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Iranian journalists rally around detained colleague who covered protests
A letter signed by 129 journalists calls for the release of Arya Jafari, the ISNA photojournalist who has been in custody in Isfahan since October 22 for coverage of protests against the repeated acid attacks against women in Isfahan. - 10/31/14

US Catholic Bishops: Consider Iran's Nuclear Weapons Fatwa
In March of this year, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a delegation of religious and academic figures to the Iranian religious city of Qom to begin a dialogue with Shia scholars and ayatollahs. According to Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the USCCB's Committee on International Peace and Justice, the discussion in Qom focused heavily on the morality of weapons of mass destruction. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/31/14

U.S. firms eager to sell to Iranians after sanctions lifted
Apple, Boeing and General Electric are prepared to officially enter the Iranian market as soon as international sanctions against the country are lifted. According to The Wall Street Journal, the three companies have already entered preliminary talks for offering iPhones and spare parts in Iran. - 10/31/14

Iran, Turkey Rivalry Puts Focus on Kurds
As differences over Syria and the Islamic State continue to deepen between Turkey and Iran, Kurds living across the Middle East are set to become pawns in the intensifying rivalry between these two regional powers. This week, former close allies Tehran and Ankara again exchanged angry barbs. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 10/31/14

How Much is Iran's Economy Recovering?
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could not wait for the quarterly Economic Trends report published by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to be issued. It showed that from March 2013 to March of this year, Iran's GDP increased by 4.6 percent. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog - 10/31/14

Facing its own Islamic State-inspired militants, Iran wields a smaller stick
With the help of local Sunnis on its southeastern border with Pakistan, Iran is using a blend of force, dialogue, and money to counter Jaish al-Adl, a radical group that claims to fight for Sunni rights. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 10/31/14

The U.S.-Iran non-alliance alliance against Islamic State
Washington and Tehran say they abhor each other. Yet they appear to be tacitly working together - if awkwardly and at arm's length - to fight Islamic State. When everyone hates everyone else (welcome to the Middle East!) and pursues their own self-interest, strange political alliances can emerge. -Aki Peritz and Faris Alikhan, Reuters - 10/31/14

Will the World Blame Iran if Nuclear Talks Fail?
The remarks of US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at a symposium in Washington, DC on Oct. 23 contained at least one very questionable assertion: "We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful...If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran." -Peter Jenkins - 10/30/14

Iranian Government Spying in Social Networking Sites
This is a field report about the indifference of internet users to the Islamic republic regime's spying efforts in cyber space as it tries to identify those who are against the regime or certain policies.The only immunity for these users comes from their overwhelming multitudes and the undeniable prevalence of opposition to the regime. -Hamid Rezai - 10/30/14

NIAC Encouraged That Apple is Looking at Entering Iran
National Iranian American Council Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement regarding reports that Apple, Inc. is exploring opportunities to sell goods in Iran should a nuclear deal be reached and sanctions be sufficiently lifted - 10/30/14

Iran rises in World Bank Doing Business rankings
The Doing Business 2015 report updates all indicators as of June 1, 2014, ranks economies on their overall ease of doing business, and analyzes reforms to business regulation - identifying which economies are strengthening their business environment the most. - 10/30/14

As West Applauds Kurdish Female Fighters, Iran Praises Peshmerga 'Elders'
While Western media and social networks have lauded the courage of young Kurdish female fighters, the Iranian press has praised their older, male Iraqi Peshmerga counterparts. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/30/14

Reporter's family urges Iran to release him
The family of an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post who has been jailed in Iran since July is urging authorities to release him, saying on Thursday that his continued incarceration without charge is a "farce." -AP - 10/30/14

Iran Has 16 Intelligence Agencies
A few days after the publication of a special booklet by the ministry of intelligence, Fars news agency which is closely associated with Iran's intelligence services announced for the first time the existence of 16 intelligence-security agencies in the Islamic republic. -Arash Bahmani - 10/30/14

Desired Discussion Model
12Petals encourages cooperative (unadversarial) approach as more valuable to the creation of and the nourishing of a culture of tolerance and a culture of human rights, because this system seeks out solutions and subsequently sets much higher standards in the search of truth and cooperative settings for justice. - 10/30/14

Goldberg Sees Crisis in US-Israel Ties, Blames Bibi
While everyone ritually insists that the bonds between Israel and the United States are "unbreakable," yesterday's analysis by Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here," argues that they're currently under unprecedented strain and that the fault lies mainly with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/30/14

A walled paradise: a history of Iranian gardening
Iran was built on the vision of a garden that held every type of plant and flower and protected its habitants within its walls. Touraj Daryaee takes nostalgic look back at a 'paradise' many are now eager to escape -Guardian - 10/30/14

ISNA journalists detained over coverage of acid attacks in Isfahan
The editor-in-chief of ISNA in Isfahan has been detained by the authorities in connection with the news agency's coverage of the acid assaults on women. Reports indicate that four ISNA staff were originally arrested in this regard, and while two have been released, Editor-in-chief Zahra Mohammadi and the head of ISNA's society columns, Sanam Farsi, remain in custody. - 10/29/14

Video Asks Tehranis About Their Fears
In a newly released video, Iranian artist Ali Molavi has asked a group of citizens in the Iranian capital what they're afraid of. One woman says her fear is the lack of status for women living in Iran. "Women in Iran have no value," the woman says. A man says he fears his wife, while another says that "war" is his greatest fear. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/29/14

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night: An Iranian Vampire Western
The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour's debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. - 10/29/14

Iranian Parliament Rejects Rohani's Science Minister Nominee
Iran's parliament has rejected President Hassan Rohani's nominee for the post of science minister, saying he is not fully committed to Islamic values. The legislature's rejection of Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi came two months after the previous science minister was forced out over what conservatives who dominate the legislature alleged was his support for pro-Western voices at universities. - 10/29/14

Rafsanjani may run for chairmanship of Iran's Assembly of Experts
"If certain people, whom I deem incompetent to be the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, intend to get nominated for the post, I will run for the chairmanship of the assembly," the source quoted Rafsanjani as saying. - 10/29/14

Resolving Key Nuclear Issue Turns on Iran-Russia Deal
U.S. and Iranian negotiators are working on a compromise approach to the issue of Iran's uranium enrichment capabilities, which the Barack Obama administration has said in the past Iran was refusing to make concessions on. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 10/29/14

Filmmakers Clash as Rouhani's Agenda Leaves Iranians Divided
After decades portraying starkly different visions of Iran through their movies, two of the nation's leading filmmakers (Ebrahim Hatamikia and Abbas Kiarostami) have turned on each other in a dispute that has sucked in some of the country's top officials. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg - 10/29/14

The Collapse of Order in the Middle East
Will Rogers once observed that "when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you've got to have been looking for it." It's a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here. And, boy, have we gotten into trouble! -Chas Freeman, LobeLog - 10/29/14

Iranian Entrepreneurs Make Pitches That Are Just Practice, For Now
Imagine this: You have a great idea for an Internet startup. You're sure it will work. You are ready to be part of the global market. There's one big problem: You live in Iran, a country facing some of the most extensive financial sanctions imposed on any country in the world. -Deborah Amos, NPR - 10/29/14

Iran Accuses Turkey of Prolonging Civil War in Syria
Iran accused Turkey on Tuesday of prolonging the three-year conflict in neighboring Syria by insisting on President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow and supporting "terrorist groups" in Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported. -Reuters - 10/29/14

Photos: Luxury Train From Europe Arrives In Tehran
The five-star tourist train Golden Eagle traveling from Hungary to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday October 27, ending its first tour. The 70 tourists onboard the train are mostly British or Australian and have paid anywhere between 10,000 and 24,000 euros for their two-week trip. - 10/28/14

Citing 'surge' in executions, UN expert voices deep concern about right to life in Iran
The human rights situation in Iran remains of deep concern, an independent United Nations expert said today, flagging issues related to the right to life, the judicial system, religious persecution, and discrimination against women. - 10/28/14

Comprehensive nuclear pact possible by deadline: Iran's President Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program can be reached before the November 24 deadline if the six major powers negotiating with Iran show the political will to reach a consensus. - 10/28/14

Iran Moves To Muzzle Media Coverage Of Acid Attacks
Iranian officials are moving to muzzle media coverage of a string of recent acid attacks targeting young women in the central city of Isfahan. In recent days, several Iranian officials have warned the media over their coverage of the crimes, accusing them of fomenting public discord and promoting the "views of the enemy." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 10/28/14

Kobani Kurds Expose the Hypocrisy of the Coalition to Fight ISIS
The coalition's purported fight against ISIS is essentially akin to a parent's trying to discipline a disruptive or disobedient teenage child. No matter how harsh the punishment for the child's unruly behavior may be, it will not include killing him. ISIS is simply too useful to the nefarious interests of the coalition members-and of the beneficiaries of war-dividends in general-to be eliminated. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/28/14

Iranian MP complains of mass firing at Kurdistan university
Marivon MP Omid Karimian has spoken out against the termination of 300 members of the Kurdistan Medical Sciences University staff, calling the move even more concerning in view of the province's high rate of unemployment. - 10/28/14

Iran Slams U.S. Coalition After IS-Held Town Retaken
On October 26, the Iraqi government claimed a significant victory for its troops and Shi'a militias near Baghdad: the recapture of the key Islamic State-held town of Jurf Al-Sakhar. Iraq's new interior minister, Mohammed Salem Al-Ghabban, insisted that this victory -- which was apparently overseen by the commander of Iran's Qods Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani -- was achieved without the assistance of the U.S.-led coalition against IS. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/28/14

Chemical waste sends 235 to hospital in Zahedan, Iran
More than 200 hundred people in Zahedan, most of them schoolchildren, were hospitalized because of poisoning due to the inadequate disposal of oil and gasoline waste in the city. - 10/28/14

The Islamic State's Ideology is Grounded in Saudi Education
According to an article published Oct. 21 on Al-Monitor, the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has issued new regulations for the school systems under its control in Iraq and Syria. The announced purpose of the so-called guidelines, which carried the imprimatur of the group's "Amir al-Mu'minin," presumably leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is to "eradicate ignorance and disseminate Sharia sciences." -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 10/28/14

Iran foreign trade value tops $57.214bn in 7 months
Based on latest statistics of the Customs Administration's Public Relations Department, value of Iran's foreign trade reached $57.214 billion in the first seven months of the year. - 10/28/14

Bachmann's War on Islam: I'm an Enemy. How Did That Happen?
At the 2014 Values Voter Summit, Minnesota Republican US Representative Michele Bachmann lambasted Barack Obama for not declaring war on Islam and said that there was no such thing as moderate Islam. -Mahbod Seraji, Truthout - 10/28/14

Unnatural Selection: Installation by Pantea Karimi and Amber Stucke
The Mohr Gallery in Finn Center presents UNNATURAL SELECTION, an installation exhibition by artists Pantea Karimi and Amber Stucke. The exhibition will be on display from October 27, 2014 through December 7, 2014. There will be an opening reception with the artists on Friday, November 7 from 6pm - 8pm. - 10/27/14

Al-Baghdadi, Self-Proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State - Part 2
When Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai adopted the name of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Quraishi and revealed himself to the world as the Amir al-Mu'minin (the Commander of the Faithful) Caliph Ibrahim of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the whole world had to sit up and take notice of him. -Farhang Jahanpour - 10/27/14

Iranian Activist Sotoudeh Freed After Detention
Sotoudeh, a well-known human rights attorney, told Reuters on October 26 that she was held along with several other activists the previous day after a rally against a three-year ban on her from practicing law. She said the rally was also to urge Iranian authorities to allow "more openness and freedom" in society. - 10/27/14

In Washington, Poetry Diplomacy With Iran
In an October 23 keynote speech on the status of nuclear negotiations with Iran, U.S. chief nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman cited a verse by the great Persian poet Saadi. "Have patience; all things are difficult before they become easy," Sherman, U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, said in remarks that came a month before the November 24 deadline for Iran and major world powers to reach a lasting nuclear deal. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/27/14

The biggest threat to a nuclear deal isn't Iran's hardliners
Negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program have not even concluded yet some members of Congress are preparing to manufacture a political crisis over a deal. -Trita Parsi, Reuters - 10/27/14

Iran-Russia joint maneuver in the Caspian Sea: who is the hypothetical enemy?
The biggest enemy of Iran in the Caspian Sea is Russia. The Russians are supporting a method for delimitation of maritime territories in the Caspian Sea which is directly contrary to the positions and interests and even claims of Iran. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 10/27/14

Probe into Iran's veterans' foundation stirs controversy
A member of the probe committee charged with investigation of Martyrs and Veteran's Affairs Foundation announced that their committee is facing serious obstacles in its mission. - 10/27/14

US Condemns Iranian Woman's Execution
The United States has condemned Iran for executing a woman convicted of killing a man to defend herself from an alleged sexual assault. The 26-year-old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was hanged Saturday morning. - 10/27/14

Iran to increase oil production capacity to 4.3m bpd
Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazami said oil production capacity will increase to 4.3 million barrels per day in a near future, noting that by the yearned 100 million cubic meters will also be added to the county's gas production capacity. - 10/27/14

Cage fish farming in Caspian, catastrophic or beneficial?
While some lecturers describe implementation of the plan for farming rainbow trout in cage in the Caspian Sea unprincipled and catastrophic for the environment, executive officials believe the plan is beneficial in creating job opportunities. - 10/27/14

Iran nuclear deal would open last big frontier stock market
Years of economic sanctions and isolation have ravaged Iran's economy but created one of the last unexploited opportunities for international portfolio investors, who could start moving their money in this year if geopolitics permit. -Andrew Torchia, Reuters - 10/27/14

Iranian-American woman Azita Raji Nominated For Ambassador To Sweden
The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. - 10/25/14

Iran's President Rouhani orders investigation into acid attacks in Isfahan
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has instructed three ministries to accelerate efforts to find culprits behind the recent acid attacks in Isfahan amid national outrage over the despicable acts. - 10/25/14

As Optimism Grows, Possible Iran Deal Gains Key Endorsement
Optimism that the US and world powers can, after all, strike a nuclear deal with Iran by or shortly after the current November 24 deadline appeared to grow here in Washington substantially this week. Such a deal also gained a critical endorsement, one that should provide a lot of political cover to shaky Democrats, as well as voices in the US Jewish community who, in contrast to the right-wing leadership of AIPAC and other "mainstream" Jewish organizations, have long favored President Obama's diplomatic efforts. -Jim Lobe - 10/25/14

France to award Legion of Honor to Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh
Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh will be decorated with a Legion of Honor medal, Derambakhsh told the Persian service of ISNA on Friday. He will receive the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony that will be held at the Embassy of France in Tehran on Sunday. - 10/25/14

Acid attacks on Iranian women highlight political divisions
Media coverage of protests against the throwing of acid and other violence against women in Isfahan and Tehran was met with resistance from government bodies, even as President Hassan Rohani called for swift action against those who throw acid. - 10/25/14

Iran finishes 4th in 2014 Asian Para Games
Iran finished in fourth place winning 120 medals, including 37 gold, 52 silver and 31 bronze medals. Iran was just one gold medal short of third place Japan whose silver and bronze medals were less than Persians. -Masoud Hossein, Tehran Times - 10/25/14

Iran Hangs Woman Accused of Killing Rapist
Iran has hanged a woman who had been on death row for five years for killing her alleged rapist. The execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari was reported by the official IRNA news agency. The man she killed - Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi - was a former intelligence officer, whom she said tried to rape her. - 10/25/14

The GCC's Security Dilemma
The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman-are frustrated. Four of them-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE-have vast quantities of petroleum. All of them are monarchies. And all of them are militarily weak. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog - 10/25/14

Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran!
The November 24 deadline for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is quickly approaching. If negotiators can reach a deal next month, it will almost certainly provide unprecedented access for inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/25/14

Tehran. Waiting for Normality
Returning to Tehran a little over a month before the November 24 nuclear negotiations deadline was for me the source of a number of surprises. In the first place, the city -- judging from its bustling pace and crazy traffic -- does not seem the capital of a country on its knees because of the sanctions and not even, from talking to a number of people in different walks of life, in real trouble. -Roberto Toscano, Huffington Post - 10/25/14

37 Organizations to Congress: Quit Playing Politics with Deal to Prevent Iran War
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions. - 10/24/14

Iran Claims Key Role In Helping Its 'Iraqi Brothers' Fight IS
Following weeks of increasingly harsh criticism of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, in the past few days Iran has begun to emphasize its role in helping Iraq battle IS militants. Part of this narrative has been to stress Iran's close relationship with Baghdad, and its willingness to cooperate with other countries in the region, including against IS. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/24/14

Winners of 2014 Noor Film Festival Announced
Noor Film Festival's 2014 closing ceremony was held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and awards were presented to the following films: - 10/24/14

31 Nobel Physics Prize Laureates Join Thousands of Activists to Call for the Release of Iranian Physicist
A delegation consisting of Amnesty International, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will deliver thousands of petitions and letters collected by these organizations and the American Physical Society calling for the release of Omid Kokabee to the Iran UN Mission in New York - 10/24/14

Ebola Could Enter Iran, Says Health Minister
Iranian Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said on October 23 that the deadly Ebola virus is likely to enter Iran.Hashemi said no case of Ebola has been observed in Iran so far. - 10/24/14

Iranian, Arab Media: 'Russia-Iran Anti-IS Operations Room' In Iraq
A report that Iran and Russia were to run a joint operations room in Iraq to combat the Islamic State (IS) group is spreading across Iran's media. The report originates in Lebanon's "Al-Mustaqbal" newspaper, which cites unnamed "Iraqi sources" as saying that Russian and Iranian military experts were to work with the Iraqi military to establish a joint anti-IS operations room. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/24/14

Decoding Iran's economic indicators
In the past few weeks, there has been a major debate in Iran about the validity of economic data presented by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and government officials. It all started with a detailed report by the CBI stating that the Iranian economy grew by 4.6% in the 12-month period ending in spring 2014. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor - 10/24/14

Iranians protest rash of acid assaults on women
Iranians took to the streets in Isfahan and Tehran to protest the recent incidents of acid throwing in Isfahan and demand that the authorities provide security for all citizens. In recent weeks in a number of incidents, women have been assaulted with acid, leaving at least one dead and many others struggling with serious burns to their hands and faces. - 10/23/14

The Roots of Recurring Iranian-Pakistani Tensions
In the past two weeks, relations between Tehran and Islamabad appear to have deteriorated again over border clashes and terrorist attacks in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan province located close to the Pakistani-Iranian border. -Shireen T. Hunter - 10/23/14

Column: Lessons of North Korea for Iran Nuclear Talks
Among the arguments marshaled by those wary of a nuclear agreement with Iran is that past efforts to negotiate away North Korea's nuclear weapons program failed. Iran's regime, they argue, is just as untrustworthy as North Korea's and what's more, -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 10/23/14

When Congress Should Assert Itself, and When It Shouldn't
David Sanger's article in the New York Times about how the Obama administration is seeking a nuclear accord with Iran that would not require any early votes in Congress has garnered a lot of attention. Naturally, the administration in response has offered assurances that Congress has a role to play and no one is trying to shove it out of the picture. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/23/14

A Nuclear Deal, Now or Never
Like it or not, the calendar of voting - here and in Iran - is driving the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. A first, easy prediction: Don't expect progress in the few days that remain until America's Election Day. But then the tempo could ratchet up quickly. And it had better, if we are to expect a nuclear deal at all. -Vali R. Nasr, NY Times - 10/23/14

Iran, China Want Closer Military Ties
The Chinese defense minister has told the visiting head of the Iranian Navy that Beijing wants to strengthen military ties with Iran. - 10/23/14

Photos: Thousands Of Iranians Protest Acid Attacks
Thousands of Iranians have demonstrated in Tehran and Isfahan against several recent acid attacks against women accused of not being "properly veiled." Hundreds gathered in front of the parliament building in Tehran, while eyewitnesses said a few thousand came to the Justice Ministry building in Isfahan, the central-western city where the acid attacks took place. - 10/22/14

Iran's Isfahan Outraged Over Acid Attacks
Soheila Jowrkesh had just pulled over to take a call from her mother when she became a victim. As she sat in her car with the window open, two men on a motorcycle threw liquid acid at her. The attack left her completely blind in her right eye, with injuries to her left eye and extensive burns to her forehead, hands, and legs, her father, Nasser Jowrkesh, told the BBC's Persian service. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/22/14

Photos: Middle East's largest planetarium opens in Tehran
The largest planetarium in the Middle East, Dome of Mina, was inaugurated on Monday October 6th at a ceremony attended by Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and a number of officials from Iran's Space Agency (ISA). - 10/22/14

Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Stages Sit-in to Protest Ban on Her Legal Practice
Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh began a sit-in on October 21, 2014, at the Iranian Bar Association in Tehran to protest a ruling that puts a three-year ban on her legal practice, and in protest against the general state of legal representation in Iran. - 10/22/14

NYC Literary and Culinary Arts Festival Highlights Iranian-American Experience
Mehregan is a new Iranian-American literary and culinary arts festival celebrating the ancient Iranian holiday marking the coming of Fall. This first annual New York City-based festival will take place Saturday, October 25, 2014 (3pm - 9pm) at Cafe Nadery in Greenwich Village. - 10/22/14

Iran Pledges Support for Iraq in Fight Against ISIL
Tehran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday that he considers security of the two countries to be "inseparable." The Iranian cleric said that "security of brotherly, neighborly Iraq is as indispensable as our own." - 10/22/14

The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable
Once again, the British Parliament has led the way with an epoch-making decision. On Monday 13 October 2014, British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognizing Palestine as a state. With 274 to 12 votes they passed a motion stating: "This House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution." -Farhang Jahanpour - 10/22/14

Iranian Justice Minister calls acid attacks on women "terrorism"
On the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran, the justice minister told reporters that authorities in Isfahan are thoroughly investigating the incidents of acid being thrown on women, adding that the actions were "acts of "sabotage and terrorism." - 10/22/14

Iranian Culture Minister stands firm against call for film censorship
Ali Jannati, Iran's Minister of Culture and Guidance, has announced that a request by the head of Parliament's Culture Commission to ban a number of films has been denied. Ahmad Salek has reportedly called on Ali Jannati to ban eight films branded as "seditious" by his commission. Iran's conservative factions refer to the opposition protests that were triggered by allegations of vote fraud in 2009 as "sedition." - 10/22/14

Iran, Russia to open new chapter in trade ties
Iran and Russia are considering possibilities of opening a new chapter in their trade relations, with experts saying the new measures could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges, Press TV reports. - 10/22/14

Gaza and the Bipartisan War on Human Rights
Israel's seven weeks of attacks this summer on heavily populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza has led to unprecedented concern among Americans who, while still broadly supportive of Israel, found the attacks to be disproportionate and unnecessary. -Stephen Zunes, LobeLog - 10/22/14

Four arrested for acid attacks on women in Isfahan
Four people suspected of throwing acid in Isfahan have been arrested, says a spokesman for Iran's Interior Ministry, and "all dimensions of the incidents" are being investigated. - 10/21/14

"Digital Native" and "Discipline" Share Grand Prix at Tehran Short Film Festival
Iranian director Mahbubeh Mohammad-Zaki's "Digital Native" and Swiss filmmaker Christopher M. Saber's "Discipline" have shared the Grand Prix at the 31st Tehran International Short Film Festival. - 10/21/14

US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS
The United States and Iran are both helping fight Sunni militants in the Islamic State group. But one of the biggest battlefields is Syria, where Washington and Tehran back opposing sides in the civil war. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/21/14

Iran, Armenia to form joint commission to boost trade ties
The Armenian prime minister arrived in Tehran on Monday to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments with high-ranking Iranian officials. A host of topics, particularly energy issues, is slated to be discussed during the two-day visit of the Armenian prime minister. - 10/21/14

Iran's Suleimani: IS, U.S. 'Doomed To Failure' in Syria
The commander of Iran's powerful Qods Force, Qassem Suleimani, has said that both the Islamic State (IS) group and the United States are "doomed to failure" in Iraq and Syria. The Qods Force is the branch of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) responsible for overseas operations. -Joanna Paraszczuk. FFE - 10/21/14

IAEA: Iran Acts to Comply with Interim Nuclear Deal
Iran is taking further action to comply with an interim nuclear agreement with six world powers, a monthly U.N. atomic agency report showed, a finding the West may see as positive ahead of a November deadline for clinching a long-term deal. - 10/21/14

Desired Traits Of A Nameless Soldier Of The Hidden Imam
What makes a good intelligence agent in the eyes of the Islamic republic? Complete obedience to the supreme leader is crucial, along with moral behavior, dedication, courage, sincerity, honesty, and devotion. This according to Iran's Intelligence Ministry -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/21/14

Head Of Iran's Top Clerical Body Dies
The chairman of one of the most powerful institutions in Iran, the Assembly of Experts, has died. Iranian media reported on October 21 that Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, 83, died of heart failure. He had fallen into a coma in June following a heart attack. - 10/21/14

Iranian actress rejects chador, storms off show
Famous Iranian actress Narges Mohammadi was set to host an evening of shows in the small town of Haji Abad last week, but everything turned upside down when the local iman demanded that she wear not just a hijab (or headscarf) but a chador, or full-body covering. Mohammadi is alleged to have been so angry that she stormed out of the show, to the ire of the concert-goers. -France24 - 10/21/14

Iran Investigates Acid Attacks On Women
Iranian officials said they are investigating a series of acid attacks on women that occurred in the historic city of Isfahan in recent days. Some social network users in the country wrote that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against female drivers who allegedly were targeted for not being properly veiled. - 10/20/14

7th ANNUAL NOOR IRANIAN FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS The Reza Badiyi Achievement Award to Shaun Toub
The 7th Noor Iranian Film Festival-a non-profit, non-religious and non-political organization that bridges the gap between the Iranian and Non-Iranian community through Cinema-will present the NIFF 2014 Reza Badiyi Achievement Award to Shaun Toub for his broad contributions in film and television, at this year's Closing Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7pm, at Los Angeles' famed Skirball Cultural Center - 10/20/14

Announcing 7th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival: Celebrating Iranian Heritage
Calling on individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life to submit short films visualizing some aspect of Iranian art, culture, and heritage, Farhang Foundation's annual online short film festival offers contestants the opportunity to compete for $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize). - 10/20/14

Next Stop: Iran
The number of international travelers in Iran has been steadily increasing, up from 2.2 million people in 2009 to 3.6 million in 2011. During the first half of 2014 travel increased 215%, in what government officials have called a "tsunami of tourists." - 10/20/14

Caspian Summit: review of zones of national jurisdiction
The Fourth Caspian Summit of the Caspian States was held on the 29th of September 2014 in Astrakhan of Russia. (1) The Summit failed to find a new legal regime for the Caspian Sea which was its most important mission and discussions on it have been going on for the last two decades between the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.... -Bahman Aghai Diba - 10/20/14

Press TV reporter accused of spying killed in accident
Press TV reporter Serena Shim, who recently reported that Turkish security forces had accused her of spying, has been killed in an automobile accident. Press TV reported on Sunday that Serena Shin was killed in an accident in Turkey near the Turkey-Syria border while covering news of ISIS. - 10/20/14

Obama Sees an Iran Deal That Could Avoid Congress
But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it. -David E. Sanger, NY Times - 10/20/14

Iraq's PM to Visit Iran, Seeking Help in Fight Against IS
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is headed to Iran Monday for talks with key Tehran officials about the joint fight against Islamic State militants and economic links between the two countries. - 10/20/14

Has Washington's Focusing on Iranian Nukes Distracted It from ISIL's Rise?
One potential reason for the slow U.S. reaction to ISIL is that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran has been hyped at the expense of major, more-realistic security challenges across the region. Spurred by hawks, Washington got busy with the nuances of a potential nuclear "breakout capacity" in Iran and overlooked the real-time breakout of the barbarous ISIL. -Ryan Costello and Ali Fatemi, NIAC - 10/20/14

In Iran, Political Cartoons Reflect Attitudes Toward IS
The rise of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq, and the advent of the anti-IS coalition led by the United States and including several of Iran's rivals has inspired political cartoonists in several of Iran's media outlets. The cartoons are used to express Tehran's various attitudes or viewpoints on Islamic State (IS). -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/20/14

Iranian artists gather at Tehran center to present "Art for Humanity"
The exhibition "Art for Humanity" displaying works by 100 artists to help the United Nations World Food Program fight hunger in the world was inaugurated at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center on Friday. - 10/19/14

Iran Bans Human Rights Lawyer From Practicing Law
A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer says she has been banned from practicing her profession for three years. Sotoudeh told AFP that she would not try to appeal the decision but will conduct a sit-down protest outside the Iran Bar Association's headquarters in Tehran, starting October 21. - 10/19/14

Luxury tourist train on two-week tour ending in Tehran
On October 15, a luxury train left Budapest with 70 passengers onboard for a first-time trip through the Balkans, the Bosphorus and Kurdistan with a final destination of Tehran. Littler says: "There is a huge vacuum in the tourist industry for people who would like to go to Iran but want to do it in comfort and safety." - 10/19/14

Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle with the Islamic State
You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster - a friend crossing Death Valley with next to no gas in his car - and then add, "What could possibly go wrong?" Such is the Middle East today. The U.S. is again at war there, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria, advising here, droning there... -Peter Van Buren, LobeLog - 10/19/14

Iran scholars, associations deplore 'medieval' death verdict on Saudi cleric
Iranian grand ayatollahs and associations have deplored death sentence against Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Arabian Shia cleric. A death sentence passed against the dissident Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia after a deeply flawed trial is appalling and must be immediately quashed, said Amnesty International. - 10/19/14

Ahmad Montazeri summoned after defending Iranian opposition leaders
Ahmad Montazeri, whose late father Ayatollah Montazeri was a chief critic of the Islamic Republic regime, has been summoned by the Special Court for the Clergy. The Kaleme opposition website reports that Ahmad Montazeri appeared in court on Saturday, but so far nothing has been confirmed about the charges against him. - 10/19/14

Acid attacks against women on the rise in Isfahan
Reports from Isfahan indicate that in recent weeks there has been a rise in the incidence of people throwing acird onto women, purportedly for not wearing appropriate hijab or Islamic gard in public. - 10/18/14

Kitaro thrilled by enthusiastic Iranian concertgoers
TEHRAN -- Renowned Japanese musician Kitaro said he was thrilled by the Iranian audience's enthusiasm over his performance on Wednesday, the first night of his concerts at Tehran's Grand Hall of the Interior Ministry. - 10/18/14

Pakistani Guard Killed Near Iranian Border
Pakistan says Iranian forces have killed an officer and wounded three members of its border security force. The rare clash occurred Friday, a day after Tehran warned it would intervene on the Pakistani side if the neighboring country failed to prevent terrorist infiltrations into Iran. -Ayaz Gul, VOA - 10/18/14

Iran manufacturing centrifuges used to produce vaccines: AEOI director
Iran has attained self-sufficiency in manufacturing centrifuges used for making vaccines, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Friday. Salehi made the remarks on the sidelines of the 18th Annual Asian Science Park Association (ASPA) Conference in Shiraz - 10/18/14

Keeping the ISIS Challenge in Perspective
Once again American observers are outbidding each other over how serious a threat the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) poses. Recent IS gains in Iraq heightened Washington's concern, causing President Obama to huddle with coalition defense ministers. In this air of heightened crisis, the option of deploying US combat troops has been revived. Yet this supposed fix (even just talk of it) involves a host of likely problems. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 10/18/14

Iranian Strategy in Syria Could Make Peace Possible
The group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS), beyond its doctrinaire propaganda and lurid beheadings, is beginning to uproot the foundations of order in the Middle East, and the United States has decided to not sit idly by. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 10/18/14

Over 800 firms participating in 2 international trade fairs in Tehran
Two international trade exhibitions were inaugurated on Friday at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds. Over 800 Iranian and foreign firms are participating in the exhibitions. - 10/18/14

Iranian MPs push bill to crack down on immodest attire, satellites
A number of Iranian MPs have introduced a bill to punish violations of hijab (the Islamic dress code) with fines and the possession of satellite receivers with prison terms. - 10/17/14

Islamic State 'Funded By Saudi Petrodollars,' Says Iran's Friday Prayer Leader
"Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says Iran is part of the problem not the solution. That's strange; everyone knows that the IS group was created with your petrodollars," Khatami said, adding that everyone also knew that every act of terror in the Muslim world was also funded by the Saudis. "The reality is that you are not only part of the problem, you are the entire problem!" Khatami said. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/17/14

Explainer: The Oil Price Plunge
In the past several days-despite the conflicts affecting Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia-oil prices have been on a downward trend, hitting their lowest number in the past four years. As of October 2014, oil prices are more than 20 percent lower than June. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog - 10/17/14

Most art forms in Iran are illegal. Artists shirk the law by going underground
Tehran is the seat where most of Iran's artistic community resides and hopes to one day thrive, despite the tremendous censorship restrictions regarding who can perform and under which circumstances. Navigating these restrictions has become an art form itself, while social media sites (at least those that are allowed) are continuously monitored. -Nicole Crowder, Washington Post - 10/17/14

Iran and the United States: An Insider's View
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, the lead author of Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace, has two objectives: to help American readers understand the Iranian perspective on the fraught US-Iranian relationship, and to advocate a sustained attempt to break the cycle of hostility that was triggered by the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 10/17/14

Iran Boasts Of 'Magnificent' Qods Force Commander In Fight Against IS
It is no coincidence that Fars bothered to fashion a whole news article out of the fact that an "English newspaper" has commented on Soleimani's presence and "key role" in combating IS in Iraq. Iran has made a concerted effort in recent weeks to show the world that Soleimani -- and by extension, the Qods Force -- is playing an important role in bolstering Shi'ite militias against Islamic State militants in Iraq. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/17/14

Sons of murder victim deny mercy to convicted woman
The last "peace and reconciliation" meeting in the case of Iranian woman Reyhaneh Jabbari, sentenced to death for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, culminated without a resolution on Wednesday October 15. - 10/17/14

Iranian investment scene 'improving' as relations thaw
International investors looking to exploit opportunities in Iran have been meeting for the first time in concert since the country's 1979 revolution. Hundreds of people gathered at The 1st Europe-Iran Forum in London to hear from the likes of former foreign secretary Jack Straw and meet members of Iran's top business families. -hilip Hampsheir, BBC - 10/17/14

Caspian Summit may revive Iran's oil industry
The age of Iran's oil industry means that some of the country's oil fields are maturing and production rates are declining. Current estimates put the rate of decline in Iranian oil production at 500,000 barrels per day every year. To boost output in the short term, Iran's national oil company, the NIOC, needs to employ enhanced oil recovery techniques, including reinjection of natural gas into oil fields. -Leroy Terrelonge III, GRI - 10/17/14

1st Europe-Iran Forum kicks off in London
With the prospect of improved political relations and a new business climate between Europe and Iran, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum kicked off in London Wednesday morning. The two-day event, organized by European Voice aims to "properly prepare and evaluate the post-sanctions trade framework and investment opportunities", according to a brochure released by the organizers. - 10/16/14

US: Nuclear Talks With Iranian FM Zarif 'Very Concrete'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met Wednesday in Vienna for talks on international efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program. Kerry and Zarif were joined by European Union representative Catherine Ashton, who has been leading efforts by Germany, Russia, Britain, France, China and the United States to convince Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/16/14

Talking Turkey on ISIS, the Kurds, and Kobani
Turkey, nominally a member of America's new anti-ISIS coalition (well, maybe), has for some time now been refusing to allow Kurdish reinforcements and weapons to cross its Syrian border into the besieged city of Kobani. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/16/14

Bookends of America's Broken Regional Policy
It's hard not to cringe watching the United States careen around the Middle East these days, dispensing bombs, money and political fealty in various doses depending on the crisis of the day to a series of supposed allies that take turns slapping us around while demanding our protection. - James A. Russell, LobeLog - 10/16/14

New Videos Confront Iran's Rights Violations through Personal Stories of Persecution
Impact Iran, a coalition of human rights organizations, in partnership with theInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, today launched a new video, "Promises Made, Promises Broken." The video is part of a series aimed at drawing attention to Iran's second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on October 31, 2014. A new video will be released each week leading up to the review. - 10/16/14

Quake jolts Murmuri in Western Iran
A strong quake measuring 5.6 on Richter scale hit Murmuri suburbs of Abdanan City, Ilam province, Wednesday evening, leaving 19 wounded. - 10/16/14

Iranian activist Qavami ends hunger strike after closed-door trial
The trial of Ghoncheh Qavami, the jailed Iranian activist, was held on Tuesday, October 14 behind closed doors in branch 16 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court for the charge of propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime. - 10/16/14

Iranian security officials wounded in attack in Sistan-Baluchistan
Three Iranian security officials were wounded in an attack in the southern regions of Sistan Baluchistan province, Security Commander Hossein Rahimi reported. - 10/16/14

Photos: Polo match is held in Isfahan's historic Naqsh-e Jahan Square to prompt UNESCO to register the sport in Iran's name
A polo match was held in the world's oldest polo field in Isfahan on the sidelines of the 2014 Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN) International Festival, General Assembly and Women's Forum. - 10/15/14

Falling Oil Prices Spell Trouble For Some, But Could Also Boost Global Growth
Suddenly, the world seems to be awash in oil, with benchmark Brent crude that sold for $110 a barrel in June dropping to under $88 a barrel on October 13. That's a 20 percent price plunge and one that bodes serious economic trouble for countries whose revenues depend heavily on their oil exports. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/15/14

"Peace Horn" to sound in Tehran
The Tehran Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert entitled "Peace Horn" at Tehran's Milad Tower on October 18. The concert aims to convey Iranians' message of peace to the world, vocalist Mohammad Motamedi, who will accompany the orchestra at the performance, said during a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. - 10/15/14

Retrial Granted for Iranian Nuclear Scientist Omid Kokabee, Raising Hope for His Release
The request for a retrial for the imprisoned young scientist, Omid Kokabee, has been accepted by Branch 36 of the Supreme Court, according to Kokabee's lawyer, Saeed Khalili, who posted the update on his Facebook page. "Acceptance of the retrial request means that the top judicial authority has deemed Dr. Omid Kokabee's [initial] verdict against the law," he wrote. - 10/15/14

Kerry, Iranian FM in Vienna for Nuclear Talks
Kerry and Zarif will be joined by European Union representative Cathy Ashton, who has been leading efforts by Germany, Russia, England, France, China, and the United States to convince Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/15/14

Iran's Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists
In the fight against Islamic extremists, the commander of Iran's secretive special forces is turning into an unlikely celebrity. Iranian television published last week a picture of Quds Force Major General Qassem Suleimani on an Iraqi battlefield surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. -Kambiz Foroohar - 10/15/14

Iranian FM Continues Diplomacy Over IS, Despite Supreme Leader's Hard-Line Stance
In the wake of strident accusations by Iran's supreme leader and other senior Iranian figures that the Islamic State (IS) militant group is a Western creation, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, continues to push a more diplomatic approach to combating IS. - 10/15/14

Iran's metros will lead to petrol consumption drop of 680m liters: Official
The development of the metro systems of Iran's major cities is expected to increase the number of journeys from 880 million to 2.8 billion per year in the next 10 years, according to Iranian Fuel Conservation Company Managing Director Mohammad Mehdi Rahmati. - 10/15/14

Who are the "Iranian dissidents?" US media promotes bizarre terrorist cult
The forgotten history of a group of "Iranian dissidents" being promoted in Western media shows the hypocrisy of the so-called "War on Terror." -Caleb Maupin, RT - 10/15/14

Iranian peshmerga chief: Iran set ambushes for us
The Iranian Kurdish leader said he was committed to resolving issues with Tehran peacefully, saying, "We cannot destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran and it cannot destroy us, therefore both sides have to find a solution for this issue one day." -Al-Monitor - 10/15/14

Why President Rouhani's "Economic Package" is Empty
Tired of the oppressive financial hardship, wrought largely by the imperialist economic war against Iran, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president (June 2013) as he promised economic revival. He premised his pledge of economic recovery mainly on his alleged ability to bring the brutal sanctions against Iran to an end and integrate the Iranian economy into the world capitalist system. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/14/14

US Policy Towards Iran Played Big Role in Rise of Sunni Extremism
Throughout the recent handwringing about how the US and other Western countries failed to foresee the emergence of ISIS, one factor has been totally ignored, either intentionally or inadvertently: the impact of Washington's hostility towards Iran, especially its persistent tendency to treat any anti-Iranian movement or idea in the Middle East as either good or the lesser evil compared to dealing with Tehran. -Shireen T. Hunter - 10/14/14

World recognizes Iran's nuclear rights, deal is certain: Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran and the Sextet of world powers will "certainly" reach a deal on Iran's nuclear power as the group has come to recognize the country's nuclear rights. - 10/14/14

Iranian Ministry of Youth and Sports questions Persepolis friendly against Real Madrid
Iran's Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports asked Persepolis officials to explain details of their trip to Spain and meeting with Real Mardid president Florentino Perez. Persepolis officials held a meeting with Real Madrid directors on Thursday. Two clubs reached an agreement to play a friendly in the summer of 2015. But it's now revealed that the man who has arranged this meeting is opposed to the Islamic Revolution. - 10/14/14

Iranian Fathers and the Diverse Daughters They've Raised
While living in Malaysia, Nafise Motlaq found the way people talked about her home country, Iran, disturbing. They seemed to lack a realistic vision of the country because they relied mostly on stereotypes. Inspired by this frustration and a trip home to visit her father, Motlaq, a senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia, decided to try and explore the father-daughter relationship in Iran using photography. -Jordan G. Teicher, Slate - 10/14/14

Iranian activist filmmaker detained for one day, reportedly beaten
Mohammad Nourizad, an Iranian political filmmaker and activist, reported on his Facebook page that he was released from Evin Prison on Sunday October 13 after a one-day arrest. Nourizad posted a photo of himself and a report about his release on his Facebook page and thanked his supporters. - 10/14/14

Tehran Workshop Offers Insight Into Nuclear Talks
With only a little over a month to go before the deadline for a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program, a group of European, Gulf and Iranian academics and policymakers gathered Oct. 6-7 in Tehran to discuss the future of EU-Iran relations. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 10/14/14

Qassem Suleimani photo makeover reveals Iran's new publicity strategy
Suleimani and the Iraqi militias he commands have played a key role in halting Isis. But neither he nor any other Iranian official has been invited to Tuesday's strategy meeting in Washington between US president Barack Obama and military chiefs from 20 western and Arab countries, which aimed to draw up a plan to defeat the militants. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 10/14/14

Presence of female musicians stops concert in Isfahan despite proper permit
The music group Erfan was prevented from holding a concert in Isfahan because women were part of the group. The concert was cancelled even though the group had the necessary permit from the Ministry of Culture and Guidance. - 10/14/14

Iran's Khamenei Accuses U.S., Britain Of Creating Islamic State (IS)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on October 13 that Washington and "the wicked government of Britain" created both IS and Al-Qaeda "to create divisions and to fight against the Islamic Republic," but the militant groups have turned against them. - 10/14/14

Saudi Arabia, Iran Swap Accusations as Tensions Persist
Senior Saudi and Iranian officials have renewed criticism of each other's interventions in the Middle East in a sign that tensions between the rival Gulf powers remain high despite top-level meetings this summer. -Reuters - 10/14/14

Direct Iran-US talks, no longer a taboo: Iran Daily
Considering that many believe US is the P5+1 leader and that the nuclear issue can only be resolved if Tehran and Washington bury the hatchet and reach a settlement, there shouldn't be a hue and cry over a possible Rouhani-Obama meeting, underscored 'Iran Daily' on Sunday. - 10/13/14

Photos: Russian Navy Vessels Visit Iran Before Heading To Azerbaijan
A fleet of Russian warships berthed in the Caspian port of Anzali in Iran on October 13. Russian Navy ships "Daghestan" and "Grad Sviazhsk" were welcomed by local Iranian officials and Russia's Ambassador to Tehran, Levan Dzhagarian. - 10/13/14

Iran hosts retrospective on Loris Tjeknavorian's music arts
Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) has held a retrospective of works by the world-renowned Iranian composer Loris Tjeknavorian. Tjeknavorian has made nearly 100 recordings and written more than 75 compositions, including symphonies, operas, requiems, chamber music, ballet music, concertos, choral works and an oratorio. - 10/13/14

Iran oil price cut nothing to do with rivalry with Saudi Arabia: NIOC
In a recent report, Bloomberg reported that Iran has slashed its crude prices in an attempt to attract Asian customers following Saudi Arabia's decision to cut its oil price to the lowest level since 2008. - 10/13/14

Coalition Contacts President Obama in Support of Judge Tabaddor's Suit Against the Department of Justice
This week, the Public Affairs Alliance (PAAIA), along with 30 Years After, the Arab American Institute, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the PARS Equality Center sent a letter to President Obama in support of Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor and her recently filed suit against the United States Department of Justice - 10/13/14

Iran: Tales from Persia - A JOURNEY FOCUSED ON HISTORY and CONTEXT
Journey 2,500 years back in time to discover the ancient secrets of Persia on this 13-day itinerary incorporating some of most well preserved archaeological sites in the world. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Iran. -NY Times - 10/13/14

Iran's Judicial Chief Warns Media To Lighten Corruption Coverage
The head of Iran's judiciary says media outlets that "exaggerate" corruption charges will be investigated for illegal activities. ISNA reports that Ayatollah Amoli Larijani announced on Sunday October 12: "It is not fair for newspapers to start publishing names and condemnatory allegations before the file even reaches court." - 10/13/14

NIAC Members Take Action at 2014 Leadership Conference
Washington, DC - "Do not doubt your power, you can make a difference" said Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), speaking at the National Iranian American Council's 4th Annual Leadership Conference on a panel considering the role of Congress and grassroots organizations in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. -Ryan Costello - 10/13/14

Professor Majid Samii named world top neurosurgeon
The world renowned Iranian scientist in neurological surgery Professor Majid Samii has garnered the 2014 Golden Neuron Award. The award was announced during a ceremony held at the biannual meeting of the World Academy of Neurological Surgery in Vienna on October 11. - 10/12/14

Iran needs to create 8 million jobs in near future: Finance Minister
Iran's minister of finance and economic affairs says that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has made the task of creating jobs one of the core pillars of its new economic policy package. In recent remarks, Ali Tayyebnia said that one of the main policies of the government of prudence and hope is to create jobs. He also added that 8 million jobs need to be created in the near future. - 10/12/14

Iran says extending nuclear talks with G5+1 likely
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said Iran and the G5+1 may extend talks. "It is possible to extend anything and even the time of negotiations between Iran and G5+1," he said. - 10/12/14

Iran to invest $220m in 30 tourism projects
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization will invest 7 trillion rials (about $220 million) to implement 30 projects to promote tourism in the country. The investments will be made to build hotels, guest houses, and accommodation camps across the country - 10/12/14

Iranian opposition leader Zahra Rahnavard undergoes eye surgery
Zahra Rahnavard, Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest with her husband, MirHosein Mousavi, since February 2011, was transferred to hospital to undergo eye surgery. Mousavi was allowed to accompany his wife to the hospital but no other members of the family were permitted. - 10/12/14

Plane Crash Kills Police In Southeastern Iran
Reports from Iran say seven people -- including three high-ranking Iranian police officials -- have been killed in a plane crash while traveling to the country's southeast to investigate militant attacks on security forces. - 10/12/14

Iran's Jailing of Activist Offers Hint of Liberty Under Rouhani
Iran can also be deceptive, activists here say, especially for people like Ms. Ghavami who spend most of their lives abroad. The return to the motherland can feel warm and surprisingly safe, but dangers lurk, especially for those who return with the idea of promoting change. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 10/12/14

The Iran Nuclear Talks: Show Us Your Brackets
Some optimistic comments have been made about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, to the effect that we should not pay too much attention to indications of stalemate because both sides probably are saving their biggest remaining concessions until the last minute. Maybe, but there still seems to be good reason to worry... -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 10/12/14

US: 'Severe Penalties' if Europe-Iran Forum Violates Sanctions
WASHINGTON- A State Department official said an upcoming Europe-Iran business conference, the first gathering of its kind, underscores to Iran the great benefits of reaching an agreement with world powers on its nuclear program, as well as the cost of failing to do so. - 10/11/14

Iran's jobless rate dropped to 9.5% in summer
Iran's jobless rate reached 9.5 percent in summer, the Statistical Center of Iran reported. The center put the number of unemployed people at 2.257 million - 10/11/14

Coalition Contacts President Obama in Support of Judge Tabaddor's Suit Against the Department of Justice
This week, the Public Affairs Alliance (PAAIA), along with 30 Years After, the Arab American Institute, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the PARS Equality Center sent a letter to President Obama in support of Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor and her recently filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (Case No.14-cv-06390, Tabaddor v. Holder et al.). - 10/11/14

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. - 10/11/14

Investors: Absent sanctions, "no emerging market has as much potential as Iran"
Washington, DC - "Iran is going from an emerging [economy] to a developing economy. What's missing from Iran making that leap is connectivity with the West," said Bijan Khajehpour, a strategic analyst and entrepreneur, while speaking on a panel regarding the business implications of a nuclear deal at NIAC's 2014 Leadership Conference. - 10/11/14

Iranian protesters question safety of nuclear plant project
A number of residents in the area surrounding the Bushehr Nuclear Plant in Khuzestan Province staged a protest against the latest project being implemented in the plant and the lack of adequate concern about the environmental impact of the plant's activities. - 10/11/14

Iranian journalist arrested after critique of Saqez Police
The Iranian-Kurdish journalist Hiwa Fouladi was arrested after the Saqez Police Force filed a complaint against him. The Shar News Website reports that Fouladi has been transferred to the city's Central Prison. The website reports that the complaint involves a critical report published by the website regarding the actions of the police. - 10/11/14

More Power for Iran's Vigilantes
In an overwhelming vote Wednesday, conservative lawmakers granted greater powers to volunteer groups to "promote virtue and prevent vice" on the street. Derided by critics as fundamentalist vigilantes, the groups chastise and in some cases, physically assault and arrest Iranians they consider improperly dressed. -Arash Sigarchi, VOA - 10/10/14

The Role of Women in the Future of Iran
Washington, DC - "In some societies, laws protecting women are beyond the culture of the people. In Iran, it is the opposite," said Sanam Anderlini, Senior Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies and co-founder of the International Civil Action Network, speaking on a panel regarding the role of women in Iran at NIAC's 2014 Leadership Conference. -Tyler Cullis - 10/10/14

Nuclear watchdog delegation concludes talks in Iran
Talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended on Wednesday October 8. Iran's ambassador to the agency, Reza Najafi, told the Fars News Agency that the two-day talks were "constructive, serious, substantive and frank." - 10/10/14

Several Policemen Killed In Attacks In Southeastern Iran
Several police officers have been repotedly killed in attacks in the country's southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province. Iranian media reported the latest attack during the morning of October 9 at least one policeman was killed and several others were injured when a car bomb exploded in the Saravan area. - 10/10/14

Accused Iranian tycoon's location unclear to investigating team
The committee established to follow up on the charges against Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani, who's accused of failing to pay back trillions of toumans he owes to Iran's oil ministry, says it is not certain whether Zanjani is in prison. - 10/10/14

It will take more than a quiet word in Iran's ear to put human rights on the table
Ghoncheh Ghavami's imprisonment shows how Tehran's hardliners deal with dissent. If the west cares, it must be consistent in complaining -Azadeh Moaveni, Guardian - 10/10/14

Fighting for Democracy While Supporting Autocracy
For the second time in recent history, the United States is trading away support for democracy and fundamental human rights protections in Bahrain as part of an effort to establish democracy and human rights protections in another Muslim country. -Matar E. Matar, LobeLog - 10/10/14

Photos: European tourists arrive in Isfahan by train for first time
A group of European tourists arrived in the historical city of Isfahan in central Iran on a train for the first time, director-general of Isfahan's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said on Wednesday. Fereydoun Allahyari said the group was composed of 65 tourists from Australia, France, Germany, Britain and Austria. - 10/9/14

Iranian artists to commemorate World Food Day
Over 100 Iranian artists will showcase their artworks in an exhibition at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center to commemorate World Food Day on October 16. The week-long exhibit has been arranged to help the United Nations World Food Program fight hunger among children in the famine stricken regions of the world - 10/9/14

IMF projects 2.2% GDP growth for Iran in 2015 amid global economic slowdown
In its World Economic Outlook for the month of October, the International Monetary Fund has projected 2.2% real GDP growth for the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2015, dropping it from the 2.3% that was predicted in its April report. - 10/9/14

New group pushes water conservation in Iran
The newly established organizan Neday-e Iranian has launched a "Water is Life" campaign to address Iran's water shortage crisis. The campaign, which lists its goals as optimized water use and the acculturation of Iranians to water conservation, began its activities by releasing a public awareness poster on Wednesday October 8. - 10/9/14

American-Iranian convict to get new trial
Amir Hekmati's lawyer has announced that his client's file has been referred for a retrial. Hekmati, who holds dual U.S.- Iranian citizenship, is a former U.S. marine who was arrested during a visit to Iran. - 10/9/14

Iranian daily 'Bahar' acquitted
The Press Supervisory Board cleared banned newspaper 'Bahar' of charges leveled by prosecutor-general. Following the vote of the Press Supervisory Board, the branch 76 of Tehran province's Penal Court headed by Judge Siamak Modir-Khorasani acquitted the daily's managing-editor Saeed Pour-Azizi. - 10/9/14

German Police Find Huge Heroin Shipment In Iranian Pickle Truck
German police announced on October 9 that they found 330 kilograms of heroin hidden in a truck that was transporting pickled cucumbers and garlic from Iran. Authorities say the shipment of highly refined heroin had an estimated street value of more than 50 million euros and was the biggest single drug seizure in Germany in decades. - 10/9/14

Kobani: Questionable Turkish, US Behavior
Defenders of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani (or Ayn al-Arab) have fought valiantly against heavily armed Islamic State (IS) forces for three weeks with only light arms. Until late on Oct. 7, Washington did relatively little but watch a major contingent of the only effective "boots on the ground" against IS being driven slowly back into their city. Turkey has done less than nothing, triggering domestic protests. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 10/9/14

Iran: President Rouhani says committed to academic pledges
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration is committed to the promises it made to the academic community during his 2013 presidential election campaign. Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the new academic year of Iranian universities. - 10/8/14

Iran Talks: A Painful Choice Looms
The absence of any late September breakthrough on the central issue in the nuclear negotiation with Iran-Iran's mastery of uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used for both civil and military purposes-has triggered speculation that the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive agreement will be missed. It has also sparked renewed debate on whether no deal would be better than the best deal likely to be on offer. -Peter Jenkins - 10/8/14

Iranian MP threatens confrontation in Parliament over opposition leaders
Iranian MP Ali Motahari has reportedly warned Hassan Rohani that if he fails to address the issue of the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the issue will be presented to him in the form of a formal session of questioning in Parliament. - 10/8/14

Eni ranks Iran 2nd in gas exports in 2013
Iran was ranked second in 2013 among natural gas exporters, pumping 128.08 billion cubic meters of gas abroad, the Italian energy company, Eni, said in a report (World Oil and Gas Review 2014) published Monday. - 10/8/14

Former US diplomat working behind scenes to foster US-Iran ties
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held an off-the-record dinner last month in New York with an elite group of former US officials. Among the guests were three former US national security advisers and a former secretary of state. -Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor - 10/8/14

Iranian documentary 'Banooye Urmia' awarded in Finland fest
An Iranian documentary, Banooye Urmia, (Lady Urmia) won jury award of Finland Environmental Film Festival held in Vaasa City. The film directed by Mohammad Ehsani was shown in the 7th edition of the event on October 1-5 in Vaasa. The film is a poetic documentary about Lake Urmia, in the Iranian Azerbaijan, which is drying up completely. - 10/8/14

Iran nuclear talks: why Tehran must be brought in from the cold
A deal that offers Iran a nuclear power industry not exceeding its needs and ambitions, and the rest of the world reassurance through intrusive inspections, would do more than bring Iran in from the cold. It would inaugurate a new relationship between the Islamic Republic and the west that could keep together a region that is, in every other particular, coming apart. - Christopher de Bellaigue, Guardian - 10/8/14

Rouhani Urges Iran Universities to Open Up, Dismisses Spy Fears
President Hassan Rouhani called on Tuesday for Iran's universities to admit more foreign students and lecturers, dismissing conservatives' fears that more interaction with the outside world would encourage espionage. -Reuters - 10/8/14

EU sanctions on Iran oil tanker firm annulled
The European Union's sanctions against Iran's main oil tanker firm, the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), have been annulled. In July, the Luxembourg-based General Court ruled there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC in the bloc after the company contested the designation. The EU did not appeal the decision. - 10/8/14

Release of untreated sewage called a "catastrophe": Iran's DOE Chief
Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, has announced serious concern over the release of untreated city and town sewage into rivers in some parts of the country, referring to it as an environmental catastrophe. - 10/7/14

Majlis Development Committee Spokesperson: Iran-140 Will Not Return to Skies
The Majlis Development Committee spokesperson says that the Iran-140 airplanes will no longer be permitted to fly over the Iranian airspace. Speaking to Rooz, Mehrdad Lahouti claimed that the Majlis Development Committee's report on the Iran-140 plane crash will be read on an open Majlis session next week in the presence of the Iranian transportation minister. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 10/7/14

Iranian name 'Homa' selected for asteroid
An Iranian name was chosen for an asteroid out of 1500 other names suggested in an international campaign to name LA1986 (3988) minor planet. Near Earth Objects (NEO) Project Group of Space Generation Advisory Council held an international campaign last year to name the asteroid in which citizens across the world could suggest their names. - 10/7/14

Italy hopes for Iran nuclear deal within deadline
Federica Mogherini, the incoming EU foreign policy chief, has expressed hope that Iran and the P5+ 1 can reach a final agreement on Tehran's nuclear energy program before a November 24 deadline. - 10/7/14

Rich Kids of Tehran
At first glance, browsing through Instagram photos, you'd not think much of it: selfies, house parties, luxury European cars, attractive guys and girls dressed to the nines. With a closer look, you might notice the occasional headscarf and the script on the license plates of cars. -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor - 10/7/14

How political tensions play out in Iran's universities
Reformist students have welcomed the initial steps taken by President Hassan Rouhani and morale is relatively high. But is unrest brewing? -Guardian - 10/7/14

Azerbaijan Pursues Drones, New Security Hopes
Heightened tensions with longtime foe Armenia over breakaway Nagorno Karabakh and mediator Russia's Ukrainian adventure appear to be pushing Caspian-Sea energy power Azerbaijan ever more strongly toward a military strategy of self-reliance. -Shahin Abbasov, LobeLog - 10/7/14

Mecca, Money and Monotheism
To Angawi and other critics, this religious hostility to historic sites is a form of cultural barbarism, no different from the Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. Angawi has called it an "absolute contradiction to the nature of Mecca and the sacredness of the house of God." -Thomas W. Lippman, LobeLog - 10/7/14

Iran to send four satellites into orbit: ISA
Iran plans to launch four new satellites with domestically-manufactured carriers into the space in the near future, the deputy director of Iranian Space Agency (ISA) says. "The launching of Sharif Sat, Zafar (Triumph), Tolou (Sunrise) and Pars satellites, with powerful locally-designed carriers, in the near future is on the agenda," Hamid Fazeli said on Sunday - 10/6/14

9/11, ISIS, and the US Constitution
More shocking than the news of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) invading Iraq were the pictures of its army marching into city after city, with brand new uniforms, new armored vehicles, and a full array of modern weapons. -Abolala Soudavar - 10/6/14

Can Technology Bridge the Schism of Politics?: What a Berkeley event says about the power of diasporas and technology
The Bridge 2014 gathering on "High-Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran," held at the Wheeler Auditorium of the University of California at Berkeley on the first Saturday of September, broke new ground on multiple fronts. It drew seven hundred people from across the U.S. and internationally. Over a dozen leading academics and entrepreneurs came from Iran itself... -Alidad Mafinezam - 10/6/14

Iran Frees Journalist, Leaving Her Husband Still In Jail
Tehran has reportedly freed Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi on bail, but her husband -- "Washington Post" correspondent Jason Rezaian -- remains in detention. Jason Rezaian has dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. Salehi and Rezaian were detained at their home in Tehran on July 22. - 10/6/14

Jailed British-Iranian activist in legal limbo starts hunger strike
Iranian activist Ghoncheh Qavami has begun a hunger strike after 100 days in jail in protest to her undetermined state in Evin Prison. Goncheh Qavami was arrested in June for trying to enter Azadi Stadium to watch the volleyball game between Iran and Italy. She was released on bail then arrested again 10 days later. - 10/6/14

Jailed Iranian Journalist Ahmadi Amouyi completes sentence
Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, a jailed Iranian journalist, has been released after serving out his sentence. Jila Bani Yaghoub, a prominent Iranian journalist and Ahmadi Amouyi's wife, reported that Ahmadi Amouyi was released on Staurday October 4 with two days of delay. - 10/6/14

America's Never-Ending War in the Middle East
While President Obama continues - at least for now - to resist redeploying large numbers of U.S. soldiers to fight the Islamic State on the ground, the military components of the anti-Islamic State strategy he has laid out effectively recommit the United States to its post-9/11 template for never-ending war in the Middle East. -Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, WFR - 10/6/14

Iran Orders Elite Troops: Lay Off U.S. Forces in Iraq
The last time Iranian and American forces were in Iraq, the two sides quietly fought each other. Now Iran's Quds Force officers in Iraq are purposely leaving the Americans alone. -Daily Beast - 10/6/14

Iran stands 5th in 17th Asian Games in Incheon
Iran with 57 medals, including 21 gold, 18 silver and 18 bronze, finished 5th in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, on Saturday. - 10/4/14

Iranian women shine in Asian Games 2014
The Iranian women athletes managed to snatch 16 medals including two gold, seven silver and seven bronze in the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. Iran's squad consisted of 282 athletes of which 224 were men and 58 women. - 10/4/14

UNPFA envoy: 8.1 Percent of Iranians are 60+
Dr. Hulki Uz, United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) Representative in Iran, said people above 60 years old constitute 8.1% of the population and that growth rate of the population of the elderly is higher than other population groups. - 10/4/14

Tehran hosts 2nd national herbal plants exhibition
The 2nd National Exhibition and Festival of Herbal Plants, Natural Products and Traditional Medicine has held in the Iranian capital, Tehran, Press TV has reported. More than 353 companies participated in the year's exhibition to offer their products and services. - 10/4/14

ISIS and the Bolshevik Precedent
All the major actors in the Middle East oppose the rise of the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State (ISIS). In fact, ISIS has managed to incur the enmity of a highly diverse set of actors who often oppose one another. These include several sets of antagonists such as the United States and the West on the one hand and Russia on the other; Iran and the Assad regime in Syria on the one hand and Sunni states like Saudi Arabia on the other; Israel on the one hand and Hezbollah on the other... -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog - 10/4/14

The Persian Underground review - the story of of Iran's rock rebels
In the eye-opening documentary The Persian Underground (World Service), presenter Behzad Bolour meets musicians who have made huge sacrifices in order to continue making music despite Iran's ban on it. -Guardian - 10/4/14

Asian Games: Iran's Volleyball Team Grabs The Crown
Iran was crowned as Asia's best volleyball team after overpowering Japan in the Final match of Asia Cup 2014 in Incheon, South Korea, on Friday. Iran beat Japan 3-1 in the final showdown of the Asia Cup and became Asia's volleyball champion for the first time. Iran beat Japan in three sets (28-26, 25-19 and 25-19). - 10/3/14

Iranian Journalists to Rouhani: Stop Lying
In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, 135 Iranian reporters, editors and media workers from inside and outside Iran urged the president not to insult them by lying about the persecution of journalists in Iran. The letter, published in Persian on IranWire, criticized Rouhani for recent comments he made during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. - 10/3/14

Asian Games: Iranian Women and Men Claim Kabaddi Silver
Iranian women's Kabaddi team grabbed the silver medal in the 17th Asian Games on Friday. The Iranian team lost to dominant Indian 31-21 at the Songdo Global University Gymnasium in Incheon, South Korea. - 10/3/14

Iranian Male, Female Karate Fighters Win Asia Golds
Iran's male athlete Saeed Hassanipour and his compatriot Hamideh Abbasali won two gold medals in Karata competitions in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on Thursday. In the +68kg category, Hamideh Abbasali defeated her rival from China, and seized a gold medal for the Iranian caravan. - 10/3/14

Column: Plan B for an Iran Nuclear Deal?
An Iran no longer fettered by international sanctions could "make everyone around it rich" just as China has fueled a boom in East and Southeast Asia, Lewis said. Europe would also have an alternate source of energy than Russia. Domestically, the pragmatist Rouhani would be strengthened and hardliners marginalized, improving the prospects for reform in other areas. Still, the sky will not fall if no deal is reached and it makes sense to prepare for alternate scenarios. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 10/3/14

Iranian Minister supports social network access despite judiciary
Iran's Minister of Communications and Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi, has expressed his opposition to the blocking of mobile social networking sites such as Viber, despite calls from the judiciary to keep Iranians from accessing them. - 10/3/14

Waiting for the Iranian Godot
The US stance on Iran's uranium enrichment program, according to recent media reports, is softening. In other words, Washington might agree to a technical workaround on the issue of dismantling centrifuges or accept a higher number of active centrifuges than it had previously been seeking in international negotiations with Iran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/3/14

Iranian Official Says Satellite Jamming Can Cause Cancer
An Iranian official has said the government's use of satellite jamming could pose a health risk to citizens. Sayed Motasadi, deputy director of the human environment committee of Iran's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told the official IRNA news agency on October 2 that "the possibility [of satellite jamming] causing cancer exists." - 10/3/14

Road accident deaths decline in Iran
Iran's Coroner's Office has released a report indicating 7,489 people were killed in road accidents in the past five months. IRNA reports that this number indicates a 8.2-percent decline compared to the same period last year. - 10/3/14

Iran as Progressive
In 2007, when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared during a Columbia University appearance, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," many chuckled. It seemed to verify the average person's preconceptions of the country as being primitive and socially backwards. -Holly Dagres, Souciant - 10/3/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: Ironies, Observations and a Bottom Line
Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 are meeting amidst rapidly evolving international and regional circumstances. Whether they succeed or fail, their discussions will have an impact on much more than just nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. They will affect the geopolitics of that region, relations between the world's greatest powers, and the emerging pluripolar world order. -Chas Freeman, LobeLog - 10/2/14

Winners of the 2014 'Sepanta Awards' at the 7th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco
The 7th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco was held on September 27 & 28. Eight years ago when we launched the first IFF in North America, there was no such festival anywhere outside Iran to represent the Iranian Cinema independently. Our goal from day one was to discover the next generation of Iranian filmmakers and support them. - 10/2/14

Obama, Netanyahu Air Views on Palestinians, Iran
WHITE HOUSE- White House officials are condemning Israel's plans to go ahead with construction in East Jerusalem, saying the move poisons the atmosphere for peace. The statements came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office Wednesday. -Luis Ramirez, VOA - 10/2/14

Nitrate levels in Tehran water may threaten infant health
Tehran's water supply may contain a high level of nitrates, says the chairman of Tehran City Council's committee for health, the environment and utilities. Infants below six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. - 10/2/14

Caspian Summit in Russia
The 4th Caspian Summit was held in Astrakhan of Russia on 29th of September 2014. The summit did not take any step in finding a new legal regime for the Caspian Sea that can be agreed by all five littoral states. However, Russia and Iran tried to use the occasion for something else: keeping out the presence of the non-littoral states from the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 10/2/14

Past vs. Future in the Iranian Nuclear Program
Some of the most recent efforts to derail a nuclear agreement with Iran have been focusing on what has come to be called "possible military dimensions" (PMD), a term that refers to any work Iran has performed in the past on designing nuclear weapons. -Paul Pillar, LobeLog - 10/2/14

Iranian ecommerce thrives despite obstacles
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e44136e6-3cdb-11e4-9733-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3EzQTsmrG When brothers Hamid and Saeed Mohammadi founded online retailer Digikala in 2007 they had capital of $20,000, an office in a small apartment in Tehran and a couple of engineers on the payroll. Now the company controls about 85 per cent of Iran's online retail market and leads the country's ecommerce sector -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, Financial Times - 10/2/14

Is Iran facing a liquidity crisis?
Amidst some positive news on the economy, the business community is growing aware of the enormous downside risks on the horizon as nuclear talks again come to a head. Our exclusive sources reveal the severity of the situation, with Iran facing a potential liquidity crisis and a perfect storm in the financial sector if hope of sanctions relief is permanently lost. -VerityIran - 10/2/14

Six Iranian Filmmakers Launch Campaign Urging Deal Over Nuclear Crisis
Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched an Internet campaign saying "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" in an effort to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. The website for the campaign, which is in English, says international sanctions have hurt the Iranian people without harming Iran's nuclear program and urges Tehran and world powers to "address the issues, not special interests." -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/1/14

Asian Games 2014: Iran targets fourth place
Iran is going to end fourth place in the 2014 Asian Games underway in Incheon, South Korea. The Iranian athletes have won 14 gold medals so far, one gold medal behind Kazakhstan in the medal table. Iran claimed four gold medals on Tuesday and now two gold medals would take them above Kazakhstan in the table. - 10/1/14

Is Rouhani Preparing the Ground for Failed Nuclear Talks?
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's recently concluded trip to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly offered signals that Iran's complex political establishment is, at least right now, quietly going along with the push toward an internationally agreed deal over Iran's nuclear program. -Derek Davison - 10/1/14

Group Sues Iranian Culture Minister For Letting Women Sing Solo
The head of the Family of Martyrs and Veterans Association reported on Tuesday September 30 that a suit has been filed against Culture Minister Ali Jannati for issuing permits allowing women to sing solo in concerts. - 10/1/14

Putin Optimistic Of Eventual Accord After Fourth Caspian Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is hopeful that an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea can be adopted at the next summit of the sea's five littoral states. Putin made his comments at the fourth Caspian Sea summit in the Russian city of Astrakhan - 10/1/14

World's largest wide-body jetliner lands in Iran for first time
The world's largest wide-body passenger airplane, Airbus A380, has touched down at Iran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) for the first time. The airliner, belonging to Dubai's Emirates Airline, landed at the airport, located 40 kilometers south of Tehran, at 16:00 local time (1230 GMT) on Tuesday with more than 260 passengers on board - 10/1/14

Military service increased for Iranian men
Conscription in Iran will increase from 21 months to two years beginning the next Iranian calendar year. Spokesman for the Conscription department of Iranian Armed Forces Mousa Kamali said on Tuesday September 30 that the three month increase in the length of compulsory service has been made due to declining birth rate, need of planning for population growth and provision of public service professionals." - 10/1/14

Iran's President Rouhani calls British PM's remarks 'inappropriate and unacceptable'
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized the anti-Iranian statements made by British Prime Minister David Cameron at the recent session of the United Nations General Assembly, calling them "inappropriate and unacceptable". - 10/1/14

President of Anti-Nuclear-Iran Group Dismisses Imminent Threat of Iranian Nuke
Yesterday, Gary Samore, president of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), published a column on the website of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) arguing that even if talks between the P5+1 and Iran collapse, "Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons in the near term is severely constrained by political and technical factors." -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/1/14

Britain Launches First Air Strikes On IS Militants in Iraq
British Defense Minister Michael Fallon says British jet fighters on September 30 launched their first air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Fallon said two British warplanes "identified and attacked a heavy weapons position that was endangering Kurdish forces" in northern Iraq, then attacked an armed pickup truck with IS militants in the same area. - 10/1/14

Bibi Comes to Town
The Prime Minister of Israel addressed the UN General Assembly on Sept. 29, once more filling the chamber with fire and brimstone. Like many a leader before him, he built his speech on the well-tried formula that attack is the best form of defense. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 10/1/14
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