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Iranian Activists Detained For Celebrating Persian Emperor
Iranian authorities have detained several organizers of a gathering attended by thousands marking the birth of the pre-Islamic King Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. - 10/31/16

Iranian-American Vows to Hunger Strike Until Death If Authorities Uphold 18-Year Prison Sentence
Iranian-American dual citizen Reza (Robin) Shahini, who was handed an 18-year prison sentence in Iran in October 2016, has vowed to go on hunger strike until his death if the sentence is not reversed on appeal. "This is a tyrannical sentence," an informed source close to the case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. "If the sentence is not thrown out, he will go on a hunger strike until his death because he won't be able to tolerate such a heavy sentence..." - 10/31/16

Iranian-American Tackles Big Brother with Performance Art
Advocacy, coupled with an interrogation of her cultural heritage, is at the soul of Persian-American artist Amy Khoshbin's video and performance art. She's currently in residence at Mana Contemporary, as part of Mana BSMT, the museum's collaborative hub supporting emerging artists, where her performative installation The Myth of Layla is on view through November 12. -Creators Project - 10/31/16

Iranian Political Prisoner Remains Jailed Two Years After Family Posts $362K Bail Amount
Two years ago the family of political prisoner Maryam Akbari-Monfared posted an unusually high bail amount for her temporary release on furlough, but her husband says Iran's Intelligence Ministry is blocking her release from Evin Prison's Women's Ward, where she has been held since 2009. - 10/31/16

Iran Male Team Kumite wins World Championships
Iran's Male Team Kumite defeated Japan to win the 2016 edition of the Karate World Championships on Sunday. The Iranian team beat its powerhouse opponent 3-2 and won the title for the second time in a row. - 10/31/16

One Veteran's War on Islamophobia
I'm not an immigrant, but my grandparents are. More than 50 years ago, they arrived in New York City from Iran. I grew up mainly in central New Jersey, an American kid playing little league for the Raritan Red Sox and soccer for the Raritan Rovers. In 1985, I travelled with my family to our ancestral land. I was only eight, but old enough to understand that the Iranians had lost their liberty and freedom. -Nate Terani, LobeLog - 10/31/16

Campaign sign brings up City Council candidate Fred Ameri's Iranian roots
A campaign sign found in Newport Beach with words written in Farsi next to City Council candidate Fred Ameri's name is another "racist" attempt to instill fear and alienate voters, Ameri said. The red sign was placed on West Coast Highway and Dover Drive and reads "Vote for Fred" written in Farsi, the language spoken in Ameri's native Iran, and Ameri written in English. -Orange County Register - 10/31/16

Call for Iran to Release Imprisoned British-Iranians Heats Up As Families and MPs Petition UK Government
The petitions were delivered on October 24, 2016 with a letter co-signed by 117 Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the House of Lords calling for the release of 77-year-old Kamal Foroughi, 37-year-old new mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and 50-year-old Roya Saberinejad Nobakht. - 10/30/16

Mother Who Founded Group Memorializing Massacred Iranian Political Prisoners of 1988 Summoned to Court After Flight Ban
Mansoureh Behkish has been banned from leaving Iran and summoned to court for her role in founding the "Mothers of Laleh Park," also known as the "Mourning Mothers of Iran," a group formed by mothers whose children were killed in the Islamic Republic's massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988. - 10/30/16

Iran wins five medals at Karate World Championships
Iranian male and female karate practitioners collected five medals in the 23rd edition of the prestigious Karate World Championships in Austria. Gold Medalists: Amir Mehdizadeh and Sajjad Ganjzadeh. Bronze Medalists: Ali Asghar Asiabari, Zabihollah Poursheib and Hamideh Abbasali - 10/30/16

Iran's Kish Invex 2016 to host 30 foreign companies
The 3rd Kish International Exhibition of Exchange, Banking, Insurance and Privatization and the 8th International Exhibition for Presenting Iran's Investment Opportunities, are about to be held simultaneously in November under the title of Kish Invex 2016, IRNA reported on Saturday. - 10/30/16

Iran unveils 4 biotechnology medicines expected to decrease outflow by $600M
An Iranian pharmaceutical company has unveiled four domestically produced biotechnology medicines, leading to $600 million decrease in flow of money out of the country annually. - 10/30/16

Europe Capitalizes on the Iran Deal
As Washington think-tanks, with some notable exceptions, keep churning out papers advising the next American president to double down on containing Iran, the European Parliament adopted a report on October 25 that is strikingly different in tone and substance. Drafted by the UK Labour Party politician Richard Howitt , the motion received overwhelming support in the house: 459 votes in favor, with 174 against and 67 abstentions. -Eldar Mamedov - 10/29/16

Nasir al-Molk Mosque: Magestic and Historic
Located in downtown Shiraz lies the elegant Nasir al-Molk Mosque, which boasts extensive colored tilework and glass on its facade as well as exquisite architecture inside. Completed in the end of the 19th century, it is one of the most photographed mosques in southern Iran. - 10/29/16

EU's Mogherini discusses Syria crisis In Tehran: Iran rules out military solution
President Hassan Rouhani has reiterated Iran's stance that the crisis in Syria should be resolved through "political" means only. "All should know that the Syrian issue has no military solution and must be resolved through diplomatic means," Rouhani said in a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Tehran on Saturday October 29, 2016. - 10/29/16

Clinton: A Hawk in the Wings
The candidate that challenged Obama as too naive and peace-loving back in 2008 is poised to succeed him as president. Once again, she has staked out a more hawkish position. And this time she has a large chunk of the foreign policy elite behind her. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 10/29/16

Iran Navy's 44th flotilla docks at Tanzania port
An Iranian Navy fleet has docked at Tanzania's Port city of Dar es Salaam in line with the Islamic Republic's strategy of expanding its naval presence in the high seas. The 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of the Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic vessel, berthed at the African port on Saturday. - 10/29/16

U.S. Prosecutors Charge Two With Smuggling Military Items To Iran
U.S. prosecutors have charged two men in connection with a plot to smuggle millions of dollars of military aircraft parts and other items to Iran. The Justice Department said in a statement on October 28 that Zavik Zargarian and Vache Nayirian were arrested earlier in the week outside Los Angeles for allegedly violating laws barring such trading with Iran. - 10/29/16

Will Hillary Clinton Resist Her Inner Hawk?
The Washington foreign policy establishment is salivating at the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which promises to be more interventionist than Barack Obama's administration and more open to elite views than a Donald Trump White House would be. -Barbara Slavin - 10/28/16

Iranian women grabs 2nd victory at Asian Roller Skating Championships
The national Iranian women's inline hockey team has captured its second victory in a row at the preliminary round of the 17th edition of Asian Roller Skating Championships in China, overcoming the strong South Korean side. - 10/28/16

Russia Hosts Syrian, Iranian Ministers As Aleppo Fighting Intensifies
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been hosting talks in Moscow with his counterparts from Syria and Iran to discuss the security situation in Syria. Lavrov said the October 28 meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is an effort of "like-minded people" to "hammer out a constructive solution" to the Syrian crisis. - 10/28/16

TMCA to loan artworks for Italian show despite domestic opposition
The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) announced on Wednesday that it will loan a selection of its Western artworks for a show at Rome's MAXXI Museum despite opposition from Iranian artists and art experts. - 10/28/16

Iran's carpet exports to US at $50M since sanctions removal in January
Between March and September this year, Iran exported $134 million worth of handmade carpets, or 2,330 tons, to 80 countries, Reuters said. That was a 17.7 percent increase in value and 10 percent rise in weight compared to a year earlier. - 10/28/16

Iran finishes runner-up in IWF Youth World Weightlifting Championships
Iranians have produced commendable performances at the 2016 Youth World Weightlifting Championships in Malaysia, and finished as the vice-champion of the international sporting event. Russian youth weightlifters won the championships title with 489 points followed by Iran (471) and Poland (456). - 10/27/16

Sense of mission leads young artist in way to promote Persian literature
Young calligrapher Amir Jalilvand, who is also a prominent photographer, talks about a sense of responsibility that leads him in a way to promote contemporary Persian literature in Iran today. He believes that Iranians, many of whom nowadays have an academic education, are suffering from a dearth of minimum knowledge of their literature. -Seyyed Mostafa Mousavi Sabet - 10/27/16

Iran says imports from Germany up 25 percent
Iran's official figures show that the country's imports from Germany have increased by a quarter in what could be a fresh indication of growing opening in Iran's post-sanctions business environment. - 10/27/16

Did Rouhani stop screening of hardline film about jailed Iranian-American?
Ever since taking office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has come under increasing pressure from hard-liners who have been trying to tie his administration to the "infiltration project of the enemy." The code word "infiltration" has especially been used in relation to the arrests of dual nationals. -Rohollah Faghihi, Al Monitor - 10/27/16

European Union reaches out to Iran over Afghan refugees
Promises of more help for Afghan refugees made by the European Union aid chief on his visit to Iran this month were not enough to dissuade Mariam Haidari from wanting to head to Europe. -Gabriela Baczynska, Reuters - 10/27/16

Iran unfazed by Saudi flexing in Persian Gulf
The Saudi armed forces began extensive military exercises in the Persian Gulf region in early October. According to Rear Adm. Majed bin Hazza'a Al-Qahtani, the commander in charge of the drills, the aim of the "Gulf Shield 1" exercises that took place in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman was to "increase the combat readiness of the marine forces ... -Abbas Qaidaari, Al Monitor - 10/27/16

U.S. House To Vote On Extending Iran Sanctions Law After Elections: Report
The Reuters news agency is reporting that Republican leaders of the U.S. House plan to vote after the November 8 elections on reauthorizing the Iran Sanctions Act, setting up a potential showdown with the White House. - 10/26/16

Iran's Judiciary Should Release Siamak and Baquer Namazi and Allow Them Full Defense in Appeals Court
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on Iran's Judiciary to immediately release on bail the unjustly imprisoned Iranian-American dual citizens Siamak Namazi and his father, Bagher Namazi, and allow them to prepare for the Appeals Court with legal counsel and full due process. - 10/26/16

EU seeks closer ties with Iran after JCPOA: President Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani says the European Union is willing to expand its relations with Iran, especially in the light of the circumstances that has ensued Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers. Rouhani made the remarks in Tehran on Wednesday during a joint press conference with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who is in the Iranian capital at the head of a large business delegation. - 10/26/16

Maymand, an exemplar man-made cave dwelling
Thousands of years before Persepolis - the magnificent Achaemenid ceremonial capital - was made in southern Iran in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, residents of its eastward village named Maymand carved out rocky hillsides to take refuge from harsh climate of the Iranian Plateau. - 10/26/16

PHOTOS: 7th International Aviation & Space Industries Exhibition of Iran
Iran has unveiled a new light-weight, long-range stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of flying at a maximum altitude of 10, 000 feet. The drone was put on show on Wednesday at an expo showcasing the latest achievements by the Iranian Aviation & Space Industries Association. - 10/26/16

Iranian carpet makers target U.S. with peace message
Iran's carpet makers are distancing themselves from their government in promoting their handmade work as they seek to regain valuable U.S. sales and protect jobs following the removal of economic sanctions. -Reuters - 10/26/16

John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif named winners of the Chatham House Prize 2016
The Chatham House Prize is presented annually to the person, persons or organization deemed by members of the Royal Institute of International Affairs to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year. - 10/25/16

Iran books place in FIFA U-20 World Cup
Reza Jafari's brace booked Islamic Republic of Iran a place in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 on Monday evening as Amir Peiravani's side handed Uzbekistan a 2-0 defeat to also qualify for the finals of next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic. - 10/25/16

Iranian authorities dragged a writer to prison for writing an unpublished story
On 24 October 2016, Iranian intelligence authorities broke the apartment door of writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, raided her apartment and took her by force to serve a 6 year prison sentence for writing a story on stoning women in Islam, that was never published. - 10/25/16

Iranian-American Citizen Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison
An Iranian-American dual citizen who has been jailed in Iran since July has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of collaborating with the United States and "insulting sanctities," one of his U.S.-based relatives told RFE/RL's Radio Farda. - 10/25/16

Iran, Bosnia sign economic MoU
Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the promotion of business cooperation and mutual investment. The document was signed by the countries' officials in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the visiting chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, during a ceremony at Tehran's Sadabad Complex on Tuesday. - 10/25/16

UK lifts sanctions on key Iranian bank
The British government has announced that it has removed Bank Saderat Iran (BSI) from its list of sanctioned entities. The announcement was made by the UK Treasury which added that the BSI assets had also been unfrozen. - 10/25/16

Iran's Rohani Says Turkish Intervention In Iraq 'Very Dangerous'
Iranian President Hassan Rohani says Turkey must get permission from the Iraqi government to take part in the operation to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group. - 10/25/16

Prominent Iranian Koran Reciter Accused Of Sexual Abuse
A prominent Iranian Koran reciter and teacher is facing allegations of sexual abuse lodged against him by several of his students, who claim that he sexually assaulted them several years ago. Saeed Tusi who is known for reciting the Koran at state events attended by senior officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has denied the allegations against him as "false and spurious" - 10/25/16

For the Middle East, It's the Center for American Regress
Last week, I featured a new Atlantic Council report by former Stimson Center president Ellen Laipson in which she argued that the nuclear deal with Iran--and the opportunities for future cooperation with Tehran that it opened up--required "national security officials... to shed old thinking about the near permanence of U.S.-Iran enmity. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/25/16

Iran's Sareh Javanmardi receives Allianz Best Female Athlete of the Month for September
Sareh Javanmardidomani has been voted by the public as the Allianz Best Female Athlete of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, completing a double victory for Iran as compatriot powerlifter Siamand Rahman received the Best Male honour last week. - 10/24/16

Young Iranian politician reaches the "Young European Leaders" podium
A young Iranian politician received the "Young European Leaders," a reward for his political commitment. Councilman in Switzerland, emeritus member of one of the largest political party of the country, Darius Azarpey (Dariush-e Azarpey in Farsi) won the prize, while just ascending to the Vice Presidency of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce. - 10/24/16

Iranian Designs Shine at 2A Asia Architecture Award
Eight designs produced by Iranian architects are among the winners in different categories at the 2A Asia Architecture Award 2016 (2AAA 2016) in Vienna, the organizers announced last week. - 10/24/16

Envoy hails as 'historic' Finland President's visit to Tehran
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, at head of a high-ranking delegation, will visit Tehran in an effort to broaden and deepen ties between Tehran and Helsinki. The delegation consists of a number world-known Finnish companies in different areas such as environment and water resources management, Finnish Ambassador to Tehran Harri Kamarainen told the Tehran Times on Sunday. - 10/24/16

Caspian Sea legal regime needs consensus, common understanding: Iran FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Caspian Sea's legal regime should be drawn up based on mutual trust, consensus, and understanding and must take into account the common interests of all involved countries. The Iranian minister made the remarks in an address to the 47th session of the special working group to draft the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in Tehran on Sunday. - 10/24/16

Islamophobia in the Age of Trump
The frequency of anti-Muslim behavior in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. A study released earlier this year by California State University-San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that incidents of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab violence increased drastically from 2014 to 2015, by 78.2% and 219% respectively, reaching levels that haven't been seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/24/16

Wives Of Ambassadors Join "I'm Lake Urmia" Campaign
Wives of 12 ambassadors to Iran joined "I'm Lake Urmia" campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures required by the United Nation to help restore the lake, Mehr news agency reported. The campaign was launched in late August in the platform of social media. - 10/23/16

KLM Airlines resumes flights to Iran
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, has officially resumed flights to Iran after a hiatus of over three years. The first flight of the company in its new Iran service period landed in Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) on Saturday evening, Iran's local media reported. - 10/23/16

Iran's Parliament Passes 'Clean Air' Bill
Iran's parliament (Majlis) on Wednesday approved clean air bill which could greatly help deal with sources of pollution in the country once in comes into force. The bill will be discussed in detail later this week, IRIB reported. -The chief of Department of Environment, Masoumeh Ebtekar, explained that the bill has been modified with the help of cabinet members and executive bodies. - 10/23/16

Iran's President Criticizes US Presidential Candidates
Speaking Sunday in a televised speech in the city of Ark, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had no preference in the U.S. election and the choice offered to American citizens was between "bad and worse" referring to presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. - 10/23/16

Iran loses to India in 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final
Iran finished in second place after losing to powerhouse India 38-29 in the Kabaddi World Cup final on Saturday. Seven-time defending champions Indians proved their supremacy after trailing 12-18 at the half-time in Ahmedabad, India. - 10/23/16

Iran supports measures aimed at stabilizing oil market: President Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic supports any measures aimed at restoring stability to global oil markets. "Iran supports any measure in line with the stabilization of the oil market, fair prices and equitable quota for the producers," Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Tehran on Saturday. - 10/23/16

"The Salesman" wins Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize at Chicago Film Festival
A film that gives us unique insight into the problems that arise from a case of sexual assault and the way an Iranian society deals with it. At the same time, the film is an immensely powerful tale of revenge that is universal and, in this case, told in a realistic way which features extremely painful dilemmas. It is a tale which uncovers the human condition on many levels. The Special Jury Prize goes to The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi. - 10/22/16

President Rouhani on Iranophobia: Iran is kinder than what has been said
President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran wants peaceful coexistence with the countries in the region and the larger world, noting Iran is "kinder" than what has been said. Addressing a ceremony on the National Exports Day on Thursday, Rouhani said Iran's relations with the world should be based on constructive interactions. He noted that expanding relations with the world would not be successful through disputes. - 10/22/16

Tehran hosts 2nd Rectors' Forum for Top Iranian, Russian Universities
The 2nd Rectors' Forum for Top Iranian and Russian Universities convened chancellors of 33 top universities from the two countries in Tehran on Thursday to examine ways of fostering academic cooperation. University chancellors from top 13 Iranian universities along with top 20 Russian universities, Iranian Science Minister Mohammad Farhadi, Russian ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan, and rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University Viktor Antonovich Sadovnichiy attended the one-day event - 10/22/16

Ayatollah Montazeri's Son Legally Defends Releasing Audio File of Father Denouncing 1988 Mass Execution of Prisoners
Ahmad Montazeri, the son of late Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri-the once successor to Iran's first supreme leader-has been charged with "acting against national security" and "revealing state secrets" for publishing an audio recording of his father denouncing the Islamic Republic's mass execution of prisoners in 1988. - 10/22/16

2016 Kabaddi World Cup: Iran heads to final after defeating South Korea
The Iranian men's national team has defeated South Korea at the semi-final stage of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in India to book its passage into the final match of the international sports event. On Friday, the Iranian sportsmen ended their East Asian counterparts' unbeaten run in the contest with a narrow 28-22 win at the TransStadia Arena in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. - 10/22/16

Iran's Hossein Soltani wins silver at IWF Youth World Weightlifting Championships
Hossein Soltani of Iran claimed a silver medal in the men's 69kg event at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Weightlifting Championships on Saturday. Soltani won the overall silver with a 295kg finish after lifting 131kg in snatch and 164kg in clean and jerk. - 10/22/16

French firm Total to invest $2B in Iran's petchem industry
Iran says it expects the French energy giant Total to invest as much as $2 billion in its petrochemical industry. Adel Salimnejad, the managing director of Iran's Persian Gulf Holding Company, told the domestic media that Total's investment will be made in an olefin project. - 10/22/16

Iran says will bring technicians back home from Kirkuk after deadly attack
A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic will bring its technicians back home from the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk following a deadly attack by Daesh Takfiri terrorists on a power station and other buildings near the city. Speaking to IRNA on Friday night, Iran's Consul General in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah, Sa'adollah Massoudian, said the toll for the Iranians killed in the terrorist attack stood at four. He added that four other Iranian nationals were injured in the terrorist attack. - 10/22/16

Retracing a Utopian Stage: Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis
From an unassuming corner of the Bergen Assembly, the international art triennial currently taking place in this small Norwegian city, reverberates an acoustic collage of percussion and a series of dramatic vocal crescendos. The source is a multi-screen, immersive projection of archival footage from the Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis. -Nafas Art Magazine - 10/22/16

The Wheels Are Coming off the Saudi Operation in Yemen
After initially denying that their aircraft had even been there, the Saudis finally admitted that they were responsible for the double-tap strike on the October 8 funeral of a major Yemeni notable. However, they denied culpability. According to the official Joint Incidents Assessment Team report-produced with US and UK oversight-the 140 victims of the murderous violation of a funeral were killed by faulty intelligence... -James Spencer, LobeLog - 10/22/16

CONFERENCE: Iranian Architects and Architecture: Transition from Traditional to Postmodern
The main focus of this conference (to be held on November 12th in London) is to look at the evolution of 20th century architecture in Iran, concentrating on the transition from traditional to postmodern architecture. -Iran Heritage Foundation - 10/21/16

Photos: Ramsar Royal Palace
Ramsar Palace is a historic building and among royal residences located in Ramsar, a city on the coast of the Caspian Sea, in Mazandaran province of Iran. The palace was established on a land of 60,000 square meters in 1937, and it was used as a summer residence by Reza Shah and then by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. - 10/21/16

Wife Of Iranian-Austrian Jailed In Iran Proclaims His Innocence
The wife of an Iranian-Austrian man sentenced recently by an Iranian court to 10 years in prison on spying charges has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that her husband is a "simple businessman" unjustly imprisoned. - 10/21/16

Painting by Iranian artist Hossein Zenderudi sells for over $300K at Christie's in Dubai
"De Chaque Cote, Les Etoiles Fusent" ("On Each Side the Stars Fuse"), a painting by Iranian artist Hossein Zenderudi was sold for $ 307,500 at Christie's Dubai sales of Modern and Contemporary Art on October 18. - 10/21/16

Azeri Rights Activist in Critical Condition After Starting Second Hunger Strike in Tabriz Prison
Imprisoned Azeri rights activist Rasoul Razavi has received emergency medical treatment on several occasions since he started a hunger strike in Tabriz Prison on October 3, 2016, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/21/16

Baku wants Iran to develop power plants in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has called on Iran to expedite the implementation of a plan which envisages the joint construction of power plants by the two countries. Etibar Pirverdiyev, the head of Azerenergy JSC which is the largest electrical power producer in Azerbaijan, said the joint construction of new power plants by Azerbaijan and Iran will enhance energy stability and export potential of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. - 10/21/16

Interview: Shiva Farivar, Candidate for Irvine City Council
Shiva Farivar is a longtime Irvine resident and community leader who is running for a seat on the Irvine City Council in the upcoming November elections. This election marks the second time Shive Farivar is running for public office. In 2010, she was a candidate for Irvine City Council, and ran a very competitive race. - 10/20/16

Iran becoming a major destination for European tourists: EU Official
The European Union commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship said on Tuesday that Iran is being turned into a major tourism destination for European travelers. Although some sticking points, such as investment problems, still remain with the EU side, but "The EU in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and other global establishments tries to overcome the barriers," said Elzbieta Bienkowska - 10/20/16

Two Iranian Labor Rights Activist Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Peaceful Activism
Labor rights activists Jafar Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsani-Rad were sentenced to 11 years in prison each for their peaceful activism on October 15, 2016 by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Saveh, 76 miles southwest of Tehran. - 10/20/16

Iran says talking to 16 firms over oil projects
Iran says it is negotiating with 16 international energy companies over investing in the exploration and development of oil and gas projects that it recently put out on tender. Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for engineering and development affairs, told reporters that all the projects which were put out on tender earlier this week are feasible even with oil at $40 a barrel. - 10/20/16

Surreal Mural By Iranian Artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo Materializes On The Greenway
Each fall, a new mural materializes on the towering facade of the transportation building that sits on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Dewey Square. This year the wall is being painted by Mehdi Ghadyanloo, a 35-year-old Iranian artist known for creating more than 100 surreal public works of art in Tehran. The Greenway mural is his first in the U.S. -WBUR-FM, Boston - 10/20/16

Report: Take More Risk to Find Common Ground with Iran
Whoever moves into the White House next January should be willing to "take more risk to find some common ground with Iran," according to a new report released by the non-partisan Atlantic Council on October 19. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/20/16

Iranian actor calls for famous actress in exile to be welcomed back
Javad Hashemi, a famous Iranian actor who is best known for his blockbuster roles as a compassionate Basij soldier, has caused controversy by saying in a televised interview, "If I were in office in the Islamic Republic and [Golshifteh Farahani] said that she wanted to return, I would say 'come back.'" -Misha Zand, Al Monitor - 10/20/16

Iran tourism for women: Safe or not safe?
With sanctions on Iran being relaxed and airlines including British Airways reintroducing direct flights to Tehran, Iran is once again attracting foreign businesses and travellers. Having just returned from a one-month self-drive tour of the country, I can assure you the destination has much to offer. -Justine Oliver, ETN - 10/20/16

Iran Rejects U.S. Interference Over Jailed Dual Nationals
Iran says it won't accept any U.S. "interference" after Washington demanded the release of an Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father. Iranian officials announced on October 18 that Siamak and Baquer Namazi had been jailed for 10 years for "espionage and collaboration with the American government." - 10/19/16

Six-Year Prison Sentence Against Teachers Union Leader Upheld After Pressure by Revolutionary Guards
Branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court has upheld the six-year prison sentence against Esmail Abdi, the chairman of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, confirmed Abdi in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/19/16

A political prisoner is challenging Iranian state impunity while serving a 15 year sentence
Maryam Akbari Monfared is a political prisoner in Iran serving a 15 year sentence and is now taking the state judiciary to court for the unlawful execution of four of her siblings and the imprisonment of her mother, all of whom were political prisoners in the 1980s in Iran. Akbari Monfared, a mother of three, has another brother alive and he is also a political prisoner currently serving a 17-year sentence in Iran. - 10/19/16

Britain's Vodafone Enters Iranian Phone Market
Vodafone and HiWEB, a leading Iranian ISP, today jointly announced a new non-equity Partner Market agreement for Iran. Vodafone will assist HiWEB in rolling out and modernising network and IT infrastructure, expanding the fixed and mobile internet services - under the HiWEB brand - that HiWEB can offer to its Iranian consumer and corporate customers. - 10/19/16

American Presidential Election: An Illusion of Democracy
Einstein takes credit for the saying that goes like this. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In reality you don't have to be an Einstein to know this, you'd think it's common sense to come to this conclusion. But, when it comes to the Presidential elections, this proverb stands. -Sina Alavi - 10/19/16

NIAC Strongly Condemns Iran's Sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi, Urges Their Release
NIAC President Trita Parsi released the following statement after Siamak and Baquer Namazi were reportedly sentenced to ten-year terms in prison: "The sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi to ten-year prison terms is a gross injustice that should deeply embarrass the Iranian government. We urge Iran to immediately release the Namazis - as well as all dual nationals unjustly detained in Iran on spurious charges - so that they can reunite with their families. - 10/19/16

Iran's Supreme Leader Urges Authorities Not To Back Down Against US
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Iranian authorities not to back down in the face of the United States' ever-increasing demands. Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with a group of top university students and members of Iran's National Elites Foundation. - 10/19/16

Wild is the Wind: Disco-taxis and pretty girls: in search of the world's oldest windmills in Iran
The sun burned hot on the roof of the car as we drove on the desert road near the frontier town of Taybad. In an effort to drown out the roaring and rattling of the engine, our driver cranked up the radio, making the forty-year-old Paykan bounce up and down on the beats of the Persian pop tunes he liked. I was in the back, squeezed between two old Afghan gentlemen dressed in blue robes and turbans on one side, and a rolled up carpet on the other. -Jippe Kreuning, Reorient - 10/19/16

Iran CAPA Aviation Summit - hope turns to frustration, but optimism remains as growth abounds
When CAPA - Centre for Aviation held its first conference in Iran at the end of Jan-2016 the atmosphere was primarily one of optimism. Immediately preceding the conference the expectation was that Iran and the West would move to rapidly reverse decades of estrangement. The first round of sanctions against Iran had come down - in line with the historic 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the '5+1' powers - and major airlines and aircraft manufacturers were coming to the table. -CAPA - 10/19/16

Eight Lessons from Afghanistan
Although President Obama slowed the drawdown in U.S. troops from Afghanistan, vowing to keep 8,400 troops there until the end of his term, the next president faces a major policy decision: will maintaining or enlarging the American military presence improve Afghanistan's prospects for long-term stability? Equally important, do the probable gains of a continued deployment outweigh the anticipated risks and costs? -Diana Ohlbaum, LobeLog - 10/19/16

Iran Sentences Iranian-American Businessman, His Father Each To 10 Years
An Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father have reportedly been given 10 years in prison each for cooperation with the United States. Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, were jailed for "collaborating with the hostile American government," the Mizan news agency reported on October 18. - 10/18/16

Muhammad Ali's Widow Calls on Iran to Free Imprisoned Iranian-American Son and Father
The widow of American boxing legend Muhammad Ali has called on Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, to free Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father Bagher Namazi. "I would like to request that your Excellency show Islamic mercy towards these two individuals who are pure-hearted citizens of our world, and allow these Muslims to be reunited with their family in this holy month (Muharram, marking the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala on the first month of the Islamic calendar)," wrote Lonnie Ali in a letter to Khamenei. - 10/18/16

Letter From Political Prisoners: Prison conditions in Iran cause slow death of prisoners
In a letter addressed to Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on Iran, Amnesty International and Human rights Watch, a group of political prisoners in Rejaishahr Prison in Karaj protest against the violation of their basic rights as prisoners. - 10/18/16

NIAC Welcomes European Parliament's Report on Diplomatic Engagement of Iran
The National Iranian American Council released the following statement on the report from the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs on EU strategy toward Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal: "The successful nuclear negotiations with Iran were a game changer and Europe is poised to make the most of the opportunity while the U.S. risks being stuck on the sidelines... - 10/18/16

Iran Navy foils pirate attacks on vessels in Gulf of Aden
Iranian naval forces have successfully thwarted major pirate attacks on two merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden. The 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic vessel, saved two Iranian ships from three pirate attacks on Monday morning. - 10/18/16

Iran exporting 25 radiopharmaceuticals: Nuclear Chief
Iran's atomic energy chief said in comments on Tuesday the country produces and exports 25 radiopharmaceuticals (a radioactive compound used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes) to Asian and European countries. "Currently, 25 radiopharmaceuticals are produced inside the country and exported to countries of Iraq, Egypt, and Germany," Ali Akbar Salehi told the press on the sidelines of the 10th national talent seminar. - 10/18/16

4 Maps That Explain Iran's Place In The Middle East
If you ranked the civilizations that have most affected the course of human development, Persia would be near the top of the list. We forget this because in recent centuries, the states that have ruled in Iran have been either weak or isolated from the rest of the world. -Forbes - 10/18/16

Iran Hard-Liners Release Video Showing Detained Iranian-American Businessman
Iranian hard-line media have released a video showing detained Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi. Iran's judiciary news agency posted a minute-long video on October 17 showing a montage of clips including Namazi in a conference room, his arms raised at his sides, and his U.S. passport. - 10/17/16

Interview: Iranian Affairs Expert Sahar Nowrouzzadeh
Sahar Nowrouzzadeh is an Iranian American with a distinguished career in foreign policy, having started her career in public service in 2005 at the United States Department of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Analyst and later becoming a Team Chief. Subsequently, she joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Affairs Officer and in 2014 began a two year rotation as the Director for Iran on the White House's National Security Council under President Obama... - 10/17/16

Photos: Iran Air Force begins large-scale drills in Isfahan
Iran's Air Force has started large-scale three-day military drills in the central province of Isfahan, demonstrating the aviation branch of the Army's prowess in defending the country's airspace. Codenamed Fada'eeyan-e Harim-e Velayat 6 (The Devotees of the Velayat Sanctuary 6), the exercises were launched in the province's Anarak district on Monday October 17, 2016. - 10/17/16

Iran Detains 11 Involved In Online Modeling Network
Iranian authorities say they have detained 11 members of a modeling network. The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the network was involved in producing and publishing pornographic pictures and spreading "depravity" in society. - 10/17/16

Iranian Lawmakers Call For Release Of Activist Narges Mohammadi
A group of Iranian lawmakers have written an open letter to the head of the judiciary calling for the release of Narges Mohammadi, a journalist and activist who is serving a lengthy prison sentence. Mohammadi was arrested last year after launching a campaign to end the death penalty in Iran. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison in May for founding the movement, which was deemed to be an illegal splinter group. - 10/17/16

7th London Iranian Film Festival: October 28th - November 2nd
Europe's largest Iranian film festival returns for its 7th edition in London. We're thrilled to open this festival with 'The Salesman', winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards at Cannes this year. - 10/17/16

Iran tells banks dollar deals allowed by U.S. Treasury
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in an announcement has told the banks across the country that any failure by non-American banks to provide dollar-related services to Iranians is "unacceptable" in light of the US Treasury's recent update on doing business with Iran. - 10/17/16

Iranian woman entrepreneur Soheila Pirmoradian to receive EBC*L Prize
Iranian businesswoman Soheila Pirmoradian is amongst selectees who will be honored with European Business Competence* License) EBC*L Women Entrepreneur Awards, during a ceremony scheduled to be held in Paris on November 3. - 10/16/16

Iran's Navy fleet sets sail for Baku, Azerbaijan with message of peace and friendship
A senior Iranian Navy official says a fleet, comprising a domestically-built destroyer and a missile-launching warship, has departed for Azerbaijan's port city of Baku on the Caspian Sea coast. Rear Admiral Afshin Rezaei Haddad told reporters on Sunday that Damavand destroyer and Joshan missile vessel with 200 navy forces on board headed to Baku in a 3-day operation. - 10/16/16

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif participates in Swiss Talks on Syria
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held separate talks with his Iraqi and Russian counterparts in the Swiss lakeside city of Lausanne about a solution to the crisis in Syria. Zarif held meetings with the Iraqi and Russian foreign ministers, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of Syria talks in Lausanne on Saturday. - 10/16/16

Amid Saudi Row, Egypt Reasserts Commitment to Gulf Allies
The Egyptian president said on Thursday that his country remains committed to close relations with Gulf Arab allies, but declared that Cairo would continue to independently pursue its own policies to safeguard Arab security. The remarks by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, delivered in a televised speech to army officers and government ministers, came against the backdrop of an escalating spat over Syria between Egypt and Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia. - 10/16/16

Actions Speak Louder Than Words in Iran's Death Penalty Debate, Says Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi
Despite statements from some Iranian officials doubting the value of capital punishment, no action has been taken to end or reduce the high number of executions in the country, Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 10/16/16

Narges Kalbasi Ashtari's story: An outcry for help
She is called the Mother Teresa of India and all for good reason. At 29, Narges Kalbasi Ashtari is a mother to many orphans, abandoned and visually impaired children in India. However, today, she has become the victim of a very complex and unjust system in India and is being punished by the very same people she once left her life behind for. - 10/16/16

Iran Kicks Off Tender To Develop Oil, Gas Projects
Iran says it will begin taking applications on October 17 for an unspecified number of oil and natural gas projects, as the country hopes to attract foreign investors back to its energy sector after years of sanctions. - 10/16/16

Iran's Fatemeh Moqimi nominated for Asia-Pacific Women Entrepreneur Award
Iranian female entrepreneur Fatemeh Moqimi has been nominated for the Asia-Pacific Women Entrepreneur Award. Moqimi, who also holds a seat at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), was chosen by the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Women Entrepreneurs Council (CWEC) to vie with other nominees for the award - 10/15/16

Prominent Iranian Rights Activist Narges Mohammadi Rejects Prison Sentence in Stinging Open Letter
In an open letter from Evin Prison prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi has strongly rejected the Appeals Court's decision upholding her harsh prison sentence, describing it as a "tyrannical" way to silence her activism. - 10/15/16

Women's sports in Iran after the Revolution
Tonia Valioghli is a veteran Iranian swimmer, record holder and former member of Iran's National Team and is currently a competitive swimming coach in Germany. She is a physical education graduate from Iran and a sports commentator. Zamaneh Media spoke to her about the situation of women's sports in Iran before and after the Revolution and the recent controversy emerging in the sidelines of the Women's World Chess Championship set to be held in Tehran in February 2017. - 10/15/16

Car-Free Tuesdays Campaign: Iran allots loans of up to $3,000 to bicycles, electric motorcycles
Iran has allotted loans of up to 100 million rials (nearly $3,000) to bicycles and electric motorcycles, an official with the Department of Environment has said. "People can take out loans of 30 million rials (nearly $1,000) to 100 million rials to buy bicycles and electric motorcycles," YJC quoted Mohammad Darvish as saying. - 10/15/16

Attorney Arrested in Iran for Wearing Green Movement Shirt
An attorney has been arrested in western Iran for wearing a shirt honoring the Green Movement, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. "Mohammad Najafi was arrested on October 11 [2016] in Shazand, Markazi Province, by agents of the Intelligence Ministry - 10/15/16

Iran's oil output at 3.6 mb/d: OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says Iran's oil production has reached a new record high of 3.665 million barrels per day (mb/d). OPEC in a monthly report said it had recorded Iran's new oil production capacity for September. - 10/15/16

The Middle East and the Next Administration
Osama bin Laden surely died happy. He devoted the last third of his life to creating animosity between the West and Islam and to driving a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Today, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are all estranged from the United States. And, as an unexpected bonus, so is Israel. The U.S. is making enemies all over the Muslim world. And every day here at home, millions pay homage to the memory of Osama as they remove their shoes to pass through metal detectors and are stripped of their dignity by body-imaging devices at airports. -Chas W. Freeman, Jr., LobeLog - 10/15/16

Iran Disrupts IS Plot to Bomb Religious Commemorations, State Media Says
Iran has disrupted an Islamic State bombing plot targeting the Shi'ite religious commemoration of Ashoura, according to state media reports on Thursday. "Intelligence ministry agents, with the cooperation of other security forces, succeeded to defuse one of the anti-security plots of the 'takfiri' terrorist groups and prevent an inhuman crime in the ceremonies," Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said, according to the official IRNA media outlet. - 10/14/16

Iran Sends Warships Off Yemeni Coast Amid U.S. Missile Strikes
Iran has sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Yemen, where the United States conducted missile attacks. The announcement came after the U.S. military launched cruise-missile strikes to knock out radar sites in Yemen controlled by Iran-allied Huthi forces, after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer. - 10/14/16

Ten Things You Should Know About Iran's Multi-Billion Dollar National Internet Project
A few months after the Iranian government launched the first phase of its "national information network" (NIN), many questions still surround Iran's domestically hosted, state-controlled and censored internet. In this article, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran discusses ten critical questions about NIN, the country's most expensive internet-related project. - 10/14/16

Russia has fulfilled delivery of S-300 missile systems to Iran: Report
Moscow has reportedly concluded the supply of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran. Russia's RIA news agency quoted the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) as making the announcement on Thursday. "All divisions have been supplied," said FSVTS Director Alexander Fomin. - 10/14/16

Iran Is Stuck With China to Finance Its Oil Dreams
Amid the snake-infested marshlands on Iran's border with Iraq, the control room monitoring North Azadegan oil field is manned entirely by Chinese technicians. In central Tehran, hundreds of Chinese pour out at noon from the telecommunications company Huawei to its canteen. There are now so many Chinese expatriates here, some say they outnumber all other nationalities combined. -MarcChampion, Bloomberg - 10/14/16

Meet The Designer Who Survived 40 Lashes And Is Now On A Quest To Make Fashion Free
Swimwear designer Tala Raassi has always loved fashion. However, for a girl growing up in war-torn Iran, dressing how she liked was forbidden. During her childhood and teenage years, Iran government imposed extreme regulations on a woman's dress code. Women were to be completely covered. Tala was only able to wear the trend-driven fashion she loved so much in the privacy of her own home. -Konbini - 10/14/16

It's Time to Release the Real History of the 1953 Iran Coup
Sixty-three years ago, the CIA and British intelligence fomented a coup d'état that toppled the prime minister of Iran, restored a cooperative shah and strengthened a regional buffer against possible Soviet aggression. It also unwittingly set Iran on a course toward dictatorship and helped inject the 1979 Iranian revolution with an anti-American cast that continues to animate hardline elements within the current regime. -Malcolm Byrne, Politico - 10/14/16

Saudi Charm Offensive in Europe
Saudi Arabia has launched what seems like a charm offensive following the historic vote by the European Parliament (EP) demanding an arms embargo on Riyadh because of the grave violations of the international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 10/14/16

Seven Years Later No Iranian Official Held Accountable for 5 Deaths and Torture of Dozens at Kahrizak
Families of the detainees who died after they were tortured in the Kahrizak Detention Center in 2009 and survivors have told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that their quest for justice has gotten nowhere. Some of the cases brought by the families resulted in the conviction of low-level agents while other cases were closed with an acquittal or no ruling, but no high-level official has been held accountable for the deaths of the detainees. The mysterious death of the doctor who exposed the abuses at Kahrizak, Ramin Pourandarjani, was never investigated. - 10/13/16

2016 Kabaddi World Cup: Iran struggles past Kenya
The national Iranian men's kabaddi team has registered its third consecutive win at the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in India, capturing a narrow victory over the Kenyan squad. The Iranian outfit, who had thrashed Thailand 64-23 in their second group stage fixture on October 9, tried hard on Tuesday evening to squeeze out a 33-28 win at the iconic stadium - 10/13/16

Lima Wins Best Animation Award at Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival
Animation Lima directed by Afshin Roshanbakht and Vahid Jafari received the best animation award at the 10th Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. "A gorgeous stop motion short about a son's struggle to keep the memory of his father alive, with an evocative score by Icelandic composer Stein Thor." - 10/13/16

Iran: Overturn Stadium Restrictions for Women
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) should cease awarding Iran the right to host FIVB international tournaments until the country ensures that female spectators can freely attend volleyball matches in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Ary Graca, the sports federation's leader. Graca was re-elected as the FIVB's president at the sports federation's 35th World Congress this week in Buenos Aires. - 10/13/16

Veteran reporter Safa Haeri passes away in exile
Muhammad Safa Haeri, professionally known only as Safa Haeri, has just passed away in exile in Paris, aged 79. He was one of the best-known members of a second generation of Iranians who developed journalism into a proper profession from the 1940s onwards. -Kayhan London - 10/13/16

Know Your Street Art: In Memory Of
The three women in the Clarion Alley mural In Memory Of are familiar to anyone steeped in Iranian literary history. Simin Daneshvar, Simin Behbahani, and Forough Farrokhzad are iconic figures in Iran, known for their poetry and fiction. -Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Weekly - 10/13/16

Ashura in "Coffee House" Paintings
Coffee-house painting is an Iranian narrative painting style with epical, religious and festive themes emerging during the Constitution Movement (1906) on the basis of Iranian folklore, epical and religious art traditions. Created by self-taught painters, the influence of Classical Persian Miniature painting and to some extent European Naturalism of the time appear as the sources of inspiration of this genre of painting. -Tavoos magazine - 10/13/16

Iranians Now Watching US Presidential Debates and 'House of Cards' as Guide to America
Viewers of Iranian state television have been given an unprecedented taste of the seamier side of U.S. politics, both real and imagined, leaving many in a country where governance is more opaque wondering about the choice facing Americans in November. -Newsmax - 10/13/16

FIFA World Cup qualifier: Iran stuns South Korea 1-0 in Tehran
Iran men's national football team has achieved yet another convincing victory in the third round of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualification tournament, and scored a triumph against South Korea. - 10/12/16

Millions of Shia Muslims observe Ashura worldwide
Millions of Shia Muslims in Iran and other parts of the world are commemorating Ashura, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam. The faithful have converged on the streets and in mosques with heavy hearts to honor Ashura, the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar Muharram, which is the climax of the mourning processions. - 10/12/16

BOOK: Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran
Prozak Diaries is an analysis of emerging psychiatric discourses in post-1980s Iran. It examines a cultural shift in how people interpret and express their feeling states, by adopting the language of psychiatry, and shows how experiences that were once articulated in the richly layered poetics of the Persian language became, by the 1990s, part of a clinical discourse on mood and affect. - 10/12/16

Iranian Child Bride Faces Death Penalty
Human rights activists say an Iranian former child bride, whose execution was delayed while she was pregnant, could be executed in the coming days. Zeinab Sekaanvand, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, was convicted of killing her husband, whom she says beat her for months. - 10/12/16

MTN Group invests in Iranian taxi-hailing app
MTN Group, the mobile network operator with $1bn stuck in Iran, has agreed to invest $22m in, the Islamic Republic's first taxi-hailing smartphone application. The funds "will allow us to quickly expand to other cities" than Tehran, Snapp CEO Shahram Shahkar said on Tuesday. -BDlive - 10/12/16

Soccersanct: Iran To Keep It 'Religious' At World Cup Qualifier
Stymied in their effort to reschedule a qualifier match for soccer's 2018 World Cup, Iranian officials are guaranteeing to uphold "religious norms" in connection with a major Shi'ite mourning festival when their national team meets South Korea this week in Tehran. They predict huge black banners covering parts of Azadi Stadium, backup players clad in black, and dirges instead of taunts on October 11 - 10/11/16

Event at Stanford University: 5,000 Years of Iranian Engineering
In celebration of International Archaeology Day - Oct. 15th, Persian Student Association (PSA) and American Institute of Archaeology (AIA) at Stanford Jointly Present: 5000 Years of Iranian Engineering: Movie Screening + Q&A with the writer, director, and producer, Dr. Farzin Rezaeian - 10/11/16

U.S. Treasury Seeks To Reassure Banks Wary Of Dealing With Iran
The U.S. Treasury is seeking to reassure banks that have been unwilling to do business with Iran, but Tehran says the effort has not gone far enough. New guidance issued over the weekend after months of complaints from Tehran clarifies that non-U.S. banks can do business with Iran in U.S. dollars, provided those transactions don't pass through financial institutions in the United States. - 10/11/16

Iran's President Rouhani raps 'utterly deplorable' conditions in Saudi-wrecked Yemen
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has condemned the ongoing Saudi military aggression against Yemen, saying the Yemeni people are going through "utterly deplorable" times. Rouhani made the remarks in reaction to the recent bloody Saudi airstrike on the Yemeni capital of Sana'a which killed more than 140 people and wounded over 525. - 10/11/16

Report Cites Child Marriage For Girls As Major Problem
A new report using UN statistics estimates there are about 700 million girls around the world who were forced to get married before the age of 18. The Save the Children report -- issued on October 11 to mark International Day Of The Girl Child -- said a girl under 15 is forced into marriage every seven seconds and that many girls only 10 years of age are being forced to marry. - 10/11/16

Campaign Carnage and the Iran Nuclear Agreement
Among the lingering effects of this awful election campaign season will be widespread misunderstanding of serious issues of foreign policy, beyond even the habitually low baseline public understanding of many such issues. Consider, as one such important foreign policy topic, the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/11/16

IRAN: Former Political Prisoner Transported from Workplace to Prison Without Summons
Former political prisoner Navid Kamran has been transported to Evin Prison in Tehran to begin serving a one-year prison sentence for "propaganda against the state" without a summons, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Kamran previously told the Campaign that he had been convicted on recycled charges. - 10/11/16

Iran's RighTel confirms roaming deal with AT&T
A major Iranian telecommunications operator has confirmed that it has an international roaming service deal with America's AT&T. Majid Sadri, the managing director of RighTel, was quoted by Iranian media as saying that his company has already been able to establish roaming services with 123 operators in 87 countries. They, as the company says on its website, include the US. - 10/10/16

Iran seeks stronger China ties after nuclear deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Iran is willing to use the opportunities created after the nuclear deal to expand ties with China. During a meeting with Vice President of China Li Yuanchao in Bangkok, Rouhani highlighted the importance of expanding banking relations between the two countries. - 10/10/16

Iran Rights Champion's Latest Prison Term Aimed At 'Instilling Fear,' Says Exiled Husband
When Narges Mohammadi's activist husband resolved in 2012 to leave Iran to escape yet another jail sentence connected to his political activities, she stayed behind with their two children. "She believed she could be more effective inside the country," Taghi Rahmani, a political activist who had been in and out of Iranian prisons for two decades and had a conviction hanging over his head, said of his wife recently from Paris, where he has since been joined by their 9-year-old twins. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 10/10/16

Iran, Germany to cooperate on Zayanderud river restoration
Deputy energy minister announced that Iran and Germany have reached agreement over saving Zayanderud river. A fresh round of talks between Iran and Germany over water and power industries kicked off in Tehran upon arrival of a delegation of Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research headed by State Secretary Georg Schutte and attended by President of German Research Foundation Peter Hrsg V Strohschneider and head of Germany's Max Planck Society Martin Stratmann. - 10/10/16

Iran Temporarily Releases Hunger-Striking Journalist Ehsan Mazandarani
Iran has temporarily released a journalist for medical treatment after he suffered from health problems following a hunger strike. Ehsan Mazandarani, editor in chief of the reformist Farhikhtegan daily, was arrested in November 2015 and sentenced in April to seven years in prison after being convicted of charges that included "acting against national security." His prison sentence was reportedly later reduced to two years. - 10/10/16

Iran Cultural Official Resigns Over Concert In Holy City Of Qom
A senior cultural official has resigned after protests by conservative religious authorities over a concert in Iran's holy Shi'ite city of Qom where many of Iran's senior ayatollahs are based. Iranian media report that Abbas Daneshi, head of the department of culture in Qom, resigned due to discontent among senior theologians over the event held last month. - 10/10/16

Iranian coastal waters: New home to a rarely seen venomous sea snake
Gunther's sea snake (Microcephalophis cantoris), a rarely seen venomous sea snake with distribution thought to stretch from the Malay Peninsula to Pakistan, has now been recorded from Iranian coastal waters off the western Gulf of Oman, more than 400 kilometers away from the westernmost boundary of its previously known range. - 10/10/16

Chess Grandmaster Khademalsharieh says World Championship is necessary for Iranian women
After many of the highest-ranking female players have called for a boycott of the next year's world Chess Championships in Iran, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh said that the championship will help the Iranian women to participate in the most important event in the country for the first time. Khademalsharieh, 19, is an Iranian chess player who holds the titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM). - 10/9/16

U.S. Political Debate Said To Cast Shadow Over Iranian Nuclear Deal
The landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers remains "fragile" in part because it has become a focus of dispute in the U.S. presidential election, the head of the United Nations agency that polices the deal said. - 10/9/16

President Rouhani visits Kuala Lumpur: Iran, Malaysia agree to deepen ties
President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that Iran and Malaysia reaffirmed to strengthen ties and restore economic transactions to the pre-sanctions time. During a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur, Rouhani said, "We stressed that 2016 should be the year of expanding relations in political, cultural, scientific and economic areas." - 10/9/16

U.S. Treasury Says New Guidelines Clarify Ongoing Sanctions Against Iran
The U.S. Treasury Department said on October 8 that an update to its regulations that was published late on October 7 merely clarifies what is and is not allowed since last year's landmark nuclear deal gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its atomic program. - 10/9/16

Sign of Thaw With Iran: American Cellphones Ringing in Tehran
Until recently, an American phone in Iran would not receive any signal. But that has quietly changed. This past week, a spokesman for AT&T acknowledged that the company was providing voice and data service in Iran to its customers with American phones through a partnership with a local firm, RighTel. An employee at the Iranian company, fully owned by a state entity, confirmed the partnership. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 10/9/16

Iran's first female triathlete Shirin Gerami set to make history at Ironman Kona
With her journey to the Ironman World Championship, Shirin Gerami aims to change the way women of Islamic faith approach-and are permitted to approach-sport, especially triathlon. -Brian Dessart, Sports Illustrated - 10/9/16

Your Boycott Won't Help Iranian Women
Some international players are saying they don't want to wear head scarves, but they seem to be making this statement for Iranian women, too: Iranian women shouldn't have to do this, so we'll make a stink. But this kind of protest -- outsiders who think they know best -- is exactly the opposite of what most Iranian women want, and is at the heart of what's worst about policing how Muslim women dress. -Azadeh Moaveni, New York Times - 10/9/16

Iran says may limit death penalty for traffickers to drug lords
The secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council has said Tehran may reconsider capital punishment for drug smugglers, limiting it to drug lords only, seemingly a setback from a tougher stance taken previously. "Capital punishment should be limited to drug lords. This will cut the number of executions (in Iran) immediately," said Mohammad Javad Larijani in an interview with O Estadao, a daily published in Sao Paulo, Brazil. - 10/9/16

In Memoriam: Renowned Iranian Scholar Ruhi Ramazani
Rouhoullah "Ruhi" K. Ramazani, a University of Virginia professor emeritus of government and foreign affairs who dedicated his life to UVA and to promoting political understanding of Iran-U.S. relations, died Wednesday in Charlottesville. He was 88. - Anne E. Bromley, University of Virginia - 10/7/16

Iran defeats Uzbekistan to move one step closer to 2018 World Cup
Iran's national football team defeated Uzbekistan's national team 1-0 in Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent on Thursday October 6, 2016 in the third round qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Uzbekistan came into the match after 1-0 wins over Syria and Qatar, but thanks to Jalal Hosseini's 27' goal, Carlos Queiroz's team picked up their seventh point in three games to remain undefeated so far. - 10/7/16

Iran to send 3 satellites into orbit by year end: Official
Head of the Iranian Space Agency Mohsen Bahrami said that Iran will launch three domestically-built satellites, including SharifSat, into orbit by the end of next Iranian year (March 20, 2018). He made the remarks addressing a conference titled 'Space in Qur'an's View'. - 10/7/16

Iranian Americans May be up for Grabs in the Presidential Election
Farid Khanlou owns Jordan Market in an area of Los Angeles called Persian Square. It's packed with Persian businesses, many of which fly the country's flag from before the 1979 Iranian revolution. In this heart of the Iranian-American community, the largest group of Iranians abroad, there are many who remain undecided about which presidential candidate they support. -Elizabeth Lee - 10/7/16

2016 Leadership Conference Remarks by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes discussed the Obama administration's diplomatic engagement of Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the challenges and opportunities of further diplomacy with Iran in a keynote address at the National Iranian American Council's (NIAC) 2016 Leadership Conference on September 25. -NIAC - 10/7/16

Iran's pistachio exports expected to top 136,000 tons
Iran is projected to export over 136,000 tons of pistachios in the year to March 2017, said a member of Iran's Pistachio Association (IPA). "The IPA estimated in its June meeting that annual pistachio production will reach 170,000 tons, of which about 80 percent will be exported," Farhad Agah told Iran Daily. China is the main importer of Iranian pistachios while the other buyers of the nut include the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the EU, India and some Arab states. - 10/7/16

Ukraine and Syria: Linked Together by Russia
The United States and Russia are now at daggers drawn over Syria. Following the collapse of the ceasefire negotiated last month by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the United States has abandoned talks with the Russians on Syria. Meanwhile, in a supposedly unrelated part of the relationship, Russia has suspended the 2000 agreement between the two countries on ridding themselves of excess stocks of weapons-grade plutonium. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 10/7/16

Iranian Women Athletes Excluded from Bodybuilding
Head of Iran's Bodybuilding Federation announced that women bodybuilders and their four male coaches who arranged for them to participate in international competitions have been suspended. The federation adds that it will adhere to the ruling of the court in this matter. - 10/6/16

Trade in focus as Iran's President Rouhani starts Asia visit
President Hassan Rouhani, on a key visit to Asia, says Iran and Vietnam have decided to increase bilateral trade volume fivefold to over $2 billion per year. Rouhani made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang in the capital Hanoi on Thursday. - 10/6/16

Iran Refuses to Release Prisoner of Conscience Mohammad Ali Taheri
When Iranian officials come to the United Nations, they are usually met with questions about their human rights practices, particularly the arrest of dual nationals. This year was no different as interlocutors brought up the cases of Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer; another Iranian-American, Robin Shahini; a British-Iranian mother, Nazenin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was seized while visiting her parents with her toddler daughter and Homa Hoodfar, an academic and specialist on women's issues from Canada. -Barbara Slavin - 10/6/16

IRGC commander: Iran stopped Daesh from overrunning Syria
Iran's Major General Qassem Soleimani says that Daesh and other Takfiri terrorist groups were created to weaken Iran. The Commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) made the remarks in Tehran on Wednesday during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the killing of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani by terrorists in Syria. - 10/6/16

What Tim Kaine Actually Got Wrong About the Iran Nuclear Deal During the Veep Debate
An exchange about Iran during last night's vice presidential debate is getting a lot of attention from mainstream media fact-checkers. The discussion about the Iran nuclear deal came as Virginia Democratic senator was listing the national security bona fides of his running mate, Hillary Clinton. "She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot," Tim Kaine boasted. -Ali Gharib - 10/6/16

Iran Says It Released Homa Hoodfar for "Humanitarian" Reasons
"I didn't feel I would be released until I was on the jet. In Iran, nothing is complete until it is complete," said Iranian-Canadian dual national and academic Homa Hoodfar on September 26, 2016 after landing at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport following her release from Evin Prison where she was held since June 2016. "As they say in Iran, nothing is possible and everything is possible." - 10/6/16

35 dual nationals banned from serving in Iran's government
Iran has barred 35 dual nationals, out of a 79 total, from serving in an official capacity presumably for security concerns, an MP quoted Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi as having said, IRIB news agency reported on October 5. - 10/6/16

IRGC warns Saudi Arabia's Navy to keep off Iran waters
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has issued a stern warning to all military vessels partaking in Saudi Arabia's ongoing wargames in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, noting that any act of transgression into Iran's territorial waters shall be met with an immediate and befitting response. - 10/6/16

President Rouhani Press Bills Would Further Erode Press Freedom in Iran
The government of President Hassan Rouhani is preparing to introduce two bills to Parliament that media experts and journalists say could further erode press freedom and freedom of expression in Iran. The first bill is designed to replace the current Press Law and the second would create a state organization to rival independent journalism groups. - 10/5/16

Los Angeles museum to showcase works by Iranian artist Ali-Akbar Sadeqi
Works by the 79-year-old painter, book illustrator, animator and sculptor, Ali-Akbar Sadeqi will be put on display in an exhibition, which is scheduled to open to the public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on October 23. - 10/5/16

More Than 150 Members of Iran's Parliament Call for Ending Execution of Petty Drug Traffickers
The majority of Iran's MPs have signed a proposal to amend a current law that would make it harder to condemn drug-related criminals to death, according to Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi, a member of Parliament's Legal and Judicial Committee. He told the state ISNA news agency on October 4 that the amendment, signed by more than 150 MPs, was ready to be handed to the full Parliament for deliberation. - 10/5/16

Tax exemption to incentivize tourism investment in Iran
Iran will grant years of tax exemption to both domestic and foreign businesses and individuals as an incentive for ramping up investments in its tourism sector, Deputy Economy Minister Mohammad Khazaei said on Sunday. - 10/5/16

Iran's President Rouhani awarded ICOM"s Melody of Peace
President Rouhani received the award during his 31st Provincial visit to the city of Qazvin where the secretariat of Melody of Peace is located. ICOM's Melody of Peace as the symbol of Iranians' peace loving disposition will also be presented to the secretary-General of the United Nations. - 10/5/16

Iran's Zarif, Larijani cancel meetings with German Vice-Chancellor
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani have canceled a meeting with Germany's Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Ahead of his trip, Gabriel told online weekly magazine Der Spiegel that Iran could have normal and friendly relations with Germany "only when it accepted Israel's right to exist." - 10/5/16

Iran Agrees On New Model Energy Contract, Hopes To Boost Foreign Investment
Iran's state oil producer, National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC), has signed a new model investment contract with an Iranian firm. The contract with the Persia Oil and Gas Industry Development Company is seen as a template for contracts that Tehran hopes will attract foreign investors back to Iran's oil and natural gas sectors and boost production after years of economic sanctions. - 10/5/16

Calls for chess boycott over Iran's hijab laws
Calls for a boycott of next year's Women's World Chess Championship in Tehran, in protest at Iran's strict hijab laws, have prompted a big debate inside Iran in both the official and social media. -BBC - 10/5/16

Controversy erupts as soccer, religion clash in Iran
Heated debate has erupted in Iran over the confluence of Tasua, one of the most significant holy days in the Shiite calendar, and the Oct. 11 Iran-South Korea football qualifier for the 2018 World Cup. -Misha Zand, Al-Monitor - 10/5/16

Iranian Ad Exchange Adro Reaches 50 Billion Impressions
The one year old Iranian Ad-exchange Adro has set a new record in Iran's AdTech scene by reaching 50 Billion ad impression. Iran's AdTech scene was completely revolutionized since the arrival of its first ad exchange Adro. By connecting to almost all the major ad network players in Iran, Adro managed to increase Iran's market cap in online advertisement. -Alireza Jozi, Techrasa - 10/5/16

IMF Says Iran Economy 'Rebounded Strongly' Following Lifting Of Sanctions
In a statement issued on October 3 after a visit to Iran, IMF staff said oil production and exports "rebounded quickly" to presanction levels, as an array of international sanctions targeting Iran were lifted in January following a nuclear deal with world powers that curbed the country's controversial nuclear program. Meanwhile, "increased activity" in agriculture, car production, trade, and transport services has led the recovery in growth in the non-oil sector. - 10/4/16

Zinat Daryaee: The Great Entrepreneur of Qeshm Island
Walking at a pavilion near Goftegoo Park in western Tehran, the music of natives from southern Iran attracts all the visitors. The largest pavilion of Qeshm Island, part of Hormozgan Province, is run by a female entrepreneur, Zinat Daryaee. Zinat Daryaee, whose name means adornment of the sea, is really a jewel in the heart of Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf. - 10/4/16

Iran's oil exports hit pre-sanctions high
Reports say Iran has already been able to increase its oil exports to levels that existed before sanctions were imposed on the country in 2011. Reuters in a report on Monday quoted unnamed oil market sources as saying that Iran's total crude oil and condensate sales likely reached around 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in September. - 10/4/16

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Push Harsh Prison Sentences for Activists
In another example of the Iranian Judiciary's lack of independence, an Appeals Court has upheld disproportionate prison sentences against four civil rights activists following pressure by the Revolutionary Guards, the activists told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Fatemeh (Atena) Daemi and Omid Alishenas have each been sentenced to seven years in prison while Aso Rostami and Ali Nouri have each been sentenced to two years in prison. - 10/4/16

My wife, imprisoned in Iran for six months and counting
Today marks six months since my wife, Nazanin, was taken and put in an Iranian prison. It marks six months since Gabriella, our two-year-old daughter, had her passport confiscated so that she would be kept in Iran. Nazanin is a charity worker in the UK. Nazanin and Gabriella were in Iran on holiday, visiting Nazanin's parents. On April 3, while on their way home, Nazanin was arrested at the airport check-in desk. Since then it has been another world. -Richard Ratcliffe - 10/4/16

US Journalist Sues Iran, Says He Was Tortured
A U.S. journalist who was jailed in Iran for 18 months has filed a federal lawsuit against the Iranian government, claiming he was taken hostage and tortured in an attempt to extract concessions from the U.S. government. Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian said in the suit that he was targeted for arrest so Iran could gain negotiating leverage with the United States and to ultimately exchange him "for something of value to Iran." - 10/4/16

Iran's Space Agency Interested In Connecting With NASA
The head of Iran's space agency says the country wishes to start cooperation with NASA since it is an international body and not just an American one. Mohsen Bahrami made the announcement on Tuesday, saying "the level of our space cooperation has increased following the signing of Iran's nuclear deal, and we have inked MoUs with a number of space agencies in other countries." - 10/4/16

Iran's Rohani Pushes For OPEC Action With Russia To Raise Oil Prices
Iranian President Hassan Rohani told his Venezuelan counterpart that it is essential for oil-producing countries to take collective action to raise oil prices, Iranian news agencies reported on October 3. Iran and Venezuela are both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which agreed at an informal meeting in Algeria last week on modest oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008. - 10/4/16

Celebrated abroad, Oscar-winning Iranian director comes under fire at home
Speculation surrounding which film would represent Iran at the 2017 Academy Awards finally came to an end in mid-September with the selection of "The Salesman" by Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi. The movie was chosen by a committee of the Farabi Cinema Foundation, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. -Zahra Alipour, Al-Monitor - 10/4/16

Apple Opened up Its App Store to Iran Again
Two days ago Apple opened up its App Store to Iranians once again. Apple iPhone always had a great market in Iran. But with the complicated relationship between Iran and U.S., Iranians had to deal with a lot of problems from the start. -MohammadReza Azali, TechRasa - 10/4/16

Relations with Saudi Arabia are Risky as Well as Confused
Mainly because of domestic American politics and the workings of the U.S. Congress, everyone has a right to be confused about U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, including the Saudis themselves. The first Congressional override of any veto by President Barack Obama has come on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA); Saudi Arabia is the obvious, if unstated, target of this legislation, which permits private lawsuits against foreign governments on grounds of alleged involvement in acts of terrorism. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/4/16

Germany to press US to effectively lift Iran sanctions: Vice chancellor
Germany has promised to exercise pressure on the United States to act on its commitment of "effectively" removing sanctions against Iran. Germany wanted to "remind the United States of the commitment to get to an effective dismantling of sanctions," German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of an economic forum in Tehran on Monday, October 3, 2016. - 10/3/16

Meet Sean Panahi: Iranian-American Candidate for California State Assembly
PAAIA recently interviewed Sean Panahi, an attorney and Democratic nominee for California's 68th State Assembly district. The State Assembly is the lower house in California, which makes laws and enacts the state budget. If successful, he will become the first American of Iranian descent ever elected to the California State Assembly. He would also be the second Iranian American to serve in a state legislature. - 10/3/16

Oil firms present proposals for Iran projects
Iran's media say the country has received the first wave of proposals by major international companies to develop oil and gas projects within the new format of oil contracts recently approved by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani. - 10/3/16

Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco: Winners of the 2016 'Sepanta Awards' Announced
The 9th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Franciscowas held from September 24-25, 2016. This year, 37 films from Iran, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, India, Dubai, Czech Republic, and Spain were presented at the festival. At the end of the festival, the winners of the 2016 'Sepanta Awards' were announced - 10/3/16

Two weeks in Iran
Many delights and surprises await the western traveller to Iran, the modern-day Persia. I returned from a two-week lecture tour in early September on a journey that took me from Tehran then south to Isfahan, the cultural jewel of Iran. From there I travelled to Saadat Shahr (a small town in the south) and finally to Shiraz and to the nearby ancient ruined city of Persepolis, built by King Darius from about 520 BC but ransacked by Alexander the Great some two centuries later. -John Hearnshaw, Stuff - 10/3/16

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Iran finish third after penalty shootout win over Portugal
Iran's remarkable journey at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 ended on a high note, as they claimed third place after a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Portugal following a 2-2 draw in Cali on Saturday. The Iranians came from two goals down to take the third-place match to a dramatic penalty shootout, where six rounds of spot kicks were needed to decide the contest. - 10/2/16

'Kasco' by Iranian director Mojtaba Ghasemi receives award at Statesville's Full Bloom Film Festival
Iranian film 'Kasco' by Mojtaba Ghasemi has won the Best Short Narrative award at Full Bloom Film Festival (FBFF) 2016 in the US. The movie received the award on September 24 in competition with 55 other short films at the Short Narrative Films section of the festival. - 10/2/16

Tataloo: the regular arrest of cursed celebrities in Iran
Amir Tataloo, Iranian musician is till in jail after his second arrest on 23 Aug 2016 by Islamic Republic authorities without any clear announcements regarding the charges against him. Sources linked to Tataloo have reported in their social media posts that the charge against him is "spreading corruption and indecency". The reports add that he has been subjected to psychological tests and it is not clear how long he will be held in custody. -Rouzbeh Hamid - 10/2/16

Isfahan on track to become a city of bicycles
Isfahan Municipality is arranging for the city to become a city of bicycles, an official with the Department of Environment has said. "Isfahan Municipality has initiated talks with the Dutch to develop the necessary technical infrastructure to turn the city into a city of bicycles," Mohammad Darvish said. Isfahan and Neishabur municipalities did best in creating bike lanes and cycling infrastructure, Darvish noted. - 10/2/16

Susan Polgar: Women Chess Players Need To Respect 'Cultural Differences'
World's top chess official Susan Polgar says that the women players need to respect 'cultural differences' after many of the highest-ranking female players have called for a boycott of the next year's world championships in Iran. They are going to boycott the competition after being told that they'd need to compete wearing hijabs. - 10/2/16

Iran has sold 32 tons of heavy water to US: Nuclear Chief
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic has sold 32 tons of heavy water to the United States and delivered 38 tons of the nuclear substance to Russia. "European firms, including German and French ones, seek to purchase Iran's heavy water and we have expressed our readiness in this regard," Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters on Sunday. - 10/2/16

Iran Touts New Combat Drone 5 Years After Capturing US Prototype
Iranian news reports say Tehran has built a new aerial attack drone similar to a U.S. military aerial vehicle captured five years ago after it entered Iranian airspace from the country's eastern border with Afghanistan. The semiofficial Tasnim news agency said the "Saeqeh" ("Thunderbolt") long-range drone is capable of hitting four targets with smart bombs with what it called "pinpoint accuracy." - 10/2/16

Trickle-Down Birtherism: Crowd Wants Birther Answers About Iranian-American Candidate
Cyrus Habib was born in Baltimore to Iranian immigrant parents.He graduated from Columbia University, the University of Oxford and Yale Law School and was elected to both the Washington state House of Representatives and Senate. But never mind all that. The sound of Habib's name leads some people to question whether he is a real American. "The cancer of birtherism has metastasized even to Washington state," Habib told The Huffington Post. -Paul Blumenthal, Huffington Post - 10/2/16

Expressive Photos Reveal a Rare, Alternative View of Iran
Iranian photographer Hossein Fatemi, however, offers a glimpse of an entirely different side to Iran than the image usually broadcasted by domestic and foreign media. In his photo series An Iranian Journey, many of the photographs reveal an Iran that most people never see, presenting an eye-opening look at the amazing diversity and contrasts that exist in the country. -My Modern Met - 10/2/16

America's Outdated Special Relationship with Saudi Arabia
Like other longstanding American relationships in the Middle East, the ties between Washington and Riyadh have nothing to do with human rights or democracy. The alliance rests mostly on two key factors: natural resources and regional stability. -Ryan Suto - 10/1/16

PHOTOS: Iran's IRGC unveils new combat drone
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has unveiled the recently-manufactured combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called Saeqeh (thunderbolt). The drone was put on show on Saturday at an expo showcasing the latest achievements by the IRGC's Aerospace Division in the UAV industry. - 10/1/16

U.S., EU Call On Iran To Free Jailed Death Penalty Activist
The United States and European Union on September 30 called on Iran to free Narges Mohammadi, a journalist and activist whose 16-year prison sentence was recently upheld by Iranian courts. - 10/1/16

Imprisoned Iranian Journalist Denied Knee Operation
Imprisoned newspaper columnist Afarin Chitsaz urgently needs a knee operation, but the authorities have refused to allow her to be transferred to a hospital, according to her lawyer. - 10/1/16

Iran, France Ink Agreement Over "L-90" Auto Joint Venture
Iran's Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) and French car maker Renault here on Sunday evening signed an agreement to launch the first phase of a platform to produce a new automobile in Iran. - 10/1/16

Abbas Kiarostami Awards established to honor world promising filmmakers
The Karnameh Art and Cultural Institute in Tehran in collaboration with two institutes in France and England has established the Abbas Kiarostami Awards to honor the world's promising filmmakers. - 10/1/16

Bahrain: Anchors Aweigh? Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)More
The government of Bahrain's unremitting repression and human rights abuses against its political opposition are leading the country down a road that over the coming years promises instability and a significant escalation of domestic conflict. The United States, with the headquarters of its Fifth Fleet located in Bahrain, has an important stake in how this situation plays out. -Richard Sokolsky, LobeLog - 10/1/16

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