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The Conference that Challenged Trump's Travel Ban
We are pleased to announce the return of the IAAB Conference in 2018! In partnership with the Hagop Kevorkian Center at New York University, IAAB's International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora will be held April 21-22, 2018 at New York University School of Law. - 11/30/17

Iran urges immediate probe into US police killing of young Iranian-American man
Iran's Interests Section in Washington has called for an immediate investigation into the recent suspicious killing of a young Iranian man by US police, who have failed to provide justifiable reason for the fatal shooting. The United States Park Police officers shot Iranian-American man Bijan C. Ghaisar three times in the head in the state of Virginia on the evening of November 17. The police alleged that the 25-year-old man had been involved in a hit-and-run accident. He died Monday night after 10 days on life support. - 11/30/17

After Fiery Speech, Iran Censors Ahmadinejad-Related Online Searches
Websites affiliated with former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were blocked in Iran and the country's most widely used state-approved video-sharing site barred users from accessing Ahmadinejad-related content after the politician criticized state officials in a recent speech. Ahmadinejad was censored from the internet in Iran after he delivered a speech at the Shah Abdol Azim Mosque in southern Tehran criticizing state officials. - 11/30/17

Turkey's Love Affair with Saudi Arabia On the Rocks
A deal signed by Turkish and Iranian ministers Sunday to enhance efforts to break Saudi Arabian trade sanctions against Qatar, is only the latest move by Ankara against Riyadh. The two once close allies are increasingly finding themselves on opposing sides in the region. "There is this fear [by Turkey] an axis is developing between Saudi Arabia, [the United States], and Israel in the region definitely," said Haldun Solmazturk, head of 21st Century Turkey Institute, an Ankara based research organization. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 11/30/17

Witness In Iran Sanctions Case, Reza Zarrab, Tells U.S. Court He Bribed Turkish Minister
A U.S. government witness has testified that he paid over $50 million in bribes to Turkey's economy minister in 2012 as part of a $1 billion scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab described his arrangement with former Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan on November 29 at the beginning of several days of testimony at the New York trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is charged as Zarrab's accomplice in a conspiracy to evade Iran sanctions and bribe public officials. - 11/30/17

Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt pressured Obama to "bomb Iran" before nuclear deal
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt--three of Washington's key Middle East allies--were pressuring former President Barack Obama to "bomb Iran" before the landmark nuclear deal signed in July 2015. -Newsweek - 11/30/17

Bulgaria Says Iran Denied Prime Minister's Plane Access To Airspace
Iran on November 29 forced a jet carrying Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to leave its airspace, prompting protests from Sofia, in an incident Tehran later blamed on a technical glitch. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told reporters the plane had all necessary permits to fly over Iran en route to Saudi Arabia late on November 28, but once it entered Iranian airspace, it was asked by Iranian authorities to leave. - 11/30/17

President Rohani Says Saudi Accusations Against Iran Distract From Riyadh's 'Failures'
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has accused Saudi Arabia of trying to distract attention from Riyadh's "failures" at home and abroad by vilifying Iran as the alleged culprit behind conflicts in the Middle East. "Saudi Arabia seeks to solve two problems through enmity with Iran. First, it wants to cover up its failures in the region...and second, its domestic problems," Rohani said in a live interview on state television on November 28. - 11/29/17

Top Suspect In U.S. Iran Sanctions Case Pleads Guilty, Will Testify
A wealthy Turkish-Iranian businessman has pleaded guilty to charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions and will testify in a sanctions case which U.S. prosecutors said implicates high-level officials in both Turkey and Iran. - 11/29/17

Iranian Political Prisoners in Rajaee Shahr Prison Slapped With New Charges for Engaging in Peaceful Protest
Three prisoners in Iran's Rajaee Shahr Prison are facing new charges for participating in a mass protest at the prison in August 2017. In late October 2017, the Revolutionary Court in Evin Prison in Tehran charged Christian convert Ebrahim Firoozi, and political activists Saeed Shirzad and Amir Ghaziani with "disturbing order" and "insulting the supreme leader and other officials." - 11/29/17

Iran exports $180M Persian carpets in 7 months
Deputy Head of Iran's Carpet Center for Economic Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Farshchi said Iran exported hand-woven carpets worth $180 million over the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (began March 20). Iran exported $290 million hand-woven carpet in 2016, he said, adding the figure rose to $359 million in 2016, rising by 3 percent in terms of weight and and 23 percent in terms of value. - 11/29/17

What U.S. Enmity Has Wrought In Iran
An important consequence of the unrelenting, unqualified hostility toward Iran that Donald Trump has made a centerpiece of his foreign policy is described in an article by Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times about the impact of that policy on the Iranian public. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/29/17

Rising HIV infections spreading by sex among youth in Iran
In a square in a poor eastern Tehran neighborhood known for its drug addicts and dealers, psychologist Atefeh Azimi draws another drop of blood from a worried passer-by's finger. She works on a nearby bench, where a sign next to her in English and in Farsi urges the public to receive free voluntary counseling and HIV testing. -AP - 11/29/17

Tehran's Notorious Former Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi Sentenced to Jail
The appeal court has finally sentenced Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's former prosecutor to two years in prison in connection with the Kahrizak Detention Center scandal in 2009. After the 2009 disputed elected in Iran, over 100 prisoners were taken to Kahrizak Detention Center, beaten, some tortured and sexually abused and five died as result of injuries sustained while in custody. - 11/28/17

Iranian, Italian orchestras to take "Divine Martyrs" to Rome church
The Tehran Symphony Orchestra choir and Italy's World Youth Orchestra will perform "Where Art Thou, Divine Martyrs" composed by Hushang Kamkar, at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome on December 3. The joint concert is scheduled to be repeated in Tehran on December 6, Iran's Rudaki Foundation announced in a press release on Monday. - 11/28/17

China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran seal deal to boost rail traffic
China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran have signed an agreement to increase the volume of cargoes shipped through the four countries to international markets by rail. The agreement was reached after a meeting between the representatives of the countries in the Kazakh city of Astana, according to a statement by Kazakhstan's railways KTZ. - 11/28/17

We're not afraid of death: Iran's General Soleimani
The Quds Force commander has railed against the U.S. presence in the Middle East, saying the American troops' fear is attributable to their "faithlessness", emphasizing that unlike them "we do not fear death at all." General Qassem Soleimani made the remarks while addressing Syrian fighters in al-Bokmal city, in response to death threats against the resistance fighters, ISNA reported on Friday. -Mohammad Homaeefar, Tehran Times - 11/28/17

Iran, Armenia should make efforts to broaden economic ties: Foreign Minister Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on an official visit to Armenia, has hailed growing relations between the two countries, saying Tehran and Yerevan should work to broaden their cooperation in the economic sector. Zarif, who arrived in Yerevan at the head of a politico-economic delegation on Tuesday, discussed bilateral ties as well as regional and international developments with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian. - 11/28/17

Russia, Turkey, Iran Meet In Sochi
There has been extensive diplomacy across the Middle East in recent months. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Turkey and Iran. Saudi Arabian King Salman made a historic visit to Moscow. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan visited Russia and then returned on November 22 for the trilateral Russia-Turkey-Iran summit on Syria in Sochi. -Alexey Khlebnikov, LobeLog - 11/28/17

Iran, Turkey, Qatar move to bolster trade amid Saudi-led blockade
Iran, Turkey and Qatar have signed a trilateral agreement aimed at boosting trade with Doha amid a Saudi-led blockade on the Persian Gulf sheikhdom. Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Business Mohammad Shariatmadari, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Qatari Economy Minister Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani signed the deal in Tehran on Sunday. - 11/27/17

Ankara Urges U.S. To Drop Case Against Turkish-Iranian Businessman, Banker
Ankara has urged Washington to drop federal charges against a Turkish-Iranian gold trader and a banker who are accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on November 27 that the case against Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla had "no legal basis" and should be "dropped or terminated." - 11/27/17

Iran's tourism chief calls on private sector to assist 'Tabriz 2018'
Iran's tourism chief has called for a partnership between domestic travel companies and associated businesses to help organize 'Tabriz 2018', an event which marks the naming of Tabriz as the capital of Islamic tourism. In December 2015, the inter-governmental Organization of Islamic Cooperation selected Tabriz, northwestern East Azarbaijan province, as the capital of Islamic tourism for 2018. - 11/26/17

Gas Exporting Countries Blast US Use Of Sanctions As Weapon
Gas exporting countries have condemned the use of sanctions as a weapon against other nations, in an apparent jab at the United States. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which has 12 members in the likes of Iran, Russia and Qatar, issued a communique at the end of their summit in Bolivia on Friday. - 11/26/17

Iran says Qatar wants five-fold increase in trade
Iran says it had received a proposal from Qatar to increase the level of trade between the two countries by five folds. The announcement was made by Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari after a meeting with the visiting Qatari Economy Minister Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani. - 11/26/17

Iranian Photo-Journalist Shahrokh Hatami Dies At Age 89
Famed Iranian photo-journalist Shahrokh Hatami, who begin his career as a journalist for an Iranian newspaper, has died in France at age 89. Hatami's partner, actress Francine Carpon, told the AFP news agency on November 25 that he died from "pulmonary insufficiency at Auxi-le-Chateau" in northern France. - 11/26/17

Iraq's Basketball Squad Upsets Iran In FIBA Qualifying Action
Iraq scored a major upset in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 qualifying round with a 74-66 victory over Iran. Iraq was led by U.S.-born DeMario Mayfield with 24 points in the victory on November 24 at the Prince Hamza Arena in Amman, Jordan. - 11/26/17

Daesh product of US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE: Iran's IRGC
A senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has described Daesh as a product of US, Saudi, Israeli and Emirati intelligence agencies tasked with toppling regional governments. "Intelligence services of the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and certain other countries, naming which is not in our interest for now, created Daesh to overthrow the Syrian administration," General Hossein Salami said. -Press TV - 11/26/17

Trump Administration Plays Media Like Fiddle on Iran/HBO Hacking Story
It's rare to see evidence of an administration plot to manipulate the media unfolding in real time, but such is the case this week--and thus far, corporate media have taken the bait hook, line, and sinker. -Adam Johnson, FAIR - 11/25/17

Iran's Inflation rate stands at 8.4 percent: Statistical Center
The Statistical Center of Iran announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended on the last day of the eighth Iranian calendar month of Aban (November 21) compared to the same period in the previous year hit 8.4 percent. - 11/25/17

Russia, Iran, Turkey Call For Syrian 'Congress' Between Government, Rebel Forces
Russia, Iran, and Turkey have agreed to organize a "congress" involving Syrian government and opposition forces in an effort to end the Middle East country's six-year civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on November 22. Putin made the comments at the end of trilateral peace talks with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey -- Hassan Rohani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, respectively -- in the southern Russian city of Sochi. - 11/24/17

Earthquake-ravaged Iranians receive aid with help from Facebook
Rendered numb from the news of a devastating earthquake in his home country, it took just an hour before Tohid Najafi, a Detroit-based Iranian medical professional, launched a Facebook fundraiser. -ABC News - 11/24/17

Iran Allows Women Weightlifters To Compete Internationally
Iran says it will allow women weightlifters to compete internationally for the first time. Ali Moradi, president of the Iranian Weightlifting Federation, said on November 23, "We have established the Iran Weightlifting Federation Women's Committee and we have talented female athletes." - 11/24/17

Iran Attempts to Deflect Responsibility in Criticizing UN Resolution on Country's Human Rights Record
Iran has responded to a draft UN resolution condemning the country's human rights record by attempting to deflect responsibility and verbally criticizing the sponsors of the draft. After UN member states adopted the draft resolution by the UN's Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affair on November 14, 2017, the country's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi accused the resolution's sponsors of being "the biggest violators of human rights." - 11/24/17

War In The Middle East--Again?
Fast forward to 2017. The enemy is not Iraq but Iran. A similar public case is being built about Tehran's aggressive intentions, its threats to its neighbors, and its poor human-rights record. Although Iran has been effectively disarmed in terms of a possible nuclear-weapons program, the Trump administration has castigated its other behavior from one end of the Middle East to the other. Will there be war? -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/24/17

Iran's Snapp Taxi App Violates User Privacy Rights by Spying on Users' Phone Data
On November 21, 2017, the users of an Iranian transportation app known as Snapp received a notification that they would no longer be able to use the app unless they deleted the Waze navigation app from their phone. The ban on Waze, ordered by Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, is a major violation of personal privacy rights because the Snapp app searched its users phones without consent for the presence of banned apps. - 11/24/17

PAAIA Interviews Sanctions Attorney, Erich Ferrari, on Providing Earthquake Relief to the Iranian People
In the wake of last Sunday's tragic earthquake in the Kermanshah region of Iran, Iranian Americans have gone to great lengths to help with the relief efforts, including taking to social media to help raise funds for earthquake relief. Unfortunately, many were surprised and confused by fraudulent charities popping up on social media, taking advantage of this tragedy and undermining the good will of Iranian Americans. - 11/24/17

Saudi Prince Mohammed's Achilles Heel
Emboldened by perceived White House support, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to have stepped up his risky, so far faltering effort to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East. -James M. Dorsey, LobeLog - 11/24/17

Iran's supreme leader 'the new Hitler', says Saudi crown prince
Saudi Arabia's crown prince has called Iran's supreme leader "the new Hitler of the Middle East", amid heightened tensions between the two countries. Alluding to Iran's growing regional power, Mohammed bin Salman said it was important to avoid a repeat "of what happened in Europe in the Middle East". -BBC - 11/24/17

New Cold War? Iran Sends Warships to Gulf of Mexico
At a time when Iran is looking to expand and modernize its military in the face of what is seen as a growing U.S. threat, its newly appointed navy commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, held his first press conference Wednesday, announcing that a fleet of Iranian ships would soon depart for the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico en route to visits to a number of South American countries, Iran's semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported. -Newsweek - 11/24/17

Presidents of Iran, Russia, Turkey hold Syria talks in Sochi
The Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents held a trilateral meeting on the Syria crisis in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Wednesday talks between Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan come as Iran, Russia and Turkey are acting as the guarantors of a ceasefire that took effect in Syria late last year. - 11/22/17

Outspoken Daughter Of Slain Iranian Dissidents Going On Trial For 'Spreading Propaganda'
The murders of Parastou Forouhar's parents were pinned on Iran's Intelligence Ministry. Now, the same ministry is going after the artist for speaking out about their deaths and her alleged ties by extension to a scandal over an activist who was photographed drinking wine. Forouhar will go on trial on November 25, three days after the 19th anniversary of the deaths of her parents, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar. The two political activists and dissidents were stabbed to death in their Tehran home in November 1998 in a killing that officials later blamed on rogue intelligence agents, despite suggestions otherwise. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/22/17

Iranian Charged With Hacking HBO, Stealing Unaired Episodes Of The Game Of Thrones
The United States has charged an Iranian man with hacking into HBO and trying to extort $6 million in digital currency from the U.S. television network. U.S. prosecutors accuse Behzad Mesri of stealing scripts and plot summaries for unaired episodes of the Game Of Thrones TV series, and unaired episodes of other shows including the Curb Your Enthusiasm comedy series. - 11/22/17

175 Nobel Laureates Call on Iran to Release Swedish Resident Ahmadreza Djalali
In a letter addressing Iran's ambassador to the UN, 175 Nobel laureates have called on the country's authorities to release Iranian-born Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali, who says he has been imprisoned in Tehran for refusing to spy for the country's Intelligence Ministry. - 11/22/17

Tehran hosting international conference on countering Takfirism
The Iranian capital has started hosting an international conference to discuss means of countering Takfirism. The two-day event kicked off on Wednesday November 22 in Tehran with more than 500 Shia and Sunni scholars from 90 countries in attendance. - 11/22/17

On The Destabilization Of The Middle East
One of America's favorite talking points on Iran is its "destabilizing" role in the Middle East. There's no question that Iran does things that contribute to regional instability. In particular, it frequently supports armed non-state actors that serve as alternate sources of power inside their countries--Yemen's rebels, militias in Syria and Iraq, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/22/17

Iranian teenage musicians to perform in Denmark festival
A group of Iranian teenage musicians will perform at a music festival in Denmark later this month. The young musicians will perform at the NYT music festival and the University of Copenhagen on November 25 and 27. - 11/22/17

Cabinet Minister Indicates Israel Has Had Secret Contacts With Saudis Over Iran Concerns
An Israeli cabinet minister has indicated that Israel has had secret contacts with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries over their mutual concerns about Iran, an apparent first acknowledgment by a senior official about covert dealings. - 11/21/17

Iran's president Rouhani extols regional efforts to uproot ISIS
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has lauded the defeat of the Daesh (ISIS) terror group in Iraq and Syria, thanking all the nations and forces who pooled their resources to crush the remnants of the Takfiri outfit in the two neighboring countries. Backed by popular groups and Iranian military advisors, armed forces in Iraq and Syria have managed to flush Daesh militants out of their last strongholds in both countries, declaring full victory over the notorious terror group. - 11/21/17

Benefit concert in Palo Alto, California for Iran's quake victims
We are deeply affected of the devastating earthquake in Iran. The deadliest earthquake of 2017 has taken about 1000 lives and has ruined several villages in the Kurdish region of Iran, Kermanshah. This concert is dedicated to all Kurds of Iran and Iraq and the benefits will be sent directly to Kermanshah. - 11/21/17

Political Prisoners Transferred to Prison in Northwestern Iran After Being Beaten by Rajaee Shahr Guards
Three political prisoners serving life sentences have been transferred from Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, to Orumiyeh Central Prison in West Azerbaijan Province, 444 miles away, without a court order. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that Mohammad Nazari, Khalid Fereydouni, and Omar Faghihpour were moved on November 16, 2017, after being beaten by guards in the clinic of Rajaee Shahr Prison. - 11/21/17

Iranian Official Threatens "Restrictions" on Social Media Networks That Reject State Censorship Policies
A senior official representing Iran's top internet regulation body has threatened to take action against social media applications that refuse to comply with the country's strict censorship rules. "Foreign messaging networks should comply with the polices of the Islamic Republic of Iran and should not publish immoral material," said Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council (SCC), on November 14, 2017. "If they cooperate with us, there won't be any problem. Otherwise, we will move towards introducing restrictions against them." - 11/21/17

Moscow's Balancing Act In Syria
Russia and Iran, as is well known, have been cooperating closely in Syria. The combination of ground forces from Iran and its various Shi'a militia allies plus primarily air forces from Russia have succeeded in helping the Bashar al-Assad regime maintain power, regain control over much of the territory that it had lost, and put particularly the Arab opposition to the government on the defensive. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog - 11/21/17

Iran before the 1979 revolution
Fascinating photos show models in miniskirts and the fashionable female film stars who were later banned from movies when strict Islamic laws were imposed -Daily Mail, UK - 11/21/17

New Crisis Looms Over Iran's Earthquake-Hit Areas
More than a week after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit western Iran, icy rains are expected as many survivors still face a shortage of aid supplies such as heating appliances, tents, and plastic covers. "The situation in earthquake-hit areas needs attention; otherwise, we are going to face a disaster worse that the earthquake itself," Farhad Tajari, a member of parliament for Ghasr Shireen, was quoted by Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) as saying. - 11/20/17

Iran, EU hold high-level talks in Tehran amid Trump's threats
Iran and the EU have started their third round of high-level talks following the 2016 implementation of a nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world countries. Helga Schmid, the EU's deputy political director, met Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Tehran Monday to discuss issues of mutual interest, the state news agency IRNA reported. - 11/20/17

Turkey Hosts Iranian, Russian FMs as Ankara-NATO Dispute Festers
Turkey's Foreign Minister Melvin Cavusolgu is hosting his Russian and Iranian counterparts at the Mediterranean Sea resort of Antalya to prepare the ground for Wednesday's summit in Russia to discuss Syria. Despite Ankara backing opposing sides to Tehran and Moscow in the Syrian civil war, they have been increasingly cooperating to resolve the conflict. The three countries armed forces are deployed in creating a "de-escalation zone" in the Syrian enclave of Idlib, one of last strongholds of rebels fighting the Damascus regime. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 11/20/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Calls For More Aid For Earthquake Survivors
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on the authorities to provide more aid for the survivors of a devastating earthquake that hit the country's west more than a week ago. Khamenei spoke on November 20 during a visit to Kermanshah Province, which was hit hard by the 7.3-magnitude quake that killed at least 530 people and left thousands injured or homeless amid bitterly cold temperatures. - 11/20/17

A Bridge Taken for a Wall, a Wall Taken for a Bridge: On Persian Art, Poetry, and Translation
Event on December 7, 2017 at Stanford University: Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is currently writing a book on poetry in a global age. This talk on poetry, art, and East-West translation ranges from ancient Iran to medieval Byzantium and the Abbasid era to modern Iran and Ireland. - 11/20/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry "Invites" Rouhani Campaign Manager to Stop Advocating for Kurdish Rights
President Hassan Rouhani's chief campaign manager in Iran's Kurdistan Province was subjected to intimidation tactics while being questioned by Intelligence Ministry agents about his peaceful efforts to include Sunni Muslims in the government. - 11/20/17

Iranian IRGC Commander Killed In Syria
Iranian media have reported that a commander in the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been killed in fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria. The state-run Fars news agency reported on November 19 that Khairollah Samadi, an IRGC commander in charge of a unit in Syria, was killed in fighting on November 16 in the town of Abu Kamal, which has since been recaptured by Syrian government forces. - 11/20/17

MbS: Pride Cometh Before The Fall?
Until only a few months ago, Saudi Arabia's conduct of its domestic and foreign policies was largely characterized by a good deal of caution, a lack of bombast, and a respect for established traditions. One area where the role of tradition, and respect for rank and precedence, was particularly important was the issue of succession in the royal family. Until recently, everyone inside and outside the kingdom was quite certain that once the reigning monarch died or was incapacitated, the next in line would follow and no one would challenge the established order of succession. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/18/17

Senior Iranian official warns Macron against meddling in Iran's internal affairs
A senior Iranian official has advised French President Emmanuel Macron against meddling in Iran's internal affairs, including such strategic issues as the Iranian defense program. Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, made the remark in an interview with IRIB News after Macron said Iran's ballistic missile program had "to be curtailed." - 11/18/17

Iran says deals near to fund plane purchases from Airbus and Boeing
Iran says it is close to final agreements with lenders to fund purchases of airplanes from global aviation giants Airbus and Boeing have been finalized. Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, the Iranian deputy minister of roads and urban development, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that the deliveries of planes would be carried out according the schedule, adding that the next delivery would be made in June 2017. - 11/18/17

Turkish Minister Says U.S. Iran Sanctions Case 'Fabricated,' 'Politically Motivated'
Turkey's foreign minister has accused the United States of bringing what he called a "politically motivated" and "fabricated" case against a Turkish-Iranian businessman accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. - 11/18/17

Hariri Says He'll Return to Lebanon in Coming Days, Announce His Position
PARIS - Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said Saturday at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris that he would return to Beirut in the coming days and announce his position on the crisis in his country after holding talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun. -Lisa Bryant, VOA - 11/18/17

Iranian wrestlers rush to help quake-stricken people
Members of the Iran men's national freestyle and Greco-Roman teams have rushed to aid the victims of the recent earthquake in Kermanshah province in the western part of the country, which has left at least 500 people dead, hundreds of others injured and dozens of villages destroyed. - 11/17/17

Iranian-Turkish Relations Deepen with Shared Regional Goals
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to attend a summit with Iranian and Russian leaders to discuss Syria. It will be Erdogan's second meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a month. Bilateral relations have warmed significantly in recent months between the regional rivals, since the Turkish president criticized Tehran in June, accusing it of Persian expansion in the region, a threat he said needed to be challenged. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 11/17/17

Reza Zarrab, Man Accused In Iran Sanctions Case, Reported Working With U.S. Prosecutors
A Turkish-Iranian businessman accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions did not show up for a second court hearing on November 16, fueling speculation that he has made a deal to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors. NBC provided no details but suggested that Zarrab may be cooperating with authorities in connection with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation... - 11/17/17

Chinese And Asian Banks Curtailed Ties To Iran - Iranian Official
An official of Iran's Chamber of Commerce (ICC) says that China has imposed further restrictions on banking ties to his country. Ali Shariati, a member of ICC told Iranian News Agency ILNA on November 14, that bank accounts belonging to Iranian businessman in China, Dubai, and Malaysia have been also "blocked" in recent days. - 11/17/17

Parastou Forouhar: Iran's Intelligence Ministry Filed Charges Against Me Based on a Photograph
Iran's Intelligence Ministry pressed charges against activist Parastou Forouhar based on a photo of one of her artworks that created a stir on social media, she told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on November 13, 2017. - 11/17/17

Seven Doctors Disagree With Iranian Prison Authorities' Decision to Keep Alireza Golipour Incarcerated
Alireza Golipour has been deemed unfit to stay in Evin Prison by seven doctors more than a month into his hunger strike, his lawyer informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on November 13, 2017. "Mr. Golipour's physical condition is extremely critical and he could slip into a coma," said Azita Gharehbeyglou. "He was transferred to Tajrish Hospital on Friday night [November 10, 2017]. His blood sugar has dropped severely." - 11/17/17

Iran Earthquake Appeal 2017
Current reports state that 530 lives have been lost with the death toll expected to rise, over 7,000 people are injured, hundreds of villages have been destroyed, and 1,950 villages have been impacted as a result of the 7.3 magnitude Kermanshah earthquake, the most devastating in the world this year. PKCF is joining forces with Nikan/Mammut charity in Iran and Children of Persia in USA by forming a consortium that will raise and distribute funds to help those affected by this powerful earthquake - 11/16/17

Kermanshah quake: tragedy, altruism, hope
The quake-hit city of Kermanshah is now the stage of inextricably mixed tragic, altruistic and hopeful scenes. All rescue and relief forces along with military personnel and volunteers have joined hands to help the victims. While tragic scenes of people mourning the loss of their beloved family members are heartbreaking the incessant work of relief forces to help people still raise hope. -Tehran Times - 11/16/17

Flying girl of Iran, Fatemeh Akrami, hopes to increase female skydivers
Fatemeh Akrami, the only female skydiver in Iran, hopes to instruct skydiving to as many interested girls as possible. "My goal is to become a skydiving instructor for Iranian girls," Akrami, 24, said in an interview with the Tehran Times. "I am an Iranian girl and my responsibility is to boost the number of female skydivers in the country", she stated. -Naghmeh Mizanian - 11/16/17

Iran's Supreme Administrative Court Blocks Judicial-Parliamentary Agreement to Reinstate Zoroastrian City Council Member
The Supreme Administrative Court in Tehran has blocked an agreement by the speaker of Parliament and the head of the judiciary to reinstate Sepanta Niknam, a member of the Zoroastrian faith, to the Yazd City Council. On November 8, 2017, President Hassan Rouhani's chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, told reporters that an agreement had been reached between the legislative and judicial branches of government to allow Niknam to resume his post. - 11/16/17

Encouraging the Adoption of Disabled Children is a Good Idea That Needs Better Planning
A recent pledge by an Iranian official to provide financial assistance to families that adopt children with disabilities is a good idea that requires thoroughly examining the underlying issues and improving existing services, a children's rights activist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 11/16/17

Iranian video games scoop awards at IMGA
Three Iranian games have won four out of a total of nine main awards at the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). "4Wheelers" from Ordibehesht Studio was picked as the Best Multiplayer Game while "Mafioso" from Paeezan Game Studio received the Excellence in Art Award. - 11/16/17

The Afghan Peace Process And Women
...it has become even more difficult for women to find their way to the negotiating table and participate in the peace process. However, this failure to include women peace-builders ultimately presents one of the biggest obstacles to achieving lasting peace. In fact, the fate of the peace process may very well be tied to the position of women in the peace-building framework. -Quhramaana Kakar, LobeLog - 11/16/17

Anger Hits Boiling Point As Iranian Quake Survivors Left In The Cold
Frustration is boiling over as earthquake survivors sleep outside in freezing temperatures, waiting for much-needed aid to reach devastated areas of Iran. "People here have nothing, nothing. No tents, no blankets, no food. There's nothing here. People are facing very tough conditions here. It's a crisis situation," one resident of Sarpol-e Zahab, a town in Iran's western Kermanshah Province that has been described as among the worst hit, told a journalist reporting from the scene. - 11/15/17

US Announces Ways To Provide Help For Quake Victims In Iran
U.S. Department of the Treasury officially highlighted on Tuesday, November 14, the ways in which Americans can provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people. "In light of the tragic earthquake in Iran, we would like to highlight some of the ways in which Americans can provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people, consistent with the Iran-related sanctions administered by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)" U.S. Virtual Embassy Iran cited OFAC as saying. - 11/15/17

Iranian Currency Reaches New Lows As Inflation Remains High
The value of the Iranian rial has again dropped in recent days, reaching a new record low for the national currency. On November 13, one U.S. dollar was exchanged at 41,100 rials, indicating an increase of more than 500 rials in just under two weeks. The euro showed a similar trend reaching 48,900 rials, jumping more than 1,000 rials compared with the beginning of November. - 11/15/17

Shahram Nazeri, Kamkars team up to give benefit concert for quake victims in Kermanshah, Iran
Legendary Iranian vocalist Shahram Nazeri and the Kamkars will join together in a concert to raise funds for the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit their homeland Kermanshah in western Iran on Sunday. Following the devastating earthquake, numerous Iranian artists have announced that they would organize various programs to help the victims of the natural disaster. - 11/15/17

Iranian Olympics gold medalists Sareh Javanmardi and Kianoush Rostami to sell their medals to help the quake victims
Paralympic Games gold medal winner in shooting Sareh Javanmardi is going to sell her medal to raise money for the victims of Sunday's earthquake which left at least 500 people dead in Iran. Iranian weighlifter Kianoush Rostami, Olympic gold medal winner in Rio 2016, has also said he is going to auction his medal to give the money to the people who were affected by the earthquake. - 11/15/17

83 Countries Vote to Pass UN Resolution Expressing "Serious Concern" over Human Rights in Iran
In an overwhelming sign of international support for human rights in Iran, 83 countries approved a resolution by the UN Third Committee today criticizing the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic. The resolution by the UN's Third Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs, while noting progress in some areas, voiced "serious concern" over many areas of human rights violations in the country. - 11/15/17

Rentierism and Rivalry Between Riyadh and Tehran
In response to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United States has long pursued a strategy of counterbalancing, extending its security umbrella to cover the kingdom and the GCC states. But as promises of security fade in the face of decreasing belief in the American commitment, infighting in the GCC, and the advent of Saudi military adventurism, security is no longer a sufficient paradigm for policy that seeks to temper an intensifying regional rivalry. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 11/15/17

Iran Quake Survivors Spend Second Night In Open As Death Toll Rises
Thousands of people spent a second night in makeshift tents or out in the open as authorities downplayed hope for finding more survivors of a powerful earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border that killed hundreds of people. Iran's Kermanshah Province bore the brunt of the quake, with state media saying that at least 430 people died and about 7,000 others were injured in the country when the quake hit on November 12. - 11/14/17

Photos: Ava is born in the midst of death and destruction caused by quake
According to latest reports by Mehr News Agency, death toll for the devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake on Iraq-Iran border has risen to 530, with 7460 reported as injured. But in the midst of the death and destruction, baby girl Ava was born on the second day after the quake in Sarpol-e Zahab, the Iranian city that suffered the most during the quake. Ava was born at the army field hospital setup in Sarpol-e Zahab, and she and brought cheers and smiles to everyone present at the tent. -by Ahmad Moeini Jam - 11/14/17

Iran in Mourning After Earthquake that Killed 430
Iran's state-run IRNA news agency said at least 430 people were reported dead and 7,000 others injured. Many of the victims were in Sarpol-e-Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province. Iraq's Interior Ministry put the death toll there at seven people with 500 injured. The U.S. Geological Survey said quake was centered near the town of Halabja in Iraq's Kurdistan region and was felt as far away as Turkey and Israel. - 11/14/17

U.S. Court Allows Ban On Some Travelers From Iran, Other Countries To Take U.S. President Donald Trump signing his original executive order on travel
A U.S. appeals court is allowing President Donald Trump's latest executive order barring certain travelers from Iran and five other predominantly Muslim countries to take effect. The ruling on November 13 upholds the part of Trump's September 24 order which bars entry by people from Iran and the other countries if they do not have close connections in the United States. - 11/14/17

Residents of Region Devastated by 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Iran Still Waiting for Aid
A reporter in Iran's Kurdistan Province, hit by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on November 12, 2017, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that aid had not reached some of the most devastated villages and towns almost a full day after the earthquake had hit. "The Kouyek villages were completely leveled and no one had gone there to help 20 hours after the quake," said the reporter, who requested anonymity for security reasons, on November 13. - 11/14/17

U.K. Foreign Secretary Apologizes For Remarks About Briton Jailed In Iran
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has apologized for causing distress with remarks about an Iranian-British mother jailed in Iran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen, is serving a five-year sentence after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment. - 11/14/17

ATR says to deliver 8 more planes to Iran soon
European plane maker ATR says it plans to deliver eight more turboprop planes to Iran within the next few weeks. The announcement was made by ATR Chief Executive Officer Christian Scherer who said the deliveries would be made under export licenses issued by the US Treasury Department following the lifting of international nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in 2016. - 11/14/17

Israel's Threats Could Push It into Unnecessary War with Iran
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are striving together to cancel the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran. Even Netanyahu's new mantra, that he only wants to "fix" the deal, is actually mean to bring about its cancelation in a slightly more roundabout way. Subjecting Iran to new conditions would lead it to abandon the deal, thereby causing its collapse. Alongside the attempts to kill the agreement, however, an old threat has reappeared on the horizon: preventative war against Iran. -Shemuel Meir, LobeLog - 11/14/17

PHOTOS: Death And Destruction After Powerful Quake Near Iran-Iraq Border
Rescue workers and desperate relatives dug through debris in a search for survivors after a powerful earthquake hit near the Iran-Iraq border. 395 Iranians were confirmed dead as of Monday afternoon. Over 6,650 others were also injured. Iran's Interior Ministry said on November 13 that most of the casualties were in Kermanshah Province, with residents reporting feeling the 7.3 magnitude quake throughout the region, from Turkey to Kuwait. - 11/13/17

Photos: Maskan-e Mehr government built affordable housing in Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran damaged severely in quake
Users in Iranian social media are particularly angry about the news of damages and casualties from Sarpol-e Zahab. This town is home to a government built apartment complex known as "Maskan-e Mehr" that were constructed during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presidency as an affordable housing project. These government housing complexes have been heavily damaged and angry users are asking questions about building safety standards. - 11/13/17

Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum held in Tehran: Bright future for Iran-EU economic co-op
Phil Hogan, European Union commissioner for agriculture and rural development, has predicted a bright future for economic cooperation between Iran and the European Union, particularly in food and agriculture sectors. "We seek to tighten bilateral ties between Iran and the EU which secures interests of both sides," he said. Hogan, leading a 70-member delegation from 40 European companies to Tehran, made the remarks addressing the Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum at the place of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) on Saturday. - 11/13/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Killed Parastou Forouhar's Parents. Now It's Going After Her
An Iranian activist who has been seeking justice for her parents murdered by Iran's Intelligence Ministry in 1998, will soon be put on trial based on charges brought by the same ministry. "I am due to be tried at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court [in Tehran] based on charges cooked up against me by the Intelligence Ministry last year," blogged Parastou Forouhar on November 8, 2017. - 11/13/17

Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum held in Tehran: Bright future for Iran-EU economic co-op
Phil Hogan, European Union commissioner for agriculture and rural development, has predicted a bright future for economic cooperation between Iran and the European Union, particularly in food and agriculture sectors. "We seek to tighten bilateral ties between Iran and the EU which secures interests of both sides," he said. Hogan, leading a 70-member delegation from 40 European companies to Tehran, made the remarks addressing the Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum at the place of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) on Saturday. - 11/13/17

Iran's Telecommunications Minister Says He's Looking Into Lifting the State Ban on Twitter
The head of Iran's Information and Communications Technology Ministry has promised to try to lift the state ban on Twitter, which state officials have been using for years while denying access by ordinary citizens in Iran. "Removing the ban on Twitter is being looked into," Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, himself an avid Twitter user, told the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) on November 8, 2017. "I am following up on removing the filter on Twitter." - 11/13/17

First cargo of Indian wheat reaches Afghanistan via Iran
Afghanistan says it has received an inaugural consignment of wheat from India through a project which has opened a new trade and transit route in the region. The shipment of almost 15,000 tonnes of wheat dispatched from India's western port of Kandla late last month reportedly reached the Afghan province of Nimroz, which borders Iran, on Saturday. - 11/13/17

Iran rejects 'delusional' Bahraini accusation after oil pipeline blast
Iran has dismissed a recent Bahraini allegation linking the Islamic Republic to an oil pipeline fire near the capital, Manama. On Friday night, an explosion at an oil pipeline, belonging to the state-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), caused a fire in the vicinity of the village of Buri. The pipeline was running between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. - 11/13/17

Into the Afghan Abyss (Again)
After nine months of confusion, chaos, and cascading tweets, Donald Trump's White House has finally made one thing crystal clear: the U.S. is staying in Afghanistan to fight and -- so they insist -- win. "The killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might," said the president in August, trumpeting his virtual declaration of war on the Taliban. -Alfred W. McCoy, LobeLog - 11/13/17

PHOTOS: Millions Of Shi'ite Pilgrims Throng Iraq's Karbala For Arbaeen Commemoration
An estimated 14 million Shi'ite pilgrims thronged Iraq's holy city of Karbala on November 10 to mark the annual Arbaeen commemoration. Arbaeen is one of the biggest religious festivals on earth and marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the 7th-century killing of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Caliph Yazid -- a formative event in Shi'ite Islam. The Arbaeen holiday is observed in Shi'ite communities worldwide, with large gatherings in Iran and southern Lebanon. - 11/11/17

Iranian Website Says Pilot Dead In Fighter-Jet Crash
An Iranian pilot has died after his Sukhoi-22 fighter-bomber jet crashed in southern Iran, the website of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps reports. The November 11 report on sepahnews.com said the plane was taking part in a morning exercise in the southern Fars Province when it crashed. It did not elaborate. - 11/11/17

IAEA Chief tells U.S. nuclear commitments undertaken by Iran being implemented
During a visit to the United States, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano says Iran has been complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement, and that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Tehran under the deal are being implemented. Amano met with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in New York on Thursday, where they discussed the UN nuclear watchdog's verification and monitoring of Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 11/10/17

Conference: Urban Planning and Civic Design in Modern Iran
The main purpose and focus of the conference (held in London) will be on the evolution of urban planning and civic design in Iran from traditional to modern, with discussions and critical evaluations of the shortcomings, failures and successes of the process. Two major civic design projects of the period will also be presented and discussed: the 'Shahestān Pahlavi', and 'Urban Renewal of Mashhad City Centre'. - 11/10/17

Iranian Baha'i Citizens, Deprived Of Higher Education, Sentenced
Three Baha'i citizens in Iran, already deprived of higher education, have reportedly each been sentenced by a notoriously hard-liner judge, Mohammad Moqisseh, to five years in prison. After being summoned to court six times, Tara Houshmand, Rouhie Safajoo, and Sarmad Shadabi were finally charged with "acting against national security through membership in the misleading Baha'i cult" and sentenced, the Human Rights Activists News reported on November 8. - 11/10/17

Don't Let Misplaced Concerns over Missiles Jeopardize Iran Deal
One of the main grievances of President Trump and other critics of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) has been its silence on ballistic missiles. In connection with his recent refusal to certify that sanctions relief under the JCPOA is proportionate to Iran's respective commitments, Trump invited Congress to take tough measures against Iran's "dangerous ballistic missile activities." In particular, he stressed the need to "prevent Iran from developing... an intercontinental ballistic missile" [ICBM]. -Tytti Erasto and Sina Azodi, LobeLog - 11/10/17

Iranian Political Prisoners Urge International NGOs to Investigate Case of Inmate With Suspected Cancer
Three human rights activists held in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Iran have written a letter urging international rights groups to help fellow political prisoner Majid Assadi, who has been denied outside medical treatment despite severe health problems. "For a long time, Assadi-who is suspected of suffering from intestinal cancer-has been having difficulty sleeping because of the severity of the pain and constant vomiting, and yet his frequent visits to the prison clinic have not improved his condition," said the letter, signed by political prisoners Arash Sadeghi, Saeed Shirzad, and fellow inmate Saeed Mansou - 11/10/17

IRGC Hackers Target Iranian Journalists Based Abroad With Malware Campaign
Hackers working for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted journalists based abroad with a malware campaign launched on November 6, 2017. An investigation by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) showed that the malware, targeting Mac computer users, was sent in a ZIP file claiming to include an "article about women's rights." Upon being opened, the file released the malware onto the victim's computer. - 11/10/17

Iran's first Oscar submission directed by woman causes stir
A movie about a young girl whose fantasy world helps her escape the hard realities of growing up in the countryside near Tehran in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution is Iran's first-ever submission for the Academy Awards' foreign film directed by a woman. But not everyone is celebrating. -Amir Vahdat, AP - 11/10/17

Saad Hariri's Saudi Resignation: Good News for Iran and Hezbollah
On November 2, Prime Minister Hariri hosted Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei. After saying that Saad Hariri was "a respectable man," Velayati reaffirmed Tehran's support for the Lebanese government and the country's stability. But on November 3, Hariri indicated that he had to return that same night to Riyadh to meet King Salman. In a detail that turned out later to have a major significance, he was asked by the Saudis to come alone, without his staff, not even with his chief of cabinet. -Aurelie Daher - 11/9/17

Iran deal only covers nuclear-related issue: EU Foreign Policy Chief
Iran and six world powers has nothing to do with the Islamic Republic's national missile program, emphasizing the importance of keeping the multilateral pact "as it is." Speaking to reporters ahead of a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, Mogherini said Iran's missile program or its regional polices are not related to the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as two separate issues. - 11/9/17

Regime Change in Iran By Other Means
While the Iran nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) is far from safe from attacks by Donald Trump, it is becoming clear that a Plan B is being put in motion. The United States is clearly a part of it, but this time Saudi Arabia is driving the agenda. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/9/17

10th Annual Bita Prize for Persian Arts: Marjane Satrapi
We are very pleased to announce that the recipient of the Tenth Bita Prize for Persian Arts is Ms. Marjane Satrapi. She is the author of Persepolis, Persepolis 2, Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, and several children's books. She co-wrote and co-directed the animated feature film version of Persepolis, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. She regularly contributes to magazines and newspapers throughout the world. - 11/9/17

UN: Saudi Blockade Could Drive Yemen to Massive Famine
The United Nations has warned that unless a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition allows humanitarian aid access into Yemen, it will lead to "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims." - 11/9/17

Iranian Hard-Line Newspaper Kayhan Suspended Amid Saudi Tensions
Iran's judiciary has suspended publication of a hard-line conservative newspaper over a provocative front-page story that suggested Dubai could become the next target of a missile attack by Yemen's Huthi rebels after they fired rockets at the Saudi capital. - 11/9/17

Egyptian Leader Urges De-Escalation Of Tensions Between Saudis, Iran
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said he supports Saudi Arabia in its standoff with Iran, but he does not want to see the tensions turn into an open military confrontation between the two rivals. "We support our [Saudi] brothers," Sisi said at a meeting with journalists in Sharm el-Sheikh on November 8. But he stressed the importance of de-escalating tensions between the two regional powers. - 11/9/17

EU's Mogherini Says U.S. Lawmakers Aim To Comply With Iran Nuclear Deal
The European Union's foreign policy chief says U.S. lawmakers have signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Speaking to reporters in Washington on November 7, Federica Mogherini declined to comment on whether legislation pending before Congress that would attach additional conditions for U.S. sanctions relief would violate the landmark nuclear accord. However, she said she "got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement." - 11/8/17

Iran Tells Saudi Arabia Threats Will Fail, Calls For Regional Unity
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has warned Saudi Arabia that threats against Iran will achieve nothing as tensions continue to rise between the regional rivals. "You know the might and place of the Islamic republic," Rohani said at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on November 8, referring to Saudi Arabia. "Those more powerful than you [Saudi Arabia] have not been able to do anything against the Iranian people." - 11/8/17

First U.S. Solo Show For Iranian Farhad Moshiri Sparkles At The Warhol
When visitors enter the second-floor gallery space of the Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side, they're met with cartoon cowboys in red bandanas, saloon brawls and underwater painters that shimmer right off the wall. But there's more than meets the eye in Go West, the first solo show in the U.S. for popular Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri. -Virginia Alvino Young, NPR - 11/8/17

UN: Saudi Blockade of Yemen's Ports Causing Humanitarian Catastrophe
The United Nations is calling for an immediate halt to the Saudi Arabian coalition's blockade of life-saving commercial goods into Yemen. The coalition closed all land, sea and air ports in Yemen following a ballistic missile launch by Yemen's Houthi rebels near Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, Saturday. -Lisa Schlein, VOA - 11/8/17

Saudi Arabia: Wellspring of Regional Instability
The anachronistic family enterprise known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long been politically fragile. In some respects it is remarkable that this entity has endured into the twenty-first century. A clan of royals lives on rake-offs from the country's petroleum wealth, while using more of that wealth to buy off a fast-growing population. The Saudis have had to play that game through the vicissitudes of the oil market on which the Saudi economy depends. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/8/17

Iraq in talks to export Kirkuk oil to Iranian refinery
Iran and Iraq have reportedly started talks over the shipment of crude oil from the fields around Kirkuk to the Kermanshah refinery inside the Iranian territory. Reports quoted Alaa al-Mussawi, the director of Iraq's state-oil marketer State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO), as saying in a statement that the Kermanshah refinery would be supplied with 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Kirkuk fields. - 11/8/17

UCLA receives $1 million for Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali postdoctoral fellowship in Iranian linguistics
Adonation of $1 million from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute will establish the Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship in Iranian Linguistics in the UCLA Department of Linguistics, one of the nation's top-ranked linguistics departments. - 11/7/17

Endangered Persian Leopard "Arezoo" Released Back To Wild in Roudsar
A Persian leopard that had been severely injured by getting caught in snare in February was fully recovered and released back to wild on Sunday. On February 5, Arezoo which is named after her habitat in Roudsar, northern Gilan province, was found while suffering from serious damages by getting caught in snare. - 11/7/17

Iran's Rouhani Writes to Supreme Leader On Dispute Over Suspended Zoroastrian Council Member
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has condemned the recent suspension of a Zoroastrian member of a city council as "illegal" and asked the supreme leader to intervene in the growing dispute that has highlighted divisions within the state. - 11/7/17

Almost two years on, Iran fully committed to nuclear deal terms: IAEA Chief
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again hailed Iran for remaining fully committed to the terms of its 2015 nuclear agreement with six world powers, amid global concerns over American threats against the landmark pact. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was addressing a conference on nuclear energy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington on Monday November 6, 2017. - 11/7/17

Remarks By Britain's Johnson Raise Fears For Imprisoned Iranian-British Woman
Britain warned on November 6 that recent comments by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should not be used by Iran to bring additional charges against imprisoned Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. - 11/7/17

Silk Road Startup Announces Iran's Top 10 Startups
Silk Road Startup's Road Trip was held from October 22nd to 31st. After a series of pitch competitions around 7 cities of Iran, 10 startups have been selected to pitch for the finals in Kish Island. Silk Road Startup organized the first ever series of pitch competitions around Iran with the aim of tracking the country's top startups. Of the 400 applicants which registered for the pitch competitions, 84 were selected to pitch in front of a team of the local and international jury in 7 cities of the country. -Hamed Jafari, TechRasa - 11/7/17

Photos: Khartouran wildlife refuge home to 60 endangered Asiatic cheetahs
Khar Turan National Park or Touran Wildlife Refuge is an Iranian National Park in Semnan province, southeast of Shahrud. The place is home to one of the largest populations of the critically endangered Asiatic cheetahs. Currently there are about 60 collars in the world, all of which are living in Iran. - 11/6/17

Saudi Arabia threatens Iran after Yemen missile strike
Saudi Arabia has ramped up threats to Iran, saying there will be a response "in the appropriate time and manner," following a missile strike from neighboring Yemen, which has been under a nonstop bombardment campaign by a Saudi-led coalition for over two and a half years. - 11/6/17

Photos: Sculptor Parviz Tanavoli and students reunite at Tehran's Boom gallery
A collection of 21 works by prominent sculptor Parviz Tanavoli as well as works by four of his students from the Niavaran Atelier are on view at Tehran's Boom Gallery in an exhibit titled "Parviz Tanavoli and the Niavaran Atelier". - 11/6/17

U.S. Policy Towards Iran's Economic Reintegration
On July 14, 2015, the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran reached an agreement under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The agreement stipulated that all UN Security Council sanctions as well as all multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program would halt in exchange for a commitment from Iran to roll back its nuclear activities. -Kia Rahnama, Modern Diplomacy - 11/6/17

After 10 Years in Prison, Faith Leader Fariba Kamalabadi Says Baha'is Hope to Serve Iran
In her first interview since being released from Evin Prison on October 31, 2017, Baha'i faith leader Fariba Kamalabadi said Baha'is "love" Iran and want to "serve" their country. "There have been a lot of reports about the rights that have been denied to Baha'is," Kamalabadi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on November 1. "But no one has talked about the right to serve Iran, which is the right of every Iranian and the dream of every Baha'i in Iran." - 11/5/17

Trump's allegations about Iran missiles in Yemen baseless: IRGC Chief
The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has dismissed as "baseless" the allegations leveled by US President Donald Trump about the Islamic Republic's provision of missiles to Yemeni forces. "Trump's claims about providing Yemen with missiles by the Islamic Republic of Iran are baseless," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Sunday. - 11/5/17

Iranian Poet Sentenced to Prison and Flogging For the Charge of "Insulting the Sacred"
Poet and civil rights activist Reza Ekvanyan has been sentenced to three years in prison and 40 lashes for the charges of "propaganda against the state" and "insulting the sacred" by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh. - 11/5/17

Iran expects record high exports of crude steel
Iran's crude steel exports are expected to reach a record high of 8 million tons by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2018). As a major steel producer in the region, Iran has boosted steel production in recent years, as central Isfahan and southwestern Khuzestan provinces remain the major steel producers. - 11/5/17

California Governor Jerry Brown appoints Iranian-American Woman Nahal Iravani-Sani as Judge in Santa Clara County Superior Court
"PAAIA congratulates Nahal Iravani-Sani on her appointment to a judgeship in Santa Clara County. As an immigrant from Iran, Iravani-Sani has faced injustice and adversity, only to reinforce her commitment to fairness and equality and heighten her appreciation of the freedoms and opportunities her adopted country affords its citizens. For over twenty years, Iravani-Sani has been representing the people of the State of California in a variety of capacities, including as Deputy District Attorney." - 11/4/17

Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2017: Iran finishes third after defeating Russia
Iran finished in third place at the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2017, after beating Russia 4-2 on Saturday. The Iranian team had already lost to Russia 4-3 in group stage but played a better performance in the bronze-medal match. - 11/4/17

Iranian State Officials Clash Over Allowing Religious Minorities in Local Elections
The head of Iran's judiciary has sided with proponents of banning religious minorities from local elections while the Rouhani government has reiterated their rights as citizens under the Constitution. In his October 31 remarks, Chief Justice Sadegh Larijani said that the ban was the Guardian Council's prerogative as the country's highest authority in determining legislative compliance with Islamic principles. - 11/4/17

Peugeot delay to begin production perplexes Iranians
Paris-based PSA has yet to start production of the Peugeot 2008 in Iran despite the launch of an assembly line in the country seven months ago. The maker of Peugeots and Citroens announced a joint-venture worth 400 million euro ($450 million) with its former local partner Iran Khodro (IKCO) in May for the joint production of 200,000 cars per year in Tehran. - 11/4/17

Eight Iranian Border Guards Killed In Clashes Near Turkish Border
Eight Iranian border guards have been killed in clashes with militants near the Turkish frontier. Iranian state television and the official IRNA news agency both reported the deaths, which came amid battles near Chaldoran in northern Iran on November 3. - 11/4/17

Thousands of Iranian Death Row Inmates to Receive Sentence Reviews Under Amended Drug Law
Thousands of Iranians currently on death row for low-level drug crimes will receive sentence reviews under a newly amended law, announced Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on October 31, 2017. "The judges presiding over these cases have to be ready to implement the newly amended Law Against Drug Trafficking," he said. - 11/4/17

France's Total to comply with any US sanctions on Iran: CEO
Total says it has opened an office in Washington to coordinate its operations in Iran where the French oil and gas major plans to develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars gas field. Total was the first Western energy firm to sign a major deal, worth $4.8 billion, with Iran after sanctions were lifted on the Islamic Revolution in 2016 under a nuclear agreement. However, US President Donald Trump's refusal last month to endorse the nuclear agreement with Iran and his threat to levy new sanctions on the country has thrown the future of the deal into doubt. - 11/4/17

Osama Bin Laden's America
Honestly, if there's an afterlife, then the soul of Osama bin Laden, whose body was consigned to the waves by the U.S. Navy back in 2011, must be swimming happily with the dolphins and sharks... -Tom Engelhardt - 11/4/17

A need for national, regional, international cooperation to save Caspian seal
There is a great need for national, regional and international cooperation to conserve the Caspian seal, an environment official has said. Caspian seals are only found in the Caspian Sea. Unfortunately the seals which are the sole marine mammals inhabiting the Caspian Sea have fallen into a drastic decline, Parvin Farshchi, deputy head of the department of environment for marine affairs, said in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times. -Maryam Qarehgozlou - 11/3/17

US trying to whitewash 9/11 facts via wild claims against Iran: Iranian FM Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed US allegations about Iran's support for the al-Qaeda terror group, describing the claims as an attempt to "whitewash" the truth about the role US allies had in the September 11, 2001 attacks. "A record low for the reach of petrodollars: CIA & FDD fake news w/ selective AlQaeda docs re: Iran can't whitewash role of US allies in 9/11," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday. - 11/3/17

Iran and U.S. Public Opinion
Despite an unfriendly attitude toward Iran, Americans have an appetite for diplomacy, and support for the Iran deal has risen over time. Eight recent polls found an average of 50% support for the deal. CNN/SRSS finds 67% support, the Chicago Council 60%, CBS/YouGov 58%, Economist/YouGov 56%, Morning Consult 54%, Harvard/Harris 40%, NBC/SurveyMonkey 39%, and Quinnipiac 31%. -Rethink Media - 11/3/17

Fascination with Persepolis: Exhibition in Holland
The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden has organised an exhibition to present the engravings, paintings and photographs by the European travellers and archaeologists who have visited Persepolis since the 14th century AD. The collection provides an interesting insight into the magnetic attraction of the palace. -Pejman Akbarzadeh - 11/3/17

Iran-Russia-Azerbaijan Presidents Summit in Tehran: Putin Offers Support For Iran Nuclear Deal, Hails Cooperation On Syria
On an official visit to Tehran, Russian President Vladimir Putin has vocally backed the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, and hailed cooperation with Iran on the Syrian conflict. Putin was on a one-day trip to the Iranian capital on November 1 for trilateral talks between Azerbaijan, Iran, and Russia -- a meeting largely focused on improving transport links, trade, and energy cooperation between the three Caspian states. - 11/2/17

Iran starts construction of two new nuclear power plants in Bushehr
Iran has started the construction of two new nuclear power plants in the southern province of Bushehr in a joint project with Russia's Rosatom energy firm. In an agreement between the senior officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and Rosatom, phases two and three of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant will begin supplying electricity to Iran's power grid in 10 years. - 11/2/17

Ayatollah Khamenei to Putin: Iran-Russia cooperation in Syria proved fruitful
In a high-profile meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei noted that the experience of "good cooperation" between Tehran and Moscow in Syria showed that it is possible to achieve "common goals". "The result of this cooperation showed that Tehran and Moscow can realize common goals in difficult situations," Ayatollah Khamenei remarked. - 11/2/17

Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2017: Iran overpowers Mexico
The Iran men's national beach soccer team has pulled off its second win at the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2017 in the United Arab Emirates, outclassing the Mexican side in its second fixture at the preliminary round of the tournament. On Wednesday evening, Team Melli Saheli powered to a 4-1 triumph over El Tricolor (The Tricolor) in a Group B match played at Business Bay in Dubai. - 11/2/17

Iran, Russia military chiefs meet in Tehran
Major General Mohammad Baqeri, chief of the Iranian armed forces, met with his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov on Wednesday to exchange views on various issues including the latest developments regarding the Syrian conflict and the war on terrorism. The two generals met in Tehran as part of efforts for expansion of military cooperation between the two countries. - 11/2/17

United States blocks Iran from fusion megaproject
The Iran nuclear deal was meant to usher in a new era of science cooperation between the Islamic republic and other parties to the landmark agreement, which deters the country from pursuing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. But nearly 2 years after implementation began, few projects are underway. And Science has learned that the United States has frozen Iran out of a collaboration that the deal expressly brokered: ITER, the multibillion-dollar fusion experiment in France.-Richard Stone, Science Magazine - 11/2/17

Putin and Aliyev arrive in Tehran for Iran-Russia-Azerbaijan tripartite summit
Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan are set to hold a summit in Tehran for talks on trilateral and regional issues, with presidents of the three countries in attendance. The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, will later on Wednesday take part in the summit with their Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. - 11/1/17

Do Americans Want to Renegotiate the Nuclear Deal with Iran?
A recent article in The Hill claimed that "a strong majority of voters-including most Democrats" want the United States to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. The results it cites are at odds with many other polls. For example, a CNN survey done the same week found that 67 percent of Americans did not think that the United States should withdraw from the nuclear deal, while only 27 percent thought that it should. -Nancy W. Gallagher - 11/1/17

Iranian female rock climber Rekabi ranks 1st at Asia Cup - Wanxianshan 2017
Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has been crowned as the champion of Asia Cup - Wanxianshan 2017 in China, and clinched a gold medal at the prestigious sports event. On Sunday, Rekabi featured remarkable displays at the women's bouldering final contest, and finished first. - 11/1/17

Photos: Iranian Air Force holds drills
Overnight, fighter planes with the Iranian Air Force have conducted carpet-bombing of mock enemy positions amid the aerial maneuvers in the central province of Isfahan. Flying at low altitude, Iran's Sukho-24 and Phantom aircraft practiced the bombardment technique, which features dropping a large number of bombs on enemy targets in an area with the aim of causing uniform destruction. - 11/1/17

Two more Iranian women take on managerial posts in the country
Marzieh Shahdaei and Fariba Moradi have been appointed respectively as the vice minister of oil and the member of the board of directors of the post company of Iran. Shahdaei is the first woman in the history of Iran's oil industry to take on the responsibility. Meanwhile, Moradi is the first female member of the board of directors of the post company affiliated with the ministry of information and communications technology. - 11/1/17

Iran defeats Paraguay 5-2 at Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup 2017
Iran men's national beach soccer team has started its campaign at the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2017 in the United Arab Emirates with a handsome win over Paraguay. Iran men's national beach soccer team will play Mexico in its second preliminary round game on Wednesday. - 11/1/17

"Isfahan, City of Polish Children" to go on stage in Tehran and Isfahan
"Isfahan, City of Polish Children", a play centering on Polish people and children who took refuge in the central Iranian city of Isfahan during World War II, will go on stage in Isfahan and Tehran in late November. Written by Iranian dramatist Mohammad Charmshir, the play was performed previously by a cast of Polish and Iranian actors at the Grotowski Institute in the Polish city of Wroclaw during August 2015. - 11/1/17

Washington Does Have a Clear Middle East Policy--It's Just the Wrong One
Washington media, think tanks, various commentators and now John McCain continue hammering on an old theme- that the US has "no policy towards the Middle East." This is fake analysis. In fact the US very much does have a long-standing policy towards the Middle East. It's just the wrong one. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 11/1/17
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