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Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant unharmed by quake
The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the recent earthquake in Bushehr did not harm the Bushehr Nuclear Plant. On Thursday, an earthquake measured at 5.7 on the richter scale shook Berazjan in Bushehr Province, leaving eight dead and dozens injured. - 11/30/13

Photos: AC Milan players visit orphans at Ameneh Nursery in Tehran
AC Milan veteran soccer players visited Ameneh Nursery in Tehran on Thursday morning before their friendly benefit match with Persepolic FC. There they met the orphans of Ameneh Nursery and spent time with them. - 11/30/13

From Tehran to Tokyo, U.S. Geo-Strategic Shifts in Motion
From the Middle East to the East China Sea, the last week's events have offered a particularly vivid example of the much-heralded shift in foreign policy priorities under the administration of President Barack Obama. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 11/30/13

Photos: Persepolis FC and AC Milan veterans play benefit match in Tehran
Persepolic FC veteran footballers played a friendly match against the seven-time European champion AC Milan at Tehran's famous Azadi Stadium. AC Milan played a better game and defeated Persepolis 3-1. - 11/30/13

PSA, Renault ready to return to Iran market
French automakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault are planning to return to Iran's market following a recent nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva which will ease sanctions on auto industry. - 11/30/13

What is the Iran-5+1 "Accord"?
Islamic Republic of Iran and the 5+1 powers signed a document in Geneva on 24 November 2013 to start a new chapter in the nuclear case of Iran. The document has been called various things by various sources. The document itself has title of "Joint Plan of Action". However, the question arises what is this document from legal point of view? Is it an agreement in the international law? -Bahman Aghai Diba, PhD International Law - 11/30/13

Photos: 11-Kilometer Multi-Floor Highway Opens In Tehran
Tehran's first multi-floor highway has been totally designed and constructed by Iranian engineers. "The highway with 11 Km length and in west-east direction could be crucial in decreasing the air pollution in Tehran," said Hojjatuleslam Abdolmoghim Nasehi. - 11/30/13

Rohani administration says it's working to free Iranian opposition leaders
An Iranian government spokesman has announced that the Rohani administration is working to end the house arrest of reformist figures and bring about the release of political prisoners. - 11/30/13

Photos: Iran Marks Navy Day
A senior Iranian commander underlined the Navy's self-sufficiency in producing different types of weapons and military tools and systems, and said the Navy has grown so powerful that it can defend the country against any kind of air, surface and subsurface threats successfully. - 11/30/13

Syria PM in Tehran ahead of Geneva meeting
Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi arrived in Tehran on Friday for talks with the Iranian leaders ahead of a peace conference aimed at ending the conflict in the Arab country. - 11/30/13

From Yurts To Kimchi, Protecting The World's 'Intangible' Cultures
UNESCO has offered protection for cultural entities for decades, most notably through its World Heritage List, which includes 981 properties -- from India's Taj Mahal to Australia's Great Barrier Reef -- deemed as having outstanding universal value. -Daisy Sindelar, RFE - 11/30/13

Iran Sees Nuclear Deal Implementation Starting by Early January
VIENNA -- The implementation of a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers is expected to begin in late December or early January, Tehran's envoy to the U.N. atomic agency said on Friday. -Reuters - 11/30/13

Peace: The Foundation of Prosperity - HAND announces $150,000 matching fund for NIAC
Long-time PARSA and HAND grantee, National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has been a relentless advocate of engagement with Iran for the past decade. HAND is pleased to announce that we have created a $150,000 fund for NIAC to raise as much money as it can in the next 30 days. HAND will match your contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $150,000 between now and December 31. - 11/29/13

TAKE ACTION: Congressman Sherman wants to crash Iranian airplanes
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) is working to undermine the historic nuclear deal struck in Geneva last week because he wants more Iranian planes to crash. Sherman, who says he wants sanctions to "hurt the Iranian people," said on Wednesday he wants to block part of the deal that would enable Iran to receive new parts for its aging civilian aircraft fleet. That is unacceptable. - 11/29/13

Photos: Earthquake kills at least eight in southwestern Iran
An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook Berazjan in the southwestern Iranian province of Bushehr on Thursday at 5 PM local time. The head of Iran's National Crisis Management Organization, Hassan Ghadami, announced that the latest reports indicate eight people have lost their lives as a result of this earthquake. - 11/29/13

Professor Fazlollah Reza made honorary member of Academy of Persian Language and Literature
Professor Fazlollah Reza was made an honorary member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature during a meeting in Tehran on Monday. Reza, 98, has previously served as the Chancellor of Sharif University of Technology and University of Tehran. - 11/29/13

Iranian woman's dreams about space travel take shape in Danish documentary
Danish filmmaker Berit Madsen has directed a documentary about Sepideh Hushyar, a young Iranian woman who dares to plan for her future as an astronaut. The documentary entitled Sepideh (Break of Dawn) was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on Monday. It was filmed by Iranian cameraman Mohammadreza Jahanpanah. - 11/29/13

IAEA: Monitoring Iran Nuclear Deal Will Take Time
The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says it will "take some time" for his organization to prepare to monitor a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers. The agreement, signed Sunday in Geneva, calls for Iran to limit or freeze sensitive parts of its nuclear program for six months in return for limited relief from international sanctions. But no start date for the deal has been announced. - 11/29/13

European Firms Size Up Post-deal Iran Opportunities
BERLIN - The phone hasn't stopped ringing at the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce since six world powers reached a deal with Tehran to curb its nuclear program, opening the prospect that Iran can begin to shake off its economic isolation. -Reuters - 11/29/13

Iran, Turkey to cooperate on Syria: Zarif
Iran and Turkey plan to cooperate to help defuse the crisis in Syria, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Tehran on Wednesday. Iran and Turkey agree on a number of issues relating to Syria, Zarif said at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu. - 11/29/13

Iraq Warns Turkey Over Kurdistan Oil Ties
ISTANBUL - Iraq is warning Turkey not to follow through on an oil deal with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is expected to start exporting oil to Turkey as early as next month. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 11/29/13

First draft of Iranian rights charter headed for public comment
The Iranian presidency's legal advisors have published the first draft of the Charter of Citizen Rights, as promised earlier by President Hassan Rohani. The President's Office reports that the charter was prepared with "input from universities, seminaries, thinkers and scholars across the country" and was published together along with the 100-day report of the government. - 11/28/13

De-Demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran
"Next Steps on Iran." That was the title of the [seemingly] countless memos that we in the State Department's Near East Bureau sent to the Secretary and the White House during the chaotic months between the revolution and the hostage crisis in 1979. Our aim was to chart a course that would connect the US with the Khomeini regime and begin in small ways a more normal relationship. We failed. -Henry Precht - 11/28/13

Iranian President Hassan Rohani slams previous administration for food, cash shortages
Iranian President Hassan Rohani discussed his administration's first 100-day report on the national broadcasting network. Rohani criticized the former administration for leaving many major national stocks at alarmingly low levels. "For example, wheat silos in one of the provinces only had a three-day supply," he said, instead of the acceptable level of a three- to four-month supply. - 11/28/13

In Tehran, Optimism in Wake of Nuclear Deal
The nuclear deal between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia, plus Germany - is spurring hope of some revival for Iran's struggling economy. On the streets of Tehran, and in the bazaars, there seems to be a newfound confidence - particularly for consumers such as Nahid Habibi, a Tehran resident who is perusing gold jewelry. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 11/28/13

Iran Deal: 10 Facts You May Have Overlooked
In the avalanche of reportage and commentary on the nuclear deal with Iran, here are a few tiny facts that may have escaped your notice... -Gary Sick is a former captain in the U.S. Navy, who served as an Iran specialist on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. - 11/28/13

Tehran told to shut down offices, schools due to pollution
The environment branch of Iran's ministry of health wants offices, schools and colleges in Tehran to be shut down due to heavy air pollution. Ministry officials report that Tehran's air quality has been deteriorating at an alarming rate, and in three letters to the Tehran governor, they have called for the implementation of legal measures to prevent air pollution. - 11/28/13

Nuclear Deal a Win-Win for US, Iran - Even Israel
The ink was not dry on the historic Geneva nuclear accord with Iran before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it as a "historic mistake" that would allow Iran to cheat and get closer to nuclear weapons. -Barbara Slavin - 11/28/13

Foreign Minister: Nuclear Deal Preserves Iran's National Interests
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the nuclear deal struck with Western powers over the weekend preserves the national interests of the Islamic republic. Zarif made the remarks while briefing members of Iran's parliament on November 27 on the interim agreement, which gives Iran some relief from international sanctions. - 11/28/13

India Considers More Oil Imports From Iran
NEW DELHI - India hopes to increase crude oil imports from Iran after a deal with six Western countries gave Tehran limited respite from sanctions. The deal comes as a relief to India which maintains friendly relations with Iran and wants to boost trade and other links with Tehran. -Anjana Pasricha, VOA - 11/28/13

Iran's Rohani Marks 100 Days In Office
President Hassan Rohani has praised the new interim deal with world powers on the Iranian nuclear program as a positive first step, but says there is still long journey ahead to reach a comprehensive accord. Speaking on state-run television November 26 to mark his government's first 100 days in office, Rohani said there are some forces in the world, and probably in Iran, who oppose the deal. - 11/27/13

Rohani's 'Yes We Can' Moment
Iranian President Hassan Rohani's charm offensive continues at home with a musical clip that seems to have been inspired by U.S. President Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" music video. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 11/27/13

IRAN: President Rouhani must deliver on human rights promises
In the first 100 days of President Rouhani's government, human rights in Iran have remained a low priority despite earlier promises made during the presidential campaign, said Amnesty International. The organization urges the Iranian authorities to go beyond the rhetoric and to take urgent and concrete measures to address the country's deplorable human rights situation. - 11/27/13

Obama Defends Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. President Barack Obama has pushed back at critics of the recent international nuclear agreement with Iran. Speaking in San Francisco on November 25, Obama accused critics of playing political games instead of backing what was best for American security. "Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it's not the right thing for our security," Obama said. - 11/27/13

Thorny Issues Remain for Iran Nuclear Negotiators
WASHINGTON - The interim deal between world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions has been hailed by the Obama administration as "an important first step." It took two thorny rounds to seal the deal. But analysts say the next steps to ensure that Tehran's nuclear program will be used exclusively for peaceful purposes may prove more difficult. -Andre de Nesnera, VOA - 11/27/13

Iran's Hard-Liners Criticize Alleged Efforts To Unblock Facebook
Hard-line Iranian legislators allege that members of Iran's government have met to discuss unblocking Facebook in Iran. Their criticism of the alleged meeting highlights the opposition Iranian President Hassan Rohani and his team face within Iran while trying to honor election campaign promises to ease censorship and make the country more open. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/27/13

12 Positive Outcomes of Geneva Nuclear Deal for Iran
After the end of four days of breathtaking diplomatic marathon in the Swiss city of Geneva, Iran, on the one hand, and the six world powers, on the other hand, finally came up with a joint plan of action according to which they are going to move toward a comprehensive solution [for Iran's nuclear issue] within the forthcoming year. "Win-win outcome" is probably the best description for this agreement. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 11/27/13

Iran: Prison hunger strike follows execution of drug convicts
1,800 prisoners at Karaj's Qezel Hessar Prison have gone on hunger strike to protest the execution of 11 prisoners convicted of drug charges. HRANA reports that the condemned convicts were transferred to solitary confinement at Qezel Hessar prison from Qarachak prison in Varamin and were hanged early Tuesday morning. - 11/27/13

Iran Deal Gains Traction Despite Dissent
Despite strenuous objections by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and mostly Republican lawmakers here, the new accord between the Iran and the U.S. and five other major powers on Tehran's nuclear programme appears to be gaining support here and abroad. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 11/27/13

White House Asks Iran For Help Over Missing Ex-FBI agent
The United States has made a plea for Iran to return a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran six years ago. Robert Levinson went missing from Kish Island in Iran in March 2007. - 11/27/13

Syria: More Mayhem With No End in Sight
With the boost from the chemical weapons deal now in the rear view mirror, the chilling picture of the brutal daily slugging match in Syria has remerged. The Assad regime's offensive against rebel forces grinds on, but gains have been less of late, and the rebels have rebounded here and there. Islamist rebels of one stripe or another inside the country continue to gain ground within the armed opposition... -Wayne White, LobeLog - 11/27/13

REVISITING IRAN - Part II: Where Are We Headed
I do not own the proverbial Crystal Ball, do not receive revelations and don't make wild guesses. Instead, I try to base my analyses on a set of premises that do not violate commonsense and are not distorted by personal prejudices, preferences and emotions. This is as difficult to do as it is for others to accept it as such. For what it's worth, here we go. -Kam Zarrabi - 11/26/13

Photos: Iranians Welcome Geneva Nuclear Deal
Hundreds of Iranians gathered at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on November 24 night to give Iran's nuclear negotiators a warm welcome, offering a preview of the jubilant mood and press that followed the interim nuclear deal struck in Geneva. - 11/26/13

Devil in the Details; Angel in the "Big Picture"
The devil is in the details. This cliche is already being invoked regarding the deal concluded this past weekend between Iran and the so-called P5+1 - the permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, along with the European Union's High Representative, Baroness Ashton. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/26/13

Investor Sentiment Rises on Iran Nuclear Agreement
Oil prices fell following the breakthrough accord in Geneva that limits or freezes parts of Iran's nuclear activities. In exchange for curbing Iran's nuclear program, the deal will ease some of the crippling economic sanctions that have caused massive inflation in Iran and weakened its currency. Although the deal is preliminary, analysts believe investors are optimistic it could eventually lead to an increase in the world's oil supply. -Mil Arcega, VOA - 11/26/13

ECO ministerial meeting begins in Iran
The 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) has kicked off in Iran's capital, Tehran. The two-day meeting began in Tehran on Tuesday with the presence of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. - 11/26/13

Iranian City of Mashhad sees significant increase in days of severe pollution
The number of days of high pollution in Mashhad over the past eight months has increased by close to 20 percent compared to the same period last year. - 11/26/13

Barack: Where Have You Been?
Wow. This is what we were expecting from a guy that ran for president as a transformational figure but has left so many of us disappointed as he declined to dive into the scrum to get the ball. But now? A deal where none thought one was possible. A deal in spite of his multiplying number of detractors on the home front and in Jerusalem. You have to give credit where credit is due. -James A. Russell - 11/26/13

Iran's future is now
Whether by design or accident, the nuclear deal struck in Geneva this past weekend is about far more than centrifuges, enrichment and breakout times. Ultimately, the success of the nuclear negotiations will help determine who and what will define Iran for the next few decades. -Trita Parsi, Reuters - 11/26/13

Is the Superpower Afraid of Iran?
"Iran's Nuclear Triumph" roared the headline of the Wall Street Journal editorial. William Kristol is again quoting Churchill on Munich. Since the news broke Saturday night that Iran had agreed to a six-month freeze on its nuclear program, we are back in the Sudetenland again. -Patrick J. Buchanan, Antiwar.com - 11/26/13

REVISITING IRAN - Part I: Perceptions/Misperceptions
My trip coincided with the intensified negotiations between Iran and the representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in attempts to resolve the West's stated concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions, also bearing on the increasingly draconian economic sanctions imposed against Iran, and even dovetailing with the ongoing explosive situation in the nearby Syria, where Iran is actively involved in supporting the Assad regime. -Kam Zarrabi - 11/25/13

Iran Deal: Practical, Far-Sighted and Fair
These understandings are a credit to all who were involved in their negotiation. They are practical, far-sighted, and fair - although personally I believe greater sanctions relief would have been justified by the temporary derogations to the Nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rights that Iran has volunteered. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 11/25/13

Iran Accord Was Hard, But Next Phase Will Be Harder
With the first stage agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program finally achieved after a decade of dispute, diplomats will have little time to rest. They are on a six-month clock to reach a comprehensive agreement, a task they acknowledge will likely be even more difficult than reaching the interim accord. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/25/13

Iranian MP condemns official's statements about detained opposition leaders
Iranian MP Ali Motahari has spoken out against the recent statements made by Ahmad Jannati, the head of Iran's Guardian Council, at Tehran's Friday Mass Prayers against Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the Iranian opposition leaders who have been under house arrest for more than a thousand days. - 11/25/13

Western Iran town hit by two strong earthquakes
At least two strong earthquakes have jolted the border town of Qasr-e Shirin in Iran's western province of Kermanshah, but no casualties have yet been reported. According to the University of Tehran Institute of Geophysics, the strongest quake, which took place on Sunday, measured 5.7 on the Richter scale. - 11/25/13

President Rohani's administration after lifting ban on Facebook
Fatemeh Rahbar, a conservative Tehran MP, reported that presidential aide Mohammadreza Sadegh has met with the representatives of the six ministers who are members of the High Council of Cyberspace to discuss ending the blocking of Facebook for web users in the country. - 11/25/13

Iranian currency gains strength on news of nuclear accord
The dollar exchange rate fell once again in Iran on news that an agreement on Iran's nuclear activities was reached in Geneva between the county's negotiating team and the world powers. - 11/25/13

Rapid Reaction to the Iran Nuclear Deal
1. There are going to be tough political battles in both Washington and Tehran. 2. This is a huge step back away from war. 3. The only way this hurts Israel is by limiting Netanyahu's fear-mongering... -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/25/13

100 sign Rabbinic call: "Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran"
One hundred Jewish clergy (Rabbis, Cantors, Maggidim, Kohanot) - - a minyan of minyanim - have signed the Rabbinic Statement "Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran." The statement sets forth a balanced path of shalom that protects the peace and security of Israel, the US, and Iran - and is concerned with both immediate practical steps and the deepest of spiritual hopes. -The Shalom Center - 11/25/13

Iran's Online Diplomacy Discomfits Israel
As Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, noted in the wake of the interim deal on Iran's nuclear program reached in Geneva on Saturday, the effort by Tehran's negotiating team to explain and justify the country's push for atomic energy behind closed doors was accompanied by a public diplomacy campaign conducted online. -Robert Mackey, NY Times - 11/25/13

Historic Iran Deal Aimed At Final Nuclear Resolution
Geneva - A momentous agreement over Iran's nuclear program was officially announced shortly after 3:00am by Iranian and French diplomats leaving the lobby of the InterContinental Hotel here on Nov. 24 following more than 4 days of grueling talks. The deal occurred after years of negotiations with Iran but only 3.5 months after the inauguration of Iran's moderate President, Hassan Rouhani -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 11/24/13

Iran Beats Russia, Wins Beach Soccer Cup
Iran has defeated Russia to win the championship of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The Iranians beat the two-time defending Intercontinental Cup champion 4-3 in the final match of the tourney in Dubai on Saturday. - 11/24/13

The full text of Iran-G5+1 joint 'Plan of Action'
After the White House released a modified version of the deal struck by Iran and the six world powers in Geneva early Sunday morning, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released the text of the agreement. The full text of the deal is as follows - 11/24/13

Iran Nuclear Deal Sealed After Decades-Long Dispute
GENEVA - Iranian and international negotiators have reached agreement on first steps to curtail Iran's nuclear program and ease economic sanctions, after four days of marathon high-level negotiations in Geneva that ended after 2 o'clock Sunday morning. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/24/13

Volleyball: Iran outclasses Japan to finish 4th at World Grand Champions Cup
Iran overpowered Japan in straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-14) in the final match of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Sunday at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The result gave Iran a 3-2 mark, while Japan finished winless at 0-5, FIVB wrote. - 11/24/13

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Iran's Nuclear Program
Addressing the nation from the State Dining Room on Saturday night (November 23, 2013), President Obama said that the United States -- together with close allies and partners -- has taken an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program. - 11/24/13

Iranian Leaders Welcome 'Historic' Nuclear Deal
Iranian leaders have welcomed the six-month, "first-step" nuclear agreement reached with world powers, saying it recognizes Iran's "rights" to maintain an atomic program. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on November 24 that the deal reached in Geneva was "the basis" for further progress. - 11/24/13

Iran, World Powers Reach 'Historic' Nuclear Agreement
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced an historic agreement has been reached in the Geneva talks between leading world powers and Iran over that country's disputed nuclear program. - 11/24/13

NIAC Applauds U.S.-Iran Nuclear Agreement
"Diplomacy has delivered the U.S. and Iran from the brink of a disastrous war and placed the two countries at the beginning of a brighter, more sustainable path forward. NIAC congratulates Presidents Obama and Rouhani, Secretary Kerry and Minister Zarif, and all of the diplomats involved in breaking the paradigm of enmity that have undermined both country's interests. - 11/24/13

Will Bibi Cool It?
After listening to the various statements, press conferences, and background briefings by "senior administration officials," and initial reactions that followed tonight's announcement about the interim accord between the P5+1 and Iran, it occurred to me that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may alter his recent course of repeatedly and quite publicly denouncing the agreement as a "bad" or "very bad deal." -Jim Lobe - 11/24/13

Zarif: Iran Nuclear Talks Have Entered "Serious Stage"
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said this morning that it's too soon to say whether an agreement would be signed but the arrival of his P5+1 (U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia plus Germany) counterparts in Geneva shows that the talks over his country's nuclear program have "reached a serious stage." -Jasmin Ramsey - 11/23/13

Iranian-American Rapprochement: What's In It for Israel and Saudi Arabia?
Israeli and Saudi leaders in particular are adamant about this, and are frustrated, angry, and mystified that the Obama Administration knows of their concerns about Iran, but is attempting to reach an agreement with it anyway. What their behavior reveals is that it is not just Iran whom Israeli and Saudi leaders don't trust, but also the Obama Administration and Washington more generally. -Mark N. Katz - 11/23/13

Iran, EU, US begin trilateral meeting in Geneva
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and US Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting begins in Geneva as talks over Tehran's nuclear energy program continue. - 11/23/13

Iran into Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup final
Iran advanced to the final of the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup on Friday. The Iranian team beat host UAE 2-1 at the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, the UAE. - 11/23/13

Zarif and the Pursuit of Rights and Respect: A Commentary By Mansour Farhang
"An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." The endurance of this remark by Sir Henry Wotton, a 17th century English diplomat, is due to the fact that it contains an element of truth. Politically astute diplomats, however, know the limits of such practice. - 11/23/13

Volleyball: Iran defeats US at FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
Iran has defeated the United States at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup in Japan. This was the first time that Iran's volleyball team won over the US. The Americans had been the winners in all the three previous games between the countries over the past years. - 11/23/13

John Kerry in Geneva for Iran Nuclear Talks
U.S. officials say Kerry's returning to Geneva is not a prediction of a successful outcome to these talks. But they say it is a "good sign" that European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif are continuing to work through some of the obstacles. - 11/23/13

'Islamic Compassion' According To Iranian Authorities
At Tehran's Friday Prayers on November 22, senior Ayatollah Jannati referred to "Islamic compassion" while talking about the leaders of "sedition" -- a reference to opposition figures Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who have been under house arrest for more than a thousand days. Jannati said: "If it wasn't for Islamic compassion, they would have been executed." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/23/13

Most U.S. citizens back a nuclear deal with Iran: CNN Poll
A majority of American people support an interim deal with Iran that would ease some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for concessions on Iran's nuclear program, according to a new CNN poll published on Friday. - 11/23/13

Stakes over Iran Talks on the Rise
As Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of at least four other major powers prepared to join talks with Iran in Geneva Saturday, the stakes over the eventual success or failure of the negotiations seem very much on the rise here. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 11/23/13

Western official: Iran nuclear deal may be imminent
Momentum appears to be building for a breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program, with top diplomats flocking to the site of ongoing talks and one Western official saying Friday a deal could be reached "as soon as tonight." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague will both be in Geneva on Saturday. -CNN - 11/22/13

Geneva Iran Talks Scant on Details: A Good Sign?
Geneva - If you're wondering why there's no juicy details coming out of Geneva, where Round III of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have run into their third day, it's not because us journalists have been sitting around sipping $9+ espressos in a fancy hotel's lobby all day. -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 11/22/13

Israel Fails to Move Russia on Iran Nuclear Talks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Moscow on Thursday after failing in a last minute attempt to move Russian President Vladimir Putin away from backing a Iranian nuclear deal taking shape in Geneva. After four hours of talks in Moscow, Russia's leader told reporters, "We, in Russia, have an optimistic view on the Iranian nuclear problem." -James Brooke, VOA - 11/22/13

Iran, World Powers Enter Crucial Third Day of Nuclear Talks
Iran and six world powers enter a crucial third day of talks on Friday in Geneva, where they will try to close gaps on an interim deal that would curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. - 11/22/13

Iran enrichment right non-negotiable: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Press TV in an exclusive interview that the Islamic Republic will not negotiate its right to uranium enrichment. Zarif, who was speaking to Press TV in Geneva on Friday, said any deal with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany should include Iran's right to enrichment. - 11/22/13

Exhibition in London - Hanieh Delecroix and Keyvan Saber: LIFELINE
This is the first solo exhibition in London for Hanieh Delecroix & Keyvan Saber, a unique collaboration between two Iranian artists based in Paris who started working together in 2012. - 11/22/13

Iranian students demonstrate in support of Science Ministry
A group of Qazvin University students staged a peaceful sit-in in support of the Ministry of Science. The students prepared a petition informing parliament that they support the appointees of the new Minister of Science Reza Farajidana. - 11/22/13

Karzai to Delay Signing Afghanistan Security Pact with US
Karzai surprised U.S. and Afghan officials on Thursday when he said he is considering delaying the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement until after the April 2014 Afghan presidential elections. - 11/22/13

Iran Window Shops at Airshow, Optimistic About Sanctions Relief
Senior Iranian aviation executives were at the Dubai Airshow in a discreet campaign to update their aging passenger jets this week, even as Iran negotiated with international powers to ease economic sanctions over its nuclear program. -Reuters - 11/22/13

The Mystery of Mark Kirk's Motivations
Senator Kirk, whose voting record on domestic and civil-rights issues suggests that he's one of the last of a dying breed of "moderate" Republicans, has long carried water for the right-wing leadership of the Israel lobby, spearheading anti-Iran, anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel resolutions and legislation throughout his nearly 15-year career in Congress. -Jim Lobe, LobgLog - 11/22/13

Plucky Iran defeats giant Brazil in Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup
Spirited Iran beat powerhouse Brazil in the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup at the Dubai International Marine Club on Wednesday. The two teams drew 4-4 in regulation time and Iran defeated Brazil 7-5 in a penalty shootout. - 11/21/13

6th Annual Stanford University "Bita Prize" Awarded To Acclaimed Writer Mahshid Amirshahy
In a ceremony held at Stanford University last Friday evening, November 15, 2013, global philanthropist and humanitarian Bita Daryabari awarded the 6th Annual Bita Prize in Persian Letters to acclaimed writer, essayist, and translator Mahshid Amirshahy. - 11/21/13

Guarded Tone in Geneva as Negotiators Seek Iran Accord
Amidst rising expectations of a breakthrough, Iran and six world powers Wednesday resumed their quest for a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear programme that seemed just within reach earlier this month. "A lot of progress was made, but differences remain," said EU Spokesperson Michael Mann late Wednesday -Jasmin Ramsey - 11/21/13

Volleyball: Iran beats Italy at World Grand Champions Cup
Iran defeated Italy 3-2 (26-24, 16-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12) in an impressive game in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup on Wednesday. - 11/21/13

Prominent Iranian Rights Defender Calls on France Not to Undermine Talks
Emad Baghi, a prominent Iranian human-rights defender who has been jailed in the Islamic Republic over his activities, has called on French President Francois Hollande not to undermine nuclear negotiations in Geneva aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. - 11/21/13

Iran, US representatives meet in Geneva
Iranian deputy foreign ministers attending nuclear negotiations with six world powers have met and held talks with the top US negotiator in the Swiss city of Geneva. - 11/21/13

Netanyahu's Rush to Russia: A Pre-Emptive Strike
After a lovefest in Israel with French President Francois Hollande from Sunday to Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a shower, packed his suitcase and headed for Moscow, ostensibly to lobby against Russian support for a deal with Iran. -Marsha B. Cohen - 11/21/13

Iranian Artists Forum screens documentary on poet Mohammad-Ali Sepanlu
A documentary about the life story of contemporary Iranian poet and translator Mohammad-Ali Sepanlu was screened at the cinematheque of the Iranian Artists Forum on Tuesday evening. The screening program was organized to commemorate Sepanlu's 73rd birthday. The title of the documentary refers to a Sepanlu's collection by the same name. - 11/21/13

Iran Nuclear Talks Weigh On Those Watching From Afar
Iranians at home and those living abroad are closely watching international talks this week aimed at ending Iran's controversial nuclear program. Many are hopeful that the negotiations could end years of animosity between the West and Iran. - 11/21/13

Iran Issues Warning Ahead of Nuclear Talks
Speaking ahead of the latest round of talks on Iran's nuclear program, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he set "red lines" for his negotiators, but also that Iran wants to be friendly with all nations, including the United States. - 11/20/13

Iranian American Coalition Asks Senate Not to Undermine Iran Negotiations
A coalition of Iranian American organizations yesterday sent a letter to key U.S. Senators to express concern regarding the imposition of new sanctions against Iran at this time. The letter was signed by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, National Iranian American Council, Pars Equality Center, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, and United for Iran. - 11/20/13

Iran's "Fish and Cat" named best film at Portuguese festival
The Iranian movie "Fish and Cat" won the Best Film Award at the 13th Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival in Portugal, organizers announced on Monday. Director Shahram Mokri received the award Monday during the closing ceremony of the event in Lisbon. - 11/20/13

Iran outclasses Lebanon to reach Asian Cup
Iran defeated Lebanon 4-1 on Tuesday and booked a place in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In the match took place behind closed doors at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium for security reasons, Amir Hossein Sadeghi gave the visiting team a lead with a header in the 39th minute. - 11/20/13

UN Shows Strong Support for Human Rights in Iran with 83-to-36 Vote
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran welcomes the United Nations General Assembly's Third Committee vote today overwhelmingly supporting human rights in Iran, and urges the Iranian government to comply with UN human rights mechanisms and take concrete steps to address the ongoing violations in the country. - 11/20/13

British Prime Minister phone call with President Rouhani of Iran
The Prime Minister became the first British Prime Minister to call the Iranian President in more than a decade today when he spoke to President Rouhani this afternoon, ahead of this week's nuclear negotiations in Geneva. - 11/20/13

Volleyball: Iran loses to Brazil in World Grand Champions Cup
Iran opened the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Grand Champions Cup with a 3-1 loss (25-16, 25-17, 25-27, 25-23) to Brazil in Kyoto, Japan on Tuesday. - 11/20/13

Stimulant in rainfall sends hundreds to hospital in Ahvaz, Iran
Ahvaz health officials say 1,500 people ended up in emergency rooms last night due to respiratory problems brought on by rain. The Mehr News Agency reports that officials claim the presence of a stimulant in the rain water has been causing the widespread shortness of breath. - 11/20/13

US seeks to bring Iran to knees by bans: Supreme Leader
Addressing the commanders and members of the Basij volunteer force in Tehran on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the rights of the Iranian nation, including its nuclear rights, must be recognized. - 11/20/13

Iranian students form human chain around Fordo nuclear site
Thousands of Iranian students on Tuesday formed a human chain around the Fordo uranium enrichment facility to demonstrate their support for the country's nuclear program on the eve of a new round of nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers in Geneva. - 11/20/13

Iran sends heavy submarine to East Asian waters
Iran launched a heavy submarine of Tareq Class dubbed 'Younes' (Jonah) to East Asian waters, Iran Navy's Deputy Commander for Operations Admiral Siavash Jareh announced on Wednesday. - 11/20/13

US airlines keen to establish direct flight line to Iran
Iranian Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister Ali Mohammad Nourian announced on Wednesday that some US airlines are willing to run direct flight line between the two countries. - 11/20/13

In Congress, The Fight For The Future of US Foreign Policy
There's a showdown coming, and the outcome may determine how the US runs its foreign policy in the Middle East, at least for the next three years and perhaps much longer. The issues at hand are both immediate and long-term, and both involve an awful lot of "daylight" between the positions of the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government in Israel. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/19/13

Photos: Blasts Kill, Injure Scores Near Iranian Embassy In Beirut
Two explosions outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut have killed at least 23 people -- including one diplomat -- and left more than 100 other people injured. Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Rokn-Abadi, was not hurt in the blast, but he said Iran's cultural attache, Sheik Ibrahim Ansari, was killed. - 11/19/13

Experts put dramatic figure on Lake Oroumiyeh's depletion
All but 15 percent of Lake Orumieh, Iran's largest inland lake, has disappeared, environmental experts say. Hassan Abbasnejad, the head of the Western Azerbaijan Province Department of the Environment, said: "Only six percent of the southern part of the lake currently remains and in total 85 percent of the lake area has been lost." - 11/19/13

25 NGOs Urge UN Third Committee to Pass Iran Human Rights Resolution
As the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee prepares to vote on the resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran on November 19, 25 human rights organizations have joined together to urge member states to vote in favor of the resolution. - 11/19/13

Obama to Push Delay in New Iran Sanctions as Talks Continue
President Barack Obama will directly appeal to lawmakers to delay any new sanctions against Iran while international negotiations aimed at curbing the country's nuclear program continue. - 11/19/13

Doctors Urge Iranian President To Free Opposition Leaders
193 Iranian physicians have called on the president to end the house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi. The physicians urge Hassan Rohani and the head of the Supreme Council of National Security to "seriously consider and bring about" an end to the house arrest of the opposition leaders, who have been detained since 2011. - 11/19/13

Iranian factory workers protest over feared job cuts
More than 800 workers at the Isfahan Polyacryl Factory staged a demonstration against the governor's failure to live up to his promises. One of the protesters told ILNA that the government had promised to halt the policy of downsizing the factory, which had led to a pause in the protests. - 11/19/13

Iran's largest gold processing plant to come on stream
The largest gold processing plant in Iran will be inaugurated by the end of the next Iranian calendar month of Azar (December 21). The Zarshouran plant will be established in West Azarbaijan province, northwest of Iran. - 11/19/13

Suspects Detained In Killing Of Iranian Provincial Prosecutor
Iranian authorities have captured three suspects in the killing of a public prosecutor in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province earlier this month. Ramazan Sharif of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said on November 18 that the three suspects were captured in a special operation and that one suspect remains on the loose. - 11/19/13

In Iran, Among the Beauty-Obsessed Women
Novelist Marjan Kamali goes back to visit family in Iran, and discovers a country that is obsessed with beauty and makeup - 11/19/13

Photos: Archaeologists discover traces of BMAC in northeastern Iran
Traces of an international culture that is similar to the BMAC - the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex - have been discovered during an archaeological excavation in the prehistoric site of Chalo near the town of Sankhast in North Khorasan Province, Iran. - 11/18/13

Photos: Iran Unveils New Home-Made Strategic Drone
Iran on Monday unveiled a new type of home-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with modern strategic capabilities. The new drone, 'Fotros', is the biggest unmanned strategic plane in the country that enjoys special capabilities. The drone which has been built by the Defense Ministry's Air Industries can fly for more than 2,000km non-stop. - 11/18/13

Whose Foreign Policy?
Whether we Americans like it or not, there is a profound struggle for control over our nation's foreign policy in the Middle East. Push has finally come to shove, with the unseemly sight of Israeli government officials and AIPAC lobbyists fanning out on Capitol Hill to actively discredit the Obama's administration's attempt to craft a deal with Iran to bring the Islamic Republic's nuclear program back under comprehensive international safeguards. -James A Russell - 11/18/13

Iranian FM, Zarif: US not opposing enrichment
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US does not oppose enrichment right of countries, adding that Iran does not need recognition of its enrichment right, because it possesses such a right based on the NPT. - 11/18/13

Iranian filmmaker's cast honored at Rome festival
The entire cast of the film Acrid (Gass) by Iranian director Kiarash Asadizadeh was awarded the best emerging actor honour at the eighth Rome Film Festival. The film cast includes Pantea Panahi, Roya Javidnia, Ehsan Amani, Shabnam Moghadami, Mahana Normohammadi, Sima Mobarakshahi, Baharan Baniahmadi, Siamak Safari, Mani Gandomkaer and Arsham Talebi. - 11/18/13

France Has Four Demands To End Iran Nuclear Crisis
French President Francois Hollande says France has four demands to end the Iranian nuclear crisis. Hollande said on November 17 that Tehran must put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision. He also said it must suspend uranium enrichment to 20 percent... - 11/18/13

Recycling the Rumor of an Israeli-Saudi Alliance
The Sunday Times has once again recycled its periodic claim that Israel and Saudi Arabia are about to join forces for an attack on Iran. According to Uzi Mahnaimi, Israel's external intelligence service, the Mossad, is formulating contingency plans with Saudi officials if Iran's nuclear program "is not significantly curbed" in the agreement that may be signed this week in Geneva -Marsha B. Cohen - 11/18/13

Crippling debt sinks National Iranian Gas Company
Iran's National Gas Company says it has gone into insolvency with debts of 100 trillion rials. Hamidreza Araghi, the CEO of the National Gas Company, confirmed the news to Mehr News Agency, saying: "The ministry of oil, public works and the Parliament are currently involved in restructuring the company's financial assets - 11/18/13

Photos: Barakat Foundation Builds Schools In The Underdeveloped Regions Of Iran
The Iranian NGO Barakat Foundation Institute builds schools and creates jobs in the underdeveloped rural regions of Iran. According to the foundation's website, so far they have built 125 schools and created close to 20,000 direct jobs. These photos show some of the schools build by Barakat. - 11/17/13

Why the Iran Nuclear Talks Failed
The fact that the U.S. and other Western powers quashed their own proposed deal is an undeniable indication that, true to the pattern of a number of previous negotiations during the past 10 years, these nuclear powers did not negotiate in good faith: they demanded a number of one-sided concessions from the Iranian team ostensibly hoping that the Iranians would not accept them. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 11/17/13

Iranian Neurologist Professor Majid Samii Wins Leibniz Ring Prize
Iranian neurologist has won the Leibniz Ring Prize in Germany. The prize is given to Personalities who have made contributions to human development. The founder of the International Institute of Neurosciences in Hannover, Professor Samii has helped train many neurologists in Iran, Europe and on the African continent. - 11/17/13

Pollution problems in Iran set to intensify on Monday
Tehran and several other industrial cities will face a severe decline in air quality beginning on Monday, according to Iranian meteorological reports. Each year from the end of fall until the beginning of winter, Tehran and other industrial centres endure severe air pollution. - 11/17/13

Are Saudi Arabia, Israel Behind France Scuttling Nuclear Talks?
Israeli television reported that a French lawmaker -- and good friend of Netanyahu -- phoned the French Foreign Minister during the Geneva talks, warning him that Netanyahu would attack Iran's nuclear facilities if the P5+1 nations didn't push tougher conditions on Iran. -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 11/17/13

Russian Foreign Minister Upbeat On Sealing Iran Nuclear Deal
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says world powers and Iran are close to agreeing a preliminary deal to ease international concerns over Tehran's nuclear program and should not miss a "very good chance" to seal it. - 11/17/13

Key International Airshow Opens in Dubai: First Day Brings $192 Billion In Orders
The biennial Dubai Airshow opened Sunday at the new Al-Maktoum International airport with about 1,000 exhibitors from the global civil and military aviation industries showing off their newest technology. The five-day Dubai event has become a key sales battleground for rival aircraft builders Boeing and Airbus, which are both vying for sales worth billions. - 11/17/13

Concern about Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor: Just an Excuse or a Reality?
In this article, the author aims to answer the simple, but very important question that whether Iran's nuclear plant in Arak should be a cause of concern for the Western states. The Arak plant is located close to the city of Arak, some 290 km southwest of the capital city, Tehran. It is among 17 nuclear sites that Iran is currently operating under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). -Hassan Beheshtipour - 11/16/13

Iran routs Thailand 3-0 in AFC Asian Cup qualifier
Iran's national football team has defeated Thailand to take a huge step towards qualifying for the 16th edition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Australia. On Friday, the Iranian squad routed the hosts 3-0 in Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium to remain on the top of Group B with 10 points. - 11/16/13

Israel urges France to stand firm against Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged France not to soften its stance towards Iran in the upcoming talks between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers over Tehran's nuclear energy program. - 11/16/13

Progress in Iran Nuclear Talks Makes Some US Allies Nervous
Both the Arabs and the Israelis chafe at the fact that they are not in the room in Geneva negotiating alongside the United States, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the P5+1). Even within this grouping - a legacy of the days when the U.S. and Iran did not meet alone -- cracks have appeared that reflect irritation with U.S. policies. -Barbara Slavin - 11/16/13

Obama: Possible Iran Deal Won't Touch Core Sanctions
U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday not to add new sanctions against Iran as world powers attempt to negotiate a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program, But Obama warned that Washington is not changing its bottom line despite the potential for a nuclear deal with Tehran. - 11/16/13

Nuclear watchdog reports Iranian progress
In its latest report, the IAEA announced that Iran has halted the expansion of its uranium-enrichment facilities.In its first report since August, when Iranian President Hassan Rohani took over the administration, the International Atomic Energy Agency indicates that no new centrifuges were installed at the Fordo nuclear plant. - 11/16/13

Obama Gets More Time for Iran Nuclear Deal
The administration of President Barack Obama appears to have succeeded in preventing Congress from enacting new sanctions against Iran before the next round of nuclear-related talks between the U.S. and other great powers and Tehran scheduled for Geneva Nov. 20. -Jim Lobe, IPS - 11/16/13

Scuppered Iran Deal Faces Scrutiny in Congress
The anticipated agreement over Iran's controversial nuclear programme that seemed to slip away in the last stage of talks in Geneva last week is now being hotly debated on Capitol Hill. "Right now Congress is looking at the deal that wasn't and trying to figure out if it could be good enough to support," Joel Rubin, who heads policy and government affairs at the Ploughshares Fund, told IPS. -Jasmin Ramsey - 11/15/13

New Sanctions Would Sabotage Nuclear Talks and Stymie Human Rights in Iran
The United States Congress should not impose further sanctions on Iran while the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries are ongoing as adopting new sanctions will seriously jeopardize all efforts to end Iran's nuclear standoff and worsen their impact on ordinary Iranians, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 11/15/13

What to Make of a Near Miss
Sometimes the fog of diplomacy can be as thick as the fog of battle. So it has been in the case of last week's talks in Geneva - until, that is, the publication of an account in The Guardian by Julian Borger and Ian Traynor, which rings true, to my mind at least. On that basis a preliminary assessment of why hopes that had been raised high were dashed can be attempted. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 11/15/13

Iranian Culture Minister Again Defends Facebook
Iran's culture minister has reiterated his support for Facebook, saying the popular social-media site should not be banned. In remarks to reporters in Tehran on November 15, Ali Jannati said he used Facebook regularly and that an overseer body should meet soon to resolve the legal issues and lift the existing ban. - 11/15/13

Obama Warns Congress Against Iran Sanctions
U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Congress not to move forward with proposed new sanctions against Iran while negotiations on its controversial nuclear program are ongoing. Obama said at a White House news conference on November 14 that negotiations are the best way to ensure that Tehran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. - 11/15/13

Russia says US proposal backed by Iran and Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says a U.S. draft proposal for a nuclear deal had been accepted by Iran and was supported by Russia, but last-minute amendments blocked the parties from reaching an accord in Geneva. - 11/15/13

Total ready to resume business with Iran: CEO
Total SA, Europe's biggest oil refiner, will resume business with Iran if diplomatic talks lead to the removal of sanctions, Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said at a conference in Abu Dhabi. - 11/15/13

11 Banned Books Iranians Will Be Able To Read If The Rouhani Government Lifts Censorship
Iran's culture minister, Ali Jannati, has some good news: The country will be reviewing book censorship policies and maybe -- just maybe -- relaxing its book ban in the near future. -Antonia Blumberg, Huffington Post - 11/15/13

Images of Ashura mourning rituals from across Iran
The mourning reaches its climax on the tenth day, known as Ashura, on which the forces of Yazid killed the 72 individuals who fought, including Hussein and his family and supporters. During the month of Muharram, various mourning ceremonies are held across Iran where each region has developed their own traditions and rituals, many of them carnival style. - 11/14/13

Iranian American Identity and Cyrus the Great: Looking to the Past and Moving into the Future
Washington, DC - The figure of Cyrus the Great looms large over Iran's history, but his role in defining the identity the Iranian diaspora is less explored. At the 2013 NIAC Leadership Conference, an expert panel discussed the issue the leadership model of Cyrus and its impact on Iranian identity for the past, present and future. - 11/14/13

After 1,000 Days In Captivity, Opposition Figure Dreams Of 'Newspaper Tree'
Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi have been under house arrest for more than 1,000 days. To mark the unhappy occasion, Karrubi's wife, Fatemeh Karrubi, has turned to YouTube to express her concern over her 75-year-old husband's health. - 11/14/13

France, Iran and the Lubricated Geneva Talks
Negotiation, as the French writer Marquis de Sade once said, "like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated." In the most recent session with Iran in Geneva, the lubricant was strikingly effective. -Ali Reza Eshraghi, LobLog - 11/14/13

Iranian environmental activists win fight to halt road in Abr Forest
Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, announced that construction has been halted on a controversial road in Abr Forest in Shahrood, and a plan to protect the forest is underway. - 11/14/13

New Deprivations for Iranian Women: Order to Ban Women From Watching Automobile Races!
A day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter called on Iranian officials to lift the ban on Iranian women's participation in sporting events, Iran's ministry of sports issued a directive on orders from the security bureau of the intelligence ministry which bans Iranian women from viewing auto-racing events at Tehran's Azadi stadium. - 11/14/13

NIAC Condemns Senator Kirk's Insulting Comments Against Iranians
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Counci condemns Senator Mark Kirk's comments today in which he stated, "How do you define an Iranian moderate? An Iranian who is out of bullets and out of money." Kirk has previously said, "It's okay to take food out of the mouths" of ordinary Iranians and has advocated a strategy to punish the Iranian population in an effort to force them to protest the government. - 11/14/13

Kerry Calls on Lawmakers to Hold Off on New Iran Sanctions
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is telling lawmakers to "calm down" and give negotiators a chance to resolve deep concerns over Iran's nuclear program diplomatically. Kerry briefed lawmakers with the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday in Washington, saying this is not the time to step up the pressure on Tehran. - 11/14/13

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi wins the 2013 Jan Michalski Prize
The Colonel by Melville House author Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (and superior scarf-wearer) has been chosen as this year's winner of the Jan Michalski Prize. - 11/14/13

The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran
Public rites will be visible across Iran on Wednesday in honor of Ashura, a major Shiite festival commemorating the death of Hussein, Muhammad's grandson. But for Iranians who are not Shiite Muslims, public practice of their religion remains severely limited or flatly banned... -Elliott Abrams, Washington Post - 11/14/13

Diplomatic Blunders Endanger Victory with Iran in Geneva
"Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan" - John Kennedy's pithy phrase also has its opposite. We have seen this since last weekend's failed effort to reach an accord on nuclear matters between Iran and the so-called "P5+1", the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/13/13

Iran Offers More Access to UN's Nuclear Watchdog
The spokesman for Iran's nuclear department tells the official IRNA news agency Tehran is willing to grant the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency access to its Arak reactor before the next round of talks with the agency on December 11.But Behrouz Kamalvandi also says details of such an inspection still need to be worked out. - 11/13/13

The sole Iranian involved in the Apollo Project passes away
Prominent Iranian mathematician Professor Abolghassem Ghaffari passed away on the night of Tuesday November 5, 2013, at the age of 106. Less than a month earlier, at the ceremony for the first Spirit of Iranian Noted Achievers (SINA) Awards recognizing the contributions of outstanding Iranians to the arts, science and culture, Professor Ghaffari was a recipient of the prestigious award. - 11/13/13

Iran's Moderation Project and Lessons of the Reform Era
It took only a few months after president Hassan Rouhani's inauguration for the broad but fragile alliance behind him to face challenges after the shutdown of a reformist newspaper as well as theharassment of the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, two leaders of the opposition Green Movement who are still under house arrest. -Mohammad Ali Kadivar, LobeLog - 11/13/13

Iranian President Rohani Says Citizens' Rights Bill Is Underway
Rohani said: "We are in the process of preparing the bill with a number of top legal experts in the country, and as soon as it is ready, we will provide it to the media and scholars at universities in order to get their feedback and incorporate their ideas before it reaches final approval." - 11/13/13

Getty Villa's Popular Cyrus Cylinder Exhibition Extended until December 8
Due to its popularity, the Getty Villa exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning, featuring one of the most celebrated discoveries from the ancient world, has been extended through Sunday, December 8. The Getty Villa will also continue its special Saturday evening hours until 9:00 p.m. through the extended run of the exhibition. - 11/13/13

White House Urges No New Iran Sanctions
The White House has warned U.S. lawmakers against imposing new sanctions against Iran in order to give diplomacy a chance to resolve the dispute over the Islamic republic's nuclear program. White House spokesman Jay Carney said tightening sanctions against Iran could increase the chance of war. - 11/13/13

Would A Nuclear Deal Help Or Hurt Human Rights?
Many Iranians are hoping for a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that could lead to an easing of Western sanctions, which have made their life increasingly difficult. Yet, some are also wondering whether a nuclear deal with Iran would mean an end to Western concerns over the human-rights situation in the Islamic republic. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/13/13

Dealing with Iran, France and Israel
Since the high-level talks that occurred in Geneva, conflicting messages have surfaced on what really stopped a groundbreaking deal over Iran's nuclear program from being signed this weekend.... With that in mind, it's interesting to consider France and Israel's previous stances on nuclear issues. - James A. Russell, LobeLog - 11/13/13

'The goal is to isolate Iran' - Jamal Abdi breaks down Israel's opposition to the Geneva talks
The collapse of diplomacy in Geneva over Iran's nuclear program has strengthened the resolve of those who want to continue to inflict economic pressure on the country. The Anti-Defamation League said yesterday that additional economic pressure should be inflicted on the Islamic Republic. -Mondoweiss - 11/13/13

Photos: The House and Museum Of Persian Poet Nima
Nima Yushij (November 12, 1896 - January 6, 1960) also called Nima, born Ali Esfandiari, was a contemporary Persian poet who started the "new poetry" trend in Iran. He is considered as the father of modern Persian poetry. - 11/12/13

Iran Looks Toward the United States
In fact, after over 30 years of deep distrust the stars may be aligned between the West and Iran to start the long and very difficult process of normalizing relations. The new Iranian team, with the support of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, so far, Iran's security organizations, has moved quickly on a number of fronts to see whether a nuclear agreement is possible. -Charles Naas - 11/12/13

Iranian Musicians Killed In New York Bloodbath
A gunmen has shot dead three Iranian musicians in New York before turning the gun on himself. Two of the victims were members of the Iranian indie rock band Yellow Dogs, which became famous after appearing in the award-winning movie "No One Knows About Persian Cats." - 11/12/13

Announcing the Recipients of the 2013 Farhang Heritage and Lifetime Achievement Awards
On Saturday, November 9, 2013 Farhang Foundation had the distinct honor of recognizing the contributions of the remarkable painter, scholar, and architect, Houshang Seyhoun, and the culinary "guru" Najmieh Batmanglij with the annual Farhang Lifetime Achievement and Heritage awards. - 11/12/13

Iran's Foreign Minister Criticizes Kerry Over Geneva Remarks
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting that Tehran backed away from a deal with world powers over Iran's nuclear program. Posting on Twitter late on November 11, Zarif said "no amount of spinning can change what happened" in Geneva. - 11/12/13

Kerry Pushes Back Against Israeli Criticism of Iran Nuclear Talks
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing back against Israeli criticism of a still-developing deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, saying the international community is not giving up anything by talking to Tehran's new leaders. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 11/12/13

1,000 Days Under House Arrest
Three major opposition figures in Iran have been under house arrest or detention for 1,000 days with no charges against them, notwithstanding President Hassan Rouhani's promise to release political prisoners, Human Rights Watch and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 11/12/13

Iran at the 17th Joseph Conrad Festival
The 17 Joseph Conrad International Festival was held in Krakow, Poland in October and the Iranian writer Houshang Asadi, chosen by the organizers, spoke on "Iran; Literary Possibilities." He then took questions from the participants. - 11/12/13

Iran, Britain Name Envoys To Revive Diplomatic Ties
Britain and Iran have appointed envoys to revive diplomatic ties that were broken off after a mob angry over sanctions stormed the British Embassy in Tehran in 2011. Britain's Foreign Office on November 11 named the head of its Iran department as its new nonresident charge d'affaires to Tehran. - 11/12/13

Four Realities about Nuclear Talks in Geneva
Geneva negotiations [between Iran and the six world powers over Iran's nuclear energy program] wrapped up following three days of heavy diplomatic wrangling after the two sides declared their decision to continue negotiations within 10 days. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 11/12/13

IAEA, Iran Agree On Nuclear Cooperation
The United Nations' atomic watchdog says it has signed a joint statement with Iran on future cooperation to resolve remaining nuclear issues. The agreement opens the way for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to visit Iran's Arak heavy-water site and Gachin uranium mine and for measures requested by the agency to be implemented. - 11/11/13

France Turns Into the Top Subject on the Internet: Insults, Descriptions, the Baguette and the Peugeot
Millions of Iranians, inside and outside the country, and even some peace-loving people around the world, stayed up on Saturday night in expectation of the news of the resolution of one of the most difficult international problems of recent years: Iran's nuclear issue. -Behrouz Samadbeighi, Rooz - 11/11/13

Israeli Intelligence Sources Contradict Bibi, Congress on Iran
For months, top Israeli intelligence sources have been providing Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu with assessments that ought to make him welcome the progress being made at the most recent negotiations in Geneva, instead of, as one prominent Israeli journalist put it, a "party-pooper." -Marsha B. Cohen - 11/11/13

Iran U-20 football team to play U.S. in Italy
Iran Under-20 football team will play the U.S. in an international training camp that will take place in Verona, Italy from November 10 to 20. The Iranian team prepares itself for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand. Iran will face the U.S. on November 18. - 11/11/13

Rouhani and Israel: The Real Bomb
Years ago I disclosed one of the biggest secrets about Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was an agent of the Mossad. Suddenly, all the curious details of his behavior made sense. His public fantasies about the disappearance of Israel. His denial of the Holocaust, which until then had been typical only of a lunatic fringe. His boasting about Iran's nuclear capabilities. -Uri Avnery\ - 11/11/13

Iran: Lift Restrictions on Sunni Worship
The Iranian government should follow through on President Hassan Rouhani's promises to improve access to human rights for religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. That should include allowing Sunni Muslims, a minority in Shia-dominated Iran, to gather and pray freely in their own mosques in Tehran and other areas of the country. - 11/11/13

Iranian Journalist Brothers Sentenced After Months Under Arrest
Jailed Iranian journalists Khosro and Massoud Kordpour were sentenced to long term prison sentences after 250 days of arrest and three court sessions. The Mokrian news agency reports that the brothers have been sentenced for the charges of "assembly and collusion against national security and activities against the regime." - 11/11/13

Japan eager to study cooperation with Iran on saving Lake Oroumieh
On Saturday, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, at the head of a delegation, traveled to Tehran to hold talks with ranking Iranian officials. Upon arrival Kishida paid a courtesy call to President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and on Sunday he met Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister. - 11/11/13

Iranian Deputy Minister Killed In Tehran
The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency says an unidentified attacker shot dead the Iranian deputy industries minister. The report said Safdar Rahmat Abadi had been shot in the head and chest in his car on the evening of November 10 in the east of the capital, Tehran. - 11/11/13

Iran: Evin Prison Doctor Arrested After Probing Blogger's Death
Reza Heydarpour, the Evin Prison physician who prepared the report on the death of jailed blogger Sattar Beheshti in custody, has been arrested, according to the exiles activist website. The report indicates that on Monday November 4, Heydarpour was arrested by the ministry of intelligence as he left Evin Prison. - 11/11/13

Iranian Nuclear Talks End With No Deal, More Talks Scheduled
Nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers ended early Sunday in Geneva with no deal, but Iran says it is not disappointed. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters the three days of marathon talks were good and gave all sides something to build on. He says he hopes there can be a deal when the talks resume November 20. - 11/10/13

France's spanner scuppers Iran nuclear deal
As chief diplomats from Iran and the major powers were about to agree on a last-minute draft deal on Iran's nuclear program, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius caused the talks to hit a snag as he insisted that Iran must suspend the Arak heavy water reactor while negotiations continue with the goal of reaching a first-stage agreement and then a comprehensive final deal. - 11/10/13

Iran Says Differences Remain At Nuke Talks
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says no deal has been struck with world powers over the country's disputed nuclear program. Zarif, quoted by Iranian news agency ISNA, said on November 9 that differences remained between the two sides. "We have reached an agreement on some questions, but on others there are still disagreements," he said. - 11/10/13

Photos: Iran Inaugurates Production-Line of Sayyad 2 Missiles
The Iranian defense ministry on Saturday inaugurated the production line of its powerful and high-precision missiles dubbed 'Sayyad (Hunter) 2'. The production line of the missile was launched in a ceremony attended by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan. - 11/10/13

Column: An Iran Nuclear Agreement Could Help Afghanistan and South Asia
An agreement between Iran, the United States and the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany could substantially improve the atmosphere for Iranian cooperation on regional issues, especially the upcoming major U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to experts who spoke Friday at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. -Barbara Slavin - 11/10/13

Hague Says Iran Deal 'Within Reach'
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says a deal between world powers and Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear program is within reach. Speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation on November 10, Hague said it was vital to keep the momentum because a deal is within reach. - 11/10/13

Iranian currency shows signs of recovery amid nuclear talk optimism
The dollar's rate of exchange against the Iranian currency rial fell below 30,000 rials on Saturday November 9.The Mehr News Agency reports that foreign currency traders sold the dollar at 29,950 rials today on the open market, and similar declines in other currencies' exchange rates were also reported. - 11/10/13

Iranians Calls On France To Show Greater Flexibility
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius this week likened nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers to a "fools' game" that would not result in a deal this weekend. With those words, he left many Iranians bemoaning a lost opportunity. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/10/13

Iran: Opposition leader's daughters visit parents under better conditions
The children of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have met with their parents inside the Intelligence ministry's "safe building" under improved conditions. Kaleme reports that while the meeting lasted less than an hour, the atmosphere was "more appropriate than the last meetings." - 11/10/13

'Tough' Iran Talks Continue in Geneva
GENEVA - After a late night of negotiating, European and Iranian foreign ministers and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry resumed their talks early in Geneva Saturday morning, trying to resolve tough issues about the future of Iran's nuclear program and international sanctions designed to curb it. - 11/9/13

Iranian Nuclear Talks Extended
Talks on easing international concerns over Iran's nuclear program enter a third day on November 9. Officials from Iran and six world powers known as the P5+1 -- the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany -- were originally scheduled to meet in Geneva for two days, but talks have been extended amid signs of progress. - 11/9/13

FIFA chief calls on Iran to let women into stadiums
Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA, has called on Iran to allow women into stadiums to watch football matches. AFP reports that the FIFA chief discussed his request in a meeting with Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, and Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Parliament, during his latest trip to Iran. - 11/9/13

Violence Returns To Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan Province
Violence has returned with a vengeance to Iran's restive province of Sistan-Baluchistan. In less than two weeks, 14 Iranian border guards have been killed, 16 Baluch "bandits" hanged in retaliation, and a state prosecutor assassinated. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/9/13

Tehran Stock Exchange main index posts 99.4% gain since March
The Tehran Stock Exchange main index (TEPIX) has gained 99.4 percent since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2013). The TEPIX hit 76,000 on Wednesday. - 11/9/13

FIFA chief green-lights Iranian cheetah logo for Iran team jersey
Wrapping up a two-day visit to Tehran, Blatter promised to support a national plan aimed at fighting extinction of Iranian cheetah in form of designing a logo to depict the image of the cheetah on national football team's jersey in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. - 11/9/13

Second Prison Furlough For Jailed Iranian Activist
Jailed student activist Majid Dori has been given a furlough by Iranian authorities. Kaleme reports that the student activist was released on Wednesday night, November 7. Dori, who was expelled from Allameh Tabatabyi University for his political activism, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 10 years in jail. His sentence was reduced to six years in jail in the appeal court. - 11/9/13

Iran nuclear negotiations at crucial juncture over Arak reactor
The fate of Iran's heavy-water reactor has become a sticking point in high-level nuclear negotiations in Geneva, according to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius. -Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 11/9/13

Kerry Heads to Geneva with Iran Deal in Sight
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is going to Geneva on Friday to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sideline of talks regarding Iran's nuclear program. The surprise meeting comes amid reported progress on limiting Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for easing some of the sanctions imposed over concerns about Tehran's atomic ambitions. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 11/8/13

Iran Negotiator Says Headway At Nuke Talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says his country and six world powers are making some progress at "tough" talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program. Zarif, who is also Iran's top nuclear negotiator, made the statement after the first session of a fresh round of negotiations in Geneva with the P5+1 group -- the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany. - 11/8/13

EU: Nuclear Talks With Iran 'Very Intense'
An EU spokesman says "very intense work" is under way in nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, as top diplomats were heading to Geneva. Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said on Novermber 8 that "progress" is being made. - 11/8/13

Jacking up Iran Sanctions Would Kill Peace Talks
Ignoring the advice of our top diplomats and those privy to the negotiating process, Senator Kirk of Illinois has indicated that "now is a time to strengthen" sanctions. He is not alone. Senator Rubio of Florida has indicated that he would reject any agreement with Iran to suspend or cancel additional sanctions "unless they agree to abandon nuclear enrichment entirely." -Ali Fatemi - 11/8/13

New documents said to reveal cause of Iranian blogger's death
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports that the family of deceased blogger Sattar Beheshti claims it has learned of new documents that prove his death was caused by "brain and internal haemorrhage." - 11/8/13

Iran reciprocates Azerbaijan border closure
Iran has sealed off Jolfa and Bileh-Savar border crossings with the Republic of Azerbaijan in response to Baku's closure of a passage point along the border between the two neighbors, an Iranian diplomat says. - 11/8/13

Iran: Revolutionary Guards on alert over Kurdistan tensions
The Kurdistan Provisional Council has decided in an emergency meeting to put Revolutionary Guards forces on alert in Yazd, Lorestan and Esfahan Provinces. Following the recent execution of three Kurdish political prisoners, the militant Kurdish group PJAK announced that it will respond to those executions. - 11/8/13

Chinese firms in talks with Iran companies to buy LPG
Three Chinese companies are in talks with three producers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Iran on term supply contracts for next year. China resumed its LPG imports from Iran in June after a one-year break. Over the past years, China has been a regular importer of Iranian LPG. - 11/8/13

FSHN Magazine reveals 1st ever fashion editorial shot in Iran
Fashionable, Sexy, Haute and Naughty Magazine (FSHN) today announced the presence of the first ever complete high fashion editorial, shot in IRAN exclusively for the Magazine by Berkeley, Ca based photographer Afra Pourdad. - 11/7/13

Slow Progress Seen at 'Tough' Iran Nuclear Talks
Iranian negotiators led by their foreign minister met the United Nations contact group Thursday in Geneva for talks that could be decisive in easing tensions over its nuclear program. This series of talks started with what was described as a "good meeting" over breakfast between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who chairs the UN team. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/7/13

Farhang Foundation Helps Los Angeles Students and Teachers Learn About Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus Cylinder
Farhang Foundation is spearheading a cultural and educational initiative in Southern California, aimed at teaching our community and students about the significance of Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus Cylinder. - 11/7/13

Portraits of Iranians in exile to be displayed in Germany
On Saturday Nov. 23, the Arturo drama school in Cologne, Germany will exhibit 101 portraits by Iranian painter Arta Davari depicting Iranians living in exile. The artist told Radio Zamaneh that the subjects of the portraits are all friends or acquaintances of his. - 11/7/13

Football can bring world nations closer: Iranian President
Iranian President Hassan Rohani says soccer can bring world nations closer to each other and boost cultural exchanges among them. "Soccer is no more plainly regarded as a sport. Soccer seeds are the countries' ambassadors of peace playing on the pitch in different parts of the world," Rohani said in a meeting with FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Tehran on Wednesday. - 11/7/13

DEFYING THE DRESS CODE
To rebel against the Islamic regime, women in Iran choose not to respect the dress code. In charge of arresting the culprits is Iran's moral police. Photograph Maryam Rahmanian ridicules these practices with this series of amazing photographs, that will most likely never to be publicised in the country. - 11/7/13

Iran to relax visa requirements amid tourism boom
Tour bus driver Rasoul Mousavi has been seeing less and less of his wife this month. Mousavi says a sharp increase in tourists has kept him so busy that for four nights in a row he did something his wife doesn't like very much -- he showed up late for dinner. -Reza Sayah, CNN - 11/7/13

Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan Clinch Major Energy Pipeline Deals
Iraqi Kurdistan has finalized a comprehensive package of deals with Turkey to build multi-billion dollar oil and gas pipelines to ship the autonomous region's rich hydrocarbon reserves to world markets, sources involved in talks said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 11/7/13

Understanding Iran Ahead of Geneva Talks Round II
Farideh Farhi: A good part of the Iranian political spectrum is supportive of their nuclear negotiating team's different approach and efforts for resolving this issue. The folks who are not supportive of this effort are effectively marginalized because of the presidential election's results; the only argument that they have at this particular moment is: "it's not going to work." They're hedging so that if the talks fail, they can come back and say: "we told you so." - 11/6/13

Iran: Rohani's aide slams execution of Kurdish reformists
The president's special aide for ethnic and religious minority affairs, Ali Younesi, expressed disappointment and concern regarding the recent executions in Kurdistan. The Rooz website reports that Younesi told a meeting of Kurdish reformist figures and other ethnic minority representatives that the executions were carried out "by extremists." - 11/6/13

Iranian Culture Minister Says Ban On Online Social Networks Should Be Lifted
"Not only Facebook but also all other online social networks should be accessible to every individual," Ali Jannati told reporters during a meeting of a group of experts on digital media in Tehran on Monday. - 11/6/13

Japan Honors Iranian Director Abbas Kiarostami
Kiarostami was honored because of his efforts for cultural transactions and mutual understanding between Iran and Japan. He also made efforts to boost the level of films in Japan and spread Japanese culture across the world and in Iran through his artistic efforts. - 11/6/13

Iranian Newspaper Runs Fake Radio Farda Terrorist Interview
An Iranian daily has published an interview with an extremist group accused of carrying out a recent terrorist attack, claiming that the interview was conducted by RFE/RL's Radio Farda. The daily "Vatan-e Emruz"published the interview in its November 3 issue under the headline "America Supports The Saravan Crime. - 11/6/13

MASTERS OF PERSIAN MUSICSERIES: Kayhan Kalhor and Ali Bahrami Fard to perform at SFJAZZ Center
A virtuoso of the Persian spiked fiddle called the kamancheh, Kayhan Kalhor is a three-time Grammy nominee widely considered to be the greatest living ambassador of Iranian music. Ali Bahrami Fard, a master of the rarely heard bass santour (a hammered dulcimer with 96 strings). - 11/6/13

Iran's Ebadi Calls For National Dialogue On Nuclear Energy
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has launched a new initiative aimed at stirring debate among the Iranian public about the country's nuclear program. The nuclear issue, she says, is more than just a political matter. "It is a subject of national concern that directly influences people's daily lives" -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 11/6/13

Iran Has 'Hundreds Of Troops' In Syria: Lawmaker
Iranian lawmaker Javad Ghoddusi Karimi has reportedly confirmed there are "hundreds" of Iranian troops in Syria fighting on the side of embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Reports about Karimi's comments came the same day Iran's Mehr news agency reported the death of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad Jamalizadeh Paghaleh. - 11/6/13

Iranian administration to go on paying cash subsidies
The Iranian parliament (Majlis) approved a bill on Sunday that allows the administration to pay cash subsidies as much as the past at least by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2014). MPs approved the bill with 125 votes in favor, 51 against, and six abstentions. - 11/6/13

Iranian prosecutor assassinated in terror attack
The prosecutor of the city of Zabol in the southeastern Sistan-and-Balochistan Province was gunned down in a terrorist attack on Wednesday, said Head of the provincial Justice Department Hojjatoleslam Ibrahim Hamidi. - 11/6/13

Iran riled by revelation U.S. spied on Supreme Leader's trip
The spokesperson for Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marzieh Afkham, says the ministry takes it very seriously that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was spied upon during his official visit to the Province of Kurdistan in 2009. - 11/6/13

Iran, Armenia agree to expand cooperation in energy sector
Iran and Armenia have reached new agreements to expand cooperation in the energy sector. Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Armenian counterpart Armen Movsisian met in Tehran on Tuesday. The two sides agreed to construct a new power transmission line in order to boost the exchange of electricity between the two countries. - 11/6/13

Shahbanou Farah's exclusive interview with Point De Vue for 75th Birthday
On the eve of her 75th birthday, Empress Farah greets us in her home in Washington 75 Years of a life like no other and a contrasted destiny of highs and lows. One of a young Iranian student known as Farah Diba who became Empress, but has known exile, the death of her husband and that of her two youngest children. - 11/5/13

The DNA of Iranians and Under Secretary Sherman: Can the P5+1 and Iran meetings succeed?
To be fair, what Wendy Sherman actually stated in her Senate briefing was: "[W]e know that deception is part of the DNA." As some news media in Iran pointed out, the statement did not explicitly refer to "Iranians." However, as some others correctly pointed out, Sherman did not need to be explicit; given the context of her conversation, her meaning was clear. -Sasan Fayazmanesh - 11/5/13

Time for new beginnings in the Middle East
Momentous changes are afoot in the Middle East. The Arab uprisings have not yet run their course, the Egyptian revolution has not yet ended, terrorist atrocities in Iraq have intensified, the carnage in Syria still continues, and there seems to be no end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Yet, in the midst of all these scenes of doom and gloom there are some positive developments that may change the face of the Middle East for many decades to come. -Farhang Jahanpour - 11/5/13

Iranian women win 3 gold medals in wushu world championship
Elaheh Mansourian defeated her Korean opponent in the final round and won her first ever international gold medal. She was severely injured in the first round; however, she fought back to win the title for Iran. - 11/5/13

Scientists, Rights Activists Protest Treatment of Jailed Iranian Physicist
Human rights groups, scientists and backers of academic freedom are stepping up efforts on behalf of Omid Kokabee, a young Iranian physicist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in May 2010 on conspiracy charges. Kokabee, who is now 31, is considered one the brightest physicists of his generation. -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 11/5/13

Exhibition in New York: "FAKE: Idyllic Life" - New Works by Shoja Azari
Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present new painting installations and video works by Shoja Azari that seamlessly intertwine myth with reality, quotation with intervention in order to examine the integral roles played by history and context in depictions of the Islamic world. - 11/5/13

University of Maryland Hosts IAAB's 2014 Student Summit
IAAB's 2014 Student Summit will be held at The University of Maryland, College Park on Friday, January 31st through Sunday, February 2nd. The 2014 Student Summit will be hosted by the Iranian Students' Foundation (ISF), one of the oldest and largest Iranian university student groups in the country. - 11/5/13

Iran: Thousands go to Khuzestan hospitals after "acid rain"
Following a rainy day in various parts of Khuzestan Province on Saturday November 2, many people went to hospitals with serious bouts of choking and shortness of breath. ISNA reports that 3,100 people reported serious respiratory symptoms in Khuzestan following the weekend rainfall. - 11/5/13

Iran: Political prisoner's execution part of a recent surge
Iranian political prisoner Shirkouh Moarefi was executed on Monday November 4 at Saghez Prison. Analysts speculate that the surge in executions is the result of hardliners in the Islamic Republic reacting to the reformist administration's efforts to achieve a level of moderation in internal politics. - 11/5/13

Berkeley Lecture Series Presents: A seminar by Bahram Beyzaie on "Gilgamesh"
Born in Tehran in Dec. 1938, Bahram Beyzaie is a well-known Iranian critic, researcher, teacher, playwright, stage director (and producer), screenwriter and filmmaker (director, producer and editor). He was first introduced to western audiences at the age of 25, when his play was staged at the Festival du Theater des Nations in Paris, 1963. - 11/5/13

Talk to Iran, It Works
The government of the Islamic Republic is clearly an adversary, but it is also a rational actor. And, like all governments, it is capable of being pragmatic and flexible when it is in its interest to do so. There is a chance that the Obama administration can replicate past successes if it applies four lessons from the 2001 talks. -Ryan C. Crocker, NY Times - 11/5/13

Imploding the Myth of Israel
Israel has been poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It has been morally bankrupted by the sanctification of victimhood, which it uses to justify an occupation that rivals the brutality and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy-which was always exclusively for Jews-has been hijacked by extremists who are pushing the country toward fascism. -Chris Hedges, truthdig - 11/5/13

Iranian nation not enemy of US people: President Rohani
Iranian President Hassan Rohani reiterated that Iranian people have never been an enemy of the American nation. "The Iranian nation has not been and is not the enemy of any nation, including the American people, and what has been and is worrisome is hostile policy which has always been blasted by the Iranian nation," Rohani said. - 11/4/13

Supreme Leader says Iranians should have larger families
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for the adoption of measures to encourage Iranians to have larger families and warned about the consequences of an aging population and a low birth rate. "I believe that our country is not a country of 75 million people, our country [could be] a country of 150 million people... and even more," he said. - 11/4/13

Women's Rights Are Linked to U.S.-Iran Negotiations
While U.S. and Iranian negotiators prepare for another round of nuclear talks in Geneva next month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been silent about another matter that could be even more indicative of his willingness to take on hardline conservatives. -Fariba Parsa - 11/4/13

No one should undermine nuclear negotiating team: Iran's Supreme Leader
"These are the children of the revolution and representatives of the Islamic Republic who are working hard to carry out their difficult mission. No one should weaken them, insult them, or consider them compromisers," Ayatollah Khamenei said in an address to thousands of students in Tehran on Sunday, one day before the 13th of Aban. - 11/4/13

Iran: Prisoners' hunger strike targets poor medical care
Four Iranian political prisoners have begun a hunger strike to protest the lack of adequate medical care for prisoners. According to HRANA, human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltni, human rights activist Mehdi Khodayi and political activists Amir Khosro Delirsani and Saeed Madani began a hunger strike on Saturday November 2 in ward 350 of Evin Prison. - 11/4/13

Ahwaz citizens form third chain to protest river diversion
Protesters formed a human chain on the banks of the Karoon River on Friday, November 1, in their third such demonstration against the transfer of water from the river. Dubbed the "chain of silence", it's the third such protest against government plans to redirect waters from the Karoon. - 11/4/13

Whither Nuclear Talks with Iran?
On a purely rational view, it is hard not to be optimistic about the upcoming talks with Iran in Geneva (Nov. 7-8), and about what might follow. On the Iranian side, the negotiations are now under the direction of a very accomplished diplomat who reports to a President who wants to resolve the nuclear dispute once and for all - and the President reports to a Supreme Leader who has authorised a degree of flexibility to secure an agreement. -Peter Jenkins - 11/4/13

Soccer official says Iran, U.S. to compete in friendly game
The head of Iran's Soccer Association, Ali Kaffashian, revealed on November 2 that a friendly game between Iran and the U.S. is certain to take place in March or April of 2014. - 11/4/13

Photos: Iranians Mark US Embassy Takeover Anniversary
Observers say Monday's rally is the largest crowd in years at the annual event, which is held on the site of the former U.S. compound. Hardline conservatives had called for a major showing to protest President Hassan Rouhani's historic outreach to Washington. - 11/4/13

Iran elected gas exporting countries chief
On Sunday, Iran was elected as the new secretary general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). The decision was made at the 15th ministerial meeting of the GECF in Tehran on Sunday. - 11/4/13

Kerry in Saudi Arabia for Talks on Syria, Iran
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah about Syria's civil war and negotiations over Iran's nuclear program -- issues that are straining U.S.-Saudi relations. Kerry is hoping to get long-standing ties between Washington and Riyadh back on track after differences over Syria and Iran. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 11/4/13

Anti-US Billboards Removed in Tehran: The Guards and Kayhan Continue to Compete Against Nuclear Talks
Following international reaction to the news that anti-US billboards had been installed around Tehran which belittled Iran's talks with the P5+1 powers, while announcing ignorance about who put up the billboards, Tehran municipality announced that it had removed them from the capital. (According to a November 2nd report by Tehran's Shargh daily, the billboards removed from Tehran streets have now reappeared in other cities including Mashhad.) -Firoozeh Matin, Rooz - 11/2/13

Pro-Israel Groups in Limelight of Iran Policy
Last Tuesday (Oct. 29) administration officials met with what the Israeli daily Haaretz describes as a "a coterie of Jewish leaders." Only four Jewish organizations were represented: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); the American Jewish Committee (AJC); and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. -Marsha B. Cohen - 11/2/13

Iranian arts grab high records at Dubai Christie's
Various Iranian art pieces have fetched high prices at Dubai Christie's during its seasonal Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale. Parviz Tanavoli's a six foot tall sculpture titled "Oh Persepolis II" fetched $940,000 on first night of the auction. - 11/2/13

On Iraq, Petraeus Still Marketing a Myth
In his Oct. 29 Foreign Policy article, "How We Won in Iraq", General David Petraeus characterizes the 2003 US invasion and departure of US troops in 2011 as an American victory. This triumphant - though distorted - version of that searing saga seems acceptable to many Americans not only because it has been repeated so often, but also because it is so reassuring. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 11/2/13

President Obama and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Meet: Joint Statement by the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq
In their meeting today at the White House, President Obama and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the United States and the Republic of Iraq and pledged to advance common interests to support a stable, secure, and prosperous Iraq and Middle East. They also discussed their shared commitment to enhance cooperation under the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). - 11/2/13

Hard-liners Mistakenly Refer to Iran as 'Oppressor'
"Ties between Iran and America are ties between the oppressor and the oppressed," reads a banner in Anar township in the province of Kerman. The banner is apparently part of an anti-U.S. campaign by hard-liners in the Islamic Republic concerned by recent overtures between Tehran and Washington, which they consider to be a betrayal of revolutionary principles. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/2/13

Amid Rumors Of Her Demise, A Question: Does Gulnara Matter?
From her Twitter rampages to a dubious duet with Gerard Depardieu, the past year has transformed Uzbekistan's Gulnara Karimova from an occasional back-page curiosity to a full-time weird-news magnet -- and a useful springboard for exploring more resonant questions about the country's deplorable rights abuses under her father, President Islam Karimov. -Daisy Sindelar, RFE - 11/2/13

Iran's artists warn US and European sanctions are affecting their work
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Super Sohrab. Iran's own superman stands in front of Tehran's famous Azadi Square, the site of the country's 1979 Islamic revolution as well as the mass popular uprising of 2009. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 11/2/13

Former Iranian President Warns Rohani Of Enemies' Campaign
Former President Mohammad Khatami says certain elements are trying to separate President Hassan Rohani from his supporters. Khatami's website reports that in a speech to the Tehran University Student Association, Khatami said the administration has inherited many problems but expressed every hope that the Rohani government will stay committed to all its promises. - 11/1/13

Iranians write to demand release of opposition leaders
In a letter, 1,667 Iranian citizens have demanded the release of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, the three opposition leaders who are under house arrest. A report by Kaleme says the letter was also signed by dozens of journalists, political activists, artists and former political prisoners. - 11/1/13

Sanctions Relief Key to Iran Nuclear Talks
As the most substantive dialogue in years unfolds between Tehran and world powers over its controversial nuclear program, Iran is pushing to have crippling international economic sanctions eased. The Obama administration is indicating some softening, with a chief U.S. official involved in the talks telling VOA recently that the time is coming for a pause in new sanctions. -Andre de Nesnera, VOA - 11/1/13

Tehran Softens Image Abroad But Remains Hard-Line At Home
The jarring discrepancy between Iran's softening image and its hard reality may mean the world will have to get used to viewing Rohani's presidency through two different lenses: one for foreign policy, one for domestic. But it also suggests that the stakes in negotiating a solution to Iran's nuclear crisis may not be limited to nuclear concerns. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 11/1/13

Iran's Foreign Minister Criticized For Comments On Assault On Opposition Leaders' Daughters
The Keyhan daily and conservative MP Hamid Resai have denounced the foreign minister's statements posted on his personal Facebook page condemning the assault on the daughters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, the opposition leaders under house arrest. - 11/1/13

Iran FM Presses Nuclear Case in South Africa
In Pretoria, Zarif urged countries to follow South Africa's lead and voluntarily relinquish nuclear weapons programs. "I believe South Africa itself presents a great model for the rest of humanity to follow to rid themselves of these weapons which should never have been produced and which should never be again used in the international community," he said. -Anita Powell, VOA - 11/1/13

Blood shortage reaches critical stage in Tehran province
The head of blood services for Tehran province announced on Wednesday that the department's stores are dangerously low and it currently has only a two-day supply of necessary blood transfusions for patients. Khorasan Province announced a similar concern over low blood and plasma banks. - 11/1/13

Kazakh Naval Chief Visits Iran
Kazakhstan's naval chief, Rear Admiral Zhanarbek Zhanzakov, has concluded a visit to Iran, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation. Iranian media reported on October 31 that Zhanzakov ended his visit by speaking at the Imam Khomeini Academy of Maritime Sciences in the northern city of Noshahr. - 11/1/13

Dan Gaspar: The American behind Iran's World Cup qualification
His wife advised him not to go. His friends said it was too dangerous. But in 2011 veteran American football coach Dan Gaspar ignored the warnings and traveled to the Islamic Republic of Iran -- Washington's longtime political nemesis -- to help Iran's national football team qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. -Reza Sayah, CNN - 11/1/13
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