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Khatami's last stand and Rohani's first
Now, with the experience of the Khatami government under its belt, the Rohani administration needs to define its first and last stand. According to his campaign promises, the first stronghold of the Khatami government was politics and culture. However, he mounted no resistance in these initial trenches and he failed to put up any resistance in later trenches when dealing with the economy. -Ehsan Mehrabi - 10/31/13

Iran's Rohani Reminded Of Unfulfilled Campaign Promises
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has been in office just three months, but he is already being reminded of his campaign promises. High on the list is his pledge to release opposition prisoners, which has largely gone unfulfilled. - 10/31/13

Tehran air quality critical for one third of last year
The head of the Tehran Department of the Environment has announced that the city's daily air quality was at critical levels due to suspended particles for one third of last year. Meanwhile, health ministry officials say more than 2,000 people die each year in Tehran due to air pollution. - 10/31/13

Photos: The Nights of Paveh
Paveh is a city in and the capital of Paveh County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 19,774, in 5,171 families. Paveh is located in the west of Iran and is 112 km far from Kermanshah and lies in a sub-region along the Iran-Iraq border commonly referred to as Hewraman - 10/31/13

Water may have to be rationed in Tehran: Energy Minister
Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian has asked Tehran citizens to reduce their water consumption by about 20 percent, saying if they do not do so, the Energy Ministry will be forced to introduce water rationing in the capital. - 10/31/13

Tehran billboards questioning U.S. honesty deemed illegal
Marzieh Afkham, spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry, has announced that billboards in Tehran referring to "U.S. Government Honesty" were illegal. Afkham said: "Tehran City Hall and officials have looked into the matter and reported that the billboards were put up illegally, and they had not acquired the necessary permits." - 10/31/13

Huge Achaemenid Site of Cyrus Era Unveiled Near Persepolis
A joint team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists in a joint exploration has discovered a large site near Persepolis which belongs to the Achaemenid era. According to archaeologists, the building has probably been constructed at the time of Cyrus the Great. - 10/31/13

Iran 'Likely' To Abandon Pakistan Gas Project
The Iranian oil minister says Tehran will probably abandon a multibillion-dollar contract to supply natural gas to Pakistan. Bijan Zanganeh said on October 30 that the contract "is likely to be annulled." - 10/31/13

Iraqi PM Presses for US Military Aid
He stressed the need for upgrades to Iraq's air defenses and other military aid ahead of his visit to the U.S. this week, warning that al-Qaida is exploiting sectarian rifts to carry out a "terrorist campaign." -VOA - 10/31/13

Persian poet Hushang Ebtehaj commemorated
Celebrated Persian poet Hushang Ebtehaj, known by the pseudonym of H. E. Sayeh, was commemorated by the Persian literary magazine Bokhara during a session at the Persian Language Center in Tehran on Sunday. The commemoration was one of the regular sessions the magazine holds to review works of Iranian and international literati and cultural figures. - 10/30/13

Photos: Historic Stony House Complex in Eshtehard, Iran
Stony house complex including man-carved chambers inside the rocky structures. Settlers made this complex in pre-Islamic period by hand to protect themselves from cold and natural disasters. Eshtehard is a town a few miles southwest of Karaj in Alborz province, 50 kilometers west of Tehran. - 10/30/13

Iranian university to reinstate women's studies program
Women's Studies will be offered again at Allameh Tabatabai University, says the university's new head, Hossein Salimi. Salimi announced that the department will begin accepting applicants in the next academic year. - 10/30/13

Iran must draw up a national plan for water conservation: President Rohani
At a meeting of Iran's High Council for Water on Tuesday, President Hassan Rohani stated that a national plan for the conservation and efficient use of water must be drawn up. Tap water in the large cities of Mashhad and Isfahan, the quality of water of the Karoun River, and the issue of the Gotvand Dam in Khuzestan Province were some of the issues discussed at the meeting. - 10/30/13

6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival Announces Award Winners
NIFF presented ten awards for its 2013 line-up of competition films. Each film featured a theme about Iran and/or Iranian talent, either in front of or behind the camera. Over 350 celebrities, VIPs, filmmakers and distinguished guests were in attendance. - 10/30/13

"Conceptual Design" Of Iranian Aircraft Complete By Next Year
Mehr News quoted Dr. Alireza Jahangirian speaking during the Conference on National Grand Scheme of Key Technologies for 150-seat Aircraft Development. "The aircraft to be developed would have a takeoff weight of 76.7 tons and landing weight of 68 tons, with 3850Km flying range," he added. - 10/30/13

Nigeria knocks Iran out of the FIFA U-17 World Cup
Iran failed to reach of the quarterfinals of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 4-1 loss to Nigeria in Al Ain's Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday. - 10/30/13

UN Nuclear Negotiators Plan New Talks in Tehran
The United Nations nuclear agency says it is pleased with Iran's "new approach" to talks over Tehran's controversial nuclear program, and that both sides plan to meet again next month in Iran. The comments came after a second day of meetings Tuesday between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. - 10/30/13

Iraq's Maliki Urges US Military Aid as Senators Criticize 'Sectarian' Leadership
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is asking the United States for help in fighting what he says are terrorists exploiting sectarian tensions. Meanwhile, a group of influential U.S. senators say his leadership is driving a wedge between segments of the Iraqi people. - 10/30/13

Iranian Reformist Daily Becomes First Publication Banned Under Rohani
Iran's reformist "Bahar" daily has become the first publication to be banned since President Hassan Rohani came to office in August. The closure was imposed by Iran's state press watchdog over publication of an article that critics say undermined Islamic principles. - 10/29/13

Iranian actress Pegah Ahangarani receives jail setence
Reports from Iran indicate that Iranian actress Pegah Ahangarani has been sentenced to 18 months in prison by the judiciary. Ahangarani is also a documentary filmmaker and was active in MirHosein Mousavi's campaign during the controversial 2009 presidential election - 10/29/13

Iranian journalists' group bemoans president's lack of action
The Iranian Journalists Association has announced that the new administration has not taken any action to reopen the association. ISNA reports that Badrolsadat Mofidi, secretary general of the association, expressed disappointment that the government has taken no steps to facilitate the reopening of the association - 10/29/13

Iran says Seeks 'Practical Solution' to Rift with UN Inspectors
VIENNA - Iran's new proposal to U.N. inspectors is practical and meant to "solve the issue", an Iranian envoy said before a second day of talks on Tuesday, a hint Tehran may cooperate more with an inquiry into suspected nuclear arms research in the country. - 10/29/13

Iran's Diplomatic Offensive Is Making Netanyahu More Nervous
A scholar from the University of London says President Hassan Rouhani pre-empted further movement towards confrontation between Iran and the United States through his "diplomatic offensive" and this led to "heightened nervousness amongst Netanyahu and his followers." - 10/29/13

Iranian student activist forced to end prison furlough
Majid Tavakoli, the Iranian student activist who was given a furlough last week, has been denied a renewal of the leave. HRANA reports that Tavakoli was given his first furlough on Tuesday October 23 but was not allowed to renew and had to report back to prison on Monday October 28. - 10/29/13

Iran finishes 3rd in Futsal Grand Prix
Iran defeated Paraguay and finished in third place of the 2013 Futsal Grand Prix on Sunday. The Iranian team beat Paraguay 6-2 at the Ginasio Chico Neto Hall in Maringa, Brazil. Brazil lifted the title for the seventh time out of eight after beating Russia 4-2 in penalty shootout. - 10/29/13

Iranian Weightlifter Bahador Moulaei dedicates medal to his coach
Iranian weightlifter Bahador Moulaei dedicated his silver medal to his coach Kourosh Bagheri. Moulaei won the silver medal at the men's +105kg category of the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships with a total of 458kg. - 10/29/13

Norway Again On Top In Legatum's Prosperity Index
The London-based Legatum Institute has issued its latest "Prosperity Index," once again placing Norway first in rankings that aim to reflect overall wealth, health, and happiness. The index assesses 142 countries. - 10/29/13

Iran cuts saffron export duty to zero
Iran's saffron exports will increase by 15 percent in the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, the secretary of the National Iranian Saffron Council said in May. Farshid Manouchehri added that Iran exported 126 tons of saffron, valued at $384 million, to different countries in the past Iranian calendar year. - 10/29/13

U.S. Jews Less Hawkish on Iran
Despite renewed calls in Congress for increasing pressure on Iran, support for a U.S. attack against the Islamic Republic has declined markedly over the past year, according to the latest in an annual series of polls carried out by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). -Jim Lobe, IPS - 10/29/13

A Look At Iran's Fake American Food Franchises
Amidst the occasional televised chants of "Death to America" that are mostly disregarded by the majority of the population, a common truth lies amongst the Iranian people: They love the American people and its fast food. -Holly Dagres, BuzzFeed - 10/29/13

Veteran Iranian Actor Nasser Malek-Motiei returns with "Negar's Role"
Iranian actor Nasser Malek-Motiei has returned to the silver screen in the role of an old man in the family drama "Negar's Role" after a 31-year hiatus. The 83-year-old thespian's return to cinema was celebrated during a ceremony held on Friday evening by the Sorinet Group, a holding company that produced the film and is owned by controversial tycoon Babak Zanjani. - 10/28/13

A book by Meghan Nuttall Sayres: "Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran"
New from Nortia Press, LOVE AND POMEGRANATES: ARTISTS AND WAYFARERS ON IRAN (2013) brings together voices of Americans, Iranian-Americans, Europeans and Iranians in a rare collection, seven years in the making, by ordinary people who have found friendships, mentors, and muses in Iran. - 10/28/13

Iran Takes Down New Anti-American Billboards in Tehran
Iran's official news agency says Tehran authorities have taken down anti-American billboards just days after ultra-conservatives erected them in an apparent effort to discredit U.S. negotiators in talks with the new Iranian leadership. - 10/28/13

Iranian MP calls for justice if opposition leader's daughters were assaulted
Iranian MP Ali Motahari says that if the daughters of detained opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have been assaulted, then the intelligence ministry must apologize to the Mousavi family and the people of Iran. - 10/28/13

Rising US Oil Production May Cut Saudi Influence In Washington
Economists say the United States is in the process of passing Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest oil producer. This means less dependence on oil imports, stronger economic growth, and more latitude in dealing with political problems with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. -Jim Randle, VOA - 10/28/13

Iran oil revenues to hit $54.5bn once sanctions lifted: Oil Minister
Iran Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the country will earn USD 54.5 billion in oil revenues annually once the US-led sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector have been lifted. "We must try to have the [anti-Iran] sanctions lifted in order to speed up the process of the country's development," Zanganeh said on Sunday. - 10/28/13

Official reveals statistics for sex change operations in Iran
Mohammad Saberi, the head of the Tehran Department of Forensic Psychiatry, has reported that there are eight times as many male-to-female sex change operations in Iran as there are female-to-male operations. The Mehr News Agency reports that Saberi said: "In Iran, one in every 50,000 to 100,000 people suffers from gender identity disorder." - 10/28/13

EU seeks to tighten Iran bans despite court rulings
The European Union (EU) is trying to bolster unilateral bans imposed against Iran despite recent rulings by the EU courts calling for the removal of sanctions on a number of Iranian entities, a report says. - 10/28/13

Iranian Lawmakers Approve Two, But Reject One Ministerial Pick
Lawmakers said Amiri, a close ally of the president, lacked experience, mismanaged other positions he served in, and had a role in unrest following former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in 2009. - 10/28/13

Daughters Of Jailed Iranian Opposition Leader Say Guards Beat Them
On the day many Iranians were hoping to hear about the release of opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, his daughters were beaten up by security guards after a visit to their father, according to one of the women's posts on Facebook. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/27/13

FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013: Iran edge Austria to stamp ticket
Iran booked their place in the Round of 16 of the U-17 finals in UAE after a 1-0 win over Austria in Al Ain saw them finish second in Group E. Their opponent in the first knockout round will be none other than Nigeria, who return to their home-base in the desert after topping their section. Austria and Canada are both eliminated after the night's results, while Argentina win Group E and move on the next stage. - 10/27/13

Iran defeats U.S. to win taekwondo gold
Iranian men's national taekwondo team has been crowned champion at the second SportAccord World Combat Games in Russia, taking home the gold medal. The Iranian outfit, comprising Mohammad Kazemi, Behnam Asbaghi, Alireza Nasr-Azadani, Massoud Hoji-Zavareh, Farzad Abdollahi and Koroush Rajoli, overpowered the American squad 17-12 in their final match on Thursday. - 10/27/13

Over 118,000 Afghan Pupils Going to Schools in Tehran province of Iran
More than 118,000 Afghan pupils are going to schools in Tehran Province, said Issa Mousavinasab, the Director-General of the Foreign Nationals and Immigrants Department of Tehran Governorate General. - 10/27/13

Attack on Iranian border guards prompts multiple executions
Sixteen prisoners on death row in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan were executed today in response to an attack carried out on Saravan border officials, judiciary officials announced. - 10/27/13

The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: A book talk at UCLA by Goli Taraghi, Author
Rich in characters, whimsical and deeply poignant, humorous and real, the stories of Goli Taraghi have made her one of the world's most beloved contemporary writers from Iran. - Sunday, November 10, 2013 at UCLA - 10/27/13

US Nuclear Negotiator Calls for Pause in Iran Sanctions
In an exclusive interview Friday with VOA's Persian service, U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said any push for additional U.S. sanctions should be delayed to see if nuclear talks can "gain traction." She said Obama administration officials have been speaking with Senate and House lawmakers on delaying the sanctions. -Siamak Dehghanpour - 10/27/13

Iran seeks realistic solution to Syria crisis: Foreign Minister
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to find a realistic solution for this major problem in the region that has posed great dangers to the region," Zarif said at joint press conference with UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday. - 10/27/13

From Caspian Sea to Arctic to Middle East, How Oil Pipelines Threaten Democracy & Planet's Survival
Today we spend the hour looking at politics, money and the pursuit of oil, focusing on what's known as the Oil Road, a series of pipelines stretching from the oil-rich Caspian Sea to Europe. Key nations along the route include Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The oil giant BP operates the main pipeline. -Democracy Now - 10/27/13

Photos: The Last Day of Month of Mehr in Tehran
Tuesday October 22nd was the last day of Iranian month of Mehr. These photos show the residents of the capital city Tehran grappling with traffic and dangerously high levels of pollution on this day. They also show a city covered in tick smug longing for brighter days... - 10/25/13

Saudi-US Rift Seen Over Middle East 'Mess'
The United States has downplayed recent tensions with Saudi Arabia, but some in the region say the problems may not be easily pushed aside. Saudi Arabia is having a fit of pique. The normally staid kingdom has rebuffed a seat on the U.N. Security Council, hinted it might go it alone on Syria, and most surprisingly, made clear its anger at long-time ally the United States. -Elizabeth Arrott, VOA - 10/25/13

Three Iranian Political Prisoners Get Respite From Evin's Ward 350
Three Iranian political prisoners have been given a furlough from Ward 350 of Evin Prison. The Kaleme website reports that Morteza Khosravirad was released on Tuesday October 22 and another two were released the following day. - 10/25/13

Iraq, Iran Forge New Relationship
WASHINGTON - The U.S. removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003 created a new dynamic between Iraq and Iran. The two nations, which fought each other in the 1980s, have re-established close ties - with implications for the region and the United States.- Jeffrey Young, VOA - 10/25/13

US Warns Foreign Spy Agencies About Snowden Documents
According to Washington Post, the tens of thousands of documents that Snowden collected contain sensitive material about collection programs against such countries as Iran, Russia and China. The newspaper said the documents also referred to operations involving countries not publicly allied with the U.S. - 10/25/13

Israelis, Saudis Just Getting Started in Opposing U.S.-Iran Detente
The trick to finding an agreement between the P5+1 world powers and Iran has become clear: keep Israel and Saudi Arabia out of the room. (But don't expect them to be happy about it.) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is touring the globe now with his message of doom about an impending Iranian nuclear weapon. "It will be tragic if (Iran) succeeds in avoiding the sanctions," Netanyahu said in Rome on Tuesday. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 10/25/13

White House Presses Senate to Delay new Iran Sanctions
he White House hosted a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said. -Reuters - 10/25/13

Iran's Hardliners: Weaker But Louder
News media accounts of reactions from Iran to the recent talks in Geneva remind me of a joke that has gone viral there: A salesman shows a variety of hearing aids ranging in cost from one to a thousand dollars to a customer, who then asks, "How well does the one dollar one work?" The salesman responds, "It doesn't work at all! But, people speak louder when they see you wearing it." -Ali Reza Eshraghi - 10/24/13

Rooz Talks With Mohsen Gharavian: Majority of Iranians Want Relations With the US
Cleric Mohsen Gharavian told Rooz that according to polls conducted on Iran-US relations, the majority have a positive view of establishing relations with the US and that Hassan Rowhani's efforts are in line with the wishes and trust of the Iranian people and those of the supreme leader. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 10/24/13

Iran's Hard-Liners Fight To Defend Enmity With U.S.
In the past few days, new banners have popped up around Iran's capital. They show an Iranian government negotiator sitting across a table from an American government negotiator wearing a suit with army pants and boots with a shotgun in his lap under the table. - 10/24/13

MODERNITY OF TRADITION: Photography exhibition in London in support of the Omid Foundations
An exhibition of photographs by Omid Salehi in support the Omid Foundations. The exhibition includes over 40 limited edition photographs by the artist. This is a truly unique opportunity to purchase photographs of exceptional importance at very attractive prices and at the same time supporting the work of the Omid Foundations. - 10/24/13

Kerry, Netanyahu Meet Amid Rising Tension Over Iran
ROME - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome. Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East peace talks were on the agenda as the meeting went on for several hours. Israel is making clear its concerns about the warming of relations between Iran and the West. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 10/24/13

Iran: Lab Tests Show Karroubi's Health Seriously Deteriorating Under House Arrest
olitical dissident and 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, who has been under extrajudicial house arrest since February 2011, is suffering from an alarmingly low level of vitamin D and osteoporosis, according to pathology laboratory test results the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has obtained. - 10/24/13

NIAC Welcomes Iran Report from UN Human Rights Monitor, Calls for Mandate to be Extended
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Council released the following statement after the release of the latest report from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran: - 10/24/13

Tehran Warns Malaysia Against Executing Iranians
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said that relations with Malaysia will suffer if the Southeast Asian country proceeds with the execution of two Iranian women convicted of drugs trafficking. - 10/24/13

Adelson says Obama should fire 'atomic weapon' at Iran, not negotiate
Last night in New York, Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire supporter of Israel, said that the U.S. should fire a nuclear weapon at Iran rather than negotiate. He said that if Obama fires a weapon into the desert, killing no one, and then threatens to send the next one to Tehran so that Iran is "wiped out," Iran will cease its nuclear program. -Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss - 10/24/13

UN Nuclear Inspectors Hope to End Deadlock With Iran
VIENNA - Iran's apparent new readiness to address international concerns about its atomic ambitions will be tested in talks with U.N. inspectors on Monday, with diplomats hoping for progress such as on access to a sensitive military site. -Reuters - 10/24/13

Pastor Detained In Iran Returns To U.S.
A U.S. pastor who was detained for more than 24 hours in Tehran earlier this week has returned to the United States. Pastor Eddie Romero arrived in Los Angeles on October 23 after being kicked out of Iran by Iranian authorities. - 10/24/13

Iran's 'Cable Guys' Provide Service For Contraband Satellites
On a street corner in Tehran stand two cousins. One with a large plastic bag, the other with a laptop case. Amir and Javad, between 35 and 40, are one of the small groups of discreet, independently working men who install and maintain satellite dishes in Iran's capital. -Holly Dagres for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse - 10/24/13

Iranian Students Celebrate Activist Tavakoli's Temporary Release
Supporters of Majid Tavakoli, a prominent jailed student activist in Iran and one of the biggest symbols of that country's embattled student movement, are celebrating his brief taste of freedom. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/23/13

Photos: Land mine left over from Iran-Iraq war explodes, injures 7 children
An explosion from a land mine left over from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war has injured seven children in western Iran, the Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday. The incident took place in the city of Marivan in Kurdistan Province on Friday while children were playing with the mine, Marivan's governor general, Abdollah Rashidi, told the Mehr. - 10/23/13

Iranian Culture Minister Says Opinions Allowed On Women Singing Solo
Iran's minister of culture says it is not wrong to express an opinion about solo female singers in Iranian music. ILNA reports that Culture Minister Ali Jannati said: "Every person is free to express their own opinion in this regard, but there is not even consensus among senior religious leaders on this subject." - 10/23/13

Iran opposes UNESCO plan to register polo for Azerbaijan
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) has stated that it is opposed to UNESCO's plan to register polo on its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity exclusively from the Republic of Azerbaijan. - 10/23/13

Iran held by Canada at FIFA U-17 World Cup
Iran was held to a 1-1 draw against Canada in Group E of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. In the match held at the Al-Rashid Stadium, Amirhossein Karimi gave the Iranian outfit a lead just nine minutes into the match. - 10/23/13

West must prove goodwill to Iran: Rafsanjani
The chairman of Iran's Expediency Council has urged the Western countries to prove their goodwill to Iran in the course of the ongoing diplomatic efforts to resolve the issues regarding Tehran's nuclear energy program. - 10/23/13

Former administration left over $72b in debts: President Rohani
The administration of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left $72 billion dollar of debt, President Hassan Rohani said on Monday. The government is now indebted the sum to the banking system, the private sector, and contractors, Rohani was quoted as saying by the Mehr News Agency. - 10/23/13

Tehran Spares Life Of Hanging Survivor
Iran has reportedly decided to spare the life of a convicted criminal who survived a hanging. On October 23, the official IRNA news agency quoted Justice Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi as saying that "the convict who survived will not be executed again." - 10/23/13

Iran, Britain rebuild relations with plans to re-open embassies
A spokeswoman for Iran's foreign ministry has announced that Iran and Britain will appoint new charges d'affaires within the next eight days and their respective embassies will be re-opened. - 10/23/13

Iran Sends Out Feelers for Return to Oil Markets
Iran is reaching out to its old oil buyers and is ready to cut prices if Western sanctions against it are eased, promising a battle for market share in a world less hungry for oil than when sanctions were imposed. -Reuters - 10/23/13

Syria Peace Push Continues as Complications Linger
United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is pushing forward with a regional tour aimed at building support for a Syrian peace conference, amid lingering questions about who would take part and under what conditions. - 10/23/13

Iranian hardliners sic media on top US nuclear negotiator
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman has been slammed by hardliners for her comment that 'deception is part of the DNA,' despite the Iranian government's clear desire to ignore it. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 10/23/13

Saudi Arabia Warns of Shift Away from US Over Syria, Iran
Upset with President Barack Obama's policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years. -Reuters - 10/23/13

Photos: Life in Hawizeh Marshes
The Hawizeh Marshes are a complex of marshes that straddle the Iraq and Iran border. The marshes are fed by the Tigris River in Iraq and Karkheh River in Iran. Photographer AbdolVahab Korushavi has captured snapshots of the people living at the Hawizeh Marshes. These Iranians seem to be living a primitive life, in isolation from the rest of their country and the world. - 10/22/13

Foreign currencies getting cheaper for Iranian traders
Iranian currency traders are noting a fall in the exchange rate for the dollar against Iran's national currency, the rial. ISNA reports that the dollar was traded below 30,000 rials on the open market on Monday October 21, and similar declines were also registered with other foreign currencies. - 10/22/13

Prominent Iranian Student Activist Granted Prison Leave
Majid Tavakoli, a prominent jailed student activist and one of the symbols of Iran's embattled student movement, has been given prison leave for the first time since his arrest in 2009. Tavakoli was arrested after publicly criticizing repression in Iran. - 10/22/13

Iran's Gift to Russia: Replica of ScanEagle Drone
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has provided the Russian army with a copy of the US ScanEagle drone which was hunted by the IRGC in 2012 and a video showing how Iran monitors the trans-regional countries' vessels and equipment in the Persian Gulf. - 10/22/13

Iran honors veteran director Dariush Mehrjui
The celebrated Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui has been paid tribute during a ceremony for his 50 years efforts for Iranian cinema. Born in 1939 in Tehran, the award winning director graduated from the UCLA University in Philosophy and Film Studies in 1964. - 10/22/13

Iran considering increase in interest rates
The Iranian administration is considering an increase in interest rates, the country's Money and Credit Council member Mohammad Nahavandian has said. "Currently, the country is grappling with inflationary recession, so that it is not possible to change the rates swiftly," he was quoted as saying by the Mehr News Agency. - 10/22/13

UN's Syria specialist to visit Iran in advance of new talks
Iranian media report that the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will travel to Iran next week to discuss the talks on Syria to be held in Geneva. IRNA reports that Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Tehran next week in preparation for the Geneva 2 talks and is scheduled to meet with the Iranian president, foreign minister and speaker of Parliament. - 10/22/13

Oman to Represent Iran's Interests in Canada
Oman will look after Iranian affairs in Canada after diplomatic relations were suspended last year, Iran said on Tuesday, part of efforts by Tehran to improve ties with the West under President Hassan Rouhani. -Reuters - 10/22/13

Iran has swiftly achieved diplomatic success: President Rohani
Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Sunday that in a short period of time, his administration has been able to halt the trend of increasing sanctions on Iran through active diplomacy, constructive interaction with the outside world, and the support of the Supreme Leader. - 10/21/13

ZAHHAK: The Dragon King of Persia
World premiere (in London) of a new stage work by Hossein Hadisi for voices, percussion and dance. The piece celebrates the Persian minstrels' art of Naqqali by reenacting the ancient myth of Zahhak from the Persian 'Book of Kings'. The music is performed by EXAUDI, one of Britain's leading contemporary music ensembles, and six dancers from London Contemporary Dance School. - 10/21/13

US: Talk of Easing Iran Sanctions 'Premature'
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says talk of a possible easing of U.S. sanctions against Iran is premature, despite last week's discussions in Geneva on the country's disputed nuclear program. - 10/21/13

BOOK: Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present
This book (by Richard Foltz) brings to light the often neglected influence of Iranian ideas throughout the history of the world's religions, from prehistory up to the present day. Originating as one of the Indo-European tribes of the Eurasian steppes in ancient times, Iranians share much of their mythology with the Greeks, Romans, Norse, and Hindus. - 10/21/13

Ali Doostimehr lauds Iran performance against Argentina in FIFA U-17 World Cup
Iran coach Ali Doostimehr was delighted with the result against Argentina in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Iran and Argentina drew 1-1 on Saturday in Dubai's Al-Rashid Stadium in the opening match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. - 10/21/13

Iran's environmental chief says "illegal" satellite towers coming down
The head of Iran's Department of the Environment has announced that all "illegal" satellite reception towers designed to interfere with signals will be dismantled. - 10/21/13

Iran to host 2014 Fajr Visual Arts Festival
Iran is planning to set novel programs for the sixth edition of Fajr International Visual Arts Festival to be held in the capital city of Tehran February 3-24, 2014. The festival annually hosts many artists from the country and around the world to vie in nine categories including painting, graphic design, pottery, illustration, miniature, and caricature. - 10/21/13

Iran Hawks Down but Not Out After Geneva
Hopeful statements emerging from this week's talks between Iran and the great powers have clearly set back foes of any detente between Washington and Tehran, but they are far from giving up the fight. -Jim Lobe - 10/21/13

Senior Iranian cleric speaks out against hanging convict again
Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a senior Iranian Shia cleric, has expressed his opposition to the proposed second hanging of a convict who did not die after his first hanging. - 10/21/13

Iran has the political will to reach a win-win deal: Rouhani
Iran has the necessary political will to strike a win-win deal with the six major powers to resolve the decade-old dispute over its nuclear program, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday. - 10/20/13

Iran Heritage Foundation announces the appointment of Dr John Curtis OBE FBA as CEO of IHF and IHF America
Dr Curtis joins Iran Heritage Foundation from the British Museum where he was Keeper of the Middle East Department until 2011 and is currently Keeper of Special Middle East Projects. - 10/20/13

Iranian Violin Master Mahmoud Zolfonoon Dies At Age 93
Mahmoud Zolfonoon, the Iranian violin master, has passed away at the age of 93 in the United States. A student of Iranian music legends Ruhollah Khaleghi and Abolhassan Saba, Zolfonoon studied at Iran's National Conservatory of Music. - 10/20/13

Russian Air Force Chief Meets Iranian Counterpart In Tehran
Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) Brigadier General Hassan Shah-Safi and visiting Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev held talks on pilots training in Tehran on Sunday, an official said. - 10/20/13

Detained Opposition Leader's Wife Appeals To Iranian President
Fatemeh Karroubi has appealed to the Iranian president to clarify the legal basis for the incarceration of her husband, Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist candidate who challenged the authenticity of the vote count in the 2009 presidential election. - 10/20/13

EU Parliamentary Delegation Attends Iranian Parliament Session
A five-member European Union (EU) parliamentary delegation attended the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) open session on Sunday. Member of Majlis Presiding Board Mohammad Hossein Farhangi expressed hope that the delegation would convey a message of peace and friendship to the Iranian nation. - 10/20/13

EPO plans to launch environmentally friendly movement in Iran
The director of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization says the organization under her portfolio plans to establish an environmentally friendly city and village council movement across the country. - 10/20/13

Iranian President Introduces Nominees For Three Ministries
President Rouhani introduced Reza Salehi Amiri as the minister of sports and youth, Ali Asghar Fani as the education minister and Reza Faraji Dana as the minister of science, research and technology, he added. - 10/20/13

Early poll results show majority of Iranians supports changing U.S. relations
Nameh News has published the preliminary results of the Iranian government's public referendum about changing Iranian-U.S. relations. "The preliminary results of the census show that 80 to 90 percent of the people support a change in the relations between the two countries while 10 to 20 percent oppose it," the report indicates. - 10/19/13

Zarif says Iran not worried about revealing content of Geneva talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Iran is not concerned about the revelation of the details of the Geneva talks over Tehran's nuclear program. "We have agreed to keep the discussions confidential. However, I assure you it does not mean that we are concerned about the public announcement of what were discussed during the talks," Zarif wrote on his Facebook page on Friday. - 10/19/13

Reports: US Considering Easing Iran Sanctions Pain
News reports say the Obama administration is considering gradually unfreezing some of Iran's overseas funds to ease the pain of sanctions aimed at curbing the country's nuclear program. The proposal would reportedly free up Iran's assets in installments. - 10/19/13

Interview: U.S. Congressman Price On Diplomatic Momentum On Iran And Not 'Killing' Diplomacy
U.S. Congressman David Price (Democrat-North Carolina) spoke with RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Fred Petrossians about diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran and U.S. sanctions against Iran. Price was a co-author of a letter that garnered the support of 120 U.S. lawmakers in July calling on President Barack Obama to reengage Iran diplomatically over its nuclear program following the election of the Islamic republic's next president. - 10/19/13

WHERE DOES DIZZINESS COME FROM? Johns Hopkins researchers pinpoint a key area for "upright perception" in the human brain
"Our brain has this amazing way of knowing where we are in space, whether we are upright or tilted at an angle, even if it is completely dark and we can't see anything around us," says Amir Kheradmand, M.D., a neurology instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who conducted the research. - 10/19/13

Conference in DC: "US-Iran direct talks: Is there a Breakthrough on the Horizon?"
The American Iranian Council (AIC) invites you to attend a timely conference titled, "US-Iran direct talks: is there a Breakthrough on the Horizon?" This event is a part of the AIC's flagship project, "Mapping US-Iran Peace," which aims to facilitate a constructive dialogue between Iran and the United States. - 10/19/13

Turkey's 'Anti-Terror' Law Casts Increasingly Wide Net
ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's democratic reform package is facing criticism following the Justice Ministry's revelation that 20,000 people have been convicted under the country's anti-terrorism law during the last four years, 8,000 of whom were jailed just in the last 12 months. - 10/19/13

Ill and Long Isolated, Iranian Opposition Leaders Smell Freedom
Four months after President Hassan Rouhani's election, Iran is reviewing the house arrest of two opposition leaders, but conservatives may fear the consequences of freeing men who remain heroes to many Iranians. -Reuters - 10/19/13

Iran opens doors to tourists as Rouhani fosters thaw in relations with the west
New atmosphere under reformist president sees visa rules eased with Chinese visitors a priority for sanctions-hit country. Mohammad-Ali Najafi, a vice-president and the head of the country's cultural heritage and tourism organisation, said Iran was overhauling its strict immigration rules to ease or abolish visa requirements for most foreign visitors. - 10/19/13

A tale of two speeches: Rouhani and Netanyahu at UN General Assembly
Netanyahu described the Iranian President Rouhani, as a liar, as a charlatan, as a wolf in sheep's clothing, and accused him of being responsible for many crimes, none of which has been proven. He said that Iran with a bomb was worse than 50 North Koreas, and compared Iran's behavior to those of Europe's fascist dictatorships of the 20th century. -Farhang Jahanpour - 10/18/13

Back Pain Breaks Ice During Iran Nuclear Talks
The official was asked whether the discussion with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led the Iranian delegation, included the back pain that reportedly caused him to arrive at the concluding press conference in a wheelchair. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/18/13

6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival Honors Oscar-nominated Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo
The 6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival (Los Angeles, Oct 18-24) will present the NIFF Achievement Award to the only Oscar-nominated Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo at this year's Closing Awards Ceremony. - 10/18/13

Twenty Iranian celebs named World Food Program partners
A group of 20 Iranian popular figures were selected as celebrity partners of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) during a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday. The director of the WFP Country Office in Iran, Negar Gerami, awarded the celebs certificates during the ceremony, which was held at the National Library and Archives of Iran. - 10/18/13

Khomeini's Granddaughter Quits Facebook Over War Joke
Heard the one about the ayatollah who wanted to marry war widows? It's the type of joke that doesn't get many laughs in Iran, even if told by the grandest ayatollah of them all -- Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/18/13

Many US Senators Oppose Ratifying UN Arms Trade Treaty
WASHINGTON - Fifty U.S. Senators, half of the Senate's membership, say they will not ratify a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty signed by the United States. Their opposition to the treaty was expressed in a letter to President Barack Obama. -Andre de Nesnera, VOA - 10/18/13

Are Hawks in Congress Trying to Scuttle Iran Talks?
Negotations over the county's nuclear program have been deemed fruitful by both sides, so why are GOP hardliners making trouble just when things seem to be going well? -Mathew Duss, American Prospect - 10/18/13

Iranian Convict Faces Second Hanging
ran's chief justice faced competing calls Thursday about whether to spare a convicted drug trafficker who was found alive at a morgue a day after being hanged. The prisoner, identified only as 37-year-old Alireza M., was pronounced dead by an attending doctor after initially being "put to death" at a government prison in northeastern Iran, - 10/18/13

UN Members Elect 5 Countries to Security Council
U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe announced the winners of the secret ballot vote. "Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are elected members of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning on 1 January 2014," he said. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 10/18/13

A magic comeback? Even the carpet bazaaris are raising their hopes of the new president
JUST north of Khayyam underground railway station, named after Persia's pre-eminent 11th-century poet, lies Tehran's sprawling carpet bazaar, said to hold the largest collection of handmade rugs on earth. The carpet business, Iran's largest after oil, is emerging from one of its darkest periods. -Economist - 10/18/13

Iran's internal drama in nuclear talks: Seeking common ground with outreach critics
The Iranian foreign minister's parting words in Geneva carried hopes that the U.S. and other world powers could begin closing the gap with Tehran over its nuclear program. He returns home with perhaps an even tougher challenge at finding common ground. -AP - 10/18/13

EU's Top Diplomat Praises 'Substantive' Iran Nuclear Talks
Talks between Iran and six world powers on Tehran's controversial nuclear program have ended on an upbeat note, with the European Union's top diplomat calling them "substantive" and "very important." Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign-policy chief, said on October 16 at the end of the two-day talks in Geneva that the next high-level meeting will be in Geneva on November 7 and 8. - 10/17/13

Iran, World Powers Moving Forward with 'Substantive' Nuclear Talks
Iran and world powers will meet again in three weeks' time to continue what both sides are calling "substantive" negotiations to address international concerns about the country's nuclear program. In the meantime, nuclear, scientific and sanctions experts will work to address the differences that have made the standoff stretch on for more than a decade. - 10/17/13

A New March in Tehran: Distrust in America - Explanations For Khamenei's Foreign Policy Change
The debate over the 30-minute telephone conversation between Hassan Rowhani and Barack Obama in New York last month, and the possibility of future talks between the two counties, continues to be the hot debate in Iran's political circles. -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 10/17/13

Turkey exposed 10 Mossad spies to Iran in 2012: Report
The US daily Washington Post claims Turkish government in 2012 disclosed to Iranian intelligence authorities the identities of "up to 10 Iranians" working for Israeli spy agency Mossad. - 10/17/13

Column: Iran Nuclear Talks in Geneva Get Down to Details
From the European venue to the power point presentation in English, this week's nuclear negotiations with Iran showed a new seriousness that bodes well for a future agreement, even if it does not guarantee one. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 10/17/13

Iran, Britain move closer to resuming relations
Iranian and British representatives met on the sidelines of the nuclear talks in Geneva, taking further steps to re-establish diplomatic relations. - 10/17/13

NIAC Applauds US-Iran Diplomatic Progress, Warns Congress Against Sabotaging a Deal
Ahead of new negotiations that are scheduled for November 7 and 8, it is critical that the U.S. Congress not interfere. New sanctions legislation would sabotage this promising but fragile process. The Senate must not complicate the talks by tying the hands of the President or undermining confidence that the U.S. can reciprocate in these negotiations. - 10/17/13

How Pierre Omidyar plans to 'free' independent journalism
Pierre Omidyar, a 46-year-old Paris-born Iranian American who is worth $8.5 billion, did not miss a beat in answering that question last night: "I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy." -The Week, UK - 10/17/13

Israel and the Gulf Increasingly Nervous Over Iran-U.S. Detente
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and its supporters in the powerful Israel lobby, which exerts its greatest influence through Congress, appear to be working overtime to persuade the administration of President Barack Obama not to ease economic sanctions on Iran until their maximalist demands are met. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 10/17/13

Araghchi: Iran Open To Additional Protocol As Part Of Endgame
Geneva - Abbas Aragchi, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister who is currently leading talks here between Iran and world powers known as the P5+1, told IPS News in an interview this morning at his hotel that Iran is willing to implement the Additional Protocol in the final stage of a mutually agreed upon nuclear deal. -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 10/16/13

FOOTBALL: Iran defeats Thailand in Asian Cup qualifier
TEHRAN - Iran beat Thailand in a 2015 AFC Asian Cup Group B qualifier at the Azadi Stadium on Tuesday evening. The Iranian team defeated Thailand 2-1 and remained at the top of the table with seven points, followed by Kuwait and Lebanon with five and four points respectively. Thailand has any point in the group. - 10/16/13

Senior Iranian, U.S. Officials Hold Direct Talks In Geneva
The U.S. State Department has confirmed that senior officials from the Iranian and U.S. governments have held direct talks on the sidelines of nuclear negotiations in Geneva. The October 15 meeting, which lasted about an hour, was described by U.S. officials as "useful." -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 10/16/13

Iran Floats Prospect Of Opening Energy Industry To West
In anticipation of a thaw, Iran is preparing to capitalize on improved relations with the West. And to win skeptics over to the idea that crippling economic sanctions targeting Iran should be dropped, Tehran is floating a huge incentive -- the prospect of giving Western investors access to the country's vast oil and gas reserves. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 10/16/13

Iran, World Powers Continue 'Serious' Nuclear Talks
Both sides praised the first day of negotiations Tuesday in Geneva, where Iran's foreign minister outlined technical aspects of a new plan aimed at assuring the international community its nuclear program is peaceful. In exchange, Iran is seeking relief from international sanctions imposed to try to force it to halt uranium enrichment activities. - 10/16/13

Former Iranian President Urges "Extremists" Not To Block Diplomatic Blossoming
Iranian moderate cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says it is vital that "extremists" allow Iran to establish relations with the world. The Mehr News Agency reports that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Kermanshah: "If extremists allow us to establish relations with the world, many of the country's problems would be resolved; otherwise we cannot achieve any breakthroughs." - 10/16/13

Iran's auto production drastically down
Iran's minister of Industry, Mining and Trade says the country's auto production decreased by 44 percent in the first six months of the year. ISNA reports that Mohammadreza Nematzadeh told a press conference that the industry had expected to produce 900,000 cars this year; however, the reduced output so far has thrown that goal into question. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 10/16/13

EU Says Iranian Proposal At Nuclear Talks 'Very Useful'
The European Union says Iran made a "very useful" presentation in Geneva on how to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing an atomic bomb. Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, made the announcement after the start of two-day talks in Geneva between senior officials from Iran and the 5+1 group of world powers. - 10/16/13

Iran top brass tells US to seize 'historic' opportunity
Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi says the United States must seize the historic opportunity created by Iran's foreign diplomacy. "The Islamic Republic's positive and constructive diplomacy has created a major historic opportunity and the US administration [must] not lose this constructive opportunity which will not last forever...," he said on Wednesday. - 10/16/13

Netanyahu's Threats Ring Hollow Amid Iranian Proposals
In most corners of the world, the news that a presentation by Iran at its meetings with the 6 world power P5+1 team in Geneva today was greeted warmly by their interlocutors aroused optimism and a hopeful feeling. Not so in Israel, where any hint of rapprochement with the Islamic Republic is viewed as an apocalyptic security threat. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 10/16/13

The forgotten story of Iran Air Flight 655
If you walked into any high school classroom in the United States and asked the students to describe their country's relationship with Iran, you'd probably hear words like "enemy" and "threat," maybe "distrust" and "nuclear." But ask them what the number 655 has to do with it, and you'd be met with silence. -Max Fisher, Washington Post - 10/16/13

Hassan the Hero
Six months ago, it was inconceivable to even dream about a normalization of relations between Iran and the United States and even more imprudent to think about the likelihood of a handshake between the nations' two presidents, yet if last month is a litmus test for what is to come, both of these once far-off notions could soon become a legitimate reality. -Omid Irani - 10/15/13

Iran Nuclear Talks Begin Amid 'Cautious Optimism'
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are holding fresh talks in the long-running standoff over the country's nuclear program. The meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva come amid what European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called "cautious optimism". These talks are the first since Iran elected a new president. -VOA - 10/15/13

Iran's President Backs Freedom For Scholars, Students
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called for granting Iranian scholars and students more opportunity to take part in international gatherings. Speaking at Tehran University, Rohani said it was a "shame" that students and professors "are not able to express their viewpoints." - 10/15/13

Iran Presents New Proposals In Geneva
The European Union says Iran has opened the latest round of talks with the international community by presenting new proposals on how to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program. Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, made the announcement after the start of two-day talks in Geneva between senior officials from Iran and the 5+1 group of world powers. -RFE - 10/15/13

U.S. Gift To The Iranian People A 'Fake'
When Iran's President Hassan Rohani came home from his charm offensive in New York last month, he arrived bearing a "special gift" from the United States. But any resulting goodwill may be short-lived, with art experts now saying the 2,700-year-old Persian artifact that was returned to the Iranian people is a fake. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 10/15/13

US Senators Willing to Ease Iran Sanctions Only After Concessions
A bipartisan group of leading U.S. senators say they are open to suspending the implementation of new sanctions on Iran but only if Tehran takes significant steps to slow its nuclear program. - 10/15/13

Ashton Looks Forward to Success of New Talks with Iran
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is in the midst of a diplomatic flurry these days. She is not only in charge of the common foreign policy of the 28-member European bloc, but also heads the representatives of the P5+1 group of world powers in their nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Said Khaloozadeh - 10/15/13

Iran: Sentence for opposition leader's campaign worker reduced from 10 to 7 years
The Iranian judiciary has reduced the 10-year prison sentence given to Emad Bahavar, a member of Nationalist-Religious youth. Bahavar's lawyer reports that her client's sentence has been reduced by three years as a result of the appeal process. - 10/15/13

Israeli Claim of Iranian ICBM Exploits Biased U.S. Intel
In an effort to provoke any possible opposition in U.S. political circles to a nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to exploiting an old claim that Iran is building intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the United States. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 10/15/13

Iran asks for "supportive media" during nuclear talks
Iran's foreign minister has called on the media to refrain from "spreading rumours and erroneous translations of statements" during the nuclear negotiations in Geneva. Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that the nuclear negotiations are the result of a "national movement" and he called for a supportive media. - 10/15/13

BOOKS: Containing Iran Is the "Least Bad Policy" for U.S.
The day that the much-heralded new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 world powers opens might seem like the wrong day to pick up Unthinkable, Kenneth Pollack's new exploration of what to do if talks fail. -Heather Hurlburt, IPS - 10/15/13

A Hope for Something Different at Upcoming Iran Talks
GENEVA - Iranian negotiators will start meeting with the United Nations contact group in Geneva on Tuesday to see whether Tehran's change of government will help break the long deadlock over its nuclear program. -Al Pessin, VOA - 10/14/13

CAN YOU PASS THE IRAN QUIZ?
What can possibly justify the relentless U.S. diplomatic (and mainstream media) assault on Iran? It cannot be argued that Iran is an aggressive state that is dangerous to its neighbors as facts do not support this claim. It cannot be relevant that Iran adheres to Islamic fundamentalism, has a flawed democracy and denies women full western-style civil rights, as Saudi Arabia is more fundamentalist, far less democratic and more oppressive of women yet is a U.S. ally... -Jeffrey Rudolph - 10/14/13

Iran: Supreme Leader pardons more political prisoners
Another six political prisoners have been released from Evin Prison with a pardon from the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Mohammadvali Gholamnejad, Mostafa Badkobeyi, Ali Nemati, Farzad Rouhi, Mohammad Eshaghabadi and Bahador Alizadeh were released on the night of Friday October 11. - 10/14/13

Iranian government says family subsidies budget facing enormous shortfall
The deputy head of budgets and planning for the Rohani government says the budget for paying family subsidies is facing a shortfall in the trillions. Mohammadbagher Nobakht said the government is looking at stopping payments to families in the top three income tiers. Currently, the subsidies are given out to all families irrespective of income. - 10/14/13

Iran Hopeful Geneva Talks Can Lead To 'Road Map'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he hopes Tehran and world powers can agree this week on a "road map" toward resolving the crisis over Iran's disputed nuclear program. - 10/14/13

Remove all sanctions against Iranian people!
The comprehensive US/EU sanctions attacking the lifeline of Iranian economy is a criminal war of choice against the Iranian population. Far from the claims of sanctions as diplomacy aimed at the resolution of the conflict over Iran's nuclear programme, sanctions are inflicting, both by design and default, unendurable pain and destruction on Iranian people, Iran's infrastructure and civil society institutions. - 10/14/13

Students suspicious of young woman's alleged suicide
The death of a female student at Buali Sina University in Hamedan, Iran has led to a student sit-in at the university, with students demanding accurate information about the incident. The Kordpa website reports that on Sunday October 13, hundreds of students gathered at the university to call on officials to provide a true account of what happened to their peer. - 10/14/13

Iran Plans To Send Monkey Into Space
Iranian media report that the country's space agency plans to send a second monkey into space within a month in its ongoing pursuit of a manned space program. The conservative "Jomhuri Eslami" on October 13 quoted Hamid Fazeli, the deputy head of Iran's space agency, as saying the planned launch is part of a program to send a human into space in 2018. - 10/14/13

Iran Asks Afghanistan For More Water
An Iranian lawmaker is calling on Afghanistan to release more water to save a regional lake. Iran's Tasnim news agency quoted Deputy Kamaleddin Pirmoazzen Saturday as saying Hamun Lake in the southeastern part of the country is drying up rapidly due to lack of water Afghanistan has pledged to provide. - 10/14/13

Treasuring "Freedom of Expression" Principle
Freedom of Expression is, undoubtedly, the touchstone of all other rights and freedoms, and is the foundation of modern democracy. The core and dominant tenet of Freedom of Expression is the acceptance and acknowledgement of a self-assertive Individual, along with her/his individualized pursuit for happiness and the knowledge needed to realize it. -12Petals Media Group - 10/14/13

Persian Art from Islamic Era at Tropenmuseum of Amsterdam
The objects at the exhibition have been collected from various museums and collections such as The Hague Municipality Museum, Rotterdam World Museum, Escher Foundation and Victoria and Albert Museum in London. - 10/14/13

Iran's Kafkaesque Book Censorship
This week Iran's new Culture Minister Ali Jannati denounced book censorship under the administration of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and said if they could, censors would have banned the Koran, which is considered to be the word of God by Muslims. That doesn't mean censorship will necessarily ease anytime soon, seeing as Jannati also suggested that the government should not allow problematic books "to poison" society. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/12/13

Optimism Present as Iranian Nuclear Talks Set to Resume
Iran is expected to introduce new proposals regarding its controversial nuclear program when talks with major Western nations resume next Tuesday in Geneva. There is cautious optimism because this is the first round of negotiations since Iran's new president took office. -Meredith Buel, VOA - 10/12/13

With West In Mind, Iran Reportedly Cancels Anti-Israel Conference
The government of Iranian President Hassan Rohani has reportedly cancelled an annual anti-Israel conference as part of recent efforts to improve relations with the West. The annual conference, titled "New Horizon," was among several anti-Israeli events launched under former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who had made verbal attacks against the Jewish state and denial of the Holocaust his hallmarks. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/12/13

Iranian FM rejects reports on private talks with Kerry
"There have been no private talks between us. We had one session in New York and after that there was neither phone call and nor any kind of talks," Zarif said after some remarks attributed to Kerry were released that he had private talks with Zarif, but does not want to reveal its details. - 10/12/13

Tehran Stock Exchange up 80% for the year
The Tehran Stock Exchange main index (TEPIX) has gained around 80 percent since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2013). The TEPIX hit 68,461on Wednesday. - 10/12/13

Identity-Based Consequences of Iran-US Talks: Which Talks? Which Identity?
The new developments in Iran's relations with the United States which took place in the past few weeks, especially the diplomatic approach adopted by the Iranian delegation during its presence in New York [to attend the United Nations General Assembly session] have given rise to a lot of debates. -Seyed Jalal Dehqani Firouzabadi - 10/12/13

Hillary Clinton Cautious on Iran Talks
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is too soon to know whether the different approach to nuclear talks taken by Iran's new government will result in real progress on the issue that has divided Iran and the international community for years. Clinton spoke at Chatham House in London. -Al Pessin, VOA - 10/12/13

Iran Khodro to dispatch 10,000 cars to Russia a year
Iranian largest carmaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) is going to dispatch 10 thousand cars to Russia per annum based on mutual agreements, said IKCO deputy CEO in export and international affairs. - 10/12/13

EU calls for release of Christian pastor in Iran
The European Union Parliament issued a statement on Thursday October 10, urging the Iranian government to release Saeed Abedini, the Iranian Christian pastor now in jail. - 10/12/13

Tehran to put forward new plan in talks with P5+1
Foreign Minister and Iran's top nuclear negotiator with Mohammad Javad Zarif is to put forward a new plan to resolve the dispute over Iran nuclear activities during the next round of talks with the G5+1 which is to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, later this month. - 10/11/13

Culture cannot grow in a darkroom or a greenhouse: Iranian official
New Iranian deputy minister of culture and Islamic guidance for cultural affairs said that culture cannot develop in a darkroom or a greenhouse environment. "Creativities and talents are not developed in a closed cultural environment," Seyyed Abbas Salehi said during a meeting the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance held in Tehran on Tuesday to introduce him. - 10/11/13

P5+1 Has High Hopes for Upcoming Iran Nuclear Talks
Iran's foreign minister will meet in Geneva next week with officials from the so called P5+1: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany. This latest round of negotiations over Iran's nuclear program comes with high expectations following new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani striking conciliatory tones throughout his young administration. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/11/13

The Headaches Caused by Anti-US Chants in Iran
Following the historic telephone conversation between Hassan Rowhani and Barack Obama, and the talks between Mohammad Javad Zarif and John Kerry, some officials of the Islamic republic of Iran had spoken of possible ending of the "Death to the US" slogans changed on many formal occasions in Iran. But now the word is that some hardline conservative principlists are calling for a grander celebration for the anniversary of the 444-day takeover of the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 10/11/13

High-profile Iranian journalist gets temporary leave from prison
Prominent jailed journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi has been given temporary leave from Rejai Shahr Prison. Ahmadi Amouyi was arrested in June of 2009 with his wife, Jila Bani Yaghoub, another well-known journalist. - 10/11/13

Readers' Nobel peace prize winners: Hassan Rouhani and Edward Snowden
Hassan Rouhani, nominated by the Guardian's Iran reporter Saeed Kamali Dehghan, soared ahead to win with 7687 votes, just over three quarters of all votes in the journalists' nominees poll. But it was a close race between Edward Snowden and Greenpeace in the readers poll, with Snowden managing a win by just three per cent. - 10/11/13

Impact of US Future Energy Diplomacy on Iran's Position and Interests in Energy Market
Taking good advantage of energy diplomacy will not only boost a country's capacities at regional and international levels, but also pave the way for the reduction of international restrictions against that country, thus, helping to greatly increase its national power potentials. - 10/11/13

OPEC Production Falls in September
OPEC's crude oil production fell below 30-million barrels a day in September. That's the first time that's happened in more than two years. There are two main reasons for the drop in OPEC production. John Kingston of Platts says one is a temporary problem, while the other is ongoing and may be more troublesome. -Joe DeCapua, VOA - 10/11/13

Five Iranian Revolutionary Guards Reported Killed In Kurdish Area
A report from an Iranian news agency says five members of the elite Revolutionary Guards have been killed by an armed group. The Fars news agency said the deaths occurred on October 10 in the Kurdish Baneh region, in the northwest of Iran. It said that in addition to the five killed, two soldiers were wounded. - 10/11/13

7 Things You Might Not Know About Iranian Views of Israel
Has Iran been signaling openness to a thaw in relations with Israel? Opinions are divided, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissing Rosh Hashana greetings from Iranian leaders on social media and delivering a hardline speech against Iran at the United Nations General Assembly. But the Iranian delegation included a Jewish member of the Iranian parliament and a number of Iran analysts see reason for cautious optimism. -Lauren Gelfond Feldinger, Daily Beast - 10/11/13

Canadian returns after five-year ordeal in Iranian prison
After a five-and-a-half-year ordeal in an Iranian prison that included abuse, solitary confinement, brutal interrogation and months on death row, Hamid Ghassemi-Shall had only one word for his return to Canada on Thursday. "Freedom." -The Star - 10/11/13

Freed Iranian journalist, 'proud' son dream of a reunion
Isa Saharkhiz and his son Mehdi haven't seen each other in nearly a decade. But the dream of a reunion between the dissident journalist and his 32-year-old son came one step closer to fruition when Iranian authorities unexpectedly released the elder Saharkhiz last week after imprisoning him for more than four years. -Ivan Watson, CNN - 10/11/13

Iran: Efforts to Eliminate "The New Yorkers Circle" Begin
After Iran's supreme leader announced that some actions by Hassan Rowhani's administration in New York were "inappropriate," hardline principlists intensified their verbal assaults on the administration and members of the foreign ministry. A team close to foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif known as "The New Yorkers Circle" has received the strongest heat. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 10/10/13

Iranian FM Zarif rejects media reports on his New York visit
This all started after several Iranian lawmakers at the private meeting on Sunday quoted Zarif as saying that the telephone conversation between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US President Barack Obama was a mistake. They also claimed that the minister said his talk with US Foreign Secretary John Kerry was prolonged. - 10/10/13

Reading Rouhani
The diplomatic push by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to resolve the decade-long dispute over Iran's nuclear program reached its zenith during his visit to New York in late September, exactly one year after Iran's currency collapsed under the weight of US-led sanctions. Although the timing is largely accidental, the correlation between sanctions and Iran's willingness to negotiate is not. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 10/10/13

OSCE Says Azerbaijan Election 'Seriously Flawed'
Election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) say Azerbaijan's October 9 presidential election was "seriously flawed." According to preliminary results, incumbent President Ilham Aliyev won a third term in a landslide. -RFE - 10/10/13

Nuclear Talks with Iran Return to Geneva with Better Prospects
There's an element of deja vu about next week's planned talks in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program. Four years ago, the United States and Iran reached a tentative agreement on a confidence building measure that would have sent out most of Iran's stockpile of lightly enriched uranium in return for fuel for a reactor that makes medical isotopes. -Barbara Slavin - 10/10/13

Wife Of Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Sentenced For Accepting Human Rights Award On His Behalf
Massoumeh Dehghan, retired teacher and wife of imprisoned human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that her one-year prison sentence for accepting her husband's human rights award has been upheld. Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court has upheld her lower court ruling in full, sentencing her to one year in prison, suspended for five years, and five years' ban on foreign travel. - 10/10/13

How could Hassan Rohani keep up his superstar performance
The outcome of Rohani's UN performance is an indication of the political ability and leadership of the Iranian clergy. Rohani's approach towards resolution of the nuclear issue has optimally placed the issue on a new and constructive track. His objective thesis on the Iranian nuclear issue was a strong antithesis to the Neocons high schoolish and subjective narrative propagated by the Western media. -Farhad Fauhaum - 10/10/13

Response to Canadian Foreign Minister Baird's statement on Iran in UN
We are concerned and criticise Canadian Foreign Minister Mr. John Baird and the Government of Canada for its unclear and questionable support for ongoing inhuman sanctions against the people of Iran and for comparing Iran with Nazi Germany as stated this week at the UN General Assembly. -Bahman Jeldi, President, Canadian Institute of Persian Studies - 10/10/13

Iran's Public Executions Prompt Fatal Reenactment by Children
When 12-year-old Mehran placed a noose around his neck and hanged himself with the help of his younger brother, suicide was the furthest thing from his mind. Instead, the boy was playing a game. And his fatal inspiration was a public execution of the sort often seen in his home province of Kermanshah in western Iran. -Mahtab Vahidi Rad, RFE - 10/10/13

Iran to launch 3 new wind farms to boost renewable energy output
Iran will established three new wind farms, each with a power generation capacity of 350 megawatts (MW), the managing director of Iran Power Generation Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR) said on Wednesday. - 10/10/13

Insight: Exiled Iran dissidents ponder return after Rouhani election
For the first time since Iran's authorities cracked down on dissent after the 2009 presidential election, some critics are returning from exile, spurred by signs of openness by the government of President Hassan Rouhani. -Reuters - 10/10/13

European companies likely to be losers in US-Iran rapprochement
If the sanctions against Iran are lifted, the Iranians will look mainly towards American firms in the oil and automobile sector to fill the gap, George Malbrunot, a journalist for French newspaper Le Figaro, told RT. - 10/10/13

Iran Official Slams Ahmadinejad-Era Censorship
Iranian Culture Minister Ali Jannati has said that book censorship was too strict under the country's former government. In comments quoted by Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency on October 8, Jannati said censors would have rejected the Koran, which Muslims believe is a revelation by God. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/9/13

Iranian football referee Mohsen Ghahremani suspended over corruption accusations
Iranian referee Mohsen Ghahreman has been suspended from all football activities until further notice. Ghahremani has been banned by anti-corruption committee of Iran Football Federation on Monday. - 10/9/13

No One Has the Inherent Right to Enrich
According to legal experts, NPT only restates some of the inalienable rights of member countries; it does not give them those rights, because they already had them prior to the creation of NPT in 1968. The fact that Article IV is so vague on enrichment does not prevent sovereign countries to establish domestic Uranium enrichment, if they choose to do so. -Nader Bagherzadeh - 10/9/13

San Jose Earthquakes' Beitashour to play for Iran football team
Steven (Mehrdad) Beitashour has accepted call-up to Iranian national football team for Asian Cup qualifier. Beitashour will leave the Quakes to join the Iranian football team after San Jose's Wednesday match against the Colorado Rapids. The 26-year-old right back is scheduled to rejoin his MLS club following the Iran game. - 10/9/13

Iranian blogger critical of government gets jail term
Mehdi Khazali, an Iranian political activist and physician, has been sentenced to six years in prison by a preliminary court for the charges of "propaganda against the regime and assembly and collusion against national security." - 10/9/13

As Historic US-Iran Talks Begin, Top Experts and Officials Convene in Washington for NIAC Conference
There is a historic opportunity to resolve the nuclear stand-off with Iran, avert war and set a new course for US-Iran relations. As new and potentially monumental nuclear negotiations commence in Geneva next week, the National Iranian American Council will convene its third annual Leadership Conference in Washington featuring top policymakers, experts, and former officials from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United States providing expert analysis of unfolding events. - 10/9/13

Panel Discussions at UCLA: The 1953 Coup and its Implications for the Current Political Discourse in Iran
August 2013 was the 60th anniversary of the coup against Mohammad Mossadeq, one of the pivotal events of modern Iranian - and Middle Eastern - history. The coup and the conditions surrounding it continue to spark academic and political debate due to their significance for subsequent developments in Iran as well as for the Islamic Republic's relations with the United States and the West. - 10/9/13

Britain Starts Process Of Mending Ties With Iran, Reopening Missions
Foreign Secretary William Hague says Britain and Iran have begun a process that could lead to the reopening of their embassies after diplomatic relations broke down in 2011. Hague told Parliament on October 8 that he and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had agreed on gradual steps to mend ties. - 10/9/13

Iran and US Talk Tough Ahead of Geneva
On Saturday Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who now heads the country's nuclear negotiating file, said Iran expects a new proposal from the 6-world power p5+1 negotiating team. "The previous plan given to Iran belongs to history and they must enter talks with a new point of view," said Zarif -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 10/9/13

Iran's Rohani Orders Opinion Poll In Bid To Outflank Hard-Liners
As a debate simmers in Iran over the spirit of openness being displayed on the world stage by the country's president, his administration is turning to the Iranian people to hear what they think about his new approach. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/8/13

U.S. Urges Tehran To Make Nuclear Proposals
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Iran to come up with "a set of proposals" to convince the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful. - 10/8/13

Iran To Mull Unblocking Social-Media Sites
Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology is to set up a working group to consider a decision on unblocking Facebook and Twitter. The ministry posted the announcement on its website on October 8. - 10/8/13

US Official: Holding possible soccer match with Iran shows Washington's interests for direct talks
A reportedly planned soccer match between the United States and Iran drew support from the US government, with an official saying the contest would be in line with Washington's willingness to negotiate directly with Tehran. - 10/8/13

Tree-cutting blamed for soil erosion, decimation of fish in Caspian Sea
A top environmental expert says 90 percent of the fish in the Caspian Sea have been destroyed. The Bahar daily reports that Hooshang Ziyayi said: "Due to deforestation in the Caspian Sea region and soil erosion, many of the rivers where fish from Caspian Sea would spawn have dried out or become so polluted that millions of fish are now being lost each year." - 10/8/13

Bibi's Tired Iranian Lines
Never has it been more difficult for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to convince the world that, as he put it in 2006: "It's 1938. Iran is Germany." He tried again at the United Nations this week. In a speech that strained for effect, he likened Iran to a 20th-century "radical regime" of "awesome power." That would be the Third Reich. -Roger Cohen, NY Times - 10/8/13

Iranian tractors to be exported to South Africa
A delegation from Iran's Tractor Manufacturing Industrial Group started its negotiation on Monday with Board of Directorate of South Africa Economic Technical Strengthening Organization to export tractors to the country. - 10/8/13

The Triangular Relationship between Iran, Israel and the United States: The Early Decades
"What's past is prologue," a quotation from Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," is engraved on the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. In line with this idea-that past events set the stage for what comes afterward-the "Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 񓟠" discarded information from the past that conflicted with the current official version of the truth down the "Memory Hole" so that it would essentially no longer exist. -Stephen Sniegoski, VNN - 10/8/13

Maryam Tousi: A girl with the speed of the wind
Maryam Tousi (born 5 December 1988 in Tehran) is an Iranian sprint athlete who specializes in the 200 metres. She is the Iranian record holder in the 100 m, 200 m, 400 m and 4x400 m relay. Tousi is the fastest Iranian women runner, and her biggest wish is to show the place of Iranian women in the world and to raise Iran's flag in competitions. - 10/7/13

Iranians Show Their Button-Flies To Netanyahu
In his first interview with a Persian-language media outlet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a lot of harsh things to say about Iran and its government. But the comment that really struck a nerve touched on fashion. "I think if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to Western music, and have free elections," Netanyahu told the BBC's Persian Service in an interview published on October 5. -Robert Coalson, RFE - 10/7/13

Iranian volleyballers wins second straight Asian championship
Iran defeated South Korea in straight sets in the final of the 2013 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship on Sunday, winning their second straight Asian title. In the match, which was held at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Iran defeated the South Korean team 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-19). - 10/7/13

Iranian finance minister says scrapping sanctions won't be a cure-all
Iran's minister of economic and financial affairs says the elimination of sanctions against the Islamic Republic is a long-term consideration that the government should not focus on to resolve its current problems. - 10/7/13

Iranian-American Artist Manss Aval solo exhibit "The Nature of Things" at the Poway Center for the Performing Art
The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild is pleased to announce that guild member Manss Aval has been selected for a solo exhibit, entitled "The Nature of Things" at the Poway Center for the Performing Art. - 10/7/13

Case of detained Iranian opposition leaders being processed by council
Iran's minister of justice has announced that the case against Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who challenged the 2009 presidential election results, is being processed by the Supreme National Security Council. Mostafa Pour Mohammadi told Iran daily: "The issue of pardons is a serious and fundamental matter in our country, and we are not going to allow people to rot in jails." - 10/7/13

Iran Navy rescues tanker from Gulf of Aden pirates
"An Iranian oil tanker which had been attacked by pirates was rescued by the Navy's 27th Fleet in the Gulf of Aden," said Iran Navy Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Siavash Jarreh on Sunday. According to Jarreh, the oil tanker was twice attacked by pirates late on Saturday and Sunday morning - 10/7/13

The Phantom Menace: Iran's nuclear capabilities may be greatly exaggerated
While he was vice president in the previous administration, Dick Cheney repeatedly insisted America needed to bomb the Iranians to snuff out their nuclear ambitions; so did Senator John McCain and innumerable other politicians - Republican and Democrat, domestic and foreign. -Newsweek - 10/7/13

Just who Has Been Killing Iran's Nuclear Scientists?
What to make of the latest alleged assassination in Iran of a senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards just as Iran and the US move towards negotiations? Is it a last-minute attempt by Israel or the Iranian dissident group the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to sabotage talks - or at least to show that they are still players in the decades-long struggle between the government in Tehran and its many antagonists? -Patrick Cockburn, Independent - 10/7/13

Iranian teachers ask president to help mark special day
The Iranian Teachers Association has called on President Hassan Rohani to facilitate the special ceremonies for World Teachers' Day on October 5. In a letter addressed to the president, the association reports how the government has discouraged activities on World Teachers' Day in recent years. - 10/6/13

Isfahan Intl. Film Festival for Children and Young Adults kicks off today
The 27th edition of the International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults will be inaugurated today in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Seventy-five films from 40 countries are scheduled to be screened in various sections of the festival, the Public Relations Office of the Festival said in a press release on Sunday. - 10/6/13

Obama: Iran at Least a Year Away From Building Nuclear Weapon
U.S. President Barack Obama says U.S. intelligence estimates show Iran is "a year or more away" from building a nuclear weapon. In an interview with the Associated Press, Obama acknowledged that U.S. estimates were more conservative than those of Israel, which said Iran was much closer that that to building an atomic weapon. - 10/6/13

Iran arrests four over nuclear sabotage plot
Iran has arrested four people for planning acts of sabotage at a nuclear site, a senior nuclear official announced on Sunday. Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that the individuals were caught red-handed, before carrying out their plans. They are under interrogation, he added. - 10/6/13

"Drought and Lies": A Play The Washington Theatre Group
Directed by Farid Bozorgmehr, this is a play about the young professional generation of Iranians in Iran and their marital and social problems and conflicts. Written by one of the best Iranian playwrights, Mohammad Yaghoubi, whose controversial plays have created a lot of sensation in Iran. The production of his plays have recently been banned in Iran. - 10/6/13

Saudi king's invitation may signal diplomatic thaw with Iran
The King of Saudi Arabia, Malek Abdollah, has invited the head of Iran's Expediency Council, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, to travel to his country. Nameh News reports that in a personal letter to Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Saudi King invited the Iranian senior cleric to take part in the Haj ceremony. - 10/6/13

Bushehr reformists accuse conservative MPs of election interference
A group of reformist students and youth in Bushehr Province have written to the president, alerting him that the interior minister is ignoring public demands for the election of a provincial governor. The Persian Gulf website reports that the interior ministry has been delaying Bushehr's gubernatorial election, citing requests from Parliament. - 10/6/13

Iran to launch new satellite into space in 2014
Deputy Head of Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli said the country plans to launch a new satellite dubbed 'Zafar 2' (Victory 2) into space in 2014. "The satellite has been built at Iran's Elm-o-Sanaat University and its launch has been postponed to 2014 because it is to be launched by Simorgh satellite carrier," he said. - 10/6/13

3,000 Kilometer Solar Race Begins in Australia
SYDNEY - One of the most punishing races for solar-powered cars has started today in northern Australia. The World Solar Challenge is a 3,000 kilometer trek through the Australia's arid heart, from Darwin to Adelaide. Thirty-nine cars made the finals, including teams from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Iran. -Phil Mercer, VOA - 10/6/13

Thousands Like Barbed Comment On Iranian Foreign Minister's Facebook Page
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has been giving his some 400,000 Facebook fans regular reports during his recent trip to the UN in New York, updated his status on October 4 while he was airborne on his flight home. He said that his flight from the United States had been delayed and that he might not be able to catch his next flight to Tehran. - 10/5/13

To This Tycoon, Iran Sanctions Were Like Gold
He called himself the "economic basij," a reference to Iran's hard-line paramilitary organization and defender of the Islamic Revolution. He drove a black Mercedes 500 SL and wore a $30,000 watch, as befits a man who put his self-worth at $13.5 billion. -Thomas Erdbrink - 10/5/13

Iran Wants Sanctions Relief Amid New Nuclear Talks
It's been hammered time and time again by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whether on his official Twitter feed or during his speech at the United Nations. Iran's new president said it's time for economic sanctions to end. "These sanctions are violent, pure and simple," he said. For the Iranian people, the international sanctions have been devastating. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 10/5/13

President Rohani: I Will Confront the Rogues
A week after unidentified men attacked president Hassan Rohani's vehicle as he was driven from Tehran airport after returning from the UN General Assembly in New York, which former president Mohammad Khatami characterized as a "pre-organized event," Rohani made a completely unprecedented announcement that he would confront such autonomous groups. - 10/5/13

Iran's Jewish community reflects a complicated relationship with Israel
In his address this week to the U.N. General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran threatens his country's existence, accused the Islamic republic of institutionalized anti-Semitism and called its new president a "wolf in sheep's clothing." But one group that rejects such claims is Iran's large community of Jews -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 10/5/13

The Forgotten War: 12 Years in Afghanistan Down the Memory Hole
Will the U.S. still be meddling in Afghanistan 30 years from now? If history is any guide, the answer is yes. And if history is any guide, three decades from now most Americans will have only the haziest idea why. -Ann Jones, Common Dreams - 10/5/13

Saudis Should Welcome A US Move Toward Iran
Shortly after President Obama's startling telephone conversation with Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Saudi Arabian journalist wrote that "The phone call between Obama and Rouhani shocked the Gulf states, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and other countries." No matter which president initiated the call, he wrote, "What is important to know is what stands behind the conversation and how deep the ties are between America and Iran." -Thomas W. Lippman - 10/4/13

US Says Core Iran Sanctions Must Remain for Now
A top U.S. official says limited sanctions relief for Iran is possible if it takes confidence-building steps to allay concerns about its nuclear program, but that fundamental measures must remain in place until all issues have been dealt with. - 10/4/13

Most Difficult Question for the West in its Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran
Since [the Iranian President] Hassan Rouhani has returned to Tehran [from a trip to New York to take part in the 68th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly] difficulties of diplomacy have been gradually popping up. As long as the Iranian president was in New York, both Iran and the United States were making tangible efforts in a bid to show that a positive atmosphere exists between the two sides. -Mahdi Mohammadi - 10/4/13

Prominent Iranian Journalist Released From Prison After Years Of Poor Health
Journalist Isa Saharkhiz, who's been behind bars for more than four years, was released from Rejai Shahr Prison on Thursday October 3. According to Isa Saharkhiz's facebook page, the prominent journalist suffered severe health problems during his imprisonment. Saharkhiz had gone on hunger strike several times to protest the lack of attention to his medical needs. - 10/4/13

Iranian foreign minister lauds shift in U.S. public opinion
The Central News Agency published an interview with Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said: "According to a poll taken two days ago, 75 percent of Americans believe that the nuclear issues with Iran have a political solution." He added that the public opinion polls show a big change in recent months. - 10/4/13

Iranian Marriage Bill Under Review
Iran's Guardians Council is reviewing amendments to the country's marriage law that specifies the rights of parents to marry their adopted children. The amendments were approved by parliament in late September. According to the changes, parents would be allowed to marry their adopted children but would have to get a court's permission that such a marriage is in the family's best interest. - 10/4/13

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Deny Death Of Officer Was 'Assassination'
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says it is investigating the death of an officer in a "horrific incident" involving an "attacker," but denied media reports it was an assassination. Alborz, an Iranian website, reports that a "member of the Basij" militia was kidnapped and shot dead. It said his body was found in a wooded area near Karaj, a town northwest of Tehran. - 10/4/13

Moving Beyond Sanctions
In recent months Iranian civic activists have written numerous letters and declarations conveying their ethical opposition to sanctions. I had my own reservations about how effective all these efforts might be, as I believe powerful countries are motivated by self-interest and tend to ignore such opposition. -Emadeddin Baghi, Iran Wire - 10/4/13

Iranian official says Canada shielding bank fraud suspect
Iran's deputy chief of police announced today that the Canadian government is refusing to cooperate in arresting Mahmoudreza Khavari, the former head of the Melli Bank of Iran. In September of 2011, Khavari flew to Canada just days after whistles were blown over a $3-billion fraud involving Iranian banks, with Melli Bank at the top the list. - 10/4/13

Would Israel's Netanyahu really Drag US into war with Iran?
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged at the United Nations on Tuesday to attack Iran himself if Washington won't do it, and in order to stop what he characterized as an Iranian nuclear weapons program: -Juan Cole - 10/4/13

Was Jesus an Effective Leader? Insights from Reza Aslan's 'Zealot'
In his bestselling new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, author Reza Aslan's goal was to write a biography of one of history's most influential people, drawing on historical sources instead of the traditional Gospels to help people understand the man who would one day be called the Messiah. -Forbes - 10/4/13

Rohani Says Israel 'Angry' Over Outreach To World Powers
Iranian President Hassan Rohani says regional rival Israel has gotten "angry" about Tehran's new campaign to engage with world powers over the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program. - 10/3/13

Big political shift in Iran as conservative MPs support Rohani
As 230 Iranian MPs announced their support for President Hassan Rohani's statements in New York, prominent conservative MP Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri said the president's position was a source of "pride and honour" for Iran. - 10/3/13

U.S. holds back on considering new Iranian sanctions
The U.S. Senate has delayed looking at a new package of sanctions on Iran until after nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 are held later this month. The delay, according to Reuters, could create a more amicable atmosphere for the talks in Geneva. - 10/3/13

Kerry Open To 'Concrete' Talks With Iran
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington hopes to engage with the new government in Tehran but that any progress must be based on concrete steps. Kerry said that if Iran intends to be peaceful, "I believe there is a way to get there." - 10/3/13

Faezeh Hashemi Tells Rooz: Next Step, Face Meeting Between Heads of Iran and the US
Daughter of head of the Expediency Council Faezeh Hashemi tells Rooz that the telephone conversation between Hassan Rowhani and Barak Obama can result in a face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the two countries. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 10/3/13

FC Seoul reaches ACL final after defeating Tehran's Esteghlal on aggregate
FC Seoul of South Korea booked a place in the finals of the Asian Champions League after a 2-2 tie against Iran's Esteghlal on Wednesday gave it a 4-2 aggregate victory. The second-leg of the Asian Champions League semifinal was played at Tehran's Azadi Stadium. - 10/3/13

Iranian economy needs major reforms: Official
Major economic reforms should be carried out in four sectors of the Iranian economy, the Iranian president's economic advisor has said. Masoud Nili added that the foreign currency market, the cash subsidy payment, the privatization process, and the banking system should be reformed, IRNA reported on Tuesday. - 10/3/13

Twitter official tweets Rohani about web access in Iran
Jack Dorsey, Twitter chairman and CEO, has publicly questioned Iranian President Hassan Rohani over the blocking of the Twitter website in Iran. Jack Dorsey sent a tweet addressed to Hassan Rohani, saying: "Good evening, President. Are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets?" - 10/3/13

Filmmaker Rasoulof Reportedly Stuck In Iran
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof is reportedly being prevented from leaving Iran. The Nuremburg International Human Rights Film Festival said on October 2 that Rasoulof had his passport confiscated by the Iranian authorities when he entered Iran on September 19, preventing him from returning to Germany as planned. - 10/3/13

Iran, the Twenty-First-Century Island of Stability
Iran's 1979 revolution, in helping to push out Jimmy Carter and bring in Ronald Reagan, offered up one of the few instances in the latter half of the twentieth century where domestic politics in a Third World country affected domestic politics in the United States more than the other way around. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini made no bones about it: The US couldn't do a damn thing. -Kevan Harris, MERIP - 10/3/13

Bibi's Gang: All the Prime Minister's Men (and Women)
Hours before the U.S. federal government shutdown, members of the House and Senate from both parties were with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a reception honoring outgoing Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. -Marsha B. Cohen, Lobe Log - 10/3/13

Tapping Iran's oil and gas vital for world demand, say Shell and Total
Lifting sanctions and opening up Iran's vast oil and gas resources to global companies will be vital to meeting the world's future energy needs, according to the chief executives of two of Europe's top oil companies. -Andrew Critchlow, Telegraph - 10/3/13

Netanyahu Slams Iran at UN; Iran Lashes Back
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country will never allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Speaking on the last day of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, he cautioned the international community about Iran's new president, saying his charm offensive is only a strategy to get crippling sanctions lifted. Iran's envoy lashed back, calling Netanyahu's speech "inflammatory." -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 10/2/13

Cyrus Cylinder Goes West
In 1851, the American John Babsone Lane Soule (1815-1891, the first Superintendent of Schools in Indiana) penned his famous line: "Go West, young man!" in an article in the Terre Haute-Indiana Daily Express. And while the iconic clay cylinder bearing the name of Cyrus the Great is hardly young (over 2,500 years old), after trekking through Washington D.C., Houston, and New York, it heeded Soule's imperative and headed out West. -A.J. Cave - 10/2/13

Iran's Foreign Minister Accuses Israeli PM Of Lying
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused Israel's prime minister of lying. In an interview with Iranian television broadcast on October 1, Zarif said, "We have seen nothing from [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare." - 10/2/13

Iran's Hard-Liners Muted On Rohani's Historic Call With Obama
Ahistoric telephone call between Iranian President Hassan Rohani and U.S. President Barack Obama has generally been welcomed in the Islamic republic, where anti-American slogans and policies have dominated the political scene for more than three decades. - 10/2/13

New Campaign Launches to Ensure Iranians' Access to Non-Sanctioned Goods
A coalition of civil society organizations has launched an international campaign to ensure access to medical and humanitarian goods for the Iranian people. Just Access, supported by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Arseh Sevom, United4Iran, and Sanctioned Life, aims to establish a payment channel through the European Union to allow Iranians to purchase these non-sanctioned items. - 10/2/13

Israel, Achilles' Heel of Iran-US Diplomacy
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his diplomatic team presented a new image of Iran to the international community during their recent trip to New York, which was welcomed as positive by people of the world. In the meantime, the Iranian president also managed to introduce himself as a moderate and pragmatic figure to the world. -Ali Omidi - 10/2/13

PAAIA And Library Of Congress To Celebrate Persian Language And Literature
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) today announced that it will be sponsoring an exhibition showcasing the Persian language and Persian literature at the U.S. Library of Congress. This first-ever exhibition of its kind, One Thousand Years of the Persian Book, will open in March 2014. - 10/2/13

Rouhani's Obama Call Stirs Hardline Suspicions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's historic phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to provoke resistance from powerful hardliners in the Islamic Republic who have built their support on enmity with the West. -Reuters - 10/2/13

Pushing Peace: How Israel Can Help the United States Strike a Deal With Iran -- And Why It Should
The moment that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped he could avoid is fast approaching: high-level negotiations between the United States and Iran that could lead to a deal that ends the decade-long standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. -Trita Parsi, Foreign Affairs - 10/2/13

Iranian President Faces Backlash Over US Visit
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may have made a favorable impression on many in the West during his visit to the United Nations last week, but some of his country's hardline military leaders were not at all pleased with the trip. The way they see it, Rouhani should have refused to talk by telephone with U.S. President Barack Obama on the last day of his stay in the United States. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 10/1/13

Iran: Reacting to Attacks Against President Rohani, Khatami Warns Of Terror
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said protests against President Hassan Rouhani last week were "staged" and warned of a "violent movement" threatening his government and policies. - 10/1/13

Spoiler Alert: Netanyahu will be all about Iran at UNGA
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as of last week, planned on hitting the "refresh" button on the Iranian threat to Israel and the world, juxtaposing the callow grimace of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's ubiquitous smile. -Marsha B. Cohen - 10/1/13

Iranian Daily Publishes Interview With State Department Official
On September 30, the reformist "Shargh" daily published an interview with the U.S. State Department's Persian spokesman, Alan Eyre, in which he was asked about the historic telephone conversation between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rohani, and the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities. - 10/1/13

Iran's inflation rate falls by 3% to 36%
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended the sixth Iranian calendar month of Shahrivar (August 23-September 22) hit 36 percent, a 3 percent fall compared to the previous month. - 10/1/13

Obama, Netanyahu Stress Need for Iran to Verify Nuke Program
WHITE HOUSE - President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have discussed negotiations with Iran to resolve concerns about its nuclear program. The Israeli leader said Iran must completely dismantle what he called its military nuclear weapons program. -Dan Robinson, VOA - 10/1/13

What Does an Iranian Living Room Look Like
An outsider's view of Iran is largely shaped by news footage from the streets. But how many of us could conjure up an image of what a typical Iranian household might look like? Enrico Bossan, head of photography at Fabrica, Benetton's Treviso, Italy-based communication design and research center, asked 15 young Iranian photographers to answer that question. -Kristin Hohenadel, Slate - 10/1/13

Iran to let political filmmaker attend Hamburg festival
The Hamburg Film Festival has announced that Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has been granted permission by the Iranian authorities to travel to Germany and take part in the festival. - 10/1/13

Iranian FM Zarif Meets UN Human Rights Chief Pillay
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, discussing the global approach toward human rights. During the meeting in New York on Monday, the Iranian foreign minister said there should be a change in the current global approach toward the issue of human rights. - 10/1/13

Iranian seismologists join in designing Mid-East earthquake model
Iranian seismologists as well as researchers from other Middle Eastern countries have jointly accomplished the first phase of the Earthquake Model of the Middle East (EMME). - 10/1/13

IRGC chief calls Rohani's call from Obama a "mistake"
The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has expressed support for the speeches that Iranian President Hassan Rohani made last week to the United Nations General Assembly but he added that the conversation between the president and his U.S. counterpart should have only taken place after concrete confidence-building actions were seen from the U.S. - 10/1/13
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