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Arrested Iranian Journalist Released On Bail
The director of Iran's reformist Shargh newspaper has been released on bail, one day after being arrested over a report about "prostitution" in the northeastern city of Mashhad. Mehdi Rahmanian was released on April 29 after posting bail of 500 million rials ($9,000), Iranian news agencies reported. -RFE/RL - 4/30/18

Residents Abandoning Iran's Regions With Increasingly Fierce Sandstorms
Sand and dust storms are growing in intensity and frequency in parts of Iran, forcing residents of the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province to move to cities with bearable weather conditions, according to an MP from the battered province. -Radio Farda - 4/30/18

Putin, Macron reaffirm need to preserve JCPOA: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agree on the need to preserve and fully implement the Iran nuclear deal, the Kremlin says in a statement. The Russian and French leaders held a phone conversation on Monday as a May 12 deadline looms for US President Donald Trump to decide on whether to scrap the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 4/30/18

US, Israel proxies behind bid to rename Persian Gulf: Iranian official
A senior Iranian official says attempts by the proxies of the global arrogance to change the name of the Persian Gulf are "futile and temporary." Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on Sunday that the Persian Gulf belongs to Iranians based on all Arab and Iranian documents, remarks by historians and maps in museums. - 4/30/18

Bolton's Ascent Gives Iranian Group a New Lease on Life
With John Bolton installed as President Donald Trump's new national security advisor, an Iranian dissident group dedicated to regime change will now have someone sympathetic to its cause whom it can turn to in the White House. -Foreign Policy - 4/30/18

Winners of the 2018 Fajr International Film Festival announced
The 36th edition of Fajr International Film Festival, the longest running film event in the Middle East, named its winners during a ceremony on Thursday night at Vahdat Hall, Tehran. 'Aga' by Milko Lazarov won Best Film, while Cambodian documentary film director Rithy Panh won the Peace Award. - 4/29/18

"Roots and Stones", a gift from Tony Cragg, unveiled at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
"Roots and Stones", a huge abstract marble sculpture donated by British artist Tony Cragg, was unveiled in the courtyard of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday April 29, 2018. The ceremony was attended by the Turner Prize-winner Cragg and a number of cultural officials and Iranian artists. - 4/29/18

Editor Of A Reform Newspaper Detained In Mashhad, A City Ruled By Iranian Hardliners
The managing editor of reformist daily Sharq was taken into custody on Saturday, April 28, by the order of a judge based in Mashhad, holiest Shi'ite city in Iran. Mehdi Rahmanian could not raise the bail set for him and was detained by the judge's order, state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported, adding that several people had filed legal complaints about an article in daily Sharq that had allegedly insulted women of a neighborhood in Mashhad. - 4/29/18

IRAN: More than 10 Onlookers Arrested in Area Where Former King's Remains Allegedly Found
More than 10 people were arrested on April 25, 2018 south of Tehran, where construction crews discovered a mummified body, said to be possibly the remains of Reza Shah (1878-1944), sources told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Among the arrested were former political prisoner Kamran Ayazi and Maryam Shariatmadari, who has been sentenced to prison by a preliminary court for her protest against compulsory hijab. Both were freed on bail on April 27, CHRI has learned. - 4/29/18

Mattis: No Decision Yet on US Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says there has been no decision made on any U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement but Washington is working with its European allies to see if there are ways to improve the pact. "The decision has not been made whether we can repair it enough to stay in it, or if the president is going to decide to withdraw from it," Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday. - 4/27/18

The Mummified Iranian King: From Rumors to Facts
A mummified body recently discovered near Shah Abdol Azim Shrine, southern Tehran, could possibly belong to Reza Shah Pahlavi, father of the last shah of Iran. Despite flows of contradictory news and rumors, no official source has yet confirmed identity of the corpse, which was found on April 23, ISNA reported on Wednesday. - 4/27/18

Indictments Issued by Iran's Judiciary Against Dozens Of Protesters
Nearly one hundred indictments have been filed against those who were detained during the unprecedented uprising that broke out in December 28, 2017, says the head of Tehran's Justice Department. A number of the detainees have been charged with "action against national security, Gholamhossein Esma'eili disclosed on Thursday, April 26. - 4/27/18

Lawyer Who Exposed Cover Up of Client's Death in Custody Could Be Imprisoned For Years in Iran
Human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi is facing charges from three different courts and years of imprisonment in Iran for publicly arguing that local police concealed the true cause of death of a young man in their custody. - 4/27/18

Surveillance Devices Found At Former Iranian President's Office And Home
Citing "an informed source," reformist daily E'temad's website reports that surveillance devices have been discovered at former President Mohammad Khatami's office and home. "Eavesdropping on the meetings attended by Khatami is not implausible," Javad Imam, the managing director of Khatami's foundation, told the website April 24. - 4/27/18

Announcing The 10th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival
Calling on filmmakers worldwide to submit short films visualizing some aspect of Iranian art, culture, and heritage, Farhang Foundation's Annual online Short Film Festival offers contestants the opportunity to compete for prestigious recognition and a $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize). - 4/27/18

Iran inks MOU with China on establishing Petrochemical Park
Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) and China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic cooperation, ILNA news agency reported. Based on the MOU which was signed by NPC's Managing Director Reza Norouz-zadeh and CPCIF's Chairman Li Shousheng in Tehran on Monday April 23, 2018, the two sides agreed on constructing a petrochemical park in Iran. - 4/27/18

Iran Detains Another Iranian British Citizen, Computer Scientist and Antiwar Activist Abbas Edalat
Abbas Edalat, an Iranian British academic and antiwar activist based in London, has been detained in Iran since April 15, 2018, after being arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Edalat, a professor of computer science and mathematics at the Imperial College in London, had traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date to attend an academic workshop. - 4/26/18

Iran's World Cup hopes rest on AZ Alkmaar's Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Iran's defence made all the headlines in Asia during qualification for the 2018 World Cup, conceding just two goals in 10 games in the final group stage of qualification. But Jahanbakhsh is the man who can take Team Melli to a first-ever place in the second round. After all, the 24-year-old is one of the most in-form players in Europe. -ESPN - 4/26/18

Government Agencies 'Can't Cope' With Huge Number Of Child Laborers, Says Iranian Official
Approximately nine thousand child laborers in Iran, many of whom homeless and vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse, have been identified and given shelter, according to top officials in the Islamic Republic. "Child workers are so numerous that no organization can single-handedly cope with the problem," said the director of the Iran Welfare Organization's Office of Social Harm Victims, Reza Jafari. - 4/26/18

In Iran's Tough Job Market University Graduates Face High Unemployment
More than forty percent of the unemployed in Iran are university graduates, says a representative of the government's Planning and Management Organization (PMO). "42 percent of unemployed people in Iran have a university degree, and huge sums of money have been spent on their education," said PMO Deputy for Social Development Sa'eed Namaki, adding that unemployment among university graduates leads many of them to leave the country in search of opportunities. - 4/26/18

Iranian Journalist Arrested Over Tweet Deemed Insulting To Shi'ite Imam
An Iranian journalist has been arrested in Tehran over a tweet deemed insulting to Shi'ite Islam's so-called Eighth Imam. Amir Hossein Miresmaili, a reporter with the Jahane Sanat daily, was detained at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on April 24 while trying to leave the country for Georgia, according to a news agency affiliated with Iran's judiciary, which quoted an "informed security source." - 4/26/18

Iran seals deals to buy 40 Sukhoi SuperJets from Russia
Iran says two of its leading airlines have purchased a collective of 40 Sukhoi SuperJet 100 planes from Russia thus ending speculations over a purchase scheme that had been in the offing for the past few years. The purchases were made by Aseman Airlines and Iran Air Tours and the related documents were signed on the sidelines of Eurasia Airshow 2018 in Turkey's Anatolia. - 4/26/18

Cut Out Of Domestic Market, Iranian Paper Producers Shut Down
Paper production in Iran has come to a complete stop until further notice, the chairman of the Paper and Cardboard Producers Union of Iran announced April 24. Abolfazl Roghani Golpayegani, who is also managing director of Mazandaran Wood and Paper Industries (MWPI), says the reason for the industry-wide production stoppage is the massive supply of cheap imported paper and cardboard on the Iranian market, mostly from China, and the fact that the government no longer supports local producers. - 4/26/18

Iran's President Rohani Questions 'Right' To Seek New Nuclear Deal, Criticizes Trump
In his speech, Rohani also railed against Trump, calling him an inexperienced "tradesman." "You don't have any background in politics," Rohani said about the U.S. president. "You don't have any background in law. You don't have any background on international treaties. How can a tradesman, a merchant, a building constructor, a tower constructor make judgments about international affairs," Rohani added, referring to Trump's previous career as a property developer. - 4/25/18

Shrouded In Mystery: Mummified Body Could Be That Of Iran's Reza Shah
Has a symbol of Iran's pre-revolutionary past come back to haunt it? Speculation that a body found near a former mausoleum south of the Iranian capital might be that of Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty who once strived to modernize the former Persia, has stoked Iranian interest in their country's pre-revolutionary and pre-Islamic past. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 4/25/18

Iranians Criticize Rouhani Officials For Blaming the Victim in Video of Morality Police Assaulting Woman
Several Iranian public figures have criticized Rouhani admin officials for blaming the victim in a video of a woman being assaulted by Iran's morality police. Journalist Fatemeh Jamalpour tweeted: "Some of the reactions have been more upsetting than the incident itself. The interior minister called the woman 'foul-mouthed.' Ebtekar said the incident was 'attributed' to the Guidance Patrol. Mowlaverdi said the way the agents had dealt with the woman's 'improper clothes' was problematic, which means she believes there are good and bad kinds of clothes. Then Tayebeh Siavashi claimed that violence had decreased under the current administration." - 4/25/18

Music Video: Iranian Sisters Urge Men to Join Protest Against Iran's Ban on Women in Stadiums
The world pop band Abjeez, led by Iranian-born sisters, has released a new music video calling on men to support the growing movement to end Iran's ban on women in sports stadiums. Sponsored by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), Abjeez's "Stadium" was released today on the heels of a multi-language campaign by a coalition of human rights groups urging the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to demand that Iran end its discriminatory ban before the start of the World Cup in June. - 4/25/18

Iran set for landmark jump of 70% in aluminum output
Iran's aluminum production is headed for a landmark rise of 70% when a new smelter comes online early next year, making the country self-sufficient in the strategic metal, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mehdi Karbasian has said. - 4/25/18

Iran crowned World Super 6 champion
Iran national sitting volleyball team overpowered Russia in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 28-26) in the World Super 6 on Tuesday. Team Melli lifted the trophy at the Sadra Sport Complex in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz with six victories. - 4/24/18

Iranian FM Zarif Says Neither Saudis Nor Iran Can Dominate Middle East; Talks Needed
Iran's foreign minister has said that neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can be the dominant power in the Middle East and called on countries in the Persian Gulf region to start talking to each other. "In an attempt to be the strongest in the region, to exclude one another from the region, we have managed to destroy the region," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York late on April 23. - 4/24/18

Judiciary Chief Defends Police Officer Who Beat Young Woman
Iran's hardline Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani has defended the actions of a police officer who beat a young woman in Tehran last week for "insufficient hijab". In his regular Monday address April 23, Larijani said "No one should be allowed to resist a lawful action by the police, or to insult a law enforcement officer." - 4/24/18

UAE's Emirates Airline plans expansion in Iran: Report
UAE's Emirates Airline says it is expanding operations in Iran which the company described "a very important market". The airline currently operates flights to the Iranian capital of Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad which is an extremely popular destination for Shia pilgrims. - 4/24/18

Iranian Workers Extend Protests Against Water Shortages, Salary Delays
Workers in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan have launched an extended protest against water shortages and nonpayment of wages. Social media users who contacted VOA Persian said farmers from the town of Bavi protested for a third straight day outside a local government building in nearby Ahvaz city on Monday. They said the farmers complained of not receiving enough water to irrigate their crops. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 4/24/18

Celebrities, Green Activists Demand Iran's President Rouhani To Cast Light On Case Of Detained Environmentalists
More than 700 Iranian celebrities and environmentalists have signed a letter calling on President Hassan Rouhani to legally shed light on the case of 13 environmental activists arrested on espionage charges some 90 days ago. - 4/23/18

Millions Of Iranians Facing Water Shortages, Warns Energy Minister
Iran is facing its harshest drought in the last 50 years, and nearly half the country's population will soon face water shortages, according to the Energy Ministry. "334 cities with 35 million people across Iran are currently struggling with water stress," said Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian April 21 in a speech to top members of President Hassan Rouhani's administration. - 4/23/18

Iran's Mina Sadati wins supporting actress Tiantan for "Searing Summer"
Mina Sadati has won the Tiantan for best supporting actress for her role in Iranian drama "Searing Summer" at the Beijing International Film Festival in China. She received the award during the closing ceremony of the event in the Chinese capital on Sunday, the organizers announced. - 4/23/18

Iran's Appliances And Vehicles Market Hit By Forex Crisis, Blackouts on the Way
Two weeks after the Rouhani administration introduced its new foreign exchange policy of a single rate for US dollar, travellers and businesses complain that foreign currency is not available at the government-imposed rate of 42,000 rials for a dollar. - 4/23/18

Iran's President Rouhani vows to protect access right to social media
President Hassan Rouhani has said that his government will protect the Iranian peoples' right to use social media. "Breaking monopolies and backing the domestic messaging apps do not mean imposing restrictions on other social media platforms. People preserve the right to choose and they can simultaneously use various social media platforms," Rouhani wrote in a message on his Instagram page on Sunday. - 4/23/18

Iran Bans Banks From Using Cryptocurrencies
Iran has banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions. "The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in all the country's monetary and financial centers was banned," an April 23 statement by the central bank said. - 4/23/18

John Oliver and James Van Der Beek Launch a Mock Podcast About Iran on Last Week Tonight
On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his attention to diplomacy, a.k.a. "the thing that keeps us from immediately going to war with our enemies and from telling Lichtenstein how we really feel." -TIME - 4/23/18

Iran's President Rohani Criticizes Violence By Morality Police
Iran's President Hassan Rohani has criticized the morality police's use of violence against women failing to observe the compulsory Islamic dress code, state media reported on April 21. Rohani said some believe that "promoting virtue and preventing vice" -- the morality police's stated mandate -- is done "by going to the street and grabbing people by the collar." "Promoting virtue will not work through violence," Rohani said in a speech aired on state TV. - 4/22/18

18 Wetlands Totally Drained In Iran: Deputy Environment Chief
Some 18 wetlands in Iran are completely dried up and some 24 are in critical condition, deputy chief of the Department of Environment, Masoud Tajrishi, has said. Tajrishi highlighted that the wetlands in Iran are not in a good condition and if the current trend of low precipitation continues the wetlands will turn to hotspots for sand and dust storms. - 4/22/18

Four girls to represent Iran at Asian Weightlifting Championships
The four-member Iranian team traveled to Urgench, Uzbekistan to participate at the 25th Asian Junior Women Weightlifting Championships. The 25th Asian Junior Women and 32nd Asian Junior Men Weightlifting Championships are being held from April 20 to 30 in Urgench, Uzbekistan. - 4/22/18

Iranians Hit By 'Perfect Currency Storm'
Every day, hundreds head to Tehran's bustling Ferdowsi street to buy foreign currency, only to find that many exchange offices have shut up shop, have turned off their currency-rate displays, or have signs up reading, "We don't have U.S. dollars to sell." A nationwide dollar-buying panic is in full swing, spurred by the plunging value of the Iranian rial, a sluggish economy, and fears that the United States will reimpose crippling sanctions on the Islamic republic. -Frud Bezhan Niusha Boghrati, RFE/RL - 4/22/18

Iran Detains Saeed Mortazavi, Ex-Prosecutor Convicted In 2009 Prisoner's Death
An Iranian news agency affiliated with the judiciary is reporting that police have arrested a former Tehran prosecutor who faces a two-year prison sentence over the death of a prisoner arrested during Iran's 2009 mass anti-government protests. The website of the Mizanonline news agency said on April 22, citing an "informed source'" that Saeed Mortazavi had been identified and arrested in a city in the north of the country. - 4/22/18

500 European MPs Urge U.S. To Support Iran Nuclear Deal
Hundreds of lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain have called on their counterparts in the U.S. Congress to support the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, calling it a "major diplomatic breakthrough." - 4/20/18

Iran's Morality Police Assault Woman, Sparking Outrage
A video of a young woman being wrestled to the ground by Iranian "morality police" for not wearing a hijab properly has sparked outrage on social media and prompted Iran's government to launch an investigation. - 4/20/18

Iran defeats Russia in World Para Volley Men's World Super 6 Sitting Volleyball Competition in Tabriz
The World Para Volley Men's World Super 6 Sitting Volleyball Competition kicked off in Tabriz on April 19, and will run through April 24. The event has attracted national teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. - 4/20/18

Reformists Gather To Press Iran's President Rouhani On House Arrests, Economy
In a rare meeting earlier this week with President Hassan Rouhani, members of his reformist political block criticized the president, demanding he intervene to end the house arrest of fellow reformists, create a more significant role for the vice president, and oversee better economic management. - 4/20/18

'Dirty' Dancing: Iranian Official Arrested For Allowing 'Indecent' Moves
Iran has arrested a Culture Ministry official after people danced in public in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the judiciary said on April 19. Deputy prosecutor Hassan Heydari told the judiciary's Mizanonline news agency on April 19 that the head of the department of Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for "undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws." - 4/20/18

Dan Gaspar leaves Iranian national team after six years
American Dan Gaspar, who was the Iranian national team's assistant coach, team coordinator and goalkeeper coach, has left Iran two months before he would have gone to the World Cup with Team Melli for a second time. -Persian Football - 4/20/18

Why Isn't Fugitive Ex-Prosecutor In Prison? Asks Iranian Lawmaker
A reformist lawmaker in Iran has demanded answers over why a former prosecutor remains free, more than four months after he was sentenced to prison over the death of a protester. The member of parliament, Fateme Saidi, has submitted a request to question the interior and justice ministers to find out "quite simply whether any action has been taken to arrest Said Mortazavi," the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported on April 18. -RFE/RL - 4/19/18

Earthquake Strikes Southern Iran, Near Nuclear Power Plant
An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook Bushehr, southern Iran, on Thursday. The temblor struck at about 11 a.m. local time near Kaki at the depth of 18 kilometeres below earth's surface. There is no report on damages at Bushehr nuclear plant as it is built resistant to earthquakes. - 4/19/18

Khamenei's Dropping of Telegram Channel Lays Groundwork for Banning Messaging App in Iran
Two days after the secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council (SCC) announced Telegram could be blocked "at any moment," a message was posted on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Telegram page announcing it was ending its activities. Khamenei's move has moved the country one step closer to the blocking of Telegram, the messaging app used by more than 40 million members in Iran. - 4/19/18

Russia's Loko defeats Iran's Moghavemat Golsapoosh to claim Eurasia Beach Soccer Cup title
BSC Lokomotiv Moscow defeated Iran's Moghavemat Golsapoosh to claim the 2018 Eurasia Beach Soccer Cup title in Yazd, Iran on Tuesday. After clinching the Mundialito de Clubes last December, Loko claim another international honor, getting ready to get to the Euro Winners Cup as one of the toughest sides in the world. - 4/19/18

IMF Sees Iran's GDP Growth At 4 Percent In 2018
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook titled "Cyclical Upswing, Structural Change" predicted a four-percent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Iran in 2018, down 0.3 percent from 4.3 percent in 2017. - 4/19/18

Inefficient Agriculture is Killing Iran
Iran has been facing a crisis regarding water for many years and it's far more existential than the nuclear program or the fate of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Almost every day in Iran, there are protests by farmers regarding water shortages and the diversion of this precious resource from one area to the other. -Sirous Amerian, Atlantic Council - 4/19/18

Iranians: Surge in Foreign Drug Prices Causing Hardship
Iranians say prices of foreign pharmaceuticals have surged in recent weeks because of the strengthening U.S. dollar, causing hardship for the sick and inciting anger toward people seen as profiting from the situation. In Tuesday's edition of VOA Persian's Straight Talk call-in show, callers from inside Iran accused the government of failing to deal with the problem. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 4/18/18

Philanthropist Bita Daryabari Receives Honorary Doctorate And Delivers Golden Gate University Commencement Address On April 27, 2018
Award-winning philanthropist and humanitarian Bita Daryabari has been selected as the 2018 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from her alma mater, Golden Gate University (GGU), where she will also deliver the commencement address on Friday, April 27, 2018. - 4/18/18

Iranian Pakshoo Brand Wins New York Festival Award
An Iranian company has outperformed global brands, winning silver and bronze World Medals at an internationally recognized festival for corporate film production, the first in Iran's advertising industry. Pakshoo industrial Group was awarded the Corporate Image Film and Writing distinctions for its Your Story Is Our Story film on April 10 at the 2018 New York Festivals World's Best TV & Films competition. - 4/18/18

Iran expects delivery of 14 ATR, Airbus and Boeing aircraft this year
Iran should receive 14 new passenger aircraft this year under agreements signed with Airbus, Boeing and ATR planemakers, a government official has said. Tehran has ordered more than 200 planes since US-led sanctions against the country were lifted in 2016 under a nuclear agreement but US President Donald Trump's threat to rip up the deal next month has raised doubts about deliveries. - 4/18/18

Environmentalist Resigns From Official Post And Leaves Iran Amid Smear Campaign
A prominent Iranian scientist and deputy head of the Islamic Republic's Department of Environment has apparently resigned from his post while abroad after being detained in connection with allegations of espionage against other environmentalists. - 4/18/18

Senior Iranian Official: Telegram App Could Be Blocked "At Any Moment"
On the same day the secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council told a radio program that the widely used Telegram app could be blocked "at any moment," the Education Ministry banned the app on campuses nationwide. - 4/18/18

Iranian Rights NGO Approved For U.N Council
The United Nations has approved the accreditation of a U.S. based NGO focusing on human rights issues in Iran. The Economic and Social Council of the U.N granted accreditation to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center with a vote of 22-7. Belarus, China, Russia, South Africa, Venezuela, Vietnam and Iran voted against. - 4/18/18

First Ever Release of 1978 Farah Choir Recording
After 40 years, a never-before-heard recording of the Farah Choir, which was supported by the former queen of Persia Farah Diba (Pahlavi), has been released in Europe. The release of the recording, which contains seven Persian folk songs, was planned for 1978, but was halted due to the Islamic Revolution. - 4/17/18

EU Stops Short Of Imposing Additional Sanctions On Iran
Meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers strongly defended the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and declined to impose new sanctions against Iran over its role in the Syrian conflict. "There is no consensus at the moment on the fact that these measures would be useful in this moment or appropriate in this moment," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the April 16 meeting. -RFE/RL - 4/17/18

Iran's Foreign Currency Markets In Chaos Despite Central Bank Intervention
One week after the Rouhani administration announced the government-imposed rate of 42,000 rials against every US dollar, chaos and ambiguity in Iran's foreign exchange market continue. In an attempt to control the free fall, the Rouhani administration announced an imposed rate of 42,000 rials to the U.S. dollar April 10, in addition to other protective measures. -Radio Farda - 4/17/18

Iranian Education Minister Issues Stern Warning Against UN 2030 Agenda
Iran's minister of education has warned that any official or non-governmental organization (NGO) that uses educational guidelines from the banned 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be "firmly dealt with." - 4/17/18

Penalty For Iran's Football Federation Head Over Israel Sports Row
The president of Iran's Football Federation, Mehdi Taj, has been summoned to court over his decision to allow a player to return to the national team after playing against Israeli athletes while under contract with a foreign club, local websites reported April 16. -Radio Farda - 4/17/18

Iranian forces foil attack on border watchtower in southeast, kill three terrorists
Iranian forces have thwarted an attempt by Pakistan-based terrorists to storm and seize a security watchtower in the country's southeastern border region, killing three terrorists in the operation. During the operation, two IRGC forces also lost their lives and two other were wounded when their vehicle hit a booby trap, the statement said, adding that an Iranian border guard was also killed in the abortive attack. -Press TV - 4/17/18

Iran, Turkey open first LC in own currencies in blow to dollar
Iran and Turkey have opened their first letter of credit for business transactions in their national currencies as the two countries move to ditch the US dollar and the euro in bilateral trade. The first foreign exchange swap in the Iranian rial and Turkish lira came on Tuesday after months of anticipation, which followed an agreement signed last year to use local currencies in trade. -Press TV - 4/17/18

Notorious Iranian Judge 'Disappears' Before Serving Sentence For Murder
Iranian Judiciary's Spokesperson Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei says the country's most notorious judge, former Tehran prosecutor and Press Court Judge Saeed Mortazavi, has vanished into thin air before going to jail as "accomplice in murder." President Hassan Rouhani's media adviser Hesamoddin Ashna warned on April 13 that Mortazavi might flee in order to evade justice. Meanwhile, social media users commenting on the development have questioned the Judiciary's authority and the regime's integrity. - 4/16/18

Keeping Iran nuclear deal in place vital for EU: Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini
The European Union has reiterated its strong and unequivocal commitment to the full implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran by all sides, saying preserving the deal is vital. "The Europeans have always made it clear, the European Union has always made it clear that for us, keeping the agreement in place is vital. It is a strategic interest for the European Union and we will stick to it," EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogheri, told reporters on Monday ahead of the bloc's Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. - 4/16/18

Imprisoned Rights Defender Narges Mohammadi Gives Message of Hope and Strength in Accepting 2018 Andrei Sakharov Prize
Prisoner of conscience Narges Mohammadi was unable to accept the 2018 Andrei Sakharov Prize in person in Columbus, Ohio where the American Physical Society (APS) awarded it to her but she sent a message of hope and strength in a powerful speech. - 4/16/18

Iran Bans Sale Of Foreign Currencies At Exchange Bureaus
Iran's central bank has announced a ban on the sale of foreign currencies at exchange bureaus. Under new government guidelines, exchange bureaus no longer have the right to buy, sell, or transfer foreign currencies, and the central bank will no longer provide cash to the bureaus. - 4/16/18

Iranian alternatives for Telegram messaging app in close-up
Iranian alternatives for Telegram messaging application are now on the table for Iranian users, who are encouraged by the government to replace their Telegram account with a domestic application. The replacement of Telegram, as the most popular messaging app in Iran, with Iranian messaging applications is being turned into a challenge on the national level. -Setareh Behroozi, Tehran Times - 4/16/18

Iranian discus thrower Haddadi receives second gold at USSD Competitions
Iranian discus thrower and London 2012 Olympics silver medalist Ehsan Haddadi has maintained his perfect composure at the USSD competitions in the United States, and collected his second gold medal. The 33-year-old Iranian sportsman competed against Swedish athlete Daniel St�hl and Daniel Jasinski from Germany in Chula Vista city, located just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from downtown San Diego. - 4/16/18

The US is considering economic warfare with Iran
The problem for Iran is that the U.S. government is likely going to start taking on a more belligerent posture any day now. Moreover, some hawkish groups in Washington are calling for open economic warfare against Iran. National Security Adviser and infamous war-hawk John Bolton just started work this week. Mike Pompeo, another person eager to start a war with Iran, is hoping to soon be confirmed as Secretary of State. -Business Insider - 4/16/18

Water Shortage "Serious": Iran's Environment Chief
The country is facing a serious water shortage, said Isa Kalantari, the chief of the Department of Environment. Water should be at the center of all the national programs and plans, he said, adding that industrial and agricultural development should comply with the national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) law, Mehr reported on Wednesday. - 4/14/18

Iran captures crown at 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships
Young Iranian taekwondo practitioners have featured praiseworthy displays of spinning kicks and fast kicking techniques at the 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships in Tunisia, and won the tile at the conclusion of the prestigious international event. - 4/14/18

Iran's Expediency Council Dragging Its Feet Over Fate of Religious Minority Candidates in Local Elections
Six months have passed and the Iranian government has still not resolved the dispute over the suspension of a Yazd City Council member, Sepanta Niknam, due to his Zoroastrian faith. "I think they want this issue to go away and be forgotten with the passage of time," said his uncle, Kourosh Niknam-himself a former Zoroastrian member of the Iranian Parliament-in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 5, 2018. - 4/14/18

Cannes Festival To Feature Films By Dissident Iranian, Russian Directors
France's Cannes film festival has made a show of support for dissident directors in Iran and Russia in unveiling its selection of films to compete for the festival's Palme d'Or prize. Festival director Thierry Fremaux included films by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who has been banned from leaving Iran, and Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under house arrest in Russia. - 4/13/18

Angry Farmers Chant 'America Is Not The Enemy - The Enemy Is Right Here'
Reports received from Iran on social media say angry farmers again launched protests in Isfahan, central Iran on Friday, against "mismanagement of water resources". Hundreds of farmers from eastern parts of the province stormed the provincial capital, among them many women, chanting, "America is not our enemy, our enemy is right here". -Radio Farda - 4/13/18

Teachers' Rights Advocate Writes Scathing Letter From Prison on Revolutionary Iran's Failed Promises
Prominent teachers' rights advocate Esmail Abdi has written a letter from Evin Prison strongly criticizing Iranian officials' for their failure to uphold the promises of the country's 1979 revolution. Noting that he will begin a hunger strike on April 18, 2018, Abdi also blasted the Iranian Judiciary's "arbitrary and illegal rulings" and "widespread violation of the rights of teachers and workers in Iran." - 4/13/18

String 'Em Up: Iranian Cleric Wants Money Changers Executed Amid Currency Crisis
A senior hard-line Iranian cleric has called for the execution of "several key money changers" to help end the country's currency crisis. Iran's rial hit a record low earlier this week, losing 35 percent of its value against the dollar amid fears of U.S. actions that could cripple Iran's economy. - 4/13/18

The Iranian American Women Foundation Launches New Los Angeles Chapter and Presents 16th IAWF Women's Leadership Conference on April 29, 2018, in Los Angeles
The Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF)-the only non-profit organization providing networking and mentorship services to women of Iranian descent across all professional industries-launches its Los Angeles Chapter and also presents the 16th IAWF Women's Leadership Conference in Los Angeles on April 29, 2018. Azita Raji, the first female U.S. ambassador to Sweden, and the first Iranian-born American to serve as a U.S. ambassador, will keynote the event. - 4/12/18

U.S. Treasury Secretary Warns Of 'Very Strong' Sanctions On Iran
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has signaled that the United States may impose "very strong" sanctions on Iran as President Donald Trump seeks to address what he called the "disastrous flaws" in the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. -RFE/RL - 4/12/18

Facing No Water by May, Iranians Protest for 2nd Day
Iran's central province of Isfahan has seen a second consecutive day of street protests against water shortages, as lawmakers warned that millions of residents will have no tap water as soon as next month. Iranian farmers in Isfahan's rural town of Varzaneh began protesting water shortages in February, angered by authorities diverting local river water to the neighboring province of Yazd for industrial use. Those protests escalated into violent confrontations with security forces last month. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 4/12/18

Italian Football Team's Persian Twitter Account a Hit after Iran Censors Crest
An Iranian state TV network's unusual decision to censor the crest of Italian football club AS Roma has helped the club attract a big following of Iranian fans to its new Persian Twitter account. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 4/12/18

Iranian movies line up for Atlanta Film Festival
Six movies from Iranian filmmakers will be competing in the 42nd Annual Atlanta Film Festival in the United States. "Disappearance" directed by Ali Asgari will be screened in the Narrative Features section, while five other films will compete in the shorts section. - 4/12/18

Iranian messaging apps reportedly removed from Apple's App Store
Two Iranian messaging applications have been reportedly removed from the Apple's iOS App Store from Monday, according to local media. However, Apple Inc. has not yet issued any statement about removing the messaging apps Soroush and Baleh. - 4/12/18

Exhibition: No Man's Land - works by darvish
Asia House is to host an exhibition comprising of film, painting and drawings by the Iranian-American artist, darvish. The exhibition will explore a notion of internal and external explorations of space, and pays homage to the Iranian farmer Darvish Khan Esfandiarpour (coincidentally sharing the same first name as the artist). - 4/12/18

IRAN: Supreme Leader Rejects 'Western Influence' Of UNESCO Education Goals
Speaking to a group of teachers and education specialists April 7, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vehemently denounced UNESCO's Education 2030 goals, which include gender equality in education. - 4/12/18

Iran to switch to Euro as official reporting currency
Iran has unveiled a plan to switch from the US dollar to Euro as its official reporting foreign currency in an effort which could be meant to reign in the rate of the greenback that hit multiple records against the Rial earlier this week. Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), was reported to have said the plan would be implemented immediately after the approval of the government. - 4/11/18

IRAN: Supreme Leader Uses Fatwa to Silence Widespread Distrust of Domestic Apps
Following a recent flurry of public criticism of domestically made messaging apps, Iran's supreme leader has issued a fatwa calling on the government and the Judiciary to protect citizens' personal privacy rights. "Violating the people's security and domestic space is religiously haram [forbidden] and should not take place," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a meeting with state officials on April 9, 2018. - 4/11/18

American director Oliver Stone to attend Iran's Fajr Film Festival
Oscar-winning American filmmaker Oliver Stone will be attending the 36th Fajr International Film Festival, the secretary of the festival, Reza Mirkarimi, announced in a press conference on Wednesday. The Fajr festival will be running in Tehran from April 19 to 27. - 4/11/18

Iranian Political Prisoner Urges "Contentious People" To Be the Voice of His Imprisoned Wife
Imprisoned civil rights activist Arash Sadeghi has urged "all contentious people" to call for the release of his ailing wife, Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi, who according to informed sources is suffering serious health problems due to a two-month-long hunger strike. - 4/11/18

26 Million Iranians Suffer Absolute Poverty, Says Prominent Economist
A prominent Iranian economist says 33 percent of the country's population live in absolute poverty, and six percent are starving. A family of four living in an urban area with a monthly income below forty million rials (roughly $1000) is living in poverty, Hossein Raghfar told state-run Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) April 7. - 4/11/18

Drought-Plagued Iranian Farmers Protest Lack of Access to Water
Farmers in Isfahan, Iran, are continuing to protest the lack of water available to irrigate their fields. Recent amateur video on social media showed protesters chanting slogans while security forces tried to disperse them. - 4/11/18

Iran Tries To Unify Exchange Rates To Halt Currency Decline
Iranian authorities have vowed to enforce a single exchange rate to the U.S. dollar in a bid to stop a slide that has seen Iran's rial currency fall by more than one-third in seven months. The move came after the rial slid to 60,000 rials against the dollar on the unregulated market on April 9, according to media reports. The U.S. currency stood at 36,000 rials in mid-September. - 4/10/18

Blackouts On The Way, Warns Iran's Energy Minister
Power outages are inevitable next summer across Iran, the country's energy minister has warned. "Since the volume of water behind the dams is significantly lower than usual, if residents do not decrease electricity consumption, power cuts will be inevitable across the country," Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian announced on April 8. - 4/10/18

Rouhani Admin Facing Backlash Over Plan to Give 100 Vetted Iranian Journalists Uncensored Internet Access
Iranian journalists and editors working for various news publications in Iran have strongly criticized the government's decision to grant what has been described as uncensored internet access exclusively to 100 "approved" members of their profession. - 4/10/18

Stop Dam Building And Water Transfer Projects: Iranian Environmentalists
A group of environmentalists have issued a statement, urging all dam building and water transfer projects around Zayanderud, Karun and Dez rivers to be halted in a bid to deal with the severe drought conditions that have affected western part of the country. - 4/10/18

Tehran Mayor Resigns Again After Prosecutor's Open Threat
Tehran's Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi has once again resigned a few hours after Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri threatened him to step down. Montazeri on April 9 called the city council's rejection of Najafi's first resignation "political" and told the Mayor to resign again. Montazeri's statement "Resign and you won't be prosecuted," is one of the most blatant interventions by a judiciary official in this matter. Referring to Montazeri's remark, Council member Zahar Sadrazam Nouri said, "Now pressures are being exerted on the mayor openly." - 4/10/18

Rasoul Khadem returns to Iran Wrestling Federation
Rasoul Khadem, who had announced his retirement as the president of Iran Wrestling Federation, has returned to the federation after two months. Khadem had resigned after saying authorities should reconsider their policy of not allowing Iranian athletes to compete against Israelis. - 4/10/18

Russia, Iran, Turkey mull unified payment system
Energy Minister Alexander Novak says Russia is considering payments in national currencies in trade with Iran and Turkey amid their escalating tensions with the US. -Press TV - 4/10/18

Sudden Rise Of Dollar In Iran Stops Currency Trading On Free Market
Iran's currency took another big hit, falling between 6-9 percent on Sunday, extending a slide to a new record low on continued concerns over a return of crippling sanctions if U.S. President Donald Trump carries out his threat to exit a nuclear deal with Tehran. The U.S. dollar jumped to as much as 58,000 rials on the open market in the capital Tehran, according to some reports. -Radio Farda - 4/9/18

Deutsche Grammophon releases Persian Compositions for Cello and Piano
The German Classical Music Records Lable Deutsche Grammophon has released Kian Soltani's debut album which contains works by Schubert, Schumann and Persian composer Reza Vali. The young Persian-Austrian cellist Kian Soltani was born in 1992 in Bregenz. His parents Khosro Soltani and Farzaneh Navai used to work with Tehran Symphony Orchestra for a while and shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Persia moved to Austria. - 4/9/18

Preview Screening Of Two Feature Films 'Man' & 'Three Worlds' By Amir Motlagh At Chicago Filmmakers
LA based, award winning Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Motlagh along with producing partner and Chicago based filmmaker Charles Borg are set to preview two new feature films - MAN, Three Worlds in a double feature screening hosted by Chicago Filmmakers on April 21st, 2018 at 6 PM in Chicago, IL. - 4/9/18

FOOTBALL: Persepolis wins Iran's Persian Gulf Pro League title race
Iran's professional soccer club Persepolis has claimed the championship of Iran's Persian Gulf Pro League, formerly known as Iran Pro League (IPL), for the second consecutive year following a victory over Padideh Football Club. - 4/9/18

Iran celebrates Nuclear Day with warning to Trump
Iran celebrated its National Nuclear Technology Day, with President Hassan Rouhani warning US President Donald Trump against a possible pullout from the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. "If the deal breaks, they will surely regret it. They will witness the fallout in less than a week," Rouhani said on Monday during a special ceremony held in commemoration of the occasion. - 4/9/18

Inaccessible Louvre Exhibit Highlights Ongoing Challenges For Persons Living With Disabilities in Iran
A popular exhibition by the Louvre Museum in Paris at the National Museum of Iran has come under criticism because it is inaccessible to people living with disabilities. From March 2018 until June, works of art from the Louvre will be displayed in Tehran to mark the 80th anniversary of the Iranian museum. - 4/9/18

Freestyle Wrestling World Cup Opens In U.S. Without Russia, Iran
The 2018 World Cup of freestyle wrestling opened on April 7 in the U.S. state of Iowa without Russia and Iran, two traditionally strong teams in the sport. Iran, the six-time defending champ, pulled out in March without citing a reason, although many tied it to the resignation of the Iranian federation president, Rasoul Khadem, over issues related to the country's state policy of refusing to compete against Israeli competition. - 4/9/18

Only 2% of devices affected by recent cyberattack: Iranian IT Minister
"Only two percent of devices in Iran were affected by the recent cyberattack and the attack was neutralized in two hours," Iran's Communication and Information Technology Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has said. Following an attack which was detected late on Friday, a flaw in Cisco switches allowed hackers to target critical infrastructure in many countries with cyberattack, including Iran. - 4/9/18

Tehran Mayor's Resignation Rejected As Council Members Cry Foul
The Tehran City Council rejected the resignation of Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi on April 8. There were four votes in favor of him stepping down and 16 against in the latest episode of the factional conflict over power and influence among regime insiders. Najafi announced he was resigning for health reasons, but some members of the all-reformist council have said he was bowing to political pressure. - 4/9/18

13th RoboCup Iran Open to kick off in Tehran
The adult competitions for the 13th edition of RoboCup Iran Open kicked off on April 5 at Tehran International Exhibition Center, with participation of about 500 teams. According to the chairman of Iranian National RoboCup Committee, Morteza Mousakhani, 478 teams will participate in Iran Open, a competition domain designed to advance robotics and AI research through a friendly competition. - 4/6/18

Russia, China Denounce U.S. Efforts To Change Iran Deal, World Trade Rules
The foreign ministers of Russia and China have jointly denounced what they described as efforts by the United States to unilaterally change negotiated treaties ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to the global-warming pact and world trade rules. - 4/6/18

Iran's Non-Oil Export Revenue $6 Billion Less Than Projected
Chairman of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization Mojtaba Khosrowtaj says Iran's non-oil export between March 2017 and March 2018 has had a growth of 6.5 percent compared to previous year, but still non-oil export revenues lag behind the projected figure by $6 billion, reported official news agency IRNA on April 4. The annual non-oil export revenue was projected at $53 billion, but Iran has realized only around $47 billion, the report said. - 4/6/18

Photos: Bachukheh wrestling competition in Esfarayen, Iran
The Bachukheh traditional wrestling competition was held in Esfarayen in Iran's North Khorasan province on Tuesday. The competition brought 230 wrestlers at the 'Zeinal Khan Spring'. Bachukheh is a traditional wrestling sport with its own championship games. This is one of the most important local wrestling matches in Iran with Greater Khorasan as its birthplace. The Bachukheh wrestling field is usually covered with red clay. - 4/6/18

Germany's Merkel Set To Visit U.S. As Trump's Iran Deadline Nears
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to the United States to meet with President Donald Trump in the coming weeks, the White House says. The meetings would come shortly before a May 12 deadline that Trump has set for adjustments to the 2015 nuclear deal signed by the United States and other world powers with Iran. Germany, France, and other signatories have urged the United States to remain in the pact. - 4/6/18

Iranian-American Woman Nazak Nikakhtar Becomes U.S. Assistant Commerce Secretary
An Iranian-American lawyer on Tuesday sworn in as U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for industry and analysis affairs. On March 19, the U.S. Senate agreed to appoint Nazak Nikakhtar as the assistant secretary of commerce for industry and analysis affairs. - 4/5/18

Ankara Hosts Iran, Russia Leaders as Cooperation Deepens to End Syria Conflict
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara Wednesday for a second trilateral summit, part of ongoing efforts to end the Syrian civil war. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 4/5/18

'Everybody Knows' by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi to open Cannes 2018
The Spanish-language psychological thriller, written and directed by Farhadi, stars the Oscar-winning Penelope Cruz as a mother (Carolina) who travels with her family from Buenos Aires back to her small hometown outside Madrid, Spain, for a celebration. The family's trip is plagued by unexpected events that threaten to tear the loved ones apart. The film also stars Javier Bardem as Carolina's husband. - 4/5/18

As Tehran Mayor Insists On Resignation, Many Attribute It To Political Pressure
Tehran mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi has tendered his resignation claiming poor health, but many say it is the result of political pressure by Iran's conservatives. Despite calls from city council members to rescind his resignation, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi is resolved to leave his post for medical reasons, city Budget Committee Chairman Majid Farahani announced April 3. - 4/5/18

Policy Recommendations for US-Iran Relations in the Trump Era
Allies for most of the 20th century, the United States and Iran were radically divided after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Shah and replaced him with a theocratic government. Throughout the last 38 years, U.S. policy toward Iran has fluctuated between open animosity and cautious mistrust. -Shiva Darian, Gabriela Billini, and Nicolas Pedreira, AIC - 4/5/18

Russia to invest $50 billion in Iran oil, gas: Official
Russian investment in developing Iran's oil and gas fields could total more than $50 billion, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov has said. "Energy is the most promising sphere for cooperation between Russia and Iran. Leading Russian oil and gas companies such as Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Lukoil, Zarubezhneft and Tatneft are systemically working on development of fields in Iran. The expected amount of investments is over $50 billion," he told reporters in Moscow Monday. - 4/5/18

Dervish Protester Convicted Of Running Over And Killing Police Officers By Bus Sentenced To Death
A man accused of driving a bus into a group of security forces in Tehran and killing three of them has been sentenced to "death by retribution." Mohamad Salas, a dervish of the Gonabadi order, was convicted of driving a bus into a group of police and plainclothesmen in the heat of bloody clashes between security forces and Gonabadi dervishes February 19. - 4/5/18

Leaders of Turkey, Russia, Iran Gather in Ankara to Discuss Syria End Game
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosts his counterparts from Russia and Iran Wednesday for a second trilateral summit on Syria. The three, whose countries have a significant military presence in Syria, are increasingly cooperating to resolve the civil war under the auspices of the so-called "Astana Process." The deepening cooperation comes in the face of intense rivalries. - 4/4/18

Sacred fire alive for 1,550 years at Iranian Zoroastrian temple
Iran's central city of Yazd is home to one of the fire temples most sacred to Zoroastrians worldwide with a flame that has been burning for nearly 1,550 years. The Yazd temple is one of the world's nine Zoroastrian fire temples which hold the sacred Atash Behram, meaning Fire of Victory. - 4/4/18

Iran's Categorization of Autism As a "Special Disease" Is a Double-Edged Sword for Persons With Disabilities
The Iranian Parliament's recognition of autism as a "special disease" will have positive and negative consequences for persons living with the disability in Iran according to an Iranian disability rights advocate. - 4/4/18

Workers Demanding Overdue Wages Detained In Iran
The Islamic Republic's security forces have reportedly arrested several workers on Saturday, March 31, at Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Mill in city of Ahvaz, capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, southwestern Iran. Earlier on Thursday, five other workers were also detained. - 4/4/18

US-China trade war a boon to Iran's pistachio exports
A trade war between the US and China might be an unlikely boon to Iran's pistachio exports which have resurged following the lifting of sanctions on Tehran. China has announced retaliatory tariffs of between 15 and 25 percent on some imports from the US, including nuts, in response to steep duties on some Chinese goods announced by the Trump administration. - 4/4/18

Iran's President Rouhani Speaks Out Against A Possible Ban on Telegram App
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said on April 3 that Iran is not planning to ban popular messaging application Telegram. Reacting to reports about the possible banning of the application, Rouhani explained in a meeting with high-ranking state officials that introducing homegrown messaging applications is aimed at putting an end to Telegram's monopoly on messaging in Iran. - 4/3/18

Iranian karateka Saeed Ahmadi Karyani strikes gold in 2018 USA Open & Junior International Cup
Iranian karate practitioner Saeed Ahmadi Karyani has featured impressive athletic skills during the 2018 USA Open & Junior International Cup, and ranked first at the end of the international tournament. Ahmadi Karyani showed a commendable display of vim and vigor in his march to the final competition of men's kumite minus 75-kilogram category at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. - 4/3/18

43 People Charged in Iran's Kermanshah Province For Protesting Against the State
Forty-three people have been charged for protesting against the government in Kermanshah, the capital of Kermanshah Province in western Iran, in early January 2018. The province's Chief Prosecutor Mohammad Hossein Sadeghi told reporters on March 28 that many of the protesters had acted "emotionally" and under the influence of social media when they expressed frustration with the country's economic problems. - 4/3/18

Teahouse Arson Blaze Kills Eleven In Ahvaz, Iran
An arson blaze in a teahouse in the southern Iranian city of Ahvaz has left at least eleven people dead. The Ahvaz fire department spokesman has told Iran's ISNA that the blaze was heavy and strong. As soon as firemen arrived at the scene, they were confronted by a raging fire, which had engulfed the whole teahouse. - 4/3/18

Iranians mark Nature's Day as Norooz holidays end
People across Iran are celebrating Sizdah Bedar, the ancient festival of nature, on the last day of Norooz holidays, with many leaving their houses and spending time outdoors in the fresh spring air before getting back to work and their regular routine after the holidays. - 4/2/18

More Than 50 Injured In Double Quake In Iran
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has hit western Iran hours before a second quake shook Damavand Province near the capital Tehran, Iranian state media reported on March 31. The state-run IRNA reported that the 5.3 earthquake hit the city of Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah Province. According to the report 54 people were injured and received treatment. Most of the injured have been released. - 4/2/18

Putin To Visit Ankara This Week For Talks With Turkish, Iranian Leaders
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to make a two-day visit to Turkey this week for talks with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts. Putin is to meet with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on April 3 as part of the Turkish-Russian High-Level Cooperation Council. - 4/2/18

Prominent Iranian MP Brands Messaging App Telegram 'Security Threat'
The chairman of the Iranian Parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, has branded the popular messaging application Telegram "a security threat" in an April 1 interview with the parliament's news agency, ICANA. Boroujerdi had said previously that the government would ban Telegram indefinitely before April 20, adding the decision was made at the "highest level" of the government, a likely allusion to the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 4/2/18

Iran ranked 16th largest car manufacturer in 2017
The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructers' d'Automobiles) ranked Iran as the 16th largest car manufacturer in 2017. The country produced a total of 1,515,396 cars in 2017, an increase of 18.19 percent year on year, Mehr reported. - 4/2/18

Russia Denies Israeli Fighter Jets Reached Iran Airspace Undetected
An unnamed source affiliated with the Russian Defense Ministry has denied a report by a Kuwaiti daily claiming two of Israel's F-35 fighter jets flew over Syria and Iraq last week to reach Iranian airspace without being detected by Russian radars based in Syria. Iraq's Defense Ministry also denied Israel's jets had violated its airspace. - 4/2/18

Metal Band Member Sentenced to Six Years Prison in Iran Accused of Creating "Satanic Music"
Nikan Khosravi, a member of the Iranian metal band "Confession," left Iran for Turkey to avoid being imprisoned for six years for producing metal music, he told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 29, 2018. "The interrogators had translated my English lyrics [into Farsi] verse by verse and were asking questions about this and that word and told me I was a Satan worshipper and didn't believe in God," Khosravi told CHRI. - 4/2/18
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