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Photos: Iran's Juybar crowned champion in Freestyle World Clubs Cup after defeating USA's Titan Mercury
Shohadaye Juybar Wrestling Club of Iran beat Titan Mercury of the U.S. to claim the title of the Freestyle World Clubs Cup on Friday. Juybar defeated Titan Mercury 6-2 in the final match held at the Mehdi Hajizadeh Hall in Juybar, Iran. - 11/30/14

Was the Iran Deal Threatened by US Sanctions Provisions?
What went wrong? Why were the United States and Iran unable to come to a comprehensive agreement in Vienna on Monday? According to an Iranian source close to the negotiations, the main obstacle was the inability of the US negotiators to convince Iranian counterparts that the administration could persuade Congress to repeal relevant sanctions provisions. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 11/30/14

Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh turns down France's Chevalier of Legion of Honor
The Iranian tar virtuoso and composer Hossein Alizadeh, who has worked with many Iranian and foreign musicians, has refused to accept the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier (Order of Arts and Letters), the highest decoration awarded by the French government. - 11/30/14

What Really Matters About the Extended Negotiations with Iran
The single most important fact about the extension of the nuclear negotiations with Iran is that the obligations established by the Joint Plan of Action negotiated a year ago will remain in effect as negotiations continue. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/30/14

Iran's nurse shortage worsened by emigration
While Iran faces a shortage of 80,000 nurses, statistical reports indicate that 1,000 nurses emigrate from Iran each year. Iran's College of Nurses has criticized the failure to value the role of nurses and the lack of appropriate government policies to address the country's nurse shortage. - 11/30/14

Meet Farhang: Shab-e Yalda in Santa Monica, California
Join us as we celebrate the winter solstice; an ancient Persian tradition featuring GORDAFARID, live musical performances by HAMED NIKPAY & Ensemble & poetry recital by award-winning journalist HOMA SARSHAR. - 11/30/14

Nemesis: The Shadowy Iranian Training Shia Militias in Iraq
"He (Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force, whom many military leaders regard as an excellent, and highly strategic commander) is here often in Baghdad, and Northern Iraq," said one of Iraq's leading Shia politicians who asked to remain anonymous. "Of course the Iraqi government knows about this. He is smart. He is also a man who loves war. He knows he is good at it." -Janine Di Giovanni, Newsweek - 11/30/14

Iran Talks Miss Deal Deadline: What's Next?
With the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive deal between world powers and Iran on the country's nuclear program now behind us, the negotiating teams have returned to their capitals to debate next steps. They will reconvene in Oman in early December to continue their efforts to strike a deal in seven months. -Ariane Tabatabai,LobeLog - 11/29/14

New measures aimed at increasing safety of Iranian women
The Iranian president's advisor on women's issues says the administration has proposed a bill "to provide women with security against violence." ISNA reported on Thursday November 27 that Shahindokht Mowlaverdi spoke at a ceremony at Mashhad University to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 11/29/14

Iran sanctions still hamper import of pharmaceuticals
Iran's health minister says some medications continue to be scarce, despite assertions by the U.S. and the European Union that international sanctions do not affect Iran's access to the pharmaceutical and medical equipment market. - 11/29/14

Iranian Journalist Siamak Ghaderi: 2014 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee
Siamak Ghaderi is an Iranian freelance journalist and a former editor and reporter for the Islamic Republic's official news agency IRNA. Ghaderi made international headlines when he chose to rebut former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim in 2007 that there were no homosexuals in Iran by publishing online his own interviews with several gay Iranians. - 11/29/14

US Congress and the Iran nuclear deal
Republican victories in the midterm Congressional elections have raised wide speculation that the new Congress would choose a more hawkish position on Iran that could potentially torpedo a final nuclear deal between the US and Iran. The Republican-controlled Congress convenes on January 3rd. -Shahir ShahidSaless, Gulf News - 11/29/14

Malarkey on the Potomac
"Iraq no longer exists." My young friend M, sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It's been years since we've last seen each another. It may be years before our paths cross again. As if to drive his point home, M repeats himself: "Iraq just doesn't exist." -Andrew J. Bacevich, LobeLog - 11/29/14

New Era of Cheap Oil Tilts Geopolitical Power Toward U.S.
A new age of abundant and cheap energy supplies is redrawing the world's geopolitical landscape, weakening and potentially threatening the legitimacy of some governments while enhancing the power of others. -Bloomberg - 11/29/14

Iranian director Bahram Beizaii to present "Ardaviraf's Report" at Stanford University
Prominent Iranian playwright and director Bahram Beyzaie will stage reading performances of his latest play "Ardaviraf's Report" at Stanford University on January 24 and 25. - 11/28/14

OPEC Maintains Output, Prices Hit 4-year Low
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to maintain current levels of production, despite a worldwide oil glut that has driven market prices down more than 30 percent since June. Meeting Thursday in Vienna, Austria, OPEC oil ministers decided to maintain the present output target of 30 million barrels a day. - 11/28/14

Iran and the United Nations 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is considered as one of the most important international legal documents in the world. The Convention which is almost a thousand pages is the result of more than 10 years deliberations of thousands of scientists, policy makers and diplomats and legal experts from a large number of the countries in the world. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 11/28/14

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Vows to Continue Protest
Well-known Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh says she's determined to continue protesting a decision to ban her from practicing law. Sotoudeh started picketing outside the offices of the Iranian Bar Association in Tehran a month ago, holding signs reading "right to work" and "rights of dissenters," after the association, reportedly under official pressure, banned her from working as a lawyer for three years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/28/14

U.S. follows EU example on Iran sanctions relief
Following the European Union's suspension of sanctions against Iran, the US Treasury announced that it will also extend the sanctions relief provided for in the plan of action implemented by the parties. - 11/28/14

Remembering the Life and Work of Behjat Sadr, One of Iran's Foremost Modern Painters
This 234-page illustrated book published by Zaman in France (in English and in French), Behjat Sadr, Traces, edited by Morad Montazami and Narmine Sadeq, presents the life and art of Behjat Sadr, Iran's first female painter of international renown (1924-2009). -Fariba Amini - 11/28/14

Farhadi gets approval to run Iran's Science Ministry
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's new nominee for minister of science, research and technology, Mohammad Farhadi, was overwhelmingly approved by parliamentarians on Wednesday. Out of the 235 votes cast, 197 MPs voted in favor, 28 against, and 10 abstained. - 11/28/14

India Group's Oil-for-steel Deal to Test Iran Sanctions
NEW DELHI-- Essar Group, a $39 billion Indian conglomerate, is looking to tap frozen Iranian oil revenues to pay for its steel exports to Tehran, in a novel attempt to work around Western financial sanctions against the OPEC member state. -Reuters - 11/28/14

Iran's Supreme Leader Supports Extension of Nuclear Talks
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says he supports the move to extend the Iranian nuclear talks, but he says the United States has the most to lose if the negotiations fail. In a speech broadcast on state television Thursday, Khamenei said he does not oppose the seven-month extension for the same reason he has not opposed the talks thus far. - 11/27/14

Divine Religion or Secular Humanism?
Religious beliefs have been deeply rooted since pre-historic times; nonetheless, religions are still prevalent among many humans in the modern world today. Religion was the inevitable conceptualization of primitive psyche of humans and perhaps hominids... -Rachel Eliasi Kohan, Thanksgiving 2014, New York - 11/27/14

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif says nuclear deal can be reached before July deadline
"All of us are insisting that we don't even need seven months, and we believe we can do it much faster than that, and we decided -- because sometimes we diplomats try to wait until the last month before we start really negotiating, because we believe that until you get to the last minute you don't really want to really give up your cards -- but this time we have decided that we'd start negotiating immediately," Zarif noted. - 11/26/14

Tales from the Vienna Woods
It's too early to tell all there is to be told about the negotiations in Vienna between the so-called P5+1 and Iran on the latter's nuclear program. The "telling" by each and every participant of what happened will surely take place in the next several days, and then better-informed assessments can be made. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/26/14

Iranian woman Sareh Javanmardi chosen best Paralympics athlete in 2014
Iranian female Paralympics shooter, Sareh Javanmardi, was selected as the best woman athlete in 2014 by Asian Paralympics Committee (APC). The selection was made due to Javanmardi's performance during the Second Incheon Para-Asian Games which brought two gold medals for the country. - 11/26/14

Illegal Addition of New Charges Makes Death Sentence for Iranian Internet Activist Soheil Arabi More Likely
In an arbitrary and illegal act, new charges that carry a death sentence and which do not allow a pardon were added and the death sentence of Facebook user Soheil Arabi was confirmed by the Supreme Court in Iran. - 11/26/14

Quds Force Chief Suleimani Reportedly Helped Peshmerga Defeat IS In Diyala
The commander of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, has reportedly assisted Iraqi Kurdish and Shi'ite militias to defeat Islamic State (IS) militants in the towns of Jalawla and Saadiya in Diyala Province. Kurdish Peshmerga and Shi'ite militias said on November 23 that they had retaken the two towns, which are about 110 kilometers from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/26/14

Mixed Reaction In Iran To Nuclear Talks Extension
Iranian reformists and even some conservative newspapers have welcomed the extension of the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program until July 2015. Hard-line dailies, however, have been sharply critical of the extension that was announced in Vienna on November 24. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/26/14

Iran's next budget adjusted for continued sanctions, low oil price
Iran's Minister of Economics has announced he is prepared to present the country's budget to Parliament now that the outcome of Iran's nuclear talks has determined that international sanctions will persist. The budget for the coming year reportedly assumes an oil price of $70 per barrel. - 11/26/14

Under Rohani, Iranian Jews find greater acceptance
Iran, a home for Jews for more than 3,000 years, has the Middle East's largest Jewish population outside of Israel, a perennial foe of the country. But while Iran's Jews in recent years had their faith continually criticized by the country's previous governments, they've found new acceptance under moderate President Hassan Rohani. -AP - 11/26/14

Israelis Sad to See Hagel Go
The resignation of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Monday, Nov. 24 after less than two years in his post was all over the morning news here in the United States. But the story was ultimately trumped by the imminent Grand Jury decision on whether or not to indict the officer who shot a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, record snowfalls in upstate New York, and the extension of the talks on Iran's nuclear program. -Marsha B. Cohen, LobeLog - 11/26/14

IAAB Announces Study Abroad in Iran: YAR Institute
IAAB is extremely excited to announce the launch of a three-week full-immersion summer course in Iran, under its groundbreaking new initiative, the YAR Institute: Youth Advancing Research. IAAB's YAR Institute is designed to create the next generation of leaders informed and engaged on Iran. - 11/25/14

No Justice for Survivors of Acid Attacks in Iran
The offenders of the acid attacks in Isfahan, similar to other serial crimes in Islamic Republic of Iran, will not be brought to justice as the perpetuators of these crimes are being protected. The infuriating aspect of these injustices for Iranian people is that the perpetuators of these crimes are still at large and not facing any sentence while the people who are exercising their rights to protest these crimes and holding state accountable for putting an end to these acts of violence are being arrested and detained. -Elahe Amani - 11/25/14

Iranian Leader: Western Powers Failed to Bring Iran to its Knees
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the United States and "European colonialist powers" failed in their efforts to bring Iran "to its knees" during negotiations on the country's nuclear program. The comments posted on his website Tuesday are his first since negotiators from Iran and a group of world powers agreed to extend talks on Iran's nuclear program through the middle of next year. - 11/25/14

Doubts cast on purported safety of Tehran city water
Despite reassurances from the Ministry of Health, water supply experts still maintain that the case of polluted water in Tehran is not closed and needs further investigation. Last week, the head of Tehran Health and City Services announced that the capital's tap water has a high level of nitrites and must not be used for drinking, recommending bottled water instead. - 11/25/14

Pro-Israel Hawks Take Wing over Extended Iran Nuclear Talks
Buoyed by the failure of the US and five other powers to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear program after a week of intensive talks, pro-Israel and Republican hawks are calling for Washington to ramp up economic pressure on Tehran even while talks continue, and to give Congress a veto on any final accord. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/25/14

NIAC Welcomes Extension, Urges Compromise to Secure Iran Nuclear Deal
National Iranian American Council President Trita Parsi issued the following statement in response to the decision to extend negotiations over Iran's nuclear program: "For those who favor a peaceful resolution to the nuclear dispute, it is critically important these negotiations will continue... - 11/25/14

Aviation Official: 15 US Flights Using Iranian Airspace Everyday
Managing-Director of Iran's Airport Company Mohammad Ilkhani said that Iran has the safest and most secure airspace in the region, adding that over a dozen US flights use the Iranian airspace everyday. "A sum of 15 flights from US cargo and passenger airlines use the Iranian airspace everyday," Ilkhani told reporters on the sidelines of the 7th International Air and Aviation Industries Exhibition on Kish Island on Tuesday. - 11/25/14

Issues with Domestic Gasoline? The Battle Over Gasoline Rages On in Iran
The worsening of the air pollution situation in Tehran has resurfaced the in-fighting among Iran's political factions over gasoline. Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, recently published a special report on imported gasoline and asserted that in fact it is the cause of the deteriorating air condition in Tehran. - 11/25/14

Oil advances for a third day as Iran seeks OPEC production cut
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh may propose that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) trim supply by 1 million barrels a day when he meets with Saudi Arabia's Ali Al-Naimi before the group gathers on Nov. 27 - 11/25/14

ANALYSIS: How Iran's aerospace dream began and ended with the licence-built IrAn-140
When the sole airworthy HESA IrAn-140 turboprop crashed on take-off from Tehran in August, Iran's hopes of becoming an aerospace-manufacturing nation appeared to crash with it. The decade and a half following Antonov's decision to licence production of its An-140 to Iran has seen no more than a dozen IrAn-140s roll off the assembly line, no fewer than four accidents involving the type and a regulatory ban on all flight operations by the aircraft. -Flight - 11/25/14

Diplomats: Iran Nuclear Talks Extended Until July 1
Iranian and Western diplomats said nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers will be extended until July 1, 2015. The diplomats spoke in Vienna on the final day of the group's self-imposed, year-long period to agree on a comprehensive deal to ensure Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. - 11/24/14

Foreign Ministers Make Final Push in Iran Nuclear Talks
Seven foreign ministers are in Vienna working against a midnight deadline to settle the more than decade-long dispute over Iran's nuclear program, and potentially to begin to unravel crippling economic sanctions. But a year after they reached a landmark interim agreement, negotiators indicated they may need more time on the difficult, long-term issues. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/24/14

Tehran art exhibit reflects "Three Views" of female artists
Paintings reflecting different issues by three female artists are on display in an exhibit entitled "Three Views" at Tehran's Boom Gallery. Created by , the collection highlights war in Kobani, the rush of modern life, as well as images of Persian gardens, the gallery announced in a press release on Sunday. - 11/24/14

Iranian security forces stop ceremony for slain dissidents
Islamic Republic security forces prevented the commemoration ceremony for Daryoosh and Parveneh Forouhar and arrested a number of attendees. The sixteenth anniversary of the death of the couple was to be commemorated on Saturday November 22 at their home, where they were stabbed to death by assailants who entered under the guise of students seeking to interview the political activists for a publication. - 11/24/14

Shi'ite, Sunni Clerics Meet In Iran To Discuss IS Threat
Shi'ite and Sunni clerics from 80 countries have gathered in Iran's holy city of Qom discuss how to combat Islamic State (IS) militants. The conference organizer, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, appealed on November 23 for consensus among Islam's two main branches -- urging all Muslim clerics to work together to discredit groups espousing extremism. - 11/24/14

Jailed Iranian-British Woman Released On Bail
The family of Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian citizen jailed in Iran reportedly for trying to attend a volleyball match, said Ghavami has been released on bail. Ghavami was freed on November 23, pending a decision by the Court of Appeal on her sentence, her brother told the AFP news agency. - 11/24/14

Iran able to build aircraft carriers: Navy Chief
Iran is capable of building aircraft carriers and heavy submarines, Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari announced on Sunday. "As we have managed to produce warships and submarines, we also have the capability to build aircraft carriers and heavy submarines," the rear admiral stated. - 11/24/14

Iran Nuclear Deadline Likely to Be Extended
Iran and six world powers appear likely to miss a midnight Monday deadline on reaching a nuclear deal and will reconvene next month, Western diplomats said. "Given progress made this weekend, talks headed to likely extension with experts and negotiating teams reconvening in December at a yet to be determined location," a diplomat said, adding, "we will meet again before the new year." - 11/24/14

The Danger of Derailing the Iranian Nuclear Deal
Inflection points in the history of U.S. foreign relations sometimes are marked by new departures and new roads taken. But they might instead entail blown opportunities to take new and better roads, with significant damage resulting from the failure to take them. That failure involves opportunity costs at a minimum, and other costs as well. -Paul Pillar, National Interest - 11/23/14

Iran Nuclear Deadline Approaches
Hassan Rohani has faced many obstacles in appointing and keeping a science minister because the conservative factions have been adamant that the post must not go to anyone connected to the 2009 election protests and those who challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory with allegations of election fraud. - 11/23/14

Iran, US, EU negotiators hold nuclear meeting
Top negotiators of Iran, the US and the EU have held another trilateral meeting ahead of the Monday deadline for Tehran and the P5+1 group of world powers to ink a final nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, his US counterpart John Kerry and EU nuclear negotiator Catherine Ashton sat down for talks at Vienna's Coburg Hotel on Sunday. - 11/23/14

Iran's President Rohani Installs Caretaker Of Science Ministry
After his fourth candidate for the post of science minister was voted down by Parliament, President Hassan Rohani appointed Mohammad Ali Najafi's to a term as caretaker of the science ministry with the permission of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. - 11/23/14

Iran nuclear deal could spur rapid growth
Companies and global investors are sizing up Iran's economic potential in anticipation of a deal that could end years of isolation. -CNN - 11/23/14

Bahrain's Sham Election Ignores Calls for Reform
Bahrain's national election planned for this Saturday portends no change in the al-Khalifa regime's anti-Shi'a stance and is yet another futile exercise in sham democracy. The mainstream al-Wefaq Shi'a opposition party has decided to boycott the election because of perceived bias in the recently gerrymandered electoral districts. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 11/23/14

Iran Talks Progress Behind the Scenes
VIENNA-Talks on the future of Iran's nuclear program and international sanctions against the country continued in Vienna Friday, amid indications of behind-the-scenes developments that officials will not specify. The British and French foreign ministers joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry here Friday to urge their Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif, to make the compromises necessary to reach an agreement. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/22/14

Police close down more than two dozen Tehran cafes
At least 26 cafes in Tehran have been shut down by police citing violations such as "the inappropriate hijab" of customers. The Shahrvand daily wrote on Saturday November 22 that this is an unprecedented wave of police action against Tehran cafes. - 11/22/14

Kerry: 'Serious Gaps' Remain as Iran Nuclear Deadline Looms
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says "serious gaps" remain in talks between Iran and world powers, as a crucial deadline looms to reach a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program. Kerry made his remarks Saturday in Vienna as he was about to begin closed-door talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who said the negotiations had reached the "hours of truth." - 11/22/14

Iran beach soccer team claims gold in Asian Beach Games
Iran's beach soccer team defeated Japan 4-3 and won the gold medal in the 4th edition of the Asian Beach Games on Friday. Shahriar Mozhdeh Roudsari, Ali Naderi, Amir Hossein Akbari and Hassan Abdollahi scored for the Iranian outfit at the Saphan Hin. - 11/22/14

Obama Faces Tough Crowd At Home On Iran Nuclear Deal
With the deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program looming, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is under increased pressure to bring home a deal that is acceptable to a skeptical Congress. If he cannot do so by November 24, he faces an even tighter deadline to hammer out an agreement before a new, Republican-controlled, Congress convenes in January. -Carl Schreck and Luke Johnson, RFE - 11/22/14

Top Foreign Policy Experts Endorse Iran Nuclear Deal
As Iran and six world powers scramble to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program by the deadline of Nov. 24 in Vienna, Washington is seeing a flurry of last-minute events focused on the pros and cons of pursuing diplomacy with Tehran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/22/14

Kerry Meets With Zarif, Ashton In Vienna
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has begun a meeting in Vienna with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif as a next-week deadline for an agreement in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program rapidly approaches. Kerry was also meeting with EU envoy Catherine Ashton, who until this month was the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. - 11/21/14

Iran 'Blogfather' Thanks 'His Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei' Following Prison Release
Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been released from prison after serving six years of his unprecedented 19 1/2-year prison sentence. Derakhshan, dubbed Iran's "blogfather" for his role popularizing the medium, wrote on Google+ on November 19 about his release and said that he had been pardoned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. "I am free after six years. Thank You, God. Thank you, Your Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei," he wrote. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/21/14

Two Futures: With An Iran Nuclear Deal, And Without
As the six world powers and Tehran try to reach a deal in Vienna, there is more at stake than simply ending the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. Equally important is how the success or failure of the negotiations could set the stage for determining the West's relations with Iran for years to come. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 11/21/14

TAKE ACTION: They Almost Killed The Deal
Last week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) almost killed the Iran talks. He went to the Senate floor and attempted to pass a bill to give Congress the authority to kill any nuclear deal. Thankfully, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) intervened and blocked Graham's gambit. But it was a close call -- too close. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 11/21/14

Will Falling Oil Prices Force Iran's Hand in the Nuclear Talks?
The timing of the fall in global oil prices could not have come at a worse time for the government of Hassan Rouhani in Iran. A decline of 30% in oil revenues, which he noted in a recent speech, severely limits his government's ability to maintain the modest growth momentum started last year, and weakens Iran's position in the negotiations over its nuclear program -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog - 11/21/14

Iranian Scholar's 18-Month Prison Sentence for Questioning Nuclear Program Commuted to Fines
A Tehran appeals court has reduced the 18-month prison sentence originally handed down to Sadegh Zibakalam, a Tehran University professor and political analyst, for his public questioning of Iran's nuclear program and his criticism of the trial process in a state corruption case, to a five million toman fine (approximately $1,600). - 11/21/14

Iran: Thousands rally against legislative attack on workers' rights
Thousands of Iranian workers took part in a rally on Thursday November 20 organized by Tehran Manufacturing and Service Workers, protesting the government's attempts to change the country's employment legislation to the benefit of employers. - 11/21/14

Kerry in Paris as Nuclear Talks Move Toward Deadline
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Thursday in Paris with the foreign ministers of France and Saudi Arabia to discuss the ongoing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Later in the day he travels to Vienna, where officials from Iran and a group that includes the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany have been trying to end a year of talks with a comprehensive agreement. -Victor Beattie, VOA - 11/20/14

Photos: International Air Show kicks off in Kish, Iran
The Kish Development and investment company fully supported by Kish Free Zone Organization is holding the 7th edition of the International Iran Kish Air Show with the cooperation of Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO-IRI) from 18-21 Nov. 2014 on Kish Island in Persian Gulf. - 11/20/14

Nuclear pact within reach if West drops excessive demands: Iran's President Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated on Wednesday that a nuclear agreement between Iran and the major powers is "within reach" if the West stops making "excessive demands". - 11/20/14

UN Resolution on Human Rights in Iran Passes by 78-35 Margin
On November 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly's Third Committee adopted a Resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran with a vote of 78 in favor, 35 against and 69 abstentions. - 11/20/14

Esteghlal legend Gholamhossein Mazloumi dies at the age of 65
Former Iran international striker Gholamhossein Mazloumi died at the age of 65 on Wednesday. He has been fighting with stomach cancer for more than one year but at the end the illness defeated him. - 11/20/14

US: Iran Nuclear Deal by Deadline Difficult but Possible
U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of state says it will be difficult, but not impossible, to reach a nuclear deal with Iran before a Monday deadline. - 11/20/14

Officials disagree on safety of Tehran tap water
The head of Tehran Health and City Services Commission has called on the city residents to stop consuming tap water and only use bottled water for drinking. Rahmatollah Hafezi stressed that tap water in certain parts of the city can be harmful to people's health. - 11/20/14

Mother of accused Iranian woman sheds light on volleyball case
After the Tehran Prosecutor accused Ghoncheh Qavami of links to opposition forces, claiming the charges against her have no bearing on her attempt to enter a Tehran volleyball stadium to watch a game, Qavami's mother announced that her daughter has no connection to opposition forces and all of her interrogations were focused on her presence at the stadium. - 11/20/14

French Order of Academic Palms awarded to Lili Golestan
Iranian translator Lili Golestan, who is also the curator of Tehran's Golestan Gallery, received France's Order of Academic Palms during a ceremony at the Embassy of France in the Iranian capital on Monday November 17, 2014. - 11/20/14

Calling Sens. Mitchell, Daschle--Your "Bipartisan" Center Is In Funny Company
On Thursday, BPC will co-sponsor a forum ("Looming Deadline and Unanswered Questions: What's Next for the P5+1 and Iran") at the Senate Visitors Center with two hard-line neoconservative groups closely tied to and funded by wealthy donors of the Republican Jewish Coalition (chaired by multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson) -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/20/14

IRNA: Iran to Hold Market Share Talks With Saudi at OPEC
Iran's oil minister said he will talk with top oil exporter Saudi Arabia about market share when OPEC meets next week in Vienna, as Tehran plans for the possible end of sanctions and unfettered crude exports. -Reuters - 11/20/14

Iranian Activists, Intellectuals Express Support For Nuclear Deal
Many Iranians are watching the new round of nuclear talks in Vienna between major world powers and Iran with great interest, hoping for a deal that would lead to the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on their country and an improvement in their daily lives. Among those hoping for an agreement are intellectuals, political activists, opposition members, and some victims of the Iranian establishment's repressive policies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/19/14

Security Council Resolutions: Barrier to Iran Nuclear Deal?
We have not yet reached such a dramatic juncture with Iran. But should it become useful to rapidly lift the sanctions imposed by the four UNSC resolutions between 2006 and 2010 in order to secure a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, the Western negotiators may find themselves incapable of delivering and may instead try to kick the can down the road to some point in the distant future. -Francois Nicoulaud, LobeLog - 11/19/14

On the long-term agreement between Iran and the P5+1: Is Israel losing the war to wage war on Iran?
The world's attention is focused once again on the negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, commonly referred to as P5+1. Many are speculating about whether these negotiations will bear fruit by November 24, 2014, and reach a long-term agreement on curtailing Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for removal of sanctions imposed on the country. Whatever the outcome, however, one thing is certain: the role of Israel in these negotiations has diminished considerably. -Sasan Fayazmanesh - 11/19/14

Kerry Holds Off On Joining Iran Nuclear Talks
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pushed back a visit to Vienna, where international negotiators are trying to seal a deal on Iran's nuclear program ahead of a commonly agreed November 24 deadline. Officials have said substantial differences remain between Iran and Western powers after months of negotiations to build on an interim deal agreed last November and end a 12-year-old standoff. - 11/19/14

Iranian lawyers protest in solidarity with suspended colleague
A group of Iranian lawyers stages a sit-in in front of Iranian Bar Association offices in Tehran to protest the suspension of human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh's licence. The group that gathered at the Bar Association on Tuesday November 18 included many of Sotoudeh's peers from across the country as well as several civic activists. - 11/19/14

New Report Reveals State's Growing Efforts to Control Internet Access in Iran
The Rouhani administration should use all its authority to end the government's initiatives to restrict Iranians' access to the Internet, immediately cease state efforts to monitor users' online accounts, and end the prosecution of individuals for their peaceful online activities, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 11/19/14

Iran unveils latest home-made drone, Ababil 3
Iran has unveiled its latest domestically-manufactured state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can be used in reconnaissance operations. - 11/19/14

High Optimism in Iran as Negotiators Push for Final Deal
In the United States, the negotiations aimed at a final deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program-in a crucial phase this week-are far from the minds of average people. But for many Iranians, the talks hold the promise of a better future. -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 11/19/14

Iran allows private sector to import aircraft
Iran Civil Aviation Organization Director Alireza Jahangirian announced that Iranian private entities are allowed to import aircraft. He made the remarks on the sidelines of the 7h International Air Show of Iran (Iran Air Show 2014), which is underway ON THE Persian Gulf island of Kish - 11/19/14

FM hopes Nov 24 to be national day of victory for Iranians
Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday hoped that November 24 would be a day of victory for Iranians in achieving their nuclear goals. He said irrespective of the outcome of the talks --striking a deal or resistance against the other party's excessive demands-- November 24 would be a national day of victory. - 11/18/14

Column: Crunch Time for Iran Nuclear Talks
With only one week to go before a self-imposed deadline, the nail-biting is accelerating over whether Iran will reach an agreement with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) that curbs its nuclear program for years to come in return for sanctions relief. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 11/18/14

Kerry, Zarif Say Iran Nuclear Deal Possible as Deadline Looms
Secretary of State John Kerry says he is hopeful the U.S. and group of five other world powers can reach a deal with Iran on the country's nuclear program, but that he will not make any predictions. Iranian media quoted Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying Tuesday that a deal is still possible and expressing caution toward the international side to not make "excessive demands" of Iran. - 11/18/14

Iran Nuclear Deal in Final Push
Iranian and international negotiators convene in Vienna Tuesday for a final push to try to reach agreement on Iran's nuclear program by the November 24 deadline. The issues are largely the same as they have been for more than a year, and the implications of not reaching a deal are potentially as dire as ever. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/18/14

Iranian auhtor Mahmud Dowlatabadi receives France's Chevalier of Legion of Honor
Iranian author Mahmud Dowlatabadi, mostly famous for his novel "Kalidar", received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony held in Tehran on Sunday evening. The medal, which is the highest decoration awarded by the French government, was presented to the author by French Ambassador Bruno Foucher during a ceremony at his residence in Tehran. - 11/18/14

Severe air pollution triggers emergency response in Tehran
Tehran has announced that due to the decline in air quality, emergency services will be available in various locations around the capital to attend to citizens as needed starting Monday November 17. - 11/18/14

Iran Lawmakers Reject Rohani's Science Minister Nominee
Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has rejected President Hassan Rohani's nominee for science minister over his pro-reform tendencies. Ashtiani, 59, had served as deputy science minister under reformist former President Mohammad Khatami. - 11/18/14

Iran, U.S. have shared interest in reaching nuclear deal
The political minefields that the Iranian and American presidents have to navigate in their respective capitals are now even more explosive than Iran's nuclear facilities. -Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz - 11/18/14

Large crowds gather to mourn Iranian singer Pashaei
Thousands of mourners gathered to bid farewell to the popular Iranian singer Morteza Pashaei, who passed away on Friday following a long battle with cancer. The Fararo website reports that thousands attended the deceased singer's funeral held at Vahdat Hall. - 11/17/14

Iran 'Vigilante' Law to Test Rouhani on Women's Rights
Iran's parliament last week approved a bill that would allow paramilitary forces to return to public streets and verbally enforce strict Islamic dress codes. Meanwhile, hardliners are reportedly pushing legislation that would support and protect citizen vigilantes who also want to help enforce the hijab. This comes in the wake of a string of acid attacks on women in Isfahan for not dressing properly. -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 11/17/14

Iran's Salimi Wins Silver In World Weightlifting Championships
Iranian super heavyweight Behdad Salimi claimed a silver medal in the 2014 IWF World Championships on Sunday. After a thrilling contest in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Salimi seized a silver medal in the +105 kg weight category. - 11/17/14

Viber, Instagram sites to be "cleansed" instead of blocked in Iran
After reports by the Iranian administration that the Viber and Instagram websites will not be blocked, despite a push by Iranian hardliners, a member of the Working Group to Determine Criminal Content in Cyber Space has been quoted as saying that the content of these social networking sites will be "cleansed." - 11/17/14

Interview: Iran's 'Rosewater' Journalist Maziar Bahari Is 'Not Expecting A Revolution'
Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari, whose detention and torture by Iranian authorities are given cinematic treatment in "Rosewater," a new film by U.S. political satirist and "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, tells RFE/RL that he wants officials in Tehran to watch the film and rethink their actions. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/17/14

Iran Said To Disbar Ex-Prosecutor Over Prison Deaths
Iranian media report that the country's supreme court has disbarred a former chief prosecutor of Tehran over his role in the death of at least three jailed antigovernment protesters in 2009. - 11/17/14

Reconciliation
Before I traveled to Iran, I didn't want to read anything about Iran. Certainly nothing written by mainstream American news media, which often draws an absurdist caricature of the country. I wanted to arrive with an open heart. -Monica Byrne - 11/17/14

Iran's Kish Air Show: Investment Opportunities
The 7th Biennial Kish Air Show opens on November 18 on the Persian Gulf Island. The 4-day exhibition is aimed at helping participants understand changes in the Iranian aviation industry, discover attractive business opportunities and meet new partners as well as competitors. - 11/17/14

Iran Nuclear Pact Faces an Array of Opposing Forces
When President Obama wrote last month to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging him to overcome a decade of mistrust and negotiate a deal limiting Tehran's nuclear ambitions, it was perhaps the president's last effort to reach a reconciliation with Iran that could remake the Middle East. -NY Times - 11/17/14

Public Grieving for Pop Singer Is Startling for Iran
Iranian authorities were caught off guard over the weekend when thousands of people joined spontaneous gatherings around the country to mourn and remember a pop singer who died late last week. The police were called out to deal with the crowds in several cities, and Tehran's main cemetery was closed Sunday after mourners - mostly young people - assembled there in such large numbers that the singer's burial had to be postponed. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY TImes - 11/17/14

Iran's wheat imports up 124% in 7 months
Iran imported over 3.753 million tons of wheat in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), a 124 percent rise compared to the same period in the previous year. - 11/17/14

Iraq starts up Iran-made power plant near Najaf
Iraq has inaugurated a 162-MW power plant made by Iranians near the southern city of Najaf. The power station became operational in a ceremony attended by Iranian and Iraqi energy ministers on Thursday in Heidarieh area, some 25 km north of Najaf. - 11/17/14

Column: 'Rosewater' Shows 'How Ridiculous' Iran Can Be
Jon Stewart's new movie, "Rosewater," was conceived out of guilt and is being born at a potentially pivotal time for U.S.-Iran relations. The hero of the film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, is former Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari, who in the run-up to Iran's 2009 presidential elections gave an interview to Jason Jones, mock correspondent on The Daily Show, which Stewart hosts. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 11/15/14

Iran's Rostami snatches gold medal at Weightlifting World Championships
Iran's Kianoush Rostami won a gold medal in the Men's 85kg at the 2014 Weightlifting World Championships on Thursday. Rostami snatched 178kg and lifted 213kg in the clean and jerk and took the gold with a combined total lift of 391kg. - 11/15/14

Photos: Iran opens largest Middle East gold plant, doubling production
First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri inaugurated the largest gold plant in the Middle East in Zareh Shuran of Takaab in West Azarbaijan Province on Saturday. With the operation of the plant the gold bullion production capacity in the country will be doubled and reach 5.5 tons. - 11/15/14

Energy agency sees lower oil prices continuing
The latest estimate by the International Energy Agency, published on Friday Nov. 14, foresees that depressed oil prices on the international market will continue until 2015. The agency cites falling demand as the reason for the drop in oil prices. - 11/15/14

Iranian university students protest handling of Isfahan acid attacks on women
A group of students from the International University of Qazvin gathered to protest the recent acid throwing assualts on women in Isfahan and the authorities' failure to arrest the culprits. - 11/15/14

Iran books place in 2015 AFC U-19 Women's Championship
Iran advanced to the 2015 AFC U-19 Women's Championship finals after finishing top of qualifying Group B. Iran, who had defeated host Sri Lanka 4-1 in its opening match, beat Palestine 6-0 at the City Football Complex in Colombo on Tuesday. - 11/15/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: Is a Deal by Nov. 24 Possible?
Intensive nuclear talks between Iran and various world powers this week in Oman did little to signal that a comprehensive deal is on track to meet its 24 November deadline. But then again, a similar mood surrounded the weeks leading up to the unprecedented interim deal signed almost a year ago. -Ellie Geranmayeh, LobeLog - 11/15/14

Stewarding the Deal: Business Diplomacy and Iran's Private Sector
It's no secret that business leaders worldwide are eagerly awaiting the announcement of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program this month. "Apart from Mars and the Moon, Iran is the only remaining opportunity for [our] clients," declared Sir Martin Sorrell, the CEO of British advertising giant, WPP, last month at the Europe-Iran Forum in London. Business owners in Iran are meanwhile looking forward to sanctions relief and a flood of foreign investment, as are average Iranians. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 11/14/14

NIAC Urges President Obama to Establish U.S.-Iran Banking Channel
ith a potential nuclear deal only weeks away, the National Iranian American Council is urging that a direct banking channel be established between the U.S. and Iran. Such a channel would allow for humanitarian transactions, the sale of licensed goods like phones and computer software, and the transfer of personal remittances and inheritances between the U.S. and Iran. -Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 11/14/14

Ziba Style: Curating The Most Unusual Locally Inspired Luxury Items From Around The World
Introducing ZIBA Style, a curated online marketplace for locally inspired luxury goods from around the world-the most unique goods a traveler cannot find at home. Founder Yasmin Sanie-Hay, an M.I.T. graduate and Harvard Business School student, traversed 70 countries to source products for her new online venture that allows customers to buy directly from designers in faraway destinations such as Beirut, Bishkek, and Benin. - 11/14/14

Iranian Activist Woman Challenges President Rohani To Fulfill Promises On Citizen Rights
Iranian activist Nargess Mohammadi has written to President Rohani protesting against the interrogation procedure she was subjected to in Evin Court. According to the Human Rights Defenders Centre website, Mohammadi has been under investigation by Islamic Republic authorities since last March for meeting with Catherine Ashton when the latter was visiting Iran as the EU foreign policy chief. - 11/14/14

Is UN Engagement Having an Impact on Iran's Human Rights? Absolutely
To critics who question the ability of UN processes to change the behaviors and policies of the leadership in the Islamic Republic of Iran, an English language media interview with a top Iranian official has provided a revealing answer. - 11/14/14

Iran may give copy of RQ-170 drone to U.S. if sanctions lifted: IRGC General
The commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced on Wednesday that Iran may give a copy of the captured RQ-170 stealth drone to the United States if Iran lifts the sanctions it has imposed on Washington. However, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said Iran will not return the captured RQ-170 to the United States. - 11/14/14

Pentagon Says Iranian Drone Does Not Match U.S. Technology
The U.S. military says an Iranian drone that Tehran described as an improved replica of an unarmed U.S. aircraft captured in 2011 is an inferior copy. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren was asked about the issue after Iranian state television aired footage of what it said was a test flight of the unarmed drone. - 11/14/14

UANI Targets Legal Humanitarian Trade With Iran
The anti-Iran pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) claims as its mission to stop the Iranian nuclear program. A big part of its effort revolves around what it calls "private sanctions campaigns"-attempts to get consumers to boycott or otherwise pressure companies doing business with Iran, while at the same time "striving not to punish the Iranian people," as the group's mission statement puts it. -Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 11/14/14

The Rare Place Where Israelis And Iranians Play Together
What do you get when three Israelis, two Iranians and a German walk into a room? A Berlin-based world music ensemble known as Sistanagila, named after an Iranian province - Sistan and Baluchestan - and the popular Jewish folk song "Hava Nagila." -Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR - 11/14/14

Iraqi Forces Drive IS From Refinery Town
Iraqi officials said Friday government forces have driven out Islamic State militants from the oil refinery town of Beiji, north of Baghdad. The Islamic jihadists had captured Beiji during their blitz across northern and western Iraq earlier this year. - 11/14/14

Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations and Hope for an Agreement
As the P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear program between the world powers and Iran approach the November 24 deadline, it is important that the negotiators on both sides of the table take note of the voices of their respective citizens at home: support for the nuclear negotiations and hope for a successful agreement is clear and strong among both the Iranian and the US public. - 11/13/14

Iran, Azerbaijan ink five cooperation agreements during President Rouhani's visit
The Iranian and Azeri officials signed five cooperation agreements on Wednesday to expand ties in areas of economy, renewable energy, industry, communications, and transport, IRNA reported on Wednesday. The cooperation deals were signed at the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku. - 11/13/14

America's Last Best Hope for Defeating the Islamic State Is...Iran?
When President Barack Obama's secret missive to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was leaked to the media, the reactions were predictable: Israel was furious. Saudi Arabia was livid. And Mitt Romney was dumfounded. -Emad Kiyaei, AIC - 11/13/14

Iran announces plan to accommodate female fans in sports facilities
The Iranian Ministry of Sports has reacted to public pressure and announced it has plans to designate a section of stadiums to female spectators. The ministry's deputy for women's sports, Robab Shahrian, told ISNA that the ministry will implement a new plan designating specific areas in stadiums for women to attend all athletic events. - 11/13/14

Russia: Nov. 24 Deadline for Iran Nuclear Deal in Doubt
A deal to curb Iran's nuclear program before a Nov. 24 deadline may not be possible, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, while suggesting the talks may be extended. - 11/13/14

Iranian MP: Obama's Letter to Khamenei Could Be a Starting Point for More Contacts
Speaking exclusively to Rooz, a member of Iran's parliament, the Majlis, said that both Iran and the US want the ongoing nuclear talks to come to fruition by the deadline of November 24th so they can celebrate. Ahmad Bakhshayeshi spoke of "signals" that he thinks are indications that the talks will be productive. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 11/13/14

Ghoncheh Ghavami's Lawyer Says New Charges Looming Against Her Are Illegal
New charges may be brought against Ghoncheh Ghavami, the young woman who was arrested outside a sports stadium in Tehran in June 2014 for trying to attend a volleyball match and who remains in prison. - 11/13/14

Video Appears To Show Police Harassment In Iran
Four young men are publicly paraded in the back of a vehicle while masked men in black who appear to be members of Iran's police force beat them up and tell them "to bleat" like sheep. One of the young men has his hair pulled and is repeatedly hit on the head while being forced to eat leaves. "I want to see you bleat," one of the balaclava-clad men shouts. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/13/14

Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjuii receives France's Chevalier of Legion of Honor
Mehrjuii received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony held at the Embassy of France in Tehran on Sunday evening. The medal, which is the highest decoration awarded by the French government, was presented to Mehrjuii by French Ambassador Bruno Foucher during a ceremony at his residence in Tehran. - 11/13/14

Iran Says Has Responded To 'Some' Obama Letters
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, says Tehran has in "some cases" responded to letters by U.S. President Barack Obama. - 11/13/14

There's a Glaring Omission in the Economist's Special Report on Iran
According to a recent special report on Iran in The Economist: "The revolution is over." The article concludes by suggesting that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's approach to the country's controversial nuclear program and international relations is a departure from that of his predecessors. - Jahandad Memarian, LobeLog - 11/13/14

Netanyahu Warns Against Nuclear Deal With Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned world powers against concluding a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Netanyahu spoke to an assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America by satellite from Jerusalem. - 11/12/14

Iran's President Rouhani: Nuclear deal to benefit entire world
President Hassan Rouhani said a nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 will benefit the entire world. He made the remarks in his statement to the cabinet meeting. He made clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to assure transparency of the Iranian nuclear program. - 11/12/14

Iran's unresolved conflict between reformers and fundamentalists
As we get close to the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal to be reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany), another conflict has been raging in Iran between the moderates and the hardliners, a contest that could be regarded as a culture war between two different ideologies and two different versions of Islam. -Farhang Jahanpour - 11/12/14

Iran, US, EU Wrap Up High-Level Nuclear Talks
Senior U.S. State Department officials said talks with Iran over its controversial nuclear program have been "tough, direct and serious." But they declined to say if progress was made during trilateral negotiations that also included the European Union. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 11/12/14

Narges Mohammadi Summoned to Evin Prison Court on Unspecified Charges
A video of her October 31 speech in remembrance of the second anniversary of Sattar Beheshti's murder quickly went viral among social networks. In her speech, Narges Mohammadi spoke about the police negligence that led to Beheshti's death under torture while being interrogated, and a bill currently under review at the Iranian Parliament that aims to implement the Islamic principle of "Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" in Iran. - 11/12/14

Rohani Administration Reports No Progress In Probe Of Isfahan Acid Attacks
The president's adviser on women's affairs announced today that there has been no progress in the investigations regarding acid assaults on women in Isfahan. Some have connected the attacks to the discussions around hijab enforcement by Basij volunteers. - 11/12/14

Russia to build more nuclear reactors in Iran
Russia has signed a deal to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran to be possibly followed by another six, AP reported on Tuesday. Nuclear officials from the two countries signed a contract on Tuesday for building two reactors at Iran's first Russia-built nuclear plant in Bushehr. - 11/12/14

Renault negotiating to buy stake in Iranian carmaker
French carmaker Renault is negotiating with Iranian carmaker Saipa to acquire a stake in Saipa's subsidiary Pars Khodro, according to Majid Souri, the Saipa investment management director. - 11/12/14

Foreign insurance companies resume business in Iran
The new round of activities by foreign insurance companies in Iran has started with Nasco Insurance Group of France opening its office in Tehran. The French insurance company this week hosted a number of activists from the private sector and those engaged in insurance industry. - 11/12/14

Top political donors: "Bomb the daylights" out of Iran
Did you hear what two of the most powerful political donors in America said yesterday about a potential deal with Iran yesterday?Haim Saban, a top Democratic donor who has given millions to candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, told the Israeli American Forum he "would bomb the daylights out of those SOBs" in Iran. - 11/11/14

'No Progress' in 2nd Day of Nuclear Pact Talks
Iran, the United States and the European Union have wrapped up two days of talks in Oman without any noted breakthrough on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton were trying to reach a deal Monday, ahead of the looming November 24 deadline for a pact. - 11/11/14

"I Am Not Angry": Iran's Culture Minister blocks release of film about expelled student
After persistent pressure from conservative factions in Parliament, the Ministry of Culture and Guidance announced that Reza Darmishian film, "I am not Angry" was finally blocked from screening through direct intervention of the Culture Minister Ali Jannati. - 11/11/14

Iran slams EU renewing sanctions on University
The Iranian judiciary's Human Rights Commission has denounced the European Union's decision to once again impose sanctions on one of Iran's top universities, Sharif University of Technology, describing it as a "violation of international rights." - 11/11/14

Strengthening Iran's Status, Greatest Outcome of the Nuclear Deal
Etemad Newspaper's Interview with Kayhan Barzegar, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran on the regional developments and its link with a prospective nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 group. - 11/11/14

Iranian officials linked to Kahrizak deaths must return to court
Saeed Mortazavi and Ali Akbar Heydarifar, two of the judiciary officials linked to the torture and death of detainees in Kahrizak Prison in 2009 have been summoned to court once again because of renewed complaints filed by Abdolhossein Ruholamini, father of Mohsen Ruholamini, one of the victims. - 11/11/14

On Qassem Soleimani, Superstar, and Negotiating with Iran in a Hobbesian World
Karl Sharro published this brilliant satire on the news coverage of the "shadowy" Iranian Qods Froce commander, Qassem Soleimani, almost a month before a big story appeared Nov. 5 in the Associated Press about the "mysterious" military "mastermind" who is apparently running the ground war in Iraq. Had he seen the AP's piece, Sharro would have probably included its last juicy line about "Supermani" in his own article. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog - 11/11/14

Iran divests state shares worth over $9.2b in 18 months
Iran has transferred 300 trillion rials (about $9.2 billion) of shares of state-run companies to the private sector over the past one and a half years, Iran Privatization Organization Director Abdollah Pouri Hosseini said. - 11/11/14

Obama: 'Big Gap' In Iran Nuke Talks
U.S. President Barack Obama says there is a "big gap" between Tehran and international negotiators over Iran's nuclear program and that a deal to end a decade-long standoff could be out of reach. - 11/10/14

Iran: Basij forces given go ahead to enforce hijab compliance
Iranian Parliament has approved a bill allowing Basij forces to give verbal warnings to people in public regarding their compliance with the Islamic dress code. - 11/10/14

Iran, US, EU Hold Second Day of Talks
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have begun a second day of talks in Oman as a deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran approaches. The extended discussions Monday are taking place after some of the participants originally had been scheduled to leave. - 11/10/14

Iran Punished By The Volleyball Federation For Refusing To Allow Women In The Stadium
Ari Grasa, the head of the World Federation of Volleyball, has written a letter to Mohammadreza Davarzani, the head of the Iranian Federation of Volleyball, expressing the global body's gratitude to Iran for its willingness to host the championships but informing Davarzani that Argentina has been chosen as the host. - 11/10/14

ISIS in a Sunni-Shia perspective
When ISIS suddenly emerged in Iraq it declared as one of its first targets the Shi'is and what it called the Safavids. The Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) was one of the most powerful Iranian dynasties after the Islamic conquest. -Farhang Jahanpour - 11/10/14

Iran Copies US Drone
Iran says it has successfully tested its version of a U.S. drone. Iranian officials said Monday the design of the drone is based on the RQ-170 Sentinel, a U.S. drone seized in 2011 when it traveled into Iranian airspace. - 11/10/14

Tehran, Lisbon sign air transportation contract
Iran and Portugal have signed an air transportation contract, announced the head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran on Sunday. Alireza Jahangiri added that for the first time in the past 35 years, Iran has concluded an aviation deal with an EU member-state. - 11/10/14

Kerry Meeting With Iranian FM With Deadline for Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have begun face-to-face talks in Oman just two weeks ahead of a deadline for reaching a nuclear deal. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is also taking part in Sunday's talks. - 11/9/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: Reading the Tea Leaves
Secretary of State John Kerry has a hectic traveling schedule, and this month's itinerary has been particularly focused on doing everything to ensure a good deal with Iran over its nuclear program is achieved by the deadline of November 24. -Francois Nicoulaud, LobeLog - 11/9/14

Policy Memo: Establishing a Direct Financial Channel between the United States and Iran
On the eve of a potential settlement to the Iranian nuclear dispute, the United States must be prepared to provide Iran the sanctions relief pledged it under a nuclear deal. Unwinding the sanctions will be crucial to ensuring that Iran upholds its commitments under a final deal and remains compliant with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations, while also setting the stage for the White House to pursue a broader opening to Iran. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 11/9/14

Iranian Culture Minister stands firm against critical group of MPs
Iran's Culture Minister Ali Jannati has once again defended his policies at the ministry despite repeated efforts by a faction of parliamentarians to impeach him for loosening the censorship criteria. - 11/9/14

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW: Equality for women means progress for all
The fifty eighth session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place in New York at the Headquarters of United Nations from 10-21 March 2014. -Elahe Amani - 11/9/14

Seasoned broadcast exec to lead Iran's National TV
Mohammad Sarafraz has been appointed the head of Iran's national broadcasting service, Seda va Sima, replacing Ezzatollah Zarghami at the end of his 10-year tenure. - 11/9/14

Iran slams EU's fresh bans against Iranian institutions, companies
Iran has strongly condemned the European Union's latest move to impose fresh sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and companies despite the ongoing negotiations between representatives of Iran, the US and the EU in the Omani capital, Muscat. - 11/9/14

Jerusalem of Tarnished Gold
Take a particularly provocative and grandstanding Israeli government and shift its focus from Hamas and Gaza to Jerusalem and you have a most explosive recipe. That potion is being stirred now, and the results could shake up the status quo in a way that we have only seen a few times in Israel's history. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/9/14

The Imminent Prospect of a U.S.-IRAN Breakthrough worries the Hawks
The international community grapples once again with the imminent prospect of a "nuclear deal" between the U.S. (aka P5+1) and Iran before the extended deadline of November 24. Meanwhile, the neo-cons and fundamentalists from both sides have begun undermining and harming possible breakthroughs. With the visionary brinkmanship of both sides the lingering stalemate may be resolved, ending the fraught sanctions, and opening trades and diplomatic relations. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan - 11/8/14

Nesta Ramazani's Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights
Persian Cooking is the mother of English language Persian cookbooks. For forty years, this book has been a staple in kitchens of those who enjoy the cooking of Iran. This fortieth anniversary edition is revised and updated to take into account present tastes; the better availability of ingredients; and modern cooking tools and methods. - 11/8/14

Falling Oil Prices May Not Pressure Iran, Russia
The global price of oil fell sharply in recent months, providing some benefits to consumers and putting economic pressure on exporting countries, including two that are involved in disputes with the West. But analysts say the impact on those two countries - Iran and Russia - may not be as great as some might expect. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/8/14

Iranian Quds Leader 'Shuns Bullet-Proof Vest' In Fight Against IS
Iran's "mysterious" Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Suleimani may have stepped out of the shadows in Iraq, but the Iranian media's myth-making efforts about the once-elusive military chief continue apace. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/8/14

Marjane Satrapi, LIVE from the New York Public Library
Marjane Satrapi mesmerized audiences with her poignant graphic memoir Persepolis, a narrative that was at once personal and political. Satrapi joins Paul Holdengraber to discuss the unique challenges and rewards inherent in narratives of social protest, and offers a sneak peek of her new film, The Voices. - 11/8/14

Report Says Obama Wrote Iranian Leader About Fighting IS
A report in "The Wall Street Journal" newspaper says U.S. President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in October about fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria. - 11/7/14

Column: Will US Election Results Undermine Iran Nuclear Talks?
Foreign policy - apart from scaremongering about Ebola and terrorism - was not a major issue in U.S. midterm elections. But the imminent Republican takeover of the Senate could impact whether the international community and Iran agree to a landmark deal in talks that are nearing a November 24 deadline. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 11/7/14

Documentary maker honoured for film on LGBTQ in Iran
Farid Haerinejad's Out of Iran: Iran's Unwanted Sons and Daughters, a film sponsored by Radio Zamaneh, won the best documentary prize at the Noor Iranian Film Festival for 2014. The festival was held in October in Los Angeles, and the film can be viewed here on the Radio Zamaneh website. - 11/7/14

Iran Lawmakers Propose Lashes For Leashes
Iranians walking their dogs in public could be sentenced to 74 lashes and a fine of more than $3,500. Their pet dogs could also be confiscated, taken to the zoo, or left in a desert. - 11/7/14

IAEA new report on Iran's nuclear programme is released
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has relaesed its new report on Iran's nuclear programmes under the title of 'Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran'. - 11/7/14

Iran is set to reclaim its role as regional leader
Once US troops go home, Iran has the most battle-ready military force to offset regional challenges. -Shahram Akbarzadeh, Al-Jazeera - 11/7/14

Azerbaijan: Time to Address the Potential Salafi Danger
Earlier in October, Azerbaijani news media reported the death of a professional Azerbaijani wrestler, Rashad Bakhshaliyev, who was killed in Syria while fighting for the Islamic State. The news, which came as a surprise to many in Azerbaijan, underscores an emerging security threat for Azerbaijan. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 11/7/14

Sources: Detained Iranian-American Journalist's Condition Deteriorating
The health of detained Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian has deteriorated in the past few weeks, sources have told VOA. Rezaian has been detained in Iran since July 22, when he, his wife and two other American journalists were taken into custody. No formal charges have been announced against them. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 11/6/14

Obama Says He'll Work With Outgoing Congress On New War Powers
U.S. President Barack Obama said he would update congressional leaders about the fight against Islamic State militants during meetings in Washington on November 7. Speaking on November 5, a day after his Democratic Party was soundly defeated in midterm Congressional elections, Obama also expressed cautious optimism about reaching a deal with Tehran over Iran's nuclear program. - 11/6/14

Iranians React To Republican Victory in U.S. Elections
With a deadline for a nuclear deal less than three weeks away, many in Iran have focused their attention on the likely impact of the victory of the Republicans in the U.S. midterm elections on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States and other major world powers. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/6/14

Iran: Over 350,000 marriages, 75,623 divorces registered in six months
Statistics show 352,424 marriages were recorded nationwide during March 21-Sept 22, of which 298,487 and 53,937 pertain to urban and rural areas respectively. Over the same period, 75,623 divorces were recorded nationwide 69,353 and 6,270 of which pertain to urban and rural areas respectively. - 11/6/14

Several Iranian provinces punished by heavy rain, snowstorms
Heavy rain and snow has hit 11 provinces in Iran, and in some areas roads have been closed due to blizzards. Alborz, Khuzestan, Chahar Mahal Bakhriyari, Khorazan Razavi, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Gilan and eastern parts of Tehran are among the provinces dealing with heavy precipitation. - 11/6/14

Why Israel Opposes A Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do About It
November 24 is the deadline for six world powers and Iran to reach a final deal over its nuclear program. If there is no deal, then the talks are likely to be extended, not abandoned. But as I learned from more than three decades' work on Middle East issues, in and out of the US government, success also depends on Israel no longer believing that it needs a regional enemy shared in common with the United States to ensure Washington's commitment to its security. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/6/14

Pentagon seeks Iran sanctions waiver for Afghanistan investment: Report
The Wall Street Journal newspaper revealed on Tuesday that the Pentagon's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations has sought to use Iran's investment in major business ventures it was promoting in Afghanistan. - 11/6/14

New Hope for Revocation of Death Sentence for Insulting Prophet on Facebook
A Supreme Court branch reviewing the appeal request in the case of Soheil Arabi, a man convicted of "sabb al-nabi" (insulting the Prophet) and sentenced to death, will soon announce its ruling, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 11/6/14

Iranian Political Prisoner After His Release: We Do Not Repent, Have Full Belief In Our Struggle
Last week when he was released from Evin prison, where he had spend the last four years as a political prisoner, Amin (Peyman) Chalaki, the 2009 deputy manager of Mir-Hossein Mousavi's election campaign in Saveh, held up a photograph of his former boss in defiance of those who had arrested, sentenced and imprisoned him. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 11/6/14

Direct US-Iran banking channel could cement nuclear deal
As nuclear talks enter a crucial period ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline, one of the incentives the Barack Obama administration is dangling before Iran is a direct banking channel between a US and an Iranian financial institution, Al-Monitor has learned. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 11/6/14

Iran, 5+1 to meet in Oman soon after Zarif-Kerry-Ashton talks
Negotiators from Iran and the 5+1 group - the U.S., Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany - will meet in Muscat, Oman, for nuclear talks on November 11, Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister and a leading nuclear negotiator, announced on Sunday. - 11/5/14

Insurance aid requested for treatment of Iran's land mine victims
Iran's Ministry of Health has been urged to provide land mine victims with the health insurance needed to help them recover as best possible from their injuries, as land mines continue to plague residents in the provinces of Khuzestan, Kurdistan, Western Azerbaijan, Ilam and Kermanshah. - 11/5/14

Annual anti-US demonstrations in Tehran draws fewer numbers
The annual demonstrations marking the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in 1979 were held in Tehran on Tuesday November 4 with no government officials in attendance. Demonstrators reportedly chanted slogans against the U.S., Israel and Britain and burned their respective flags. - 11/5/14

Nasrallah, Iran Praise Hizballah's Role In Fighting IS
Iran's media has highlighted comments made by the secretary-general of the Lebanese Hizballah movement, who boasted on November 3 that the Shi'ite group was experiencing a "great victory" over the Sunni Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/5/14

Is the Justice Department Shielding an Anti-Iran Smear Campaign?
A new wrinkle in an already bizarre lawsuit is shaping up to potentially embarrass the Obama administration. If allegations made in a recent court filing are true, then the Justice Department, with an unprecedented assertion of the state secrets privilege, might be shielding from any accountability a group actively engaged in spreading false information. -Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, Nation - 11/5/14

Iran: Mohammad Sarafraz appointed IRIB director
Mohammad Sarafraz has been appointed the managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), some Persian news websites quoting an anonymous source announced on Monday. - 11/5/14

German trade with Iran springs back to life
German exports to Iran rose by 32.7 percent in the first eight months of 2014. Reuters reports that according to German statistics, exports to Iran from Germany reached 1.6 billion euros in the first eight months of 2014. - 11/5/14

ISIS Improves Hezbollah's Standing
The horrors perpetrated by IS in Iraq against religious minorities and Sunni opponents in areas that have come under its control have, if anything, rallied Lebanese Shi'a behind Hezbollah, particularly in the absence of a strong Lebanese state and security forces that are able to protect the country. Indeed, Hezbollah has effectively come to be seen as the only armed group that can defend Lebanon against a possible "invasion" by the "beheaders gang." -Aurelie Daher - 11/5/14

Pentagon Says Policies Of Iran, Pakistan Destabilize Afghan Security
The Pentagon's latest assessment on security in Afghanistan has strongly criticized Pakistan and Iran, saying they are destabilizing regional security. - 11/5/14

American carmakers invited to Iran's Auto Expo
Secretary of Iran's Second International Auto Exhibition Sasan Qorbani said Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo, Fiat and Skoda auto makers would take part in the Iranian auto expo, adding that the US car-manufacturers may also join the event. - 11/4/14

Iran's Culture Ministry Defends 'Successful' U.S. Presence
Iran's Culture Ministry has defended the "successful presence" of an Iranian delegation in an October 28 conference in Pittsburgh that was reportedly also attended by State Department official Greg Sullivan. The conference, "Growing Business between the U.S. and the Middle East," was organized by the American Middle East Institute. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/4/14

Police official downplays acid attacks in Isfahan
Ahmadreza Radan, the Chief of Police Strategic Studies, says the acid assaults on women in Isfahan have been "blown out of proportion [which allowed] the enemy to take advantage of it." President Rohani has implicitly linked the actions to overt government interference in the enforcement of hijab and Islamic dress codes in public. - 11/4/14

Iran approves big budget to save drying lake Urmia
Iran's administration approved on Sunday November 3 the plans developed by the task force to save the rapidly drying Lake Urmia, including a budget of about 7.3 trillion rials (about $225 million). - 11/4/14

Iranian Culture Minister Faces Heat Over Films
A group of Iranian MPs is collecting signatures in order to summon Culture Minister Ali Jannati to Parliament for questioning. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Parliament's Cultural Commission has warned the culture minister that his impeachment will result if eight films, which have already been criticized by the commission, are released. - 11/4/14

Iran's Cabinet Ministers Weep To Mark Religious Festival
Iranians have been celebrating the Shi'ite religious festival of Tasua Ashura to honor the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein, who was slain in a battle in Karbala in 680 C.E. Iran's cabinet of ministers launched its November 3 session by listening to a tearful sermon by President Hassan Rohani. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/4/14

Iran plans to double gas production by 2017
Over the next three years, our plan is to increase production to 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) per day," Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi told Bloomberg. He added that Iran's daily gas output will increase to 680 mcm in winter, up from 550 mcm. - 11/4/14

Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost
Iran has tentatively agreed to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia if it reaches a broader nuclear deal with the West, according to officials and diplomats involved in the negotiations, potentially a major breakthrough in talks that have until now been deadlocked. -NY Times - 11/4/14

Sharif University robots help with treatment of cancer children
The research paper submitted to Sixth International Conference on Social Robotics University of Technology, Sydney, by Sharif University of Technology researchers Minoo Alemi, Ali Meghdari, Ashkan Ghanbarzadeh, Leila Jafari Moghadam, Anooshe Ghanbarzadeh, titled 'Impact of a Social Humanoid Robot as a Therapy Assistant in Children Cancer Treatment,' was awarded the best paper title. - 11/3/14

Iranian President says nuclear agreement is possible in remaining time
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that reaching a comprehensive agreement with the western governments is possible by the November 24 deadline. The president made the remarks in a meeting with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende. - 11/3/14

Mirzakhani honored by High Council for Iranian Expatriates Affairs
High Council for Iranian Expatriates Affairs on Sunday granted a plaque of honor to Iranian Fields Medal-winning mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani. Ahmad Mirzakhani, the father of Professor Maryam Mirzakhani, who is an engineer and head of the board of directors of Raad Charity institution in Iran, received the plaque of honor on behalf of his daughter because she couldn't attend the ceremony. - 11/3/14

Omid, the Last Siberian crane, returns to Iran
SARI, Nov. 02 - An environmental activist has announced that the last Siberian crane has returned to Iran for the seventh consecutive year. Narges Rouhani, an environmental activist, pointed to the return of the last Siberian crane to Iran and said, "this crane which is called Omid (Persian for 'hope') landed at Fereydunkenar wetland on Saturday at 7:30 AM. He is currently resting and feeding there." - 11/3/14

Iran Warns Of "Serious Contradictions" In U.S. Anti-IS Policies
The Iranian media, both in Persian and English, has made much of remarks by Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who said that Tehran mistrusts the intentions of the United States in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/3/14

An Anniversary Not to be Celebrated
Thirty-five years ago this week, my wife and I were driving on a highway in Pennsylvania, coming from Parents' Weekend at Colgate. I was in charge of Iranian affairs at the State Department and was passing the time trying to imagine new approaches that might help us normalize relations with Tehran's distrustful revolutionary regime of clerics. I had just spent two weeks in the Iranian capital trying to find ways to ease tensions. -Henry Precht, LobeLog - 11/3/14

An Unprecedented Look at Stuxnet, the World's First Digital Weapon
In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran noticed that centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery-apparently as much to the Iranian technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them. -Kim Zetter, Wired - 11/3/14

ISIS eyes using Ebola as bio weapon: Spain
The Spanish government said it is concerned that terrorists could use the Ebola virus as a biological weapon against the West. A close eye is being kept on online chat rooms, where such attacks are reportedly discussed among jihadist groups. - 11/3/14

Fighting for freedom in Iran in the privacy of their own homes
Nothing much has changed since the protests in 2009 despite President Rouhani's pledges. Young and old are surprisingly open to quietly revealing their frustrations with theocratic rule, even to a Westerner -Rob Hastings, Independent - 11/3/14

Iranian Lawmakers Look To Protect Vigilantes Of Islamic Justice
The bill winding through the conservative-dominated parliament would strengthen punishments for those who injure or kill people carrying out their Islamic duty to promote virtue and prevent vice, and would give injured vigilantes of Islamic justice the same benefits and legal protections afforded to "martyrs and disabled veterans." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/2/14

12.000 European tourists register to visit Iran
Head of Iran Tourism Operators' Association Ebrahim Pour-Faraj said 12.000 European tourists have registered for visiting Iran via Golden Eagle Danube Express. The luxurious train with 13 wagons can carry only 150 passengers, and it should arrive in Iran 80 times if it wants to bring all of the tourists to Iran. - 11/2/14

U.K. Concerned By Trial, Jailing Of British-Iranian Woman
The British government says it is concerned about reports that a British-Iranian woman has been sentenced to one year in prison after trying to attend a volleyball match in Tehran. In a statement on November 2, the British Foreign Office said there are "concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial," and the treatment of Ghonchech Ghavami while in custody. - 11/2/14

Iran looks at legislation protecting intellectual property
President Hassan Rohani has presented to the parliament a bill to protect of intellectual property which includes artistic, industrial and scientific property. Iran is not a signatory to the Berne Convention and international copyright laws. - 11/2/14

Iran was OPEC's 3rd largest oil producer in first half of 2014: EIA
Iran was the third-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the first half of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The largest buyers of Iranian crude and condensate are China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, the EIA stated. - 11/2/14

5 amazing places in Iran you've never heard of
It might not be on everyone's travel radar, but Iran has a well-worn tourist circuit, encompassing attractions in the ancient cities of Shiraz and Isfahan. For those wanting to get off the beaten path, the country has a wealth of lesser-known destinations that rival the stunning beauty and historical significance of their more famous counterparts. -Roshanak Taghavi, CNN - 11/2/14

Iran Says Nearly All Executions Drug-Related
Iran's top human rights official responded to UN criticism of the death penalty in his country by saying 93 percent of the executions in Iran are for illegal drug smuggling. Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council, made his comments in answering a UN report criticizing Iran's frequent use of capital punishment. - 11/2/14

All Aboard! European Travelers Arrive in Mashhad, Iran
A luxury special train carrying European tourists arrived in Holy City of Mashhad in northeastern of Iran on Wednesday October 26th. Mashhad, considered the second largest holy city in the world, attracts more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims every year, many of whom come to pay pilgrimage to Imam Reza, the 8th Muslim Shi'ite Imam, - 11/1/14

Kerry, Iranian FM to Hold Nuclear Talks in November
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks next month with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program approaches. The State Department says Kerry will meet with the Iranian diplomat in Oman on November 9 and 10. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will also be part of the talks. - 11/1/14

Iran advised to cut expectations for oil revenue
The National Oil Company of Iran says the Iranian government should abandon scenarios based on oil selling for $100 a barrel and instead base its budget on a price of $70 per barrel. - 11/1/14

Iranian reporter who covered Isfahan protests set free on bail
Arya Jafari, an ISNA reporter detained for nine days by the Isfahan Revolutionary Guards for covering public protests against acid attacks on women, was released on bail today, October 31. Three ISNA staff members were arrested following their reports on the protests, and Jafari is the last to be released. - 11/1/14

Iran Defeating IS With 'Ideas' Not Arms
Asenior Iranian hard-line cleric has said that Iranian Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Suleimani's ideas are more effective against Islamic State (IS) militants than arms. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Noori Hamedani said that Suleimani's "intelligence and ideas" had defeated the "terrorists" in Syria and Iraq. - 11/1/14

Netanyahu and Obama: Name-Calling and its Discontents
The obsession in politics and diplomacy with decorum-largely a relic from the past-can easily distract people from the realities of the present. Case in point, the uproar over Jeffrey Goldberg's latest article in the Atlantic, the headline of which, The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here, would seem important enough to warrant more attention than it has gotten so far. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/1/14

An Iranian who could balance Tehran's factions?
The newly prominent official is Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran's national security council. He played a key role last summer in the ouster of Nouri al-Maliki as Iraq's prime minister. -David Ignatius, Washington Post - 11/1/14

US Tech And Aerospace Companies Could Miss Out If Iran Sanctions Are Suspended
"Iranians have by and large maintained good trade and economic ties with European countries," said Alex Vatanka, an Iranian analyst at the Middle East Institute. "Those connections are much easier to revive should sanctions be removed than for the American side, which needs to go out and recover 35 years of lost time." -Erin Banco, IBI - 11/1/14
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