednesday. 10/13/17

Putin Plans To Visit Iran In November For Talks With Iranian, Azerbaijani Counterparts - The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Iran on November 1 to take part in a meeting with his Iranian and Azerbaijani counterparts. "Preparations for the visit are under way," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 12, according to Russian news agencies. 10/13/17

Does Trump Have a Post-Decertification Iran Strategy? - Within the next three days, President Donald Trump is likely to announce his refusal to re-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), often referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The Wilson Center brought together an opponent and two supporters of the deal to discuss the situation. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog 10/13/17

Majority of Business Leaders Blame Trump for Slow Iran Investments - As President Donald Trump threatens to de-certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, the political environment around post-sanctions trade and investment has grown more contentious. Yet, at the same time, after extensive negotiations with leading multinational companies, Iran has witnessed landmark agreements signed across industries, with billions of dollars of investment committed and financing agreements inked. For those business leaders continuing to push ahead in Iran, and for the Iranian public to whom they are accountable, the question is what to make of such contradictions. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 10/12/17

Iran's Economy Recovers in Time for New Sanctions - As Washington gets ready for President Trump to throw the first stone in the killing of the Iran nuclear deal next week, Iranians are trying to preserve their hard-won gains from the agreement. After three years of recession, mainly caused by international sanctions, in the 18 months since the agreement went into effect in January 2016, Iran's economy has come roaring back. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog 10/12/17

The Operational Code of President Trump - Press reports indicate that later this week President Trump will "decertify" the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), relying on a clause in the relevant review legislation that permits the president to make such a declaration even if Iran is fully complying with the accord. That Trump has decided on this course has nothing to do with the terms of the JCPOA, with Iran, or with Iranian actions. -Paul Pillar 10/11/17

IAEA, World Leaders Reject Trump's Claims on Iran Nuclear Deal - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many world leaders have unanimously thrown their weight behind the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, rejecting US President Donald Trump's claims that Tehran has violated the "spirit" of the deal. 10/11/17

The Gathering JCPOA Storm and the Way Forward - The North Korean crisis has pushed the future of the 2015 nuclear deal among Iran and the 5+1 (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China), commonly referred to as the Joint Compressive Plan of Action (JCPOA) into the background. Yet, this temporary situation will soon reverse itself as a powerful storm is gathering around the subject. The JCPOA, which was intended to reduce tension between the US and Iran, has been criticized repeatedly by President Donald Trump as a highly deficient agreement, and this change in the White House's attitude under a new president is the primary cause of this developing storm. -Hooshang Amirahmadi 10/10/17

Nobel Laureate group urges Trump to stick to Iran nuclear deal - A Nobel prize-winning nuclear weapons disarmament campaign group has called on US President Donald Trump to honor his commitment to Iran's nuclear deal. "We really call on the US government to continue to certify and stay in this deal," said the director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Beatrice Fihn, on Monday. ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. 10/10/17

Europe warns Trump on ditching Iran nuclear deal - High-ranking European officials have cautioned against President Donald Trump's vows to decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement this week. The strongest warning was made by the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel who on Monday said "the world will change" in Trump kills the international agreement. 10/10/17

Iran's Ex-Reformist President Banned From Public Appearances Week After Six MPs Sentenced to Prison - Iran's former reformist President Mohammad Khatami has been banned from making public appearances and receiving political guests for three months. The ban, first reported on October 5, 2017, was issued by the Special Court for the Clergy one week after six prominent reformist politicians, including Khatami's younger brother, were sentenced to a year in prison for the charge of "propaganda against the state." They were also banned from political and media activities for two years. 10/9/17

Sprayed render covers walls of rural Iranian house by Bam Architects - Bam Architects designed the residence for a retired man who wanted to escape the busy life in Isfahan - the capital city of Iran's central Isfahan Province. He chose to settle in Parvaneh, a nearby rural village reported to have just 202 residents in the 2006 census. -Dezeen 10/9/17

Run-Up to Another Potential US Middle East Disaster - If media reporting is to be relied upon, President Trump will refuse to recertify by October 15 that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, as is attested to by the International Atomic Energy Agency, all the other non-Iranian signatories (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia, and China), a host of Western national security experts and retired military leaders, and even several former heads of Israel's key security agencies. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog 10/9/17

NMDB and the JCPOA - A major theme of those seeking to kill the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is that Iran is doing lots of other things, especially in the Middle East, deemed undesirable. Such rhetoric flows freely even though these other things are not covered by the JCPOA and are unrelated to the agreement. Arguments based on this rhetoric are just as dishonest as many other arguments of opponents, whose motivations involve not the terms of the JCPOA but instead other reasons they want to kill this accord and to oppose any agreement with Iran, on any subject and regardless of the terms. -Paul Pillar 10/7/17

Trump's Choice: Iran Deal Model or North Korean Bomb? - After a White House meeting with U.S. military leaders on Thursday where he discussed the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues, President Trump cryptically told the press that it was the "calm before the storm." Trump also reportedly told his military officials to provide him with "a broad range of military options ... at a much faster pace." -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, LobeLog 10/7/17

Keeping the competition out: Iran startups thrive despite sanctions - Low on cash but high on hope, Iran's technology entrepreneurs are learning to live with revived hostility in the United States and growing suspicion - or worse - from hardliners at home. -Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters 10/7/17

About Half A Million Road Accident Deaths In Iran In Two Decades - Taghi Mehri, Iran's police chief announced that 459,000 lost their lives in traffic accidents in Iran within less than two decades since 1998. According to Mehri, more than 4.5 million people were injured in accidents during the same time. Considering that in the last 19 years Iran's population has been between 70 and 80 million, this number constitutes a high rate of accident casualties. 10/7/17

Tombs of Achaemenid Kings and Queens: the Persian funerary cult and its Elamite background - Lecture in London by Dr Wouter Henkelman: The complex relationship between the Elamites and the Persians has long been a subject for discussion. New light on this intriguing question is cast by information contained in cuneiform tablets in the Persepolis Fortification Archive, some of them still unpublished. 10/6/17

Academy's American Sport Art Museum & Archives Unveils Sculpture of Legendary Iranian Wrestler - DAPHNE, Alabama - The North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS) presented the United States Sports Academy's American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) a bronze sculpture of the late legendary Iranian wrestler and national hero Jahan Pahlavan Takhti at a recent special ceremony on the Academy campus. 10/5/17

Meeting In Tehran, Iranian And Turkish Presidents Stress Opposition To Kurdish State - The presidents of Iran and Turkey say their countries will take steps to ensure that borders in the region remain unchanged following last week's independence referendum in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. "We will not accept changing borders in the region," Iranian President Hassan Rohani said in Tehran on October 4 at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 10/5/17

Europe-Iran Forum's message to Donald Trump - The 4th Europe-Iran Forum (EIF) was held amid U.S. President Donald Trump claiming that he may decertify in October the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers under the pretext that the Islamic Republic has not been abiding by its commitments. Focusing on post-sanction investment and trade with Iran the forum was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. 10/5/17

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis Suggests Sticking With Iran Nuclear Deal - Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has said the United States should remain a party to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran unless it's proven that Tehran is not abiding by the deal or that it's not in the U.S. national interest to do so. The U.S. defense secretary made the comments on October 3 during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as President Donald Trump faces a mid-October deadline for deciding whether to certify that Iran is in compliance with the accord. 10/4/17

NIAC and Partners File First Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban 3.0 - Washington, DC - Today, Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling LLP, in collaboration with the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, announced two lawsuits against the Trump administration's latest efforts to unlawfully block the entry of Muslims into the United States and carry out President Trump's long-promised Muslim ban. 10/3/17

The Muddled Trump's Travel Ban - The Trump administration's travel ban is in its third version, and it still does not respond convincingly to the ostensible need it was supposed to address. The supposed purpose itself is unclear. The latest version introduces additional confusion about the purported objective, even without getting into the real motivations behind it. -Paul Pillar 10/1/17

Trump's New Travel Ban: Collective Punishment of the Iranian People - The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) strongly condemns the new travel ban announced by the Trump administration on September 24, 2017 targeting citizens of Iran and seven other countries. The new travel ban's indiscriminate and arbitrary impact on Iranian citizens is unjustified and a gift to Iranian hardliners who want to isolate their population and prevent engagement with the outside world, CHRI said today. 9/27/17

Iranian-Americans Condemn Trump's Travel Ban - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) have issued press releases condemning Trump administration's new travel ban targeting Iranians. 9/25/17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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last updated on Fri Oct 20 11:38:54 -04 2017