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Tehran orchestra thwarts order to omit female musicians from concert
A performance by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra to open the World Wrestling Club competitions was cancelled after the conductor refused to accept a last-minute demand to remove all female musicians. - 11/30/15

MP angered by news that accused former prosecutor has left Iran
An Iranian MP wants Parliament to follow up on reports that Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran Prosecutor who is under investigation for fraud and his involvement in the death and torture of prisoners, has left the country. - 11/30/15

Art show stressing children as main victims of Syrian war opens in Tehran
The Aylan International Cartoon and Illustration Exhibition opened at Iran's House of Cartoon in Tehran on Sunday evening in order to draw international attention to children as the main victims of the war in Syria. - 11/30/15

Carnegie Mellon University Hosts The Segah Festival of Persian and Turkish Music
The Center for Iranian Music (CFIM) at Carnegie Mellon University presents the Segah Festival of Persian and Turkish Music from January 14-16, 2016, in the College of Fine Arts building on the CMU campus. Festival events are open to the public; Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff are admitted free. - 11/30/15

Director of Christie's Middle East denies Arab dealers' reluctance to purchase Iranian artworks
Arabs have been among the big buyers of Iranian artworks since May 2006, when Christie's held its first auction in the Middle East in Dubai, Michael Jeha told the Persian service of Honaronline, a Persian art news website, in an interview published on Sunday. - 11/30/15

Fiat in talks for car manufacturing in Iran
An Iranian car manufacturer is in talks with Italian automaker Fiat SpA to produce cars in Iran which is billed as the Middle East's biggest auto market, a minister says. - 11/30/15

Small German Firms Hold Edge in Iran
Despite the international sanctions that have choked off much of Iran's foreign trade, many German companies have continued to do business here--legally-in recent years. Now those companies are likely to be among the first to benefit from the country's expected reopening -Christopher Alessi, WSJ - 11/30/15

How to travel through Iran by bus
Somewhere to the east of Shiraz, we reach a village so tiny it's not even a dot on the map. No doubt its residents will regard the prospect of an unexpected visit from a busload of Westerners as the next best thing to a Martian invasion. -Sandra Hall, Stuff.co.nz - 11/30/15

"Secrets of Eternity" uncovered at Tehran's Silk Road gallery
"The Secrets of Eternity", a multimedia exhibition inspired by the poetry of Persian classical poet Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), opened Friday at Tehran's Silk Road Gallery. Filmmakers, actors, painters and illustrators including Abbas Kiarostami, Mohammad Ehsai, Farshid Mesqali, Pariyoush Ganji, Farah Osuli, Ebrahim Haqiqi, Reza Kianian and Shadi Qadirian have displayed their collections of artworks in the exhibit. - 11/29/15

2015 APSA awards Iranian actress Motamed-Aria
The 2015 edition of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) has awarded Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria during a ceremony held in Brisbane, Australia. Motamed-Aria received the event's Special Mention for the Best Performance by an Actress for her appearance in 'Avalanche,' directed by Iranian filmmaker Morteza Farshbaf. - 11/29/15

Dwindling Persian Leopard population faces grave challenges
The head of the Hunting and Fishing branch of the Department of the Environment reports that in the past eight years, 166 Persian Leopards have been killed in various parts of the country. Ali Teymouri told IRNA that most of these leopards have been killed in Fars, Golestan, Kerman, Zanjan, Ilam and Khorasan Province due to "road accidents or by poachers or stock herders". - 11/29/15

Iranian political prisoners say authorities used violent offenders against them
Five political prisoners in Rejai Shahr Prison in Karaj have begun a hunger strike to protest that prison authorities have orchestrated attacks against them using "two prisoners with a history of violence". - 11/29/15

Russia's Lovchev breaks weightlifting world records held by Iran's Rezazadeh
Russian weightlifter Aleksey Lovchev has established new world records in the clean and jerk and aggregate in the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships in the United States, breaking the previous record set by Iranian weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. - 11/29/15

Iran new oil contract comes under criticism
A day after Iran's Ministry of Petroleum unveiled a new format for investment in its oil and gas sector, criticism is rising that future contracts with foreign companies are poised to compromise national interests and incur big losses. - 11/29/15

Turkey Returning Body of Russian Pilot
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering economic sanctions against Turkey. The measure restricts Russian imports of some Turkish products, prohibits extensions of contracts for Turks working in Russia and impacts the operations of Turkish companies in Russia. - 11/29/15

The Truth About Siamak Namazi, the Iranian-American Arrested in Iran
"It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence." Siamak Namazi sent me an Internet meme with this quote only a few weeks ago. It was his clever way of responding to the heated discussions I was having on social media in his defense. The Daily Beast had just published an article attacking Siamak and his family, via a pseudonym, as Siamak was being interrogated in Iran. -Ahmad Kiarostami, Huffington Post - 11/28/15

The Tehran Summit: Iran's biggest oil investment event opens
An important conference opens in Tehran to lay out 50 oil and gas projects for development through foreign investment which Iran hopes to trickle in with the lifting of Western sanctions. As many as 250 representatives of companies from 33 countries are attending the conference which will also feature Iran's introduction of a new contract format offering better incentives to investors than the previous buy-back deal. - 11/28/15

Muslim Radicalization in Europe: Roots and Resolution
The November 13 bombings in Paris by a number of Muslim radicals suspected of having links to the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has once again focused attention on the challenge posed to the security of many European countries, especially those with large Muslim populations, by the radicalization of a small portion of this population. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/28/15

Tehran Claims It Didn't Engage In Cyberattacks
Iran says it has not reciprocated cyberattacks it has faced in past years with a similar response. "Iran has never responded to these illegal attacks with reciprocal cyberattacks," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on November 27. - 11/28/15

Turkey arrests journalists who exposed shipments of arms to Syria
The Turkish judiciary has arrested Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar, along with the daily's Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, accusing them of espionage, revealing classified documents and being members of a terrorist organization. The report alleges the arms were going to extremist groups fighting against the Syrian regime. - 11/28/15

Iran's Quds commander only injured in Syrian battle, not killed
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reports that Senior Commander Qassem Soleymani has only suffered "some minor injuries" in Syria. AFP quoted informed sources and the Human Rights Watch saying Soleymani suffered minor injuries in Syria. The Syrian Human Rights Watch indicated that Soleymani was injured during operations near Aleppo. - 11/27/15

Far From Home: Between Heaven and Earth - Video, Installation, and Performance by Minoosh Zomorodinia
Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian photographer, performer, and video artist. In her exhibition at Gallery Route One, Zomorodinia presents her on-going exploration and investigation of the 'Self' in the artist's cultural and political struggles as a Muslim woman living in the United States today. The artist will perform briefly before the reception and before the closing night. - 11/27/15

Iraq Closes Airspace in Kurdish North for Russian Missiles
Iraq has shut down two airports in the northern Kurdish region of the country in anticipation of Russian cruise missiles crossing Iraqi airspace to hit multiple targets in neighboring Syria. Iraq Closes Airspace in Kurdish North for Russian Missiles -Sharon Behn, VOA - 11/27/15

Tehran gallery exhibits street art by Iranian, international artists
Tehran has held an exhibition of works by Iranian and international graffiti artists in Dena Art Gallery. 'Different Strokes of Tehran' exhibits works by 15 artists, including Sandra Chevrier (Canada), Otto Schade (Chile), Ernest Zacharevic (Lithuania), Madc (Germany), Cept (UK), Canvaz (Ireland), Cart1 (Spain), Icy and Sot (Iran), Martin Whatson (Norway), Beejoir (UK), Nafir (Iran), and Levalet (France). - 11/27/15

Iran, Russia in talks over major arms deal
Russia and Iran are in talks over deliveries of the Russian-made weaponry as Tehran is interested in Moscow's entire range to replace its outdated military equipment, Vladimir Kozhin, Russian presidential aide on military-technical cooperation said Wednesday. - 11/27/15

Political Prisoner's Health Deteriorating as His Hunger Strike Enters Fourth Week
Iranian political prisoner Majid Azarpey is in extremely poor health since beginning a wet hunger strike (refusing solid foods) in Tehran's Evin Prison on November 3, 2015 to protest his sentence. - 11/27/15

Justice Minister alarmed by high number of prisoners in Iran
Iran's Minister of Justice has expressed concern about the high number of prisoners in the country. Prior to Iran's 1979 Revolution, Iran, with a population of 36 million, had about 10,000 prisoners. Statistics released last year indicate that Iran now has 210,000 prisoners. - 11/27/15

Iran slumps to Brazil in Women's Futsal World Tournament
Iran women's national futsal team has sustained its second group stage defeat at the 2015 Women's Futsal World Tournament in Guatemala, going down to the strong Brazilian side. The loss means Iran cannot progress to the quarterfinals, as the first two teams in each group can make it into the knockout stage. - 11/27/15

Missing Iranian Diplomat Confirmed Dead
The body of a former Iranian diplomat missing since the September hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia has been found, Iranian news agencies have reported. The corpse of Iran's former ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, was identified through DNA tests, the ISNA news agency reported on November 25, citing unnamed "reliable sources." - 11/27/15

"Princess of Rome" avant-garde animation in Iran
"Princess of Rome", young Iranian director Hadi Mohammadian's animation about a religious historical story about Imam Hassan Askari's marriage to Malika, the granddaughter of Roman Emperor Caesar, is on screen at Iranian theaters. - 11/25/15

Meet Marjan Philhour: Candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian American (PAAIA) recently had the opportunity to sit down with Marjan Ghafourpour Philhour to discuss her campaign for San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 1. If successful she will become the first woman of Iranian and Filipino descent to be elected to public office in San Francisco. - 11/25/15

Women's Futsal Team Captain Allowed to Travel to World Championship Only after Judiciary Gives Consent
The captain of the Iranian women's national Futsal team, Niloufar Ardalan, who was previously banned from leaving the country to play in the Asian championships in Malaysia because her husband, Mehdi Tutunchi, had not given his consent, has received permission from the Judiciary to travel with the team to Guatemala for the world futsal championship. - 11/25/15

Iranian Diplomat: Nuclear Deal To Enter Into Force In Early January
"We expect it will be in early January," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told reporters in Vienna on November 24 after meeting the head of the UN's atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for verifying the accord. - 11/25/15

Rivers redirected to save Iran's biggest inland lake from vanishing
The secretary of the task force for replenishing Lake Urmia announced that water has begun to be transfered from the Simineh and Zarineh Rivers to the rapidly vanishing lake. Issa Kalantari reported on Sunday November 22 that starting on Thursday November 19, 30 cubic metres of water are pouring into the lake every second because of this project. - 11/25/15

Iranian filmmaker among those arrested in recent sweeps
Mohammad Nourizad, an Iranian filmmaker and activist, was arrested on the morning of Saturday November 23 in front of his home, according to reports from Iran. Nourizad was on his way to the Dena Tyre store, where families of political prisoners and other activists gather each Monday to demand the release of prisoners. - 11/24/15

After summit in Tehran, GECF urges cooperation over market issues
A landmark summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) wrapped up in Iran's capital Tehran on Monday evening. The GECF member states at the end of the summit issued a declaration that underscored the need to facilitate stronger cooperation over a series of industry issues including the transfer of expertise and pricing mechanisms. - 11/24/15

Captain of Iranian women's futsal team permitted to leave country
The Iranian judiciary reports that through the intervention of the football federation and other relevant government bodies, Nilofar Ardalan, an Iranian futsal athlete and national team captain, has been granted permission to leave the country to attend championship games in Guatemala. Mizan Khabar reports that the exit permit was issued with the consent of her husband. - 11/24/15

From Putin To Khamenei: A Koran Copy With Its Own History
It may not be the original version of the first handwritten edition of the Koran, dating back 1,500 years, but it's still quite a book. In a meeting heavily publicized by Russian media, President Vladimir Putin on November 23 gave Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei one of the few copies made of the original edition of the Muslim holy book, which was first made in the 7th century. - 11/24/15

How far will the IRGC go in its arrests?
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps have been busy in recent weeks arresting Iranian journalists, resulting in protests that have included those of president Rouhani as well. Majlis member Ali Motahari - the son of the ideological founder of the Islamic revolution who was assassinated in its early years - has called the recent arrests of journalists by the IRGC as unlawful. He is said the force has no jurisdiction over journalists. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 11/24/15

China calls for accelerated redesign of Iran's Arak reactor
China has urged all sides involved in a mid-2015 nuclear agreement with Iran to accelerate their efforts for redesign and modernization of the Arak heavy water reactor. Based on the agreement, China will play a major part in the redesign process by participating in the redesign and construction of the modernized reactor in Arak. - 11/24/15

Iranian Hackers Attack State Dept. via Social Media Accounts
Four months after a historic accord with Tehran to limit its atomic ambitions, American officials and private security groups say they see a surge in sophisticated computer espionage by Iran, culminating in a series of cyberattacks against State Department officials over the past month. -NY Times - 11/24/15

Migrant crisis: 'Iranians' sew lips shut in border protest
Migrants stuck on the border between Greece and Macedonia sewed their lips together to protest against not being allowed to continue their journey. About six men, apparently from Iran, stripped down during the demonstration near the village of Eidomeni. -BBC - 11/24/15

Nuclear accord paves way for importing Persian rugs into U.S. again
The earthy smell of silk and wool fills a showroom piled waist-high with thousands of hand-woven rugs, some of them centuries old. It is a familiar scent, one that links this Westwood shop to Tehran's bazaars nearly 8,000 miles away. -Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times - 11/24/15

GECF summit opens in Tehran
A landmark summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) has opened in the Iranian capital Tehran with the participation of the heads of nine member states. Presidents of Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Turkmenistan as well as the Algerian prime minister are the key participants. - 11/23/15

Russia eyes $21 billion deals as Putin visits Iran
As President Vladimir Putin arrives in Tehran on Monday, Russia looks to secure export deals worth $21 billion with Iran which is about to walk free from a web of Western sanctions soon. - 11/23/15

Iranian Journalist's One-Year Prison Sentence and Two-Year Ban on Media Upheld
The journalist Rayhaneh Tabatabaie, 35, has been informed that the Appeals Court has approved her one-year prison sentence and two-year ban on political and media activities issued in November 2014 by Judge Salavati. Facebook Posts and Reformist Affiliations Are Her "Crimes" - 11/23/15

Protesters detained outside Evin Prison in Tehran
A number of protesters were arrested by Islamic Republic authorities on Saturday November 21 in front of Evin Prison in Tehran. The Human Rights Reporters News Agency reports that police arrested the protesters in front of Evin Prison and transferred them to various detention centres. - 11/23/15

Putin Arrives In Iran For Talks On Syrian Crisis
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Tehran for talks with the Iranian leadership expected to focus on the Syrian crisis. Moscow and Tehran have been the key backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the country's civil war. - 11/23/15

Russia Eases Nuclear Export Ban On Iran
Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally eased an export ban on nuclear equipment and technology to Iran. The decree was published by the Kremlin on November 23, the same day as Putin arrived in Tehran on an official visit. - 11/23/15

Iran Sentences Washington Post Journalist To Prison
A court in Iran has sentenced Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian media report. The ruling was announced by Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary. - 11/22/15

Iranian Journalist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Her Facebook Posts
The journalist Solmaz Ikdar has been sentenced to three years in prison for "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "propaganda against the state." The charges were based on content she posted on her Facebook page. - 11/22/15

Turkmenistan-Iran trade to rise to $60 billion
Iran and Turkmenistan have decided to raise their annual trade to $60 billion over the next decade, President Hassan Rouhani says. The Iranian president on Sunday received his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Tehran where heads of states of several countries are descending for the most high-profile summit of gas exporting countries. - 11/22/15

US conglomerate General Electric sees opportunities in Iran
GE Oil and Gas, the US conglomerate General Electric's oil division, says it sees opportunities in Iran as foreign firms are holding their breath for a lifting of sanctions to return to the country. - 11/22/15

Comeback for Iranian Caviar
Foodies rejoice: Iranian caviar might be back on store shelves once again. Thanks to the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the United States, trade sanctions imposed on the Gulf state are beginning to lift, including one that banned the import of the delicate salt-cured sturgeon eggs that are synonymous with luxury. -Danny Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine - 11/22/15

Iran banks unprepared for post-sanctions world
Iran knows full well that the end of international sanctions will only translate to more foreign trade and investment if major global banks re-connect with the Islamic republic. But of all foreign companies, banks are the most reluctant to resume relations with Iran. -Amir Paivar, BBC - 11/22/15

Iran: Key to Stabilizing the Middle East
It would not have to be a formal or even a declared arrangement. Iran is not ready for that, and in the environment of a presidential campaign the United States is probably not ready either. But there is no realistic way to bring the conflicts in the Middle East under control and stabilize the region unless Washington and Tehran are willing at least to talk to each other, respect each other's positions, and seek to identify common interests as a basis for action. -Homas Lippman - 11/21/15

Iran's Interior Minister demands investigation of interrupted reformist speech
In the middle of a speech by Reformist figure Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari, he was attacked by about 300 hecklers, prompting Iran's interior minister to ask the Tehran Governor to launch a probe into the attack to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. - 11/21/15

Gas-rich nations meet in Tehran ahead of summit
An extraordinary meeting of gas exporting countries has begun in Tehran ahead of a Monday summit which will gather several leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss issues related to gas production, exports and pricing. - 11/21/15

High-speed rail to link China to Iran
Chinese authorities have proposed a high-speed railway connecting its western city of Urumqi to Tehran, the country's biggest English-language newspaper, China Daily, says. The proposed Silk Road route will connect China to West Asia, stretching from Urumqi and Yining to Almaty in Kazakhstan, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Tashkent and Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to the Iranian capital. - 11/21/15

So-called "divorce brokers" could face official legal backlash in Iran
The head of the Tehran General and Revolutionary Courts, Abbas Pouriyani, has denounced what he refers to as "divorce brokers" and calls on police investigation of their activities. In an interview with the Shargh daily, Mohammadreza Alizadeh an Iranian lawyer explained that the so-called "divorce brokers are now charging between five million and 40 million toumans ($1.5K-13k dollars) to obtain a divorce for couples in the shortest period possible. - 11/21/15

Why imprisoned pastor's wife kept her marital abuse a secret - until now
The wife of Saeed Abedini, the Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Iran since September 2012, has had a difficult month. First Naghmeh Abedini canceled all public appearances after telling supporters by email that her husband had abused her physically, emotionally and sexually. Twelve days later, she released a statement saying she regretted her previous emails. "I was under great psychological and emotional distress," she said -Timothy C. Morgan, RNS - 11/21/15

Formerly Jailed Journalist Explains Iran's Recent Crackdown On Dissent
Iranian-Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker Maziar Bahari has more perspective than most on what's happening in the country. In 2009, Bahari spent 118 days jailed without charge in Iran, and his memoir formed the basis for the 2014 film "Rosewater" by comedian Jon Stewart. After Bahari was freed, he was sentenced in absentia and banned from returning to Iran. -Charlotte Alfred, Huffington Post - 11/21/15

NIAC Action Condemns Discriminatory Backlash to Heinous Terrorist Attacks
NIAC Action condemns the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 innocent people and injured dozens of others, and is deeply concerned by the reactionary proposals offered by some U.S. politicians in response - including suggestions to openly infringe on the rights of Americans based on their religious faith and calls for the U.S. to suspend the admittance of refugees and potentially non-refugee visa seekers from Middle Eastern countries, including Iran. - 11/20/15

THE PERSIANS Exhibition in the Netherlands
As one of the world's most ancient cultures, the Persians produced a vast array of beautiful objects. Persian poems, tapestries, and architecture are quite famous, but the civilization's other art form: weapons is often forgotten. This is the motivation behind the exhibition 'The Persians - Warriors and Poets' at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. - 11/20/15

Largest Wave of Arrests by Iran's Revolutionary Guards Since 2009
The recently announced arrests of 170 people in Qazvin Province, a number of others in Gilan Province, and five journalists in Tehran, all by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, amounts to the largest crackdown since the violent state suppression of the protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran. - 11/20/15

Iran says Telegram agrees to self-censor for Iranian readers
Iran's ministry of communications says the Telegram now has an employee dedicated to censoring the site's content for Iranian users, making sure it conforms to Islamic Republic regulations. - 11/20/15

Iranian Women Drivers Not Wearing Hijab Face Tough Police Action
Cars driven by women who do not observe the hijab (head covering for women) will be impounded and fines will be imposed, according to strict new regulations by Iran's police force. In addition, "trusted invisible agents" will be reporting violations on behalf of the police. - 11/20/15

UN Committee Criticizes Iran's Human Rights Record
The UN General Assembly's human rights committee has criticized Iran for cracking down on dissent and for its increased use of the death penalty. The committee on November 19 approved a nonbinding resolution drafted by Canada that expresses serious concern about rights violations in the Islamic republic. - 11/20/15

Behind the veil: a glance at Iran's leading app store
Heard of Cafe Bazaar? I doubt it rings a bell unless you're in the Middle East or keeping tabs on trends in emerging mobile markets. It's the third-party app store that runs the show in the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, Venture Beat - 11/20/15

The stunning paradox of Iran's war on drugs: How it actually makes America look worse
Iran regularly puts drug traffickers to death--but it also tests out progressive policies for treating drug addicts -Daniel Denvir, Salon - 11/20/15

Watch a Modern Dance Odyssey From Itinerant French-Iranian Artist Lafawndah
This is "Tan," the debut video from Paris-based musician Lafawndah's forthcoming EP of the same name. Setting aside the video for a moment, there is not much else out there like her new music at present, whether in vocal tone or urgency or the beats' unwillingness to adhere to a particular pattern or preset. -The Muse - 11/20/15

How Paris attacks have strengthened Iran's position over Syria
The attacks in Paris may have postponed Hassan Rouhani's highly-anticipated visit to the Elysee Palace, which was scheduled for this week, but the Iranian president will soon travel to France with a better bargaining position over Syria. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 11/20/15

UN: Iran Has Begun Reducing Nuclear Program
The UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has begun curbing its nuclear program in line with a deal with six world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) included that assessment in a report presented to the UN Security Council on November 18. - 11/19/15

Frankfurt hosts Iran investment confab
A high-profile conference has started in Germany's Frankfurt to look into the prospects for investments in the Iranian economy. Dubbed 'Business Forum Iran-Europe', the two-day conference is to explore business opportunities in post-sanction Iran. - 11/19/15

Senior Iranian Cleric Refuses To Meet With Culture Minister
Senior Qom-based hard-line Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has refused to meet with Iranian Culture Minister Ali Jannati to demonstrate his disapproval of the ministry's policies, deemed too liberal by hard-liners. - 11/19/15

Russia may produce Sukhoi Superjets in Iran
Russian officials say the country is negotiating with Iran over the local production of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) airliner to replace the ageing Iranian fleet on regional routes. - 11/19/15

Obama says no more reductions of Iran oil purchases
US President Barack Obama emphasized on Wednesday that Washington will not seek future reductions of oil purchases from Iran and is committed to keep Tehran's oil export at the levels of 2013. - 11/19/15

Iran, the Next Startup Hub? An Interview with Tehran's Millennial Ecosystem Insiders
Silicon Valley, Miami, New York, Austin. These are places we typically think of when we think of startup ecosystems. On the international scale, Latin America has been a trending topic for startup news lately as well. But, there is another potential key player we may not be as familiar with. -Elnaz Moghangard, Huffington Post - 11/19/15

Growth, Energy and Climate: a View From Iran
For the past several months most Iranians have been caught up in a "wait-and-see" collective mindset. Below the surface, in the murky shadows, movement can be detected amongst gigantic coiled up springs waiting for the starting gun. These gargantuan springs come in many shapes and forms. -Daryan Rezazad, Counterpunch - 11/19/15

Some two million Iranians will travel to Iraq to mark Arbaeen
It is predicted that some two million Iranians to travel to Iraq to mark Arbaeen, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari said, Mehr reported on Wednesday. Arbaeen ritual marks the 40th day following the seventh-century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. - 11/19/15

'Terrorist Team' Demolished, Says Iran's IRGC
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says it has demolished a terrorist cell in the western province of Kermanshah. In a statement issued to Iranian media on November 18, the IRGC said the operation was carried out in "recent days." - 11/19/15

Iran, Russia reach agreement on expanding space research
Iran and Russia have reached an agreement on expanding space research cooperation, says Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Rogozin made the announcement following talks with Sorena Sattari, Iran's vice president for science and technology, in Tehran on Wednesday. - 11/19/15

Unnamed Iranian football stars arrested at party
Three professional Iranian football players were arrested by the authorities at a party. Khabar on line published the news on Tuesday November 18 without identifying the players, indicating only that they are well known stars from one of the country's top football teams. - 11/19/15

Will Russia and Iran Finally Tie the Knot?
Despite its slogan of "Neither East Nor West, only Islamic Republic" and its labeling of the USSR as the "little Satan," the Islamic Republic of Iran from its very early days viewed the USSR and the other Eastern Bloc countries more sympathetically than it did the United States and West European countries. -Shireen Hunter - 11/18/15

Iranian MP accuses IRGC of breaking law by detaining journalists
Iranian MP Ali Motahari says the recent arrests of journalists by Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are "against the law". In an interview with the Iran daily on Tuesday November 17, Motahari said detaining journalists is not on the "list of legal duties of the Revolutionary Guards". - 11/18/15

Iran to host 9 heads of state in GECF summit: Oil Minister
Iran's oil minister says the Islamic Republic will be hosting nine heads of state and a large group of other dignitaries during the third summit meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). - 11/18/15

Western Policy and the Paris Terror Attacks
As we mourn the many killed in Paris by the terror attacks of November 13, we may be tempted to react mainly with anger and outrage and to rally around the Western governments in their "war" against the Islamic jihadists. But if we want to live in a world free of terror, we must do more than react blindly in support of widened Western military campaigns, air strikes, drone attacks, secret operations, assassinations, destabilization campaigns, secret prisons and all the apparatus of official violence. -Jim Paul Bio: Jim Paul, NationofChange - 11/18/15

New Adventure Film KARUN released 16th November Worldwide Aims to Change the Way We Think about Iran
Two British filmmakers are hoping to reverse long-held prejudices against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a new adventure film KARUN, portraying their unusual journey through the country. Karun: Misadventures On Iran's Longest River will be released worldwide digitally via the project's website:karunfilm.com on Monday 16th November and will have its premiere at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Saturday 14th November. - 11/17/15

Prominent Iranian Cartoonist Hadi Heidari Arrested
Security forces arrested the prominent Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari in his office at Shahrvand Daily in Tehran today, November 16, 2015. Two co-workers of Heidari at the Tehran daily confirmed the arrest and told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that "a young man came with a warrant. He showed Hadi the warrant and they took him quietly." - 11/17/15

Iran defeats Guam 6-0 in World Cup qualifying match
Despite missing captain Andranik Teymourian and three other players reportedly due to visa issues, Iran thrashed Guam 6-0 on Tuesday to move into top spot in Group D in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. - 11/17/15

Innovative method seeks to save Persepolis of lichens
Research has come up with innovative method to save Persepolis from its lichens without harming the monument itself. Since many years ago, growth of lichens had been seen as a threat to the global heritage of Persepolis, and a disturbing issue for the academia; researchers believe that in the long run, lichens could blur the carved stones in Persepolis and other monuments, which made them to seek the remedy. - 11/17/15

Authorities Launch New Crackdown on Baha'is
On the morning of Sunday, November 15, Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents carried out the arrest of 20 Baha'is in Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad. As part of a massive operation, they also closed down Baha'i-run businesses in the province of Mazandaran. -Iran Wire - 11/17/15

Rouhani talks to Hollande, stresses unity against terror
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has held a phone conversation with his French counterpart Francois Hollande, stressing unity against terrorism in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in the French capital of Paris. The telephone conversation was held on Tuesday, according to President Rouhani's Twitter account. - 11/17/15

Sweeping arrests target Iranian officials accused of corruption
Six Sistan-Baluchistan government officials were arrested last week. ISNA reports that the deputy head of the Chabahar Free Zone and five others were arrested, and the Zahedan Prosecutor General Mohammad Marzieh said: "These individuals were arrested last Tuesday in coordination with the provincial capital court." - 11/17/15

Photos: Iranian humanoid 'Surena III' unveiled
Iranian humanoid robot 'Surena III' developed by researchers at University of Tehran was unveiled today during a ceremony attended by Vice President for Science and Technology. - 11/16/15

Iran among countries said to be targeted for attacks by ISIS
Speaking on the sidelines of the Syria peace talks in Vienna on Saturday November 14, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ebrahim al-Jafari said: "Information was obtained from Iraqi intelligence sources before the Paris attacks occurred that the countries to be targeted soon were Europe in general, specifically France, as well as America and Iran." - 11/16/15

Iran's economic growth to outperform MENA states: Report
Iran's economic growth will outperform most of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries in 2016 when sanctions are lifted, a Washington-based finance industry body says. Iran will post a growth increase of about six percent next year up from 1.4%, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report. - 11/16/15

Panel at TMT Finance World Congres: Iran Telecoms Opportunities
The upcoming TMT Finance World Congress & Awards 2015 in London will be featuring a panel on "Iran Telecoms Opportunities." TMT Finance World Congress will featuring over 60 key speakers and 20 sessions on TMT Growth Strategies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Investing in Infrastructure and Innovation, Raising Finance, Media and Content,Spectru, Broadband, Datacentres, Mobile Towers, Unified Communications, Smart Cities and IoT. - 11/16/15

Tensions in Iran After Nuclear Deal Grow in Hostility
Tensions between the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, and more conservative authorities over the country's nuclear agreement and its future are turning increasingly bitter, punctuated by public exchanges and growing signs of an anti-American backlash, including arrests. -NY Times - 11/16/15

Iran nixed Assad ouster clause in Vienna: Official
Iran says it opposed the inclusion of a clause that would have asked for the removal of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad from power in the statement that was issued following recent talks in Vienna on the Syrian conflict. - 11/16/15

Wisconsin lawmakers propose ban on Iran business
Republican lawmakers in the US state of Wisconsin have introduced a bill that would prohibit business with Iran. They say the measure would help blunt President Barack Obama's nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic. - 11/16/15

Iran starts dismantling inactive centrifuges in Natanz: Nuclear Chief
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has started dismantling inactive centrifuges in the Natanz nuclear facility, the AEOI chief said on Sunday. However, Ali Akbar Salehi said, "We have dismantled no centrifuge in Fordow yet". - 11/16/15

ISIS- The Hour Has Struck
ISIS, with its horrific attack on purely civilian targets in Paris, has established new realities about its nature, capabilities and intentions. The need for its elimination can now no longer be in doubt. It is not that Parisian lives are more important than others, but Paris changes the game. -Graham E. Fuller - 11/16/15

Iranian cartoonists and artists draw for France
Here is a selection of cartoons and drawings by Iranian cartoonists, artists and the press expressing sympathy with the people of France after the Friday's terrorist attacks by the Islamic State in Paris that killed 129 people and injured another 352. - 11/15/15

EY IRAN Anthem and 50th Anniversary of Rouhollah Khaleghi's Passing
November 12, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Rouhollah Khaleghi's demise. Khaleghi was one of iconic figures of 20th-century Persian music whose most famous work is EY IRAN anthem, with lyrics by Hossein Golgolab. - 11/15/15

Photos: Iranians express solidarity with France over Paris attacks
Iranians have expressed solidarity with the French people following the deadly terror attacks in Paris carried out by the Daesh Takfiri militant group. The Iranians on Saturday paid tribute to those killed or injured in the attacks and extended their condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the attacks by gathering in front of the French embassy in Tehran. - 11/15/15

US-Iran: Zarif, Kerry hold meeting on JCPOA in Vienna
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the manner of removing sanctions and the implementation of the United States' commitments have been discussed during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry. - 11/15/15

Iran lines up $25 billion energy investment
Iran has put together a package for $25 billion of investment in its booming power industry which is key to the country's economic recovery, head of Iran Power Transmission, Generation and Distribution Company (Tavanir) says. - 11/15/15

Detained Iranian journalists remain in custody
The fate of journalists recently arrested in Iran remains unknown. Afarin Chitsaz, Issa Saharkhiz, Ehssn Mazandarani and Saman Safarzayi were arrested last week by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who allege these individuals were linked to "the enemy's infiltration plans". - 11/14/15

Iranian President's Europe visit postponed after Paris attacks
Planned trips by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani to three European destinations, including France, has been cancelled following a spate of deadly terror attacks in the French capital, Paris. Rouhani called the attacks "crimes against humanity." - 11/14/15

Iran: Economy of Resistance and resistance of the centers of corruption
While the right-wing factions of the Islamic Republic step up their opposition to the Rohani administration, and as the Revolutionary Guards directly oppose the so-called "economic infiltration", Iran's Supreme Leader has chosen to neither endorse or oppose the administration's "Resistance Economy policies action plan". He has, however, recommended four items to be kept in mind while drawing up future plans for economic development. - 11/14/15

Iran's Position on the Arms Trade Treaty
The "axis of evil" club portrayed by George W. Bush in 2002 no longer exists. Iran has now famously exited from the group leaving bad boy Kim Jong Un all alone. But the two countries still share something in common. In March 2013, North Korea and Iran, both of whom are under UN arms embargoes, alongside Syria, blocked adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) during the treaty drafting conference. -Emma Scott - 11/14/15

Red-Wine Lines: French Impasse Highlights Iranian Envoys' No-No's
Drinking alcohol and physical contact with unrelated members of the opposite sex are also banned domestically. An unnamed official in charge of protocol at Iran's Foreign Ministry told the ISNA news agency on November 11 that "according to Islamic values and teachings, Iranian officials do not attend banquets where alcohol is served." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/14/15

Halabja: A 'lost daughter' finds her way home
In 1988 Saddam Hussein dropped chemical weapons on his own people - the Kurdish residents of the town of Halabja. Thousands died and in the chaos that followed many families were scattered. One woman, a baby at the time of the attack, was brought up in Iran but recently returned to find out whether any relatives had survived. -BBC - 11/14/15

Iran subdues Turkmenistan in FIFA World Cup qualifying
In their fourth 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, Iranian men's national soccer team defeated Turkmenistan 3-1 to re-ascent atop Group D. Staged at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Thursday November 12, Iranian soccer players pulled off a victory against Turkmenistan following their previous draw against Oman in a match held in Muscat October 8 - 11/13/15

Kremlin Announces Putin Will Visit Tehran On November 23
The Kremlin has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Iran on November 23, his first trip there since 2007. The Kremlin's top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, said Putin was making the visit in order to attend a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum hosted by Tehran. - 11/13/15

Freedom: A Shared Dream - Historic Sculpture Commissioned by Farhang Foundation Selects Winning Design
Farhang Foundation announced today that Cecil Balmond, OBE, has been selected as the winner of Freedom: A Shared Dream, an international art competition to create a urban art/sculptural landmark in honor of the ideals of Cyrus the Great who ruled the ancient Persian Empire 2,600 years ago and championed the principles of religious diversity and personal freedom for all. - 11/13/15

Rouhani: US-Iran Ties Could be Restored But US Must Apologize
ROME, ITALY-- The nuclear deal reached between world powers and Iran could lead to better relations between Tehran and Washington if the United States apologized for past behavior, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Thursday. -Reuters - 11/13/15

Persian recipes from Mazi Mas: 'Saffron is good for depression!'
Persian food is as rich in spice as it is in folklore and tradition. With an elegant touch, Zohreh Shahrabi's cooking shows that each ingredient has a purpose beyond flavour, says colleague Niki Kopcke Guardian - 11/13/15

Syrian Army Retakes Town Near Aleppo In Second Victory This Week
Syrian television has announced the capture of Al-Hader, a former rebel stronghold in Aleppo Province, in the Syrian Army's second big victory in two days ahead of international peace talks. Regime soldiers, supported by troops from Iran and the Shi'ite Hizballah militia, claimed to be in full control of Al-Hader, just 48 hours after regime forces broke a siege by the Islamic State group of the Kweyris air base in Aleppo Province. - 11/13/15

Top Iranian official accuses Saudis of backing "terrorist" attack
Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, says the people who attacked the recent Ashura ceremony in Dezfool, Kuzestan were paid off by the Saudi government. - 11/13/15

The crown jewels of Iran
You feel you are in a James Bond movie. You enter the cavernous underground vault of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and there, laid out in 37 bulletproof glass vitrines, is the most jaw-dropping-and most fabled-collection of jewellery, loose stones (think 100-carat diamonds) and gem-studded objects (think Nadir Shah's shield, the one he used to conquer India) winking at you. -Live Mint - 11/13/15

How to Prevent Hardliners From Turning Iran into Another North Korea
The main source of the hardliners' anger is that the (nuclear) agreement was at least partly made possible because of Iran's enormous economic problems and its lack of adequate financial and technological resources to tackle these problems. Iran's current problems, in turn, are the accumulated result of more than three decades of war, economic mismanagement, and misuse of existing material and human resources. -Shirin Hunter - 11/12/15

UN: Iran Must Stop Intimidating Journalists
U.N. human rights experts are urging Iran to stop intimidating journalists before parliamentary elections next year. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Wednesday Iranian authorities should stop arresting, prosecuting and harassing journalists and online activists, and should provide a safe space for freedom of expression in the lead-up to the elections. - 11/12/15

Arrests Gather Pace in Iran after Khamenei Gives Green Light for Crackdown
Several journalists were arrested in Iran over the past week in an intensifying campaign of repression that is based on the belief, spearheaded by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, that the US intends to use any post-nuclear deal opening in Iran to "infiltrate" and undermine the Islamic Republic. - 11/12/15

Ex-US Marine Spends a Fourth Veterans Day in Iranian Jail
mericans from different walks of life and ethnic backgrounds celebrate Veterans Day, as they have for nearly a century since President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed the holiday at the end of World War I. But the picture is not so rosy for the Hekmatis, an Iranian-American family. Wednesday is the 1,535th day that Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine and decorated war veteran, has spent behind bars in Iran. -Farhad Pouladi, VOA - 11/12/15

Director Denies Blame For Alleged 'Insult' Of Ethnic Azeris On Iranian TV Show
As Iranian authorities attempt to quell lingering anger among ethnic Azeris over an alleged insult against them on a popular children's television program, a key actor in the controversy is pleading his innocence. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 11/12/15

Iranian newspaper condemns journalists' arrests, role of IRGC
Controversy continues over the recent arrest of a number of journalists by Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on charges of having links to "the enemy's infiltration plans", with the Jomhouri Eslami daily condemning the arrests and accusing the body that initiated the arrests of "stabbing the government in the back and the people in the throat with the term 'infiltration', using the money, arms and media it controls". - 11/12/15

Iran signs second gas deal with Iraq
Iran has signed a new contract with Iraq to export natural gas to the country's southern port city of Basra. Based on the contract, Iran will pipe a daily of 20-25 million cubic meters (mcm/d) of gas for Basra for a period of six years. The supply - that will increase to 45-60 mcm/d in a later stage - will be used to feed the main power plant of the city. - 11/12/15

Persian cooking is a crossroads of exotic spices and fresh ingredients
Four months after signing a historic nuclear accord with the U.S. and other western powers, Iran now has a seat at the world political table. Many details remain to be settled, though, and since negotiations generally go better over a shared meal, what better time for Iran's complex and unique culinary culture to get the spotlight? -Beth D'Addono, Daily News - 11/12/15

Has Syria been a military success for Iran?
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, Iran's deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has made it known his country is ready to take on all comers and is stepping up its role in the Syrian war. -Abbas Qaidaari, Al-Monitor - 11/12/15

Jailed Iranian activists slam Rohani administration, begin hunger strike
Majid Azarpey and Ali Shariati, two reformist political prisoners currently held in Ward 8 of Evin Prison, began a hunger strike last Thursday November 5 after addressing a letter to President Hassan Rohani, indicating that they will not end their strike until their cases have been submitted for review. - 11/11/15

Syrian Army, Backed By Russia And Iran, Recaptures Base From IS
Syrian soldiers fought their way into an isolated air base in northern Syria and freed military personnel under siege there by the Islamic State extremist group, state television reported on November 10. It is the most high-profile victory for Syria's army since Russia launched a military campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad in September. - 11/11/15

France urges US guarantees for Iran trade
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has urged the US to give concrete guarantees that it will not penalize European companies for trade with Iran after sanctions are lifted on Tehran. Sectary of State John Kerry has said European firms would not be subject to penalties when sanctions are lifted but European governments want assurances that any new trade would be safe if the measures were re-imposed. - 11/11/15

Iran says optimistic about resumption of political ties with Canada
Gholamali Khoshroo, the Iranian envoy to the UN, has said that Tehran is optimistic about a resumption of political relations with Canada with a change of government in Ottawa. Improvement of the political relations may lead to expansion of cooperation in other areas, he said in an interview with ISNA published on Tuesday. - 11/11/15

Iran can offer health services to regional market of 400 million: Minister
Iran can manage to offer healthcare services to a market of more than 400 million people in the region, Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said on Sunday, IRNA news agency reported. "In collaboration with its regional partners Iran's health system should become the health hub of the region," he stated. - 11/11/15

Iran unveils long-awaited oil contracts
Iran's Ministry of Petroleum publishes the new framework of oil and gas contracts which will be presented formally to foreign companies in a conference in Tehran later this month. The Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), published on the website of the ministry's Shana news agency, was given the go-ahead by the government for implementation. - 11/11/15

France cancels official dinner with Iran's President Rouhani... because he wants it to be wine-free
Iranians then refused France's counter-offer of a breakfast meeting, saying it appeared 'too cheap' -Independent - 11/11/15

The US and Iran's Common Interests in Syria
The conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen cannot be resolved unless Iran is at the negotiating table. For decades, consecutive US administrations pursued a foreign policy in the Middle East designed to "contain" the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by the P5+1 and Iran in June has opened the door for the West and the Iranians to address regional security issues within the framework of the US-Iran detente. -Giorgio Cafiero & Daniel Wagner, Huffington Post - 11/11/15

Rohani To Become First Iranian President To Visit Europe In Decade
Hassan Rohani this week will become the first Iranian president to travel to Europe in a decade, state news agency IRNA reported November 9. Rohani will start out the tour in Italy November 14, and then travel to France on November 16 and 17, IRNA said. - 11/10/15

First Iranian-made solar car may hit streets in 5 years
Gazelle 3, a solar-powered car built in Iran, took part in the World Solar Challenge 2015 and came in seventh in cruiser class after some of the world's most powerful teams, such as the Netherlands, Japan, and the U.S. - 11/10/15

Iran finishes runner-up in world bodybuilding event
Iranian national bodybuilding squad has finished its crusade at the 68th edition of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships and International Congress in Brazil, and hulked into second place. - 11/10/15

Obama, Netanyahu Look to Move Past Iran Differences
WHITE HOUSE- With a handshake over the "extraordinary" bond between their two countries, U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought Monday to dispel the discord that was most visibly seen during the U.S.-led negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year. -Aru Pande, VOA - 11/10/15

Iran: Union leader begins prison sentence as colleagues protest
Jafar Azimzadeh, the head of Iran's Free Trade Union, has reported to Evin Prison to serve out a six-year prison sentence. According to the Free Trade Union website, Azimzadeh reported to Evin on Sunday November 8 at 10 AM after receiving a summons last week. - 11/10/15

Azeris Hold Protests In Iran Over Racial Slur
Aslur against ethnic Azeris on an Iranian children's television program has sparked a backlash that has spilled onto the streets. The popular children's program Fitilehha has been cancelled amid the controversy it caused when it aired an episode on November 6 depicting an ethnic Azeri brushing his teeth with a toilet brush. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 11/10/15

Prominent Reformist Journalist Arrested for "Insulting Supreme Leader"
The political journalist Issa Saharkhiz has been arrested on charges of "intending to disrupt national security," "propaganda against the state," and "insulting the Supreme Leader," according to his son Mehdi. - 11/10/15

President Rohani makes promise to wife of detained journalist
The Iranian president has assured the spouse of detained journalist Ehsan Mazandarani that he will follow up on the arrest of her husband. Rohani reportedly assured Hosseiny that there is no need to be concerned, promising that he would follow up on the matter. Rohani was quoted as saying: "These young people are assets to the country and must not be disheartened." - 11/10/15

Russia to Fulfill Iran Contract for S-300 Missiles
Russia and Iran are advancing a contract for Moscow to supply Tehran with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. "The contract for the supply of S-300s to Iran was not only signed by the parties, but has entered into force," Russia's RIA Novosti quoted Rostec chief Sergei Chemezov as saying Monday while he was attending the Dubai Air Show. - 11/10/15

Iran runner-up at Brazil's 2015 Futsal Grand Prix
Iran lost to Brazil 4-3 in the 2015 Futsal Grand Prix final match on Sunday. The Iranian team defeated Colombia (4-1), Angola (7-0), Uruguay (7-3) and Paraguay (2-0) respectively in the tournament. - 11/9/15

Rohani intervenes to let Iran's Women Futsal Team play in World Cup
By special order of President Hassan Rohani, the Iranian Women's Futsal Team will travel to Guatemala to participate in the 2015 World Cup. The Iranian Football Federation had said that due to visa complications and a lack of funding, the team would not be able to travel to Guatemala. - 11/9/15

Mashhad "Forugh Mohabbat" charity center teaches street children music
A charity center in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, which is home to the shrine of Imam Reza, teaches street children music and organizes concerts, during which the children perform. Ghazaleh Lotfi and her husband, Ramin Zafari, established the Forugh Mohabbat Charity Institute in 2003 to help reduce delinquency in society. - 11/9/15

Iranians arrested over "vulgar" postings on social media network
Revolutionary Guards in Qazvin have arrested a group of people for their involvement in a mobile social media network and charged them with "acting against moral security". The IRGC-linked website Gerdab reported on Saturday November 7 that the managers of over 170 groups in mobile networks were identified and some were "handed over to the judiciary". - 11/9/15

Sukhoi sees Iran order for 100 Superjets
Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) says it sees Iran as a potential customer with a big order for its Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) planes. The company's head Ilya Tarasenko said the jet manufacturer could deliver about 100 Superjets to Iran after sanctions were fully lifted on the Islamic Republic. - 11/9/15

Saudi charge d'affaires summoned over execution of Iranians
Iran has summoned Saudi Arabia's charge d'affaires over the execution of three Iranians, whom the kingdom had convicted of drug smuggling. The sentences, issued following trials at courts, had been endorsed by the kingdom's Supreme Court as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. - 11/9/15

Iran's Jewish Community Sees Signs of Hope as Country Opens to West
Iran may be known for its controversial nuclear program and demonstrations featuring chants of "Death to Israel," but the country also is home to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East. For the first time in years, that ancient group now has reason to hope for a brighter future after many years of pressure under the Islamic Republic. -Ali Arouzi, NBC - 11/9/15

Iranian President Rohani Criticizes Hard-Line Media
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized the Islamic republic's hard-line media, suggesting some of these outlets are working as "undercover police" amid a wave of recent arrests by the country's feared Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that is aimed at cracking down on Western influence. - 11/8/15

21st edition of the Exhibition of Press and News Agencies opens in Tehran
The 21st edition of the Exhibition of Press and News Agencies, Iran's most significant media showcase, is playing host to representatives of some foreign media. Twenty-two representatives from several countries including Kuwait, Italy, Iraq, Turkey, Germany, Lebanon, Japan, France and China are attending the exhibit to introduce their national media - 11/8/15

Interest rate reduction meant to stimulate Iran'a lagging economy
Iranian media report that public and private banks have agreed to reduce interest rates by two percent. The Coordinating Council of Public and Private banks announced that the interest on a one-year deposit will be reduced to 18 percent from 20 percent. - 11/8/15

Deer population plummets in Iran's second-largest sanctuary
Mohammadali Amarlo, the head of the Sabzevar Department of the Environment, told Mehr News on Saturday November 7 that repeated drought, the loss of grazing fields through unregulated stock herding, and the loss of habitat due to various developments in the region are having disastrous effects on the deer population. - 11/8/15

Iran offers loans to car buyers, factories to spur economy
Iran's central bank and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade announced that starting next week, they will offer loans to auto buyers. In addition, they announced loans will be offered to Iranian manufacturers. - 11/7/15

See Iran Coming Out of the Shadows
At the very moment that the Islamic Republic has made a deal on its nuclear program with the U.S. and other world powers, it has also struck a bargain with its own people: Leave politics entirely to us, and you'll be left alone to live your lives more or less as you wish. It's a trade-off most Iranians appear to be fine with for now, especially when other states in the region have descended into chaos following popular uprisings. -Karl Vick , TIME - 11/7/15

Intruders block Iranian reformist's speech, chase speaker, injure guards
Islamic Republic extremists attacked and halted the speaking event of Fayyaz Zahed, a professor and reformist figure in Lahijan on Wednesday November 4. The Diyar-Mirza website reports that the event was being held on the occasion of National Student Day in Iran, and a group of intruders chanting "death to seditionists!" kept it from proceeding. - 11/7/15

Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh Sheds Light On Iran's Unique, But Forgotten, History Of Slavery
Iran only abolished slavery in 1928, but since then, it's been largely erased from the national consciousness. Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh, who studies Iranian slavery, says the taboo surrounding slavery and Iran's effort to distance itself from its past is due to its precarious position on the world stage 87 years later. -KGOU - 11/7/15

Rohani Hits Back At Iranian Hard-Liners Over Spate Of Arrests
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized a recent wave of arrests carried out by the intelligence branch of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The arrests appear to be a backlash against Iran's landmark nuclear agreement reached with world powers in July, as well as part of hard-liners' efforts to stifle the political atmosphere ahead of national elections early next year. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/6/15

Filmmaker Mina Keshavarz Explores Economic Status of Rural Women in Iran
In her latest documentary, "Will She Win the War?," Iranian filmmaker Mina Keshavarz challenges the status quo placed on today's Iranian women. Through the of story Roghieh documentary filmmaker Keshavarz shows the struggle for a young woman in southern Iran who is trying to secure jobs for women through a local community bazaar, as threats by a local politician grow. -Elahe Amani, WNN - 11/6/15

Iranian futsal players defeat Colombia 4-1 in Brazil games
Iran men's national futsal team has registered its first victory at the group stage of the 10th edition of the Grand Prix de Futsal in Brazil, edging the Colombian squad. - 11/6/15

PAAIA Applauds Resolution and Removal of Recusal Order in Tabaddor Case
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans today welcomes the resolution of a suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of sitting Immigration Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor. The federal lawsuit challenged the DOJ's order requiring Tabaddor to recuse herself from all cases involving Iranian nationals - 11/6/15

Iran Bans Import, Distribution Of U.S. Goods
Iran's Commerce and Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said in a directive that it is necessary "to stop entry of American consumer goods and to prohibit products that symbolize the presence of the United States in the country." The language of the directive suggests it does not apply to the private sector. - 11/6/15

NIAC Leadership Conference 2015 Review: U.S., Iran, and the Middle East A Decade after the Deal
"If you think about what a world would have look like without the Iran deal, it would have been a far more dark and bleak world," remarked Atlantic editor at large Steve Clemons, speaking on a NIAC Leadership Conference panel moderated by Al Jazeera's Mehdi Hasan, - 11/6/15

Iran Deal in Spotlight at Netanyahu-Obama Meeting
Months after U.S.-Israeli relations appeared to hit a new low, President Barack Obama will welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House next week for talks centered on what has long been the key issue of contention -- the Iran nuclear agreement. -Aru Pande, VOA - 11/5/15

Tehran's Masih Daneshvari Hospital Ranks 3rd In World In Transplant Procedures
Masih Daneshvari Hospital, located in north of Tehran, ranks the third in performing transplant procedures in the world, an official at the hospital said, the ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday. - 11/5/15

Iran's Ayatollah: 'Death to America' Refers to US Policies
Iran's supreme leader said the slogan "Death to America" is not aimed at the American people, but rather American policies, in comments reported on his official website Tuesday. The supreme leader said the U.S. has tried "to influence new figures" in Iran to conceal its "enemy image" from the Iranian nation. - 11/5/15

Russian Entrepreneur Retracts Claim Of Iran Crackdown On Mobile App
A Russian Internet entrepreneur who created a mobile-messaging app called Telegram says Iranian authorities have vowed not to block the application for now. Last month, Durov said Iran blocked the app after his company refused demands to help them "spy on their citizens." - 11/5/15

Deconstructing the Myth of Lavizan-Shian
As the world awaits the mid-December report of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano on the accusations of past Iranian work on nuclear weapons, anticipation of the report's content will be shaped primarily by the nearly universal belief that Iran has hidden such work repeatedly over the years. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 11/5/15

Iran's 6-month imports from U.S. stands at $37M
Iran imported 19,700 tons of products worth over $37 million from the U.S. in the first half of 2015, according to the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI). The TPOI released a list of 119 products, mostly consisting of chemical raw materials, medicine, medical equipments and some other goods that are not produced in Iran, according to the IRNA news agency. - 11/5/15

Iran ex-envoy to Lebanon may have been kidnapped, his brother says
Iran's former Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who has been missing since a crush during Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, may have been kidnapped, his brother tells Press TV. - 11/5/15

Amin Anvari, detained Iranian student activist, released
Amin Anvari, the University of Amir Kabir activist and student arrested last month by Islamic Republic security forces, was released on bail on Tuesday November 3, 2015. Farah Bakhshi, Anvari's mother, reported that her son was released on bail of 500 million toumans. Bakhshi thanked everyone who had supported her and her son and she called for the release of all political prisoners. - 11/5/15

Iran predicted to become travel hotspot in near future
Iran has been identified as the world's next travel hotspot in a new industry report, following thawed relations with the US and the prospective lifting of economic sanctions. Released out of the World Travel Market in London this week, the WTM Global Trends Report 2015 predicts that the country will become increasingly popular as a travel destination and has the potential to be a key tourism player in the Middle East. -CTV News - 11/5/15

TiPL: A new app for writing in Persian
TiPL is a Persian type-writer app, with spell checker and predictive text facility; it produces both the traditional and Latinised Persian text (Perso-Latin). TiPL app is a product of Parse Holdings Limited. The idea is the brainchild of the managing director Bijan Bakhshi. - 11/4/15

Iranian Activists Campaign To Bring More Women Into Parliament
Iran's parliament has 290 seats, and only nine of them are filled by women. Women's rights activists want to change that. A group of Iranian activists is seeking to dilute the dominance of men in the country's parliament, pushing for a greater female presence in the legislature following elections in February 2016. - 11/4/15

Fourth Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Said Killed In Syria
Iran's Fars news agency is reporting that a senior officer in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards was killed in Syria, the fourth Iranian commander to die there in the last month. Colonel Mostafa Ezzatollah Soleimani died during an "advisory mission" near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, Fars said on November 3. - 11/4/15

IRGC arrests "enemy elements" in Iranian media
A website linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps and Islamic Republic hardliners says the IRGC has arrested "five enemy elements" involved in the media. Islamic Republic leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned in his recent speech that the enemy has infiltrated the country in various areas. - 11/4/15

The Politics of Hostage-Taking in Iran
An ironic consequence of the hostage crisis was the convergence of interests between the Islamists in Iran and the Reagan-Bush campaign team in the United States, for they both took advantage of the episode to advance their own respective agendas. Thus, it was not at all strange that the hostages were released on the same day that Ronald Reagan assumed office. -Mansour Farhang, LobeLog - 11/4/15

Iran Closes 'KFC Branch' In Tehran
Iran has shut down what officials reportedly thought was a branch of the U.S. fast food chain KFC. Iranian media reported that the restaurant, called Halal KFC, opened on November 1 in Tehran only to close a day later. - 11/4/15

Khamenei: 'Death To America' Refers To U.S. Policies
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said the slogan "Death to America" is not aimed at the American people, but rather U.S. "policies and arrogance." In comments reported on his official website on November 3, Khamenei also reiterated that the United States "will not hesitate" if given a chance to destroy Iran. - 11/4/15

Reformist Iranian Journalist Freed from Prison after Serving Four Years
The prominent journalist Alireza Rajaee has been released from prison upon completion of a four-year sentence for his journalistic work and peaceful political activism. Rajaee, a member of the Iranian Journalists Association's Board of Directors, walked out of Evin Prison on October 26, 2015. He had been held at the Prison's Ward 350 since May 2011. - 11/4/15

An American Hostage in Iran--Again
ednesday, November 4th, is the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which led to a mass hostage crisis that dragged on for four hundred and forty-four days. Thirty-six years later, the Iranians are still at it. -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 11/4/15

Iran's involvement in Syria talks alarms hardliners
Coffins are being flown back to Tehran from Syria at an alarming rate. On Sunday, the Revolutionary Guard in Tehran held a funeral for two of its men killed in action in Syria, the latest of dozens in recent weeks. -Kasra Naji, BBC - 11/4/15

Setting the Record Straight about Siamak Namazi
Over the past few days, disheartening news has emerged about the arrest of Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based American-Iranian citizen whom the author knows very well. While the family has not confirmed the news, Siamak's friends believe that the situation may be the result of a misunderstanding which they hope will be resolved shortly. - 11/3/15

Iranian American Voting Rights Activist, Neda Bolourchi, works to get out the Iranian American Vote
Meet Neda Bolourchi, an Iranian-American voting rights activist who works to make voting more accessible for Iranian Americans in Los Angeles, CA. A law student, paralegal, and election inspector for the City and County of Los Angeles, Bolourchi understands that some Iranian Americans in her county have trouble voting during elections because none of the election materials have been translated into Farsi. - 11/3/15

Russia, Iran plan Caspian oil, gas swap
Russia and Iran plan oil and gas swap as part of their new push to step up trade which is relatively minuscule compared with their strong political ties. Representatives of a major Russian energy company will arrive in Tehran soon for discussions on swap of crude oil, oil products and gas, Iran's Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said on Monday. - 11/3/15

US eases medical sanctions against Iran
The US government has eased its sanctions regime against Iran, allowing a broad list of medical supplies for exports to the country. In a statement, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it was revising restrictions imposed in 2012 on exports of basic medical supplies to Iran. - 11/3/15

Fresh Journalist Arrests In Iran Include Former Culture Official
Iranian authorities have arrested two journalists, including a former deputy culture minister who was jailed in the 2009 crackdown that followed the disputed reelection of then-President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/3/15

Revolutionary Guards Treat Protesting Iranian Teachers as Agitators, Lawyer Says
The intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards considers activists in the teaching profession to be enemies of the state and treats them as such, according to the lawyer of one of the teachers imprisoned for his peaceful activism. - 11/3/15

'Islamic feminism' and miniskirts: The veiled truth about women in Iran
Historian Nina Ansary has uncovered the complex history of women's rights in Iran. She tells Radhika Sanghani how patriarchal politics are peversely paving the way for feminism in the country -Radhika Sanghani, Telegraph - 11/3/15

Rubio Anointed Neocon Choice
At the end of last week, third-place Republican primary candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) won a major endorsement, effectively making him the neoconservative candidate of choice and the GOP establishment's top pick. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 11/3/15

Iran in World History: A new book by Canadian Iranologist Richard Foltz
Home of one of the world's most ancient and enduring civilizations, Iran has been at the nexus of world history for the past three thousand years. Situated at the crossroads between East and West, it has been marked by its encounters with other cultures and has influenced them with its own. - 11/2/15

Iran's Khamenei Urged To Pardon Condemned Poets
In a letter signed by more than 110 poets and writers, an advocacy group that promotes free expression worldwide has urged Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to grant pardons to two poets sentenced to long prison terms and floggings. - 11/2/15

Iran's Supreme Leader: Talks with U.S. on regional issues is pointless
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has dismissed the idea of Iran-U.S. negotiation on regional issues, saying the totally contrasting policies of the two countries and Washington's attempts to impose its demands make such talks pointless. - 11/2/15

Prominent Iranian Reformist Politician Sentenced to Six Years in Prison
Esmail Gerami Moghaddam, a former Member of Parliament and spokesman for a reformist party has been sentenced to six years in prison. Moghaddam's lawyer, Nemat Ahmadi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the trial took place on September 29, 2015, and was presided by Judge Salavati who issued a sentence of five years in prison for "collusion against the state." - 11/2/15

Fatemeh Azadeh: The first Iranian female pilot
Fatemeh Azadeh, a 26-year old woman from Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, is the first female pilot in Iran, ISNA reported. Azadeh criticizes the prevailing attitudes towards female pilots as many people do not trust them and do not board on a plane piloted by a woman. "Such attitudes should be reformed both in the air and on the earth," she said. - 11/2/15

Iranian American Entrepreneur, Ario Keshani, Launches Split, a Ride-Sharing service in Washington, D.C.
Harvard graduate and young Iranian American entrepreneur Ario Keshani recently launched Split, a new and dynamic way of getting around Washington, D.C. Split is a ride-sharing service, essentially a carpool that's more convenient than public transportation and much cheaper than a taxi. - 11/2/15

Visa Problems May Ground Iran's Women Futsal Team
The Iranian Women's National Futsal team may be unable to compete in the 2015 World Tournament even though they won the championship in Asia. The Iranian federation says the team has begun practice; however, securing visas for all team members is a difficult task, which may keep them from joining the games in Guatemala. - 11/2/15

Iran Khodro: Peugeot yielded to all demands
PSA Peugeot Citroen, which faces a backlash from its abrupt pullout from Iran in 2012, appears to have coaxed Iran Khodro into reviving their historic partnership. Iran was Peugeot's second largest market before the French automaker left the country in breach of contract, idling a massive assembly line which manufactured vehicles from kits of parts. - 11/2/15

Iranian official reveals massive size of illegal alcohol industry
Iran's deputy justice minister says the country has a billion-dollar alcohol-smuggling racket, which he called a "shameful" mark for the country. While consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal according to Islamic Republic laws, more than 200,000 people are said to be involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages in the country. - 11/2/15

FROM THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION TO THE VIDEO REVOLUTION
Today, Shahrzad Rafati is the founding CEO of one of the fastest-growing online video companies in the world. It's called BroadbandTV, and it gets 5.7 billion views a month - up a stunning 80 percent in 10 months. You will surely be hearing about this explosive video business and about the 35-year-old entrepreneur who heads one of the biggest players, the biggest in America by some measures. -Steven Butler, Ozy - 11/2/15

The Role of Iran's Military in Syria
Even though the number of Iranian casualties in Syria has been increasing lately, the Iranian government insists that the country's role there is purely advisory and it is not sponsoring any military presence. -LobeLog - 11/2/15

Group reports discrimination against Iranians with HIV-AIDS
An Iranian charity organization reports that students afflicted with HIV-AIDS are being expelled from schools and women suffering from HIV-AIDS are being laid off. - 11/1/15

Report: Iran Buys 13 Used Boeing 737 Jets
Iranian airlines have bought 13 narrow-body Boeing 737 aircraft in their latest move to rebuild the country's commercial fleet, a news agency says. Two of the used aircraft, of the vintage 737-400 model, will fly in from a European country on Monday night, Fars quoted an informed source as saying Sunday without disclosing any names. - 11/1/15

Germanu's Eurowings to launch low-cost flights to Iran
Germany's Eurowings will launch flights to Tehran, becoming the latest carrier to announce service for one of West Asia's main commercial capitals. The airline, Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary, will start a weekly service from Cologne Bonn Airport to the Iranian capital from the end of March before doubling it from May. - 11/1/15
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