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Unpacking Iranian Director Farhadi's Oscar-Night Balancing Act
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won rave notices ahead of winning his second Oscar, for the taut "neorealist" suspense film The Salesman, but the reviews have been more mixed for his long-distance acceptance speech. Farhadi's reaction to this year's best-foreign-film honor -- delivered live in Los Angeles by the world's first female space tourist, Iranian-born engineer Anousheh Ansari, and another Iranian-American (Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA) -- highlighted the difficult balancing act required of filmmakers (and many other artists) to practice their craft in Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 2/28/17

Mother Teresa of Iran Passes away at 91
Ashraf Qandehari-Bahadorzadeh was a humanitarian and the co-founder of the Kahrizak nursing home, south of Tehran. She had devoted her life to helping those in need and was praised and honored for her charity works. She joined the founding committee of Kahrizak in 1972 and helped building the charity complex as we know it today. - 2/28/17

Iranian art ambassadors carry message of peace, pride: Government Official
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman has commended the Iranian prominent filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, and the cast and crew of his film 'The Salesman' for winning the 2017 Academy Award for the Best Foreign-Language Film. "Once again, the great Iranian nation and society have witnessed the success of the ambassadors of Iranian art in international art communities in conveying to the world the voice of the noble Iranian people, which is the voice of culture, civilization, peace and national dignity and pride," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday. - 2/28/17

IMF hails Iran's post-sanctions economic performance
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has hailed Iran's ability to achieve what it has described as an impressive economic recovery after the removal of multiple-year sanctions against the country. - 2/28/17

Former MP Demands That Iran Implement Right of Ethnic Minorities to Preserve Languages
A former member of Parliament and Iranian-Kurdish rights activist, Jalal Jalalizadeh, has strongly criticized the Islamic Republic's refusal to recognize the constitutional right of ethnic minorities to preserve their languages. - 2/28/17

Sanders Talks Israel, Trump, and Anti-Semitism at J Street
For many years, leaders across the world, especially Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had sounded the alarm about the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. What the Obama administration was able to do, with the support of groups like J Street and others, was to get an agreement that froze and dismantled large parts of that nuclear program, put it under the most intensive inspections regime in history, and removed the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon from the list of global threats. -LobeLog - 2/28/17

"The Salesman" by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi wins Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman has won the 2017 Academy Award for best foreign-language film. The award was accepted by two prominent Iranian-Americans representing Farhadi, who boycotted the Oscars over US President Donald Trump's executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim countries. - 2/27/17

London Film Screening Backs Oscar-Nominated Iranian Director
Thousands of film fans gathered in London's Trafalgar Square for a screening of a film by an Iranian director who was nominated for an Oscar but is boycotting the Academy Awards in protest over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban policies. - 2/27/17

Centuries-old Zeinoldin Caravansary shinning like a gem along the old Silk Road
Situated on the ancient Silk Road stretching from Asia to Europe, the 16th-century Zeinoldin Caravansary is the only remaining dome-like caravansary of the country which received UNESCO's best award for the restoration of historical buildings. - 2/27/17

Iran MPs pass legislation in response to Trump travel ban
Iranian lawmakers have added a new article to the proposed budget bill for the next fiscal year (starting March 21, 2017) to attract investment by the country's nationals living in the United States. - 2/27/17

Iran Says Navy Test-Fires New Missiles In Persian Gulf
An Iranian official says the country's navy has successfully test-fired its latest missiles during military drills in the Persian Gulf, part of the first major exercise in the area since the January 20 inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. - 2/27/17

Iran's petrochemical exports hit $10B in 11 months
Marzieh Shah-Daeihead, CEO of Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC), while pointing to imminent operation of five new petrochemical projects, said a total of 19 million tons of petrochemical products worth 10 billion dollars were exported in the past 11 months. - 2/27/17

Total in talks to buy Iranian LNG project: sources
Total is in talks to buy a multi-billion dollar stake in Iran's partly-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, Iran LNG, seeking to unlock vast gas reserves. The French oil major -- the first of its peers to strike deals in Iran after sanctions -- seeks entry into Iran LNG at a discount to the pre-sanctions price in exchange for reviving the stalled project, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. -Reuters - 2/27/17

Iranian Director Farhadi Sending Substitutes To Oscars In Immigration Policy Protest
The Oscar-nominated Iranian director of the film The Salesman has said he will not attend the February 26 Academy Awards but will send two prominent Iranian-Americans in his place. The semiofficial ISNA news agency said on February 24 that director Asghar Farhadi made the decision in protest of U.S. President Donald Trump's now-suspended crackdown on immigration. - 2/26/17

Iran's budget bill proposes $125M to deal with dust storms
Dust storms which consistently disturb local residents of southwestern province of Khuzestan coupled with public utility outage has become a national concern lately. Dust particles originated from host spots (mostly dried up wetlands) located in Iran or Iraq are the main reasons for the storms. - 2/26/17

American werstler Jordan Burroughs invited to Iran by the country's Wrestling Federation
Iran Wrestling Federation has invited the American freestyle wrestling world and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs and his family to visit Iran for a 10-day recreational trip. Burroughs described the wrestling competition as one of the best moments in his whole wrestling career and lauded Iranian fans for their warm welcome and support. - 2/26/17

After Kansas Murder, NIAC Calls on Trump to Condemn Anti-Immigrant Violence
The National Iranian American Council is horrified and outraged by the shooting of three people in Olathe, Kansas Wednesday evening. NIAC sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibotla, who passed away, and Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, both of whom are recovering from injuries. - 2/26/17

U.S. Reportedly Found Little Terror Threat From Seven Targeted Countries
The Associated Press reported on February 24 that U.S. security analysts have found no clear terror threat from citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted in President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban. - 2/26/17

Iran's Ahmadinejad Throws Weight Behind Trump's Tough Stance against Washington's Political Elites, Media
Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter to the US President on Sunday voiced strong support for Trump's uncompromising stand against Washington's "corrupt" political structure and media, and meantime, cautioned Trump not to be fooled by the falsified image presented by the US media about Iran. - 2/26/17

Four Azeri Rights Activists Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Peaceful Activism
One defendant, Alireza Farshi, told the Campaign that Branch 1 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to 15 years in prison and two years in exile while three of his colleagues-Akbar Azad, Behnam Sheikhi and Hamid Manafi-had each been sentenced to 10 years in prison and two years in exile. - 2/26/17

Photos: Salt Dome in Qom, Iran
Qom salt dome (Kuh-e Namak), a natural wonder covering an area of over 1 square miles, is located about 10 miles from the city of Qom on the road to Jafarieh. The salt dome houses a small lake which adds to its attraction. -Ahmad Zohrabi - 2/24/17

Iranian men's rollball team finishes 2nd in World Cup
The Iranian men's national team has ended its campaign at the third edition of the Rollball World Cup in India, and finished as the runner-up of the international contests after falling to the hosts. The Iranian squad lost to the world-title-holder India 6-4 in a match played at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in the Balewadi suburb of India's western city of Pune on Sunday. - 2/24/17

Sassanid-era Qal'eh Dokhtar castle to be restored
The ancient Qal'eh Dokhtar castle in the southeastern province of Kerman is projected to undergo restoration. Situated on a mountain slope neighboring the Firouzabad-Kavar road, Qal'eh Dokhtar (literally meaning the Maiden Castle) was made by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire (224-651) in 209 CE. - 2/24/17

US receives first caviar cargo from Iran after sanctions eased
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Head of Iran Fisheries Organization Hassan Salehi noted that Iran's first cargo of farmed caviar had arrived in US markets in the previous week adding "despite several years of hiatus in caviar exports to America, a new and large market is forming in North America given high consumption rates of fisheries." - 2/24/17

Iran will be one of the most powerful economies in the world by 2050
By 2050, the world is likely to have changed drastically from what we know now, and the planet's economic and financial landscape will be no exception, Business Insider reported. A report from professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) looks at which economies around the world will be the biggest and most powerful in 33 years time. - 2/24/17

Largest Trade Union Body Asks Iran's Leader to End Persecution of Prominent Activist
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has written to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calling for an end to the persecution of Reza Shahabi, a prominent labor activist who has refused to comply with a summons to return to prison. - 2/24/17

Russia wants to produce Ilyushin planes in Iran
Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted by Iran's domestic media as saying that he had presented the proposal - which involved the production of the renovated version of the Ilyushin Il-114 regional planes - in his meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran over the past few days. - 2/24/17

Iranian Studies Program cultivates student's passion for history
As an undergraduate in the Iranian Studies Program, Anna Polishchuk translated top-secret documents from the Soviet Union as she researched the relationship between Iran's pro-communist groups and the Soviets during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. - 2/24/17

Trump Can't Deal With Iran If He Doesn't Understand It
Tweets about putting Iran "ON NOTICE" are no replacement for appreciating the sources of Iranian conduct in the Middle East. -Ali Vaez, Foreign Policy - 2/24/17

President Rouhani visits Iran's Khuzestan Province to address environmental crisis
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has paid a visit to the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is reeling from heavy floods and dust storms, a situation which has led to disruptions in the distribution of water and electricity there. - 2/23/17

Tension Rising Between Regional Rivals Turkey and Iran
Tensions are on the rise between Turkey and Iran. A growing war of words between the countries' diplomats has brought to the surface simmering competition for influence in the region. "Iran is an important neighbor to us. We have always been in dialogue with Iran. But it does not mean we will ignore Iran's efforts in penetrating the region," said Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin in the latest thinly veiled threat between the countries during his weekly news conference. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 2/23/17

PHOTOS: Tehran Peace Museum
Tehran peace Museum is a member of the International Network of Museums for Peace. the main objective of the museum is to promote a culture of peace through raising awareness about the devastating consequences of war with focus on health and environmental impacts of Chemical weapons. - Leila Ghodratollahi - 2/23/17

Iranian Sunni Leader Worried By Alleged 'Secret Order' To Quickly Execute Prisoners
The spiritual leader of Iran's Sunnis has written to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to express concern over "rumors" of a secret order for the speedy execution of Sunni prisoners convicted of drug trafficking. Molavi Abdolhamid, the Friday Prayers leader of the southeastern city of Zahedan in the restive Sistan-Baluchistan Province, calls in his letter to Khamenei for "wise and fatherly" intervention into the issue. - 2/23/17

PHOTOS: The Red Crescent sniffing dog training camp
Iran's Red Crescent sniffing dogs are trained in a camp located in northern Tehran foothills. The sniffing dogs play an important role in saving those individuals trapped under rubble or other dangerous situations following a disaster. - 2/23/17

Iran Sends Military Students to Syrian Front
Iran is increasingly using Syrian battlefields as a proving ground for fresh military officers in training, according to Iranian media reports and Syrian opposition figures. Tehran-based Imam Hossein University, a school affiliated with The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said it recently deployed military leadership students to fight in Syria as part of an educational program designed for future officers, according to state-run media. -Sirwan Kajjo and Mehdi Jedinia, VOA - 2/23/17

Beaten and Harassed, Dual National Serving 18-Year Prison Sentence in Iran on Hunger Strike
Iranian-American dual citizen Reza (Robin) Shahini, currently serving an 18-year prison sentence in Gorgan Prison (about 190 miles east of Tehran), has gone on hunger strike to protest his unjust sentence. An informed source also told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Shahini, who is currently being held in solitary confinement, has been beaten and repeatedly harassed by prison staff and inmates. - 2/23/17

Can Iran's Khamenei rule out 'national reconciliation'?
In a speech Feb. 15, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directly addressed the idea of "national reconciliation" brought forward by Reformists over the past weeks. "Some people talk about national reconciliation; however, that does not make sense to me," he said. -Reza Marashi, Al Monitor - 2/23/17

Celebrate the Iranian New Year with the 9th Annual Nowruz Festival on March 12, 2017 at UCLA
The most colorful festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. Bringing together joyous sounds and spectacle for all to enjoy, the event is bigger than ever for its Ninth Annual Nowruz festival. The Farhang Foundation debuts a new home at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Court, having outgrown the previous venue at LACMA. - 2/22/17

Book: Norooz with My Family
A new book on Norooz, the Persian New Year, authored by Dr. Khodadad Kaviani: A sister and her brother share with classmates their Norooz (New Year) experiences. They live in Yazd, Iran, the city of beautiful wind catchers. They talk about spring cleaning, carpet washing, chaarshanbeh soori, preparing the Haft-Seen, plus other activities during this festive time of year. - 2/22/17

Briefing Report: Tracking Twitter's Growing Popularity in Iran
Twitter's growth in Iran can be tracked through three distinct stages; when it was banned in 2009, during the nuclear talks in 2013-15, and after the ban was partially lifted in 2016. - 2/22/17

Ahmad Montazeri, Son Of Top Iranian Dissident Cleric, Taken Into Custody
The son of one of the founding fathers of Iran's Islamic republic has been arrested to serve a six-year prison sentence for releasing a decades-old audio tape in which his father denounced the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. - 2/22/17

Top Iranian Professor at Zabol University Sentenced to Imprisonment and Flogging
A highly regarded professor in Zabol University in southeastern Iran has been sentenced to imprisonment and flogging for posting protests against university administration on Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging application popular in Iran. - 2/22/17

Iran Announces Deal To Provide Russia With Oil In Swap For Cash, Goods
Iran said it will begin selling 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Russia within the next 15 days and receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services, Iranian news media reported on February 21. - 2/22/17

France's imports from Iran up 45 folds in 2016: Eurostat
The value of France's imports from Iran rose 45 folds to reach 1.348 billion Euros in 2016 from 30 million Euros in 2015, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. - 2/22/17

PHOTOS: Life in the Iranian village Belker
People in the beautiful and pristine village of Belker, 85 kilometers from Marivan, in Iran's western province of Kordestan, live a hard but happy life. Despite freezing winter days and recurrent snow storms the locals have learned the ways to cope with their condition. -Amir Ali Razzaghi - 2/21/17

PHOTOS: Rahim Mowlaeian's "Unveiling The Essence of the Body" at Seyhoun Art Gallery in Tehran
A painting exhibition entitled "Unveiling The Essence of the Body" by Rahim Mowlaeian was unveiled at Seyhoun Art Gallery on February 17. The exhibition will wrap up on March 1. - 2/21/17

Kickstarter Campaign: Presenting IRAN THROUGH BOOKS at America's biggest annual book festival in 2017
Farhang Foundation aims to promote Iranian art, culture & literature to the community at large. This two-day, free to public festival will help us give presence to Iranian books as well as books about Iran & books by Iranian authors. The event will be built around one central theme - celebrating books & promoting reading as a gateway to bring harmony and understanding to our diverse community in Los Angeles and Southern California. - 2/21/17

Writers Guild of America West honors Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami with lifetime achievement award
Celebrated Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami was honored posthumously with the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement at the 2017 Writers Guild of America Awards on Sunday February 19, 2017. His son, Ahmad Kiarostami, accepted the award from actress Shohreh Aghdashloo on his behalf, WGA West announced. - 2/21/17

Iran rollball team progresses to World Cup semifinal round
The Iranian men's national rollball team has earned a spot in the semi-final round of the fourth edition of Rollball World Cup in Bangladesh, chalking up a handsome win over the Danish outfit. - 2/21/17

Eurostat figures show Iran-EU trade up 78% in 2016
The European Union's trade with Iran amounted to 13.7 billion Euros in 2016, a 78 percent rise compared to 2015, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. The figure was 7.68 billion Euros in 2015, Tasnim news agency reported. - 2/21/17

Iran, Iraq Initialize Plans For Oil Sector Cooperation
The governments of Iraq and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding about conducting a joint study for a possible pipeline to export oil through Iran from Iraq's Kirkuk region. The oil ministers of the two countries signed the memorandum in Baghdad on February 20. - 2/21/17

French Far-Right Leader Says Backing Assad 'Least Bad Option' In Syria
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power may be the "least bad option" for ending the Syrian civil war and stemming the flow of refugees into Europe. - 2/21/17

The rising risk of showdown between Trump and Iran
Are the US and Iran heading for a new confrontation? After a turbulent first three weeks in which President Donald Trump described Iran as "the world's number one terrorist state" and put it "on notice", it is a question many are asking. -Kambiz Fattahi, BBC - 2/21/17

Russians Take Spotlight At Kish Island Beach Volleyball Final
After the last three days of cold and wet weather, the sun finally showed up and heated up the final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Kish Island 3-Star at Kish Marine Recreational and Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikita Liamin and Viacheslav Krasilnikov's second World Tour event of the season worked like a charm, as they captured the gold medal at the Kish Island 3-Star 2017 - 2/20/17

EU, IAEA reaffirm commitment to Iran deal in joint statement
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations' nuclear agency have reaffirmed their support for the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six other countries. Media outlets reported on Friday that the two sides had communicated the stance in a joint statement a day earlier following the fifth meeting of their senior officials. - 2/20/17

Budget deficit could do irreparable damage to Lake Urmia
Officials in charge of Lake Urmia restoration program have said the government has not allocated budget to the project in the next Iranian calendar year (March 2017-March 2018) and this could do irreparable damage to the lake's restoration program. - 2/20/17

1st Annual Silicon Valley Iranian Film Festival
The Iranian Film Festival and the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC)/Payvand.org, cordially invite you, your family and friends to view some of the greatest works of modern Iranian Cinema in our 2017 Silicon Valley Iranian Film Festival, on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the BlueLight Cinemas theatre at 21275 Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. - 2/20/17

Iran Bans Teen Chess Siblings Over Head Scarf, Match Against Israeli
Iranian chess officials have barred two teen siblings from domestic chess tournaments and the national team for crossing some of the religious establishment's so-called red lines at an international chess event. - 2/20/17

Iran rollball team eases into World Cup quarterfinal games
The Iranian men's national rollball team has thrashed Argentina for the fourth handsome victory at the preliminary round of the fourth edition of Rollball World Cup in Bangladesh, and a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament. - 2/20/17

Iran Rejects U.S. Pressure Tactics, Urges 'Mutual Respect'
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said his country rejects threats and coercion and seeks diplomatic solutions based on "mutually acceptable scenarios." Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 19, Zarif rejected U.S. sanctions and a recent announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump that Iran had been "put on notice" over a recent ballistic-missile test. - 2/20/17

20 countries to participate in 2nd International Weightlifting Competitions (Fajr Cup) in Ahvaz, Iran
Meanwhile, USA Weightlifting, which is the national governing body overseeing the sport of weightlifting in the United States, has voiced its readiness to participate in the event and even submitted its list of weightlifters and members of the technical team to the IRIWF. The request needs to be reviewed by Iranian Foreign Ministry officials before final approval and visa issuance. - 2/20/17

Iran Bans Drones Over Tehran After Security Scares
Authorities in Tehran have banned the use of drones over the Iranian capital after two recent incidents in which security forces opened fire on unmanned aerial vehicles. Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on February 20 that the general staff of Iran's armed forces issued the ban effective immediately. - 2/20/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Cements Hardline Position by Rejecting Offer of National Reconciliation
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's refusal of an offer to achieve "national reconciliation" in Iran by ending the six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders has crushed hopes that the state's crackdown on dissidents, which intensified in response to the nationwide protests against the results of the disputed 2009 election, would finally end. - 2/18/17

Iran: Women Allowed to Attend Kish Island Open
The apparent decision by Iranian authorities to allow women to attend the Kish Island Open volleyball tournament is a positive, if small, step in the right direction, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent media reports said that female spectators will be allowed to attend the four-day beach volleyball competition, from February 15 through 18, 2017. Women had been barred from attending volleyball tournaments under a 2012 decree, in violation of international rules. -HRW - 2/18/17

US Hesitates to Confirm Sanctioned Iran's General Soleimani Visited Russia
The Trump administration says it cannot confirm that an Iranian general barred from foreign travel by the U.N. Security Council visited Russia this week, despite a prominent U.S. congressman and news outlet saying he had made the trip. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/18/17

Iran Announces New Military Drills Despite U.S. Warnings
Iran says its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will conduct massive military drills next week in eastern and northeastern parts of the country. General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC's ground units, said in Tehran on February 18 that the maneuvers, Grand Prophet 11, will begin on February 20 and last for three days. - 2/18/17

Iran's carpet exports to U.S. go from zero to millions
About $69 million worth of Iranian carpets were exported to the United States during the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year, ended on January 19, while the figure was zero in the entire preceding year, ISNA quoted Hamid Kargar, the head of Iran's National Carpet Center, on Wednesday. - 2/18/17

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won't always be tidy. That's especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. -John T. Bennett, Roll Call - 2/18/17

European Parliament Condemns Human Rights Violations in Bahrain
While the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran and moving closer to the Persian Gulf monarchies, the European Parliament (EP) took a step in the opposite direction. At its plenary session on February 16, it adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations in Bahrain and Kuwait, with a particular focus on Bahrain -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 2/18/17

Why America needs the Muslim Ms. Marvel now more than Ever!
During the first few weeks of the Trump administration, we've seen increased pressure on Muslim and immigrant communities in the United States. In the face of these threats, which Marvel superhero might be best equipped to defend the people, ideals and institutions under attack? Some comic fans and critics are pointing to Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel. -Katie M. Logan, Informed Comment - 2/18/17

2017 Freestyle World Cup: Iran defends title after defeating US
The Iranian men's national freestyle wrestling team has claimed the top position at the end of the 2017 Freestyle World Cup in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, after trouncing the American side in the title challenge. - 2/17/17

PHOTOS: Dust storm, public utility outage spark protests in Ahwaz, Iran
Recurrent periods of suffocating dust storms, lately accompanied by crippling power and water supply cuts, have provoked public protests in the city of Ahvaz, southwestern province of Khuzestan. - 2/17/17

Targeting Iran's Regime Will Strengthen, Not Break, the Moscow-Tehran Alliance
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on February 13, hawkish scholar Michael Ledeen argued that "dismantling the Khamenei regime as peacefully as possible" is the best way to end what he describes as the Russian-Iranian alliance. His argument, though, contained several questionable assertions that cast doubt on the feasibility of his policy recommendations. -Mark N. Katz - 2/17/17

The Problem with Thinking on Your Knees
Take the Trump administration's recent threats against Iran. The Iranian public does not seem particularly alarmed. These are threats that it has heard a thousand times before. The more fatalist among them shrug and say, "God does what God wills." But the more combative say, "Let them come and get a taste of us. Iran isn't Iraq or Afghanistan." The group that is driven to despair by Trumps threats is the small minority of intellectuals in and out of Iran. -Mahmoud Omidsalar - 2/17/17

Iran Needs Billions to Upgrade Gas Fields, But Will Investors Invest?
Iran sits on what are thought to be the world's largest gas reserves, yet can barely supply its own domestic demand. Since the United Nations-backed deal over Tehran's nuclear program spurred the lifting of international sanctions, the country has strived to attract foreign investment in developing oil fields and upgrading its aging infrastructure. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 2/17/17

EU reports huge rise in Iran steel imports
The European Steel Association - Eurofer - has reported a significant rise in Iran's exports of steel to Europe, saying the country is now the third biggest exporter to the continent after China and India. - 2/17/17

No Breakthroughs At Second Round Of Syrian Peace Talks In Astana
Syrian peace negotiators have failed to make any breakthroughs at talks in Kazakhstan, but power brokers Russia, Turkey, and Iran said they would move to shore up a shaky cease-fire. - 2/17/17

Amidst US-Iran tensions, wrestlers emerge as sports diplomats
The journey to the Wrestling World Cup in Iran has been an exhausting one for the US team - not so much because of the long trip from the US to the Iranian city Kermanshah with two stopovers in Frankfurt and Tehran. It was the diplomatic hurdles that had stressed Team USA out. -CNN - 2/17/17

Freestyle Wrestling World Cup: Iran, Azerbaijan, US and Mongolia are first day winners
In the first round of Free Style World Cup in Kermanshah, Iran and Azerbaijan have crushed Turkey and Russia, respectively to take the first blood. Iran's western provincial center of Kermanshah hosts Free Style World Cup 2017 where in two groups, world's dominant national squads compete in direct matches. n Group A, Georgia and the US also faced each other and the latter defeated the Georgians 7-1. - 2/16/17

Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World established at UCLA
UCLA has established the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the first center in the Western Hemisphere that aims to advance the knowledge of ancient Iranian languages, history and religions. The Pourdavoud Center was named for the late Professor Ebrahim Pourdavoud, a pioneering scholar of ancient Persia, and was made possible by a gift from his granddaughter, Dr. Anahita Naficy Lovelace, and her husband, James B. Lovelace. - 2/16/17

Don't Call Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Terrorists
According to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. -Reza Nasri - 2/16/17

Iran's Rohani Seeks To Mend Frayed Ties With Persian Gulf Arab Neighbors
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has sought to mend ties with his Gulf Arab neighbors on a one-day trip to Oman and Kuwait, his first since taking power in 2013. Relations between predominantly Shi'ite Iran and the mainly Sunni Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, remain strained over their support for opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. - 2/16/17

Iran: Trump Stance Won't Derail Foreign Investment in Oil, Gas
Iran's deputy minister for petroleum says the hawkish stance taken by U.S. President Donald Trump on the Iranian nuclear deal is a "passing hiccup" that should not affect foreign investment in the country's energy sector. Amir Hossein Zamaninia made the remarks Wednesday at the CWC Iran LNG and Gas Partnerships Summit in Frankfurt, Germany. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 2/16/17

The Best Way of Dealing with Iran: Capitalism
Like many previous US administrations over the past four decades, the Trump presidency's Middle Eastern policy seems to be coalescing into the trusty "pro-Israel and anti-Iran" channel. That's hardly surprising, given that it has been the comfortable Washington consensus--indeed almost the only idea in town--for so long. -James Spencer, LobeLog - 2/16/17

Revolutionary Guards Try to Silence US-Based Iranian Dissident by Arresting Her Sister
Leila Haghighatjou, the sister of Fatemeh Haghighatjou, an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards to intimidate the former member of Parliament, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 2/16/17

Iran defeats U.S. Navy in defiant animated film
A full-length animated film depicting an armed confrontation between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the U.S. Navy is soon to open in Iranian cinemas, amid rising tensions over President Donald Trump's hardening rhetoric against Tehran. -Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters - 2/16/17

'Not Even Dogs Live Like This' -- Afghan Refugees Return Home To Find Squalid Conditions
Standing in a battered tent flanked by mud and human waste, Sahibuddin Khan and his family of five are among the thousands of returning Afghan refugees seeking food and shelter in crowded, ramshackle camps that have sprung up on the outskirts of Kabul. -RFE/RL - 2/16/17

PHOTOS: Iranians Protest Air Pollution, Water Cuts In Ahvaz
Demonstrators took the streets of the western Iranian city of Ahvaz on February 13 to protest against air pollution, water shortages, and power cuts. Amateur video obtained by RFE/RL's Radio Farda showed crowds chanting against what they called "injustice." They also condemned state television for its apparent lack of reporting on the condition of public utilities in city. - 2/15/17

Iran remains committed to JCPOA: International Atomic Energy Agency Chief
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran is implementing the landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015. "Implementation is very important and that requires efforts by all and ... we have a very robust verification tool," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters on the sidelines of a summit in Dubai on Tuesday. - 2/15/17

PHOTOS: Tehran International Auto Show Kicks Off Hosting 200 Automakers
Tehran International Exhibition of Automobile and Related Industries (Tehran Auto Show) became operational at Shahr-e-Aftab International Exhibition Center on Tuesday hosting giant Iranian and foreign automakers. Among the well-known car manufacturing companies it can be referred to Iranian carmakers Iran Khodro, Saipa and Pars Khodro as well as foreign companies including BMW, Scania, Volvo, Renault, Mitsubishi, MG, Hyundai, Toyota, KIA Motors, Nissan, MVM, Chery - 2/15/17

Iranian researchers find way to treat long bone nonunion
Iranian researchers at Royan Research Institute have proved in a study that the problem with long bone nonunion is related to mesenchymal cells. Long bone nonunion is a serious complication of a fracture in which the normal process of bone healing is interrupted or stalled. - 2/15/17

Iranian Minister, Ranger Engage In Verbal Fistfight Over Persian Wild Ass
Iran's Minister of Industries, Mines, and Trade has lampooned environmentalist activists' concerns over the spoiling of the pristine habitats of Persian wild ass. The drama had been on its climax when commander of Damavand Wildlife Patrolling Unit reacted to rather blunt and blatantly irresponsible remarks by the minister who had said that a few wild asses should not impede the way to exploring mines in a pristine habitat - 2/15/17

Publication of 1970 Memories of Sadegh Ghotbzadeh in the United States
The 1970 memoir of Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, one of the closest advisers of Ayatollah Khomeini, is published in the United States. The compiler of the collection is Ali Sajjadi who has analyzed the role of Ghorbzadeh in 1979 revolution in Iran as well. - 2/15/17

Iranian Culture Minister confirms his role in cancellation of Tehran art show in Berlin
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri said on Tuesday that he was behind the cancellation of the exhibition of Western artworks from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) in Berlin. He made the remarks in his first press conference since last November when he was appointed to the position. - 2/15/17

PHOTOS: Iranians warmly welcome US freestyle wrestling team
Hundreds of Iranian wrestling enthusiasts and correspondents have extended their friendly welcome to American wrestlers, who arrived in the country to take part in the 2017 Freestyle World Cup. The US freestyle wrestling team landed at Shahid Ashrafi Esfahani Airport in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, located 525 kilometers west of the capital, Tehran, on Monday afternoon and was given a warm reception upon arrival. - 2/14/17

Challenging Compulsory Hijab: Reception at Swedish Ambassador's Residence in Tehran
An Iranian newspaper has published photos of Swedish female diplomats and business executives attending a function at the Swedish embassy in Tehran. The publishing of the photos by a state media is unprecedented as the Islamic Republic has never acknowledged the right of foreign female representatives to choose their own attire while visiting Iran, imposing the veil upon them. - 2/14/17

Women Make Up 10% of Iran's Administration: VP
Women compose ten percent of the Iranian administration, the vice president in women and family affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, said here on Sunday. The United Nations has affirmed the statistics about the number of women in the administration, Mehr news agency quoted her as saying. - 2/14/17

Iran's Hardliners Grow More Confident
With tensions between the United States and Iran mounting over Tehran's test-firing of mid-range ballistic missiles, Iran's hardliners appear emboldened. They talk now of having a chance of winning their country's presidential election in May - or at least turning incumbent Hassan Rouhani into a lame-duck president, if he does manage to secure reelection. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 2/14/17

Iran, Luxemburg stress observance of nuclear deal
Iran and Luxembourg have laid emphasis on the need for all the parties to a multilateral nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries to comply with their contractual obligations. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Luxembourg's visiting Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn stressed the importance of continued commitment to the deal on the part of the relevant parties during a meeting in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. - 2/14/17

Sukhoi near deal to sell Superjet 100s to Iran
Iran says Russia's planemaker Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company is moving closer to a deal to sell its Superjet 100 aircraft to the country. Maqsoud As'adi Samani, the secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that Sukhoi had already started technical talks to obtain a license from the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to sell the planes to Iran. - 2/14/17

Iran should not put all eggs in one basket: University of Tehran Professor
Iran should not put all its eggs in one basket and it is necessary to establish "good ties" with all countries, says Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a politics professor at the University of Tehran. - 2/14/17

Iran's Judiciary Commutes Death Sentences of Some Juvenile Offenders
The Iranian judiciary has agreed to commute the death sentences of six people who were sentenced to death while they were juveniles while refusing the requests of four others, Tehran's Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced on February 8, 2017. - 2/14/17

12 Iranian startups to attend CeBIT 2017 in Hannover, Germany
Iran will participate in CeBIT exhibition as one of the leading events for IT and communication technology worldwide, slated for mid-March in Hannover, Germany. 12 Iranian startups will showcase their latest achievements at a special hall designated for startup companies during the 5-day event from 20th March to the 24th March 2017 at the Hannover Congress Centrum in Hannover, Germany. - 2/13/17

Global automakers gather in Tehran
Major European and Asian automakers have participated in the 4th Iran Automotive Industry International Conference (IAIIC) which was inaugurated in Tehran on Sunday. In addition to Peugeot Citroen, Scania, and Renault, some other automobile and auto part manufacturers from Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and China are also taking part in the two-day event, IRNA reported. - 2/13/17

Iran's Auto Production Up 40 Percent Year-On-Year
Iran says its production of automobiles has already seen an increase of around 40 percent over a period of 11 months starting 21 March 2016 compared to the same period in the previous year. Iran is the Middle East's largest auto market with a population of 80 million. The automobile industry is seen as Iran's biggest non-oil sector, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). - 2/13/17

Iranian Archers Win Medals In Las Vegas World Cup
Members of the Iranian archery team have managed to bag one gold, one bronze and two silver medals in Las Vegas 2017 Indoor Archery World Cup Stage 4. Initially blocked by the Trump administration's controversial travel ban, members of the Iranian archery team were issued visas to reach Las Vegas for an important Indoor Archery World Cup competition. - 2/13/17

Iran discovers new oil fields with 30 billion barrels of oil: Official
Iran has discovered about a dozen new oil fields with in-place reserves of 30 billion barrels, head of exploration at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says. Some 4.7 billion barrels of these reserves are recoverable, said Seyyed Saleh Hendi who also announced the discovery of 128 trillion cubic feet of gas. - 2/13/17

Yo-Yo Ma ensemble wins Grammy for 'Sing Me Home'
Cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma and his ensemble 'Silk Road' of which Iranian Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor is also a member won the Grammy for Best World Music Album for 'Sing Me Home' on Sunday. - 2/13/17

Glamour and heartbreak: The precious jewels of Iran's 'sad-eyed' princess
Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari never imagined that one day she would marry Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and that she would reign over her country, Iran. She was queen for seven years, from 1951 to 1958. -Vincent Meylan, CNN - 2/13/17

Roudsar Persian leopard in torment
Recently an injured Persian Leopard was found near Sejidan village of Siahkal region, Roudsar. The leopard was caught in a snare. Snares often lead to serious damage of wild animals. Using anchored cables or wire nooses in this region is common, so similar bad news such as capturing of forest cats is often heard. The injured Persian Leopard of Roudsar was transferred to Tehran last week to get a definitive diagnosis. -Farnaz Heidari, Tehran Times - 2/13/17

Iranian Chicagoan Says Life Under Trump Reminds Him of Ahmadinejad
Chicagoans from each of seven countries listed in President Trump's travel ban explain how the executive order has changed their lives. -Chicago Magazine - 2/13/17

Iran, Sweden Initial Accords During Swedish Prime Minister's Visit
Iran's supreme leader has told Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that Sweden has a good reputation among Iranians and is seen by Tehran as a reliable economic partner. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the remarks to Lofven during a meeting in Tehran on February 11. During Lofven's visit, the two countries initialed accords on cooperation in science and technology, higher education and research, roads, telecommunications, and technology. - 2/12/17

Report: Iranian Hackers Target Activists' Mac Devices With Revamped Malware
State-sponsored Iranian hackers, who had until now focused almost exclusively on civil and human rights-focused users of the Android operating systems, have for the first time developed malware (software that damages or disables computer systems) that targets users' Apple devices, according to a new report by Internet security expert, Collin Anderson. - 2/12/17

Iran Oil revenues set to reach $45B-$50B in next fiscal year: Oil Minister
Iranian oil minister has said that considering oil prices at $55 per barrels, the country's revenues from oil and gas condensate exports will reach $45-$50 billion in the next Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2017-March 20, 2018), IRNA reported on Saturday. - 2/12/17

The Non-Aligned Movement deplores US coercive measures against Iran
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has deplored the US government's recent "unilateral and coercive" measures against Iran, expressing the body's support for the Islamic Republic's national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. - 2/12/17

US Commander Warns of Russian, Iranian, Pakistani Influence in Afghanistan
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says Russia, Pakistan and Iran are pursuing their own agendas with regard to the fragile country, complicating the fight against terrorism and extremism. "We're concerned about outside actors," General John Nicholson told VOA's Afghan service in an interview. - 2/12/17

Iran Navy aims to boost Bab el-Mandeb security: Admiral Sayyari
Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Iranian naval forces are making efforts to improve security in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb​, considering security of those regions as a top priority. - 2/12/17

Trump Warns Iran's Rohani He'd 'Better Be Careful' After Defiant Speech
U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up his war of words with Iran on February 10, warning Iranian President Hassan Rohani that he'd "better be careful" after Rohani made a defiant speech denouncing U.S. "warmongering." - 2/11/17

US will fully implement JCPOA, says EU's Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini
European Union's foreign policy chief says the administration of US President Donald Trump gave her confidence that Washington will be committed to following through with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Federica Mogherini made the remarks on Friday during her first visit to Washington since Trump became US President in January. - 2/11/17

National Museum of Iran showcasing extensive repatriated artifacts
A total of 550 historical relics including sculptures, earthenware and jewelries, repatriated from Belgium, Italy and the U.S., have been put on show at the National Museum of Iran. Adopting "Cultural Diplomacy Achievements" as its motto, the exhibit showcases four collections that have been retrieved with the incumbent Iranian government, the national museum announced on Feb. 6. - 2/11/17

Political drama "Midday Event" receives Best Film award at Fajr Festival
"The Midday Event", a political drama that features the terrorist atrocity of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization in Iran of the 1980s, has been crowned best at the 35th Fajr Film Festival. Producer Mahmud Razavi received his award from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a closing ceremony held at Tehran's Milad Tower on Thursday night. - 2/11/17

Syria-bound Russian planes using Iran airspace for anti-terror operations: Iranian Official
A senior Iranian official says Russian warplanes are using the Islamic Republic's airspace for anti-terror operations in Syria. The Russians' use of Iran's airspace continues "because we have a fully strategic cooperation with Russia," Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani told Fars news agency on Saturday. - 2/11/17

Amid travel ban uncertainty, Houston doctor cancels plans to perform life-saving fetal surgeries in Iran
The doctor had waited as long as he could. Now, Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz felt he had run out of time, and he needed to break it to them. He dialed in via Skype early this week, and there they were, staring back at him from Iran: The expectant parents whose babies almost certainly would die because he wouldn't be coming to operate on them. -Houston Chronicle - 2/11/17

On Iran's revolution day, a message sent with bigger crowds, fewer anti-US taunts
In protest message to President Trump, hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in a show of national unity that crossed social and political lines. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 2/11/17

Iranians Use Twitter to Oppose Flag-Burning and Thank Americans for Resisting Trump's Travel Ban
A few days before the 38th anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution-traditionally commemorated with hardliners burning U.S. flags and promoting other forms of anti-Americanism-thousands of people participated in a Twitter storm to express gratitude for the Americans who protested against President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. - 2/10/17

The Limits of Sports Diplomacy in US-Iran Relations
US-Iranian relations since 1979 have been characterized by long periods of animosity and mutual demonization and only fleeting moments of relaxed tensions. Under President Trump, the United States has ratcheted up the anti-Iran rhetoric and actions, causing some analysts to opine that a military confrontation between the two countries is likely. -Nader Entessar - 2/10/17

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' Upholds Court Order Blocking Trump's Executive Order
"The court's decision to uphold the order blocking the Trump administration's un-American Executive Order is a triumph of justice. The message to the Trump administration is clear: America's democratic institutions will not allow our democracy to be corrupted by bigoted and racist measures that divide our country and make America less safe. -NIAC - 2/10/17

Women's World Chess Championship kicks off in Tehran
The knock-out tournament will have the participation of some of the world's top players, including the former Women's World Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Zhu Chen (Qatar) and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), the current Women's World Rapid and Blitz Champion Anna Muzychuk, the winner of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2015-2016 Ju Wenjun (China), the three-time Russian champion and two-time European Champion Valentina Gunina and other leading grandmasters. - 2/10/17

Iran Marks 1979 Revolution Anniversary With Mass Rallies, Defiant Words
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on February 10 to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The rallies commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted a U.S.-backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi. - 2/10/17

New U.S. travel restrictions leave Iranian woman in L.A. museum show in artistic limbo
A languid visual poem called "Our Persian Garden," the work has only gained in resonance following President Trump's executive order to temporarily prohibit citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Oversaturated with light and featuring a soundscape of wind and rushing water, "Our Persian Garden" speaks to feelings of dislocation and alienation that Alaei Novin and other Iranian immigrants have long felt in the U.S., she says. -Los Angeles Times - 2/10/17

Deconstructing a Detonation near Yemen
On January 30, 2017, there was an explosion on a Saudi frigate sailing off the Red Sea coast of Yemen, killing two sailors. That much is uncontested. What is unclear--and politically explosive--is whether the Houthis mounted a suicide-boat attack against the frigate (as the Saudis claimed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis) or whether the explosion was caused by a surface-to-ship missile, as the Houthis claim. -James Spencer, LobeLog - 2/10/17

How Trump Can Defeat ISIS
If you were betting on an unpredictable Donald J. Trump to transform America's bankrupt Mideast policy scene, these next ten words will burst your bubble. "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," National Security Advisor Michael Flynn told reporters a mere thirteen days into the new administration. Iran? -Sharmine Narwani, American Conservative - 2/10/17

Iranian-American Orgs File Federal Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban Executive Order
Several prominent Iranian-American organizations have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration's Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed by Iranian American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer ("APKS"), on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans. - 2/9/17

The "Ambassadors Of Peace" In Iran
Iran hosted around 320 tour guides from about 40 countries in the 17th World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) Convention. The event took place from January 28 to February 1, 2017 in Tehran. In the 3-day pre-convention tour around 160 guests visited the historical cities of Qazvin, Zanjan, and Hamedan, enjoying traditional foods, handicrafts, and also folk music. - 2/9/17

Kuwait welcomes prospects for cooperation between Iran, Persian Gulf Arab states
Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah has welcomed prospects for cooperation between Iran and the Persian Gulf Arab countries to help resolve conflicts in the region. The senior Kuwaiti diplomat made the comments in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's comments on the country's relations with regional states, including those in the Persian Gulf region. - 2/9/17

Iranian Baby Barred By Travel Ban Enters U.S. For Lifesaving Surgery
An Iranian baby girl denied entry to the U.S. for lifesaving surgery under President Donald Trump's travel ban has arrived in America for treatment. Fatemeh Reshad was admitted at Oregon Health & Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland on Tuesday, doctors confirmed. -Huffington Post - 2/9/17

A New Security Order Needed in the Persian Gulf
Late last year in Manama, Bahrain, British Prime Minister Theresa May assured Persian Gulf oil monarchies that the United Kingdom's anti-Iran posture would remain unchanged under her leadership. Iranian "influence fuels instability in the region," she told the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)'s 37th Leaders Summit, adding, "I am clear-eyed about the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and the wider Middle East." -Javad Heiran-Nia, LobeLog - 2/9/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Cracks Down on Alleged "Anti-Revolutionary" Telegram Channels
In the latest crackdown by hardliners against popular social media applications in Iran, the Intelligence Ministry has detained several channel administrators of Telegram. Hardline domestic news outlets have subsequently aired admins' alleged video "confessions." - 2/9/17

Iranian hard-liner slams Trump for not tearing up nuclear deal
Along with moderates and Reformists, Iranian hard-liners are slamming US President Donald Trump, but the reason of their criticism is different. Moderates are worried that Trump may fulfill his electoral promise by tearing up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while hard-liners lash out at the current US government for not destroying the deal. -Rohollah Faghihi, Al Monitor - 2/9/17

Seattle Symphony to Host Free Concert of Music from Trump's Seven Travel Ban Countries
One quarter of the musicians in the Seattle Symphony are immigrants. Many of these players, along with their colleagues in the orchestra, suggested that the symphony host a concert celebrating music from the seven countries affected by the executive order banning travel from some Muslim-majority nations. -Amber Cortes, The Stranger - 2/9/17

US: Iran 'Kidding Itself' If It Doesn't Realize Trump Has New Approach
According to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. he White House has dismissed a defiant message from Iran's supreme leader about Donald Trump, saying Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should realize "there is a new president in office." -In his daily press briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump would not remain idle in response to Iran's "violations, or apparent violations," of its 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world powers. He said Trump "will continue to take action as he sees fit. ... [H]e is not going to project what those actions will be, and he will not take anything off the table." -Michael Lipin and Payam Yazdian, VOA - 2/8/17

RT: Call Iran!
A link needs to be urgently established between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and newly sworn-in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson amid the needless escalation in tension between the Trump administration and Iran. This week alone, the Trump White House imposed a blanket travel ban on Iranian nationals. Iran launched a provocative missile test and reciprocated with its own travel ban (since rescinded, at least for the U.S. wrestling team), which in turn led to Trump putting Iran "on notice" and imposing additional non-nuclear sanctions. -Navid Hassibi - 2/8/17

Jailed Iranian Swedish Physician Sentenced to Death in Iran
Iranian physician Ahmadreza Jalali, who was arrested in Iran ten months ago, has been reportedly sentenced to death. Although charges have not yet been announced publicly by Iranian Judiciary, Jalili's wife maintains that they are political and include the charge of "collaborations with enemy states". - 2/8/17

In Iran, From Prison to Exile for Posting Jokes on Facebook
After completing a five-year prison sentence in Iran for posting jokes about religion on Facebook, the Judiciary has sent Soheil Babadi into exile. The 39-year-old computer engineer must now spend the next two years in Beshagard, a remote community of 35,000 people in the southern coastal province of Hormozgan, a source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 2/8/17

Iran's Khamenei and Trump spar, and sports and academic ties feel blowback
Among the first casualties of President Trump's immigration ban was the United States wrestling team - victims of a reciprocal Iranian ban that would have kept Americans out of the Freestyle World Cup in Iran in mid-February. Then Mr. Trump's ban was suspended by court order. Iran responded by rescinding its ban. The American wrestlers could travel. Not so lucky were two Iranian archers planning to take part in a stage of the indoor Archery World Cup in Las Vegas this weekend. Their US visas were never issued. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 2/8/17

Congress: No Money for Palestinians, More Sanctions for Iranians
As we have over the past two years, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran -Lara Friedman, LobeLog - 2/8/17

Iran Should Take American Threats Seriously
It was not surprising that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, "officially put...Iran on notice," following what he cited as "recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants." President Trump himself later confirmed these comments. -Shireen T. Hunter - 2/7/17

President Rouhani says Iran nuclear deal benefits everyone
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is an agreement that offers benefits to all the parties involved. Speaking at a ceremony in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday, President Rouhani referred to the recent remarks by US President Donald Trump, who has called the Iran deal "the worst... ever negotiated," and countered by saying that the deal is to the benefit of all. - 2/7/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Says Trump 'Reveals America's Real Face'
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said he is grateful to U.S. President Donald Trump for showing "the real face of America." Khamenei's website quoted him as making the comments in a February 7 meeting with military commanders in Tehran. - 2/7/17

Iran launches Persian Gulf Explorer ship
Iran's first hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship called Persian Gulf Explorer was launched after being delivered to National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science. On the fifth day of Fajr Decade, the first Iranian hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship, which has been designed and built by the Iranian Defense Ministry's Marine Industries Organization, was officially put into the water during a ceremony in Bandar Abbas. - 2/7/17

For Iranian Americans, Trump has complicated an already tricky trip to motherland
For many Iranian immigrants and their families, the 7,500-mile journey between Tehran and California is an emotionally fraught necessity. Most Iranians in the U.S. oppose the hard-line regime in Tehran. Many fled for political freedoms or opportunities for professional growth. Others moved here for a Western education and planned to go back, but found themselves tethered to America after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. -Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times - 2/7/17

Hoz-e Sultan, a gigantic natural mirror in central Iranian plateau
Hoz-e Sultan, a lonely salt lake in the heart of Iran, resembles a gigantic natural mirror as its shallow water covers a vast plain of salt deposits. It is the epicenter of a relatively rich fauna as well. Sprawled about 40 kilometers north of the city of Qom and adjacent to the Qom - Tehran highway, the lake covers 37,075 hectares. With an altitude of about 720 meters above sea level, the lake is considered as one of the lowest parts of the Iranian plateau. - 2/7/17

Iran must be part of universal front against terrorism: Russia
Russia has rejected allegations by the US that Iran sponsors terrorism, stressing that Tehran must be present in the anti-terror front. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Monday, noting that Iran has never had ties with terrorist organizations. - 2/7/17

Maz Jobrani Talks Terrorist Typecasting, '24' and the Grueling Task of Mocking Trump
Maz Jobrani is no stranger to how Muslims are so frequently portrayed on TV and film. The comedian, currently starring in CBS sitcom Superior Donuts, wrote the book on it. I'm Not a Terrorist but I've Played One on TV came out almost two years ago this month, but the subject of Muslim depictions in American media and entertainment feels as timely as ever. -Michael O'Connell, Hollywood Reporter - 2/7/17

Three Iranian films to go on screen at Portland festival
Three Iranian films will go on screen at the 40th Portland International Film Festival, which will be held February 9-25, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. "Life+1 Day" by Saeid Rustai and "Parting", a joint production of Iran and Afghanistan by Navid Mahmudi will go on screen in the New Directors section, in which new and emerging filmmakers represent the new generation of master storytellers. In addition, "Starless Dreams", a documentary by Mehrdad Oskui will be screened in the Documentary Views category of the festival. - 2/6/17

VIDEO: Foreign Tour Guides Describe Iran With Body Language
The 17th World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations Convention was held in Tehran from January 28 to February 1, 2017. On the sidelines of the convention, the international tour guides were asked to describe their journey to Iran with body language gestures. - 2/6/17

US firms shut out of Iran oil tenders
US companies stand no chance of participating in bidding for Iran's oil fields which the country plans to develop with international help, a senior official says. Iran's Deputy Petroleum Minister for Commerce and International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia said Monday that US firms do not face any restrictions for work in the resource-rich country but American sanctions make such activities impossible. - 2/6/17

Anti-Iranism in the Trump Administration
One of the most direct indications of Donald Trump's failure, or refusal, to understand issues involving Iran is his tweeted declaration this week that the Iranians "should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!" -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 2/6/17

Russia disagrees with US on Iran characterization while China protests new sanctions
Russia says it disagrees with the administration of US President Donald Trump's characterization of Iran as a "terrorist state." Meanwhile, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday Beijing had "lodged representations" with Washington after Trump's administration imposed sanctions on 25 people and entities on Friday for trade with Iran. - 2/6/17

Editor Detained by Iran's Intelligence Ministry Pleads for Help From Evin Prison
Tahereh Riahi, the social affairs editor of the state-funded Borna News Agency, who has been detained by the Intelligence Ministry since late December 2016 without access to legal council, pleaded for help in her latest phone call to her family from Evin Prison, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 2/6/17

Iranian-Americans feel stuck, confused, afraid of travel ban
Iranian-American supermarket supervisor Alan Tahmasebi voted for Donald Trump last year, hoping a businessman would be more trustworthy than a politician. The 35-year-old now sorely regrets it, seeing the havoc wreaked upon his fellow countrymen - and his family - since the new president issued a temporary travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including his former home. -Chicago Tribune - 2/6/17

Behnaz Shafiei: Iran's trailblazing female biker makes history with women's race
When Behnaz Shafiei crosses the finish line on Friday at the end of a dusty, rock-strewn race track in Karaj, near Tehran, it will mark the end of both a simple motorbike race and a three-year campaign for women's rights in Iran. Whether she wins the race or not, it's a victory. - 2/6/17

Trumpian Follies & Iran's Options
This Emperor does have clothes, lots of it, closetsful, but seems to be lacking in some more important attributes. He has done it again; this time he has put Iran "on notice", no less! Is Mr. Trump a savvy diplomat, a good politician, or is he simply a good businessman, a deal maker? The answer to the first two questions is an absolute NO. About being a good deal maker/businessman, well, having a lot of money is not a convincing criterion... -Kambiz Zarrabi - 2/5/17

White House Warns Iran To 'Think Twice' Before Testing U.S. Resolve
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Iran "not to test the resolve" of the Donald Trump administration days after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on the Islamic republic over a ballistic-missile test. Asked by ABC News how the United States would respond to provocation by Iran, Pence said that the "president said everything's on the table" -- including military action. - 2/5/17

Iran To Issue Visas To U.S. Wrestling Team
Iran will issue visas for a U.S. wrestling team to attend the February 16-17 Freestyle World Cup competition, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports, reversing a decision announced on February 3 that banned visas for the team in response to an executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump banning visas for Iranians. - 2/5/17

International Court of Justice puts Iran's lawsuit against U.S. in motion
Iran says a lawsuit that it had submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, against the United States last summer for freezing billions of dollars worth of its assets has been officially put in motion. - 2/5/17

Does Shiraz wine come from Iran?
Until the Islamic revolution, Iran had a tradition of wine-making which stretched back centuries. It centred on the ancient city of Shiraz - but is there a connection between the place and the wine of the same name now produced and drunk across the world? -Anahita Sham, BBC - 2/5/17

Latest U.S. Iran Sanctions Signal New Policy Of Confrontation
The United States on February 3 imposed new sanctions against Iran, a move that comes days after Tehran conducted a ballistic-missile test and amid an escalating war of words between the two governments. Shortly after the announcement, U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn signaled a new, more confrontational U.S. policy toward Iran, saying the "international community has been too tolerant of Iran's bad behavior." - 2/4/17

Trump to Iranian People: Drop Dead
The shameful episode of Trump's January 27 executive order and Muslim travel ban has turned on its head decades of American messages about Iran. This step--apparently the brainchild of the "torturer's apprentice" Steve Bannon--has been a bizarre reversal of America's policy. We now say nothing about the Islamic Republic's government but express our public disdain for its people. -John Limbert - 2/4/17

Iranian Professors Call For Easing Travel Restrictions For U.S. Citizens
A group of professors has urged Iranian President Hassan Rohani to respond to a recent order by U.S. President Donald Trump temporarily barring travel by Iranians to the United States by easing travel restrictions for U.S. citizens visiting their country. - 2/4/17

Thoughts on Iran, Obama, and Trump
Donald Trump's election after a comical and combative presidential contest, carried America's politics from the farcical side of the Rubicon to its tragic shore, straight into the arms of the country's Radical Right. Marx's famous dictum that history is repeated first as tragedy, and then as farce, may have been turned right-side-up. Somewhere up there, Hegel must be terribly amused. -Mahmoud Omidsalar - 2/4/17

Iran To Test Missile, Radar Systems, One Day After New U.S. Sanctions
Iran is holding a military exercise to test its missile and radar systems on February 4, a day after the United State imposed sanctions on Tehran over its recent ballistic-missile test. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps website said the maneuvers in the northeastern province of Semnan were aimed at demonstrating their "complete preparedness to deal with the threats" and "humiliating sanctions" from Washington. - 2/4/17

A Reckless Slide Toward War With Iran
Since the inauguration, the White House has taken several ham-handed escalatory steps that bring into question whether Trump and his most radical advisors are begging for war with Iran. This would be a disaster of epic scale, perhaps eclipsing the nightmare of the Iraq War. Republicans and Democrats need to start viewing President Trump's actions and words as a possible accidental or intentional prelude to major conflict, and taking steps to counter this dangerous slide to war. - Senator Chris Murphy - 2/4/17

Bannon Welcomed Islamophobes When CPAC Banned Them
President Donald Trump's senior advisor Stephen Bannon has spent the past two weeks consolidating power in the White House. He helped craft an executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim majority countries and, in an unusual appointment for a political adviser, is now a member of the National Security Council's principals committee. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 2/4/17

Trump's Travel Ban Signals a Dystopian Vision of America
President Trump's executive order suspending visas to nationals of seven Middle Eastern countries has created much confusion abroad, dissension at home, and a flurry of legal cases challenging the constitutionality of the order. Since all the seven countries named in the executive order have Muslim majorities, the president's action is viewed by many here and overseas as a vehicle to discriminate against Muslim refugees and prevent them from entering the country. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 2/4/17

U.S. Travel Ban Stands Between Iranian Cancer Patient And Her Grandmother
These are trying times for Negin Ghanei and her family. Doctors in the United States last year detected a return of her teenage daughter Kiana's lymphoma cancer, leaving the transplanted Iranians in what the U.S.-based chemical engineer calls a state of shock. Ghanei says the second shock came in late January when she learned that Kiana's 74-year-old grandmother couldn't travel to the United States to help care for Kiana and provide them all with much-needed moral support. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 2/3/17

American wrestlers banned from traveling to Iran to participate in World Cup
Iran banned the U.S. wrestlers from participating in the Freestyle World Cup in the western city of Kermanshah in response to President Trump's executive order forbidding visas for Iranian nationals. The competition will be held on Feb. 16-17 and the U.S. Wrestling team was due to attend the competition. - 2/3/17

"Putting Iran on Notice" - Stop Acting Like A Sovereign Country?
Iran's January 29 flight test of a medium-range ballistic missile helped prompt an ominous if ambiguous warning by U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on February 1: "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice." Since it is facing so many other international crises, it is curious that the new administration gives such a prominent place to Iranian missile testing, which poses no existential threat to the United States or its allies and is not prohibited by the Iran nuclear deal or any other widely accepted rules of international behavior. -Greg Thielmann - 2/3/17

U.S. Treasury Department Announces New Sanctions Against Iran
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced new sanctions against 13 people and 12 entities with ties to Iran, just days after Tehran conducted a new ballistic missile test. The sanctions, published on February 3, targeted Iranians and at least one Chinese national. The entities and companies are based in Lebanon, China, and the United Arab Emirates. - 2/3/17

Iranian-Dutch Dual National and Dissident Imprisoned in Tehran Denied Medical Care
The officials of Evin Prison are denying Sabri Hassanpour, an Iranian-born citizen of the Netherlands and outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic who has been imprisoned in Iran since March 2016, open-heart surgery, according to an informed source. - 2/3/17

Trump Administration Divides and Divided
This resistance is stirring and heartening. And yet it also seems scripted somehow, as if we're playing the roles assigned to us. None of the first moves of the Trump administration is a surprise. The president has been even more audacious and paranoid than expected, but that's only if you expected him to suddenly become presidential after a lifetime of being, well, a schmuck. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 2/3/17

Iranian infant hoping for OHSU surgery banned from entering U.S.
A 4-month-old Iranian girl in need of heart surgery has been unable to travel to Oregon for the procedure due to the immigration ban put in place by President Donald Trump last week barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, her uncle said. -Kale Williams, The Oregonian - 2/3/17

Russia, Iran, Turkey Set Astana Talks To Discuss Syria Cease-Fire
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry says the co-sponsors of the Syrian peace talks will meet in Astana on February 6 to monitor implementation of the cease-fire in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. The ministry announced on February 2 that Russia, Iran, and Turkey will meet for a second round of talks in the Kazakh capital. - 2/3/17

Iranian man barred from entering U.S. lands at LAX; first to return after court order
The first time Ali Vayeghan tried to enter the United States, the Iranian man was met at Los Angeles International Airport by stern border control officials, who detained him in a sparse room overnight before forcing him back onto a plane. Six days and 15,000 miles of flying later, Vayeghan returned to LAX on Thursday and received a very different welcome. -Los Angeles Times - 2/3/17

Decades of Demonization Behind the Ban On Muslims
President Donald J. Trump's executive order banning the entry of citizens of seven countries with majority Muslim populations shocked many people in the United States and many more in Europe and elsewhere. It also elicited a wave of criticism from a variety of quarters-including business, academia, and human rights organizations-both in the United States and elsewhere. -Shireen T. Hunter - 2/2/17

Trump: Iran is 'On Notice' After Missile Launch
U.S. President Donald Trump says Iran has been "formally put on notice" for its ballistic missile launch. His message came during a series of tweets in which he also continued his condemnation of the agreement that the U.S. and five other world powers reached to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 2/2/17

It's Time To Talk About The Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. President Donald Trump has long portrayed himself as a consummate deal maker, an image he made central to his presidential campaign. That reputation could face a stern test if he pursues one of his proposals: renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal. -Carl Schreck, RFE/RL - 2/2/17

Winner of Farhang's annual Nowruz banner competition announced
Each year, Farhang Foundation, through its Nowruz Banner Competition, reaches out to a global community of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, enlisting their talents to create and submit original designs that capture the essence of Nowruz. During the weeks leading to Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration, the winning design is featured on large street banners in prominent areas of Los Angeles announcing the event. - 2/2/17

Iranian-born Swedish actress Bahar Pars vows to attend Oscars despite President Trump's travel ban
Iranian-born Swedish actress Bahar Pars, who hopes to share an Oscar for best foreign film, says she and fellow actor Rolf Lassgard "have decided to travel" to the Academy Awards ceremony despite the confusion around President Trump's travel ban. "Standing there together and holding hands is a statement in itself" on Trump's temporary immigration ban against seven majority-Muslim countries, including her native Iran, she told The Associated Press on Wednesday. -AP - 2/2/17

White House Says Immigration Order No Longer Affects Legal U.S. Residents
The White House said it has issued updated guidance on President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration clarifying that legal permanent residents, or green-card holders, do not require a waiver to enter the United States. - 2/2/17

A Method to the Madness?
The executive order that Donald Trump signed last Friday was a shock but not entirely a surprise. The outlines of the order--which temporarily denied entry to the U.S. to all refugees as well as all citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries--could not have been fully unexpected given Trump's stated promises in the year-and-a-half since he first announced his presidential campaign. -Daniel Luban, LobeLog - 2/2/17

In Love and in Limbo: Couple Stuck Between US and Iranian Immigration Orders
Mohammad Mesbahi, 27, an Iranian-American from Fairfax, Virginia, crinkles his nose and laughs when asked why he loves his wife. "There's a lot of things!" he chuckles. "Every single little thing." Mesbahi and Iranian citizen Homa Esfandiari were married in Tehran in December 2014. -ABC News - 2/2/17

America Polarized and in Turmoil: United, we must take back our country from the ultra-supremacists in the White House
Among the executive orders signed by President Donald J. Trump this past Friday, there is the enhancing "national security and border control," that has led to massive demonstrations and much controversy. No patriotic American, native or naturalized, could argue against the meritorious notion of enhancing our national security, immigration and border control. However, while most Americans are committed to inclusivity and blind justice, Trump and his dwindling number of supporters want to block Muslims by using a religious litmus test for entry and immigration to the US. -David N. Rahni - 2/1/17

Groom And Doom: Iranians' Wedding Visit Dashed By U.S. Travel Ban
One Iranian family is just one of many whose plans have been severely disrupted by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order barring them from entering the United States for at least 90 days. Sara had been preparing herself for a joyous family occasion. The 35-year-old mother from northern Iran had recently gotten her U.S. visa and booked flights to Dallas, Texas, for herself, her 1-year-old son, and her mother, who was equally excited about seeing her grown son after five long years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 2/1/17

Hardliner Iranian Cleric Deals another Blow to Music Festival and Artists
Senior conservative cleric and head of Qom seminaries has initiated a fresh round of attacks against Iranian musicians by exploiting the Plasco disaster. Last week a fire in Tehran's Plasco building ended with the complete collapse of the building over the head of firefighters trying to put out the fire. Mohammad Yazdi, the director of the head of Qom seminaries, spoke out against the Fajr Music Festival being held in the capital saying it showed complete insensitivity to the victims of the Plasco disaster. - 2/1/17

Boeing's Iran deal in limbo after Trump ban
The fate of a landmark deal for Boeing to sell 80 passenger aircraft to Iran has been thrown into doubt following President Donald Trump's executive order barring travel by Iranians to the US. Boeing announced a $16.6 billion agreement with the national carrier Iran Air in December, saying the orders were on course to support nearly 100,000 new jobs in the United States. - 2/1/17

Iran unveils new satellites on Space Technology Day
Iran has put on display its latest achievements in the area of space technology during a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani and other senior officials. The Exhibition of Space Achievements was held in Tehran on Wednesday to mark the ninth National Space Technology Day. - 2/1/17

Iran, France shore up trade, sign deals
Iran and France took another step to boost cooperation in different fields of economy by signing five agreements at the end of a business forum in Tehran on Tuesday. The agreements included cooperation on developing Mashhad International Airport, establishing a bioethanol plant, expanding fish farms, and holding pilot training courses in Iran. - 2/1/17

Iranian Government Dismisses Death Of Kurdish Porters Accusing Them Of Smuggling
The plight of Kurdish porters in the Western border regions of Iran has been highlighted once more by human rights activists with more avalanche fatalities. Red Crescent officials explain that the porters' only means of making a living is through carrying commercial goods on their backs through the border which is a rough terrain often hit by avalanches in the winter. - 2/1/17

Iran confirms missile test, spurns foreign intervention
Iran confirms it recently carried out a missile test within the framework of its defense program, saying the Islamic Republic does not allow any foreign intervention in affairs concerning its defensive prowess. - 2/1/17

U.S. tech without Iranian immigrants: No eBay, Oracle, Google, DropBox, Tinder
Talented people in other countries don't disappear if we reject them. They'll shrug and move on to the burgeoning tech scenes of Europe and Asia, where they'll be greeted with easy funding, a low cost of living, fast Internet, vibrant communities, and exotic workspaces. Many American tech startups have even been flocking to these destinations of late. If we limit immigration, we'll be accelerating Europe and Asia's tech position while massively sabotaging our own. -Adam Ghahramani , Venture Beat - 2/1/17

75-year-old grandmother from Iran tells the story of her detention at LAX
Marzieh Moosavizadeh and her grandson follow a routine when she visits almost every year from Iran. The 75-year-old, who travels in a wheelchair and speaks little English, struggles to find direct flights to Phoenix, where he and his family live. So they meet in Los Angeles and he escorts her on the last leg of her trip. This time was different. -Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times - 2/1/17

Build Bridges with Iran: 8 Surprises from the Iranian People
I am deeply saddened by President Trump's executive order banning many Muslims from entering the United States. I also am sad to see the Iranian response: Iran To Ban U.S. Visitors In Retaliation To Trump Order. The U.S. and Iran, along with other Muslim-majority countries, will be much safer in the long term by building bridges of goodwill with one another instead of building walls of fear and mistrust. -Philip M. Hellmich, Director of Peace, The Shift Network - 2/1/17
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