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Smugglers, shipwrecks threaten condition of Persian Gulf waters
Fuel smugglers are among the main polluters of Persian Gulf waters. According to Iran's Department of Environmental Protection, smugglers release more than five million litres of fuel into Persian Gulf waters each year. - 4/30/14

Rude Homecoming For Iranian Dissidents
Ali has a message for dissidents and oppositionists who are considering returning to Iran. Don't even think about it. Even if Rohani is in a welcoming mood, it seems, Iran's hard-liner are not. "The Revolutionary Guards and the prosecutor's office are in charge," Ali says, and "they're very much against the return of dissidents." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/30/14

Iran's Opposition Leader Musavi Hospitalized
Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi has been hospitalized due to heart problems, the opposition website Kalame reports. One of Musavi's daughters confirmed the report on social media. Musavi is said to have been transferred to the coronary unit of a Tehran hospital that specializes in cardiology on April 29. - 4/30/14

Iran Wants 400 New Passenger Planes By 2025 If Sanctions Lifted
Iran's top civil aviation official says Iran wants to buy 400 new passenger airplanes by 2025 to replace the country's aging fleet if sanctions over its contested nuclear program are lifted. Ali Reza Jahangirian of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization told journalists in Tehran on April 30 that 40 percent of the country's commercial airliners have been grounded due to a lack of spare parts. - 4/30/14

Banned Iranian newspaper Ebtekar allowed to reopen
The ban on the Ebtekar Daily has been revoked four days after the newspaper was shut down by Iran's press court authorities. Iranian media report that Mohammad Ali Vakili, the Managing Director of the newspaper, was informed that the newspaper's publication ban had been lifted. Vakili announced that the newspaper will resume publication starting Wednesday April 30. - 4/30/14

IAEA inspectors to visit two Iranian sites
A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will travel to Iran in the near future to visit the Saghand uranium mine and the Ardakan concentration plant, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced on Tuesday. - 4/30/14

Iranian President Speaks Out Against Hard-Line Critics
Iran's President Hassan Rohani has derided hard-liners in his country who are critical of his style of governance and his attempt to reach out to the West. Speaking in a live state television broadcast on April 29, Rohani said his hard-line critics do not speak for Iran. - 4/30/14

Iran terminates contract with China oil giant
Iran has terminated a USD 2.5 billion contract with a Chinese oil giant to develop a major oil field in the south of the country after the company failed to fulfill its obligations. - 4/30/14

How the U.S. Created the Afghan War -- and Then Lost It
Though it's now difficult to imagine, by mid-2002 there was no insurgency in Afghanistan: al-Qaeda had fled the country and the Taliban had ceased to exist as a military movement. Jalaluddin Haqqani and other top Taliban figures were reaching out to the other side in an attempt to cut a deal and lay down their arms. Tens of thousands of U.S. forces, however, had arrived on Afghan soil, post-9/11, with one objective: to wage a war on terror. -Anand Gopal, LobeLog - 4/30/14

21 Gorgeous Photos That Show Why Iran Is A New Tourist Hotspot
Iran is becoming a tourist hotspot this year, with tour operators reporting significant increases in tourists booking trips to the Middle Eastern country. Perhaps that's because of a slight thaw in its relationships with the West, or simply because of the allure of exploring a little-known tourist destination with few other tourists around. -Jennifer Polland, Business Insider - 4/30/14

Ward 350 of Evin Prison is Peaceful?
Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, the head of Tehran's infamous Evin prison told Tadbir news agency that Ward 350 of the prison was quiet and peaceful. But since then, the families of prisoners of the ward have relentlessly screamed of the violence perpetrated in the ward and their voices have been heard throughout the world. After the expose, the warden said he had identified the course of the "fake" news. -Mehrangis Kar - 4/29/14

Photos: "IRAN: Generation Post-Revolution"
The Washington Post then referred to the Iranian youth as "couch rebels" who prefer to share photos of protests on Facebook rather than going on the street and protest for a better life. The unmet wish of liberal reforms and freedom has led the Iranian youth to organize their needs in a matchless underground scene. -Kaveh Rostamkhani - 4/29/14

Despite Investigation Pledge, Rouhani Administration Maintains Silence on Prisoner Assault
The families of political prisoners who were assaulted by security guards in the brutal attack in Evin Prison's Ward 350 on April 17 have yet to receive any response from a government panel appointed to investigate the incident. The attack on the inmates has prompted widespread condemnation inside and outside the country. - 4/29/14

Families Of Iranian Political Prisoners Complain About Beatings At Evin
The families of political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison have filed a complaint against four judiciary officials in connection with recent incidents at the prison. The complaint is linked to the events of April 17, 2014, when security officers and more than 100 soldiers serving as prison guards attacked and beat the political prisoners in Ward 350. - 4/29/14

Syria Conflict Spurs Iran-Pakistan Talks
A senior Pakistani official is in Iran on an unscheduled visit, which comes amid reports Tehran is increasingly upset at Islamabad's alleged attempts to boost Saudi-backed support for Syrian rebels. Iranian leaders also are said to be worried about rising attacks against minority Shi'ite Muslims in predominantly Sunni Pakistan. -Ayaz Gul, VOA - 4/29/14

Photos: 7 killed in bus accident on Tehran highway
Seven passengers were killed and 10 injured when a bus overturned on Tehran's Azadegan highway. ISNA quotes the Tehran Traffic Police saying the accident occurred on Monday April 28 at 9 AM as the bus was trying to exit the highway. - 4/29/14

Little Tokyo or Japantown? Los Angeles Leads the Way with Ethnic Enclaves
Los Angeles has an advantage here because of the entertainment industry's ability to endow locations with mythical qualities. Take Persian Square in Los Angeles's Westwood district, which has the largest concentration of Iranians in the United States. The Persian district, known also as Little Persia or "Tehrangeles," receives regular attention from mainstream American audiences. - 4/29/14

She was born in Vienna, but she's Iran's first female conductor
Growing up in Vienna, "the musical capital of the world," as she calls it, it was difficult for Nazanin Aghakhani not to fall in love with classical music. It was all around her -- on TV and radio. She was born to Iranian parents and visited Iran frequently. "In my heart I feel quite Iranian," she says. -Shirin Jaafari, PRI - 4/29/14

Iranian crocodile breeder hailed as a role model for women
QESHM ISLAND, Iran -- Crocodile farming isn't the most obvious business opportunity in Iran. The wide-jawed reptiles aren't native to the country, their meat can't legally be served at home and they don't have the friendliest reputation. That hasn't stopped one enterprising woman from sinking her teeth into a business that most Iranians would rather avoid. -AP - 4/29/14

As EU Reconsiders Russian LNG, Qatar Waits in Wings
Throughout the Ukraine crisis, EU leaders have become more vocal about their interest in reducing Europe's consumption of Russian natural gas. As a result, Qatar - the world's number-one provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) - is well positioned to play a more influential role in Europe's energy landscape. -Daniel Wagner, Giorgio Cafiero, and Sufyan bin Uzayr, IPS - 4/29/14

Tehran-Moscow ties benefiting entire region: President Rohani
In a Sunday meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Tehran, President Rouhani said Iran and Russia enjoy good political and economic relations and stressed that bilateral ties between Tehran and Moscow are "in the interest of the two nations and the entire region." - 4/28/14

Tehran gallery asks male, female artists to paint their impressions of opposite gender
Tehran's Shila Gallery has called upon a number of eminent Iranian male and female painters to express their impressions of the opposite gender by means of their works, which will be put on display in separate exhibitions entitles "In the Other's Eyes" . - 4/28/14

Israel's Stolen Nuclear Materials: Why it Still Matters
Once again revelations concerning the genesis of Israel's undeclared nuclear weapons program are attracting notice. Two nuclear experts, Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson, have again raised questions as to how Israel might have acquired the nuclear materials needed to build its nuclear bombs in a provocatively titled article, "Did Israel steal bomb-grade uranium from the United States?" -Marsha B. Cohen - 4/28/14

Austria ready to boost economic ties with Iran
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has said that Iran and Austria have good economic relations and Austrian corporations are ready to boost ties with Iran. Kurz made the remarks during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday. - 4/28/14

Iran, Germany discuss promotion of bilateral trade cooperation
Head of German Bayern Chamber of Commerce Peter Driessen and his deputy Stephanie Spinner Konig met with Head of Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Golamhossein Shafei and Vice President of Iran Chamber for International Affairs where the two sides discussed promotion of bilateral business ties between Iran and German economic sectors. - 4/28/14

Iran: Sunni leaders speak out against assassinations
Mowlavi Abdolhamid, Zahedan's Sunni Friday Mass Imam, and a number of other senior Sunni leaders have condemned recent assassinations in the cities of Rask and Sarbaz in Sistan-Baluchistan Province. - 4/28/14

Iran - Outlook revised to stable by Capital Intelligence
Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed Iran's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Ratings of 'B', and its Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency Ratings of 'B'. At the same time, the Outlook for Iran's ratings was revised to 'Stable' from 'Negative'. -CPI Financial - 4/28/14

Iran Bans Reformist Newspaper Ebtekar
Iran has banned the reformist newspaper "Ebtekar," the third such publication to be closed by authorities in recent months. Mohammad Ali Vakili, the newspaper's managing director, told ISNA news agency on April 26 that he received a note from the media court which said a ban has been imposed on the daily for "spreading lies." - 4/27/14

UNESCO director-general, Iranian Foreign Minister open exhibition of historical maps
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif opened an exhibition of a collection of historical maps in Tehran on Saturday. Iranian officials and foreign diplomats also attended the opening ceremony of the "Maps from the Qajar Period" exhibition at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS). - 4/27/14

Energy deals key to Iran-Russia trade ties: Envoy
At a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow, Tehran's ambassador Mehdi Sanaei underlined the importance of the current year for promotion of Iran-Russia cooperation and called for the implementation of oil, gas and electricity deals signed between the two sides. - 4/27/14

Iran Hangs Three Men Convicted Of Killing Prosecutor
Iran's state news agency says three men convicted of killing a prosecutor in the country's restive border region with Pakistan have been executed. IRNA says Omid Piri, Alireza Dahmardeh, and Iman Galavi were hanged publicly on April 26 in front of the family of the slain prosecutor and residents of Zabol, a town in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. - 4/27/14

Iran freestyle team wins Asian Wrestling Championships
The Iranian men's freestyle team completed its domination of the 2014 Asian Wrestling Championships on Thursday. Iran took six gold medals of eight weight categories to capture the team title with 70 points. - 4/26/14

Ayatollah Tehrani's gift stirs global conversation on religious co-existence
The ground-breaking gift of a senior Iranian cleric to the worldwide Baha'i community is beginning to stir a global conversation about religious co-existence and freedom of religion. The response comes after Ayatollah Tehrani bravely gave to the Baha'is of the world a calligraphic rendering of Baha'i sacred verses, along with a plea for religious "co-existence". - 4/26/14

Iranian artist uses percussion instruments as canvas for calligraphic paintings
The Iranian artist Mohammadreza Javadinasab has recently created a number of calligraphic paintings on some Iranian percussion instruments called daf. The collection, which comprises 30 works, is scheduled to be showcased in an exhibition, which will open at the Panjareh Gallery on May 2. - 4/26/14

Iranians Go Online To Vent Anger After Cut In Gasoline Subsidies
Iranians have gone online to vent their frustration at the government after it slashed state subsidies on gasoline, a move that has seen the price at the pump skyrocket by up to 75 percent. The dramatic price hikes, which took effect at midnight on April 25, are expected to test President Hassan Rohani's support among a population fed up with stubborn inflation, rising costs, and high unemployment. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 4/26/14

Iranian mother who spared her son's killer: 'Vengeance has left my heart'
Interview Samereh Alinejad tells the Guardian she had no intention of sparing her son's killer, Balal, until the moment she asked for the noose to be removed from his neck - Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardign - 4/26/14

Gasoline Prices: Iran's Achilles' Heel
Iran's current gasoline subsidies reduction plan, which is part of a broader attempt at reforming Iran's subsidies, could stoke inflation, which will be tough for average Iranian families. But in the long-term, this strategy will help Iran manage its domestic fuel consumption, which will save money for the Iranian government and increase the value of its petroleum products. -Sara Vakhshouri - 4/26/14

Iran elected to five UN committees
Iran has been elected to five United Nations committees, including the Commission on the Status of Women, which oversees the protection of women's rights. In response to Iran's election to the UN committees, the United States criticized the development, calling it a "troubling outcome." - 4/26/14

Iran Lawmakers Demand Probe of Alleged Beatings of Political Prisoners
Several moderate Iranian lawmakers have demanded a probe into alleged beatings of several political prisoners held at Tehran's Evin prison, Iran's official news media reported. The demand comes after foreign media last week reported that more than 30 detainees in Ward 350 at the prison were allegedly beaten, several of them seriously, during a snap inspection on April 17. - 4/25/14

Possible Deal With Iran On Arak: What Does It Mean?
What is Arak? Arak, or araq, is an anise-flavored alcoholic beverage that is especially popular throughout the Levant. It is closely related to the Turkish beverage rakı and the Greek ouzo. Arak and water over ice Not that Arak. Oh, right, the nuclear talks. Sorry. -Derek Davison - 4/25/14

Iranians Face Sharp Increase In Gasoline Prices
Iranian drivers lined up overnight at gas stations as the government raised the price of gasoline by up to 75 percent at midnight. Despite the increases, gasoline remains heavily subsidized and the retail price is among the cheapest in the world. - 4/25/14

Will the Ukraine Crisis Impact Russia's Mideast Policy?
Iran may also pose more of a problem for Moscow. Now that Russian ties with the West have soured over Ukraine, Moscow may prefer to see Iran remaining at odds with the West rather than improving relations. While there is certainly debate in Iran about the desirability of moving closer to the West, Russia is generally seen by Iranians as a rival and not a friend. -Mark N. Katz - 4/25/14

The Iranian Evolution: A Shift in Tehran and the National Mood
It has been almost eight months since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took the helm of the Islamic Republic's executive branch. By all accounts, after several unexpected twists and turns, political machinations, and a convergence of myriad domestic and international factors that made his victory possible, the national mood in Iran is calmer than ever before. -Farideh Farhi, Muftah - 4/25/14

On Iran, Give Obama Some Credit
When opportunity presented itself in Iran, Obama had the confidence and judgment to develop and enact new policies. He made a conscious decision to use diplomacy to solve conflict peacefully and, so far, the results have been promising and unprecedented. -Reza Marashi, Muftah - 4/25/14

Head of Iranian Judiciary says no rules broken during Evin incident
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran's Judiciary, says that no violations occurred during an incident in Ward 350 of Evin Prison and he slammed "seditious efforts at creating adverse publicity." - 4/24/14

Iran Replaces Prisons Chief After Protests
Iran has appointed a new chief of prisons following protests by family members over reports that inmates had been abused at a notorious jail. The official Islamic Republic News Agency said on April 23 that Asghar Jahangir would replace Gholamhossein Esmaili. - 4/24/14

Iranian Activists Shave Heads To Support Political Prisoners
Dozens of Iranian men and women have sheared their hair and posted their pictures online to demonstrate solidarity with political prisoners. The campaign was launched following reports that prison guards had shaved the heads of some political prisoners in Tehran's notorious Evin prison in order to humiliate them after some inmates were reportedly beaten up during an inspection of the facility last week. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/24/14

Gates on the Israeli Tail's Attempt to Wag the Dog in 2007
I've been slowly reading Robert Gates' Duty over the last week or so and some of it is quite pertinent in light of the recent recommendation by JINSA's Michael Makovsky and Lt. Gen. David Deptula (ret.) in theWall Street Journal that the Obama administration provide Israel with Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) bombs and B-52 bombers to deliver them against Iran's nuclear facilities. -Jim Lobe - 4/24/14

Iran's crude oil, gas condensate exports hit $41.6b: Oil Minister
Iran exported $41.6 billion worth of crude oil and gas condensate in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Wednesday. Iran's crude oil was sold at $104 per barrel on the average in the international market, the Mehr News Agency reported. - 4/24/14

The Need for Iranian Oil and Gas
The sanctions campaign against Iran, which has gone on so long with such automaticity that means have become confused with ends, has been carried out with little regard for the damage the sanctions inflict on our own interests. Now with the standoff against Russia over Ukraine, another form of such damage should be noted: the sanctions against Iran reduce our leverage against Vladimir Putin. -Paul R. Pillar - 4/24/14

UN committee takes no action on Iran envoy dispute
A UN committee took no action Tuesday on the U.S. refusal to grant a visa to Iran's chosen ambassador to the United Nations after hearing from both sides, the Associated Press reported. Instead, Cypriot Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, who chairs the committee, told reporters after the closed meeting that the issue remains on the committee's agenda "and we will revert to it if necessary." - 4/24/14

Iran: Rouhani's Silence on Brutal Prison Attack Unacceptable
A week after a violent raid by prison officials at Iran's notorious Evin Prison led to the beating, injury, and solitary confinement of many political prisoners, Iranian Judiciary officials continue to deny any use of violence while vivid testimonies from the families of the prisoners indicate otherwise. - 4/23/14

Families Of Iranian Political Prisoners Protest Alleged Prison Raid
Families of political prisoners demonstrated outside the presidential office in Tehran on April 22 to protest what they say was a brutal raid at a notorious prison in the Iranian capital where their relatives are being held. The protesters say several of their loved ones were badly beaten by security forces in the April 17 operation at Evin prison and called on authorities to investigate the incident. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/23/14

Iran Seeks To Offset Advancement Of Women In Medicine
"Parisa" is among the thousands of young women who have transformed the once male-dominated field of medicine in Iran. Whereas men made up 70 percent of the country's medical students and physicians about 20 years ago, women have reversed the situation to the point that women like Parisa now account for 70 percent of Iran's medical students. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/23/14

Lavrov: Caspian Foreign Ministers 'Coordinate' Principles
Russia's foreign minister says the littoral states of the Caspian Sea are coordinating many "principles" aimed at establishing the basis of a treaty on the sea's legal status. Sergei Lavrov said, however, that the treaty will not be ready in time for a summit of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan in the Russian city of Astrakhan in the fall. - 4/23/14

Iranian medical official reveals steep rise in cancer rate
Iran's Chief of Internal Medicine reports a rise of 20 to 30 percent in the number of cancer cases in the country, adding: "By next year, we will have 400,000 cancer patients in the country." - 4/23/14

" Manuscripts Don't Burn" by Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof to screen at San Francisco Film Festival
Writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof has rooted his remarkable career in an aesthetically wide-ranging critique of censorship and authoritarian rule in his native Iran, a project embracing everything from documentary (Head Wind, 2008) to surreal allegory (The White Meadows, SFIFF 2010) to hard-edged realism (Goodbye, SFIFF 2012). - 4/23/14

Oman Fights Saudi Bid for Persian Gulf Hegemony With Iran Pipe Plan
Oman's plan to build a $1 billion natural-gas pipeline from Iran is the latest sign that Saudi Arabia is failing to bind its smaller Persian Gulf neighbors into a tighter bloc united in hostility to the Islamic Republic. -Bloomberg - 4/23/14

Emad Bahavar: "My Body Aches"
Iranian political prisoner Emad Bahavar describes the severe beatings suffered by him and other prisoners at Tehran's Evin prison when the security personnel and plainclothes officers stormed Ward 350 of the prison on April 17th. -Kaleme (in Persian) - 4/22/14

Caspian Sea Legal regime should meet demands of littoral states: Iranian FM
Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that the Caspian Sea Legal regime must be drawn up in a way to meet demands and expectations of the present and future generations of the Sea littoral states. Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with the Caspian Sea foreign ministers in Moscow. - 4/22/14

Iran Disputes Reports of Violent Crackdown in Prison's Political Detainee Block
Iran's penal authorities sought on Monday to discredit reports of a violent clash last week inside the political detainee block in Tehran's Evin Prison, calling them fabrications fomented by enemies of the government. -NY Times - 4/22/14

Iran's Unemployment Statistics for 2013: Women's Unemployment Rate Rises Further
The latest figures published by the Iran Statistical Center indicate that the average rate of unemployment in 2013 for women had risen to be twice as high as those for men. This increase in the ratio between men and women took place while the overall rate of unemployment in the country fell by 1.7 percent in the same year. -Niusha Saremi - 4/22/14

Iran, Russia FMs discuss bilateral, regional issues
Iranˈs Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed bilateral ties as well as regional issues with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday. The two ministers met on the sideline of the ongoing foreign ministerial meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states which opened this morning. - 4/22/14

Reformist Iranian activist arrested, taken to Evin Prison
Hossein Nouraninejad, an Iranian political activist and member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front party, was arrested on Monday April21. ILNA reports that Parastoo Sarmadi, Nouraninejad's wife, has reported that officials entered their home with an arrest warrant and said that he would be taken to Ward Aleph of Evin Prison. - 4/22/14

PAAIA Announces Change in Strategic Direction
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) today announced a change in its strategic direction that will allow the organization to focus on facilitating greater understanding between the peoples of the United States and Iran, while continuing to build an influential voice for the Iranian American community and facilitating the path of success for the next generation of Iranian Americans. - 4/22/14

New action film "Undying Dreams" is a dramatic story of the fight for democracy in the Middle East
"Undying Dreams" is the gripping story of Mike, an Iranian-American man whose American wife Christine is kidnapped in war-torn Iraq where she is volunteering as a pediatric nurse. Instead of heeding the advice of his Iraqi contacts to go back home, Mike embarks on a dangerous mission to find Christine. - 4/22/14

Time to Foster Iran-Saudi Relations
Several developments and incidents in the past three decades have led to a deep rift between Tehran and Riyadh. This rivalry has mounted into antagonism. Today, the possible breakthrough in the decade-long dispute over Iran's nuclear program has caused anxiety in the Saudi kingdom. -Adnan Tabatabai - 4/22/14

"Executed" Iranian border guard may be alive after all
Baqer Hosseiny, a member of Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, says it has evidence that Jamshid Danaifar, the border officer who was kidnapped in February, is still alive. - 4/22/14

Iran's annual car output falls over 20%: Report
Car manufacturing in Iran dropped 20.2 percent in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, ISNA reported on Monday, citing official statistics. Iran manufactured 737,060 cars in the last Iranian year, while the figure was 924,051 in its preceding year. - 4/22/14

Iranian Political Prisoners Call For Investigation Of Beatings At Evin Prison
As controversy over the alleged attack on political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin Prison deepens, 74 prisoners have written a letter of complaint urging the Tehran Prosecutor to investigate the matter. The Kaleme opposition website, which first reported on the alleged attack, has now published the prisoners' letter of complaint along with the names of the wounded and details of the incident. - 4/21/14

Iran: President Rohani speaks up for equality in Women's Day speech
One day after Iran's Supreme Leader denounced gender equality as a Western cliche, Iranian President Hassan Rohani stressed the need for gender equality in all strata of the country, adding "the fear of women's presence and their excellence" should not be attributed to Islam and religion. - 4/21/14

Iran's dust problem: potential causes and strategies
Iranian officials have expressed hope that residents of the country's western provinces will have fewer problems with dust particles this year due to the heavy precipitation anticipated in Iraq. The observed environmental changes in Iran and neighbouring countries reduce the possibility of such optimism and appear to indicate that in the coming year and for at least a number of years to come, this unpleasant phenomenon will remain a part of people's lives in many regions of Iran. - 4/21/14

Iran Says it Has Diluted Highly Enriched Uranium
Iran says it has completed diluting its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, based on an interim deal struck with world powers last year on its controversial nuclear program. Iran's atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Arabic-language Al Alam television that Iran diluted 103 kilograms of uranium on April 12, converting it from 20 percent enriched uranium to 5 percent. - 4/21/14

Iran Says Next Expert-Level Nuclear Talks To Be Held In New York
Iran says the next round of international expert-level talks on the Iranian nuclear program will be held next month in New York City. The official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi as saying the talks will be held on the sidelines of a May meeting about the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations. - 4/21/14

"Unemployment has reached a critical level in Iran": Vice President
The unemployment rate in Iran has reached a critical level, Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said. The Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the average unemployment rate for the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, hit 10.4 percent. - 4/21/14

American prisoner in Iran writes to Iranian Foreign Minister
Amir Mirazai Hekmati, an American citizen of Iranian background who is in prison in Iran accused of spying, has written to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to insist that he is innocent and to urge the minister to save his case from falling prey to the historic diplomatic differences between Iran and the U.S. - 4/21/14

Tehran Slams U.S. Court Ruling Confiscating Manhattan Property
Iran has condemned a ruling by a U.S. court that approves plans to sell a 36-story Manhattan office building and other properties owned by Iran in the United States. The office tower in Manhattan belongs to the Iranian-linked Alavi Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes Islamic culture and the Persian language. - 4/21/14

Mark Kirk: First I was for the State Department, Now I Prefer Israel
Well, I guess now-Sen. Mark Kirk's faith in the State Department has been diminished somehow, but one wonders why. What happened in the 12 years between the time when he considered the institution and its diplomatic skills as his "best friend" and now when it seems he thinks of its leaders as a bunch of partisan, glory-seeking, uninformed, Israeli intelligence-deniers? -Jim Lobe - 4/21/14

Iran UN Nominee a Non-Issue
Even the most serious issues can have lighter - not to say ludicrous - moments. Such is the case of Ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi, the man whom the Iranian government designated as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. -Robert E. Hunter - 4/19/14

Rohani: Iran Seeks Peace But Ready To Deter Attacks
Iran's President Hassan Rohani says Tehran has no intention of committing acts of aggression but is also ready to defend itself. Rohani was speaking at a parade to mark Army Day on April 18. Unlike his hard-line predecessor Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Rohani did not use his Army Day speech to denounce the United States and Israel. - 4/19/14

Obama Signs Law Blocking Iran's UN Envoy
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a law that bars an Iranian diplomat from serving as an envoy to the United Nations. The legislation is aimed at blocking Hamid Abutalebi, whom the U.S. alleges was involved in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. - 4/19/14

Iranian official confirms execution for bank fraud to proceed
Iran's Chief Auditor Nasser Seraj announced that there is no truth to rumours that a death sentence issued in the so-called $3-billion fraud case will be withdrawn. Seraj, who acted as judge in the trial of Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, said: "A sentence that is issued and approved will no doubt be carried out." - 4/19/14

After A Deal With Iran
The Iran experts at the Rand Corporation, including Alireza Nader, who has written for LobeLog, are always worth reading. That's why Iran-watchers like me can willfully spend part of a slow-news Friday reading a Rand report on what regional responses to a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program might look like. - Jasmin Ramsey - 4/19/14

Iran Gets an Unlikely Visitor, an American Plane, but No One Seems to Know Why
President Obama has warned that Iran is not open for business, even as the United States has loosened some of its punishing economic sanctions as part of an interim nuclear pact. Yet on Tuesday morning, Iran had an unlikely visitor: a plane, owned by the Bank of Utah -NY Times - 4/19/14

Security Forces Storm Tehran's Evin Prison
Dozens of Iranian security forces have stormed a section of Tehran's Evin prison where political prisoners are held, injuring a number of the detainees. Some 30 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement following the raid on April 17. - 4/18/14

Tehran's Amir Kabir University To Discipline Students After Protests, Chants
Following protests against the presence of Saeed Jalili, a conservative member of the Expediency Council, at Amir Kabir University, at least nine students have been summoned by the university's disciplinary committee. - 4/18/14

US Scholar's Planned Iranian Burial in Limbo
The burial of a prominent American scholar who wanted to be laid to rest in the central Iranian city of Isfahan remains in limbo amid a backlash from a small but influential group of hard-liners. Richard Frye, a Harvard professor who dedicated his career to studying Iran's ancient culture and language, died last month in Boston at 94 and his body is waiting to be transferred to the land he loved. - 4/18/14

Judiciary Spokesman Announces Trial in Absentia of Iranians Abroad
While until a few months ago the deputy foreign minister of Iran, Hassan Ghashghai, and the minister of intelligence Mahmoud Alavi made positive public remarks about the possibility of the return of Iranian immigrants, the spokesman of the judiciary branch announced the prosecution of some of them, in absentia. -Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz - 4/18/14

Iran: Hunger strike aims to support families of political prisoners
Arash Mohammadi and Ayat Mehralibeglo two Iranian political prisoners, have been on hunger strike in Tabriz Central Prison since Tuesday April 15 to protest the mistreatment of prisoners' families by prison authorities. - 4/18/14

First Iranian stock brokerage center opens in London
The first Iranian stock brokerage center in London has been inaugurated, ISNA reported on Wednesday. Mehrafarin Brokerage Company has opened a branch in London as the first ever brokerage center in the UK. - 4/18/14

U.S. To Release $450 Million Of Frozen Iranian Funds
The United States says it is taking steps to release a $450 million installment of frozen Iranian funds in response to Tehran meeting its commitment under the interim deal reached with world powers in November. - 4/18/14

Iranian Students Crash Nuclear Party
Former Iranian presidential candidate and nuclear negotiator Said Jalili surfaced this week at a Tehran technical university to lecture students on the benefits of nuclear power. But video of the event shows that the hard-liner's message was drowned out by opposition-minded students. - 4/17/14

"The Soul Of War": Shokoufeh Malekkiani International Iranian Photographer Exhibition at the Agora Gallery New York City
Shokoufeh Malekkiani blends her extraordinary artistic vision with a dedication to philanthropic causes as she continues to make a difference in this world. According to Malekkiani, "the power of art is limitless," and it is her greatest hope that she is able to leverage that artistic power to shed light on some of humanity's most devastating realities. - 4/17/14

H.E. Ambassador Farhad Sepahbody, Iranian Diplomat, dies at 85 in Sedona, Arizona.
H.E. Ambassador Farhad Sepahbody, a distinguished career diplomat during the reign of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, died in exile at his home in Sedona, Arizona, on Sunday, 6 April 2014. Born on 20 August 1929 in Geneva he was the son of another diplomat, Anushiravan Sepahbody, a descendant of Prince Abbas Mirza, a Qajar warrior and son of Fath Ali Shah Qajar. -Cyrus Kadivar - 4/17/14

Iranian bird poacher's sentence is to study environment
The head of the Fars Province Department of Environmental Protection reports that an illegal hunter who was caught hunting birds in the Parishan Wetlands of Kazeroon was ordered to prepare a research study about the environment of the region instead of being sent to jail. - 4/17/14

Late American scholar's executor seeks opinion on burial
The Chairman of the Great Islamic Encyclopedia, Kazem Mousavi Boroujerdi, has written to Iran's Supreme Leader to ask his opinion on the controversy that has brewed over American Iran scholar Richard Nelson Frye and his last wish to be buried in Isfahan. - 4/17/14

Nina Hajian: Behind the Music
Once upon a time, I thought I was going to be a pop star." For anyone who knows Nina Hajian, the bubbly outgoing radio personality for NOW 100.5 FM radio's Todd and Nina Morning Show, the declaration is not surprising... -herlifemagazine.com - 4/17/14

What Was the War About?
The understandably favorable press coverage of the Afghan elections in some ways diverts our attention from the more troubling and largely unexamined aspects of America's decade-plus of war in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost more than a trillion dollars, led to over a million refugees, and thousands dead and maimed civilians and soldiers. -James A. Russell - 4/17/14

Fakhreddini says he is ready to restore Iran's National Orchestra
Conductor Farhad Fakhreddini has said that he is ready to restore Iran's National Orchestra, which has almost been dismantled over the past five years. "I will keep my promise to the officials and will return to the stage in high spirits to save the National Orchestra," he told the Persian service of IRNA on Tuesday in his first comments he made after being appointed to the orchestra last week. - 4/17/14

Iran to invest over $20b in joint oilfields with Iraq
Iran will invest over $20 billion in development of the oil fields it shares with Iraq, IRNA reported on Wednesday. Iran's Oil Ministry is planning to increase oil extraction from joint oilfields with Iraq by one million barrels per day (bpd) in the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21, 2014. - 4/17/14

Iranian killer's execution halted at last minute by victim's parents
Convict had noose around his neck when victim's mother approached, slapped him in the face and spared his life. Many Iranian public figures, including the popular TV sport presenter Adel Ferdosipour, had called on the couple, who have a daughter, to forgive the killer. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 4/17/14

The Politics of the EU Resolution on Iran
On April 3 the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on EU Strategy towards Iran. It proposes the opening of a EU delegation in Tehran; cooperation in a number of areas such as the fight against narcotic drugs, environmental protection, and exchanges of students and academics; engaging with Iran on ending the Syrian civil war; stabilising Afghanistan; and outlining the prospect of lifting nuclear-related sanctions against Iran once there is a final agreement on the nuclear issue. -Farideh Farhi - 4/16/14

Unfair sanctions will be lifted: President Rouhani
Iran does not seek to develop nuclear weapons and unfair sanctions, which are against human rights, will be lifted gradually, President Hassan Rouhani told a gathering of well-wishers in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province, on Tuesday. - 4/16/14

Environmental Awareness: Iranian students to draw the Asiatic cheetah
Avicenna cultural center, Tehran Municipality, Ministry of Education local office Tehran and some NGOs will take part in the painting festival entitled "Asiatic cheetah, God's painting" and all elementary school students of Tehran will participate. - 4/16/14

UN rapporteur concerned over Reyhaneh Jabbari's death sentence
Jabbari was arrested seven year ago for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a physician and former employee of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Jabbari stabbed Sarbandi at his office after suspecting that he intended to sexually assault her and fled the scene. - 4/16/14

The Egyptian-Saudi Coalition in Defense of Autocracy
The pro-autocracy partnership between the Egyptian military junta and the Saudi ruling family goes beyond their opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and the perceived threat of terrorism. It emanates from the autocrats' visceral opposition to democracy and human rights, including minority and women's rights. -Emile Nakhleh - 4/16/14

No country can attack Iran via Azerbaijan's soil: Defense Minister
"According to the Azerbaijan's Constitution, Azerbaijan will never host the military bases of any third country, (and Baku) will never permit any power to use (Azerbaijan's) soil to launch attacks against its neighboring countries," said Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, who is in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehqan. - 4/16/14

Denying Involvement, Iran Vows to Investigate Jamming of Foreign Media
Earlier this week, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Reza Taghipour denied his department's involvement in jamming satellite signals, and said the ministry was "seriously" pursuing the case. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/16/14

Iran Says Missile Program Off-Limits In Nuclear Talks
An Iranian official says Tehran will not include its ballistic-missile program as part of talks with six world powers on an agreement to curb Iran's controversial nuclear program. - 4/16/14

Iran ready to expand ties with UAE: Foreign Minister
Zarif made the remarks in Dubai on Tuesday during a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates, and constitutional monarch of Dubai. - 4/16/14

Iranian institute organizes puppet show project to promote world peace
Simorgh, a major Iranian company for theatrical productions, has organized a puppet show project, which plans to promote peace in the world. A group composed of Iranian, British, U.S., Canadian and Turkish thespians and puppeteers is scheduled to travel across the world to perform an antiwar play entitled "The Last Leaf" - 4/15/14

Iran ready to supply natural gas to Europe: Minister
Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh says his country plans to play a significant role on the world gas market. - 4/15/14

Easing of sanctions brings latest release of frozen Iranian assets
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, a senior member of Iran's nuclear negotiation team, has announced that a fourth installment of frozen Iranian assets ($550 million) has been forwarded to Iran's Central Bank. - 4/15/14

Foreign companies delay selling plane parts to Iran: Aviation Chief
Alireza Jahangirian, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, has complained about a delay by foreign companies to sell civilian plane spare parts to Iran. Under the Geneva nuclear agreement, which eases sanctions against Iran, Tehran is allowed to purchase plane parts. - 4/15/14

Iranian Cleric Says Unhealthy Satellite Jamming Un-Islamic
Even if satellite jamming is a useful tool in protecting Islamic values, it is not permissible under Islamic law if it poses a health threat. That's according to an Iranian grand ayatollah who recently made a ruling on the issue following an inquiry by a Shi'ite news agency. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/15/14

Iran says ready to help Azerbaijan meet its defense needs
Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have similar views toward major regional and international issues, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said in a meeting with his visiting Azeri counterpart Zakir Hasanov on Monday. Colonel-General Hasanov arrived in Tehran for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials at the invitation of Dehqan. - 4/15/14

The Details Behind Israel's Purchase of Lockheed's "Samson" Airlifter
Considering that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu budgeted $2.89 billion for an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities for 2013 and again for 2014, that doesn't go very far, even when assuming that the Samson is being purchased with an eye toward war with Iran. -Marsha B. Cohen - 4/15/14

IRGC leader wants economic role for guards, Basij
Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), spoke out against the Rohani administration for failing to use the capabilities of the IRGC and the Basij militia in establishing policies for achieving the economy of resistance. - 4/15/14

Cheating substitute in Iranian football match runs on to make goal-line save
Having an extra player during a football match is obviously a huge advantage, but having an extra player run on to the pitch and make a last-ditch block to save a certain goal can be even better. -Guardian - 4/15/14

The Tomb of Persian Poet Attar in Neyshabur
Happy Attar Day!: April 14 is National Attar Day in Iran. Abu Ḥamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim (c. 1145 - c. 1221), better known by his pen-names Farid ud-Din and Aṭṭar ("the perfumer"), was a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Neyshabur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism. - 4/14/14

Israel possesses at least 300 nuclear warheads: Jimmy Carter
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says that Israel has at least 300 nuclear warheads which is far more dangerous than estimates that are being hypothetically made about Iran's potential access to nuclear weapons. - 4/14/14

Imprisoned Student Activist Maryam Shafipour Refused Medical Treatment
A source close to the family of imprisoned student activist Maryam Shafipour told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that judicial authorities have refused the family's repeated requests for her transfer to a hospital to seek treatment for heart, stomach, and dental problems that she developed in prison. - 4/14/14

Welcome to the body parts shop... would you like to place an order?
Professor Alexander Seifalian (UCL Centre for Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine) and his team are aiming to make organ donation a thing of the past, combining nano-composite materials with stem cell technologies for the growth of replacement organs. - 4/14/14

Iran Cancels Navy Mission in Atlantic Close To US Borders
The Iranian Navy changed the mission of its 29th flotilla of warships and called it back home before the naval group could start its voyage in the Atlantic Ocean, the Navy commander said Sunday, adding that the country now plans to send another fleet to the Atlantic Ocean. - 4/14/14

Iran resumes petrochemical sales to EU states: Official
A senior Iranian energy official says European countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece have resumed imports of petrochemical products from Iran. Iran's oil and petrochemical exports have increased following some sanctions relief on the Islamic Republic, including the EU and U.S. bans on the country's petrochemical exports. - 4/14/14

Iran to construct six oil refineries in Indonesia
The head of Iran's Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters Union says the Islamic Republic plans to construct six oil refineries in Indonesia. He added that a joint Iran-Indonesia consortium will be in charge of constructing the refineries, noting that the installations have a total refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day. - 4/14/14

Water shortages threaten Tehran, other cities
Iran's Ministry of Power reports that Tehran is on the verge of a water shortage, saying: "Arak, Isfahan, Shiraz, Qazvin, Qom, Karaj, Kerman, Mashhad, Hamedan and Yazd are other cities that are now water-stressed." - 4/13/14

Iranian Court Sentences Former U.S. Marine To 10 Years In Prison
An Iranian appeals court has reportedly upheld the 10-year prison sentence of a former U.S. Marine held in Iran since 2011. Amir Hekmati, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was arrested in August 2011, then tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for spying. - 4/13/14

Complaints by Iranian MPs lead to action on "starred" students
A spokesman for Iran's Article 90 Commission says following complaints from three MPs about the minister of science, the commission has finally managed to obtain the files of "starred" students. "Starred" students are university students who have been marked by the authorities for reasons such as political or social activism and, therefore, prevented from pursuing their studies. - 4/13/14

Lingering Power of Hostage Crisis Short-Circuits Iranian Nominee
Mr. Carter has called on the United States to move on. "Those were college students at that time, and I think that they have matured," he said on a recent radio program, adding, "It would be inappropriate for the United States to try to block someone that Iran wanted to choose." -Elaine Sciolino, NY Times - 4/13/14

Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days?
In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms. The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. -Deborah Amos, NPR - 4/13/14

Siamand Rahman sets new record at IPC Powerlifting Worlds
Iran's Siamand Rahman claimed a gold medal in +107kg of the IPC Powerlifting World Championship on Friday. On the final day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE, Rahman, gold medallist at the 2012 London Paralympics Games, claimed a gold medal and set a new world record of 285.5kg. - 4/12/14

Football: Foolad Crowned Champion Of Iran Professional League
Foolad of Khuzestan football team defeated Gostaresh Foolad of Tabriz and won the title of 13th edition of the Iran Professional League (IPL) on Friday. Foolad defeated its host 1-0 thanks to a goal from Mehrdad Jama'ati in the 37th minute. The team won the IPL title for the second time. The Ahvaz-based team had claimed the title in the 2004-05 Season for first time. - 4/12/14

Hard-Liners Outraged Over U.S. Scholar's Planned Burial In Iran
An American scholar who asked to be buried in the central Iranian city of Isfahan has been called "Western garbage" and a "CIA spy" by a local cleric amid an uproar by hard-liners who oppose the planned interment in the Islamic republic. Frye, a prominent and highly respected scholar of Iranian studies, had asked in his will to be buried next to the Zayandeh Rud river, which flows through Isfahan. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/12/14

Iran Will Deal With UN After U.S. Snub Of Envoy
Tehran has dismissed a U.S. decision to deny a visa to Iran's proposed new UN envoy, Hamid Abutalebi, saying it would take up the case directly with the United Nations. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian media on April 12 that Tehran plans to resolve the issue through the UN "legal mechanisms." Araqchi said "we are not considering an alternative pick" to Abutalebi. - 4/12/14

Poachers caught, punished for killing rare deer
Five deer in the Dasht-e Qanat region of Bordsir in Kerman province were killed by poachers this spring. ISNA reports that a spokesman for the city's Department of the Environment said their rangers pursued the poachers and arrested one of them, who identified the other two, allowing their capture as well. - 4/12/14

Iran to increase oil output to 5.7 million bpd by 2018
Iranian Oil Ministry has a planned to increase oil output to 5.7 million bpd by 2018, Deputy head of the Majlis Energy Commission Ali Marvi said on Saturday citing the plannings presented by Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. - 4/12/14

Land mine explosions injure three in Marivon, Iran
Three separate land mines were detonated in Marivon, injuring three people. The Kordpress website reports that Faeq Ahmadzadeh of Sardoosh ran into a land mine while herding his livestock. - 4/12/14

Iranian MP requests permit to let American scholar be buried in Iran
Ali Motahari, a member of the Iranian Parliament's Cultural Commission, has called on the government to issue a permit to allow Richard Nelson Frye, the recently deceased American scholar and expert on Iranian and Central Asian Studies, to be buried in Isfahan. - 4/11/14

Burnt Generation: A major exhibition of unseen work by eight contemporary Iranian photographers
'Many commentators have said that some of the most exciting photography in the world today is being made in Iran,' says Candlestar Director Fariba Farshad, who has curated Burnt Generation, Candlestar's new exhibition of Iranian Photography (in London). - 4/11/14

Obama's Middle East Scorecard
Viewed from the aerie of the Oval Office, US policy in the Middle East is much more pluses than minuses, and there is much to commend that view. President Barack Obama has successfully navigated the Ship of State past the Scylla and Charybdis of Iraq and Afghanistan... -Robert E. Hunter - 4/11/14

Jailed Iranian activist's hunger strike reaches 35 days
Jailed Iranian labour activist Shahroukh Zamani is continuing his hunger strike and has now been refusing food for 35 days. According to lawyer Naghi Mahmoudi, Zanmani has been on a hunger strike since March 7 to protest his transfer to Qezel Hessar Prison in Karaj and bring about his return to Rejai Shahr Prison. - 4/11/14

Iran seeking UNESCO recognition for historical wind towers
Iran has applied to UNESCO to have its historical wind towers registered on the World Heritage List. The wind tower ("badgir", literally "wind catcher") is the traditional structure used for passive air-conditioning in historical Iranian architecture. - 4/11/14

Report: Iran Proposes Arak Reactor Change to Cut Plutonium Output
VIENNA -- Iran has made a proposal that would significantly lower plutonium production at a planned reactor, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying, signaling flexibility on a key issue in talks to end the nuclear dispute with world powers. -Reuters - 4/11/14

Russia Says Deal With Iran To Follow UN, Not U.S. Rules
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov says that a possible barter agreement between Moscow and Iran would follow UN sanctions rules and not U.S. rules. - 4/11/14

Next Round Of Iranian Nuclear Talks Slated For May
EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton says talks between Iran and six world powers to reach a permanent agreement on Tehran's controversial nuclear program will "move to the next stage" in mid-May. Ashton made her remarks at the conclusion of two days of talks in Vienna between Iran and Britain, France, Russia, Germany, the United States, and China. - 4/10/14

The Ukraine Crisis: A Game-Changer in the Global Energy Market?
Perhaps ironically, Iran could also benefit from these changing dynamics. Europe faces possible energy supply interruptions and high-energy prices in the short-term. With the nuclear-focused negotiations between Iran and world powers known as the P5+1 moving along, some European countries could once again rethink their bans on Iranian oil imports. -Sara Vakhshouri - 4/10/14

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema: April 24 - May 14, 2014
UCLA Film & Television Archive is proud to continue its long tradition of tracing the unfolding of Iran's fascinating national cinema. Continually offering compelling new voices and visions, Iranian film responds to a rich storytelling heritage and enters into crucial dialogue with other world cultural and artistic traditions in its unique interplay of social inquiry and formal experimentation. - 4/10/14

Wife of allegedly slain captive Iranian border guard wants answers
The wife of Iranian border official Jamshid Danaifar, who was allegedly executed by the Sunni group Jeysh-ol-Adl after he was abducted along with four other border guards, is demanding more information about her husband. - 4/10/14

Violent Videogame Targeting Iran's Opposition Removed
A computer game that encouraged players to shoot digital effigies of Iran's opposition leaders appears to have been removed from a website after it sparked controversy in the Islamic republic. The game, titled "The Return of Mokhtar," allows players to accrue "wisdom" points by targeting opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, and others. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/10/14

Shades of 1979: US Disputing Iran's Choice for UN Ambassador
There is a new conflict between the United States and Iran, and its origins extend back to 1979 when a group of militants took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days. Now, Iran is looking to name a man with a connection to the hostage-taking to be its ambassador to the United Nations, but American officials are seeking to block his entry into the country. -Ken Bredemeier, VOA - 4/10/14

Sanctions On Russia Open Southern Corridor
Amid events in Ukraine, the European Union is pondering how to decrease its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Already there is talk in Europe, and further away, that as the door to Russian resources closes a bit, the Southern Corridor should finally be opened and realize its potential. - 4/10/14

Iran will not halt nuclear research: Supreme Leader
"Consent was given to the nuclear talks in order to break up the hostile atmosphere created by the hegemonistic front against Iran, but all people should be aware that despite the fact that the talks will continue, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not halt its activities with regard to nuclear research and development," Ayatollah Khamenei said - 4/10/14

Photos: Azerbaijan President Visits Tehran
President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev arrived in Tehran Wednesday morning to hold talks with senior Iranian officials. The visit is taking place at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. - 4/9/14

Photos: 9th International Robocup Competition Kicks Off In Tehran
The 9th RoboCup Iran Open competitions and symposium officially kicked off in Tehran on Wednesday. The competition hosts 388 teams from Iran, US, UK, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, China, Thailand, India, Pakistan, UAE, Canada, Turkey, Colombia, Egypt and Indonesia. - 4/9/14

EU Must Stand Firm Despite Iranian Hardliners' Fury
Hardline officials in Iran have lashed out at the European Union after the EU Parliament's passage of a resolution that called for all EU members to "mainstream" human rights in their relations with the Islamic Republic. - 4/9/14

Tehran University faculty to make historic selection
Iran's Ministry of Science has announced that for the first time in Islamic Republic history, the president of Tehran University will be selected by the university faculty. - 4/9/14

Farmer hangs 6 foxes as scare tactic
A farmer in the town of Sarbaz in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province in a ruthless act hanged 6 foxes. According to local sources, the farmer's intention was to scare other foxes and discourage them from attacking his chickens. - 4/9/14

Iran's inflation rate drops 5.7% in 6 months: Central Bank
The inflation rate in Iran dropped 5.7 percent during the second half of the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, according to a report published by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). - 4/9/14

US Rejects Iran's Choice of UN Envoy
The White House says it has told Iran it will have to find a different envoy for the United Nations and not one who participated in the 1979 taking of 52 U.S. hostages in Tehran. Abutalebi has insisted that his involvement in the group Muslim Students Following the Imam's Line was limited to translation and negotiation. - 4/9/14

A Peril to the Iran Nuclear Deal
There exists, right now, a problem with one side's obligations not being fulfilled as provided for under the preliminary agreement, known as the Joint Plan of Action, that Iran reached with the United States and its negotiating partners (the P5+1) last November. -Paul Pillar, National Interest - 4/9/14

Photos: The Village Children in Bashagard
Life for the children in Bashagard County villages is very simple. No toys, no internet, no running water, no parks, ... The time seems to have stopped moving forward in these villages where 21st century has failed to arrive. - 4/8/14

IMF Executive Board Concludes Article IV Consultation with the Islamic Republic of Iran
On March 28, 2014 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation [1] with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran had achieved considerable progress in raising per capita income and living standards in previous decades. But in recent years, such progress stalled as both domestic policies and the external environment deteriorated. - 4/8/14

Talks On Iran Nuclear Deal Open In Vienna
Iran and six world powers are holding fresh talks in Vienna on a final accord aimed at ending doubts over Tehran's nuclear program. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed hope before the talks that enough progress could be made over the next two days to allow negotiators to start drafting a final accord by mid-May. - 4/8/14

Fakhreddini, Sahbaii return to National Orchestra, Tehran Symphony Orchestra
Farhad Fakhreddini and Manuchehr Sahbaii have been hired to conduct Iran's National Orchestra and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO), two state ensembles, which were almost dismantled over the past five years. - 4/8/14

The Iranian Nuclear Talks: A Primer
Who are the main players? You can't spell "Iranian nuclear program" without "Iran," so we should probably start with them. Iran's negotiating team is led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who reports to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The final say on foreign policy decisions rests with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and both Rouhani and Zarif must ensure that any deal will be met with Khamenei's approval. -Derek Davison - 4/8/14

Reading Ukraine in Tehran and Tel Aviv
Israeli academics have recently provided a case study of how Israel and Iran may say and do much the same thing, but Iran alone will be criticized for it. -Marsha B. Cohen - 4/8/14

Iran's medical schools to limit female enrollment
Medical schools in Iran will restrict admission to women in the coming academic year, the Shargh daily reports. The report indicates that the number of women in the medical field has risen from 42 percent of total admissions in 1992 to 68 percent in the last year. - 4/8/14

Iranian Environmental Official Highlights Biggest Threat
The head of Iran's Department of Environmental Protection, who has travelled to Japan to establish an environmental partnership between the two countries, says Iran's biggest environmental challenge is the decline in water resources. - 4/8/14

Senate Backs Bill To Block Iranian Diplomat
The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to deny entry into the United States to the Iranian diplomat that Tehran is expected to pick as its next ambassador to the United Nations. The bill passed in a voice vote on April 7. - 4/8/14

One Year, Two Celebrations in Iran
It would not be an exaggeration to say that this year Iranians celebrated two grand events: one for Nowruz (the Persian New Year which falls on the first day of spring) and the other at the end of the two-week Nowruz holidays, when the release of kidnapped Iranian soldiers was announced. -Issa Saharkhiz - 4/7/14

Iran: President Rouhani Says His Government Is Focusing On Economy, Foreign Policy
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration has mainly focused on economy and foreign policy, adding that there is a long way ahead to reconstruct the country's foreign relations. Significant steps have been taken in the areas of foreign policy, Rouhani said during a meeting with a number of ministers, presidential aides, and executive officials in Tehran on Saturday. - 4/7/14

Eight Iranian-Americans among recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
Eight Iranian-Americans are among the recipients of the 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which will be awarded on May 10th, 2014. The medals are presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. - 4/7/14

The Voice For Peace: Arash Fouladvand to conduct Cosmopolitan Persian Choral at Paris' Saint Sulpice Church
La Voix de la Paix ( The Voice for Peace) is an ambitious music project consisting of presenting a series of Persian concerts across the French Capital with a cosmopolitan ensemble conducted by a young and energetic Iranian engineer Arash Fouladvand turned talented conductor / composer (Watch Manoto's Welcome to My Life). -Darius Kadivar - 4/7/14

Iranian Parliament Website Declares Critical State Of Wetlands
The report goes on to add that anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of Iran's 40 wetlands, have been dried out, and it names "industrial and residential development, power generation and unsustainable exploitation as top causes of their destruction." - 4/7/14

Iranian artworks raise about $2.5m at Christie's auction in Dubai
Twenty-six paintings, calligraphic paintings and sculptures by Iranian artists were offered at the auction. "Black" by the U.S. based Iranian artist Ali Banisadr fetched $339,750, standing third among the top 10 most expensive artworks sold. - 4/7/14

Rostampour Lifts Omaha to Historic CIT Win
Omaha was led by a magnificent performance from junior forward Mike Rostampour, whose third career double-double came with 16 points and a career-high 21 rebounds. His rebound total was the sixth-highest for a single game in school history -Omaha Athletics - 4/7/14

Photos: Kidnapped Iranian Border Guards Return Home
The four kidnapped Iranian border guards have returned home. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said in a statement that the four soldiers were released following coordinated operations made by Iranˈs security, police and diplomatic organizations, particularly the border station of Sistan and Balouchestan Province. - 4/6/14

Iran's Water Crisis Threatens its Future
A looming water crisis in Iran has officials warning of water rationing for the capital Tehran. The Mehr news agency quotes Khosro Erteghaei, the head of Tehran's regional water company as saying water levels at the four reservoirs that serve Tehran are at a critical level. He warns that if residents of Tehran and nearby provinces do not reduce their consumption "we will have a problem." -Maryam Manzoori, VOA - 4/6/14

An Acceptable Nuclear Deal With Iran
A new Brookings Institution paper, "Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran," has rightly attracted considerable attention. The author, Robert Einhorn, has a distinguished record and was Special Adviser for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control at the State Department from 2009 to 2013. His recommendations must be seen as authoritative. -Peter Jenkins - 4/6/14

Photos: Afghans flock to polls despite Taliban threat
Afghans flocked to polling stations nationwide on Saturday, defying a threat of violence by the Taliban to cast ballots in what promises to be the nation's first democratic transfer of power. The turnout was so high that some polling centers ran out of ballots. - 4/6/14

Iran to unify multi-tier currency exchange rates
The Iranian administration will set a system of single exchange rate for foreign currencies in the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21. The plan will be a part of market reforms to streamline the state-dominated economy. - 4/6/14

Three Iranian literati die during Noruz
Historian Mohammad-Ebrahim Bastani Parizi, translator Sasan Tabassomi and poet Nushin Ganji died during the holidays of Noruz, the Iranian New Year celebration, which began on March 21. - 4/6/14

Iran's Navy: Asian Ambitions?
Iran has a significant history of long-distance seafaring in pursuit of trade with Asia. The presence, to this day, of wealthy and influential families of Iranian descent in some Asian countries, notably India and Thailand, is lingering evidence of early Iranian maritime ambitions in the region. -Trevor Hollingsbee, The Diplomat - 4/6/14

Man held on suspicion of kidnapping British-Iranian businessman
Ali Rehmat Assadi, an Iranian, arrested in Thailand and deported to UAE over abduction of Abbas Yazdi, who went missing last June. The UAE newspaper 7Days quoted Yazdi's wife as saying the trader and investor was a close childhood friend of a son of the former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. -Guardian - 4/6/14

U.S. Government Allows Boeing To Sell Plane Parts To Iran
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing says it has been granted a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to export spare parts for commercial airplanes to Iran. Also on April 4, General Electric (GE) said it received U.S. permission to overhaul 18 engines sold to Iran in the late 1970s. - 4/5/14

Afghan Women Await Poll Results With Hope
Hopes are high that Afghanistan's election Saturday may result in the country's first peaceful transition of power in more than a century. Militant attacks and electoral fraud are the main threats to the vote for a new president, who will take over after President Hamid Karzai ends his second term. Afghan women, whose freedom has often been curtailed, also worry about their future under a new government. -Zlatica Hoke, VOA - 4/5/14

Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) commends Rep. James Moran (D-VA) and all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama today supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods are not unintentionally blocked for the Iranian people. - 4/5/14

U.S. Official Says Iran Nuclear Deal To Be Drafted In May
A senior U.S. administration official says Iran and world powers will begin drafting a comprehensive nuclear agreement next month. Speaking to journalists on April 4, the official said the sides were making progress in talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program. He made the comments ahead of a new round of negotiations in Vienna on April 8-9. - 4/5/14

Gasoline consumption in Iran hits all-time record high
Gasoline consumption hit all-time record high of 100.7 million liters in Iran on April 1. Iranians consumed around 1.5 billion liters of gasoline during March 18-April 4, according to the Mehr News Agency. - 4/5/14

Hard-Liners Decry Proposed EU Office in Tehran
Acall by the European Parliament to open an EU office in Tehran has come under fire from Iranian hard-liners, who say the proposed headquarters would allow outsiders to meddle in the country's affairs. - 4/5/14

Afghan Voters Go To Polls In Historic Presidential Election
Polling stations in Afghanistan have closed, though election officials say voters still waiting in line will be able to cast their ballots. Earlier, election officials announced that polling stations would remain open an extra hour due to the large turnout and heavy rains that delayed voters from reaching polling stations. - 4/5/14

Iranian leading actress meets Dalai Lama in India
Iranian award-winning actress Katayoun Riahi has recently met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in India, it was reported on Saturday. Riahi, also founder of Iranˈs Komak (Help) Charity Foundation, paid a visit to India during the last days of the past Iranian calendar year which ended on March 20, the foundation reported today in a statement. - 4/5/14

Photos: Nakhcheer cave
Nakhcheer or Chal-Nakhjir is a cave situated in Markazi Province of Iran. It is a limestone cave approximately 70 million years old. Parts of the cave including its internal lake have been prepared for easy tourist access. It was discovered in 1989 and registered as a national monument in 2001. Its interior is made of crystals, dolomite sediments,stalactites and stalagmites. - 4/4/14

Banks Targeting Iranian Americans - What Are Your Rights?
Recently, we have heard from a number of people concerned about the increased scrutiny they have faced from US banks as a result of their Iranian citizenship. We want to clarify the basis for this increased scrutiny, as well as outline what rights Iranian-Americans have to best ensure that they can continue to conduct normal banking activities in the US without interruption. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 4/4/14

NIAC to hold California Action Summit on May 4 in Palo Alto
The summit aims to help strengthen our community's political clout in the epicenter of the Iranian-American community - California. By investing in ourselves as civic leaders, we can use our resources, talents, and drive to effect big changes in Washington. But that can't happen without you! Register today for NIAC's first annual California Action Summit and join us in making history! - 4/4/14

Captive Iranian border guards released but not home yet
Iranian media report that Jeysh-ol-Adl has released the Iranian border officials it had held captive since February, and their release has also been confirmed by the group's own sources. - 4/4/14

President of Austria accepts invitation to Iran
Austrian President Heinz Fischer has accepted an invitation by the Islamic Republic to travel to Iran, his office announced on Wednesday April 2. Reuters reports that the president's office has confirmed acceptance of the invitation but the date has not yet been set. - 4/4/14

Iran, 6 Powers Start Expert-Level Nuclear Talks
VIENNA -- Iran and six world powers began an expert-level meeting about Tehran's nuclear program on Thursday, part of efforts to reach an agreement by late July on how to resolve a decade-old dispute that has stirred fears of a Middle East war. -Reuters - 4/4/14

Iran is 2014's surprise tourism hit
Tour operators have seen a significant rise in bookings for holidays to Iran, as improved relations with the West and an expectation that Foreign Office travel advice will be relaxed boost tourist interest -Lizzie Porter, Telegraph, UK - 4/4/14

Will Iran price hikes fuel discontent?
The honeymoon with the new government is over. Iranians are coming back from their New Year holidays to see their utility bills go up, some by 24%. Petrol prices are also due to rise, a move that usually prompts discontent and triggers inflation. -Amir Paivar, BBC - 4/4/14

Iran, Japan to expand cooperation in environment protection
Head of Iranˈs Environment Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar conferred on Thursday with Japanese minister of environment protection on expansion of cooperation between the two countries. - 4/4/14

Bringing Him Home, Yet Again: 'Les Miserables' Returns to Broadway
Mr. Ramin Karimloo, an Iranian-born Canadian performer, has appeared mostly in the West End of London, where he has played Valjean, Marius and Enjolras in this show, and the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's forgettable "Love Never Dies," the sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera." -NY Times - 4/4/14

Column: Can We Ever Move on from the Hostage Crisis?
After several weeks of consideration, the Barack Obama administration has expressed reservations to Iran about the tentative choice of a middle-aged career diplomat and close associate of President Hassan Rouhani as the country's next ambassador to the UN. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 4/3/14

Experts To Meet Again For Iran Nuclear Talks
Nuclear talks at the expert level between Iran and the 5+1 will get underway starting Thursday April 3. The discussions at the expert level will anticipate the third round of talks in Vienna to reach a final deal, fulfilling the agreement made in Geneva last November. - 4/3/14

Momeni Foundation is accepting applications for the year 2014 Academic Scholarships
Momeni Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships to graduating high school students and full time college students of Iranian descent anywhere in the world. Deadline for receiving the application material is June 30th, 2014. - 4/3/14

Turkey's Election Results Seem to Validate Erdogan's Authoritarianism
After a campaign involving a corruption investigation and nation-wide bans on social media, and an election day marred by deadly violence, Sunday's municipal elections in Turkey resulted in what appears to have been a clear victory for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP). -Derek Davison - 4/3/14

U.S.: Iran's Possible UN Envoy 'Extremely Troubling'
The United States says the possibility that Hamid Abutalebi may be appointed Iran's new envoy to the United Nations is "extremely troubling." Washington has not yet approved a visa for Abutalebi, who has been accused of being involved in the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Iran and the hostage-taking of U.S. diplomats there. - 4/3/14

Is Ahmadinejad Coming Back In From The Cold?
After months of silence, Iran's former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is back, or at least he seems to be trying to make a comeback. On April 1, Ahmadinejad made a short speech in Khuzestan, at an Iran-Iraq War battlefield site where the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had spoken just a week ago, and called for resistance against the United States. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/3/14

Why the Saudis Are Panicking
As President Barack Obama must have noticed during his visit, there is a panicky tone to almost everything the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does these days, whether it's campaigning for two years to win a coveted seat on the UN Security Council only to give it up immediately after the vote, or ... -Trita Parsi, National Interest - 4/3/14

US Experts: Modify Iran's Arak Plant to Reduce Bomb Threat
Princeton University academics said annual production of plutonium could be cut to less than a kilogram - well below the roughly eight kilograms needed for an atomic bomb - if Iran altered the way the plant is fueled, and if it lowered its power capacity. -Reuters - 4/3/14

Photos: Iranian celebrate Sizdah Bedar by spending time in nature
People across Iran celebrated Sizdah-Bedar, the traditional Persian festival of nature, on Wednesday by spending time outdoor. Sizdah-Bedar, an ancient Iranian nature festival, is held on the 13th of Farvardin (first month in Iranian calendar) and marks the end of the Persian New Year (Norouz) celebrations. - 4/2/14

Photos: Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) in Shiraz, Iran
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque or Pink Mosque is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. The mosque was built during the Qajar era, and is still in use under protection by Nasir al Mulk's Endowment Foundation. It was built by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk, one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, in 1876 and was finished in 1888. - 4/2/14

Thousands of Iranian travellers caught in snowstorms
A new wave of cold and snow in various regions of Iran has stranded thousands of Norooz travellers on the road, and in one instance two people were killed due to landslides. Nine provinces in the north and northeast of the country have seen a sudden drop in temperature along with heavy snowfalls. - 4/2/14

Mehri Yazdani's Paintings are coming to San Jose, California
Mehri Yazdani's painting evolved from her love for the art of ancient Persia, Greece, and Egypt. Her semi-abstract images give new form to ancient motifs, creating a unique style which captures the spirit of these early civilizations. - 4/2/14

The follies of Santorum's Hitler analogy
The recent op-ed by Rick Santorum and Joel C. Rosenberg is yet another attempt to stymie and shackle Iran and international negotiators in ongoing talks about Iran's peaceful nuclear program. Iran should be able to enjoy its right to peaceful nuclear energy while avoiding further hostilities and instability. Particularly illogical is their joining in the decades-old rhetoric, comparing who they see as their foe -- Iran -- to Adolf Hitler. -Hamid Babaei - 4/2/14

36th Caspian Sea Legal Regime confab kicked off in Ashgabat
The Caspian Sea Convention will determine the territorial rights of littoral states- Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan - as well as other matters related to the world's largest landlocked body of water. - 4/2/14

Photos: Mother Winter wrestles with Amoo Norouz in Tabriz!
On the 11th day of spring and Iranian New Year (Norouz), the city of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan province of Iran was caught offguard by a snowfall and had to wear white again! The Norouz decorations around the city were also given a white coat to remind the people that the Naneh Sarma (Mother Winter) wasn't quite ready to give up her rein to Amoo Norouz (Uncle Norouz) yet! - 4/1/14

Iran Rights Lawyer Ignores Intelligence Ministry Summons
Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent and widely respected human rights lawyer in Iran, has turned a deaf ear to a telephone call in which she was ordered to appear at the Intelligence Ministry on short notice. There has been no public reaction from Iranian authorities. - 4/1/14

The Assassinated Iranian "Scientist" Was Not a Scientist!
The former director of the Iran's Atomic Energy Organization whose appointment to head the organization during Ahmadinejad's tenure caught all observers by surprise, revealed that Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan who has been called "the nuclear scientist martyr" by Iranian authorities and all official media, was not a scientist at all but was involved in commercial activities. - 4/1/14

Iran's Supreme Leader Pardons 920 Prisoners
The announcement, reported by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, did not indicate whether those pardoned include any of the nearly 900 people the United Nations says are currently jailed in Iran over political activity. - 4/1/14

Gingerly, Iran begins to rock out
In 2008, Iran banned all pop music. But a recent female solo performance signals growing freedom in a country where heavy metal musicians have been told to stay seated on stage. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 4/1/14

New Einhorn Report on Final Iran Deal Focuses Debate
Robert Einhorn, who served as the State Department's special advisor on non-proliferation and arms control under President Barack Obama until less than a year ago, has issued an important report, "Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement," which no doubt reflects much of the thinking of the administration's main negotiators. -Jim Lobe - 4/1/14

Former leader of Jews in Iran dies at 100
Rabbi Yousef Hamedani Cohan, a former leader of the Iranian Jewry, passed away on March 29 at the age of 100. Rabbi Hamedani Cohan, who led Iranian Jews from 1994 to 2007, was laid to rest yesterday. - 4/1/14

Former U.S. Hostages Protest Iran's Choice For UN Envoy
Former U.S. Embassy workers who were held hostage in Iran are calling for U.S. authorities to deny issuing a visa to a new Iranian envoy to the UN who was part of a radical student group that seized the U.S. Embassy in 1979. - 4/1/14

Remember Iran's Green Movement?
The 2009 Iranian presidential elections were followed by organized, massive street demonstrations under the banner of the Green Movement against the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The movement was a loose coalition of reformers, moderate conservatives and seculars. -Shahir ShahidSaless, Al Monitor - 4/1/14
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