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World Powers Agree on UN Plan for Syria
VIENNA-World powers involved in talks on Syria's political future have agreed to a U.N.-led process that involves talks between the Syrian government and opposition and also to explore a cease-fire that would still allow strikes against terrorist groups. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 10/31/15

Iranian-American Executive Arrested in Iran
Iranian security forces have arrested an Iranian-American businessman who had promoted improved ties between the two countries, adding to signs that hard-liners in Tehran are trying to block foreign investors from entering the Islamic Republic in the wake of the historic nuclear deal. -Farnaz Fassihi and Jay Solomon, WSJ - 10/31/15

Iran's environmental needs dwarf actual budget allotment
The budget for Iran's Department of the Environment is no match for its expenses and its many concerns: numerous international promises, the growing water crisis, droughts, a shortage of forest rangers, protection of the Iranian cheetah and other endangered wildlife species, repeated forest fires, 200 environmental projects in the Persian Gulf, the low-carbon economy, the crisis in lagoons and wetlands, the fight against dust particles and, last but not least, the drying out of Lake Urmia. - 10/31/15

U.S. To Deploy Special Forces To Syria As Diplomats Meet In Vienna
The United States says it will send a small number of special operations forces to Syria that will advise rebels but that the deployment will not be a combat mission. The October 30 announcement came amid a call by the United States, Russia, and other countries for the UN to launch a new diplomatic effort to halt the 4 1/2-year war in Syria. - 10/31/15

Iran to implement blockade on US goods
Iran's Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade says it will block imports of American goods in line with an order by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to develop an "economy of resistance". - 10/31/15

Rival group claims attack on People's Mojahedin of Iran
A Shia paramilitary group in Iraq has taken responsibility for the attack on Camp Liberty, the base that houses members of the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin of Iran still remaining in Iraq. - 10/31/15

Will Iran's Revolutionary Guard Undermine the Nuclear Deal?
Iran revealed one of its missile inventories 500 meters underground on October 16, only a few days after it tested a new medium-range ballistic missile. The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, condemned the test, describing it as "a clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions. -Mahmoud Pargoo, LobeLog - 10/31/15

Slaughterhouse review - an honest portrayal of Iran's drug problem
A new Kurdish film showing a more transparent approach to the drugs epidemic in the Islamic Republic gets the green light from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance -Guardian - 10/31/15

Iran Accuses Saudi Arabia of Kidnapping Officials in Chaos of Hajj Stampede
A month after hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Muslims died in a stampede during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Iranian authorities are accusing the Saudis of having exploited the chaos to kidnap Iranian officials, using them as hostages in the increasing war of words between both countries. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY TImes - 10/31/15

US, Russia, Iran Seek to Bridge Gaps on Syria
VIENNA-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting separately with his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Vienna, before international talks on Syria the top U.S. diplomat has called "the most promising" opportunity in years to end the country's bloody conflict. - 10/30/15

John Kerry: We Have a Middle East Strategy
In a speech in Washington on Wednesday to kick off the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's "Arab World Horizons" project, Secretary of State John Kerry articulated and defended the Obama administration's Middle East strategy. He described the current unrest in the region as a struggle between "destroyers" and "builders" and placed the United States on the side of the "builders." -Derek Davison - 10/30/15

Iran: End Ban on Women at Volleyball Matches
Iran should stop preventing women and girls from attending volleyball matches and take further steps to promote gender equality, opening a digital advocacy campaign to promote respect for women's rights in the country. - 10/30/15

Iran exhibits selection of works by cartoonist Derambakhsh
Iran's House of Cartoon has exhibited a selection of works by veteran artist and cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh. The event dubbed '40 Years, 40 Cartoons' showcases a selection of most successful works created by Derambakhsh over the past 40 years. - 10/30/15

U.S. Condemns Deadly Attack Against Exiled Iranian Opposition Group In Iraq
The United States has condemned a rocket attack outside Baghdad that killed at least 23 Iranian opposition members and Iraqi soldiers and urged Iraq to pursue those responsible. Iraqi police said about 15 rockets hit Camp Liberty, a former U.S. base near Baghdad International Airport that now houses the exiled Iranian opposition group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). - 10/30/15

Iranian actress 'branded immoral' for posting pictures without hijab
Sadaf Taherian, an Iranian actress, has caused controversy in her home country by posting pictures of herself on social media not wearing a hijab. The Iranian government reportedly called her "immoral" and banned her from acting. Taherian published the photographs on Instagram in protest at strict Iranian laws that require women to cover their head in public. -Barney Henderson, Telegraph - 10/30/15

How Iran Views Saudi Arabia's Regional Policies
Antagonism between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia reached a new peak this year. The wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen--as well as the nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran, and the recent catastrophic stampede in Mina during the Hajj pilgrimage--have caused serious harm to Tehran-Riyadh relations. -Adnan Tabatabai, LobeLog - 10/30/15

Inside the Zagros Mountains, the forgotten region of ​Iranian Kurdistan
Set in the craggy Zagros range, separating the Islamic Republic from Iraq, Kirsten O'Regan travels to the part of the Kurdish region that manages to stay out of international headlines -Kirsten O'Regan, Guardian - 10/30/15

'Iran's Amazon' disregards post-sanctions competition, looks to expand
Iranian twins Hamid and Saeed Mohammadi created online retailer Digikala after struggling to buy a digital camera and ending up with a counterfeit. Eight years later "Iran's Amazon" says it employs 900 people and processes 10,000 orders a day. -Reuters - 10/30/15

Iranian Pop Musicians Accuse Culture Ministry Of Prejudicial Tastes
A group of Iranian pop music artists has written an open letter to President Hassan Rohani to protest their discriminatory treatment by the Ministry of Culture and Guidance. They write that their music is regarded by the ministry as "shallow" compared to traditional music and this view has resulted in rejections and refusals for concert and distribution permits. - 10/29/15

Kerry: Vienna Talks Best Hope Of Saving Syria From 'Hell'
Kerry was speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on October 28, before departing for Vienna where he is to meet with his counterparts from a dozen countries to find consensus on a political way forward in Syria. Assad's main regional backer, Iran, is to take part for the first time in such a multilateral meeting on the four-year-long war, along with Damascus' other key ally Russia. - 10/29/15

A Monarch Remembered
Almost thirty-seven years after his overthrow and some would say ignominious fall, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, remains the victim of his tragic image and haunting legacy. In fact, there is something perverse in the way some Western media outlets - and the manner in which the Islamic Republic's propaganda machine in Tehran - have underhandedly portrayed this enigmatic, often misunderstood historical figure. -Cyrus Kadivar - 10/29/15

How The MIT Of Iran Helps Create Silicon Valley Startups
If Iran abides by the terms of the nuclear deal that call for inspections and a reduction in its nuclear infrastructure, economic sanctions in place since the Revolution in 1979 could begin to lift early next year. What many people don't realize, though, is the extent to which Iranian immigrants have long been a force in the U.S. economy, especially in the tech sector. -Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes - 10/29/15

Rafsanjani: Iran Considered Nuclear Deterrent In 1980s
Iran considered pursuing a nuclear deterrent when it began its nuclear program in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War, a former president has been quoted as saying. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggested in an interview with Iran's Nuclear Hope magazine this week that officials were thinking about a deterrent capability when the nuclear program first began. But he insisted that it never took shape. - 10/29/15

Iran's inflation rate falls to 14.8%: CBI
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended the seventh Iranian calendar month of Mehr (September 23-October 22) dropped to 14.8 percent compared to the same period of time last year. - 10/29/15

Persian rugs back in US in early 2016: Iranian Official
Head of Iran National Carpet Center (INCC) expects direct exports of Persian rugs to the US to resume early next year, returning the key producer of hand-knotted floor coverings to the market which has been overtaken by India. A delegation of American merchants will visit Iran to revive trade in Persian carpets, Kargar said. - 10/29/15

Some 35,000 suffering from dystrophy in Iran
The founder of the muscular dystrophy association of Iran, who herself is suffering from limb-girdle disease, has said that about 35,000 patients are fighting with the disease in Iran, ISNA reported on Tuesday. Many of these patients do not know the dystrophy association or are not even correctly diagnosed with the disease, Ramak Haidari noted. - 10/29/15

Iran's Man in New York Is Hunting for Billions of Dollars
Iran, by its own admission, needs $150 billion of investment annually for many years ahead to repair the damage from a decade of isolation. That's a tall order for a country that, even when sanctions are finally lifted, will still be an opaque and scary place to most foreign investors. Enter Hamid Biglari. -Kambiz Foroohar, Bloomberg - 10/29/15

Senator Schumer Opposes Iran Deal, Receives $90,000 From AIPAC Ally
AIPAC's leadership has been known to funnel their campaign contributions through NORPAC , which bills itself as the "the largest pro-Israel PAC." NORPAC contributed $90,000 to Schumer's campaign committee between the time of the announcement of his opposition to the Iran deal and the September Senate vote, according to the group's recent FEC disclosures. -Eli Clifton - 10/29/15

Islamic State? Al-Qaeda!
A report recently issued by the Wilson Center suggests that the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) is fundamentally incapable of sustaining its early successes. On the other hand, al-Qaeda, which many believe has been eclipsed by IS, may still be the greater long-term terrorist threat to US and Western interests. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/29/15

The Iran accord is going to change everything
Iran is the world's most misunderstood country. It has been cut off from the West for decades, and during that period much of the world press, with limited access, has joined to demonize it. Anyone in the United States or Europe who believes what press outlets have reported about Iran over the last 36 years, and what Western leaders have said about Iran, would logically conclude that it is among the world's nastiest places. -Stephen Kinzer, Global Post - 10/28/15

"Borderless" wins award at Heartland Film Festival
"Borderless" directed by Iranian filmmaker Amir-Hossein Asgari won the best premiere for a narrative feature award at the Heartland Film Festival in the United States, organizers announced on Sunday. - 10/28/15

Iran's Superman Behdad Salimi out of World Weightlifting Championship
Iran's super heavyweight Behdad Salimi has a torn ACL and missed the 2015 World Weightlifting Championship. Salimi was helped off the field after suffering a serious knee injury which occurred in the training on Monday. - 10/28/15

Iran Confirms Participation In Vienna Talks On Syria
Iran's ISNA news agency reported on October 28 that Mohammad Javad Zarif will participate in the talks, which will begin with a meeting of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey on October 29 and will be expanded to include Iran on the following day. - 10/28/15

Arrested Iranian Student Activist Under Intense Pressure to Make False Confession, Says Family
Student activist Amin Anvari, 21, who received a suspended prison sentence earlier this year for Facebook postings promoting basic civil liberties, has been arrested and held without charge at Evin Prison's Ward 2-A by Iran's Revolutionary Guards since October 4, 2015, and is under intense pressure to make false confessions, according to a family member. - 10/28/15

UN Rapporteur: Iran Human Rights Situation 'Dire'
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran warned Tuesday that there has been a disturbing surge in executions in Iran this year. "At least 694 individuals were reportedly executed by hanging in the first seven months of this calendar year," Ahmed Shaheed told reporters. "This year, the number could exceed 1,000 if present trends continue," he added. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 10/28/15

Iran talking to six countries to buy aircraft
Iran is in talks with six countries, including Brazil, for purchase of new commercial aircraft to renovate the country's aviation fleet after the removal of sanctions, an official says. Executives of plane manufacturers from France, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Japan and China have traveled to Iran and introduced their products, Secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines Maqsoud As'adi-Samani said. - 10/28/15

Russia and Iran helping Assad gain upper hand in Syria, head of Joint Chiefs says
Russian bombing and Iranian-backed forces have helped give Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled forces an advantage in the country's bitter civil war, the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday, suggesting a sharp setback for the Obama administration. -Los Angeles Times - 10/28/15

Netanyahu's Stereotyping
Benjamin Netanyahu's bit of revisionist history about the origins of the Holocaust certainly deserves the outraged response it got this week. One wonders why he chose to push this line given the well-established and easily cited historical fact-which many of his critics did cite-that the Nazi regime's mass killing that would become known as the Holocaust was well under way before the meeting to which Netanyahu referred, between Adolf Hitler and the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/28/15

Is Israel's Oscar entry a 'Zionist plot' against Iran?
Iranian media accuse Persian-speaking film 'Baba Joon' of being a Zionist propaganda movie aimed at disconnecting Jews of Iranian descent from their heritage and brainwashing them. -ynet - 10/28/15

Study: Persian Gulf may become unlivable
The Persian Gulf region, the center of a high-rise building craze, could experience "intolerable" levels of heat in the decades ahead because of global warming, according to a scientific finding. - 10/27/15

Iran: Ministry reject reports of official "banned" artists list
Iran's Ministry of Culture and Guidance denies having published any list of artists banned from artistic activities. Ministry spokesman Hossein Noushabadi said, however, that artists should refrain from collaborating with independent foreign media. - 10/27/15

Iran Airbrushes Late Dissident Cleric From TV
It's been six years sincedissident Iranian Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri passed away. Montazeri, one of the architects of the Islamic republic who turned into one of its fiercest critics, died of natural causes in December 2009 at the age of 87. But apparently he's still capable of making Iran's state apparatus nervous. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/27/15

Iran's Communications Minister Says Telegram Not Blocked
Iranian authorities deny allegations that they have temporarily blocked a mobile messaging app popular in Iran. Russian Internet entrepreneur Pavel Durov, the founder of the Telegram app, said on October 20 that the service was temporarily blocked in Iran after the company refused to help the authorities "spy" on Iranian citizens. - 10/27/15

Poets Latest to be Snared in Iranian Hardliner Crackdown
Two Iranian poets jailed for their work and sentenced to 99 lashes apiece for shaking hands with members of the opposite sex are the latest targets in a crackdown that analysts say pits hard-liners against those offering new glimpses of life in the Islamic Republic. -AP - 10/27/15

Iran's Generals Are Dying in Syria
Iran can no longer downplay its intervention in Syria's civil war; there are too many public funerals these days. Two generals were killed in action this month. So was a senior bodyguard of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 10/27/15

Iran firms ditch Chinese for Europeans
Iran's petrochemical manufacturers are turning to the Europeans to get finance for new projects, ditching Chinese investors who are charging high commissions and fees. So far, two petrochemical entities have abandoned plans to source funds from the Chinese and decided to use European finances instead, director of projects at the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Marzieh Shah-Daei said on Tuesday. - 10/27/15

This ex-Deutsche Bank tech expert quit his job to risk everything on Iran's coming economic boom
Xanyar Kamangar, who left his investment-banking job at Deutsche Bank to start Iran's first private-equity firm able to take foreign investment, wants to be ready for when it happens. -Business Insider - 10/27/15

Neocons Launch 2016 Manifesto
A mostly neoconservative group of national-security analysts have published perhaps the first comprehensive outline of what they believe a Republican foreign policy should look like as of Inauguration Day 2017. It's titled "Choosing to Lead: American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World." -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/27/15

Things Iranians and Brits Have In Common
Here in the UK, it seems that the mainstream media enjoys nothing more than reporting terrifying and inhuman stories of Iran. But when these news reports talk about 'Iran' what they actually mean is 'The Iranian Government'. And anyone with a smidge of common sense will know that a government and its people are in no way the same thing. Unfortunately this doesn't stop most of the world taking a negative view of Iran, and by default, Iranians. -Lois on the Loose - 10/27/15

Tehran's Cinema Verite to review docs on U.S. contemporary society
The 9th edition of Cinema Verite, the Iranian international festival for documentary films, plans to review the contemporary society of the United States by screening a lineup of documentaries. The documentaries are scheduled to go on screen in a special section entitled "Reality or Dream", the Documentary and Experimental Film Center, which is the organizer of the festival, announced on Sunday. - 10/26/15

Berlin museum to show contemporary art from Iran's collection
On his latest trip to Iran, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and mediated a deal to exhibit a part of its collection in Berlin. The collection is estimated to have a value of $2.5 billion. - 10/26/15

Germany, Austria to increase direct flights to Tehran
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will increase the number of their direct flights to Tehran. The German airline Lufthansa will launch flights from Munich to Tehran and also will boost capacity of its existing Frankfurt-Tehran service by switching from an A340 to a Boeing 747, according to the German aviation website aerotelegraph. - 10/26/15

Ahmadinejad's Ex-Bodyguard Among Growing Number Of Iranians Killed in Syria
A onetime bodyguard for former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been killed in Syria while fighting Islamic State (IS) militants, according to Iranian media reports. Abdollah Bagheri Niaraki was killed October 22 while "fighting terrorists" in the suburbs of the northern city of Aleppo, the hard-line Tasnim news agency reported, adding that he was "martyred." - 10/26/15

Iran to export wheat for first time
Iran will export wheat for the first time after wrapping up guaranteed purchases of the strategic crop from local farmers for the current harvest year, a senior official says. The State Trading Corporation of Iran (STC) plans to put out 400,000 metric tons of durum wheat for exports, STC Managing Director Ali Qanbari said. - 10/26/15

Kumbaya (Not)
In his new film Taxi, Iranian director Jafar Panahi is having a conversation with his young niece. They're sitting in the cab Panahi is driving. The Iranian government has banned the director from making films, so he's ostensibly found an alternative means of making money and of making films. - John Feffer, LobeLog - 10/26/15

Newest luxury trip on Tehran-Moscow train
A luxury train company connecting world capitals plans to launch a tour service between Moscow and Tehran after running a successful first-ever adventure from Hungary to the Iranian capital. Golden Eagle Luxury Trains will travel along the route of the Silk Road through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, beginning in 2016, the company said on its website. - 10/26/15

Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi hits back at 'racism' claims
Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi has hit back at claims the show is racist after artists hired to paint background graffiti sneaked in slogans accusing it of stereotyping Arabs as terrorists and refugees. -Evening Standard - 10/26/15

Iranians Irked By Reports That Burger King Could Open In Iran
Iranians were irked by reports that Burger King registered to open in Iran, with some bashing the news as a sign of America's creeping capitalism and others joking that "soon, Jack Daniels and Smirnoff will enter the market." -Gilad Shiloach, Vocativ - 10/26/15

The Potential for Further U.S.-Iran Talks
In September 2013, after the historic phone conversation between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. president Barack Obama, many believed that Tehran and Washington were on the path to not only diplomatically resolving the nuclear issue but also to engaging in broader negotiations on other issues and eventually normalizing relations. - 10/24/15

Iranian missile test divides eastern, western countries
Russia and China have refused to endorse U.S. and European claims that the recent missile test by Iran violated UN resolutions. The U.S., Britain, France and Germany called on the UN Security Council sanctions committee on Wednesday October 22 to investigate Iran's test launch of a missile on October 10, 2015. - 10/24/15

US Sentences Engineer in Iran Espionage Case
An Iranian-American engineer has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for sending sensitive U.S. military documents to his native Iran. U.S. prosecutors say Mozaffar Khazaee, who had worked as an employee of U.S. defense contractors, stole and shared with Iran information on U.S. military jet engine programs over the span of several years. - 10/24/15

Israeli Nuclear Board Okays the Iran Deal
The pattern is clear as day: whatever Benjamin Netanyahu has to say about the Iran deal is based in hyperbole, fear-mongering, and fantasy. Before the nuclear deal was even inked, Netanyahu made a highly politicized appearance at Congress and denounced the deal. Now we have a report that a notable authority disagrees with Netanyahu's assessment: the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 10/24/15

Iran hopes for better relations after Canada's election
After the Iranian Foreign Ministry welcomed the victory of the Liberal Party in Canada and expressed hopes that it would translate into an end to Canada's "extremist policies", Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying that bilateral talks with Canada should be held to "clear up a number of misunderstandings". - 10/24/15

Several Iranian Fighters 'Killed In Syria'
Two members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, including an ex-bodyguard for Iran's former president have been killed in Syria, Iranian media reported on October 23. Ramezan Sharif, a spokesman for the guards, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying: "Abdollah Bagheri and Amin Karimi were killed yesterday and today on a mission in Syria." - 10/24/15

A principled but uncertain man: the life of Iran's 'Dissident Mullah'
An engaging new biography of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who passed away in 2009 aged 87, highlights the earthly pragmatism at the heart of the Islamic Republic. If theocracy is a system of government where God is sovereign, His will is discerned and carried through by human agents. -Guardian - 10/24/15

Iran, Russia design package of projects worth $25-$35 billion
Iran said on Thursday that it has devised a package of joint projects with Russia, adding that the total value of the projects stands at $25 billion to $30 billion. Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran's minister of communications and information technology, told reporters after a meeting with the visiting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak that the projects will give a significant boost to the volume of trade between Tehran and Moscow. - 10/23/15

Iran gives 30-day visas at airports
Iran's media reported on Wednesday that the country has started to issue 30-day visas for tourists from 58 countries upon arrival in its airports. The Persian-language newspaper Donya-ye Eqtesad reported that the move is in line with a plan that was approved by the government two months ago. The visas can be extended by 15 more days, the report added. - 10/23/15

Hacked CIA emails mark change in US policy toward Iran
CIA chief John Brennan once advised the U.S. president "to come to terms with whatever government holds power in Tehran", says WikiLeaks, which revealed the content of Brennan's emails obtained from a hacker. - 10/23/15

Can the Middle Eastern Humpty Dumpty Be Put Back Together Again?
As mayhem and anarchy spread like a contagion across the Middle East, can the Middle East, like Humpty Dumpty, be put back together again? Some pundits say no. Yet, for a variety of admittedly highly debatable reasons, I still believe that yes, it can be salvaged. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 10/23/15

Fox, Daily Beast Stories on Cubans in Syria Lack One Thing: Evidence of Cubans in Syria
Fox News reported last week that Cuba has sent Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias and hundreds of troops to Syria to assist the Russian and Assad governments in "operating Russian tanks." -Adam Johnson, FAIR - 10/23/15

Microsoft, Other US Tech Companies Preparing To Invest In Iran
Officials in Tehran said on Wednesday that Microsoft as well as several other leading US tech enterprises are preparing to enter the Iranian market in the near future. The announcement was made by Rouhollah Estiri, the director general for international business affairs of the Directorate for Science and Technology Affairs of Iran's Presidential Office. - 10/22/15

Muharram Not Fashionable In Iran
If you are celebrating the sacred month of Muharram in the Islamic republic, you best not make it a fashion statement. Amid reports that some hair salons and barbers have been advertising "special Muharram" styling to lure clients, warnings have been issued against the practice of shaving the words "Ya Hossein" into peoples' hair. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/22/15

Iran's Supreme Leader Endorses Nuclear Deal
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has endorsed the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers but has warned the country needs to be vigilant, saying the United States cannot be trusted. - 10/22/15

To Burn Or Not To Burn? Kerfuffle Flares In Iran Over Torching U.S. Flag
Burning U.S. flags has become a tradition in Iran at annual state-organized events commemorating the anniversary of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran and the hostage taking of U.S. diplomats that led to the severing of ties between the two countries. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 10/22/15

US, Europeans Urge UN to Take Action on Iran Missile Test
The United States, Britain, France and Germany are calling on the U.N. Iran sanctions committee to take "appropriate action" regarding a missile test that they say constituted a serious violation of a U.N. resolution. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 10/22/15

Iran to award electric rail plan to Russia
Iran said on Thursday that it plans to award a project worth $1.2 billion to Russia to establish an electric train service to connect the north to a key city east of capital Tehran. Abbas Akhundi, Iran's minister of roads and urban development, told reporters that the train service will start in Garmsar in eastern Tehran and will lead to the border town of Incheh Borun in the northeastern Golestan province. - 10/22/15

Iran, Russia agree to establish joint bank
Iran and Russia on Thursday agreed to establish a joint bank in a bid which is meant to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries. The agreement was announced by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) which said it was reached during a meeting between the visiting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and CBI chief Vaiollah Seif. - 10/22/15

Dennis Ross: Blame America First!
The excerpt from former Obama administration official Dennis Ross's new book, which ran recently in Politico Magazine, is a remarkable document. The excerpt is headlined "How Obama Got to 'Yes' on Iran: The Inside Story," but that's not actually what it's about at all. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 10/22/15

Iran, Russia Undeterred by Slow-Go in Syria
Forces fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are struggling against rebels in the country's northwest, despite substantial backing from Russia and Iran, according to U.S. officials. But they caution that both Russia and Tehran seem prepared to dig in and intensify their efforts. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 10/21/15

Russian Web Pioneer Says Iran Blocks Telegram App After Seeking Spying Tools
Arenowned Russian Internet entrepreneur who created a mobile messaging app popular in Iran said Iranian authorities temporarily blocked the app after his company refused their demands to help them "spy on their citizens." - 10/21/15

Iranian-Canadians among MPs in Canada's new government
Two Iranian-Canadians won seats in Canada's federal Parliament in an election that swept Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party to power with a majority government. Ali Ehsasi won in the Willowdale riding and Majid Johari in Richmond Hill, both replacing Conservative incumbents. - 10/21/15

Netanyahu Loses an Important Canadian Ally
It isn't just that Harper's government, particularly during the campaign, resorted to the Islamophobia identified with the European Right. From the outset of his premiership in 2006, Harper aligned himself and his country with the Israeli right. Last May, The Forward described him as "Netanyahu's fiercest supporter among world leaders" who was "playing up his unstinting support for Netanyahu" in the then-upcoming election campaign. -Jim Lobe - 10/21/15

Iran, China and U.S. issue joint statement on modernizing Arak reactor
In a report on its website on Tuesday the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) published the joint statement of Iran, China and the U.S. on modernizing the Arak heavy water reactor. - 10/21/15

Women's rights in Iran: Exiled activist reveals how her fight for equality is attracting male suppor
Heretic, whore, CIA operative - Masih Alinejad has been called all these things, and worse, by the Iranian authorities. What is her crime? Campaigning for equal rights for women in her home country. -Katie Grant , Independent - 10/21/15

Iran halts dam projects in bid to protect environment
Iran's Department of the Environment says 10 dam projects have been halted across the country. In a statement on Tuesday September 20, the spokesman for the department said while some of these projects may have already acquired permits, they will not be allowed to proceed. - 10/21/15

Have Human Rights in Iran Deteriorated after the Nuclear Deal?
The case of the now-convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, covered in detail by Ali Gharib in this space last week, is only the most glaring example supporting the idea that the human rights situation in Iran has gotten worse rather than better after the conclusion of the nuclear deal. But there are many other examples. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/21/15

Iran Says It Can Quadruple Carbon Cuts If Sanctions Lifted
Iran could as much as quadruple its efforts to curb fossil fuel emissions if economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., United Nations and European Union are ended, the country's lead envoy at UN climate negotiations said. -Alex Morales, Bloomberg - 10/21/15

Marking Adoption of the Iran Nuclear Agreement
On the eve of Adoption Day (October 18) for the July 14 nuclear agreement with Iran, two strikingly similar articles appeared, one by Michael Crowley in Politico and the other by David Sanger and William Broad in The New York Times. Both articles ponder the likelihood that Iran will "cut corners" in order to ensure that the agreement's Implementation Day arrives as soon as possible. -Peter Jenkins - 10/20/15

Iran Expects Nuclear Deal To Be Implemented This Year
Iran's top nuclear negotiator says he expects a nuclear deal reached with six world powers to be implemented by the end of the year. Abbas Araqchi was speaking on October 19 in Vienna after talks with senior officials from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany. Those countries negotiated the deal with Tehran in July. - 10/20/15

Imprisoned activist Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi Should Be Released Immediately and Given Medical Treatment
The health of imprisoned activist Narges Mohammadi has deteriorated, and the prominent human rights defender is now reportedly chained to a hospital bed, denied proper medical treatment for a worsening neurological condition, and prevented from normal family visitation. - 10/20/15

Iran's telecom thrills European investors
Two leading European companies are set to buy stakes in Iran's biggest cellular operator, Mobile Telecommunication Company (MCI), its head Vahid Sadouqi says. MCI, better known as Hamrah-e Aval to Iranians, dominates 70% of the telecom market share in the country of 80 million and is listed worth over $4.3 billion on the country's benchmark Tehran Stock Exchange. - 10/20/15

Iranian Lawmaker Accuses Jason Rezaian, Washington Post Reporter, of Sedition Plot
An influential Iranian lawmaker delivered inflammatory new accusations on Monday against Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran reporter convicted of espionage this month, asserting that he had plotted with seditionists. -NY Times - 10/20/15

Italy's Eni and France's Total ready to return to Iran
Eni's Chief Upstream Officer Antonio Vella told an energy forum in Tehran that the company plans to use the latest technologies in Iran's oil projects, stressing that this is crucial in decreasing the project costs. Another European oil major - France's Total - also announced at the same forum in Tehran on Monday that it is ready to provide the loans required for the development of Iran's oil sector projects - 10/20/15

Iran's Press Tribunal Heaps Verdict On Reformist Daily
Iran's Press Court has found the Roozan daily guilty of "propaganda against the regime and quoting content attributed to deviant groups" and found it ineligible for any leniency. The newspaper was closed down in December of 2014 by order of the Tehran Prosecutor. Reports indicate the shutdown was related to the daily's publication of a special issue in memory of the late dissident clergy member Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. - 10/20/15

Opinion: The Nuclear Deal's Impact on Iranian Domestic and Foreign Policy
As in most countries, in Iran too there are hardliners and moderates. All polls show that a large majority of Iranians support the nuclear deal (or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany), while a small but powerful group of hardliners opposes it. The Iranian parliament has finally approved the deal, but after a great deal of controversy and with some reservations. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 10/20/15

Iran's $40 million movie, is anyone watching it?
It has now been just over a month since renowned Iranian film director Majid Majidi's "Muhammad: The Messenger of God" first showed in cinemas across Iran. Yet despite the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Principlist media, it appears that film critics and movie-goers alike aren't too happy with Majidi's latest production. -Al-Monitor - 10/20/15

Iran agrees to surprise inspections of nuclear facilities
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on October 18, 2015 that Iran has agreed to the provisional application of the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement upon implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 10/20/15

The Disappearing Prince of Darkness
Where is Richard Perle? His virtually total absence from the Iran nuclear debate over the past two years was perhaps one of the most remarkable features of the whole controversy. Ubiquitous in the major media in the run-up to and aftermath of the Iraq war debacle and a long-time advocate of "regime change" by whatever means in Iran, the "prince of darkness," Washington's leading neoconservative operative for several decades, seems almost to have entirely disappeared from public view. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/20/15

Obama Orders US to Prepare to Lift Sanction on Iran
President Barak Obama Sunday ordered the U.S. government to start preparing to lift sanctions against Iran on what was called Adoption Day -- the day all parties who signed the nuclear deal in July take the first steps towards implementing it. -Pamela Dockins, Ken Schwartz, VOA - 10/19/15

Nuclear deal, Syrian crisis tackled at the Munich Security Conference held in Tehran
Preliminary meetings leading up to the Munich Security Conference were held in Tehran, and while the main topic of the meeting was announced to be "the implementation of the nuclear agreement", the Syrian crisis was also high on the meeting's agenda. - 10/19/15

Organs of brain dead Iranian sportswoman donated
The vital organs of female Iranian athlete Reyhaneh Beheshti have been donated to patients in need of transplantation to save their lives, nearly a week after the young sportswoman was diagnosed as brain dead. - 10/19/15

Iran Preparing For 'Tsunami' Of Tourists
Iran's vice president says his country is preparing for a "tsunami" of foreign tourists after a historic nuclear deal that will lift sanctions on the country is implemented in the coming months. Iran -- which is home to 19 UNESCO-listed sites -- will soon unveil an investment package to attract foreign investment and boost tourism, which has suffered under international sanctions. - 10/19/15

Iran's President Rohani stands up for internet freedom
Rohani has called for the easing of public access to the internet and social media. The Mehr News Agency reports that Rohani told a meeting of the Supreme Council of Virtual Space: "Facilitating public access to virtual space and social media should be a priority, even as we resist the misuse of this information exchange." - 10/19/15

Iranian Official Warns Over Influx Of Afghan Refugees
The governor of Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, has warned that the country needs to be prepared for a new wave of would-be Afghan migrants. "Unfortunately, because of threats and insecurity in several areas in Afghanistan, we are witnessing a growing flood of Afghan migrants," Ali Osat Hashemi was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies. - 10/19/15

Is Putin Really as Foolish as We Are?
Surely this is not a shocker. But what's interesting about the latest revelation concerning Nixon and Vietnam is that the most duplicitous president in U.S. history actually knew that the U.S. air war in Southeast Asia was a dismal failure. Even as Nixon was telling the media that the saturation bombings of Vietnam and Laos were "very effective," he was privately acknowledging the opposite. - John Feffer, LobeLog - 10/19/15

Iran Nuclear Deal Moves to New Phase
Iran and world powers involved in nuclear talks reached a milestone Sunday that sets the stage for an eventual lifting of Tehran's nuclear-related sanctions. The date of next milestone - Implementation Day - has yet to be determined. That is the day when Iran will begin receiving relief from crippling international sanctions because the provisions of the agreement have been met. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 10/18/15

Lessons from America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East
Twenty-six years ago, when the elder President Bush asked me to be his ambassador to Saudi Arabia, he assured me that "nothing much ever happens in Arabia." That had been the case for quite a while. Now no one would refer to any part of the Middle East - even the Arabian Peninsula - as a zone of tranquility. It was a different world back then. Mistakes made here in Washington had a great deal to do with why and how that relatively stable world disappeared. -Chas W. Freeman, LobeLog - 10/18/15

Iran unveils stimulus package to lift economy
The Iranian government has unveiled a policy package to stimulate the stagnant economy through higher investment in production and boosting consumer spending. -The measures are envisaged for a duration of six months in the run-up to the lifting of sanctions. - 10/18/15

Iran, Germany must boost anti-terror cooperation: Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Germany play a very important and instrumental role in regional and international developments, stressing that the two countries need to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism. In a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tehran on Saturday, Rouhani stressed the importance of cooperation among all countries in fighting terrorism. - 10/18/15

Iranian Foreign Minister Says He's Working To Resolve Case Of Jailed Reporter
Iran's Foreign Minister says jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian faces serious charges in Tehran, but he is seeking to resolve the case from a "humanitarian perspective." Speaking during a security conference in Tehran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "issue over this defendant is judicial process but we are making efforts to resolve it." - 10/18/15

Iranian teachers released from UAE detention
Hassan Qashqavi, the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, has announced that the Iranian teachers arrested by United Arab Emirates authorities have been released. Ten Iranian teachers were arrested in Al-Ain, UAE last week, accused by UAE authorities of holding visas that were only valid for travel to Dubai and not Al-Ain. - 10/18/15

Sunday Marks Start of Iran Deal Implementation
October 18 has been dubbed Adoption Day - when both sides begin taking steps to carry out the provisions of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). A provision in the nuclear agreement, which negotiators reached in July, required Adoption Day to occur 90 days after the deal was endorsed by the U.N. Security Council. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 10/17/15

Next for Iran: Lifting the Arms Embargoes
Having survived the US Senate, the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the P5+1 will now be formally adopted, and implementation will follow. Whether you are pro-deal or anti-deal, the truth is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ends Iran's international isolation, grants Iran legitimacy and international recognition, and is the beginning of a long process of reintegrating Iran into the community of nations. -Emma Scott - 10/17/15

EU to announce end to Iran sanctions Sunday: Report
The European Union will announce on Sunday the formal end to economic sanctions on Iran, a European news agency says. Citing Western diplomatic sources, the Agence France Press said Saturday the decision will take effect around the end of the year. - 10/17/15

Iran missile tests no violation of JCPOA: Top diplomat
A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic's missile tests are not considered a breach of the recent nuclear agreement struck between Tehran and six world powers. Tehran's "missile tests are by no means a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Friday. - 10/17/15

Prominent Iranian conservative calls nuclear pact a closed subject
Ayatollah Jannati said care must be taken that the deal is not used as "an excuse for world powers to impose their will on the country." He added: "If we do not resist, after approval of the nuclear agreement, they might turn around and say men and women should also have equal rights, Qesas should not be done, same-sex marriages should be allowed, and relations with Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have to be severed." - 10/17/15

Two Killed In Sectarian Shooting In Dezful, Iran
Two people have been killed in a shooting incident at a Shi'ite mosque in Iran. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that two people were also injured in the attack on Shi'ite worshippers in the town of Dezful in Khuzestan Province late on October 16. - 10/17/15

Inside Iran's Revolutionary Courts
After Iran's Islamic Revolution secretive courts were set up to try suspected ideological opponents of the regime, with no jury, no defence lawyers and often no evidence beyond a confession extracted from the defendant by means of torture. Those who survived them still bear the psychological scars today. -Jenny Norton, BBC - 10/17/15

The rise of Persian-Arab racial tensions
"What approach should the government take in dealing with Saudi Arabia?" respondents were asked in an opinion poll carried out by one of Iran's most popular news sites. The survey followed the recent stampede in Saudi Arabia in which hundreds of Iranian hajj pilgrims were killed. -Saeid Jafari, Al-Monitor - 10/17/15

Echoes of Afghanistan in Syria
The Russian military intervention to shore up the Assad regime in Syria, coupled with the previously begun U.S.-led military intervention in the same country--amid uncertainty about U.S. war aims and a reluctance to part with the objective of ousting Assad--presents the specter of a proxy war between Russia and the United States. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/17/15

UN Experts Denounce Execution Of Two Juveniles In Iran
United Nations human rights experts expressed "outrage and profound sadness" at Iran's execution of two juvenile offenders, urging the country to "stop killing children." - 10/17/15

Next Phase of Iran-led Ground Offensive in Syria 'Coming'
Russia appears to have at least doubled the number of military personnel on the ground in Syria ahead of an expected pro-regime offensive to retake the city of Aleppo. "It is coming," said a U.S. official of an Aleppo offensive. What is unclear is whether Russian ground forces will take part. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 10/16/15

Changing Course on Economy in Iran
A year after declaring the recession over, President Rouhani conceded earlier this week that the economy may experience negative growth this year and promised to unveil a new set of policies to prevent the recession from becoming a double-dip. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 10/16/15

Russia's Energy Minister Novak due in Iran for important visit
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will visit Iran on Oct. 21 at the head of a large economic delegation to discuss expansion of bilateral trade. In Tehran, Novak will meet Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and other officials as the two countries seek to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion a year from $2 billion at present. - 10/16/15

New theater opens with "Crime and Punishment" in Tehran
A new theater opened on Tuesday at the Masudieh House, a Qajar era monument in Tehran, with a performance of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" by an Iranian troupe directed by Iman Afsharian. - 10/16/15

Iran probes jumbo jet engine break-off
Iranian experts are investigating to find out why a section of a Boeing 747's engine broke off during flight on Thursday with more than 400 passengers on board. The mid-air horror ended after the passengers safely landed at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport with no injuries. - 10/16/15

Iran has provided all needed data to resolve issues: IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the Islamic Republic has supplied all information needed for the completion of the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program. - 10/16/15

Fears intensify for waning Anzali Lagoon in Gilan province of Iran
The governor of Gilan says the Anzali Lagoon is in serious danger of drying out, with its depth having decreased from 11 metres to 1.5 metres. In the administrative council meeting on Wednesday October 14, Mohammad Ali Najafi said the lagoon is in imminent danger of extinction and needs immediate and special attention from the authorities. - 10/16/15

Has Erdogan Shattered The Myth of Turkish Exceptionalism?
Only a few short years ago, Turkey was still touted as an exception in the Muslim World. Turkey was the country that had successfully managed to blend and synthesize Islam, democracy, modernity, and Turkey's own traditions. The so-called Turkish Islam was said to be different from the brand practiced in the rest of the Muslim world. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog - 10/16/15

Munich Security Conference Convenes Core Group Meeting in Tehran
On October 17, 2015, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) will gather in Tehran for the first time as part of its MSC Core Group Meeting series. Co-hosted with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and held in cooperation with the governments of Germany and Iran, the Core Group Meeting will focus on the war in Syria as well as Tehran's global and regional role after the Vienna agreement on Iran's nuclear program. - 10/15/15

Parliamentary Drama in Tehran
This week has been one of high drama at Iran's Parliament (Majles). After the Tuesday passage of a bill giving the government permission to "voluntarily implement" the recent nuclear deal-the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-based on guidelines set by the Supreme National Security Council, the hardline MP and founding member of Steadfastness Front, Ali-Asghar Zarei, began weeping while shouting "at least appearances [of an independent Parliament] should have been kept." -Farideh Farhi - 10/15/15

Iran's Guardian Council Approves Nuclear Deal
Iran's powerful Guardian Council has approved implementing the country's nuclear deal with a group of world powers. The big looming next step for the deal to go forward is a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency on its more than decade-old investigation into possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear activity. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano is due to deliver his report by December 15. - 10/15/15

Two Iranian Poets Sentenced to Flogging and Nine and Eleven Years in Prison
A Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced the poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi to 9 years and 6 months and 99 lashes, and 11 years and 99 lashes, respectively, on charges of "insulting the sacred" for the social criticism expressed in their poetry. - 10/15/15

Iran Shows Off Underground Missile Arsenal
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic republic's Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division, said numerous such tunnels exist across the country at a depth of 500 meters. The commander seemed to suggest the show of strength was in response to Western powers, especially the United States, which has said the military option against Iran remains on the table. "Those who pin hope on options on the table should only have a look at the Islamic republic's army options under the table," he said. - 10/15/15

The Public Health Impact of the Iran Nuclear Deal
Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh and Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad, two doctors and public health professionals affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco, wrote an Op-Ed about the Iran Nuclear Deal's effect onhealth in Iran and its implications around the globe. - 10/15/15

Hillary Clinton Needs to Clarify Offensive Iranian Comment
During the Democratic Presidential debate in Las Vegas, Secretary Hillary Clinton made what many view as highly offensive and incendiary comments by equating Iranians as her enemy. While her intentions may have been different, many ordinary Iranians have taken offence. - 10/15/15

China Said To Seek Deeper Military Ties With Iran
China wants to deepen military ties with Iran, a senior Chinese admiral said on October 15 after meeting with Iran's defense minister in Tehran. Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan that China paid great attention to developing relations with Iran, China's Defense Ministry said. - 10/15/15

Iran ramps up troop deployment in Syria in run-up to 'anti-rebel offensive'
Iran is escalating its role in the war in Syria, sending hundreds of men from its elite forces to support Bashar al-Assad and dispatching its most celebrated Revolutionary Guards commander to an area where an anti-rebel offensive is expected shortly. -Guardian - 10/15/15

Don't Ally with Saudi Arabia against Russia
While the usual suspects flood the US media with ideas on how to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over his audacious move in Syria, the European Parliament adopted a new resolution on October 8 on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. The focus of the resolution was the case of Ali Mohammed Nimr. The Saudi authorities sentenced the 21-year-old Saudi citizen and nephew of a prominent Saudi Shia dissident cleric, to death by beheading to be followed by crucifixion. -ldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 10/15/15

Yemen: Tell Me How This Ends
"Tell me how this ends," then-Major General Petraeus reportedly asked during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This was a surprising question, since none other than former Secretary of Defense and then-Vice President Dick Cheney had foreseen the likely chaos and potential for sectarian violence 10 years earlier. Many Saudis learned the lessons of Iraq (and indeed, of their own bloody history in Yemen). But the current quagmire in Yemen suggests that not all of them, or their Gulf allies, did so. -James Spencer, LobeLog - 10/15/15

Timeframe shaping up for meeting Iran's nuclear obligations
The head of Iran's Atomic Agency says it will take about two months to implement Iran's obligations under the nuclear deal reached in Vienna, and the process will be initiated by an order of the president. - 10/14/15

AIC Policy Paper: Expanding U.S.-Iran Cooperation to Forge a Power-Sharing Deal in Yemen
During the "Arab Spring" of 2011, protests across Yemen called for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation. After 33 years in office, Saleh abdicated power in February 2012 to his vice president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, via a single candidate election. One of the groups both supporting the ouster of Saleh and rejecting his replacement were the Houthis. -Arastoo Taslim, AIC - 10/14/15

President Rohani Tells Iranians To Expect Economic Boom
Iranian President Hassan Rohani says his country will face new conditions once the sanctions are removed, which he suggested could happen in the coming months. Rohani spoke several hours after Iran's parliament approved an agreement reached in July with world powers that significantly limits Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. - 10/14/15

Brother of US Journalist Jailed in Iran Blasts Conviction
The brother of a Washington Post reporter who has been jailed in Iran for more than a year said it is "impossible to understand" why the Iranian government would imprison and convict him. In an interview Tuesday with VOA's Persian News Network (PNN), Ali Rezaian said Iran's treatment of his brother, Jason Rezaian, is illegal by Iranian and international laws, and by the "commitments that Iran has made to the world." -Mike Richman, VOA - 10/14/15

Iranian American Groups Release Joint Statement Calling for Full Investigation Into Murder of College Student Falsely Accused of Being a Terrorist
A coalition of Iranian-American organizations, including Iranian Alliances Across Borders, Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, PARS Equality Center, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, released the following statement calling for a full investigation into the brutal murder of 22-year-old Iranian-American student Shayan Mazroei by avowed white supremacist, Craig Tanber, 37, last month. - 10/14/15

Two more Iranian casualties in Syria from IRGC senior ranks
Iranian media report that two more senior officers of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps have been killed in Syria. Tasnim reported on Tuesday October 13 that Brigadier Generals Farshad Hassounizadeh and Hamid Mokhtarband were killed by ISIS forces in Syria. - 10/14/15

On Jason Rezaian's Conviction: Why Injustice in Iran Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better
The warnings of opponents of a nuclear deal as well as its more cautious boosters-that we shouldn't expect reform from Iran in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear accord-earned a dispiriting data point yesterday. Jason Rezaian, the Iranian-American Washington Post reporter arrested more than a year ago, was convicted of espionage in a closed proceeding. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 10/14/15

EU Aviation Agency Issues Warning Over Russian Missiles
The EU's aviation regulator has warned airlines of the potential danger of flying over Iran, Iraq, and the Caspian Sea after Russia fired cruise missiles at Syrian targets. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) noted the launch of missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea in its safety bulletin issued on October 9. - 10/14/15

IRGC chief praises slain commander for quashing 2009 protests
The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Ali Jafari, said that without Hossein Hamedani, the IRGC commander who was recently killed in Syria, it would have been very difficult to "handle" the 2009 election protests. Speaking at Hamedani's funeral, Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Monday October 12 that the late commander played a pivotal role in silencing the mass protests of 2009. - 10/13/15

Imprisoned Iranian TV Producer Suffering from Untreated Shingles Disorder
Television writer and producer Mostafa Azizi, who has been in Evin Prison since February 2015, has developed shingles, but has not yet received proper treatment. Shingles is a painful, infectious skin disorder produced by the virus that causes chickenpox. Exposure to shingles can result in chicken pox, a virus that can be fatal if contracted by an adult. - 10/13/15

Iran plans $25 billion rail investment splurge
Iran has chalked up a plan for $25 billion of investment to modernize and expand its rail network, Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Mohsen Poursaeed-Aqaei says. The country is courting investors with a number of incentives as it seeks to turn into a regional transportation hub by establishing a railway corridor linking the Persian Gulf and the subcontinent to the Central Asia and beyond. - 10/13/15

How Jason Rezaian's Conviction Is a Warning to Iran's President Rouhani
By finding Mr. Rezaian guilty, Iran's security agencies and judiciary are effectively warning Mr. Rouhani. They know that this conviction will strengthen those in the U.S., including members of Congress, who are skeptical of President Barack Obama's outreach to Iran; and they will continue to try to obstruct Mr. Rouhani's outreach to Washington. -Haleh Esfandiari, WSJ - 10/13/15

Saudi King Reaffirms Commitment to Hajj After Iran Criticism
Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday rejected any suggestions his country should give up its role as the organizer of the hajj following last month's deadly stampede in Mina. The Saudi monarch said "irresponsible comments" and criticism against the kingdom's handling of security during the hajj will not affect his country's oversight of the annual Islamic pilgrimage. - 10/13/15

Iranian newspaper may face trial for its headlining of commander's "martyrdom"
Iran's Press Supervisory Board has issued a warning to the reformist newspaper Royesh Mellat and referred the file to the judiciary for the paper's use of the term "death" rather than "martyrdom" in reference to the recent death of Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Hamedani in Syria. - 10/13/15

Can Israel and Iran Just Get Along?
Israel faces jihadism at its doorstep, just like Iran does. In a strange twist of fate, an increasing number of Israelis have called for the Netanyahu government to support the secular Assad regime in Syria, which would essentially align it with Iran and Hezbollah, to prevent its collapse in fear that Damascus would become a jihadi launch pad against its western neighbor. -Navid Hassibi, LobeLog - 10/13/15

Women of Iran: Beyond the stereotypes and into the reality
They are doctors, musicians, firefighters and even journalists. Despite the stereotypes Iranian women may face, they are no different from American women. -Kelsi Sibert, Oak Leaf - 10/13/15

Being a Jew in Iran Means Separating Faith From Region's Tussles
"We are Iranian first and foremost so all the economic pressure facing Iranians is also felt by us," said Flora Tavakoli, explaining why most of Iran's as many as 15,000 Jews support the July 14 accord and the prospect of an end to sanctions. -Bloomberg - 10/13/15

Iran's Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval for Nuclear Deal
Iran's parliament Sunday gave preliminary approval of a bill that allows the government to implement a historic nuclear deal reached with world powers. Under the bill, the Iranian government will be authorized to withdraw from implementation of the deal if the other side fails to lift sanctions against Iran. Final approval of the measure is expected later this week. - 10/12/15

U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
The sheer hubris of a bully would not allow him to acknowledge defeat and give up a botched plan to loot, hurt or murder. Instead, in the face of failure or a precarious position, he would try to wiggle his way out of the adverse situation in order to regain strength and prepare for another attack in an opportune time. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/12/15

Iranian State TV: Washington Post Reporter Convicted
Iranian state television reported late Sunday thatWashington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been convicted on charges that included espionage. The report quoted a judiciary spokesman, but did not include any details of the verdict except that it Rezaian and his lawyer are eligible to appeal the conviction within 20 days. - 10/12/15

The Davis Museum At Wellesley College Showcases Multimedia Masterpiece Of Famed Iranian Artist Farideh Lashai
Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Farideh Lashai: Only a Shadow, an exhibition that centers around Farideh Lashai's renowned 2012-13 multi-media installation, When I Count, There Are Only You...But When I Look, There Is Only a Shadow. For this series, Lashai meticulously recreated 80 of the 82 etchings from Francisco Goya's famous Los Desastres de la Guerra series, which articulates the cruelties of warfare as both historically specific and timelessly universal. - 10/12/15

Iranian family's plight in Czech "camp" shines light on refugee incarceration
When Faridi and his family were picked up by Czech police in Prague, efforts to release them got underway. The world media and human rights activists were unaware that hundreds of forgotten and unidentified asylum seekers were being held in Czech prisons called camps. - 10/12/15

Photos: Iran successfully puts to test new long-range ballistic missile
Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says the Islamic Republic has successfully test-fired a new long-range ballistic missile, dubbed Emad. Emad is Iran's first long-range missile with guidance and control systems which can hit targets and completely destroy them with high precision, the Iranian minister added. - 10/12/15

Iranian filmmaker wins festival prize, high praise for Immortal
Iranian director Hadi Mohaghegh and Kazakhstan's Yerlan Nurmukhambetov won the New Currents award for first- and second-time filmmakers at the 20th Busan International Film Festival for their respective films Immortal andWalnut Tree, each receiving $30,000. - 10/12/15

Iran's digital start-ups signal changing times
Western business people returning to Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal may be surprised to find plenty of entrepreneurial drive from a new generation of online start-ups, which have appeared despite years of international sanctions. -Hossein Sharif, BBC - 10/12/15

Obama Should Back UN Resolution on Israel-Palestine
The following policy statement was published on September 30 by Americans for Peace Now, a Zionist organization that has campaigned tirelessly for a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We at LobeLog feel it has not so far received the attention it deserves -LobeLog - 10/12/15

Death Of Iranian General On Syria Mission Highlights Tehran's Commitment
Iran's deepening investment in the struggling regime of its closest regional ally, Syria, came into further focus this week with the death of a top general in the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Hossein Hamedani was one of dozens of military advisers and other officials Tehran has sent to Damascus to help President Bashar al-Assad stay in power. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/10/15

U.S. Warns Against Rush To Invest In Iran Before Sanctions Lifted
Reuters is reporting that the Obama administration has privately reminded foreign governments and U.S. bankers that sanctions against Iran remain in effect and they should not rush to invest in Iran. - 10/10/15

86 Killed in Bomb Blasts at Pro-Kurdish Rally in Ankara
Twin blasts shook Ankara's main train station Saturday morning just hours before a pro-Kurdish peace rally (which was being organized by labor and civil society groups), claiming the lives of at least 86 people and wounding nearly 200. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 10/10/15

One Year after Acid Attacks against Women in Isfahan, No Arrests
A year after a spate of acid throwing attacks on women in Isfahan, the police and security forces have not apprehended a single individual, despite their frequent pledges to arrest the culprits. The mother of one of the victims told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the authorities have not publicly released any information about the results of their investigations, and have warned families not to give interviews to foreign media. - 10/10/15

Iran Accounts Of 'Flying Objects,' Blasts Bolster U.S. Claims Of Errant Russian Missiles
While Iran has so far avoided confirming or denying U.S. assertions that Russian missiles aimed at antigovernment forces in Syria instead landed in that country, local reports have emerged of explosions and flying objects in several Iranian towns. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 10/10/15

Can Putin Save Syria? Can Anyone?
The Russian intervention in Syria has triggered a wave of comments and critiques in the media on both sides of the Atlantic and all along the shores of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. The most serious question, however, is: can the Russian strikes put an end to the incredible turmoil and violence that Syria has undergone over the last four years? -Aurelie Daher, LobeLog - 10/10/15

Why the U.S. Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster
Pundits and politicians are already looking for a convenient explanation for the twin Middle East disasters of the rise of Islamic State and the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. The genuine answer is politically unpalatable, because the primary cause of both calamities is U.S. war and covert operations in the Middle East, followed by the abdication of U.S. power and responsibility for Syria policy to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies. -Gareth Porter, Truthdig - 10/10/15

Senior Iranian Commander Killed in Syria
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has been killed in Syria, Tehran said Friday, and French warplanes carried out fresh airstrikes in the country, as the conflict continued to take on a complex international component. - 10/9/15

US Officials: Russian Missiles Aimed at Syria Crashed in Iran
As many as four Russian long-range cruise missiles launched from warships in the Caspian Sea fell short of their Syrian targets and crashed in Iran, U.S officials said Thursday. The officials gave no information about exactly where the errant missiles might have landed or whether they caused any damage. -VOA - 10/9/15

Iran's Powerful Revolutionary Guards Chief Warns Of 'Nuclear Sedition,' U.S. Plot
The commander of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has denounced unspecified events surrounding Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers as "sedition" tied to a U.S. plot to derail the Islamic republic from its revolutionary path. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/9/15

Putting Parchin to Rest
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano and his top deputy last month finally paid a personal visit to a building at the sprawling Parchin military factory complex in Iran that they have suspected of housing unspecified nuclear-related experiments. Amano later reported that, in addition to some signs of recent renovation work, the building had "no equipment"inside it. -Robert Kelley - 10/9/15

Independent Tallies Put Death Toll From Hajj Crush Over 1,220
The stampede last month during the hajj pilgrimage near Mecca killed between 1,221 and 1,399 people, according to independent tallies by news organizations. That is far more than the 769 dead officially reported by Saudi Arabia. The independent tallies are based on the number of dead reported by individual countries whose citizens were in the crush. - 10/9/15

The Artist Sculpting Kurdish Identity in an Iranian City
Hadi Ziaoddinni, a painstaking visual chronicler of Kurdish life and culture, now labors in the same building that the lady wordsmith (reputed to be the first female historian in the Middle East) likely wrote her celebrated histories and poems, in a mixture of Howrami Kurdish and Persian. Ziaoddinni's choice of subject matter is not coincidental. -Kirsten O'Regan, Hyperallergic - 10/9/15

World Leaders Yawn at Saudi Human Rights Abuses
When the Islamic State beheads captives, it's nothing less than "an assault on all humanity," President Obama told the UN last week. Good for you, Mr President, you're right to be indignant and angry when prisoners have their heads chopped off, and you're right to use your access to the international podium to condemn these sickening killings. Yet President Obama remains silent about U.S. ally Saudi Arabia's regular beheading of prisoners. -Brian Dooley, LobeLog - 10/9/15

Ayotte Relying On Out-Of-State Anti-Iran Deal Donors In Reelection Bid
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has risen to prominence as the newest member of the so-called "three amigos." Alongside Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ayotte is one of the most hawkish and outspoken voices in the Senate, attacking the Obama administration's foreign policy on issues ranging from the Benghazi attack and the ongoing crisis in Syria to the agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran to limit the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/9/15

Khamenei Forbids Iran Negotiating With U.S. After Nuclear Talks
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States October 7, in a blow to moderates hoping to end the two nations' decades-long estrangement. - 10/8/15

Photos: Parvaz Homay musical group finally performs in Tehran
The Parvaz Homay group, including Iranian singer and composer Saeed Jafarzadeh, finally performed a concert in Iran after eight years. ISNA reports that the group performed on the night of Tuesday October 5 at the Vahdat Concert Hall. - 10/8/15

How the Tragedy in Mecca Influences Iran-Saudi ties
Since September 24, 2015 when hundreds of Iranian pilgrims were killed in the stampede in the holy city of Mecca during the annual hajj, the public rage against the Saudi regime has reached a peak in the history of the relationship between the two countries. -LobeLog's Tehran Correspondent - 10/8/15

Russian Tanks, Iranian-trained Militias Headed to Syria
Russia is adding to its barrage on rebel forces in Syria, sending in more firepower in the form of an additional Russian battalion armed with advanced tanks and artillery while punching ahead on the ground in central and western parts of the country with an Iranian-trained force that could number 10,000 or more. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 10/8/15

The Right-Wing Americans Who Made a Doc About Argentina
The new documentary, Los Abandonados (The Abandoned), presents a narrative that encompasses the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) center, Nisman's allegations against Iran in 2006, and finally, the prosecutor's untimely death by a .22-caliber revolver pistol shot to the head. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/8/15

Iran to launch over 50 new oil projects
Iran says it plans to introduce above 50 new oil projects to international investors in what will be a key section of the country's plans to boost oil production in an emerging post-sanctions era. - 10/8/15

Iran Boycotts Book Fair Over Rushdie Invite
Iran says it will boycott next week's Frankfurt Book Fair because the event has invited author Salman Rushdie to be a guest speaker. The Iranian Culture Ministry said on its website on October 8 that Rushdie is hated in the Islamic world for writing "books insulting to Islam." - 10/8/15

Iran to seal deal with Mercedes-Benz soon
Gholam-Reza Razzazi, the managing director of Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing (IDEM), told reporters that the cooperation with Mercedes-Benz will specifically involve the production of Arna mini-trucks as well as Arian mini-buses - both IDEM's upcoming products. - 10/8/15

Report: Iran-based hackers spy using fake LinkedIn profiles
A group of suspected Iranian hackers are using a sophisticated network of fake LinkedIn profiles to spy on unsuspecting targets worldwide -- including the U.S. -- according to a new report. -CNN - 10/8/15

Politics versus Policy: Follow-up to the Iran Nuclear Agreement
It is not surprising, given how domestic politics tends to work, that since the agreement survived last month's Congressional gauntlet we have been seeing a sort of rebalancing of political accounts in which the forces opposing the agreement are being propitiated in other respects. Although the propitiation is understandable in terms of domestic politics, it is damaging U.S. foreign policy interests. It undermines the prospects for constructively building on the agreement to advance other U.S. interests in the Middle East, and it may even imperil the nuclear agreement itself. -Paul Pillar - 10/7/15

Iran's widespread water crisis fuels rural depopulation
The Governor of Tabas says many residents of rural areas in Southern Khorasan are migrating due to the "rapid fall in the level of underground waters" in the region. ILNA reports that at a meeting of the Council of Water Resource Protection, the Tabas Governor stressed that Southern Khorasan is among the 16 provinces currently in a severe water crisis. - 10/7/15

IMF: Iran accord to lift Mideast economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Middle East and North Africa are set to benefit from Iran's nuclear agreement, lifting economic growth in the region next year. In its biannual World Economic Outlook, the IMF said growth will "pick up substantially in 2016, supported by accelerated activity in the Islamic Republic of Iran" which is the Middle East's second largest economy. - 10/7/15

Iran's Supreme Court Refuses to Grant Imprisoned Activist a Retrial
The political activist and university professor Saeed Madani, imprisoned in Iran since January 2012 for his peaceful activism and participation in a nonviolent political opposition group, has been denied a retrial by the Supreme Court, his wife Mansoureh Ettefagh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/7/15

Iran's Javad Zarif on Russia and Peace in Syria
Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is in demand these days. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, he shook hands with President Obama and met twice with Secretary of State John Kerry. (Zarif and Kerry have been nominated, jointly, for the Nobel Peace Prize, scheduled to be announced this week, for their two-year negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal.) -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 10/7/15

Report: Iranians can buy from Amazon, Ebay
Iranians can now make online shopping from major retailers Amazon and Ebay through a delivery channel established by the Iran Post Company, its managing director says. - 10/7/15

How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow
At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's help. Major General Qassem Soleimani's visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian-Russian alliance in support of Assad. -Reuters - 10/7/15

The Entrepreneur Behind Iran's Billion-Dollar Super Mall
On the outskirts of Iran's historic city of Isfahan, one of the largest shopping malls in the Middle East has taken shape. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 10/7/15

Another Intifada?
Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation experience daily injustices: mass arrests, arbitrary detentions, military raids, separate and unequal legal systems, road closures, restrictions on travel, and settler attacks. However, only when Israeli Jews are killed does the region make the news in the United States and pundits start talking about "escalating violence" and "rising tensions." -Naomi Dann, LobeLog - 10/7/15

The United States Needs to Rein in Its Regional Allies
The interests of the great powers and their regional allies have seldom totally coincided, and often their interests have diverged in important ways. This was even true during the Cold War era, despite the fact that within each competing camp allies shared the same ideology. -Shireen T. Hunter - 10/6/15

Accused Iranian tycoon pledges payback of "Oil Fraud" proceeds
Judge Salavati announced at the beginning of the October 5 session that the foreign lawyers of Babak Zanjani have provided a draft of an unconditional commitment to pay off all the money owed to the National Iranian Oil Company. - 10/6/15

Iranian MPs seek details of case against Washington Post reporter
Eleven Iranian MPs have called on the Minister of Justice to provide them with information regarding the "spying activities" of Jason Rezaian, the Iranian reporter working for the Washington Post who is on trial in Iran for espionage charges. - 10/6/15

'Elegy' by Iranian director Yousef Kargar shortlisted for 89th Academy Awards
Yousef Kargar's 'Elegy' has received a nomination to the 2016 Academy Awards after winning the Jury Award for Best Foreign Short at the 3rd Summer Slam Film Festival (SSFF) 2015. Elegy, produced by the Orumieh office of Iranian Youth Cinema Society, narrates the story of an old man who has been waiting for the return of his missing son for 25 years. - 10/6/15

Sister of Saeed Malekpour Says Family Hopes for a Pardon for Imprisoned Iranian Web Developer
Prisoner of conscience Saeed Malekpour, serving a life sentence for blasphemy, has been allowed monthly family visits at Evin Prison where he has been held for the last seven years, after a year in which prison authorities denied him in-person visitation, his sister Maryam Malekpour told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/6/15

Cautiously, Iranians Reclaim Public Spaces and Liberties Long Suppressed
As the music ended and the crowd rose in a standing ovation, several women in the audience could be seen with heads bared, the obligatory head scarves draped around their necks. This was no underground concert by an indie band in North Tehran, though. Rather, it was a recital by a classical lute player in Vahdat Hall. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 10/6/15

Iran Threatens Book Fair Boycott Over Rushdie
Rushdie, a British citizen who lives in the United States, had a fatwa issued against him by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 because he found Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, to be "blasphemous against Islam." - 10/6/15

Iran, its Youth and the Tech Start ups
"Iranians are just like the Israelis, very entrepreneurial", says Parsha Ghaffari CEO and founder of an Artificial Intelligence startup, Aylien. Parsha Ghaffari, an Iranian youth who launched his startup venture in Ireland represents the youth of contemporary Iran. -Snehal Manjrekar, Market Express - 10/6/15

Three Strikes and You're Out? The False Promise of Aerial Policing
The unlearned lessons of America's recent failures in war took an ominous and strange twist last week as yet another state embraced the false promise of aerial policing in the Middle East. Russia represents the third country in the modern era to mount an aerial campaign to try and police the region's politics from 10,000 feet. - James A. Russell, LobeLog - 10/6/15

Photos: German Artist Philipp Geist's "Gate Of Words" Light Up Tehran's Azadi Square
German artist Philipp Geist's light installation entitled "Gate of Words" pours down colored words of love, peace and freedom on Tehran's Azadi Tower for three days from October 3 to 5. The shining words, in English, German and Persian, move with the live music on the walls of the tower, the German artist said during a press conference held at the tower last Wednesday. - 10/5/15

"Oblivion Season" by Iranian director Abbas Rafei crowned best at Universal Film Festival
Iranian director Abbas Rafei's "Oblivion Season" won the best film award at the Universal Film Festival in Kansas City, Missouri, the organizers announced on Saturday. In addition, the film brought Sareh Bayat the award for best actress. - 10/5/15

Former Iranian diplomat still missing in Saudi Arabia: Deputy FM
A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic is seriously pursuing the fate of Iran's former ambassador to Lebanon who remains unaccounted for after the tragic September 24 crush in Mina, Saudi Arabia. - 10/5/15

Persian Tech Entrepreneurs in D.C.
Persian Tech Entrepreneurs aims to highlight the significant achievements of entrepreneurs within the Iranian American community, while serving as an inclusive platform that champions innovation. Join PTE at their first event in D.C. for a day of fantastic speakers and networking with fellow entrepreneurs. NIAC's own Reza Marashi will be speaking on the 'Business and Government' panel among many other distinguished business professionals. - 10/5/15

Trendy Tehran: Meet the female entrepreneurs breaking boundaries in Iran
Mahsa Rezazadeh started her cafe in Tehran seven years ago and now brings in a better wage than her husband, a lawyer. She attributes her success amid a sanctions-shattered Iranian economy to hard work and the fact that however bad things get in Iran, Iranians cannot resist the smell of a home-cooked meal and freshly brewed coffee. -Maryam Babak, International Business Times - 10/5/15

The Superpower as Victim
Given the cluttered landscape of the last 14 years, can you even faintly remember the moment when the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended in a stunned silence of shock and triumph in Washington, Eastern Europe was freed, Germany unified, and the Soviet Union vanished from the face of the Earth? At that epochal moment, six centuries of imperial rivalries ended. Only one mighty power was left. -Tom Engelhardt, LobeLog - 10/5/15

Iran holds funerals for victims of human crush in Mina
Iranians held mourning ceremonies in the capital, Tehran, and other cities for the victims of the tragic human crush of September 24 in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals. A large crowd of people attended the funeral ceremonies across the country on Sunday October 4, 2015, 10 days after the tragic incident killed hundreds of pilgrims. - 10/4/15

Trial starts for Iranian tycoon accused of keeping oil proceeds
Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani went on trial on Saturday for embezzlement charges involving the sale of oil. ISNA reports that Zanjani was brought to court under strict security measures on Saturday October 3, adding that his lawyer and two sisters were present in court. - 10/4/15

Iran: Facebook Activist Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for "Insulting the Prophet"
Soheil Arabi, whose death sentence for "insulting the prophet" was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, a source close to the case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/4/15

Four Iranian Ministers Warns President Of Looming Economic Crisis
The Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday September 4 that the ministers of the economy, industry, labour and defence have delivered a joint letter to the Iranian president criticizing the "inconsistent policies of government bodies". - 10/4/15

'Unusual' wheat loadings for Iran in Europe
Ships are scheduled to make unusual loadings of about 60,000 tonnes of wheat for Iran, but overall demand from the country is expected to be very low this year, European traders say. - 10/4/15

How the Nuclear Deal Will Give a Huge Boost to Iran's Reformists
When future generations of Iranians and Americans look back at the deal with Iran over its nuclear program in Vienna in July, they will certainly consider it a victory for dialogical diplomacy and patient policy-making. But they will also remember it as an opportunity for Iranian civic actors to enable and empower Iran's civil society space. -Ramin Jahanbegloo , Huffington Post - 10/4/15

Curious about Iran's art scene? Here are 3 videos that'll take you up close
Iran has a rich history of painters, artists, and calligraphers. Unfortunately, the Iranian art scene receives little attention - but not because of a lack of contemporary Iranian artists. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite: there are Iranian artists active in almost all categories of art, from contemporary and street art to classical Islamic art. -Frida Lundgren, Your Middle East - 10/4/15

First Group Of Iran Hajj Dead Return Home
Iran is welcoming a plane carrying home the first group of Iranian pilgrims killed in last week's stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. President Hassan Rouhani was among several senior officials attending a repatriation ceremony Saturday at the Tehran airport as the plane arrived. - 10/3/15

Kerry, Zarif Meet At UN To Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held an impromptu meeting at a United Nations gathering of world leaders October 2 to discuss Syria and carrying out the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry and Zarif sent their advisers out of the room to meet alone, then left separately without commenting. - 10/3/15

Iran Orders Bahraini Diplomat To Leave In Tit-For-Tat Move
Iranian news media are reporting that Iran's Foreign Ministry has declared Bahrain's second-ranking diplomat in Tehran persona non grata and ordered him out of the country. - 10/3/15

Silent Arrogance: Netanyahu at the UN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly today, one day after a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Nothing of substance is going to change as a result of these speeches. But Netanyahu's in particular offered a good picture of the current state of affairs and why they are what they are. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 10/3/15

The Destructive U.S.-Backed Campaign in Yemen
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) reports that during a six-month period from late March until last week (even before the incident involving the wedding) at least 2,355 civilians had been killed in the fighting in Yemen, with almost two-thirds of the deaths caused by airstrikes conducted by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/3/15

After the Iran Deal: Getting Beyond Enmity
Why has the United States been so unwilling to take advantage of a closer tie with Iran, the most internally stable nation in the area with a population of roughly 80 million, a post-sanction burgeoning economy with substantial American investment opportunities, and sizable energy resources? Why have we been unwilling to recognize that Iran has legitimate national and religious interests-some quite compatible with our own regional concerns? -Charles Naas - 10/2/15

Captain of Iran's Persepolis football team dies of cardiac arrest
Iranian soccer player Hadi Norouzi has lost his life after suffering a heart attack, in what has been described as the second tragedy to strike the Islamic Republic's soccer in nearly a month. - 10/2/15

Pars Equality Center Celebrates "Power Of Community" Fundraising Luncheon At SLS Beverly Hills
On Sunday, September 27, 2015, Pars Equality Center - the leading non-profit organization celebrating five years of providing social and legal services to the Iranian-American community - hosted the "Power of Community" Luncheon at the SLS Beverly Hills. Keynote speaker was entrepreneur Farhad Mohit (founder & CEO, Flipagram). - 10/2/15

Netanyahu Slams Iran Nuclear Deal at UN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a blistering condemnation of the deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Thursday in New York. -Margaret Besheer, Mark Snowiss, VOA - 10/2/15

NIAC Action Denounces Latest House Effort to Derail Iran Deal
NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3457, the "Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act," a bill that would threaten to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: - 10/2/15

Saudi King expresses sympathy to Iran over pilgrim deaths
After days of contentious exchanges between Iranian and Saudi authorities over the tragic incident in Mena that led to the death of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, the Saudi King has reportedly sent a message of condolence to the Iranian government. - 10/2/15

Cardin Finally Introduces Still-Weaker Iran Oversight Bill
After a couple of weeks of negotiations with fellow Democrats and (indirectly) with the White House, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has finally introduced the latest version of his "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015." It is co-sponsored by eight of his most AIPAC-sensitive colleagues, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who, like Cardin, voted with Republicans to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last month. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/2/15

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Iranian Bank's Appeal Over 1983 Lebanon Attack
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Iran's central bank against a $1.75 billion judgment over a 1983 bomb attack on a U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon. - 10/2/15

Henry of Arabia
The only person Henry Kissinger flattered more than President Richard Nixon was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. In the early 1970s, the Shah, sitting atop an enormous reserve of increasingly expensive oil and a key figure in Nixon and Kissinger's move into the Middle East, wanted to be dealt with as a serious person. He expected his country to be treated with the same respect Washington showed other key Cold War allies like West Germany and Great Britain. -Greg Grandin, LobeLog - 10/2/15

Why are Iranian husbands standing up for their wives?
Husbands in Iran are taking pictures of themselves declaring their commitment to female equality - and thousands are sharing their messages on Facebook. -BBC - 10/2/15

Shell, Total get first gas stations in Iran
Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total are the first foreign companies ever to win access to Iran's retail energy market after getting permit for 200 service stations which they will set up across the energy-rich country. ​ - 10/2/15

Iranian government reacts to restrictions on women travelling abroad
After the National Women's Futsal team captain, Nilufar Ardalan, was denied leaving the country to participate in the Asian Championships 2015 because her husband refused to give her permission to leave the country, negative reactions to the legal requirement of a husband's permission for Iranian women seeking to travel abroad continues to make headlines. - 10/1/15

Iran Says Hajj Death Toll Hits 464
Iran's hajj organization said Thursday that 464 Iranians are now confirmed dead after last week's stampede during the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Before Thursday, Iran's total had been half that number with the fate of others unknown since the crush of pilgrims happened outside the city of Mecca last week. Saudi authorities have said the total number of victims is at least 769 people with Iranians making up the largest share. - 10/1/15

Conspiracy Theories Fly In Iran Over Deadly Hajj Incident
Tehran has said that negligence and mismanagement by Saudi organizers caused last week's hajj stampede that left at least 464 Iranians dead. The Iranian losses were the largest incurred by any nationality in the deadly crush that took place in the Mina neighborhood of Mecca on September 24, the deadliest tragedy to befall the annual Muslim pilgrimage in 25 years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/1/15

Kayhan Kahlor and Erdal Erzincan to perform at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California
Four-time Grammy Award nominee Kayhan Kalhor is a legendary musician in the classical Persian tradition, with devoted fans that span the globe. Together with Turkish baglama player Erdal Erzincan, he will explore traditions of improvisation at the nexus of Persian and North Indian music. - 10/1/15

Women in Iran Are Ready to Show They Mean Business
Women in Iran are ready to make career gains in a way few of their peers can in the Gulf Arab world. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 10/1/15

Birth anniversary of Royana; Iran's 1st cloned sheep
Iran's first successfully cloned sheep was born on September 30, 2006 from an adult cell in a test tube in a laboratory. Nine years since then, and the country is making rapid progress in the field of biotechnology. - 10/1/15

Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources
Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters. - 10/1/15

Rouhani's Dual Messages and Iran's Security Strategy
Rouhani's UN message has opened the door on engagement with the US but insists that cooperation on resisting IS is the priority in Syria Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's address at the UN General Assembly and a talk the previous night to about 150 Americans touted the recent nuclear breakthrough as a precedent for further diplomatic accommodation with the United States. -Gareth Porter, Counterpunch - 10/1/15

Iran's nuclear deal and the regional countries
Although some regional countries initially opposed the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany), once the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by the two sides in July 2015, practically all regional countries welcomed it. -Farhang Jahanpour - 10/1/15

Eight of Iran's women's football team 'are men', league official claims
Eight of Iran's women's football team 'are men', it has been claimed. The Iranian FA has been branded 'unethical', after it was alleged the players were actually men awaiting sex change operations. -Mirror, UK - 10/1/15

AIPAC Spent $14.5 Million on TV Ads during Iran Deal Debate
In the aftermath of Senate Republicans' failed efforts to derail the plan agreed on in July to limit Iran's nuclear program, responsibility has fallen on AIPAC for its inability to persuade a meaningful number of Senate Democrats to join their GOP colleagues in opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). To put it bluntly, AIPAC, a group with historically stronger ties to the Democratic Party, failed miserably. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/1/15
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