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Iranian Judiciary and Parliament Clash Over MP's Questions on Judiciary Chief's Banking Activities
After avoiding a summons for days, Member of Parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi appeared in the Culture and Media Court in Tehran on November 29 to respond to questions from assistant prosecutors about several complaints against him, after he publicly questioned the Judiciary Chief about state funds deposited into his bank accounts. - 11/30/16

Iranian chess master Sara Khademalsharieh sustains 1st loss in FIDE Grand Prix
Iranian International Master and Woman Grandmaster Sarasadat Khademalsharieh has sustained her first loss at the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) Women's Grand Prix in Russia, going down to a representative from China in the ninth round of the final leg of the tournament. - 11/30/16

Iranian Women's Rights Activist Arrested After Attending Workshop in Georgia
Photographer and women's right activist Alieh Matlabzadeh has been undergoing interrogation in Evin Prison since November 26 when Intelligence Ministry agents took her into custody without charge, her husband, Sadra Abdollahi, said in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Twenty Others Who Attended Women's Empowerment Workshop Also Questioned. - 11/30/16

CIA Chief Warns Trump Over Scrapping Iran Nuclear Deal, 'Russian Promises'
CIA Director John Brennan warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran would be "disastrous" and "the height of folly." "I think it would be disastrous, it really would," the BBC quoted Brennan as saying on November 30 in an interview. - 11/30/16

PAAIA Launches the Ansari Fellowship Program For Young Iranian-Americans
Iranian-Americans are some of the most successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists in the United States. Yet, for various reasons, many are still not involved in politics or public service more broadly. We are aiming to change that by providing funding for unpaid summer internships, as well as access to a network of public policy experts and mentorship opportunities. - 11/30/16

Yalda Evening in London: Musical performance by Vida Edalat and reception
Join the Iran Heritage Foundation for the final event of the year in anticipation of Shab-e Yalda, when the days once again start to get longer after the winter solstice. This will be a social evening, with a musical performance by Vida Edalat, accompanied by the Saba Ensemble, followed by a reception with drinks and Persian nibbles. - 11/30/16

Prosecutor Tells Iran Lawmaker To Turn Himself In After Flubbed Arrest
Security officers reportedly arrived to arrest Mahmud Sadeghi at his home in Tehran on November 27. Sadeghi is said to have defied the officers while colleagues and activists came to his defense and gathered outside his home. The chief prosecutor in Tehran says an arrest warrant against a reformist lawmaker who publicly questioned the financial dealings of Iran's chief justice remains legal and valid. - 11/30/16

Secretary Kerry defends Iran nuclear deal
Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Tuesday defended the Obama administration's foreign policy legacy, including the nuclear deal with Iran. In a speech to the Women's Foreign Policy Group, Kerry seemed to make a direct appeal to President-elect Donald Trump not to abandon international agreements or undermine alliances. - 11/30/16

Subterranean waterways offer clues to ancient way of life in Iran
Throughout the arid regions of Iran, mainly central parts of the country, agricultural and permanent settlements have been supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometers. - 11/29/16

Iran: Shocking Montazeri Sentence Reveals a Prosecution Lacking Legal or Moral Legitimacy
The six-year prison sentence handed down to Ahmad Montazeri for publishing an audio tape on the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s, by a clerical court whose Lead Prosecutor is one of the officials implicated in the tape, reflects a profound conflict of interest and arbitrary ruling that renders the verdict completely illegitimate. - 11/29/16

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Point Weapon at US Helicopter
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boat pointed its weapon at a helicopter launched from aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official told VOA Monday. - 11/29/16

South Africa's MTN eyeing Iran's e-commerce opportunities
Telecom giant MTN Group says it has devised serious plans to boost its presence in the Iranian market, emphasizing that e-commerce will comprise a key theme of the company's agenda for its future business in Iran. - 11/29/16

Iran Claims To Have Thwarted Islamic State Attack In Tehran
Iran's intelligence minister has claimed that his agents prevented a planned Islamic State (IS) terrorist attack in the capital, Tehran. Speaking on November 29, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said a "terrorist group" had been identified and "liquidated." He added that explosives had been confiscated. - 11/29/16

Next stop, Shiraz: How Iran is becoming a hot tourism destination
UNESCO sites, desert treks, ski and shopping jaunts -- these are among the attractions drawing millions each year to Iran. Still, all is not smooth sailing. -Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz - 11/29/16

Iran Should Be Worried About a Trump Administration
Those observers in Iran who thought that a victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential race would be in Iran's interests should by now have realized how wrong they were. It's not just because President-elect Trump vowed during the election campaign that he would tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA). More importantly, he has made key appointments that will have significant consequences for the future direction of American foreign policy. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/28/16

Ayatollah Montazeri's son receives a 21 year sentence for disclosing audio tape about mass execution of Iranian political prisoners in 1988
Ahmad Montazeri the son of a high-ranking political and religious cleric has received a 21 year prison sentence for publishing an audio file belonging to his father that proves state involvement in the execution of 4000 political prisoners in Iran in the year 1988. In the text of the judgment Ahmad Montazeri's sentence has been reduced from 21 years to 6 years in prison because his brother is a martyr. - 11/28/16

Iran ready to respond to US if sanctions renewed: Nuclear Official
Iran is ready to respond if the US violates the landmark nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the group of six countries known as the P5+1 by renewing sanctions against the Islamic Republic, says the top Iranian nuclear official. - 11/28/16

Iran: IRGC Chief Touts Economic Agenda
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on Saturday defended IRGC's economic activities, saying that the military's economic muscle is intrinsic to its commitment to the Islamic revolution and promotion of its goals. - 11/28/16

An Iranian Chain Restaurant After A Global Thinking
Baguette Challenges Its International Rivals Welcoming the world's standard restaurants' presence in Iran, Baguette Restaurants, a well-known Iranian brand in terms of serving healthy and diverse foods, called these restaurants for a commercial competition in Iran and in the Middle East. - 11/28/16

Iran: $1.5 Trillion Electronic Money Transfers in Online Banking
A total of $1.5 Trillion on electronic based transfers and settlements has been made in the recent year with online banking alone which makes the need of an integrated information system more vital. -Alireza Jozi, Techrasa - 11/28/16

Iran State Railway Chief Resigns, 3 Arrested After Train Crash Kills 44
Three railway staff have been detained after a deadly train collision took place in Iran's north-central province of Semnan on Friday. The accident happened when a passenger train in motion crashed to another one that had stopped at the station. 45 died and over 100 got wounded. - 11/27/16

Iran non-oil exports to Iraq stand at $6.2B, including $2.2B of agricultural products
Ebrahim Rezazadeh on Sunday highlighted the importance of Iraq's market for exporting Iranian products, adding "since 2005, our exports to Iraq has increased 17 times, which is three times more than the four continents of America, Africa, Europe and Oceania in total." - 11/27/16

Russia May Use Iran's Hamadan Base if Admiral Kuznetsov Moves Away From Syria
Russia could use Iran's Hamadan airbase in case the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier used for anti-terror strikes in Syria moves away from the Syrian borders for a new mission, the Russian upper house of parliament's defense committee chair said Saturday. - 11/27/16

Iran awards key oil deal to Schlumberger
Iran says it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Schlumberger - the world's largest oil field services company - over the development of several southern oil fields. The MOU was signed between Schlumberger and the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) - 11/27/16

President Trump and the Art of the Iran Nuclear Deal
Much remains uncertain about the foreign policy direction President-Elect Donald J. Trump will take, but his rhetoric on the campaign trail, as well as the Iran-regime-change stance of some of his first appointees, raise concerns for the viability of the nuclear accord with Iran. -International Crisis Group - 11/27/16

Iranian Oil Ministry Helicopter Crash In Caspian Sea Kills 5
News reports say an Iranian helicopter based at a Caspian Sea oil platform crashed late on November 26, killing all five people onboard. The helicopter belonged to the Oil Ministry and was carrying an engineer with heart trouble to the hospital when it crashed, the German news agency dpa reported, citing Iranian media. - 11/27/16

Iran Unveiled; By Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks, fashion designer, writer and environmental activist from Goa, shares what he learned about Iran on his recent trip with Cox & Kings (published in HT and Mumbai Mirror). And no, it's probably not what you expected... - 11/27/16

Germany OKs 1.2 Billion Euro Loan For Iran Rail Plan
Germany has reportedly agreed to provide Iran with a 1.2 billion Euro ($1.27 billion) credit line to help finance a key rail project in what is seen as the biggest foreign financing the country has been able to secure after the removal of sanctions. - 11/27/16

Death toll in train collision in Semnan, Iran reaches 44
At least 44 died and 100 got wounded after two passenger trains collided in Iran's north-central province of Semnan. So far, 80 of the injured have been transferred to nearby hospitals and 20 got outpatient care, IRNA quoted Mostafa Mortazavi, an official with Iran's Red Crescent Society as saying. - 11/26/16

Deputy NSC Advisor Pick McFarland: Treat Middle Easterners Like Kids
On Friday, Donald Trump's transition team announced that Fox News national security analyst Kathleen Troia McFarland will serve as his Deputy National Security Advisor, working under National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn. McFarland previously served on Gerald Ford's National Security Council and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in the Reagan administration, from 1982 to 1985. -Derek Davison - 11/26/16

Mattis on Iran: Belligerent, but Don't Tear Up Nuclear Deal
Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is the odds-on favorite for Donald Trump's choice for secretary of defense. It's worth exploring his views on Iran particularly in light of the ultra-hawkish positions of both National Security Adviser-designate Gen. Michael Flynn and CIA director-designate Mike Pompeo, both of whom have made no secret of their desire to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/26/16

Missing Spiritual Leader's Supporters Beaten by Plainclothes Intelligence Agents at Iran's Parliament
Approximately 50 followers of imprisoned spiritual leader Mohammad Ali Taheri-who has been missing for more than a month-were beaten by plainclothes members of Iran's intelligence forces and then arrested by the police in front of Parliament on November 21, 2016, according to eyewitnesses. - 11/26/16

Iranian Oil Minister optimistic about OPEC deal
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Saturday that it is possible for OPEC members to reach an agreement to stabilize the oil market. "If OPEC reaches an agreement I am quite optimistic that oil prices will rise and this is what global economy demands," Zanganeh was quoted by Shana as saying after meeting Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa in Tehran. - 11/26/16

Gerda Henkel Foundation allocates 650K Euros to museum studies in Iran
The non-profit Germany-based Gerda Henkel Foundation has allocated 650,000 Euros to support research projects by the National Museum of Iran and a museum which is planned to be built in the city of Yazd by 2019. - 11/26/16

135 year old registered as oldest man in Iran
An ongoing national census in Iran has registered a 135 year old as the oldest Iranian man and the second oldest one in the world. 'Ahmad Soufi' who lives in the western city of 'Saqqez', Kordestan province, was born in February 1882. - 11/26/16

PHOTOS: 31 people die in train collision in north-central Iran
More than 30 people have lost their lives and dozens of others have been injured after two passenger trains collided at a station in Iran's north-central province of Semnan. According to local officials, the collision happened at the Haf-Khan station near the city of Shahroud around 7:40 a.m. local time on Friday. - 11/25/16

Iran to respond if US renews bans: Supreme Leader
Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran would respond if the US proceeded to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) which expires at the end of 2016. The US House of Representatives voted for a 10-year extension of the ISA earlier this month but to become law, the bill has to be endorsed by the Senate as well and signed by the US president. - 11/25/16

Iraq Blast Claimed By IS Kills More Than 80, Mostly Iranian Pilgrims
A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State (IS) militants has killed at least 80 people, most of them Iranian pilgrims, some 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, according to Iraqi officials. The truck bomb tore through a gas station with an adjacent restaurant where buses packed with pilgrims were parked as the believers returned from the commemoration of Arbain in Karbala on November 24. - 11/25/16

Iran's Sardar Azmoun Makes Champions League Team of Week
Iranian national football team's striker Sardar Azmoun has made Champions League Team of the Week. He has been called the "Iranian Messi" and perhaps the reasons are a little bit clearer now. The stage for Rostov's 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich was set by Azmoun's superb first half equalizer, ESPN wrote. - 11/25/16

Iran says imports of cars from US 'authorized'
Iran says imports of cars from the United States are authorized as long as they are produced by non-American brands. Farhad Ehteshamzadeh, the president of Automobile Importers Union of Iran, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that he had made an inquiry to the same effect from the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. - 11/25/16

Iranian parliament takes step to reduce drug-related executions
Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of a motion under which minor drug offenders would face imprisonment instead of execution. If the motion is ratified, the drug offenders who are not charged with capital crimes would face between 25 to 30 years imprisonment as a substitute for execution and life imprisonment. - 11/25/16

Tehran a School for All
Tehran Municipality has taken on a new initiative to identify and help the poor kids of the city and their families through an online platform called Jahadiam. Tehran's citizens could become volunteer teachers for the kids who can't attend school due to poverty. The motto for this initiative is called "Tehran, a school for all". -Hamed Jafari, Techrasa - 11/25/16

Why Iran's private sector hasn't benefited from privatization
Privatization in Iran only effectively started in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed a constitutional amendment -- the Law on Implementation of General Policies of Article 44 of the Constitution -- to ease the sale of state-owned enterprises in an attempt to downsize government and help expand the private sector. -Navid Kalhor, Al Monitor - 11/25/16

U.S. Issues License For Sale Of More Than 100 Commercial Planes To Iran
The United States has issued a second license to France's Airbus to sell more than 100 commercial planes to Iran. Airbus in September received a license to sell 17 planes to Tehran. Officials said that the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on November 21 gave the French manufacturer permission to sell 106 more planes to Iran Air. - 11/23/16

A157, documentary on victims of ISIS, goes to French film festival
Behrouz Nouranipour's chilling war documentary 'A157' will be screened at the 14th International Festival Signes de Nuit in France. The shocking documentary 'A157' which has been recently awarded by Library International Film Festival of India and won the Special Jury Award at Iran's Cinema Veritere, relates the horrors of war and terrorism in Syria, with a focus on three pregnant girls recounting their stories of war, violence and sexist conquest in a land where people have no more dreams. - 11/23/16

Gold cup tells of rich Persian craftsmanship in Iron Age
This exquisite Persian (Iranian) artwork which dates back to the early 1st millennium BC boldly reveals the skills accomplished Persian goldsmiths possessed during the Iron Age II. The artwork is being kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. - 11/23/16

Iranian MP Compares Prosecutor's Abrupt Cancellation of His Speech to ISIS Tactics
Following the abrupt cancellation of his speech by a prosecutor, the Iranian Parliament's Deputy Speaker Ali Motahhari has written to the president calling for an investigation into the incident, while comparing it to the tactics used by the Arab terrorist group the Islamic State, which Iranians refer to as Daesh. - 11/23/16

Iran's Inflation Rate Drops To 7.5%
Iran's inflation rate for the 12-month period ended in the last day of the eight Iranian calendar month of Aban (November 20) hit 7.5 percent, the Statistical Center of Iran reported. The figure shows a 0.4 percent drop compared to the 12-month period ended in the seventh calendar month (October 21). - 11/23/16

Iran stops sending artworks to German, Italian shows
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri has said that Iran's plan to loan a collection of Western artworks from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) has been halted. Earlier in September, the plan to loan the collection to Germany and Italy faced opposition from Iranian art experts and gallery owners. - 11/23/16

Trump and the Iran Deal: A view from Israel
For many the combination of the words "Donald Trump" and "nuclear weapons" is the stuff of nightmares. "If we have nuclear weapons - why don't we use it?" asked Trump during his presidential campaign. In his view nuclear weapons is akin to conventional weapons, which means they can be used to promote U.S. interests. This is the man who on January 20th, 2017 will be in control of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. -Shemuel Meir, LobeLog - 11/23/16

Iranian-U.S. Dual Citizen Convicted Of Attempted Weapons Smuggling
U.S. prosecutors say a federal jury has found an Iranian man with U.S. citizenship guilty of trying to buy surface-to-air missiles to smuggle into Iran. The Justice Department said the Manhattan jury convicted Reza Olangian on four counts, including conspiring to acquire and transfer antiaircraft missiles. - 11/23/16

Photographer Combats Trump's Islamophobia With Stunning Portrait Series
You could turn on the television and watch President-elect Donald Trump or one of his right-hand men tell you about Islam. Or, as photographer Mark Bennington did, you could sit down with some of the three million Muslims in America and get to know them that way, instead. - Antonia Blumberg, Huffington Post - 11/23/16

Iranian girls crowned in world junior taekwondo championships
Young Iranian female taekwondo practitioners have put a tremendous end to their campaign at the 11th edition of the WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Canada, claiming the top podium place at the conclusion of the high-status tournament. - 11/22/16

Iran, EU resolved to strengthen JCPOA: President Rouhani
Iran and the European Union (EU) are resolved to "strengthen" a nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and world powers, says the Iranian president. "With all their might, Iran and the European Union are seeking to strengthen this important multilateral agreement and to use the post-JCPOA opportunities," President Hassan Rouhani made at a joint press conference with his visiting Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor on Tuesday November 22, 2016. - 11/22/16

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Must Stop Using Dual-Nationals as Hostages
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei should put an immediate end to the practice of the Revolutionary Guard's Intelligence Organization, which operates under his direct authority, of arresting dual nationals and using them as hostages to collect ransom money and demonstrate political muscle, the International Campaign for Human Rights said today. - 11/22/16

Trump: Encourage Saudi-Iranian Dialogue to Stop War in Middle East
As Donald Trump prepares to take office as U.S. president, he'll inherit a set of conflicts in the Middle East more intractable and destructive than at any other point in recent history. The very territorial integrity of the region is at risk. The killing in Syria, where close to half a million people have died since 2011, grinds on with no end in sight. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 11/22/16

Activist Who Lost Parents in "Chain Murders" of Iranian Dissidents Summoned to Court
Prominent rights activist Parastou Forouhar, whose parents were slain by agents of the Iranian government during a series of murders of dissidents beginning in the late 1980s, has been summoned without a given reason to appear in court at Evin Prison on November 22, 2016. - 11/22/16

Iran transfers 11 tonnes of heavy water to Oman: AEOI Chief
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country has transferred 11 tonnes of heavy water to Oman as part of its obligations under last year's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries. - 11/22/16

Death toll among Iran's forces in Syrian war passes 1,000
More than 1,000 soldiers deployed by Iran to Syria to back the government side in its civil war have been killed, an Iranian official said, underlining Tehran's increasing presence on front lines of the conflict. -Reuters - 11/22/16

Photos: The Ancient Persepolis Ruins Under The Supermoon Light
This year, the full moons of October, November and December are called supermoons since these take place when the moon is at its closest point of approach in its orbit around Earth. The supermoons have been creating magnificant scenes across the globe. These photos show the ancient Persepolis ruins in Iran during the November 2016 supermoon. - 11/21/16

Stars of Tomorrow: Iran's Mobina Nejad Katesari
Nobody can confirm whether or not if it is a world record, but everybody in Burnaby is talking about it: The incredible run by Iran's Mobina Nejad Katesari on Day 1 of the 2016 WTF World Taekwondo Junior Championships. Over a day of fighting that ended with her being crowned world champion in the female -42kg category, she scythed her way through the opposition, scoring 73 points and conceding none. - 11/21/16

Stairway to Heaven: Iranian Artist's Mural Turns Heads
Seen by thousands of eyes a day at one of Boston's busiest intersections, the giant outdoor mural by Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo is a stunning expression of optimism he hopes can lead to better understanding between his homeland and the United States. -AP - 11/21/16

US President Obama seeks to fortify Iran deal before leaving office: Officials
The administration of US President Barack Obama is planning to take measures in its last months in office to "strengthen" a multi-lateral nuclear deal with Iran, amid the probability that an incoming American president and his hawkish possible appointees may act to undermine the international agreement and the US stature as a result, American officials say. - 11/21/16

Report: Iran Transfers Excess Heavy Water To Oman
An Iranian nuclear official says the country has transferred stocks of so-called heavy water to Oman. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week showed that Iran's stocks of heavy water -- a key component in nuclear reactors -- had reached above the 130-ton level set out in the nuclear deal signed by Tehran and world powers. - 11/21/16

Building on the Iran Nuclear Agreement
Among the foreign policy issues on which Donald Trump took a simple anti-Obama, or anti-Clinton, stance during the campaign but about which he had not seemed to have devoted much thought, one of the most prominent and important is the agreement that restricts Iran's nuclear program, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/21/16

Iran taekwondo practitioner Parisa Javadi earns bronze in world junior championships
Iranian taekwondo practitioner Parisa Javadi has managed to grab a bronze medal in the 11th edition of the WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Canada. On Saturday, Javadi triumphed over her Spanish opponent in the first round of the female minus 63-kilogram contests at the Bill Copeland Sports Center in the western Canadian city of Burnaby thanks to a golden point. - 11/21/16

In Iran, treatment of transgender people is a double-edged sword
Iran -- an Islamic theocracy that criminalizes consensual same-sex relations, forces women to adhere to a strict and modest dress code in public, and has zero-tolerance for dissidents' freedom of expression -- presents a surprisingly lenient attitude on trans issues. -Kevin Schumacher - 11/21/16

Trump, Though Critical of Nuclear Deal, Could Offer Opportunities for Iran
At first blush, the election of Donald J. Trump would seem to be bad news for Iran. But there is a chance that on balance, things could work out surprisingly well for the clerics... Mr. Trump also presents new opportunities for Iran, many analysts say. While he has criticized the nuclear deal, he has also said that the United States should stop backing rebels in Syria and focus on the Islamic State militant group -- effectively shifting its support to Iran's ally in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 11/21/16

Iran's Online Fashion Scene Gets More Competitive
Harasp is one of the websites which is tapping Iran's online luxury fashion market. The website is offering both eastern and western fashion goods for customers in Iran and is planning to ship the products of Iranian designers to other countries. -Hamed Jafari, TechRasa - 11/21/16

Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) Launches #RejectHate Campaign
IAAB's Campus Action Network (I-CAN) launches IAAB's #RejectHate Campaign to ensure the right to a safe education in an inclusive environment for all students. Multiple IAAB students and alumni reported experiencing harassment and bullying at school and in public spaces in the past week. - 11/19/16

Flynn Has It In For Iran
On the news that Donald Trump has asked Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his national security adviser, I decided to look up Flynn's testimony on Iran before the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa on June 10, 2015. That was just a month beforethe P5+1 and Iran concluded the the Iran nuclear deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). -Jim Lobe - 11/19/16

Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents to Trump: Don't 'Rip it Up'
Republicans and other long-time opponents of an international nuclear agreement with Iran have walked back calls to scrap the deal and are now urging the incoming Trump administration to stiffen it rather than unravel what President-elect Donald Trump once termed as "the worst deal ever negotiated." - 11/19/16

President Rouhani Has Done Nothing to Free Political Prisoners and Is Being Called out for It
A prominent Iranian political analyst has criticized President Hassan Rouhani for reneging on his pledge to free political prisoners and opposition leaders. The centrist cleric's record as president will be heavily scrutinized ahead of Iran's May 2017 presidential election as he vies for a second term. - 11/19/16

Russia research ship docks at southern Iran port
A Russian research ship has docked at Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas in line with the two countries' plan to boost friendly military relations. The frigate, dubbed Yantar, arrived in Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, on Friday for a five-day stay. - 11/19/16

Foreign Policy in an Ignorant Democracy
Amid the voluminous post-election analysis based on exit polls, and the many observations about such things as how Hillary Clinton fared compared to Barack Obama among blacks or women, one demographic pattern sticks out at least as much as any other in characterizing the 2016 presidential race. Support for Donald Trump was strongly correlated with low education. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/19/16

With CIA, National Security Adviser Choices, Trump Signals Sharp Turn In Foreign Policy
There was never much doubt that Donald Trump would take U.S. foreign policy in a sharply different direction from the one pursued by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. His choices for two of the U.S. government's most influential foreign-policy posts only bolster that conclusion. -Mike Eckel, RFE - 11/19/16

U.S. Lawmakers Vote To Bar Commercial Aircraft Sales To Iran
U.S. lawmakers have passed legislation that would ban the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, a move aimed at halting sales by aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus that outgoing President Barack Obama's administration has already approved. - 11/18/16

Lut Desert provides tourism development opportunity: Iranian Official
The Lut Desert, one of the two deserts dominating the landscape of eastern Iran, has got what it takes to lure travelers considering its geological uniqueness. Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, the scorching Lut, is a mix of sand and salt. Its calming silence is also amazingly attractive. - 11/18/16

Iranian Officials Ignore Demands of Eight Ailing Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike
At least eight political prisoners are currently on life-threatening hunger strikes in Tehran and Karaj to demand better conditions and reviews of their unjust prison sentences. Even though at least one political prisoner in Iran has died as a result of his hunger strike, judicial officials have not only ignored the worsening conditions of the hunger strikers, but in some cases also punished them for their protests. - 11/18/16

Trump Seeks Kissinger's Advice On Relations With China, Russia, Iran
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sought out the advice of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on China, Russia, Iran, and Europe, his office said on November 17. Kissinger, 93, who served under former Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, is best known for opening the door to China after decades of isolating the Asian giant. - 11/18/16

Donald Trump's victory sparks optimism in an unlikely place: Iran
For hard-liners in the Islamic Republic, Trump has bolstered their refrain that the United States, whatever agreements it signs with Iran, is not to be trusted. Meanwhile, moderate President Hassan Rouhani and his allies are playing down concerns over Trump's rhetoric. Some quietly express optimism that the real estate tycoon would be open to negotiations in other areas dividing Washington and Tehran. -Los Angeles Times - 11/18/16

Trump's Real Basket of Deplorables
Hillary Clinton's characterization of Trump's supporters may well have been too "grossly generalistic," in her words. But as Donald Trump's national security team begins--albeit chaotically--to take shape, it's becoming clear that Trump does have a "basket of deplorables" around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/18/16

OPEC moves closer to oil output deal as Iran gets new offer
OPEC is moving closer toward finalizing this month its first deal since 2008 to limit oil output, with most members prepared to offer Iran significant flexibility on production volumes, ministers and sources said on Friday. -Reuters - 11/18/16

Can the Iran Deal Survive a US Withdrawal?
As we all know by now, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal could be a very simple matter for the United States. It could come in three ways. First, a vote by Congress to reintroduce sanctions that were previously suspended or cancelled, if not waived or vetoed by the new president, would represent a sufficiently significant breach of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to constitute an effective withdrawal if any of the parties, including Iran, wanted to construe it as such. Second, ... -Francois Nicoulaud - 11/17/16

Cancer stricken junior Iranian wrestler to pick up United World Wrestling Endurance Trophy
Junior Iranian freestyle wrestler Abolfazl Aramideh, who has been battling cancer over the past few months, is poised to receive the United World Wrestling (UWW) Endurance Trophy later this week. Aramideh is currently receiving treatment at the hematology-oncology ward of Tehran's Imam Khomeini Hospital. - 11/17/16

85 UN Member States Say Iran Must Improve Its Human Rights
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran welcomes the United Nations' adoption of a resolution expressing serious concern over numerous human rights violations in Iran, including the systematic use of arbitrary detention and discrimination against women and minorities, as well as the "alarmingly high" frequency and application of the death penalty in Iran. - 11/17/16

Childhood's End: Forced Into Marriage At Age 10 In Iran
At first, it sounds like a charming love story: Playmates who grow up side by side in an Iranian village go on to get married. But when Leila was wedded to Ali, she was 10 years old. He was 15. "It was nighttime and I was asleep. My neighbors rang the doorbell and came in and put a ring on my finger," Leila, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda in an interview. "That's how I got married." -Golnaz Esfandiari - 11/17/16

Interview: Iranian American Physician Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh
Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh M.D. is an Iranian American physician with a distinguished career in medicine and behavioral health. Dr. Vahabzadeh is a faculty member at the Harvard School of Medicine, he is the Director of Digital Health at neurotechnology company, Brain Power, where he also serves as site director for the San Francisco Bay Area, and he is also the former Chairman of the Council on Communications of the American Psychiatric Association. - 11/17/16

Iran to receive first Airbus jet by 2016 end
Javad Hashemi Tehrani, the managing director of Aviation Parts Holding Company of Iran, told the domestic media that the Airbus which is expected to be delivered to Iran will be the first of 17 planes that the US Treasury Department has allowed to be sold to Iran. - 11/17/16

Baha'i Businesses Shuttered Across Iran in Ongoing Persecution Campaign
Dozens of businesses in Iran owned by members of the Baha'i faith have been indefinitely shut down by the authorities after some owners closed their establishments to honor the birthdays of two of the faith's holiest figures. - 11/17/16

Tehran international symposium to discuss seismic rehabilitation of heritage structures
Co-organized by University of Tehran and the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization, the two-day event is set to address possible threats to structures that are of historical or cultural importance along with proper ways to restore such buildings. Prof. Goodarz Ahmadi from Clarkson University, the U.S.; prof. Gorun Arun from Yildiz Technic University, Turkey; Toshikazu Hanzato from Mie University, Japan; and Dr. Mehrdad Hejazi from Isfahan University, Iran; are scheduled to deliver speeches. - 11/17/16

Report: Trump Administration Should Build on the JCPOA, Not Tear It Down
In a new report signed by 76 scholars and national security experts, including former officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations, the National Iranian-American Council is arguing that the incoming Donald Trump administration should take the opportunity presented by the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and expand upon it in order to improve U.S.-Iran relations more broadly. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/17/16

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification: Iran, Syria play out goalless draw
Iran men's national team has been held to a goalless draw against Syria to stay put at the top spot of its group in the third round of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualification tournament. - 11/16/16

Tehran fights for breath while officials pass the buck
While air pollution in Tehran has reached critical levels for seven days in a row officials keep shifting the blame onto each other. The air quality indices have surged up so much so that all healthy people are likely to experience irritation or discomfort while breathing as well as those with heart and lung condition. - 11/16/16

Maximizing the Opening with Iran: How President Trump Can Secure American Interests in the Middle East
It lies in the interest of the United States to build on the Iran nuclear deal to resolve remaining tensions with Iran and help stabilize the Middle East, argues a new report signed by 76 national security experts and published by the National Iranian American Council. Maximizing the Opening with Iran: How President Trump Can Secure American Interests in the Middle East provides concrete policy recommendations on eight issues critical to U.S. national security: From the fight against ISIS, to the bilateral relationship with Iran, to the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, to the stabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan, to sanctions relief and Human Rights in Iran. - 11/16/16

Former Terrorist Group To Enjoy Close Ties to Rumored Trump Cabinet
Donald Trump's rumored picks for key foreign-policy positions have already set off alarm bells about the future administration's embrace of war hawks and Islamophobes. Today, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin pointed out that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently reported to be under consideration for an appointment to secretary of state or attorney general, potentially violated the law when he made paid speaking appearances for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), when the State Department listed the Iranian dissident group as a foreign terrorist organization. -Eli Clifton - 11/16/16

U.S. House Votes To Renew Iran Sanctions, Sanction Syria's Backers
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to renew a decades-old Iran sanctions law and impose new sanctions on supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. - 11/16/16

Iran unimpressed by US election results: Supreme Leader
"Unlike some of those in the world who have either been mourning or celebrating the results of the American elections, we are neither mourning nor celebrating and the results make no difference to us," he said in Tehran on Wednesday. "We have no worries and by the grace of God, we are ready to face any possible eventuality," - 11/16/16

"The Time and Life of Ahmad Kasravi": New Book by Mohammad Amini
Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1946) was one of the most famous outspoken critics of Islam in 20th-century Persia [Iran]. He was killed in 1946 by an extremist Shia group named "Devoters of Islam" in Tehran. Seventy years after his assassination, the historian Mohammad Amini has written a book about Kasravi's life and ideas. - 11/16/16

Bolton, Giuliani: Finalists to Head Trump State Department
The choice between the two would force Mr. Trump to choose between Mr. Giuliani, a longtime friend and ally in New York, and Mr. Bolton, a hawkish conservative diplomat who called last year for the U.S. to bomb Iran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/16/16

Trump Presidency and Iran's Domestic Politics
If Iran's best option is to not fall in the reactive trap and continue working with other countries who participated in the formulation of the JCPOA, stability and continuity at the top combined with active diplomacy to paint the US as the egregious party will be needed more than ever. -Farideh Farhi - 11/15/16

EU To Stand By Iran Nuclear Deal: Foreign Ministers
The European Union says it will keep pushing to restore ties with Iran in line with last year's nuclear deal. In a November 14 statement, EU foreign ministers said the bloc was committed to lifting nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran while engaging with banks and other economic operators "to promote growth in trade and investment." - 11/15/16

"Life+1 Day" Receives Best Film Award At Geneva Festival
"Life+1 Day" by Iranian director Saeid Rustai has won the best film award at the 22nd Geneva International Film Festival Tous Ecrans, which was held in the Swiss city from November 4 to 12. - 11/15/16

Russian Delegation Discusses Defense, Energy Deals In Iran
A delegation from Russia's upper house of parliament has been meeting with senior officials in Tehran for talks aimed at expanding ties in the defense and energy sectors following a nuclear deal with world powers. Federal Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko met separately with Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on November 14, the final day of the Russian delegation's two-day visit. - 11/15/16

Russian Legislator Says Russia, Iran Discussing $10 Billion Arms Deal
A senior Russian senator says Russia and Iran are in talks over an arms deal worth around $10 billion. Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense and security committee in Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said on November 14 that the potential deal would see Moscow deliver tanks, artillery systems, planes, and helicopters to Tehran. - 11/15/16

Anti-Boeing Bill Offers Early Iran Test for Trump
Will a President Trump intend to put U.S. business first and preserve and expand the U.S. manufacturing workforce as part of his plan to make America great again? Or will he hold to the reflexive anti-Iran positions of the Republican Congressional majority, Sheldon Adelson, and the neoconservatives, including the NeverTrumpers who, with Democrats marginalized across the board, are already seeking ways to gain influence with whomever the president-elect chooses to advise him? -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/15/16

Germany To Provide 12 Billion Euro Financing For Iran's Petrochemical Projects
Iran says it will soon start talks with two German companies to open a major credit line of 12 billion Euros for the development of some of its petrochemical projects. - 11/15/16

Heavy Air Pollution Closes Schools In Tehran
Authorities in Tehran have closed schools on November 14 because of dangerous levels of pollution in the atmosphere. "Kindergartens and primary schools are closed on Monday [November 14] in Tehran and most of the cities of the province," the Education Ministry said, according to official IRNA agency. - 11/14/16

Russian Parliamentary Delegation Begins Two-Day Visit To Iran
A delegation from Russia's upper house of parliament has begun a two-day visit to Iran, led by the Federation Council's speaker, Valentina Matviyenko. - 11/14/16

Iran, China sign agreement to boost defense-military cooperation
Iran and China have signed an agreement to boost defense-military cooperation and fight terrorism. The agreement was inked by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan in Tehran on Monday at the end of an earlier meeting between the two sides. - 11/14/16

Iranian squad crowned at world kickboxing championship
Iran's male national kickboxing team has won the World Kickboxing Federation (WKF) World Championship 2016 in Italy. On Saturday and the final day of the competitions in the southern Italian city of Andria, the Iranian eight-member delegation took the honors with a total of eight medals (7 golds and one bronze). - 11/14/16

Iran's Parliament Speaker Advises Against Hasty Remarks About Trump
Iran's parliament speaker has advised against making premature remarks about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, stressing it should be left to the Iranian Foreign Ministry to take a clear stance on his presidency. - 11/14/16

Russian Energy Firm Chiefs To Visit Iran For Talks On Possible Oil Contracts
Iran's deputy minister of petroleum for international affairs and commerce says a delegation of Russian oil and gas companies will visit the country this week for talks about possible oil contracts. - 11/14/16

Shiraz, Vienna direct flights to be launched soon
An Aviation official has announced that Shiraz-Vienna direct flights will be soon performed aiming to boost aviation ties with major European airlines. - 11/14/16

Five Iranian And Foreign Scientists Receive Awards At 1st USERN Congress In Tehran
The 1st international congress of Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) held in Tehran has announced its winners, including 2 Iranians and 3 scientists from other countries (Belgium, U.S. and the Netherlands). - 11/13/16

Iran's 'Inversion' wins Best Film Award at MedFilm Festival
Iranian film 'Inversion' directed and written by Behnam Behzadi won the Best Film Award at 21st edition of MedFilm Festival. The Italian event held on November 4-12 is home to different feature movies and documentaries made in the Mediterranean and the new Europe areas. - 11/13/16

Iran 9th biggest greenhouse gas emitter: EPA Chief
The head of Iran's Environmental Protection Agency said Sun. that Iran is the 9th biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world. Although Iran ranks 17th in the world in terms of population, Masumeh Ebtekar said Iran is now the ninth-highest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, due to the country's economy and environment suffering for years from a wrong model of energy consumption. - 11/13/16

Iran crowned at World Pahlavani Wrestling Championship
The first ever edition of Pahlavani Wrestling World Championship was competed from November 10 to 13 in Minsk of Belarus and has attracted wrestlers from 45 world countries including Armenia, America, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Hungary, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, France and Moldova. - 11/13/16

Iran's President Rouhani inaugurates three oil fields in Khouzestan
Iran has launched first phase production at three fields in its oil-rich Khouzestan province, bringing its total crude output closer to pre-sanction levels. Production from Yadavaran, North Yaran and North Azadegan were inaugurated in an official ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani. - 11/13/16

China defense minister arrives in Tehran for three-day talks
The Chinese minister of national defense has arrived in the Iranian capital at the head of a high-ranking delegation as Tehran and Beijing seek to strengthen their strategic defense cooperation. General Chang Wanquan's aircraft touched down in Tehran on Sunday for an official three-day visit. - 11/13/16

Iran discussing human rights issues with EU
Iran has recently entered a round of negotiations with the European Community representatives over human rights issues. A delegation of Iranian representative from the foreign ministry and the judiciary are attending these meeting. Majid Takhtravanchi, Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister and member of the said delegation commented on the negotiations saying the talks with the EU over human rights will be long and must be kept at a technical level avoiding any form of "politicization" of the matter. - 11/13/16

Iran needs $200B to develop oil industry: Oil Minister
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday that $200 billion investment is required to develop the country's oil industry. "Internal resources are not enough to meet such need, therefore we should attract foreign investment", Zanganeh said in a press conference. - 11/13/16

The Newest Hit to America's Image
The impact of the election result on the standing of the United States in the world has too many aspects to encapsulate or even, in this early stage of shock, to comprehend. This is particularly so with a president-elect who will have to construct a foreign policy largely unguided by previous thinking on his part that exhibits consistency and coherence beyond a few themes such as discontent with free-loading allies, admiration for powerful autocrats, and conceiving of economic relations in zero-sum mercantilist terms. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/13/16

EU-Iran Relations in the Trump Era
There is, however, a danger of some neoconservatives moving closer to Trump and setting his administration on a more aggressive course than his campaign pronouncements suggested. Already some notorious uber-hawks, such as New Gingrich, John Bolton, and Rudy Giuliani, are slated for top jobs in the Trump administration, including the crucial secretary-of-state job. All three have deep ties with the Iranian dissident cult MEK, on the US terror list until 2012, bitterly opposed to the current Iranian government and advocating regime change in Iran. -Eldar Mamedov - 11/12/16

Pars Generation+ holds Arts & Culture Mixer in San Francisco
Pars Generation+ hosted a lively Art & Culture Mixer on Election Night 2016 at the Cambria Gallery in San Francisco. As young professionals and community leaders networked, they viewed the "Iran Unveiled" Photography Exhibit, as well as works by renowned Persian artist Elham Ashrafi and street artist Keyvan Shovir (a.k.a "CK1"). Persian cuisine by Apple, Inc.'s own Chef Naz Afarin Mahini and Komaaj Catering was served, while Election 2016 results were viewed on a monitor. - 11/12/16

The Iranian nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement between U.S. and Iran: EU's Federica Mogherini
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Wednesday that the JCPOA, the official name for the nuclear deal between Iran and great powers, is a "multilateral agreement" and that she is tasked to guarantee its full implementation. - 11/12/16

Trial of Seven Leading Members of Banned Iranian Reformist Party Postponed
The trial of seven former reformist politicians who have been charged with "assembly and collusion against national security" and "membership in an illegal group" was postponed after Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court agreed to a request from their defense lawyers for more time to prepare. - 11/12/16

Iran Expects Trump To Accept Nuclear Deal 'Once Dust Settles'
PRAGUE -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he believes the next U.S. administration will accept the landmark nuclear deal signed by Tehran and world powers, despite U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pledging to "tear up" the agreement. - 11/12/16

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami Demands Trump Apologize For Calling Iranians 'Terrorists'
Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump not to play games with Iran, and said Trump should apologize to the Iranian people for calling them "terrorists" during his campaign. - 11/12/16

Iranian reporter Mohsen Khazaei killed in Aleppo, Syria
Iranian reporter Mohsen Khazaei was killed in Syria's Aleppo on November 12, 2016 while reporting the fighting between Syrian government forces and terrorists in the embattled city. - 11/12/16

Why the Iran Deal Will Survive the Trump Presidency
Trump's triumph is sending shockwaves through the foreign policy community, particularly among supporters of the Iran nuclear deal. Reuters has already reported that Trump's election puts the Iran Deal "on shaky ground." Richard Nephew, a former State Department official who was involved in the nuclear negotiations, told Reuters, "Say goodbye to the Iran deal." -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 11/11/16

GOP in new push against Iran-Boeing deal
Shortly after the victory of Donald Trump as the president-elect of the United States, an early indication has appeared to show that the Republicans are already gearing up to undo the achievements of the outgoing President Barack Obama in his approach toward Iran. The US House Rules Committee announced on Thursday that it is preparing to debate legislation that aims to block US financing for sale of $25 billion worth of planes to Iran by American aviation giant Boeing. - 11/11/16

PHOTOS: Iran Holds Funeral For 10 More Soldiers Killed In Syrian War
Iran's official IRNA news agency reports that a funeral ceremony has been held in the city of Qom for 10 soldiers who were killed while fighting in Syria. - 11/11/16

Activist Imprisoned in Iran for Protesting Against Acid Attacks on Hunger Strike
Ali Shariati, who was imprisoned in 2015 for participating in a demonstration in front of Parliament against acid attacks on women, has gone on hunger strike "in protest against his forced return to prison to serve a sentence that has no legal basis," said his mother, Shayesteh-ol-Sadat Shahidi. - 11/11/16

U.S. Officials Say Trump Can Devastate Iran Nuclear Deal By Walking Away
U.S. officials said on November 10 that President-elect Donald Trump can devastate Iran's nuclear deal with world powers by walking away from it as he has vowed to do. - 11/11/16

Iran and the Trump Presidency
Donald J. Trump's election as the 45th president of the United States has elicited both predictable and unanticipated reactions from Iranian politicians ranging across the political spectrum. First, a prominent reformist politician and former vice-president, Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, waxed lyrical on how Trump is better for Iran, confidently stating that "a businessman is never dangerous." -Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, LobeLog - 11/11/16

US Tour Company Booking Luxury Trips to Iran
One luxury tour company in the U.S. is promoting a new trip to the country for those willing to take the risk, describing it as the first opportunity to see an Iran opening up to the West after last year's nuclear deal. -AP - 11/11/16

The Iran Deal Is in Critical Danger
There will be plenty of time to dissect Donald Trump's surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in last night's presidential election, and what a President Trump will mean for American foreign policy generally. But one thing is clear: the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) and Iran may very well be among the first casualties of the incoming Trump administration. -Derek Davison - 11/10/16

After Trump Victory, Fears Grow Of Iran Nuclear Deal Unraveling
Addressing an influential pro-Israel lobbying group in March, Donald Trump said that the landmark nuclear deal signed with Iran was a disaster and that dismantling it would be his "No. 1 priority." Now, a day after Trump pulled off a stunning victory to capture the U.S. presidency, observers are watching closely for signs that his administration could indeed follow through on this threat when he takes office in January. - 11/10/16

Iran Deal Is Key Test of Trump's Commitment to NATO Allies
Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton last night threatens to mainstream the Islamophobia, misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism that swirled around his candidacy and supporters. On the foreign policy front his comments were no less shocking. But the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump hasn't discussed in any depth beyond his promise at AIPAC's March conference that his "number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran," may stand as an early litmus test for his relationship with NATO allies. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/10/16

Iran and the legal status of the Caspian Sea: repeating positions that no other country accepts
Recently, representative of Iran in the 47th session of the forgiven ministers of the Caspian Sea littoral States repeated Iran's positions about the legal status of the Caspian Sea once again. These were positions that have been heard for the last many years from Iranian officials in various levels, and yet there is no indication that any other littoral country tends to accept them. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 11/10/16

Judiciary Chief Accuses Rouhani of Hypocrisy Amid Battle Over Freedom of Expression in Iran
Shortly after criticizing attacks on freedom of expression in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani was accused of hypocrisy by Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani, who claimed he had been asked by Rouhani to shut down a newspaper. - 11/10/16

Iran's Chabahar hosts first sea travelers
Iran says it has launched the first passenger terminal at its only oceanic port thus making it possible to directly host visitors from Pakistan, India, Oman and beyond. The terminal at Chabahar Port which has a total capacity of 400 passengers per day was inaugurated on Wednesday when a ship arrived from Oman's Muscat carrying over two dozen people. - 11/10/16

IAEA: Iran Again Exceeds Limits on Heavy Water
The United Nations atomic watchdog says Iran for a second time this year has exceeded a so-called "soft limit" on sensitive material that was agreed upon under its 2015 nuclear agreement with six world powers. - 11/10/16

U.S. Support for Israel's Nuclear Ambitions Will Come at a Price
Israel is investing great efforts in declaring victory over Egypt on the nuclear issue. As if it were a kind of ritual, reports keep coming out lauding Israel's victory in the diplomatic arena, and how it foiled the Egyptian demand made at the annual International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference, which called for the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona to be subject to an inspection regime. -Shemuel Meir, LobeLog - 11/10/16

Obama's Departure: More Difficulties for Iran
Although disappointed about the economic benefits flowing from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's political leadership feels fairly certain that at least the threat of a potential U.S. military strike has now disappeared. Also, even if the United States were to re-impose sanctions, in addition to those non-nuclear related sanctions already in existence, the Iranian leadership is confident that other countries, including European states, will not follow America's lead. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/9/16

US election results won't affect Iran policies: President Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the results of the United States presidential election will have no impact on the Islamic Republic's policies. Trump had threatened he would "tear up" the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) or try to renegotiate its terms if elected president. - 11/9/16

Cyrus Habib Soon to Become the First Iranian American Lieutenant Governor of Washington State
Seattle, WA - State Senator Cyrus Habib (D-WA) claimed the state Lieutenant Governor's office in Washington State. Habib made history by becoming the first American of Iranian heritage to win a statewide election. - 11/9/16

Iranians Citizenship Rights Charter awaiting thumbs-up: Presidential Advisor
Iran says it has finished a draft of the long-waited-for Citizenship Rights Charter after it underwent a thorough revision, now awaiting for an approval by the Majlis (Iran's parliament), government, or cabinet. - 11/9/16

Iran Says Trump Should 'Stick' To Nuclear Deal
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should remain committed to the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Tehran. - 11/9/16

Luxurious Golden Eagle to resume excursions to Iran
The Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, a prestigious European operator of exclusive, long-distance rail tours, is scheduled to run new rounds of its services that offers extensive excursions throughout Iran. - 11/9/16

28 dead as bus carrying Iranian pilgrims falls into valley
Twenty-eight people were killed and 19 injured late on Tuesday when a bus heading from the city of Yazd in Iran to the holy city of Karbala in Iraq fell into a valley. - 11/9/16

Turkey's Post-Mosul Calculations in Iraq
Turkey does not have one foreign policy toward Iraq but several. Its primary concern is not toward the Shi'a-dominated government in Baghdad but rather toward the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Irbil, and, in particular, toward the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani, who is also the KRG's president. -Robert Olson, LobeLog - 11/9/16

Iran Signs Major Gas Deal WIth France's Total
Iran has signed a deal with French energy firm Total to develop a major offshore gas field, Tehran's first major contract with a Western energy firm since the lifting of international sanctions. - 11/8/16

Photos: Tehran hosting 4th Christian-Muslim Summit
The 4th Christian-Muslim Summit kicked off on Sunday attended by representatives from Shia and Sunni Islam as well as Catholic, Protestant and Anglican Christianity. - 11/8/16

Ailing Music Distributor Refuses Hospital Treatment, Vows to Hunger Strike Until Demands Met
Imprisoned music distributor Mehdi Rajabian, who is currently on hunger strike with his brother Hossein Rajabian, has refused hospital treatment for his deteriorating health. The Rajabians were previously tricked into ending their hunger strike before there demands were met. - 11/8/16

Pars Equality Center's New Pars Generation+ Program Hosts Election Day ART & CULTURE MIXER at the Cambria Gallery in San Francisco
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Pars Equality Center (PEC)--the leading non-profit organization providing social, legal and community services to the Iranian-American community--presents an event by Pars Generation+, the new program for supporting and connecting the next generation (ages 21-40) of Iranian Americans. - 11/8/16

Iranian researchers win Best Robot Design at ICSR 2016
The project 'Abrbot' which is a robot for educating and informing children on optimal water usage won the Best Robot Design at the 8th International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2016) that was held on November 1st to 3rd in Kansas City, US. - 11/8/16

Iran Seeks Deeper Ties With Lebanon's New President
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif became the first foreign minister to visit Lebanon's new President Michel Aoun on November 7, with the goal of deepening ties between Tehran and Aoun's Hizballah-backed government. - 11/8/16

Iran to boost foothold in U.S. carpet market
Iran says it has drawn serious plans to boost exports of hand-woven carpets to the United States, adding that it is already sending about a third of its total global sales to US market. - 11/8/16

Iran Navy fleet heading for Atlantic Ocean for first time
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says an Iranian naval fleet is planning to head for the Atlantic Ocean for the first time after a port call in South Africa. - 11/8/16

U.S. Charges Wealthy Trader's Brother With Violating Iran Sanctions
U.S. authorities on November 7 indicted the brother of a wealthy gold trader who faces trial in January for violating sanctions by helping Iran transact business. Mohammad Zarrab, who like his brother Reza is a dual citizen of Turkey and Iran, was charged with conspiracy in the prohibited transactions. - 11/8/16

iBRIDGE Barcelona: A Global Meetup with High Tech Entrepreneurs of Iranian Descent
iBRIDGE Barcelona, a three-day event to be held December 8-10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. It will be the global meetup with high-tech entrepreneurs of Iranian descent who come from across the world to share experiences, challenges, and success stories with colleagues, potential investors, and corporate partners. - 11/7/16

The Tangled Politics Of Caspian Energy
The Caspian seabed contains some of the largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world. And if one adds the hydrocarbon wealth present onshore in the Caspian littoral countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia -- the volumes are staggering. - 11/7/16

Thousands of artists appeal to Iranian President for tackling air pollution
More than 5,700 Iranian artists issued an appeal to President Hassan Rouhani urging him to take serious measures to address air pollution in the country. The supreme council of the Iranian Artists Forum, comprising photographers, graphic designers, painters, sculptors, calligraphers, potters, and actors signed a letter to the president asking for immediate measures to minimize air pollution - 11/7/16

Iran top-ranked in Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships
Iranian national bodybuilding squad has established the first position at the 70th edition of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships & 11th edition of World Amateur Classic Bodybuilding Championships in Spain. - 11/7/16

From Serving in the White House to Storytelling in VR and NPR, Meet D.C.'s Most Influential Iranian-American Women
From the Oval Office to the most powerful American boardrooms, Iranian-American women are among the most hardworking of this country's changemakers. On November 13th, The Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) will feature many of these women... -Davar Ardalan, Huffington Post - 11/7/16

Iran: Briefly Freed After Long Hunger Strikes, Three Teachers' Rights Leaders Ordered Back to Prison
Prominent teachers' rights leaders Jafar Azimzadeh, Esmail Abdi, and Mahmoud Beheshti-Langroudi-who had all been previously imprisoned for their peaceful activism and released in 2016 on bail after going on long hunger strikes-were summoned back to prison in October 2016. - 11/7/16

Iranian President Appoints Another Woman To His Cabinet
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has appointed a woman as a new vice president and to lead the country's Tourism and Cultural Heritage Ministry. In a statement on his website on November 5, Rohani said he was naming Zahra Ahmadipour to the new positions, becoming the third woman in his cabinet. - 11/7/16

Iran runner-up at Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2016
Iran men's national beach soccer team has achieved a commendable second-place finish at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2016 in the United Arab Emirates. - 11/7/16

State affiliated Quran reciter in Iran denies sexually abusing children
Saeed Toosi, a Quran teacher and Iran's top Quran reciter has denied allegations that he has sexually abused at least 4 children that were put under his care as students. - 11/7/16

Iran, the US, and the Persian Gulf
Despite current tensions, cooperation between Tehran and Washington is possible. -Sina Azodi, Diplomat - 11/7/16

PayPal's Iran sanctions cripple Melbourne soiree
A small Brunswick cafe has been forced to refund tickets for a Persian food night, because PayPal fears the event is in breach of decades-old economic sanctions against Iran. -Benjamin Millar, The Age - 11/7/16

President Obama endorses Cyrus Habib for Lieutenant Governor of Washington State
"Cyrus's intelligence, track record, and proven commitment to Washington State set him apart. I am pleased to endorse and support his campaign for Lieutenant Governor." - President Obama - 11/5/16

Can Iran and Israel Make Up?
As Iran watchers in Washington brace for a more hawkish new US administration, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a conference on October 31 on a subject that continues to bedevil US-Iran relations: the mutual security perceptions of Israel and Iran. -Eldar Mamedov - 11/5/16

A Legend Of Iran Football Dies - Mansour Pourheydari: 1946-2016
Esteghlal legend Mansour Pourheydari passed away at age of 70 on Friday. He died after a one-year battle with lung disease in Tehran's Iranmehr Hospital. Pourheydari was a member of board of the directors of Esteghlal football club. - 11/5/16

Prominent, Ailing Human Rights Lawyer Sees 64th Birthday Pass by in Evin Prison
"I hope my father will be freed soon and his next birthday will not be in Evin Prison," said Maedeh Soltani, the daughter of imprisoned prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, on Nov 1, 2016-his 64th birthday. - 11/5/16

Iranian-American Community Leaders Come Out Strong for Rep. Mike Honda #CA17
Bay Area Iranian-Americans and Asian Americans gathered Tuesday night to show their support for Democratic Congressman Mike Honda. While some were upset by the questionable circumstances that led to the recent endorsement of Honda's opponent Ro Khanna by the Bay Area Iranian-American Democratic Club (BAIAD,) most wanted to celebrate someone they considered a friend to their communities. -Daily Kos - 11/5/16

Cyber Strike Empowered Iran: Nuclear Chief
Iran's top nuclear official says the 2011 cyber attack by the US and Israel against the Iranian nuclear energy program worked against their intended objectives and helped improve the Islamic Republic's readiness against such acts of sabotage. - 11/5/16

Elderly Baha'i Man Brutally Murdered Amid Islamic Republic's "Systematic Hatred" of Baha'is
Sixty-three-year old Farhang Amiri, a Baha'i man that was well-known in his community, was stabbed to death outside his home in the city of Yazd, 312 miles southeast of Tehran, on September 26, 2016, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 11/5/16

Azerbaijan: Choosing Between Repressing Dissent and Western Loans
Azerbaijan must make legislative changes within four months that expand rights for local civil society organizations, or risk losing billions of dollars in loans it needs to build a key gas pipeline. The demand, made by an international watchdog group, marks a potential source of humiliation for the Azerbaijani government... -Joshua Kucera, LobeLog - 11/5/16

Iranian-Americans on the Ballot this Novemeber
With the November 8th election fast approaching, PAAIA wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the campaigns of several Iranian Americans who will be on the ballot on Election Day. As an organization that represents the community before U.S. policymakers and the American public at large, PAAIA encourages the active participation of Iranian Americans in the American civic process and public service. - 11/4/16

Unpacking some Untruths about Iran
On October 21, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a substantive assessment of Iran's foreign and defense policies. For the most part this research meets the high standards of accuracy and objectivity that we have come to expect of the CRS. In two respects, however-concerning Iran's development of ballistic missiles and its possession of a capability to produce chemical warfare agents-the report is misleading. This matters if members of Congress look to the CRS for accurate assessments when debating policy proposals. -Peter Jenkins - 11/4/16

President Obama extends national emergency against Iran
US President Barack Obama has extended the country's national emergency with respect to Iran despite last year's nuclear agreement with Tehran and the P5+1 to lift sanctions. In a letter sent to Congress on Thursday, Obama told lawmakers that US relations with Iran have not returned to normal, and that it's necessary to maintain the status quo. The executive order means non-nuclear US sanctions against Iran will remain in effect for at least another year. - 11/4/16

FIFA Fines Iran For 'Religious Manifestations' During World Cup Qualifiers
FIFA has fined Iran and warned the country's soccer body for allowing "several religious manifestations" during a recent World Cup qualifying game in Tehran. Soccer's world governing body said in a statement on November 3 that Iran was fined 45,000 Swiss francs (about $46,000) for holding a "religious ceremony" before its October 11 game against South Korea and again at halftime. - 11/4/16

Pseudo-Scholarship about Iran: Insulting Cyrus the Great
What is it about Harvard that impels its people to produce pseudo-scholarly non-facts about Iran? Four years ago a presi­den­tial candidate and graduate of the Harvard Business School claimed that Iran needed its alliance with Syria to achieve "access to the sea." Perhaps they don't use maps at the Business School... -John Limbert, LobeLog - 11/4/16

Iran's Supreme Leader Criticizes U.S., Presidential Race
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the debate between U.S. presidential candidates shows what a "catastrophe" American politics is and warned against further negotiations with Washington. - 11/3/16

Editor Who Exposed Corruption in Tehran Municipality Remains Detained Despite Vindicating Evidence
New information has seriously challenged the credibility of the charges against Yashar Soltani, who was detained and charged with "spreading lies" and "gathering classified information with the intent to harm national security" after he published an unclassified letter exposing wide-spread corruptionin the Tehran Municipality. - 11/3/16

Iran 'smart filters' 95 million explicit contents on Instagram
Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, touched upon the protection of cyberspace on social networks and the execution of the 'smart filtering' project that has been introduced by Rouhani administration to allow access, albeit restricted, to more social networks that contain explicit content. - 11/3/16

Notorious Former Iranian Prosecutor Sentenced To More Than 100 Lashes
Mortazavi, who played a major role in sentencing opposition activists from Iran's Green Movement following the disputed 2009 presidential election, was convicted on November 2 in Tehran of "seizing and wasting public funds" when he headed the country's welfare program. Mortazavi, 49, can appeal the sentence. - 11/3/16

Armenia, Iran Sign Deal To Increase Gas Imports, Power Flows
Armenia is looking to increase imports of natural gas from neighboring Iran after the two countries signed an agreement earlier this week. Armenia currently imports up to 500 million cubic meters of Iranian gas annually through a pipeline built in 2008. By comparison, Russian gas supplies to the South Caucasus country total around 2 billion cubic meters. - 11/3/16

Tehran, Moscow ink MOU on transport co-op
Iran and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in air, sea, rail and road transportation. The MOU was signed on Tuesday by Alexey Tsydenov, the deputy minister of transport of the Russian Federation, and Mehrdad Taqizadeh, the Iranian deputy transport minister, on the sidelines of the eighth Iran-Russia Joint Transportation Committee meeting in Tehran. - 11/3/16

The billion-dollar gold rush to tap into Iranian oil
The chase is on for some of the most prized oil and gas assets in the world, following the lifting of sanctions on Iran earlier this year. The historic deal paved the way for the country to rebuild its lost production capacity and fight for market share. -CNBC - 11/3/16

The Significance of Lebanon's New President
Why, for the last two-and-a-half years, was it so difficult to agree on and then elect a single candidate? Some incorrectly blamed a sectarian divide among Sunnis, Shia, and Christians and/or the intense competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia (each in support of a different candidate). Others pointed to the war in neighboring Syria... -Aurelie Daher, LobeLog - 11/3/16

Iranian architects win 'Aga Khan' Award for Tabiat (Nature) Bridge
Iranian architect Leila Araghian and Alireza Behzadi won the UAE's prestigious Aga Khan Award for Tabiat (Nature) Pedestrian Bridge that connect two parks separated by a highway in northern Tehran. - 11/2/16

'Parsijoo' most used search engine in Iran after Google
Iranian search engine 'Parsijoo' is the most used search engine in Iran after Google, head of the Steering Committee of the project 'Domestic Search Engines' said Monday. "At the moment, Parsijoo Search Engine has 600,000 hits and about 120,000 searches per day. For 'Yooz' search engine, the figures are over 100,000 hits and more than 60,000 searchers per day" - 11/2/16

Iran defeats U.S. at Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup
Iran opened the fifth edition of the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup with a victory over the U.S.; Team Melli defeated the U.S. 6-2 in Dubai, the UAE. The Iranian team will face Egypt on Wednesday. - 11/2/16

Iran's President Rouhani questions youth despair despite ample progress
"To those who criticize the JCPOA for having failed to do anything for the country, I shall say that JCPOA has presented Iran with the right to choose freely for its exports, imports, interactions with the world, selecting clients and the type of goods," President Rouhani said in praise of the nuclear deal that came into effect during his administration. - 11/2/16

Tabriz hosting Iran-Germany symposium on archaeometry
The first Irano-German International Symposium on Archaeometry opened in the Iranian city of Tabriz on November 1, turning the spotlight on the involvement of physical and biological sciences with archaeology and the history of arts. - 11/2/16

Iranian Parliament Approves Three New Rohani Cabinet Ministers
Iranian lawmakers on November 1 approved three new ministers, signaling support for changes in the cabinet of President Hassan Rohani seven months before a presidential election. Their predecessors resigned after Rohani criticized them for inefficiency and succumbing to pressures from outside the government. - 11/2/16

Iran's oil sales to Europe top 700,000 bpd
Iran exported more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to Europe in October, but Asia remained the country's main customer, a senior official says. "Iran's crude oil exports averaged 2.44 million barrels per day in October," director general for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Qamsari said in Tehran on Wednesday. - 11/2/16

Clinton's Foreign Policy: The Known Unknowns
Despite the further stresses introduced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week into this most stressful of modern campaigns, Hillary Clinton is still the odds-on favorite to be elected US president. If that judgment is validated on the morning of November 9th, America's friends and allies abroad can begin to exhale. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/2/16

'I'm Lake Urmia' petition signed by 1.7m Iranians presented to UN
Actor Reza Kianian presented the "I'm Lake Urmia" petition, signed by around 1.7 million Iranians, to the UN resident coordinator in Iran Gary Lewis, here on Monday. "I'm Lake Urmia" hashtag is a campaign initiated in late August by Mohammad Khazaei, an environmentalist, and later taken up and supported by Kianian. It is aimed to push the United Nations to take serious measures to restore the lake. - 11/1/16

Tabriz historic bazaar complex: A melting pot of tradition, trade, and culture
Tabriz historic bazaar complex, a labyrinth of interconnected covered passages that adds up to about 5 kms, has been a melting pot of cultural exchange since antiquity and once a hot spot on the ancient Silk Road. - 11/1/16

IRAN: Pressured by Hardline Group and Revolutionary Guards, University Forces Former Political Prisoner out of Teaching Job
Hengameh Shahidi, a former reformist journalist and political prisoner, has been fired from her teaching position at an Iranian university following threats of violence from a hardline conservative group and pressure from the Revolutionary Guards. - 11/1/16

With JCPOA implementation, Iran and UK must make up for lost ground: President Rouhani
In a meeting with the new British Ambassador to Tehran Nicholas Hopton on Monday, Rouhani added that all sides to the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), should completely fulfill their obligations. "After the JCPOA, we need to make up for the lost opportunities in the past and this requires the development of economic, scientific, cultural and political relations," the Iranian president stated. - 11/1/16

Iran, China seal New Silk Road deal
Iran and China have finalized an agreement which allows Chinese traders to use the Iranian territory for exports to Europe as envisaged in an ambitious plan by Beijing named the New Silk Road initiative. - 11/1/16

Kerry Praises Iran's Zarif as 'a Patriot ... Who Fought Hard For His Nation's Interests' During Nuclear Negotiations
Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday praised his Iranian counterpart as a tough negotiator and "a patriot... who fought hard for his nation's interests" during the marathon talks that produced the nuclear agreement. -CNSNews - 11/1/16

Frustrated Europe hopes Clinton win can spur elusive Iran deals leftright 4/4leftright
After a year of disappointment, European businesses are hoping a victory for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. election next week may help break the logjam that has prevented large-scale Western investments in Iran since the opening of its economy. -Reuters - 11/1/16

Is CAP Shilling for the UAE?
As regular readers of this blog know, Jim asserted that the Middle East section of a remarkably hawkish report published last spring by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) could have been written by the foreign ministries of Saudi Arabia and Israel. That report depicted Iran as the source of virtually all evils in the region and recommended confronting Tehran at every turn. -Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 11/1/16
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